§ 1. The names, contents, and boundaries of each Parliamentary borough and county and division thereof shall be as specified in this Schedule.
§ 2. The areas mentioned in the second and last columns of this Schedule shall
|PART I.—PARLIAMENTARY BOROUGHS.|
|Name of Parliamentary Borough||Contents of Parliamentary Borough||Total Number of Members for Parliamentary Borough.||Name of Divisions of Parliamentary Borough||Contents or Boundaries of Divisions.|
|Stepney||Metropolitan Borough of Stepney||Three||Limehouse||Limehouse North, Limehouse South Mile End Old Town North East, Mile End Old Town South East and Ratcliffe Wards.|
§ be taken to be those areas as constituted on the first day of October, 1917: Provided that any misnomer or inaccurate description of any of those areas in those columns shall not in any way prevent or abridge the operation of this Act with respect to the subject of the description if it is so designated as to be commonly understood.
§ 3. The wards mentioned in this Schedule are, in relation to any borough in London, wards of the Metropolitan borough; in relation to any municipal borough, wards of the municipal borough; and, in relation to any urban district, wards of the urban district.
§ 4. If any doubt arises as to the constituency in which any parish, townland, ward, or other place, whether larger or smaller than a parish, townland, or ward, is intended by this Schedule to be included, that doubt shall be determined by the Local Government Board.
I beg to move, at end of paragraph 3, to insert,4. The expression ' burgh,' when used in this Schedule, means a burgh as bounded for police purposes on the first day of October, nineteen hundred and seventeen.This Amendment will make it perfectly clear that "borough " means the police boundaries of the borough. That, I understand, was the intention of the Commissioners, and this will give effect to their intentions.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendment made: At the end of paragraph 4, insert the words " or in Scotland by the Secretary for Scotland." [Mr. Munro.]2349
§ Mr. KILEY
I beg to move, in column 5, to leave out the words "Mile End Old Town North East," and insert instead thereof the word " Shadwell."
The Boundary Commissioners had a, ,difficult task when they had to deal with the East-end of London, and one of their proposals was that the two divisions of Whitechapel and St. George's should be amalgamated. They apparently found the number somewhat in excess of the average, and in order to reduce it they conceived the idea of taking away one of the wards of Whitechapel, with some 12,000 population, and putting it into another division; and in order to do that they went to still another division, Lime house, and took away a ward with a population £of 8,000. That may make very little difference on paper, but when one considers local interests it considerably alters affairs. The other evening a deputation interviewed my hon. Friend (Sir W. Pearce) and myself in this House, and they explained that this ward of Whitechapel, which contains the Poor Law institution, has been transferred to another Parliamentary district, and that it happened to be one of the heaviest rated wards, which would have a considerable effect by taking away a large part of the rateable value. They also explained what the effect would -be on an election day. The Poor Law elector would still vote in one division for the Poor Law, for Parliamentary he would vote in another division, and for the county council a further complication would arise. They also showed, what is a matter of some importance to the House, that local affairs would all have to be disorganised and rearranged, and the only advantage which could possibly be derived would be a reduction of some few thousands in the total populations of the different districts. This rearrangement effects the transference of some 12,000 people from one Parliamentary division to another, and replaces it by a further 8,000, making an interference with some-
Stepney — — Whitechapel Mile End New Town, St. George-inthe-East North, St. George-in-theEast South, Shadwell, Spitalfields East, Spitalfields West, White-chapel Middle, Whitechapel South and Tower Wards.
§ Mr. GLYN-JONES
In the absence of: he hon. and gallant Member for St. -George's, I beg to move, in column 4, after the word " Whitechapel," to insert the -words " St. George's." 2350 thing like 20,000 people in all. As far as I can ascertain, not one single person of these 20,000, whose interests will be considerably affected, has the slightest desire for a change, and that opinion, I believe, is well backed up and endorsed, and that view is confirmed by the hon. Member (Mr. Brookes), whose interests are affected, and also by my hon. Friend (Sir W. Pearce).
§ Sir G. CAVE
If I follow the Amendment, this affects the constituencies of Limehouse and Whitechapel. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for St. George's (Captain Wedgwood Benn) came to see me before going away, and lie was strongly opposed to this change being made. I feel very reluctant to entertain this Amendment in his absence, especially in view of the recommendations of the Commissioners. It is very difficult for the House to turn itself into Boundary Commissioners, and I think in a case of this kind, unless there is agreement, the House had better keep to the decision of the Commissioners.
§ Mr. GULLAND
I should like to say a word in support of what the right hon. Gentleman has said. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for St. George's, who is a very well known and very popular Member, was home for about a month, and while at home the Committee stage was going through. Nothing was said then about altering these boundaries, and it is a little difficult for the House to make an alteration of these boundaries in his absence. He stated privately to the right hon. Gentleman and to my self that he was opposed to this change. if the matter had been brought up in the Committee stage when he was here, there might have been something said for it, but, on the grounds I have stated, it is undesirable for the House to alter the decision previously made.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ The whole of my hon. and gallant Friend's constituency is incorporated in the new constituency of Whitechapel, and it is felt by his constituents that the name should be Whitechapel and St. George's.2351
§ Sir G. CAVE
I deprecate having too many double-barrelled names, but I am anxious to have regard to the wishes of the locality, and if there be no opposition
Birmingham Hockley St. Paul's Ward, All Saints Ward (except the part thereof included in the Aston Division) and the part of Lozells Ward which is not included in the Aston Division.
§ Mr. EVELYN CECIL
I beg to move, in column 4, to leave out the word " Hockley," and to insert instead thereof the words " West Birmingham."
I move this Amendment in the absence of my right hon. Friend (Mr. Chamberlain). West Birmingham is the old name of the constituency, and it carries with it many associations. The right hon. Member for East Fife (Mr. Asquith) the other day urged as a reason for restoring the name of his constituency the feeling of sentiment existing in the locality. The name of West Birmingham is associated with Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, and, as can
Coventry County borough of Coventry One — —
§ Mr. DAVID MASON
I beg to move, in column 3, to leave out the word " one,- and to insert instead thereof the word " two."
This means an increase of the representation of the city of Coventry by one member. I think hon. Members who listened to the Debate in Committee will agree that I am justified in recalling the figures that were quoted, because they made an almost complete case. The actual figures supplied to me by the town clerk show that the Registrar-General's estimate of the population in July, 1914, was 115,489. The figure taken by the medical officer of health on confirmation of statistics in connection with birth and death rates in 1914 was 119,003. One hundred and twenty thousand is the exact number to qualify for two members, so that the medical officer's estimate is only about 900 short of the required number. Since then I believe I am right in saying that the population has increased by 30,000., There is no doubt that to-day there is ample qualification, and even in 1914, when the Census was taken, there was, almost ample qualification for two mem- 2352 to the proposal I shall ask the House to accept this Amendment, especially as it is supported by the hon. and gallant Member for St. George's, who is not here.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ be easily understood by hon. Members,. it is desired to retain it in the future, in view of the respect and great affection in which he was held in his city.
I hope the House will give itself the pleasure of accepting this Amendment. We would not willingly lose the name of West Birmingham from the list of British constituencies, and I shall_ be exceedingly glad to accept the proposal.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ bers. It is suggested that the medical. officer's figures more nearly approximate to the population because he is guided by figures obtained from different sources—by the number of unoccupied houses ascertained by actual visitation, the number of births and deaths registered, reports from the Labour Exchange, and the amount of overcrowding which exists in the city. The medical officer says his figures of 119,000 may well be within the mark, as he always tries not to overestimate. They are only 997 below the 120,000 required to entitle the city to a, second representative. Recently Coventry was faced with a food shortage on account of the greatly increasing population, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food assured me in this House that an extra supply of food would be sent to Coventry to meet this substantial increase in population. I hope that that will be an additional fact which will go to convince my right hon. Friend that Coventry is entitled to a second representative, although when the 1914 register was made up there was not quite a sufficient number.2353
§ Then, unfortunately, we have a deplorable strike at present in Coventry. The Labour party feel very keenly that the city is entitled to two members, and it would, I believe, tend considerably to allay the unrest which exists if this constituency, which is largely composed of highly skilled artisans, had another member to represent it, perhaps in the Labour interest, and from this point of view it may appeal to hon. Members that in the national interest it would be a good thing to concede this demand, which is but fair and equitable, to Coventry. Hon. Members may think that the increase of population is transitory, being made up largely of munition workers. On this I may point out that in the ten years previous to the War the population increased by 50 per cent. There is no city in the United Kingdom which made such progress in population. In this respect it was more like an American city. There was an enormous increase in motor engineering, and now we have the construction of aeroplanes, which is likely to become a permanent industry, if we are anxious, as we naturally are, to develop that very important arm of our Service. So that the substantial increase of population is in the main likely to be permanent, and to bring the figure far beyond that which would qualify the city for additional representation.
§ Coventry, of course, has played a great part in national history. It once had a double membership, but lost its members. It hopes again to revive the old Bishopric. The people, I understand, have saved 245,000 for that purpose. Though it had many periods of depression, it has shown all through its history a marvellous capacity for recovery, as well as indomitable vigour and great pre-eminence in various trades and industries which it has taken up. If it were a city of mushroom growth, or one likely to sink to a low level of population, there might be some justification for refusing this demand, but its history shows that it is likely to become one of the most progressive cities of the United Kingdom, and its present population is likely, largely. to remain permanent, and therefore its qualification is assured. It may be said that if we make an exception in this case an exception will have to be made in others. Naturally, that is a very proper comment to make, but I submit that this is really an exceptional case. There is no 2354 city which can compare with Coventry in its progress, or has advanced in population to anything like the same extent. L have not bombarded hon. Members with. circulars showing the progress of the city, but I have approached a considerable number of various parties, and I do-not think that there w as a single member who disagreed with me when I said that this is really an exceptional case. With great confidence I leave the matter to the judgment of the right hon. Gentleman and the impartiality of my fellow Members.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
I have great pleasure in seconding this Amendment.
Recently I saw a very important deputation from the city of Coventry, who. gave me all the facts of the case and impressed me with its great strength. It. is a most remarkable case, and one in which the taking of the population at the figure of 1914 did a serious injustice in not recognising the actual facts when the Boundary Commissioners dealt with the matter. That is the whole thing in a nutshell. Coventry has now a population that entitles it to two members. If the population were taken as it is at present, it would be very much greater than the number required for two members. The Mayor informed me that during those years a very considerable number of houses have been built within the area, and that population is quite certain to be permanent. I know the difficulty of the right hon. Gentleman as to increasing the total number of memhers, and that we cannot punish some other great constituency to oblige Coventry, but if there is any exception to be made at all this is certainly the strongest case which I have seen.
§ Sir G. CAVE
This is one of those hard cases which come under the rules that the Conference has laid down and the House has adopted. In the matter of: population they have taken the number of 70,000, but they do not require a population of 140,000 for two members. but only a population of 120,000. Already there is a margin allowed in our calculations, but Coventry falls short—according to the figures of 1914—by something like 5,000 from the number required. The hon. Gentleman, who has pressed this forward with great perseverance, says that the present population exceeds the figure required, and probably he is right. But the same observation,. 2355 applies to a number of other cases. It is not, he says, merely a munitions increase, but is one which will last. It was, however, absolutely essential for the Commissioners to work on established facts, and not to indulge too much in speculation. The case is a hard one, and all the harder because I understand that 'Coventry may, within a not remote period, extend its boundaries and take in an area which would give it another member. As regards the argument in reference to the strike being settled, if I accept this Amendment on that ground there. again, we should be indulging too much in the pleasure of speculation by
Grimsby County One — — Borough of Grimsby and Urban District of Cleethorpes
§ Mr. TICKLER
I beg to move, in column 2, to leave out the words " and urban -district of Cleethorpes."
At the present time the Parliamentary borough of Grimsby consists of the county borough of Grimsby, the rural district of Grimsby, and the urban district of Cleethorpes. Grimsby has a population of -77,000, that being the computed population at the present time. Cleethorpes has a population of just over 23,000. It is v.-ell known to Members that Lincolnshire, being an agricultural county, very largely populated, will suffer if its representation be reduced, and the county will have a less number of representatives under the new redistribution than it has at the present time. One of the Instructions given to the Commissioners was that a borough with a population of 70,000 should be entitled to one Member, and thus Grimsby 'claims to be entitled to one Member. Grimsby, amongst other things, is the largest fishing port in the world, and also has a considerable trade as a shipping port and a commercial port, timber and coal being the principal business. The urban district of Cleethorpes is a seaside resort that has nothing in common with Grimsby. Grimsby has its trade and commerce to look after, and is not concerned as to whether Cleethorpes has any visitors at all. The business of Cleethorpes is to cater for visitors, and a great many of its population are engaged in letting lodgings to visitors in summer-time. I may .say that Cleethorpes was represented 2356 accepting an argument of that kind. As regards the historical argument, I listened to it with interest, and was grateful to my hon. Friend; though I observed that he did not refer to a certain heroine, whom we all knew so well in our youth. I cannot, however, accept the Amendment. First, because it would add to the number of the House, which none of us desire to do, and, secondly, it would be opening the door to a number of other and similar claims, and I think it is of the greatest importance that we should not do that. I am very sorry that I cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ before the Commissioners at Lincoln, and objection was made to its being included in the Parliamentary borough of Grimsby. It was stated that Cleethorpes wished to be included in the neighbouring Louth Division, because its interests were more identified with the county division than with Grimsby. It was also represented on behalf of Cleethorpes, that the Lincoln County Council had passed a Resolution unanimously in favour of that urban district being included in the county division. The borough council of Grimsby passed a Resolution unanimously to the effect that they preferred that the -Parliamentary borough of Grimsby should consist of the county borough of Grimsby only. They made that representation to the Commissioners.
§ After these various expressions of opinion in support of what I am now proposing, everybody in the district was surprised to find that the representations which had been made to the Commissioners had been unheeded and passed over. They were very much surprised that the Commissioners had decided, and recommended to Parliament, that the urban district of Cleethorpes should be included in the Parliamentary borough of Grimsby as before, making it very much out of proportion to the rest of the county; in fact, it will have a population of about 104,000, whereas some of the county divisions have a population of only about 45,000. Another objection taken was that Hull, a competing port on the Humber 2357 with Grimsby, is to have four members, with only a population of about 300,000, thus giving a population of about 60,000 to each member. Therefore, if anything comes before the House affecting the two ports in competition, Grimsby will have no chance at all to compete with Hull, seeing that the member for Grimsby, whoever he may be, is representing 104,000; while one member in Hull only represents 60,000, and, therefore, it practically would take the votes of two members for Grimsby to equal that of one member for Hull, on the basis of number of population. All these matters have been thoroughly thrashed out by the places concerned. The Lincoln County Council, the Grimsby Council, and the Cleethorpes Council, have all discussed the matter thoroughly, and they appeared before the Commissioners at Lincoln, before whom Grimsby also put forth its objection. All were very much surprised, indeed, after the very great trouble taken to put the matter seriously before the Commissioners that no notice at all was taken of their representations.
§ Colonel WEIGALL
I beg to second the Amendment.
The county authorities and the borough authorities are unanimous in their support of Cleethorpes being included in the county Division rather than in the borough of Grimsby. A few years ago there was a proposal to incorporate this urban district within the borough of Grimsby, and the main consideration I want to put is this. In rural divisions with industrial' and urban centres the agricultural vote is inevitably swamped by the urban vote. The county authority felt that by incorporating Cleethorpes in the Louth Division you would overload for the moment the population of that division. The answer to that is that the North-East of Grimsby in the near future must become purely an urban area on account of the establishment of the Immingham Docks. At the moment Immingham happens to be a portion of a rural district. I submit that by adding Cleethorpes to the Louth Division you will maintain the division as agricultural, and inevitably Immingham area will be added to the borough of Grimsby. I understand that the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. T. Davies) will object to this proposal on the ground that it would increase the population and area of his division to an unreasonable extent. I would point out, however, that as against the increase of population by adding Clee- 2358 thorpes he can look to a reduction in the Immingham side. Although this conflicts with the existing administrative area, I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will see his way ho accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. T. DAVIES
I oppose this proposal in the first place because the matter has been fully considered by the Commissioners on' two occasions, and secondly because it would increase the population of the Louth Division to about 82,000, while in the other county divisions there are about 58,000 or 59,000. My objection is really to the Amendment which follows and which would add to my division 24,000 beyond the proper number. At Lincoln the suggestion was made that Cleethorpes should be included in the Louth Division and that two administrative areas should be taken away from the northern part of the Louth Division, that is the rural area of Grimsby and Caistor. I understand that both political parties in the Louth Division would agree to that arrangement. It would bring the population to about 50,000 and would reduce the area. Although that arrangement was agreed upon between both political parties in Louth the Commissioners found some difficulty in accepting it, and by an arrangement at Grimsby between the different parties the original boundaries were agreed to. Therefore I am bound to support the agreement come to between those parties at Grimsby. If the present proposal were entertained the Louth Division would consist of 82,000 of the population, whereas Grimsby would only have 70,000. I think the House will see that it is quite unreasonable, at this late stage of the Bill and without consulting all the authorities, to accept this proposal. Both the Mover and the Seconder left out of account entirely the borough council which is most interested, namely, the ancient borough of Louth. We are content with the arrangement made by the Commissioners and hope that it will be adhered to.
