HC Deb 24 June 1924 vol 175 cc279-335

I beg to move, in page 1, line 18, after the word "Counties," to insert the word "Traffic."


I accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, in page 1, line 20, to leave out the words "appointed by the Minister" and to insert instead thereof the words, "elected by the committee."

This is a very important Amendment. The only representation of local authorities and of the public is on this committee, with very limited powers. The powers of the committee are strictly confined to the subjects referred to it by the Minister but, at any rate, there is some kind of representation, which provides an opportunity for the expression of public opinion. It is the very essence of representation that any local authority or any committee of this kind should be allowed to select its own chairman. In very historic times this House claimed the right to elect its Speaker. Every public authority throughout the world has claimed the right to elect its own chairman. If this Advisory Committee is to be an effective machine for the expression of public opinion, it is obvious that the chairman should be, not the servant or the nominee of the Minister but the servant of the committee. Anybody who has served on a public authority knows very well that most of the work of an administrative character falls on the chairman. Through him has to go the agenda and all the reports of the officers.

Under this Bill the Minister is to have the power to put in his own nominee as chairman, and we have reason to believe that it will be an official of his own Department. It is a very small concession to give to the democratic traditions of our local government that the chairman should be elected by the committee. The Minister is mentioned in the Bill no fewer than 69 times. He has immense autocratic powers. The only modification is the existence of this small committee, and I think the committee should be able to appoint its own chairman. I do not say anything disrespectful of the present occupant of the office of Minister of Transport, but the House should be very careful before it vests in any Government Department such immense powers, unchecked, uncontrolled and uncriticised, as have been vested in the Minister of Transport. The only critical powers in the Bill rest in this very small committee, with the few representatives that are allowed to public authorities. Therefore, I submit this Amendment with confidence, in the assurance that the House will strike this small blow in order to make this Bill more democratic in character, and to bring it more into touch with local government.


I beg to second the Amendment.

4.0 P.M.

Colonel ASHLEY

I hope the House will not accept this Amendment, not that it is a matter of first class importance. I approach it, not from the point of view of whether it is democratic or autocratic or anything of that sort, but from the point of view of convenience. This is an Advisory Committee, and the Minister will be extremely unwise if he does not take the advice of the committee. In 99 cases out of 100 he will take the advice of the committee because it will be much more convenient for him in defending his action in this House if he can say that he has taken the advice of the committee. As the committee will have to secure, and can rightly demand, the services of the permanent officials in the Ministry of Transport, it surely would be much better that the Minister should appoint somebody who would be in the position of a liaison officer between the officials of the Ministry of Transport and himself, rather than that the committee should select someone. They might select someone who would know nothing about the working of traffic, and there might be a considerable amount of time wasted before the officials of the Department got to grips with the matters with which they will have to deal. As the Minister in this House will have to be responsible for any action taken on the advice of the Committee, surely it is only reasonable from his point of view that he should be able to appoint someone whom he considers the most suitable person. I am quite sure the House would find that, in the end, a lot of public time would be saved if they allowed the Minister to have the decision in this rather important matter.

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Webb)

If this were a question affecting a Government body or even a Committee or a local authority of any kind, there would be no doubt that the right of that authority to elect its own chairman would be fundamental. But one of the objections to this Bill and to the whole scheme of the Bill was that it was only a temporary provision standing in the way of creating a real local authority to deal with this matter. I do not in the very least accept the Advisory Committee as any substitute for the proper local authority which is to come at the earliest possible moment, and I am surprised that my hon. Friend should recognise this Advisory Committee as if it were an authority. I do not at all want to see that Committee accepted as an authority. Sometimes Boards are used as screens, and I should look with great suspicion on any attempt to equip Ministers with Boards or Committees behind which they could shelter themselves. I suggest that the one thing which we ought to preserve is that the House should have authority over the Minister responsible, and you cannot have that unless the responsible Minister has himself authority within his own sphere. Therefore, I suggest that it would be quite a retrograde step to make this Advisory Committee in any sense independent of the Minister. I do not want the Minister to be able to screen himself and say that he would have liked to have done something in compliance with the wishes of the House, but the Committee would not let him. That is not democracy in my view.

I am democratic enough to seek precedents, and I would ask the House to remember that whenever the House has set up an Advisory Committee it has been careful to say that the chairman should be appointed by the Minister. For instance, the Consultative Committee under the Board of Education is not allowed to set up its own chairman. The President of the Board appoints the chairman. There is a similar Council in connection with the Ministry of Health, and that Council is not allowed to have its own chairman. The Minister of Health appoints the chairman. There is an Advisory Committee in the Ministry of Agriculture. There the Minister himself is the chairman, unless he appoints a vice-chairman who takes the chair in his absence. I think those precedents indicate the right course. We want this Committee to be an advisory body to the Minister. We do not want it to set itself up in any way to hamper the Minister or to be a convenient screen behind which the Minister might retreat when he did not want, or did not see his way, to carry out the wishes of the House. I therefore ask that the Amendment may not be accepted.


I am not at all surprised that the right hon. Gentleman should have resisted this Amendment. We are, of course, familiar with all his bureaucratic tendencies, and it is perfectly natural and in keeping with his general attitude of mind that he should have taken the view that this Advisory Committee should as far as possible be the creature of the Minister. It seems to me that if the Advisory Committee is to exercise any functions at all, the more independent it is the better. In other words, the less it is under the control of the Minister the more valuable is its advice likely to be. I do not think that any Member of the House will be greatly alarmed at any risk of this Advisory Committee being used as a screen. The Bill makes it perfectly clear that the Minister is responsible and that the decision in the long run rests with him. Surely, if he is to take the decision, he should have the assistance of a body which as far as possible can offer independent advice. The right hon. Gentleman has quoted a number of precedents. He has quoted the Consultative Committee of the Board of Education and a similar organisation in the Ministry of Health, but I do not think that any of the bodies which he has quoted as precedents are formed on the lines or has anything like the constitution of this Committee. In this Committee you have provisions for elected members, and obviously the Committee in relation to London traffic is intender to be a body of greater influence and larger authority than either of the consultative bodies to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred.

It seems to me that the Minister is going to have adequate authority in the matter of representation on the Committee as it is. He is to be entitled to select from nominees of certain of the councils that are represented on the Committee. For example, we find that two shall be appointed by the Minister from amongst nominees selected by the councils of the several Metropolitan boroughs. Then, again, he has the same right of appointment of two members from amongst nominees selected by the councils of the administrative counties of Kent, Middlesex, Surrey, Essex, and Hertford. Further, he has the right to appoint one from amongst the nominees of the councils of the several county boroughs within the London traffic area. There is another provision that he shall have the right to appoint one member, who shall hold office only so long as the chairman is not an official of the Ministry of Transport. It seems to me, therefore, that he is to be adequately represented and to have a considerable share of influence in the Committee, and, obviously, it would be giving him a still greater influence if he were able to appoint the chairman. I maintain that the elected members should on general grounds have the right to elect their chairman, because only in these circumstances would the Committee be likely to exercise more power and reduce the bureaucratic tendencies of the Department. I support the Amendment.

Captain Viscount CURZON

I hope that the House will not accept the Amendment. I have always understood that when one wanted to judge the form of a horse it was a good thing to look at the stable from which it came, and, having looked at the stable from which this Amendment comes, I find that it comes from those who are always seeking to put the London traffic under the sway of the London County Council and of the trams. I can quite see why the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. P. Harris) wants the House to accept the Amendment. He hopes that the tramway and County Council people will be able to get a chance to elect a man who will be a thorn in the side of the Minister, and as far as possible prevent him making any effective use of this Bill. I am quite certain that the House will be wise to resist this Amendment. Look at what will happen! Supposing a member of the Committee who is prejudiced in favour of trams as against omnibuses were appointed by the Committee, what value would be the advice of the Committee to the Minister? Again, supposing the Committee were to elect somebody in opposition to the Commissioner of Police or some details of his administration, he would be a constant source of difficulty on this Committee and would largely nullify its usefulness. Personally, I am not sure that this Committee is going to be of any use at all. It is far too big to come to any useful decision about anything. But as it is, I hope we shall endeavour to see that it is the most useful form of Committee that we can get, and that will not be the case unless the chairman is a responsible being appointed by the Minister and not by the pro-tram section of the London Liberal party.


I desire to support this Amendment. The attitude of the London County Council as a whole—I am not speaking of any particular party on the council—is not as stated by the Noble Lord the Member for South Battersea (Viscount Curzon). The council has not sought to monopolise the power and take the place of this Committee. The resolution which the council passed was introduced with these words: That, while not approving of all the proposals contained in the London Traffic Bill, the council, recognising the urgent need of some form of traffic control being brought into operation without delay, is not prepared to oppose these proposals in the main. They asked for certain things, and one of the few things which the council stipulated was that this Advisory Committee should be more municipal in character, and it was thought it could be made more municipal in character if the Committee appointed its own chairman. I support this Amendment in order to make the Advisory Committee more useful, more municipal, and more able to discharge the important functions which it will be called upon to exercise.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 276; Noes, 92.

