HC Deb 03 July 1899 vol 73 cc1331-65

As amended (by the Standing Committee), further considered.

COLONEL MILWARD (Warwick, Stratford-on-Avon)

I beg to move the Amendment which stands in my name on the Paper. The object of the Amendment is to increase the scope and usefulness of the Bill, which I believe it does very largely.

Amendment proposed: In page 5, line 40, to leave out the words 'and containing,' and insert the words, 'or of any rural district, containing respectively,'—(Colonel Milward)instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words 'and containing' stand part of the Bill."

* SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

I am not a supporter of this Bill, for reasons which will I give on the Third Reading; but of course we ought to discuss it from the point of view of making it workable. If we accept the Amendment, however, we shall be making every county a patchwork for the purposes of this Bill, which will be administered in one way in one portion of the county and in quite another way in another portion. There is no reason why a different system should be adopted, but if we introduce this Amendment, the very patchwork system which we have with partial success tried to put an end to will be introduced again.


I do not deny that this Amendment will add slightly to the existing complications to which my right hon. friend refers, but, on the other hand, the advantage of it is so great that I think there can be no doubt as the decision to which the House ought to come. It is precisely in those rural districts found in the neighbourhood of large towns, to which there is a tendency on the part of the working classes to congregate, owing to cheap train and tram facilities, that the operation of the Act will be most beneficial. The Amendment proposes to give the councils of those rural districts the option of putting the Act into operation, and I therefore support it.


I do not wish to repeat over again the arguments which I addressed to the House last week, and which have been put forward by my right hon. friend the Member for the Forest of Dean, but I cannot allow this Amendment to be adopted, as no doubt it will be, without renewing my most emphatic protest against the Bill in its present shape. I could have understood

the action of the right hon. Gentleman if he had entirely discarded the county jurisdiction, or if he had kept the Bill in its original shape and retained the jurisdiction of the county councils in the counties. But I do not understand with what authority he says that districts above 7,000 population are nearly all to be found in the neighbourhood of large towns. From such experience as I have had, many districts which are above 7,000 population are large, scattered rural districts, and even above 7,000, 10,000, and even 20,000, there are large districts which are purely rural in character. I must therefore say, with all the respect that I have for the right hon. Gentleman, as one of our greatest authorities upon municipal government, I think he is entirely wrong in this matter. I do not want, myself, to put the House to another Division, but I can only say that I think this arrangement is so objectionable that, if a Division is taken, I shall certainly go into the Lobby against it.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 96; Noes, 188. (Division List, No. 214.)

Allan, William (Gateshead) Hedderwick,Thos. Charles H. Power, Patrick Joseph
Allen, W.(Newc.-under-Lyme) Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H. Price, Robert John
Asquith, Rt. Hon. H. Henry Holland, Wm. H. (York, W. R.) Randell, David
Bainbridge, Emerson Horniman, Frederick John Rickett, J. Compton
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Jacoby, James Alfred Robson, William Snowdon
Billson, Alfred Joicey, Sir James Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Jones, David B. (Swansea) Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Jones, William (Carnarvonsh. Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Kearley, Hudson E. Souttar, Robinson
Burns, John Kitson, Sir James Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.
Buxton, Sydney Charles Langley, Batty Steadman, William Charles
Caldwell, James Leng, Sir John Strachey, Edward
Cameron, Sir Charles(Glasgow) Lewis, John Herbert Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Lloyd-George, David Tennant, Harold John
Cawley, Frederick Logan, John William Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)
Clark, Dr. G.B.(Caithness-sh.) Lough, Thomas Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Clough, Walter Owen Lyell, Sir Leonard Thomas, David Alf. (Merthyr)
Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal) MacAleese, Daniel Wallace, Robert
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Walton, John L. (Leeds, S.)
Dalziel, James Henry M'Dermott, Patrick Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Davies, M. Vaughan(Cardigan) M'Ewan, William Wedderburn, Sir William
Davitt, Michael M'Kenna, Reginald Weir, James Galloway
Dewar, Arthur M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Williams, John Carvell (Notts)
Dillon, John M'Leod, John Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.
Donelan, Captain A. Mellor, Rt. Hon. J. W.(Yorks. Wilson, John (Govan)
Doogan, P. C. Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Woodall, William
Dunn, Sir William Moss, Samuel Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Moulton, John Fletcher Woods, Samuel
Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.) O'Brien, J. F. X. (Cork) Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal) Yoxall, James Henry
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. H. J. O'Connor, T.P. (Liverpool) TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Goddard, Daniel Ford Oldroyd, Mark Sir Charles Dilke and Lord
Goutrley, Sir Edward Temperley Paulton, James Mellor Edmond Fitzmaurice.
Aird, John Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Melville, Beresford V.
Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden Fergusson, Rt. Hon. Sir J.(Man) Middlemore John Throgmorton
Allsopp, Hon. George Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Milton, Viscount
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Fisher, William Haves Milward, Colonel Victor
Arnold, Alfred FstzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose- Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. FitzWygram, General Sir F. Moon, Edward R. Pacy
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Fletcher, Sir Henry Moore, William (Antrim, N.)
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) More, R.J. (Shropshire)
Baird, John G. Alexander Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.)
Balcarres, Lord Galloway, Wm. Johnson Morrell, George Herbert
Balfour, Rt. Hn A.J. (Manch'r Garfit, William Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G.W. (Leeds) Gedge, Sydney Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Banbury, Frederick George Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans) Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Barnes, Frederic George Gibbs, Charles Tyrrell Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Barry, Rt. Hn. A. H. S.-(Hunts.) Gilliat, John Saunders Nicholson, William Graham
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Goldsworthy, Major-General Pierpoint, Robert
Bartley, George C. T. Gordon, Hon. John Edward Pilkington, R.(Lancs. Newton)
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir. M. H.(Br'st'l) Goschen, Rt Hn G J.(St. George's Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull Greene,W. Raymond-(Cambs. Priestley, Sir W.O (Edinburgh
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Gull, Sir Cameron Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Beresford, Lord Charles Halsey, Thomas Frederick Purvis, Robert
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George Pym, C. Guy
Blakiston-Houston, John Banbury, Rt. Hon. R. Wm. Richards, Henry Charles
Blundell, Colonel Henry Haslett, Sir James Horner Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.
Bowles, T Gibson(King'sLynn) Hatch, Ernest Fred. G. Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chs. Thomson
Brassey, Albert Heath, James Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Brodriek, Rt. Hon. St. John Henderson, Alexander Royds, Clement Molyneux
Campbell, Rt Hn. J A (Glasgow Hermon-Hodge, Robt. Trotter Russell, Gen. F.S.(Cheltenham
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Hill, Arthur (Down, West) Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Cecil, E. (Hertford, East) Hill, Sir Edward Stock (Bristol) Ryder, J. H. Dudley
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Bir. Hoare, Samuel (Norwich) Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Holland, Hon. L. R. (Bow) Seely, Charles Hilton
Channing, Francis Allston Houston, R. P. Sharpe, William Edward T.
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Howard, Joseph Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)
Charrington, Spencer Howell, William Tudor Simeon, Sir Barrington
Chelsea, Viscount Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Clare, Octavius Leigh Hughes, Colonel Edwin Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H.A.E. Jebb, Richard Claverhouse Stanley, Henry M. (Lambeth)
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Jenkins, Sir John Jones Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Colomb, Sir John C. Ready Johnston, William (Belfast) Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Colston, Chas. Ed. H. Athole Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Strauss, Arthur
Compton, Lord Alwyne Keswick, William Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Corbett, A.Cameron (Glasgow) Kimber, Henry Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Cornwallis, F. Stanley W. Knowles, Lees Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G.(Oxf'd Uni.
Courtney, Rt. Hon. L. H. Laurie, Lieut.-General Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Cranborne, Viscount Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Cripps, Charles Alfred Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Tritton, Charles Ernest
Cruddas, William Donaldson Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Valentia, Viscount
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Lecky, Rn. Hon. W. E. H. Wanklyn, James Leslie
Curzon, Viscount Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn(Swansea Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Wharton, Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-L.)
Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Denny, Colonel Long, Rt Hn. Walter(Liverpool Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Lorne, Marquess of Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R (Bth.)
Donkin, Richard Sim Lowe, Francis William Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Loyd, Archie Kirkman Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S. Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John Wyndham, George
Doxford, William Theodore Lucas-Shadwell, William Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Drucker, A. Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Dyke Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart Macdona, John Cumming TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Fardell, Sir T. George Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)
MR. STRACHEY (Somerset S.)

