§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
MR. BOUSFIEL (Hackney, N.)
said he had been asked to support the Motion as a London Member. If the House would give dispassionate consideration to the Bill, they must necessarily come to the conclusion that, for good or evil, it would have an immense bearing on the future of London in the development of industrial enterprises. They would hardly-find, among the keenest opponents of the Bill, any one taking the view that the supply of electric energy to London, at a price of somewhere about ¾d. a unit, would not be a boon of inestimable advantage to London. On the 600,000 h. p. machinery now other wise propelled in London, it was estimated that an annual turn of about £3,500,000 would be saved by electrical power at such 1412 a figure, but the large gain to existing proprietors of machinery would be small compared with the advantage to London as a whole, industrially and economically. Cheap electrical power meant that they might have again that system of small industries carried on in London, especially in the East End, which had been gradually displaced in favour of large factories and. companies with very heavy capital. It might mean almost a revolution in the conditions of labour in the East End of London. Apart from that, 250 large users of machinery all over London had united, in petitioning that that Bill should pass. What had succeeded on the Tyne must necessarily succeed in London, where the price of coal was enormously enhanced; but it was one of the essentials for success of such an undertaking that it must be conducted on purely business lines and bring in the bulk of the users of power. It must be located where seaborne coal could be supplied, for cheap coal was the very crux of the whole thing, and this company had arranged for its supply to generating stations on the Thames at a maximum of 8s. 6d. a ton. Another condition of success was that very large units for the generation of power should be used, and the company proposed to use steam turbines of 20,000 h.p. capacity. A fourth requisite was that the supply of power should be constant and available at all times, quite independent of electric lighting.
Could the existing companies and municipalities do the work this company-proposed to do with their existing plant? It seemed to him that their existing 1413 plant was unsuited for the work. They were founded for the supply of electric light, and at the time of the maximum demand for light practically the whole of their plant was taken up in the supply of light, and the location of their generating stations was absolutely inconsistent with economy in coal and the ability to supply power cheaply. It was said that they were already supplying power at 1d. or ¾d. but that was only an ad captandum assertion. It happened that for a considerable period of the day in winter and for a longer period in summer they had plant more than sufficient to cope with the lighting demands, and, therefore, during such periods it paid them to supply power or the mere cost of the coal. He contended that it was only when power was sold as a by-product that the London companies and municipalities could sell it cheaply. But they could not supply power steadily at the same time that they were supplying the maximum demand for light. Therefore to supply the maximum demand for power more plant would be required. If they did it by combination—and he did not know how they could do that—they must raise the necessary capital exactly as this company was going to do, and must erect plant in the same locality and work on exactly the same lines.
Was the establishment of the proposed company fair to the existing companies and municipalities? He contended that it would be grossly unfair for the latter to try to monopolise the supply of power. Theirs were essentially lighting undertakings, and stood on a wholly different footing from the supply of power, which was just as much a by-product with them as coke was a by-product in the manufacture of gas. Then, again, the whole of their capital was profitably occupied with the supply of light and was only just sufficient for that purpose. There were clauses in the Bill which provided that the company should not supply power in the districts of existing undertakers without the consent of the Board of Trade, and if that consent was given the company would be placed under the same requirements as those undertakers were themselves. He believed it would be a great boon to existing companies and 1414 municipalities to be able to buy energy from this company on the terms on which it proposed to sell, that was to say, at a price at which they could not hope to produce it themselves. In his opinion the London municipalities had taken a wrong line on this Bill. Moreover, they were already beginning to see that it was to their true interest that this company should be established. Stepney, for instance, had agreed to take all further power from the company, and by so doing would save at a blow a quarter of a million of capital which would have had to be spent on generating stations. The supply of electric power to London would some day become as important as the supply of water, and it might be necessary in the interests of London to create an Electricity Board similar to the Water Board. If this were ever done, Parliament would have to decide who should be entrusted with the undertaking. He would only add that in order to avoid the possibility of excessive claims by the company in the event of a purchase of the undertaking in the future, the company suggested that the Select Committee should settle the terms of purchase now, and that such terms should exclude any allowance for compulsory purchase, goodwill, or prospective value. He submitted that nothing could be fairer than that. He hoped the House would give a Second Beading to the Bill. If the House took the responsibility on the Second Reading of withdrawing this Bill from the consideration of the Committee upstairs it might be doing an injury of great magnitude to London.
§ MR. REMNANT (Finsbury, Holborn)
said he agreed that opposition should not be offered to this Bill unless there was some strong reason for doing so upon grounds of public policy. Whilst he was anxious to give London the cheapest supply which it was possible to give, he differed from his hon. friend as to the way in which that object should be accomplished. The House was asked to confer enormous and unprecedented powers of supplying energy upon a small speculative syndicate in no way connected with London. The company not only asked for powers in the Metropolitan area, but added the words "and adjoining districts." in the Metropolitan area and 1415 a great part of these adjoining districts there was already available a supply of electrical energy in the hands of local authorities and companies acting under statutory powers. The companies were bound to supply every one who required a supply, and at this moment, not withstanding the assertions of his hon. friend, they were in a position to supply all present demands and all possible demands for all purposes at a price not exceeding a maximum which was liable to periodical revision by the Board of Trade.
§ MR. REMNANT
said if the hon. Member opposite would wait until the finish of his remarks he should be very glad to give some facts which would satisfy even him upon that point. These statutory undertakings were open to purchase by the local authorities after a certain period, and they were debarred from combining. These obligations might have been rightly imposed at the time when they were imposed, but at present the companies would be glad to be free from them, and to group themselves together for the purpose of supplying electrical energy in bulk. In the belief that the Board of Trade would not give powers to any other body on more favourable conditions £14,000,000 of public money had been provided. It had been urged that power and lighting ought to be divorced from one another. On the contrary, if electric companies were to be commercial successes, it was desirable that they should not be obliged to confine their work to one branch of electrical energy.