Division No. 104.] AYES. [4.13 p.m.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Gibbs. Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Murray, Robert
Alden, Percy Gilmour, Colonel Rt. Hon. Sir John Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsboro') Gosling, Harry Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Gould, Frederick (Somerset, Frome) Nichol, Robert
Ammon, Charles George Greene, W. P. Crawford Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Greenall, T. Nixon, H.
Atholl, Duchess of Greenwood, William (Stockport) Norton-Griffiths, Sir John
Attlee, Major Clement R. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) O'Grady, Captain James
Ayles, W. H. Groves, T. Oliver, George Harold
Baker, Walter Grundy, T. W. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Hugh
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.) Ormshy-Gore, Hon. William
Banton, G. Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. W. E. Paling, W.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Gwynne, Rupert S. Pannefather, Sir John
Barnes A. Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Penny, Frederick George
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Percy, Lord Eustance (Hastings)
Batey, Joseph Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Perry, S. F.
Beckett, Sir Gervase Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Pethick-Lawrence, F W.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Hardle, George D. Philipson, Mabel
Bantinck, Lord Henry Cavendish Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Pielou, D. P.
Berry, Sir George Hartington, Marquess of Potts, John S.
Betterton, Henry B. Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Purcell, A. A.
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Harvey, C. M. B. (Aberd'n & Kincardne) Ralne, W.
Blades, Sir George Rowland Hastings, Somerville (Reading) Raynes, W. R.
Blundell, F. N. Haycock, A. W. Reid, D. D. (County Down)
Bondfield, Margaret Hemmerde, E. G. Remnant, Sir James
Bourne, Robert Croft Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley) Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Richards, R
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Henderson, W. W. (Mindlesex, Enfield) Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)
Brass, Captain W. Henn, Sir Sydney H. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Bromfield, William Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Buchanan, G. Herbert Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Buckle, J. Herbert, Capt. Sidney (Scarborough) Romeril, H. G.
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Hill-Wood, Major Sir Samuel Rose, Frank H.
Bullock, Captain M. Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Burman, J. B. Hodges, Frank Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Hoffman, P. C. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)
Cape, Thomas Howard, Hn. D. (Cumberland, Northrn.) Sandeman, A. Stewart
Cautley, Henry Strother Hudson, J. H. Savery, S. S.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Birm., W.) Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis Scrymgeour, E.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Huntingfield, Lord Scurr, John
Charleton, H. C. Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Church, Major A. G. Isaacs, G. A. Sherwood, George Henry
Clarke, A. Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S. Shinwell, Emanuel
Clarry, Reginald George Jackson, R. F. (Ipswich) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Climie, R. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Cluse, W. S. Jephcott, A. R. Siclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfst)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Jewson, Dorothea Smillie, Robert
Compton, Joseph John, William (Rhondda, West) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Conway, Sir W. Martin Johnston, Thomas (Stirling) Smith, T. (Pontefract)
Cope, Major William Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Snell, Harry
Cove, W. G. Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W. (Bradford, E.) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Phillip
Cowan Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn. N.) Kindersley, Major G. M. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South) King, Captain Henry Douglas Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-in-Furn'ss)
Craik, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Kirkwood, D. Spence, R.
Crittall, V. G. Lane-Fox, George R. Spoor, B. G.
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Lansbury, George Stamford, T. W.
Curzon, Captain Viscount Law, A. Stanley, Samuel Strang
Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln) Leach, W Stephen, Campbell
Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester) Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Lloyd-Greame, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Sullivan, J.
Dawson, Sir Philip Lorimer, H. D. Sutton, J. E.
Doyle, N. Grattan Lowth, T. Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Dukes, C. Lumley, L. R. Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Duncan, C. Lunn, William Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)
Eden, Captain Anthony McEntee, V. L. Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell - (Croydon, S.)
Edmondson, Major A. J. Mackinder, W. Thurtle, E.
Ednam, Viscount McLean, Major A. Tinker, John Joseph
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) March, S. Toole, J.
Edwards, G. (Norfolk, Southern) Marley, James Tout, W. J.
Egan, W. H. Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Elliot, Walter E. Maxton, James Varley, Frank B.
Eyres-Monsell, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Meller, R. J. Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray Middleton, G. Vlant, S. P.
Ferguson, H. Mills, J. E. Wallhead, Richard C.
FitzRoy, Captain Rt. Hon. Edward A. Milne, J. S. Wardlaw Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Frece, Sir Waiter de Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Moles, Thomas Warne, G. H.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Morel, E. D. Warrender, Sir Victor
Gaunt, Rear-Admiral Sir Guy R. Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Gavan-Duffy, Thomas Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Gibbins, Joseph Muir, John W.
Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda) Williams, Lt.-Col. T.S.B. (Kenningtn.) Wood, Major Rt. Hon. Edward F. L.
Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney Williams, T. (York, Don Valley) Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
Wedgwood, Col. Rt. Hon. Josiah C. Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Wells, S. R. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe) Wright, W.
Westwood, J. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow) Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward
Wheler, Lieut.-Col. Granville C. H. Windsor, Walter Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Whiteley, W. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George Young, Andrew (Glasgow, Patrick)
Wignall, James Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Williams, David (Swansea, E.) Wise, Sir Fredric TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly) Wolmer, Viscount Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Allen Parkinson.
Ackroyd, T. R. Howard, Hon. G. (Bedford, Luton) Ritson, J.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis Dyke Johnstone, Harcourt (Willesden, East) Robertson, T. A.
Allen, R. Wilberforce (Leicester, S.) Jones, C. Sydney (Liverpool, W. Derby) Robinson, S. W. (Essex, Chelmsford)
Aske, Sir Robert William Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne) Royle, C.
Barclay, R. Noton Kay, Sir R. Newbald Rudkin, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. C.
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Seely, H. M. (Norfolk, Eastern)
Black, J. W. Kenyon, Barnet Seely, Rt. Hon. Maj.-Gen. J.E.B. (I. of W.)
Bonwick, A. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George Simon, E. D. (Manchester, Withington)
Briant, Frank Lee, F. Simpson, J. Hope
Brown, A. E. (Warwick, Rugby) Linfield, F. C. Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Brunner, Sir J. Livingstone, A. M. Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.
Burnie, Major J. (Bootle) McCrae, Sir George Spero, Dr. G. E.
Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Mackinder, W. Stranger, Innes Harold
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish, Universities) Madan, H. Sturrock, J. Leng
Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh) Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kincardine, E.) Sunlight, J.
Dodds, S. R. Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G. Sutherland, Rt. Hon. Sir William
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Meyler, Lieut.-Colonel H. M. Terrington, Lady
Dunnico, H. Millar, J. D. Thompson, Piers G. (Torquay)
England, Colonel A. Mond, H. Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)
Falconer, J. Morse, W. E. Thornton, Maxwell R.
Foot, Isaac Moulton, Major Fletcher Ward, G. (Leicester, Bosworth)
George, Major G. L. (Pembroke) Naylor, T. E. Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Gilbert, James Daniel Phillipps, Vivian White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Pilkington, R. R. Williams, A. (York, W. R., Sowerby)
Guest, J. (York, W.R., Hemsworth) Pringle, W. M. R. Willison, H.
Harbord, Arthur Raffety, F. W. Wintringham, Margaret
Harney, E. A. Ramage, Captain Cecil Beresford Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Hindle, F. Rathbone, Hugh R.
Hogbin, Henry Cairns Rea, W. Russell TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hogge, James Myles Rees, Capt. J. T. (Devon, Barnstaple) Mr. Finney and Mr. Percy Harris.
Hore-Belisha, Major Leslie Remer, J. R.

I beg to move, in page. 1, line 21, to leave out the words "ordinary and additional."

In introducing additional Members on this Committee a very novel feature has been brought into our local government. Under this Bill, for the first time I think I am right in saying, an administrative department is going to seek advice from a committee composed of Members who are likely to have a direct financial interest in one particular policy, and obviously they will support a policy in favour of the interests they represent. Those additional Members who represent various owners of light vehicles and other means of traffic will naturally and rightly assume to represent most powerful interests, and it is only fair to expect that they will give advice which will strengthen the position of those interests. I submit to the House that this is a very unsound principle to introduce into our legislation. Once it is started it will lend itself to infinite ramifications. I cannot help thinking that hon. Members above the Gangway should view this proposal with exceptional suspicion. What they have to fear is what is going on in America to-day—the strengthening of vested interests, the creation of scandals, and of suspicion in the public mind, in the end bringing the national government into disrepute. We have an example at the present time of that in the oil scandals in America. It would seem that the Government there had power to give away very big concessions, and underground rumours arose that those concessions were given away by the Government under the influence of powerful combines, thereby almost bringing to its ruin one of the great political parties in the State. Here you have actually the very same thing proposed in an Act of Parliament—the giving away of valuable franchises on the advice of a Committee partly composed of representatives of interested organisations—a thoroughly undesirable, undemocratic, and objectionable proposal. I beg, therefore, to move the omission of the additional members, and I think hon. Members will agree it is most advisable that we should have on a Committee of this kind, members whose advice will be disinterested.


The object of this Amendment is to remove the additional members altogether and to leave the Committee purely in official hands. That strikes at the fundamental principal on which the Bill has been based. There is no fear of the municipality members being in a minority, because the proportions are seven out of 19 and the additional members are the seven. Three of them are members representing organisations engaged in the work of London traffic. In Committee the hon. Gentleman who has made this proposal to-day was very anxious to strengthen Labour representation on this body, and insisted on doing it. Now I understand that he has found out that it is better to remove from the Committee representation of the interests of those who are engaged in the traffic. Speaking with some experience, I say that a Committee which has not upon it representatives both of employers and employed will not be a satisfactory Committee. For those reasons I ask the House very strongly not to allow this Amendment.

Colonel ASHLEY

I think that the House would do well again to support the Minister of Transport in the view which he takes, which combines common sense with the greatest efficiency. If you are going to have an Advisory Committee, the Advisory Committee ought to represent all the interests which you affect by this Bill. It seems to me to combine common sense with efficiency to say that, in addition to the official and municipal representatives, we shall have representatives of the workers and also of the employers upon this Committee. If the Minister left out representatives of workers on this Committee, the very first people to raise the matter, and denounce the Socialist Government as reactionary autocrats, would be hon. Members below the Gangway. Therefore, in the best interests of London traffic, I would support the Minister of Transport in rejecting this Amendment.


I understand that the right hon. Gentleman opposite is the real parent of this Bill, and naturally he gives his blessing to the Minister of Transport on every occasion on which he adheres to the original terms of the Bill.

Colonel ASHLEY

This is not the original terms of the Bill.


It is practically the same scheme. The Minister of Transport endeavoured to convict my hon. Friend the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. P. Harris) of inconsistency for moving this Amendment to get rid of the additional members while in the Committee he sought to strengthen Labour representation. I do not think that there is any inconsistency in the attitude of my hon. Friend. Having found in Committee that he was committed to having additional members on this Advisory Committee he thought it better that the number of representatives of Labour should be increased, so as to balance the influence of other interests which were concerned with the provision of the means of transport. Therefore I think that there is no inconsistency between the attitude which my hon. Friend now takes up and his attitude in the Committee stage. But the question which we have to consider is that we have the strange anomaly of additional members who are there for a special purpose. They are not there for all purposes with regard to which the Committee is called on to advise the Minister. The functions of the additional members is confined to advising as to the measures dealt with in Clauses 7 and 10, and in the First Schedule of the Bill. In other words their function is to deal with those matters in which the traffic combine—I am using the term to cover the interests themselves—is mainly interested.

We have to face this fact that there are to be four representatives of the interests of persons providing the means of transport, and the users of mechanically-propelled and horse-drawn road vehicles within the traffic area. Before deciding this matter the House should have some information from the Ministry as to how these various interests are to be balanced among the four additional members so appointed. They seem to cover a large variety of interests. There are the persons providing means of transport, which may be said to represent first of all the owners of omnibuses and the owners of trams, both independent and in the combine. Then you have the users of mechanically-propelled and horse-drawn road vehicles, so that you have two further interests which have to be represented. There are the users of mechanically-propelled vehicles such as the Noble Lord the Member for South Battersea (Viscount Curzon) and the users of horse-drawn road vehicles. It is not clear how all these separate interests are going to be fully represented among these additional members, and I suggest that, rather than have inadequate representation of some of these, it is better not to have them represented at all, but that they should simply be able to make representations to the Committee or to the Ministry. If you have an unfair representation then it is much more likely that one or other of these interests will be unfairly treated.

It is true that labour is to be represented, and to that extent the Minister has a certain justification for making provision for additional members, but, after all, labour has an opportunity of representation through the elected bodies. There are representatives among the ordinary members of the London County Council and the councils of the several Metropolitan boroughs and of the administrative councils in the surrounding areas. In these circumstances, as labour is represented on the great majority of these councils, labour will have an opportunity of representation among the ordinary members, and in that sense it does not seem to me to be very important that labour should have representation among the additional members, and it is all the less important because the special functions on which the additional members are brought in to advise are not those in which they are concerned. They are questions of the licensing of omnibuses on particular routes, and in that Schedule I think that there are nearly all such matters as the co-ordination of the various forms of transport, etc., and the causes tending to hinder the free circulation of traffic. These are questions which are not distinctly labour questions. They are questions concerned with making provision for the public service, and in all these matters labour has no distinctive interest as compared with the rest of the community. In these circumstances the Minister has made out no case for the introduction of these additional members. They will only tend to raise difficulties in the working of the Committee in the matter of the demarcation of the functions of the respective sets of members, and this will tend to make the members of the Committee less representative.


As the hon. Member for South West Bethnal Green (Mr. P. Harris) made a special appeal to these benches to support this Amendment, I want to say that if he forces a division upon it in the expectation of getting support from the Labour benches he will be disappointed. I and others went into the Lobby in support of the first Amendment, because we felt that it was a good Amendment, and while I have a great deal of sympathy with the object of the Mover of the present Amendment I wish to remind him that the whole matter was fully discussed on the Second Reading of the Bill, and again when the Bill was before the Committee. The Advisory Committee in our opinion should be an administrative Committee, and not an Advisory Committee, in which case we should have to adhere to our intention to exclude these additional Members, but having accepted the principle of making this an Advisory Committee, the danger of these additional Members who are representing the interests of the London traffic companies becomes much less than it would be were the Committee of an administrative character. Therefore, bearing in mind that this Amendment, if carried, would have the effect of vitiating the Bill or killing the Bill, we are not prepared to take that risk. Bad as the Bill is it is better than no Bill at all, and in view of the temporary character of the Measure we are prepared to support the Minister of Transport in resisting the Amendment.

Viscount WOLMER

It rise to support the Amendment. I do so for this reason. It seems to me that the provision which the hon. Member seeks to eliminate is one of those which are going to increase the power of the traffic combine in its grip over London traffic. I would point out that it would be very difficult for small motor omnibus owners to find any adequate representation among the additional members. If there are to be only four representatives, and if the larger interests are to get their share, it would be practically impossible for the small owners to get any adequate representation at all unless they can be induced to form themselves into some sort of rival company. I am not at all reassured by the presence of three additional Labour Members to counteract the employers. The history of the last few years has been one of a combination of highly-organised great trade unions in co-operation with great organisations of employers bleeding the public. The effect of such an amalgamation in the case of the railways during the War and since the War was to enable the trade unions to secure such enormous increases of wages that the freights which were passed on to the public are now an exceedingly heavy burden on agriculture and other industries in this country.

