HC Deb 14 June 1911 vol 26 cc1602-46

Order for Third Reading read.

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


I beg to move as an Amendment to leave out all from the word "be" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words, "re-committed to the former Committee in respect of the Clauses which relate to the construction of a new bridge between Blackfriars and Southwark bridges."

As the House is aware, this Bill divides itself into three parts. It refers to the reconstruction of Southwark Bridge, to some alterations in London Bridge, and the construction of a new bridge between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, at an estimated cost of something like two-and-a-quarter millions of money. It is with regard to the latter portion of the Bill only that I rise to move the Motion which stands in my name. I do so on the grounds that this scheme of the construction of a new bridge has not been sufficiently considered from a public point of view; that it is not supported by a sufficient weight of evidence, especially by those who are best qualified to speak on architectural and town planning questions; and that in a great national concern of this sort the Corporation ought not to spend what is in effect public money without taking the best possible expert advice. I would also like to point out that this Motion is quite a general one, and that those who vote for it will not thereby commit themselves to any particular alternative scheme. All we are asking is that further time should be taken to obtain the best possible advice. I am well aware that after a Private Bill Committee has reported in favour of a Bill to this House, anyone, who desires to see that Bill re-committed starts naturally with a certain prejudice against him, and that he ought to make a strong case in order to induce the House to reconsider a decision which has been reached by a Committee upstairs. It is argued that the Committee have seen the plans, have heard a great many witnesses and spent hours and clays in considering the details of the scheme, and have heard the learned counsel arguing from various interests, and this House is naturally reluctant to go back on a decision which has been reached after so much difficulty and so much discussion.

The only ground I submit where this House is justified in going back on a decision that is reached in that manner is if it can be shown that there is some broad ground of public principle involved in which the public interest is concerned. If that can be shown, then, this House would be pedantic not to take the decision of a matter of this sort into its own hands. I do not want in anything I may say to make any reflections whatever on the Committee which has sat upon this Bill. I am perfectly certain that they gave the matter the fullest possible consideration. I will go further, and say that I am perfectly certain also that upon the evidence brought before them they could not well have come to any decision different from that at which they arrived. The only matter in which I disagree with their view is I think they did not sufficiently ask themselves whether the evidence was the highest evidence that could possibly be brought, and whether they had before them all those who are best qualified to speak on a great national concern of this sort. To say that is in no way to cast reflections upon methods adopted by the Committee. It is merely to suggest as I do suggest, that in a great concern of this sort this House ought to keep the final decision in its own hands. Where the public interest is so much concerned we after all are the best judges of what is best in public interest. It is in no spirit of criticism that I bring forward this matter. Anyone who has sat, as I have sat, on a Private Bill Committee, knows perfectly well that with the best will in the world it is exceedingly difficult to keep before yourself at all times what I may call the public point of view.

You hear all the time learned counsel who are briefed by this interest and by that interest to put forward the views of their clients, and they put them forward with remarkable skill. The only point of view that is never put forward is the point of view of the public as a whole. That has been so well put by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Balfour) that I venture to quote the senior Member for the City of London on this point. Speaking some time ago he said:— It is almost incredible, nevertheless it is a fact, that while before such Committees any individual who thinks himself aggrieved by the public, has the right, to appear and the right to have his case heard and justice done to him, the, public, who are as much interested as any private individual in the beauty of our great cities, are not represented and cannot be represented with regard to matters which interest them most closely. He went on to speak on the same occasion of the horrors that have been perpetrated in London like the Charing Cross Railway Bridge as the result of decisions which had been come to by Private Bill Committees. In a case such as this where, after all the public are interested as such, I ask the House to take the decision into their own hands. It is obvious that the public interest in this case is, first of all, to see that nothing is done to impair the architectural beauty of London, the great tradition of beauty which has come down to us from our forefathers, of which we are now the trustees. Whatever steps are taken by the City Corporation—and we are all glad to know that they think of building this bridge—are taken in the interests of improving, and not impairing, the architectural beauty of London.

Anyone who helps forward the beauty and magnificence of this City is helping to increase the value of what is a great and priceless national possession; anyone who impairs that is, after all, doing the greatest disservice to the public at large. The second great object of public interest to be considered, I quite agree, is, of course, the convenience of traffic. But I suggest that these two are not in any way inconsistent with each other. There is no reason why a scheme should not be formulated which would at the same time increase the architectural beauty of London and improve the convenience of traffic through the City. How are these two objects to be secured? There is only one way, of course, in which this House can secure them. [An HON. MEMBER: "By passing this Bill."] I think I shall be able to show that is just the way that will not secure them. The only way to secure them is by doing what the Corporation has not yet done, by seeing that the matter is dealt with in the best possible way—by calling in the men who are best qualified to judge, the experts and architects. That, after all, was the principle which was accepted by this House with regard to the Town Planning Bill, which was passed not so long ago. There we laid down the principle that when any great scheme of town planning was to be carried out we were to call in the great experts and architects in order that, from their point of view, the matter should be perfectly considered and carried out according to the best architectural advice. This is the greatest scheme of town planning which we are likely to have for some time to come, and I shall be able to show, I hope, that the principle to which I have referred has not been followed. I rather expected that my right hon. Friend, the President of the Local Government Board, would be present. I was curious to see what course he would take in a matter of this sort.

I have here the advice which he gave to the City in regard to this Bill:— I am bold enough, having the artistic temperament— and we all agree as to that— to suggest that in the new St. Paul's Bridge, the City Corporation, Parliament, the London County Council, and all the authorities would be well advised if, before they finally settle their plans, they would listen not only to the engineer, but to the architect and artist. How far has that advice been followed? It is perfectly notorious that the advice has not been followed. We are told, indeed, that the corporation will call in an architect later on to embellish the bridge after the line of the bridge has been settled. They are prepared to call in an architect to patch the thing up; they are prepared to call in an architect to add, I think that is the phrase, "to add artistic embellishments"—in the sort of way, as my hon. Friend (Mr. Wedgwood) remarks, that they have done in the case of the Tower Bridge. Everyone knows that if the view of the architect is to be useful he must be called in when the scheme is laid down in order to see that it is on the right lines. It may be too late to call in the architect if the scheme is a bad one to start with. So far from having called in an expert on town planning or architecture, I believe I am right in saying that this scheme has been prepared upon the advice of engineers alone, without the assistance of an architect of any kind, good, bad, or indifferent. I had the curiosity to try and find exactly what was the genesis of this scheme, and why it was selected by the corporation and their advisers. Who were the authors and begetters of this particular scheme now before the House?

I have read very carefully the evidence, and as far as I can judge the credit of it, if credit there be, must rest with Mr. Domoney, the chairman of the Bridge House Estates Committee, and counsel described it as his "pet scheme." Probably everyone has his pet scheme, and it is always gratifying when you can induce others to take the same view as you have taken. This happens to be your pet scheme for the accommodation of the traffic of London. "Yes," said Mr. Domoney, who then went on to say that he had secured excel- lent expert advice in the shape of the City engineer and of the surveyor. Here we have a scheme brought before this House for spending two and a quarter millions of money, on whose authority? On the authority of Mr. Domoney, chairman of the Bridge House Estates Committee; Mr. Basil Mott, consulting engineer to the City; and Sir Alexander Stenning, the surveyor. It is quite true that with regard to Sir Alexander Stenning he was originally an architect, I believe he is still a member of the council of the Institute of British Architects. Though it is true that he is an architect, yet his whole life lately has been spent, not as an architect, but as a surveyor, and as a surveyor he was President of the Surveyors' Institution. It was as a surveyor he made his reputation, and obtained the honour of knighthood. He was called in to advise on this scheme solely as a surveyor, and to advise—these are the exact words—" as to the taking of the land and the cost of so doing." That is very necessary work, and very excellent work; but I want to point out to this House that here we have a great scheme, the building of a bridge opposite St. Paul's Cathedral, a scheme which is going to affect the architectural beauty of London for generations, and yet we are asked to accept it on the authority of three gentlemen who may be very eminent in their own way of life, but none of them can possibly claim to be in any way experts on architecture or town planning, or on those questions which are involved in a scheme of this sort. Not only was no architect or expert in town planning called in to advise in the setting out of this scheme, but it is notorious that the promoters have not been able to get a single architect of any authority to give his blessing to the scheme after it has been prepared.

There were only three other witnesses called before the Committee by the promoters of this scheme, two engineers and a commissioner of police—very eminent engineers, no doubt. One of them was the engineer of the London. County Council, the other was the Vice-President of the Institute of Civil Engineers—both most excellent, I have no doubt—and they said that this scheme from the engineering point of view would be an admirable scheme. The bridge will be extremely well built, no doubt, but what I want to point out is that they have not got an architect or an artist of any kind, who is qualified to speak upon these questions, to say a single word in favour of this great scheme which is before the House. Where are all the others—where are all the architects? Where are all the men who have hitherto advised our public authorities in these matters Where is Sir Aston Webb, Mr. Norman Shaw, and Mr. Ernest George, every one of them entitled to speak and give advice to this House with regard to a scheme of this kind, but who are all found unanimously to condemn the scheme? It is not necessary for me to read at length all the things which have appeared in the Press and elsewhere against this scheme; but I suppose there was never any great scheme brought before this House which had so little expert opinion in its favour or which was so unanimously condemned by all the best expert opinions. Men like Mr. Sargent and Sir Alma Tadema, whose names are known not only in this country but all over the world. Sculptors like Sir George Frampton, the whole Institute of British Architects, they all say that this is a shabby and inadequate scheme, that an immense opportunity has been missed, and that it is a scheme that ought not to pass through this House. It creates a road of bad direction, and a road that will be a permanent eyesore, is the statement of one of them.

