HC Deb 31 August 1909 vol 10 cc263-307

(1) Any person whose property is injuriously affected by the operation of a town planning scheme shall, if he makes a claim for the purpose within the time (if any) limited by the scheme, not being less than three months after the date when notice of the approval of the scheme is published in the prescribed manner, be entitled to obtain compensation in respect thereof from the responsible authority. Nevertheless no such compensation shall be paid till such time as the loss has actually occurred.

(2) A person shall not be entitled to claim compensation under this Section on account of any building erected on or contract made, or other thing done with respect to land included in a scheme, after the time at which the application for authority to prepare the scheme was made, or after such other time as the Local Government Board may fix for the purpose:

Provided that this provision shall not apply as respects any work done before the date of the approval of the scheme for the purpose of finishing a building begun or of carrying out a contract entered into before the application was made.

(3) Where, by the operation of any town planning scheme, any property is or will be increased in value the responsible authority, if they make a claim for the purpose within the time (if any) limited by the scheme (not being less than three months after the date when notice of the approval of the scheme is first published in the prescribed manner) shall be entitled to recover from any person whose property is or will be so increased in value the amount of that increase.

(4) Any question as to whether any property is injuriously affected or increased in value within the meaning of this Section, and as to the amount and manner of payment (whether by instalments or otherwise) of the sum which is to be paid as compensation under this Section or which the responsible authority are entitled to recover from a person whose property is increased in value, shall be determined by the Local Government Board, and the determination of the Board shall be final and conclusive and binding on all persons.

(5) Any amount due under this Section as compensation to a person aggrieved from a local authority, or to a local authority from a person whose property is increased in value, may be recovered summarily as a civil debt.

(6) Where a town planning scheme is revoked by an Order of the Local Government Board under this Act, any person who has incurred expenditure for the purpose of complying with the scheme shall be entitled to compensation in accordance with this Section in so far as any such expenditure is rendered abortive by reason of the revocation of the scheme.

Amendment made: "To leave out from Sub-section (1) the words, "Nevertheless no such compensation shall be paid till such time as the loss has actually occurred."—[Mr. Burns.]

Lord ROBERT CECIL(for Mr. Cave)

moved to leave out from Sub-section (2) all the words after "made" ["application for authority to prepare the scheme was made"] to the end of the Sub-section, and to insert instead thereof the words "if in the opinion of the Court such work was done with a view to obtaining or increasing compensation under this Act."

This is a most remarkable provision, meaning that an owner is only to be entitled to compensation in respect of a building erected before the application for authority to prepare the scheme was made. I do not understand why the limitation should be fixed in that way. It appears to me that in any case it ought not to be so fixed unless there is some ground for thinking that what has been done has been done with a view to increasing the compensation. If it has been done genuinely for the purpose of developing the property I do not see why compensation should not be paid in that case as well as in the other.


I thought that the Noble Lord shared our view in Committee that equal justice would be done to all parties concerned if our Sub-section prevailed. He wishes now, however, by this Amendment to modify the wording of the Sub-section. I thought the Noble Lord agreed in Standing Committee that it was necessary, when a town planning scheme had been decided upon, that after an inquiry had been held, and the works authorised by that inquiry were commenced, compensation for dispossession should begin at a certain date, and that after that fixed date, which it is to be assumed the inquiry would settle as reasonably as possible to all parties concerned, it was not fair that works contemplated, but unknown to the parties interested in the inquiry, not actually begun, but subsequently developed, should get an extra amount of compensation to which they were not entitled. It seems to me that if the Noble Lord wishes this experiment to succeed, as, notwithstanding the various differences we have had about method, tribunal, and so forth, I think he does, it is advisable for us so to safeguard all the parties that one who goes behind the backs of local authorities, the neighbours, and the other parties affected, should not subsequently to the date mutually agreed upon superimpose a more or less fictitious claim for compensation.




It may result in that, but we think we safeguard against such fraudulent attempts by keeping in these words.

8.0 P.M.


I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman has appreciated the Amendment. Perhaps it was my fault in not having made it clear. He will see that my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kingston proposes that where the work is done to increase the compensation it shall not be given. It is another matter where it is done merely in the ordinary course of development. I cannot think that anything the right hon. Gentleman has said really deals with the point raised by my hon. and learned Friend. Surely it is right that you should protect those who merely use their land in the ordinary way, without intending to increase their compensation? I should have thought that was a case that ought to be provided for, and I should have thought that the words of my hon. and learned Friend would provide for that case.


The Noble Lord has shifted his venue.


I have listened to what has been said. When T first read this Sub-section (2) I could not really understand in the least what the object of it was. The right hon. Gentleman has told us that the real object—as I understand him—of these words is to prevent a man, after the scheme of planning starts on his land, going to work and starting new buildings, or some colourable imitation, or fraudulent device to increase the compensation. That, of course, will really be unreasonable, and would be unfair. It is quite the proper thing to prevent it. That case is entirely met, it appears to me, by the Amendment of the hon. Member for Kingston. He says, if after you have made your scheme the owner of land begins to do work which, in the opinion of the court—it says court—hut I should imagine the learned Gentleman would not insist upon a court-is fraudulent, he should not be entitled to compensation. Nothing less than fraud is to be provided against, and some colourable dealing with the land is not to entitle the man to get compensation. While fraud is to be amply provided against by the Amendment, where the manbonâ fide has gone on developing his land after the date at which the application is to be sent in, or on some other arbitrary date to be fixed by the Local Government Board, you should not, by this Sub-section—as if it is not amended you certainly will do—deprive that man of compensation, which quite clearly, andbonâ fide, he is entitled to.


One other consideration in connection with this matter has not been referred to. Not only should the local authority be protected from fraud, but the local property owners should also be protected from gratuitous interference with their work by alleged applications, or actual applications, being made. It is quite conceivable that the local authority may have a property owner in the neighbourhood who is not very popular, and that they, when he is carrying out certain work in the development of his estate, may suddenly inform him, "We have sent in an application to the Local Government Board to schedule certain areas with a view to town planning." Immediately, under the words of the Clause as it now stands, the owner of the property would have to cease any alterations which he was carrying on. The proposal to make the application might not be really seriously entertained at all. It might be so unreasonable in its nature that when it was submitted to the Local Government Board it would immediately be refused. Notwithstanding that, as the Sub-section now reads, if an application is sent in, however unreasonable, however vexatious the sending in of it might have been, the property owner is not entitled to proceed any further with the operations for the development of his estate; he must immediately cease. So that I think, if on the one hand the local authority is to be protected—and I think it is abundantly clear that it is protected by the Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend—I think it is only reasonable that the local proprietors should also be protected, either against alleged or actual vexatious applications being made for propositions which probably would never be entertained if submitted to the right hon. Gentleman.


Notwithstanding what has been said by the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Bowles) with regard to the question of the court, the question of court does arise in the words of the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Kingston—"if in the opinion of the court such work was done with a view to obtaining or increasing compensation under this Act." That does remit in such a case to a court of law the question of determining the fact, or otherwise, whether certain work at a certain date was executed for the purpose of getting what I think lawyers termex post facto compensation. The hon. Member for Norwood must read in conjunction with what I have said the remaining portion of Sub-section (2), which to some extent meets his objection: "Provided that this provision shall not apply as respects any work done before the date of the approval of the scheme for the purpose of finishing a building begun, or of carrying out a contract entered into before the application was made." May I illustrate it in this way? Supposing a person in the inquiry made is found to have commenced a large house which probably he cannot finish till September or October. It is convenient for the parties that the inquiry shall be held in June, and it is de- termined that 1st July shall be the date agreed upon. It is obviously fair to the man who cannot complete his contract until September or October—work that he hasbonâ fide commenced, and not with a view of getting compensation—should get what he is entitled to. That man, in that case, would have a right to claim, and under the Bill we think he would secure the amount of compensation which he fairly was entitled to. What we have to guard against in this matter is not only the case pointed out, that the local authorities under the Clause are amply protected against the owners, but that the owners ought to be similarly protected against the local authorities. In this matter the Local Government Board in their inquiry would not differentiate between the two parties, but would try and see that the conditions were fair, and that the compensation was proper before or after the agreed date, as the circumstances might determine. If between now and a later date it dawns upon me that this was not altogether the most felicitous way of putting what we all obviously desire to secure—that is, the prevention of injustice either upon the local authority or the property owner, and, above all, the prevention of arbitrary action, or fraud, if contemplated by either of them, I will give consideration to other words. But I think it was agreed upstairs by the Noble Lord that these words really safeguarded the interests of everybody.


No doubt as the Amendment has been moved it is hardly in accordance with the rest of the Clause. There is no question of resorting to a court of law, but to the Local Government Board under Subsection (4) of the Clause in question. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman would consider this Amendment if the words "Local Government Board" were substituted for the word "Court" in the Amendment? I do think that an injustice might quite conceivably arise unless some such Amendment is accepted. It has occurred to me that conceivably a man, after a town planning scheme was approved, might improve his land from the point of view of agriculture. Perhaps a year or two after a scheme was approved a local authority might come in and say, "We want to acquire your land immediately for the creation of an open space." Under the Agricultural Holdings Act the owner of that land might quite possibly be entitled to compensation for unexhausted improvements. But if he had leased his land for the purposes of agriculture he would not be able to get any compensation for these unexhausted improvements, because he is not to be entitled to claim this compensation on account of any contract made after the town planning scheme has been approved. It is quite clear that that will prevent reasonable compensation under the Agricultural Holdings Act, and that in a case like that, where obviously he could not know that the local authority was suddenly coming to take his land, he should be able to get compensation as he would in the ordinary way, if hebonâ fide became entitled to it by improvements which he had done on the land not contrary to the town planning scheme.

