§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
MR. H. J. ROBERTSON (Hackney) moved the insertion of the following new clause:—
With respect to a mayor of a borough being by virtue of his office a justice of the peace—(1) he shall become a justice of the peace for the County of London; (2) he shall not he disqualified by reason of being a solicitor practising or carrying on business in the County of London or City of London; (3) he shall not practise as a solicitor before any justices of the County of London.
§ The object of the Amendment was place mayors of London boroughs in 967 the same position as those of provincial towns. Though London was, technically speaking, a county borough, it was nothing more than a large municipality, precisely on the same footing with, though rather larger than, Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool. It appeared to him, therefore, that there was no kind of reason why a solicitor, who was mayor, should he disqualified in London, He thought it was a great grievance that solicitors could not sit on the Bench in London. In some district councils there was great difficulty in getting a proper chairman at the present time. He knew one district where there were five solicitors on one of these bodies, four of whom had absolutely refused to accept the chairmanship because of the distinction made that they would not be justices of the peace, Under the circumstances he thought they acted very properly and rightly in refusing the office.
§ New clause brought up and read the first and second time and added.
MR. BRYCL (Aberdeen, S.)
I beg to move, as a new clause, that:—Nothing in this Act shall authorise any borough council to alienate any recreation ground or other open space dedicated to the use of the public, or any land held mi trusts which prohibit building thereon.This Amendment is intended to prevent the provision in Clause 7 from operating in a way which I do not think the Government intended. The Committee undoubtedly knows that there are a great many recreation grounds and open spaces in London vested sometimes in vestries and sometimes in district boards, and it is very desirable to preserve them. Clause 7 would make it doubtful whether they could be preserved, and a like doubt is created by Clause 15. I therefore suggest that a saving clause would be the best way of preventing any difficulty arising.
New clause; brought up and read the first and second time, and added.
§ THE SOLICLTOR-GENERAL (Sir R. B. FINLAY, Inverness Burghs)
, in the absence of Mr. H. D. GREENE (Shrewsbury), moved the following new clause:—The places known as the Inner and Middle Temples shall for this; purposes of this Act. be deemed to be within the City of London.968 Clause brought up and read the first and second time, and added.
§ MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)
said he wished to revert to a question which was held over at a previous portion of the proceedings, and which the learned Attorney-General promised to consider. The question was how to protect the tenant in the case of the sewers rate. The rate was a charge on the fee simple unless the tenant had contracted away his rights. The Bill abolished the sewers rate, and, unless some other provision were made, what was the equivalent of the sewers rate would fall as a charge on the tenant. He begged, therefore, to move the following new clause:—As between landlord and tenant every tenant who, if this Act had not been passed, would have been entitled to deduct against or to be repaid by his landlord any sum paid by such tenant on account of the sewers rate shall in like manner be entitled to deduct against or to be repaid by his landlord such portion of the general rate as represents the sewers rate.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir RICHARD WEBSTER, Isle of Wight)
expressed his agreement with the substance of the clause.
§ MR. PICKERSGILL
accordingly asked the learned Attorney-General to allow it to be included in the Bill, subject to such alteration in drafting as he desired to make.
New Clause brought up and read the first and second time, and added.
§ Schedule 1:—
§ MR. STUART (Shoroditch, Hoxton) moved to substitute for the list of areas in the Schedule:—
"The parishes included in Schedule A and districts included in Schedule B of the Metropolis Management Act of 1855 and amending Acts which have a population exceeding 100,000."
§ The districts which by his motion would be included in the Schedule were the following:—Bethnal Green, Hackney, Mile End, Newington, Shoreditch, and Greenwich. His object was that wherever a sufficient population existed and there was an old boundary well ascertained, and the district had long been a local government district, it would be better for the House to follow out the suggestion em- 969 bodied in Sub-section (b), Clause 1, and have regard to those ancient boundaries. The vestry area of Shoreditch had existed as a separate local government entity for over 100 years, and was managed under an Act which had existed for a similar period. It was one of the six great vestries under the Metropolis Management Act, 1855, which contributed two members instead of one to the Metropolitan Board of Works. Of the six vestries five were included already in the Schedule, and he earnestly urged that the sixth should he included. In this particular locality they had a large amount I local interest and honest local endeavour towards good government. The Bill was going to give greater local life to London, and they wished it to be so, and it would therefore be a pity to break up some of the historical single areas when their government was in many instances extremely satisfactory. He did not believe that the government of any of the new boroughs could be more satisfactory than that of some of the best vestries, and amongst these certainly he included the Vestry of the Parish of Shoreditch.
Amendment proposed, in page 15, line 4, to leave out all the words after "parishes" in order to insert—
Included in Schedule A, and districts included in Schedule B, of the Metropolis Management Act of 1855 and amending Acts."—(Mr. Stuart.)
That the words proposed to he left out stand part of the Schedule.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
The honourable Gentleman who has just sat down has evidently moved his Amendment in order to obtain from Her Majesty's Government any statement that we are prepared to make on the general question embodied in this schedule, and, if quite convenient to the House, I propose at this stage to add something to what I ventured to state on the second reading. I have since had a large amount of information afforded me from localities not included in the Bill as it stands. I have had petitions and representations; I have had interviews with many persons closely connected with the districts; and I have done my best to collect information. The result is, that I think I am able to advise the House to include more 970 areas in the schedule than it was possible to do at the time when I could not consult the local areas, and had no means of obtaining the information which has since reached me through various channels. If the House will look at the non-scheduled part of London, they will see that it naturally divides itself into six districts. The first is that included in the old Tower Hamlets borough, which includes a large number of areas, the only one of which in the present schedule is the Poplar District. There remains outside the Poplar district a large number of areas as to which various questions arise, and I confess that I have not been able to find any plan which goes to meet the necessities of good government and the local wishes of the inhabitants. As at present advised, therefore, subject to discussion that may be raised, I see no possibility of settling the questions involved except after a local inquiry.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Yes, of the resident Borough of Tower Hamlets. The area proposed is Bow, Bromley, Poplar, Mile End Old Town, St. George's in-the-East, Whitechapel.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
No; I see no method of dealing with this area except after local enquiry. The next area may be described as the Southwark and Newington area. Again, I see no method of dealing with this area which will satisfy the requirements of sound local Government and the wishes of the inhabitants, and so again I am driven with great reluctance to leave these districts to be decided upon after local inquiry. The third area is that of South Hackney and Stoke Newington. I do not pronounce an opinion upon it; I would like to hear what will be said upon it when we come to discuss it on the schedule. There remain what I may call the central and south-eastern areas. In regard to both of these, I am prepared to advise the Committee to add greatly to the schedule; in fact, to include the whole of these areas in the Schedule. I should suggest that in the central area we should form a 971 borough comprising the existing Parliamentary division of Holborn; another consisting of the existing Parliamentary divisions of East and Central Finsbury, these two together forming one area; an area consisting of the Parliamentary Borough of Bethnal Green, and an area comprising the Parliamentary Borough of Shoreditch. Although one or two of these areas are smaller than I would desire, there are special reasons connected with them for making them combined units of Local Government, and I believe it would be in accordance with the wishes of the local inhabitants that they should be grouped as I suggest. That disposes of the central area. There remains the great South-East of London to consider, an area not as yet very large in population, but considerable in extent, and probably with a great future before it. That area includes Deptford, Greenwich, Woolwich, and Lewisham. After carefully considering the matter, it appears to mo that we cannot do better than practically adopt as areas of the new boroughs the areas found to work well as Parliamentary districts. I believe that no serious objection will be raised to placing these Parliamentary areas in the schedule, and if that were done, the whole area of South-East London would be satisfactorily disposed of. True, this arrangement of boundaries makes greater the distinction between the Poor Law and administrative areas, but I do not think that that can be avoided, and I believe that on the whole the suggestion I have made would not be unfavourably regarded by the inhabitants of the district. I have adopted the Parliamentary areas because Parliamentary life is itself a natural bond of union, and brings together the various interests of all the people concerned, and if we can make the area of Imperial institutions coincide with municipal institutions, so far a great gain is effected. It will be seen that I propose to add eight new boroughs to the schedule, which I will again read out to the Committee in order that there may be no mistake:—First, the Parliamentary division of Holborn; the second borough is constituted by the Parliamentary divisions of East and Central Finsbury; third, the Parliamentary Borough of Bethnal Green; fourth, the Parliamentary Borough of Shoreditch; fifth, Deptford; sixth, Greenwich; seventh, Lewisham; and eighth, 972 Woolwich. It only remains for me to note that the Parish of Lewisham has to be omitted from the present schedule in order to substitute for it the Parliamentary division of Lewisham, because Lee was not in the parish, and will have to be added in order to make the new area coincide with the Parliamentary area. I hope I have made my general proposition clear, and although I cannot hope to have satisfied the various local aspirations that have found expression in amendments, I trust I have done something material towards improving the Bill.
§ MR. CAUSTON (South wark, W.)
hoped that the right honourable Gentleman's mind was still open to receive some information in regard to West Southwark. That district had everything that a municipal corporation could desire for successful work.
* THE CHAIRMAN
said that the honourable Gentleman was entitled to discuss the general situation, but not at that stage the particular claims of a particular district.
