§ Order for Second 'Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
§ Mr. J. C. DAVIES
I beg to move to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."
I feel sure that hon. Members will grant me the indulgence that it extends customarily to those who address the House for the first time. This is the second Bill promoted within the last 15 years to obtain an additional water supply from the area of the constituency which I have the honour to represent. In 1907 the Birkenhead Corporation secured a Bill to construct reservoirs in the Hiraethog hills. That Bill encountered but little opposition, for the reason that it did not contemplate the subversion of valuable agricultural land nor the eviction of a large number of people from their farms and homes. This Bill, on the other hand, has aroused the most vigorous opposition from the public Authorities in the county and from many public Authorities outside the county. Strongly worded resolutions have been sent in against the Bill by the National Farmers' Union, by commercial institutes, by schools and colleges, by representative Bodies of all shades of political and religious opinion from all parts of the Principality, from many parts of England; and even from America and the. Colonies. The question suggests itself, what is the reason for the great difference in the reception given to the two Bills? The 1406 reason is simple. The Birkenhead Corporation Bill paid due regard to the sentiments and material interests of the inhabitants and was regarded as a necessary Bill. This Bill, on the other hand, pays no such regard either to the sentiments or the material interests of the inhabitants, and is generally, I might say universally, regarded as much more of a commercial scheme than as a bonâ-fide attempt to supply the needs of the people of Warrington.
The difference in the reception given to the two Bills will, I hope, help the House to realise that the opposition to the Bill is not based on any narrow, selfish and parochial grounds, but that it is based on sound, broad and sane principles of public policy. What does the Bill propose? The proposals involve the construction in the Ceiriog Valley of two large reservoirs and the carrying out of other incidental works. The area, for the compulsory acquisition of which powers are sought, or which will be directly affected by the scheme— I would emphasise that phrase—amounts to about 13,000 acres. It includes three villages, one church, five chapels, two burial grounds, two public elementary schools, two post offices, two inns, six shops, and 82 other dwelling houses, of which 45 are farmhouses with farm buildings. The population of the area which it is proposed to submerge is about 400, most of these being farmers and workers on the land. Many of the farmers belong to families which have occupied their present holdings for generations. The land of the valley is principally pasturage, but includes some hundreds of acres of corn land, and usually carries about 1,000 cattle, 17,000 sheep, and other farm stock. Butter and cheese are produced to an annual value of about £5,000. The valley is specially noted for sheep, which, apart from their food value, produce some 15 tons of wool every year.
1407 I will leave it to subsequent speakers to deal with the effect of impounding the water of the Ceiriog the carrying away of the greater part of it will have on the industries in the valley, actual and potential. To put the matter shortly, there is little doubt that the scheme must ultimately involve the denuding of the valley of practically every human habitation throughout at least five miles of its length. A happy, industrious and contented population of some 400 souls must ultimately either be evicted or driven away. In these days of shortage of houses and shortage of small holdings, the question must suggest itself to every fair-minded man, what is to become of these poor peasant farmers? I can assure the House that the question is being asked with great anxiety in many houses in the valley now. The stereotyped answer to the question is that they will be compensated. I would make two observations upon that reply. The first is this: These peasant farmers are adepts at the somewhat peculiar kind of farming practised therein. I am told on reliable authority that they would find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, especially the older portion of them, to adapt themselves to new conditions and a new system of land cultivation.
If this Bill survives the Debate to-night I hope that the Warrington Corporation will be compelled to provide for these poor Welsh farmers not merely the ordinary compensation, but to provide for them alternative similar lands and buildings, and that before they begin to dispossess the farmers of the land they now occupy. My second observation is this: There cannot possibly be any monetary compensation for the loss of hearth and home. In the case of people who live in remote and inaccessible districts, the attachment to their homes is extraordinarily strong, and they deserve all the sympathy and support that we can give them. Subsequent speakers will, no doubt, tell the House that the valley is one of the beauty spots of Wales. It is exceedingly rich in historical and literary associations. It is worthy of note that a body like the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty is amongst the petitioners against the Bill. I do not intend to labour that point, but I would say that the valley 1408 is linked with some of the most romantic and stirring incidents in Welsh history. Welshmen cannot help admiring the solicitous care with which places of historic interest are watched over by Englishmen. Many hon. Members no doubt noticed some weeks ago in the "Manchester Guardian" correspondence in reference to the proposed construction of a motor road over a portion of the Lakeland. The very suggestion aroused keen opposition—[HON. MEMBERS: "And support!"]—much more opposition than support, I understand. My point is that this threatened valley signifies quite as much to the patriotic and cultured Welshman as Grasmere or Rydalmount signifies to the patriotic and cultured Englishman. All we ask of the House—and I think it is a very modest and reasonable request—is that we Welshmen should be allowed to show the same respect and reverence for the memories and homes of great Welsh poets and writers as Englishmen very properly show to places associated with great English poets and writers. In order to shorten my remarks and concentrate on the vital issues, let me state the main grounds of the opposition to the Bill, at all events the main grounds taken by the constituency which I represent. They are three. First, that the Bill is unnecessary, and that Warrington can secure all the additional water supply it needs from other sources without the loss and devastation contemplated by the Bill. Second, that the water which Warrington proposes to abstract is urgently required for drinking and industrial purposes in the populous and rapidly developing eastern portion of the county situate close to the growing town of Wrexham. Third, that it is most inequitable that the Bill should be sanctioned by Parliament before what is a great. national question has been settled, namely, the question of the fairest method of appropriating and utilising in the interests of the country as a whole the few remaining supply areas in the country. Let me refer briefly to each of these points, leaving subsequent speakers to elaborate them. The first point is that the Bill is unnecessary and that Warrington could obtain its supply without involving all this loss and devastation. According to a Board of Trade return of July. 1914, the quantity supplied from the Warrington Corporation 1409 sources was 2,543,175 gallons per day, and an additional amount could, if necessary, be obtained from other sources amounting to 1,239,000 gallons. It is not known what amount of such additional supply has been obtained by the Corporation, but it is assumed such sources cannot be exhausted because no application has been made to Liverpool, for any portion of the supply of 2,000,000 gallons per day to which Warrington has been entitled since 1880 Let me emphasise that point. Warrington has been entitled by Statute, to a supply not exceeding 2,000,000 gallons per day from Liverpool since 1880 and Warrington has not thought fit to exercise that right. And I may add, that the offer to Warrington was renewed by Liverpool in 1919. According to Councillor Gough of Warrington that town can secure a supply from its present sources (including the 2,000,000 gallons from Liverpool) of 11,000,000 gallons per day. I do not commit myself to these figures but I am quoting one of the Warrington councillors. According to him it is quite unnecessary to get water from Wales at a cost of from £2,000,000 to £3,000,000. Before leaving the question of Liverpool let me quote to he House some words reported to have been used by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool at a meeting held in March last:Liverpool could supply Warrington with much more water than she wanted. There was no need for Warrington to go to the Ceiriog Valley at all.It is important in this connection that the House should know that Liverpool is now laying down a third pipe line to Lake Vyrnwy, so that the water supply of Liverpool will be very substantially increased in the near future. I am informed, butt merely throw this out on the strength of what appears to be reliable authority, that there is yet another alternative source of supply to Warrington. It is alleged that the new Manchester Corporation scheme will be completed by 1930 and it will be perfectly possible for Warrington to get all the supply required from Manchester. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of that statement, but I have received the information from what appears to be a thoroughly reliable authority. According to a Board of Trade Return of 1914, the potential quantity of water available from Warrington Corporation sources was 3,872,072 1410 gallons per day. According to Councillor Gough the average consumption per day of Warrington is 2,800,000 gallons per day. Let me now point out the amount of water which could be obtained from the valley and how it is vastly in excess of the requirements of Warrington. Over 12,000,000 gallons a day (after allowance is made for the 4,000,000 gallons of compensation water which is allowed by the Bill) will be obtainable from the Hendre reservoir, one of the two reservoirs which it is proposed to construct. It would seem, therefore, that the comparatively small amount of water required by Warrington does not justify the corporation in embarking on the great expense involved in the present scheme, especially when such requirements can be met from other sources, nor does Warrington need the enormous amount of water obtainable from the Ceiriog Valley. What then is the motive for the scheme? What is the driving power behind the Bill? There are hints in the Warrington local papers, 'and let me quote one extract from the "Warrington Examiner" of 26th August, 1922:A supply of pure surface water gathered in the Welsh mountains and placed at our disposal by means of pipes may be the means of directing further industries to Warrington. The town is closely interested in the dyeing industry and dyeing cannot be done satisfactorily with water hardened by lime, as is our Winwich water. There will also be a considerable saving in the soap bills of the town.I submit that here we have the real motive for this Bill. Its object is really, not to supply the bodily needs of the population of Warrington, but to promote the interests of the borough and make a profit out of the sale of water to other communities. It would also appear that the inhabitants of Warrington are not very keen on the Bill, for a poll of the electors taken on the subject out of 25,000 electors on the roll only some 1,700, or roughly 7 per cent., took the trouble to record their votes. To talk about the danger of a water famine in Warrington appears to be nothing but a travesty of the actual facts, and there is good ground for believing that the whole scheme is nothing but an attempt, on the part of a few industrial magnates of Warrington, to be invested with power to hawk water to other communities and so to make a profit. What other motive could the Corporation of Warrington, with a population 1411 of about 78,000, a rateable value of about £403,000, and a rate of 18s. in the £, have for embarking upon a scheme which is estimated to cost at least £2,000,000? And we well know from experience that the actual cost of most of these schemes is greatly in excess of the estimated cost.