I beg to move an Amendment which is not upon the paper. It is in Clause 9, page 6, line 1, to leave out the third word in the line, which is "seven," and to insert instead the word "five." I doubt the utility of the Bill myself, but at the same time if there is to be a Bill at all, we are all agreed that it should be made as perfect and useful as possible, and if this Bill is to be regarded as a useful measure in the West of England, it will have to apply to urban populations of less than 7,000. There are many urban district populations far below that number, and unless the Bill is amended in this respect it will not be of much use in those parts of the country.

Amendment proposed— In page 6, line 1, to leave out the word 'seven,' and insert the word 'five'—(Mr. Strachey)—instead therof.

Question proposed, "That the word 'seven' stand part of the Bill."


I differ from the view taken by the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Somerset. This matter was discussed at great length in Committee, when it was suggested that the figure should be increased to 10,000; the matter was discussed at considerable length, and eventually 7,000 was adopted as a compromise, and I think it was a fair one and might be left where it stands.

MR. WARNER (Stafford, Lichfield)

I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman has taken the view he has with regard to this Amendment, because there are many districts of this character in all parts of England where people require houses. Where a Bill of this kind will be required to be put in force, the districts are very populous in a way, but the population does not reach 7,000. Nevertheless, these are the places where houses are wanted, and where men will buy land and put up their own houses. These are districts which ought to be encouraged, and therefore I shall vote for the Amendment.

MR. McLAREN (Leicestershire, Bosworth)

I represent a county in which there are a large number of rural districts which are rapidly acquiring urban powers, and many of these districts are in the same position as that referred to by the

hon. Member for Lichfield. These places are inhabited by thrifty men, who earn good wages and who pay no rates, and who, if they had the opportunity, would build houses for themselves. I think something might be done to encourage such localities as these. If it is left to the municipal councils, in many cases nothing will be done; and, for my part, if the hon. Member who moves the Amendment goes to a Division, he will receive my strong support.

* MR. McKENNA (Monmouth, N.)

I also am one of those who do not believe that the Bill will be a success. I believe the cost will be very considerable, and that the work would be better done by private enterprise. At the same time, I think the cost is less likely to be excessive if this work is undertaken by small local authorities than if it is undertaken by the county councils. What is likely to happen is that a county council, having once attempted to carry out the provisions of this Bill, and having found it exceedingly costly, will refuse to have anything further to do with it. The small local authorities would, no doubt, be anxious to try the measure, but they would be unable to do so unless the Amendment of my hon. friend is carried. I would also point out to the right hon. Gentleman that the population of the local areas may be subject to a rise and fall of as much as 1000 in live years, and if the population fell below 7000 I should like to know whether the local authority would cease to be the authority for the purposes of this Bill. That is one of the simple details of the measure which the right hon. Gentleman has never considered, and never attempted to answer.

The House divided—Ayes, 168; Noes, 90. (Division List, No. 215.)

Aird, John Bartley, George C. T. Chamberlain, Rt. Hon.J.(Birm.
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Barton, Dunbar Plunket Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r
Allsopp, Hon. George Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H.(Bristol Channing, Francis Allston
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry
Arnold, Alfred Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Charrington, Spencer
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Beresford, Lord Charles Chelsea, Viscount
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzR. Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Clare, Octavius Leigh
Baird, John George Alexander Blakiston-Houston, John Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.
Balcarres, Lord Blundell, Colonel Henry Cohen, Benjamin Louis
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Bowles, T. Gibson (King'sLynn) Coloston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole
Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Compton, Lord Alwyne
Banburry, Frederick George Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Corbett, A. Cameron(Glasgow
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East) Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H
Barry, Rt Hn A H Smith-(Hunts Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Cranborne, Viscount
Cruddas, William Donaldson Howard, Joseph Parkes, Ebenezer
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Howell, William Tudor Pierpoint, Robert
Curzon, Viscount Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn Pilkington, Rich.(Lanes. S.W)
Dalkeith, Earl of Hughes, Colonel Edwin Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Davies, Sir Horatio D(Chatham Jebb, Richard Claverhouse Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Denny, Colonel Jenkins, Sir John Jones Purvis, Robert
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Johnston, William (Belfast) Pym, C. Guy
Donkin, Richard Sim Keswick, William Richards, Henry Charles
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Kimber, Henry Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.
Doxford, William Theodore Laurie, Lieut.-General Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thompson
Drucker, A. Lawrence, Sir E Durning-(Corn. Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Royds, Clement Molyneux
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Russell, Gen. F. S. (Chelth'h'm)
Fardell, Sir T. George Lecky, Rt Hn.William Edw. H. Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn(Sw'nsea) Ryder, John H. Dudley
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R. Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Fisher, William Hayes Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Fitz Wygram, General Sir F. Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham) Seely, Charles Hilton
Fletcher, Sir Henry Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (L'pool) Sharpe William Edward T.
Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Lorne, Marquess of Sidebottom, William (Derbys.)
Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Lowe, Francis William Simeon, Sir Barrington
Garfit, William Loyd, Archie Kirkman Smith, James P. (Lanarks.)
Gedge, Sydney Lucas-Shadwell, William Stanley, E. J. (Somerset)
Gibbs, Hn. Vicary(St. Albans) Macartney, W. G. Ellison Stanley, H. M. (Lambeth)
Giles, Charles Tyrrell Macdona, John Cumming Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Gilliat, John Saunders M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Goldsworthy, Major General Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Gordon, Hon. John Edward Middlemore, John Throgmort. Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G.
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Milton, Viscount Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Goschen, Rt. H. G. J. (St. Geo's Milward, Colonel Victor Valentia, Viscount
Gull, Sir Cameron Montagu, Hon. J. S. (Hants.) Wanklyn, James Leslie
Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo. Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Wharton, Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd.
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. Wm. More, Robert J. (Shropshire) Whiteley, H.(Ashton-under-L.
Haslett, Sir James Horner Morgan, Hn. Fred.(Monm'thsh Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Morrell, George Herbert Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Heath, James Morton, Arthur H. A (Deptford Wodehouse, Rt Hon E R (Bath)
Henderson, Alexander Murray, Rt Hn A Graham(Bute Wortley, Rt. Hon.C. B. Stuart-
Hill, Arthur (Down, West) Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry) Wyndham, George
Hill,Sir Edward Stock (Bristol Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Hoare, Samuel (Norwich) Newdigate, Francis Alexander TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Holland, Hon. Lionel R.(Bow) Nicholson, William Graham Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Houston, R. P. Nicol, Donald Ninian
Allan, William (Gateshead) Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbt. John Power, Patrick Joseph
Allen, Wm.(Newc.-un'r-Lyme) Goddard, Daniel Ford Randell, David
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) Rickett, J. Compton
Billson, Alfred Hedderwick, Thomas Charles H Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Robson, William Snowdon
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Holland, Wm. H. (York, W. R. Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Bryce, Rt. Hn. James Horniman, Frederick John Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)
Burns, John Jacoby, James Alfred Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Joicey, Sir James Souttar, Robinson
Caldwell, James Jones, David B. (Swansea) Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Jones, W. (Carnarvonshire) Steadman, William Charles
Causton, Richard knight Kearley, Hudson E. Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Cawley, Frederick Kitson, Sir James Tennant, Harold John
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.) Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington) Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)
Clough, Walter Owen Leng, Sir John Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Crilly, Daniel Logan, John William Thomas, David Alfd. (Merthyr).
Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal) Lyell, Sir Leonard Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Macaleese, Daniel Wallace, Robert
Dalziel, James Henry M'Kenna, Reginald Walton, John L. (Leeds, S.
Davies,M. Vaughan-(Cardig'n M'Laren, C. Benjamin Wedderburn, Sir William
Dewar Arthur M'Leod, John Weir, James Galloway
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Mellor, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Yorks.) Williams, J. Carvell (Notts.)
Dillon, John Mendl, Sigismund F. Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)
Donelan, Captain A. Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Wilson, John (Govan)
Doogan, P. C. Moss, Samuel Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Dunn, Sir William Moulton, John Fletcher Woodhouse, Sir. J. T.(Hud'rsf'd
Ellis, John Edward O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Woods, Samuel
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal) Yoxall, James Henry
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Paulton, James Mellor TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Pearson, Sir Weetman D. Mr. Strachey and Mr. Warner.
Galloway, William Johnson Pickersgill, Edward Mare