§ MR. CAUSTON
hope that the right honourable Gentleman would not close the door to the claims of West Southwark.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said that every member of the Committee must have been glad to hear what had fallen from the right honourable Gentleman. The only object they had in view with regard to this matter was that those areas still left to the Commissioners would be so few in number that it would be pretty obvious on what grounds they would be carried out. He was sorry that the right honourable Gentleman had not seen his way to include the Tower Hamlets.
§ CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)
hoped that if West Newington was not to be included in the schedule, the right honourable Gentleman would take it into his serious consideration. There were most cogent reasons why it should be. He took it that the basis of the Bill was that a borough area should have a population of over 100,000, and a rateable value of £500,000. West Newington fulfilled both these conditions.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
rose to a point 973 of order. It would be more convenient if honourable Gentleman waited until particular districts were reached before discussing the merits of each.
§ MR. STUART
said that after the statement made by the right honourable Gentleman, which went a very considerable way to meet his views, and also greatly improved the operation of the schedule, he would withdraw his Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. L. R. HOLLAND (Tower Hamlets, Bow and Bromley)
said that after listening to the statement made by the Leader of the House, he could not help thinking that there was a certain amount of truth in the remark made at a meeting the previous night by the leader of the Progressive party, that this Bill had ceased to be a Bill for the reform of London Government, but had become a small though not unsatisfactory Bill for the reform of the existing vestries. Honourable Members opposite no doubt would welcome such a Bill in preference to a measure on large lines for the reform of London Government. If there was one feature in the Bill that afforded an element of comic relief it was the proposal to create the district of Chelsea as a scheduled borough. At present Chelsea consisted of Chelsea proper and of the district of Kensal Town. The Royal Commission presided over by the right honourable Member for Bodmin proposed to create a borough of Chelsea, but it was to include Chelsea and the district of Kensal Town. These form one Poor Law Union, one parliamentary area and local government area. This Bill, however, proposed to take away Kensal Town from Chelsea, although the latter had only a wretched population of something like 70,000 inhabitants, and would therefore not conform to one of the principles on which the Bill was founded. The result would be that part of Kensal Town would go to Kensington, and part to Paddington, and that in both Paddington and Kensington there would be two assessing authorities. He could not see why they should create such a confusion. There was another ominous feature in regard to the proposal. Kensal Town was to he taken from Chelsea, but Knightsbridge was to be added to it.
974 That was a very nice arrangement, because it would take away the poorest part of the district, and add a rich area from the neighbourhood. His idea was that they should make one borough of Chelsea and Kensington, by which all difficulties in regard to Poor Law areas and so on would be avoided, and there would be one homogeneous borough.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 15, column 1, line 7, to leave out "Chelsea." -(Mr. L. R. Holland.)
§ Question proposed, "That 'Chelsea' stand part of the Schedule."
§ * MR. WHITMORE (Chelsea)
was afraid he must take exception to the arguments of his honourable friend. Apart from his natural prejudices, he thought there were solid reasons why the object of his honourable friend should not be entertained. What they wished to do by this Bill was to carve out a certain number of districts in London which had all the requisites for good municipal areas. The primary object should be that a district should have a real local life, should have a past with traditions, and have a population interested in its local life and government. Chelsea for many years had possessed all these attributes. The proposal of his honourable friend was part of a large scheme which he had embodied in many amendments on the Paper, a scheme for what was called the tenification of London. He thought that in London they ought to have in future some large and important districts such as Greater Westminster, and also such districts as Shoreditch and Bethnal Green, which had at present a vigorous local life; and also some which, if with a smaller population, yet were kept together by a living local feeling. His honourable friend proposed to tie Oil to Chelsea another district, such as Kensington, which had a history, traditions, and local life of its own. He asked the Committee not to embark on such a course, but to stand fast to the principles of the Bill; and, speaking for Chelsea, he hoped the Committee would scout with proper contempt the Amendment of his honourable friend.
§ * SIR T. G. FARDELL (Paddington, S.)
said he was in complete agreement with the general proposition of the hon- 975 ourahle Member for Bow. He had a right to ask that the borough with which he was interested should not he prejudiced by the change to he made. The effect would be that 21,000 persons would he handed over to the tender mercies of the Boundary, Commissioners and divided between Kensington and Paddington. The geographical position should have something to do with the scheme. If honourable Members would look at the map they would find that Chelsea was sandwiched between two parts of Kensington, and part of Kensington ran between two parts of Chelsea. If Chelsea and Kensington were combined for municipal purposes, a large and important borough could be created which would not interfere with any local interest whatever, and would work extremely well. Of course the objection might be urged that it would make too large a borough. They might look at it in another way. He found that Chelsea district, if it remained in the schedule as now proposed, would comprise 650 acres, whereas every one of the other 14 areas, Westminster excluded, possessed a larger acreage. Then, again, its population was 75,196, which was smaller than that of any of the other 14 areas. Again, the rateable value was £747,790. Of the other 14 areas which were scheduled ten had a larger rateable value and only four a lesser. Surely these facts afforded some ground for making au appeal to the First Lord to see whether he could not keep an open mind on this proposal. For ages past the two parishes of Chelsea and Kensington had been mixed up together, and before the Royal Commission in 1894, evidence was given in favour of the rejection of the proposal to interfere with Chelsea. He ventured to assert that if Kensington were joined to Paddington it would he a most inequitable and unfair arrangement.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
My honourable friend lets made a special appeal to me to yield to the Amendment. But I think he must have recognised that the course recommended by the Amendment is one which the Government cannot he expected to take. Kensington and Chelsea have not only got local traditions and a local municipal life already, but that local municipal life is one of great vigour, and the manner in which they manage their affairs may well be a model for many of the new boroughs to be created under this 976 Act. To attempt to take two districts which themselves make natural units, and amalgamate them together in one unnatural whole, would he very inexpedient. My honourable friend the Member for Row and Bromley has declared that to put Chelsea in this Bill destroys it as a great measure of reform. He also quoted with approval the statement of the gentleman whom he described as the leader of the Progressive Party in the County Council, that the alterations made have entirely destroyed the innocuous character of the Bill. I fail to remember any change made during the Committee stage which has materially altered the character of the measure as I introduced it two months ago with the approval of my honourable friend. However that may be, Chelsea has been included in the first schedule front the beginning, and I utterly fail to understand why the retention of Chelsea should entirely alter the character of the Bill. I hope the Committee will not agree to the Amendment.
§ MR. L. R. HOLLAND
said he would withdraw the Amendment, but he would like to remind the right honourable Gentleman that in his speech on the Second Reading of the Bill he observed that the ridiculous feature of the measure was the inclusion of Chelsea.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ * SIR A. SCOBLE (Hackney, Central)
said he rose to move the Amendment which stood in the name of the Member for Shoreditch, the object being to insert "Hackney" after "Fulham." He said his constituents very much objected to any partition of the existing parish of Hackney, because that would do away with local traditions and dislocate local life. The present Parliamentary borough comprised three divisions—North, South, and Central. The poorer classes resided in the South and Central districts, while the wealthier classes were to be found in the North, and he did not think it would be desirable that there should be any separation which could only lead to much trouble, vexation, and inconvenience to all engaged in the local administration of the parish. He would have preferred that the Parliamentary borough should be identical with the municipal borough, but Stoke Newington objected to this. He could only say that if Stoke Newington liked to 977 rejoin Hackney they would he glad to receive it.
Amendment proposed, in page 15, column 1, line 8—
After 'Fulham' to insert 'Hackney'"—(Sir A. Scoble.)
§ Question proposed "That 'Hackney' be there inserted."
MR. H. J. ROBERTSON
said they had now come to the second district of which the First Lord spoke, and which he said was specially reserved for debate, as he wished to hear the arguments stated. This was not a complicated area like Tower Hamlets, and there were only three ways of settling the difficulty—first by throwing Hackney and Stoke Newington into one, secondly by keeping them apart, and thirdly by cutting off the North, or richest part of Hackney, and uniting it with Stoke Newington, which, in itself, was a rich district. The third plan would certainly not be approved of locally, and he was confident the House would not assent to it. The First Lord had always stated that he did not want ancient parishes divided, and if there was one form of division which was more objectionable than any other it was that which cut off the richest part of a parish. There could he no difficulty in making Hackney a borough in itself, and it was clear that but for the case of Stoke Newington, Hackney would have been a scheduled area. The only difficulty in fact arose from Stoke Newington. The latter was a small area, but it was one considerably increasing in population, and it would be augmented to an appreciable extent under this Bill. On its borders there was a very large town growing up, and he had no doubt that in process of time that neighbouring district would want to come into the county of London. Stoke Newington would be what might be called a first-class borough, other districts might like to join it, and it would be free to receive additions to it from the county of Middlesex. Stoke Newington was separated from hackney eight years ago, and local feeling was opposed to the two districts being joined together again. If they divided the parish of Hackney they would create a city of the rich in the northern part and city of the poor in the southern part. Though this was a difficult question, it 978 was not a complicated one, and these two districts ought not to be put to the expense of going before the Commissioners to decide it.
