HC Deb 02 May 1923 vol 163 cc1552-70

Postponed Proceeding resumed on Amendment proposed on consideration of Resolution.

Question again proposed, "That paragraph (b) stand part of the Resolution."


I wish to draw attention to the inability of the town of Merthyr to meet the obligations imposed on it under this Resolution. The proceeds of a penny rate in Merthyr are roughly £1,000. In the neighbouring city of Cardiff the approximate amount is £6,000. The clearing of slums involves the question of re-housing the people. In the slums in and about Merthyr a very large number of poorly-paid workers live. I believe that it is an axiom in reference to rent and rates that it is impossible to take from a man's income more than one-sixth in the shape of rent and rates. I think that that is fairly sound so far as the lower-paid workers are concerned. But we have in the borough of Merthyr very large numbers of people whose wages do not amount at present to more than 30s. a week. If these people are to be re-housed under the Bill of the Minister of Health at a minimum rent of 7s. 6d. per week plus rates, with rates at 25s. in the £, it is impossible for the local authority to deal with a problem of that description. Under the penny rate for housing, which would have to be incurred if the slum areas were to be cleared, Cardiff would have to impose for 20 years a halfpenny rate in order to obtain 1,000 houses, and 1½d. rate for the remaining 40 years. Merthyr would, for the same amount of rates—one halfpenny for 20 years, and 1½d. for 40 years—only get 156 houses. At the present time, according to the responsible officials of the Merthyr Corporation, there are required now, in Merthyr, for shim clearance alone, and to replace houses already condemned as unfit for human habitation, at least 801 houses.

I submit to the Minister of Health that this slum question is a product of past years of negligence. This House would not, at the present moment, countenance the creation of slums such as we have now, under any consideration whatever. At long last, we have learnt the folly of crowding people together in the unhealthy areas, under the conditions which now constitute these grave problems which we call the slum problems of our great industrial centres. If the slum problem be the product of the negligence of the past it is not entirely due to the local authorities. It is also due to the negligence of the central Legislative body, which has not even insisted upon local authorities carrying out the laws which have been enacted; laws often, in too many cases, of a permissive instead of a mandatory character. Therefore it must be said that this Legislature bears some responsibility for the state of affairs that exists. Under the conditions I have mentioned, and which have been referred to by the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury), it becomes profoundly clear that the responsibility is so great that it can only be met by slum clearance becoming a national question and not a local one. This Bill will not be of the slightest use to many of the localities in South Wales. They will not, and cannot avail themselves of its provisions.

Lieut.-Colonel WATTS-MORGAN

Not anywhere.


Not anywhere in South Wales. They are overburdened, and outside, probably, of one or two of the bigger towns, this Bill will fall dead. It will not do what the Government suggests can be done. The Minister of Health must, if he wants to see his Bill a success, recast the financial provisions, and this paragraph in particular dealing with financial aid for slum clearance. He must come generously to the assistance of these congested areas in South Wales, badly hit by trade depression, and suffering badly from the mistakes of the past, with a scheme that will meet the needs of the time, and will help them to meet their financial burdens in a far more generous way than this Bill does. I support the Amendment, and I hope the appeal we are making, in regard to this question of slum clearance, will be met by the Minister. I believe he wants to do the right thing, if he would dare to be courageous enough. I suggest that he should take his courage in both hands, and tell the Chancellor of the Exchequer that in order to maintain his own name unsullied as a housing reformer, he must have the assistance he requires in his Office to give to those overburdened localities the undoubted assistance they require.