§ Sir G. CAVE
It is not possible to accept this Amendment for the reasons given by the hon. Member for the Louth Division and for other reasons. Cleethorpes, which it is proposed to transfer from Grimsby to Louth, is an urban district immediately adjoining the borough of Grimsby. The policy of the Commissioners throughout, as far as they could, was not to divide urban district areas where they could join them, and this is exactly the kind of case where they ought to be joined. If you 2359 took Cleethorpes away from Grimsby it would increase the population of the county division of Louth far beyond the
Manchester County Borough of Manchester Ten Ardwick Ardwick, New Cross and St. Mark's, Wards. Blackley Blackley, Crumpsall and Moston Wards. Collyhurst Collyhurst, Harpurhey and Mlles Platting Wards, and the part of St. Michael's Ward which is not included in the Exchange Division. Exchange Cheetham, Collegiate Church, Exchange, Oxford, St. Anne's, St.. Clement's and St. John's Wards,. and the part of St. Michael's Ward which lies to the north-west of a line drawn along the middle of Rochdale-road. Gorton Gorton North, Gorton South and Openshaw Wards. Hulme Medlock Street, Moss Side West and St. George's Wards. Moss Side ... All Saints, Moss Side East and St. Luke's Wards. Newton Heath Beswick, Bradford and Newton Heath Wards. Rusholme Levenshulme, Longsight and Rusholme Wards. Withington Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Didsbury and Withington Wards.
§ [The Amendment next on, the Paper, in the name ofMr. SUTTON,proposes to substitute a new scheme for the county borough of Manchester]
§ Mr. SPEAKER
This Amendment is not drawn in a proper form. It proposes to omit a great number of words from the Bill in order to replace them. An Amendment should be drawn in such a way as to leave out words from the Bill and to insert fresh ones.
§ Mr. SUTTON
Is it not in order, seeing that my suggestion is to leave out certain names so as to substitute for them the scheme which the town clerk of Manchester presented to the Commission in Manchester for the ten divisions?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I have pointed out to the hon. Member that he proposes to omit from the Bill a great number of names and divisions, and then proposes to reinsert them. That is quite contrary to the method of our procedure in Committee or on Report. The proper course is to move to omit such names as, for instance, the name of Ardwick, which he does not wish to be in the Ardwick Division, and to insert in the Ardwick Division the wards he wishes to put it there; but it is not the 2360 average and would necessitate a redistribution of the other divisions throughout. the county.
§ Amendment negatived
§ proper course to propose to leave out eight or ten divisions and then the reinsert six or seven.
§ Sir J. RANDLES
I beg to move, in column 5, to leave out the words " Ardwick, New Cross, and. St. Mark's Wards," and to insert instead thereof the words " Beswick and Bradford Wards and the part of Ardwick Ward which lies to the north of a line drawn along the middle of Hyde Road."
On the last occasion when the question of the Manchester boundary was under consideration the President of the Local Government Board was good enough to tell us that he would look into the question very carefully and see if the proposed inclusion of a number of electors in the Exchange Division was desirable or whether there should be some alteration. My contention is that in creating these constituencies care should be taken that there should be some community of interests, some association of interests,. which would justify the inclusion of fresh areas. We were on that occasion given an, assurance that attention would be paid to. this, and I venture to hope that the Home. Secretary will now be able to suggest some course, if he does not adopt exactly 2361 the plan I have proposed in my Amendment, which will give to the Exchange Division of Manchester no change from its present condition, unless it be a change by adding to it a population or electoral area that would be of the same type and.of the same class as the commercial interest which predominates that Ex change Division. The object of my Amendment is to avoid so far as may be any disturbance of the electoral area as now represented by Members in this House. My proposal is to try and preserve the present electoral areas instead of disturbing them. I say that the population justifies their retention. The number of electors justifies their retention, and the minimum amount of inconvenience will be caused to all concerned if my proposal is carried. I believe that two of the three parties are agreed that the Amendment I am proposing now will be better'for the electoral area of Manchester and an improvement on the scheme of the Commission. If it is possible by any means to avoid disturbance it is generally agreed it should be done. We have not succeeded in arriving at complete unanimity. I believe some of my hon. Friends from Manchester still hold the opinion, which they expressed in Committee, that the Exchange Division, which is now the North West Division of Manchester, need not be considered to be essentially a commercial area. It was suggested in the last discussion that limited liability companies bad taken the places of private firms.I venture to suggest there have been'for a very long time limited liability companies, but there are more private firms and more concerned entitled to be represented to-day than ever was the case at any previous period, and when the House is agreed that a certain vote should be retained, that, for instance, the business vote should be retained it should naturally give effect to it. Under the scheme of the Bill as it stands the Exchange Division has the largest electorate by far of any of the ten Manchester constituencies, and it will have this large electorate imposed upon it by bringing into its area a population which has nothing in common with it, which has never been associated with it and which more properly belongs to another area in Manchester, a residential area including a large number of lodging houses and establishments of that kind which could more 2362 properly be represented in association with areas of its own type rather than by a great commercial centre where we expect to have something like 16,000 electors who are non-resident but are qualified by reason of having their business premises in the city of Manchester. I do not know how far the right hon. Gentleman will be able to accept my Amendment to carry out the expectation which was properly aroused by the remarks of the President of the Local Government Board on the last occasion, but I am quite sure of this, that if he does anything to minimise the disturbance that is being caused he will find it very easy to take the northern portion of Manchester and without any disturbance at all of the old electoral areas to retain these areas and give them their old names to the satisfaction of all concerned. It is only in the southern portion that there need be some disturbance, and such disturbance as is there inevitable could be carried out on the lines of the Bill.
I suggest it is desirable to mitigate the existing inconvenience. The Manchester Chamber of Commerce by resolution had asked to have this Exchange Division retained as a commercial area, and it is the only one constituency out of ten in Manchester in regard to which that body has passed such a resolution. The majority of the members of the corporation have also signed a memorial to the same effect. They desire to retain the commercial character of the one constituency which has a history. We heard just now that West Birmingham was to be allowed to retain its individuality because of the history which attached to it, and in the same way we ask that North-West Manchester should retain its individuality, a retention hich is justified by its commercial preeminence. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Walthamstow (Sir J. Simon) is at the present moment seeking the suffrages of that particular constituency. Why? Because I presume of its preeminence as a commercial centre in the North.
§ Sir J. RANDLES
It has in the past been represented by men eminent in the commercial and political world and equally distinguished men are seeking and will seek to represent it. With a view to carrying out this desire, and in order that the matter may be in order, I move the first of the Amendments that stand in my name.
§ Mr. NEEDHAM
On a point of order, the hon. Member has moved the first of his Amendments, but his speech has related to the whole matter. I suppose it will be the opinion of the House that the whole series of Amendments standing in his name are to be under discussion following his speech.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
That is so. If you pull one piece out of the building it all tumbles down, and you have to reconstruct on those lines. It is therefore necessary, I think, in a case of this sort, which is not merely a change of name but a change of substance. to discuss the whole situation.
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
I should like the opportunity of seconding this Amendment because I do happen to know something about the proposal made. I shall only deal with the point with regard to the Exchange Division as a commercial centre. The proposal is to transpose a portion of the Northern Division of Manchester to the Exchange Division. I think I have the unique honour of being the only living person who has stood for both, and so I know something of the section of the North Division that is proposed to be transferred, and of the Exchange Division into which it is proposed to transfer this St. Michael's Ward. I want to emphasise the case on behalf of the Constituency that did me the honour to elect
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
me some years ago, and which the hon. Gentleman so kindly reminds me rejected me so quickly. I think the hon. Member for Waltham-stow (Major Sir J. Simon), who we thought was going to be the candidate, has already rejected himself. At all events, the hon. Gentleman said he was not yet the candidate, and I take it something has happened to cause him—and I think perhaps it is wisdom on his part—no longer to he a candidate.
§ Mr. JOYNSON-HICKS
I am sorry the hon. Gentleman tempted me to that digression. The constituency is really the great commercial centre of Lancashire, the centre in which all the business part of Lancashire exists. All the railway stations, most of the banks, the exchange, 2364 the great cotton firms, all the great business houses of Manchester have their homes in this constituency. If it is desirable—and I think the House believes that to be so—inite types of constituencies should be represented, this is at least one particular constituency that should have its type preserved. There is the Exchange Division of Glasgow, and the City of London, which, as we know, is specifically and specially reserved by-the Commissioners as a commercial centre, and I do plead with the House that this particular division should be retained as a commercial centre. With regard to the ward proposed to be put in, St. Michael's Ward, I know it almost as equally well as the commercial centre. It is a portion of the Northern Division of Manchester, and is a purely working class centre throughout. It is a ward where nearly everybody is of the working-class type, a typical working-class constituency. There is very little commercial life in that division at all, and St. Michael's Ward is a ward inhabited" almost entirely by working-class people. They are the same type as the rest of the, division, and to take them out from the Northern Division and put them in a cornmercial centre would be to transfer them from a division sui generic with themselves, and to put them in a division where they have no relationship at all. That being so, I venture to suggest that the hon. Member for North-West Manchester has. made out a case, and I venture to ask the House to accept it. It is not a party question. I have no axe to grind in any way whatever, because, as the hon. Member-(Sir W. Barton) reminds me, it is some, years since I was a Member for it; but I do take an interest in the division, and knowing the commercial supremacy of that particular division, I have come here to-night to plead for it, in order that it may be retained as the commercial centre, of Manchester—I almost go further, and' say the commercial centre of South-East Lancashire.
§ Sir G. CAVE
I foresee the possibility-of considerable debate on this proposal, and I think it may save time if I state at once the view the Government take. This has been a very troublesome matter indeed. The President of the Local Government Board promised in Committee that he would look into the proposal which was made then, and which is again made now. Unfortunately, the-scheme in the Bill is only approved by 2365 one of the three great parties which are interested in Manchester, the other two parties having each of them a favourite scheme of their own, which is a rival scheme to the one in the Bill. The main difficulty, as the House will realis from the speeches that have been made, concerns the Exchange Division of Manchester, which was in the main the old Division of North-West Manchester, a division which I suppose has rejected more great men than any other division: If a change were made in the boundaries of that division to satisfy the objections of the present Mover it would affect a number of other divisions.
§ Sir G. CAVE
The hon. Gentleman says all of them. I am not sure of that, but it would affect a considerable number of the other divisions of Manchester. You would have to redistribute Manchester almost from the beginning, and that is what the hon. Gentleman does in this series of Amendments. This is, of course, a serious and very important question for Manchester, and I have done my best to induce the parties to come to some agreement. They were good enough, through their representatives, to come and see me and talk it over, and I did my best to get them into line either on this or some other scheme. I regret that in the end I found that quite impossible. It was impossible to bring the parties to a common opinion, and I am afraid they are as much at issue as they were. I would have suggested a compromise if my local knowledge had been sufficient for the purpose, but I felt that after the local inquiry that had been held, after careful consideration by the assistant Commissioner, by the local authority, and by the Commission itself, it was perfectly certain that no suggestion I could make would be better than the one proposed. I do not pretend to go into the case on its merits, but I am afraid that. with the difficulty that still exists, it will be practically impossible for the House to take the matter into its own hands, and I think the only thing we can do—and I say it with the greatest regret, because it must lead to dissatisfaction somewhere—is to follow the decision of the Commissioners and adhere to the Bill.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
This is not by any means a usual case. It is a very unusual case. You have only to look at the facts, and consider the situation from the point 2366 of view which has been so well exposed by my hon. Friend behind me, almost to come to the conclusion that there must be a quite unnecessary disturbance of the divisions of Manchester, and a distinct ignoring of certain directions given by this. House. Natural boundaries have been entirely neglected. There is a river, the Medlock I think, which would form an admirable boundary, which is entirely ignored, and the river is crossed and recrossed here and there in a perfectly unnecessary way. One direct instruction given was ignored—where there is an electorate of 16,000. The right hon. Gentleman cannot say that the proposal will increase the number of members. The matter is very unfortunate. It leaves a rather bad taste in my mouth, and I do not mind saying so.
§ Mr. NEEDHAM
After what has fallen from the Home Secretary I feel that it is necessary to urge upon the House the importance of supporting the Government. The Commissioners have examined all the plans which have been proposed, and have given their decision, which is embodied in the Bill. The hon. Member for East Manchester and myself put down Amendments which would have ensured a measure of agreement between the two parties in Manchester, and would have brought into being the plan which was. proposed by the town clerk of Manchester, and adopted by the Commissioners in their provisional arrangement. But the Amendments were out of order, and we were unable to speak to them. On the general question I will repeat what I said on a previous occasion, that the particular part, St. Michael's Ward, does not in any sense differ from the ward upon which the hon. Member laid stress; that it adds something to North-West Manchester which is different in character to what is at present in North-West Manchester. The fact of the matter is that that part of St. Michael's Ward does not differ in any way from its contiguous neighbour. I do not wish in any sense to repeat all the facts and arguments, but I shall be glad to support the suggestion made to the Home Secretary.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. SUTTON
I beg to move, in column 4, to leave out the word "Collyhurst,", and to insert instead thereof the word "Platting."
2367 The three parties, I believe, in Manchester, agreed upon this, and it is the wish of the hon. Member for North-East Manchester.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. SUTTON
I beg to move, in column 4, to leave out the words "Newton
Rochester Municipal Boroughs of Chatham, Gillingham and Rochester Two Gillingham Municipal borough of Gillingham, St. Mary Ward of the borough of Chatham, and the part of the municipal borough of Rochester which is not in cluded in the Rochester Division. Chatham Municipal borough of Rochester (exvept the part of St. Peter's Ward which lies to the north and east of a line drawn, in prolongation of that part of the borough boundary which lies between St. Bartholomew's Chapel and Boundary Wharf, to the borough boundary in the River Medway), and Luton and St. John Wards of the borough of chatham.
§ Mr. HOHLER
I beg to move, in column 1, before the word "Rochester," to insert the words "Chatham and."
The effect of this is to associate the Parliamentary borough of Chatham with that of Rochester. The Report of the Commissioners gave the name of the borugh of the new divisions created out of the tow old Parliamentary boroughs of Rochester and Chatham. Rochester has a population of 31,000, and therefore, under this Bill, it is quite clear it would have to disappear. The Parliamentary borough of Chatham had a population at the last Census of somewhere about 9,000. Under the Report of the Commissioners the two old Parliamentary boroughs were divided in this sense: about 30,000 inhabitants of Chatham were added to Rochester and called the Rochester Division. On the other hand about 10,000 inhabitants of Chatham, with the 52,000 inhabitants of Gillingham, were known as the Chatham Division, and the commissioners recommended that those two divisions should be known as the Medway boroughs of Rochester and Chatham Division. Those names were not acceptable to any of the corporations concerned, and in Committee I moved an Amendment to give to the Parliamentary borough the name Chatham, to leave the Rochester Division, 2368 Heath," and to insert instead thereof the word " Clayton."