§ MR. STUART
said he was, of course, aware that the borough of Hackney caused a good deal of difficulty to the Government, but he was inclined to think that the decision in regard to this question might as well be made by that House. The difficulty arose in regard to Stoke Newington, and there was only one way of solving it. Hackney was united to Stoke Newington for a great many years under the Metropolis Management Act, 1855, and the feuds between the two parts of the then district of Hackney and Stoke Newington were interminable and intolerable. The result was that, by mutual consent, they obtained a separation, each place came in consequence to be governed by its own vestry, and he did not see how they could be put together again. It was possible to take North Hackney and add it to Stoke Newington, but if they did that they would get into an extreme difficulty about rateable value. North Hackney had a rateable value of £8 per head of the population, and the remainder of the parish had only a rateable value of about £4 5s. That was a solution he did not like to face. The only other course would be to leave Hackney alone and to leave the Commissioners to deal with Stoke Newington in the one way that it could reasonably be dealt with, and that was by adding to it portions of the county of Middlesex, which together had a population representing nearly 20,000 people. By that means the borough of Stoke Newington would have a population of 50,000, and, though it would be the smallest borough in London, the anomaly would be a gradually diminishing one, because the population in this district was rapidly increasing. When dividing London up into boroughs they could not avoid creating some anomalies as to size.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
This question of Hackney and Stoke Newington has caused about as much embarrassment to those who have had to consider the question of areas as any other question in the Bill. It is true that the question is simple, and is not complicated like the questions connected with Southwark and the Tower Hamlets. You have not before you a 979 series of possible alternatives. In this case no doubt you have very plain alternatives, with regard to which it is hard to see that a local inquiry would put the inquirers into a better position than the Committee are in at the present time. There are three and only three possible methods of dealing with this area. You might divide the whole area into north and south divisions, but the objections to that are almost insuperable, as it would not only cut up a district that is an historical entity, but would divide the rateable value in a most inconvenient manner. He rejects, therefore, that method. The second alternative is to make the whole area one borough and to require Hackney and Stoke Newington, much against their will, to live under one municipal organisation. The objection to that is that there appears to be great ill-feeling and mutual ill-will—it almost amounts to that—between the inhabitants of the two districts, and Parliament having considered this very case and gone carefully into it by the machinery of a Select Committee has actually decided that this ill-assorted couple shall no longer be required to live together. It would be a very serious thing to forcibly join together those who are thus put assunder, and I do not think it would be possible for the Committee to take the responsibility of such a course. The third method is to leave the historical parish of Hackney undivided and untouched, and allow Stoke Newington, with or without additions from the neighbouring county of Middlesex, to form a borough by itself. There is, as far as I know, but one objection to that, but it is, from my point of view, a serious objection. It is an objection founded upon the small size of the possible Stoke Newington municipality. Whether additions from Middlesex are made to it or not it must remain abnormally and exceptionally small, although not perhaps in area. We must, therefore, face the fact that if we adopt this third course we shall be creating a borough which is smaller than the rest of the boroughs and smaller than we desire to see. I am not aware that any local inquiry would elicit new facts or find out any arguments with which we are not thoroughly conversant. I conceive, therefore, that the Commissioners would be driven to make Hackney into a separate borough and Stoke Newington into a separate borough, and would have to justify that course by submitting 980 a special Report to Parliament. That would be a, heavy responsibility to throw upon them, and I should be glad to relieve them of it. Having heard what has fallen from honourable Gentlemen on both sides of the House, I have reluctantly, but decidedly, come to the conclusion that perhaps we had better face the responsibility ourselves and decide that Hackney shall be constituted a separate municipality, even if it involves the inevitable, inconveniences which I have endeavoured to describe. I am, therefore, prepared to accept the Amendment.
§ MR. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)
said he was in a position of great difficulty which disqualified him, unfortunately, from giving a vote on the Amendment. One section of his constituents, those residing at Stoke Newington, would be pleased with the decision winch the First Lord had announced, for it would relieve them of a nightmare, and they would no longer fear that their position would he disturbed by the Bill. But with regard to the other part of his constituency (North Hackney), he was in the greatest difficulty, because by scheduling Hackney they would be deprived of the chance of going before the Boundary Commissioners and urging that the North Division of Hackney should be joined to Stoke Newington. He was, therefore, compelled to move an Amendment excepting North Hackney from the area, as he did not see any other way in which he could lay the views of that portion of his constituents before the Committee. Now they complained that their wants had hitherto been practically unattended to. The roads in that important neighbourhood had been utterly neglected. Large sums were spent in Mare Street, the commercial portion of the parish, with which North Hackney had nothing in common, and money levied over the whole district was chiefly expended outside North Hackney. Indeed the representatives of that division of the parish found themselves unable to obtain a hearing at the Hackney Vestry, and when there were proposals to expend large sums, Very little of which would be devoted to North Hackney, they were actually closured if they raised any opposition. An endeavour had been made to obtain the views of the ratepayers of North Hackney upon this question. A poll had been taken, the result being that in that portion of Hackney which was in- 981 cluded in his constituency, 4,086 voted for the connection with Stoke Newington and only 448 for continuing the connection with Hackenry. Again as regarded rateable value he would like to point out that the rateable value of that portion of Hackey which he represented, bore almost identically the same propration to population as did the rest of Hackney. Under these circumstances he begged to move the Amendment standing in his name.
Amendment proposed to the proposed to the Amendment—
After 'Hackney' to insert 'except the portion thereof included in the Parliamentary division of North Hackney'"—(Mr. Bousfield.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Amendment."
§ MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)
said that having a personal acquaintance with the grievances of the inhabitants of Stoke Newington, he felt their case would be a difficult one to fight before the Boundary Commissioners, because of its comparatively small rateable value. It was true that Stoke Newington, with Hornsey, would be the smallest area, but it would not long occupy that unique position. As regarded good management and everything which went to constitute those conditions which the right honourable Gentleman laid down as necessary to form an exemplary area, he was quite sure that Stoke Newington would prove itself as good as any other part.
§ MR.LOWLES (Shoreditch, Haggerston)
said his honourable friend had made the best of a very bad case. Stoke Newington formerly formed part of the Parliamentary borough of Hackney, and he, having resided for many years in North Hackney, would like to see them rejoined, as he held that the Parliamentary borough was the best unit for municipal purposes. There was, however, a strong local feeling against reunion, and he thought the First Lord had taken the best possible course on the matter. He hoped that the opportunity would be taken to cut off those outlying parts of Middlesex which were of no use to Middlesex, but which would he useful in making Stoke Newington a more compact borough. On the whole, 982 however, he congratulated the Government on having settled a dispute which would have been interminable had it been left to local decision.
§ Question put and negatived.
§ Original Amendment again proposed.
§ Question put and agreed to.
In page 15, column 2, line 7, to leave out 'Lewisham'"—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)
§ Question, "That Lewisham stand part of the Schedule," put and negatived.
§ MR. STEADMAN (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)
said he was anxious, as one of the Members for Tower Hamlets, that the Committee should decide upon the area of the remaining portion, apart from Hackney, without its being referred to the Boundary Commission. The Government had decided that Bethnal Green should be a borough by itself, and that had removed the chief obstacle to the Amendment he was about to propose. He saw no difficulty in the way of settling the areas for the rest of Tower Hamlets. His proposal was, that Mile End Old Town should be scheduled as a borough. Mile End had a population of 111,060 and a rateable value of £400,000. That brought it within the scope of the Bill, because the limit of population was 100,000 and the minimum of rateable value £400,000. In the year 1809 it had a population of 9,488 and a rateable value of £18,225, so that in ninety-eight years its population had increased by over 100,000 and its rateable value by £381,000 odd. He compared, therefore, both its population and its rateable value with three parishes already scheduled in the Bill, namely, Hammersmith, Chelsea, and Hampstead. In all those three cases they found that the population was lower than that of Mile End, while the acreage and rateable value was slightly larger. But after all, taking into consideration its population and its rateable value, he considered that Mile End had just claims on the First Lord of the Treasury to be made a borough in itself. On the second reading of the Bill, they listened to a very interesting historical lecture by the honourable Member for Westminster, in reference to the past history of that 983 place. Well, he claimed that Mile End had an historical record equal to that of Westminster. In the past many judges and bishops had resided there, and their residences are still in existence in close proximity to Stepney Green. It also has a number of almshouses belonging to the Skinners Company and twelve almshouses founded by Judge Elliot in 1592, for poor men past labour. One historian said Stepney was known as a city 1,100 years before the birth of Christ. In 1299, in the time of King Edward I., a Parliament assembled at Stepney in the house which was then occupied by the Lord Mayor of London, and that Parliament confirmed the charter of their liberty. He thought he had now given sufficient history to convince the First Lord of the Treasury that Stepney had some good local traditions and had a fair claim to be included in the schedule as a borough council.
Amendment proposed, in page 15, column 2, line 7—
After 'Fulham,' to insert 'Mile End Old Town.'"—(Mr. Steadman.)
§ Question proposed, "That 'Mile End Old Town' be there inserted."