Question put, and agreed to.

Other Amendments made.

* SIR E. SASSOON (Hythe)

The aim of the Amendment I now move is rather the reverse of the Amendments which have been accepted. While they were directed towards safeguarding the interest of the county councils, my Amendment wishes to prevent any expenditure that might be incurred, or any loss that might accrue to county councils in consequence of their adopting this Act, being thrown upon the general county rate, and consequently upon the constituent contributors, whoever they may be. Under Section 68 of the Local Government Act, 1888, county councils have two funds—one known as the "General Purposes Fund," raised by means of rates levied upon the whole of the districts under the control and jurisdiction of the county council, and the other known as the "Special Purposes Fund," raised by means of rates levied on individual portions of the county for special purposes in those portions. This clause declares that the whole of the expenditure should be placed on the county rate, which I presume to be the General Purposes Fund. The effect will be to create this anomaly, that urban districts that have adopted this Act and incurred expenses under it, and urban districts who refuse to adopt the Act, will both have to bear the expenses which their county council incurs in consequence of adopting the Act. Assume that Folkestone chooses to adopt the Act, that Dover does not, that Canterbury equally does not, but that a resident of Canterbury, desiring to avail himself of the benefits of the Act, makes an application to the Kent County Council to advance him the money necessary to enable him to acquire his dwelling. If the whole expenses incident to the working of the Act are to be thrown on the general rate, to which both Folkestone and Dover are contributors, the effect will be that Folkestone will have incurred a double expense, and that, Dover would have a certain charge upon it; whereas, if the expenses were thrown on the special rate, Canterbury, and Canterbury alone, who would benefit by the working of the Act, would be saddled with the whole of the expense. If my right hon. friend concurs in the expediency of avoiding this anomaly, but considers the object would be better secured by any other method, I should be perfectly willing to withdraw my Amendment.

Amendment proposed— In page 6, line 6, after the first word 'county,' to insert the words 'as a special purpose.'"—(Sir Edward Sassoon.)

Question proposed, "That those words, be there inserted."


I hope my hon. friend will not press this Amendment. He will see that a later Amendment in the name of the Colonial Secretary carries out the object he has in view. If the Amendment which has been moved were carried it would cause absolute confusion in the working of the Act, as if the county council is to raise the rate as a rate for a special purpose, you would also need to show in respect of what district that special purpose is to be taken as applying, so long as it is worked by the county council. The county council has in view the whole county, and the only case in which you want to limit the application of the rate is where certain parts of the county have adopted the Act, and that case is provided for in the Amendment of the Colonial Secretary.


I am rather inclined to the view that the Solicitor-General is correct. It has been urged that when you get into the region of special rates and special purposes, the more districts you allow to be "punched" out of the county area the greater will be the number of special accounts. In view of the principle which has been adopted, all that has to be done is to settle what is the correct way of expressing that principle. So far as I am able to judge, the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill is sufficient, but it may be an open question whether an express declaration of some kind that there should be a special rate may not be necessary. On the whole, I am disposed to think that the words which follow the general scheme of other Acts of Parliament bearing on this matter are sufficient.


The matter has been made so clear by the hon. Member opposite that I am surprised there should be any doubt on the subject. In the case given by the hon. Member, if the Amendment of the Colonial Secretary is adopted, Folkestone, which becomes the local authority for the purposes of the Act, is excepted from the Act, pays its own expenses, and bears no part of the county rate; Dover, which does not except itself and does not make use of the Act, has to bear part of the expense of the Act which is set in motion at Canterbury, Canterbury not becoming the local authority for the purposes of the Act. We, therefore, see that the two Amendments are not the same. If they were, the result would be that Dover, which does not make use of the Act or become the local authority for the purposes of the Act, would not have to contribute to the county rate for the purposes of Canterbury, which also is supposed not to be the local authority for the purposes of the Act, but yet makes use of it. It seems to be more reasonable that each town should bear the cost of its own working of the Act, and one of the three towns should not be allowed to impose the expenses of the working of the Act upon the whole of the county excepting those parts which had taken over the Act for themselves.


In consequence of the appeal which has been made to me by my hon. and learned friend, and the difficulties foreshadowed in the working of this Amendment by the noble lord the member for Cricklade, I beg to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn,

Other Amendments made.

Amendment proposed— In page 6, line 9, at end, to insert 'but no sum shall be raised in any urban or rural district the council of which becomes a local authority for the purposes of this Act on account of the expenses of a county council under this Act.'"—(Mr. Secretary Chamberlain.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


The question arises here as to how far this privilege will be used for the purpose of blocking the operation of the Act. A number of districts may nominally adopt the Act, and then do nothing at all under it. That is a real danger. We are legislating somewhat in the dark upon the whole subject, as we have no return before us showing what are the populations of the urban and rural districts of this country. I am afraid a great number of districts will nominally adopt the Act for the purpose of doing nothing.


