§ The following Amendments stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Mr. HARRIS and other hon. Members:
In page 1, line 14, at the end, to insert the words:
(d) gas undertaking hereditaments.
(e) electricity undertaking hereditaments.
(f) waterworks hereditaments.
(g) tramway undertaking hereditaments.
(h) cemetery and burial ground hereditaments.
(i) sewage hereditaments.
(j) warehouse hereditaments.
(k) tithes and tithe rent-charge hereditaments.
(l) licensed premises hereditaments.
(m) retail shop hereditaments.
(n) office hereditaments.
(o) working-class dwelling hereditaments.
(p) industrial educational hereditaments.
(q) health service hereditaments.
(r) wholesale distributive hereditaments.
(s) export merchants' hereditaments.
(t) professional business hereditaments.
(u) public recreation hereditaments.
(v) educational hereditaments.
§ In page 1, line 17, to leave out the word "prescribed."
§ In page 1, line 17, after the word "manner," to insert the words "prescribed by this Act."
§ The CHAIRMAN
I observe that since yesterday a number of additional Amendments have been placed on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris). I notice that the hoe. Member has divided his former Amendment into a number of parts and has added some new propositions. One of them which relates to tramways, has been disposed of by another discussion. With regard to the majority of the ethers, I think that they would come in more properly on Clause 3, as they appear to relate to hereditaments of an industrial character or which might be argued to be complementary or ancillary to industry. When that has been said, there remain some seven Amendments which cannot be said to have an industrial character at all, and they relate to cemeteries, sewage, tithe, health service, professional business, public recreation and education. With regard to these proposals, I shall be willing to do one of two things: Either the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green can move them altogether in the form set out yesterday, or, if he prefers it, he can select any one of them in order to discuss whether the hereditaments provided for in Clause I should be added to or not.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
May I make one or two suggestions? I quite agree that it would not be desirable to discuss 1606 all these things separately, but there are some issues which are separate and are very vital. For instance, the question of retail shops raises a definite and important and working-class dwellings raise quite a different issue. I can quite see the force of what you say, Mr. Chairman, when you state that to raise a Debate on all these matters would not lead to any real elucidation of the problem. These Amendments raise two very definite issues which formed part of the essential criticisms of the scheme on the Second Beading, and it would be very difficult to combine them now. I think it is only fair that the House of Commons should be allowed to express its opinions upon these two vital matters in the Division Lobby. If it be agreeable to you, Mr. Chairman, to allow us to take these two points and debate them separately, then I would ask my hon. Friend the Member for South-West Bethnal Green not to proceed with the other matters, but those two points I have mentioned are very vital matters.
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think I may say that those are two of the matters that might be argued on Clause 3 as being what I described as complementary or ancillary to industry, and, as a matter of fact, those two points could not arise on Clause 3 even if no new Amendment were put in. What I wanted to point out was that while these hereditaments, if it were claimed that they had an industrial character, would come up for argument on Clause 3, some of the other subjects which, I think, could not in any way be associated with industry, would not be arguable on Clause 3. Obviously, the principle of selection could not be extended to all those subjects separately, and, therefore, I would suggest that the hon. Member either moves these as one Amendment, or he might select one or more of the more important; but he would not be in order in raising the point on Clause 3.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Clause 1 makes a distinction of hereditaments in the valuation list, and is limited to three divisions. Is it not reasonable to suggest that there should be a larger number of divisions, so as to include four, five or six different headings? That is, after all, the purpose of my Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
And therefore I suggest that the hon. Member might raise those subjects which are clearly non-industrial. I might remark that I yesterday referred to Clause 3 an Amendment extending the scope of industries to which hon. Members on my left attach importance, and in view of that I must maintain that those Amendments which may be complementary or ancillary to industry must be argued on Clause 3. As a matter of fact some of them will have to be argued anyhow in some form or other on Clause 3, because the points are already raised there.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
I think the course you suggest would certainly be the best one to follow. The thing to which we attach a great deal of importance is that nothing that we do under this Clause should prejudice a full discussion upon Clause 3. I understand that the suggestion is that the non-industrial Amendments which are on the Amendment Paper to Clause 1 might be taken now, but those which are purely industrial, and therefore would come more properly on Clause 3, might be postponed until we reach that Clause.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not necessarily say whether they are, properly speaking, industrial or not, but it might be urged that they were necessarily complementary to industry.
§ Mr. ERNEST BROWN
With regard to warehouse hereditaments, it would be rather difficult to argue that question on Clause 3, because it also comes up on Clause 5.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I should say that this is just one of those things which might be described as complementary to industry, and, if hon. Members will notice, the question of storage is referred to in Clause 3. I do not know whether the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) would like to move any one Amendment specially.
§ The CHAIRMAN
In my judgment, the subjects which have no connection with industry at all are cemeteries, sewage, tithes, health service, professional business, public recreation and education.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must point out that the Amendments which the hon. Member can move as a whole, or from which he can select one in case that has a stronger claim than the others, are (h), (i), (k), (q), (t), (u) and (v).
§ Mr. HARRIS
I beg to move, in page 1, line 14, at the end, to insert the words:(u) public recreation hereditaments.Obviously, this is the most important of the paragraphs mentioned. It is clear that there is a very strong case for public recreation grounds of every character and every kind to be specially classified. There has been for some time an agitation owing to the lack of opportunities for games and recreation in various parts of the country. So strong has been that agitation that it has been found necessary to create an organisation specially for the purpose of encouraging the provision of more open spaces. It is inevitable in a country of overcrowded towns like ours that the difficulty of getting land for recreation purposes becomes greater every year. It would be an immense encouragement if in the valuation list open spaces were classified separately, and special treatment were given to them, so that at any rate they would be free from having to pay full rates. To some extent in the centre of London we have been fortunate, but in the outskirts of London the difficulty is increasing almost every year.
There has been comment at different times about the enormous number of people who appear at football matches —the enormous percentage of the population who are mere spectators, and are not able to take part in the game, and it has been suggested that it is a sign that we are becoming a degenerate people, a nation of lookers-on rather than active participants in sport. But there are so few opportunities for young men and young women to play games of football, tennis and so on. If public recreation grounds were assured protection from the 1609 rate collector, it would be a great stimulus to laying out grounds and, what is more important, their preservation from the builder, so that games could be encouraged. The same, of course, applies to parks and gardens. In the great industrial areas of the North of England there are miles and miles of main streets and factories, and in those congested areas there are very few opportunities for pleasure grounds, and very few signs of trees and open spaces. Local authorities are prevented from carrying out their duties and responsibilities under the Town Planning Act, and I think it would be a valuable contribution to this problem if we could have open spaces and pleasure grounds specially scheduled in the valuation list, so that there would, be some hope that some of the money which the Minister has to give out in largess would be used in this way for the relief of the ratepayer.
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Chamberlain)
The point which has been raised by the hon. Member is one which, obviously, applies to other kinds of property as well as recreation grounds, and the arguments which he has brought forward in support of his proposal might be easily applied, with modification, to voluntary hospitals, for instance. I do not think there can be any Member of this House who is more anxious than I am to see an increase in the number of open spaces in this country. I have on many occasions expressed views to that effect both in public and in private, and I have from time to time done what I could to, promote the extension of open spaces for public recreation. But this is not the occasion to bring forward a proposal of that kind. It is one which lies outside the whole scope and intention of this Bill. What we are trying to do by this Bill is to prepare the way for a stimulation of trade and industry throughout the country. The question of open spaces has but a very remote and indirect connection with that object, and while, therefore, I entirely sympathise with the views which have been expressed by the hon. Member, I do feel—and I think the Committee will feel—that we must find some more suitable occasion to bring forward a practical proposal to that end, 1610 and that any relief with regard to the rating of recreation grounds and similar hereditaments must be reserved for another time.
§ Mr. OLIVER
I fear that the Minister's reply has been more in the nature of side-tracking. Be suggests that some other occasion would be a more proper one than the present for raising this question. I can see that whenever this matter might arise, if it were not pressed to-day, it would be suggested that, seeing that £30,000,000 has been spent in the relief of rates, therefore this could not then be tackled as a single item, and ought to have been included in a much larger measure. The Minister of Health is interested in open spaces, and I would ask him whether he has heard from police authorities in towns like Birmingham, Nottingham and other large industrial areas as to the great importance of open spaces from the point of view of the diminution of juvenile crime. According to the extent that children have access to open spaces, whereby they can enjoy themselves and play games, so do we find that fewer children are brought into the police courts of the country. That, in itself, is a very important item, because, to the extent that we can provide these facilities, we obviously do away with the necessity for much of our police supervision, and much of the suffering and degradation associated with our children's courts. For that reason alone I should like the Minister of Health to give us some expression of opinion, if this be not an appropriate occasion on which recreation grounds may be discussed, as to when that appropriate occasion will arise.
§ Mr. SCURR
The Minister has said that the proposals of this Bill are proposals for the relief of industry, or, rather, the stimulation of industry, which I think was the phrase that he used. I rather think that that is an argument in favour of this Amendment, because, if we can extend our playing fields, that will surely add to the health of the community, and, if we have a healthy community, they will be better and more efficient workmen. Therefore, I think that on that ground alone the Minister is wrong in stating that this Amendment ought to be resisted. On the contrary, it ought to be supported. It is, of course, in accordance with the usual policy of 1611 the Minister to say, of anything that is suggested by the Opposition, that now is not the time. Of course, we can appreciate the Minister's sympathy with the demand for more playing fields. We remember the kind of sympathy that was expressed in "The Walrus and the Carpenter," and it seems to me that the right hon. Gentleman is expressing exactly the same kind of sympathy now. He says that these facilities may be given at some time in the future, but not now. I think that, in all the circumstances, the Amendment ought to be accepted.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I agree with my hon. Friends who have spoken thus far in favour of this Amendment, that there is no more important question from the point of view of the improvement of the health of the people, and especially of the well-being of the youth of the community, than the provision of open spaces. Those who a short time ago made an investigation into the housing conditions in some of the most hard-pressed areas in our great cities were appalled at the absence of any opportunities for recreation for the children living in those densely populated areas. In a great many areas in the East End of London the only open space which is available for the children is the cemetery, and, for the rest, the children have to play outside in the dingy streets, running very considerable risks in consequence of the traffic. Apart from that, there is no doubt at all that these conditions have a very deleterious effect upon the chances of these children to develop into healthy men and women.
The importance of this Amendment is that it helps to elucidate more clearly what the purpose of the Bill is. The Minister of Health made a declaration that, however great may be the need for open spaces, and although the provision to meet that need must necessarily be crippled by any burden, whether of rates or otherwise, upon the spaces provided, and however great may be the need for voluntary hospitals, the virtues of this Bill are not going to be denied to distilleries; they are to have three-fourths of their rates taken off. There is to be nothing for open spaces for the children, and nothing, as I understand, for voluntary hospitals, which are struggling hard 1612 to make both ends meet in order to provide an essential service for the people of this country; but when you come to institutions which are by no means hygienic institutions, or, at least, not institutions for the promotion of hygiene, like the breweries and distilleries of the country—
§ The CHAIRMAN
The right hon. Gentleman will find an appropriate place at which to propose their omission later on.
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I am looking forward to that prospect, and to the satisfaction of seeing hon. Gentlemen, who will have to face their constituents, voting first of all against rate relief for open spaces and voluntary hospitals, and afterwards voting for relief for distilleries and breweries.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
The last words of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) enable us to see what is the object of this Amendment. The object is, apparently, to get the Conservative party to vote against open spaces and to vote for distilleries. The right hon. Gentleman is quite honest about that, and we see now why so many of these Amendments have been put down by the Liberals, namely, in order to make it quite certain that we shall so vote that they may have some unpleasant electoral cries. They will not be able to discuss sewage, which is referred to in paragraph (i)—
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
The right hon. Gentleman was clever enough to introduce the subject, of distilleries, and I was hoping that I might be able to do the same. I should like to say that we in this party draw the line at being led into a political crime by the Liberal party, and we are not afraid of facing the facts. The Liberal party do not have to find the money. The money is found by the Government for a particular purpose, as shown in this Bill, and, although the Liberal party may possibly make some party capital out of it, I, for one, shall not have the least hesitation in voting against these Amendments.
§ Mr. PETHICK - LAWRENCE
The decision of the Minister to resist this Amendment shows in strong relief the 1613 unsatisfactory character of the rating relief provided in this Bill. If the rating relief had taken its normal and proper form, then, wherever the rates were unduly high, they would have been relieved. If you take an area where the rates are far above the normal, the cost of providing some recreation service, whether out of doors or indoors, is made prohibitive in such an area by reason of the rates, and what we should have liked to see in those highly rated districts would have been a reduction of the rates in all cases, and, in that event, the reduction would have applied to recreation facilities. The Minister has seen fit to take an entirely different course. He has confined his rating relief to factories and workshops, as set out in a later Clause of this Measure, and, after this Bill has been carried, if, indeed, it be carried, which, with its many difficulties upon its head, I very much doubt, the position of recreative hereditaments will not merely he as it was before, but will be very much worse, because, relief having been given to a different type of of hereditament, a very strong argument will he brought forward that no such relief as will be reasonable can be given in the direction in which we ask for it.
The hon. and gallant Member for Louth (Lieut.-Colonel Heneage) has said that he is not going to be stampeded into voting for this Amendment on the ground that it would be electorally inadvisable to vote against it. Very good; he can do exactly what he pleases. The Amendment is put forward because it is a sound proposal for benefiting— [Interruption.] It is quite true that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) said that, if the Amendment were rejected, and if hon. Members opposite voted against it, they would find that their constituents did not agree with them. That is perfectly true, but that does not mean that it is merely an electoral proposal; it means that it is a proposal for the improvement of the Bill, and, if hon. Members opposite choose to vote against it, and bring the wrath of their constituents upon their heads, that is not the fault of either of the Opposition parties. We give them the opportunity. If, in blind obedience and subservience to the Minister of Health, they choose to throw away that opportunity, 1614 they, and they alone, must bear the blame for their action.
I desire to support the plea made by my hon. Friend the Member for Mile End (Mr. Scurr) when he said that the health of the workpeople was an essential part of industry, and that anything that could be done to improve the health of the workpeople, by making it more easy to provide recreational facilities for them in their spare time, would undoubtedly be of benefit in making the industry in which those workpeople are engaged successful in comparison with its foreign rivals. Therefore even on the narrow ground with which this Bill professes to deal, namely, the improvement of industry and the relief of the burden which rests upon it, this Amendment ought to be supported. In that connection I should like to ask one question of the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary. There are now, in many productive works, welfare centres in which recreative facilities are provided for the workpeople, and I should like to know whether, when they come either within or outside the 10 per cent. provided in this Bill, the hereditaments applying to those welfare centres will or will not be included in the relief to be provided under this Measure.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I am rather surprised that the Minister is not going to accept this Amendment, because I understood him to say yesterday, and, indeed, it seems to be so from the Clause, that it does not follow that, if an extra classification of this kind is put into Clause I, relief will necessarily be granted under it. We are now drawing a distinction in the valuation list between certain kinds of property, and what we desire is, not to settle the question whether there is to be relief or not, but to settle what distinctions are to be drawn when the valuation is made. With regard to some of the eight paragraphs which you, Mr. Hope, have ruled as being in common with this one, they are evidently included already in the valuations that are now made. In the Minister's own White Paper, item No. 14, on page 1, namely, cemeteries and burial grounds, must obviously be at least partially distinguished in the present valuation, or the Minister could not have given the return of rates from those properties in the County of London as amounting to £9,209, in the county boroughs to £18,138, 1615 and in the rating areas in the administrative counties to £14,000, making a total for England and Wales of £41,000. We cannot tell what the figures are for Scotland, because, unfortunately, we have not a White Paper for Scotland, even to-day. If you go down to the next item on the list—
§ The CHAIRMAN
The bon. Member must not go down the list. The hon. Member's colleague has chosen one par-titular Amendment, and I must ask him to keep to that Amendment.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I said that the hon. Member might move the seven in the united form in which he put them down yesterday, or that, if he preferred to do so, he might choose one which he considered to be the most important.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Certainly not. It is against my Ruling, and, as a matter of fact, now it would be out of order even if I relented.
§ Mr. BROWN
I will come back to the White Paper on this issue. Section 19 includes, without giving a separate and distinct classification, these public recreation grounds that are referred to in the Amendment. They are described as follows:Land not elsewhere included separately, including woodlands, parks, sports grounds and rights of sporting.The total rates now paid in England and Wales for that kind of property this year amount to £912,000. The Minister has often expressed himself in favour of the need for open spaces for the people. The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Louth (Lieut.-Colonel Heneage) need not be surprised at party points being made in this House. I remember in the last Parliament no considerations of the party effect of Amendments in the country ever prevented the two right hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench from moving in Committee against the 1616 Labour Government any Amendment they cared to move.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is going a long way unless this is an illustration of public recreation.
§ Mr. BROWN
As a matter of fact, it had to do with the relief of hospitals, a very difficult thing to vote against, but there were Members who did vote against it. The Amendment in my judgment is sound in itself and the fact of the hon. and gallant Gentleman having to vote against it is due not to the fact that it is a party Amendment but to its intrinsic soundness. It is an Amendment expressing the vital need for the relief of public recreation grounds, and it will be heartily welcomed throughout the country. Owners of land and other properties not separately assessed, including parks, do not show clearly in the rate books of the various county boroughs, administrative counties and the County of London how much is paid in rates by the public recreation grounds of the people. I am surprised that the Minister takes the view that we ought not to have this separate distinction. Fat aldermen and others who preside at great public dinners are always making speeches about the need of having fewer people looking on at football and cricket and more playing. The Division on this Amendment will clearly show to the public those who support the point of view that we ought to have more young people and fewer professionals playing.
§ Mr. HARDIE
I was somewhat astonished at the Minister's statement. He began by assuring us that he has always been in favour of additional playing grounds for children. I do not doubt that, but I would remind him that the children of working-class parents have only the streets, and they are being run off the street's by policemen. In the district where I am living 1617 now in London, there are continual troubles for the good-hearted policemen, one in charge of the traffic and the other in charge of the footpaths. There is a school quite near and the children come out to play, as children will. There are all these difficulties to contend with. The children of the working classes, according to the Minister, have to be sacrificed in order to pay a subvention to Courtaulds. That seems to be the only logic left in the Minister's statement, that the working-class child is to be sacrificed in order to pay pensions to people who do not require them. He made another statement that I do not disbelieve, but again I wonder whether he expects it will be accepted. He told us about his sympathy with the hospitals. I do not doubt that, but anyone thinking the thing out will see that he did not mean it any more than he meant his statement in regard to playing grounds for the children. The greatest antidote for hospitals is playing grounds for children. The more playing grounds you have, the healthier you build up your adults and the less need there is going to be for hospitals. He seems to be quite prepared to express sympathy and the rest of it with regard to working-class children, but he is prepared to use his power as a Minister and to use the machinery of a reactionary Government in order to sacrifice the children of the working class and to give big subventions to his friends.
