§ *MR. C. A. WHITMORE (Chelsea)
said that, in the unavoidable absence of his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of London (Sir John Lubbock) it fell to him to move "That this Bill be now read a Second time." He knew that the Motion would be met with vigorous opposition—[Ministerial cheers]—and that that opposition would come mainly from those with whom he generally had the pleasure of working. As he believed that a great deal of the opposition of his hon. Friends arose out of vague and general prejudices, and as he was certain their opposition to this particular proposal had been inflamed by statements which were misleading and estimates which were exaggerated, he hoped he would be pardoned if he, at no excessive length, stated the case of the London County Council. The proposal in the Bill was that the County Council should have power to acquire a site to the east of their present buildings which would run over that area of land which was bounded by Cockspur Street, Charing Cross, and the Mall, and which would in future be bounded by the extended Mall, assuming that the Government carried out the plan to extend the Mall into Charing Cross. The necessity of a great extension of the site for the County Council buildings was no new question. From the first it had been generally admitted that the present offices were quite insufficient for the satisfactory discharge of the duties which had been delegated to that Council. In 1890 a special committee of the Council carefully viewed 11 different sites which were then available for new offices; but now every one of those sites had ceased to be available. At the present moment, as he was instructed, there was only one site available, and that was the one which it was the object of this Bill to 672 enable the Council to acquire. The staff of the Council numbered 500 persons, and two-fifths of that staff were housed away from the central offices. The cost of housing those who were away amounted to £6,000 a year. To give an idea of the necessity for new buildings he might state that there were 24 standing committees of the Council, and it was not unusual for the committees and sub-committees to hold as many as 50 meetings a week. Yet there were only five rooms in the present buildings available for their accommodation, including the so-called library, and there was no sort of separate room in which a deputation could be received. The necessity for new buildings being admitted, the main question left to be considered was whether the proposed site was an extravagantly expensive one. ["Hear, hear!"] He contended that it was not, and expressed surprise that certain irresponsible statements of an exaggerated character as to the cost should have been put forward publicly. The figures which he should give to the House, on the other hand, were based on estimates made by experts responsible to the County Council. It was calculated that the cost of acquiring the site would be £813,000. It was intended that the ground floor of the buildings should be utilised for bank offices, insurance offices, and other business premises, and the value of letting those premises would amount to the capital sum of £300,000, as against the £813,000 for the site; and the annual interest would be £20,000, which meant an addition to the rates of one-seventh of a penny in the pound. The probable cost of the buildings would be £500,000, which meant another one-seventh of a penny in the pound. The freehold would be acquired in 60 years. What the ratepayers had to consider was whether it was worth their while, in order to obtain new buildings in a central and convenient position, to sacrifice the difference in rates between two-sevenths of a penny in the pound and one-fourteenth of a penny in the pound now paid for leasehold interest.
§ SIR J. B. MAPLE (Camberwell, Dulwich)
Does that include compensation in respect of the new street contemplated?
§ *MR. WHITMORE
At any rate, the making of the new street has nothing to do with this Bill nor the County Council. That matter rested entirely with the Government, and he hoped the Government would carry out the scheme. ["Hear, hear!"] He wished to impress upon the House that this scheme was not promoted by one party or the other in the County Council—it was neither a Progressive nor a Moderate scheme. [Cheers.] And the composition of the majority of the Council who voted for the present proposal was very significant, and bore out his statement that the scheme was not at all one of a party character. In that majority there voted 10 present chairmen of committees of the Council, equally divided between Moderates and Progressives; 15 ex-chairmen of committees, and two ex-chairmen of the Council. So that it might fairly be said that the proposal was backed up by the authoritative voice of those in the Council who had most experience and responsibility. [''Hear, hear!"] It was dictated by absolute administrative necessity. The site proposed was not only a good one, but it was really the only available site, and the price was not an extravagantly expensive one. [Ironical cheers.] He knew it would be stated and reiterated that the object of the Bill was to erect a palace for the pleasure and pride of the Progressives of the County Council. ["Hear, hear!"] No such idea had entered into the minds of those who were supporting the proposal. What they wanted was simply to meet the absolute administrative necessities of the Council. He did not think it would be necessary to rebuild the present Council Chamber; the new buildings would be strictly allocated to the staff and proper housing of the several committees of the Council. It would also be said by the opponents of the Bill that any extension of buildings for the County Council at the present moment was premature—["hear, hear!"]—that there was likely to be a reconstruction of the system of London local government, and that there was likely to be a great devolution of authority and powers from the County Council to local authorities. ["Hear, hear!"] There was no good mincing words on this matter, no good in cherishing false hopes and 674 indulging in vain dreams. He was perfectly convinced himself that they never would be able to make any very large or very material subtraction from the powers the County Council now had. There were many small powers, no doubt, which could be transferred from the County Council to local authorities, and for his part he thought the sooner those powers were transferred the better it would be for the local authorities and for the London County Council. But it was vain to suppose that the settlement which was arrived at by the great Act of 1888 could be fundamentally or essentially varied. The County Council must remain the central administrative authority for London. [Opposition cheers.] Even when these smaller duties were transferred to the local authorities they must not suppose that the volume of the work of the Council would not continue to increase. The natural growth of the population and the tendency of all modern legislation must very quickly redress the balance. Therefore, be said that any hopes that might be raised on the plea that it was premature now to erect buildings of this kind were false hopes, founded on expectations which never could be realised. In the last place, no doubt the opponents of the Bill would rest their opposition on a feeling which, though they might not express it, was deeply felt, of, "Oh, bother the Council and all its works." It was not for him to eulogise the County Council, but he did say that all of them, Radical and Conservative, Progressive and Moderate, were interested in making that body as good an administrative body as they could make it. ["Hear, hear!"] The way to attract good Londoners to its service was not by constantly depreciating it, by constantly carping at everything it did, was not by harassing it, and not by preventing the further progress of any Measure which it thought was necessary at the Second Reading stage. After all this was not a matter of politics. It was not a matter even of municipal politics. It seemed to him to be esentially a question of cost, which ought primarily to be decided between the ratepayers and their duly-constituted representatives. This Bill came before the House with a respectable majority, irrespective of party, of the Council at its back, and he asked the House to look at the real merits of this particular 675 Bill and not lightly or hurriedly to arrest its further progress. [Cheers.]
