HC Deb 19 October 1908 vol 194 cc833-84

moved: "That it be an Instruction to the Committee to insert in the Bill a provision conferring purchasing powers on the London County Council. That any person affected by such a provision shall be entitled to be heard before the Committee upon any petition presented not later than 22nd October." He said the House would remember that the debate on the Second Reading was somewhat prolonged and animated, and the opportunity did not occur for the Government to deal with this question upon that occasion. It was part of the arrangement that this Instruction should accompany the Bill upstairs to the Committee, hence it had been thought necessary for him to move it at this juncture so that the Bill might get to the Committee without any further delay. He was not inclined to discuss the details of the Bill, indeed he thought he would be out of order in attempting to do so, because the measure had been ordered a Second Reading. The Instruction itself was extremely simple, and dealt with a single point of substance, namely, that the Committee should insert in the Bill a provision conferring purchasing powers upon the London County Council. He would recall to the minds of hon. Members what happened in the early spring in relation to these electric Bills. They received an invitation from another place to nominate a certain number of members and set up a Joint Committee of Lords and Commons to consider these Bills. The present Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was then at the Board of Trade, was unable to advise the House to accept that invitation, and he made it clear that the reason he tendered that advice was that he thought it was all important that they should retain their freedom and remain untrammelled, so that when the Bill came back from the Lords they would have full freedom to deal with it in any way they thought fit and proper, and that was the reason why they refused to join the Lords Committee. As the House knew the Lords Committee gave these Bills a long and careful consideration, and the proceedings lasted thirty-one days. The London County Council were represented, and they urged that they should be named in the Bill as the purchasing authority. That was strongly resisted by the promoters of the Bill, and their opposition prevailed, for although the Lords favoured purchase, they left the purchasing authority indefinite. He thought that justified the wisdom of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in declining to commit the House, as they would have been committed, had they accepted the invitation from another place to appoint a joint committee. The position was now changed, because the promoters had been told that the Government would give the Bill no support unless they accepted this mandatory Instruction, and their terms had been accepted by the promoters. He begged formally to move the Instruction standing on the Paper in the name of the President of the Board of Trade.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it be an Instruction to the Committee to insert in the Bill a provision conferring purchasing powers on the London County Council. That any person affected by such a provision shall be entitled to be heard before the Committee upon any Petition presented not later than 22nd October."—(Sir H. Kearley.)

MR. ROWLANDS (Kent, Dartford) moved an Amendment to leave out "the London County Council." and insert "a central authority composed of representatives of the municipal authorities owning their electrical supplies within the area covered by the Bill." He said he had listened attentively to the speech in which the hon. Baronet had moved his Instruction, and those who had taken part in the previous stages of this Bill would be quite aware that the statement was absolutely accurate about the amount of feeling which was exhibited on the Second Reading, and also that considerable feeling still existed in the House in regard to this measure. He must say that he expected that the hon. Baronet would have given them some better reason for the attitude of the Government. They had put down a mandatory instruction, and they had told the promoters that unless they were prepared to accept it the Board of Trade could not support this Bill as they did on the Second Reading. He thought the House was fairly entitled to have some reason given from the Board of Trade as to why they had put down this Instruction in the specific terms in which it appeared on the Paper. However, as the hon. Baronet had not thought fit to give them that information—thinking no doubt, that those who had taken such a deep interest in this question were fully conversant with all the issues involved—he would try, in a short space of time, to give to the House a few of the reasons why he proposed the Amendment standing in his name. All those who were conversant with London and Greater London as well as the areas affected outside Greater London, which would be taken in under this Bill, realised that they were not there this evening discussing anything in connection with a small measure. Under the title of a private Bill they were discussing a measure which had received the sanction of the Government, and which, for good or for evil, would affect perhaps one of the largest areas of congested population that it was possible for any measure of this kind to affect. They ought not for a moment to fail to realise the vast importance of this question. For some reason or other the hybrid Committee of 1906 to which the Bill promoted by the London County Council was referred recommended that the London County Council should be the purchasing authority, but they did so under certain conditions. He supposed the whole of the case of those who supported this instruction rested upon the recommendation of the Committee of 1906. He was fully prepared to give to that Committee and its deliberations all the consideration they deserved, but he thought it was only right the House should know that in the division upon that instruction only eight members of the Committee took part, five being for and three against it. He invited the House seriously to consider what this instruction meant, and what would be the effect upon the great area dealt with under the Bill. First of all, the London County Council governed an area of something like 117 square miles. This Bill extended far and away beyond that area, and he thought his friends on the London County Council had a fair amount of confidence when they asked the House to give to a body governing an area of 117 square miles, and consisting roughly of 130 members, the control over the huge area contained in this instruction. The area under this Bill was three times larger than the London County Council area. It was composed largely of authorities who had created their own municipal supplies, and he always thought that Progressives were strongly in favour of encouraging municipalities in this direction. There were three areas in his own division which had their own municipal supply. They had installed electric lighting and electric trams, and they did not want to come within the area of this Bill. This measure would introduce the competition of a large private concern in those three areas to which he had referred, without giving them any representation. It was quite a new theory for democrats that they should have no right whatever of representation on the body which might, under certain conditions, come in and purchase the whole of the undertaking they had created. The three areas he had mentioned contained 14,311 acres, and a population of 58,519, who would have no representation whatever on this new body. The three places he referred to were Bexley, Dartford, and Erith, which were just on the outer ring of London. The population of those districts was rapidly increasing, and by the time this Bill came into operation they would be one of the most populous portions of the outer ring of London. To those areas they were going to deny the right of control over the authority set up in this Bill, and there would be no security for the huge enterprises which had been created in those areas by the funds of the ratepayers. This was being put forward as a democratic policy. They were going to say to them: "We deny you any right—any control—over that authority which is to be set up. You are going to have no authority over the huge enterprises which you by your energy and ability, and the fund; of your ratepayers, have created." And that was the policy which was advanced as a democratic policy. Gentlemen who opposed that policy were twitted with being retrogressive. If it was retrogressive, he was delighted to be retrogressive in this particular matter. He knew it would be said that they were forgetting one thing. This Bill at present was to be handed over to the hands of the London County Council. He admitted that at present it was only the London County Council area which was referred to, but hon. Members knew that there was going to be a larger London some day. Probably there was, but he had never yet heard that there was to be a larger London which was to cover anything like the area which this Bill covered. The Metropolitan police area extended to a radius of fifteen miles from Charing Cross, and that was generally taken as the area for greater London. But what did this Bill do? It included the borough of Gravesend. Did his hon. friends hope that they were going to take it into London? The Bill took in the small county borough of Croydon, which had a population of 133,000. It said: "We are going to absorb you, and you are going to have no voice." Surely his hon. friends who were Progressives on the County Council had not forgotten their bitter experience over the water undertakings. Were they like the Bourbons to learn nothing? It was their policy which had landed London in the position it was in with regard to water. It was because they would not meet the municipal authorities in a proper manner; they thought they could extend themselves and absorb everyone else, and the result had been that after a long struggle on their part they failed to convince this House that they should be entrusted with the area of the Water Board. This Bill went far outside of that. So much for the larger London of which they would hear a good deal. He had read the debates, and he was delighted to find the strongest possible arguments in support of his present contention in the speeches of his hon. friends. Let the House consider for a moment the extent of some of the areas proposed to be absorbed by this Bill. He thought very few Gentlemen except those who were deeply interested in this question had really read this Bill and informed themselves with regard to the populations involved in it. The Bill took in areas of 51,947 acres in Essex, with a population of 708,696; of 32,414 acres in Kent, with a population of 214,563; of 25,232 acres in Surrey, with a population of 286,521; and of 52,671 in Middlesex, with a population of 600,168. These were the areas that were to have no representation, although in many cases they had bought up their own supply, with great benefit to themselves. These were the figures to-day. What would be the figures including outer London a few years hence? The population of Greater London might be taken at between 7,000,000 and 8,000,000. He was not pledging himself to a hundred thousand more or less. There was not a speaker who had supported this Bill who had not dwelt on one thing, and that was that there was going to be before long in Greater Outer London—if that term might be used—a population of between 12,000,000 and 15,000,000. He did not care which figure they took. Parliament was being asked in this instruction to say that, by the time the Bill had matured for purchase, the population within the area of the London County Council was to have the whole representative control and the huge area outside was to have no control whatever, unless the County Council got a larger London Bill. But he was at present considering the position in case they did not get the Bill. If London was extended by the absorption of Dartford on the one hand, and Harrow and Willesden on the other, it would be necessary to give representation to the districts absorbed, and on the representative body there would be an opportunity for discussing the terms and conditions on which the properties were to be taken over. It was for these reasons that he moved the Amendment standing in his name. He felt very strongly that it would be very much better that they should enter into the discussion of this Bill under conditions which they could thoroughly well understand. He had referred incidentally to some of the municipalities which had built up successful undertakings, and he could multiply instances if further illustrations were necessary. It was said: "Ah! but what about the Water Board?" The Water Board, as he had already stated, was the outcome of the County Council not recognising the right to representation in connection with the other bodies outside. If Parliament made the mistake of agreeing to what this Bill proposed, he was afraid that they would not survive to see the purchase carried out. It might be said: "You are missing one argument. Do you not know that if we are taking away your representative board, we are going to create a beneficent body which will give you a bulk supply." He could not discuss the terms at present, but he might be allowed to say that it did not necessarily follow that the largest authority with regard to lighting supply was the best for the people. They had experience of that in London in regard to gas. Was their largest gas supply the cheapest? Those who consumed gas knew from their quarterly bills that that was not so. He hoped the House would not pass the instruction as it stood on the Paper, but that the Amendment would be accepted in order to protect the interests of municipalities in the matter of representation which a few years ago had the support of hon. Members who were going to oppose them to-night.


