HC Deb 14 June 1907 vol 176 cc11-33

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."

MR. HARMOOD-BANNER (Liverpool, Everton)

said he desired to move that this Bill be recommitted to a Committee of the Whole House in order that he might move the following new clause: "The powers and provisions of this Act shall be deemed to be in addition to, and not in derogation of, any other powers or provisions contained in any local Act of Parliament, and the powers and provisions of any such local Act may be exercised and enforced in the same manner as if this Act had not been passed." It was with no hostility to the Bill that he made this Motion, but because he was not present at the time it came up on Report, although the clause was then on the Paper, and he was in consequence unable to move it. The reason he asked that the Bill should be recommitted was that as it at present stood, it would invalidate the regulations which the larger municipalities had already in force. They had made a good many regulations which they thought were complete and ample to deal with the question, and they preferred to continue with those regulations rather than be brought under the regulations of the Bill. He begged to move.

SIR F. BANBURY (City of London)

seconded the Amendment. Though he personally was not in favour of the Bill he believed it would be passed, and he thought if they were going to pass such a Bill it should be recommitted to a Committee of the Whole House, in order that it might be made as perfect as possible. † See (4) Debates, clxxiii., 1314. His hon. friend had stated that the reason the Amendment was not accepted on the Report Stage was that he was not in his place to move it. That was not a very good reason, because if hon. Members wished to amend a Bill they should be in their place when that Bill came before the House, and if they were not they should take the consequences. But under the special circumstances he would assist his hon. friend as far as he could, and he hoped the House would give his hon. friend an opportunity to move the Amendment.

MR. O'SHAUGHNESSY (Limerick, W.)

said before Mr. Deputy-Speaker put the Question he would like to know whether he would be entitled to protest against the Third Reading of the Bill if the Amendment were agreed to, and whether he would be entitled to move certain Amendments which he had moved in the Committee, or whether the Bill would be recommitted simply to deal with the Motion of the hon. Member.


said the hon. Member must raise in the Committee the question of what was in order in Committee. He (Mr. Deputy-Speaker) could not rule upon it now, and the recommittal stage of the Bill might not be taken before him.

Amendment proposed— To leave out from the word 'be' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words ' recommitted to a Committee of the Whole House in respect of a new clause (Powers of Act accumulative).''—(Mr. Harmood-Banner.)

Question proposed, ''That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

MR. HART-DAVIES (Hackney, N.)

said he had no objection to the recommittal of the Bill for this particular clause. He thought it was superfluous, but it might be a useful clause, and therefore he did not object.

MR. W. MOORE (Armagh, N.)

said he should vote for the Bill as it stood, but there were certain matters he would like to see put into it. He wished the whole question of the powers of the local authorities to deal with advertisements to be considered, and to that end he would very much welcome the re-committal of the Bill, in order to enable urban councils in Ireland to have the powers given to urban councils in England to advertise the particular merits of their own localities, and thus offer inducements to tourists and visitors. At Blackpool, for instance, could be seen what it was possible for a local authority to do by advertising the attractions of the place and neighbourhood; but there was no corresponding power given under the Irish Local Government Act. He thought that a County Council was much too large an authority to deal with this question.


Order, order. This question does not arise on the Motion before the House.


I understood that the Motion was to recommit the Bill to a Committee of the Whole House.


The Motion is to recommit the Bill for a certain definite purpose, and what the hon. Member desires does not come within the scope of that purpose as I understand it.


I assume then that when this Motion is disposed of it would be open to me to move to recommit the Bill in respect of another purpose.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 78; Noes 33. (Division List No. 232).