That is a very serious imputation on local government. I do not at all suppose that any district will follow the Machiavellian policy of deliberately adopting the Act in order to avoid being called upon to pay a share in the expenses of the county. That is really too absurd an argument to be put forward seriously. The population of the districts is supposed to have some authority in the matter, so that if they wanted to have the Act carried out they would force their local authority to proceed.


I am assuming they did not want the Act carried out.


Does the population go for nothing? In that case it is quite undesirable that the local authorities should force the carrying out of the Act against the wishes of the people. I desire that local government should be in the truest sense of the word "executive," and if the population did not desire to take advantage of the Act the local authority should not proceed with it.

MR. R. WALLACE (Perth)

Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will tell us exactly whether by passing a resolution of this kind, constituting themselves the local authority under the Act, a district would escape a liability for the general rate to which they otherwise would be liable. That would be an inducement to many districts to adopt the Act.


I do not think the hon. Member followed my answer. It is true that if they adopt the Act they will be excluded from any expenses which may be incurred by the county council. We believe that in the vast majority of cases the Act is so constituted that it may be carried out without expense to the local authority. But putting that aside, and assuming there will be an expense, no doubt by adopting the Act as is suggested a local authority would avoid that expense That, however, would really be a breach of public duty which certainly I am not at all prepared to attribute to any local authority in the country.


I think the right hon. Gentleman ought to deal with the matter from a legal point of view. A distinct hiatus in the machinery of the Act has been pointed out, and instead of meeting it with "pooh-poohs" as a farfetched idea and appealing to the general good sense of the community to prevent such things happening, the point should be properly dealt with. Everybody knows what takes place at elections of local authorities. Just before an election a local authority might pass a resolution adopting the Act, but fail to take further proceedings. The election might take place upon this particular issue, which would be a direct appeal to the pockets of the ratepayers, and a majority returned against going any further with the Act. By the passing of the resolution the local authority gets rid of the liability, and there is nothing in the Act to compel them to enter into the obligation referred to in the Amendment. I think the question ought to be met by the Government, and if it is not there should be a Division.


The right hon. Gentleman has met my point by the Amendment just carried, and therefore I do not move the one standing in my name on the Paper.

Other Amendments made.

Amendment proposed— In page 6, line 19, after the word 'sum,' to insert the words, 'rateable value,' shall include the value of the Government property upon which a contribution in lieu of rates is paid."—(Colonel Hughes.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


I hope very much my hon. friend will not insist upon the introduction of these words. I know what his object is, and similar words were introduced into the London Government Bill, where, however, they were of very much greater importance. The point is that the Bill provides that where the expenses under the Act exceed ½d. in the £ on the rateable value the operation of the Bill must stop for a certain period. My hon. friend desires to include in the rateable value the value of Government property for this purpose. As I have stated over and over again, the Government do not think the provision will be operative, because they do not anticipate that there will be any expenditure which will exceed or approach ½d. in the £ on the rateable value, and therefore the inclusion or exclusion of Government property is of no great importance in regard to this Bill, although it was of great importance in the London Government Bill. I also understand that the Amendment if made would introduce considerable difficulties, and therefore I hope it will not be pressed on this occasion.


In the Borough of Woolwich about £91,000 is the annual value of Government property, on which a contribution is paid in lieu of rates. That £91,000 forms part of the total annual value of the district, and I think it ought to be included for the purposes of this clause. As it is in respect of Government workmen that we should want to build houses, the Government property ought really to be represented as much as ordinary property.


It is rather a dangerous way of dealing with a draft Bill in Parliament to assume that a clause is put in to meet a case which will never arise. The assumption is that there will be no expenditure, or, if there is, it will not amount to ½d. in the £. If that is so, what is the use of the clause at all? But you cannot take anticipations of that sort as likely to be correct. At the time of the passing of the Education Bill it was distinctly stated that the rate was not likely to exceed 3d. in the £, but we all know that the average rate is nearer 1s. than 3d. Therefore you cannot rely upon anticipations of that kind. The right hon. Gentleman said that difficulties would arise if these words were inserted, but he did not say what those difficulties were, and as the principle has been admitted inn the London Government Bill, I think it should be admitted here.


I am not surprised that the Colonial Secretary should pooh-pooh this Amendment, because so far from anticipating a loss in the working of the Bill he anticipates a profit of 4s. per £100 invested.


I think the hon. Member is labouring under a mistake.


The right hon. Gentleman stated so.


I have not said that at all.


About this particular Bill no; but about the principle on which this Bill is based, and about the provisions which are contained in this measure, the right hon. Gentleman has certainly stated so.


I think the hon Member is mistaken, that is all.


On the occasion to which I refer he anticipated a profit, but we who look differently upon the construction of this measure cannot fail to anticipate a loss. I should be anxious to cut down the possible losses to local authorities as much as possible, and therefore I should oppose the Amendment of the hon. Member for Woolwich, and hope he will not press it.

Question put and negatived.

Other Amendments made.

MR. CALDWELL (Lanarkshire, M.)

I quite approve of the principle of this measure in so far as it is a measure to enable the ownership of small houses to be acquired by their residents in certain localities, and I approve of it also because it is all attempt to introduce cheapness into the transfer of property. But while I approve of the measure, I have a very strong objection to its being made applicable in Scotland, as the Bill from its whole structure applies mainly to the case of England and can only be adapted to the case of Scotland by the substitution of a great many words. The legal authorities in Scotland have for a long time protested against this system of mixing up what is peculiarly Scotch legislation with English legislation, in cases where the laws in both countries are essentially different. In this particular case there is no doubt that the law of England as regards heritable property is different from that of Scotland, and we ought to have legislation for Scotland in a separate Bill altogether, not tacked on to the end of a Bill applicable to England, but a Bill which would deal with the subject of Scotch land legislation in a manner which would be intelligible and not complicated.

Attention called to the fact that forty Members were not present; House counted, and forty Members being found present:—