That has been the experience on the railways, and I think that it is very likely to be the experience of the building industry. There are other instances which could be given of great trade unions and large federations of employers combining to secure a monopoly to exact the highest possible price at the expense of the public. It seems to me that in a Committee of this sort only one interest ought to be considered, that is the interest of the public. I do not see why the traffic combine and the employés of the traffic combine should have a privileged position on this Committee. This Committee is to advise the Minister who has to answer to Parliament, and surely he ought not to get advice from interested parties. They can come to him in deputations; they can make representations to him in the same way as any other of His Majesty's subjects. But this provision of the Bill in fact, though not in form, deliberately throws the combine into a privileged position in the administration of the Bill. I would welcome the elimination of the additional members, and if the Amendment is pressed to a Division I shall certainly support it.


Many of us are extremely suspicious of this Bill. On the Advisory Committee there are to be many additional members who, obviously, are directly connected with certain interests and connected with them on the pecuniary side. Anyone who knows anything about committees knows that when you have certain members put there because they are the nominees of certain bodies with pecuniary interests, they attend far more regularly than others. When you come to the seven members who are, and will be, without derogation to them, the paid representatives of certain interests, the probabilities are that they will attend regularly while others will not attend with equal regularity, and the representatives of the interests will have a larger sway than would appear on the surface. The Minister should provide us with a little more information as to what this proposal means. The taxicabs have a very large interest indeed in the traffic of London. If they are to have a representative and the motor omnibus combine is to have a representative, what about the smaller groups of motor omnibuses? They ought to be there. Then there are the interests of the horse-drawn vehicles. The Minister should give us some idea of what he means and as to what are to be the bodies to be represented. The House should not assent to the Bill as it stands. I look with great suspicion on so many men serving on the Advisory Committee for certain purposes. I do not think it is any blame to them, but they will be sent there to look after the interest of their masters. That is not good for the public. The public is hardly ever considered now-a-days in any Bill that is brought forward. It is the interests that are considered. The House should now take the opportunity it has to eliminate from the operation of the Bill the direct private interests, which in the long run can work only against the interests of the users.

Viscount CURZON

I oppose the Amendment, and hope that the House will not accept it. I am surprised to hear the arguments used by the Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer). I do not think that he can have noticed the next Amendment on the Paper in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Central Bristol (Sir T. Inskip), which would very largely secure what the Noble Lord wants. In any case it is very important, from the point of view of the small omnibus owners, that they should secure representation on this Advisory Committee. If I understand the Amendment aright, the only way in which they can gain that end is through the medium of the additional Members of the Committee. If you eliminate the additional Members, where can the small omnibus owner come in? I am always suspicious, and I invite the House to be suspicious, of any Amendment moved by the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. P. Harris). The cloven hoof is generally to be found in them somewhere. Looking at the composition of this Advisory Committee we find it can be largely municipal in character, and that is just what the hon. Member wants, in order that the control of the Committee may pass into the hands of the London County Council, and thereby of the trams. I am surprised that we have not heard anything from the hon. Member for South Hackney (Mr. H. Morrison) on the question of doing away with the limited representation on this Committee.


I had not intended to speak on this Amendment, but I sat for a long time as a representative of a London constituency in this House, and must say that I am amazed at the speeches which the Noble Lord the Member for South Battersea (Viscount Curzon) is making on all the Amendments. What harm would there be if the

London County Council, which represents the people of London, should claim the right of any other great city to control its own traffic? The elected members of the London County Council are surely the people who have a right to speak. On this matter I grieve to see my hon. Friend the Minister of Transport, who has been so doughty a champion of municipal enterprise, in which he and I believe, recommending to the House a Clause which installs private interests, supported as he is by hon. Members like the hon. Member for South Hackney and others, with whom we have at least this in common, that in these services we are municipalisers. That such Members should go into the Lobby in company with the Noble Lord the Member for South Battersea is a subject of sorrow for angels.

Question put, "That the words 'ordinary and' stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 293; Noes, 90.

Division No. 105.] AYES. [4.52 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. William Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, North)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Cecll, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Gates, Percy
Alden, Percy Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Gaunt, Rear-Admiral Sir Guy R.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Gavan-Duffy, Thomas
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Charleton, H. C. Gibbins, Joseph
Ammon, Charles George Church, Major A. G. Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Clarke, A. Gillett, George M.
Astor, Viscountess Clarry, Reginald George Gilmour, Colonel Rt. Hon. Sir John
Atholl, Duchess of Climie, R. Gosling, Harry
Attlee, Major Clement R. Cluse, W. S. Gould, Frederick (Somerset, Frome)
Ayles, W. H. Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Greene, W. P. Crawford
Baker, Walter Cobb, Sir Cyril Greenall, T.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)
Banks, Reginald Mitchell Compton, Joseph Greenwood, William (Stockport)
Banton, G. Conway, Sir W. Martin Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertlliery) Cope, Major William Groves, T.
Barnes, A. Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L. Grundy, T. W.
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Cove, W. G. Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)
Batey, Joseph Cowan Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn. N.) Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)
Beckett, Sir Gervase Ctalk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. W. E.
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W. Crittall, V. G. Hacking, Captain Douglas H.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Curzon, Captain Viscount Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Berry, Sir George Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln) Hartington, Marquess of
Betterton, Henry B. Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Harvey, C. M. B. (Aberd'n & Kincardine)
Blades, Sir George Rowland Davies, Thomas (Cirencester) Hastings, Sir Patrick
Blundell, F. N. Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Hastings, Somerville (Reading)
Bondfield, Margaret Dawson, Sir Philip Haycock, A. W.
Bourne, Robert Croft Dickson, T. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)
Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart Dixon, Herbert Henderson, A. (Cardiff, South)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Doyle, Sir N. Grattan Henderson, T. (Glasgow)
Brass, Captain W. Dukes, C. Henderson, W. W. (Middlesex, Enfld.)
Brassey, Sir Leonard Duncan, C. Henn, Sir Sydney H.
Broad, F. A. Eden, Captain Anthony Hennessy, Major J. R. G.
Bromfield, William Edmondson, Major A. J. Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)
Buchanan, G. Ednam, Viscount Herbert, Capt. Sidney (Scarborough)
Buckle, J. Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Hill-Wood, Major Sir Samuel
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Edwards, G. (Norfolk, Southern) Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.
Bullock, Captain M. Egan, W. H. Hodges, Frank
Burman, J. B. Elliot, Walter E. Hoffman, P. C.
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Eyres-Monsell, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Hogbin, Henry Cairns
Butt, Sir Alfred Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Ferguson, H. Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy
Cape, Thomas FitzRoy, Captain Rt. Hon. Edward A. Howard, Hn. D. (Cumberland, Northrn.)
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Hudson, J. H.
Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Stuart, Lord C. Crichton
Huntingfield, Lord Nixon, H. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Iliffe, Sir Edward M. Oliver, George Harold Sullivan, J.
Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Hugh Sutton, J. E.
Isaacs, G. A. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Jackson, R. F. (Ipswich) Penny, Frederick George Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Croydon, S.)
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Perry, S. F. Thurtle, E.
Jephcott, A. R. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Tinker, John Joseph
Jewson, Dorothea Phillpson, Mabel Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
John, William (Rhondda, West) Plelou, D. P. Toole, J.
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Potts, John S. Tout, W. J.
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Purcell, A. A. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Jewett, Rt. Hon. F. W Bradford, E.) Raine, W. Turner-Samuels, M.
Kindersley, Major G. M. Rayner, W. R. Varley, Frank B.
King, Captain Henry Douglas Reid, D. D. (County Down) Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Kirkwood, D. Remer, J. R. Viant, S. P.
Lane-Fox, George R. Remnant, Sir James Wallhead, Richard C.
Law, A. Rentoul, G. S. Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Lawrence, Susan (East Ham, North) Rhys, Hon. C. A. U. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Leach, W. Richards, R. Warne, G. H.
Lee, F. Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey) Warrender, Sir Victor
Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Lloyd-Greame, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Ritson, J. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Lorimer, H. D. Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. Rhondda)
Lowth, T. Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell) Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Lumley, L. R. Romerll, H. G. Wedgwood, Col. Rt. Hon. Josiah C.
Lunn, William Rose, Frank H. Wells, S. R.
McEntee, V. L. Roundell, Colonel R. F. Welsh, J. C.
Mackinder, W. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Westwood, J.
McLean, Major A. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West) Wheler, Lieut.-Col. Granville C. H.
March, S. Sandeman, A. Stewart Whiteley, W.
Marley, James Savory[...], S. S. Wignall, James
Maxton, James Scurr, John Williams, David (Swansea, E.)
Meller, R. J. Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Middleton, G. Shepperson, E. W. Williams, Lt.-Col. T.S.B. (Kennington)
Mills, J. E. Sherwood, George Henry Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Milne, J. S. Wardlaw Shinwell, Emanuel Wilson, Colonel M. J. (Richmond)
Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Short, Alfred (Wednesday) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Moles, Thomas Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down) Windsor, Walter
Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Sinclair, Col. T. (Oueen's Univ., Beifst.) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Morel, E. D. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Roherhithe) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Smith-Carington, Neville W. Wise, Sir Fredric
Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Snell, Harry Wood, Major Rt. Hon. Edward F. L.
Mosley, Oswald Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) Wright, W.
Muir, John W. Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-In-Furness) Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward
Murray, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph Spence, R. Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Naylor. T. E. Spoor, B. G. Young, Andrew (Glasgow, Partick)
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Stamford, T. W.
Nichol, Robert Stanley, Lord TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Nichoson, William G. (Petersfield) Steel, Samuel Strang Mr. Frederick Hall and Mr.
Stephen, Campbell Kennedy.
Ackroyd, T. R. Hobhouse, A. L. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. Williams
Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis Dyke Hore-Belisha, Major Leslie Phillipps, Vivian
Allen, R. Wilberforce (Leicester, S.) Howard, Hon. G. (Bedford, Luton) Pilkington, R. R.
Aske, Sir Robert William Johnston, Thomas (Stirling) Pringle, W. M. R.
Barclay, R. Noton Jones, C. Sydney (Liverpool, W. Derby) Raffety, F. W.
Benn, Captain Wedgewood (Leith) Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Ramage, Captain Cecil Beresford
Black, J. W. Kay, sir R. Newbald Rathbone, Hugh R.
Bonwick, A. Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Rea, W. Russell
Briant, Frank Lambert, Rt. Hon. George Rees, Sir Beddoe
Brown, A. E. (Warwick, Rugby) Laverack, F. J. Rees, Capt. J. T. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Burnie, Major J. (Bootle) Linfield, F. C. Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Livingtone, A. M. Roberton, T. A.
Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh) McCrae, Sir George Robinson, S. W. (Essex, Cheimsford)
Dodds, S. R. Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J. Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)
Dudgeon, Major C. R. Maden, H. Royle, C.
Dunnico, H. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Rudkin, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. C.
Edwards, John H. (Accrington) Mansel, Sir Courtenay Scrymgeour, E.
England, Colonel A. Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kincardine, E.) Simon, E. D. (Manchester, Withington)
Falconer, J. Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L. Meyler, Lieut.-Colonel H. M. Simpson, J. Hope
Foot, Isaac Millar, J. D. Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.
George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd Mitchell, R. M. (Perth & Kinross, Perth) Spero, Dr. G. E.
George, Major G. L. (Pembroke) Mond, H. Stranger, Innes Harold
Gilbert, James Daniel Morris, R. H. Sturrock, J. Leng
Harbord, Arthur Morse, W. E. Sutherland, Rt. Hon. Sir William
Harney, E. A. Moulton, Major Fletcher Terrington, Lady
Hindle, F. Muir, Ramsay (Rochdale) Thompson, Piers G. (Torquay)
Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.) Williams, A. (York, W. R., Sowerby) Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.) Willison, H.
Ward, G. (Leicester, Bosworth) Wintringham, Margaret TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.) Wolmer, Viscount Mr. Percy Harris and Mr. Hugh

I beg to move, in page 1, line 21, to leave out from the second word "and," to the end of line 23, and to insert instead thereof the words, "representative members of whom."

I am anxious to obtain the additional members but to include all members in the Advisory Committee in one capacity. As the Bill is drawn, the additional members will only deal with matters arising under Clauses 7 and 10. Clause 7 gives power to the Minister to limit the number of omnibuses running in certain streets. Clause 10 gives him power to make regulations in relation to the very numerous matters mentioned in the Second Schedule. There seems no adequate reason why the additional members should not also deal with the kindred matters dealt with in Clauses 4 and 6. Clause 4 deals with the powers to prevent the closing of streets in consequence of the execution of public works, and Clause 6 deals with the definition of omnibus routes. I think I may summarise the procedure in the Bill as it at present stands by saying that the Advisory Committee will be an in-and-out Committee, and the additional members will be kept waiting on the doorstep while Clause 6 is discussed, and invited in to discuss Clause 4, while it is quite possible, and, indeed, probable, that the matters dealt with by the ordinary members will be so closely interwoven with the other matters, that it will be impossible to separate them for the consideration of the Advisory Committee.

