§ Order for the Third reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."
§ Mr. T. JOHNSTON
On a point of Order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. I should like to draw your attention to Standing Order 207 dealing with Private Business, which says:In cases where the Second or Third Reading of a Private Bill, or the consideration of a Bill as amended by the Committee, or any proposed Clause or Amendment, or any Motion relating to a Private Bill is opposed, the same shall be postponed until the day on which the House shall next sit.I submit for your consideration a proposal that the Third Reading of this Bill, having been objected, ought not to be taken now. Further, I should like to draw attention to the fact that the Report of the Committee upstairs is riot available in the Vote Office. We are therefore unable to consider the Bill. As a matter of fact, we do not know what the Bill Is as it now stands. We are informed that it has been amended in some respects, but we do not know in what respects it has been amended, and therefore this House is not in a position to give this Bill adequate and careful consideration, and I submit that it ought not to be further proceeded with to-night.
Mr. DEPUTY - SPEAKER (Mr. Entwistle)
I do not know whether the hon. Member gave notice that he was going to raise this point, but I would like to call attention to the fact that there is a Motion on the Order Paper standing in the name of the Chairman of Ways and Means giving noticeThat Standing Orders 223 and 243 be suspended, and that the Bill be now read the Third time.Consequently the Bill is taken by leave of the House.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I wish to point out that I applied to the Vote Office for the Report of the Committee, and it is not available. We have been informed that certain Amendments have been made, but we know nothing of their character or what difference they make in the Bill. I submit that to bring forward a Bill in regard to which the Amendments and the Report are not available is departing from every vestige of the usage in this Chamber and on these grounds I urge that we cannot consider this Bill now. I would like to have your ruling on these points.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
May I draw your attention to the fact that the Motion standing in the name of the Chairman of Ways and Means does not refer to the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Bill at all, but it is a Notice of Motion relating solely to the Lanarkshire Hydro-Electric Power Bill, which is a different Measure altogether. Therefore, so far as the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Bill is concerned, there is no such Notice on the Order Paper, and I submit that this Bill should not be proceeded with any further.
The Clyde Valley Electrical Power Bill is down on the Paper for the Third Reading.
The hon. Member is correct on that point. With regard to the point raised by the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan), I do not know who is responsible for the printing of the Reports, but I understand that it is not the invariable practice for the Reports of these Committees to be published. This Bill has been set down for the Third Reading by the Chairman of Ways and Means for this evening, and in the absence of anything to the contrary I could not prevent the Third Reading being taken.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Do I understand you, Sir, to rule that, in spite of the fact that the ordinary procedure of the House has not been complied with, in so far as the Standing Orders have not been suspended; although the Chairman of Ways and Means has taken special means to see that these particular Standing Orders were suspended in the case of other Private Bills they have not been sus- 2628 pended in the case of the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Bill; and although the Report of the Committee is not available, yet in the interests of this private company the whole right of the House of Commons are to be set on one side in the interests of a Bill which only got its Second Reading by a comparatively narrow majority? I may say that I shall have very great difficulty in sitting here quietly under such a ruling.
§ The CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS (Mr. Robert Young)
I do not think that there is any rule that this Bill cannot be taken at 8.15. The ordinary course when a Bill is objected to at 2.45 is to put it down at 8.15 on some other night that comes within the Chairman's power. As to the objection which has been raised as to what took place in the Committee, Amendments made to Private Bills by Committees are never printed separately. The Amendments to another Bill which was taken on a night last week were printed because they were Lords Amendments, and even then only as a matter of courtesy.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir JOSEPH NALL
Before I came into the House just now I inquired for copies of this Bill, and I was supplied with a copy, and hon. Members will find that it is available.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
May I point out that while the Bill is available in the Vote Office, we do not know whether it is in its amended form or not. I desire to make the point that this House only by a small majority gave a Second Reading to this Bill. There is a very large volume of opposition, and I submit that the House of Commons is not entitled to give this Measure a Third Reading under these circumstances without hon. Members being fully aware of what they are doing. This Measure is going to cost the people of Scotland a large amount of money, and I think we are entitled to have it put aside for the time being until the usual notice has been given and the information we require has been made available.
§ Mr. CLIMIE
I want to get an explanation from you, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. I understand that the Second Reading of this Bill was passed through the House last Tuesday night. The next day the Bill came before the Select Committee, and it was two days before them, finishing on Thursday at about one o'clock; but by 2629 a quarter to three on Thursday the Bill had been reported to the House, and now it is down for Third Beading to-night, I should like to ask you, Sir, what is the indecent hurry in connection with the passing of this Clyde Valley Electrical Power Bill, in view of the time of the House being required, in the opinion of many of us, for other Measures of much greater importance than this Bill to the people of Scotland?
The question as to the urgency of its being set down is not a matter for the Chair, but for the Chairman of Ways and Means, with whose decision I cannot interfere. With regard to the point raised on Standing Order No. 207 (Private Business), I think the correct interpretation of that Standing Order—I have just been looking at it, in view of the point which the hon. Member has raised, and of which I do not think previous notice was given—is as follows: The Standing Order says that the Consideration shall be postponed until the next day on which the House shall sit, and I take that as meaning that it will automatically be postponed until the next day in the absence of any other Standing Order which deals with this matter. I am prepared to rule on Standing Order No. 8 (Public Business), which says that all Private Business set down for certain days and not disposed of by three o'clock shall be postponed until such time as the Chairman of Ways and Means may determine. The Chairman of Ways and Means has determined that this Bill shall be disposed of at 8.15 to-night. I cannot see that there is anything inconsistent in Standing Order No. 207 (Private Business) to overrule that decision, and I shall rule accordingly. With regard to the question of the printing of the Report of the Committee stage, I think the Chairman of Ways and Means has already said that there is no invariable practice that this shall be done, and I am not convinced that there is any special reason why I should interfere with the decision of the Chairman of Ways and Means to have this Bill decided this evening.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Further on the point of Order. May I ask for your ruling on the point that, in the case of the Lanarkshire Hydro-Electric Power Bill, a Notice of Motion has been put down that Stand- 2630 ing Orders 223 and 243 be suspended, while no such Notice has been put down in so far as the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Bill is concerned? May I submit very respectfully that there is, therefore, a distinct difference as between these two Bills, and that, whatever may be said for taking the Lanarkshire Hydro-Electric Power Bill to-night, there is no case for taking the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Bill?
§ Mr. YOUNG
I would point out to the hon. Member that the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Bill is down for Third Reading to-night, while the Lanarkshire Hydro-Electric Power Bill is down for Consideration, and the purpose of my Motion which is on the Paper is that the Consideration and the Third Reading may be taken on the same evening. There is, therefore, a difference between the two Orders.
The ruling I have just given has nothing to do with the Notice of Motion for the suspension of Standing Orders 223 and 243. That does not at all affect the ruling I have just given on the other point.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I beg to move, "That the Debate be now adjourned."
It may be true, as the Chairman of Ways and Means has pointed out, that he has obeyed the letter of the law in his procedure in bringing this matter before the House, although I must say that I am very far from being convinced to that effect. It is, however, true that this House is being treated with very scant courtesy. The responsibilities of this Parliament towards the needs of the people are being put in a very inferior position to the desires of this private company, and I think that the feeling of the House will be to a large extent with those on these benches who feel that this House should not debate, discuss and decide on an important issue of this sort unless ample warning is given that the matter is coming before the House, and unless the subject-matter that is to be discussed is in the hands of Members for their consideration.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I beg to second the Motion.
I think that this almost amounts to what I would term sharp practice. It is 2631 the practice of Scottish Members to go home at the week-end, and, knowing before they leave what the business for the week will be, they make their arrangements accordingly. That is a common Parliamentary practice, which is followed by all Members of the House, and, I think, quite rightly. The Government usually inform the House exactly what will be the character of the business, in order that. Members may make their arrangements. We were not informed that this Bill was to come on this week at all. The rejection of the Bill on Second Reading was moved from these benches, and some hon. Members on these benches, whose constituencies are affected and who spoke against the Second Reading of the Bill, would, if they had known that the Bill was to come on to-night, have made it their duty to be present to take part in the Debate. They, however, have gone home, in view of the information that they had as to what the business would be, and now the Chairman of Ways and Means, who must be aware that the Scottish Members have acted in that way, takes action of this kind and disfranchises and debars Members of the House whose constituencies are affected.
I think this House has a certain dignity to uphold. It is the practice of Members of the House to be fair to one another, and it is the practice, while we have acute differences of opinion, that no Member of the House should try to get behind another with whom he has a difference of opinion by any other than open and above-board means. We had our differences when we debated this Bill on the last occasion. We came to a decision, and I accepted that decision, but I claim that on the Third Reading we should again be able to state our views, and that every Member affected should be given reasonable notice. I hope, in view of the fact that a large number of Members have been disfranchised in this way, that we shall adjourn this Debate and have it at a time when every Member interested can be present.
