HC Deb 05 April 1900 vol 81 cc1343-76

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [29th March], "That a Select Committee of Five Members of this House be appointed to join with a Committee of the Lords to consider and report as to the principles which should govern powers given by Bills and Provisional Orders to municipal and other local authorities for industrial enterprise within or without the area of their jurisdiction."—(Mr. Anstruther.)

Question again proposed. Debate resumed.

*SIR ALBERT ROLLIT (Islington, S.)

I regret that my hon. friend the Member for Stockton is not here to resume the practical part he commenced to take in this debate. I have been asked what is the view taken by the boroughs themselves on this question. At the Guild- hall on Saturday last, at the meeting of the Association of Municipal Corporations, the following resolution was passed unanimously— This Association is opposed to any attempt to fix a hard and fast rule between what corporations may undertake and what they may not undertake. That resolution was referred to the council of the association on the motion of Sir Thomas Hughes, one of the most active supporters of the Government; and on the motion of the ex-Lord Mayor of Liverpool, seconded by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, it was resolved that there was no valid reason for the appointment of a Committee, and that there were very strong objections to it. I would make a strong appeal to the Government even now to reconsider their determination. I would respectfully ask them whether they really think there is any adequate case for this resolution, and whether it does not in any case go far beyond the necessities of the situation, assuming that there may be some minor points on which further information would be desirable. Of course, we accept the assurance of the First Lord of the Treasury that there is no hostile intention towards corporations. I do not say it of my right hon. friend, but there has recently been a tendency rather to minimise the character of the motion, and it has been presented by my right hon. friend, as one would expect, in a much more favourable form than it had in the minds of its originators. The avowed object of the supporters of this motion is to put a limit to and a restraint upon the action of municipal authorities.

MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)

Hear, hear!


My hon. colleague apparently approves of that, but he has not always taken a strong antimunicipal view of questions of this kind. I think it my duty to show what has been the origin of this proposal. Whatever may be said from the Treasury bench, it was proposed at the meeting of the Associated Chambers of Commerce the other day, first, to define the limits of municipal trading, and, secondly, to stop all Municipal Bills asking for new powers. Both these proposals were rejected, but I would point out by whom they were moved and seconded. The mover was one of the chief promoters of some of the Electrical Companies' Bills recently before the House, and is also the chairman of the committee of the municipal trading movement at the Chamber of Commerce. The seconder is a very strong advocate of private as opposed to municipal enterprise. I do not wish to say one word against private enterprise. It has built up the industries of this country, it is a great economic force, and I wish to unreservedly disclaim any hostile attitude towards it, either in principle or in practice. We are now told that this motion would facilitate an adjustment of minor powers, and would indicate to committees, and especially to chairmen, how far they might go in certain administrative directions; but the Municipal Trading Committee have issued a paper which indicates what their objects are, and which, I think, shows that this motion sprung entirely from them in the first instance. There is no minimising in this paper. It attacks the supply of electricity, tramways, markets, gas, baths and washhouses, workmen's dwellings, slaughter houses, crematoria, &c., &c. What I want to point out is that in the opinion of this Municipal Trading Committee this is not an administrative question, not a question of detail for the guidance of committees, but a direct attack on municipal institutions. They forgot or overlooked the fact that many of these things to which they are so strongly opposed have been in existence for many years, in some cases for centuries, and from the tone of their document they appear surprised at the multiplicity of municipal institutions, which, to all connected with municipal work, are everyday matters, rendering untold value to the boroughs in which they exist. What is the genesis of this motion? It did not emanate in the first instance from the Government. I would not suspect my right hon. friend the First Lord of the Treasury of any such intention as is thus indicated in this motion. I wish to say on behalf of the municipalities that we take up no unreasonable position. We are guided and will be guided not by a priori amateurish and academic considerations, but by a full knowledge of the work which is done in our boroughs and by the advantages which that work has conferred on the people. We do not seek to attack private enterprise, and we do not wish to enter into competitive trading, properly so called, with individuals or companies. We merely wish to retain our right to do our own work in our own way with reasonable developments in accordance with the progress of the time, and with only one object, namely, to do our best to serve the community. Let me ask next what is the spirit which has been breathed by those who have been strong supporters of this motion? The Chairman of the Committee on the Huddersfield Tramways Bill, the hon. Member for North Hants, admitted that the Bill had been promoted by the municipality of Huddersfield, at the request of the outlying townships, for the purpose of giving them the advantage of better travelling facilities. Among other things, the Bill provided for the substitution of electricity for steam power and to extend the system to outlying townships, which in reality are a congeries of small manufacturing towns. What happened? The Bill was divided in two, and the power to connect the townships was refused; and on what ground? Because, forsooth, the question of municipal trading was said to be sub judice. There were plenty of precedents; the Manchester Tramways Bill had only recently been passed, and there was also the Light Railways Act of 1896, which affirms that most important principle—the co-operation of local authorities in dealing with malters of this sort. The Chairman of that Committee also said, and the statement shows again the spirit and, as I think, the very mistaken view which is taken of this question, that we should look after the ratepayers. What borough has applied to this House to be looked after? What ratepayer has made a protest to the House against this alleged municipal trading? The municipalities and the ratepayers are well able to take care of themselves; they do not require any protection, and they are the best judges of their own interests. They have plenty of statutory protection already. They have the Borough Funds Act with its cumbersome machinery, and they have also the difficulty and cost of obtaining a Bill at all, which is very often a great deterrent to municipalities attempting to extend their operations and public improvements. To borrow they have also to satisfy the President of the Local Government Board of the value of their proposals, and all these checks must be met before they can obtain the powers they desire. The Times, in dealing with this question, said that there must be some check from outside. I altogether demur to that. The check, if there is to be a check, is that Gentlemen should go inside our councils and should take part in municipal work and should learn, by practical experience, and I am convinced that the worst way to attract the best men is to limit the powers and responsibilities of the municipalities. I would ask the House why this resolution has been put on the Paper. I do not think any specific reasons except those which I have discussed in passing have been given in support of the proposal. What is meant by muncipal trading? Let us have specific instances of it put before the House, and the objections to these specific instances, and I am certain that the result of the consideration of these cases will be to show clearly that practically no powers have been asked for except what are incidental and accessory, and almost necessary to the wise, prudent, and successful exercise of the powers which have been already conferred by law. I do not deny that here and there there may be an aspiration for further powers by a municipality, but that is exceptional, and I repeat emphatically that so far from trying to invade private enterprise, there is no desire on the part of the boroughs to enter into true competitive trading in any way whatever; they have more important duties to perform than that. I wall ask the House what are the disclosed intentions of the promoters of this movement. I refer again to the document which has been issued by the Municipal Trading Committee. It is dated 26th February, 1900, and it contains a list of these so called municipal tradings which, I take it, are the indictment against our municipalities. I read that indictment and I ask myself whether it bears out the proposal for a committee of investigation—in other words, to put municipalities on their trial. I think it will be found, as I have already stated, that the powers sought are incidental and necessary with, perhaps, some very few exceptions. In this list telephones are first mentioned; but it is only a year since Parliament conferred powers, after several Committees, to municipalise the telephones, and what more guidance is required? There was a Joint Committee as recently as 1898, and now a further Committee is proposed to consider the question. The next sub- ject mentioned is the supply of electricity. I know of no one who objects to the boroughs having that power. [Lord BALCARRES: What about saddlery?] I have left that out deliberately, and I will ask my hon. friend to give me the name of the borough in which it is carried on. I do not believe that it exists, but even if it does the explanation will probably be that saddlery is carried on to supply the horses and carts used in municipal work, and not for the purpose of competitive trading. As to electricity, we know what Manchester is doing on a splendid scale cheaply and well, both inside and outside the borough. We do not want a Committee to consider that. I would ask what would the outlying districts of Manchester do if the municipality had not the power to supply them with electric light. Let me take the case of underground water being taken from a neighbouring township for the purposes of a water supply. Is that township to be prevented from obtaining a supply from the municipality taking its underground water, which is often made a condition of such a Bill, by the outlying districts? Then the manufacture of electric fittings is incidental to the main power, and cannot be regarded as competitive trading. As to markets, many of them have come to the municipalities under ancient charters. Gas is apparently spoken of as something entirely new. Then the manufacture of residual products is mentioned, as if a corporation carrying on a gas industry are to be deprived of the very thing which is one of the chief sources of profit. There is next the construction and management of refreshment rooms in parks, and apparatus for games and music. That is merely incidental to the management of the parks. It is what the Board of Works and the Ranger of the Royal Parks do, and what every municipality ought to have the power to do.




