HC Deb 12 March 1925 vol 181 cc1699-730

I beg to move That a humble Address be presented to His Majesty praying that the London Traffic (Restricted Streets) Order, dated the 18th day of February, 1925, be annulled. I do not think I need make any apology, even at this late hour, for moving this address. It is unfortunate that a Motion of this kind has to be moved at this hour, but the London Traffic Act was passed to give protection to London traffic, and to the travelling public. Consequently our only course is to take this opportunity of criticising this Order, and protesting against the regulations made under the powers conferred by this Act. When the Act was going through the House of Commons last year, I did my best by Amendments and speeches to obstruct its passage. I considered then that it was a reactionary measure based on unsound principles which strike at the root of local government, and which in its ultimate result would establish a huge traffic combine in connection with the travelling facilities of London.

I realize that the Bill owing to the cooperation of my hon. Friends above the Gangway and hon. Members opposite was placed on the Statute Book, and I have to accept that fact. I was at the time very anxious to get greater safeguards for the control of Parliament, and I did succeed, with the assistance of some hon. Members opposite, in passing a provision to the effect that none of these regulations should have force until they had been approved by a Resolution of this House.

The result of the action in another place has left us with only the elementary provision of petition. That is a very small safeguard. I remember the present Minister of Transport, when he was a private Member, making complimentary references to the activity of London Members. He suggested that London Members were very keen in regard to the interests of their constituents and that if a Regulation of this character came up they would be here in force. I do not know how many London Members are here now, but I do hope that whether they are few or many they will make their views felt this evening, and show that they are anxious to protect their constituents from the machinations of combines or anybody else.

I have taken the trouble to look up the Regulation in question. According to the provisions of the House the Regulation should be laid on the Table. I had visions of the document lying on the Table exposed to the view of Members, but I found on inquiry that in order to see the Regulation I had to visit the library. The Regulation was under lock and key and I could not even get possession of it. Therefore I had to copy it so that the House would know exactly what it is. This is the Regulation: It shall not be lawful for any person to use or allow to he used for the purpose of plying for hire in any restricted street, or part thereof, any omnibuses, in addition to such omnibuses as might under and in accordance with Section 6 of the London Traffic Act. 1924, and the Schedule or Schedules deposited by him under that Section with the Licensing Authority and in force from the 1st January, 1925, to be used by him for the purpose of maintaining the regular service or regular services along that street or part thereof as the case may be as shown in such Schedules or Schedules. I have great respect for the ability of the Minister and the clarity of his speech, but I must confess that the wording of this particular Regulation is neither simple nor clear nor easy to understand. I have shown it to one or two of my legal friends and I have had very different interpretations of its meaning. Perhaps we shall have the advantage of the presence of one of the Law Officers of the Crown who can give us an interpretation.

I would remind the Minister that the provision for restricted streets conies not under Clause 6, hut under Clause 7. Claus, 7 is the Clause that governs the power, on the one hand, of scheduling certain streets as restricted, and, on the other hand, of petitioning His Majesty to rescind such Regulations. This particular Regulation only refers to Section 6. and I am rather doubtful whether the whole thing is in order. I suppose that in drafting this Regulation he has had the advantage of legal assistance, but I am not quite clear, in spite of the legal drafting, that it actually satisfies the provisions of the Act. There has been published in the Gazette, but not laid on the Table, a schedule of the streets that are to be restricted. The streets total 165. That will show how comprehensive is this provision and how seriously it is likely to affect the travelling public. But when the routes are studied it would be found that nearly all the omnibus routes which it is proposed to restrict will make it almost impossible for any omnibus to go through the centre of London without touching some of these particular restricted streets.

I remember that when this Clause was under discussion in Committee, and on the Report stage and on the Second and Third Reading, we were assured that these powers were only meant to apply to a very few special cases, and very special streets, such as Bond Street and Fleet Street. We know the serious effect or: the general facilities for travel of materially altering the streets in which the ordinary omnibus would be allowed to ply for hire. Now when we see the streets scheduled in the Gazette we find the Minister taking power to control, completely, practically every street in London, where any important omnibus route works. I do think that it is a very serious proposition, when the public is so dependent on travelling facilities, for a Minister to take into his hands at this very early stage such autocratic powers to interfere with the convenience of the public. I would point out that the owner of motor ears is not dependent on an omnibus or a public vehicle, and is not going to be affected. He can go where he likes, uninterfered with by regulations of the Minister of Transport, but the poor person, who depends on an omnibus to get to his work in the early morning arid get home at night, will find the already insufficient number of omnibuses reduced so that he will have a still greater fight to get on a bus for the very limited convenience of straphanging or fighting for a seat.

When we come to inquire into who is going to get the advantage of this monopoly we come to the really interesting part of the proceedings. I am told that there are something like 5,000 omnibuses licensed to ply for hire in the streets of London. Of these about 500 are what are generally known as independent or private omnibuses. The remainder, 4,500, are all under the control, direct or indirect, of what is known as the London General Omnibus Company. These 500 omnibuses do not form one big company. They are owned by almost 200 independent owners. Some of them run to half a dozen omnibuses, and some of them on the other hand are owned by the driver and the conductor, two persons who are making a rather desperate struggle to earn a living, ex-soldiers who have invested the Whole of their savings in buying an omnibus so that they may not be a charge on the community. What has the Minister done? He has made the Order retrospective—an unprecedented procedure under any Act of this kind—and I think he will have to justify to the House that rather high handed action. The serious part of the matter is that many of these small companies, four or five months ago, ordered chassis and omnibuses to be delivered in the early part of this year. Some are due in February, some in March and some in April. This Order dates hack to January, and no application can he made under it in respect of the restricted streets unless there has been a licence for the omnibuses on 1st January. These people will have to cancel the orders they have placed for new omnibuses or bear the financial loss, and I am afraid from all I hear of the contracts they have made, it will to some of them mean financial ruin.