The great test of the particular question we are discussing is whether the local authorities are going to act in pursuance of the Bill when it becomes an Act of Parliament. That applies, not only to this particular provision, but to the whole of the housing question, because, until you house the people, you cannot deal with the slums. It would be on this side of the House a sad thing, certainly it would be to the public and certainly to the Government itself, if they produced an Act of Parliament on a matter so important as this which was not acted upon. With regard to the slum areas, the point I desire to make is that, although we are trying by this Bill to transfer the responsibilities to the localities, it is, in fact, a national problem and a national responsibility. There are Labour Members on my right who come from and represent great industrial centres and they speak of the slums which exist in these centres. They believe I come from and represent a garden city where no slums exist. I am to mention the City of Oxford to show that we are dealing with a national and not with a local question. It is perfectly true that we have in Oxford our Colleges and beautiful parks, but it is also true that in that great city of learning we have slums which are not excelled by any slums in the British Isles, except in point of area. I challenge any Member of this House, from whatever constituency he comes, to produce, except on the point of area, slums which are more pronounced than those in the City of Oxford.

In November last I received an anonymous letter asking me to visit a house in Oxford, which was by no means one of the hovels in a slum area. That house consisted of five rooms, two of which were manifestly unfit for human occupation, and were not used for that purpose, leaving three rooms. There resided on the ground floor a family of seven, sleeping, feeding and living in one room. Of the children, five in number, the eldest was suffering from a disease which prohibited him from entering an elementary school. On the second floor, in another room, was another family of four. The elder boy of two children was immediately removed to a sanatorium for tuberculosis, and in the remaining room was one person. In three rooms, 12 persons were living.

This very month there will be passing from Christ Church, Oxford, the prettiest girls in the land and the most beautiful, and we shall be very pleased to see them, but they will pass down an avenue of courts and alleys containing hovels which cannot be reproduced, as I believe—and I have investigated to ascertain—in any of the industrial centres of this land. We are proposing to pass on a national obligation to local authorities, and we hope that they will shoulder this further responsibility. If we are sincere and intend that this national disgrace shall be removed, then let us make a provision which we have reasonable expectation will be acted upon by the local authorities. If we are not sincere, do not let us introduce into a Bill yet a further provision for removing this evil, when we know perfectly well that it cannot and will not be remedied in such a way.


The hon. Member who has just spoken has suggested that the provision in the Bill to which this part of the Resolution refers is likely to produce no result whatever. He says, "Do not let us put into the Bill a provision that pretends to deal with the question when we know that it is not going to have any such result as that which we suggest." I cannot but think that he must be completely ignorant of the real facts of the situation. Under the provisions of the Bill we have already made arrangements with quite a number of local authorities, some of the largest towns in the country, under which a very considerable number of schemes will be put in hand. The hon. Member said that this was a national undertaking. I would accept that dictum with a qualification. If it is meant by that that it is an obligation in which the local authority does not share at all, I should contest it most vigorously. It is an obligation with the local authority, and it would be absurd to say that local authorities which have neglected their duty in the past should be in future relieved from the national Exchequer at the expense of those local authorities which have done their duty. But once again I have to say that the provision in this Bill does not pretend to be a solution of the slum question. I say that no provision in any Bill which could be introduced at this moment could be a solution of the slum question. I will state the reason. Because the problem is much too big to be solved simultaneously with the provision of the new houses required. You have not the labour or resources in the country to deal with these two things at the same time, completely and wholly. You have to work hand in hand. You have gradually to build up your schemes for dealing with this question. The slum problem can be dealt with only in a partial manner until there are sufficient houses to accommodate the people displaced. The hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley) complained that a fabulous price would have to be paid for the land in these slum clearances. That fabulous prices have been paid in the past I agree, but I do not think we need look forward to a repetition of some of the things that have happened in the past and which certainly have discouraged local authorities in undertaking slum clearances. New Acts have been passed. There is on the Statute Book an Act under which the old system by which land is valued for the purpose of slum clearances, has undergone an entirely new development. The Section of the Act of 1919 is one which determines the value of the site as the value of the cleared site, without any value whatsoever for the buildings upon it. I do not think that it can be contended any longer that it will be necessary to pay fabulous sums for slum clearances.