I will undertake to deal with each case when I come to it, and I will not forget cold-storage. The obvious point is that the corporation should not do its own work of construction. I am not wedded to any theory. There may be cases in which it would be wise for a corporation to employ a contractor, and there may be other cases in which it is best for the municipal authority to do their own work. It is a question of local conditions and the variation of local prices. I do not advocate a rigid rule that municipalities should do their own work, but I do say that there are many cases in which it is prudent and economical, and therefore right, for municipalities to have the power to do their own work if they think proper. Sheffield is mentioned, with its baths and washhouses, and a Turkish bath. Well, the Turkish bath is only a development of the older principle. These baths are not only a luxury of the rich, but in many cases a necessity, and as a development of the principle I do not see why they should be denied, on payment, to the poor. It must be remembered that they are reproductive and remunerative undertakings, and therefore not a source of loss. I contend that this is a matter of evidence in particular cases. There may be private organisations in some boroughs which provide these baths, but if not, why should not the municipalities undertake the duty, if the people wish for them, and, as bathers, pay for each bath, to the profit of the municipality? Workmen's dwellings. I thought it was understood and recognised that it was one of the first duties of municipalities to provide these against overcrowding, and in the interest of the common health. One very grave charge relates to municipal fire insurance, but when that is investigated it appears to be the establishment of a sinking fund to provide against accident by fire. Many people constantly do that, and why should we deny to the municipalities the light to safeguard the ratepayers' public property? Then there is the acquisition of patent rights. When you have in industrial undertakings employees who have taken out patents, it is often part of the agreement that the employer should acquire their patent rights for a certain amount. Why should municipalities be denied a right which is constantly claimed by private individuals and also by the Government? Now there are one or two things that I do not altogether approve of. A very progressive London borough—not a provincial borough—has applied for power to manufacture and sell paving and materials for paving. It may be said that that is analogous to municipalities doing their own paving work. The manufacture of a paving may be wise; but the selling of it raises a question on which there is room for great difference of opinion. However, that is a power which is only being sought for, and which the Committee upstairs may refuse.


I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman; but I wish to know whether the undertakings which he is resiting have been actually approved of and brought into operation, or whether they are proposals only.


These things are all grouped together in the list, and they are headed, "Trading undertakings by municipal and other local bodies, already existing or proposed, or for which Parliamentary powers are being sought." I am most thankful to the right hon. Gentleman for enabling me to give that answer. There are some cases on the borderland, and these are a matter for evidence and the determination of the Committee. I take another case—the provision of nurses in the case of infectious diseases, and the making of a charge for the nurses. That is obviously connected with municipal infectious diseases hospitals and sanitary arrangements. The acquiring and working of lifts. That is a special case, and refers to Hastings. The lift there is for the accommodation of the people in going to and coming from the beach, and what is that but practically a road or way—a work distinctly for municipalities as the road authority?


It is on a level.