I do not know what has been passing through the mind of the Minister or the minds of his officials in drawing the distinction between the duties of the additional and those of the ordinary members, but I submit there is no clear guiding principle which separates the duties of one from the duties of the other. I cannot imagine anything more akin to another matter than, for instance, the definition of omnibus routes in Clause 6 and the power to limit the number of omnibuses in certain streets in Clause 7, and yet the additional members are excluded from dealing with the first-mentioned matter, and are required to deal with the second-mentioned matter. I have a number of consequential Amend- ments which I will beg leave to move formally, if this Amendment be accepted.


I am afraid I cannot accept this Amendment. The hon. and learned Gentleman seems to have missed the real point. The real point is in Part III of the First Schedule:— Matters in respect of which the additional members are not to form part of the Advisory Committee. All along we have endeavoured to preserve to the municipal authorities the right to deal with matters that are purely matters of theirs, and Part III of the First Schedule says that the matters in respect of which the additional members are not to form part of the Advisory Committee are the formulation of proposals for the equitable distribution amongst the various road authorities in the London Traffic Area of the cost of any scheme of road development, improvement or extension. Anybody who has had any municipal experience will say at once that that is a matter in which they should not allow anybody to interfere but those who are elected and directly concerned.


Will the hon. Gentleman, then, undertake that Clauses 4 and 6 shall be in the same category as Clauses 7 and 10? If so, I will consent to what he said, and exclude Part III of the First Schedule.


That seems to me to be fundamentally one thing, on which, in no circumstances, could we give way, because I think it would be letting down the municipal authorities, who have very largely agreed upon the terms of the Bill. I do not think there is any danger of anyone being left on the doorstep. Arrangements would be made, when certain matters were being discussed purely affecting the municipalities, that other members of the Committee could be engaged in another room dealing with something else. For all general purposes, the whole Committee come together, but mainly and principally to preserve a very vital principle, without which I do not think I should dare go on with the Bill. I must ask the House to support me and reject this Amendment.

Amendment negatived.


I beg to move, in page I, line 25, to leave out the word "Two," and to insert instead thereof the word "Four."

I move this Amendment to give two additional members to the London County Council on the Advisory Committee, because of the supreme importance of the London County Council. To propose a membership of two for that body in a Committee of 12 seems to me to be inadequate. An Amendment of this character was moved in Committee by the hon. Member for South-East Southwark (Mr. Naylor), who is a London Member, but not a member of the County Council. I am a member of the London County Council and of the Highways Committee of that Council, and the important matters we have to consider on that Council and the committee include trams, bridges, the suitability or unsuitability of certain roads to bear a certain class of traffic and questions of vital interest which will have to come before this Advisory Committee. It seems to me, therefore, that the representation of the premier authority, which represents some 4,500,000 people, and covers by far the largest and the most important area over which the Advisory Committee will operate, ought to be increased considerably, and that four members would not be anything like too many.

It is considered that if this number be increased, other bodies will wish to have their numbers increased, and, in the words of the Minister, the whole arrangement will be upset. I hardly think that that can be so. After all, with regard to the London borough councils, they represent practically the same people and cover the same area that the London County Council represent and govern, and there could be no sort of rival interests between the borough councils and the London County Council in a matter of this sort. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] I suggest there ought not to be. The larger interests of the same people are looked after by the London County Council. I desire to press this Amendment particularly upon the Minister. I need not say anything about the London County Council in his presence. He knows how efficiently its duties are discharged, and if he can possibly see his way to increase the membership of the London County Council on the Advisory Committee, I urge him to take this opportunity to do so.


I beg to second the Amendment.

I entirely endorse what the Mover of this Amendment has said. The London County Council was created to do certain services common to the whole of the London area, and, perhaps, the most important of all those services was traffic. The whole of the success of this Bill depends on the co-operation of local authorities. What is really wrong, as we all know, with the traffic problem in London is that the streets are not wide and numerous enough to deal with the increasing traffic. In Paris and other great cities they have been able, by driving great, broad streets through the main parts of the cities, largely to get over the traffic congestion. Where you have been able to do that, as in Kingsway, for instance, you really do not get any very serious congestion, and if these powers are going to be effective, if you are really going to facilitate the traffic in London, and speed up, you must have wider streets. If you are to have adequate representation of the London County Council, obviously two members are quite insufficient. There are 144 members of the London County Council, which is elected every three years, after a very severe competitive election, and represents areas with a great variety of interests. The interests of East London are very different from the interests of West London, and the interests of North London are very different from those of South London, and their points of view are different.

It is impossible, in a body of 144 members, to say they have adequate representation when you only allow them two members. We have even to admit that we have party differences in the London County Council. There are three parties. A simple arithmetical sum shows that three into two will not go. As you cannot divide two members into three parties, it will mean, naturally, that the predominant party will claim the larger representation, so that these two members would have to represent the majority in power. The representation proposed is quite inadequate, considering the vastness of London, the immense financial interests, and other considerations. It is, therefore, an insult to London to allow only two members to represent the people of London on this Advisory Committee. The City, of course, is more adequately represented, and I congratulate the City Corporation on the success of their banqueting. I think, if we had more banqueting at the County Hall, we might get more generous treatment at the hands of various Governments. The City Corporation have only one square mile and only 13,000 people.


I think there are about 45,000.


I am referring to residents. The City has not only two representatives, but it has a share, through its votes on the London County Council, in the representation by the two members who will be elected or nominated by that body. This Bill, and especially this proposal, is against the whole spirit which inspires local government in this country. It is going to sweep aside the principle that the people of a town are entitled to control their own streets, and have a voice in regard to the traffic facilities provided for them. Two representatives are to be allowed for the 4,500,000 people who have the right to elect the London County Council. If other authorities want increased representation, and make out a case for it, I shall not oppose them, but the London County Council, which is elected every three years on a broad franchise similar to the Parliamentary franchise, and which represents the whole County of London, is entitled at least to four representatives on the Advisory Committee.


I hope the Amendment will not be pressed. I have no objection to the London County Council but immediately you begin to alter any one of the arrangements in this Bill, in this respect, then claims will be made from all parts of the House on behalf of other bodies wanting additional representation and you would have an Advisory Committee which would be more in the nature of a mass meeting than a workable body. The London County Council are anxious to get this Bill. They do not like it all, and I do not like it all myself, but still they are anxious to get it and if you once disturb the balance of these arrangements it will be impossible to go on with the Bill without consulting the other authorities concerned. This Bill has been built up by arrangement and I cannot agree to disturbing the arrangements at this late hour. This matter was discussed in Committee. It is being raised now for the second time and I think it was pointed out previously that the County Council is neither a highway authority nor a licensing authority. It has its limitations and though I should like, if it were possible, to see a larger number of County Council representatives, yet I cannot say that the interests of the London County Council are not safeguarded. It is the wish of the House to get a body as completely representative as possible without making it an unwieldy body, and for these reasons I hope the House will reject the Amendment. In regard to another point which has been raised as to the difficulty of selecting two representatives from the London County Council I would point out that they have only two representatives on the Port of London Authority and they manage very well. These things are arranged as well as they can be in the circumstances, and just in the same way as they appoint two representatives on the Port Authority, they will be able to appoint two representatives on the Advisory Committee.


When a man has a weak case he usually employs invective, and practically all that the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. P. Harris) said in favour of tile extra representation of the County Council was that the City Corporation had two representatives. He knows as well as I do that the City has only one representative. The hon. Member argued this case very strongly in Committee and lost in Committee, and having lost in Committee he brings it up again to waste the time of the House to-day. Many of the Members representing the County Council in the Committee were suffering from a disease which one might call "tramwayitis." All they thought about then was, and all they are thinking about now is, what they can do for the tramways of the County Council. They would like to take those trams through the heart of the City to the detriment of the traffic. If we had the courage of our convictions, and if the County Council had the courage of their convictions, they would scrap the tram- ways within five miles of London. The greatest curse at the present time in the traffic are the tramways. They occupy the whole of the road, and they create more trouble in connection with the traffic question than anything else possibly could. If hon. Members who represent the County Council want to assist the traffic of Greater London, they will, when they get to the County Council, advocate that for five or six miles at least the trams should be taken away. I hope the House will not increase the number of representatives of the County Council on this Committee, as they are well represented already.


When I first entered this House I was perfectly free from guile, and I am astounded at the speeches of the three hon. Members who have preceded me, because it seems to me that the various interests concerned are fighting a battle royal over this Bill and that the question of the control of London traffic is being regarded as a secondary matter. I do not say there should not he trams in London, but I cannot understand the representatives of the London County Council pointing out the importance of that body in this connection. It has never been a licensing authority and has never had charge of the roads. With regard to the City, they have always been a licensing authority, although they delegated the power to the Commissioner of Police. I cannot see why it is necessary to have more than two representatives of the County Council. If hon. Members look at the interests affected, they will find that some measure of representation has been given to all. It might be taken wrongly if I were to suggest that the combine has one representative as against the London County Council's two and as against the municipal authorities' 11, or that the workers have three representatives as against 11 representing the authorities and one representing the combine—a total of 12. One might go into this matter on these lines if one did not wish to facilitate the passage of this Bill in order to effect some semblance of control of the traffic of London. I hope the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment will be content with the beating which they got in Committee and will not press the Amendment.

Viscount CURZON

I hope the House will reject the Amendment. It is an attempt by a representative of one of the greatest vested interests in London, namely, the tramways, to try, as it were, to load the dice. I submit that once we begin altering the composition of the Committee we shall bring about our ears all sorts of trouble. If we alter the representation of the municipal authorities and give a little more to the tramways people, what is going to be the position of the small omnibus owner? He has no hope of increased representation, and it would be unfair in his interest to alter the composition of the Committee. The Seconder of the Amendment said there was no great congestion in Kingsway. Of course, there is not, because the trams run underground there. The Minister made the rather astounding remark that he did not like the Bill, of which he is in charge. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] The hon. Gentleman's words were, "I do not like it all myself," which I think an astounding statement from the Minister in charge of a Bill, though perhaps I misunderstood him. I trust that the House will oppose this renewed attempt by the tramway people to secure unfair representation on the Committee.


I was sorry to hear the answer of the Minister to this proposal. I thought, judging from his close connection with the County Council for twenty-five years, he would be more sympathetic to a request for larger representation. He said the County Council was not a highways authority. In a sense that is true, but whatever area this Committee has to manage in regard to traffic, the key to the whole situation is the County of London. You cannot do much in managing the traffic of Greater London unless you deal with the County Council area. The London County Council is the bridge authority for the whole county outside the City Corporation district; it is the tunnel authority, the embankment authority, the improvements authority for the County of London, and the Minister will admit that he cannot do much in regard to the traffic question, unless large improvements are made in the County of London. Reference has been made to the rateable value of London. That is one of the points to be carefully considered by the Ministry. The County Council has subscribed generously to the making of some of the new roads for which the Ministry are responsible outside London. I think the Minister is keenly interested in the new Dock road; we are all anxious to get that road scheme through, and he hopes the County Council will provide a good deal of the money.

I think there is every reason why the County Council should be given a larger representation. The Minister says this is an agreed scheme. As far as I know, there has been no agreement by the County Council and no indication that they are satisfied with two representatives. It would be interesting to know who agreed to this scheme, with whom they agreed and where the agreement was made. As one of those who have defended tramway Bills in this House, I am sorry to see the Noble Lord the Member for South Battersea (Viscount Curzon) so bitterly opposed to tramways in London. I only wish that he and his friends had an opportunity to study the figures and to see the wonderful traffic with which the tramway service is able to deal in London. Reference has been made to tramways obstructing the streets, but I wonder if the hon. Member for the City of London (Sir V. Bowater) has ever counted the number of motor omnibuses hung up at the Mansion House and other streets in the City? If so, I do not think he could come down here and say, fairly, that the tramways are the only cause of obstruction. I hope the Minister of Transport will reconsider his decision on this matter. In reference to his use of the analogy of the Port of London Authority, he was a distinguished member of that authority for a good many years, but I do not think either he or I were at all satisfied that the County Council had sufficient representation on that body, and I do not think it is a good answer that, because we have two on the Port of London Authority, we should be satisfied with two on the Traffic Authority.