But if Warrington does not need all this water, there is urgent need of it in the industrial and rapidly growing eastern portion of the county of Denbigh. Within a distance of some 10 miles of Wrexham, there is a population about twice the size of that of Warrington, and it has been growing at the rate of from 1,500 to 2,000 a year for the last 10 or 15 years. As an instance of the rapid rate of growth, I would point out that there will be opened this summer in the Wrexham area two new elementary schools, providing accommodation for at least 1,000 children. This is no replacement of old schools, but the opening of new schools. The district is already short of water, and additional supplies will have to be obtained. The only available source from which an adequate supply can be secured on an economic basis in this district is that now sought to be appropriated by the Warrington Corporation, and I may add in this connection that the abstraction of the water from the Ceiriog Valley could be effected by these local communities with but a fraction of the loss and the devastation contemplated by the Warrington Bill. Surely, it is unfair to allow a corporation like Warrington to attract new industries to its borough by means of water filched from localities which have a prior and far greater right to it. As everyone knows, this is a highly wasteful method of procedure, even from an engineering point of view, as water exported represents so much lost power. One may well ask how much hydro-electric power in small blocks could the waters of the Ceiriog Valley give to village industries in. East Denbighshire, which is suffering acutely, and badly needs all the small industries which as own natural resources are capable of feeding and. supporting.
Now I come to the third ground of opposition, and I will only just refer to it, because I understand the point will be elaborated by subsequent speakers. Reports of Royal Commissions and 1412 of Departmental Committees on water supply from 1888 onwards have unanimously emphasised the importance of all available water supplies in the country being considered as a whole and distributed in pursuance of a comprehensive plan of allocation. In 1918 the Board of Trade set up a very important Committee to examine and report upon the water power resources of the United Kingdom and the extent to which they could be made available for industrial purposes. I do not propose to make more than one quotation—The evidence given during the consideration of this Bill has brought very forcibly to the notice of the Committee the difficulties that surround the present position of the available water supply and the necessity for a survey of the whole water supply and the necessity for a survey of the whole water supply and water needs of the country, and for the adoption of measures for conserving the supplies and disposing of them to the best advantage.The Report is studded with remarks of that character, but I do not propose to inflict any more quotations on the House. It would appear that it is entirely contrary to public policy to pass a contentious Bill of this kind, which proposes to absorb, for the benefit of a particular and distant town, one of the few unappropriated sources of water, until a general survey of the whole position has been made. I therefore very respectfully, but very earnestly, ask the House not to give a Second Reading to a Bill which has aroused the most vigorous opposition and the keenest resentment throughout a wide area, and which, in principle, has already been condemned in advance by every Royal Commission and by every Select Committee which has reported on the subject.
§ Mr. GOULD
I beg to second the Amendment.
I do so, not on the ground of sentiment, but purely from the point of view which the hon. Member for Denbigh (Mr. J. Davies) last expressed, namely, that we should follow the recommendations which have been made for many years past in dealing with water supplies of the country before we proceed to appropriate one of the last few remaining sources of supply for the benefit of one particular town, which does not seem, on the face of it, to require anything like the quantity of water which it is seeking to appropriate. It is the custom of this 1413 House on Bills of this kind to grant them a Second Reading in a perfunctory manner, leaving the matter to be dealt with in Committee. That has been the custom during the last 60 or 70 years, but, nevertheless, it is a very dangerous custom, and it has been condemned repeatedly by Royal Commission after Royal Commission and by Committee after Committee.
The position we are placed in to-day is that undoubtedly, unless we are exceedingly careful, we shall he faced in the near future with a shortage of water, not only for municipal purposes, but for power purposes. I am going to read a few quotations, like my hon. Friend who has just sat down, of people—authorities—who speak with no uncertain voice, and indeed with a great deal of authority on this particular question. If one goes back to the Royal Commission of 1866–9, one finds running through the Report of that Royal Commission a similar apprehension lest there should be some danger in the near future with regard to the monopolisation of water supplies. In the Report of the Joint Committee, which sat as late as 1910, this point is made perfectly clear:Apprehension was expressed by several witnesses that the water supply of the country is not being utilised to the best, advantage, owing to the want of information on the subject of the general water supply, particularly the subsoil supply; the haphazard and arbitrary fashion in which the local sources of supply are sometimes wasted, sometimes withheld from use, and sometimes appropriated for the benefit of ether, and often distant, places without regard to the needs of the locality from which the water is taken or of the country as a whole.That is the particular case against this Bill. We object, naturally, from the point of view that Warrington is coming in this way and taking a. supply which is far beyond her requirements. Beyond that, and long before that, is the national necessity of conserving the water supplies of the country. I go further. There was a Board of Trade Committee which was set up in 1918, and which issued a Report. Arising out of that appointment they asked for an addendum to the terms of reference which they were given, and they received this instruction:To consider what steps shall he taken to ensure that the water resources of the country are properly conserved and fully and systematically utilised for all purposes.1414 That recommendation is as recent as 1918. We go further than that. Let me refer to some of the evidence which was submitted to the Committee presided over by Sir Harry Samuel. It said:
The evidence given during the consideration of this Bill has brought very forcibly to the notice of the Committee the difficulties that surround the present position of the available water supply and the necessity for a survey of the whole of the water supply and water needs of the country, and for the adoption of measures for conserving the supply and disposing of it to the best advantage, in accordance with the Report of the Joint Select Committee appointed to consider the Water Supplies. (Protection) Bill, 1910.9.0 P.M.
There can be no question that this Bill, if it is passed, will be passed in direct opposition to the findings of that Committee which I have just quoted. It will be taken into consideration to the total neglect of the interests of the community, and it will be against the judgment of those of us who know the future resources, what are left, and in point of fact will be a contradiction in itself.
Warrington claims in its defence that it has a population of 103,000. As a matter of fact, so far as we can ascertain, it is 70,000. Warrington has a water supply, according to the latest Board of Trade figures, of 2½ million gallons per day. That can be increased, according to the Board of Trade information, from the present sources of supply to 3¾ million gallons per day. In addition to that, she has the right to take from Liverpool, and she has had that for four or five years, 2,000,000 gallons per day. She has not exercised that right. The total water demands and needs are less than 3½ million gallons per day, and yet she is going into an area, where she desires to go, to build a capacity for storage for at least from 4,000,000,000 to 5,000,000,000 gallons. With a total daily supply of 2,000,000 gallons, she is going to make it from 22,000,000 to 24,000,000 gallons. Is it possible, or conceivable, from the point of view of all the local needs of that town, that it is going to increase in size in the course of the next 15 years—that is, by the time the reservoir is completed—to expand from 4,000,000 gallons per day to 22,000,000 or 24,000,000 gallons per day? It is impossible! The intention is quite clear. Warrington is going to sell that water to those districts 1415 adjacent to her, and recoup herself for her outlay.
There is another point of view. Is it public policy at the present time, and in the present State of this country, to grasp at and utilise an excuse that the building of this reservoir is going to find employment for a certain number of people, while at the Game time it involves the community in an enormous expenditure for which the borough has no justification whatsoever? If Warrington wanted to make good her case in favour of this Bill, she ought first of all to have proved conclusively that the 2,000,000 gallons per day which she has the right to take from Liverpool are not sufficient to cover her needs. Liverpool is perfectly willing to give her that water. Liverpool, by selling that water, makes a profit, and Liverpool is already laying down a three-pipe line from near Birmingham. Liverpool's supply is going to be increased. Why, in these circumstances, should Warrington not got what she requires from Liverpool?
What is the real point? The real point of the Bill is this: She says that the water she has to buy is hard water, that it is not suitable for certain of her industries. But if she takes the Liverpool water she is getting the same kind of water as under this Bill. Precisely, so that there is no excuse! She can have soft water for soap-making purposes and can get it by taking advantage of her contract with Liverpool, and not bring this Bill forward and as an excuse say that she desires to have soft water. There is no question whatsoever that Warrington has not made out her case. She cannot justify under any circumstances the expenditure of a huge sum of money for something which she does not require. This is not the time for waste. Nobody knows better than the Members of this House that we want to do all we possibly can to promote any undertaking which will provide productive employment, but this is wasteful employment at the present time because what Warrington is going upon is this: to provide water for a community of 70,000 persons she is going to take away water from a community of 135,000 persons. That is the position.
I know the House has a custom of passing these Bills. Members who are not present at the moment will troop in, as 1416 they always do in cases like this, and say, "Oh, give the Bill a chance." But that is the most dangerous thing we can do. So long ago as 1887 the late Lord Wolverhampton, and other authorities, speaking in this House, pointed out the danger of adopting the policy which this Bill proposes. I submit that the proper point of view to take in this House is to refuse this Bill a Second Reading. The House should defer all water Bills and all water applications to a private Commission, which should undertake at once the whole matter of the investigation of the water supply and the rainfall supplies of the country, and then allocate, as best they can, in the interests of the nation, the supplies, whether it be in Wales or elsewhere, where the supply is likely to be of most benefit. Proceeding in this haphazard manner is going to result in a shortage of water in parts of the country where it is very much needed. It is certainly going to have that effect in the case of this Bill which will deprive a community and a district which is showing great potential possibilities commercially, and is developing its industries, of the power which it is using to-day. As far as the valley itself is concerned I am not going to refer to it from the sentimental point of view, but undoubtedly it is one of the great beauty spots and pleasant places in Welshmen's hearts. I am sure hon. Members would not like to see Bannockburn forgotten because it was a district where there was a tragic scene in bygone clays. We are prepared in Wales to fight for the conservation of a place which is dear to us, although if it is something which is for the benefit of the nation as a whole we are prepared to give it up.
