§ *MR. TOULMIN (Lancashire, Bury)
rose to call attention to the powers of purchasing and holding land enjoyed by local authorities, and to move a Resolution declaring that, in the opinion of the House, a measure was urgently needed enabling local authorities to acquire by agreement or compulsorily land needed for the requirments of the inhabitants, the purchase price being definitely based upon the value at which such land was assessed for purposes of taxation. This question, he said, lay at the root of all the social questions with which they had to deal. There was too much rather than too little evidence on the question, the inquiries held from time to time into small holdings, rural housing, and town holdings, and other matters, having shown how the inability to buy land affected the whole of the local authorities of the country. Most students of the question were familiar with their Reports. Nor was it necessary to give the House 295 statistics of overcrowding in towns and in the country districts. The difficulty arose from the nature of the land, which was different from every other necessity of life. It was the basis of all life and industry; it was indispensable to all men and could not be made by any man; and position was of the essence of its value—it could not be moved; water, building materials, and food could be brought in to supply a scarcity. The possession of land also gave an arbitrary power over the persons and the property of the inhabitants which it was the duty of the State to diminish rather than protect. This power was intensified in cities. In a debate which took place in that House in 1890 the present Lord Chancellor said—Urban land had a special increment in value which arose solely when it became vitally necessary in the interest of a, congested population, and it was that which differentiated it from all other classes of property.It was this vital factor in modern life which was left in the hands of private owners to withhold from use at their own irresponsible will except after long and costly processes for some definite scheme. The evils of the existence of this tyrannical power became more unbearable as cities grew. Industries and labour engaged therein centred more and more in cities. Almost all cities and all industries lived, as it were, in a hostile country. Every town was beleaguered, was in a state of siege, and if it desired to expand its dwellings or works it must pay ransom to the surrounding landholders, who, as such, preyed only on its vitality and did not increase, its prosperity. These things had been said before by, he believed, every member of the Ministry from the latest recruit on the Treasury bench to the Lord Chancellor and the Premier. In his great appeal to the country the Premier said that the land should become less of a pleasure ground for the rich, and more of a treasure house for the people. One might transpose the statement and say that the land should become less of a treasure house for the rich, and more of a pleasure ground for the people. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had in a speech denounced the present system which enabled a landowner capriciously, or from a mistaken sense of his own interest, to refuse to allow the use of his land for building and other purposes, though it was absolutely 296 necessary for the due development of the community. The right hon. Gentleman had further stated that there was no power vested in the community to obtain the land which was so essential to its life and health, and that while the land was lying idle it did not contribute, under our law, a single penny to defray the growing expenses of the community. Even if the owner did sell, it only widened the lines of circumvallation within which the poor must dwell. The poor man must live near his work, but the rich man could daily escape to cheaper land. Again, if the landlord did sell, it was not by one single indemnity but successive indemnities, inch by inch almost, that the right to live and the right to work was bought. If the community by one great indemnity on any reasonable basis could ransom its life from the restraining bonds in which is was held the cost would be soon recouped. The Secretary of State for India, in supporting the Motion by the present Lord Chancellor in 1890, said that if Mills's advice had been taken in 1870 or so "enough would have been intercepted to meet the demand of a great society like the Metropolis." He would instance one or two cases to show the difference to the city possessing land instead of being in the hands of such a landlord as he had described. In 1635 Lord Molyneux purchased the lordship of Liverpool for £450, and speedily began to assert his rights. The corporation resented this, and bought of him a lease of 1,000 acres in Lord Street district for 999 years, at a fixed rental of £30. Recently a small plot at the corner of Exchange Street was sold at a rate equal to £1,093,840 per acre. Fifty years ago the annual value of this 1,000 acres was estimated to be £50,000. In 1837 Liverpool owned an estate worth £3,000,000; in the last forty-five years that estate had doubled in value. The result of this far reaching policy had been that last year Liverpool had an amount of £147,000 from land and buildings to set against the rates, amounting to a reduction of l0d. in the pound. In his own town of Preston the burgesses obtained certain rights under King John, they were continued under Henry II. at a fixed rent, and the inhabitants bought the fee farm rent from the Commonwealth for a comparatively small sum. It was bought over again from Charles II. with impartial loyalty. That land had been 297 of tremendous value to Preston for their parks, electricity works, destructors, etc., and there had been a constant check on land speculation. In the parish of Plumstead an estate of 250 acres was valued in 1845 when the income was £750, at about £15,000. An increase in the Government works at Woolwich necessitated additional house accommodation and this increase was inevitable, and not speculative. If the locality could have purchased the estate what would have been the position now? The income was now £15,000 per annum. By 1915, when the seventy years leases expired the landlord would have received about £1,000,000 in additional rent, and in less than ten years he would get property worth £1,000,000 by reversion. The descendants of the men who built the property would have nothing. He would like to refer to what had taken place in New Zealand. There large estates were given over to sheep and a few hired labourers. Many owners sat down and waited for the Government to build roads, railways, and bridges, when they would be able to realise at a profit. The Government met the emergency. Measures were taken to prevent that being done, and where there were formerly a few hired shepherds there were now hundreds if not thousands of settlers. What were the present powers of local authorities? Generally it might be taken as a working principle that Land was only to be acquired by corporations under the authority of a statute, and then only sufficient for a specific purpose. The power given was only compulsory where the object to be attained was of great and pressing importance, and where there would be obvious difficulty in getting land by agreement. In other cases the power was generally merely given to purchase land in the open market. In almost every case these powers had, for some reason or other, been very jealously limited by Parliament, and care always seemed to be exercised to prevent local authorities taking more land than was strictly necessary for their immediate purpose. What was more, an owner was able to force the local authority to purchase the whole of his property; but the local authority was bound to sell the surplus. There were also certain special powers for allotments, housing, small holdings, etc., but the Acts 298 were full of restrictions and of provisions which obstructed their working. If land was bought for one purpose, the whole process had to be gone over again if that land were devoted to another purpose; whereas a private owner bought land out and out. The one thing which seemed to be denied to the local authorities was the exercise