HC Deb 27 May 1902 vol 108 cc755-72

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £135,323, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1903, for the salaries and expenses of the Local Government Board."

(10.43.) LORD HUGH. CECIL (Greenwich)

drew attention to the position in which the Poor Law authorities of the Greenwich Union found themselves in respect of the recently erected workhouse. The subject was one of only local interest, but it had some remarkable features which might warrant him in for a short time engaging the attention of the Committee. The position at present was that the union had erected, at very great expense indeed, a workhouse which was standing empty, and the old workhouse was at this moment sufficient for the number of paupers who were required to reside in it. The union had got into this position by transactions extending over a number of years. In 1887 the Local Government Board drew the attention of the Guardians to a want of accommodation in the existing workhouse, and after correspondence this new building was ultimately erected four miles from Greenwich at the extravagant cost of £192,000. It was, perhaps, some slight consolation to know that this workhouse gained the prize at the Paris Exhibition for the best building of the character which had been erected. This was an illustration of how imperfectly local authorities recognised the necessity for practising economy. It could not be doubted that over and over again local authorities set before their minds the idea of having the very best. Everyone knew that in the administration of his own private income he must often be content with the next best which differed very greatly in price and comparatively little in value. Outdoor relief had been liberally administered, and pauperism had declined under prosperous times, though, of course, in hard years circumstances might be different. This, however, could not be denied, that where there were two sides to a question, and a doubt of the sufficiency of the accommodation in the existing workhouse, it was not necessary to have the best workhouse in Christendom to hold 800 inmates. There was, he thought, a case for some inquiry. The majority of the Guardians were in favour of selling this costly building without more ado. Another suggestion was that some additions should be made to the existing house. Yet another suggestion was—and he particularly commended it to the attention of his hon. friend—that an opportunity should be taken of dividing the union and handing over this palace to Deptford. His object in raising this subject was to invite an opinion from the President of the Local Government Board, and to induce him to consent to some sort of inquiry, so as to discover the best way out of the difficulty.

MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)

said he wished to call attention to the question of the medical charges for vaccination. In many cases during a large epidemic there was agitation, produced mainly by the medical men, whose charges were raised from 5s. or 6s. for each vaccination up to 8s. or 9s. He asked whether that was not an extravagant charge for so small a service. He was of opinion that less than half would be amply sufficient. He also thought that some provision should be made to prevent persons who were perfectly well able to pay for their vaccination having the charge for that vaccination thrown on to the public rates. He thought that the Local Government Board should institute some regulation which would prevent this waste of money. Another point was, whether the Board could not control the magistrates in dealing with applications for exemption from vaccination. He thought the Local Government Board should send out a circular to petty sessions courts calling the attention of the magistrates to the fact that when persons declared in Court that they had a conscientious objection to vaccination, believing it to be detrimental to the health of their children, no magistrate had a right to cross-examine these poor people with a view to confusing them, and thus depriving them of their statutory rights. There was precedent for that suggestion, because the Home Office frequently sent round circulars to magistrates' clerks calling their attention to various matters, and to changes in the administration of the law of the land. He had himself seen magistrates bullying persons out of their statutory rights when they applied for exemption from vaccination. His hon. friend the Member for Chesterfield asked the right hon. Gentleman a Question, a few months ago, as to the use of lymph derived from a monkey. [Laughter, and cries of "Oh, oh!"] The case was notorious, and he must insist on its being thrashed out. The right hon. Gentleman did not contradict the fact that vaccination had taken place from a monkey to a human being, although he said that he had given orders to the effect that nothing more should be done in that respect.

(10.52.) MR. FLOWER (Bradford, W.)