We say that North Wales which has had generations of trial and sufferings from the lack of industries and is now developing and becoming a prosperous commercial community, should not be placed without due consideration in a position where its water power is going to he taken away. We do not want the community forced to move from the districts of North Wales to another district where they must resettle and restart. We say that the compensation which is going to be given to us by the reservoir will not be sufficient to keep pace with the development which is now taking place in that part of the country. At the present time we have not too much water in South Wales and we know what 1417 it is to have a shortage of water there. It may be possible that as far as the. Rhondda Valley and Cardiff and other places are concerned that even now, although we have recently undertaken immense works, that we shall have to look for further water supplies.
Where are we going to turn to to provide a water supply for a community of 2,000,000 people. We shall not be able to go to North Wales, and are you going to penalise 2,000,000 people for the benefit of 70,000 people who have not proved their right or need for this water? I know that it is the custom of this House to give such Bills as this a Second Reading, but I submit that if this House should be foolish enough in view of the evidence laid before it for the last 60 years to follow the recommendations of responsible people and give this Bill a Second Reading, it should do so with this instruction, that Warrington shall he made in the first place to prove its need for this water; and, secondly, I think the Committee to consider this question should not be one simply to investigate this Bill, but should consist of Members from all parts of the House to go into the whole question of water supply. We are perfectly willing in Wales to give general support to any scheme for the benefit of the community, but we are not prepared, in face of the evidence laid before the House, to support a Measure which under present circumstances has been lacking totally and entirely in any groundwork showing any real necessity or any constructive point, and it is entirely, from our point of view, one which simply seeks to look ahead for a town which is going to make a commercial profit out of the monopolising of water required by a much more larger section of the country than Warrington itself.
§ Captain REID
I hope that hon. Members will be generous in action, if not in their thoughts, in so much as this is my first endeavour to address the House of Commons. I admit quite frankly that this is the most alarming thing which I have had to do since the War, and I admit that my alarm is intensified, because not only have I to champion the cause of the Warrington Water Bill, but I have also to debate it. I understand, however, that faint heart never won a fair Bill, consequently, I will proceed without any more delay. Before going into the main 1418 questions which have been raised by the hon. Member for Denbigh (Mr. .Davies) and the hon. Member for Central Cardiff (Mr. Gould), I should like to say a few words of explanation as to the motives of this Bill. The Borough of Warrington depends entirely for the bulk of its water supply upon wells. These wells are drying up, and the demand is increasing every year while the supply is decreasing. Warrington has now reached a point where her supply is only just equal to her demands. In fact, I think, that all sides are agreed that it is absolutely essential that Warrington should find another source of supply. With a crisis such as this impending, it has become absolutely necessary that the Corporation of Warrington should prospect at great expense all the neighbouring country, and they have been forced to admit that there is only one solution, and this solution is by building a reservoir in the Ceiriog Valley in Wales.
I may say that the Ceriog Valley is 50 miles from Warrington, and this scheme will cost between £1,000,000 and £2,000,000. Taking these facts into consideration, I would like to make one suggestion. Is it likely that any sane body of individuals would go so far to such expense if there was any practical alternative. It has been said that this is a matter of gain, but if hon. Members will follow me for one moment I would like to show that this is not the case. I admit that it has been suggested by the hon. Member for Denbigh and the hon. Member for Central Cardiff that Liverpool is capable of supplying Warrington with all her needs. I frankly admit that that is correct, but let me add that it is only correct up to a period and up to a point. Without troubling the House with all the figures that will come out in Committee, let me briefly explain what the position of Warrington is, as far as the supply of Liverpool is concerned. At present the supply is just equal to the demand. For many years the demand has been increasing and the supply has been decreasing. Consequently it has been needful for experts in water conditions to look ahead, and they calculate that about 10 years from now the deficiency will be a matter of 2,000,000 gallons a day. I have no doubt hon. Members will point out that that is the amount that Liverpool 1419 can supply. I am quite willing to admit that, but I would like to add that Liverpool can supply the borough of Warrington with 2,000,000 gallons per day, but not one gallon more. Is there any reason to think that as soon as this 2,000,000 gallons from Liverpool are absorbed the demand and supply of Warrington will conveniently remain stationary? That is a consideration to which careful thought ought to be given.
I would like the House to imagine the predicament of Warrington and its surroundings in, say, 15 years' time from the present day. Liverpool has power to stop her supply should she not have sufficient water to supply her own people with 30 gallons per head per day. I suggest that the whole situation is not only extremely uncertain as far as Warrington and district is concerned, but it is absolutely impossible. I am afraid that so far I have been considering this subject from a purely selfish point of view. It is not only Warrington that requires the water, but many districts all round. These districts have no contract whatsoever with Liverpool or any other place, and I know for certain that one or two of them have applied to Liverpool for a supply and the answer has been that such a supply is absolutely out of the question. The Warrington scheme, if it came into effect, would be able to supply all these districts with as much water as they want, as long as they want it. May I give a little information to the House which has only recently reached me? St. Helens. Crewe, Runcorn and Ashton-under-Macclesfield, have all decided to come in with Warrington as partners on a Joint Water Board. This covers a population of 300,000 inhabitants. It gets rid of the suggestion that Warrington means to make money out of the district round about, for these people are coming in on the Joint Board as partners. Warrington would be only too pleased if Liverpool could solve her problem as far as the water supply is concerned, especially as it is going to cost her an enormous sum and it is not going to pay its way. I have spent a considerable period in making quite certain of the facts I have just laid before the House, and if in any way I have been incorrect in any one statement that incorrectness can certainly be brought out in Committee. To my mind 1420 the Committee is the only place where such things can be decided. I have heard to-night from the hon. Member for Denbigh that the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, in a speech he delivered at a dinner given by the Liverpool Welsh Society a few clays ago is stated to have suggested that Liverpool can supply all the water that Warrington requires. Naturally the authorities of Warrington heard of this and their Town Clerk wrote to the Town Clerk of Liverpool for an explanation. I would like to read the reply which has been received:—In reply to your letter of yesterday's date I have seen the Lord Mayor and he informs me that, speaking at the dinner of the Liverpool Welsh Society, he did so without having an opportunity of consulting the Water Committee of the Liverpool Corporation, and his remarks on that occasion were not in any sense made as indicating the policy of that Committee. The Liverpool Water Committee is in favour of your scheme as the best solution of the water requirements of Warrington and the neighbouring authorities. Although it is true that Liverpool Corporation are under an obligation to afford Warrington a daily quantity of water of 2,000,000 gallons the Corporation are not in a position to undertake any further obligations offering an additional supply either to Warrington or to any of the surrounding authorities. In fact, applications for additional quantities by neighbouring authorities already receiving supplies from the Corporation have been refused in recent years. It is understood that Warrington's future needs are greatly in excess of the daily quantity of 2,000,000 gallons which the Corporation are hound to afford. The Lord Mayor desires me to express his regret if his remarks at the above-mentioned dinner caused any misunderstanding as to the views of the Water Committee in relation to the Warrington Bill.I think hon. Members will agree with me that that letter does not require any comment on my part. It has been suggested by the hon. Member for Denbigh and the hon. Member for Central Cardiff that even if the claims of Warrington are justified the question of water supply ought first to be referred to a National Water Committee so that the resources of Great Britain can be divided up equally. I have taken the trouble to look up previous debates on Water Bills, and I have found that in nearly every case this demand has always been raised by the Opposition. May I suggest that one of the obvious uses of the Ministry of Health is to perform the functions of a National Water Commission? But perhaps there are some hon. Members who would like to see yet another Government 1421 Department set up. That may be so, or it may not. I should like to suggest that the Ministry at the moment is doing what a National Commission would be expected to do had one been set up. I will read a few extracts from a letter from the Ministry to the Welsh Housing Development Association, which I understand has been circulated to Welsh Members. I will only occupy the attention of the House for a very few moments:The Ministry think it desirable to remove some misapprehension as to their position in regard to the reports which they make upon water bills. In reporting upon a Bill the Ministry do not merely take into account the needs of the particular area for the supply of which a local authority or a company are promoting the Bill, but those of all other areas likely to be affected. They consider not only whether the scheme is most advantageous to the particular district concerned, but also whether it is most advantageous, both as regards supply of water and economy for the community as a whole, that is, in connection with any scheme of importance, comprehensive consideration is given to the whole position so far as it affects the particular area from which the water is to ho taken.That would be the main claim of a National Commission. Imagine for a moment that it was intended that a separate National Commission should be set up. Every hon. Member will agree that it would be years before such a Commission would be in working order, and decisions finally arrived at. It is absolutely essential, so far as Warrington is concerned, that this scheme, if it should go through, should start without any further delay, otherwise I suggest—in fact, I know—that there would be a very serious gap, in years to come, in the water supply which would disorganise beyond repair many of the industries of South Lancashire. It is no good shutting the gate after the pig has gone out.
