§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)
I beg to move,That in the case of the Local Government Bill and the Local Government (Scotland) Bill (which Bills are hereinafter referred to as 'the English Bill' and 'the Scottish Bill,' respectively), the Committee stage (including any Motion for an Instruction), Report stage, and Third Reading, shall he proceeded with as follows:
§ (A) In the case of the English Bill:
§ (1) Committee Stage.
§ Thirteen allotted days shall be given to the Committee stage of the English Bill, and the proceedings in Committee on each allotted day shall be as shown in the second column of the following Table, and those proceedings, if not previously brought to a conclusion, shall he brought to a conclusion at the times shown in the third column of that Table:
|Table I.—Committee Stage.|
|Allotted Day.||Proceedings.||Time at which Proceedings to be brought to a conclusion.|
|First||Instructions and Clauses 1 to 5.||7.30|
|Clauses (6 to 8||10.30|
|Second||Clauses 9 to 12||7.30|
|Clauses 13 to 17||10.30|
|Third||Clauses 18 to 25||7.30|
|Clauses 26 to 30||10.30|
|Fourth||Clauses 31 to 38||7.30|
|Clauses 39 to 44||10.30|
|Fifth||Clauses 45 to 53||7.30|
|Clauses 54 to 56||10.30|
|Sixth||Clauses 57 to 67||7.30|
|Clauses 68 to 70||10.30|
|Seventh||Clauses 71 and 72||7.30|
|Clauses 73 and 74||10.30|
|Eighth||Clauses 75 and 76||7.30|
|Clauses 77 to 79||10.30|
|Ninth||Clauses 80 to 82||7.30|
|Clauses 83 to 85||10.30|
|Tenth||Clauses 86 to 92||7.30|
|Clauses 93 to 98||10.30|
|Eleventh||Clauses 99 to 115||7.30|
|New Clauses and Schedules I. to III.||10.30|
|Twelfth||Schedule IV., Parts I. and II.||7.30|
|Schedule IV., Parts III. and IV.||10.30|
|Thirteenth||Schedules V. to X.||7.30|
|Schedules XI. and XII., New Schedules, and any other matter necessary to bring the Committee stage to a conclusion.||10.30|
§ (2) Report Stage.
§ Three allotted days shall ho given to the Report stage of the English Bill; and the proceedings on each of those allotted days shall be those shown in the second column of the following Table; and those proceedings, if not previously brought to a conclusion. shall be brought to a conclusion at the times shown in the third column of that Table.
|Table II.—Report Stage.|
|Allotted Day.||Proceedings.||Time at which Proceedings to be brought to a conclusion.|
|Parts I. and II||10.30|
|Second||…||Parts III., IV., and V||7.30|
|Third||…||Parts VII. and VIII. and Schedules I. to III.||7.30|
|Rest of Bill and any other matter necessary to bring the Report stage to a conclusion||10.30|
§ (3) Third Reading.
§ One allotted day shall be given to the Third Reading of the English Bill; and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously brought to a conclusion, be brought to a conclusion at 10.30 p.m. on that clay.
§ (1) Committee Stage.
§ Eight allotted days shall be given to the Committee stage of the Scottish Bill, and the proceedings in Committee on each allotted day shall he as shown in the second column of the following Table; and those proceedings, if not previously brought to a conclusion, shall be brought to a conclusion at the time shown in the third column of that Table.
|Table I.—Committee Stage.|
|Allotted Day.||Proceedings.||Time at which Proceedings to be brought to a conclusion.|
|First||…||Instructions and Clauses 1 and 2||7.30|
|Clause 3 to 7||10.30|
|Second||…||Clauses 8 to 11||7.30|
|Clauses 12 to 14||10.30|
|Third||…||Clauses 15 to 19||7.30|
|Clauses 20 to 24||10.30|
|Fourth||…||Clauses 25 to 29||7.30|
|Clauses 30 to 32||10.30|
|Allotted Day.||Proceedings.||Time at which Proceedings to be brought to a conclusion.|
|Fifth||…||Clauses 33 to 36||7.30|
|Clauses 37 to 39||10.30|
|Sixth||…||Clauses 40 and 41||7.30|
|Clauses 42 to 44||10.30|
|Seventh||…||Clauses 45 to 49||7.30|
|Clauses 50 to 61||10.30|
|Eighth||…||New Clauses and Schedules I. to IV.||7.30|
|Schedules V. to VII, New Schedules and any other matter necessary to bring the Committee stage to a conclusion||10.80|
§ (2) Report Stage.
§ Two allotted days shall be given to the Report stage of the Scottish Bill, and the proceedings on each of those allotted days shall be those shown in the second column of the following Table, and those proceeding, if not previously brought to a conclusion, shall be brought to a conclusion at the times shown in the third column of that Table.
|Table II.—Report Stage|
|Allotted Day.||Proceedings.||Time at which Proceedings to be brought to a conclusion.|
|First||New Clauses and Clause 1||7.30|
|Clauses 2 to 9||10.30|
|Second||Clauses 10 to 16||7.30|
|Rest of Bill and any other matter necessary to bring the Report stage to a conclusion||10.30|
§ (3) Third Reading.
§ One allotted day shall be given to the Third Reading of the Scottish Bill, and the proceedings thereon shall, if not previously brought to a conclusion, be brought to a conclusion at 10,30 p.m. on that day.
§ On the conclusion of the Committee stage of either Bill the Chairman shall report the Bill to the House without Question put.
§ Any day after the date of the passing of this Order on which either Bill is put down as the first Government Order of the Day shall, for the purposes of this Order, be considered an allotted day as respects that Bill, and either Bill may be put down as the first Order of the Day on any Thursday, 1952 notwithstanding anything in any Standing Orders of the House relating to the Business of Supply.
§ Provided that where an allotted day is a Friday this Order shall have effect as if for reference to 7.30 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. there were respectively substituted references to 1 p.m. and 3.30 p.m.
§ For the purpose of bringing to a conclusion any proceedings which are to be brought to a conclusion on an allotted day and which have not previously been brought to a conclusion, the Chairman or Mr. Speaker shall, at the time appointed under this Order for the conclusion of those proceedings, put forthwith the Question on any Amendment or Motion already proposed from the Chair, and shall next proceed to put forthwith the Question on any Amendments, new Clauses, or Schedules moved by the Government of which notice has been given, but no other Amendments, new Clauses, or Schedules, and on any Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded, and, in the case of Government Amendments or of Government new Clauses or Schedules, he shall put only the Question that the Amendment be made or that the Clauses or Schedules be added to the Bill, as the case may be; and on the Committee stage of either Bill the Chairman, in the case of a series of consecutive Clauses to which no notice of amendment has been given by the Government, shall put the Question that those Clauses stand part of the Bill without putting the Question separately as respects each Clause.
§ A Motion may be made by the Government to leave out any Clause or consecutive Clauses of either Bill before consideration of any Amendments of the Clause or Clauses in Committee; and the Question on a Motion made by the Government to leave out any Clause or Clauses of either Bill shall be put forthwith by the Chairman or Mr. Speaker after a brief explanatory statement from the Minister in charge and from any one Member who opposes the Motion.
§ Any Private Business which is set down for consideration at 7.30 p.m., and any Motion for Adjournment under Standing Order No. 10, on an allotted day shall, on that day, instead of being taken as provided by the Standing Orders, be taken after the conclusion of the proceedings on the Bill in question or under this Order for that day, and any Private Business or Motion for Adjournment so taken may be proceeded with, though opposed, notwithstanding any Standing Orders relating to the Sittings of the House.
§ On a day on which any proceedings are to be brought to a conclusion under this Order, proceedings for that purpose shall not be interrupted under the provisions of any Standing Order relating to the Sittings of the House.
§ On an allotted day as respects either Bill no dilatory Motion on the Bill, nor Motion that the Chairman do report Progress or do leave the Chair, nor Motion to postpone 1953 a Clause, nor Motion to re-commit the Bill, shall be received unless moved by the Government, and the Question on such Motion, if moved by the Government, shall be put forthwith without any Debate.
§ Nothing in this Order shall—
- (a) prevent any proceedings which under this Order are to be concluded on any particular day being concluded on any other day, or necessitate any particular day or part of a particular day being given to any such proceedings if those proceedings have been otherwise disposed of; or
- (b) prevent any other business being proceeded with on any particular clay, or part of a particular day, in accordance with the Standing Orders of the House, after any proceedings to be concluded under this Order on that particular day, or part of a particular day, have been disposed of.
The arguments relevant to a Motion of this kind are indeed familiar to the House. I remember on one occasion, not so long ago, an hon. Member on the back benches opposite rather took the attitude which has been taken by oppositions before, that this is a brutal action—the guillotine is always brutal—that there is no object in moving it with any expression of regret or any expression of courtesy, but that a brutal action should be carried out in a brutal method. That carries me back many years ago when I remember my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, replying to Mr. Asquith, who then led the House, said that the more mellifluous the right hon. Gentleman's tones were the more brutal he was in action. This method of the guillotine, practised by all parties, it is only fair to remember, has, as its one and only begetter, the Liberal party. I say that, not that I envy them their parentage of this method, but simply because, whenever a Leader of the House has to justify the use of the guillotine, he is always driven to the precedent created by that Government, and particularly to the observations made by that great master of Parliamentary procedure, Mr. Asquith, who was Prime Minister for so many years. The House will remember—it is the locus classicus in this case which is always quoted— Mr. Asquith's words, in 1911, when the guillotine procedure had already been in existence for some years, but obviously had not been used to the same extent that it has been used since:
I venture to say that, having regard to the commitments of this Parliament, the
multitudinous nature of its duties, the diversity of interests with which it has to deal, the enormous and ever-increasing burden of the labours it has to perform, legislation on a large scale in regard to great and complicated questions is impossible unless you resort to some sort of timetable and some allocation of time.
Ten years later, in the time of the Coalition Government, when of course he was on the Opposition benches, he said again:
I am absolutely unrepentant in this matter of the guillotine. I have said over and over again, in the years when I was responsible for the conduct of the business of the House, we shall not be able to carry on the complicated Parliamentary machine unless we adopt in some form or other the time-table system. It is a necessary incident of Parliamentary life.
I think there will be agreement with the gist of this statement on all sides of the House. But the point of these remarks was said by a greater man than I to be in the application. It is the application we have to consider to-day. I know that observations have been made. I gather this by one or two questions which have been put to me. Are there instances, I was asked, when the guillotine has been applied before a Bill has been allowed to go to Committee? Yes, there are many instances. During the seven consecutive years of that great Liberal Government which began in 1906 there were 12 instances. In four of them the guillotine was applied before the Second Reading and in eight instances was applied before the Committee stage. During the four consecutive years of the Coalition Government the guillotine was applied four times—three times before the Committee stage.
§ In 1908, you get an interesting bracket in the Guillotine Motion—the Small Landowners (Scotland) Bill and the Land Values (Scotland) Bill—and in 1913 and: 1914 you had a very interesting development., the excuse for which, given in this House, was the Parliament Act, although there is a great deal to be said on that which perhaps it is not necessary to say at this moment. As a matter of fact, in 1913, there was a most delicious, mixed grill, if I may so express it, served up to the House, involving fair treatment to all parts of the United Kingdom. There were bracketed in one Guillotine Motion the Government of Ireland Bill; which concerned Ireland, the Established Church (Wales) Bill, which concerned 1955 Wales, and, unless Scotland should be jealous, a temperance Bill for that country was thrown in. The next year the Government of Ireland Bill reappeared in a joint Guillotine Motion with the Established Church (Wales) Bill again, and, as there was no specific Scottish Bill, the Plural Voting Bill, which benefited all countries alike, was included. These were the three put in at that time. I mention this in passing to show that we are not without precedents in what we are doing, whether it commends itself to the House or not.
§ If I come, to the reasons why the Government are asking that a time-table shall be established, I think they arise principally from the nature of the Bills themselves. They deal with the same subject, although in regard to application they do differ in the two countries. As far as the financial problem is concerned, the provisions that deal with finance are very much the same in both Bills. When a big reform in such a matter as local government is pending, it is a good thing for the country, when it is wisely decided to make big changes, that the changes should be made and carried through with the least possible delay. For all those who are concerned with the administration of local government, that is to say the departments in London and elsewhere and the local authorities themselves, it is of the first importance that the Bill should reach the Statute Book at the earliest moment possible, compatible—and that is what we have to debate to-day-with the proper deliberation of the subject in the House of Commons.
§ Let me remind the House that the appointed days for these two Bills—and I exclude the rating relief, the appointed day for which is 1st October of next year—are the 1st April for England and the 16th May for Scotland in the year 1930. The new financial arrangements and the changes in local government, apart, as I have already said, from the de-rating portion, all come into force on the appointed day. With the large amount of rateable value that will be lost to the local authorities through the de-rating scheme, it will be perfectly impossible for local government authorities on the present line to receive payments due to compensate them. Temporary arrangements, 1956 as we know, are being made in the Bill. Those temporary arrangements ought to be for as short a period as is possible. It would be quite out of the question for this House to consider such temporary arrangements being carried on to a prolonged date as they might have to be it the legislation were not got through in good time.
§ Let me remind the House of this, that in Part 1 of the English Bill, the functions of the guardians pass to the county councils and to the county boroughs. It is the duty of these local authorities to prepare and submit, within six months of the Bill becoming an Act, a scheme for the carrying out of their duties. That will be a task of the first magnitude. They will have to map out all their areas. They will have to arrange how to form the guardians and the public assistance committees. They will have to settle on their constitution, on their places of meeting and so forth, and on everything which will enable them to function as provided by the Act. They will have to carry out a survey of the institutional work in their own areas and make proposals for co-ordination and the more effective use of those institutions. Whatever they propose will have to be submitted to the Ministry. It will have to be examined by the Ministry. The Ministry will have to hear objections. All that work will have to be done and completed by the appointed day.
§ There are also other services. There are the services in connection with roads where the detailed submissions have to be made to the Ministry of Transport by the 1st October of next year. There are the Clauses that deal with the contributions and grants to voluntary bodies for social services, and there are many others. All these have to be in working order by the appointed day in 1930, and it becomes obvious that every day that can be added to the time of the local authorities and the Government Departments themselves, who wish to make these arrangements will be time of infinite value if the new local government is to work, as we all desire, when it becomes law, it shall work, for the benefit of the country. Mutatis mutandis, what I have said applies equally to Scotland.
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ Then, again, apart from these reasons arising from the nature of the legislation, there are certain cogent reasons that 1957 arise from the fact that in the present law of our country, next year is to see a General Election. That means that we have to get our legislation through in good time. A General Election is very much like a visit to the dentist. If anyone has to have a tooth out, he likes to get it done as soon as he can. I know that people who wait too long suffer for it. I am quite sure that there is a general feeling in all parts of the House that the sooner we get our legislative programme wound up, the better it will be for us.
§ Those, briefly, are the broad reasons why I submit this Motion to the House. I said earlier in these few observations, that the application is the real thing. By "the application," I mean sufficient time being given for the discussion of the important points which arise in the legislation for which the time table is being provided. To discover whether sufficient time is being given has always been the object of the Debate on the proposal for setting up the Guillotine. It is open to Members in the course of the Debate, if they think the time is either insufficient or is allocated unwisely, to make their own suggestions. It is the business of the Ministers who have to deal with the details of the Bill, and who have them at their fingers' ends, to explain their point of view, and, if they think fit, to make any concession in the arrangements that they may be convinced is fair. That is the object of the Debate, and I have fulfilled my duty in moving this Motion by giving the House, as simply and as clearly as I am able, the reasons which have induced the Government to put the Motion on the Paper, and I hope the House may see fit, when the time arrives, to adopt it after the discussion has taken place.
§ Mr. CLYNES
I beg to move, in line 1, to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof the words:this House cannot assent to a Resolution to impose additional restrictions upon freedom of debate on Measures which fundamentally affect the relations between national and local finance and the structure of local government, and this House is of opinion that to deal in one Resolution with two Measures each composed of unrelated parts and applying to very dissimilar conditions in England and Scotland, respectively, is a flagrant violation of customary Parliamentary procedure.1958 Certainly the Prime Minister has submitted this Motion to the House in terms amounting almost to cheerfulness, if not gaiety, and has shown no hesitation in entering upon this work of muzzling the Opposition as far as it is possible to do it by carrying this Motion. May I say that if, later on in the afternoon, as I understand may be the case, the Prime Minister may have to leave the House, I know it will be because of the call of other public duties which will require his presence elsewhere, and no sense of complaint will be felt. I suggest to the Prime Minister that in offering the argument of precedents for the Motion, he is abusing the guidance which precedents might offer. It was never intended to make a precedent into a practice, and to apply it, as it has been applied by this Government, on every occasion of an important Measure submitted to the House of Commons. I suggest that any argument which the Prime Minister has used as to the character of the Bill is not an argument in favour of suppressing debate, but is an argument in favour of the widest freedom of expression of view and opinion that Members could possibly have, in order that this Bill, when it leaves the House, will not hereafter be a cause of great misunderstanding, grievance and difficulty as well it may be in the experience of the coming years.
The argument of the Prime Minister that the Liberal party in the past was the cause and the origin of this Parliamentary procedure I can, of course, properly leave to the Leader of the Liberal party and his friends, but as one Who can, as a matter of age, recall something of those days, both in this House and outside it, I suggest to the Prime Minister that an outstanding reason for resorting to the guillotine in those years was that the Tory party had behind it the House of Lords, which frequently rejected Bills when passed by this House, and which, therefore, compelled some hastening of the legislation in those days. We now have the spectacle of a Tory Government, with a massive majority in this House, and with even a more formidable majority in the House of Lords, imitating a Government of former years possessed of neither of these two resources. There is, therefore, 1959 in the Prime Minister's argument really no argument at all to sustain the Motion he has made. I agree that it my be proper to have some sort of time table as the Prime Minister suggests—some sort of understanding, say, between the Opposition and the Government as to how long the House of Commons should be occupied in debating matters of general importance, but some sort of time table is surely a different kind of thing from this admittedly brutal Guillotine which is now before the House.
It may also be the case, as the Prime Minister suggested, that it is desirable to carry through a Measure of this kind with the least possible delay, but that argument is a different thing from the terms of the Motion, and I repeat there is in this Bill so much detail on matters about which, I suggest, hon. Members behind m are very familiar, and personally acquainted, because of their great and long experience in matters of local government, that their knowledge ought not to be wasted by any act of suppression on the part of the Government of the day. It appears, therefore, to be the case that the procedure which was intended in a former year as an exception, and so accepted by the House in a former year, is to be translated by the present Government into a regular sessional Practice, and an established rule for House of Commons Debate. When we assembled in November of this year, we read in the Gracious Speech from the Throne that. virtually this was to be a Session of one Bill, and surely more time than this time-table suggests can be afforded for the important purpose of debating in fuller detail this immense Measure, this bulky Bill, the size of which is without precedent for many years back.
In short, the Bill presents to the mind of the House every reason, not why debates should be shortened, but why debates should be prolonged, and we shall not get that clearness, enlightenment, cohesion and satisfaction in a Bill of this character by mere acts of suppression of debate. We have had many instances of having to pay dearly for faulty legislation, due to the fact that it was hasty legislation passed by the great power of an immense majority used against the opposition to the Bill. I think, also, we 1960 are entitled to remind the Government of the manner in which they have arranged their procedure, and the order and priority of Bills. This is not a Bill which has come into the House arising out of any state of surprise' or any unforeseen condition of things. It has been before the mind of public men for many years, and if we are now to be told that it is necessary to hasten the Bill, we are entitled to retort that the Government might better have used the time of Parliament in the previous months of 1928, or particularly in the years 1926 and 1927, than to have used it in the way in which they did by their attacks on the trade unions, and by legislation to make gambling an easier thing on the racecourse, instead of dealing with subjects which might be assumed to be of real value. I suggest to the Prime Minister that this opposition, whatever it has been, has not been like the Tory Opposition of former years—an Opposition of obstruction. It has not sought deliberately to delay the passing of acceptable and necessary Measures of advantage to the country. The speeches that have been delivered, I think I am entitled to say, have shown no fractious hostility to any reasonable proposal, and the general knowledge which they have revealed ought to be acceptable to a Government as being as much a contribution to legislation as that from any quarter of the House.
We, therefore, protest against what, now apparently, is the idea of the Government, that it is sufficient for them to submit anything to Parliament. because they have a f large majority. Their large majority does not justify these large doses of Closure in order to silence the Opposition in offering its views and suggestions on important proposals of the day. There may be one consolation that we can derive from these, proposals, and may I here mention that what is a consolation to us is perhaps a warning to the other side of the House. The Government of the day know that before long the country will approve a change of Government. That is as well known to Members on the other side as to ourselves. It is not a matter of hope; it is as certain and as orderly in the natural course of things as night follows the day. Shall we then be entitled to embody in one Bill covering England and Scotland, with, say, 100 Clauses—not quite the number of this Bill, which has 115—to 1961 nationalise this, change that and fundamentally alter the economic and social structure of our time? Shall we then be entitled to bring forward a muzzling order indicating that the House of Commons may have, it may be, 20 days for its work? We shall give a few days extra to prove how generous we are. We shall be a little more generous than the Government of the day. This is a precedent which can be bettered by the Prime Minister's successors and I suggest to him that he is making it much easier for those in future who will want to go much further than the Government of the day.
The Prime Minister, quite airily, dismissed the fact that both the Scottish and the English Bills are covered by this Motion. Our Amendment points out, how dissimilar are these two Bills. There may be a precedent, but I cannot suggest a precedent in this case. Many hon. Members who represent Scottish constituencies on this side of the House, and I hope on the other side of the House, will have something to say of the brutality of the proposal to include in this guillotine Motion Scottish conditions as well as English conditions. While leaving that matter to others who represent Scottish divisions, let me recall to the House what is meant by some of the proposals in the Prime Minister's Motion. On the fourth day, we are to dispose of seven Clauses, and they are to be disposed of in about 3½ hours. Generally speaking, it is 4 o'clock before we can get to the Committee stage of a Bill, allowing for other matters which transpire. On the sixth day, we are to dispose of 10 Clauses in 3½ hours, and on the eleventh day we are to dispose of 16 Clauses in 3½ hours. In some 14 hours of Parliamentary time we are to dispose of 39 Clauses. That is reducing House of Commons service to a farce. It is not legislation; it is pantomime. We shall contest the right of the Government of the day to suppress and muzzle the Opposition by proposals of this kind. While accepting the general argument that some understanding or arrangement, some reasonable time-table is essential for the benefit of the House, we reject the view that on every occasion a Tory Government has the right, because of the size of its majority, practically to suppress all 1962 reasonable discussion in detail, and I am certain that hon. Members behind me will go readily into the Lobby in opposition to this Motion.
§ Mr. ERNEST BROWN
The Prime Minister has not been as fortunate in his quotations or his precedents as usually he is. The quotation which he chose from his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was singularly unfortunate, in view of the speech which the right hon. Gentleman made to-day. I will trouble the House with the complete quotation. Speaking on the hybrid Motion to which the right hon. Gentleman referred the present Foreign Secretary said:The briefer his observations, the more merry his mood, the more mellifluous the language and the language in which he commends his Motion to the House, the greater the outrage lie proposes to perpetrate upon the ancient privileges of Members.Some hon. Friends of mine have ventured to incorporate the last phrase in our Amendment with regard to this Motion. Not only was the phrase singularly inappropriate, but the precedents quoted are weaker than usual. I understood the Prime Minister to refer to the precedent when three Bills were put in one Motion, but if he had carefully verified the precedent I do not think he would find that it would stand in this particular case. If he looks at the Motion in regard to the Scottish, Welsh and Irish Bills which were put in one Motion he will find three great distinctions between the three Bills which were included in that Motion and the Motion before the House to-day. The first distinction is that the time-table then was not a time-table for the Committee stage of the three Bills but a time-table to deal with the Committee stage of one Bill and the Financial Resolution of two others. The Motion referred to three Bills, which had already been discussed many times in the country and in this House. They had passed through the House in all their different stages twice previously and tie House had been warned in the previous Session when sending the Bill to another place that if it was rejected such a time-table would be brought in in order to ensure that the full operation of the Parliament Act should not be lost. I think, therefore, the Prime Minister 1963 was unwise to choose as his precedent the second one, which is' not an analogy at all.