I thought my hon. friend was more level-headed. I do not believe that the municipality of Hastings or any other municipality is so foolish as to seek to provide a lift on a level. The lift is for the purpose of visiting the corporation grounds and gardens, and mounting the cliffs, which would otherwise be difficult, especially for those in search of health. Well, there is another case that I take to be exceptional—the supply of sea water. If fresh water, why not sea water? It would be a grand thing if we had sea water here in London as easily supplied as fresh water. It would solve the Loudon water question by saving the drinking water, instead of watering the streets with it. This case evidently refers to Ramsgate, and it is quite likely the sea water is supplied for curative purposes. At any rate, the people of Ramsgate know what is best in their own interest, better than we know here, and better than any Committee will teach them. If they do not know they ought not to be a municipality. I will now take another case—cold air storage. Anyone who is at all familiar with modern commerce knows that that has become absolutely necessary. If they do not know it, let them go to the interior of Russia, and continental ports, and witness the developments there in regard to cold storage. But it is costly, and I understand this proposal of Salford is as the harbour authority and in connection with the Manchester Canal, a great public work. At any rate, the ratepayers know what they want, and they have the right to come to Parliament and ask for cold storage, and Parliament may or may not give them the right. It is a matter for evidence before the Committee whether it would be in the interests of the community. I have gone through this list fairly well. [An HON. MEMBER: Bazaars.] Well, what sort of bazaars? These may be bazaars like those we find in Turkey, but I cannot deal with a case of that sort, and I do not know of any Bill dealing with bazaars. I think I have fairly shown that what has been sought for may be fairly described as analogous and incidental to the powers always conferred by Parliament. At any rate, I have defended my position that this is not a matter for investigation by a special Committee. I have a few words to say about the histery of the development of local government, and this is the key of the whole matter. Let me ask the House to seriously consider how the municipalities work for the health and strength of the people, and whether these have been built up by being limited within hard-and-fast bounds. What has been the evolution of true municipal work? Men in our towns and cities have groped through difficulties and darkness into light to serve the people. It has been inevitable that there should be experimental Bills, and the municipalities have been the pioneers of Parliament in this matter. How have the great Codes, such as the Public Health Acts, been brought together? By public statutes proposed in this House? Not at all, but culled from Private Bills and Acts promoted by municipalities, and then thrown into Codes, and if there had been a resolution in this House which would have curtailed municipal effort we should not have had a great deal of beneficial legislation. Let me apply the practical test of results. I ask the House to consider the phenomenal success which has attended these splendidly remunerative efforts in the interests of the people. No jeering about bazaars can interfere with the facts. The right hon. Member for Wolverhampton obtained a Return which shows some striking results. Upon a net capital, including borrowed money, of eighty-eight and odd millions sterling the average annual net profit to municipalties has been £3,600,000, or, in other words, a return of over 4 per cent.—a return which is not excessive, and which also shows a fair regard for the interests of the consumers, and, therefore, of the industries of the boroughs in which the works are carried on. The profits from waterworks have amounted to £1,700,000, and the net profits from gas to £1,180,000. Tramways, electric light, markets, baths, dwellings have all been profitable. I am not taking into account such public works as libraries, museums, etc., which are not reproductive, but which have brought indirectly enormous advantages to the people. I have collected statistics which more than confirm these results, and which show also that there have been loan funds, sinking funds, and provision for depreciation. But profit is not the only consideration. The people at their own cost have executed many of these works, but they have also had to buy out many speculative companies to prevent different bodies dealing with the streets in the municipalities. That has been a great tax on the municipalities. Consider, too, the attachment of the people to their own work in their own municipality. I ask again, why is this Committee to be appointed? Assuming that it may do some little good, what is to compensate for the cost, and the harassing and hampering in improvements of our corporations during the period of a possibly long inquiry. Why, the Electric Light Inquiry lasted some months, and proved adverse to the municipalities, because it had not upon it that expert representation which is so essentially necessary in these matters. I hope at least that if a tribunal is to be appointed, care will be taken that there are those on it who know these subjects practically from personal acquaintance, and who will be able to put before the Committee information which is so absolutely necessary in dealing with them. The Council of the Municipalities Association, at a meeting at the Mansion House on Saturday last, passed a resolution in reference to this matter. The rider to that resolution is as follows— While the council can see no valid reason for the appointment of the proposed Committee, and while there are the strongest objections to it, it will not take active steps to oppose the motion, inasmuch as the municipalities feel that no case can possibly be established in favour of the limitation of their powers, provided that the Committee is constituted judicially, and there are upon it Members possessing practical municipal knowledge and experience, provided also that every opportunity is afforded to the municipalities of being heard, and of producing evidence on their behalf. I am glad that that important association have passed that resolution, because on the Electric Lighting Committee the representation of the municipalties was limited, and they were limited to one counsel, and were not allowed to call the witnesses they desired. I apologise to the House for the time I have occupied. I have been burdened with the task to plead on the part of institutions and bodies to which I have been most sincerely attached, and of the value of whose work I have practical knowledge. I appeal to the Government to consider once more whether they will persist in a motion which, though it may have some small advantage from an administrative point of view, may be seriously prejudicial to the best interests of some of our most valuable public institutions


