§ The maximum rate in the pound for the purposes of the proviso to Section twenty-three of the Metropolitan Police Act, 1829, as amended by Section two of the Police Rate Act, 1868 (by which enactments a limit is imposed on the annual sum to be provided for the purposes of the Metropolitan Police), shall be elevenpence instead of ninepence; and those sections shall, subject to the provisions of any subsequent enactment, have effect accordingly:
§ Provided that in calculating for the purposes of paragraph (k) of Sub-section (2) of Section twenty-four of the Local Government Act, 1888 (which regulates the amount to be paid by county councils to the receiver for the Metropolitan Police district and charged to the Exchequer Contribution Accounts) the amount actually raised by rates from the parishes in any county, only such part thereof shall 1115 be reckoned as does not exceed the maximum amount which could have been so raised if this Act had not been passed.
§ 4.0 P.M.
§ Mr. HAYES FISHER
I beg to move to leave out the word "eleven-pence" ["shall be eleven-pence instead of ninepence"], and to insert instead thereof the word "tenpence."
When this Bill was under discussion on Second Reading stage I showed the House that, it was a Bill to enable the Home Secretary to raise no less a sum than £460,000 a year from the ratepayers of the Metropolitan Police area, and the position that I and my Friends took up on that occasion was this: we quite agreed that the Home Secretary was bound to take further powers to raise a further rate for the purpose of finding the money for giving the police their very well-deserved one day's rest in seven, and for the additional pay promised to them last August; and we also agreed that a case had been made out for raising a certain amount of extra money to make up the depletion that has been going on for some years in the balance of the Police Fund, which is at the disposal of the Home Secretary. But, while we all agreed about that, the position we took was that it was quite unnecessary for the Home Secretary to raise a rate of 2d. in the £. We contended that a penny would amply suffice, not only for the year 1912–13, but also for the year 1913–14, and still further for the year 1914–15; and as a penny would suffice for those three years, we contended that the Home Secretary ought not to be allowed by this House powers to raise the rate by twopence, and that the House would be ill-advised, in our opinion, if it gave Ministers these large powers of raising money from the ratepayers until they prove it is absolutely necessary to raise these sums of money. As was said in another place, so we said to the right hon. Gentleman, "Take your power to raise a penny, and if at the end of the year you want another penny, come down to the House and explain why you want another penny," because it is only by that means this House can obtain and maintain control over expenditure; and the ratepayers of London have a right to have their interests guarded by this House, which ought to be tender towards them under present circumstances.
The House may think nothing of sums like £460,000 a year; it is so much accustomed to think in millions that it forgets 1116 the ratepayers have to think in pence and shillings, and sometimes in pounds. The House thinks in millions, and lightly put a penny on the rates; but that has a very prejudicial effect upon the industries of London, upon the housing of the people, and so on. I do not say the rates must not be raised sometimes. I say, and all my Friends agree, that the Home Secretary must have the power to raise an additional penny. What we are fighting about is whether it should be a penny or twopence, and that is the reason that I move the reduction of this amount from elevenpence to tenpence. I think the Home Secretary ought to accept that Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head. No figures he gave the other day justifies him in asking to raise this rate by more than one penny. Since the Second Reading Debate the Home Secretary has furnished the London County Council, and we are grateful to him for that act of courtesy, with some new figures. These new and revised figures, although a little better from his own point of view, do not justify him in asking for more than one penny; and, indeed, I can show that a ¾d. rate for the year 1912–13 will provide him with all the money he requires and a penny rate for 1913–14 and a penny rate for 1914–15, and I think I shall show that not for the next three years would he require to raise the rates more than one penny. During that time all kinds of things might happen, one or two of which I will allude to. The right hon. Gentleman supplied the London County Council with figures: the Home Secretary says, "Payment in excess of receipts will amount to £82,500. Altogether we must raise an additional sum of £30,000 in order to give the one day's rest in seven and additional pay for the additional 200 men, and £172,500 is wanted for these purposes." Then the Home Secretary says, "You must also remember my balances have been very much depleted, and I must have them restored," and he asks for a sum of £108,000 to restore his balance, making in all £230,500. Well, £230,500 is just the produce of a penny rate.
The penny rate produces £231,000, so that upon his own figures he would only want a penny rate for this year, and that would give him a most satisfactory balance and would leave him well in hand for the next year. I do not know why he should have all this £108,000 to restore his depleted balance in one year; it is not sound finance. The balances have been depleted 1117 through many years. Why build it up again all at once? If I were in charge of these financial matters, I would ask for the £172,000—that is, payment in excess of receipts—for the additional sum required for the one day's rest in seven and for the additional sum required for the 200 men, and I should only ask for £50,000 in the first year to put back to my balance, and I should take two years to restore the balance instead of one. That would be sounder finance. Then the money required by the Home Secretary in this year—that is, £172,500—would be produced by a ¾d. rate, so that upon his own figures he does not show that he requires more than a one penny rate.
We come to the next year, 1913–14. There a penny would give him too much upon his own showing. The payment in excess of receipts is £75,900, in order to get one day's rest in seven £51,000, and then for the normal addition to the police £27,000. That makes £153,900. If he had taken a penny rate for 1912–13 and restored his balance by £108,000, which does not occur again, when you once restore your balance, he would only require £153,900, which is actually less than a ¾d. rate. I should propose to take £50,000 to restore my balance in 1912–13, and £50,000 in 1913–14. If that was done the amount required this year would be ¾d., and the amount next year which he would require would be £203,900. That is rather less than 1d. rate, but we should have no objection to his taking the whole penny, and if he took the whole penny that would give him a bigger balance than he ever had before. It would give him another £19,000 if he raised the whole penny.
Then he would start a 1d. rate with a very large balance for the year 1914–15. According to his own figures, he wants £141,300 to meet payment in excess of receipts. As to that figure, I do not understand why there is such a jump from £75,900 of the previous year to £141,300 in 1914–15. That requires some explanation, and I hope we shall have it from the right hon. Gentleman. At all events, taking these figures, he wants £141,300 for payment in excess of expenditure. Then we have to add £54,000 to meet the expenditure in connection with the one day's rest in seven and £46,000 for normal additions to the force, making up a sum of £241,300. He would want £10,000 in 1914–15 in excess of what the 1d. rate would produce. But that is not for three years from now. How did he get that £10,000? By a 1d. rate in 1118 previous years my figures would give him a balance over and above that which he demanded, but the extra amount for 1914–15 might be met in several other ways. It might be met, if the Government were in a reasonable frame of mind, by a small contribution from the Treasury, and well the ratepayers of London deserve some additional Grants. We are now dealing with the year 1914–15. I presume that by that time the Departmental Committee which is now sitting to advise the Government on this great readjustment of Imperial and local taxation, so long delayed, would have reported, and that effect would be given to its findings before the year 1914–15. And I can hardly suppose that the findings of that Committee will not be to relieve the ratepayers to the extent of £10,000.
Therefore I do not think we need alarm ourselves if there was a demand for £10,000 in 1914–15 over what the penny rate would produce. At all events, 1914–15 is a long way off. Let the right hon. Gentleman take power to spend the penny first, and if at the end of three years' time he is still occupying his present office let him come down to the House and say a penny is not quite sufficient. We should then have a chance of debating this question, and it is the only chance the ratepayers get of defending themselves, because all this police expenditure is buried away in mystery; no one knows anything about it, and no one controls it except the right hon. Gentleman. Whilst we do not grudge the police expenditure, at all events we think that those who have to find the money ought to have some means of making their voice heard when such demands are made upon them. The right hon. Gentleman will say to this Committee, as he said to the House on Second Reading, "I am only asking for power to raise this twopence; I am not going to spend it all." Yes; but when I was at the Treasury Ministers sometimes came to me and said, "Do give us a balance of £100,000; it does not follow we shall spend it." My experience was that when Ministers got this power they invariably did spend it, and I am perfectly certain that the right hon. Gentleman, now that he is Home Secretary, and no longer Secretary to the Treasury, if we put this £230,000 extra, in his pocket, will spend a good deal of it without ever coming to us or letting us know how he is spending it or why he is spending it. I prefer to keep the control, and I strongly advise this House to keep control in these 1119 matters. This is one of the few opportunities that do occur to the House to control such expenditure, and I hope to-day the Committee will take up a firm attitude, and declare that they do not intend to trust the right hon. Gentleman with anything more than power to raise a 1d. rate, because he has made out no case at all for anything more. After all, now that the proportion of what is found by the ratepayers and the Government is going so much to the detriment and loss of the ratepayers, the right hon. Gentleman might find a trifle more at all events towards this very large sum which is going to be raised.
For forty years the proportion has been five-ninths by the ratepayers and four-ninths by the Exchequer, but look at the figures now! What is the amount for 1908–9, and what was the proportion then? In that year the ratepayers paid 51.8 per cent, and the Government paid 48.2 per cent. In the year 1909–10, the ratepayers' proportion was 54.1 per cent, and the Government reduced its contribution to 45.9 per cent. In the year 1910–11 the ratepayers' proportion was 55.3 per cent., and the Government reduced its contribution to 44.7 per cent. In 1911–12, the last year for which the figures are available, the ratepayers' proportion was 57.3 per cent., and the Government reduced its contribution to 42.7 per cent. That shows a continual falling off of the contribution on the part of the Government and a continual rise in the amount of the money which the ratepayers have to pay towards this fund. I think it is desirable that we should call attention to these matters, and I hope and believe that many hon. Gentlemen opposite on this occasion will be able to support us in our endeavour to do justice to the ratepayers. I know there are thirty hon. Members representing London who sit on the opposite side of the House, and I agree that on some occasions when I have raised such questions as this, I could not expect them to go into the Lobby with me upon Amendments to the Address, because that would have necessitated voting against the Government. Here, however is an occasion on which the Radical Members representing London really have an opportunity of joining with us when we are pleading the cause of the ratepayers, and when we are endeavouring to do something for their practical benefit. To-day hon. Members opposite might use their pressure and influence on the Home Secretary to reduce the power he is seeking, and thus mitigate 1120 the hardship upon the London ratepayers, who have borne these burdens so long with so little outcry against those who impose them. I hope the reduction which I have moved will meet with support from all sides of the House, and I trust we shall determine on this occasion to keep control of this vast amount of expenditure.
§ Mr. REMNANT
I beg to second the Amendment. Before speaking I had hoped to hear some answer to the extremely clear case which has been put by my right hon. Friend to the House. I do not propose to go through all the figures he has given, for there is do doubt he has put the case accurately and fairly in all its details, basing his argument on the figures given by the Home Secretary when the Bill came forward for the Second Reading. I cannot quite understand the position taken up by the right hon. Gentleman opposite. He admits in so many words that he does not want quite the total amount produced by a penny rate in the Metropolitan area, but he says he may do so. I do not think there is sufficient justification for throwing this huge burden, or this likely burden, upon the already over-burdened taxpayers of this great city. The other day, when this Bill was before the House, the right hon. Gentleman admitted that he was asking for exceptional powers, and he went on to say that those exceptional powers should not, and would not, be exercised so long as he was Home Secretary without the House having a full opportunity of criticising and discussing the request he might make for a further penny rate. That sounds all very well, but there is not much difference between that and bringing in another Rating Bill for adding another penny, providing he gets a penny rate to-day. The Committee knows perfectly well that there is a Departmental Committee already in existence dealing with the whole question relating to Imperial and local taxation, and I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he does not think that, pending the decision of that Committee, it is not a fair and reasonable request to make to the Government that, as to whatever is over, either on the penny rate or the twopenny rate, half of that shall be borne by the Imperial Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman, in the course of his speech when this Bill was before the House on the last occasion, said:—I do not think it unreasonable that I should ask the House to extend the limit from 9d. to 11d.1121 What does he mean by that? Does he mean the proportion of four-ninths to the Imperial Exchequer as against five-ninths by the Metropolitan ratepayer? If he does that would materially affect the question we are discussing, and if that is his meaning, does he mean to extend it to the penny which we are now discussing? If he did, I am sure he would be supported by every Member and every section of this House. It is only clear and reasonable that where large burdens are thrown upon the taxpayers of this Metropolis, not solely for Metropolitan matters, that those who derive services from the Metropolitan Police should contribute to the expenditure. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will agree to the Amendment which has just been moved by my right hon. Friend, because he must be aware that a large number of his own supporters are in favour of it. We do not want to divide on this matter, and if the right hon. Gentleman gets his penny rate he will get more money than he wants for the next three years, and even for him that ought to be sufficient.
