§ Considered in Committee.
§ (IN THE COMMITTEE.)
§ [Mr. CALDWELL in the chair.]
§ Motion made and question proposed, "That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session, to promote the economic development of the United Kingdom and the improvement of roads therein, it is expedient to authorise—
- (a) The payment for the Development Fund for the purpose of advances of such moneys as may from time to time be provided by Parliament, and the charge on the Consolidated Fund and payment into the Development Fund of a sum of five hundred thousand pounds in the quarter ending 31st March, 1911, and in each of the next succeeding four years; and
- (b) the charge on the Consolidated Fund of the payment of interest and repayment of the principal of any money borrowed under such Act, to an amount not exceeding two hundred thousand pounds in any year, so far as the Road Improvement Grant is unable to meet the same."—[Mr. Lloyd-George.]
§ Sir FREDERICK BANBURY
I wish to move after the words "as may, from time to time, be provided by Parliament, "to insert the following words "not exceeding one hundred thousand pounds."
I remember when the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer occupied a less exalted position than he does now, he was one of the Members of the House who declaimed, most vehemently, against the practice of not 1048 having these Resolutions printed. It is, I suppose, too much to expect now that he has attained a position in which he could carry out that reform which he advocated in the days when he was more free that he would do so. Paragraph (a) provides that money shall be devoted by Parliament for the purpose of the development grant, and that a sum of £500,000 shall be devoted every year out of the Consolidated Fund. There being a limit to that amount I fail to see why there should be no limit to the first amount. The right hon. Gentleman may say "Parliament was consulted the first time, and it is not to be consulted a second time, because this is voted out of the Consolidated Fund." I am not at all sure that a short time ago I did not hear the Solicitor-General say that Parliament would also be consulted for the raising of the £500,000 out of the Consolidated Fund. I think he was in error. I do not think Parliament will be consulted. If that is the defence the right hon. Gentleman is going to make, I should suggest he should arrange with the Solicitor-General, so that they should both be of the same opinion as to the effect of paragraph (a) I think it is necessary that we should have some limiting amount. The insertion of these limiting words would, of course, not prevent Parliament at a later date altering and increasing the amount if it so desired.
To put in the limiting words now would show that Parliament, as at present advised, does not intend this to be unlimited grant. I think it is most important that these words should be put in because in the next Session, when the question comes up, we should be told that it was the intention of Parliament, under this Resolution, to advance any sum of 1049 money the Treasury might desire to have, and that if we objected to it we were objecting to a scheme that Parliament had already approved, and that if we desired to object we should have objected when the resolution was before the House. The Committee know well that the resolution is really the crux of the Bill, and that if this resolution is limited in any way the Bill must be limited, and probably a fresh resolution submitted next time, but of that I am not quite sure. Whether that is so or not I think it is absolutely necessary in the interests of sound finance, that at any rate before we know what is going to take place we should put some limit on the expenditure. It is not to be supposed that all this enormous expenditure is going to take place at once, and we ought to go very carefully in developing new regions where, financially speaking, we have never been before. As to this precise Amendment I am not particularly wedded to the sum of £100,000, and should be more inclined to make it a smaller grant. One hundred thousand pounds is a large sum of money. No one would have thought it larger than the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he was on this side of the House declaiming against the extravagance of the Tories. Therefore for the first year I think we might rest well content with the sum of £100,000. I shall have something to say later on upon other parts of paragraph (a), and also upon paragraph (b). Unless the other part of paragraph (a) is amended, there will be £500,000 provided out of the Consolidated Fund, which, together with this £100,000, will make £600,000 in all, a sum which is quite sufficient to make a start with next year, especially in view of the fact that we are already spending £164,000,000 a year, and that a very large expenditure is anticipated next year in respect of a very much more important matter from my point of view—namely, the defence of the country. On these grounds, I think we ought to go very carefully before committing ourselves to this extraordinary increase of expenditure, which, under the present Government, seems to have no end.
