HC Deb 19 July 1901 vol 97 cc974-83


Order for consideration, read.

MR. CHARLES DOUGLAS (Lanarkshire, N.W.)

said that the object of his Amendment was to make it clear that the corporation should not derive from the rates to be levied by the county council anything more than would enable them to carry out the purification of the sewage works, and should not make a profit out of the rates. It could not be too clearly understood that in the Amendment there was no interference with the principle of the Bill before the House. He ventured to think that no one on behalf of the Corporation of Glasgow would put forward the claim that the city of Glasgow had any right to make a profit out of the arrangement into which it had entered. All that the Amendment sought was to make it clear that the city of Glasgow was to be repaid for its outlay without making any profit. The Order dealt with the police administration of Glasgow, and incidentally it affected a very considerable and very important district, the lower ward of Lanark, and it was proposed that the city should have power to levy a rate upon this particular district—a rate which was designed avowedly to defray the cost of purifying the sewage. It ought to be borne in mind that this particular district had since 1891 been entitled to discharge its sewage free of cost into the sewers of Glasgow. It possessed this right, and had always exercised it, in virtue of the agreement made between the county council of Lanark and the city of Glasgow in 1891. That agreement had the sanction of Parliament, and had always been accepted by both parties as a binding agreement, and it was now for the first time in this Order that the agreement was abandoned and abrogated and made void. He hardly recognised the circumstances in which this abrogation of the agreement took place. At the time of the agreement the question of the purification of the sewage, which had become so important lately, had not emerged into the prominence it now had. What he said was that when there was a part of the transaction which it was desired to make void, care ought to be taken that the city of Glasgow ought not to make any profit out of the transaction, and that, on the other hand, the party that desired to abide by the original agreement should not have inflicted on it any hardship, or loss, or injustice. Was there to be an absolute discretion left to the city of Glasgow to impose a rate upon the county without any limit? He suggested that the just and equitable course was to limit the amount of the rate, and to provide that the amount should not exceed that which it had cost the city of Glasgow to carry out the work. It was said that other districts had been treated in precisely the same manner that it was proposed to treat this district, but that was an entire misapprehension. The Order was establishing a new platform in the matter, and it was setting a new precedent which would put all counties in the future in a much worse position for dealing with the city of Glasgow than they had been in the past.

Amendment proposed— In Schedule, page 6, line 32, after the word 'rate,' to insert the words 'but subject as aforesaid).'"—(Mr. Charles Douglas.)

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

MR. CAMERON CORBETT (Glasgow, Tradeston)

said if these local commissions were to do their work well, this House must support them in their work. It was absolutely impossible that they would get the sort of Members of Parliament they wanted to serve on these commissions if they were to be told that after they had carefully examined the cases brought before them their decisions were to be set aside by discussions in this House. The present proposal amounted to this—that after a very complicated arrangement had been made by a Commission sitting on the spot, they were to raise the whole matter and settle all these financial matters by discussions in that House. He hoped the House would not merely reject the Amendment of the hon. Member opposite, but would reject it in such a definite and declared way that they would not have any proposal of the kind brought forward in the future. He trusted, for the sake of these local inquiries, which had done a great deal of good, and which had great possibilities for the future, that the House would decidedly reject the absurd proposal of the hon. Member opposite.

SIR WALTER THORBURN (Peebles and Selkirk)

said that as a member of the Commission the House might expect him to say a few words. The provisional order was one of a comprehensive nature, dealing with sanitation, purification, lighting, and other matters. The corporation of Glasgow proposed under the Provisional Order to take in a certain area of the county of Lanark for the purpose of drainage. In the territory proposed to be taken in, a considerable portion of it had no drains at all; another portion of it bad drains. The Commission ascertained that the part which was not drained would not become a drainage area for a considerable number of years. They therefore decided that that part of the area should be excluded, but they did con- sent to the part which was drained being annexed. The county council of Lanark then urged that the portion which was drained should be treated in exactly the same way as the neighbouring district of Rutherglen was treated—namely, that they should get compensation for their sewers in the annexed area. The Commission found that in the case of Rutherglen a very complete system of drainage existed, while in this annexed area the sewage arrangements were very defective and quite unfit to be used as intercepting sewers. They therefore decided that this area had not the same claim for compensation which the burgh of Rutherglen had. When the original arrangement was made to take the sewage from certain parts of the lower ward of Lanarkshire into the Glasgow sewers many years ago, there was no question at that time of a purification scheme. That was subsequently determined upon. The Commission considered that, as they were going to get rid of all their sewage, and so relieve themselves of the necessity of carrying out their own purification works, they were justly entitled to contribute to the cost. The Commission found the preamble of the Bill, as regards the sewage clauses, proved subject to the exclusion of the area that was not drained. When the Commission finished consideration of the case, they had reason to believe that the parties were well satisfied with the arrangement, and it was left to counsel on both sides to adjust the clauses. The Commission gave the most careful consideration to the whole case, and they thought that the judgment they arrived at was a just and equitable one. If he had to hear the whole evidence again, he must say he could not honestly come to any other decision.

