HC Deb 29 June 1914 vol 64 cc129-73

Order for Second Beading read.

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


I beg to move to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words, "upon this day three months."

I rise to ask the House to oppose this scheme, which is only one of many which, in my humble judgment, are becoming far too numerous at the present time, namely, a proposal to permit a certain county borough to incorporate within its boundaries large areas of the county in which it is situated and to bring them under the control of that particular borough—areas, I may add, as I shall show directly, between which and the borough in whose boundaries they are to be included there is little or no community of interest at all so far as I have been able to discover. We had a similar instance of this not very long ago in the case of the borough of Cambridge, which was, happily, defeated, and which otherwise, so far as I have been able to ascertain, judging from the Debate, would have been most injurious to the areas still left to the government of the Cambridge County Council. This is the case of Croydon we have to deal with tonight, and my excuse for intervening on this occasion is that I have been very strongly urged to do so by representatives of the areas which are proposed to be incorporated as part of Croydon borough, and which are also within the constituency which I have the honour to represent in this House. This is a proposal which seems to me, after having done my best to make myself acquainted with it, to be not only of a very complex character, but one most injurious as regards the interests of the county of Surrey, and especially of the areas sought to be acquired by Croydon borough. I have felt it to be my duty, therefore, to accede to that request.

I do not say, nor do I think, that there may not be occasions when it may be right and desirable and even necessary to extend the boundaries of any particular borough, but in this case I see not only no such necessity, but, on the other hand, I do see very strong reasons against it, which I will proceed to explain. The first thing I want to call attention to is the uncompromising hostility of the new areas to incorporation within the boundaries of Croydon borough. They object on the strongest grounds, as I shall be able to show directly. But that is not all, for while the evidence of hostility of these contemplated new areas are quite conclusive against the Bill, especially when we consider the grounds which exist for that hostility, there is no case at all, which I have been able to find, of any great desire for extension on the part of the burgesses of Croydon. That seems to me, having regard to the way in which the scheme has been promoted, to be very remarkable. The chairman of the borough Boundaries Committee admitted in cross-examination at the time of the inquiry that the opinions of the ratepayers of the borough had not been ascertained on the question of the extension of the borough in any way, either at public meetings or anything of that kind, nor had any municipal election been held at which it could have been considered by the burgesses. The hostility of the areas remains exactly the same. They are of opinion—and they have pressed their opinion very strongly upon me—that if this Bill were to be carried into law it would be most injurious to them. It is perfectly true, I believe, that at the last local inquiry not a single witness was called from the ratepayers themselves for the proposals of the corporation, but it was proved, on the other hand, in the case of the areas proposed to be included, that by every recognised method of representation, by resolutions of the districts and of parish councils, by parish meetings, by local parish council elections, by the evidence of residents and of ratepayers, the inhabitants of the districts were absolutely united in refusing to be driven, as they described it, like a flock of sheep against their will into the borough of Croydon, and all this although they have been offered preferential rating in order to induce them to agree to these proposals. On that point let me say this: It is contended against the scheme that neither the corporation nor the Local Government Board have authority to create a privileged class of ratepayers in the same community and sharing the same responsibility.

I leave that contention by itself. I know from my experience, a good many years ago, I am sorry to say, as President of the Local Government Board, that that contention is perfectly correct. It is obvious on this question that the county council, on the other hand, even if they desire to take that course, cannot make any offers in order to counteract it, even if they thought it right to do so, in the shape of reducing the county rate. That is entirely beyond their province, and if methods like these, which they cannot prevent, are permitted by the House of Commons, it would really be nothing else than bribery, in order to induce certain ratepayers to agree to these proposals in their own interests, and it would be bribery of the existing ratepayers at the cost of their successors in the future. To me this is a very serious matter, when these proposals are made for an extension of boroughs, no matter what the object or interest in view may be, no-matter whether it is really very desirous or not, and it can be proved to be so, that the promoters of these schemes should resort to those methods of inducing the support of people who would otherwise be opposed to them. These are considerations which lend great force in my humble opinion to the action of the House of Commons in 1903, which has been brought prominently before my attention. In that year in the case of the Bootle provisional order, the House of Commons decided that they should be guided by this principle, a principle to which I attach the utmost importance myself, that self-governing areas should not be amalgamated without mutual consent except on very special grounds. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] I am glad to hear expressions of assent from the other side of the House, and, if the House had been fuller than it is at the present moment, I think that I should have very general assent to that proposition. And as recently as in the Debate of the Cambridge provisional order, the President of the Local Government Board at that time (Mr. Burns) said that he could not believe that it would really conduce to better local government to compel any area to come as an unwilling partner into the business of a local authority. With that sentiment I agree entirely. I endorse it with all my heart, and I suspect that there are very few persons in this House who would hold a contrary opinion. After all local government is a question of the greatest importance, and if local government is not conducted with a view of representing the wishes, desires and sentiments of those who are governed, it is perfectly obvious that local government can never be so successful in the future as it has been in the past. I come to another point. I said just now that there was no community of interest between the two parties who are interested on this occasion. But against that it is urged that on the question of drainage there is such a community of interest. I have examined the matter as carefully as I can, and I doubt very much if that statement is altogether accurate.

If there is any community of interest it can only be said to exist in virtue of a certain joint scheme of drainage carried out under agreement between the borough and the rural district council. The reason of this is to be found in the rather curious geological, I suppose it may be called, or geographical anomaly, whichever we may please to describe it, in reference to two valleys in the areas which are sought to be included. I should explain that those areas, which it is proposed should be taken in by the borough of Croydon are in two separate valleys. Neither of these valleys possesses a river by which it can drain itself. The waters in those two valleys flow underground, and do not emerge until they form the head waters of the Wandle River, which is situated within the boundaries of the Croydon authorities area. But I do not think that it can be argued that that is any reason why the two valleys should not have the use of their own natural drainage outlet, even though it may be by pipes or by other means underground; for any system of drainage by gravitation must follow precisely the same course, and I am informed on most reliable authority that schemes which would be more advantageous, and ultimately infinitely cheaper to these local areas than any schemes in future likely to be promoted by the borough, in which they might have to join, have already been considered, and I believe are prepared. That is a considerable part of the question of drainage on which I contend that there is no community of interest whatever between these two areas. In any case I venture to urge that the borough had no right to take advantage of this anomaly, or to make agreements which have been in the past consequent upon it, a pretext for compelling these areas to the Croydon district. Let me just say another word in relation to certain cottages which are situated in that part of the parish of Woodmansterne, which is also, if I may be pardoned the expression, to be grabbed by the borough. The information with regard to these cottages is rather interesting. They are close to the Cane Hill Asylum, belonging to the London County Council, and as they were at one time drained by cesspools, necessarily so, for there were no other means of drainage at that time, they were alleged —and possibly with perfect truth—to be a nuisance and a danger to the water supply of the asylum. That I can perfectly understand, but whether it was true or not at that time, all danger upon that score has been entirely removed; and if it was true at any time—and I beg the House to remember this in forming their opinion—the fault in no way lies with the authority of that particular area, or with anybody else, so far as I am able to judge, than the Croydon Corporation.

My answer to the allegation will be this: The Croydon Rural District have been prevented for years, where it was necessary, from extending their drainage system, because of difficulties raised by the Croydon Corporation. But, mark this: Since the inquiry was made by the Local Government Board, the district council have taken it into their own hands, quite regardless of the corporation. They have themselves connected the cottages with the main drainage, and in that way they have removed all danger of nuisance or of contamination to the water supply. I would ask why, if they were so consumed by anxiety for the health of the parish of Woodmansterne, the difficulties with the Croydon Rural District were not long ago removed, or was it being kept open as another reason and another argument to be adduced in future in support of the annexation of those areas to the boundaries of Croydon? The second point leads me to another aspect of the question to which, I think, I must now call the attention of the House for a few minutes. It is an aspect in which, on a different subject, the adoption of this scheme would inflict a positive and most serious injury on the new areas and the particular interests which they represent. The county council proved, in the inquiry which was held on the last occasion, that the loss of these added areas would destroy the whole organisation of higher education in that part of the county, of which Purley and Whiteleafe—both places which I know very well myself, and with which I am, if I may say so, for I have often been there, almost intimately acquainted—are the natural centres for the rest of the county, towards which all means of communication converge. They complain that the Local Government Board—and to this I have no doubt the hon. Gentleman and the right hon. Gentleman opposite will direct their attention and endeavour to give us some reply— before granting the Order, did not consult the Board of Education.

Whether it is the fact that there is any breach of legislation in doing so, I am not prepared to say; but this I am prepared to say, that on a question so important as that of higher education, of which an ordinary inspector or engineer would probably know little, it certainly shows a great lapse of care, in my judgment, even if it did nothing else, that they should have neglected to inquire—if the allegation be true, as I am told it is—or take any counsel whatever with the Board of Education, before this Provisional Order embodying this particular result was put forward, either as to the effect which would result on the county service of higher education or, which is not of less importance, as to the ability of the council in future to make an efficient substitute of its own. This seems to me to be a very serious consideration, and one which ought to weigh well with all the Members of this House before they give their consent to this proposal. May I remind the House that, both for this and other objects, Parliament has imposed on the county council the statutory duty of prescribing, subject always to confirmation by the Local Government Board, the special form of local government most suitable and adequate to the wishes and requirements of the different areas in their districts. The County Council of Surrey contend— and I believe their claim is a good one— that after full inquiry into the wishes of the inhabitants, they acted in conformity with the ideas of democratic local government, which finds favour generally in these days. I am speaking of democratic local government, and I see nothing in that to excite the laughter of the hon. Gentleman opposite. I maintain an unselfish interest in the future prosperity of local government, whether it be democratic or otherwise. The Surrey County Council contend that they have done this by making an Order constituting the parishes affected an urban district, which in their judgment is quite competent to manage their own affaire in every particular way. The Local Government Board say "No." They adopt the exactly opposite course, and they refuse confirmation of the Order creating the urban district, and their decision instead is to place those people under the domination of what they regard altogether as an alien community with whom they have no common interest and where they must always be in a hopeless minority, with no voice whatever in the management of their own affairs.