§ MR. E. BOULNOIS (Marylebone, E.)
said he rose to move to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months." [Cheers.] He claimed on this occasion to represent a large minority on the London County Council, and also the vast body of the ratepayers of London, who were opposed to this scheme. Unfortunately in a Bill of this kind, if it went to a committee, the ratepayers per se had no locus, and the opinions of London could not be expressed before an ordinary Select Committee of that House. The only opportunity the ratepayers had of being heard was in that Chamber itself. The Bill was introduced by his right hon. Friend the Member for the London University, his hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea, and the hon. Member for Batter-sea. It was rather significant that the first two Gentlemen were Aldermen of the County Council—["hear, hear!"]—and, though he desired to speak with every respect of the Aldermen, he ventured to suggest that they represented no one but themselves. ["Hear, hear!"] As to the hon. Member for Battersea, it could hardly be maintained that he represented the whole of the ratepayers of London. ["Hear, hear!"] Then he objected to the title of the Bill. The title, the London County Buildings Bill, had misled members of the County Council, the public, and, he said without hesitation, a certain number of Members of that House. The Bill was originally called the London County Hall Bill, but at the instigation of the right hon. Member for the London University it was altered to its present title, and it thus secured the support of some weak-kneed members of the Council, who, he understood, had since become rather lukewarm in their praise of the scheme. The scheme was hastily considered, and it was ill judged. The site, in the first place, was a great deal larger than was really required for the purposes of the Council. He supposed the House could hardly conceive the fact, but he was told that the site was as large as that upon which the Foreign Office, the Home Office, the India Office, the Colonial Office, and the Local Government Board Office altogether stood. [Laughter.] His next objection was that it was probably the most expensive site that could be chosen 676 in London. He imagined that, with the exception of the Bank of England, they would not find a more expensive site than that on the south side of Trafalgar Square. It was said there was no other site; but, in the opinion of those who had taken a deep interest in this matter, there were several very available sites for this purpose. The Council let slip the very good site that was offered to them in the Hotel Cecil, and the equally good site in the Haymarket where Her Majesty's Theatre stood. But there were still available the site of Christ's Hospital in the City; of Clare Market—a site which the Council had in its own hands practically; of the Aquarium; the site now occupied by Morley's Hotel and the Golden Cross Hotel; and, there was also a site on the Thames Embankment. ["Hear, hear!"] In addition to these it was quite clear that, sooner or later, the County Council would have to make a wide street from Holborn to the Strand, where they might get any number of sites. He maintained that no proper inquiry had been made as to sites, those who supported this scheme having set their minds upon Trafalgar Square. It was necessary to say a word on the cost, because his hon. Friend had stated he had mentioned figures which were not accurate. In the statement circulated the cost was set down at 1½ millions. This figure was taken from the London County Council statement. In their Bill they named the sum of £851,000 for the site alone.
§ *MR. WHITMORE
explained that the cost of acquisition of site was £850,000, but it was practically concluded that there should be a transfer of part of the land to the Government, which accounted for the difference between £850,000 and £830,000.
§ MR. BOULNOIS
said in addition to the sum for the acquisition of land there was an estimate of £500,000 for building, so that taking the £500,000 and the £851,000 named in the Bill the total was not very far short of 1½ millions. This total, his hon. Friend said, would be greatly reduced by shops and business offices; which would be placed on the ground floor of the contemplated building. But the Council had not pledged themselves to build shops, they only mentioned that this could be done, but they went on to say it, would be premature to suggest any conclusion as to this part of 677 the scheme, and as a matter of fact this had never been agreed to by the Council. The amount of £500,000 for the building was admitted to be simply a loose estimate on the part of the architect, not based on plans, elevations and details, the architect was simply asked "What do you think the building would cost?" and he named the sum of £500,000. But did any hon. Gentleman imagine for an instant that a building could be put on a site of 84,000 square feet for £500,000? He would undertake to say that anyone with experience in such matters would estimate the cost at at least a million of money. On the question of site and building he would like to allude to the much abused London "School Board. That body was not usually credited by the people with any strong disposition in favour of economy, but they had a very line and suitable building on the Embankment good enough for any municipality, including even the London County Council, and he found that the total sum expended upon the site, building, and all charges was £201,024. The building accommodated 300 clerks, and his hon. Friend said the Council required accommodation for 500, say double the number of the London School Board, or treble or quadruple it, and it did not come to anything like the sum the London County Council proposed to spend in Trafalgar Square. ["Hear, hear!"] But the London School Board did not go there, they were content with a modest, site on the Thames Embankment which the London County Council could have if they chose. The ratepayers had never been consulted in this matter. ["Hear, hear!"] His hon. Friend said two or three times, what the ratepayers had to decide was this or that, but if the Bill passed the ratepayers would have no voice in the matter, and certainly they could not decide. This was essentially a ratepayers' question which had never been put before the ratepayers in any shape. He challenged the hon. Member for Battersea or any Member of the London County Council to say if there was any allusion made to this gigantic proposal at the last, Council election in addresses or speeches of candidates. There were plenty of matters that did engage attention, water supply, tramways and matters of that sort, which, of course, they might very well deal with, but the idea of spending 1½ millions of money 678 on a magnificent Hôtel de Ville was never presented to the ratepayers. ["Hear, hear!"] Until the ratepayers were consulted on this matter it was not right that Parliament or the Council should give assent, to such a scheme. He admitted that there was a, necessity for more accommodation, and larger premises for the London County Council, and no doubt the House would be told by the hon. Member for Battersea that the Council were "cabined, cribbed, confined," but it was not quite so bad as that. There was a necessity for larger premises, but this did not justify the London County Council in going to the most expensive site they could find in London, and spending 1½ millions of money. ["Hear, hear!"] He appealed to the House on behalf of the ratepayers, who were unable to protect themselves. There was no urgency in the matter, the delay of another year, what was all the throwing out of the Bill would mean, would not seriously hurt the Council, and for 25 years their predecessors, the Metropolitan Board of Works, had managed to get on pretty well in their building, and with the utmost confidence he asked the House to reject this costly, ambitious, and unnecessary scheme. [Cheers.] He formally moved that the Bill be Read a Second time this day six months.