§ MR. CHARRINGTON (Tower Hamlets, Mile End)
said he could not agree with the proposal which had been made by his honourable friend. He was in favour of the proposal of the Government, because he believed that better local government would be secured by having large municipalities.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
did not think he could support the proposal Of his honourable friend behind him, but he should like to know if the Government could consider the Tower Hamlets as a whole. There were nine areas left out of the schedule, and surely they could arrive at a sufficient agreement to dispense with the Commissioners dealing with it. He was inclined to think that there might be two divisions in the Tower Hamlets, namely, Limehouse and Mile End, and Whitechapel and St. George's, for they had that evening included a considerable number of very small areas. He did appeal to the Government to put them out of their misery and allow the Tower Hamlets to be scheduled in some way or other, and not leave the question to be decided by the Commissioners.
§ MR. H. S. SAMUEL (Tower Hamlets, Limehouse),
said he desired to register a very strong protest against any such idea as that of scheduling Bow and Bromley and leaving the rest as one borough. When they considered that the population would be 300,000, and the rateable value £1,400,000, it seemed much larger than some of the areas with which they had been dealing. There was a proposition to make the whole of the Tower Hamlets one municipality, but that would make a population of half a million and a rateable value of over £2,000,000, which he thought was much too large for one municipality. As the representative of Lime-house he desired to say that the feeling of his constituents was strongly in favour of joining with the poor law union of Mile End Old Town, and they suggested that having regard to history they wished to be called the Corporation of Stepney, because that was the division which had the largest historical interest. Stepney had a claim in many other ways, and he protested most strongly against dealing with the rest of the Tower Hamlets in the way that had been suggested.
§ MR. L. R. HOLLAND
said he should like to consider what was the alternative before the Committee. It had been proposed, in the first place, that there should be two municipalities in the Tower Hamlets. Another proposal was that the borough of Poplar should be scheduled, and that then the rest of the Tower Hamlets should be left to the Commissioners. When, however, they came to consider how this was to be done they found disagreement existing. The honourable member for Stepney proposed that Mile End should stand by itself, but the honourable Member for Limehouse said that would not do. Then the honourable Member for Whitechapel said they must have Whitechapel alone and leave out Mile End. One thing they all appeared to be agreed upon, and that was that they had all determined not to amalgamate with the poorest part of the Tower Hamlets, which was St. George's, and surely that was entirely wrong. It was impossible to make any division which would respect and conserve any of the historical boundaries there. There was only one ancient area and historical boundary in East London around which a good many associations clustered, and that was the historical boundary and area 985 of the Tower Hamlets, which, if constituted as one area, would make a borough of considerable importance, which would carry out the principle and view which this Bill was introduced for, and which would contain in itself all the different Poor Law districts, and which would not involve the constant cutting-up of areas which any other distribution must of necessity involve, for the Tower Hamlets as a whole was a homogeneous area. He did not for a moment contend that this proposal would be received with rapture in many parts of East London, and the only communications he had received upon the subject had been violent protests from the vestries against this proposal. In this matter, however, they should not consider what was popular, but what would be most beneficial, and he supported this idea because he believed that it would add to the efficiency and economy of local government in those districts, and would also add to the dignity and importance of the local authority for that district. Of course every argument which supported the constitution of Westminster as a city also went to support the constitution of a large borough in a poor district like the Tower Hamlets. It must necessarily be advantageous and more economical to administer a large district rather than have a number of small districts, and they should remember that even under this Bill they had transferred powers to the local authorities which would afford an immense opportunity for jobbery and for people getting on to the council to exercise their power without regard to the interests of the people. This kind of thing was far too prevalent in London, and the only way to prevent jobbery was to make the areas so large and important that it was difficult and almost impossible for men to combine on the council to push their own interests. It was better to have a large area, because then the system of equalisation would operate more fairly. He knew that in the view he was placing before the Committee he had not the support of the local vestries in his own constituency, but he maintained that it was unjust to divide and make a separate borough of an area which was so poor and which had so little opportunity of development as the proposed borough of Poplar. Therefore, for the sake of efficiency and economy, and of getting rid of many undesirable influences, he thought 986 the whole of the Tower Hamlets was the right borough to create.
§ * Sir SAMUEL MONTAGU (Tower Hamlets, Whitechapel)
said he was perfectly certain that the City, some time or other, would absorb Whitechapel, and therefore for the present he would much rather that it should remain as it was. Having regard to the fact that the adjoining borough of Bethnal Green was to be a separate borough under the new Act, he saw no reason why Whitechapel should not also be a separate borough. There was no reason for its being merged in the proposed large borough. It had a population of nearly 80,000, and he was certainly opposed to the proposal of the honourable Member for Bow that the Tower Hamlets should be constituted one borough, but if it was not possible for the right honourable Gentleman to accept his Amendment and to make it a separate borough, he would prefer to take all the remaining Tower Hamlets together—Mile End, Limehouse, Whitechapel, and St. George's-in-the-East—and although then it would be a very large borough, it would be smaller in area, though larger in rating and population, than Poplar.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I have listened with great interest and attention, but with some perplexity of mind, to this discussion; but I am perfectly clear about one thing: I am prepared, of course, and I daresay we shall all he driven to leave this matter to the Commissioners. It is not the best course, I admit. There are two courses which I could adopt. One is to make the whole of the Tower Hamlets one borough, but that is a course which, I believe, will not meet with general support, and which will not be accepted by the House; the other course is to leave one part of the area as it is scheduled in the Bill and to schedule the other part as one area. That is opposed by the honourable Member for Limehouse and the honourable Member for St. George's-in-the-East. I have no ground for thinking that they would differ from the view that the area I now suggest would be acceptable, but if that is the general view of the House on both sides I should be prepared to accept it. But if there is any general opposition from any quarter, then I think the matter must be referred to local enquiry.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said that he 987 thought the proposals which had been made by the right honourable Gentleman would be met with approval and support, although the honourable Member for Bow and Bromley would naturally prefer the larger borough. There was no doubt that he would agree to the suggestions which had been thrown out. There was only one suggestion which he wished to make, which was that the right honourable Gentleman's proposals should be embodied in the Bill subject to the matter being considered on Report. If there was found to be a very strong feeling in the Tower Hamlets against the proposal, then of course that would have to be considered. He thought that the right honourable Gentleman should be entitled to reserve his opinion with regard to the matter, but at the same time he thought the proposals should be introduced into the Bill at this stage.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I do not object to that proposal. It must be distinctly understood that I reserve my liberty to judge of the facts that come to my knowledge between this and the Report stage. I am sorry that the honourable Member for Limehouse does not agree, but as the preponderence of opinion appears to be in favour of this we must accept it.
§ MR. STUART
expressed the opinion that the proposal was a wise one, inasmuch as it enabled the Committee to put before the constituencies a distinct scheme which they could decide upon far better than if it were in any other form, and he thought the postponing the matter to the Report, stage, if necessary, was a very wise plan.
§ MR. L. R. HOLLAND
was of opinion that the plan which had been proposed was the plan least calculated of all that they could have fixed upon to improve matters. The proposal was to take the two poorest districts and form them into one borough; to take away their opportunities of sharing the expense of their government with that of a better circumstanced and better placed district, and leave, them to bear and exercise the powers which are to be transferred under the Bill, but which hitherto have been centralised and classed upon a common basis. They would have now to pay all the expense themselves. With regard to the powers to be transferred the honour- 988 able member pointed out that there were many important powers which it would be impossible to transfer to poor districts of this kind, and which even were it possible to transfer them, could not be exercised with advantage or economy by a working-class district of London. The position, therefore, was that whenever in future it was proposed to transfer further powers to the different districts of London the objection would be raised that the powers were not suitable to the locality, and the poverty of the locality would stand as an absolute bar against that future development and municipal knowledge of the people which this Bill was brought in to promote. He objected to a small area in Chelsea, but a small area in a rich district was not half so bad in his opinion as a small area in a poor one. The area in question was wholly unsuited to be scheduled in the Bill. All the Bill did so far as he could see in the district of Poplar was to take the area of the District Board of Works, call it a borough, and give it a council with a mayor and aldermen. It did nothing to improve the government of the district or the condition of the people or ease them of any part of the burden which they now had to bear. He condemned the whole proposal. He agreed with Dr. Collins' statement that it was a mere vestry reform bill.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
This, I assume, is the last time which my honourable friend desires to put before the Committee the views upon this question which he has placed before it on other occasions with so much persistency. I can only say that I think his criticisms are wholly unfounded. My honourable friend apparently would regard this Bill as a very good Bill if we introduced into it his particular scheme, which would constitute a borough in the East End of London larger than almost any other borough, and which would reach the highest limit of a borough in any part of the kingdom. That is the plan he wants us to adopt. The proposal we actually make leaves him in Poplar—in that part of the old Tower Hamlets with a population of 170,000, and will leave the population of the remaining part at 300,000. In other words there are not more then four or five boroughs in England larger than those which we propose to constitute in this district. Yet this is the measure which 989 is regarded by my honourable friend as so petty and contemptible that he searches the speeches of political opponents to find language which is scathing enough for its condemnation. The proposal we have accepted divides this enormous population into two districts with distinct councils, and that appears to be more acceptable than the proposal of my honourable friend, who must have observed that he has no support in any quarter of the House.
