Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £63,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1921, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of the Commissioners of His Majesty's Works and Public Buildings.
§ The FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (Sir Alfred Mond)
It will perhaps be for the convenience of the Committee if I explain how this Supplementary Estimate comes to be put forward. Hon. Members will observe that the Estimate is divided into two parts. There is a sum of £44,000 which becomes necessary to provide the staff consequent upon the housing schemes which my Department is undertaking for local authorities. I wish to make it quite clear that although the sum appears to be chargeable to the taxpayer, it is in reality recoverable. The whole of this expenditure is being charged to the schemes which we are carrying out, and as the schemes are completed the whole of the amount will be returned as appropriations-in-aid, and hardly any charge at all will fall upon the Imperial taxes. If hon. Members will look at the foot of page 16, par. D, they will see that we are taking for this financial year £17,000 as an appropriation-in-aid on this Account. The reason why this amount is not the full amount is that in the preliminary stages of the carrying out of these schemes a large amount of work of a technical character is required, and it becomes chargeable only as the schemes go on. It is really in the nature of an overhead charge on the various schemes. The second sum under Sub-head A, namely, £26,000, arises, owing to the increased cost of living, and owing to the fact that a very considerable proportion of the temporary technical staff in my Department do not share in the war bonus which is paid to Civil ser- 2138 vants. The cost of living having risen in the year from 130 to 176 per cent., it has been considered only right and proper that an increase should be made in the salaries of the staff, although I may say that the increase is not in any way as high as the rise in the war bonus; in fact, it is very much below it. Practically the whole of the officers included in this sum, 532, are technical officers of a lower grade. They are not established officers. This was the only method of meeting the hardship they were undoubtedly suffering. The average increase does not amount to more than £1 a week. Let me anticipate criticism. It is quite true that the cost of living is going down, but this money is for the last financial year and these people have had to bear the higher cost of living without having received what was necessary to compensate them, for it I do not think the Committee will seriously question the propriety of the amount, for it is really a very modest increase for a hard-working and deserving class of officials.
§ Sir A. MOND
I would not like to be definite, but I think the money has been authorised by the Treasury and has been paid. The Civil Service bonus was agreed to and has been paid during the past year. It is really an accidental technical point in my Department that this class of officer did not come under the war bonus award of the Civil Service generally. The only other item to which I will draw attention relates to railway travelling. Having a large number of building schemes in progress in different parts of the country a very considerable amount of travelling is involved. £6,000 of the £10,000 represents the increased cost of railway fares and subsistence allowance for the general office staff. It arises as a Supplementary Estimate because railway fares were increased during the year, and we could not anticipate that increase when the original Estimate was framed.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
I beg to move "that the Vote be reduced by £20,000."
Perhaps the Committee will take the trouble to follow me in a reference to the original Estimate, by which alone it is possible to understand what is the present position. The original Estimate is Class 2, Vote 26, "Office of Works and Public Buildings." Dealing solely with the two heads which are here, A and B, "Salaries, Wages, and Allowances" and "Travelling Expenses," I would direct attention to this, that this time last year, when the Estimates must have been pretty well prepared, as they were published later, the sum then asked and later granted for salaries, wages, and allowances was £455,000. That was an increase on 1919–20 of £176,610. That was the increase with which they started last year. In regard to travelling expenses, the sum asked for last year was £20,000, and that was an increase on 1919–20 of £5,000. There was also granted to my right hon. Friend a further sum by way of additions to salaries of £59,600 as his Department's share of a Supplementary Vote given in July and another Supplementary Vote given in November.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
I should like to know whether the whole of this increase of £70,000 is for men who received no share whatever of the war bonus.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
The difference between £26,000 and £70,000, namely, £44,000, therefore goes to officials who received two plums in the course of the present year from two separate Supplementary Estimates. My right hon. Friend comes to us to-day and asks us to grant to these an extra £26,000. That is four increases. First of all, last year compared with 1919–20, then the two increases given in these supplementary bonus gifts, and now this last one. What justification is there for it? The cost of living, we are delighted to know, is declining, and whatever may be said for those who have not received their share of the bonus does not apply to those who have.
§ Sir A. MOND
I am sure the right hon. Gentleman does not want to misrepresent the position, but the £44,000 is for new services and new staff.
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
But those who are coming in as new officials are started on this elevated basis. On this Vote we cannot go into the general policy of my right hon. Friend's Department on the question of building houses, but the issue here is whether these officials are sufficiently paid or not. Passing from that, I would like to draw the attention of the Committee to Sub-head A:Provision for increased technical and clerical staff for work in connection with the erection of houses by the Office of Works as agents for various local authorities proceeding with housing schemes approved by the Ministry of Health.On Friday last my right hon. Friend got a Vote passed through this House, but with considerable difficulty, and one of the points on which the Committee felt most hostile to the request of the right hon. Gentleman was the purchase of premises where they were going in for new scientific research on the question of how to build houses—
§ Sir D. MACLEAN
Here is some revelation, under Sub-head A, of what it is going to cost. Now I come to Sub-head B, "Travelling Expenses," and I think I must read that to the Committee again. It says:Additional sum required to meet the increased cost of railway fares, and subsistence allowances, and for travelling in connection with the erection of houses for local authorities.As I have already pointed out, they got on the original Estimate £20,000 for it, and with this additional sum they are going to spend £30,000 for travelling expenses for this Department. What justification can there be for that? If the Committee will stand that, I suppose they will stand anything. I wish everyone were here, not to hear me, but to hear what other Members will say after I sit down. I wish they could come here and hear what was said, not by people who are taking a purely party point at all, but by men who are genuinely concerned at the reckless rate of extravagance that is constantly progressing, and who desire to see it stopped somehow. People ask, "What is the use of saving £10,000 on travelling when you spend millions of pounds otherwise?" Every business man knows that if you want to stop extravagance you must get hold of the first item 2141 of expense you can, whether it is £500 or £5,000. That will spread about a warning to the other people, and they will know, to use a common phrase, that the boss is on the lookout. I wonder whether the great spending Departments are getting warning that their masters, the Expenditure Committee of the House of Commons, means business, and that the House means business, with regard to these things? Do they mean business, or do they not? Is the right hon. Gentleman really going to press for this item? I would like to know how many of these officials travel first class and how many of them stay at the best hotels, and what grade of official comes into these huge expenses. That is what the Committee wants to know.
