§ The CHAIRMAN
The first Amendment on the Paper, in the name of the hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. Scurr), in page 1, line 7, at the beginning, to insert the words:It shall be the duty of the rating authority for every necessitous area to provide that,should be moved in a rather different form and at a different point—after the Amendment in the names of the right hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham) and of the hon. Members for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) and Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) has been disposed of.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I beg to move, in page 1, line 7, after the word "list," to insert the words "made during the year nineteen hundred and twenty-nine." The object of the Amendment is to limit the operation of the Bill for one year. The Committee will agree that the Bill is more or less in the nature of an experiment for dealing with very grave issues. We are not in a position 1434 to judge exactly what it is that the Minister of Health and his friends hope to gain by this legislation and the legislation a that is to follow, because up to the present we have not had revealed to us the second part of the scheme. We cannot, therefore, look at the business as a whole. It seems to me that before the House makes such legislation as this permanent, it ought to have an opportunity of seeing the scheme in its entirety, and as that is not possible, the next best thing is to limit the scope of this part of the scheme. There are many questions that will have to be raised in connection with this Bill, hut when we remember that the further Bill that is to come in the Autumn is really the most important part of the scheme, in that it will decide how the money that is to be raised will be spent, it seems to me that there is no answer to the argument that the House should not make permanent tae novel method of assessment set out ii the Bill.
This Clause is for the purpose of relieving necessitous areas under certain conditions. If the Bill becomes law you will have stereotyped and made permanent the idea that you arc to give assistance to people who occupy certain property and no assistance to others. Until that scheme is worked out, until we know whether there is any ground for the hope that the right hon. Gentleman has again and again expressed, as to this being a solution of the difficulties of the necessitous areas, the Bill ought not to be made permanent. There is another thing. W 3 are not at all sure at present that if wt had before us the facts as to valuation which will emerge from this proposal, the Committee would pass the Bill in its present form. That is to say, we are not at all sure that under this scheme the people who do not need assistance will get more assistance than those who do need it. We are not in a position to know that until the valuation is carried through. Take a district like Poplar. I am not sure whether the, people who pay very good dividends will not get the real advantage of this Measure because of their prosperity and the higher assessment of their premises that is duo to their prosperity. Although the right hon. Gentleman and his friends say that they want to encourage those who are prosperous, I think the common- 1435 sense of the business is that, as the object is to relieve necessitous areas, you should relieve only those who need assistance most. It is continuously said—it was said lay the Prime Minister on Saturday—that:there is not enough money to go round when we claim that assistance should be given to householders or to shop-keepers—
§ The CHAIRMAN
This Amendment is really a narrow one. I appreciate the difficulty of limiting the discussion, but if it will be for the convenience of the Committee generally, I shall take the course which has been taken on many other Bills, and allow a general discussion on this Amendment. I do not know whether that is for the convenience of the Committee.
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Chamberlain)
What are we to under stand by a general discussion in that case? Does it mean discussion on the whole of the Clause?
§ The CHAIRMAN
That has been the course taken on several other Bills, but the matter is one for the convenience of the Committee.
§ Mr. RAMSAY MacDONALD
If that course were agreed to, what Amendments would it affect? The question is whether it would be better to take the general discussion on this Amendment or on another which is more comprehensive in its scope. I am sure that the Committee would be content to leave it largely in your hands, if you would give a chance of a more general discussion on one of the Amendments to this Clause. Is this the Amendment on which that latitude could most fittingly be granted?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
This seems to be a very narrow Amendment, and there are some Amendments later on the Paper which have a much wider scope. While I always like to have a general discussion in a case of this kind on some suitable Amendment, it seems to me that in the present instance it would be more convenient if we deferred that general discussion to some later Amendment.
Is it your suggestion, Mr. Chairman, that the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. Scurr) would be the most suitable for a general discussion?
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Amendment in question will be called next in a form slightly different from that in which it appears on the Paper. It would have the effect of limiting the provisions of this Clause to necessitous areas. All I am anxious to do is to suit the convenience of the Committee, but, of course, we cannot have general discussions on every Amendment or more than one discussion. If it is the sense of the Committee that we should have a general discussion on the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. Scurr), I shall be glad to take such a discussion on that Amendment.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Perhaps we might get rid of this Amendment first. I am perfectly willing to fall in with the suggestion that we should only have a limited discussion on this Amendment. The only other point I would put is this. We are, through this proposed legislation, about to take a new method of valuation in order to do certain things which are entirely novel. This proposal is made with the object of relieving necessitous areas. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] Then shall I say that it is for the purpose of assisting productive industries in the necessitous areas [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] I must not argue that point now, but I stick to my statement that this legislation would not have been proposed had there not been a demand for assistance from the necessitous areas, and, although the scope of the proposal has been widened so that it will assist productive industry in places other than necessitous areas, the genesis of this Bill lies in the fact that certain districts require help which up to the present the Government have refused to give them. The Government are now bringing forward this Bill in order to assist them as well as the other people. Legislation of that kind, in the judgment of many of us, will not stimulate the industries which need it most, namely, those which are languishing in the necessitous areas, and, as the money is going to be squandered on industries that do not need it, I wish to propose this Amendment.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
When I saw this Amendment on the Paper I was in some doubt as to its intention, but I understand from the speech of the Mover that its purpose is to limit the operation 1437 of this Clause to one single valuation list. That being so, I shall not enter into the question of the drafting of the Amendment, but, in allusion to what the hon. Member has said, I must remark that he has not correctly stated the purpose of the Bill. We are not concerned in this Bill with necessitous areas as such. We are concerned in this Bill with such distinctions between various classes of property as will enable us, later on, in another Measure, to apply relief to the rating of certain classes of property. The effect of the Amendment would not be to destroy the making of those distinctions. They would have to be made, even if they were only made for once, and if, as the hon. Member says, the further information which will be in possession of the House before another Bill is introduced in connection with this subject will lead the House to change its mind and to decide that it made a mistake in giving a Second Reading to the Bill, then the matter will go no further. Therefore, there is no occasion for the Amendment. On the other hand, it would be undesirable to put down in an Act of Parliament that rating authorities all over the country were required to go through all the processes involved in a valuation, if it were contemplated that that valuation was only to be for one single occasion. Thus the Amendment is unnecessary, and, if the hon. Member is correct in his view that further information will show the whole scheme to be a mistake, no harm will have been done by the wording of the Clause as it stands.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I do not think the Minister has quite appreciated this Amendment which may have more importance than the interpretation of the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) would indicate. A re-valuation is proceeding at present under the Act of 1925 and is proving a lengthy and arduous task. We want some enlightenment from the Minister as to how far the valuations which are now being made are going to be influenced by this Bill. Whether the Minister likes it or not, this Bill—so I am informed—is influencing local authorities and valuation officials, and some local authorities I learn are taking up the stand that it is the special interest—
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is now speaking about a valuation in the present year of grace, 1928, but the Amendment deals only with a valuation to be male in the year 1929.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I am suggesting the importance of making it clear that the effect of this Measure is not retrospective and that it does not apply to any valuation before 1929. It is important that some date should be fixed so that valuations made before that date will not be influenced by the passage of the Bill. A very elaborate organisation has been set up by the Minister throughout the country to do the valuation work which is at pre3ent in progress, and this Bill is really an amending Bill altering the valuation lists and adding certain classifications. The Government ought to make it plain that the machinery now in existence is not to be affected until a date specified—1929 for instance, as the Amendment suggests. I am informed that the work of valuation is being seriously disturbed and hindered by the fact that this Bill is before Parliament, and there should be no doubt as to the time when the operation of this Measure is to begin.
§ Mr. THURTLE
I want to support the Amendment. The object of it is to confine the alteration in our rating system for the time being to one year. On this question of a change in the rating basis, there is no common agreement in the House. If we were approaching this matter with a measure of common agreement, if the Labour party were in agreement with the Government on it and the Liberal party were also in agreement, there might be some cause for saying we should not proceed with this Amendment, but, as a matter of fact, the two alternative Oppositions to the present Government are very strongly opposed to this change in the rating system. They think that if assistance is to be given to industry, ibis is not the way in which it should be done. We are now almost at the end of the present Parliament. [HON. MEMREES: "Oh!"] The Conservative Government have almost used up their mandate from the country, and it is quite conceivable that in 12 months' time, at any rate, there will not be a Conservatinve Government in this House. It is most likely indeed that there will not be one.
1439 In that event, if the Labour party comes into office, as it might well do, with views about the rating system totally opposed to those embodied in this Bill, it would be very desirable if we could start without any complications; and the fact that this Amendment would restrict the changes in the rating system to one year and would allow us after 1929 to start to do those things in connection with rating which we thought right, is a very good reason indeed for passing the Amendment. What the right hon. Gentleman said did not carry any conviction to my mind. He said that it was conceivable that. in the light of further information, this House might decide later on not to proceed with the whole scheme. I am quite certain that the Government have made up their mind, and that it does not matter what kind of fresh information is brought to their notice, they are going to carry this scheme into law. Therefore, his suggestion that we should wait until the autumn to see if there is any fresh information brought forward should not carry any weight at all with us, and I hope the Amendment will be pressed to a Division.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
There are many reasons why the operation of this Bill should be only temporary. We are doing what is an almost unprecedented thing, and that is attempting an important reform of local government by three instalments. I think the full unpopularity of this Bill will hardly be appreciated by members of the public and by local authorities until they see the whole of the subsequent Bill which is to be brought in. That is an unusual position for this House to be placed in, because the object of all this disturbance in regard to valuation cannot be appreciated until after the Debate upon a Bill which has as yet been withheld. My own feeling is that the unpopularity of the plan will become so manifest that the whole scheme will have to be recast. We are now dividing the population into classes which are to receive remission of rating, and we have had it told us in general terms that the sums so remitted will not go back to the localities from which they are taken, but pass into a pool for redistribution.
The Minister told us that taking all this remitted taxation, casting it into a 1440 pool, and redistributing the whole of it will take a considerable number of years, but that all this money which was remitted would ultimately be put into a pool, so that the prosperous localities would be paying for those which were less fortunate. It is impossible to judge whether the machinery is worth while until we have had the Bill itself. There is no mistake that what we are embarked upon now is an extraordinarily troublesome task for the local authorities, and we know that it is expensive for Parliament. It is to cost £150,000 for revenue officers only to go through the accounts, and it will cost at least double that to the local authorities. We are, that is to say, embarking upon an amazingly complicated and expensive piece of administrative work, and the Committee can have no idea as to whether it is worth while at all, until we have discussed the other Bill.
I feel that we ought at the outset to mark this Bill as one of a temporary nature, to tell the country and the local authorities frankly that if it turns out that the whole scheme is unworkable, as I honestly believe it to be, we are willing to withdraw it. It is very difficult to deal with the question of whether this machinery is worth while in the absence of the provisions which are to follow, but I think the Committee might intimate its sense of the hypothetical, conjectural nature of this Bill by voting for an Amendment which would make it carry the mark of the wild experiment which it is on the face of it. We are upsetting the whole of the valuation authorities, giving everybody a great deal of trouble, and spending vast sums of public money on something that the Committee does not understand. We have had a pooling scheme of a more moderate character twice brought forward, and twice its unanimous disapprobation by the local authorities has forced the Minister to withdraw it. We are now, in the autumn, going to do the same thing on a vastly larger scale, and—
§ Miss LAWRENCE
My point is that the Committee is in the dark and incurring certain very grave administrative difficulties for the sake of a doubtful, conjectural end, which as far as experiments show, is disliked by the 1441 local authorities. Therefore, the Bill ought to bear on its face the admission that it is a kind of forlorn hope, that it is a very risky experiment, and that when the country looks at it, it will not like it, This Amendment is intended to show our disapprobation of the machinery as a whole and our conviction that it is not worth while.
If I may say so, I sympathise with the Chair on this occasion. I know how difficult it must be for the greatest experts to keep Members strictly to the point of Order, but when the essence of the matter is what the Minister is going to say in his formula at the end of the month, what may be a Bill before Parliament, and what the country may think
§ about the Bill, I must say that I can hardly imagine a more difficult task set to an occupant of the Chair than to keep Members to the point of Order under such circumstances. If what I say is true and we are undertaking a very complicated and expensive piece of administrative work for the sake of something which is a pure hypothesis, then this Bill ought to bear upon its face the admission that we are trying a sort of gamble with the electorate, that we do not know how it will turn out, and that we may have to upset the whole of our deliberations.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 86: Noes, 209.1443
|Division No. 165.]||AYES.||[3.52 p.m.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Stall., Cannock)||Hardls. George D.||Rose, Frank H.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Saklatvala, Sbapurll|
|Amnion, Charles George||Hirst, G. H.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Scurr, John|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bllston)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Baker, Walter||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Barnes, A.||Kelly, W. T.||Smith, Rennle (Penistone)|
|Barr, J.||Kennedy, T.||Snell, Harry|
|Batey, Joseph||Lansbury, George||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles w.||Lawrence, Susan||Stephen, Campbell|
|Broad, F. A.||Lawson, John James||Stewart. J. (St. Rollox)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Lee, F.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lowth, T.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lunn, William||Townend, A. E.|
|Cove, W. G.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Davles, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Macklnder, W.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Day, Harry||MacLaren, Andrew||Wailhead, Richard C.|
|Dennlson, R.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Dunnlco, H.||Malone, C. L 'Estrange (N'thampton)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Gardner, J. P.||March, S.||Weliock, Wilfred|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Maxton, James||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Gillett, George M.||Montague, Frederick||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Gosling, Harry||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Windsor, Walter|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.)||Nnylor, T. E.||Wright, W.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Oliver, George Harold||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Ponsonby, Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE AYES. —|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Potta, John S.||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Paling.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Riley, Ben|
|Acland-Troyte. Lieut.-Colonel||Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Bowyer. Captain G. E. W.||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Christie. J. A.|
|Applln, Colonel R. V. K.||Brass, Captain W.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Briggs, J. Harold||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Astor. Maj. Hn. John J.(Kent, Dover)||Briscoe, Richard George||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.|
|Astor, Viscountess||Brittain, Sir Harry||Cohen, Major J. Brunel|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Brorklebank, C. E. R.||Cooper, A. Duff|
|Atkinson, C.||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Cope, Major Sir William|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newt 'y)||Couper, J. B.|
|Bainlel, Lord||Brown, Ernest (Lelth)||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Buchan, John||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)|
|Bellalrs, Commander Carlyon||Buckingham, Sir H.||Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Benn, Sir A, S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Bullock, Captain M.||Curzon, Captain Viscount|
|Bennett, A. J.||Bui-man, J. B.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovll)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Berry. Sir George||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Davison, sir W. H. (Kensington, S. )|
|Betterton, Henry B||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Dean, Arthur Wellesley|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herot. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Drewe, C.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Edmondson. Major A. J.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Chudwick, Sir Robert Burton||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Ersklne, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Ropner, Major L.|
|Ersklne, James Malcolm Montelth||Lamb, J. Q.||Ruggles-Brlse, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Lister, Cunllffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Salmon, Major I.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Loder, J. de V.||Sandon, Lord|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Looker, Herbert William||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Flnburgh, S.||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Slmms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Lumley, L. R.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Unlv.,Belfst)|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Skelton, A. N.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||McLean, Major A.||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Macmillan, Captain H.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Gates, Percy||Macqulsten, F. A.||Smlthers, Waldron|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Bt. Hon. Sir John||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Goff, Sir park||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steal-||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Grattan-Doyle. Sir N.||Margesson. Captain D.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H.(W'th's'w, E)||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Meller, R. J.||Streatfeild. Captain S. R|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Duiwich)||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Monsell, Eyres. Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Harland, A,||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Morris, R. H.||Thomson, Rt Hon. Sir w. Mitchell-|
|Hartlngton, Marquess of||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Tltchfield. Major the Marquess of|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Nelson, Sir Frank||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Haadlam, Lleut.-Colonei C. M.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Henderson, Lieut-Col. Sir Vivian||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hon. W.G. (Ptraf'ld.)||Wallace. Captain D. E.|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur, p.||Nleld, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Honn Sir Sydney H.||Nuttall, Ellis||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Oakley, T.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hills. Major John Waller||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Wells, S. R.|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||White, Lieut -Col. Sir G. Dalrympre|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Hopkinson. A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Windsor-Clive. Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Horc-Bellsha, Leslie||Pllcher, G.||Winterton. Rt. Hon. Ean|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Pllditch, Sir Philip||Withers, John James|
|Hudson, Capt. A. u. M. (Hackney, N.)||Power, Sir John Cecil||Wood, E. (Chest'n Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Preston, William||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Price, Malor C. W. M.||Wood, Sir S. Hill (High Peak)|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Raine, Sir Walter||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Ramsden, E.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Rentoul. G. S.|
|Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Mr. Penny and Sir Victor|
|King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Rodd. Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Warrender.|
§ Mr. SCURR
I beg to move, in page 1, line 7, after the word "list," to insert the words "made by the rating authority for a necessitous area."
I hope that the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Health will see his way to accept this Amendment, because it would facilitate the passing of this Measure into law. Further than that, it would place the Bill upon a more equitable basis than it is at present. When the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) was speaking on the previous Amendment, and suggested. that the object of this Measure was for the purpose of relieving the necessitous areas, the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Health indicated his dissent. As far as I understand the proposals, they are supposed to be for the relief of what is termed productive industry. The object of my Amendment is to confine the 1444 operation of this Bill, which is setting up machinery for carrying out the Government proposals, entirely to those areas which are in need of assistance at the present time. The basis on which the Government proposals are conceived is entirely wrong. if it may be put forward that there are certain industries which, by reason of their economic and depressed conditions, are in need of some assistance, it cannot be claimed, on the other hand, that every industry is in that condition.
As I was coming up in the train this morning, I read that a very large firm in the iron and steel and coal trade is declaring a dividend of 10 per cent. free of Income Tax, and is carrying a very large sum to reserve. It has very considerable reserves arid investments as well. Under the proposals of the Government, this particular firm in most of its establishments—I refer, of course, 1445 to Guest, Keen and Nettleford—will receive a 75 per cent, relief of its rates. As far as that firm is concerned as an industry, if it is able to pay 10 per cent. dividend, free of Income Tax, and carry a large sum to reserve, it is obviously foolish to imagine for a moment that it is in need of any assistance; but there are some portions of the property which that firm possesses and some portions of its works which are in necessitous areas, and, while that particular firm is able to pay this dividend, a very large number of persons who, in the ordinary course would be employed by it at its factories at Dowlais, in Wales, are at the present moment out of employment. The obvious deduction from that is, that it is not to particular firms or particular industries that relief ought to be given, but relief ought to be given to particular areas which are suffering by reason of the conditions in which we are living at the moment.
We do not, of course, know whether the Government themselves have yet made up their minds as to what they will do with regard to the third stage of the proceedings, and the House is not yet aware of what that third stage will be. All the information we have is as to this 100 per cent, relief to the agricultural industry and 75 per cent. relief to productive industry, which means that firm after firm who, in every sense of the word, are in a prosperous condition, and are able to give a considerable return, not only on their capital but in many cases on a very highly inflated capital, are to receive assistance under this particular scheme. What I want to understand is this: In each of the areas, various hereditaments will qualify for rebates, which simply means that in each of those areas the rating authority will receive a less revenue for the moment from the local people than they get at the present time. Is the full amount which will be deducted from their receipts, in order to give relief to the industry, coming out of the national Exchequer, and then, on top of that, is there to be something for the relief of necessitous areas I It ought to be quite clear, so that the local authorities may be under no illusions, because if the proposal is simply to pool the whole, and not give back to each of these local authorities the amount which they will be losing as the result of the operations 1446 of this Bill, it will mean that you are taking away this revenue from them, and giving them no assistance at all.
The question of necessitous areas has been discussed time and time again in this House. I think it has been admitted for a good many years that there are areas in this country which are in need of some particular assistance. They are in that condition, not through any fault at all of the localities, but by reason of circumstances over which they have no control. We have, for example, at the present moment the distress in the coal-mining industry. In that industry we find area after area which is suffering as the result of the burden which it has to bear, but. I venture to suggest that the localities in which the coalmining industry is situated are in themselves in no way responsible. The reasons are to be found in other departments of our life. There are reasons in regard to the Treaty of Peace made after the War, and many other reasons which are responsible for the depression existing in the industry, but the burden is borne by certain local authorities. There are authorities on the North-East coast and in South Wales suffering at the present time. In one constituency in South Wales there are at the present moment 81 per cent of the people who would be ordinarily working unable to obtain the work they ought to have. We have seen report after report of the conditions which exist in these areas, and never once do we find in any proposal which the Government put forward that there is any relief in any sense of the word to be given to the areas suffering.
The same thing applies in regard to London. For example, instead of receiving any real assistance from the Government in regard to the difficulties in the East End and the South Eastern boroughs, as far as the Ministry of Health is concerned, it is trying all it can to make the burdens even heavier upon them. Through its inspectors at the Ministry, it is trying to force policies on the boards of guardians which they have been compelled to pursue, because of the conditions of life of the people of London, by reason of which hundreds of men employed particularly in the dockside industries are unable to obtain regular work. We have the Ministry of Health inspectors actually suggesting at the present time that in 1447 certain parishes where these particular people live, because they are casual workers in the docks, and unable to obtain regular employment, it is not the duty of the Poor Law authority to relieve them, and they have got to try to find work somewhere else.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That question would arise on the Ministry of Health Vote. It cannot be discussed now.
§ Mr. SCURR
I used it only as an illustration of the conditions which exist in these necessitous areas not only outside London but in London itself, and if any of the proposals now brought forward by the Government are carried into law, I feel certain they will bring no assistance at all. On more than one occasion there has been quoted the famous dictum of Lord George Hamilton, that the business of the Tory Government is to look after the interest of its friends, and this particular Government is showing that it is keeping up the Tory tradition. In the proposals put forward here, there is nothing to assist the people who really matter in this country, the people who do the work of the world, and do not receive payment for the work, hut only a bare subsistence. The proposals of the Government are, that those who have shall have even more given unto them, and that those who have nothing shall have taken away from them even that which they have. That is what the Government are putting forward in this proposal, and although I feel that the right hon. Gentleman will not listen to reason, in order that we may try to see if we can persuade him to do something for those areas which are suffering at the present moment, I beg to move this Amendment.
§ Mr. HARNEY
I support the Amendment. This is a Bill with a view to granting relief from rates in respect of certain classes of hereditaments. The Amendment would confine the classification to hereditaments within necessitous areas. We know something about the relief proposed to he given on the basis of the classification which this Bill makes.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I thought that the hon. and learned Member was speaking more closely to the Amendment. than his predecessor.
§ Mr. HARNEY
We know something about the relief to be given to certain classes of hereditaments, we know that it involves the appropriation of a part of the surplus this year, and that serious imposts are laid upon the taxpayer, and the Committee will agree that these could not be justified by any claims which could be put forward for brewers, artificial silk manufacturers, makers of gramophones, and the like.
§ The CHAIRMAN
We have agreed that there should be a general discussion of the Clause on this Amendment, hut the hon. Member now appears to be discussing the Bill.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
There was no general agreement that we should have a general discussion on this Clause. Our view is that there is no Amendment which is appropriate for a general discussion of the Clause, and therefore we would prefer that each Amendment should be confined to the point raised in it, and that the general discussion should take place on the proposal that. the Clause should stand part of the Bill.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I am in the hands of the Committee. and that is the ordinary procedure, but. of course, that will limit considerably the scope of the discussion on this and other Amendments.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden), that it would be better to raise the general discussion later, because there are two separate issues. One issue is that we should confine this relief to the necessitous areas. The other issue is as to the particular industries to be relieved. It would be very difficult to deal with both these issues under any One Amendment, and therefore, if I may respectfully suggest it, it would he better that the general discussion should take place under conditions where we can refer to both issues at the same time.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If that is so, I am not only quite agreeable to that course, but it is my duty to preserve that strict course. It must then be understood that the present discussion must be confined to the proposal that relief shall be given only to necessitous areas.
§ Mr. HARNEY
When you rose I was about to say that this relief could not be justified for any of the purposes I was mentioning, that its only justification could be found in the needs of certain areas, and, consequently, that there is no need to lay down machinery for a valuation except in those portions of the country where there is need for this relief. Legislation to extend the relief over the whole country instead of confining it to necessitous areas will defeat one of the very purposes for which this policy was submitted. We were told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that in these disastrous areas industries which were vigorous were fleeing from them and industries which were enfeebled were dying out. Why are they moving Because in other parts of the country the rates are lower, and there is an inducement to industries to move to lower rated areas.
If we make this relief applicable to the whole country, we do not alter that state of things. Take the case of an engineering firm in Slough and another engineering firm in Gateshead. The rates in Gateshead are approaching 24s. in the 2, and they will be reduced to 6s The rates in Slough are 12s. and they will be reduced to 3s. But there will be still just as great a temptation for a firm to move from the 6s. rate to the 3s. rate as there was for it to move from the 24s. rate to the 12s. rate. Therefore, this change will not affect the purpose which the Chancellor of the Exchequer said he had in view. It is not all rates that are bad, but only the false rates. There is a portion of all rates which is appropriate to truly local services, such as the police, cleaning the streets, and things like that—what are called "service rates." These very properly enter into the cost of production in every area. The other class of rates, what I call "social rates," arise from the claims of unemployment, education and health services; those are national services, not properly rating matters at alt. In both 1450 the necessitous and other areas, the amount paid in respect of service rates is about the same.