They ought to set up a provisional Government.


That opinion I hold on this particular question, and I see nothing in it myself of which I should be ashamed, much less anything in it to arouse the laughter of the hon. Gentleman opposite to whom I referred just now. My main objection to the proposal in this Bill, and any others like it, unless they have an overwhelming majority and overwhelming case, is this. If the principle embodied in this Order is to become the regular practice in this country, you will have every borough which has ambitious schemes, or which, perhaps, has "outrun the constable," wanting to take the property of its neighbours in order to recover its position, and the rich parts of a rural district, as in this case adjoining a borough like Croydon; taken whenever it suits that particular borough, and you will have the poor parts left to the district, or added to some other district which, it may be, does not want them, and does not wish to have them. If that is to be done, it opens up the whole question of the organisation of local government, not alone as to the encroachment of the particular borough or the rural areas around it, but as to the difficulties which at once arise when great new urban areas are set up within the counties. The whole question of rating and readjustment of burdens and everything connected with the subject is raised at once. If all that is to be done and to be raised, and I am not saying for a moment it may not come, and indeed I think myself in all probability, though I do not think I shall be here to see it, it probably will come, and at no very great distance of time, it ought not to be done, and all those vast questions ought not to be set on foot with all the difficulties with which they are accompanied by means of a Provisional Order in a particular instance to which there is violent and determined opposition on the part of those on whom the Order is to be inflicted. I have to ask the House this question to-night, "have they such an overwhelming case for this Provisional Order?" venture to say they have not. Whether I am right or whether I am wrong, that at least is my humble but convinced opinion after giving to this Order the best consideration in my power, and I do most sincerely hope that the House will show by sharing that opinion to-night that they are in agreement with me.


In rising to follow my right hon. Friend (Mr. Chaplin), and to oppose him by asking the House to give a Second Beading to this Bill, I am conscious of a reflection, and also of a fear. My reflection is that since the days of David and Goliath there never was a more unequal contest, at any rate so far as Parliamentary stature is concerned, as the contest which I suppose will be waged between those who support my right hon. Friend and those who support myself.

My fear is that the discussion in this House, knowing as one does what has been going on outside, will resolve itself into the kind of traditional conflict that is constantly being waged between boroughs and counties, rather than upon the field of acquired knowledge into the merits of the particular case. My right hon. Friend asked us to-night to reject the Second Reading of this Provisional Order Bill. He did not tell us that it would be the first time, supposing his view is taken, that such action was taken by the House since 1887. In the last twenty-five years, 120 of these Provisional Order Bills have been passed by the House, and for twenty-four of them my right hon. Friend, when at the Local Government Board, was himself responsible. In no single case has this House rejected such a Bill on Second Beading. In every case the Second Beading was sanctioned, and the merits of the details, complicated enough as these are, as my right hon. Friend stated in his speech, were discussed in the only tribunal which can properly discuss them, namely, a Committee of the House upstairs. I want to be perfectly fair. On the Second Beading of some of these Bills—a very few of them— there has been opposition, as there was opposition two or three years ago to the Birmingham Bill. But the House has recognised, surely, that that opposition was immediately withdrawn, when the promoters of the Bills offered to the opposing county council's compensation for any increased burdens that might be cast upon them by the passing of those Bills. Advantage having been taken of experience, such provision is found within the pages of the Bill now under discussion. Compensation is offered to the County Council of Surrey if it should find itself mulcted in any fresh burden. When my right hon. Friend referred in something like triumphant tones to the way in which the Cambridge Provisional Order was treated the other day, he unwittingly argued against his own case, because that Provisional Order was upset on Third Beading. It had had its turn upstairs.


I am perfectly well aware of that.


I only say that the right hon. Gentleman did not mention it. I shall be perfectly satisfied if the same fair play is given to this Provisional Order as was given to the Cambridge Provisional Order. Undoubtedly the House of Commons must have the last word in the judgment of this matter, but I do not think it ought to arrogate to itself the right to decide before it knows. I want the House to realise that this is not an ordinary local Bill, promoted by a local body altogether on its own responsibility. It has a history rather different from that, and a history of which my right hon. Friend complains. Before the Bill was framed, the question was submitted, first of all, to an inquiry by an expert competent body at the Local Government Board. Indeed, two inquiries on this very subject were held by that Government Department, and on the findings of those two inquiries this Bill was framed. Yet the House is asked by my right hon. Friend to override all that expert knowledge so acquired, and to reject the Second Reading of this Bill without experience and without knowledge. I say, with great respect to my hon. Friend and to those whose cause he is espousing, that that is a course of conduct which I think it unjustifiable and unjust. Before the House comes to a decision, let it realise one or two important preliminary considerations First of all, in 1912 the Croydon Corporation submitted to the Local Government Board a rather smaller scheme for the extension of its boundaries than that which finds expression in the Bill now under discussion. The Local Government Board made its inquiry, and it replied that on that representation it would not make an Order, and in a letter to the Croydon Corporation these words were added:— It appears to them (the Local Government Board) that if the question of the extension of the boundaries is to be further considere, an amended representation, which should primâ, facie extend to such parts of the rural district as have a natural drainage to the boundary, should be submitted. 9.0 P.M.

Upon that letter and those findings an amended representation was made to the Local Government Board—an amended representation which, indeed, was suggested by the Board itself. The area now proposed to be added to the borough consists of Beddington, Coulsdon, Sander-stead, and Woodmansterne. It is quite true that all those parishes in area are already within the rural district of Croydon, but the population in all its coming and going, in all its life, is really part of the population of the borough of Croydon. The boundary is purely artificial. When you cross it you have no notion or indication that you are going out of town life into country life. Such an idea is perfectly absurd. The district is part and parcel of Croydon, except in name and in local government. These places are now administered by parish councils and a rural district council. They are urban in their habits, and the present form of government is, it is submitted, not the right form of government for these really urban communities. They want a form of urban government, possessing all the powers and duties with regard to public health and kindred matters which were entrusted by Parliament long ago to the governing bodies of local areas. This is admitted by what my right hon. Friend said in the course of his very interesting speech. It is admitted by the Surrey County Council, who have quite recently, so far as I know, made an Order under the Local Government Act converting into an urban district council substantially the same area as that dealt with in this Bill, and which we propose to add to Croydon. This, I submit, absolutely justified our contention that the district requires an urban authority rather than a parish council to deal with its affairs. If our Bill should fail to-night, what will happen? This alternative will be taken up: in one way or the other these four parishes will pass from their present position under a rural district council, and the area, instead of being transferred to the Corporation of Croydon as we suggest, will have to bear the whole expense of setting up the machinery of a new local authority, with new officers and a new establishment. All that expense will be put upon the area, and, therefore, upon the ratepayers of that area. Surely this House will not sanction that unnecessary expense and that unnecessary multiplication of local authorities without allowing full inquiries into the whole matter upstairs! Of course there is opposition, a very natural opposition, most eloquently expressed just now by my right hon. Friend. But when the inhabitants of these parishes argue that our scheme involves an increase in the rates, I think they must, or should, realise that their growing requirements and their growing necessities mean an increase of rates payable to somebody, whether payable to the corporation or whether payable to a new urban district council. That being so, I, who have lived in the district—as I know several Members of this House do—would certainly advise them to avoid this extra expense of having to set up a new authority, new machinery, and a new establishment, when there is one, not quite so impecunious as the right hon. Gentleman would have the House believe, but one which has done good work in the past, and financially is perfectly solvent at the present time.

Further, it is to be understood that these new districts are not expected to pay the present Croydon rates. Upon the Local Government Board's point, no doubt the President or somebody else will reply to my hon. Friend. But it is worthy of noticing that those who come under, as I believe they will come under, the Croydon Corporation area, are not asked, therefore, to pay the full Croydon rates. They are going, indeed, to be asked to pay substantially less than the full Croydon rates, and they will get all the Croydon benefits for the next fifteen years. Croydon Rural District Council claim that they are adversely affected by this Bill. Perhaps they do not sufficiently realise that in any circumstances this disputed area—as I may, perhaps, call it—will be removed very soon altogether from their jurisdiction. It will be removed either to the Corporation, or it would be removed by the Surrey County Council to constitute a new urban district council. So it removes altogether out of the purview of the Croydon Rural District Council. I do not think either that they appreciate that if any direct charge in cash is made upon them by the passing of this Bill they also can claim compensation under the Local Government Adjustment Act, I think it is called, of 1913.

Finally, the Surrey County Council who, of course, are largely responsible for the opposition to this measure, object even to the Second Reading. They have appeared twice unsuccessfully before the Local Government Inquiry. They have petitioned against the Bill. I do think their better course now would be to appear once more upstairs before the Select Committee where they can examine, and cross-examine, and where they can be examined and cross-examined. There they can try to break the Bill in detail. That would be a perfectly fair thing to do. I think that is much fairer than to ask the House to reject downstairs, the principle of the Bill, the principle being the borough extension principle, sanctioned every single time so far as Second Reading is concerned, ever since these Provisional Orders were submitted to this House. The opposition quite naturally is based among other things upon the ground of finance. I submit that that has little or nothing to do with the question of principle: still less has it anything to do, or is it any objection to discussing the Bill in Select Committee upstairs, inasmuch again as the Bill provides for adjustments between the corporation and the county council to be carried out—it is all written large in the Bill!—on the lines of the Duke of Devonshire's Adjustment Committee which reported I think, in 1911, and whose recommendations are embodied in last year's Act.