§ Mr. STEWART BOWLES: My hon. Friend (Sir F. Banbury)
proposes by this Amendment to put a limit to the amount which shall be paid into the Development Fund from moneys to be voted by Parliament next year and the year after. That enables me to ask several questions, to 1050 which so far there has been no answer, and I shall be glad if the Chancellor of the Exchequer will give us a reply. What on earth is the object and what is the effect of putting in these words in the Bill or in the Resolution? In short, do the Government think they gain, or can they tell the Committee if it gains anything by saying here and now that Parliament may from time to time grant money for the purposes of this Development Fund if it chooses so to do? It appears to me to be a mere declaration, having no earthly effect, and to be a mere pious expression of opinion, and the exclusion of the words from this Resolution would really do no harm to the Bill. But as this Amendment raises the whole question of the money to be provided by Parliament for this Development Fund from time to time, I should like to know exactly what the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes, and what he has in his mind with regard to the dealing by Parliament with this money. How does he think the money is going to be paid? Is it to be paid in the first place into the Exchequer, and is there to be an interception of money, or is it to be earmarked and passed from the Exchequer into the Development Fund? If so, I think it is a very bad plan, which I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not think it necessary to follow. The importance of the matter really lies in Sub-section (3) of Clause 2 of the Bill, which will apply to all the money.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Mr. Caldwell)
We cannot discuss (the Bill on this Resolution. The Amendment before the Committee is that the sum should be limited and should not exceed £100,000. That is the point of the Amendment, and the hon. Member must keep to that point.
§ Mr. STEWART BOWLES
I will endeavour to do so. I was only suggesting the importance of putting some limit to the amount to be paid into this Fund at this time and at any future time by means of this Amendment. That necessity arises from the fact that such money as is voted from time to time by Parliament will always be governed by Sub-section (3) of Clause 2 of this Bill.
§ Mr. STEWART BOWLES
On a point of Order. The proposal of my hon. Friend below me (Sir F. Banbury) is to put a 1051 limit on the amount which Parliament may from time to time vote under this Resolution. Is it not in order to ask how the money will be dealt with under the Bill?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
No, the Bill is not before the Committee at the present moment, and therefore cannot be discussed. The only question before the Committee is the expediency of authorising Parliament to vote money under this resolution. The Amendment is that the amount to be so voted shall be limited to £100,000.
§ Mr. STEWART BOWLES
I want to know what real effect these words of the Resolution will produce and whether they are really necessary? If they are not necessary would it not save time to excise them altogether. I support the Amendment.
§ Sir G. DOUGHTY
I should very much like to support my hon. Friend (Sir F. Banbury) in the proposition that has been made, but I am afraid I cannot do so, because I understand that a portion of this money is to be devoted to the development of fisheries. I am interested in fisheries, and I want to be in time in making my application for some of this money. I represent a constituency which has expended £150,000 on a herring fishing market, very largely for the benefit of our friends in Scotland, and I am going to suggest to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that if I am not prepared to support the Amendment I shall be the first to put before him the interests of that industry and a claim to some of the money.
§ Mr. W. PEEL
I, on the contrary, wish to support the hon. Baronet (Sir F. Ban-bury) who moves this Amendment, because I cannot, for the moment, think of any particular application that I wish to support. I, therefore, strongly desire to limit the amount of money which will be frittered away in various ways as much as possible. I cannot understand what the precise effect of the Resolution is. We have been told that Parliament is going to have a close and careful control over the whole of the money that is to be dealt with under this Resolution, but I do not see how that is secured, nor do I understand what is to be done with the money that is so voted by Parliament.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The Resolution declares that the money is to be pro- 1052 vided by Parliament. It will be determined by an Act, and the distribution of the money will depend upon the Act which is to be passed later on.
§ Mr. W. PEEL
Is it not possible at this stage to speculate upon the way the money will be dealt with and where the money will go to?
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
That will be in the Bill, which will come up for discussion later. The only point of a financial resolution is that it is an enabling resolution; that is to say, the expediency of authorising the House to deal with this money. It is quite in order for the hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury) to move to put a limit on the amount. The question of limiting the purposes to which the money can be applied must be dealt with in the Act itself.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
On a point of Order, Mr. Caldwell. I take it that it is in order to discuss whether or not it is expedient to grant money.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I must repeat, that is going into the manner in which the money is to be dealt with by the Act, which will come later. What we are now concerned with is merely to authorise the expenditure. The actual manner in which the money is to be spent is a matter for future consideration.