§ Mr. DICKINSON
On the Second Heading, I appealed to the Home Secretary to consider the advisability of limiting the operation of this Bill to the addition of one penny instead of the twopence suggested, and from the figures he gave then and the figures just given, I have seen no reason whatever to change my opinion, for they prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that within the next three years the Home Secretary will be under no difficulty in carrying out the affairs of the police if he does limit the rate to one penny instead of twopence. The figures which have been given are conclusive. We were told that this proposal was made because the Home Secretary was very anxious to get back the balances which have already been depleted. Last year my right hon. Friend showed that on the Home Secretary's own figures the excess would very nearly be met by the additional penny. As far as I understand the figures which have been given they are based upon existing rateable value, and with the increase every year in the rateable value, in all probability it is practically certain that, at any rate for the next three years, one penny will be sufficient. Under these circumstances I think the House ought to pause before it gives to the Executive Government of the day the right to raise this rate. It is a very peculiar position. I 1122 know my hon. Friends are never tired of saying that precisely the same questions arise in the country, but that is not so. In the first instance, the provincial boroughs raise their own rate, and they are responsible for the control, but here the Government raise the rate, and when they come and ask this House for power to raise the rate from 9d. to 11d. I think we ought to proceed very carefully, and no such additional power ought to be given to the Government until a full inquiry has been made into the whole question of the Exchequer contribution.
I would point out how the matter arises in this case. The Exchequer contributions for the last few years have been a failure, although years ago they were sufficient and they afforded a considerable amount of relief to the ratepayers. That relief has now disappeared, because things have gone from bad to worse, and even those services which are supposed to be paid for by the Government contribution to the police show a reduction of £40,000, and this burden now falls upon the ratepayers, although under normal circumstances it would be paid by the Government. If the system inaugurated many years ago by which the Government contributed four-ninths of the cost had gone on we should have been much better off, and as regards this additional £40,000, no one can argue that this money ought to be raised out of the rates, but should be raised by means of some new arrangement with regard to the Exchequer contributions. Therefore, I do urge that whatever we do now ought to be limited to the very narrowest dimensions. We ought not to go beyond the immediate necessities of the case. My hon. Friend says that many things may happen. Among other things, some change may occur in the control of the police. It may be necessary, but that 11d. rate ought to be raised by people who are responsible to the ratepayers. Here we have a rate raised by people who are not responsible to the ratepayers. It may be said the Government are directly responsible through this House—but even this House is not going to have any say. We are going to give a free hand to the Executive Government to raise the rate to 11d., whether it is required or not. I do not think my right hon. Friend can substantiate that position for a moment. I hope that in the interval between the Second Reading of the Bill and to-day he has had an opportunity of considering the arguments put forward not only by hon. Gentlemen opposite, but also 1123 by Liberal Members for London, who do feel that no sufficient case has been made out for a rate of 11d. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to satisfy himself with an increase of 1d.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
I find myself in the not unaccustomed position of having to face a cross-fire. My hon. Friend behind me and the right hon. Gentleman opposite wish to cut down the powers in the Bill from 11d. to 10d. I can understand the attitude of my hon. Friend. He is frankly in favour of taking the control of the police out of the hands of the Executive Government and putting them under the control of the representatives of the ratepayers. That is not a view which I share, but I quite admit there is much to be argued in support of it. He is naturally very reluctant to give the Executive of the day what he would regard as an unnecessary power of raising the rate. Hon. Gentlemen opposite cannot take that line.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I am saying so. If they insist, as they do, that the control of the police shall be in the hands of the Home Secretary, they must give the Home Secretary the power of raising the rate.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I did not say without reason. I said the power of raising the rate. I said nothing of which any hon. Gentleman opposite can possibly complain. That is their position: that the Home Secretary ought to have the power of raising the rate. It is a very different position from that taken up by my hon. Friend, who thinks that the London police, like the country police, should be placed under the control of the local authority. The right hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment began by saying the Home Secretary is asking for power to raise no less than £460,000 a year, as if he expected to create a sensation by the mere mention of those figures. It should not escape his attention that he already wishes the Home Secretary to have the power of raising close upon £1,500,000 out of the rates. That is a necessary corrollary to the policy that the Home Secretary should control the police.
§ Mr. McKENNA
He supports the policy under which the Home Secretary already raises for the expenditure on the Metropolitan Police close on £1,500,000 from the ratepayers. You must not take this figure of £460,000 by itself; you have to consider it in relation to the existing expenditure on the police of London, which is already raised upon the authority of the Secretary of State.
§ Mr. REMNANT
Nobody is discussing what is at present raised; we are discussing what the right hon. Gentleman proposes as an addition.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I am only referring to the original argument of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and the prejudice, I will not say which he desired to create, but which must follow from the bare statement that I was proposing to impose a burden upon the ratepayers of London of no less than £460,000.
§ Mr. McKENNA
And he went on to say that a penny would amply suffice for the three years 1912–13, 1913–14, and 1914–15. Of course, it is quite obvious that the real burden of the argument turns upon the question whether it is prudent for those three years to confine ourselves strictly to the limit of 1d. That is the whole point of the argument. I have given the House the full figures of the estimated expenditure for each of the three years in question. Those figures show that, according to the financial views of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Fulham. I shall require a rate of ¾d. next year, 1d. the year after, and 1d. the year after that. That is to say, according to his view of right financial management, I shall require to exhaust my powers of rating in the year 1913–14, because he wants a surplus to make good his balance of 1914–15. The assumptions are that there will be no further decline in the Exchequer Contribution Account, an assumption which it is not safe to make; and, secondly, that I shall have no extraordinary expenditure to meet on account of labour disturbances. The House was very full at question time, and one or two questions were addressed to me by hon. Members opposite as to whether the Home Office would be ready to maintain order in all circumstances. One hon. Gentleman put the case to me that there were hundreds of instances now in which works 1125 were not kept going owing to intimidation by the workmen. That is the sort of forecast which hon. Gentlemen opposite present to me day after day, and they quite rightly press me to be prepared to meet any emergencies with all the necessary powers to enforce law and order. The figures which I have quoted make absolutely no provision whatever for any special charge falling upon the police in consequence of special disturbances.
§ Mr. McKENNA
The London authority, like every other local authority, has to bear the cost of its police.
§ Mr. MALCOLM
If the right hon. Gentleman does not mean "all over the country," what was the relevance of referring to my hon. Friend, who talked about works in the country which could not be kept going owing to intimidation by workmen?
§ Mr. McKENNA
Because that condition of things which he described as being "all over the country" must apply to London. If hon. Gentlemen do not understand the point, let me state it clearly now. I am referring to possible cases of disturbance in London, and possible calls upon the police to maintain order. There is no provision in these estimates for any separate expenditure of that kind. Is it reasonable that the person who has the control of the police should have no margin whatever allowed him for the next three years to meet any special expenditure which may arise through causes of that kind?
§ Mr. REMNANT
Has not the right hon. Gentleman forgotten that the one day's rest in seven necessarily increases by a considerable number of men the Metropolitan Police Force. Those men, in cases of emergency, will always be at the disposal of the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary.
§ Mr. McKENNA
No. If these emergencies arise they have special work thrust upon them, and they have to be paid extra. There is no margin for that. I am surprised the hon. Gentleman, who has done so much to secure the police one day's rest in seven, should now suggest they should be used on the seventh day.
§ Mr. McKENNA
Nobody has taken a more active part in the efforts to secure one day's rest in seven for the police than the hon. Member for Holborn, and I am all the more astonished at his putting forward the argument now that the men who have been enrolled for the purpose of giving that one day's rest in seven should be used for the seventh day as well.
§ Mr. REMNANT
I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not misquote what I said. He said that in giving these figures to the Committee he had not made any allowance for meeting sudden emergencies like labour troubles. I asked him whether he had forgotten that the one day's rest in seven provided a reserve of men. He has allowed in his figures for one day's rest in seven, wages and everything else, and, when he says my contention is against giving one day's rest in seven, he is saying what is unjust, and I hope he will withdraw it.
§ Mr. McKENNA
There is no imputation against the hon. Gentleman, but his argument is unintelligible, coming from an hon. Gentleman who has done so much to secure the one day's rest in seven. There is no allowance for a possible progressive decline in the Exchequer Contribution Account, and there is no allowance for a special charge being thrown upon the force on account of labour troubles. I am asked whether I have made allowance for a probable rise in the rateable value. Yes, the figures are founded upon the assumption that the present rate of increase in the rateable value of London, as a whole, will continue, but that again is a favourable assumption, because the rate of increase has been a declining one 1127 for a considerable number of years. While a penny, if there were no special circumstances, would probably be sufficient for the coming year, and even for the year after still, if I have got to meet these exceptional circumstances, I should have no margin at all. Nobody recognises more completely than I do, if any such power of levying a rate upon London or any other area is given by Statute to the Executive authority, the House of Commons ought to have power from time to time to review, to check, and, if necessary, to control the exercise of that power. I am the last man in the world to say that anybody should be trusted with an indiscriminate power of taxing other people. But I have shown here that, for immediate purposes, I require a penny. I have shown further that, under certain contingencies which no sensible man would leave out of account, a penny would not be sufficient. On the other hand, I recognise to the full the natural jealousy entertained by representatives of the ratepayers of London of power being given to the Home Secretary for the time being to levy even a farthing beyond what can be shown to be absolutely necessary. I have considered this matter, I can assure hon. Gentlemen, with the greatest sympathy with their point of view, and I should not have asked for twopence, or have gone a fraction over a penny, unless I had been absolutely satisfied, in my own mind, that the possible and even probable contingencies were such that a penny would not suffice even for two years. I hope it will more than suffice, but I have to take those contingencies into the reckoning. Hon. Gentlemen opposite will very likely say, "Take the penny, and if you want more come and ask for it." That meets, judging from the cheers with which they have greeted the statement, with their very cordial approval. I do not disagree, but perhaps we can all agree on the form in which I shall ask hon. Gentlemen opposite to give authority to the Home Secretary and Parliament to deal with this matter. Why should I have to go through all the stages of a Bill—First, Second, and Third Reading, Committee, and Report—every time I want to get a little extra money?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I do not, at any rate, consider it reasonable that I should be asked to do that. I know that hon. Friends 1128 take the view that I ought not to have the power at all, and that the representatives of the ratepayers alone should have a power of voting the rates. That is an intelligible view. But it is not reasonable to give certain powers to the Home Secretary and at the same time to say he shall not have the necessary money, and that for every penny additional he wants he must come to the House—and come after the event.
