§ Order read, for resuming adjourned debate on Question [4th March], "That it is expedient that a Select Committee 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. Balfour.)
§ Question again proposed.
§ Debate resumed.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)
said he was reluctant to occupy the time of the House in discussing this question, but on two previous occasions he had been prevented submitting the reasons why, in his opinion, this Motion ought not to be adopted until satisfactory arguments on its behalf had been adduced either by the Prime Minister or by the President of the Local Government Board. The inquiry which the House was being asked to sanction into municipal administration would be costly. Its object was to discredit municipal enterprise, and in his opinion it was utterly unnecessary; while it would be needlessly restrictive of recent developments of that civic local government which was not only the envy of other nations, but which also frequently formed a theme for statesmen at Guildhall banquets and similar festivities. The Motion invoked the aid of Parliament for purely local matters over which the ratepayers ought surely to have the first and final voice, and if it were carried its effect would inevitably be to curtail the present form of municipal activity, the benefits of which were evident to all who 795 took an interest in the wonderful improvement of our towns and cities—an improvement which could only have been brought about by that municipal activity which the Motion sought to condemn. It would cause, too, a diminution of that civic work of social amelioration which municipalities had been undertaking, and the time of Parliament, which should be given to national and Imperial problems, would be wasted on purely local matters of a most microscopical character. What was the reason alleged for the Motion? No public scandals had been urged by those who supported it outside the House, there had been no judicial rebuke of either municipal councillors or public bodies as to the way in which they carried out their work, and most significantly there had been no discontent expressed by the ratepayers themselves as to the way in which the local authorities had performed their duties. There was, too, no suggestion from the Private Bill Committees or the Committee of Referees, or, indeed, from any of the authorities of the two Houses which dealt with bills promoted by municipal authorities, of any scandal. There was no suggestion that the municipal authorities had neglected their work or been guilty of jobbery or corruption, or, indeed, of any dereliction of civic duty, and, so far as he could see, the only objection to municipal industrial enterprise emanated from a few belated individuals who were under the impression that municipal bodies were looking out for fresh fields to conquer and were deliberately and wantonly intruding themselves into commercial and industrial spheres in order to compete, in a harassing and irritating way, with private enterprise which they alleged was capable of doing that particular class of work better. That was not the case. There had not yet been an instance of so-called municipal enterprise undertaken by a local authority that had not been imposed upon it either by the vote of the citizens or by the necessities of public health or municipal development, and in carrying out those mandates they had kept within the four corners of their statutory duty.
It might be said by some—"Look at the way in which rates are rising." [An HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear.] The hon. Member who cheered must be aware that rates were not rising because of the extension of municipal enterprise in 796 commercial or industrial spheres. Those enterprises were of a reproductive character, and instead of making a loss to the ratepayers they were frequently the means by which services were improved and cheapened and at the same time the ratepayers' burdens were reduced. He was inclined to think that these objections were due to the green-eyed monster, to the prevalence of a growing jealousy on the part of inefficient capitalists and unsuccessful manufacturers who were incapable of doing for the public as well and as cheaply what public officials had proved their capacity to do well. He, for one, declined to admit that the growth of local rates was due to the cause assigned. He denied that municipal indebtedness was due to the causes alleged, because on examination of the facts and figures—which the Motion sought to traverse—it would be seen that the very reverse was the case. The debts of the municipal authorities of this country now amounted to £300,000,000 sterling, of that one half was due to non-productive works such as drainage, roads, bridges, and cemeteries, as well as education. None of these were expected to be remunerative from a cash point of view, but still they were undertaken in the general interests of the community. But what about the other moiety of the municipal indebtedness? If hon. Members would only take the trouble to look at the Return issued at the request of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton two years ago, and at certain Board of Trade and Local Government Board Returns, they would soon be convinced of the fact that the whole of the cry about municipal indebtedness and trading, in so far as it was due to the institution of such undertakings as gas works, tramways, water works, and electric lighting, instead of being a burden on the ratepayers was a source of positive advantage to the community and to the nation. He would like to direct the attention of the Prime Minister to the fact that in one branch of municipal activity alone—the manufacture of gas—251 local authorities up to August, 1902, made their own gas at a cheaper price and of better quality than had been done by private enterprise, and had cleared a net profit of £414,000, which had gone in reduction of the rates. Again, 118 local authorities had worked their own tramways instead of remitting them to private 797 enterprise, and last year they made a net profit of £1,861,418. Another Return, which dealt with £121,000,000 worth of invested capital for both non-productive and remunerative works showed a clear profit of £100,000, and a still further Return, asked for by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton, who was under the impression that municipalities were going farther than they should, dealt with £88,000,000 of capital invested by municipal authorities, and showed a net profit of £3,613,668, which was devoted either to improvement of the services or to a reduction of the rates. Contrast these services and assets of municipal activity and indebtedness with the non-reproductive National Debt of £800,000,000, for which there was nothing but war, death, disease, and international rancour.