, in seconding the Amendment, said his hon. friend had put the case so forcibly for the outside districts that he would only say a few words. He could not, help entering a protest against the attitude of the Board of Trade. This was not the first time that the Board of Trade had deliberately disregarded the interests of districts outside London. Only a few months ago there was before the House the Port of London Bill, and on that occasion, although about forty-two miles of the County of Essex were included in the Port of London, the interests of that county were handed over, so far as the Board of Trade was concerned, unreservedly to the representatives of the City of London, the mercantile interests of London, and the London County Council. On this occasion he must respectfully protest against the attitude of the Board of Trade as indicated in the instruction standing in the name of the President of the Board. It was quite true that London had very strong voting power in this House, and that the outside districts had not the same voice. A great public department like the Board of Trade ought to take a wider view, and foresee the developments of the future, and it ought not to be guided by temporary and accidental facts. The areas involved in the proposals of the Bill were three times the size of the area now subject to the London County Council. In that vast area great developments were going on. There was a tendency more and more for traders and manufacturers to set up their works outside the county boundary. There were now improved means of locomotion by means of electric railways, trams, and tubes. If that was so to-day, what would it be forty or fifty years hence? The clause proposed by the Board of Trade did not deal with the present time, but with a future more or less remote. He could not help feeling that if the Port of London Bill and if this Bill which would provide a cheap supply of electricity in bulk were passed, there would be an enormous extension of industrial activity which would increase the relative importance of the outside areas. He wished to lay the greatest emphasis on this aspect of the matter, and, at the same time, to enter his protest against the outside districts being made in any way tributary to the London County Council. They ought to have their own complete independence and to be allowed to manage their own affairs on democratic principles without interference from the London County Council.

Amendment proposed— In line 2, to leave out the words 'the London County Council,' and to insert the words 'a central authority composed of representatives of the municipal authorities owning their electrical supplies within the area covered by the Bill."—(Mr. Rowlands.)

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

*SIR JOHN BENN (Devonport)

said he hoped that he might without offence congratulate his hon. friend on his admirable defence of Dartford. He would say that the case for Dartford and also the complaint of his hon. friend the Member for South East Essex could at once be met by leaving such places out of the Bill. There need be no difficulty about protecting the rights of all the undertakings in whose behalf his hon. friends so eloquently addressed the House.

MR. JOHN WARD (Stoke-on-Trent)

What about the others?


said there was no doubt the others would have intelligence equal to Dartford to protect their own interest. He knew that this proposal had been described as an attempt to fasten on London another great monopoly. [OPPOSITION cheers.] He was extremely glad to hear that cheer from the other side of the House, because if his friends would listen to him for a minute or two he could prove to them that they were being led into the support of an existing monopoly of a much more dangerous and uncontrolled character than the one represented by the Bill before the House. He noticed that certain gentlemen who came from other parts of the country, and who were not familiar with the complexities of London, had been brought to a mistaken conclusion by the literature which had been circulated by the right hon. Member for Islington. With regard to its electric supply, London suffered under two disabilities: by the existence of the undertakings set up by the borough councils and other local authorities which prevented their supplying an adequate bulk supply of electricity, and also by the existence of a number of companies over-lapping in their areas and inadequately equipped for this particular purpose. Hon. Members opposite had not recognised the fact that in supporting the right hon. Member for Islington they were backing up a monopoly which was already on the ground. The word "octopus" had been used. The "octopus" in possession was, he knew, a much more dangerous creature than the "octopus" which it was proposed to have regulated by this House and the Board of Trade. His hon. friend the Member for Dartford said that he was fighting a great monopoly, and he went on to mention the Water Board, declaring that the London County Council had failed to get its own water supply in consequence of the action of the outside authorities. Now, his hon. friend was following the same lines in order to prevent London getting its own electricity supply. If his friend's ideal was another Water Board to be fastened upon London, he hoped the House would deliver them from any such calamity. Why did he ask the House to reject the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dartford? It was because they had the backing of several eminent Committees. The Select Committee which considered the London County Council Electric Supply Bill in the session of 1906, reported as follows:— The Committee are of opinion that the best means of supplying of electrical energy in bulk, and for power and motive purposes, is by one large and exclusive scheme extending not only over the entire County of London, but also to adjoining boroughs and districts. … For the purpose of carrying out such a scheme some central authority is required with ample statutory powers and corresponding duties. … After giving full consideration to this question, the Committee are of opinion that the London County Council should be the authority. The Select Committee therefore clearly indicated that the London County Council should be the purchasing authority. [An HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear.] His hon. friend cheered that recommendation, but he would remind the House that years before they had tried to convince his friend and those behind him that the London County Council should be the authority, but they failed. This was the fourth time they had tried to endow London with an adequate bulk supply of electricity, and he would tell the House that if this Bill were before it with the name of the London County Council on it the measure would receive the same opposition from the hon. Member for Dartford and his friends. What were the facts with regard to the area described by the hon. Member for Dartford? The administrative county of London constituted the most important area of supply; and according to the census of 1901 the county population was 4,500,000, whilst the population of the remainder of the area of supply was only 1,800,000. His hon. friend the Member for Dartford proposed to substitute for the London County Council a central board formed by the municipal and other authorities owning their electrical supply within the area covered by the Bill. Did he call that a democratic body? What had he done for the areas not represented by such places as Dartford? The capital expenditure in the county of London was represented by something like £18,000,000, while that on the area of supply outside the county, including Dartford, was only £2,700,000. This would give a good idea of the respective areas involved in this great question. The London County Council had every reason to safeguard the interest of the areas within London, because they had advanced £5,000,000 to sixteen local authorities to enable them to carry out their undertakings. He might say that their idea in supporting this measure was to do for London the same sort of thing which had been done with eminent success for the great city of Newcastle-on-Tyne and the districts on the north-east coast. The supply of electricity to Newcastle, and to both banks of the Tyne to Durham, Middlesborough and the surrounding neighbourhood had made the business of these cities and districts advance by leaps and bounds. He would remind his hon. friends that if they did not seize this opportunity of settling the question for London, he saw no prospect of anything being done for London for many years to come.


Order; the hon. Member cannot go into the merits of the Bill.


said he would confine himself to the question before the House, and ask hon. Members to listen to the advice of two or three great Committees which had declared that the London County Council was the proper purchasing authority, as having the greatest interest in the matter. Although the London County Council was at present under the sway of the Party who sat on the opposite side of the House, it was united on this great question as to who should be the purchasing authority.

*MR. RADFORD (Islington, E.)

said that whilst the instruction moved by the Secretary to the Board of Trade seemed to be to him inadequate and not satisfactory, inasmuch as it left untouched the extraordinary purchase clause, he did not think it would be improved by accepting the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dartford. The hon. Member for Devonport—the junior Member—the knighted Member—had given them some reasons which had no great effect on him, as to why they should vote against the Amendment. The hon. Member had voted against the Second Reading of a similar Bill in 1905, and voted for the Second Reading of this Bill last July, and he believed on the present occasion he intended to show his constituents his versatility by not voting at all. There were no other ways in which he could display his versatility. If they considered the suggestion of the hon. Member for Dartford it really amounted to this, that he proposed to set up for this matter of electric supply a second Water Board. He had the advantage of the hon. Member in this respect only, that it was his misfortune to sit for two or three years as a member of the Metropolitan Water Board, which was the greatest fiasco ever attempted in the name of local government. It was composed of sixty-six members, representing, he believed, about half as many again different constituencies They were indirectly elected, so that there was not a single man on the Board who had any electors to whom he could appeal or who could call him to account for his conduct. They came from widely distant areas, and the questions discussed in the Water Board were only questions that he might call topographical. They referred to the conflicting interests of different districts which were covered by the Board. There was added to this the vice which was incident to the proposal of his hon. friend that members were elected by different authorities who came into being by elections at different dates. The result was that a man had no sooner become familiar with the routine of the Board than he was happily rejected by his constituents and replaced by somebody else.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. CALDWELL,) Lanarkshire, Mid.

To a certain extent the hon. Member is in order, but he is going too much into detail in the matter.


said that as soon as he got to know by sight a man on the Metropolitan Water Board he had been rejected by his constituents and was there no more.