As an illustration of the difference of the working of the Act in Scotland from the working of the Act in England, take the case of a man occupying one of these holdings who dies. Immediately two persons are introduced: one the widow and the other the heir. There is no provision, whatever, in this Bill for dealing with such an ordinary case as that, and it is a case which will confront the local authorities almost at the very start. Then, again, there are other peculiar points. In the case of England, for instance, the personal representative of the proprietor transfers the holding, but in Scotland the holding will necessarily be heritable property and would necessarily descend to the eldest son. Supposing the eldest son is not living with the family, would it not then be a very hard thing that the widow and the other members of the family should be turned out on account of the statutory condition that the proprietor must be resident on the property? Strictly speaking there would be a breach of the Statute, because in that case the widow would not be the proprietor of the holding. Then, again, in the case of leasehold property in Scotland the widow would have no rights whatever, and she would be practically an outsider so far as the property was concerned. I am only pointing out these cases to show the difficulty of dealing with the case of Scotland in a Bill which may be good enough and applicable enough to the case of England. There is also another important matter that has to be considered. The county councils are the local authorities in Scotland, and they are to exercise jurisdiction in this matter over the whole of their areas, including boroughs which do not exceed 7,000 inhabitants. The valuation of these small boroughs is to be included in the valuation of the county, and then the rate is not to exceed ½d. in the £ over a whole area. But the Lord Advocate will notice that we have not yet ascertained whether the ½d.rate over the whole area may not necessarily mean a penny or a twopenny rate so far as these small boroughs are concerned, because under the structure of the Bill the town commissioners of each borough are to pay over to the county council on requisition an amount equal to the proportion which the valuation of the borough bears to the valuation of the whole area. The Bill is properly drafted so far as England is concerned. In England you are dealing with county council areas, county borough area, urban district areas, and sanitary district areas, but there are no complications, because the local authorities are the local authorities of the whole area. But the matter is complicated when you come to deal with another area altogether, and when the local authority requisition for a certain amount of money for an area in which they have no jurisdiction otherwise. But there is another point which has to be borne in mind. Under Clause 9, Sub-section 7, power is taken that any money received or retained by the local authority shall be applied, with the sanction of the Local Government Board, either to the payment of debt or to any other purpose to which capital money may be applied. It means that the local authority might use the money collected as capital under this Act for a purpose outside this Act altogether, such as electric lighting. There is no great hardship when you are dealing with the local authority for the whole district, where the ratepayers are the same ratepayers which have advanced the money, and where the capital not used for this Act is at least going for some other purpose. There is no inconvenience therefore in the case of England, where the local authority represents the whole of the ratepayers in the locality. But observe what you are doing in the case of Scotland. The local authority is the county council, which is empowered to employ any portion of the money for purposes other than the purposes of this Act. The boroughs would get no part of this money, and they would be liable to be assessed and continue liable to be assessed in respect of this Act, whilst at the same time the money might be diverted by the county council to purposes from which the boroughs would derive no benefit whatever. I mention these illustrations to show the great difficulty of attempting to make a Bill which may be in every respect suitable to England applicable to Scotland. Land legislation and questions of succession are utterly different in England and in Scotland, and I protest against this method of dealing with this important subject. Legal authorities in Scotland have always been complaining of this method and have always been insisting that legislation for Scotland should be in an entirely different Bill beginning from the foundation in accordance with the Scotch principle of land legislation. We have had an Agricultural Rating Bill for England and a separate Bill for Scotland, and a Voluntary Schools Bill for England and a separate measure for Scotland, and yet these subjects were twenty times less complicated than this. I really cannot understand why the Government should attempt to deal with such an important subject in this way. Everyone is anxious that the present Bill should succeed, and the only way to make it succeed is to have the machinery simple. If the machinery is complicated an immense number of questions will arise which will lead to litigation and mean absolute ruin to the small proprietors concerned. I have put down a number of Amendments to try as far as possible to adapt this Bill to Scotland. But anyone who studies it will feel convinced that it is a Bill that cannot be adapted in this way, and that it would have been much better if Scotland had had a separate Bill. I will, therefore, move in Clause 11, page 7, line 23, after "shall" to inert "not." It will follow consequentially that all to the end of Clause 13 would be deleted. Whether the Amendment be accepted or not, I wish to make a protest at this stage against dealing with complicated questions of this kind in such a manner.

MR. GALLOWAY (Manchester, S.W.)

On a point of order, would not this Amendment make absolute nonsense of the whole clause?


If the hon. Member carries this Amendment another Amend- ment will follow, but he cannot move two Amendments at the same time.


Would not the hon. Member be more in order in moving to omit the clause?


The hon. Member is quite in order. If the clause were struck out, the Bill would apply to Scotland.

Amendment proposed— In page 7, line 23. after the word 'shall' to insert the word 'not.'"—(Mr.Caldwell.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'not' be there inserted."


The hon. Member for Mid-Lanark has somewhat surprised me by moving this Amendment, because the contention usually put forward is that in measures of general importance the two kingdoms should not be dealt with separately. It is quite true, of course, that there are certain matters which can be more appropriately dealt with in separate Bills. The hon. Member has given some instances, but I think he will find that the real criterion is that where the subject matter of a measure is a common-sense idea applicable to both countries there is no reason why we should not have one Bill, even though the actual machinery may be rather varied. The Agricultural Rating Bill is not a case in point, because in England the Bill relieved a part of the agricultural rates, and if the same words were to apply to Scotland they would have no practical result, because the rating system is essentially different. The object here is precisely the same in both countries, and it is only in the carrying out of the matter that

there is any difference. Now that we have had the hon. Gentleman's opinion upon it I do not think he will expect me to accept the Amendment. The hon. Member for South-West Manchester need not be at all nervous that the hon. Member for Mid-Lanark will persist in his Amendment, because if it were carried it would be perfectly suicidal, as it would prevent him from moving his other well-considered Amendments on the paper.

MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)

If my hon. friend goes to a Division I shall certainly support him. There is this peculiarity so far as Scotland is concerned. The Bill has never been discussed there. There is no public demand for it, and throughout the length and breadth of Scotland not a single candidate referred to the subject in his election address. Personally I do not believe there is any demand for this Bill in England. But so far as Scotland is concerned the Lord Advocate will agree with me that it is an absolutely new proposal, and foreign altogether to the whole idea of the occupation and ownership of houses in Scotland. It may be used at election times by our friends opposite, but there is no demand for it, and I doubt whether it will be used. I believe the proposal is one totally against the whole movement in Scotland in respect to land reform, and we had recent evidence of that so far as the Edinburgh elections were concerned if the hon. Member goes to a Division, in order to repudiate all responsibility for foisting this Bill on Scotch Members, I certainly shall support him.

The House divided:—Ayes, 48; Noes, 130. (Division List No. 216.)