I should like to say a few words about Wrexham, and the districts around, as they have been referred to by the hon. Members for Denbigh (Mr. J. C. Davies), and for Central Cardiff (Mr. Gould). I understand that they say that Wrexham and the growing districts around require the water themselves. Do I understand by that that Wrexham is prepared to spend between £1,000,000 and £2,000,000 on building a reservoir in the Ceiriog Valley? Do I also understand that Wales would object to Warrington building a re 1422 servoir there, but, on the other hand, she would not object to Wrexham building a reservoir? These are undoubtedly questions that ought to be referred to a Committee. I should like to say that Warrington would be able to supply the needs, not only of Wrexham, but also of the growing districts around, with such water as was wanted and as long as it was wanted. With regard to price, the Corporation of Warrington is quite agreeable that this should be decided by the Ministry of Health There are so many people who only want something when others seem likely to get it, and that is my opinion so far as this matter is concerned.
There is yet one other side to be considered, and that is the sentimental side, as debated by the hon. Member for Denbigh. I have read lately in several newspapers that it is the intention of wicked Warrington to desecrate one of the most lovely valleys in the whole of Wales. I have also read that she intends to desecrate the Stratford-on-Avon of Wales, so far as the historical aspect is concerned. These papers go on to say that she intends to submerge a matter of 13,600 acres, three villages, and 45 farms, to say nothing of two burial grounds. I also saw it stated that Warrington would submerge a very famous battlefield and the homes of two Welsh poets of great renown. Luckily, I do not always believe everything I read in the papers. As this matter was of such great importance, I thought I had better get first-hand knowledge. I have been down to the Valley of the Ceiriog. The first thing that struck me there was that a lake or reservoir would in no way upset the landscape of the Ceiriog Valley. It struck me that it would, in all probability, add to its beauty. I believe there are hon. Members who will agree with me that a reservoir need not be an unsightly thing at all. Even the extremities need not be unsightly.
Whilst I was down in the Ceiriog Valley, I was able to verify the fact that only 386 acres would be submerged, not 13,600; that one small village would be submerged, with only a few houses attached to it; and 12 farms, not 45. I see the hon. Member for Denbigh asked what has to become of all those inhabitants? I happen to know that provision is going to be made for housing all the inhabitants who may be ejected on 1423 account of this reservoir, should it be erected. There is the question of these two burial grounds, about which we have heard. Neither of them are going to be submerged; they are not going to be touched at all. I admit that no more people will be allowed to be buried there, but, all the same, alternative burial grounds are going to be provided in these cases. What about the houses associated with the two famous poets? Neither of those houses will be touched at all; in fact, one of them is three-quarters of a mile distant from the reservoir. The battlefield, about which we have heard such a lot, is nine miles away from the reservoir.
I heard, and it certainly is my impression, that if this Bill were to fail, the people who would be most concerned and most upset would be the people of the Ceiriog Valley themselves. Even if that were not the case, is it right that a few isolated inhabitants, in an out-of-the-way village, should be considered before the vital needs of an enormous working-class community such as exists in Warrington and in the districts round—a matter of 300,000 people? That is a very grave consideration. I would also ask the House to consider what would be the result of a scarcity of water in Warrington and all the districts round. Hon. Members will agree that that would absolutely paralyse industry, and unemployment would be a hundred times worse than it is to-day. Recently, manufacturers who have considered settling down in Warrington have fought shy of the place because of our water outlook. Recently two chemical factories in Warrington had to leave because of the impurity of the water. The Warrington scheme would not only prevent future unemployment, but would help the present situation. Hon. Members must remember that this undertaking will cost between £1,000,000 and £2,000,000, and will take many years to construct. While it is being constructed, a young army of workmen will be required, and the majority of the work will be unskilled labour. This is also a most important point. I appeal to the renowned common sense of the House, and again ask, is it likely that Warrington and the districts around it—and, after all, there are many other districts now connected with the scheme—would go 50 1424 miles to spend between £1,000,000 and £2,000,000 if they could go nearer and spend less? To my mind it would be an absolute disgrace to the House, and, what is more, I think it would be a smack in the face of all the workers of South Lancashire and parts of Cheshire, if this Bill were not allowed to reach the Committee stage and there stand or fall on its merits. In England, if an obvious murderer gets a fair trial, ought not the promoters of this very just Bill to be given a fair chance of making out their case? I sincerely hope that those hon. Members who have any doubts on the subject will, anyhow, give the Bill an opportunity of coining under the searching inquiry of a Committee.
Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
This is a matter which arouses a good deal of feeling throughout the whole of Wales, and I should like to add a few observations to those which have been made by my hon. Friend in his very able speech. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just sat down put his case, in a speech of great lucidity, with much fairness and force, and I congratulate him as a young Member of the House. He assumed that the Corporation of Warrington had the Same right to go upstairs as a murderer has to have his case presented and heard. But the murderer has no Second Reading, and, if he had a Second Reading, he would he very glad not to be sent upstairs. The mere fact that there is a Second Reading means that the House of Commons is called upon to decide on the general question whether the Bill ought to go upstairs or not. To go upstairs means an enormous expense to very heavily rated communities—not merely Warrington, but the heavily rated communities which my hon. Friends here represent. I know something about the expense of a Bill going upstairs. The lawyers and experts of all kinds are very useful people, of course, but they are rather expensive, and all that expense has to be added on. When there is a general question of very considerable magnitude, I think it ought to be decided by the House of Commons.
May I just put the general considerations as they appeal to me? The first is that the whole of the Welsh Members are absolutely solid in opposition to this Bill. There is not a Member for a single Welsh constituency who does not oppose it. 1425 Every Welsh Member who can be here is here to oppose it, or, if he could have been here, he would have voted against it. Constituencies far removed from this particular area are very much roused by a sense of opposition to this effort on the part of the Corporation of Warrington to interfere with this place of intense historical interest. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just sat down appealed to the sense of fairplay of the House. I ask, is there any other part of Great Britain where, if you had that fact established, any corporation would dare to put forward such a proposition? Suppose that the whole of the Scottish Members had been solid in opposition to an effort, let us say, on the part of the Corporation of Sunderland or Newcastle to tap the place where Robert Burns was born. I am not complaining that the hon. and gallant Gentleman does not know the poet whose name is a household word throughout the whole of Wales. His memory is a sacred memory. He has written some of the most exquisite lyrics in many languages, full of music and of song. Hon. Members may smile, but I can assure them that his name produces a thrill among hundreds of thousands of Welshmen, not merely in Wales, but wherever there are Welshmen who speak our tongue in any part, of the globe. His home is to be submerged. [HON. MEMBERS "No!"] I beg pardon. I think he was the most exquisite lyrical poet of his day. Supposing that the whole of the Scottish Members were in revolt against such a thing as that, does anyone imagine that the House of Commons would force upon Scotland something which roused a deep national sentiment, and was regarded as an outrage upon the feelings of the population? Why should it be done in Wales? That country has a loyal population, it has a patriotic population. In the last War, when it came to voluntary recruiting, we were first in voluntary recruiting, and this area was one of the very best.
That is one point that I want to put. The next is that it is a beautiful valley. The hon. and gallant Gentleman says that it will be all the more beautiful for being submerged. There are many other places of which that is true, including Warrington. If Warrington were converted into a reservoir, does not he think it would improve the scenery? It is no use talking about that in regard to a place where 1426 people have lived for thousands of years, and have lived the sort of life that we really want to retain in this country. It is disappearing. I think it is one of the tragedies of industrial life in England that people are dragged away from these beautiful valleys to live in towns like Warrington; and Warrington, not satisfied with that, wants to destroy these places in addition. I think it is one of the disasters of the last 50 or 60 years that these places have been, depopulated. They bred our best men; they are growing some of the leaders of our community; they are the nurseries from which are turned out the men who, through our colleges and other means, are leading our community; and valley after valley is disappearing. The Elland Valley has gone, the Vyrnwy Valley has gone, the valley which has been taken by Birkenhead, and now comes this exquisite valley which is to be taken by Warrington. One after another all our valleys are disappearing.
You are impoverishing the land by taking away these fine nurseries. Here it is not merely a beautiful valley—it is a rich and fertile valley, it is a progressive valley. It is a valley where experiments have been made recently in agriculture, which have enabled them to show the way to other parts of the country. It is to be wiped out, and why? Because they want alkali works—I should have thought that soap was quite enough—just in order to perfume the atmosphere with an additional chemical. That is the reason which is given in one of the extracts read by my hon. Friend. It is not as if they had no water there. If Warrington were to come to this House and say, "Here we have a population of 100,000; no water, or in a very short time we shall be without. any water. This is the only place where we can get it," it might be a different matter. But that is not true. It is 50 miles away. There is plenty of water in the County of Lancashire. It is a. very moist county. London, with its enormous population, is able to provide and to get its water supply within the ambit of its own markets. They have a much better case for coming down to either Wales or Cumberland or Derby, but they are able to manage without that; Warrington cannot. Why not? There are plenty of desolate moorlands in Lancashire, in Yorkshire, even in Cheshire, even in Wales. I know something 1427 about the moorlands of Wales. There are plenty of desolate moorlands in Wales which could be the gathering ground for water for Warrington or any other town. Why should they pick out this exquisite little valley? [An HON. MEMBER: "Cheapness !"] Cheapness! I do not think it is. Cheapness cannot be reckoned that way. If you rob a country of its picturesque spots, it is just robbing it of the most beautiful picture that Nature has painted on its surface, and one of the most exquisite. You cannot weigh that in money.
