§ Paragraph (d) of Section two of the principal Act (which provides for an increase of rent in respect of repairs) is hereby repealed.—[Mr. Brood.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. BROAD
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
The House may be aware that, under the Act of 1920, there was allowed to the landlord a 15 per cent. increase of rent, and, in addition, there was allowed a further 25 per cent., which was to compensate the landlord for the increased cost of repairs. The circumstances at that time were that there had been a long period since the beginning of the War when practically no repairs had been done, and when practically every house wanted re-decoration inside for the sake of health and cleanliness, and the landlords at that time were faced with some increase in wages and a most inflated rise in the cost of materials, so that there may have been at that time some justification 972 for an increase of rent in consideration of the repairs, if the landlord would do those repairs. We find to-day very different circumstances. In the first place, wages have been reduced very nearly to pre-War level, and the cost of materials has also gone down considerably; but, as a result of our experience in the 2½ years since the Act of 1920, we find that the landlord in almost every case has regarded that 25 per cent. as clear gain to himself, and has failed to do the repairs, which he is morally bound to do. This has occurred in practically every district, and in the case of the majority of houses of the class to which the Act applies.
I know a particular neighbourhood where I am, although the landlord, by his contract, is under an obligation to do these repairs, and in most cases has exacted this increased rent, after worrying for months, and after pathetic appeals to the landlord or his agent, although the houses have had nothing done to them, in many cases, for something like 10 years, the usual reply, if you 973 are not in any arrears of rent, is, "Tell your father"—or "the old man"—"to come round on Saturday with a pail, and I will give him some whitewash," and the landlord has got the increase of 25 per cent. for the cost of the whitewash. It may be said that provision is made for an appeal to the sanitary inspector, and then, on his certificate, for which a shilling has to be paid, you can apply to the County Court, and get an order. A few did try that experiment, and in almost every case they are very sorry that they spent their shilling. The words in Clause 4 area certificate that the house is not in a reasonable state of repair.Clause 11 says:If the County Court, on the application of a sitting tenant, is satisfied by the production of the certificate of the sanitary authority and such further evidence (if any) as may be adduced that the dwelling-house is not in a reasonable state of repair,and so on. Those misguided tenants who have applied to the sanitary inspector find that with his training and association, and the words of the Act, he has a very peculiar idea of what is a statutory repair. His only idea is a state of repair under the Public Health Acts, which is a very different thing from putting a house in a state of repair and decoration suitable to that class of property. That is not provided for in the Bill or in the Act, and the consequence is that, where these applications have been made, the certificate of the sanitary inspector not being in itself sufficient, the house-agent or the landlord has simply called in other house-agents or landlords as evidence on his behalf that the house is in a decent state of repair. The result is that the order has been refused, and in other cases, of which I know several, the landlord has sent a man in at a most inconvenient time, and his employee has simply stripped bare the walls, badly plastered as they were, perhaps washed them down with the water he used for softening the paper, made some little stop in the plaster, put some limewash on the ceiling, and left all the filth about. He has satisfied the sanitary inspector, whose only idea of repair is that laid down in the Public Health Acts. We say that this 25 per cent., if intended for the increased cost of repairs, amounts to obtaining money by false pretences, and there is no protection of the tenant in that 974 case. We see that the landlord has a considerable advantage to-day compared with what he had in pre-War times. In pre-War times there were occasions when in relation to some property some tenants did not like to move, and did their own internal decorations, although it might be the landlord had undertaken to do them. If tenants, in other cases, found they could get no decorations done, they endeavoured to find some other accommodation, and when the house was empty the landlord, from a sense of shame, did some little repair and redecoration; that was the only way you could often get the thing done. The consequence was that the landlord did have something to pay, though he calculated in measuring up the whole income of the houses for such decorations and repairs and his houses standing empty for a while, so he was not thus in a much worse position. To-day, however, there is no question of a house being empty unless the landlord wills it to be empty for his own purpose. He has no provision to make in one respect, he has no repairs to do in another, as he had to do when the house stood empty. In respect of working-class tenements, if you go to the jobbing builder and decorator and ask him how things are going he will tell you there is nothing doing at all, that the landlord is having nothing done because the tenants cannot help themselves. That is the position.
The 15 per cent. still stands as an advance to the landlord, and is sufficient as a return on such increased expenditure on outlay on the property. He is, I say, fully recouped in comparison with other investments. I am quite prepared to admit that all landlords are not bad landlords, and that all tenants are not good tenants, but the landlord has his remedy against a bad tenant. I am going to say that this Bill in the way it is drafted has no provision for the good tenant against the bad landlord. Dealing with this, let me say there are some good landlords who regard this increase of 40 per cent. as being an unconscionable amount. A good many of them have not increased the rent even 25 per cent. A good many have not increased it above 15 per cent., and there are others, in view of their tenants' feeling on the matter, and knowing their tenants, have not increased the rent at all—though this 975 latter is rather exceptional. There are a good many cases where the landlord felt perfectly satisfied with the return of 15 per cent. as a recompense to him for the increased amount paid by way of repairs for his property. We have considered this position. In addition to that, by the fact the House has just rejected that last Clause, you are putting every tenant under a reign of terror from his landlord with a consequence that they will not, they dare not, apply for the protection of the Court in this matter to try to get what little protection you give them. For all practical purposes you might as well give a clear advance of 40 per cent. to the landlord.
§ Mr. HARDIE
I beg to second the Motion.
This is not a new point of view to the House. Let me quote from the Minority Report of the Departmental Committee on the Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest Restrictions Act, 1920, page 47, paragraph 2:That there should be an immediate reduction of 25 per cent. in all rentals irrespective of the category in winch the house is placed, and that as at Martinmas, 1923, there should be a further reduction of 15 per cent.The question I should like to put to the House is whether this provision that is sought does not enter into the total contract; that when a party goes to take a house, he has no power to take the house only, he is made to realise that besides taking the house at a certain rent he has to become partly liable for the depreciation and repairs. The business men in this House, I am sure, will agree to this, that when you are selling a certain article you make your conditions. If you hire a machine, say, on the face the hire part of it is represented in depreciation and part of it may be breakage. Just as in machinery, so it should be in everything else. It seems to me that for the first time, so far as I can read the laws of this country, an Act is applied in which, apart from the contract of taking a house, you take it on condition that you must enter as a part partner with a proviso that you pay a certain percentage of possible repairs! If hon. Members look at Clause 11 in the Bill they will see its bearing on what we are moving. In that Clause you admit the necessity of having an outside authority to determine whether 976 the house is or is not habitable. Here, again, the whole of the citizens who are paying for the services of the sanitary department are going to have their rates increased, because it is going to call for more people in the sanitary department with the necessary skill in order to see that the doors, the fastenings, the glass, the windows, the cords, the blinds and all these things are right, because the inspection which must take place in the sanitary department must be done by a man of skill, so that the property may be put and kept in a proper state of repair. Since the Government suggests putting in the Clauses referred to, I do not see why they should hesitate to accept this proposed new Clause, because it simply means that those who go from the houses are not to become partners in the expense of repairs. Why there should be allowed to creep into any Bill this vicious principle of compelling people to enter into this partnership, whilst denying them other benefits as real partners, I do not see.