of foresight and intelligent anticipation of future needs. However inevitable expansion might be, land could only be acquired by local authorities by a definite scheme and plan backed by Provisional Order or Bill, with full notice to everybody and after the civic war of the arbitration court. Let them take some cases of the expense of purchase. The Glasgow Corporation required for an improvement sixty yards of ground. £700 was asked for it, and £122 was awarded by the arbiters. The expenses of the purchase, however, paid by the Corporation amounted to £1,052—£407 for the claimant, £365 for the arbiters, and £280 expenses incurred by the corporation. There was another case in which £1,000 was claimed, and £279 was granted; while the expenses amounted to £460. Efforts had been made to reduce these costs by limited arbitration. At Bury a couple of cottages; were bought for widening a roadway, at a cost of £115; and the arbitration expenses reached £43 14s. 4d. Then in the case of the Water Board there wore eight arbitrations, and it was agreed that only one arbitrator should sit; no counsel or solicitors were employed, and only one witness in each case was called. Yet the cost of buying land to the value of £10,525 reached £836. In another case a farm was bought for £1,670, and the cost of the purchase amounted up to £288. A small country public-house was valued at £1,780, and the arbitration expenses amounted to £608. However absurd the claims of the owner might be, the corporation had always to pay the cost. In regard to the expense of purchase of land in the country, he would take the case mentioned by Sir Edmund Verney, who said—We have a system of land encumbrances built up during many generations by the must skilful lawyers the world has ever seen. With the result that, when u labourer, or a farmer, or a small capitalist wants to buy a plot of land for a small holding, be finds even a willing landowner helplessly enmeshed in settlements, mortgages, charges, and claims, which choke his every effort.299 Of this Sir Edmund Verney gave the following amusing example—A few years ago after selling a row of four cottages with small gardens attached, I went to the solicitor for my money, and he presented me with his bill showing that the expense of the sale had not only swallowed up the whole of the purchase money, but that a sum of £25 was still owing to him.Those difficulties would always exist until a sound Valuation Bill was brought in, and passed into law. A good many people thought that a Valuation Bill might supply a basis—not fix—but be a basis for the actual price to be given to the owner of the land purchased, be a factor in determining the purchase money. Neither the national nor local taxation assessment bore any relation to the price the public had to pay for land. Valuation for death duties bore no relation to the price which the nation must pay if it found that it wanted a site for a barracks, say on Salisbury Plain. Assessments for local taxation bore no relation to the price of land if that were required for water works. A Valuation Bill had been promised which should secure a separate land valuation bearing a just relation to the value of the land, and the price to be paid for it. There would necessarily be certain expenses for severance and removal; but the dominant factor should be the valuation for local and national taxation. That would enable the public to purchase land at a fair value. If the assessment was not fair, let it be made fair. He and his hon. friends who supported the Resolution were not proposing that the landlord should be taxed out of existence, though that charge was sometimes made against them. But even that might not be inequitable if the process was sufficiently long drawn out. However, he would not argue that point now. What they wanted was that the purchase should be made at a fair price. No raven on a withered branch need croak "confiscation" at the resolution he had moved. But if confiscation was mentioned they must look at both sides. When Leeds was undertaking a great waterworks scheme, the city required 400 acres, which had been rated at 10s. an acre. But the price asked for that land was very nearly £200,000, or at the rate of 998 years purchase. The effect of that was to decrease the chance of employment and to increase the cost of living in Leeds. There was nobody in Leeds who had not 300 some part of his earnings confiscated by such a price. The Postmaster-Generalin a recent speech said that—The existing state of things was confiscation of the property of the community by a few individuals.
§ *MR. TOULMIN
thought it did matter. It showed what the landlords thought they were entitled to extort from the community. He would not ask at the present moment how those landowners had got this power, or on what terms they had obtained the land. He made no charge against persons, but he did charge the House of Commons with too long allowing this question to remain unsolved. Another charge which was made in regard to the change which he advocated was that if the powers of public bodies were extended they would be more than ever open to jobbery. He ventured to suggest that the more the plunder, the more the corruption; and that if the plunder were decreased, the jobbery would decrease. The experience of other countries proved this, and that the extended powers given to local authorities for the purchase of ' land rather tended to extinguish the mere speculator. It was feared that there might be wholesale land speculation by local authorities. He did not think that was well founded, because local authorities were rather difficult to move, than prone to rush into rash ventures. He maintained that our municipalities and county councils were conservative in action. In his opinion, land reform should take the direction of increasing the powers of the local authorities who could safely be trusted. In the cities they had vaster problems to face than were recorded in any previous age. Our civilisation would either sink or develop into a finer flower than the world had ever yet known. With its attention distracted in a hundred ways, the House of Commons could not be the directing force. That must be found in the patriotic labours of the foremost citizens of great cities whose hands the House 301 should not tie. This was not a political move on the part of himself and the supporters of the Resolution. The problem was pressing on every growing municipality. Five hundred and fifty rating authorities had joined to support the committee working for the taxation of ground values, and they were looking forward to a Government Valuation Bill. The House had no time to ascertain the needs of localities; the localities themselves must have powers to deal with the evils in their midst. In cities power should de given to the local authority to foresee their development, to lay out the land which would be occupied in the future, to extend the industrial area, to crush the slums without imposing an intolerable financial burden on the community. In the country a career ought to be found for the labourer, who should have a public authority to ensure security for the cottage in which he dwelt. Did hon. Members ever think of the brooding uncertainty of a country labourer who was a weekly tenant, and knew not when he might lose his cottage, or where he could go afterwards? If Parliament did its duty the gross tyranny of such a case as was mentioned by the present Lord Chancellor when he moved his Resolution on land values in 1890 would be impossible. That was the case of a Devonshire village, the inhabitants of which bore the same names as were recorded in Domesday Book. The landlord considered that it was too expensive to re-build the cottages of the fisherfolk which were falling into disrepair; and half the population was driven away, because the fisherfolk did not work for the farmers on the landlord's land. If the county council were given compulsory powers to buy land they would have a ready instrument by which to fight such tyranny as that. He had passed a self-denying ordinance as to the time that he thought a Member ought to occupy in moving a Resolution such as this. He had reached that limit, and would therefore beg to move.