What is it is said by the promoters of this Bill. They tell us in the paper they have issued to this House that you are going to have an imposing thoroughfare dominated by the dome of St. Paul's. I venture to say there was never a more misleading description of any scheme brought before this House. It will be no more dominated, if not, indeed, less so, than Cheapside is dominated by the dome of St. Paul's. What you will really have under this scheme is a bridge going across the river opposite St. Paul's, and then you will have a road gradually diverging away from the dome of St. Paul's the nearer it gets to it. The only view you will get of the dome, if you will be lucky enough to see it at all, will be a view to the left over the intervening houses, and that is what is described as a road which is dominated by the dome of St. Paul's. Then we are told, almost until we are tired, that we must accept it on the ground of traffic, and because it is so good for the traffic. I would like to ask, as the Board of Trade have lately got a department to advise on London traffic, have they issued any report to show that this is a good scheme for London traffic? There was only one ex- pert witness called before the Committee as regards traffic. Some engineers spoke about it, but I believe I am right in saying that only one expert witness came specially on the question of traffic, and he was Sir William Nott Bower, the Chief Commissioner of the City Police. Naturally, he put it from the police point of view. His ideal of making a good road is to have what he calls a direct rectangular crossing with a policeman at each end holding up his hand to stop the traffic alternately throughout the day. In his evidence before the Committee he stated that a rectangular crossing is easier to deal with— We first of all stop the traffic going North and South and allow the East and West traffic to go through for a certain time. Then the East and West traffic is stopped and the North and South traffic is allowed to run. Do you consider (someone asked) the oblique method is a good method of dealing with traffic? To that he replied:— No, I would rather have the rectangular traffic with a steady flow of stop and pass. That may be from the police point of view an easy way of dealing with traffic, but anyone who has given even an elementary consideration to the science of town planning will know that a more hopelessly old-fashioned view than that can hardly be imagined. Members know themselves what a steady flow of stop and pass means say where Waterloo Bridge comes into the Strand, especially when you are on your way to Waterloo Station coming from the north and you want to catch a train and are held up. All this steady flow means generally a steady flow of stop. That is held forth and that is the last word on the management of traffic that was put before the Committee with regard to this scheme. One might have imagined that nobody else had ever studied this question in connection with town planning and that no one else had any knowledge of the way to manage traffic save a policeman. On the contrary, everyone knows that where you have got two great streams of traffic the very worst way to get them past each other is to have what is called the direct rectangular crossing which this scheme favoured, and that it is much easier to get them past by means of an elbow and having the two roads not meeting exactly, and that is what would be provided by what is called the alternative scheme. Whereas in the case of the rectangular scheme you would get sixteen points of division, you could avoid that and get the two roads coming up to different points so as to make an elbow, so that you would get rid of the traffic to the east and west before the other stream came.

By the alternative scheme you would only have six points of division. Anyone who has seen the great improvement at Marble Arch and Hamilton Place will be able to appreciate the difference between having an oblique crossing as against a rectangular crossing, which is what is supposed to be the great advantage of this scheme. Then we get another line of argument. We are told that whether this scheme is a good one or a bad one, and it has, as I have endeavoured to show, no expert advice behind it, that at any rate it is a great deal better than any alternative scheme to be brought before this House. The promoters of the Bill spent a good deal of their time in the Press and elsewhere in making every sort of objection they could conceive to what they call the rival proposals. I do not think that it would be to the advantage of this House that I should try to put before them in any detail what are called the rival proposals, because our opposition always has been that this is a matter on which the architects should be heard by the Committee, and that the details of those proposals cannot be thrashed out on the floor of the House of Commons. I would like to deal with some of the objections which have been made to the idea that you ought to have a great road leading up to the dome of St. Paul's which, in its main outline, is the scheme which is advocated by all the artists and all the architects and people of education.


Of education?


I mean of artistic education. If you have what is called the alternative proposal or any of the proposals, because there are a great many possible alternative proposals, you must have a skew-bridge across the river, and we are told that makes any alternative scheme impossible. In the first place, as was pointed out by a Member of the Committee, it is not necessary, in order to carry a road straight up to St. Paul's, that you should have a skew bridge over the river at all. Even assuming the bridge does not go quite at right-angles to the river, are we to be asked to believe that that is an insuperable and fatal objection to any alternative scheme Some of the finest bridges have been built diagonally across rivers. So little ground is there for the argument that I am told that Mr. Basil Mott himself, one of the joint authors of this scheme, when recommending the rebuilding of Southwark Bridge, actually proposed to build an oblique bridge over the river. Nobody going over the top of the bridge would be able to see whether it was at right-angles to the river or not. It is only for the lightermen or men in the boats under the bridge that this question would really arise.

The next objection is that if you carry out any alternative scheme you will not be able to carry out the proposal as regards tramways. If that were a valid objection, I agree that it would be an insuperable obstacle to the scheme. But does the House realise that the place at which the subway for the tramways would really come closest to the foundations of St. Paul's is exactly upon the route of the Corporation scheme as contained in this Bill? It is at the east end of St. Paul's that the proposed subway for tramways, which I hope will be carried out, would come closest to the foundations of St. Paul's. If that can be done with safety to the foundations of St. Paul's, it is perfectly obvious to anyone who considers the matter that it is not beyond the limits of architectural skill to arrange that where the road goes a little way round to the south side of St. Paul's, as suggested in what for the sake of brevity I may call the architectural scheme, it should be possible to carry tramways and preserve the stability of the foundations of St. Paul's. Certainly the matter is at any rate worth while submitting to expert advice, and that is all we are asking. The third objection, which is urged at great length, is that of cost. We are told that any alternative scheme would not follow the lines of property as the present scheme does, and that it would cost something like a million pounds more. A. great deal of play has been made with that statement by the promoters of the Bill, but not a tittle of evidence in support of it has been brought forward, either by the counsel who made it, or by anybody else. I have spoken to many architects and surveyors on the subject, and I am told there is absolutely no reason to suppose that by carrying the road a little way to the west so as to get a direct vista of St. Paul's you would incur that enormous extra expense. On the contrary, I am informed that at most it might mean an extra 10 per cent. or possibly 20 per cent. on the cost of the present scheme.

On this aspect of the question perhaps the House hardly realises the great opu- lence of the estates now managed by the Corporation for the maintenance and building of City bridges. From the Bridge House estates, left to the City or to the country by pious founders of old, there is now—I am quoting from a statement of Mr. Lloyd, counsel for the promoters—an annual rental of no less than £152,000. There is an outstanding debt charged on the estates amounting to £696,000, which will be discharged by the year 1916. There is, however, at present available some £90,000 a year for the purpose of meeting the charge created under this Bill. Mr. Domoney, chairman of the Bridge House Estates, in his evidence stated that the gross revenue of the Bridge House estates is likely to be increased very largely as existing leases fall in. Here you have an income to-day of £90,000 a year, rising in the course of the next five years to something near £150,000 a year, and likely to be increased as the leases fall in. Upon a revenue of that sort there is no difficulty whatever, as the promoters of the Bill tell us, in raising £2,250,000 for the purposes of this scheme. Are we to be turned back from the architectural scheme, which has behind it the whole weight of public opinion in this country, because we cannot find an additional £100,000 or £200,000, or whatever the sum may be, in order to make a good scheme instead of the shabby proposal now put forward?

All these objections, if they are valid, will still hold good if the Bill is recommitted and comes again to be considered before the Committee. Why are the promoters so afraid of any inquiry? A few months' delay after all the delay that has taken place will not hurt the scheme if it is a good one. What we are pleading for is deliberation and consultation in order that the best possible scheme may be reached. I ask the House to remember that this is the greatest opportunity that the present generation is likely to have of improving the architectural beauty of London, and of making this city an even more worthy capital of the Empire than it is at present. To pass this Bill as it stands will be to throw away for ever a great chance of making a vista unequalled in Europe, and it will have been thrown away in spite of the protests of every man who has the right to be heard on the question. For the sake of the credit of our own nation and of our own time, and still more for the sake of the generations to come, I ask the House not to decide hastily in favour of a scheme which has already been. So much condemned, but to give those who have the best right to be heard a chance of making a scheme that will really be worthy of London and of this country.


I rise to second the Amendment for the re-committal of this Bill. I do so on the broad ground that in the building of the bridge, which is, after all, one of the most important operations that men can be engaged in, the only people who have been consulted are a surveyor, an engineer, and a policeman. Mr. Gladstone I believe, once said that nothing proved the ineptitude in artistic matters of the British nation more than the fact that when they did set to work to build the House of Commons and the Foreign Office they chose a Renaissance architect to build a Gothic building, and a Gothic architect to build a Renaissance building. The Corporation have avoided all difficulties of this character by choosing no architect at all. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board, speaking some time ago at a dinner of those interested in town planning, said that he possessed the artistic temperament. Possibly I may not be so fortunately endowed as the right hon. Gentleman. I merely look upon this question as a man in the street. But I do make a plea on behalf of the ordinary man in the street that in a great matter like this, so vitally affecting the people of London, when it comes to a question of building this bridge, in really what is the heart and centre, one might almost say, the most sacred place in the whole of the British Empire, we ought to build a bridge really worthy of an Imperial people.

London is perhaps the most artistic and attractive place in the whole of the globe. That is probably owing to its smoke and its mist. Very little credit is due either to the City Fathers or to our municipal corporations. Nothing is more remarkable than the patience and submissiveness of the great people of London at the many outrages which have been inflicted upon them. Much water has flowed under London Bridge since Wordsworth said that from it was one of the finest views in the world. Since then the people of London have seen the finest river in the world defaced by four or five, possibly, of the ugliest railway bridges in the world. They have seen every great opportunity missed, and every scheme either for a great highway or a. great thoroughfare considered, not from its artistic and aesthetic possibilities, but merely, as Arthur Young said: "In the baleful spirit of the counter. "We possess one of the finest, perhaps the finest, Renaissance building in the world, and the people of London have every right to the thorough enjoyment of it. If anybody in the world has the right to any ennobling influence they can derive from this great building, it is the people who live on the south side of London—who live in a wilderness of mean streets, whose only landmark, so far as I can make out, is the Elephant and Castle. The spirit underlying this proposal is the same spirit which has given us this wilderness of mean streets, of stuccoed villas, and back-to-back; slum houses. I do think that a House of Commons which passes a Town Planning Bill will be indeed stultifying itself if it passes a proposal like this. We are told by way of consolation that if we pass this scheme architects will be called in to embellish this bridge—I suppose according to the ideas of the City Corporation.