Therefore, I entreat the House of Commons before they do this, before they outrage the sentiments of the whole of our population in Wales, a perfectly loyal population, that they should, at any rate, see whether it is not possible to reconsider the whole of this question of water supply. If Warrington had to find its supply within the next two or three years or four years I could understand it. [HON. MEMBERS: "Fifteen years !"] They have 15 years in front of them, and that is on the assumption that Warrington is going to grow at the present rate. They have 2,000,000 gallons per day, that they could draw from the Vyrnwy water supply of Liverpool. They have never applied for it. They ought to apply for it. Before they come and destroy this beautiful valley, they ought first of all to exercise every resource at their command. That gives time. Every Committee that has sat upon this question has recommended that the whole question of our water resources should be reconsidered. It is a vital matter. It is not merely a matter of water for supplying our towns. It is a question of utilising our water supply for industry.
If you want to develop new works, why develop them in Warrington? Why develop them in these great towns? We are the only country in the world which has not developed its power for the purposes of industries in districts where you can really grow children amidst surroundings which fit them for life, and which enable them to see something of the verdure of life. This is one of the problems that I hope will be dealt with in the immediate future. We are the only country that seems to be making no effort to solve this problem. We continue this hideous aggregation in grimy towns, instead of 1428 considering the spreading of the population, and enabling them to earn their livelihood in the most beautiful country in the world. I do not mean merely Wales but England and Scotland, the whole of this land. Do not let us recklessly, in the course of two or three hours' debate, throw away this possibility of utilising all the resources in that area. Let Warrington apply first of all to Liverpool.
My suggestion to the Minister of Health is that he should not pursue the conventional course of saying: "Send this Bill to a Committee upstairs." This is not a question that a Committee upstairs can consider. That is a Committee of 40. They hear evidence, and they decide according to the ordinary rules there. The one problem that ought to be considered cannot be looked into by them at all. I, therefore, suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that if he cannot see his way to opposing the Second Reading of the Bill, that, at any rate, he will refer it to a Committee to consider the whole problem on a broader basis. From the points of view I have been presenting, a hybrid Committee, or even a joint Committee of the Lords and the Commons, with a very much wider reference. I do not want to stand in the way of Warrington getting a fair water supply, but I should have opposed the application, whatever town had made it, in spite of the strong appeal made by the hon. Member for Warrington.
Having regard to the very unanimous sentiment in the whole of Wales; for every party is opposing it; having regard to the fact that Committee after Committee has reported in favour of a broader consideration of the whole problem; having regard to the fact that Warrington has 15 years in which she can solve her problem and having regard to the fact that at present time rates are crushing in every town, and that there is no immediate necessity for adding to the rates of Warrington or any other town, and considering that by-and-by material may come down in cost, I do beg of my right hon. Friend to see that this Bill goes to a Committee with a wider reference, and to a larger and more important Committee than an ordinary Select Committee.
§ Sir HAROLD SMITH
Thirteen years ago I made my maiden speech in this House on behalf of a Warrington 1429 Corporation Bill. History has been repeating itself in that my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Warrington has made his maiden speech on a similar subject I am sure that the House will congratulate him on the ability with which he presented what, in my opinion, is a very strong case. Those of us who are supporting the promoters of this Bill anticipated that the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) would raise his eloquent and poetic voice in opposition to this Bill. We fully appreciate, indeed we respect, the opposition of the Welsh Members. While we respect I hope I may say without any offence that, although I think this agitation must necessarily appeal to the Welsh sentiments, the practical side has never been put to the Welsh people. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes, it has! "] I submit that it has not. We are the guardians of the commercial interests and welfare of the working classes of this country, and I maintain that the real practical side has never been put to the Welsh people. We have seen the sort of literature, very cleverly done, which has been distributed wholesale, and lately we have seen the agitation that has gone on, which appeals to that very natural Welsh sentiment, of which the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs has always been a great living example ever since I have known anything about politics With great respect to my right hon. Friend, I think he was carried away by that Welsh sentiment, because he was intensely unpractical. Those who are supporting the promoters of the Bill are really supporting a matter which is of the most vital necessity to hundreds of thousands of the working classes in South-West Lancashire. I wish the right hon. Gentleman had been a little less poetical and a little more practical and had offered us some really practical suggestion as to how these industrial populations of South-West Lancashire are to look to their future, as to which there is the very greatest anxiety. It has been loosely suggested that we can go to the moorlands of Yorkshire. What moorlands in Yorkshire are there which are nearer than 50 miles? What moorlands in Lancashire are going to supply the populations of these industrial towns which have been mentioned? I appeal to hon. Members 1430 on all sides for industrial constituencies in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Does anyone suggest that there is any practical proposal by which these industrial communities, of something like 300,000, can get a supply of ten million gallons a day? There is not a Member sitting for Lancashire or Yorkshire who will say that. If that is so I am entitled to say the right hon. Gentleman is a little impractical when he talks a little loosely about our going to the moorlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Sir H. SMITH
I will not quarrel with the right hon. Gentleman as to whether we are going to the moorlands or to a beautiful valley. We are going to a part of Wales which is the nearest to the district to be served that we can possibly find. That is just over the borderland of Cheshire. The right hon. Gentleman further said we have 15 years in front of us. But this is not a recent idea. The scheme has been considered for years past by the best brains the corporation can find and moreover if the House sends the Bill upstairs and it receives eventually its Third Reading and becomes an Act of Parliament it will probably take 10 years before these works can be completed. The hon. and gallant Gentleman spoke of 15 years. I think he said it was possible that Warrington might last another 15 years. According to my information I should have thought that was rather an exaggeration and that 10 was probably the most they could hope to continue on. It is going to take something like 10 years to build these works. We who are interested are satisfied as to the absolute necessity, and further that there is no reasonable possibility of our finding an adequate supply in any neighbourhood nearer than this. The right hon. Gentleman says, why develop works in Warrington? Why not go to Wales? Warrington has been proud to boast of being a town of all trades for many centuries. That was not an accident. It was due to the fact that it has deep water and railway communication. The population is dependent for its existence on a water supply.
1431 The right hon. Gentleman did rather what the Mover of the Amendment suggested. He said the promoters of the Bill were going to submerge one of the most beautiful, poetic, romantic and historical valleys in Wales. None of us doubts or questions either the beauty or the historical or romantic or poetical claims, but we are not going to do anything of the sort. We are not going to submerge this beautiful valley. When one hears of submerging a valley one imagines the whole place for miles round is going to disappear in a great swamp of water. Such a thing is not and never has been intended. So far as the advisers of the Warrington Corporation are able to say, when the first reservoir is built some 20 houses are to go—small and not very sanitary or creditable cottages—subject only to this most important condition, that those who are dis-housed are to be healthily and happily housed in new cottages. That obligation the Corporation have undertaken. Is it not highly desirable that the case for the opponents of the Bill should be presented accurately and that the House should not be led into a belief that we are going to drive people from a beautiful valley, homeless and houseless? They will be housed in the very valley in which they live and which they like, and only 20 are to go. When the second reservoir is built, there are seven houses which will be submerged. The Mover of the Amendment must surely know, and if he does not know he is not qualified to instruct the people of Wales as to the true proposals of the Bill, that only 386 acres are to be submerged. It is true that two chapels are to go. No one from choice or pleasure would undertake an operation which results in submerging houses and chapels, but they, again, will be rebuilt. I have not had au opportunity of visiting the valley, but I know North Wales a little. I have spent some 30 odd years of my life close to the very nightbourhood we are discussing. From what I know of these chapels in the little country districts in Wales they are not very well equipped for the religious work they carry on. [Interruption.] I am not saying that with slightest offence. I am putting it from this point of view, that they will be adequately rebuilt and replaced. It is not a very big affair financially and commercially. I know 1432 the useful work they carry on. These chapels can and will be rebuilt and the corporation is under an obligation to rebuild them. That really is going to be the effect of this scheme, and I would like to add one thing only.
It has been suggested that some Joint Committee should be set up to consider the whole question of water supply. This sort of thing has been talked about since 1910, and Parliament has taken no steps whatsoever. It is not fair to the great industrial communities of the north that they should suffer by reason of the fact that Parliament may or may not have been negligent in making provision for the general allocation of water in the past. When these proposals were made there was no such thing as a Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health, I understand, has communicated with every one of the local authorities who may be interested. They have made proposals and suggestions to them, and offered to act as a sort of fairy godmother to them all, to act as a sort of arbitrator to any of those interested in this scheme. We have had lists of the various bodies which have come in. The good offices of the Ministry of Health are at the disposal of any body of persons who are interested, and I am sure that in the sympathetic hands of my right Iron. Friend who now represents the Ministry that assistance will be at their disposal. It has been suggested by the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment that Denbigh and Wrexham should be considered first. I think that proposal was a little destructive of the main criticism of the Bill by the Mover of the Amendment. The promoters of the scheme, I think, have offered to the Ministry of Health that the claims of these comparatively small communities—I am not saying they are unimportant, but I am counting heads—shall be met, and they have offered that the terms will be settled by the Ministry of Health. What fairer proposals could be made?