In rising to support the motion, I would say at once that there is no Member who is a stronger supporter of municipal enterprise than I am. The main reason why I speak is that in the great city I represent some few years ago a difficulty arose in regard to the carrying out of municipal enterprises which confirmed me in the belief that it was necessary there should be some inquiry on this subject. I cannot quite follow the hon. Member for South Islington in the long list of industries either carried out or proposed by municipalities; for I came to the House without any knowledge of that list, and without expecting it to be brought forward. I did not hear from the Leader of the House or from the President of the Board of Trade any attack against any of these municipal enterprises. On the contrary, I heard sympathy from the Leader of the House, who distinctly said that what the Government asked for was not a judgment on an abstract question, but some general guidance from both Houses of Parliament as to the method in which Parliament was to deal from time to time with the innumerable practical problems that come before us in regard to practical legislation; and it is because this motion is aimed at that important subject that I venture to crave the indulgence of the House for a few moments. While the House naturally heard with interest the remarks of my hon. friend on these industries, I hope the House at the same time will not be unmindful of the work they impose on their own colleagues, and that they will consider that this motion is brought forward in order to give some guidance to those on whom the responsibility of taking the evidence, and going through these municipal Bills, must necessarily rest. It is necessary for us to remember that it is not merely the Committees upstairs which sit on Private Bills that require some guidance on these matters, for the promoters of these enterprises have not necessarily to go before Private Bill Committees. We all know that there are Provisional Orders which pass through the Departments; and in the case of unopposed Bills we know that a heavy responsibility is placed on the Chairmen of Committees and the Chairmen of Ways and Means, who have to investigate these Bills. I feel confident I am right in saying that not merely Committees upstairs, but Government Departments, and those responsible for unopposed Bills will be glad of, and have a right to have, some guidance from the House on this question. Applications to Parliament by municipalities for powers have enormously increased of late years. I am glad of that. It is a sign of enterprise in municipal life. It is a sign of good, and, in many cases, of very successful work. But let me tell the House how curiously the work upstairs has changed. It has been my lot to be a Member for many years of the Railway and Canal Committee, but the Bills that come before that Committee do not relate only to railways and canals. It is somewhat strange that this year the three opposed Bills which came before it were all municipal Bills—two from thriving municipalities with reference to tramways, and one from the London County Council. If I might mention it to show that these Bills are very large in their requirements, I may say that the London County Council required powers to raise three millions sterling in order to pay for electric traction on their tramways. Of course, after we have considered these three Bills in the ordinary course, they have found their way down to the House. It is always said that the House has a final voice to pass any Bill opposed or unopposed; but the House has always shown a great loyalty to the decision of the Committees upstairs. They have felt that the Committees have decided upon a great deal of evidence, expert and local, with the assistance of the most eminent men at the Bar, and the decisions of the Committees have, with very few exceptional cases, been generally supported. Now, there has been a great extension of the demands on the Committees, and questions arise which would not have been thought of twenty years ago, and would not have been considered ten years ago; and if the work of the Committees upstairs and of the Departments is to be satisfactorily carried out, we must work more or loss on the same lines, reserving a certain amount of latitude when that may be necessary. That brings me to the point in the motion which is the one that gives us upstairs the greatest trouble, namely, industrial enterprises within and without the area of municipal jurisdiction. Now, we have to work by Standing Orders; but the Standing Order in regard to tramways, for instance, does not satisfy the circumstances we are now in. I will give a case in point. There is no question at the present of greater importance than the housing of the working classes, and the only solution is to remove large numbers of them into the country by means of tramways. The Standing Order states that we may allow municipalities to acquire tramways outside their area if they are joined to tramways inside; but suppose the municipalities cannot obtain the tramways inside, and the lines having been constructed under the Act, the tramway companies perhaps have sixteen or seventeen years to run; ought not the municipality under these circumstances to have the power to acquire the tramways outside rather than let them get into other hands? I think even hon. Gentlemen opposite will see that there is some ground for more latitude in connection with that matter, and yet we are tied down practically by this Standing Order. I come to the matter of finance. I know it is said that Parliament may pass any Bill it likes, and put into it any financial clauses it thinks desirable; but at the same time a great deal of care and caution are exercised in doing it. There is nothing at the present moment that causes greater difficulty in Committees upstairs than the fact that loans are borrowed for certain periods, and that there is great uncertainty as to how long these periods should be, especially in connection with electric traction. I think that the House would acknowledge that the Committees should be uniform as far as possible in their decisions, and that the general precedents and rules upon which we have acted in the past should be acted on in the future also. I have two Reports in my hand, one dated the 22nd and the other the 23rd of March. The Report dated 22nd of March refers to a tramway undertaking including street improvements, and the period assigned for repayment is forty years. In the Report dated 23rd of March, which concerns the construction of a tramway with provisions for electric traction, the period assigned for repayment is thirty years. During this session we have had some periods of forty years and some of thirty years, and the promoters often ask for longer periods. Let me take another matter. The period for paying off expenses connected with a Bill is usually five years, but a Report issued a few days ago stated that the period should be ten years. These may be small matters, but I can assure the House that I attach great weight to them. There is great uncertainty as to how long electric traction will last, and much doubt as to whether renewals may not be required from time to time; and this House, for the protection of municipalities and the ratepayers, should arrive at some definite decision. I do not think that any hon. Member will feel that it is not wrong that it should be left to Committees upstairs to settle these questions. I think, when we are sent upstairs to do the work, the House ought to tell us the lines on which they wish that work to be carried out. There are other points also on which it is desirable that the House should lay down some rule. An hon. Gentleman opposite in the previous debate used the expression "free trade for municipalities." I believe that expression was cheered by hon. Gentlemen, and it is one which I would cheer myself, and it is because I think that municipalities should have free trade that I say that they should be allowed to acquire tramways outside their own area. It is necessary that municipalities should have power to carry their working classes outside, and there is no matter connected with this question on which I feel more strongly. But hon. Gentlemen must remember that when the working classes are removed out of one locality they are taken into another locality, perhaps into the area of another local body which has the hope of one day becoming a municipality itself. So far as I can make out, we have no rules laid down as to what should be done by municipalities in such cases, and I do think that this proposed Committee, if it enquired into these matters, would be able to make suggestions that might be most useful to the municipalities themselves. I should hope that those suggestions would take the line that every municipality has a right to be heard and represented on any undertaking which goes through its own district. At present, so far as I know, there is no such power whatever. When we talk of free trade for local authorities I think those outside the borough should also have a voice in what is carried out, and should have representation on a Joint Committee or something of that sort. What is the objection to this Committee? My hon. friend states that the proposal for the Committee originated among certain people who desire to do away with all the great industries which the municipalities wish to carry on. I am entirely at a loss to know on what he bases that opinion, or what foundation he has for his statement. But is it not sufficient for the House to know that in the working of the House there are difficulties which the Committee would consider and probably remove? It must, of course, be a Joint Committee; it would not do to have one system in the House of Commons and another in the House of Lords. Again, the recommendations of the Committee will not be the law of the land and cannot interfere with the freedom of the municipalities. The Committee will put before us evidence as to the points on which difficulties arise, and if the House says that these points are not worth attending to, then the Report of the Committee will be sent down to the cellars of this House, where there are a good many other Reports already. The Committee would relieve the House of certain difficulties and would inquire into this great and novel extension of business throughout the country, with which I have the warmest sympathy and which I should be very glad to see prosper. I believe the result of the Committee will be to place before the House and the country many important facts, and I shall be very disappointed if it does not result, not only in making our proceedings in this House more uniform, and helping us to do the work we have to do; but also in further facilitating that municipal enterprise which we all have at heart, and which we all wish to see flourish.

MR. STEADMAN (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)