§ *MR. WALTERS (Sheffield, Brightside)
, in seconding the Resolution, said it was only necessary for him to occupy a short time, because the proposer had dealt with the subject in a very comprehensive manner. He had proposed to quote a number of figures, but he would 302 content himself with giving an illustration in one concrete case. It had reference to a town of over 200,000 population, of which he had very close and intimate knowledge. He took the trouble sometime ago carefully to collect figures from conveyances and legal documents as to the value of unbuilt-on land adjacent to houses, and he found that between 1872 and 1902 the value had increased to such an extent that the increase if capitalised at 3 per cent. yielded a sufficient sum of money not only to pay the entire rates of the borough, but to leave a considerable sum of money for distribution among the ratepayers. These figures came upon him with such overwhelming force that he decided he would do everything he could to help forward the increase of power for the purchase of land by local authorities and municipalities generally. That was a phenomenal case, but, to a lesser extent, in the last fifty years, in all the large centres of population, that sort of thing had gone on, and it would continue to go on, and the improved land values would go in an increasing proportion into the pockets of private landowners unless the House of Commons intercepted at least a portion of that value. He did not blame the landlords. They only did what business men would do; they took advantage of opportunities for making money. He blamed the House of Commons for depriving local authorities and municipalities of the power of preventing these men making money. The question was, ought local authorities to have such a power? Why should power be given to local authorities for specific and not for general purposes? One strong reason why they should have these powers was that the aggregation of population in large centres was responsible for this increase of land values, while that very aggregation threw upon the local authorities a large expenditure in reference to public health and other matters. It seemed to him that if that increase in values, and the increased expenditure of local authorities were effects of the same cause, surely those two effects might be made interdependent, and the increased value of land in a large town should be used to meet at least some of the expenditure which the aggregation of population in large centres involved. The present state of things imposed a burden upon private enterprise, but always when they asked for increased 303 power for municipalities or the State, vested interests stepped in and said that to give it would check enterprise and injure trade and commerce. In this case the exact reverse would be the result, because trade and commerce were seriously hampered by the high prices which had to be paid for land, and still more by the heavy rates which had to be paid in order to deal with the problems which these large centres of population created. He need not dwell upon the housing difficulty, but he would say that the private ownership of land upon which large houses, great works, and business, premises had to be built, meant a considerable burden upon and was a serious; check to private industry. The Resolution would not involve confiscation. They were not suggesting that the local authorities should appropriate the land, but that they should pay for it. He did not think the strongest advocate of the rights of property would suggest that it was the skill and energy of the landlords which had created these values., It was the skill and energy of the community which had created them. The owner of the land might have exercised the faculty of foresight or have been wise enough to select as a father or grandfather somebody who owned land, but the increased wealth was created by the community and they ought not to allow the landowner to step in and take it. There were some cases in which the wealth was clearly purely communal or social, and there wore other cases in which the wealth was purely the result of private enterprise; but he ventured to suggest; that the growth in land values, in consequence of the growth of population, was not in any sense the result of private enterprise, but was directly the result of the efforts of the community, and was social or communal wealth, which ought to belong to the community at large. He could understand someone saying that the proposed powers would not be used with discretion and judgment, but there was the German example to refer to. There were German towns where they had actually realised the dream which he had indulged in. In regard to some of these towns, they had actually paid all the rates and had a balance to distribute among the fortunate ratepayers. That was, not only the case in Germany, but many towns in this country had promoted 304 omnibus Bills under which they had purchased large tracts of land compulsorily and had acquired powers to reclaim, develop and lease them; in those cases the process had been conducted very successfully and a considerable sum of money had been the result. It was not likely that if these powers were granted to local authorities they would enter into competition and become rash speculators. What was proposed was not that county councils or corporations should buy and sell land, going into the market buying one day and selling another, but they wanted them to take the place of the ground landlords and acquire land, hold and lease it for building purposes, the erection of houses, great works, and business premises generally. If the powers were granted they must be exercised in a satisfactory manner, because before a municipality could buy any tract of land they must formulate their scheme, and submit it to the central authority, who would consider whether it was a wise and prudent scheme, whether they were giving a reasonable price, and whether they had a reasonable prospect of making the scheme successful. He would go even further than that, and say that the powers of purchase should be limited to a sum proportionate to the rateable value of the locality. That was not a revolutionary proposal at all; it was a cautious, moderate, and even a conservative scheme, and ought to win the assent of even the most cautious Member, of the House. If the cases of any of our large towns were examined. Members would be amazed at the prices paid for sites for police stations, libraries, post offices, and for acquiring open spaces and parks, and for other ordinary public purposes — prices largely in excess of those for which the property could have been purchased a few years earlier. It was not, therefore, a matter of spending enormous sums of money, but of buying land at the right time, from the right person — from the original owner instead of from the land speculator—and at the right price. He ventured to say that if the powers thus conferred were judiciously exercised in the way he had indicated nothing could benefit the general community more, for in such a case the local authority simply became the ground 305 landlord. He would just point out one or two other incidental advantages which would come from such a scheme. It would in the first place steady the price of land in the locality. In growing towns there were alarming and rapid increases of price from the standpoint of the purchaser, although they were very gratifying from the standpoint of the vendor. Those behind the scenes knew that little arrangements were arrived at between the landowners who controlled the market, and they simultaneously raised the price of land. If the proposed power wore given to local authorities they could acquire tracts of land, and, fixing the price in a reasonable manner, steady the market and prevent other landowners from charging excessive prices. They could also prevent by compulsion land being hold out of the market. That was a very serious difficulty in many districts in the North of England, especially in Lancashire, where towns had been dwarfed and stunted because they could not buy certain estates, and instead of going forward in a natural area of development they had had to find a way round in other directions. If the Resolution were passed it would prevent the holding of land out of the market and the consequent artificial inflation of prices. The House was well aware that it very often happened that settled estates or encumbered estates became ripe for development, but the owners had no capital to make the roads and place the estate on the market. The only way of obtaining capital in such cases was by the introduction of a land syndicate. To the owners of such estates it would be a positive boon to be able to sell to a local authority who could develop them. From the point of view of the owners of many estates, such powers vested in the local authorities would be a great advantage. With regard to the method of purchase, they did not want the Lands Clauses Act method, with the 10 per cent. added for forced sale and disturbance, and its costly machinery of lawyers and surveyors, which enormously increased the cost of the land to be bought. They wanted some simple, rapid, and fair process. The method proposed in the Resolution suggested or assumed an entire revolution in the method of rating. He did not want to wait for that, he wanted power now. He wanted as soon as possible power to buy land by private 306 treaty and to hold it and lease it and develop it for general building purposes. He believed a large part of the problem would be solved if they had that power. But in addition they must have compulsory powers to bring contumacious landlords to book. If such a man knew that if he did not deal he could be made to deal, he would be a more reasonable person to negotiate with. The matter was not entirely a financial one; there were other matters to consider. However successful they might be in bringing the people back to the land the great majority of the people in this country must always be town dwellers, and therefore the towns should be made as healthy, happy, and comfortable as possible. This was largely a children's question. The present condition of some parts of our cities could not but result in the physical and moral deterioration of those who dwelt in them. The machinery he had outlined would, he believed, work an economic revolution in many of our great towns and cities, and he pleaded for its inauguration in the interests of the amenities of our crowded centres, the health of the children, and the moral and material well-being of the community generally. He cordially seconded the Motion.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That, in the opinion of this House, a measure is urgently needed enabling local authorities to acquire, by agreement or compulsorily, and by simple and inexpensive machinery, such land within or adjoining their several districts as may, in their judgment, be needed for the requirements of the inhabitants; and further that, in all such cases of land acquisition, the purchase price should be definitely based upon the value at which such land is assessed for purposes of taxation."—(Mr. Toulmin.)
§ SIR P. BANBURY (City of London)
said he had listened very carefully to the two speeches in support of the Motion, and the first thing that impressed itself on his mind was that the speech of the seconder differed materially from that of the proposer, who had said nothing about safeguards. The beautiful picture of "flowers and trees and green grass" drawn by the mover would not be realised, because the unfortunate ratepayer whose local authority adopted the Resolution would find the rates so 307 high under the ordinary conditions of human life in our towns that he would have to go elsewhere. The substitution of one landlord for another would not prevent overcrowding. The hon. Member had pointed to the prosperity of Liverpool, and claimed that it was due to the corporation's having bought land. But the hon. Gentleman did not complete his argument. He would complete it for him, but the result might not be the same. He would take London as an illustration. London had not bought land of its own, but London was just as prosperous as Liverpool, and the rates in London were no higher than in Liverpool.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Dr. MACNAMARA,) Camberwell, N.