§ Mr. HARNEY
I do not at all wonder at the right hon. Gentleman not accepting the Amendment, but on that account I feel the greatest pleasure in supporting it. The position seems to me to be this. The right hon. Gentleman tells us that undoubtedly recreation grounds are a very necessary thing and that if the appropriate time arrives he will facilitate and encourage them in every possible way. I doubt if he would deny what has just been said, that indirectly they add to the efficiency by adding to the health of the nation, and therefore to its industrial power, but that is so indirect that I will not press it. The point is this. Here is a Bill brought in with a view to granting relief in respect of certain classes. The Minister says in the Bill, "The classes to whom I desire to grant relief, 1618 amongst others, are the industrial classes." We find that there are a large number of the industrial classes who are exceedingly well off and do not need any relief at all. We find that there are a vast number of children who badly need recreation grounds. It is nothing to us that you have chosen to take money from the taxpayers and dole it out to industries. We find that some will get it who are already very well off and do not need it and, therefore, so far from being deterred by the comments made by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Louth that by putting down these Amendments we are forcing them to take up a certain position, I assert that we are, and we desire to tell the country that Members of Parliament voted for money coming from the taxpayer and being given not to distressed but to prosperous industries and being denied to recreation grounds.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I am glad the Party that proposed this Amendment intends to push it to a Division. I should have thought it would have appealed to the Minister. He tells us he has the greatest sympathy with its object, but sympathy is not of substantial value to poverty stricken people. He insinuates that, if this were the time, he would gladly assist in promoting the views which have been expressed from this side of the House. I submit that this is the occasion. It is an occasion for arranging the machinery through which £30,000,000 annually of the taxpayers' money wall be distributed. The Minister of Health is fond of telling us that he is not arranging the distribution of the money, he is only arranging the machinery, and that we have really no right to discuss the question of the money. But that argument is no more sound than it would be to say he has no objection to a horse winning a certain race. His only objection is to its being entered for the race. All that is being asked here is that the Valuation and Rating Committees should be free to regard the subject of children's playgrounds as one that might be considered for relief to be given. We are including here not merely some industries, but prosperous industries. We are proposing to compel rating authorities to grant relief to people who are already doing very well out of the industries in which they are engaged. The Minister says his 1619 object is to stimulate industry and production. I submit that industry that is paying 50, 20 or even 10 per cent. dividend requires no stimulant. The dividend itself is sufficient stimulant, and they will be no more vigorous after they get this relief than they are at present.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I thank you, Sir, for putting me right. One cannot cut out from his mind the class distinction that runs through the whole of this Bill. You have these people who are getting the relief and do not need it, and the children of the poor who do need it. There can be no doubt that healthy children are essential to healthy production. We have running through the Bill a proposal by which land that is partly farming and partly a playground for the rich can be included in the subjects to which relief may be granted, but relief cannot be granted to any subject in which the poor are interested for recreation. Miners' welfare sports grounds are excluded and now the children of the poor are excluded. I do not know how the Minister and his supporters are to face the country if they oppose this Amendment. Surely, if there is one thing that ought to appeal to the head of a Minister of Health, it is to grant facilities which will enable the children on whom the prosperity of industry, and of everything else national, depends to be included in the largess they are distributing to all sections of the community. I protest most vigorously against the class conduct that is visible here this afternoon, and I am sure that the last has not been heard of it in the present discussion.
§ Mr. PALING
I was not present when the Minister made his speech, but, from the speeches that have since been made, I gather that he is not going to accept the Amendment. I have listened to the Minister on many occasions when, after having spoken on an Amendment and giving reasons for refusing it, he has altered his mind. I hope he will see his way to alter his mind on this occasion. I rise to take part in the Debate, because I have had personal experience in regard to this matter. The Minister will no doubt remember that in the Report of the Sankey Commission which dealt with the mining question, it was stated that 1620 evidence had been given that in most mining villages and towns up and down the country there were really no recreation grounds. One of the main recommendations of that Commission was that a penny per ton should be stopped in order to develop recreation fields and other amenities. That has been done. I would like the right hon. Gentleman to go and look at some of the things that have been done. This money has been spent in many instances on the provision of public parks the enjoyment of which is not limited to miners and their families. One of the principal difficulties that we have been up against has been the question of upkeep. We supplied the £s. d. for the provision of these recreation grounds, but we found that there was nothing allowed towards the cost of upkeep. The result of this has been that in many cases we have turned over these grounds to the local authorities.
We did the same thing where I live. We had not a yard of recreation ground in the area before the Miners' Welfare Committee turned its public park over to the local authority. Since then, it has been thrown open to the community, and I venture to say that there has been nothing in the district of Bentley that has been so much appreciated as the benefit provided in these circumstances. Being a mining community we found ourselves in some of the difficulties in which most mining communities found themselves, and the question of the upkeep of the recreation ground has occasioned the local authority a good deal of concern. Our rates are about 17s. in the £ and we have had to cut down expenditure in every direction. We have had to do so in connection with the expenditure on this public park. I believe that the last time the auditor came down he pointed out that, though we had not exceeded the amount which we were allowed to spend, we had come very near to doing so, and he gave a very serious warning. Owing to our financial difficulties we have had to cut down a lot of the facilities which we were in the habit of providing year after year. For instance, we used to have a band in the park once a week. This has been cut down to once a fortnight. If the Minister of Health would give relief in this direction he would help the welfare committees which are doing this very desirable work and 1621 he would help the local authorities to provide money for the upkeep of these recreation grounds. I hope that even now it is not too late to ask him to change his mind and that, as far as recreation grounds are concerned, he will allow this relief to be given.
§ Major Sir ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR
I must say that I was very much disappointed by the rather cursory way in which the Minister of Health rejected this Amendment. I say that, because I know that his claim that he is sympathetic with the movement of providing playing grounds for the people of this country is well founded. He is not only sympathetic, but he has shown in many practical forms his sympathy with this movement. I know that his sympathy is sincere, and I cannot help very much regretting that he could not see his way either to accept this Amendment or to give some indication of how the object which we aim at in this Amendment could be met in some other way or, as he said, on some other occasion. The need for these playing fields is really a crying and clamant one. First of all, there is the case of the children, to whom so many hon. Members have already referred. Last year, no fewer than 5,000 children up and down the country were killed in accidents in the streets, and over 100,000 received injuries of one kind or another. This was brought out in a Debate which took place in another place on this question. It was stated, on behalf of the Government, that these accidents took place, not when the children were on their way to and from school, but mainly when they were trying to find places in which to play in the streets of the big cities. That was the time when these children suffered these injuries. That illustrates the real need there is for providing proper playing fields. An hon. Member above the Gangway referred to the question of juvenile delinquency. Only a few weeks ago there was published the Report of the Departmental Committee in Scotland which inquired into the question of juvenile delinquency and in the course of that Report they said that one of the principal factors leading towards predisposing children to delinquency was the absence of playing fields and the absence of proper facilities for recreation.
1622 It is not only the case of the children. It is also the case of an equally important, if not more important class of people—the adolescents—the younger people, those who have passed the school age. It is of vital importance to them. It is vitally important to their health, and, through that, to the prosperity of industry, in spite of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman has said that this Amendment has nothing to do with assisting industry. It is of very great importance that these young men should have facilities for playing games. He will say, of course, that a great many of the big firms provide these facilities. That is quite true, and all honour to them for doing it. But there are a great many small firms who cannot possibly provide these facilities and who have not the resources to purchase playing fields on a large scale. Their employés inevitably have to depend upon those public playing fields with which this Amendment is concerned. It would be of immense assistance to these firms and to the movement for providing playing fields generally for the employés of these firms if the right hon. Gentleman could see his way to give this encouraging assistance for which we ask and so relieve the burden of expense in those places. When we have times of strife and trouble, and when there are industrial disputes, there is no sneer and better safeguard, no better lightning conductor, than playing fields on which the people can go and work off their bellicose propensities. I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman what it would cost. I believe it would be a very small figure. Unfortunately, there is no information on that point in White Paper. I believe it will be found that in a great many cases these playing fields have been fully valued and that this additional help which the Amendment would give would be a very great factor in encouraging the provision of playing fields up and down the country.
I would say to the right hon. Gentleman that this is not a party question. I really pay him tribute for the part that he has played in forwarding this movement. If he will give some indication that this matter will be dealt with—he says that this is not the occasion—if he will refer us to some occasion or to some legislation that the Government intend to bring forward in which this matter 1623 will be dealt with, I believe that my hon. Friends would be prepared to withdraw the Amendment. I feel so strongly about this matter that if the right lion. Gentleman gave us some assurance regarding it I would withdraw even my personal observations as to his attitude at the present time. I repeat that it is not a party question. It is a question occupying the attention of men of all parties in both Houses of Parliament. They had a Debate, I think it was early in this Session, or, if not, it was in the last Session, in another place, and a very grave view was taken of this question by men of all parties. Last Session, this House passed a Resolution, and passed it unanimously, calling the attention of the Government to the seriousness of the situation and to the need of remedying the deficiency in playing fields. This, it seems to me is the remedy. If the right hon. Gentleman sees a better opportunity, we shall be interested. to hear when that time will come. Meanwhile, we appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to take this opportunity which now presents itself to him and to the Government, and ask him, if he cannot accept this Amendment, to give us some indication that before the Bill leaves the House he will give some attention to the question.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Sir Kingsley Wood)
The hon. Baronet the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir A. Sinclair), who made a very interesting speech and one we are accustomed to hear from him, certainly made the real meaning and intention of this Amendment, which the Committee will observe deals with "public recreation hereditaments" very much clearer to me. The hon. and gallant Gentleman has pointed out that lie is not so much concerned with the position of the employés of great firms who provide their own recreation grounds as he is with the employés of the smaller firms who of necessity have to go to some public recreation ground owned by the local authority. Unless we make some provision in respect a recreation grounds owned by public authorities, he is very much afraid it will be a very serious thing indeed for the employés of these small firms.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I pointed out that one of the difficulties at the present time was the loss of rates on ground taken for playing fields and that if the Government would give a grant corresponding to the rates obtained from these fields it would be an incentive to the local authorities to provide playing fields.
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ Sir K. WOOD
It would be an incentive to local authorities to provide them. I want to be perfectly clear about that, because I knew that the hon. Baronet and other hon. Members would make some observations. The hon. Baronet and most of the hon. Gentlemen who have spoken on this matter—and I am including in that, I am sorry to say, the hon. and learned Gentleman who is sitting opposite—are under a great misapprehension—if not, I might even say, showing ignorance—as to what is the exact position of local authorities as regards recreation grounds in connection with rating. I am in a position to assure the hon. Baronet and his Friends that they need have no apprehension as to the case which they have put forward. There was an important case in the Courts dealing with this subject—the Brockwell Park case, Lambeth Overseers v. London County Council. If the hon. Baronet will refer to the law as it at present exists in regard to this matter, I think he will find that he need have no fear at all, because land in the possession of local authorities and used by them for recreation grounds is entirely exempted from rates.
§ Mr. HARRIS
May I say that when I moved the Amendment I was quite aware of that fact, and I was not referring to local authorities, because I never mentioned local authorities' recreation grounds.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I think the Parliamentary Secretary has entirely missed the point. The point is that very few of these recreation fields exist at present, and we want these fields to come into existence in larger numbers. In this Amendment, we are suggesting that advances should be made to the local authorities in respect of the loss of rates which they will suffer should these grounds be brought into existence.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I think that when the hon. Baronet refers to his speech tomorrow morning he will find that I have fairly answered the case which he has put this afternoon and that I have removed any anxiety which he may feel. So far as local authorities who acquire land for this purpose are concerned, they will not be troubled in any way in regard to rating. May I remind the Committee that the decision in the Brockwell Park case was followed in a Manchester case, Mayor, etc., of Manchester v. Chorlton Union. When this case was discussed in the Courts, it was found that land acquired by local authorities for the purpose of recreation grounds was exempted from rates as in the case of Brockwell Park. There was another similar decision in Liverpool, in which the Liverpool Corporation were concerned. Again, in that case the decision in regard to the Brock-well Park case was followed. There need be no anxiety about the children of the poor working-class family who would suffer if relief were given to the industries of the country. Let hon. Members opposite have no anxiety about the poor child who belongs to the working-class family not having a public park in which to play. As a matter of fact, I think that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) gave his case away in his concluding observations.
While I have endeavoured seriously to answer the arguments this afternoon, it must be borne in upon every Member of the Committee that such a proposal as is indicated in this Amendment is quite foreign to this Bill. This Bill is designed to assist productive industries and to diminish unemployment, and to bring forward a proposal of this kind, of the nature and with the object indicated by the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs, is quite outside the scope of the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman is supposed to be a. great master of political tactics up and down the country. He has indicated to the Committee quite clearly, so far as is possible, in his concluding observations, that the whole object of this Amendment and of the 14 other Amendments put down on the Paper by the Members of the Liberal party is to enable them to say when they go to the country, or to some afternoon fete or something of that kind: "We proposed that all the 1626 hospitals should be exempted; we proposed that all the cemeteries should be exempted"—
§ Sir K. WOOD
I will conclude by saying that when they go to some afternoon fete the Members of the Liberal party will say: "We proposed that your public recreation ground should be exempted from rates, and the wicked Government and their supporters voted it down." [Interruption.] The right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs and his Friends hope to ride back to power on tactic: like that. That will not do. I advise hon. Members opposite not to be led away by these Amendments of the Liberal party, who are present this afternoon in such large numbers. At first, I wondered why eight or nine Members of the Liberal party were present, but now I understand. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs has given away his secret, and I ask this Committee—and in my request I include Members of the Labour party—to reject this Amendment.
§ Mr. RITSON
All this mental activity by the Parliamentary Secretary will not reassure the miners. As the Member for Doncaster (Mr. Paling) pointed out, for years and years in the mining areas we have suffered from the lack of recreation grounds. As a result of the Sankey Commission we are now beginning to get these things under weigh, and we are spending a considerable amount of money. We are anxious to get these things going, and I am sure that if the right hon. Gentleman could see the children in the colliery villages enjoying these recreation grounds, which they have never had before, he would only be too anxious to relieve these grounds from any rates. But there is another side of the matter, quite apart from the point of view of the children. There is also the question of the mothers who never had an opportunity, until the welfare movement came into being, of enjoying these recreation fields, and of sitting in them and seeing their children playing in them. Apart from any physical advantages, there is the question of the health of the children. While I am not going to intervene between more expert authorities, but as a simple miner I would say that we value 1627 this new factor in the miners' life so much that we are making a direct appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to consider the position so far as we are concerned. Take the case of Durham. Durham, as hon. Members know, is nearly bankrupt. How are we to meet the cost of these new institutions unless we get some relief? I make my last appeal to the right hon. Gentleman. I am not allowing the dancing lesson given by him to blind me to the facts. I make an earnest appeal to the Government to give us some comfort in Durham, and to let the children have open air and recreation grounds which we have supplied at the cost one penny per ton, and I ask him to give us what relief he can to carry out that task.
§ Mr. BRIANT
We always admire the speeches of my right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, and we always admire his eloquence, but I want to point out that I think he has misunderstood, or misrepresented, the object of the Amendment. There are many local authorities who are careful about rates, and careful about nothing else. If you tell them that by buying a certain field of six or 10 or 20 acres for recreation purposes they are going to lose the rates which at present they get for that land, they will not buy it, but, if you assure them that there will be no loss of rates to them, then that particular local authority will be much more likely to purchase that land. There are a great many enlightened and successful businesses. I may say that most successful businesses are enlightened. In many cases, towns have been built up around some of these huge businesses, and the heads of the businesses have been enlightened enough to recognise their moral responsibility to the people who work for them and on whom they are dependent for their success. Many of them provide open spaces for their staffs, not under the local authorities at all, and they provide them for the people working in the immediate neighbourhood. Take the cases of Port Sunlight, of Bourneville, and other places. These large firms are highly successful, and I would not give them a penny of relief in the way of rates. They are doing extremely well now, and they do not want assistance, particularly assistance from the ordinary petrol user, whether 1628 he owns a cab, or a motor trolley, or anything else. They have placed a large amount of ground at the disposal of the people living in their district. They should be given credit for that, and they should be encouraged. They have recognised their duty to the people who live and work for them. If this Amendment were carried, it would give encouragement to other less enlightened firms to follow suit.
People often point to the case of the child born in the slums, and it has been said that it is only the fool who wonders but that the wise man asks why, and everybody knows that there is no more original sin in the child who is born in the slums than the child who is born elsewhere. The reason why he may not be so healthy as other children is because he may not have any opportunity for reasonable recreation. By this Amendment, you would encourage big firms to realise what they owe to the people living in their district; you would encourage them to realise that they owe something to the people who work for them. If the Committee passes the Amendment, they will be doing something to produce a better state of things among the two classes of people whom hon. Members are always saying should be brought into closer relationship; the employer and the employé. Surely, it is only reasonable that before we proceed to give large sums of money to the rich who do not want them, we should encourage these big firms to be generous to those on whom they depend. If the right hon. Gentleman cannot accept this Amendment, could he not forecast the introduction of some legislation which would give us that which we require?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
I want to go back to the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman a few moments ago, when he told us that, by a certain Act of Parliament, recreation grounds were not assessable for rates. In the general summary, issued by the United Kingdom Alliance, of rates levied in England and Wales in 1927, they state that the total rates levied onland (not elsewhere included) separately assessed, including woodlands, parks, sports grounds, and rights of sportingamount to £912,000 per annum. Would the right hon. Gentleman tell use exactly what proportion of that applies to 1629 recreation grounds? If be would, we should know how far we ought to go with him in the matter.
The right hon. Gentleman, with his usual facility, avoided the miners' welfare schemes where, possibly, £10,000, £15,000 or £20,000 have been spent on bowling greens, roundabouts and so forth. He did not tell us that these are not rated. Had he done so, we should have recalled to his mind the Government White Paper in which we have instance after instance of mining villages where previous to the Sankey Commission and the Housing Act of 1919, which lent itself to the extension of recreation grounds, local authorities in various districts were actually engaged in building houses, there were no rates for recreation grounds. Unfortunately, there were few recreation grounds in mining villages, but wherever we have established miners' welfare schemes, as a result of the Sankey Commission and expended the few thousands of pounds available for that purpose in providing outdoor recreation facilities, we have found that the rate has followed automatically. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the Committee that that is the wrong policy for local authorities to pursue and that if the local authorities desire, they have no need to rate miners' welfare schemes?
Will he tell us that miners' welfare schemes are not assessable to rates? The right hon. Gentleman does not seem disposed to reply. Therefore we must conclude that while the Minister of Health and the Parliamentary Secretary were yesterday talking about differentiations that would accrue if a certain Amendment had been accepted, they are sitting calmly and callously this afternoon and supporting a Bill which has for its purpose the causing of 100 per cent. of rates to be paid on a public recreation ground, while at the same time they are going to relieve the recreation grounds of the great industrial concerns of three-fourths of the charge for rates. Will he deny that? Will he deny, for instance, that at Port Sunlight, a great productive industry, he is going to concede to them 75 per cent. of their rates in the future and that unless their recreation grounds and other hereditaments exceed 10 per cent. of the whole, the recreation grounds will be exempt almost from any rates? 1630 What does the right hon. Gentleman imagine shat the miners who live in the mining areas and the other residents in the mining areas, because there are many people besides miners who live there, will think about the differentiation in the Government's proposals? It is true that the right hon. Gentleman can visualise the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) going about the country and talking about the differentiations, but he cannot dispose of them, or he will not dispose of them this afternoon, unless he is willing to accept this Amendment or to intimate what he is willing to do.
The right hon. Gentleman must know that the Sankey Commission was an indictment against those who had been in charge of many districts all over the country, with regard to social amenities in the average mining village. The Government of 1919, with their Housing Act, lent themselves as far as they could to encourage the local authorities to build houses and to set apart land for recreation in the neighbourhood. Those recreation grounds in some cases have been established, or on the land so made available for recreation purposes, miners' welfare funds have been expended, and now the local authorities come along and say: "You must pay rates, because you have made a recreation ground for your children." It seems to me that while the Government are willing to relieve the sporting grounds of the wealthy sections of the community whose land is only partially cultivated and partially maintained for shooting purposes, they ought not to hesitate to relieve public recreation grounds on the lines indicated by this Amendment.
I have a very definite and clear recollection of what has happened in my own district, where we have set aside 25 acres of land. We have spent approximately £18,000 on this welfare scheme. Arrangements have been made for juvenile sandpits, swings for children, bowling greens and tennis courts to divert young men from the public houses and places, where some people think they ought not to go, to healthy outdoor recreation. We have provided a cricket field, which requires maintenance, a football field and so forth, and having done so we have been called upon to pay a certain amount in rates, while three- 1631 quarters of a mile away there is a huge landowner who has plently of woodland and pasture land, and the woodland which is maintained by a colliery company for the exclusive luxury of the officials during the shooting period, is to be de-rated under the terms of this Bill. The sport and recreation of the wealthy is to be de-rated, while the recreations of the poor miserable wretches who have had no recreation, or scarcely know the meaning of recreation, are not to get a look in under the Bill.