Viscount MORPETH

There seems to be a discrepancy in the Clause. The time is that in which application for "authority" is made. Then there come a sentence we are discussing which gives the Local Government Board power to fix the date. Then in the next paragraph the date appears to be a date on which "approval," or, rather, "authority," is given to the application. It is quite possible that the local authority might make application to the Local Government Board for powers, and that two or three months may elapse. "We all know that Government offices sometimes have a great deal of work, and that replies are not always expeditious. In any case there may be a great deal to be considered—an inspector may have to he sent down and his report considered—and it is quite conceivable that three months or more may elapse between the two dates. It does not seem to me to be fair to say to the owners that they must hold up all work during that period. The dates in the two paragraphs are nearly the same, and the second is the date upon which the authority shall actually act, and not the date on which the application was made.


I do not desire to press these words unnecessarily, but I do think that the Government ought to consider this case of agricultural land and have it properly dealt with under a town planning scheme, because ideal land in the neighbourhood of a town should be developed in the best interests of the locality. The claim is approved, and for many years the land remains agricultural, and ought to remain so. It is prepared for the future, so that when the day comes to de- velop it it shall be developed on right lines. As the Clause stands now the owner may well go on improving it from an agricultural point of view without interference with the town planning scheme at all until it came into play, and he would not be entitled to recover a penny of that expenditure after the date of the application scheme. I am sure the Government do not intend that. It would stereotype the land from the moment of the application, even if nothing was done under a town planning scheme for years subsequently I hope that although the right hon. Gentleman cannot, perhaps, accept the exact words of the Amendment, that between now and the Report stage he will consider the case, because I think it raises a very serious point.


I think the suggestions which have been made by the Noble Lord are in the direction of common-sense and equity. I do not definitely pledge myself to accept them at this moment, but I am willing to consider the point if the words "Local Government Board" were substituted for the word "court" in the Amendment of the hon. Member for Kingston. I think we may, between now and the Report stage, come to an agreement, and I am prepared to consider words. May I say that if the words "Local Government Board" were substituted for "court" there must, of course, be some limitation of the number of claims after certain date, and the amount of compensation to be made. I admit the question of unexhausted improvement from the purely agricultural point of view is a question that did not altogether manifest itself to us to the extent the Noble Lord has suggested, but I do not think we could indefinitely extend and expand the period. If we did we should have a sort of snowballing up of compensation which it would be very difficult to determine. As a matter of fact land, under these circumstances would not be acquired by the local authorities. It would not be bought for the purpose of being used as agricultural land; it would only come within the purview of the scheme with regard to arrangements, and probably an arrangement would be set up by means of which the owner of the agricultural land would have a portion of it, which was to supply roads and streets, divested from the rest under a town planning scheme. I am prepared to give that aspect of the case consideration.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


I beg to move to leave out Sub-section (3), and to insert instead thereof the words, "In determining the amount of compensation under this Section regard shall be had to the extent to which lands and hereditaments belonging to the same proprietor may be benefited by the scheme."

Sub-section (3) was put in by the Standing Committee, but I think the position was substantially different then to what it is at the present time, because the Finance Bill of this year had not then appeared, and most of its provisions were not even suspected. I think the Increment Value Duty of the Finance Bill has materially altered the position with regard to the "betterment" share which may reasonably be recovered by the local authorities. It is quite true that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has apparently anticipated this objection, and has given notice of a new Clause in the Finance Bill, "where a capital sum has been paid by the rating authority in respect of the increased value of any land due to any improvements made by the authority, the amount of that capital sum shall be deducted from the increment value of the land for the purposes of the calculation of Increment Value Duties" But I do not think even if that Clause is adopted the position will be at all satisfactory under these town planning schemes, and I think a substantial injustice may be done to individual owners. The position, if this Bill passes as drafted, and if the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Amendment to the Finance Bill is accepted, will be that the local authorities will recover not a portion of the amount due. to the increment, but the whole of the amount due to the increment under the town planning scheme, and if there is any vestige of increment left then the Chancellor of the Exchequer is to come in to take his toll on that remainder. I think it is very unsatisfactory to deal with the increment from two directions. It would be very much better, I think, to leave out the whole of this "betterment" provision in the Housing Bill and rely upon the Increment Value Duty, knowing that the local authorities will get back their share of half of the gross receipts. Of course if that was done the question of compensation with which the Clause also deals must necessarily be retained in the Housing Bill, because there is no provision in the Finance Bill, and I think this Clause would be wide enough if it limits itself to dealing with Compensation to the owners. Apart from the Budget, it seems to me the Clause is too wide. As the Bill was originally drafted the recovery of betterment from the owners was to be limited to the total amount which was payable as compensation, and no amount was recoverable unless compensation was due under the scheme. The Standing Committee was not content with the Clause in that narrow form, and they went a great deal further. Under this Sub-section they will have the power to seize any increment which arises under the operation of the town planning scheme. This means that they will not only be able to take the increment which results from the expenditure of public-money, but any increment in value from the development of land, even though caused by the expenditure of the owner's own money. The Schedule of the Bill lays it down, and Clause 53 covers it, that town planning schemes may be framed with the general object of securing the amenity and general convenience in connection with the laying out and use of the land. It does not limit the expenditure to public money, but it also includes a very large amount of private expenditure. Schedule 4 lays down that town planning schemes may deal with roads, streets, sewerage, and buildings; that is to say, a great part of the work need not be carried out by local authorities at all, but by private Individuals. It seems to me that under these proposals the betterment charge will be recovered in many instances where the increase in value is in no sense due to the expenditure of public money. This is quite a new departure. Even in the Finance Bill the Government only professed to aim at unearned increment, and where the increment had been earned by a man's own expenditure they did not profess to touch it. The lines on which the recovery of betterment can wisely be pursued have been laid down by the Committee of the House of Lords in 1894 on the subject of betterment, and the first paragraph of their Report states that:—

"(1) The principle of betterment, in other words, the principle that where persons have property which has clearly been, increased in value by an improvement effected by the expenditure of public funds, is not in itself unjust, and such persons can equitably be required to contribute to the cost of the improvement. But the effect of a public work in raising the selling value of neighbouring lands is shown by experience to be uncertain. Whether, in any particular case, it is pos- sible for a valuer to pronounce that such an effect has been produced by the completion of any public work, is a point upon which the evidence of eminent valuers differs greatly."

That Committee was presided over by the late Lord Chancellor, and, as the result of the Report, Parliament has sanctioned local authorities recovering betterment in various cases. But it has always carefully limited that betterment to the result attending the expenditure of public funds. In the case of London, which I think may be taken as a type of these cases, the valuation is made before the improvement and again seven years afterwards; and the owner is charged three per cent, on half the enhanced value. Under this betterment provision in the town planning part of this Bill there is no provision of any kind for an annual basis. The owner is to pay not on the realised annual profits resulting from the expenditure of public money, but he has to pay a lump sum down for the imaginary betterment—probably largely due to his own expenditure and entirely on a paper valuation. It seems to me that this proposal has a very great objection to it, because you are taxing not on what the owners will receive, but on what you choose to expect they ought to receive. A great many of us, in principle, approve of betterment. Certainly I do, but as the provision in this Bill stands, it is so vague that I think it would be better to take it out altogether, quite apart from the Finance Bill, which is going to cover the whole of the ground by the Increment Value Duty I suggest that for the Sub-clause there should be substituted a provision to enable the local authority to give less compensation on account of the decrease in value to counterbalance the increase of value accruing to the same owner. In bringing forward this suggestion I am again following the principle of the Report of the House of Lords Committee on town improvements, because, in Section 6 of their Report it is laid down that: "If the owner has property which is found to be injured in its selling value by the same work, the amount of the injury should be considered in determining the charge to be imposed upon him for improvements." The Amendment which I suggest is the exact converse of the proposal laid down in the House of Lords Committee. I ask in paying compensation that you should consider the improvement in value which is received by the same owner, and I believe if the Government will consent to leave out the Sub-section: as it stands and accept my Amendment, they will very much improve the Bill. They will get most of the money back again, from the Exchequer, and at the same time they will prevent the Bill causing a great, amount of injustice and uncertainty and consequent litigation. I beg to move.


I am glad to have the admission of the hon. Member and those who act with him in regard to this principle of betterment. After that admission it is not necessary for those who sit on this side of the House to discuss at large the justice of the principle of betterment. It has been universally pointed out that the difficulty in this matter is not in relation to the abstract principle, but our difficulty is in regard to its mode of application. In this case we are dealing only with one-class of betterment, which the hon. Member who moved the Amendment admits makes out a somewhat stronger case than, the ordinary case, namely, that the betterment which is brought about by the expenditure of public money ought to be placed on a somewhat different footing than the betterment due to other forms-of expenditure and the operation of the market.


But this Clause is drawn much wider. It not only includes the expenditure of public money, but. a large amount of betterment which is the result of private expenditure.


I do not think that alters what I have said. We are dealing, with betterment brought about by the operation of a town planning scheme, and that is certainly public money.


May I just be allowed to clear up this point? I do not wish to be discourteous, but I think time would be saved if I made clear what our difficulty is. It is that under a town planning scheme roads and sewers will be made and houses will be built by the expenditure of private funds, and apparently all that is included in the operation of the town planning scheme. The local authority will reap in the value of the land which results from these works which are not in any way the result of public expenditure, but which will be tapped for the purposes of betterment.