On the basis of valuation, when these slums are removed the value of the site has increased.


That may be so in some cases. If you put together a large number of small areas, each of which has a certain value, it is quite true that in some cases the aggregate value of the whole is greater than the value of the individual areas before. The hon. Member will recollect that there is also a provision in the Act, under which the value of the land is again reduced according to the use for which it is intended, and that also will tend to a reduction in the price. I would say generally upon the subject, that the improvement of the slum areas, and doing away with the awful conditions which prevail in many large towns, is a subject which I have very much at heart. I have given a good deal of attention to it in the past. I have visited slums in most of the large towns and I am familiar with what exists in London, Liverpool, and Leeds—and Merthyr Tydvil, too, because I have been there and I have seen the slums there.


And Glasgow?


Yes, I have seen Glasgow and Edinburgh, too.


Glasgow has the prize slums.


I agree. I do not think I have seen anything to equal what there is in Glasgow. I do not carry in my head the number of back-to-back houses in London, but I know in Birmingham alone we have 40,000 back-to-back houses and in Leeds there are 70,000 back-to-back houses. In the large towns there are enormous numbers of houses which ought to be pulled down, if we could only see how to provide alternative accommodation. It is not an easy problem. You have to consider, apart from the making of improvements, what you are going to do with the population which you turn out. It is all very well to talk about everybody living in a nice house out in the country, with a garden and all the amenities of a garden suburb. If you talk to these people, you find in many cases that they do not want to leave the locality. It is convenient for them, they are near their work, they have their friends there, they are within reach of such amusements as they are able to take, and they do not wish, in many cases, to go any distance away from the place in which they have been accustomed to live, because it involves an increased cost to them in tram fares. Yet, you cannot house them again on the same site because the density would be too great. There is no way of putting the population back again upon the same site unless you are prepared to build blocks of flats of great height—as to which, my own opinion is that such buildings are not very suitable for the working class. As I have said, the subject is one which I have studied carefully, and I have some ideas as to the way in which the matter might be approached, but I have not had time to work them out or put them in the form of a Bill. I look upon this scheme as a contribution towards the subject. I believe it is all that is possible at the moment, but I look forward to the time when the progress of other provisions in the Bill and other machinery set in motion by the Bill, will give some sort of a reserve of houses so that we may be able to tackle the subject on a larger scale. Then, I hope, we may be able to really set about a scheme which will, in the long run, solve our problem.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give us some idea of the type of house which he proposes to erect for the people he is going to dispossess?


I am not proposing to erect any type of house. It is a matter for the local authority.


Do you not intend to lay down some standard to guide the local authority as in the other part of the Bill?


I am obliged to the hon. Member for reminding me. That was a point he made in his speech, which escaped my attention. No, I do not. I propose to leave it entirely to the local authorities. It is true that the local authorities have to obtain my approval of the proposals that they make, but I think really one must leave this to the local authorities, who have greater knowledge of the needs of the districts than we can profess to have in Whitehall, and whilst I hope they will maintain as high a standard as possible, I think that is a matter which ought to be left, and must be left, to their discretion.