These are the petitions against the Bill. I have endeavoured to indicate, and to indicate the answers to some of the objections as succinctly as one can. I have nothing much to do with the vote of censure which my hon. Friend urges against the Local Government Board. That Board can speak for themselves; but I do submit, with great respect, that this House is not at this moment sufficiently equipped with expert knowledge to adjudicate, after a Debate of an hour, or an hour and a half, upon a matter which is complicated, and which is of the highest importance, whichever way the decision goes, to the localities concerned. It is for this very reason—to deal with these highly complicated and intricate matters—that this House in its wisdom has set up this Select Committee upstairs. I suggest that this measure, which is not less complicated than many of its predecessors, should be sent to such Committee. To enable that to be done I would suggest, in opposition to my right hon. Friend, that a Second Reading should be given to this Bill; then the details of a measure so complicated can be thrashed out in Committee upstairs. The Report of that Committee being sent down to this House, this House is finally equipped with the knowledge required; then let the Croydon Corporation, or the Surrey Council, submit to the final judgment of the House of Commons.


As a resident in the district, and one thoroughly familiar with the issues raised, I should like to say a word on this question. Perhaps I may be permitted to congratulate the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wimbledon on the excellent way in which he stated our case to-night. I differ from him in politics, but I have a great admiration for his statesmanlike capacity. I would remind the House what the issues are. There is the borough of Croydon, represented by the hon. Member who has just sat down. Its acreage is 9,000, it has a population of 180,000, and a rateable value of £1,150,000. One would have thought that the Croydon people had sufficient on their shoulders without troubling to get more. It would be very much better for the Croydon people if they administered their affairs, such as they have, much better than they do at the present time. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] I know something about it. Around Croydon there are a number of districts. They were rural parishes, and I think very recently scattered communities. These have developed. There is the case of Pur-ley. It has developed and the population is now about 26,000. The hon. Member who last spoke suggested that the population of Purley is an overflow of Croydon. I absolutely repudiate that idea. The hon. Member does not know Purley, or the people of Purley, as I do, or he would never have made such a remark.


The hon. Member did not make such a remark.


I understood the hon. Member to speak of the overflow of Croydon. I understood him to say that the trams took the overflow of Croydon into Purley.


I did not mention Purley in that sense.


"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," and the hon. Member spoke of the trams running from Croydon to Purley.


Very well.


I know a large number of the people there, and they have been drawn there not from Croydon, but by the hills of Surrey. The trams that come from Purley stop just outside. They were established for the purpose of trying to get the Purley people to do their shopping in Croydon. There was a selfish motive even in the establishment of the tram system, and if the hon. Member will consult the trades-people in his own district he will find they failed in that respect, because the people of Purley never will use their trams, but always use the railway and come into town to do their shopping. These districts around Croydon have developed to such an extent that the Purley district recently asked for an urban district council. We are now strong enough for that. Surely 26,000 people is a proportion high enough to secure local government. We are asking for the right of local government in this district. An inquiry was held by the Surrey County Council on 9th April, 1913, and as a result of that inquiry—and the hon. Member said nothing about that inquiry— an Order was made for the formation of such a council. No opposition was forth-coming from any of the affected areas, and the inhabitants of the affected areas united in approving of the project.

What happened after? Croydon, with its covetous eyes, contemplated the rateable value of Purley and other districts. As a result of the extravagance and of the inefficient administration of Croydon they were tempted to take these districts in order that they might pull out the chesnuts out of their fire. I should like to quote one or two figures. The capital loan debt of Croydon is £2,000,000. The security, as represented by rateable value, is £1,250,000, so that their security is less than their liability. The capital loan debt of the county of Surrey is £1,250,000, while the security is nearly £6,000,000, so that if I may put it in another way the individual indebtedness per head in Surrey county is £2, while that of Croydon is over £11. I do not hesitate to say that these figures and facts have something to do with the application that Croydon is making to these districts. It is a case of Naboth's vineyard over again. They have exhausted their resources, and they wish to take in the people of these districts to bear their financial burden. After we had our inquiry by the Surrey County Council in April, 1913, the Croydon district appealed to the Local Government Board, and an inquiry was held in June, 1913, two months after the inquiry by the Surrey County Council. At that inquiry not a particle of evidence from the affected district was produced in favour of annexation. I challenge the hon. Member to say there was a single particle of evidence from these districts in favour of amalgamation. On the contrary, all the witnesses from these affected areas testified to the universal feeling of hesitation. The right hon. Gentleman who moved the rejection of this Bill referred to the fact that the chairman of the county boroughs boundaries committee admitted in his evidence that the borough council of Croydon never considered the proposed extension at all, and that the details were left to the borough officials, so that really to-night we are discussing proposals that owe their origin to the ingenuity and cupidity of the borough officials of Croydon.

What are the proposals? The hon. Member referred to the fact that there were four parishes affected, but he took good care not to tell the House how these four parishes are affected. These four parishes are Beddington, Coulsdon, Sanderstead, and Woodmansterne. I should like to tell the House what these proposals are. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wimbledon referred to them as grabbing proposals, and I think his phrase is well merited. Beddington has a total acreage of 3,000. Croydon means to grab 740 acres of that. The population is 10,000. They propose to take 3,600. The rateable value is £93,000. This Order proposes to take away £40,000. In other words, this Provisional Order proposes to take from Beddington less than one-fourth of the area, one-third of the population, and one-half of the rateable value. It is the rateable value and not the population they are so much concerned about. Then there is the parish of Coulsdon. The acreage is 4,000. They propose to take 3,000. The population is 12,000. They propose to take 10,500. The rateable value is £109,000—and I ask the House to mark these rateable value figures—they propose to take away no less than £107,000. They take three-quarters of the area, all the population except 1,500, and all the rateable value except £2,000. They take all the money, and leave a paltry £2,000 for administration to the county for police, education, and so on. The third parish is that of Sanderstead, which has an acreage of 3,000. They propose to take away 1,500 acres. The population is 3,000. They take away 2,000. The rateable value—and the House will notice this again—is £37,000. They propose taking away £35,000, again leaving £2,000. They take away half the area, nearly the whole of the population, and the whole of the rateable value except £2,000. Then we come to Woodmansterne. The acreage is 1,600. They propose taking away 200. The population is 12,000. They propose taking away 7,000. The rateable value is £7,000, and here they take £2,300, so that they take one-eighth of the area, more than half of the population, and nearly one-third of the rateable value. I think the House has only to realise what these figures are to justify the right hon. Gentleman in his reference to these proposals as grabbing proposals.

One of the arguments used for annexation is—and I think the hon. Gentleman hinted at it—that the inhabitants of the added areas enjoyed certain municipal facilities for which they ought to pay. If they would come and tell us we ought to pay for these things—and they are very doubtful blessings; we never thanked them for their trams—it would be one thing, but why offer this bribe on the one hand, by declaring we ought to pay more, and on the other hand, that if we do come in we need not pay at all. I want to know on what grounds can this Order be justified. I am very much disappointed with the attitude of the Local Government Board. The right hon. Gentleman opposite has been President of that Board himself, and knows the ways of the officials. I have no hesitation in saying here to-night that if the President of the Board of Trade had left the Local Government Board two years ago this Provisional Order would not have been brought in. Everybody knows that the President of the Board of Trade is the most modest man in this House; in fact, the excess of modesty in him has become a vice. He is possessed with a kind of megalomania, and his idea is that the whole of the suburbs of London should be brought into London, and that we should all be linked up. I do not object if we are going to have one big borough of London, and you bring in Purley. I would much prefer being under the London County Council than under the tradesmen of Croydon. London may know something about us, but Croydon knows absolutely nothing. The right hon. Gentleman opposite made a quotation in which he reminded hon. Members that this House decided in 1903, in the case of a Provisional Order, that they should be guided by the principle that self-governing areas should not be amalgamated without mutual consent, except upon special grounds. As recently as the Debate on the Cambridge, Luton and Wakefield Provisional Order, the late President of the Local Government Board stated that he could not believe it would conduce to good local government to compel an area to come in as an unwilling partner in the business of a local authority. That was a sound doctrine, and I should like to know from the Secretary to the Local Government Board whether or not he endorses that healthy doctrine, or whether he thinks we ought to be forced into this administration against our will. I have better hopes of the present President of the Local Government Board, because some years ago he wrote a very able book on the principles of Liberalism.


He has changed since then.


Yes, he has. I notice the right hon. Gentleman often converses with the hon. Baronet in the Lobby, and that may account for it. The President of the Local Government Board, in that able book of his, states that the fundamental principle of Liberalism is that legislation should always be in conformity with the sentiment of the community.


Hear, hear.


I am glad the hon. Bayonet endorses that doctrine. I think we are moving on when the hon. Baronet representing the City of London says that. What we ask the President of the Local Government Board is, that he should give us a dose of his own medicine in Purley. We ask that the legislation should be in conformity with the sentiment of our community, and that we should not be forced into Croydon against our will. It has been said that if this Bill is. defeated it will mean more expense for us. I am glad the hon. Member opposite seems so concerned about our expenditure, but if this Order is defeated we shall have an urban district council of twenty-five members, consisting of people who reside in the district who are intimate with the needs of the district, and who will be called upon to account for their actions at the close of their period of office. Under this Bill we shall have eight members in a corporation of sixty-eight. I think it is better for us to have our twenty-five members responsible to us than to have a paltry eight amongst sixty-eight men in the hon. Member's constituency. Although the Secretary to the Local Government Board has never written a book on Liberalism, I know that he has made some weighty speeches on Liberalism. I remember when I was one of his henchmen in the Principality of Wales he was always proclaiming the virtues of self-government. He believes that Wales should have Home Rule, and he believes that the Welsh people are more capable of governing themselves than the English.