I was proceeding to explain that where public money had been expended that is admittedly a strong case. I think the ordinary case arises by the expenditure of public money. I know there may be cases in which there is not necessarily any great amount of public money expended, or, in fact, where no public money has been expended; but, nevertheless, betterment may arise by the operation of the scheme which has been initiated and designed by the public authority. I do not think the distinction has been quite properly drawn. This seems to be a case somewhat between the two extremes. One is the case where public money has been spent and the other is where the increment arises by the operation of ordinary commercial forces. Take the case of a local authority developing by its scheme a considerable area of agricultural land. Of course, it can only deal with land which is ripe for building, but it greatly extends the building value. Take a building scheme which provides a certain amount of open spaces in relation to the population. You increase the quantity of land required by the population situated upon it. Whereas, under the old arrangement, they would have occupied some small contracted space, under the scheme the landowners are compelled to give a much wider and greater space; and that brings within the sphere of building values land that would otherwise have remained outside for some considerable time. People do not remember that in criticising the Bill. We are not destroying building land, but spreading it out over a greater area. There are some cases, therefore, where the mere operation of the scheme will give to the land a value which it would not otherwise possess. That is the case which I put somewhere between the case where there is expenditure of public money, and the case where the action is purely that of private enterprise and skill. That seems to me a case in which where, if betterment is to be collected, it ought to be collected. If it is to be collected at all, why should it not be collected in every case? The hon. Gentleman's Amendment makes a totally illogical and somewhat inequitable distinction in the cases where the community is allowed to take the benefit of the betterment. He says you may have betterment in cases where it has not inflicted an injury upon, or has injuriously affected some-today's property so as to give rise to a claim for compensation on the part of that person, and in that case the community is entitled to take credit for the betterment it has created. The landlord, in other words, is told he is to take part of his payment in the betterment. Take the landowner who suffers no detriment whatever, but whose land has been wholly benefited. He pays nothing at all. You cannot make any deduction from his increment; he is asking for no compensation, and you cannot make him pay any betterment. That does not seem to be logical or equitable. We cannot, therefore, accept the Amendment. It seems to me plain that if betterment is to be allowed, it should be allowed in a case of this character, and should be collected from all those who have enjoyed it. The community is called upon to pay where it has inflicted a damage, and a corresponding right should be given to it to collect betterment where the community has created it.


The Government cannot have considered this provision as carefully as it deserves. No machinery whatever is provided for ascertaining how you are to get at the increased values. There is no provision which allows for valuation before or after, and that is the only way in which you can possibly arrive at the increase of value due to an improvement. The Clause says you ought to be able to recover from the owner any actual increment of value, but there is no way of ascertaining what that increment is. The only way is to have a valuation of land as it is now and a valuation at some future time when the improvement shall have been carried out. There is, however, no provision for that. There is no trace of any machinery for that. Then there is another objection. I am by no means clear that there is any machinery which would enable the local authority to pay for any actual injury done where the injury has been diminished by the fact that the owner gets a better property. Take the case of a man through whose land a wide road is constructed. The land on each side is thereby benefited and increased in value, but the injury to the owner by the taking of his land for the road is greater than that increase in value. He does not, therefore, on the whole, get any increase in value, but he suffers a slight injury by the loss of his land being greater than the benefit to him arising from the wide road. I do not think the Government's words provide for that case at all. The Government would have to pay the whole cost of the road, and they would not be entitled to set off any of the diminution of the detriment caused by the creation of the wide road. I have never understood what the Government contemplate by their town planning scheme. Sometimes they seem to contemplate one thing and sometimes another. Sometimes they seem to contemplate a mere elaboration of the building laws so as to secure that the development of land should be wholesome and profitable in the widest sense, and sometimes the laying out by a local authority of a city for themselves and erecting buildings of their own. The first case is what the Government have always told us is the main purpose of this Bill. Supposing the local authority lay out a scheme better than the scheme by which the owner proposes to develop his land, they would, as I understand it, be entitled to recover compensation. Could anything be more ridiculous? Merely for the laying out of a scheme on paper they would be entitled to recover from the owner the whole of the increased value of his land, because they had indicated to him a better way of developing his land than he proposed to adopt. It does not stop there by any means. Take the case put by my hon. Friend, which has not been answered in any way. One of the companies for laying out garden cities approaches a local authority with a scheme for developing land in the immediate neighbourhood of a town. Under the provisions of Clause 53, it will not be denied it is open to the local authority to adopt that scheme. It has merely to say, "Yes, go on with it. We approve it." The Local Government Board also signifies its approval. The land of a neighbouring landowner is improved by the establishment of that garden city, and the whole of that increased value under the scheme is to go to the local authority. On what ground is that done? The local authority did not devise the scheme or lay it out; they did not spend a penny upon it. Surely it is absolute nonsense to say that they are entitled to the whole of the increased value of the neighbouring land?


If the landowner's land is not included in the town planning scheme it will neither contribute nor be damnified by it. It will be altogether outside. It is only land that comes within the scheme that is affected.


I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for his interruption. I am afraid, however, he cannot have read very carefully Sub-section (3), which lays it down that if any property dealt with by the scheme is increased in value, the responsible authorities are to be entitled to recover that increase. That is the whole point: where any property is increased in value by a town planning scheme, whether it be within or without the scheme, the whole increase in value is to go to the local authority. I submit that that really is not common-sense. I cannot believe the Government intend that a scheme in which they have merely a formal hand, and for which they have done nothing except to approve, shall involve that the whole of the increased value caused by it is to go to the local authority. There might be some sense in saying it shall go to the people who develop their land in a wise way. There are still some not deterred by the predatory instincts of the Radical Government who are prepared to spend their money in developing their estates. But why, when they do that, should the whole of the increased value go to the local authority? It must be borne in mind that this has some connection with another proposal before the House. The Government are placing a tax on the increment value of land, and the net result of the legislation is this: Property on the outskirts of the town is improved in value by reason of a town planning scheme. The whole of that improvement in value is taken by the local authority. Then the Imperial tax-gatherer comes along and says: "Here is an increment of 20 per cent. The property has gone up in value by £1,000; £200 of that increment must be paid to the Imperial Exchequer under the Finance Bill of 1909." The unhappy landlord, having paid the whole of the increased value to the local authority, is, therefore, called upon to pay an additional 20 per cent, to the Imperial tax-gatherer. Could anything be more grotesque than legislation of that kind? One of my hon. Friends has put forward a modified scheme. I am not concerned to discuss that now. The question you will put from the Chair is whether this Sub-section shall stand part of the Clause. I shall vote against that with a clear conscience, because to my mind the Sub-section is absolutely indefensible as it stands, and I am convinced the Government do not intend the results which must follow from the wording. I hope, therefore, they will withdraw the Sub-section, and reconsider the matter before Report.


I hope the Government will really reconsider the position. The Attorney-General never attempted to defend it. Look at the effect of the Subsection? Suppose a town planning scheme is prepared in the heart of the country near to land the owner of which has no desire for it to be carried out. The scheme may be passed, no work may have been done in connection with it in the form of building, but after a period of not less than three months from the date of the approval of the scheme the Local Government Board send down a young man who looks around the country and says: "This man's property has benefited considerably by its proximity to the new Garden City." The Local Government Board thereupon assesses once and for all, and without appeal, what this unfortunate landowner shall pay as representing the increased value of his property by reason of the introduction of the scheme. I am rather a pessimist in many ways. I take it that there may be some town planning schemes which, like other schemes of men and mice, may go awry. It may be that after the owner of property has been assessed for the supposed increase in the value of his property, by reason of some such scheme, the plan may prove to be a failure. The result may be that his property will depreciate instead of appreciate, and he will get no return from the local authority. It is on account of points such as these that I think it desirable this Sub-section should be omitted. The principle of betterment does not, I agree, arise on this particular Sub-section. This is not an ordinary betterment Clause; it is a Clause drawn in a way for which I venture to think there is no precedent. It is far too widely drawn. There are no limits as to the methods by which the amount of the increased value is to be arrived at. That is left to be determined on theipse dixit of a Government Department in a way for which there is no authority. I, therefore, hope that the Subsection will be withdrawn.

Viscount MORPETH

Apparently the Government have drafted this Sub-section so as to include all property that may be affected, although, from the interruption of the President of the Local Government Board, it appears that that is not their intention. I assume that the right hon. Gentleman will undertake to modify those words on Report, or at some other convenient time. I must confess this opens up an almost endless vista. We have already, in a previous Sub-section, said that urban districts may go outside their areas into neighbouring country. Therefore, the question immediately arises how far afield these increments are to be tracked. It will become almost impossible to follow the ever-widening circle, which can be best likened to the circles which are caused by the throwing of a stone into the water. That, I assume, will be removed when the right hon. Gentleman gets up to speak; but there is this further difficulty. Even after that modification is made, and although I assume it is the intention of the Government all through the period of the development of this town planning scheme, from its first application right up to its final development, that the land to which "betterment" has actually occurred, and which was comprised in the town planning scheme, should be made the subject of charge, yet the measure of "betterment" will in the vast majority of cases be absolutely insignificant. Practically, as soon as a scheme is made, or within three months at the outside, the application of the council that betterment is made will take place, but no betterment will have accrued at all, especially in more distant parts of the scheme. Under the Finance Act, the other day, we had an interesting speech from the hon. Member for the Brightside Division of Sheffield (Mr. J. T. Walters), who described, with great elaboration and great knowledge, how the country round the towns is divided into zones, and how the outer zones had not any developable value, and, therefore, the mere fact that the town council have made a. plan and put it forward will do very little good away from the centre portions of the town. Therefore, the outside portions of their town planning scheme will really have no betterment at all, and indeed, as my Noble Friend, who spoke just now, pointed out, the town council will really, have done nothing, in many cases, to increase value by the mere fact that they have made a plan. Of course, the right hon. Gentleman may say that in that case they have really added nothing to the value of the land by drawing the plan in the town hall, and that no betterment will be charged. That may be so, but here again we have very little assurance, because the judge who is to settle this matter is himself a party or, to a great extent, a party in the matter. That point, however, has been discussed before, and I will not follow it up at the present moment; but for my part it does seem to me that there is a case in which the Government would have a very strong argument in favour of their betterment, and that is where you have actual "swopping" of land, to use a colloquial word.