The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down seemed to express surprise that things were different to-day from what they were twenty years ago. I think we must all recognise that at present we are living in an age of progress; even the Government themselves recognise that fact by the legislation which they have introduced. I was delighted with the speech delivered by the hon. Member for South Islington; after that speech he ought to take his place on this side of the House instead of on the other. For eleven years the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade was one of ray representatives in this House; during the whole of that period I followed his career, and although, perhaps, I did not vote for him, yet at the same time he was considered a man of progressive tendencies, hence his influence in the Tower Hamlets. That being so, I was surprised at the speech he delivered the other evening on this subject, because, instead of that speech being of a progressive character it was of a very moderate character indeed. He stated that it was not the intention of the Government to interfere with corporations. If there is no intention on behalf of the Government to interfere with municipal enterprise so far as local authorities and corporations are concerned, why the need and the necessity for this motion to-night? I have no doubt if the hon. Gentleman the Member for East Islington spoke on this motion this evening, he would put a far different interpretation upon it to that put by the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Islington. I have in my mind a most lively recollection of the attacks made on the London County Council during the years 1895 to 1898. What for? Not because it was competing with private enterprise, but simply because it had the courage to establish a Works Department of its own, so that the profits of the contractor should go into the pockets of the ratepayers. These attacks were made by the Moderate party on the Progressive party, and we know that accusations were brought especially against the Labour members of the Council, not only inside the Council, but also outside in their organs in the press. We welcomed the fullest investigation into the Works Department. A Committee was appointed, and not one single charge was proved against any member of the Council with reference either to jobbery or securing employment for trade unionists. So far as the London County Council is concerned, I have no hesitation in saying that the hon. Member for East Islington would be quite prepared to clip its municipal enterprise if he had the opportunity, and for that reason I have no doubt he will cordially support the motion now before the House. What sins has the County Council committed? It has established a Works Department, though not in all cases, and in many cases has abolished the contractor; it has taken over a few miles of tramway on the south side of the river Thames by powers which Parliament has also given to other municipalities, and during the twelve months that tramway system has been worked by the County Council it has improved the condition of its employees by spending £25,000 in increasing their wages and reducing their hours of work; and apart from that, it has not forgotten the interests of the ratepayers, because it has placed £43,000 in their pockets by reducing the rates. It has provided parks and open spaces for the people of London, and it has provided bands for the amusement of the people of London. And when we speak of bands in our parks and open spaces in the evenings, if the County Council were not in existence, I want to know would private enterprise have stepped in and have provided those parks and open spaces, and bands, for the amusement of the people? It is a well-known fact that the only body, until the County Council came into existence, that supplied bands was the National Sunday League; but since the County Council has been in existence it has spent something like £8,000 per annum in providing bands in parks and open spaces, in order to afford the working man and his wife and family an opportunity of listening to good music on Sunday evening, and any hon. Member walking along the Thames Embankment can listen to one of the finest bands we have in London. That is as far as the County Council has gone up to the present in municipal enterprise. Our lighting is in the hands of companies, and our water is in the hands of companies. After all, Parliament at the present time has a check, and a very important check, on municipal enterprise. Take only the action of this House a week ago with reference to the Water Bills of the London County Council. We are not allowed to have control of the water or of the gas, although the ratepayers of London endorse our views, otherwise they would not give us the majority we have on the Council. We spend thousands of pounds of the ratepayers' money every year. What for? Not to put money into our own pockets. An hon. Member, when this motion was being discussed last week, stated that the railway companies did not use the ratepayers' money. That is true; neither railway companies nor gas nor water companies use the ratepayers' money in the first instance when they are building their works or getting their Bills through Parliament, but they take the ratepayers' money to a pretty good extent after the works are in existence. What is the difference between a monopoly, such as a water or gas company, and a municipality? The company works for profits for its directors and shareholders, and the municipality works in the interest of the ratepayers, and in order to secure for them the profits which otherwise would go into the pockets of the shareholders; and yet we are debarred, so far as London is concerned, from being able to take these steps. A great deal of stress has been laid upon the fact that Committees upstairs want some guidance in connection with Electric Lighting Bills, and that there should be uniformity of action. What is the present law? An electric lighting company can apply to the local authority and the local authority has discretion either to allow them to apply to the Board of Trade for a Provisional Order or to apply for one themselves. In many cases in London, the local authorities have handed their powers over to companies, and the companies have applied to the Board of Trade for Provisional Orders which have b en granted. That, I maintain, should be sufficient guidance for a Committee engaged on any of these Bills. I read a speech delivered by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Wolverhampton a short time ago, in which he stated how far, in his opinion, municipalities should go with reference to taking over gas, water, and other monopolies. Personally I say it will be a bad day for this country if its municipalities are guided by the views expressed by the right hon. Gentleman. What made the Secretary of State for the Colonies so popular in Birmingham? Why, the work he did in the corporation of that city before he became a Member of this House. Two or three years ago I was shown in Birmingham the work which the right hon. Gentleman accomplished during the time he was a member of the corporation, and in one case alone, as a result of his labours, a considerable income will be brought in in years to come which will relieve Birmingham of nearly all its rates. If municipal enterprise to that degree is good in Birmingham, why should it not be good in every city in the United Kingdom? I want to be perfectly candid upon this matter. I am not in favour, myself, of municipalities starting municipal workshops and becoming competitors with private employers in the labour market, because that would not in any way improve the condition of the workers. It makes no difference to the worker whether he is employed by a private employer or by a municipality, so long as he gets his trade union rate of wages, and if a municipality to-morrow were to start municipal workshops on competitive lines, they would not pay the workers higher than the trade union rate of wages. But I am strongly in favour of monopolies such as gas, water, and tramways being worked by the municipalities in the interests of the community as a whole, and not in the interests of a comparatively few shareholders. I suppose the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Wolverhampton had in his mind when he made that speech the action of the London County Council with reference to the National Telephone Company. If he imagined that the municipality was going to allow his company to pull up the streets and roads of London just as they thought fit, he was very seriously mistaken. I see no reason for this motion at all. If you have no idea of interfering with the present powers of our municipalities, then why press this motion to a division? If, on the other hand, you have an idea of crippling the powers of the municipalities, which I believe is at the root of this motion, then the sooner you let the rate-payers know it the better. As far as I am concerned, it is an old and a true saying to let sleeping dogs lie. Any attack that may be made by a Committee of this House on the municipal enterprise of the London County Council from a political point of view may be the means of putting some life and interest into the voters. The elections are near, and the result may be that a number of Unionist Members may be told to go about their business, and that there may be a majority of Progressive and Liberal Members in this House such as we have to-day on the London County Council. I hope that this motion will not be pressed to a division, although I recognise that unless the Government are prepared to withdraw it their majority will be sufficient to carry it. We have gone along very well during the last few years. We hope to go along very well in the years to come, and for that reason if the motion is divided upon, I shall certainly record my vote against it.

*SIR BLUNDELL MAPLE (Camberwell, Dulwich)

I feel compelled on this occasion to declare myself opposed to the appointment of this Committee. I do so from altogether different reasons to those which have been adduced by the last speaker. I feel myself, if you appoint this Committee—five Members of the House of Commons and five Members of the House of Lords—it will be a question as to what will be the extent of their inquiry, and not of the way they are going to deal with this important subject. The House of Commons has hitherto always dealt with this subject of the different Private Bills brought forward in a comprehensive and lucid manner. They have inquired what is and what is not considered necessary. The hon. Member just now complained as to the way in which in different years it was considered necessary to have different laws. We all know that for different localities different dates are necessary for the repayment of loans. You cannot say that all localities should have the same terms. If the Committee is to be appointed, what is to be the extent of its inquiry? Is the Committee to go into the whole subject of municipal trading? Are we to have an inquiry into the question of having municipal banks, bakeries, and wash-houses? In fact, the motion as it is drawn is on the largest extent possible. It will entirely depend upon the Members who are put upon the Committee as to the way in which they would deal with this motion. To appoint, as I know the other side would appoint, two Members in favour of municipal trading, and to appoint, as I am sure the Government would appoint, perhaps, my hon. friend down below me, the Member for South Islington, and even if the two other Members were opposed to municipal trading, what would be the result? These three Members, all in favour, going into the Committee upstairs would go from the House of Commons pledged to support municipal trading in every way possible. I am opposed to municipal trading. I hold it is not for the advantage of the community at large that we should have these workshops started all over the country, and, being a commercial man myself, I am certain that this House would make the greatest mistake possible if we entrusted this inquiry to a Committee such as you propose to constitute with unlimited power. I can imagine that Committee sitting upstairs. All sorts of people would be brought from different constituencies in favour of municipal workshops of all descriptions. What is to be the limit and what are to be the lines to be laid down? We know that municipalities in different parts of the country work on different lines. We in London know very well that the supply of water in certain districts has been well managed by municipal corporations in such places as Manchester, Liverpool, and other parts. We think, however, the London County Council would be the wrong body to entrust with the management of London water. That is one instance to show that it is impossible for you to lay down any fixed and definite law on which the Committees upstairs are to act. Every Bill ought to be dealt with by itself upon the particular circumstances of the case. To lay down any fixed law would be virtually like passing a vote of censure on the House of Commons. I cannot imagine any Bill being brought before the House of Commons and not being able to be discussed and inquired into upstairs. Do not tie the House of Commons with the rules and regulations laid down by your proposed Committee, consisting of Members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Let us have, as we have had in the past, all the circumstances brought before us in a proper way and inquired into in a thorough manner. I do not consider the way in which this motion is worded is such as is due to the responsibility of the House of Commons. I do not consider that in dealing with the proposals, of municipalities you should lay down a fixed law. What is good for London may not be good for Liverpool, Manchester, or Glasgow. Let all matters be dealt with in a thorough and practical way, and inquired into as it is our duty to inquire into them. I must say I am exceedingly sorry to find that some of the Members of the Government are rather persistent in forcing this motion, which I believe is detrimental to the well-being of the procedure of this House; and if the Government goes to a division I shall decidedly vote against it.