Then it is said of the promoters of this Bill, without the slightest justification, that this is a commercial deal. I really ask the hon. Member who made that statement what is his authority for such a reckless statement, because really there is no foundation in fact for it whatsoever. The terms upon which a local authority 1433 may acquire water are not settled in the ordinary commercial way, by those who have something to sell and by imposing terms on those who must buy. The terms are settled by a Committee. This is an attempt to satisfy an urgent want in maintaining the trade and prosperity of a population running into 300,000 or 400,000. Let me add in conclusion that while sentiment is all very well, I shall be very much surprised if the Welsh sentiment on this question is so strong that when the annual holiday season comes, and when the millions of Lancashire and Yorkshire industrial workers pour into Wales to spend their money at all the seaside resorts there, I do not think the sentiment will be so strong as to interfere in the very slightest with the pleasure these people get every year of their lives in Wales. We spend vast sums in Wales. In my youth my wages were small and hard-earned, but I always spent them in North Wales. I do most urgently beg the House to follow the ordinary rule of allowing these matters, which are really Committee matters, to be dealt with upstairs by those who are well qualified to do so after hearing arguments for and against. This is not a matter of sentiment; it is a matter of the practical provision of a water supply to meet the urgent wants of a great industrial community which has nowhere else to go for its water.
§ Mr. R. RICHARDS
I would respectfully crave the indulgence of the House which is generally extended to a Member making his maiden effort. I am not presumptuous enough to enter the field against the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down, but I hold in my hand a list of the houses in the locality which will be submerged by one of these reservoirs. There will be 26 farms and 16 cottages, and I would ask the hon. Member if there is no intention of destroying these houses, why in every case that I have personally investigated a notice has been given to the tenant? In addition to that, I have the misfortune or otherwise to live rather near another water works which belongs to the Liverpool Corporation, and I say without any hesitation that there is not a single Welshman who is allowed to live on the banks of this watershed who is not directly employed by the Liverpool Corporation. They have got rid of every single farmer on the watershed. We are 1434 convinced that in the interests of the health of Warrington, once the waterworks are completed, not a single house will be allowed to stand in this particular locality.
I have considerable diffidence in addressing the House on what is to every Welshman a matter of intense personal conviction. Welshmen to-night, I know, all over the world are looking, with anxious hearts, to what is going to happen in the division which is about to take place. This is one of those occasions on which Wales speaks with a single voice. It is particularly hard on those occasions if we find that the unanimous opinion of Wales does not produce a responsive echo in the hearts of hon. Members. We feel that in this particular case the historic traditions of Wales have been flouted, her pride and susceptibilities have been wounded, and she stands before the House to-night an outraged, if not an enraged, nation. What is it all for? A community of 70,000 souls has suddenly developed an overweening desire for Welsh water after refusing for 43 years to taste it. During that period they have been entitled on an average to 30 gallons a day. They could have drunk Welsh water every day and bathed themselves in it and even drowned themselves in Welsh water I understand, according to the Board of Trade table, that the daily consumption of Warrington is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 3,500,000 gallons. If these reservoirs are proceeded with I understand that Warrington will have 14,000,000 gallons a day which is roughly four times the normal consumption that is required.
I have the honour to represent a constituency which is situated at the very foot of the beautiful Ceiriog Valley, and which has a population of 135,000 souls—exactly twice the population of Warrington. Is it suggested in any serious way that it is either in the interests of economy or of justice that this water should pass by the doors of these people to Warrington 50 miles away? I have seen the maps of the proposed route, the pipe line, and, so far as I can see, the Wrexham district and Chester are not on the line which the pipes are going to traverse. There was a time long ago when the men of the Ceiriog Valley fought to repulse the Saxon invasion. The men in that valley still point with pride to the ancient, battlefield, 1435 and I appeal to this House by saying that though I believe it is better to put forward our case here, because, as the hon. Member who spoke just now on the other side said, this House has always been noted for giving fair play from every point of view, and though we believe we have got a good case to argue, and are prepared to try to persuade the House, yet we would emphasise the fact that the spirit of the people of the Ceiriog Valley is as keen as it was 1,500 years ago.
The valley itself which is a very beautiful one, opens out upon the English plain. On the lower reaches of the valley you will find that English is spoken, but as you go up the valley gradually you will find nothing but Welsh. So much so, that nowadays, when people in this valley get letters from London or elsewhere in England, every letter has to be carefully translated for the inhabitants of the valley before they can understand them. These dalesmen to a man are opposed to the Bill. It has been suggested that some of the men in the Ceiriog Valley are in favour of this Bill. As far as I can understand, there are just two men in favour of the Bill and they do not happen to be Welshmen. They are publicans, as a matter of fact. References have been made to the historical and literary associations of this particular valley. Your own Henry II, of blessed memory or otherwise, came there, and he was sent "bootless home and weather-beaten back," having been defeated by a Prince of Wales with the euphonious name of Owen Gwyned. He lived in an old house, Dolwen, which I visited only last week. It is to be totally submerged if this scheme is carried out. No reference has been made in the Debate to this particularly interesting 14th or 15th century house. Welshmen are not ridiculous enough to expect that a lake in one part of the country is likely to surround a house nine miles away, but we do point out that this very historical relic is to be alsolutely destroyed if the proposal of the Bill is sanctioned. Later on in the history of Wales there came the episode which will always be very proudly connected with the name of Owen Glyndwr (the damned Glendower of Shakespeare). He also for a time occupied this particular house.
1436 As hon. Members know, Wales is a land of poets and politicians, and this valley is particularly proud of the fact that it has supplied to Welsh literature two poets of outstanding merit. The first of them was an old farmer, Huw Morris, of Pontymeibion, who lived in the seventeenth century, and who, I am sorry to say, was a Tory of the deepest dye. His greatest delight was to attack Cromwell and the Puritans. Had he been alive and a Member of this House to-night, I have no doubt that he would have been found on the Government Benches. Let me add that, in spite of his robust Toryism, Wales is very proud of the old farmer poet. His home is to be threatened, although it is a quarter of a mile away from the dam. Notices have been given already to houses in the immediate neighbourhood of Pontymeibion. There is not a private house within a mile of the dam at Lake Vyrnwy. I would remind the House again of the poet to whom the ex-Prime Minister referred in his very eloquent speech. I do not think I need enlarge on that point of view. There is, however, another aspect of the question which is cutting very deep into Welsh thought now, and that is the attitude which is taken up in this country generally when it is suggested that some act of desecration should be committed in the Lake district. The Manchester Corporation, for example, have just got hold of what is known as the Haweswater Estate. In that case a single public-house is being threatened. I was very glad to find the other day that the Manchester Corporation were at very great pains to justify even that act of vandalism. I ask the House seriously, Are we to treat Wales differently from the Lake District? Is the Lake District to be regarded as a sacred land and Wales as a "No Man's Land" where any one may come in. These are very serious considerations for Wales. It is not only a question of uprooting a community, but if this Bill is passed you are really wounding the spirit of a nation which, as the ex-Prime Minister suggested, is one of the most peaceful nations and one of the most loyal nations that has ever been connected with this House of Commons. Let me say that a new Wales is being born in these days—a Wales devoted not to the arts of war as in the old days, but devoted sincerely to the arts of peace, to music and to 1437 literature, and we worship our literary and national shrines, just as much as hon. Members worship those of Wordsworth and the other poets of the Lake District.
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Neville Chamberlain)
I think perhaps it would be convenient, if I were to intervene for a few moments at this stage in the Debate in order to indicate to the House what is the attitude of the Ministry of Health upon the Bill now before us. We have heard a good deal in the course of the Debate about the sentimental, historical and aesthetic considerations which are claimed to arise in connection with this Bill. The Ministry of Health have not concerned themselves with those aspects of the case. It is not their part to do so. These will be considered—they are hound to be considered—when this Bill goes upstairs to Committee, and due weight will be given to that national sentiment upon which stress has been laid, and which no one in this House would desire to belittle. But the Committee must consider how far that national sentiment is really outraged by a proposal of this kind, and they must distinguish between what is a genuine grievance and what is mere exaggeration. When the hon. Member who has just sat down, and whose maiden speech was so full of humour and wit, asked whether we were going to treat Wales differently from the Lake district, I think he forgot that in the particular instance which he gave, namely, the instance of Manchester and Haweswater, Manchester has got the power to raise the level of Haweswater to a height of something like 20 ft., if I remember aright. I am quite sure that Wales, which is so generous in lending us her poets and her politicians, will not deprive us of the advantages of water supply. The Ministry has had to consider altogether a different aspect. For the purpose of making a Report to the Committee upstairs, in accordance with the usual practice, we have made a very thorough investigation of the circumstances. We had first to ask ourselves the question which was put by the hon. Member for Denbigh (Mr. John C. Davies)—is it necessary to have this Bill at all? I think it has come out fairly clearly in the course of the Debate, that there is going to be in the course of the next few years, a very real and genuine need for some additional source of supply 1438 of water for Warrington and the surrounding districts. I would point out to the House that although this is called the Warrington Water Bill, it is by no means only Warrington that is concerned. Anybody who takes the same view which we must take at the Ministry, and that is not a purely local view, but what may be called a national view, must think not only of Warrington, but of the great industrial population which is found in numerous towns in the neighbourhood.