It was clear, then, that municipal activity in the provision of gas, electric light, motor trams, harbour docks, etc., instead of being a disadvantage to the community was a boon to everybody. But somehow or another certain people were not content with that excellent record of splendid work performed by able, devoted, and disinterested men of all sections of society, principally conducted by captains of industry who, having made their fortunes by private enterprise, were imbued by public spirit and civic duty, now in the evening of their lives devoting their business capacity, commercial honour and intelligence to these works. Surely they could safely leave it to public-spirited ratepayers to say whether they were prepared to vote the money necessary for that activity, knowing that the community would receive the profits. He would respectfully ask the Prime Minister, who had no love for the Clergy Discipline Bill, not to make a second mistake by introducing a Municipal Discipline Bill, which would make the House of Commons responsible for every peddling parochial question, and cause it to send down some centralised bureaucrat to supervise works which; could, after all, only be profitably carried out by the authorities concerned, and by the ratepayers interested. He would also appeal to the Prime Minister not to assume the rôle of a political King Canute and to assert that the waves of municipal progress must go back. This 798 inquiry would not only be restrictive in its operation, inquisitorial in its character, and calculated to obstruct reforms of a very desirable character, but it would impose a limit upon certain works contemplated or already being undertaken. What could the inquiry do? It could only produce the Report to which he had referred; it could only call town clerks, engineers, surveyors, to London day after day, causing them to neglect their duties at the expense of the ratepayers and to the great inconvenience of the public interest for purposes which were really unnecessary. Why should the inquiry be instituted? Surely there was already sufficient check upon these public bodies. He would appeal to the late President of the Local Government Board, who would, forty or fifty years hence, deserve the hearty thanks of every lover of the country for the excellent work he did in passing the Local Government Act of 1888, which had done more to remove poverty from, and diminish crime in, large communities than any other Act passed this century. If this Committee were allowed to do its work in the spirit which characterised the Resolution he could only say that the work of the right hon. Gentleman would be counteracted and kept in check. How unnecessary it was after all. These bodies were already kept well in check by the Local Government Board, with its manifold arrangements for auditing accounts, and why, then, should they enter on a long-winded inquiry into matters which did not concern the House of Commons?
Let the House consider seriously what it was doing. We had extended our Empire in South Africa on the broad ground of conferring equal rights on all white men. We went there to establish a franchise—social, communal and individual. We went there to extend the principles of civilisation and the glories of British freedom and local self-government, even at the point of the bayonet, at great cost of life and limb, and at an enormous sacrifice of public money. And yet here, in the very heart of the Empire itself, there was a contrary view in operation—a tendency, instigated by papers like The Times, which could wax eloquent over Jameson raiders but could not be eloquent 799 about people living in the slums of Liverpool and London, to put a stop to that municipal enterprise, the profits of which enabled the authorities to build better houses for the poor, and lift the common people from the abyss of poverty in which too many lived. Surely all this was contradictory, inconsistent and illogical. There was nothing more creditable to the British race as a people than the wonderful growth of that communal spirit of municipal activity, and the way in which men of all classes had yoked themselves to the chariot of the community, and in so doing had raised municipal government to a point which no other country could vie with or compare with. Why was the brake to be applied at the instigation of The Times, of the British Electric Traction Company, and of a number of gentlemen, mostly of Eastern origin, who were issuing pamphlets and writing letters about things they did not understand and could not justify? Why should foreign capitalists secure profits out of public services which ought to be devoted to the improvement of the dwellings of the poor, and the provision of parks and free libraries, instead of being devoted as they would be in private hands to the growth of a luxurious class who were becoming a menace to civilisation? Charity began at homo, and he ventured to assert that local government could only be satisfactorily conducted by local authorities. Wherever Parliament interfered needlessly with the affairs of localities it did harm. It was because he regarded the proposal as an inspired attempt on the part of monopolies and private enterprises, inefficient, grasping, and greedy, to take to themselves what municipalities now spread over communities, that he appealed to the Prime Minister not to press the Motion, but to let the communities of this country go on developing as they had done for the last thirty or forty years, rapidly improving the condition of the people, and thereby exercising a healthy influence upon both our local and our national life, making the nation a model and exemplar to every foreign country.
§ MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)
said he had listened to the speech of the hon. Member for Battersea with the same amazement and surprise that he always listened to speeches of men who were advocates of municipal trading. The 800 Motion on the Paper did not dogmatise about municipal trading at all. His hon. friend always told them they were confident the result of investigation would be to prove the purity of municipal administration. If they were so confident, why did they so strongly oppose an inquiry? Their course had always taken the form of stopping it by blocking the Motion or by talking it out. That was the policy of the hon. Member for South Islington.
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT (Islington, S.)
I should be glad if my hon. friend can tell me when I opposed or blocked or obstructed in any way this, or any similar, or, indeed, any Motion. On the contrary, I said I had no objection to it, though I deemed it quite unnecessary.
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
I spoke between six and seven, and for only a very few moments. I distinctly said I would not oppose, much less obstruct, in any way the passing of the Resolution.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
May I take on my shoulders the responsibility which the hon. Member is seeking to impose on the hon. Member for South Islington? I talked the Motion out.