My right hon. Friend says, "The House of Commons need not bother at all. I am going to get all these expenses back." When is he going to get them back, and at whose expense? The ratepayer's. [HON. MEMBERS: "The taxpayers."] These expenses are to be charged to the local authorities under their building schemes, and they have got to repay to the Treasury these overhead charges for which my right hon. Friend is asking to-night. What about the ratepayer, burdened and crushed down as we now know with £149,000,000, as compared with £73,000,000 when the War broke out. My right hon. Friend, in his airy way, says. "It is all right, I am going to get it back." I do not know that he will get it back, because some of these local authorities are going straight into bankruptcy. Let me tell my right hon. Friend it is a very poor lock-out for his recovering a penny of this sum within ten years. An hon. Friend behind me refers to the County of Monmouth. I should not be at all surprised to find that the increase in rates in the County of Monmouth is not one penny short of 95 per cent., as between now and 1914. According to some of my hon. Friends, what difference does it make apparently how much money is spent if it is going to be all right in the end? There never will be an end to this kind of thing, and if there is, it will not be the sort of end some of them think. These matters require to be looked at in a practical way, because the facts are very crushing to the people who are bearing the burden of them, and who are standing in a terrific hailstorm of rates and taxes. I ask the Committee to give 2142 them some shelter and relief from the burdens which fall on them by supporting the Motion I have made.
§ Mr. MYERS
I am not at all impressed by the indignation of the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. In looking over this Vote, and having regard to the fact that I am going to support it, I express no opinion as to whether the travelling expenses to these particular sites where houses have been erected are reasonable or unreasonable, or whether the officials of the Department make three journeys where they ought to make two, or travel first-class when they ought to travel third. I agree that these considerations are real in this Vote, but they are quite minor ones in comparison with the general structure of the items we have under consideration. Neither do I follow the right hon. Gentleman in his remarks about the cost to the local authorities, because if the local authorities have to erect these houses they have either to pay the money over to private individuals or to the Department over which the right hon. Gentleman (Sir A. Mond) presides. It is a remarkable fact, but it is true, that these schemes which he is conducting all over the country will carry all those expenses included in this Vote, and that he can carry out a cheaper job than if the same work had been done by private enterprise. [HON. MEMBERS: "Question!"] All the evidence and facts available have proved that beyond question. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] Oh, yes, and much of this criticism from whichever side of the Committee it comes is directed, not against the working of the Department, but against its success. However exorbitant these charges may be, when they are all put together and imposed on the local authorities for the work done, those authorities will get much more relief than if the same work were carried out by private builders in the country.
The other day, when that glorious and interesting right hon. Gentleman, who is sometimes Secretary for the Air and is sometimes travelling in the Colonies, presented his Estimates, he compared his Air Estimate to a plum tree which produced plums. He did not tell us much about it. Possibly to-night it might be just as well to compare the right hon. Gentleman's Estimate to a plum tree, and 2143 see where we can prune it down and cut it away a bit. It is somewhat interesting to note the extraordinary variety of places in which he seems to have his officials situated. In the original Estimate, on page 124, you will find that he has been enabled under the architects' division to increase the number of his architects for this year, compared with last year, from nine to 18. Again, his assistant architects have gone up from 20 to 34, and second-class assistant architects from 25 to 50. I would like to know if these individuals have again had an increase in their number. But the really interesting part of this increase is in the footnote. We find that, as regards the architects:One receives £100 per annum from Class IV (2) and £50 per annum from Brompton Cemetery Funds. Another stationed in China and Japan occupies an official residence and receives a foreign service allowance of £350 per annum.I would like to know from the right hon. Gentleman what proportion of the present increase is going to this individual, and whether his official residence is actually in China or Japan.
I was endeavouring to find out what proportion of this additional Supplementary Estimate, if any, went to this particular individual.
This is a Supplementary Estimate, and I understood the right hon. Gentleman himself to say that this was for an increased staff for an entirely new service.
If it is for a new staff, it opens up a wider question, and, of course, the hon. and gallant Gentleman can use the original Estimates for a statement of facts in so far as they help the Committee to understand this, but he must not discuss anything which has been passed previously.
Lieut. - Commander WILLIAMS
I thank you for your guidance, and I will endeavour merely to elicit from the right 2144 hon. Gentleman where his new Estimates are expended. I do not wish to carry him any further into these foreign researches, but I might remind him that further on there are Estimates for places like Constantinople. For all I know, he may have extended his sphere of activity to Jerusalem or any other place.
I will go back to the original Estimate, and perhaps I may be allowed to point out, as regards Section A, we not only have a considerable increase at the present time of something like £70,000, for which some small amount of explanation has been given, but early in the year there was an increase of over £170,000, making for the whole year a total increase of something in the neighbourhood of £240,000 for this one branch in salaries, wages and allowances for the year. In other words, you have very nearly doubled the amount which was expended in 1919 and 1920, and this at a time when the whole nation is absolutely burdened with taxation, and is groaning under the burden which is being imposed on it by a countless number of officials, who invariably interfere with almost every line of business at the present time. The right hon. Gentleman told us just now, as I understood him, that as regards Section A, the £26,000, there would be no bonus to these particular persons, who had an increase because of the additional rise in prices. As I understood his statement, these people come under rather a different scheme from the ordinary Civil Service. Will their salaries be lowered just as the ordinary Civil Service salaries are lowered, on a four months' basis, or will they be reduced immediately the cost of living goes down?