I was not criticising the number. It was the way in which they were divided.


Two members from inside the council is not quite all. There are two from outside the council, whom the County Council appoints, and, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, because he I believe was one of them, one of those has to be a Labour Member. Thus the Labour party on the County Council get representation in an indirect way on the Port of London Authority. Therefore, I think I have made out a good case, and I claim, in view of the fact that the London County Council is in control of practically the key to the traffic in the County of London, that it is entitled to four representatives instead of two.


The more one hears the discussions on this Bill, the more one realises that the statements which were made by certain people before it was introduced, that it was an agreed Bill, were absolutely false, without any basis in fact. The Minister has told us that the basis of representation is an agreed basis, but, with the greatest respect in the world, I am bound to contradict him. On the basis of population with rateable value, there is no question but that the County Council is hopelessly unrepresented, just as it is equally true that the City of London Corporation is hopelessly over-represented. We have had a speech from the hon. Member for the City (Sir V. Bowater), which is a true indication of the kind of impartial mind the City of London will send to represent it on this Advisory Committee—absolute, unreasoning bias, prejudice, nonsense, by people who do not know the facts about transport enterprise. On a later Amendment I will give the House the facts on the economy of tramway running as compared with the lack of economy on omnibus running. I am not here to argue that the tramways are saints and the omnibuses sinners. I suggest that hon. Members might keep a little impartiality on this question, because I think there is room for all forms of transport. Why, because we, as local government people, claim on local government grounds that a municipality should have adequate representation, we are to be likened to other hon. Members who are more concerned about certain interests of a private character than they are about public interests, and are to be accused of coming here merely to represent the municipal tramway undertaking, I do not know. It is unfair and untrue, and such statements ought not to be made, particularly by Conservative Members.


Does the hon. Member call that being impartial?


We ought to settle this question on broad grounds of public policy. We ought to set aside altogether all considerations of a narrow, doctrinaire type, like that advanced by the hon. Member for the City of London and the even more narrow type of considerations advanced by the Noble Lord the Member for South Battersea (Viscount Curzon). Surely we are entitled to consider whether the relative representation of the different authorities under this Bill is in accordance with their relative importance, and the thing that I am most concerned about is that the London County Council is reduced in status and in importance to the level of the Corporation of the City of London. I resent that very strongly, because the Corporation of the City, if I may say so with respect, is a very unimportant body compared with the general governing body of the County of London. [Laughter.] Hon. Members may laugh, but it is true, and in regard to all this boasting about the grand old City of London, if the truth about the City were told, and if the truth about the local government in the City were told, it would not redound to the credit of the City Corporation. What I am concerned with, however, is that you must have a sense of relativity in this matter. The City has two representatives. The hon. Member for the City said it has only one, but that is not strictly true, because the Corporation, as such, gets one, and then the police authority in the City, which is the City, again gets one, and, therefore, the City really has two, and it has only a square mile to administer.


On the same principle, the London County Council has three representatives, because it has the Chief Commissioner of Police.


The County Council may be held responsible for many sins, but I hope it is not going to be held responsible for the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis. I do not want to be responsible for him. I leave him to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department. London has no control over the Metropolitan Police at all, and this is another instance of the Crown Colony Government that we are put under. Surely the City should not have the same representation, having only a square mile to administer, with an insignificant population—a big day-time population with residences somewhere else, I admit. I put it to provincial Members that, supposing Manchester Corporation, Glasgow Corporation, any great corporation in the provinces, were treated in this way, I cannot imagine Members of Parliament representing constituencies in those great provincial cities and county boroughs coming to this House and denouncing their own corporation in the way in which London Members of Parliament denounce theirs. I do not know why it is, whether it is due to jealousy and anger of the municipality, or whether it is a general fear of municipal progress, but surely we are entitled to make a reasonable claim for the reasonable representation of this body.

The Minister should not quote the Port of London authority as a precedent, because it is a bad precedent. It is perfectly true that if the County Council proceeds to appoint its two members it is in this dilemma, that the majority party is entitled to a majority of the two. I am bound to admit that, though I am in a minority myself. Therefore, its instinct is to secure the two members for one party, and one cannot grumble at this. Surely that is a great difficulty, that would arise whatever party is in power. But let the House consider the area over which the County Council has jurisdiction. It has an area of 116 square miles, a rateable value of £50,000,000, and a population of 4,500,000. It is dealing with the real kernel of the traffic problem in Greater London, and, surely, in those circumstances, it is entitled to reasonable representation. If Members for outside counties can make a stronger case, let them do it, but I do not think they can, because I think they are not so important in connection with this problem as London is. When the Minister wants some main roads built in Kent or Essex, he actually comes to the London County Council to help him with these extra county improvements, and, surely, it is reasonable that the County Council—

Colonel ASHLEY

Only on the understanding that they contribute, in order that their unemployed should be used on those works.


That is true, but the ownership of the roads is vested in the local authority outside, and we are really contributing to the benefit of Greater London. I do not say that is a particular virtue, but it meets the point that the London County Council is of relative unimportance. It is a great body and a great administrative machine, and Members ought not to sneer at it. It is entitled to respectful consideration. I speak as a minority Member, a Labour Member, because it is the party of the hon. Members opposite which controls the London County Council, yet they are always denouncing it. They do not like their own handiwork. I am not concerned with the question of who gets the representation, but I am concerned with the principle of the thing, and this House ought to treat a great municipality with respect and proper consideration. I say that this Schedule of representation giving the City two members, giving State Departments one here and two there, is an insult to the great municipality of London, and ought not to be done, and if my hon. Friends go to a Division, I hope the Minister will not put the Whips on, but leave it to the decision of the House. Whether he does or does not, I shall vote for municipal government as against the kind of representation in this Clause.

Captain Viscount EDNAM

I am afraid I cannot give very much respect to the London County Council, particularly when its members talk about their injured status and importance, like an injured housemaid, but I hope the House will not be led astray by this claim on the part of the greatest octopus in the world. The London County Council is not putting in this claim because it thinks it has not sufficient representation in accordance with the population that it represents, but because it may have another opportunity of getting its tentacles further round the necks of the unfortunate people who live in Outer London, and also in order that it may have an opportunity of giving a further length of life to its rotten old tramways that ought to have been scrapped a great many years ago. The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. P. Harris) said he hoped there would be co-operation between the various local authorities, but I do not think it is a very good way of trying to obtain co-operation from the other local authorities—who are naturally, and admittedly, suspicious of the London County Council, because it is always trying to push itself over its own boundaries and to obtain jurisdiction in outer parts of London where the people do not want its jurisdiction—to seek further representation to which it is not entitled. The County Council is quite sufficiently represented with two members; it is better represented than the outer districts of London, and as well represented as the City of London itself.

The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green also said that the County Council ought to have a greater representation because it represented great interests. I have been sitting on the Committee upstairs for the last month, and I have heard the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal. Green and his colleagues throughout the whole proceedings of that Committee condemning what he calls the representation of vested interests, yet here he is asking for a further representation of his own vested interests, that is to say, the tramways, that ought to have been scrapped years ago, and the other interests which the County Council controls. As has been pointed out, the London County Council is not a licensing authority, and it is not a highway authority, and why should it have this representation of two further members? When great administrative counties like Middlesex, Kent and so on are not asking for further representation, why should the London County Council? The hon. Member for South Hackney (Mr. H. Morrison) spoke about the unreasoning prejudice and bias of mind of my hon. Friend the Member for the City of London (Sir V. Bowater), but of all the unreasoning, prejudiced and biassed speeches I have heard throughout the whole of the proceedings of these Committees, the worst have come from the representatives of the London County Council on that Committee. I do not hold the smallest respect for the London County Council, because of the way in which its representatives have tried, not only to push their way into our areas in outer London, but also because of the way in which they have tried to push their vested interests in this Bill. I trust that hon. Members will show in the Lobby what little respect they have.


As a very old London Member I should like a word or two. I think my hon. Friend opposite and myself are the two oldest Members for London in this House. With respect to what the Noble Lord the Member for Hornsey (Viscount Ednam) said, and with great respect to him, may I point out that there is all the difference in the world between "vested interests" and "public interests." I did not, however, rise to make that point, but to make the perhaps trivial observation that we live in times quite unknown to the ancients. A more amazing situation could not well be conceived than the position of the Minister of Transport. It is even more amazing than this abortion of a Bill. The hon. Gentleman said—and I took down the sentence—"I do not like it all myself." Then why is his name on the back of it? Why is it that he is sitting on that bench helping forward a Bill in which he does not believe?


I did not say it in that way.


I will put the hon. Gentleman's own words to him: "I do not like it all myself." That being so, why is his name on the back? I sympathise with the hon. Gentleman, as I do with the President of the Board of Trade, who is sitting next to him, at whose feet I sat—I do not know how many years ago—as a disciple of the great advisableness of municipalisation and progress. I commiserate with him. What is the answer given to those who criticise the Bill? It is an answer which has been given before: "We found the Bill on the stocks when we came into office." Does my hon. Friend assent to that?


indicated dissent.


I am putting the point of view of the Londoner, who is a very good-tempered, very happy-go-lucky, and rather indifferent sort of person, yet one of the best going. But you can make him angry in time, and if he realises, as he must now, that those super-democrats above the Gangway, those friends of democratic control, have come here to put through a Tory Measure, it will make him pretty angry. I think the hon. Member for South Hackney (Mr. H. Morrison) was thoroughly justified in what he said. I hope this matter will be carried to a division, and I shall certainly support my hon. Friend in the Lobby.


I trust the House will now come to a conclusion. The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has used words that are perfectly true. I do not like all this Bill myself.


But your name is not on the back.


But I am responsible as a Member of the Government! None of us, however, can help doing things at times that we do not like. That is obvious. For that reason we have introduced a Bill which, although we do not like every particular of it—also it must not be forgotten that we do not control the majority of the House—we consider it desirable to put forward, and to endeavour to pass as quickly as possible into law. We supposed that by so doing we should meet the approval of various sections of the House. In that sense we understood the Bill to be an agreed Bill.


We do not agree with it. With whom have you made the agreement.


I very carefully said "in that sense." I am not asserting that any particular party or section has agreed to any particular Clause of the Bill, but I am saying that this Bill, in the sense that we thought, was an agreed Bill, and in the sense we thought it would be allowed to go through. Personally, I should have preferred to make a Greater London authority directly elected with various ample powers, but because I should have preferred that, would it have been our duty not to endeavour to pass a Measure like this which we hope to get through, knowing that the larger and more ample Measure would have been impossible? This Bill represents the greatest common measure of agreement in the present House, and, therefore, we are endeavouring to pass it.

It is not, in my view, fair to complain that the London County Council is not more strongly represented, for I would point out that this body is not a governing body at all; it is merely an advisory committee. I have several times before explained in answer to arguments that this Advisory Committee is not an authority, it is not a governing body or anything of that kind. As an Advisory Committee it is an indirectly elected and nominated body to which no one would suggest entrusting powers. Therefore all the talk that has been put forward about the size of the population, the area of the territory, the rateable value, etc., of London falls to the ground. In addition to the county council there are the Metropolitan borough councils and the City Corporation. You have to take care in considering this matter how you can get the separate areas all fairly represented, to take care that none of them are left out. We cannot go back upon what has been done in this matter. Thus it must not be forgotten that for the London County Council area there will be no fewer than five representatives on the Committee—two appointed by the London County Council, one by the Corporation, and two from nominees selected by the councils of the several Metropolitan boroughs, whilst the outside areas are represented by three or four members only. I trust the House will come to a decision on this matter without further discussion.

Lieut.-Colonel MEYLER

Those connected with the County of London, who for some years past have been represented by large numbers of Members on the opposite side of the House, will be flattered by the remarks about their governing authorities. We have had Member after Member getting up on the other side and belittling their own Government; belittling the London County Council on which they hold a majority. How can they expect any body to be a success if it contains a majority of people who have no interest in it, and think that the body should not be supported? On the other side, we have another party whose representatives on the Front Bench get up and tell us that we must have a Bill of this sort, however bad it is, put on the Statute Book. I am opposed to laws being passed on that basis, that is, because you must have

something to show on your Statute Book. Let us take time over passing laws while about it, and have those laws that we put there for the benefit of the people as a whole and not for a few vested interests—not only for the vested interests of the people who supply the transport of London, or for the vested interests of a small section of the people who want to use the roads for their own particular purposes. These are represented by those who ride in gilded coaches, and by those who ride about in speedy, private motor cars. We have had anger and contempt put upon the homely tramcar. I have no doubt that the Noble Lord opposite and the hon. Member for the City of London do not ride in tramcars. Personally I do ride in tramcars, even when I am in the County of London. I know the type of person who rides in them. I know the type of person who would be greatly inconvenienced by any interference with the tramcars. We below the Gangway stand for the interests of those people—and they are a very large body—who have to ride in tramcars, and cannot use gilded coaches or speedy motor cars.