In his own constituency there is a watering-place called Rhyl, and not far away there is Prestatyn, which has sprung up near Rhyl, just as Purley is near Croydon, and Prestatyn has sprung up practically from the same causes as Purley, because it is a healthy district. Now if. Rhyl wanted to grab Prestatyn, the hon. Member would say that it is a pity that Prestatyn people should not govern themselves. I ask him to give us the same privilege, because we would rather do it ourselves, even if we do it imperfectly, than it would be done by the government of the constituents of the hon. Member. I am sorry for the attitude which the Local Government Board has taken up in this matter, and I think the rebuke made by the right hon. Gentleman opposite has not been undeserved. When there are conflicting interests, the Local Government Board ought to keep the ring and show impartiality in this case. One of our leading Parliamentary agents says that the policy of the Local Government Board has been irregular and contrary to public policy, and may be compared to a judge in the High Court giving judgment for the plaintiff on a statement of claim which the judge himself has settled, and he says that it is an example of autocratic methods on the part of a Government Department which in the public interests ought not to be allowed. I ask the House to vote against this as a protest against the autocratic action of the officials. The right hon. Gentleman who moved the rejection of this Bill very rightly based his arguments on the ground that there is no community of interests between Croydon and Purley. Does anyone doubt that? If the House would like to know how deep and fundamental is the difference between the two communities, they have only got to look at the two representatives of those communities in this House. I ask the House in all seriousness, can anyone here conceive of a more glaring contrast than exists between those two hon. Members. The contrast between them exists not only in appearance, but even in demeanour and deportment. When I see the right hon. Gentleman walk into this House I am proud that he is my Member, but when I see the hon. Member for Croydon bustling in I am equally proud that he is not my Member. We in Purley are represented by a right hon. Gentleman who has had Cabinet experience, and although hon. Members may laugh, the contrast between the two districts is as great as the contrast between the two hon. Members. We are perfectly content to remain outside Croydon, and we ask the House to reject this Provisional Order, and thus save us from being herded with the malcontents of Croydon.


I do not profess to be an old Parliamentary hand like the hon. Gentleman who moved the rejection of this Bill, neither do I profess to have the fluency of the hon. Member who has just sat down. As a matter of fact I am a man of few words, but perhaps the House will listen to me while I say that I think I know as much, and probably more, about Croydon than any hon. Member of this House. I have lived in Croydon something like five-and-thirty years, and I have seen it grow from a township of about 75,000 to a county borough of about 180,000. The borough, as a matter of fact, increases at the rate of about 35,000 every ten years. It is increasing at the present time at even a greater rate. It is perfectly absurd for the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down to say that the overflow has never sought an outlet in the neighbourhood of Purley or any of the parishes that are sought to be brought within the purview of this Bill. A very large number of the population of all these four parishes has come from Croydon. Young people who have got married and left their homes—I am speaking from some personal knowledge, because some of my own family have done so—have gone from Croydon into two of the parishes that are named. In addition to this, Croydon has become of late years to a very large extent more the home of a very large industrial population, a considerable number of the better-to-do class, if one may so describe them without any invidious distinction, having gone outside the borough, not very far, but just sufficiently far enough to be away from the slightly higher rates that exist in Croydon. I wonder how the industrial population of Croydon, or of any other town, look upon those who leave the borough for the purpose of escaping the rates, the benefits of which they have not only derived while they lived in the town, but which they still derive in the neighbourhood to which they have gone!

The hon. Gentleman who last spoke seemed rather to make the statement that Croydon was somewhat of a spendthrift municipality. The rates in Croydon at the present time, as a matter of fact, are not so high as they were a few years ago. A year or two ago they were 7s. 8d. in the £, and at the present time, as the result of good administration, not of that bad administration which he seems to think exists, they are 7s. 4d. in the £—a not immaterial reduction in these days when rates tend not to go down but to increase. I would also point out that Croydon is practically the healthiest town in the whole Kingdom. Taking thirty-three large towns which have been gathered together for the purpose of statistics, Croydon for many years has held and at the present moment still holds the premier place from the point of view of the health of its inhabitants, and I venture to suggest that is a very important matter indeed. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Wimbledon Division (Mr. Chaplin) seemed to suggest that there is no community of interest other than that of the sewers. These outlying districts, practically the whole of the proposed area to be taken in, have their sewage disposed of by the Croydon Corporation. In some few exceptions in the proposed added areas they have a system of cesspools to which the people in Croydon take very strong exception, and I think rightly so, because of the possible danger to the water supply. Some of the district which it is proposed to take in lies on chalk, and from that chalk the supply of water for Croydon is derived. Consequently we naturally fear that our water supply may be to some extent contaminated. That, I venture to suggest, is a very important matter indeed in regard to this question.

A number of other points were referred to by the right hon. Gentleman. He stated that the people of Croydon did not seem to have any great enthusiasm for this proposal. The Corporation of Croydon consists practically of representatives of all the political parties, and when this proposal came up for discussion there was not a single dissentient voice. It was practically agreed to unanimously. Consequently, the representatives of the people having expressed their views with regard to this question in that unanimous way, there is absolutely no need to consult the people otherwise than through their direct representatives. The statement that the tramways are not availed of by the residents of Purley is one that will not bear looking into for a single moment. The people of Purley, many of whom I know, and the whole district which I know from beginning to end, constantly use the tramways as a means of communication from the end of Purley into Croydon. The hon. Member spoke of the injury which this proposal would do to the districts proposed to be taken in, but he did not give any instance in which the district would be injured unless it was in regard to the question of education. Croydon has far greater educational facilities than the districts which are proposed to be taken in, or than they can possibly have for many long years to come even under the most advantageous circumstances. We have in Croydon an old foundation grammar school, of which I have the honour to be a governor, and in connection with which we have a school for those who are not in a position to pay the fees exacted in the grammar school. We have a magnificent system of elementary and secondary education, and the way of reaching these is by the tramways which come from Purley right into the centre of the town. Looking at this Bill from the point of view of the residents of the areas proposed to be taken in, knowing the whole of the circumstances of the case, knowing how these places have grown absolutely and directly as the result of the extension and growth of Croydon, without which I am perfectly certain they would never have existed at all in the way that they do at the present moment—they owe their existence and any prosperity they have entirely to the expenditure of money on the development of Croydon as an up-to-date municipality, I ask hon. Members of this House to support the Bill.


I think some of the speeches we have listened to, however plausible in tone, have been somewhat deficient in argument. The one argument which carried more weight than others was that adduced by the last speaker (Mr. Morrison), when he said it was only right when people moved out of the centre of the town in which they had made their money, in order to reside in a rural district adjoining, they should contribute to the rates of the place where they had made their money. It seems to me if the House agrees to this proposal, the governing body of the greater Croydon, if that is to be its name, will not be a happy family, for one gathers from what the hon. Member for Mid-Glamorgan said just now, that there is bitter hostility in Purley to this proposal. There was one point made by the hon. Member who last spoke, with which I cannot agree, and that is in regard to education. He suggested that the educational facilities were better in Croydon than in the newly constituted area. But the Surrey County Council has taken a foremost position in producing good elementary and secondary education throughout the county and in organising it they have naturally taken into consideration the growing interests of Purley and districts. They have made their arrangements counting on the financial support of these districts, the greater part of whose rateable value is proposed to be taken by Croydon; and I do not think it is fair to the council of Surrey that its scheme of education should be destroyed by granting this Provisional Order.

There was another point in the speech of the hon. Member for Croydon which, I think, wants controverting. He said that the feeling of the people of Purley and districts was for Croydon, and that they looked upon themselves as part and parcel of Croydon, but I do not think he will suggest that there is a unanimous desire on the part of these parishes to be joined up with the borough of Croydon. The hon. Member also put forward another argument which, with all respect to him, I must say I consider a most fallacious argument. He said it is only fair there should be a Second Reading given to this Provisional Order, so that the rights and wrongs of the matter may be gone into upstairs. But he did not say a word about the cost, and I would suggest that if, on the face of it, the scheme is not acceptable to the district, it is not right to put the district, the Surrey County Council, or even the Croydon Corporation, to the expense of arguing the matter upstairs. On these grounds, I sincerely hope that this Provisional Order will be rejected.

Captain WILSON

We have listened to four hon. Members addressing this House, each one of whom has been interested in a particular degree in this Provisional Order. The right hon. Gentleman who moved this rejection has no desire to lose a portion of his constituency. The hon. Member for Croydon was anxious to support the Bill on the part of the borough, while the hon. Member for Mid-Glamorgan was anxious about the district in which he lives. I want to say a few words in support of the Second Reading of the Bill. I do not claim to have any personal knowledge of the district affected by it, but I do not think it is right that this House should, as apparently it intends to do, divide itself into two parties, one composed of county Members and the other of borough Members, the latter body voting for the Bill and the county Members voting against it.


I am a borough Member, and I shall vote against it.

Captain WILSON

Every Member of the House has no doubt received a large amount of correspondence in connection with this Bill, and why should hon. Members who have no knowledge of the district, or even of Croydon itself, attempt to decide this question under these circumstances? I maintain that a Bill of this description should be given a Second Reading, and that the details should be discussed in the Committee Room. The hon. Member for Mid-Glamorgan said some fairly hard things with regard to the municipal government of the town of Croydon. It has also been suggested that the Bill was put forward mainly in consequence of cupidity on the part of Croydon. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wimbledon pointed out that the borough authorities were offering bribes in order to bring in these various districts. But what would my right hon. Friend have said if there had not been any differentiation proposed in the rating. Cannot one imagine his indignation if he had pointed out that the rates of Croydon were 7s. 4d., while those of Sanderstead were only 5s. 6d., and the Bill proposed to rob Sanderstead of 1s. 10d. I think very generous provision has been made in this matter for dealing with the outlying districts during the next fifteen years.