You ought to have said that during the county council election.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said that though former governors of Liverpool had purchased land, yet the prosperity of London was as great as the prosperity of Liverpool, and therefore the argument fell to the ground. They could purchase property in London without buying the land, and yet the prosperity of London was just as great as that of the city of Liverpool.
§ SIR F. BANBURY
said they had to take London as a whole. It was perfectly easy to pick out one isolated part, but that would not answer. It was perfectly easy to take parts of Liverpool and parts of London, but that did not alter his argument in the least. They had to to prove first of all that London was not prosperous and that Liverpool was, and, secondly, that the rates of Liverpool were generally lower than the rates of London. He maintained that they could not do either. The hon. Member had given several instances where local authorities had incurred great expense in buying land, and had said that in some instances there had been a big loss. But that had nothing whatever to do with the power of purchasing land. The hon. Gentleman was not content with revolutionising the system of land purchase, 308 but he wanted also to abolish the lawyer. He did not know whether that would be a good thing or not; he was rather afraid to say that it would be a good thing, because of the proximity of his hon. and learned friend on his left. The question before the House was whether the local authority should have power to enter into land speculation at all, whether it should have more powers than it had at present to acquire land, and whether it was advisable to make those powers compulsory. But in any case would the local authorities be able to obtain sufficient money to carry out the powers given to them? Neither mover nor seconder had alluded to the question of finance. They appeared to think local authorities could raise any amount of money. They were completely wrong. The tremendous growth of the debts of municipal authorities made it impossible to borrow except at greatly increased rates of interest. Wore local authorities to buy simply because in 200 years time the land might become valuable? It would be difficult to find a local authority with the business capacity to buy exactly the part of the country which was going to increase in value. Hon. Gentlemen seemed to think that all land was going to increase in value, but local authorities who had bought land in the country thirty or forty years ago would have lost very large sums of money. Land had gone down in value all over the country. Again, what were the possibilities of municipal authorities finding large sums of money at present? The local indebtedness four years ago, excluding Ireland, was £452,000,000, and that did not include the unfunded debt of the municipal authorities. Hon. Gentlemen opposite seemed to think that there was magic in big figures, and that the more they were in debt the happier they would be. He had always looked upon the reverse as the truth. [An Hon. Member: 'What about the assets? '] He would deal with that question presently. The local indebtedness of the country had increased between 1893 and 1903 by no less a sum than £73,000,000. The National Nebt was altogether £742,000,000 as against the £452,000,000 of the local authorities, which did not include their unfunded debt. What was the result? Everyone who knew anything about municipal finance knew that at present municipal authorities 309 were unable to borrow in the market, and had borrowed from their bankers to such an extent that the bankers were refusing to advance any more money on any terms at all. They had been obliged to resort to two or three years' bills in the open market, but had exhausted even that supply, and were in an extremely awkward position.
MR. CHIOZZA-MONEY (Paddington, N.)
said the clerks of a number of municipal authorities had informed him that those statements were entirely erroneous.
SIR F. BANBUTRY
said he happened to be a director of a bank, and, although he could not reveal secrets, he could assure the hon. Member that the banking accounts of the municipal corporations told quite a different tale, whatever the chief clerks might say. Where was the profit to come in if the municipalities borrowing money at 3½ per cent, bought land at anything like a fair value? At present everybody knew that manufacturers were heavily rated, and it was said that the owner of the land on which the works were built made a profit. It was argued that if the municipality had bought the land on which those factories stood the rates could have been saved. But how could hon. Gentlemen have it both ways? If the ratepayers were going to make the profits that the landlord had made, then the manufacturers must pay just the same as they did now. Did the hon. Member imagine that municipalities could stretch the land? What he evidently meant was that they would put fewer houses upon it, and if they did that they would got less income. If in these land speculations the municipalities found that they could not make a profit, who would lose? Why, the people living in the ocher part of the town, who would gain nothing by the transaction, but would have to pay the loss incurred by their neighbours living in a better street. If a man was clever and possessed the foresight to buy land advantageously in some particular locality he might make a fortune out of it, but to suppose that the majority of our municipalities would have the foresight to do the same thing was taxing the belief of any ordinary man beyond the bounds of reason. Municipalities would be dealing with other people's money, and consequently they would be inclined to be 310 venturesome. An instructive experience of municipal land-buying was afforded by the late London County Council's investment in land five years ago in the very centre of London. London was a town that was prospering and growing. Yet this experiment on the part of the County Council had resulted in a heavy loss to the ratepayer, for the land was still vacant. In land speculations, to be successful, they wanted to know when to buy and where to buy, and it was easy to be wise after the event. He intended to divide the House against the Resolution.