The Bill was exceedingly unfair to the existing authorities. It proposed to allow a speculative syndicate to compete with them unhampered by the same restrictions, and to compete with them in the best and most remunerative part of the present supply. This unequal competition had been sanctioned by the Board of Trade, and it had been sanctioned although no fault had been found with the present companies or with the way in which they had been managed. Those companies had done their work extremely well, and no com- 1416 plaints were made against them; and yet the Board of Trade had sanctioned this free competition as against the restricted competition under which the companies now had to work. The existing companies came into working existence under circumstances and conditions which, in his opinion, rendered their unfair disturbance now an actual breach of Parliamentary faith. He wished to remind the House that in the year. 1882 when it was first suggested that these, statutory powers should be given to these companies it was proposed that they should only be granted them for a term of twenty-one years. It turned out that they were unable to get from the public a sufficient amount of I money subscribed under those conditions to carry out their undertakings. They then applied to the Board of Trade, and after a considerable time had elapsed it was agreed that because the public would not subscribe the money at twenty-one years the period should be forty-two years; and now before that period bad expired it was proposed to introduce a competitor into London free from the restrictions imposed upon the existing companies. Where were they going to draw the line? From what he could gather, they would be only too glad to have an opportunity of being free from the restrictions imposed upon them and of entering into free competition with any competitors the Board of Trade chose to allow to enter the area of London. Any monopoly on the part of the present companies was guarded against by a clause in the Act which allowed any competitor to come in, but that clause laid down also that any competitor should be subject to the same restrictions as they. If this Bill were allowed to pass the property of the companies would be diminished by no fault of their own, but because of a wrong impression that London itself was unable to supply all the electric power needed and that it was necessary to go outside and allow a speculative syndicate to come into London and take the best part of the area. The Lords' Committee recognised the hardships which would be inflicted on the companies, but in spite of that it was now proposed to allow the syndicate to come in unrestrained by the present restrictions imposed on the statutory companies.
1417 Ha denied that the existing companies were unable to supply the total demand in periods of stress. He was afraid that upon this point the hon. Member for North Hackney could not have got his facts from headquarters. He would take one company as an illustration which was supplying over 40 per cent, of its total output for motive energy. [An HON. MEMBER: Name.] The company he referred to was the County of London Electric Supply Company. This company supplied 11,000,000 units per annum, whereas their total capacity was 30,000,000 units per annum. What was true in this case was true in others. The great demand for electrical energy had only been created within the last few years, but, nevertheless, these statutory companies, realising that they would have to do their best for London, had invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in order to provide for the demand which they saw rapidly approaching. The company to which he had alluded, although hampered by the restrictions which had been imposed upon them by the Board of Trade, was supplying large consumers with electric energy for .75 of a penny, or ¾d. per unit, and they had actually under offer the supply of power at a cost of .45 of a penny. Great injustice would be done to the public if this proposal was admitted, for it would take away the most remunerative part of the area of the present companies. As far as he could see and hear, Parliament had never taken away rights which had been formally granted and upon the strength of which large sums had been expended. If this Bill were passed it would enable it to be said that business men could no longer rely on Parliament to protect the interests which it had itself brought into being and on the faith of which public money had been subscribed and invested. The passage of a Bill of this character would seriously and detrimentally affect public confidence in such undertakings, and would go a very long way in the direction of handicapping new industries in this country. He hoped the House would refuse to sacrifice the interests of the whole community for the aggrandisement of a speculative syndicate which dame to 1418 London to do what London was quite able to do for itself.
MR. JOHN BUENS (Battersea)
, in seconding the Motion for rejection, said that it was only the fortune of the ballot that sent this Bill to another place first, so that the London Members could not be heard on Second Reading. That was why the Bill should be debated now. The Committee of the House of Lords was entitled to respect; but its Members were less commercially-minded than the House of Commons and they seemed to be innocent of the wiles of the provincial promoter. The Lords' Committee did not consider the most vital concession which had now been made by the promoters they did not see the purchase clause which had been unloaded at the last hour to save this improper and dangerous Bill from destruction. That fact alone was sufficient reason for the rejection of the Bill. The new clause was not similar to other clauses of the kind. It was evasive, illusory, and indefinite as to the number of years, and innocent men like himself not used to Stock Exchange speculation, would say that it lent itself to marketable purposes more than similar clauses in existing companies Acts. The clause altered the Bill from top to bottom yet neither the local authorities nor any of the other interests concerned had seen it, and it was really one of the most unsatisfactory attempts to avoid a Second Reading rejection he had ever seen. He was really surprised that the hon. Member for Hackney should appear as the advocate of an organisation formed for the purpose of exploiting London, seeing that only two years back he supported and backed a Bill, the object of which was to prevent such a possibility. But how many more London Members would take the same; course?
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
said that would be seen when the division was taken. At any rate, they would not support the Bill for the re sons put forward by the hon. Member for Hackney, who said that he-supported this Bill in the interests of 1419 small industries. Did the hon. Member wish to go back to the hand-loom and the paleolithic order of industry? If he did, this Bill was the very opposite of what he wanted for it would crush out many small undertakings. In the words of the American saying, "Big fish eat little fish, and little fish have to eat mud," and when the hon. Member urged the acceptance of this Bill "in the interests of the smaller industries of the East End," he was defending the East End in a very remarkable way. The House heard a great deal about the unemployed in connection with this s abject, and multi-millionaires had come to him with tsars in their throats, "with bated breath and whispering humbleness," to say, "John, in the interest of the unemployed, support our Bill." But if the claim of the promoters was true, it would rather damage the unemployed, because its object was to cheapen production. But he would not trouble so much about that argument if this Bill were moral, honest, and equitable. The advance of machinery could not be resisted, and being an engineer he was all for cheap energy, cheap light, and the summoning of the latent forces of nature to do man's work. It was because he believed all this could be done better by other agencies that he opposed the Bill.
Then, as to the necessity for having cheap coal, many of the principal existing stations were already situated on the river, and some of the councils availed themselves of the use of canals, so that they were able to get river and seaborne coal quite as cheaply as this company would be able to do. As to power being a by product, Shoreditch alone last year sold 2,300,000 units of energy for light and 1,200,030 units for power. How could it be called a by product when from 40 to 50 per cent, of the total energy was supplied for power? The municipalities were not on the wrong line; they were where they were three years ago, when the hon. Member for Hackney supported a Bill for empowering borough councils to link up and buy out existing companies, and go in for a bulk undertaking. He appealed to provincial Members who attached importance to the principles of local government to support the municipalities of London. There were 1420 sixteen borough councils in London definitely against the Bill. Nearly all the extra-Metropolitan authorities whose jurisdiction the Bill invaded were also against it, and the City Corporation, which knew something about syndicates, especially in connection with electric light, was strongly with the borough councils against the Bill. Then there was the County Council, whose interest in this question was not that stated by his old employer Sir George Taubman Goldie in The Times that morning. Sir George Taubman Goldie represented that he was primarily responsible for the County Council being in opposition to the Bill. That was not the case. He admitted that he was fond of London, and generally stood up for it; but that was a virtue, not a fault. If he were twitted with standing up for the present companies, he would remind the House of the old saying, "Better the devil you know than the devil you who not of." The thirteen companies had many faults, but they had passed through many troubles and difficulties; and when a private enterprise asked for a Parliamentary guarantee for a term of years, during which it would exhaust its shareholders' money in pursuit of a public object, Parliament ought to hesitate before casting these companies lightly on one side and subjecting them to an enterprise which had bigness for its justification, money for its present object, and lobbying and canvassing to an extent that would make a Philadelphia lawyer blush. There were twenty-nine private and public undertakings in London working to produce light and power, and the House was asked to brush them on one side, that the borough councils should "scrap" their £6,000,000 of plant raised by the money of the ratepayers, that the £14,000,000 invested in the thirteen companies should be ignored in the interests of an undertaking that had only bigness, but not greatness, as its claim to recognition.