It is a serious matter from the point of view of these owners, but when we come to look at it from the point of view of the combine, we find that this body stands to gain in every direction. No one admires the ability, capacity and administrative power of Lord Ashfield more than I do. There is no better business man than he, and there is no more efficient organisation than the London Traffic Combine. I do not find fault with Lord Ashfield who is doing his best in the interests of his shareholders to strengthen the financial position of the companies which he controls. But I would point out to the Minister that he—no doubt quite innocently—is by his action definitely improving the position of the combine. I am informed that, anticipating the action of the Minister, the combine brought out antiquated chassis—-omnibuses of the "B" type—and rushed them on to the streets. These omnibuses were, I understand, in the past only used for summer-time traffic. Hon. Members could go in them to the Derby or down the river or do things of that kind, but they were only used for such frivolous purposes. These omnibuses have been rushed on the streets in order to give the combine the right to claim that they had these vehicles working on these, routes on 1st January.

The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Colonel Ashley)

May I interrupt the hon. Member, to set his mind at rest. As a matter of fact the London General Omnibus Company and its associated companies had considerably fewer omnibuses running at the end of December than they had in August, and the smaller companies had very much increased their number.


I quite accept the statement of the Minister, but a question was put down only to-day on this subject, in order to get information. The hon. and gallant Member for Dulwich (Sir F. Hall) had a very good question on the Paper to-day, but unfortunately was not in his place to ask it. I took the trouble to get the answer, from which it appears that the Minister was not in a position to give the facts to the House. I have the answer here and it is as follows: I um unable to give the information asked for by my hon. and gallant Friend. The numbers of omnibuses belonging to various proprietors which have been licensed during December, 1924, and January, 1925, respectively, are, of course, known. I am obtaining them, and will communicate them to the hon. Member. This will not give him the information he asks because I have no means of ascertaining to what extent the vehicles licensed during these months are being run, in substitution for vehicles withdrawn from service. The Minister was not in a position to give full information to the House this afternoon. I am glad he is in a better position this evening. But this is really an important thing. This London Traffic Combine has for years been trying to get complete control over the streets of London. They made no secret about it. Lord Ashfield. in a pamphlet which he has very fairly distributed to all Members of the House, giving a speech made on the 19th Dec., 1924, made it quite clear that his aim, in the interests of the public and of the share- holders, is to have a complete monopoly. He made it clear that he considers that by no other means can you get a sufficient traffic system for London. Now I can understand that a very strong case can be made for that, monopoly, and it is much easier to manage London traffic if it be in the hands of one board or one authority, one council, whether elected, nominated or of any other character of single control, but I respectfully submit to the House if that monopoly is to be given, it should be given in return for some definite financial consideration either in payment, as is done in America or Paris. or else in return for some valid concession, Here we have the right hon. Gentleman in the early hours of the morning rushing through Regulations to hand over to the traffic combine almost the complete monopoly of London traffic without any valuable consideration or concession. The only exception we are likely to have are 500 vehicles now on the streets, because the restricted streets cover all the profitable, all the paying roads in London, and it would be practically impossible for any private owner to start any more omnibuses in future in competition with the combine because he would find all the roads already scheduled by the Minister are handed over to the combine. The effect of his order in practice means stereotyping the facilities for traffic and handing them over to the combines. I do not know whether all hon. Members have studied the interesting statement, the masterly statement, of Lord Ashfield. He says: Certainly it is foolish to have provided underground railways to deal with congested traffic and then to permit them to be operated with half loads while other means of transport intervene to rob them of their traffic and retain it on the streets, not only restoring the congestion but making it more dangerous and tedious in the process. For our part we have always had the Common Fund to fall back upon and with this resource have been content to follow omnibuses and railways to pursue their proper expansion and development, while, at the same time we have given encouragement to an exchange of traffic between them by co-ordinating their routes and facilities. If the omnibuses succeeded too well under the Common Fund, they necessarily had to share their success with the railways; if the railways succeeded too well, they also must share their success with the omnibuses. Now the right hon. Gentleman has come to his aid and the effect of his regulation will be, I submit to the House if passed, and if, it comes into force, will be to hand over practically for all time the control of our streets to one Board of Directors, the traffic combine, which will enable that combine to dictate to the public how many vehicles they will have and what fares they will pay. I say that this House, having deliberately taken London traffic out of the hands of an elected body and decided to manage London traffic through the Minister, they themselves have a great responsibility to the London public and must view with grave suspicion this autocratic action which is bound to lessen the facilities for traffic and place them at the mercy of a private combine. I beg to move.


I beg to second the Motion.

It has been said that attempts have been made to make this a party question, but I respectfully submit that it is not a party question. It is a question of the public interest, and is independent of party altogether. I join with the Mover of the Motion in saying that there is not a single regulation that is issued by the Minister of Transport that will not have the effect of assisting the Combine and annihilating the efforts of the independent busmen. Take even the very first thing that is done—the scheduling of routes. They ask the independent man, who owns his own omnibus and drives it himself, to fill up huge forms in order to get leave to run on particular routes. He has no clerical assistance, he is tired out at the end of his day's driving, and yet, if his route does not suit him, he has to fill up all these details in order to change it. He will not have much time left to drive his omnibus! Then the Act provides that there may be appeals, and these appeals may be lodged by the other people running on the same route, so that they may be appealing against one another and fighting like Kilkenny cats; and if the Combine appeals what a nice thing it will be for any single man to be up against the Combine! It is extraordinary how this Act slipped through the last Parliament—


It is not open to the hon. and learned Member to criticise the action of the last Parliament.


I was not going to do so, but was going to show how these circumstances arise out of it. First, you had the Combine putting 1,000 or 1,500 extra omnibuses on the streets and choking them up and then complaining bitterly that the streets were blocked. They hauled out all their ancient omnibuses, some of them 10 or 14 years old, and chocked the streets. Then a strike happened about that time, and they found that they could not beat the independent omnibuses because the independent omnibuses can run much more cheaply than the Combine omnibuses, owing to their smaller overhead charges. What could have been finer for the City of London than to have every bus run by an independent owner? That is the position with the taxicabs. Could hon. Members get a cab at 4 in the morning by hired labour? They could not; it is because the men are running their own cabs that they can do it. It is the same with the buses.