Anson, Sir William Reynell Higham, John Sharp Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Balcarres, Lord Holt, Richard Dinning Robertson, Sir G. Scott(Br'dfo'd
Barlow, Perey (Bedford) Jowett, F. W. Robertson, J.M. (Tyneside)
Beale, W. P. Kennedy, Vincent Paul Rogers, F. E. Newman
Benn, W.(T'w'r Hamlets,S.Geo King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne
Black, Arthur W. Laidlaw, Robert Shipman, Dr. John G.
Brigg, John Macdonald, J. M.(Falkirk B'ghs) Silcock, Thomas Ball
Channing, Sir.Francis Allston MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal,E.) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Cleland, J. W. M'Micking, Major G. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Clough, William Maddison, Frederick Spicer, Sir Albert
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Magnus, Sir Philip Summerbell, T.
Corbett,C H(Sussex,E.Grinst'd Marnham, F. J. Tennant, Sir Edward(Salisbury
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Mond, A. Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr
Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Montagu, E. S. Toulmin, George
Dickinson, W.H.(St. Pancras, N Murnaghan, George Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Murphy, John Waring, Walter
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Myer, Horatio Warner, Thomas Courtenay, T.
Esslemont, George Birnie Nicholls, George Watt, Henry A. V
Everett, R. Lacey Nicholson, Charles N.(D'ncast'r Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Findlay, Alexander Nolan, Joseph Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Fletcher, J. S. Nussey, Thomas Willans Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Dowd, John Yoxall, James Henry
Gulland, John W. Parker, James (Halifax)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Pirie, Duncan V. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Godfrey Baring and Major Seely.
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)
Harvey, W.E.(Derbyshire, N.E. Priestley, W.E.B. (Bradford, E.
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Rea, Russell (Gloucester)
Hazleton, Richard Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'
Ashley, W. W. Hill, Sir Clement(Shrewsbury) Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Jones, Leif (Appleby) Tuke, Sir John Batty
Bignold, Sir Arthur Kelley, George D. Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Boland, John Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A.R. Whitehead, Rowland
Bowerman, C. W. Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Bowles, G. Stewart. Moore, William Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Carlile, E. Hildred O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Younger, George
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Harmood-Banner and Mr. Mitchell-Thomson.
Craig, Captain James(Down, E. Renton, Major Leslie
Doughty, Sir George Ridsdale, E. A.
Gill, A. H. Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r.) Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.

Main Question again proposed

LORD E. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

said he was in considerable difficulty in discussing this Bill, because he really did not know what the Bill was. [Laughter] Hon. Members laughed, but if they would follow him for a moment he thought they would see that they did not know what they were discussing any more than he did. The Bill was originally introduced in one form. It was amended in Standing Committee, and he held in his hand a copy of the Bill as amended in Committee. It was then amended on Report, and he did not know whether the Bill as presented represented what had come down from the Committee, or that which came down from Report. He wished to know what Bill they were really discussing.


said that if the noble Lord wished to know what Bill was under discussion he should come to the Table and look at the corrected copy. The usual course adopted in these cases had been adopted here. The copy had been corrected. It was not usual where the Amendments on Report were not numerous to reprint a Bill of this character.


said that, as a Member of the Standing Committee which dealt with this Bill, he had taken great interest in it, and yesterday when he obtained a copy of the Bill he was surprised to find that the Amendments inserted in Committee were not in it. He wished to raise this question on a point of order a short time ago, and then an hon. Member handed him another copy which contained the Amendments. He protested against the clerks in the Vote Office handing out Bills in such a way, and he opposed the Third Reading of the Bill because an Amendment he moved in the Committee was rejected.


asked if he would be in order in moving that the Bill be recommitted in respect to Clause 6.


No, the question I put was that the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question. That was carried, and those words stand part.


said the only Amendment made on the Report stage was one which extended the powers under the Bill to the City of London.


said he had an Amendment to move—"that this Bill be read a third time this day three months."


The hon. Baronet must be sufficiently familiar with the forms of the House to know that such a proposal is not in order now.

MR. MITCHELL-THOMSON (Lanarkshire, N.W.)

said that the Bill had now got into an exceedingly complicated condition. He had always been a strong supporter of the measure, and he thought hon. Members opposite would admit that he had done something to facilitate its passage through the earlier stages. The position now was that a number of Members came in upon the last division without knowing what the question was, and had voted against a recommittal of the Bill. He wished to explain the position. The Bill conferred upon local authorities certain powers for the regulation of advertisements; but there were certain local authorities who already possessed similar powers, and the City of Edinburgh had enjoyed those powers ever since the year 1899. In fact the powers which they enjoyed were fuller than those conferred by the Bill. The Amendment suggested by his hon. friend was to insert a clause to secure that the powers and provisions of the Bill should be deemed to be in addition to and not in derogation of any of the powers contained in other local Acts of Parliament When that Amendment was proposed the hon. Member in charge of the Bill rose in his place and stated that the promoters were prepared to accept it. Upon that understanding the Motion for recommitting the Bill was put to the House, and hon. Members below the gangway challenged the division. From their action he took it that they desired that the local authority should not exercise those powers which they already possessed. [MINISTERIAL cries of "No, no."] He considered there had been a deliberate breach of a Parliamentary pledge. The matter had been practically agreed to, and the action which had been taken put him and these who agreed with him and were in favour of the Bill in an impossible situation. If the House of Commons were to pass the Bill upon the distinct understanding that the powers of local authorities were not to be safeguarded, he should certainly oppose the Third Reading. If on the other hand the promoters were prepared to say that in another place they would have an Amendment inserted which would incorporate the proposed clause in substance the matter could be put right.

