§ Order for Consideration, as amended, read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill, as amended, be now considered."
§ Mr. RAWLINSON
I beg to move to leave out the word "now," and at the 2495 end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months."
Every other local body that wishes to borrow money has to obtain the consent of the Local Government Board, and has to submit to that Board the reasons why a particular sum of money has to be borrowed. That is not so in the case of the London County Council. They stand in an exceptional position. The only people who have the power of vetoing or of allowing, as the case may be, the incurring of large expenditure by the London County Council are the House of Commons. As probably everybody in this House knows, the Government have already got more work than they can possibly deal with, and so far as I am aware they never have interfered with the London County Council Money Bills which have been brought before the House of Commons year after year for us to deal with, and I submit that it is the duty of private Members of the House of Commons to devote at least the small time of one evening in the year to the very large sums of money which are being borrowed and spent by the London County Council, because it is our duty, and our duty alone, to criticise the expenditure. That is the general broad point. During the War, the expenditure of money by the London County Council was much less than in other years, and I pay this tribute to the County Council that they seem to have exercised economy during the period when it was very important to exercise economy, which was exceedingly valuable. Consequently this matter has not been brought before the House for the last four or five years. This matter has now been brought up on Report, rather than on Second Reading, for the convenience of everybody concerned. It was being brought up before the Whitsuntide vacation, but the County Council preferred that it should be brought up afterwards, as otherwise they would have lost the Committee Stage before the vacation. Therefore, probably it is in better form for us to give a judgment on the matter.
I may call attention to one or two of the most, salient items in this Bill, and ask for an explanation as to why this House should sanction the expenditure of these very large sums of money. The hon. and learned Member for Paddington (Sir H. Harris) is in charge of this 2496 Bill, and I am perfectly certain that nobody is more likely to be able to give full information on these points or to put forward the County Council case more clearly, because we know that for many years—and we all owe him a deep debt of gratitude for it—he has worked unselfishly on the County Council as Chairman of the County Council, and the County Council suffered a great loss in their Chairman coming here, but it is of this advantage to us, that he is thoroughly familiar with County Council finance, and he will put their case to us, possibly with a slight bias in favour of the County Council, but in a perfectly clear and lucid way. In the main body of the Bill there have been certain broad changes. There is an extension of the number of years within which loans have to be repaid. In Clause 6 they propose in a very large number of cases that the 60 years within which certain sums have to be repaid should be extended to 80 years. Probably it is necessary, but I would like the hon. Member to tell us whether the finances of the County Council, or the borough councils to which the loans are made, are in such a state that it is really necessary to make this extension. I should imagine it is very likely that that is so. If that is so, it is a great reason why there should be more rigid economy in the rest of the Bill. The vast importance of the Bill is in the Schedule which consists of a large number of different matters upon which the County Council propose to spend money during the ensuing year. I want to impress upon the House and upon the County Council that economy at the present time is a very important matter. It is important that big bodies like the House of Commons and the London County Council should show an example in economy. The general public will never believe in economy until they see these larger bodies are exercising rigid economy. It must be clearly and definitely shown that expenditure must be incurred, and that it cannot be delayed without injuring other interests. At the present time the use of labour in building, or any work like building, is undesirable unless it is absolutely essential. The first claim on building labour is for housing the population. We are frequently told that the builders of these luxury buildings are not the same class who build houses but there is a good deal of fallacy in that. The contractors, in many cases, and the men they employ are the same type of 2497 people who are employed in building houses. Certainly, if you postpone luxury building you are doing a great service to the community and affording an opportunity for dealing with the housing problem.