Here is an opportunity for the Government to do something. Although it is something separate and apart from the original intention and purposes of a Bill for relieving productive industries—one is obliged to make that confession—it is one of those things to which the right hon. Gentleman could apply himself, in order to mete out some sort of equity so far as recreation facilities are concerned and let the people outside see that, so far as they can, the Government are anxious to do the right thing where healthy sport and recreation is concerned, and that they will never put rates upon public playing grounds while they are willing to relieve from rates the big industrial concerns who provide recreation grounds for their employés. When there is relief to be given, it ought to be as equitable as man can make it. I ask the Minister of Health to re-examine this problem and see whether he cannot in mining and other districts do for the residents what he is doing for the sporting public in other parts of the country.
§ Mr. THURTLE
I support the Amendment and I regret the very flippant note adopted by the Parliamentary Secretary in dealing with the matter. I am not concerned about his accusation that the Liberal party is attempting to indulge in some kind of electioneering stunt. That may or may not be true. The Labour party is not concerned in such matters. Happily, it is the practice of our party to consider questions on their merits and to ignore any electioneering considerations. I am disappointed with the Minister of Health. There is a suspicion abroad, which I think is unjustified, that the Minister of Health is an administrator of the somewhat hard and callous type that he has not only a grain of iron, but a heart of iron also. I have 1632 never been able to induce myself to subscribe wholly to that view. I thought he had a tender spot for the children of this country and therefore it was the more surprising to me when I heard him say that he could not accept this Amendment.
Although I come from a very overcrowded district where children, youths, and adults have hardly any space where they can play, I do not wish to argue this case on the ground of the need of children and growing lads for recreation. I want to look at it from a broader standpoint and to consider it in its relation to efficiency in industry, because I think it can be justified even on that ground. I am not an expert in regard to business efficiency, but I do know that very valuable statistics have been produced from time to time showing what an immense loss industry suffers from intermittent ill-health among the workpeople. It has been demonstrated by people who have gone into the subject that the efficiency of many businesses is very seriously imparied owing to the fact that the employés in it frequently suffer from ill-health. It cannot be gainsaid that, other things being equal, the lad or youth or the man who indulges in recreation of some kind is much more likely to remain healthy and efficient than the man or the lad who does not indulge in such recreation. Therefore on that account a case can be made out for this Amendment.
A suggestion was made quite recently, and I say this by way of illustration only, that the efficiency of this House was not what might be desired; that Members were lethargic, somnolent and generally inefficient. That was attributed to the fact that the Members of this House lack physical exercise. I do not know how much truth there may he in that accusation, but even supposing there was a small amount of truth in it, it is an astonishing fact that a charge like that could be justly levelled against Members of this House most of whom are much more fortunately placed than the working class. They have opportunities of indulging in golf, tennis and other recreations which are denied to the ordinary worker. The ordinary working man in the great industrial centres because of the lack of recreation grounds is not able to indulge in these health-giving recreations, 1633 and the consequence must be that his efficiency as a unit in the industrial machine is thereby impaired.
If by means of this Amendment more recreational facilities could be provided for the growing lads and workers in industry, surely it is reasonable to argue that we should thereby be promoting the efficiency of industry and should be tending towards that recovery of trade which is desired by the whole House. I would not stand here to argue this case if I felt that the country could not afford it. If it were a fact that the money was not available for this purpose, I would not make the appeal, but it is an undoubted fact that the money will be available,
§ and even if we have to take a little money away from the brewers in order to provide recreational facilities for the mass of workers, we are entitled to do it. I do hope that, after further consideration, and having regard to the new facts which have been brought to his notice, the Minister of Health will reconsider the matter and accept the Amendment.
§ 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, 219; Noes, 137.1635
|Division No. 172.]||AYES.||[5.30 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Dalkeith, Earl of||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Albery, Irving James||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen't)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Davies, Dr. Vernon||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Astbury, Lieut. Commander F. W.||Drewe, C.||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Eden, Captain Anthony||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||England, Colonel A.||Loder, J. de V.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Erskine, Lord (Somerset,Weston-S. M.)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vers|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H,||Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth||Luce,Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Lumley, L. R.|
|BelIairs, Commander Carlyon||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Lynn, Sir R. J.|
|Benn, Sir A, S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Faille, Sir Bertram G.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Berry, Sir George||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Fermoy, Lord||McLean, Major A.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Fielden, E. B.||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Finburgh, S.||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||MacRobert, Alexander M.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Fraser, Captain Ian||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Gates, Percy||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Meller, R. J.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Gower, Sir Robert||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Grotrian, H. Brent||Mitchell, S, (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Buchan, John||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hacking, Douglas H.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Burman, J. B.||Hamilton, Sir George||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Hanbury, C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Harmon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Newton, Sir D. G. C, (Cambridge)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Harland, A.||Nicholson, Col. Rt.Hn. W.G.(Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hartington, Marquess of||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Haslam, Henry C.||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Alton)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Oakley, T.|
|Chamberlain, Rt.Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd,Henley)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Charterls, Brigadier-General J.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Penny, Frederick George|
|Christle, J. A.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Perring, Sir William George|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Holbrook. Sir Arthur Richard||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hope, sir Harry (Forfar)||power, Sir John Cecil|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng Universities)||Radford, E. A.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Ralne, Sir Walter|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Ramsden, E.|
|Couper, J. B.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Rawson, Sir cooper|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'r)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hume-Williams, sir W. Ellis||Remer, J. R.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Hunt, Percy A.||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hurst, Gerald B.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Sprot, Sir Alexander||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Robinson, Sir T, (Lanes., Stretford)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Wells, S. R.|
|Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Storry-Deans, R.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Streatfield, Captain s. R.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Rye, F. G.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Salmon, Major I.||Tasker, R. Inigo.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Sandeman, N. Stewart||Thomson, F. C (Aberdeen, South)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Sanderson, Sir Frank||Tinne, J. A.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Savery, S. S.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough||Womersley, W. J.|
|Shaw, Lt.-Col.A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)||Vaughan-M organ, Col. K. P.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Waddington, R.||Wood, E.(Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Shepperson, E. W.||Wallace, Captain D. E.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Skelton, A. N.||Ward, Lt.-Col.A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Water house, Captain Charles|
|Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Watts, Sir Thomas||Maior the Marquess of Titchfield|
|and Sir Victor Warrender.|
|Adatnson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hardle, George D.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Harney, E. A.||Scurr, John|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hlilsbro')||Hayday, Arthur||Sexton, James|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hayes, John Henry||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Attles, Clement Richard||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Hirst, G. H.||Shinwell, E.|
|Baker, Walter||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hollins, A.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Barnes, A.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Barr, J.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Briant, Frank||Kelly, W. T.||Snell, Harry|
|Bromfield, William||Kennedy, T.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bromley, J.||Kirkwood, D.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Lawrence, Susan||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Lawson, John James||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Buchanan, G.||Lee, F.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Lindley, F. W.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cape, Thomas||Lunn, William||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Charleton, H. C.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon.J. R.(Aberavon)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Mackinder, W.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Compton, Joseph||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Connolly, M.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cove, W. G.||March, S.||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Maxton, James||Townend, A. E.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Varley, Frank S.|
|Day, Harry||Montague, Frederick||Vlant, S. P.|
|Dennlson, R.||Morrison, R. c. (Tottenham. N.)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dunnico, H.||Murnin, H.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Naylor, T. E.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Oliver, George Harold||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Palin, John Henry||Westwood, J.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Paling, W.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Whiteley, W.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|GilIett, George M.||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gosling, Harry||Potts, John S.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Purcell, A. A.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenall, T.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colns)||Ritson, J.||Windsor, Walter|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)||Wright, W.|
|Groves, T.||Rose, Frank H.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Runciman, Hilda (Cornwall,St.Ives)|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Mr. Fenby and Mr. Percy Harris.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
§ Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted."1636
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 140; Noes, 221.1639
|Division No. 173.]||AYES.||[5.38 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Barnes, A.||Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Barr. J.||Buchanan, G|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hilisbro')||Batey, Joseph||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel|
|Ammon, Charles George||Bondfield, Margaret||Cape, Thomas|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Briant, Frank||Charleton, H. C.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Bromfield, William||Cluse, W. S.|
|Baker, Walter||Bromley, J.||Compton, Joseph|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Connolly, M.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lawson, John James||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lee, F.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lindley, F. W.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Day, Harry||Lunn, William||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Donnison, R.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Smith, Rennle (Penistone)|
|Dunnico, H.||Mackinder, W.||Snell, Harry|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||MacLaran, Andrew||Snowdan, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Stamford, T. W.|
|England, Colonel A.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||March, S.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Maxton, James||Strauss, E. A.|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Montague, Frederick||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Gillett, George M.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Gosling, Harry||Murnin, H.||Thorne, W. (West Ham Plaistow)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin.,Cent.)||Naylor, T. E.||T hurtle, Ernest|
|Greenall, T.||Oliver. George Harold||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Palln, John Henry||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Paling, W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Groves, T.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Varley, Frank B.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Viant, S. P.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Portsonby, Arthur||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermllns)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Potts, John S.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Purcell, A. A.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah|
|Hardle, George D.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Harney, E. A.||Ritson, J.||Westwood, J.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Robinson, Sir T. (Lane, Stretford)||Whiteley, w.|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Rose, Frank H.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Hirst, G. H.||Runciman, Hilda (Cornwall, St. Ives)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Hirst W. (Bradford, South)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanellyl|
|Hollins, A.||Sakiatvala, Shapurji||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Scrymgeour, E.||Windsor, Walter|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Scurr, John||Wright, W|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Sexton, James||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Kelly, W. T.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Kennedy, T.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Kirkwood, D.||Shinwell, E.||Mr. Fenby and Mr. Percy Harris.|
|Lawrence, Susan||Short, Alfred (Wednesday)|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.|
|Albery, Irving James||Chllcott, Sir Warden||Goff, Sir Park|
|Alexander, E. E, (Leyton)||Christle, J. A.||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Amory, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Clarry, Reginald George||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Grotrlan, H. Brent|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Colffox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hacking, Douglas H.|
|Astor, Viscountess||Colman, N. C. D.||Hamilton, Sir George|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hanbury, C.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cooper, A. Duff||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Cope, Major Sir William||Harland, A.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Couper, J. B.||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Bann, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Headlam, Lieut-Colonel C. M.|
|Berry, sir George||Crooka, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Henderson, capt. R. R.(Oxf'd,Henley)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Curzen, Captain Viscount||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Dalkeith, Earl of||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur p.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Hoare. Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Braithwalte, Major A. N.||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Drewn, C.||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Brown, Col D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Fairfax, Captain J. G||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis|
|Buchan, John||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Buckingham, sir H.||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Burman, J. B.||Fermoy, Lord||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D.||Fielden, E. B.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Can'l)|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Finburgh, S.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Campbell, E. T.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Kindersley, Major Guy M.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Caynr,Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (prtsmth,S.)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon, Sir Philip|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Ganzoni, Sir John||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Gates, Percy||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey|
|Loder, J. de V.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Lucas-Tooth, sir Hugh vere||Pllditch, Sir Philip||Tasker, R. Inigo|
|Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Power, Sir John Cecil||Thomson, F. c. (Aberdeen, S.)|
|Lumley, L. R.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Lynn, Sir R. J.||Radford, E. A||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Raine, Sir Walter||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Ramsden, E.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|McLean, Major A.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Waddington, R.|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Remer, J. R.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Rentoul, G. s.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Rye, F. G.||Wells, S. R.|
|Meller, R. J.||Salmon, Major I.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Savery, S. S.||Windsor-Clive. Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com, Rt. Hon. B. M.||Shaw, Lt.-Col.A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Shepperson, E. W.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Skelton, A. N.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Newton, Sir 0. G. C. (Cambridge)||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W.G.(Ptrsf'ld.)j||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Nuttall, Ellis||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Oakley, T.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Penny, Frederick George||Storry-Deans, R.||Major the Marquess of Titchfield|
|Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Streatfelld, Captain S. R.||and Captain Wallace.|
|Perring, Sir William George||Styles, Captain H. W.|
§ The following Amendments stood upon the Order Paper:
In page 1, line 14, at the end, to insert the words:
(v) educational hereditaments."—[Mr. Harris.]
§ In page 1, line 17, to leave out the word "prescribed."—[Mr. Harney.]
In page 1, line 18, at the end, to insert the words:
Provided that for the purposes of the apportionment of the net annual values of agricultural hereditaments required by this Act, the apportionment of the net annual values of the farm house, farm buildings, and cottages comprised in such hereditaments shall, so long as they are used only for the cultivation of the land and as from the date when paragraph (c) of Section five (Separate statement in valuation lists, etc., of value of agricultural land) of the Agricultural Rates Act, 1896, shall cease to have effect, be calculated on the rent at which they could be expected to let to a tenant from year to year if they could only be so used."—[Captain Bourne.]
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 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."—[Mr. Scurr.]
In page 1, line 18, at the end, to insert the words:
(2) Where any property is comprised in more than one hereditament not being hereditaments wholly situate in one parish the net annual value of the said property shall be aggregated in the manner prescribed in this Act.
§ (3) Where any property is comprised in more than one hereditament not being hereditaments wholly situate in one parish (that is to say):—
- (i) Where the hereditaments are situate in two or more parishes within the area of one rating authority; or
- (ii) Where the hereditaments are situate in two or more parishes within the areas of different rating authorities; or
- (iii) Where the hereditaments are situate within two or more parishes in the areas of different assessment committees; or
- (iv) Where the hereditaments are situate in two or more parishes which lie in the areas of different administrative counties or in the areas of different county boroughs or in the areas of different administrative counties or county boroughs;
- (i) where the hereditaments are situate in one or more parishes within the area of one rating authority, by the rating authority; and
- (ii) where the herrditaments are situate in two or more parishes within the areas of different rating authorities, by the assessment committee; and
- (iii) where the hereditaments are situate within two or more parishes in the areas of different assessment committees, by the county valuation committee; and
- (iv) where the hereditament are situate in two or more parishes which lie in the areas of different administrative counties or in the areas of different county boroughs or in the areas of different administrative counties or county boroughs, by the Central Valuation Committee."—[Mr. Harney.]
§ The CHAIRMAN
The two Amendments in the name of the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) and the hon. and learned Member for South Shields (Mr. Harney) raise a matter which should properly be dealt with on Clause 10. The Amendment in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Oxford (Captain Bourne) might come in—I am not sure whether it can—at the end of Clause 2, but it cannot come in here. The Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. Scurr) is consequential on a proposal that was defeated yesterday. The last Amendment in the name of the hon. and learned Member for South. Shields is outside the scope of the Bill.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
It will be remembered that the House agreed yesterday, when we entered upon the Committee stage of this Bill, that the discussion upon the specific Amendments should be confined to points that were raised by those Amendments. Your frequent intervention in the Debate, Mr. Chairman, has shown the difficulty that many hon. Members have had in conforming rigidly to that agreement. But it was also agreed that the discussion on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," should be of a more general character. The Amendments which we have moved have all been put forward with one purpose. We might, perhaps, be charged with inconsistency, that our Amendments were not quite in harmony with our general opposition to the Bill. A charge of that sort could not be substantiated. Realising as we do that the Government are determined to spend this money and to spend it upon the general plan which they have put forward, the purpose of our Amendments has been to try to secure that the available funds 1642 should be spent where they were most likely to do the largest amount of good.
The Ministers in charge of the Bill have repeatedly stated that the purpose of this scheme is to stimulate depressed industries and to increase employment. All our Amendments have had the object of securing that the money should be devoted to the purpose of stimulating industries which are depressed. I know that the rather flippant Parliamentary Secretary advanced the curious argument in one of his speeches yesterday that money spent by way of relief of prosperous industries was just as likely to increase employment as money devoted by way of rate relief to industries which are depressed. I think the Parliamentary Secretary, in spite of the great fertility of his imagination, would find it very difficult indeed to give any reason in support of that statement. The industries which are prosperous need no further stimulus. As one of my right hon. Friends pointed out, the profits they were making were a sufficient stimulus, to which no relief of rates could possibly add any greater strength.
The claim of the Government for this Measure is that the rating relief will give a stimulus to the depressed industries and thereby increase the volume of employment. Yesterday afternoon we had a Debate upon an Amendment which proposed that the funds available should be limited to giving assistance in what are called necessitous areas. There are some things that it is very difficult to define, and yet you know them when you see them. I think that we all have a more or less clear idea in our minds of what we mean when we talk about a necessitous area. Perhaps even the Minister of Health would not object to this as a rough-and-ready definition: A necessitous area might be defined as one where the rates were abnormally high on account of exceptional demands for Poor Law relief. Indeed, this question of what is called the burden of rates has become pressing, not because of the burden of rates in every rating authority in the country, but because of the abnormally high rates in particular districts.
On the Second Reading of the Bill I gave figures which showed that the increase in rates since 1920 was almost wholly accounted for by the increase in 1643 the poor rates. Therefore, it seems to us that the problem that the Government had to deal with was the problem of meeting the needs of those areas where, owing to abnormal unemployment resulting from the depression, not of all industries but of certain industries in the area—the problem was to give assistance in those areas. All our Amendments have dealt with the problem from that point of view, namely, so to distribute the relief at the disposal of the Government that it would, if it is to do any benefit at all, do the largest amount of good by going to those industries which needed relief. Our Amendments have not met with the favour of the Ministers in charge of the Bill. The Minister of Health has spoken very briefly when he has spoken at all. The Parliamentary Secretary has spoken at much greater length, but the pertinence of his observations has been in very small measure by comparison with the length of his observations.
I can understand why the Minister of Health has treated all our Amendments in such a cursory way. I cannot believe that the Minister is very much in love with this scheme. I can very well believe that he is anxious to get it out of the way as quickly as possible, especially before the scheme is more fully understood in the country. The right hon. Gentleman received this morning a letter from the Association of Municipal Corporations—a letter which contained a strong rebuke of him for the way in which this part of the scheme has been presented in the House of Commons. The Municipal Corporations complain that they were never consulted, that no draft scheme had been submitted for their observations, with the result that they are unable to understand a good many of the proposals in the Bill. They are asking the right hon. Gentleman to meet them so as to see whether he can throw any light upon their perplexities. They complain also about this Bill being discussed in this House in the absence of the memorandum which has been promised before the end of this month, and they especially complain about the short time that has elapsed between the Second Reading and the Committee stage of the Bill. They complain that the time has been far too short for the 1644 Association of Municipal Corporations fully to consider the various points of the Bill. I can quite understand why the right hon. Gentleman is so anxious to get forward with the Bill.
The Clause which we are now asked to approve is, of course, the most important Clause of the Bill. If we pass the Clause we are committed, not merely to the purpose which the machinery proposed in the Bill is intended to serve, but we are committed generally, if not in detail, to all the parts of the Bill which follow. Therefore, we are justified, on this Clause, in discussing not merely the question of re-valuation of property to be divided under the three heads which are set down in the Clause, but we are entitled to discuss the purpose for which this machinery is being created. I know that both the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary dissented from that yesterday, and tried to limit the discussion to what I might describe as the mere object of the Clause. The Parliamentary Secretary said more than once, and I believe the Minister of Health said something of the same sort, that they were not concerned at all in this Clause with necessitous areas. submit that we are very much concerned with this question, because it is no use approving of expensive machinery for a re-valuation and a revision of the valuation list, unless we approve of the purpose for which that machinery is going to be created, and for which that expenditure is going to be incurred. I repeat that all the Amendments which we have moved to this Clause have been for the purpose of securing the allocation of this amount of money in a way which, we think, will serve trade and industry much more beneficially than spreading it over the whole of productive industry in the way proposed by the Government. We shall have other opportunities, during the Committee stage of this Bill, of dealing with the difficulties of valuation which are inherent in and inseparable from such a division as is proposed in this Clause. The question of industrial hereditaments is defined much more fully in Clause 3 of the Bill and certain Amendments which were put down to Clause I have been—I think quite properly—postponed for fuller consideration until we get to Clause 3.