§ Mr. PEEL
I understand that I can only object to this power being given by the Committee, and that I am unable at this stage to state the reasons on which I. found my objection. That being so I can only say that I must reserve my observations for a later stage of the proceedings on the Bill, when apparently it will be possible to discuss the measure of control that Parliament will be able to exercise in this matter.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I have been invited by hon. Gentlemen opposite to enter into the discussion of a good many points, all of which appear to be either irrelevant or out of order. I do not think the Committee will suffer much loss if I do not do so, especially after the very exhaustive discussion we have had, extend- 1053 ing over many hours, on the whole of the main principles by which the Government propose to deal with this money. The proposal of the hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury) is, after all, a very small one. It is that Parliament should be limited in the amount which is to be expended for the purposes of the Bill. I can hardly think that the hon. Baronet is in earnest about that. If there is to be any money spent at all, then to say that Parliament is to be limited to the extent of fixing the sum at £100,000 would be to make a provision, obviously, most inadequate for the purpose. As you, Mr. Caldwell, have ruled, that it is not open to discuss the manner in which the money is to be spent, I think I need say very little more.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
I am sure the Committee will remember that when I referred, earlier in our proceedings to-day, to the amount to be spent on development, the criticism of hon. Gentlemen opposite was that it was miserably small. I recollect, perfectly well, that when I suggested £200,000 for the first year it was received with a good deal of derisive laughter. Now, the Hon. Baronet comes forward with his Amendment, and I should like to know whether the Opposition desire it to go forth that there is an effort to be made, after one o'clock in the morning, to cut down the sum available for agricultural development to the lowest possible figure. I can safely leave it with the Opposition to consider that.
§ Mr. HARMOOD-BANNER
I must associate myself with the hon. Member for Grimsby (Sir G. Doughty) in opposing the Amendment of my hon. Friend. The object of the Bill is to promote the economic development of the United Kingdom, and I desire to tell the Committee that such development in an important part of the United Kingdom is seriously hindered by the lack of a proper Custom House at Liverpool.
§ Lord R. CECIL
I must say that I think the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to which we have just listened was a very strange one. I know the right hon. Gentleman is a little sensitive about any criticism of the conduct of business by Ministers, but I repeat that it was rather strange that he should make a speech suggesting that the object of the hon. Baronet's Amendment was to cut down the 1054 assistance given to agriculture to the lowest possible limit. Everyone knows that was not the object of the hon. Baronet. The Government themselves do not appreciate the force of their own Resolution, because the Chancellor of the Exchequer spoke as if the effect of the Amendment would be to cut down the whole of the grant to £100,000. That is not the effect at all. The effect of the Amendment is to put a limit to the amount which shall be provided from time to time by Parliament, and that leaves the £500,000 to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund quite untouched. The Committee has heard no answer to the question put by the hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Stewart Bowles) as to what purpose the Resolution served at all, whether limited or unlimited? Why do you want the Resolution? If you pass it you do not enable Parliament to grant more next year, and if you do not pass it you do not debar Parliament from granting whatever it chooses next year. The only difficulty I have in supporting my hon. Friend (Sir F. Banbury) is that I do not see that a limit is of the least value. It does not, as I say, bind Parliament next year; in fact it has no effect at all. Parliament can vote what it pleases when it pleases, and, according to the practice introduced by this Government, the Appropriation Bill can repeal any Act of Parliament which stands in its way. Therefore I do not understand the purpose of the Resolution; nor do I understand the object of limiting it or of leaving it merely unlimited. The question I want the Finance Minister to throw some light upon is, "Why have the Resolution at all?"
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
The Noble Lord says that I do not want the Resolution at all. Personally I do not, but the authorities of the House say that I cannot carry out the Bill as it stands without the Resolution. Therefore I want to conform to the rules of the House.