9.0 P.M.

In other words we shall have a bridge which is neither an engineering feat nor an architectural achievement. It will be like a wedding cake stuck over with useless and senseless ornaments. For this reason alone I do think we ought to give the Committee a further right to hear architectural advice on the subject. It is from this point of view, from the point of view of the great opportunity which will be missed of making a thoroughfare really worthy of the people of London, and also from the danger we run of having really a great eyesore inflicted on the people, that I second the re-committal of this Bill.


I beg to intervene in this Debate very briefly, and I hope the House will bear with me when I speak as Chairman of the Committee which considered this Bill. With the hope expressed by the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment as to enhancing the architectural beauty of London, I am quite in agreement, but I wish to bring the House back from the ornate speeches of the hon. Members to the Bill that is now before the House. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Burnley who moved the re-committal of this Bill did so for a specific object. As I understand him his object is that a certain body of opinion or evidence should be heard by the Committee. May I inform the House very shortly what are the facts in this case? The Institute of British Architects petitioned against this Bill, and lodged their petition in the usual form. When the Committee sat the Institute did not think it worth while to appear before the Committee. As Chairman of that Committee I expressed astonishment at the fact that the architects were not represented before the Committee, and went out of my way to invite them to appear before us, and give us the benefit of their ideas. The invitation was mentioned in the London papers, but the architects never appeared before us. I think it is treating a Committee of this House somewhat hardly to come here now and say that the Committee came to a decision on insufficient evidence, and that they ought to go back upstairs and hear a certain body of evidence that the gentlemen themselves concerned did not think it worth while to urge before the Committee. I think the House ought to bear that in mind in considering any Motion for the re-committal of this Bill.

The hon. Gentleman opposite also said that this Bill has not been considered from a public point of view. I am not of the same political opinion as the hon. Gentleman opposite, but I understood that the public point of view was best expressed by the elected authority who represent the people of the district which is affected by the Bill. It was represented to us upstairs that this Bill was an agreed one practically between the County Council and the City of London Corporation. I may not agree with the views of the City of London Corporation, nor of the London County Council, but, after all, they are for the time being the representatives of the public opinion of London. I should rather agree with them as representing the opinions of London than take the views of hon. Members who may have to consider other points. The Noble Lord who seconded the Amendment throw scorn upon the scheme, because it was drawn up by a surveyor, an engineer, and a policeman. I quite agree that any scheme which this House may pass should have artistic merit, but I think that this House would be neglecting its duty if it were to pass a scheme which, however beautiful, was not sound from the point of view of the surveyor, the engineer, or the policeman. I have sat in this House for a considerable number of years compared with certain other hon. Members, and I have sat upon many Committees, and I can say that I have never sat upon a Committee in which my colleagues took such an amount of interest in the matter under discussion as they did in connection with this Bill. They examined this from every point of view. They were anxious to do the best they could for the City of London and for other interests, and those who tell us that we did not consider the interests at stake fully are hardly doing credit to Members who serve on Private bill Committees.

I would have been far better pleased if the Institute of Architects had come before us, and given us the official view of the scheme. They did put out a different scheme. I have seen letters from members of the Institute suggesting a new scheme. I do not know what the opinion of the architects as a body is, and I suppose all we can do is to take the scheme as published in the public Press. That scheme may be an artistic scheme, but there are other matters also to be considered, and we have to consider not only whether it is artistic, but whether it is practical from the traffic point of view, and I say it would be a great mistake to accept any scheme that did not embrace that point of view. I do suggest to the House of Commons that it would not be doing justice to itself to decide any matters of this kind on the ex parte statements of those concerned. The Committee that sat upstairs had expert evidence upon both sides. They had the opportunity that men endowed with the same amount of intelligence as other Members of the House have to decide upon the evidence which came before them, and in this particular case, although we did not have an alternative scheme we looked at what we considered to be the alternative scheme of the British architects, and the evidence was against them. My hon. Friend above the Gangway will bear me out when I say that we did take the scheme as outlined in "The Times" before us as the scheme of British architects, and having carefully examined it we found it was absolutely impossible. I put it to hon. Members of this House that that scheme meant a reduplication of the traffic at Park Lane and Piccadilly, and that certainly is not an ideal scheme on which to carry on the traffic of London.

It is also alleged that the Committee over which I had the honour to preside was not fully imbued with the real necessity of dealing with the uniform features of St. Paul's. On the engineering evidence before us it was shown that the scheme of the architects if carried out in the form recommended would be far more dangerous and detrimental to St. Paul's than that which the Committee approved. I may also tell the House—because it was not told by hon. Members opposite—that the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's originally petitioned against this Bill, but having been satisfied by experts that no damage would be done to the fabric of St. Paul's they withdrew their objection. It was proved to the satisfaction of the Committee that, owing to the position in which St. Paul's stands, the alternative suggestion as against that proposed in the Bill would be more detrimental to the structure of St. Paul's. That, perhaps, is not a matter which architects would be much disposed to consider. It is absolutely an engineering matter. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] Well, it is primarily an engineering matter.


Had the architects an opportunity of explaining their point?


I said before I personally invited the architects to come before us and they declined to do so; they wrote to "The Times." I notice that one gentleman put forward an argument in the newspaper that had no foundation in fact, namely, that the Committee actually passed this Bill without seeing the plans. That was a ridiculous statement. The contention was that they had not lodged the plans, but the plans are merely plans of levels that have to be deposited for the use of the landowners. That gentleman told us that we did not know where St. Paul's was. What are the facts? On the walls of the Committee Room upstairs we had the Dome of St. Paul's in fourteen different positions. That is the kind of argument we have had.

I take this position, and I put it before the House. If the private Bill legislation of this House is to be carried out, as it has been in the past, it should require very strong evidence indeed to recommit a Bill in order to enable persons to be heard before the Committee—even if these persons had any right to be heard before it in the first instance—who did not take the trouble to put in an appearance. In this case, under the Standing Orders, the Institute of British Architects had no locus, but when the Bill was put down for Committee, and long before that the Corporation wrote to the Institute of British Architects and said, "We will not take any technical objection against your locus, and we hope you will come before the Committee and give them your views." When the Committee sat the Institute did not appear before them. They wrote to "The Times," and said the reason they did not appear was on the ground of cost. I invited the Institute to send a representative before the Committee. The total cost to the Institute would be four guineas. Yet the House of Commons is asked to-night to send this Bill back to the Committee in order to suit the Institute of British Architects. Where are they to get the money from now any more than before?


There is more than that involved. It is the consideration of the scheme which has been passed by competent architects.


I say that is not a subject which ought to be debated in this House. I have myself invited the opinion of the architects before the Committee. We have passed that point now, and again the House has got to remember that if this was the last stage in this Bill there might be some reason for this Motion. The Institute of Architects can go on with their objections in the House of Lords. I have yet to learn that the Corporation will take a tentative objection to their locus standi. I do not think this objection to the Bill ought to be allowed to prevent the adoption of a scheme which will undoubtedly be for the benefit of London as a whole. I think it was rather ungenerous of the hon. Member who moved this Amendment to say that the scheme of this Bill was promoted by Mr. Domoney and nobody else. On the Committee which considered this scheme there were gentlemen as competent as any of those who have been named by the hon. Members opposite. After all the scheme in the Bill is the considered scheme of the authority who will have to find the money to pay for it, and I think it is against the practice of this House to recommit a private Bill of this kind to a Committee for the specific object of hearing a certain body of experts when that body has had the opportunity of being heard in the first instance and did not exercise that right. I see the Deputy-Speaker (Mr. Emmott) sitting opposite, and I ask him to state whether it is not against the precedents of this House to recommit a private Bill of this kind for the purpose I have stated. Under these circumstances, if the House decides to send this Bill back to the Committee we shall of course give it every consideration, but on the question of principle I shall vote against the Amendment to re-commit this Bill.


After the very clear and able speech we have heard from the hon. Member for Newry (Mr. Mooney) there cannot be any doubt in the mind of any hon. Member of this House as to which way he ought to vote. I have been a good many years in this House, and although I have not looked up the precedents, I believe I am correct in saying that never in the last thirty or forty years has this House re-committed a Bill on the ground that a certain body had not been heard, when those people had had the opportunity of appearing and had declined to do so. The hon. Member who brought forward the Amendment made a speech of considerable length, but I do not think he made a single point which ought to influence anybody to re-commit this Bill. They were all vague points. He said that the Chief Commissioner of the City Police did not know very much about town planning. He said there had been a Town Planning Committee, and they knew more about the regulation of traffic than the Chief Commissioner. As one who has had thirty years' experience of life in the City, I say that there is no better regulation of traffic in any city of the world than in the City of London, and the official who is responsible for that excellent regulation which every hon. Member knows is the admiration of every foreigner who comes to London, is the Chief Commissioner of Police. I will leave the excellent speech made by the Chairman of the Committee, which, in my opinion, ought to settle the matter without any further speeches, and I will come to the point before the Committee. The plans for the bridges have not yet been drawn up, and until this Bill is passed it is natural that they will not be drawn up. The Corporation have undertaken to submit those plans to competent architects, and I cannot conceive that even the most artistic Member of this House or the most aesthetic Member can raise any objections, even if he happens to be an educated man and the only man competent to give an opinion on this point.

