§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. GRANT LAWSON (Yorkshire, N.R., Thirsk) in the chair.]
§ Clause 3.
§ MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)
asked for an explanation of the Bill, and said it was usual for somebody to be present to answer Questions when a Bill of this kind went into Committee.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Sir A. ACLAND-HOOD, Somersetshire, Wellington)
said the Member in charge would be there directly.
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
asked what was the amount involved in the proposals and how much had been expended.
§ MR. LLOYD GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
said the Bill proposed to spend £110,000 on stuctural alterations and extensions, and he asked whether that involved any addition to the number of clerks, and whether it was intended to re-cast the whole office.
§ Mr. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
asked why this matter had been dealt with in a separate Bill, instead of the required amount being included in the other Bill with which the House had had to deal.
§ MR. WHITLEY
pointed out that the Bill involved considerable expenditure, and he presumed it was intended to provide for a prospective increase in the staff of the Patent Office, rendered necessary by the Act of last year. The Committee, however, had had no statement from the President of the Board of Trade as to the necessities of that increase or as to the progress under last year's Act. It was a curious thing for the House of Commons to be asked to vote money for an extension of accommodation before the head of the Department concerned had stated that an increase in the staff was required, and it certainly was not a procedure conducive to economy. He 1518 asked for what increase of staff the building was designed, and whether the Board of Trade had decided that an increase was urgently needed.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR, Leeds, Central)
said it was impossible to give the particulars asked for off-hand. There was not the slightest doubt that the Patent Office staff would require to be enormously increased as a consequence of the Act of last year. The provision of the Act mainly responsible was that which provided for an examination into whether or not patents had been anticipated. For that duty a large staff of specially trained men was necessary. He could not say how long it would be before the contemplated additions were completed, but they would probably take three years.
SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston,)
said that for years they had been complaining of the rapid increase of public expenditure for the ordinary administrative work of the nation, and this Bill was a typical example of how that increase was brought about. Here was a proposal to spend £110,000 on the building of offices, but when information was asked as to why the offices were required and the number of clerks to be put into them, no figures were forthcoming.
SIR WALTER FOSTER
That is an example of the slovenliness with which public business is conducted. It was the duty of the Minister in charge of the Bill to be prepared with all the details by which that Bill could be defended or advocated. Apparently this large expenditure was to be rendered necessary by duties which would gradually develop. In that case why could not the money be asked for and expended gradually as the need arose.
§ SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)
said the strictures on the Government were entirely out of place on the present occasion. This Bill did not ask for £110,000 at all; it simply enabled the commissioners to erect the buildings. The 1519 money would be provided by Parliament on the ordinary Votes, and the time to ask Questions, to criticise the number of clerks, and so forth, would be when those Votes were brought forward.
§ MR. CAWLEY (Lancashire, Prestwich)
said that if the Board of Trade did its duty under the new Act a large number of clerks would have to be employed, and this £110,000 would not be wasted. Very large buildings would be necessary if the Act were to be properly carried out for the benefit of the trade of the country, and he should therefore support the Bill.
§ MR. VICTOR CAVENDISH (Derbyshire, W.)
said the Bill was simply a measure for compulsorily acquiring land and the money power was provided in the Public Buildings Expenses, Bill which was discussed the other day. With regard to the objection that had been raised he would give a fuller explanation as to the number of clerks required in the Patent Office when the Bill came before the House. The Prime Minister had promised that at any rate one stage of the Bill should be taken before midnight in order that there might be an opportuunity of discussing it.
§ MR. VICTOR CAVENDISH
We hope so, certainly. It would then be possible to give a fuller explanation than he was able to give at present.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE,
adverting to the provision that the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act should apply, contended that a limit ought to be
§ placed on the amount paid for compulsory purchase. When the public was acquiring land of this character for public works, which would be for the benefit of the neighbourhood as a whole, it was unfair that they should have to pay frequently twice the real value of the land. That was practically what this clause meant. In Scotland the price paid was twice, if not three times, the real value. That has been admitted. What was the answer of the Lord Advocate? He said that if they proceeded under the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act they might have had to pay more. Consequently the Government are proceeding under an Act, which, according to a member of the Ministry, involves them paying more than in the case of an ordinary bargain. This clause started by saying they must fix the price according to the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act. There were no end of exceptions and special reservations, but not one of them really affected the merits of the Act itself, and the time had come when there should be special provision to protect the public against paying twice or three times the value for land. He supposed the Government knew what particular site they wanted for this purpose. No doubt they would have an arbitration, and having ascertained, not the real profits, but some conjecture as to the profits, then 10, 20 or 30 per cent. was added in respect of the mere fact that the land was being acquired compulsorily. Why not say that the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act should apply, and that nothing should be given for the mere fact of compulsorily acquiring the land. As a protest he proposed to divide the House against this clause.