§ Mr. McKENNA
For a very good reason. You do not take the limit off altogether because you want to be certain that at a certain period, which may not be reached for a year or two, the Home Secretary shall have certain powers; otherwise you may find yourselves committed to an enormous expenditure, which you will have no power of checking. Last year we were unable to make both ends meet, and, in view of the difficulty of getting a Bill through, we had to borrow. In the current year the same thing is happening. We got a Bill through this House last autumn, but it was rejected by another place, and we had to borrow again. If this Bill is not accepted, and if I happen to exceed the limit in 1d. in the course of next year, once again I shall have to borrow, and this time next year the Home Secretary, whoever he may be, may have considerable difficulty, owing to the exigencies of Parliamentary time, in getting a Bill through. It is not fair to make the Home Secretary come down to this House and pass a Bill for every additional farthing that he may require, so long as you insist in investing in him the power of controlling the Metropolitan Police Force. Is there no other way by which the representatives of the ratepayers of London can be guaranteed against expenditure authorised by the Home Secretary without any sufficient safeguard for control, by debate, criticism, and, if necessary, rejection? I would suggest that the Amendment moved by my right hon. Friend should not be pressed, and that in its place the Committee should accept my proposal. My hon. Friend behind me, who has also an Amendment down, might also be inclined to follow a like course. I shall be prepared to move to incorporate in the Bill, at the end of Clause 1, the following Sub-section:—Before approving the issue of any warrant under Section 23 of the Metropolitan Police Act, 1829, by the effect of 1129 which the annual sum to be provided for the purpose of the Metropolitan Police in any year will be for the first time increased above the rate of 10d. in the £, the Secretary of State shall lay before the House of Commons a Minute stating the reason for such increase, and if, within the next twenty days on which the House has sat after any such Minute has been laid before it an Address is presented to His Majesty by the House praying that such increase be not made, the said increase shall not then be made.Under that, I cannot raise more than 1d. without first of all laying a Minute on the Table of this House, and it will be open to any hon. Member to move that an Address be presented to His Majesty praying that such increase be not allowed. The Eleven o'clock Rule does not apply to discussions on such addresses.
§ Mr. McKENNA
That is so, but at any rate there is the opportunity of discussion, and it is not a barren privilege which would have no substantial effect that I am offering. I hope the Committee will agree that this really and substantially meets the views put forward by the representatives of London. I limit myself to the 1d., which I have shown to be necessary, no matter what happens. I have to ask for powers to go beyond the 1d. in contingencies which may possibly arise, and I give every hon. Member of this House an opportunity of protesting against the additional expenditure and an occasion for debating it. If he has the support of the House the additional expenditure will not be allowed. I hope the Committee will accept that as an adequate solution of the problem.
§ Mr. LONG
Before stating the view we take on the offer of the Home Secretary, I desire to protest, in the strongest terms I can use, against the course which the right hon. Gentleman has thought fit to adopt. I think it is a most unfair course—the most unfair that has ever been adopted by a Government in connection with a Bill of such importance as this. A Bill was introduced last Session. It was attempted to be rushed through Parliament by the Government. It was arrested in another place, not by the high-handed action of Tory peers, but by the abstentions of Members of the Government, who did not choose to come and vote for it. It was then introduced again this Session. The Opposition 1130 from the beginning have not attempted in any way to interfere with the Home Secretary's duty in providing for the police, who are necessary for the maintenance of order in London. They have done everything in their power to help the right hon. Gentleman to get the necessary men in order to enable those who are now in the force to have one day off in seven. They felt very strongly, and London felt very strongly, about it. London is suffering gross injustice by the action of the Home Secretary. Notwithstanding these facts we assented, on the petition of the Government, and in view of the exigencies of public business, to all the stages of this Bill being taken in a three hours' debate this afternoon. The hon. Member for North St Pancras urged most powerfully the view we hold on this side of the House, and this afternoon expressed his surprise at the Home Secretary remaining obdurate. Up till yesterday many of us anticipated that the right hon. Gentleman would make an endeavour to meet us.
§ 5.0 P.M.
§ Mr. LONG
I will come to that presently. The right hon. Gentleman told us a great deal about what the Opposition desired to do, without attaining to any degree of accuracy in his descripton of our views. He then described his own views, and, at the end, in half a dozen words, he made the amazing announcement that, on behalf of the Government, he is prepared to introduce into the Bill a very important Amendment which he has not even had the courtesy to place on the Paper, so that we could make ourselves acquainted with it; and he has done this in face of the fact that we are committed by an agreement between the two Front Benches to give only three hours to the discussion of this Bill. This is a most extraordinary way of trying to carry a Bill through Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman took exception to my saying that he inaccurately described our views. His speech was an extremely clever one from the point of view of trying to divert the Opposition which came from behind him. The right hon. Gentleman knows that the London Members behind him share our views, and he has reason to believe that there is very little sympathy to be found for his proposal on that side of the House, except among hon. Gentlemen who do not represent Metropolitan constituencies, and who, judging by their interruptions, know very little of the way by which the rates of London are 1131 raised, and by which the expenses incurred in London are met. With the exception of those hon. Gentlemen the Home Secretary has no supporters. He tried to draw a distinction between the hon. Gentleman the Member for North St. Pancras and my hon. Friend on this side of the House. It is well known that the hon. Member for North St. Pancras holds the view that the control of the Metropolitan Police should be municipal in London as elsewhere, but not one single word the hon. Member for North St. Pancras used in his speech bore in any degree the interpretation which the right hon. Gentleman placed on it to-day. The argument of the Home Secretary that we advocate this particular policy with regard to 2d. and 1d. rates, and that the police should still be under the control of the Home Secretary is simply ludicrous. It is a red herring drawn across the path by the right hon. Gentleman with the deliberate intention of diverting the attention of the House from the real subject under debate. The policy of my hon. Friends is absolutely consistent, and has nothing to do with that. [Mr. McKENNA: "Oh, oh!"] I am sorry the Home Secretary cannot listen to my remarks with the silence with which I listened to him. He made several astounding statements that I should have been glad to have interrupted, but I did not, and I should prefer him to answer me, if he wants to, by making another speech. The position we take up is the one we have always taken up. The Home Secretary spoke as if it were not perfectly well known that the Metropolitan Police, subject as they are to the control of the Home Secretary, are paid for partly by the State and partly by the taxation levied upon London. It is that principle which, in the Bill we are now asked to pass, the Home Secretary is seeking entirely to ignore. Up to the present it has been recognised by everybody. I know the Home Secretary has come but recently to the discharge of his new duties—
§ Mr. McKENNA
The right hon. Gentleman must be aware that the Provincial Police are paid for partly by the State and 1132 partly by the local authority, just on the same principle as the London Police are paid.
§ Mr. LONG
I know there is a Grant made in aid of the Provincial Police, some what the same as that which is made in aid of the Metropolitan Police, but I am bound to say that to hear the Home Secretary tell the Committee that, the conditions of the Provincial Police and the Metropolitan Police are the same—
§ Mr. McKENNA
I said the principle under which they were paid was the same. The right hon. Gentleman argued that the reason for the Secretary of State's control was because the Government paid the Metropolitan Police. I reminded him that the Government also paid the Provincial Police.
§ Mr. LONG
That shows how utterly irrelevant the right hon. Gentleman was. I was dealing with his argument. Apparently he wants to forget it. The charge the right hon. Gentleman brought against hon. Members on both sides of the Committee was that our view was an inconsistent view, that while we held that the police ought to be controlled by the State we had no right to complain of the exercise by the State of their powers in regard to taxation. We are not making any complaint of that kind. We are not complaining of the raising of the penny, we do not object to his proposal that for the requirements he has been able to justify he is entitled to ask for money. What we object to is what the hon. Member for North St. Pancras described accurately, and the right hon. Gentleman could not meet his charge, that the Bill which we are now asked to pass gives to the Executive Government the power to rate London before the necessity for that expenditure has arisen. The Home Secretary tried to make out that that power exists now. It is nothing of the kind. The power rests with the Home Secretary to control the police. The cost has to be met partly by the State and partly by the rates. What the right hon. Gentleman is doing now is asking for this extra power, to be exercised or not as he wants it. Upon what ground? It was on this point that I listened with great interest to the right hon. Gentleman's speech. He began by saying that prudence demands that you should not ask for less money than you 1133 want. He went on to give the reasons why he wants this extra money. The first reason he gave was an astounding one. It is that the Government must have regard to the fact that the Exchequer Contribution Grants may decrease. Is that a justification for the Government coming to this House and deliberately casting upon the rates a burden which Parliament has already taken upon itself. This is not a new burden. Parliament has already—and both sides are committed to it by a series of Acts—taken upon itself a certain share of this expenditure. The right hon. Gentleman himself says that that share which Parliament has taken it may not be able to bear, and then he says that justifies him in not reconsidering the whole question and in not going to the Exchequer and demanding an increased Exchequer contribution, but it justifies him coming down to the House and asking for arbitrary powers by which he can put a further burden on the rates of London. A more astounding action on the part of the Government I have never heard of. The next reason was, if possible, worse. The right hon. Gentleman said, "I have been appealed to to maintain order. How am I to maintain order if I have not the men?" The hon. Member for Holborn (Mr. Remnant) pointed out that by the increase which he is to get in the form of new recruits under the one day's rest in seven, in an emergency he would have these extra men available.
§ Mr. LONG
The right hon. Gentleman has told us to-day, as he told us the other day, that the penny rate would give him enough for two years; and that it is only in the event of emergencies arising in the course of those two years that he will require more money. I come back to his second reason, which was that there may be emergencies calling for more men. The Home Secretary says: "Am I to come down to the House and run the risk of all the time that is taken in passing a Bill?" What has happened this year? What is all the time? There is no emergency this 1134 year; none of these difficulties have arisen. The Home Secretary has not come down and said: "I appeal for special powers in a case of emergency which demands special action." Everybody knows that any Home Secretary, to whatever party he belongs, coming down to this House and saying, with the responsibility of his position, that he required extra powers to deal with the conditions which had arisen and which threatened society, would get those powers, not in hours, but in minutes. What has happened this year? There is no such emergency. The Second Reading of this Bill went through in two or three hours the other day. To-day we are to pass this Bill in a three hours' Debate. There is no emergency, and yet the Home Secretary says he must have authority to levy a rate on London, without appeal or qualification, because it takes so long to pass a measure through Parliament, and he cannot afford to take the risk of delay either in this House or the other House. No reason so flimsy and so utterly unworthy has ever been given by a Minister asking this House for great powers.
The right hon. Gentleman will not accept the Amendment. I confess I do not know why. He would have got his Bill in half an hour if he had made the reduction. The demand for it comes from every London representative, without exception. It comes, not only from those who are within the Metropolitan Police area, but from those who are outside the Metropolitan district. It is, so far as I know, the unanimous demand made by all those concerned. It is made by the municipal authorities responsible for the rates, who realise the injustice that is being done. But the right hon. Gentleman will have none of it. The alternative is that the Home Secretary is to come down to the House and place on the Table a Minute stating what he proposes to do, that we are to have a Debate, and that unless the House assents to the expenditure the Home Secretary is not to be allowed to levy the rate. I wonder how many hon. Gentlemen who listened to the solemn tones in which this proposal was made realise what it meant. I have been long enough in the House to know what these petitions mean. They come on after eleven o'clock. Who would be here to discuss it? The Government use their whole power to prevent anything of the sort from passing. Government Whips tell Members, who are only too anxious to go home to bed, to vote against this 1135 petition. It is a perfect farce. All that we ask is that the Government should come down here at a time when public business can be adequately discussed, that they should put their proposal on paper, as they have not done this time, and that if any circumstances arise of the kind to which the Home Secretary referred, of grave emergency demanding the provision of extra men, no matter what party is in office, there would be no opposition to the action of the Government, and they would get their extra powers as they cannot get them under the method proposed by the Home Secretary.