§ MR. C. E. TRITTON (Lambeth, Norwood)
said be begged to second the Amendment. The House would agree that it, had been treated to an interesting and edifying spectacle, two hon. Members who sat on the same side, both in the House and in the London County Council Chamber, being diametrically opposed in their views upon this Bill. As an independent London Member having nothing to do with the County Council, he would briefly give his reasons for supporting the Motion for the rejection of the Bill. The hon. Gentleman who had moved the Second Reading told the House very plainly, and in no, hesitating language, of the feelings that animated those who were going to oppose the Bill, they were actuated, he said, by a vague and general prejudice and deep disgust, of the London County Council, which he summed up in the expression "Bother the London Comity Council and all its works." He objected to have his feelings represented in that way by one who could know very little of those feelings. He acted on this 679 occasion out of no spirit of general opposition to the London County Council, and he was not aware that he had ever said a word against the Council. As a Londoner, he recognised the immense good the County Council had done in a great many directions, more especially in relation to parks and open spaces, a subject in which he took great interest. Having put himself right with his hon. Friend he would first justify his action in the interest of the London County Council itself, and he was not without hope that the promoters of the Bill would even yet see that they had been rather premature in bringing this Bill forward. In the interest of the London County Council he was sorry to sec the unpopularity of the Council in some parts of London. He would like to see the Council thoroughly popular among all London people, and ventured to suggest that this move of the Council would not add to its popularity. He had been in conversation with a good many ratepayers in the last few days, and had found amongst them nothing but a feeling of absolute horror at this scheme in the Bill. He earnestly hoped the Council would reconsider its position. It was a young and vigorous body and its parent sitting below (Mr. Ritchie) must be surprised to find what a lusty young Council it had become, and how far it had exceeded the hopes with which it started on its career. Its position, however, was not yet clearly defined, and the Council might well wait before embarking upon expenditure of this kind. There was a great want of space it was said, and Members of the Conservative Party had every sympathy with overcrowding, seeing how they were crowded in the House and its precincts. Still, overcrowded as they were, they went diligently on striving to do their duty to the State without murmur or complaint. The County Councillors might well do the same. The ratepayers looked with great anxiety on the ever-increasing debt of the Loudon County Council. The debt of the County Council amounted to £19,250,000 and was constantly increasing. In face of these facts he did not wonder that many thoughtful citizens and ratepayers of the great Metropolis were seriously pondering in their mind how much further this ever-growing expenditure of the London County Council was to be allowed to go. ["Hear, hear!"] 680 As one of the representatives of a division of poor parishes in Lambeth, where great suffering was entailed owing to the rates, he hoped the House would not pass a Bill which would considerably increase the local burdens. ["Hear, hear!"] There were many improvements which they earnestly desired to see carried out, but which, for want of money, could not be pushed forward, and whilst that was the case, the London County Council were not justified in asking for £1,500,000 for the purpose of the erection of a new county hall. They wanted in the Metropolis more street improvements, the removal of insanitary spots, and better dwellings for the toiling masses, rather than such a building as the London County Council proposed to erect for themselves, and of which the ratepayers had hitherto heard little. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)
desired to say that a large minority of men who shared the views of the hon. Member for Marylebone in the County Council disagreed very strongly indeed with the views he had expressed that afternoon. As to the ratepayers, there had not been an election since 1889 at which the necessity for this new building had not been dwelt upon, the opponents of the Council's policy using the county hall argument as a reason why the Progressives should be defeated. From the point of view of the cost, he submitted that was not a matter for the House of Commons, but for the ratepayers electing the Council, who only wanted that opportunity of doing for the London ratepayers what Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, and Bradford had done in relation to similar schemes for their municipalities. ["Hear, hear!"] He denied that this was a hasty project, for the sub-committees of the Council, in consequence of the present lack of accommodation, had often been compelled to meet in rooms which, if they had done their duty as a sanitary authority, they ought to have scheduled as insanitary areas. The question had been before the Council for eight years. The hon. Member for Marylebone had said the site proposed was too large. Its measurement was 84,000ft., or about two-thirds of the area occupied by the two adjoining Admiralty buildings together. Then it was said that sites could be obtained elsewhere. He would ask where? 681 Take the Victoria Embankment site. The hon. Member knew that the bulk of the site opposite the Thames Conservancy offices had already been acquired for newspaper offices, and he ventured to say if it had been offered at one-fourth of the price that had been paid for it by the two newspapers that were erecting buildings upon it, such was the character of the ground that they could not have put upon it any building which they expected to last 200 or 300 years. On account of the nature of the subsoil it had been found necessary to put down a blanket of concrete 8ft. thick before building operations could be commenced. As to the Hotel Cecil, which had been spoken of, that building was unsuitable for the work of the London County Council. Then they were told about the Hay-market site. It was not the fault of the London County Council that they could not get it, and when it was mentioned it was met with the same kind of opposition that was offered to the present proposal. It was suggested that they should pull down Christ's Hospital. That was the suggestion of a vandal and a Philistine. [Laughter.] He objected to either the House of Commons or the County Council, or Progressives or Moderates, identifying themselves with the cheap and nasty policy of getting rid of old buildings that made up the history and traditions of their great city. [Laughter and "Hear, hear!"] That was a worthy Conservative sentiment. [Laughter.]
§ SIR FREDERICK DIXON-HARTLAND (Middlesex, Uxbridge)
wished to point out, that the site of Christ's Hospital had been condemned and a new site bought in the country, so that the present building had to be pulled down. The building was a comparatively modern one, so that it was not necessary it should be kept by reason of its antiquity.
