§ (1) The expenses incurred by a rural district council after the passing of this Act in the execution of Part III, of the principal Act shall be defrayed as general expenses of the council in the execution of the Public Health Acts, except so far as the Local Government Board on the application of the council declare that any such expenses are to be levied as special expenses charged on specified contributory places or as general expenses charged on specified contributory places in the district in such proportions as the district council may determine, to the exclusion of other part of the district, and a rural district council may borrow for the purposes of Part III. of the principal Act in like manner and subject to the like conditions 1531 as for the purpose of defraying the above-mentioned general or special expenses.
§ (2) The district council shall give notice to the overseers of any contributory place proposed to be charged, of any apportionment made by them under this Section, and the overseers if aggrieved by the apportionment may appeal to the Local Government Board by giving notice of appeal to the Board within twenty-one days after notice has been so given of the apportionment.
§ Lords Amendment: In Sub-section (1), leave out "general" ["shall be defrayed as general expenses of the council"], and insert "special."
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Emmott)
This and the two following Amendments are privileged Amendments, as they alter the incidence of local rates.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I would point out that last Session, when Mr. Speaker made a similar ruling, the Secretary of State for Scotland moved that this House should agree with the Lords Amendment, and the House did agree with the Lords Amendment; and, therefore, it is quite in our power to do the same thing on this occasion. This Amendment is an exceedingly
§ important one, because what it does is to turn general expenses into special expenses. Under the Public Health Acts special expenses are only assessed on agricultural land and railways, etc., at one-fourth of their value, so that this is a very important question for agriculture, and it is an extremely important question for railways and similar undertakings. In the case of railways in rural districts they practically are the sole ratepayers, and if the incidence has to be altered, and, if instead of being assessed upon one-fourth of their value, they are assessed upon the whole, it is a very important question for them and also for the agricultural interest. I suppose the right hon. Gentleman will not agree with the Lords Amendment, but I shall be compelled to divide on the question.
§ Question put, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said) Amendment."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 175; Noes, 30.1533
|Division No. 881.]||AYES.||[8.40 p.m.|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Higham, John Sharp|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Collins, Sir Wm J. (St. Pancras, W.)||Hobart, Sir Robert|
|Allen, A Acland (Christchurch)||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.||Hodge, John|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Hooper, A. G.|
|Armitage, R.||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Hudson, Walter|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.||Hyde, Clarendon G.|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Cross, Alexander||Jackson, R. S.|
|Barker, Sir John||Crossley, William J.||Jones, Leif (Appleby)|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Jowett, F. W.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Keating, M.|
|Beale, W. P.||Dobson, Thomas W.||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)|
|Bell, Richard||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Laidlaw, Robert|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Edwards, A. Clement (Denbigh)||Lamont, Norman|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Esslemont, George Birnie||Lehmann, R. C.|
|Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Evans, Sir S. T.||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Everett, R. Lacey||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)|
|Black, Arthur W.||Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Boulton, A. C. F.||Findlay, Alexander||Lupton, Arnold|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Lynch, H. B.|
|Branch, James||Fuller, John Michael F.||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Brigg, John||Fullerton, Hugh||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Brooke, Stopford||Gibb, James (Harrow)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)|
|Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Glendinning, R. G.||M'Callum, John M.|
|Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Glover, Thomas||Maddison, Frederick|
|Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)|
|Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Marnham, F. J.|
|Byles. William Pollard||Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Massie, J.|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Menzies, Sir Walter|
|Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Cawley Sir Frederick||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Middlebrook, William|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Molteno, Percy Alport|
|Cheetham, John Frederick||Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)||Mond, A.|
|Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Hedges, A. Paget||Montgomery, H. G.|
|Churchill, Rt Hon. Winston S.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Morrell, Philip|
|Cleland, J. W.||Henry, Charles S.||Morse, L. L.|
|Clough, William||Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||Wadsworth, J.|
|Myer, Horatio||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||Walsh, Stephen|
|Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Rogers, F. E. Newman||Walters, John Tudor|
|Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Rowlands, J.||Wardle, George J.|
|Norman, Sir Henry||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Weir, James Galloway|
|O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Sears, J. E.||White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Sherwell, Arthur James||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Pirie, Duncan V.||Snowden, P.||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Pointer, J.||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Miles, Thomas|
|Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Summerbell, T.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Sutherland, J. E.||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Radford, G. H.||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)||Winfrey, R.|
|Raphael, Herbert H.||Thorne, William (West Ham)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)||Toulmin, George||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Rees, J. D.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Verney, F. W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|Ridsdale, E. A.||Vivian, Henry|
|Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex F.||Forster, Henry William||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gardner, Ernest||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Cave, George||Gretton, John||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Guinness, Hon. W. E. (B. S. Edmunds)||Stanier, Beville|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Hills, J. W.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||Joynson-Hicks, William||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Douglas, Rt Hon. A. Akers-||Kimber, Sir Henry|
|Dumphreys, John||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir P. Banbury and Mr. Stewart Bowles.|
|Fell, Arthur||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Fletcher, J. S.||Newdegate, F. A.|
§ House disagreed with other Lords Amendments.