I cannot advise my hon. Friends to accept the proposals of the Home Secretary. It does not deal with this difficulty in any practical or efficient form. It has only been in our possession for a few moments; it is not even now on the Paper. Even if it is only to mark our disapproval of the way in which the Home Secretary has dealt with this question we decline to take it now, and if we take it at all it could only be after we have reported Progress in order that we may see it on the Paper, as is the usual custom of this House for the proposal of the Government. I do not propose that we should take that course. I think the proper course is to adhere to the views we have expressed and the position we have taken up, a position which is justified by the opinion held throughout the whole of the Metropolitan district, and to register by our votes in a Division in support of my right hon. Friend's Amendment our opinion that the action of the Government is unjust and unfair to London, and that we have been given no adequate reason for the course they are pursuing. Therefore we shall vote for the proposal of my right hon. Friend, which will give the Government all the powers they want and which lays upon London as much of an additional burden as in the name of justice you can put upon it.
§ Mr. CARR-GOMM
As a London Member I must express my regret that the Home Secretary has found it impossible to accept the Amendment that has been Moved. At the same time I do not think that anyone in this Committee can deny that he has made some attempt to meet the opposition, which has come from both sides of the Committee. Although it may be true that the Debate which will arise on the demand for extra money above a 1136 penny rate will come on after eleven, o'clock, if the matter is serious, as it is serious, I think London Members on both sides will attend and raise their voices to discuss the matter. I admit that is not in any way as valuable as the Amendment would be, and I am astonished that the Home Secretary is unable to accept the Amendment. The Home Secretary said that if he only had the power to raise the penny rate he would have to come to the House with a Bill every year. If this Bill had only been for a penny rate there would have been practically no opposition. It would have gone through almost as a matter of course, and the time taken up would not be of very great importance and it would not have interfered with other public business. But still, on the whole, I think we are forced to see that in this matter the Home Secretary has done his best to meet us. I think he has realised that the position of London Members is a peculiar one. After all, very often they seem to suggest that London is in the same position as provincial towns, and London questions always suffer in this House because we are in an absolutely different position from other boroughs. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that the question of the future control of the London Police did not enter into the arguments or thoughts of Members who spoke from this side of the House, and who feel very strongly on the subject. We are simply concerned with the objects of this measure, and we will accept his concession because we feel that, although it is not all that we want, it does give power for the raising of a Debate if anything above a penny rate is required. That is what we are seeking, and we shall have to be content with what he has given us.
§ Mr. HARRY LAWSON
I hope the Home Secretary will not think me discourteous if I suggest that the Amendment which he proposes verges on the ridiculous. Of all the paper safeguards that I ever heard of this is the most flimsy. I am sorry for the position in which the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Carr-Gomm) finds himself. I understand he does not believe that the Amendment is much use to him, but as it has probably been drafted by the Patronage Secretary, even in his retirement, he is bound to support it. That may excite the sympathy of the House, but I do not know what his constituents will have to say. He will have to settle with them. So far as I know, an Address to 1137 the Crown is an unprecedented course in a financial measure of this kind. Addresses to the Crown are often suggested, and sometimes presented, in the case of schemes under the Endowed Schools Acts and various matters of the same kind, but I do not believe the right hon. Gentleman has any precedent for the suggestion he has made this evening. After eleven o'clock the thing would be a mere form. The Whips would have their numbers ready to support them, and the attendance would be very sparse. In fact, those who have a right to be heard would have very little to say in the matter. If the right hon. Gentleman had suggested that the second penny could not be levied without ascertaining the wishes and obtaining the consent of the local authorities concerned, that might have been another matter. This is primarily a London question, but it is not only a London question. It concerns the whole of those contained in the police area, and it is a matter of something more than a London concern. But still, even from the London point of view, we look on this as the culminating point of a very mountain of grievances under which we labour with respect to finance. It is not directed solely against him; it is because the injustice is growing day by day, and we cannot obtain relief. He has tried to effect a revolution in the principles upon which a certain part of our local expenditure has been conducted. He is disturbing a settlement forty years old; he is doing it in spite of the fact that when it was reconsidered at the time of the Local Government Board Act, 1888, the principle was never raised, and no suggestion was made to alter the proportion between the Exchequer contribution and the local account. That is a very strong thing to do. Now we know the Exchequer contribution has practically disappeared.
I cannot argue on this Amendment whether we ought not to insist upon maintaining the present proportion between the Exchequer and the rate levied in different parishes of the county and the adjacent counties, but I should like to ask why it is that we are supposed to make up the balance which has been allowed to fall before there has been a reform of local taxation. If there is to be a readjustment of balances, let it come after a readjustment of local burdens. Why should these two years, in anticipation of the change that is going to be made, whilst a Departmental Committee is sitting, why should this new burden be added to the many that London bears, unfairly, as has 1138 been admitted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, simply on the fiat of the Home Secretary? The deficiency, of course, has grown from very small things. It was only £12,500 in 1892–3, and we are going, because of the exigencies of the situation, on a basis that is admittedly unfair. We are going to be asked to make it up within one year, or, as my right hon. Friend thinks, two. I do not see why there should be a readjustment of the balance until there has been a readjustment of local burdens. Let it stand over. It would be far more just to the ratepayer and would give the right hon. Gentleman all he wants. I was sorry to hear this evening how he has to evade the issues and to use arguments which really would not hold water. When he introduced the question of the labour troubles, he must have been vary hard up for an argument. I heard him say he was only thinking of labour troubles in London. I suggest that was an afterthought. If he says so, I accept it, but there would be no pay for extra duty, unfortunately, that the police may have to perform within the Metropolitan area in dealing with labour troubles.
I addressed a question to his predecessor on that very point in order to obtain something for the police after the hard work they had to do during the strike of the carrying trades last year. I was informed in reply that they got no extra, pay for extra duty, that it was part of their contract, that, like soldiers, they were supposed to give their whole time and such extra work as was involved was made up to them by way of extra holiday, but they got no extra pay. What does that argument amount to? The Home Secretary led the Committee to believe that in case of labour troubles there was a larger expenditure involved for extra duty, but there is no such thing. I think that tears in pieces the main argument on which he based his case. It is difficult to imagine that he could have have been serious in putting it to the House. May I ask him again whether it is fair that after this settlement arrived at has been dealt with, whenever there has been a reform of local government in this House without waiting for what is admitted to be a necessary solution in favour of London of the readjustment of local taxation, he should add this new burden to the rates? The President of the Local Government Board said the other night that this was a very prehensile Department. "Prehensile" means ready to grasp. His is not the only prehensile Department? The 1139 Government is rather prehensile, and the Home Office is just as prehensile as the Local Government Board. Because it is ready to grasp a little too much this evening, because it is asking for more than is fair and is only proposing a paper safeguard of the flimsiest kind for protection of the ratepayer, I shall certainly support the Amendment, though I should have liked to go much further and to say there should be no disturbance of the Parliamentary settlement as between the Imperial Exchequer on the one hand and the county of London and the adjacent districts on the other. We cannot have that, and at least I think we can register our protest against this new wrong to London, which the right hon. Gentleman is seeking to perpetrate in a very aggravated form to-night.
§ Sir T. COURTENAY WARNER
Perhaps I shall suffer more than most people by this extra rate. I have to pay a very considerable amount of the police area rates. It is a very extraordinary spectacle to see the party of law and order fighting the Home Secretary because he wants to have more than enough to pay the actual outgoing of the London police. I do not think there is any question of economy, because the Home Secretary stated clearly that he does not mean to take the rate unless it is necessary; but the party of law and order, who are so very keen on the police interfering on every possible occasion, protest against the Home Secretary having power to take one single penny more than is absolutely necessary. I cannot agree with that. I think there are circumstances of possible necessity for extra police being required. One hon. Gentleman says, "You have the extra police, because you have extra men to do the six days instead of seven," but if these men are to work seven days they have to be given extra pay. It is quite true that the extra time was not paid for in the old days, but if you are going to ask them to do an extra day's work you will have to give them extra pay. There are one or two small things which will take up more police. Many of the outlying districts are calling out every day for extra police, and before three years are out that will have to be given, and it will mean more expenditure, and yet you are not providing for any increase at all. A very extraordinary remark fell from the right hon. Gentleman, that the Home Secretary was asking for the power to levy 1140 a rate in London without appeal. Is not the Amendment the Home Secretary has offered exactly an appeal? Is it not in every sense of the word an appeal? I do not think any appeal is ever given without being asked for.
§ Sir T. COURTENAY WARNER
No, an appeal to this House. A Bill is not an appeal to London. The simple method of only giving an appeal when it is asked for has been offered by the Home Secretary, and yet the right hon. Gentleman says he is asking for a power of taxation without appeal. I do not think that is quite a fair statement. What surprises me is to see Members for London banded together with the party of law and order to try to prevent the Home Secretary having enough money to carry on the police.
§ Mr. CHAPLIN
I represent one of the outlying districts of London, which feel the injustice done by this Bill quite as strongly as it is felt by London itself. I know that from my own personal knowledge, and I express this opinion at the request of those whom I represent. The right hon. Gentleman himself, by his own proposals, has admitted that there is injustice at present. If everything is all right, why did he make this proposal? If he, indeed, be serious in that view and proposes this as a remedy, why did he not put it on the Paper? I never was more surprised in my life that a Minister in charge of a Bill of this description, and making this fresh imposition upon the rates of London, had no reply to that question. I labour under a great disadvantage. I am afraid that, owing to advancing years and infirmities, I cannot hear very distinctly all that goes on. I would have given anything for an opportunity, after the appeal that has been made to me by my Constituents, of seeing this on the Paper and judging what it was worth. I agree entirely that the appeal offered by the right hon. Gentleman is not worth the paper on which it is written. The only course open to us is to vote, as I certainly shall do, for the Amendment. I feel the injustice as strongly as anyone in the world. Not so very many years ago I was obliged to take measures to appoint a Royal Commission on this very subject. I cannot recollect at this moment how much or how little has been adopted of the recommendations which they made in a most exhaustive Report. It was probably the strongest Commission that ever 1141 sat on a question of this kind. Anyone who refers to the names of the gentlemen composing it will agree with me when I say that. I will not enter into that question to-night. I only rose in order to say how strongly this grievance is felt, and how greatly disappointed those whom I have the honour to represent will be at the attitude of the Home Secretary and the Government. I will vote heartily for the Amendment which has been moved.
§ Mr. W. PEARCE
My hon. Friend asked how it was that London Members were assisting in this cross-fire which is being directed against the Government. We have no desire to attack the Government if we can avoid doing so, and we particularly do not wish to attack the Home Secretary, who has just arrived in the office he now holds, but we do feel that during the last few years we have had occasion to point out the grievance which London suffers in the matter of Exchequer Grants. The complaints which have been made on that subject have been little attended to, and we think that we have now an opportunity of making a protest by for once voting against the Government. I feel that the whole of this situation has arisen through the Home Secretary asking too much. If he had asked a 1d. rate, I do not think we should have had any opposition to offer, for I do feel that if the occasion should arise when it will be necessary to grant an extra penny there would be a general consensus of opinion in favour of it. Under these circumstances, and in view of the fact, that we have had so little notice taken of our appeals in the past, and in view also of the fact that the Royal Commission which is sitting may report in such a way as to put things on a different footing altogether, I must say I regret that the Home Secretary has not been able to accommodate himself to what he must feel is the universal opinion of the London Members. We do feel that we have a duty to our constituents in this matter. I confess that I am in a dilemma. I do not want to vote against the Government, while at the same time I feel the necessity of bringing home to every Department of the Government, that the grievance in the matter of Exchequer Grants is deeply felt by London Members on whichever side of the House they sit.