Both the Mover and the Seconder of this proposed new Clause have founded their arguments, not so much on the ground of the permitted increase of rent, and not so much where the repairs were properly carried out, as upon the alleged fact that certain landlords have not carried out the work, or have not carried it out sufficiently. But what does the new proposal do? It deals with the unjust and the just alike; whether the landlord is a good landlord or a bad landlord under this proposed new Clause he is to have the permitted increase of rent reduced. It is a fact that in a good number of cases the landlords have even now not exacted the whole amount of the rent, and in their case there is no necessity to introduce a new Clause in order that their rent should be reduced. That has already been done by themselves. What I think we have got to provide against, and here I have the greatest sympathy with hon. Members, is where the landlord is not doing his duty, and where his property is not properly repaired, that he should not be allowed the increased rent. That seems to me to be exactly right, and that is exactly what we are doing in Clauses 4 and 11; yet hon. Members opposite, I think, seem to suggest opposition on the ground that some of this will fall upon the rates.
§ Mr. HARDIE
I was only showing that the occupier, besides being asked to pay part of the repairs necessary, is paying rates to pay the increase in men necessary for such inspection by the sanitary authority. I hold that it is the business of the landlord to keep his property in repair.
Most certainly it is his duty, and that is his duty according to the Act of 1920. The real purpose which underlies this proposed Clause is carried out, I submit to the House, by Clause 4 and Clause 11. These are selected Clauses to deal with the cases of the bad landlords, and they leave the good landlord alone. To suggest that the good landlord should have his rent reduced seems to me an unwise thing. If you are going to restrict as suggested it is not going to help the building of new houses, and in the second place, you are going to give a good many people the excuse of saying that they are not drawing any income from the houses in order to enable them to carry out the repairs that ought to be done. Do not let us put into the hands of those not anxious to do their duty an excuse that we are not allowing them a sufficient amount of rent for carrying them out! I suggest that the Clause which is now being moved defeats its own object. It will penalise the good landlord, and relieve the unfortunate and bad landlord, and therefore raise up new dangers.
§ Captain WEDGWOOD BENN
The Minister of Health does quite right to explain that Clauses 4 and 11 are excellent Clauses for forcing a landlord to keep his house in a proper state of repair, but that is not really part of the logical argument put forward by the Mover of the Amendment as to the amount that he should really increase his rent. The fact is that we have accepted the position of controlling the rent. This position has been accepted by the last two Governments, and that is the position of the Minister himself. I think we may say that we start on that basis: of the rent being controlled, with limitations. The rent was increased by the Act of 1920. The House of Commons at that date did not say, "We consider 40 per cent. in crease should be the figure." They said that they considered the normal increase should be 15 per cent.; and the charges for repairs to the extent of an additional 978 25 per cent. were put on. Therefore, the Mover of this proposed new Clause is entitled to come forward and say that the 25 per cent. does not now represent the increased cost of repairs. We have to see whether the 25 per cent. continues to represent the increased cost of the repairs. The 25 per cent. was originally granted purely in respect of the increased cost of repairs and for no other reason whatever. That being so, I think we are entitled to ask the Minister of Health to meet us on this point. Does the right hon. Gentleman contend that repairs cost as much now as they did in 1920?
§ Mr. HOHLER
On a point of Order. As this new Clause is a proposal to repeal the whole of paragraph (d), is it in order to discuss whether it should be 5 per cent., 10 per cent. or 15 per cent.?
§ Captain BENN
We have to deal with the Amendments on the Paper, and we do not all get an opportunity of moving our Amendments. Two arguments have been put forward, one is that in many cases the repairs are not done at all. There are many cases in Glasgow where it has been proved that the repairs were not done. The second case is that the cost of repairs is not represented by the same figure now as it was in 1920, because in that year we were at the peak of the line representing the cost of building materials and repairs. The cost of houses in 1920 was represented by £1,000, where the same house to-day would only cost £500. The other day the Minister of Health gave an estimate of the cost of materials which show that in September, 1920, taking £100 as the figure for that month, the figure to-day was represented by £59. If that is the case, and if costs are falling in that way, then it is only fair to come here and argue that if 25 per cent. represented the increased cost of repairs in 1920, it must now be modified to suit the reduced cost of repairs to-day. The Minister of Health has not made any attempt whatever to answer that point, and unless some effort is made by an Amendment of the Clause to bring the state of affairs more to correspond with the reality of the situation, I shall support this Amendment.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I do not think my hon. and gallant Friend has addressed himself to the Amendment on the Paper, because no percentage at all is to be allowed on the ground of repairs. I think that is a most unfortunate position in which to put the landlords. I do not wish to criticise unduly my hon. and gallant Friend, but if he wanted to vary that 25 per cent. and make it 20 or 15 per cent., he has had ample opportunities of putting Amendments on the Paper.
§ Sir K. WOOD
That is just one of those hypothetical questions which I have always been taught in this House not to answer. My own judgment is that while the cost of materials has decreased slightly since the 25 per cent. was fixed, I doubt whether there is any material difference at the present time. I know my hon. and gallant Friend has been very active in showing how far prices have been maintained in connection with house building, but so far as repairs are concerned, I think hon. Members will find very little difference between what the cost was 12 months or two years ago. My own experience is that there has been very little reduction, and I do not think there is any justification for asking for any variation to be made. If my hon. Friend will examine the accounts of anybody who has owned a house for the last five, six, or seven years, and ascertain what has been spent on repairs, and what they have been able to charge for rent during the whole of that period, he will not by any means be inclined to criticise the amount which has been received as unfair.
When one comes to see the further provisions that have been made in this Bill in Clause 4 and Clause 11, I think quite rightly, it will be found that the very fullest opportunity is given to the tenant, because anyone who has a house which is in a bad state of repair can refuse to pay rent, and if he brings forward the evidence specified under this Bill, he will have an effective means of getting his house put in a good state of repair. Personally, I do not see how you are going to improve matters by striking out this Clause altogether. If we take the whole position and look at 980 it during the period houses have been under control, no one can say that there has been any undue preference shown to the landlords of the country in that particular direction.
§ Mr. DUNCAN GRAHAM
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down took part in a Division some two years ago which declared that over 1,000,000 persons employed in a particular industry should have their wages reduced below the standard of 1914. I hear him now arguing that the owners of the houses in which these men live should get an increase of 40 per cent. over the 1914 standard. I would like to know how he can square those two points and remain an honest man. Here we are only asking that the same principle should apply to the owners of houses as apply to the tenants. The tenant is a workman and his wages have been reduced during the last two years, and he has been told from the benches opposite, time and again, that there cannot possibly be any revival in industry or any peace, happiness or contentment until we get back to the 1914 level. We are only proposing here that the question of cost of repairs should not be allowed to cause an increase of the rent and we are proposing to repeal this Clause. At any rate, we are proposing that that particular part of the 1920 Act should be repealed, and I think that is a fairly reasonable claim to put forward. I notice that the Minister of Health did not make any reference whatever to the famous Rent Restrictions Committee which dealt with this question before he became the Minister of Health, but if he will kindly look up the Report of the Onslow Committee, he will find that even the members who signed the Majority Report also signed a reservation in favour of a reduction of the rent for repairs.