12 P.M.

The object of these regulations is simply to choke off the individual man. I find in the "Evening News" of the 11th March a statement that according to the Minister of Transport there are 1,105 independent omnibuses and 4,272 Combine omnibuses. Superintendent Bassom says there are 4,900 Combine and only 408 independent omnibuses. When the strike occurred who kept the omnibus system in London running but the independent men? If all the busmen were independent men we should never have a transport strike. They would not join the union of the hon. Member for Rotherhithe (Mr. B. Smith) which, of course, would be to their disadvantage, as they would not be so well looked after.


They could not join yours either.


They might, because they are within the law. We all have eyes to see what happens on the London streets. Who are choking up the London streets? The Combine omnibuses. Lord Ashfield said that 100 omnibuses would be taken off the streets, but there should be 1,000 taken off and the independent men left alone. That would be a very much healthier state of affairs for the streets of London.

The purpose of these regulations is to assist the Combine. It is said that the tubes do not pay. Of course they do not pay with short-distance traffic; they should be made longer, so as to serve the outlying districts, and then, with long-distance traffic like that, they would pay. The tubes are said to receive from the onmibuses £400,000 a year, and the Combine states that if the buses do not pay and are driven off the streets the tubes will be shut down. I do not believe that for a moment; I think it is a matter of bookkeeping that is put about to try and frighten the Minister of Transport into giving the Combine the monopoly which they have long desired, and which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George refused to give them, but which they will rapidly get under these regulations.

You cannot get any criticism of the Combine in the newspapers, because every newspaper has great big advertisements saying, "Travel by the omnibuses: travel by the tubes," and pointing out all the advantages of it. The public are to have no liberty against the Combine: they are to be driven underground. As soon as the independent omnibuses are driven off the streets, you will find that the Combine will cut down the number of its omnibuses, in order that motor cars may have more room to run about the streets. That is the theory. If the natural law of supply and demand were left to operate, the Combine itself would be forced by economic pressure to take about. 1,000 omnibuses off the streets; but instead of that they have got their Act and they have got their regulations, which will kill out the healthy competitors and leave us entirely at the mercy of the Combine, without its paying one penny for it.

The proper scheme is for the Minister to decide the number of omnibuses that are to run on the streets of London and then put all the licences up to auction. That would give fair play, and the independent men, being able to run their omnibuses with less overhead charges would be able to provide a cheaper, better and more efficient service. We have all seen how the Combine omnibuses hurt the individual men. In 1922 I and one or two friends felt so much annoyed, when we saw the Member for Derby bringing in a Bill to raise the fares of the Combine tubes by something like 75 per cent., that we put a young man into business with an omnibus charging him nothing for the finance, and it is running now—the Liberty omnibus—and he is doing well out of it. But he has told me that he was hunted high and low by Combine omnibuses—two in front, two behind, and one alongside. He was, of course, free to shift from street to street, but whenever he shifted from one route to another he saw a Combine detective running to the telephone, and a short time afterwards he would, be followed again,

What does the Minister of Transport do? We saw at, the inquiry that Mr. Bevin said that a "pirate" omnibus, as he called it, should live and die on the route on which it runs; and the Minister of Transport is providing that an omnibus is to run on exactly the same streets all clay long. That is a splendid opportunity for the Combine to shadow it and chase it all over the road. It is making a tramway car of an omnibus it is depriving it of its mobility, which is one of its essential features. And what do the independent omnibuses do on Saturdays and Sundays. They do not run in the deserted streets of the City. On Saturdays they run to places where there are football matches, and on Sundays they take runs out into the country districts. Now they are to be tied down, and if they want to go, say, to the Derby, or to any other special place on a particular day, they have to apply for a special licence in advance. The whole benefit of their mobility is gone and the Combine gets the whole of the extra traffic, because it has innumerable omnibuses lying by with which it formerly used to choke the streets. Lord Ashfield complained bitterly that these independent omnibuses came out to snatch the theatre traffic; but why should they not do so? Is it not for the convenience of the public? Are the public to be compelled to take taxicabs, or must they dive down into Lord Ashfield's burrows? The position that he end the Combine take up is that no one has any right on the streets but they—to my mind one of the most impudent propositions I have ever seen.

At one place in this Report he speaks about this "unjust and unfair competition," and says that these independent omnibuses should never have been allowed on the streets. He says the first of them appeared in 1922—I think the one I put on, for the purpose of testing the Combine, was the second—bet that the rate of increase has been growing every year. It has been easy he says, to sot up in the omnibus business, and many people have been concerned in financing these omnibuses. The House may be interested to know that I did not make a penny out of mine, but simply did it in the public interest. What could have been better for the public than that we should have had all these independent men, instead of being in the hands of a Combine? It would have made immensely for the security of the public. In conclusion, let me quote a statement of the present Prime Minister, who said, speaking in May of last year: It is clear that a fundamental difference lies between us and the Socialists. We want to help the individual to better his position, and through bettering himself to help the State. What is the State after all? It is nothing but a mass of individuate, and just as you can get each individual to better himself and the little circle around him, so, and by no other means, can you get the better State which is the sum of the whole individual. We rejoice over this process of the spread of businesses, of co-operative societies and of saving certificates among the people. We won td like to see every man and every woman in Otis country a capitalist, necessarily, to begin with, in a small way. We would like to see everyone a possessor of something of his own for we believe that that reacts on him directly in making him snore careful, more thrifty more anxious to better himself and to raise his own Family in the struggle of life, and through that to give that impetus which the country needs to send it forward to better things. We want to raise the people, and not to depress them. Here we are giving a monopoly, through these Traffic Regulations, and, moreover, we are giving to a corporation licences which are perpetual, whereas the individuals licence dies with him, so that as these individuals die off the number of individual licences will gradually decrease. I think that no snore wrong thing has ever been done that the attempts which have been made to create this monopoly, and you have in this carrying out of the same scheme sub-conscious dictation by the "combine." When the combine have driven this scheme home you will have the position that they will have got a strangle hold on the means of transport of a vast population. If you do not reject the Order to-night you will have surrendered one of the dearest interests of your people.