MR. BEALE (Ayrshire, S.)

said he was little surprised at the attitude which had been, taken by hon. Gentlemen opposite who he knew were heartily in sympathy with the real objects of the Bill. He agreed that what was being done by these municipalities which had been referred to should not be in any way imperilled; on the contrary, he was anxious that their powers should be preserved. He did not, however, think that the proposed clause was at all necessary, and the case would remain exactly the same if it were not inserted. He did not apprehend that the last division was intended to negative the desire of hon. Members to preserve the existing powers of municipalities. He should certainly welcome such a clause if it would tend to put the minds of hon. Members opposite quite easy.


rose to address the House.


The hon. Baronet seconded the Amendment of the hon. Member for Liverpool, and therefore he has exhausted his right to speak; and the hon. Member for West Limerick has already spoken against the Third Reading.


said he had not spoken on the question before the House because he only rose on a point of order. He wished to know if he was entitled to speak on the Third Reading.


When the Amendment had been defeated the hon. Member got up and spoke upon the Third Reading, whether he intended to do so or not.


said that he did not speak after the Amendment had been defeated; he spoke upon the recommittal of the Bill. When the Amendment was defeated he rose to move another Amendment which was ruled out of order, and therefore he submitted that he had not spoken on the question before the House.


The hon. Baronet seconded the Amendment to leave out certain words; that being so he has spoken on the main question and has exhausted his right.


said he was opposed to the Bill, and the fact that it was brought in with good intentions was not sufficient to induce him to withdraw his opposition. Hon. Members having no idea of an evil they wished to remedy never had any hesitation in introducing a Bill to remedy it, forgetful of the fact that in drawing up their measure they might get into difficulties out of which they would very likely be unable to extricate themselves. One of his objections was to the words "disfiguring the natural beauty of the landscape." The ideas of some county councils upon such a question might be totally different from the views of the House, and therefore it was a very dangerous power to place in their hands. This measure was founded upon a Bill which was brought forward in June, 1905, and the reason he found fault with it was that certain clauses had been dropped which were inserted as a compromise arrived at between these who were mostly interested in the subject. Compromise was the essence of legislation, and the compromise he had referred to had been arrived at after full consideration, and yet the Committee had gone out of its way to alter the Bill in most serious particulars. The original Bill contained a provision that it should not apply to advertisements unless they were over 12 ft. in height. That was a compromise arrived at with the trade, and it had been left out of the present Bill. Another point was that the Bill should not come into operation until five years had elapsed; for some unexplained reason that period had been altered to two years. That change was very unfair, and would press very hardly upon the trade interested in advertisements. The question had been discussed in another place, and he hoped the Under-Secretary for the Home Office would be able to tell them what the law was as regarded Scotland, and why these various changes had been made in the Bill. He particularly desired to know why two years had been substituted for five years, and why the 12 feet limit had been omitted. The general provisions of the Bill were quite fair and its objects were laudable, but when they discovered that the compromise upon which the Bill was founded had been deliberately broken he thought they would agree that it ought not to pass in its present form.


said he hoped the House would not be very long before it decided to pass the Third Reading of this Bill as there were many other measures waiting to be dealt with. The subject dealt with in this Bill had been before the public for many years, and a similar measure had passed through the House of Lords. Consequently it was a question upon which they were all agreed [OPPOSITION cries of "No."] He did not think anybody had a right, from purely selfish motives, to interfere with the beauty of any landscape or any public park, and that, after all, was what the Bill proposed to secure. He hoped the measure would not be discussed at any further length. With regard to the objections which had been taken by hon. Members opposite, he was himself sorry that the changes were made in Committee, but the Committee would have its own way. He appealed to the House to pass the Third Reading so as to enable them to get on with the other business.