1645 I would like, before sitting down, to say a few words—and I think I shall not be out of order in doing so—in reply to a statement which has often been made during the last fortnight. It was made by the right hon. Gentleman the Parliamentary Secretary and by the Prime Minister on Saturday, in regard to a statement made by me on the Second Reading of the Bill. That statement of mine has never been correctly repeated by any of those who have criticised it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his character of a buffoon, made great play with it in the speech in which he concluded the Debate on the Second Reading of the Bill, attributing to me the phrase that "rates as such were not a burden." When did I say that rates as such were not a burden? Hon. Members should recollect that when they criticise, they ought to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the phrase which they are criticising. I never said that "rates as such were not a burden."
The Prime Minister went one better on Saturday and made it, "Rates do not matter anyway." This, he said, was what I had stated. When references to that observation have travelled a little further, my imagination is not competent to say what form it will assume. What did I say? That "rates as such do not matter"? No, what I said was that "rates in themselves are not a, burden." Is the Minister of Health prepared to say that that statement is not accurate? I know the right hon. Gentleman will not say that rates which are a payment for services rendered are a burden, either on the community or on industry, provided—as I went on to say—that the incidence of the rates is just, and provided that those who get the benefit pay in proportion to the benefits received. What is wrong in our rating system to-day and what constitutes the burden is the fact that rates are not fairly levied and that different districts pay disproportionately. That is the very reason why we are anxious to confine the money that the Government have at their disposal to giving relief where the ratepayers are now paying a disproportionate amount of rates, and bearing an unfair burden of rates.
What will happen under the Government scheme? The Minister of Health replied to certain calculations, which I confess, myself, I did not altogether 1646 follow made by the hon. and learned Member for South Shields (Mr. Harney) yesterday. The hon. and learned Member, as Far as I could understand, said that when this relief was given there would still be a temptation or attraction for firms in heavily rated districts to migrate to districts where the rates were lower. This relief is not going to remove the present unfair disproportion of the rate burden borne in certain distressed areas, because of the fact that those areas have to bear the heavy cost of supporting a very large number of unemployed. I believe I can make my point clear by giving two concrete illustrations. Take the case of a mining district in South Wales where the rates are 30s. in the £ and take another district where the rates are 10s. in the and where the industries are prosperous. The industries in the area with the 30s. rate will get 22s. 6d. relief and their rates will then be 7s. 6d. The other district will get 7s. 6d. relief and their rates will then be 2s. 6d. Thus the prosperous areas, and the prosperous industries within the prosperous areas, will still have a great advantage over those depressed areas which it should be the object of the Government to relieve—and these, mark you, may be in competition with each other. If the rates in each of the districts were really payments for services received, there would be no complaint. There would be no complaint because in one district the rates were three time as high as in another district, if the industries in the more highly rated district were getting three times the benefit. But it is not so in this case. They are not getting three times the benefit. They are getting no greater benefit, and the difference between the 7s. 6d. and the 2s. 6d. which these districts would have to pay is solely accounted for by the fact that the still heavily rated district is bearing, locally, a burden which it ought not to bear, namely the burden of the support of the unemployed, which ought to be not a local but a national charge.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Will the right hon. Gentleman maintain that under his proposal the rates would be the same in the two districts?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I understood the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman to be that the Exchequer should take over the whole cost of relieving the able-bodied unemployed.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
At any rate it is very likely that the rates would do the same. Supposing, in the area which I have assumed, where the rate would be 7s. 6d., that 5s. of that rate is accounted for by poor rate or that part of poor rate which goes in poor relief, then of course you would get equality of rates. These are the reasons why we have moved Amendments to this Clause which of course have not been accepted. I am now asking the Committee not to include this Clause in the Bill, but I confess I have no great hope of prevailing on the Committee to accept our view. In the Debate which has just taken place charges were made that certain Amendments had been moved from this side simply for the sake of making party capital. We might easily retort to that charge with a great deal more ground and justification than there was for the statement that was thrown across the Floor at us. What is this Measure but a piece of electioneering window-dressing? It is not going to come into operation until after the next election. I can well understand that, because if ever it does come into operation, it will be found that the anomalies, injustices and unfairness which will be disclosed in the practical operation of the scheme, will cause a far greater sense of resentment than any gratitude which will be aroused among those who may receive some benefit from it.
§ Sir JOHN SIMON
The proposal before the Committee that this Clause should stand part of the Bill is the most important general question that can be debated on the Committee stage of this Measure. The Title of the Bill says that it is to make provision with a view to the grant of relief from rates in respect of certain classes of hereditaments. When one finds in the first and principal Clause of the Bill that it is proposed, in every valuation list, to distinguish: between agricultural hereditaments as a class and industrial hereditaments as a class, it is of course manifest, apart from the explanations which have been given on behalf of the Government, that what is intended is a grant of relief from rates 1648 to these classes of hereditaments as such. As the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) has just said, it is going to produce some manifest disparity of treatment as between very different degrees of need.
Take the agricultural hereditaments first. It is going to mean that the growers of beet sugar in this country who, up to the present, have received, I think, something like £11,000,000 of public money and who, before the scheme is finished, are going to receive something like £20,000,000, are now going to have applied to them, in the name of the relief of agriculture, a system which is justified as far as agriculture is concerned by calling attention to the depression in other parts of agriculture. I have no doubt that other instances could be given. Take hops. The House of Commons has granted an import duty on hops, and whatever else may be said, those who are interested in growing hops in this country thereby conceive themselves to be benefited. It is not enough to give a particular branch of the industry of agriculture protection, but this Bill is preparing the way to treat these persons in exactly the same manner in which it proposes to treat the most depressed individuals in the trade. I am very far from saying that you should make a choice between individuals. One of the gravest of the errors committed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he attempted to discuss some critics of his proposal before he ever heard what they had to say, was that he said that he thought he was recommended to make a choice between individuals. The question is not one of picking and choosing between individuals, but whether it really is the right method on which to proceed, with a view to the granting of relief from rates, to make lists of persons who are occupiers of hereditaments of a certain sort, or whether the true and scientific method is not rather to analyse and to classify the different areas of this country which are bearing such a very different proportion of the burdens of the rates. The issue is an issue between industrial classification according to industries and classification according to services and areas, not an issue between putting ail individuals of a particular sort on to the free list and attempting to be invidious.
1649 Industrial hereditaments are a 'still more obvious case. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Health have vigorously insisted that, notwithstanding the scheme which this Clause invites us to adopt, the great mass of the relief which is in contemplation will go, in the case of industrial hereditaments, to those who are most hardly pressed. In matters of this sort I am not a very obstinate man; I take a real interest in having things proved to me, and I do not know that anybody need get very hot about it, but a legend is growing up, which is, first of all, a legend sought to be established in this House, and then given the further authority of the Prime Minister's support in Scotland last Saturday, that the Government have demonstrated that their scheme does not unduly favour the prosperous. A process of demonstration is not a process of assertion, not even of very confident and boisterous assertion. It is a process of proof. I am sorry to be among the sceptics, but up to the present, with the best will in the world to follow the arguments for putting industrial hereditaments, as such, in the list to be relieved, I am quite unable to see that the alleged proof has been given. Part of the proof which apparently attracts some minds most is one of the most obscure. We were favoured the other day with some very interesting figures, which gave the ratio between the rates that were paid and the profits that were made by various groups of industry, and this was not, indeed, the sole, but a very important part of the alleged proof. With a sincere desire to be corrected, it is very difficult to my mind to understand how the ratio of rates paid to profits made can possibly be a legitimate, or indeed an intelligible means, of discovering how a particular industry is depressed. How can it be?
The rates, it is true, are an outgoing and at times a serious outgoing, which have to be met before you can arrive at your figure of profit, if indeed you make any, but does anybody say that of two firms, otherwise in the same position, one of them is twice as prosperous as the other because one pays twice as much in rates as the other? Of course they are not. If the Army and Navy Stores and John Barker's have both got the same capital, and both make, in a given 1650 year, the same profits after paying rates, and if it happened that the rates in Kensington were only half the rates of Westminster, can anybody say we must class the one establishment as being twice as depressed as the other? It is a perfectly meaningless use of a ratio. A ratio is a very dangerous thing to use, because it is nothing more than a vulgar fraction, and if you make calculations on this basis, there is a double chance of error. Every error counts two on a division. With every desire to be instructed, I have not the vaguest notion why you should be supposed to be able to make a list of the depressed trades by producing ratios which show that a group of certain trades pay as much as 20 per cent., whereas another pays as much as 7 per cent. of its profits in rates. It does not, as a matter of fact, pay any portion of its profits in rates. It pays its rates before it makes its profits. What will the ratio be if there are no profits at all? One is carried away by the tempestuous fervour of the Chancellor's rhetoric on these occasions, and all we can do for the time being is to blink.
Another thing that is urged in justification of this plan of putting all industrial hereditaments together is this. We were told, as a second step in the argument, something which is really not a second step, but an independent proposition which is not deduced from the first at all. The trades which were to be listed as depressed included, I may observe, bleaching and dying, but I know some people in the textile trade who would not have said that bleaching and dyeing were so very depressed; they also included, I think, the metals; if that means the non-ferrous metals, some people think that they are not depressed. It included these, and the result is that the Chancellor has something locked up in his breast, which we shall have in a White Paper, which shows that, of 15 selected groups, only £5,500,000 was to go to nine and that the six that deserved it most wore to get a much larger figure —a figure, I think, of £14,500,000. That is supposed to show that this method of proceeding by conferring the same kind of relief, en a common formula, to every hereditament in the industrial hereditament list, is a sound method. Is it? To begin with, it seems a serious thing that 1651 £5,500,000 should be admittedly going to the groups which, upon the whole, are prospering. It is true, no doubt, to say that there are depressed individuals and firms among them, but the Government, whatever else it does, begins by saying, "Here is £5,500,000 for people who do not satisfy the very test which we are setting up for the purpose of showing what a good scheme our scheme is." Then, says the Chancellor, who is accustomed to deal with large figures, "After all, what is £5,500,000, as compared with the £14,500,000 which we are going to give to the really deserving and depressed?"
I notice that in order to make up his total he has counted in it the £4,500,000 which is going to the railway companies as an inducement to them to reduce freights. It is quite true, no doubt, that the proposal to reduce railway freights on certain articles of transport will mainly benefit the heavy trades. It will not benefit them entirely. Every manufacturer in this country will benefit if coal becomes cheaper because it is cheaper to transport. Every householder will benefit. Therefore, it is not true that the railway relief is properly to be regarded as simply on one side of the account. There is a much more serious objection. It is illegitimate to bring the railway relief into this calculation because the challenge is as to direct rating relief and the use of public money in order to take the place of local rates, not of railway freights. If you take out that £4,500,000 of railway money, you have really got £10,000,000. The Chancellor has insisted that it is not enough to say, "Here are these depressed groups, iron, steel, cotton, bleaching and so on; it is not enough to do that, but you must look inside the groups and recognise that within each group there will be a portion of the group which is not a fair specimen of the whole, because it will be a prosperous member of a generally depressed group."
I believe that the only other information that the House of Commons has been given, besides the rather curious assortment of ratios which the Chancellor of the Exchequer produced, were figures given in answer to a question the other day by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade. If you combine these figures with what the Chancellor 1652 says you will find, unless my arithmetic has gone wrong, some curious results. This is the sort of contribution that the Chancellor made. He said that if you take the iron and steel trade, one-quarter of the rate relief will go to firms making four-fifths of the profits or again, in bleaching and dyeing, 56 per cent. of the relief goes to those firms making 85 per cent. of the profits. Do these interesting equations convey a very clear impression to the minds of ordinary persons? Lord Randolph Churchill expressed in language of considerable emphasis his great dislike of the system of decimals; I suppose that that is the reason why the present Chancellor of the Exchequer so much prefers these equations and ratios. What exact impression is intended to be conveyed to any human mind by saying that 56 per cent. of the rate relief in bleaching and dyeing goes to firms making 85 per cent. of the profits? What is it supposed to prove? Supposing, as a matter of fact, the firms making the profits in bleaching and dyeing are two or three very big combines, all this, translated into plain English, means that two or three big and successful combines in bleaching and dyeing are going to get the greater part of the rate relief. Fifty-six per cent. is more than one-half, so why was the Chancellor so unreasonably annoyed, or perhaps parliamentarily indignant, because someone said, "I am afraid that your scheme is going to give more relief to the people who are prosperous than to the people who are depressed." For it may be that in some of these instances that will really actually happen.
I might, perhaps, be allowed to point out that, if it turn out that a very large portion of this rate relief in industrial hereditaments really goes to the people who are not depressed, the explanation will be, "We see pictured before us all these great trades, these heavy industries struggling with the most tremendous burden of depression. What we do not observe with equal clearness, because they are not as prominent on the landscape, are the hundreds of thousands of smaller industrial concerns which, as a matter of fact will come into this relief, and in total and in mass are going to come to a perfectly enormous figure." Therefore, taking the figures which the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade gave, together with these rather curious 1653 equations of ratios which were the Chancellor of the Exchequer's contribution, you will find that out of this £10,000,000 something like £2,500,000 is, as a matter of fact, going to the more prosperous members of those depressed trades which are the justification for this scheme. If you add that £2,500,000 to the £5,500,000 given to the more prosperous groups, you find that whereas you give something like £8,000,000 to people who may be classed on the more prosperous side, you are giving only £7,500,000, more or less, to people on the depressed side.
If that, or anything like it, turns out to be the case, where shall we be in the face of all those confident assertions at Edinburgh and elsewhere that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, by some sudden revelation in the form of three or four ratios, has demonstrated that such a thing cannot be the result It appears to me that whether the balance over 50 per cent. be on one side or the other is comparatively unimportant, and I am perfectly willing to accept any rebuke which it is proper to administer because we have boldy suggested that the greater part of the relief will go where it was not wanted; but to take a more limited view, is it not at least right to say that a very substantial part of it is going there? Are not a great many Members in this House getting communications from all parts of the country pointing out that that is going to happen? Inside any given rating area that must be so. Take two cotton mills inside the same rating unit, so that the factor of the poundage does not make any difference one way or the other. If one of them is doing very well and the other is doing very badly, you will, as a matter of fact, confer upon the concern which is doing very well what you do not confer upon the concern which is doing very badly. It may be said that, in the same area, that is a difficulty which hardly any scheme can avoid. The right hon. Gentleman himself interrupted just now to ask the ex-Chancellor whether the Labour party's scheme would not still produce such inequalities. It is extremely difficult to think of a scheme that would not, because if you are going to give relief inside a particular area, the man who pays the larger sum in rates will, of course, get a bigger cheque than the man who pays the smaller amount.
1654 That is not a criticism of anybody's scheme, because it is in the nature of things, out it is not in the nature of things that you should make the whole country one area, and it is not in the nature of things to say:" I am not able to submit a plan by which I can find out which area is most heavily burdened with local rates and which is less, and that necessitous areas and non-necessitous areas must be treated as the same thing." While I do not claim to be too dogmatic or too precise in a matter where it must be admitted we have not at present got anything like enough information, I do most respectfully enter my emphatic protest against the tradition, the rumour, which is growing up, that owing to a most brilliant Parliamentary exercise by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the Second Reading of the Finance Bill no one need any longer doubt that this scheme is going to give relief where it is most needed. That it will relieve many people who need relief very much is not to be doubted, but from such examination as I can give to this odd assortment of ratios it does appear to me that the figures given to us go to show that of the total sum of money to be disposed of, a very substantial portion—be it more or less than half does not matter—must go in directions which certainly cannot be regarded as the quarters where the most need is felt. That is a very serious thing, and it is due simply and solely to the fact that in this scheme of using public funds for rating relief the Government have tied themselves up with this elaborate machine which it will take 18 months to erect.
The Prime Minister at Edinburgh on Saturday pointed out—and pointed out with the greatest candour and fairness—that it would be no good announcing more relief than the country found it possible to give, and that what the Government could do was necessarily limited to the resources at their command. That is perfectly true. Everybody ought to speak in that way, and one of the reasons why the Prime Minister is greatly admired is because he states those things with great bluntness and fairness. But then he went on to say that since the Government could not find more money people must be content with this scheme. Does not the limitation of money make it doubly necessary that every penny of the money should be used 1655 in the most necessary directions? On top of that we haves had the Government saying they are moved to this course because of the serious and continued depression in the heavy trades. They are to be commended for that, and I do not wish to criticise them unfairly, but it is a most odd thing to say that, none the less, you must start this machine and draw up these lists because there is no other way of disposing of your money. By the end of this present financial year the Chancellor of the Exchequer will have £14,000,000 for this scheme and for nothing else, and in order to prevent that £14,000,000 from falling in for the discharge of debt a special Clause has been inserted in his Finance Bill. He is going to keep it all the while—in a box—under his bed. What is to happen after that? A general election.
What is to happen after that? The beginning of the distribution of the money under this scheme. Neither I nor my hon. Friends can see the justification for this interval of 18 months before relief can be begun, and I do not see any justification for attempting to grant relief from rates on agricultural hereditaments as a single class or industrial hereditaments as a, single class, and I still believe it would be far better if the method adopted were one which attempted to give relief to areas according to tests, not very difficult to devise. Many formulae have been suggested which would show the districts which manifestly need relief.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
We have listened to two very interesting speeches, both of which have travelled far beyond the particular Clause which we are discussing, and are concerned with the introduction of this scheme.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The speeches to which we have listened are asking the Committee to decide all over again a point which the House decided when it passed the Second Beading of this Bill. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) will deny that. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon) devoted a great 1656 part of his observations to attempting to dissipate the rumours, which he regards with great uneasiness and anxiety, that the scheme of the Government is going to be of considerable benefit to industry, especially in those particular districts where industry has been most depressed.
§ Sir J. SIMON
The thing which I regret is that the rumour should arise that somebody has proved that. That was what I said.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
It is very curious that, after the convincing speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the whole series of figures which demonstrated the absolute veracity of that general statement, the right hon. Gentleman should still not be satisfied. The Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech has produced just that effect in the constituencies which one would expect and which it deserved to produce, but the right hon. Gentleman, instead of coming here with any counter figures to demonstrate the falsity of the Chancellor's figures, contents himself with mere vague and general statements. I know that what the right hon. Gentleman has tried to found himself upon is an article which has appeared in certain journals from an anonymous correspondent who is described as a rating authority. I have read the article with some interest and, I must say, with some amusement also, because I notice that this correspondent, for whose statements the papers themselves take no responsibility, and who apparently is not prepared to give his own name, but writes under the description "A Special Correspondent," after having made similar assertions to those made by the right hon. Gentleman this afternoon, namely, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had misled and deceived the country, gives a certain number of hypothetical figures of his own, and then, in a long paragraph, explains that it is very probable that his own figures are incorrect. It is rather like the observations of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs about the definition of a necessitous area. He was not going to rely in any way upon that particular definition. He fully recognised that there were faults in it, but said he was quite sure it would be possible to find some other definition which had no faults, and that what he 1657 relied upon was the principle. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley is relying on the principle that the Chancellor of the Exchequer must be wrong. If the Chancellor is proved to be right—well, never mind, we must try something else. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer first spoke the right hon. Gentleman said the effect was to make him blink. A little later, a more salutary process, he began to think, and this afternoon it seems to me he has gone a little further and has begun to wink.
I thought the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) was rather hampered in his exposition of his case by the memory of certain unfortunate phrases which had fallen from him in the course of the Debate on Second Reading, but he supported the efforts made by his friends to explain in a more favourable sense the passage which has been commented upon so frequently in the Debates. I listened to what he said this afternoon, and I entirely agree that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor quoted him incorrectly when he said he had used the words "rates as such" are not a burden. It now appears that what he said was that "rates in themselves" are not a burden. What is the difference? I think my right hon. Friend used an illustration. He said he might just as well say that disease as such was not a burden, and that you might say that disease in itself was not a burden. The right hon. Gentleman says that rates in themselves are not a burden. I cannot understand what the right hon. Gentleman means by that expression. Anything which is a concrete charge upon an industry must be a burden upon it. When you take a fixed charge which is entirely independent of the business, does not vary like wages, is right outside the running of the business and has to be met whether the business makes a profit or a loss, it is quite another matter. I think the fundamental difference between ourselves and the Members of the party opposite is that they are taking a very much smaller view of the problem than we are, and they are looking upon it as a question affecting only the necessitous areas. Our purview goes far wider than that.