In regard to this half-and-half arrangement, which the Minister proposes for slum clearances, he does not tell us that the provision of a percentage makes it necessary to construct a large Department at the Ministry of Health, and why the objection should hold against a subsidy for building the other houses and not against a subsidy for slum clearances has not been made quite clear. The second point I wish to ask about is this: I presume this money is available for rural and urban authorities, that it is for the authorities under Part III of the Act of 1890. The third point is this: The Minister spoke as if people liked to live near their work, and among their friends. I was Member for 13 years for the district of St. George's in the East, which is about as bad a slum area as there is anywhere in London, and the effect of providing cheaper means of transit by municipal trams, a Socialistic experiment, was to make available for those people in hundreds facilities for living amongst some of those amenities which the Minister described They had not lived there before, because they could not afford to go out to those districts, but as soon as there were facilities provided they went, and therefore I think it is looking at it through too rosy spectacles to represent these people as being willing, not to say desirous, of living in these conditions in which they work. It is a very poignant side of the housing question, and I should like to read a passage from a statement of the late Minister of Health, Dr. Addison, on the subject of slums. Dr. Addison said, with regard to tuberculosis: An inquiry was made in some London boroughs as to the home conditions of those who came to the dispensaries. In one borough, only 86 out of 482 consumptive patients had a bedroom to themselves; in another case, only 134 cases out of 766 had a bedroom to themselves; and 453 of the remainder shared a bed with one or more members of their family. That is a very shocking condition of affairs, and nothing ought to prevent us doing everything in our power to remove it, whatever the cost may be. That brings me to my last point. The Minister reverts in this Bill to the 50–50 arrangement of the 1919 Act. Between the two arrangements there was a grant of £200,000 by the Exchequer, of which Scotland received £30,000, for districts which include the city where, as the Minister of Health stated, they have the prize slums, but I observe in the White Paper that has been issued that the Minister anticipates that for this year only £230,000 will be required under this Section of the Bill. Is that so? If this is such an advance on the intermediate stage, if it really is giving the assistance which the 1919 Act purported to give, why does he say that only £230,000 will be required, and if that is the extent of the liability, are we in Scotland going to get only £30,000 of that sum?

If the Minister says—and I beg him to explain the matter—that is really the limit of his contribution, I shall not have the least hesitation in voting against this Sub-section; but if he says it means, what it appears to mean, namely, that the Treasury will pay the deficit of the local authorities, then, as far as I am concerned, I shall not go into the Lobby against it.


The Minister of Health, in the course of his remarks, said he did not intend that slum clearances should take place at once, and that they would have to build houses for the people before these clearances came along. He also said that the authorities were to be allowed to build whatever kind of houses they cared to build. He further said that he deprecated the building of these huge blocks of tenements as not being good enough for the working-class, and he desired that a different type of house should be erected for them. If that be so, when are the slum clearances likely to begin? He has admitted that in Birmingham, Glasgow and other places the problem is almost impossible of ever being dealt with, owing to the neglect of our predecessors. It has grown to such magnitude that there cannot be hope of dealing with it in the immediate future. Glasgow has been dealing with the subject since 1864, when it got a special Act of Parliament giving it the power to wipe out some of it. To provide a very few thousand houses it cost millions of pounds. For these clearances we in Glasgow were burdened for many years with a rate of 6d. in the £, and to-day the problem is still as great as ever. We hear it said that the cost of the ground will not be very great, but let me point out that immediately prior to the War we had under consideration, under the 1909 Act, the making of clearances in connection with our slums, and we bought a piece of ground on the south side of the river in what is known as the Kingston area. We paid over £2 per square yard for the ground, and wherever we buy land, even wiping out the value of the houses altogether in these slum areas, it is not going to be bought at less than £1 a yard. That means for each acre £4,800—practically £5,000. Now you are going to give us half the money, but that will not enable even such a wealthy corporation as ours, where a rate of a penny in the £ produces the sum of £40,000, to deal with this problem. As sure as we are sitting here at this moment there will be a public outcry against the increase of the rates. Public opinion will not be content to provide houses to be let at less than an economic rent, subsidised to a great extent by a class of people who are continually in the grip of poverty, and we are going to see a small section get a better house than we can afford to build to pay an economic rent. If you are going to deal with this question from the point of view that you, I believe, desire to deal with it, both health and physical, and for mental and moral results, you must be prepared to find more money than you are going to do. Liverpool has spent a great deal of money in clearing slum areas, with some good results. It may be that you are not prepared to go in and support a scheme such as Liverpool. If you, Sir, had the power you would exercise it in some degree perhaps in preventing the perpetuation of these huge Scottish tenements, as they are called, in Liverpool; you would demand something better. You have been particularly interested in the Housing Scheme; at the same time in the Bill there is no likelihood of us carrying out this Scheme.