9.0 P.M.

Anyone who has seen plans in various books on town planning, as practised abroad, where owners surrender some of their land in order to receive a new plot of land more capable of development, will realise that in that case the community has given the owner something new and tangible, which is of value if, the present time, and upon which, if it can be valued, he ought to pay. Upon the Sub-section as drafted, however, it seems to me that it is more probable that outlying owners will be asked to pay upon something which they have never received and which they will never receive. My hon. Friend below me has pointed out, indeed, that in many instances it may be that the owner, or public development company, or public utility company, will actually have to pay, not for work done by the community, but actually for the work done by themselves, and this difficulty also occurs to me, to which I should like to have an answer. Supposing a public utility society submits a scheme to a town council in regard to a large property on the outskirts of the town. Supposing they propose to fit that property into the town council's own scheme. The town council see the scheme, approve of it, and adopt it as part of their scheme. The latter is then carried out, or begun, and the value of the land which belongs to the public utility society is, according to the hypothesis, increased by the town planning scheme—is that increment to belong to the public utility society or to the town council?. I contend that the added value is in no sense the work of the town council or of the community, but is the work of the public utility company, and they alone ought to profit by it. For these reasons, and because the Sub-section seems to be mischievous, I hope we shall have some attempt to elucidate it, or to put it upon a more reasonable basis.


The Noble Lord the Member for Marylebone (Lord R. Cecil), whose absence I can understand and appreciate, is not here to listen to what I have to say and to what the Attorney-General said, with greater precision than I can command myself. His knowledge of the law is "extensive," whilst mine is only "peculiar." The Noble Lord asked me one or two questions on this matter, which I am prepared to make an immediate response to. First, the Noble Lord minimised my task, by congratulating us upon striking out the words "or will be," which, if he will allow me to say so, does to a great extent dispose of some of the points raised by hon. Members opposite, especially with regard to any hypothetical prospective value in the future. The striking out of the words "or will be" should confine the operation of the Clause, and certainly help in that direction. The Noble Lord will appreciate that point, but he followed it up by making a statement which I can only attribute to the fact that he was anxious to get that refreshment to which he is entitled. He followed it up by saying that there was no machinery in the Bill by means of which the various forms of betterment—I prefer betterment rather than increment in connection with this Bill—could be ascertained, or determined, or apportioned. I may, for the benefit of hon. Members and of the Noble Lord, read the machinery we consider for the moment to be adequate, in order to meet the point raised by the Noble Lord. It is contained in Sub-section (4): "Any question as to whether any property is injuriously affected or increased in value within the meaning of this Section, and as to the amount and manner of payment (whether by instalments or otherwise) of the sum which is to be paid as compensation under this Section or which the responsible authority are entitled to recover from a person whose property is increased in value, shall be determined by the Local Government Board, and the determination of the Board shall be final and conclusive, and binding on all persons." The hon. Members opposite may disagree with the method, or with the machinery, but we do think that it is machinery which is necessary and quite sufficient to determine the amount of betterment and its apportionment to the various interests affected.

The Noble Lord went a little further. Appetite grows by what it feeds upon. He said, "What do the Government really contemplate by a town planning scheme? It is really rather late in the day for me to waste the time of the House of Commons by repeating what is the broad, general outline of the town planning scheme contemplated by this Bill. It is less to deal with actual property—that is, the dispossession and expropriation of private owners' land than would happen if that land was acquired and developed by a local authority for housing. What the Government mean by a town planning scheme is really this, that whereas in the past, without any town planning scheme, roads have been badly made, of insufficient width, with improper gradients, and in the wrong place, and with no relationship to other roads with which they ought properly to have been associated, the Government by this Bill give the responsible local authority the power of initiating a town planning scheme for a certain tract of land which shall include not only agricultural land and in some cases urban land, but in a few instances land on which there may be houses and buildings, so that the development in the future of that particular tract of land shall be carried out on lines which will be more conducive to the health of the locality and to the benefit of the local authority, and even of the private owners, who, without such a scheme, would separately improve their property to the collective detriment of all of them, and, after 15 or 20 years had transpired, probably to the individual detriment of every person whose property was included in the scheme. For lack of a scheme slums would grow up,cul-de-sacs would be allowed, roads would be put in the wrong place and would be of insufficient width, and, generally speaking, there would be disorder and lack of organisation which this town planning scheme seeks to avoid. In nine cases out of ten the town planning scheme would consist less of proposals to expropriate and to buy land than to assist local owners of property to more beneficially lay out and plan that which is their own property.

There is nothing in the point raised by the Noble Lord (Viscount Morpeth). It is admitted that if the area of land is a mile square all lands within the area of the town planning scheme are entitled to consideration in the matter of betterment or worsement or increment, however one expresses it. The Noble Lord says, "What about adjoining land outside the scheme proper?" He has put to me to some extent a poser. He says, "How far afield from the town planning scheme proper shall compensation be awarded? To what degree and to what extent and to whom and for what purpose?" We had absolutely in our mind when this scheme was drafted that abutting land close to a town planning scheme, even though it suffered worsement or betterment, should be considered in precisely the same relationship as land absolutely within the town planning scheme proper, but the Noble Lord himself has given one or two instances in which land abutting on the town planning scheme might be subject to great appreciation, and, in a few cases, it might happen, to a worsement. We think that the tribunal and the machinery we set up, so-far as the amount of compensation inside the scheme is concerned, will be able to determine to the satisfaction of all parties the extent to which betterment shall accrue and to whom it shall be given. With regard to land immediately outside the zone of the town planning scheme proper, I am prepared to consider the point raised by the Noble Lords (Lord R. Cecil and Viscount Morpeth) between now and another stage. The Noble Lord should have rested content with the arguments he has used up to that point, but he went further and gave this instance: Supposing a public utility society submits a scheme of town planning. If it is wise, and up till now they have been very shrewd in their method of conducting their business, it would not submit a scheme off its own bat irrespective of the local authority. What it would do would be to go to the adjoining local authority and say: "Here is an opportunity for a joint scheme," and if the local authority was not amenable to such approaches, the society, like a private owner, would have the power to promote a scheme—I hope it will always be done through the agency of a local authority—and if the scheme is better than that of a local authority, there is no reason why the authority should not adopt it.

Viscount MORPETH

In a case where a joint scheme was adopted, would it not become the local authority's scheme, and would not the society itself be liable to all increments on their property?


In that case the local authority would be the responsible authority promoting—and I have not the least-doubt that justice would be done to the public utility society in having effected that particular scheme. The Noble Lord said: "To whom does the increment belong in that case?" It would belong, in proper proportions, to both the society and the local authority. The position that the Noble Lord indicated I do not think will occur. If it did occur, justice would be done to the various interests represented. Let me give an instance. The Noble Lord knows Bournville, near Birmingham. The Noble Lord will agree with me that there are few experiments, both in the matter of the housing and town planning, up to a reasonable extent, that deserve more praise and credit for the promoters than the Bournville housing scheme. I am perfectly convinced that if the Bournville Utility Society or the individual owner wished to extend Bournville the adjacent local authority would find it to their advantage, and the advantage of the community they represent, to adopt the Bournville plan. There would be no greater difficulty between the estate and the wider local authority than has already occurred between Mr. George Cadbury and the Bournville Management Committee. All the experience we have had of town planning, whether at Bournville, Port Sunlight, Hampstead Garden Suburb, or the Garden City at Letchworth, shows, broadly speaking, that railway companies, local authorities, and private owners have heartily co-operated in making the best of the situation in which they were jointly and severally interested, and I am convinced that the practical instinct that is peculiar to the English people in matters of this kind will so prevail that when there is a medium like that which the Local Government Board sets up all those questions of conflicting interest, confiscation, and who shall or shall not get the betterment will disappear down to a minimum. We believe that we would be able satisfactorily to dispose of that minimum by the machinery we set up by Clause 4 of the Bill, from which I do not anticipate any of the difficulties which are feared by hon. Gentlemen opposite.


The right hon. Gentleman has not dealt seriously with any of the points raised by this Sub-section. He talked of the practical instinct of the English people. That is an excellent thing, if you do not unduly restrict people in the exercise of their practical instinct. One of the points raised was what would happen when a local authority adopts the scheme of some utility company or land development company. Of course, there would be an increase in the value of the property, and under this Clause the local authority has power to recover the betterment for itself. There is no power in the Clause to hand over a penny of it to the land development company. There is no power for the local authority to do other than keep the money. The right hon. Gentleman says that the money will belong to either or both, but the Sub-section is perfectly explicit that it will belong to the responsible rating authority. What authority has the right hon. Gentleman for saying that it belongs to either or both? I submit that there is no ground for that. In passing this Sub-section you are tying the hands of the local authority with respect to their powers in this matter. Then the right hon. Gentleman has not dealt with the point as to the possible risk of failure of a town planning scheme. That under the Sub-section will inflict great injustice on the owner, because you have this valuation carried out by the Local Government Board not less than three months after the approval of a scheme. If the scheme turns out a failure the landlord will have paid the whole of the betterment and got nothing for it. As the Sub-section stands, there is no limit as regards the distance within which betterment may be claimed from any particular owner. Is the right hon. Gentleman on the Report stage going to limit that to the actual precincts of a town planning scheme or not? What is the pledge he has given to the House as to what he is going to do on the Report stage?