said he wished to make a very earnest remonstrance to the President of the Local Government Board as to what seemed to him the very unwise policy which the Department had recently embarked upon in regard to the treatment of children under the Poor Law. The Committee were aware that the barrack school system had been practically condemned, and he believed that notice to that effect had been issued by the Department. He believed that the Sutton barrack schools were shortly to be closed, but there was a dangerous tendency on the part of the Local Government Board to sanction the erection of large and costly buildings for the accommodation of the children now in these schools. He had been told that the cost of the "village community" system to Poplar would amount to £100,000, and that the cost per bed to accommodate the children from Greenwich was £150. These were very startling and extravagant figures indeed. One would not quarrel so much with them if they could really believe that the result would be commensurate with the expenditure. There was a danger that these "village communities" would be nothing more nor less than a revival of the condemned barrack schools under another name. He had noticed that the President of the Local Government Board had made a most interesting speech at the opening of cottage homes erected for 300 children by the Woolwich Board of Guardians. The right hon. Gentleman admitted that the barrack school system had been condemned by most anthorities, although he found a few good words to say for them, and then he went on to praise the action of the Woolwich Board of Guardians. But these so-called cottage homes were not cottage homes at all. They were merely barrack schools built in blocks, and the revival of the old system of housing the children was a most unwise one. There was no similarity whatever between these huge communities, in which the children lived together, and the true cottage home system, which had been adopted in Yorkshire, under which the children were distributed amongst ordinary homes, each living as a member of the family, subject to the control of the heads of the family, who were persons of their own original class in life, and associating at the public elementary schools and at play with the other children in the locality. That principle had been most successful wherever carried out. It was well known, on the other hand, that the taint acquired by children brought up in these huge barrack schools never left them. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board would exercise very great care in granting powers to Boards of Guardians to erect these huge and costly village communities for the children under their charge, and that he would advise them to adopt the true policy of scattered homes or boarding out.

MR. STEVENSON (Suffolk. Eye)

said that, without wishing to enter into the question raised by the hon. Member for West Bradford, he would point out that the grievance the hon. Gentleman referred to did not stand on the same footing as that brought forward by the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich. Ashe understood the latter case, £192,000 had already been spent by the Greenwich Board of Guardians, although the total amount would probably reach a quarter of a million for a building which they did not want at all. That expenditure was forced upon them by the Local Government Board. It appeared to him that this was not a case which affected only the Borough of Greenwich; a parallel for it could be found in different parts of the country. Again and again the ratepayers had reason to complain of the demands forced upon their representatives by the central authority in London. If the loca authority, of their own option, acted extravagantly, they could be called to account by their constituents, but if the local authority was obliged to carry out the behests of the central authority, with whom there was no responsibility to the ratepayers, there was no redress. Centralisation had been rapidly increasing in this country, to the detriment of local feeling and responsibility, and it was time that some check should be placed upon the centralised bureaucracy of the Local Government Board. In order to bring this matter to a head, and if possible to take the view of the Committee on the subject, without the slightest hostility to the President or Secretary, he removed the reduction of the Vote by £50.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £135,273, be granted for the said Service."—(Mr. Stevenson.)