The justification of the policy was that London would get cheap electricity, because the existing undertakings could not produce it. This was not the case. He would take one typical case. St. Pancras had invested £460,000 of public capital in electric power. Last year the borough's revenue was £75,000 gross, 1421 with, a net profit of £20,500. That profit went to supplying local works of utility which otherwise the borough would have had to do without unless they raised extra rates. Moreover, the borough council was able to sell electricity for light and power at the present moment at d. per unit less than the company had offered to supply them five years hence. The justification for this company coming in was that they would supply power at ¾d; in five years time. But before that date arrived St. Pancras, Shoreditch, Battersea, and nine or ten other borough councils would be able to supply it at prices ranging from 1d. to ½d. It might be said that a profit, of £20,000 was too much. He would like to see the £20,000 profit of St. Pancras reduced by lowering the cost of light and power to consumers, but that was purely a matter for the Board of Trade.
Where was the proof that the company would supply more cheaply? Shoreditch obtained an offer from them to supply in bulk 750,000 units per annum, but their price was 1.25d., or .25d. more than the rate at which Shoreditch could produce it for themselves. He could give nine or ten cases with similar figures. The charge for power by Fulham was 1d., Hammersmith 1d., Shoreditch ¾d; Southwark 1¾d; Stepney 1d., St. Pancras ¾d; to 1d., Woolwich 1¼d; to 2d., West Ham ¾d; to 1½d;, Battersea 1¼d;, Islington 1d., and Poplar 1d. to 1½d. Therefore so far as cheapness was concerned this Bill had no right to a Second Reading either for light or for power. It might be said that power was not cheap enough. Possibly not. But the way to cheapen it was not by reading the Bill of the company a second time, but by the Board of Trade pulling down the 10 or 14 per cent, dividends of the existing companies by applying to them the sliding scale which was applied to gas companies. He asked the House to remember also that the borough councils had succeeded in cheapening light and. power under restrictions as to territory which were ridiculous.
But it might be asked what were the works costs of the borough councils. The works costs of the borough councils were rapidly going down year 1422 after year. Hammersmith in two years had reduced its works cost from 2d. to 1.17d. per unit, Shoreditch from 2d. to 1d. in three years, and St. Pancras from 2d. to 1d. in three years. The argument of the company was that they could do things on a larger and, therefore, cheaper scale than the borough councils, because they would get many big customers. But would they? They would not get Clifton Robinson's Middlesex Tramways, because they could produce power more cheaply than this company, therefore the largest extra-Metropolitan consumer was out of the question. They would not get the London County Council tramways, because in two years time the Council would have its own generating station on the riverside and would be producing power at ½d; Nor was it likely that they would get the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, when they electrified, as they were making other arrangements, and the District Railway would produce their own. The Lots Road Station cost £20 per kilowatt, and although this company said they would do it at £8, every engineer knew that they could not do it at less than the sum at which Messrs. Yerkes and Perks had installed their station.
The Bill was unprecedented and unfair. Under it the companies least able to resist would be attacked first, and by degrees the larger ones would be absorbed until in four or five years London would be in the hands of a large syndicate running on American lines, and would be faced with the same difficulties it had experienced in the past in connection with telephones, water, telegraphs, and other monopolies. Talk about London smoke was beside the question, for London smoke was disappearing from other causes. They had to thank Sir George Livesey and the introduction of 350,000 gas stoves for diminishing that nuisance. It would be a bad day for private enterprise and public probity when franchises solemnly and deliberately granted by Parliament, whether to private or public bodies, were torn up and ruthlessly thrown on one side. The effect of that kind of thing in America had been the introduction of an unscrupulousness in public life that he did not wish to see here, and to over borrowing in the Colonies. The House 1423 might take it that when the hon. Member for Peckham and he were both opposed to the same Bill the reasons for their attitude were unanswerable. The eternal equities were on the side of both of them when they were fighting against a measure of this kind. It was because he believed that this measure was inimical to the best interests of London from every point of view that he seconded the Amendment, and trusted the provincial Members would put their financial speculation or private prejudices on one side and reject the Bill by an overwhelming majority.
§ MR. REMNANT
, by leave of his seconder and the House, substituted for his Amendment the following:—"That this House declines to read the Bill a second time until the House has come to a decision upon the Supply of Electricity Bill."
To leave out all the words from the word 'that,' and add the words 'this House declines to read the Bill a second time until the House has come to decision upon the Supply of Electricity Bill.'"—(Mr. Remnant)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. BONAR LAW, Glasgow, Blackfriars)
said he always listened with pleasure to speeches from the hon. Member for Battersea on occasions of this kind. His speech just delivered was even more interesting than usual, and what must have particularly impressed the House was the exceedingly eloquent way in which he protested against the "lobbying" of Members of this House in favour of this particular measure. He wished to say at the outset that the question before the House was not a Government question. It would be left to the decisfon of the House; there would be no Government tellers; but it must be obvious that this was exactly the kind of question which it was the duty of the Board of Trade to consider before it came up 1424 for decision in the House. Having considered it they must come to some opinion about it, and it was equally the duty of the representative of that Department in the House to state what that opinion was and give as discreetly as he could the reasons in favour of that opinion.
This particular subject had been most carefully considered by the Board of Trade for many reasons. He had himself received a larger number of deputations in regard to it than he had ever received on any subject of this kind since he was connected with the Board of Trade. He had, therefore, heard every point for or against the Bill from those interested in it. Considering this question from the point of view of what the action of the Board of Trade should be, it seemed to him that there were two considerations only to be kept before them. The first was, would this Bill give a cheap supply of power in a reasonable time for manufacturing purposes in London? The second, which he deemed equally important, was, admitting that a cheap supply would be given, could it be given without injustice to existing bodies—companies or local authorities—which were engaged in the supply of electricity? It was not possible to exaggerate the importance of a cheap supply of electricity for London, which was not only a great manufacturing town, but the greatest manufacturing town in the kingdom. That might surprise some hon. Members. He knew himself how important a manufacturing city it was; but until he had the figures looked up he had no idea that there were employed in factories in this city as many people as in Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, or any of the largest of our provincial cities. No single consideration, therefore, was more important than a supply of cheap power for London's machinery. That was proved, if necessary, by the fact that when the motive power was steam manufacturing centres grew up where there was a cheap supply of coal. Some Members of the House would hardly realise to what an extent, even in this country, during the last five or six years electricity had taken the place of steam as a motive power. In other countries, he was sorry to say, they were ahead of us in this respect.