Allan, William (Gateshead) Hazell, Walter Rickett, J. Compton
Billson, Alfred Holland, Wm. H. (York, W. R.) Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Hornidman, Frederick John Roberts, J. H. (Denbighs.)
Burns, John Leng, Sir John Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Cameron, Sir Charles(Glasgow) MacAleese, Daniel Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Causton, Richard Knight M'Leod, John Steadman, William Charles
Cawley, Frederick Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.) Moss, Samuel Thomas, D. A. (Merthyr)
Clough, Walter Owen Norton, Capt. Cecil William Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Condon, Thomas Joseph O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal) Wedderburn, Sir William
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Pearson, Sir Weetman D. Weir, James Galloway
Donelan, Captain A. Pickersgill, Edward Hare Williams, John Carvell (Notts.
Doogan, P. C Pirie, Duncan V. Yoxall, James Henry
Dunn, Sir William Priestley, Briggs (Yorks.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Evans, Samuel T.(Glamorgan) Randell, David Mr. Caldwell and Mr. Dalziel.
Goddard, Daniel Ford Richardson, J. (Durham, S. E.)
Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden Fisher, William Hayes Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Gr'h'm(Bute
Arnold, Alfred Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Galloway, William Johnson Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Garfit, William Nicholson, William Graham
Balcarres, Lord Gedge, Sydney Nicol, Donald Ninian
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds Gibbs, Hn.Vicary (St. Albans) Parkes, Ebenezer
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Giles, Charles Tyrrell Phillpotts, Captain Arthur
Barry, Rt Hn A. H Smith-(Hunts Gilliat, John Saunders Pierpoint, Robert
Bartley, George C. T. Goldsworthy, Major-General Pilkington, R. (Lanes, Newton)
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Gordon, Hon. John Edward Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Beach, Rt Hn. Sir M. H.(Bristol) Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Pollock, Harry Frederick
Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull Goulding, Edward Alfred Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Green, Walford D. (Wed'bur. Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edw.
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord Georgy Purvis, Robert.
Blakiston-Houston, John Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert W me Pym, C. Guy
Blundell, Colonel Henry Haslett, Sir James Horner Richards, Henry Charles
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Heath, James Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.
Bowles, T. Gibson(King's Lynn) Henderson, Alexander Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chs. Thomson
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Hill, Arthur (Down, West) Royds, Clement Molyneux
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Hill, Sir Edward Stock(Bristol) Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm. Holland, Hon. Lionel R. (Bow) Seton-Karr, Henry
Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc'r Hornby, Sir William Henry Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbysh.)
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Howard, Joseph Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Charrington, Spencer Howell, William Tudor Stanley, Henry M. (Lambeth),
Clare, Octavius Leigh Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H.A. E. Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Stock, James Henry
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Johnston, William (Belfast) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Jolliffe, Hon. H. George Valentia, Viscount
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Kenyon, James Wallace, Robert
Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Keswick, William Wanklyn, James Leslie
Corbett, A. Cameron(Glasgow) Laurie, Lieut.-General Wharton, Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Curzon, Viscount Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Williams, Joseph Powell-(Birm
Dalkeith, Earl of Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Wilson, J. W.(Worcestersh. N.
Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Long, Rt. Hn. Wltr. (Liverpool) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Denny, Colonel Lowe, Francis William Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Dewar, Arthur Loyd, Archie Kirkman Wyndham, George
Dunkin, Richard Sim Macartney, W. G. Ellison Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Douglas, Rt. Hom. A. Akers- Macdona[...] John Cumming Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Doxford, William Theodore Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)
Drucker, A. Middlemore, J. Throgmorton TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Fardell, Sir T. George Milton, Viscount Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Milward, Colonel Victor
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Moore, William (Antrim, N.)

Other Amendments agreed to.

MR. WILMA MOORE (Antrim, N.)

The object of the Amendment which stands in my name is to extend the number of towns and urban district councils in Ireland in which the Act may be put into operation. I may remind the House that the Bill already recognises the principle that you may have in Ireland a different qualification as to population from what you may have in England. In England the qualifying population is 7,000; in Ireland, both as to rural and urban districts, it is 5,000. Now, I submit to the House that in drawing the line in the case of the urban districts, especially at 5,000, it has been drawn too high. We are very anxious in the North of Ireland to have the benefits of the Act extended. I think I can satisfy the Government that if my Amendment is accepted it will confer a great benefit on a large number of municipalities. There are in Ireland 95 municipalities, and under the Bill as it originally stood with a qualifying population of 10,000 only 13 towns would have been qualified to put the Act into operation. In Committee the qualifying limit was brought down to 5,000 for Ireland, which brought in 26 municipalities. My Amendment proposes a population limit of 3,000, which would allow other 33 towns to bring the Act into operation, making a total of 59 towns out of the whole 95 municipalities in Ireland. If this Act is to be such a benefit to England and Scotland as has been represented, it is at least reasonable to ask that 59 towns in Ireland should have the same privilege. These towns have all very large powers of borrowing under the Public Health Act and the Towns Improvement Act. The Solicitor-General says that the valuation of these towns with a population of 3,000 is very small, and that in the event of a total loss the rates would be increased very much. I would state that the local boards are allowed to take collaterial security, and they have also the veto of the Irish Local Government Board to fall back on. You could hardly imagine, therefore, that under this Act there could be a total loss. No money can be borrowed until the boards are satisfied that the security is ample, and until it has been approved of by the Local Government Board in Ireland. I may point out as evidence that the population line has been wrongly drawn, that the valuation of some of the towns which are allowed to come in on the 5,000 population basis is considerably below the valuation of some of the towns with only 3,000 inhabitants. For instance, Carrick-on-Suir has a population of 5,608 with a valuation of £6,800, while Crookstown with a population of 3,000 has a valuation of over £11,000. Many other instances could be given. I regret to be obliged to bring this matter to a Division, but I have received resolutions from county councils and from towns in the North of Ireland which are very alive to the benefits of the Bill, and which have not the advantage of building societies enjoyed by towns of the same extent in England, that they are anxious that this Act should be Worked in their district so far as it can be worked.

Amendment proposed— In page 10, line 29, after the words 'seven thousand,' to insert the words 'in so far as the same relates to the council of any rural district, and in the case of the council of any un an district three thousand.'"—(Mr. William Moore.)

Question proposed—"That those words be there inserted."


I regret that I cannot accept the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman. The Amendment introduced into Committee by the right hon. the Colonial Secretary afforded an opportunity to a considerable part of the rural districts in Ireland to come under the operations of the Act. We must remember that towns with 3,000 population really do not contain the class of people whom this Act is designed to benefit. In addition to that the valuation of at least fifty towns in Ireland is only from £1 to £1 10s. per head of the population. For instance, in Castlebar there is a population of 3,558, and the valuation is £4,352. In Cashel the population is 3,216, and the valuation is £3,642; in Trim the population is 3,612, and the valuation £3,816; in Navan the population is 3,269, and the valuation £5,355; in Clonakilty the population is 3,221, and the valuation £4,592. What does that mean? If you take the population at 3,000, and the valuation at £4,000, you can only raise 4,000 pennies. Four thousand pennies makes £16 13s. 4d. Imagine any local authority starting to put this Act into operation, making an advance of £240 for the purchase of a house with only a guarantee of £16 per annum. Sir, this proposal makes the Bill perfectly ridiculous.

MR. WOLFF (Belfast, E.)

It seems to me very evident that if this Act is to do any good at all it is more likely to do it in small towns than in large ones. I have had considerable experience of workmen in large towns, the result of which goes to show that in those places they frequently shift from one part of a town to another, and also from one town to another; but in a small town the average workman frequently remains for half his working life. If, therefore, this Bill is to be of any use—and I do not think it will be of much use—it ought to apply to the small towns as much as possible. The Attorney-General has told us that the valuation in many of these towns is so small that the Act could not be put into effect except in regard to very few houses. There had better be few houses bought than none at all. I think it is a great pity that the Attorney-General should take the course he proposes, and I hope he will change his mind. If the hon. Member who moved this Amendment will go to a Division I shall certainly support him, however much I may regret the necessity of voting against the Government.

MR. HEMPHILL (Tyrone, N.)