§ Lords Amendment: After Clause 38, to insert Clause A.—
§ Duty of Local Authority in Administration of Housing Acts.
§ (1) In the administration of the Housing Acts it shall be the duty of the local authority to secure, as far as practicable, that dwelling accommodation provided for the working classes under those Acts is occupied exclusively by persons of the working classes, and, other things being equal, the local authority shall give priority to applications made by British subjects belonging to the working classes for such accommodation.
§ (2) The local authority shall cause a list to be kept showing particulars of the accommodation comprised in every dwelling provided by them in the exercise of their powers and duties under the Housing Acts and of the rent, and such list, so far as it relates to dwellings vacant or about to become vacant, shall be open at all reasonable times, and subject to such Regulations as may be prescribed by the local authority, to the inspection, without payment, of ratepayers in the area and of persons of the working classes who desire to apply for dwelling accommodation provided by the local authority under the Housing Acts.1534
§ Mr. BURNS
I beg to move "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
We think it is unnecessary to put upon every local authority the duty of securing in the matter of dwelling accommodation provided for the working classes that the houses should be occupied exclusively by the working classes. The working classes are very difficult to define. It may be that a member of another class on 1st January comes to be reduced later on through circumstances suddenly imposed upon him, and that may make him nothing else than a working class man; and, indeed, he may be so impecunious as to be a dependent object of charity. For us to ask the local authorities to act in the way proposed would mean the incurring of unnecessary expense, the employment of unnecessary officers, and the needless irritation of people who are quite content with the rough standard of living of the working classes. To ask us to adjure the local authorities to do that is to ask us to do something which in many cases would be absurd. That brings me to the next point, namely, the proposal that a preference should be given to British subjects. We have in the United Kingdom not more than 250,000 or 260,000 aliens, as they are called. Nearly half of these live in London, and of that half three-fourths live in the East End. I am very glad to say that 1535 private individuals, philanthropic companies, the London County Council, and even borough councils, have erected houses for the working classes, irrespective of colour, race, creed, or nationality. If we were in the elementary matter of providing housing accommodation to adopt this proposal with respect to foreigners who are domiciled here, we would subject them to invidious distinction which would be construed as a differential humiliation put upon them, and I decline to associate myself with such a proposal. This matter can be left to the London County Council, who all through have housed people of nearly every nationality, without the friction or the prejudices which in some other countries and cities arise through creed, colour, race, or nationality. For these reasons I decline to accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. WALTER GUINNESS
I am very much disappointed that the right hon. Gentleman does not see his way to accept the Amendment. I cannot see any possible harm that can be done by it. It is only to secure, as far as practicable, that local authorities should fill their dwellings with working men who are British subjects but there is nothing to prevent them from filling up vacancies with others. The right hon. Gentleman asked what are the working classes, and he pointed out that in certain cases a man on account of distressed circumstances might wish to occupy one of these dwellings, though he could not be said to be a working man. I think if the right hon. Gentleman would look at the definition given in a new clause passed by the House of Lords he will agree that that definition of the working classes is quite wide enough. I think the case would be covered by the words "persons whose income does not exceed an average of 30s. a week and such persons as may be residing with them." The chief advantage of some such clause as this will be that it will discourage local authorities from wasting the very small funds which are available for housing in providing not working-class accommodation at all, but what may really be called small villas. If the right hon. Gentleman will examine a Return issued by the London County Council in regard to housing he will see that there has been a good deal of accommodation provided at rentals as high as 14s. 6d. a week. I do not think anybody can say that the aver- 1536 age working man can possibly afford to pay a rent of that kind.