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Robert Young)

I am afraid the hon. and gallant Member is getting wide of the point. I draw his attention to the Amendment.

Lieut.-Colonel MEYLER

I am only taking up the arguments already used by hon. Members; but may I say that I for one am going to support this Amendment in favour of giving additional representation to that body that has been elected formally and properly by the people of London. I contend that these should have proper representation, and something more than this miserable two members.

Question put, "That the word "Two" stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 299; Noes, 119.

Division No. 106.] AYES. [5.59 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. William Banks, Reginald Mitchell Bourne, Robert Croft
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Banton, G. Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart
Alden, Percy Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Barnes, A. Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.
Alexander, Brg.-Gen. Sir W. (Glas. C.) Barnston, Major Sir Harry Brassey, Sir Leonard
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Batey, Joseph Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. Willam Clive
Ammon, Charles George Becker, Harry Broad, F. A.
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W Beckett, Sir Gervase Bromfield, William
Astor, Viscountess Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W. Buchanan, G.
Atholl, Duchess of Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Buckle, J.
Attlee, Major Clement R. Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James
Ayles, W. H. Berry, Sir George Bullock, Captain M.
Balrd, Major Rt. Hon. Sir John L. Birchall, Major J. Dearman Burman, J. B.
Baker, Walter Blades, Sir George Rowland Butler, Sir Geoffrey
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Blundell, F. N. Butt, Sir Alfred
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Bondfield, Margaret Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel
Cape, Thomas Herbert, Capt. Sidney (Scarborough) Richards, R.
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Hill-Wood, Major Sir Samuel Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Hirst, G. H. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S) Hodges, Frank Ritson, J.
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Hoffman, P. C. Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Robertson, J. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy Ropner, Major L.
Charleton, H. C. Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead) Rose, Frank H.
Church, Major A. G. Howard, Hn. D. (Cumberland, Northn.) Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Clarke, A. Huntingfield, Lord Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Clarry, Reginald George Iliffe, Sir Edward M. Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)
Cobb, Sir Cyril Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Sandeman, A. Stewart
Compton, Joseph Isaacs, G. A. Savery, S. S.
Conway, Sir W. Martin Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S. Shaw, Thomas (Preston)
Cope, Major William Jackson, R. F. (Ipswich) Shepperson, E. W.
Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L. James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Sherwood, George Henry
Cove, W. G. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Shinwell, Emanuel
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn. N.) Jephcott, A. R. Short, Alfred (Wednesday)
Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Jewson, Dorothea Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Crittall, V. G. John, William (Rhondda, West) Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfst)
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Smillie, Robert
Curzon, Captain Viscount Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Dalkeith, Earl of Jowett, F. W. (Bradford, East) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H. Kennedy, T. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln) Kindersley, Major G. M. Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-In-Furn'ss)
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) King, Captain Henry Douglas Spender-Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Lamb, J. Q. Spoor, B. G.
Davies, Thomas (Cirencester) Lane-Fox, George R. Stamford, T. W.
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick) Law, A. Stanley, Lord
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Leach, W. Steel, Samuel Strang
Davison, Sir Philip Lee, F. Stephen, Campbell
Dickson, T. Lloyd-Greame, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
Dixon, Herbert Lloyd-Lampson, G. (Wood Green) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Doyle, N. Grattan Lowth, T. Sullivan, J.
Dukes, C. Lumley, L. R. Sutton, J. E.
Duncan, C. Lunn, William Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Eden, Captain Anthony MacDonald, R. Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Edmondson, Major A. J. McEntee, V. L. Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Ednam, Viscount Mackinder, W. Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) McLean, Major A. Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Croydon, S.)
Edwards, G. (Norfolk, Southern) Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Egan, W. H. Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Tinker, John Joseph
Elliot, Walter E. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Elveden, Viscount Marley James Tout, W. J.
Erskine, James Malcolm Montelth Marriott, J. A. R. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Eyres-Monsell, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray Meller, R. J. Turner-Samuels, M.
Ferguson, H. Middleton, G. Varley, Frank B.
Fitzroy, Captain Hon. Edward A. Mills, J. E. Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Milne, J. S. Wardlaw Viant, S. P.
Gates, Percy Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Warrander, Sir Victor
Gaunt, Rear-Admiral Sir Guy R. Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Gavan-Duffy, Thomas Morel, E. D. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)
Gibbins, Joseph Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Mulr, John W. Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Murray, Robert Wedgwood, Col. Rt. Hon. Joslah C.
Gosling, Harry Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph Wells, S. R.
Gould, Frederick (Somerset, Frome) Naylor, T. E. Welsh, J. C.
Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Weston, John Wakefield
Greene, W. P. Crawford Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield) Westwood, J.
Greenall, T. Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Nixon, H. Whiteley, W.
Greenwood, William (Stockport) O'Grady, Captain James Wignall, James
Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Oliver, George Harold Williams, David (Swansea, E.)
Groves, T. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Hugh Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Grundy, T. W. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William Williams, Lt.-Col. T.S.B. (Kenningtn.)
Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.) Penny, Frederick George Wilson, Colonel M. J. (Richmond)
Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. W. E. Perkins, Colonel E. K. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Perring, William George Windsor, Walter
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Perry, S. F. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Philipson, Mabel Wise, Sir Fredric
Hartington, Marquess of Pielou, D. P. Wolmer, Viscount
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Potts, John S. Wood, Major Rt. Hon. Edward F. L.
Hervey, C.M.B. (Aberd'n & Kincardine) Purcell, A. A. Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Hastings, Sir Patrick Raine, W. Wright, W.
Haycock, A. W. Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk Peol Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward
Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Raynes, W. R. Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Henderson, A. (Cardiff, South) Reid, D. D. (Country Down) Young, Andrew (Glasgow, Partick)
Henderson, W. W. (Middlesex, Enfld.) Remer, J. R.
Henn, Sir Sydney H. Remnant, Sir James TELLERS FOR THE Ayes.—
Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Rentoul, G. S. Mr. T. Griffiths and Mr. G. Warne.
Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Ackroyd, T. R. Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Rea, W. Russell
Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis Dyke Howard, Hon. G. (Bedford, Luton) Rees, Capt. J. T. (Devan, Barnstaple)
Ainsworth, Captain Charles Johnston, Thomas (Stirling) Rees, Sir Beddoe
Allen, R. Wilberforce (Leicester, S.) Johnstone, Harcourt (Willesden, East) Robertson, T. A.
Aske, Sir Robert William Jones, C. Sydney (Liverpool, W. Derby) Robinson, S. W. (Essex, Chelmsford)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, stretford
Black, J. W. Kay, Sir R. Newbald Romeril, H. G.
Bonwick, A. Keens, T. Royle, C.
Briant, Frank Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Rudkin, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. C.
Brown, A. E. (Warwick, Rugby) Kenyon, Barnet Scrymgeour, E
Burnie, Major J. (Bootle) Kirkwood, D. Scurr, John
Climie, R. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George Seely, H. M. (Norfolk, Eastern)
Cluse, W. S. Lansbury, George Simon, E. D.(Manchester, Withington)
Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Laverack, F. J. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Comyns-Carr, A. S. Lawrence, Susan (East Ham, North) Simpson, J. Hope
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Lessing, E. Snell, Harry
Darbishire, C. W. Linfield, F. C. Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.
Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh) Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Spero, Dr. G. E.
Dodds, S. R. McCrae, Sir George Starmer, Sir Charles
Edwards, John H. (Accrington) Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) Stewart, Maj. R. S. (Stockton-on-Tees)
England, Colonel A. Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J. Stranger, Innes Harold
Falconer, J. Maden, H Sturrock, J. Leng
Finney, V. H. Mansel, Sir Courtenay Sutherland, Rt. Hon. Sir William
Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L. March, S. Terrington, Lady
Fletcher, Lieut.-Com. R. T. H. Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kincardine, E.) Thompson, Piers G. (Torquay)
Foot, Isaac Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G. Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Meyler, Lieut.-Colonel H. M. Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, North) Mitchell, R. M. (Perth & Kinross, Perth) Thurtle, E.
George Rt. Hon. David Lloyd Mond, H. Vivian, H.
George, Major G. L. (Pembroke) Montague, Frederick Wallhead, Richard C.
Gilbert, James Daniel Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Ward, G. (Leicester, Bosworth)
Gillett, George M. Morse, W. E. Word, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Harbord, Arthur Moulton, Major Fletcher White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)
Hardle, George D. Muir, Ramsay (Rochdale) Williams, A. (York, W. R., Sowerby)
Harney, E. A. Murrell, Frank Willison, H.
Hastings, Somerville (Reading) Nichol, Robert Wintringham, Margaret
Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Phillipps, Vivian Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Hindle, F. Pilkington, R. R.
Hobhouse, A. L. Pringle, W. M. R. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hodge, Lieut.-Col, J. P. (Preston) Ramage, Captain Cecil Beresford Mr. Percy Harris and Mr. Raffety.
Hogbin, Henry Cairns Rathbone, Hugh R.

I beg to move, in page 2, to leave out lines 6 to 9 inclusive, and to insert instead thereof the words One shall be appointed by the Minister from amongst nominees selected by the councils of the administrative counties named in the First Schedule hereto, other than the administrative county of London, which lie north of the Thames; One shall be appointed by the Minister from amongst nominees selected by the councils of the administrative counties named in the First Schedule hereto, other than the administrative county of London, which lie south of the Thames. This Amendment in the form in which it appears on the paper deals with the representation of the counties other than the County of London on the advisory committee. It is not designed in any way to upset the scheme of representation, but merely to deal with two points in the machinery, one as to the method by which representatives for these counties should be appointed, and the other to allot two representatives amongst two groups instead of making them both representative of one whole group. I am anxious, as the Minister of Transport knows, to meet him as far as possible, and not be obstructive in the Amendments I am moving, and I hope in the revised form he may see his way to accept this Amendment. The first part of my Amendment in the original form would have the effect that the County Councils concerned would appoint their own representatives direct instead of as provided for in the Bill at present their being appointed by the Minister from nominees selected by the County Councils.

I understand that the Minister, who understands this business a great deal better than I do, does not like this Amendment in that respect, and he thinks it is more satisfactory machinery that the county council should have the duty of appointing nominees from whom he may select one representative. If the hon. Gentleman will give me the other part of my Amendment, I am prepared to give up this part, because, so far as the different county councils are prepared to act together, they could, of course, appoint one single nominee, and thus do what they have asked me to suggest by this Amendment. The second part of my Amendment is one of quite a different Character. The county councils which are affected, and which, under the scheme, are to have two representatives, consist of counties to the north of the Thames and counties to the south of the Thames. It will be quite obvious to the House that there is a strong bond between counties north of the Thames and a bond between counties south of the Thames, and that there is a material difference of interests between those two. As the Bill provides for two representatives for all those county councils, I am not proposing to upset the scheme when I ask that those two representatives, instead of being for one whole group of all the counties, may be one representative for the counties on the north of the Thames and another for the counties on the south of the Thames.

I ought to mention here one particular question of drafting which arises as a result of an Amendment which stands later on the Order Paper in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Windsor (Mr. A. Somerville), who desires to exclude the counties of Buckinghamshire and Berkshire from the proposed first Schedule. In order to avoid any difficulty arising on that point, I am going to suggest that instead of enumerating the counties they should be described in this Amendment as the councils of the administrative counties named in the Schedule, other than the County of London, which lie north of the River Thames, and the councils of the administrative counties named in the Schedule, other than the County of London, which lie south of the Thames. That, after all, is only a drafting point, and I think that perhaps it will be more convenient, if the Minister agrees, that I should move the Amendment in this form instead of in the form in which it stands on the Paper. Then I come to the question about which I spoke first of all, of the first part of my Amendment—as to the machinery by which these representatives are to be appointed; and if I give up, as I was suggesting that I was prepared to do, in deference to the Minister, that part of my Amendment, it means really that, instead of moving my own original Amendment, I am adopting, in a slightly revised form, the Amendment which stands next on the Paper in the names of my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston (Mr. Penny) and my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Chertsey (Sir P. Richardson). I understand from you, Sir, that their Amendment could not be moved if the one standing in my name were moved, and, therefore, as I have put my Amendment into such a form as to make it more a revised form of their Amendment than of mine, I think it is only right that I should mention that, and should refer particularly to the Amendment which stands in their name.