§ Motion made and Question put, "That the clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 187; Noes, 73. (Division List No. 210.)1523
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Burdett-Coutts, W.|
|Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Butcher, John George|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Bigwood, James||Campbell, J.H.M. (Dublin Univ.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Bond, Edward||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.|
|Atkinson, Right Hon. John||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Cautley, Henry Strother|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Bousfield, William Robert||Cavendish, R. F.(N. Lancs.)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Brotherton, Edward Allen||Cawley, Frederick|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J.(Manch'r||Bull, William James||Cayzer, Sir Charles William|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Purvis, Robert|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Randles, John S.|
|Chamberlain. Rt Hon J (Birm||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Chamberlain, RtHn. J A (Worc||Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Chapman, Edward||Heath, James (Staffs., N. W.)||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Charrington, Spencer||Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W.)||Renwick, George|
|Churchil, Winston Spencer||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Houston, Robert Paterson||Robinson, Brooke|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Johnstone, Heywood||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Kemp, Lieut. -Colonel George||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbrgh||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Keswick, William||Seely, Maj. J.E.B, (Isle of Wight|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow||Sharpe, William Edward|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasg.)||Lawrence, Sir. Jos. (Monm'th)||Shaw-Stewart, M.H. (Renfrew)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks, N R||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.||Lee, A. H. (Hants, Fareham)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Cranborne, Viscont||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Spear, John Ward|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)|
|Dickson. Charles Scott||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Dimsdale. Rt. Han. Sir Jos. C.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Stanley, Lord (Lancashire)|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lowe, Francis William||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Lowther, Rt. Hon. Jas. (Kent)||Stroyan, John|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Sturt, Hn. Humphry Napier|
|Dyke. Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Macdona, John Cumming||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Elliot. Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Fellowes. Hn. Ailwyn Edward||M`Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Man'r||Majendie, James A. H.||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Maxwell, W.J.H. (Dumfriessh.||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Fisher. William Hayes||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||Milvain, Thomas||Valentia, Viscount|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Montagu, Hon J. Scott (Hants.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Flower, Ernest||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Walrond, Rt. Hon. Sir W. H.|
|Forster. Henry William||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.|
|Foster, Philip S.(Warwick, S. W||Morrell, George Herbert||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Fyler, John Arthur||Morrison, James Archibald||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne)|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Gardner, Ernest||Mount, William Arthur||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Gibbs, Hn A.G.H (City of Lond||Muntz, Sir Philip A.||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Murray, Rt. Hn A. Graham (Bute||Wilson-Todd, Sir W.H (Yorks.)|
|Gordon. J. (Londonderry, S.)||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Wodehouse. Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Myers, William Henry||Worsley-Taylor, Hry. Wilson|
|Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Wylie, Alexander|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Percy, Earl|
|Hain. Edward||Pierpoint, Robert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES|
|Hall, Edward Marshall||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Sir Alexander Acland-|
|Halsey. Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Plummer, Walter R.||Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Hambro, Charles Eric||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld. G (Mid'x||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edw.|
|Asher, Alexander||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Jacoby, James Alfred|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Dunn, Sir William||Jones, Wm. (Carrnarvonshire)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Elibank, Master of||Kearley, Hudson E.|
|Bell, Richard||Emmett, Alfred||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone)||Levy, Maurice|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Burt, Thomas||Grant, Corrie||Lough, Thomas|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Griffith, Ellis J.||Lundon, W.|
|Caldwell, James||Harwood, George||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benj.|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Helme, Norval Watson||Mansfield, Horace Rendall|
|Cremer, William Randal||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Moss, Samuel|
|Crooks, William||Holland, Sir William Henry||Murphy, John|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Horniman, Frederick John||Norman, Henry|
|Delany, William||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Dewar, John A.(Inverness-sh.)||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|O'Mara, James||Shackleton, David James||Whiteley, G. (York, W. R.)|
|Partington, Oswald||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Soares, Ernest J.||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Perks, Robert William||Spencer, Rt Hn. C.R (Northants||Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)|
|Rea, Russell||Taylor, Theodore C. (Randcliffe||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Rickett, J. Compton||Toulmin, George|
|Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Ure, Alexander||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Robson, William Snowdon||Wallace, Robert||Mr. Lloyd-George and|
|Runciman, Walter||Weir, James Galloway||Mr. Warner.|
|Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Committee report Progress: to sit again this evening.