I think it would be unwise if at this moment I were to say the distance from the outside point of the town planning scheme proper at which betterment or increment would accrue. I did promise, without confining myself to any precise details, that I would look into this, point. Supposing I were to say a quarter of a mile. The hon. Member would be perfectly justified in saying, "A quarter of a mile is ridiculous; it should be three-quarters of a mile." Others might say, "It should not be more than 150 yards." Being a Scotchman, I am in the habit of looking five minutes ahead, and I think we will come to a better decision on this matter if, without pinning myself to any definite statement as to distance at present, I promise to look into this question with a fresh mind and an honest desire to devise some method by which the point can be met.


I have the caution of the Scotchman, but not the blood, and when I am voting on a question of this kind I like to have it in black and white. Are these things to be determined by the Local Government Board without any direction in the statute as to the method by which the betterment is to be arrived at in connection with a particular property? I hope the Government will reconsider this point and not press the Subsection.


I unfortunately have not heard the whole of the Debate, but I have heard enough to fill me with a considerable amount of misgiving as to the effect of the Sub-section. My hon. and learned Friend has pointed out that under the Sub-section if an increment accrues it goes to the responsible rating authority. I think he means by that the local authority. The local authority has had nothing whatever to do with the making of the increment, and I would ask the right hon. Gentleman how he justifies the giving of the increment to a person or a corporation that has had nothing whatever to do with the making of it. Am I to understand that if the increment arises from the action of a railway company he will give the increment to that company? I do not think that is at all likely. As far as I can see, the local authority is going to take the increment which has arisen not from any exertion of its own, but from the exertion of somebody else. If the increment is to be taken, it should be given to the person whose exertions have produced it. How does the right hon. Gentleman justify the apportionment of a given sum of money to people who have done nothing to earn it? We hear a great deal on the Finance Bill about unearned increment; but here is a startling job to give unearned increment to the authority which has done nothing in the world to produce it. Under these circumstances I shall feel compelled to vote against this scheme unless some explanation is given by the right hon. Gentleman of how he has chosen to give this particular sum to people who have done nothing to create it.

Captain CRAIG

There is one point which the right hon. Gentleman has not fully explained, and that is as to a situation which this Sub-section would undoubtedly create. Outside many of the smaller towns there are people who, from business considerations or motives of health, buy some piece of ground which they consider has some slight chance of improving in value as time goes on. In other words, they send their money hoping that in the end, if they ever have to sell, they will have a profit instead of a loss on the transaction; and they take a plot of ground on the outskirts of a small rising town, build a house on it, and spend a considerable sum of money. This Subsection, as far as I can read it, rather tends to crowd the people into the area which is covered by the right hon. Gentleman's limitations. Because if they go outside one of these town planning scheme areas, then all the time during their tenure of the small plot of land they have hanging over their heads this question of the limit, whether it is 150 yards, a quarter of a mile, or whatever it may be, of the right hon. Gentleman, and then, instead of the small profit which they hoped to make on the transaction, they find that the local authority, by taking a town planning scheme of a rough and ready sort, will say, "Your investment has been a profitable one, but all the profit must come to us and not to you." That would be rather a dangerous principle to set up, because it simply means that anyone desirous to settle and build a house near a town will always have to choose within the area of the right hon. Gentleman's scheme in order to know exactly where he is. If he is inside the area, and increment takes place later on, the State takes one-fifth of it; but if he is outside the area, the right hon. Gentleman's responsible authority takes the whole of the increment value, and on the top of that the Chancellor of the Exchequer comes along and says:" Where is my one-fifth?" I cannot see how, after the long Debates on the Finance Bill, the right hon. Gentleman hopes to take the whole of this increment or how he expects anyone to go in for the legitimate enterprise of buying a small plot of ground and building a house, and making a home for himself and his wife and children, with the terrors of this Sub-section, and also the terrors of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Finance Bill before them. Another point is that the increase in value which has to be settled by Sub-section (4) is of such a nebulous character. Take the case of a small plot of ground in the borough which is near the sea, but within the boundary, and the sea front is improved by making a promenade and putting beautiful railings along it. Then, in order to prevent the man making a shilling—even though he improves the place and makes it a better residence than it was before, owing to the improved rent of the neighbourhood caused by this improved sea frontage carried out by some different Board altogether from that referred to by the right hon. Gentleman in his Bill—perhaps a Harbour Board or some Water Board—the local authority will immediately plunge into this town planning scheme. What is a town planning scheme? A clerk in a town clerk's office is told by the clerk "there is a bit of improvement in this part of the town, draw up a scheme this afternoon so that we can get the whole thing into shape" in order that the Board which the right hon. Gentleman controls will be pleased to give the unearned increment of the increase which is occasioned by this map which this clerk has drawn up in the town clerk's office. I cannot see any ethical reason at all on which the right hon. Gentleman can base an argument in favour of the Sub-section, and I shall certainly follow my hon. Friend into the Lobby.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'or' ['property is or will be increased'], stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 184; Noes, 36.

Division No. 566.] AYES. [9.36 p.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Hodge, John Philips, John (Longford, S.)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Hogan, Michael Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Holland, Sir William Henry Pointer, J.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Hope, W. H. B. (Somerset, N.) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Barnard, E. B. Hudson, Walter Radford, G. H.
Barnes, G. N. Idris, T. H. W. Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Illingworth, Percy H. Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Beale, W. P. Jardine, Sir J. Rees, J. D.
Beauchamp, E. Jenkins, J. Rendall, Athelstan
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport) Johnson, John (Gateshead) Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Berridge, T. H. D. Jowett, F. W. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford) Joyce, Michael Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)
Bright, J. A. Kavanagh, Walter M. Robinson, S.
Brodie, H. C. Kekewich, Sir George Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Brooke, Stopford Laidlaw, Robert Roche, John (Galway, East)
Bryce, J. Annan Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster) Roe, Sir Thomas
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Rogers, F. E. Newman
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Lehmann, R. C. Rose, Sir Charles Day
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Clancy, John Joseph Lewis, John Herbert Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Cleland, J. W. Lupton, Arnold Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)
Clough, William Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Clynes, J. R. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk, Burghs) Sherwell, Arthur James
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Mackarness, Frederic C. Silcock, Thomas Ball
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Snowden, P.
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Macpherson, J. T. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Crean, Eugene MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Strachey, Sir Edward
Crooks, William M'Callum, John M. Summerbell, T.
Crosfield, A. H. M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Cullinan, J. M'Micking, Major G. Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Maddison, Frederick Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Massie, J. Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury)
Duckworth, Sir James Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Duffy, William J. Micklem, Nathaniel Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Molteno, Percy Alport Tomkinson, James
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Mond, A. Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Evans, Sir S. T. Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Verney, F. W.
Everett, R. Lacey Morrell, Philip Vivian, Henry
Fenwick, Charles Morse, L. L. Walsh, Stephen
Ferens, T. R. Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Ffrench, Peter Muldoon, John Waring, Walter
Flynn, James Christopher Murphy, John (Kerry, East) Waterlow, D. S.
Fullerton, Hugh Myer, Horatio Watt, Henry A.
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Nannetti, Joseph P. White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Glendinning, R. G. Napier, T. B. White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Norman, Sir Henry White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Nussey, Sir Willans Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Griffith, Ellis J. O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Gulland, John W. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius O'Grady, J. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Winfrey, R.
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) O'Malley, William Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Hart-Davies, T. Parker, James (Halifax) Young, Samuel
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Paul, Herbert
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Paulton, James Mellor
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Henderson, J. McD. (Aberdeen, W.) Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Higham, John Sharp Perks, Sir Robert William
Arkwright, John Stanhope Carlile, E. Hildred Craig, Captain James (Down, E.)
Balcarres, Lord Cave, George Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Cecil. Lord. R. (Marylebone, E.) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E. Fell, Arthur
Fletcher, J. S. Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Salter, Arthur Clavell
Forster, Henry William Lowe, Sir Francis William Stanier, Beville
Foster, P. S. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Gretton, John Magnus, Sir Philip Younger, George
Heaton, John Henniker Morrison-Bell, Captain
Hill, Sir Clement Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Hills, J. W. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hunt, Rowland Pretyman, E. G. Mr. Walter Guinness and Viscount
Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Morpeth.
Lane-Fox, G. R. Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)

moved, in Sub-section (3), to leave out the words "or will be" ["property in or will be increased."]

Viscount MORPETH

As regards those words "or will be" to be struck out, I wish to ask whether the words later in the Sub-section will require modification or not. According to the later words, "a claim for the purpose" must be made within the time "limited by the scheme (not being less than three months after the date when notice of the approval of the scheme is first published in the prescribed manner)." If the words "or will be" are omitted, evidently the other words will run concurrently with the whole life of the scheme.


If the words "or will be" are left out, I shall necessarily have to consider the form of words to which the Noble Lord has referred in order to make them harmonise with the period mentioned in the first part of the Sub-section.

Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause," put, and negatived.