MR. BARNARD (Kidderminster)



said his hon. friend who interrupted him was an instance of the topographical structure of the Metropolitan Water Board. He represented an obscure district he believed in Hertford or some distant county, and was now dominating the Water Board as its Chairman. It was a proposal to reconstruct a Board of this kind which came from the hon. Member for Dartford. He had not told them how many authorities there were who owned electrical undertakings, but there were thirteen in the county of London and he believed twice as many outside, so that they would probably have a composite Board displaying all those topographical indiscretions to which he had referred, and it would be such a travesty of local government as that for which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dublin was responsible. It seemed to him that the state of things in which they had a great governing body like London providing services for some of the outside areas was to some extent anomalous, but it was not a practical difficulty and in the case of some of the great municipalities of the country it had worked with excellent success. It had been felt in Manchester and elsewhere that the functions of municipal service which were exercised by a municipality might well be extended beyond the limits of the borough with general satisfaction. He was prepared to accept the instruction of the President of the Board of Trade, but he hoped when the time came the instruction would be extended so that it might touch the purchase clause which was the essence of the whole measure.

SIR EDWIN CORNWALL (Bethnal Green, N.E.)

thought the debate showed how difficult this whole matter was. Here they had a conflict between the outside and the inside areas. The hon. Member for Dartford and the hon. Member for Essex came there in conflict with the London County Council, which the Board of Trade suggested should be put into the Bill as the purchasing authority. When they came inside the county they found the hon. Member for Islington, who was leading an attack on behalf of the inside municipal areas, fighting in conflict with the central authority, and so it was from beginning to end. Whether with regard to electric supply in bulk, water supply, or the Port of London, or any big question affecting the enormous population of this great part of the country they had these same difficulties perpetually arising. When they were asked: Why do not you settle things in London as they do in Glasgow or Birmingham or Manchester? the answer was: Because there is no unity whatever in London. They had a population that lived in what was called the administrative county area administered by the County Council. They had outside districts beyond the county area which were as much London as Charing Cross was, and yet they could get no unity inside the area, and it did not matter how they might fight inside the area. They could have the hon. Member for Dartford with them when they were talking about unification, or the City Corporation, but directly it touched a district on the fringe of London that he happened to represent, local pressure was brought to bear upon him, he lost all the great patriotism of a great city, he was prepared to denounce his friends, and say it was due to their mismanagement that they lost control of the water supply of London. This only went to show how extremely difficult a problem this was for the Board of Trade to settle, and, as far as he was concerned, he was very glad the Board of Trade had put down this instruction. He could understand hon. Gentlemen opposite raising an objection to the instruction, but he could not understand hon. Gentlemen on that side opposing the Board of Trade. Why had the Board of Trade put this instruction on the Paper? It had been put down, he believed, because a great desire existed that the undertaking should be purchasable, not by an unknown and uncreated body, but by the central authority which controlled the largest area and the largest supply. This was the only authority that the Board of Trade could put in the Bill. Some day when the purchase took place the question raised by the hon. Member for Dartford would be very natural and proper to be considered, and of course it would come up. Who would propose that Dartford should be left entirely out of representation on the management of the bulk supply scheme? But directly they came to put in any other authority than the County Council they found themselves in the exact position that the hon. Member for Dartford found himself in, that he had to put down an Amendment which was absolutely impracticable, and which no Parliament could possibly accept. Fancy the Board of Trade putting down an instruction in the words proposed by the hon. Member. There had never been known such a thing. The Metropolitan Board of Works was not as bad as that. The hon. Member denounced the Water Board, but it was far better than the proposal that he had on the Paper. Directly they had an alternative to the proposal put forward by the Board of Trade they found themselves in a great difficulty, and that was the essence of the whole problem. What went to make up London? What was outside London? An hon. Member said that if they could have this bulk supply Bill giving London and its outside areas cheap electricity, under the port authority Bill they would at once get cheap electricity and the outside areas would be able to supply it. Fancy saying the Port of London was an outside area of London.


said the hon. Baronet had entirely misrepresented what he said. He had said that under the Port of London Bill 42 miles of the county of Essex was taken and came under the control of the inhabitants, the merchants, and the County Council of London, and Essex had no representation at all. He was defending the right of Essex to be on the authority.


said he understood the hon. Member to argue that this 42 miles of the Port area, if left outside and if the instruction was not passed, would be able to give a great impetus to their trade, and that they would benefit very largely in consequence. Whatever view they took this was an excellent illustration of the position of London. The Government had promoted a Port of London Bill, and one of the first things required by that Port would be a supply of cheap electricity for the working of electric cranes. The Port of London had not got that, and did anyone say it was in an outside area? He was bound to say it was not an outside area. Whether they were dealing with tramways, electricity, or water, they could not take an artificial line, say up the Edgware Road, and say that beyond that was not part of London, any more than they could take Bow or Stratford and say that that was the end of London. He said that representation was essential in these outside districts, but there was nothing inconsistent in that with what the Board of Trade had put upon the Paper. The Board was bound to put in some body which existed to-day, and when the time came it would no doubt be the case that these outside areas would get representation. They had tried on the London County Council to settle this question, and he thought it would have been far better if the London County Council had been left to settle it, but the municipal solution of this great problem having been considered impossible, he maintained that it was not just to deny to London the right to bring itself into line with the other great cities of the world. He should have no alternative but to support the instruction put down by the President of the Board of Trade.

MR. BONAR LAW (Camberwell, Dulwich)

said this had been a very pretty family quarrel, and he felt that it was almost a pity for him to interfere. He must say that he had listened with the greatest possible amazement to the speeches of the two hon. Members who used to represent the county council. He remembered perfectly well what they were told when they were on those benches—and it was quite possible that change of benches had some undesirable effect on those who sit on the front benches—he remembered hearing something like the eloquent words which the hon. Member used about the success of this electricity proposal elsewhere, and he pointed out then precisely what was pointed out now, that unless the measure of 1905 were adopted they would not succeed in getting cheap electricity for London. But he did not convince, for example, the hon. Member who was most violently opposed to that scheme. All he said about that was, not that the right hon. Gentleman had not a right to change his views, but that the arguments which wereobvious to him to-night, were obvious to them three years ago, and were quite as effective then as they were now. He was bound to say that he entirely sympathised with the main principles of the President of the Board of Trade in what he had done with regard to this Bill, although he thought they would not commend themselves to hon. Gentlemen below the gangway. He thought that the right hon. Gentleman was taking a proper and statesmanlike view of the interests of London with regard to this matter, but he was bound to say, also, that he could not support the Instruction in the form in which the right hon. Gentleman had put it on the Paper. The hon. Member who spoke last said that it was absolutely necessary to have some authority mentioned in the Bill, but he did not give them any reason for that statement, and there was a reason against it to the extent that the Committee presided over by Lord Cromer definitely decided that there should be power of purchase, but that the body to make the purchase should be left to be determined afterwards by Parliament. The hon. Gentleman and the hon. Member who spoke on behalf of the Board of Trade did not quite correctly represent the attitude of the County Council on this matter, and in the proposal which he was going to make, and which he hoped the President of the Board of Trade would accept, he was going to make exactly the proposal which was made in regard to the County Council by Lord Cromer's Committee. If the right hon. Gentleman would add to his instruction words to this effect "or some other public body to be appointed by Parliament," he would vote for the instruction, but otherwise he must vote against it, He could not support the Amendment, for many reasons which had been pointed out. It was a perfectly impracticable proposal to set up an authority now, which was to be the purchasing authority so many years hence, if this proposal came into operation. And it was not, only impracticable for that reason, but because the democratic principle on which the hon. Gentleman relied must apply to local authorities who did not own their electrical supplies as well as to the local authorities who did. He thought, therefore, he might expect that the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment would himself suppot his suggestion, which was that the purchasing power should remain, but that it should be vested not definitely in the County Council, but in the County Council or some other body which Parliament might think was more fitted for the purpose. He thought he could convince the President of the Board of Trade that the proposal he made was the only possible proposal under the circumstances. He could understand that the right hon. Gentleman thought it necessary to put the Motion down in this form, but he was in a different position from a certain number of his own supporters, who were not very fond of this proposal, and if it was going to make it easier for him to move this instruction, he was quite right to do so, provided he did not do any injustice to any other body. The right hon. Gentleman had to work with the tools he had got, and to make the best use he could of them. Let the light hon. Gentleman consider what the proposal meant. The district covered by this Bill was, he thought, three or four times the size of the area covered by the London County Council at this moment. The population within the London County Council area covered by the Bill was far more important at the moment than the population outside; but a constant change in this respect was going on, and it by no means followed that the business done by this new company in the County Council area would be the most important even under existing conditions of population. The company could only enter into competition with existing bodies supplying electricity on terms so onerous that for practical purposes such competition was out of the question. So that, obviously, their business would not grow in districts now well supplied, but would more and more extend in the outer areas where there was not such a good supply. It would be unjust from every point of view if the body that created the largest part of the business was then left without any control. But there was a monetary consideration. If the company were successful, that would represent a valuable asset at the end of the purchasing period. Did the right hon. Gentleman propose that a valuable sum of money due to areas outside the London County Council area should be transferred from those to the London County Council itself? There was, as another consideration, a possibility that the municipal tendencies of Members below the gangway opposite might run their course, and that it would come to be regarded that the best way of running these businesses was to lease them to private enterprise. [Loud MINISTERIAL cries of "Oh!" and "No."] He threw that out as a suggestion, but, of course, hon. Members opposite might know a great deal more about the future than he did, and they might be right and he might be wrong, but it could not be denied that it was a possible suggestion. They must remember that the monetary consideration was just the same whether the undertaking was worked by the London County Council or by another municipal body or under lease, and supposing that happened and the undertaking were leased again to a company, did the right hon. Gentleman actually suppose that the monetary payment for that lease was to be given, not to the districts where the money was made, but to the London County Council, which had nothing to do with the way in which it was made? Obviously this was a consideration which must be seriously entertained. He dared say the hon. Gentleman would, tell them that if the bulk of the business was done outside the London County Council area, Parliament could alter the conditions imposed by the Bill. That was perfectly true; it could alter anything, but he asked the House to remember that it would be a long time before it was known definitely whether this was going to be a profitable enterprise or not. If the name of the County Council alone appeared in the Bill, during all the years between now and the time of purchase the County Council would regard it as an asset to which they were entitled, a vested interest would have grown up which was to be their property, and Parliament could not alter the conditions without much greater difficulty and appearance of hardship than would be the case if the proposal he was making were adopted, and the London County Council were put in as a possible authority, and some other authority were also recognised as possible by Parliament. If the right hon. Gentleman did not accept his suggestion, it was his responsibility, and he should vote against the instruction because it seemed so unjust. His proposal was that it should be left to some public body to be appointed by Parliament. He could not himself conceive any reason whatever why the right hon. Gentleman should object to it except, as he had suggested, that it might be more agreeable to his friends below the gangway, who, he supposed, were not in favour of the proposal as a whole, to have the London County Council alone named as the purchasing authority. If an outsider could judge of these matters, he did not think it would remove the opposition in the least of the hon. Members below the gangway who objected to private enterprise on any terms. On the contrary, they would recognise that, if the Bill were to go through, and if there were to be a purchasing authority, it was only fair and just that that authority should be decided upon when Parliament knew what the conditions were to be.