If the Prime Minister will verify the only precedent that can be in any way comparable to the present Motion, namely, the precedent when the late Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman linked together in one Guillotine Motion the Committee stages of the Small Landholders (Scotland) Bill and the Land Values (Scotland) Bill, he will find that there are very great major differences between the conditions then and now. I should like to quote to the House the exact words which were used by Sir Henry Cammpbell-Bannerman when introducing that Motion, which is the only Motion of the kind, so far as my researches have gone, that appears in the Journals of the House, and the only precedent which the Prime Minister can manage to find for the Motion, which we consider An outrage, to-day. Speaking on the 12th February, 1908, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman said:The Motion proposes a more summary method than we have been accustomed to. It is undoubtedly a novelty, and it is therefore necessary that I should justify what is an unusual proceeding. That justification I find amply provided in the circumstances of the case. I am glad to say that I think I can make good the justification and explain the circumstances without any reference to the controversial merits of either of these two Bills and without any reproach addressed to either of the Houses with respect to their dealings with this matter.He then went into the history of the two Bills, with which I will not trouble the House. Suffice it to say, that the difference between this Motion and the Motion which was proposed by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman is, first of all, that the Bills included in the 1908 Motion were two small Bills analogous in character and allied in nature. The present Deputy-Speaker pointed out in the Debate in 1913, when this precedent of 1908 was quoted as a precedent for the 1913 Motion, that the Bills included in the 1908 Motion were allied in nature and affected the same country. There is this further difference, that those Bills had been discussed in this House and they had been discussed in the country a great deal more than they have been discussed in the House, for long years. One of them had been rejected in the previous Session by the 1964 House of Lords, and the other had been so drastically amended that the Government of the day regarded it as being worthless. They were two comparatively small Bills. There is no justification in Parliamentary precedent for 'a Motion of the kind now made by the Prime Minister, which links in one Guillotine Motion two major Bills which have never been before the country, which have never been asked for by the country, and which are only produced now after a long and tardy disinclination on the part of the Government to recognise the drastic nature of our unemployment situation.
If the Prime Minister complains that he is bound to adopt so drastic a Time-table at this late stage of the life of this Parliament, I would say that it is not the fault of His Majesty's Oppositions it is the fault of the Prime Minister and the Government. For four long years continuous pleas have been made from benches below and above the Gangway on this side of the House that grave cognisance should be taken of the state of the necessitous areas and the conditions of rating in those areas and its effect upon unemployment in those areas. What has been the result 4 I remember my late friend, a most respected Member of this House, Trevelyan Thomson, standing in this spot and making a speech—I think it was the one previous to the last speech which he made in this House—and I remember the retort of the Minister of Health to the plea of my hon. Friend for relief to be given to the necessitous areas. The Minister of Health described the late Member for Middlesbrough, West, as "the lugubrious Member for West Middlesbrough." That was because the Government did not realise the gravity of the situation in regard to unemployment. For four long years they have failed to do anything of a nature calculated to relieve the situation. The result is that we are now faced, in the last six months of this Parliament, with two great Measures, one of 115 Clauses and the other of 61 Clauses, affecting England and Wales on the one hand and Scotland on the other. Even if the 20 days for each Bill which we ask for in our Time-table were allowed, and all those days were occupied, hundreds of details which are necessary for discussion, if a greater mass of anomalies and misunderstandings are not to arise when these Bills are operating, 1965 would be undiscussed. It would take much more than the 20 days for discussion, and certainly much more than the 13 and eight days respectively which are allowed for in the Government's Timetable.
There is no real precedent for the Government's Motion. There is no real precedent for putting in one guillotine Motion two major Measures, especially major Measures so vast in size, so complex in character, so multifarious in their effects upon parishes, rural and urban. Further, we recall the fact that after the days which were spent discussing the Second Readings and the Financial Resolutions of the two Bills, there are grave outstanding issues which have never yet been discussed. Last night I called attention to the startling fact that neither on the Second Reading of the English Bill nor of the Scottish Bill, nor on the Financial Resolution of the English Bill and of the Scottish Bill had there been five minutes' discussion of the gravest financial issue, namely, the effect of the loss of rates upon the rate-raising power of every individual local authority in the land. When we consider the drastic nature of the changes proposed for England and Wales and the unprecedented nature of the financial changes, and the fact that the Minister of Health has changed his mind since the Bill was introduced, one begins to realise something of the gravity and complexity of the position. The Minister of Health began by describing those who failed to understand the complexity of the formula as either stupid or lazy. He has changed his attitude, and he now gives us illustrations. He must have been reading Tennyson:Where truth in closest words shall fail, there truthEmbodied in a tale shall enter in at lowly door.The right hon. Gentleman has given us hundreds of illustrations. He finds that not only hon. Members on this side but hon. Members on his own side and hundreds of thousands of people outside do not understand the meaning of the formula, and therefore he has begun issuing illustrations. We have had illustrations of all kinds of losses by the application of the formula, but we have had no illustration to show what the effect will be of the loss of rates in regard 1966 to the rate-raising power of the county councils, the county borough councils, the non-county boroughs, the urban districts, the rural districts and the parishes generally.
There is no case whatever for linking up the Scottish Bill and the English Bill in one Motion. If it be said with some semblance of truth that there is a similarity in the financial proposals of the scheme, the extra time demanded by the Opposition can be justified fully when it is realised how vast are the structural changes in the administration proposed by the Scottish Bill. The method of administration of local government in. Scotland is entirely different from that in England and when we realise that there is only one link in both Bills to cover the major proposals—namely, a desire to get a medical bureaucracy, an idealistic scheme, with all these local public health services under one roof, which means that we are going to have many more whole-time medical officers of health than before—then the time allotted is hopelessly inadequate. The House may regard this medical bureaucracy as wise or otherwise, but it should not pass it without knowing what it is doing. The proposal to take over the school medical services in Scotland was turned down by the Onslow Commission in connection with English local government; and there is no case for widening the area of charge for education in Scotland. When all these points are considered the words of the Amendment we have tabled to the Motion are not one whit too strong; that it is an outrage upon the ancient privileges and liberties of this House—using the words which the present Foreign Secretary used in connection with a similar Motion in 1913—to link these two major Measures together in one Guillotine Motion and present a Time Table which, in both cases, is utterly inadequate to enable the thousand detailed questions which will arise to be properly discussed on the Committee stage.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
The right hon. Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) has stated clearly and emphatically our general opposition to this Motion and I should like to deal specifically with the Time Table so far as it affects Scotland. I hope the Secretary of State for Scotland will take note of my- few observa- 1967 tions as this may be the last occasion we may have of rescuing local administration in Scotland from chaos and collapse; as we on this side think. The Motion proposes to allot 13 days of Parliamentary time to the Committee stage of the English Bill; and in those 13 days we have to discuss two major changes in public administration, Poor Law and the roads. On the Scottish Bill we are to get eight days only and in those eight days we are asked to discuss not only Poor Law and the roads but changes in the major health services in the small burghs, the whole business of our education authorities, our district committees, our boards of control, our police administration, our standing joint committees and our commissioners of supply. Even if it is right and proper to allot 13 days to the English Bill dealing with two subjects of local administration—it is not enough by any means—surely it is grotesquely unfair to allot eight days only for the discussion of some 10 fundamental changes in Scottish administration. Already I believe there are proposals, some of them to be moved by the Secretary of State himself or on behalf of the Scottish Office, for amending the Bill, where it deals with the election of members to parish councils and the compulsory unification of burghs and counties. There are also proposals for an alteration in the most important section of the Clause dealing with education—that is with religious education. These proposals have already been made from the Government side and taken alone they are so fundamental that I suggest it would take eight days to deal with them adequately. But when in addition to that we are to have the entire business of local government in Scotland recast in little more than half the time that is allotted to the English Bill I am certain the Secretary of State, if he gives the matter closer consideration, will be able to propose sonic concession.
On the first day in Committee he proposes to allot for the discussion of instructions and Clauses 1 and 2, three and a half hours. To deal with what To deal with the question of wiping out parish councils and boards of control; burial grounds; the ownership of church property and churchyards; the aboli- 1968 tion of district committees of the county councils, the taking away of major health services from the small burghs, classified roads, and the commissioners of supply. That is all in three and a half hours. I put it to the Secretary of State that as there cannot be more than two or three speeches from either side of the House in that time it is impossible to put before the Committee the point of view of the Royal burghs and the police burghs, the point of view of the county councils and district committees and other local authorities in the time alloted. Then after half-past seven o'clock we are allotted three hours in which to recast our system of control of education in Scotland, to deal with new and important changes in regard to religious instruction; with the police; with registration; with the Catholic churches; the Standing Joint Committees; the transfer of property and offices and the Superannuation Fund. That has all to be dealt with between half-past seven and half-past ten at night. It is not unreasonable to suggest that the time allotted for the discussion of these important matters is grotesquely and absurdly inadequate.
Take the second day. Three and a half hours are allotted for dealing with the reconstruction of county councils and their representation; the compulsory unification of burghs and counties, and the Statutory powers to be given to the Secretary of State—very important powers, for he takes power even to make Statutes himself. In the succeeding three hours the Secretary of State proposes to deal with all the work of the education committees, their powers and functions, with police, with Poor Law committees, with the principle of co-option—a new principle in our local government—the proportion of Catholic and Protestant representation which is to be co-opted on these committees—all this in three hours. Without attempting to make party capital I say that it is grossly improper to suggest that the whole business of local government in Scotland should be recast without proper discussion, indeed, without any discussion at all, in the two days which the right hon. Gentleman has allotted. We have heard a great deal about precedents. I suggest that no ancient wrong makes a modern right. Without even discussing them we shall 1969 not have an opportunity of registering a vote on many of the Amendments. In the interests of efficient local administration in Scotland, which must go on whether under the present system or under the new system, I suggest that eight days is a grossly insufficient amount of time for the discussion of Scottish local government. I hope the Secretary of State will be able to meet us and will extend the time allotted.
§ Captain MACMILLAN
It is a matter of some gratification to hon. Members on this side to find so high a regard for precedent entertained by hon. Members of the Socialist party. It is encouraging to find this strong constitutional feeling, which we have always thought existed, among hon. Members opposite and I am glad it has been so well illustrated this afternoon. I rise in order to make one or two observations on the Motion before the House. It will be admitted, I think, that the procedure of the House of Commons in modern times calls for some kind of Time Table for the regulation of discussion in the Committee stage of all great Measures. It would be rather presumptuous of me, a very young Member of the House, to go into the details of our procedure, but I think everyone will agree that it is not possible to conduct our affairs to-day without some kind of time table for regulating discussion. To lay down a Time Table in connection with a Measure of first-rate public importance from the beginning is I think a much more sensible and satisfactory procedure than to allow long discussions on the first and second Clauses under the old procedure and then institute a Guillotine Motion which has the effect of reducing the time available for the later parts of the Bill. Apart from ordinary party feeling, I think we shall all agree that a. Time Table of some kind is necessary if we are to have any adequate and proper discussion of these important matters.
I venture, however, to record a protest against the actual time table which has been laid down in the Motion. I quite agree that the method of proceeding by time table is a wise one. On the whole, it tends to lead to discussion of those Amendments which are of substantial importance and to the avoidance of long and ineffective discussion of 1970 points the discussion of which is not likely to be useful. But the time table laid down here is rather on the brutal side. For instance, in regard to the English Bill, we are asked to discuss in three hours the whole of the first five Clauses, that is to say three hours for discussing the sweeping away of the old system of Poor Law administration in this country, and the constituting of a new system. For Clauses 6 to 8 we are again given only three hours. When we get to very important Clauses like Clauses 13 to 17—Clause 13 is the very important Clause dealing with the recovery of expenses, and Clause 15 deals with the whole of the administration affecting London—we are given only from 4 o'clock to 7.30 for the discussion.
The Bill should bring about a very great improvement, and I feel that, taken as a whole, it will be of the greatest advantage to the country, but I do think that there are a great number of minor Amendments that should be moved and should have adequate discussions in the House. I would like to say quite humbly, but still firmly, that I do not think I can support the time-table as laid down. I appeal for a rather longer period for the discussion of perfectly legitimate Amendments which are already on the Paper—Amendments which represent the important views of great associations of local authorities. It is right that they should be discussed on the Floor of the House. It is quite clear that the technique, the procedure of modern legislation, is altering in its character. It is quite true that in great Measures of this kind a great deal of the real Committee work takes place, not on the Floor of the House, but outside the House. We know quite well that any Minister engaged on any great Measure of this kind has to deal by private negotiation with very many questions that arise.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD BENN
Does the hon. and gallant Member mean by that statement the addressing of his own supporters by the Minister upstairs, or what does he mean?
§ Captain MACMILLAN
In many Measures of this kind, the associations of the various local bodies that are concerned, the association of municipal authorities and of urban district councils, and so on, carry on their discussions with 1971 the Minister outside this House. I recognise that, and I think the procedure is inevitable. I am not speaking in a party sense. But at the same time I think that the actual time given to the House to discuss this Measure is inadequate. While I quite agree that a time-table is necessary, and while it is obvious that a Measure of this kind would be obstructed almost indefinitely under the old procedure, I urge upon the Government that we should be given something more than the rather inadequate time which is provided by the Motion. Therefore I hope that in the course of the Debate some concession may be given which will allow us to give more detailed and adequate consideration to Clauses of the greatest importance, so that the great number of Amendments already on the Paper may be adequately discussed, and we may have a chance of putting forward the views of various interests as they ought to be put forward on a Bill of this kind. I hope that the Government will see their way to give some concession and so ensure that the Bill shall not run the risk of being passed in a form in which harm and injury may be done owing to inadequate discussion, and that all the relevant and important points may be put forward in the way that they ought to be put forward.
§ Mr. BENN
The hon. and gallant Member who has just spoken indicated that we were faced with the problem of how we were to deal with the enormous mass of legislation without a time-table. I am cordially in agreement with him there. First of all let us look at this Motion. We must understand that at present the House's concern is in considering whether it will permit two Departments, the Scottish Department and the Health Department to impose a time-table upon it. The representatives of the two Departments are present. But the House has also a champion of its own. The Prime Minister is not merely Prime Minister, but the Leader of the House, and although he is now bound to be absent, we understand for some public engagement, at the same time he certainly should provide for us on the Government Front Bench a representative of our rights, and not merely the two criminals who are proposing this Motion. How can we expect the Minister 1972 of Health or the Secretary of State for Scotland to be sympathetic to anything that we may say? They are the people who are erecting the scaffold and sharpening the knife, and we should have a champion of our own cause in the Prime Minister, who is not merely Prime Minister and a party leader, but also Leader of the House, which means that in a special sense he is the champion and representative of our privileges.
Certainly no one would deny that this is a pretty drastic instrument that is proposed. If the Chief Whip were here no doubt he would take some justifiable pride in stopping every hole and corner and avoiding the possibility of surprise. On a brief glance at the Motion I see breaches of no fewer than 10 of our Standing Orders. By that I mean that no fewer than 10 Standing Orders are being overridden in the last part of the Motion. I shall not deal with them all, because that would be too tedious, but I will take four. First of all, Friday is to be treated as an ordinary day. It is a pretence to say that we have a Parliamentary day between 11 and 3.30 on a Friday. The arrangement means that the whole of the Scottish Bill, for example on Third Reading, would be disposed of, and by the time you have had the speeches of the Government there will he only two or three hours remaining for Members from all parts of Scotland to express their opinions. I do not think that the Secretary of State for Scotland has the least idea of the indignation that is being generated in that country. I am an Englishman, hut I reside in a country district of Scotland, and I have represented a Scottish constituency for 10 years. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that he is making a very grave mistake if he supposes that there is anything but seething indignation among people in Scotland, some of it justified, and some unjustified but still existing and by no means wholly among those who support the Socialist and Labour party.
The next point is that, certain Amendments may be considered, not by means of ordinary Debate, but by procedure which we commonly call the Ten Minutes' Rule. There is to be a brief statement by one representative of the Government, and one representative of the Opposition. Although there are two 1973 Oppositions in the House only one statement is to be permitted in opposition to the Motion that may be made by the Government. The limitations that are applied for leave to introduce Bills at a quarter to four o'clock are to be imposed. Next, no dilatory Motion or Motion to recommit the Bill may be made at all, except by the Government. Yet we are to deal with a Bill that is full of complications. It may very well be that at some stage the Government will find themselves in difficulties. The ordinary practice of the House then is for the Opposition to move that the Chairman report progress. No such Motion is to be permitted; the ordinary rights which we have are to be taken from us.
The last of the 10 points is this: A series of Clauses may be put in one question. That, I consider, is about the worst offence in the whole of the Motion. Within the limits of the time-table the Chairman might put Clauses 1 to 20, the question being "That those Clauses stand part of the Bill," and we shall be compelled to vote Aye or No. As a matter of fact I think that the arguments based in precedent are to a large extent beside the point, because we are aiming now at doing something for which the original Closure was never intended. When the Closure was first introduced, it was aimed at a party whose professed object was to bring Parliamentary Government to an end. Therefore, however brutal it was, the Closure was justified in defence of the life of the House. There is no such party to-day. The whole of the machinery, from the Closure to the Kangaroo, the selection of Amendments by the Chairman and the Guillotine, was aimed at obstruction. No experienced Parliamentary hand would say that in this Parliament, or indeed in any of the last three Parliaments, there has been what can be called systematic Parliamentary obstruction. There has been a great deal of detailed Debate and objection made, but there has never been obstruction as the late Mr. John Redmond and Mr. Dillon used to make it. The precedents the Prime Minister quoted, of the Guillotine Motions passed to facilitate the progress of the legislation of the Liberal party in 1913–14, were precedents of Motions that were aimed at obstruction, and as the Chancellor of the Exchequer knows well, not only obstruc- 1974 tion, but the grossest disorder was exhibited by hon. Gentlemen opposite, such as the Noble Lord the Under-Secretary of State for India, who were then given to denouncing the Labour party, though as a fact it is the best-mannered and the mildest Opposition, and almost a subservient Opposition. The precedents are not relevant. We are dealing as House of Commons men of all parties with the problem of how to get through business in a given time, whereas those Motions were aimed at a party whose object was to destroy an institution which we all respect.
The last general observation that one can make is that some measure of legislative devolution is required. That is always said on these occasions. The establishment of the Irish Free State liberated this House from a great deal of detailed Parliamentary work. The signs in the sky already point to further devolution, as was shown by the Rectorial election at Glasgow University. The Government and all sections of Scottish opinion would do well to see whether the time has not come to attempt to meet the undeniable demand of Scotland for some legislative control of its own affairs. It is not necessary to do that on this occasion. When this problem was originally tackled in 1908 the Liberal Government of that day set up the Standing Committees. They were established for the express purpose of relieving this House of some of the Committee work. If the Secretary of State for Scotland would send the Scottish Bill to the Standing Committee on Scottish Bills we should save eight days in these Debates. Why will he not do so? I have never had an answer to that question. I would remind him that that Committee does not consist of entirely of Scottish Members. He need not be apprehensive. It is true that, on the Scottish vote, the Bill has been defeated every time it has been presented to this House, but the right hon. Gentleman has 15 English Members to rely upon as added Members on the Scottish Grand Committee. By referring the Bill to that Committee, not only should we save eight days on this time-table, but the desires of the hon. and gallact Member for Stockton-on-Tees (Captain Macmillan) would be satisfied. The Government ought to take the means 1975 available to them for avoiding a congestion of business in this House by remitting the Scottish Bill, as it ought to be remitted, to the Scottish Committee. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition pointed out that this was a new precedent. We have been travelling along this road of the Guillotine, the Closure, and the Motion for the allocation of time for a good many years. The Government were in a position to grapple with the problem in a businesslike way. They might have set up a Committee. They might have called the Oppositions into consultation with them to deal with it, but they have preferred to go further than any other Government has ever gone in the method of the guillotine. Some other Government will go further.
There is one step that has not yet been taken and that is to guillotine a Finance Bill. The Budget of 1909, although a most contentious Budget, was fought through this House for a great number of days—I think 109 days—without the Guillotine. That will not persist. The next thing that will happen, based upon this precedent, will be a Socialist Finance Bill passed through this House by the Guillotine, and then see where you will be! [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Yes just see where you will be then. Even if you succeeded in robbing Mr. Speaker of his voice in deciding what is a Finance Bill, this would be a real Finance Bill, a Bill which any Committee, even a Committee weighted with Tory opinion, would certify as a Money Bill, and it would be passed. Just fancy a Finance Bill with any number of Clauses being put in one question as is provided for in this Guillotine Motion. Just imagine a Chairman being able to put five or six or ten taxing Clauses in one question and everybody being compelled to vote "Aye" or "No." This is a very dangerous thing to do, and I submit to the Chancellor of the Exchequer—whose courtesy in attending the Debate I readily acknowledge—that it would be far better to withdraw this Motion and make a genuine attempt to provide for a new problem which is not the meeting of obstruction, but the allocation of time as between the various sections of the House. I submit that it would be far better to do so, than to force through this very severe instrument, 1976 which may be used with terrific effect against the authors of its own being.
§ Mr. HARNEY
If the good sense of the House does not set a limit to the exercise of the Guillotine it may go to very dangerous lengths. I see no reason why the Prime Minister, with his majority behind him, should not declare that he will only give one day to the whole of these Measures and compel the House to accept such a Motion. Therefore it is important that hon. Members should realise the significance of a precedent of this kind. What is the position? We have here two Bills which are very long and highly complicated. I speak with no disrespect when I say that there are not many in this House who really understand both of them. I am certain there are not 5 per cent. of people in the country who understand them, and I am sure I will have the agreement of everybody who is not actuated by party feeling when I say that it would require, not 30 but 50 days to thresh out thoroughly all the implications and all the indirect effects of these Measures. Even if you had one Bill there would be a strong objection to this allocation of time but, as my hon. Friend the Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Benn) pointed out in a most interesting and able speech, we are going further now than any Government has ever gone before. These Bills deal with the local government of two distinct countries—a local government that has grown up in each during centuries, and a local government that in each of those countries has a different history and different characteristics. Both these Bill are locked together and the whole of this legislation is to be cleared off the debating boards in some 20 or 30 days discussion.
The excuse given by the Prime Minister for this haste makes the matter worse. Had he said that through outside circumstances it was necessary to get this done for the good of the country, one might understand it. But that is not the excuse. What he says is that an Election is coming on and that it is necessary to hurry this business so as to have it completed before the Election. But why start it so close to the Election? Why try to put into the eleventh hour what should occupy half-a-dozen hours? Of course the truth is—and the country ought to know it—that the reason why 1977 we are faced with this legislation is this. The Minister of Health has always been anxious to reform local government and there is no blame to him at all, in that. He showed his desire to reform local government in the Committee stage of the Measure of 1925, but the country turned it down and Conservative Members were among the people who turned it down. It was only a few months ago that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, having, I fancy, read the Yellow Book, saw that there was great electoral value in de-rating. [Interruption.] The hon. Member affects not to know what the Yellow Book is. It is not because you are on that side that you should speak of the Yellow Book as though, indeed, you viewed it with a jaundiced eye.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Dennis Herbert)
I would ask the hon. and learned Member to address his remarks to the subject before the House—and to the Chair.
§ Mr. HARNEY
I am sorry, I was replying to an interruption. As I say, it was by means of the Yellow Book—the statement of Liberal policy—that the value of these de-rating proposals was brought home to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Having decided to take advantage of them, the right hon. Gentleman must have said to the Minister of Health "Your proposal could not get through by itself, so link it with mine." That is why we are now confronted with this Motion which seeks to take all the stages of this legislation with a hop, skip and jump. Though I know it is useless to do so I desire to enter my protest.
As regards the allocation of time itself if it is decided that we are to have no more time for the English Bill than is proposed here, I think it could be better allocated. The two parts of the Bill which raise the greatest controversy are Parts 1 and 6. The things that will raise controversy will be first, the Poor Law provisions and then the financial provisions. On the Poor Law, the Liberals, for example, will want to say that it would be far better to make unemployment a national charge. That leaves room for a great deal of discussion. On the other side of the House, a number of rural Members will want to discuss the abolition of the boards of guardians. 1978 Then there would be the question of the constitution of the public assistance committees. Those are three big questions arising on the Poor Law part of the Bill. Other big questions will arise on the financial Clauses of the Bill and these ought to take a great deal of time. As regards the registration Clauses, and what I may call the machinery parts of the Bill, I think, since we are to be limited as to time, they might be passed over very quickly. But a big proportion of time ought to be given to the Poor Law and the financial parts respectively. We on these benches would be glad to co-operate with Members in other parts of the House to try to fix the Time Table so as to meet the requirements of debate better than the present proposal—that is if the Government are determined that no further time will be allowed. Perhaps it may be possible for some of us to put our heads together and see whether we cannot agree on another Time Table.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Signor Benito Mussolini can, of course, deal with the Italian Parliament on these lines successfully, but I would point out to the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Health that Signor Mussolini has a great advantage over him. He can muzzle discussion, not merely in Parliament but outside it, whereas the right hon. Gentleman can only succeed in preventing discussion in this House. The very fact that under this Resolution we are making Parliament ridiculous and preventing any opportunity for free discussion in the Mother of Parliaments, will certainly compel all who are opposed to the Bill to make redoubled efforts to convince the country that the country is right in its present interpretation of what this Bill is going to do. I sympathise with the Government completely. I quite understand the necessity for this Resolution. I cannot vote with them but I can sympathise with them. Without this Resolution it would be quite impossible to get this Bill passed into law. No Bill of this magnitude has ever been passed into law with so few friends behind it. The back benchers are, of course, absent and the only friends who have stood up for this Bill are the shareholders of the brewery companies. Even the landlords have not come out as they ought to have done in support of the right hon. Gentleman. You have in this case, not, Athanasius contra mundum but 1979 the brewery shareholders against the entire public opinion and Press of this country.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I hope the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will show me how he connects this with the time to be allocated for these Bills.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Yes, Sir. Without the Time Table, how could the brewery shareholders get their Bill? Considering the unpopularity of this Measure and the growing hostility to it in the country—certainly at every meeting which I have attended—there is no possibility of getting it through, without a Guillotine Resolution. Naturally, the Government are bound to bring in this Resolution. At the same time, I think they will appreciate that everyone who still believes that the British Parliament, at any rate, should be free to discuss legislation and to assist in framing the Government's Measures will have to vote against this Resolution and will have to see that the effect of this legislation is made clear in the country, where, at any rate, the people will soon have an opportunity of pronouncing upon it.