§ Mr. WALTER GUINNESS
There may be cases where working-class families have sufficient income to pay that rent, but in those rare cases I think they are sufficiently well off to find accommodation which is amply provided by other means. There is only a small amount of money available for this, and it is much better to devote it to meeting the demand which private agencies do not attempt to cover. There is very considerable incentive for local authorities to put up large tenements, because they are always anxious to make their accounts show a profit. It is quite easy to understand that large tenements pay very much better than small ones. If you have six-roomed houses you do not require a back yard very much larger than you have to provide in the case of three-roomed houses, and you do not require to have more in the shape of larder and sanitary accommodation. Undoubtedly, in a great many cases, working men cannot afford to pay the rents asked by local authorities. I have had a certain amount of experience in connection with a housing enterprise which is not in any way connected with local authorities, and where the tenants are only taken from that class who are earning less than 25s. a week. They are tenements which probably would shock housing fanatics because they are not self-contained, but they meet a want. There are always five or six times more people applying for these tenements than it is possible for us to accommodate. I think it is very hard to expect working men who are earning such small wages always to be content with other people's leavings. The local authorities build comfortable new houses, and they say that in this way they make vacancies for working men, but the fact is that those who move into these houses get the advantage of convenient accommodation, and working men have to put up with indifferent accommodation in houses built for a different purpose. They have to put up with houses which are not adequately provided with sanitary requirements. The class for whom the local authorities are providing are amply provided for by private enterprise. A return issued by the London County Council showed that in London last year 32,500 rooms were pro- 1537 vided. Of these only 1,074 were provided by the local authorities.
If you go round London, as I have done, in connection with the London County Council houses, inquiring as to the rents, you will find that almost the whole of this new accommodation is let at a rent of about £30 a year, so that a very large proportion is quite out of the reach of working men, who have only a limited amount of money to spend. It does seem to me that you ought to do something to encourage local authorities to cater for that class which is neglected by every other arrangement. I quite agree that small tenants are undesirable in housing, but the fact remains that they are inevitable; and as you have a class that cannot afford more than 5s. or 6s. a week rent, surely it is better that they should have sanitary small tenements than live in most unwholesome rooms, which are not tenements at all, with no cookery accommodation, no sanitary accommodation, no storage for food, and none of those other conveniences which other classes can afford to provide for themselves. I am afraid that the line which I have described is that which many local authorities are taking. There is only a certain amount of money to spend on this problem, and it does seem to me unfair to fritter away our resources in providing for aliens and for persons provided for by other means. I do not say that this Clause is going to solve the question, but I feel that it will give an indication of how Parliament intends local authorities to work towards the solution of the housing problem. It cannot do any harm, and I believe it will do a great deal of good. The last portion of the Clause as to the keeping of a list of housing accommodation by the local authority does not cause any inconvenience at all. I understood from the right hon. Gentleman that it would involve perhaps keeping extra officials and a great deal of unnecessary trouble. I have consulted officials of the London County Council and I find that all the necessary information is already at their disposal. No landlord, be he municipality or otherwise, can expect to carry on his business unless he has an up-to-date list of all the vacant habitations, and the only innovation at the end of this Clause is that this information shall be kept readily available to the ratepayers and those in search of accommodation, who would have it brought to their notice by this Act that information as to this accommodation is available, and that 1538 by going to the local authority there will be saved all the bother of tramping round looking for the accommodation which they require. For these reasons I am very much disappointed that the right hon. Gentleman has not seen his way to accept the Amendment. I believe that it would do a great deal to put some enterprising local authorities on right lines and encourage them to devote their attention to those classes who are most in need of sanitary housing accommodation.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Mr. HENRY VIVIAN
The hon. Member who has just spoken has not given any reason at all for the insertion of these proposals. As I understood him his main arguments consisted in the opinion that they would do no harm. Surely it does not need an Act of Parliament in order to bring forward a proposal that will do no harm. Yet that was the best reason that the hon. Member gave. Surely this House is not to waste its time over what will do no harm. We want something that will do good. Why should you in the absence of any reason insert this narrowing proposal in an Act to provide houses for the working classes? In the absence of any reason for cramping the local authorities I would be in favour of leaving them latitude, because there are cases where great hardships would be brought about by attempting restrictions in the way suggested. With regard to a second point the hon. Member says that the London County Council keeps a list of vacancies. I suppose that every decent landlord does. Why should there be an Act of Parliament solemnly commanding all these authorities to do what their subordinate clerk in his office will know is his duty? With regard to the aliens we should not be asked to waste our time in a matter of that sort. No evidence has been given to show that municipal enterprises as far as houses are concerned have been flooded with aliens, nor has any reason been given to show why you should adopt a proposal which in certain cases would inflict injustice.