§ *MR. GEORGE ROBERTS (Norwich)
said that all those who were interested in social reform realised that the land question was one of the most important which could come under the consideration of the House. Land had been called the mother, and labour the father, of all wealth, and it was because they believed the land question to be indissolubly connected with labour that the Labour Members were particularly pleased that this Resolution had been brought under the consideration of the House. Some people were still of the opinion that the private ownership of land was justifiable, but he thought they would all agree with him when he said that social interests ought to prevail over private concerns. To-day they found that municipalities had great need for land, and the great obstacles to the acquirement of the land necessary for their needs were the landlord, private ownership, and the desire to secure fancy prices. There was a general tendency for towns to spread, and he thought the House would readily admit that that was beneficial to the health and in the best interests of the community as a whole. It was not a pleasant spectacle to see people herded together in the condition they were in at present, and he was very anxious that municipalities should be encouraged to erect houses outside their areas, to provide improved methods of transit, and in that way to improve the health of the community. At present municipalities found the acquisition of land very difficult and complicated, and consequently they were asking for further powers in order that the unearned increment which would naturally accrue as the result of the increase in the population and the development of industry should be 311 devoted to the best interests of the community as a whole, and not be allowed to swell the private profits of the land-owning class. In his opinion it was a wrong thing that people should be able to hold land in order to get fancy prices later on. That kind of extortion made the purchase of land by municipalities prohibitive. They were asking in this Resolution that municipalities should have the power not only to purchase land but to hold it in view of the probable development of a particular district. The hon. Baronet who represented the City of London seemed to think that the rates were the one thing which would alarm the people, but he could assure him that the question of rents was a very serious matter for the working classes. It was well known that the enhanced value extorted by landlords where municipalities had been obliged to acquire land was reflected in higher rents than would otherwise have obtained if the land had been secured at a reasonable figure. The demand for a reform of this state of things did not come from one section of the House only. Speaking on 10th February, 1899, Mr. Asquith propounded what he called "a simple and very intelligible programme," and referring to the first item in that programme, he said—In the first place you ought to give to the local authority of every urban community vastly larger powers than it at present possesses for the compulsory acquisition of land upon terms which would make it possible for the community to employ the land so acquired with advantage to its own interest.They were glad on that occasion to be in hearty accord with that very sound expression of opinion from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He proposed to show the House how the land question vitally affected the life and health of the people. The question of overcrowding had already been touched upon, and he was fearful that even some hon. Members hardly realised the extent to which that evil prevailed in the country. Nearly one-third of the population lived in an overcrowded condition. In 1904 the Manchester Citizens Aid Association published a valuable Report on the housing conditions in Manchester and Salford, which showed that 34,000 overcrowded persons lived in Manchester, and 16,000 in Salford—a total of 60,000 people. The 1901 census showed that London had 300,000 one-room dwellers. The same 312 census figures showed that in the town groups of Scotland there were not less than a million overcrowded one and two-room dwellers. These figures pointed to a prevalent evil, and he felt that if the municipalities were invested with larger powers of land acquisition it would be a direct encouragement to them to go on with the erection of houses outside their particular areas in order to obviate the evil of overcrowding. As to the health of the community, he felt that they were beginning to understand that that was a question closely related to that of the housing of the people. They had come now to know that in consumption, "The Great White Plague," as Oliver Wendell Holmes called it, we had nature's unmistakable protest against the unnatural conditions under which masses of our people lived. The celebrated German scientist, Dr. Koch, said that—The overcrowded dwellings of the poor are the real breeding-places of tuberculosis;that—it is out of them that the disease always crops up anew;and that—it is to the abolition of these conditions that we must first and foremost direct our attention if we wish to attack the evil at its root, and to wage war against it with effective weapons.It was a matter for politicians as well as doctors. Consumption was at bottom a phase of the housing problem, the housing problem was but a phase of the land question. It was not merely an urban question. He believed that in the rural districts something might be done to improve the dwellings of the agricultural population. He thought it was a saddening sight that the agricultural population in some parts were herded into little huts into which many people would not put their dogs or pet animals, while thousands of acres of land were lying idle. A few months ago, through the caprice of a landlord, a relative of his own, an agricultural labourer, received notice to quit his little house, and there was no possibility of securing shelter for his domestic chattels from one end of the town to the other, and yet all around the town there were many acres of land lying idle. The local council had no power to acquire that land in order that the people might be housed. He was glad that the latter 313 part of the Resolution indicated a basis on which such hind might be purchased. There were cases which showed how municipalities had been subject to great extortion at the hands of landlords. The Corporation of Leeds some time ago had to purchase from Lord Masham 400 acres. The rateable value of the land was £6,000; the price asked was £196,000; and the price awarded was £46,000. It might be said that, after all, Lord Masham was simply a good business man. Admitting that, he wished to see the municipality exercising equal business capacity on behalf of the community. The Government had occasion some years ago to buy some land from Sir Michael Hicks Beach, now Lord St. Aldwyn. The price demanded and ultimately received was eighty years purchase. He felt that no land reformer advocating a scheme of land purchase would ever give countenance to such an exorbitant price.
§ MR. HICKS BEACH (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)
asked whether the hon. Member was aware that the case was submitted to arbitration. It was not a question of extortion.
§ *MR. GEORGE ROBERTS
said he was not concerned whether it was submitted to arbitration or not. He was concerned with the basis of the purchase, and he respectfully submitted that eighty years purchase was a most extortionate price for the nation to have to pay. The Admiralty paid eighty years purchase for land acquired at Rosyth. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham told a Parliamentary Committtee that the land acquired by the Birmingham Corporation for the Corporation Street improvement cost £400,000 more than it ought to have done. Mr. S. Laing had estimated that landlords had extorted many millions over the value of the land appropriated to railway purposes. Interest, of course, had to be earned on that capital, and that must reflect itself in the rates charged for transit as well as on the wages of the workers. If municipalities had the power to hold land, they might be able to carry out useful experiments during periods of acute unemployment. He thought the shopkeeper of London pursued a shortsighted policy during the recent County 314 Council election, because whilst the landlords were able to extort in the shape of rent one-third, and in some cases one-half the wages of the workers, it necessarily followed that those workers had much less to spend on the other necessaries of life.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
thought the Motion touched one of the most acute and urgent of the many problems which confronted social reformers. Whether they considered rural depopulation, overcrowding inn the great towns, lack of employment, physical deterioration, or, indeed, any one of the dozen other social and economic problems, they found themselves at an early stage of their investigation getting back to the land every time. Perhaps the House would allow him to state how the local authorities stood in respect of the power of compulsorily acquiring land. At the present time local authorities could only; acquire land compulsorily for some specific and immediate purpose connected with the performance of their statutory duties. Generally speaking, all local authorities could acquire land under compulsion for carrying out the obligations statutorily laid on them. Except in certain cases, such as electric operations and operations under the Burial Acts, land could be acquired under compulsion. All local authorities, except county councils and parish councils, could compulsorily acquire land under the Public Health Act of 1875; but in that case the Provisional Order must be confirmed by Parliament. AH local authorities, except parish councils, could compulsorily acquire land under the Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1890. Rural district councils could not acquire land compulsorily under Part 1 of the Act; but in all other cases, if the Provisional Order was not opposed it could be sanctioned by the Local Government Board. He ought to add that in all operations under Part 3 of the Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1890, the Provisional Order must be sanctioned by Parliament whether opposed or not. Parish councils under the Local Government Act of 1894 might acquire under compulsion land for burial grounds, public libraries, allotments, recreation grounds, parish rooms, and so on; but in these cases the Provisional Order was secured from the comity council and confirmed by the Local 315 Government Board. That was a very short statement of the existing law. As he had said, at present a local authority could only acquire land for some specific and immediate purpose connected with the performance of its statutory duties. Further, a local authority had no power to apply land which it had acquired for one purpose to another purpose inconsistent with the original purpose, although it might be no longer possible to use the land in the way originally intended. In that case, indeed, it appeared to be the primary duty of the local authority under the Lands Clauses Act and Section 175 of the Public Health Act of 1875 to dispose of any land found to be superfluous for the immediate purposes for which it was purchased. From an urban point of view some local authorities naturally enough, especially big urban authorities, complained that in the existing state of the law they were