*MR. DICKINSON (St. Pancras, N.)

said he was very much obliged to the hon. Member for Dulwich for the speech he had made. He must have cleared the air very considerably. He had said he would only vote for the instruction if there were included in it a definite injunction to the Committee that the purchasing authority should be some body to be set up at some distant future date.


Or the London County Council.


said he might point out to the hon. Gentleman that that was precisely what the Bill did. It was because the Bill did that that they attached so very great importance to the instruction the President of the Board of Trade was moving. The Bill itself said that the undertaking of the company should be liable to be purchased by any county council or joint-committee of county councils, body, or trustees, or other public body or body who might be authorised by Parliament to purchase the undertaking. It was precisely because that was so very clear and definite that the London Members, or at any rate a large proportion of London Members, were anxious that the House should once and for all settle this question. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Dulwich wanted the question postponed, and said that possibly the municipal idea would then have run out its course. He and those acting with him were, however, firmly convinced, and had been throughout, that the only right solution of the question of electricity supply in London was that it should be in the possession of the municipal authorities, and it was because they were so firmly convinced of the necessity that this undertaking should be in the hand of the municipal authorities that they preferred to make it perfectly certain that this would ultimately be the case. If the question were left unsettled for another four or five years things might happen both inside and outside the House that might make it impossible for them to secure to posterity the possession of this undertaking. It was, he could not help thinking, unfortunate that the debate should take place on the Second Reading of a Bill for which no one in the House, neither a Government Department nor a private Member, was responsible. The Bill emanated from private individuals, and, of course, could not expect to command the support of the House in its entirety. It would have been very much better that the Bill should have come before them after having undergone the investigation of a Committee; but that, of course, was impossible, and it was because they were anxious that a Committee of the House of Commons, filled with responsibility to do what it could for the best for London, should consider the proposals in the Bill and see whether they could not be so shaped that they would be ultimately for the best advantage of London, that they were so anxious that it should get to a Committee with this one definite instruction, that the purchasing authority should be the London County Council.


May I interrupt the hon. Member? I understood him to say that the London County Council was anxious that it alone should be put in as the purchasing authority. If so, that is not so. They put the proposal I have urged before the House to-night.


said he did not say that the London County Council had done that. He said the London Liberal Members were anxious for it. Now that the hon. Gentleman had challenged him as to what the County Council did say, the House should know what the views of the County Council were. He had the Report issued by Mr. Felix Cassell, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee, of 22nd July, 1908, in which it was said that the President of the Board of Trade would on the Second Reading move an instruction to the Committee dealing with the Bill, to the effect that the Council should be named as the purchasing authority. The Report concluded— We do not think that the Council should oppose the Second Reading of the Bill, or that it should offer any resistance to the instructions referred to above. He therefore thought he was justified in saying that the County Council, even as at present constituted, would favour the instruction before the House.


said he was very sorry to interrupt, but this really was a question of fact open to everybody who read the evidence. What the hon. Member had read was a statement by a member of the Council, by the chairman of a committee; but the evidence on which he (the hon. Member speaking) made his statement was the definite proposal urged in Lord Cromer's Committee by the County Council.


said he thought that was perfectly accurate. The present County Council appeared before Lord Cromer's Committee, and at that time they agreed to the Report of the Bill, but it was after that that negotiations took place with the President of the Board of Trade. The Parliamentary Committee then brought up this formal Report, and it came before the Council and was adopted. He wished for one moment to deal with the powers which the County Council or public body or central authority proposed by the hon. Member for Dartford would purchase. He must, with great respect, say that the provisions of the Bill, even though drafted by a private company and not by any Member, had been greatly misrepresented as regarded the actual powers the company were to have and to sell. It had been represented as a huge monopoly. If they had felt it was a monopoly in any shape or form, or that it could be made into a monopoly, they would have been its most strenuous opponents. It was because they had looked into the question carefully and had come to the contrary conclusion that they had advocated it.

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

on a point of order asked whether it was in order to discuss the instruction broadly, or whether they must keep to the limited point of the Amendment. He did not want in the least to stop his hon. friend, but he would like to hear whether they might also follow and discuss the instruction broadly.


An Amendment having been moved with regard to the purchasing authority, we must keep to that point till it is disposed of. Then it will be open for some further Amendments to be moved when the main question is again set up.


said he quite understood, thoroughly agreed with, and bowed to the ruling; but he did not think it would interfere with the course of his argument. He was going to point out what was the substance of the matter which would have to be purchased by the authority proposed by the hon. Member for Dartford. There was no monopoly to be purchased. It was perfectly true there were clauses in the Bill, drafted as it was by the company, which might be turned into a monopoly and become as dangerous to the public welfare as the water companies or the tram companies as they existed; but those clauses had never yet been before a Committee of the House, and it had already been announced by the President of the Board of Trade in the debate last July that those clauses would have to be considered carefully, not only by a Committee but also by the House.


The hon. Member is going rather into the merits of the Bill than keeping to the limited purpose of the Amendment.


said that at any rate the matter was perfectly open to the consideration of the House on a future occasion. Even under the Bill as it stood, there were no powers which could be really called monopoly powers. The power of purchasing other undertakings might be turned into a monopoly power.


That is not the limited point of the Amendment.


thought he might be allowed to say that the powers of the company would be the power of producing electricity and of selling it to those distributers who required it. There would be no compulsion to take it, or on anyone to receive it. That seemed to him a very important consideration from all points of view, and especially from the point of view of his hon. friend the Member for Dartford. Representing the interests of the Dartford Council, the hon. Member objected to something which he thought would place the London County Council in a position of supremacy over the Dartford Council. It would do no such thing. All it would do would be to enable the Loudon County Council, in the place of the company, to offer cheap electricity to those distributers who desired to have it. Whatever was the purchasing authority, the promoting company would, with few exceptions, have no power of dealing direct with the consumers, and therefore, the interest of the consumer and the interest of the public would be entirely in the hands of the distributers and the councils in London. That being so, of course, the question arose whether they could appoint another public authority as producer in the place of the London County Council, but that proposal had been before several Committees, all of whom had come to the conclusion that the County Council must be the authority. Those who advocated this proposal did not desire to injure the places that surrounded London, but were anxious to assist them in every way, and if any proposal could be made which would really be better than this proposal for establishing an authority for the provision of this current electricity which would be sold to the various distributers, they would be only too willing to consider it. He could not help thinking that that was a matter for Committee and not for discussion on the Second Reading. He hoped the House would decide that this question of how the supply of bulk electricity was to be furnished in the future should be settled now once for all, and that they would be able to go ahead with the full knowledge of the respective positions of the present distributers, the present companies, the new company, the London County Council, and the other authorities. It was of the utmost importance, in view of the grave difficulty that existed in regard to the purchase of the existing companies, that this question should be settled from the municipal point of view, and he trusted that the House would allow the instruction to pass.