§ Mr. STEWART BOWLES
I do not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer exactly appreciates the language of his own Resolution. It authorises the payment to the Development Fund, for the purpose of advances, of such moneys as may from time to time be provided by Parliament, and the charge on the Consolidated Fund of the £500,000 for a period of years. It is quite true that in order to pay money out of the Consolidated Fund to the Development Fund the Chancellor of the Exchequer must have this 1055 Resolution, but what we have asked is, Why the right hon. Gentleman wants a Resolution of this kind to enable Parliament from time to time to vote such money as it chooses for the purposes of the Development Fund in addition to that which comes from the Consolidated Fund? The right hon. Gentleman says that he does not want the Resolution, but he tells us the authorities of the House say he must have it. I venture to doubt that. I think if he asks the authorities they will tell him that the words which my hon. Friend (Sir F. Banbury) seeks to omit, and which enable a future Parliament, the constitution of which is a matter of uncertainty, to vote money into the Development Fund, are quite unnecessary. I quite agree that the words do no harm, but it is a bad thing to put meaningless and purposeless words into a formal Resolution, which should be cut down to the narrowest limits. The Government offer no defence for what they propose, except to say, through the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that somebody has said, for a reason which the right hon. Gentleman evidently does not understand, that they must have this Resolution. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer thinks that kind of argument is good enough for Members of the House of Commons, I do not, and if my hon. Friend (Sir F. Banbury) goes to a division I shall certainly support him.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The Chancellor of the Exchequer says I am moving an Amendment after one o'clock in the morning to deprive agriculture of certain money which it would receive under his scheme. In the first place, nobody knows better than the right hon. Gentleman that I did not wish to move this Amendment at one o'clock in the morning. The right hon. Gentleman himself has insisted upon having this Resolution passed through Committee before the end of the present sitting, and as far as I am concerned I would much have preferred that it should be taken to-morrow. To that the right hon. Gentleman would not agree, and he must not complain of the hour at which I submit an Amendment when the arrangement is absolutely his own. Therefore, the first part of his statement is hardly accurate. With regard to the second part, that is, that I am depriving the agricultural interest of a certain sum of money, "may I say that that sort of statement does not affect me in the least. I do not believe 1056 the people in the country will be so foolish as not to see through the bribe which is being offered them, and which is the object of all these Resolutions. I agree with my noble Friend that Parliament can settle what sum of money is to be voted under this part of the paragraph when the sum is before Parliament, but the reason I moved my Amendment was that I did not wish it to be said when the time came for the vote to come before Parliament that the Resolution was unlimited.
If the Resolution is unlimited, then it may be held by the right hon. Gentleman, if he is still in power, that Parliament intended that any sum, even three or four millions, which he might recommend to them, should be authorised by Parliament. I am quite certain that hon. Members opposite would be only too pleased to grant him any sum he would like to ask. I put down my Amendment for the purpose of finding out from the right hon. Gentleman what ground he had for bringing in an unlimited Resolution. Apparently he has no ground except that some official has told him he ought to do it. That is the only ground, or else it is the only ground which occurs to the right hon. Gentleman at the moment as a reasonable answer to my Amendment. I do not wish to press the Amendment because it has had the effect that I desired. We have had a statement from the right hon. Gentleman that the only reason for drawing the Resolution in this form is because he has been told to do so by somebody. We have also had a very remarkable lesson from two of my hon. Friends who are going to vote for the Resolution, because each of them want money. How about "corruption" after that? As we have obtained an answer from the right hon. Gentleman I ask leave to withdraw this Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Sir FREDERICK BANBURY
moved in paragraph (a), after "31st March, 1911," to leave out the words "and in each of the next succeeding four years."
I hope this Amendment will meet with the approval of my Noble Friend, who will see that if it is carried the £500,000 will be voted out of the Consolidated Fund for the year ending 31st March, 1911, first of all. That is the amount which the right hon. Gentleman desires; it is the amount which he himself has put down as the amount to be expended out of the Consolidated Fund in the year ending 31st March, 1911. Therefore, I do 1057 not take away anything which the right hon. Gentleman desires to obtain. All I do is to say that after 31st March, 1911, Parliament must decide whether this sum of £500,000 is to be taken for the remaining four or five years, or whether it is to be taken when the right hon. Gentleman desires it from that Fund. The reason I do this is that Parliament has no control over the Consolidated Fund if we sanction the taking of £500,000 for the year ending the 31st March, 1911, "and in each of the next succeeding four years." If we do not take those years out we lose all control over the expenditure of the money. I will not prophesy that this Bill, if it becomes an Act, is going to be a failure. I think, myself, it will, but at any rate it is quite sufficient to give the right hon. Gentleman the money he requires for the year, from March next year. Then let us see at the end of the year what is going on. If everything is going on well, then at the end of the year we can authorise another £500,000 out of the Consolidated Fund. By that means we shall not be depriving the right hon. Gentleman of the money he desires. All we do is that we shall be reserving to Parliament the control over that £500,000. I venture to say that that is a reasonable proposition, a proposal which I hope some hon. Members on the other side of the House will vote for, and one which, I think, the right hon. Gentleman will find it hard to refuse to accede to. Therefore, I am not without hope that the right hon. Gentleman will accept my Amendment, and I move it.