Further Amendment made: To leave out, in the same Sub-section, the words "or will be" ["any person whose property is or will be increased in value."]—[Mr. Burns.]


moved, in Sub-section (4), to leave out the words "by the Local Government Board, and the determination of the Board shall be final and conclusive, and binding on all persons," and to insert instead thereof the words "by arbitration."

I do not move the Amendment, as it appears on the Paper, but I substitute "by arbitration." We have discussed this matter on previous Amendments, and the substance of it is that where damage is done in town planning it is not right to leave it to the Local Government Board to fix the amount of compensation to be paid to the man who is injured. I say that for this reason: The town planning scheme has been inspired and certainly has been approved of by the Local Government Board. The provisions of the scheme have been determined by the Board, which is in favour of the scheme being carried out as cheaply as possible. The Local Government Board represents, or, at all events, is behind the local authority, and naturally the Local Government Board has a bias, no doubt an unconscious bias, in favour of the local authority and in favour of making the scheme as little expensive as may be. That being so, I say that to ask the Board to arbitrate between the two parties is putting the Board in a wholly impossible position, and it is not fair to the claimant. I do not want to insist on the provisions of the Lands Clauses Act, as objection was taken to that yesterday on the ground of expense of two arbitrators and an umpire. I am quite satisfied to have a single arbitrator, the least expensive procedure, I think, that could be devised. The reason I suggest the words "by arbitration" is that the Arbitration Act will have effect, and if the parties do not agree upon a name then an application is made to the judge in chambers, a very simple and inexpensive proceeding, to name somebody to act. Thus the arbitrator is appointed by an independent tribunal. The arbitrator hears evidence, and gives his decision. I think that is the least expensive tribunal possible, and it is a fair tribunal. The only alternative is the Board itself, or an arbitrator appointed by the Board, and I do not think either is the right thing. I beg to move.


I think it is somewhat significant that my hon. and learned Friend does not invite the Committee to adopt the procedure of the Lands Clauses Act, a procedure so well known to the profession of which he is a distinguished ornament. He has himself taken objection to that procedure, and there is scarcely any man acquainted with business who will not agree that it is perhaps the most expensive form of litigation known to man. I doubt whether the Lands Clauses Act does not really delay the ordinary proceedings of the court. My hon. and learned Friend thought that, but what does he put by way of substitute? It is a very much less cumbrous method. It would provide simply that the reference shall be to arbitration, and thereupon, automatically, the Arbitration Act will apply, and there will be a. single arbitrator to be appointed by the court. That is a plan we have got to consider. As the matter stands now, the Local Government Board can decide for them selves whether the matter is really worth the cost of an arbitration. Most of these disputes will be extremely trivial. It is not a Bill under which it is expected great building operations will be carried out. It is a Bill which merely provides for the laying out of a plan with certain compulsory powers. That plan may injure some property and benefit others. It will be on a far smaller scale than schemes which involve the taking of large tracts of land. The Bill says that the Local Government Board shall judge for themselves whether all this requires an arbitrator or not. If it thinks there is sufficient substance, the nit says, by Clause 61, have an arbitrator, and, if not, then it says the matter will be decided by the Local Government Board itself. That is a more practical sensible plan than putting on the parties in every case, whether they like it or not, wherever there is a dispute—


No; it does not.


I understand that the object of the proposal is to omit that particular part of the Bill which proposes that the necessity or the determination shall be decided by the Local Government Board, and to say that it shall be "by arbitration."


I was dealing with the statement "whether the parties desired it or not." That is not so.

10.00 P.M.


Of course, if the parties choose to agree they may do anything they like, bat if there is any dispute—and I am assuming there is a dispute and not an agreement, because it is disputes and not agreements that we are dealing with—neither of the parties can prevent the other from carrying this to arbitration. In other words, it substitutes for what would be a small inspection on the part of a Local Government officer litigation, with counsel and all the paraphernalia of a law suit over some trivial matter, whether a road passing in a certain direction did or did not affect the property of somebody. It is far better that a thing of this kind should be dealt with administratively, and that before a lawsuit is decided upon or permitted an administrative officer should take the measure of the dispute and say, if it is a small one, "Really this ought not to be made the subject-matter of costly litigation"; while,-if it is a large one, under Clause 61 an arbitration will be allowed. I have heard Clause 61 described as being an absolutely novel und unheard-of Clause. It is nothing of the kind. It is taken word for word from an Act passed by a Government drawn entirely from the ranks of the Conservative party. When we want something which looks new we can always find a precise precedent for it in legislation passed by the Conservatives, and we have it in this case. Clause 61, which is put down as being something revolutionary, is taken word for word from the London Government Act, 1899, Section 28, Sub-section (3). But I will deal with that later. [OPPOSITION cheers.] What is the meaning of that cheer? Is it intended to imply that I wish to evade the point? It can scarcely be supposed that I have any desire to take up time in order not to reach a particular point. There has been a considerable consumption of time which I would have much rather have seen devoted to more material matters upon which the discussion of the Opposition would have been really useful to us. Especially on the last Amendment much time was occupied which might have been saved.


I scarcely think the Attorney-General can have heard a good deal of the discussion, or he would not have used these closing words, as many of us have curtailed our remarks on previous portions of the Bill. Do not, however, let us get off on legislation of 1889, which, for some reason, is not quoted; but let us, as fair-minded men, consider the position which the Government ask the subject to take up under this Clause. The Attorney-General is under a delusion if he supposes that town planning schemes are going to involve trivial matters. The whole purpose of asking for this elaborate machinery, as has been said with great truth by supporters of the Bill, is to enable towns which are rapidly growing to take a far-sighted view of the future, and to acquire large tracts of land in many cases, in order that the development of the towns may be suitably and worthily accomplished. In some of the instances, which are familiar to hon. Gentlemen sitting behind the Attorney-General, it has been necessary to take property worth £100,000 or £200,000. Suppose a town council wishes to take from a land-owner property worth £50,000, which, added to other property, may make a really suitable and dignified scheme for the future development of the town. There have been cases in the early development of these operations by private individuals in which property to the extent of more than £100,000 has been bought from a single owner. Supposing the owner, taking a great interest in town planning and in the development of his estate, has, as a labour of love, laid out the estate with great care. The local authority, aided by the Local Government Board, says, rightly or wrongly, "This is not our idea of how the town should develop. It is not the scheme we desire. We propose, therefore, to have another scheme." The landowner may say, "I disagree with your scheme; I do not think it would be desirable for the neighbourhood, and I am certain it would be deleterious to my property." Supposing there is a long controversy between the land-owner, the local authority, and the Local Government Board upon that point, and that ultimately, after considerable discussion, in which a certain amount of heat must necessarily, be engendered, the local authority and the Local Government Board prevail over the land-owner. The land-owner has nothing to do but to acquiesce. He says, "I do not wish my property to be treated in this way; but as you are stronger and have compulsory powers, I will sell the property under compulsion." That is a position which may not infrequently arise. Already the two parties, the Local Government Board and the land-owner, will have got into active controversy upon the very point whether the scheme is desirable, and the land-owner has had to throw over a scheme which, perhaps, he has cherished for years, and upon which he has spent much money and care. The Government profess to wish to act in a spirit of harmony and conciliation towards the landowners affected by these schemes. Do they think it fair that they who have conducted this controversy throughout with the land-owner, who have perhaps got into heated controversy with him, who have overridden him, and taken away his property, should come to the House of Commons and say, "We are the persons who should decide what is the value of the property?" Is it really arguable? Surely nobody can pretend that that is just or right. The scheme proposed by my hon. Friend (Mr. Cave), which has been treated in such a manner by the Attorney- General, gets rid of the objections which are justly urged against the Lands Clauses Acts; it gets rid of the expensive tribunal of three arbitrators, and refers the matter to a single arbitrator, appointed in an impartial and independent manner. I really think that we have heard at present no reason whatever for throwing over such a proposal, except this, that in trivial matters the thing is better dealt with administratively by the Local Government Board. The President of the Local Government Board must know perfectly well that this question of whether a plot of land is worth £100 or £150 is not an administrative matter at all. I think that previous action on this Bill has justified me in saying that in administrative matters I have not been anxious at all to withdraw matters from the Local Government Board, or from the President of the Local Government Board. But the President knows perfectly well—if I may say so with respect—that he has neither the qualifications himself, nor have his Board, to give even a valuable opinion as to the value of land. Even if they had, a great point in such a Bill as this, which is to some extent an agreed Bill, is to satisfy the people concerned. Is a man likely to be satisfied with a decision arrived at by a tribunal with whom he has beenex hypothesi in controversy for a long time? I make this one final appeal. Really, every time I get up to speak I cannot help thinking that it is absolutely impossible for the body of Englishmen to say that an important decision on a question like the valuation of property, compulsorily taken from a man, should be given by a person, or by people, who are actually parties to the controversy of which it is the subject.