My right hon. Friend said it was a very complicated Bill, and he made special allusion to the drainage question. He referred to a new scheme being put forward by the portion of the county of Surrey, outside the county borough, which it is proposed to incorporate in Croydon. It should be borne in mind by the House, however, that it was only after this Provisional Order was given notice of that these proposals were brought forward by the portions proposed to be incorporated, and it is recognised that some new scheme must be involved in order that the drainage of this particular district may be improved. It is true that we ought to legislate for the benefit and safeguard the interests of the minority. But it is also our duty to legislate for the benefit of many of the poorer districts, and to give them the advantages which are enjoyed by richer districts. Generally speaking incorporation has been to the advantage of the community, and I can instance many cases in which the outlying portions of an urban community have been incorporated to their great advantage. If this Bill is allowed a Second Reading it will be considered on its merits by a Committee upstairs, and I am sure the House ought, in the interests of the promoters, to give it the Second Reading asked for it.


I hope I may be allowed to say a few words in this Debate. Let me preface them with the observation that if I am prejudiced at all I suppose I am prejudiced both ways. On the one hand, I was for many years a member of the Surrey County Council, and I know every inch of the county. On the other hand, I represent two boroughs, one of the oldest, and the other one of the youngest boroughs in the country, both of which have in their time applied for extensions, so that I am pulled both ways, and am, therefore in a better frame of mind to come to an impartial decision on the Bill. I agree with my hon. and gallant Friend (Captain Wilson) that nobody ought to oppose the Second Reading of a Bill of this kind except on broad grounds. It is only on broad grounds that I wish to proceed to-night. There are very special reasons why the House ought on priniciple to consider twice and three times before passing the Second Reading of this Bill. There is something very special about the manner in which this Provisional Order was made, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman who is going to speak on behalf of the Department will deal with this point, for it is a strong argument against this Provisional Order. What happened was this: Croydon applied for a certain extension of its boundaries. The Local Government Board held an inquiry by inspector and refused the extension, but the Board took it upon itself to say in effect to the borough of Croydon, "We think you had better go for a different extension altogether and include certain other parishes," which were not represented at the first inquiry. Croydon very naturally and wisely took the hint, and applied for the Order in this form. Under those conditions it was impossible, I am afraid, for the Board and its inspector to take a wholly judicial view of the application. They had suggested it, and they had made up their minds before hearing those parishes, which were now for the first time included in the application—the parishes of Beddington, Woodmansterne, and the greater part of the parish of Coulsdon. That is a new element in this case, and it is not one of which the House ought to approve. I do not blame the Board, but they themselves must feel that they made an error in making any suggestion of that kind.

10.0 P.M.

My second point is, that this is not a difference between a borough and a county at all. The point is whether one county, the county borough of Croydon, shall be permitted to take a part of another county, the county of Surrey. This is not a case of the alteration of a boundary where the added area remains in the county of which it forms part. If this Order goes through, one county will be enriching itself at the expense of a neighbouring county. I hold, and I think the House has already shown its feeling in the matter, that we ought to discourage from the beginning applications of this kind. If they are allowed you will have many applications in which one county seeks to take a part of another. That kind of application is injurious to the system of local government which this House has set up. Thirdly, Parliament has delegated to the county councils very wide powers of dealing with the question of boundary. In this case the county council has recognised its duties, has held an inquiry, and has made a Provisional Order, subject to confirmation, to form the whole of these parishes into an urban district. The county council says that is the course they think the right one in the interests of the district. Then comes the county of Croydon and says, "We disagree with what the county of Surrey has said as to part of its own area, and we ask the Local Government Board and Parliament to upset the arrangements made by the county of Surrey, and to give this area to us, a neighbouring county." That would be destroying, to a certain extent, the powers Parliament has given to the county council. If the House takes that course it may do great harm to local government, for if the Order is made it will seriously interfere with their arrangements for education and so forth.

My next point is that this Order is made against the wishes of the whole of the inhabitants of this area. You are going to split up these parishes, divide every one of them into two parts, and to add to Croydon the wealthier part, and to leave the poorer part outside, thereby increasing the burden on the poorer part. You are doing that against the wish, so far as we know, the unanimous wish, but at all events the general wish of the whole population of the area proposed to be included. That, again, is a very serious matter. My hon. Friend was quite right in referring to what was said by the late President of the Local Government Board on a recent occasion, that in local government matters you ought not to fly in the face of those who live in the districts concerned. That is exactly what you are asked to do. A matter of real principle is involved and one to which this House ought to have regard on Second Reading.

What are the points made in favour of the Order? One is that these districts are an outgrowth of Croydon. I am reluctant to put my authority against that of the hon. Member for Croydon (Mr. Malcolm), but in my belief he is mistaken in saying that. These places are really an outgrowth, not of Croydon, but of London. Most of the people living in these places have businesses in London. They go to live in this most delightful county in the Kingdom not in order that they may travel into Croydon every day, but in order that they may travel into London. Croydon is not justified in claiming that these places are an outgrowth or a suburb, or an overflow of the great borough of Croydon. That reason breaks down. The second point made against us—I am rather sorry it is made—is that the rural districts have made an agreement with the borough of Croydon for a joint treatment of the drainage; that is put forward as a reason for including them in the borough of Croydon. If that argument is admitted, it will very seriously militate against these agreements being made in the future, because the moment a district near a borough unites with the borough in a drainage system, it will run the risk of being added to the borough, and it will be very difficult in future to induce districts to make those agreements, which ought to be encouraged. I have many times voted for the Second Reading of a Private Bill, of the justice of which I was not convinced, because I thought the objections were objections on detail and might be considered and dealt with upstairs, but in this case I mean to vote against the Second Reading, because the objections are objections on principle, to which the House may fairly have regard at this stage.


I wish to add my testimony to the very strong feeling which is felt, I believe, throughout the county of Surrey against this Bill. I have resided for twenty years in Surrey, and for many years I was a colleague of the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Cave) as a member of the county council. Both he and I made our mark there, perhaps more successfully than we shall ever make our mark here. However, he and I are agreed, however we may have differed on other matters, upon this Bill being an extremely bad one. As a matter of principle we first of all object most strongly to the way in which it has been handled by the Local Government Board. I have a very great admiration for my right hon. Friend, and I really cannot understand how he ever allowed his Department to give the suggestion to the borough of Croydon that it should apply for a Provisional Order in this form. Cannot he see that by taking such a course, I believe a quite unique and new course, he has ceased to have and to hold that reputation for fairness and equality which we all desire the high officials of the Local Government Board to have? If they suggest that course to the great and rich urban powers, the smaller powers—the district councils and the parish councils, will feel that they can no longer trust the Local Government Board as they ought to do. For these reasons—I could give others—and especially for the reason that I think the Local Government Board have made a mistake in this matter, I shall vote against this Bill. I shall, however, not sit down without making one suggestion, which I hope will be taken in the spirit of amity and friendship with which it is offered. I would suggest that the supporters of this Bill should bring in, not an amending Bill, but an amending Clause and that they should give each parish the option of a Referendum to vote itself out for six years. If the Parliamentary Secretary to the Local Government Board will offer to introduce an amending Clause in that sense, I am not quite sure that I will not go into the Lobby with him.


Those who support this Bill will be grateful to my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Cave) for the very clear way in which he has put his case. He has told the House what I believe to be the correct view, that the only ground upon which you can refuse to give this Bill a Second Reading is that you are opposed to the general principle on which it is founded. I will ask the House to consider for a moment what my hon. Friend has said. He has told the House that he himself was opposed to the general principle—and regarded it as a great danger—and the general desire on the part of county boroughs to extend their boundaries. Those hon. Members who refuse to give this Bill a Second Reading, who refuse to allow the details of the Bill to be thrashed out, and the rival claims of the rural district council, the council of Croydon, and the Surrey County Council to be considered by a Committee, can do so only on the grounds stated by my hon. and learned Friend, that they are opposed to the general principles of county boroughs extending their boundaries. There are many Members on both sides of the House who will pause before they take such a very strong attitude on a subject of this sort, especially when they remember, what my hon. and learned Friend fully realises, the very large number of county boroughs throughout England, which in the very near future will be wishing to follow the example set by Croydon.

There is absolutely no analogy at all between the case which we are considering this evening, and the better known case of Cambridge. In the first place there is no question of maintaining the status quo. Everybody is agreed that the government of Purley, and the other places adjacent to Croydon, is not satisfactory. Something has to be done. The Surrey County Council offers one alternative, an urban district council, which the Local Government Board quite wisely view with a certain amount of suspicion, for the obvious reason, which everyone will agree is a sound one, that it is unwise to multiply the number of local government bodies. I think there is a real danger in the multiplication of the small local government bodies. Evidently that is the view of the Local Government Board. They have refused to confirm the order made by the Surrey County Council, and they favour the proposals put forward by the Croydon Borough Council. I should like to correct one misapprehen- sion which has arisen during the course of the Debate. My hon. and learned Friend conveyed the impression that the Croydon Town Council did not put forward their proposal for the extension of their boundaries until after they saw the Surrey County Council moving in this matter. That is not the case. The facts are that in November, 1912, the Croydon Town Council were moving in this matter, and it was not until 30th September, 1913, very nearly a year afterwards, that the Surrey County Council issued its order for the creation of an Urban District Council. There is no question of the Croydon Town Council wishing to grab a Naboth's vineyard in this matter. If these proposed areas are added to the Croydon area it will only increase the population of Croydon by a tenth and its rateable value by a sixth. But I do not think that the House, sitting as a House, is the tribunal to consider matters of this sort. I believe these are questions which can, with far greater convenience, be considered by a Committee.