Whereas Clayton has a population of 57,000, Newton Heath has only 20,000. The town clerk suggested Clayton in the original scheme
§ Amendment agreed to
§ and to give to the Chatham Division the name of the Gillingham Division. My hon. Friend the Member for Reochester, on the other hand, asked that the title of the Parliamentary borough might be given to Rochester, and that the other should be known as the Chatham and Gillingham Division. I could not accept that, but I said that I did not object to Rochester being the Prlimentary borough because I did not think Chatham would object. The Member for Rochester was careful to say that he reserved to himself all his rights in case the proposal was not acceptable to the Corporation of Rochester. The people of Chatham very much objected to their name disappearing from the title of the borough and they would prefer Rochester being one division and Gillingham the other. Having regard to what has happened, I could not ask that the name of Rochester should disappear, bit I ask that Chatham may be associated with the title. I do not mind whether it is called Chatham and Rochester or Rochester and Chatham. When it is remembered that Rochester has received from Chatham a certain number of inhabitants in order to enable her to continue as a Parliamentary entity at all, I think it is only fair that the Home Secretary it is only fair that the Home Secretary should meet me in the matter and associate the two names of Rochester and2369
§ Chatham together. Chatham has been a borough for a great number of years, and as Rochester has had to take over a portion of Chatham's population to preserve her representation it is only fair that the name of Chatham should appear in the Parliamentary title.
§ Sir ERNEST LAMB
I am astounded at the suggestion which has been made by my hon. and learned Friend. On the Committee stage I was a party to a compromise which I specifically stated that I did not like and which I said I was not sure that I could convert the Rochester Corporation to appreciate. In deference to the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hayes Fisher), who was then in charge of the Bill, I said I was not going to stand out on this domestic matter, but I was willing to do anything I could to obtain agreement to a compromise which the right hon. Gentleman felt was a fair one. My hon. and learned Friend to-night says that as the scheme was originally drawn it was not acceptable to any of the corporations concerned. I am afraid my hon. and learned Friend has been handling the truth rather carelessly, because, on the last occasion, I stated that the Rochester Corporation were quite content with the arrangement come to by the Commissioners and were very sorry any suggestion had been made to upset it. I also stated that I was unable to get into contact with the corporation and could not, therefore, take the responsibility of saying that they would accept it, but in order to come to an amicable conclusion 1 said that I would do my best to bring them to that view. I, therefore, wrote to the corporation, and they were good enough to call a special meeting. I went down and explained the whole position and asked them to help me, because, having acceded to the compromise suggested by the President of the Local Government Board, I was in a difficulty. I want to remind the House that it was not my compromise. The President of the Local Government Board said he felt that Rochester, Chatham, and Gillingham had each made out a case for inclusion in the Bill, and I said that I would fall in with the suggestion and be content with the Parliamentary borough being known as Rochester and the two divisions being known as Gillingham and Chatham, dropping the name of Rochester. The Rochester Corporation Vol. 99. 2370 much preferred the original arrangement of the united boroughs being known as the Medway Boroughs. I stated that in the House. I hope, having agreed to this compromise on the Committee stage, that the House will not go back upon that understanding. This is essentially a domestic matter. All three corporations concerned find their names included in the Bill, as at present before the House, and we ask the Government to stick to their guns and let Rochester's name stand for the United Boroughs, the two divisions being known respectively as Gillingham and Chatham. I therefore oppose the Amendment.
§ Sir G. CAVE
It is a great pity that the parties did not accept the decision of the Commissioners, but I think they must now adhere to the compromise come to in Committee that the Parliamentary borough as a whole should bear the name of Rochester and the two divisions the names Gillingham and Chatham. I do not think the House ought to-day to go back upon that decision
I cannot help regretting the answer of the Home Secretary. The Amendment only asks that two ancient boroughs should join together in this title, and I should have thought that Rochester by reason of history would gain in respectability by being associated with Chatham. I would venture to compare for a moment the two statesmen who had those names, and ask what they did respectively for England and what England would be if Rochester had had his way as compared with the great services Chatham rendered to us upwards of 100 years ago. Surely out of recollection and thankfulness for those services Rochester ought to be glad to add to it the name of Chatham so as to redeem itself for the recollection of the famous Minister of the Restoration. Chatham has an exceedingly clean sheet, but I remember a very old friend of mine saying that at a certain window in a certain city half-a-sovereign could be picked up. Heads, however, have long ceased to ache since those things occurred. Therefore, let us give Chatham a chance. It has its clean sheet, it has its association with the illustrious statesman, and why Rochester should not beglad to share that distinction I am at a loss to understand. As to the title of the Medway Boroughs, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ashford (Mr. L. Hardy) pointed out in Committee, 2371 there are other boroughs—Maidstone for instance—which are entitled to claim that name, and it was a confusing title.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Amendments made: In column 5, leave out the word " Rochester "[" is not
|Wolverhampton||County Borough of Wolver- East hampton, and urban districts of Bilston, Coseley, Heath Town West or Wednesfield Heath, Sedgley, Short Heath, Wednesfield and Willenhall||Three||Bilston||.I Urban districts of Bilston, Coseley and Sedgley.|
|East||St. James's, St. Mary's, and St. Peter's Wards of the county borough of Wolverhampton, and urban districts of IHeath Town or Wednesfield Heath, Short Heath, Wednesfield and Willen-hall.|
|West||Blakenhall, Dunstall, Graiseley, Merridale, Park, St. George's, St. John's,St. Mark's and St. Matthew's Wards of the county borough of Wolverhampton.|
§ General HICKMAN
I beg to move, in column3, to leave out the word "Three," and to insert instead thereof the word "Tow."
This Amendment, with the others standing in my name, I moved on the Committee stage. I do not wish to bore the Home Secretary, but as there may be hon. Members present who were not present in Committee, I would briefly state the reasons for these Amendments. The borough of Wolverhampton had two Members from 1834 until 1885, when it was formed into three separate divisions which I represent and have represented for the last seven years, consists of three separate parishes, entirely outside the municipal borough of Wolverhampton, and there is no single elector in those three parishes who lives in the municipal borough of Wolverhampton. According to the Instructions which were given by the right hon. Gentleman to the Boundary Commissioners, it was distinctly laid down in paragraph 5 that so long as an existing Parliamentary borough has not less than 120,000 inhabitants in the municipal borough it shall be entitled to retain two members. The municipal borough of Wolverhampton has only 95,000 inhabitants, yet the Commissioners have retained to this borough three members. Neither the division I represent nor the interested, has any objection to the municipal borough having two members, although the number of inhabitants 2372 included in the Rochester Division "], and insert instead thereof the word " Chatham."
§ After the word " the " [" Wards of the borough of Chatham "], insert the word "municipal."—[Sur G. Cave.]
§ is only 95,000 instead of 120,000. What we do say is that where you have three urban districts entirely outside the municipal borough, where there is not a single inhabitant in those districts inside the municipal borough, where no services whatsoever are rendered by the borough of Wolverhampton to these three parishes, which are entirely independent as regards electric light, gas, water, sewage, trams, and every other service, where all the inhabitants, including manufacturers, labour, and the three urban district councils, are unanimously of opinion and wish that these three parishes should be severed from the municipal borough—that they should become, what they certainly ought to be according to the Instructions to the Commissioners, an entity of themselves and a division of the county of Stafford. These three parishes comprise in the county of Stafford a Petty Sessions area of themselves. Since the Committee stage of the Bill I thought the thing would have to be dropped, but I have found that Labour in the constituency is very much exercised, very much interested, and very anxious that they shall be severed from the borough of Wolverhampton. They expressed their feelings very strongly to me, and it is on their behalf in a great measure that I am moving this Amendment again on the Report stage.
§ The only arguments which were advanced by the two other Members for Wolverhampton on the Committee stage 2373 were something like this. Because Wolverhampton as a Parliamentary borough had had three members since 1885 it would be a pity to disturb existing arrangements. That was one argument. I would reply that this anomaly and anomalies of this sort are intended to be put right by this Bill. Where we are having a Reform Bill for any borough which is over-represented by members it is intended by the Instructions to the Commissioners that these things shall be put right, and where a county is strictly entitled to one more member that member should be restored to the county and taken away from the borough. If it was right to deprive York of one of its members and to dispossess Canterbury and Colchester of a member entirely, why should it be right to give Wolverhampton three members when by the population of the municipal borough she is really only entitled to one 1
§ My hon. Friend (Mr. G. Thorne) on the Committee stage, also said there was a community of interest between the three because they were all manufacturing districts, and therefore it was to the benefit of all the neighbourhood that there should be three members to represent industry. I can only reply that the whole of the manufacturing interests of these three parishes is absolutely and distinctly opposed to being joined with Wolverhampton in any sort of way. I have, through my own firm, which is in the district, canvassed the other manufacturers and they are unanimous in wishing that I should put forward these Amendments to sever them from the borough of Wolverhampton.
§ My hon. Friend (Mr. Bird) in the Committee stage said my division received a benefit in the way of technical education for the borough of Wolverhampton. That is only half a truth, to say the least of it. It is a matter of fact there is a technical school, which is just on the boundaries of the boundary of Wolverhampton, which was instituted jointly by the county of Stafford and the borough of Wolverhampton, the expenses of which the borough and the county pay in equal shares. They also paid equal shares for the building of this technical school, which takes scholars from the borough of Wolverhampton and also from the parishes which I represent, in equal shares. Therefore I do not know that my hon. Friend is quite right in saying that we have no benefit from the borough of Wolverhampton in this particular technical school, when the 2374 county of Stafford pays its fair share of the cost. I have found during the last seven years that I have been pulled both ways—one way by the borough of Wolverhampton through the town clerk, and another way by the county council representatives for Stafford, and I have always found that it was my duty, in the interests of my Constituents, to side with the county of Stafford. I have found that the interests of the parishes which I represent are entirely bound up with the county of Stafford, and entirely distinct from the borough of Wolverhampton. Under the circumstances I do hope that my right hon. Friend, who said on the Committee stage that he was inclined to think I had made out a good case for the severance of these parishes from the borough, will now change his attitude and vote according to his conscience in this particular case, because there is no danger now, when we have arrived at the Report stage, of there being any delay which might endanger the success of the Bill.
§ Colonel STAVELEY - HILL
I beg to second the Amendment.
Having regard to the arguments used by my hon. and gallant Friend, and the fact that the House in Committee had all the facts before it, I do not propose to do more than formally second the Amendment.
§ Sir G. CAVE
This matter was argued very fully in Committee. I repeat what I said then, that the hon. and gallant Member has made a strong case for his Amendment if there were no other consideration to be borne in mind; but, as a matter of fact, both the other hon. Members for Wolverhampton are strongly opposed to this proposal. This Amendment would split up the old Parliamentary borough of Wolverhampton, and would sever from that Parliamentary borough the Southern Division. I appreciate the fact that there are links which unite this division to the neighbouring county, but I think it would be a bad precedent if we were to divide up this Parliamentary borough which has existed for so long. There is no case for disturbing the decision come to in Committee.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. ELLIS GRIFFITH
I beg to move, after the paragraph dealing with the Carnarvon district of boroughs, to insert 2375
This Amendment was moved in Committee, and the right hon. Gentleman stated that he was half-hearted in support of it. I hope he will now modify his heart. This Amendment concerns two counties in Wales. At present they have five members, and the proposal is to reduce them to three. This Amendment will raise the representation from three to four. The case generally with regard to Wales is this. The number of members in England is to be increased from 456 to 485, and the present average population of 73,000 per member is to be reduced to 71,000. In Scotland the number of members is to be increased from 70 to 71, and the average population per member is to be reduced from 68,000 to 66,000. But while in England and Scotland the average population per member goes down, in Wales the average goes up from 71,000 to 72,000. The House will see at once that we are more hardly dealt with than either England or Scotland. Whereas in Scotland the population has decreased from 1911 to 1914 by 13,000, in Wales the population has increased in the same period by 102,000, and yet Wales gets only one additional member while Scotland gets one additional member. I appeal to my right hon. Friend not to differentiate against Wales in this matter, but to have an independent mind on the subject. Wales is entitled to one additional member, and there is no reason why she should be at a disadvantage as compared with Scotland.
Denbigh and Flint District of Boroughs Existing contributory Boroughs of Denbigh, Holt Ruthin, Wrexham, CAergwrle, Caerwys, Flint, Holywell, Mold, Overton, Rhuddlan; and St.Asaph. One
On this particular Amendment we are content to reduce the number of members for these counties from five to four, but we think it a hardship that they should be reduced to three. The population of the two counties is 243,000, and it is quite true that you only get an average population of 61,000 for four members, but there is a great number of constituencies in England and Wales where the population per member is much smaller than this figure. Denbighshire and Flintshire, the two counties affected by this Amendment, have an increasing population. That has been the case for many years past, and it is more the case now than it has ever been. Though it is a personal matter I may mention that the effect of this Bill is to disfranchise two Members who have rendered very distinguished service in the course of 2376 this War—the services of one of them has already been recognised in a very marked manner—and it is a little hard that these two hon. Members who have served their country with such distinction should find their constituencies gone at the end of the War when, as we hope, they will return to this country. I submit two considerations: First, that Wales is entitled to another member, and also that upon the facts these two counties should have not five members as they have now but four members, and that therefore this Amendment should be accepted.
§ Sir G. CAVE
The right hon. Gentleman has made his protest in the briefest possible language, and his argument did not lose in the least by its brevity, because he has put his points so clearly. I am grateful to him for exercising this restraint in the matter of time. He desires to add another member to the House. His case is mainly, I think, that Wales is entitled to one more member. Exactly the same rule has been applied to Wales as to Scotland. Of course, I accept his assurance that the average of population per member is greater in Wales than in Scotland. I accept that, but it is the result of working on the rule which we have all adopted, and I do not think that even in this case we should depart from it. With regard to this particular division I am told that it is a very awkward one, although it may be a good way of putting it forward in order to get one member. I do not say that it is not a fair case to put forward, but, on the whole, I hope the House will adhere to the decision arrived at.
§ Mr. JOHN
We are glad to have the admission that the case is a strong one. It is really a very powerful one, and by all the rules of the redistribution of seats, Wales has a claim to greater representation. Scotland is one of the minor partners of the United Kingdom, but, as a matter of fact, she gets the most-favourednation treatment, and England also gets the favoured-nation treatment, whilst Wales is absolutely the least favoured. That is not a position in which to put the smallest member of the United Kingdom, and it is an absolute reversal of the entire practice of this House. With regard to the movement of population, in 2377 England the population has increased 10 per cent., in Wales 20 per cent., and in Scotland 6½ per cent., and during the last three years in England the increase has been 2.33 per cent., and in Wales 2.39, while the average increase over thirteen years is in Wales quite double the increase in England. The result of the arrangement which is now being worked upon will be increasingly unfair in the case of Wales, where the population will continue to increase rapidly, while in Scotland the population will probably remain
Glasgow Central That portion of the city which is bounded by a line commencing at a point at the intersection of the centre lines of Parliamentary Road and Castle Street, thence southward along the centre line of Castle Street to the centre line of Alexandra Parade, thence eastward along the centre line of Alexandra Parade to the centre line of Fir park Street, thence southward along the centre line of Fir park Street and Ark Lane to the centre line of Duke Street, thence westward along the centre line of Duke Street to the centre line of Sydney Street, thence southward along the centre line of Sydney Street to the centre line of Gallowgate, thence westward along the centre line of Gallowgate to the centre line of Salt market, thence, southward along the centre line of Salt market and Albert Bridge to the centre line of the River Clyde, thence westward along the centre line of the River Clyde to a point in line with the centre line of McAlpine Street, thence northward along the centre line of McAlpine Street, Pitt Street and Scott Street to the centre line of New City Road, thence south-eastward along the centre line of New City Road and Cowcaddens to the centre line of Buchanan Street, thence southward along the centre line of Buchanan Street to the centre line of Parliamentary Road, thence north-eastward along the centre line of Parliamentary Road to the point of commencement.
§ Mr. WATT
I beg to move, in column 4, to leave out the word " Central, and to insert instead thereof the words " St. Mungo"
I moved a similar Amendment in Committee, and the Secretary for Scotland then stated that he would communicate with various bodies in Glasgow, in order to ascertain their opinions on the matter. None of the other divisions in the city under the new system are called otherwise than by some historical name. The name I suggest is that of the patron 2378 stationary. With regard to the Amendment before the House, we accept the position of the right hon. Gentleman that possibly it is not the most convenient method, and my own preference would have been to make a group with Denbighshire. All these facts show that there is a very real grievance here, and one that ought to be dealt with. I hope that the Home Secretary will still give further consideration to the question and get it put right in some form in another place.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ saint and founder of the city. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman will be influenced by the fact that the Corporation of Glasgow have voted on this question, and have, unfortunately by a small majority, carried a resolution against my Amendment, but my right hon. Friend is aware of the saying of a great statesman, I think it was Lord Beaconsfield, that minorities were always right. I hope my right hon. Friend will consider seriously the wisdom of abandoning the descriptions of North, South, 2379 East, West, and Central, and of adopting the preferable principle of having each division associated with some historical name.