§ Mr. HANNON
May I ask my hon. Friends opposite not to press this Motion? On the occasion of the Second Reading, there was the fullest opportunity given to hon. Members opposite to 2632 criticise this Bill, which they did, in no uncertain fashion, and to express their views on the evils that were to follow if this most admirable scheme of electricity distribution in this part of Scotland were passed by this House. I submit that, in spite of my deep personal respect for the hon. Members opposite, they are very near to an abuse of the practice of this House in moving the adjournment on an occasion of this kind, and I hope the House will respond to the appeal made by the Chairman of Ways and Means and by my hon. Friend who was Chairman of the Committee upstairs, which Committee gave the fullest and most careful consideration to this Bill. After what transpired in this House on the occasion of the Second Reading, and what took place in Committee upstairs, and in view of the facilities offered to hon. Members opposite to make themselves familiar with the whole proceedings of the Committee upstairs—I think it would be an insult to the intelligence of many of my hon. Friends over there to accuse them of not keeping in contact with the proceedings of the Committee—I submit that the House ought not to accept the Motion for the Adjournment, but ought to proceed to give the Third Reading to this Bill.
§ Sir J. NALL
It was my duty to preside over the Committee upstairs dealing with this Bill and with the Lanarkshire Hydro-Electric Power Bill, and if it will be of any assistance, may I say that this particular Bill was not amended by the Committee? It was very fully heard, at some length, but, generally speaking, the proceedings on the Clyde Valley Bill were not unduly protracted, and I think it my duty to inform the House that this Bill is practically the same Bill as was considered on Second Reading.
§ The LORD PRIVY SEAL (Mr. Clynes)
I shall regret it if my hon. Friends behind me cannot see their way to follow the advice which has been tendered to them, and to observe the appeals which have been made. It appears to those of us who have not closely followed the Bill that this consideration of it cannot be regarded as a surprise, in view of the lengthy—
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
May I interrupt my right hon. Friend? I am myself very deeply interested in this Bill, and 2633 I only got word to-night, very late, that it was coming on. I did not intend to be present, and I am sure many of my colleagues in Scotland would have been present if they had known it was to be taken.
§ Mr. CLYNES
I was not alluding to this moment, but to the past treatment of the Bill, and to the consideration which it received on Second Reading and in Committee. Therefore, I cannot agree that Members have not had an opportunity of applying their minds to the subject. If my hon. Friends persist in dividing the House on the Motion to adjourn the Debate, I have to announce that, in accordance with Parliamentary custom, it will be the duty of the Government to support the Chairman of Ways and Means.
§ Mr. FERGUSON
I am sorry for the lack of sportsmanship on the benches opposite. On the Second Reading of this Bill the Labour Members were beaten by a substantial majority. The Bill is greatly in the interests of the working classes of the county of Lanark, which is the feeder of Glasgow. It was the county of Lanark that made Glasgow.
The hon. Member need not be anxious. I am listening very carefully to see whether the hon. Member who is speaking goes beyond the Motion before the House.
§ Mr. CLIMIE
What do you mean by that? [HON. MEMBEBS: "Order!"] You be quiet. Do not you insult me, Mr. Deputy-Speaker.
The hon. Member must not be guilty of any disrespectful conduct to the Chair, and I call on him to withdraw.
§ Mr. CLIMIE
I certainly would be the last man in the House to use disrespectful language to the Deputy-Speaker—[HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw!"]—but I certainly thought the Deputy-Speaker insulted me.
It is very disrespectful to speak of the Chair having insulted any hon. Member. The hon. Member must withdraw, and I order him to do so.
I cannot admit any discussion on that. Will the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Climie) please withdraw?
I cannot listen to any arguments on that question. I call on the hon. Member to withdraw.
§ Mr. CLIMIE
At the request of the Deputy-Speaker, I certainly withdraw any remark that was intended as an insult to him. I certainly did not intend any remark that I made as an insult to him, and I regret that he seemed to think I used any remark that was intended as an insult.
§ Mr. B. SMITH
With all due deference to yourself, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, but sitting here and hearing what I, at least, thought to be a facetious remark applied from the Chairman to the hon. Member—I do not say it was used in any insulting sense—
The hon. Member is doing what I told him he could not do. He is arguing with the Chair.
§ Question put, "That the Debate be now adjourned."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 62; Noes, 147.2635
|Division No. 190.]||AYES.||[8.45 p.m.|
|Baker, Walter||Compton, Joseph||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Dickson, T.||Harbison, Thomas James S.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Egan, W. H.||Harris, John (Hackney, North)|
|Church, Major A. G.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Harris, Percy A.|
|Clarke, A.||Gillett, George M.||Hastings, Somerville (Reading)|
|Climie, R.||Greenall, T.||Haycock, A. W.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Oliver, George Harold||Stamford, T. W.|
|Healy, Cahir||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Hudson, J. H.||Potts, John S.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Jewson, Dorothea||Pringle, W. M. R.||Thurtle, E.|
|Johnston, Thomas (Stirling)||Raffan, P. W.||Viant, S. P.|
|Jonas, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Raynes, W. R.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Lansbury, George||Richardson, R, (Houghton-le-Spring)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Law, A.||Romeril, H. G.||Whiteley, W,|
|Lawrence, Susan (East Ham, North)||Rose, Frank H.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|McEntee, V. L.||Scrymgeour, E.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Mackinder, W.||Scurr, John||Windsor, Walter|
|March, S.||Seely, H. M. (Norfolk, Eastern)||Wright, W.|
|Middleton, G.||Sexton, James|
|Mills, J. E.||Sherwood, George Henry||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Nichol, Robert||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Mr. Maxton and Mr. Buchanan.|
|Nixon, H.||Spence, R.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Perry, S. F.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Harvey,C. M.B.(Aberd'n & Kincardne)||Phillipps, Vivian|
|Alstead, R.||Harvey, T. E. (Dewsbury)||Raffety, F. W.|
|Amnion, Charles George||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Raine, W.|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Rathbone, Hugh H.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Hirst, G. H.||Rawson, Alfred Cooper|
|Barclay, R. Noton||Hobhouse, A. L.||Rea, W. Russell|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St.Marylebone)||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Rentoul, G. S.|
|Becker, Harry||Hood, Sir Joseph||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F, O.(W.Bromwich)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hope, Rt. Hon. J. F. (Sheffield, C.)||Robertson, T. A.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hore-Belisha, Major Leslie||Robinson, S. W. (Essex, Chelmsford)|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Col. C, K.||Roundell, Colonel R. F.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Hughes, Collingwood||Royle, C.|
|Brown, A. E. (Warwick, Rugby)||Huntingfield, Lord||Rudkin, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. C.|
|Burnle, Major J. (Bootle)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. (Bradford,E.)||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Cape, Thomas||Jowitt, W. A. (The Hartlepools)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Cassels, J. D.||Kay, Sir R. Newbald||Simpson, J. Hope|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Kedward, R. M.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ.,Belfst)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Kenyon, Barnet||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Clayton, G. C.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Laverack, F. J.||Spero, Dr. G. E.|
|Comyns-Carr, A. S.||Leach, w.||Starmer, Sir Charles|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Lee, F.||Stranger, Innes Harold|
|Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.||Livingstone, A. M.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lord, Walter Greaves-||Sutcliffe, T.|
|Deans, Richard Starry||Lorimer, H. D.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.|
|Dodds, S. R.||Loverseed, J. F.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Lowth, T.||Thompson, Piers G. (Torquay)|
|Dukes, C.||Lumley, L. R.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Duncan, C.||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro,W.)|
|Dunn, J. Freeman||M'Connell, Thomas E.||Thornton, Maxwell R.|
|Edwards, G. (Norfolk, Southern)||McLean, Major A.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Edwards, John H. (Accrington)||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Vivian, H.|
|Ferguson, H.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Fletcher, Lieut.Com. R. T. H.||Mansel, Sir Courtenay||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Foot, Isaac||Martin, W. H. (Dumbarton)||Webb, Lieut.-Col. Sir H. (Cardiff, E.)|
|Franklin, L. B.||Mitchell, R. M.(Perth & Kinross,Perth)||Wells, S. R.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Wignall, James|
|Gates, Percy||Moles, Thomas||Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Morris, R. H.||Williams, Lt.-Col. T.S.B.(Kenningtn.)|
|Gorman, William||Murray, Robert||Wintringham, Margaret|
|Gosling, Harry||Nall, Lieut-Colonel Sir Joseph||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Naylor, T. E.||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Groves, T.||Palmer, E. T.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Mr. Frederick Hall and Mr. Warne.|
§ Main Question again proposed.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I beg to move to leave out the word "now" and at the end of the Question to add the words, "upon this day three months."
On the last occasion that this Bill was before the House we were told that in Committee we should be able to get the improvements that were necessary. To- 2636 night the Chairman of the Committee has already informed us that the Bill has come back to us without any change whatsoever. There has been no Amendment to the Bill. The result of the passing of this Bill into law will be that this company will be able to stand in the way of all the municipal undertakings either in Glasgow or Kilmarnock, and when these districts are able to give a public service of 2637 electrical power this company will come in and claim the rights which are now being given to it by Parliament. The proceedings in connection with this Measure do not justify the House in passing the Bill It is said that the Bill will mean the employment of a great many people; it will mean the employment of many thousands of men in connection with the projected developments of the company. I submit that there are very few developments contemplated by the company. What the company is contemplating is the possession of further powers. Already we have had instances of how they abuse the position in which they have been placed and take an unfair toll of the community they are supposed to serve.