Frankly, it is really very difficult to satisfy the right hon. Gentle-man who has just sat down. What does he confront the House with? He said, whether the value of the land to be acquired is £100 or £100,000, the Local Government Board is not qualified to adjudicate on the method and price to be paid in either case. That implies that thought hon. Gentleman means that whereat is only a small piece of land, say £100 or £50, the Local Government Board as a tribunal is unfit for this particular purpose, and therefore it should be remitted to some other tribunal, which he implies is to be a court of law, or, failing a court of law, an arbitrator. We contend there is a difference between us. We contend that administratively it is quite competent for the Local Government Board to determine in the machinery that we set up that in the matter of small pieces of land we would be able to determine that, just as under the Private Streets Act and in many other almost similar cases where it is done. In these the initial stages are arranged by agreement, and, finally, by the Board itself. The Noble Lord will bear with me for a moment. Let us take the other case—that of land worth £100,000. I venture to say, in the event of the Board—either now or in the future—having before it the question of a town planning scheme where land has to be acquired to the extent of £100,000, it is impossible, in my opinion, that the Board itself would constitute itself an arbitration tribunal to determine whether the amount should be £90,000, £100,000, or £110,000. It is most probable that the small pieces of £100 and so forth would be dealt with on inquiry by an inspector, and finally by the Board, but in the case of larger matters, which I do not think would happen as frequently as the right hon. Gentleman suggests, the Board would most probably appoint a single arbitrator. If that were done, the contention claimed by hon. Members opposite would be amply met. But that does not satisfy the right hon. Gentleman. [Several HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Well, that is the issue between us. We happen to hold a contrary view, and we happen to be in the position that in the final resource we can give effect to our views. The difference between us will, therefore, only be a Division. This thing has been discussed at considerable length. I have done everything within my power to arrive at a common agreement, if it were possible. But it is not possible, and I say to hon. Members opposite that it is really—I will not say absurd—but unreasonable on their part to ask the Local Government Board to forego its administrative right to deal with these small pieces of land and small amounts of compensation to be awarded, and to remit them in every case to an outside arbitrator, where the cost of employing his services might be almost larger than the total cost of the land itself. We should, in that case, not get a town planning scheme either promptly or economically, such as we aim at in the Bill. We have some precedent for our view in the shape of the Clause to which my hon. and learned Friend referred, though he did not read the Clause. The latter was passed by a Conservative Government. It is the Regulation of Railways Act. We have, I say, that pre- cedent on our side, as we have common-sense on our side also with regard to the smaller pieces of land, and the smaller amounts of money. We can only resist the Amendment, and say that it is unreasonable for the Opposition to try and press even the alternative suggested by the hon. Member for Kingston. We must stand by our machinery and our method, and I ask the House of Commons to support us.


I really think that the right hon. Gentleman would have done much better to have confined his speech to two of the sentences of it, namely, that the Government are of opinion that the Bill should remain as it is, and, secondly, we have the power—I forget his exact phraseology—to enforce our decisions by the weight of a large majority. I have never denied that power. The power of the Government is very greatly increased by the guillotine under which we are working, and which enables them to get a decision not by those who have heard the Debate, but by those who are engaged elsewhere. Let me call the attention of the Committee to the actual procedure proposed by this Bill. It is proposed in what the right hon. Gentleman calls small cases. There is nothing in the Bill about small or large cases. The argument of the right hon. Gentleman is a figment of his imagination. The matter is left entirely to the decision of the Local Government Board as to what cases shall be dealt with, and in what way. He says that in small cases the Local Government Board are to decide administratively what compensation is to be paid to the man who has admittedly been injured by action of the Department, but that in large cases the Department will not deal directly with them, but will have the power to nominate the tribunal which has to consider the compensation. If such a provision was to be found as part of Russian law, hon. Members below the Gangway opposite would use it as a powerful argument why diplomatic relations between this country and Russia should be broken off. Just conceive what would be said. "Here is an autocratic Government which is going to decide administratively what compensation is to be given for property taken away under that Government!" I do not believe there is a single Member of the House of Commons who would defend such a provision in any foreign country. The right hon. Gentleman or the Attorney-General has suggested that there is some kind of shadowy precedent in the Regulation of Railway Act. There is no precedent of the kind. There is no provision in the Regulation of Railways Act for taking property, or for interference with private rights at all. The Regulation of Railways Act is an entirely different matter. If I recollect aright, it deals with the administration and regulation of railways by the Board of Trade, and differences between railway companies and things of that kind, and therefore the Board of Trade is empowered to act as an arbitrator in such differences and to appoint an arbitrator to decide. That is the whole difference, and it has no bearing or relation to this case at all. The right hon. Gentleman says that, after all, this is a matter which will only be of small moment, and therefore no injustice will be done. I suppose that is the Radical notion of justice, but he is wrong even in that. It may be very large matters indeed. Under Clause 56 the local authority may pull down at all times all sorts of works and buildings they may find upon the land, and, as far as I can see, they might apply it to a well-built and finished site where they find streets too narrow; they may elect to pull down a house for the purpose of widening, and compensation in such cases as that is to be decided administratively by the Local Government Board, which has previously approved of the action of the local authority. I confess I deeply regret we have not had the assistance of several hon. Members opposite, who on another Bill did show some lingering recollection of the old principles upon which the Liberal party used to rest. When discussing the Finance Bill the other night several hon. Members rose to say that they disapproved of the principle of the Government authority imposing a tax and deciding upon the amount of the tax, and, secondly, that the Government should not be allowed to appoint the referee to settle any dispute between them and the other parties concerned. I am bound to say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was so impressed by these arguments that he put a Clause into the Finance Bill, of which I do not think anyone can complain as far as this matter is concerned. If that Clause had been put into this Bill, I am sure every Member on this side of the House would be satisfied. What difference is there between the Finance Bill and this Bill in that respect. In the Finance Bill the Government Department is required to exact the tax, which may be great or small, yet most careful provision is made by the Government, after pressure put upon them from their own supporters from this side of the House, that the amount of that tax should be settled by a perfectly impartial tribunal. When we come to this Bill where very considerable injury may be done—it is not denied by the Government that injury might be done—yet all the Government proposes is that the amount should be settled administratively or referred to an arbitrator appointed by the Local Government Board. I venture to say that the proposals of the Government are absolutely indefensible, and were we discussing this matter under any other method but that of the guillotine the House of Commons would bring such pressure to bear upon the Government that they would be forced to give way. I do venture to appeal even to the small representative of the House of Commons present to-night to insist that the Government shall in this-matter not only meet the views of the Opposition, but their views, which I am sure every Member who listened to the Debate believes are views based on justice, and insist that a fair tribunal be granted to settle this very difficult and disputed question, and until something of that kind is done this Bill will never work smoothly or harmoniously.


The right hon. Gentleman began by saying that our opposition to this principle was absurd, and he afterwards withdrew that criticism, and said it was unreasonable. I think the action of the Government has been far more unreasonable. The President of the Local Government Board said, "Most probably I shall do this and that," and we are asked to pass this Clause on the chance of the right hon. Gentleman doing the right thing at the right moment. I would like to remind the Committee that the Lord Chancellor himself said in regard to Bills passed by the House of Commons, "They were so hurried and so little discussed that many of the recent Acts of Parliament were impossible to interpret in a court of law." There is now only ten minutes before the guillotine falls, and so there is no chance of discussing these questions. The right hon. Gentleman says he will most likely appoint an arbitrator to decide what he calls trivial cases, but when he says that he is only misleading the Committee. It is not the administration we are objecting to, but we object to the Local Government Board setting itself up as a tribunal in regard to its own action. If the right hon. Gentleman opposite was likely to always be at the Local Government Board his action, I have no doubt, would be most reasonable, but I cannot trust his successors. The country cannot trust itself to the tender mercies of hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway, whether it be a large or a small matter that has to be decided in regard to this clause.

Viscount MORPETH

The President of the Local Government Board says he has made attempts to come to an arrangement in order to meet our criticisms. I have sat all through this Debate, and the only indication of his endeavour to meet us has been that the right hon. Gentleman stated, when we came to this Clause dealing with compensation, he was prepared to do something to meet our views. That promise was made upon the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Kingston dealing with land already built upon. I was one of those who said that although I did not agree with the Amendment, my vote was determined by the fact that the right hon. Gentleman promised that he was going to give us a more satisfactory tribunal to decide compensation for the house property pulled down. Had it not been for that promise I should not have voted with my hon. Friend. Now we have come to the Clause the right hon. Gentleman does absolutely nothing except say that he is tired of listening to this kind of argument. On a very important Amendment dealing with the possible pulling down of house property, the right hon. Gentleman said it need not be house property, but it might be a pigsty or a tool-house. Now the right hon. Gentleman says that of course the Local Government Board will not try cases of large amounts, and it may only be a matter of a few pounds; but, as my hon. Friend has pointed out, there is no guarantee to the subject, and the poor subject with only a few pounds no more wants them taken away from him unjustly than the man who has a large amount. What the right hon. Gentleman will not understand is the fundamental injustice of the position he takes up, which is that he himself and his Department are parties to the case. In many instances these schemes will be made by the right hon. Gentleman or his subordinates in office, and, having made those plans, he himself is coming in once again in the capacity of judge. There is no fair-minded man in this House, or outside it, who will not say it is just. The right hon. Gentleman cannot be said to understand the position. It is, so far as I am aware, only the Local Government Board which takes up this autocratic and tyrannical position. We have other Departments which might apply the scheme. There is the Board of Education. Local authorities up and down the country have to buy sites for schools, but I have never heard of it being proposed that the President of the Board of Education should be called in to say what price the local authority should pay for a site. I see no reason why the Local Government Board should be exalted in this manner above every other Department, and should be outside and above the law in this matter. I think, as far as justice is concerned, a one-sided judgment of this kind is far worse than those cases of blackmailing with which a colleague of the right hon. Gentleman sometimes regales this House.


I cannot help thinking it would meet with the approval of a great many Members on this side of the House, whose object has hitherto been to see the powers of the Local Government Board increased, and whose desire has been to see the Bill strengthened in various ways, if the right hon. Gentleman could to some extent meet the views of those on the other side of the House and give some indication of some concession on the Report stage.