I was somewhat chary in taking part in this discussion in view of the attitude and the treatment that has been meted out to Scottish Members in the Committee over which the right hon. Gentleman presided, because he paid absolutely no regard whatever to the position in which the tenants from Scotland would be placed so far as this proposal is concerned, and it was deliberately arranged that the Scottish Members would either have to refrain from attending the Committee, or refrain from being present in 981 this House when the question of Scottish homes were being considered. I do not think that that is fair treatment. No matter what the opinion of the people of Birmingham may be, I do not think I am doing any injustice to the right hon. Gentleman when I say that he does not know the Scottish position as well as those who represent Scotland. Up to the time control came into operation the landlord was held responsible for the inside repairs, and that is included in the rent. I understand that there is some difference between the Scottish and the English position, and speaking as a member of the Labour party, and in this I believe I am expressing the view of the whole party, we do not want to perpetrate any injustice upon the house owner or place him in any worse position than the ordinary citizen, but the tenant should have power to get what he is entitled to, and which was clearly the intention of the Act.
In 1920, when this provision which we are now seeking to repeal was passed, the arguments used by hon. Gentlemen opposite were very different to those which the Minister of Health has used this afternoon. We were then told that, because of the high wages and high cost of materials, and the fact that the house-owners had had to submit to control, that they had thereby been placed in a somewhat unfair position compared with other members of the community, and that there was a case for an increase in rent. At that time we agreed, and there was little or no opposition to the proposal that some increase should be allowed, but now that we are getting nearer to the situation which existed in 1914 it is not unreasonable to argue that, circumstances being what they are, the house-owner should be prepared to accept, as we slay in Scotland, the sour with the sweet, and share the disabilities under which we all have to live. The majority of the members of the Onslow Committee recommended to the right hon. Gentleman that he should inquire into the conditions obtaining in the mining industry with regard to the tenancy of houses. There are hundreds of thousands of houses owned by colliery owners. I asserted in Committee, and I do it here, and no hon. Member opposite can disprove my assertion, that this does not mean merely a 40 per cent. increase, but it means 40 per cent. plus the cost of repairs in the 982 houses that are owned by colliery companies.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
If the hon. Member can prove what he asserts, I will withdraw my statement, but he will have to produce documentary evidence. Meantime, there are hundreds of thousands of tenants under the colliery companies who are being compelled to pay 40 per cent. increased rent notwithstanding that this House has determined that their wages shall only be at the rate of 20 per cent. over those obtaining in 1914. You are compelling them to pay to the owner of the houses a 40 per cent. increase in their rent and to bear practically the whole cost of repairs both inside and outside. That is not a fair position for them to be in, and cannot be justified by hon. Gentlemen opposite. I would appeal to the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill to give some serious consideration to this matter. Here is an opportunity for him to at least meet a very reasonable objection to this Bill in so far as a reduction in the amount of rent to cover the increased cost of repairs is concerned. I hope he will meet us here. While I was on Committee he did not make many concessions to our side. I hope he will be prepared to make a concession to-night—particularly on this Clause.
I would have preferred to have gone straightly and boldly for the demand that ought to have been made, namely, that when decontrol comes there should be no statutory provision for any increase of rent over the 1914 standard. We ought to go back to the conditions that then obtained. No matter what excuse may be put forward from the other side of the House, the facts are that the vast majority of the houses in this country will be decontrolled immediately this Bill becomes an Act. There is nothing to prevent it, and there is certainly nothing to prevent a colliery company which owns houses from getting them decontrolled immediately. I should have been pleased if some of the hon. Gentlemen opposite who clamour so for fair play would get up and afford us some evidence that they are willing to be equally fair when a 983 reasonable claim is put forward from this side. It is not reasonable that the wages for the workmen should be reduced to a point only 20 per cent. above the 1914 standard, and that the rent of the house he occupies should be increased 40 per cent. over that standard.
Mr. SAMUEL ROBERTS
The hon. Member made a direct challenge to anyone to contradict the statement he made that the collier was paying for his repairs twice over. This statement was made previously in Committee upstairs, and I then ventured very much to doubt its accuracy. Since then I have taken the trouble to ascertain the facts, and, as far as South Yorkshire and the Federated area is concerned, I am able to assert that the statement is absolutely incorrect. I took the trouble to look at the accounts of one particular concern, and these showed the rents of the houses and the cost of repairs. These particular accounts are kept entirely separate from the colliery accounts, and the repairs are not charged against the workmen's wages in any way. That is the practice as far as the Federated area is concerned. Hon. Members opposite have their own accountants and auditors who can inspect these accounts; indeed they do inspect them, and they can state whether what I have said is, or is not, correct. If they deny that what I have said is the practice in South Yorkshire and the Federated area, I shall be very much surprised.
§ Mr. D. GRAHAM
It is no good the hon. Gentleman making a statement of that sort, unless he is prepared to tell us that those he represents will allow us to see the individual accounts.
After that statement, showing the hon. Member's distrust of his own auditors, I need say no more.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I happen to be a member of the housing committee of the London County Council. We have very large pre-War estates; we have many houses which were built before the War, and these houses, compared with ordinary privately-owned houses are kept on a very high standard of repair. There is a 984 proper organisation for repairing them, the woodwork is painted at fixed intervals, and other repairs are carried out regularly, both inside and outside. Of course the internal condition of these houses is vastly superior to that of ordinary privately-owned houses. We have just had before us the accounts of these houses, and they show a surplus of something like £33,000 per year. That is a very substantial surplus, and it is estimated by the council's controller that, owing to the reduced cost of labour, the net profits after paying interest, repairs and the cost of maintenance and providing a sinking fund will be increased from £33,000 to £45,000. That shows that the percentage provided under this Bill is too large. I was one of those who voted for a reduced rent. I have felt that the 40 per cent. ought not to be taken full advantage of. In the case of the London County Council it has been argued that the public authority is justified in taking this large profit out of the pre-War municipal tenants, because they have made such a big loss on the post-War houses. To my mind that argument does not hold good. It certainly does not hold good with the ordinary owner of houses which are let out to the working classes. The county council is subsidising the new houses; the State too is subsidising them out of State funds, while the municipal authorities subsidise them out of the rates. On the other hand the houses built by private enterprise are built for the purpose of making a profit and the rents are fixed accordingly. The figures I am able to show prove that the 40 per cent. allowed under the Act of 1919 is too large. I do not say this particular Clause is perfect, but I do think the Minister who is responsible should reduce the margin.
