HC Deb 01 August 1924 vol 176 cc2423-5

Lords Amendment:

In page 1, lines 17 and 18, leave out "appointed by the Minister," and insert "elected by the Committee."

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment"—[Mr. Gosling.]


May I congratulate the other place upon giving us what we fought for both on the Committee stage and the Report stage, because it has secured to the Committee the right to select its own chairman. To that extent the Committee is likely to be a greater safeguard of the rights of the people of London, and it will give them some power to bring forward their grievances and express their views.

Question put, and agreed to.


With regard to the remainder of the Lords Amendments to Clause 1, I propose to ask the House to accept them.

Lords Amendment:

In page2, line3, leave out from "the" to the end of line5, and insert "councils of the metropolitan boroughs."

Motion made, and Question proposed, "that this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."—[Mr. Gosling]


I am not quite sure that it is wise that this Amendment should be accepted. The point familiar to the House was that under the provisions of the Bill as it was introduced it was provided that the Minister should select from nominees made by certain local authorities in certain areas. On the face of it, the Lords Amendment would appear to be more democratic, but in practice I am very uncertain whether it would be so. There has already been some action taken in the County of London by the Metropolitan Boroughs Standing Joint Committee, under which they have met and chosen two nominees in readiness for the passing of the Act, and those two nominees happen both to come from the South side of the river, one from Wandsworth and the other from Camberwell, and they both happened to be of one political party. It seems to me that boroughs, perhaps not necessarily of another political complexion, such as the boroughs in the East End of London, with separate traffic problems to those in Wandsworth and Camberwell, ought to have a representative on the Advisory Committee so far as those borough councils are concerned. The provision as it stands means that the existing majority of the groups of local authorities can settle quite apart from those considerations who the nominees shall be. That is so far as London is concerned, but we have to consider the county of Middlesex and other counties where even graver considerations may arise, where a majority for either party or political or geographical reasons desire to secure that one or two or three nominees from a certain area or party shall be appointed. My feeling in regard to the minorities in connection with such matters is that each locality which has a vital interest in the matter should have the freedom to send nominees direct to the Minister and in the absence of an agreement the Minister should have power to make the selection, having regard to the rights of minorities in the areas not represented. Therefore, I am rather sorry that the Minister has decided to recommend the House to agree to this Amendment, because. I think it will work an injustice to areas so far as representation on the Advisory Committee is concerned.


It is one of the fundamental faults of the constitution of this Committee that there are only two representatives to divide amongst 28 bodies. There are different points of view in connection with those in the North, South and West of London, and in my view it is immaterial whether this particular form is confirmed or the original form. We get two representatives in any case.

Question put, and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendments down to page 7, line 19, agreed to.