In the last Debate there was a long discussion as to the poles that had been set up in Gleniffer Braes. The facts are that this electrical power company, when they discovered that the Kilmarnock Corporation were going to supply electrical power to a certain area, pointed out that they had already secured powers over a certain part of the area, and they said to the Kilmarnock Corporation, "You may go on supplying the electric power, but when you are doing it, it means that you will have to pay us a commission on all the power that you supply in that area." By passing this Measure we shall enlarge the area in which this company is to be allowed to carry out, not only its daylight robbery, as one hon. Member suggested, but it night robbery. Whenever we want to use electric power, if another company are supplying it, these people want to have an opportunity of saying that it comes within an area that was agreed upon by Parliament. Hon. Members know very little about this Measure. The majority of the members of the Committee who considered the matter upstairs know very little about Scotland. Practically all the Scottish Members are opposed to the passing of this Measure. Hon. Members do not know the evidence which was given before the Committee, and should not pass this Measure before they have an opportunity of considering what may be said for or against it.
I must ask the hon. Member not to go back upon the arguments which were used in support of the Motion for the Adjournment of the Debate.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
On that ruling may I not submit, as an argument against the Third Reading of the Bill, the fact that we have not got sufficient information. It may be that the House decided that-while we have not got this Report yet it should go on with the consideration of the Measure, and that the facts might be brought out, but I am simply trying to put as an argument against the Third Reading of the Bill the fact that we have not got sufficient information.
I would not object to the hon. Member saying that that was one of his reasons, but he cannot argue the matter when we have already dealt with it on the Motion for the Adjournment of the Debate.
I have already ruled that the hon. Member must not argue the matter. He can simply mention this as one of his reasons, but he must not argue it further.
§ 9.0 P.M.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Of course, I submit to your ruling on this matter. It seems to me that this company can afford to wait some time before it gets this Measure through the House of Commons. There are very many reasons why the public should be protected against any more of those companies digging themselves into other areas unless they are going to perform this useful public service in these areas. Another point is the attitude which the company have taken up during the whole of they discussions with regard to the giving of the interested people, such as the Corporation of Glasgow, the powers that they formerly possessed in connection with this matter. During the discussion on the Second Reading it was brought home to my mind, from the speeches that were made from the other side, that we were going to get all those provisions included, and now it comes back from this Committee, who know very little about Scottish conditions and about the areas concerned, without being changed. In view of the fact that the House does not know the circumstances and that Scottish opinion is against the Measure, and in view of the development of electrical power in the future in our country I move this Amendment.
§ Mr. NICHOL
I beg to second the Amendment.
With regard to the objection raised by the hon. Member that the proceedings in the Committee were not available, personally through the courtesy of one of the members of the Committee I received about a half hour ago a copy of the proceedings on one or two of the days, but, in spite of having that small amount of information, I find it impossible to get a complete survey of the evidence that was produced in the Committee upstairs. This Bill affects an area of four counties, the whole of the industrial Midlands of Scotland, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, part of Stirlingshire, and practically the whole of Dumbartonshire, and it is a curious state of affairs that the company promoting this Measure should not take steps to find out the views of a single Member of the House of Commons sitting for any part of the area. I think that these include about 30 Members, or nearly half the membership for the whole of Scotland, and it is an extraordinary thing that the promoters of a Bill covering such an extensive area should not, as a mere; question of public right, have made some sort of approach to some group at least of these Members who are vitally interested in the area affected by this Bill, rather than to leave the promotion of the Bill to their trade friends sitting for constituencies in other parts of the country. If there were no other objection to the Bill that in itself would be sufficiently strong to make me at least support the rejection of the Third Reading just as I objected to the Second Reading.
On the Second Reading we had statements made to the effect that the Bill would be inquired into before a Committee. Having gone through the proceedings of that Committee, as far as I could obtain them, even from the proceedings of two days which I was able to obtain after some trouble, while the promoters suggested on Second Reading that they would look into the matter, they never met the facts that were put forward against the Bill on the Second Reading, and there was no great endeavour made to find out the substance of the facts. One of the agents came to me and asked me for the name and address of one of the gentlemen who had given me information. I took the trouble to have that gentleman 2640 here in the House of Commons under the Gallery on the night of the Second Reading Debate, and I informed the promoters of the Bill that he was there. None of them approached me to obtain the information, although they could get it at first hand. The evidence I have here is in a mixed state. You will not get the evidence on that point on the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Bill, but you will find it in the second day's proceedings of the Lanarkshire Hydro-Electric Power Bill; you find the evidence produced on the one Bill discussed in Committee on the other Bill. It was only by the merest accident that the matter was brought to my notice at all. It was brought to my notice because I was reported to have made an extraordinary statement on page 742 of the Hydro-Electric Power Bill Report. But that really relates to a piece of evidence I produced against the Clyde Valley Bill. I am quoted upstairs as having said the exact opposite of what I said in the House of Commons. I object to misquotations of that character. What I refer to is the following:—The hon. Member went on to say that instead of supplying electricity at the price stated by the hon. Member, the smaller types of power which this company are now supplying are supplied by the Glasgow Corporation at 625 of a penny.I never said that at all in this House on the Second Reading. What I did say on the Second Reading was, this:The supply of large quantities of electricity in bulk was supplied at 625 of a penny in Glasgow by the corporation.What I said about the small users was this: I gave the actual Glasgow figures for the summer period, the first 11 units at 4d. per unit and subsequent units at 1d. per unit to the smaller users. Those statements are in the OFFICIAL REPORT. Yet what I say on the Second Reading of one Bill is hauled out by the agents as being in favour of the company on another Bill. Another matter is this:The hon. Member went on to say that not long ago a gentleman in the main street of Renfrew asked this company to quote for a supply of electric light, and he was informed that the minimum price would be £5 per annum.Does the Strathclyde Company own the Order for the Borough of Renfrew? I think I am right in saying "yes." The high charge is said to be made by the Strathclyde Supply Company. When I 2641 come to find out from the Stock Exchange Year Book what the Strathclyde Company is, I discover that this company was absorbed entirely by the Clyde Valley Company, and that the £89,000 of its shares are held entirely by the Clyde Valley Company. That is worse than sharp practice so far as the giving of evidence upstairs is concerned. I appeal to the Chairman of the Committee opposite. It did not come out in the evidence that the Strathclyde Company is simply another name for the Clyde Valley Company.
§ Sir J. NALL
It was made quite clear in the Committee that the Strathclyde Company is simply a subsidiary of the Clyde Valley Company.
§ Mr. NICHOL
It is not in the report of the Committee. At any rate, I do not find it in the report. Of course, I accept the hon. and gallant Gentleman's statement. The evidence on the page which I am reading does not make it at all clear.
§ Mr. NICHOL
Page 72 of the second day's proceedings on the Lanarkshire Hydro-Electric Power Bill, not the Bill which we are discussing. To find out the evidence given on any Bill you have to examine the evidence given on all the Bills discussed by that Committee. My point was that the limit which was there to protect the company is being used in this particular district by the subsidiary company in order to put up a barrier which the small user cannot in any way face. That is a serious defect in the Bill. I do not want to deal with other parts of the evidence, but I wish to refer to the Schedule of the Bill. One of the publications of the supporters of the Bill has a particular interest for the Ministry of Transport and for the Government. It is said that this Bill is in no way a barrier to any of the Government schemes of nationalisation; that it does not extend any of the powers of the company so far as the duration of time was concerned, although it made a geographical extension of their powers to certain parishes of Lanarkshire. In studying the powers of the company as it stands, I notice in the Stock Exchange Year Book for the present year the following:The powers of this company are unlimited in duration and the undertaking is not liable to be purchased by the local authorities at any time.2642 Having come forward, as they did, in a prospectus sent to every Member of Parliament, asking for support, it is rather naive to suggest that this is in no way likely to conflict with any Government schemes for the organisation of electricity supply because there is no limit of time about it. The company is in the very hopeful position of being absolutely unlimited in that respect under these Bills. There is no question of a compromise between 1971 and 1931 as in the case of the London Electricity Bills, because the company's powers go on in perpetuity. Therefore we have not anything to say on that subject. I put that forward as a type of the half truth with which I have been continually faced as far as the evidence produced by this particular company is concerned. In the evidence I cannot discover any vague resemblance to the picture drawn by the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. G. Balfour) on the Second Heading. He pictured this company as a fairy godmother laying electric cables and mains in unknown and undeveloped districts. I know some undeveloped districts were covered in this way, but I think this company has long since passed the fairy godmother stage. The hon. Member for North Lanark (Mr. Sullivan) gave an instance during the Second Reading Debate of the embargo which the company placed on the supply of electricity to a coal pit. The owner of the pit had to put down a £5,000 transformer as a first instalment before they would allow him to have any power at all. I have given instances in relation to smaller users, and I have shown how the powers given by this House in 1901 have been employed by the company, or by their subsidiary companies—it is all the same to the consumer—until they have reached the stage where, instead of being a fairy godmother, the company is really an incubus on four of the richest counties in Scotland. I cannot discover in the evidence any reference to that part of the Schedule where the company is asking for a limit of 8d. per unit, but I notice that one of the communications sent out to Members of the House of Commons, namely, the statement issued on behalf of the promoters in support of the Third Reading, contains the following:The rates charged by the company are exceptionally low, the average over all being 1.013 of a penny per unit.2643 If the company are able to supply at that rate, surely there is no necessity for putting into the Schedule of the Bill a so-called protecting price of 8d. per unit. I was told this was the practice in all Electricity Bills. I admit it is the practice to insert a protecting figure, but I object to such a high protecting figure. There were Bills in which the figure was 2d. and I think on the Hydro-Electric Bill, dealing with the sale of electricity in bulk, the limiting price for the company was changed from 2½d. down to 1¼d.