1425 It was evident that nothing could be more important to every manufacturer than that there should be a cheap supply of electricity for motive power. It was far more important for London for two reasons. First, in London there was a great amount of manufacturing on a comparatively small scale, and it was obviously impossible for the small manufacturer to afford to get the plant for driving his machinery. It was extremely important, then, in London that there should be a cheap supply of motive power, which was easily subdivided, and could be taken on user on a small scale. Secondly, the price of coal was high in London, owing to the expense of handling it. This scheme proposed to get over that disadvantage; coal was to be used and electricity generated at the banks of the river, whence the power would be sent. This would to a large extent get rid of the handicap under which manufacturers were now placed in London through the comparatively high price of coal. Manufacturers were also often handicapped in London because the ground was particularly dear.
The object and justification of this Bill, if it had a justification, was that, owing to the size of London, electricity could be supplied cheaper there than anywhere else. The question was, however, would this Bill give a cheap supply such as he had described? His hon. friend the Member for Battersea said it would not give that cheap supply. This very point was debated for six weeks before the House of Lords Committee. The aim of the opponents of the Bill was to show that this claim for cheapness could not be justified, but as far as he could judge by an examination of the evidence that attempt completely broke down. There was one debating point which the House would appreciate. The learned counsel who supported the companies in the opposition to the Bill, a man second to none at the Parliamentary Bar, laid stress on cheapness not being everything. That was a familiar sentiment, with which he had a great deal of sympathy; but, if the learned counsel could have said, with any chance of being believed, 1426 that this claim for cheapness was unfounded and that the Bill would not give the cheapness, he thought counsel would have preferred that argument. There was another way of testing the question by experience. The promoters had been spoken of as a speculative syndicate. Of course all private companies were presumably looking after their own interests, and it was not any part of his business to examine that question. He noticed, however, that on that subject the Chairman of the Committee sail it was unnecessary for counsel to say anything—that they were entirely satisfied on that point. So he thought it might be assumed that the syndicate were able to carry out the obligations they undertook. The promoters of the Bill were to a large extent the same men who had successfully carried out a similar undertaking on the Tyne, where there had bean as a result little less than a revolution. The effect of that power company had been to change the whole appearance of the north side of the river, and some of the largest manufacturers had taken their electricity from the company, many of them actually scrapping their own electric, plant because they could get power so much cheaper from the company. These facts seemed to him to prove that this method of centralisation was by far the cheapest way in which the motive power could be obtained. He was convinced himself that this Bill would undoubtedly give cheap power to the manufacturers in London, and from the Board of Trade and the public point of view he was bound to say that one consideration of more importance than any other was that the manufacturer should get that cheap supply of electricity.
Whether that could be done without injustice to the existing bodies was the second question, and he said at once that he was not going to speak in the same positive way at all in regard to that question. He did not feel competent to do it, and he thought, indeed, that it was a question that could not be fairly settled by a Second Reading debate in the House of Commons. Ex parte statements were made on both sides. The facts stated by the hon. Member for Battersea might be 1427 quite true, but they had no meaning unless they were examined. The hon. Member did not deny that unless the company supplied electricity for power purposes at ¾d; it could not get its standard dividend, which would he 8 per cent.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
I compared light with light, average price with average price, and exceptional price with exceptional price, and if the hon. Member opposite goes into the matter he will find that in each ease the prices are lower.
§ MR. BONAR LAW
said if that statement was accurate it entirely contradicted all the evidence that had been given to him on the subject. It was one of those statements which must be subject to cross-examination. At all events this company could not get its dividend if the average price exceeded three farthings. Therefore it must give electricity for power purposes at prices at which it had not been supplied up to now in London.
But this question should be referred to a Committee for another reason. If Committees of Parliament had one use more than another, it was to protect vested interests. The fact that a Committee of the House of Lords had passed the Bill with protection to the existing companies showed that they thought they had fulfilled that duty. He did not say they had. The proper course was to have their opinion checked by the opinion of a Committee of that House who could examine the protection given, and satisfy themselves that it was adequate. What was the nature of the protection given in this case? Who were the bodies who were said to be unjustly treated? The interest of the London County Council in the matter was really very small. Their interest really was in the future. They had themselves brought forward Bills on previous occasions, and they would like in the future to do very much the same thing that this company wanted to do. Frankly, he thought that was not the best way to get it done. It was a kind of business which could only be secured by extreme business push and energy, and by taking risks which local authori- 1428 ties ought not to take. He did not think the proposal of the County Council was practical politics. The Member for Battersea made a speech on this subject to the County Council a few months ago. It had been suggest that if they opposed this Bill they must have an alternative scheme. He was rather surprised at the indignation of the hon. Member in regard to Sir George Goldie's letter. He had heard many compliments paid to the hon. Member for Battersea, but he had never heard one equal to that contained in the letter written by Sir George Goldie, who mentioned the name of the hon. Member so many times that it gave one the impression that the London County Council and the hon. Member for Battersea were exactly the same identity. At the meeting he referred to the hon. Member replied with a simile derived from a pugilistic source, and said his alternative was a policy of "One down, the other come on." If that was the Council's policy, it did not hold out an early prospect of a cheap supply of electricity.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
said his individual view must not be mistaken for the official view of the Council. He suggested that if the Council offered an alternative plan the existing companies would base upon it a claim for too generous treatment. His advice was that the Council should adopt the principle of "One down, the other come on." Then would be the time to make an alternative proposal. In the meantime, he appealed to the Council only to go on contending against this Bill.