As regards Sub-head B an additional sum of £10,000 is required for travelling expenses, and earlier in the year we had another additional sum of £5,000. In other words, the addition this year is almost exactly double that of last year. I do not think railway rates have doubled since last year. Possibly the right hon. Gentleman has a very excellent explanation, but I would like to know what additional work these people have been doing since last year. How many additional journeys have they taken, and 2145 what has been the length of the journeys? The last time the right hon. Gentleman produced his Supplementary Estimates he said a very considerable amount of money was for staffs in the various housing schemes, and in one particular case he himself had been engaged in building houses. We had very considerable difficulty at that time in finding out what was the real cost of those buildings. Will he tell us what further sum is being apportioned, out of the present additional Estimate, to the building of these houses? May we conclude that a large part is additional cost for the buildings which he told us in the autumn were so much cheaper than if done under private enterprise? I would like a clear and definite answer on that question at any rate.
§ Mr. LORDEN
I am very much surprised that a new Department is starting at this time when everybody is looking forward to Departments being scrapped. I have listened to the Debate so far as it has gone, and I am simply appalled at the idea of this sort of camouflage which has been used with regard to the recovery of this amount. It reminds me of a snake eating its own tail. All the money is supposed to be got back from the local authorities. But what are the local authorities responsible for? All that they are responsible for is a penny rate per annum and the whole excess beyond that comes from the Treasury. Therefore, you are charging us something here which is in the nature of a snake eating its own tail. I understand we are not entitled to go into the principle or the policy that enables the Office of Works to start on a Department which is nationalising building by a back door, to which I very strongly object. I object to it in toto; I think it is a mistake. It is always known that the Government and municipalities cannot do building work anything like private enterprise. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] I can prove it up to the hilt, years and years long before the War. They cannot touch it. There is the very fact of the official. You have got here a sum of £30,000 in the year for travelling alone for the Department that is only dealing with the row houses they are building. I understand they have only got something like 2,000 houses in hand, and yet they are spending £30,000 a year in travelling to do this amount of work. It seems preposterous that we should be asked to pass 2146 Estimates like this. I have tried to support the Government whenever I could, but I cannot support such schemes as these. The hon. Member for Spen Valley said these houses were being produced much cheaper, but hon. Members should go and look at the scheme at Camberwell. There the houses are band-boxes, and the way they are built is not a credit to any Department. I will try and keep off a question of policy, because I know it is not in order. I would like to know if all this £80,000 has been spent on the construction of 2,000 houses. Where are the overhead charges? We have been told these houses are being built more cheaply, but the real fact is that they have only finished very few of them and they cannot know what they are costing, and they cannot tell us what they are going to cost.
It is true the Department imagine they are going to effect a saving, but imagination with them goes a very long way, and that is the only thing you can say with regard to these Estimates. With regard to the cost of the houses, it is pure imagination, and the hope that they will be done cheaper. I give the First Commissioner of Works credit for hoping they will be cheaper, for I feel convinced in my own mind that they will cost a great deal more than if he had put them out to private enterprise, or even left the local authorities to deal with them. The right hon. Gentleman jumps in where there has been some little difficulty, and when the Minister of Health has got tied into a knot over building schemes, and he does not care what they cost. I hope we shall give the Government a lesson, and decide that these new Departments should be scrapped, and that we are not going to have any more of them.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The hon. Member for Spen Valley said it was quite possible that these various items were quite excessive, but he did not care about that, because he was in favour of the programme which these items were to carry out. The hon. Member said the country would save money because he was sure these schemes would cost less than if they had been done by private enterprise. That is a very doubtful statement, because, as the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down stated, very few of these houses have been completed. We will admit that a few have been completed, 2147 but it is quite impossible to say what the cost of the whole will be. When you have got the cost of the whole, you have then to find out some place where smaller houses have been erected by private enterprise, and find what is the difference in the cost. I do not venture to say what that difference is because I do not know; and, in all humility, I say that the hon. Member for Spen Valley does not know, and until he does know his duty is to vote against a sum of money which he himself has said is excessive and ought not to have been included in the Estimate.
Let us look at the Estimate for a moment. The first thing which strikes one is that there is in addition to this sum of £80,000 a sum of £59,600 charged upon some other Vote. I think we shall be able to discuss that other Vote when we come to it. Last Friday we had a separate Estimate brought in and there was a statement that there would be something further than that amount. Only six days since the right hon. Gentleman extracted from our pockets a very considerable sum, and now he comes down here for more. He is like Oliver Twist asking for more, and when we give him more he is not satisfied and he comes and asks for a further sum. I think there will be a further Supplementary Estimate next week probably asking for still more money. We do not know when we are to come to the end of the activities of this particular Department. I should like to know whether the £30,000 for travelling expenses has been spent entirely upon the travelling expenses in connection with the new service of building houses.
§ Sir A. MOND
Only £4,000 out of the £10,000 is for the new service, and the other is for the old service.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Now I feel sertain that the hon. Member for Spen Valley will vote for the reduction, because he is looking forward to new houses. We know now that out of this £10,000 there is only £4,000 going to new services and therefore, he will be consistent and will vote against the other £6,000, which is not being spent upon the object so dear to the hon. Member's heart. I want to know what the other £26,000 is going to be spent upon. Is there going to be any more voyages to Egypt or to the Pyramids?
§ Sir A. MOND
I hope the right hon. Gentleman does not suggest that my journeys there were paid for out of public funds.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
Nothing of the sort. An hon. Member opposite said that railway fares have not doubled. It is true that they have not doubled last year, although they increased 25 per cent. last year, but the increase has been 75 per cent. altogether. How is it that the right hon Gentleman's Department spends £26,000 on travelling round the country? The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Peebles (Sir D. Maclean) alluded to an additional sum which is required for these increased rates of pay of the temporary technical staff owing to the increased cost of living. What does this staff cost? It seems to be going to get £26,000 plus an unknown sum owing to the increased cost of living. I was under the impression that a Government Department regulated its statistics to show what the cost of living was. I do not think they show it, but they purport to. Now the cost of living is coming down, so what under the circumstances is the necessity of adding £26,000 to this temporary staff in addition to a sum which they have been receiving before? What are this temporary technical staff? The Member for Peebles alluded to discussions which we had last Friday in which the right hon. Gentleman informed us that it was necessary to spend £5,000 on a building in order to put in a technical staff to carry out investigations so that the new houses they were going to build were not going to fall down in ten years.