I feel sure that the House will accord to me, as a new Member, that courtesy and generosity which is traditional. My excuse for intervening in this Debate is that I happen to be a member of the Traffic Advisory Committee, and it may be of use if f state the reasons and the facts that impelled us to advise the Minister to make this particular order. May I say, in passing, that the Advisory Committee set up by this House is composed of representatives of all types and interests, and I would like to say that the Advisory Committee are subjugating their indidual claims and wishes in trying to comb out this tangle of London traffic which they were set up to solve. May I just describe the problem that met us when we came into existence? We came, as an actual force, into existence at the end of last year, and we found that, notwithstanding the chaos which we were asked to remedy, additions were being made week by week to the fleet of omnibuses in the London streets. The, hon. _Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. P. Harris), in moving this Motion, asked if he could. be told what were the figures of the omnibuses, which had been thrown on the London streets since this Act came into force on October 1. From October 7, 1924, to March 12, 1925, the London General Omnibus Company have put on the street 68 omnibuses. Of these 42 are substituted for existing omnibuses, so that in fact the London General Omnibus Company have only placed in the streets of London 26 new omnibuses since the Act came into operation, whereas the independent omnibus owners, for the same period—from October 7 of last year to March 12 of this year—have placed on the streets 159 omnibuses. I think, after all that has been said about the London General Omnibus Company, it is only fair to state these figures.


They had choked the streets by them.


Well, that was the problem with which we were faced. In spite of the chaos that was existing, these omnibuses were being added to day by day. We, therefore, advised the Minister that he should at once put Clause 7 of the Traffic Act in operation. That, as you may remember, restricts the number on the streets. We felt it was impossible to examine the problem street by street, not only because the streets were obviously inter-related, but also because the time taken would have made that course almost impossible, and in the meantime the problem would have got worse and worse. Let me add the stages the Committee took in the matter. On January 7 of this year, we handed to the Minister the list of congested streets already referred to—166 in number. On January 8th, the Minister published that list in the Press. On January 12 he gave very wide notice and publicity of his intention to make an Order, by which, under Section 7, he proposed to prohibit the plying for hire of any omnibus in a restricted street not being one of those which may have been running in these streets in accordance with deposited schedules, on January 1. But he went on to say that before putting that Order into effect he would refer it to the Advisory Committee for advice, and that all persons concerned must submit their views and objections to him before 27th January. I would ask the House to see the results. We had 12 representations in regard to this particular notice of the Minister's. One of these expressed real gratitude and thanks for what we had done, and of the other 11 only three people, representing six omnibuses, objected to this Order being made by the Minister. Practically no one objected. On February 4th the Advisory Committee decided to recommend to the Minister that stabilization should take effect on 1st January, and the Minister made that Order on 17th February, and it was published in the "Gazette" on the 18th February. Therefore, all this agitation that we have soon has been wonderfully delayed, and there is just a little suspicion of the reasons behind it.


What: are the reasons behind it?


We have sometimes been asked why we did not institute an inquiry before we advised the Minister to make this regulation. Well, I think the House will agree that in view of that very slight opposition to the date, an inquiry was obviously unnecessary. But, as the House knows, the Minister has now decided that the Advisory Committee shall see these men who have complained since the Order was published, and we are, in fact, seeing them. We sat, from 3 to half-past 9 on Monday and saw a num- ber of the men, and we propose, if it will not alarm the Sabbatarians, to sit the whole of Sunday to see another batch. We shall then form our opinion as to the men, and as to whether or not they have a genuine grievance. But I would like to say that most of these men, not all of them, knew perfectly well before they ordered the new omnibuses that the London Traffic Act was intended to reduce the Lumber of omnibuses on the streets. We shall report our results to the Minister, who will take what action he thinks proper. What we have done is to stabilise the condition of things on the 1st of January of this year. Believe me, that is only the first step along a very thorny road to settle the London traffic problem. It was impossible to deal with that problem unless the position was stabilised first. There is another factor to this problem.

May I remind the House of the origin of this Traffic Act? It is connected with the strike last March, the tramway-men and subsequently the omnibus workers came out strike for an increase of wages. I understand that the then Prime Minister gave an undertaking to the operators of these great tramway and omnibus companies that if they would pay the increased rates and allow the strike to come to an end, he would give them the protection of the London Traffic Bill. It was in consequence of that undertaking that the late Government introduced the Traffic Bill. What has happened! At that time these great London tramway organisations were being run at a very serious loss. In the year ending 31st March, 1924, the tramway organisations represented in the London Traffic area, the London County Council. West Ham, and the trams associated with the Gene al Omni bus Company lost £320,000. I am told that the London County Council estimate that the losses on their trams in the year ending 31st March, 1925, is going to be over half a million—£577,000 to be strictly accurate. I am told that the West Ham trams estimate their loss for the same period at £58,000. I am given to understand that the tram organisations which arc associated with the London General Omnibus Company probably will have a loss of something like £250,000. That is to say that for this last year—largely accounted for by increased wages and a diminution of passengers—the loss of these great organisations is going to be probably about £800,000. What is going to be the end of that? The end of it will be that these tramway organisations will have to go out. of business. If so, that means an immense amount of unemployment. It means that the great factor which hon. Members are so eager to protect—the welfare of the transport workers and others—will become gravely and seriously affected. This proposal is an elementary act of justice. If the House, which can hardly think possible, were to take the disastrous policy of stopping this first step then I say it is difficult to understand what is going to happen.