§ Mr. TREVELYAN
The Debate shows that experience differs in different parts of the country. Some of my hon. Friends behind me have cited cases where the full rent has not been raised. No doubt there are many cases of that kind, but all I can say is that in the districts about which I know most—the poorer districts of Newcastle-on-Tyne—that is not the case at all. I have gone into this question rather closely. I feel very deeply indeed on this question of repairs. What has been happening in the poorer districts of Newcastle, and no doubt in similar districts in many other towns, is that the landlords 985 have not only exacted the 40 per cent. which was their due, but have secured as much as 60 per cent. or 70 per cent. This has been discovered, and large numbers of tenants have been able to exact repayment. Many thousands of pounds have had to be returned by the landlords to the tenants in the last two years—representing money which they have illegally exacted. But I do not want to dwell upon that. The question is what have they done with the legal 40 per cent. Have they, in fact, made the repairs they were supposed to make? I have been in a very large number of streets—poor streets, moderately poor streets, and moderately well-to-do streets. In some of the moderately well-to-do it is true that the landlords have made the repairs, but in the very poor streets they have practically not done it at all. You really cannot find any place in which they have made these repairs. That is a very serious state of things.
I have no doubt the same condition obtains in a very large part of the poorer districts in all our large towns. This is a drastic proposal. I quite agree that a very great grievance exists. The law as it stands is a mockery to millions of our fellow countrymen. It is not enough to say, as the right hon. Gentleman says, that a remedy is provided in Clause 11. Even if it is a remedy—and I am not going into the question whether or not it is a sufficient one—the fact remains that it means that the aggrieved tenants, to the numbers of millions, are left to go to law against their landlords. That is not the sort of remedy which ought to be available. If the landlords are ready to use this increased rent for making repairs, well and good, but leave it to them to prove that they are making the repairs and then to go to the Court and ask for the increased rent. That would be a real remedy. It is the sort of remedy which is required for a grievance which is so universal. It is not sufficient to say that hundreds of thousands of our fellow countrymen should be driven to enter upon litigation against their landlords in order to secure their rights. Yet that is the only remedy which is offered them. It is not good enough.
§ Sir PHILIP PILDITCH
This Amendment has a very wide scope. It appears to me to be getting rid of the whole of 986 the Act of 1920. May I suggest that hon. Members opposite who have spoken have not dealt with the answer given by the Minister in the first few sentences of his speech. They have avoided it. The Minister said that the real practical way out of this difficulty has already been found by this Bill. It is that the good landlord who does the repairs shall receive the amount he is entitled to under the Act, but the bad landlord who has not done repairs shall not be allowed to receive the additional rent provided. Hon. Members do not seem to me to have answered that at all. Another point raised by the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. D. Graham) was that in which he said that it was not fair the landlord should be entitled to a 40 per cent. increase on the rent when during the last two years the workmen had suffered a considerable reduction of wages. He claimed that the additional rent provided under the Act of 1920 was unfair under those circumstances.
I think the House ought to remember, in order to give fair play to both sides, what the circumstances have been in regard to increased wages and in regard to increased rents on these small houses. It was not until a good many years after the War commenced that the Legislature gave any increase at all to the owners of small houses, and the first increase that was given to them, after several years, was only 10 per cent., while up to 1920, when the working man and a good many other sections of the community were receiving remuneration as much as 170 per cent. over the rates of payment in 1914, the landlord of the small house was the one person in the whole community who was not allowed to profit by that increase. The owner of the small house, until 1920, was only allowed a very little towards the extra cost of living, which fell upon him equally with other sections of the community. I have already mentioned in this House on another occasion, and I beg leave to repeat it now, that the "Labour Gazette" has shown that, during the whole period, from the outbreak of War until now, the average increase in the cost of rent has been less than 50 per cent., including the 25 per cent. which is now objected to, the 15 per cent. that was given towards the cost of living, and the balance that was given for the purpose of meeting the increased cost of mortgages; while during that period 987 most of the community were receiving remuneration corresponding to the full increase in the cost of living, namely, as I have just said, 170 per cent. or thereabouts above the rates obtaining in 1914.
If, therefore, we are going to discuss the whole basis of the Act of 1920, which gave the landlord a quite belated recompense towards the additional cost that he had been bearing during those last years of the War, surely, we ought to look round and see how he was treated during the earlier years. If we are to go into this question of the 40 per cent. we should need to go into it pretty fully, and, on a Bill like this, which only purports to deal with a certain number of points in connection with the matter, I do not think the House is prepared to discuss an issue of this kind without some notice that it was going to be raised in this broad fashion. I do not know the basis on which the 40 per cent. was divided up into 25 per cent. and 15 per cent. The 25 per cent. was, no doubt, owing to the increased cost of repairs, but I think there are a good many people who, if they had had to divide up the increase allowed to the landlords, would not have divided it up in that way. If my hon. Friends opposite were in a position to show that the increase in the cost of repairs had fallen since 1920 to something less than 25 per cent., it would certainly be for the landlords to say that they never received anything like what they ought to have receivd towards the extra cost of living in the small increase of 15 per cent. My hon. Friends may take it, if they are going to discuss the whole question of the 40 per cent., that there will be a lot to be said on both sides. There will be a lot to be said about the 15 per cent.—just as much as has been said by them about the 25 per cent. I do not think, however, that this is the occasion for going into the roots of the Act of 1920, but if that were done I think it would be found that the owners of small houses would be able at this moment to put forward a claim, on the merits, for not less than the 40 per cent. which they are entitled to receive under the Act of 1920.
§ Mr. McENTEE
It has often been said that by judicious selection of figures you can prove anything, and I think the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has 988 most certainly, if he has done nothing else, judiciously selected his figures. I should like to point out that, when the 40 per cent. was fixed and was divided up into 15 per cent. for the one purpose and 25 per cent. for the other, that 40 per cent. was fixed by a House the great majority of which consisted of landlords and the friends of landlords, and the landlords themselves, outside the House, expressed themselves all over the country as being perfectly satisfied with the bargain they had got. The hon. Member who has just spoken is perfectly well aware that his friends the landlords were satisfied with the bargain they had got. After all, before 1914, the existing rent, including all repairs, which the landlords were then able to extract from the tenants, paid them, generally, reasonably handsomely.
There is no one in this House who has any knowledge of the building trade or of house property who would not admit that, before 1914, the standard conditions in regard to housing in this country were infinitely better than they are at the present time. I gave to the Minister himself, and I want to remind him of it again, because of the arguments that have been used in this House to-day, a particular instance. I do not want to go into it in detail, but I can reproduce it now from inquiries that I have since made in my own constituency and in several other constituencies within the London area, where the landlord, having taken the opinion of eminent King's counsel, has been informed that we cannot get at him in any Court, in spite of the existing Act, and that he can continue to do what he is doing as a very general fact. It is this: When the sanitary authority calls upon him to put a house into a proper sanitary condition and into proper repair, within the terms used in the Act, he simply strips the paper from the walls—I can take anyone to several instances of it within a two hours' journey of this House—he has the ceilings whitewashed, generally by inefficient, cheap labour, and, having done that, he walks out and leaves the place with the dirty streaks of water that, as someone has said, was used for the purpose of softening the paper on the walls. That is being done all over the place at the present time where the landlord is compelled to do 989 the repairs, and in most cases, knowing that this condition of things is in operation, the tenants prefer to keep the old paper on the walls, in spite of its insanitary condition, rather than have imposed upon them the conditions that I have just mentioned.