§ MR. BURNS,
in continuation, traversed the argument that the building could not be erected on the proposed site for £500,000, expressing his conviction that it could be entirely constructed for from £350,000 to £400,000. The County Council did not want a palace, or Hôtel de Ville, but what they did want was a workshop in which they could do their municipal work. ["Hear, hear!"] Above all, if they were to have such a building it must be of either brick or stone, sufficiently solid to justify the intended outlay upon it, and architecturally and artistically blend with the splendid Government offices which were to be built in close proximity. The County Council were green with envy of the London School Board's offices. The tea room of the London School Board office has a floor space equal to that of three of the five Committee rooms that the County Council were imprisoned in. The hon. Member for Norwood wanted the County Council to trouble less about the overcrowding of its own members and more about overcrowding in the dwellings of the poor. The Council had eleven rehousing schemes, on which alone it was spending £400,000, in the East End of London. It was not to be expected that men of all shades of politics, who devotedly gave their time to the service of the ratepayers would spend six, eight, or ten hours a day, live days a week, in offices lit only for a slum and in an atmosphere not so good as that of the stable in which hon. Members put their horses. [Ministerial crien of "Oh!"] Eleven sites had been suggested and abandoned, either because they were too dear or inappropriate. The conditions on which they held them tied them to their present offices. There was a 62 years' lease to run, for one thing. Several of the Council's officials' offices were scattered about the neighbourhood—as in Craven Street and Cranbourne Street, a quarter of a mile away. When the Main Drainage Committee, that had purified the river and done excellent work the last eight years, were sitting, and they wanted the engineer and the chemist, the engineer would be in the building at Charing Cross and the chemist half-a-mile away. Frequently they had to delay or postpone work for want of time to find their officials. The Council had fourteen departments and a staff or 500 persons. 683 The Technical Education and Metropolitan Asylums Boards held their meetings at the Council's offices, and other similar bodies would be able to do so if they had more room. The hon. Member for Chelsea said the scheme would only represent a rate of one-seventh—he believed it would only be one-twelfth or one fourteenth of a penny in the pound. He himself believed that, even if it represented one fourth of a penny, the London ratepayers would grant it, and the Council would have a right to demand it. Glasgow, with a population one eighth that of London, spent £700,000 on its town hall; Manchester spent £400,000 on the site, and £600,000 more on the building. Leeds and Bradford also had fine town halls, and what great provincial towns like these had, should not be denied to London. The Pall Mall Gazette, which had been heading the agitation against the Bill, urged that the site proposed would be costly, the plan extravagant, and the hall ought not to be located where it was proposed to place it. The Pall Mall had persistently attacked the project, and asked hon. Members to rally, not on the side of economy, efficiency, or the appropriateness of site, but to rescue the dustbin of the proprietor of the Pall Mall, whose residence was next door to the offices of the County Council, from having its ventilation and access to light and air interfered with. Let the House contrast this niggardly petty policy with the splendid behaviour of the hon. Member for Greenwich, their next door neighbour. The Council were prepared to deal with him in a neighbourly spirit. It was an abuse of London hospitality, it was not fair or gentlemanly for a new millionaire from America to dump his city offices next those of the London School Board and prevent their extension, and his own house next to the offices of the London County Council, and to complain because the Council came "between the wind and his ability." His appeals to hon. Members were based on selfish, personal reasons, by which he himself hoped they would not be deceived. He could stand a decent duke—[loud laughter]—or a militant marquess—[renewed laughter]—but here was a new millionaire enjoying the hospitality of London, in whose ground rents he was investing heavily, and whose sanitation he was partaking of 684 —[laayhter]—sanitation which he could not get in Fifth Avenue or Broadway. Why did not his public spirit rise to the level of that of the city of which he was a citizen, and propitiate those who scorned delights and lived laborious days in the service of the people of London. Why should they be herded together in rooms that the House of Commons would not kennel a dog in? ["Hear, hear! "and cries of "Question!"] The Council did not want a palatial building, but one in which they could meet and do their work properly. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. W. F. D. SMITH (Strand, Westminster)
said that on that side of the House they were not opposed to the idea that London should have a proper Hall in which to carry on municipal affairs. He had been approached in regard to this matter, however, by numerous ratepayers of the Strand, whom he represented, and at least one of the public bodies in the Strand borough, who believed that there was, at any rate, a good case for the postponement of this Bill. ["Hear, hear!"] It had been objected that the scheme was for a site larger and more valuable than was needed, and he thought that the admission that the London County Council intended to use the lower floor for shops was proof that the site was too big. He did not know whether that use of a part of the buildings would add to the dignity of the new County Hall. ["Hear, hear!"] He thought it would give the Hall a rather similar appearance to that of the hotel on, the opposite side of the square. Something had been said with regard to the cost of the site, and he could not help fearing that the estimated price for the site was lower than the County Council could reasonably expect to get it for. The offices there were particularly valuable to those who used them. He knew certainly of one case of a large firm which had been disturbed no less than three times within a comparatively short period. He thought they would agree that in such a case there would be a strong case for considerable compensation. There were some exceptionally hard cases of that sort. He did not think either that it would be found that the premises on the lowest floor, which it was proposed to let, would be useful to such firms as those he referred to. He thought therefore that the estimated revenue which was expected from the letting of 685 the premises on the ground-floor had been very considerably exaggerated. They did not think that there was no case to be made out for the County Council, but they thought that this was a site which the County Council need not acquire.
§ SIR J. LUBBOCK (London University)
said that the opposition to this Bill was founded very much on a misapprehension, and the expense contemplated had been much exaggerated. Hon. Members who opposed this Bill did not seem to appreciate the great difficulties under which the business of the Council was carried on. It was no question of the Council Chamber. That was simple but convenient. The staff, however, were scattered in 14 different houses. Some were working in attics and rooms intended for bedrooms. It was impossible, however, to rearrange them, because the tenancies were so short, in some cases only yearly tenancies. Under these circumstances the heads of departments could not exercise any proper supervision. Moreover, the houses were much scattered, in one case half a mile away. This was very inconvenient. Sometimes a committee telephoned for a particular officer, and when he came a paper was wanted, which had to be sent for, involving great loss of time. There were 24 committees, and eight to ten meetings a day, but there were only five committee rooms. There was only one waiting-room, and, when deputations came from Vestries and other bodies, there was no proper room for them, and they had to stand about waiting in passages. The Committee had been considering sites for some years, and were of opinion that this was the best, and, everything considered, the most economical. They had a sixty years' lease of their main building, and if they went elsewhere it would be unsuited for other purposes. He had been Chairman for two years, and could assure the House that additional space was urgently required. When the Bill was before the Council it was supported by sixteen Chairmen of Committees, and not one voted against it. The Bill did not raise the question of the building, it merely enabled the Council to acquire a proper site. If it were thought necessary, the expense might be greatly reduced by letting off the frontage towards Trafalgar Square. The present was an opportunity 686 which ought not to be lost. If the Motion were passed the Bill would be rejected. If the Second Reading was passed the Council would still have to satisfy the Committee upstairs. The Bill was supported by all those who knew most of the work of the Council—by the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Deputy Chairman, and sixteen Chairmen of Committees. He hoped, therefore, that it would not be summarily rejected on ex parte and exaggerated statements, but that the House would at least give them the opportunity of proving their case before a Committee upstairs. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ *MR. CHARLES HARRISON (Plymouth)
said that, as a member of the London County Council since it was originally instituted, and as the representative on the Council of South West Bethnal Green, one of the poorest districts of East London, he ventured to make some remarks on the Bill. Parliament had protected the ratepayer in London over and beyond ratepayers in all other municipalities. It had placed the control of all capital expenditure and finance under the absolute veto of the Treasury, who control the public finance. They were also further protected by the Standing Order of this House, which required all Bills relating to the finance of the London County Council to be introduced as public Bills, so as to give the whole House control over capital expenditure. But in assuming control and giving this protection in regard to capital expenditure it had not hitherto been suggested that Parliament should extend its control beyond capital expenditure and exercise it as regards rate. On all measures the Council was left answerable to the electors, the ratepayers, and the question was whether Parliament should now extend the doctrine of control, and apply it to rate. This particular scheme was adopted by the Council, upon the report of a special committee. That report dealt with the rejected proposals for acquiring eight different sites. Amongst them that of Christ's Hospital, alluded to in this Debate, and the Victoria Embankment site; as to Christ's Hospital site the report stated thatinasmuch as the land had only a small frontage to Newgate Street, the remainder being back land over which there were several rights of light, it was considered that the site would 687 be worthless, unless valuable property, including valuable property fronting Newgate Street, were included.As to the Embankment site the report found that only 53,043 square feet were available, of which 7,300 were over the Metropolitan District Railway. Under these circumstances the present site was recommended and adopted, and in favour of that scheme on the division there voted the three City representatives on the Council. They knew what was wanted. There was a staff required to be housed of 500, but the Council administered and had a staff of 2,097 yearly contract men, and 5,795 weekly wages men. A point had been raised that the powers of the Council were likely to be affected by the transfer to local bodies of some of those bodies, and that, in consequence, the requirements of the Council would not necessitate such a large scheme as that proposed by the Bill. But there was now a common consensus between the Council and the local authorities that any powers which might be transferred would be of a limited nature, and would not affect the staff and organisation. It was never suggested that the administration of the 12,000 or 13,000 pauper lunatics in the different asylums, the 830 men of the Fire Brigade, the 1,040 acres of parks and gardens, the 2,626 acres of open spaces, all distributed in every conceivable part of London, north, south, east and west; the powers over the action of local authorities in reference to health, the licensing in reference to the storage of petroleum, the licensing of slaughter houses, and of infant reception houses, should be transferred to local authorities. It was admitted on all hands these would have to be retained, and, if so, the Council required the scheme put forward, which involved a cost on rate of less than ¼d. in the pound, and after the most careful examination by the Council was approved of by members representing both parties as being necessary and the only reasonable plan to carry out.