§ Mr. HAY
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down (Mr. Vivian) has shown profound ignorance of the conditions which prevail in East London when he says that the question of aliens in respect of housing is not one that is worthy of taking up the time of the House. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Burns) in his speech went very lightly over the alien aspect of the housing question in the Metropolis. We have 1539 the experience of the London County Council, which, with great care, carried out a scheme specially designed to deal with the terrible overcrowding in a certain part of London—in Bethnal Green, better known as the Boundary Street Scheme—and what is the experience? I know the actual buildings, and that to a very large extent aliens have invaded these buildings, so that practically the original object of the scheme has been defeated. Perhaps the hon. Member for Birkenhead will be interested to know what is the opinion of a journal which gives attention to these subjects. The "Daily News" says that the net result of some of the council schemes was that crowded districts had become more overcrowded than ever owing to people from the cleared slums being driven into them. The result is that the very people for whom rate-aided dwellings have been erected have not been able to take advantage of the buildings erected by the London County Council, but have had to move to other and more miserable tenements, while the aliens invaded the dwellings that were erected. There is another aspect of the alien question in connection with the housing problem in slums, and that is that when aliens invade a locality they often make life unpleasant to the people who have been living there. I think if the right hon. Gentleman would inquire, he would find a Member of this House who lived for many years in Stepney with his family, but eventually found foreigners came there who were so objectionable that he moved to another part of London. At least so he told me. Then there is the evil of key-money in the East End of London, which is so notorious that it does not need describing. I think we should really try, in dealing with the housing of the working classes, to see where remedies can be found by the municipal authorities not merely for the housing of those sections of the working classes who are more or less comfortably off but for those who are the poorest, and efforts in that direction ought not to be in any way sterilised by allowing areas in which buildings have been constructed being monopolised by the least desirable foreign element. The aliens who come to London accentuate seriously the housing trouble of the British poor, and it should be our first duty to ensure that our own people should have a prior right to healthy and convenient municipal dwellings. As to the question of the list, why on earth should such a list not be avail 1540 able to any member of the community? Many must know how, after having hunted right and left in a neighbourhood, a workman cannot find a place suitable and within his means. If the municipality had the information readily available for anyone who applied, surely it would be a great public advantage. A great many of these buildings, which have been erected not only by municipal but by private enterprise, have not carried out the object for which they were intended. Indeed, so serious is the position that the Sutton Trust, for instance, has been devoted to supplying accommodation for the casual labouring and the poorer classes under conditions in which the amount of rent should not be the governing feature. The trustees, under the guidance of the Government, are bound to minister to the wants of those who are in most need of healthy homes in the poorest areas of London, independently of economic rent. Surely the facts and the conditions, which are known to anybody who has to do with great masses of our poorer metropolitan population, make it necessary that the Government should take the opportunity of joining hands with the other branch of the Legislature in order to put the municipalities in the way of carrying out the true-objects of municipal housing. Surely, in the first place, there should be provision for the poorer classes who depend on casual labour. I cannot imagine how you would aid that object more than by making some definite arrangement by which a certain class, the poorest class, shall have priority of right to these buildings, and I think it most unreasonable of the right hon. Gentleman not to accept this Amendment or make some other proposals to meet the object in view.
§ Mr. STEWART BOWLES
I cannot help thinking that the reception which this proposal of the Lords has received is not quite worthy of the importance of the considerations which it raises. I am quite sure the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Vivian) is perfectly well aware that one of the grave defects, one of the great criticisms which have always been made against attempts at municipal housing has been a real and a genuine criticism, namely, that these attempts in no case have really dealt with that with which they were intended to deal—the horrible and gross overcrowding of some areas of our cities and of London. They have not remedied the evil which they set out to remedy, and in no case 1541 have they really cured the evil, while in many cases they have actually made it a good deal worse. I am no authority myself on these matters, but I do not believe what I have stated will be challenged by any authority. I do not believe anyone doubts for a minute on the other side of the House that the great defect of municipal housing schemes is that they have in fact not provided accommodation for the poorer classes of the country, who have a claim in this matter on Parliament. It has not helped them; it has not tended to their advantage, but very often to their prejudice. The House will remember the figures which have been constantly given on this matter. I have in my hand a return issued by the County Council in connection with one of their big clearance schemes, that of Bethnal Green. What happened? There were turned out of their homes, I understand, 5,719 people—the poorest people, some of the poorest classes in the country, certainly in London. New buildings were put up on the area which had been cleared, and I am informed that only eleven of the original inhabitants of that area came back as tenants of the new houses. What does that show? It shows that the buildings were unsuited to the people who had been turned out, and that they could not afford to live in them. That is a serious criticism, it appears to me, to make aginst all these housing schemes. The London County Council, in their official report for the year ending 9th March, 1908, show the number of tenants of these houses. Out of 1,078 tenants, according to this table, 15 were actors, 25 church and mission workers, 356 were clerks, 26 were draughtsmen and designers, 56 were electricians, 28 were insurance agents, 20 were musicians, 110 public-house managers, 209 were shop assistants and salesmen, 17 were teachers, 134 warehousemen, and 181 miscellaneous.