§ MR. BONAR LAW
said he did not think his interpretation was very unfair. If that was the alternative, they would have long to wait for cheap electricity. He did not say that the existing companies would not be subjected to serious competition. But to say that they would be subjected to competition was not to prove injustice. It must be remembered that many of the existing companies had forced their way into localities that other companies or municipal authorities were already supplying, against the opposition of the existing authorities, and they were 1429 allowed to do so because Parliament supposed that competition was a good thing and not a bad thing. The companies now said that this competition was unfair competition. That was really the crux of the question. In what respect was it unfair composition? The first contention was in regard to purchase. That had now been dropped but, as he understood, what the Committee of the House of Lords said was that they would be glad to leave the question of purchase in the hands of a Committee of this House to decide, and therefore this portion of the argument as to unfairness of competition fell to the ground. What was far more important to the companies, and what was really the difficulty of this Bill, was that the companies were limited in their area, while the administrative company was allowed to cover a very large area. A great deal of what had been said about the action of the Board of Trade was beside the mark. These companies were perfectly free, if they had seen that this demand was coming, to come to Parliament exactly as this company had done. But though these companies were entitled to justice and fair treatment, they were not entitled to a monopoly. If these companies had proposed to come in as a lady amalgamated to supply power to the whole of London, it would really have meant that there would be a monopoly, whereas now, whether it was just or unjust, from the consumers' point of view this, instead of being a monopoly, tended in the direction of getting a cheaper supply of electricity. He held, therefore, that an amalgamation of these companies would have had no chance of passing Parliament, and if we were to have a cheaper supply of electricity at all, all that Parliament ought to do was to see that every possible protection was given to the existing companies.
The protection given by the Bill as amended by the House of Lords' Committee was a great deal more than hon. Members would have assumed from the speeches which had been made in that House. In the case of an existing company being able to supply as cheaply as the new company, there was absolutely no room for competition 1430 at all. The fact was that the company could not sell one unit of electricity in the area of any supplying company until it had proved to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade that they could supply at a price which the existing company could not touch, and before this clause about purchase was put in there was this further protection that, in making that estimate, the Board of Trade had to take into account that the companies were subject to purchase, and that allowance ought to be made for a sinking fund. But, assuming that the new undertaking could supply ever so much more cheaply than the companies, then there was protection, too. In that case the companies were entitled to go to the new body and say—"You are taking from us the cream of our business. It is not fair. We do not want to be left with what remains. You are bound to supply us with our total supply of electricity at a price which will enable us to sell to consumers and to make a profit." And the Board of Trade were to be the judge of whether that profit was reasonable or unreasonable. That seemed to be a greater protection than probably was ever given by Act of Parliament before. It really amounted to this, that in the worst case the companies could be sure of getting a profit without any risk. He was not competent to say whether that protection was adequate or not; but he did say it was an enormous protection, and it would rest with the Committee of this House, if the House allowed the Bill to go upstairs, to examine whether it was adequate or not, and, if it was not, to provide further protection, if further protection were possible.
The hon. Member for Battersea, dealing with the question of outlay, said that, if the new company came in selling electricity so cheaply, the municipalities who had an immense amount of capital invested in generating stations would have to "scrap" their plant. That was really a question of arithmetic. It came to this, that, if the existing companies found that they could get their supply so much cheaper than they could make it themselves, it would pay them to take it from the company, and still make a profit sufficient in a reasonable number of 1431 years to pay the value of their existing plant, then it would be good business to do that. Municipalities might And themselves in the same position as manufacturers on the Tyne, and find that it would pay them better to "scrap" their existing plant, because they could buy electricity for distribution at a cheaper rate than they could produce it. Another point should be kept in mind, and that was the danger from the growth of municipal indebtedness. It was stated in evidence on behalf of one of the best managed of the electrical lighting authorities that they had in contemplation the expenditure of £250,000 on generating plant, but when the Bill was passing through Committee they changed their minds, and came to the conclusion that they would be able to buy electricity cheaper than they could produce it, making an equal profit and being free from the obligation of the £250,000 indebtedness. The House should not lightly dismiss the possibility for municipalities obtaining electricity at this cheap rate. After all, the interest of a municipality was not in making a profit out of what they sold, their interest was the prosperity of their district. If it was a fact that they could obtain the electricity cheaper, then there was a good case for the Bill.
§ MR. CRIPPS (Lancashire, Stretford)
said that no one could have listened to the interesting speech of the Secretary to the Board of Trade without seeing that there were important points involved in the Second Reading of the Bill now before the House. No one could deny that it was of great importance, particularly in the East End of London, that electricity for manufacturing purposes should be supplied as cheaply as possible. Whether cheaper supply of power could be given for those purposes depended entirely on the nature of take area and the conditions under which the supply was to be given. If the existing producers of electrical power were to have the same facilities as were proposed to be given to the new company under this Bill, then he said they could supply it at as cheap a rate for manufacturing purposes. He admitted that nothing could be more important than the question of a cheap supply in the reasonably immediate 1432 future, but he did not believe that either in the immediate future or the long run they would attain that result by overloading the electrical industry with capital. It was a strong element that they should have the supply of light and power in the same hands. There could be no doubt that electricity could be supplied at a cheaper rate when the supply for light and power was in the same hands. The important point upon which the Secretary to the Board of Trade expressed some doubt was whether the powers in the Bill could be given without injustice to existing bodies supplying electrical energy. Who were the existing bodies? The existing bodies were really the ratepayers and the shareholders of any existing company, and, as regards those two interests, there ought to be no difference of treatment at all. Both were entitled to fair treatment; and the whole question was this—Could they give the powers sought in this Bill, having regard to the conditions imposed on existing authorities and the companies, without treating them unfairly in the sense of breaking a Parliamentary bargain on the faith of which they had invested their money in the undertakings? No terms which the Committee laid down could possibly take away the initial injustice which would certainly be done if the House gave a Second Reading to this Bill.
This question began in 1882, when the terms and conditions were so hard that the progress of the electrical industry was practically stifled in this country. It was stifled because the then Board of Trade imposed such hard conditions that no capitalist would come forward and invest his money in the electrical-energy industry of this country. The result was that an Act was passed in 1888 giving better terms, and to his mind, the whole question of justice, so far as the Second Reading of this Bill was concerned, turned on those conditions. Having recalled to the House what were the restrictions and limitations imposed by the Board of Trade within the London area, the lion. Member submitted that the fact that the Bill had somehow been read a second time in the first instance before the House of Lords was no reason why this House should not exercise its independent 1433 judgment, and, if the House came to the conclusion that the powers now sought could not be granted without injustice to, and unfair competition with, existing interests, they ought to throw out the Bill. If this Bill were passed they would have a company with practically unlimited area, not subject to any of the restrictions which now affected existing companies, placed in a position of unfair competition contrary to the whole policy of the Act of 1888 and to the settlement arrived at since. It would in the end mean wasting a large amount of capital and be an additional burden upon that cheapness of supply which all admitted to be necessary. At the present moment something like £20,000,000 was invested in the London area in electrical supply, partly by ratepayers and partly by shareholders, and he protested strongly against the ratepayers being subjected to that unfair competition. They gave unfair competition to the detriment of every one who had found capital on the bargain originally made under the Board of Trade and sanctioned by that House whenever a Provisional Order had been brought forward. It seemed ludicrous to hear the Secretary to the Board of Trade talk about the small concern. Under the existing powers the companies were bound to supply the small concern.