Another point I wish to combat is my hon. and learned Friend's suggestion that this is a battle between the county borough of Croydon and the county council of Surrey. It is nothing of the sort. When we talk of a county council in this House we generally have before our minds a body, very often a very efficient body, governing a rural area. I except London, of course, from that definition. When we talk of a county borough, we have before our minds a body which has not got a sufficiently large population to have a charter, but which is essentially urban in character, and the question as to whether these areas should be governed by a rural authority or by an urban authority is already prejudged by the confession of the Surrey County Council, that even if this Bill does not go through, they must be created into an urban district council, because their problems are essentially urban and not rural. Hon. Members speaking on behalf of the Surrey County Council have told us a great deal of what their local wishes are in this matter. I have yet to learn that even the great suburb of Purley has risen in its indignation against the proposals of the Croydon Town Council. I have yet to learn that there has been a parish meeting in Purley opposed to this suggestion. I am aware that there are a certain number of people in Purley who prefer to see Purley governed by an urban district council than put under Croydon, but they are individuals who think they have a better chance of being elected to a larger body of twenty-five than they would have of being returned for the Croydon. Town Council—in fact, these individuals would be of far more importance in Purley if there was an urban district council than if the district is placed under Croydon. I notice that this opposition receives the support of the County Councils Association. I am very much surprised to find that that association is putting forth its strength against this proposal, because in its financial aspects the proposal follows the recommendations of the Devonshire Committee. When we see on the one hand the sacrifice which has been made by the urban authorities with regard to the agreement come to before the Devonshire Committee, and when we see on the other hand the County Councils Association offering determined opposition on every occasion on which it is proposed to give effect to the Recommendations of the Devonshire Committee, we begin to doubt the sincerity of their various statements in support of the findings of the Devonshire Committee, and there are some of us who took the urban side in this question who are beginning to regret that we adopted such a conciliatory attitude in regard to the matter discussed before the Devonshire Committee when we find the County Councils Association never missing an opportunity of preventing these recommendations from being carried into force whenever we propose to do so. I hope that the House will follow the precedent which it has itself created in innumerable previous cases, and allow this Provisional Order Bill to go upstairs and be discussed before a Committee. I would point out to the House that if they adopt that course, they have got an additional safeguard in so far as the Bill has not only to be considered by a Committee of this House, but has to be considered also by a Committee in another place. Therefore, there is every reasonable safeguard that the views of the Surrey County Council, and of those who are opposed to the provisions of the Bill, will be fully heard and thrashed out.


The Debate was opened by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wimbledon (Mr. Chaplin), and perhaps he will allow me to say that whether we agree or disagree with him in this House, it is always a delight to hear him. May I at once answer one question which the right hon. Gentleman addressed to me? He asked if the Local Government Board had been in communication with the Board of Education upon this question. I reply in the affirmative. I hold in my hand the answer which the Board of Education addressed to the Local Government Board, in which they say:— The Board of Education do not desire to offer any observations on the draft Provisional Order. Therefore the right hon. Gentleman may rest assured that the Local Government Board have been in communication with the Board of Education, who were fully apprised of all that was intended to be carried out under the Provisional Order. The right hon. Gentleman began the Debate by laying down a general proposition of an extremely startling character. He said that no area of this kind should be incorporated in a borough except with the full assent of those who live in the area proposed to be added. What do we find in various parts of the country? We find that an urban district has overflown its limits, that the external population enjoys all the amenities of the urban districts—tramways, supplies of water, gas, sewage schemes, public buildings and all the public utility services. Are we to be told that, in a case of that kind, when a town has overflowed its borders, in no circumstances is the outside area to be incorporated except with the full assent of those who are just outside the boundaries of the borough and who enjoy the advantages of the borough, but do not share in its expenditure? The question which has to be decided in this particular case—we have heard a great deal of conflicting evidence upon the point—is whether this is a case of that character or not. I venture to say that it is only an impartial Committee of this. House, after a due examination of all the evidence, which can possibly be in a position to make a pronouncement upon a question of this kind. Apart from the considerations which I have already mentioned there are in this particular case some special circumstances which, apart from any overflow of population, would justify the House in giving, at any rate, a Second Reading to this Bill and sending it upstairs for consideration by a Committee.

I do not wish to refer to those questions which can be considered more particularly by a Committee, but in view of the attack which has been made upon the Local Government Board and the circular which has been issued to every Member of this House, and in view of—I do not call them the attacks, but the criticisms—that have been directed by my hon. Friend below the Gangway and the hon. and learned Member for Kingston, I hope that the House will allow me to give a very brief review of this case, so far as the Local Government Board is concerned. In the year 1912 the Corporation of Croydon made a representation under the Act of 1888, asking for an extension of their area. The question has arisen out of that, whether the area adjacent to Croydon upon the Southern side ought to be added to the borough of Croydon, or whether a small number of independent urban districts ought to be created. It has been agreed on all hands in the course of the Debate this evening, that the government of these external areas must be changed in character. They have now become so urban in character that it is necessary to make some change. The question is, what change ought to be made. Considerable opposition has been offered to this proposal on the part of the Surrey County Council. I cannot complain of the action of the Surrey County Council in this respect. No authority likes to lose any territory that may be under its control. If urban districts are set up, those districts will remain within the control of the Surrey County Council. When Croydon first made application to the Local Government Board, it asked for an addition to the borough of Croydon, including Sanderstead, Addington, and part of the parish of Coulsdon. When the inquiry was held, the parish of Addington was withdrawn after the first day of that inquiry. After considering the report the Local Government Board decided to reject that application of the borough of Croydon. Now the Local Government Board has been blamed by the hon. Member for Kingston for the course which it took immediately after that inquiry.

A letter which has been placed in the hands of every Member has been already quoted, but I would ask the House to follow me while I give the reasons why the Board rejected the original scheme of Croydon. I wish to do so in order to show that the Local Government Board desired to display no unfairness whatever in regard to this matter, and that their whole object was to act in an impartial spirit. The suggestion has been made to which I have already referred, and it has been also suggested in this Debate that Croydon was told by the Local Government Board, "you have not asked for enough; and you ought to ask for more." The suggestion has been made that we have been egging them on, so to speak, to ask for a still further enlargement of the borough boundaries. To make any suggestion of that kind is to make an absolutely unfounded charge. What was it Croydon originally asked for? It asked for an extension which included the area of high rateable value, while they were to make little or no expenditure on other land within the same drainage area What the Local Government Board did was to refuse the proposal as a one-sided proposal, unduly remunerative to the borough of Croydon. They said that if the extension of the borough was to be effected, Croydon must assume obligations outside the sphere of their application. So far from egging Croydon on to further extension, the Local Government Board insisted on Croydon undertaking a responsibility that would involve the districts concerned in no loss whatever and that would ultimately be to the benefit of the whole area.

The Local Government Board said, "You have made an application which proposes to take the fat and leave the lean. If you wish to make a further application, you must ask for the fat and lean, because then, if you do that, we will consider what decision we can arrive at. But we must bear in mind the views of other districts as well, and, therefore, an inquiry will be necessary." May I give the assurance most confidently to the House, that there was no promise or undertaking of any kind whatever given to Croydon. We were not bound in any way. The whole subject was considered fairly and impartially. It was not prejudged in anyway. My hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Glamorgan attributed the action of the Local Government Board to the officials of that Department. As a matter of fact the responsibility rests, as it always must rest in cases of this kind, with the heads of the Government Departments concerned. They are responsible to this House, and I resent very much the suggestion that the action we took was due to a spirit of prejudice on the part of the Local Government Board. Our whole object in matters of this kind is to find out what is the right thing and so advise the Board. What was the Local Government Board to do under those circumstances? Were we to refuse to give any reason for the rejection of Croydon's first proposals? Is it the idea of hon. Gentlemen that the Local Government Board were to allow Croydon to grope in the dark for the reasons which caused the Local Government Board to reject their application? I would remind the House that the inquiry was of a very extensive character, and no less than eleven King's Counsel and barristers were engaged in it; and there might have been another inquiry which might have proved equally futile, while involving enormous additional expense to all the parties concerned. It could only have been beneficial to counsel and to experts. But we have been told by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Kingston, and we have been told by my hon. Friend below the Gangway, that the action of the Local Government Board in this respect is entirely new and unprecedented. The words of the hon. Member for Kingston were that we were "bringing a new demand into these proceedings," and my hon. Friend below the Gangway stated that this was "an absolutely unique case." I can reassure the minds of both hon. Gentlemen upon this particular point. There was a case in Dewsbury in 1908 in which the Local Government Board acted in an exactly similar way, and there was the case of the Potteries, in which the Local Government Board wrote a letter to the parties concerned and made a suggestion; but there is another case much more parallel perhaps to the present case than those two, and that is the case of Bournemouth, decided in 1898. Bournemouth did in 1898 what Croydon did in 1912, and proposed, to use the words I have already employed, to take the fat district and to leave the lean. The Town Council of Bournemouth proposed to annex the district adjoining the borough, which was likely to become of considerable rating value, and to relieve themselves of the poorer part of the parish. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wimbledon, who was then President of the Local Government Board, insisted in 1898 upon the non-remunerative areas being added to the application, and that is what the Local Government Board has done in this case.