§ Mr. CASSEL
The Home Secretary stated that there were two possibilities which might make him require more than 1d. One was the possibility of the Exchequer contribution being still further 1142 diminished, and the other was the possibility that there might be labour troubles in London for which he might require more money. Assuming that the right hon. Gentleman was right, what has he to meet such contingencies? He has in reserve £160,000, and even with a 1d. rate he will be able to increase the balance by £108,000. In the first year all he requires is £122,500. A 1d. rate produces £230,500, so that in that year he will get a balance of £108,000 over. Next year he has a large balance over of £153,000. Assuming that during these two years there was an additional demand upon the available funds either through a diminution of the Exchequer contribution or through the occurrence of labour troubles, the very worst that could happen, if he did not come to the House at all for further powers, is that he need not increase his balance so much. He need not begin to diminish his balance until he has had additional expenditure. I emphasise this point, because I think the gist of the matter is expressed in the question: Has the Home Office proved a reasonable necessity for more than a 1d. rate? That is the whole issue that is really under consideration now. We have shown on the right hon. Gentleman's own figures that it is not necessary. The right hon. Gentleman says that if the contingencies referred to were to arise, he would have to diminish the additional working balance. He has been working on that balance for some years, and if he did not increase it in the next three years would that be serious? Supposing he increased it by £80,000 because of labour troubles, or because of diminished Exchequer contributions, is there anything very serious in that?
§ Mr. CASSEL
The right hon. Gentleman says "Yes." He suggests that simply because there is risk of his not being able to increase the working balance by £100,000 we are to vote him an extra £250,000 to draw upon when he pleases. It is a blank cheque for £250,000 in three years, whereas without that all that could happen would be that he would have to borrow a little more, as he has had to do for some years. It is a proper business transaction to borrow. The money comes partly in August and partly in February, and if just before it comes in he runs short and borrows for a short period, the worst that could happen would be that he would have another £20,000 to borrow for 1143 a few weeks. Of course he knows perfectly well that if he came to the House for another penny, the whole House would give it to him at once. If he made out a case for an additional penny he would get it. He would have had it last Session in the other House, for they were willing to pass the previous Bill if the rate had only been a penny. This is a very important matter, and I hope all the London Members will have regard to the interests of their constitutents rather than those of the Government. This is of vital importance to London for this reason. London is in the peculiar position that the whole of the rate is levied on the ratepayers, while the whole of the expenditure is controlled by the Home Secretary. The whole additional expenditure falls absolutely upon the ratepayers, because the Government contribution is a fixed amount. When we ask the Home Secretary for information he refuses it. I asked him the other day how he arrived at the deficit, and he refused to give a single answer.
I think it is perfectly right and necessary that the Home Office should have control of the Metropolitan Police. The amount required for the Pension Fund and the Police Fund ought to be produced by the fourpenny rate, but it is less because of the failure of the Exchequer contribution. If it cannot be increased, it ought not to be diminished. The whole of this additional 1d. or 2d. rate will fall upon the ratepayers, who have no say in the matter and no opportunity of asking how the money is being spent or in any way exercising any sort of control until the moment comes when the Home Secretary has to increase the limit. For eighty years this rate has never been increased by more than a penny at a time. It is an absolutely unique proposal to increase it by more than a penny. The fact that the Home Secretary has the whole control of the police makes it of vital importance that the ratepayers should see that the Government do not get more than the House thinks is absolutely wanted. What would the Home Secretary think if, on the Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer came and said, "I only require £150,000,000, but I am going to ask for £300,000,000. I am going to ask double the amount of my Estimates, but I undertake that if I spend more than £150,000,000 the House will have an opportunity after eleven o'clock of moving an Address to the Crown." It is absolutely the same 1144 kind of proposal which the Home Secretary now makes to the ratepayers. He says, "Give me authority to take twice as much money as is justified by my Estimates, and if I spend more than the amount the Estimates justify I will give you an opportunity after eleven o'clock of moving an Address to the Crown." You are dealing here with the ratepayers' money, and I wish to know what the right hon. Gentleman would think if the Chancellor of the Exchequer came forward and asked twice as much money as the Estimates showed he needed. He says, "I may want more, and, if I do, you will have this very unsatisfactory opportunity of objecting to it." One reason why the London Members ought to support this Amendment is because it is the only opportunity they have of exercising any kind, I do not say of control, but any sort of supervision on the absolutely unlimited and unfettered discretion of the Home Secretary. Another reason why I think it would be wise to support the Amendment is that if we pass it the Home Secretary will be forced to come back to the House if he requires more money, and every time he comes back you will be able to insist on the Government redeeming the promises and pledges they have given to the ratepayers.
§ Mr. CASSEL
The right hon. Gentleman says that has nothing to do with him, but it has to do with the Amendment. I think Members on both sides of the House would be well advised to insist upon the Amendment, because when the right hon. Gentleman did want more money he would have to come back to the House, and that would give an opportunity for showing that the grievances of the ratepayers ought to be dealt with. It is a grievance which applies not only to London, but to the country as well. But the grievance of London is greater than that of the provinces. We do not want to discuss those differences between ourselves, but I submit that we should not allow the Home Secretary greater powers than his Estimates provide, so that when the occasion arises we shall be able again to insist upon this question being dealt with and the Exchequer contribution increased, in order that the proportion previously existing may be maintained and even more, that the proportions recommended by the Royal Commission on local taxation may be carried 1145 out. The Royal Commission went so far as to advocate that the Government ought to bear half the cost of the pay, and that in the provinces they ought to bear half the entire cost of the police, a proposal which has not been quarrelled with in any part of the House, which was made so long ago as 1901, and to which consideration ought to be given. I support the Amendment because the Home Secretary has made out no case for being granted powers for more than the estimate actually provides, and because it is the only opportunity which the ratepayers have of obtaining even any kind of information from the Home Secretary.
§ Mr. MARTIN
I regret very much indeed that the Home Secretary has not seen his way to confine the rate to 1d. in the £. I think that he is putting the supporters of the Government from London in a very unfortunate position in asking them to support a rate of 2d. in the £. So far as I am concerned I am not prepared to support it, and shall vote for the Amendment moved on the other side. I agree entirely with the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Fulham (Mr. Hayes Fisher), and I think that all hon. Members must agree, in fact I think that the Home Secretary himself agreed, with the figures given and the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman. But the Home Secretary says that while 1d. rate might be enough in ordinary circumstances, still we must consider that special circumstances might occur. It seems to me that there is just the point where it ought to be impossible to vote for this 2d. rate. We complain in London that we are unfairly treated by the Government in the matter of Exchequer Grants for municipal purposes, and by voting for the rate of 2d. we should agree that all this additional expenditure that the Home Secretary fears must necessarily come from the ratepayers in London. I submit it might well happen that unusual and unexpected expenditure would not mean a fair charge upon the ratepayers in London, but ought to come out of the Government Grant.
The Home Secretary suggested that the opposition of London Members to this proposal partly arose from the fact that they were opposed to the Home Secretary having charge of the Metropolitan Police. My opposition is not due to that reason. I take the same view as hon. Gentlemen opposite and as the Home Secretary himself, that the Government should have control of the Metropolitan Police, be- 1146 cause Imperial questions may very often be involved, and the very reason why I think that the Home Secretary should have control of the police leads me to say that I am not going to admit by voting for the twopenny rate that all these extraordinary expenses should come on the ratepayers of London. If the expenditure is for what is Imperial and not municipal to London then it should come upon the general Government. The right hon. Gentleman says that he wants to have this power in his hands, and does not want to come to the House of Commons, because it might be difficult to get a Bill through the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It is difficult; and that is the safety of the people—that Governments do have trouble in the House of Commons. If they have unlimited power they can do as they like, and no one can say anything to them. But if they are controlled by the representatives of the people, at any rate while the minority may not be able to stop what they are doing they can always criticise them in the House. So it does seem to me that that is an unfortunate reason to suggest. It is a very convenient one for the Government, but I do not feel inclined to give up my right as a Member to criticise expenditure, not after it is made, but when it is being proposed. If any unusual expenditure is required, as has been stated by other Members, and the right hon. Gentleman will come down to the House with a proper case to go against the ratepayers of London, then the Members for London and other constituencies will be only too ready to grant it when the time comes.
The right hon. Gentleman rather admits that some case has been made against this proposal and offers a substituted Amendment. I join with hon. Gentlemen opposite in considering that the Amendment proposed by the Home Secretary is entirely inadequate and absolutely no use whatever. If there is one matter which is pre-eminently a question of want of confidence in the Government, it is the question of finance. No Member supporting a Government can vote against a proposal made by the Government in the matter of finance without voting a want of confidence in them, so that when expenditure is proposed that would be the very time when they would vote a want of confidence in the Government, and, if enough of them did it, the Government would have to go out. So it comes to this. The Government make up their mind that they are going to spend so much more money, at 1147 the 2d. rate. They come down to the House and say that that is their policy, and they lay their policy upon the Table. The right hon. Gentleman proposes as a remedy for the objections that we have to this 2d. rate that we should have the right of coming in here after eleven o'clock and voting a want of confidence in the Government if we do not think that they ought to spend that money. Well, that would never be done, because there are not enough Liberal Members. There are only thirty-one Liberal Members from London. The Tories will always vote against the Government on a vote of want of confidence, and even if the entire thirty-one Liberal Members representing London all went against the Government the Government would still be able to impose that on London. But there is an effective way which we will retain, if the right hon. Gentleman will confine himself to the 1d., that is by discussing the matter and considering in Committee now whether it is necessary, without necessarily voting a want of confidence in the Government. I think that any Liberal Member undertaking to meet the objections put forward as they have been to-day by hon. Gentlemen opposite with regard to this 2d. rate at any public meeting in London would have a very hard time of it. So far as I am concerned, I do not propose to put myself in that position.
§ Mr TOUCHE
I am glad to say that I find myself in agreement with the words of soberness and reason which have been uttered on this occasion by the hon. Member for East St. Pancras (Mr. Martin). I have heard a great deal from the other side of the House with which I am quite able to agree. Not least do I agree with one observation made by the hon. Member for the Lichfield Division (Sir Courtenay Warner) that we are fighting because the Home Secretary wants more than enough. That is exactly the position. We are not fighting because he wants what is necessary. We are not fighting, as the Home Secretary seems to think, because we do not think he ought to have the right of levying a rate. What we object to is that he should have the power of levying a much greater rate than is necessary. The Home Secretary in his observations took exception to the emphasis laid upon the circumstance that this enables him to raise £460,000 from the ratepayers of the Metropolitan area. We readily acknowledge that he has already the power of levying 1148 a rate, but what we object to is that he asks the additional power of raising £460,000 a year when he has made out no case whatever to establish the necessity for it. The right hon. Gentleman explained that he wants a large margin because of possible contingencies. The most he has been able to establish is the possibility of requiring a 1d. rate—that is, £230,000—so that in asking for 2d., or £460,000, he is indeed asking for a margin of no less than £230,000 a year because of possible contingencies, which are not likely to arise for some years and which may never arise even then. I think that everyone who has listened to the Debate to-day must recognise that it has clearly been established that there is no immediate case for requiring more than a 1d. rate.