My moving the Amendment in this form amounts to this, and this only, that the counties which, under the Bill as at present drawn, are to appoint two representatives, or be concerned in the appointment of two representatives, are to be divided into two separate groups with one representative each, instead of there being two representatives for the whole of the larger group. That brings it down to a very simple issue indeed, and one to which I very much hope no objection can be raised on the part of anyone. It does not upset the scheme in the least degree, and it has this great advantage that it enables the counties north of the Thames, which so constantly have to work together and keep in such close touch, to work together as one body, while the counties south of the Thames, which are equally concerned with one another, but have interests separate from those of the north, will be able to work together on their side, each group having its own representative.

Colonel ASHLEY

I have very considerable sympathy with the idea which underlies the Amendment of my hon. Friend, but I should like to point out to him and to the House that the idea which he seeks to put forward, and which he has put forward very ably and clearly, can perfectly well be carried out under the terms of the Bill. If the hon. Member will look at the Bill, he will see that it is stated, in line 6 on page 2, that two members shall be appointed by the Minister from amongst nominees selected by the councils of certain administrative counties—we need not go into the names of the counties. My hon. Friend says, how much better it would be if the counties that lie north of the Thames could meet together and send up a nominee to the Minister, who would appoint him, and if those on the other side of the river could do the same thing. Why not, asks my hon. Friend, allow the two separate interests to receive separate representation? But what is there to prevent, under the terms of the Bill, the county councils affected from sending their representatives to meet together and decide that they will, on behalf of the counties south of the Thames, send up one name, and that on behalf of the counties north of the Thames they will send up another name, so that the same thing can be done without imposing any restrictive legislation?


If my hon. friend would allow me to interrupt him for one moment, he, perhaps, does not realise what is our trouble, namely, that, if there were some divergence of interest between the two, the counties, say, to the south of the Thames might appoint three nominees, from whom the Minister could select, and the counties north of the Thames might appoint three or four nominees, from whom he might select; and the Minister for the time being, whoever he might be, might perfectly well select two nominees representing the southern counties alone, or two representing the northern counties alone. The machinery is not interfered with in the least degree by my proposed Amendment.

Colonel ASHLEY

I have much too much confidence in the representatives of the county councils, and in the ability of the Minister of Transport, to think that that difficulty would really arise as a matter of practical politics. It is not a matter of first-class importance, I admit, but my hon. Friend must remember that if his Amendment be carried, it will definitely prevent a joint meeting of the representatives of the county councils from sending up two nominees representing the whole of their interests, if they so wish, and it will definitely sever the counties north and south of the Thames from one another. Personally, I think that, on the whole, the balance of advantage lies with the Bill as brought in by the Minister of Transport.


I really do not see the necessity for this Amendment, and I think the case has been so well put by the right hon. Gentleman who spoke last that I need not repeat it. The only provision that is really wanted is in case the county councils themselves do not agree. I do not see any reason why they should not, and they can agree to divide themselves into two groups, one on each side of the river, if they prefer it, or they can do whichever they like. It is quite true that you might get someone at the Ministry of Transport who would gloat over taking the two representatives from one side and none from the other, but that does not seem to me to be the kind of thing that one would expect, any more than one would expect the county councils not to look after their interests in the best possible way. All that they have to do is to send up two names, and then the Minister has no option. Supposing that they do not agree, and every separate body sends up its nominee, then, of course, the Minister must make a selection, but if you want to do anything other than that, you have to set up machinery, and the Minister has to make Regulations. It must be remembered that all that would have to be done in order to select two people once, because this Bill is to terminate at the end of three years, and, therefore, the advisory committee has only to be appointed once. It does seem to me that it may very well be left where it is, allowing the county councils to decide for themselves that they will send two names, one from one side and one from the other, which seems to me to be the most reasonable and sensible thing for them to do.


The Minister speaks of the councils sending up only two nominees, but, supposing that there were differences of opinion, and they sent up more than two names, that is the real difficulty and the crux of the position. Inasmuch as all these counties feel very strongly on this point, and wish to have a division between the two groups, it seems to me that it would make for the satisfactory working of the Bill if the Minister would agree to this very simple point. The county councils have instructed their representatives to ask to have it done in this way, and it seems to me such a small point that I think the Minister might well agree to let them have what they want. If it is understood that they should only send up one name each, it would do away with the difficulty and please the surrounding counties, who do, undoubtedly, view this Bill with some suspicion.


I am afraid it is the insularity of London government that has caused the Minister to give the answer he has given. If he knew something of local government in the counties outside London, he would realise the complete unanimity that exists among them, and how different is the case of the counties north of the Thames from that of those south of the Thames. I am not going to say a word about Surrey. Surrey and Middlesex are joined by bridges in various places, but I should like to recall the fact that when, as long ago as 1780, a committee of joint magistrates had to determine where the boundary of their liability came at Walton Bridge, they fell out and quarrelled so severely that no business could be done; but later in the day, when better counsels prevailed, they dined together like true Englishmen out in Palace Yard in an old hostelry called "The King's Head," and they have dined together ever since. Surrey and Middlesex, therefore, have been cemented in that respect. I do assure the Minister, however, that Essex and Buckinghamshire are so constantly in communication with Middlesex, owing to their proximity, that there would be no difficulty in presenting to him a list of well-qualified persons, the selection of any of whom would carry confidence in the other counties. I will not say that that does not obtain to the counties south of the Thames, but, naturally, the river has made all the difference in the world, and we do not get the same consensus of opinion between the northern counties and, say, Kent. I do think, therefore, that the Minister might concede this small matter. He could make his selection, and he would then be able to choose two representatives, both of whom would possess the complete confidence of their adjoining neighbours. The counties on the southern side would include Kent. Berkshire and Surrey, while the counties on the north would be absolutely in accord, and I think it would very largely contribute to the successful working of the Bill.


I should like to meet the very considerable feeling which I think exists, and if I can preserve my right—this being only a manuscript Amendment—to make any modification that may be necessary, I shall accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.


With regard to the point which the hon. Member for Windsor (Mr. A. Somerville) desires to raise, I intend to take that as a separate question on the Schedule, and I understand that the Minister, if the sense of the House should be in favour of the exclusion of the two counties in question, would in another place make the necessary alterations in the earlier part of the Bill.


Yes, Sir.


The Amendment of the Minister, in page 2, line 9, to leave out, "and Hertford" and insert. "Hertford, Buckingham and Berks," is not now required; and the Amendment in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Central Bristol (Sir T. Inskip), in page 2, line 23, to leave out "ordinary," is consequential.


I beg to move, in page 2, line 24, after the word "authority," to insert the words other than the representative of the City Police. This is a drafting Amendment. It is quite clear that it was not intended that the effect of this provision should be that the representative of the City Police should be a member of the City Corporation, and this is to put that matter right.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 2, line 24, leave out the word "or," and insert instead thereof the words "and every person."—[Mr. Gosling.]


I beg to move, in page 2, line 27, at the end, to insert the words and on the termination of such membership he shall cease to be a member of the Committee. This is to make the Clause less ambiguous than it is at present. The intention is not clear as it stands— Every ordinary member appointed by a local authority or selected by a group of authorities shall be a member of the local authority. What I want to know is, if he ceases to be a member of the local authority does he, ipso facto, cease to be a member of the committee, or if once he is appointed to the committee does he continue his membership even though he may lose his qualification as a member of the local authority. I believe my Amendment would carry out the intention of the Clause, but it is ambiguous as it stands. I understand these words were inserted in Committee and were not in the original draft, and it is possible that they may be capable of improvement.


I beg to second the Amendment.


There is no doubt the intention was, and is, as the hon. and gallant Gentleman wishes it to be, that a member appointed to this advisory committee should remain a member only so long as he continues to be a member of the body in respect of which he was appointed. I think, as a matter of fact, the words in this last paragraph will now be found to have been put right by the Amendment which has just been carried on the Motion of the Minister himself, and if the hon. and gallant Gentleman will leave it as it is for the moment, I have the Minister's authority for assuring him that it shall be put as he desires in another place if there is any ambiguity at all, but we think there is now no ambiguity.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Further Amendments made: In page 3, line 7, leave out the word "First" and insert the word "Second";

In page 3, line 32, leave out the words "for good reason shown."—[Mr. Gosling.]


I beg to move, in page 4, line 16, at the end, to insert the words Its meetings shall be open to the public except it is decided at any meeting by special resolution to sit in camera. This is to my mind a very important Amendment if we are really going to have any confidence in the working of the Act by the Minister. The Minister is going to have immense powers over the traffic of London, and of course the object of giving him those powers is to limit, at any rate in certain streets, the number of omnibuses plying for hire. At certain times of the day, especially in the early morning when people are going to work and in the evening when they are returning from work, there is never sufficient seating accommodation for everyone. When the Minister seeks advice, as I assume he is going to do, as to streets which are going to have a limited user, it is very essential that the public, if it is going to be inconvenienced by his decision, should know that before his opinion is arrived at there has been adequate, free and full discussion of the problem. The only security the public is going to have is in the working of this Committee. It is a great principle in local government that there should be full publicity for all proceedings. There is a great danger of the Committee having as chairman a mere nominee of the Minister and that would give rise to suspicion that the business of the public is not being adequately considered. The idea apparently is very prevalent in some cases that all the congestion is due to the tramways, and in other cases that it is entirely due to the omnibuses. As a matter of fact if a careful census is taken of the number of vehicles plying for hire in some of our very crowded streets, the cause of the congestion can be traced just as much to the private motor car and taxicab and other means of locomotion. Any day in the summer when there is a great number of social events you will find that congestion is caused in Piccadilly just as much by private motor cars as by motor omnibuses.

I am sure the House is most anxious that, except there are very special reasons for meeting in private, the Press should be allowed to be present, and there should be full publicity for all the proceedings. I go further. I believe the success of the Minister depends mainly, if not entirely, on the co-operation of public opinion. The only way he can get public opinion behind him is to have the Press present at all proceedings of the Committee, except there is some very special reason why they should sit in camera. I know the Committee upstairs held that it is rather a drastic order that the Committee should always sit in public, because there might be some reason to the contrary; so I have provided that where there is a special resolution the Committee can meet in private. Cheap, rapid transit is essential to a great city like London. We know what it means when there is a traffic dispute and the whole of London is held up; how the whole life of London is disorganised, and when the Minister, acting on the advice of his Committee, decides to decrease the number of vehicles plying for hire, to limit the user of streets, to direct vehicles along a new line of traffic, it is essential that he should have public opinion behind him. The only way he can be sure of having public opinion behind him is to have the full light of day on the proceedings of the Committee on whose advice he acts.


I beg to second the Amendment.


If I remember rightly, this is the same speech the hon. Member made upstairs when he was badly beaten on a division. I know that is a good reason for his coming here again, but it is a fact that the Committee rejected his Amendment. He seems to have a false impression still, in spite of what has been said, about what the Committee is. It is not an administrative but an advisory committee, and if there is to be publicity it should be in this House. Criticism should be directed to the Minister. The hon. Member spoke again of the immense powers the Committee is to have. It has none. [Interruption.] That may be. The Bill may give the Minister immense powers. I do not think it does, but if it does, he has to answer to the House, and that is where the publicity is. There is another reason. If the Committee thinks it should proceed in public at any time there is no reason why it should not, but you must not put the Committee in the position that it must sit in public when it has matters which ought not to be discussed in public to deal with.


I have so worded it that it can sit in private if it so decides.


It can do that without your words. There is nothing to prevent it sitting in public, hut what I want to do is to save them sitting in public if they do not want to. Take the case where the Advisory Committee has under discussion the alignment of new roads or something of that kind. It is a vital thing which cannot be discussed in public. The hon. Member knows what it means when you are discussing the site of a new road. People are on the lookout for you all the time.


I do not think the hon. Gentleman has read the Amendment. It gives power to the Committee to decide at any meeting to sit in camera if they choose.