(11.10.) MR. CHAPLIN (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

I wish, if I may, to pass from the subjects we have been discussing in order to make some observations with regard to the present law and regulations by which motor car traffic is governed, and to ask some questions with regard to it. I desire, first of all, to point out that the present law and regulations appear to me to be entirely ineffective and unadapted to the circumstances of today, and that greater safeguards are required, not only for the convenience, but for the safety of the public from the dangers to which they are sometimes subjected by some of the more reckless drivers of motor cars. The present law and regulations, which were perfectly proper and appropriate to the circumstances of the time when they were enacted, are entirely inappropriate and unfitted to the present time. Let me remind the Committee that the present law regulates the maximum speed of motor cars at not more than fourteen miles an hour. A provision inserted in the Act of 1896 enabled the Local Government Board to make regulations imposing a lower maximum if they thought fit. Acting under considerable pressure from the County Councils at that time, and after full consideration and consultation with them—I myself was responsible for it—the Local Government Board limited the maximum speed to twelve miles an hour. These regulations are, I contend, absolutely ineffective at the present time, because the law is habitually broken. I speak from my own experience on the subject. I do not possess a motor car myself, still less do I attempt to drive one; but I have been conveyed on motors a great deal during the past winter, chiefly for the purpose of going hunting, and I am bound to say that there was no occasion which I can remember, whether the journey was long or short, on which I travelled on a motor car driven by someone else without the law and the regulations having been broken. My experience is not by any means singular. It is the experience of nearly everyone; and, although occasionally people are apprehended and fined, including distinguished Members of this House, who have broken the law in this matter, still the fact remains that, in my humble opinion, the, present regulations do not give the public the safeguards which I think are required, and which the public ought to have. As to the second point, that the present law and regulations are ineffective, I have heard it said very often that they are absurd, and I am bound to admit, that that is true. But I may be permitted to say, as being largely responsible for them myself, that there was very good reason why that should be the case. Let me point out the extraordinary change that has taken place in the conditions and circumstances since these regulations were first imposed. No system of locomotion, and, as far as I know, no new invention, has ever developed with such extraordinary rapidity as has automobilism since the passing of the Act of 1896. Let me give the House one single illustration, of which a great many hon. Members are totally unaware. When these regulations were enacted by the Local Government Board, the highest average speed of any motor car, either in this country or on the Continent, as tested by racing over considerable distances, was 15½ miles an hour. There was considerable anxiety felt about it at the time, and after considerable pressure from the local authorities fourteen miles an hour was held, under all the circumstances, to be a reasonable pace. What are the facts at the present day? Why, speed has gone up by leaps and bounds, and last year the highest average speed under similar tests was no less than 59½ miles an hour. I think I need not say any more to show that regulations which were thoroughly appropriate in 1896 are altogether out of date at the present time, and that some alteration is required. I am perfectly well aware that there are considerable difficulties to be faced by any Minister who attempts to deal with this matter. There is a very widespread feeling of prejudice and hostility towards motor cars in some parts of the country, and this feeling has arisen principally, if nor entirely, from one cause, and one cause only, and that is the extreme recklessness of a certain number, a limited number, of individuals, and their utter disregard of the care, convenience, and comfort of other travellers, who have just as much right to the highway as they have. I wish to see this state of things remedied. I believe that the present law and regulations are totally ineffective, and, with the greatest respect and deference to my right hon. friend who is now responsible for the Department, I will venture to make one or two suggestions. The Local Government Board has the widest possible power in this question. Under one of the clauses of the Act of 1896, it has power to make regulations with regard to the use of the highways by motor cars, with regard to their construction, and with regard to the conditions under which they may be used. That seems to me to be a pretty wide power, which enables the Local Government Board to do almost everything that is necessary. But there is one thing the Board cannot do, and that is a bolish the present limit of speed without an Act of Parliament. The present limit of speed is entirely ineffective, for it is broken, and the law is broken, with impunity every day in the week. What I should like to suggest to my right hon. friend as a means of getting out of the difficulty is a very short and simple Act, consisting of one clause, to repeal Clause 4 of the Act of 1896, which imposes the present limit of speed.


The right hon. Gentleman is not entitled to discuss future legislation. He can discuss the administration of the Local Government Board, but he cannot suggest what future legislation should be.


lam obliged, Sir, to you for reminding me. I recollect now I was going beyond the limit, but it will not be necessary to go any farther. If the law is altered in that respect, the I regulations would afford perfect safety, and motor cars would be subject to the law for the prevention of furious driving which applies to all other carriages. But we want something more than that. We want a complete means of identification in order that we may be able to detect and punish drivers who are guilty of breaking the law. What these means of identification may be, is of course, a matter of opinion. I have my own opinion, but I do not think it necessary to put it before the Committee, as it is a matter which must necessarily be settled by the Government Department which is in charge of the question. If we have a means of identification, then I think we will have advanced a very considerable step. Then, further amendments to the present regulations are very necessary and desirable. Half the accidents to motor cars occur when turning corners at great speed and meeting other traffic, and even if they do not come into actual collision, they create great alarm and annoyance, and frighten horses, and still more the people who are travelling. It is a very common thing to find a highroad constantly traversed by cross roads, and sometimes motor cars pass these cross roads at tremendous speed, irrespective of what may be hidden by the hedges on either side. The same thing holds with regard to traversing villages and small towns. It is obvious that a rate of speed which might be perfectly safe and reasonable in the open country would be entirely indefensible while passing through a village or town, and I think that the existing regulations in that respect are not sufficiently strong. At all events, it would be better if they were strengthened. I also share the opinion, which I know is entertained by many experts, and those who are in favour of automobilism, that it is desirable, at all events, to carefully consider whether the drivers of motor cars ought not to have a licence, and whether they ought not to pass some examination before they are allowed to undertake a serious duty, which involves considerable danger if they are not sufficiently experienced. I believe that if my right hon. friend would take these suggestions seriously into his consideration, a great double purpose would be effected. In the first place, he would give to the public greater safeguards against the difficulties and dangers with which they are constantly confronted at the present time, and which I do not think they ought to be subjected to, and at the same time remove undue hindrances and annoyances to a system of traffic which is daily becoming more and more used, with great service to the public, and which, I believe myself, will continue to develop and will render services of a different character, of which perhaps not many of us may be aware. I apologise to the Committee for dealing at such length with this question, but I make these suggestions to my right hon. friend with great respect, and I believe he would give the widest satisfaction if he were able to hold out any hope that he would be able at no distant date to deal with the question.