Glasgow at the moment is building houses to take the place of slum areas, and the city has received the sanction of the Health Ministry for the building of round about 1,000 houses. What are they going to do? Put up two-apartment houses in three-flated tenement, not because it is their ideal, but because of the economic position. You are giving to Scotland £30,000 this year, of which Glasgow will get £6,000 or £7,000 towards dealing with this problem, a problem which in itself will take many thousands. We appeal to you, not in the interests of ourselves but in the interests of those whose interests, some of us believe, you have just as much at heart as many of us on this side, to make it possible for us to wipe out what you are content to describe as a blot on our civilisation! Give us more money. We will not waste it. We will spend it so as to reduce the expenditure of the right hon. Gentleman as Minister of Health, and in other directions equally beneficial, in endeavouring to get rid of tuberculosis, which is killing tens of thousands, and so on. We ask you to try to meet us not on behalf of any party in this House, but on behalf of those unfortunate people who are unable to get out of these conditions. We ask you to reconsider the question because we must try to do something—and at least if you cannot—give us what you ought to do, give us something better than what you are proposing to do now.


I desire—[HON. MEMBERS: "Divide!"]—to ask the Minister of Health—and I will only be a moment—quite a definite question. The Resolution refers to a grant of £230,000. Is it the assumption that we cannot get anything further than that?

Captain ELLIOT (Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health, Scotland)

I am anxious to make the point quite clear. This is a bargain with the authorities, and on the paro of Scotland, by which we hope that there may be some slum clearances. Of the £230,000, £30,000 goes to Scotland. We recognise that in all these things one has to strike a balance between the amount of money to be divided on what I may call sanitary measures, and the money which has to be devoted to the building of new houses. When we determined to make a start by making a direct attack upon slum property we agreed with what the hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley) said on this point, namely, that the ideal method of attacking slum property is to build good houses to enable the population to flow into them and leave the bad houses vacant so that they can be pulled down. In this matter we had to consider the building machinery at our disposal and the grant was chosen on the representative idea. The hon. and gallant Member for Leith (Captain Benn) asked me a question as to what conditions limited the amount to be spent. The sum which I have mentioned was chosen because it seemed to us and to the local authorities to represent the amount of slum clearances which they could really expect to get through within the next couple of years.

Captain BENN

Do the Government mean to pay one-half of what the local authorities agree to spend, or are they limited to £230,000?

Captain ELLIOT

We pay one half of the sum which the local authorities spend up to £230,000. This allocation has been made as the result of a very careful inquiry into the amount of building we can get through in that period, because we can only get a certain amount of work done in a certain time.


Was there not an allocation of £30,000 to Scotland made under the late Government before you considered this Bill at all?

Captain ELLIOT

I was at the conference as Parliamentary Secretary to the Scottish Board of Health when the allocation was first considered and subsequently made, and I have no such recollection. This allocation was made on an estimate which had relation to the amount of work which could be got through in the two years immediately before us, and we estimated 6,000 houses for that period as being very near the limit of the output of the building machinery in Scotland. By that I do not mean merely the trusts and the rings, but the building machinery in which labour plays a very important and indeed a determining part.


You will soon have no machine.

Captain ELLIOT

That is a point which is not worthy of the deep knowledge which the hon. Member has of this subject. We are certainly increasing the provision for the output of houses in the hope that a condition of things will arise under which we shall get a larger output than we have before, for, unless we can secure that, we shall never catch up the problem at all. Let me recapitulate. The sum of £230,000 a year was laid aside for slum clearance, and a provisional allocation of that sum has been made, with the enthusiastic co-operation of the local authorities, who, so far from saying that they would be unable to operate this scheme, have begged us to co-operate with them on a 50–50 basis as far as possible. We have got ahead with this scheme, and, not merely in the great cities, but as far north as Kirkwall and running down to the south to small authorities like Easter Anstruther, we have been able to secure the whole-hearted co-operation of the local authorities. [An HON. MEMBER: "Some local authorities!"] I do not wish to weary the House, but I have the list here of the local authorities who have come in with us under this scheme. Of course we have Edinburgh in the scheme, and there are authorities like Leven, Lochgelly, Port Glasgow—I am not going to read them all.