I should like to call attention to two items in the Schedule. One item relating to the London County Council Tramways and Improvements Act, 1914, shows that the original estimate was £78,000. That has been increased to over £100,000, and they propose to spend £59,000 during this year. In connection with the Mare Street tramway and other extensions, the original estimate was £46,000. The amount spent up to the present time is £850, the amount estimated to be spent is £75,000, and they propose to spend £54,000 this year. The County Council must make out a very strong and definite case to show that this very large expenditure on street widening for the purpose of tramways is really necessary at the present time. Here we have large increases in the original estimate of £50,000 in both cases for extending and widening the tramways system. This must be taken in conjunction with another item called Acts relating to tramway construction, reconstruction of tramways, provision of buildings, power-stations, machinery and rolling-stock, and other purposes, for which they ask the first time for £1,311,000 during the existing year, and after that over £500,000 in the six subsequent months. This expenditure upon tramway enterprise at the present time does require a great deal of explanation. Is this tramway enterprise paying? Is the institution of twopenny fares during the day for any distance during certain hours a danger signal that the tramways are not paying, or does it mean that they are in a prosperous condition? Whether it is or is not, the days of tramways as a means of locomotion are, in the opinion of many, numbered It may be said that they are not numbered, but many of us think that motor omnibuses will supersede them very shortly. Is this the time to incur during the current year more than one-and-a-quarter millions in the construction and reconstruction of the tramway system, and over £100,000 in widening the streets for the purpose of tramways? There is another item in the Schedule, in which it is proposed to spend £28,000 on the erection and equipment of new offices, and to provide additional plant for testing 2498 gas meters, and for the erection and equipment of new offices for testing weights and measures. I do not know what office is required for testing weights and measures, but if the old office could be made to last another year or two, it would be a desirable thing, and that we should not spend £28,000 this year in the erection of these new buildings for the testing of weights and measures and gas.
There is another matter which I have raised before, not only on the general principle, but on the particular principle, and that is, in regard to the County Council. In the Schedule of the Bill the County Council is required to state the total estimate as shown in previous Money Acts, the approximate expenditure to 31st March, 1920, and the extra amount they are asking the House to sanction. That is very desirable; otherwise we are sanctioning the expenditure of money without knowing what has been spent and what is to be spent. The new county hall is being built across the river, and on the front of it is a huge poster asking us to buy 6 per cent. Housing Bonds. Instead of the County Council observing that salutory rule of giving full particulars of expenditure, there is not a word in the Bill as to the amount estimated in the previous Money Acts, the expenditure up to 21st March last or the extra estimated expenditure. They simply ask for £525,000, which they propose to spend on this edifice during the current year, and in addition £280,000 in the succeeding six months. I cavil very strongly at that information below withheld from the House, and I ask what are the sums that have been authorised in previous Money Acts, and the amounts that have been spent on this building up to 31st March. I have previously tried to get an estimate of the cost of the building. Year after year I asked the question and never got an answer. On one occasion we voted, I think, £1,000,000. I want to know what is the amount which has been authorised by previous Acts of Parliament, how much had already been spent on the building, how much it is intended to spend, whether there is any Estimate or contract, when the contract was entered into, and when the Estimate was made? Is this £750,000 likely to finish the building or not? Is there any guarantee that that will complete it, or are we next year to be asked to add some more thousands of pounds? There is a suggestion here of two quite 2499 new items. It is proposed to spend £88,000 on the provision of a new Court House for Quarter Sessions and a small sum in the succeeding six months. Is the expenditure of that £88,000 really necessary this year? Have not the Courts of Quarter Sessions been held in the present buildings for a very large number of years? I am not going to say one word in their favour or to the contrary, but are they not good enough to go on with for a few years longer? Where is the new Court House to be built, and why cannot building be deferred?
There is one item which, I hope, it will be possible to amend. It is the duty of this House to pass any money which the County Council wish to borrow. An item here is to provide for possible expenditure for purposes sanctioned by Parliament, for which it may be desirable that the County Council shall have power, and the amount is £200,000, with £100,000 for the next six months. That item ought not to appear in this Bill. What it really comes to is, putting in an item of £200,000 for "Sundries." If we are to exercise, perfunctorily as we do, any sort of control over these things, I suggest that £200,000 is excessive. Such an item has never appeared before. The highest sum hitherto has been £50,000. There has been added in Committee a schedule of matters which have been sanctioned by previous Acts of Parliament, and which have not yet been spent. They say they brought forward a sum of £32,000,000 as the amount which they are authorised to borrow ordinarily, and then they put in an item of over £12,000,000 which they are authorised to borrow during the present year for matters sanctioned in previous Acts of Parliament. My Hon. Friend will say that that is not his fault, that it relates to the action of previous Parliaments. The commitments of the County Council already are very large indeed, and the fact that they are going to spend this year a sum of £12,000,000 or thereabouts is all the more reason for rigid economy in what is sanctioned now. If my hon. Friend makes out a case for urgency no one would be more willing than I that the County Council should have what they require, but we should look closely at these figures before we pass them sub silentio.