Even the case for the 1d. rate is somewhat doubtful, and no case at all has been established for requiring so much as a 2d. rate; but what we take exception to is the assumption on the part of the Home Office that any addition, whether immediate or contingent, must be borne by the London area. I do not think that that has been established. I do not think that it is reasonable. It does not follow the principle which has hitherto been observed, the arrangement of the past under which the Exchequer found 4d. and the rates found 5d., and I ask why should the spirit of that arrangement be permanently abandoned? The only explanation which the right hon. Gentleman gives is that the revenues assigned no longer produce the equivalent of a 4d. rate, but that does not touch the question of the merits, and it is no argument in favour of saying that whereas in the past the ratepayers have provided something like 55 per cent, in future they should find nearly 64 per cent. I do not wish to argue the question of division at any length now, but I do urge that there is a strong case for a much fairer distribution, and that if it is not feasible to make that fairer distribution now, it is not reasonable to enter upon legislation of this kind, which will inevitably prejudice the position of the ratepayers in the London area in the future when the matter comes to be dealt with. We ought to deal with this question in a temporary manner and not upon a permanent basis. It is very much a question of figures. I observe that the Home Secretary hardly quoted a single figure when he was making out the case from his point of view. He made his case very cleverly. The fact that he was not more convincing shows what a very bad 1149 case it must be. From the fact that the Home Secretary did not challenge the figures of my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham, I assume that the accuracy of those figures is established. That being so, it clearly shows that a 1d. rate is ample for all reasonable purposes for a considerable time to come. As the right hon. Member for Fulham showed, what was required was £122,500 a year. A ½d. rate would almost produce that amount; it would produce £115,000 a year, or within £7,500 of the sum required. The only justification for making the rate more than a ½d., or more than ¾d., is the claim of the Home Secretary that the deficiency, or perhaps I may call it the working capital of £108,000, should be made up. To make that up requires a total of £230,500, which is practically a 1d. rate. I am not convinced that, it is necessary to make up the whole of that £108,000, even distributed as the right hon. Member for Fulham proposed, over two or three years. This floating balance has been going on for a good many years. Why should the Home Secretary choose this time to make his demand, when the whole question of the readjustment of local taxation is under consideration. Why should it not be left a little while longer to temporary borrowings? We are told that it is a capital sum, but I ask you what commercial business would ever think it necessary to provide out of the profits of a single year for what is admittedly a capital sum, and not a recurring expense. Further, what commercial business would be so insane as to say, not only will we provide that capital sum out of the profits or the revenue of this particular year, but we will repeat the operation annually. That is what the Home Secretary proposes to do. He proposes to take annually a sum equivalent to the amount necessary to restore the balance, which is to be dealt with only once and for all. I will go further and say that I am not yet convinced that there is any need to provide for the maximum requirements in the way of an actual cash balance.
It has been explained to us that it is only during certain times of the year, twice a year, that there is a large deficiency, and then the rate comes in and puts it right. It is very much the position of a mercantile company, or an importing house, which at certain times of the year finds its financial requirements rise to a certain point and then fall down and 1150 run off. It is absurd to say that they should have as liquid capital a sufficient amount of money to meet the whole of the requirements. The merchant uses his credit, and why should not the Home Office use its credit in the same way? Is it suggested that it will have no credit? It seems to me that a wasteful method is being adopted; it is not a business method, but is one which will put a wholly unnecessary burden upon the London ratepayers. I have not yet been able to understand why this sum of £108,000 which is required to clear off this amount once for all, should be raised annually, and should not provide a large margin for contingencies. If you take the figures of the right hon. Member for Fulham, the additional amount required in the second year is only £38,000—£21,000 only for the one day rest in seven, and £17,000 for normal additions to the Force. That leaves a big balance out of the £108,000. I do not quite follow the figures of the right hon. Member for Fulham in regard to the following year, but I understand that in the third year the addition in respect of the one day's rest in seven is only £3,000, and then there is a normal addition of £19,000, bringing the sum up to £22,000. So the position is that for the second and third years the additional expenditure is £38,000 and £22,000, making an additional £60,000 in the third year, and a total of £98,000 in the second and third years combined. But the right hon. Gentleman is going to have in addition no less than £216,000 to meet these sums out of the 1d. rate in the two years. We have not had any clear statement from the Home Secretary as to the figures, but whether the balance is as large as that or not, it is perfectly clear that for a considerable time there is going to be a very large available balance, so large that I can see no justification whatever for putting an additional burden on the ratepayers merely because of the possibility of having to meet some contingency later on.
I am surprised really at the moderation of my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham in saying that he is prepared to support a penny rate. I venture to think that no very strong case has been made out even for the penny rate. We are told that if we allow the power to raise twopence to be put into the Bill, opportunities for criticism will be given before the second penny is used. I have not been long enough in this House to be able to express an emphatic opinion upon 1151 the value of those opportunities. But we have heard from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Strand (Mr. Walter Long) a very clear account of what those opportunities mean, and also from the hon. Member for East St. Pancras. The conclusion to which they both come is that those opportunities will offer a very flimsy kind of protection. If they afforded a protection at all equal to the protection given by the necessity of coming here with a new Bill, the Home Secretary would not show so strenuous an objection as he does to our requirements. We have been told to-night that there has been no change in the rate for more than a generation. Will any one suggest that another generation is likely to elapse without a further increase if this power for collecting a second additional penny is put into the Bill? I am perfectly certain if that power is conferred it will very soon be exercised, and in the interests of the ratepayers of London we ought to put every possible check on extravagance, and every possible discouragement upon the spending Departments. We ought to do everything we can to prevent them from putting their hands into the pockets of the London ratepayers. We know that the London ratepayers have heavy enough burdens to bear already. Those burdens are constantly increasing from causes entirely beyond the control of the representatives of London or the municipal government of London. We London Members would be failing in our duty to our Constituents and to London generally if we did not give our undivided support to the Amendment of the right hon. Member for Fulham.
§ Mr. DAWES
The right hon. Member for the Strand (Mr. Walter Long) was rather liberal in introducing into his speech the word "astounding." I think he used it five times in connection with the Home Secretary's speech. I think, however, we have listened to astounding speeches made by the hon. Gentleman who spoke last and the hon. Member for South St. Pancras, who positively suggested that the Government should subsist on a system of borrowing. When the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pending the receipt of the Income Tax, acted on that principle, the very Members who bombarded him with questions were the very Members who this afternoon have advocated borrowing. A good deal was said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member 1152 for the Strand to the effect that this Bill was rushed through at 2.50 in the morning. May I point out that it would not have been rushed through if hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite had not remained comfortably in bed while we were here. They do not like 2.50 in the morning; they do not like 11 o'clock at night, and they complain of the three hours' Debate this afternoon. After all, I do not say that the Home Secretary's Bill is satisfactory to us London Members. We should have preferred certainly that the rate should be reduced by a penny, but even then hon. Gentlemen opposite are not consistent. They say that if the Home Secretary had been willing to accept the Amendment proposed by the right hon. Member for Fulham it would have been supported. I understand that the sole point is as to the relative proportion of municipal taxation to Imperial taxation. If so, why should they accept the penny at all? If they would say, "No, we want to raise the proportion of the Imperial contribution to the municipal contribution," I should be entirely with them. I think myself, assuming there had been that proposal, that alteration of the proportion should have been borne out now. But that cannot be done. Although, as I say, the Home Secretary's proposal is not particularly satisfactory, yet I think that what he offers is a sufficient safeguard. I have sufficient confidence in the London Members to believe that they will attend after eleven o'clock at night if it be necessary to petition against the extra penny. We should have preferred that the rate should be reduced by a penny, but as the Home Secretary tells us that he requires a penny, I do not think that, with this safeguard, we shall be justified in rejecting it.
§ Lord ALEXANDER THYNNE
I feel a great deal of sympathy with the hon. Member who has just spoken, because he finds himself in the very unpleasant predicament of having to swallow the Amendment of the Home Secretary, which he does not think to be at all satisfactory, but he is obliged, for some reason he has not disclosed to the House, to vote against the proposal of my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham, which he does consider satisfactory. Really that is a most unpleasant difficulty for any Member of this House to find himself placed in, but I hope, so far as the hon. Member is concerned, it will not be of frequent occurrence. One point on which the hon. 1153 Member laid some emphasis was the unsatisfactory character of the respective contributions by the Imperial Exchequer and the local authorities, and he made a very valuable suggestion as to the way in which those proportions might be altered. But his suggestion would have carried greater weight in the House if we had any reason to hope that, if it took concrete form on the other side, it would receive his active support in addition to his academic advocacy. I noticed that some financial purists on the other side of the House were very shocked at the suggestion made by my hon. Friend the Member for North-East Islington with regard to the possibility of borrowing in an emergency. From the look of horror that passed over the Home Secretary's face when my hon. Friend referred to the possibility of resorting to this expedient, I should never have thought that it had ever been the practice of the Home Office to borrow money to carry on this particular service. I find that on the 16th December the Home Secretary in answer to a question, informed the House that it had been the normal practice of the Home Office for a series of years to borrow money for this particular service. Therefore the suggestion put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for North Islington (Mr. Touche), which is only to be resorted to in a case of emergency, and which occasioned the right hon. Gentleman so much horror, has been the practice for a considerable number of years.
I was very grateful to the hon. Member for Rotherhithe, I think it was, who stated that the question of the control of the Metropolitan Police was not involved in the present Debate, and that so far as he was concerned and the Member for North St. Pancras (Mr. Dickinson) there is this afternoon no difference of opinion between the two sides of the House on this matter. I regret very much that the Home Secretary should have again attempted to cloud the issue by putting forward that suggestion. My right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. Hayes Fisher) was very emphatic on the Debate on the Second Reading in stating that neither he nor any of those who were acting with him either in this House or municipally were in favour of any change in the control. We ask, however, in the first place, that the representatives of the ratepayers should be given access to certain information, and in the second place we regard with great jealousy the transfer of the control of a large sum of the ratepayers' money from a 1154 representative institution to the autocratic power of the right hon. Gentleman. It is quite true that the London County Council does not wish to control the Metropolitan Police, but at the same time it does wish to see a representative body, a body democratically constituted like the House of Commons, exercise some control over the right hon. Gentleman's operations in that sphere.
The hon. Member for Walworth (Mr. Dawes) made certain play with the fact that one of the reasons why we objected to the right hon. Gentleman's suggestion was that it would come on after eleven o'clock at night. One very remarkable feature of the right hon. Gentleman's proceedings in this matter has been his predilection for discussing this Bill either very late at night, or very early in the morning. The Second Reading of this Bill was taken at half-past two o'clock one night last December, and the Committee stage was begun at half-past three o'clock on the following night. The right hon. Gentleman now suggests that in future we should be debarred from discussing this question until after the normal hour for the retirement of the House. I really feel very sorry for the right hon. Gentleman in his present position, because he appears to be without a case, and without friends on either side of the House in this matter. I think everybody will agree that my right hon. Friend the Member for Fulham has clearly shown that so far as the right hon. Gentleman's requirements until 1914–15 there is absolutely no necessity for a larger sum being raised than 1d. The right hon. Gentleman based the whole of his contention on what would happen in the case of a sudden emergency. I must say for one moment he did draw a very serious picture of the possibilities of a case of sudden emergency, such as that of labour troubles or other contingencies which he mentioned. Let me remind the right hon. Gentleman that even in the case of sudden and temporary emergency he has got two very useful and quite adequate alternatives at his command. He has always got what he calls his working balance on which he can draw.
§ Lord A. THYNNE
It is very unfair to say that. I was not referring to the borrowing, but to the £108,000 found out of the first 1d. There is no question of borrowed money there—it is the working balance you have actually got in your hand. I can only take the figures the right 1155 hon. Gentleman has given us, and he has told the House that £108,000 out of the first 1d. would go towards the normal working balance.
§ Mr. McKENNA
The Noble Lord misunderstands. Every penny I take out of what he calls the normal working balance I have got to borrow.
§ Lord A. THYNNE
You have got a working balance which is made up from two sources. First of all, there is your balance from the previous year, and, in the second place, you have to the extent of £108,000 from the yield of the first 1d. rate.
§ Mr. McKENNA
The working balance enables me to pay for the police force without borrowing up to 30th June and 31st December in each year. I do not get my rate money in until about six weeks later, so that twice a year for six weeks I now have to borrow in order to finance the police. If I reduced the amount of the working balance, I cannot even finance the police up to the 30th June and the 31st December, and I should have to pay for current expenses of the police before the end of the half-year out of borrowed money.
§ Lord A. THYNNE
This position of affairs which the right hon. Gentleman has described is not peculiar to London. Every local authority in the country has to borrow money. [An HON. MEMBER: "No, no."]
§ Mr. McKENNA
I do borrow, and I still should do as other local authorities do. I should still have to borrow from the 30th June until my money comes in from the rates, but if I reduced my working balance, I should have not only to borrow for that period, but for the period before the 30th June and before the 31st December, and that would be working on borrowed money.