I am sure the hon. Member for Spen Valley (Mr. Myers) will agree with me that if there is a danger of these houses falling down in ten years it would be better to go to private enterprise and spend a bit more so that they should stand up for a reasonable time. Now you have got the house and you are going to put in a temporary technical staff who are going to get some unknown sum in addition to this increase of £26,000. The hon. Gentleman who spoke just now is an experienced builder. Docs he think it necessary to pay £26,000? If he was building 2,000 houses would he pay £26,000 in addition to the ordinary rates of pay to a temporary technical staff? The hon. Gentleman only smiles and keeps his hands in his pockets, which I think shows that he would not at any rate 2149 be guilty of this extravagance, come to the question of the Appropriation-in-Aid, and of course, that statement that it is really coming out of one pocket into another is quite correct, but all expenditure in the end resolves itself into one of two things, either the taxpayer pays or the ratepayer pays. When you come to look at the majority of people who compose the taxpayers and ratepayers, they are not the idle rich, but a large number of struggling people, more often than not worse off than the people they pay and employ. Therefore I hope this Committee will repeat the lesson of Friday and show the Office of Works that if it is going to become a building firm it must carry on its business in the same way as a private building firm would carry it on, and be careful that they go into the various expenses that may be necessary and see that their staff does not travel unnecessarily, that it goes third class and not first, and see if it is necessary to have all these temporary people with all these increases of salary to decide whether or not houses, if built in the ordinary way, can exist for the period for which these houses have existed for a great number of years.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Mr. ACLAND
The Committee is showing a wise instinct in looking into this matter carefully, even if it be true that the money or some of it is to be, recovered from the ratepayers, because we should be as jealous of burdens put upon us as ratepayers as of those put upon us as taxpayers. The view taken by an hon. Member is the right one, that these burdens will come back in a few years on the taxpayers directly, and therefore it is our business, although it is going to be recovered in the first instance by charges on local authorities. I am rather surprised at the callousness of a hon. Friend of mine behind me for one of the Divisions of Monmouthshire as to the effect of these figures on the ratepayers. He said, as a shot, without referring to the documents, that he would hazard that the increase in rates from his county, comparing now and 1913–14, was about 95 per cent. I have had the opportunity of looking it up, and I find that the average of the urban districts in Monmouthshire is actually 125 per cent., so my hon. Friend gravely understated it 2150 rather than overstated it. I come to Supplementary Estimates by the Office of Works rather with a presumption in favour of the Department. I have the honour and pleasure of knowing the permanent head of that Department, and I have often been in conversation with him as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and otherwise, and have often been impressed by the way in which he tries, often fighting against influences in other places to make the best of the money put at his disposal, but that ought not to prevent one looking at this in a businesslike way. This expenditure arises over houses, and one has to ask oneself, is there good reason why the Department should have found things different through the course of a year from that they ought to have expected when they framed their Estimates at the beginning of the year. That is the keynote of the justification which any Minister ought to make of his expenditure. If he can show that circumstances have arisen for which his Department was entirely unprepared, then he has a good reason why the House should vote this extra amount of money. If the Committee will throw their minds back to the time when these Estimates were framed they will remember that there was then an extraordinary expectation as to the amount of housing to be done during the year. The homes for heroes to live in were going to spring up like mushrooms under the hands of the Minister of Health and other Departments all over the country. The actual housing has fallen far short of what we were lead to expect. It is relevant to have these two considerations in mind. One is to see did the Office of Works make some mistake in the expectation of having to do this extra housing work, in which case they must have committed an error of judgment, which we may or may not condone, or whether they were as optimistic of their task in this housing programme as even the Minister of Health himself, and is therefor this extra expenditure really unjustifiable and inexcusable I know it is not in order to discuss the policy of the original Vote. But it is to the point to see whether in these particular items they did or did not take a reasonable amount of extra money to cover this considerable extra housing programme that they anticipated having to do. If one looks into the original Vote it is quite astounding to see how much 2151 extra money they took in the first instance, and how apparently thoroughly well prepared they were for their new duties under the housing scheme. They were very full up with work of all sorts during the War, some of which was, I believe, most valuable, and was carried out cheaper than it could have been done by other agencies; but when it comes to a post-War year there was under these headings a considerable increase over their actual War expenditure. We find, for instance, in the architects division they made provision for 34 assistant architects and 25 assistant architects second class, and the increased number of draughtsmen and technical assistants more than doubled the sum they asked Parliament for, and which we voted for that purpose. Whereas in the previous year the Estimate had been £30,000, the Estimate in this year was £75,000. Therefore, they were entirely prepared as these figures show for a large expansion of their work, and that makes it very difficult to see why this extra sum of £44,000 is required for the same sort of purpose. The right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir F. Banbury) said he was not certain whether they had set out the details with regard to the temporary clerical staff they now ask us to amplify so greatly. They did. £30,000 was asked for last year, and this was increased by £15,000 to £45,000 this year. In view of the fact that they seem to have been entirely alive to the position and to the work they would have to do, it seems to me to be only miscalculation and mistake and extravagance that they now have to ask for so large an increased sum at the present time, and under these circumstances I shall have great pleasure in supporting the reduction which has been moved.