§ MR. H. S. SAMUEL
expressed the opinion that the plan of the honourable Member for Bow and Bromley was infinitely better than the scheme of the right honourable Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury. He did not see any reason for cutting off one corner of this district, which was also the poorest portion, and leaving the other part, which was of large rateable value, to form a large corporation. He protested most earnestly against the proposal of the right honourable Gentleman; he objected to their being taken out of the hands of the Commissioners and divided as was suggested by the proposal, and was of opinion that if the Tower Hamlets was divided into two corporations it would be very much against the wishes of the great proportion of the inhabitants of that district. As the lesser evil he begged the right honourable Gentleman to leave it to the Commissioners to settle the districts.
§ MR. STEADMAN
said that in his opinion the honourable Member for Bow and Bromley was acting very inconsistently, because having spoken and voted in favour of the Bill, he was now doing his best to belittle it. The honourable Member complained that the Tower Hamlets was not made into one municipality, and he complained that Poplar was very poor, and under this Bill would get no relief. But every one of the other Tower Hamlets were equally poor—Mile End for instance. In Poplar and Bow and Bromley the population were better off than in any of the other Tower Hamlets. It appeared to him (Mr. Steadman) that nobody was going to get his own way as to the schedule of the Bill, and that being so there must be some compromise. As he was unable to persuade the Government to form Mile End into a separate municipality, he was prepared to support the proposal of the 990 First Lord of the Treasury, who he sincerely hoped would carry out the idea which he had foreshadowed. Having come to that conclusion he begged leave to withdraw his Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
* THE CHAIRMAN
It is impossible to move the Schedule now, because as it now stands that cannot be done, I think, until we reach the conclusion of the parishes.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
said that no doubt technically that was so, but at the same time it would give great satisfaction to the East End to have a definite announcement from the First Lord of the Treasury.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I think, perhaps, we might break into the lot of parishes here, although it may not be quite in order. I suggest that we should first put in the parishes, and then put in districts, and then take up the parishes again.
Amendment proposed, in page 15, column 2, line 7—
To insert after the word 'Lambeth' the words 'the areas of Mile End Old Town and St. George's-in-the-East and the districts of Limehouse and Whitechapel.'"—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR R. B. FINLAY
suggested that the method that should be adopted was to take the parishes down to "Lambeth," and then insert the areas, and then go back to parishes. It would read perfectly grammatically, and he thought it could he easily done.
Amendment proposed to the proposed amendment—
After the word 'Whitechapel' to insert the words 'and Poplar.'"(Mr. H. S. Samuel.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words and Poplar' stand part of the proposed Amendment."
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
called attention to the fact that by this method of dealing with these particular areas two of the poorest parishes were joined together and two of the more rich, and one was left between.
§ MR. L. R. HOLLAND
said it occurred to him that while this matter was before the Committee it would be, perhaps, as well to get the areas right. To do that the Government would have to leave out part of St. Mary's, Whitechapel, which was included in the City.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ CAPTAIN NORTON moved to include Newington among the boroughs, and said, having regard to the importance of the district he had strong grounds for his Amendment. The very titles "Newington Butts" and "Newington Causeway" showed how ancient the borough was. Its present population is 123,000, and its rateable value £517,000. In 1885, it sent two members to Parliament, and in 1888 four members to the County Council. It was a district which had been admirably governed in the past, and in fact, it was the pioneer of local self-government. If it was joined under this Bill to another parish the effect would be to nullify the state of perfection which they had attained, because it would be impossible for the other parish to at once come up to the level of Newington in the excellence, of its drainage system and other matters upon which it had spent many thousands of pounds in the past.
Amendment proposed —
In page 15, column 2, line 7, after Fulham' to insert 'Newington.'—(Captain Norton.)
§ Question proposed, "That 'Newington' stand part of Schedule."
§ MR. JAMES BAILEY (Walworth)
said he desired to draw the attention of the 992 Committee to the suitability of Newington as a municipality. The right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the House had made many concessions during the debate, and he had that day learned that the Government had granted a municipality for Shoreditch and Bethnal Green. If they were suitable for municipalities he thought Newington was eminently suitable. There was one thing he was more than surprised at, and that was that Chelsea was made a separate municipality. Chelsea was smaller in area than Newington, and if Chelsea was granted a municipality he thought Newington, having regard alike to its historical associations, its population, and its rateable value, should be granted one too.
§ SIR RICHARD WEBSTER
said he had listened with very great interest to the speech of the honourable and gallant Member opposite (Captain Norton), who had recounted to the Committee the good deeds and merits of Newington. He only hoped that it would not be necessary for the honourable Gentlemen who represented other divisions of London to give them similar accounts. He quite recognised that the district had certain features and elements which made it suitable to be a separate municipality, but surely the honourable and gallant Member opposite and his honourable friend behind him (Mr. Bailey) must recognise that the question could not be considered in an isolated way. It was absolutely necessary to consider the geographical area and relation of the surrounding districts to it, and whether they were so interlaced that they could all be worked together.
§ MR. STUART
said the Attorney-General seemed to be ill a Rip Van Winkle state about the Bill. He forgot that, with the exception of four districts, the whole of London had now been scheduled. Those districts involved altogether a population of about 300,000, and formed a rateable value of about £1,500,000. He must say he did not think there was any area in London that could make out a better case to be treated as a separate area than Newington. He did not wish to deal with the merits of Newington, which had been so admirably placed before the Committee by the Member for Newington. But was it worth while making two bites at a cherry? They had now got the whole 993 of London scheduled, and he ventured to think that they should deal with Newington in a similar way to Whitechapel. In the case of this particular district he did not see why a definite arrangement might not be come to now. They could then leave the people who belonged to those districts to criticise the definite proposal, and they would be able to make their representations to their Members and others before the Report stage, and those representations could he considered. If at that stage there was such a conflict of local opinion that they did not see their way as a House of Commons to settle the matter, Newington might be withdrawn from the schedule, and the contending parties referred to the Commissioners. The same arguments as to ancient boundaries applied to Newington as to other London districts. The Committee's instructions to the Commissioners were that they were to have regard to those boundaries, and if that were done he thought they would feel it very necessary to take the view that Newington should be left by itself.
§ MR. CAUSTON
said that as Member for West Southwark he would like to support the suggestion of his honourable friend the Member for Shoreditch. Personally he would be delighted to see West Newington made into a separate borough, but not unless the present division of West Southwark were also constituted a separate borough. As a Parliamentary area it had a rateable value of £554,000, although the population was only 64,447. He wanted the Committee to remember when looking at population that the West Southwark division was very similar to the City of London. Business was transacted warehouses and manufactories, and the day population was very much larger than that given in the Census returns. The division itself was admirably fitted to become a municipal area, and work would be found which would command the services of men who would be willing to serve in the incorporation. There were large and important charities, a grammar school, free public library, baths, washhouses, public markets, polytechnics, and two workhouses. In fact, there was no Parliamentary area in London more fitted for a municipal corporation than West Southwark. Without any disrespect to the honourable Members for Rother- 994 hithe or Bermondsey, there was one thing they desired more than anything, and that was that they should not be tacked on to Rotherhithe or Bermondsey. They would work more harmoniously, if necessity arose, with West Newington. He would, in the interest of peace and good government, earnestly solicit the First Lord of the Treasury to end the proceedings that evening as peacefully as they had begun, and to make West Southwark a separate borough.
§ MR. LOWLES
said that having got all they wanted in North London, he would support what honourable Members wanted for South London. Personally, he would like to see Southwark included in the City, for it had practically a City population, but he really did not see why it should not be treated as a separate entity. He also did not see how the Government could resist the demand of West Newington to be constituted a separate borough, since it fulfilled all the conditions as to population and rateable value.
§ * COLONEL HUGHES (Woolwich)
said he had noticed that the representatives of those districts which had high rates desired to annex themselves to the districts where the rates were low, and that the low-rated districts resisted incorporation with the high-rated districts. Amalgamation, however, should not be governed by a question of rates. Districts ought to assist one another. Perhaps it would be well to group the whole of the boroughs in the district under the head of Southwark, and upon that definite proposition objections could be discussed at a later stage.
§ SYDNEY BUXTON
thought that the argument in the case of West Newington was stronger than in the case of Tower Hamlets. They ought to schedule the remaining five districts. They had now scheduled 4½ millions of the population of London, and left only 350,000 to be dealt with. They would be stultifying themselves if they were unable to agree to schedule these five remaining districts, subject to alteration on report after proper argument. The question of rating did not in his opinion enter into the matter at all.
§ SIR EDWARD CLARKE (Plymouth)
995 greed that it was very desirable to put some definite propositions in the Bill; but he hoped his right honourable friend would not be too easily tempted to make proposals of separation in the Bill. If proposals were to be considered between that stage and Report they should be for union rather than separation. The proceedings that evening had shown one thing, and that was with what extraordinary skill this scheme had been brought before the House. It the Government had started by proposing the arrangement which, by general consent, had found its place in the schedule of the Bill, they would have aroused antagonism all over London, whereas they had now succeeded in bringing a great deal of harmony into the proceedings. In regard to Rother-hithe and Bermondsey, which he at one time represented, he thought they ought to be united in one constituency. Their boundaries and their size seemed to mark them out naturally as being adapted to form a very important municipality. But he could not see any reason for separating Southwark and Newington. United, they would make a more useful and important corporation than either Southwark or Newington would alone. He would have liked to see, indeed, an important part of Southwark united to the City, which in fact he had attempted to deal with some time ago. It was suggested that inasmuch as they had set up one anomaly in the North of London in the case of Stoke Newington, there was no objection to setting up another in the South of London in the case of Southwark. But the cases were not at all parallel. There would be very soon a considerable influx of population into Stoke Newington, but in all probability the residential population of Southwark would become smaller and smaller. He trusted that the right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the House would decide to divide this district into two areas, and not three; one consisting of Rotherhithe and Bermondsey, and the other Southwark and West Newington.