said that they appeared to be getting more confused than ever. The hon. Member in charge of the Bill promised that in another place certain alterations which had been suggested would be made. He was afraid that under the Bill as drafted there might be a great misuse of the powers conferred, and he hoped some steps would be taken to insert a clause which would clearly define what was meant by a pleasure promenade. Did that phrase simply mean to apply to those objectionable advertisements which they saw displayed in the fields in the country? He would like to know whether the term "pleasure promenade" would refer to a street in a town which was recognised by the people as a promenade. Was a street from which could be viewed a sign advertising somebody's very necessary article to be construed as a pleasure promenade, and would the advertising boards in such a street have to be taken down? The Bill might be twisted into an onslaught upon certain businesses, and some large firms would be very hardly hit unless it was a recognised thing that a pleasure promenade did not cover these parts of the city used for promenading purposes. There was no reason why a local authority which desired to do an injury to some particular firm should not take advantage of the Bill. Some particular county council might entertain objections to a certain class of advertisement, and take a view which would come very hard upon that particular firm. He would also like to know if the term "pleasure promenade" covered public parks. If so, what might be objectionable in the case of a small promenade might not be so objectionable in a large park. He instanced a park of about twenty or thirty acres used by children. Many such parks obtained a considerable revenue from letting hoardings for advertisements, and that source of revenue might be interfered with. He regretted that these matters had not been more fully explained to the House. It should be remembered that was the first opportunity that they had had of criticising the Bill in the House. Another point was the very severe blow which the Bill would strike at the printing and publishing business throughout the country. At the will of some county council great damage might be done to a printing firm. The Bill applied to Ireland, and he had in his mind's eye a great number of advertisements which might be objected to from the sentimental point of view, but it should be remembered that they were displayed for the purpose of promoting business. He would not like the business of the firms who advertised to be interfered with simply on the sentimental ground that their announcements were exhibited in a manner which interfered with the beauty of the landscape. Were the sentimentalists in a county council to have it in their power on the whim of the moment to ruin a whole industry? He also objected to the Bill on the ground that while powers were conferred on the county council no powers were given to the district councils;. There were salt springs at Ballynahinch, and it would be very hard if the county council could interpose and prevent the attractions of the place from being advertised, while the district council had no power to protect its interests in the matter. He maintained that the subject of the Bill was one with which the district councils should have power to deal, and he hoped that the promoters would give an undertaking that when the Bill went to another place it would be amended in such a manner as to enable the local councils to determine what advertisements should or should not be permitted. Blackpool had obtained statutory powers to advertise its attractions, and he hoped that nothing would be done by this Bill to place private enterprise, whether on the part of one man or of syndicates, at a disadvantage as compared with large corporations which already had Parliamentary powers. There were beautiful parts in Ireland to which it was desirable to attract tourists in order that the localities might be benefited, and the rules made by county councils should not be such as to prevent these places from competing for visitors on terms as favourable as these enjoyed by the wealthy corporations of England and Scotland. He wished to know what bearing the provisions of the Bill would have in relation to clause 5 of the Advertising Stations Rating Act of 1889. When reading the terms of that clause—


The hon. Member appears to be asking a number of questions on the clause, whereas he ought to be stating his own objections to it. What he is now doing is not a usual method of argument on a motion to omit the clause.


said he would not pursue that subject. The points to which he had called attention should have been explained on the Third Reading by the hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill. He had raised them in order that the measure might be improved and not destroyed.


said he intended to support the Bill. On the general principle he thought that the local bodies should have complete control of all advertisements. He admitted that they were still some way from the realisation of that system, but he thought a beginning was foreshadowed in the section of the Act of 1889 to which his hon. and gallant friend had referred. There might be some difficulty in carrying out Subsection (2) of Clause 2. It was entirely a matter of taste whether certain advertisements did "disfigure the natural beauty of a landscape," and if that was to be left to the discretion of the county council conflict of opinion would in some cases arise. A county council that might perform its ordinary work in a satisfactory manner might not feel very much at home in matters of art when deciding whether advertisements were or were not objectionable within the meaning of the sub-section. There was a general principle in the Bill which he hoped would not be extended, and he wished to make an appeal to the promoters on the subject before the measure took its final form. He thought every Member of the House objected to the multiplication of rule-making authorities. The regulation of advertisements was a matter for each locality, because different localities had different needs, and the subject would not always be viewed from the same standpoint. He could not see why a large and cumbrous county council should be the supreme power. They might override the opinion of the district council. The local body should have the power of making the by-laws in this as in other matters in conformity with local requirements. He was not suggesting that the county councils were not absolutely representative, but there were many county councils in Ireland which met only four times a year, and sometimes the places of meeting were 100 miles from the areas of certain rural or urban local authorities. The people on the spot were the best judges to decide what the by-laws should be. A Bill of this kind was worth nothing unless its provisions could be enforced. Was the county council to decide whether a prosecution was to be instituted against a person who had exhibited in a remote part a bill announcing, it might be, an auction sale in a form which in their opinion infringed the by-laws? If the by-laws were to be sanctioned by an authority hundreds of miles away, it might lead to a great deal of expense. Prosecutions under the by-laws would be few, and in course of time little attention would be paid to the by-laws. He took the view of his hon. and gallant friend, and he appealed to the promoters of the Bill to allow local bodies to advertise the particular claims of their own neighbourhood out of the rates for the attraction of tourists. That was not in the Bill as it now stood. The Bill was also faulty in some other respects, and he should vote against the Third Reading.