Let me again make a comparison, taking Gateshead and Bournemouth. The full rates in Bournemouth are 8s. and the full rates in Gateshead are 23s., though for the sake of round figures I will call it 24s. This Bill will reduce the rates in Bournemouth to 2s. and the rates in Gateshead to 8s.—[Interruption,]—yes, on productive industries. The service rate would be about 4s. in each place. See, then, what happens. The manufacturer or producer in Bournemouth, who really ought to pay 4s., and include that in his costs of production—it is a legitimate charge, because if the local community did not undertake these services, he would have to provide them for himself if he were to be able to produce at all—gets off with 2s., and the rest of in pay 2s. towards the production of an article of which he gets the whole profit. In Gateshead, where the rate is reduced to 8s., the service portion of that is still 4s., so that the Gateshead manufacturer gets no relief at all towards the 4s. which enters into his cost of production and has to pay the 8s. [HON. MEMBERS "Six shillings!"] No, 8s. The point I am making is that in both cases the portion of the rates which properly enters in the costs of production ought to he pa d by the manufacturer himself. As I have said, in the cases I have quoted it is about 4s.; but after this Act comes into operation the Bournemouth manufacturer will have to pay only 2s. in all in rates, and therefore he gets the difference between 2s. and 4s., that is 2s., paid by the community towards his costs of production. In Gateshead, the manufacturer will have to pay 8s.—[HON. MEMBERS: "Six shillings!"] Yes, it is 6s. it was a lapses lingae. He will have to pay 6s., and gets no contribution at all from the community towards his costs of production such as the other man gets. That is a most unfair state of affairs and constitutes a grievous act of injustice.
A third point I wish to bring forward is that we are taking £29,000,000 from the taxpayers. It is taken under two headings, a portion of it being obtained by what is equivalent to a raid on the Sinking Fund, and the rest by a duty upon petrol, which really means putting 1451 a tax upon one of the instruments of industry. Taking this money from the taxpayer could be justified only by the crying needs of the necessitous areas. It could not be justified by any claims which could be put forward on the part of the very persons who will get a good deal of it. Of the £29,000,000, £3,000,000 is to be used for adjustment purposes, £5,000,000 is to be given direct to agriculture, and another £5,000,000 is to be given to the railways. That makes £13,000,000. Deduct this £13,000,000 from the £29,000,000, and it will be found that only £16,000,000 remains which can be effectively applied to the relief of industry. [HON. MEMBERS" £17,000,000!"] £17,000,000.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer made a calculation which was intended to ridicule those who said more money would go to the prosperous than to the necessitous areas. But his own calculation shows that £7,000,000 or £8,000,000 will go to the prosperous areas, that is, nearly half of the £17,000,000. But the whole of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's calculation was based upon indeterminate factors. How can he calculate how much is going to productive industries until he knows, first, what is a productive industry and what is a distributive industry and what is a transport industry? We are still engaged in fixing the definitions of them, and when we have fixed the definitions the valuers will have to come along and operate those definitions; and even if the definitions were known another point is that we do not know that the assessment would be considered too high, because assessments all through the country have been rapidly changing since the trade depression set in, and that difference will tell against the calculations made by the Chancellor. But I need go no further than to say that even if that be not so, pretty well half of that £17,000,000 will go to the prosperous areas and the £8,000,000 or £9,000,000 which is left will be wholly inadequate to give the relief required to the necessitous areas. It certainly will not be sufficient to help us recapture foreign markets, which is the reason why this policy was adopted.
No one suggests that this Bill would ever have been brought forward for the sake of the brewers or the silk manufacturers or the hundred and one small 1452 manufacturers throughout the country. They were only heard of because we were terrified at the falling off in our export trade. Therefore, £8,000,000 or £9,000,000 will be wholly inadequate for that purpose. We are told that the relief will be equal to 6d. per ton on the price of coal, but my opinion is that this relief will not cause a single extra ton more to be exported, because what is required is three times that amount of relief. If, instead of cutting up the amount of money which is to be taken from the taxpayers in this way, the Government would give that money to those who require it the most, there would be something practical about it. It is a very grave matter to impose upon the taxpayer these new and heavy burdens for which the only justification put forward is the crying needs of certain industries. I defy anyone to produce any sound argument in support of a scheme under which a large amount of money is taken, and half of it is given back again to those who never called for it and do not want it. Under these circumstances, I shall support the Amendment.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I am not quite certain from the remarks made by the hon. and learned Member far South Shields (Mr. Harney) whether in his view the amount of the Exchequer grant should be reduced, or whether he desires that the whole amount should be concentrated upon the necessitous areas.
§ Mr. HARNEY
You can have it either way. I think it would he far better, as you are raising this £20.000,000, to give the whole of it to the areas that want it. I suggest that you should not raise such a large amount, hut only such a proportion from the taxpayers as is required for the necessitous areas.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The hon. and learned Member is very obliging, and perhaps I had better take it both ways. The object of the Amendment before the Committee is fairly obvious, but I am inclined to doubt whether hon. Members who appeal to my reason have themselves thought out the effect of their own Amendment. This Amendment has to be taken in conjunction with an Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. Sourr) on the next page—In page 1, line 18, at the end, to insert the words:(2) A necessitous area means an area Where during the twelve months previous 1453 to the preparation of a valuation list in accordance with the provisions of this Act the amount of unemployment has been on the average not less than ten per cent. as shown by the statistics of the Ministry of Labour—in which a definition of a necessitous area is given. Let me ask the Committee to consider that Amendment. According to that definition, it would be the duty of every rating authority, before deciding whether it ought to prepare a list or not, to find out whether during the 12 months previous to the preparation of a valuation list there had been in that area an amount of unemployment on the average not less than 10 per cent. That is an entirely new view of a necessitous area. We have had a great many Debates upon necessitous areas, but I do not know that anybody ha; ever attempted to put down in legal phraseology what constitutes a necessitous area. I have always understood that the question of relative prosperity had to be taken into account in considering whether an area was necessitous or not, but that idea has been thrown over and the sole test now put forward is whether an area has not less than 10 per cent. of unemployment during a specified and selected period.
Have hon. Members considered what an extraordinary inequality, unfairness, and injustice a proposal of that kind is likely to cause? If certain rating authorities satisfy this test, then every industry and all agricultural land and buildings in that area are to be the subjects of rating relief, but in another adjacent area which may not come up to the test laid down they will not receive any relief at all. Surely hon. Members do not intend such grotesque distinctions to be drawn between one area and another. Under the arrangements suggested by hon. Members, an addition of a few hundred men or even a dozen men in a given rating area might make all the difference as to whether the industries in that area get any relief or not. After all, unemployment is not a stationary thing, but it is a phenomenon which varies from time to time. The mere shutting up of a single pit might make all the difference—even the date when the pit is shut up again might make all the difference—as to whether that area would receive the relief or not. This danger would only be aggravated if, as has been suggested, the whole of the Exchequer contribution 1454 which we propose should be distributed over the whole of the country was concentrated on those areas. Do hon. Members seriously contend that areas should be divided into those where the industries are prosperous and those where they they are not prosperous?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The hon. Member will have an opportunity of explaining, later on. Is it suggested that one manutacturer in a particular industry in a particular area is to have relief to the extent of three-fourths of his rates while another manufacturer in the same industry, simply because his works happen to be over the border of this particular rating authority, is to be deprived of any relief at all? The thing is absolutely absurd, and it is not a practical suggestion. The hon. and learned Member for South Shields has placed before the Committee some carious figures in which he compared Gateshead with Slough, and he pointed out that in the latter place, where the rates were 12s., under the scheme of the Government they would be reduced to 3s., and he said that that would make no difference.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I should estimate 12s. in one case and 3s. in the other as being four times as much. Why should the hon. rind learned Member say there is no difference between the two? The hon. and learned Member also mentioned the case of Bournemouth, where the rates, according to his statement, are 8s. in the If what the hon. and learned Member has stated is true, why is it that all the manufacturers have not left Gateshead and gone to Bournemouth? The truth of the matter is that the difference in rates is not the only factor to be considered, and that there are many other factors. [An HON. MEMBER: "What are they?"] One important factor is whether there is sufficient labour available, and no doubt the ingenuity of hon. Members opposite can suggest other factors. It must be common ground that certain areas have become industrial areas by reason of quite a number of factors of which the rates form only one, and not only always the most important. But it is clear that the hon. and learned 1455 Member for South Shields is quite mistaken in suggesting that a difference of three shillings in the rates to a manufacturer is not of less importance than a difference of 12 shillings or even 16 shillings in some instances.
What the Government are trying to do is to provide a scheme which will give relief to all industries wherever they may be situated, and our intention is not to make the relief dependent upon the question of the boundary or the vagaries of employment or unemployment. We want to establish a principle which will give a certain amount of relief where it is most required. A proposal to restrict the whole of the relief to necessitous areas will require a great deal more justification than it has received up to the present. We have had no satisfactory definition of a necessitous area up to the present, and I doubt whether it would be possible to find a definition which would not be open to some criticism. I submit that any principle is entirely wrong which attempts to deal with this question upon a geographical basis, because it would be unfair between one manufacturer and another, and it would deprive our scheme of a great deal of its beneficial effects in large areas in the country.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I have been asked by the Minister of Health to state whether we think it is possible to relieve one man in one district in a certain industry and riot relieve another man working in the same trade in another district. Our answer is "Yes." The reason is that the burdens of manufacturers are now arbitrarily determined by their geographical position, and their sufferings depend upon the districts in which their works are carried on. It is not the case that all industries are suffering through the rates, but it is the case that some firms are suffering very greatly from the pressure of certain rates in their localities. That is the essence of the difficulties under which manufacturers, as well as other classes of the community, are living. The growing difficulty is a geographical one, and, in our opinion, it is folly to attempt to deal with a geographical disease by handing out largesse to the country as a whole. I am going to confine myself entirely and strictly to the position of necessitous areas 1456 versus prosperous ones, and I would begin by saying that it is not the rates generally that are to blame; it is that certain services in certain localities have grown to overwhelming proportions. To make my case, I want to go into some detail, and I am going, first of all, to compare the amounts spent in 1920, and in 1927–28. If you take the whole amount spent in rates, you will find that, in money, there has been an increase of about 50 per cent. in the rate burden as a whole; it has increased from roughly £105,000,000 to £150,000,000. If, however, you take the amount spent for the relief of the poor, you find that it has more than doubled, being now £40,000,000 as against £23,000,000. If you dissect out of that the amount spent on out-relief, you will find' that that has increased about six times, namely, from £4,000,000 odd to £23,250,000. In other words, if you take services, you find one service that has assumed extraordinary proportions, while, although the rest of the services have grown, they have not grown seriously in proportion to the rise in the nation's wealth.
That is due to a very interesting fact. It is due to the fact that, during the eight years from 1920 onwards, two contradictory causes have been operating, the one tending to lower rates, and the other tending to increase them. If you look hack into history, you will find that, shortly after the War, in the years 1920 and 1921, rates generally took a most violent bound upwards. In 1920, the general average of the rates was 9s. 6d. in the but in 1921 that average jumped up to 13s.7d. The reason for that rise was very carefully analysed and dissected by the Minister of Health of that day, and his report was to the effect that it was almost wholly what might be called a cost-of-living rise—that it was due to the very much greater sums that local authorities had to pay for wages and materials and, in certain localities, to the cessation of the manufacture of munitions. It was a reconstruction and cost-of-living rise, and might, therefore, be expected to diminish. The cost of out-relief had not grown to any very serious dimensions in those years; they were the years just following the boom; but, during the years which followed, the Poor Law expenditure grew to the enormous proportion which I have 1457 already mentioned, and anybody who watched the change could see those two causes contending with one another. During the first part of the period, the rise in the cost of living was the predominant cause, and the general average of the rates sank down quite satisfactorily to about 11s. 8d. in 1924–25. Then the other cause caught up, and from that time the whole of the rates turned upwards, until now we are approximately where we were in 1920, there being not more than a few pence difference in the average rates between that period and the present time.
The whole root of our present distress is that the two causes which I have mentioned do not operate universally all over the country, but that the cause tending to increase the rates has had an extraordinary effect in certain selected districts. The great rise of 1920 was an almost universal rise, but the rises that have occurred since have been partial in the extreme. If you take the districts which have not been exposed to the burden of the Poor Law, if you take the prosperous districts, you will see that, while the rise of 1920 was almost universal, the rates in certain districts are now, not merely low, but dropping. In the City of London, the rates in 1920 were 10s. 6d,, while they are now 9s. 10d. In Paddington, they were then 13s. 2d., and are now 10s. 11d. In Marylebone, they were 13s. 2d., and are now 10s. 4d. These decreases are in spite of the fact that an enormous subscription has been paid to the Metropolitan Common Poor Fund from those districts. To go into the Provinces, the rates in Bolton were 14s. 8d. in 1920, and are now 12s. 2d.; in Coventry they were 19s., and have dropped to 17s.; in Darlington they were 13s., and have dropped to 9s.; in Burtonon-on-Trent they were 16s., and are now 14s. 6d., while in Halifax they have dropped from 19s. 9d. to 14s. 6d. If the whole country were like this, we should all be saying, "Thank heaven, the rates are dropping of themselves; the country is quite prosperous, and no relief is needed." But if you turn to the other side of the picture, and compare the statistics given by the Minister in 1921–22 with the White Paper which we had today, you will see that there are other districts where the course of things has been quite different. I will take a few 1458 of the most disastrous, and in order to do that you have, very commonly, to go outside the county boroughs to the country districts and smaller towns. In Cumberland, for instance, Whitehaven's rates were 15s., and are now 20s. 4d., while these of Workington were 15s. 6d. and are now 22s. 10d. Again, at Blaydon the rates were 14s. 10d. in 1920–21, whereas, according to these figures, they are now 25s. 8d. In Bishop Auckland, they were 16s, 2d., and are now 23s. 6d.; in Consett they were 13s. 10d., and are now 20s.; in Crook they were 17s. 7d., and are now 22s.; in Felling they have risen from 16s. 3d. to 24s., while, in the miserable little colliery village of Eston, they have risen from 13s. 11d. to 22s.—an increase of 8s, ld. In Spennymoor, again, the rates have risen from 16s. 8d. to 25s. 8d., an increase of 9s.
To make my point more clear, I will take two Welsh county boroughs. Cardiff had a rate of 15s. 10d., and it is now 14s. 3d., so that there is not much the matter with Cardiff. On the other hand, in Merthyr Tydvil the rates have risen from 26s. 5d. to 30s. 7d. That, of course, does not finish the story. In my own district, in particular, the rates have been kept steady at about 21s., 22s., or 23s., because of the enormous borrowing. The West Ham Union has borrowed, in the course of those disastrous years, more than £1,000,000, and the rate of East Horn is now 22s. 8d. in the £ because it has pledged its future. The manufacturers in such districts as these are in a most horrible position. This rise in the rates, during seven years, of 5s., 6s., 7s., and 8s. in the £, has, I believe, pushed men over into bankruptcy and has spelt ruin to the whole community—householders, tradespeople and manufacturers. I do not in the least make light of the difficulties of manufacturers. I think it is highly probable that, if one could see the full accounts, one would find that it was the rate:, that had pushed so many of them over into bankruptcy, but, although hon. Members opposite seem to think that it is the amount of the rates that matters to the occupier, it is, as was truly said by my right hon. Friend the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden), not the rates that matter, but the incidence of the rates. It is not so much the height of the rates that matters to 1459 the occupier as the growth in the rates during his tenancy.
In Merthyr Tydvil, for instance, had had rates of 30s. in the & ever since 1870, the evil would have worked itself out. People might have been ruined in the process, but the existing occupiers would have been all right, and anyone can see why that is so. Anyone who has ever had to let a house, or who has taken a house, knows that if, at the time of the beginning of the lease, the rates are high, the landlord has to make a remission in the rent. If, on the other hand, you take a house in a low-rated district, you know perfectly well that the landlord puts up the rent, so that at the beginning of the tenancy the occupier does not bear the major part of the rates charged at the time; but as his tenancy continues the boot is on the other leg—the occupier is chained there, and he has to bear the full cost of the rise in rates. In all those districts, therefore, where rates are dropping, the manufacturers are on velvet, but, in a district where the rates are rising, a man may quite easily be ruined. The Minister laughed at our discriminating between manufacturers in different districts in the same trade, but look at the case of coal. The average figures per ton are utterly useless. If the average rates per ton amount to 3d. or 4d., that is not the important matter; what matters is that there are pits in the country which are paying ld. per ton or even less, while, on the other hand, there are pits which are paying Is. or more per ton. If every colliery were paying ld. or 2d., or even the average figure of 3d. or so, it would not matter so much; what matters, what may put a man altogether out of action, what may just spell the difference between bankruptcy and a moderate profit, is a rate of, say, 1s. per ton. That is enough to break a coal producer. These averages are perfectly useless; it is the irregularities that matter, and the irregularity is precisely the thing which an average smooths out.
That is the condition of the country. In some places rates are dropping, and, where they are dropping, it does not so much matter to the occupier what the figure is; what matters to him is the decrease or the increase which falls upon him in the course of his tenancy. Where, 1460 however, the rates have risen, as they have done, by as much as 8s. in the &, the occupier, manufacturer or other, is in a horrible and pitiable position, and such districts, where the position of the householders and of commercial people is as bad as that of the manufacturer, are worthy of the nation putting its hand into its pocket and relieving them, not of their rates, but of that frightful increase of rates which has so unexpectedly fallen upon them. We have now about £30,000,000 to spare, and I reiterate what has been said by everyone who has thought about the subject, namely, how wasteful it is to dole out money where it is not wanted. If we had to do this business, I should say that £30,000,000 a year for ever was too much. If we were going to do it according to our plan, and take off the burden of the Poor Law and a little extra in the case of the necessitous areas, I should estimate that about £40,000,000 would be needed for the first year, but that that would go down until, in normal times, the figure would become something like £5,000,000 or £6,000,000. £30,000,000 a year is an enormous sum for dealing with the problem; but, if you waste a large part of it in a pure gift to people who do not want it., you are losing the opportunity of redressing the real, crying grievances of householders, commercial people and manufacturers in some of the most depressed districts. The Minister seemed to think it did not matter to a man whether his competitor in the same line of business was paying more or less. It does matter. Ask the colliery people. Does it not matter to them whether they are carrying a burden of 3d. a ton which someone else is not carrying? It does matter.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I said it would be extremely unfair to put a burden on a manufacturer in one area while you are relieving a manufacturer in another.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
My point is that manufacturers in one area are being broken by their burden while those in 1461 other areas have a burden which they can carry. Supposing a man, as some collieries are, is carrying a burden of a penny a ton. What a mockery it is to spend the money in relieving him that you ought to concentrate on the man who has a pit in a district where the rates are. a shilling in the ton. Even in Wales you can go from one valley to another, you can find one rating district where the colliery is all right, where they are quite prosperous and happy, and you can go from there to places where the pits are deserted and the colliery people are only just keeping alive. What matters is equality of burden almost as much as the height of the burden itself. If they all had to bear a 3d. rate it would be unfortunate, but manufacturers are accustomed to meet the broad emergency of overhead costs generally. They pass it on. They do various things. But the wretched man who has a special burden of rates higher than his fellows is helpless. He cannot pass it on, because everything else is governed by world considerations. It is the special burden on men in particular localities to which. Parliament should turn its attention. The amount of money we are dealing with is, I am sure, plenty to relieve the necessitous areas. I do not think the share they will get under the Government scheme will be enough to make nearly the difference that we could make if we concentrate on the unfortunate areas.
With regard to the definition, it is impossible to put in an Amendment that absolutely holds water. We have put in a definition of unemployment as an indication of what is really wrong. Anyone who looks through the details of expenditure of the worst districts will. be struck by the altogether overwhelming disproportion of the amount spent on poor relief. That is what is the matter. It is a symptom of trade depression, and one that intensifies the disease. We are trying to put before the Committee, and we shall try again and again, that the disease is a dangerous one. It is ruining individuals and damaging trade. The right remedy is to apply the money where the need is, to take the major part of the burden off the shoulders of the people who are really suffering and not squander the nation's money in ladling out surpluses to prosperous businesses, to people who are declaring dividends of 10, 20 and 1462 25 per cent.; not to use the Treasury as a distributor of largesse to a particular class, but to use the money wisely, prudently and economically to care the local disease which is doing so much harm to production and every other activity.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I rise to support the Amendment on grounds of principle. We ought to confine the distribution of the money that is available, at any rate in the first instance, to the necessitous areas until we have time to consider the whole problem of local government, and until the Minister Las an opportunity of discussing the matter with the local authorities and achieving something in the nature of a general accord. I am not tied to the definition. The hon. Member who has just spoken has raises' the question of principle. I. do not think the definition of necessitous areas is ouite adequate. I agree there with the Minister, that it is not exhaustive. You must also take into account the density of the population, its poverty, and many other conditions which I will not enumerate at present. But if you accept the principle that we must first of all come to the rescue of the necessitous areas, there will be no difficulty in finding a definition. The Minister will soon find one. In fact, I am not sure that he did not. find one when he came to me four or five years ago upon this very issue He then headed a very formidable deputation from local authorities in which he urged that the Government should go first of all for the relief of the necessitous areas. [Interruption.] I said exactly what he did, because at that time we had not the cash available. Taxation was very much heavier, and we had not the money. I asked him if he would kindly give me a definition of necessitous areas. He was not quite prepared at that time, but I have no doubt that it could be found. The difficulty then was the cash. Now he has the cash and the whole point is whether it would not be desirable, at any rate, to begin with necessitous areas.
What is the money that is available I Let him deduct agriculture. I quite agree that if you confine it to necessitous areas that does not cover the case of agriculture. Let him deduct the agricultural money. We will consider later on the best method of expending that sum for the assistance of agriculture. 1463 Even if he deducts the sum of money he proposes to give for the purpose of transport, he has some £17,000,000. He would not have £17,000,000 this year, but he would have a very considerable sum of money. He could easily apply that sum of money immediately, provided he confines it to the necessitous areas. That is the advantage. If you look at all this elaborate machinery, it will take a very long time—longer even than the right hon. Gentleman anticipates—but, even according to his prognostications, you cannot come to the relief of the ratepayers in these necessitous areas until 1st October, 1929.
Let him look at the trade returns for last May, and he will see there is no time to wait. If you are going to help the manufacturers in these districts, you ought to give the money you have at the present moment and apply it to that purpose. The Prime Minister, sneaking in Scotland on Saturday, said the Minister of Health was limited by the amount of cash that was available in the Exchequer. Let him apply it. Even according to the figures of the Chancellor of the Exchequer £and they are hopelessly wrong—he admits that millions will go to prosperous industries. Would it not be very much better that the Minister of Health should apply the money to the areas where industries are being crushed by very heavy rates? He would have another advantage if he did that. He could widen the area of those who receive. At present, he has not the money to relieve distributive industries and houses inside the poverty-stricken areas, but, if he were to confine the relief temporarily to these necessitous areas, he could remove the burden of taxation from everyone all round, and that would make a very considerable difference. I really would ask the Minister to consider it.
We are, of course, in a difficulty in discussing the whole of this problem in the dark. We have not the White Paper. What does it mean? The Minister indicated that he had something in his mind about the necessitous areas. We are discussing the very problem of the necessitous areas, and practically deciding it, without having the slightest idea what the Minister has in his thoughts and what he is contemplating in dealing with them. I venture to say he does not know him- 1464 self. That is not his fault. He promised us a document in June which would make clear what is proposed to be done with the necessitous areas. We are now in the third week of June. We are in Committee, and we are discussing the very problem which would be illuminated if we had that document which told us what he proposes to do. He gets up and corrects figures that are given by various Members. Why does he not tell us what he is going to do about the necessitous areas? He has made a very clever special pleading speech, in which he has torn the Amendment to pieces and shown how it will not work, and how when you tack it on to an Amendment later in the Paper about the definition of necessitous areas the thing is quite impracticable. That is not the answer. He has an idea in his mind—he told us so—as to something that he calls a formula. I understand that formula will more or less define necessitous areas. Why does he not give it us? Why does he withhold information that is absolutely essential if we are to give effective consideration to his Bill. Vital decisions will be given before the Government have informed the country what their proposals are. The right hon. Gentleman will then submit them to the local authorities and discuss them with them. It is just. possible that decisions will be taken as the result of those discussions in reference to necessitous areas which will make it necessary for him to bring in an amending Bill. Why should we not have the whole of that information at present?
The figures given by the hon. Member who has just spoken are very startling. They show that the problem in these areas is very largely a Poor Law problem. I gave certain figures with regard to the county of Durham—I speak from memory—but the actual figures are in the OFFICIAL REPORT; they were given to me officially, and I am not at all sure that I did not get them from the Ministry of Health—where out door relief had gone up from £95,000 a year to something approaching £1,500,000. That creates a necessitous area. If the Minister of Health were to say, "I will deal with the necessitous area either by means of an unemployment definition or by means of an outdoor relief definition, one or the other," it, would act automatically and relief would go to those 1465 areas immediately. Instead of that, we shall have to wait until the 1st October, 1929, and when that date comes, when the necessitous areas or, at any rate, some of them will be more necessitous, half of the relief will go to the prosperous areas, and the necessitous areas will not get enough.
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Sir Kingsley Wood); I think the
right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) has confused the two and separate parts of the Government's scheme. The proposal which we are discussing this afternoon is that contained in the Bill which is now before the Committee, and which is being brought forward with a view to the granting of relief of the rates in respect of certain classes of hereditaments. The question of necessitous areas, and how far they are affected by, or concerned with, these proposals is not a, suggestion which has come from the Government. but from the hon. Gentleman who moved this Amendment. Therefore, the right hon. Gentleman must not complain if he seeks to say that the question of the necessitous area arises on this Bill, and he has not before him some other proposals which the Government are about to make hut which are not now before the Committee.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
Will the right hon. Gentleman mind telling us at what stage in the discussions in Committee we can discuss this very vital issue of what the Government propose to do with the necessitous areas?
§ Sir K. WOOD
That is quite irrelevant to this Bill.—[HON MEMBERS: "No."]. I maintain that it is and I will state my reasons.
§ Mr. WALLHEAD
Were we not told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that this proposal was for the purpose of relieving necessitous areas?