§ MR. COHEN
accepted the explanation and apologised to the hon. Member for South Islington. But he again asked why, if they were sure that inquiry would result in a complete vindication of the municipalities, did they prevent one taking place? He did not object, and he never had objected, to municipal trading as such. Very often what was called municipal trading was not only useful but necessary, but where municipal trading was unnecessary, experience had shown that it was 801 not only not useful but mischievous, and inevitably costly. At any rate, investigation and inquiry would establish the truth one way or the other. Before a municipality undertook any work it should be shown that the service was necessary for the general requirements of the population, and that it could not be successfully and economically provided by private enterprise. If it could be economically and effectively carried out by private enterprise, then there was every argument against its being undertaken by the municipality, for it was bad for municipalities to have the control and administration of larger sums of public money than were absolutely required for the necessities of the public service. He was in no way reflecting on the purity and integrity of municipal bodies. He had the honour of serving on the London County Council for twelve years, and there was no one in that House or out of it who was more firmly convinced of the integrity of that body as it had existed ever since it was instituted. There should not be any temptation to exercise electioneering influence in the public service. There must be a large amount of work to be done by the municipalities of large towns, although he did not think that every municipality would always rise to the almost unattainable standard of the London County Council. He wished to take care that the services for municipalities should be confined to those matters which had not already been taken up by private enterprise. The returns which had been quoted by the hon. Member for Battersea were unreliable because they did not take a proper businesslike and audited account of wear and tear and depreciation for the gradual wearing out of tackle and machinery. The London County Council had issued return after return showing what they were pleased to call a profit, resulting from the undertakings of their works department. That was not a profit in any sense of the word. It might be something below the estimate given by the man who was going to carry out the work. In such a case a man had only got to estimate the cost somewhat high in order to bring out the actual charge somewhat low, and that was called the profit.
§ MR. COHEN
said that it was only by throwing open the work to public competition that they could find out what was going to be the lowest price, and it was by that means that they could get at the legitimate cost of the work. That procedure had never been resorted to by the London County Council because they had made their own estimates.
§ MR. COHEN
said the only fair way in giving an estimate was that the cost of any excess in the price should fall upon the man who made the tender. What he had stated was an absolute fact within his own experience of the last eight years of the London County Council. Their work was never submitted to public tender, and the profit or loss which had been claimed was never ascertained by any such infallible test.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
said he was sorry to interrupt the hon. Member, but out of regard for the admitted facts he was compelled to say that what the hon. Member was now saying was a complete travesty of the conditions under which the London County Council carried out public work.
§ MR. COHEN
said he was sorry to hear his statement called a travesty, but he again asserted that the computation of profit and loss in the work of the London County Council had been tested only as compared with the architect who framed the original estimate. This question had never been tested ever since the institution of the works department by the competition of public tender, and he again repeated deliberately upon this question what he had said before in regard to the way the profit and loss had been computed. He wished to have this inquiry constituted in a manner which would largely inspire confidence. Local debts were increasing and the rates were advancing, 803 and those facts could not be contradicted. They wanted an inquiry to see how far an investigation could connect those results with the causes in order that Parliament might make some sort of limit confining the powers of municipalities to services which they could economically and usefully carry out, leaving private interprise to deal with other matters.
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
said his objection to this Resolution was that its wording would be an Instruction to the Committee in a certain direction.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said he would remind the Prime Minister and the House of a recent piece of history in regard to municipal activity—he referred to the development within the last ten years of electric traction. When he was a local councillor he was interested in the development of a system of tramways in a town which had never had tramways of any kind, and he found that the Standing Orders of this House practically made it impossible for that municipality to work its own tramways; those Standing Orders had actually to be suspended time after time, and were eventually altered to keep abreast with a modern invention, which had so greatly added to the mechanical possibilities in the way of traction. The Prime Minister had referred to the question of traction as in his opinion the greatest hope of the present time in dealing with the housing question. Within the last ton years this House had had to admit that it made a mistake in adopting Standing Orders appointing Committees in this way. The Huddersfield Bill was recommitted for that very reason, but they went on from that to running tramways outside the borough boundary, and they were empowered to buy land if they considered that was the best solution. All this was done by a Conservative Government, because they saw it was necessary in order to find any solution of the housing question. This was an illustration of the undesirability of this House trying to confine its powers in that direction.
804 What he wanted to ask the Primo Minister was whether he would not allow an Amendment to his Resolution which would constitute this Committee for a positive instead of a negative purpose. He thought the Instructions should not be to consider within what limits the powers should be defined but to discriminate between those powers which could be given generally to all local authorities, and those other powers which ought only to be given in the case of a special sanction by this House. There was a very distinct line between those powers, and he believed that a Joint Committee appointed by both Houses for a positive purpose of that hind might do a very great work for municipal development, and it might be the means of saving an infinite amount of money. Small local authorities had to come year after year for powers which were invariably granted by the Committees upstairs, and yet those authorities were put to a great deal of trouble and expense in obtaining those powers. He referred to such powers as those dealing with infectious diseases and administrative powers which now had to be obtained by private Bills in this House. Within the last ten years there had grown up a vast field for legislation by Private Bill Committees, which might well be referred by a general Act to some other body in order to save the trouble and expense of those authorities coming to this House for those powers. There were, on the other hand, special powers which ought only to be granted in the case of proved special requirements. If this Committee was instructed to inquire into that question and to report which powers ought to be conferred by a general Act as proper subjects for municipal administration, and which ought to be reserved for the special approval of the House, that would produce a very useful result indeed. The Prime Minister had brought in within the last few days a Bill to regulate the employment of young children, and it was a very excellent Bill as far as it went. Did the Prime Minister know the history of that Bill? It was the city of Liverpool, which, through its municipal powers, applied for legislation for the protection of young children.
§ MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is straying somewhat from the question raised by this Motion, which does not relate to all the powers of municipal bodies, but only to those connected with industrial enterprises.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said that perhaps he would have put himself in order had he submitted his point at an earlier part of his speech. He had an Amendment to move which would not take away any single power proposed by the Prime Minister's Resolution. He proposed to leave out the words "for industrial enterprise" and to add at the end of the Resolution the words, "and which of such powers should be conferred by a general Local Government Act."
§ MR. SPEAKER
I do not think that would be in order, because there is a specific question raised here relating to municipal trading. The hon. Member is seeking to convert the inquiry into one as to powers in regard to sanitary and other matters which may be granted to corporations, but which have nothing to do with industrial enterprise. The Amendment is not a modification of the Resolution. It is a complete change of subject.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said he was quite aware there might be some difficulty on the point of order. He asked whether it would be possible to propose an Amendment which did not cancel anything in the original proposal, but did extend the terms of the reference. On that point he submitted that any Committee which had to deal with municipal powers would find that there was no precise definition of what was and what was not "industrial enterprise," and that they themselves would find it impossible to draw a hard and fast line. He submitted that it would not be outside the intention of the Resolution as moved by the Prime Minister that the Amendment he suggested should be moved.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I have no doubt that if the Resolution is passed in its present form the Committee will have nodifficulty in excluding a great many of the matters the hon. Member is seeking to include. 806 They must draw the line. All I can say is that I do not think it is in order to extend the Resolution in the way the hon. Member desires by leaving out these words.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said he took it that the ruling would refer to the omission of the words for "industrial enterprise," but not to the addition of the words at the end—And which of such powers should be conferred by a general Local Government Act.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I have only said that an Amendment cannot be admitted which would extend the power of the Committee to go beyond the limit of industrial enterprise.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said it would be sufficient for his purpose to move the addition of the words he proposed. The addition of these words would have the effect of turning the inquiry which was to be held from a purely negative and destructive one into a positive and constructive one. It would lead the Committee's attention to the question what powers ought to be conferred by a general Act, and what powers ought to be reserved to be considered under the special circumstances of each occasion by this House. He hoped the Prime Minister would give consideration to this matter and would be in a position to accept the Amendment, which, while it would not exclude a general inquiry into powers for municipal enterprise, still would convert the inquiry into an open and impartial one into the powers which should be conferred on municipalities, and which would save a great deal of Private Bill legislation in this House. Surely it was a proper thing for a legislative chamber like this to discriminate between the two kinds of Powers—on the one hand those which ought to be conferred freely and liberally without expense to the various boroughs under a general local government scheme, and, on the other hand, those Powers which ought to be conferred in special cases, on special cause shown, when Private Bills were brought before the House. He begged to move the addition of the words—And which of such powers should be conferred by a general Local Government Act.
At the end of the Question, to add the words 'and which of such powers should be conferred by a general Local Government Act.'"—(Mr. Whitley.)
§ Question proposed—"That those words be there added."
§ MR. GALLOWAY (Manchester, S.W.)
said he did not quite see what was the object of the hon. Member in moving the Amendment. It appeared to him that the terms of the reference did not preclude the Committee from recommending that a general Act should be passed regulating the whole of municipal enterprise. As he unde-stood the Amendment, the hon. Gentleman suggested that there should be an Act laying down what general powers municipalities should be allowed to exercise with regard to municipal trading without coming to this House.
§ MR. GALLOWAY
said he would not insist on the word "regulate" if the right hon. Baronet quarrelled with it. The hon. Member for Halifax now suggested that municipalities should be allowed to carry on this enterprise without coming to Parliament at all. He was glad that he had stated the fact. Where the unfortunate ratepayers would be with such an Act he trembled to contemplate. The position of the ratepayers was serious enough as it was, but if Parliament was to have no control whatever over this enterprise, then, indeed, the position would be a grave one. The hon. Gentleman had not gone so far as to suggest what were the kinds of enterprise which municipalities might be allowed to carry on without the sanction of Parliament. There might be some difficulty in defining the words "industrial enterprise," but he took it that there was a great difference between those enterprises which would be carried on by local bodies for the benefit of the whole community and those which were only 808 of benefit to a section of the community. The hon. Member would not deny that a municipality ought to come to Parliament for powers if it proposed to lay down a system of electric traction at very great cost to the ratepayers. If there was a large sum of the ratepayers' money to be invested by a municipality, at least Parliament ought to see that proper protection was given to the ratepayers, some of whom—it might be only a minority—strongly objected to this enterprise. Some of them might have serious doubts, as he had, as to whether municipalities were the best parties to carry out electrical traction. Did the hon. Member suggest that there should be an Act passed giving general powers to all municipalities to carry out this electric enterprise without coming to Parliament for powers? In the larger corporations there were men of experience who could deal with such matters, but surely the hon. Gentleman did not suggest that the smaller corporations should receive the same powers in a general Act. He had difficulty in ascertaining the particular powers the hon. Gentleman wished the Committee to recommend, for this was almost an instruction to the Committee. If he did not mean such enterprise as electric traction, what did he mean? The question of gas was one with which they should be allowed to deal.