said that this was a Bill with the principle of which he was very much in favour; but at the same time there were certain provisions in it, as it now read, which made him reluctant to vote for the Third Reading. It was, he thought, a matter for regret that some Amendments proposed in Committee were not accepted by the promoters. One of the difficulties that had to be encountered was the fact, overlooked by the Committee, that affairs in Ireland were not on all-fours with affairs in this country. As the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for North Armagh had said, the Bill as it stood at present must work very unsatisfactorily and cause great injustice. Clause 6 defined a local authority as any urban district containing a population of 5,000. He thought that in such matters it was entirely wrong to fix a limit of that kind. The county councils in Ireland presided over very wide areas. It was intended originally by the Bill that specific areas should be dealt with, but a county council might be called upon to decide on matters affecting some far distant district of which they had little or no knowledge. He regretted more than he could say that the promoters of the Bill did not in Committee accept the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Limerick, who was the only Irish Member on the Committee, which would have reduced the limit of 5,000, because it would have withdrawn from the county council a great deal of work which they were not in a position to carry out. Why should not the district councils have the power of making by-laws in reference to objectionable advertisements in their own district? The Bill, as it stood, said that unless there was an urban population of 5,000 the people of that district should have no control over the advertisements published in the district unless with the consent of the county council which knew nothing of the district. He thought that was unreasonable and would make the Bill difficult to work. He was very reluctant to oppose the Third Reading of the Bill, for any one who had travelled much objected to the glaring and flaring advertisements of quack medicines, etc., which frequently disfigured the most beautiful scenery. He had seen that himself in the Canyons of America and the mountain regions of Australia. He did not object to advertisements, but they were out of place in such situations. There were, however, other advertisements which did not refer to quack medicines, but which were objectionable from other points of view; and everybody agreed that power should be given to prohibit the putting up of such advertisements throughout the country. He objected that in a measure of general utility anything should have been inserted which would make its working in Ireland impossible. That was very unwise and had led him and other Irish Members to enter their protest against it. There was another objection he had to the Bill which he could not get over at all; and that was that the county councils in making by-laws would not be in touch with the rural population. There was nothing more futile than to give half-powers to local authorities. If they were going to trust local authorities full powers ought to be given to them. By the Bill no by-laws passed by a local authority could come into operation unless they received the sanction of the Secretary of State. Surely the Secretary of State had sufficient work in hand without there being imposed upon him the duty of revising the advertisements that were placarded in every remote district of the country. If it was thought in England that they could not trust the local authorities to make by-laws in regard to advertisements without being supervised by the Home Secretary, good and well. But in Ireland the application of the Act was to be made by the Lord-Lieutenant acting with the advice of the Privy Council. Was there anything more preposterous? He had nothing whatever to say against the present Lord-Lieutenant, who, he believed, was a most estimable nobleman, but he thought the noble Lord had plenty to do without interfering with the by-laws made by the urban councils or the county councils. Nevertheless, the Privy Council of Ireland was to be called in to deal with by-laws relating to objectionable advertisements. One would almost imagine, from the wording of it, that the Bill was to secure the integrity and the security of the British Empire. If it were for Clause 7 alone he would enter his strongest and most emphatic protest against the Bill. It would lead to endless trouble. It might be said that the Lord-Lieutenant and the Privy Council of Ireland would not interfere, but leave the framing of the by-laws to the local authorities. That might be the natural course of things in this country, but he was not sure that it would be the case in Ireland, because they found the Dublin Castle officials interfering with the local authorities in the smallest possible affairs. Whatever might be said about the Lord-Lieutenant he did not like the Privy Council in Ireland. He knew a few of the members and he had no doubt they were all intensely respectable men, but the Privy Council was a body which in Ireland did not command the respect of public opinion and was very often in conflict with it. He thought, therefore, as far as Ireland was concerned, the representative of His Majesty and the Privy Council might be left out altogether. It might be said that after all it was a small point, but that was not the case, because the people of Ireland were intensely jealous of interference by the Lord-Lieutenant and the Privy Council with their affairs. He might instance the case of the Irish Council Bill; whether it was dead or not he did not know, but at all events it was in a bad way. It was, in his judgment, killed almost entirely because in it it was proposed to give to the Lord-Lieutenant exactly the same power to over-ride the Irish Council as was given in this Bill in regard to the decisions of the local authorities. Under the Council Bill the Lord-Lieutenant might withhold his sanction, or, if he did not like what the Council had done, do something himself. He objected to this Bill on two grounds. First, that it left the power to the wrong authority. Why did not the Government leave to the district councils that which they would not get done by the county councils? His second objection was that the Lord-Lieutenant and the Privy Council were given any powers in the matter. He could assure the promoters of the Bill, however, that in the main it was a measure which he heartily welcomed, because many times during his travels he had felt the necessity of protection being given to prevent beautiful country sides from being destroyed. It was to be regretted that the representations of the Irish Members on the Committee were entirely ignored, and he did hoped in the future, even if they did not get Home Rule, that Irishmen who were put to represent Ireland upon Committees would have their voice listened to with respect and not be voted down as they were on this occasion. He had only one further remark to make. He did not know who was responsible for the occurrence, but it was unfortunate that the Bill should have been circulated without the Amendments having been inserted. He had had in his possession for some time past a copy of the Bill which was handed him by a friend who was most anxious he should know all about it. But when he commenced to read the Bill before the House he found that the copy supplied to him was not the Bill as amended. The Bill which he had now obtained was inscribed "Advertisements Regulation Bill as amended by Standing Committee A." That was the only copy which should have been circulated. He did not know whether the other copy was circulated by the Vote Office, but it ought not to have been issued, and he thought it was a matter of some regret that it should have been.