§ Sir J. NALL
I think it would be unfortunate if wrong figures were used. Several prices were mentioned in the Hydro-Electric Bill which it is not possible to debate on this Bill, but the figures just mentioned are not the figures.
§ Mr. CLIMIE
If my memory serves me aright, the figures in the Hydro-Electric Bill were changed from 2½d. to 1¼d., and then reduced from 1¼d. to 1d., that being the ultimate figure.
§ Sir J. NALL
That is what is called the standard price in the Hydro-Electric Bill and not the price in the Schedule, which under one head was 3d. and was reduced to 1½d., and under another head was 2d. and was reduced to 1d. Under still another the standard price of 2½d. was reduced to 1d., but these all relate to bulk supplies, and the Schedule to which the hon. Member refers relates to a lighting supply.
§ Mr. N1CH0L
The so-called standard or protecting prices in Electricity Bills differ under modern practice. In 1900 it would have been fair, even for a bulk supply, to ask for a protecting price of 2½d. or 3d., but the changed conditions are recognised by the Committee; it is recognised that such a price is absurdly high, and they have reduced it. However, I am not quarrelling about the figure, which may be 1d. or 1¼d. I suggested during the Second Heading Debate that we would be prepared to consider the Bill if the so-called standard or protecting price were reduced from 8d. to 4d., but that point seems to have been ignored, and the Schedule of the Bill stands unamended. It might have been possible for some person, who was 2644 prepared to go to the expense, to lay a petition, but it would have been very difficult to do so in the very limited time available. Only last week we were discussing the Second Beading, and there has been a great deal of undue haste. In the evidence on the other Bill, which deals with this point, it was not denied that the protecting price was used as a barrier to the use of electricity. I gave an instance of an office which could be lit by gas for £2, but £5 a year was the lowest at which it was possible to get an electricity supply, and the only attempt at evidence on that point was to suggest that the blame, if any, lay with the subsidiary supply company, which was owned by the main company. I do not think that meets the point at all.
Another point which apparently has not been taken into consideration is the very high charge made by this private electricity enterprise for its capital. It is provided that any preference shares created under the powers of this Measure are to be at a rate, not exceeding £8 per cent, per annum. The ordinary dividend of the company is now 8 per cent, and its preference shares on this basis are going to be 8 per cent. I suggest that the company could not raise this capital on the old 6 per cent, at Which they previously got some of their preference shares. Now they are asking for powers for an extra £1,000,000. An extra £1,000,000 of capital at the cheapest rate at which this company is likely to raise it is going to cost 3½ per cent, more than the local authorities of this area can place the money at. It is a very serious proposition. Three and a half per cent, on £1,000,000 is a very big charge. I am not going into the question of interest and interest free, with Which we in Glasgow, so far as housing is concerned, have been very familiar for the last 12 years. Even from the point of view of private enterprise, every company takes into consideration how cheaply it can get the capital for any undertaking. I am not a very good arithmetician. Some Members below the Gangway are not very good arithmeticians either. I have a whisper that 3£ per cent, on £1,000,000 is £35,000,000, but I have worked it out at £35,000. That is a very large charge to be met in any one year. Taking into consideration the capital already existing of this company, some at 6 and 7 and some 8 per cent., and 2645 the ordinary shares which bear 8 per cent., the total capital of this company with the extra £1,000,000 will be round about £3,500,000.
We are going to have on this, if my calculation made very rapidly is correct, and I am open to correction, as an extra charge to this area for its electricity supply; an annual charge for interest alone of something over £120,000 a year. I suggest that that is a case which has not been met in Committee. Because of the very high price that a company of this nature has to pay if it goes on to the ordinary money market to get additional capital, I would suggest to the Minister of Transport that what he should aim at is a Bill which would put the whole of this area under a joint electricity board which would be run by the Glasgow corporation. I will give one reason for that. This will clear up one of the points which caused some difficulty on the Second Reading Debate. We have in Ayrshire a joint electricity board of this character formed by the Kilmarnock Town Council and the county council and the Ayr Burghs. This joint electricity hoard came into conflict with the Clyde Valley Electrical Company in so far as the town of Paisley is concerned. That town, situated in the middle of Renfrewshire, and in the middle of my own constituency, did not come within the original scope of the 1901 Bill of the Clyde Valley Company. Paisley applied to the company and to the joint electricity board for Ayrshire for terms as to a supply of electricity and they got much better terms from the local authority joint board for Ayrshire. But when they tried to get the electrical current from the power station of Kilmarnock, they were faced with the proposition that it had to come through an area—the landward district of Renfrewshire—for which the Clyde Valley Electrical Company had a monopoly by the 1901 Act. It was for a way-leave, not for the supply of current, through their territory, from Kilmarnock to Paisley, that the supply line over the Gleniffer Braes was erected. Again we have an instance of the company coming in and ma-king itself responsible for that disfiguring line. They insisted on the line on which it was to come going over the uninhabited but beautiful Gleniffer Braes instead of bringing it round the valley.
§ Mr. NICHOL
The hon. Member was not right, because he will discover that he thoroughly mixed up the question of the Ayr County Council.
I think this Debate is getting too wide. Hon. Members must please restrict themselves to the actual provisions in the Bill. The Third Reading is not so wide as the Second Reading. We must deal with the Bill itself.
§ Mr. NICHOL
I was only suggesting, as far as the Government were concerned, that here was an alternative to extending the powers of these private companies in this particular area and suggesting a joint board, and I simply was using the Ayrshire illustration as an example which the Government might consider so far as the four counties in the Clyde Valley were concerned. I admit that there may be a geographical illusion and disillusion that may have occurred on both sides on the Second Reading. This is not the time for the Government to consider extending this company's powers, even to the extent of another £1,000,000. That £1,000,000 will in the end have to be compensated by th6 Government when they come to any general scheme. I do not believe in the struggle for cheap power that this country is going to be faced with as against other industrial countries of the world. I do not believe we can go on perpetually basing our power supply on the supposition that 8 per cent. is the cheapest price we can pay for our capital expenditure. I do not believe that is a feasible proposition if this country is to keep its end tip against other countries. I believe that with coal as the prime factor, this country should become an easy competitor so far as cheap power is concerned, but it will never be so unless it uses every opportunity of getting its capital expenditure at the very lowest amount. I suggest that it would be a good proposition for the Government to consider whether they should not postpone this Bill, which is really an inheritance from the last Government. It was promoted before the General Election, which was so disastrous to the hon. Gentlemen opposite, and my friends suggest that they, 2647 as representatives of capital, had too much sense to put it through—I suggest that it is one of those inheritances that is usually damnosa. I understand that Latin form is quite in order in the House. I suggest to the Government it would be in line with the policy of the Labour party if, instead of supporting this particular Measure, they would take into hand the considerations set forward that this is not a basis on which we can economically and efficiently develop the electrical power of this country and that it would be in the interest of this country if this Bill, instead of being passed to-night, and another obstacle put in the way of a real scheme, were postponed and read the Third time this day three months.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
If this question of electricity only concerned Scotland, I should feel very much inclined not to take any part in the discussion, but electricity for this island is something that concerns the whole country. It is certain that within a short period some big national schemes will be forthcoming for dealing with electricity in a national manner. The right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) is said to be following the light and has produced with some assistance a pamphlet or book on the subject—
It is not in order to discuss general questions on the Third Reading of a Bill. The hon. Member may advance reasons why the Bill should be rejected for what it actually contains, but he cannot argue on general lines.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I think I shall be able to show the connection between what I was saying and what the Bill contains. I started by telling the House that this question of electricity was a national one, and no doubt the Government and right hon. Gentlemen below the Gangway were preparing a big national scheme for dealing with the subject. This Bill proposes to give a certain company power to raise £1,000,000 more capital, and my argument is that the people supplying this capital will eventually come to us for compensation, because they will not be able to earn dividends on the money they are providing.
That might be relevant to the point of this particular Bill, but the hon. Member must argue on what is in the Bill itself.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Then I will read what is in the Bill. These are the words:Whereas it is expedient that the company should, be empowered to raise additional capital and that they should, in respect of such additional capital, be empowered to raise money by borrowing or by the creation and issue of debentures or debenture stock, and that the powers of the company in respect of the raising of money should be enlarged and extended as by the Act, provided:And then it goes on to provide, in Clause 5, thatthe company may from time to time raise additional capital not exceeding in the whole £1,000,000 nominal capital by the creation and issue at their option of new ordinary shares, preferred ordinary shares, deferred ordinary shares, or preference shares of £1 each, or wholly or partially by any one or more of these modes respectively, and they may attach to any such capital such rights, liabilities, privileges and preferences as they think fit. Provided always (a) that no right shall thereby he conferred upon the holders of ordinary shares to convert the same into preference shares; and (b) that any new shares issued shall not have right to participate in the special reserve funds which have already been established (under various Sub-sections) for the benefit of the preference shares referred to in the Sub-sections respectively without the consent of the holders of such preference shares.