§ MR. BONAR LAW
My hon. friend is distinctly mistaken as to the facts. If this company comes into any area it comes under the same obligation to supply anybody in it as any other company.
§ MR. CRIPPS
said it would not go into the poor areas, but into those areas where they got the cream of the business. That was not the position of the existing companies, which were bound to go there.
§ MR. BONAR LAW
If they do not go into an area then they cannot compete. If they do compete, they must go into the area.
§ MR. CRIPPS
did not think that was an effective argument. He contended that they would leave poor areas. That took 1434 away the argument as to cheap supply to poor areas, and made the competition most unfair.
§ MR. BOUSFIELD
said this company could not compete with any company at all unless it undertook the whole obligation of that company as regarded supplying throughout the area of that company, whether the area was rich or poor.
§ MR. CRIPPS
said that what the hon. and learned Gentleman said did not touch his point, because a power of selection of the richest areas would be given to this company, whereas the old companies had to bear the burdens and obligations to which he had referred. Let them maintain in Parliament the great principle which was the greatest encouragement to capital and industry—namely that the poor or the rich man in subscribing to an undertaking under a Parliamentary bargain should be able to feel certain that that bargain would be observed. That was the great principle they were discussing on the Second Reading of this Bill. He was not going into the minor matter relating to St. Pancras or into the question of municipal trading, but the shareholders of the existing companies were entitled to be protected. The initial mistake—if mistake it was—was to give them these powers, but having given them, the companies should not be treated in an unfair and unjust manner. The House would be well advised, whatever might be done in a Committee of the other House, not to be led away from that great principle by this cry of a cheap supply of power for London.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
said that in the few words he wished to say on this subject he need hardly say he spoke for himself. The question had been debated at great length and with great ability. He did not propose to discuss the question either of the right or claims of the municipalities or the vested interests existing companies. He only wished to deal with what struck him as the broad, general position in which the House found itself. This was a proposal to create a gigantic company which was likely to absorb and dominate the whole power 1435 supply of London. He would not call it a monopoly, because the promoters denied that it was a monopoly; but he thought it was, at any rate, very likely to become a monopoly. There were two other plans before the House; the plan of leading the smaller companies to do that work; and the plan of leading the municipalities to do it. The House was not at present in a position to express any opinion on such large and great issues as these were. He contended that the House could not in a debate of three hours deal with all the questions involved in this proposal. Nor was this a matter, as it appeared to him, fit for the deliberation of an ordinary Private Bill Committee, especially a Committee which was to be appointed in the middle of July. These vast proposals ought to have been examined and determined by a strong special Committee like that which had dealt with the general question of electric power supply. In its ultimate results this question was quite as large as the question of London traffic, which had been investigated by a Royal Commission. Parliament had to think of the general interests of the people of London. Were those questions fit for a Private Bill Committee? He was told that it was a hardship to the promoters to put them off another year. If that were the case, still it was no reason why the House should now take this decisive and irrevocable step. Without expressing any opinion as to the merits of the scheme or the decision which the House might ultimately take, he could not but feel that a Bill of this immense magnitude and of such far-reaching consequences ought not, without very much further inquiry than could be given at this period of the 1436 session, to be left to a Private Bill Committee.
§ MR. HALDANE (Haddingtonshire)
said his right hon. friend had introduced a new suggestion into the debate, which came for the first time—viz., that the main question was not for this House to deal with at the present time. He could not but think that the question was essentially one for this House to determine. He should have thought that the House had nearly all the materials they desired for forming a judgment on the broad question. He should have thought that the question involved in the Bill was not one for any Commissioner Parliamentary inquiry of this kind, but one of board principle for the House to decide upon. In the East of London there was an enormous area which was very insufficiently, if at all, supplied with electric power. The total machinery employed was equal to 497,000 horse power, and the present electric lighting authorities were only capable of supplying 16,172 horse power. That showed, in itself, that there was a want in London which, to his mind, was essentially one for the consideration of this House. Electricity was as essential as machinery; without it we could not possibly keep up to the modern and industrial standard. It was impossible that justice should be done to the industrial chances of the people of London unless some step of this kind were taken. That was a broad question for the House to decide upon—was this to be done or not? He would like to ask his hon. and learned friend opposite whether he held that after an exhaustive inquiry into this matter before a Committee of another House they should 1437 reject the Bill in toto and should not send it upstairs even for inquiry. If the Bill went upstairs it would be open to further consideration. Why were the existing companies afraid, if it were true that they could supply power at¾d.?
§ MR. REMNANT
What about the conditions laid down by the Board of Trade? That is the main point. All these companies are subject to a bargain entered into with the Board of Trade.
§ MR. HALDANE
said surely the hon. Member heard the speech made by the hon. Member who represented the Board of Trade.
§ MR. HALDANE
would have thought that the speech of the hon. Member for Glasgow touched the point most closely, He shown clearly that the Board of Trade had imposed this condition, that they took the obligations in regard to the sinking fund into account in allowing a differential rate to the private companies. He would have thought that the hon. Member had showed most clearly that the Board of Trade took into account all the obligations which the private companies were under. But there, again, the question was surely one for the Committee upstairs. It was a complicated and difficult matter which had to be looked into most closely, but why should they reject the Bill on that account? These were not days in which we could stand still. The House of Commons, after all, had to look to the interests of the industries of the country. When they found the petition of these 1438 people put up for greater industrial facilities, when they found an opportunity of giving them the chance of putting themselves on a level with their competitors, then he would say that the House should pause before it rejected such a Bill as this. He trusted that no mistaken notion of the rights of municipalities would prevent the House from sanctioning the principle of a measure which at least would give an opportunity of considering whether something substantial could not be done to further the industrial interests of the people of London.
§ MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)
said that, having given much time to the consideration of the question, and having listened carefully to the debate, he had no hesitation in according his vote against the Second Beading of the Bill. He asked the House to pause before giving the Bill a Second Reading. It involved not only the question of electricity, but the much greater question which was so ably put before the House by the hon. and learned Member for Stretford, of Parliamentary guarantees. That was the point which weighed most in his mind. He desired to draw the attention of the House to a Return of last session respecting the granting of powers for electric supply to a number of companies throughout the land. Parliament had granted in 1901–2–3 large powers to various companies all over England for the supply of electric energy, and yet in many large areas very little progress had been made in the exercise of these powers. In the Midland counties these powers had been granted too hastily. In fact, the 1439 only part of England in which the Return showed that these powers were carried out to any satisfactory purpose I was the district of Newcastle. But Newcastle stood on its own feet, and they could not prophesy what this company might do in London from what its promoters, who were the same persons, had done in Newcastle. He did not know the amount of capital laid out in electric undertakings in London by municipalities and companies was, but it must be very large indeed. It could not be just to allow a new company to come in on much better terms. The main question was the Parliamentary bargain which had been entered into, and he hoped the House would not tamper with that bargain. The matter might well wait, as the right hon. Member for Aberdeen suggested, for inquiry by a strong Committee. He hoped the House would refuse the Second Reading.