§ Mr. HOHLER
I beg to second the Amendment. One is alarmed at these borrowings by the County Council. For the life of me I cannot understand why their borrowings for the financial year, which are aggregated at the end of Schedule 5, are £3,100,000, and yet for the six months following the financial year they ask this House to authorise an expenditure of £8,000,000 or £9,000,000 more. That surely cannot be good finance. Why is it that the County Council desire to have this large sum in hand for the six months following the financial year when they require only £3,000,000 for the financial year? The sums that the County Council are raising for tramways are alarming. I calculate that for tramways extensions they require over £2,000,000. I would ask, Are the County Council tramways paying? What is there to justify this immense expenditure? What are these extensions? There is £50,000 for omnibuses. When it appeared in the Schedule of the Bill, before amendment in Committee, it was given as provision of omnibuses, construction and equipment of tramways, purchase of land and other purposes for the tramways undertaking, and for that £50,000 was asked. As amended in Committee that item now appears simply for the provision of omnibuses, and yet, though the extra items have been struck out, the same sum of £50,000 is still asked for. Why, I ask, should the County Council be given powers as to a sum of £8,000,000 or more six months after their financial year has expired? According to the Bill they are receiving borrowing powers for a sum of £32,000,000, and in that item we are asked to revote a sum of £12,000,000, showing that in the past Parliament has granted more than they require. Then there is a very convenient Clause which extends the period of repayment of certain debts from 60 to 80 years. How much does that represent capitalised? What is the good of trying to reduce rents if you increase rates? What is now doing more to create unrest and kill building and enterprise are these vastly rising rates. The rates have increased in some cases from 60 to 70 per cent., and in some I should say possibly cent. per cent. This increase of rates is creating the greatest possible distress amongst the poorest of the people, and I emphatically protest against it. I do not propose to travel over the ground so ably 2501 covered by my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Rawlinson), but I wish to support him in his protest against this expenditure. It may be that we shall get little or no redress, but at any rate it is desirable to call attention to the matter at a time when money is greatly required for undertakings of various kinds. What rate, may I ask, will have to be paid for this money with the extension of the time for some payments from 60 to 80 years? This figure of £32,000,000 does not really represent all that is being permanently added to the capital debt of the London County Council. I hope that this expenditure may be curtailed and that something will be done in the matter.
§ Sir HENRY HARRIS
I am much obliged to my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Rawlinson) for his references to myself, and I am also grateful to him for postponing criticism until the Report Stage for the convenience of the promoters. The hon. and learned Gentleman said that the London County Council differs from all other local bodies in that it is the only body which can bring any criticism to bear on the House of Commons and not, as in the case of other bodies, the Local Government Board. I would point out that the County Council is compelled to go to the Treasury, and, in my view, the Treasury is a more stern critic of expenditure than the Local Government Board. Therefore, it is not true that the only criticism comes from this House, as it comes as well from the Treasury. My hon. Friends who seconded complained that the County Council asked for borrowing powers in respect of six months after the end of the financial year. That is done in pursuance of an Act of Parliament passed by this House. As to the points put, I think I am entitled to mention that I only had notice of them before this Debate started, and therefore I do not think it can be expected that I can give information on all the matters, nor, indeed, do I think this is the occasion when this House can properly discuss the question as to the tramway policy of the County Council. It really is impossible to do so now. The proper time is upon Tramway Bills. The Council has to come to Parliament to get permission to carry out tramway schemes, and all these tramways have been authorised by Parliament. First of all, it was pointed out that it is proposed in a Clause of this 2502 Bill to substitute eighty years for sixty years as regards repayment of money to be made by the London County Council for housing schemes. That has been done on the suggestion of the Ministry of Health. I do not think that the County Council would have put it forward on their own initiative. It is the period the Ministry of Health is adopting for the repayment of these loans.