§ Mr. LLOYD-GEORGE
The hon. Baronet may explain it as he will, but the real effect of the Amendment would be to cut down the reserve which we hope to create of two and a-half millions for the purposes of agriculture and forestry and development generally to half a million. His first Amendment was to diminish the annual grant to something under £100,000; now he wants to diminish the reserve by four-fifths. He is an opponent of the whole of the proposals, and is perfectly right in doing it, but he could do it in Committee upstairs, or he could do it on Report stage. If he really wants to fight the Bill the Committee is the place to do it and the place in which he can do it under conditions which will enable him to explain the whole of his alternative policy. This is not the opportunity.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
In reply to the right lion. Gentleman I would like to say that 1058 first of all I am not on the Committee, and therefore I cannot fight it upstairs. Secondly, if I were on the Committee I should not want to go, because I should be here every night until the morning, and I should not want to go upstairs afterwards and fight another Bill. In the third place, I am not at all sure that I should be able to carry the Committee, upstairs, whereas it is possible now when we are in Committee upon the Resolution. If there are a few financial purists here I may be able to carry them with me now, whereas I should not be able to carry them at another stage, because it would be said the House had already authorised the expenditure, and therefore they ought not to go behind the Resolution of the House. May I point out that I am not cutting down the expenditure from two and a-half millions to half a million. The right hon. Gentleman does not propose to get two and a-half millions now. All he proposes to do is to get half a million in each of five succeeding years. All I am doing is to say that while we will authorise half a million the first year Parliament shall be consulted again before the remaining two millions is authorised.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
This is clearly a matter of some importance, and it has nothing to do with the amount of money to be allotted to the development. The whole question is, How will the money be provided? The right hon. Gentleman, talks persistently of a reserve, but you cannot create a reserve by this Bill. All you can do is to bind future Parliaments, so far as you can bind them, to pay this money out of the Consolidated Fund—that is to say, remove it from discussion in this House on the Estimates. I do ask hon. Gentlemen opposite to understand what this part of the resolution does. It requires Parliament to pay out of the Consolidated Fund £500,000 a year. The Consolidated Fund cannot be discussed on the Estimates at all. The purpose for which that amount of money is paid. cannot be discussed at all, however much you may disapprove of the management of this Fund when created. Therefore, it is not a question of the amount of money, but the method by which it is provided. The Amendment is an exceedingly reasonable one. All the mover says is, that if you insist on this proposal, then enact that £500,000 shall come out of the Consolidated Fund, and so remove it from the consideration of Parliament for the next twelve months; but why should you do 1059 it for more than a year? The next Parliament may desire to discuss it, and why should you tie its hands and insist that unless it passes an Act of Parliament to repeal this resolution it shall be forced to apply £500,000 each year out of the Consolidated Fund? That seems to be an entirely unreasonable proposal, and I cannot see why the Government should not accept this Amendment. I have never understood the finance of this part of the Government's proposal. The right method is to leave each Parliament to say how much it will pay each year, according to the knowledge of what may be desirable. I shall certainly support my hon. Friend if he goes to a Division on the point.
§ Lord BALCARRES
I think the case for this Amendment is unanswerable. Certainly the Chancellor of the Exchequer has not made a serious attempt to reply to it. I do not know what the pool is, but there is no provision in the Bill for creating what is commonly called a financial pool. The right hon. Gentleman calls it a reserve fund. That is an important statement on the part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I am not on the Grand Committee, and (he Chancellor of the Exchequer will not be able to attend. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] The right hon. Gentleman cannot expect to do that, conduct the Budget through Committee if we maintain our average of 12½ hours a day, and do his Departmental work in the morning. I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman in what sense this £500,000 is a Reserve Fund? Clause 2 says that all advances are to be made from two sources.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
You cannot discuss the Bill on this Resolution. The question here is that this money is to be paid into the Development Fund. That is the length to which the Resolution goes.
§ Lord BALCARRES
The substantial objection to the Amendment is that it interferes with the Reserve Fund. I wish to know in what sense this money is a reserve, because it is from this particular sum of £500,000 that the payment for the 26 specified services have got to be made, in addition to the money voted in the Estimates. This is really the only opportunity I have to ask for an explanation of the Reserve Fund. It is not a Reserve Fund, but is money to be spent year by year.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The Resolution is quite specific in itself and is simply a compliment of what is authorised, to be done already.