In this case I am happy to be able to support the Amendment of my hon. and learned friend the Member for North Antrim, and also the hon. Gentleman who last spoke. In the Standing Committee on Law I advocated the reduction of the test by which this Act would be applied to small towns in Ireland. I think everybody who knows Ireland must be aware that the towns are very small throughout the length and breadth of the country. Assuming, for the purpose of the very few observations that I intend to make, that this is a beneficial Act, we have it from the statistics of the hon. and learned Member for North Antrim that to draw the line at 5,000 inhabitants would exclude thirty-three towns in Ireland from benefiting by the Bill. Why should they be excluded? I cannot imagine why the opposition to this Amendment should be persisted in. There may be a few towns in Ireland in which it would be a decided advantage for the poor working man to have the benefit of this Act. It is very likely that the Act may be a dead letter in Ireland—I do not myself look forward to any great results from it—but in legislation we are bound to assume that some beneficial results will follow. In applying the old-fashioned rule of three the Bill it is obvious to every Member in this House that the ratio of 3,000 inhabitants in Ireland would be fully represented by 7,000 in England, while 5,000 in Ireland would be equivalent to 10,000 or 15,000 in England. On the whole, therefore, I trust my right hon. friend will accept this Amendment.

MR. GALLOWAY (Manchester, S.W.)

This is an Amendment which has for its object the granting of facilities for the acquisition of houses by working men. We had a discussion at an earlier stage with regard to the limit of population in England, and I voted then for the smaller number—I think the reduction was from 7,000 to 5,000—as I did in the Grand Committee on Law, because, however small may be the number of cases in which the Act can be applied, if it is going to be of any benefit at all there is no reason why these places should be excluded. It appears to me that if the Act is beneficial in any respect, we ought, wherever we can, consistently with safety, to secure the application of the Act. It surely is rather extraordinary that the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney-General for Ireland should object to this Amendment, because as the hon. and learned Gentleman who moved it said, the Act as it at present stands would only apply to twenty-six towns. It does seem to me that twenty-six towns oat of ninety-five is a very small proportion indeed; in fact, it is little more than a quarter, and I do not think that in legislating for Ireland the Unionist party, at any rate, should exclude three-fourths of the towns from the benefit of the Act. I do not see in the arguments used by the Attorney-General for Ireland any reason why the Amendment should not be accepted, and I shall certainly support my hon. friend.


It is abundantly clear from the speeeches made by the hon. Members below the gangway on the other side that unless the Amendment is carried the Bill will have practically no operation in Ireland. We know the form in which the Bill was cast would prevent it from having any valid operation in this country, but some of us did, at all events, hope that it would apply to the sister country, and be one of the great remedial measures which the Government pride themselves on introducing to heal the wounds of the sister country. But the hon. Member for East Belfast, whose experience as an employer of labour is second to none, perhaps, in this country, assures us that the better class of workmen—that is to say, the workmen enjoying the opportunity of earning large wages in the great centres of industry—will not avail themselves of the powers given by the Bill. Therefore it only remains to be seen how far the Bill can be applied in the smaller towns where the poorer classes are accustomed to live for generations. The hon. Member for North Antrim has put his finger on the blot in the Bill. He shows that unless the limit of population is decreased practically no Irish towns except the few larger ones will be benefited under the Bill at all, and we all know that unless the people of these smaller places have a personal interest in carrying out the provisions of a scheme of this kind it has very little prospect of being put into force. Those who heard the speech of the Attorney-General for Ireland must feel that his objection to the Amendment was a purely technical one, and therefore the hon. Member, in moving as he does from the Government side of the House, will have a better chance of getting the Government to accept his Amendment than if it were moved from this side.

COLONEL MILWARD (Warwick, Stratford-on-Avon)

We discussed this question when the question of England was being considered, and I thought then it was the unanimous opinion of that House that to reduce the limit of population too low was to really introduce a dangerous principle into the Bill. Hon. Members who have spoken have said that they can see no harm or danger in introducing this limit. I think there is a very great danger indeed. When you conic to towns of 3,000 population, and you propose to allow the urban council to advance very considerable sums of money, you run at once into a very great danger. One danger not mentioned in the House tonight is that, although you are limited to a loss of 1d. in the £ as far as the rates are concerned, yet the loss may be much heavier than that before it is found out. You may have built right and left before you actually find that you have a loss, and you may be committed to a very large loss indeed. I think the hon. Members who have spoken have quite forgotten that all these towns are taken over by the county councils; they are not excluded under the Bill; but instead of applying to their own urban councils, they look to the county councils which have recently been established. Under these circumstances I hope the Government will adhere to the limit that they have decided upon.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

I have already discussed this question at considerable length, when the Amendments were under discussion on the English part of the Bill, and I very strongly expressed my opinion that the proper authority to put into force this Bill, so far as it is good for anything, were the small district councils, who would know the character of the borrowers from personal knowledge. It has been said in this Debate, as was said when the main clause was under discussion, that these districts, which are deprived, or ought to be deprived, of autonomy under this Bill, would be taken care of by the county councils. When that proposition was advanced on a previous occasion, I asked the Colonial Secretary, in charge of the Bill, what was to be the area charged—because that is an all important question—and the Colonial Secretary replied that that would be dealt with in a different Amendment. I have only had time to make a hurried examination of the Amendment, but as far as I can gather the area charged in the case of these small councils is the county. If that is the case the Bill will not be put into operation as far as the small towns are concerned. To tell me that the county councils will advance money to these small towns and run the risk of putting a rate on the whole county is to talk nonsense. They will do nothing of the sort, and these unfortunate districts will be completely cut off from all benefit under this Bill if this is to be the area charged. If you allow the small towns to advance the money they will only advance it to three or four occupiers in the first instance, and if they find the experiment successful they will advance money to others. I submit that no argument has been advanced against the Amendment. When the hon. Member for Stratford-on-Avon said he thought it was a dangerous Amendment the was probably ignorant of the difference which exists between Ireland and England as regards the standard of urban population. I have no hesitation in saying that a population of 2,000 in a town in Ireland is equal to a population of 10,000 in a town in England. When, therefore, the House is asked to reduce the limit of population in Ireland to 3,000, as compared with 7,000 in England, I think it is a very moderate request. I trust the hon. Member for North Antrim will go to a Division.


The loan is only repayable in thirty-three years, and most of the small towns in Ireland, after they have advanced £140 at 2½ per cent. to three individuals, will have their hands tied up.


I am not aware of a single town in Ireland where the ordinary artisan could spend £300 for his dwelling. The average cost of an artisan's house in a rural district would be from £80 to £100. The average cost of an artisan's house in the City of Belfast would be from £120 to £140. It is, therefore, quite a fallacy to say that the artisan would spend the sum suggested. Such a thing is not known. It is in the small towns in Ireland that the Bill is mostly needed, and I would earnestly ask the Attorney-General to accept the reduced limit of 3,000 population in Ireland, since it is a fair comparison with 7,000 population in England.

The House divided:—Ayes, 84; Noes, 148. (Division List No. 217.)