§ CAPTAIN NORTON
said that nothing whatever had been urged in any speech which had been delivered on either side of the House against West Newington being made a borough by itself. All that had been said was that West Newington was to be penalised on account of its peculiar position. What was the 996 difficulty about West Southwark? It was not that it was unimportant, or that its rateable value was too low, but that it happened to have only a population of from 64,000 to 70,000. But that was the night population; it had a very much larger day population. They could settle this question speedily and amicably. What he suggested was that they should put in the schedule West Newington as one borough, then Bermondsey and Rotherhithe as another, and then, as a somewhat smaller but not less important borough, West Southwark.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I think this is the most difficult problem we have had to deal with in connection with the division of London into boroughs, and I do not pretend that any of the solutions offered have been thoroughly satisfactory. But this, at all events, appears to be clear—namely, that there are only two courses which I can recommend the Committee to consider. One is the course of leaving the whole consideration of the problem raised by this area to the decision of the Commissioners at a local inquiry, the other is to divide the area into two boroughs—one borough to consist of Rotherhithe and Bermondsey, the other of Newington and West Southwark. I thoroughly sympathise with the view of the honourable Gentleman who has just sat down. The honourable Gentleman represents a portion of a borough which is honourably distinguished as a sanitary authority and for the excellence of its work, but at the same time, to make a stereotyped arrangement now, without regard to the necessities of the adjoining area of Southwark, would be impossible, without an amount and kind of local inquiry which this Committee can hardly be expected to engage in. If we are to separate Newington from the rest of the area it must be done after local inquiry and in consequence of local inquiry. If we are to determine here and now what is to be the division of the area, then I cannot consent to its being subdivided into three fractions, and I shall ask the Committee to divide it into the two portions I have suggested as a provisional arrangement. In dealing with the western portion of the old constituency of Tower Hamlets the honourable Gentleman spoke of the decision come to as a provisional one, and I shall have to repeat, with almost double emphasis, that if we 997 come to a provisional decision now, it must be on the lines I have indicated. I am, therefore, forced to resist the Amendment of my honourable friend.
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
asked his honourable friend to accept the compromise offered by the First Lord of the Treasury, and which was suggested by the honourable and learned Member for Plymouth. He took it that really the suggestion was that that St. Olave's Union should constitute one area and St. Saviour's the other.
§ CAPTAIN NORTON
said he thought that under the circumstances, although he was naturally bound in some measure to support the views of those he was there to represent, he had better accept the suggestion of the First Lord of the Treasury, which, he frankly admitted, was one of the best provisional arrangements that could be made. He took it that under no circumstances would the right honourable Gentleman divide the existing area of West Southwark, and that if they were to be joined to another district they would be joined to West Southwark as a whole. West Southwark was divided into three wards, and the one nearest to West Newington was, perhaps, the poorest ward in the whole of London, namely, the parish of St. George-the-Martyr. It was, consequently, important that West Newington, if joined to West Southwark, should be joined to that parish as a whole, and not merely to one part of it.
§ MR. CAUSTON
said he took it that the suggestion of the right honourable Gentleman was to take the Parliamentary divisions of Bermondsey and Rotherhithe, and that he cordially approved of.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Other Amendments made.
After the words last inserted to insert `the area of the Parliamentary division of Holborn.'"—(The Solicitor-General.)
§ MR. RICHARDS (Finsbury, E.)
said he rose to oppose this Amendment. The Parliamentary division of Holborn represented a population of 66,000 persons and a large aggregation of learned Members' 998 Inns, and practically it could not increase in population. It would be somewhat extraordinary to make a borough with a population of 66,000, and he would suggest the fusion of Holborn with the East and Central divisions of Finsbury, which had a population of considerably over 100,000. These two divisions of Finsbury were poor and highly rated, and their rich neighbour, Holborn, really formed a portion of the old Parliamentary borough. If they accepted this suggestion they would be merely doing what would have been done if West Southwark had been made a borough. It was a place of declining population and increasing value, and he did suggest that it would be most unfair to leave these two divisions of Finsbury to form a borough by themselves.
§ SIR EDWA IW CLARKE
said his honourable and learned friend was mistaken in saying that the population of Holborn was diminishing. The character of the buildings that were now arising in Holborn to house people would probably materially increase the number of the population. Strong representations had been made to his right honourable friend by Members on both sides of the House connected with this division, and the Government considered—he hoped the Committee would think rightly—that this Holborn division would be capable of making an excellent municipality. St. Luke's would be associated with Clerkenwell. There were no local jealousies that he was aware of that would prevent that union, which would be a natural solution of the difficulty which arose in this case.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Amendment proposed, to insert, "the area of the Parliamentary divisions of East and Central Finsbury."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further amendment proposed, to insert, "The areas of the Parliamentary boroughs of Bethnal Green, Shoreditch, Deptford, Greenwich, Lewisham, and Woolwich."
§ Amendment greed.
§ MR. ROBERT WALLACE (Perth)
said he had to move the omission of the word "Wandsworth" from the schedule. He 999 need not say that he did not propose this with the idea of depriving Wandsworth of municipal institutions, but he did it for the purpose of moving an Amendment subsequently which would practically mean that Wandsworth should be divided into two areas. In moving the Amendment he was carrying out the wishes of the districts concerned, as both the parishes of Wandsworth proper and of Streatham had passed resolutions practically unanimously in favour of the division. His Amendment had relation to what was called the Wandsworth district, and not to the parish as such. The Wandsworth district consisted of a union of parishes which had no interests in common, and it extended from Putney Bridge on the one side to Herne Hill on the other. It was double the area of any proposed borough, and it was divided into two almost equal portions by the commons of Streatham and Wandsworth. His idea in moving the omission now was that he proposed to move here after that it should he formed into two separate boroughs. The population of Wandsworth district was 300,000, of which 100,000 was in the half known as Streatham and the adjacent neighbourhood, and 100,000 was in Streatham parish. He pointed out that within 15 years the population had more than doubled, and at the present time was increasing in the same ratio. This increase was not confined to one portion, but to both halves. There was still a large building area which was being gradually covered and in a few years, in his opinion, these two boroughs, if the Amendment which he proposed to move was carried, would be among the largest boroughs of London. The rateable value of the Wandsworth district was £1,400,000, of which £580,000 was contributed by Wandsworth parish, whilst the Streatham half represented £800,000. The rateable value also within the last 13 years had doubled. The District Board of Works governed the whole of Wandsworth at the present time, but it had been found exceedingly difficult to do it by one board, and the result had been that the Streatham members and the Wandsworth members had been turned into separate committees for the purpose of governing each part of the district. Both parts of the district earnestly desired the change which he suggested, but the difficulty he felt was that the Wandsworth in the Bill was not the Wandsworth that he 1000 proposed. His proposition really was to omit the word Wandsworth in order afterwards to insert other words. He apprehended that at the present time he would be out of order in moving the division of the districts into two parts.
* THE CHAIRMAN
Perhaps at the present time it will he sufficient to omit the words "and Wandsworth."
§ MR. ROBERT WALLACE (Perth)
agreed. He stated his desire was to make Wandsworth and Putney one division, and Streatham, Tooting, and Clapham another.
In page 15, line 12 of the Schedule, to leave out the words 'and Wandsworth.'"—(Mr. Robert Wallace.)
That the words 'and Wandsworth' stand part of the Schedule.
§ MR. KIMBER (Wandsworth)
was struck by the fact that this particular Amendment should be moved by an honourable Member who represented a constituency North of the Tweed. That gentleman, however, was a most noble opponent at an election for Wandsworth fifteen years previously. He accepted cordially his co-operation in this matter. The Wandsworth described in the Bill was certainly not the one which he desired to reconstruct. It was not the Parliamentary constituency which he himself represented. It included that and Clapham, Balham, Streatham, and other places. It was scheduled in the shape in which it was because it was put under the local government of the local Board of Works of Wandsworth, and under that Board it had been governed; but the government under that Board and under this Bill differed in one important respect, and though everybody agreed that under the old scheme it was well governed, it was not known whether there was a preponderance of opinion in favour of the new régime. The parishes under the oldrégime made and bore their own rates, because, as it had been pointed out, men in the different parishes were formed into different, committees for each parish, and each parish bore its own burden. Under the new era the general burden of the rates was spread over whole, and it was for that reason that 1001 many who were content with the present state of things were not content to adopt the new. The honourable Member himself felt that he was in an unfortunate position, because his own constituents were divided upon the question, and he had been unable to ascertain on which side the preponderance of opinion lay. He had sought highly respected opinions on both sides, with no satisfactory result. It was under these circumstances that he had brought certain representative gentlemen to the First Lord of the Treasury to discuss the subject. It was only fair that both opinions should be heard, and the suggestion which he made to the right honourable Gentleman was that this matter should be referred to the Boundary Commissioners, who had, after having held a local enquiry, determined whether it should be divided into two or not.