We have been discussing the possibilities of defining a necessitous area, but in our view it is not necessary to define 1658 it for the purposes of this Bill. Our proposal is to find the best method of distributing the money taken from the national funds amongst local services in accordance with some formula which finds out the cases which stand in the greatest need, and to do that does not require the definition of a necessitous area. Taking the point of view put forward by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley, you are to mark out particular areas, put a boundary round them, and say that you will deal with those areas and with nothing outside them. I submit that, after the passing of the Second Reading of this Bill, hon. Members opposite have given their assent to the principle that the marking out of particular areas is not enough. We have put forward our proposals to deal not merely with necessitous areas, although we deal incidentally with them, but because we believe that the industries of this country as a whole are in need of a stimulus which will help them to help themselves, and which will encourage them to make fresh efforts which will draw to them that capital which is the life blood of commerce.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
At any rate, our proposals will tend to mitigate and reduce the number of unemployed, and in that way will help to solve the problem of the unemployed. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley complains that our scheme does nothing for the depressed areas, and when we have proved that it does do something, then the right hon. Gentleman says that every test which has been brought forward is absurd and ridiculous. The right hon. Gentleman also made great fun of the relation between rates and property, but I think that my right hon. Friend will find that it works out all right, and he will not find any exceptions from the general rule that as the ratio of rates to profits goes up, so will you place you industries in a descending scale of prosperity. It is not difficult to-see why that must necessarily be so. No doubt the right hon. Gentleman will admit that there is a direct connection between rates and the prosperity or otherwise pf industries in the areas where the rates are levied.
It is largely because industry is depressed that rates go up, and therefore 1659 you have the double measure which the right hon. Gentleman quoted in another connection that rates go up and profits go down at the same time where depression and Poor Law relief are acting upon one another in the same way. It is complained that the proposals we make, under which industry is going to get relief to the extent of three-fourths of the local rates, will not entirely remove the disparity in the rates which will be borne by industry according to the locality in which it is situated. I grant that, but, on the other hand, surely it is not going to be said that it will make a small difference when the disparity between one district and another is considerably reduced. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley gave a case which, I think, was a hypothetical one, where the rates in a certain locality were 30s. in the £ and another case where the rates were 10s. in the £; and he mentioned two firms in those two districts paying rates, and there was a difference of as much as 20s. in the £. What happens under our proposals in that instance? The new rate in one case would be 7s. 6d. and in the other 2s. 6d., and thus the disparity between the two would be brought down from 20s. to 5s.
It has already been recognised in the course of the Debate that rates are only one factor against many others which determine whether an industry shall be placed in one locality or another. It is not necessary to reduce the difference to nothing at all in order to remove that factor out of the list. The proposals which are supported by hon. Members opposite, and which have never actually been described or defined by the Members of the Liberal party, are applied to certain areas and one area is to be relieved and another is not to be relieved. That proposal, at any rate, means that in the area that is going to be relieved every industry will get relief, and in the area which is not going to be relieved no industry will be relieved at all. Take the case which has been given of a brewery in an affected area and a brewery which is outside that area. Why is one brewery to be assisted and not the other?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The hon. Member for East Middlesbrough (Miss Wilkinson) does not see my point, which is that right hon. Gentlemen opposite complain of disparities and injustices in our scheme and at the same time they are proposing a scheme which is capable of the most grotesque disparities and injustices. I will turn for a moment to the question as to whether in fact it is desirable that there should be no difference in the rating burden upon industry whether it be in one locality or another. I have already pointed out that under our scheme such disparity as already exists is going to be very materially reduced, and apparently the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley thinks it should be removed altogether. On that point I disagree with the right hon. Gentleman. In his speech this afternoon and on several other occasions the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley has assumed that whatever the rates are in a given locality they are due to the necessary cost of the services provided in that locality. Are we not to take into account the goodness or badness of local administration? Are we to assume that the place which has a rate of 30s. in the £ is giving exactly the same efficient services and is equally as efficient as the place where the rate is 8s. or 10s. in the £? I need not press that point because everybody knows there is a very great difference in the efficiency of administration as between one locality and another. As a local government administrator, I think it would be disastrous to have a complete divorce between industries and the good local government of any locality.
I know it will be said that the directors of some big companies take no part in local administration. They have no vote, at any rate, as representing the firm or the works that pay the rates. I am not merely thinking of that case, but also of all the people who are connected or employed by a particular industry in a particular neighbourhood. Is it no concern to them what kind of administration they have in their locality? I think that would be very disastrous. Therefore, I defend our proposals on the ground that, while they reduce the disparity between one locality and another, they do not altogether remove the interest which will still be taken in the good administration 1661 of each locality, and its rates will go up and down in accordance with the policy pursued by the local authorities. On that ground I am quite prepared to defend these proposals. Both the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley have put forward a different method of dealing with this problem, but I repeat that their view is a much smaller one than ours, and we are looking at a much wider field. Their proposals, as far as I can understand them—and naturally they have not elaborated them at any great length—would be open to the same criticisms which they have made against our proposals of producing injustices and disparities, and they would be open to the further and still more fatal criticism that they would utterly fail to achieve our principal aim, namely, to give a stimulus to industry and production.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Mr. ARTHUR GREENWOOD
We have had to-night a repetition of the arguments used yesterday against an Amendment dealing with necessitous areas, and the case put forward by the Minister and Parliamentary Secretary is that, if you confine your proposals to these areas, you are bound to give relief to prosperous firms in those areas, and to give no relief to firms which are not prosperous outside those areas. That, of course, is the case we make against this Bill, that, in fact, a very large amount of the relief will be given to prosperous enterprises to whom it will be of no direct benefit and from which the community will derive no benefit. The Minister of Health throughout the whole of these Debates has persisted in misunderstanding the position we have put up with regard to the difference in rates. The difference in rates between one locality and another may be due to some extent to differences in efficiency of administration, but you cannot explain the enormous differences in rates in different parts of the country on that ground. The right hon. Gentleman has forgotten that the greatest element to-day in causing disparity between the local rates in different parts of the country is the burden of poor relief. You may have 100 per cent. efficiency in every area, and still have this enormous difference between one area and another. 1662 That being so, the right hon. Gentleman has not assisted his case by emphasising this question of efficiency.
When he says he does not want to divorce industry and good local government, we all agree, but the point is that that is precisely what the Government are doing under this scheme. We are getting now to that dangerous position where industry will have no interest whatever in local government. Once you take away from industrial enterprises three-quarters of their legitimate rate burden, you have deprived them of at least three-quarters of their interest in what the right hon. Gentleman calls good local government. One of the reasons why I oppose this Bill is that it is going ultimately to strike at the foundations of local self-government. The defence of the Minister for these proposals that he wants to avoid divorcing industry from local self-government is the worst possible argument he could bring forward. It is no use his appending to that argument that he is thinking about the people employed in these industrial firms. They are the last people he is interested in. Had he been interested in the great mass of people employed by these enterprises and had wished to benefit them, he might have benefited them directly, instead of purporting to benefit, them by first assisting their employers. The right hon. Gentleman said that we had a different method and that our view was the small view. He must have been looking through a telescope and had the wrong end to his eye, because the view we have always taken about this Bill is that the Government have always taken the small view and we have held persistently to the larger view. Any scheme which singles out, as Clause 1 does, a limited number of people for relief, is a narrow view and, when that special class of hereditaments rules out the great body of ratepayers, the individual householders who pay half the rates of the country, it is obvious that the Government's Bill is the narrow Bill. The proposals from these benches and from below the Gangway are proposals which would be of direct benefit to the general body of ratepayers in particular areas at least, as distinct from a scheme which confines itself to assisting particular people. Arguments have been put forward that all these special classes of 1663 persons should not receive benefits which are not to be enjoyed by the great masses of the people.
There are only two ways in which this problem of rate relief can be dealt with. In my view, it would have been much better to have dealt with it in such a way as would have relieved the great mass of the ratepayers from some of the burden they have to meet. If that method fails, then the second method, which is not quite so good, is the method of dealing with particular areas and concentrating what relief you have to give on those areas, instead of dispersing it in a purely artificial fashion amongst people, large numbers of whom do not need it. I want to put to the Government a case that has never been answered. There are two views in this House as to how this matter should be dealt with. There is the view adopted by the Government of taking certain classes of hereditaments and giving them relief and leaving aside all the other people. Yesterday an Amendment was put forward with the object of confining that relief to areas where the rating burden is particularly high—the necessitous areas. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has already admitted that over £5,000,000 is going to industries which are not depressed. We shall all agree that that money is not being used to the best advantage. The Government may argue that, of the £26,000,000 which they propose to distribute, they may have to waste £5,000,000 or more in giving it to people who are not in need. From the economic point of view of the community as a whole that £5,000,000 is wasted. It may be true that, however you try on a limited scale to give relief, a number of people who do not need it will get it. It is obvious that, even if you were to concentrate your relief upon necessitous areas, there are certain people there who would by that method get relief who are prosperous and do not need it.
The real point is which of the two methods, the method of this Bill or the method of concentrating your relief on necessitous areas, will waste the smallest amount of public money? Of the total £17,000,000, deducting from the £26,000,000 the amount given to agriculture and freight-transport, I say that 210.000,000 is under the Government's 1664 scheme going to people who have not the slightest need for it and will be wasted, because it is spread over the whole of those prosperous enterprises and is not large enough to be reflected in lower prices to the consumer or in higher wages to the workers. It will simply be put in the pool of profits and will enlarge profits. If that is not true, it is time it was denied from the Government Bench. I would like to see the proof of that denial. If you adopt a different method and, instead of classifying certain classes of hereditaments for relief all over the country, you devote your £17,000,000 for industry to those areas which are depressed, then, try as you will, you cannot waste £10,000,000. You cannot in those areas give £10,000,000 to people who are prosperous. Even if we accept the view that there are prosperous people in them, that there are prosperous breweries in Durham, I doubt whether more than £3,000,000 or £4,000,000 would be devoted in necessitous areas to enterprises which to-day are prosperous. If that be so, then it is perfectly clear that, of the two methods, the method of selecting necessitous areas is the one that will give you the greatest value for your money.
That is our case, and it has never been answered from the Government Benches. They have carefully evaded it. They say that the proposal to deal with necessitous areas means giving money to prosperous enterprises there and leaving out non-prosperous enterprises elsewhere. That is our case against the Bill. If we agree that it is stupid to give money to prosperous enterprises, then it boils down to the question whether more money will be given to prosperous enterprises under the Government's scheme than would be given by concentrating the relief on necessitous areas. During the Debate the Government have evaded dealing with that question, and it is to that question we want a reply. No one would grudge the expenditure of public money in rate relief if that money were to be productive of good for the community as a whole. It comes down to the question of how much is going to be wasted. I could argue that a good deal of what is going to non-prosperous enterprises will be wasted, and that what is going to the coalfields will be wasted, and will not make the situation better, 1665 but I want to confine it to the argument about prosperous firms who do not need it getting the money.
I hope that before this Debate ends we shall have a clear and specific answer to this question, which I now put again in a different form for about the fifteenth time. Of the two methods that have been put before the House of Commons, which method will result in the greatest economy of the money that we have at our disposal? I think that we are entitled to have an answer to that question. If I am wrong in saying that £10,000,000 is going to be wasted, we ought to have proof from the right hon. Gentleman. If we are wrong in assuming that we can use the money best in necessitous areas, we ought to have proof from the right hon. Gentleman that more money will be wasted in that way. During these Debates we have never been opposed by serious argument. The difficulty that I feel is one which perplexes me, though I have tried to understand the point of view of the Government on this matter. We are told by responsible members of the Government that this differentiation of hereditaments is designed to assist distressed industries and distressed areas. Then we are told by the Minister of Health that that is not so. Then the argument proceeds on the assumption that it is so, and the Minister of Health replies to that argument by saying that the people about whom he is concerned are the people on whom rate burdens are falling heaviest.
All that the Government have done, either on the Second Reading or during these Debates in Committee, has been to cloud the fundamental issue and run away from the arguments that have been advanced against them. I hope that to-day, before we leave Clause 1, we shall have an authoritative statement from the Government showing why they believe that economically—and the whole question is the ultimate advantage to industry—their proposals are going to be more advantageous than ours. Unless we get such a statement, the rest of the Debates on this Bill will remain in the state of confusion which prevails at the present time. Although I have tried to make a fervent and earnest appeal for it, I do not believe for a moment that we are going to get the answer, but I do think that in fairness to the Committee, we should have 1666 supporting facts, supporting figures, actual statements of estimates of waste and estimates of economic value as between the two sets of proposals, and I hope that, before the Debate on Clause 1 is concluded, the Parliamentary Secretary will be good enough to satisfy our request for his defence of his scheme as against that put forward from the various Benches of the Opposition.
The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. A. Greenwood) will not, of course, expect, and, indeed, will certainly not get, from me that authoritative statement which he is anticipating, but no doubt he will get it from the Parliamentary Secretary in a few minutes' time. I want to make two points, because it appears to me that all the speeches to which I have listened are based upon a fundamental misconception and a fundamental misappreciation of what is at the basis of the whole of this Bill. That misconception has been summed up in two phrases that I noted; one in the speech of the right. hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. Simon), who said that the justification for this Bill was the relief of the distressed industries, and the other in the speech of the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne, who tried to convince the Committee that money given in relief of prosperous industries was money wasted. I think that both of those suggestions are so fundamental and so wrong that they ought to be challenged immediately, more especially is they have to be met if this Bill is to be logically supported.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
With regard to the first statement, it may be a misapprehension, but, if the hon. and gallant Member will pardon my saying so, that misapprehension is due to the speeches of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer last Saturday.
I must confess that I had not gained that view from reading any of the speeches made by responsible spokesmen of the Government in support of this Bill, and I still think that it was a misconception that led the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley to think that that was the motive of the Government. As it appears to me—I am not speaking for the Government, but, am putting my own view, which leads me to support with enthusiasm what at first sight appears to 1667 be a somewhat cumbrous Measure—in my view, and I think it is the general view of Members on these benches, the distressed condition of industry can be compared to a kind of general disease of the system, while the distressed areas are merely local manifestations of that disease; and what we are attempting to do is, not to apply our cure merely to this or that spot in which this disease manifests itself, but to apply a radical treatment to the whole body of industry in the country. On any other footing this Bill cannot, I admit, be logically defended.
Does it or does it not do that? That is the first question, and the second question is, as it seems to me, Has any better method been proposed by which that can be done? Before the Debates on this Measure began, we were often treated to discussions by lion. Gentlemen opposite on the great advantages that would accrue to industry if certain of the fundamental social services were transferred from the local areas to the general taxpayer. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] From the approval with which my reminder of their policy is received, I gather that it still commends itself to them to-day. Does not that equally relieve the prosperous industries? Does it not equally relieve the brewer? If by transferring such social services to the central Government you do not lighten the burden of rates, there is very little point in doing it at all; and, if you do, then you lighten that burden to the general advantage both of the distressed and of the undistressed industries. It. seems to me, therefore, that from that point of view the attack which has been launched against this Bill is an attack which might equally justifiably, or equally unjustifiably, he directed against the proposal to transfer the maintenance of certain social services to the central Government.
A second point which is always overlooked, and which I have not heard mentioned in these Debates, is that it is not true to say that you are giving, on any view of the case, precisely the same relief to the prosperous industries as to the unprosperous industries. The relief given to prosperous industries is less in every case, and must be less, by 25 per cent., because the rate burden is a burden which prosperous undertakings are en- 1668 titled to deduct before they arrive at their profits upon which they pay Income Tax, and, therefore, to the extent to which the prosperous industries are relieved of rates, that amount will be a clear addition to their profits upon which they will have to pay Income Tax at the rate of 25 per cent., so that there is a clear discrimination from that point of view. What really seems to be at the root of the opposition to the Government's scheme is a feature which is a most regrettable one in the psychology especially of hon. Gentlemen on the Socialist benches, and that is what I might call the prosperity complex. They cannot bear to see any industry which is really prosperous getting any help at all. I think that one could make a very fair case for saying, "We will only subsidise prosperous industries." I think it is quite possible to make a case—I am not making it now—for saying that, if you have a certain sum of money to spend, it is far better to spend that money on concerns which throughout the industrial distresses of the last few years have weathered the storm and are still making profits, than in bolstering up industries which are not making profits.
That is not my case, but a very formidable argument could be made on those lines, and, indeed, some such suggestion was touched upon by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne, who said that this will not help the coalfields, though it may help other industries. Lastly, I want to turn to a point which has been made over and over again, and that is that the money that is given to a productive industry which is prosperous is wasted. That I believe to be a complete and absolute fallacy. Can it be said that, if you relieve profit-making industries of their debenture charges, you are doing no good, but are wasting your money? That proposal is too foolish to be contemplated for a moment. We saw, for example, in the post-War period, the enormous relief that was given to German industries owing to the fact that by exchange manipulation they were relieved to a certain extent of their overhead charges. That was an enormous benefit to German industry. Rate charges are comparable, in my opinion, to debenture charges, and 1669 for that reason I readily face, as any spokesman of the Government would have to face, the charge that the making of rebates in aid of prosperous industries is a wasteful method of using the money that you have at your disposal. To my mind it is wholly justifiable. As has been pointed out already, it is inherent in the Government's scheme, and it is inherent in any comprehensive scheme for dealing with this or that manifestation of what is a general disease applicable to the whole of industry. It is inherent in any scheme which goes to the root of the whole system and tries to set industry as such on its feet, not giving a little here and there, not merely patching, not tinkering with different parts. These features are inherent in every alternative that has been suggested to the Government's proposals. For these reasons I think that the misconceptions on the part of the Opposition are so fundamental that they really do not attack the principles of the Bill, which must command the support of everyone on this side of the Committee.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
The hon. and gallant Member who has just addressed the Committee gave us the key to a large part of the Measure that we are now discussing. He said that a very powerful case could' be made out in support of the policy of granting subsidies to prosperous firms—
The right hon. Gentleman will, I am sure, forgive me for interrupting him, but I never mentioned the word subsidy.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
Oh, yes; but a grant by any other name would be just as sweet, whether it is a subsidy or whether it is a relief from rates. I am not submitting that the hon. and gallant Member put that forward as his own view, but he said that a very strong case could he made out, and I have no doubt that it would be made out by him if he were on these benches, in favour of the policy that he mentioned. That is exactly the case that has been made out from these benches ever since the discussions on this Bill began. We have submitted time and again that the relief which is being granted to prosperous industries is really an addition to their dividends, and it is interesting to have had from the hon. and gallant Member 1670 an admission that that is indeed a very strong case. In considering the point that is now before us, we should get down to the root of the object in view. The object in view, as is admitted on both sides of the Committee, is to relieve and help industries that are now in a depressed condition.
There have been arguments in favour of the Government's policy, and there have been very powerful arguments in support of the policy of applying it only to necessitous areas. I am bound to confess that, in a small degree at any rate, the policy of confining it to necessitous areas is open to all the criticism that is being levelled at the Bill as it is before us to-day. It is true that in the necessitous areas you probably have fewer prosperous people than you have proportionately when you take the country as a whole. In so far as you have prosperous people in a necessitous area, the Bill would fail in its object to that extent, as it is bound in the very nature of things to fail in its object by the proposals we are now discussing. Undoubtedly, the people who are not succeeding in industry to-day fail because of their inability to meet existing competition. Who are their competitors? If their competitors were solely foreigners, the problem would be much simpler. The hon. and learned Gentleman pointed out that Germany, by a certain measure of relief that it obtained, was able to make headway against the more depressed industry of this country. That is not surprising. The whole of the German race were, as a whole, in a better position to attack the competitors from other countries whom they had to meet in the market, and, if we were suffering only from foreign competition, obviously the correct policy would be to relieve the industries that were engaged in foreign trade, to assist them in meeting their rivals abroad and to assist that part of the coal trade which had to compete with Germany, France, and Belgium. In that way, we should enable our industrialists to obtain in competition with the industrialists of other countries orders that they are not able to obtain to-day because of the burden of rates or some other burden.