§ MR. C. T. MURDOCH (Reading)
said he desired to speak on behalf of those who would be dispossessed of their places of business if the scheme of the London County Council was carried out. In the opinion of those most qualified to give a decision on the point, the estimate of the cost of acquiring this site at which the County Council had arrived was greatly underrated. Those who had seen 688 the plans would notice the enormous frontage on Trafalgar Square—a frontage entirely disproportionate to the size of the whole area. That frontage was occupied by some of the most expensively constructed and highly rented buildings in England. He might mention that amongst the buildings were one of the leading banks, four of the leading insurance offices, the offices of four or five of the principal steamship companies, and a great many shops well known to many Members of the House, especially the shop of Messrs. Stanford, the map sellers, in which they all took an interest. To acquire all these premises would cost the London County Council an enormous amount of money. His right hon. Friend the Member for the London University seemed to throw upon those who opposed the Bill the onus of trying to prevent the London County Council from erecting such offices as they required. He was sure they had no wish to do anything of the kind. All they wanted was that when the County Council decided upon having new offices they should not expend an unnecessary amount in taking an immense frontage on one of the most expensive sites in London. A question of this kind in which the expenditure of an enormous sum of money was concerned ought to be laid for decision before the ratepayers who elected the London County Council. It was idle for his right hon. Friend the Member for the London University to say that the ratepayers could appear before the Committee of the House. He was not aware that the ratepayers would have any locus standi before the Committee; but even if they could appear it would be a very expensive business for them; and, what was more, they could not arrive by such a process at the opinion of more than a fraction of the electorate. He did not believe that there was a strong feeling against the London County Council in the House. On the contrary there was a great wish that the London County Council should be able to do its work properly. He was sure also that the ratepayers would not object to the County Council being properly housed. But the ratepayer should have a voice in the decision of the question. If the Bill were passed the control of the ratepayers was gone for ever, the expenditure would have been sanctioned, and the ratepayers could have nothing further to do with 689 the matter. There was no doubt that other sites might be procured by the London County Council. Indeed, he would have thought that the County Council instead of attempting to get one of the most expensive sites in the Metropolis would have cleared away some slum, erected houses for the working classes, and put up their offices there.
§ MR. G. C. T. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
said he approached the question solely from the point of view of the interests of the London ratepayers. The question was not whether the London County Council was properly housed, but whether the House was going to sanction an enormous expenditure which would place a heavy burden on the ratepayers of the poor districts of London. It was said that the buildings would cost about £1,300,000. That estimate was quite inadequate. He believed the cost would be at least £2,000,000 sterling. Anyone who knew the site and was acquainted with the value of property would know that the scheme would at least cost that amount. The House was told that the London County Council had 500 clerks to house. That meant that each clerk would cost about £4,000, capital sum. That capital sum at 4 per cent. would produce about £120 a year. The cost was absurdly extravagant. An office could be built for all the necessary purposes for a sum immensely less. London ought to know that an estimate had been prepared by the London County Council and sent to that House for an outlay of something like £3,000 or £4,000 per clerk. The expenditure of £2,000,000 upon the site and buildings would involve every constituency in London in an expenditure of almost £25,000. He invited metropolitan Members to go to their constituents and ask them whether they were prepared to provide £25,000 for a house for the London County Council. He felt certain that scarcely a single constituency would give an affirmative answer. In Islington they would have to pay considerably over £100,000. If the London County Council wanted a site let it go to the East End or the South of London, where the cost would be a mere fraction of the sum now contemplated, and where a building could be built which would be an improvement to the district. He should resist in every pos- 690 sible way this project to burden the ratepayers with an extravagant expenditure.