debarred from seizing favourable opportunities for acquiring, at a moderate price, land in the suburbs of their district that might ultimately be required for public purposes, and were compelled to wait until the need for the land had actually arisen, by which time, owing to various causes, such as the increase of population or improvements effected by the local authorities themselves, the value of the property had become advanced. The Town Council of Sheffield a few months since invited other town councils to join in a representation to the effect that these bodies should be enabled to acquire land, when they found suitable opportunities for so doing, and to have adequate borrowing powers without at the same time stating definitely for what particular purpose the land should be used. He understood that forty municipalities joined in that representation. That was the position of the great municipal authorities. But let them take the rural side of the problem. The House had had before it within the last two or three weeks two very remarkable Reports by Select Committees. The first was the Report of the Rural Housing Select Committee, which was presided over by the hon. Baronet the Member for Chippenhan. That Committee reported—No reform in connection with rural housing can be of any effective use unless further facilities for the acquisition of land are given.316 And then they went on to say that—Machinery under the Housing Acts for the compulsory acquisition of land is very complicated.And they further pointed out that—Local authorities will often be prepared to pay more than the market value for the land required rather than undergo the uncertainty and delay which a resort to compulsory powers now involves.They added—No solution will be satisfactory which does not enable local authorities to purchase land compulsorily for any public purpose, including housing, drainage, small holdings, etc., upon a basis of its rateable value.The principal conclusion of this Rural Housing Committee was that the difficulty of obtaining land was one of the chief causes for rural depopulation. From that they passed to a very significant association between rural depopulation and the problem of town unemployment. The Report sot forth that—The Committee have had evidence to show that the greater proportion of persons in distressed circumstances in London and the larger provincial towns—the unemployed and the unemployable—are town bred and not country bred.…Out of nearly 10,000 men out of work or in irregular casual emploément, as found in Salvation Army and Church Army houses and shelters and in Rowton Houses by the distress committees, and amongst dock labourers, the percentage of town bred men ranged from 86 to 94 per cent. On the other hand, out of the total number of men employed in a selected number of larger undertakings and industries such as the Post Office, police, municipal service, railways, gas works, breweries, stores, etc, early in the year 1906, 46 per cent, were country born.They arrived at the conclusion, first that rural depopulation sprang, to some extent, from the land problem; and, secondly, that unemployment in towns sprang to some extent out of rural depopulation. The land problem, therefore, and unemployment were very far from being entirely unconnected. He was bound to say, as he had listened to heated discussions in the House on the application of a few thousand pounds for the immediate mitigation of hardship due to unemployment, he had often felt that the real problem before them was the slow and painful process of removing causes of unemployment by wise measures of social reform, not the least amongst which was the serious overhauling of the land problem. Still on the rural side, there was a remarkable Report recently laid upon the Table by the Select Committee 317 on Small Holdings, of which Lord Onslow was Chairman. That Committee made two prime recommendations. First they said—That in addition to the machinery provided by the Small Holdings Act, 1892, the provision of small holdings should be assisted by the direct intervention of a central Government Department.And they added that—In the event of the central Government Department, the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, being unable to obtain by agreement land required for these operations compulsory powers should be conferred.The hon. Member for Leith Burghs made an interesting reservation to the recommendations generally, in the course of which he said—It would indeed be an immense advantage were urban communities owners of adjacent lands like the ancient burghs of Scotland and the modern cities of Germany. The use of such land by the urban population, as in France, is with us comparatively unknown, and were the council landowner, with a regular estate policy, all communal interests in cultivation, administration, and revenue would best be served. This simple and effective machinery, while securing existing rights subject only to expropriation where necessary, would amply secure the public interest.This interesting reference induced him to look abroad for a moment. The House was aware of the fact that for some years many German towns had adopted the policy of steadily acquiring land, and the success of the policy was so marked that a few years ago the Prussian Government issued a rescript to provincial governors to use all their influence to induce all Prussian towns to extend the policy. At the close of 1902, the area of land owned by thirty-one large towns varied from ten to 365square yards per head of the population. Only seven in the thirty-one had less than twenty-four square yards per head; six, had from twenty-four to sixty; nine had from sixty to 120—Berlin had eighty-five—five had from 120 to 240, and four had over 240 square yards per head. Since 1902 nearly all these towns had actively increased their holding. In 1892 there was a very interesting inquiry instituted in certain parts of Germany as to land owned by townships, big or little. The Burgomaster of Treis on the Moselle wrote—The Burgomastery of Treis consists of an area of 25,000 acres. Of these more than 12,500 acres belong to the parishes. All local needs are met from the common purse. Then 318 each burgher receives his firing on payment of half or one-third of its value, and twenty-five to thirty acres of cultivable land for his lifetime.Sigmaringen (Hohenzollern), a place of about 200 households, had 1,050 acres of wood and 1,650 acres of meadow and cultivable land. The current local taxes were covered from the revenue, a sum of £63 was given for common purposes, a sum of £133 was devoted to paying the State taxes of the burghers, and 1,700 cubic metres of firewood were divided among thorn. Phillipsburg (Baden), with 2,400 inhabitants, had 1,017½ acres of wood and 1,285 acres of meadow and cultivated fields. Görlitz (Schlesia) a town of 83,700 people, owned 77,127½ acres from which in 1892 £33,028 went to common fund. Enkirch on the Moselle with 2,200 inhabitants had about 5,000 acres of land, wood, heath, underwood, and cultivable land. Mixtadt in Posen, in the district of Adelnau, with 3,000 inhabitants, possessed about 1,875 acres of land and had no local rates. He presented this case to hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, and he hoped it would commend itself to them, as they were always so solicitous about the downtrodden ratepayer. He passed from this picture to the state of affairs at home. On 12th January at Newcastle-on-Tyne Viscount Ridley, speaking at a farmers' club, told them that—Not far from one-third of the land of the country is owned by the House of Lords in one way or another.He wondered whether the noble Lord thought that such a state of things as that statement represented could really long continue. To his mind it represented all the dangerously unstable equilibrium of an inverted pyramid. Passing to the Resolution before the House, the proposition was that there should be increased power for the compulsory acquisition of land. The Government agreed to that proposition. It was a weighty experiment, and would have to be carefully safeguarded, Nobody desired that the local authorities should become mere speculators on the security of the rates. But the compulsory acquirement of land for the public well-being was part of the Government's policy. He dared say the cry of confiscation would be raised. It was always raised by those who were doubtful about the validity of their title deeds. But he 319 was glad that his hon. friends the mover and seconder laid stress on the fact that there was no shadow of confiscation in their policy. They all desired to pay a fair price for what they wished to secure for the public well-being, and that, of course, must always be the bed-rock of any policy involving a scheme of expropriation. The last part of the Resolution said that in all cases of land acquisition the purchase price should be definitely based upon the value at which such land was assessed for purposes of taxation. He understood the mover had in contemplation not the existing system of local taxation but the assessment which would be set up under the Valuation Bill announced in the gracious Speech from the Throne. There could be no doubt that, as the law now stood, the value at which land was assessed for purposes of local taxation would not provide a fair purchase price. On the other hand, the present practice of assessing the value in cases of compulsory acquisition was most unfair in many cases to the local authorities. He remembered that the present Lord Advocate for Scotland, speaking in the House on the 27th of March, 1903, on the Land Values Assessment and Rating Bill, quoted two interesting cases from Edinburgh. He said—There was a little block of land near the city forty-five acres in extent which the Water Trust sometime ago wanted for the purpose of forming filtering beds. Now the value of that land at thirty years purchase of the existing rent was £4,387, but when it was wanted for this public and necessary purpose the owner charged for it £20,000, or at the rate of 136 years purchase… There was another transaction, this time between the Town Council of Edinburgh and the Duke of Buccleuch. The city required land for the purpose of erecting new gas works in the neighbourhood of Granton bat within the territory of the borough. The ground extended to 105 acres and it was partly built upon, but the average price at which it was rated was £5 10s 0d. per acre. At thirty years purchase the amount would be £l65 per acre, or a total value for the ground of £17,300. How much had the City of Edinburgh to pay for that ground? No less than £124,000, or 212 years purchase of the rating value.With facts like those before them they could not but say that the present practice of assessing the value in eases of compulsory acquisition was most unfair in cases to the local authorities. The new system of valuation in the promised Bill would, he hoped, provide them with a definite basis upon which to 320 work. But he would go the length of saying that he did not think even then they could take that wholly and exclusively as the basis upon which that transfer should be made. As far as he could see, having got this new Valuation Bill, and the new valuation, their duty would then be to see that the assessment of land taxation should be a very material item indeed—not necessarily the sole item—in giving them the basis for determining the price of expropriation. In that sense, and on that understanding, he could adopt the general proposition put forward in the Resolution of his hon. friend.