The real difficulty of the Government in this Resolution is to discover which Part to closure most firmly. The hon. and learned Member for South Shields (Mr. Harney) wishes to have Parts I and VI discussed. I give him Parts I and VI. The only Part that I would like to have discussed at considerable length is Part V, which is passed over in one day under this Resolution; and there too I sympathise with the Government. It is a most dangerous Part of the Bill upon which to allow discussion, for the more discussion there is, the more certainly will the electorate, when they have a chance, say what they think of this Government. Part V is the blessed Part of the Bill in which de-rating takes place upon breweries and landlords, and all the time, every moment while this Bill is going through, unfortunate householders are having their assessments shoved up against them. That is what makes Part V so peculiarly desirable to censor out, to strangle. They must not have the opportunity of showing the electors of this country the connection between Part V and the increased assessments for rating purposes which are being put upon 1980 their houses all over the country. In my unfortunate borough they have raised the assessments from £70,000 to £80,000 a year, and every one of those people want to know why. We should have the opportunity of explaining why on Part V, if we could discuss it, but we shall not be allowed to discuss it. We shall discuss it in the country, but not here. We shall not be able to have the Government's answer. I am certain that the Parliamentary Secretary has a very satisfactory answer, but we shall never know it.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
The right hon. Gentleman may tell me privately, but my poor constituents will never hear his explanation, and they will, with the more unanimity, vote for me. One result of stifling discussion in this House will be that the people will hear the case of the Opposition, but not the case of the Government.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
That is one of the reasons why it is so essential to censor out any possibility of discussion, but if the Government think they have a case, if they think it is possible to state in clear language for the benefit of the electors what this Bill means and how it will help them, I assure them that, in their own interests, they should give a little longer time in which to have their case stated to the public. As a matter of fact, I have never come across a Measure which aroused so much opposition; we have every local authority, every rural district and urban district circularising Members of Parliament and writing personal letters in opposition to this Bill. It is exceedingly difficult to amend it. I have been through every Clause in order to draft Amendments, but they are very difficult to draft, and when you have put on paper something that does express the views of the people who are being suppressed, the views of the smaller local authorities which are going to suffer for the benefit of bureaucracy and efficiency under this scheme, you are to have no opportunity whatever of stating the case here in the House of Commons.
1981 I suggest that a Bill of this nature, pushed through in this way, is an undesirable precedent, not from the point of view of His Majesty's Opposition or of party politics, but from the point of view of the Government themselves and of the country as a whole. We in this country have managed to preserve, in a wave of reaction against Parliamentary rule that has been going through the world, some respect for Parliament and for democracy and some opportunity to carry on, on our old-established lines, the Government of the Empire. But I am afraid that the Mussolini policy has infected certain Members of the Government. You could not have a better example of Mussolini-ism than a Guillotine Resolution which prevents any form of discussion in this House.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I rise to make two observations, one on general lines and one more specifically dealing with the Resolution. What I want to say on the general topic of the guillotine is that, speaking from my own limited experience of Parliament and my own observation here, I am satisfied that a time table, well arranged and adequate, is not a disadvantage, but really advantages Parliamentary Debate. It is an example of the natural power of growth in our Constitution that a change which was introduced merely as a somewhat undesirable expedient is now growing into a Parliamentary form which, in my judgment at least, acids to and does not detract from the value of Parliamentary discussion. The other observation of a general sort is that I should like to see, in all important Bills, a time table set up, and set up as it has been in the case of this Bill, not after one or two days possibly have been spent in prolonged discussion upon Clauses which may not be of great importance, but set up before the Bill reaches its Committee stage.
I should further like to add that, in my judgment, the most desirable method of perfecting the use of the time table would be that after a Government—and this applies equally to whatever party is in power—has decided to set up a time table, there should be a small Committee of all sections of the House gathered together to discuss, in a friendly and useful way, the proper allocation of the time available. In that way, I 1982 believe it will be found—I say "it will," because I have no doubt that some such development will take place in the course of time—that Parliamentary discussion has improved, that a general conspectus and view of the Bill is arrived at before it reaches the Committee stage, and that the House as a whole is able to concentrate its attention upon the more vital matters in the Bill.
The one particular observation that I desire to make has reference to the Scottish Bill. I would ask my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland to consider whether some more time could not be given. I do not propose to elaborate that, but I cannot believe that, say, another one or two Parliamentary days will be time wasted. I think that needs no elaboration, nor does it need any comparison of the different features of the Scottish and English Bills.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
Why does not the hon. Gentleman agree with the suggestion made from this side that the Scottish Bill should be sent to the Standing Committee on Scottish Bills?
§ Mr. SKELTON
I am not proposing to discuss that, and I very much doubt whether it would be in order. The hon. Member's question seems to have absolutely no bearing on the topic I was discussing. [Interruption.] T am not in the least afraid to answer any question the hon. Member may put to me, but I am afraid to answer irrelevant interruptions that have nothing to do with the topic. Even if, as I trust may be the case, some further time is given to the Scottish Measure, I hope my right hon. Friend will give to the first few Clauses, that is to say, down to the end of Clause 9 certainly, proportionately more time than is given in the present time table, and for this reason, that these Clauses include the provisions for the abolition of both the parish councils and the education authorities, and they also include the very important question of the reconstitution and election of the county councils. Apart from the financial provisions, these early Clauses, therefore, embody some of the most important matters in the Bill, and I would ask my right hon. Friend to take these matters into full consideration. With regard to the question that has been raised from the other side, as to 1983 whether or not this Bill should go to the Standing Committee on Scottish Bills, it seems to me to be one of the most ludicrous efforts to offer an insult to the country which some of us represent that its matters, when they are of such importance as are those in this Bill, should not be considered by the whole of the united Parliament.
§ Sir ROBERT HAMILTON
I do not altogether disagree in regard to what the hon. Member for Perth and Kinross (Mr. Skelton) has just said with regard to time tables. Time tables as such may he necessary for carrying on the work of the House in certain circumstances, but when we look at this particular time table and at the circumstances in which it has been set up, I think it will be seen that it is open to very grave criticism indeed. As the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) has already pointed out, the precedents quoted by the Prime Minister were not comparable to the present circumstances. The circumstances surrounding the precedent of the Small Landholders (Scotland) Act being linked with the Land Values (Scotland) Act under one Guillotine Motion were very different from the circumstances of to-day. Those two Measures had been discussed in this House, had been to another place, had been discussed in the country, and the principles with which they dealt were thoroughly well understood and had been canvassed up and down the country; whereas, with regard to the Bills which are now before us, it is impossible for anyone to suggest for a moment that they have been discussed or are at all understood in the country.
I have given a good many hours already to trying to understand these Bills, and it is my business as a Member of this House to understand them, but I must confess that there are many points on which I want further enlightenment before I can say that I really understand them. May I point out to the Secretary of State for Scotland that when I was in my constituency just before the House met, we could only discuss the proposals—we had not then got the Bill before us to discuss—and now, before I have been able to get back to my constituents to discuss it with them, we are having this Time-table imposed upon us, and a Time- 1984 table which you have only to look at to see how inadequate it is to the needs of the Bill. Look at the first assignment. of time, of three and three-quarter hours to Clauses 1 and 2, two of the most important Clauses in the Bill, dealing with the whole structure of local government in Scotland, with the transfer of the functions of the parish councils and the whole question raised in the functions of small burghs. Then go on to the next allocation, and you get Clauses 3 to 7, dealing with the whole of the education question, and only three hours given.
We want to discuss these matters thoroughly. I frankly say that I voted against the Second Reading of the Bill, but, having done that, and realising that the Bill is going to become the law of the land, I am going to do my best, as the Secretary of State for Scotland has asked, by my criticisms, to make it an effective and workable Measure. But how shall I be able to do that if only three hours are to be given for discussing that question? To go back to the first allocation of Clauses 1 and 2, the Secretary of State for Scotland has indicated that he is going to make a change, and a very material change, in the Bill as it has already been presented. We do not know what that change is, and we do not know how it will affect us, but it will be a very vital change. And yet only three hours are to be given for discussion by people who are anxious to improve the Bill and to make it a workable Measure. I should like to reinforce the appeal of the hon. Member for Perth for more time for Scotland. Only eight days have been allotted for the Scottish Bill, and not a Member for Scotland will not' agree that this is entirely inadequate. We ought to have 10, and probably 12, days in order to discuss the Bill properly, and I ask every Scottish Member who speaks to do his best to see that the Scottish Bill has a fair allowance of time.
§ Sir EDMUND TURTON
We all appreciate the Liberal spirit of the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir R. Hamilton), which means that he has practically promised to give the best of his ability to make the Bill a good and workable Measure, although he was not able to vote for the Second Reading. The hon. Gentleman appealed for more time for Scotland. I venture to ask the 1985 Government whether it would not be possible to afford a longer period for a proper and full discussion of the English Bill. May I remind the House that for five-and-a-half years a Royal Commission, of which I was a Member, has been sitting to investigate all the different points concerned with local government, looking at it, not at all from the point of view of politics, but with the sole object of arriving at a conclusion on one of the most wonderful assets of this country, namely, good local administration. If we turn back, as I can, to the time when the Local Government Act of 1888 was going through this House, it will be found that there was not such a small amount at time allocated to it as is proposed to be given by the Government for this Bill. There is the great distinction between the Act of 1888 and the present Measure, that the Act was in principle practically an agreed Measure. I was a candidate in the 1885 and 1886 elections, and during both those contests part of my programme was that we should exchange the machinery of local government by magistrates for that of popularly elected bodies. In this Bill there are questions of principle that have divided us.
I am obliged to inform the House that to-clay I have handed in no less than 26 Amendments on behalf of the county councils of England and Wales. The County Councils Association knows no politics, but they are concerned with this Bill in order to make it a workable and efficient Measure. If when the county councils put forward unanimously 26 Amendments.—and I am sorry to say that in all probability I shall have to bring up a few more—they will have some cause for complaint if they do not receive full and adequate discussion. I am not going to say whether they are good or bad amendments; I can only say that, in the opinion of those who will have to carry out so much of the administrative work of this Bill, they are necessary for the good working of the Measure.
I should like to ask the Minister of Health whether, in drafting the timetable for the discussion on the financial proposals, he did so on the footing that the municipal corporations and the county councils had come to an agreement with 1986 the Government upon those very difficult points. I sincerely hope that the negotiations which are proceeding may come to the definite conclusion which we all desire. I wish to pay testimony to the patience and courtesy which the Minister of Health and those associated with him have shown towards these bodies whenever they have had to appear before them. I regret that the Minister was not able to allow the plea that we put forward that the amount of rateable value should be annually determined. We have to accept, and we do loyally accept, his decision, but at the same time these negotiations have to proceed on a footing that no area will be any less well off by reason of these rating proposals than they were before. I therefore have to ask the Minister whether, if unfortunately the negotiations should not come to a fruitful conclusion, he will give an undertaking that both the Associations of Municipal Corporations and the County Councils Associations—and I am able to speak for both—shall have every opportunity of placing before the Committee their views on the financial question.
With regard to the question of the roads, is it really to be taken that everybody is agreed? At the present time there are no less than three different and distinct views on the question of the unclassified roads. In the White Paper which was issued last summer, in which the proposals of the Government in regard to roads was set out, it was stated clearly and definitely that the county councils were to be the highway authorities. Is it surprising that a majority of the County Councils Association feel that that would be the best solution of the question of the unclassified roads? The rural district councils, we understand, are anxious to keep to the status quo, at any rate, if not that, they desire that the recommendation of the Royal Commission should lie carried out in its entirety. The Government's scheme does not give, even to the majority of the county councils or the rural district councils, what they are asking. In fact, it is not accepted by either. Under these circumstances, surely it is only right and fair that we should ask that this very difficult position should be fully debated in Committee. The Royal Commission have taken an immense amount of evidence on these matters, and all that 1987 evidence ought to be available to hon. Members in order that they can arrive at a fair and proper conclusion.
The Poor Law proposals again obviously must raise very many and difficult questions, and unless all the details are thrashed out in Committee, we shall have the authorities at Whitehall framing regulations under which these new schemes shall be run by the county councils. I have a holy horror of these regulations, and they will have to be investigated; otherwise, the schemes will be model-formed and drawn up by the Minister of Health. There must be a great deal of discussion with regard to the payment of travelling expenses of those attending county councils, and my hon. Friends opposite will, as they are perfectly entitled to do, no doubt move Amendments to provide that sustentation allowance and remuneration for lass of time shall be paid. [HON. MEMBERS "Hear, hear!"] Hon. Members cheer, but they will do as they have always done in the past—they will spoil the whole show. They cannot help it. The County Councils Association will support them with regard to travelling expenses, but the Association will not support them if they run into a side track. Is it really necessary to allot half a day to a question upon which we are practically agreed, namely that of the registrars and births and marriages? I appeal to the Minister to see if he cannot rearrange this Time-Table in order that we may have less time for that particular subject and more for the, essentials.
I hope that the House will understand that I am not in favour of obstruction. I suppose that few Members of the House of Commons have had to suffer as I have wider this deadly weapon of obstruction. In one Session for 13 days, Mr. Pringle, Mr. Hogge and the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) kept us discussing whether an egg which had come from Siberia or China ought to be marked with the country of origin. I have no sympathy with obstruction, but, speaking as Chairman of the County Councils Association, I say that we have every desire, and a right to demand, that everything shall be fully and fairly 1988 discussed. I am an old Master of Hounds, and I never allowed a fox to be chopped in cover; and I appeal to the Prime Minister, who is a sportsman, not to chop this fox in cover, but to let it have a good run. I do not mind making the admission that many of us will have a great deal of difficulty in persuading guardians and rural district councillors that they are not to continue to function in their different offices, but our task will be made ten times more difficult if it goes out from this Chamber that this important Measure has been refused a full, and adequate, discussion.
§ Mr. SEXTON
It is refreshing to hear the flutter in the dovecotes of the Government. Of the speeches opposite, two have been opposed in principle to the present Bill, and one has supported it. From the legal point of view, I suppose that the hon. Member for Perth and Kinross (Mr. Skelton) treated the House to an expert legal definition of the Bill, which, I assume, he meant to be educational, in order to dispel the ignorance of the ordinary lay mind. There are two kinds of ignorance, however, the illiterate and educated, and of the two the latter, in my opinion, is the worst. I am not an expert, and I have not a legal mind. I wish to enter my protest against a Bill of this character being placed under the Guillotine; it is a Bill with 125 pages—not one Bill merely, but embracing the principles of half-a-dozen Bills which seriously affect not the expert financier, not the expert foreign-policy man but the back benchers, who, except for the generous impartiality of the Chair, would remain the silent Demosthenes of the Debates of this House. We do not—at least, I speak for myself—attempt to intervene in question of high finance or high questions of foreign policy, but leave it to those who profess to know something about those things. But here is a Bill which strikes at the very root of the lives of the people about whom we on these benches do know something, and we wish to have an opportunity of expressing our opinions. I represent, if industrially, three-quarters of a million people who are the industrial Lazaruses of our industrial system, and who will be harder hit by this Bill than will be any other portion of the community, and am I to be denied an opportunity of 1989 pointing out to the right hon. Gentleman, acknowledging as we do his knowledge and his humanity, how this Bill affects the lives of these people?
The Bill affects education, local government in all its branches, unemployment and national health insurance. On the question of the Poor Law, particularly, I would point out that this Bill makes no real change in the Poor Law of this country. It simply transfers all the system of the Poor Law to another body which has a more limited representative capacity than the bodies which control it at the present time. No one is more affected by the Poor Law than the man who is looking for a job and cannot get it. I do not want to repeat myself, but I have described to the House before how the Poor Law affects particularly the ordinary casual labourer. I hope to see a change in the Poor Law, not a mere transfer; I want to see a change which will abolish the brutal conditions which now apply to men looking for work. I hope the House will bear with me while I describe the conditions shortly. The law of this land lays it down that if a man goes on tramp looking for a job and has exhausted the dole and has no money, he has to keep on tramping for 24 hours of the day or go into the first casual ward he reaches.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I am afraid the hon. Member is travelling outside the subject of the Debate. We cannot go into the question of unemployment.
§ Mr. SEXTON
I will try to keep within your ruling. Perhaps I shall get an opportunity later when this particular part of the Bill comes under discussion. I will content myself now by pointing out that under the terms of this Guillotine Motion I and my friends who know intimately, by hard, practical experience, how things can be remedied, will be prevented from dealing with the lot of that section of the community who, as I say, is worst hit by this Bill than any other. We are, of course, I say it with deep feeling, very grateful to the experts on the Front Bench who deal with other questions, but often the official list of Amendments affords no opportunity for us personally to deal with these questions.
My only reason for rising is to make my protest against being denied the 1990 opportunity of dealing with questions about which we back benchers do know something and wish to see redressed. The right hon. Gentleman and those who act with him might as well confess at once that this Measure is a camouflage to cover the past record of the Government. At the last Election they came out with flying colours, with a red letter; this time the S.O.S. is to be a red herring. As a matter of fact, their record proves that they have so overloaded the ship of State that her scuppers are awash, to-day there are even signs of the crew mutinying, and some of the rats are leaving the ship. Lord Birkenhead, the brains of the movement, has taken to the boats, and it is said that in this respect it is not so much a question of the brains of the movement as the movement of the brains. Right hon. Gentlemen may send out their S.O.S., but it will not be answered this time in the manner they hope for, and they will remain awash, floating about as a mere speck on the political horizon; that will be their reward for the attitude they have taken up towards the working classes of this country.
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Chamberlain)
The business of the Opposition is to oppose, and therefore none of us can feel surprised that on this occasion they should think it necessary to pat forward Amendments to the Motion moved by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, but I do not think I ever heard a more half-hearted denunciation of a Motion moved by a Government than that of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes). It was quite evident that he was taking care at every step not to say anything which might prevent any Government of the future from making use of what has really by now become an established part of our Parliamentary practice. I entirely agree with an hon. Friend behind who said that he was in favour of applying this practice to all important Parliamentary Measures, and I think that our experience in the past, when we have sometimes allowed the discussion to take its own course for a certain limited time to see how it would go, and then followed on with a Guillotine Resolution, has made it perfectly clear that the first day or two's discussion before the introduction of the 1991 Guillotine has been practically so much wasted time. There is nothing revolutionary or unconstitutional or, indeed, undesirable about the practice which lays it down that an important Measure, one in which there are not merely vital principles involved but which also contains a very large field open for the discussion of really trivial matters, should be made the subject of a time-table. The practice is calculated to focus attention on the things which matter, and once a Bill of this kind has passed its Second Reading, and is obviously bound to reach the Statute Book, I think the House adds to its dignity and to its prestige in the country by agreeing to a time-table under which it can decide for itself which are the really salient points of the Bill that ought to have the most attention.
As I have said before, whether the Guillotine is used wisely or otherwise depends not so much upon the Government as upon the Opposition. If they, in spite of the fact that time on a particular Clause or groups of Clauses is limited, choose to devote that time to discussing matters which are really of no importance, that is their own responsibility. The Government on this occasion, as on others, have allotted sufficient time to enable proper discussion upon all points which really matter. We are not going to be frightened by any suggestion that our action to-day may he used by some other Government hereafter for their own purposes. Even if we had to look forward to that nightmare suggested by the right hon. Member for Platting, I should still remain of the opinion I have just expressed, namely, that the Guillotine is a useful and valuable part of our Parliamentary practice as long as it is not abused.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
If the hon. Member says "That is the point," I am in agreement with him; but the argument raised by the right hon. Gentleman was that the Guillotine was not a proper part of Parliamentary practice.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting (Mr. Clynes) quite clearly said that by agreement he and his friends were prepared to accept some scheme.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I was referring to the terms of the Amendment which the right hon. Gentleman moved, and which says that a Measure of this kind, which affects such vital interests, ought not to be subject to Guillotine procedure. However, I entirely accept what the hon. Gentleman says, that he and his party do not suggest that the Guillotine is not a suitable part of our Parliamentary procedure; and, therefore, the only question we have to discuss now is whether this Motion, in the form in. which we have put it down, is or is not an abuse of the Guillotine procedure. I will take the instances which were given by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting, who referred to the amount of time allotted on the fourth, the sixth and the eleventh days as instances of the way in which we were endeavouring to rush through a number of Clauses without sufficient discussion. I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman can have studied the nature of those Clauses, and I should like to call the attention of the House to them as evidence of the care and genuine desire of the Government not to waste time on unimportant or non-controversial Clauses, in order that more time might be given to Clauses upon which there is a substantial difference of opinion. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting said that on the fourth day we were going to discuss seven Clauses in 3½ hours. The Clauses referred to by the right hon. Gentleman were 31 to 38, but I find that there are no Amendments of any substantial importance on the Paper affecting any of those Clauses.
With regard to the sixth day, the right hon. Gentleman said that 10 Clauses were to be rushed through on that day in 3½hours. The Clauses referred to are 57 to 67, and I find that no less than six of those Clauses have no Amendments put down. As for the other Clauses there are no Amendments of absolutely first-class importance. I think the House would be simply wasting time if it were to allot more time to Clauses upon which nearly everybody is agreed. The last day referred to by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting was the eleventh day on which Clauses 99 to 115 are to be considered. Only 12 Amendments have been put down to those 1993 Clauses and none of them are of any substantial importance.
I am not arguing that point, and I do not say that we have got all the Amendments down. At any rate, where hon. Members feel very strongly on certain points they have been able to put their Amendments down early, and what has been done up to the present may be taken as a general indication of the Amendments which will be put down.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
May I point out that such questions as the transfer of the Peer Law officers raise very vital matters because there are 20,000 or 30,000 officers affected, and surely there ought to be more than three hours' discussion upon questions of that kind.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Those Clauses are drawn much on the same lines as the Clauses in previous Acts of Parliament, and I do not think they need be considered as being controversial. I took the illustrations given by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Platting because they appeared to me to bear testimony to the trouble we have taken to make a fair allocation of the time. After all we do not mind so much how the time is allotted as long as the amount of time we have given is not exceeded. We have divided up that time according to what we consider to be the fairest and best method for the convenience of the House, but we are willing to accept suggestions from hon. Members as to the rearrangement of the time-table. In the case of the transfer of the functions of the guardians to the councils and county boroughs, we have assumed that there was general agreement on the main principle, but if hon. Members desire more time to be devoted to that question and less to something else, I am not going to say that the time-table as set out in the Motion is unalterable. When we have dealt with the Amendment now before the House, I can assure hon. Members that the Government will not take up too rigid an attitude because we are anxious to meet the general desires of hon. Members in all parts of the House.
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
The Minister of Health has said that the principle of the guillotine Motion is provided for in the procedure of the House. I think there should be some way of parcelling out contentious Measures according to the contentiousness of their various parts. My objection to this Motion is a backbencher's objection. I do not consider that the 13 days given to the English Bill is sufficient time to allow adequate discussion of a Bill of this character. It has been said that this Bill really embodies half a dozen separate Measures. No one will disagree with the point that in the main principles of this Bill there are two distinct Measures in de-rating and in the alterations proposed in the Poor Law, and consequently it is quite true to say there are two first-class Measures contained in this Bill.
Here is a Measure which takes away from individual representatives of constituencies more opportunities to contribute to the value of the Measure by criticism than any other Measure in my experience. We are being deprived of opportunities to contribute personal points of view and points of view representing separate constituencies. I I do not think any Bill has been brought forward within recent years that calls for so much careful discussion as this Bill. What is going to happen is that practically the whole of the time will be taken up by representatives of the Government and of the two Oppositions and the back benchers will have no chance at all to take part in the discussion of this Measure. It is during the Committee stage that the main points can be brought out more effectively than on the Second Reading, and I wish to enter my protest, on behalf of the back benchers, against the small amount of time which is being allotted to the Committee stage of this Bill.
§ Mr. HARDIE
We have had some very peculiar statements made with regard to what is meant by government. The hon. Member for Thirsk (Sir E. Turton) who spoke on behalf of the county councils, gave some good examples of what is meant by government, but only after due consideration can a thing be said to be that which is desired by the people as a law. My remarks apply more to Scotland, because the Scottish Bill differs essentially from the English Bill 1995 in this fact, that if it is carried through it destroys certain democratic rights now enjoyed by the Scottish people. Of course, the Secretary of State for Scotland is not a Mussolini, but he can be handled by one. We feel that this question of the right of parents having a say in regard to the education of their children is a very important matter. It is a serious thing to propose to tear up something which Scotland has enjoyed for 200 years before the English system of education was established. Why should we be tied down by a time-table put forward by a Birmingham Mussolini?