*THE CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS (Mr. J. W. LOWTHER,) Cumberland, Penrith
did not think that the details of this scheme could be considered properly in the House. On more than one occasion he had protested, without much effect unfortunately, against the practice of discussing the details of private Bills at the stage of Second Heading. He intended to vote for the Second Reading of the Measure on broad grounds. Here was a body which governed the metropolis, and which had made up its mind that it was not adequately housed. The representatives of the ratepayers accordingly came to that House with a scheme for providing the accommodation which they wanted. If that scheme involved too large an expenditure out of the rates, that was a matter in which that House was not primarily concerned. Those who were chiefly concerned were the electors of the County Council, and their representatives who were responsible for this scheme must answer to their constituents for any large increase of expenditure that it involved. Then the question of an alternative site was one which the House at the present stage could not properly go into. Statements were made on the one side and contradicted on the other; sites were suggested only to be dismissed from consideration at once. Those were questions which could be raised with advantage when the Bill came before a Committee upstairs. The House was not the proper place in which to discuss them. The present occasion was the time for taking objection to the general principle of the proposal. If hon Members objected to a majority of the representatives of a municipality coming to the House and asking for leave to purchase a site on which to erect buildings for their official purposes, let them vote against and reject the Measure. But he would point out that in the case of no other municipality in the Kingdom would the House think for a moment of taking such a course. [Opposition cheers.] If Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, or any other big municipality were to come to the House with a similar scheme, no matter how extravagant it might be considered, no matter how large the area proposed to be purchased—that House 691 on the Second Reading of the Bill would not venture to reject it. The scheme would be sent to a Committee. He asked the House to do now in the case of London what it would do in the case of any other great municipality. Whether the scheme was a very extravagant one; whether it was proposed to acquire too costly a site; whether the area to be occupied was too large—were questions which could only be decided upon evidence taken before a Select Committee. ["Hear, hear!"] He urged the House to come to a decision now and to hesitate before it rejected the Bill. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ SIR J. B. MAPLE
was surprised that the hon. Gentleman should have spoken in such a decided way in depreciation of the opposition to this Bill. What were they sent to Parliament for if it was not to express their opinions. ["Hear, hear!"] This Bill was supported in the London County Council by a very small majority, and some Members of that majority had voted in error, whilst others had since changed their views upon this subject. The Bill was only carried in the County Council by 54 against 46. The proposed site was in his opinion one of the worst in London for the purpose, in addition to being most expensive. The noise in the neighbourhood would be great. It had been said that there could be shops on the ground floor of the building. That certainly would not be convenient. The building would not cost less than £2,000,000, possibly £2,500,000. As to the construction of the new street to which the introducer of the Bill had referred, it ought to be clearly understood that the Government had not consented to allow the street to be made except on the condition of payment by the ratepayers, the burden on whom would be enormous. Just over Westminster Bridge there were many sites available. They could be purchased for less than £200,000, and the neighbourhood was quieter. The proposed new street, he was told by the police, would increase the dangers attending the traffic in the locality. He objected to the hon. Gentleman's addressing hon. Members as if they were a lot of schoolboys, and he hoped that the result of the Division would show that the House disapproved of these plans of the extravagant Members of 692 the London County Council. ["Hear, hear!"]
§ MR. B. L. COHEN (Islington, E.)
observed that the Chairman of Committees had said that this Bill ought to be sent to a Committee upstairs, because what was done by the representatives of ratepayers did not concern that House. There would be something in that argument if the ratepayers had had an opportunity of pronouncing upon this scheme. He asked the House not to allow this Bill to pass until the ratepayers should have had an opportunity of pronouncing upon the issue which was now sought to be raised prematurely. There would be an election next year, when County Councillors would be able to advocate this scheme before their constituents, if they were courageous enough to do so. The hon. Member for Battersea had said that he had put this issue before his constituents at the time of the last election. Perhaps that accounted for the enormous reduction of his majority. ["Hear, hear!"] The necessity for larger offices, and the urgency for them, could not be disputed by anyone who had served on the County Council; but that was not a reason why a site should be selected in the most expensive, instead of the most economical, part of London. He had never attacked the County Council, but he said that the worst enemy of that body was the County Council itself. ["Hear, hear!"] If it wished to become popular and to impress the ratepayers with the good work it had done, the County Council should show Londoners that it went about its work in an economical, businesslike, regular fashion.
§ MR. C. J. DARLING (Deptford)
protested against the doctrine which had been laid down for the guidance of London Members by the Chairman of Committees. London Members looked upon the Second Reading stage of Bills intended to lay a burden on the ratepayers as a very important period. [Cheers.] It should be remembered, also, in considering the doctrine of the right hon. Gentleman that there were other Bills before the House introduced by the London County Council. There were the Water Bills. Were the London Members not to debate those Bills on the Second Reading? [Cheers.] Were they to be told that, because the ratepayers elected 693 the London County Council, and that if this body by a majority of one, two, three, or half-a-dozen, should bring in any number of Bills, the House was obediently and humbly to read them a second time, and that then the Council might instruct counsel and adopt expensive methods before the Select Committees, whereas they had ready to their hands the opinion of those who were also interested in the ratepayers of London, and who were capable of scotching the evil at a very early period?
*THE CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS
What I said was, that if any hon. Member dissented from the principle of the Bill this is the proper time to deal with it; but surely this is not the proper time to consider the details? When the Water Bills come on I shall say the same thing. This is not the proper stage to consider details.
§ MR. DARLING
said that the principle here was that the ratepayers had not been consulted. When it was proposed in the County Council that the matter should be deferred for a year it would have come before the newly elected Council; and this proposal was only carried by a majority of six. Was it not a principle, moreover, that when they were proposing to spend the money of the ratepayers, and when they asked on what it was to be spent, or what necessity there was for spending it? was it not a principle to urge in opposition to the Trafalgar Square site that there were other sites equally good and cheaper? If the House passed the Second Reading of this Bill it would authorise the acquisition of the Trafalgar Square site. [Cheers.] His belief was, that the site had not been fixed upon because it was convenient for those who came from the cast or the south of London; it, was fixed upon for political motives. ["No, no!"] There was another question of principle involved. If they authorised the building of this hall for the London County Council who was going to build it? ft was one of the rooted principles of the County Council that they would not employ anyone to build for them. Were they to sanction the expenditure of a million or a million and a half of the ratepayers' money, and then hand the work over to be dealt with by the Works Committee 694 of the London County Council? [Cheers.] Surely when the Council's Building Department was on its trial, almost on a criminal charge, they were entitled to ask whether the ratepayers were prepared to entrust the building of this new palace to those who had shown so little regard for the money of the ratepayers and to the keeping of their accounts. [Cheers.] They believed that the ratepayers had a right to be consulted, and the London Members thought that they were acting in their best interests in postponing this question. The Bill should not be sent to a Committee, but should be thrown out, in order that the ratepayers might express their opinion whether the County Council really needed a house like that proposed.