said he rose, not for the purpose of prolonging the debate, but in the hope that he might, by a somewhat brief answer to some of the points raised, shorten the discussion, as other important measures were to follow. The Amendment to which allusion had been made was defeated by a majority of twenty-one to three, and by that majority it was determined that the smaller authorities should not make by-laws. The Trish Members were not out-voted, as there were two on one side and two on the other, and the point was carried by seven to one. In regard to the other point that it was absurd to insert provisions as to the sanction of the Secretary of State in England and the Lord-Lieutenant in Ireland, he might point out that that was common form. It was exceedingly useful, as it prevented local authorities passing by-laws which the courts of law might hold to be ultra vires. The central authorities were able to prevent this by framing model by-laws which greatly facilitated matters. He had voted for the recommittal of the Bill in order to provide that statutes should not be overridden by local by-laws simply because the Motion had been accepted by the promoters, but the matter was not one of substance, as the Acts of Parliament would stand in any case. A provision as to that could, however, be inserted in the other House, to prevent any possible doubt. As to the twelve foot limit and the five years contracts, the Government supported the promoters on those points because they had made a bargain with the bill-posting trade who withdrew their opposition to the Bill on these conditions. The Government would not oppose any Amendments in another place if the promoters decided to accept them in order to restore the Bill to its original shape in these particulars. He thought the Bill was of a significant character, because this was the first time that Parliament had passed a Bill for the purpose of protecting cities and towns from disfigurement and the beauties of scenery from injury. The Bill would not add sixpence to anyone's wealth but was simply one for suppressing ugliness, and they trusted that it would be the precursor of more legislation which would help to improve the surroundings of people in the towns and the aspect of the country.

MR. BOWERMAN (Deptford)

said that in view of the satisfactory assurances of the hon. Gentleman as to the twelve foot limit and the five years contracts he would not move the Amendments he had on the Paper. If his Amendments were not inserted in another place the injury to the trade would be very grave indeed.

MR. EVELYN CECIL (Aston Manor)

congratulated the hon. Gentleman on the existence of the House of Lords, because otherwise he did not see how these Amendments could be made. With reference to the Amendments as to the twelve foot limit and the five years contracts he thought that in view of the agreement between the promoters and the bill-posting and printing trades upon which the Second Reading was passed, there would be something very like a breach of a Parliamentary understanding if the House passed the Bill in its present form. Therefore it was essential to make these alterations in another place. He thought he was right in saying that the question of the length and height of advertisements had been time after time before the Police and Sanitary Committee, which was a very strong Committee, and on every occasion it was suggested that the words limiting the advertisements to twelve feet in height should be inserted. That was decided on the ground that Sub-section (1) was really only justified in respect to hoardings which endangered public safety. It was quite clear that if the hoardings exceeded twelve feet in height they might very easily endanger public safety, and it was desirable to limit their size on that ground. He did not see why any lesser advertisement should be interfered with because of its size. If they allowed local authorities to interfere with smaller advertisements, they would in his opinion be putting into their hands a rather dangerous power, because it was claimed that if they were allowed to make regulations for advertisements of quite a small size they might be competing with other bodies or institutions who were putting up small advertisements. It was very easy for local authorities to make regulations which would suit their own advertisements of less than twelve feet in height, but seriously prejudice their competitors and rivals. On these grounds he thought the words ought to be retained. There was another point to which he desired to call attention. The words of Clause 2, sub-section (2) so far as he could see, did not cover the small indecent advertisements which no doubt all Members of the House at some time or another had seen on such places as the posts of gates in country lanes and roads.


said that power was given under another statute. In the Local Government Act there was a general power to make by-laws in regard to that, and many such by laws were in force at the present time.