§ Sir K. WOOD
Not under this Bill. The view of the Government in relation to this matter is that in no way is this Bill concerned with the necessitous area as a necessitous area, but that the matter of necessitous areas will be dealt with, as has been repeatedly stated by 1466 my right hon. Friend, when we come to the third group of our proposals. I want at once to say that, in the view of the Government, this question of relieving necessitous areas as necessitous areas, and excluding every other area, is certainly not contemplated by the Government under these proposals. Therefore, my first answer to the right hon. Gentleman is that certainly on a discussion of this Clause the absence of a formula is not material. I take exactly the opposite view from that of the right hon. Gentleman with regard to these proposals. We have, in the first place, to deal with the question of the Amendment which is before the Committee. It is no good endeavouring to ride off and say we are not hound by the terms of the proposal on the Paper and that it is only a question of principle. We have to consider 3.n Amendment which deals with the principle which is being put before the Committee with a view to obtaining certain 'Sating relief. The right hon. Gentleman himself will he the first to acknowledge that when you are endeavouring to do something for a necessitous area, the very first thing that you have to decide is what is a necessitous area. He was the first to say—I remembe it well—when a deputation waited upon him as Prime Minister, that the first thing to do was to define a necessitous area. It is perfectly ludicrous to talk about giving relief to necessitous areas when you do not know what necessitous areas are. At any rate, you do not know how you can define them. I venture to suggest to the right hon. Gentlemen that he will be the last to go into the Lobby in support of this particular [...]roposal, because, with every respect to the hon. Gentleman who put down this particular Amendment, I cannot conceive a more unfortunate one. If the Committee will look at a subsequent Amendment on the Order Paper they will see that an attempt has been made to define a necessitous area. It says:A neceessitous area means an area where during the 12 months previous to the preparation of a variation list in accordance with the provisions of this Act the amount of unemployment has been on the average not less than 10 per cent. as shown by the statistics of the Ministry of Labour.
§ Sir K. WOOD
No; I want to finish my argument. I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman, who has given a great deal of time in days gone by to the question of necessitous areas, where would that land the Committee?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Captain FitzRoy)
The right hon. Gentleman is quite in Order in discussing the Amendment to which he has referred, because, as I understand it, that Amendment is consequential to the one that is now before the Committee.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
Certainly, it would be completely in Order to put down any number of Amendments.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I should be glad to see any Amendments dealing with this matter put down on the Order Paper, but I doubt very much whether the hon. Gentleman would be more successful with his effort than the one now on the Order Paper.
§ Sir K. WOOD
Let me point out to the right hon. Gentleman where this definition would lead, because I have gone into the matter with some care. Under this definition the manufacturers of Walsall would get relief, but the manufacturers in Wolverhampton would not. Take Liverpool. Certain classes of people would get relief in Liverpool under this definition, but they would get no relief in Southampton.
§ Sir K. WOOD
The hon. Gentleman is mistaken. I am referring to the definition which his colleagues have put down on the Order Paper. Take London—and I think that if the right hon. Gentleman considers this matter before he goes into the Lobby to support the proposal, he will see that it is a perfectly impossible and hopeless one—the manufacturers and others in Poplar would get relief, but those in Southwark would not.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
The right hon. Gentleman is now referring to the 10 per cent. of unemployment, and is referring to me as if I had supported it. On the contrary, I said that I certainly do not accept that definition, and that I was more in accord with his Chief with regard to definition of area. T hope the right hon. Gentleman will accept that.
§ Sir K. WOOD
Then I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not support the Amendment. Under this proposal of the Labour party, the manufacturers in Sheffield would get relief while the manufacturers in Leeds would not, and so you could go through a series of towns in which in many respects the manufacturers are competing with one another, and see how thoroughly impossible the proposal that has been placed on the Order Paper really is. As far as this proposal is concerned, no one could possibly accept it. I want to deal with another point. Surely, the right hon. Gentleman is not going to give support in principle to an Amendment—especially having regard to what he has been saying during the past few weeks up and down the country—which would give relief to a manufacturer in a necessitous area—and some of them are prosperous concerns; it is quite possible to have prosperous concerns even in a necessitous area—surely he is not going to support an Amendment which gives relief to a prosperous manufacturer in a necessitous area, and refuses relief to another manufacturer in an area which is not necessitous? Even if you leave out altogether whether the definition is right or wrong, 1469 that is an impossible position. No one would desire to support such an impossible proposition.
I can understand the plan of the right hon. Gentleman, as set forth in what is called the Yellow Book. That is a perfectly logical plan. It has evidently been the subject of very considerable thought and of a very great deal of study and attention. But this is a thing which has been devised, I should think, at the very last moment, and which no one with any desire of doing justice to manufacturers of the country could possibly support. I say that such a plan would dissipate relief and bring no relief to the manufacturers of the country. The plan in the Yellow Book could be defended on logical grounds, but the plan that a prosperous manufacturer should be relieved because he was in a necessitous area, and that it should be refused to a man who was in a great difficulty in an area that was not necessitous, would cause an outcry on account of its injustice. It is a proposal which I do not think anyone could go into the Lobby to support. Therefore, I say to the right hon. Gentleman that the Government scheme is perfectly plain, and that what is aimed at is perfectly certain.
The whole idea of this scheme is to attack—and that is why we are dealing with it in the differentiation between the people who are going to receive relief—the problem which has beer harassing this country for so long, the problem of grave unemployment that still exists. It is for that reason that we are assisting manufacturers, in whatever area they may be, and whether they are prosperous or whether they are not. I should have thought the right bon. Gentleman would have been the first to support that. It is just as important in attacking the problem of unemployment to increase the operations of the prosperous and well-managed firm. Why should you not attack the unemployment problem in that way? What difference does it make to the man who wants to get a job? I should have thought that it would have helped him far better to have gone to a stable, satisfactory firm, which is making proper profits. This Amendment, apart from the hopeless nature of its drafting and terms, is unacceptable. Even on the question of principle, I should have thought that it was an Amendment to 1470 which the Labour party would have been the last to subscribe. How hon. Members opposite who come from different parts of the country can support in the Division Lobby a proposal which would give relief to a manufacturer in one particular area against another, I cannot conceive. For all these reasons, I suggest that Amendment is unacceptable, and that the Government proposals are satisfactory and sound. The hon. Member for East Ham, North (Miss Lawrence) sought to indicate that in some way or another it was not the rates that were a b Arden upon manufacturers. She gave a good many illustrations of cases where the rates had been reduced, and she seemed to imply that where the rates were commg down the manufacturers need not complain.
§ Miss LAWRENCE rose—
§ Sir K. WOOD
I cannot give way. I wish to finish my point. [HON. MEMBERS: "Give way! "] It is not out of any discourtesy to the hon. Member that I prefer to finish the point with which I am dealing. It is the case that where the rates are highest one of the great advantages of the Government's proposal will be that more relief will be given. Therefore, according to the hon. Member for East Ham, North, the manufacturers in those particular districts will benefit. On the grounds of logic, we must, ask the Pause to reject the Amendment.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I want to make one correction. I said that what matters for the occupier is the rise in the rates in the course of his tenancy, and not so much the actual amount.
I want to thank the right hon. gentleman for his speech. It is the most damaging speech that has been delivered against this Bill. The case for the Amendment has been attacked by the right I on. Gentleman because it makes a differentiation between prosperous and non-prosperous firms. That is what we have said all the time. If that argument is to be used, I suggest that it could be used far more powerfully against the Government scheme than against our Amendment. The case that has been put by the Minister of Health and the Parliamentary Secretary this afternoon has been a purely debating case on small points, and we have not been treated to 1471 a disquisition against the merits of our general proposal. We want to give the Committee a definite choice between the giving of the relief in those areas which need it most or spreading it broadcast all over the country in a way which means that a very large amount of it will be dissipated and will be of no economic service whatever. On the Second Reading Debate I estimated, roughly, and that estimate is borne out in the "Manchester Guardian," that at least £10,000,000 will go into the pockets of people who do not need it. If this sum of £10,000,000 were diverted from the pockets of those who do not need it into the pockets of the people in the depressed areas who do need it, it would be a distinct economic advantage to the community; but in order to give a few million pounds to depressed industries in depressed areas we are to throw away £10,000,000 for which there is to be no advantage.
Now, we are told that the purpose of the Bill is not to deal with necessitous areas. If we are under any delusion on that matter the fault lies with the Chancellor of the Exchequer. During the speech in which he opened the Budget—when, it now appears, the Government had no mind on this subject—we were certainly led to believe that the purpose of the Government was to assist depressed industries and depressed areas and that view was borne out by the Prime Minister in his speech two days ago, when he said:The cumulative result has been to lay on local authorities in distressed areas a crippling burden of unemployment relief which is almost more than they can stand. …This problem has never been absent from our minds.We take their word for that. The whole object of the rating scheme is really to deal with the crippling burden in distressed areas. Now we are told that it is no such thing. We wish the Government to carry out its original purpose and that is why the Amendment, which deals with distressed areas, has been moved. I believe it would be difficult to define a necessitous area, but we are net responsible for being put into the position that we are in to-day. It is the character of the Government's Measure which is responsible. This Bill is based on thoroughly unsound principles. We are restricted to doing what we can with a 1472 very bad Bill. We should not have concentrated the whole of our power were we dealing with this question on the mere issue of necessitous areas, because it is part of a much larger problem, but the Government have deprived us of any opportunity of putting forward Amendments on the lines we should have taken and we have to deal with the Bill as it is to-day.
If you are to get the maximum amount of assistance from the £26,000,000 to be given in relief of rates, the right thing in our view is to concentrate it upon those areas that need it most. The right hon. Gentleman waxed eloquent with indignation at the thought that in one area there might be a poor, hard-struggling person receiving nothing, while in a necessitous area a prosperous person would be receiving assistance. Abstract justice, I am afraid, is a thing we shall never reach. You will always have hard cases. My case against this Bill is that there are more cases of people being given assistance who do not need it than there are cases of people who are being genuinely helped. Economically, the case which the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues ought to put up against this Amendment is to prove that the cases of people in necessitous areas who would receive relief and do not need it, is much larger than the number of people who are going to receive assistance under their scheme who are prosperous and do not need it. That is what they have to prove. They have to prove that more would be wasted under the necessitous areas method than under their method, and they have made no attempt to prove it. They cannot prove it. They cannot take these clearly well-defined black areas where unemployment is abnormally high, where the poor rate is abnormally high, where poverty is widespread, and dump into those areas £,26,000 000 and in so doing waste £10,000,000. It is utterly impossible. On the Government's own figures, if we can get away from the Chancellor of the Exchequer's mythical percentages, which mean nothing, they are going to waste £10,000.000 out of the £26,000,000 which go in relief of rates. Can they show us and can they prove to the Committee that by restricting the relief to the necessitous areas half of that sum would go to enterprises or individuals who were not necessitous? That 1473 is the case which they ought to make against the Amendment but that case has never been made and never will be made.
Even if it did, it would help the necessitous areas. That is the point to which I am coming. Even if you have £10,000,000 wasted, so to speak, by dealing with the problem on the lines of this Amendment, £17,000,000 concentrated upon these particular districts where the great basic industries are settled would be infinitely more advantageous, economically, to the country than spreading that £17,000,000 over the whole of industry, including the luxury trades. On economic grounds, if the Government are desirous of helping to stimulate trade obviously the whole of their resources ought to be concentrated where they are most needed. The Government have not done that. That is because they were misled by the Chancellor of the Exchequer from the very start. Ever since the Budget speech the Government have been wallowing in difficulty after difficulty. No one knew from the Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech what they meant to do, except that they were going to deal with the depressed areas. Two days ago the Prime Minister reaffirmed that. The argument which has been put forward to-day by the Government is that the Bill is not to deal with the necessitous areas, and that this Amendment is open to all kinds of minor objections. That is not a serious argument to use in Committee of the Whole House. If the right hon. Gentle-man does not like the words of our Amendment, I am prepared to discuss alternative words with him. The whole of the discussion ought not to be side-tracked by the attempts that were made by the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary to confine it to the question of definition. I think we should all agree that the 10 per cent. unemployment figure was not, perhaps, a perfect definition, but at least it is as good a definition as the definitions in Clause 3 of the Bill.
We are dealing with a subject in which definitions are going to be very difficult, and we are anxious to deal with the question on scientific lines. The Government's proposal is not the best way of 1474 dealing with the problem. I should have preferred to have tackled it from the other end by the withdrawal from the necessitous areas, as from other areas, of those services which are essentially national in character. We are dealing with it by the present method because it is the only method which is now left open to us. Are the Government going to realise that the adoption of their method of the classification of hereditaments, irrespective of necessity, is going to land them into greater and greater difficulties? They will realise this before they are through with this Bill and also the forthcoming Bill. The only way out of the bog of difficulty into which they will be driven deeper and deeper is to regard it as a special problem and not distribute the bounty to people whether they need it or not This is a very large question and we have not touched the fringe of it yet. I hope the Committee will give this question of definition and limitation much mere serious attention than has been given to it up to the moment. I admit the difficulties. This is not the way we should tackle the problem but as the Government are determined to do it this way, then the only sound and scientific method, the most economical and the least wasteful, is to concentrate the use of the money on the distressed and necessitous areas to which the Amendment refers.
§ Mr. LAWSON
I am glad that the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) has drawn attention to the apparent contradictions in interpretation between the Minister of Health, the Parliamentary Secretary, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The whole impression of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget speech was that the proposals would have a very great effect upon industries in depressed areas. I remember that the right hon. Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne) was so moved by the Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech that he said that the mere fact of announcing the proposal a year ahead of the money coming in would give a great stimulus to industry. The Minister of Health has taken these words quite literally and has used them as a defence against the proposal we are now putting forward. Then the right hon. Member for Hillhead began to defend himself and pleaded that these proposals should be 1475 introduced immediately into the depressed areas. There is scarcely a newspaper in these industrial areas—and no matter how much the Parliamentary Secretary may quarrel with definitions the Government have no doubt where they are—no Conservative newspaper, but what is urging the Government to apply their proposals immediately to these necessitous areas.
§ Sir K. WOOD
What is being asked, and also by the right hon. Member for Hillhead (Sir H. Horne), is that we should accelerate the relief.
§ Mr. LAWSON
That is exactly our case. We have to accept the Bill as it is drafted and move Amendments which are in accordance with the principle of the Bill, and unless the principle of the Bill is altered and the money given the necessitous areas, then there is no possibility of applying it this year instead of next year for the reason that no real help will come to these industries at all. I want to ask what the Government are going to do with the necessitous areas? The Parliamentary Secretary said that the higher the rates the more help they will get. Will they? We do not know that until we get the accurate proposals of the Government. I know that the Minister of Health has said that they are going give relief to the necessitous areas in addition to the amount they will provide in order to meet their de-rating proposals, but we are only taking that as a sort of Christmas gift which may come. The Committee has to take on trust what is going to happen sometime and somehow, but the necessitous areas cannot wait until then. I read a newspaper article on Saturday dealing with my own area, which is only a type of many throughout the country. This is what the "Manchester Guardian" says:There are probably between 30,000 and 40,000 able-bodied miners in Durham County who have nothing whatever to do. It is as if a couple of Army divisions were living on the countryside with their wives and children, and were never to be recalled or rehabilitated in civilian life by the Government, which in some sense controls them. But what is worse is the constant recruitment of this corps from the schools.The situation, as a matter of fact, is getting worse. In Bishop Auckland, 14 1476 collieries out of 19 are closed. In the Chester-le-Street Union the rateable value of collieries has gone down from £112,000 in 1917 to £61,000 in 1928, and side by side with that there is an ever-increasing demand for relief by those who are unemployed and who are receiving no benefit at all. Let rue give the Committee some figures which I am sure will be of interest. In 1920, the amount raised for Poor Law purposes in the County of Durham was £357,142, but in 1928 it was £1,354,817, or four times as much as in 1920 with a depreciated rateable value. Take the Chester-le-Street Poor Law Union. In 1920 the Poor Rate was 1s. 10½d. in the £, but in 1928, after two years of control by the representatives of the Minister of Health, it is 9s. in the £. All that these persons with dictatorial powers are able to do is to lower the Poor Law Rate to 9s. in the £. In 1920, the rate of 1s. 10½ realised £29,000 odd, the 9s. rate in 1928 raised £130,000. That is just an illustration of what is going on in these areas.
How long do the Government think this can go on? The resources and the reserves of the citizens in these localities, mining, steel and shipbuilding places, have gone. The reserves of voluntary organisations have disappeared; they have given generously. The reserves of local authorities have gone. They are now almost bankrupt. The situation is such, and those who are responsible for the control of the economic and social life of these areas are so near the breaking point, that the Government will be compelled to take some new steps over and above their present proposals in order to deal with the problem. And what about the effect on the people themselves? The position is getting so serious as to undermine the qualities of independence and personal pride, which we shall lose entirely if it continues much longer; and these qualities once they are gone can never be bought by all the money that was ever minted. It is impossible to convey a true picture of the real situation in some of these areas.
We propose by our Amendment that this revenue shall he diverted to these areas immediately. We should make other proposals ourselves if we were dealing with the problem, but if there is any virtue in the principle of this Bill, then it can be discovered if it is applied 1477 at once to the industries in these depressed areas. If the Government do not accept the Amendment, then it shows that they are merely using the necessitous areas for propaganda purposes and that when it comes to applying this revenue in a practical way they are prepared to run away from their own principles rather than accept proposals put forward from this side.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Miss WILKINSON
The speech of the Parliamentary Secretary reminds one of those fishes which, when they are pursued, are in the habit of sending forth all sorts of dark liquids by which they escape. Not once during the whole course of his speech, which was very interesting, as his speeches usually are, did he ever once attack the central principle of this Amendment, and we should like to have some reply to the Amendment which we are actually moving. The Parliamentary Secretary says that the Bill is not to deal with necessitous areas. Deputations in the dim and distant past have discussed the question of necessitous areas with representatives of the Government, and we have had deputation after deputation to the Minister of Health and the Prime Minister. We were always told that no money was available. Now the Government have the money. For the first time the Chancellor of the Exchequer has provided the money in order to deal with necessitous areas, and now, when we raise the question of these areas, we are told that it is completely irrelevant. The Parliamentary Secretary has placed us in this position. He has made it perfectly clear that the object of this Bill, and the object of the proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is that this £26,000,000 is not going in relief of rates but as a subsidy to the manufacturers. This £26,000,000 is to be used as a subsidy to private manufacturers. Why do the Government not say so quite frankly and thus save much discussion? During this morning I was motoring back from the West Country and I passed a large number of very excellent estates. What surprised roe was the enterprise of the Conservative party in inducing the very wealthy owners of these estates to allow their gates to be used as poster hoardings. I noticed large posters on the gates pointing out the economy of the Conservative party 1478 in having saved £12,000,000. I suggest that another poster should be prepared and stuck on the gates of large estates and factories, and that it should state that the Conservative party knows how to look after its own friends. That is certainly what the Government are doing very thoroughly by means of this Bill.
What the Labour party are asking for by this Amendment is that the £26,000,000 shall be used for necessitous areas. To us that is the central point of the whole discussion. We have waited and begged that something should be done for the necessitous areas. Here is the Government's opportunity. Why is it not being seized? The money is to be given to non-prosperous and prosperous areas alike, and the Minister has told us that the higher the rates paid the higher the relief. That is not what will happen. Let me give an illustration from my own area of Middlesbrough. The rates were so high during the past year that some of the big firms appealed against their assessments. One firm, that of Bolckow Vaughan, was taken as a test case, and Middlesbrough lost. Other firms made the appeal also. As a result of these cases the Middlesbrough Union has lost £66,000 of assessable value, and it, has lost it in two ways. These great firms, some of them admittedly very hardly hit, appealed against their assessments and they had their assessments reduced. As they are to get only three-quarters of the rates they are now paying it will be three-quarters of the lesser amount. Had this scheme been in operation a year ago they would have received more. There are, of course, cases where firms have not appealed against their assessment and they stand to gain on the transaction. Therefore it is not by any means true to say that the higher the rates the greater the relief.
The Minister has said that this scheme will be a stimulus to industry. There are few areas which so badly need stimulus as the North-Eastern area. To what extent is this scheme in fact going to meet the difficulties of a very highly rated area like that? Roughly speaking, the rates collected in Middlesbrough last year amounted to £570,000. The rates paid by iron works amounted on the new assessment to £63,000. Three-quarters of that is £47,250, or £48,000 in rough figures. Is that likely to prove any par- 1479 ticular stimulus to industry, having regard to the enormous capital value of the works in this particular area and the enormous number of unemployed men at present there? What is £47,250 in an area like that? It is ridiculous to say that that amount is, in fact, going to mean a stimulus to trade. Even if you add it to the reduction of railway rates, the amount will not be anything like adequate. Why relieve these firms as firms or industries, prosperous and un-prosperous alike, from money which is being raised by a general burden on the citizens? Obviously, the fairer thing would be to relieve the burden of the heavily weighted citizens. Hon. Members talk about the firms in these necessitous areas. Much of the discussion has seemed to suggest that the only people who pay rates are the employers of labour.
In these areas are firms prosperous and un-prosperous alike. In Middlesbrough some of the big firms say that they have stabilised. In some cases they are producing as much steel as in 1913, but with far fewer men. That change is due to technical efficiency which, as such, we welcome. But something has to be done for the men thrown out of work, who have been thrown on the general body of citizens. Those citizens are bearing the burden as well as the firms. I suggest, therefore, that instead of considering only the firms, we should consider also the unfortunate people who are bearing these heavy extra burdens. There are respectable citizens and highly skilled artisans who have been unemployed for three, four or five years, owing to world causes over which they have no control. I should be glad if the Parliamentary Secretary would bestow a little attention on the subject. There are men in whose homes every single article of furniture that is worth anything is ticketed for distress purposes. They are liable to be "sold up." They are burdened with £60 or £70 worth of debts which they can never hope to pay off unless trade revives. They cannot pay because they are merely living on Poor Law relief. The citizens who are at work, the railwaymen, postmen and others, have to pay far heavier rates because so many other people cannot pay.
Relieving the rates of certain firms is not going to solve the problem. The 1480 payment of £47,000 to firms in Middlesbrough is not going to touch even the fringe of the problem. It will merely leave the problem as bad as, or worse than, it is now. The only people to be relieved will be some who are already doing quite well and others who are in such great need as to require far more than £47,000. I am speaking on behalf of the men and unfortunate women, many of whom come and tell me that they cannot sleep at nights because of the worry of the rates. Courtauld's have paid 17½ per cent. on watered capital. A gramophone company paid 20 per cent. dividend in 1925–1926 and gave 50 per cent. in bonus shares, and then in 1927 paid 40 per cent. dividend on the lot. Courtauld's is a classic quotation, with its dividends of 20 to 25 per cent. The breweries have been paying dividends of 10, 15, 20 and 25 per cent. on watered capital.
Why should these people have relief? That is what the Government never tell us. They say "We cannot possibly distinguish between the prosperous and the non-prosperous," and they add that if they did so they would put a premium on the failures in industry. No one wants to have a feeling of hostility to the prosperous firms. All I object to is paying another halfpenny on every 2d. omnibus fare in order to subsidise Courtauld's. Why should an ordinary citizen in going to work have to pay the Petrol Duty in order to subsidise people who do not need relief, while the necessitous areas are left without help? That is the central feature of the Amendment. We do not see why should we subsidise millionaires. Seventy-five per cent. of the new capital issues of this country last year represented investments abroad. What guarantee is there in that investment of more work for the unemployed in this country? I suggest to those hon. Members opposite who represent great industrial areas, that when they go to their constituencies they will have a very difficult task to justify such a statement as that which we have had from the Parliamentary Secretary, that on this Bill the question of necessitous areas is irrelevant.
§ Mr. HARRIS
When the Government present a proposal of this kind, I naturally scrutinise it in the hope that it is going to he of some assistance to the district which I represent, and I think 1481 that is the natural instinct of most hon. Members. The test, which will be applied to these proposals will be the amount of help which they are going to give to the industries and the general well-being of the various constituencies represented here. In the interesting memorandum published by the Government on the rates levied by local authorities—for which publication we are all grateful—it will be found that the rates in Bethnal Green are 22s. 4d. in the £, and that the actual amount paid in rates during the year dealt with in the memorandum was £668,000. Out of this sum no less than £482,000 is paid on houses, shops, offices, and other classes of property not mentioned in the other part of the memorandum. That amount will receive no assistance under the Bill. On the other hand, when we come to mills and factories, we find that the amount to be relieved comes to little over £61,000. I have taken the case of Finsbury, another borough in London, for comparison with Bethnal Green, because that is the real test of how this machinery is going to work. The amount paid in rates is practically the same in Bethnal Green and in Finsbury, but the rates in Finsbury are only half the rates in Bethnal Green—10s. 4d. compared with 22s. 4d. When we come to consider the sum which is paid by industries and factories, and which is to be relieved under the scheme of the Government, we find that the amount in the case of Finsbury is exactly double that which I have mentioned as applying to Bethnal Green, the figures being £61,000 in Bethnal Green and £122,000 in Finsbury. Thus, while the Finsbury rates are low, Finsbury is to get more relief than Bethnal Green, where the rates are high.
That is an example of how the scheme will work. Bethnal Green is a poor area, with the lowest assessable value in London, and there are very few industries in the area. The only industries of any importance in the borough are breweries, and while breweries will get relief, they employ comparatively small numbers of men. The Government scheme will not assist Bethnal Green to deal with its unemployment problem, and I am justified in asking the Government to modify the machinery of this Measure, so that the money will go to the boroughs where there is most unemployment, where the 1482 people are poorest, and where the rates are highest. The comparison which I have made between Bethnal Green and Finsbury could be repeated in many other instances all over the country. Apart from the fact that it has no large industries such as are mentioned in the memorandum, Bethnal Green is to a large extent a dormitory of poor people—not middle-crass people— and it has no houses where the occupants can afford to keep servants. The produce of a penny rate is low, yet the Bill will bring the borough no assistance. The Minister ought to give more consideration to this Amendment. I do not support the suggested definition of a necessitous area which a appears elsewhere on the Order Paper as a proper one, but if the Bill is to be justified, and, if it is to carry out its origin al purpose, the Government will have to reconsider their own definition and change the present proposals for the differentiation of property in such a way that the help will go where it is most needed, and not to the most prosperous places.