I think I am right. What I want is that the Committee shall not be compelled, at any time it does not think it ought, to sit in public. At present it can sit in public if it wishes to. That is as far as I want to go. When you are dealing with such questions as the selection of sites for new roads, you would be in this position, that members of county councils, who would be compelled by their own standing orders to sit in private when dealing with these matters, would be compelled to sit in public in dealing with them on this Advisory committee. The public protection lies in the criticism of the Minister in this House. He must be held responsible for whatever the Committee does. The Committee must sit in private whenever it wishes and only in public when it thinks it ought. I cannot accept the Amendment.

Viscount WOLMER

I should like to support the Mover of the Amendment, but I feel I cannot. In the first place, it really seems to me the Amendment would not have any effect at all. The hon. Member has pointed out that he has provided that the Committee can sit in camera when it wants to and in public when it wants to, but it already has that power. Therefore the effect of the Amendment would really be nothing at all. I am afraid that the hon. Member is placing too great a reliance on the Press to safeguard the public in a matter in which the traffic combine is concerned. I think that all hon. Members must have been very much struck by the way in which the Press was completely nobbled by the traffic combine a few weeks ago when this Bill was being brought forward. I and other hon. Members on this side of the House are anxious to support hon. Members in resistance to any proposal putting the traffic combine into a position of privilege, which certain Clauses of this Act do. We feel that that should be resisted in every way. The genesis of this Bill being brought forward in the way in which it was introduced, was very largely the demand which Lord Ashfield made to the Government, "If you give me a monopoly, I will give the trade unions any terms they like, at the expense of the public." We are out to protect the public against that sort of thing. I do not think the hon. Member would get much by this Amendment, because the Press has been completely squared by the traffic combine, and the security which he seeks to gain would not be achieved.


I regret that the Noble Lord has made such a sweeping attack on the Press. I agree with him that there were indications in connection with this Traffic Bill, that the traffic combine has considerable influence with the Press, just as we had in the case of the McKenna Duties indications of influence due to the same causes. While it is true that a large part of the Press, possibly the majority, are so influenced, there are still one or two organs whose incorruptibility is unimpeachable. [HON. MEMBERS: "Name."] I might mention the "Morning Post," for example. There are one or two, not many, and it is very important that such journals as are willing to give publicity should have the opportunity of giving publicity in this case.

The negotiations to which the Noble Lord referred in connection with the settlement of the strike, provide a case in point. We had there one of the worst examples of secret diplomacy. We know that a settlement was arrived at, but we have no knowledge whatever of the consideration which was given on one side or the other. I have always been surprised that a Government which has put open diplomacy in the forefront as far as national affairs are concerned, should, in respect of industrial negotiations, so signally fail to put all their cards on the table. Had the cards been placed upon the table I do not believe we should have had this Bill. Had the cards been placed upon the table, and this Bill had been introduced, I believe the House would not have accepted it in its present form. It is because of the warning in regard to these negotiations that my hon. Friend has put down this Amendment.

The Minister of Transport has accused my hon. Friend of making the same speech to-day that he made in Committee. The Minister is under this misapprehension

because he evidently believes that this is the same Amendment that was moved in Committee. As it is not the same Amendment it is not the same speech. The misfortune is that the Minister has made the same speech. He has been imperfectly advised by his officials as to the exact meaning of this Amendment, and they thought that the same brief that he had in Committee would do just as well this afternoon. When there is a matter which requires secrecy, this Amendment gives the Committee power to sit in secret. The importance of the Amendment is that it gives a general direction to the Committee. In the absence of such a general direction, the Committee will sit in private all the time.

It is nonsense to say that the Committee has the power to sit in public and that it may sit in public. As a general rule, when you have statutory committees of this kind, whether advisory or executive, and there is no statutory direction as to publicity, the tendency is for the majority of the Committee to hold their meetings in private, knowing that they thereby are withdrawn from public criticism and control. If we accept this Amendment in its present form it would be a general direction to the Committee to sit in public, and would give an opportunity for people to go there and see what is going on, and any such organs of the Press as were inclined could report the meetings and give necessary information to the public as to the way in which their interests were being managed by this Committee and the Minister. I hope my hon. Friend will adhere to his Amendment.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 96; Noes, 299.

Division No. 107.] AYES. [6.52 p.m.
Ackroyd, T. R. Dickson, T. Howard, Hon. G. (Bedford, Luton)
Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis Dyke Duckworth, John Johnston, Thomas (Stirling)
Ainsworth, Caption Charles Edwards John H. (Accrington) Jones, C. Sydney (Liverpool, W. Derby)
Aske, Sir Robert William England, Colonel A. Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Barclay, R. Noton Falconer, J. Kay, Sir R. Newbald
Black, J. W Falle, Major sir Bertram Godfray Keens, T.
Bonwick, A. Finney, V. H. Lambert, Rt. Hon. George
Bowater, Sir. T. Vansittart Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L. Laverack, F. J.
Briant, Frank Fletcher, Lieut.-Com. R. T. H. Lessing, E.
Brown, A. E. (Warwick, Rugby) Foot, Isaac Linfield, F. C.
Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips George, Major G. L. (Pembroke) Livingstone, A. M.
Comyns-Carr, A. S. Gilbert, James Daniel McCrae, Sir George
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Harbord, Arthur Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness
Darbishire, C. W. Hobhouse, A. L Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H. Hodge, Lieut.-Col. J. P. (Preston) Maden, H.
Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln) Hogbin, Henry Cairns Mansel, Sir Courtenay
Davies, Eills (Denbigh, Denbigh) Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kincardine, E.)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Hore-Belisha, Major Leslie Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.
Meyler, Lieut.-Colonel H. M Rees, Sir Beddoe Stranger, Innes Harold
Mond, H. Rees, Capt. J. T. (Devon, Barnstaple) Sturrock, J. Leng
Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South) Robertson, T. A. Sutherland, Rt. Hon. Sir William
Morse, W. E. Robinson, S. W. (Essex, Chelmsford) Thompson, Piers G. (Torquay)
Moulton, Major Fletcher Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)
Muir, Ramsay (Rochdale) Royle, C. Vivian, H.
Murrell, Frank Scrymgeour, E. Ward, G. (Leicester, Bosworth)
Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield) Seely, H. M. (Norfolk, Eastern) White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)
O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Hugh Simon, E. D. (Manchester, Withington) Williams, A. (York, W. R., Sowerby)
Phillipps, Vivian Simpson, J. Hope Willison, H.
Pringle, W. M. R. Smith-Carington, Neville W. Wintringham, Margaret
Raffety, F. W. Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L. Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Ramage, Captain Cecil Beresford Spencer, H. H. (Bradford, S.)
Rathbone, Hugh R. Starmer, Sir Charles TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Rea, W. Russell Stewart, Maj. R. S. (Stockton-on-Tees) Mr. Percy Harris and Mr. Harcourt Johnstone.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. William Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Dawson, Sir Phillip Hope, Rt. Hon. J. F. (Sheffield, C.)
Alden, Percy Dixon, Herbert Horne, Sir R. S. (Glasgow, Hillhead)
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Doyle, Sir N. Grattan Howard, Hn. D. (Cumberland, Northn.)
Alexander, Brig.-Gen. Sir W. (Glas. C.) Dukes, C. Hudson, J. H.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Duncan, C. Huntingfield, Lord
Ammon, Charles George Eden, Captain Anthony Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Edmondson, Major A. J. Isaacs, G. A.
Astor, Viscountess Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.
Attlee, Major Clement R. Edwards, G. (Norfolk, Southern) Jackson, R. F. (Ipswich)
Ayles, W. H. Egan, W. H. James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert
Baird, Major Rt. Hon. Sir John L. Elliot, Walter E. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)
Baker, Walter Elvenden, Viscount Jephcott, A. R.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith Jewson, Dorothea
Banks, Reginald Mitchell Eyres-Monsell, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. John, William (Rhondda, West)
Banton, G. Ferguson, H. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Aberilliery) Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)
Barnes, A. Galbraith, J. F. W. Jowett, F. W. (Bradford, East)
Barnston, Major Harry Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton) Kennedy, T.
Batey, Joseph Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, North) Kindersley, Major G. M.
Becker, Harry Gates, Percy King, Captain Henry Douglas
Beckett, Sir Gervase Gavan-Duffy, Thomas Kirkwood, D.
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W. Gibbins, Joseph Lansbury, George
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Law, A.
Berry, Sir George Gillett, George M. Lawrence, Susan (East Ham, North)
Betterton, Hentry B. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Lawson, John James
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Gosling, Harry Leach, W.
Blades, Sir George Rowland Gould, Frederick (Somerset, Frome) Lee, F.
Bondfield, Margaret Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)
Bourne, Robert Croft Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central) Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Greene, W. P. Crawford Lowth, T.
Broad, F. A. Greenall, T. Lumley, L. R.
Bromfield, William Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Lunn, William
Buchanan, G. Greenwood, William (Stockport) MacDonald, R.
Buckle, J. Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) McEntee, V. L.
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Mackinder, W.
Bullock, Captain M. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)
Burman, J. B. Groves, T. Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm
Burney, Lieut.-Com. Charles D. Grundy, T. W. Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth) Makins, Brigadier-General E.
Butt, Sir Alfred Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.) March, S.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Guinness, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. W. E. Marley, James
Cape, Thomas Gwynne, Rupert S. Marriott, J. A. R.
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Martin, W. H. (Dumbarton)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth. S) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Maxton, James
Charleton, H. C. Hardie, George D. Meller, R. J.
Church, Major A. G. Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Middleton, G.
Clarke, A. Hartington, Marquess of Mills, J. E.
Clarry, Reginald George Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Milne, J. S. Wardlaw
Clayton, G. C. Harvey, C.M.B. (Aberd'n & Kincardine) Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Climis, R. Hastings, Sir Patrick Montague, Frederick
Cluse, W. S. Hastings, Somerville (Reading) Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.
Cobb, Sir Cyril Haycock, A. W. Morel, E. D.
Compton, Joseph Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)
Conway, Sir W. Martin Henderson, A. (Cardiff, South) Muir, John W.
Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L. Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Murray, Robert
Cove, W. G. Henderson, W. W. (Middlesex, Enfld.) Nall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph
Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Henn, Sir Sydney H. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Crittall, V. G. Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Nichol, Robert
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Herbert, Capt. Sidney (Scarborough) Nixon, H.
Curzon, Captain Viscount Hill-Wood, Major Sir Samuel O'Grady, Captain James
Dalkeith, Earl of Hirst, G. H. Oliver, George Harold
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Hodges, Frank Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick) Hoffman, P. C. Paling, W.
Palmer, E. T. Shepperson, E. W. Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Sherwood, George Henry Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Penny, Frederick George Shinwell, Emanuel Warrender, Sir Victor
Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Short, Alfred (Wednesday) Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)
Perkins Colonel E. K. Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Perring, William George Smillie, Robert Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Perry, S. F. Simms, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe) Wedgwood, Col. Rt. Hon. Josiah C.
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Smith, T. (Ponterfract) Wells, S. R.
Phillipson, Mabel Smith, W. R. (Norwich) Welsh, J. C.
Ponsonby, Arthur Snell, Harry Westwood, J.
Potts, John S. Snowden, Rt. Hon. Phillip Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Raine, W. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) Wheler, Lieut.-Col. Granville C. H.
Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk. Peel Spender-Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Whiteley, W.
Raynes, W. R. Spoor, B. G. Wignall, James
Reid, D. D. (County Down) Stamford, T. W. Williams, David (Swansea, E)
Remer, J. R. Stanley, Lord Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Remnant, Sir James Steel, Samuel Strang Williams, Lt.-Col. T.S.B. (Kenningtn.)
Rhys, Hon. C. A. U. Stephen, Campbell Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Richards, R. Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey) Sullivan J. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Sutton, J. E. Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)
Ritson, J. Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford) Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby) Windsor, Walter
Robertson J. (Lanark, Bothwell) Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Romeril, H. G. Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Croydon, S.) Wise, Sir Fredric
Ropner, Major L. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow) Wolmer, Viscount
Rose, Frank H. Thurtle, E. Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Roundell, Colonel R. F. Tinker, John Joseph Wright, W.
Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of. Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward
Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Tout, W. J. Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West) Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P. Young, Andrew (Glasgow, Partick)
Sandeman, A. Stewart Varley, Frank B.
Savery, S. S. Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Scurr, John Viant, S. P. Mr. Frederick Hall and Mr. G.
Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Wallhead, Richard C. Warne.