§ Mr. STEWART BOWLES
It is not so stated. Hon. Gentlemen opposite say that all those people were poor enough, and I do not doubt it, and that they are most deserving and excellent persons, but were those the class of persons for whom Parliament intended that these schemes should be set upon foot, and for whom it was intended that these great sums of money should be spent? I say that they are not the people for whom it was intended that these schemes should be made, and that the housing of those persons will tend 1542 rather to hinder the housing of the people who are put out of their houses, and perhaps people much worse off than those for whom accommodation is provided. I repeat I am not an authority on the subject, and I do not pretend to be, but if these facts are, as I have stated, and as I find them, then I say that the criticism which has been made, and which so far has never been answered, holds good—the criticism that unless you alter the line upon which these schemes have been run, so far as the poorest of the poor, and so far as the working classes are concerned, you do not really do them any good, but, on the other hand, you run great risk of doing them disservice. From that point of view the question is a serious one, and I think it would be a very useful thing to put into the mind of local authorities that the intention of Parliament was, as I believe it is, to provide dwellings, not for musicians and shop assistants in preference to those persons into whose slum areas these schemes are brought, and unless some indication of that sort is made on the face of the Bill then those people will infallibly in future, as they have always in the past, according to the best illustration I have been able to find, be totally neglected and rather injured than assisted.
§ Viscount MORPETH
There has been some reference about the previous policy of the London County Council. I would point out that under this present Bill there will be full power held over the local authority to compel them to provide housing accommodation. They are not to be the judges as to whether the people are to be housed or as to whether the people are the working class or as to their nationality. They are to have this power held over them. We are entitled to ask how far this power is to be extended. Is the right hon. Gentleman to be able to say, "It is true you have got sufficient accommodation for the working classses, but not for the class who may be supposed to be socially a little better off"? Is he to be able to come down on a local authority and say, "You must provide out of the rates for this class of person"? The whole point is that the provision is to be made out of the rates. Of course, the class to which my hon. Friend (Mr. Bowles) made reference are a very estimable class, but the whole question is: Who is Parliament making provision for? And what is more important than what Parliament is doing, is for what class the Local Government Board will be able to force 1543 the local authority to provide for out of the rates. Is it for the class that might be well able to afford sufficient accommodation? The hon. Member for Birken-head (Mr. Vivian) found great fault with my hon. Friend below me because he said, in his studious desire not to overstep the mark, that these words would do no harm. The hon. Member remarked what a ridiculous thing to put in words that would do no harm or make unnecessary provision. But then the President of the Local Government Board, in Clause 25, put in a Clause which the tinder-Secretary afterwards told us was the present practice of the Local Government Board, so that if what my hon. Friend supported is surplusage, then so was Clause 25.
§ Viscount MORPETH
There is no reason why it should be called surplusage when somebody else put it in. This Clause is not vital, but it gives a useful and important indication to the local authorities and what is even more important, to the right hon. Gentleman, as to the class to be catered for under this Bill.