MR. EUGENE WASON (Clackmannan and Kinross)

said the whole facts of this case had been thoroughly gone into by an impartial tribunal, and now they were being asked to override the decision which had been arrived at by the local committee. A similar motion to this was made by the hon. Member for Partick in relation to another Bill not long ago, and in that case the decision of the local committee was allowed to stand. In the case before the House the measure had gone before the House of Lords, and they had decided in favour of the local committee. The action of some of the hon. Members for Scotland upon this Bill appeared to him to be almost like log-rolling. He hoped the House would show its good sense by refusing to undo the good work which these provisional committees were doing in Scotland.

MR. HOZIER (Lanarkshire, S.)

said this measure would do a great injustice to a portion of the county which he represented, although the district affected was outside his own constituency. The hon. Member for Clackmannan admitted that he knew nothing about the circumstances of this case, and perhaps it would have been better if he had made himself acquainted with them before intervening in the debate. Four of his (Mr. Hozier's) best personal friends formed the Commission, but he did not think that even his best personal friends were necessarily infallible. If the county of Lanark were wrong in the course they had taken they were wrong in conjunction with his right hon. friend the Lord Advocate and the Secretary for Scotland as to the practically automatic right to an appeal. So impressed were the representatives of the county of Lanark with these opinions that they did not go into the question of the adjustment of clauses at all, being certain that there would be an appeal. The result was that Glasgow got more than she expected, and he did not know why the finding of a committee sitting in Glasgow should be considered as a sort of law of the Medes and the Persians which could not be altered at all. Lanarkshire was strongly in favour of the purification of the Clyde, and the people of the county were willing to pay their fair share, but they objected to be made a source of profit to Glasgow, and they did not see why the rural districts quite irrespectively of their own requirements should be rated at the same rate as Glasgow for this purpose. It was all very well to say that the rate was restricted to 4d. in the £, but Glasgow would profit to a much larger extent than the rural districts, which, although they were asked to contribute the same rate, would get no representation whatever on the distributing body. Moreover the limit of 4d. was only to last for seven years, which was no boon at all, as the works would not be finished within that time. Let them consider the case of the river Thames. He was sure that the Thames required purification just as much as the Clyde, but in their very wildest moments hon. Members would never suggest that Maidenhead and Windsor should be rated pari passu with London for the purification of the Thames. And yet that was what was suggested for the county of Lanark.


reminded the Committee that the House of Lords rejected a motion to send this Bill to a Joint Committee of the two Houses, and now what did the hon. Member opposite propose to do? He proposed, after the motion had been lost in the House of Lords, and not being competent under the statute, that they were to discuss the whole thing upon consideration. Surely it never was meant that the consideration stage should be used in that way. The decision contained in the Bill might be absolutely right or it might not. The Committee were asked to do a great deal by Glasgow on the one side and by Lanarkshire on the other, and they decided upon the course suggested as a just solution of the difficulty. He hoped the House was not going to adopt the bad precedent of inquiring into the details of this class of legislation.

MR. COLVILLE (Lanarkshire, N.E.)

said that under the present proposals the city of Glasgow desired to throw over a former agreement with the lower ward of Lanarkshire in regard to sewage. What he asked was that this district of the lower ward of Lanarkshire should not be unfairly assessed in regard to purification schemes which Glasgow might enter upon. Whatever contribution Lanarkshire made, it ought not to be such as

would tend to relieve the ratepayers of the city of Glasgow of their proper obligations in this matter. If the suggestion of his hon. friend opposite was adopted no injustice would be done to the city of Glasgow, and those in the district affected would be prepared to contribute their full share of the additional cost in regard to all the purification schemes which Glasgow might propose. The suggestion of the hon. Member for Tradeston, that a clause had been arranged giving a reduced rate to the counties, was an illusory one, because the rate of 4d. was only for seven years, during which time the sewage scheme of Glasgow was not likely to be completed. When the sewage works did come into operation the rate upon the lower ward ratepayers would immediately be raised to that of Glasgow—6d. per £—and that would undoubtedly for so small an area be more than was required in equity. He had confidence in supporting the Amendment. It was on a matter of equity that they came before the House representing the county council of Lanarkshire. They only asked that fair play should be given to the district in the decision come to.

MR. ALEXANDER CROSS (Glasgow, Camlachie)

said that gentlemen who took upon themselves to raise such points as were now under consideration must prove that their case was not frivolous. The point now before the House was a frivolous, even a contemptible, attempt to reverse the decision arrived at. What was asked was both impossible and improper. If the gentlemen representing local districts were to be relieved from the necessity of preparing costly schemes of their own, and if the ratepayers in outlying localities were to be charged no more than those inside Glasgow, he thought they were mighty well off.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 47; Noes, 233. (Division List No. 342.)

Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Kimber, Henry Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)
Fenwick, Charles Lambert, George Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Macartney,Rt.Hn.W.G.Ellison Strachey, Edward
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Fisher, William Hayes Milton, Viscount Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S.W.) More, Robt. Jasp. (Shropshire) Ure, Alexander
Griffith, Ellis J. Morton,ArthurH.A.(Deptford Welby,Lt.-Col.A.C.E.(Taunton
Heath,ArthurHoward(Hanley Nicol, Donald Ninian Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Heath,James(Staffords,N.W.) O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Renshaw, Charles Bine TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Charles Douglas and Mr. Hozier.
Joicey, Sir James Sharpe, William Edward T.
Kemp, George Simeon, Sir Barrington
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Dewar,T.R.(T'rH'mlets,S.Geo Kennedy, Patrick James
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Kinloch, Sir J. George Smyth
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield Knowles, Lees
Anstruther, H. T. Donelan, Captain A. Labouchere, Henry
Arkwright, John Stanhope Doogan, P. C. Law, Andrew Bonar
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Dorington, Sir John Edward Lawson, John Grant
Asher, Alexander Doxford, Sir William Theodore Layland-Barratt, Francis
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Duffy, William J. Leamy, Edmund
Austin, Sir John Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Lee,ArthurH.(Hants,Fareham
Bailey, James (Walworth) Elibank, Master of Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)
Bain, Colonel James Robert Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Baird, John George Alexander Emmott, Alfred Long,Col.CharlesW.(Evesham)
Baldwin, Alfred Esmonde, Sir Thomas Long,Rt.Hn.Walter(Bristol, S.
Balfour,RtHnGerald W. (Leeds Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Banbury, Frederick George Fardell, Sir T. George Lough, Thomas
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Farquharson, Dr. Robert Lowther, Rt. Hon. James (Kent)
Bartley, George C. T. Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Ffrench, Peter Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Field, William Lundon, W.
Bell, Richard Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Bignold, Arthur Flannery, Sir Fortescue Maconochie, A. W.
Bill, Charles Flavin, Michael Joseph M'Cann, James
Boland, John Flower, Ernest M'Dermott, Patrick
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Flynn, James Christopher M'Kenna, Reginald
Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh. Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire
Bullard, Sir Harry Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)
Cameron, Robert Gilhooly, James Mansfield, Horace Rendall
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasg'w Goddard, Daniel Ford Mitchell, William
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Mooney, John J.
Carew, James Laurence Greene, Sir EW (B'rySEdmunds Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow
Causton, Richard Knight Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm. Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh. Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Morton, Edw. J.C. (Devonport)
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Harrington, Timothy Mount, William Arthur
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Haslett, Sir James Horner Murphy, John
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Hayden, John Patrick Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Nannetti, Joseph P.
Channing, Francis Allston Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Chapman, Edward Healy, Timothy Michael Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Churchill, Winston Spencer Heaton, John Henniker Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Clancy, John Joseph Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Coddington, Sir William Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.) O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary, Mid
Coghill, Douglas Harry Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Horner, Frederick William O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Crean, Eugene Horniman, Frederick John O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Crombie, John William Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Hoult, Joseph O'Dowd, John
Crossley, Sir Savile Howard, John (Kent, Favers'm) O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Cullinan, J. Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.
Cust, Henry John C. Johnston, William (Belfast) O'Malley, William
Dalrymple, Sir Charles] Jones, David Brynmor (Swans'a O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire O'Shee, James John
Delany, William Joyce, Michael Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham
Dewar, JohnA.(Inverness-sh.) Kay-Shuttleworth,RtHn.SirU Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington
Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Russell, T. W. Tully, Jasper
Percy, Earl Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Valentia, Viscount
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Wallace, Robert
Power, Patrick Joseph Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Walrond,Rt.Hn.Sir William H.
Purvis, Robert Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Pym, C. Guy Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Wason, Eugene Clackmannan
Randles, John S. Shipman, Dr. John G. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Sinclair,CaptJohn(Forfarshire Weir, James Galloway
Ratcliff, R. F. Sinclair, Louis (Romford) White, Luke (Yorks, E. R.)
Rea, Russell Smith, H. C (North'mb. Tynesi'e Whiteley, Geo. (York. W. R.)
Reddy, M. Soames, Arthur Wellesley Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Redmond, John E. (Waterford Spear, John Ward Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Redmond, William (Clare) Spenecer,Rt.Hn.C.R(Northants Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Reid, James (Greenock) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Rickett, J. Compton Sullivan, Donal Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.
Ridley,Hon.M.W.(Stalybridge Taylor, Theodore Cooke Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Ridley,S.Forde(Bethnal Green) Tennant, Harold John Young, Samuel
Rigg, Richard Thomas, Able (Carmarthen, E.) Yoxall, James Henry
Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Robertson, Edmund (Dundee) Thompson,DrEC(Monaghan N TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Cameron Corbett and Sir John Stirling-Maxwell
Roe, Sir Thomas Thorburn, Sir Walter
Ropner, Colonel Robert Thornton, Percy M.

Bill to be read the third time upon Monday next.