That would undoubtedly be the correct policy if all our difficulties arose from 1671 competition with foreigners, but I think it will be generally admitted that the unsuccessful industries are suffering not only from foreign competition. They are unsuccessful in their competition with people next door, with people in the neighbouring county, with people in the same street, and any policy of granting uniform relief to the successful and unsuccessful who are competitors in business is bound in the very nature of things to fail, because, if an unsuccessful man cannot hold his own against a prosperous rival as things are to-day and you grant relief uniformly to both, what advantageous position will the unsuccessful man occupy to-morrow? Obviously none. Take any district you like. Take any of your shipbuilding industries. You will be able to point to one that is not successful and to one that is, and that applies even in necessitous areas. If you could, by some method which would be fair and just—I cannot suggest what it would be—give a relief to the failure that you did not give to the successful man, you would put the failure in a more advantageous position and allow him to get a share of the trade which he cannot obtain to-day. But, when you grant them equal relief, the man who cannot compete with the successful man will be in no better position in competition when he has to meet him tomorrow. Therefore, if you are to adopt a policy of this kind, you ought to apply the same principles that you have for nearly a century applied to Poor Law relief. This is really a case of Poor Law relief. You can call it relief from the taxpayer, but, however you name it, it is really on the same basis as Poor Law relief. You are merely proposing to apply to industry what until now you have applied to individuals. When you are dealing with individuals in necessitous areas, as with individuals in a particular industry, you take individual cases. You compel the working man, if he seeks relief from rates or taxes, because the system is the same, to prove his necessity.
I think the first thing to do is to make the firm prove its necessity and prove that it would he good for the nation before relief is granted to that firm. Would the Government, or any of their supporters, argue that, if a brewer or 1672 distiller had to prove, not only that he was necessitous but that his prosperity was essential to the national prosperity, any Board that you could set up would use the national resources to make the brewery or the distillery successful? Members of the Board would say that the less successful the brewery or the distillery is the better for the nation, and it would refuse to use national funds in supporting an unsuccessful distillery or firm of brewers. That is the only reasonable way of dealing with this policy, to deal with individual cases, to consider whether the industry, first of all, although it is productive, is really an industry that is carried on for the national good. During the War we had a phrase about work of national importance. The first essential should be to prove that the work on which the producer is engaged is work of national importance. During the War we refused to assist anyone, or allow him to remain in the industry at all, who was not engaged on work of national importance. Secondly, he ought to be able to prove that, being in work of national importance, it was in the national interest that he should obtain relief, and in that case relief would he granted. It is not, in Poor Law administration, because a man needs relief that we grant relief. We grant relief to a man because it is in the national interest that we should not have an army of starving people. It is in the national interest that Poor Law funds are administered, and it should he only in the national interest that these national funds are administered. Therefore, the whole policy of treating this thing uniformly is fundamentally wrong.
The Minister of Health said, in all sincerity, that the standard of rates was a measure of the standard of efficiency. It is nothing of the kind. You will get places with really low rates which are not so well administered as highly-rated places. As a matter of fact, a district which has very low rates can afford the luxury of lax administration. It is the people with high rates whose noses are to the grindstone who all the time are trying to discover means of reducing costs, and for the Minister to say that the fact that the rates are high in a particular locality is due to the inefficiency of the administrators is not a fair comment to make in regard to people over 1673 whom he in his Ministerial capacity presides. Another suggestion which he put forward was that we wanted to attract capital. The object of the Bill was so to reduce the rates that you would attract capital to a particular area, and so increase and improve production and to sonic extent relieve the problem of unemployment. No one has been able to describe accurately cause and effect in this question of high rates and industrial depression. The Minister says high rates are due to industrial depression. Other speakers will put it that industrial depression is due to high rates. As a matter of fact, the Minister of Health put it one way, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer put it the other way in the Second Reading Debate. The Chancellor said: "Let us bring trade into districts where the rates are low." The Minister of Health puts it the other way. I do not think you can accurately say which is cause and which is effect. Undoubtedly, industrial depression causes high rates. It is also true that high rates might, and probably do, cause industrial depression. They act and react on one another.
The most absurd claim of all is that what we need to do is to find a policy which will attract capital to a particular area. In heaven's name, what in this country is suffering from lack of capital to-day? Are Durham or Lanarkshire or any of the depressed mining areas suffering from lack of capital? Capital is rusting and rotting in all the industrial districts. I could give the right hon. Gentleman the name of a firm in my own Division where something approaching £1,000,000 of capital has lain idle since 1920, and probably is not worth a tithe to-day of what it was at the beginning of the industrial depression. I wish we could get rid of the idea that if you had more capital you would have more production. Tell any capitalist where there will be a reasonable assurance of a return on his capital, and you will have a flow of capital into the district without any prospect of rate reduction at all. It is not more capital which we want. It is more purchasers for our goods, and the idea that if you can attract more capital and produce more you will necessarily sell more is one of the most fallacious views that is being propagated in public life, and is doing more damage than any- 1674 thing else to finding a real solution of the problem with which we are confronted. There is plenty of capital in the country if you can show the capitalist where it can be profitably invested. No one wants to put capital into tine coalfields of Durham. People would gladly take their capital out. No one wants to go into the coalfields of Lanarkshire with more capital, because there is more capital there to-day than will give a reasonable return. Therefore, do not let us be led away by this idea, that if you could get more capital for a particular industry you are going to solve the industrial problem which confronts us.
This industrial problem is drifting on. Nothing has been done. No one believes in his heart that the proposals before us are going to be a substantial relief to industry. If £10,000,000, £20,000,000, or £30,000,000 could at any time have put the industries of the country on their feet, as is seriously suggested now, this House of Commons has been criminally negligent during the seven years in which industry has been depressed. This is a mere drop in the bucket. It does not touch the problem at all. The idea that Scotland, where the average local rates on the coalfields amount to 1¾d. a ton, is going to be put on its feet by a remission of three-fourths of that 1¾d. is absurd. If there was anything in this Bill that was likely to relieve industry I would vote for it whatever might be the view of my party on this subject. I am perfectly sure that the Members on these benches would gladly welcome anything that was going to relieve industry in this country. Why, these are the men who have to go back to the necessitous areas and from whom the necessitous areas expect light and leading. They, like other Members of the House, are bailed with this industrial situation which confronts them, and they would gladly welcome any policy that was likely to grant substantial relief. It is not because we are against relieving industry that we are opposed to this Bill. We are opposed to this Bill because it is a humbug and a fraud and because it will do nothing for industry. I have too much respect for the intelligence of the Minister of Health and for the intelligence of the industrial realists who are behind him to believe that they, in their hearts, consider for 1675 a single moment that industry will be one whit better than it is to-day for this Bill.
§ Mr. KINGSLEY GRIFFITH
I rise to meet the double challenge put to these benches by the hon. and gallant Member for Luton (Captain O'Connor), who has, unfortunately, left the Committee. His first challenge was that this Bill is not to be condemned for not specifically helping the distressed areas because no promise or suggestion had ever been made that it was to be devoted to that end. That is a proposition which I challenge absolutely. I say that this proposal had its genesis and origin entirely in the problem of the distressed areas. It was originally a Middlesbrough proposal which was put forward in this House long ago by my predecessor, the late Mr. Trevelyan Thomson from his experience of the distressed areas. I fought a by-election in a necessitous area in which the spokesmen of the Government made a very great, and, indeed, their only, cry and defence that they had a scheme which would help distressed areas while no one else had. Now it has been brought forward, and, as soon as we come to discuss the later parts of the schemes, we shall find that as regards freight transport the whole origin of the scheme in the mind of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was that the heavy industries did need some special kind of treatment. Therefore, we are entitled to judge, and we shall judge this scheme by the measure of success which it has, not only in that part but in every part of it, in relieving those who have the greatest distress and therefore need the greatest help.
His second challenge was that any alternative scheme which had been suggested would fall into the same difficulty and that it would give its benefits to the good districts as well as to the bad districts. He happened to refer to the alternative scheme of removing certain services from the rates. Is it not absolutely obvious from the beginning, if you follow a scheme of removing great services like the relief of the able-bodied poor from the rates, that, as an alternative, it will be necessary to provide the relief that is wanted. I have heard from hon. Members on the opposite benches again and again, as I have heard from 1676 the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley) to-night, the argument of the vicious circle that distress and high rates mutually produce one another. I have heard it from those benches again and again that it is high rates which make unemployment. Therefore, the problem of distressed areas is at the back of this legislation, or it is the main spring, and any legislation that is going to help it must be devoted above all things to relieving the burden of the able-bodied poor.
We have been accused of having a prosperity complex on these benches. I say rather that we have a distress complex and that anybody who lives in such distressed districts or represents such districts as we do is bound to have that complex. We have it always with us, and we are bound to judge this Bill entirely by the way in which it meets these things. We see this proposal brought forward in this first Clause, which, after all, is the essential Clause, that is going to guide the whole fortunes of the rest of the Bill and of the subsequent legislation which in due time we are to have. It sets out with the idea of relieving those who are in want and distress, and in the end it is as if you let all the puppies come round the trough and because you allow the strongest to come in with the weakest the strongest are going to push away the weakest and the weakest are not going to get their fair share at all. I believe that that will he the result of this Measure. All we have to console us is that some time in the future some provision is going to be made for distressed areas as such. We cannot afford to wait for that. My hon. Friend the Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) has shown on a previous occasion that the whole of the money which has been collected for this purpose with such great pain and difficulty by the Chancellor of the Exchequer is already mortgaged by this part of the scheme. What is going to be left for distressed areas when eventually, if heaven is good to us, we come to be treated as such? We need to be treated as such now and from the beginning, and because this Clause errs fundamentally by not giving that special treatment those who believe in a better way of bringing about the relief of the depressed areas cannot give their support to it.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I want just for a few moments also to follow the remarks of the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) before I come to the speech of the Minister in charge of this Bill. I have continually said to this House, and I have said it until I have wearied the patience both of my friends and of my opponents, that one of the causes of the present state of affairs is that industry has to bear too great a burden in regard to the maintenance of the unemployed. It has to do it through the Unemployment Insurance benefit. It has to do it in a very large measure through the rates. These forms of taxes, as far as they fall on industry, are open to this great objection, that they vary in proportion to the necessities of the industry and the individual funds. We know that unemployment benefit goes up when industry as a whole is depressed. That the local rates fall with increasing weight upon the locality when the local trade is depressed is also a thing we know. We are not so absurd as to say that this particular burden of dealing with unemployment is the only burden which rests upon industry. If we are really going to assist industry a whole series of steps must be taken, none of which can be taken under this Bill. Under this Bill, we are talking about that part of the burden which comes from the local rates. We have said it over and over again—I do not know why it is necessary to repeat it—that the transference of the maintenance of the unemployed from local to national shoulders is the proper way in which to deal with the question. Our scheme has always been that this particular service should be a national service.
I come to distressed areas. If you took away the burden of the able-bodied poor, if you took away the £20,000,000 spent on out-relief, you would relieve the bulk of the growth of the rates that has taken place during the last seven or eight years. The Minister is a very great rating expert. I know of no man for whose knowledge of local affairs and whose acuteness in local administration I have more respect, but he makes ill use of that knowledge and of that acuteness in the House of Commons in proposing ingenious conundrums to hon. Members. He has asked a great number of ingenious conundrums. He asked us whether our idea was equality of rating, and said that, if so, he must differ from it, because 1678 then you would leave no scope for local initiative, local prudence, local responsibility. He said that the formula of the distressed areas could not be devised on our lines, and he was particularly bold when he announced publicly to the world that he had a formula which, as far as distress is concerned, will solve satisfactorily the question of the distressed areas. He went on to say: "My formula is an automatic formula; it is an automatic test which will work by itself," as if that was any great discovery.
The formula for necessitous areas in principle is very old indeed. The Board of Education had a formula for necessitous areas based upon population and rateable value, which was, in itself, a very good formula. It contained a maximum amount above which no relief was given but in principle it was an excellent formula. The only reason why such a formula has not been generally adopted is because of the variations and the follies of valuation. That is the reason why the Commission of 1913 and all the Commissions on Local Government expressed the unanimous (minion that you cannot have a formula for necessitous areas, the reason being that the valuation was in such a confused state that nothing could be done. We have had a reform of valuation which puts matters on a reasonable basis. I know perfectly well the sort of formula that the right hon. Gentleman is going to produce. It will be more or less on the lines of the old Board of Education necessitous area formula, a formula taking into consideration the proportion between local population and local resources.
I am going to deal with the argument with regard to the partial burdens upon manufacturers. It is argued that we cannot relieve them all equally because of the vagaries of local administration. That is quite unworthy of the right hon. Gentleman, because he knows very much better than that. He knows that there are three factors which determine the rates. The one is the rateable value per head of the population, which has nothing to do with local responsibility. The second is the demands for special services made upon the population. The Poor Law is a great instance of that, and the number of school children is another. The third, and the smallest of these, is 1679 the question of local policy—not merely local efficiency but local policy. The City of Westminster indulges in a luxury of street lighting. There is no harm in that, because they have the money. The municipality of Blackpool goes in for the decoration of its civic tramways with coloured lights. There is no harm in that, because they have the money. When you talk of equality of rating, you do not mean a comparison of the rates in one place with the rates of another place. You must give relief in proportion to the poverty that exists. Such a proposal for the necessitous areas is perfectly feasible. Any such relief would discriminate between the manufacturers who are overburdened and the people who are being dealt with leniently. That scheme of the transference of local services and a deficiency grant would meet the whole of the problem. It is perfectly simple: it does not need the creation of a multitude of officials; and, from the point of view of technical machinery, how infinitely superior it is to the complicated, wearisome, lengthened business which we have in this Bill. I do not believe that anyone in this House more thoroughly dislikes these rating proposals than the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Health. What is the task to which he has set himself? In this Clause 1, he is to draw a line of distinction between commerce and industry for assessment purposes, to draw a line between warehousing, distribution, and production. You cannot draw that line except by the rough and ready method that Solomon proposed with the baby. The ordinary manufacturer who does his own wholesale business and his own storage business within his own factory will get relief; but, where trade is complicated, you find specialisation taking place in the warehousing and distributive sides of a business, wherever industry and commerce have reached a certain stage.
If you look round London, you will find that the distributive side assumes enormous proportions. If you take the district of Holborn, you will find that the warehouse side is out of all proportion to the general proportion which warehouses bear to productive. manufacture. The prudent housewife has cupboards in more than one place, and Holborn has 1680 become the cupboard for many factories in various places. But that business is an essential part of productive industry. By drawing an artificial line you will create a new confusion in industry itself. It is not a right thing in business to penalise one man for the sake of his competitors. That will create confusion in well-established business, which is a much greater evil than to tax the profits. Business can bear a great deal of taxation of its profits, but it cannot so well bear interference with its methods of production. Let me mention the town of Nottingham, which is a warehouse town. There you have all shades in the same trade. There you have warehouses pure and simple, warehouses which are doing a bit of finishing work, warehouses which are doing a good deal of finishing work, factories which have small warehouses. In that complex of trades nobody can say where the warehouse side finishes and the factory side begins. In order to draw that imaginary and wholly illusory line, you will require to have multitudes of officials running round trying to divide off the warehouses and the stores, so that you will be spending hundreds of thousands of pounds to do wholly unnecessary work.
There is one part of the Bill which I think the Government will have to drop; that is the wholly fantastic provision with regard to the assessment of docks. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!] I notice how many hon. Members have rallied to the cause of simplicity in regard to the valuation of docks. Under this provision, you will have a multitude of officials looking through every book in the ports, measuring out the ground space, and trying to assess the warehouses in proportion to their use. That will be repeated in a multitude of businesses which are partly productive and partly wholesale and distributive. You will draw a line right through the middle of a great number of businesses, and you will be hindering the ordinary business of trade and commerce. You will be relieving industry by penalising a part of transport, while you relieve another part of its burdens. You are to relieve industry by penalising everything that is carried along the road on four wheels. When you are to relieve goods transport, why should you not relieve all transport? When you relieve transport only on one side, you are introducing a fantastic 1681 element into the business of every man who sends goods by road and rail; you are introducing a new irritant and a cause of friction into the affairs of manufacturers. Because of all this fantastic machinery, industry in the distressed localities has to wait 18 months, to groan for 18 months under rates which have risen as much as 8s. in the £ in the last two years.
During the whole of this time the Minister of Health has been increasing the burdens of the necessitous areas. In many of these areas, manufacturers and others have to pay not merely for the relief of the poor and for the social services, but they have to pay interest and Sinking Fund on the loans advanced by the Minister of Health. If the Minister desired to do anything, even a little thing, to relieve the worst of the necessitous areas, he would not any longer press for interest and Sinking Fund on the money lent. Only the other day, speaking in this House about one of the worst areas in South Wales, he said with pride, that they had just begun to repay their debt. That surely is a measure of the seriousness of the Minister's proposals in relieving these areas. If he so desired, he could give them substantial relief in the very worst places by the simple operation of doing what other Ministers before him have done, suspending a portion of the Sinking Fund. I come back to the shocking waste of public money involved in these proposals. It is not a little thing to throw away £5,000,000; it is not a little thing to throw away even £5 of public money for any purpose which is not immediately necessary. For less than £30,000,000 a year permanently, you could relieve the burden of unemployment from the distressed districts, you could make a deficiency grant sufficient to relieve the worst anomalies, and you could take away from industry, from the consumer, and from the householder the monstrous and artificial burden which the follies of our rating system have put upon them.
In asking that we should proceed by areas, we are doing more than the Government propose to sweep away the artificiality of the present rating system. It is no use speaking. There is the majority. [HON. MEMBERS: "Where?"] We will see where they are when the Division takes place. The Government 1682 will be only at the beginning of its troubles when it secures the passage of this Bill. The things that I have endeavoured to say in my halting way will be said louder and louder by the commercial interests of the country and by the local authorities. One of the Associations of Corporations has come forward and protested against the hurry with which this matter has been launched, and has protested against the absence of consultations. The heavy battalions are forming up behind them. We shall see unending deputations from the local authorities, who have not yet awakened to the importance of the subject. They have not yet awakened to the fact that the relief to the railways is to go away from the local districts, and that the relief to be given to the manufacturers is to go right away from their districts in great measure. Unlike the Government those local authorities look before they leap; they consider the technicalities of the matter before they come on a deputation, but we who are in local authorities know, the officials of the Ministry know, and the Minister himself knows the kind of temper they will show.
I prophesy a violent opposition and a violent disappointment of hopes from the great commercial interests, and the righteous anger of the local authorities, who will see their business tangled up. These effects will be seen in increasing measure as the months pass by. It is to this tangled and intricate task which a supposedly wise Government have chosen to devote the precious months before the election. If it had not been that the Measure has been tied to the tails of the Budget, I should have prophesied that the Government would have dropped the scheme as they dropped the previous Local Government Bill. But that escape is impossible for them, because the Chancellor of the Exchequer has tied this Measure safely to the tail of the Budget. November, December and January we shall spend in ventilating this subject and the more it is ventilated the uglier it will look. When the Government ask for the suffrage of the country, they will go before the electors not only as a Government which has neglected the urgent needs of the necessitous areas, but as a Government of business men who could not even devise a simple plan to relieve their own friends.
§ Mr. LAWSON
When the Chancellor of the Exchequer outlined the scheme in the Budget speech, we could not understand it, and since this Bill has been before the House we are not sure as to the proposals. We did not know what the result of the proposals of the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be, and we are not sure now as to the object of the proposed legislation. At first, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was going to bring relief to the necessitous areas, but the discussions upon this Bill have shown that that is not the real object of the Bill. I have not heard the Minister of Health or the Parliamentary Secretary even attempt to prove that this is a scheme to help even the depressed industries. From what we have seen here to-day and last night it seems to me that the supporters of the Government are not quite sure as to the intentions of this legislation. One think we do know, and that is that while there is a tax upon petrol for the purpose of raising money for revenue, and supposedly doing something which was intended by the Government, we know that the workers are paying this tax at the present time. It is rather a humorous situation, particularly in the mining areas, that the workers who are riding on the omnibuses are being told that they have to pay one penny or twopence more for travelling, in order to give relief to the rates of the coal-owners, which relief, it is said, will improve the general situation in the mining areas.