§ Major BURNIE
Is it not in order to read this, seeing that it is impossible to get a copy of the Bill in the Vote Office?
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I was trying to establish the relationship of my argument to something in the Bill. Here is a Bill, copies of which cannot be obtained in the Vote Office, and hon. Members are asked to vote on it and to decide a thing of which, practically, they know nothing. We are not allowed to protest any more on that point, or I should have started ray speech with a protest. The point I am trying to establish, with your permission, is the relevancy of my arguments to what is actually contained in the Bill. The real objection I have to this Bill is that the country is going to give a vested 2649 interest in these electric undertakings, and if there is a national scheme brought forward for dealing with electricity every one of these persons who are going to be allowed to subscribe this new capital will be putting in a very high claim for compensation because they are not going to be allowed to secure the profits promised them. At this time of the day this House ought not, by giving a Third Reading to this Bill, to create this vested interest.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Surely when the Government told us only three or four days ago, through the mouth of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that they were preparing a national scheme for dealing with electricity, we are entitled to use that as an argument why more vested interests should not be set up for another Government to have to sweep away when they come to deal with this question. It has nothing to do with private Bills in the ordinary sense. It has only to do with this particular private Bill in connection with the definite promise of the Government to introduce further legislation on the subject. The point I want to make, further, is that we in London have very bitter experience of the manner in which this sort of thing is operated.
§ Viscount CURZON
On a point of Order. Is the hon. Member entitled to deal with the case of London on this Bill?
§ Mr. SPEAKER
On the discussion of this Bill, which has been read a Second time and sent to a Committee, and now stands for Third Reading, I do not think the hon. Gentleman is entitled to go into these big questions of policy.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
With very great respect, surely when the Bill comes to us for Third Reading we have a right to say why we object to the Bill being read a Third time? I have heard all kinds of Bills discussed in this House, and I have heard on the First, Second, and Third Readings the same speeches on both sides on each separate occasion. I am not going to challenge your ruling, Sir, but I say that I think this is an example of a vested interest taking this House, as it 2650 Were, be the throat at the end of the Session, and thrusting this Bill down its throat. It is indecent the haste with which this Bill has been rushed through. The experience of London proves that these great corporations, when they know that the Government are going to deal with a certain matter, always take good care to look after the vested interests they have at stake. They did it in the case of the water companies, and in the case of the dock companies, and London has to pay through the nose.
§ Viscount CURZON
Is the hon. Gentleman in order in repeatedly referring to the London water and electricity supplies?
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I never mentioned London electricity. I mentioned the dock companies and the water companies which we have already had to buy out, and London has had to pay very heavily.
§ Viscount CURZON
On a point of Order. Mr. Deputy-Speaker ruled out just now that the hon. Member was not in order in referring to anything that was not specified in this Bill.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I have got in my mind a long speech on that subject, but, in deference to your ruling, Sir, I am holding it over for another occasion. To come back to the Bill. Here is a Clause which, I think, ought not to be in a Bill of this kind:The company may within the area of supply for the purpose of supplying any premises with electricity lay down take up alter relay or renew in across or along any street not repairable by the local authority such mains wires and apparatus as may be requisite or proper for furnishing a supply in such street or in the neighbourhood thereof and the provisions of the Electricity (Supply) Acts, 1882 to 1922, and of the Schedule to the Electric Lighting (Clauses) Act, 1899, and of the existing Acts so far as they are applicable for the purposes of this Section shall extend and apply mutatis mutandis to and for the purposes of this Section as if all such streets had been specified in this Act.I understood hon. Gentlemen and right hon. Gentleman opposite were the upholders of private property and private rights. But here power is given to a company, whether the owners care for it or not, to tear up a street and make such arrangements in putting down an electri- 2651 city supply as they please, and interfere with private rights. Whenever we propose to interfere with private rights hon. Gentlemen are on their hind legs protesting. I do not think any private company should have such powers as are given here. When you get to the Schedule to the Bill, I think it perfectly monstrous that a company should have a minimum price of 8d. per unit. Section 1 of the Schedule says:Where the company charge any consumer by the actual amount of energy supplied to him they shall be entitled to charge him at the following rates per quarter:—I think that is a pretty stiff price to pay, and I expect it will be argued that this is for lighting, and that there is another Bill to deal with bulk supply. I am one who thinks that bulk supply and private supply should be averaged, and done by an authority, or, if you have a company, by one company, because in the district I come from we are able to supply private people ever so much cheaper, because we supply in bulk as well as to the private consumer, and in this case it seems to me the people in this particular area are really going to be done very badly by having two companies dealing with this matter, which of course penalises the poor people. That is nothing unusual. There is another Section, namely, Section 3 of the Schedule, which I think very bad indeed, under which a service rental, payable in advance, is charged of £4 per annum. The Section reads thus:
- (a) In respect of the quarters ending 31st March and 31st December—For any amount up to 15 units, 10s., and for each unit over 15 units, 8d.
- (b) In respect of the quarters ending 30th June and 30th September—For any amount up to 10 units, 6s. 8d., and for each unit over 10 units, 8d."A service rental charge payable in advance of £4 per annum for any dwelling-house containing not more than three apartments with a further charge at the rate of £1 per annum for each additional apartment and in addition a sum of 3d. per unit for all units supplied. Provided that the sum so charged to an individual consumer shall not in any calendar year exceed 8d. per unit supplied.For the purpose of this Section the word 'apartment' shall or shall be deemed to include all apartments in or connected with a dwelling-house but shall not include passages landings cellars cloakrooms bathrooms or lavatories. Any domestic offices or outside buildings may be included or excluded according to the use of electricity proposed to be made therein.2652 I say that that Section ought to go out of the Bill. I think it perfectly monstrous to say to poor people that they must put down £4 before they are allowed to have any electricity.
§ Sir J. NALL
That particular Section says quite distinctly, provided the charge does not come to more than 8d. per unit supplied.
§ Sir J. NALL
The hon. Gentleman went on to say that the company will not give a supply unless they set first of all, £4 put down. The Committee went into this. The £4 is only in the case of a large supply, and that charge cannot exceed 8d. per unit.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
The charge does not exceed 8d. per unit per year! One knows that. I read it out. Here is what it says:The people who want a large supply—What do you mean by a large supply?A service rental charge payable in advance of £4 per annum for any dwelling-house containing not more than three apartments—I do not consider that that is a big house. I do not consider that this would be a large supply, especially when you leave out the stairway and passages, bath-room, lavatory, cloak-room and all the rest of it. I want to put it to the hon. and gallant Member opposite that this would rule out nearly every one of his constituents.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Yes, it would. Every one of the poor constituents that the hon. and gallant Gentleman represents in this House. I repeat that to call upon these people to pay about £4 in advance is too much. I think that to say that you may or may not exclude the light from the various places—which I will not detain the House to read again—to prevent people taking light there is perfectly disgusting and disgraceful. I hope the House will just remember that there is such a thing as watered stock, which means putting too much money into a concern, knowing that the Government or the municipality will be obliged to buy it up in a very short time. That is one reason 2653 why this Bill should be rejected. But the main reason is that it is not going to give a supply to people whose interests this House ought to be foremost in defending. I am one of those fortunate people that have electricity in my home. In our district we are putting through, out of the Unemployment Grants Committee grants, the cables of a municipal supply down the poorest streets, and we are going to use the profits we make out of our undertakings to wire the poorest houses in the borough. Because we know that this company will do no such thing, but will have first to earn dividends on this nearly £3,000,000 capital, which dividends will be nearly double what the municipalities and the county corporation can borrow money for—I am astounded that at this time of day this House, at the end of a Session like this, should allow the creation of monopolists; that Members should allow these to take them by the throat and thrust this Bill down their throats!
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Sir J. NALL
It is the custom when an hon. Member has been on a Committee of a Private Bill, and that Bill is challenged in the House, and it is his duty, so far as lies in his power, to explain to the House the reasons which have caused the Committee to come to a decision contrary to what some critics in the House think to be right. In the case of this particular Bill there was a very lengthy Debate on the Second Reading, and, obviously, it was the duty of the Committee to be informed upon the points raised, upon what lines the company was conducting its existing business, and whether, in addition, it was a concern suitable to be trusted with the powers for which it asked. The further powers this company seeks under this Bill are simply explained. It has been suggested that its powers would be wide, far-reaching, and a monopoly. The Bill is prompted, so it was represented to the Committee—and so I believe it to be—and it was accepted by the Committee—by a desire to supply a public need. This company, under the Act of 1901, operates as electricity producers. The bulk of that production is sold either for power purposes or in bulk to other undertakers and distributors.