I have only one word to say in answer to the suggestion made by my hon. Friend who has just sat down. Rightly or wrongly, the House has, with regard to the acquisition of land for small holdings, adopted a single arbitrator and set up the machinery we have adopted and applied here; and if we were at the eleventh hour to listen to the suggestion of the hon. Member, and respond to the appeal, I can assure him that many points he has himself pressed, and much of the value he believes to be incorporated in this Bill, would be absolutely defeated. After a year's experience of a similar procedure and a similar method of arbitration under the Allotments and Small Holdings Act, in which no injustice has been revealed, we consider we are warranted in adopting the same method in this particular Bill, and to that method the Government respectfully adhere.


I must point out that the procedure under discussion is not the procedure under the Allotments and Small Holdings Act. The right hon. Gentleman leads me by the observation he has made to say it is one, I will not say of the absurdities, but one of the extraordinary features of this Bill that there is one tribunal set up where you take land compulsorily for the purpose of housing and another different and bad set of provisions set up under the town planning part. So far from the right hon.

Gentleman's statement being an answer at all, it is an inaccuracy, and it is an additional argument in favour of the case submitted by his own followers.

Question put, "That the words, 'by the Local Government Board,' stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 194; Noes, 57.

Division No. 567.] AYES. [10.20 p.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Hayden, John Patrick Perks, Sir Robert William
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Philips, John (Longford, S.)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Henry, Charles S. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Higham, John Sharp Pointer, J.
Barnard, E. B. Hodge, John Pollard, Dr. G. H.
Barnes, G. N. Hogan, Michael Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Holland, Sir William Henry Radford, G. H.
Beauchamp, E. Hudson, Walter Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport) Idris, T. H. W. Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Illingworth, Percy H. Reddy, M
Berridge, T. H. D. Jardine, Sir J. Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford) Jenkins, J. Rees, J. D.
Bright, J. A. Johnson, John (Gateshead) Rendall, Athelstan
Brodie, H. C. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Brooke, Stopford Jowett, F. W. Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Bryce, J. Annan Joyce, Michael Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Kavanagh, Walter M. Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Keating, M. Robinson, S.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Laidlaw, Robert Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster) Roche, John (Galway, East)
Clancy, John Joseph Lambert, George Roe, Sir Thomas
Cleland, J. W. Lamont, Norman Rose, Sir Charles Day
Clough, William Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W.
Clynes, J. R. Lehmann, R. C. Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)
Cooper, G. J. Lewis, John Herbert Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Lupton, Arnold Shipman, Dr. John G.
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Silcock, Thomas Ball
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Lyell, Charles Henry Smyth, Thomas F (Leitrim, S.)
Crean, Eugene Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Snowden, P.
Crooks, William Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Crosfieid, A. H. Mackarness, Frederic C. Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)
Cullinan, J. Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Davies, Ellis William (Eiflon) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Strachey, Sir Edward
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Macpherson, J. T. Summerbell, T.
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) McVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Duckworth, Sir James M'Callum, John M. Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Duffy, William J. M'Micking, Major G. Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Maddison, Frederick Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Massie, J. Tomkinson, James
Evans, Sir S. T. Masterman, C. F. G. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Everett, R. Lacey Micklem, Nathaniel Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Falconer, James Molteno, Percy Alport Verney, F. W.
Fenwick, Charles Mond, A. Vivian, Henry
Ferens, T. R. Mooney, J. J Walsh, Stephen
Ffrench, Peter Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Walters, John Tudor
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Morrell, Philip Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Flynn, James Christopher Morse, L. L. Waring, Walter
Fullerton, Hugh Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Furness. Sir Christopher Muldoon, John Waterlow, D. S.
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Myer, Horatio Watt, Henry A.
Glover, Thomas Napier, T. B. White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Norman, Sir Henry Williamson, Sir A.
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Nussey, Sir Williams Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Griffith, Ellis J. O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Winfrey, R.
Gulland, John W. O'Grady, J. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Gwynn, Stephen Lucius O'Malley, William Young, Samuel
Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Parker, James (Halifax)
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Paul, Herbert TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Hart-Davies, T. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Forster, Henry William Oddy, John James
Balcarres, Lord Foster, P. S. Paulton, James Mellor
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gretton, John Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Hay, Hon. Claude George Pretyman, E. G.
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Heaton, John Henniker Rawlinson, John Frederick Pees
Beale, W. P. Hill, Sir Clement Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Bowles, G. Stewart Hills, J. W. Salter, Arthur Clavell
Carlile, E. Hildred Hunt, Rowland Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Joynson-Hicks, William Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Stanier, Beville
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Lane-Fox, G. R. Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Clyde, J. Avon Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Lowe, Sir Francis William Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)
Craik, Sir Henry Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Valentia, Viscount
Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott- Magnus, Sir Philip Walker, Colonel W. H. (Lancashire)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Morpeth, Viscount
Fell, Arthur Morrison-Bell, Captain TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Fletcher, J. S. Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) Cave and Mr. Walter Guinness.

And, it being after Half-past Ten of the clock, the Chairman proceeded, in pursuance of the Order of the House of the 15th June, successively to put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of the Clauses to be concluded by Half-past Ten of the clock this day, and on any Amendments thereto, moved by the Government, of which notice had been given.

Amendments made: In Sub-section (5), to leave out the word "local" ["from a

local authority"], and to insert instead thereof the word "responsible"; to leave out the word "local" ["to a local authority"], and to insert instead thereof the word "responsible."

Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 204; Noes, 53.

Division No. 568.] AYES. [10.40 p.m.
Acland, Francis Dyke Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Hudson, Walter
Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C. R. Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.) Idris, T. H. W.
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Duckworth, Sir James Illingworth, Percy H.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Duffy, William J. Jardine, Sir J.
Barnard, E. B. Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Jenkins, J.
Barnes, G. N. Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Evans, Sir S. T. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Beale, W. P. Everett, R. Lacey Jowett, F. W.
Beauchamp, E. Falconer, James Joyce, Michael
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport) Fenwick, Charles Kavanagh, Walter M.
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Ferens, T. R. Laidlaw, Robert
Berridge, T. H. D. Ffrench, Peter Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford) Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Lambert, George
Bright, J. A. Flynn, James Christopher Lamont, Norman
Brodie, H. C. Fullerton, Hugh Lardner, James Carrige Rushe
Brooke, Stopford Furness, Sir Christopher Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)
Bryce, J. Annan Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John Lehmann, R. C.
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Glendinning, R. G. Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Glover, Thomas Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Lewis, John Herbert
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Greenwood, Hamar (York) Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Lupton, Arnold
Clancy, John Joseph Griffith, Ellis J. Luttrell, Hugh Fownes
Cleland, J. W. Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Lyell, Charles Henry
Clough, William Gulland, John W. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Clynes, J. R. Gwynn, Stephen Lucius Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Mackarness, Frederic C.
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.) Hart-Davies, T. MacNeill, John Gordon Swill
Cooper, G. J. Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Macpherson, J. T.
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead) Hayden, John Patrick McVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hemmerde, Edward George M'Callum, John M.
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Henderson, Arthur (Durham) M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Crean, Eugene Henry, Charles S. M'Micking, Major G.
Crooks, William Higham, John Sharp Maddison, Frederick
Crosfield, A. H. Hodge, John Massie, J.
Cullinan, J. Hogan, Michael Masterman, C. F. G.
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Holland, Sir William Henry Micklem, Nathaniel
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hope. W. H. B. (Somerset, N.) Molteno, Percy Alport
Mond, A. Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Mooney, J. J. Reddy, M. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Rees, J. D. Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Morrell, Philip Rendall, Athelstan Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Morse, L. L. Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Tomkinson, James
Muldoon, John Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Myer, Horatio Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford) Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander
Napier, T. B. Robinson, S. Verney, F. W.
Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster) Robson, Sir William Snowdon Vivian, Henry
Norman, Sir Henry Roche, John (Galway, East) Walsh, Stephen
Nussey, Sir Williams Roe, Sir Thomas Waiters, John Tudor
O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid) Rose, Sir Charles Day Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Russell, Rt. Hon. T. W. Waring, Walter
O'Grady, J. Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
O'Malley, William Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Waterlow, D. S.
Parker, James (Halifax) Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester) Watt, Henry A.
Paul, Herbert Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne) White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Sheehan, Daniel Daniel White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)
Pearce, William (Limehouse) Sherwell, Arthur James Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Shipman, Dr. John G. Williamson, Sir A.
Perks, Sir Robert William Silcock, Thomas Ball Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Philips, John (Longford, S.) Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Snowdon, P. Winfrey, R.
Pointer, J. Soames, Arthur Wellesley Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Pollard, Dr. G. H. Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.) Young, Samuel
Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Radford, G. H. Strachey, Sir Edward TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester) Summerbell, T. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Forster, Henry William Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersflold)
Balcarres, Lord Foster, P. S. Oddy, John James
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gretton, John Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Guinness, Hon. W. E. (B. S. Edmunds) Pretyman, E. G.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Hay, Hon. Claude George Salter, Arthur Clavell
Bowles, G. Stewart Hoaton, John Henniker Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Carlile, E. Hildred Hill, Sir Clement Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Castlereagh, Viscount Hills, J. W. Stanier, Beville
Cave, George Hunt, Rowland Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staffordshire)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Joynson-Hicks, William Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Lambton, Hon. Frederick William Talbot, Rt. Hon. J. G. (Oxford Univ.)
Clyde, J. Avon Lane-Fox, G. R. Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Valentia, Viscount
Craik, Sir Henry Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott Lowe, Sir Francis William
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Viscount
Fell, Arthur Magnus, Sir Philip Morpeth and Mr. Rawlinson.
Fletcher, J. S. Morrison-Bell, Captain