§ MR. GUEST (Plymouth)
said it had been conceded that on this occasion the House of Commons had a very difficult duty to perform, and that difficulty had been aggravated by importing into the Second Reading debate questions which properly belonged to Committee. His hon. friend the Member for Battersea had given some figures to the House, but these differed from the figures given in evidence before the House of Lords Committee and it was perfectly obvious that they were at present quite incompetent to decide which set of figures was correct. He contended that this Bill offered to London the brilliant and flattering prospect, from a commercial 1440 point of view, of being transformed from he worst equipped to the best equipped industrial centre in the world. It seemed to him that it would be wrong to eject, on the slender evidence before hem, a scheme so fraught with profit to London and certain to react on all the conditions of labour. At any rate he insisted that a prima facie case had been made out for a Second Reading. The great question raised had been that of justice to the existing companies; but it was perfectly obvious that their special claims could not possibly be considered by this House under present conditions. Committees existed for he purpose of adjudicating between various conflicting interests, and he bought it would be a very unfortunate thing if the Bill were not sent to a Committee.
MR. CUMMING MACDONNA (Southwark, Rotherhithe)
rose to state that both sides of the House by their action lad adopted and hitherto adhered to the principle that local authorities should lave the management of their own affairs. The Liberals when they brought in heir Local Government Bill by the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, and the Conservatives acting in the same manner then introducing the Boroughs Bill for London. It was a strange anomaly that now, when the opportunity had arisen for the exercise of their just rights, they both should be ridden over rough-shod by a syndicate from Newcastle, he earnestly protested on behalf of Bermondsey and Rotherhithe against so great an injustice.
§ Question put.1441
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 198; Noes, 158. (Division List No. 249.)1411
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Hammond, John||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Harcourt, Lewis||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Allen, Charles P.||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Hamsworth, R. (Leicester)||O'Connor. James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Atherley Jones, L.||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)|
|Austin, Sir John||Hay, Hon. Claude George||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Baker, Joseph Allen||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Dowd, John|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Helme, Norval Watson||O'Mara, James|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Malley, William|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Higham, John Sharp||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Bell, Richard||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.||Parrott, William|
|Benn, John Williams||Holland, Sir William Henry||Partington, Oswald|
|Boland, John||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Hunt, Rowland||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||Perks, Robert William|
|Brigg, John||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Bright, Allan Heywood||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Jacoby, James Alfred||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Joicey, Sir James||Price, Robert John|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||Priestley, Arthur|
|Burt, Thomas||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Reddy, M.|
|Buxton, NE (York, NR, Whitby||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Redmond. John E. (Waterford)|
|Caldwell, James||Joyce, Michael||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Cameron, Robert||Kearley, Hudson, E.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs).|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W.||Robert on, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Kilbride, Denis||Roche, Augustine (Cork)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Kitson, Sir James||Roche, John (Galway, East)|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Labouchere, Henry||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Lambert, George||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lamont, Norman||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Cremer, William Randal||Langley, Batty||Rose, Charles Day|
|Crombie, John William||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.)||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Crooks, William||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Cullinan, J.||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Shackleton, David James|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Leng, Sir John||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Delany, William||Levy, Maurice||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Devlin, Charles Ramsay (Galway||Lewis, John Herbert||Sheehy, David|
|Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||Lloyd-George, David||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Lough, Thomas||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Dobbie, Joseph||Lyell, Charles Henry||Slack, John Bamford|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Maclver, David (Liverpool)||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Doogan, P. C.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Spencer, Rt. Nn. C. R. (Northants|
|Duffy, William J.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Stanhope, Hon. Philip James|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Strachy, Sir Edward|
|Edwards, Frank||M'Crae, George||Sullivan, Donal|
|Elibank, Master of||M'Kean, John||Taylor, Theodore C. Radcliffe|
|Ellice, Capt E. C (SAndrw'sBghs||M'Kenna, Reginald||Tennant, Harold John|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts)||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidstone||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin||Thomas. Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan||Mansfield, Horace Rendail||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Eve, Harry Trelawney||Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N.||Tillett, Louis John|
|Fenwick, Charles||Mooney, John J.||Tomkinson, James|
|Ffrench, Peter||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Toulmin, George|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Villiers, Ernest Amherst|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Moss, Samuel||Wallace, Robert|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Moulton, John Fletcher||Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.|
|Freeman-Thomas, Captain, F.||Muldoon, John||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Murphy, John||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Gladstone, Rt Hn Herbert John||Newnes, Sir George||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Weir, James (Galloway)|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Nussey, Thomas Willans||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Captain Norton and Mr. Watson Rutherford|
|Whittaker, Thomas Palmer||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd|
|Wills, Arthur Walters (N Dorset.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C.||Knowles, Sir Lees|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.|
|Arkwright John Stanhope||Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E.||Laurie, Lieut.-General|
|Arnold-Forster. Rt. Hn. Hugh O.||Doughty, Sir George||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Mon'mth|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Duke, Henry Edward||Lawson. Hn H. L. W. (Mile End)|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitzroy||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Faber, George Denison (York)||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Fardell, Sir T. George||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Fellowes, Rt Hn Ailwyn Edward||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fergusson, Rt Hn Sir J. Manc'r||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Balfour. Rt. Hn. A. J. Mancn'r||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Finlay, Sir R B. (Inv'rn'ss Bgh's||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. Gerald W. Leeds||Fisher, William Hayes||Lowe, Francis William|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Fison, Frederick William||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Flower, Sir Ernest||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Forster, Henry William||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W.||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)|
|Bigwood, James||Gardner, Ernest||Malcolm, Ian|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Garfit, William||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.|
|Bond, Edward||Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H.||Maxwell. Rt Hn Sir H E. (Wigt'n.|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.|
|Brassey, Albert||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rHamlets||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-||Milvain, Thomas|
|Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh.)||Greene, Sir E W (BurySEdmunds||Mitchell, William (Burnley)|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Bull, William James||Grenfell, William Henry||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Butcher, John George||Hain, Edward||Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow||Hall, Edward Marshall||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Campbell, J. H. M. Dublin Univ.||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H.||Hambro, Charles Eric||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford||Mount, William Arthur|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray, C.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Heath, Sir J (Staffordshire N. W.)||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Chamberlain. Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc||Heaton, John Henniker||Myers, William Henry|
|Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton||Helder, Augustus||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Chapman, Edward||Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W.)||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Hill, Henry Staveley||Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)|
|Coates, Edward Feetham||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Parker, Sir Gilbert|