The result is that the landlord is taking the 25 per cent., and I want to put it to the House that, if a man takes 25 per cent. of the net rent week by week and year by year from the tenant, as is now being done, and if he does not do the repairs for doing which that money was given to him, that man is a thief. There is no other word that fits the case. And if the Minister knows that that is being done—and I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that he cannot deny that this is being done, that he is perfectly well aware of it, that the officials of his own Department must have reported to him the complaints that have gone up from local authorities all over the country—he ought to confer with his right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General and prosecute some of these people for thieving. That ought to be done if there were any grain of honesty left at all in this House of Commons. I know perfectly well that, if any of us outside the House who are workmen were to do this kind of thing we should find ourselves in the Police Court or some other Court, being prosecuted for illegal practices, but there is no attempt to prosecute the landlord at all. He is encouraged in every way possible to swindle the public, and he is doing so in a great number of cases under this Act. I am not arguing, and I should not be justified in arguing, that all landlords are doing the same thing, but I have given an instance which, on the estate in question, is occurring frequently, and it applies to the vast majority of houses in the constituency in which I live. The gentleman who gave his name to that estate sits in this House of Commons at the present time below the Gangway on this side. I am not blaming him personally for it, but that is going on on that estate. We have had to come forward and ask the Minister for a remedy, and I suggest to him that he is not acting straight with the House in his reply. He says, "You are not fair; you are taking away from the good landlord so as to punish the bad landlord." It is quite reasonable to argue that the good 990 landlord should have something to pay him for the repairs he does, but in the same speech the right hon. Gentleman admitted that there are bad landlords who are not doing the work. It is not common honesty, and I charge him with dishonesty—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order!"]—I charge the Minister with gross dishonesty—
§ Mr. McENTEE
Then I charge the Government with gross dishonesty. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw!"] No, I am not going to withdraw. I charge the Government, and I say that the Minister, as the Member of the Government responsible for this particular Department, has admitted himself here to-day that there are landlords who are not giving the tenants that for which the tenants are paying. Will anyone argue that it is not dishonesty for a man to take what the Act of Parliament allows him to take, when he is supposed to give, in return for that 25 per cent., certain things to the people who are his tenants, and it is perfectly well known to the Minister that those landlords are not giving that for which they are taking this money, and he comes back and says, "If you hit these fellows, what about the good landlords?" Why does not the Minister come forward and say, "These people are acting dishonestly by taking money from the tenants to which they are not entitled, and I, as the Minister responsible for this Department, and entrusted by the people with the administration of the law in regard to this matter, will put down a Clause myself"? He did so in Committee; why does he not do so now?
§ Sir P. PILDITCH
Why does not the hon. Member refer straightforwardly to Clauses 4 and 11, which deal with the very matters of which he is speaking?
§ Mr. McENTEE
I know all about Clauses 4 and 11, just as much as the hon. Member does, and I say, after having read and understood them, that they do not cover this point. I said so to the Minister upstairs, and the assurance that the Minister gives is no assurance at all. It does not cover the point that dishonest landlords are taking money deliberately, knowing that they are taking it without giving that which 991 they ought to give in return. It is said that the tenant can go to the County Court, but it is well known that, in practice he does not go. No cases can be produced in which he does go in circumstances like this. We know what happens. These poor people, or the majority of them, at any rate, are afraid of the County Court.
They know nothing about it. It is something right above them and away from them. They are afraid of it altogether and, consequently, they do not go. But you know the landlord will go to it, and generally does, when the County Court is needed on his behalf. It has been proved by an hon. Member below the Gangway, speaking with a knowledge of the London County Council. I also have had close connection with the housing estates of the London County Council. I put it to any practical builder in the House, where the repairs are being done by the landlord it is the exception rather than the rule where it is costing anything like 25 per cent. It is very rare, and then only in cases where considerable structural alterations have to be undertaken to put the house into decent condition. Twenty-five per cent. is excessive and the Minister knows it, and it is up to him to come forward with some suggestion and say, "We will meet you half-way and do away with this condition of robbery that is going on, enabling landlords to take that which they are not entitled to take. "The Minister does not care to do that. He has a bias on behalf of private enter prise. He is doing very well out of private enterprise and so are all of you over there. But you did not come here to represent private enterprise. You are here to represent the tenants and the people generally living in your constituencies. Foolish they were, it is true, to send you here, but you would not dare to go to your constituencies and tell them that when it comes to a question of deciding between the public and private enterprise you always have a bias in favour of private enterprise. You tell them something entirely different from that and they, fools as they are, send you here. But by and by they will wake up. A few of them are waking up and you know it, and because you know it you fear them. If the Government is honest, if it 992 has at heart the well-being of all the people, instead of the few private enter prisers, the right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well—and this I challenge him to contradict—that large numbers of landlords are taking that money and giving nothing in return for it at all to the tenants. He knows that is a dishonest practice and as a Minister of the Crown it is his duty to protect the tenants and prevent the landlords from taking that to which they are not entitled, certainly if they never give any services to the tenants in return for the money they have illegally taken out of their pockets.
The hon. Member for Spelthorne (Sir P. Pilditch) has challenged us to reply to what he regarded as the strongest argument submitted by the right hon. Gentleman on this Clause. That argument, so far as I understand it, is simply that there must be some discrimination between the good and the bad landlords in order to protect the tenant himself. Prior to the passing of the Rent and Mortgage Interest Restriction Act or any of the Acts associated with this question, there was no difficulty at all. As a matter of fact more repairs were done before the passing of these Acts than have been done since, and that without any additional payment on the part of the tenant, and I cannot see for the life of me why there should be any discrimination as between one kind of landlord and another. After all, if the house is let at all and is to be tenanted it may be reasonably assumed that it is in a proper condition for tenancy, and in that case it is reasonable to assume that a proper rent should be paid for it, but unless it complies with this condition no landlord, whether good or bad, is entitled to charge any rent at all. Something has been said about Clauses 4 and 11, and it has been argued that there is a simple remedy which the tenant may take if he feels aggrieved. I am one of those who have gone to the County Court to test this self-same question. On one occasion I was sued by a landlord for non-payment of increase of rent. I went to the Court to defend myself and I argued, perhaps not very learnedly as was quite natural under the circumstances, that the landlord was not entitled to impose an increase of rent on the ground of repairs because he had not executed any repairs for two or three years prior to the charge 993 being imposed. This took place in the Sheriff Court in Glasgow. The learned Judge pointed out that he had no power under the existing Acts to interpret what were reasonable repairs. I argued that since knobs had fallen off the doors and windows had become cracked and sometimes smashed and that the plaster in the corridor was in an exceedingly bad condition, the house was not in a reasonable state of repair, but the Judge said that had nothing to do with him at all. What he was concerned about was that I should receive from the sanitary authority a certificate showing that the house was in an insanitary condition. Of course I could not argue, and certainly I could not go to the sanitary authority and ask for a certificate, that the house was in an insanitary condition because, being reasonably careful tenants, we saw to it that tilt house did not get into an insanitary condition.