§ Mr. MUNRO
When this Amendment was moved in Committee, I undertook to consider it on the Report stage, and, in a sympathetic manner if, in the interval, I obtained satisfactory evidence that the Amendment was supported by the authorities in Glasgow. The evidence on that matter, I am afraid, is entirely against
FIFTH SCHEDULE. PART II.—PARLIAMENTARY COUNTIES. (1) ENGLAND, EXCLUDING MONMOUTHSHIRE. Name of Parliamentary County. Contents of Parliamentary County. Total Number of Members for Parliamentary County. Names of Divisions of Parlimentary County. Contents or Boundaries of Divisions. Chester — — Stalybridge. The rural district of Tintwistle, the municipal boroughs of Dukinfield, Hyde, and Stalybridge and Hyde, and the urban districts of Hollingworth and Mottram in Longdendale. Wirral The rural district of Wirral, and the urban districts of Brom-borough, Ellesmere' Port and Whitby, Higher Bebington, Hoylake and West Kirby, Lower Bebington, and Neston and Parkgate.
§ Amendments made: In column 4, after the word " Stalybridge," insert the word " Hyde."
|Cornwall||—||—||Launceston||The rural districts of Calstock, Camelford, Launceston, St. Columb Major, and Stratton, the part of the rural district of Holsworthy which is within the administrative county of Cornwall, the part of the rural district of Bodmin which consists of the civil parishes of Egloshayle, St. Endellion, St. Kew, St. Minver Highlands, and St. Minver Lowlands, the municipal borough of Launceston, and the urban districts of Newquay, Padstow, Stratton and Bude, and Wadebridge.|
§ my hon. and learned Friend, because I have had a representation from the Town Council of Glasgow, which spent a considerable time in debating this matter, and which came to the conclusion that they did not desire any change in the name of this division adopted. Under these circumstances, while I have great respect for the opinion of the minority as well as for that of the majority, I am very much afraid that the condition which I indicated to the hon. Member on the Committee stage has not been satisfied, and therefore I cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ In column 5, leave out the words " and Hyde."—[Sir G. Cave.]2381
§ Sir F. LAYLAND-BARRATT
I beg to move, in column 4, to leave out the word " Launceston," and to insert instead thereof the word " Northern."
Many of the electors in this constituency desire that it shall be called the "North-East Division," but " Northern " would appear to be a more suitable description, and I move accordingly.
§ Sir CROYDON MARKS
I object to taking away the name of a constituency
Cornwall Penryn and Falmouth The part of the rural district of St. Austell which is not included in the Bodmin Districts of East Kerrier and Truro which is not included in the Camborne Divison, the municipal boroughs of Falmouth, Penryn, and Truro and the urban district of St. Austell.
§ Sir F. LAYLAND-BARRATT
I beg to move, in column 4, to leave out the words " Penryn and Falmouth," and to insert instead thereof the word " Mid."
In Committee I moved that " St. Austell " be added to the name of the constituency, but the Home Secretary objected to have a three-barrelled title, and therefore I have now suggested " Mid " as the name. I beli,3ve that the Commissioners found considerable difficulty in rearranging the Cornish constituencies. They have suggested " Penryn and Falmouth " as a suitable title in this case, but, as St. Austell forms part of the new constituency, one rather objects to its name disappearing altogether. I have been furnished with certain figures which are rather remarkable as to the way in which the constituency is constituted. St. Austell contains nearly 88,000 acres, Truro 25,000, and Penryn and Falmouth 1,113. More important than that is the fact that the population of St. Austell amounts to 37,500, that of Truro to under 20,000, and that of Penryn and Falmouth to 15,800. The rateable values of the three parts of the constituency are: St. Austell £219,000, Truro £86,000, and Penryn and Falmouth £59,000. 1 do not base much of my argument on the rateable value, but I have quoted it as evidence that the St. Austell part of the constituency is the great industrial part of the constituency. It contains the china-clay works which are now the most important industry that exists in Cornwall, and I think, in view of the fact that this is what I might almost call a patchwork constituency, and that St. Austell is by 2382 which has been represented in this House as long as Parliament has existed, and I hope, therefore, the Home Secretary will not accept the Amendment. Would it not be possible to add to " Launceston " the words " and Northern "?
§ Sir G. CAVE
I do not think I can agree to that. We have acted on the rule of either accepting the name of a place or a point of the compass.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ far the largest in area, population, and rateable value; larger than the other two sections put together, I am only asking a reasonable thing that instead of giving the name of any section to the new constituency it, should be called " Mid-Cornwall."
§ Major GOLDMAN
I regret that the hon. Member has moved this Amendment, and I believe he has done so encouraged by certain words of the Home Secretary in the Committee stage of the Bill in connection with the Amendment of the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Morgan). I think those observations were probably founded on some misapprehension and misunderstanding. The Home Secretary seems to have been under the impression that I was opposed to the inclusion of the name Truro, while my hon. Friend was ready to fight in the last ditch to see that the name of Penryn should not receive the name of Truro. He suggested a neutral denominator, which, I think, is not necessary for this purpose at all. I should like to point out that Penryn and Falmouth would deeply resent it, and that a great controversy would be caused in those parts of the country if we were to depart from the Instructions laid down by the Speaker's Conference, and given to the Boundary Commissioners, that where an ancient borough is to be merged into a division, that division should assume the name of the merged borough. I believe there is a great deal in the matter of a name where you are dealing with 2383 great historical boundaries and associations, such as are connected with such a borough as Penryn and Falmouth. Penryn and Falmouth will feel it deeply if their names are removed from the register of this House, with which they have been associated for so long. May I point out that Penryn represents a vast industry? The hon. Member (Sir F. Layland-Barratt) has spoken of the china-clay industry. I speak of the granite industry. The great docks of this country, the great public buildings—Waterloo Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Kew Bridge — all bear testimony to the greatness of Penryn May I point out that in the case of Falmouth it is proud of its association with the great merchant service that started from there, for the West, and I should like to remind the Home Secretary and the House of the importance of the part that Falmouth has played during the War? To that testimony has been given by the enemy in suggesting in a patronising form that be would allow one steamer to pass to one port only, and naming Falmouth as that port. I would urge upon the House to carry out the spirit of the understanding with the Boundary Commissioners. They met the political associations, and our constituents in these areas which are being incorporated in the new division. They met public bodies and corporations, and we all came to a unanimous agreement that the name should be Penryn and Falmouth. The Boundary Commissioners, on account of that agreement, have given the name of Penryn and Falmouth. Under these circumstances I would urge upon the Home Secretary not to introduce a new feud when we are at the point of arriving at a peace between the various constituent boroughs of the new division. If the Home Secretary does not give sympathetic consideration to the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Cornwall he, too, will fall into line. Finally, it is not a historic name—that of Mid-Cornwall. It is not geographically accurate, because the area which has been brought into this division is not in Mid-Cornwall at all, but in South-West Cornwall. I would press upon the Home Secretary not to accentuate the feeling between the places. May I remind the House of the time when Penryn and Falmouth had their separate constituencies?
2384 When they were merged into one there was great controversy which raged for years; so that for generations a young Penryn girl would have no dealings with a Falmouth boy. That being so, I would urge the House to back up the Home Secretary in carrying out the spirit of the Boundary Commissioners, and retain the name Penryn and Falmouth.
§ Sir G. CAVE
When we discussed this matter before, I am bound to say that I was struck by the fact that it was desired to include in the name of this division not only Penryn and Falmouth, but also Truro —the name of a very important borough —and also St. Austell. That could not be accepted as a whole, and it occurred to me, or someone else, that we might take the shorter name. That was only a suggestion.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. MORGAN
With all deference, Sir, the point is this: On the Committee stage the Home Secretary naturally asked for agreement between the parties concerned. We got it, and agreed that the name should be Penryn, Falmouth, and Truro. That does not bind the Home Secretary, but he asked for agreement between ourselves, and he got it. I beg to move, in column 4, after the word "Falmouth," to insert the words " and Truro."
§ Sir F. LAYLAND-BARRATT
I beg to second. I really think if the question is raised of the name of the ancient borough being included, Truro has a higher claim than the borough of Falmouth. It is a much older borough. I assure the Home Secretary that the local authorities never came to me in regard to the acceptance of the name of Penryn, and Falmouth, and Truro. Mid-Cornwall was repudiated.
§ Sir G. CAVE
I would appeal to the House as a whole not to depart from the Instruction to keep to the names of the merged boroughs.
§ Amendment negatived.2385
|Cumberland||Penrith and Cocker month.|
§ Mr. BLISS
I beg to move, in column 4, to leave out the words " Penrith and Cockermouth," and to insert instead thereof the words "Cockermouth and Penrith."
I would like to guard against any claim to speak on behalf of the constituents with whom you, Mr. Speaker, have been so happily associated for so many years past. I am speaking only on behalf of the electors of the Western part of the old division of Cockermouth I have had representations made to me by most of the public bodies in that part of the county. There is a very strong feeling there that the name of the new constituency should be Cockermouth and Penrith rather than as proposed, Penrith and Cockermouth. I bring that forward for two reasons: first of all because of the long historic association which the name Cockermouth has had with this House. From the thirteenth century the borough has had the right to send two members to this House, and certainly since 1640 she did send two members continuously until she became a one-member constituency, in 1862. After the next Franchise Act the borough gave its name to the county
Derby Belper The rural district of Belper, the part of the rural district of Repoton which is not included in the Ashbourne and Shardlow Divisions, and the urban districts of Alfreton, Belper, and Heage. The rural districts of Clown and Norton, the part of the rural district of Chester field which consists of the civil parishes of Beighton, Coal Aston, Dronfield Woodhouse,Eckington, Holmesfield, Killamarsh, Staveley, and Unstone, and the urban districts of Bolsover and Dronfield. Bolsover
§ Amendment made: In column 5, leave out the words " Ashbourne and Shard-low " and insert instead thereof the words " Southern and Western."—[Sir G. Cave.]
§ Major BOWDEN
I beg to move, in column 4, to leave out the word " Bolsover " and to insert instead thereof the words " North Eastern Derbyshire." 2386 division. Thus for many centuries the ancient name of Cockermouth has had very close association with this House of Commons. But I also move my Amendment because of the larger population which is contained in the western part of the division. The rural district and urban district of Cockermouth contain a larger population by 25,000 than the other end of the division. It contains 27,530 of the population. The Penrith urban and rural districts contain 21,350, leaving a majority of 6,100 in the Cockermouth Division. For these reasons, and others which I will not enumerate at this hour, I hope the right hon. Gentleman will give consideration to this Amendment.
§ Sir G. CAVE
The Commissioners proposed to name this Penrith. On the appeal of Cockermouth, Cockermouth was added to Penrith. Now they desire to become the senior partner. I think they are asking too much. I really think these names ought to remain as in the Schedule.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to keep the existing name. This is a question of an area approaching 200 square miles without a big town in it, and there are seven or eight other districts with an equal claim to Bolsover. It is true that Bolsover has a lovely old castle and it is a growing and prosperous mining district, but there are a number of other districts just like it. Bolsover is on the extreme boundary of a very large constituency. The other districts, through their parish2387
§ councils, have passed resolutions begging that the constituency may retain its old name.
|Gloucester||The adminis- trative county of Gloucester exclusive of the parts thereof comprised in the Par- liamentary borough of Cheltenham||Four||Cirencester mid Tewkes- bury||The rural districts of Campden, Ciren cester, Marston Sicca, Northleach, and Pebworth, the part of each of the rural districts of Faringdon, Stow-on-the Wold, Tewkesbury, and Winchcomb which is within the administrative county of Gloucester, the part of the rural district of Cheltenham which con sists of the civil parishes of Prestbury, Swindon, and Uckington, the muni cipal borough of Tewkesbury, and the urban districts of Cirencester, Stow-on the-Wold, and the urban and rural dis tricts of Tetbury within the adminis trative county of Gloucester.|
|Forest of Dean||The rural districts of East Dean and united parishes, Lydney, Newent, and West Dean, the part of the rural dis trict of Gloucester which consists of the civil parishes of Ashleworth, Lassing ton, Highnam, and Maisemore, and the urban districts of Awre, Coleford, Newnham, and Westbury-on-Severn.|
|Stroud ..||The rural districts of Dursley, Stroud, and Wheatenhurst, the part of the rural district of Cheltenham which is not included in the Cirencester Divi sion, the rural district of Gloucester which consists of the civil parishes east of the Severn, and the urban districts of Nailsworth and Stroud.|
|Thornbury||The rural districts of Chipping Sodbury, Thornbury, and Warmley, and the urban district of Kingswood.|
§ Amendments made: In column 5, after the word "Stow-on-the-Wold," insert the wort "Tetbury."
§ In column 5, leave out the words "the urban and rural districts of Tetbury, within the administrative county of Gloucester," and insert instead thereof the word "Tetbury."
§ In column 5, leave out the words "Lassington, Highnam," Over and Linton, Lassington."
|Holland with Boston||The administrative county of the Parts of Holland||One|
§ Amendment agreed to
§ In column 5, after the word "Cirencester," insert the words "and Tewkesbury"
§ In column 5, after the word "Divison," insert the words "the part of."
§ In column 5, leave out the words "consists of the civil parishes east of the Severn," and insert instead thereof the words "is not included in the Forest of Dean Division." Division, except to say, when every insignificant street is getting rid of its horrid name and substituting an English name, it seems a pity that the richest agricultural district of the whole of England should not be able to get rid of the name of Holland and choose an English.2389
name. I wish to refer more to the question of right. Boston maintains that it has the undoubted right to give its name
to this new division, relying upon the words of Instruction 14, which says,
Where an ancient Parliamentary borough loses its representation, the county division in which the borough becomes merged shall be named after the merged borough.
The other night the Home Secretary, speaking on the question of Oldham, said that he considered the Commissioners were bound by Instruction 11, and he also said, " I am a lawyer, thank God, and can understand the meaning of plain words." Nothing could be plainer than the words of Instruction 14. Everyone in the district thought they meant what they appear to mean and that the ancient borough had the right to give its name to the division, but in Committee I was informed by the Home Secretary that I failed on a technicality. He pointed out that Boston was not going to be merged in a county division, because under the Bill they were creating something new, a Parliamentary county. That is rather splitting hairs. The Speaker in his letter of 27th January, says,
The boundaries of Parliamentary constituencies shall, as far as practicable, coincide with the boundaries of administrative areas,
and the only reason for making this a Parliamentary county, we are informed, is that it is an administrative area, and that it is convenient to create a Parliamentary county of the old Spalding Division with part of the Sleaford and Stamford Divisions, and Boston thrown in. It is not, however, going to be made one of the counties of England; it is only going to be a county in the sense that it will be a county division for Parliamentary purposes, and it will be spoken of as a division of Lincolnshire. Therefore, we say that we have a right to demand that it shall be given the name of Boston, just as other divisions in the county are to be known by the names of much less important towns like Gainsborough, Horn-castle, Louth, Brigg, and Stamford. The words in the Instruction on which we relied as a matter of right appeared on an earlier occasion. In the letter written by Mr. Speaker to the Prime Minister, in Recommendation No. 20, these words appear exactly as they do in Instruction No. 14. On 23rd January, when Mr. Speaker wrote that letter to the Prime Minister, he could not have had anything in his mind about Holland and Boston. Probably he had never heard of the name,
because it had never been hinted at or decided that that name should be given by the Commissioners. He would only have had in his mind the names of the counties of England, and in that case he would know of Boston in relation to the county of Lincolnshire. His letter, therefore, meant that when any dividon tcok place under which Boston was merged into the county of Lincolnshire, it should have the right of giving its name to the county division. We prefer to give that name to the county division rather than that we should create a fictitious right on the part of Holland to force its name upon the ancient borough of Boston. The Home Secretary had to admit that at present Holland had no such right, because the Parliamentary county does not exist. It is only going to exist if this Bill passes, as I hope it will do, although I shall lose my old borough. I hope that the Home Secretary, who is very just and fair, will see the rightness of this appeal and grant it.