§ MR. GALLOWAY
said that the hon. Member for Battersea had filled in a gap which the mover of the Amendment did not specify and did not bargain for. Ardently as he desired that we should have musical opera houses—(laughter)—he used the term "musical" advisedly, because musical and municipal opera houses might mean totally different things—he had never suggested, and he did not think the hon. Member for Battersea would suggest, that the municipalities should be given a general power to spend the ratepayers' money in establishing opera houses, good, bad, or indifferent. He submitted that the Amendment of the hon. Member was totally unnecessary. If the Committee came to the conclusion that it was advisable that some such 809 general Act should be passed as the hon. Member seemed to think was necessary, then they had it in their power to recommend it. But if this Committee was to work well—as he thought it would—and if it was to be useful in showing the defects as well as the benefits of municipal enterprise, and how Parliament should deal with the questions that had arisen in giving those powers in the future, then he contended that the Amendment was quite unnecessary.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)
said he believed that the hon. Member had correctly interpreted the Amendment of his hon. friend. It was in the nature of an instruction to the Committee, and he thought it was an instruction that was very much needed, because the apprehension of some on his side of the House was that, looking to the origin of this Committee, it would be regarded as a Committee the object of which was to set limits to and restrictions on municipal enterprise. The reason for this Committee being proposed was the tendency there had been for municipal enterprise to extend in various departments. Municipalities had been becoming pioneers in industrial enterprise, because they were seeking to solve some of the problems of social reform; and it was because they were pioneers in this direction that this Committee was to be appointed. He ventured to say that, if a Committee was appointed which prescribed to Parliament that it should set limits to municipal enterprise, the limits which were accepted and agreed on to-day would not be accepted in the future. His hon. friend's Amendment, as he understood it, would be really an instruction to the Committee not to restrict, not to set up limits, but to consider within what limits Parliament might safely part with its control over municipal enterprise and set municipalities free, within certain limits, from existing restrictions. That, he thought, would be a very valuable instruction. He thought an attempt to lay down general restrictive limits was bound to be futile, but if the Committee was able to direct its attention to considering within what limits municipal enterprise might be set free, they might make a valuable report. He quite agreed that industrial enterprises by municipalities should be well conducted. By all means let the ratepayers know what was being done by the municipalities, 810 and let accounts be properly kept; but those were details. This Resolution was seeking to deal with a matter of principle. He felt very strongly that the solution of these problems must come from the action of local government, and the question was, "Are you going to encourage or to discourage the exorcise of these powers?" He quite agreed that these powers should be regulated, watched and co-ordinated, provided the exercise of them was not discouraged. Therefore he would suggest that if those problems in our big towns were to be solved it would not be by the action of Parliament, which had no time to attend to them, but the solution must come from the ratepayers. The ratepayers must learn to control the action of their own municipalities with a proper sense of responsibility. Because he saw no other way of meeting the great problems in our towns—the housing problem, for instance, which he thought was admitted on both sides of the House to be a very urgent one—except by setting free municipal enterprise, he should certainly oppose the Resolution for the Committee unless it had some instruction in it which would make it clear that its object was not restrictive, but rather to ascertain within what limits municipalities might be set free from Parliamentary control.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I was unfortunately unable to be present during the debate which occurred on the previous occasion when this Motion was discussed, but I confess that, so far as a portion of this debate is concerned, I have heard what has fallen from various speakers with surprise. The critics of the Motion appear to assume that the intention and object of having this inquiry is to restrict municipal trading, and the framers of the Amendment desire that the Committee should have a direct instruction to relax the limits of municipal enterprise. There is, no doubt, a difference between a Committee which is appointed to obstruct or limit enterprise and a Committee which is directed to encourage enterprise. But this is an inquiry with no colour one way or the other. It is merely intended to acquaint the House with the facts of the case and not to carry out the policy either of those who look with suspicion on the extension of municipal 811 industry or of those who wish to remove such limits as exist and to see that enterprise extended without any bounds. It appears to me that what we want is an impartial inquiry; and I will ask the House whether there is not really a case made out for it. To begin with, it is a very strong order, when a Committee has been appointed by this House and has sat during one session, to refuse the reappointment of that Committee when it is asked for.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
We had no time. We have time, I am glad to say, this year. The House did not refuse to appoint the Committee last year; and I do not know of any case in which, when the House has been asked to reappoint a Committee and when the Committee seeks reappointment, the House has refused to take that course. And is there any justification for this very startling innovation in our Parliamentary practice? There has been a great change for good or for evil—I am disposed to think for good—in the last fifteen or twenty years. Duties have been thrown on municipalities which in old days they never dreamed of undertaking. They have become, not merely the owners of vast waterworks, not merely great manufacturers of gas and great owners of tramways, but most of our municipalities now are employers of labour on a very large scale. That may be good or it may be bad, but it is a very interesting and important development in modern social life; and I think it is absurd that when an inquiry is demanded a large by section of opinion in the country that inquiry should be refused I have said that, on the whole, I do not look with any great fear on the development of municipal industrial enterprise. Indeed, it is perfectly plain if you are to describe the housing problem as an industrial problem—and it certainly has an industrial side—that that can only be solved by the municipalities. It cannot even be attempted by this House. All this House can do is to give the municipalities general directions and the necessary powers; and the failure, in so far as it is a failure, in our efforts to 812 deal with this great social problem is not that this House has been chary in giving those powers, but that municipalities have not used them to the utmost advantage. Therefore I look to the municipalities to help us in this matter. I am the last person, therefore, to wish to set any undue limits to the efforts of those bodies.