*MR. WALTER GUINNESS (Bury St. Edmunds)

said the hon. Member for St. Pancras had suggested at the beginning of his speech that the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Dulwich was hardly necessary, because the point was met by the Bill which laid it down that the undertaking should be liable to purchase by any county council, or joint-committee of county councils, body of trustees or other public authority or body who might be authorised by Parliament to purchase the undertaking. He did not think the point of the hon. Member for Dulwich was met by this Clause 67, because under it, no authority was definitely named, and the point was that unless some definite instruction was laid down in the Bill further legislation would be necessary before the undertaking could be purchased, and the objection they felt to leaving the matter in this vague state was that Parliament might possibly neglect again to legislate on the subject, and that the purchase powers which were laid down as being in the power of various different bodies might in that way be allowed to lapse unless it was put down once for all that the County Council, or some other body, should be constituted as the purchasing authority. In any case Clause 67 would be overridden by the Instruction of the President of the Board of Trade. If they would also accept the suggestion of the hon. Member for Dulwich they would guard against the danger of the purchase powers being allowed to lapse and at the same time would not hamper the action of Parliament if in the future they were to decide that somebody still to be created were to take the place of the County Council as purchasing authority. The Amendment of the hon. Member for Dartford was hardly a practicable one. It was not reasonable to expect the House to legislate for the representation of borough councils fifty years hence. It was quite reasonable to say that the County Council or some other body named by Parliament should exercise these powers, but it was impossible at present to say how the borough councils were to be represented. The difficulty was that if they made the borough councils the purchasing authority they would only have a part of the area represented, because he thought it was only about half the borough councils who had electrical undertakings in their hands. Another difficulty was that under the present law it would be almost impossible for the borough councils to buy out even the distributing agencies, because there was so much overlapping that the cost of buying out would be absolutely prohibitive, owing to the fact that under the Electric Lighting Acts allowance had to be made for severance, and as a result of that it was quite certain that they would have to have some central body. He personally felt it was very difficult to imagine a central body administering electric power and electric lighting schemes unless it was directly elected. They had been told the Water Board was a parallel case. He did not think it was, because after all the Water Board administered water, which was a universal want, and they would probably never reach the day in London when electricity would be used by everybody. Anyhow it was a long way off. But everybody must use water. He imagined even if hon. Members drank alcohol they occasionally washed. He expected the electors of London would not allow an indirectly elected body to charge the rates with the enormous capital expenditure which would be necessary to buy out the existing electric companies, and especially this bulk supply, and for that reason they must have a directly elected central body. His own feeling was that it ought to be the London County Council Hon. Members had made rather too much of the point that it was not fair for the London County Council to go outside its own area. After all there was a precedent for it. Although the borough councils in London did not supply consumers beyond their borough boundaries it was quite a common thing in the provinces for boroughs to get power to supply gas, water, and even electricity beyond their boundaries, by agreement. This Bill did not propose in any way to compel outside authorities to take the electricity of this bulk supply company, and he therefore thought it would be quite safe to constitute the London County Council as the purchasing authority. At the same time he hoped the Amendment suggested by his hon. friend the Member for Dulwich would be accepted. If, however, it was not, he should certainly vote for the instruction of the President of the Board of Trade, because he thought it was most necessary that there should be some central body in London which should take an interest in the organisation of electric supplies, and which should take a comprehensive view of the whole matter.


thought the House would feel that, whatever might be thought or said about the London and District Bill on its merits and as a main proposition, this debate had been conclusive with regard to the special point before the House. From almost every quarter of the House they had had speeches on the subject of who should be the ultimate purchasing authority and those who had followed the debate would, he thought, agree, if they were forced to choose between the proposition he had put forward and the proposition advanced by his hon. friend the Member for Dart-ford, that there was, even among all the tangles of London electricity, one problem which was settled. The hon. Member for Dulwich had suggested an addition to the instruction he had put on the Paper, namely, that they should say the County Council "or some other authority to be fixed by Parliament." He did not see any grave objection to those words in themselves, but he would recommend the House not to adopt them. The Government were seeking by this instruction to indicate a general policy for the future. They were seeking to affirm a principle which would certainly govern these Bills so far as they might progress, and which might govern other Bills if these Bills should not reach maturity. What was that principle? It was a large and simple principle. It was that ultimately, and, for his part, he hoped as soon as possible, there should be one combined, extensive, uniform system of electrical supply for London—for the Metropolitan area—and that the supply should be under the control of the government of London. That was the large, general proposition, and, however they might differ—and the subject was so complicated and vexed, and there were so many cross-currents in it that any man might be pardoned for differing from another—he had the greatest respect for those who took a different view from that which he had put forward—however they might differ upon the main question, surely all those who, from every point of view, would wish to champion the general and large progressive interest of London government could unite in pointing to the London County Council as the future main authority over the electrical supply. He was glad to hear the hon. Gentleman opposite who last spoke and who represented the opinion of the ruling force on the London County Council at the present time, speak no less strongly in support of the prerogative of that great body to be the authority entrusted with this duty than his hon. friends behind him who had spoken. It was not only a question of providing for an authority which was to administer the electrical supply of London when the purchase clauses matured. They had to think of the interval, and they were proposing to assign to a public body purchase rights over a private undertaking, and those rights did not operate until a good number of years had passed. What a safeguard it was to the public interest to vest those rights clearly and unmistakably in a powerful and existing public body, and not to leave it to an embryonic creation which had not yet come into being, something vague, which a Parliament of the future might possibly or might not select or create. How much better it was to have some powerful, trusty custodian of such purchase rights as were secured by the Bill and would ultimately operate. And he was bound to say that when they came to the special question of the merits of the Amendment he felt even greater confidence. As had been pointed out his hon. friend had shown in his speech the vice of his Amendment; he had supported representation on high democratic grounds, and yet by his Amendment he would exclude nearly half the districts concerned from any share in his proposed representation.


Not necessarily.


said it was so because the Amendment was to substitute for the London County Council "a central authority composed of representatives of the municipal authorities owning their electrical supplies within the area covered by the Bill." There were seventy-seven local authorities within the area, and of these, thirty-five did not own electrical undertakings and so would not be represented at all. The hon. Member had allowed these to slip from his memory, though among them were the City of London, Westminster and Paddington, a great part of central and of southern London. His hon. friend asked the House to create a purchasing body in preference to the London County Council, which would be less representative, less responsible, less competent than the County Council with its experience and ever-growing skill and capacity. This new body would have no rating power, a special statute would be required to effect the purchase, and even if all the difficulties were surmounted, a body would be created that would be but a bad imitation of that Water Board which had been severely criticised on both sides of the House. The question had now been discussed at some length, and he suggested that the House should come to a decision upon the Amendment so that other aspects of the question might be raised by his right hon. friend the Member for Islington and others.

MR. JOHN WARD (Stoke-on-Trent)

said he intended to support the Amendment of his hon. friend the Member for Dartford. If the outside areas were compelled to come into this scheme, then they ought to be represented. Those who represented the London County Council seemed to have forgotten the main bone of contention. He happened to be on the Committee which considered the last Bill dealing with the subject promoted by the London County Council. It was proposed under that Bill, as was proposed on this occasion, to take in twenty odd authorities which were not within the jurisdiction of the London County Council at all. Those twenty public authorities could not by any manner of means have any representation on the London County Council, and yet they would be obliged under this Bill at the end of the stated period to sell to the County Council the undertakings which they had secured at great expense. That was a proposal which was now being defended by hon. Members who professed to be Progressives and democrats. The hon. Baronet the Member for Devonport twitted the hon. Member for Dartford with having forgotten his democratic principles. Was it democratic to compel twenty public bodies, well known for their proper and decent management of their affairs, to be dispossessed of the undertakings they had built up with so much labour, energy, and expense, and this without having any representation whatever upon the body taking over their undertakings? Most of the opposition to the London County Council's attempting to deal with this subject of electric supply for London had not come from the authorities within its jurisdiction, but from those twenty or thirty outside local authorities which the London County Council wanted to sweep into its net without giving them any voice whatever in the administration. The hon. Member for Dartford, he understood, was willing to withdraw his Motion, but he objected to that course because he wished to register his protest in the division lobby. The hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds said that the attempt to include within the jurisdiction of the London County Council those outside areas was not a new proposition, and that the same thing was often done in the case of other large towns, and he mentioned Newcastle as an instance.