§ Mr. ATKINSON
The hon. Lady the Member for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson) complained that there had been no criticism of the principle of this Amendment. I am not sure that it is easy to find a principle in the Amendment. If there is one, I suggest that the criticism of it is three-fold—first, that it is artificial; secondly, that it is unfair; and, thirdly, that it would defeat the object which the Bill has in view. As regards the point of artificiality, whatever definition you take of a necessitous area must be an artificial one. Whether you adopt the definition which forms the subject of a later Amendment, or whether you substitute another definition, it must of necessity be artificial. There will always be areas just on one side of the line, and other areas just on the other side of the line. It seems impossible to say that, because you are just on one side of the line, you shall come within the benefits of the Bill, and that because you are just on the other side of it, you shall not share those benefits. There is another element of artificiality in any definition. At what moment of time is the question to be determined as to whether an area is necessitous or not? An Amendment which stands later on the Order Paper suggests that the only time which 1483 you can consider is the period of time just before the valuation. That proposal only considers the necessitous area of the moment, but what about the necessitous area of to-morrow? To take an example. Supposing that in the year before the valuation, area A is just outside that definition, and area B is just within it. In the following year things have grown worse there in area A and it may have become, in fact, a necessitous area. Yet it is not within the definition of a necessitous area, because the period of time has passed, in relation to which the test is applied. The other area, which had been a necessitous area, may, because of some improvement in trade, owing to the benefits of this Measure, cease to be necessitous and may be in a better position than the adjoining area, which, though it has in truth and in fact become a necessitous area, is yet outside the benefits of the Measure.
If we test this suggestion by seeing how it is going to work out in practice, I feel we must all admit that it could only work with the utmost artificiality and also with the utmost unfairness because it would benefit merely the area which is necessitous to-day, and would not benefit the area which becomes necessitous tomorrow. I say it would not accomplish the object of the Bill for this reason—because the Bill aims at doing something on broad lines. It seeks to deal with industry as a whole and to give a fillip to industry as a whole. If a method of taxation be economically unsound, it is just as unsound in a necessitous area as in an area which is not necessitous. If it is unsound, deal with it, but deal with it as a whole. To pick out the areas which are suffering most at the moment and to help them, is not to make a real endeavour to accomplish the big scheme which the Bill has in view—the assistance of industry as a whole in such a way that you will help, not merely the necessitous areas of to-day, but the necessitous areas of to-morrow and those of the day after, in a big attempt to put an end to necessitous areas altogether. Let us not make the mistake of confusing two principles. You cannot apply to a scheme which is aimed at assisting industry the principles which you would like to apply and which you could legitimately apply if the object of the scheme were to assist areas rather than industries. The two things are quite 1484 distinct and we shall get into all kinds of confusion if we mix them up and try to apply principles which might be perfectly legitimate if the aim were to assist areas, to a scheme which is based on the necessity of industry as a whole and not on the necessitous areas.
§ Mr. BARKER
In supporting the Amendment, I appeal to the Minister to come to the relief of the necessitous areas with the whole of the money which will be available. The Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary seem to be in a dilemma as to what is a necessitous area. I shall be pleased to supply them with a concrete illustration and I cite the Bedwellty Poor Law Union as a typical necessitous area. It may satisfy the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken to know that there are areas which instead of being necessitous this year and prosperous next year, have been in a necessitous condition for several years and are still in that condition. The duly elected guardians of the Bedwellty union have been superseded. The union is £1,000,000 in debt. The waterworks are £1,000,000 in debt. The Abertillery council is £200,000 in debt and the rates have risen from 10s. in the £ to 26s. in the £. As the Member for part of that area, I appeal to the Minister to come to the immediate relief of the people who are living there. People are leaving their houses and taking apartments because they are unable to bear the burden 3f rates. There are over 200 empty houses and 50 or 60 empty shops and a state of the direst poverty prevails owing to unemployment. There are 7,000 unemployed and there are many living on charity. The Minister of Labour will have nothing to do with them and hundreds have been struck off the live register. The appointed guardians have refused them outdoor relief and are insulting the people by offering them institutional treatment. A short time ago I brought to the notice of the right hon. Gentleman the case of an ex-service man who had fought in the South African War.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
It hardly seems to be relevant to the Amendment under discussion to go into all the details about the Bedwellty area.
§ Mr. BARKER
I desire to keep strictly in order, but I want to show the Minister 1485 what a necessitous area is and the state of things existing among the people in such an area in order to emphasise the need for immediate relief. The case which I am citing is a serious case in support of my argument. The guardians appointed by the Minister refused outdoor relief to this old soldier and offered him institutional relief. The man was not very civil to the guardians. The Minister said that he quite agreed with the Commissioner Guardians. I do not know if he wants any compliments from an old soldier if he is offered the workhouse when he asks for outdoor relief. That is only one case, and there are thousands of cases in this area. Since the Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced his Finance Bill. I have been watching very closely the speeches of the Minister of Health and trying to find out what he is going to do, not only for the industries in these areas, but, for the poor working classes in them, and I have not seen anything definite yet from him with reference to that matter.
The Government have been in office for nearly four years, with a very big majority, and they have refused to give the slightest relief to these areas. Now they are bringing in a Bill which proposes to give some kind of relief to selected people in selected industries, but it is not to be given until October, 1929, when it is highly probable that the Government will be out of office. Therefore, during the whole period of their occupancy of the Treasury Bench, they have evaded this very important question. The condition of these areas is deplorable in the extreme. There are relief committees at work continually and they have to appeal to all the other committees in London and elsewhere so that our people can have some kind of clothing to put on. It reflects no credit on this Government passively to see this misery before their eyes. Probably this question has been brought before this House 20 times since the Government have been in office, and they have absolutely refused to give any kind of relief to these sorely oppressed areas.
I make one final appeal to the Minister. Why not give relief at once? Why not, make a block grant to these areas and relieve them of some of these rates? They cannot afford to pay these rates. There are working men to-day who have 1486 to pay, in rent and rates, 17s. and 18s. a week out of wages amounting to £2. The whole thing is monstrous in the extreme, and for the Government to sit callously by and see this misery in hundreds of districts and pay no attention to it, reflects the greatest discredit upon them. The only hope that the people have is to see the death of this Government.
§ Mr. BARKER
I am not going to protest against your ruling, but we are dealing with necessitous areas and the necessitous people in them, and there is the question of what we are going to do with £26,000,000. I am pleading for people who cannot get any employment, who have to live on charity, and who are as good as any other people in the country.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I am surprised that there is no Member representing Scotland on the Treasury Bench, because in dealing with this Amendment Scottish Members are under a particular disability. Members who sit for constituencies in England and Wales have had 11 White Papers full of valuable information about their constituencies, showing what industries in their areas contribute by way of rates, and showing how one area can be roughly judged to be necessitous because of the total amount of rateable value, the total amount of rates collected, and the kind of industry operating in that area. Three weeks ago the Secretary of State for Scotland promised Scottish Members, in answer to a question, that there would be a similar Paper for Scotland, to which this Bill applies equally with England and Wales: and I wish to raise the strongest possible protest against the Committee stage of this Bill going forward until Scottish Members have in their hands equally detailed information with those who come from South of the Border. I should like to move to report Progress.
§ Mr. BROWN
I hope. I am keeping in-Side your ruling in making the strongest protest, and English and Welsh Members will understand if a Scottish 1487 Member uses illustrations from South rather than from North of the Border. It is not his fault, but his misfortune. The hon. and learned Member for Altrincham (Mr. Atkinson) complained that this Amendment had an artificial basis, but his argument was rather a dangerous one, because it is not at all clear what definition the Government have in their mind for dealing in another connection with these very necessitous areas. They have committed themselves to a formula, some elements of which we know, but of which we know nothing in its complete form, to do the very thing which this Amendment proposes to do. It shows that they are going to apportion money raised so that not merely shall industries be relieved and the local authorities have the gaps owing to that relief made up, but that the money is to be directed specifically to areas needing it very badly because of certain conditions; and if the hon. and learned Member for Altrincham says that this is an artificial definition, we ought to be in possession, before we can adequately discuss this Amendment, of the formula that is in the mind of the Minister.
The right hon. Gentleman the Parliamentary Secretary was not quite so urbane as usual. It is very rarely that hon. Members find him unwilling to give way, and when he refuses to give way to a Member who interrupts his speech, hon. Members sitting on these Benches draw the conclusion that he does not much like the case that he is putting, that he is not very sure of its strength. He rode away, not on the merits of the proposal, but on the demerits of a particular Amendment which appears later on the Paper. Directly I saw that Amendment, I handed in an Amendment to it, because I certainly think that if you are going to judge by unemployment, then everything above the normal should he adjudged to be the abnormal, or a necessitous area. But it is not the fault of Members on this side that there is no adequate definition of a necessitous area on the Paper, because we have been waiting patiently for the production of the very thing which the hon. and learned Member for Altrincham says is impossible, namely, a formula adequately to define, not merely for our purpose, but for the purpose of the Government, what a necessitous area is.
1488 I believe that if the principle underlying this Amendment was put to the country, the country would be with the Amendment and not with the Government. You have a certain amount of money—so many millions—to be used by way of relief, and the question is, How can you best give that relief, and in what direction is it best to direct it? The Government think that by spreading it they can make the best use of the money, but those who have for several years in this House put the case of the necessitous areas think otherwise. They may be forgiven for putting the case again. I well remember that when my late friend Mr. Trevelyan Thomson was putting the case for the necessitous areas some nine months ago in this House, the Minister described him as the lugubrious Member for West Middlesbrough. That was because he was putting a ease that the Government then did not recognise, and they do not now recognise it, or they would not have drafted their Bill in its present form. I have no doubt that if the electors of this country had their choice as to where they would put the money raised now and to he raised, by way of relief of rates, they would choose to direct the main stream of that money to the areas that have suffered so hardly and so long from the great weight of unemployment and the terrible stress of post-War difficulties. I believe the principle of this Amendment to be thoroughly sound, and if the Government do not produce their formula, so that we may see whether it is as artificial as the hon. and learned Member for Altrincham says this Amendment is. it will he up to private Members of the House to produce a formula adequately to define the necessitous areas, so that the money may go in relief to those industries in town and country which really badly want it now.
§ Mr. GILLETT
I was very much surprised at the Minister's definite statement that we are to understand that the Measure before us has nothing whatever to do with the relief of the necessitous areas.
§ Mr. GILLETT
To my mind, the Measure is all the worse if we are to look at it as the Government's definite proposal for rating reform, quite apart from the problem of necessitous areas. I had 1489 looked at it at first as being the intention of the Government to grapple with the two problems, the long-delayed reform of the rating system and the crucial position that we find in certain districts at the present time. Now that one of those two objects is left out, it will be interesting to know when the Government are going to grapple with the necessitous areas. I cannot imagine but that sooner or later the needs of those districts will compel further attention. At any rate, it seems to me that, whatever this Measure might do to alleviate the distress in those districts, will to a large extent come too late.
I am willing to concede the point, made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer or by the Minister of Health, that this Measure is an important factor from the banking standpoint. I noticed that in the accounts of one very large industry connected with Durham they had at present £1,000,000 advanced to them by the bankers, and it is obvious that if, as is well known, many of these industries are practically being kept going by the banks, it is, from the banking standpoint, of considerable assistance. If you have an industry which to-day is losing £20,000 and at the same time is paying rates of about £25,000 if it is known that in a year's time three-quarters of those rates are going to be removed, so that the business will be virtually on a paying basis, it is obvious that from the banking standpoint the bank is more likely to continue to finance the business than to let it go into bankruptcy. Nobody would dispute that, as far as it goes, and for what it is worth, but it is not going to be of much use to the 14 collieries of which we have heard from my hon. Friend, which are already closed, because it is not likely that, on these promises, the banks will open up these collieries at the present time.
The most extraordinary statement made by the right hon. Gentleman the Parliamentary Secretary this afternoon was the one in which he said that it was an absurd proposition to suggest that you ought to relieve industry in congested districts, while you were not relieving the same class of industry in other parts of the country. With all clue respect to the right hon. Gentleman, whose ingenuity we all admire, this is about the most stupid thing that I have heard him say. 1490 Let us compare similar industries in different districts. One is in some part of Southern England, where the rates have hardly increased, and has not had thrown upon it the burden of finding relief for a vast mass of unemployment. A similar industry in Durham or South Wales has had thrown upon it since the War an enormous accession of cost. The right hon. Gentleman says it is absurd to propose that you should relieve the one industry that has been hit, while its companion in another part of the country, which, comparatively, has not been hit, should not be relieved. Take the case of a brewery in the county of Durham and one in the borough of Finsbury, where the rates have not increased to any great extent. In Finsbury the burden of extra unemployment, comparatively speaking, has not been hit very heavily, while in Durham there has been an enormous increase since the War. We acknowledge that our scheme will relieve the brewery of Durham, but it will not relieve the brewery in Finsbury. Why should you relieve the brewery in Finsbury? If you are to give relief, you should give it to the brewery in Durham. Yet the right hon. Gentleman says that our scheme is absurd. It seems to me that it is his logic which is at fault, and he ought to think that point out again.
I understand that my hon. Friend the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) made reference to the Borough of Finsbury. The application of this Measure to that borough is very interesting. It will not matter very much what line I take, because, in all probability, most of the gentlemen who represent these great interests are not usually among my supporters, especially the brewers. The figures show a peculiar position hr Finsbury, which is familiar to the right hon. Gentleman, as he was anxious to woo it as its representative. In that glace there are large business quarters, combined with some of the very poorest parts of London. We find in the White Paper under the columns of concerns that will probably benefit by the proposals, that in Finsbury the figures of rates are £122,000 and £12,000 The population of Finsbury is only about 75,000. When the relief is given to these industries in Finsbury, even if it is given, it is very doubtful whether it will have any 1491 great effect upon the question of unemployment in Central London.
When I turn to the county of Durham, and take the urban districts of that county, I find that the population is about 560,000, or eight times as large as the population of Finsbury, and yet I find that the rates for which relief would be given, added up for all these districts, is only £460,000, which is nothing like the figure that it would be if I multiplied by eight the total of £130,000 or £140,000 for the borough of Finsbury. The disproportion is so enormous, that even if I have ignored one or two factors that ought to have come in, we are going to give, proportionately, to Finsbury a large grant of money compared with what is to be given to Durham. Look at the districts which will be helped. The rates of Finsbury are 10s. 4d. The rates in various districts of Durham are 21s., 20s., 18s., 22s., 25s., and so on, and there is one at 13s. This is the way in which the money is to be divided under the scheme of the right hon. Gentleman, and if you speak of logic, I think our scheme is more logical, and is more likely to have an effect, than that of the right hon. Gentleman. The House must have been amazed at the figures which were given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in a speech a week ago, in which he said that the firms concerned with £500,000,000 of our export trades are making hardly any profit upon it. If you are dealing with this kind of figure, all the money that the Government are. able to raise under this scheme is wanted for the industries that most need it, and to dissipate even £5,000,000, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer acknowledges is being dissipated, is a thing we cannot possibly afford to do in face of the needs of those districts of which we hear time after time, and for which nothing seems to be done. To waste £5,000,000 in face of the appalling tragedy of the lives of the men engaged in these industries is not really grappling with the great need of the present time. We should first of all grapple with the industries that most need help, and leave the question of rating reform until the country is in a better position to consider it apart from the appalling tragedy which is facing it to-day.
§ Mr. BATEY
The impression made on my mind by the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary was that all employers of labour should share alike in this £27,000,000, whether they be in a necessitous area or in a prosperous area, or in a prosperous or non-prosperous trade. He rather resented the insinuation that the Government are looking after their friends. The statement, which we do not hesitate to make, is that the Government want to give this £27,000,000 to the capitalists of the country, and that they are giving that money, not for the purpose of helping distressed trades, but for the purpose of helping their friends. The Parliamentary Secretary used a different argument from that used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Chancellor went to Newcastle the first week-end after his Budget speech, and, in addressing a large meeting, made this statement:We have launched our advance against what I call the Hindenburg line, against the triple entrenchments of unemployment, trade depression and rating muddle.That was what the Chancellor of the Exchequer meant by this scheme. We do not believe that this scheme will help employment, but the Parliamentary Secretary said this afternoon that it would help employment by relieving the prosperous trades and that if you relieve the prosperous trades, those prosperous trades should be able to employ more men, and thereby unemployment would be relieved. We think that there is nothing that warrants the Parliamentary Secretary saying that. If this money is used as it is proposed to use it, to help the non-prosperous and prosperous alike, I am interested to know how it will help in the County of Durham. The Government forced us back a couple of years ago to district settlements, and I want to show how this £500,000, which we are told we shall get in the County of Durham for relief of rates, will not in the least assist the trade depression in that county. When the Government forced us back to district settlements, we had to arrange our district agreement. Under that agreement we owe the employers over £3,000,000. At the last ascertainment for April, the amount of deficit that the workmen owe to the employers, was over £230,000. We shall get in relief of rates only £500,000 a year. For three 1493 months alone the deficit was £230,000, so that, in the 12 months the deficit will wipe out all the money that we get from relief of rates. The £500,000 that we shall get for the relief of rates will not wipe out the deficit for three months, let alone for 12 months. How will it, then, help trade depression in the County of Durham? It cannot touch it. It cannot lower prices, either for coal sold for domestic purposes or industrial purposes, or for the export trade. All that this £500,000 will mean is that the workmen will not owe to the employers so much at the end of the year as they do now, but it will not assist trade depression.
Then the Chancellor said that, not only would this scheme assist unemployment and trade depression, but would assist to unravel the rating muddle. In our county the trouble with our rates is that we have so many men who cannot find work, who have been removed from the Unemployment Fund and who have been thrown on to the board of guardians, thus increasing the rates. Seeing that the local rates are being increased in Durham in that way, how will this scheme relieve the rating muddle? The Parliamentary Secretary said to-day that the higher the rates the greater the relief, but already there have been quoted two or three districts in Durham where the rates are 25 shillings in the £ and more. In Spennymoor the rates are 25s. 8d. in the £. They only receive from mines £2,245; all the rest of the money is raised on property and business premises. How will the relief of three quarters of that sum of £2,245 give relief to the local authority in Spennymoor? They will still be left with rates of very nearly 25s. 8d. in the £.
Even if all that was said for this proposal were true, we still fall back upon the argument that it is a huge blunder to spread this money over every area in the country, prosperous and non- prosperous. The Government led us to believe, before the scheme was introduced, that, when they talked about dealing with local rates, they meant to deal with local rates in the dark and depressed areas only, and we never bargained for a scheme like this dealing with rates in prosperous and non-prosperous areas alike. In that sense we have been deceived. To utilise the 1494 money for prosperous and non-prosperous trades simply means not giving assistance that might be given in order to help trade and industry in the depressed areas. If the intention of the Government was that they would do something for depressed trades and industries, then this scheme, in my opinion, by scattering the whole of the money over the whole of the cot retry, will not touch the coal industry, but will leave it in the position in which it is to-day. If the Government really believe in this scheme, they should not be prepared to leave it for 18 months before they bring in the relief. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer was in Newcastle, he compared industry to poor mulch cows which, in desperation, moved off to some neighbouring fields, and he described the population left behind. When he compared the coal industry to a mulch cow moving off to some neighbouring fields, I thought it a very good description. The trouble is that this mulch cow has fallen. The Chancellor comes along, sees that it has fallen, and says to it, "Eighteen months after this I will give you food."
§ Mr. BATEY
I quite agree, but I was following some bad examples. I urge upon the Minister of Health that to use this £20,000,000 for prosperous and non-prosperous trades is simply frittering away the money and doing nothing for the industries that really need help. Since the Government came into office we have been arguing that the Government ought to do something for the coal industry. All they have done is simply to make it worse. It is worse to-day than it ever has been, and now the Government come along with this scheme which, when put into force, will not help the coal industry. We can only hope that the time will be very soon when the Government will go out of office and let somebody else do their work.
§ Mr. KINGSLEY GRIFFITH
I have no doubt that when the Parliamentary Secretary left his place, he did so with considerable satisfaction over the debating retort he made to the Amendment moved above the Gangway. It is no doubt a very effective debating retort, when you are asked why your Bill does 1495 nothing for the distressed areas, to be able to say with a clean conscience, "Well, of course, it does not. It was never intended to do anything of the kind." That answer, which was the answer we got, will be received in the distressed areas with something like dismay. I do not know if he realises how many hopes—and quite genuine hopes—were raised by the first speeches of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the subject. Those in the distressed areas took it for granted—and had some reason for doing so—that it was their plight which had brought the whole of this scheme forward. Now it is stated, in the official defence against an Amendment, that the legislation is in no way connected with the distressed areas as such. Salvation in those words "as such" is found to-day as on previous occasions. But this is no consolation to the distressed areas, because they have special needs and, unless legislation is directed to those special needs and with a single eye to those special needs, they are not likely to get much out of it. When it is suggested that some legislation is to come later, which will do everything for them and which we cannot now discuss, I would point out that this is the legislation on which the great bulk of the money, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has succeeded in saving, is going to be distributed. Those of us who represent the distressed areas cannot stand by and see the legislation going wrong, as it is from the very first line, so that all the money is distributed on a wrong basis, and console ourselves with the fact that they may get a few thousands here and there where their right share, if the basis had been right, would have been very much more.
When my hon. colleague the Member for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson) was speaking, she was accused of drawing an artificial distinction between the distressed areas and others. The same kind of distinction has got to be drawn under the scheme in this Bill. The only scheme that avoided these artificial distinctions was the scheme put forward in an altogether different direction for relieving the ratepayers as a whole. If any distinction is to be drawn, surely the distinction between the distressed areas and the rest of the country is far less artificial than the distinction between 1496 productive and non-productive industry which is involved in this Bill. Whatever the difficulty in drawing this distinction may be, the difficulty is worth tackling if it goes to the heart of the matter. When one finds that the very object of this Bill is put down in the Preamble as to give a grant of relief from rates, relief does imply that there are certain distressed persons who are to be relieved and it is, at any rate, a task worth undertaking, however difficult it may be to perform, to find out who those distressed persons really are. Therefore, when I saw my hon. colleague for East Middlesbrough addressing herself to this point, she was on a far more vital point than the distinction between productive and non-productive industries and I support in every way the criticisms she brought. I do not say the scheme gives nothing to the distressed areas. It gives something, but how much more it might have been! I am supporting this Amendment because it imposes the principle of concentration and, from the point of view of the distressed areas, concentration is all important. We have got to hold out our hats now. The money is still there. It is no use waiting for months in the hope that, at some future date, some money may be still there which may be earmarked for our special purposes.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
I would like to raise the point already raised to the Secretary of State for Scotland. The English Members who are discussing this Bill are at a considerable advantage over Members from Scotland. While it is quite true that Clauses 1 and 2 do not apply to Scotland, nevertheless the Committee is expected to arrive at Clause 3 to-night. Yet the Scottish Members have not in their hands, nor is there in the Vote Office, a statement for Scotland similar to those distributed to English Members setting out an analysis of the English rating areas. Can the Secretary of State for Scotland tell us when we are likely to have a statement of a similar character for Scotland, so that Scottish Members may be able to discuss with some degree of information—
§ Mr. MACLEAN
I am connecting this with the Amendment in that the Eng- 1497 lish, Members have information with which they can discuss it. The Scottish Members have not the information, and I am asking the Secretary of State for Scotland when we are likely to have from the Government a Command Paper, which will give us the information and enable us to discuss the matters and the methods of rating, and how the amount that will be apportioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the necessitous areas is to be applied?
§ The CHAIRMAN
The purpose of this Amendment is to define necessitous areas. I understood the hon. Member to say that we might reach Clause 3 this evening. That has nothing to do with the present Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member has forgotten that the definition as set forth by the Mover of the Amendment is areas in which there is more than 10 per cent. of unemployment.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
I do not think that is quite the matter before us. We are discussing what are necessitous areas and how relief is going to be applied to them, and what I want from the Secretary of State for Scotland is information for Scottish Members similar to that which has been supplied to English Members, so that we may be able to see what are likely to be regarded as necessitous areas in Scotland. Surely that is a legitimate point to make, even at this juncture, and therefore I hope the Secretary of State will be able to let us know when he is going to issue such papers.
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
I should like to say a word in this Debate, because on many occasions I have spoken on behalf of Sheffield, one of the most necessitous areas in this country. The reason for the Amendment is a two-fold one. First of all there is the general case of the ratepayers in every necessitous area, and then there is the case of the actual productiye industries in particular necessitous areas and whether the relief to them will be sufficient to put them in a reasonable position to compete with other productive industries. I will take the second point first. I have been looking at the matter from the point of view of our own industries. I am not concerned to 1498 deal with the heavy export industries, but my point will still be made clear, because the Minister proposes to give relief to all kinds of productive industries. We have in this country a very large number of co-operative productive factories; and I would say at once that those interested in the management of those factories will welcome the reduction of three-quarters of their assessment for rates; but when we come to look at the matter from the point of view of the necessitous areas we get a clear illustration of how inequitably the proposals of the Minister will work.
Take one or two productive industries, the market for whose products is almost exclusively the home market. We have at least a half-a-dozen large clothing factories situated in different areas. In some areas the rates are as low as 11s. or 12s. in the £, and in other cases are as high as 22s. or 23s. in the £. In the case of our own movement that does not matter, because all those factories, whether in necessitous areas or not, are under a unified control, and whatever the trading results of those businesses the benefits go in one direction only. But what is the position of private clothing factories situated in different areas throughout the country? The amount of relief they will get will vary according to whether a factory is or is not a necessitous area, but still they have only the home market in which to sell, and the factories which are in a necessitous area will remain under a severe handicap as compared with the other. The same argument would apply to a variety of other goods produced for the home market. The President of the Board of Trade, in his speech on trade last Tuesday, informed the House that the home market was a large and increasing factor in our general trade, and it is very necessary in considering the help to be given to productive industries to keep specially in mind the case of the home market.