I ask the House to look at this problem as we look at it on the Advisory Committee. We were asked to deal with the chaos in existence. To-day we are merely stabilizing the position. We have got the great problem still ahead of us of how we are going to deal with the chaos in existence at the end of last year. I venture to say that we can only see more restrictions, more hardships, more things of that type. We hope, however—and I say this to the Minister with all respect—that it may be possible under the aegis of the Minister of Transport to get all those undertakings together, the tramway organisations, the independent omnibus owners, the London General Omnibus Company, and the Electric Railways—all these great organisations that are dealing with the London traffic and put to them the gravity of the problem of the Greater London traffic. Let them come together; let one organisation decide to give up this, and the other decide to give up that, let there be a common agreement and accommodation amongst these great traffic operators, and then, I. am sure. if they can come to such an agreement, the Minister will be very glad, if necessary to legislate on those lines. It is only along the line of co-operation that the problem of London traffic is to be settled, and that co-operation, believe me, is going to mean more sacrifice than is embodied in this comparatively small matter with which we, are now dealing. The Minister and the Advisory committee are concerned with one thing, and one thing only. You can dismiss from your minds all this talk of working for the combine, or working for this or that group. We are working for one thing only, and that is to do something to get rid of the chaos that at present exists; to do something for the great London public, who are groaning under this traffic problem; and, above all things to give to the London public a better service, while at the same time doing something, in common justice and equity, for those great organisations, one as well as the other, which are doing splendid service for London. And so I am confident that in a little time this House will give its answer to the prayer of hon. Members opposite.

Colonel ASHLEY

I am sure I shall be expressing the views of the House if I say in the first place how much we deplore the absence this evening of my hon. Friend the Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Gosling), who was always an agreeable and conciliatory figure in the discussions last year On the London Traffic Act, and I am sure that we all, irrespective of party, wish him it return from the south of France restored to health and vigour, for we all respect him, and. I may say, we all love him. After the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Wandsworth (Sir H. Jackson) there is really very little for mo to say, because he has put the matter so very clearly and concisely before the House. Though I take absolute responsibility, of course, for everything that is done under the London Traffic Act—I would not for a moment shelter myself behind my Advisory Committee—I may say that everything I have done up to now has been done on and with the advice of the Committee, a Committee which was set up under the Act of last year, an Act only six months old, to advise the Minister with respect to London traffic. Its composition is known to all Members, it is as representative as any Committee could be, and in everything I have clone I have had the unanimous support of every single Member of the Committee. Hon. Members who sit on those benches up there were always demanding during the Debates last year on the London Traffic Bill, that we should have a Committee independent of the Minister, a Committee which should be able to give decisions of itself, not a Committee would be under the thumb of the bureaucrats of Whitehall, and could only be the mouthpiece of the Minister. As far as this Committee are concerned, they have not been the mouthpiece of the Minister; the Minister has been the mouthpiece of them. In everything done they have given unanimous advice, and that after having given days—not hours, but days and days—to the consideration of these very important questions.


Is not the Chairman of the Committee a permanent official under the control of the right hon. Gentleman?

Colonel ASHLEY

Certainly, but, he was elected by the Committee. I repudiate with some indignation the insinuations of my hon. Friend the Member for Argyll (Mr. Macquisten) that, in administering this London Traffic Act, I am unduly favouring the Combine. I am unduly favouring nobody. I am endeavouring, with considerable difficulty to hold an even balance between the contending interests. If omnibuses have to come off the streets, I am sure the Advisory Committee will advise me that the list of omnibuses should be equally divided among all the streets concerned. If I have any say in the matter, I shall certainly say that a little extra advantage should be given to the small men as against the big men, but I must try to hold the balance fairly. The whole speech of the hon. and learned Member for Argyll (Mr. Macquisten) was this: "I want free unrestricted competition on the London streets." I have the inclination to agree with my hon. and learned Friend. Whether he is right or wrong, you have the London Traffic Act the law of the land. It was passed less than six months ago by a large majority. It was initiated by a Conservative Government, and was passed in its present stage by the late Government. Therefore my duty and the duty of the Advisory Committee is to administer the Act. I assure my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Argyll that he is quite mistaken if he thinks I have any other interest in this Act than as 'the Minister.


The regulation made the Combine and destroyed certain men.

Colonel ASHLEY

I do not destroy a single man. The balance of advantage or disadvantage will be just the same as before these Regulations were put into operation. I think it is of some im- portance that I should trace the course of events since the passing of the Act, in order that hon. Members may realise and that no one should be ignorant of what is intended to be done, and that those who feel they have a grievance or may have a grievance should know what was going to happen. The House must remember that the Bill received the Royal Assent early in August last year, but, owing to the procedure laid down by the Act, the Advisory Committee was not set. up till December, and between that time and the issue of the Order constant notices and references to the Act appeared in the Press, so that everybody ought to have had some idea of what it was about. On 18th December the Advisory Committee had its first meeting and elected its Chairman. Immediately after the first, meeting of the Committee an announcement was made to the Press on the same day in which it was stated that the Minister of Transport had requested the Advisory Committee at their first session to consider and report generally on the questions arising out of the London Traffic Act. The announcement went on to say that these matters would not be considered before the Committee's next meeting. On 12th January another notice was issued in the following terms: Notice is hereby given that the Minister of Transport proposes to make an Order under Section 7 of the London Traffic Act. 1924, declaring the streets specified in the schedule hereto to be restricted streets, that is to say streets in which the plying for hire by omnibuses ought to he prohibited or restricted either generally or during particular hours: And notice is also hereby given that the Minister also proposes to make Regulations under the same Section restricting the plying for hire by omnibuses in such streets so that it shall not be lawful for any person to use or allow to be used for the purpose of plying for hire in any restricted street or part thereof any omnibuses in addition to such omnibuses as might under and in accordance with Section 6 of the said Act and the schedule or schedules deposited by him under that Section with the licensing authority and in force upon the 1st day of January. 1925. be used by hint for the purpose of maintaining the regular service or regular services along that street or part thereof as the case may be shown in such schedule or schedules. The announcement went on to say: Before making the Order or the Regulations above referred to the Minister will refer the matter to the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee for their advice and report. Any person affected who desires to make representations in connection with the proposed Order or Regulations should forward such representations in writing to the Secretary, Ministry of Transport, London Traffic Branch, 7, Whitehall Gardens, S.W.1, not, later than the 27th day of January, 1926. That notice received great publicity from the Press. After having given 14 days' notice and opportunity to attend, only three people, representing six omnibuses, gave objection. There can therefore be no grievance as regards the fixing of the date. May I say that I am very much obliged to the Advisory Committee for having taken upon themselves the onerous duty of investigating each of these cases. There was no obligation upon them to do so, but they have most generously decided to do so. As has been said, they spent Monday afternoon and evening, and are going to sit on Sunday, and give a decision as soon as possible. As a matter of fact, may I inform the House that no omnibuses have in fact been driven from the streets at present as a result of the Regulations. May I deal with the category of people who think they have or may have grievances? (1) Proprietors of motor omnibuses who had deposited schedules in December last and deposited revised schedules in respect of these vehicles between the 1st and 13th January. 2) Proprietors who deposited new schedules for new vehicles and actually operated these vehicles on restricted streets between the 1st and 13th January. I have the proportion of omnibuses. There may be eases of real hardship. I understand the Committee are going into these cases, and I hope they will be able to recommend the fullest sympathy it is possible to give to this class of people. I do not think there are a great number, but I will do everything in my power to avoid injustice to them.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he must only limit by the 13th January.

