HC Deb 01 August 1924 vol 176 cc2454-9

Lords Amendment:

In page 21, line 6, leave out "twenty-seven" and insert "thirty."


I beg to move, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

Lieut. - Colonel MOORE-BRABAZON

This matter, as to how long this Bill should operate, was one upon which we spent very many hours upstairs. I do not think I am disclosing any secrets when I say that the Minister did accept a certain period of time. I cannot but believe that the Government are really doing a serious thing in suggesting that this Bill should operate only for three years. By that time someone else may be in power, but traffic is a thing which at present is changing so quickly that any Traffic Bill which now we pass might be a bad Act in five years' time. What, however, I want the House to think about is this: It is really proposed that at the end of three years the Traffic Regulations of London which we propose to give by this Bill are going to collapse. What will happen is that this Act will automatically come under the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. That does not pre- judice introducing another Traffic Measure, but I cannot see what advantage we are going to get out of it, or what hon. Members can get out of this particular provision by making the Act operative only for three years. It is very curious that in connection with this Bill we have not discussed traffic in any way, but local government. In that connection the Labour party have proposed to give the transport authority power over London traffic, whereas the Conservatives have opposed giving the power over London traffic to the Conservative London County Council. I do not think, in the pressure of Parliamentary time, we are likely to have another Traffic Bill for three years. Eventually this Measure can be put into the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, and consequently we are really quibbling about a matter which does not come into practical politics.


I hope the Minister will stand by what he has just said. If there is going to be any extension of the time no facilities will be taken to improve the traffic, or get this Measure to work as we want it worked. If the matter is left over for another six years things will roll on just as they have done in the past. For these reasons I hope the Minister of Transport will stand by the proposition he has made.

Viscount CURZON

I wish to support what has been said by the hon. and gallant Member for Chatham (Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon) in regard to this proposal. I cannot understand why we should be threatened with a collapse of this Bill in three years time. That is a very odd attitude to take up, because this Measure has been hurried on as a result of the negotiations arising in the case of the recent transport strike in London, and, therefore, it is in the interest of the transport workers and the general public that something should be done to regulate traffic conditions. We all know the strain that is put upon those who drive the heavy vehicles in London today, and therefore it is very urgent that we should get from the Minister, if he is not going to accept the Lords Amendment, some idea of what he has in mind at the expiration of 1927. Can he tell us what the view of the Government will be in 1927. Of course I do not anticipate that the Socialist party will be in power then, but I think the country should know what is his view now as to what should be done with London traffic at the end of 1927.


I answer that question very much in the same way as I put the matter to the House in the first instance. This Bill was introduced as a temporary Measure, and this was done because all sides felt that the question of London traffic should not be left, as it was, and the real remedy was to deal with the question of local government in Greater London. It is quite clear that what the Government wish to safeguard is not to put in a longer period which might lead to other matters being dropped. I hope before the expiration of three years we shall have produced legislation dealing with the larger question of local government, and if by any chance at the end of three years we have not been able to do all we want to do, we can easily go on by extending the period from year to year. For these reasons and not for the reasons given by the Noble Lord the Member for South Battersea (Viscount Curzon), I ask the House to disagree with the Lords Amendment.


After a very long Debate the date of 1927 was inserted as a reasonable period to give the Government time to really deal with London government. I suggest that 1927 is quite long enough.


I am surprised at the attitude which the Minister has taken up in regard to this point. He suggested that the reason for making the term short was that this was admitted by everybody to be an emergency Measure. It may have been introduced as an emergency Measure, but if was not a very bad Bill when it was first introduced, and after the help and assistance given by my hon. Friend and others on these benches the Measure has been turned into one which is likely to work exceedingly well. We do not see for one moment why we should make it merely an emergency Measure in the sense in which it was introduced, because it is now a Bill which it might be advisable to continue for more than three years.

We know perfectly well what the object of hon. Members in this House is in attempting to keep in this period of three years. There are those who want to smash this Bill up, and if they cannot do that, then they want to continue for only a short time. There is another class who are interested in a fantastic scheme for Greater London which has already been turned down by a Royal Commission, whose decision they have absolutely refused to accept, although they have not been able to put forward any good reasons for refusing those recommendations. Here we have a Bill absolutely in accordance with the recommendation of that Commission that we should have certain definite ad hoc authorities or Committees to deal with particular matters such as traffic. I hope the House will accept the Lords Amendment in this case, and give this Bill a reasonable chance, and not take the rather foolish and futile course of endeavouring to limit future Parliaments in the way which has been proposed.


Originally the Bill contained an open date, but by agreement in Committee a date was added,

and this was carried by a majority, and as a democrat I accept that conclusion. Three years was inserted, but the Bill now comes back with six years added. The reason I oppose the Lords Amendment is that the problem as it is now is a serious one, and the shortest possible time you can give to it will give the greatest impetus to the local authorities to tackle the traffic problem. As soon as we insert the period of six years in the Bill, we shall find that no serious effort will be made to tackle the problem at all. In three years' time changes will have to be made to fit in with new requirements, and to give a period of six years, which will probably stabilise the anomalies that exist to-day, and which will exist later, is far too long. For these reasons I hope the House will disagree with the Lords Amendment.

Question put, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

The House divided: Ayes, 175; Noes, 63.