said he was very doubtful whether that Act could deal with such advertisements as those to which he alluded, but if it was admitted that it did deal with them to some extent it was nevertheless desirable to put in words here to make it quite clear that the local authorities could make by-laws to deal with these advertisements, because the words of the clause obviously could not apply to a country gate. The Bill was wanted, and wanted quickly, and that was why he urged that it should be passed through its Third Reading and these details dealt with in another place. The longer they waited the more likely were vested interests to be created. People would say that these advertisements had been allowed in the past and ought to be allowed in the future, and that the more beautiful the place might be the more desirable it was that advertisements should be put there. If the beauty of the country was to be retained the sooner they dealt with the matter the better. He shuddered to think what would happen in the Lake district, for instance, if the example of what was done at the Niagara Falls was followed. He trusted, therefore, that the Advertisements Regulation Bill would be passed quickly in order that the beauty of our health resorts and the beautiful scenery of our country places might be safeguarded.

LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)

said that the Bill did not claim in any way to deal with the Advertisements Act of 1889, nor did he think it was necessary to extend the Bill in that direction, but he desired to point out that this was a very serious question, and that the Act of 1889 which the hon. Member had said was incorporated in this Bill was an absolute dead letter. Although he supported the Bill as it stood he was most anxious that the promoters should see if it was not possible to extend to the local authorities powers which they either did not or could not exercise at the present moment with regard to indecent advertisements. Everybody must be aware of the particular kind of advertisement to which he referred; it was infinitely worse than any sky sign. He differed from the Under-Secretary for the Home Office in his view that the Bill was of no utilitarian value. Was the saving of art of no utilitarian value? Art was just as utilitarian as science or law. In passing a Bill of this character and preserving art they were conferring a great utilitarian boon on the country. He altogether dissented from the view that in removing from the beautiful country side these hideous advertisements, they were doing a purely sentimental thing. The beauty of the land was a great asset to that country. Having regard to the time he would not go into that, but would content himself by saying that the law with regard to indecent advertisements was in a most unsatisfactory condition, and that the law passed ten or twelve years ago was a dead letter. He therefore hoped the promoters would extend the Bill in that direction.

Sir PHILIP MAGNUS (London University)

called attention to the fact that forty Members were not present.

House counted, and forty Members being found present,

Mr. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool)

said the Under-Secretary for the Home Department had said that if in another place the promoters of the Bill wished to reinsert the 12ft. limit and that five years should be substituted for two years the Government would give these proposals their support. He strongly protested against the decision of the Committee being overridden in that way. The Bill was discussed at length in the Committee and these provisions were inserted by a large majority, and that the Government should desire the Upper House, which they abused so much to insert provisions which the Standing Committee had struck out was a thing he strongly protested against. If these matters had been brought up on Report the House of Commons would have had an opportunity of expressing an opinion as to whether the Standing Committee was right or wrong. The Government were not treating the Standing Committee with the consideration to which they were entitled. He asked whether there were any other Amendments which the Under-Secretary proposed to have inserted in another place, because he himself had proposed and carried an Amendment in Standing Committee that councils of urban districts of 10,000 inhabitants should be authorities under the Act, and he went away happy in the belief that that would be embodied in the Bill. Unless he had some explanation he would not know which way to vote.

Mr. CARLILE (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)

said that this was a Bill which everyone agreed should be passed, but at the same time many of them thought the authorities who were to carry it out should be the district councils. They felt that the county council had so large an area under its care that it would be impossible for it to realise what the local sentiment was with regard to these matters, whereas the local district council would be familiar with local antiquities and curiosities which to them would be of the greatest importance, but of the existence of which the county council might be unaware. Travellers by railway, or motorists, and others were very much harassed by the number of advertisements along the lines of route. They did not wish to be reminded at every two hundred yards that they had a liver.


said that these matters had already been referred to by previous speakers.


said that he had endeavoured not to repeat the speeches of hon. Members. He had not repeated his own speech.


said that by the Standing Order a Member might repeat neither his own speech nor the speeches of other people.


said he had endeavoured to deal with matters quite out side these which other speakers had dealt with. The object of the Bill was for the suppression of ugliness, and it was realised that the beautiful scenery —


said the beauty of the scenery had been referred to by almost every previous speaker in the debate.


asked with respect whether there was any subject within the four corners of the Bill to which he might refer.


It is not for me to advise the hon. Member.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 207; Noes, 12. (Division List No. 233.)