§ Mr. G. BALFOUR
The hon. Member for Spen Valley (Mr. Myers), if I understood him correctly, supported this Vote on two grounds, first, because it was for the provision of houses—for the working-classes chiefly, and, secondly, because these houses would be more cheaply built in this way than they would be by private enterprise. What are the facts? I happen to have interested myself in this matter, and it so happens I asked the right hon. Gentleman one or two questions regarding the number of houses during the last few days, and by accident 2152 I happen to have in my pocket the last answer given by the right hon. Gentleman. The number of houses actually completed by local authorities is 116. The accommodation is in three types. The number of houses completed in each type is 36 of one, 76 of another, and 4 of another, making the total of 116. The actual cost of these houses cannot yet be definitely stated as none of the schemes of which these houses form part is in a sufficiently advanced state of construction to enable general charges to be allocated. Can anybody imagine a more hopeless Department to construct houses economically when at the end of a long period of time, I presume a year, at least, they are not yet in a position to tell me after I had pressed the, question on more than one occasion what the cost of one of these houses is? I submit that this Vote is in the circumstances quite unjustifiable and should not be passed by this Committee. Only one other point I wish to touch upon. Who is to bear the burden, and why is it the burden is being forced upon those particular people? The burden has undoubtedly to be borne by the taxpayers. It is not an uncommon remark to hear from a borough councillor, particularly from the type of modern borough councillor, largely representing the Labour party: "Why should we not have these houses? The very worst that can fall upon us is the burden we have to bear in any event, namely, a penny rate." That is the real crux of the question, and without saying any more I am utterly opposed to this Vote. I certainly have no desire to embarrass the right hon. Gentleman. We all appreciate his difficulty, and there is nothing personal in this. It is entirely a matter which concerns the Department over which he presides.
§ Mr. CHARLES EDWARDS
The right hon. Baronet the Member for the City of London (Sir F. Banbury) is generally a consistent economist, but he has lost his reputation this week. Only a night or two ago we heard him pleading for £21,000,000 to be paid to the railway companies, of one of which he is chairman, while to-day he is condemning us for supporting a Vote of this sort. His consistency; to my mind, has fallen to the ground. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Peebles (Sir D. MacLean) has been inquiring where this money is 2153 to come from. I wonder if he would have raised this point if these houses were being built by private enterprise. We should have heard nothing at all about it. The money would have been found somewhere then. It would have been found in exactly the same place as it has to be found now. He knows that very well. Does he think any local authority has commenced a housing scheme without the intention of paying for it? Whatever system it is done under, whether by the guild system or direct labour or private enterprise or through the Office of Works, the ratepayers will eventually pay for these houses. So that, as far as that is concerned, we are in exactly the same position. Another hon. Member spoke about "band-boxes." Under private enterprise the plans for these houses would have been the same as they are now. There would have been no difference at all as far as this is concerned.
This is merely a fight for private enterprise, and, to my mind, it takes a good bit of effrontery to stand up for private enterprise as hon. Members do after the experiences of the War. The War would have been lost if it had been left to private enterprise. The nation had to take all the industries into its own hands, and nobody knows that better than hon. Members in this House. Because the Office of Works is building houses for certain local authorities, the whole thing is wrong because a few private contractors are not making several hundreds or thousands of pounds. Less than a month ago I went with a deputation from one of the authorities in the constituency I represent, and they were pleading with the Minister of Health to allow them to build themselves. They had on one particular job no fewer than five contractors, each of whom had his own clerical staff and so on, and they wanted to do it by direct labour. They had had experience of that before, and they knew that they could do it much better and for less money than they were in employing these contractors. That was less than a month ago. I venture to say that under any unified system it would have been done much cheaper than it was done then. As far as travelling expenses are concerned, a good part is taken up in the £21,000,000 for which the right hon. Baronet pleaded so hard the other night.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The hon. Member has made a statement which is quite inaccurate. I never pleaded for the £21,000,000. The Vote was brought in by the Government, and it was brought in in order to carry out a bargain they had made. The Government took over the property of the railway companies, and told them how to run the railways and how much to pay the men. It did not matter to us in the least.
§ Mr. EDWARDS
I am quite aware of that. I know the Government brought in the Vote. There was opposition to it, as there is to this Vote, and the right hon. Baronet supported the Government, and did a bit of special pleading in order to induce the Opposition to agree with his point of view. As far as travelling expenses are concerned, we want them kept down to the lowest possible limits. We have no interest in spending more than ought to be spent, either on travelling or on subsistence allowances, because it is our own people who suffer in the long run. The money has eventually to come out of their pockets, and therefore we hold that there should be the strictest supervision over all this expenditure. The real point of this attack, however, is to be found in the fact that the Office of Works are carrying through these undertakings, and that some private contractor is not getting any profit out of them. We heard a few weeks ago a very important speech by the Minister who brought in this Vote, and he gave certain figures and comparisons which told badly against the private contractor. It is for that reason we support this Vote. We believe the work can be better done in this way. Our experience indeed tells us it can be better done by these means than by private contractors. The latter are really fighting for their existence, and, as far as members of this House are concerned, they occupy no doubt the stronger position. I repeat, we support this Vote, holding at the same time that travelling and other expenses should be kept within the lowest possible limits. I believe that building can be done better by direct labour, by the guild system or any other system, than it can by private, enterprise.