Has the hon. Member read the Bill and found in it that he will be able to go to the sanitary authority and get a certificate that the house is not in a reasonable state of repair, which means not a good and tenantable state of repair, so that the state of things of which he complains is now being remedied by the Bill?
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that I have read the Bill. I was pointing out the condition of affairs under the existing Acts. I take it from the right hon. Gentleman's remark that he agrees with me that such a state of affairs as I have indicated could arise under the existing Acts. May I point out the very great difficulty that exists in approaching the sanitary authorities? [An HON. MEMBER: "Why?"] It is not always desirable for tenants to ask for that certificate from the sanitary authority. It involves in many cases a certain inconvenience because working class tenants have not always the time to go philandering round looking for documents in order to justify themselves if they approach the Court. But entirely apart from that, even under the existing proposals, under Clauses 4 and 11, where the sanitary authority is empowered to grant a certificate that the house is not in a reasonable state of repair, is there any reason to assume that the sanitary authority will grant such a certificate if the house is in need of repairs such as 994 I have indicated? The sanitary authority will determine its course of action solely on the ground of whether the house is sanitary or not and will not regard the question of reasonable repairs as coming within its purview at all.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
What the hon. Member is now dealing with seems to be the subject of an Amendment which I was proposing to call on Clause 15, in the name of the hon. Member for Seaham (Mr. Webb). We cannot have it twice over. We had better not cover that point on this Amendment.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I was trying to traverse a point which had been put by other hon. Members. I am quite prepared to leave it, though I think it is vital to this Amendment. However, I think I can find other arguments as logical and valid as those I have submitted. May I put this question to the right hon. Gentleman, since questions have been asked of us? Why were the increases of rent imposed on the ground of repairs? Why was this imposition charged on the tenant? I will reply to the question in this way. I am assuming that these increases were imposed because there was an increase of the price of the material which had to be utilised when the repairs were executed. The natural assumption from that is that as the price of material for repairs diminishes there ought to be a reduction in the amount imposed for repairs. If the right hon. Gentleman wants to be logical we will give him any amount of logic, which he can use as he pleases. There is no proposal from the other side that there should be any diminution in price. Yet they themselves have admitted that there has been a diminution in the price of building material for this purpose. I want to dissociate myself from the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Leith (Captain Benn), who remarked that this was a very drastic proposal, and he would not be prepared to go as far as we would. I do not regard it as a drastic proposal at all. It it can be argued that there ought to be additional recompense for landlords because of the cost of building material, because of the increased charges which arose out of the War, it might very well have been applied to rent alone, and not have been chargeable because of increased repairs. In my 995 own case the landlord would do no repairs at all. Indeed, he would do fewer repairs after the Act came into operation than he did in years gone by, and that was the experience of thousands of tenants who lived in the same district, and for whom, on occasions, I had to speak in the Glasgow Town Council. I can understand the position of hon. Members who have lived in houses such as I have lived in. On the occasion I refer to I was living in a three-roomed tenement house because I could not get another place, and very largely because I could not afford to pay more rent than the landlord was imposing on me. The hon. Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood) argues that if I have paid an increase on the ground of repairs and am getting nothing for it I have my remedy, and I can go to Court or to the sanitary authority. But there was no case for going there, because I could not claim that the house was in an insanitary condition. My case is, that if there is to be an increase of rent let it be an increase of rent, and not an increase on the ground of repairs. Since there has not been the requisite amount of repairs done, I argue that there ought to be a repeal of this Clause.
May I reply to an observation of the hon. Member for Spelthorne, who probably thought he was arguing with great force and conviction, that we ought not to take away from the landlord what must be regarded as a belated recompense? What is the obvious reply? It is true that the case we are dealing with did not come into operation immediately after the War, when wages had increased and when the working classes occupying the housed that we are dealing with benefited very largely from the artificial prosperity of the War period; but it must be admitted that, as a result of the increased wages paid, and the regularity of employment, the landlords who were the owners of working-class houses received their rents more quickly and with greater regularity than ever before. To that extent they were gainers, and they had no ground for complaint. Therefore, they cannot argue that there was any belated recompense in their case. There is no case for the imposition of the increase on the ground of repairs, whatever may be said for the increase on the ground of rent.
§ Sir JOHN SIMON
There are two questions raised by this Amendment, and I do not feel sure that they have been kept entirely separate. I listened carefully to the speech of the Minister, and as far as I was able to follow him I do not think he dealt with one of the two questions. The first question is that in 1920 Parliament thought it well to enact that there should be a permitted addition of rent, where the landlord is responsible for the whole of the repairs, to an amount not exceeding 25 per cent. of the net rent. Assuming that was right then, can 25 per cent. be right now? That question was put by the Mover of the Amendment very persuasively. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Leith (Captain Wedgwood Benn) called attention to some answers, and urged that when Parliament was dealing with this question in 1920 it was dealing with it at a time when the price of materials was very heavy. That argument has been reinforced by the very practical illustration given by the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris), who said, speaking of the great estate of the London County Council—he can speak with authority, because he is a member of the Housing Committee—that figures recently drawn up showed that the 25 per cent. resulted in the case of the London County Council houses, which are kept in a very high state of repair, in a charge which involved a very large profit to the landlord. If that is the case, there must be some answer to the suggestion that 25 per cent. fixed in 1920 cannot be the right figure for the House of Commons to pass by without alteration in 1923. I may be mistaken, but I did not hear from the right hon. Gentleman the slightest attempt to answer that point.
An answer was attempted by one hon. Member, who urged that possibly the figure of 25 per cent. was not the right figure but that what people gained on the swings they lost on the roundabouts, and that it would all turn out right in the end. I cannot conceive that Parliament proposes to continue a provision of this sort unless it can be justified on its merits. It was a sufficiently curious thing in 1920 for Parliament to say that the landlord might add 25 per cent. of the net rent to the rent if he was responsible for repairs, without laying down any condition as to whether he should effect the 997 repairs, or whether the repairs needed to be effected. Be that as it may, it cannot be right to leave 25 per cent. uncorrected, unless those who give the House responsible information on this subject from the Ministry of Health are prepared to say that their information leads them to think that the situation in 1923 is the same as it was in 1920.
The other question is quite distinct, and that is, whether or not it is right to go on with the provision which authorises the landlord to charge an increased rent without giving effective security that he makes the repairs which are supposed to be represented by that increase. I know that the right hon. Gentleman has some Clauses in this Bill which seek to deal with that question, but we must not discuss those Clauses in detail now. It is a little difficult to believe that the poorest class of tenant, the man with the least knowledge and the least experience, and the man least likely to go to the County Court, is to get anything out of it if he has to get the sanitary authority to give him a certificate, and then he has to take the certificate to the County Court, and then it is to be a matter of defence for future demands for future increase of rent. That is an elaborate way of securing a plain right—the right that if Parliament thinks well to add to a man's statutory rent at least there should be some effective security that the landlord gives that which is supposed to be represented by the increased rent.