This is not the first time that the Government have taken steps to make proposals to help industry. I have heard taunts from the other side that people on this side change their ground. No Government and no body of people have ever changed their grounds on the industrial situation so often as the present Government. We were told with even more assurance and more gusto when the Mines Eight Hours Bill was introduced; and when wages were to be lowered, what was going to happen, but even the Government will not claim that their object has been achieved. If the industrialists are to be relieved of their rates in any area, the workers and the commercial people are going to suffer as a result. The Minister says that that is not so;that he is going to give compensation. That is to come. We have to open 1684 our mouths and shut our eyes and accept what is given to us. That proposal will lead to a lamentable situation in the necessitous areas. The Minister of Health and the Parliamentary Secretary say that they do not know what is a necessitous area. If we could persuade them to come and live for a week in some of our necessitous areas, we could teach them what a necessitous area is, and they would not have any difficulty in giving a definition.
In the necessitous areas the business people—to say nothing of the ordinary householders who have to pay their rates —the shopkeepers in retail shops, whether on a large or a small scale, scarcely know how to make ends meet. Within the last week or two in the North of England, one great business, a commercial firm, which appeared to the average outsider to be as solid as the rock of Gibraltar, a firm which is a household name in the North of England, has gone crash. Everyone knows that things are becoming very bail and that this is a symptom of what is likely to happen in other respects. If that is taking place in large business firms, what will happen to the small business people? We have been told of a shop in the area which I mentioned last night, where you see stored the goods which have been bought from people who are emigrating, and in that shop there is a notice to the effect that they have to cut down the size of the premises as a result of heavy rates. The result of this Bill will be to add more rates to these business concerns. We are justified in assuming that that will take place.
The National Federation of Retail Book-sellers and Stationers have passed a resolution, which has been sent to every hon. Member of this House, in which they assume that they are going to pay extra rates for the relief that the de-rated industries will receive. As the hon. Member for East. Ham, North (Miss Lawrence) has pointed out, these people are beginning to understand what is going to happen. The local authorities are beginning to understand, and when they find out, there will be a great storm in this country which, if it does not have an effect upon the Government itself, will certainly have an effect upon the hon. Members who sit behind the Government, just as the Kerosene Duty had an effect which finally moved the Government to 1685 action. What is to be said about the working men who live in rented house; and sometimes in their own houses people who are paying half their wages in rent, and at least quarter of that ever week is going in rates? They have to live in the hope that somehow, somewhere sometime, the Government may bring relief to them. They are paying in the Petrol Tax as they ride in omnibuses they are paying in rents and in increased rates, and what is going to happen to them and to the business people in these areas can hardly be visualised.
I have never been able to understand why the Chancellor of the Exchequer is not on the Government Bench while we are discussing this Bill. The Minister of Health speaks, I think, sometimes with his tongue in his cheek, at any rate he smiles with a freedom which he does not always show. I do not think he believes this Bill will have the effect intended; he knows too much about administration. To us the most important question, while the Government is playing this game, is that in my own area, in the Sunderland area, along the Tyne and Wear side, and in the great mining areas, the people are at the end of their resources. I would that these people could march in their thousands upon this House in order to let hon. Members understand what is happening. The calm way in which we in this House can discuss a Bill which in a vague way is going to bring relief to industry while people are literally starving is amazing. In my own area a census was taken of the condition of the children. A very careful and accurate investigation discovered that they were lacking in clothes, almost naked, that some thousands of children had no boots at all and that most of them had boots which were not wearable. The average man would not allow his child to go to school in such conditions.
I saw an illustration of what parents will do for their children only on Saturday last, when some 4,000 children gave a gymnastic exhibition. The mothers and fathers came to see them and one could realise the painful efforts they had made to give them little bits of jerseys and other clothing for the occasion. There were one or two who could not afford even to do that: they were marked out on the field. Parents will 1686 give out of their very need for their children, and yet in these areas you have hunger, lack of boots, nakedness and a state of poverty which is indescribable and impossible for people outside to understand. Yet we have a Bill dealing with hereditaments. These people a e not concerned with hereditaments, but with something that will give them boots and clothing for their children. Why do not the Government think direct on this matter and deal with the actual needs of the people in these areas, and also with the needs of local authorities? They cannot say that local authorities are squandering the money. The Government have laid heavy burdens on them, and the high rates which prevail is no fault of local authorities. The county rate in my own area has gone up from 2s in 1914 to is. 9d. for the last quarter of this year.
The Government knows that this Bill will not work out as they suggest. They are spending an extraordinary sum of money in order to carry out their plans, which do lot even profess to touch the necessitous areas. They are doubtful whether it will improve the position of the depressed areas. One thing at any rate is certain, and that is that in the near future the local authorities are going to be heard on this matter. The people, the householders, the business people, will he heard as well, and when they are heard there will be a much larger attendance on the benches opposite than it the moment because hon. Members will he waiting to hear the Chancellor of the Exchequer withdraw this proposal just as he had to withdraw the Kerosene Tax a few weeks ago. I do not this it is possible to move hon. Members on what we consider to be the vital question or the necessitous areas.
If the Parliamentary Secretary wants a definition of necessitous areas, let him look to the local authorities and he will very soon find a definition. The Minister of Health and the Minister of Labour have never been in any doubt as to where these areas are. It may be that common humanity will some day move this House to do this more efficiently than business instincts move them at the present. I agree with what a friend of mine said privately. He has been a Member of this House for some four years, and as a result of sitting on these Benches has 1687 become rather more cynical. Hon. Members opposite are always appealing to the wider feelings of citizenship and considerations for the whole country, but if you take the operations of the present Government in the matter of the Eight Hours Act, or any other Acts which have been passed through Parliament, or in the present Bill, this Government, pretending to serve the interests of the nation, considers only the interests of the wealthy and their own friends, and the workers will never get proper consideration until there is a majority on those Benches who will consider their interests and well-being first.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I should like to make a few observations on some of the speeches which have been made by various hon. Members and then I hope we shall be able to come to a decision. The question before the Committee is whether Clause I shall stand part of the Bill. Undoubtedly, as has been said by several hon. Members, it does form one of the most important parts of the Government's proposals, and I invite the hon. Member who has just sat down to give a little more consideration to the proposals of the Government in this connection, and I hope that when the whole of them are before the House and the country, he will have no reason to complain of lack of an earnest effort to assist trade and industry. In that I include the depressed areas with which he is particularly associated.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I hope I may be allowed to proceed. At any rate, I do not think the hon. Member was justified in his statement that the Government are having no regard to the necessities of particular areas with which everyone is familiar, and the first proof of that is the fact that these proposals are before the House. It might very well be that rarely in the history of Parliament have a Government come forward with such a heavy programme during its last years of office. I ask hon. Members to give fair consideration to the proposals that are before the Committee. Whether he likes it or not the hon. Member has to face the fact that these are practical proposals. I say without hesitation, after having listened to the whole Debate, that 1688 so far as the main machinery which is outlined in this Clause is concerned, the proposals of the Government remain unchallenged. I have yet to learn from hon. Members opposite what are the grave defects in the scientific conception of the Government scheme.
It is my duty to review the alternative proposals which have been put forward by the two Opposition parties. I do not think there is a single member of the Labour party who would care to stand up and sustain the proposal which was made by the Labour party for assisting necessitous areas. The proposal and the definition of a necessitous area were blown almost sky-high after they had been suggested. No one knows better than the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. A. Greenwood), who had experience of office under the Labour Government, how difficult it is to deal effectively with the question of necessitous areas, if it is desired to deal with them alone and apart from the proposals contained in this Bill. I do not want to go into the whole of the history of the matter, but I would remind hon. Members opposite that they found it was utterly impracticable to devise ally workable method of assisting necessitious areas as such. That phrase is familiar, no doubt, to hon. Gentlemen opposite. They have made a second attempt to-day. I think that hon. Members would be the first to agree that a more impossible and hopeless proposal than that contained in the Amendments which were officially sponsored by the Labour party has never been perpetrated by any party that expected serious consideration. I observed with considerable interest the efforts of the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) to amend the definition of "necessitous areas, because I had really hoped that when I opened the Order Paper this morning I would see something that would he worthy of the hon. Gentleman himself. All that his Amendment proposed was to alter the figure "ten" to "nine, "and that, I suggest, was hardly worthy of him.
§ Sir K. WO0D
We have to face the facts, and it is no use talking in an airy way, however sympathetic we may he to necessitous areas. Then there was a proposal from the Liberal party, headed by 1689 the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris). It was an extraordinary proposal. He set out the additional 14 classes of trade or interest or industry, and how he arrived at them I do not know.
§ Mr. HARRIS
May I explain? I took them from the Minister's own category, printed on page 1 of the Memorandum, and circulated all over the country.
§ Sir K. WOOD
The hon. Gentleman certainly adapted them to a very unfortunate end. He suggested that a portion of the money should be devoted to the relief of rates on cemeteries. I suggest that that proposal he will have to develop a little further when he addresses the electors of Bethnal Green. A proposal of that kind would undoubtedly dissipate relief which would otherwise be available for productive industry. There is one encouraging feature so far as the Liberal party are concerned. I observe that, at any rate so far as relief to agriculture is concerned, there was not a single Liberal who desired to go into the Lobby against the Government proposals. That was an encouraging sign, and showed that the Liberal party are gradually coming over to a sound view.
I wish to deal with the point which was raised by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne because he challenged once again the proposal of the Government that relief should be given equally to the prosperous and to the depressed industries. I thought that matter had been settled on the Second Reading, but the hon. Member asked me if I could advance any argument in favour of the view taken by the Government. I would be very glad to assist the hon. Member if I could, because he would be a helpful convert to the Government's proposals—and seriously suggest to him and to his friends who challenge this proposal—and whose view is not held by a very large number of the supporters of the Labour party in the country—that they are overlooking the main principle of the Government's scheme. It is not a scheme for giving a subsidy or a dole to particular distressed industries, but rather is it a remedy of a radical defect in the system of local taxation which taxes the tools of production. I thought that a proposal to remedy such a defect 1690 would receive support in all quarters of the Committee considering that its real aim is to increase employment.
I remember not very long ago when we brought in proposals to relieve the rating on machinery. On that occasion we did not completely de-rate machinery, but only de-rated certain classes of machinery—machinery not affixed to the freehold and mainly of the lighter kind. Both in committee and in the House that proposal received considerable support from Members of all parties and no question was then raised as to whether we were de-rating the machinery of the prosperous or of the depressed trades. It was generally recognised that that proposal was a step in the direction of bringing into force a fairer system of rating, on the principle that you should, if possible, avoid rating the tools of production and that in this way you helped employment.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I suggest that the present scheme is based upon that principle to a very large extent. That principle was adopted by the House of Commons with almost complete unanimity—than we ought to avoid where possible, the taxation of machinery and of the tools of production. [Interruption.] It may be, of course, that there are other arguments which would minimise the force of the argument I am now advancing, but what I am directing the attention of hon. Members to is this—that no distinction was raised, in regard to the de-rating of machinery, between the prosperous and the depressed industries. It was not suggested that you should not de-rate the machinery of both alike and there was no hon. Member to ask why you should de-rate the machinery of a prosperous firm.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I recollect that occasion quite well and I objected to the do-rating proposals on the ground that the relief given to machinery would increase the rates on the houses of the people in the area, and that has been so.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I am sure the hon. Member would have objected to the proposal if a-anybody did. If he will excuse me for saying so, it is what one would 1691 naturally expect from an hon. Gentleman who holds such very strong views in favour of a totally different way of approaching this problem.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
The right hon. Gentleman is overlooking the main fact that the relief given to machinery increased the rates on the houses of the people and the present proposals will have the same effect.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I will concede, now that the hon. Member reminds me of it, that he was, I believe, the only one who objected to those proposals and advanced reasons against them. But for the purposes of my argument at present it is sufficient for me to say that the proposal for the de-rating of machinery received a very large amount of support in all quarters and the great majority of hon. Members accepted the view that no distinction should be made between the prosperous and the depressed industries. The general principle of the Government's scheme is that we ought to remedy what we regard as an injustice which hampers trade, and that it is up to us to relieve industry as far as the tools of production are concerned.
§ Sir K. WOOD
That, of course, is another aspect of the question. If one really comes down to the drafting of a Clause on this subject, or to dealing with it on practical lines, who can say what is a prosperous industry? An industry may be prosperous and paying large dividends to-day, but to-morrow it may be in a very different position. How can you distinguish and say that it is only the depressed industries which are to receive assistance? Take the position to-day of many trades and industries in the country— and I address myself not only to hon. Members opposite but to large numbers of people outside who will, I believe, give fair consideration to the arguments which I am advancing. What is one of the most severe handicaps of businesses and trades—prosperous if you will—throughout the country to-day? It is again a matter of the rating of machinery. I have referred to the fact that we de-rated some machinery but not all. It was not the heavy machinery that was de-rated. It is a very heavy handi- 1692 cap to manufacturers up and down the country to-day in more than one direction. It is a handicap in this direction, that many manufacturers in a prosperous trade are using old machinery which, if they want to increase their volume of business and the number of people employed, ought to have been scrapped long ago. Hon. Gentlemen opposite want seriously to consider this side of the matter, and anyone who wants to give reasonable consideration to honest and fair proposals will see that, at any rate, this scheme will enable a very large number of manufacturers, prosperous if you like, to scrap this old machinery and to purchase up-to-date plant upon which, under the proposals of this Bill—much as hon. Members may differ with them, but which nevertheless remain true—they will receive very considerable assistance owing to the fact that they will have to pay only a certain proportion of rates.
Far from taking the view of certain hon. Gentleman opposite, I say that, when the exact proposals of the scheme have become more and more known up and down the country, when these proposals are known, for instance, in Middlesbrough which has had to face a great deal of adversity, they will be seen to hold out a hope of a considerable amount of relief, and relief in the right direction. I say to hon. Gentlemen, when they quarrel with the proposals of the Government because they will help prosperous as well as depressed concerns, that it is, from the point of view of the men who are out of work, a matter of indifference whether by these proposals they are able to get a job with prosperous firms or with firms which are depressed. From the point of view of tackling the unemployment problem—and this is a serious contribution to it—no one can challenge the statement that it is in the right direction, and that by giving assistance to prosperous firms, we are probably achieving our end much more rapidly than we would if we took any other means of doing so. I have endeavoured to the best of my ability to deal with the views that have been put forward, and—
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer these two questions, which I have put three times in the Debates. Am I right in assuming that £10,000,000 of this money that is to be allocated for rate relief will go to pros- 1693 perous enterprises which do not need it, and will the right hon. Gentleman try to prove to the Committee that, if the money were concentrated in the necessitous areas, anything like that same amount of money would go to prosperous enterprises?
§ Sir K. WOOD
Where on earth the hon. Gentleman gets that figure of £10,000,000, I do not know. If he desires to challenge the figures and facts which have been put forward by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he cannot do it by making an assertion and saying that £10,000,000 is going to prosperous industries. He must put some facts forward to support it. The hon. Gentleman next to him might very well follow his bad example, and bring forward some other idea, and say, "Kindly disprove that "That is not the way in which arguments have to take place.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
May I put the question in another way. Let me take the Chancellor's figure of £5,500,000 that will go to industries which are not depressed. Let us accept that. Will the right hon. Gentleman then show to the Committee that that amount of money would, if concentrated in the necessitous areas, go to prosperous firms there?
§ Sir K. WOOD
How can the hon. Gentleman possibly ask me a question about how much is going to necessitous areas, when he has not told me what a necessitous area is I do not know what he has in mind in speaking of a necessitous area. If it is a necessitous area as defined in the Labour party's Amendment which I am sure he will not stand by for a moment, obviously the answer is, I should say, in the negative, as it is a pure guess. I suggest to hon. Gentlemen opposite that, having failed to define a necessitous area, having failed to obviate the difficulty of choosing, even in a necessitous area, between prosperous and depressed trades it is this scheme which gives a scientific and well conceived method of assisting trade and industry, and particularly of reducing unemployment.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
The right hon. Gentleman believes in the double method. Be has evidently been instructed in the method of instructors in Rugby football, who teach those who are learning that greatest of all games, that attack is the 1694 best defence. The hon. Gentleman began his speech by inviting the Committee to come to the matter before the Committee. Very little of the right hon. Gentleman's speech dealt strictly with, although it had a bearing on, the matter before the Committee. Much of the speech reminded me of the famous statement by Artemus II about another Member of the. House, who was described as stepping into a breach which was not there. The right hon. Gentleman first of all complained about Members above the Gangway because they placed upon the Order Paper a definition of a necessitous area. He knows that he cannot ride away in that manner. He knows that that definition did at least one thing. It put in order the first Amendment called in the discussion of this Clause, which enabled that great and vital issue to be raised, because unless there had been that first Amendment, and a definition of some kind, the matter could not have been discussed at all in the course of the Debates of the Various Amendments.
My withers are quite unwrung. I would inform the Parliamentary Secretary that did not attempt in my Amendment to the Amendment of the hon. Member for Mile End (Mr. Scurr) to define a necessitous area, but I did think that if it were to be defined in terms of unemployment, and the Amendment were put down before the discussion took place—not after—abnormal unemployment should be regarded as anything above the average. The average at the moment is 9 per cent., and therefore my figure of nine is non the result of any great mental strain but just ordinary common sense, which is so obviously lacking in the definitions and distinctions in this Clause 1. When the Parliamentary Secretary talks about defining necessitous areas, there is no need to mock hon. Members in other parts of the House, because within six months he and his colleagues will be under the painful necessity of solving that problem. If they are to keep their pledge to the House in regard to discrimination, and to meet the case of necessitous areas, they will have to produce a formula.
I will come now directly to the subject matter of the Clause. The Parliamentary Secretary has been seeking to defend it obliquely by reference to the de-rating of machinery, though that has no parallel with this Bill, and he knows that nobody 1695 can judge the effect of that because in many parts of the country that Act is not yet working. I oppose the method proposed in this Bill because I know of only four ways of dealing with the problem with which this Clause sets out to deal. First, you may say we will have a comprehensive scheme of rating reform and of local government reform, which in the hon. Member's phrase would remedy not a radical defect but the radical defects—all of them—which exist in the present rating system. In my judgment that would be the best way. The second way is by dealing with the areas called necessitous, and had the first Amendment moved to this Clause been carried I have no doubt whatever that many Members, aside from party interests, would have formed to pool their knowledge to deal with this problem; for it is not true that everyone is familiar with the problem of the necessitous areas. The trouble of arguing this problem in this House and in two-thirds of the country is that the great mass of our people are not familiar with the problem of the necessitous areas, and it is because no Member of the Government sits for a necessitous area that they have chosen the method embodied in this Clause. The third method which might have been adopted is not the method which the right hon. Gentleman suggested was the policy of the Liberal party, namely, to segregate the unemployed—that is not our policy, it is only one element in it. The real policy propounded from these benches, and the only policy which is the alternative to this one, is to recognise that the real problem of the burden on industry does not arise because certain industries in certain areas pay too much rates for services, but because we are now in possession of a rating system which needs disentangling. We argue that there are three kinds of service, and we object to this Clause because it does not recognize them. There are service rates, there are social rates and there are road rates.
§ Mr. BROWN
I was answering the right hon. Gentleman, who had referred to the policy. I beg your pardon. I will come to the actual subject matter of the Clause, and give my reasons for object 1696 ing to it. I am surprised the right hon. Gentleman objected to the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris). On 6th June the Minister for Health said:There are, of course, two ways in which such Amendments might he made. They might be made by extending the relief that is to be given to those who are not at present included in the Bill. On the other hand, it might be a better way to exclude from the purview of the Bill some who now come within it. I cannot, of course, at this stage, say which might be the better way in any particular case. All I want to say at this stage is that, while in this Clause we have done our best to cope with an extremely difficult and complicated subject, we do not regard what we have set down here as necessarily the last word."—[OFFICAL REPORT, 6th June: vol. 190. Vol.21s.]It is obvious that the Minister of Health recognises that his Clause might have been amended by including other classes of property, but when the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green attempts to do that the Parliamentary Secretary objects to his taking the hint which had been given. He is quite flippant about it. He is often flippant, and we do not object to that, because sometimes flippancy is better than dullness. But I would say that his colleague, when he reads the Debate, will be very disappointed, because while we have had a number of discussions on Amendments no Amendment has been made to the Clause, and it is quite obvious from the discussions that, whatever may be said in favour of including other properties, we are not to get any further on that line. This Clause divides up all the hereditaments. The hon. Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson), who is not now here, said he did not understand that word. He will find a better one in Clause 7, Sub-section (2), because in Scotland they call them "heritages" This Clause divides the hereditaments or heritages into four classes—agricultural, industrial, freight-transport and, by a process of exclusion, all others. I object to this method, because it is a method of discrimination. It is not an apportionment according to need or designed to secure the best value for the money spent, but it is an apportionment which involves exclusion.