As regards the general ratepayers in the necessitous areas, I would divide them into two classes. There is the ordinary householder and there is the ordinary business man, both excluded from any benefits whatsoever. Take the case of a business man engaged in either wholesale or retail distribution. He gets no advantage at all under the devaluation scheme, though in the necessitous areas 1499 such trades have had a very hard time in the last five or six years.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I would point out to the hon. Member that this Amendment will not help either of the classes to which he is referring.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
If I may continue my argument, I think I can show that it will, because if we could get our Amendment carried and could persuade the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the whole of the fund to be raised should be devoted to the necessitous areas, the amount of relief given would be larger.
§ The CHAIRMAN
But all the same that relief could only go to the producers, it would not go to the householders or to the other business men. It would be a larger sum for the producer, but it would not mean help for the distributor.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
I want to put the point that if we can confine the fund to the producers in necessitous areas, the relief to them will be much larger; and as the Minister has more than once argued that this relief should bring more employment to the areas and put the citizens there in a better position, surety we can argue that the position of the general ratepayers will be thereby helped? We ought to be able to put the case of ratepayers who are distributors and householders in a necessitous area. I come back to my point. I was saying that a large number of distributors in the necessitous areas have been severely handicapped by having to give long credit owing to the fact that the large productive industries in those areas have either been closed or been working short time. The purchasing capacity of the people in the area has also been very much lower, and that has been an additional handicap to the distributor. As far as the general householder is concerned, we in Sheffield feel very strongly that before the relief to productive industry is settled to go over the whole 1500 area, we ought to have had much clearer information from the Minister as to what his dealings will be with the areas which are in such dire distress. In Sheffield we have accumulated a severe burden of debt for the current relief of poverty arising from unemployment, and the Ministry of Health, instead of making a real gesture to help us, are asking, for the first year, that we should pay to the Ministry compound interest upon the loans which have been made. Thereby the general position of the area is worse than it was before. I have no doubt that that is what is happening in other necessitous areas as well.
I think the Minister ought to withdraw the Committee stage of this Bill until we have what he has promised to issue, and that is the first statement to local authorities of what his plan will be for helping necessitous areas. I understood some time ago that the statement was almost ready for issue, and I suppose we may look for it in about a week or ten days from now, lout at the moment our local authorities tell us they are completely in the dark as to exactly what measures of help they are likely to expect. Whilst I am here to support the Amendment in order to get more assistance before the necessitous areas I think it would be much fairer for the Minister to postpone the final decision upon this matter until he has made public to the local authorities the actual details of his scheme for block grants in substitution for the present grants. I very much regret that the Minister has adopted the present basis of helping productive industries. I cannot understand why industrial concerns in areas where the rates are very low and which are making very high profits, concerns whose shares stand upon the Stock Exchange at 5 to 20 times their original par value, should get rating relief, while so little is being given to the concerns in necessitous areas.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN rose in his place, and claimed to move "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 225; Noes, 126.1503
|Division No. 166.]||AYES.||[7.26 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Ganzonl, Sir John||Perring, Sir William George|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Gates, Percy||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Glimour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Goff, Sir Park||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Atkinson, C.||Gower, Sir Robert||Preston, William|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Grant, Sir J. A.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Bainlel, Lord||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Ramsden, E.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Grotrlan, H. Brent||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Held, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Berry, Sir George||Hamilton, Sir George||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Harland, A.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Harrison, G. J. C.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Hartington, Marquess of||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Bye, F. G.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Haslam, Henry C.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Sandeman, H. Stewart|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivlan||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Sandon, Lord|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C. ( Berks, Nowb'y)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Sassoon. Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Buchan, John||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hills, Major John Waller||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mel. (Renfrew, W)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hopkinson, Sir A, (Eng. Universities)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Skeiton, A. N.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hudson, R.S. (Cumberl'nd, Whlteh'n)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dins, C.)|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Hume, Sir G. H.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Hurst, Gerald B.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Iliffe. Sir Edward M.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt, R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Iveagh, Countess of||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Jsphcott, A. R.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Christie, J. A.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Cohen, Major J Brunei||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Colfox, Major William Phillips||Lamb. J. Q.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Lister, Cunllffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Loder, J. de V.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Looker, Herbert William||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Couper, J. B.||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Lumley, L. R.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G, L.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainebro)||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||McLean, Major A.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Waddington, R.|
|Davies, Maj. GED. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Macquisten, F. A.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingaton-on-Hull)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Maltland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Dlxey, A. C.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Drewe, C.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Meller, R. J.||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Wells, S. R.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Meyer, Sir Frank||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple|
|England, Colonel A.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Wetton-s.-M.)||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Erskina, James Malcolm Montelth||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Everard, w. Lindsay||Hall, Colonel Sir Joseph||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Nelson, Sir Frank||withers, John James|
|Fermoy, Lord||Newman, Sir R. H-, S. D. L. (Exeter)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Flelden, E. B.||Nuttall, Eills||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Finburgh, S.||Oakley, T.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Forrest, W.||Penny, Frederick George|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Captain Margesson and Captain|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Attlee, Clement Richard||Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillshro')||Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Barnes, A.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Baker, Walter||Barr, J.|
|Batty, Joseph||Hayday, Arthur||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Briant, Frank||Hirst, G. H.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Broad, F. A.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Shinwell, E.|
|Bromley, J.||Hollins, A.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hore-Bellsha, Leslie||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddertfield)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Buchanan, G.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Smith, Rennle (Penlstone)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Snell, Harry|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kelly, W. T.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Compton, Joseph||Kennedy, T.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Connolly, M.||Lansbury, George||Stephen, Campbell|
|Cove, W. G.||Lawrence, Susan||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lawson, John James||Strauss, E. A.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lee, F.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Day, Harry||Lowth, T.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Dennison, R.||Lunn, William||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Duncan, C.||Mackinder, W.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Dunnlco, H.||MacLaren, Andrew||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedweilty)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Townend, A. E.|
|Gardner, J. P.||March, S.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Maxton, James||Varley, Frank B.|
|Glbbins, Joseph||Montague, Frederick||Vlant, S. P.|
|Gillett, George M.||Morrison, R. c. (Tottenham, N.)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Gosling, Harry||Naylor, T. E.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.)||Oliver, George Harold||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Greenall, T.||Paling, W.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Westwood, J.|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Potts, John S.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Groves, T.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Riley, Ben||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Ritson, J.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Windsor, Walter|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Wright, W.|
|Hardie, George D.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Harney, E. A.||Scurr, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Harris, Percy A.||Sexton, James||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Hayes.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted."1504
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 124; Noes, 226.1505
|Division No. 167.]||AYES.||[7.35 p.m.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff, Cannock)||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Oliver, George Harold|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Paling, W.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Groves, T.||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Grundy, T. W.||Potts, John S.|
|Baker, Walter||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Riley, Ben|
|Barnes, A.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Ritson, J.|
|Barr, J.||Hardie, George D.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bronwich)|
|Batey, Joseph||Harney, E. A.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Harris, Percy A.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Brlant, Frank||Hayday, Arthur||Scurr, John|
|Broad, F. A.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Sexton, James|
|Bromley, J.||Hirst, G. H.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewie|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hollins, A.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Buchanan, G.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Shinwell, E.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Siesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Compton, Joseph||Kelly, W. T.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Connolly, M.||Kennedy, T.||Smith, Rennie (Ponlstone)|
|Cove, W. G.||Lansbury, George||Snell, Harry|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lawrence, Susan||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lawson, John James||Stamford, T. W.|
|Day, Harry||Lee, F.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Dennison, R.||Lowth, T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Duncan, C.||Lunn, William||Strauss, E. A.|
|Dunnico, H.||Mackinder, W.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedweilty)||MacLaren, Andrew||Thorne, G R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Glbbins, Joseph||March, S.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Gillett, George M.||Maxton, James||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Gosling, Harry||Montague, Frederick||Townend, A. E.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Greenall, T.||Naylor, T. E.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Vlant, S. P.||Westwood, J.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Wallhead, Richard C.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon J.||Windsor, Walter|
|Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.||Wright, W.|
|Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Wellock, Wilfred||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Mr. Hayes and Mr. Whiteley.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Gates, Percy||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Ron. Sir John||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Astor, Viscountess||Goff, Sir Park||Preston, William|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Gower, Sir Robert||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Atkinson, C.||Grant, Sir J. A.||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Ramsden, E,|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Bainlel, Lero||Grotrian, H. Brent||Reid, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Held, D. D. (County Down)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Mall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Remer, J. R.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Hamilton, Sir George||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Berry, Sir George||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Betterton, Henry a.||Harland, A.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Harrison, G. J. C.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Hartington, Marquess of||Ruggies-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Rye, F. G.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Haslam, Henry C.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur p.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Brockiebank, C. E. R.||Hsnn, Sir Sydney H.||Sandon, Lord|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. H. J.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Barks, Nowb'y)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Walford)||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Buchan, John||Hills, Major John Waller||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A.D. Mel. (Renfrew, W.)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Burman, J. B.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Smith. R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Hurst, Gerald B.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Caine, Gordon Hail||Illffe, Sir Edward M.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester. City)||Iveagh, Countess of||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt, R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Jackson, Sir H, (Wandsworth, Cen't)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Jephcott, A. R.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Christie, J. A.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Storry- Deans, R.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Lamb, J. O.||Stuart. Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Collox, Major Wm. Phillips||Loder, J. de V.||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Colman, N C. D.||Looker, Herbert William||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Herman||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Lumley, L. R.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)|
|Couper, J. B.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crews)||McLean, Major A.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsay, Galnsbro)||Macmillan, Captain H.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Macqulsten, F. A.||Waddington, R.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Davies, Or. Vernon||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Manningham-Bullar, Sir Mervyr||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Margesson, Captain D.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Dlxey, A. C.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Drewe, C.||Meiler, R. J.||Wells, S. R.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-|
|Edmondson, Major A. J,||Meyer, Sir Frank||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|England, Colonel A.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Withers, John James|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Nelson, Sir Frank||Womersley, W. J.|
|Falls, Sir Bertram G.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Fermoy, Lord||Nuttail, Ellis||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Oakley, T.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Finburgh, S.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Penny, Frederick George|
|Forrest, W.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Captain Bowyer and Captain|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Perring, Sir William George||Wallace.|
|Ganzonl, Sir John||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
The following Amendments stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Mr. HARNEY.
In page 1, line 9 to leave out the word 'prescribed.'
In line 9, after the word 'manner' to insert the words 'prescribed by this Act'.
§ The CHAIRMAN
With regard to the two Amendments standing on the Paper in the name of the hon. and learned Member for South Shields (Mr. Harney), I have some doubt as to their actual effect. It appears to me that they ought to come on Clause 10, but perhaps the hon. and learned Member will explain why he wishes to move them at this point.
§ Mr. HARNEY
The words as they stand in Clause 1 are, "in the prescribed manner." In Clause 10, it is provided that the expression "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under the principal Act. I want the words in Clause 1 to read, "In the manner prescribed by this Act," for reasons which I propose to give.
§ Mr. HARNEY
By a subsequent Amendment which I propose to move later on, and which as a matter of fact is not on the Order Paper.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Yes, but the Committee is not seized of the hon. and learned Member's proposal. No doubt he can raise the point on Clause 10, but I really cannot take it now. Mr. Riley.
§ Mr. HARNEY rose—
§ The CHAIRMAN
Instead of saying straight off that I would not select the hon. and learned Member's Amendment, I invited him to give an explanation. It is clear from what he has said that the Amendment is not only one that ought not to be selected, but that it falls on 1508 the ground of completeness, seeing that the complementary part of it is not on the Paper.
§ Mr. HARNEY
May I say that I was only asking for your advice and suggestions as to what should be done in the circumstances? What I want to put to you is this: If the Amendment be held over until Clause 10, will the fact that the question of the prescribed manner is not dealt with now rule me out when we reach that point?
§ Mr. RILEY
I beg to move, in page 1, line 12, to leave out paragraph (a).
The purpose of this Amendment is to eliminate agricultural hereditaments from the proposed relief. In the first place, these particular hereditaments are already enjoying relief from their rate liability, so that they are, in fact, already getting everything that it is proposed to confer on other classes of property by this Bill, and on that ground one would have thought that there would have been no need for any further extension of rate relief to them, or for any further distinction between agricultural hereditaments and other forms of property. As, however, agriculturists are never satisfied, it appears that the Government must include them in any kind of relief which is being handed out, and, therefore, we find that in this Bill, in spite of the fact that they are already enjoying rate reductions to the extent of 75 per cent., that does not satisfy them, and they are to be included for further relief to the extent of £4,750,000. The proposals of this Bill will mean that henceforth agricultural hereditaments, whether land or agricultural premises, will bear no rate liability of any kind whatever. I think it will be worth while in the public interest for the Committee briefly to review what the present position is with regard to the amount of relief which is being given and to that which will be given by this Bill when it becomes law.
It is estimated, as has been stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the amount required to relieve agricultural hereditaments from all burden of rates, is £4,750,000. That, presumably, 1509 is one-fourth of the nominal amount of the real liability of agricultural hereditaments before 1896, and, therefore, it is well to understand that henceforth, under this Measure, the public purse is to be charged with an annual contribution of £19,000,000 for the purpose of relieving agriculture from rates. The Exchequer of this country, taxing all interests in the State, is to call upon others than agriculturists to find £19,000,000 per annum for the relief of agricultural interests alone. I submit that that is a most extravagant demand to be made by the Government or by the agriculturists. Already a large part of this relief has been going on for a considerable number of years. Since 1923, there has been relief to the amount of something like £14,000,000 per annum, from 1896 to 1923 there was an annual Exchequer contribution of £1,200,000, and now the contribution is to be consolidated into one sum of £19,000,000, which is to be given to agriculturists from other sections of occupiers of premises and hereditaments. I submit that that is a most extravagant amount. Furthermore, in the case of this class of hereditament, we have had experience of what this policy means. There has been a good deal of argument to-day to the effect that this Bill is taking a leap in the dark. It is hoped, of course, that something may be done by means of this relief to give a stimulus to industry, to meet the difficulties of depressed areas, and so on; but that is all problematical—
§ Mr. RILEY
It is for any industry that is subject to rate burdens. While it is argued that that is the intention, everyone knows that the result is quite uncertain; but that is not so with regard to the experience, since 1896, of the same policy as applied to agriculture. I do not know whether anyone is going to be bold enough to say that the money contributed from the public purse far the relief of agriculture has solved the problem of agriculture, or mitigated to any extent worth mentioning the difficulties that it has had to face, but, apparently, after all that has been done by the Act of 1896, and also by the Act of 1923, which reduced the burden to one-fourth, no solution of 1510 the difficulties has been found, and agriculturists are as clamant as ever. It has been proved by experience that this policy is not going to solve their difficulties.
Assuming—which I, personally, do rot grant—that this policy is likely to be a useful policy, or to make a substantial contribution to the relief of the burdens of productive industry, surely we are entitled, in the ease of the agricultural interests, to ask that some measure of protection should be included in the Bill to make sure that the relief, if it be needed, goes to the right people. There is no such protection in the Bill. I recall that, at the time when the policy of a similar character was passed by this House, namely, in the Corn Production Act of 1917, a definite step was taken to make sure that the advantage which was then to be conferred upon the cultivating farmer should actually go to the man to whom it was intended to go, and should not be frittered away upon the people who owned the land. In the Corn Production Act there was a Clause of this kind:The rent payable under any contract of tenancy shall, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary, not exceed the rent that could have been obtained if this Act had not been passed.Why should there not be in this Bill some Clause which will make sure that the relief under these proposals, which is intended for occupying farmers, should really go to them? In the pastoral districts, particularly, there is no complaint of any very unusual depression. It may be argued that agriculture just as coal or iron and steel, is a depressed industry, but does that apply all round?
§ Mr. RILEY
I am sorry if I have transgressed the Rules of Order, and I apologise. What I am arguing is that in this Bill there is no safeguard whatever that the relief will go to really deserving agriculturists who may be struggling for a living, but what is quite certain is this: Everyone knows that, not so much perhaps in the arable districts, but particularly in the pastoral districts, when any change of tenancy takes place, either the owner on the one hand, or a prosperous new tenant on the other, will know that there will be no rate charges to meet, and, therefore, such a tenant will be in the position, if he wants the farm and there is competition for it, to offer a competitive price, including the burden of rates, and the relief will, therefore, go to the owner. We move this Amendment, not because we are not anxious to help agriculture in the right way, but because we do not wish the public purse and the public interest to be used for the purpose of giving a dole which finds it way into the pocket of the landlord. In view of the experience of the Acts of 1896 and 1923, I think the Committee will agree that at least agricultural hereditaments ought to be exempted from the application of the Bill.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Mr. NOEL BUXTON
I want to give, in support of the Amendment, two or three illustrations from cases within my own experience. I want to argue that whatever measure of advantage might accrue to agriculture from this proposal is vitiated by its topsy-turvy character. I am thinking of a Cheshire farmer of my acquaintance who farms 400 acres, and who under this Bill, if it becomes law, will have falling to him like manna from Heaven about £140 a year. The district is not hard hit at all as times go, and his agriculture will not be modified in any way whatever by this sudden windfall. He will simply receive so many 1512 additional hundreds of capital value for a farm which he bought out of the profits he made in wartime. I am thinking of another farm where a man, whose assessment has been quite moderate in comparison with the real value of this farm and who again will not employ any more labour, is going to make £130 out of this provision. It is a grass farm with a fixed standard and character of cultivation. He will simply receive this windfall. It was found a year or two ago that if you compare certain arable counties and certain grass counties, counties of about 3,000,000 acres, four arable counties have £126,000 a year out of the relief that already exists, and five grass counties, with about the same area, get £200,000 a year. The only districts which might claim special assistance on account of bad times were the arable counties, which proportionately got no help at all compared with the prosperous grass counties. I remember the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Wells Division (Sir R. Sanders) saying that two-thirds of the whole agricultural area. might be regarded as grass country which was not suffering at all. You have in the Eastern Counties area, where the distress may be regarded as worst, a relief of something like 2s. 6d. an acre. On the very prosperous grass land you get relief of about £1 an acre in assessment. That surely confirms the absolutely topsy turvy character of the proposal and the waste of money it involves on objects which have no public value.
My hon. Friend has dwelt upon the obvious fact that a very large part of the advantage will go, in course of time at all events, to the owners. I do not know if anyone in these days is still inclined to dispute that, but I noticed only a few days ago that a correspondent signing himself a "Landowner in the Southern Counties," wrote to the "Times" and used words that confirmed that. Coming from a landowner, I think it interesting voluntary confirmation. Recognised authorities confirm what Sir Tristram Eve said not long ago:The incidence of rates in the case of agricultural land in the long run on the owner. Out of the total gross annual value of the property, the occupier pays away so much to the owner in rent and so much direct to the rate collector in rates. The higher the cheque for rates the lower the cheque for rent.1513 How anyone can deny that in course of time the owner must score the advantage, I fail to understand. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells in supporting the 1923 Bill, which was to the advantage of the farmer, himself, said:I do not mind admitting that there would be a distant and indirect advantage to the landowner.That is sufficient confirmation coming from that quarter. There has been an argument used which appealed very much to us on this side, that owing to the relief of rates there might be better wages, and the same right hon. Gentleman made a very strong appeal in 1923, the year when there was a great strike in the Eastern Counties, for the Conciliation County Committees to act and to the farmers of their own volition to respond to the present that was being given them in raising their wages and not diminishing their staff. He complained not very long afterwards that the result he contemplated and hoped for had not supervened, and that it was of no use for him to make further proposals of that kind if they did not result in any change for the better in wages. There is a. very grave objection of an incidental kind to this relief. You cannot confine it to real agriculture. There is a provision that it is not to be applied to land that is used for sporting purposes. How are you going to distinguish between land that is and land that is not used for sporting. You have a great deal of land, for instance in Suffolk, that is farmed partly to make it good partridge land. You have property where sometimes a crop of wheat is left standing, and practically all wasted, because the shooting interest is a very big interest in the value of the land. How can you avoid not only making this present, which appears to us to be useless waste of public money, but actually making it in eases where the land is not really being utilised for agriculture in any serious sense?
The emergency of to-day, associated with low prices and very hard times, is not really met by this provision. The mass of the very large sum which will come under the relief of agricultural rates will be practically thrown away. How will the right hon. Gentleman argue that agriculture itself is really affected, except that land which, as the economists say, is on the margin of cultivation? You may there make a difference which will 1514 keep land under the plough, but that is a mere fraction of the whole amount you are spending, and I doubt whether there is any very considerable area where you will really help to keep the land cultivated. It is a fortunate fact that even in these times in East Anglia, which I know best, when farms come into the market, there is not now a lack, certainly in cases which have come under my notice, of applications, and there is practically no demand for a reduction of rents in very large areas, even East Anglian areas, of the heaviest land, which might be regarded as on a precarious margin of cultivation. I think this provision will have very small effect in keeping land arable. I only wish it might be great, but if it is just that margin of land which we want to maintain, surely you could use these millions to greater effect than you are going to do.
This attempt to bolster up agriculture by relief of rates has been a most conspicuous and monstrous failure. No one has ever attempted to show—I only hope the right hon. Gentleman will attempt to show—that it has had any effect. The Minister of Health said, I think in connection with the 1923 Act, "There is great decay; you must do something," and he used that as an argument for the Bill. Has there ever been a more appalling failure to. be recorded than in connection with the relief of one-fourth in 1923? There has been a deplorable reduction in the arable area since then. Of course, every one knows the real remedy to be quite different. This sort of proposal relieves a few places —in the case of a great many farmers and landlords it is very like gifts from Heaven—but it sometimes does less than nothing for the real benefit of agriculture, because it encourages the farmer's to keep their eyes on politics, which the Minister himself has warned them not to do, and it deters them from the real remedy, in the case of occupying owners, to equip their farms better. I wish the right hon. Gentleman in supporting the proposal would gave us some evidence that this is a genuine agricultural proposal and that it really puts the interests of agriculture before the interests of property.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I am sure the Committee h as heard the right hon. Gentleman's speech with interest and with 1515 some satisfaction. The proposal to exempt agricultural land in the manner indicated, in which we are going to take the first preliminary step in this Measure, is a vital part of the Government's scheme, and we believe it will he stimulating and helpful to agriculture. I am not in any considerable difficulty in replying to the hon. Member because, of course, this is merely an extension of the policy of relief of rates which long ago was recognised as perhaps one of the best and most speedy means of assisting agriculture. I should like to inform the Committee of the present position, having regard to what I understand was said by the Mover of the Amendment. The agricultural Exchequer Grant under the Act of 1896 means an expenditure of £1,320,000. Under the 1923 Act the Exchequer Grant is £3,400,000, and the proposal under the scheme to be brought forward later in respect of agricultural land will be £4,100,000, making a total of £8,820,000, and in addition there will he a grant in respect of the rates on agricultural buildings which as estimated on the basis of the probable percentage of the value of agricultural land to which the value of agricultural buildings is equivalent will amount to about £700,000, or a grand total of £9,500,000 for England and Wales.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether or not the statement made by the Prime Minister two days ago that this Bill intended to provide agriculture with £5,750,000 per annum was the considered decision of the Government?
§ Sir K. WOOD
Obviously, I must refer to that speech and see whether the hon. Member is correct in what he says.
The earlier figure given to us was £4,750,000, hut two very reputable newspapers certainly reported the Prime Minister as saying £5,750,000. Perhaps that was a mistake, or due to mis-reporting.
§ Sir K. WOOD
Perhaps I may add a word or two later. This, at any rate, is a considered statement. My hon. and gallant Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland reminds me that probably the Scottish figures came into this as well. The figures that I have given only deal with England and Wales.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I think the hon. Gentleman had better look at my statement, which has been carefully prepared. At any rate, I am advised that that is the figure.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I will look into that point. The right hon. Gentleman challenges that policy, and I understand that he and his friends are going into the Division Lobby to vote against the further extension of this relief to agriculture. I am very surprised that he should do this, because he was one of those who were responsible—in fact, he was the chief person responsible—for continuing the relief to agricultural land when the Labour Government were in office. If what he has told us to-night is true, he must have been very remiss in his duty as the Minister of Agriculture in including this in the Expiring Laws Continuance Act. Why did he not come forward in the House of Commons at that time, as he could have done, and say: "This relief is wasted and is doing no good to agriculture. I denounce it. Instead of doing good, you are doing harm." We did not hear a word from the right hon. Gentleman at that time when he had full responsibility for the conduct of the Ministry of Agriculture. [Interruption.] These murmurs are difficult to catch. Whether they are directed against me or against the right hon. Gentleman sitting in front of me, I do not know but the fact remains that he, as a responsible Minister of the State, was responsible for the continuance of this policy. If there was any substance in what he has told us this afternoon, his duty then was quite clear. There is no doubt about that. Yet, because we are continuing this policy, he has made a series of most extraordinary statements which he himself did not support when he was in office, and which are certainly not generally supported up and down the country. I think it is a perfectly fair reply to the right hon. Gentleman, who, 1517 if I may say so very respectfully, was one who certainly gave attention to his office and seriously carried out his duties, to say: "It is all very well to come forward to-day and get up on the Opposition side and say, 'What is the good of this sort of relief?' when you yourself were the person who was responsible." [Interraption.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite do not like this. The right hon. Gentleman was the person who was directly responsible.
§ Sir K. WOOD
No interruptions will get me away from my point. He was responsible as Minister of Agriculture for continuing this policy.