Colonel ASHLEY

What was meant was that there was a certain number of omnibus owners who did not send in their schedules by 1st December. They sent them in some days Tater. They could not get a revised schedule, and therefore those people who come in between the 1st and 13th January owing to sending their schedules in too late ought to receive most sympathetic consideration. They ought to be given every chance. But I put it to the House that persons who either deposited a new schedule subsequent to the 13th, or people who entered into contracts for the delivery of omnibuses subsequent to the 13th, knowing that this Order was going to be made, ought to go in a different category. I want to avoid all possible hardship, but it is a very difficult task that is laid upon me, in trying to do as least possible harm in straightening out this tangle of the London traffic. Last year, when the Act was being passed. everybody was saying something must be done to relieve. the congestion. People used to say they were being held up in the streets for half an hour at a time, that they could not get about, and that the workers could not get to and from their work. What we are trying to do is to avoid the immense loss of time and money that results, and I can promise the House the most sympathetic consideration In all the eases of hardship mentioned.


I only rise to say that so far as the Labour party are concerned, this Prayer is not our Motion. Certain Members of the Labour party have tabled a Motion which would hay,' been debated on Wednesday of next week. The party as a whole has no determined view as to this particular Order. but it is something different from the Bill itself. The observation made by the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Transport, that consideration would be given to hard cases is a very valuable statement which the whole House will appreciate very much, and justifies the hon. Member who brought forward this Prayer to-night in order that these people might know that if there are cases of hardship, they will he sympathetically considered. As regards the more general question, I understand the principal citicism, if criticism it he, which can he directed against this Order is this—not that Orders he made, but that this particular Order is made in such a form that it is to be retrospective. That is really the principal gist of the criticism. Had it not been for the retrospective operation of the Order particular hardships in many cases would never have arisen, but as the right hon. Gentleman has said he will consider these eases and after the discussion I think the matter has been exhausted.


I was inclined until I heard the speech of the right hon. Gentleman to vote against the Government. First of all let me congratulate the hon. Member for Central Wandsworth (Sir Henry Jackson) on his maiden speech. It. was most lucid. He gave us very valuable information, and, if I may say so, I was glad to get information to the question which unfortunately I was unable to obtain from the Minister of Transport himself. I had put down a question to which the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Mr. Harris) has referred to and asked for specific information for particular reasons. I asked how many of these 13 buses were put on during the month of December, and I cannot help thinking that the right hon. Gentleman, had he applied to the London General Omnibus Company, would have been able to have supplied the information which I am glad to say has been forthcoming from the hon. Member for Central Wandsworth. I have always been opposed to retrospective legislation of any description, and I cannot help thinking that it is a great mistake, notwithstanding the statement made by the Minister of Transport, that this Order should be dated back to the 1st January.

The Minister said he was going to give favourable consideration to those omnibuses which had been scheduled up to the 13th January. But I want to draw the right hon. Gentleman's attention to this. There are many of these private omnibus proprietors who had contracted for omnibuses four or five months ago, and they were not delivered up to the contract date. If they had been delivered according to their contract many of them would have been running on the streets of London luring the latter part of last year. I am going to press the right hon. Gentleman this way—I am going to ask him this: Is he prepared to give consideration to any of those omnibuses which were bona fida contracted for in sufficient time to warrant the owners receiving the omnibuses say by the end of March this year. I know a case Where a man contracted for an omnibus in July or August of last year. He put the whole of his savings into it, and mortgaged his house, but unfortunately it was not delivered in time. It was running I think in the early days of February. I want to draw the attention of the Minister to this: that omnibus was contracted for on a bona fide basis long before it was expected that this regulation was to come into operation. Surely that man is not to be ruined; he has his omnibus running and as it happens it is the only independent omnibus running on one specific route. He has acted according to the suggestion that was made by the Prime Minister on the 22nd of May last at the Hotel Cecil When the Prime Minister was holding out the hope that the small people would be given a chance of earning their living and become masters in their own way. If you are going to press this Measure in the way in which it has been brought before the House to-night I venture to say you are going to stultify the suggestion made by the Prime Minister. I should also like to say this, that it is all very well to say, to intimate, that you have only had a small number of objections up to a given date. Since I have been in this House I have sat on two Select Committees on London Traffic and I recognise fully how necessary it is to do something to reduce the enormous congestion that we have. But surely that should not be made at the expense of these small people. There are too many-omnibuses on the streets of London and the Combine are desirous of getting their Underground Railways better used than they are at present. It is a case of "live and let live." Let the small man have a chance, and let the Minister of Transport make proposals to the General Omnibus Company to take off a certain number of their omnibuses in order that the bona fide small omnibus owner, who had contracted for his omnibus in a reasonable time, might, have an opportunity, and by-that means help to solve the difficulty.