§ MR. C. E. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)
as an independent ratepayer of London, heartily supported and approved this proposal. In his judgment the Debate had been carried on in a pettifogging spirit, and it was absurd that a large Municipal Council like that of London should be housed in a back slum. In Manchester they had placed the Town Hall in the finest and best site that could be found in the city; in Birmingham and Glasgow it was the same; and they ought to be ashamed in London to descend to the mean arguments that had been used in respect to the Council proposal. ["Oh, oh!"] The hon. Member for the Strand, and the hon. Member for the Dulwich Division were interested in huge industrial undertakings. Did the House find these hon. Gentlemen housing their workpeople in 15 or 16 small buildings? No; they had concentrated their business undertakings under one roof. It was unworthy to attempt to limit the Municipal Council of the metropolis so as to prevent it from having all the employees within reach, and to show a desire to relegate that body to some mean portion of the metropolis. They had equalised the rates throughout the metropolis, so that they did not rest on one special division. It would be a good piece of economy, as well as an act of justice to London, to provide a proper building for transacting the business of the County Council. In his opinion, therefore, the Bill should be read a Second time, and sent to a Committee upstairs.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
said the hon. Member, who called himself a "free and independent" ratepayer, was "free" with other people's money and "independent" of the arguments addressed to him.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
went on to say that those who meant to vote against the Second Reading of this Bill must have derived great encouragement from the speech of the hon. Member for the Penrith Division of Cumberland. The hon. Gentleman was one of the Members of the Front Bench, one of those secondary pillars of the Government, who had not yet appointed themselves Ministers of the Crown. [Laughter.] When those Gentlemen recommended the House to take a certain course the House was apt to take the contrary one—[Opposition cheers]—and the speech in question might be regarded as a good omen for the division which was to follow. He was surprised, considering the position of the hon. Gentleman, that he should have said this matter had been too fully discussed. Why, what was the Second Reading stage for? Did he wish them to swallow the Bill whole without any discussion at all? What did the First Lord of the Admiralty think of this precious scheme? And, still more, what was the opinion of the President of the Board of Trade about it? For he was the inventor of this new system, full of new rates and new debts. He submitted that the proper course for the promoters of this stupendous undertaking to have pursued was, first of all, to consult the ratepayers as to whether they desired it; and, secondly, to put prepared plans and detailed estimates before the House. The hon. Member for Battersea put it quite properly when he said the County Council wanted workshops in order to do their business. But Trafalgar Square was the last place in the world where workshops should be set up. ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] Workshops should be in a quiet place; Trafalgar Square was one of the least quiet places in London, as the hon. Member must well know. [Laughter.] 696 Did the House realise what the frontage was? The whole of the south side of Trafalgar Square was to be taken, a frontage of 183 yards, or as long as many a rifle range. [Laughter.] For aught he knew, the next thing they might be asked to do might be to establish a rifle range in front of the County Council palace.[Laughter.] There was another conclusive argument against this scheme at the present time. They could not tell how long the County Council was going to last in its present situation and condition—how long it might be before a considerable change took place in the government of this great metropolis; and if, in the meantime, they allowed the County Council to blossom out into a "palace lifting to eternal summer," the result might be that the County Council palace would be tenanted by the owl and the bittern. [Laughter.] In an adjoining country, as everybody knew, the Hôtel de Ville had been the centre of every kind of revolutionary idea, and in every time of disorder there had been conflict between the Hôtel de Ville and the Chamber of Deputies, often coming to fighting. If the House of Commons allowed a County Council palace to be built close to this House they might one day have great reason to regret it.
ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)
rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put "; but Mr. Speaker withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question:—Debate resumed.
§ MR. EVELYN HUBBARD (Brixton, Lambeth)
said he voted for this Measure in the County Council, but he proposed to vote against it in this House, because he had since then come to the conclusion that the alternative sites had not been as exhaustively inquired into as was represented at the time. At the same time, he entirely dissociated himself from the suggestion that the Charing Cross site had been selected from any political or sinister motive, a suggestion which was at once unwise, impolitic, and unjust. He considered this simply as a business matter, and, as a business man, he had been much struck during the two years he had been a member of the Council with the practical value of the work done there. No doubt as a young body it had a tendency towards recklessness and extravagance, but its members generally showed 697 a zeal for the public service and a devotion to hard work which he had seldom seen equalled in any other assembly. But it appeared to him that the Charing Cross site was an unnecessarily costly one, and, while he recognised that an extension of premises was absolutely necessary, no harm would be done by delaying the Mea-sure for a year and giving the ratepayers an opportunity of pronouncing upon it at the next elections.
§ *MR. BURDETT-COUTTS (Westminster)
said that it would not be dealing with the subject in the pettifogging spirit mentioned by an hon. Gentleman opposite if he expressed his strong dissent from the doctrine laid down by the hon. Gentleman who spoke from the Front Bench, and who said that if great Corporations like Manchester and Liverpool were to send up a Bill like this to the House of Commons, no. Member would think of opposing its principle. The deduction from that argument was clear—that London Members had no right to oppose a principle decided upon by a majority of the London County Council. He, for one, a d, he believed, every one of his Friends on that side of the House at least, indignantly rejected a doctrine which would exclude them from the consideration of any proposal, be it of principle or detail, which came before that House, and which affected the interests of the London ratepayers whom they represented. He opposed the Bill also because there was in the municipal atmosphere a very strong movement towards the decentralisation of London government, and he thought it would be extremely foolish for this House or for London Members to assent to an expenditure, which, once assented to, could not be recalled, before they knew how the respective relations and the different functions of the County Council and the separate municipalities, which, no doubt, would come into being, were to be settled and established. His own constituency had taken a leading part in the movement referred to, and he thought that it was premature and wasteful to erect, as was proposed by that Bill, an enormous framework before they knew the proportions or the functions of the machinery which would be placed in it.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)
declared his entire concurrence in the opinion expressed by the Chairman of Ways and Means. The right hon. Member for London University and the hon. Member for Chelsea put before the House the opinion of the greatest municipality in the country as to what was proper to be done for the convenient administration of the municipality's affairs. Thereupon the hon. Member who moved the Amendment called upon the House to consider whether the site chosen was the best, and suggested a number of other sites. The members of the County Council were responsible to their constituents, and they represented them just as much as hon. Members represented the constituents by whom they were elected. Of course, the House of Commons would not think of treating the proposals of Liverpool, Manchester, or Birmingham as they were asked to treat those of the London County Council. What would the Colonial Secretary say if the House attempted to decide what site the municipality of Birmingham should choose, or what the expenditure should be? The spirit of this extraordinary attempt had been condensed into a single sentence; it was the spirit of "Bother the London County Council." It was well known that among certain people there was a dislike of the County Council; but the proper course for such persons was to alter the Council's constitution by an appeal to the ratepayers. The present question was of such purely domestic interest that the House could not possibly decide it; the House could not judge as to the accommodation necessary for transacting the business of 5,000,000 people; and the House ought not to set aside the opinion of a municipality invested with proper authority and created by hon. Gentlemen opposite. [Cheers.] If the Bill were read a Second time all the objections which had been urged by the Mover of the Amendment could be considered in Committee.
§ MR. BOULNOIS
My objection is that the ratepayer cannot be heard before a Select Committee. He has no locus standi. [Cheers.]
§ SIR W. HARCOURT
asked what would be said if the House were dealing with the site of a public office and objection were raised to the Bill going to a Committee because the constituencies had not been consulted on the subject. If ever there were a question which a municipal authority had a right to determine it was that before the House. No Party
§ which professed to respect the principles of local self-government would reject the Bill on such a pleading as had been made. [Cheers.]
§ Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question." The House divided:—Ayes, 146; Noes, 227.—(Division List—No. 33—appended.)701
|Acland, Rt. Hon. A. H. Dyke||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Gold, Charles||Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose)|
|Arch, Joseph||Gordon, John Edward||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Morton, Edward John Chalmers|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mundella, Rt. Hn. Anthony John|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H.(Bristol)||Graham, Henry Robert||O'Connor, T. B. (Liverpool)|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Haldane, Richard Burdon||O'Kelly, James|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Bethell, Captain||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Blake, Edward||Harrison, Charles||Brice, Robert John|
|Bond, Edward||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
|Brigg, John||Hazell, Walter||Randell, David|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Heaton, John Henniker||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Hedderwick, Thomas Chas. H||Reid, Sir Robert T.|
|Burt, Thomas||Hobhouse, Henry||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Caldwell, James||Hogan, James Francis||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Cameron, Robert||Holburn, J. G.||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Holden, Angus||Roche, Hon. James (East Kerry)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Holland, Hon. Lionel Raleigh||Round, James|
|Cawley, Frederick||Jacoby, James Alfred||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.)||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Wore.)||Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Joicey, Sir James||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea)||Sinclair, Captain John (Forfar)|
|Colville, John||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Kay-Shuttleworth, Rt. Hn. Sir U.||Souttar, Robinson|
|Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H.||Kearley, Hudson E.||Spicer, Albert|
|Crombie, John William||Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Kitson, Sir James||Strachey, Edward|
|Curzon, Rt. Hn. G. N.(Lanc. S. W.)||Labouehere, Henry||Tennant, Harold John|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lambert, George||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land.)||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington)||Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Leng, Sir John||Wallace, Robert (Perth)|
|Davitt, Michael||Leuty, Thomas Richmond||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Lloyd-George, David||Wayman, Thomas|
|Dillon, John||Lockwood, Sir Frank (York)||Webster, Sir R. E.(Isle of Wight)|
|Donelan Captain A.||Lough, Thomas||Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lowther, Jas. W. (Cumberland)||Williams, Joscph Powell-(Birm.)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Wills, Sir William Henry|
|Ellis, Thos. Edw. (Merionethsh.)||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Lyell, Sir Leonard||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Wilson, J. W. (Worc'sh. N.)|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Woodall, William|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||McArthur, William||Woods, Samuel|
|Flynn, James Christopher||M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim)|
|Folkestone, Viscount||McKenna, Reginald||TELLERS FOR THE AYES, Mr.|
|Fry, Lewis||McLeod, John||Whitmore and Mr. Burns.|
|Gilhooly, James||Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel)|
|Allen, Wm. (Now.-under-Lyme)||Arrol, Sir William||Baden-Powell, Sir Geo. Smyth|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Baget, Capt. Joceline FitzRoy|
|Ambrose, Robert (Mayo, W.)||Atherley-Jones, L.||Bailey, James (Walworth)|
|Anstruther, H. T.||Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Baillie, James E. B. (Inverness|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gedge, Sydney||Monk, Charles James|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Gibbs, Un. A. G. H.(City of Lon.)||Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants)|
|Balfour, Gerald William (Leeds)||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Gilliat, John Saunders||More, Robert Jasper|
|Barry, Francis Tress (Windsor)||Godson, Augustus Frederick||Mount, William George|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Goldsworthy, Major- General||Murdoch, Charles Townshend|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St. G'rg's.)||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull||Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Bhownaggree, M. M.||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Myers, William Henry|
|Biddulph, Michael||Green, Walford D.(Wdnesbury)||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Bigwood, James||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Northcote, Hon. Sir H. Stafford|
|Birrell, Augustine||Gretton, John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gull, Sir Cameron||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Halsey, Thomas Frederick||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Bowles, Major H. F. (Middlesex)||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo.||Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham)|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn)||Hardy, Laurence||Penn, John|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Brookfield, A. Montagu||Heath, James||Plunkett, Hon. Horace Curzon|
|Brown, Alexander H.||Helder, Augustus||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter||Pryce-Jones, Edward|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord Arthur (Down)||Pym, C. Guy|
|Campbell, James A.||Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead)||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Carew, James Laurence||Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)||Richardson, Thomas|
|Carlile, William Walter||Hopkinson, Alfred||Ridley. Rt. Hon. Sir Matthew W.|
|Carson, Edward||Howard, Joseph||Russell, Gen. F. S.(Cheltenham)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Howell, William Tudor||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh||Hozier, James Henry Cecil||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Seely, Charles Kilton|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice-||Sharps, William Edward T.|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Isaacson, Frederick Wootton||Simeon, Sir Harrington|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Clarke, Sir Edward (Plymouth)||Jessel, Captain Herbert Morton||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Smith, Abel (Herts)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Johnstone, John H. (Sussex)||Smith, Abel H. (Christehurch)|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Jolliffe, Hon. H. George||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Spencer, Ernest|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne (Beds.)||Kenny, William||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Heref'd)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William||Stephens, Henry Charles|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Kimber, Henry||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Cranborne, Viscount||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Crilly, Daniel||Knowles, Lees||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal)||Lafone, Alfred||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.)||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Sutherland, Sir Thomas|
|Dalbiac, Major Philip Hugh||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Darling, Charles John||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Talbot, John G. (Oxford Univ.)|
|Denny, Colonel||Lecky, William Edward H.||Taylor, Francis|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Legh, Hon. Thomas W. (Lancs.)||Thorburn, Walter|
|Dixon, George||Leighton, Stanley||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon||Llewellyn, Evan H. (Somerset)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn (Swansea)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Drage, Geoffrey||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Walrond, Sir William Hood|
|Drucker, A.||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverpool)||Warkworth, Lord|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||Lowles, John||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Lowther, Rt. Hon. James (Kent)||Wharton, John Lloyd|
|Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Fardell, Thomas George||Lucas-Shadwell, William||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Farquhar, Sir Horace||Macaleese, Daniel||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Macdona, John Camming||Willox, John Archibald|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r)||Maclean, James Mackenzie||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Maclure, John William||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Fielden, Thomas||McKillop, James||Wodehouse, Edmond R. (Bath)|
|Finch, George H.||Manners, Lord Edward Wm. J.||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Maple, Sir John Blundell||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Marks, Henry Hananel||Wylie, Alexander|
|FitzGerald, Sir R. U. Penrose||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Fitz Wygram, General Sir F.||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Wyvill, Marmaduke d'Arey|
|Flannery, Fortescue||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Younger, William|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Milbank, Powiett Charles John|
|Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Milward, Colonel Victor||TELLERS FOR THE NOES, Mr.|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Minch, Matthew||Boulnois and Mr. Tritton|
|Garfit, William||Monckton, Edward Philip|
§ Words added.
§ Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to. Second Reading put off for six months.