§ Sir ERNEST POLLOCK
I beg to second the Amendment.
For many years I was associated with this division, and had the honour to be a candidate at two elections. Boston is the great town which stands pre-eminent as the centre of the district. It has the largest population and is known throughout the length and breadth of the district as containing the features to which everybody looks in these matters. Holland is a name often used, but there is no history of Holland in connection with Lincolnshire. There is a town of New Holland on the Humber, which is in the Brigg Division. To introduce the word "Holland " here as a description is a misnomer; it has no general association. Boston Division would be far better understood. It would be appreciated that the central town rightly gave its name to the district, and Boston should be put in the position it deserves from its association with the county.
I am sorry to find myself in conflict with my hon. Friends, but I would express the hope that the Home Secretary will not accept the Amendment. In the first place, this question was thrashed out in Committee, and no new argument has been advanced in favour of the Amendment. There is no precedent when a borough enters into a county for the borough to give its name to the county. That is the case here. Not only is there no 2391 precedent, but there is no reason why it should do it. The hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir E. Pollock) said the name Holland was not in common use. Since I have been there I have heard no other name. They have said it is a new name, even not English. The name of Holland is old English. It was used so long ago as the time of the survey of Henry I. Since I have been there I have not found a single individual who is otherwise than in favour of retaining the name of Holland, Therefore I think the compromise arrived at by those who framed this measure is extremely reasonable that the two names should go side by side and it should be called the county of Holland and Boston. It pleases all parties, as far as I know, in the county.
§ Sir G. CAVE
It is one thing to say, as the House has said, that where a county
Parts of Kesteven, and Rutland The adminis- ! trative county of the Parts of Kesteven (exclusive of the part thereof comprised in the Par- liamentary borough of Lincoln) Two Grantham...' i The rural districts of Branston, Claypole, and Sleaford, the part of the rural dis trict of Grantham which consists of the civil parishes of Ancaster, Barrowby, Belton, Carlton Scroop, Great Gonerby, Harrowby Without, Heydour, Honing ton, Hough-on-the-Hill, London thorpe, Manthorpe, Normanton, Welby, I and the detached part of the civil parish of Spittlegate Without which is wholly surrounded by the municipal borough of Grantham, and the urban districts of Ruskington and Sleaford. and the ad- ministrative county of Rutland Rutland and Stamford The whole of the administrative county of Rutland, the rural districts of Bourne and Uffington, the part of the rural district of Grantham which is not included in the Grantham Division, the municipal borough of Stamford, and the urban district of Bourne.
§ Colonel GRETTON
I beg to move, in column 1, to leave out the words " and Rutland."
This House has been very tender with any new county. Apparently, in this Bill, it is going to treat very much less tenderly the county of Rutland, which has been a county nearly as long as any county in England, and has been represented in Parliament since the first institution of the House of Commons. If the House decides that small counties must go, and that localities must only be represented by numbers, then Rutland must go. But I cannot pass this over in silence, and I feel it to be my duty to call the attention of the House to the matter, and to ask for their sympathetic consideration before a final decision is given.
2392 is split into divisions, and an old borough is merged into one of those divisions, you shall name the division after the old borough. That one understands. But it is quite another thing to say that where a borough is merged in a Parliamentary county, whether new or old, you are to give the whole county the name of the borough. In the first case you are simply naming the part of the county after the borough. In the other you are taking away the name of the county. That is not a technicality at all, but a matter of substance. One recognises the great importance of Boston in this part of the county, but I do not think one ought to alter the compromise, namely, the suggestion to keep both the name of the county and that of the borough.
§ Amendment negatived.
Sir H. ROBERTS
I beg to second the Amendment, and to associate myself especially with the reference to the county of Radnor. It will save the time of the House if the Home Secretary will reply to both cases at the same time. There are two counties which ought to be dealt with as exceptions. They are the only two counties which cease to have Parliamentary representation, and I think they have a right to special treatment. One of my hon. Friends has already put the demands of Wales before the House, and I would suggest that one way of meeting that demand would be to retain the Parliamentary representation of the county of Radnor.
§ Sir G. CAVE
I think both my hon. Friends must feel that they are leading 2393 a forlorn hope. These are two counties which it is proposed to associate with other counties in Parliamentary representation. It would be very difficult to
Lancaster — — Clitheroe The rural district of Burnley (except the detached part of the civil parish of Foulridge which is included in the Parliamentary borough of Nelson), the rural district of Clitheroe, the municipal borough of Clitheroe, and the urban districts of Great Harwood and Padiham.
§ Amendment made: In column 5, after the word "Nelson," insert the words " and Colne."—[Sir G. Cave.]
|Lancaster||—||—||Darwen||The rural district of Blackburn, the municipal borough of Darwen, and the urban district of Turton.|
§ Sir J. RUTHERFORD
I beg to move, in column 5, to leave out the word " district" [" urban district "] and to insert instead thereof the word " districts."
The series of Amendments in my name are the same as I moved in Committee when the right hon. Gentleman was good enough to say that he would take them into consideration, although he could not accept them then. I take another, a serious view of the action of the Commissioners in regard to the Darwen Division.
I have had the honour of representing that division for twenty-one years, and I find that it has been more drastically dealt with than any other division in Lancashire, and I wonder why it is. I dealt with the population question in Committee, but I do not propose to go deeply into that now, because I do not attach the greatest importance to it. It may be argued that I wish to inflict upon the Fylde Division what I am complaining about in regard to Darwen. But the Fylde Division is an entirely agricultural division and the population of that division is increasing far more rapidly than that in Darwen.
The argument which I would like more particularly to put before the Home Secretary is this, that it was an Instruction to the Commissioners that counties entitled to return two or more members shall be divided, and in the formation of such divisions the Commissioners shall endeavour, after ascertaining local opinion, to segregate as far as possible adjacent industrial and rural areas. In Committee there was very little opposition to this Amendment; indeed, there was none of substance. I notice that one 2394 give separate representation to counties of this size when there are urban districts with much bigger populations. I am afraid I cannot accept the Amendment. -
§ Amendment negatived.
§ hon. Gentleman who opposed it, the Member for Blackpool, is not now in his place, and I assume that he has withdrawn his opposition to the proposal. The proposal is that the urban district of Walton-le-Dale, Cuerdale, and Salmesbury shall be replaced in the Darwen Division. The Darwen Division is an industrial division. I may call it a cotton industrial division. That is our predominant manufacture in the constituency. I ask the Home Secretary to replace Walton-le-Dale in that division, and for this reason, that Walton-le-Dale is entirely an industrial urban 'district. It is a very important cotton district. I have been going to the district for twenty-five years, and the audiences that one addresses are to the extent of 95 per cent. engaged directly in the cotton industry. Some of the most important cotton mills in Lancashire are there. Yet the Commissioners have placed this industrial community in an entirely agricultural division. It was unnecessary. There was quite enough population. They did not need to take population into consideration, because they could take area, and there is plenty of area in the Fylde Division lying between the estuaries of the Ribble and the Wyre. If that is so, what reason is there against replacing Walton-le-Dale in the Darwen Division? I am at a perfect loss to understand any, and I hope therefore that the Home Secretary will accept this proposition. I will only add that the Ribble forms a well-defined -and well-understood line for this boundary. Though I feel very anxious about this Amendment, yet, as the Home Secretary 2395 knows all the arguments, I shall content myself by moving the Amendment standing in my name.
§ Sir G. CAVE
I am afraid it is partly my fault that the hon. Member has moved this Amendment again on Report, because I was impressed by his argument in Com
Oxford Woodstock The rural districts of Banbury, Chipping Norton, Witney, and Woodstock, the municipal boroughs of Banbury, Chipping Norton, and Woodstock, and the urban district of Witney.
§ Colonel STAVELEY-HILL
I beg to move, in column 4, to leave out the word " Woodstock," and to insert instead thereof the word " Banbury."
I moved this Amendment in the Committee stage, and I will not repeat the argument, in which I hope I then persuaded my right hon. Friend that at any rate Banbury has superior claims to Woodstock.
West Sussex Horshan The rural districts of Horsham, Steyning West, and Thakeham, the municipal, brough of Worthing, and the urban districts of Horsham,Shoreham-by-Sea, and Southwick.
§ Mr. CAUTLEY
I beg to move, in column 4, after the word "Horsham," to insert the words " and Worthing."
York,North Riding The administrative county of York, North Riding, Exclusive of the part four Cleveland The rural district of Middlesbrough, the part of the district of Guisborough which is not included in the Scarborough Division, and the urban districts of Eston, Guisborough, Hinderwell, Loftus, Redcar, Saltburn-by-the-Sea,and Skelton and Brotton.
§ Amendment made: After the word "Scarborough," insert the words and whitby"—[SIR G.Cave]
|York, North Riding||Thirsk and Malcon||The rural districts of Easingwold Flaxton, Helmsley, kirkby Moorside, Malton,Thirsk, and wath, the part of the rural district of Pickering which is not included in the Scarborough Division, and the urban district of Malton|
§ Amendment made: After the word "Scarborough," insert the words and whitby"—[Sir G. Cave.]2396
§ mittee, not being sure that there was a large division of opinion. I have looked into the matter, and I have also been " snowed in " with protests in regard to it. I am afraid that there is very strong opposition to this proposal, and though there is something to be said on its merits, one is unwilling to cut up a rural district, and I do not think, acting on our principle, that I can accept this Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
I suggested that terms of the points of the compass might be used if there were any dispute, but as there is now no one here to support that view, I accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ I do not propose to repeat the argument which I used in Committee.
§ Amendment agreed to.2397
|York, West Riding||—||—||Keighley||The rural district of Keighley, the municipal borough of Keighley, and the urban districts of Denholme, Haworth, Oakworth, Oxenhope, and Silsden.|
|Skipton||The rural districts of Bowland, Sedbergh, Settle, and Skipton, and the urban districts of Barnoldswick, Earby, and Skipton.|
§ 12.0 M.
§ Mr. CLOUGH
I beg to move, in column 5, after the word " Oakworth," to insert the word " and."
This is the first of a series of Amendments, the second being to leave out " and Silsden " in the fourth line, and the third to insert " Silsden " after " Earby " in the seventh line. Their object is to transfer the Silsden urban district from the Keighley division to the Skipton division, where it has played an honourable and distinguished part for the last thirty-two years. Since I raised this question in the Committee stage I have received this resolution passed unanimously by the Skipton Urban District Council on 13th November:That this Council is decidedly of opinion that the Silsden urban district should not be severed from Skipton Parliamentary Division, and support the claim of the Silsden Urban District Council, which has been placed before the House of Commons, to be permitted to remain part of the Skipton Parliamentary Division. Silsden is very closely allied with Skipton, particularly in matters affecting local government. The Silsden Urban District Council are partners with the Skipton Urban District Council and the Skipton Rural District Council in the joint Infectious Diseases Hospital for the three areas. Silsden is in the Petty Sessional Division, of which Skipton is the centre. Cases from Silsden in the County Court are dealt with by the Skipton County Court, which meets monthly at Skipton. A member of the West Riding County Council is selected for the polling districts of Silsden and Skipton combined. Silsden is connected with Skipton in regard to education, and also in regard to national insurance and old age pensions, and meetings of the committees controlling those matters are held at Skipton.I will content myself with three remarks concerning that catalogue. The first is:— Should Silsden be retained by Keighley, then it will be the one and only constituent of the Skipton Poor Law Union stranded outside the Skipton Parliamentary division. The second is: —Should Silsden be separated for Parliamentary purposes, and for those alone, from its partner Skipton in their joint representation on the county council there will be a bit of a muddle amongst the Wakefield registration authorities in getting out the voters' registers for the two Parliamentary divisions. The third is: Silsden is not associated with Keighley for any local government purposes. The only ground I can conceive that originally influenced the Commissioners in tearing Silsden away from 2398 Skipton and stitching it on to Keighley was that of population, and that just at that moment they were seized with the idea of making them equal in population and as near as possible in the region of 70,000. The Commissioners do not seem to have slavishly adhered to that counsel of perfection in the case of other West Riding constituencies. If I can persuade the right hon. Gentleman to restore Silsden to Skipton, neither constituency will possess an unusual or record population. Under the scheme as it is now, Skipton's population is 72,999, and Keighley's 71,789. If we take Silsden's population 5,125 from Keighley and add it to Skipton then the revised populations will be, for Skipton 78,124, and Keighley 66,664. Neither of them has a record for either smallness or largeness, and even in the West Riding there will still be two county constituencies of Colne Valley and Wentworth with a larger population than that of Skipton and the four county constituencies of Don Valley, Elland, Hems-worth, and Pudsey-with-Otley with a population smaller than that of Keighley; therefore the question of population need not stand in the way of the Commissioners making this restoration of Silsden to the Skipton. Division.
§ Sir G. CAVE
I understand from the hon. Member for the Keighley Division that his constituents are strongly opposed to this Amendment, and under the circumstances I cannot accept it. The two divisions-Skipton and Keighley-at the present moment are fairly equal in size, and if we make the proposed transfer one will be made considerably larger than the other and the rural division will, in fact, be overweighted. There must be very strong reasons indeed to induce the Government to vary the Report of the Boundary Commissioners, and as they do not exist in this case we cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. CLOUGH
Will the right hon. Gentleman inform the House what the objections of Keighley are? Will he give the House some guidance by expressing an opinion whether they are good, bad, or indifferent?
§ Amendment negatived.2399
|PARLIAMENTARY COUNTIES. —SCOTLAND.|
|Ayr and Bute||The counties of Ayr and Bute, inclusive of all burghs situated therein (except the burghs of Ayr, Ardrossan, Irvine, Prestwick, Saltcoats, and Troon)||Three||Bute and Northern||The county of Bute, inclusive of all burghs situated therein, and the county district of Northern Ayr, inclusive of all burghs situated therein except in so far as included in the Ayr District of Burghs.|
|Kilmarnock||The county district of Kilmarnock, inclusive of all burghs situated therein except in so far as included in the Ayr District of Burghs.|
|Southern||The county districts of Ayr and Carrick, inclusive of all burghs situated therein except in so far as included in the Ayr District of Burghs.|
§ Sir W. BEALE
I beg to move, in column 4, to leave out the word " Southern," and to insert instead thereof the words " South Ayrshire."
This is an Amendment the right hon. Gentleman promised to consider sympathetically, and to ascertain whether there was any opposition to it. In the meantime, I think I have laid before him evidence that will convince him on that point, and it ought not to be necessary for me to take up the time of the House further.
§ Mr. EUGENE WASON
I beg to second the Amendment. I do so because I have twice represented South Ayrshire in Parliament. I was born there and live
Berwick and Haddingtoin The counties of Berwick and Haddington, inclusive of all burghs situated therein. One — —
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
I beg to move, in column 1, to leave out the words " Berwick and Haddington," and to insert instead thereof the words " East Lothian and Berwick."
The official name is East Lothian, and, as to Berwickshire, although larger in area
Caithness and Sutherland The counties of Caithness and Sutherland, inclusive of all burghs situated therein. One — —
§ Mr. MORTON
I beg to move to leave out the paragraph, and to insert instead thereof
Caithness The County of Caithness, inclusive of all Burghs situated therein. One — — Sutherland The County of Sutherland, inclusive of all Burghs situated therein. One — —
§ I am sorry it is so late, because it gives one such a poor opportunity to do justice to what is before the House. I should like2400
§ there, and I know how strong the feeling in the county is that the name should be "South Ayrshire" and not "Southern."
§ Mr. MUNRO
When this Amendment was brought up on the Committee stage of the Bill, I said I would consider it very carefully before Report, and if satisfied that there was substantial agreement on the subject, I would accept the Amendment. I see it is put down to-night in the name of three hon. Friends of mine, and looking to the interests which they represent, I think the condition which I laid down has been satisfied, and I have very great pleasure in accepting the Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ it is much less in population, and it has been thought that it should come second. Although I cannot expect my right hon. Friend (Mr. Tennant) to agree to that, I do not think he would dispute the case for East Lothian.