§ Sir H. NIELD
We have just listened to a very interesting speech, but we all know that the bed rock that underlies it is the principle of general collectivism versus individualism. It is nothing more 2155 and nothing less. They are perfectly frank about it; the hon. Member for Spen Valley was perfectly frank and honest when he said he would support it. What we complain about is that the Government, who have said so much about getting rid of superfluous officials, should be now getting more, and that we, who for upwards of two years have been pledged to our constituents to put an end to the overbearing bureaucracy which was battening on the taxpayers of this country, find ourselves confronted to-day with an Estimate which means a still further increase in the number of bureaucrats employed. It is not a question at all of doing work by direct labour or by contractors. There is this difference, if we are to discuss that point, that, whereas you make your contract beforehand with your eyes open and with competent technical advisers to advise you as to the tenders that come in, and you know the cost, when it is in the hands of a Government Department you cannot tell what is going to be added to the cost, and you have no control over it until the money is spent, when you are told that you cannot help yourselves, but must pay the bill. It is not fair to the Committee or to the country to keep presenting these Supplementary Estimates. We have been told by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Peebles to-night what these sums of money really mean when added to the original Estimate and to the intermediate Supplementary Estimates, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cam-borne (Mr. Acland) has also pointed out how loosely these Estimates are drafted. They did provide a very large sum of money for possible contingencies, and that is all gone, further contingencies have been provided for, and that provision is all gone, and now we are face to face with this additional Estimate of £80,000. That is what it really comes to. It is £63,000 nominally, but it is really £80,000, because of the pious hope that you are going to get £17,000 back from the local authorities. It is absurd to talk about getting money back in that way. This is really another instance of attempts upon the taxpayer which ought never to be made. It is no pleasure to me to speak against Government expenditure; it is no pleasure to me to give votes against this Government, which, I am convinced, is the only Government 2156 that can be found at the present time to carry on the affairs of this country; but it is my bounden duty, in fulfilment of the pledges I have given to my constituents, and recollecting the thousands of homes that are now reduced by taxation and high prices to such a condition that every penny has to be looked at narrowly by those who at one time might have been considered to be in a position of fair comfort—it is my bounden duty again to enter my most emphatic protest. If the fate of the Government depended on it, I would risk that fate rather than be false to those pledges which I have given.
§ Mr. E. HARMSWORTH
I desire to add my protest to the others which have been made against the formation of what seems to be an entirely new Department, and also to call attention to the piece of information given to the Committee by the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Balfour). There have been erected in the course of the year 116 houses, while the amount of money that seems to have been spent on officials is close on £80,000. In other words, the money for building schemes seems to have been spent to a great extent on officials and not on houses. As to the temporary staff having £26,000 for increased cost of living, I should like also to protest. As we go through these Estimates, we pass enormous sums voted to officials for War bonus and increased cost of living, and, during the present time of financial crisis through which the country is passing, when we are all hoping that wages in some industries may fall, it does seem absurd that we have to vote these large sums to these officials. I should also like to protest against the large amount for travelling expenses, and to ask the right hon. Gentleman exactly what class these officials travel when they are travelling for the housing scheme. Do they travel first or third class? It is a very important point, because there is a feeling about that the officials in these Ministries continually travel first class. The other night there was a protest that only officials who receive over £1,200 a year should travel fist class, and it was admitted that officials earning between £400 and £600 did travel first class. Certainly no one outside the official class with an income of £400 to £600 can afford to travel first class. The 2157 right hon. Gentleman seemed to wish to mislead the House on the question where the money was to be got back from.
§ Mr. HARMSWORTH
I am very sorry if the right hon. Gentleman objects to my saying that. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."] I will withdraw what I said, but I thought the right hon. Gentleman implied that the money would be got back, and did not say exactly in what way it would be got back. I do not think it really matters whether the money has to come from the taxpayer, which it would have to do in this case, or from the ratepayer. It comes from the same class of people more or less. The fact is that it has to come. I should like to add my protest against the Vote.
§ Sir A. MOND
My chief difficulty in replying to the criticisms which have been made, is that hon. Members did not recognise the Vote they were discussing. All kinds of figures, which I have not been able to connect with anything on the Paper, have been produced, and all kinds of statements have been made, which showed that my first explanation appeared to be either not understood or incomprehensible. After I had carefully explained that Sub-head B, £26,000 arising out of the cost of living, technical staff, had nothing to do with housing, the right hon. Baronet (Sir F. Banbury) tried to fix it on to 116 houses which happen to be completed. I really have given up endeavouring ever to explain Estimates again. These Estimates are not really as difficult as hon. Members seem to think. There is no great complication about them. They are divided into two items. One is £44,000 for housing. This House passed a larger Vote for my Department to undertake housing schemes. Housing schemes cannot be undertaken without staff; one is the logical consequence of the other. It would be an absurd waste of money to carry on housing schemes with the aid of an inefficient staff. When my Department was asked by the Cabinet to undertake this work I stipulated that I should be allowed a staff sufficient and efficient for the work. I have had enough to do with large industrial concerns to know perfectly well that if I am asked to carry out such complicated work as housing by direct labour 2158 the first thing I have to do is to have a proper staff, and I can only hope to make the work efficient if I have first-rate men to do the work, and the right type of men to supervise the work. That is how private people make a success of their enterprises, and if Government Departments have not made a success of their enterprises it is because there has often been want of competent and efficient staffs to do the work. There has always been an idea that any man was good enough to carry out technical work. That is not right, and nobody knows it better than some of the hon. Members who have criticised me. When I say that the overhead charges on this work will be less than 2.75 per cent. for all the schemes, I think I am right in saying that no private enterprise could come in and make any profit out of that. I do not think there would be great competition for it. The right hon. Member for the Camborne Division said that this was a bad Estimate because we have not provided for this service, but I do not think he will persist in that criticism when I inform him that at the time that these Estimates were framed the idea that the Office of Works should take on this housing had never been considered. It was many months later, when housing schemes were not getting along, when local authorities were stopped and could not get tenders, that we were invited and asked to intervene in order to help the housing situation in the country.
§ Sir A. MOND
It was because of the increased burdens thrown upon my Department. All sorts of additional work was put upon us, including the equipment of factories, training centres for the Ministry of Labour for ex-service men, the building of cottages for the Ministry of Agriculture's settlements for ex-soldiers, and so on. These and a very large number of services have been thrown on my Department since the War, so that in reality our work has gone up and not down, and that we have had to estimate for. This question of housing, so far as we are concerned, was only settled last autumn, and all this work had to be done and the staff had to be created. I have said that this is a recoverable service and it is 2159 being recovered It is quite easy to say that the ratepayers will have to pay if not the taxpayers. Obviously the ratepayer who was getting work done by his own Borough Council through a private architect and a private contractor would have to pay for that work and pay overhead charges, and he would not save any money.