The hon. and learned Gentleman pointed out the increase in the estimated cost of Item No. 11 in Schedule 1, in connection with the purchase of property and execution of works. That is due to obvious reasons, which anybody can gather; it costs very much more to carry out works now than when they were originally made. I am afraid I cannot give him any definite information about the small item at the bottom of page 8, namely, the erection and equipment of new offices for the Sale of Gas Acts, but I can only imagine it is necessary for carrying out the statutory duties of the Council. In regard to the new County Hall, I think it is rather hard that my hon. and learned Friend should not read the Bill before making his criticisms. He said it was a very salutary rule that an estimate must be given and that that rule had been broken, but that is not so. No Parliamentary Estimate has been given with regard to the County Hall, because none is required. The County Council erects the buildings it requires under its general powers, but I am glad to give my hon. and learned Friend such information as I can. I believe the estimate for the County Hall is about £2,000,000, and about £700,000 has, I think, been actually spent. With regard to the new Court House for Quarter Sessions, I am afraid that I cannot give any definite information as to the necessity for it, but I know it has been pressed for for many years, and I am surprised that my hon. and learned Friend should object to that particular item. As regards Item 22, relating to tramways. the hon. and learned Member referred to that as new work, and said it had not been sanctioned by Parliament, but I would call attention to the note, which says:Expenditure is partly the subject of estimates in special Acts, and partly under general statutory powers, but the expenditure on the tramway undertaking is treated as a whole in the Council's accounts and is not recorded against the several estimates.I think he will see, therefore, that a 2503 great deal of the work proposed to be carried out there has really been sanctioned by Parliament under various Acts. In regard to Item 23, "Any other Act," that was formerly £50,000, instead of £200,000 as it is at present. I think some item of that kind is required, and I do not think when you consider the very large and multifarious duties of the Council it is a very large thing to give them a power of spending £200,000 upon matters which really may be urgent and necessary in the interests of London. If you have a body such as the London County Council, which is elected by some 4,000,000 people, you must give them a certain amount of trust and credit for a certain amount of commonsense, and I think it is rather cavilling to take exception to an item of that kind. As regards Part II of the Schedule, this information is always given in the Money Bill, but the actual figures are always put in at the last moment, in order to be able to give the final figures. I hope hon. Members will observe that the Council, under its financial system, surrender previous borrowing powers amounting to over £12,000,000, and that has to be deducted from the £32,000,000, which is the total borrowing power shown by the Bill, so that the new borrowing powers are something like £19,000,000. I think we are all alarmed at the borrowings, but it will be seen that there is a very large sum for housing and that the tramways required in connection with the housing schemes are a very large commitment. My hon. and learned Friend wanted to raise the tramway question, but after all, the whole of these tramway schemes are approved by Parliament. It is a question of how far tramways are suitable for many of the London streets. I agree, but I think at any rate we must take it that they are required in the interests of locomotion and housing in London. This Bill is a very urgent matter. I understand the housing schemes of the Council are likely to go ahead very fast, and it is therefore extremely important that they should have the necessary powers. I think I have now answered all the points which have been raised, and I hope my hon. Friends will allow the Bill to pass.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
My hon. Friend who has just sat down said he hoped he had given a satisfactory answer to all the questions. I submit very respectfully 2504 that, though he made a very pleasant speech, he gave no answer at all to the criticisms. He said we must not ask anything about the tramways, because the House of Commons has already authorised the making of these tramways. I am not sure, but my belief is that in the various Tramway Acts no estimate of the expenditure is put in, but even supposing that it is, let us have a look at when these Acts were passed. The first Tramway Act to which he alludes was authorised in 1911, the next was authorised in 1912, and the next in 1914. I venture to submit that in the last eight years there has been a very great alteration in the necessities for tramways. Let us remember what took place this year. The London County Council brought in a Tramway Bill, which was rejected on Second Reading, if not unanimously, at any rate, by a very large majority.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
It came to the same thing, and really was worse, because the Council were not contented to take the ordinary course, and not only wanted to shove the Bill through the House, but to alter the Standing Orders. That was rejected, and the whole of the speeches were directed to the fact that tramways are obsolete, that they lose money, and that motor omnibuses are far better. There are various Tramway Acts from 1911 onwards, the last being in 1915. I very much doubt whether it is necessary to go on with tramway schemes at all. Secondly, I would point out that when the Estimate was made in the year 1911–12, the cost was far less than it would be now, and if the County Council has been content to wait six to nine years without these tramways, as locomotion such as tubes and motor omnibuses is far better now, why should they not wait for a few years, when they could construct the tramways, if they must have them, at much less cost, because no one believes that these enormous prices will last. I cannot say when they will come down, but that they will come down is certain. My hon. Friend says it is quite true the London County Council would not have extended the period of repayment from 60 to 80 years if the Ministry of Health had not recommended it. We have a very extravagant Government, and I am inclined to think that the Ministry of 2505 Health is one of its most extravagant Departments. I do not think my hon. Friend could have found a worse example to follow. I do not wish to criticise the Government unfairly, but I hope the hon. Member (Mr. Towyn Jones), who is one of two hon. Members representing the Government in this House at the present time, will give some reason why my hon. Friend should follow the example of the Government Department. My hon. Friend says that Clause 6 only relates to land. I have had the opportunity of looking up the various Housing Acts from 1890 to 1919. I should be almost inclined to think in some of those Acts there is provision for erecting houses. I would not say that in the old days when one built a house it would not perhaps last for eighty years, but modern construction is a little different from the construction of even 50 or 60 years ago, and I think it is a very dangerous precedent to insert in an Act, notwithstanding that the Ministry of Health has recommended it, a provision extending the period of repayment from 60 to 80 years.