I entirely agree with what has fallen from an hon. Member opposite who is the most ardent opponent of this Motion, the hon. Member for Battersea. He asks "Is there any general charge of corruption against the municipalities?" As far as my knowledge goes, there is no such general charge. There may have been here and there cases in which, not corruption, but something approaching corruption, has been charged against this officer or that officer; but considering the enormous number of transactions in which these corporations are engaged, and considering the multitude of individuals who have the opportunity of being corrupted, I should not venture to say that there was absolute purity from top to bottom in every case and through all time. I think we may justly pride ourselves on the fact that, broadly speaking, municipal enterprise has not been corrupt. But again I ask, is that a reason for not having an inquiry? This is not an inquiry into corruption. It is an inquiry into what is a new and very important and interesting development of municipal life, on which every one must admit that we do require further light to be thrown. Broadly speaking, I do not look with any great alarm on this movement; but there are certain aspects of it on which I should like, for many reasons, to have some further illumination thrown. I should like each individual Member of the House to ask himself this question, among others—Can we view with absolute serenity an indefinite increase in the position of the municipality as an employer of labour among its own constituents? I no not feel absolutely sure of that. I know something about the phenomenon as it affects this House. I know that there are no questions more perplexing and more dangerous than those which arise when Members are returned to this House by constituents who are paid by the State. I know that 813 that is a danger here, and it is a danger which makes me look with great suspicion and dislike on any very large extension of employment by the community as a whole. What is a danger in this House I am convinced may be a danger to municipal bodies, and they may be tempted by the pressure of their own constituents to a course of action which may not be wholly for the common good. That is one danger which, I think, ought not to be ignored by any man who looks at the question in the sober light of dry reason.
There is another question which I often ask myself. So long as the municipalities are dealing with water supply, or paving of streets, and so on, it is not probable that the progress of invention and knowledge will render antiquated and useless the works upon which they have gone to great expenditure. Take the case of Manchester, which, by the expenditure of millions to supply itself and its neighbours with water, went direct to the Cumberland lakes. I do not suppose, however rapidly science may progress, that it will render that expenditure useless or unremunerative. But can anyone feel the same kind of certainty when you leave road-paving and water supply and come to such matters even as gas supply, in which, I admit, municipalities have been conspicuously successful? Can anybody say with certainty that gas, even in the near future, will retain its place as a source of light and heat and power? I am not sure of it. When I come to such things as tramway expenditure my doubts increase. With the great changes that are now going on in road locomotion, who will say that a fixed line of tramway, embarrassing as it is to every other form of street locomotion, is to be the permanent form, and the form in which you can best get improved transit from one part of a great city to another, still less from the centre to the outskirts? Speaking, therefore, as a ratepayer as well as a Member of this House, whose duty it is to watch the development of matters municipal in this country, I do not look with absolute confidence upon the future of these enormous commercial undertakings in which the municipalities have engaged. If you leave these matters to private enterprise and inventions render antiquated the works upon which vast capital has been expended by a private company, 814 what happens? The company becomes bankrupt or winds up its affairs, and a new and improved system takes the place of the old system. But supposing a municipality has embarked an enormous amount of the ratepayers' capital in improved transit, such as an overhead electrical system, or let it be granted that the municipality may have spent its money wisely at the time on whatever may be considered the most advanced form of electrical transit—then suppose that a method far better and cheaper is invented, how painful would be the dilemma of these authorities! Are they to confess that they have wasted millions of the ratepayers' money in the past, and are they to reconstruct their works? Or are they to saddle their municipalities for all time with methods and inventions which are old-fashioned and worn out?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
If your sinking fund was sufficiently large that would be a good answer; but is it sufficiently large? Would not an inquiry into that very point be useful? To my own knowledge the tramway methods of twenty years ago are absolutely antiquated now, and even those of ten years ago. Are the tramways of to day to be antiquated in ten years, and, if so, is the sinking fund sufficiently large to meet the loss? There is one other point which has often interested me personally and may perhaps interest the House. I have often asked myself—not merely with reference to these great municipal undertakings, but with reference to our great railways and those enterprises which are not municipal, but which are on a scale with which only municipalities can compete—whether their manufacturing enterprise—whether for instance the manufacture of engines by a railway company—is good for the progress of invention. Most inventions are carried through after all by the individual trader for his own profit. If you look at the history of invention you will find that some person or some firm engaged in a particular trade, and having a private interest in making the public buy their manufactures and preventing customers from taking those of their rivals, from 815 time to time put an enormous premium upon improvements of their products; and that is greatly to the advantage of invention. I doubt whether there will be much invention when everything is municipalised. I fear we shall see the same kind of stagnation as takes place in enterprises where there is no competition. The House may take that for what it is worth. It is a speculation which has very much interested me, on which I should like to see a light shed by further inquiry, and on which I do not for one moment pretend to have made up my own mind. I have put before the House some considerations which I am certain are worthy of careful inquiry. I am also certain that impartial inquiry, with no prejudice against municipalities, and no prejudice in favour of them, will help us. The only desire I have in asking this House to do what it has always done—namely, to re-appoint a committee which desires to be re-appointed—is not to crush out municipalisation of trade, not to foster municipal trade, but to obtain information on a most important and difficult aspect of modern social development which may enable us to make up our minds on the questions which come before us.