The crux of the whole question is whether or not there shall be a slanting street or a straight street. A straight street is far more desirable than a crooked one, and, furthermore, a street which will take the traffic from the south to the north in a straight line, such as will be provided if this Bill is passed, is better than one which ends in a dead end opposite the Dome of St. Paul's. Supposing the alter- native scheme were in existence, what would happen? The traffic from the south would come to a dead stand opposite the Dome of St. Paul's. It would have to turn to the east, then to the north, and then to the east again. Hon. Members know the difficulty one experiences in traffic when you have to come on your near side and turn to the off side across a stream of traffic. The result is that you cause a great block. Under the alternative scheme you have another block further on, and, consequently, you have two blocks instead of one. My Noble Friend referred to the question of the tramways, and said that in the whirligig of time he thought he might see me standing here as the upholder and supporter of tramways. I always objected to tramways, and I object to them now, but if we are to have them, let us have them underground, where they do not interfere with the traffic, and where they may be of some use.

Under the Corporation scheme you will have a connected line of tramways underground which will be able to go quicker, bring in a larger revenue, and they will be to the advantage of everybody. I wish to say a few words about the cost. I know it is very difficult to estimate what the exact cost will be, but the hon. Member apparently forgets, or possibly he did not know, that the alternative scheme will go through Messrs. Cook and Sons' warehouse. That is a large building, standing on an acre of ground, and the Corporation will have to take the whole of that ground or none. The consequence will be a very large increase in the cost, which the Corporation put at about £1,000,000. Whether that is so or not I do not know, but it must be a very large increase when you have to take such a very exceptional place as this particular warehouse, because you cannot take a piece out of it. The hon. Member who brought forward this Motion said there is going to be opened up a new vista about a quarter of a mile in length as you come from the south to the north. In my opinion the only people who will see this vista will be the railway van drivers and the different drivers of heavy goods traffic who are the only people who Use that particular route. Therefore, from the aesthetic point of view, there is not going to be that number of people who, in their ordinary daily avocations, will be confronted with a thing of beauty which will charm away dull care.

There are really two questions, apart from the very strong points made by the Chairman of the Committee, which ought to be considered. After all, those who have business to do in the City of London have some right to be considered, and what interferes with business in the City is congestion of traffic. If this Bill is going to relieve congestion of traffic, then the House ought to pass it, but, if it is going to add to congestion, that is a different thing. I think I have proved this particular Bill will relieve congestion of traffic, while the Bill favoured by the hon. Member will add to it. Further, I think I have proved that, as regards the bridge itself, the Corporation are prepared to take architectural advice, and, as regards the street, I may say I saw to-day a plan of Sir Christopher Wren's in which this identical line was taken. The plan is here in the House if the hon. Member doubts it, and I shall be very pleased when I have sat down to fetch it and show it to him or any other hon. Member. That plan of Wren's carries out the identical idea of this particular Bill, and I do not think, for the sake of a possible improvement in a view which will be seen by a very few people, we should alter this plan and add to the congestion of traffic in the City. It will make no difference to the architectural appearance of the bridge, because the bridge can be the same except that in this case it will be straight and in the other it will be askew. I do not know whether, as an educated man, the hon. Member prefers a crooked bridge to a straight one, but personally, not being esthetic, I prefer a straight bridge. I have no wish to see my Constituents put to the expense next year as they would be by the passing of this Motion of again coming before this House unless they abandon the scheme altogether. If there is any strong body of educated opinion that can show the scheme is wrong, well, as the hon. Member below the Gangway said, let them go to the House of Lords. Thank God, we have got a House of Lords still. The hon. Member may be thankful for it, unless the House of Lords, being possibly uneducated men, take the view held by the hon. Member who was Chairman of the Committee. I hope the House will pass this Bill.


I have listened to the remarks of the hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London. I agree absolutely that traffic consideration is per- haps the greatest of all considerations in the matter, but I disagree entirely when he suggests that the Bill of the Corporation is the only way by which traffic regulations can be obtained and adjusted properly. I have a plan in my hand. It is not an official plan, it is not the plan of the Royal Institute of British Architects, but it is nevertheless the plan of a gentleman very eminent in the architectural profession who certainly knows a considerable deal about town planning. It shows a scheme can be carried out having regard to the amenities of St. Paul's Cathedral and yet meeting all the requirements of the very congested traffic of the City of London. I am very reluctant personally to oppose this scheme. I desire to see a bridge, and I desire to see the improvement made for reasons other than those of traffic, but I am convinced, if this scheme is allowed to pass, it will be a more fatal blunder in London architecture than has ever been perpetrated during the centuries which have gone by. It will be more than a blunder; it will be a positive crime, and cruel to posterity, and we shall be remembered with opprobrium by those who succeed us if we lose an opportunity such as this affords us.

My one great reason for objecting to this scheme is that we have got a cathedral which is a national monument of which any nation might be proud. One blunder was made in the past when the bridge was put over Ludgate Hill and the view of St. Paul's was taken away from Fleet Street. We do not want to repeat a blunder of that kind, but, as opportunity affords, we want to open up St. Paul's so that its beauties may be better understood What does the engineers scheme provide? It provides for a street from north to south, missing St. Paul's entirely. I am reminded in this relation of what was said by one of the Czars of Russia. He wanted to make a railway from St. Petersburg to Moscow, and he took a ruler and drew a straight line on a plan regardless of all natural features of the country, and said, "I must have a railway made here." That to my mind is considerably like what the engineer of the Corporation has done in this respect. He has ignored absolutely and entirely an opportunity of obtaining for London an advantage which will last as long as the City lasts. He has ignored, or shall I say the Corporation has ignored, the advice of those who are best able to advise on a subject like this—architects, artists, and sculptors. I am not aware they have had any architect of any position who has been able to back up the scheme of the Corporation. What are the names of those opposed to this scheme? Surely they should have some Weight with this House. Sir Alma Tadema, Sir Walter Hamo Thornycroft, Sir, George Frampton, Sir Thomas Brock, Mr. J. S. Sargeant, Sir William Richmond, Mr. Ernest George, and among the architects there are the President of the Institute, past presidents, Sir Aston Webb, Mr. John Belcher, Professor Blomfield, Professor Beresford Pite, and a host of others. Yet we are to be told that the opinion of the City engineer and of a surveyor is of more value in a matter of this kind than the opinion of all the architects. Not only the architects, but the whole of the London Press has expressed a very strong objection to the scheme. "The Times," the "Morning Post," the "Daily Mail"—they are gloriously impartial—the "Globe," the "Daily News," the "Daily Chronicle," the "Morning Leader," and the "Spectator"—I am glad to get cheers from both sides of the House—the articles these papers have published show that ill the Press there is a unaimity of opinion on this subject. That opinion ought not to be lightly set on one side. Hon. Members of this House do not treat the Press lightly when they want favourable comments on their speeches. They value the Press then, and I think that on a matter of this kind, when it is speaking for the people of London and of the whole country, value should equally be attached to its expression of view. We are asked why the architects have not opposed this scheme. They did petition against it, but they went no further. Why, I ask, should architects, as architects, without being properly retained, spend their time any more than any other class similarly interested in the welfare of this city? Why should they be asked to contribute from their store more than the general public are asked? It is a lamentable thing to my mind that there is no public fund out of which counsel can be briefed for the protection of the public interest of this matter. Why should the architects be required to spend £500 or —1,000 in opposing a scheme of this kind, any more than any other class?


If the Institute of British. Architects had followed our suggestion they would have incurred no such cost; they could have come before the Committee and given their opinion and stated their alternative scheme.


The chairman of the Committee suggests that any architect could have come forward to present an alternative scheme, but it is no more the duty of architects to present alternative schemes than it is the duty of any other class of people. They did all that was required of them as a public body. They did their best to influence the London Corporation by deputation. Added to that they presented a petition against the Bill which showed very clearly that, in their opinion, this scheme was a great mistake. I do not think any Member of this House would suggest that an architect should be asked to do any more in this matter in the public interest than any other public body of men do. Speaking as one who has had some little experience in Town Planning, an experience I may possibly say without egotism, equal to that of any other Member of this House, I say that I think that the Corporation have wedded themselves to one scheme exclusively without considering other schemes, which might have been more advantageous to the public.

They have given us four or five reasons why their scheme is the only practicable one. They have told us that, in the opinion of the Commissioner of Police, the traffic cannot be regulated if any alternative scheme is carried out. But if I may be permitted to say so, I have a plan here which shows that that end could have been absolutely obtained without in any way interfering with the traffic and still preserving St. Paul's as the centre. There would be a wide "Y"-shaped opening, and the traffic could easily be carried round the eastern end of St. Paul's and brought down to the bridge without any difficulty whatsoever. The hon. Baronet, the Member for the City of London, really touched the spot when he said that to bring the new street in a direct line with the centre of St. Paul's would mean that they would have to take a very large warehouse, covering an acre of ground, and that that would be an enormously costly process. But if they did not take that acre there, surely they would have to take an acre somewhere else. They cannot get their improvement unless they take the ground to make the road, and they must put sufficient ground on each side of the road to give frontages so that they may recoup themselves in some measure for the scheme they have laid down. If they do not take this particular acre they must take an acre of ground in some other position. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."] Oh, yes. You cannot make a street without ground. [An HON. MEMBER: "You can utilise existing streets."] The existing streets are about 16ft. wide, and if you are to utilise them on one side you will get no advantage, because you cannot resell any of the land in order to pay for your improvements. The cheapest method of making any pubilc improvement is to go through where there is no existing street, and then you get two frontages, one on each side, which enables you to pay to some extent for the cost of the improvement. I will grant this, the cost of this particular warehouse would be a little greater than that of any other warehouse. We are told that it would involve an extra million of money to adopt this plan. I have very excellent authority for my statement that the additional cost of putting the thoroughfare in a direct line of access to St. Pain's would only be from about £150,000 to £200,000, and I can go so far as this, and say with a fund like that of the Bridge Estates, even if it did cost an extra million of money, a statement which I entirely traverse, is it not wise when we are dealing with a subject which will last for centuries that we should take a very broad view of the case and not the narrow and contracted view suggested by hon. Gentlemen opposite. The second objection was that unless a straight street was made at the east end of St. Paul's you could not have the trains join up.