§ Amendment not seconded.
in the first place, to express a hope that the Home Secretary will take off the Whips on this question, and allow us to
vote freely. The big question that I have to call attention to is that of the local inquiry. Hon. Members will remember that on Tuesday, 11th of June, the Home Secretary agreed, and it was unanimously agreed by the House, to give the Boundary Commissioners further Instructions, so that they might deal with areas and other matters, as well as population. The Home Secretary at that time, answering a question I put to him, said that Sutherlandshire was one of those cases which ought to be considered. Following that, I cannot for the life of me understand why the Boundary Commissioners have not carried that Instruction out properly. If there was a county that wanted consideration, it was Sutherlandshire. I have found from the Debates in the House and Committee that there have been a number of inquiries. Why they left this particular case to which attention had been called— Sutherlandshire—without any attempt to hold a local inquiry, I do not know. I should like to read a letter I sent to the Boundary Commissioners on 26th July. The receipt of it was acknowledged, but beyond that I have had no reply to my letter. Probably I shall get that reply from the Front Bench shortly?
I hasten to give briefly, with great respect, my objections to Sutherlandshire being joined up with Caithness for Parliamentary purposes. Sutherlandshire has for many years had separate representation, and, when in 1868 this was challenged in the House of Commons, the seat was retained by a majority of 92—
Both Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Gladstone spoke in favour of Sutherland having separate representation. I have read their speeches, and they are very interesting.
In 1885, when the question was again brought up, there was no Division. I therefore venture to hope that the Boundary Commissioners may come to the same decision. The House of Commons in a late discussion gave the Boundary Commissioners power to consider the area, etc., as well as population, and the Home Secretary at the same time stated that Sutherland was a county that should have that consideration.
I do not see why we should not have had the question of separate representation considered by the Commissioners.
The population of Sutherland is about 20,000, and may seem small, but the area of the county is 1,297,914 acres—
A. very valuable area, I assure hon. Members—
besides which there is the water area of 47,631 acres, foreshore 12,812 acres, and tidal 1,558 acres. Undoubtedly after the War the land question will have to be dealt with, and when that is done the population may soon be increased to 50,000 or 60,000. The Royal Commission on Deer Forests reported in 1895 that there were nearly 400,000 acres in Sutherlandshire
of land suitable for extension of crofts, new crofts, and small holdings. The experience of the War has proved the need for a larger rural population and for increased food production. The adequate representation of agriculture in the House of Commons is therefore a matter of vital importance to the urban and rural population. Sutherland is practically an agricultural district. I have found from my own experience that there is an abundance of work in the county and, especially bearing in mind the distance from London, a need for separate representation without regard to party politics. In such a large area there are so many local matters which can only be attended to by a Member of Parliament. There is the want of railway accommodation or other means of transit which require constant attention, postal matters, and various other things.
It is generally admitted that constituencies far away from the Metropolis should be more fully represented in the House of Commons than those nearer to the centre. In my humble opinion, the representation in the House of Commons of Highland constituencies should be increased, not diminished, as proposed. The population of Sutherland is most orderly and law-abiding. They have turned out for the War in the most loyal and remarkable manner, and it would seem very harsh to reward those who are spared by taking away their representative in Parliament.
I have no personal interest to serve, but am most anxious that Sutherland should retain her separate representation in Parliament, not only for her own good, but for the benefit of the people of the United Kingdom generally. It is our avowed policy now to encourage agriculture and the production of food for the people, so that we should not be so dependent on foreign countries. In the language of the late Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, ' We should colonise our own country.' I may mention it takes about a month to get over the county for election or other purposes, and to join up this county with another somewhat equal in size would make it practically impossible to properly see the electors and their circumstances, or for the electors to see their representative. I sincerely hope that your Boundary Commissioners may be able to do as the House of Commons did in 1868 and 1885—that is, allow Sutherland to retain her separate representation in Parliament, and, if so, I am sure the decision would never be regretted.
In that letter I think I have made out a clear case as to what is wanted, and it is a most astounding thing that, for some reason or other, Sutherland is neglected and there has been no inquiry at all. The matter is in the hands of the Secretary for Scotland, who understands these affairs very well, and I hope he will be able to tell me why we did not have a local inquiry. I have not altered my mind as to the necessity of Sutherland having a separate representation on account of the distance and its great area, and for every other reason it is advisable that she should have a member to look after her interests. I regret, however, that we have not been able to attract the attention of those in power, and the real difficulty is that very few hon. Members know where Sutherland is, and a still larger number have never been there. Consequently, we do not get that amount of attention which is given to other parts of the United Kingdom. I have tried to
do my duty, and I have done my best for the people. These crofters are entitled to your generosity and good feeling. At the beginning of the last century a good many of them were turned out of their holdings by the landlords, driven into the sea, and their houses were burned. There is one part where the women turned out and thrashed the bailiffs and drove them away. Within recent times, owing to the Crofters Act and other Acts, there has been a little improvement, but that, to my mind, is a further reason why this House should give some further consideration to this matter.
Mr. LEICESTER HARMSWORTH
I beg to second this Amendment.
I will confine myself to making a very few observations. I think we are entitled to an explanation from the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill as to the manner in which the Boundary Commissioners interpreted their Instructions. As my hon. Friend who preceded me has already pointed out, the Commissioners did not visit Sutherland or Caithness. It is highly probable that such a visit would have led to a different result, and, at any rate, it would have satisfied the people in those parts that their case had been properly considered. They would then have accepted the decision of the Boundary Commissioners, and they would have felt, at any rate, that their case had had a fair trial. I extend to the right hon. Gentleman a certain measure of sympathy in regard to the position in which he finds himself. The right hon. Gentleman is compelled to acquiesce in, if not actually to instruct, the dismemberment of his own constituency. No decent-minded person will think the worse of him for that, and his constituents refuse to take a narrow or selfish view of his duty in this matter. I hope it is not too late even now to ask the Government to give a favourable consideration to this proposition. Really, the proposal to amalgamate these two counties is of a monstrous character. It constitutes an area, as my hon. Friend has pointed out, which is, I believe, beyond a practical proposition as a Parliamentary unit. I believe that even the strongest and ablest men will find themselves unable to do justice to a constituency of this extent—a constituency which I may be allowed to point out will be nearly double as large as the whole of Lancashire, considerably more than one- 2404 third the size of Wales, and larger than Surrey, Sussex, and Middlesex combined. It has very few methods of travel; the roads are indifferent, and there is only one railway. I think this constituency certainly fulfils the term used by the Home Secretary, of "inconvenient, both in size and character," and I hope one right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland may be able to allow these two counties to remain separate constituencies.
§ Mr. MUNRO
It is with very great. reluctance and very great regret that I feel constrained to resist the Amendment. I confess that the woes of Morley and Batley, and of London, York, and even Wales, left me cold, but I must own that the plea of those counties, with which I have been associated from early boyhood, and with which I have close ancestral as well as political ties, makes a very strong appeal to me. I sympathise very much with the two speeches which have been made by my hon. Friends, and .I feel the force of the arguments which they have adduced, but I am afraid they have ignored the one argument which is fatal to their contention. They will remember, and the House will remember, that the Instructions which were given to the Boundary Commissioners, and which were deliberately sanctioned by this House, include in their number Instruction 2, which prescribes this: " A county or burgh, or district of burghs, with a population of less than 50,000 shall cease to have separate representation." What are the facts of the case with which we have to deal? The facts are that Caithness, with the town of Wick, which at present I have the honour to represent, has a population of 29,910. The county of Sutherland, with the town of Dornoch, which I also have the privilege to represent at present, has a population of 18,829. That is to say, those two counties combined fall short of the 50,000 minimum which was prescribed by the Instructions which were deliberately sanctioned by this House. Accordingly, the practical question which arises is whether a county like Sutherland, with a population of less than 19,000, can reasonably in those circumstances claim separate representation.
Obviously, so far as I have gone, the answer to that question must be in the negative. But then my hon. Friends have invoked the relaxation which was included in the supplementary Instructions to the Commissioners, which directed 2405 them that in cases where there was inconvenience in size or character they might depart from the strict application of the primary Instruction. But I would like to point out that the Commissioners had to invoke that relaxation in order to provide that those two counties combined should have not two but one member, because, apart from that relaxation, the Commissioners would not have been entitled to give one member to these two counties, the joint population of which falls short of 50,000. In no case, so far as I am aware, has there been any successful claim to secure separate representation for a constituency the population of which was less than 19,000. In the relaxation the House will have observed that the Commissioners are empowered to depart from the strict application of this Instruction, but it would require a very liberal interpretation of these words to entitle the Commissioners to depart from the Instruction to the extent of enfranchising a constituency with a population of only 19,000. My hon. Friends the Members for Caithness and Sutherland have pointed to the extent of the constituency which is so formed by the Commissioners, and they have said that it is a very large area. They have said so with perfect truth. but I must remind them of the constituency of Inverness and Ross and Cromarty, which has an area in square miles of 3,724, as compared with 2,714 for the counties of Caithness and Sutherland, and of the Parliamentary county of Argyll, which has one member, and which has an area in square miles of 3,110. Accordingly, from the point of view of area, I am afraid the argument must fail.
It has also been pointed out to me very forcibly in the representations which I have received, that the electoral wedding which is proposed is somewhat anomalous. It is said with truth that Caithness is a more or less Norse county, whereas Sutherland is purely Highland. That is true, but perhaps I may remind the House that experience has shown that matrimonial alliances are sometimes successful even when the temperament and outlook on life of the contracting parties are not entirely similar, and one can only hope that the electoral wedding of these two counties may be equally successful. If the Government were to accede to the arguments used in this case. it would open the floodgates, even 2406 at this late stage of the Bill, and Orkney, with a population of 23,000, and Shetland, with a population of 26,000, might urge that they have an equal if not stronger claim to separate representation. I will not go into the claims of English counties, such as Rutland and Radnor and others which have been discussed lately. The real point of the whole argument is this, that if you begin tinkering with the decisions of the Speaker's Conference you will bring the whole structure tumbling down about your ears. The Conference deliberately adopted the population test, and this House deliberately sanctioned it; and, judged by that test, I am afraid this Amendment, and the claim which is made for these two counties, must fail. It fails not because I decide to reject it—I should very much prefer it if I were in a position to enable it to succeed—but because it is inconsistent with the expressed determination of the House of Commons.
In these circumstances, while I greatly regret it, while I have the greatest possible sympathy with my hon. Friends, and wish I could give them a different answer, I feel I have no option in the performance of my duty but to ask the House to adhere to the determination of the Commissioners. I ought, perhaps, to add that reference has been made to the absence of a local inquiry. To have held a local inquiry would have been to mislead. It would have led to an anticipation that these two counties might have been kept separate. So far from being kind it would rather have been cruel to raise false hopes by holding a local inquiry, and to encourage the anticipation that if certain evidence were adduced a different result would have been reached. A different result could not have been reached under the Instructions under which the Commissioners were acting. In the circumstances, I have no option but to refuse to accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. BRYCE
There is one point which I do not think has been raised in this discussion, although unfortunately I missed the speech of the Mover of the Amendment, and that is the point of the very diminished representation of the small holders. Both these counties are interested in this, and as the North of Scotland is losing three members it means that the representation of the crofters will be sensibly diminished. This question is becoming more and more important. The necessity for amending the 2407 small holders' legislation is becoming more apparent, owing to the administration of the existing Acts, and it is a great misfortune for the small holders that their
Amendment made: In column 5, leave out the words " St. Andrews " [" St.
Fife — — Western The Dunfermline County District, inclusive of all burghs situated therein except in so far as included in the Dun fermline District of Burghs, together with so much of the Kirkcaldy County District, inclusive of all burghs situated therein, and is included neither in the St. Andrews Division nor in the Dun fermline and Kirkcaldy Districts of Burghs.
Amendment made: In column 4, leave out the word "Southern," and insert
Lanark — — Southern The Upper Ward County District, inclusive of all burghs situated therein, together with the part of the Middle Ward County District which is con tained within the parishes of Avondale, East Kilbride, Glassford, and Stone house.
Perth and , Kinross — — Perth So much of the county of Perth as is contained within the Eastern or Blair gowrie and Perth County Districts, inclusive of the city of Perth and all burghs situated within the said county districts. Kinross and Western The county of Kinross, inclusive of the burgh of Kinross, together with so much of the county of Perth as is contained within the Central, Highland and Western County Districts, inclusive of all burghs situated therein.
§ Colonel STIRLING
I beg to move, in column 4, to leave out the words " Kinross and Western," and to insert instead thereof the words " West Perthshire and Kinross."
I have no wish to repeat the arguments in favour of the Amendment standing in my name which I gave in Committee. They were not answered or refuted on that occasion. I would only ask Members of the House to look at this map. The whole of the area on one side of the map is West Perthshire and the small appendage is the county of Kinross. The proposal in the Bill is to give the name Kinross and Western to the whole constituency. I would remind the House of what was once said by a sceptic, that he would have thought more of a certain miracle if Jonah had swallowed the whale. That is exactly what has occurred in this case. I know 2408 representation should be diminished in this way. It is a very great pity, therefore, that two members cannot be left to these counties.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Andrews Division "), and insert instead thereof the word "Eastern." — [Mr. Munro.]
§ instead thereof the word " Lanark."—[Mr. M. Macdonald.]
§ that in this decision the Commissioners have followed their usual practice, and I would only ask the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Scotland to notice that the discrepancy in this case is much greater than in any other. The ground for not accepting the Amendment was that it was opposed, but the opposition to the proposal in the Schedule is very much greater than the opposition to the Amendment. There are some 48,000 people concerned in opposing the name as it stands in the Schedule. There are only 7,000 who have any interest in opposing my Amendment. For these reasons I would appeal most strongly to my right hon. Friend the Member for Clackmannan and Kinross (Mr. E. Wason) to withdraw the opposition which he has made to this Amendment.2409
§ Mr. E. WASON
I am not surprised that my hon. and gallant Friend should have moved this Amendment; but I sincerely hope that the Secretary for Scotland will adhere to the decision which he gave the last time this question was raised in the House of Commons. My hon. and gallant Friend, in supporting his Amendment, laid a good deal of emphasis on size, and I believe that it is quite true to say that we often judge a good many things in this country by size in one way or the other. It is, for instance, quite obvious to the House that my hon. and gallant Friend is not quite as big a man as I am, though I have no doubt he is as good a man as I am in every respect. What I would emphasise to this House is this: that in this, as in all other cases, the Boundary Commissioners have gone on the lines that where a part of a county is taken over by a whole county, that division should take the name of the whole county. Let me give the House three or four illustrations of this. I would give you first Kincardineshire. That is far in excess in point of population and in point of area about the same. Then take Perthshire. West Perthshire is four or five times more than Kincardineshire, and there is some discrepancy as between Kinross and West Perthshire, but there the Boundary Commissioners have given the name of Kincardineshire and West Aberdeen. Then, so far as the other counties are concerned, there was the question raised here this afternoon by my hon. Friend, who did not, I think, get a seconder on that occasion, but in that case Berwick takes the lead—I think very rightly—and the same thing applies in the case of Peebles and the Southern Division of Midlothian, where, as the House knows, Peebles takes the lead. I am only asking that in this case, as in others, what has been the universal practice of the Boundary Commissioners should be adhered to. I do not want to labour the
2410 question any further. I am sorry to say that my own Constituency, like the Kingdom of Judah and Israel, is being rent in twain, and where I am to go 1 do not know; so that I do not think I am asking too much when I ask that one of the most beautiful counties (Kinross) should take the lead in this matter. That is why I sincerely hope that the Secretary for Scotland will adhere to the view he has previously taken on this question and that he will support the determinations of the Boundary Commissioners.