This is not merely an ordinary political change in the law. It is an attempt to root up something which has been long established in Scotland, and an attempt to prevent the representatives of Scotland from having adequate time to discuss proposals for the destruction of democratic power in Scotland. We protest against this limiting of discussion, because a full discussion of this Measure is necessary in order to find out what the Government are attempting to do as far as Scotland is concerned. Yesterday I put a question on the Order Paper, hut neither the Secretary of State for Scotland nor the Lord Advocate took the trouble to find out what relation that question had to this Bill. We have not been able to get the information we require in reply to questions put in the House of Commons, and now we are told that the time for the discussion of this Bill is to be limited in this way. I think the question of considering this Bill in the Scottish Standing Committee is one which should receive special consideration. That Committee was constituted because it was felt that the needs of Scotland were so different from the needs of England that they ought to be considered by Scottish Members, since we could not expect English Members to know much about Scottish affairs. If the Government really desire to save time, the Scottish Bill might be considered by the Scottish Grand Committee and the discussion on the English Bill could take place in Committee of the whole House. The dangers of the principle of delegated authority have already been pointed out. That is a very serious thing unless we know exactly what is going to happen.
1996 Now I come to the attempt which is being made to destroy effectively all the rights of working class representatives which are at present enjoyed by public bodies. This Bill means that the rights of the working class people are to be absolutely destroyed. The position now obtaining is that the travelling expenses of those engaged in the work of public bodies are paid, and in some instances the local authorities have power to allow expenses other than railway travelling expenses. The Scottish Bill seeks to destroy or tear up the present law without proper consideration, to destroy democratic representation as now enjoyed, and take away the right of the parent to have a say in a child's education. These points form the basic element in the life of the Scottish people and if the Government are wise they will see that some rearrangement is made, as far as the time is concerned, in considering the Scottish section of the Motion.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think it will be convenient at this stage, as there seems to be an inclination on the part of hon. Members to speak now on the question of the time to be allotted to the various Clauses, to point out that the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) and the hon. Member for East Ham, North (Miss Lawrence) have Amendments on the Paper dealing with these particular points. I do not know whether it would be more convenient to discuss all these questions on the Amendment which is now before the House, or to finish that Amendment and then go on with the other Amendments. Obviously, however, we cannot have the same discussion twice over.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
May I put it to you, Sir, with great respect, that, unless we have some indication from the two right hon. Gentlemen who are in charge at present as to their intentions with respect to concessions, it will be impossible for us to come to an agreement on that point? If they will indicate now what concessions they are prepared to give, arising from the Amendments which are on the Paper and which they have had the opportunity of scrutinising, it will be possible for us to say whether your view can be immediately met. Failing that, I think you will see the difficulty in which we are.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Before you give a ruling on this matter, may I say that we should like to get our first Amendment out of the way before we discuss these other questions, because what we are really protesting against at the moment is not how we shall use the allotted time, but against the amount of time that is being given. As to that, I understand that, so far as England is concerned, there is no sort of accommodation. We want to make a definite protest on that, but, as regards the question of how that time shall be allotted, we want to discuss that with the Government on the lines that the Minister of Health himself suggested just now. I hope that we shall get rid of the present Amendment before we enter into the other matters.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I am obliged to the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury). That was what brought me to my feet, because there seemed to be a tendency to discuss these various Amendments on the Amendment that is now immediately before the House. That is a matter for hon. Members, but I must point out that we cannot have the same discussion now, and afterwards again on the Amendments. That is really the point that I wanted to put. As to whether the discussion shall be taken now or later, that is entirely a matter for the House itself, and not for me.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
There is a very important point that is dealt with in the Amendment which has been moved. It is a complaint against the Government for having related the English and the Scottish Bills together in one Guillotine Resolution, and I trust that Members from Scotland, particularly, will be allowed to protest against such a method of dealing with the matter.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
It must be understood that I do not at all want to restrict the Debate in any way; all that I want to do is to ensure that it shall not take place twice.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Sir John Gilmour)
I would respectfully submit to the House that it would have been to the common advantage to have got rid of this particular Amendment, and then to have come to the discussion of any accommodation which can be made. My right hon. Friend the 1998 Minister of Health has dealt with the position as regards the English Bill, and I shall confine myself to saying what I feel about the position with regard to Scotland. I have listened very carefully to the Debate, and I would say to my hon. Friends on the other side, and particularly to the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston), that I appreciate very much the common-sense manner in which he put this problem to the Government, and I shall endeavour to meet the case in the spirit in which, I conceive, he made his remarks on this subject. The Government have endeavoured, in drawing up this Motion, to allocate the time so that all the really important features of the Bill shall have an opportunity of being discussed, and, as my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health said just now, it is clear that, if the Opposition confine themselves to the particular points of importance, the Government will see that adequate discussion is given to the main features. I recognise at once, of course, that there are in the earlier Clauses of the Scottish Bill problems which are of major importance to Scotland and to Scottish interests, and, from what I have gathered from the discussion which has taken place and from the Amendments which I have been placed on the Paper, the view of hon. Members from Scotland on both sides of the House has been that as far as possible full and adequate time should be given for the discussion of the earlier Clauses of the Bill.
I have considered this matter carefully, and am able to say that the Government would be prepared to give an extra day in the Committee stage, to be allocated to the earlier portion of the Scottish Bill, and particularly Clause 1, which deals with parish councils and matters of that kind; and that on the Second day education particularly should have the opportunity of coming up for discussion. I understand that hon. Gentlemen on the other side, subject to that, might have certain propositions to put before the Government as to the allocation of the time within the period which I have indicated, that is to say, nine days as against the eight days which the present schedule provides. I am perfectly willing to consider with hon. Gentlemen opposite whether we can properly meet them. It is, of course, as much my desire as it is that of anyone else that the Opposition should have the fullest opportunity 1999 of putting their case on this Measure in the way which they think will suit them best, and I hope that with that indication we may now be permitted to proceed.
§ Mr. HARDIE
Has the right hon. Gentleman considered taking the Scottish Bill separately, in view of the fact that when that Bill is being discussed the English Members will be in the Smoking Room, while when the English Rill is being discussed we shall be here?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I do not know that this is really in order, hut I would say, in reply to the last question, that this is a Bill of major importance, which ought to he taken on the Floor of this House. It is in a large measure walking step by step with the Measure which is being applied to England, and the financial side is so interlocked that it would be quite impossible to deal with it otherwise than on the Floor of the House.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
This kind concession to Scottish Members makes me feel that our appeal with regard to the English Bill is irresistible. After all, the fate of the Scottish Bill will be to a very large extent determined by what takes place on the English Bill, and want to say that no allocation of time that I can see within these limits will give to the House the opportunity of fair and free debate. Looking down the Schedule, we see that a very short time is given to Clauses 1 to 17, which constitute the Poor Law part of the Bill. For roads, town planning and de-rating the margin of time is very narrow: and, as regards the financial considerations, in the five days or so, with half a day for London, we shall find the greatest possible difficulty in debating the questions involved, more especially as the questions connected with finance are essentially upstairs questions. They are so difficult and so intricate that they can hardly be properly elucidated except in the greater freedom of Committee upstairs, and to get for them anything like adequate discussion on the Floor of the House would be necessarily a long and tedious process. I have gone through the major parts of these questions, and I cannot see where it will be possible in the later stages to spare any time at all, 2000 and certainly it will not be possible for the finance part. In that case the margin is very close, and, without an addition of four or five days more, it will be impossible to discuss the Poor Law question. The Minister made a most astounding remark with regard to the Poor Law question. He said that, the House having agreed as to principle, the allocation of time for Clauses 1 to 17 was perfectly reasonable. Has the House agreed to the principle? Has the country agreed to the principle? Has anyone agreed to the principle of this Bill? I would ask the House just to consider the materials for controversy on Part I. I will only enumerate them. Clause 1 abolishes the guardians. Well, that is a subject which has had its history. We had a Royal Commission in 1909, and the Royal Commission could not agree. We had the Maclean Committee shortly after the War, and the Maclean Committee put forward a proposal which was accepted as a sort of compromise by a great number of people. The Government, in their Bill, have thrown over the Maclean Report, they have thrown over the Majority and Minority Reports of the Royal Commission, and they are bringing forward Poor Law proposals based on essentially different principles. In order to make that plain, I will take a detail first. As regards the authorities to which the Poor Law is to go, the Government have thrown over the Maclean Report, which most emphatically did not say that Poor Law functions should be given to county boroughs and county councils only—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That is going far too much into t-he provisions of the Bill itself. I cannot allow the discussion to develop into one on the merits of the Bill. Is the hon. Member going to move her Amendment which appears later on the Paper?
§ Miss LAWRENCE
With great respect, my point is that we cannot squeeze the rest of the Bill sufficiently to give loom for this Clause. I will not repeat what I am saying now, but will move the Amendment formally.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Lady was arguing in favour of the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury).
§ Miss LAWRENCE
My point was that the Government's Time-table is utterly inadequate to the magnitude of the subject, and, without desiring to argue the Bill, I was trying to show that very many persons in the country would urge entirely different opinions with regard to the Bill, all of which ought to be discussed in the House. I was venturing to say that four or five days more would be necessary for the discussion of the earlier part of the Bill—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That is a point which the hon. Member can argue on the Amendment of the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
While I recognise that the Secretary of State for Scotland has made some small concession, I say quite frankly that we have nothing really for which to thank him. It is altogether inadequate. [An HON. MEMBER: "Withdraw it!"] I am not worrying whether he withdraws it or not. The hon. Member who interrupted me, as a Scottish Member, ought to recognise that there is no relationship between at least 50 per cent. of the, Scottish Bill and its English equivalent. There is no co-relation between the two Bills in connection with local government administration. You are not doing in the English Bill what we are seeking to do in Scotland, and that is my complaint about the attempt in one Guillotine Motion to deal with two Measures which, as far as local administration is concerned, have nothing in common. You are going to wipe out district committees in Scotland, but not in England. You are going completely to change the system of educational administration, but you are going to do more in the Scottish Bill. You are going to disfranchise thousands of men and women as far as their interest and their votes in the matter of education are concerned.
I trust, when we come to the details in connection with the allocation of time, there is going to be some drastic alteration. We require not less than 15 days to discuss these drastic revolutionary proposals in connection with local government. We have heard much about de- 2002 rating. We have heard also of the denuding of the National Health Insurance Fund and of the Road Fund. This Bill will bring about a debacle, as far as Tory supporters in Scotland are concerned, in attempting to steal our rights from us. I trust that even in the attempt to steal those rights you will give us more time to discuss these proposals than the miserable nine days we are now offered.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
To me this whole thing is a fiasco. It is undermining the strength of the claim to democratic representation in this House. You might just as well put forward a Bill arid tell us it is going through in two or three days as in the number of days spoken of now. In Scotland you are tearing up by the very roots old-established localised government. The proposals were never submitted to the country. This proposal is presented at r, late stage of the Government's existence, and now, as the Prime Minister indicated, the near approach of the election means hustling this through without any thoroughgoing consideration. Hon. Members opposite admit their inability to understand the Bill. That may be partly the reason for getting it through as quickly as possible and not allowing other people to understand it any more than those behind the Government. To say now that Scotland is to be favoured with another day, as the Secretary of State tells us in his most gracious manner, is enough to daze the people of Scotland. If it were a question of limiting the time in which speakers should address the House, there would be general agreement that that is a step that ought to be taken, because it would be possible to concentrate on given points instead of what we frequently have, a very considerable amount of repetition.
An hon. Member on this side of the House made what I think is the most important point that can be considered on this issue, that this is causing a feeling among masses of the people that our Parliamentary machine is a mockery. It may produce nothing more than the usual smile on the Government side, but it is true, and a step of this kind taken by the Government is going to intensify that conviction in the mind of those who are becoming desperate about the conditions of our country. We are having it brought home to us that the 2003 Government can put through any proposal without submitting it to the country and drive it home by the power of officialism and bureaucracy behind the scenes. In Italy you have this system controlling the country as a whole. Here we have an imitation of it, and a considerable advance in the direction of dictating to the people what we will carry through. This will greatly strengthen the demand that is coming forward and bring about the day when we shall be able to deal with these things in a thoroughgoing fashion. In the House itself many Members adopt a lackadaisical attitude. They may be very much in agreement with what we have said but, poor helpless sheep, they are hustled into the Lobby, so many Ayes and so many Noes. That is what I shall be obliged to present to my constituents as the picture I see night after night in this House.
Our only hope lies in laying before the people themselves not only the deficiencies of the Measure and the drastic attack upon democratic representation in Scotland as well as in England, but that the Parliamentary machine is becoming more and. more controlled in such a fashion that the individual representation of the constituencies is placed at a very severe discount. I only wish to make my protest. I insist that at every opportunity reasonable opposition should be put up to all the proposals contained in the Bill. A straightforward answer has not yet been given by the Secretary of State for Scotland as to why we are not going upstairs to the Standing Committee. Only the other day we had the presentation on the Order Paper of all the names of those who were to be on the Scottish Committee. It has never yet met.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
If that is not in order, it strengthens my argument that the Parliamentary machine is held up, the Scottish Committee practically disbanded, and that the Scottish localised government is being undermined. [Interruption.] I like a little share of humour, but there is too much tendency to adopt a humorous situation. I am not here simply representing myself. At a little 2004 gathering held in the House every Tuesday, we have had it brought home to us—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I think the hon. Member will agree with me that this has nothing to do with the Motion.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
Seeing that cannot even approach such a subject, it shows how important it is that under other circumstances we should approach it. We are not here simply representing ourselves. That is a, danger into which we are liable to fall. We often hear on our political platforms that we are concerned with the interests of the masses and the democratic representation of the people. When we see it carried out here the thing is a huge mockery, and a base deception of the people whom we are proud to represent. There is no reason whatever, as the hon. Member for Peebles (Mr. Westwood) has already said, for any thanks for conceding an extra day. It is only trifling and making a farce of the whole situation as far as Scotland is concerned.
§ Mr. RENNIE SMITH
The Secretary of State for Scotland has conceded an extra day for Scotland, but the Government are prepared to do nothing at all for England and Wales. We have waited 19 years for this Bill. It is now 10 years since the Maclean Report was published, and the Minister of Health has not until now framed his Bill on agreed recommendations. There are very important conflicts of principle arising out of this Bill. I want to make my protest from the same point of view as the representatives of the county councils did a little while ago. I cannot help thinking that the Minister of Health has had too much of the Birmingham point of view in mind in the framing of this Bill. I hope that he does not require me to remind him that England is not a glorified Birmingham. If he appreciates that point, I want to plead with him that, as far as certain parts of this Bill are concerned, the time which is being put at our disposal is ridiculously inadequate. We ought to ask for much more than 13 days for these discussions. Take the first day of the Committee stage on Thursday. We are going to dispose in one short day of the whole system of local government affecting urban district 2005 councils, rural district councils, county councils, bodies like county vagrancy committees, and the whole municipalities of this country. The whole of this profound change in local government is to be disposed of in this House in a solitary day. The Minister of Health knows that there is not a single local authority which is affected that has not raised very important and very controversial questions, whether he takes the local authorities separately or whether he takes them gathered together in their national associations. We are to be asked to dispose of a whole series of Amendments affecting a revolutionary change in local government in the course of a single day.
The Minister of Health is beginning the Committee stage in a very disappointing way. When he introduced this Measure he impressed the whole House with his appeal that every side of the House and every part of it should cooperate for the good of the Bill. I agree with him when he says that the advantage of a worked-out time-table is that it enables us to fix our minds on the particular problems at issue. That is not our complaint. We are grateful to the Government for assisting us in that way. Our complaint is that they have fixed the procedure on this Bill so as to leave no time in which to discuss the problems which it raises. I want to ask the Minister of Health, after having waited, 19 years for this next great stage in the reorganisation of local government, whether, before this Amendment is put to the House, to see if he cannot find four, five, seven, eight or nine extra days for a serious consideration of what is the most important Measure dealing with local government that has been introduced during the last 40 years.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I did not intend to intervene in this Debate, but I must say that I heard the concession of the Secretary of State for Scotland with some surprise. My first feelings of surprise were that he could give a concession at all. I have never previously known him give a concession of any kind. Then I was reminded that this was really not a concession. The Secretary of State for Scotland knew before the Guillotine Motion was introduced, that he intended to give us a concession of an extra day. 2006 He no doubt thought that hon. Members would run after him and say: "Thanks, thanks, the right hon. Member for Pollok has at last become generous." Like many other concessions it is mean and petty. It is just like what 'one encounters when he goes to him with a prison case. He says: "You have a good case." Then, instead of wiping the matter out altogether, he knocks off a day or an hour or something like that. This is typical of his action. He has given us nine days. The point is that the Government are proposing to make drastic changes, and everyone of those changes should be seriously considered by this House. Just think of it, the whole educational system of Scotland being discussed and disposed of in this House in little more than a day! Here is education of which we have been told that we in Scotland are the pioneers, and in regard to which in certain respects we hold a unique and an esteemed position. It does not matter much at the moment whether the abolition of education authorities be right or wrong, but for the discussion you are devoting only one day of Parliamentary time. The position of the parishes is the same.
I have been waiting to see if the Secretary for Scotland would give us a serious answer to the question as to why this Bill is not being sent to the Standing Committee on Scottish Bills. There is one answer, and he knows what it is. If we were granted the time for which we are asking, it would mean that we should have time in which to propose first-class improvements; and Amendments of which many of the right hon. Gentleman's supporters have already stated in the country they are in favour. If the Bill had been sent to the Standing Committee, there would have to have been a decision upon them. In view of what has happened in past Standing Committees on Scottish Bills, the right hon. Gentleman knows that at times even sheep cannot be too much trusted. The consequence is that he wants this Bill to go through under a Guillotine Motion in order that certain Amendments which some of his supporters would feel themselves bound to move, can be overcome.
The hon. Member for Moray and Nairn (Mr. Stuart) knows that in his division this Bill is most unpopular. 2007 There are certain matters upon which his local authorities have been pressing him from time to time. There is the hon. and gallant Member for Bute (Sir A. Hunter-Weston). Time after time his local authorities have taken exception to various matters. There are certain Amendments to which these people have given lip service. What is going to happen? When the Guillotine falls, whole Clauses will be put and disposed of, and these hon. Gentleman will go back to their constituencies almost like criminals. The first thing that presents itself to the criminal mind is to make an attempt to try and get out of prison—to look for a way of escape. The Members of the Government are looking for a way of escape, and it will be found in this Guillotine Motion. If whole Clauses come under the Guillotine, they will go back to their constituencies and say to the local authorities to whom they have given pledges or semi-pledges: "Yes, we would have voted for these Amendments but, we had no time under the Guillotine." The consequence of all this is that the Secretary of State for Scotland is not prepared to face his own supporters in the Standing Committee.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I must draw the attention of the hon. Member to the fact that he cannot now debate the question as to whether the Bill should go to the Standing Committee on Scottish Bills. That question has been decided by a vote of the House.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I am stating that there is a demand for more time, and surely I am in order in asking that the decision arrived at in relation to the Scottish Bill should be reconsidered. Surely it is not out of order to ask the Government, in view of the representations now being made, to reconsider the matter with regard to the Scottish Bill.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is in order in asking for more time for a discussion -of this Bill in Committee of the Whole House, but he is not in order in asking that this Bill should go to the Standing Committee on Scottish Bills upstairs.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I am asking that the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Government should reconsider the case of 2008 the Scottish Bill. That is all I am urging. I will not pursue the matter any further, I have made my point. The Government are afraid to face their own people in the Standing Committee. I am not going to discuss the rights or wrongs of the Guillotine. Even accepting the Guillotine as a method of Parliamentary procedure, can any Conservative Member with an impartial mind say that the time that is being allocated is sufficient for an adequate discussion of this Measure? While the extra day is a concession, it is a concession of the most meagre and typical kind, and only makes the matter, in many respects, worse. As the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) said, it might have been more courageous if the Government, instead of fixing eight days and then making it nine, had said, "We will take no notice of the Opposition at all." Nine days is totally insufficient to discuss the sweeping and wide changes proposed in the Scottish Bill. As the hon. Member for Peebles (Mr. Westwood) pointed out, the Scottish Bill includes absolutely different proposals from those contained in the English Bill. It proposes to sweep away local government in large areas, parish councils, and education authorities. These things must be considered. There is the question of the officials who have to be dispensed with. What is to become of them? How are they to be compensated? Questions of public procedure have to be discussed under this Bill, and we have a miserable nine days only for which no Member of the Opposition can feel in the least thankful. We should demand at least 15 or 20 days in order that this matter, as far as Scotland is concerned, could be thrashed out and adequately discussed.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I wish to join my protest to those already made in connection with this Motion. I am convinced that nothing like adequate time has been provided by the Government for these two Measures. Even the most enthusiastic supporter of the Government, if he was speaking free from party discipline, could not claim that Measures of such grave importance were being allowed adequate Parliamentary time. I am convinced too that one of the reasons for this shortness of time is that the Government are still very uncertain about 2009 the support they can get from their own party on these Measures. In my own Division the representative of the Conservative party has written to a newspaper saying that the Government are really losing their senses in seeking to bring forward such a Measure. He did not use those words, but that is the effect of his letter of protest. From what is happening in my own Division and from the protest this individual is making about the Government whom he is asking the people to support, I am convinced that this Guillotine Motion is not so much a Motion to restrict the opportunity of criticism of the Opposition on this side as it is to do away with the possibility of mutiny on the Government side of the House over this Measure.
The Government are getting a bad Press about the Measure. It is true that after the Second Reading there was an attempt by some members of the Government to suggest that it was going to be all right and that party discipline had asserted itself successfully. The little time that has passed since then has shown that, as so much of the Measure is so utterly futile in regard to its main purpose and is going to create so many difficulties, there is a possibility of a revolt in the Conservative party. Even on the Second Reading of the Scottish Measure one Member after another said he would have to get the Measure altered so far as his constituency was concerned.