As to the distribution for power purposes there was no question before the Committee. No objection was raised in 2654 this House. All that we heard against the Bill was really limited to its conduct in business generally and particularly with reference to electric light, and the manner of the local supply. As was said by the Mover of the rejection of the Bill this Company operates over four counties. Not one of those counties has petitioned in this House against the Bill. On the contrary, they are all willing for it to pass. The Bill seeks to confirm the company—
§ Mr. MAXTON
Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman suggest that these counties have petitioned in favour of the Bill?
§ Sir J. NALL
I say they have not petitioned against it. We were told, particularly in the case of Lanark, that they desire the Bill should be passed in order that a public need might be met.
§ Mr. CLIMIE
What does the hon. and gallant Gentleman know about Lanark? The town clerk of Lanark was there as a witness, and was not in favour.
§ Sir J. NALL
Let me explain. The Clyde Valley Company carries the power up and down the area and sells it to the various district authorities of Lanark, as the House will hear later. They sell this power to the Clyde Company, and witnesses from the area said that they desired to buy their power from the Clyde Valley Company. The main object of this Bill is to enable the Clyde Valley Power Company to undertake the distribution of electricity for electric lighting purposes where it already supplies the power. Under its existing Act it is not allowed to sell electricity for lighting purposes. The company wishes to give a supply to the people who take power from them, and in all cases the current sold for lighting must not exceed 20 per cent. of what they sell for power. The situation, really, is this: That, in the main, the various authorities up and down the area take a supply in bulk from this company, and they supply in detail, as it were, in their own area. In every case where the local authority, or where some other company, has not undertaken to make a distribution in detail, the people of these localities are unable to get a supply for lighting purposes, although the mains of the company run past their houses.
2655 It was explained to the Committee upstairs that in some instances so acute has been the demand for powers for lighting purposes from the mains of this company that, with the approval of the local authority, the company had provisionally given a supply for lighting purposes to these people, this procedure, of course, to be legalised under this Bill. What can be more absurd than that in an area where neither the local authority nor any other distributor undertakes to supply electric light, although the power mains of this power company go through the district, the people cannot get a supply for lighting purposes? That is the reason why Clause 26 simply sets out that the company may supply light where they already have power to supply power subject to the consent of the local authority. They cannot move in this matter without the consent of the local authority, be it county council or other authority concerned. That fact alone is a sufficient answer to most of the points which have been raised, but I owe it to the House to go further into some of them.
It was alleged that this Bill would interfere with municipal undertakings, but no grounds for that allegation were forthcoming, and, indeed, so far from interfering with municipal undertakings, this very Clyde Valley Company takes a supply from Kilmarnock and transmits this energy over its mains to Paisley, where the current is handed over, and the Clyde Valley Company get absolutely no toll or commission either for providing the mains or transmitting the power. It simply does it as an act of grace because it forms part of the electrical undertaking in that part of the country. So far, in that respect, from interfering with municipalities, it actually assists, without any charge or revenue, the transmission of power from one borough to another along its own mains. A further point relating to interference with the municipal authorities is that, whilst it was alleged that this company was overcharging for supplies, charging, I think, as much as 8d. a unit, it was said, in fact, the charges for distribution in the area vary very considerably. I asked the promoters to produce, for the information of the Committee, some scale showing the charges made for light and power by the different 2656 distributing authorities in the area of the company. Naturally we wished to know what was the scale of charges made by the Strathclyde Company which, we were informed, is a subsidiary concern of the Clyde Valley Company. The Clyde Valley only supply in bulk. The Strathclyde Company is a local distributing company and the Strathclyde scale of charges o is the same as the Glasgow Corporation scale. The 1923 charges of the Strathclyde Company are for houses, 4.5d., the Coatbridge Company charges 7.7d., the Burgh of Hamilton 8d., the Burgh of Motherwell 5d., the Electric Supply of Dumbarton 6d., the Burgh of Paisley 6.5d., and the Kilmalcolm Company 11d. Those are the charges communicated to the Committee as being the maximum charges made in fact by various distributors in the area. The outstanding fact is simply that the Strathclyde subsidiary company charge the same rate as the Glasgow Corporation. I also asked to be informed with reference to the allegation of a sum of £5 being demanded in Renfrew. The company has been unable to trace any such application.
§ Mr. NICHOL
I brought a witness in connection with that point into the House on that night, and I have since supplied the agents with the gentleman's address and the company whose office it was.
§ Sir J. NALL
I think the hon. Member might have told a Member of the Committee that he had that information available because I, as Chairman of the Committee, told the promoters the allegation had been made and we desired to be informed how the circumstances had arisen and their statement to me is that they have been unable to trace the case and no such scale exists in their scale of charges.
§ Sir J. NALL
I really cannot give way. I have listened patiently to speeches from the other side. I have explained why this Bill is necessary to met the needs of people who are now without electric light, whose houses are near the present mains of supply anti who desire to be supplied, subject to the consent of the local authority. I think the Seconder of the Amendment referred to a similar point. There, again, I can only say the four counties concerned have not petitioned against the Bill, and in the 2657 case of Lanark the Town Clerk informed us they were anxious that it should pass. With regard to the charges in the Schedule, there again the schedule provides maximum charges and not the actual scale which will be in force.
§ Sir J. NALL
They have not. What the Committee had to consider was this: Has this company in fact conducted its operations in a reasonable manner? Is there any complaint as to the way in which it conducts its business? The answer is that there was no complaint. Their charges in bulk supply were below the Glasgow Corporation, and in detail supply they were similar to the Glasgow Corporation, and therefore it seems perfectly reasonable, in addition to their powers under the Act, that they should have this further power to supply for lighting purposes. The 8d. in the Schedule was in the mind of the Committee, and having regard to the table of charges made by other authorities, and by this company which had been handed into the Committee, we decided that, owing to the fact that already in one case 8d. was charged, and already in other cases the company itself charged below that figure, there was nothing unreasonable in passing the Schedule with the 8d. in it.
With regard to the capital issued considerable Amendments were made to the capital Clauses in the other House, and a very lengthy Memorandum pointed out that certain changes ought to be made in the original Bill. Those changes were made in the other House, therefore it was not necessary for the Committee of this House to make further changes, having regard to the fact that the Company was acting reasonably and supplying cheaply. As the Company say in their Memorandum the need for additional capital powers is urgent, as they have an immediate special expenditure of £600,000 to meet for new developments, and there is an annual charge of £200,000 a year to meet as well. Therefore it is necessary for their capital powers to be increased accordingly. They have already extended their supply very considerably, and consumers are being added in large numbers. The £4 which has been referred 2658 to has a proviso attached to it. It is no good saying you are going to charge—
§ Sir J. NALL
I have sat on Committees upstairs throughout this and the last Session, and many hon. Members have sat with me, and I hope I am not so stupid as to come down here and speak in support of a Bill without knowing what is in it. The company may charge £4 plus so much per unit provided that the total charge does not come to more than 8d. per unit, and if they do not use £4 worth of current—
§ Mr. LANSBURY
You do not understand my point. A person has to pay £4 down before he can get an electricity supply.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
Unless the hon. and gallant Member gives way, the hon. Member is not entitled to interrupt.
§ Sir J. NALL
It is an optional Clause, and it is arranged so that the terms of the paragraph may be applied. A man may live in a small house, and if he uses a large supply it would be to his advantage to go under one of these schemes. The whole thing is the proviso which says that the total cost must not be more than 8d. per unit.
§ Sir J. NALL
I am afraid I cannot convince the hon. Member opposite, but I appeal to other hon. Members who have sat on the Committee, and know something of these matters through their experience on local authorities.
The other point that was raised related to the laying of mains in private streets. That is a very well-known Clause in the Committee Rooms upstairs, and I think that every local authority in charge of an electricity supply has asked for similar powers this Session. There is absolutely no point about that. For the rest, the Bill simply enables an existing concern so to extend its operations as is urgently necessary in the public interest, the charges that may be made and the capital powers that are sought are in my view, and I venture to say in the view of Members of the Committee who sat with me, perfectly reasonable, and it is in the 2659 public interest that we should pass the Bill.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I do not wish to delay the House to any extent in this Third Reading Debate. I spoke in the Debate on the Second Reading, and, I think, stated the case for the people of that area not unfairly; and I want to believe that this House is assembled here discussing this Bill in the interests of the community, and not in the interest of the company promoting it. The main argument which I put before the House on the Second Reading was that this company has not developed the area which it already has by its existing powers, to the extent that would justify this House in granting to it a wider area of operations. We have a rich agricultural country, with mixed farming, but mainly dairying, and on a dairy farm the greatest use can be made of electrical power in butter-making, creamery work, cheese-making, and in other directions. There is practically no farm to which power is brought in the counties of Renfrew and Dumbarton, to which the old powers extend, without going right down to South Lanark, and the point which I have tried to urge upon this House, and which I tried unsuccessfully to get the House to appreciate on the Second Reading, was that there is an ample field for exploitation of electricity and profit-making in the old area, without extending into any new area.