I do not think I mentioned the case of Newcastle at all.


said other hon. Members had mentioned Newcastle. At any rate the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds stated that in other towns the taking in of outside areas was often done in the case of gas, water, and electric supply. He wished to point out to the House that the areas to be taken in under this Bill were not the suburbs which sprang up outside provincial towns, but included large towns, and one of the districts to be brought under the jurisdiction of the London County Council was Croydon, which had a population of over 100,000 people, and possessed its own tramway system. Croydon had already proved that it could produce electricity in bulk as cheaply as any body under the control of the London County Council. Such great municipalities as East Ham and West Ham, which were not now in the London County Council area, were to be included under this scheme. Such cases as Bromley in Kent, Kingston-on-Thames, Richmond, and other places, embracing hundreds of thousands of people were to be swept into the net of the London County Council by this proposal. It was surprising to him to notice the peculiar harmony which had so suddenly been proclaimed between the Progressive and Moderate members of the London County Council. This was an attempt by a private corporation to secure powers to compete with outside municipal authorities who had spent millions upon their undertakings, which they were being compelled by agreement to sell upon a shadowy kind of representation. It remained to be proved whether or not under this scheme those outside areas would get a cheaper supply. Was it a sensible proposal to solve this problem by including twenty or thirty outside local authorities who had petitioned against this Bill, and would insist upon debating every line of it? He asked them to consider whether in putting forward these proposals and especially the proposal that the undertaking should be controlled by a private syndicate, they were not running the risk which they wanted to avoid. If the County Council had attempted to deal properly with the County Council area alone, and if they had left the outside districts for the present at least to shift for themselves, there was a sufficient population under the jurisdiction of the Council to enable them to show that they could give as cheap a supply of electricity as it was possible to give. [Cries of "No."] He maintained that was so. He had listened to the evidence of experts, who said that the inclusion of the outside population did not make the slightest difference in the cost of bulk supply. That being so, why did the members of the County Council, whether Progressives or Moderates, insist upon including the outside authorities within the scope of their purchase clause without giving any representation? They were told that it was democratic to refuse representation. It was a curious illustration of democracy. He did not believe that Parliament would allow this body to take possession of millions of capital, and of growing areas that had been developed by the energy, foresight, and municipal enterprise of the people of those districts, without giving them representation. It was a moral certainty that the proposal would not succeed. Those who paid the rates would require to know something about the price. When he listened to the speeches of the Progressive members, and even the Moderate members, of the London County

Council, he could not help thinking that they were not nearly so anxious to supply cheap electricity to London as to extend their boundaries over the districts to which they did not propose to give any representation at all.


said it had been admitted in the debate by speaker after speaker that the local areas were entitled to some representation, and, therefore, the object he had in moving the Amendment had been served. He regretted that the President of the Board of Trade had not been able to accept the Amendment suggested by the hon. Member for Dulwich. He asked leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Leave to withdraw being refused,

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 174; Noes, 86. (Division List No. 267.)

Abraham, William (Rhondda) Carr-Gomm, H. W. Gill, James (Harrow)
Acland, Francis Dyke Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Gill, A. H.
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Channing, Sir Francis Allston Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Cheetham, John Frederick Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Clough, William Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Clynes, J. R. Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.
Baring, Capt. Hn. G. (Winchester Cobbold, Felix Thornley Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton
Barker, John Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)
Barnard, E. B. Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)
Beale, W. P. Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh
Beck, A. Cecil Cory, Sir Clifford John Hart-Davies, T.
Bell, Richard Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Haworth, Arthur A.
Bellairs, Carlyon Cox, Harold Higham, John Sharp
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt Crosfield, A. H. Hobhouse, Charles E. H.
Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Crossley, William J. Holt, Richard Durning
Bennett, E. N. Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Horniman, Emslie John
Berridge, T. H. D. Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S. Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Bertram, Julius Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Black, Arthur W. Dobson, Thomas W. Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)
Bramsdon, T. A. Duckworth, James Kearley, Sir Hudson E.
Branch, James Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Kekewich, Sir George
Brigg, John Essex, R. W. Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)
Brodie, H. C. Evans, Sir Samuel T. Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis
Brooke, Stopford Everett, R. Lacey Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.)
Bryce, J. Annan Fenwick, Charles Lehmann, R. C.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Ferens, T. R. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)
Cameron, Robert Findlay, Alexander Levy, Sir Maurice
Lewis, John Herbert Nuttall, Harry Strachey, Sir Edward
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Paulton, James Mellor Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Sutherland, J. E.
Lupton, Arnold Pearce, William (Limehouse) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Lyell, Charles Henry Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Pickersgill, Edward Hare Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
M'Callum, John M. Pirie, Duncan V. Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.
M'Crae, Sir George Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton
M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Raphael, Herbert H. Tomkinson, James
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Rees, J. D. Toulmin, George
M'Micking, Major G. Ridsdale, E. A. Verney, F. W.
Mallet, Charles E. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Markham, Arthur Basil Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs) Waring, Walter
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Robson, Sir William Snowdon Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Marnham, F. J. Roch, Walter V. (Pembroke) Waterlow, D. S.
Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Rogers, F. E. Newman Watt, Henry A.
Massie, J. Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W. Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Menzies, Walter Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Micklem, Nathaniel Sears, J. E. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Molteno, Percy Alport Seaverns, J. H. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Mond, A. Shackleton, David James Wiles, Thomas
Money, L. G. Chiozza Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Montagu, Hon. E. S. Sherwell, Arthur James Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Shipman, Dr. John G. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Morrell, Philip Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master of Elibank.
Napier, T. B. Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Norman, Sir Henry Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Stanger, H. Y.
Nussey, Thomas Willans Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey Nunnetti, Joseph P.
Ashley, W. W. Fletcher, J. S. Nicholls, George
Balcarres, Lord Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gordon, J. Nield, Herbert
Banner, John S. Harmood- Gretton, John O'Grady, J.
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'd) Harwood, George Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Hay, Hon. Claude George Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n
Bignold, Sir Arthur Helmsley, Viscount Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Bowles, G. Stewart Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Brace, William Hill, Sir Clement Ronaldshay, Earl of
Brotherton, Edward Allen Hills, J. W. Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Bull, Sir William James Hodge, John Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M. Hudson, Walter Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Carlile, E. Hildred Jowett, F. W. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Cave, George Joynson-Hicks, William Snowden, P.
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Stanier, Beville
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Kerry, Earl of Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Keswick, William Steadman, W. C.
Cooper, G. J. Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Summerbell, T.
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Marks, H. H. (Kent) Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Craik, Sir Henry Mason, James F. (Windsor) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Crooks, William Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Curran, Peter Francis Middlemore, John Throgmorton Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Moore, William
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan Morrison-Bell, Captain TELLERS FOB IHE NOES—Mr. Rowlands and Mr. Whitehead.
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Fardell, Sir T. George Myer, Horatio

Main Question again proposed.