§ The hon. and gallant Member for Bute (Sir A. Hunter-Weston) said he hoped the Measure would do a lot of good to Scotland, but that it would have to be altered so far as Bute was concerned. The hon. Member for Perth (Mr. Skelton) took a similar line, and the hon. Member for one of the Northern Divisions said there were some good things in the Measure but it must be altered so far as his own Division was concerned. There is all this gathering force of opinion, and so I believe that the Guillotine Motion is an attempt to stifle the legitimate protest of Members on the other side of the House. As a Member of the Opposition, I protest against this Motion because it will take away a good deal of the time that would otherwise have been given to the Opposition. My hon. Friend beside me has referred to the sheepish quality of the Members on the Government Benches. In a previous Parliament the metaphor used was "the patient oxen." I am inclined to think that the Government in this Guillotine Motion are afraid lest the patient oxen may be turned into wild bulls or even that the tame sheep may become mad goats and butt them out of office.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'and' in line 1, stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 246; Noes, 136.2013
|Division No. 47.]||AYES.||[7.8 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Buckingham, Sir H.||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)|
|Albery, Irving James||Bullock, Captain M.||Croft, Brlgadier-General Sir H.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K||Burman, J. B.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)|
|Apsley, Lord||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Calne, Gordon Hall||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Carver, Major W. H.||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Cassels, J. D.||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert|
|Atkinson, C.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Balniel, Lord||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)|
|Bennett, A. J.||Chapman, Sir S.||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Berry, Sir George||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert|
|Bethel, A.||Christie, J. A.||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Bevan, S. J.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Clarry, Reginald George||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Clayton, G. C.||Ellis, R. G.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cobb, Sir Cyril||England, Colonel A.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith|
|Brass, Captain W.||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Colman, N. C. D.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Cooper, A. Duff||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Cope, Major Sir William||Fermoy, Lord|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Couper, J. B.||Fleiden, E. B.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Ford, Sir P. J.|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Savery, s. S.|
|Forrest, W.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mel. (Renfrew, W)|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||MacIntyre, Ian||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||McLean, Major A.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Macquisten, F. A.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Gates, Percy||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Grenfell, Edward C, (City of London)||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Margesson, Captain D.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Hacking, Douglas H.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Hamilton, Sir George||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Hanbury, C.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T, C. R. (Ayr)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Moore, Sir Newton J,||Templeton, W. P.|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Thorn. Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Morrison. H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Herbert, S.(York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Hilton, Cecil||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Tinne, J. A.|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Pennefather, Sir John||Waddington, R|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Penny, Frederick George||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingstop-on-Hull)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Perring, Sir William George||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Watts., Sir Thomas|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Pilcher, G.||Wells, S. R.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Power, Sir John Cecil||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Preston, William||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Price, Major C. W. M.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Raine, Sir Walter||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Ramsden, E.||Wilson, R R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut-Colonel George|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfre,||Robinson, Sir T. (Lane., Stretford)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||Ropner, Major L.||Wood, E. (Chester, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Long, Major Eric||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Lougher, Lewis||Salmon, Major I.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Lowe, Sir Francis William||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wright, Brig.-General W. D.|
|Lumley, L. R.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Lynn, Sir R. J.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Sandon, Lord||Captain Bowyer and Captain Wallace.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Hollins, A.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Day, Harry||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
|Amnion, Charles George||Dennison, R.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhamton, Bliston)||Dunnico, H.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)|
|Baker, Walter||Fenby, T. D.||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Gardner, J. P.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
|Barnes, A.||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Barr, J.||Gillett, George M.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Gosling, Harry||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Bellamy, A.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Jones, W. N. (Carmarthen)|
|Benn, Wedgwood||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Kelly, W. T.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Greenall, T.||Kennedy, T.|
|Briant, Frank||Greenwood. A. (Nelson and Colne)||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Broad, F. A.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Lansbury, George|
|Bromfield, William||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Lawrence, Susan|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Lee, F.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Grundy, T. W.||Livingstone, A. M.|
|Buchanan, G.||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Longbottom, A. W.|
|Cape, Thomas||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Lowth, T.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Lunn, William|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hardie, George D.||Mac Donald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Harney, E. A.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Connolly, M.||Hayday, Arthur||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Cove, W. G.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||March, S.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Maxton, James|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Hirst, G. H.||Montague, Frederick|
|Dalton, Hugh||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Mosley, Sir Oswald||Shinwell, E.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Murnin, H.||Sitch, Charles H.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Oliver, George Harold||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Owen, Major G.||Smillie, Robert||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Paling, W.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Westwood, J.|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Snell, Harry||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Ponsonby, Arthur||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Potts, John S.||Stamford, T. W.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Stephen, Campbell||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Riley, Ben||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Ritson, J.||Strauss, E. A.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Sutton, J. E.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Robinson, W.C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Thome, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)||Windsor, Walter|
|Runciman, Hilda (Cornwall, St. Ives)||Thurtle, Ernest||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Salter, Dr. Alfred||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Scrymgeour, E.||Townend, A. E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Sexton, James||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Viant, S. P.||Whiteley.|
|Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wallhead, Richard C.|
§ Mr. E. BROWN
On a point of Order. May I ask for your guidance, Mr. Speaker, on the changes that have taken place since the Debate began, and which affect the Amendments. As I understand the position, there is to be a re-allotment inside the same number of days. I understand that the Amendment will cover 13 days for the English Bill Committee stage, with an extra day, making nine days, for the Scottish Bill Committee stage. I should like to be allowed to move Amendments, particulars of which have already been handed to you, which would take one day from England and give an extra day to Scotland, making 10 days for Scotland, with the consequential Amendment of the Schedule. We have discussed the matter very carefully in the short time at our disposal, and we feel that there are three points in the Scottish Bill which ought to be brought out: (1) the transfer of the functions of the parish councils; (2) the transfer of the functions of the small burghs; and (3) the transfer of the functions of the education authorities. Allowing 10 days for Scotland would not add another day to the total, if a day were taken from England. By our Amendments, we propose to leave 12 days for the English Committee stage, and 10 days for the Scottish Committee stage. The total amount would be the same, plus the
§ Mr. BENN
This is an Amendment to exclude the Scottish Bill from the Timetable. I understand that an arrangement has been come to, by which we merely ask for the right to divide and not to debate the point. That is why I formally moved my Amendment.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
In reply to the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown), I may say that the manuscript Amendment was handed to me just before the Division took place. I have a strong objection to manuscript Amendments being handed in at the last moment, because it gives me very little chance to consider them with regard to how they stand in relation to the Bill. I have considered the manuscript Amendment, and I have come to the conclusion that I shall not accept it. Standing Order 25 gives me power to select Amendments, and it gives me power not to accept manuscript Amendments. Generally, I think it is much the best thing both for the proposer and myself not to give any reasons for my conclusion.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 230; Noes, 136.2017
|Division No. 48.]||AYES.||[7.22 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Apsley, Lord||Atkinson, C.|
|Albery, Irving James||Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Balfour, George (Hampstead)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Atholl, Duchess of||Barclay-Harvey C. M.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Perring, Sir William George|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Goff, Sir Park||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Benn, sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Greene, W. p. Crawford||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Bennett, A. J.||Grenfell, Edward C (City of London)||Pilcher, G.|
|Berry, Sir George||Grotrian, H. Brent||Preston, William|
|Bethel, A.||Hacking, Douglas H.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Bevan, S. J.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hamilton, Sir George||Ramsden, E.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Hanbury, C.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Harland, A.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hartington, Marquess of||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Roberts. E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)|
|Brass, Captain w.||Haslam, Henry C.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Herbert, S. (York, N.R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Rye, F. G.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hilton, Cecil||Salmon, Major I.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Sandon, Lord|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Savery, S. S.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney.N.)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumb'l'nd, Whiteh'n)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Cayzer Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hume, Sir G. H.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hurd, Percy A.||Smith, R. W. (Abcrd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Christie, J. A.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Lamb, J. O.||Strealfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Locker-Lampson, Cont. O. (Handsw'th)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Long, Major Eric||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Lougher, Lewis||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Templeton, W. P.|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Thorn. Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Couper, J. B.||Lumley, L. R.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||MacIntyre, Ian||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Crookshank, Cpt.H. (Llndsey, Gainsbro)||McLean, Major A.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Macmillan, Captain H.||Waddington, R.|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Curzon, Captain viscount||Macquisten, F. A.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Mac Robert, Alexander M.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Maitland, sir Arthur D. Steel-||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Wells, S. R.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington. S.)||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Mitchell, sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ellis, R. G.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Fleiden, E. B.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Wragg, Herbert|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Wright, Brig-General W. D.|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Penny, Frederick George||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Ganzoni Sir John||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Captain Margesson and Captain|
|Gates, Percy||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Wallace.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Barnes, A.||Briant, Frank|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Barr, J.||Bromfield, William|
|Ammon, Charles George||Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Brown, Ernest (Leith)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Bellamy, A.||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)|
|Baker, Walter||Benn, Wedgwood||Buchanan, G.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Bondfield, Margaret||Cape, Thomas|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hollins, A.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Sexton, James|
|Connolly, M.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Cove, W. G.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Shinwell, E.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Smillie, Robert|
|Day, Harry||Jones, W. N. (Carmarthen)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Dennison, R.||Kelly, W. T.||Snell, Harry|
|Duncan, C.||Kennedy, T,||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Dunnico, H.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lansbury, George||Stephen, Campbell|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Lawrence, Susan||Stewart, J. (St. Roliox)|
|England, Colonel A.||Lee, F.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Livingstone, A. M.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Forrest, W.||Longbottom, A. W.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Lowth, T.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Lunn, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Gillett, George M.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Townend, A. E.|
|Gosling, Harry||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Viant, S. P.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Greenall, T.||Maxton, James||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Montague, Frederick||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Mosley, Sir Oswald||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Murnin, H.||Westwood, J.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Oliver, George Harold||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R. Normanton)||Owen, Major G.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Paling, W.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Hardie, George D.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Harney, E. A.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Hayday, Arthur||Potts, John S.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Windsor, Walter|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Ritson, J.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hirst, G. H.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. B. Smith and Mr. Whiteley.|
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I beg to move, in line 8, to leave out the word "Thirteen" and to insert instead thereof the word "Twenty."
The effect of this Amendment would be to give England 20 days instead of 13. I think everyone will agree that the Bill is one of the most important that could be brought in by any Government, and it covers a very large range of subjects about which many people hold very diverse opinions. The few days that are given are altogether insufficient. Take the days allotted to Clauses 1 to 4, which concern the question of the Poor Law. Even the Minister of Health will agree that one or two days is not sufficient. The legislation now before Parliament concerns the lives and wellbeing of a million or so of people, who are quite unable to speak effectively for themselves. The future of these people, for weal or woe, is being settled by this Bill and, therefore, we are entitled in considering what is to be done with casuals and the sick, and widows and children, to be able to discuss it without the fear of the Guillotine or the Closure. It is only occasionally that Parliament settles down to discuss a complete revolution 2018 of local government such as is embodied in this big Bill, and when it is also remembered that it is going to change various forms of local administration in regard to public health and roads, and also in regard to finance it is only reasonable to ask that we should be given considerably more time to discuss them.
I think the day will come when this House, instead of leaving a question like this to be settled in this way, will appoint some Committee, such as has been suggested by an hon. Member opposite, to go through a Bill and apportion a proper length of time for its discussion. No one will agree that on any of the subjects dealt with in this Bill sufficient time is given. The Minister of Health, dealing with the financial provisions, told us how difficult it is to understand the formula and how various conclusions have been arrived at. Therefore, I think some other method ought to be found for dealing with this Bill rather than coming to the House with a cut-and-dried Motion like this. I want to protest against the allocation of time to it e Poor Law sections of the Bill. The Minister of Health quite truly said that there is a large measure of agree- 2019 ment in the country as to the necessity for dealing with the Poor Law, but there is a considerable difference of opinion on the method adopted by the Government. The right hon. Gentleman is not following the lines suggested by any committee or commission that has considered the question. He is proposing to do something which, as far as I know, everybody who has investigated the question has turned down. He is proposing, on the one hand, to abolish the present boards of guardians and reinstate them under another name; and under a bad scheme. He is going to remove the control of the Poor Law from the people who have votes and give it to nominated persons who are responsible to nobody. It is all very well to say that the Bill will secure a majority of elected persons but it will be possible by jerrymandering the committees to give the selected people the bulk of this work to do.
In addition, the Commissions which have reported on this subject, certainly the minorities of the Commissions, have always maintained that able-bodied per-sons who came to the Poor Law should be dealt with by a different authority altogether. The right hon. Gentleman is going to continue a system which has already broken down, very largely because of the action of himself and the people at the centre. This Bill is to reform the Poor Law in order to make it more effective and more useful. As a matter of fact, it, will do nothing of the kind.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member must, connect his argument with reasons for showing that more time should be given to the discussion of the Bill: otherwise, he is going too much into the merits of the Bill itself.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
It is extremely difficult to give one's reasons without going into a discussion of the Bill itself. What I was trying to point out is that these Clauses, for which the right hon. Gentleman has only allowed a very few hours, are, in fact, some of the Most important in the Bill. I was pointing out that the question of the able-bodied and unemployed is so important that much more time should be given to it. If we can believe what the right hon. Gentleman and his friends say this Bill has been brought forward largely 2020 because of the difficulties which have arisen through the rise in rates consequent upon unemployment and, therefore, we ought to have enough time to argue whether the proposals for dealing with the able-bodied and unemployed are such as will ease the burdens of the people in these overburdened localities. In the opinion of many people the proposals in the Bill will, if anything, worsen their conditions. I am certain that if any Bill of this size was brought in by any Government, and it was proposed to give only 13 days to its consideration, it would be very strongly opposed by any Opposition. No one can say that it is sufficient time. I beg to move the Amendment.
§ Mr. RENNIE SMITH
I beg to second the Amendment.
It bears on the point I raised a few moments ago. The Secretary of State for Scotland has made the surprising concession of one whole day for the discussion on the Scottish Bill and the whole House now waits to see whether the Minister of Health is going to be generous. We all expect him to say that it will be a minimum of 14 days, but I hope he will he able to provide an example, that English generosity always beats that which comes from Scotland. I do not want to repeat what I have already said, but I want to press upon the right hon. Gentleman that 13 days is ridiculous for a discussion of this great Measure, not only because of its reactions upon local authorities in urban and rural areas, but because the whole question of principle with regard to this reorganisation requires to be thoroughly discussed. I hope when he replies that he will say that he is prepared to give us the 20 days we ask for.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Bennie Smith) did not attend to that part of the speech of the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) earlier in our proceedings when he contrasted the English and Scottish Bills and pointed out that 13 whole days were allowed to the English Bill which contained only two points of major importance. That is the best answer I can give.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The humour of the two nations does not always prove to he intelligible to one another. With regard to the speech of the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) the real answer is contained in the speech which the Prime Minister made in introducing the Motion. The Government have given the matter careful consideration and have allotted 13 days not for the whole stages of the Bill but for the Committee stage. They have come to the conclusion that these 13 days will offer a complete opportunity to the Committee to discuss every matter of primary importance in the Bill. When hon. Members opposite ask us to extend the 13 days to 20 days it must be remembered that local authorities will have a great deal of work to do and it is quite obvious that a further delay in this House might mean serious consequences to local authorities. Therefore, it is not possible for the Government to accept the Amendment. As I have already said the Government are not taking up a stiff attitude about the allocation of time to the various subjects within the 13 days, and it may be possible to meet the point of the hon. Member later on.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I want to draw attention to the extraordinary answer of the Minister of Health. He tells us that the Bill will give local authorities so much work that the House has to push it through as quickly as possible, and that an extension from 13 to 20 parliamentary days would throw the whole of their work into confusion. A fortnight's delay—seven parliamentary days—would have the effect of putting the whole local government of England into confusion, and would not give them time to prepare their complicated schemes before the 1st of April. I have never heard a more unsatisfactory reason given to the House. Let us consider the question of 13 as against 20 days. A period of 20 days is not nearly enough, and I am astonished at the moderation of our demand. Take the case of the Local Government Bill of 1925, which was printed and never introduced. It was a very much smaller Bill than this, and it needed an enormous amount of preparatory time. This Bill has been in the hands of the local authorities for only a very short time. You have to add to the time of Parliamentary discussion, if you want to 2022 have every point of view fairly represented, the time spent in discussion outside the House with the local authorities. With a simpler Bill they had nearly a year to get the matter into order. Under this Bill they will have 20 days or so of Parliamentary time to get their views expressed on the Floor of the House.
The second thing is this: I ask the House to consider the short and inefficient Second Reading that we have had. As many people have said, this is five or six Bills rolled into one—a De-rating Bill, a Poor Law Bill, a Roads Bill, a Reform Bill, and in the interstices there are one or two useful things of minor importance such as a Registration Bill and so on. With such a vast mass of material, the Second Reading has necessarily been far more perfunctory than is the Second Reading of most Bills. We begin therefore at an enormous disadvantage, without the ground having been prepared by consultation outside, and with the Second Reading far too short. Think of all the different sorts of people who will have their important points of view to put before the House. The Maclean Commission was thrown overboard, as my hon. Friend the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) has said. But I will take a minor matter. There are boroughs of great importance who want to put their point of view. They have not had time to put it to the Minister. They find their Poor Law work taken away from them. This proposal with regard to the Poor Law is an unfamiliar proposal. Such an idea as this had not been before the Royal Commission of 1909 or the Maclean Commission of 1914, or indeed in the Bill of 1925. This new plan is something novel in Poor Law politics. The Maclean Commission did not contemplate lumping the able-bodied into the Poor. Law. It wanted Distress Committees and it wanted the Workmen's Employment Act of 1925.
So we have a scheme of Poor Law reform which departs from the lines followed out by nearly all those who have considered the question, on a point whose importance is ten times and a thousand times greater than it was either in 1909 or 1918 when employment was not so serious as it is now. Then I come to what is called the break-up of the Poor Law. The guardians of the country do not want the Poor Law to 2023 be touched. That is a point which, for good or evil, is being pressed on Members and ought. to be heard. We have argued the question of break-up or no break-up since 1909. Did anyone ever hear of such a novelty as an optional break-up of institutional Poor Law? It is a brand new device. The strangeness, the novelty, and the unfamiliarity of the character of those proposals demands a great deal of time for discussion.
It has not escaped your notice, Mr. Speaker, that never in any Bill before was so much power given to the Minister to carry out the purposes of a Bill by Order. It is Order here and Order there, an Order for schemes, or an Order for appointed guardians, and a great omnibus thing which provides that if any difficulties occur the Minister may do anything which appears expedient to him. That is a constitutional point. Could there be a subject which the House could better discuss than the question of how far we can entrust our own powers to the hands of a Minister? That is a point which any House of Commons jealous of its own power would consider with the utmost scrutiny, and would desire to add limitations of all kinds. These Order Clauses, of which there are a great number, and particularly the great omnibus Order Clause, are things which the House should regard with the utmost possible scrutiny. What time have we to scrutinise this usurpation of the functions of the House by order of the Minister? It is not an unimportant thing. Under this hurried time table it will be rushed on one side. It has already been indicated that the Government are going to relax the programme so as to give the novel principles of Clause 1 a whole day, and the others very likely a little more. But where will the time come from? Possibly from the discussion on the financial Clauses, which offer an unparalleled series of difficulties and conundrums.
Where are we to get the extra time for discussing the new Poor Law proposals? I cannot see that we shall be able to do anything whatever either to express the views of the different sections of the community in the House, or have any rational discussion at all. We shall have weary days, with Members putting their points, with passionate cries for economy taking 2024 up all the time, and then the Minister at the end will say that the clock has gone round and unfortunately he will not be able to reply; with the deepest regret he will say that the guillotine has cut off his own head and there is no explanation for the country. Those who are watching the matter, the local authorities and the Poor Law Guardians, will feel even more than the injustice of the provisions in some parts of the Bill, the contempt with which they have been treated by Parliament. Any wise Minister would use his utmost endeavours to get the local authorities behind him. The Minister of Health has so cut down the time that the views of these local authorities cannot even be expressed in the House.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
There was a very ancient king who once desired to cast lots. He desired, as a matter of fact to exterminate his opponents. Indeed he went so far as to make preparations to have a gallows ready for them. In the end he was hung on the gallows that he had prepared for his opponents. When he drew the lot, the interesting thing is that the lot fell on the thirteenth day. The right hon. Gentleman has chosen 13 days for the Committee stage of this Bill, in which to hang a great many public bodies and transfer a great many functions from one set of bodies to another. He may find, before many days or weeks have gone by, that the thirteenth day will be the unlucky day not merely for the local authorities, but for him and for those who support him. Let the House consider the range of effects of this Bill. We are considering the interests of thousands of local authorities—of 83 county boroughs, of 63 counties, and thousands of smaller bodies. We are discussing the allocation, along a new line of policy, of £45,000,000 of public money in England and Wales, and it is a new line of policy which I can only describe as being viewed with dubiety and anxiety by some of the greatest Corporations in the land—some of the greatest Corporations who are all in favour of the enlargement of their administrative authority, but are very dubious as to the proposed financial changes, even after the guarantees that have been given during the negotiations of the past few months.
We see from the time-table how little we shall be able to discuss. The only 2025 people who are pleased with the timetable are the Back Bench Members supporting the Minister, for as soon as the Guillotine is ready they will be free to talk as they are not free if the Committee stage is taken without the Guillotine. From some points of view that will be a great advantage. At any rate it will add variety to the debates. Nevertheless it must be obvious to all that 13 days cannot be sufficient for thoroughly discussing the many and various details affecting the four main proposals of the Bill. Think of the variety of subjects that have to be dealt with. Take the problem of the transfer of officers for one thing. There will be two courses open. If the officers are transferred they will take office under another authority, but they may refuse to be transferred, and the problem then is the fairly simple one of compensation. We have had no indication of the probable cost of compensation. Consider the position of a very capable clerk to a large board of guardians at the present time. He may be offered a secondary place or a third place under two other persons in a county area. Surely that matter demands some hours of thought when it is considered that the livelihood of 30,000 Poor Law officials may be affected. These are only some of the issues involved. Yet on the Poor Law question only two days are allowed in the original Time Table. With regard to grants, it is true that the Minister has been a little more liberal, but even the four days allowed for the discussion of finance are not enough. That time is not sufficient for the proper discussion of the thousands of difficult, complicated, intricate, detailed questions which must arise in considering the effect of the new formula and of the block grant system, and discussing the double purpose of making up loss of rates to local authorities and applying the grants according to the characteristics and needs of local authorities. This appears to be a regular "South Sea Bubble" proposal. We take away from the local authorities their rating power and their money if their is de-rating in their areas. They are then to apply elsewhere and 15 years afterwards, if they are lucky, they will get to know the full application of the scheme financially, and, it may be, not even then. I am sorry that we cannot 2026 get the 20 days, but I am sure it will be found, at the end of the 13th day, when all the questions come to be put, that another week would be none too little for dealing with the major questions remaining to be discussed.
§ Mr. BENN
There is only one Minister on the Treasury Bench qualified to deal with this matter in an unbiased way, and that is the hon. and gallant Member for Rugby (Captain Margesson). He is a Whip, and he is concerned with the business of the House. We have here the Minister of Health, but he knows nothing, as a Minister, about the general programme of business, and his sole concern is to get this nefarious affair foisted on the House with the minimum of discussion. The right hon. Gentleman made great professions of being ready to consult with everybody upon this Measure and he certainly has been extremely public-spirited in meeting public bodies: But what happens then? People like his own supporter the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir E. Turton) go on deputations and speak to the Minister who is then under no obligation to explain or to undertake to do anything. That has to be done in the House of Commons. But, apparently, in the House of Commons, instead of somebody being in charge of this matter who can take a survey of our time and our obligations, we have only individuals who are concerned with forcing through this proposal. I do not blame the Minister. He and his Friends do not want any more trouble than they can possibly avoid, but I would put this point. The hon. Member for Guildford (Sir H. Buckingham) has devoted in the newspapers a great deal of attention to the iniquities of another Department, and has taken a leading; part in defending people against Departmental exaction and oppression. Here is a Bill which is stuffed full of new powers for the Ministry of Health, and if the hon. Member for Guildford feels that the encroachment of a Department upon the liberties of the individual is a serious menace, then he ought to help us in our protest against all this new mass of powers which the Ministry of Health is to receive.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The points raised by the hon. Member do not seem to have much to do with the Amendment before the House.
§ Mr. BENN
I was not wilfully offending against your Ruling, Sir. My point is that, in such a short time, and within such narrow limits, to ask the House to give the Ministry all these powers is indecent. We cannot examine the whole of the time-table now, though at every point of it we should find fresh arguments for opposition. I take one day as an example. We are to start work at four o'clock and we have, among others, Clauses 107 to 115 to dispose of before half-past seven and, be this remarked, that if we do not limit very much the Debate on the earlier Clauses, we may at 7.30 o'clock still be discussing Clause 107 and then we may find Clauses 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114 and 115 put in one Question from the Chair without any defence or discussion on any of these Clauses. Now Clause 107 deals with expenses and borrowings—with the finances of the local authorities—which is surely not an unimportant matter. Clause 108 gives the Minister any amount of those inquisitorial powers of which hon. Members opposite so frequently complain. Clause 109 contains this extraordinary piece of legislation:Any order or scheme made under this Act may contain such incidental, consequential or supplemental provisions as may appear necessary or proper for the purposes of the order or scheme.We have no control over these Orders. These are very excessive powers to give to the Minister in half a day. I believe they are to be laid on the Table, but as far as our opposition to them is concerned, that is a proceeding which is just worse than useless. Clause 110 deals with transitory provisions and then we come to Clause 111 which relates to power to remove difficulties. That does not mean the difficulties of the taxpayer or the citizen but difficulties of the Minister and of the Department. If they get into trouble, then, under Clause 111, the Minister asks us, probably without any debate whatever, to give him power to remove difficulties. We are getting into that sort of administrative law against which some of the most distinguished Judges on the bench have uttered serious protests recently.
§ Sir K. WOOD
The hon. Gentleman was a member of the Liberal Government which asked for powers of the same sort.
§ Mr. BENN
In a very minor capacity, and I proudly accept such small responsibility as Attaches to the office of Whip in a Government. At the same time, I venture to assert that no Government has ever asked the House of Commons to make. in half a clay such an enormous extension of administrative powers as we find here. Then take Clause 112, which may be included in the omnibus question put from the Chair. It contains the definition of "appropriate percentage." That means that the whole question of de-rating and the whole question of the relief of industrial hereditaments is going to be decided without any Debate as to whether 75 per cent. is appropriate. The proposals suggested in relation to some forms of industrial hereditament, such as breweries, cannot be discussed. This Definitions Clause runs from page 93 to page 98 of the Bill, and, as I have said, probably the whole of those pages will be put without a word of discussion. There is a mass of material in those pages. I give only one point. Page 97 contains a definition of "unemployed insured man." One of the most serious criticisms of this Bill has been that the formula is based on unemployed men and takes no account of unemployed women. That is a serious thing and affects some areas, such as the cotton areas, in a. vital way. Yet this question may not 'arise until 25 minutes past seven o'clock, and it will then be ruled out by the Chair, and we shall have the privilege of voting on it and 50 other 2029 matters at the same time. The next Clause deals with the whole question of relief in respect of dock enterprises, which is a very vital point, and the Parliamentary Secretary will admit, whatever he may think of the Liberal Government—
§ Mr. BENN
The National Health Insurance Act went to a Committee upstairs, as far as I can remember. I can still recall the obstructive tactics of the Parliamentary Secretary in those days when he sat on this side.
§ Mr. BENN
Was the right hon. Gentleman not in the House in 1911? I am sorry, but I regarded the right hon. Gentleman as having been always an ornament 'and a powerful force in the party opposite, At all events, in 1911 the Committee stage of the Insurance Act was taken upstairs.