My hon. Friend opposite asked whether there was an estimate for the building of the London County Council. My hon. Friend says there was an estimate, which was supposed to have been for about £2,000,000—when we get into millions it is always "about"—and about £700,000 has been spent. One has to be very careful in these days, when one listens to answers from Gentlemen who are in an official position, or acting in an official position, because very often words in the English language have two meanings. What does my hon. Friend mean when he says "an estimate"? Does he mean that the officials of the county council said, "We want a magnificent hall. We ought to build one worthy of the county council. We ought to spend £2,000,000 upon it"? Is that what he means by "estimate"? Or does he mean a contract at a fixed price, with a responsible firm, to build according to plans for £2,000,000, and no more? My hon. Friend wanted to know whether there was a fixed contract, and whether, in consideration of a sum, a finished building would be handed over to the county council. What has taken place between the years when the provision was first made—probably in 1912—and now? I am not sure we did not pass an Act 2506 of Parliament that a contract made before the War would be no longer valid, owing to the increased cost of wages and materials. My hon. Friend might have enlightened us upon this particular point, but perhaps, with the indulgence of the House, he may be able to tell me whether or not there was an actual contract—I do not mean an estimate, but a firm, binding contract? Was that made in 1912, and to what extent has that been valid owing to the conditions brought about by the War?
Let me come to the estimated capital requirements in the Schedule. It says, "London County Council (Tramways and Improvements) Bill, 1920" (if it becomes law). It has not become law, so far as I know, and that being so, why do we want to spend £60,000 on street improvements and £50,000 upon the provision of omnibuses? Why should we grant this power to the County Council? According to Part IV. of the Schedule, the amount asked for is not less than £32,000,000. It takes one's breath away when one is continually talking about millions. From that amount we have to deduct £12,000,000. The County Council had powers to borrow £12,00,000, but they did not exercise the powers, perhaps for reasons of economy, and they now regret that they have been economical, and they ask for a re-enactment of the power to borrow the £12,000,000. That makes a net new borrowing of £19,982,766. It is practically £20,000,000. I am a ratepayer in the County of London, and I look with horror upon the fact that I have got to provide interest on a further sum of £20,000,000, which is to be spent, so far as I can make out, in unremunerative enterprises. I see that to-day in Poplar the rates are 20s. in the £, and I am very much afraid that, unless we are very careful, the rates which the London County Council will impose will come to something like a similar sum.
My hon. Friend has said that the London County Council is deserving of confidence because it is elected by some millions of people. That is one reason why it does not deserve confidence, because the majority of the 4,000,000 people who have a right to vote for the London County Council do not pay rates. They may get something out of it—such as a cheat, tram or a cheap house, but they have not to put their hands into 2507 their pockets in order to provide the money. That is one of the most serious problems that this country will have to face. We will have to consider whether the people who are allowed to spend the money are people who do not provide it, and are able to put the obligation upon someone else. We ought to thank the hon. Member for bringing this matter before the House. Before the War the London County Council Bills were often discussed in this House, and that practice, like many others, has fallen into desuetude during the War I congratulate him upon having revived this very excellent practice, and if it does no other good, it will show the members of the London County Council that there are still some Members in this House who desire that too much money shall not be spent at the expense of the ratepayers.