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

said that they found themselves that evening in a most unfortunate position. There was no disposition on his part, or on the part of some of his friends for whom he spoke, to give the Government any trouble whatever. This was a private Bill, and he regretted that the Government should have interfered with it at all. He did not like to be dragged into any quarrel with the hon. Member for Dart ford or the President of the Board of Trade. The people he wanted to get at were the promoters of this private Bill which he and his friends thought would inflict great injury on London. It was these gentlemen who should bring forward instructions and Amendments, and then they would be able to fight them in the open, and not the Government. He would point out that the instruction was most unsatisfactory when they came to examine its provisions. Everyone who had spoken on that side of the House was agreed that the purchase clause in the Bill was most unsatisfactory. The Secretary to the Board of Education stated that— He would not for a moment support the Bill were it not for the important Instruction to be proposed by the President of the Board of Trade, nor did he approve in the least of the proposed terms of purchase which had come from the House of Lords. Now, nothing had been done to alter the terms of purchase. To lay it down that the London County Council should be the purchasing authority did not improve this wretched clause. He thought that the object the President of the Board of Trade had in view was too apparent. The right hon. Gentleman wished to pay some deference to the principle of municipal control. They all approved of that, but the House would remark the round-about way by which the right hon Gentleman endeavoured to establish that principle. At the present moment there were some forty local authorities with electric installations. The plan of the Government was to allow this private company under Clause 77 of the Bill to acquire these local authorities' undertakings without coming to Parliament, then to give the company a free run for fifty-three years, and afterwards to protect London by allowing the County Council to purchase the undertaking. The Instruction simply said that the purchasing authority should be the London County Council. What did the London County Council get? The right to purchase; but all rights to purchase depended on the terms on which the purchase might be effected, and the right hon. Gentleman did not give them the slightest comfort wit regard to terms. What did his eloquent supporters say in regard to this matter? The junior Member for Devonport was most eloquent, but not on the subject of terms. That hon. Member always thought that he was a London Member, but as a matter of fact he represented a very distant part of the Kingdom. Then his hon. friend the Secretary to the Board of Education also supported the instruction. In fact, all the worst parts of this proposal seemed to come from new Members from Scotland, who hardly had the time to learn the accent before they came to teach old-fashioned, quiet going, London Members how to do their duty to London. The junior Member for Devonport said that the President of the Board of Trade would attend to the purchase clause, and that he would put in what the Liberal Government did in 1870, in regard to the tramways. That arrangement was that the companies should have a free run for twenty-one years, and that then the purchase would be made without the payment for any goodwill. They had heard a good deal about a split among London Members on this question. There was no split; London was solid, and it was on the promise that they would get tramway terms, made on behalf of the Government by the Secretary to the Board of Education, that the Second Reading of the Bill was carried. Now they came down after three months of labour, and here was this miserable mouse of instruction which the right hon. Gentleman proposed. The right hon. Gentleman might say that the instruction would be sent to the Committee upstairs, and that if the Committee did not do what was right with regard to terms, there would be another opportunity of considering the question. That was not exactly the position in which they should be placed. There was a clause before the House. They knew what the Committee thought of it. But it was proposed to give free rein for fifty-three years to these private monopolies, the longest term of payment ever proposed to be given in any Bill. That was in the Bill, and when they came to the instruction dealing with it, it should not have been left to the Secretary to the Board of Education to give a pious opinion on the matter. There should have been in the instruction some recognition of the fact that the terms in the Bill were highly unsatisfactory; and that if they were not improved in Committee, the House would have to deal with the matter when the Bill came back for a Third Reading. He hoped that the Prime Minister, whom he was glad to see was present, would give them another opportunity of considering this question at 8.15 p.m., and he promised the right hon. Gentleman that he would put down a fresh and definite instruction, and that if he obtained an opportunity of doing so, there would be such a volume of opinion behind it, as to what the terms of purchase ought to be, that he believed the Government would hesitate to decline to accept it. He proposed tramway terms. What could be the objection to that? It might be said that twenty-one years was too short a period; but let seven or fourteen years more be added if need be. The great principle to establish was that, as under tramways purchase, there was no good-will. He wanted no goodwill, and if they knocked out the goodwill, the Government would effect a great deal in connection with the Bill. Twenty or thirty years would be ridiculous. Some of his hon. friends suggested twenty-one years good-will, but he did not want to have any Bill with goodwill in it. He was in favour of the principle which he learned in better days from the Secretary to the Board of Education, the Member for North St. Pancras, and the junior Member for Devonport. Why had these Gentlemen all changed their minds? It was bcause they had sustained a defeat at the polls in London. They had not got the Parliamentary temperament yet. They must learn to keep their tempers and stick to their principles, and that would enable them to carry their principles sometimes to a victorious conclusion. He had not changed his belief in regard to this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman had spoken of wicked people who were behind this opposition; he himself was behind it, and he could quote his speech. All he could say was that his instruction at the present moment did not in the least meet their opposition, and as to the terms of purchase, it contained nothing whatever. It did not improve the purchase clause in the Bill one iota, and did not fulfil the terms laid down by the Secretary to the Board of Education. He had been told that he could not take the opinion of the House upon this question, unless the Prime Minister could give them a little more time. If he did, he would promise him that they would have this matter dealt with as a positive instruction, and he would take a vote of the House upon it.


said he generally agreed with a great deal that had fallen from his right hon. friend. He thought the right hon. Gentleman had shown very clearly that, whatever opinion this House might have formed upon the merits of the Bill, it was not the question before the House. That question was a much more narrow and restricted one, and his right hon. friend, in the course of his eloquent remarks on the general practice, did not use any argument at all against the instruction which he had put upon the Paper, and upon which the House would be asked to vote. The right hon. Gentleman directed his arguments to the general question of the London and District Bill, a very wide and vastly complicated question—how vast and complicated the House might gather from the size of the book containing the evidence taken before the Committee in another place. He had never desired to commit the House or the Committee, His Majesty's Government or the Board of Trade, to the support of this Bill as it stood upon its merits and he agreed that there was a very solid foundation for a good many of the arguments which had been used that evening. But there was one thing he had, desired on behalf of the Government, and that was to press and urge upon the House the proper, scientific, and regular consideration of this important and complicated question by the only method by which justice could be done to such a proposal—namely, by careful and impartial examination at the hands of a Select Committee of the House. No Member of the House, if he had stood in his place, could have taken any other course than that which he had felt it right to take. No one denied that it would be of immense practical benefit to millions of people if cheap and abundant electricity could be supplied on terms more in accordance with those possessed by other great cities. Year after year measures of this kind had been put forward to achieve this end. The ingenuity of every one was exhausted in trying to steer this large public object through all the cross-currents which obstructed and delayed it. Everyone knew what the object was; everyone knew as the years went by that the object had not been achieved and that there was no immediate prospect of that object being obtained, except by means of the proposals they had before them; and when a proposal had been examined for thirty or forty sittings of a Committee of some of the ablest men in the country, and embodied in a Bill of eighty or 100 clauses of great complexity; when it was supported by a large proportion of the Liberal Members for London; when it was brought before the House in these circumstances, and in a year when unemployment had reached its maximum, and when private business had reached its minimum, he said that, whatever opinion might be entertained about this or that particular clause, it would be improper and disrespectful and almost indecent procedure on the part of Parliament to fling such a Bill out without paying it the respect of a proper and scientific examination before a Committee. He ventured to say that that advice would be given by anyone who was called upon to represent an important Government Department, and the fact that hon. Gentlemen opposite chose the Second Reading, in defiance of all the principles he had always heard enunciated by their leaders, to cast their votes against the Government, showed how completely faction, and faction alone had led to their action. He did not hold that His Majesty's Government were committed to the merits of these Bills.

MR. H. C. LEA (St. Pancras, E.)

Then why put the Government Whips on?


said he would try to explain if the House would permit. What he did consider the Government responsible for was the securing of proper consideration at the hands of a Committee. The Committee was now examining the Bill. The Board of Trade would have access to that Committee and would watch the progress of the Bill through the Committee. He very largely agreed with his right hon. friend that it was a very doubtful question whether the local authorities affected by the Bill ought not to have a right of veto on any compulsory powers of entering into their area. That was a question which must be very carefully examined before the Committee, and one of the matters which the Board of Trade would carefully watch. Then there was the question of the purchase terms, a most complicated question. There never had been a purchase clause in a bulk supply Bill before; but he was prepared to say that the purchase terms in their present form were not satisfactory, and it would be the duty of the Board of Trade to represent that before the Committee when they were called upon to give evidence. He agreed that Clause 77, on which his right hon. friend based the gravamen of his attack, was objectionable. Every single clause of the kind had been objected to by the Board of Trade, and he was prepared to give the House a pledge that, if that clause appeared in the Bill when it came back to the House, he would not only not support it, but would counsel the House to reject the Bill. But these were questions for Committee. He asked the House not to ride off on the question of the merits of the Bill, for what they were really dealing with was the proper procedure to be applied to this complex and difficult question. All these matters would be examined before the Committee, and the House and the Government would remain perfectly free to take their own course when the Bill came back. For his part he intended to reserve his opinion, as His Majesty's Government reserved theirs, on the final action to be taken, until they had the Report of a thoroughly competent Committee as to how far these clauses were reconcilable with the public interest. He feared that what he had been saying was irrelevant, because the question before the House was not the merits of the Bill, but whether the House should take this opportunity of affirming the large general principle that, across all the confusion and all the cross-currents of electrical enterprise in London, there should be one general line of advance marked out—that was, the establishment of one united system of electric supply in the London area under the control of the government of London.

MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)

said he did not like the Government's system of municipalisation, which was first to set up a monopoly and then to give the community power to buy it up. The right hon. Gentleman said that it was very desirable to give to London a cheap supply of electricity, but that was not the way to do so, nor could that object be obtained by any form of purchasing clause, because they could not accomplish two incompatible objects. It was impossible to have a clause which would provide fair terms of purchase thirty or forty years hence and at the same time provide for the proper development and growth of the undertaking in the interval. If this House enacted a fair purchasing clause, it must inevitably have a prejudicial effect upon the supply in the interval. They could not have it both ways. This was really an attempt to square the circle. At Question time they had the object-lesson of what had happened in the case of the National Telephone Company. There the purchasing clause had had the effect that the undertaking had been starved. The company had not developed its business, but on the contrary was refusing to take

orders and to spend money and was dismissing its employees. That was the inevitable effect of the purchase clause. He was not prepared to discuss the purchase clause of this Bill, though he agreed that the terms of it would be very onerous to the London County Council. The right hon. Gentleman and some colleagues of his in the representation of London had now completely changed their attitude. They were formerly all in favour of municipal control, and voted against a Bill which was in substance the same as this. He supposed they would presently vote in favour of the Bill and say the position was changed, which he denied.

Mr. CHURCHILL rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided:—Ayes, 153; Noes, 144. (Division List No. 268.)