Division No. 189.] AYES. [1.26 p.m.
Ackroyd, T. R. Franklin, L. B. Lawrence, Susan (East Ham, North)
Adamson, Rt. Hon. William Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Leach, W.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, North) Lee, F.
Allen, R. Wilberforce (Leicester, S.) Gavan-Duffy, Thomas Lindley, F. W.
Alstead, R. George, Major G. L. (Pembroke) Linfield, F. C.
Ammon, Charles George Gibbins, Joseph Loverseed, J. F.
Aske, Sir Robert William Gosling, Harry Lowth, T.
Baker, Walter Greenall, T. Lunn, William
Banton, G. Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) McCrae, Sir George
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)
Barnes, A. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)
Batey, Joseph Groves, T. McEntee, V. L.
Birkett, W. N. Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth) Mackinder, W.
Black, J. W. Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N) Maden, H.
Bonwick, A. Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) March, S.
Broad, F. A. Harbison, Thomas James S. Marley, James
Brown, A. E. (Warwick, Rugby) Harris, Percy A. Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.
Buchanan, G. Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Maxton, James
Buckle, J. Harvey, T. E. (Dewsbury) Meyler, Lieut.-Colonel H. M.
Burnie, Major J. (Bootle) Haycock, A. W. Middleton, G.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Hayday, Arthur Mills, J. E.
Charleton, H. C. Hayes, John Henry Mitchell, R. M.(Perth & Kinross,Perth)
Church, Major A. G. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley) Montague, Frederick
Climie, R. Henderson, A. (Cardiff, South) Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)
Cluse, W. S. Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Mosley, Oswald
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Henderson, W. W. (Middlesex, Enfld.) Moulton, Major Fletcher
Comyns-Carr, A. S. Hillary, A. E. Muir, John W.
Cove, W. G. Hobhouse, A. L. Murray, Robert
Crittall, V. G. Hodge, Lieut.-Col. J. P. (Preston) Naylor, T. E.
Darbishire, C. W. Hudson, J. H. O'Grady, Captain James
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Isaacs, G. A. Oliver, George Harold
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Oliver, P. M. (Manchester, Blackley)
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick) Jewson, Dorothea Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Dudgeon, Major C. R. John, William (Rhondda, West) Perry, S. F.
Dukes, C. Johnston, Thomas (Stirling) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Dunn, J. Freeman Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Phillipps, Vivian
Dunnico, H. Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Ponsonby, Arthur
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Potts, John S.
Edwards, G. (Norfolk, Southern) Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. (Bradford,E) Raffan, P. W.
Edwards, John H. (Accrington) Jowitt, W. A. (The Hartlepools) Raffety, F. W.
Egan, W. H. Kay, Sir R. Newbald Ramage, Captain Cecil Beresford
Finney, V. H. Keens, T. Raynes, W. R.
Fletcher, Lieut.-Com. R. T. H. Lansbury, George Rea, W. Russell
Foot, Isaac Law, A. Rees, Capt. J. T. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell) Spence, R. White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)
Robertson, T. A. Spero, Dr. G. E. Whiteley, W.
Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford) Stamford, T. W. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Romeril, H. G. Stephen, Campbell Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)
Rose, Frank H. Sturrock, J. Leng Williams, Lt.-Col. T.S.B.(Kenningtn.)
Royle, C. Sullivan, J. Williams, Maj. A. S.(Kent, Sevenoaks)
Rudkin, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. C. Sutton, J. E. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Scurr, John Thompson, Piers G. (Torquay) Windsor, Walter
Seely, H. M. (Norfolk, Eastern) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.) Wintringham, Margaret
Sexton, James Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow) Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Thornton, Maxwell R. Woodwark, Lieut. Colonel G. G.
Shinwell, Emanuel Thurtle, E. Wright, W.
Short, Alfred (Wednesday) Tillett, Benjamin Young, Andrew (Glasgow, Partick)
Smith, T. (Pontefract) Turner-Samuels, M.
Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Viant, S. P. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Snell, Harry Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda) Mr. Frederick Hall and Mr. B. Smith.
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Eyres-Monsell, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Forestier-Walker, L. Ropner, Major L.
Atholl, Duchess of Greene, W. P. Crawford Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Harland, A. Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Barnett, Major Richard W. Harvey, C. M. B.(Aberd'n & Kincardne) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Berry, Sir George Henn, Sir Sydney H. Steel, Samuel Strang
Blades, Sir George Rowland Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Frater
Blundell, F. N. Hill-Wood, Major Sir Samuel Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Bourne, Robert Croft Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Iliffe, Sir Edward M. Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell-(Croydon, S.)
Briscoe, Captain Richard George Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S. Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Brittain, Sir Harry King, Captain Henry Douglas Wells, S. R.
Chapman, Sir S. Lorimer, H. D. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Clarry, Reginald George Lumley, L. R. Wise, Sir Fredric
MacDonald, R. Wolmer, Viscount
Clayton, G. C. McLean, Major A. Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Cope, Major William McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N) Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Cunliffe, Joseph Herbert Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Curzon, Captain Viscount Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Sir Kingsley Wood and Mr. Dennis Herbert.
Dixey, A. C. Pease, William Edwin
Elliot, Walter E. Pielou, D. P.

Bill read a Second time and committed to a Committee of the Whole House for Monday next.—[Mr. A Greenwood.]