MR. HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)

Unlike the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, I believe there are good reasons for the proposal to appoint a Committee, and I wish to associate myself with my hon. friend the Member for Norwich in bearing testimony to the difficulties often met with upstairs, and to the desire we have to formulate a principle on this matter, and, I would add, to get some more knowledge of precedents. I believe if we had a collection of the precedents in relation to municipal trading that the information would be of very considerable benefit on the Private Bills Committees of this House. At present we are at the mercy of any counsel who chooses to quote any particular precedent to his own advantage, and to say nothing of others. Then there is no opportunity of calling and sifting evidence, and we have no principle whatever to guide us. The London Members who have spoken in the debate think, no doubt, that we have all the check that is required to the Committees in the voice of this House as a whole. It is perfectly true that London Bills are discussed and rejected in this House over and over again. I think very often we make a great mistake in not sending these Bills upstairs to be considered on their merits, but we cannot apply that principle to the Private Bills that reach us from all parts of the country. The House would break down if it once began to investigate for itself all those measures, and therefore we must look to the Private Bills Committees as the regular tribunals to consider these questions, and I think they are entitled to a little more guidance than they have hitherto had. I look at the subject from a broader point of view. Do not Members agree that this matter of municipal trading is one that is exciting great interest in every part of the country? It has assumed enormous proportions. I do not speak as an opponent of municipal enterprise. I do not belong to those municipal trading bodies, nor am I one of those much abused bodies the company promoters. Wherever I go I hear people discussing this question from various points of view, and I think that the inquiry may be of the great possible benefit to guide public opinion outside the House. We are all agreed that certain enterprises may be carried on by municipalities, such matters as gas, water, and tramways. On the other hand, most of us believe that there are certain forms of trading which cannot be legitimately undertaken by municipal bodies; and between these two extremes there is large debatable ground. There are some who wish to have municipal manufactories, but whether they are incidental or not to municipal work they become manufacturing enterprises in competition with private enterprises. Then, only to mention shortly another class of trading—that outside of municipal boroughs. One would imagine, from what the hon. Member for South Islington has told us, that the whole of this country consisted of municipalities and nothing else, and that, if it could be proved that tramway undertakings or any other kind of trading could be carried on by the municipalities to the interest of the rate- payers of those municipalities, they should get power to do so.


On the contrary, I said my argument was based on the principle of the co-operation of local authorities.


That is a very vague expression. I have the opinion that some of the best supporters of my hon. friend do not take quite the same view of corporations. There are further important questions to be considered. We may well ask what the economic and political results are of using large sums of the ratepayers' money in competition with the money of private undertakings, and employing vast bodies of workmen who can control their employers. These are all questions of great moment affecting this matter of municipal trading. I do not wish to suggest to the House that they should be solved one way or another, but I do submit that they are deserving of careful inquiry by a strong Committee. Why are municipalities so opposed to the inquiry? They are resisting the inquiry. Why do they object? I understood that one of the conditions on which they assented to it was that they should be allowed to employ more than one counsel. I should have thought that a Committee of this kind, if strongly manned, and if it called before it proper representatives of municipal enterprise, and of the great commercial interests, to put the case clearly from their own point of view, might come to some determination without much expense and without much delay. I do not think such a Committee will draw what my hon. friend calls a hard-and-fast line. That would be a very unwise thing to do, but they could suggest some principles of action which would guide both the mass of ratepayers and the Committees of the House in defining the legitimate field for municipal enterprise, and be of assistance to us and to corporations in framing the legislation of this country.

MR. GODDARD (Ipswich)

One thing is quite clear, and that is that the municipalities of this country put a very different construction on the appointment of the Committee from that stated by the supporters of the motion. That is the answer to the question put by the hon. Member who has just sat down. The municipalities object to it, because they see in the appointment of this Committee an attempt made to limit their powers. No one has attempted to suggest that the appointment of this Committee is with the object of extending the powers of municipalities in the matter of trading. The object from first to last really has been to control their powers, and that is one of the reasons why they object to it. Take it on the ground laid down by the hon. Baronet the Member for Norwich, that it is very desirable for Committees upstairs to have some definite ruling as to what they should do with the municipal bills. He mentioned the different periods that are given for the repayment of loans—in one case thirty years, and in another forty years. It seems to me that is a great proof of the common sense of this House. These Committees always have been in the habit, and are in the habit to-day, of judging every case that comes before them, on its merits, and I believe it is because they have adopted that plan and gone on that principle that the Committees upstairs have been deemed the most impartial kind of authority to which those Bills can be submitted, because they have taken into account all the circumstances of the case, and have dealt with them according to their ideas of common sense. I submit it would be a very sad thing indeed to tie the hands of the Committees upstairs by suggesting, as was almost suggested by the hon. Member for Norwich, that there should be some rule limiting the period for the repayment of loans. The conditions of large towns differ, and you must vary the time according to these different circumstances.


We are absolutely limited to sixty years now.