I will quote six ways in which the distinction drawn in this Clause serves to discriminate. It discriminates between 1697 one property and another property. It dicriminates between area and area. The tragedy of the necessitous areas is that some of the worst will get no relief on the basis of Clause 1, because there are few or no industries inside their areas. The able-bodied poor who live in their areas do not work in them. It discriminates, thirdly, between commerce and industry; and it will be made clear subsequently that this distinction is viewed with apprehension not merely on this side of the House but on the seats behind the Minister himself. Freight-carrying affects canals, docks and harbours, and hon. Members will see that this discrimination cuts at the root of the whole problem of the freight-carrying heritages or hereditaments. Already this discrimination is causing the most acute anxiety among administrators of these undertakings as to how the line is to be drawn when Clause 1 is put into operation.
I also object to this Clause, because it discriminates between productive and distributive industries. Lastly, I object to the discrimination and distinction between one producer and another. Scottish Members are under a great disadvantage in considering this Bill as compared with their British and Welsh colleagues. The Minister of Health has published 11 papers giving detailed estimates as to how this Clause will work out. He has published these papers for the information of English Members, and the only information which has been given to Scottish Members was given in answer to a question which I put some six weeks ago in the House of Commons: In Scotland this year the total estimated rate is £21,000,000, and paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this Clause provide relief as follows: Agricultural land, if it gets the whole of the rate now paid, will get 100 per cent., and the figure amounts to £1,478,000; productive industries under paragraphs (b) and (c) are paying £4,127,000 a year in rates, and that means if 75 per cent. be taken off in round figures the relief will amount to £3,000,000 for the productive industries of Scotland.
When you analyse these productive industries, as you can easily do by consulting the figures given in the OFFICIAL REPORT on the 30th April, it will be seen that the argument of the hon. 1698 Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) will be borne out by anyone who possesses a detailed knowledge of mills and factories in Scotland. This is a bad Clause, because it evades the real issue and adopts the principle of discrimination. If I had to choose between taking this Clause and having none at all, I would rather have this Clause, although I consider it is a bad one. I should have preferred that the Bill had been drawn on lines which would have done more good to industries and to local government, and to that great mass of able-bodied people who would have benefited but for the discriminations contained in this Clause.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I was rather surprised to hear the parallel which was drawn by the Minister of Health between the proposals of this Bill and the de-rating of machinery. I remember at the time that the de-rating of machinery proposals were being discussed it was argued that with the present basis of assessment and rating still in operation it would only mean that the present ratepayers would have to bear the extra burden of which the machinery was relieved. It is no use proclaiming that the proposals in this Bill are going to give you more employment. I think I am expressing the views 3f the Members of the Labour party when I say that we are as anxious as hon. Members opposite to give industries an impetus onward, and it is rather late in thy day for hon. Members opposite to tell us now how the de-rating of machinery is going to be a great step forward in the future, because we have stated thaw time after time. It is like trying to f y to the high heavens with a one-winged aeroplane when it is necessary to have two wings.
I am saying this in all seriousness as one who has devoted some time to the study of assessments and valuation. You cannot hope to give the relief which I' believe some hon. Members opposite believe that this Bill will give unless you derate or unrate improvements, and you must find some new basis whereon to levy the rates you have removed. Such a proposal as that is not embodied in this Clause in fact it is not even suggested, and you are simply assenting to the old-established form of rating which has worked so badly in the past. I assert that every penny of derating will 1699 find itself expressed in the future in enhanced taxation. Every penny of de-rating which is proposed in this Bill will find itself re-expressed in heavier taxation in the country. The hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) and the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough (Mr. Kingsley Griffith) have been taking great pleasure on account of some proposals taken from the Yellow Book which have been put forward by Liberal Members. The hon. Member for West Middlesbrough suggested that the glorious ideas embodied in this Bill had been fathered by the late Mr. Trevelyan Thomson. I want to say that the proposals contained in this Bill would never have received the assent of this House in former days and would never have received the assent of Scottish Members.
I think the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) when he was speaking made what in my opinion was a grave blunder when he stated that the present rating system possessed a good working form of machinery. I think that is the very thing which any sane body of statesmen ought to remove at once. The present system is that the rating authorities levy the rates on properties according to the rental value produced by those properties from year to year. The consequence is that all the improvements made in those properties have to stand, under the present law, the greatest amount of pressure so far as the rates are concerned. That system is being allowed to remain, and I cannot understand the enthusiasm of some right hon. Gentlemen opposite, under this Bill, in leaving still standing that old vicious system which levies rates in proportion to the industry and improvements made in property. I cannot understand their enthusiasm about leaving that vicious system still running and going on these lines of giving subvention out the public taxpayer's pocket.
There is one other point which ought to be mentioned, more especially in dealing with this Clause. It is the arbitrary distinction of agricultural hereditaments, industrial hereditaments, and freight and transport hereditaments, which are purely artificial. They are distinctions which I predict will make the working of 1700 the Bill almost an impossibility. When it comes to making distinctions in order to arrive at valuations, the Minister of Health to-night speaks about making a geographical line and causing arbitrary distinctions between what is termed the depressed and necessitous area and the factories outside. He said that the contrast was so terrible that one could not contemplate it. But the contrast that will appear under the various distinctions in the decisions of the various assessment committees as to what is a subject in industrial or freight and transport hereditaments will give us a fine variety in the country and lead to no end of friction. Of course, it might be advanced that any Bill that Parliament likes to pass would have these difficulties. That is so, but we have arrived at a time when the advancement of thought in politics and statesmanship should have devised a scheme infinitely more simple than this and one which carried out in reality the project which the Government proclaim they are trying to achieve in this very complicated and archaic Measure.
Let me say at once that I have always maintained, and will maintain despite whatever may be said to the contrary, that rates are a burden on industry, and that the increase of rates is more detrimental to the social progress of the community than even national taxation. In saying that, I also maintain that the growth of rates and the burdens which they bring to industry do not accord with the archaic law which you are still allowing to be maintained. With regard to necessitous areas, there has been much said about them, and I have been entirely in sympathy with much that has been said by my colleagues, but I quite appreciate the enormous difficulty involved in trying to state what is a necessitous area. About 18 months ago, I tried to find out what was a necessitous area with regard to valuation and rating. I turned to some of the best authorities in America, where the science of rating is more highly perfected than in any country in the world, with the exception of Denmark. What do I find? To my amazement, I find that in some of the areas in this country which have been heretofore termed necessitous areas, the landowners take a bigger toll in rents 1701 than in those areas which are non-necessitous. So it clearly points to the fact that if proper scientific forms of rating had been pursued, a necessitous area might have been found to be not a necessitous area at all, but an area which had in it a latent value which we could procure if we had gone about it in a scientific manner. The term "necessitous areas" is a rough and ready label placed on various parts of the country. The right hon. Gentleman said we could not give a legal definition, but we know what they are when we see them.
Finally, what we have been saying has more or less been a sort o open discussion of the general principles of the Bill. I welcome the Bill going into the country, in common with my colleagues, I have always been anxious to relieve industry of any incubus which was maintaining unemployment, but., if hon. Gentleman think that by this kind of Bill they will carry forward the ideal which some of us have been advocating for years—for the unrating of machinery and the growing up of alternative forms of employment, which is more important than a change in rating—and if they think that this Bill is going to carry the country then I can assure them that there are some of us who are only too anxious to enter into detailed criticisms of it. Clause by Clause on the public platform and before any competent body of rating assessors in this country, if the Minister would take this Bill as drafted before the rating authorities of any one town, say, Sydney itself—and I intend sending it to the Assessor of Sydney and asking for his criticisms—before any competent assessor in Sydney or in New York or some of the advanced cities of the United States where a scientific form of rating is pursued, I say that they would laugh it to scorn. It could only have one result—and this brings me to my last word. Supposing it be true that by this Bill you give an impetus to trade and by relieving rates from industry you cause a demand for new machinery, for larger factories, and the expansion of industry all over the country, if it leads to a greater demand for raw materials and a new demand for coal, iron and for sites for factories, then the net result will be to enhance the basic value of the land.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I was just concluding when I used that phrase, and I am sorry that you, Mr. Chairman, cut me short. I was merely saying that as far as I understood this discussion, if all that is claimed for this Bill were true and that these reliefs would lead to this enormous expansion, the Bill would mean the expansion of this monopoly. This monopoly is not challenged under the Bill, and I am hoping, when later Clauses come under review, that I may be able to show that even the valuation proposals in the subsequent Clauses will be utterly unworkable unless you reckon with the monopoly to which I have referred. It is not reckoned with, and it is not even mentioned in the hereditaments. The valuation machinery involved in this Bill cannot work nor can adjustments be made fairly unless one very important element is taken into review, which is not even mentioned in the Bill—and it would have been a miracle if it had been. The Bill is one-half of the problem. There is the unrating of machinery, and you have left the other half, which is the bringing into review of another basis of assessment. You have left it out. No doubt a Conservative Government is not to be expected co bring it in because the sacred Ark of the Covenant in which their party resides would be wrecked if this basic monopoly were called upon to pay its toll. It it very distressing—
§ The CHAIRMAN
How can this he reconciled with the Title of the Bill? In these discussions in Committee we are governed and limited by the Title of the Bill, and the Title of the Bill does not provide or allow for the inclusion of this mysterious entity.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
The Bill, as I see it, deals with rating and valuation apportionment, and the apportionment will go to a very powerful element in society. I am merely trying to bring in what the Bill does not mention, and to point out that it is not mentioned.
§ The CHAIRMAN
That would be perfectly relevant on the Second Reading, but we ire now in Committee on Clause 1.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I was, if I may say so, condemning Clause 1 for not having mentioned it. However, I will conclude, because I quite appreciate how difficult it is to keep strictly within the Rules of the House in dealing with the hidebound words that one finds in a Clause. I wish every man luck who lays his hand to the job of trying in some way to remove the incubus of taxation and rates from the back of industry. It is not my business to be over-critical of those with whom I agree in their endeavour to do that, because I sincerely believe that that economic incubus is more detrimental than most men think. But it is a thousand pities that the task should be undertaken in this half-hearted and laborious way, which will bring us face to face with difficulties that might have been obviated if we had gone about the matter in a scientific way. Therefore, I agree with my colleagues in condemning the Bill as unscientific, and as one which, if put before any competent rating authority in the world, would not receive five minutes' serious consideration.
In the last statement of the Minister of Health there was a little theory that I should like to pursue, because it is dangerous. In referring to the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Colne Valley, the right hon. Gentleman said that some of us on this side would like to see a condition of affairs in which rates on improvements would be swept away altogether, and he postulated from that that such a condition of affairs would lead to a laxity of appreciation of
§ local administration. I hope I am not misquoting the right hon. Gentleman. I want to tell him, with all due deference, that that is not true. In the City of Sydney, where improvements are not rated at all, there is a far greater enthusiasm in regard to local administration, and a far keener interest in local affairs, than in many towns in England.
§ The CHAIRMAN
This Clause does not deal with the rating of improvements. It deals with the distinction of hereditaments, and the whole Bill is merely a Bill to deal with distinctions in valuation and apportionment of the annual value.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I do not, of course, wish to get into conflict with the Chair, but I thought it necessary, before concluding, to reply to a point which was put by the Minister himself. The chances are that if you, Mr. Hope, had been in the Chair at the time, the Minister would have been called to order himself, but, as he was not, I was taking the same freedom that he took and replying to him. I hope that, as the Bill goes on, I shall be able to put forward some tangible Amendments in order to bring to light the really serious difficulties which are embedded in the Bill.
§ 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, 239; Noes, 135.1707
|Division No. 174.]||AYES.||[9.43 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Brassey, Sir Leonard||Cooper, A. Duff|
|Albery, Irving James||Briggs, J. Harold||Cope, Major Sir William|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Briscoe, Richard George||Couper, J. B.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Brown. Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Buckingham, Sir H.||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)|
|Atkinson, C.||Surman, J. B.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert|
|Bainiel, Lord||Campbell, E. T.||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Cassels, J. D.||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Davies, Dr. Vernon|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S.)||Dawson, Sir Philip|
|Bennett, A. J.||Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Dean, Arthur Wellesley|
|Berry, Sir George||Cecil, Rt. Hon Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Drewe, C.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Eden, Captain Anthony|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Edmondson, Major A. J.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Ellis, R. G.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Christie, J. A.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Colfox, Major Win. Phillips||Everard, W. Lindsay|
|Brass, Captain W.||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Fairfax, Captain J. G.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Salmon, Major I.|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Long, Major Eric||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Fielden, E. B.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Finburgh, S.||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Haiman||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Lumley, L. R.||Sandon, Lord|
|Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Savery, S. S.|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathca't)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||McLean, Major A||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Gates, Percy||Macmillan, Captain H.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfast)|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Margesson, Captain D.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Meller, R. J.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Steel. Major Samuel Strang|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Hacking, Douglas H.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Styles, Captain H. W.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Harland, A.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Tasker, R. Inlgo.|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Nuttall, Ellis||Waddington, R.|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col Sir Vivian||Oakley, T.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Pennefather, Sir John||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Penny, Frederick George||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Perring, Sir William George||Wells, S. R.|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Plicher, G.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Pliditch, Sir Philip||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Power, Sir John Cecil||Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Radford, E. A.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Raine, Sir Walter||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Ramsden, E.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Womerslay, W. J.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Reid, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Iveagh, Countess of||Held, D. D. (County Down)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Remer, J. R.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C,|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts y)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||TFLLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Captain Wallace and Sir Victor Warrender.|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Rye, F. G.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hayes, John Henry|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Dalton, Hugh||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Day, Harry||Hirst, G. H.|
|Amnion, Charles George||Dennison, R.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Duncan, C.||Hollins, A.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Dunnico, H.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Baker, Walter||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Fenby, T. D.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)|
|Barnes, A.||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)|
|Barr, J.||Gibbins, Joseph||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Batey, Joseph||Gillett, George M.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Gosling, Harry||Kennedy, T.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin,, Cen[...].)||Kirkwood, D.|
|Briant, Frank||Greenall, T.||Lawrence, Susan|
|Broad, F. A.||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coine)||Lawson, John James|
|Bromfield, William||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Lee, F.|
|Bromley, J.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Lindley, F. W.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Grundy, T. W.||Livingstone, A. M.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Lowth, T.|
|Cape, Thomas||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Lunn, William|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hardie, George D.||Wackinder, W.|
|Compton, Joseph||Harney, E. A.||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Connolly, M.||Harris, Percy A.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Cove, W. G.||Hayday, Arthur||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)|
|March, S.||Scurr, John||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Maxton, James||Sexton, James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewie||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Montague, Frederick||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Townend, A. E.|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Shinwell, E.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Murnin, H.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Viant, S. P.|
|Naylor, T. E.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Oliver, George Harold||Sitch, Charles H.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Palin, John Henry||Smillie, Robert||Westwood, J|
|Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Snell, Harry||Whiteley, W.|
|Ponsonby, Arthur||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Potts, John S.||Stamford, T. W.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Rees, Sir Beddoe||Stephen, Campbell||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Riley, Ben||Strauss, E. A.||Windsor, Walter|
|Ritson, J.||Sullivan, Joseph||Wright, W.|
|Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)||Sutton, J. E.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Rose, Frank H.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Salter, Dr. Alfred||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Scrymgeour, E.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Piaistow)||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Paling.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."1708
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 260; Noes, 134.1709
|Division No. 175.]||AYES.||[9.51 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col, Charles||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)|
|Albery, Irving James||Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Hills, Major John Waller|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainssbro)||Hohier, Sir Gerald Fitzroy|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)|
|Atkinson, C.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Hudson, capt. A. U. M. (Hackney. N.)|
|Bainiel, Lord||Drewe, C.||Hume, Sir G. H|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Duckworth, John||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Illffe, Sir Edward M.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Ellis, R. G.||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Beery, Sir George||England, Colonel A.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Kindersley, Major Guy M.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Everard, W. Lindsay||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Bowyer, Captain C. E. R.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey|
|Brass, Captain w||Fielden, E. B.||Long, Major Eric|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Finburgh, S.||Lougher, Lewis|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Ford, Sir P. J.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Forrest, W.||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||Lumley, L. R.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Fraser, Captain Ian||Lynn, Sir R. J.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Mac Andrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)|
|Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alas.||Gates, Percy||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)|
|Burman, J. B.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||McLean, Major A.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Macmillan Captain H.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Goff, Sir Park||MacRobert, Alexander M|
|Cassels, J. D.||Gower, Sir Robert||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Margesson, Capt. D.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Grotrian, H. Brent||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth. S.)||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Meller, R. J.|
|Cecil, Ht. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hacking, Douglas H.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Christie, J. A.||Harland, A.||Mcnsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Harrison, G. J. C.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Hartington, Marquess of||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Haslam, Henry C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Couper, J. B.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn., N.)||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Oakley, T.||Salmon, Major I.||Waddington, R.|
|O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luter)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Ward, Lt. Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Pennefather, sir John||Sanderson, sir Frank||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Penny, Frederick George||Sandon, Lord||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustavi D.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Savery, S. S.||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Perring, Sir William George||Shepperson, E. W.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Wells, S. R.|
|Pilcher, G.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfst.)||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Pilditch, Sir Philip||Skelton, A. N.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Price, Major C. W. M.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Radford, E. A.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Wilson, Sir Charles H.(Leeds, Central)|
|Raine, Sir Walter||Sprot, sir Alexander||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Ramsden, E.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Rawson, Sir Cooper||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Rees, Sir Beddoe||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Reid, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)||Storry-Deans, R.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Remer, J. R.||Styles, Captain H. Walter||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Rentoul, G. S.||Sudden, Sir Wilfrid||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Tanker, R, Inigo.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes,. Stretford)||Tinne, J, A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Captain Wallace and Sir Victor Warrender.|
|Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Rye, F. G.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hardie, George D.||Rose, Frank H.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Harney, E. A.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Harris, Percy A.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hayday, Arthur||Scurr, John|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hayes, John Henry||Sexton, James|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Baker, Walter||Hirst, G. H.||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Shinwell. E.|
|Barnes, A.||Hollins, A.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Barr, J.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Sinclair, Major sir A (Caithness)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Smillie, Robert|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Briant, Frank||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Snell, Harry|
|Broad, F. A.||Kelly, W. T.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bromfield, William||Kennedy, T.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bromley, J.||Kirkwood, D||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Lawrence, Susan||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Lawson, John James||Strauss, E. A.|
|Cape, Thomas||Lee, F.||Sullivan, J.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lindley, F. W.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Livingstone, A. M.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Compton, Joseph||Lowth, T.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Connelly, M.||Lunn, William||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Cove, W. G.||Mac Donald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Mackinder. W.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dalton, Hugh||MacLaren, Andrew||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Day, Harry||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Townend, A. E.|
|Dennison, R.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Varley, Frank B.|
|Duncan, C.||March, S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Dunnico, H.||Maxton, James||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Fenby, T. D.||Montague, Frederick||Westwood, J.|
|George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Morrison, R, C. (Tottenham, N.)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Murnin, H.||Whiteley, w.|
|Gillett, George M.||Naylor, T. E.||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Gosling, Harry||Oliver, George Harold||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Palin, John Henry||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenall, T.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Windsor, Walter|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wright, W.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Potts, John S.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Richardson. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Riley, Ben||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ritson, J.||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Paling.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
Question put, and agreed to.