§ Mr. BENN
Except on certain personal and historical details the right hon. Gentleman's case has entirely broken down. The Insurance Act was sent upstairs—I believe to two separate Committees. The Secretary of State for Scotland has a special Committee appointed to do the job and he will not send his Bill upstairs and thereby save time. The whole question of the relief of freight transport hereditament arises on one of these numerous Clauses. I admit, as everyone must admit, that some arrangement of business is necessary but that does not mean to say that we should accede to this ill-designed use of an instrument which can only result in producing, without adequate discussion, a Bill which in consequence will cause friction and irritation at every stage of its administration.
§ Question put, "That the word 'Thirteen' stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 221; Noes, 131.2031
|Division No. 49.]||AYES.||[8.14 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lleut.-Colonel||Couper, J. B.||Hacking, Douglas H.|
|Albery, Irving James||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hall, Lleut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Croft, Brigadler-General Sir H.||Hamilton, Sir George|
|Apsley, Lord||Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Hanbury, C.|
|Atkinson, C.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Galnsbro)||Harland, A.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Culverwell, C.T. (Bristol, West)||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Cunllffe, Sir Herbert||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Dalkeith, Earl of||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Davies, Mat. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovll)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Berry, Sir George||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Hilton, Cecil|
|Bethel, A.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Bevan, S. J.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Holt, Captain H. P.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Dixey, A. C.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Bird. E. R. (Yorks. W. R., Skipton)||Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Bowater. Col. Sir T. Vanslttart||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Ellis, R. G.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||England, Colonel A.||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Fermoy, Lord||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Flelden, E. B.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Ford, Sir P. J.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Burman, J. B.||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||James, Lleut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Forrest, W.||Jones, Sir G. W. H.(Stoke New'gton)|
|Cassels, J. D.||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Kindersley, Major Guy M.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Foxcrott, Captain C. T.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Ganzoni, Sir John||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Gates, Percy||Lamb, J. Q.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Gault, Lleut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Lougher, Lewis|
|Christie, J. A.||Goff. Sir Park||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Grace, John||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Lumley, L. R.|
|Cobb Sir Cyril||Grotrlan, H. Brent||Lynn, Sir R. J.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Invernen)||Preston, William||Templeton, W. P.|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Price, Major C. W. M.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Raine, Sir Walter||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Maclntyre, Ian||Ramsden, E.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|McLean, Major A.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Titctifield, Major the Marquess of|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanc, Stretford)||Waddington, R.|
|Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Ropner, Major L.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Rye, F. G.||Warrender, Sir victor|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Salmon, Major I.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Wells, S. R.|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Sandon, Lord||White, Lleut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Moore, Lleut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Savery, S. S.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Moore, Sir Newton J.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.)||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Morelng, Captain A. H.||Shepperson, E. W.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Skelton, A. N.||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Smithers, Waldron||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Somervilie, A. A. (Windsor)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Southby, Commander A. R. J.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Stanley, Lleut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.||Wood, E.(Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Stanley, Hon. 0. F. G. (Westm'eland)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Pennefather, Sir John||Storry, Deans, R.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Penny, Frederick George||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||Wright, Brig.-General W. D.|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Streatfelid, Captain S. R.|
|Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Major Sir William Cope and Captain|
|Pilcher, G.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrld||Margesson.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Grundy, T. W.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Robinson, W.C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)|
|Amnion, Charles George||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hardle, George D.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Baker, Walter||Hayday, Arthur||Sexton, James|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertlllery)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Barr, J.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, G. H||Shinwell, E.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Bellamy, A.||Hollins, A.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Benn, Wedgwood||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Smillie, Robert|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhlthe)|
|Brlant, Frank||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Smith, Rennle (Penistone)|
|Bromfield, William||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Snell, Harry|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Stamford, T. w.|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, W. N. (Carmarthen)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kelly, W. T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Kennedy, T.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E)|
|Connolly, M.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com- Hon. Joseph M.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Cove, W. G.||Lansbury, George||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lawrence, Susan||Townend, A. E.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lee, F.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Dalton, Hugh||Livingstone, A. M.||Viant, S. P.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Longbottom, A. W.||Wallhead, Richard C|
|Davles, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lowth, T.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Day, Harry||Lunn, William||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dennison, R.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Duncan, C.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Dunnico, H.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Montague, Frederick||Westwood, J.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Mosley, Sir Oswald||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Murnin, H.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Naylor, T. E.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanellv)|
|Glllett, George M.||Oliver, George Harold||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Gosling, Harry||Owen, Major G.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Atterciffle)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Paling. W.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Windsor, Walter|
|Greenall, T.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coine)||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Potts, John S.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Whiteley.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Ritson, J.|
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I beg to move, in line 18, column 2, to leave out "Clauses 1 to 5," and to insert instead thereof "Clause 1."
I have a second Amendment to put 10.30 in the place of 7.30 on this first day. I do not propose to argue this at any length, because on a previous occasion I gave, at some length, my reasons for considering that Clause 1 of the Bill needed a great deal more discussion. We have lost that. All the Clauses are to be jammed together within the very narrow limit allowed by the Minister of Health, and this is an attempt to save one little scrap to give rather more time for the most important part of the Bill. It is a miserable Amendment. It does not do nearly all that we ought to do or would like to do, but it is a humble attempt to make a bad job a very little better.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I beg to second the Amendment.
In doing so, I should like to say at the outset how very much I regret that the Government have failed to meet us over an extension of the time for the Committee stage of this Bill. The num her of complicated Clauses which have to be dealt with in very little time will entirely prevent adequate discussion, but in addition to that, such time as the Government have decided to allocate to this Bill is, in my judgment and in that of hon. and right hon. Friends of mine sitting on these benches, very unsuitably distributed among the different Clauses of the Bill. The Minister of Health told us earlier that so far as the subdivision among the different Clauses of the Bill was concerned, he was open to consider alterations and Amendments, and it is with that purpose that I venture to put forward a change in the allocation of the different parts of the 13 days in order that we may have a discussion upon those things which are of the greatest import to us and to the country as a whole. In this Amendment it is suggested that the whole of the first half-day up to 7.30 should be given to Instructions and to Clause 1.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I am not quite sure, but I think the hon. Lady the Member for East Ham North (Miss Lawrence) moved the wrong Amendment. I think the Amendment she ought to 2034 have moved was the one to leave out "Clauses 1 to 5" and to insert "Clause 1."
§ Miss LAWRENCE
That is the Amendment that I formally moved, but I did refer to the next Amendment on the Paper, in column 3, to leave out "7.30" and to insert "10.30." The two really run together, and in order to avoid speaking too long, I mentioned them both. If that were carried, we should go on to the second Amendment, but in order not to waste time, I spoke on the two Amendments.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I am much obliged to the hon. Lady. I misunderstood. I understood her only to move the second Amendment. Therefore, the Amendment immediately before the House is "In line 18, column 2, to leave out 'Clauses 1 to 5,' and to insert instead thereof 'Clause 1.'"
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
The great complications of this Bill and the number of Amendments have caused some slight confusion, but there is no doubt of the actual position. The Amendment which my hon. Friend moved is that which allocates the whole of the first half-day to the instructions, if there be any, and to the first Clause of the Bill. We would have liked the whole of that time to be an addition to the 13 days, and we should have liked also to have been able to get an addition of time for other parts of the earlier portions of the Bill, but as the Government have defeated us on the question of the extension of the 13 days, we are compelled to try and see whether within the 13 days we can improve the allocation of time. I have therefore put in a manuscript Amendment, and with the permission of the Chair, I propose to indicate the nature of that Amendment now in order that it may be in effect considered as consequential upon the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for East Ham North (Miss Lawrence). Before I come to the actual terms of the manuscript Amendment, I will indicate the general lines which actuated us in putting it forward. Our idea, in the first place, is that a great deal more time ought to be given to the earlier Clauses of the Measure. Clause 1 is the important operative Clause, and it is suggested that is should have a whole 2035 half-day to itself. Clauses 2 to 4 are also of great significance; Clause 3 gives wide powers to the Minister, while Clause 4 enables county councils at their option to act either through the Poor Law or through specific Acts of Parliament. Clauses 2 to 4, therefore, contain important provisions, and we feel that a whole half-day is the very least that ought to be given to them.
We do not want to see Clause 5 brought into that second half-day, because it deals with an issue of great controversial importance, namely, co-option, and we feel that this Clause ought to begin a special half-day. There are other Clauses which seem to us too important to be dragged in at the end of a very imperfect half-day. Under the Schedule in the Government's proposals, Clauses 13 to 17 are pot down for a single half-day. Clause 13 is one which deals with the very vital issue of the payments to be charged to patients or their relatives on account of their maintenance and treatment in institutions. I understood the Minister of Health to say that that might he subject to sonic alteration. Therefore, that is obviously a matter on which a great deal of time ought to be spent, in order to arrive at the correct solution. Not only is Clause 13 of great importance, but Clause 17, which deals with co-opted guardians, is one which we very much desire to discuss, and it would be utterly impossible to attempt to discuss Clauses 13 to 17 in the same half-day. Therefore, we suggest that only Clauses 13 to 16 should be discussed in half a day, and that Clause 17 should be the beginning of a fresh period.
There are other matters of great importance about which I will not go into detail, except one, the matter of finance. It is an outrage which I should hardly have thought even the present Government would have perpetrated, that the important financial Clauses 68 to 70 are given only half a day between them for their discussion. This is totally inadequate, considering the very important matters which have to be dealt with. Clause 68 deals with discontinued grants, arising from which there are very controversial questions; and Clause 69 deals not merely with the amount of the Exchequer grant, which is a. very important issue in itself, but with the apportion- 2036 meat of that grant, the whole question of the formula upon which the grant is apportioned, and the appropriate percentage of unemployment in the different quinquennial periods. On top of that, Clause 70 deals with very important matters. How it is conceived that Clauses 68, 69 and 70 can be discussed in the narrow limit of three hours, passes my wit to understand. Therefore, we suggest that at least a whole day should be given to these three Clauses.
If we are limited to 13 days in Committee, we have to telescope other sections of the Bill in order to make room for the adequate discussions of the Clauses which we feel need more time. Therefore, much as I regret having to do it, it becomes my duty in order to keep within order, 13 days having been passed, to suggest that the Clauses in some of the middle parts of the Bill, important as they are, perhaps do not arouse quite the same measure of controversy which arises on the Clauses to which I have referred. Therefore, it might be possible in the Clauses beginning somewhere about Clause 18, and going up to Clause 53, to make some reduction of time, which will enable us to find the time to give to the Clause which I have indicated.
To sum up, we suggest that the following Schedule should be substituted for parts of the Schedule in the present Government draft. The first half-day to be devoted to Clause 1; the second half-day to Clauses 2, 3 and 4. On the second day, we suggest that the afternoon should be devoted to Clauses 5 to 8, and the evening to Clauses 9 to 12; on the third day, the afternoon to Clauses 13 to 16, so that in the evening we can start with the important Clause 17 and endeavour to the best of our ability to go from 17 to 28: on the fourth day, in the afternoon Clauses 29 to 38, and in the. evening Clauses 39 to 53: on the fifth day, in the afternoon Clauses 54 to 56, and in the evening Clauses 57 to 67; the whole of the sixth day to be allocated to the financial Clauses 68 to 70, without specification of any middle hour, so that the only Guillotine would fall at 10.30, but naturally we should endeavour to discuss the more important Amendments on the Clauses as they proceed.
Finally, we feel that Clause 111 is so important that it ought not to he taken in the middle of one of these half-day 2037 sessions. Therefore we propose that instead of stopping at Clause 98, discussion should go on to Clause 110, and that the second discussion should begin with Clause 111 and go to Clause 115. It would be out of order for me formally to submit this proposal now, because we must confine ourselves to one Amendment at a time, but if the Government agree to this revised allocation of time we suggest that the right hon. Gentleman should accept the Amendment put forward by the hon. Member for East Ham North on the understanding that I would move whatever Amendments might be necessary in order to give effect to the suggestions I have already indicated. I have already handed them in as manuscript Amendments. I urge the Minister in charge, and the House, to accept this allocation or time, for, although I recognise that it is very far from perfect in regard to its total length, I feel that it is a much better arrangement at the time, and my hon. Friends around me agree with me in that view.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I have had an opportunity to look at this proposal before, and also I have consulted, as best I can, hon. Members in various parts of the House. The position of the Government is that we desire to meet the wishes of the Opposition. I do not desire to traverse the arguments of the hon. Member for West Leicester (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence) as to whether the time allotted to this stage of the Measure be adequate or not. What we have to deal with now is the best way of using that time, and provided they have reason to believe that the new proposal provides an adequate amount of time for various Clauses the Government are naturally anxious to meet the desires of the Opposition. If the hon. Gentleman thinks, as I believe the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) thinks, this to be a better allocation of time, and that his friends will be better able to raise the points they desire to put before the House, the Government take no objection. The hon. Member for Leith may desire to make some observations from the point of view of the Liberal party. He has pointed out to me that he thinks that under this new allocation Clause 27, which he regards, and which I know other Members regard, as an important one, will not secure the place which he 2038 would desire it to have. A suggestion was made that instead of starting with Clauses 13 to 16 on the 3rd day we should go from Clauses 13 to 17 and then go on with Clauses 18 to 28. I understand the hon. Member for West Leicester attaches some importance to Clause 17. We shall be quite prepared to discuss Clause 17 or Clause 27, and we hope to be able to discuss both. That is the only observation and criticism which I have to make with reference to these proposals. Of course, if I accept the Amendment it must be on the distinct understanding that the hon. Gentleman for West Leicester is going to move his Amendments and that in doing so he will be speaking for the Labour party, because if there is to be any division of opinion the Government would do better to stick to their original programme; but if this revision does meet the wishes a the Opposition, we are prepared to accept it.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
We feel that under either allocation of time not enough attention is given to the rural districts. There are two questions for which I should desire to provide special time if I had the drawing-up of the time table, first., that of the roads, and second, the allocation of the grants to the county districts—that is so very difficult that I think it ought to have longer than it gets under this table. Apart from that consideration I think the suggestion of the hon. Member for West Leicester (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence) is much better than the original schedule. Hon. Members above the Gangway naturally attach a great deal of importance to the question of the appointed guardians, but I would point out that, large as is the principle which is there involved, the number of people affected and the number of districts affected is very much larger in the case of the roads problem and of the grants under what I call the minor formula, where they are not given according to weighted population hut according to actual population. I think the House ought to have the largest number of moments—I cannot say hours—in which to consider these matters.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
Will the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) say exactly what change he wishes to introduce?
§ Sir K. WOOD
Perhaps I may be allowed to reply. The hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) wants more time given to the rural side of the question, and for that purpose he would like us, on the 3rd day, to take Clauses 13 to 17 up till 7.30 and Clauses 18 to 28 up to 10.30.
§ Mr. BRIANT
It is rather difficult for me to follow this revised programme. I am not quite clear how many days it is proposed to give to Clauses 1 and 8, which now get 1½ days. I am anxious that even more time should be given to them. After all, Clauses 1 to 8 sweep away the whole of the present structure, and in reality create an entirely new organisation. It is a most exhaustive reform, if it be a reform at all; it makes an alteration in the whole system to which we have hitherto been accustomed. This is not a scheme which is the result of a careful investigation by a conference or a commission. If the scheme came from a commission one would understand that it had at least received long consideration and careful investigation, with much evidence. The Government scheme is one which, as far as we know, has had no support from any existing commissions. In the few hours from 4 o'clock to 11 o'clock all the reports of past commissions are going to be swept on one side, and we are to be asked to sanction an entirely new scheme which is a device of the Government's as far as I know, and only of the Government and without any consultation with the guardians, who after all do know a bit about it. I was going to say that since the first day of the creation of the world not much more has ever been compressed into one day.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I hope the hon. Gentleman will not muddle our heads in following the allocation of time in this matter by going into the question of the merits of Clauses of the Bill.
§ Mr. BRIANT
I want to obey your Ruling, but it is important for me to point out the particular Clauses for which I ask longer time, and to show that they are important Clauses. Therefore, I thought I should be in order in doing so. That is the only point I wish to 2040 raise just now, and I do want to urge that even longer time than that suggested by my hon. Friends should be given to these eight Clauses. If we make a mistake that mistake may be of enormous consequence to the nation. Anyone who has served as a guardian will realise the difficulties of the details and intricacies of the Poor Law problem, and they must realise also that one slight mistake in regard to these changes might mean a good deal in the administration of Poor Law relief. I think Clauses 1 to 8 certainly require more than 1½ days. More especially when you realise that you are dealing with a system which has been in force for so many years. I could raise 20 or 30 important considerations on every one of those Clauses from my own personal experience, and for these reasons I hope it will be possible to extend the time for the consideration of those Clauses. I think we ought to have at least two days for dealing with Clauses 1 to 8 seeing that they are the main structure in the whole of the scheme.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
I think the allocation of time which the Government have now expressed their willingness to accept is some slight improvement upon the Resolution on the Order Paper. In spite of that I think the extension of time is so meagre for the discussion of the important principles involved in the initial Clauses of the Bill that my view is that my hon. Friends are attaching far more importance to the extension of time than it deserves. My opinion is that the Opposition is not going to be allowed to alter this Bill to any large extent because the Government will, by their majority, prevent the Opposition altering the main proposals of this Measure. I think the Government ought to take the whole responsibility for the structure of this Bill.
Now the Government agree to give more time to what we consider the most, important Clauses of the Bill. Clause 1 proposes to destroy the edifice which has grown up since the time of Queen Elizabeth. It is an attempt to destroy an edifice which has grown up through the centuries, and which has its many traditions in our social organisation. The whole thing is going to be swept away remorselessly after some three or four hours discussion. The whole procedure is disgusting and indecent. I would like to let the Committee know how boards of 2041 guardians regard this Measure. I have here a telegram which I would read to the Committee—
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I do not think that question has anything to do with the Amendment now before us.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
Boards of guardians are expressing the opinion that more time should be given to the discussion of Clause 1. The telegram to which I refer requests me to move the postponement or the withdrawal of Clause 1. At any rate, if we could get a little more time to discuss that Clause such a course would meet the views of the Merthyr Tydvil Board of Guardians. I need not tell the Government what will happen if this Measure is passed. I intend to let them take their own course, and the sooner disaster overtakes them the better. I do not see that the Opposition will better themselves either by an extension of the time for discussion or by a reallocation of the time provided for in the Motion. The Government have decided, and on their heads be their own fate.
§ Major OWEN
I am not going to say anything about the allocation of 13 days, but I should like to press the point made by the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown). Clause 27 is one which particularly affects our rural areas, and in comparison with Clause 17 which is to be included under the new allocation, it cannot have anything like the importance, nor does it affect as large a number of bodies. While I do not object to this allocation, I press the right hon. Gentleman to consider this matter in order to see whether there cannot be some arrangement whereby the Clause I have referred to can have more consideration than is now proposed.
§ Sir K. WOOD
So far as the Government is concerned, we are prepared to accept the suggestions which have been made by the hon. Member for West Leicester (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence) on behalf of the party opposite. I am not unmindful of the considerations which have been put forward by the hon. and gallant Member for Carnarvonshire (Major Owen), and, when we come to the Committee stage, the point which he has raised may be considered. I think there is a great consensus of opinion in regard to the suggestions which have been made 2042 by the hon. Member for West Leicester, and it is quite clear that the intention of the Opposition in suggesting those Amendments is to make the best of the position in which hon. Members find themselves. Under these circumstances, I accept those Amendments on the understanding that they are accepted on behalf of the party opposite. I shall accept, first of all, the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for East Ham North (Miss Lawrence).
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will undertake not to taunt us with supporting these Amendments when we say that there has not been sufficient time allowed to discuss this Bill.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made:
§ Leave out lines 19 to 29 inclusive, and insert instead thereof:
|Clauses 2 to 4||…||10.30|
|Second||…||Clauses 5 to 8||7.30|
|Clauses 9 to 12||10.30|
|Third||…||Clauses 13 to 16||7.30|
|Clauses 17 to 28||10.30|
|Fourth||…||Clauses 29 to 38||7.30|
|Clauses 39 to 53||10.30|
|Fifth||…||Clauses 54 to 56||7.30|
|Clauses 57 to 67||10.30|
|Sixth||…||Clauses 68 to 70||10.30|
§ In line 38, column 2, leave out "98," and insert instead thereof "110."
§ In line 39, column 2, leave out "99," and insert instead thereof "111."—[Mr. Pethick-Lawrence.]
§ Mr. SIDNEY WEBB
I beg to move. in line 47, to leave out the word "Three," and to insert instead thereof the word "Five."
We are now passing away from the 13 days—an unlucky number—allotted to the Committee stage, and coming to the Report stage. The right hon. Gentleman, speaking for the Government, assured those who spoke for the rural districts that Mr. Speaker will give consideration, on the Report stage, to the Amendments which it will not have been possible to discuss in Committee. Only three days, however, are allotted, in the Motion, for the Report stage, and I am moving to make the time allotted five days. I wart the House to try to forecast where we shall be when we come to the Report stage. Thirteen days may seem a long 2043 time for the Committee stage of a Bill, but this is six Bills in one, and, consequently, we have the perfectly ludicrous result that on one day there will have been discussed in Committee some 25 Clauses—and not merely formal Clauses, but Clauses which will be of a controversial character. According to a later paragraph in the Motion, when the direful hour strikes, Mr. Speaker will put the Question on any Motion or Amendment already proposed from the Chair, and will next proceed to put forthwith the Question on anything of which the Government have given notice; but no other Amendment, new Clause or Schedule will be put at all.
It is not merely that this Guillotine Motion will deprive the House of the opportunity of discussing various Amendments, but the great majority of the Amendments will not even be put. from the Chair. Therefore, when we come to the Report stage, there will not only he the ordinary consideration of the Amendments which have been already adopted by the Committee—and they will need a great deal of consideration, for reasons which I will give presently—but there will also be the virtual necessity, as it seems to us, of taking up those Amendments which, under this drastic Guillotine Closure have never even been put from the Chair, not from any unwillingness on the part of the Government to consider them, because they will quite possibly include some Amendments which, if they had been discussed, the Government would have been willing to accept in whole or in part. They will not, however, have been even put. to the Committee. Consequently, I think that this is a ease in which we may ask for rather more than three days for the Report stage.
Three days would be quite sufficient and reasonable for one Bill, but, as I pointed out on the Second Reading, we are now dealing with six Bills, and, therefore, to cut down the Report stage to merely the time which might be reasonable for one Bill is not only depriving the House of the opportunity of discussion, but seriously militating against any improvement of the Measure. The Minister of Health, in his opening remarks, laid great stress on the fact that he wished the House to improve the Measure. He did 2044 not assert that it was perfect; he knew that it was not; and it became clear before the evening was over that a good deal of amendment would have to be made. I do not, however, see how the House is to have any real opportunity, quite apart from obstruction or opposition, for suggesting improvements in this Measure, if we are to be cut down, on the Report stage, to no more than three days, which, I repeat, while it might be enough for one Bill, is a serious deprivation of time when we are discussing what really amounts to six Bills in one.
As we go through the 13 days in Committee, if the Government are really serious in listening to the opinions expressed, and are capable of being impressed by the points made—because I suspect that even Members of the Government do not quite know so much about this Bill and its effect as all the world does, and it is quite possible that some new aspect of it may be opened to their minds—it will be extremely difficult, even then, for the Government to accept any Amendments during the Committee stage. A large proporton of the Amendments on the Paper are badly drafted: they could not fail to be badly drafted in the case of a Bill of this kind; and, even if the Government should be prepared to accept them in substance, they will find themselves unable to accept them as they stand on the Paper, and they will have to be re-drafted and brought forward on the Report stage, which is the time when such Amendments are usually brought forward. They will have to be considered in much greater detail and with greater expert knowledge than is possible in this House, and the Government, as I say, will not be able to accept the Amendments that they would wish to accept during the Committee stage, and which they have almost intimated that they are going to accept. For that reason alone, I suggest that the Government might give us, say, five days instead of three for the Report stage.
§ Mr. RENNIE SMITH
I support the Amendment which my right hon. Friend has moved. The Government are compelling us to discuss the Bill in Committee within a period of 13 days, and. in consequence, we shall be driven to dispose of far-reaching changes, particularly affecting the rural constituencies of this country, in the short space of one- 2045 and-a-half days. The Parliamentary Secretary knows that a direct consequence of that is that Amendments which not merely emanate from the Opposition, but represent the considered judgment of all the local authorities concerned, and which have been built up as the result of mature consideration by county councils, urban and rural district councils, and Poor Law authorities, will have to be left entirely unconsidered in the course of those one-and-a-half days. The whole system of local government in my constituency is going to be re-made in one-and-a-half days of Committee discussion after we have been waiting 19 years for the shaping of the Bill itself. The whole thing is preposterous. I hope at the very least the Minister will accept, without, any further cavil, this minimum extension of time, if only on the ground of the hopeless neglect of these very important resolutions which affect the rural system of society.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I am afraid I cannot accept the Amendment. I think if "five days" had been inserted in the original proposal we should have heard very much the same arguments as we have heard in regard to three. On any figure that was put forward we might possibly take varying views, and the hon. Member who has just spoken might repeat how bad it was that this was going to happen to his constituency in two days instead of one-and-a-half.: I do not think it is an unfair proportion of time. We shall not be in the difficulties the right hon. Gentleman anticipated because we shall go very carefully through the proceedings in Committee and any Amendments which commend themselves to us will be put down in the name of the Government on Report, and that will ensure that they shall be incorporated in the Bill. I think that to a large extent insures that, where the Opposition and the Government agree, those provisions that, we all desire will be incorporated in the Bill. We are desirous, both in Committee and on Report. genuinely to consider Amendments which will improve the Bill and further the objects the Government have before them. I remember very well the discussion on the guillotine Motion in regard to our last Bill. It was then said by hon. Members opposite that there was not sufficient time, but I remember how, time aster time, we were in advance of our programme. I 2046 will not prophesy in regard to this Bill, especially as the right hon. Gentleman will be taking part in the Debates, that we shall anticipate our programme in that way, but I think we shall have reasonable time and, if there is anything that is not provided for so far as this House is concerned, there is always another place where matters of that sort can be dealt with, therefore I must ask the House to reject the Amendment.