§ Sir A. MOND
The right hon. Gentleman ought not to make an observation of that kind. Supposing some corporation or other local authority in the country has the sense to employ a great architect from London instead of an incompetent local person. That corporation would have to pay the expenses of the London architect and it would save a lot of money in the end.
§ Mr. G. BALFOUR
Am I right in saying that this item of £4,000 for travelling expenses is an additional sum entirely for housing for the current year? There are 116 houses completed. Is that a reasonable travelling allowance for the houses completed during the current financial year?
§ Sir A. MOND
The amount is £4,000. These 116 houses are only the completed ones, but there are 3,736 houses in the schemes of which 1,335 are commenced, so the £4,000 must not be spread over the 116 houses. The 116 houses are at Camberwell and the travelling expenses from my office to Camberwell do not amount to £4,000 or 4,000 shillings. But we have got schemes going all over the country. We have got to negotiate with local authorities. But the number of houses concerned is double the figure mentioned. There are 3,700 houses actually settled and there are 3,700 houses in negotiation. Surely somebody must go see the sites and make all the necessary arrangements as to supervision. It is a large organisation. The hon. Gentleman asked whether all the officials travelled first-class. Certainly not. The question what class an official travels is not settled by me. The point if it is to be raised should not be raised on this Vote, because it is a general matter. The £4,000 is for last year and is spread over all these houses. The right hon. Gentleman 2160 said that railway fares have risen 25 per cent., but they have been raised 75 per cent.
§ Sir A. MOND
I thought that there had been two increases in the period. One hon. Gentleman has objected to the £17,000. That £17,000 will come off the £44,000 and the money will automatically come back because I refuse to do any building unless I am certain that the money is coming back. My right hon. Friend seems to fear that nearly every local authority in the country is going to be bankrupt. I will not undertake any work for a local authority which is going to be bankrupt. My money is coming back. Then my right hon. Friend has drawn a gloomy picture of the bankruptcy of these local authorities he is connected with. So far as payment is concerned, I am going to see and I have seen up to now that this money will return. The whole point on this Vote is very simple, but nobody has tackled it. It is not whether or not it is necessary to have a staff. Obviously a staff is necessary. It is whether, with the staff which I have got, the amount of money which I propose to spend upon particular schemes on overhead charges is an unreasonable amount. It is no use hon. Members coming here and saying, "I have pldged myself to my constituents that I will vote against the Government on all possible occasions when an Estimate is brought up." That is, of course, a phrase which sounds nice on a platform.
§ Sir H. NIELD
The right hon. Gentleman has perverted my statement. I said I was pledged to vote against the increase of bureaucracy. I do not care what bureaucracy it is. I have never opposed an Estimate where it was a genuine expenditure which could not be prevented, but I am, and always will be, the deadly foe of an increase of bureaucrats or an increase of their remuneration.
§ Sir A. MOND
If you sanction schemes you must sanction the payment of people to carry out those schemes. Nothing is more undesirable than an unnecessary bureaucracy. I am not pleading for an unnecessary staff, but for a staff—I am certain of my facts—which is smaller than that required for the work, a staff which is now overworked. If I were to produce 2161 the overtime sheets of the staff, the Committee would ask me to increase this Estimate. The sum of £26,000 is spread over 532 officials. An hon. Member tried to show that these 532 officials were all employed in testing materials. None of them, as a matter of fact, is employed on that work. I can tell the Committee what type of people they are. They are mostly minor technical officials—draughtsmen, measuring surveyors and other technical assistants attached to the Director of Works, and also technical assistants attached to the Directorate of Lands and Accommodation and to the Supplies Division. The average increase of pay is about £1 a week.
Are we to understand that a technical staff of 532 is engaged in building some 3,000 odd houses?
§ Sir A. MOND
None of this staff has anything at all to do with the houses, which form a very small part of the Department's work. This staff is connected with the other work of the Department, largely engineering work, which is very considerable. The cost of living is coming down, but these people have had this money paid to them during the time that the cost of living has been rising. This is not future money but past, and therefore this money is equivalent to the rises which have been given by every employer in the country, owing to the increased cost of living. I do not think the Government Departments are as good employers on the whole as the best private employers, and this amount here is much lower than what I should call an adequate scale, but it is an attempt to meet the great hardship on the lower scale officials owing to the rise in the cost of living.
§ Mr. A. L. PARKINSON
Can the right hon. Gentleman give us the number of his staff on the housing question compared with the number of workmen employed on the same houses?
§ Sir A. MOND
I have not got the number of workmen employed on the houses, and I do not know that it would be a very good comparison, because while you are working out and laying out schemes and negotiating with local authorities preparing sites, you are employing relatively more people on your staff and technical side than you do when your scheme is fully settled and organised and the job is going on. I can get the infor- 2162 mation for which the hon. Member asks if he likes to put the question down. I want to remove one misconception that the whole of these schemes are going to be carried out by direct labour. That is not the case. When people will come and give us a lump sum contract at a reasonable price and enable us to know where we stand—which is really the contractors' business—I shall be very glad. As things become more normal I have laid it down, and it is being followed, that wherever possible the work will be given out to a contractor in the ordinary way. That, however, does not do away with the necessity for maintaining a staff. I would point out that we are doing this work, not because we are hankering after it, but because the local authorities have asked us to do it as they cannot find anybody else to do it. I would like to dispel the picture of greedy or zealous officials buzzing round the country, seizing town councillors round the neck, and begging for their housing schemes. On the contrary, we have been asked by the town councils in different parts of the country to assist them, and where we find we can be of use we are glad to put our services at their disposal. That is really the position, and as things get more normal I trust that that position will be eased. I believe that the explanation I have given will show that the work is being carried out with the utmost economy, and I hope that the Committee will now have the kindness to let me have this Vote.
As an architect, I think it was most unworthy of the right hon. Gentleman to cast a slur on a very honourable profession by saying that for the planning of schemes they had to rely on great London architects and not on incompetent local architects.
§ Sir A. MOND
No. It was my last wish to say anything derogatory to local architects. I said there might be cases in which the local authorities could not get a local architect and had to employ one from London.