|Cochrane, Hon, Thos. H. A. E.||Hogg, Lindsay||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Coddington, Sir William||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Percy, Earl|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Howard, John (Kent Faversham||Pilkington, Colonel Richard|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Howard, J. (Midd. Tottenham||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil||Plummer, Sir Walter R.|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred.||Pym, C. Guy|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Randles, John S.|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh||Rankin, Sir James|
|Davenport, William Bromley-||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W.||Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne|
|Denny, Colonel||Kerr, John||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Keswick, William||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Kimber, Sir Henry||Renwick, George|
|Ridley, S. Forde||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton,|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Stock, James Henry||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Stroyan, John||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.|
|Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wilson, John (Glasgow|
|Round, Rt. Hon. James||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Taylor Austin (East Toxteth)||Worseley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Thorbum, Sir Walter||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Thornton, Percy M.||Wylie, Alexander|
|Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Shewes-Cox, Thomas||Tritton, Charles Ernest||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.|
|Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)||Tuff, Charles||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong.|
|Smith, H, C (Northumb. Tyneside||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward||Younger, William|
|Smith, Rt Hn J Parker (Lanarks||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Spear, John Ward||Turnour, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.|
|Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H (Sheffield|
|Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Stanley, Et. Hon. Lord (Lanes.||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Stewart, Sir Mark J. M 'Taggart||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)||Partington, Oswald|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Griffith, Ellis J.||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Pease, Herbert Pike Darlington|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. HughO||Hamilton, RtHnLord G. (Midd'x||Percy, Earl|
|Arrol, Sir William||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry||Perks, Robert William|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Hardy, Laurence Kent, Ashford||Pilkington, Colonel Richard|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Plummer, Sir Walter R.|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Heath, Sir James (Staffords. NW||Price, Robert John|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Heaton, John Henniker||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Randles, John S.|
|Birran, Rowland Hirst||Hill, Henry Staveley||Rankin, Sir James|
|Bartley Sir George C. T.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hn H. (Somers't E||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield. Brightside||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Houston, Robert Paterson||Renwick, George|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Hunt, Rowland||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Bingham Lord||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Ridley, S. Forde|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Ritchie. Rt. Hon. Chas, Thomson|
|Brassey, Albert||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropshr.||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col. W.||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Keswick, William||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Knowles, Sir Lees||Rose, Charles Day|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Rutherford, John (Lancashire|
|Burt, Thomas||Lamont, Norman||Samuel, Sir Harry S. (Limehouse|
|Butcher, John George||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Campbell, J. H. M. (DublinUniv||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Lawson. Hn. H. L. W. (Mile End||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks N R||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham||Slack, John Bamford|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H.A.E||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Corbett, A Cameron (Glasgow)||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Smith, HC. (North'mb. Tyneside|
|Crombie, John William||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Smith, Rt. Hn J. Parker (Lanarks|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lowe, Francis William||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Spear, John Ward|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Lyell, Charles Henry||Spencer, RtHn. C. R (Northants.|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Stock, James Henry|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||Strutt, Hon. Charles Healey|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Manners, Lord Cecil||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Edwards, Frank||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxfd Univ.|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Montagu, G. Huntingdon||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith||Montagu, Hon, J. Scott (Hants.||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.; (Manc'r||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen||Tomkinson, James|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Morpeth, Viscount||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Findlay, Alexander (Lanark NE||Morrell, George Herbert||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Moss, Samuel||Tumour, Viscount|
|Flower, Sir Ernest||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C||Valentia, Viscount|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Newnes, Sir George||Wallace, Robert|
|Garfit, William||Nicholson, William Graham||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H-|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.|
|Gordon, HnJ. E (Elgin & Nairn||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Gordon. Maj. Evans (T'rH'mlets||O'Malley, William||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Grant, Corrie||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset|
|Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn, E. R. Bath)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Bousfield and Mr. Tennant.|
|Wilson, John Glasgow||Wordey-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Allen, Charles P.||Fenwick, Charles||Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Ffrench, Peter||Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow|
|Bailey, James (Walworth||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Baker, Joseph Allen||Fisher, William Hayes||Moulton, John Fletcher|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Mount, William Arthur|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Murphy, John|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Forster, Henry William||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Bell, Richard||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Benn, John Williams||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary, Mid|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M||Freeman-Thomas, Captain F.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Bigwood, James||Galloway, William Johnson||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Boland, John||Gardner, Ernest||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Dowd, John|
|Bonlnois, Edmund||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-||O'Kelly; Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Brigg, John||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Parker, Sir Gilbert|
|Bright, Allen Hey wood||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Parrott, William|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Greene, Sir E W (B'ryS Edm'nds||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Groves, James Grimble||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Bull, William James||Hammond, John||Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne|
|Buxton, NE. (York, NR, Whitby||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||Reddy, M.|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles (Poplar||Harwood, George||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Caldwell, James||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H||Hayden, John Patrick||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Carvill, Partick Geo. Hamilton||Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W.||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Cawley, Frederick||Higham, John Sharp||Shackleton, David James|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor||Holland, Sir William Henry||Shipman, Dr. John George|
|Chapman, Edward||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Howard, John (Kent, Faversham||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Coates, Edward Feetham||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Joyce, Michael||Sullivan, Donal|
|Cremer, William Randal||Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Kilbride, Denis||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Crooks, William||Labouchere, Henry||Toulmin, George|
|Cullinan, J.||Langley, Batty||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Delany, William||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Tuff, Charles|
|Devlin, Charles Ramay (Galway||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Villiers, Ernest Amherst|
|Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||Levy, Maurice||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Lewis, John Herbert||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C.||Lloyd-George, David||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Dobbie, Joseph||Lough, Thomas||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Doughty, Sir George||Lundon, W.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.|
|Duffy, William J.||Macdona, John Cumming||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong-|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||M'Crae, George|
|Eve, Harry Trelawney||M'Kean, John||TELLER FOR THE NOES—Faber Mr. Remnant and Mr. John Burns.|
|Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.)||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Fellowes, Rt. Hn. Ailwyn Edw.||Mansfield, Horace Rendall|
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.1444
§ Bill read a second time, and committed.