§ Mr. MORRELL
I was somewhat astonished at hearing the Noble Lord, who talks about the local authorities and about those great democratic bodies which should be allowed discretion, seeking by this Clause to tie the hands of the local authorities as to the tenant they are to admit to the houses they build. This Clause deals entirely with the action of the local authorities and does not in any way affect the action of the Local Government Board. Then the Noble Lord, following another hon. Gentleman, said that any rate this Clause will do no harm. In my opinion it
§ might do a great deal of harm in just those places where the houses are most required. No speaker has dealt with the case of the rural village. But everybody knows that it is in the rural districts there is the greatest necessity for building houses under this Act. You may very well have the case of a rural village in which the local authority would build cottages which could only be let at an economic rent, and yet it would be of the greatest possible value to that village that those cottages should be built. A cottage might be built that would be occupied say by a blacksmith, or by a farrier. There are a great many cases, and I know of many cases, in which it is impossible to build cottages of that sort unless you have compulsory powers to take the land. There is the case of Goring-on-the-Thames, where there is a demand for houses, but where there is no land available for the purposes. It is a great inconvenience and hardship to the working classes of that district that they are obliged to walk two or three miles to their work. In cases of that sort it would be absurd, and might do a great deal of harm, to tie the hands of the local authorities, and to say that they are only to build for people who pay a certain rent, and who come within a certain category defined by this Bill. I believe that in most cases the object of the local authorities will be to help the working classes in their own area. I think they will do it best by leaving them full discretion as to how they let the houses that they build. For that reason I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman has refused to accept this Amendment.
§ Question put, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 182; Noes, 36.1545
|Division No. 882.]||AYES.||[9.25 p.m.|
|Adkins, W. Ryland D.||Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon)||Clough, William|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Black, Arthur W.||Cobbold, Felix Thornley|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Boulton, A. C. F.||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Bowerman, C. W.||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (St. Pancras, W.)|
|Armitage, R.||Branch, James||Compton-Rickett, Sir J.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Brigg, John||Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Brooke, Stopford||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)||Cotton, Sir H. J. S.|
|Barker, Sir John||Brunner, Rt. Hon. Sir J. T. (Cheshire)||Cross, Alexander|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Bryce, J. Annan||Crossley, William J.|
|Barnard, E. B.||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)|
|Beale, W. P.||Byles, William Pollard||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Dobson, Thomas W.|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Causton, Rt. Hon. Richard Knight||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Bell, Richard||Cawley, Sir Frederick||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Cheetham, John Frederick||Edwards, A. Clement (Denbigh)|
|Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.||Essex, R. W.|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Esslemont, George Birnie|
|Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Cleland, J. W.||Everett, R. Lacey|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Lupton, Arnold||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)|
|Findlay, Alexander||Lynch, H. B.||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)||Rowlands, J.|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Fullerton, Hugh||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||M'Callum, John M.||Sears, J. E.|
|Glendinning, R. G.||Maddison, Frederick||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Glover, Thomas||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Snowden, P.|
|Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Marnham, F. J.||Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)|
|Gooch, George Peabody (Bath)||Massie, J.||Summerbell, T.|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Menzies, Sir Walter||Sutherland, J. E.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis (Rossendale)||Micklem, Nathaniel||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Middlebrook, William||Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Molteno, Percy Alport||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||Mond, A.||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worcester)||Montgomery, H. G.||Toulmin, George|
|Hart-Davies, T.||Morrell, Philip||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Morse, L. L.||Verney, F. W.|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Merton, Alpheus Cleophas||Vivian, Henry|
|Henry, Charles S.||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||Wadsworth, J.|
|Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)||Myer, Horatio||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Walsh, Stephen|
|Higham, John Sharp||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)||Walters, John Tudor|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)|
|Hodge, John||Norman, Sir Henry||Wardle, George J.|
|Hooper, A. G.||Parker, James (Halifax)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Hudson, Walter||Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Hyde, Clarendon G.||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)||Whitbread, S. Howard|
|Jackson, R. S.||Pirie, Duncan V.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Jones, Leif (Appleby)||Pointer, J.||White, Sir Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Jowett, F. W.||Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Keating, M.||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Miles, Thomas|
|King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Radford, G. H.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Laidlaw, Robert||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (Gloucester)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)||Rees, J. D.||Winfrey, R.|
|Lamont, Norman||Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)||Ridsdale, E. A.||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Lehmann, R. C.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Joseph Pease and Captain Norton.|
|Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)|
|Lewis, John Herbert|
|Acland-Hood, Rt. Hon. Sir Alex F.||Dumphreys, John||Nield, Herbert|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fell, Arthur||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fletcher, J. S.||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Forster, Henry William||Randles, Sir John Scurrah|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham)||Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel|
|Bull, Sir William James||Gretton, John||Ronaldshay, Earl of|
|Cave, George||Hills, J. W.||Rutherford, Watson (Liverpool)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Joynson-Hicks, William||Stanier, Beville|
|Clyde, J. Avon||Kimber, Sir Henry||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E.||Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Cralk, Sir Henry||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott-||Morpeth, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Walter Guinness and Mr. Hay.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Newdegate, F. A.|
Lords Amendment, as amended, agreed to.