§ MR. THORNTON (Clapham)
opposed the Amendment. Clapham was against any division at all. It would not accept any compromise. It had been stated in the course of the Debate that there had never been any homogeneity between the parishes which compose the Wandsworth district; but his information was diametrically opposite to any such suggestion. With regard to area, there was a very much larger area in this municipality than any other of the proposed areas; but a great deal of that consisted of commons which could never be built upon. Clapham, which had a population of fifty thousand, and a rateable value of £300,000, was absolutely against separation.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
My two honourable friends have an unequal fate; because, while one of them who has just sat down thinks he represents the whole constituency, the one who immediately preceded him represented that he had the difficult task of representing the diametrically opposite side of the same problem. I do not think, unless I have reason to believe that local opinion is very much more against it than it appears to be at present, that I should take the responsibility of excluding Wandsworth from the schedule. We have to-night added to the schedule of the Bill several areas closely approaching the area of Wandsworth, and under the circumstances I think we ought to retain that in the schedule.
§ MR. KIMBER
said he did not concur with what had been said, and suggested that perhaps the First Lord of the Treasury would say a few words on his suggestion that it might be left, keeping the word in the schedule, to the decision of the Commissioners.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR:
My honourable friend will see that there is no reason to put in any particulars if Wandsworth is out of the schedule. That is the only question which the Commissioners would have to deal with; therefore I see no difference between leaving Wandsworth out of the schedule, and the alternative policy of retaining it in the schedule and leaving it to the Commissioners to deal with. If it is shown that there is a preponderating body of feeling in favour of leaving the matter to the Commissioners, that matter shall be considered.
§ MR. ROBERT WALLACE (Perth)
said that had the matter been left in such a way that it could be dealt with by the Commissioners he would have withdrawn his Amendment; but as he did not feel that he was in that position he should have to press it to a Division.
§ * MR. JOHN BURNS
said that Wandsworth was not a district that was entitled to much respect. It did not appear to know its own mind, and if anything happened to it it was that it should be disfranchised for not knowing its mind. He pointed out that it was the largest area in the schedule, and in spite of the 1,200 acres which had to be deducted for commons and open spaces there was still a large amount of land which would be developed and built upon. In a year or two the population would be at least half a million, and that was too large a number for any area under the Bill. He thought Balham and Tooting would make one good municipal area, and that if Wandsworth was divided into two parts municipal administration would be greatly improved.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 118; Noes 58—(Division List, No. 158.)
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Forster, Henry William||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingtn|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||Penn, John|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Pollock, Harry Frederick|
|Blalfour, Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds||Gilliat, John Saunders||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Richardson, Henry Charles|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlepool|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Gorst, Rt Hon. Sir John Eldon||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Green, Walford D. (Weds'burry||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Bethell, Commander||Gull, Sir Cameron||Robinson, Brooke|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Helder, Augusus||Ryder, John Herbert Dudley|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Holland, Hon. Lionel R. (Bow||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hughes, Colonel Edwin||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Jolliffe, Hon. H. George||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Wore.||Keswick, William||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Laurie, Lieut-General||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Stephens, Henry Charles|
|Chelsea, Viscount||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Llewelyn, SirDillwyn (Swans.||Strauss, Arthur|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Lorne, Marquess of||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Lowles, John||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Cox, Irwin Edw. B. (Harrow)||Lucas-Shadwell, William||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Macdona, John Cumming||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Denny, Colonel||M'Calmont, H. L. B. Cambs.)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Manners, Lord Edw. Wm. J.||Webster, Sir R. E. (Isle of Wight)|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Middlemore, John Throgmort'n||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Milward, Colonel Victor||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.|
|Doughty, George||Monk, Charles James||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Douglas. Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)||Williams, Jos. Powell-(Birm.)|
|Doxford, William Theodore||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Finch, George H.||Morrell, George Herbert||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Morton, A. H. A. (Depford)||Wyndham, George|
|Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Mount, William George||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Murray, Rt. Hn A Graham (Bute||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Gurdon, Sir William Brampton||Steadman, William Charles|
|Allen, Wm. (Newe. under Lyme||Hedderwick, Thomas Chas. H.||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H.||Stuart, James (Shoreditch)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Holden, Sir Angus||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Horniman, Frederick John||Thomas, David Alf. (Merthyr)|
|Burt, Thomas||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Walton, Jn. Lawson (Leeds,S.|
|Caldwell, James||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lough, Thomas||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Chaning, Francis Allston||Macaleese, Daniel||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Colville. John||Moulton, John Fletcher||Williams, John Carvell (Notts)|
|Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Wilson, Frederick W. (Norfolk|
|Dillon, John||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Pirie, Duncan V.||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Rickett, J. Compton||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert Jn.||Roberts, John Byrn (Eifion)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Robson, William Snowdon||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Courley, Sir Edward Temperley)||Seely, Charles Hilton||Mr. Robert Wallance (Perth) and Mr. John Burns.|
|Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.|
§ MR. LAWSON WALTON (Leeds, S.)
said the object of the Amendment he rose to move was to divide the proposed new borough of Greater Westminster into two boroughs. He contended that the new area proposed for municipal government 1004 by the Bill—consisting of the parishes of St. Margaret and St. John, Westminster, the parish of St. George, Hanover Square, the parish of St. James, Westminster, the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the district of the Strand Board of Works— 1005 included parishes which could not historically be shown to have ever formed part certainly of the ecclesiastical City of Westminster. With one exception the constituent parts concerned had expressed an opinion against the scheme. It was difficult to find any argument in favour of the proposal, whilst the arguments against it were manifold. The parish of St. George, Hanover Square, the Strand Board of Works, and the parishes of St. James and St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, had all expressed their opinion against the proposal, and the only one of the constituent parties which supported this very large scheme was the parish of St. Margaret and St. John, who, until this schedule was framed, were in favour of a very much more modest scheme. There had not been merely an official opposition to the proposal, but the opposition had been declared in resolutions carried almost unanimously at various public meetings. The proposed area was too large to constitute a unit of local government, and he would impress upon the First Lord of the Treasury the fact that he was proposing to group areas which did not wish to be grouped. This fact must have great weight in estimating the probable success of the scheme. The proposal was too large, both from the point of view of area and the point of view of rateable value. The rateable value of the area was said to be £5,000,000 sterling, or twice that of the City of London, and much larger than that of any other municipal area. Similarly with regard to size, some degree of supervision on the part of the governing body was desirable, and no adequate degree of local knowledge could be acquired by the members of that body. These were practical arguments against the proposal, and he submitted to the Committee that they were arguments which had very considerable weight. Moreover, if this Greater Westminster was set up side by side with the City of London it would tend very greatly to disturb, if he might use the expression, the centre of gravity of London. That state of things would lead to a great competition in hospitality, and would involve very considerable incidental extravagance and waste of the resources of London in such directions, which would be more husbanded if dispensed under one authority. He suggested in his amendment that the area should be divided into 1006 two, and he had taken a line which, geographically, cut the area almost into equal portions.
Amendment proposed, in page 15, line 13—
To leave out from the words 'area of the,' to the end of the Schedule, and insert the words 'parishes of St. Margaret and St. John, Westminster, and the parish of St. George, Hanover Square. The area of the parish of St. James, Westminster, the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the district of the Strand Board of Works."—(Mr. Lawson Walton.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Schedule."