§ Lord A. THYNNE
What the whole thing comes to is, that the right hon. Gentleman would only have to borrow a little more if a particular crisis or emergency arose at two particular seasons of the year. Let me also point out that there is no absolute necessity for the right hon. Gentleman to borrow at all, because he has got another means, and as some of us think a far more suitable means, of meeting 1156 expenditure of this sort, and that is by Government Grant.
§ Lord A. THYNNE
The right hon. Gentleman is sitting on the Treasury Bench not as Home Secretary only or as the representative of one Department, but as the representative of the Administration of the country. I quite admit that it is not the Home Office that would give the Grant, but the Administration in one of those emergencies of labour troubles or riots. London as a town is far less prone to the ordinary labour troubles and the ordinary labour disturbances than probably any other great city in this country, but we do suffer from a peculiar class of disturbance to which other great cities are not liable. I will give you an instance last week when we had the window smashing, which does not occur in Birmingham or Liverpool, or other cities, but which occurs in London because London happens to be the seat of the Administration, and therefore some misguided ladies felt that if they broke windows of certain shopkeepers in London that that would carry direct ocular demonstration to members of the Administration. I simply mention that to point out that a great part of the emergency of which the right hon. Gentleman speaks directly arises from the fact that London is the seat of the Government, and that therefore there is a special case for London receiving extra consideration from the Government in respect to the extra police that have to be kept for those purposes. It is clearly proven, I think, to the satisfaction of everybody on all sides, and even to the right hon. Gentleman himself, that not only is the 1d. sufficient for this year and for the normal requirements, but that it is also sufficient to meet any probable emergencies. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, no."]
The right hon. Gentleman bases the whole of his contention on the necessity of coming back again for a further penny in 1914–15. I would point out that this particular Bill was recommended in another place by a Minister of the Crown on the ground that it was purely temporary and provisional, and only introduced to tide over a certain hiatus until the Departmental Committee has reported. We have been told three times a year from the Treasury Bench that it is only a question of a very short time before the Departmental Committee will report, and the whole of the relations between the Imperial and the 1157 local Exchequers will be adjusted on a more equitable basis. Are we to conclude from the right hon. Gentleman's argument this afternoon that the Departmental Committee is not going to report until 1915? Are we to conclude that we are not going to get a readjustment of the relations between Imperial and local taxation until 1915—because it is surely obvious to anybody reading the Report on the Royal Commission that one of the very first points to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer will have to turn his attention when the question of the readjustment of those relations takes place is that of the police, and that when that readjustment does take place that this particular Bill will have to become necessarily a dead letter. If there is any sincerity in the Government's constantly renewed promise that we are going to get this readjustment within the next twelve or eighteen months, then I say there is absolutely no necessity at all for us to give the right hon. Gentleman the extra penny which he asks. I can only reiterate what one of my hon. Friends has already said, namely, that to come to this House and to ask the House to give double the amount of money which he estimates he will require is contrary to all precedent and to the immemorial financial practice of this House. Our object, and our sole object, in opposing the granting of 2d. this afternoon is in order to keep the right hon. Gentleman's operations under the control of this House. We believe it is essential to the good administration of the Metropolitan Police, and in the interest of the members of the force themselves, that this House should have an adequate opportunity at a proper time in the evening to discuss the right hon. Gentleman's methods of administration.
§ Mr. J. SAMUEL
On the Second Reading of this Bill last week I pointed out the inconsistency of hon. Members opposite. If I held the opinion expressed by the hon. Member for West St. Pancras (Mr. Cassel) I should certainly vote against even a penny increase being put in the Bill. He drew a picture of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on introducing his Budget, asking for twice the amount he required for the year, and then taking power to spend it without the control of the House. He placed the Home Secretary in exactly the same position as the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But it is well known that the Home Secretary does not come down with his Budget for the London police year by 1158 year. He has full power to levy this rate. Therefore there is no comparison between the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Home Secretary. If Members hold the view put forward by the hon. Member for West St. Pancras they should insist upon the Home Secretary coming down each year and asking for power to levy a rate. The right hon. Gentleman for the Strand Division (Mr. Walter Long) charged some of us on this side—I do not know to whom he referred—with ignorance of the difference between the provincial ratepayers and the London ratepayers. There is a great misconception with regard to the powers of the county and borough councils in reference to the police. There was passed in 1910 an Act, promoted by Members representing London, compelling the local authorities to provide one day's rest in seven for the police. That Act will cost a certain amount of money. The county and borough councils have no control whatever over that. No provincial county council has any control over the police. They have a county police, but they have no control over them. Under an Act passed by the party opposite in 1888 there is a Standing Joint Committee, composed half of magistrates and half of members of the council, and that Committee has full control over the police. I have been a member of a county council for twenty-one years, and I have never known a discussion in the county council concerning the police, unless—
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think this is going too far away from the subject. We are now concerned only with the difference between 11d. and 10d.
§ Mr. J. SAMUEL
The Debate has been rather general, and the allegation on the other side has been that the county councils have control over the police.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It is true there have been in other speeches one or two references, but not more than a sentence or so, to the difference between London and other districts, but the question cannot be entered into in detail.
§ Mr. J. SAMUEL
Let me put it in this way. There is an executive Act, so far as London is concerned, to grant the police one day's rest in seven. That will cost a certain amount of money. The Home Secretary is asking power to raise money to carry that executive Act into operation. If this Bill is not carried into law, the one day's rest in seven will not be 1159 granted to the police. That, I understand, is the position. [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] The Home Secretary has stated definitely that he is not going to spend beyond the penny, and that there shall be power for this House to decide whether the extra penny shall be voted or not. Therefore, you will have more power than the ratepayers in the provinces, because if the Watch Committee in a borough or the Standing Joint Committee in a county came forward with a rate under the Act of 1910 to grant one day's rest in seven, and ask for 2d., 3d., or 4d., the borough or county councils are bound to honour the demand without any say in the matter at all. Further, this House has placed upon the Standing Joint Committees the responsibility of carrying the Act of 1910 into force within four years, without any say on their part at all, because if they do not carry it into force by that time there is power to make an Order in Council. Indeed, I read a discussion at the last meeting of the County Councils Association, in which attention was called to this fact. Some of the county councils have had to raise, or have prepared to raise, money to meet this very expenditure. I contend, therefore, that hon. Members opposite are inconsistent in this matter.
§ Captain JESSEL
Why does the hon. Member speak of Members on this side? Surely there have been similar speeches on his own side.
§ Mr. J. SAMUEL
We voted in favour of the Act of 1910, but we have not come whining to the House of Commons for assistance.
§ Mr. WALTER LONG
The hon. Gentleman talks about whining. Did the hon. Member for North St. Pancras (Mr. Dickinson) whine? Have other hon. Members on this side whined? Why make these offensive remarks?
§ Mr. J. SAMUEL
Last week I alluded to Liberal Members for London as well as to Conservative Members. The fact is you are all alike. Everybody wants an expenditure of money, but nobody is prepared to pay for it. Whether it is on "Dreadnoughts" or whether it is local expenditure, you want Parliament to provide all the money.
§ Mr. J. SAMUEL
I can quite understand the hon. Member for South West 1160 Ham taking that view, because he is consistent; he believes that Parliament ought to do everything. But I do not agree with him. I believe there are certain responsibilities upon the local authorities, and that we have to do our share. But these continuous demands upon Parliament to find the money when hon. Memberes themselves are promoting the measures which entail the cost, I say, are inconsistent. It is inconsistent also when hon. Members opposite by their Act of 1910 place upon the local authorities or the Standing Joint Committees the responsibility of providing this extra expenditure without any Grant from Parliament and without any limit to the rate. As long as that continues we who represent provincial boroughs have as much right as London Members to demand justice at the hands of the Government, and if any concessions in the way of special Grants is made to London Members in this matter I hope provincial Members will demand the same treatment. Provincial councils are watching these discussions, and as a representative of a large town which is very heavily rated—to 7s. or 8s. in the pound—I contend that we ought to claim the same consideration at the hands of the Government as the London Members.
§ Major ARCHER-SHEE
It is very refreshing to notice the extraordinary difference of demeanour on the Front Bench to-day, as compared with the last day of last Session. The right hon. Gentleman then wanted a weapon with which to attack another place, and the Press, which supports the Government, indulged in an orgy of misrepresentation, making out that another place had refused to pass the Bill, and were thereby stopping the police from getting their one day's rest in seven. It is a very peculiar thing that we have to-day heard several Members on that side supporting the views put forward by my hon. Friends. They have, in fact, entirely justified the action of another place in throwing out the Bill of last year, because they then offered a penny, but the right hon. Gentleman did not see fit to accept the offer. We all know that the increase in the Pension Fund, the grant of one day's rest in seven, the drop in the amount of the Exchequer contribution, and other causes go to make up a very large increase in the cost of the police, and the Home Secretary is obliged to find the money somewhere. But we as London Members object to the whole of this amount being thrown on the rates. That objection is, I believe, put forward by the borough 1161 councils throughout London. At any rate, I have a letter from the town clerk of the Finsbury borough council strongly urging that this heavy burden shall not be placed upon the ratepayers of London for the support of the Metropolitan Police, the duties of which extend far beyond the Metropolitan area. The hon. Member opposite said that the county authorities would hope to get exactly the same allowance in proportion as that, that might be granted to London. We are not discussing that question to-night; that is really a matter for the Committee now sitting. But everybody must see that the London police have duties to perform which do not fall upon any other police force. I think that that bears especially at the present time, because I have heard a very strong rumour that the Home Secretary sent a circular letter to the Chief Constables of Wales asking them not to call upon the military in the event of disturbances arising during the present labour troubles, but to call on the police.
§ Major ARCHER-SHEE
I am sorry that I did raise it if it is not in order. In any case, during the troubles that have arisen in the past the London police have been sent around, and we all know that it is not a fair charge upon the London ratepayers. London is, in addition, the seat of administration. It is not only the capital of this country; it is the capital of the Empire. Therefore the Imperial Exchequer ought to pay a great deal more than it is paying. It was in 1860 that this amount was first fixed, and repeated, I think, in the Local Government Act of 1888. Since then the Exchequer contribution has gone down, even during the last four years, by something like 5 per cent., as mentioned in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Fulham. As this amount is dwindling, the time has come for London to receive a great deal better treatment than she is receiving from the Exchequer. Instead of that the Home Secretary coolly proposes to place the whole of the extra 2d. that he requires, or says that he requires, upon the London ratepayers. We offer him 1d. He says that is not enough. Surely 1d. ought to be enough, in spite of the statement he has made, until the Committee has reported, when we may expect that the Exchequer will be obliged to give more. 1162 After all, instead of having to pay 5d. out of 9d., if we give the 1d. it will mean 6d. out of 10d., so raising the amount to three-fifths of the total. I think that is very unfair.