I think it will be admitted that the first scheme presented by Croydon was a hastily conceived scheme and one which under any circumstances ought to have been amended. But, this question having been raised, the Board had to consider the interests of the district as a whole, particularly with regard to the future drainage of the area and the water supply. Let the House clear absolutely from its mind the idea that in dealing with matters of this kind the Local Government Board want to apply doctrinaire ideas or cast-iron rules. The one question, and the one question only, which the Local Government Board had to consider was what was most conducive to the economical and proper government of the districts that surround Croydon. That was the only consideration the Local Government Board had in mind, and I venture to say it was entirely justified in the action which it has taken in this matter. References have been made to the contribution of urban districts surrounding the southern portion of Croydon. I would venture to ask the House this question: Can anyone blame the Local Government Board for giving Parliament the chance of considering this question, which is one of enormous importance to the future of this particular district? Reference has also been made to the increase in cost which the constitution of three new urban district councils would imply. It means the establishment of a separate staff of officials, the erection of separate offices, and the duplication of a number of services that could be just as well undertaken by the administrative staff of a large borough. May I draw the attention of the House to one difficulty to which the constitution of those separate areas almost invariable gives rise, and that is that the multiplication of those separate rating areas leads to litigation, to arbitrations, to the promotion of Bills in Parliament, to opposition to Bills in Parliament, which would never arise at all if the areas were under one administration. Each separate authority goes in for litigation and arbitration, and legislation and all those matters naturally give rise to very considerable expense. I wish I could give the House some idea of the enormous expenses which are incurred sometimes in connection with local disputes between local authorities. It has been my painful duty at the Local Government Board on many occasions to peruse the bills of costs that relate to those proceedings. I can assure the House I do not care to suggest anything in the nature of a fresh inquiry, in view of the number of inquiries that we have upon our hands, but I only wish it were possible to make some inquiry in this particular direction, and the House would be startled and would be astonished at the extent to which small local authorities are mulcted in costs. If you have a number of authorities, you simply multiply the causes of friction, and in consequence of that the causes of expense. I would ask again whether anyone can blame the Local Government Board for giving Parliament a chance of considering this question. It is alleged that our action has been contrary to public policy. I assert, on the other hand, that we have acted entirely in accordance with the best and highest public policy. The hon. Member for Croydon (Mr. Malcolm) appealed to me to inform the House as to what the differential rating would be in future. I am not going to weary the House with a number of figures in this respect. The parishes concerned will gain enormously in the way of rebates on rates. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wimbledon suggested that this was a kind of bribe to local authorities, and he almost suggested that it was a new practice arising. May I refer the right hon. Gentleman to a Local Government Board Provisional Order that was sanctioned by Parliament in the year 1896 for the extension of Plymouth? This Order contains provisions for the differential rating of the added areas, and I observe, with some interest, that the Order was signed by "Henry Chaplin, President of the Local Government Board." This is an ordinary practice in matters of this kind, and I think it would be very unjust to add areas of this description to a borough without making proper and generous provision in that direction. Unquestionably that has been done in this instance, and I am rather surprised that the right hon. Gentleman should reproach the present Local Government Board for following a practice which has his exalted sanction.

I do not wish to detain the House at length, but there is one other question to which I must draw attention, because, although it has already been alluded to, I hardly think that the House has altogether realised its importance. I refer to the question of the sewerage and water supply of these added districts. The one great difficulty that faces us is this. We have a large district which drains naturally into the borough of Croydon. In that district there are a large number of cesspools. The borough of Croydon derives its water supply from the chalk measures and by means of pumping from wells. The water supply is in the gravest danger of contamination from the cesspools unless adequate measures are taken to protect the district. When the Local Government Board made the suggestion that if an application was to be made to it for an extension of the area it should include the natural drainage area, what it had in view was the water supply and the health conditions of a population of at least 180,000 persons. After careful inquiry the Local Government Board came to the conclusion that there was only one adequate, proper, and economical way of draining these added areas, and that was through the borough of Croydon itself. There are two alternatives: one is that the urban district council should do this necessary drainage work on its own account; the other is that the sewage should be carried through the borough of Croydon. If the first alternative is taken, then it will cost the people whom the hon. Gentleman represented with so much eloquence to-night the capital sum of £81,000 to carry it through. If, on the other hand, the sewage is carried through the borough of Croydon, it will only cost the sum of £55,000, and the whole of that sum will be spread over the borough of Croydon as a whole. My hon. Friend shakes his head, but it is so. His neighbours will have to pay the whole cost if an independent scheme is carried through. On the other hand, if these areas are added to the borough, the cost will be borne by the borough of Croydon.


My hon. Friend's figures do not tally with the figures which have been given to me by experts living in the district.


I can assure my hon. Friend that the figures of the experts have been carefully considered by those on whose information we are accustomed to rely, and who have had experience of a very large number of schemes of the kind. I am absolutely satisfied that the figures I have given to the House are perfectly correct. A number of considerations have been mentioned in the course of to-night's Debate. There is the question of intercommunication between Croydon and Purley; the extent to which the added areas derive advanatges or otherwise from Croydon; the effect upon the County Council of Surrey; the effect upon the added areas; the financial effect of setting up new urban authorities—these and a variety of other questions have been raised. How is it possible for us here to decide questions of that character? It is absolutely necessary that an impartial Committee on behalf of the House should receive such evidence, and make their report to the House. The House will then be in a position to record an enlightened and informed opinion upon the matter.


I was unfortunate not to hear the earlier part of this Debate. The subject, I am sorry to say, is familiar to me, and I hope the House will allow me to say a few words. I do not know what may have been said by those who have spoken before me, but I am quite certain that there is, and was, no intention on their part to suggest that the Local Government Board, in the earlier stages of the Bill, behaved other than with absolute propriety and in complete accord with their precedents. When, however, it comes to this stage, I am surprised at the attitude taken up by the right hon. Gentleman the Under-Secretary of the Local Government Board. I have had to do with many of these Provisional Orders. What is the function of the Local Government Board? It is to inquire into a prima facie case, and to make the best recommendation they can; and to be guided, as the right hon. Gentleman has rightly said, by their desire to see local government well sustained and the public health maintained. In my experience I do not think during all the years I was at the Local Government Board, either as Under-Secretary or as President, did I ever speak on behalf of a Provisional Order Bill. The line we took in those days was that if this House was to be addressed by a Member of the Front Bench upon a Provisional Order Bill, it was the function of the Chairman of the Committee to address the House, and to put the case before them, the Local Government Board being added only as Grand Jury. They inquire into the prima facie case; they leave the subsequent decision to the House. The right hon. Gentleman has appealed to us to let this Bill go to a Committee to inquire into and to settle the case. If that is the real attitude of the House in regard to Private Bill legisla- tion why have a Second Reading at all? What is the object of a Second Reading if it is not to give the House the right to decide whether the matter should go to a Committee or not? The right hon. Gentleman gave us another argument, which I listened to with amazement. I think he would agree with me that on second thoughts he had better reconsider that line of debate. He actually asked the House to send this Bill to a Committee because a great deal of money had been spent already, and more money would have to be spent upon its promotion. That is an amazing argument, and one I never heard used by the Local Government Board before. I heard it used as a reason why a Bill should be given a Third Reading after having gone before a Committee. I have then heard the Government, generally through the Chairman of Committees, say that immense sums had been spent upon this or that Bill by both sides, and that the Committee had given their decision, and then ask the House whether it was going to declare that all these sums must be wasted. What is the controlling or inevitable conclusion of the argument of the right hon. Gentleman? It is that in other cases where you have a great corporation with a large area, they can declare that they are to be entitled to promote schemes for their own aggrandisement because they can spend large sums of money for their proposals, and then they can ask what right has the House of Commons to throw all that money into the ditch. That is what the right hon. Gentleman said, and it is the inevitable conclusion of what he said. It means that a rich authority which has a great rateable value over which it can extend its rates has only to prolong its inquiry to investigate sufficiently complicated matters as to needs of the districts and the character of the areas, and then come to Parliament, and say, "We have spent so many thousands, and you have no right to throw away our money—"


I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but he has entirely misapprehended what I said. What I said was that the original inquiry was held by the Local Government Board, and that objection was taken on the part of the Local Government Board, and I proceeded to ask why should Croydon be left in the dark as to the rejection of that application, and then I alluded to the question of the cost. It was in that connection I made reference to the cost.


That really has nothing to do with what I said. I was referring to the right hon. Gentleman's general argument, and the right hon. Gentleman's general argument was that Croydon had been put to great expense. I have not said a word as to whether it was in regard to the original inquiry or the present inquiry, or a future inquiry. I say the question of expense has no right to be introduced into our Debates at all until you get to the Third Reading following an inquiry by a Committee upstairs. Otherwise you would place a rich community entirely in a tyrannical position over an adjoining area. I believe in passing these Provisional Orders. After all, I think the result of an inquiry by the Local Government Board is to present a primà facie case. But my reason for taking part in this Debate to-night is not that I hold a brief for the borough of Croydon or that I want to oppose borough extension, but it is for these reasons that we are up against great problems in this House as to making up our minds upon each of these Bills as they come up as to what course they propose until you choose to set up—and I wish you would do it at once—as you ought to a system of private Bill legislation, as you have in Scotland responsible for this legislation. Under the Act of 1883 we established local government, and this House almost unanimously, I think I may say unanimously decided—and so far as I know Governments that have succeeded have never gone back on that decision—that we have two forms of local government in this country—a municipal town system and a county system. This House has to decide on these Bills whether you mean to go on with the county form of government or not. Every argument used by the right hon. Gentleman may be used in every case where a town desires to extend its boundary. The right hon. Gentleman said Croydon provides tramways, water, and the like for this district, but what on earth has that to do with the case and why should it be an argument? The law provides that if a municipality provides light, water, tramways, or any other municipal provision outside their boundary they have power to charge for it. If they go outside their own area they do not do it for charity or because they want to act benevolently, but because it is to their advantage. They go outside like tradesmen to get more trade and a better return for their money. In their own area they are limited by the powers as a municipality, but in the outside areas they charge as they like, and it is to their advantage to go outside their own area with their tramways or any other municipal supply. One reason given for this Bill was that Croydon had to deal with the sewage. Are we to be told that every town in this country is to be allowed to extend its area to any extent because it cannot deal with its sewage? The more fields become covered with houses the more difficulty there is in dealing with sewers. If these arguments are to be made the foundation for Bills of this kind then the time has come when your towns will swallow up the country, because these arguments can be used every time. What is the argument of the right hon. Gentleman? That you have a procedure provided which offers a proper way of dealing with these questions. Then we come back to the question, Is this House to regard the Second Reading of these Bills as a real businesslike part of this procedure or is it a mere matter of form? It it be a mere matter of form, why not abolish it and adopt the Scottish plan and send these Bills in their initial stages to a body outside this House and bring them here on the Third Reading? Here is a case where a borough is asking for much more than it ought to get, and the answer given to us is that the Bill can be cut down in Committee. What a farce! I have been Chairman of one of our great Committees in this House for some years, and I have seen town after town, with a great rateable value, promoting their Bills, and what chance have their opponents got? The outside rural districts are looked upon as a collection of private individuals, and what chance have they got before a Committee upstairs? I should like no municipality to be able to promote a Bill without getting a vote of the ratepayers. I should like it made obligatory that any municipality, before putting the corporation to the cost of a private Bill, should be obliged to state the case and prove that they have the support of the ratepayers. That is not the case now. [An HON. MEMBER: "Yes, it is!"] No, it is not universally the case, and the hon. Member who interrupted me is mistaken. There are ways, as those who are familiar with private Bills know, of overcoming those difficulties. I would like to see every obstacle thrown in the way of a Bill coming to Parliament for this reason, that the corporation can engage leading counsel, and have as many of them as they like, but what are the opponents forced to do? The opponents, as a rule, are either groups of individuals or individuals. They have to amalgamate and to agree to a common course of opposition. The result is that the Corporation is practically in the enviable position of having possession, which is nine-tenths of the law. They have got the better side of the case to start with, and they have got the pockets of the ratepayers to fall back upon. If this House is to interfere in a case of this kind, then I am bound to say that I think they ought to interfere in this instance. You have got a very big borough, with a very large population, and they are anxious to go out. I do not blame the Local Government Board for taking the view they have taken. It is not their business to discriminate between the town and the country. It is their business to think