§ Mr. GILBERT
I rise to try to answer some of the unfriendly comments upon the London County Council which have just been made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London. It is not the first time that fie has criticised the County Council. He has raised certain points about certain items in the Money Bill now before the House. He has raised questions upon No. 9 and other numbers in the Schedule. He said there was a vote of £3,240 in connection with a Tramways and Improvements Act which was passed in 1911, and he made some point with regard to certain other items based upon Bills passed in 1912, 1913, and 1914. May I explain that item No. 9 deals with the widening of streets in the north-east of London—Dalston Lane and Graham Road? It is the balance of the widening account in that particular area, and the amount is £3,240. I think that is the explanation. I think the right hon. Gentleman, who has had such a long experience of public work, must know that when widening has to be carried out by the County Council or the Borough Councils in London it is not always carried out in the same year. There are leases which have to run for a few years, and somtimes sub-leases, and these leases are allowed to run out, with the result that the improvement which may have been passed in 1911, such as street widening, may be seven, eight, or nine years before it is completed. I had not any notice that these detailed criticisms would be made, but I think that is the explanation 2508 of No. 9. Then No. 10 is a Tramways and Improvements Act of 1913; and, with regard to No. 11, that has to do with the Tramways and Improvements Act of 1914. It had to do with the widening of a suburban area at Eltham, but there was also a district in Piccadilly where widening had to be done. He further dealt with the question of tramways. A few weeks ago we had a Debate upon the suspension of the Standing Orders with regard to the London County Council tramways, and I am sorry that the suspension was not agreed to, in order that the County Council might come before the Committee and lay the tramway finances before that Committee of experts. I am sure that if hon. Members have gone into the question of the finances of the London County Council tramways, they would have found that the statements that have been made—unsupported by figures and facts—that the tramways are losing money was not now correct, and that very different figures could have been produced. It might have been shown that the tramways were paying now, rather than losing money.
§ Mr. GILBERT
Perhaps I may be allowed to say in reply that, according to the last published figures, the London County Council tramways were being run at a profit.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
We cannot have a discussion on the working of the London County Council tramways.
§ Mr. GILBERT
I only wished to answer the question. The right hon. Gentleman has referred to the question of the time allowed for the housing loan. That has been decided with the consent of the Health Ministry, backed by the Treasury, and we are carrying out their orders and wishes. I think that ought to satisfy the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City. He asked a question about the London County Council Hall. I regret that I cannot give him an answer in detail, but I can tell him that on the first decision to build that County Hall, a firm contract was made with a reputable firm of contractors. During the War, the Ministry of Munitions stopped all building, including that of the 2509 County Council Hall. The right hon. Gentleman must have known that; he must have observed that the building was stopped for two or three years. The result has been that a new contract has had to be made owing to the great increase in cost of labour and material. I am sorry I have not the figures, but we had entered in a firm contract and that had to be cancelled owing to the War, and now I think we have done the best thing we can with the half-finished building. We are trying to get it completed as quickly as possible, and to get into occupation and to save the cost of the rental of the numerous buildings which we have to occupy at the present time. Reference has also been made to Part II, dealing with the purchase of omnibuses. Surely the right hon. Gentleman knows that if the Bill is not passed it would be quite impossible to borrow any money to carry out the proposals of that Bill, but we are bound to put in these provisions in case the Bill should pass through the Committee. If the Bill does not pass, as he seems to prophesy, the money for Part II. will not be used at all. He also says that the London County Council was not elected by the majority of the people; that the majority of the people did not pay rates. Surely he knows better than that.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I cannot allow a discussion on the electoral system of the London County Council.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I did not notice how the hon. Gentleman was developing his argument, or I would have stopped him before.
§ Mr. GILBERT
I thought that as my right hon. Friend was not stopped I might try to answer him. Perhaps I may be allowed to say that if he had read the Housing Bill, which was before the Committee upstairs, he would have found there, and also in the Rent Bill, that even the ledgers in London have to pay increased rents under these Bills.
§ Question, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question," put, and agreed to.
§ Bill, as amended, considered accordingly.
§ Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.