I did not deal on the Second Reading with the financial arrangements in this Bill, and I shall be willing to be interrupted and corrected on this matter, because on matters of finance I plead guilty to being absolutely innocent and inexperienced. If I have read correctly the Bill and the statement on behalf of the promoters in support of the Third Reading of the Bill, which they have been able to issue to Members of this House, although the official information of the House is not yet to hand—and they could also tell us that the Bill stands for Third Reading on Monday, the 4th August, 1924, although the officials of my party were unable to inform me to that effect in the Whip that they issued of to-day's business; and, incidentally, Mr. Speaker, I would be very glad if on some occasion you could advise me as to how people who are interested in Measures can get them rushed through the House at light- 2660 ning speed, while those who have other points of interest find it impossible to get even five minutes in which to debate them—I find from the Bill and from the statement that the present capital of the company, counting in ordinary shares, 30,000 preference shares, and 50,000 second preference shares, amounts, if my addition and multiplication are correct, to 140,000 £10 shares, making a total share capital of £1,400,000 at the present moment.
Out of that £1,400,000, they have already expended £2,500,000! That is pretty clever. The Chancellor of the Exchequer should get in touch with these people, and find out how it is possible to spend £2,500,000 out of £1,400,000. This is a point at which I should be very glad of a little assistance from the financial experts, because this is a tip that would be useful to all of us in our private lives. This is a matter, I am quite sure, upon which the whole nation wants to be informed. This was a problem that used to bother Mr. Micawber, and he could not find the solution, but here the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Company has found the solution of how to spend £2,500,000 out of a total capital of £1,400,000. I put it to the House that the extra £1,000,000 capital is not for further development but to pay for developments that have already taken place. If it be the case that this extra £1,000,000 has been already spent, and that the purpose of the Bill is to make the company solvent, then all the arguments about unemployment, which get votes from simple Members below the Gangway in the belief that it will set up a stir in their constituencies, constituencies which produce electrical machinery, are quite illogical.
§ Mr. HANNON
This disquisition on finance is intensely interesting, but did my hon. Friend ever hear of any company in this country employing its accumulated reserves for a further expansion of business?
§ Mr. MAXTON
This company has been in existence for some years, and, presumably, has had some accumulated reserves, but, on the Second Reading, hon. Members opposite told us how this company had struggled on without profit for years and years.
§ Mr. BALFOUR
If the hon. Gentleman is really serious, I took the opportunity of speaking on Second Reading, 2661 and I said that my recollection was that the company had not been able to pay any dividend for five or six years. I found, in fact, that it was 11 years; in other words, one-half of the period of its existence. For the first two years it actually made not enough to pay expenses and had to raise funds to pay its expenses. It then got into a position where it was making a trading profit, but still it had not sufficient credit to be able to raise funds for the expansion of its business, so that for many years, even when it was making a considerable profit, it was still unable to give any money back to its shareholders, and it had to put the whole of the trading balance back into the business for the capital purposes of the company. That was the position of the company for the first 11 years of its existence, or one-half el the time it has existed, and I think hon. Members will agree that it did a great service to the community for 11 years, when nobody else would provide an electricity supply to the district.
§ Mr. MAXTON
This is what we are to understand now as a private company having had a rough time, and that it started with £1,400,000 capital. That is the total value. Everything that has been put into it, share capital, first debenture, second debenture, and so on. Is there something else that we do not know about?
§ Sir J, NALL
The Committee were informed that the loan capital amounts to £700,000, issued to the amount of £692,000.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Presumably borrowed on the strength of the capital subscribed. You do not get a loan of £600,000 unless you can show that you have some tangible possessions.
§ Mr. BALFOUR
I did not like to mention the loan capital, because I was not sure about it, but I had a recollection of something like £600,000 or £700,000 of loan capital to be added to the £1,400,000. Those figures have to be added together if you are to get at the total capital of the company.
§ Mr. MAXTON
This is a company that has been having a bad time. It started with £1,400,000, and it is now valued at £2,500,000. I presume that the difference 2662 represents profit. If I am not mistaken, this is a company which had its origin on the other side of the Atlantic, where they are alleged to be slicker than people on this side. This company has asked for £1,000,000 more capital.
§ Mr. MAXTON
You told me that before. There is not one company in this country, according to hon. Members opposite, that is not losing money every day. It is marvellous how they seem to survive, and how they can produce a statement like this when they apply to this House. They say: "This is a good company. It is a reputable company. This is a company that has done its work well in the past and has managed its finances well. This is a company that we can trust with further powers." We are asked to say that, in the opinion of this House, we regard this as a company worthy to be trusted with a responsible bit of national work. I want hon. Members opposite to tell me what is the great idea involved in breaking up £10 shares into £1 shares?
§ Mr. MAXTON
I thought that was the exact idea. Now is the time for the big men to make their get-away. Now is the time for getting the small subscribers. We are asked to make this House an agency of the Stock Exchange; a second-rate bucket shop; and to give to the people of this country the impression that this company is a sound financial concern in which small investors—people with a pound to spare—can safely invest their money. The poor widow who has saved up a few pounds—we hear about her always—is to be roped into this share capital. She could not get in at the beginning, and she is to come in now. This company is to be valued at £2,500,000. £1,000,000 of new capital is to be put in by small subscribers who know nothing about finance and who believe that this House is a House that protects the common people. We are going to give the company statutory powers, and tell the people of this country to hand their savings over to the pockets of these individuals. It is a fraud which I will not participate in. I have the greatest 2663 pleasure in supporting the Motion that this Bill be read a Second time on this day three months.
§ Mr. CLIMIE
I am not sure about the custom in this House. I was a member of the Select Committee that considered this Bill, along with the Lanarkshire Hydro-Electric Bill, upstairs. I listened carefully to the speeches made in the Debate on the Second Reading, and I remember hon. Members opposite saying that the Bill would go to the Committee upstairs and that all the objections made to it could be dealt with there, and the whole matter could be straightened out. I was appointed a member of that Committee, and I understood when going on the Committee that there would be an opportunity of amending the Bill. When I got on to the Committee I learned that the custom of the Committee is to consider only those Clauses that are being opposed, and not the whole Bill at all.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir J. NALL
On the contrary. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman does not wish to misrepresent my attitude as Chairman of the Committee. One of the first things which I did was to tell the promoters of the objections which had been raised and to ask them to supply those particulars about the charges that had been asked for.
§ Mr. CLIMIE
If my memory serves me aright, when counsel for the promoters started to open up this question the Chairman informed him—and he will find this in the shorthand notes—that the whole matter had been discussed in the Hydro-Electric Bill, and that the only thing which we needed to discuss were the Clauses that were being opposed.
§ Sir J. NALL
That course was adopted after we had approved of the Preamble. When the room was cleared I asked Members of the Committee—and the hon. Member was there—whether they wished to be informed particularly on any other Clause of the Bill, and every Member, including my hon. Friend opposite, said that he did not need any such information.
§ Mr. CLIMIE
I know that the hon. Member did say that. [Laughter.] I do not understand what the laughing means. All I want to say is that the Preamble to the Bill was approved without any Adjournment at all. However 2664 much I may be wrong in my impression from my first experience on a Select Committee, I want to say that there was no discussion at all on any of the Clauses of the Bill, other than those Clauses that were objected to by the Glasgow Corporation. No other Clauses were discussed.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I understand that the hon. Member was a member of the Committee, and he is entitled to state his view.
§ Mr. CLIMIE
Those were the impressions which I carried away from the Committee. I want to bring out points that have not been touched by the Chairman of the Select Committee, who made a speech on behalf of the Bill to-night. It will be remembered that the hon. and gallant Gentleman was very insistent in pointing out that the main purpose of the Bill was to give service to the citizens in four counties presently covered by the company. I suggest that that was not the main purpose of the Bill. If you look at Clause 23 you will find the main purpose of the Bill is stated. The Clause mentions thatfrom the passing of the Act the limits within which the company may supply electrical energy shall be extended so as to includea number of stated parishes in Lanarkshire. The main purpose of the Bill was that the company should take in those various parishes. For 23 years the company has had an area which it could supply under its powers. Within that area is the town of Lanark. Yet the company has not yet carried electricity into Lanark. The company are not introducing this Bill so as to be able to sell electricity to the people of Lanark; they are introducing it for other purposes.
I wanted to raise an important point that was not raised by the Chairman of the Select Committee in introducing the Bill. It is a point which was brought out by the opposition to the Bill in Committee. In my view the Glasgow corporation were fighting for a most important 2665 principle. Twenty-three years ago this company applied for certain powers and got them under the Act of 1901, Clause 66 of which gives the Glasgow Corporation certain protection. This House inserted a Clause in that Measure for the protection of the Glasgow Corporation, and in 1904, when the company was again before this House seeking for a minor Bill, again this House inserted a Clause giving certain protection to the Glasgow Corporation. In 1912 the Glasgow Corporation promoted a Bill which became an Act, and in that Act this company got a protective Clause similar to that given to the corporation in 1901 and 1904. When we came to deal with this Bill I found in Committee that this protective Clause was denied to the Glasgow Corporation. I was amazed at the decision. I believe the Committee gave the matter the most careful consideration, and I suppose we all look at these questions from different angles but I certainly thought it amazing that while the Corporation secured protective Clauses in 1901 and 1904 and gave the company the same protective Clause in 1912, we in 1924 were going to adopt a reactionary attitude in this House with a Labour Government in office.