I quite realise the enormous amount of loss involved in the streets of London by congestion. I well remember my hon. Friends behind me were always in favour of there being some special traffic authority. An Advisory Committee has been set up, and Members of the Committee arc taken from all the different classes—Him the Metropolitan Police, the County Council and the City Police, and there are representatives of the small omnibus owners and the combine. Surely, in these circumstances, you can be able to come to some reasonable solution which will not penalise these small people, many of them ex-service men, who were promised that when they came back: everything would be done to assist them. You are not going to assist these people by making too drastic measures. I am averse to retrospective legislation, you never know where it is going to lead to, and the less we have of it the better for the country in general. I was very glad to hear that sympathetic consideration is going to be given, and I hope and trust my right hon. Friends will make the sugggestion to the Traffic Committee—I am sure they will be prepared to accept suggestions from him—and that they will deal as leniently as possible, so that people will not be penalised in crossing the congested areas; that something will be done to relieve the minds of these people by arranging that they can come from their start to their destination without being handicapped in the way suggested. Then, I think, we shall get some good out of this traffic question.


I think it is regrettable that this Motion should have been submitted by the Member for Bethnal Creep (Mr. Harris). In the first place it has anticipated the one by Members of the Labour party that would have come after the inquiry which has been instituted by the Minister with regard to these 100 and odd cases that are claiming special treatment. Any effort to make political capital out of the sufferings of these men is regrettable. Further, the hon. Member belongs to another body, the London County Council. That Council have submitted to the Traffic Committee a claim that 30 per cent. of the omnibuses shall he withdrawn from the whole of the tramway areas they serve during the peak of the day. That is the policy of that particular concern. With regard to the hon. and learned Member for Argyll (Mr. Macquisten) we respect the wisdom he has brought from the breezes of the north to solve this traffic problem. I have heard him on several occasions demanding that shops should open all night for the benefit of the individual shopkeeper. It is a policy he is following very closely, but it will not solve the traffic problem of London. I would like to call attention to the genesis of this matter. In March of last year a dispute took place which ultimately involved not only the whole of the tramways of London but also the omnibuses and, for one night, the tubes of London. A Committee of Inquiry was instituted by the then Minister of Labour and in their report they say that all parties—that includes the whole of the municipal undertakings of London, the company owned tramways of London and the omnibuses—expressed the view, in which the Committee concurred, that without some co-ordinated control of passenger traffic within the Metropolitan area there was little, if any, prospect of the improvement of the conditions of the industry. Further, that a definite undertaking should be given by the Government to introduce and press forward legislation placing the passenger traffic of the Metropolitan area under some co-ordinated control. This, the Committee stated, was a basis, and the only basis, suggested for reopening negotiations between the parties.

1.0 A.M.

Arising out of that an agreement was made by the interests concerned and legislation was promised. The result of that legislation was that the Committee was set up. Unlike the hon. Member for Central Wandsworth (Sir H. Jackson), I am not an ordinary, but an additional member of that Committee. Since that Act was passed, when the tramways dispute was settled, approximately 600 fresh omnibuses have been licensed on the streets of London. It is all very well for the lion. and gallant Member for Dulwich (Sir F. Hall) to suggest that we ought to extend this to March of this year. That does not solve our difficulties. We have at the present moment two policies running through the minds of the two interests. Little man claims not only the right to run his present omnibuses, but the right to expand. The London General Omnibus Company claim, not the right to expand, but the right to contract a number of services. If 1,000 omnibuses come off the road, that means unemployment for 7.000 people employed by the London General Omnibus Company. I have weighed that carefully. I am not enamoured with the idea of everybody being let loose. If any industry needs control, it is the passenger-carrying industry of London. There were two ways of dealing with this problem. The effect of that under Section 7 of the Act was that certain men who have paid deposits on their omnibuses are now debarred from operating them on the streets of London. But, unfortunately, there is another department involved. Whilst streets are being restricted on the one hand by the Ministry, through the Committee to which I am a party, at the other end at Scotland Yard men are being licensed or told that their omnibuses can be licensed to run up against the restricted portions of London traffic. That looks to me as if the time must come when legislation will be proposed from the Government to bring in a one Clause Bill definitely fixing the number of omnibuses and men, I hope, that can ply on the streets of London. Had that policy been attempted in the last Measure, or the present Measure, I think we should have got over our difficulty. Further, Schedule two of the Act lays clown, I think, a means of getting over our difficulty. Section two says the object should be the co-ordination of all or any of the forms of municipal service and the co-operation of persons operating the same of all means in the best interests of the public. It does seem to me. Having regard to the documents that have been placed before the Committee of eleven municipalities demanding the removal of all omnibus traffic and the re-introduction of the old system, which would entail changes no less than four, five or six times, that that is not a solution of the traffic problem. The busmen are claiming the right to expansion, and the tubes are claiming that where omnibuses are running very little they should be restricted. It does seem to me that the conditions at the moment are favourable that under Section 2 of the Act efforts shall he made to bring together the whole of the interests of London, namely, the federated employers, the London General Omnibus Company and their associated companies, and the tramways, both company and municipally owned, in London. If they could be brought together and could agree to a system of dividing, or a system of mutual adjustment of the services, as long as they could come to the Traffic Committee, and through them to the Minister, with an agreed scheme our difficulty would be very easily got over.

There is another factor, and that is the possibility of further antedating the Order and going back to the period to the time when this legislation was passed. There are two tramway undertakings where 2,000 men are employed and are involved, and of these there are upwards of 70 per cent. who are ex-service men engaged, who have served their country and have an equal right to consideration. Further, it does seem to me that the Minister might have foreshadowed, that there is a prescriptive right and that there ought to he some scheme under which, where these men are affected by the operation of any Order under this Act, the question of compensation should receive favourable consideration. One cannot get away from the fact that these men have paid anything from £50 to £500 deposit. I think of this amount there is £86 for the Road Fund, which, of course, can be returned on application, and then there are garage costs running to £2 per week. All these things are serious factors for these men. If an authority widening a road has to purchase property to be demolished, or if you close a public-house for that purpose, compensation has to be afforded.