I am not speaking from a personal point of view, but as a member of the Council of the Institute of British Architects. I feel I could not sit here and let that pass if I were to do my duty to my members 2163 I want to appeal to my hon. Friends of the Labour party not to deal with this Vote as if it were an issue between individualism and collectivism. It is not that at all. The whole question is whether the Minister is carrying out the work entrusted to him in an economical manner. There can be nobody more interested in seeing the work so carried out than the Labour party. It is not a question between public and private enterprise. The right hon. Gentleman said that he is going to carry out this work at a percentage of 2.75 for overhead charges, but we have not had a single figure to support that. If I could be satisfied that he was getting the services of an architect and also of a builder at that percentage, I should think he was doing it cheaply, and I would support him. I suggest that the best course would be for him not to press for this Vote to-night, but to bring it up again to-morrow and to give us some figures by which we can really test his statement. This Vote only covers a portion of the time, and the right hon. Gentleman has given us no assurance that the additions to his staff made in the main Estimate are not also employed on this work. The position is that there is a staff in existence, which may be costing £50,000 or £100,000 a year. What is it doing? We do not know; we have not been told, nor have we been given any exact figures. We have been told that negotiations have been going on for 3,000 houses and that 1,300 have been strated. The right hon. Gentleman ought to have given us some
§ data by which we could have formed an opinion as to whether he was carrying this work out economically or not. In connection with other estimates we have generally had memoranda prepared and put in our hands to show whether they were justified or not. It should have been possible here, but he has not done it. On that ground I, for one, if this goes to a Division, will follow my right hon. Friend into the Lobby against this. But I want to say, here and now, that if I were satisfied that this was economical expenditure, that we were getting value for our money, I should certainly not vote against it, because this, at all events, is money which is being spent on something for the general good of the country. But that is not our point. Our point is whether it is being spent in an economical fashion. We have not been satisfied on that point. I would ask my right hon. Friend (Sir D. Maclean) not to make this a party question. We are all interested as citizens in these financial matters, which ought not to be treated as party matters at all. We are all anxious to see the money of this country saved wherever possible. We want it in our own pockets, as we can spend it better than the Government can spend it for us. If a Vote is taken it should not be a party one, but a general Vote of the Committee.
§ Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £63,000, be granted for the said service."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 35; Noes, 135.2165
|Division No. 17.]||AYES.||[10.58 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. F. D.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Nield, Sir Herbert|
|Atkey, A. R||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Holmes, J. Stanley||Poison, Sir Thomas|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Hood, Joseph||Richardson, Alexander (Gravesend)|
|Barker, Major Robert H.||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Thomas-Stanford, Charles|
|Bruton, Sir James||Johnstone, Joseph||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Williams, Lieut.-Com. C. (Tavistock)|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington. S.)||Knights, Capt. H. N. (C'berwell, N.)||Worsfold, Dr. T. Cato|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Lorden, John William|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Maclean, Rt. Hn. Sir D.(Midlothian)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Glanville, Harold James||Morden, Lieut.-Col. W. Grant||Major Mackenzie Wood and Major|
|Gould, James C.||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||Entwistle.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. C.||Barlow, Sir Montague||Breese, Major Charles E.|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Barnett, Major R. W.||Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive|
|Armitage, Robert||Barnston, Major Harry||Briggs, Harold|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Bell, James (Lancaster, Ormskirk)||Brown, Captain D. C.|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bird, Sir A. (Wolverhampton, West)||Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.|
|Banner, Sir John S. Harmood-||Blake, Sir Francis Douglas||Cecil, Rt Hon. Evelyn (Birm., Aston)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Chadwick, Sir Robert|
|Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)||Irving, Dan||Rankin, Captain James S.|
|Chilcot, Lieut.-Com. Harry W.||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Remer, J. R.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Johnson, Sir Stanley||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Cope, Major Wm.||Jones, Sir Edgar R. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)|
|Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L.||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Curzon, Commander Viscount||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk. George||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead)||Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)||Rutherford, Sir W. W. (Edge Hill)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Sexton, James|
|Dockrell, Sir Maurice||Law, Rt. Hon. A. B. (Glasgow, C.)||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Edgar, Clifford B.||Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lindsay, William Arthur||Smith, Sir Harold (Warrington)|
|Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South)||Lloyd, George Butler||Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Lort-Williams, J.||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Edwards, Hugh (Glam., Neath)||Lunn, William||Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)|
|Eyres-Monsell, Commander B. M.||Lynn, R. J.||Stanton, Charles B.|
|Finney, Samuel||M'Curdy, Rt. Hon. C. A.||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.|
|Forestier-Walker, L.||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)||Swan, J. E.|
|Forrest, Walter||M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.||Sykes, Colonel Sir A. J. (Knutsford)|
|Geddes, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Camb'dge)||Mitchell, William Lane||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Moles, Thomas||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel John||Molson, Major John Elsdale||Turton, E. R.|
|Gray, Major Ernest (Accrington)||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred M.||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor|
|Gregory, Holman||Morgan, Major D. Watts||Watson, Captain John Bertrand|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Wheler, Lieut.-Colonel C. H.|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Murray, Major William (Dumfries)||Wild, Sir Ernest Edward|
|Hailwood, Augustine||Myers, Thomas||Williams, Col. Sir R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Neal, Arthur||Wilson, Daniel M. (Down, West)|
|Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Wilson, W. Tyson (Westhoughton)|
|Hartshorn, Vernon||Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Wise, Frederick|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Henry, Denis S. (Londonderry, S.)||Perring, William George||Young, Lieut.-Com. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Pollock, Sir Ernest M.||Younger, Sir George|
|Higham, Charles Frederick||Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G.|
|Hinds, John||Purchase, H. G.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hunter, General Sir A. (Lancaster)||Randies, Sir John S.||Captain Guest and Colonel Sir R.|
Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ Resolutions to be reported To-morrow.
§ Committee to sit again To-morrow.
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.