Allan, William (Gateshead) Dunn, Sir William O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)
Allen, Wm.(Newc.underLyme Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Oldroyd, Mark
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Flynn, James Christopher Pearson, Sir Weetman D.
Billson, Alfred Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.) Pilkington, Sir G. A. (Lancs. SW
Blakiston-Houston, John Galloway, W. Johnson Pirie, Duncan V.
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Goddard, Daniel Ford Priestley, Briggs (Yorks)
Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn) Goulding, Edward Alfred Randell, David
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Gurdon, Sir William Brampton Richardson, J. (Durham, S. E.)
Burns, John Harwood, George Rickett, J. Compton
Caldwell, James Haslett, Sir J. Horner Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Cameron, Sir C. (Glasgow) Hazell, Walter Roberts, John H. (Denbghsh.)
Campbell- Bannerman, Sir H. Hedderwick, Thomas Chas. H. Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Causton, Richard Knight Holland, Wm. H. (York, W. R. Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Cawley, Frederick Horniman, Frederick John Souttar, Robinson
Channing, Francis Allston Kearley, Hudson E. Steadman, William Charles
Clark, Dr. G.B.(Caithness-sh.) Langley, Batty Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Clough, Walter Owen Leng, Sir John Thomas, Alf. (Glamorgan, E.)
Colville, John Lewis, John Herbert Thomas, David Alf. (Merthyr)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Logan, John William Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Wedderburn, Sir William
Dalziel, James Henry Lough, Thomas Weir, James Galloway
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Macaleese, Daniel Williams, John Carvell(Notts.)
Davitt, Michael M'Dermott, Patrick Wilson, John (Govan)
Dewar, Arthur M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Dillon, John M'Leod, John Yoxall, James Henry
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand TELLERS FOR THE AYES,
Donelan, Captain A. Moss, Samuel Mr. William Moore and Mr. Wolff.
Doogan, P. C. Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hornby, Sir William Henry
Arnold, Alfred Curzon, Viscount Howell, William Tudor
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Dalkeith, Earl of Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Dalrymple, Sir Charles Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick
Baird, John George A. Davies, Sir Horatio D (Chatham Johnston, William (Belfast)
Balcarres, Lord Denny, Colonel Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W(Leeds Donkin, Richard Sim Jolliffe, Hon. H. George
Banbury, Frederick George Doughty, George Kenyon, James
Barnes, Frederic George Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Keswick, William
Barry, Rt Hn A H Smith-(Hunts Doxford, William Theodore Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn
Bartley, George C. T. Fardell, Sir T. George Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Liverpool
Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull Fisher, William Hayes Lowe, Francis William
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Blundell, Colonel Henry Foster, Hairy S. (Suffolk) Macdona, John Cumming
Bond, Edward Garfit, William Maclure, Sir John William
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Gedge, Sydney M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John Gibbs, Hon.Vicary(St. Albans) Maxwell, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbt. E.
chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Giles, Charles Tyrrell Mellor, Col. (Lancashire)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm) Gilliat, John Saunders Middlemore, J. Throgmorton
Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc'r Goldsworthy, Major-General Milton, Viscount
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Gordon, Hon. John Edward Milward, Colonel Victor
Charrington, Spencer Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Morgan, Hn. Fred.(Monm'thsh.
Clare, Octavius Leigh Goschen Rt Hn G. J.(St George's Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)
Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E. Green, Walford D.(Wednesb'ry Murray, Rt Hn. A. G. (Bute
Coghill, Douglas Harry Gretton, John Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Gull, Sir Cameron Myers, William Henry
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Colston, Chas. Ed. H. Athole Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Nicholson, William Graham
Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Hardy, Laurence Nicol, Donald Ninian
Corbett, A. Cameron(Glasgow) Heath, James Parkes, Ebenezer
Cox, Irwin E. Bainbridge Helder, Augustus Phillpotts, Captain Arthur
Cripps, Charles Alfred Henderson, Alexander Pierpoint, Robert
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton Hoare, Samuel (Norwich) Pilkington, R. (LancsNewton]
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Seton-Karr, Henry Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Pollock, Harry Frederick Sidebottom, William(Derbysh William, Joseph Powell-(Birm
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Skewes-Cox, Thomas Willox, Sir John Archibald
Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Smith, James P. (Lanarks.) Wilson,J. W. (Worcestersh.N.
Purvis Robert Stanley, Henry M. (Lambeth) Wodehouse, Rt. Hon. E. R(Bath
Pym, C. Guy Stanley, Lord (Lants.) [...]. Rt.Hon.C. B. Stuart-
Richards, Henry Charles Stewart, Sir Mar K J. M' Taggart Wyndham, George
Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W. Stock, James Henry Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Strauss, Arthur Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Royds, Clement Molyneux Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Russell, Gen. F.S.(Cheltenham Tollemache, Henry James
Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Tomlinson, W. Edw. Murray TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Ryder, John Herbert Dudley Valentia, Viscount Sir William Walrond and
Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Wanklyn, James Leslie Mr. Anstruther.
Seely, Charles Hilton Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd

Resolutions agreed to.

Other Amendments made.

Motion made, and Question proposed— That the Bill be re-committed in respect of Clause 12."—(The Lord Advocate.)

MR. SYDNEY GEDGE (who spoke amid repeated cries of "Divide," was understood to say)

I beg to move as an Amendment that the Bill be recommitted in respect of Clauses 8 and 12. I wish Clause 8 also to be considered with a view to its omission, and the insertion of another clause which was to be moved by the Colonial Secretary. The right hon. Gentleman moved, but afterwards withdrew it. My reason for moving the Amendment is that the clause as it now stands introduces, as regards all purchases and sales under the Bill, the Land Transfer Act of 1897 in every county in England. This is contrary to the distinct promise which was made when that Act was passed that it should be tried as an experiment only in the administrative County of London, and that for three years it should not be introduced in any other county in England, nor afterwards unless the county council asked that the Act should be put into force. This Bill suggests no machinery of any kind for the purpose of putting it into force. Not only is there no machinery, but when a deputation of the Incorporated Law Society waited on the Attorney-General, he promised to reconsider the matter. There is now some idea of leaving it to the House of Lords, and we know what the result will be.

Amendment proposed— After the word 'Clause,' to insert the words 'eight and Clause."—(Mr. Sydney Gedge.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


When the Bill was before the House on the Report stage I moved to omit Clause 8 and to insert an alternative clause, on the ground that it was in conflict with an understanding given during the passage of the Land Transfer Act through the House. Objection was taken to my proposal from many quarters of the House, and I was asked to reconsider the matter, as the suggested alteration was no improvement to the Bill. As the Attorney-General is absent on important public business, I have not had an opportunity of consulting him, but the Government is bound to carry out any pledge given on its behalf. I promised that the whole matter should receive consideration when the Bill came before the other House. My hon. friend now wants to hurry matters, and to have the point dealt with before full consideration has been given to it. I think, and I should like to know from tile hon. Member whether he thinks, that any pledge given would be sufficiently met if in another place it was provided that Clause 8 should not come into operation until the expiry of the three years during which no extension of the Land Transfer Act should take place. That is a compromise which I would consider, and I shall ask my hon. friend to say before the Bill conies before the House of Lords whether that compromise would meet the views of those whom he represents. I should then require further time to consider the whole case.

* MR. HELDER (Whitehaven)

As one of the deputation which waited on the Attorney-General, I would like to say he dealt with the matter in such a way as led us to suppose that the clause would be withdrawn, or that some alteration would be made when the Bill again came before the House, in order to meet the views of the Incorporated Law Society. There are faults in Clause 8 which we consider very serious, but I think, on the whole, the right hon. Gentleman, the Colonial Secretary, has treated the matter very fairly, and that his suggestion to insert an agreed clause in another place is the best arrangement that could be made.

Question put and negatived.

Bill re-committed in respect of Clause 12.

Bill considered in Committee, and reported, with an Amendment; as amended, considered; to be read the third time To-morrow.