Not in Lanarkshire?

Captain ELLIOT

Of course, we have Lanarkshire in. Does anyone suppose that Lanarkshire is left out? Lanarkshire is very anxious to get ahead with this scheme, and, if it can see its way, to have it extended. Edinburgh and Glasgow are in the same condition.


Dumbarton and Clydebank is not.

Captain ELLIOT

I do not wish to read great numbers of names, but both Eastern and Western Dumbarton figure in this list.


That is only the county. It is not the Burgh of Dumbarton and Clydebank.

Captain ELLIOT

I wish to say again that this sum was devoted to slum clearance as a compromise. That compromise represents what it is considered that the local authorities can deal with as an immediate attack on the sanitary problem in the time. We have decided that the sum shall be £230,000 a year, and are dealing with the problem for the next two years on that basis. When we have dealt with this sum, which is now being allocated, then will be the time to review the situation and see if further steps are necessary, and, if so, on what basis the programme should be extended.




The point that the hon. and gallant Member wishes to put would not be in order on this Amendment. We must dispose of that first.


May I ask a question? It is a question which has been put to me by several people, and I should like to have it cleared up. I desire to ask whether, under this Clause, grants and contributions can be made for schemes for rehousing in villages? The suggestion has been made to me—I have not had time to verify it—that the principal Act applies to rehousing in towns, and I am merely asking whether it is quite clear, or whether, if it is not, it will be made quite clear, that contributions can be made to villages in country areas, where sometimes there are slums?

Captain ELLIOT

Yes, I have given the case of Easter Anstruther, which is not by any means a town, but a very small local authority.

Question put, "That paragraph (b) stand part of the Resolution."

The House divided: Ayes, 208; Noes, 106.