PART III.—UNIVERSITIES. Description of University Constituency. Number of Members. England and Wales— The University of Oxford 2 The University of Cambridge 2 The University of London 1 The University of Durham, the Victoria University of Manchester, the University of Wales, the University of Liverpool, the University of Leeds, the University of Sheffield, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Bristol 2 Scotland— The University of Edinburgh, the University of St. Andrews, the University of Glasgow, and the University of Aberdeen 3
§ Mr. MUNRO
I find myself in rather a difficulty with regard to this Amendment, but I think that the safest course which I can advise the House to follow is that they should adhere to the determination of the Commissioners. The Commissioners in this matter have followed out the principle which they have adopted in all cases of similar character. That principle has been enunciated by my right hon. Friend has referred. I think that it is both a reasonable and an agreeable principle. been swallowed up it is not an ungraceful tribute to its memory that the constituency of which it forms part should be primarily known by its name. That is the principle which the Commissioners have adopted in the various cases to which my right hon. Friend has referred. I think that it is both a reasonable and an agreeable principle There is also a principle which has guided my right hon Friend the Home Secretary and myself in dealing with all these Amendments—that if there is a controversy about the name of a constituency the safest guide is to adhere to the determination of the Commissioners. There is a controversy here, an acute controversy, and having regard to the circumstances and to the reasonable rules which the Commissioners have followed I regret I cannot accept the Amendment which has been moved.
§ Amendment negatived.2411
§ Mr. BRUNNER
I beg to move, in column 2, before the first " 2" [" The University of Oxford I 2 "], to insert " 1—until the university grants degrees to women and thereafter."
There is also a second Amendment standing in my name relating to the University of Cambridge, and I will deal with them both together. I do not know whether the House is aware that, these two constituencies, to which these two Amendments refer, namely, Oxford and Cambridge, are the only universities in the country which do not give degrees to women. In every other constituency in the country women will have votes, and I therefore propose that some pressure should be put upon these two constituencies to make them give votes to women. I propose, therefore, that they should each have only one member now, and that they should wait until they agree to women having degrees before they have two. If the Home Secretary can assure me that in another place Amendments will be introduced to give the votes to the women who have passed the qualifying examinations in Oxford and Cambridge, I shall be ready to withdraw the Amendments, but I certainly think we ought to put some pressure on those two universities to grant degrees to women. They are, I believe, the only universities in the United Kingdom which do not give degrees to women. Some of them have only adopted that course lately, but I believe that these are absolutely the only two left.
§ Mr. HOLT
When these questions were previously considered, I moved an Amendment to try and bring the same subject before the House, and the right hon. Gentleman, who had only just come into the House at that time, gave a sympathetic answer to the proposal. So that the whole subject has been discussed before, and perhaps it would simplify matters a good deal if the right hon. Gentleman could tell us what is the result of the communications which he promised to make to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. He has already promised to do that, and, if the replies are unsatisfactory, I do think my hon. Friend has made an ingenious suggestion for bringing about the object which I am sure all of us desire.
§ Sir G. CAVE
I quite agree with my hon. Friend who has just sat down that 2412 this is a novel way of bringing pressure to bear upon the universities concerned, and I dare say it would have some efficacy. But I really do not think it is within the purpose of this Bill. My right hon. Friend did say, I believe, that he was personally sympathetic to the proposal that degrees should be given to women, and that he would cause representations to be made to the universities, but I do not think he would expect a reply before the Report stage. At the same time, I could not possibly accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. BRUNNER
May I ask, in reply to that point of my right hon. Friend, whether an Amendment will be put in the Bill in another place to give the vote to the women who pass the qualifying examination, although they do not get the degree?
§ Mr. SHERWELL
My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary ha;[...] referred to pressure being put by this House in a particular direction, but I believe he will admit that this pressure is of quite a legitimate kind, and a form of pressure which is perfectly consistent with the legitimate object of this Bill. After all, in reference to the universities, you are conferring an additional vote in respect of an educational qualification. It does seem extraordinarily anomalous and unjust because a degree which is the outward and visible sign of this educational qualification is limited by sex, that therefore those who possess the qualification should be disqualified from possessing the vote. This seems to me such a question of rudimentary justice, and so strictly in conformity with the purpose and spirit of the Bill that I most sincerely hope that the Government will, if not at this stage of the discussion of the Bill, in another place give consideration to it and see if something cannot be done to confer this very simple measure of plain justice.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
I am strongly inclined to support these two Amendments, and for this reason: that under these circumstances the universities are certain to return one Tory and one Liberal, while under this proposal they would only return one Tory, so that we should gain in this House.
§ Mr. WATT
Under the present circumstances Oxford and Cambridge will be over-represented in getting two members because the University of Oxford is under 7,000 for two members, while 2413 Cambridge has 7,254 for two members, and therefore that is an argument why they should be forced to enlarge their electoral strength by taking in the women—I will not say embracing them in this case. I support the Amendment, and I hope it will be accepted.
§ Amendment negatived.
|The University of Wales||1|
|The University of Durham, the University of Liverpool, the Victoria University of Manchester, the University of Leeds, the University of Sheffield, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Bristol||2|
§ This Amendment proposes to give a member to the University of Wales. I move it on the ground that Wales is entitled to a member to represent her university, and I feel sure that this House will wish to accord this privilege and be in agreement with the principle that the Welsh University should be recognised in this way. The House will remember that the Welsh University is composed of three constituent colleges, one at Bangor, the other at Aberystwyth and the other at Cardiff, and that those three colleges are federated to a national university vesting entirely upon the national idea. These colleges were brought into being—were brought into being as the result of the great wave of popular enthusiasm many years ago for the cause of higher education. All classes contributed towards the foundation of these colleges, and they are all of the most democratic character, for on their governing bodies are represented the local authorities and the county councils of Wales.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
On a point of Order. May I call attention to the fact that the hon. Member proposes to take out these words and in the same Amendment he puts them in again, and the Speaker has ruled it cannot be done.
§ Sir G. YOUNGER
The hon. Member proposes to leave out words and to put them in again, and the Speaker has decided that that cannot be done. I think it was in connection with an Amendment relating to Manchester.
§ Major DAVID DAVIES
I beg to move to leave out the words " The University of Durham, the Victoria University of Manchester, the University of Wales, the University of Liverpool, the University of Leeds, the University of Sheffield, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Bristol | 2," and to insert instead thereof,
the University of Durham, the University of Liverpool, the Victoria University of Manchester, the University of Leeds, the University of Sheffield, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Bristol —all exactly the same. These are taken out first of all and then put back again, and it has been ruled that that cannot be done.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I think it is open to the hon. and gallant Member to move the first part of the Amendment, and that is to insert after the University of London "The University of Wales|1."
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I think the hon. and gallant Member should move his Amendment in that way and raise his point.
§ 1.0 A.M.
§ Major DAVIES
I beg to move it in that way, and in doing so I will endeavour to show the House that the Welsh University is one of the most democratic institutions in this country. It has representatives on its governing bodies of the local authorities and of the county councils throughout Wales. In the past it has turned out some most eminent graduates, some of whom have distinguished themseves in this House. It may be said that the University of Wales has not the traditions and the ancient character that some of the other universities in this country possess. On the other hand, I think there is no doubt that there is a great future before higher education in Wales, and steps are being taken already to levy rates throughout the country in support of our educational institutions and especially of our colleges. Therefore, I think we can look forward to a great increase in the number of our students. We can also point to the fact that we have already 2415 in Wales a system of intermediate education which has been built up during the last thirty years and has provided a stepping-stone from the board school to our colleges. I submit to the House that they should give this Amendment their sympathetic consideration, because, after all, in this matter mere numbers is not the only or the supreme test. We hear a great deal in these days about the rights of small nationalities, and surely if there is one thing that any nation does cherish it is its ideals in respect to its higher education. I think the House would do well to recognise this principle and grant our right to a separate representative for the University of Wales in this House. The Government, I feel sure, will give this Amendment their sympathetic support. My hon. Friend the Member for East Denbighshire (Mr. John) told the House to-night that Wales had not been treated at all generously in this Bill, and I venture to suggest to the Home Secretary that here is an opportunity where he can display—I will not say his generosity, but his anxiety that Wales should not be left in the lurch. He can do so by indicating that in regard to this matter he will meet our just claims. I feel sure the House, and especially the Members for Scotland and Ireland, will give us their support in connection with this Amendment. In Scotland they have three members for their universities. The University of London has also been given a member, and surely this House is not going to deny to Wales the right and the privilege of being represented by a separate member in this House. I do appeal most earnestly to the right hon. Gentleman who is in charge of the Bill that he will recognise the) part which Wales has played so conspicuously in the past in the development of our educacational institutions.
Sir GARROD THOMAS
I beg to second the Amendment.
As has been said—and, I think, very correctly said; at any rate, it has not been contradicted—Wales is certainly entitled to one more member. We tried for one in North Wales—for the Denbigh Boroughs—and failed. We tried for one in Mid-Wales—that is, in Radnorshire—and failed. We tried for one in South Wales—that is, for Carmarthen Boroughs —and we failed there also. May I repeat the words used by my 2416 hon. and gallant Friend and say that here is an opportunity for the Home Secretary to right what is now a little wrong, and to placate the whole of Wales by giving its university a representative in this House? Wales is the smallest and the weakest of the nationalities represented here, and it is our custom, in our our own households, to treat anyone who is weak and small with a certain generousness and indulgence. I ask for that indulgent treatment on this occasion; and, after all, it is not an unreasonable request. The Guild of Graduates of the University of Wales is equal to about half those on the voting list of Oxford University and Oxford is given two members. I do not think it is necessary to say anything more than this, that all the nations have their representatives for their cities, boroughs, and county divisions, and so has Wales, and we now ask you to put us on the same footing as the others by giving us one representative for our university.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I cannot accept the Amendment quite in the shape in which it is moved. It would be right, I think, if moved in this way: After " London " insert "University of Wales | 1."
Amendment proposed, after the line "The University of London | 1," insert the line " The University of Wales | 1."— [Major David Davies.]
Sir H. ROBERTS
Before the Home Secretary replies, I desire, in a sentence, as the present Chairman of the Welsh Members, to express, on behalf of my colleagues, their strong opinion in favour of the suggestion made in the Amendment. I think anyone who knows anything about the Welsh University must admit that it stands on a somewhat different footing from the other universities throughout the country. It represents the whole of Wales, and it is surprising how great is the amount of interest which is taken in higher university education by all the counties and local authorities and public bodies which are represented upon the university governing authority. In that way, as I say, the University of Wales I think stands on a different footing from other universities. I would only say this: I admit that at the present time the numbers of the graduates of the Welsh University are not very large, but they are a rapidly increasing body, and on the ground of national sentiment, and having regard to what Wales has contributed to education and the great interest of Welsh 2417 people in all forms of education, it would give the Principality the greatest satisfaction and pleasure if on this occasion the Government were able to say that they would at all events favourably consider the Amendment.
§ Mr. NEEDHAM
I do not rise in opposition to the very persuasive speech of my hon. and gallant Friend who has borne testimony to the value of education in Wales and of the Welsh University, but I would venture to point out to him that it is most unfortunate he should have put down this Amendment at so late a date. I have no right to speak on this point for the University of Manchester, but I hold in my hand a Resolution which was passed by convocation of the University of Manchester—of which I in my time have had the honour of being chairman—when they discussed the question whether London should or should not have separate university representation. Provided that London did get that representation, they went on to discuss what should happen with regard to other universities, and the discussion was only carried upon the assumption that all the other universities should be grouped. My hon. and gallant Friend said, "Give us a representative for the University of Wales." But suppose that is done, is the total number of university representatives to be increased? As the Bill stands there are only two members allocated to the modern universities. If one of the two is taken by Wales does it mean that the other universities are to have only one member? I do not think it is necessary for me to go into details of the number of graduates of the various universities, as that will be pertinent on a later Amendment standing in the names of my hon. Friends from Liverpool, but I want to know what view the Home Secretary takes of the position of the other grouped universities, supposing Wales gets a separate representative. I should like to say that I am not opposed to that, provided the other universities are not going to suffer in any way in their representation on that account.
§ Sir G. CAVE
There are really two questions involved in this series of Amendments affecting the eight younger universities in England and Wales. The first is: Are you going to divide up the constituency at all? It now consists of the whole of the eight universities, with two members, who are to be elected on the 2418 system of proportional representation. We have not left very much to the supporters of proportional representation. If we were to divide up this group of universities there would be nothing left but the three older universities and the Scottish universities. The second question is, If you are to divide it up, is this the right way to divide it? I say most emphatically that I do not think that under any conditions the House will increase the number of members, and, therefore, if Wales is going to have one member the younger English universities would have to be content with one among them. That is the view of English Members; I do not say it is the view of Welsh Members. The total number of voters in these eight universities is estimated at 14,300.
§ Sir G. CAVE
Approximately, 15,000 in one, and 16,000 or 17,000 in the other. The total estimated number for these eight universities, with two members, is 14,300 voters. The number for Oxford, with two members, is more than that-15,000 or 16,000. Cambridge has about the same number. It is quite true that there are two members to each of those constituencies, but the point I was on was, Can you divide up the two members in the manner proposed? Wales has something like 2,500—
§ Sir G. CAVE
I am giving my estimates, which have been very carefully drawn up. They may be wrong, of course, but I am told that Wales has about 2,500 voters. Is it right that Wales should take one member, leaving the other member to the remaining seven universities, which would then have between 11,000 and 12,000 among them? Clearly, that would not be a fair division of the two members, and I do not see how the hon. Gentleman can propose that. As I say, I am arguing on the basis that the House will not increase its membership. Whatever is done as regards dividing the groups of universities, I am sure the House would not accept this Amendment.
Mr. CARADOC REES
The first part I would like to make is this: The Home Secretary has spoken in the case of Flint and Denbigh Boroughs against grouping the boroughs together. One point was that some of the boroughs have not the same interests as the other boroughs, and 2419 that they are difficult to group. The first result of grouping a Welsh and an English university is not a clash of politics, but a clash of nationalities. If the Welsh University had one member you would have members of different political opinions against each other, and someone would be chosen. If, on the other hand, you had a Welsh university grouped with an English university you would have Welsh opinion plumping for one man and trying to get their candidate in as against the candidate of the English university, and instead of Conservative, Liberal, and Labour fighting the contest in Wales you would have the clash of nationalities instead of a clash of politics. If the Home Secretary felt the House was not averse to one more member being added—and I am certain No one is averse to that— [HON. MEMBERS: " Oh ! "] —for this reason, that if one member be added there will still be for the total members for Wales as many electors per member as there are in England and Scotland—and seeing that everybody would be desirous of placing this as far as possible on an equal footing, this is the way to do it. When, instead of having five members for Denbigh and Flint, we are reduced to three and ask for four we are told, "We cannot consider you as a nation; we have to consider each county separately, and although under this scheme you have more voters it cannot be helped." This is a way of rectifying it without harming anybody. It would secure this further: The Welsh university and education, we hope, will go forward and develop. I think it is important in the interests of the university that there should be one representative of the Welsh University in this House. He would centre round himself educational opinion in Wales, and I am certain that would be good for the university, for this House, and for Wales generally. For these reasons I support the Amendment, and I hope that even at this late stage, having regard to the fact that two members will be left for the other university divisions in England—there are to be two for the remainder of the group and one given to Wales, and that is the reason for the one additional member—and that the Sheffield and Victoria Universities are being harmed because they will deal with education in England and will not be fastened to the Welsh University, which will have different sentiments and interests, it is better that the Welsh University should be separately represented.