Acland, Francis Dyke Cameron, Robert Ferens, T. R.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Carlile, E. Hildred Fiennes. Hon. Eustace
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Castlereagh, Viscount Fletcher. J. S.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Cawley, Sir Frederick Flynn. James Christopher
Arnold-Forster,Rt.Hn.Hugh O. Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Foster. Rt. Hon. Sir Walter
Ashley, W. W. Channing, Sir Francis Allston Fuller, John Michael F.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Cheetham, John Frederick Gardner. Ernest (Berks. East)
Astbury, John Meir Cleland, J. W. Gill, A. H.
Balcarres, Lord Clough, William Ginnell. L.
Banner, John S. Harmood- Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Goddard, Daniel Ford
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Corbett,C.H.(Sussex,E.Grinst'd Gordon. J.
Barker, John Corbett. T. L. (Down, North) Gulland. John W.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Gurdon. Sir W. Brampton
Barnes, G. N. Cox, Harold Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r.)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Harvey.W.E.(Derbyshire, N.E.
Bellairs, Carlyon Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.) Haworth. Arthur A.
Benn.W.(T'w'r Hamlets,S.Geo. Craik, Sir Henry Hazel. Dr. A. E.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Crooks, William Hazleton. Richard
Billson, Alfred Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan) Heaton, John Henniker
Black, Arthur W. Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Hedges, A. Paget
Bowerman, C. W. Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Henderson,J.M.(Aberdeen, W.)
Brigg, John Dickinson. W. H. (St.Pancras,N Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Brodie, H. C. Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) Higham. John Sharp
Brunner, J.F.L. (Lanes., Leigh) Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)
Brunner,Rt.HnSirJ.T(Cheshire Edwards, Frank (Radnor) Hills. J. W.
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Esslemont, George Birnie Hobart, Sir Robert
Byles, William Pollard Everett, R. Lacey Hobhouse, Charles E. H.
Hodge, John Mooney, J. J. Silcock, Thomas Ball
Hogan, Michael Moore, William Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Holland, Sir William Henry Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Holt, Richard Durning Muntz, Sir Philip A. Spicer, Sir Albert
Horniman, Emslie John Murnaghan, George Stanger, H. Y.
Howard Hon. Geoffrey Murphy, John Stanley, Hn.A.Lyulph (Chesh.)
Hudson, Walter Murray, James Steadman, W. C.
Hyde, Clarendon Myer, Horatio Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Idris, T. H. W. Nannetti, Joseph P. Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Jacoby, Sir James Alfred Napier, T. B. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Jenkins, J. Nicholls,George Summerbell, T.
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Nicholson,Charles N.(Donc'st'r Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Jones,William (Carnarvonshire) Norton, Capt. Cecil William Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Jowett, F. W. Nussey Thomas Willans Thomas,David Alfred(Merthyr
Joyce, Michael O'Connor,James (Wicklow,W.) Thomson, W.Mitchell-(Lanark)
Kelley, George D. O'Grady, J. Torrance, Sir A. M.
Kennedy. Vincent Paul Parker, James (Halifax) Toulmin, George
King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Pease,Herbert Pike(Darlington Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Laidlaw, Robert Pickersgill, Edward Hare Verney, F. W.
Lamont, Norman Pirie, Duncan V. Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Powell, Fir Francis Sharp Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Levy, Maurice Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
Lewis, John Herbert Priestley, W.E.B.(Bradford, E. Wardle, George J.
Liddell, Henry Randles. Sir John Scurrah Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Raphael, Herbert H. Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Rea. Russell (Gloucester) Wason,John Cathcart( Orkney)
Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Waterlow, D. S.
Macdonald,J.M.(Falkirk B'ghs) Redmond, William (Clare) Watt, Henry A.
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S Rees, J. D. Whitehead, Rowland
M'Callum, John M. Renton, Major Leslie Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
M'Crae, George Rickett, J. Compton Williams, Llewelyn (C'rmarth'n
M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Ridsdale, E. A. Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
M'Laren. H. D). (Stafford, W.) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Wilson, Hn. C.H.W.(Hull, W.)
Maddison Frederick Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Magnus, Sir Philip Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Marnham, F. J. Rose, Charles Day Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Massie, J. Rowlands, J. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Meagher, Michael Runciman, Walter Younger, George
Menzies, Walter Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Yoxall, James Henry
Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Schwann.Sir C.E.(Manchester) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.Hart-Davies and Mr. Beale.
Molteno, Percy Alport Scott, A.H.(Aston-under-Lyne)
Mond, A. Shaw, Rt. Hn. T. (Hawick B.)
Montagu, E. S. Shipman, Dr. John G.
Acland-Hood. Rt Hn. Sir Alex. F Lockwood, Rt Hn. Lt. -Col. A.R. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim,,S.)
Bowles, G. Stewart Lundon, W.
Bridgeman, W. Clive MacVeagh,Charles (Donegal,E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Frederick Banbury and Lord Robert Cecil.
Donelan, Captain A. O'Dowd, John
Ffrench, Peter
Hornby, Sir William Henry O'Shaughnessy, P. J.

Question, "That the word 'education' be there inserted in the Bill," —put, and agreed to.