§ Mr. MARDY JONES
The right hon. Gentleman has adopted his usual tactics of attaching great importance to the other place where we can put things right, but in view of the very small representation we have there, I do not see what chance there is for us. This is the only Chamber we recognise as responsible to the people, and it is in this Chamber that the Bill should be thoroughly discussed in the fullest possible details. It seems to me that three days are utterly inadequate for the Report stage. We have not agreed to 13 days. We know that the Government can use their power in the Division Lobby to crush us, and that is the only thing that prevents us getting more than 13 days for the Committee stage, but the Report stage is a kind of of review of what has happened in the Committee stage and it is quite obvious that we shall have little or no time to discuss very important Clauses and the Amendments to them.
Let me illustrate the importance of Part 4 as an example of the inadequacy of the time allotted in Committee and on Report. I consider that Part 4 is one of the most vital portions of the whole Bill, and one that is going to arouse the strongest possible opposition throughout the country amongst the great mass of the smaller local authorities. It also figures very largely in the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Local Government in their latest interim Report. I refer, of course, to the rearrangement of local government areas.
This portion of the Bill is a very radical proposal and one which, if carried out fully, is going to revolutionise the number and the areas of the existing local authorities. At present we have the parish councils, the rural councils, the boards of guardians, the urban councils, the municipal boroughs, county boroughs and county councils, and everyone of these will be affected by these proposals. 2047 The time allotted in Committee is absurdly short for these very important things and, on Report, the time that can be given to them in three days is not worth considering at all. I venture to predict that before we reach the Report stage, once it becomes thoroughly known in the country that this portion has been ignored or set aside by the Government, there will be great resentment. The whole thing is of too great importance to be put aside after a casual discussion in a few
§ hours. All these local authorities are vitally affected with regard to the proposals for rearrangement, and the wording in the Bill is very vague as to what is to be the procedure with regard to alterations of boundaries, amalgamations of small units and so on. I very strongly support the Amendment.
§ Question put, "That the word 'Three' stand part of the Question, as amended."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 217; Noes, 133.2049
|Division No. 50.]||AYES.||[9.15 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Albery, Irving James||Galbraith, J. F. W||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Atkinson. C.||Gates, Percy||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Barclay-Harvey. C. M.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Goff, Sir Park||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Gower, Sir Robert||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Bonn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Grace, John||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Bennett, A. J.||Grant, Sir J. A.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Bethel, A.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Bevan, S. J.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Hacking, Douglas H.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Hamilton, Sir George||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Hanbury, C.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Harland, A.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Partington, Marquess of||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Brockiebank, C. E. R.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Harvey, Majors. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Haslam, Henry C.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Headlam, Lieut-Colonel C. M.||Penny, Frederick George|
|Burman, J. B.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Perkins, Colonel E. K|
|Cassels, J. D.||Holt, Capt. H. P.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Pilcher, G.|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Preston, William|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Price, Major C. W. M|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Ramsden, E.|
|Christie, J. A.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hurd, Percy A.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Couper, J. B.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Rye, F. G.|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon Cuthbert||Salmon, Major I.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Llndsey, Gainsbro)||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Knox, Sir Alfred||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lamb, J. Q||Savery, S. S.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Long, Major Eric||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Lougher, Lewis||Skelton, A. N.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Lucas-Tooth. Sir Hugh Vere||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)|
|Dixey, A. C.||Luce, Maj.-Gen, Sir Richard Harman||Smithers, Waldron|
|Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Lumley, L. R.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Ellis, R. G.||Macdonald. Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Maclntyre, Ian||Streatfelld, Captain S. R.|
|Fermoy, Lord||McLean, Major A.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Fleiden, E. B.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Macquisten, F. A.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Watts, Sir Thomas||Wood. B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)||Wells, S. R.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W, Mitchell||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Tinne, J. A.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Waddington, R.||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)||Wright, Brig.-General W. D.|
|Wallace, Captain D. E.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)||Winby, Colonel L. P.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Waterhouse, Captain Charles||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||Major Sir William Cope and Sir|
|Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||Victor Warrender.|
|Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Richardson, R. (Houghtor-le-Spring)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Ritson, J.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Grundy, T. W.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)|
|Baker, Walter||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hardie, George D.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Barnes, A.||Harris, Percy A.||Sexton, James|
|Barr, J.||Hayday, Arthur||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Batey, Joseph||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Bellamy, A.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shinwell, E.|
|Benn, Wedgwood||Hirst, G. H.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hollins, A.||Smillie, Robert|
|Bromfield, William||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Snell, Harry|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jenkins, W, (Glamorgan, Neath)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Buchanan, G.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Cape, Thomas||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Compton, Joseph||Jones, W. N. (Carmarthen)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Connolly, M.||Kelly, W. T.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cove, W. G.||Kennedy, T.||Townend, A. E.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lawrence, Susan||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lee, F.||Viant, S. P.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Livingstone, A. M.||Wallhead, Richard C|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Longbottom, A. W.||Walsh, Rt. Hon Stephen|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lowth, T.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Day, Harry||Lunn, William||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Dennison, R.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah|
|Duncan, C.||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Dunnleo, H.||MacLaren, Andrew||Westwood, J.|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|England, Colonel A.||March, S.||Whiteley, W.|
|Fenny, T. D.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Forrest, W.||Montague, Frederick||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Murnin, H.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Naylor, T. E.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Gillett, George M.||Oliver, George Harold||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Gosling, Harry||Owen, Major G.||Windsor, Walter|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Paling, W.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Win. (Edin., Cent.)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Greenall, T.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. B.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Potts, John S.||Smith.|
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I beg to move, in line 64, to leave out the word "One," and to insert instead thereof the word "Two."
This is a request for another day for Third Reading. There is a peculiar sense of unreality when addressing this House on a subject like this. The question has been settled long ago, and all the arguments that we put forward on the matter under discussion are only so much additional strength to the Minister's determination that there shall not be a discussion, and that is, of course, a psychological frame of mind which we all can 2050 readily and perfectly understand. Therefore, I am not going to make a speech, but to point out once more that the. Government have sewn together five or six Bills, and by this means have avoided having a proper Second Reading on any one of them. They have also avoided having what they ought to have had—a Third Reading for each one separately. I ask the House to consider sympathetically what can be done with the Third Reading of this enormous portmanteau Measure. How the speakers will have to jump about from Poor Law guardians to roads, and from roads to de-rating, and from de- 2051 rating to quinquennia, and from quinquennia to formula, and what an excessively easy job the Minister will have in replying, when it is impossible, for any human being to deal adequately with the points raised! There it is. The Government are going to force this absurd Bill through, and we are not going to have enough time in which to discuss it. I put forward once more the case that for Third Reading we should have at least two days, in order to admit of some proper classification of Debate. To debate every question in this Bill in one day means a very great trial to the Chair. It will prevent the Debate from being presented coherently.
§ Mr. CECIL WILSON
I beg to second the Amendment.
It seems to me that when we have before us a Bill with 115 Clauses and 11 Schedules, and occupying 155 pages, it is ridiculous to ask the House to take only one day for the consideration of the Third Reading. I suppose that the Minister will require an hour in order to explain the difference between the Bill on Third Reading and what it was when it was introduced, and that the Parliamentary Secretary will also require an hour to wind up and to explain what a very excellent Bill this is. They may take it on a Friday, when we sit from eleven till four. That means five hours, and for only about 2½ hours shall we be in a position to discuss a Bill of this character, or less than we should give to a Bill dealing with rats or rabbits, or something of that sort. The Bill comprises exceedingly interesting and intricate Clauses, and the Government really ought to give us additional time rather than cut it down. I can offer only one explanation for it, and that is that they realise that by the time it gets to Third Reading the Bill will be in such a condition, owing to the criticism that it has received, that they will be glad enough to get rid of it quickly.
§ Sir K. WOOD
The Opposition is surely very contradictory on this matter. I think it will be found that the allocated time is adequate without extension. The hon. Lady who has just spoken has had a very good innings already, and she cannot complain that she has been stinted of time. It will be found, I think, on 2052 the Committee stage, on Report and on Third Reading that we have generally a little time in hand and on Third Reading especially, if we endeavour to compress our speeches, every hon. Member who is desirous of joining in the Debate will have an opportunity. At any rate, I do not think matters would be very much improved by an additional day. In these circumstances the House will agree with me that a reasonable amount of time has been allotted. We have endeavoured to meet hon. Members opposite as to the exact allotment of the Clauses to be discussed, and I think generally it will be found sufficient. I do not anticipate any of the difficulties which hon. Members suggest, and at any rate I must ask the House to reject this Amendment.
§ Mr. BENN
The Parliamentary Secretary's argument is worthy of the Motion. Not a word of evidence of any sort or kind! He thinks the hon. Lady has had her fair share of debate, that the time will he sufficient, and that in any case he must ask the House to reject the Amendment. That is the complete case put from the Government Benches. When you recollect that the Minister himself took 2½ hours to introduce the Bill—I am not in the least complaining of that, and 1 agree it was an admirable and a justly-admired exposition of the Measure—and that we are going to be allotted what may be only between 11 o'clock and 3.30 on a Friday afternoon for the Third Reading, hon. Members will see that there is something in this Amendment.
I would like to ask the Chief Whip one or two questions about the allocation. As I have pointed out many times, it is his business, and not the business of the Minister of Health, to defend this Motion. Of course, the Minister wants it, but the Chief Whip is the only man, besides the Leader of the House or the Deputy Leader of the House, who is really in charge of the business of the House. To ask the Minister of Health and the Secretary of State for Scotland to judge the case is like having a bench of burglars to decide a case of housebreaking. In connection with these Debates, as we learn from the "Times" and other newspapers, the Chief Whip has resorted to a new strategy, and has had educational classes 2053 upstairs of Back Bench Members who have been sent down to give what is described as independent support of the Bill. Is that going on? It is perfectly obvious that there will be no general criticism of the Bill if that is going on, and if he directs hon. Members of his own party—as an alternative to the old policy of absenteeism—to get up and make little speeches praising the Bill. Another question I would like to ask is this: Is the Minister of Health going to reply on Third Reading? The Guillotine falls at 3.30 or 10.30 p.m., as the case may be, and there is no guarantee that any answer will be made to the arguments put forward. We may be a small minority, but that is not a thing which commends itself to the judgment of any person with decent feelings or respect for Parliamentary institutions.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I would remind the House of what happened on the Second Reading of this Bill. We had the experience of at least two Members representing rural constituencies pointing out that the point of view of the district councils in rural areas had not been put to the House. I remember one hon. Member for one of the Sussex Divisions, who does not often intervene in these Debates—though when he does he shows extraordinary knowledge—protesting that though he was going to put an independent point of view and to make constructive criticism, he had not had an opportunity of making his statement. Not only have the rural areas not an opportunity, in this comprehensive Measure which covers the whole of the country, of showing their objection and asking for concessions, but London, which has a very big problem and is very much affected by the Bill, has hardly had a look in. No single Member except the right hon. Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood) in these three days has had an opportunity of putting the London point of view.
I agree that London is to a great ex tent supporting some parts of the Measure but that is conditional on a great number of concessions. These concessions do appear on the Order Paper, but there is every reason to believe, according to the time table, that it will be impossible to move the Amendments which will embody the requirements of London. The only chance the 2054 great rural districts and London will have to have the case put on large lines, and not merely on matters of detail, is on Third Reading. If it had been possible for every point of view to be put, then there would have been some argument for only one day, but there are other aspects. Take the question of the guardians. You cannot treat the guardians as an isolated problem. Whether some Members, at any rate on this side of the House, can be satisfied with the abolition of the guardians entirely depends on how the Bill is amended. Before they really can state their point of view, they will have to see the Bill in its final form. It is not unreasonable, when a number of people have been prevented from speaking during the three days, that on the Third Reading, which is the last occasion on which the problem can be viewed as a whole, that there should be an extra day.
§ Mr. R. RICHARDSON
I cannot help thinking that the Minister has forgotten something. In regard to this formula which he is presenting, will he instruct the House as to how he has arrived at the figures? The Government are up against all the experts in the country. They have not made their peace with the County Councils' Association. One hon. Member has been telling us he has handed in 26 Amendments. Are they going to receive the consideration they deserve on the Committee stage? That is clearly impossible, because there will will not be time. Again, have you made your peace with the associations of local government authorities? The right hon. Gentleman knows full well shat the Urban District Councils' Association and the Rural District Councils' Association are against the Bill, and that many of the communications from these Associations complain of what the Bill contains. If the Minister would go into the country and consult the people there, not of my own political persuasion but of his own political persuasion, they would tell him that they are as much against the Bill as I am. There is no peace in regard to this matter. If a referendum were taken, I am sure the Minister would lose his case. I hope that we shall be given at least the two days for discussion of the Third Reading which are asked for in the Amendment.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I hope the right hon. Gentleman will meet us in this matter, otherwise we shall be trying in one day to do an impossible job. Let the Minister consider his own action in this matter. The House and the country have had a serial story in White Paper 3134, White Paper 3220 and White Paper 3227, followed by a series of lengthy negotiations, then the Bill, and now we are to have a compact, restricted Committee stage of 13 days. There will be thousands of Amendments on Me Order Paper before the Committee stage is through. We are to have three days on Report, and when we have Reported the Bill hundreds of Amendments which will never have been touched. As I understand the object of a Third Reading, it is an occasion when the Bill and nothing but the Bill is discussed. Surely, it is in the interests of the Minister, to say nothing of the local authorities and the thousands of administrators who will have to administer the Act, when it is the law of the land, that we should get a clear-cut discussion of the Bill as it finally leaves this Chamber to go to another place.
The Parliamentary Secretary seems to have made the mistake of thinking that he was discussing a Bill to deal with the Socialistic millennium. Had he been discussing the Socialistic millennium, he might have talked at length until time came to an end, or he might have made a thumb-nail sketch of it, and have got through it in half a day. He is not discussing the Socialistic millennium but the Tory quinquennium which is a very different thing. The Tory quinquennium is not a matter that we can expand or contract; it is a practical business which has to be translated into practical acts by every local authority, and seeing that these quinquennial periods will follow one another, as they will long after the Parliamentary Secretary and I have been gathered to our fathers, and have received our appropriate rewards, the least the Minister can do is to give every hon. Member who has a contribution to make to the discussion with regard to the principles underlying the Bill, and how it will finally work out in detail, a chance of expressing himself on the Third Reading. He ought to give a chance not only to hon. Members on this side but to his own back benchers to 2056 state the case as we see it and as they see it for and against the Bill, so that the country may not remain in the maze in which we find it to-day.
In regard to Scotland there is anger, while in England and Wales there is anxiety with regard to the Bill. The Association of Municipal Corporations, the County Councils Association, the Urban District Councils Association, and. the Rural District Councils Association, all these bodies, although they have agreed reluctantly to certain concessions, because they know they can get concessions out of the Minister, there is great dubiety and great anxiety as to the final administrative structure into which our local government system will be cast after the Third Reading and passage of this Bill, and there is great anxiety and great dubiety as to how the financial proposals will finally work out. Two days are not enough for discussion of the Third Reading; certainly the period allowed ought not to be one moment less than two Parliamentary days. Hon. Members opposite will make a good many slips in discussing the Bill before and during the next General Election. The serial story has been so long, so variegated, so multi-coloured, that the shortest possible time which ought to be given to the House in order to put the proposals before the country on the Third Reading of the Bill, is two days.
§ Mr. HARDIE
We are certainly entitled to a longer period for debate before we come to the final washing out of Scottish individuality, and the consideration of that part of the Bill.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Major Elliot)
Does the hon. Member want the House to think that we are suggesting a joint Committee for both Bills?
§ Mr. HARDIE
I do suggest that Scotland is going to be dragged at the heels of England, and that all through Scotsmen on the Government side are selling the pass. If Scotsmen had been of the same character as the Irishmen who used to sit in this House, the Government would not have got off so easily. What we are fighting for, is that we should have some kind of distinctive mark so far as Scotland is concerned. If the time allowed for England is to be, say, one 2057 day, then Scotland ought to have six, and the reason for that statement is that Scottish people take their politics seriously, and discuss things seriously. It is not possible at this stage to discuss what the Government have been pleased to call the method of calculation, or the formula. The difference between the English population and the Scottish population is that the Scottish population believe in getting to the bottom of a thing, and finding out whether or not it will work. We believe in going right down to every detail. The fight on the English side cannot be considered to be our fight. Instead of looking at this matter from the true national point of view, and fighting for an extension for both countries, I am afraid that some hon. Members will be prepared to accept something for England and, having secured that, they will not care what happens to Scotland. If you want to have a real review of the Bill on This Reading the time allowed is absolutely inadequate, and I hope, even if it is only for the purpose of educating the people of the country in these difficult matters, that the Government will give us more time.
§ Mr. TINKER
This particular Amendment, out of all the others on the Order Paper, appeals to me most. I will tell the House why. Three days were given to the Second Reading of the Bill. It certainly was not adequate because there were scores of hon. Members who did not get a chance to speak. On the Third Reading Debate we shall put up one or two of our experts in order to make a big show, and they will take three-quarters of an hour each. The Government will want to equal this, and their spokesmen will probably take an hour each. The Liberal party will also want their fair share of the time, and it is just possible that hon. Members on the Government Benches will also want to speak. What chance is there for backbenchers on this side of the House? I appeal to the Government to recognise the fact that we want a chance of speaking on the Third Reading and give us another day.
§ Question put, "That the word 'One' stand part of the Question, as amended."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 229; Noes, 127.2061
|Division No. 51.]||AYES.||[9.48 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Albery, Irving James||Colman, N. C. D.||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Applin, Colonel B. V. K.||Cope, Major Sir William||Grace, John|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Couper, J. B.||Grant, Sir J. A.|
|Atkinson, C.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hacking, Douglas H.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Hamilton, Sir George|
|Bennett, A. J.||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Hanbury, C.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Bethel, A.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Harland, A.|
|Bevan, S. J.||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Dawson, Sir Philip||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. B., Skipton)||Dixey, A. C.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Eden, Captain Anthony||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Holt, Capt. H. P.|
|Brockiehank, C. E. R.||Ellis, R. G.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. B. I.||England, Colonel A.||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Burman, J. B.||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Fermoy, Lord||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, whiteh'n)|
|Cassels, J. D.||Fielden, E. B.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Cayzer, Maj, Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Ford, Sir P. J.||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Forrest, W.||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Galbraith, J. F. W.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Christie, J. A.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Kindersley, Major Guy M.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Gates, Percy||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Lamb, J. O.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Long, Major Eric||Pennefather, Sir John||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Lougher, Lewis||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Perring, Sir William George||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Lumley, L. R.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Lynn, Sir R. J.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frame)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Pilcher, G.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Preston, William||Tinne, J. A.|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Price, Major C. W. M.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Raine, Sir Walter||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Ramsden, E.||Waddington, R.|
|Macintyre, Ian||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|McLean, Major A.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Rye, F. G.||Wells, S. R.|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Salmon, Major I.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Savery, S. S.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Shepperson, E. W.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Moore, Sir Newton J.||Skelton, A. N.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Moreing, Captain A. H.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Wood, E.(Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Smithers, Waldron||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Southby, Commander A. R. J.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Wright, Brig.-General W. D.|
|Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Captain Bowyer and Mr. Penny.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Naylor, T. E.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Greenall, T.||Oliver, George Harold|
|Ammon, Charles George||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coins)||Owen, Major G.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Baker, Walter||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Barnes, A.||Grundy, T. W.||Potts, John S.|
|Barr, J.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ritson, J.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Bellamy, A.||Hardie, George D.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)|
|Benn, Wedgwood||Harris, Percy A.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hayday, Arthur||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Sexton, James|
|Bromfield, William||Hirst, G. H.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hollins, A.||Shinwell, E.|
|Buchanan, G.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Cape, Thomas||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Charieton, H. C.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Smillie, Robert|
|Cluse, W. S.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhiths)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Compton, Joseph||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Snell, Harry|
|Connolly, M.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Cove, W. G.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Cowan. D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Jones, W. N. (Carmarthen)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Kelly, W. T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kennedy, T.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Lawrence, Susan||Sutton, J. E.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawson, John James||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Day, Harry||Lee, F.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dennison, R.||Longbottom, A. W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Duncan, C.||Lowth, T.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Dunnico, H.||Lunn, William||Viant, S. P.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Fenby, T. D.||MacLaren, Andrew||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||March, S.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Gillett, George M||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Westwood, J.|
|Gosling, Harry||Montague, Frederick||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Murnin, H.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)||Windsor, Walter||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Paling.|
|Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I beg to move, in line 69, to leave out the word "Eight," and to insert instead thereof the word "Nine."
As I indicated earlier, after having listened to representations made from all sides of the House the Government are prepared to extend the Committee stage by one day. I understand that the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) will later move a manuscript Amendment for the allocation of time in those nine days. It is clear from what has been said that the Opposition—and the Government are not in disagreement—desire to have a little more time to discuss the earlier Clauses which refer particularly to the changes that are being made in local government. If it is the will of the House to agree to the proposal of the hon. Member for Dundee, the Government will accept that proposal. In the main it follows the same line as the Government would have proposed in the allocation of the nine days, with some modifications. I hope that this may lead to the fullest opportunity being given to the discussion of all the important points in the Scottish Bill.
§ Question, "That the word 'Eight' stand part of the Question, as amended," put; and negatived.
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'Nine' be there inserted."
§ Mr. HARDIE
I wish to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, to insert the word "Fifteen" instead of the word "Nine."
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
If we merely vote against "Nine" being inserted, we are giving no indication of our preference for "Fifteen." We in no way accept the theory of the Secretary of State that nine days are sufficient. We hold that a period of 15 days is required.
§ Mr. HARDIE
As I said, I wish to move that 15 days be substituted for the nine days proposed. The reasons for asking for this time is that the Bill differs so much in detail from the English Bill. The Scottish Bill carries with it very 2062 radical changes, not only in law but in practice, which take away the democratic vote and change the whole of the methods so far as county and burgh relations are concerned. The Bill seeks to merge two bodies, now democratically appointed, into one body. These two bodies are the parish councils, which correspond to the English Boards of Guardians, and the education authorities. The education authority is at present an ad hoc body. The areas of the education authorities were enlarged in 1918, and they have not been fully tried out in Scotland. Because of these details that have to be considered, we ask for fifteen days discussion. We have in the Scottish educational system something that is not experienced in England unless in the one City of Liverpool. In Glasgow and in the industrial areas, there are difficulties that demand full consideration. Of such difficulties England knows nothing. In nine days there will not be time to deal with these questions adequately. We have a huge community in cities like Glasgow where the line of difference in faith makes the educational system a real difficulty. If for no other reason, we need 15 days to understand what is to take place.
The Government are saying to the people, "You have always been allowed to vote for your education authorities. Now you are to have that taken from you and your members are to be co-opted on an education committee." In 1918 this House gave certain things to Scotland in an Act and those things are being departed from now. It is no use the Secretary of State thinking that if the Government can guillotine the discussions, they are going to kill the education question in Scotland. The shorter the time given, the more alive will that question become. Then as to the parish council business, although the Secretary of State has promised to make a new arrangement whereby there will be a kind of half-voting for parish councils working in conjunction with something else, even for that arrangement it is necessary to have 15 days discussion.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
If the hon. Member does not wish to have the word "Nine" inserted, he must vote against it, and, if 2063 he defeats the insertion of the word "Nine," he can move to insert the word "Fifteen." The Question before the House is "That the word 'Nine' be there inserted."