One hon. Gentleman says that this is not a question for the House of Commons, but for municipalities; but that is not so. This House has to decide these questions, or a great many of them. My right hon. friend the President of the Board of Trade, in his remarks the other night pointed out that his Department was in the habit of refusing an application for Provisional Orders to allow municipalities to manufacture electrical fittings. Is that right or wrong? I do not know. But I hope I shall know when this Committee has investigated this matter, and I think it is a matter which should be investigated. One of the most important developments of municipal activity is the extension of that activity to regions outside the area of the municipality. Nobody would say that that is an affair for a municipality alone. It may be an affair for a municipality and its neighbours.
§ That, again, is a subject on which, I think, the House requires more illumination. I should be disposed to think, speaking with imperfect knowledge, that there ought to be very great extension of these trespassing actions on the part of certain municipalities. For instance, I cannot doubt that, if there were great centres of power, it would lead to enormous economy in manufacture if that power could be conveyed from one locality, with almost insensible loss, to far distant regions. That, again, is a question which deserves consideration, and that consideration might be in favour of the extension of municipal enterprise. Surely we can be allowed to learn something about it? Again, the question of tramway extension from a great manufacturing centre into other municipal areas also requires consideration on general principle; and the House requires that general principles should be laid down on all these subjects of most pressing interest. Surely, the friends of municipal enterprise are showing an extraordinary doubt of their own case, and an extraordinary suspicion of the value of the principle which in this House they are so loud to proclaim, when they say that a joint Committee of the two Houses ought not to be allowed to deal with this matter. I am sure that hon. Members will see that the interests of truth—whether that truth be on the side of further extension of municipal trading or on the side of its restriction, or, as I think extremely likely, it be in favour of more extension in some directions and more restriction in others—must be served by inquiry. Whatever be the result, let us have an impartial inquiry, which will enable us to collect the teachings of experience to guide us in our individual and in our collective and representative capacity in dealing with these questions as they arise.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 103 Noes, 178. (Division List, No. 50.)819
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glos., Stroud)||Brigg, John||Caldwell, James|
|Ambrose, Robert||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Cameron, Robert|
|Asher, Alexander||Burke, E. Haviland-||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Burns, John||Cawley, Frederick|
|Blake, Edward||Burt, Thomas||Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark|
|Boland, John||Buxton, Sydney Charles||Crombie, John William|
|Dalziel, James Henry||M'Govern, T.||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardign||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Northants|
|Doogan, P. C.||Markham, Arthur Basil||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Mooney, John J.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Elibank, Master of||Murphy, John||Taylor, Theo. C. (Radcliffe)|
|Ellis, John Edward||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway N.||Thomas, Sir A. (Glam., E.)|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||O'Doherty, William||Thomas, F. Freeman (Hastings|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Dowd, John||Thomas, J. A. (Glam., Gower)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)||Thomson, F. W. (York W. R.)|
|Grey, Rt. Hn. Sir E. (Berwick||O'Mara, James||Tomkinson, James|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham)||Toulmin, George|
|Hayter, Rt Him Sir Arthur D.||Partington, Oswald||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Paulton, James Mellor||Wason, J. Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Hope John Deans (Fife, West||Priestley, Arthur||Weir, James Galloway|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Rea, Russell||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||Redmond, Jn. E. (Waterford)||Whiteley, G. (York, W. R.)|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||Reid, Sir R. T. (Dumfries)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Rickett, J. Compton||Williams, O. (Merioneth)|
|Joyce, Michael||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)||Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk, Mid)|
|Lambert, George||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Runciman, Walter||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N|
|Leigh, Sir Joseph||Samuel, Herbt. L. (Cleveland)||Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersfi'd|
|Leng, Sir John||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Levy, Maurice||Schwann, Charles E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Lough, Thomas||Shackleton, David James||Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. Causton.|
|Lundon, W.||Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)|
|MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hain, Edward|
|Aird, Sir John||Cox, Irwin Edwd. Bainbridge||Hamilton, Rt Hn Ld. G. (Midx|
|Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S||Harris, Frederick Leverton|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Cranborne, Viscount||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton)||Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Crossley, Sir Savile||Heath, James (Staffs., N. W.)|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Heaton, John Henniker|
|Arrol, Sir William||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert I.|
|Atkinson, Right Hon. John||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hoare, Sir Samuel|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Davenport, William Bromley-||Hobhouse, Rt Hn H. (Som'rs't, E.|
|Austin, Sir John||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hope, J. F. (Sheff., B'tside)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Hoult, Joseph|
|Balcarres, Lord||Doughty, George||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottham|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man'r||Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Johnstone, Heywood|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow|
|Bartley Sir George C. T.||Faber, George Denison (York)||Lawson, John Grant|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj.||Fardell, Sir T. George||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed.||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Bignold, Arthur||Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Man'r||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham|
|Boscawen Arthur Griffith||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.|
|Bowles, Lt.-Col. H. F. (Middx||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft|
|Bowles, T. G. (Lynn Regis)||Fisher, William Hayes||M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)|
|Brassey, Albert||Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Forster Henry William||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Bull, William James||Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.|
|Campbell, Rt Hn J. A. (Glasg.)||Fyler, John Arthur||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ||Galloway, William Johnson||Middlemore, Jn. Throgmorton|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Gardner, Ernest||Mitchell, William (Burnley)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.||Garfit, William||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.||Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon J. (Birm||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Mount, William Arthur|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nrn||Muntz, Sir Philip A.|
|Chapman, Edward||Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby- (Salop||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby- (Linc||Newdegate, Francis A. N.|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. E. J.||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight||Valentia, Viscount|