§ Lord ROBERT CECIL
With great respect I submit we have not passed anything yet. The Resolution has not been voted upon in the House.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
De facto it is not passed until we get the vote, but I am referring to the fact that we have discussed down to this point in the Resolution.
§ Lord BALCARRES
I am speaking to the Question before the House. This is pledging a future Parliament to an annual outlay which I have always urged can be perfectly well met in the ordinary current Votes. When the right hon. Gentleman says that this is reducing by four-fifths this pool or reserve fund, whatever it may be—it is really neither one nor the other, because it is an amount to be spent annually—it does not prevent in the next Session, or the Session after, an equivalent sum being voted for the 12 months. I see hon. Members opposite who year after year have complained that Parliamentary control has been reduced. Under this Resolution we are pledging Parliament for five years beginning in April next year for moneys which can perfectly well be voted year by year as Parliament thinks fit or sees fit. If Parliament wishes it to be £600,000 the only way to change the sum would be by introducing a new Bill to amend the Statute. If it is placed on the Votes you can reduce the sum to £450,000, or increase it to £600,000, year by year, according to the discretion of the Government of the day, and according to the discretion, which is much more important, of the House of Commons lender the Sub-section we are discussing, for five years, the nucleus of this money is to be withdrawn absolutely from the purview of Parliament. This is the Government which says it is going to have full Parliamentary control over finance, and yet here they are by statute taking away the right to discuss these matters as a House. For the Solicitor-General to tell us that we can discuss it on the Public Accounts Committee's Report, really that is trifling with the House of Commons. The report of the Auditor-General can only reach the House of Commons two years after the money is spent and in some cases three years. Last Session three hours were given to its discussion, and this Session 1061 there has been no discussion at all. Such Parliamentary control is a farce, and must always be a farce, and I think, therefore, the case for putting this matter on the Votes is absolutely unanswerable. I shall certainly support the Amendment of my hon. Friend.
§ Mr. W. PEEL
I must protest against the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that by the Amendment moved by the hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury) an attempt is being made to limit the amount of money which may be given for the development of agriculture. That is an entirely unfair statement to make. What are the objects? Take one of them, viz., the development of harbours. Who is going to contend that money spent on the development of harbours is for the development of agriculture? It is exactly the opposite. If you develop harbours it encourages importations from abroad which may injure instead of assist the unfortunate agriculturist of this country. Then there is the matter of fisheries and—
§ Mr. PEEL
With great respect, I wish to say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer said "You are trying by this Amendment to prevent money being spent on agriculture." That is a change which I feel and resent. [MINISTERIAL cries: "It is true."] I am told that this is true, and surely I may be allowed to point out that that charge is false? Furthermore, I would say that this money is to be spent on every sort of economic development.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is going into the Bill. That is not the question. The Resolution says, "for the purposes of any Act of the present session." It does not refer to the Bill.
§ I was only trying to make a reply to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in regard to the general charge which he made against Members on this side of the House. But leaving that, I wish to know what is the nature of the pool to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer refers? My idea of a pool is that a certain number of people contribute. In this case the sum of £500,000 a year for the next five years is to be placed on the Consolidated Fund. I understand this money is to be voted and spent this year. It is not the case that you pool two and a half millions and then repay in five years, because the Government strongly object to borrowing the money to repay in five years. Then it is perfectly clear that this £500,000 has nothing financially to do with the £500,000 that falls, or the £500,000 that goes before. There is, therefore, nothing in the nature of a pool, and as far as I understand the Chancellor of the Exchequer, there is nothing in the nature of reserve, because I understand that the half million is to be spent each year, and if that is so I do not know where the reserve is to come from. The criticism that the hon. Baronet was attempting to stop this Bill is, I think, unfair. Of course, I am entirely in sympathy with the idea that Parliament ought to have full control over this money. I think that is so serious a matter that I am fully justified in making this protest in regard to what is proposed to be done. Under this system it is quite impossible to deal with matters properly, and I strongly object to the enormous charges that may come upon us in the next five years. It seems to me wanton at this stage to pledge a Parliament for the next five years quite irrespective of the enormous demands that may be made on other Parliaments.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 105; Noes, 6.1063
|Division No. 602.]||AYES.||[1.45 a.m.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Davies, Timothy (Fulham)|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Berridge, T. H. D.||Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Allen, A. Acland||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Dobson, Thomas W.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Bryce, J. Annan||Duckworth, Sir James|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Byles, William Pollard||Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)|