MR. BU1ZDETT-COUTTS (Westminster)
said he had made a great demand upon the time of the House on a former occasion, and he did not intend to repeat that demand now. The honourable member who had just sat down referred to the local feeling and opposition to this proposal in parts of Greater Westminster. Upon that point he should like to say that the Vestry of Westminster passed a resolution in favour of this Bill almost unanimously, and a similar resolution was lost by the narrowest majority in St. George's, Hanover Square. The Bill was opposed in a third area by the Strand Board of Works. As to popular feeling, there had been no expression of it in St. George's, Hanover Square, against this proposal. There had been attempts in the Strand District to excite popular feeling against the proposal in the Bill, but the utmost proportions that those efforts attained were a meeting in St. Martin's Town Hall, at which there were 130 persons present, and that was the sum total of the popular opposition of the Strand District to this Bill. With regard to Westminster, the only popular expression of opinion was at a meeting at which 1,500 persons were present, and they passed a resolution unanimously in favour of this measure. The next objection raised by the honourable Member was that it was too large an area. He could only say that he was very much surprised to hear the honourable Member adduce that argument, because there were at least seven areas to be incorporated in London which had a very much larger area than that of Greater Westminster. With regard to the 1007 population of Greater Westminster, it would stand fifth on the scheduled areas, and it was only with regard to rateable value that Westminster was very much ahead of the other municipalities, and he did not think that a mere matter of rateable value should be allowed to interfere with a proposal which had so many practical reasons to support it. With regard to the specific proposal of the honourable Member in his Amendment, it proposed to divide Greater Westminster into two portions, and he had appealed to local feeling. The provision which he proposed was opposed in Westminster and in St. George's, Hanover Square, which were two of the principal districts involved. Therefore he did not see how it could be argued that local feeling was in favour of this proposal. What would be the result of the Amendment? It would produce two areas where the rateable value would be in the one case £2,800,000 and in the other £2,000,000. In one case the area would be 1,930 acres, and in the other 615 acres only. In the first case the population would be 133,000 and in the other 59,000. Therefore there did not seem to be any reason, on the ground of attempting to obtain uniformity, for the adoption of the proposal contained in the Amendment. He trusted that the Government would not be shaken from their resolve to reconstitute, for the purposes of this Act—which was to bring a new era of local government into London—an area the boundaries of which were deeply marked in history and familiar to the whole country and to the population of Greater Westminster.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said that no adequate reason had been given by the First Lord of the Treasury or by the Solicitor General for dealing with Westminster in a totally different way to the other boroughs to be created under the Act. There did not appear to be any adequate reason at all except the historical one which, he thought, in these matters, ought not to come in at all. As a parochial borough Westminster never had any history, and he did not quite see why it should be treated in this way, for the only historic part was its Parliamentary part. This borough was going to have only the authority and power of the other municipal boroughs, and if Westminster was content with the same authority and powers as the other 1008 boroughs in proportion to rateable value, then the City of London ought to be content with the same area and the same powers. He thought it was a little discourteous that no reply had been given to the arguments used.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I can assure the honourable Gentleman that I do not mean any discourtesy to this Amendment, but I notice that even the mover of its has not remained in his place. It is hardly necessary for me to use again the arguments which I used before. The area we propose at the end is not excessive in point of size, being less than a good many of the areas we have already created. If it be true, as it certainly is, that the rateable value is very much greater, I do not see that is any objection to any scheme which took away from the poor areas already created some rich districts, but there is no probability of that kind before us, and we have no alternative of that description to discuss, because in the view of the honourable Member who has left the House this area should not, in any case, be added to other areas, but it should be merely bisected, and then we should have two areas instead of one. I cannot see that that is a material consideration, and if not, the honourable Gentleman, I am sure, will recognise with me that I am only consistent in doing my best in this case in endeavouring to make these areas in the new London as large as public opinion will permit. I am aware that the honourable Member for South Leeds said that the public opinion of Westminster was against the new arrangement, but I beg leave to doubt that statement, and I think there will be few municipalities more popular than the Greater Westminster which we propose to create.
§ MR. STUART
pointed out that the Government had not taken this step in respect of any other portion of London. They had left a certain area in White-chapel about which there might be some doubt. Of this particular area of Greater Westminster all except one had shown their strong desire not to be combined together, and yet they were going to combine them. He had not heard of any proposal to make such a combination from the districts concerned, and he did not think the idea ever presented itself to 1009 the minds of those interested in the reform of London Government. This proposal was not in the Bill as it was originally moulded and introduced by the Westminster Conference. It was never heard of until it was expounded by the First Lord of the Treasury. He did not see how they could except to have a piece of good local government under such
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Gedge, Sydney||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City Lond.||Penn, John|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Gilliat, John Saunders||Pollock, Harry Frederick|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r.||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Rasch, Major Frederick|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Richardson, Henry Charles|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Richardson, Sir Thos. (Hartlep'l|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Greene, Walford D. (Wdnsbury||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Gull, Sir Cameron||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George||Robinson, Brooke|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Helder, Augustus||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Bigwood, James||Holland, Hn. Lionel R. (Bow)||Ryder, John Herbert Dudley|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Scoble, Sir Adrew Richard|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Hughes, Colonel Edwin||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Jolliffe, Hon. H. George||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.||Keswick, William||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc.||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Stephens, Henry Charles|
|Charrington, Spencer||Llewelyn Sir Dillwyn-(Swans'a||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Chelsea, Viscount||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Strauss, Arthur|
|Cox, Irwin Edward B. (Harrow||Lorne, Marquees of||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Lowles, John||Sturt, Hon. Humphrey Napier|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Denny, Colonel||Lucas-Shadwell, William||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Macdona, John Cumming||Webster, Sir R. E. (Isle of Wight)|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||M'Calmont, H. L. B. (Cambs.)||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.|
|Doughty, George||Milward, Colonel Victor||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Monk, Charles James||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Finch, George H.||Moore, William (Antirm, N.)||Williams, Joseph Powell-(Birm|
|Finlay, Sir Robert. Bannatyne||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Morrell, George Herbert||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Wyndham, George|
|Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose||Mount, William George||Young, Commander (Berks, E.)|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Forster, Henry William||Nicholson, William Graham||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Griffith, Ellis J.||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Allen, Wm. (Newe. under Lyme||Gurdon, Sir William Brampton||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Hedderwick, Thomas Charles H||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Horniman, Frederick John||Wallace, Robert (Perth)|
|Burns, John||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Caldwell, James||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Macaleese, Daniel||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Channing, Francis Allston||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Williams, John Carvell (Notts)|
|Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.)||Moulton, John Fletcher||Wilson, Frederick W. (Norfolk)|
|Colville, John||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Dillon, John||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd|
|Doogan, P. C.||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Dunn, Sir William||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.||Robson, William Snowdon||Mr. Lough and Mr. James Stuart.|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.|
|Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Steadman, William Charles|
§ circumstances. The area was very large and complicated, and he thought under these circumstances they were taking a step with respect to this portion of London which they were not proposing to take in any other part of the Metropolis.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 120; Noes, 49.—(Division List, No. 159.)1011
§ Schedule, as amended, agreed to.
§ Schedule 2:—
§ CAPTAIN NORTON
explained that the Amendment he now proposed to move was intended to prevent the transference to the new boroughs of the powers at present possessed by the London County Council with regard to wooden structures under the Building Act of 1894. The proposal referred not only to ordinary wooden structures, but also to stands such as those that were put up at the time of the Jubilee, and these were buildings that required a considerable knowledge on the part of the official superintending their erection in order that they should be made safe. Under the present law, if an accident occurred the District Surveyor would be held liable by the Coroner's Jury, but if the powers were transferred to the new boroughs the latter would be compelled to engage a number of officers to do this work at great expense, or employ comparatively inexperienced men with the result that accidents might happen. There was no definition of either a building or a structure, and there would be conflict between the district surveyors and the borough council constantly going on. By the proposal in this Bill they would have dual authority, and would not get uniformity, and in the poorer districts personal influence would no doubt be brought to bear through the borough councils in order to obtain permission to put up buildings.
In page 16, to leave out lines 6 to 11"—( Captain Norton.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the Schedule."
§ SIR. R. B. FINLAY
said this was a matter of no very great importance, as it related to the licences to be granted for the setting up of wooden structures. It had been agreed between the County Council and the local authorities that this transfer should take place.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ CAPTAIN SINCLAIR (Forfar)
said his next Amendment dealt with the inspection of dairies throughout London, and 1012 provided that the bye-laws and regulations governing them should be made by the County Council. Under the Public Health Act the London County Council appointed Inspectors and they had the power to visit dairies. If this power was taken away From them, as the schedule proposed, it was impossible, unless the County Council had the power of entry, for them to ascertain whether the local authorities were doing their duty or not.
Amendment proposed, in page 16, column 2, line 20:—
Before 'subject' insert 'subject to bye-laws and regulations to be made by the County Council, and.
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR R. B. FINLAY
said that if the honourable Member would look at the seventh section of the Bill, Sub-section 4, he would see that it was provided that it should be the duty of each borough council to enforce within their borough the bye-laws and regulations for the time being in force with respect to dairies and milk. Therefore the Amendment was Unnecessary.
§ CAPTAIN SINCLAIR
said that this was not the point. Under Section 28 of the Public Health (London) Act, 1891, which referred to the registration of dairies, the County Council had the right of entry. It was the right that he wished to preserve to the London County Council, because without that power they could not ascertain whether the local authorities had done their duty or not.
§ SIR R. B. FINLAY
said he did not see how it could be suggested that they should again provide that the powers given with regard to the registration of dairies should be subject to these bye-laws and regulations, but he would consider before the Report stage whether it was necessary.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ SIR JOHN DICKSON - POYNDER (Wilts, Chippenham)
said his object in moving this Amendment was to delete from the schedule the transfer of the power and duty of executing the Acts relating to common lodging-houses, except 1013 the power of making regulations under Section 9 of the Common Lodging-House Act, 1851, subject to the power of the County Council to act in default of the borough council.
"In page 16, to leave out lines 24 to 27."—(Sir John, Dickson Poynder.)
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
This is an Amendment I am prepared to accept. The only powers to be transferred are agreed powers, but I find from the conference of the county councils and the vestries that, though they agree in general terms, they are not prepared at the present time to accept this transfer. They require some further modification in the law.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ CAPTAIN SINCLAIR moved to omit lines 28 to 32, on page 17, on the ground that as the words stood there would be different bye-laws on one side of a street to those in force on the other side.
Amendment proposed —
"In page 17, to leave out lines 28 to 32."—(Captain Sinclair.)
§ Question proposed —"That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the schedule."
§ SIR R. B. FINLAY
expressed the hope 1014 that the honourable Member would not press his Amendment. It was desirable that the Borough Councils should have power to make bye-laws with reference to matters specified in that portion of the schedule to which the Amendment referred.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Schedule, as amended, agreed to.
§ Schedule 3, as amended, agreed to.
§ Bill reported; as amended, to be considered upon Monday 5th June, and to be printed. [Bill 217.]