Mr. LLEWELYN WILLIAMS
I wish to appeal to the Home Secretary on a different ground from those which have been urged hitherto, and that is the ground that Wales as a nation ought to have its educated people separately represented in this House. I am not myself enamoured of university representation, and if my own feelings were consulted I should be against university representation. In Oxford, in Cambridge, in Scotland, and in Ireland I do not think it has been very successful in the past history of this House, but the Speaker's Conference has taken university representation as part of our body politic. Here is a little nation that has come late into the field of education—it is true though no fault of her own, because if we had had the conduct of our own affairs for the last five hundred years we should have had a Welsh university as early as the first Scottish university. Our great patriot, Owain Glyndwr, wanted to have a Welsh university in 1405, and but for the fact that he failed in the attainment of his desire we should not be in the position of being taunted with the fact that we have only 2,500 voters where we should have had about 10,000. Why is it we have so few to-day? Simply because the Welsh university was only started in 1894 or 1895. All our graduates are young men, and in another twenty years we should probably have double the number. The one thing Wales has done which ought to stand as an example for the rest of the country is in the domain of education. Wales during the last generation has expended her best energy in building up her own system of education, which has not been bequeathed WI us by our fathers, which owes nothing to the pious donor, but which has been due to the sacrifices of the working people of Wales during the last twenty or thirty years. I ask the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary will he look kindly upon this matter Wales, after all, is perhaps the most distinct nationality in this kingdom. It has its own language still. I look around me and see Members for Welsh constituencies here, nearly every one of whom, I think, is conversant with his native tongue. Wales has its own traditions. It has a record in the matter of education during the last generation of which any country might be proud. Why, the greatest romance that has been enacted in the history of Britain in the last forty years is the romance of education in Wales; and the culmination 2421 of that history has been the crowning glory of our Welsh University. Small in numbers hitherto it may be but still in comparison with the population, compared with the poverty of the people, compared with the sacrifice which every boy and girl sent to the university means, it is a great achievement. We ask you, since we are going to have university representation, not to leave little Wales alone among the four component nations of this great Kingdom unrepresented as far as her university is concerned, and with not a member of her own to represent higher education. I will not trouble the House with statistics or compare the number of graduates in the Welsh University with the numbers at Oxford and Cambridge or in the Scottish and Irish universities. I would ask the Home Secretary and the House generally to show their sympathy and respect with the greatest effort that democracy has ever made in this Kingdom to rear up a great educational structure by their own sacrifices, with none or very little help from the Government—none at all at the beginning and very little help since—in order that we should have this official and fundamental recognition of the efforts of the Welsh people in this direction by saying that Wales shall be treated exactly as England has been treated, and Scotland and Ireland, by having her university represented here. You are really doing a mean thing when Wales, by grouping her university, built it up in the way I have suggested, with seven other universities in England. It means that you do not give the Welsh University a, chance of being represented in this House in any possible way. We shall be submerged by the great university colleges of Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, and Leeds. We shall have no chance ever of getting the distinctive voice of educational Wales heard in this House. Does the Home Secretary really mean to say that that is not a bad thing, if university representation is a good thing in itself? Does he mean to suggest that the voice of Wales in university representation should not be heard here at all? I put it on broad national grounds. I appeal to my English friends. All I can say is that I have never found English Members averse to bearing and to sympathising with the demands of Wales, and I do ask the English members to come to our rescue, to come to our aid, not to look upon us as a small people and therefore 2422 a people to be despised. I appeal to the generous instincts of England in dealing with small nationalities, especially small nationalities at their best—because that is what the Welsh University represents—and to give us elementary justice by allowing our educated young men and women a voice that can be heard in this House.
Mr. T. WILSON
Like the last speaker, I am not in favour of university representation in this House, and, holding those views, I hope the Government will stand by the Bill and by the Schedule and will not concede the point asked by the Welsh Members. The last speaker said he did not believe in university representation at all, but bad as that may be he wants to make it rather worse. It is a curious feature in connection with politics to say that a thing is as bad as it can be and then want to make it worse. That is exactly what the last speaker has suggested. I think the universities will be well represented under this Bill, and I suggest to the Welsh Members that if they were to put up the present Prime Minister as a candidate for the group of universities in the Schedule very probably they would have a Welshman representing their university in this House. There is another reason why I am opposed to this Amendment, and that is that it is not fair to the House of Commons to make this alteration at this time of night, with so very few Members present. [How. MEMBERS: " That is not our fault !"] I know it is not your fault; but I say that if the Government give way to the demand of the Welsh Members now they will not be treating the Members of the House of Commons quite fairly, and I do hope they will oppose the Amendment and stand by the Schedule as it is printed.
§ Mr. HINDS
We in Wales are labouring under the injustice that we have got one member less than we ought to have, and having failed in other quarters we think we ought to be given another member in this direction. Wales is on a different pedestal from the other universities. It is the only national university in the Kingdom. I do not know where the Home Secretary got his figures from, but I have very different ones. I will not go into statistics, but we have got a case with regard to representation even if the question were only one of figures. Like the last speaker and my hon. and learned 2423 Friend the Member for Carmarthen Boroughs (Mr. Llewellyn Williams), I am not very keen on university representation, but as we have got ten members coming to the House representing universities I think we have a claim to have one representative of Wales. It has been pointed out already that there is in Wales a passion for education, and by appealing as we do to-night for a Welsh university member, we are only appealing for justice. My feeling is that the House of Commons is at all times fair, and I think if you look at this matter from the point of view of Welshmen and Welsh education the least you can do is to give us one representative of Welsh education.
§ Mr. JOHN
I very much regret that the voice of Labour has been heard in opposition to this Amendment, for no university in the country owes more to labour than does the University of Wales. It owes much to the sacrifices of the colliers in particular, and its personnel, to-day, from the Principal down to the students, come very largely, indeed, from the labouring classes. I would urge on the hon. Member who made this reference that he is acting very unfairly when he presses the argument as to the undesirability generally of university representa-
§ tion to our detriment. He undoubtedly, like many of us, disapproves of university representation; but while that is the opinion of all the progressive forces in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, it is unfair to urge that to the prejudice of Wales. I would add further that there is no reason whatever why we should not have the representation that we are entitled to. There are two Gentlemen sitting on the Front Bench now, two very keen intellects representing England and Scotland, and I defy them, with their joint genius to give any satisfactory reason why Wales should be treated so much less generously than Scotland in this matter. I would also urge, too, that even in the whole United Kingdom the Welsh University is the only national university—it is entitled to speak for a nation, and that is more than any other university in England, Scotland, or Ireland can do. Indeed, it is doubtful whether any university in the world can do that, and I hope, therefore, that the House will recognise this special position of the University of Wales in the way we desire.
§ Question put, "That the words 'The University of Wales1| 1' be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 12; Noes, 50.2423
|Division No. 125.1||AYES.||[1.36 a.m|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Pryce-Jones, Colonel E.||Watt, Henry A.|
|Griffith, Rt. Hon. Ellis Jones||Rees, G. C. (Carnarvonshire, Arlon)||Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)|
|Hinds, John||Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbigh)|
|John, Edward Thomas||Rchinsoil Sidney||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.-Major|
|Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)||David Davies and Sir G. Thomas.|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Gibbs, Col. George Abraham||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough)|
|Baird, John Lawrence||Greig, Colonel J. W.||Samuels, Arthur W. (Dublin, U.)|
|Baldwin, Stanley||Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland)|
|Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)||Holt, Richard Burning||Sanders, Col. Robert Arthur|
|Barton, Sir William||Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)||Seely, Lt.-Col. Sir C. H. (Mansfield)|
|Bathurst, Col. Hon. A. B. (Glouc., E.)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Smith, Harold (Warrington)|
|Bliss, Joseph .||Lindsay, William Arthur||Stewart, Gershom|
|Boyton, James||Locker-Lampson, G. (Salisbury)||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Bridgeman, William Clive||Macmaster, Donald||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Maden, Sir John Henry||Whiteley, Herbert James|
|Cave, Rt. Hon. Sir George||Mount, William Arthur||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Worcs., N.)|
|Chancellor, Henry George||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Clough, William||Norman, Sir Henry||Young, William (Perthshire, East)|
|Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham||Nuttall, Harry||Younger, Sir George|
|Coats, Sir Stuart A. (Wimbledon)||Palmer, Godfrey Mark|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Parker, James (Halifax)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.-Lord|
|Craig, Col. James (Down,E.)||Pease, Rt. Hon. H. Pike (Darlington) 1||Edmund Talbot and Captain Guest.|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes (Fulham)||Pratt, J. W. i|
§ Mr. BRUNNER
I beg to move, to leave out the words " The University of Durham, the Victoria University of Wales, the University of Liverpool, the University of Leeds, the University of Sheffield, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Bristol | 2," and to insert instead thereof, 2425
The object of the Amendment is to group the universities named in two groups for the purpose of returning one member as regards each group. I have to point out that there is a mistake in the printing of this Amendment and that the first group should be " the University of Durham, the University of Leeds, the University of Liverpool, the Victoria University of Manchester, and the University of Sheffield, and the other group would consist of the University of Birmingham, the University of Bristol, and the University of Wales. I propose this Amendment because I have been asked to do so by one of the universities, and let me say that I do not know what the feeling of the other universities may be in this matter. I move it because I am connected with the University of Liverpool, and they have asked me to do so. I would just point out that the four universities of Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and Sheffield are already connected together in that they have examinations in common. I have put Durham into the group because they are in the same geographical area in the North. It would be far more convenient for these universities to have one member standing for a smaller constituency than to have two members standing for the whole of the eight universities.
The University of Durham, the University of Leeds, the University of Liverpool, the Victoria University of Manchester, and the University) of Sheffield 1 The University of Birmingham, the University of Bristol, and the University of Wales 1
§ Mr. STEWART
I beg to second the Amendment. It. is quite clear that Liverpool are afraid of being cast into the maelström of proportional representation, and they hope by reducing the number of the constituencies to maintain a certain personal touch between the university and its representative, which they fear would be lost if two members represent a great number of universities. I do not propose to detain the House at this late hour, but I wish to say that it is the fact that they already work reciprocally with the Universities of Sheffield, Manchester, and Leeds, and if Durham were added to the group it would form a great Northern group of universities, which, I think, would be a valuable thing to have under the system of university representation, for which the Bill makes provision.
§ Mr. NEEDHAM
I want to offer opposition to the suggestion of my hon. Friends 2426 for the division of the universities in the manner they propose in this Amendment. May I inform the House that the Amendment was only put down on the Paper, I think, yesterday, and, that being so, obviously there has been no opportunity of consulting any of the universities who are mutually interested? In May or June of this year Convocation of the Manchester University passed the following resolution:That in the event of separate Parliamentary representation (one member) being given to London University, the remaining universities of that group suggested by the Speaker's Conference constitute a single constituency with two members.That resolution of Convocation was, I believe, sent to every one of these constituent universities. I remember making the suggestion that it should be done, and I believe it was done. I do not think there was any indication from a single one of the universities named in the Schedule objecting to the resolution passed by the Convocation of the Manchester University. At any rate, if there was such objection, it has only just been raised at the instigation, as I understand, of the University of Liverpool. I am not here in opposition to the University of Liverpool, but to those of us who are connected with modern universities it seems rather unfortunate that we should be called upon to decide on these matters without having an opportunity of consulting our constituents. I have another objection to urge to the proposal. There is the question of the graduates who will be voters. According to the information given me by the University of Manchester, the total number of the voters in the first group, according to the division suggested by my hon. Friend the Member for Northwich (Mr. Brunner), would be 14,883, comprising 5,600 for Durham, 1,371 for Leeds, 2,300 for Liverpool, 4,600 for Manchester, and 412 for Sheffield; whereas in the next group the voters would number only 4,977, comprising 1,398 for Birmingham, 413 for Bristol, and about 3,000 for Wales. That obviously is a very inequitable distribution of these universities. I oppose the suggested division on the ground that one university was very strongly against it, and indicated this as long ago as June last. Secondly, I oppose it on the ground that the proposed division works out in an extremely unequal 2427 manner. The hon. Member for the Wirral Division (Mr. Stewart) supported the Amendment on the ground that Liverpool had asked him to do so, but he did not give us any great reason for his advocacy of it beyond the fact that it would leave Liverpool, Manchester, and Sheffield working together in regard to certain examinations. That is quite true, but when I urged the same plea to the Home Secretary in connection with a joint register it was refused on the ground that a separate university register should be kept. I hope that the Home Secretary will resist the suggested division.
Mr. H. SAMUEL
I imagine the opposition to the proposal which has come from the hon. Member who has just spoken would alone be sufficient to prevent the Home Secretary accepting the Amendment, but in addition there is another reason. The Speaker's Conference recommended the retention of university seats on the understanding that where a university, or group of universities, returned two members or more the minority should be represented. In the Bill, as it stands— and it follows more or less the recommendations of the Speaker's Conference—the election of two members for this group of eight universities would be on the principle of proportional representation. Therefore both the majority and the minority would be represented there, as they would be in the case of Oxford and Cambridge. But if the group is divided into two groups, each returning one member, then that principle disappears, and, as the compromise was agreed to in the Speaker's Conference on the understanding that minorities should be represented on condition of retaining university representation, I hope the Government will not accept an Amendment which impairs that principle.
Sir H. ROBERTS
I also hope that the Government will not accept the Amendment in its present form. There are certain reasons in favour of regrouping the eight universities, but this particular grouping—if I may speak from the standpoint of Wales—would not be in harmony with the general interests which we all have in view. A far better grouping, if we were to divide the eight universities, would be the University of Wales with Bristol, Manchester and Liverpool attached to it. From the standpoint of community of interest and for other 2428 reasons that would be a far better grouping than that now proposed. I hope, therefore, that the Home Secretary will not accept the Amendment.
§ Sir G. CAVE
I think if the grouping is revised at all it certainly cannot, after the speeches we have just heard, be divided in this way. The numbers will be more than two to one in favour of one group as against another. The hon. Member who speaks for Wales objects to Wales being included in his group and, that being so, I do not think we could accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. WATT
I beg to move, in column 1, after the word "Scotland," to insert the words, "The University of Edinburgh | 1."
This is another national plea, and I hope it will be more successful than the last of that character. London has a special Member to itself, and we do not see why Edinburgh should not also have one. London has only some 6,500 electors, whereas Edinburgh has 10,000 graduates, and if the university m the capital of one country gets a member we think the university of the capital of another country should also get a member. The main contention in favour of this Amendment is the figures. Scottish universities are extremely under-represented in the representation given them under the Bill. In Edinburgh, as I have already said, there are 10,000 graduates, in Glasgow 8,500, in Aberdeen practically 5,000, and in St. Andrews over 1,500, making a total of 25,000 voters in the universities of Scotland. These get three Members among them under the present Bill. The figures for England and Ireland are quite different. I do not know where the Home Secretary obtained the figures for Oxford and Cambridge, which he read out earlier in the Debate, but I have the figures from the Librarian— hours ago now—and they were for 1915-Oxford 6,977—the Home Secretary made the figures practically double that—
§ Sir G. CAVE
The hon. and learned Member is giving the present number of electors for Oxford. I gave the estimated number under the Bill.
§ Mr. WATT
I am giving past figures and, of course, others will be brought in. I am dealing with the 1915 figures, and those for Cambridge were 7,200, London 2429 6,500, and Ireland 4,400. These four universities make up 25,000 voters, practically the same as the four universities in Scotland, and yet the four in Scotland get three members whereas the other four that I have named get seven. It is because of these figures, and because London gets a member to itself, that I propose this Amendment.
I beg to second the Amendment.
The figures entirely bear out the claim that Edinburgh has to separate representation. I think the annual students we used to have were something like 10,000, and as it was the largest medical school in the world I think on that ground this Amendment should be specially agreeable to hon. Members. I see there is a very distinguished graduate of the university on the Treasury Bench, next to the Home Secretary, and I hope I shall appeal to him successfully in favour of the Amendment. With regard to women, I think Edinburgh was the first university to grant degrees to women, and that is in my opinion a further reason for granting this appeal. In any case, the figures ought to be sufficient justification for giving Edinburgh separate representation, and I appeal to its distinguished graduate on the Treasury Bench to use his influence with the Home Secretary.
§ 2.0 A.M.
§ Mr. MUNRO
The Bill as it stands embodies the recommendations of the Speaker's Conference in assigning three Members to the four Scottish universities. I think if the Amendment were accepted the modern universities in England might very reasonably agitate for increased representation over the two members allotted to them. I think it is unfortunate that my hon. and learned Friend put this down as a manuscript Amendment on the Report stage, giving me no opportunity of communicating with the Scottish universities and of ascertaining their views. I can well believe that the University of Edinburgh—of which I am an alumnus and for which I have the highest affection end regard-might desire this Amendment, and I am not surprised that my hon. Friend the Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. Price) should support it. But I am surprised that my hon. Friend the Member for the College Division of Glasgow should have proposed it.
§ Mr. MUNRO
Everyone knows my hon. Friend's large-mindedness and generosity and even daring. He has had a tilt with the Glasgow Town Council already to-day, and I think he will now have to settle accounts with Glasgow University as well, because I think that while Edinburgh would welcome this change Glasgow would not. I think it unnecessary to go into the figures. It is sufficient for the purpose that this Amendment would involve an addition of another Member to the membership of this House, and that has been regarded as a stile which it is hopeless to get over. On this particular occasion I think the result must be the same as in the other similar cases. Reference has been made to the London University proposal, but I would remind my hon. Friend that the vital distinction between that case and this is that the proposal there did not involve any addition to the membership of this House, whereas this does. In these circumstances I cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment negatived.