Division No. 125.] AYES. [11.52 p.m.
Ainsworth, Captain Charles Cotts, Sir William Dingwall Mitchell Henn, Sir Sydney H.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South) Hennessy, Major J. R. G.
Archer-Shee, Lieut.-Colonel Martin Crook, C. W. (East Ham, North) Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Wilfrid W. Crooke, J. S. (Derltend) Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank
Baird, Rt. Hon. Sir John Lawrence Curzon, Captain Viscount Hiley, Sir Ernest
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Darblshire, C. W. Hinds, John
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Davidson, J. C. C. (Hemel Hempstead) Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy
Banks, Mitchell Davies, Thomas (Cirencester) Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard
Barlow, Rt. Hon. Sir Montague Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Hopkins, John W. W.
Barnett, Major Richard W. Du Pre, Colonel William Baring Hudson, Capt. A.
Barnston, Mayor Harry Edmondson, Major A. J. Hughes, Collingwood
Bell, Lieut-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes) Ednam, Viscount Hume, G. H.
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W. Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark) Hutchison, G. A. C. (Midlothian, N.)
Bennett, Sir T. J. (Sevenoaks) Ellis, R. G. Hutchison, W. (Kelvingrove)
Berkeley, Captain Reginald England, Lieut-Colonel A. Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.
Berry, Sir George Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M. Jarrett, G. W. S.
Betterton, Henry B. Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfrey Jephcott, A. R.
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Fermor-Hesketh, Major T. Jodrell, Sir Neville Paul
Blundell, F. N. Ford, Patrick Johnston Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Forestier-Walker, L. Joynson-Hicks, Sir William
Boyd-Carpenter, Major A. Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot Kelley, Major Fred (Rotherham)
Brass, Captain W. Fraser, Major Sir Keith Kennedy, Captain M. S. Nigel
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. King, Capt. Henry Douglas
Briggs, Harold Furness, G. J. Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Brittain, Sir Harry Galbraith, J. F. W. Lamb, J. Q.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. Clifton (Newbury) Garland, C. S. Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Colonel G. R.
Brown, Major D. C. (Hexham) Gates, Percy Lorimer, H. D.
Brown, J. W. (Middlesbrough, E.) Goff, Sir R. Park Lort-Williams, J.
Bruford, R. Gould, James C. Lougher, L.
Bruton, Sir James Gray, Frank (Oxford) Loyd, Arthur Thomas (Abingdon)
Buckley, Lieut-Colonel A. Gray, Harold (Cambridge) Lumley, L. R.
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Greenwood, William (Stockport) Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm
Butler, H. M. (Leeds, North) Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) McNeill, Ronald (Kent, Canterbury)
Butt, Sir Alfred Gretton, Colonel John Manville, Edward
Button, H. S. Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Hon. W. E. Margesson, H. D. R.
Cadogan, Major Edward Guthrie, Thomas Maule Mason, Lieut.-Col. C. K.
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Gwynne, Rupert S. Mercer, Colonel H.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Milne, J. S. Wardlaw
Chapman, Sir S. Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Mitchell, W. F. (Saffron Walden)
Clarry, Reginald George Halstead, Major D. Molloy, Major L. G. S.
Clayton, G. C. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Moore, Major-General Sir Newton J.
Cobb, Sir Cyril Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Murchison, C. K.
Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K. Harrison, F. C. Nall, Major Joseph
Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Harvey, Major S. E. Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)
Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale Hawke, John Anthony Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Cope, Major William Hay, Major T. W. (Norfolk, South) Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Cory, Sir J. H. (Cardiff, South) Henderson, Sir T. (Roxburgh) Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)
Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Tubbs, S. W.
Nield, Sir Herbert Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney) Turton, Edmund Russborough
Oman, Sir Charles William C. Sanders, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert A. Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Paget, T. G. Sanderson, Sir Frank B. Wallace, Captain E.
Pennefather, De Fonblanque Sandon, Lord Ward, Col. L. (Kingston-upon-Hull)
Penny, Frederick George Shepperson, E. W. Waring, Major Walter
Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Shipwright, Captain D. Weston, Colonel John Wakefield
Perring, William George Simpson-Hinchcliffe, W. A. Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.
Peto, Basil E. Singleton, J. E. White, Lt.-Col. G. D. (Southport)
Pielou, D. P. Skelton, A. N. Whitla, Sir William
Pretyman, Rt. Hon. Ernest G. Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South) Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)
Privett, F. J. Smith, Sir Harold (Wavertree) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Raeburn, Sir William H. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) Winterton, Earl
Raine, W. Sparkes, H. W. Wise, Frederick
Rentoul, G. S. Steel, Major S. Strang Wolmer, Viscount
Rhodes, Lieut.-Col. J. P. Stewart, Gershom (Wirral) Wood, Rt. Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)
Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chrtsy) Stott, Lt.-Col. W. H. Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Robertson-Despencer, Major (Isl'gt'n W.) Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- Yerburgh, R. D. T.
Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser Young, Rt. Hon. E. H. (Norwich)
Roundell, Colonel R. F. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid H.
Ruggles-Brise, Major E. Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Thompson, Luke (Sunderland) Colonel Leslie Wilson and Colonel
Russell, William (Bolton) Thorpe, Captain John Henry Gibbs.
Russell-Wells, Sir Sydney Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Adams, D. Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Harbord, Arthur Pattinson, S. (Horncastle)
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Hardie, George D. Phillipps, Vivian
Barnes, A. Hartshorn, Vernon Ponsonby, Arthur
Batey, Joseph Hay, Captain J. P. (Cathcart) Potts, John S.
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Hayday, Arthur Pringle, W. M. R.
Bonwick, A. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (N'castle, E.) Ritson, J.
Bowdler, W. A. Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Robinson, W. C. (York, Elland)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Herriotts, J. Saklatvala, S.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Hill, A. Salter, Dr. A.
Buchanan, G. Hirst, G. H. Scrymgeour, E.
Burnle, Major J. (Bootle) Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Simpson, J. Hope
Buxton, Charles (Accrington) John, William (Rhondda, West) Smith, T. (Pontefract)
Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North) Johnston, Thomas (Stirling) Snell, Harry
Cape, Thomas Jones, R. T. (Carnarvon) Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)
Chapple, W. A. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Spencer, H. H. (Bradford, S.)
Charleton, H. C. Jowett, F. W. (Bradford, East) Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Davies, David (Montgomery) Jowitt, W. A. (The Hartlepools) Sullivan, J.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Kirkwood, D. Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lansbury, George Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Lawson, John James Tout, W. J.
Duncan, C. Leach, W. Warne, G. H.
Dunnico, H. Linfield, F. C. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Ede, James Chuter Lunn, William Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Emlyn-Jones, J. E. (Dorset, N.) MacDonald, J. R. (Aberavon) Westwood, J.
Entwistle, Major C. F. M'Entee, V. L. Wheatley, J.
Fairbairn, R. R. McLaren, Andrew White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)
Falconer, J. Maxton, James Whiteley, W.
Foot, Isaac Millar, J. D. Williams, David (Swansea, E.)
Gosling, Harry Morel, E. D. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Wintringham, Margaret
Greenall, T. Newbold, J. T. W. Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Nichol Robert
Groves, T. O'Grady, Captain James TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Grundy, T. W. Oliver, George Harold Mr. Neil Maclean and Mr. Morgan
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Paling, W. Jones.
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Parker, H. (Hanley)