The first question whether 25 per cent. is the right percentage to continue has not been dealt with. The right hon. Gentleman used a very natural Parliamentary device. He said, "I have examined the Amendment, and I do not think it is in very happy form. I find that it is going to sweep away this provision and is going to impose the same punishment upon the good and the bad landlord; upon the man who has done repairs and the man who has not." That is a perfectly good criticism to the form of the Amendment, but surely, it is in the interests of the House of Commons and I think it is in the interests of a very large number of our fellow citizens outside that we should know whether it is the view of the Government that 25 per cent. added to the standard rent which was said to be the 998 right figure when prices were at their highest in 1920 is the right figure in July, 1922.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH
(Lord Eustace Percy): Dealing with the second point raised by the right hon. Gentleman, it is a mistake to believe that the tenant has to go through all the various processes which he outlined. It is true that the tenant must go to the sanitary authority. The right hon. Gentleman says he must then go from the sanitary authority to the County Court. He need not do anything of the kind. It is for the landlord to go to the County Court. The tenant can withhold the increase of rent on the certificate.
§ Lord E. PERCY
That is true. Hon. Members remember the existence of Clause 4 and Clause 11, but they have unanimously forgotten the existence of Clause 15, which provides that the sanitary authority may specify, and shall specify, what repairs are required, so that there can be no question of stripping the paper, whitewashing, and so forth. The sanitary authority is required to specify what works are necessary, and the landlord has to get, subsequently, a certificate from the sanitary authority that the repairs have been carried out. That part of the right hon. Gentleman's question has been fairly answered. As to the question whether the 25 per cent. increase, which ex hypothesi was necessary in 1920, is necessary now, I am not prepared to admit that 25 per cent. was sufficient in 1920. When the Salisbury Committee reported, by no means the highest peak of building prices had been reached! That did not come until considerably later, and I do not believe that the 25 per cent. in many cases was sufficient. The hon. Member for South-west Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) gave the instance of the London County Council houses. Those are houses the vast majority of which have been built within the last 20 years, and they have been kept in a regular state of repair.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I accept that compliment from the hon. Member, as I am an old member of the London County Council. It is true that if you take the best type of house, the most recently built type of house, the house which has been most regularly looked after, that 25 per cent. was not too much until the last two years. As the London County Council knows, and as the hon. Member for South-west Bethnal Green knows, there was a deficit on those houses up to 1921. In the case of those London County Council houses, the 25 per cent. increase was not sufficient up to 1921, so that we are only dealing with the last two years, in that case. In the last two years, no doubt, the amount of repairs needed on that class of house may not be much. The cost of repairs has come down to a certain extent, but not to anything like the extent of the fall in the cost of building new houses. Any hon. Member who has had any repairs to do, or who knows anything about repairing houses, knows that the fall has not been nearly so much as the fall that is measured by the tenders for local authority schemes for new houses.
Our object is to ensure that as far as we can these houses are repaired. The whole Bill is framed for that purpose. Its restrictive provisions and its penal provisions are framed for that purpose. If you reduce the amount of the permitted increase you will reduce the profits now being made out of houses by the London County Council and a few other favoured landlords; but what of the mass of property which is not in that condition, which no doubt owing to the failures and the faults of past landlords have gradually sunk into a state of disrepair? Are you going to get those houses repaired by reducing the amount of rent which is allocated to the repairs? Our object is to give as great facilities and as great an incentive as possible to get these houses repaired, and I submit that an Amendment of this kind will only have the result of making it more difficult and more doubtful whether we should get houses repaired, simply in order to satisfy a theoretical grudge which one happens to feel.
§ Mr. PRINGLE
The Noble Lord has not met the case which has been put from this side of the House. The first point is that the repairs for which provision 1000 was made have not been executed, and that, therefore, large numbers of landlords have been charging an increased rent in respect of expense to which they have never been put. It is now suggested that the certificate of the sanitary authority will be an adequate protection, but I would remind the Minister of Health and the Noble Lord that their predecessors, when the last Bill was going through, assured the House that the provision in regard to the sanitary authority would be an adequate protection to the tenant. Everybody knows that it has been entirely inadequate, and even though these provisions are now strengthened, we all know how difficult it is for a tenant, who is aware of the risks which he runs when the period of control comes to an end, to take any action which is going to bring him into conflict with the landlord. So that on the first point, that in a large number of cases the landlord is saving money in respect of repairs which he has not executed, there has been no answer. More than that, the question further arises whether the existing provisions for repairs is not too much. There was a doubt, even in 1920 when the original Act was passed, whether at that time this House was not allowing too much to the landlord. There was an Amendment on that occasion from the other side in which it was suggested that the percentage allowable for repairs should be 20 and not 25 per cent. The argument then put forward was that these repairs are executed as a rule for a period of five years, and that if you allow 25 per cent. the landlord, in the period intervening between the repairs, would be getting 1¼ years' rent, which was too much. If that was so then—and the case was made out at that time and has been confirmed by my hon. Friend the Member for Bethnal Green—surely the time has come to revive the percentage. It may be true that the reduction in the cost of repairs has not been so great as the reduction in the cost of building houses, but there has been a reduction, and if 25 per cent. was the figure fixed when the costs were from 2½ to 3 times the cost of pre-War days, surely there is now a strong case for a reduction. The Government have closed their minds to the fact that it is obvious that all those landlords who have not been doing their duty, and keeping their 1001 houses in decent repair, are going to make a profit out of it. Why should they be allowed to make a profit simply because they have not done their duty, and are we now to put in a figure rewarding those who have not done their duty in the matter of repairs? As the Government have shown no indication that they will revise the percentage now allowed in
§ respect of repairs, I hope that my hon. Friends above the Gangway will persist in the Amendment and challenge a decision in the matter.
§ Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 159; Noes, 248.1003
|Division No. 274.]||AYES.||[6.35 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis Dyke||Harris, Percy A.||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Hastings, Patrick||Potts, John S.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hay, Captain J. P. (Cathcart)||Pringle, W. M. R.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hayday, Arthur||Richards, R.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Hayes, John Henry (Edge Hill)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Attlee, C. R.||Hemmerde, E. G.||Riley, Ben|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (N'castle, E.)||Ritson, J.|
|Barnes, A.||Herriotts, J.||Roberts, C. H. (Derby)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hill, A.||Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Hillary, A. E.||Robinson, W. C. (York, Elland)|
|Bonwick, A.||Hirst, G. H.||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Bowdler, W. A.||Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Saklatvala, S.|
|Briant, Frank||Hodge, Lieut.-Col. J. P. (Preston)||Salter, Dr. A.|
|Broad, F. A.||Hutchison, Sir R. (Kirkcaldy)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Brotherton, J.||Irving, Dan||Sexton, James|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Shakespeare, G. H.|
|Burgess, S.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shaw, Hon. Alex. (Kilmarnock)|
|Buxton, Charles (Accrington)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Shaw, Thomas (Preston)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Shinwell, Emanuel|
|Chapple, W. A.||Jones, R. T. (Carnarvon)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jowett, F. W. (Bradford, East)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Clarke, Sir E. C.||Jowitt, W. A. (The Hartlepools)||Simpson, J. Hope|
|Collison, Levi||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Sinclair, Sir A.|
|Cotts, Sir William Dingwall Mitchell||Kenyon, Barnet||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lansbury, George||Smith, T. (Pontefract)|
|Davies, J. C. (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Leach, W.||Snell, Harry|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lee, F.||Snowden, Philip|
|Duffy, T. Gavan||Lees-Smith, H. B. (Keighley)||Spoor, B. G.|
|Duncan, C.||Linfield, F. C.||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.|
|Dunnico, H.||Lowth, T.||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Ede, James Chuter||Lunn, William||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Edmonds, G.||Lyle-Samuel, Alexander||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||M'Curdy, Rt. Hon. Charles A.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Emlyn-Jones, J. E. (Dorset, N.)||MacDonald, J. R. (Aberavon)||Tillett, Benjamin|
|Evans, Ernest (Cardigan)||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Trevelyan, C. P.|
|Fairbairn, R. R.||M'Entee, V. L.||Turner, Ben|
|Falconer, J.||McLaren, Andrew||Wellhead, Richard C.|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Warne, G. H.|
|Foot, Isaac||Macpherson Rt. Hon. James I.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|George, Major G. L. (Pembroke)||March, S.||Wedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.|
|Gilbert, James Daniel||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Weir, L. M.|
|Gosling, Harry||Marshall, Sir Arthur H.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, E.)||Westwood, J.|
|Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Millar, J. D.||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Gray, Frank (Oxford)||Morel, E. D.||Whiteley, W.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Muir, John W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Groves, T.||Murray, R. (Renfrew, Western)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Newbold, J. T. W.||Wintringham, Margaret|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||O'Grady, Captain James||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Oliver, George Harold||Wright, W.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Paling, W.|
|Hardie, George D.||Pattinson, S. (Horncastle)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Harney, E. A.||Phillipps, Vivian||Mr. T. Griffiths and Mr. Ammon.|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Barlow, Rt. Hon. Sir Montague||Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Barnston, Major Harry||Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton, East)||Becker, Harry||Brass, Captain W.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive|
|Apsley, Lord||Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Brittain, Sir Harry|
|Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Col. Sir Martin||Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Brown, Brig.-Gen. Clifton (Newbury)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Wilfrid W.||Berry, Sir George||Brown, J. W. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Baird, Rt. Hon. Sir John Lawrence||Betterton, Henry B.||Bruford, R.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bird, Sir William B. M. (Chichester)||Buckingham, Sir H.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Blades, Sir George Rowland||Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.|
|Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.||Blundell, F. N.||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James|
|Burn, Colonel Sir Charles Rosdew||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Pielou, D. P.|
|Burney, Com. (Middx., Uxbridge)||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Burnie, Major J. (Bootle)||Herbert, S. (Scarborough)||Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Hewett, Sir J. P.||Price, E. G.|
|Butler, H. M. (Leeds, North)||Hiley, Sir Ernest||Privett, F. J.|
|Butler, J. R. M. (Cambridge Univ.)||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Raeburn, Sir William H.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Cadogan, Major Edward||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Remer, J. R.|
|Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Remnant, Sir James|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hood, Sir Joseph||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hopkins, John W. W.||Reynolds, W. G. W.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Richardson, Sir Alex. (Gravesend)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Houfton, John Plowright||Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur||Howard, Capt. D. (Cumberland, N.)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Col. C. K.||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hudson, Capt. A.||Robertson-Despencer, Major (Islgtn, W.)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hughes, Collingwood||Rodgerson, Captain J. E.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Hume, G. H.||Rothschild, Lionel de|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hurd, Percy A.||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.||Ruggles-Brise, Major E.|
|Cope, Major William||Hutchison, W. (Kelvingrove)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cory, Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Russell, William (Bolton)|
|Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L.||Jenkins, W. A. (Brecon and Radnor)||Russell-Wells, Sir Sydney|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Jephcott, A. R.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Page||Jodrell, Sir Neville Paul||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Crook, C. W. (East Ham, North)||Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)||Sanders, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert A.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Kelley, Major Sir Frederick A.||Sanderson, Sir Frank B.|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Kennedy, Captain M. S. Nigel||Sandon, Lord|
|Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead)||King, Capt Henry Douglas||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||Lamb, J. Q.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Shipwright, Captain D.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Colonel G. R.||Singleton, J. E.|
|Dixon, C. H. (Rutland)||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Doyle, N. Grattan||Lloyd-Greame, Rt. Hon. Sir P.||Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)|
|Du Pre, Colonel William Baring||Lorden, John William||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Lorimer, H. D.||Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.|
|Ednam, Viscount||Lort-Williams, J.||Spender-Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H.|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Lougher, L.||Stanley, Lord|
|Ellis, R. G.||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Stott, Lt.-Col. W. H.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Loyd, Arthur Thomas (Abingdon)||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Lumley, L. R.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Evans, Capt. H. Arthur (Leicester, E.)||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid H.|
|Eyres-Monsell, Com. Rt. Hon. Bolton M.||McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||Manville, Edward||Thornton, M.|
|Fermor-Hesketh, Major T.||Margesson, H. D. R.||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Flanagan, W. H.||Martin, A. E. (Essex, Romford)||Titchfield, Marquess of|
|Ford, Patrick Johnston||Mason, Lieut.-Col. C. K.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Foreman, Sir Henry||Mercer, Colonel H.||Tubbs, S. W.|
|Forestier-Walker, L.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Turton, Edmund Russborough|
|Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot||Mitchell, W. F. (Saffron Walden)||Wallace, Captain E.|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Molloy, Major L. G. S.||Waring, Major Walter|
|Furness, G. J.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Watts, Dr. T. (Man., Withington)|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Morrison, Hugh (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wells, S. R.|
|Gaunt, Rear-Admiral Sir Guy R.||Murchison, C. K.||Weston, Colonel John Wakefield|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.|
|Goff, Sir R. Park||Newson, Sir Percy Wilson||White, Lt.-Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Greaves-Lord, Walter||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)||Winterton, Earl|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)||Wise, Frederick|
|Gretton, Colonel John||Norton-Griffiths. Lieut.-Col. Sir John||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Gwynne, Rupert S.||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William||Wood, Rt. Hn. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Paget, T. G.||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Parker, Owen (Kettering)||Wood, Maj. Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Hall, Rr-Adml Sir W. (Liv'p'l, W. D'by)||Pease, William Edwin||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Halstead, Major D.||Pennefather, De Fonblanque||Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward|
|Hamilton, Sir George C. (Altrincham)||Penny, Frederick George||Yerburgh, R. D. T.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Harrison, F. C.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Harvey, Major S. E.||Perring, William George||Colonel Leslie Wilson and Colonel the Rt. Hon. G. A. Gibbs.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Philipson, Mabel|