(11.25.) MR. BAYLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)

said he desired to elicit further information with regard to the action of one of the servants of the Local Government Board. It was reported in all the medical papers that Dr. Monckton Cope man had taken virus from a smallpox patient, vaccinated a monkey with, the smallpox, and afterwards successfully vaccinated a great number of children with the vaccine taken from the monkey. The President of the Local Government Board might laugh, but it was a disgrace to any Government to allow one of its servants to do such a thing, and the country would not stand it.


I assure the hon. Member I was not laughing at his statement.


said he wished to know if these children had been vaccinated with smallpox taken from a monkey. Was the permission of their parents asked before the experiment was tried on the children? He had no doubt that the lymph was issued with the Government guarantee that it was pure vaccine.


The hon. Gentleman is indulging in some wild suggestions. This lymph, which he calls small pox, given through a monkey, had nothing to do with Government lymph. I have already given the hon. Member a full answer to his Question. There were experiments conducted by the distinguished gentleman, who is an inspector of the Local Government Board, but not with the sanction of the Department, and they had nothing to do either with the Government or the Department.


said that Dr. Copeman was paid by the Government for these experiments


No; the hon. Gentleman is probably not aware that a great many scientific gentlemen are employed by the Government Departments. Some of them conduct, for the public benefit, experiments and scientific work on their own account, and carry on much research work with which the Government have nothing to do. Dr. Copeman carried out this particular experiment, in support of which he had high medical authority. He did it on his own account, and not in the remarkable manner suggested by the hon. Gentleman. The Government were not in any sense responsible for the lymph, but they did not condemn what Dr. Copeman did, as they believed it was work of the highest scientific value, but it was work not done by the Government, on behalf of the Government, or with the sanction of the Government.


But the Government paid Dr. Copeman.


Dr. Copeman is paid a salary as an inspector, but that does not prevent him from engaging in research work.


said that from the right hon. Gentleman's statement it would appear that the Government were not responsible for the servants they paid. He wished to know whose children were vaccinated with the lymph derived from the monkey, and in what part of England, Wales, or Scotland they lived.

MR. MUNTZ (Warwickshire, Tarnworth)

May I ask the hon. Member why a monkey is inferior to a calf?


asked whether the lymph was used for the compulsory vaccination of children.


It may be for the convenience of the Committee if I deal with the somewhat complicated problem which the hon. Gentleman has just presented to us. I have tried very hard, in following the questions which have been asked with reference to Dr. Copeman's experiment, to find out what part in the puzzle the monkey was supposed to play, but I have not yet succeeded in arriving at any satisfactory opinion on the subject. The hon. Gentleman says that the whole country is moved to its very heart by this question; but, with the exception of the hon. Gentleman and one or two other hon. Members, I have not hoard of anyone who is in the least excited as to whether, as my hon. friend suggested, a monkey or a calf is used for the purpose, not, as the hon. Gentleman said, of conveying small-pox but for the purpose of extracting lymph, which subsequently goes through various processes. The hon. Gentleman is mistaken in supposing that the lymph extracted from the monkey was conveyed immediately to the human being. It was passed through a calf, so that the monkey was not brought into close contact with the children, and I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the calf was there before any vaccination took place. Dr. Copeman conducted some extremely valuable experiments entirely on his own account, and I think even the hon. Gentleman in his quieter moments will agree that it is desirable that scientific men employed by the Government should not be precluded from scientific research, which not only contributes to their own efficiency for their departmental work, but also renders enormous public service by the results they obtain. Dr. Copeman made certain experiments on his own account, and the hon. Gentleman will be interested to know that he vaccinated himself first; and, having satisfied himself that the lymph was not likely to produce injurious results, he did vaccinate children of certain people. I cannot tell whose children they were, but I presume the parents knew how the lymph was obtained, and that the monkey had played some part in the process.