After all the Government have to bear responsibility for the passing of the Bill, yet we are refusing to give the Corporation that protection which it received in the years I have mentioned. I cannot believe that this House is prepared to rake such a step. I cannot imagine that this House is more reactionary than the House of Commons of 1901 or 1904 or 1912. I have in mind an illustration of why this House should be careful in regard to private legislation. In 1922 we passed the Grampian Electricity Bill and in 1924 an Amendment to that Act was passed through this House without any discussion. I saw it going through, but I was a new Member and did not know the roles sufficiently well to be able to oppose it. Hon. Members on the other side speak about Labour Members trying to prevent these companies giving work to the unemployed. The Grampian Bill was passed in 1922, the company got liberty to go on with their scheme, to build their station and to generate electricity for the development of this area, and what happened? They did not spend a penny in developing the Grampian 2666 scheme from 1922 until 1924. They then came before the House under a Labour Government—what the reason is for it I do not know—and under this Government the Grampian Electricity Act was amended very much in favour of the company. I think the House should refuse to give the Third Reading, seeing that the Committee were unable to insert that protective Clause.
§ Mr. THURTLE
I rise to continue this Debate under certain difficulties. I went to the Vote Office just now to get a copy of the Bill as it came down from Committee, and was unable to get one. It was only by the courtesy of one of my hon. Friends that I was able to see really how the Bill stands as it came from Committee. At the same time this particular Bill needs very special consideration on its Third Reading, because of something which has taken place between Second Reading and to-night. I refer to the fact that between Second Reading and to-night the Government have made a most momentous announcement. The Government have decided that they are going to deal with this great question of electricity on national lines. Therefore, even if we were prepared on the Second Reading of the Bill, bad though it might be, and of a plundering nature though it was, to approve of the Bill on that occasion, yet in view of that new fact I think we are entitled to consider carefully whether we should give it the Third Reading or not. This has rather shaken my belief in the antiquated forms of this House. I thought that some of those processes through which every Bill has to go were unnecessary, but I can see now the wisdom of having a Third Reading as well as a Second Reading, because something entirely new may have arisen, as it has in this case, between Second and Third Reading, and may be of such a nature as to cause the House to reverse its judgment, as I hope it will to-night.
This Bill conceded certain privileges 'to public companies and we should see that in return for those privileges and concessions we get adequate safeguards. You find if you look at this Bill that we do not get adequate safeguards regarding very material points. I take Clause 26, which says:Within a period of two years from the passing of this Act as respects any area 2667 within the area of supply not being the area of supply of an authorised distributor in which there is at the passing of this Act a demand for a supply of electricity and a reasonable prospect of such supply being remunerative.It is very obvious from that that the only obligation which rests upon the company is to provide a supply of electricity in those districts in which there is a reasonable prospect of such supply being remunerative. Therefore in all those other districts in these country places of Scotland where there is not that prospect, I take it the company is not going to bother to lay down transmission lines and carry supplies to those particular people. If we are prepared to give them the profitable spots we ought to insist as a quid pro quo that they should carry power and light to spots which are not profitable. I refer to something which I think should have been inserted in the Committee stage and which I find was not. There is no Clause in the Bill at all conferring power on the local authority to purchase this undertaking at any particular time. I looked this point up in the Stock Exchange Year Book, and in regard to this particular company it is set down for the benefit of possible investors that the company can go on for an unlimited period, making profit out of the privileges and concessions which this House is now about to confer on it. I think if any Bill needs a Clause of this sort inserted this Bill does. In the Electric Lighting Act, 1888, Section (2), provision is made
for the taking over of such undertakings as these by the local authorities. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for hon. Members opposite, if they really wanted to safeguard the interest of the public, to see that such a Clause was inserted in this case, instead of allowing the company to go on for an unlimited period of years making profit for their shareholders. In Clause 27 I find it is provided:
The provisions of the existing Acts and the Acts incorporated therewith shall, so far as these are applicable to the purposes of this Section and subject to the necessary modifications apply to the construction, laying down, erection and maintenance in any streets or roads of any telephone or telegraph posts, wires, conductors or apparatus which the company may, and which they are hereby authorised to erect or lay down for the purposes of their undertaking, but no post shall be erected in any street or road without the consent of the local authority which shall not be unreasonably withheld, and any question whether or not such consent has been unreasonably withheld shall be determined by the Electricity Commissioners.
I am anxious to protect the rights of the local authorities—
§ Question put accordingly, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 119; Noes, 99.2669
|Division No. 191.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis Dyke||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Huntingfield, Lord|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Falconer, J.||Kay, Sir R. Newbald|
|Allen, Lieut.-Col. Sir William James||Ferguson, H.||Kedward, R. M.|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Fletcher, Lieut.-Com. R. T. H.||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Franklin, L. B.||King, Captain Henry Douglas|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lamb, J. O.|
|Barclay, R. Noton||Gates, Percy||Laverack, F. J.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Linfield, F. C.|
|Beamish, Captain T. P. H.||Gorman, William||Lord, Walter Greaves.|
|Becker, Harry||Greene, W. p. Crawford||Lumley, L. R.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Lynn, Sir R. J.|
|Berkeley, Captain Reginald||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||McCrae, Sir George|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Macdonald Sir Murdoch (Inverness)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Harland, A.||MacDonald, R.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Harney, E. A.||McLean, Major A.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hartington, Marquess of||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm|
|Burnie, Major J. (Bootle)||Harvey,C. M.B. (Aberd'n & Kincardne)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Harvey, T. E. (Dewsbury)||Mansel, Sir Courtenay|
|Clayton, G. C.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Mason, Lieut. Col. Glyn K.|
|Comyns-Carr, A. S.||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Meyler, Lieut.-Colonel H. M.|
|Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Hobhouse, A. L.||Mitchell, R. M.(Perth & Kinross, Perth)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hohier, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Moulton, Major Fletcher|
|Deans, Richard Storry||Hood, Sir Joseph||Nail, Lieut-Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Dodds, S. R.||Hope, Rt. Hon. J. F. (Sheffield, C.)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Hore-Belisha, Major Leslie||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Dunn, J. Freeman||Howard Sury, Lieut.-Col. C. K.||Phillipps, Vivian|
|Raffety, F. W.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Raine, W.||Simpson, J. Hope||Webb, Lieut.-Col. Sir H. (Cardiff, E.)|
|Rathbone, Hugh H.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wells, S. R.|
|Rawson, Alfred Cooper||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Williams, A. (York, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Rea, W. Russell||Spero, Dr. G. E.||Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Starmer, Sir Charles||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Stewart, Maj. R. S.(Stockton-on-Tees)||Wood, Major Rt. Hon. Edward F. L.|
|Roberts, Rt. Hon. F.O.(W. Bromwich)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Robertson, T. A.||Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.||Woodwark, Lieut.-Colonel G. G.|
|Roundell, Colonel R. F.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Rudkin, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. C.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Thornton, Maxwell R.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Savery, S. S.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.||Sir Samuel Chapman and Mr.|
|Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)||Vivian, H.||Ernest Brown.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hodge, Lieut.-Col. J. P. (Preston)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Alstead, R.||Hodges, Frank||Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Baker, Walter||Hudson, J. H.||Robinson, S. W. (Essex, Chelmsford)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jewson, Dorothea||Romeril, H. G.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Johnston, Thomas (Stlrling)||Rose, Frank H.|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Royle, C.|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, T. I. Mardy (pontypridd)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. (Bradford,E.)||Scurr, John|
|Church, Major A. G.||Jowitt, W. A. (The Hartlepools)||Seely, H. M. (Norfolk, Eastern)|
|Clarke, A.||Lansbury, George||Sexton, James|
|Climle, R.||Law, A.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Compton, Joseph||Lawrence, Susan (East Ham, North)||Smith, W. R. (Norwich)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Leach, W.||Snell, Harry|
|Dickson, T.||Lee, F.||Spence, R.|
|Dukes, C.||Loverseed, J. F.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Duncan, C.||Lowth, T.||Stranger, Innes Harold|
|Edwards, G. (Norfolk, Southern)||Lunn, William||Thompson, Piers G. (Torquay)|
|Egan, W. H.||McEntee, V. L.||Thurtle, E.|
|Foot, Isaac||Mackinder, W.||Viant, S. P.|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||March, S.||Warne, G. H.|
|Gillett, George M.||Martin, W. H. (Dumbarton)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Greenall, T.||Maxton, James||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Middleton, G.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Groves, T.||Morris, R. H.||Whiteley, W.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Muir, John W.||Williams, Lt.-Col. T.S.B.(Kenningtn.)|
|Harbison, Thomas James S.||Murray, Robert||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Harris, John (Hackney, North)||Naylor, T. E.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Nixon, H.||Windsor, Walter|
|Hastings, Somerville (Reading)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wintringham, Margaret|
|Haycock, A. W.||Perry, S. F.||Wright, W.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Young, Andrew (Glasgow, Partick)|
|Henderson, A. (Cardiff, South)||Potts, John S.|
|Henderson, W. W. (Middlesex, Enfld.)||Raffan, p. W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hirst, G. H.||Raynes, W. R.||Mr. Stephen and Mr. Nichol.|
Bill read the Third time, and passed, without Amendment.
§ As amended, to be considered To-morrow, at a quarter-past Eight of the Clock.