|Peel, Hn. Wm. R. Wellesley||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Percy, Earl||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew||Walrond, Rt. Hon. Sir W. H.|
|Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Welby, Lt. -Col A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne)|
|Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Purvis, Robert||Sloan, Thomas Henry||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Pym, C. Guy||Smith, H. C. (North'mb. Tyneside||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)||Wodehouse, Rt Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Rattigan, Sir William Henry||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)||Wolff, Gustay Wilhelm|
|Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart|
|Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green)||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Robertson, H. (Hackney)||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart|
|Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir Jn. M.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Russell, T. W.||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier||Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Tollemache, Henry James|
§ Main Question put.820
§ The House divided: Ayes, 187; Noes' 107. (Division List, No. 51.)821
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Crossley, Sir Savile||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Hope, J. F. (Sheff, B'tside)|
|Aird, Sir John||Dalkeith, Earl of||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hoult, Joseph|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Davenport, William. Bromley||Howard, J. (Midd., Tott'ham|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Hozier, Hon. Jas. Henry Cecil|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred|
|Arrol, Sir William||Doughty, George||Johnstone, Heywood|
|Atkinson, Right Hon. John||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H.|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop|
|Austin, Sir John||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Kimber, Henry|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Lambton, Hon. Fredk. Wm.|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Faber, George Denison (York)||Lawson, John Grant|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fardell, Sir T. George||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed.||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man'r||Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Man'r||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Fisher, William Hayes||M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Forster, Henry William||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriesshire.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Fyler, John Arthur||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Galloway, William Johnson||Middlemore, Jn. Throgmorton|
|Boscawen Arthur Griffith||Gardner, Ernest||Mitchell, William (Burnley)|
|Bowles, Lt.-Col. H. F. (Middlesex||Garfit, William||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Brassey, Albert||Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Mount, William Arthur|
|Bull, William James||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nrn||Muntz, Sir Philip A.|
|Campbell, Rt Hn J. A. (Glasg)||Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby- (Salop)||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute|
|Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ.||Gore, Hn. R. F. Ormsby- (Linc||Newdegate, Francis A. N.|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hon J. (Birm||Groves, James Grimble||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc||Hain, Edward||Peel, Hn. Wm. R. Wellesley|
|Chapman, Edward||Hamilton, Rt Hn Ld. G. (Midx||Percy, Earl|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Colston, Chas. Edw H. Athole||Heath, James (Staff's, N. W.)||Purvis Robert|
|Cox Irwin Edwd. Bainbridge||Heaton, John Henniker||Pym, C. Guy|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton)||Hobhouse, Rt Hn. H. (Somerset, E.||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge)||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green)||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)||Wharton, Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-und-Lyne|
|Robertson, H. (Hackney)||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir Jn. M.||Wilson J. W. (Worcestersh., N.|
|Saunderson, Rt. Hn Col. E. J.||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Tollemache, Henry James||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Shaw Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. E. M.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Simeon, Sir Barrington||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Tuke, Sir John Batty||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Valentia, Viscount||Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Sloan, Thomas Henry||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Smith, H. C. (North'mb, Tyneside||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glos., Stroud)||Jacoby, James Alfred||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Ambrose, Robert||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Asher, Alexander||Joyce, Michael||Runciman, Walter|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Kearley, Hudson E.||Russell, T. W.|
|Blake, Edward||Lambert, George||Samuel, Herbt. L. (Cleveland)|
|Brigg, John||Law, H. Alex. (Donegal, W.)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)||Shackleton, David James|
|Burns, John||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Burt, Thomas||Leng, Sir John||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Levy, Maurice||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Caldwell, James||Lewis, John Herbert||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Cameron, Robert||Lough, Thomas||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Northants|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Lundon, W.||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Taylor, Theo. C. (Radcliffe)|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||M'Govern, T.||Tennant, Harold John|
|Crombie, John William||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Thomas, Sir A. (Glam., E.)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Davies, M. Vanghan (Cardigan||Markham, Arthur Basil||Thomas, F. Freeman (Hastings|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway)||Mooney, John J.||Thomas, J. A. (Glam, Gower)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Murphy, John||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Tomkinson, James|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.||Toulmin, George|
|Elibank, Master of||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Ellis, John Edward||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wason, J. Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||O'Doherty, William||Weir, James Galloway|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith||O'Dowd, John||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)||Whiteley, G. (York, W. R.)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Mara, James||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Grey, Rt. Hn. Sir E. (Berwick||Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham)||Williams, O. (Merioneth)|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Partington, Oswald||Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk, Mid)|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Paulton, James Mellor||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Hayter, Rt Hon Sir Arthur D.||Priestley, Arthur||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Rea, Russell|
|Hope John Deans (Fife, West||Reddy, M.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Redmond, Jn. E. (Waterford)||Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. Causton.|
|Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries)|
Bill read a third time, and passed.
§ Resolved, That it is expedient that a Select Committee 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.
§ Message to the Lords to communicate this Resolution, and desire their concurrence.—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)