§ Mr. McKENNA
I rise only for the purpose of replying to the hon. and gallant Gentleman's question. I can assure him that the strong rumour he referred to is entirely devoid of foundation. Nothing approaching any such letter has been sent out from the Home Office. One hon. Member argued that if we had troubles in London there would be no extra cost to be borne by the London ratepayer. Of course, in saying that, he was quite in error. It is true that no extra day is given to the police if, owing to special circumstances, they have to work the whole seven days in the week. But efforts are made to give additional days off at other times. If a policeman is engaged more than nine hours in the day he gets an additional allowance. Beyond that, one of the first steps we should have to take, if there were trouble, would be the enrolment of our Reserve, and that is a very expensive item. Hon. Members must understand that if I have to meet additional expense, consequent upon labour troubles, I could not go on enrolling additional police in order to provide for the one day's rest in seven. I should not have the money. I am, therefore, only asking to be allowed to have such an amount at call—an amount which I undertake not to spend except in the emergency I have named, and which I have undertaken not to spend without the House having the full opportunity of discussing, and preventing me spending it—if they think well. I ask, under those conditions, only to be allowed to have this margin. That margin becomes absolutely necessary if I am to give, the police the one day's rest in seven, and if, in the course of giving it, there should be any labour disturbance.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
I was in the House during the whole of the time the Home Secretary was making his statement, and I was very much surprised that he offered no concessions to hon. Members opposite, who made a very strong appeal to him on the Second Reading of this Bill. It is very questionable, if we had known on the, Second Reading that he was going to take up the attitude that he has taken up this afternoon, as to whether the House would, not have divided. I was pleased to note that hon. Members opposite refused to be chloroformed by the statement of the 1163 Home Secretary. If they had agreed to that statement it would not have relieved the position in which we find ourselves at the present time. As a matter of fact, when this Bill is through it will eventually mean that an elevenpenny rate will be levied. The Home Secretary knows perfectly well that the police rate for the Metropolitan area will be the highest in the country, if not in the world. It will be an elevenpenny rate.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Eventually it means that. What we are asking is that you should only be allowed to levy a tenpenny rate at present. Provincial Members say that they have burdens in their own locality, the same or more than people in the Metropolitan area. I quite agree. But it must be understood that the local authorities have got control of their police.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
I beg your pardon. The provincial borough councils have absolute control over their own police. The town council elects the Watch Committee, and surely that means representative control? If you take into consideration the fact that the police rate levied in various
§ parts of the country ranges from 5d. to 7d. in the £, it will be considered remarkable that, simply because we are living in the Metropolitan area, we have to pay a rate of 11d.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head. Then what are you asking for 11d. for? As a matter of fact, as a representative of West Ham, I should like to point out that if we had control of our own police, I am not quite sure that we should not have a better supervision than at the present time, and a more efficient police. I am absolutely certain, if we governed our own police, that it would mean a rate of 7d. in the £ at the outside, and the result of that gain of 4d. would mean a saving of £20,000 to the borough. That is a thing that ought to be taken into consideration so far as the people from West Ham are concerned. I am therefore delighted that my hon. Friends opposite are determined to go to a Division. If they do not press this matter I shall.
§ Question put, "That the word 'elevenpence' stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 213; Noes, 159.1167
|Division No. 37.]||AYES.||[6.55 p.m.|
|Abraham, William (Dublin Harbour)||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Dawes, James Arthur||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Agnew, Sir George William||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hayward, Evan|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Devlin, Joseph||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Dewar, Sir J. A.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Armitage, Robert||Dickinson, W. H.||Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)|
|Atherley-Jones, Llewellyn A.||Dillon, John||Higham, John Sharp|
|Baker, Harold T. (Accrington)||Donelan, Captain A.||Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H.|
|Balfour, sir Robert (Lanark)||Doris, William||Hodge, John|
|Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)||Duffy, William J.||Holmes, Daniel Turner|
|Barlow, Sir John Emmott (Somerset)||Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Holt, Richard Durning|
|Barran, Rowland Hurst (Leeds, N.)||Duncan, J. Hastings (York, Otley)||Hope, John Deans (Haddington)|
|Beale, W. P.||Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor)||Horne, C. Silvester (Ipswich)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Edwards, John Hugh (Glamorgan, Mid)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey|
|Bentham, G. J.||Elverston, Sir Harold||Hughes, Spencer Leigh|
|Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Illingworth, Percy H.|
|Boland, John Pius||Essex, Richard Walter||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Esslemont, George Birnie||John, Edward Thomas|
|Brady, Patrick Joseph||Farrell, James Patrick||Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea)|
|Brocklehurst, William B.||Ferens, Rt. Hon. Thomas Robinson||Jones, Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Ffrench, Peter||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Bryce, John Annan||Fitzgibbon, John||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||France, Gerald Ashburner||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)|
|Byles, Sir William Pollard||Gelder, Sir William Alfred||Jones, W. S. Glyn- (Stepney)|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Gill, Alfred Henry||Joyce, Michael|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Gladstone, W. G. C.||Kellaway, Frederick George|
|Cawley, H. T. (Lancs., Heywood)||Glanville, H. J.||Kilbride, Denis|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Goldstone, Frank||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)|
|Clough, William||Greenwood, Granville G. (Peterborough)||Leach, Charles|
|Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)||Greenwood, Hamar (Sunderland)||Levy, Sir Maurice|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Griffith, Ellis J.||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Cotton, William Francis||Guest, Major Hon. C. H. C. (Pembroke)||Low, sir Frederick (Norwich)|
|Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)||Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Crumley, Patrick||Hackett, John||Macdonald, J. Ramsay (Leicester)|
|Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)||Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs)|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds.)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.|
|Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Harwood, George||Macpherson, James Ian|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Philips, John (Longford, S.)||Taylor, John W. (Durham)|
|M'Callum, John M.||Pirie, Duncan V.||Taylor, T. C. (Radcliffe)|
|M'Curdy, Charles Albert||Pointer, Joseph||Tennant, Harold John|
|McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Pollard, Sir George H.||Thomas, J. H. (Derby)|
|M'Laren, Hon. H. D. (Leics.)||Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)|
|M'Laren, Hon. F. W. S. (Lincs., Spalding)||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|M'Micking, Major Gilbert||Radford, George Heynes||Verney, Sir H.|
|Markham, Sir Arthur Basil||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Ward, John (Stoke-on-Trent)|
|Marshall, Arthur Harold||Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)||Wardle, G. J.|
|Masterman, C. F. G.||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)||Waring, Walter|
|Meagher, Michael||Rendall, Athelstan||Warner, Sir Thomas Courtenay|
|Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)||Wason, Rt. Hon. E. (Clackmannan)|
|Menzies, Sir Walter||Roberts, George H. (Norwich)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Middlebrook, William||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)||Watt, Henry A.|
|Molteno, Percy Alport||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradford)||Webb, H.|
|Mond, Sir Alfred M.||Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradesten)|
|Montagu, Hon. E. S.||Roche, Augustine (Louth)||White, Sir Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Munro, Robert||Rowlands, James||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Munro-Ferguson, Rt. Hon. R. C.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.|
|Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Russell, Rt. Hon. Thomas W.||Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)|
|Neilson, Francis||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)||Wiles, Thomas|
|Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Nolan, Joseph||Scanlan, Thomas||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Norton, Captain Cecil William||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir C. E.||Williamson, Sir Archibald|
|Nuttall, Harry||Scott, A. MacCallum (Glas., Bridgeton)||Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Seely, Colonel Rt. Hon. J. E. B.||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Sheehy, David||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Sherwell, Arthur James||Winfrey, Richard|
|O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)||Shortt, Edward||Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glas.)|
|O'Sullivan, Timothy||Simon, Sir John Allsebrook||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Palmer, Godfrey Mark||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Parker, James (Halifax)||Smith, H. B. L. (Northampton)|
|Pearce, William (Limehouse)||Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Gulland and Mr. Wedgwood Benn.|
|Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph A. (Rotherham)||Sutherland, John E.|
|Aitken, Sir William Max||Dalrymple, Viscount||Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey)|
|Alden, Percy||Dalziel, Davison (Brixton)||Long, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Amery, L. C. M. S.||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Lonsdale, Sir John Brownlee|
|Archer-Shee, Major Martin||Doughty, Sir George||Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston)|
|Ashley, W. W.||Eyres-Monsell, B. M.||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. A. (Hanover Sq.)|
|Bagot, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Faber, George D. (Clapham)||Lyttelton, Hon. J. C. (Droitwich)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Falle, Bertram Godfray||Mackinder, Halford J.|
|Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.)||Fell, Arthur||M'Mordie, Robert|
|Balcarres, Lord||Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine)|
|Baldwin, Stanrey||Fleming, Valentine||Magnus, Sir Philip|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Fletcher, John Samuel (Hampstead)||Martin, Joseph|
|Baring, Maj. Hon. Guy V. (Winchester)||Forster, Henry William||Mills, Hon. Charles Thomas|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Foster, Philip Staveley||Morrison-Bell, E. F. (Ashburton)|
|Barnes, G. N.||Gardner, Ernest||Mount, William Arthur|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc, E.)||Gastrell, Major W. H.||Neville, Reginald J. N.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Gibbs, G. A.||Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Gilmour, Captain J.||Nield, Herbert|
|Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth)||Glazebrook, Capt. Philip K.||O'Grady, James|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Gordon, Hon. John Edward (Brighton)||Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A.|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Paget, Almeric Hugh|
|Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish-||Guinness, Hon. Walter Edward||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)|
|Beresford, Lord Charles||Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne)||Peel, Hon. W. R. W. (Taunton)|
|Bigland, Alfred||Hambro, Angus Valdemar||Peto, Basil Edward|
|Bird, Alfred||Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington)||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Boles, Lieut.-Col. Dennis Fortescue||Hamilton, Marquess of (Londonderry)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Boscawen, Sir Arthur S. T. Griffith-||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||Quilter, William Eley C.|
|Boyle, W. Lewis (Norfolk, Mid)||Harris, Henry Percy||Rawson, Col. Richard H.|
|Boyton, James||Helmsley, Viscount||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Henderson, Major H. (Berkshire)||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Burdett-Coutts, William||Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.)||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Burn, Colonel C. R.||Hewins, William Albert Samuel||Samuel, Sir Harry (Norwood)|
|Butcher, John George||Hickman, Colonel Thomas E.||Sanders, Robert A.|
|Campbell, Capt. Duncan F. (Ayr, N.)||Hill, Sir Clement L. (Shrewsbury)||Sanderson, Lancelot|
|Cassel, Felix||Hill-Wood, Samuel||Sandys, G. J. (Somerset, Wells)|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Hoare, Samuel John Gurney||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, West>|
|Cator, John||Hope, Harry (Bute)||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Cave, George||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Starkey, John Ralph|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University)||Horne, W. E. (Surrey, Guildford)||Staveley-Hill, Henry|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Herts, Hitchin)||Hunt, Rowland||Steel-Maitland, A. D.|
|Chaloner, Col. R. G. W.||Kerr-Smiley, Peter Kerr||Stewart, Gershom|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Wor'r.)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sykes, Alan John (Ches., Knutsford)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Knight, Captain Eric Ayshford||Sykes, Mark (Hudd, Central)|
|Clynes, John R.||Lane-Fox, G. R.||Talbot, Lord Edmund|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Lansbury, George||Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)|
|Craig, Norman (Kent, Thanet)||Law, Rt. Hon. A. Bonar (Bootle)||Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)|
|Craik, Sir Henry||Lawson, Hon. H. (T. H'mts, Mile End)||Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Down, N)|
|Croft, Henry Page||Lewisham, Viscount||Thorne, William (West Ham)|
|Crooks, William||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Touche, George Alexander||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Tryon, Capt George Clement||Wolmer, Viscount||Yate, Col. C. E.|
|Valentia, Viscount||Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, [...]ipon)||Younger, Sir George|
|Ward, Arnold (Herts, Watford)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Wheler, Granville C. H.||Worthington-Evans, L.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Hayes Fisher and Captain Jessel.|
|White, Major G. D. (Lancs., Southport)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
Question put, and agreed to.
Amendment made: Insert at the end of the Clause the following words, "And
(b) Before approving the issue of any warrants under Sub-section 23 of the Metropolitan Police Act, 1829, by the effect of which the annual sum to be provided for the purpose of the Metropolitan Police in any year will be for the first time increased above the rate of tenpence in the pound, the Secretary of State shall lay before the House of Commons a Minute stating the reasons for such increase; and if within the next twenty days on which the House has sat after any such Minute has been laid before it an Address is presented to His Majesty by the House praying that the said increase be not made, the said increase shall not then be made."—[Mr. McKenna.]