I am quite aware of that, but the variations suggested are altogether below that limit, and that is a limit that is rarely reached. In the matter of tramways you never come to the limit of sixty years. I submit that it would be a fatal thing for these Committees to have their hands tied, and only to allow thirty or forty years for one particular kind of industry. Anyone who has followed the experience of Committees in regard to municipal authorities obtaining powers for waterworks knows that a great variety of time is allowed in these Bills for the repayment of the loans required for the undertakings, for the simple reason that the circumstances have varied considerably. I have had personal experience in this matter in connection with a transfer to the Corporation of Ipswich. Having stated my case before the Committee, the Chairman of the Committee did make some alteration in the period of years and gave us, I think, more liberal terms than I had anticipated at first. It shows that every municipality that brings a Bill to acquire some industrial undertaking varies in its conditions from others, and ought to be treated in a different way. I really must repeat the question as to who has asked for this inquiry that is suggested in the resolution. I am not going into the genesis of the matter. That has been done fully and ably by the hon. Member for South Islington. It was suggested by an hon. Member that it was brought forward for the protection of the ratepayers. I would ask, have the ratepayers of this country asked in any way whatever that there should be some inquiry about the municipalities acquiring industrial undertakings? I cannot recall having heard such a thing at all. The ratepayer is amply protected at the present time against his own Corporation going in for some form of municipal trading he does not desire. It must be perfectly familiar to every hon. Member that before a Bill can be promoted in this House for carrying on any kind of municipal trading there must be a meeting of ratepayers, and any single ratepayer can demand a poll of the town. That gives an excellent opportunity, if there is any objection to the speculation on municipal trading, to oppose it. As a matter of fact, there is no difficulty of the kind. A few years ago, when it was considered that there was more risk in conducting these enterprises than to-day, there frequently was considerable opposition by the ratepayers. The schemes for acquiring waterworks and gasworks were opposed by the ratepayers and the schemes were dropped. The ratepayers have seen that it is a good thing for the municipality and the ratepayers at large that these undertakings should be in the hands of the ratepayers' representatives; they no longer oppose these things, and are willing to carry them out. I am always in favour of government by the people, and I believe we will strike a great blow at government by the people if we in any way seek to interfere with the municipal authorities in carrying on the trading which has been so successful in the past. I can understand speculators and capitalists and men who wish to invest their money in these various undertakings objecting to the municipalities doing the work, but I put that on one side at once as a reason that is not worth discussing. Have municipalities been unsuccessful, or have they mismanaged the undertakings, or given evidence of incompetence? On the contrary, the experience is that wherever municipalities have taken up these branches of trade—gas, water, electric lighting, and tramways—the invariable result, after time has been given to get over the initial difficulties, is that they are profitable to the ratepayers and that they should be so conducted. I cannot see any reason for an inquiry of this sort. However much you may try to make it a matter of assisting the Committees upstairs, in the eyes of the people outside it will be considered that the appointment of the Committee is an attempt to strike a blow at the municipalities in their trading enterprises.

LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)

I hope that the result of the inquiry will be that certain rules will be laid down under which municipal enterprise will be properly regulated in the future. I do not know whether it is possible to define a regular principle on which municipal enterprise should be carried out, but there are certain general lines on which such a Committee should go. It seems to me that there is one good example in the provision and supply of electricity. I am in favour of municipalities supplying gas, water, electric light, and various other things that they do at the present moment, but in regard to the supply of electric power, for which the municipalities seem to think that they have got certain prescriptive rights, the question of principle arises. I think there is nothing civic or communal in the supply of electric power. A few weeks ago there were Bills dealing with electric power before the House. I submitted a motion which was accepted by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen, the President of the Board of Trade, and others, that these Bills, being of great importance, should be submitted to a special Com- mittee, and in order that that Committee should be perfectly impartial that it should be nominated by the Committee of Selection. The hon. Member for South Islington stated at the close of his speech that the corporations desired that an impartial Committee should be appointed. That is precisely my object, and I have to propose an Amendment to the motion. I move after the word "be" in the second line to insert the words "nominated by the Committee of Selection." The result of that will be that the object of my hon. friend below me and the hon. Member for South Islington will be attained.


We do not want a Committee whose Report we know before-hand by its very constitution. We want an impartial Committee. One of the remarkable features of this debate is that those hon. Members who are in favour of municipal trading—I confess I am not—are just those who are against the inquiry. This is not an inquiry that condemns municipal trading. It is an inquiry into the way in which municipal trading shall be conducted. If you want that inquiry to result in a Report that will inspire confidence, the Committee ought to be comprised of Members who have no previously formed opinions. I have the honour to second the Amendment.

Amendment proposed— In line two, after the word 'be' to insert the words 'nominated by the Committee of Selection.'"—(Lord Balcarres.)

Question, "That those words be there inserted," put and agreed to.

Main Question, as amended, proposed.


I have listened with great interest to the debate. One feature it seems to me is that the hon. Members who have spoken have been very much at cross purposes all the time. It has been discussed by some hon. Members as if it was an attempt by means of the appointment of a Select Committee to curb and confine municipalities from doing that which they have been accustomed to do for so many years, whereas my hon. friend the Member for Norwich, in his very strong and well argued speech in favour of the motion, went upon matters which really have nothing to do with the question whether the municipalities of this country have acquired the habit of going beyond their proper function in trading and commercial enterprise. That is a separate question altogether, I would venture to point out, from all those points with which the hon. Baronet dealt. The question, for instance, which I suspect is uppermost—judging from the warmth of the allusion to it—in the minds of many hon. Members in this matter is the action of the London County Council, and it may be other corporations and municipalities, so far as I know, in employing their own workmen instead of employing contractors. This Committee has no power to go into such a matter at all. That is a pure matter of administration and discretion on the part of the London County Council, whereas the motion deals with a proposal to appoint a Committee "to consider and report as to the principles which should govern powers given by Bills and Provisional Orders to municipal and other local authorities for industrial enterprise within or without the area of their jurisdiction," so that I think the interesting catalogue of objects which my hon. friend the Member for South Islington read so much to the amusement of the House, and which we must imagine—I think it is no great stretch of imagination—represents the scraping up by those who originally advocated the idea of this Committee of every possible case that could throw discredit on municipal enterprise, while all the matters in the list, so far as I could gather them, which were of a doubtful character, do not come within the terms of this reference. The provision of cold air storage, the making of saddlery, and many other things which sounded rather odd when one first heard of them, have nothing whatever to do with the powers for industrial enterprise within or without the area of municipal jurisdiction. I come to the hon. Member for Norwich, who complains, with all the authority he rightly possesses on such a subject, on the part of Chairmen of Private Bills Committees that they are bewildered by not having any proper guidance in the decisions they are expected to give in regard to the proposals brought before them. It seems to me that what he wanted, rather, was some alteration of the Standing Orders which prohibit him under present circumstances from giving that expansion to municipal enterprise he wanted to give. He mentioned the piteous case of some borough that wished to extend a tramway into the adjoining country, and because their own boundaries and the outside tramway did not join it was beyond their power. There is no necessity for this pompous proceeding of a Joint Committee of the two Houses to determine that that is not common sense, and an application to the House to alter the Standing Orders would be successful. The hon. Member also spoke of the difficulty of fixing the precise number of years for the repayment of loans where electric lighting is concerned. I believe it is a fact that that uncertainty is a part of the necessity of the case where you are dealing with entirely new and experimental enterprises, There are very few electrical engineers of standing who will say how long electrical machinery can be expected to last. That being so, oven a duplicate Committee of this kind cannot determine the number of years that ought to be fixed. All these proposals that come before the House are properly dealt with by the Committees we provide. Every one must be judged on its merits according to the circumstances of the locality, and for the protection of the ratepayers and the locality we are surely justified in trusting to the good sense and the justice of the ratepayers themselves. If they find a municipality playing ducks and drakes with their funds, and launching into expenditure, they will very soon call them to account. For my part I do not see any good this Committee is to do. As I say, we look first of all to the intelligence of the electors themselves. Then there is this House bound to see that justice is done to all interests, and I do not think that the appointment of a Committee like this for the purpose of giving us a guide and laying down a rule we are to follow is at all the way to keep that sense of responsibility which this House ought to entertain in these matters. Either the decision or the advice of this Committee would have an effect or it would not. If it had no effect, which would probably be the result, what would be the use of appointing it? I have only one other observation which I would venture to bring before the House, and it is of so unpleasant a character that I hesitate a i little even to refer to it. This House is not so young as it once was, and after all we cannot forget the fact that we have lived Parliamentarily for several years. Is it desirable, if this is to be a great new departure, and the enterprises of the municipalities throughout the country are to be regulated by a formal tribunal according to some fixed principles, that we should at this particular period of Parliament, undertake this work? Would it not be much bettor to relegate it when it can be done, if it is to be done at all, to a new Parliament, who have had the opportunity of ascertaining by the pleasant means of a general election what the general feeling of the country in the matter is? Those are the considerations which lead me one after another to think that this Committee had better not be appointed. I do not know exactly why the Government work themselves up to something approaching zeal and earnestness in favour of this Committee. It is done in a very charming way, no doubt, but in a way that rather startles one when we see that that which was last session kicked about with little respect—I think it was called no man's child, and no one was responsible for its coming to an ignominious session—is now revived with all the authority of the Government, and the twelve o'clock rule is suspended so that the country should not miss this great opportunity. I join in the hope expressed, I think, by the hon. Member for South Islington, and others, that if the Committee is appointed it will do no harm. That is the best we can say, because nothing could be worse than anything that would look like a desire on the part of this House to be jealous or suspicious of the municipal zeal that exists so much to the benefit and advantage of the country in all our towns, great and small. The hon. Member for Norwich spoke of the great development of municipal enterprise of late years. Will not the word "electricity" account for the greater part of it? If electricity is being applied to both lighting and traction, in that itself you have the reason for half the schemes brought forward. It is no use appealing to the Government after suspending the Twelve o'clock Rule. They have, as it were, burned their boats, and they must go on; but I will vote against the motion, and I hope if the Committee does no good it will do no harm.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes,141; Noes, 67. (Division List No. 98.)