§ Mr. GRIFFITHS rose—
§ Sir K. WOOD
If any interruptions are to lie made at this point, they should be made by the right hon. Gentleman himself.
§ Mr. GRIFFITHS
The right hon. Gentleman has just said that my right hon. Friend was responsible for the continuation of this policy. We were not in power when the Expiration Laws Continuance Act came on.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I will leave the discussion of this matter to the right hon. Gentleman. [Interruption.] Any time that the hon. Gentleman likes to see me, I will produce the Bill which was introduced by the Labour party when they were in office, and in the schedule to that Bill was this very Measure which is being denounced to-night. I understand from what the hon. Gentleman says that he will be very surprised, as I am, after having heard what the right hon. Gentleman has said to-night, to compare his remarks to-night with his performances in that great year of happy memory, 1924. All I want to say is, that the attitude on the land which the Labour Opposition have taken up wall not commend itself to agriculture generally. Certainly, farmers who think otherwise will be very glad indeed to receive this relief.
What are the facts? I think hon. Gentlemen will agree with me when I say that one of the matters which at the present time we have to consider in this relation is the increased tendency of farmers to own their own land. I say this to the Labour Opposition and to the 1518 Liberal Opposition, because my remarks apply equally to the party which I see represented so ably to-night by the hon. Gentleman opposite: It is equally true of the Liberal Party that when they came to deal with this situation they came to the same conclusion as the right hon. Gentleman opposite. Undoubtedly, the experiences of the operation and working of the Act and its relief have exploded both the Labour and the Liberal theories, and it is for the reason that we believe that it will give great stimulus and aid to agriculture, as can be proved by anybody in a responsible position who has had to do with this matter, that I ask the Committee to reject this Amendment.
I would not have intervened in this discussion at this stage but for the unwarranted attack on my right ho a. Friend by the Parliamentary Secretary. We are accustomed to his method of argument and of his strong insistence on points entirely irrelevant to the question at issue. The right hon. Gentleman says that his statement about my right hon. Friend is a fair reply. He knows perfectly well that it is a very good red herring. It has nothing whatever to do with the Amendment which is now under consideration. The Labour Government introduced the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, with the inclusion of the Act of 1923. That is perfectly true for the same reason that a good many other things that might have been done were not done. The right hon. Gentleman and his friends took up so much time with deliberate obstruction to wise Measures which we introduced into this House that we were unable to do many things that we desired to do. We were in a position a little different from that of the right hon. Gentleman, who happens to have behind him two out of every three Members of the House, of having two out of every three Members of the House wholly or partially or at times against us. That alters the situation. The right hon. Gentleman's argument is precisely the argument which was brought against the right hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley) and myself, that we had not solved the housing problem within a fortnight of taking office, and the same argument that was used against the right hon. Member for Preston (Mr. T. Shaw) that he had not solved the problem of unemployment within the same period.
1519 Let us assume that we did not oppose the continuance of the existing agricultural rate remission. Let us assume that if we had had the majority which the right hon. Gentleman now has that we should not have opposed the continuance—an argument which I do not accept—is that any reason why, having accepted a well-established tradition, we should go further on a line which we know has done no service to the agricultural industry So far as I know, nobody has ever written anything to show that as a result of the operation of rate remission to the extent of three-fourths that the agricultural industry is in any sense better off. If that be so, even if we believe that the remission was right, it would be the height of folly for us at this stage to say, "We will apply a little more of the same medicine," knowing that that same medicine had been utterly useless.
Suppose we were to assume that for all the time that the two Acts have been in operation providing these remissions of rates, a certain extent of benefit has accrued to the industry, can anybody show us or prove to us that the sinking of £4,750,000 additional in this way will do anything to help the agricultural industry? If that could be proved there might be something to be said for this proposal, but my view is that if the remission of three-quarters of the rates on agricultural land has achieved so little, the remission of the remaining quarter will do nothing at all. Not only so, but it is going to put this industry into a position different from every other industry. I know the Conservative argument that has been used time and time again in favour of de-rating agricultural land. We have been told that this is the only great basic industry whose raw material is taxed, and that other raw materials are not taxed. That is not true. The rating system is a form of taxation upon raw materials and their use. It is certain that some of the services of local authorities are essential to the conduct of certain industries. What is going to be the position under this Bill? Agricultural land, agricultural buildings, agricultural implements are to be excused the payment of all rates. They will then be put in a position of being supplied with road services and with the other local 1520 services which are essential to their industry, and to which they contribute not one penny. In other words, this proposed subsidy to the industry is going to be definitely at the expense of the mass of the rural population, including the rural workers, whose wages are already deplorably low. On these grounds alone, the Committee would be entitled to reject the proposal to put agricultural hereditaments into a special category.
There is a further point which I wish to emphasise, and that is that this relief will ultimately pass into the hands of the landowners. If there is one thing that is truer than another it is that in the case of agricultural land the remission of rates ultimately redounds to the advantage of the landowner and not of the land user Although it may be true to say that the number of people who are owning their land is increasing, it is also true to say that the vast majority of land in this country is not owned by the people who are actually using the land. It may not, of course, come about within ten minutes after the rate remission comes into operation, but the ultimate effect will be, as has been the effect of previous remissions, to accrue to the benefit of the landowners. I am not against assisting agriculture. The party to which I belong is not against assisting agriculture, but the mere gift of £4,750,000 or £5,750,000, or however large the sum may be in this particular form, is open to the same objections as the grant to certain industrial hereditaments. While my hon. Friend who moved the Amendment was speaking, the hon. Member for South Leicester (Captain Waterhouse) intervened. He seemed to hold the view which is common on the benches opposite that this great basic industry contributes to the national wealth on the losses of the landowners and the farmers: that this is the one industry which thrives on what it loses. I do not accept that view for a moment. I have never known a period in English history when the landowners and the farmers admitted that they were making profits. They did not admit that they were making profits even during the period of the War and immediately after the War. Their way of counting their losses is a strange one and one that would not bear examination by any actuary. This industry, in places, like 1521 other industries, is extremely prosperous and it is because the money which is to be given, like the money which will be given under other heads of the Bill, will go to the people who do not need it, that we object.
If there is one thing which has been insisted upon from these benches time after time during the Second Reading Debate and to-day it is that in view of the state of our national industries, in view of the dire need of certain groups of people in certain districts, there is no money to be given away to people who do not need it, and yet under this Bill we are going to give away to them a certain proportion of £4,750,000 or whatever the sum may be. Even if none of it were going to be given to the prosperous landowners ultimately or the prosperous farmers immediately—[HON. MEMBERS: "There are none!"] There are prosperous farmers. It is fantastic to say that every farmer in this country is on the verge of bankruptcy. Nobody believes it. I will give an illustration of the curious way in which farmers reckon their losses. If a farmer makes £1,000 less this year than he made last year, he puts down his loss as £1,000. On that principle, large numbers of industrial concerns would be losing money every year. No one who looks at the question fairly will deny that there are a large number of prosperous farmers up and down Great Britain, and those farmers are to receive a gift which will bring no real economic advantage to the people of this country. Even supposing that the proportion, the large proportion if you like, is going into the hands of the people who need it, we argue that this is not the best way to give assistance to an industry which is in need of help.
I suggest that the Government would be well advised to consider other and more scientific, more effective and more advantageous ways, from the point of view of the community, of giving assistance to this great industry. The right hon. Gentleman has not replied to our arguments against the Bill on This point. That was the case on an earlier Amendment. You can take a horse to the water but you cannot make him drink, and we cannot make the right hon. Gentleman argue our ease if he does not want to. His speech was an attempt to draw a red herring across the path, 1522 something quite irrelevant, but it has not strengthened the case of the Government and it only shows that in the absence of reasoned arguments the right hon. Gentleman has had to fall back on the old-fashioned method of misrepresenting my right hon. Friend.
§ Mr. RYE
The hon. Member who has just sat down has paid a remarkable tribute to the great ability of my right hon. Friend. Apparently the Minister for Agriculture in the Labour Government knew that this relief for agriculture was wholly wrong and appreciated the fact that it was going into the pockets of the landlords and was not for the benefit of the tenants, yet he was still prepared to bring in a Measure which extended that relief. I have always had a very high opinion of the abilities of my right hon. Friend, but T had not the least idea that he possessed such enormous power as the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) has indicated. If he has, then I hope he will continue to exercise it, if ever the right hon. Gentleman is again in the position of Minister of Agriculture in a Labour Government. I should like to ask the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne a question. Assuming that my right hon. Friend had not that magnificent power and assuming that there had been sufficient time for the Labour Government to deal with the matter, would they have extended those Acts of Parliament which grant relief, or put an end to them? I think the House is entitled to know this. I think the country is entitled to know it, and also the farmers. In fact, everyone who is concerned with agriculture is entitled to know what the Labour party would have done had they remained in power for a reasonable period. Perhaps they will tell the Committee now and give a definite answer to that inquiry. I am perfectly prepared to give way to any hon. Member opposite who would like to get up and answer it.
Apparently I am not to get an answer, and I can only assume that they would have continued that relief. That is the assumption I am bound to come to. The right hon. Gentleman and also the hon. Member who has just spoken, made a great point that the benefit goes to the landlord if there is any relief in rates, particularly in conection with agricul- 1523 tural land. That contention is not based on the facts that are known, because the aggregate of the rents derived from agricultural land since 1896 has gone down. There has not been the great increase which would have been the case, according to the speeches which have been made in this House. According to hon. Members opposite, the moment you grant this relief, then the wicked landlords take a hand, come forward and put up rents all round. If that is so, why has not the aggregate of rents increased? Why is there a reduction in the aggregate of rents, and in the aggregate of assessable values of agricultural land? It is perfectly clear, although there may be and no doubt there will be isolated cases where a landlord will take advantage, that taking it all round landlords have not taken advantage of the relief, and they are not likely to do so.
Then the hon. Member suggested that there are no farmers, or practically few, who are doing badly. I hardly know whether to take such a suggestion seriously or not, but I would ask the hon. Member whether he would like to go down to any agricultural constituency and make that statement to farmers. He might get away, but he would not be believed.
The hon. Member is suggesting that I said there were no such farmers. I never said anything of the kind. I made the point that there were prosperous farmers.
§ Mr. RYE
I do not say that the hon. Member said there were no farmers who were doing badly, but he gave the Committee the impression that in the main farmers were doing well. Assuming there are farmers who are doing well, and I am not disputing that, there may be isolated cases where farmers are doing well owing to special circumstances, is that any reason why those who are doing badly should not have some measure of relief? Is it the view of the hon. Member that if you get 90 people who are doing extremely badly, cannot make both ends meet, rapidly approaching the bankrutcy court, and the other 10 are in a reasonably sound condition and doing well, that you should not do everything to assist the 90 who are meeting 1524 trouble and misfortune? Is that his idea of assisting people in agriculture? The hon. Member and his friends suggest that the members of the Labour party desire to help those engaged in agriculture. I do not know whether to take them seriously or not, particularly when I remember the statements made by one of their distinguished leaders, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government who said in 1925 that "agriculture was a parasite on the community." Now hon. Members opposite want to help agriculture. Later on the same right hon. Gentleman said that the farmers were the "pampered darlings of the Tory Party." Now they want to help agriculture, but to help it in an uncommonly curious manner. I imagine that the farmers, and incidentally the farm labourers who are dependent on the prosperity of the farmer, will understand the attitude that is being taken to-night by hon. Members opposite, particularly when they go into the lobby in support of this Amendment, and I imagine that at last the labouring classes of this country will appreciate what sound and excellent and kindly friends they have in hon. Members opposite.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
It is always a pleasure to listen to the hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Rye) when the question happens to be one of land. He always claims to have a very special knowledge of that particular subject, but it is very extraordinary that on every occasion he addresses the Committee, he fails to submit one single argument in favour of the submissions he makes. He suggested that certain things had been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) and then proceeded to argue the case; after he had erected his own skittles. He suggested that my hon. Friend said that if 90 per cent. of the farmers were on the verge of the bankruptcy court and 10 per cent were doing fairly well, that no relief should be given to any of them. The hon. Member failed to give any proof that there were 90 per cent. on the doorstep of the bankruptcy court. The hon. Member submits a figure without any sort of justification. He expects us to believe that statement. Our experience is that the statement simply is not true.
1525 Neither the hon. Member nor the Parliamentary Secretary has submitted one atom of justification for the inclusion of agricultural hereditaments in this Bill. It is true that the Parliamentary Secretary, with his usual facility, quoted what had or had not been done in 1924, and could he not have thought of something in 1924 he would have gone back to 1824. Now the last speaker comes along with his usual argument, that because rents from a certain date in 1896 or some other date in that decade, have not increased, or because the price of land has not materially increased, all arguments submitted by the Mover of the Amendment were untrue. Surely the hon. Gentleman must know that if the depression in agriculture, of which he speaks, is real, and if rents have remained static during the period, that proves merely that the financial assistance granted by the Government in 1896 and increased 1923, has prevented a reduction in rent, and indirectly has been a gift to the landowners of the country? The hon. Member, like most of his Friends, would argue that if you put a tax on silk stockings and you cannot see an increase in the price in the shop window, the tax has no effect at all. But if the profits of the producers remain the same, the tax at least has the unfortunate effect of preventing a reduction of price in that particular commodity. The same operation applies to agricultural land and rents.
No amount of argument, either by the Parliamentary Secretary or anyone else, disposes of the central fact that the hate relief granted in 1896, and increased in 1923, has failed to bring prosperity to agriculture. When it is stated that this relief will be instantaneously advantageous to agriculture, I ask what proof there is anywhere of the justification of that statement? Rate relief ostensibly was given in 1896 to assist agriculture to reach greater prosperity, but instead of its providing a prosperous industry, we found in 1923 that agriculture was supposed to be much more depressed than in 1896. A further remission of rates was then granted to agriculture. Now, five years after 1923, we are told that agriculture was never so sorely depressed as at the present time. That being so, what justification can there be for the statement that a remission of rates brings prosperity to agriculture? Instead of 1526 financial gifts from various Governments having assisted agriculture to work out its own salvation, those gifts have had a tendency to prevent agriculture doing for itself what almost every other industry in the country has been obliged to do to meet the altered circumstances of the time. In this and other countries, in all industries, co-operation has had to take the place of unrestricted competition.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The question is like "the flowers that bloom in the spring"; it has no relevance at all to the question under review. The proposal that we are discussing is to make a further present to agriculture of £4,750,000 per annum, and we suggest that there is no justification on any basis for any industry which is not a nationally owned industry to be relieved at the expense of the general taxpayer. Much has been said about the sordid conditions in rural England. If some hon. Gentlemen returned on Fridays, as I and others have to return, to mining areas, they would find thousands of men and women who scarcely know where the next meal is coming from, and without proper boots and clothing. If they told those people that they had to make a contribution towards the £4,750,000, those hon. Members would have a much stiffer task than they have when facing an audience specially arranged for them.
There are two sound reasons why my hon. Friends should divide on this Amendment. No matter how Commissions have reported, they have never yet been able to persuade the farmers of the country to provide the Government with the necessary figures, through Income Tax channels, to prove whether agriculture is depressed or not. Unless and until the farmers are prepared to place their cards on the table, like every other business section of the community, we ought not to be guilty of approving these financial gifts to a body of men who are unwilling to justify their claim to the money. I take the second point submitted by the Mover of the Amendment, namely, that we ought not to provide this sum for agriculture without any guarantee either that the land is going to be used to provide the maximum 1527 quantity of food, or that it is going to provide more employment. We on these benches are not averse from assisting agriculture on right lines. We are desirous of assisting agriculture to develop a system of co-operation whereby, without any Government gifts at all, it may be able to achieve real and lasting prosperity. But we are unwilling to continue to provide huge sums of money without any guarantee that such money will be well spent.
The right hon. Gentleman the Parliamentary Secretary when he sat on this side of the Committee in 1924 was one of the leading spirits in talking about Poplarism and now he is the first to stand at that Box and to try to justify what some of us on this side regard as being neither more nor less than political bribery and corruption—a Measure designed more as a method of consolidating the agricultural vote, than as a method of bringing prosperity to this great national industry. When the right hon. Gentleman proposes, without any justification, to give this sum of money to agriculture we cannot help reminding him that no Socialist administration in a municipality and no Socialist Government could compare with the present Government in looking after their political friends and ensuring their political future. Every Commission which has dealt with the subject has pointed out the serious internal defects in the organisation of agriculture and has indicated the remedies, but those remedies have not been adopted. We ought to insist upon agriculture putting its own house in order before attempting further to exploit already depressed areas in order to help an industry which is actually more prosperous than many other industries and services in the country. One of my chief opponents, to whom I was speaking in Doncaster a few days ago and who has some knowledge of the accounts of farmers, told me he is by in means satisfied that this gift is necessary. That individual has a son on a farm and he is not suffering from depression, and is not short of a reasonable income and is quite satisfied that agriculture could manage very well without this gift.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The hon. Member knows very well that in three-quarters of 1528 the agricultural area of Great Britain it is infinitely more difficult to obtain a farm to-day than he would have us believe. It may be that, here and there in the arable areas it is difficult to find tenants for certain portions of land, but, in the main, it is as difficult to get a farm in a reasonable area in 1928 as it was in 1888.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I suggest that in at least three-quarters of the agricultural area of Britain it is as difficult to-day to obtain a tenancy as it was 20 or 30 years ago. I take the figures given by the Minister of Agriculture a few weeks ago which show that while, in 1903, we had 46,000 owner-occupiers, that number had increased to 146,000 in 1927. It seems to me there is no disinclination on the part of farmers to buy their holdings if they get an opportunity. If I were in the position of the hon. Member for Stone (Mr. Lamb), if I represented the Farmers' Union in this House, I should do as the Farmers' Union hive been doing for several years past—particularly when I knew that if I bamboozled this Government for a period long enough a few millions would be forthcoming in the end. In considering this proposal in the Bill we cannot help remembering what the farmers threatened a few weeks ago. We cannot help recalling the fears of the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues about the next Election, and we cannot help feeling that this proposal is more political in its nature than for the purpose of establishing prosperity in agriculture. From almost every point of view the Government have failed to justify the proposal. They have not submitted figures to prove that agriculture is as bad as the farmers would have us believe, and the farmers themselves refuse to pay their Income Tax through the normal channels which would enable the Chancellor of the Exchequer to know whether they are telling the truth or not. In the absence of such statistics, and in the absence of any guarantee that the nation will benefit we are justified in demanding that this provision should be deleted from the Bill.
§ Major PRICE
Why is the hon. Member asking for these returns from the 1529 farmers, when he has just been arguing that the sole benefit will go to the landowners?
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
The hon. and gallant Member must not confuse the ordinary economic situation of the farmer with the powers of the landlord as changed by the financial portion of the Government's proposal. The farmers refuse point-blank to pay their Income Tax through the normal channels, as colliery proprietors and silk manufacturers, and all other people are compelled to do, and, therefore, figures are not available to the nation which would justify a financial proposal of the kind we are considering. Until the farmers are willing to do as the rest of the community are compelled to do, we are justified in refusing to accede to a grant of nearly £5,000,000 for their relief. When I return to my constituency at the week-end, I shall see there a recreation ground in connection with a miners' welfare scheme. It is a ground of 25 acres on which the miners have spent £18,000 or £20,000. There will be no rating relief in respect of those 25 acres of land, because it is used for sport or recreation. Half-a-mile away there is a landowner who has thousands of acres of timber and pasture land, and every yard of that land is going to be derated, while the miners are compelled to contribute by increased omnibus fares and in other ways so that the landowner will benefit in this way. It seems to me that the whole thing is a vicious principle and ought not to be supported by Members on these benches.
§ Mr. HASLAM
The hon. Member for the Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams), who has just sat down, appeared, so far as I could understand him, to deny entirely that there was any agricultural depression of any kind whatever. Surely it is rather late in the day to take up an attitude of that sort. In speech after speech and in Debate after Debate in this House evidence has been brought forward that agriculture is a depressed industry, and if the hon. Member is still unconvinced by those speeches and by what he must have read in the daily Press, I would ask him to apply to some of his co-operative friends. I see the hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. A. V. Alexander) sitting just below him, and 1530 he should be able to give the hon. Member a little information as to how seine of the co-operative societies did when they ventured into farming, bought some farms, and started to farms, them themselves.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Will the hon. Member tell us why the farmers are net as honest as the co-operative societies, and do not give their own figures the same publicity as the co-operative societies are doing?
§ Mr. HASLAM
I was suggesting that the hon. Member should inquire of his hon. Friend what those figures ace. It is not a question of being honest; it is a question of certain figures given by the co-operative societies as to the results of their ventures in farming. I have no objection at all to dealing with the point raised by the hon. Member, which, I suppose, is based on the alternative that the farmer is able to have of making Income Tax returns under either Schedule B or Schedule D. I gather that the hon. Member desires to deprive the farmer of that alternative and to compel him to make all his returns under Schedule D. I do not see any reason at all for that compulsion. It is, well known that a very large number of farmers did not pay what was due on Schedule A this year, and that the Revenue officers did not press them,, for the simple reason that they knew that nothing would be due because they bad made losses. That evidence, if any further evidence is required, is there and available. The hon. Member has told us about the conditions of the mining areas and of the miners and their families in the area to which he returns. We all sympathise with those men very much indeed, but does the hon. Member want to reduce agriculture to that condition before there is any assistance given? Does he want to see the agricultural worker thrown out of employment Does he want to see the farms of this country left derelict and the men lacking employment?
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
May I remind the hon. Member that he supported the policy that put 250,000 miners out of employment?
§ Mr. HASLAM
I have pointed out before that the bad years for agriculture were 1922 and 1927, after the strikes of 1921 and 1926.
§ Mr. HASLAM
Those actions went further than hon. Members opposite seem to have understood. The hon. Member also took us through the various years in which rating relief was given, and he asked if the relief given in 1896 did any good. It was not a relief amounting to a very large sum of money—if my memory serves me aright, it was somewhere undo: £2,000,000 per annum for all the farmers of the country—but that relief was something. Those engaged in agriculture maintained then, as they have maintained for very many years, that it was not right that the farmer or the landowner should be taxed on the raw material of his industry, namely, land. It was not only a question of relief; it was a question of principle, and, as a matter of fact, that relief was followed by a certain improvement in agricultural conditions, an improvement which gradually increased up to the time of the War.
§ Mr. HASLAM
The wage now is very considerably increased. When we come to the position in 1923, that, of course, arose out of entirely different conditions. There was a world-wide slump in agriculture and in many other industries after the War, and the bad conditions of the year 1922, which led to the relief in 1923, were, as I have pointed out, very largely due to the strikes in 1921.
§ Mr. HASLAM
Strikes, I think. At any rate, that relief was of some assistance to agriculture, and 1924 was not such a bad year; neither was 1925, and in spite of the party opposite being in power in 1924, and having the opportunity of repealing that rating relief if they had so desired, they did not avail themselves of that chance. I think the sense of this Committee and the country will fully agree that agriculture is an industry in need of assistance to-day. The hon. Member has alluded to the fact that farmers are not giving up their farms, but what is the farmer to do if he does give up his 1532 farm? The farmer is in a different position in many ways from a man in another business. There is nothing else for him to do. The farmer, in the broadest sense of the word, is Conservative in this respect. He does stick to his farm and to the land until the last possible moment, and I think the country may very well be grateful to him for so doing, because, after all, it is keeping agriculture going. The farmer has that quality of sticking to his job, even when all the world seems to be against him. I cannot but regret that the party opposite are singling out agriculture to which to refuse relief, because I do not see any other Amendment down to refuse relief to either industrial hereditaments or transport hereditaments. They are singling out agriculture, and I venture to think that they will not have the support of the country in that action.
§ Mr. HARRIS
The Government, in my opinion, are doing the right thing in the wrong way. There is no question that agriculture requires assistance, and anything which will stimulate the prosperity of agriculture should he encouraged. I lived for some years in New Zealand, with which I have an intimate connection, and there they have got over the rating question in a very simple way, a way which we have often suggested, which would do what the Government obviously intend to do, and would ensure that the advantages and benefits are given to the right people. Every occupier of the land in that country has to declare what he considers the unimproved value of the land, and it is on that that the rates are levied. If the Government were to take that course, and relieve all agricultural improvements from rates, they would give a greater stimulus to agriculture than anything that can be devised. In addition, the advantage of the relief of rates would go, not only to the farmer, but equally to the cottager and the agricultural labourer. It would get rid also of the difficulties of differentiation between different kinds of land—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
All the suggestions that the hon. Member is making would be outside the scope of this Bill.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I am pointing out the difficulties of differentiation, because lower down this differentiation is set out. 1533 It has been found necessary, in order to define agricultural hereditaments, to make differentiations between different kinds of agricultural land, and I think that the Government are conscious of that difficulty, because right through the Bill there are various attempts to define what is properly an agricultural hereditament. I was saying that, if possible, we should apply our mind to find a better way of relieving the agriculturist from the burden of rates. I think that this is the wrong way of doing it. On the other hand, if we are to have a differentiation of different kinds of hereditaments, we ought certainly to have it for agricultural land in the same way as we have it for industrial hereditaments and freight-transport hereditaments. Far from saying that we ought to exclude these categories of agricultural land, I hope to add further definitions. I am not going to vote for the exclusion of paragraph (a). If we have to resort to this method of giving relief, it ought to be done completely for every section of industry, including agriculture. Although you do not want me to pursue a point beyond the scope of the Bill, I still maintain that the Government are doing the right thing in the wrong way. The right way to do it is to take rates off improvements, and levy them on site values. That would still help the farmer, and it would assist the agricultural labourer as well, and distribute the benefit evenly over the whole industry.