What is the position? They have to depend in that neighbourhood for their water entirely upon wells, and they find that the level of the water in these wells is slowly sinking. So much water is being taken out of the geological formation that gradually the water supply is failing, and as it fails it. deteriorates in quality. Whilst it is all very well to make jokes about chemicals and soap, yet there is another aspect that we must consider, and that is that water of that character is not good drinking water for human beings, and especially for children. Therefore this becomes at once a public health question, and, as such, must necessarily engage the attention of my Department. The ex-Prime Minister said that Warrington ought to have gone to Liverpool before looking elsewhere for an additional source of supply. Is that really so? After all, the supply which can be obtained from Liverpool is not an unlimited one: it is a very limited one. Warrington cannot look forward only to the next few years; she must look longer than that, and if she finds that in order to get this limited supply from Liverpool she must expend, as she would have to expend, a very considerable sum of money in bringing it to her own boundaries, and if she finds she would have to pay a considerable annual sum for the privilege to Liverpool, and that, after all, in a. few years she would be exactly in the position where she is to-day and would again have to look round for a fresh source of supply, is it to be wondered at that Warrington has not approached Liverpool and asked her for the bare 2,000,000 gallons a day which is all Liverpool can supply? The Water Committee of Liverpool have deprecated any request from Warrington for this water, and they have plainly indicated that they need all they have got for their own needs.
§ Captain ERNEST EVANS
Is it not the case that when Liverpool got her 1439 present powers she got them on condition that Warrington would be entitled to it?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Undoubtedly Warrington is entitled to get it, but, as I have explained to the House, it would not be in the interests of Warrington to apply for it, because it would not solve her problem. At the Ministry we had to consider this question in all its aspects. We had to ask ourselves whether the water supplies of the country are going to be adequate and so allocated that there will be no waste. A point has been made by a number of speakers, including the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), that to my mind is a most serious point for this House to consider when they are considering the Second Reading of this Bill, and that is, whether the proposal in the Bill is doing something which would be inconsistent with a proper national water policy. I entirely agree. What we want to do in this country is to take a general survey of our water resources. They are not unlimited, but the demands are unlimited, or will be in the future, and therefore we have got to consider how we can best allocate the resources that we have got, so as not to involve ourselves in waste or in throwing away those resources which we so much need.
It has been remarked that various Committees have recommended the setting up of a Water Commission to make this survey. I doubt very much whether the setting up of another Commission would be a progressive step in self-government. We have now at the Ministry of Health a number of experts on this subject, and doing precisely the work that would have to be done by a Water Commission if set up. Why duplicate the work? Why set up another body responsible to nobody, appointed especially for the purpose, and doing again the work that we are doing at the Ministry of Health. They would have to begin at the beginning and learn all that we have been able to accumulate of knowledge upon the subject, and the whole question of the allocation of the water supply would have to be postponed. What we feel is that the water supply in the Ceiriog Valley ought not to be handed over to anybody who may not be able to make the best use of it. It is 1440 quite clear that you cannot expect, at any rate for some time, to foresee whether or not Wrexham is going to take the whole supply available in the Ceiriog Valley. You have to bear in mind the needs of a great population like that of South-West Lancashire, of perhaps over half a million which does require a supply of that magnitude.
§ Captain E. EVANS
Is not the population of Wrexham larger than the population of the district for which the supporters of this Bill say this supply is needed?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
You have got the district of Wrexham, which is a comparatively small one compared to the other. In these circumstances, the Ministry have come to the conclusion that a case has been made out for the examination of the proposal made by the proposers of this Bill. These others matters which have been brought up are matters which can properly be investigated by Committee upstairs, where it is possible to bring evidence, to have witnesses examined and cross-examined, and the full facts brought out as they cannot be brought out on the Floor of the House. The only thing we can do here is to watch the general interest of the whole district, and to send the Bill upstairs to the Committee.
Will the Minister answer this question: How far the powers of the Committee upstairs will go to decide upon a national water policy? What about: the Commissions and Committees that Members of this House have spent many months on in considering the formation of a national water policy? Will the Committee upstairs deal with that vital policy in regard to our national water supply?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Clearly the Committee upstairs has not to formulate a water supply policy: that is being formulated in the Ministry of Health. In the light of that policy the Ministry of Health came to the conclusion that this Bill ought to go upstairs.
§ Mr. S. WALSH
I only want to say a very few words in support of the Measure before the House. I do it on the ground of the present need and urgency of a water supply, one that can be depended upon, in the great industrial areas to which the right hon. Gentleman has just alluded. 1441 In this Bill many other authorities besides Warrington are included. There are the county boroughs of Wigan and Runcorn, the urban district council of Ashton-in-Makerfield, the great borough of St. Helens, and other places. In this area it is undeniable that the greatest possible difficulty and distress has been experienced for the last quarter of a century by this vast population. I should be the last person in the world to deny the force of the idealism of the Welsh people, and I believe they are actuated by the highest motives, but I feel sure that they would be the last people to submit great industrial populations—men, women., and children—to added misery and distress because of the lack of a good water supply. Everybody who knows South-west Lancashire knows perfectly well that it is not amply supplied with water. It has been said that Liverpool can meet this demand, but that city has certain obligations to fulfil already. We must remember that Liverpool is advancing rapidly in population, and is finding a strain in order to meet the obligations under all her Water Acts. Liverpool cannot supply the needs of the whole of South-west Lancashire, because in that part there is some of the largest industrial populations in the country.
Water is one of the essentials of life. Is it, therefore, not right that progressive municipalities should look ahead to make sure of the provision of that which is so necessary to life. I can assure the Welsh Members in this House and the people of Wales that the promoters are prepared to give the fullest measure of water within the water zone. [An HON. MEMBER "At a profit!"] Is there anybody under the impression that progressive municipalities exist for the purpose of making profit? They do not. They exist to meet the fundamental needs of the citizens and that is the purpose of this Bill. There is not a single municipality to which I have alluded which has not every year been subject to the greatest pressure on account of a shortage of their water supply.
It has been asked why we do not utilise the moorlands of Lancashire. May I point out that Liverpool utilised those moorlands half a century ago, and where is she to go for any further utilisation of moorlands? It has been said that the historic and romantic associations of 1442 Wales are going to be submerged, but I have never yet seen that particular statement justified. I understand from the promoters of the Measure that the house of the poet will not be submerged, and there will be proper regard paid to all historical and romantic associations which we revere. In so far as the famous battlefield is concerned, well, I never thought that tender associations were coupled with such a place, but, at any rate, it will be about nine miles from the outer edge of the proposed reservoir. It is said the reservoirs will destroy the beauty of the scenery, but I am bound to say that, in my opinion, there are few things more beautiful than some of the reservoirs constructed by our municipalities, and I have seen a few of them. I have seen those constructed by the Manchester Corporation, and I defy anyone to depict a thing of greater beauty. We were told during the War that coal and chemicals would win it, yet the municipalities which produce them are now to be deprived of what they greatly need. I hope the House will realise that the pressing needs of Warrington are a full justification why this Bill should pass a Second Reading.
§ Sir CHARLES CAYZER
In rising to support the Amendment I should like to state briefly the objections of my own constituency to the Bill and also to make some general observations regarding the attitude of the Municipal Corporations Association. Hon. Members have, I believe, received a leaflet which is remarkable chiefly for what it. conceals rather than for what it states; any one reading it would suppose that the only objections which we entertain against this Bill are based on the ground that it seriously threatens the amenities of certain districts it would never be supposed that the water supply of neighbouring boroughs was seriously menaced and that the proposals of this Bill would do unutterable harm to existing interests, yet that is the ease. Again most Members have also received a document issued under the signature of a gentleman who is actually Parliamentary agent for the Bill. He recommends the Bill on its merits while in another part he assumes the rôle of Pooh-Bah and acting as a disinterested counsellor urges its adoption on high municipal grounds. This surely is treating the House with a small degree of 1443 candour and a peculiar disregard for its intelligence.
Let me turn to the contention of the Warrington Corporation, which I can certainly congratulate my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Warrington (Captain Reid) on having made the most of. I should like to put before the House a few facts. This Bill takes away the very source of supply, on which boroughs like Chester, and Wrexham, and the developing Deeside, which is an industrial area in the making, will depend on it for their future water supply. The hon. and gallant Member speaks on behalf of the borough of Warrington, which has been shown, in the Debate, and in the circular issued by the Local Government Board, in 1914, as having existing water sources which can be made to yield a further million gallons a day if required. Furthermore, Warrington had the right to call on the Liverpool Corporation for water in addition up to 2,000,000 gallons, a right of which they have never seen fit to avail itself. If Warrington had chosen to avail itself of this further source of supply it could have more than doubled its 1914 supply without tapping any fresh source whatsoever. The scheme would cost £2,500,000, which would appear to be a very heavy burden to place upon the shoulders of a borough of only 78,000 people, or a rateable value of £400,000, and rates at present 18s. in the £. On the other hand, Chester, Wrexham and the vicinity have a population as large as that of Warrington, and one which is, moreover, capable of infinitely greater expansion. Their rateable value is about the same, and so it cannot be seriously contended that this is a case of a poorer district attempting to hold up one which is wealthier and more enterprising.
Our plea is for fair play and bare justice. I submit that it is not right to put the towns and districts which object to this scheme, because it vitally affects their interests, to the expense of a long inquiry, when the whole principle underlying the Bill is thoroughly bad. It is contended by Chester that this Bill is not a legitimate Bill, but is an example of the megalomania of water grab, regardless of justice. Let me take, very briefly, the case of Chester. Chester's view is that this Bill, not only in its minor details, hut in its whole general conception, would be extremely detrimental to the best 1444 interests of the city. Warrington proposes to draw all its water from the river Ceiriog, which is one of the few remaining head waters of the river Dee, on which Chester stands. The effect of this scheme on Chester and the life of the city may be summed up as follows. It would take a large amount of pure water from the river Dee which is already, in periods of drought and in summer time, extremely low, and it is thought that if this scheme goes through it will become dangerously so. The bed of the Dee, which is navigable as a tidal river as far up as Chester, has now become silted up by sand, which is carried in by the tidal waves from the estuary. This silting is only held in check by the scouring action of the flood waters coming down from the upper reaches of the river. Even now, constant dredging is essential if the navigable channels are to be kept open. If this scheme goes through it is thought that a greatly increased cost in dredging will be entailed. Even then, it is doubtful whether it will be possible to keep open the navigable channels, which will, if closed, have a most adverse effect on the trade of Chester.