solely what is best for the corporation and what is best in the interests of public health. They have done their duty, and I for one, find no fault with them at all, but their action does not relieve the House of Commons of its responsibility. Under our private Bill procedure we have got the right to say whether a Bill shall go further or not. In my humble opinion, speaking without any desire to criticise the action of the Local Government Board, but quite the contrary, I say that if ever there was a case in which the House of Commons should say "No" on the Second Reading this is one, and we ought to say it in the interests, not only of the outside areas, but also in the interests of the ratepayers of the borough of Croydon itself.

Question put "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided: Ayes, 136; Noes, 178.

Division No. 140.] AYES [11.0 p.m.
Adamson, William Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West) Pringie, William M. R.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Rea, Rt. Hon. Russell (South Shields)
Allen, Arthur A. (Dumbartonshire) Hodge, John Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)
Armitage, Robert Hogge, James Myles Richardson, Albion (Peckham)
Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.) Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)
Balfour, Sir Robert (Lanark) Holmes, Daniel Turner Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Barlow, Montague (Salford, South) Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. Roberts, George H. (Norwich)
Barnes, George N. Jardine. Sir J. (Roxburgh) Robertson, John M. (Tyneside)
Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick Burghs) Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Robinson, Sidney
Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. George) Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East) Roche, Augustine (Louth)
Bentinck, Lord H. Cavendish Jones, William (Carnarvorshire) Roe, Sir Thomas
Blair, Reginald Jowett, Frederick William Rowlands, James
Boyton, James Joyce, Michael Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)
Brady, Patrick Joseph Kellaway, Frederick George Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Bryce, J. Annan Kelly, Edward Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Lambert, Rt. Hon. G. (Devon, S. Molton) Scanlan, Thomas
Cautley, Henry Strother Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade) Sherwell, Arthur James
Cawley, Harold T. (Lancs., Heywood) Lardner, James C. R. Shortt, Edward
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Oxford University) Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th) Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)
Clough, William Lewis, Rt. Hon. John Herbert Smith, Harold (Warrington)
Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth) Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury) Snowden, Philip
Compton-Rickett, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert
Cotton, William Francis Low, Sir Frederick (Norwich) Stanley, Hon. G. F. (Preston)
Craig, Herbert James (Tynemouth) Lundon, Thomas Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)
Crooks, William Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk Burghs) Sutherland, John E.
Cullinan, John Maclean, Donald Swift, Rigby
Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S.) MacVeagh. Jeremiah Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Dawes, James Arthur Meagher, Michael Thomas, J. H.
Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas Middlebrook, William Thynne, Lord Alexander
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Millar, James Duncan Toulmin, Sir George
Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Molloy, Michael Wardle, George J.
Esslemont, George Birnie Morrell, Philip Webb, H.
Fell, Arthur Muldoon, John White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)
Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert Wiles, Thomas
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Edward Neville, Reginald J. N. Williams, Aneurin (Durham, N.W.)
Flavin, Michael Joseph Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster) Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)
Furness, Sir Stephen Wilson O'Kelly, Edward P. (Wicklow, W.) Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)
Gladstone, W. G. C. O'Malley. William Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Wore., N.)
Glanville, Harold James O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Goldstone, Frank Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William Wilson, Captain Leslie O. (Reading)
Greenwood. Hamar (Sunderland) O'Shee, James John Winfrey, Sir Richard
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward O'Sullivan, Timothy Worthington Evans, L.
Gulland, John William Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)
Harcourt. Robert V. (Montrose) Parker, James (Halifax)
Hardie, J. Keir Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr.
Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds) Phillips, John (Longford, S.) Malcolm and Mr. Morison.
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)
Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour) Guest, Hon. Major C. H. C. (Pembroke) Parry, Thomas H.
Arnold, Sydney Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.) Peel, Lieut.-Colonel R. F.
Astor, Waldorf Guinness, Hon. W. E. (Bury S. Edmunds) Peto, Basil Edward
Baird, John Lawrence Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway) Philipps, Colonel Ivor (Southampton)
Baker, Sir Randolf L. (Dorset, N.) Gwynne, R. S. (Sussex, Eastbourne) Pole-Carew, Sir R.
Baldwin, Stanley Hackett, John Pollock, Ernest Murray
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Hall, Frederick (Dulwich) Ponsonby, Arthur A. W. H.
Bathurst, Hon. A. B. (Glouc., E.) Hamilton, C. G. C. (Ches., Altrincham) Pretyman, Ernest George
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Hamilton, Lord C. J. (Kensington, S.) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Beck, Arthur Cecil Hardy, Rt. Hon. Laurence Radford, George Heynes
Bird, Alfred Hayden, John Patrick Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Boland, John Pius Hayward, Evan Reddy, Michael
Booth, Frederick Handel Henderson, Sir A. (St. Geo., Han. Sq.) Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Bowden, Major S. Harland Herbert, Hon. A. (Somerset, S.) Redmond, William Archer (Tyrone, E.)
Bowerman, Charles W. Hewart, Gordon Rees, Sir J. D.
Boyle, William (Norfolk, Mid) Hewins, William Albert Samuel Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Brassey, H. Leonard Campbell Hibbert, Sir Henry F. Rolleston, Sir John
Bull, Sir William James Higham, John Sharp Ronaldshay, Earl of
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Hills, John Waller Rothschild, Lionel de
Buxton, Noel Hill-Wood, Samuel Royds, Edmund
Byles, Sir William Pollard Hinds, John Rutherford, John (Lancs., Darwen)
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. (Dublin Univ.) Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Salter, Arthur Clavell
Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian) Sanders, Robert Arthur
Cator, John Horne, Edgar Sanderson, Lancelot
Cave, George Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Sheehy, David
Cecil. Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hughes, Spencer Leigh Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A. (Worc'r.,E.) John, Edward Thomas Spear, Sir John Ward
Chancellor, Henry George Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil) Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk)
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Jones, William S. Glyn- (Stepney) Starkey, John Ralph
Chapple, Dr. William Allen Kilbride, Denis Stewart, Gershom
Clay, Captain H. H. Spender King, Joseph Talbot, Lord Edmund
Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham Locker-Lampson, O. (Ramsey) Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)
Cory, Sir Clifford John Long, Rt. Hon. Walter Tickler, T. G.
Craig, Ernest (Cheshire, Crewe) Lynch, Arthur Alfred Touche, George Alexander
Craik, Sir Henry Mackinder, Halford J. Tullibardine, Marquess of
Crumley, Patrick Macmaster, Donald Valentia, Viscount
Currie, George W. MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South) Verney, Sir Harry
Dalrymple, Viscount M'Laren, Hon. F.W.S. (Lincs., Spalding) Walker, Colonel William Hall
Dalziel, Davison (Brixton) M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's) Warde, Colonel C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Magnus, Sir Philip Waring, Walter
Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth) Marks, Sir George Croydon Weston, Colonel J. W.
Denison-Pender, J. C. Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Wheler, Granville C. H.
Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott Meysey-Thompson, E. C. White, Patrick (Mearth, North)
Dillon, John Mildmay, Francis Bingham Whitehouse, John Howard
Donelan, Captain A. Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton) Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas P.
Doris, William Morrison-Bell, Capt. E. F. (Ashburton) Whyte, Alexander F. (Perth)
Duke, Henry Edward Mount, William Arthur Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset, W.)
Du Pre, W. Baring Murray, Captain Hon. Arthur C. Willoughby, Major Hon. Claud
Eyres-Monsell, Bolton M. Neilson, Francis Wills, Sir Gilbert
Farrell, James Patrick Newdegate, F. A. Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E.R.)
Ffrench, Peter Newman, John R. P. Wing, Thomas Edward
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A. Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield) Wood, Hon. E. F. L. (Yorks, Ripon)
Fletcher, John Samuel Nolan, Joseph Yate, Colonel C. E.
Foster, Philip Staveley O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Yeo, Alfred William
Gardner, Ernest O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Young, William (Perthshire, East)
Gibbs, George Abraham O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Younger, Sir George
Gilmour, Captain John O'Doherty, Philip
Goldsmith, Frank O'Donnell, Thomas
Goulding, Edward Alfred O'Dowd, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr.
Greene, Walter Raymond Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A. Hugh Edwards and Captain Weigall.
Gretton, John O'Shaughnessy, P. J.

Question put, and agreed to.

Words added.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to. Second Reading put off for three months.

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