§ COLONEL KENYON-SLANEY
said that throughout the debate there had been a disposition entirely to ignore the extremely large contributions made of their own free will by owners of land for the benefit and advancement of the happiness of the dwellers on the properties with which they had to do, and the fact that many of the most valuable public properties in this country had been presented free by generous landlords. He thought it was a pity, when these subjects were talked about, that they should hear of the "tyranny of the landlord" in refusing to rebuild buildings, when no attempt was made to show that there could be any real right or claim upon him to do so. An hon. Member on the Labour Benches had spoken of the "huts in which the rural population was herded." The huts in which the agricultural labourers lived on the land which he was interested in cost him, as a landlord, some £250 a piece, and paid him in rent £2 10s. a year. It was said that it would be a beneficial thing if municipalities speculated in land. He had his doubts. He doubted whether it was economically sound or whether it was good for the ratepayers or the welfare of the population within the municipal districts where the speculation took place. The financial aspect of the question had been dealt with by his hon. friend the Member for the City of London. No attempt had been made on the other side of the House to reply to that economic and financial argument. He would venture to deal with the speech of the hon. Gentleman who represented the Government on this occasion. Of course one was interested in the line which he took, but one had not been 321 able to help making a comment or two to oneself in the course of his remarks. The hon. Gentleman had held up to them Germany and France as examples of letting land around urban areas to semi-rural cultivators; but let him remind the hon. Gentleman that it was conceivably possible that any advantage which accrued to that semi-rural population might arise from the fact that rural industries there had a better chance, because they were carried on in countries in which a different fiscal system obtained from what we had in this country. Moreover, the urban authorities in Germany would probably not have ventured to make those investments in land had it not been for the fiscal arrangements under which they acted. No doubt in the legislation which the hon. Gentleman had shadowed forth he would be able to devise some arrangement which would make ownership of land more profitable than it could possibly be under present conditions. The hon. Gentleman had referred to a remark of Lord Ridley as to the ownership of land, and as to the large amount of land owned by Peers in this country; but the question did not depend on who owned the land, but on the use to which the land was put by those who were on it. If he was right in his contention, he believed that, broadly speaking, the owners of the land had used it well, wisely, generously, and farsightedly for the benefit of the whole of the community, and the fact that it was owned by one particular section did not come within the purview of this Resolution. The hon. Gentleman said he thought people only talked of confiscation when they were afraid of the validity of their title deeds: he could hardly have been serious in that. But the essence and pith of the Resolution was contained in the closing clause—The purchase price should be definitely based upon the value at which such land is assessed for purposes of taxation.He rather fancied that if those words were deleted, the Resolution would be of comparatively little value to the mover or to those who supported it; yet that was the absolutely logical result of the speech of the hon. Gentleman representing the Government. It was suggested that the value of the land should be fixed definitely according to its assessment for purposes of taxation. Let them assume that a 322 certain portion of land was notoriously likely to be valuable in the immediate future, that that land formed part of an estate, and that on that estate there were certain family charges or certain mortgages; nobody would suggest that those charges or mortgages had any relation whatever to the assessed value of that land. Those charges had been placed on the land entirely with reference to the economic value, that was to say the price which the land would fetch if it were put up to public auction in the circumstances in which land was sold now. He did not suppose he was very far out when he said that land which might be let for £100 a year might be mortgaged for many thousands. But he only said that to fortify the position which the hon. Gentleman had taken up. It was quite clear, therefore, on the hon. Gentleman's own showing that the Resolution could not be supported except as an abstract proposition which was not intended to be pressed to any practical issue. In such cases us had been sketched by the mover and seconder, he thought that a good many of them would have great sympathy with those affected. They spoke of a circumvallation of the town caused by the absolute refusal of the owner to sell his land. If that wore the true condition of things he would have a good deal of sympathy with those who complained of it. Did the hon. Member really think that there were in England many such instances as he had cited? He doubted it very much. He thought they were cases which were largely used for platform purposes, or to win cheers or votes. He did not think they existed in any number, if at all. If hon. Members were going to discuss the question in a spirit of justice and fair play, he would ask them to remember that the legitimate and rightful owners of the land had also some claim to consideration, and something more than consideration, as well as the municipal authorities who were to acquire the land. Supposing that the land had been perfectly legitimately acquired by the owner, who had been perhaps rather more far-sighted than his municipal neighbours, what was going to be done in such a case? As far as he could judge of the argument of the hon. Gentleman, it was that if the private owner had exercised foresight and wisdom in the purchase of land, he was not to be 323 allowed to reap the benefit of his foresight and calculation. Not only would they deprive the owner of his harvest, due to his own foresight and enterprise, but they would put the municipality in a position to reap the full benefit of that harvest whenever it came. He could not speak of urban districts with any particular knowledge, but those who had the good fortune to live in the country and enjoy it were not likely to be backward in sympathising with their fellow-creatures who were placed in a less happy position, and there was much in the Resolution with which many on his side of the House agreed. If it was true that there was need to acquire land for public purposes, let them leave out "compulsorily," and say "by agreement." He knew that would not suit hon. Members opposite, for in the minds of some people it was not possible to do good to one class without doing harm to another. Reference had been made to the necessity of providing simple and inexpensive machinery for the acquisition of land. He might say that any reform of that kind would have the support of all landowners, but the closing part of the Resolution suggested what was practically absolute confiscation and spoliation, and, therefore, he would go into the lobby against it.
§ MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)
moved to amend the Resolution by providing that the purchase price of land sought to be acquired should be "based upon a fair valuation." He believed that if his hon. friend would accept the Amendment his Motion would be agreed to unanimously by the House. They were all agreed that it was desirable that local authorities should be saved a great deal of the unnecessary expense they now had to incur when they wanted to acquire land for local purposes. He was afraid, however, that the mover of the Resolution had in his mind something very different, and there appeared to be behind the proposal an advocacy of the taxation of land values and the confiscation of what was called the unearned increment. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Local Government Board had taken a somewhat curious line. He had explained that it was impossible for the Government to accept the last words of the Resolution as it stood, and he had ended by saying 324 that according to his own interpretation of them they could accept them. The words of the Resolution as they stood were absolutely intolerable. The price to be paid for the land should be "definitely fixed upon the value at which such land is assessed for purposes of taxation." That was intolerable. A man bought a small holding near n town, paying a high price for it, upon the expectation the value would increase. Meanwhile, he used it as a market garden and was properly taxed for a market garden. The mover of the Resolution proposed to take away that man's land paying him only market-garden value and not the higher price he had paid for it. That was absolute confiscation, whether applied to a rich man or to a poor man. What power that would give to local authorities to be dishonest! They could raise their rates and lower the assessment, taking the land on their own valuation. They could thus confiscate any land they wished. Why should local authorities be credited always with the foresight to know when land was going to rise in value? As a matter of fact, nothing was more difficult than to foresee how land was going to rise in value. He would quote the very striking case of the school in which he was educated, a school founded in the reign of Edward VI. by a citizen of London, Sir Andrew Judd. In his will Sir Andrew left the school a large strip of land in the neighbourhood of Tonbridge. Subsequently he thought he had left the school too much, and he changed his will, took away from the school the piece of land near Tonbridge, which he then left to his relations, and left to the school instead a smaller piece of land in London on which St. Pancras Station now stood. He believed his hon. friend was a business man; if he and other business men believed that land was always going to rise in value, why did not they take money out of their business and buy land with it? The answer was that in practice there was no more certainty in land speculation than in any other speculation, and the chance of loss in land speculation was a very heavy one. He argued that self-assessment would be unworkable. His object in moving the Amendment was to remove from the Motion all traces of confiscation. Hon. Members who supported the Motion believed that, by giving larger power to 325 the municipalities, they would improve the social condition of the country. To a large extent he agreed with them. But surely they should not base a public advantage on a private wrong.
§ LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)
in seconding the Amendment said that to take land and base the purchase price upon the value at which such land was assessed for the purposes of taxation would be absolutely indefensible.
In line 6, to leave out from the word 'be' to the end of the Question, and add the words based upon a fair valuation.'"—(Mr. Harold Cox.)
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 172; Noes, 62. (Division List No. 102.)327
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon. N|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Astbury, John Meir||Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Haworth, ArthurA.||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Helme, Norval Watson||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Barnard, E. B.||Hemmerde, Edward George||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Radford, G. H.|
|Beale, W. P.||Henry, Charles S.||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Higham, John Sharp||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')|
|Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.)||Hodge, John||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Bennett, E. N.||Holland, Sir William Henry||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Holt, Richard Durning||Richards, Thomas(W. Monm'th|
|Billson, Alfred||Hooper, A. G.||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Horniman, Emslie John||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Boland, John||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Brace, William||Hudson, Walter||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Bramsdon, T. A.||Idris, T. H. W.||Robinson, S.|
|Branch, James||Jenkins, J.||Rogers, V. E. Newman|
|Brodie, H. C.||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Rowlands, J.|
|Brooke, Stopford||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Jones, William(Carnarvonshire)||Seddon, J.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Jowett, F. W.||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight||Joyce, Michael||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Clough, William||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John|
|Corbett. C. H (Sussex, E. Grinst'd||Lamont, Norman||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Stewart, Halley (Greenock)|
|Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Lewis, John Herbert||Stuart, James (Sunderland)|
|Cremer, William Randal||Lough, Thomas||Summerbell, T.|
|Crooks, William||Lundon, W.||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)||Thomasson, Franklin|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||M'Callum, John M.||Thompson. J. W. H. (Somerset, E|
|Dolan, Charles Joseph||M'Crae, George||Trevelyan, Charles Phillips|
|Duckworth, James||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Ure, Alexander|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Verney, F. W.|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||M-Killop, W.||Vivian, Henry|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||M'Micking, Major G.||Wadsworth, J.|
|Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)||Maddi-on, Frederick||Walsh, Stephen|
|Edwards, Frank (Radnor)||Mallet, Charles E.||Ward, John(Stoke upon Trent)|
|Elibank, Master of||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston||Ward, W. Dudley (S'thampton)|
|Ferens, T. R.||Marnham, F. J.||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Findlay, Alexander||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Watt, H. Anderson|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Mond, A.|
|Gladstone Rt Hn Herbert John||Mooney, J. J.||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Glover, Thomas||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Weir, James Galloway|
|Gulland, John W.||Nicholls, George||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Hall, Frederick||Nolan, Joseph||White, Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Halpin, J.||Nuttall, Harry||White, Patrick (Meath, North|
|Harcourt Rt Hon Lewis||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Harmswotth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)||O'Dowd, John||Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)|
|Harrington, Timothy||O'Grady, J.||Whittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer|
|Wiles, Thomas||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Williams, J. (Glamorgan)||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras. S.)||Mr. Tonlmin and Mr.|
|Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)||Wood. T. M'Kinnon||Walters.|
|Acland-Hood, Rt Hn SirAlex. F.||Craik, Sir Henry||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Crossley, William J.||Nield, Herbert|
|Balfour, Rt Hn. A. J. (City Loud.||Dalrymple, Viscount||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Davies, David (Montgomery Co.||Percy Earl|
|Banner, John S. Harmood||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.)||Everett, R. Lacey||Rutherford, W. W (Liverpool)|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.)||Salter, Arthur Clavell|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Fell, Arthur||Smith Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Bright, J. A.||Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey||Smith F.R. (Liverpool, Walton)|
|Bull, Sir William James||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Stanley Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Fletcher, J. S.||Starkey, John R.|
|Byles, William Pollard||Forster, Henry William||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Haddock, George R.||Turnour, Viscount|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hamilton, Marquess of||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cavendish, Rt. Hon. Victor C. W.||Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B.||Walker. Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Helmsley, Viscount||Willoughby do Eresby, Lord|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart.|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A(Wore.||Hunt, Rowland||Younger, George|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Mr. Harold Cox mid Lord|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Robert Cecil.|
Resolutions agreed to.
§ Main Question again proposed.
§ MR. COURTHOPE (Sussex, Rye)
rose to continue the debate,
And, it being after Eleven of the Clock, and objection being taken to further proceeding, the debate stood adjourned.
§ Debate to be resumed upon Monday next.