Why not? A tram could be afforded with very slight curves which will answer every purpose quite as well as though it was absolutely straight under the alternative scheme which I suggest here to-day. Then it is suggested that there is danger to the foundations of St. Paul's if any other scheme is taken than this. I traverse that entirely. The nearest point of contact where an underground tramway would have to be made is at the east end of St. Paul's, which is a portion of the scheme which the Committee have already passed, and if a street was made in a direct line from the approach to the centre of St. Paul's with an easy curve at that point where the foundations would be touched under the present scheme—at the nearest point—gradually the danger would be less because the tunnel would recede away from the Cathedral.

I am afraid it is difficult to make this undertstood and clear. It is one of those things which could be far better shown on a plan. The Committee have not had this suggestion before them, and therefore they will not be able to see it as they would if they had studied a plan. I sym- pathise with them so far because they have only been able to see one side of the scheme and not the other. [An HON. MEMBER: "Why not?"] Because it has not been presented to them. With respect to the zone of danger which the Chief Commissioner of Police spoke about it has been pointed out by an hon. Member that a right-angled street cutting across there is a far greater danger than there is when there is a graceful curve out of one thoroughfare into another thoroughfare. I have not the slightest fear of any danger to the traffic. I believe that under our scheme the traffic can be quite as easily arranged as under the scheme which has been passed by the Committee. It does seem to me a great pity that the purely utilitarian view of the engineers alone is to prevail without any regard being had to the aesthetic character of the work and the amenities of the city. London is the largest city in the country, and we are oppressed by many wretched thoroughfares, and when an opportunity like this arises we do not want to repeat mistakes which have been made before because full and adequate consideration has not been given to the subject. I see no reflection upon the Committee if the chairman will forgive me in having this matter referred back, because if they have only heard one side it is not their fault, and we want all sides to be heard. I am quite sure of this, that if the Bill goes back to the Committee evidence can be produced which will show that the scheme will give all the effect of an approach to St. Paul's and be a reasonable means of locomotion which is so much needed in the central districts of London.


I do not want unnecessarily to labour the question of the architects, and I think it has been unnecessarily laboured already, but I want to point out that the architects have been heard by the Corporation. I speak both as a member of the Corporation and as a member of the Bridge House Estates Committee, and we have had a deputation before us from the Royal Institute of British Architects, including the then president, Sir Aston Webb, Sir George Frampton, and others. Not only that, Sir Leonard Stokes, the president, has been heard before the Common Council and by the Bridge House Estates Committee. It has already been pointed out that there could have been a technical objection taken by the Corporation to the locus standi of the Royal Institute of British Architects, but I want to read the letter written from the Guildhall on this point on 16th February and addressed to the secretary of the Royal Institute of British Architects:—

"Guildhall, E.C.,

"16th February, 1911.

"Dear Sir,

"Corporation of London (Bridges) Bill,

St. Paul's Bridge.

"Referring to the Petition of the Royal Institute of British Architects against the above Bill the Corporation are advised that the institute has no locus standi to oppose the Bill. In the ordinary course the Corporation would, no doubt, if necessary, take the decision of the Court of Referees upon this point, but they feel that, apart from other considerations, such a course would scarcely be consistent with their previous action in giving the President and Council of the Institute every opportunity of expressing their views when the scheme embodied in the Bill was in its initial stages. The Corporation will not, therefore, lodge any objection to the Institute being heard upon its Petition.

"Yours faithfully,



The Corporation could not do more, anti what guarantee have they that if this Bill is recommitted the architects would be heard? We are told that it means expense, and that they would have to be represented by counsel; and I would remind the House that the Royal Institute of British Architects made no representation when our Bill was before the Committee.


I would point out that the Royal Institute of British Architects are not a philanthropic body.


I feel that the hon. Member is only crossing my t's and dotting my i's, and I again ask what guarantee have we that they will appear if the Bill is re-committed. That is the difficulty which arose years before in 1879, when the Institute asked to be heard, and they were heard without expense. On this occasion the Chairman of the Committee invited them to come to the Committee, and yet they did not appear. I ask, under those circumstances, if this House is to-stultify itself on the Third Reading of this Bill by sending the measure back to a Committee when we have still no guarantee that the Institute will be heard before the Committee. May I just reply to those who say that there will be no vista of St. Paul's Cathedral under the Bill. There will be a magnificent vista of St. Paul's under the Corporation scheme. There were five illustrations of it published ill the "Graphic" a few weeks ago, and I am quite sure that anyone who has seen the plans of the Corporation could not make such a statement.


May I say—


The hon. Member has had his opportunity.


I will leave the hon. Member, as I seem to be causing him some difficulty, and I will reply to one or two points of the hon. Member for Burnley. He asks where is Sir Aston Webb? I should answer that by asking the same question. He has been conspicuous by his absence from the opposition ever since he was asked to be heard by the Bridge House Estates Committee.


He was not heard.


He was invited to be heard by the Committee of the Bridge House Estates. I will not labour this question of the architects. I believe it has been thoroughly and ably answered by the Chairman of the Committee. I was tempted to go into it by the words of the hon. Gentleman (Sir W. A. Gelder). I feel that the best line for me to take is the point raised by the hon. Member (Mr. Morrell), because he gave us an undertaking. He said if the tramways could not be carried under this alternative scheme he would consider that an insuperable objection. I want to demonstrate that that is an insuperable objection, and if I can satisfy him that it means the dropping of the tramway scheme I trust he will stand by his words and withdraw his Motion. Speaking as a member of the City of London Corporation, I make the offer to the hon. Member that, if he will withdraw this Motion to re-commit, the Corporation will raise no technical objection to the locus standi of the Institute of British Architects to be heard before the House of Lords, although they could do if they liked. I want to persuade the hon. Member that there is nothing in the alternative scheme that is practicable. We have done all that we could to meet the objection. Anyone would think to hear what has been said that this was a mushroom growth. The Bridge House Committee has been considering this thing for years, and has come forward with a carefully prepared scheme after consultation with architects and after getting the expert advice of a present member of the Institute of British Architects. They come before this House and ask them to support the Committee and give this Bill a Third Reading and let it go to the other place.

I want to make one statement here referring to the statement issued by the Corporation in support of the Bill. The paragraph at the top of page 2 with re- gard to tramways goes a little further than was intended. It has, as stated, been arranged between the Corporation and the London County Council that; subject to Parliamentary sanction, tramways are to be constructed across the bridge, but their extension by means of a subway under St. Paul's Churchyard is still subject to negotiation between the two bodies, and the connection with the northern system in Goswell Road is a matter for the Council to deal with in the future. It is due to the House to make that slight correction, though I still adhere to the statement that it is by agreement with the London County Council that trams shall come across the bridge. The hon. Member (Mr. Morrell) said if it could be shown that this tramway scheme would have to be dropped if the Corporation Bill were dropped he would consider that an insuperable objection. The Cathedral authorities have already successfully objected to tube railways and a main drain going past the south front of the Cathedral. If he wants chapter and verse I will give it him. In the Hammersmith and City Tube Railway Bill and in the Central London New Lines Bill these two tubes were both planned to go under Carter Lane. St. Paul's Cathedral has a few streets running between it and the Thames and Carter Lane is a little nearer to the river than the passage on the south side of the Cathedral. These two tubes were to go under Carter Lane, which was distinctly further from the frontage of St. Paul's than this scheme would be if the alternative scheme of the architects were carried, which would necessitate the trams going under the subway closer to the Cathedral, and yet the Cathedral authorities succeeded in carrying their objection and in compelling these two tube railways to alter their schemes and the promoters deposited their scheme carrying the tubes under Upper Thames Street, which is still nearer the river.

10.0 P.M

There is another point. Reiterated statements have been made that under the Corporation scheme the tramway subway would go nearer to the foundations of St. Paul's on the eastern side than they would do on the southern approach under the alternative scheme. I agree. I want to be absolutely fair to my opponents and to convert them. But the difference is this, that the ground of St. Paul's Cathedral slopes towards the river and if a subway is constructed to carry the trams on the southern side of the Cathedral the moisture will be drained down towards the river from the foundations of the Cathedral, and it was in consequence of that that the Cathedral authorities succeeded in their objection. Everyone will admit in view of that slope of the land there that the danger is much greater in sinking any subway for tramway purposes. The possible subsidence of the Cathedral foundations is a very serious one. Then there is also the question of the London County Council. Under their General Powers Bill they wanted to construct a sewer underneath the southern approach to the Cathedral. That was dropped and the main sewer was carried considerably nearer the river. I think that will satisfy the House that if the alternative scheme were adopted it would mean absolutely, ipso facto, the dropping of the tramway scheme. I was in a minority years ago in the City Corporation in pleading for trams across the bridges, and I still feel very strongly that if we are going to endanger the new artery of tramways north and south we should be stultifying the House and endangering the future traffic, facilities of the City of London.


The hon. Member has not shown that we should in any way be stultifying the tramway scheme.


I should have thought I had demonstrated it. What possible advantage can be gained? This Bill has already been before the Select Committee. Every opportunity has been given for alternative schemes to be laid before the Committee and advantage was not taken of it, and the hon. Member still has the opportunity before the House of Lords. I have told him the Corporation will raise no technical objection to their locus standi. Then on the question that he raised about the skew, I want to point out that, under the requirements of the Port of London authority, if this bridge were carried according to the alternative proposal it would be absolutely necessary to carry these piers on the skew, because they compel us to have the piers of that bridge in a line with the piers of Southwark and Blackfriars, between which the new bridge is to run, and, speaking as the Member for Rochester, who is somewhat interested and connected with barges, I can speak with experience of the difficulty that barge men have in getting under the bridges, and it would be more difficult than the hon. Member can possibly realise to get through them. But if it is necessary in order to carry the alternative scheme that the bridge should be run on the skew, would not that offend the aesthetic and architectural considerations to which he referred? Reference has been made to the traffic problem of London. I desire very emphatically to repudiate and resent the aspersions made upon the ability of the Commissioner of the City of London Police. As a member of the Police Committee I very much resent the words which have fallen from the hon. Member. I only repeat what has been said by another hon. Member—that there is no city in t he world where the traffic is better managed than in London. It is the envy of foreign cities. The evidence of the Chief Commissioner of Police, who has recently been honoured by the King, was most valuable. We ought to be very glad that we had the, advantage of his evidence. He pointed out that the mingling of North and South traffic and East and West traffic at that point would be an insuperable objection to the easy running of the traffic. The hon. Member must know that when the near side traffic has to cross over to the off-side traffic that traffic has to be held up, and the Chief Commissioner, with all his experience, tells us that in the City of London it is easier to have a clear crossing at right angles than that for a short distance East and West and North and South traffic should be allowed to meet. But the hon. Member asked a question. He said where were the Board of Trade on this question of traffic. I have such confidence in the Board of Trade, presided over as it is by such an able Member of the House, that I believe that the Board of Trade were absent because they were satisfied with the Corporation scheme.