Allsopp, Hon. Geerge Doughty, George Henderson, Alexander
Arrol, Sir William Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Doxford, Sir William Theodore Hobhouse, Henry
Bailey, James (Walworth) Faber, George Denison Houston, R. P.
Baird, John George Alexander Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick
Balcarres, Lord Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Jenkins, Sir John Jones
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r. Finch, George H. Johnston, William (Belfast)
Banbury, Frederick George Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Kenyon, James
Barry, Rt. Hn. A H Smith-(Hnnts Firbank, Joseph Thomas Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Fisher, William Hayes Keswick, William
Bethell, Commander Fletcher, Sir Henry Kimber, Henry
Bill, Charles Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Knowles, Lees
Blundell, Colonel Henry Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Lafone, Alfred
Bond, Edward Fry, Lewis Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Galloway, William Johnson Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Gedge, Sydney Lecky, Rt. Hon. W. Edw. H.
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Gibbons, J. Lloyd Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverpool
Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East) Godson, Sir Augustus Fred. Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Goldsworthy, Major-General Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Gordon, Hon. John Edward Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worcester Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St Geo.'s Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Goschen, George J. (Sussex) MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Charrington, Spencer Goulding, Edward Alfred Maclure, Sir John William
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Gray, Ernest (West Ham) M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Green, Walford D (Wednesbury M'Killop, James
Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready Greville, Hon. Ronald Martin, Richard Biddulph
Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W. Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G. Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert W Middlemore, J. Throgmorton
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Hardy, Laurence Milward, Colonel Victor
Curzon, Viscount Hare, Thomas Leigh Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.
Dalkeith, Earl of Helder, Augustus Moore, William (Antrim, N.)
More, Robt. Jasper (Shropsh.) Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Charles T. Thornton, Percy M.
Morton, Arthur H. A (Deptford) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Tollemache, Henry James
Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Rothschild, Hon. Lionel W. Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Murray, Charles J. (Coventry Rutherford, John Warr, Augustus Frederick
Nicol, Donald Ninian Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Webster, Sir Richard E.
Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Seely, Charles Hilton Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Penn, John Seton-Karr, Henry Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Percy, Earl Sharpe, William Edward T. Willox, Sir John Archibald
Phillpotts, Captain Arthur Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire) Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Platt-Higgins, Frederick: Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Smith, James Parker (Lanarks. Wrightson, Thomas
Pretyman, Ernest George Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Wyndham, George
Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset) Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Purvis, Robert Stephens, Henry Charles TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Ashton, Thomas Gair Griffiths, Ellis J. Palmer, G. Wm. (Reading)
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Haldane, Richard Burdon Reckitt, Harold James
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Harwood, George Runciman, Walter
Billson, Alfred Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Hazell, Walter Sinclair, Capt John (Forfarshire
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Hedderwick, Thos. Chas. H. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Burns, John Horniman, Frederick John Steadman, William Charles
Buxton, Sydney Charles Jones, William (Carnarvonsh'e Stephens, Henry Charles
Caldwell, James Kay-Shuttle worth, Rt Hn Sir U Stuart, James (Shoreditch)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Kilbride, Denis Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Causton, Richard Knight Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'land) Tanner, Charles Kearns
Cawley, Frederick Macaleese, Daniel Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Channing, Francis Alston M'Arthur, Wm. (Cornwall) Ure, Alexander
Colville, John M'Crae, George Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Dalrymple, Sir Charles M'Kenna, Reginald Weir, James Galloway
Dewar, Arthur Maddison, Fred. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Maple, Sir John Blundell Williams, John Carvell (Notts.
Doogan, P. C. Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Duckworth, James Norton, Capt. Cecil William Woods, Samuel
Emmott, Alfred. Nussey, Thomas Willans
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Lough and Mr. Goddard.
Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) Oldroyd, Mark

Ordered, That a Select Committee of five Members of this House, to be nominated by the Committee of Selection, be appointed to join with a Committee of the Lords to consider and report as to the principles which should govern powers given by Bills and Provisional Orders to municipal and other local authorities for industrial enterprise within or without the area of their jurisdiction.

Ordered, That a Message be sent to the Lords to acquaint their Lordships that this House hath appointed a Committee of five Members to consider and report as to the principles which should govern powers given by Bills and Provisional Orders to municipal and other local authorities for industrial enterprise within or without the area of their jurisdiction; and to request that their Lordships will be pleased to appoint an equal number of Lords to be joined with the Members of this House.—(Mr. Anstruther.)