Already the reservoirs constructed in recent years by the Birkenhead Corporation have had a most adverse effect on the river in this direction. The City Council owns the quays, wharves and other property on the banks of the river, and the diminution in the volume of trade would affect the values of those properties. The salmon fishing on the Dee, which is a very important local industry, would be very seriously affected by this scheme, because the compensation water provided in the Bill would not have the same effect as the floods and freshets by means of which the salmon reach their spawning ground. The diminution in the volume of water in the river would seriously affect and impair the working of the city hydraulic electricity works, and would also detract from the amenity of pleasure boating on the River Dee, which is one of the principal attractions to large numbers of visitors to Chester. At the time of spring tides, the tidal waves from the estuary, if they were no longer opposed by the same amount of down-coming water, would proceed higher up the river, carrying with them a large amount of polluting matter, which would become a very serious danger to the public health of the city. The city waterworks intake is in 1445 the upper part of the river, and already, under the arrangements which have been made in regard to the watershed with the Birkenhead Corporation and the Shropshire Union Canal Company, the quantity of water in the river has become seriously depleted, and if there is any further reduction Chester will be forced to draw its water supply from thickly populated and, therefore, more contaminated
§ areas. I submit that the views of Chester on this matter are such as to put the Bill out of court, and I accordingly invite the House to reject it, both on the grounds that I have specified and on the ground of common fairplay.
§ Question put, "That the word 'now ' stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 276; Noes, 91.1447
|Division No. 36.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Adams, D.||Ellis, R. G.||Jephcott, A. R.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||England, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Jodrell, Sir Neville Paul|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Entwistle, Major C. F.||Johnston, Thomas (Stirling)|
|Ainsworth, Captain Charles||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Jones. J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton, East)||Erskine-Bolst, Captain C.||Jowett, F. W. (Bradford, East)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro)||Falconer, J.||Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)|
|Amman, Charles George||Fermor-Hesketh, Major T.||Kennedy, Captain M. S. Nigel|
|Apsley, Lord||Foot, Isaac||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel Martin||Foreman, Sir Henry||Kirkwood, D.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick W.||Frece, Sir Walter de||Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Colonel G. R.|
|Attlee, C. R.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lansbury, George|
|Baird, Rt. Hon. Sir John Lawrence||Furness, G. J.||Lawson, John James|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Leach, W.|
|Banner, Sir John S. Harmood-||Gates, Percy||Lee, F.|
|Barlow, Rt. Hon. Sir Montague||Gaunt, Rear-Admiral Sir Guy R.||Lees-Smith, H. B. (Keighley)|
|Barnes, A.||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Linfield, F. C.|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Gosling, Harry||Lloyd-Greame, Rt. Hon. Sir P.|
|Batey, Joseph||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)|
|Becker, Harry||Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Lorimer, H. D.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Gray, Frank (Oxford)||Lowth, T.|
|Bennett, Sir T. J. (Sevenoaks)||Gray, Harold (Cambridge)||Lumley, L. R.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Greaves-Lord. Walter||Lunn, William|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Greenall, T.||M'Entee, V. L.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Bonwick, A.||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Groves, T.||Manville, Edward|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Guthrie, Thomas Maule||March, S.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major A.||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Margesson, H. D. R.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Marshall, Sir Arthur H.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Maxton, James|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Halstead, Major D.||Middleton, G.|
|Brown, Major D. C. (Hexham)||Hamilton, Sir George C. (Altrincham)||Millar, J. D.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. Clifton (Newbury)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Molloy, Major L. G. S.|
|Bruford, R.||Harbord, Arthur||Molson, Major John Elsdale|
|Bruton Sir James||Harney, E. A.||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Buchanan, G.||Harvey, Major S. E.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Buckle, J.||Hay, Major T. W. (Norfolk, South)||Morrison-Bell, Major A. C. (Honiton)|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Hayday, Arthur||Muir, John W.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hemmerde, E. G.||Murchison, C. K.|
|Burgess, S.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A, (N'castle, E.)||Murnin, H.|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Henderson, Sir T. (Roxburgh)||Murray, John (Leeds, West)|
|Butler, H. M. (Leeds, North)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Murray, R. (Renfrew, Western)|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)||Nall, Major Joseph|
|Buxton Charles (Accrington)||Herbert, S. (Scarborough)||Nesbitt, Robert C.|
|Cadogan, Major Edward||Herriotts, J.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Cairns, John||Hewett, Sir J. P.||Nicholson, Brig,-Gen. J. (Westminster)|
|Cape, Thomas||Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hiley, Sir Ernest||Nichol, Robert|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hill, A.||O'Grady, Captain James|
|Chapple, W. A.||Hirst, G. H.||Oliver, George Harold|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hodge, Lieut.-Col. J. P. (Preston)||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Paget, T. G.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Paling, W.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Parker, Owen (Kettering)|
|Colvin, Brig .-General Richard Beale||Hood, Sir Joseph||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L.||Hopkins, John W. W.||Pease, William Edwin|
|Cowan, D. M, (Scottish Universities)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Penny, Frederick George|
|Craig, Capt. C. C. (Antrim, South)||Houfton, John Plowright||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Howard, Capt. D. (Cumberland, N.)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Col. C. K.||Phillipps, Vivian|
|Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)||Hudson, Capt. A.||Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Murray|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Hughes, Collingwood||Potts, John S.|
|Doyle, N. Gratton||Hurd, Percy A.||Pringle, W. M. R.|
|Du Pre, Colonel William Baring||Hutchison, G. A. C. (Midlothian, N.)||Raine, W.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Irving, Dan||Remer, J. R.|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Reynolds, W. G. W.||Simpson-Hinchliffe, W. A.||Tubbs, S. W.|
|Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)||Singleton, J. E.||Turner, Ben|
|Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Sitch, Charles H.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Riley, Ben||Smith, T. (Pontefract)||Wallace, Captain E.|
|Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)||Sneil, Harry||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||Snowden, Philip||Warne, G. H|
|Robertson, J. D. (Islington, W.)||Sparkes, H. W.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)||Watts, Dr. T. (Man., Withington)|
|Robinson, W. C. (York, Elland)||Spencer, H. H. (Bradford, S.)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Roundell, Colonel R. F.||Stanley, Lord||Westwood, J.|
|Royce, William Stapleton||Stephen, Campbell||Wheatley, J.|
|Ruggles-Brise, Major E.||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.||White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Whiteley, W.|
|Russell, William (Bolton)||Stockton, Sir Edwin Forsyth||Whitla, Sir William|
|Russell-Wells, Sir Sydney||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton||Williams, T (York, Don Valley)|
|Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid H.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Sullivan, J.||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Leslie O. (P'tsm'th.S.)|
|Sanders. Rt. Hon. Sir Robert A.||Sykes. Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Sanderson, Sir Frank B.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Wise, Frederick|
|Scrymgeour, E.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Sexton, James||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Shaw, Thomas (Preston)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)||Wright, W.|
|Shinwell. Emanuel||Thorpe, Captain John Henry||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Shipwright, Captain D.||Titchfield, Marquess of|
|Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Tout, W. J.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Sir Harold Smith and Captain Reid.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Fildes. Henry||Parker, H. (Hanley)|
|Alexander, Col. M. (Southwark)||Ford, Patrick Johnston||Parry, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas Henry|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Wilfrid W.,||Forestler-Walker, L.||Pattinson, S. (Horncastle)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd||Price, E. G.|
|Bowdler, W. A.||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Richards, R.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Richardson, Sir Alex. (Gravesend)|
|Broad, F. A.||Gwynne, Rupert S.||Ritson, J.|
|Bromfield, William||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Roberts, C. H. (Derby)|
|Burnie, Major J. (Bootle)||Hardie, George D.||Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Hartshorn, Vernon||Saklatvala, S.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hinds, John||Salter, Dr. A.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Jarrett, G. W. S.||Sinclair, Sir A.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)|
|Collins, Pat (Walsall)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Conway. Sir W. Martin||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Stewart, Gershom (Wirral)|
|Cope, Major William||Jones, R, T. (Carnarvon)||Stott, Lt.-Col. W. H.|
|Cory, Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Sutcliffe, T.|
|Crook, C. W. (East Ham, North)||Lewis, Thomas A.||Turton, Edmund Russborough|
|Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead)||Lort-Williams, J.||Wallhead, Richard c.|
|Davies, J. C. (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Lougher, L.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||MacDonald, J. R. (Aberavon)||Wheler, Col. Granville C. H|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||McLaren, Andrew||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Duffy, T. Gavan||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Duncan, C.||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Ede, James Chuter||Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, E.)||Yerburgh, R. D. T.|
|Edge, Captain Sir William||Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.||Young, Rt. Hon. E. H. (Norwich)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Moreing, Captain Algernon H|
|Emlyn-Jones, J. E. (Dorset, N.)||Newman, sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Evans, Ernest (Cardigan)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Mr. Gould and Mr. Morgan Jones.|
|Fairbairn, R. R.|
Bill read a Second Time, and committed.