I should like to deal also with the question of finance. The expenditure originally contemplated by the Corporation upon the work included in the Bill was £2,000,000 only, but upon further development of the matter it was found that £2,250,000 would be required, the additional sum being mainly for the purpose of widening St. Paul's Churchyard. This latter sum is the limit of the expenditure which the Corporation, advised by the financial officers, consider they can prudently incur, having regard to existing debt, liabilities, and other outgoings of the Bridge House Fund. The figure of £152,000 per annum has been used by hon. Members to-night, as though that were a clear sum available for the purpose of the Bill, whereas the fact is that half of that sum is already hypothecated, for the ordinary outgoings and maintenance of the city bridges, the expense of estate management, and sinking fund. The trust fund of the Bridge House Estates is already committed up to the hilt for the corporation bridges. The original estimate has already been exceeded by £250,000. To tackle what would be the more expensive scheme would be a policy which could not be supported by any facts which have been adduced to the House. Hon. Members have spoken of the sum of £1,000,000. I cannot conceive what is their authority for that sum. [An HON. MEMBER: "Hear, hear."] I presume that the hon. Member suggests that it will not be £1,000,000. He led us to suppose that it would not amount to that sum. I wish to point out that if the alternative scheme were carried it would mean not the taking of the largest wing of the largest textile house in the world, but the taking of the very body itself. It would be just the difference between taking a man's arm and the whole of his body. Under the Corporation scheme we have to take one-twenty-fifth of the ground space of the large warehouse of Messrs. Cook, Son and Company.

The hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) mentioned that the ground space of that warehouse is an acre. I am sure he will allow me to correct him and to state that it is over an acre and a-half which will be affected by the alternative scheme. The floor space of the warehouse is five acres, and the fastening up of the premises securely at night involves a walk of over ten miles. There is no other site in the locality where you could get five acres of floor space to replace this warehouse. The premises are spread over and under eight streets, all connected by eighteen bridges and subways. The firm have their own post office, telephone exchange, and underground communications. They employ 3,000 hands, and the dependents of these people may be estimated at 9,000, making 12,000. The supporters of the alternative scheme therefore are proposing to remove a town of 12,000 inhabitants. It is ludicrous to talk of this being done at quarter past eight in the House of Commons after the Bill has been considered by a Committee upstairs. I wish to point out that under the alternative scheme it would he necessary to take practically the whole of this great business. I say it is not a practical suggestion at all. I hope the hon. Member (Mr. Morrell) will see his way to withdraw the Amendment. I can assure him that no technical objection will be raised before the House of Lords to the locus standi of the Institute of British Architects.


The hon. Member for Rochester (Mr. Lamb) stated he thought that by accepting the Amendment the House of Commons would be stultifying itself. The hon. Member who was Chairman of the Committee expressed the opinion that it would not be respectful towards the Private Bill Committee upstairs for the House of Commons to accept the Amendment. I confess that I differ from that view.


I never suggested that for a moment. I said it was against all precedent that I knew of to refer a Bill back to a Committee for the purpose of hearing people who could have been heard before if they had availed themselves of the opportunity.


The ground of the attack made by the hon. Member on the Amendment of the hon. Member opposite was one of etiquette. Member after Member has got up and said that we will be stultifying ourselves if we do not accept the Amendment. The hon. Member for Newry said it was opposed to all precedent to send the Bill back to the Committee. That may be so, but it is really a question far too great and far too unique in its importance to be settled by any question as to whether we are treating the Committee with propriety or whether we are in danger of stultifying ourselves. What will be the position twenty years hence when this bridge is made—a bridge which so far as my opinion goes is on an incorrect line—if we are told at the end of that period that the House of Commons refused to take the alternative scheme because it was against precedent to refer back to a Committee a Bill which had been considered before. I frankly regret the attitude of the Institute of British Architects. I am not in their confidence. I have so far as I know never spoken to a single architect on the subject, but from the knowledge I have of architects I think the hon. Member opposite was very wide of the mark when he suggested that they did not place their case before the Committee simply because it would have placed a small expense on their personal pockets. I do not believe that.

I hope that in considering this question the House may take a view of the matter dissociated from a smaller, and in certain cases, personal questions which have arisen, and pay attention to the central and governing feature of this controversy, which is whether this great new bridge shall go direct towards the greatest architectural feature in the metropolis or whether it shall be deviated for certain reasons which may or may not be adequate. At any rate, I hope the House will not allow itself to be distracted by purely subordinate questions. The hon. Member behind me said the Bridge is going to be designed by a competent architect whom the Corporation of the City of London have undertaken to employ. I am delighted to hear it, but that is not the main point at issue. It is not the structure or design of the bridge, but the question of the street leading from that bridge which is really the point at issue. My hon. Friend says, "Oh, but, after all, you get best and most easily to the north of London under the scheme in the Bill"—that may or may not be so"—but if you take a through line from the bridge to the Dome you get a vista. What is the good of a vista?" I hope my hon. Friend will not scoff too much at a vista.

There are many towns in Europe whose fortunes and reputations have been made by a great vista of this character, and it ill behoved this House of Commons to pass the Town Planning Bill a year or two ago with such a great flourish of trumpets if we confess, as by passing the Bill as it now stands we shall confess, that the Town Planning Bill is a dead letter, while the President of the Local Government Board, who passed that Bill with great hopes and great aspirations, is absent from our Debate to-night and is unable to say a word in favour of a scheme with which a Town Planning Bill should be connected so intimately. It will stultify us, perhaps not in our own eyes, but certainly in the eyes of those who follow after us, if we allow this scheme to go through without the fullest and most complete consideration of what it ultimately means to the beauty of London. Hon. Members have said that this bridge, as proposed by the architects, would be a skew bridge. But is a skew bridge in itself wrong? It may be when it is near the joining together of two thoroughfares; but the whole of architectural precedent and town planning nowadays justifies a skew bridge, say, going across a river, when that bridge is a skew bridge in order to lead up to a monument of architectural pre-eminence. That is the case of, I suppose, the most historical bridge in the world, the Sant' Angelo Bridge at Rome, which leads up to the Castle of Sant' Angelo; while among the bridges of modern design I may mention the great bridge which leads diagonally across the river at Munich. Here, if we had a skew bridge, it would be more than justified by the fact that it would lead up to the great Dome of St. Paul's, thus making a vista which some persons may perhaps look upon as a negligible quantity, but which would very soon become a source of genuine appreciation and value to thousands and scores of thousands of people who would cross that bridge every year. I do not pretend to be able to offer an opinion on the question of tramway traffic, and so on, but I may make this observation, that when it is said that tramways cannot follow anything except a direct route there is some little exaggeration.


That is not the statement I made.


When it, is said that a straight road is preferable to one that has an angle in it, I admit the truth of that observation, but anybody familiar with the London tramway system, in whatever part of London it may be, will agree with me in saying that kinks and frequent series of recurrent kinks in the lines of London tramways are by no means uncommon, and this fact hitherto has never prevented the authorities from constructing them in narrow tortuous thoroughfares without, so far as I can see, causing any great detriment to the tramway system.


It is not a question of the narrow streets, but it is a question of not being able to sink so much on the south side of the Cathedral, because of the foundations of the Cathedral.


I confess the hon. Member has the advantage of me there, and I do not pretend to be able to answer him on that question. I am convinced that the hon. Member for Newry, when he said that we must not sacrifice to artistic purity what is practical in traffic and what is safe in engineering was perfectly correct, but in that statement there underlay the instinctive feeling that what is artistic must conflict with that which is utilitarian. That is not so. I undertake to say that any of those architects who have made their great reputations in Germany and Austria in huge schemes of town planning far in excess of anything we have ever tried to encompass in this country, would be able to combine the most utilitarian views of the necessities of public traffic and police control with the opening up of what I conceive to be a most magnificent vista. Twenty years hence, if we make a mistake now, it will be seen that we have committed an irretrievable error. It will then be said that the House of Commons refused to allow this very magnificent scheme, against which all the reasons have been detailed this evening—because it might be considered hurtful to the feelings of the Committee upstairs, because it would be inconvenient to the barges, because it would interfere with the private telephone system, and, for all I know, many other reasons, to which weight has been given. I ask the House seriously to consider whether it is not advisable now, at this stage, and before this Bill goes to another place, that the Committee of competent experts, members of our own House, who are already seised of nine out of ten of the problems which have to be raised, should not again be recommended —in the most friendly manner, so far as I am concerned, in regard to the four Gentlemen who sat on that Committee—to reconsider the matter from this point of view, because the opportunity is immense, the opportunity is unique, and I think the country at large would blame us justly if we lost a single opportunity of coming to a right decision upon the subject.