It may be convenient if I now refer briefly to the other subjects which have been raised. My noble friend the Member for Greenwich, supported by the hon. Member for the Eye Division, brought a very serious indictment against my Department. He suggested that we forced the Greenwich Guardians first of all to build a new workhouse, and then to retain that workhouse when it was no longer necessary. I cannot believe that my noble friend has examined this question himself, because if he had, I think he would have hesitated before bringing it forward. The facts are these. A long time ago the Local Government Board satisfied themselves that the existing workhouse was not sufficient for the number of paupers to be accommodated, and they called on the Guardians to erect a new workhouse. It is perfectly true that the Guardians spent nearly £200,000 on that workhouse. Conceivably it was too extravagant for the requirements, but the workhouse is there, and it is most desirable that the Guardians should remove the paupers from the old work house into the new workhouse. My noble friend says that the old workhouse is sufficient, but it is not a question of number alone. It is certified for 1,100, and he says that there are never more in it than 1,400 at the outside, and that the accommodation is decreasing owing to the extension of outdoor relief. I can assure him that if he examines the poor law administration in the adjoining Union of Woolwich he will find decreased pauperism both, indoor and outdoor, but the Guardians are making better provision for the paupers, and are now making still better provision for the children. That is not the policy of the Greenwich Board of Guardians, and I can assure my noble friend that I have not the remotest intention, as long as I am responsible for my Department, of allowing the Guardians to sell their new workhouse, at any rate until they can satisfy me that they are able to make the existing workhouse in all respects a satisfactory place for the reception of paupers. That, I believe, it will be impossible for them to do, and I am sure that my noble friend will be the last to suggest that a Board of Guardians should be encouraged to make provision for the poor which is not in all respects satisfactory, without being foolish or extravagant. The Greenwich Board of Guardians have not taken what appears to me to be a wise view of their duty, and I am bound to continue the policy adopted by my predecessors. I am now awaiting the Report of a Committee appointed by the Guardians themselves, and if that report produces any new information which would justify me in believing that there is any ground for a change in my attitude, I will, of course, be quite ready to consider it. But unless I receive information very unlike that which I now possess, I shall feel it my duty to use all the influence I possess to induce the Greenwich Board of Guardians to make use of their new workhouse.


The suggestion I made was that there should be some sort of a public inquiry into the matter.


This is not a case for a public inquiry. It is a case of the responsibility of the Minister. There is nothing to inquire into. It is a case in which I must take the responsibility myself, and, as the Minister responsible, do my best in the interests of the ratepayers and paupers of the Union, and I cannot consent to a public inquiry where no public inquiry is necessary. I cannot pass the speech of the hon. Member for the Eye Division without one word of comment. He condemned the policy of the Department in forcing unnecessary expenditure on the local authorities. I do not believe the central authority does anything of the kind. Does the hon. Gentleman suggest that when the Local Government Board finds that the provision made by a Board of Guardians is unsatisfactory and insufficient, and when all suggestions for improvement are neglected, that we should hold our peace? The hon. Member for Leicester complained of the vaccination charges, and he asked me if I would issue a circular to magistrates. With regard to the vaccination charges, I will only say that when the Act was passed the Government had, of course, no especial experience as to what the working of it would be, but I think it is quite possible that I may have to reconsider certain payments made in respect of vaccination, and I have the matter under consideration now. With regard to the issuing of a circular to magistrates, I think the hon. Gentleman is mistaken in stating that the Home Office issues circulars indicating to magistrates how they should administer the law. The Home Office issues circulars calling attention to changes in the law, and I cannot undertake such a novel and undesirable a course as to issue a circular to magistrates as to how they should administer the law.


The Home Office issued circulars more than once with regard to the administration of the Summary Jurisdiction Act.


I will not argue the question, but I cannot undertake to adopt the course suggested by the hon. Gentleman. The magistrates are perfectly capable of interpreting an Act of Parliament, and to satisfy themselves whether those who apply for exemption have or have not a conscientious objection to vaccination. The hon. Member for West Bradford made some reference to the provision for children, and he condemned "the village community" system and expressed the hope that I would do all I could to secure the adoption of what is called the scattered homes or boarding out system. A great deal is to be said for scattered homes for children, but I think my hon. friend has lost sight of the very great difficulty of finding homes for the children. There are certain advantages, too, connected with the barrack school system because, if anyone will follow the lives of children who have left a barrack school, he will be surprised at the number who occupy leading positions in the Army and the Navy, as well as civil professions. We must make the best of the material at our disposal, and, while we will do everything we can to secure improvements in the Poor Law system, especially as regards children, we cannot, of course, impose a new system until we are sure that the old system has broken down and must be replaced. We are not departing from the rules laid down by my right hon. friend who preceded me at the Local Government Board; we are following the policy he initiated, and my hon. friend may rest assured that nothing will be done to encourage large collections of children in new schools.