Question, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution," put, and agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the said Resolution."

12 M.


I rise to put a question suggested to me by an important section of my constituency. It relates to paragraph (a) of this Resolution. It has been suggested that perhaps the Minister might consider making provision for allowing local authorities to draw a capital sum equal to the present value. It has been represented that it would be a far greater incentive to the private builder to encourage him to erect these houses if he could be offered a lump sum by the local authority in respect of this subsidy, and in view of the fact that under a section of the Bill power is given to the local authority to make a grant for advances in respect of the work. I submit that it is hardly fair that the authority should have the onus of putting up a capital sum. I ask whether it is possible to make provision, under this Resolution, to allow the authority, in lieu of having the annual payment of £6, to draw the capital value of that sum?


A doubt has arisen in the minds of some of the local authorities as to the words "not exceeding." The point is as to whether this is the usual form of words or whether it is possible, as has been suggested by some local authorities, that "not exceeding 20 years" may mean that the subsidy will run for a shorter period, at the will of the Minister; and the same point refers with the £6.


I think that I can answer these two questions in a few sentences. On the first question there is no discrimination against a local authority. All that they have to do is to raise a loan of the requisite amount, and use the subsidy in payment of that loan. In reference to the second point the words "not exceeding" are intended to cover one particular case which had occurred to me. It might be conceivable that a private builder might be willing to build houses for a subsidy purely not only any contribution from the local authority but even for less than £6, in which case I desire to ensure that the contribution from the Exchequer shall be the amount required by the private builder and no more, but I intend to move an Amendment in Committee to make that point clear.


Just one question. [Interruption.] Hon. Members may jeer—


I would suggest to the hon. Member that he should put his question.


I wish to ask whether the subsidy in this Resolution applies to the re-housing in rural districts, under Part I and Part II of the 1890 Act?


Yes, Sir.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

It being after Half-past Eleven of the Clock upon Wednesday evening, Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

Adjourned at Five Minutes after Twelve o'Clock.