Mr. FRED HALL (Dulwich)

In listening to this Debate I have considered what would be the ultimate result with regard to the tramway system of London. The London County Council have been in careful communication with the Corporation of London and with the authorities of St. Paul's Cathedral. I quite grant that in the ordinary course of debate it may be argued, and rightly argued, that it is possible front an engineering point of view to construct tramways in various manners and with various curves. Yes; but in the majority of cases we are not faced with the difficulty which we experience at the present time. If the scheme be ultimately adopted of carrying this bridge approach to the southern frontage of St. Paul's Cathedral, then I say, from the information I have received from the engineers, that it will be impossible to join up the north with the south in regard to tramways. Surely we are desirous of inter-communication between north and south of the river. I do not for one moment say that we should despise considerations of beauty in all circumstances. I cannot help thinking that the first duty we have to consider is the duty of the traffic getting from one point to the other. That, I venture to say, is the practical part of the whole matter. Why is it that there has always been such a tremendously congested state of affairs with regard to the traffic? It is because of the block to the northern section, and if the new bridge were to be constructed to the southern front, you would, practically speaking, have the same kind of block. The authorities have been spoken of to-night by Members of this House in a way which I should hardly have expected. A policeman, the surveyor, and the engineer were spoken of in a manner in which I think they should not have been referred to. With all deference, though I am not here to sound the praises of the Chief Engineer of the London County Council, nevertheless, I certainly think the opinions he has expressed should receive a certain amount of consideration from Members of this House. He said plainly that he has been in communication with Mr. Mott, and he stated:— I consider the best line has been chosen for a bridge. I have discussed the question several times with Mr. Mott, engineer to the Corporation, and I am perfectly satisfied of the point that the scheme as brought forward for a direct line between north and south is the one that should be agreed to. We have heard it put very plainly to-night with regard to the strata, and I think I can easily say that the opinion that has been given to-night is the absolute opinion that has been given to us by the experienced officers after carefully considering this matter. As the members of the Institute of Architects did not think it worth their while, when they were invited, to appear before the Committee, I certainly think it would be greatly to the disadvantage of the public in general if it were decided that this Bill should be left over, at all events, for another two or three years. We have heard of town planning to-night, but with regard to that surely the one important question that has not been taken into consideration is as to whether you are taking care to arrange for the traffic to pass from one point to another. It may be overlooked that this is the actual route suggested by the engineers to the Select Committee, in order that their might be a direct line between north and south. I hope that under these circumstances, and in view of the fact that it would be impossible to take a tramway along the south side the House will agree to support the Committee.


The hon. Member for Rochester (Mr. Lamb) said that if this matter were hung up we should have no guarantee that the Society of Architects would give us their evidence. But if the Committee receives instructions from this House to reconsider the matter, it can in all probability give powers for the carrying out of a large amount of work in regard to which there is no dispute whatever, such as the reconstruction of Southwark Bridge. That would give four years' breathing space, during which two things would happen: first, public opinion would be focussed on the scheme, and we should be less likely to make a mistake; and, secondly, the higher limit of the income of the Bridge House Estates—£150,000—would be more nearly approached. If the House feels that a tremendous responsibility would be placed upon it, if it should blunder at this time, and takes this chance of hanging the matter up for a short period, a large proportion of the proposed work can still go on, and no time will really be lost. With regard to the danger of taking the tramways along the south side of St. Paul's, I think it is largely over-estimated. It is true the Dean and Chapter have stated that they are now satisfied with the proposal; but my hon. Friend spoke as though the proposal were to bring the tramway on an upward slope, and then right along the south side of St. Paul's, instead of which, what is proposed is that the tramway should come almost to the level of the churchyard, suddenly duck down towards the foundations of St. Paul's, and then swing round in a width of road greater by one half as much again as the whole width of the proposed bridge, to a point in the new thoroughfare near St. Martin's-le-Grand. Instead of the proposed tramway being parallel with the south side of St. Paul's, it cuts diagonally across the east corner. There is not a man in England who would not make every effort to keep secure the foundations of St. Paul's.

On the Committee we had practically only submitted to us, in the words adopted by the Bill, proposals to execute works. The City should not be abused if it has approached this matter in too wholly utilitarian a point of view. They had brooded over it for years. They had been making larger conveniences for traffic year after year. I hold here some ancient documents which show that similar proposals have been offered upon a like root idea. They have come together, and if, perchance, as some of us think, they have considered this project from an entirely utilitarian point of view, we ought to look upon them as jealous for the convenience of London traffic and not lightly charge them with carelessness. Perhaps some of us are as much to blame for not having brought before them fully enough the artistic considerations which are now contended for.

I challenge this scheme very respectfully as inadequate. Here again, I believe, the inadequacy is due to excessive care of financial interests by the City Corporation. They have cut their coat according to their cloth. But what I want to say at this juncture is that they might have dealt more generously with us in view of the rapid growth of their funds. We have been told that they stand at £152,000. They are growing rapidly. Wherever you put it this bridge ought to be the widest in London. It is not going to be that at the start. What has been done by the Corporation during a short space of years? They have not been idle. They have put an immense amount of energy into the settlement of this problem of London traffic. They have widened London and Blackfriars bridges and given us the Tower Bridge. You have had going on during these years the Blackwall Tunnel and other methods of transit to relieve the congestion. All these things have been proved to be inadequate for the purpose of relieving the congestion almost before completion. To build a bridge which is narrower than the two existing bridges is a great mistake. Another mistake has, in my judgment, been made in the incompleteness of the connection between the north and south. The hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London told us that the intention was to carry the traffic rapidly through the City of London. This we shall not altogether secure, because this great thoroughfare, of which the bridge only forms a part, is blocked up at the northern end by narrow walls and ancient thoroughfares like Goswell Road, etc. Down at the south it becomes a cul de sac. The Home Office sent a request urging that a connection should be made with Dover Street; to make this a great central highway. We have not gained that. We have only the pious hope that these connections may ultimately be made. If, therefore, in respect to this particular bridge, this Bill is recommitted, you will give time to the London County Council and the City Council to bring the desirable things I have mentioned about. This bridge will be eighty feet wide over all. The great north and south connection of the tramways traffic will absorb the middle of the road. Further, remember, in view of the uprising of the warehouses, that the effective width of the bridge ordinarily considered will not be realised as thought.

Another thing we have had thrown at us was Wren's plan—that it was never carried out. And we have got to remember that the buildings in those days, with their ample and great yards and gardens, led practically to an uninterrupted view. What are we afforded to-day. An hon. Member opposite grew eloquent on the subject of what was to be seen in front, but what about the other side, with its great warehouses and walls and cranes? That as a picture has something to tempt the lover of the beautiful and the picturesque. It has been said this must be a skew bridge. Every bridge will look like a skew bridge owing to the twisting and turnings of the river. I speak as the only Member of the Committee against this scheme. I am bound to say my colleagues, and I hope myself, gave the fullest consideration to all that was put before us. I think the City Council ought to have brought before us a bolder and more daring scheme; they do not want courage, and they believe in their great city and the interests committed to them. I am bound to vote against my Chairman in this matter. I offered to pair with him, but as he did not accept that, I take leave to express to the House a contrary opinion to his.

The CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS (Mr. Emmott)

I hope the House will be ready in a few minutes to give a decision whether this Bill is to be re-committed or not. Perhaps the House will allow me before coming to a decision to say a few words about the matter. We have had a very interesting debate, to which I have listened with the closest attention, and in regard to the Division there is a delightful and unusual element of uncertainty. No pressure is being put by the Whips upon Members in regard to this particular Bill. We shall all vote exactly as we think best, and we shall all vote as we think right upon this occasion. We have had a great variety of opinions expressed, and cer tainly London is not all at one on this question. London appears to have left it for the hon. Member for Burnley and the Noble Lord the Member for South Nottingham to lead the opposition to the Bill. I claim to have a very open mind about the merits of this question. I have listened very carefully to all that has been said, and I think I shall carry the House with me at any rate when I say that as regards engineering difficulties, traffic facilities, and cost, the advantage lies with the scheme of the Bill. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] There seems to be some doubt upon that point, but that is the impression I have formed, and I thought it was the general impression.

On the other hand there is a difference of opinion as to the architectural merits and the adequacy of the scheme. I am not able to dogmatise about the architectural merits of the scheme, but I would like to ask would the vista of the alternative scheme be so wonderful as some hon. Members make out? After all it would only have the wall of the south transept. It was no part of the original plan to have a wide thoroughfare leading up to the wall of the south transept, and I am not convinced that this matter is of such importance as the opponents of the Bill have made out. I understand that this and other alternatives were most carefully considered by the corporation and the Bridges Committee before the scheme of this Bill was adopted. I now turn from the question of merits to the question whether the House ought to support the Committee. The hon. Member for Burnley carefully dissociated himself from any attack upon the Committee, and I am glad he did so. He tried to make out that the motion he brought before the House was not one which cast any reflection upon the Committee. I do not quite agree with him, and I will deal with that matter in a few minutes. I think a very unfair slur has been cast upon the Committee in some portions of the Press of this country, and I think as Chairman of Ways and Means I ought to resent it.

The Committee was an excellent one in every way. The hon. Member for Newry, who was the Chairman of the Committee, is one of the most experienced Chairmen of Private Bill Committees in this House. I have constantly heard from various hon. Members what an excellent Chairman of Committees he is, and I think anybody who knows anything of his conduct on Private Bill Committees will endorse that. Another member of the Committee was the hon. Member for Barkston Ash, who has had great experience of county government and a considerable amount of experience in this House. The hon. Member for Stafford was the only dissentient member of the Committee, and I think I am correct in saying that even he did not carry his opposition to the Bill to the extent of taking a division. The Committee was an excellent one. The only reason given for the recommittal of this Bill is that it is held that there was insufficient evidence before the Committee on the architectural qualities of the scheme. I must say, however, that I do not think you can carry this Motion to re-commit the Bill without casting some slur upon the Committee. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!"] Is it fair to the Committee? [AN HON. MEMBER: "Let the House decide."] The House has a right to do what it likes, and I am not asking hon. Members to vote against their better judgment, but I do not see how you can carry this Motion for a re-committal of this Bill without casting a slur upon the Committee.