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
Like the last speaker, I oppose the idea of giving only nine days for the discussion of these revolutionary proposals affecting Scotland. Not only are the education authorities, and the small burghs, and, indeed, the people of Scotland, opposed to the local government proposals generally, but the agricultural community is opposed to the suggested system of de-rating in its application to Scottish agriculture as compared with the proposals relating to English agriculture. Well does the Secretary of State for Scotland know the feeling of the agricultural community against the proposed system.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
The hon. Member must realise that we cannot allow this to develop into a Second Reading Debate.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
I was seeking to give reasons why a longer period than nine days would be required for the discussion of these proposals, and I submit that the difference between the proposals applying to agriculture in Scotland, and those applying to agriculture in England, justify us in asking a longer period for the discussion of the intricacies of the Government proposals. I pass to the dissatisfaction existing in Scotland on the education proposals. Because of the revolution which is proposed in education administration in Scotland, we would require the 15 days which has been suggested, and, certainly, far more than the nine days in the proposal now before the House. The Government seek, not merely to change the educational machinery, but to change the whole system of the election of those who are to be associated with its administration. They are seeking to disfranchise thousands of electors, and it will not be possible to give due attention to that problem in the course of nine days. We cannot possibly have adequate time for dealing with education within the space of nine days, but I would suggest a way whereby the Secretary of State for Scotland could help us to make even the nine days adequate. That would be by the withdrawal of the whole of the 2064 proposals relating to education. That would enable us to concentrate on the proposals relating to the burghs and other matters. We must go into the Division Lobby against this limited period of nine days being allowed for the consideration of proposals which are resented in Scotland, as much by supporters of the Government as by the men and women of my own political faith. Air Henry Keith and Lochiel and others are honestly opposing the proposals made by the Government because they believe that those proposals are made for the deliberate purpose of ruining and destroying the system of local government in Scotland.
§ Dr. DRUMMOND SHIELS
I wish to add my word of protest to those which have already been spoken against the proposal to allot nine days for this purpose. This Bill is much more radical and revolutionary than the English Bill. Why that should be so I do not know, but poor Scotland has suffered once again the blows of bad fortune administered through the agency of this Government. The educational system in England has been left practically untouched, but the educational system in Scotland is being dealt with drastically and many other points arise which call for a great deal of discussion. I do not think our case would have been so strong had there been an adequate reply by the Government to the Second Reading Debate. There are, for instance, several important matters concerning public health which have never been explained and we are in considerable doubt and mystification as to what is going to happen when these changes take place. Had the Government made matters a little more clear in that respect our claim to-night would not have been so strong.
I further suggest as a reason for allotting more time, that the Bill has only been made possible by consultation and conciliation and by a study and consideration of the feelings of the local authorities. We know that during the Recess a considerable amount of time was spent by the right hon. Gentleman in work of that kind. To his credit—though I think we would rather it had been otherwise—he gave up his holiday, and devoted himself to arranging matters with the local authorities. Although the local authorities are not 2065 quite so anxious in some respects as they were, they are still in considerable doubt. I suggest that the best way to conciliate local opinion and to secure an understanding of the good points, which the Government tell us exist in the Bill, is to give a proper Committee stage in which these matters can be made clear, and the local authorities can be told what is going to happen. I suggest that, in the Government's own interest, the time should be extended. We are grateful for the concession of an extra day, but, like Oliver Twist, we ask for more. We feel we have the right on behalf of Scotland, which we think is being shabbily treated in this respect, to demand 15 days, a period which is only barely adequate for the proper consideration of these important and revolutionary proposals.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
I feel that we have no option hut to vote against this proposal of nine days. The hon. Member for Fast Edinburgh (Dr. Shiels) said he was grateful to the Secretary of State for Scotland for the concession of one day, but I should like the House to consider what that means. On the time table as it would be arranged then, it would mean that we should have another three hours to discuss the whole of the vast question connected with the abolition of the parish councils, and another three hours for discussing the transfer of the functions of all the 'other local authorities. If the right hon. Gentleman thinks that is adequate, I can only say that I am sure that every Scottish Member in the House will not agree with him. As has already been said, the proposals affecting Scotland are far more revolutionary than are those affecting England, and the initial Clauses of the Bill cover the whole range of local government. in Scotland, the new proposals which are going to alter it from top to bottom, and, as the hon. Member for Peebles (Mr. Westwood) said, bringing into the forefront the possibility of religious squabbles over educational matters. To suppose that the whole of these matters can be adequately discussed in a matter of nine days is entirely apart from the opinion of the Scottish Members in this House. I think 10 days would have been the absolute minimum, and that 12 days would have been a proper time, but 15 days have been asked 2066 for. I think the House might be satisfied with 12, but certainly not with nine, and I shall feel myself compelled to vote against the Government's proposal.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
The strongest argument advanced against the Government's proposal was advanced by the Secretary of State for Scotland himself during the Second Reading discussion, for he then said, when opposition was raised in all quarters of the House to the details of the Bill, that a time would come when, on the Committee stage, we could make our observations and he would be only too ready to offer explanations. Now, having bought off the opposition on his own side and disposed of the opposition on this side for the time being, he refuses to do any more than grant this so-called concession. It is hardly sufficient. The varied interests concerned call for more consideration than he is prepared so far to give them. First of all, the educational side has to be dealt with, and that involves the religious question. That is a serious matter, as there are various denominational interests affected. They will all want consideration, and indeed they are entitled to it. Then he has to deal with the small burghs, the parish councils, the agricultural interests, and the general question of de-rating. Surely he does not contend that all these interests can be properly dealt with and disposed of in the nine days that he now proposes to allot to the Committee stage.
The assumption underlying the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman appears to be this, that during the Committee and Report stages, the hon. Members on his own side are not going to participate in the discussion, but presumably he does not expect that all parties in the House can get fair treatment in these nine days. If he does, it is an ill-founded assumption, because during the Second Reading Debate there was hardly a Member on the benches opposite from a Scottish constituency who did not participate in the Debate. That indicates that they have something to say, and I presume that they will want to say something on the Committee stage also. We shall have something to say, and my hon. Friends below the Gangway on this side will certainly want to say something. That is characteristic of them, even if it does not seem a great deal, and certainly my hon. 2067 Friends on this side will have something to say. The hon. and gallant Member for Dumbartonshitre (Lieut.-Colonel Thorn) was very prolific in his observations on the Second Reading. Where is the hon. Member for Perth (Mr. Skelton), who made three or four speeches when the opportunity offered? I presume the right hon. Gentleman himself and the Under-Secretary also will want to say something, and where is the learned Lord Advocate? Will he not have something to say on the legal aspects of the Bill?
My last point is one of real substance. The right hon. Gentleman admitted in the Second Reading discussion—and I say this without offence—that he had some difficulty in explaining the formula and the intricacies and complications of this Bill of undoubted complexity. That is what he said, and surely if we are to hear the proper and necessary explanations for which everybody is waiting, it will require some time. Far from being hostile to the right hon. Gentleman, we are anxious to assist him and to give him an opportunity of explaining himself. No one should he more anxious to avail himself of that opportunity than the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, who could, I am sure, speak for three hours on this Bill, and indeed on any of the Clauses. It is very seldom that he gets the opportunity of speaking in this House, and why should we prevent him? On all grounds, and for reasons that have been suggested on this side and indeed for reasons that have been suggested by hon. Members on the other side in the earlier stages of the proceedings when they indicated disapproval of the time-table arrangements, we ought to have more time.
May I correct a misapprehension which appears to exist in the minds of hon. Members on the other side. They appear to think that, because we are opposing a time-table Motion that it is mere frivolity on our part. It is nothing of the sort. We are not opposed on principle to a time-table arrangement, but if the method is to be the accepted practice in the House, it should be reached as a result of negotiations through the usual channels, and not imposed as it is by the Government without previous discussion. The Government come along 2068 in this arbitrary, Mussolini, dominating and domineering fashion, and thrust this down our throats. Speaking for a Scottish constituency, and knowing something of Scottish opinion, I protest in the strongest possible way against this proposal.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
It is rather incongruous that a Member for an English division should intervene to ask for more time for a Scottish Bill. I want to put it to the Secretary of State for Scotland that it is a conundrum why 13 days should be given to the English Bill, and only nine for the Scottish Bill, because really it does not matter whether England be three times the size of Scotland or vice versa. The legal changes that are involved are as important to England as to Scotland. For years I have been associated in Scotland in the most intimate way with the fight that has been carried on in regard to the reform in the rating law. The fight that has been put up in Scotland for almost 30 years for rating reform has no reflection in this Bill. The Scottish outlook on this question is entirely different from anything that has been freely expressed on the English side, and I am interested, as many other people who come from Scotland are, to find out how the Government are going to impose this novel form of rating on the Scottish people. Intellectually, it will be interesting to those of us who are watching this innovation.
Therefore, for that, if it were for no other reason, I oppose this Motion. I am not going to be redundant and mention the educational difficulty. It is true that it has been said that some here are Irishmen and only Scotsmen in disguise, but I cannot help feeling, as I sit and watch the complacent way in which Scotsmen are accepting the extinction of the race by this whirlwind method, whereby the Sassenach has suddenly dragged them at his tail, and the Secretary of State for Scotland has dropped tartan and pipes and peasemeal to go flying after the Englishman as if Scotland had no existence—I cannot understand how it is Scotsmen are so complacent over this matter. Putting all joking aside, there is more in this than meets the eye. The Scottish people have had a determined national mind—
§ Mr. MacLAREN
On a point of Order, I beg to say this to you, that I am stressing a point which will be easily appreciated by the Secretary of State, that the Scottish mind has been very decided on certain principles which do not appear in this Bill. Scottish conceptions with regard to local government and local rating are not embodied in this Bill. The provisions in this Bill are a novel imposition going to be forced upon Scotland, and that is why I am going to—
§ Mr. MacLAREN
But I beg to ask your Ruling on this matter. Am I out of Order in begging for an extension of time to be given to the Scottish Bill on the ground of the differences involved in that Bill. Am I out of Order in pointing out—
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I will endeavour to do that. I am sorry if I deviated, but I am afraid that the English mind does
§ not appreciate that there is a very great and determined difference. The whole political background of the Scottish demand for local government and rating reform is different from anything which is in this Bill—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
All that was ruled out of Order just now. The hon. Member cannot go on saying it time after time.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I would like a word of explanation from the Secretary for Scotland on one point. I notice that on the 8th day three hours are allowed for new Clauses and Schedules 1 to 4, and I notice that in the corresponding part of the English Bill that the new Clauses and Schedules 1 to 3 get three hours. Why is it that the Scottish Bill, with an extra schedule, is getting only the same time as the English Bill has? Our Schedules are quite as complicated as the English Schedules, and I think we ought to have at least an extra half-hour.
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I would point out to my hon. Friend that the Schedules are very similar, and in any case we are accepting the proposals of the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) in this matter.
§ Question put, "That the word 'Nine' be there inserted."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 238; Noes, 143.2073
|Division No. 52.]||AYES.||[10.30 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Burman, J. B.||Davies, Maj, Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Albery, Irving James||Carver, Major W. H.||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Cassels, J. D.||Dixey, A. C.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert|
|Attor, Maj. Hn.John J. (Kent, Dover)||Cazalet, Captain Victor A||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Atkinson, C.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Ellis, R. G.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Chapman, Sir S.||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Falls, Sir Bertram G.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Christie, J. A.||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Fermoy, Lord|
|Bethel, A.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Ford, Sir P. J.|
|Bevan, S. J.||Clarry, Reginald George||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Foster, Sir Harry S.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Colman, N. C. D.||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Cope, Major Sir William||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Couper, J. S.||Gates, Percy|
|Brass, Captain W.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Brockiebank, C. E. R.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Goff, Sir Park|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Grace, John|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Grant, Sir J. A.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Hacking, Douglas H.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col Sir F. (Dulwich)||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Hamilton, Sir George||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Margesson, Capt. D.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Hanbury, C.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Harland, A.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Meyer, Sir Frank||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Holt, Capt. H. P.||Murchison, Sir Kenneth||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Templeton, W. P.|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Tinne, J. A.|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmar||Pennefather, Sir John||Waddington, R.|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Perring, Sir William George||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Pilcher, G.||Wells, S. R.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Preston, William||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Price, Major C. W. M.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Raine, Sir Walter||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Ramsden, E.||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Long. Major Eric||Rhys, Hon. C. A. O.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Lougher, Lewis||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'try)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Withers, John James|
|Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Lumley, L. R.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Wood, E. (Chester, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Lynn, Sir R. J.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Rye, F. G.||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Salmon, Major I.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wragg, Herbert|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wright, W.|
|Maclntyre, Ian||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Wright, Brig.-General W. D.|
|McLean, Major A.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Sanderson, Sir Frank||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Savery, S. S.||Mr. Penny and Captain Wallace.|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Hirst, G. H.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hollins, A.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Day, Harry||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Dennison, R.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)|
|Baker, Walter||Duncan, C.||John, William (Rhondda, West)|
|Barnes, A.||Dunnico, H.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
|Barr, J.||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Batey, Joseph||England, Colonel A.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Fenby, T. D.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Bellamy, A.||Forrest, W.||Jones, W. N. (Carmarthen)|
|Benn, Wedgwood||Gardner, J. P.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Kennedy, T.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Gillett, George M.||Lansbury, George|
|Bromfield, William||Gosling, Harry||Lawrence, Susan|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Graham. D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lawson, John James|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lee, F.|
|Buchanan, G.||Greenall, T.||Lindley, F. W.|
|Cape, Thomas||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Longbottom, A. W.|
|Charieton, H. C.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Lowth, T.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Lunn, William|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Grundy, T. W.||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)|
|Compton, Joseph||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Connolly, M.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Cove, W. G.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hardie, George D.||March, S.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Harney, E. A.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Hayday, Arthur||Montague, Frederick|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Sexton, James||Trevelyam, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Mosley, Sir Oswald||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Viant, S. P.|
|Murnin, H.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Naylor, T. E.||Shinwell, E.||Watson, w. M. (Duntermilne)|
|Oliver, George Harold||Sitch, Charles H.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Owen, Major G.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Westwood, J.|
|Palln, John Henry||Smllie, Robert||Wheatlev, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Paling, W.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Whiteley, W.|
|Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Smith, Rennle (Penistone)||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Snell, Harry||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Ponsonby, Arthur||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Williams. T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Potts, John S.||Stamford, T. W.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Atterclifte)|
|Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Stephen, Campbell||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Ritson, J.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Windsor, Walter|
|Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W, Bromwich)||Strauss, E. A.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Runciman, Hilda (Cornwall, St. Ives)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton), E.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Tinker, John Joseph||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. T.|
|Salter, Dr. Alfred||Tomilnson, R. P.||Henderson.|
|Scrymgeour, E.||Townend, A. E.|
|First||Instructions and Clauses 1 and 2||10.30|
|Second||Clauses 3 to 7||10.30|
|Clauses 9 to 11||10.30|
|Fourth||Clauses 12 and 13||7.30|
|Fifth||Clauses l5 to 19||7.30|
|Clauses 20 to 24||10.30|
|Sixth||Clauses 25 to 29||7.30|
|Clauses 30 to 32||10.30|
|Seventh||Clauses 33 to 36||7.30|
|Clauses 37 to 39||10.30|
|Eighth||Clauses 40 to 44||7.30|
|Clauses 45 to 61||10.30|
|Ninth||New Clauses and Schedules I. to IV||7.30|
|Schedules V. to VII., New Schedules and any other matter necessary to bring the Committee stage to a conclusion||10.30|
§ The object of this Amendment is to allocate the extra day which the Secretary of State for Scotland, under considerable pressure, has given, but I should like to dispel an impression, which I am sure the right hon. Gentleman gave unwittingly, in response to my hon. Friend the Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen) a few moments ago. He rather gave the impression, as I understood him, that we were entirely responsible for the Schedule dealing with the allocation of time, whereas the fact is that we were only responsible for the suggested allocation of time within the miserable nine-days limit that the Secretary of State has allowed, and if we had had, as we ought, in my opinion, to have had, 15 days to divide, we should have allocated our time in a very different way. Whereas the Government propose to take only Instruc- 2074 tions, and Clauses 1 and 2 up to 7.30 in the evening, we propose that the Instructions and Clauses 1 and 2 should run to 10.30. That means three hours more devoted to Clauses 1 and 2. Then we propose that Clauses 3 and 7, dealing particularly with education, the police and registration, shall run to 10.30 on the second day instead of the half-day previously allocated. Then we propose-that Clause 8 shall run until 7.30 and Classes 9 to 11 till 10.30 on the third day, and that on the fourth day Clauses 12 and 13 shall run to 7.30, and Clause 14, which deals with district committees, shall run from 7.30 to 10.30. In other words, we have taken the extra day and sought to divide it up over the first I. Clauses. After the first 14 Clauses, no change has been proposed. We have to make the best possible use of the meagre and still insufficient extension of time the right hon. Gentleman has given us, and I trust that he will accede to our request, so that we shall Ire able adequately to discuss these important Clauses, which we are still unable to do even with the extra day we have been given.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I beg to move, in line 97, to leave out the word "Two" and to insert instead thereof the word "Five."
I will content myself with asking the right hon. Gentleman one question. If he thought it desirable to grant a day in respect of the Committee stage, why does he grant no concession on the Report stage? It appears to me that a day extra on the Committee stage warrants an extra day at least on Report. I have no Lope that he will agree to five days. 2075 That is probably too much to ask for at this stage, but we are entitled to some consideration.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
I beg to second the Amendment.
I hope that, while we may not get five days, we may at, least get some concession. I think the Secretary for Scotland will admit that it is a certainty that some Amendments will be accepted, Amendments in connection with elections for parish councils and possibly the amalgamation of the school managing committee along with parish council administration, and, if so, we should certainly require more than two days to discuss the changes in the Bill on Report. I do trust that we shall get some concession in connection with it. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Shinwell) I have not the slightest hope of getting five days, but I trust that we shall be given an addition to the mere two days that the Government propose to give us as far as the Report stage is concerned. For the purpose of allowing the Secretary of State for Scotland to give us some indication of what concession he is going to make. I have pleasure in seconding the Amendment.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I desire to say a few sentences from the point of view of myself and my hon. Friends here. We indicated in our Amendment to the Schedule that we hoped the Secretary would see his way to meet us on this matter. I would point out that this may be the most important part of the Scottish Measure. We understand that there are to be some concessions. Certainly,
§ there will be new Clauses, possibly new Schedules, and I think that we ought to have another day. The necessary Amendments are on the Paper for that day standing in my name, and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman may see his way to meet us. I agree with every word that has been said by hon. Members above the Gangway.
§ Mr. BENN
May I ask the Secretary of State for Scotland this question? Since he will not send the Bill upstairs where we might have it discussed, will he tell us on what principle he has allotted the Scottish Bill, which everyone knows covers a. great deal more ground than the English Bill, so much less time than has been allotted to the English Bill?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I am afraid that I must say to the hon. Gentleman opposite that, of course, I cannot accede to the request. I think the time allocated will he found to be adequate to the necessities of this Bill. They ask: Why give two days on the Report stage of this Bill when the English Bill has three days? The answer is perfectly clear. The length of the English Bill is apparent to everybody who looks at it, and, of course, the number of English Members who have to discuss these problems is also in excess of the number of Scottish Members. I am quite satisfied that two days will be ample for the Report stage, and I do not propose to make any change.
§ Question put, "That the word Two 'stand part of the Question, as amended."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 246; Noes, 138.2079
|Division No. 53.]||AYES.||[10.49 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lleut.-Colonel||Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer|
|Albery, Irving James||Brass, Captain W.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Brlggs, J. Harold||Clarry, Reginald George|
|Applln, Colonel R. V. K.||Briscoe, Richard George||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Brooke, Brigadier-General C, R. I.||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Colman, N. C. D.|
|Atkinson, C.||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Cope, Major Sir William|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Buckingham, Sir H.||Couper, J. B.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Bullock, Captain M.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Burman, J. B.||Cralg, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Carver, Major W. H.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Cassels, J. D.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Bethel, A.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)|
|Bevan, S. J.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Alton)||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert|
|Blrchall, Major J. Dearman||Chadwlck, Sir Robert Burton||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Boothby R. J. G.||Chapman, Sir S.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Christie, J. A.||Dixey, A. C.|
|Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Lamb, J. Q.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Rye, F. G.|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Long, Major Eric||Salmon, Major I.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Lougher, Lewis||Samuel, A. M. (Surrty, Farnham)|
|Ellis, R. G.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|England, Colonel A.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Lumley, L. R.||Sanders, Sir Robert A|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Savory, S. S.|
|Fermoy, Lord||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I, of W.)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Mac Donald, R. (Glasgow, Catheart)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon, Angus||Skelton, A. N.|
|Forrest, W.||MacIntyre, Ian||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||McLean, Major A.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Klnc'dlnt, C.)|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Fremantle, Lieut-Colonel Francis E.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Galbralth, J. F. W.||Macqulsten, F. A.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Gates, Percy||Maltland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Maltland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Margesson, Captain D.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Streatfelld, Captain S. R.|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Grace, John||Merrlman, Sir F. Boyd||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Grotrlan, H. Brent||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Templeton, W. P.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Hacking, Douglas H.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col J. T. C.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Hamilton, Sir George||Morelng, Captain A, H.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Hanbury, C.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Murchison. Sir Kenneth||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Harland, A.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Waddlngton, R.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wallace, Captain D. F.|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingstonon-Hull)|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Haslam, Henry C||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Headlam, Lleut.-Colonel C. M.||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Heno, Sir Sydney H.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Wells. S. R.|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||White, Lleut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-|
|Hilton, Cecil||Pennefather, Sir John||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Holbrook. Sir Arthur Richard||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Perrlng, Sir William George||Wilson, R R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Peto, Sir Basll E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Windsor-Clive, Lleut.-Colonel George|
|Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney,N.)||Pilcher, G.||Withers, John James|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whlteh'n)||Power, Sir John Cecil||Womersley, W. J.|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Preston, William||Wood, B. C. (Somerset. Bridgwater)|
|Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Radford, E. A.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Raine, Sir Walter||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Ramsden, E.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Wragg, Herbert|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Wright, Brig.-General W. D.|
|King. Commodore Henry Douglas||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Mr. Penny and Sir Victor Warrender.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West)||Capt, Thomas||Glliett, George M.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Stall., Cannock)||Charleton, H. C.||Gosling, Harry|
|Alexander. A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Cluse, W. S.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bllston)||Compton, Joseph||Greenall, T.|
|Baker, Walter||Connolly, M.||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colna)|
|Barnes, A.||Cove, W. G.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Barr, J.||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Griffith, F. Kingsley|
|Batey, Joseph||Dalton, Hugh||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Grundy, T. W.|
|Bellamy, A.||Davles, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)|
|Benn, Wedgwood||Day, Harry||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Dennison, R.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Duncan, C.||Hardle, George D.|
|Bromfield, William||Dunnlco, H.||Harney, E. A.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Hayday, Arthur|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Fenby, T. D.||Hirst, G. H.|
|Buchanan, G.||Gardner, J. P.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Hollins, A.|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfleld)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Snell, Harry|
|Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Mosley, Sir Oswald||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Jenkins, W (Glamorgan, Neath)||Murnin, H,||Stamford, T. W.|
|John, William (Rhondda, Watt)||Naylor, T. E.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Oliver, George Harold||Stewart, J. (St. Rallox)|
|Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Owen, Major G.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Palln, John Henry||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Jones, W. N. (Carmarthen)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Tomilnson, R. P.|
|Kelly, W. T.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Townend, A. E.|
|Kennedy, T.||Potts, John S.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Vlant, S. P.|
|Lansbury, George||Riley, Ben||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Lawrence, Susan||Ritson, J.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Lawson, John James||Roberts, Rt. Hon, F. O. (W, Bromwich)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Lee, F.||Runciman, Hilda (Cornwall, St. Ives)||Westwood, J.|
|Lindley, F. W.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wheatlcy, Rt. Hon. J|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Salter, Dr. Altred||Whiteley, W.|
|Lowth, T.||Scrymgeour, E.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Lunn, William||Sexton, James||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercllffe)|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Shinwell, E.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Sltch, Charles H.||Windsor, Walter|
|MacNeill-Weir, L.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Maxton, James||Smillle, Robert|
|Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhlthe)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Montague, Frederick||Smith, Rennle (Penlstone)||Mr. T. Henderson and Mr. Paling.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Mr. HARDIE
I beg to move, in line 112, to leave out the word "One" and to insert instead thereof the word "Two."
We maintain that Scotland is not receiving a fair share of consideration. I have dealt with some of the points that I thought of general interest, and if I had time I should like to deal with other details. [HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up."] If hon. Members will keep their own mouths closed, they will be able to hear me. When people are making a noise, and especially when they tell me to speak up in the way they did, it is in order to tell them to keep quiet and then they will be able to hear me. I never object to being interrupted but if I interrupt I like to see that the person who is speaking is allowed time to speak between the interruptions. The continuous noisy conduct which takes place at the Bar so often, especially after a Division, is very disturbing to a great many speakers, but it does not disturb me. I wish to plead for a greater amount of time for consideration of the Scottish section of this English Bill on the Third Reading of the Scottish section. I have been told that the proper designation of what we are discussing now, is an English Bill which includes a Scottish Measure which cannot be called a Scottish Bill, because it is included in an English Bill. It is a mongrel. The question of what the Third Reading is to be can only be determined when we know the amount of time—
§ It being Eleven of the Clock, the Debate stood adjourned.
§ Debate to be resumed To-morrow.