Acland, Francis Dyke Brodie, H. C. Dobson, Thomas W.
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Brooke, Stopford Duckworth, James
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Bryce, J. Annan Essex, R. W.
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Evans, Sir Samuel T.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Everett, R. Lacey
Baring, Capt. Hn. G. (Winchester Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Ferens, T. R.
Barker, John Cheetham, John Frederick Findlay, Alexander
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter
Barnard, E. B. Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John
Beale, W. P. Clough, William Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)
Beauchamp, E. Cobbold, Felix Thornley Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward
Beck, A. Cecil Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill
Bell, Richard Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Gulland, John W.
Bellairs, Carlyon Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt Cory, Sir Clifford John Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.
Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r
Bennett, E. N. Cox, Harold Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh)
Berridge, T. H. D. Crosfield, A. H. Hart-Davies, T.
Bertram, Julius Crossley, William J. Haworth, Arthur A.
Black, Arthur W. Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Hazel, Dr. A. E.
Bramsdon, T. A. Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S. Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)
Brigg, John Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N. Higham, John Sharp
Bright, J. A. Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Hobhouse, Charles E. H.
Holt, Richard Durning Mond, A. Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Horniman, Emslie John Montagu, Hon. E. S. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Horridge, Thomas Gardner Morrell, Philip Stanger, H. Y.
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard. Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh,
Johnson, W. (Nuneaton) Napier, T. B. Strachey, Sir Edward
Kearley, Sir Hudson E. Norman, Sir Henry Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Kekewich, Sir George Norton, Capt. Cecil William Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Paulton, James Mellor Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Lehmann, R. C. Pearce, William (Limehouse) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.
Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Levy, Sir Maurice Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Tomkinson, James
Lewis, John Herbert Rainy, A. Rolland Toulmin, George
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Raphael, Herbert H. Ure, Alexander
Lupton, Arnold Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Verney, F. W.
Lyell, Charles Henry Rees, J. D. Waring, Walter
M'Callum, John M. Ridsdale, E. A. Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan
M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Waterlow, D. S.
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs.) Watt, Henry A.
M'Micking, Major G. Robson, Sir William Snowdon White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Mallet, Charles E. Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Whitehead, Rowland
Markham, Arthur Basil Rogers, F. E. Newman Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W. Wiles, Thomas
Marnham, F. J. Sears, J. E. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Seaverns, J. H.
Massie, J. Seely, Colonel TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master of Elibank.
Masterman, C. F. G. Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Menzies, Walter Sherwell, Arthur James
Micklem, Nathaniel Shipman, Dr. John G.
Molteno, Percy Alport Simon, John Allsebrook
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Crooks, William Joynson-Hicks, William
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F. Curran, Peter Francis Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Kerry, Earl of
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Keswick, William
Ashley, W. W. Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Kimber, Sir Henry
Balcarres, Lord Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster
Baldwin, Stanley Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.) Fardell, Sir T. George Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Fell, Arthur Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Barnes, G. N. Fletcher, J. S. Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Forster, Henry William Lowe, Sir Francis William
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'd Gill, A. H. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Glover, Thomas M'Calmont, Colonel James
Bowerman, C. W. Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford M'Iver, Sir Lewis
Bowles, G. Stewart Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Marks, H. H. (Kent)
Brace, William Gordon, J. Mason, James F. (Windsor)
Branch, James Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Meysey-Thompson, E. C.
Brotherton, Edward Allen Gretton, John Middlemore, John Throgmorton
Bull, Sir William James Guinness, Hon. R. (Haggerston) Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M. Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.) Moore, William
Carlile, E. Hildred Hamilton, Marquess of Morpeth, Viscount
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Morrison-Bell, Captain
Cave, George Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Myer, Horatio
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Harwood, George Nannetti, Joseph P.
Clynes, J. R. Hay, Hon. Claude George Nicholls, George
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Helmsley, Viscount Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Nield, Herbert
Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm Hill, Sir Clement O'Grady, J.
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W. Hills, J. W. Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)
Cooper, G. J. Hodge, John Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Percy, Earl
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Hudson, Walter Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Craik, Sir Henry Jowett, F. W. Pirie, Duncan V.
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
Radford, G. H. Shackleton, David James Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Randles, Sir John Scurrah Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton) White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Renwick, George Snowden, P. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n Stanier, Beville Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Steadman, W. C. Younger, George
Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Summerbell, T.
Ronaldshay, Earl of Sutherland, J. E. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Chiozza Money and Mr. Ernest Lamb.
Rowlands, J. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Valentia, Viscount
Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne Walsh, Stephen

Question put accordingly.

The House divided:—Ayes, 212; Noes, 79. (Division List, No. 269.)

Abraham, William (Rhondda) Cory, Sir Clifford John Hobhouse, Charles E. H.
Acland, Francis Dyke Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Hodge, John
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Cox, Harold Holt, Richard Durning
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch Crooks, William Horniman, Emslie John
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Crosfield, A. H. Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Crossley, William J. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Curran, Peter Francis Hudson, Walter
Baring, Capt. Hn. G. (Winchester Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)
Barker, John Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Jowett, F. W.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S. Kearley, Sir Hudson E.
Barnard, E. B. Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N. Kekewich, Sir George
Beale, W. P. Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Kerry, Earl of
Beauchamp, E. Dobson, Thomas W. King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Beck, A. Cecil Duckworth, James Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)
Bellairs, Carlyon Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.)
Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Essex, R. W. Lehmann, R. C.
Bennett, E. N. Evans, Sir Samuel T. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)
Berridge, T. H. D. Everett, R. Lacey. Levy, Sir Maurice
Bertram, Julius Ferens, T. R. Lewis, John Herbert
Black, Arthur W. Findlay, Alexander Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Bowerman, C. W. Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Brace, William Gill, A. H. Lupton, Arnold
Bramsdon, T. A. Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Lyell, Charles Henry
Branch, James Glover, Thomas Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Brigg, John Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford M'Callum, John M.
Bright, J. A. Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) M'Crae, Sir George
Brodie, H. C. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Brooke, Stopford Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Bryce, J. Annan Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill M'Micking, Major G.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.) Mallet, Charles E.
Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Gulland, John W. Markham, Arthur Basil
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Gurdon, Rt. Hn. Sir W. Brampton Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Marnham, F. J.
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)
Cheetham, John Frederick Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Massie, J.
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcest'r Menzies, Walter
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh Micklem, Nathaniel
Clough, William Harris, Frederick Leverton Molteno, Percy Alport
Clynes, J. R. Hart-Davies, T. Mond, A.
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Harwood, George Money, L. G. Chiozza
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Haworth, Arthur A. Montagu, Hon. E. S.
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W. Hazel, Dr. A. E. Morrell, Philip
Cooper, G. J. Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard
Corbett, CH. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) Myer, Horatio
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Higham, John Sharp Nannetti, Joseph P.
Napier, George T. B. Rogers, F. E. Newman Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)
Nicholls, George Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W. Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.
Norman, Sir Henry Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampt'n
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Tomkinson, James
Nuttall, Harry Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne Toulmin, George
O'Grady, J. Sears, J. E. Ure, Alexander
Paulton, James Mellor Seaverns, J. H. Verney, F. W.
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Seely, Colonel Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Pearce, William (Limehouse) Shackleton, David James Walsh, Stephen
Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Shaw, Charles Edw, (Stafford) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Sherwell, Arthur James Waring, Walter
Pirie, Duncan V. Shipman, Dr. John G. Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan
Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Waterlow, D. S.
Radford, G. H. Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Watt, Henry A.
Rainy, A. Rolland Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Raphael, Herbert H. Snowden, P. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Soames, Arthur Wellesley Whitehead, Rowland
Rees, J. D. Stanger, H. Y. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax
Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampt'n Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.) Wiles, Thomas
Ridsdale, E. A. Steadman, W. C. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Strachey, Sir Edward Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Straus, B. S. (Mile End) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Roberts, Sir John H. (Denbighs.) Summerbell, T.
Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Sutherland, J. E. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master of Elibank.
Robson, Sir William Snowdon Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Roch, Walter, F. (Pembroke) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex F. Forster, Henry William Morpeth, Viscount
Arkwright, John Stanhope Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Morrison-Bell, Captain
Ashley, W. W. Gordon, J. Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield
Balcarres, Lord Gretton, John Nield, Herbert
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Hamilton, Marquess of Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Percy, Earl
Banner, John S. Harmood- Hay, Hon. Claude George Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Barnes, G. N. Helmsley, Viscount Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks- Hill, Sir Clement Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hills, W. Renwick, George
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall
Bowles, G. Stewart Joynson-Hicks, William Ronaldshay, Earl of
Brotherton, Edward Allen Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Rowlands, J.
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M. Keswick, William Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Carlile, E. Hildred Kimber, Sir Henry Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Stanier, Beville
Coates, Major E. F. (Lewisham) Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S. Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Lonsdale, John Brownlee Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm Lowe, Sir Francis William Valentia, Viscount
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) M'Calmont, Colonel James Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Craik, Sir Henry M'Iver, Sir Lewis Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Marks, H. H. (Kent) Younger, George
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan Mason, James F. (Windsor)
Fardell, Sir T. George Mersey-Thompson, E. C. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Bull and Mr. Cave.
Fell, Arthur Middlemore, John Throgmorton
Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Fletcher, J. S. Moore, William

Ordered, That it be an Instruction to the Committee to insert in the Bill a provision conferring purchasing powers on the London County Council. That any person affected by such a provision shall be entitled to be heard before the

Committee upon any Petition presented not later than 22nd October.

Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER, pursuant to the Order of the House of 31st July, adjourned the House without Question put.

Adjourned at twenty minutes after Eleven o'clock.