|Barker, Sir John||Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Elibank, Master of|
|Barnard, E. B.||Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Evans, Sir S. T.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Crean, Eugene||Falconer, J.|
|Beale, W. P.||Crossley, William J.||Fiennes, Hon. Eustace|
|Beauchamp, E.||Cullinan, J.||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John|
|Beaumont, Hon. Hubert||Dalziel, Sir James Henry||Glover, Thomas|
|Grayson, Albert Victor||Lyell, Charles Henry||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Lynch, H. D.||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Gulland, John W.||Maclean, Donald||Scott, A. H.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Seely, Colonel|
|Haworth, Arthur A.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Hazleton, Richard||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Massie, J.||Stanger, H Y.|
|Healy, Timothy Michael||Masterman, C. F. G.||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Micklem, Nathaniel||Toulmin, George|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Mond, A.||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Higham, John Sharp||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Verney, F. W.|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)||Waring, Walter|
|Hogan, Michael||Morse, L. L.||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Hudson, Walter||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Nuttall, Harry||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Kilbride, Denis||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Lamont, Norman||Parker, James (Halifax)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Lardner, James Carrige Rushe||Partington, Oswald|
|Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Pointer, J.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Levy, Sir Maurice||Radford, G. H.||Joseph Pease and Sir Edward Strachey.|
|Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Craik, Sir Henry||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Sir|
|Banner, John S. Harmood||Morpeth, Viscount||Frederick Banbury and Mr. Bowles.|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.|
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 103; Noes, 6.1063
|Division No. 603.]||AYES.||[1.55 a.m.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Gulland, John W.||Murray, Capt. Hon. A. C. (Kincard.)|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. L. (Rossendale)||Nuttall, Harry|
|Ashton, Thomas Gain||Haworth, Arthur A.||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Hazleton, Richard||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Barker, Sir John||Healy, Timothy Michael (Louth, North)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Barnard, E. B.||Hedges, A. Paget||Partington, Oswald|
|Barnes, G. N.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Pointer, J.|
|Beale, W. P.||Higham, John Sharp||Radford, G. H.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Beaumont, Hon. Hubert||Hogan, Michael||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonport)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Berridge, T. H. D.||Hudson, Walter||Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne)|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Seely, Colonel|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Simon, John Allsebrook|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sydney Charles||Kilbride, Denis||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Byles, William Pollard||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Stanger, H. Y.|
|Channing, Sir Francis Allston||Lamont, Norman||Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.)|
|Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinstead)||Layland-Barrett, Sir Francis||Toulmin, George|
|Crean, Eugene||Levy, Sir Maurice||Ure, Rt. Hon. Alexander|
|Crossley, William J.||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Verney, F. W.|
|Cullinan, J.||Lupton, Arnold||Waring, Walter|
|Dalziel, Sir James Henry||Lyell, Charles Henry||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Lynch, H. B.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.)||Maclean, Donald||Waterlow, D. S.|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||White, Sir George (Norfolk)|
|Duckworth, Sir James||MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)||White, J. Dundas (Dumbartonshire)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Massie, J.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)|
|Elibank, Master of||Masterman, C. F. G.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Evans, Sir S. T.||Micklem, Nathaniel|
|Falconer, J.||Mond, A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Joseph Pease and Sir Edward Strachey.|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert John||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)|
|Glover, Thomas||Morse, L. L.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Craik, sir Henry||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Lord|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Morpeth, Viscount||Robert Cecil and Mr. Bowles.|
|Banner, John S. Harmood||Peel, Hon. W. R. W.|
§ 2.0 A.M.
§ Question put accordingly, "That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to promote the economic development of the United Kingdom and the improvement of roads therein, it is expedient to authorise—
- (a) the payment of the Development Fund for the purpose of advances of such moneys as may from time to time be provided by Parliament, and the charge on the Consolidated Fund and payment into the Development Fund of a sum of five hundred thousand pounds in the year ending the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and eleven, and in each of the next succeeding four years; and
- (b) the charge on the Consolidated Fund of the payment of interest and repayment of the principal of any money borrowed under such Act to an amount not exceeding two hundred thousand pounds in any year so far as the Road Improvement Grant is unable to meet the same," and agreed to.
§ Resolution to be reported this day.