I ask is it fair that the Committee should suffer because architects have failed in doing their duty? The Institute of British Architects did not appear before the Committee, although every chance was given to them to appear. No objection was made to their locus, and the Chairman sent them a special invitation. I really think the hon. Member for Brigg (Sir William Gelder) was hardly fair to the members of his own profession when he said it was a question of cost. I really do not think so meanly of the architects. If this is a matter of great public interest on which they feel so strongly, surely some of them would come forward and give evidence. If I were to take the view of the hon. Member for Brigg, I think, in reply to his question: "Why is an architect to appear unless he is paid to do so?" I would ask: "Why are we to throw over the opinion of a Committee who have given time, attention, and ability to the consideration of this matter and who have so done a great public service?" The architects had their chance, and they did not take it. They will still have a chance, if they choose to exercise it, in another place. This very Instruction, on account of which we are asked to recommit the Bill does not say anything to set right this question of cost. The hon. Member for Newry asked me about precedents. I certainly know of no precedent for re-committing a Bill in order that men who have had a chance of appearing on the Committee stage should appear before the Committee at some subsequent stage. It certainly would be entirely unusual to do so. I think the architects put themselves out of court by their action in regard to this matter, and I ask the House seriously, in conclusion: How could our Private business in this House be conducted if any class of men who have the right to appear before the Private Bill Committee refuse to do so, and then ask that the Bill should be recommitted in order that they may have an opportunity of appearing? I am sorry I did not carry all the Members of the House with me in the remark that you cannot discard the advice of this Committee without, whether you intend it or not, casting a rather unfair slur upon them. If you re-commit this Bill you will say, in effect, that, to some extent, the Committee was wanting in its duty in not insisting—[HON. MEMBERS: "No, no," and "Hear, hear"]—I think I am entitled to put the argument. You will be saying the Committee, to some extent, was wanting in its duty because it did not insist on men coming before the Committee whom I do not think it had any right to drag before it. It gave them their chance. They refused to take it, and I do not think we can re-commit the Bill in order that they may now appear. I ask the House very seriously to stand by the Committee and to pass the Third Reading of this Bill.


I hold a very strong view that this House will not be casting a slur upon the Committee by re-committing the Bill, and, if I may say so, with the greatest possible respect to the Chairman of Ways and Means, the whole speech he has made shows, I think, a fundamental error, having regard to the theory and principle of Private Bill business. He has, if I may say so, fallen into the error of treating this matter—one of immense importance to London as if it were a private matter of litigation between two parties. He has actually said that because the Institute of British Architects failed to respond to the invitation of the Committee, London is for all time to be treated as if that evidence was not forthcoming, and as if no other person could give it but the Institute of British Architects. Nothing could be more fundamentally wrong than that. The interest of the public is the great interest here. What has the public to do with the failure of the Institute of British Architects to come before the Committee? Let me say this with the fullest frankness. I do not blame the Corporation for one moment. I think that they behaved in a very frank and generous manner. They did everything they could to get the evidence, but for some reason it was not given. Still more, the Committee themselves are absolutely free from blame. The Chairman has explained the efforts be made to get the evidence without which the inquiry could not be complete, and put it to the Committee that the speech of the hon. Member for Newry and the steps

he took to get the evidence showed that he thought that evidence was necessary. The only mistake he made was in not coming to this House and stating that he thought this professional evidence was necessary. If he had done that it would have been in the competence of the House to order the attendance of any person he deemed necessary, and then we should have had a decision based not on imperfect but on full information.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 99; Noes, 156.

Division No. 249.] AYES. [11.0 p.m.
Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour) Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Elibank, Rt. Hon. Master of Parker, James (Halifax)
Allen, A. A. (Dumbartonshire) Elverston, Harold Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)
Anderson, Andrew Macbeth Emmott, Rt. Hon. Alfred Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Ashley, Wilfrid W. Esslemont, George Birnie Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J. Fell, Arthur Pollock, Ernest Murray
Baldwin, Stanley Fisher, W. Hayes Pringle, William M. R.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead) Richardson, Albion (Peckham)
Barnston, Harry Gibbs, George Abraham Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Bathurst, Hon. Allen B. (Glouc., E.) Gibson, Sir James Puckering Ronaldshay, Earl of
Beach, Hon. Michael Hugh Hicks Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)
Beale, W. P. Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Sanders, Robert Arthur
Beauchamp, Edward Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Sanderson, Lancelot
Bentham, G. J. Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) Scanlan, Thomas
Boland, John Pius Henry, Sir Charles S. Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.
Booth, Frederick Handel Holt, Richard Durning Scott, A. MacCallum (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
Bridgeman, William Clive Horne, Wm. E. (Surrey, Guildford) Spicer, Sir Albert
Brocklehurst, William B. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)
Burdett-Coutts, William Hudson, Walter Stewart, Gershom
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Hunt, Rowland Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)
Butcher, John George Johnson, William Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Kimber, Sir Henry Tennant, Harold John
Cassel, Felix Lansbury, George Valentia, Viscount
Cautley, Henry Strother Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th) Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Cave, George Levy, Sir Maurice Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton)
Clough, William Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich) Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Martin, Joseph Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)
Cotton, William Francis Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Wilson, J. (Durham, Mid)
Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet) Mooney, John J. Yate, Col. C. E.
Croft, Henry Page Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Crooks, William Mount, William Arthur
Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Newton, Harry Kottingham TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Ernest Lamb and Mr. F. Hall
Dawes, James Arthur Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)
Duke, Henry Edward Nolan, Joseph (Dulwich)
Duncan, C. (Barrow-In-Furness) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Abraham, Rt. Hon. William (Rhondda) Boyton, James Ferens, Thomas Robinson
Adamson, William Brace, William Foster, Philip Staveley
Addison, Dr. C. Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell Frewen, Moreton
Agnew, Sir George William Bryce, J. Annan Gelder, Sir William Alfred
Alden, Percy Burn, Col. C. R. George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd
Allen, Charles Peter (Stroud) Burns, Rt. Hon. John Glanville, Harold James
Anson, Sir William Reynell Byles, William Pollard Goldstone, Frank
Anstruther-Gray, Major William Carlile, Edward Mildred Grant, J. A.
Armitage, Robert Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Chaloner, Col. R. G. W. Greig, Colonel James William
Baird, John Lawrence Chancellor, Henry George Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward
Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.) Chapple, Dr. William Allen Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)
Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.) Collins, Godfrey P. (Greenock) Gulland, John William
Balcarres, Lord Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)
Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple) Courthope, George Loyd Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)
Barnes, G. N. Cowan, W. H. Hancock, John George
Barran, Sir J. N. (Hawick) Crawshay-Williams, Eliot Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)
Barran, Rowland Hirst (Leeds, N.) Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, W.)
Beck, Arthur Cecil Denman, Hon. R. D. Harwood, George
Benn, W. (Tower Hamlets, St. Geo.) Dickinson, W. H. Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)
Bennett-Goldney, Francis Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid) Hayward, Evan
Bigland, Alfred Essex, Richard Walter Helme, Norval Watson
Bowerman, C. W. Falconer, James Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor Neilson, Francis Sutton, John E.
Higham, John Sharp Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncaster) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Hill-Wood, Samuel Norman, Sir Henry Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich) Palmer, Godfrey Mark Thomas, J. H. (Derby)
Houston, Robert Paterson Pearson, Hon Weetman H. M. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
Hughes, Spencer Leigh Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham) Thorne, William (West Ham)
Hunter, Sr Charles Rodk. (Bath) Perkins, Walter Frank Touche, Geoerge Alexander
Illingworth, Percy H. Peto, Basil Edward Toulmin, George
Isaacs, Sir Rufus Daniel Philipps, Col. Ivor (Southampton) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Pickersgill, Edward Hare Ure, Right Hon. Alexander
Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe) Pirie, Duncan V. Verney, Sir Harry
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)
Jowett, Frederick William Pryce-Jones, Col. E. Ward, A. S. (Herts, Watford)
Kellaway, Frederick George Quilter, W. E. C. Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)
King, Joseph (Somerset, North) Radford, George Heynes Webb, H.
Lewis, John Herbert Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven) Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Lockwood, Rt. Hon. Lt.-Col. A. R. Roberts Charles H. (Lincoln) Wheler, Granville C. H.
Logan, John William Roberts, George H. (Norwich) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (S. Geo. Han. S.) Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs) Whitehouse, John Howard
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Robertson, John M. (Tyneside) Whyte, A. F. (Perth)
Maclean, Donald Robinson, Sidney Wiles, Thomas
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Rowlands, James Wilkie, Alexander
M'Callum, John M. Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Wilson, J. W. (Worcestershire, N.)
Manfield, Harry Seely, Col. Rt. Hon. J. E. B. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Marks, G. Croydon Sherwell, Arthur James Wood, John (Stalybridge)
Marshall, Arthur Harold Simon, Sir John Allsebrook Wood, T. McKinnon (Glasgow)
Millar, James Duncan Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe) Yoxall, Sir James Henry
Mond, Sir Alfred M. Snowden, Philip
Montagu, Hon. E. S. Soames, Arthur Wellesley TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Morrell and Lord Henry Bentinck.
Morgan, George Hay Strachey, Sir Edward

Original Question put, and agreed to.

Proposed words there added.


I object to going on. It is past Eleven o'clock.


I object. I have an Amendment to move.


There cannot be two Amendments. This is the first proposal.


On a point of Order, Sir. Can you go on after eleven o'clock?


I desire to ask your ruling. Is it competent to a Member of this House to move an Amendment to this Instruction?


I have not yet reached the Instruction. This is the main Question.

Ordered, That the Bill be re-committed to the former Committee in respect of the Clauses which relate to the construction of a new bridge between Blackfriars and Southwark Bridges.


Next comes the Instruction of the hon. Member.


I beg to move "That it be an Instruction to the Committee on the re-committed Bill not to agree to any scheme for the construction of the proposed new bridge until they are satisfied, first, that the scheme has been prepared under the advice and supervision of a competent architect or architects chosen from among the leading architects of the day; and, secondly, that the scheme, both in respect of architectural design and convenience of traffic, is the one best adapted to the public needs and to the character of the site."


I object.

And it being after eleven o'clock, and objection being taken to further proceeding, the Debate stood adjourned; to be resumed to-morrow (Thursday) at a quarter past eight.