§ Mr. SCURR
It has been suggested, on more than one occasion, that the Debates of Parliament should be broadcast, and when that suggestion has been made I have always been opposed to it; but since listening to the Debates which have taken place since the Chancellor introduced his Budget, and the right hon. Gentleman introduced this Bill, I have been a convert to the idea that the Debates should be broadcast. I go further, and say that the only speeches which I would allow to be broadcast are those of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, for it would enable the listeners to contrast what they say in putting forward this and that industry as being depressed, and needing assistance, and what they say is taking place under the management of private enterprise, with what is said by the protagonists of the right hon. Gentleman's party when they 1534 try to oppose Socialist ideals. A justification for Socialist ideals has been put forward in the speeches of hon. Members opposite. In regard to the Amendment, it has been maintained on the other side of the Committee that the agricultural industry is depressed, and a suggestion is put forward that, in order that that industry may have a chance of getting upon its feet, and being in a position to bring prosperity to the farmers, the relief that is given under the various Agricultural Rates Acts should be extended, until the whole of the rates are taken off agriculture.
That, of course, is a subsidy to the industry, and is an idea that, if this contribution of £4,000,000 can be made to the industry each year, the industry will be prosperous. Continental agriculture for years regarded the English agriculturists as the leaders in agricultural economy, and the Continental system was based upon the English system. That system was largely brought into being by the activities of men like Coke, of Norfolk, and my reading of agricultural history shows that Coke, of Norfolk, did not consider that subsidies and spoon-feeding were necessary, but that a different stimulus was necessary in order that agriculture might take its rightful share in producing the food of the nation. Coke, of Norfolk, instead of lowering rents, went in for a policy of high rents, because he regarded them as necessary to give a stimulus to the fanner to reorganise his industry, and so make it a real industry.
The contrary policy is being pursued to-day. In 1896 the first relief to agriculture was given, but it was still depressed. In 1923 there was further relief, and it was still depressed, and now the Government want to go a step further. In 1931, I suppose, we shall have a proposal that, in addition to the relief of the rates, we ought to give 25 per cent. of the rates to the farmer. The Royal Commission on Taxation, although they were nearly unanimous in favour of 'she idea underlying a subvention to the agricultural industry, objected strongly to this particular method, and suggested that the whole matter should be gone into afresh. They criticised the relief to agricultural rates on the ground of its fixed character, its method of distribution, its absence of central 1535 control, and the application of the money. We have no guarantee that, when this relief is given, it will be used at all for the advantage of the industry. All we know is that someone will get some advantage, and we are very suspicious on this side—we have plenty to justify our suspicions—that the only people who will get any benefit are the landowners. We on these benches have made out a strong case for the passing of this Amendment, and for the contention that, if the Government proposal goes through, it will not benefit agriculture. We have no guarantee that the money will be used in the way it ought to be used for the benefit of the industry. Those who defend the present system of society ought, after all, to be able to manage it and to show that private enterprise can do its work without coming cap in hand to the public for assistance.
§ Mr. BARKER
I should like to ask the Minister if the agricultural labourer will get his rates relieved to the extent of 75 per cent? The agricultural labourer is the poorest paid worker in the country. He has always had to feed everybody else and practically to starve himself. That is a, glaring fact which has been stated many times in this House in times gone by. I want to put the question definitely to the Minister: Is the agricultural labourer going to get his rates reduced or paid by the taxpayer to the extent of 75 per cent., and, if not, why not? If you are going to relieve the farmer, why do you except the labourer who is financially very much worse off than the farmer himself? This side of the House has been blamed many times for throwing sops to the electorate. We have been told that we are bribing the workers and that we are prepared to give out-of-door relief and all kinds of things to the working-classes without any moderation. I maintain that this Bill is a direct bribe to the agricultural classes. A couple of hours ago we were speaking on another Amendment which proposed to relieve the capitalists of 75 per cent. of their rates. Now we are discussing another Clause which proposes to relieve the farmer, which is another word for the landowner, of 100 per cent. of his rates. I should like to know where the money is going to come from to make up these deficits. I understand, of course, that the Government propose to increase 1536 the taxation on purpose to relieve these particular industries. I want to say that we have, in my opinion, the worst code of land laws in the world. There is not another nation in the world that has such an obsolete, out-of-date land system as we have in this country.
§ Mr. BARKER
This Amendment is for the purpose of excluding agricultural hereditaments from this Measure, and I submit respectfully that I cannot deal with that unless I deal with the land question. I am perfectly justified in saying that we have the worst code of land laws in the world. We have an industry which is supposed to be an unprofitable industry. The taxpayers have been specially taxed to maintain it. The industry has to yield three increments—rent for the landlord, profit for the farmer who is the capitalist, and wages for the workers. I say it will not yield three increments and it is high time that this House realised that economic fact. The landlord classes, it is estimated, take no less than £100,000,000 out of the land. I say that to tax the remainder of the community in the interests of the landlord is grossly unjust and unfair and is at the root of the poverty of this country.
If the land values of this country were taxed, there would be plenty of money to relieve the industry without specially taxing the people. I repeat that we have the worst code of land laws in the world. The Government are engaged in making the rich richer at the expense of the poor, and that has been their policy from the very beginning. There is no Government which has ever sat in this House that has been so class-biased and looked so particularly after the interests of their own friends. When they go out of office they will leave on record one of the most class-biased pieces of legislation that has ever been passed in this House. Personally, I protest against bolstering up an industry like the agricultural industry when the great profits of the industry go automatically into the pockets of the landlords and the labouring classes of the country are virtually starving. Therefore, I support the Amendment.
§ Sir K. WOOD rose in his place, and claimed to move, That the Question be now put."1537
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."1538
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 236; Noes, 128.1539
|Division No. 168.]||AYES.||[9.33 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Ganzonl, Sir John||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Alexander, sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Gates, Percy||Newman, Sir R H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Ashley,Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Astor, Viscountess||Goff, Sir Park||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Gower, sir Robert||Oakley, T.|
|Atkinson, C.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Grant, Sir J. A.||Penny, Frederick George|
|Balniel, Lord||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Perkins, Colonel E. K|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Perring, Sir William George|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Grotrian, H. Brent||Peto, G. (somerset, Frome)|
|Berry, Sir George||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Plicher, G.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Duiwich)||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Hammersley, S. S.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Preston, William|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Harland, A.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Bowater. Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Harrison, G. J. C.||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Hartington, Marquess of||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Brass, Captain W.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Reid, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Haslam, Henry C.||Reld, D. D. (County Down)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxford, Henley)||Remer, J. R.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Brown. Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Brown, Brig -Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Wavford)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)|
|Buchan, John||Hills, Major John Waller||Ropner, Major L.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hohler. Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut-Colonel E. A.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Rye, F. G.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hope, Capt. A. O, J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hopkins. J. W. W.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Sandon, Lord|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Sassoon, sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Savery, S. S.|
|Cayzer, Maj. SirHerbt. R.(Prtsmth. S.)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hudson, R.S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A.D. Mcl.(Renfrew, W.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hume, Sir G. H.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Charterls, Brigadier-General J.||Hurst, Gerald B.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Christie, J. A.||Illffe, Sir Edward M.||Simms, Dr. John M, (Co. Down)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Iveagh, Countess of||Sinclair,Col.T. (Queen's Univ., Belfast)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Jeohcott, A. R.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Smith-Carlngton, Neville W.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Smithers, Waldron|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Lamb, J. Q.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Little. Dr. E. Graham||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Couper, J. B.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Stanley, Hon, O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Courtauld, Major J. S,||Loder, J. de V||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Crookshank, Cpt.H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Looker, Herbert William||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Luce. Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovll)||Lumley. L. R.||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Dixey, A. C.||McLean. Major A.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Drewe, C.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Macquisten, F. A.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Tryon, Rt. Hon George Clement|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Maltland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|England, Colonel A.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Waddington, R.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s, M.)||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth||Margesson, Captain D.||Ward. Lt.-Col.A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Meller, R. J.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Fielden, E. B.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Finburgh, S.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Watson, Rt. Hon. w. (Carlisle)|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Forrest, W.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Wells, S. R.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Waldon)||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)||Womersley, W. J.||Major Sir George Hennessy and|
|Wilson, H. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley||Captain Viscount Curzon.|
|Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||Woodcock, Colonel H. C|
|Adamson, W. M. (Stan., Cannock)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hardle, George D.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Ammon, Charles George||Harney, E. A.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Harris, Percy A.||Scurr, John|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hayday, Arthur||Sexton, James|
|Baker, Walter||Hayes, John Henry||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Barnes, A.||Hirst, G. H.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Barr, J.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Shinwell, E.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hollins, A.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hore-Bellsha, Leslie||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe;|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, Rennle (Penistone)|
|Briant, frank||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Snell, Harry|
|Broad, F. A.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bromley, J.||Kelly, W. T.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Kennedy, T.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Lawrence, Susan||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Buchanan, G.||Lawson, John James||Strauss, E. A.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Lee, F.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lowth, T.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lunn, William||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Compton, Joseph||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Connolly, M.||Mackinder, W.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cove, W. G.||MacLaren, Andrew||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Cowan, D, M. (Scottish Universities)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Townend, A. E.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Dennison, R.||March, S.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Duncan, C.||Maxton, James||Viant, S. P.|
|Dunnico, H.||Montague, Frederick||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Edge, Sir William||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Mosley, Oswald||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Gardner, J. P,||Naylor, T. E.||Westwood, J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Oliver, George Harold||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gillett, George M.||Palin, John Henry||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gosling, Harry||Paling, W.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Greenall, T.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Potts, John S.||Windsor, Walter|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, pontypool)||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Wright, W.|
|Groves, T.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Riley, Ben||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Ritson, J.||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Charles|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)||Edwards.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."1540
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 259; Noes, 112.1543
|Division No. 169.]||AYES.||19.41 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Briggs, J. Harold||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Briscoe, Richard George||Cohen, Major J. Brunel|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Brittain, Sir Harry||Collox, Major Wm. Phillips|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Colman, N. C. D.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Conway, Sir W. Martin|
|Astor, Viscountess||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.( Barks, Newb'y)||Cooper, A. Duff|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Cope, Major Sir William|
|Atkinson, C.||Buchan, John||Couper, J. B.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bullock, Captain M.||Courtauld, Major J. S.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Aldn||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)|
|Balniel, Lord||Burman, J. B.||Crookshank, Cpt.H.(Lindsey, Gainbro)|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Burney, Lieut.-Com, Charles D.||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset. Yeovll)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Butt, Sir Alfred||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Berry, Sir George||Carver, Major W. H.||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Dean, Arthur Welleslty|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Dixey, A. C.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Drewe, C.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Edge, Sir William|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Christie, J. A.||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Briant, Frank||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||England, Colonel A.|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Jephcott, A. R.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Fade, sir Bertram G.||Lamb, J. O.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Fenby, T. D.||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Sandon, Lord|
|Flelden, E. B.||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Finburgh, S.||Locker-Lampion, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Savery, S. S.|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Loder, J. de V.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Forrest, W.||Looker, Herbert William||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D.Mcl.(Renfrew, W.)|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Human||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Gadle, Lieut-Col. Anthony||Lumley, L. R.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Sinclair, Col. T.(Queen's Univ.,Bellst.)|
|Gates, Percy||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Anges||Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n A Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Glyn, Major ft. G. C.||McLean, Major A.||Smith-Carlngton, Neville W.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Macmillan, Captain H.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Macquisten, F. A.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Margesson, Captain D.||storry-Deans, R.|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Meller, R. J.||Streatfelld, Captain S. R.|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Meyer, Sir Frank||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Hamilton, Sir George||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Mitchell, w. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Harland, A.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Harney, E. A.||Mall, Colonel Sir Joseph||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Harris, Percy A.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. p.|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Nuttall, Ellis||Waddington, R.|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R, (Oxf'd, Henley)||Oakley. T.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford. Luton)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Heneage, Lieut. Colonel Arthur P.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Perring, Sir William George||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Pllcher, G.||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Pllditch, Sir Philip||Wells. S. R.|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Power, Sir John Cecil||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Preston, William||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Price, Major C. W. M.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Raine, Sir Walter||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Bees, Sir Beddoe||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Hore-Bellsha, Leslie||Reid, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonol George|
|Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Winterton. Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Rimer, J. R.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N).||Rentoul, G. S.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Hudson, R. S.(Cumberland,Whiteh'n)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lane, Stretford)|
|Illffe, Sir Edward M.||Ropner, Major L.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Captain Viscount Curzon and Mr.|
|Iveagh, Countess of||Rye, F. G.||Penny.|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Charleton, H. C.||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coins)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Cluse, W. S.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Compton, Joseph||Groves, T.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Connolly, M.||Grundy, T. W.|
|Baker, J, (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Cove, W. G.||Hall, F. (York, W.H., Normanton)|
|Baker, Walter||Dalton, Hugh||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hardle, George D.|
|Barnes, A.||Day, Harry||Hayday, Arthur|
|Barr, J.||Dennison, R.||Hayes, John Henry|
|Batey, Joseph||Duncan, C.||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Dunnico, H.||Hirst, G. H.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Gardner, J. P.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Broad, F. A.||Gibbins, Joseph||Hollins, A.|
|Bromley, J.||Gillett, George M.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Gosling, Harry||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Buchanan, G.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Win. (Edln., Cent.)||Kelly, W. T.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Greenall, T.||Kennedy, T.|
|Lawrence, Susan||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Lawson, John James||Riley, Ben||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Lee, F.||Ritson, J.||Townend, A. E.|
|Lowth, T.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Lunn, William||Saklatvala, ShapurJI||Varley, Frank B.|
|Mackinder, W||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Viant, S. P.|
|MacLaren, Andrew||Scrymgeour, E.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Scurr, John||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Sexton, James||Wellock, Wilfred|
|March, S.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Westwood, J.|
|Maxton, James||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Montague, Frederick||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Shinwell, E.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Mosley, Oswald||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Naylor, T. E.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Oliver, George Harold||Smith, Rennle (Penistone)||Windsor, Walter|
|Pallin, John Henry||Snell, Harry||Wright, W.|
|Paling, W.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Stamford, T. W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Stephen, Campbell||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.|
|Ponsonby, Arthur||Sutton, J. E.||Whiteley.|
|Potts, John S.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
The following Amendment stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Mr. DUNNICO:
In page 1, line 13, at the beginning, to insert the words 'commercial and'.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Consett is not in order on this Clause, and should be raised when we reach Clause 7.
§ Mr. BARR
I beg to move, in page 1, line 14, to leave out the word "freight."
This is not a limiting but a broadening Amendment. By leaving out the word "freight" we do not exclude "freight-transport." My object in moving the Amendment is to secure the inclusion of passenger vehicles and passenger instruments. I know I am not entitled to anticipate Clause 5 which gives a definition of freight-transport hereditaments, and they are defined as belonging to three classes, railways, canals, and docks. Where you have a railway, a canal or a dock used in part for the conveyance of merchandise and freight they are brought in for relief under this Bill. I desire to point out that by this definition you exclude omnibuses, tramways, the London tube, and the like, and I maintain that these are concerns in aid of production, and should be entitled to relief and benefit under this Bill.
May I emphasise the fact that a passenger is a producer, and he is concerned with production just as much as a freight, or raw material, or the finished article which you convey on the railway, canal or dock. We do not any longer call a passenger going to work a 1544 mere hand. We do not call the producer who is a passenger on a tramway or an omnibus, or the London tube a hand or an instrument of production, but nevertheless he is an important factor in production, and in my opinion he is the main factor. It is not mere machinery that produces; without the living factor you could not produce at all. It is not the raw material that produces, but the living subject and the living operator. Under this Clause, as it is now drawn, you are making freights an instrument of production and excluding the living factor, which is the main factor in production. There is an old saying that a living dog is better than a dead lion—
§ Mr. BARR
The living passenger uses the hereditament for conveyance to his work, and I should like to widen the definition of hereditament so that it includes the conveyance not necessarily of freight and goods alone, but also passengers. I would further point out that already these vehicles to which I have referred—the omnibus, the tramway, the London tube, and so on, and particularly the omnibus—are suffering a handicap through the increased tax that is imposed on petrol, and, further, they are put at a disadvantage in comparison with the railways. A railway only needs to make arrangements for the conveyance of goods, and, if it has these special arrangements for the conveyance of goods, apart from their conveyance in passenger vehicles, it comes in, so that the passenger department also reaps the benefit, and the same is true of canals and docks. Therefore, the omnibuses 1545 and trams are at a great disadvantage in their competition with the railways. Like many other Members of this House, I voted on the Railway (Road Transport) Bill for giving them further facilities, and if, in addition to those further facilities, they are given relief in respect, not only of their freight, but also—because it works out so—in respect of their passengers, that places at a second and double disadvantage the omnibuses and tramways, which do not get that relief. On the grounds which I have stated, I hope clearly, the exclusion, as we propose, of the word" freight "would broaden this definition, and. the relief would be given on what I maintain is an element in production, that is to say, the living passenger who is being conveyed even where freight is not being conveyed, as is the case commonly with omnibuses and with trams.
§ 10.0 p.m.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Once more I must remind the hon. Member, and any of his friends who may be thinking of supporting this Amendment, that this is not a Bill which in itself gives any relief, but merely a Bill which provides for separating out certain classes of hereditaments in order that they may be eligible for relief at some future time. The hon. Member is apparently under the impression that any relief which might be given to freight-transport undertakings in the future, after they have been separated out, would be at their disposal to use as they like. In support of that view, he stated that, under the proposals of the Government, omnibuses and trams would be at a great disadvantage as compared with railways. Surely, however, he must have misunderstood entirely the plan described by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, under which freight transport is only used as a vehicle for conveying further relief to productive industries. It was made quite clear in the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I thought that I also had made it clear that that was the understanding, namely, that any relief in rating acquired through subsequent proposals by various forms of transport would be passed on to industry—not to all industry, but to certain selected traffics. That being so, it will be evident that omnibuses and trams are not put at any disadvantage by these proposals as compared with railways, because, 1546 since railways do riot themselves get any direct relief from rating, they will not therefore be able to undercut omnibuses and trams in regard to passenger traffic. The reason for the use here of the words "freight transport" and not the word "transport" only, is obviously that, if this relief is to be passed on to various freight traffic, there will be no justification for giving it to railways which are purely passenger-carrying railways, and the assumption of the hon. Member that passengers themselves would get some benefit by relief from rating obviously falls to the ground in view of the explanation which has already been given.
§ Mr. BARR
I did not assume that at ail. I am sorry if my statement was not so clear as it should have been. I made no assumption that passengers themselves would get relief, but I was arguing on the Amendment to the effect that tramway concerns should get relief even though they were not carrying freight, but only passengers, who are elements in production.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Then I certainly very much misunderstood the whole point of the hon. Member's argument. It seemed to me that he was arguing that passengers were producers, and, as I understood his argument, that they were entitled to some relief.
§ Mr. BARR
Not at all. I was arguing that passengers were producers, and that. therefore, tramway systems and so forth, in carrying passengers to their work, were concerned with production, were taking their share in production, and, therefore. were entitled to relief just as if they had been carrying freight.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
In that case, as I understand, the hon. Member desires that the relief should go, not to the passengers who are carried by those omnibuses and trams, but to the shareholders it the, concern that carries them. I would, further, point out that, if we are to extend the scope of the relief by bringing in a large class of property which under our proposals would not be eligible for this relief, that, of course, would mean a further deficiency in the revenues of local authorities, which would have to be made up by a further subvention from the Exchequer, which in turn would mean 1547 a still further increase in the Petrol Duty. Therefore, the hon. Member's proposal is not going to help those whom he considers to be at present under a disadvantage. Finally, I may say that, if the relief were distributed among all classes of goods and passengers—although the hon. Member says that he did not mean that—I should have had to reply, if he had meant that, that, when the relief was dissipated, as it would be, over such a large field, it would not be worth having.
The speech which has been made by the right hon. Gentleman only proves more clearly to those who sit on these benches the importance of our knowing exactly what the Government propose to do. We have been told repeatedly, and the right hon. Gentleman himself has told us, that in this Bill there are no proposals for de-rating, a fact with which we are perfectly familiar; and we are asked to believe, from statements made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Health, that such relief as is given to freights and so forth is to be passed on to productive enterprises through the reduction of freight rates on heavy merchandise. We know nothing about that. We have no proof, and there is no reason why we should believe, that that proposal is one which can be effectively carried into operation. As I said on the Second Reading, any proposal which the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues make to pass on to the general body of producers in this country the remission of local taxation that is to be given to the railways, may easily be defeated by the legal right which the railway companies have to apply at no distant date to the Railway Rates Tribunal for a revision of freight rates; and, moreover, the right hon. Gentleman has already told us that in the case of these public monopolies, the gas, water and electricity enterprises, he cannot, because they are monopolies, do anything to ensure that, if they get relief, the benefit will accrue to the consumers of their products. If that is so in the case of these monopolies. why should he believe for a moment that he is likely to be successful in passing on from the railway companies to industry the relief he is going to give to the railway monopoly? There is no reason why 1548 that argument should be believed if it is true, as he says, that to give rate relief to public utility services would not be of any advantage to industry.
As a matter of fact the economic case against giving this relief to road transport in the hope that it is to be passed on to productive enterprise does not end our argument. Assume that in the case of certain classes of heavy merchandise railway freights are to be reduced. Even if it is assumed that in the first instance the advantage the right hon. Gentleman is to give to the railway companies is passed on, and that immediately they are better off, if he happens to be successful in the operation of his Act, the ultimate effect of it will be that there will be more merchandise to carry on the railways and that, because of the lower prices, the railway companies will secure a direct advantage at the expense of commercial road transport, and by a larger turnover with lower rates the railway companies arc as a matter of fact. ultimately going to make additional profits. On two grounds, therefore, we can oppose the proposal, because in the first instance we say this reduction of railway freights will not be permanent. It. will be quite easy for the railway companies to appeal to the Railway Rates Tribunal to raise rates. Secondly, the railway companies will profit by the additional traffic that comes to them as the result of the lower rates. If that is so, it is clear that they are going to be given a definite preference over other forms of transport.
The right hon. Gentleman's purpose, as I understand it, is that this remission of freight transport rates is to be used for the benefit of the producers in industry, and one of the arguments we have heard repeated on Second Reading, and on every Amendment to-day from the opposite benches, is that the ordinary working man is going to gain a benefit. Here is an opportunity fur the right hon. Gentleman to ensure that the general run of the public should get some benefit. He can do that by giving to transport enterprises which are primarily passenger enterprises the advantage he is giving to combined freight and passenger enterprises. For him to say that railway enterprises are going to reap no advantage over passenger road transport is entirely fallacious. Everything that will help the railway companies helps 1549 them as carriers of passengers against all forms of road transport, and having regard to the fact that the right hon. Gentleman has been responsible, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for penalising certain forms of road transport, including omnibuses, by the imposition of the tax on petrol, it is mere common justice to do something for them equivalent to what is being done for the different forms of railway transport. Just as on previous occasions the Government has got deeper and deeper in the mire, so it is on this Amendment. There is no economic justification for drawing a distinction between freight-transport enterprises which carry passengers and that particular form of transport which is primarily concerned with the carriage of passengers because as the Chancellor has pointed out to commercial companies, as the result of statements made on this side of the House, they are exploiting the Petrol 'Tax to the disadvantage of the general body of the public as passengers, and the net effect of the Petrol Duty is going to be, so far as omnibus transport is concerned, either to raise fares or to give the general body of the public a shorter ride for their money. In any case, the general body of the public is going to be penalised.
This is not the only way under this Bill that the general body of ratepayers is to be penalised. In the long run they are the people Who are going to foot the whole of the Bill, and it is perfectly reasonable to ask, if the right hon. Gentleman has in mind really helping the large mass of people who are employed in industry, that he should do something directly to assist the ordinary users of transport traffic. If he will go to any depressed area, he will find that a very large number of people expend a substantial sum per week on transport to and from their work, in the mining villages in South Wales and in Durham, very largely by omnibuses. If ha is as anxious as he professes to be to help the rank and file of people in those areas, why does he not come to the aid of the omnibus people, private and public, and enable them to reduce their fares for the direct, not indirect, benefit of the great mass of people in the depressed areas 1 I can only think the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends are far more 1550 concerned with the revenue to industry than with the effect of this policy on the general body of the people. They are in m3re ways than one going to have to pay in rates ultimately for services which are of direct advantage to the mines, factories and workshops.
In the course of time, it can be shown, the effect of this Measure will he that our industrial enterprises will be parasitic upon the general body of the public as regards certain public services. If that is so, the very least the right hon. Gentleman can do is to say that, out of this subvention that we are giving in aid of the rates, he will do something directly to help I he mass of the people who are going to have to pay the bill ultimately, and one direct way would be for him to make the same kind of agreement he is supposed to have made with the railway companies. If he can go to the railway companies he could have gone to the whole of the transport enterprises and said, "I am going to remit three-quarters of your rates, not in your interest but in the interest of the community as a whole, and I shall require you to pass on the advantage of this great remission to the users of your service." He has not chosen to do that, and in that I think he has acted very unwisely. The case he is answering to-night is not the case my hon. Friend put up in favour of the Amendment, and we are treated for the third time to-day to quite irrelevant statements which do not touch the case put up from this side of the House.
§ Mr. BRIANT
I really cannot understand the logic of the position of the Government in refusing to grant relief to road transport. Road transport has increasingly become a part of the industries of England. Without road transport a great deal of the trade must stop. There is no logical reason why similar protection should not be given to all other kinds of transport. I see a, great deal of reason against the giving of any relief to passenger traffic, and I suppose we should all be satisfied that no relief should be given if we were equally sure in our own minds that the money produced by the Petrol Duty was really going to the relief of depressed industries. But it is not. The Government have already admitted that a large number of millions are going to these industries which are already yielding large profits. I wish to 1551 point out an actual fact by giving a case in point which happened only 10 days ago. To many millions of people vehicles like chars-a-bane are their only means of getting into the country. This is the poor man's way of getting into the country.