My right hon. friend the Member for the Sleaford Division brought forward the motor car question. The powers of the Local Government Board in the matter are not quite as complete as he thinks they are. We have powers, no doubt, and very wide powers, with reference to the construction and use of the cars, but the suggestion that we should make a regulation which would secure the identification of motor cars by some system of registration at the Local Government Board is an impossible suggestion. I would ask hon. Members to contemplate what it would mean if the Local Government Board became the Department responsible for the holding of the register. It would be of no use to compel motor cars to be numbered unless there was some central place where the number could be traced and compared. In all probability the better plan would be to vest local authorities with the duty of issuing their own regulations, and taking their own measures for identification.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that motor cars go all over the country, from London to Northumberland?


That is perfectly true, but there is nothing to prevent a system of registration which will enable a car registered in London to be identified in Northumberland. I entirely agree that the present regulations are altogether inefficient. They place undue restrictions in the way of those who desire to use their cars wisely and prudently, while, on the other hand, they do not restrain mischievous people from doing great harm. I should be very glad indeed to find a way out of the difficulty, but my right hon. friend knows as well as I do that there is great opposition to any proposals of the kind. [An HON. MEMBER: No.] My hon. friend says "No," but he will find there is very great opposition to any proposal to increase the pace of motor cars unless identification is made simpler. I have taken the trouble to see a great many persons interested in motor cars. What were the suggestions they made? One was that motor cars of a particular kind should be exempt from the regulations. Do hon. Members adopt the suggestion that, for instance, a motor car going a certain pace should be exempt? I am only indicating the difficulties which exist, but I am very glad indeed that the House of Commons appears to be unanimous in favour of an alteration in the law which would compel motor cars to carry some means of identification and to enable them to go any pace they like without danger to the public. That is the line which reform must take, but I am afraid it will not be quite so easy as my right hon. friend thinks. Legislation will be necessary in order to secure efficient means of identification, and also, as my right hon. friend pointed out, in order to deal with the regulation of speed. Unquestionably, the motor car industry is a great and agro wing industry, which will effect considerable changes in the locomotion of the country; and if hon. Members are prepared to support me in an alteration of the law such as I have indicated, nothing will give me greater pleasure than to do my best to make proposals of a satisfactory character. But I hope hon. Members will realise that I am not prepared to make exemptions in favour of any particular class of motor car. If new regulations are to be made, they must be generally applied to all ears. I believe myself such an alteration would be beneficial. I have been in consultation with the Automobile Club and other gentlemen interested in automobilism, and I hope I will be able to make proposals which will be satisfactory to them, and which will at the same time provide greater safety for the public. I have thought it desirable to deal with these few points, and I hope the Committee will now let me have the Vote.

MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

said he wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether there would be another opportunity of having a short discussion on the Vote, as there were some important questions affecting his constituents which he desired to bring forward. The Vote had only been discussed for an hour and a half, whereas the Vote for the Board of Agriculture had been discussed for an afternoon.


If the Committee see fit to pass the Vote tonight, we will put down the Report stage as first Order tomorrow after two or three small Bills, which I believe are not of a controversial character. That will give the hon. Gentleman the opportunity he desires.

* MR. SCOTT-MONTAGU (Hampshire, New Forest)

said that, as a member of the Automobile Club, he wished to state that they did not wish in any way to be a nuisance to the public. All they wished to show was that it was perfectly possible to use a higher rate of speed than at present allowed with perfect safety to the public. He was entirely with his right hon. friend, and would be prepared to bring in a Bill to support him on the lines he had just fore shadowed to the Committee.

It being Midnight, the Chairman left the Chair to make his report to the House.

Committee report progress; to sit again tomorrow (afternoon sitting).

Adjourned at five minutes after Twelve o'clock.