Here is a case in point. It is true that it is an extreme case, but it is a real case. Only ten clays ago a large party of schoolboys in Kent who collect their pence—their mothers and fathers help them—in order to visit places of interest in the neighbourhood had to pay an additional five shillings because of the Petrol Duty. [HON. MEMBERS: No !"] That is an actual fact. If any hon. Member disputes my statement I can supply documentary evidence. [An HON. MEMBER: "Five shillings each"] No, five shillings per char-a-bane. That means that a schoolboy from a very poor school has to contribute his halfpence towards providing increased dividends for some firm which already has profits of millions. This sort of thing is indefensible. We would put up with the increase of passenger fares if we were convinced that the money was going to help industry as a whole, but we have, on the admission of the Government, a definite statement that a great deal of the money is going to help those firms, which are most prosperous. It is monstrous that children should be taxed in order to provide greater dividends. I hope that even now the Government, if they will not accept the Amendment, will make some provision by which this sort of thing can be avoided. So long as the system is so illogical as it is, I shall vote for the Amendment in order to make my protest against a hardship upon those who are least able to afford it.
§ Sir GERALD HOHLER
I have listened with great interest to the Debate on this Amendment. The proposal is to leave out the word "freight," thereby giving relief to all transport at the expense of others. Have hon. Members considered how very agreeable that would be to those members of the public who go in chars-a-bane to race meetings —a delightful entertainment? It would give relief to those who like to live in seaside resorts. I thought the Bill was well understood. We have endeavoured to explain it, but it appears to have 1552 fallen on deaf ears. This Bill has nothing to do with transport qua transport at all. The object of the Bill is to help industry. It was thought by the Government, rightly or wrongly, that in dealing with the problem of unemployment and in their endeavour to get rid of it, it was necessary to enable manufacturers to get their transport at reasonable prices. For that object the Government has in this Subsection introduced the word "freight." If hon. Members had studied the Bill they would see that its clear object in regard to railways, canals, and similar undertakings is that the relief is only given in regard to merchandise. The argument which has been advanced tonight by the hon. Member for Motherwell (Mr. Barr) and other hon. Members opposite seems to me to be of the street corner type, which I have met at many elections, but which I did not expect to find in the House of Commons. The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) did seem to follow the object of the Bill, and then he went into various illustrants as to how convenient it was for working men to travel cheaply. We entirely sympathise with that idea, but he seemed to forget, in referring to working men, that the concession would include the people who travel for luxury and pleasure. It is extraordinary to me that hon. Members opposite cannot recollect that cheap railway tickets, cheap tramways, are for working men. The leisured Liberals lie abed; they go later—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not see how this is relevant to the argument, which is whether a non-freight-carrying enterprise should be separately distinguished from others.
§ Sir G. HOHLER
I was trying to point out that those who argue for the omission of this word have forgotten that working men who get up at a reasonable hour get relief in London on the tramways and on the railways, and, therefore, when they make this appeal we know that it is not serious. To accept the Amendment is really to destroy the whole purpose of the Bill. Although hon. Members are obstructing this excellent Measure, in their hearts they believe it to be a sound proposal. I should like them to go down to my constituency and put their point of view—I should answer it the next day.
§ The CHAIRMAN
This is quite irrelevant to the Amendment, which is whether a non-frieght transport undertaking should be exempt or not. I think I should point out that no omnibus or char-a-bane would get exemption, but only the garages in which they are housed.
§ Sir G. HOHLER
I am much obliged for your ruling and I hope hon. Members opposite will not transgress again.
§ Mr. J. JONES
After the excellent speech just delivered by one of the most honoured Members of this House I feel somewhat dissatisfied with the result. The object of the Bill, I understand, is to relieve industry of a burden which was getting unbearable, and its eventual result to give productive industries opportunities for development and a general re-organisation of industry in the country. The Amendment we are discussing deals with the question of transport, and particularly freight and passenger transport. I live in a district where we have run a tramway service for nearly 30 years. It only pays occasionally. It has not paid from a commercial point of view, as profits are reckoned by private companies, but it has paid as a public service in carrying people at cheap rates to their work in the factories and industrial establishments in the neighbourhood. If we were a private company instead of a municipal undertaking, we should have to charge increased fares to cover our losses.
The Government are simply saying to us that it is wrong for us to subsidise a public service, a utility service. It has been wrong for us in the past to pay a halfpenny rate in West Ham to subsidise our tramways and to support; our industry by giving the people who have to work in the factories cheap facilities for getting to their employment, but it is right now to give 75 per cent. in relief of rates to the productive manufacturers. In a few years from' now all the debt that we have accumulated in West Ham as a consequence of improving a public service, will be redeemed, and the property will be ours. That has all been done out of the sacrifices of the people of our own district. We never come to Parliament for assistance. If we did we know that we would not get it. We want to know however why, when we have struggled against such fearful odds, we 1554 should be cut out of the advantage of the proposals now before Parliament. Why should we carry the men to the docks? As one of my hon. Friends has said, you cannot produce goods without men, and you cannot get men to the place where goods are produced unless you have proper means of transport. The great railway companies are to be relieved of 75 per cent. of their rates, but our tramways will not get any relief at all. Municipal tramways and municipal omnibus services are feeding industry.
Why are they not to come into this scheme? I cannot for the life of me understand why a set of private capitalists, who have their money invested in a particular form of transport, should have assistance to the extent of 75 per cent. of their rates, whilst another form of transport, organised under a public authority, is to receive no assistance at all. Take the docks in West Ham, the Albert, Victoria and King George Docks. The Port of London Authority is to be allowed 75 per cent. of the rates on the docks, am minibuses owned by private companies will get similar relief. but. as I understand the Bill, our tramways will have to pay the full rates. Moreover, we have to maintain the whole of the roadway throughout the borough, to the docks and from the docks; we have to maintain not merely the road that we use, but 10 inches on either side of the outer rail, which means practically 80 per cent. of the total road surface. Yet there is no relief for us.
I want to know why you should discriminate against these transport services, whether passenger carrying or goods carrying. They are rendering a great public service. Those who live in London know the [...]remendous service which our tramway system has rendered to the people of London and the great advantage it has been to residents in the Metropolis. Yet we are being left out of this scheme. The poor can keep the poor as usual; but I would undertake to say that when the next General Election comes, hon. Members opposite, with tears in their voices, will tell the people what they have done for the people. They will never tell the people how they have done the people. I support the Amendment in the hope that equal treatment will be meted out to all. We in 1555 West Ham have been blamed for giving relief to the people who needed relief. We did our best to give relief according to the needs of our people, but, now, hon. Members opposite say, "You cannot discriminate. You have to give relief to everybody whether they want it or not." We are willing to vote for the giving of relief where it is needed, but we are against it where it is not deserved and not needed.
§ Mr. SEXTON
As I read Clause 1 it grants relief only to freight-carrying companies, in which are included docks, railways and canals. That is very good, as far as it goes, but the Clause excludes, deliberately and entirely, road transport, if I am right in my reading of it. Road transport to-day is carrying a very large percentage of the raw materials used by our manufacturers. What is the use of relieving the docks, and refusing to give any relief to the road transport which takes the goods from the docks to the manufacturing centres? I speak from practical experience as an old docker and I know the quantity of raw materials of various kinds which are dealt with by road transport. For instance, gambier, which is used for dyeing purposes, the raw hides used for tanning purposes, the raw cotton used in spinning, and half a dozen other varieties of raw material are, to a very large extent, carried by road transport. I am not decrying the grant to the docks, or the grant to the railways, or the grant to the canals, because I have some representative interest in those great industries also; but why should you leave out road transport which daily, weekly, monthly and yearly is handling raw material for our manufacturers? Why should those who conduct road transport be "butchered to make a Roman holiday" for the benefit of the railways, canals and docks? Not only is road transport carrying the raw material, without which the docks and canals would be no use, but it is already under very heavy charges and now, in addition, will be subject to the Petrol Duty.
We are trying, and have been trying for years, to relieve the conditions of the men on the road. We have tried to relieve their position, but we are met with the fact that the costs and overhead charges are, so great that the firms 1556 cannot give better conditions to their workers; and on top of this you are relieving their competitors, the canals and the railways, for doing the very same work that the road transport of raw material is doing. I do hope the right hon. Gentleman will see the glaring injustice of that case. With regard to differentiation, how are you to differentiate in the case of the docks? If you relieve the docks, the difficulty will be to discriminate between imports of foodstuffs and imports of raw materials. What about raw sugar? Raw sugar is carried by road transport hourly, daily, and weekly [An HON. MEMBER: "And milk! "] I am simply mentioning the salient articles of raw material that it is necessary for the manufacturers to use. I hope I am wrong, as I have said, but this means, whether it is intended or not, ruin to the road transport and the freights on road transport driven to the railways. The railways have come to the conclusion—and I am not making war against the railways—that if they get this relief and the road transport does not, they need not bother about road transport, because they will very soon carry the whole of the freight. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will look further into this matter, which is a glaring inequality and injustice, and see that the firms carrying raw material from Liverpool to the Midlands for the manufacture of cotton, gambier, raw hides, sugar, and so on, are not only to be refused relief, but are to be, in addition, fined by the Petrol Duty. I hope he will remove this inequality as soon as possible.
§ Mr. HARNEY
I think the real value of this Amendment is that it serves to emphasise the injustices that indirectly will arise from the Government's scheme. It is true that this is not a Bill for relief at all. This is a Bill for laying down machinery through which certain relief shall be granted. We do not yet know the character of that relief, and really we are in the dark in being asked to make a classification without exactly knowing to what purposes that classification will be turned. Why do we limit the classification of transport hereditaments to freight transport For this reason: The Government tell us, "Our idea is to give relief to transport. We do it in two ways. First, we reduce the rate on productive industries, and, 1557 secondly, we reduce the cost of carrying these productions." Therefore, they say they only need, in the case of transport, to deal with heavy materials, with agricultural produce, with coal and iron and things of that kind. That is quite right, for the Government then say, as regards transport, that the relief that they are giving to the carrier of these things cannot be put into the carrier's own pocket, but must be passed on to the person for whom he is carrying. Then it is said by the Mover of the Amendment: Why should not the same thing be done with reference to carrying workmen to their work by the omnibuses, the trams, and the tubes? To this, I assume the Government reply will be that you do not affect the cost of production if you make the wages of the workmen go a little further. I would like them to say that on the platform.
They are concerned, they say, with enabling the dead materials to be carried cheaper; they are not concerned with enabling the poor devil who does the work to put a few more pence in his pocket. The injustice indirectly arising is this. Though logically it is correct to say that you do not cheapen the cost of production, and therefore do not help to recapture your foreign markets by enabling the worker to put a few pence a week more into his pockets, by enabling the railway companies to carry freights at a lower rate, they get an increase of things carried, and by reason of that increase they will make a larger income, and by reason of that larger income they will be able to reduce passenger freights, and therefore it comes about that you give an advantage to railway companies in carrying passengers that is denied to the tubes, the tramways, and the omnibuses. I wonder if the Government foresaw when they were working out this plan, that its real effect would be a competition between the railway and the road and tube services for the carrying of passengers, and that they will give a direct advantage to the railways? I do not think that they foresaw that, and it is only one of 50 anomalies and injustices that arise from attempting to do the impossible, namely, to give relief to an artificially created class and to an artificial form of carriage called freight-transport. If the Government had only done the simple 1558 and direct thing, and instead of attempting to give relief by throwing money at anybody, "tad given it by lifting a burden that should never be there, it would automatically have arranged itself, and the result for which they are striving would have been brought about without any of these anomalies and absurdities.
§ Mr. PALIN
I was surprised to hear the right Gentleman's reply on this Amendment. He cannot have studied the matte as closely as he usually does. So far from putting obstacles in the way and making it difficult, this Amendment would make the operation of the Bill far more effective and simple. How he will differentiate in this matter, whether it is to give relief or lower the cost of production, I do not know. The very fact that the whole thing is being introduced in three instalments and that we have not yet got to the third makes it very difficult to discuss it at all. But I do know that as the Clause stands the Minister will find, when it comes to be operated, that a great deal of the freight is carried by people who run vehicles four days a week for she carriage of goods, and two or three days for the purpose of carrying passenger,;. If relief is to be given because vehicles are housed for carrying goods on four days a week, well and good, but it will be said that these are vehicles which carry passengers on Saturdays and Sundays to football matches, and are consequently passenger-carrying vehicles, and ought not to be relieved. That covers far more road transport than the Minister seems to have taken into consideration.
Haulage by road is not in the hands of large companies as much as it is in hands of small people owning two or three, or perhaps 10 or 12 small vehicles, and it is going to be very difficult to operate. Although the Minister has said again that the railway companies will be expected, nay, compelled, to pass on the relief of taxation in the lowering of their charges for carrying goods, we had a representative of the railway companies—or at least he claimed to be a representative—speaking on the Second Reading who said the companies would require very drastic Amendments to be made. The impression he left in my mind was that they were not going to pass it on unless it was insisted on, and, knowing the extent of the railway interests in this 1559 House, there is very strong reason for believing that they may be able to escape having to pass on this relief in the form of relieving the rates upon freight.
On the whole, it does seem to me that a municipality—although my hon. Friend the Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) has put the case in his own inimitable way—does stand with the railway companies for any relief that may come. As a matter of fact, in some cases private enterprise absolutely refuses to cater for the working-class population, and the municipality has to do so. Therefore, it seems to me that, paying the same rates for the roads as the railway companies do, under the Clause and the Bill as a whole, they are entitled, by reason of services rendered to the community, to the same consideration as is given to railway companies. If this Clause will enable us to emphasise that point, 1 think it will have been worth moving. The Clause itself is a cumbersome one which will lead to endless trouble. As far as I am concerned, the more trouble the Government get into the better for the country, because the Government have only to make a few more blunders of this character and all their prospects of success at the next General Election will have faded into thin air. At any rate, in handling the transport question in this Clause and other parts of the Bill, they have, in my judgment, committed a very great blunder. In levying the Petrol Duty, all that they have done is to enable the omnibus proprietors to place an additional burden on the poor, long-suffering ratepayers.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
The paragraph and the Amendment raise two distinct issues. The first issue is between freight and passenger traffic, and the second is between freight traffic on the 1560 roads and freight traffic by rail or water or by light railway. This paragraph is an illustration of the extraordinary muddle into which the Government are getting on this Measure. I think very few Members fully understand what is involved in this procedure, and I am quite sure that the hon. and learned Member for Gillingham (Sir G. Hohler), who derided Members on this side, either had not read the Bill or had not understood the full meaning of Clause 5. I understand that the exact procedure to be followed in de-rating the railway system is still very doubtful. This paragraph is supposed to deal with freight transport, but I understand the Bill will de-rate a big railway station like Waterloo, which is largely used for passenger traffic. It will de-rate all the passenger stations up and down the country, and it will de-rate railways and light railways on which the freight traffic may he only a very small part of the activities. For that reason, this Bill does not really do what the Government have said that it should do.
What is the distinction which the Government have in their mind between the de-rating of the freight service and the de-rating on the passenger service After all, both the freight and the passenger services are a part of production, and the hon. and learned Member for Gillingharn argued that if you de-rate services which are intended for passenger purposes, how can you tell that the relief is given only to the workmen and not frittered away on excursions? It may even be said, as the hon. Member for North Lambeth (Mr. Briant) pointed out, that it is very unfair that the burden of this relief should fall upon people such as he described. I would answer the hon. and learned Member for Gillingham in this way. This Bill does not give the de-rating of railways to the merchandise; that is to come in some subsequent Bill, and whether that will be any more practical than this one remains to be seen.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question he now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 243; Noes, 127.1563
|Division No. 170.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Gates, Percy||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Albery, Irving James||Gllmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Perring, Sir William George|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Goff, Sir Park||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Gower, Sir Robert||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Apsley, Lord||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Pilcher, G.|
|Ashley, LI.-Col, Rt. Hon. Wllfrid W.||Grant, Sir J. A.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Astor, Viscountess||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Preston, William|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Atkinson, C.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Radford, E. A.|
|Balniel, Lord||Grotrlan, H. Brent||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Gunston, Captain D, W,||Ramsden, E.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Hacking, Douglas H.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Rees, Sir Bedoce|
|Belialrs, Commander Carlyon||Hammersley, S. S.||Reld, D, D.(County Down)|
|Bennett, A. J.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Renter, J. R.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Harland, A.||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Harrison, G. I. C.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Hartington, Marquess of||Robinson, Sir T, (Lanes, Stretford)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hsirvey, G. (Lambeth, Kenningfin)||Hopner, Major L.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Haslam, Henry C.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Rye, F G.|
|Bowater, Colonel Sir T. Vanslttart||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxt'd, Henley)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Brass, captain W.||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Brings, J. Harold||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Sandon, Lord|
|Brockfebank, C. E. R.||Hohier, Sir Gerald Fltzroy||Savery, S. S.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'thTd., Hexham)||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mel. (Renfrew. W)|
|Buehan, John||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hcpkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Shepperson, E. w.|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Slmms. Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Burman, J. B.||Home. Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ. Belf'st.)|
|Burncy, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Butler. Sir Geoffrey||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Slaney, Major P, Kenyon|
|Butt. Sir Alfred||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Illfie, Sir Edward M.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cayzer.Maj Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsorl)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Iveagh, Countess of||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G.F.|
|Chamberlain. Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Jephcott, A. R.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Christie, J. A.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston).||Steel, Major Samuel String|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Storry- Deans, R.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Streatfelld, Captain S. R.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Lamb, J. O.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Loder, J. de V.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Looker, Herbert William||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lucas-Tooth. Sir Hugh Vere||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Couper, J. B.||Lurnley, L. R.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mltchell-|
|Courtauld, Ma|or J, S.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Tltchfleld. Major the Marquess of|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow. Cathcart)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Crookshank, Cpt.H.(LIndsey.Galnsbro)||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Vaughan-M organ, Col. K. p.|
|Curzon. Captain Viscount||McLean, Major A.||Waddlngton, R,|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Macmillan, Captain H.||Ward, Lt.-Col.A.L.(Klngston-on-Hull)|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Davles, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeov!I)||Maltland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Maklns, Brigadier-General E.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Maiinlngham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Watson, Rt, Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Drewe, C.||Meller, R. J.||Wayland. Sir William A.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Merrlman, Sir F. Boyd||Wells, S. R.|
|Edmondson. Malor A. J.||Meyer, Sir Frank||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Milne. J. S. Wardlaw-||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|England, Colonel A.||MiMhelf, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Er8kine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Waldeu)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Llchrie'd)|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Windsor-Cilve. Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Moure, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stulyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Finburoh, S.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exetur)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingslcy|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge}||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Forrest, w.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Nichotson, Coj. Rt. Hn. W.G.(Ptrsf'ld.)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Meld, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Oakley, T.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Captain Margcsson and Captain|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Penny, Frederick George||Wallace.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Grundy, T. W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Riley, Ben|
|Amnion, Charles George||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ritson, J.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F.O.(W. Bromwich)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hardie, George D.||Sakiatvala, Shapurji|
|Baker, Walter||Harney, E. A.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Barnes, A.||Harris, Percy A.||Scurr, John|
|Barr, J.||Hayday, Arthur||Sexton, James|
|Batey, Joseph||Hayes, John Henry||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hirst, G. H.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Briant, Frank||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Shinwell, E.|
|Broad, F. A.||Hollins, A.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Bromley, J.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Smith, Rennie (Penlstone)|
|Buchanan, G.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Snell, Harry|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kelly, W. T.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kennedy, T.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Compton, Joseph||Lansbury, George||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Connolly, M.||Lawrence, Susan||Strauss, E. A.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lawson, John James||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cowan, O. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lee, F.||Thome, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lowth, T.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Davles, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lunn. William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Day, Harry||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Dennfson, R.||Mackinder, W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Duncan, C.||MacLaren, Andrew||trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Dunnlco, H.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Varley, Frank B.|
|Edge, Sir William||Malone, C. L' Estrange (N' thampton)||Viant, S. P.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Maxton, James||Watson, w M. (Dunfermline)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Montague, Frederick||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Gardner, J. P.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Westwood. J.|
|Gltibins, Joseph||Mosley, Oswald||Wheatley, Rt Hon. J.|
|Gillett, George M.||Murnin, H.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gosling, Harry||Naylor, T. E.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Oliver, George Harold||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Greenall, T||Palin. John Henry||Windsor. Walter|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wright, w.|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newtonl)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Groves, T.||Potts, John S.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Paling.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the word 'freight' stand part of the Clause."1564
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 243; Noes,126.1567
|Division No. 171.]||AYES.||[11.5 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Brown, Col. O. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)|
|Albery, Irving James||Buchan, John||Davtes, Dr. Vernon|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Bullock, Captain M.||Dawson. Sir Philip|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Dean, Arthur Wellesley|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Burman, J. B.||Drewe, C.|
|Apsley, Lord||Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Edmondson. Major A. J.|
|Astor, viscountess||Butt, Sir Alfred||Elliot, Major Walter E.|
|Atholl. Duchess of||Carver, Major W. H.||England, Colonel A.|
|Atkinson, C.||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Erskine. Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)|
|Bainlel, Lord||Cayzer, Ma). Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Erskinc, James Malcolm Montelth|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Fade, Sir Bertram G.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.J)||Charlerls, Brigadier-General J.||Fielden, E. B.|
|Beilalrs, Commander Carlyon||Christie, J. A.||Finburgh, S.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Ford, Sir P. J.|
|Bentlnck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Forrest, W|
|Betterton, Henry 8.||Cockerill, Brig-General Sir George||Foster, Sir Harry S.|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Blundell, F. N.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Colman, N. C. O||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Ganzonl, Sir John|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vanslttart||Cooper, A. Duff||Gates, Percy|
|Bowyer. Captain G. E. W.||Couper, J. B.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Brass, Captain W.||Courtauld. Major J. S.||Giyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Crooks hank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey,Gainsbro)||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Brlttain, Sir Harry||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)|
|Brocklebank, C. E R.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Grant, Sir J. A.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.||Grattan Doyle, Sir N.|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Grcnleil, Edward C. (City of London)||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Shaw, Lt.-Col.A. D. Mel. (Renfrew. W)|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Makins. Brigadier-General E.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Gunston, Captain O. W.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Hacking, Douglas H.||Margesson, Captain D.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Hall, Lieut. Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfast)|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Metier, R. J.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Hannon. Patrick Joseph Henry||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Sianey, Major P. Kenyon|
|Harland, A.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Smith, R.W.(Aberd'n & Kinc' dine, C.)|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron WaMen)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G.F.|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T, C. R. (Ayr)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut-Col. J. T. C.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Nelson, Sir Frank||Steel, Major Samuel String|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exciter)||Storry Deans, R.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Streatfelld, Captain S. R.|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G.(Ptrsf'ld.)||Styles, Captain H. W.|
|Hohier, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Oakley, T,||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Hepe, Sir Harry (Forfar)||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Penny, Frederick George||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South 1|
|Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Titchlield, Major the Marquess Of|
|Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Perring, Sir William George||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Ptito, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Plito, G. (Somerset, Frame)||Waddington, H.|
|Hudson, R.S. (Cumberl' and, Whiteh' n)||Pilcher, G.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Power, Sir John Cecil||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Iltfte, Sir Edward M.||Preston, William||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Iveagh, Countess of||Radford, E. A.||Watson, fit. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Raine, Sir Walter||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Rumsden. E.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Wells, S. R.|
|King. Commodore Henry Douglas||Rtee, Sir Beddoe||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Held, D. D. [County Down)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Lamb, J. 0||Homer, J. R.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Leigh, Sir John (Ciapham)||Rentoul, G. S.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Loder, J. de V.||Richardson, sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ls'y)||Wlndsor-Cilve, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Looker, Herbert William||Ropner, Major L.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Rye, F. G.||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Lumley, L. R.||Salmon, Major I.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Wragg, Herbert|
|Macdonald, n. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon, Angus||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|McLean, Major A.||Sandon, Lord||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Savery, S. S.||Major Sir William Cope and|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Duncan, C.||Hore-Bellsha, Leslie|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Dunnico, H.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Edge, Sir William||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwelly)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bllston;||Fenby, T. D.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Baker, Walter||Gardner, J. P.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Barnes, A.||Gibblns, Joseph||Kennedy, T.|
|Barr, J.||Giilett, George M.||Lansbury, George|
|Batey, Joseph||Gosling, Harry||Lawrence, Susan|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lawson, John James|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Creenall, T.||Lee, F.|
|Briant, Frank||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Lowth, T.|
|Broad. F. A.||Griffith, f. Kingsley||Lunn, William|
|Bromley, J.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Mackinder, W|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Groves, T.||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Brown, James (Ayr end Bute)||Grundy, T. W.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Buchanan, O.||Hell, F. (York., W.R., Normantcn)||Maione, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)|
|Buxton, R1. Hon. Noel||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maxton, James|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Montague, Frederick|
|Cluse, W. S.||Heirdle, George D.||Morrison, R, c. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Compton, Joseph||Harney, E. A.||Mosley, Oswald|
|Connolly, M.||Harris, Percy A.||Murnin, H,|
|Cove, W. G.||Heyday, Arthur||Naylor, T. E.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hayes, John Henry||Oliver, George Harold|
|Dalton, Hugh||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Palin, John Henry|
|navies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hirst, G. H.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Day, Harry||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Dennlson, R.||Hollins, A.||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Potts, John S.||Smith, Ben (Barmondsey, Rotherhithe)||Varley, Frank B.|
|Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Smith, Rennit (Penlstont)||Viant, S. P.|
|Riley, Ben||Snell, Harry||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Rltson, J.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)||Stamford, T. W.||Westwood. J.|
|Saklatvala, Shapurji||Stephen, Campbell||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Salter, Dr. Altred||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Scurr, John||Strauss, E. A.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Sexton, James||Sutton, J. E.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)||Windsor, Walter|
|Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Thurte, Ernest||Wright, W.|
|Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Tinker, John Joseph||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Shinwcll, E.||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Short, Allred (Wednesbury)||Townend, A. E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Calthnett)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.||Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Paling.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ It being after Eleven of the Clock, THE CHAIRMAN left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.