I would remind the hon. Gentleman that compensation is afforded to those who own or are interested in such property, and it is not provided by the ratepayers.


It is a wonderful traffic monopoly at this moment. I am not a bit concerned with the merits of a combine or a municipal undertaking at this moment. If I were asked whether I would prefer to see traffic under one control I would answer "Yes," but I am dealing with things as they are; therefore, I suggest that some scheme of compensation might be submitted to this House. After all these are poor men. I would suggest that the Order should stand. As I say, it is regrettable: it should be moved as it is, but, nevertheless, at this moment there are factors of goodwill that, I believe, will ultimately absorb, in the best interests of the whole of the traffic concerns of London, all that is useful to London to the great advantage of the people in these services and to the services of the intending passengers of London. I hope the Clause will stand, because, obviously, if it does not, I think the Committee work ought to finish. In face of the promise of the Minister that he is already going into the matter, that meetings have taken place, that on Sunday next there are three Sub-Committees hearing the remainder of the cases, and the fact that there is a goodwill being shown on the Committee among the interested people in the hope of bringing co-ordination and co-operation about, I suggest the Order should stand and the promises of the Minister be carried out.


As far as I am concerned, the longer the cries to "Divide" persist, the longer the hon. Members will be here to-night—[Interrruption.] We are speaking on behalf of a very small body of men who have no powerful trade union to protect them. And I would like to say it. is a remarkable fact that when hon. Gentlemen above the Gangway get up to voice any grievance, they think they are the only champions of the oppressed; but when anybody else sees that people are suffering from a. grievance and stand up they are accused of making political capital. Soma of us are very much in earnest about this matter. What we object to is not the fact that an attempt is being made to restrict the traffic on the streets of London. We agree that restriction is necessary and we make no complaint at all of the work of the Advisory Committee. We recognise it is useful work hut we complain of the way the Order has been made and of the fact that it has been ante-dated. This Order was made under the Rules Publication Act, 1893, which says that at least 40 clays must be given before making any statutory rules. Notice must also he given of the proposal to make the rules and the place where a draft may he seen-is o be published. In the present order not only has no 40 days' notice been given, but no notice has been given of the making of the Order. The Minister has taken advantage of what might be described as a "Joker" law in another part of the Act. This is only a provisional rule intended only to stand until time has been found to bring the rules under the proper procedure into operation. The first question I want to ask the Minister of Transport is when he proposes to make the rules contemplated under Section I of the Rules Procedure Act? Another point on which we have ground for complaint is why it has been necessary to make this restrictive Order to prevent the private omnibuses using the streets when they are not congested? In the Traffic Act it is clearly contemplated that if it is necessary to make an Order it should only apply to those times when congestion actually occurs. There has been no attempt to limit the operation of the restrictive Order, with the result that at non-congested hours we shall find ourselves again at the mercy of the combine. Where does the Advisory Committee get the information on which it bases its list of restricted streets? I asked the Minister of Transport to-day who had provided the information, and he said he had not clone so. We should like to know upon what data this list of streets was based. These omnibusmen have come to us and told us that you cannot take a map of London and draw your finger along a single road on which it is possible to have a private omnibus. The list of streets was made so as to render it impossible for a private omnibus to run a service at all without the permission of the Minister of Transport. The congestion which he wishes to cure is almost entirely due to the operations of the London General Omnibus Combine. As one who has always been a supporter of trade union legislation, it surprises me to find that those trade unions who are behind these omnibuses are trying to squeeze the others out of existence. You find each of these people pursued by five London General Omnibus men, who try to sweep them off the streets. The Minister has said he will consider the cases of these men. That is a new concession, for the men have come to me and said they have appealed to the Advisory Committee and have been told they must go to their Member of Parliament. These men have no Parliamentary Counsel to defend them. They have no powerful trade unions to stick up for them, nor have they any thousand a year publicity men. They have to rely for justice on a Minister of the Crown, and that Minister has no right to shift his responsibility on the Advisory Committee. I do not wish to make any indictment against him, but this no laughing matter. I do not want to accuse the Minister of deliberately giving a preference to the combine, but there is no doubt whatever that his Regulation has had two effects: first, that a number of people without having had notice that the Order was going to be made have given orders for certain omnibuses to be delivered to them. They have committed themselves to the expense of £1,000 or £2,000, and this Order will have the effect of ruining them. The second point is that the ante-dated Order limiting their right to transfer to another route will have the effect of clearing them off the streets altogether. I consider the Minister has made a grave error of judgment. Seeing this is a provisional Regulation I would ask the Minister if he could not give these men an opportunity to have due notice of what they have to face and also to limit the number of streets restricted, and especially to give the men an opportunity to run their omnibuses during non-congested hours.


I desire in a very few sentences to try to bring back the House, particularly the hon. Members opposite, to the purposes for which this Motion was tabled. I want to draw attention to the method which has been adopted by the right hon. Gentleman, namely, sheltering his action behind the action of a Committee. I would remind him that the Committee is not an Executive Committee: it is an Advisory Committee. The right hon. Gentleman himself is responsible for this Regulation. The Act of Parliament under which the Regulation has been issued provides quite clearly for the control of Parliament. It says in Section 7, Subsection 5, of the Act of 1924 that the Minister shall give notice of his intention to make an Order or Regulation. I want to point out to the House that we have not had any opportunity whatever of knowing the relevant facts which bore upon the Regulation which has been issued. Last Friday hon. Members opposite were cheering to the echo one of their number who was making a very eloquent plea, with which I had great sympathy, for restoring to the individual man freedom of initiative, but they now grudge a few minutes of time at an early hour in the morning when their own Government issues a Regulation and insists upon carrying it out, which is definitely going to create a monopoly. The right hon. Gentlemen the Minister of Transport has admitted the case of hardship, but let me point out what I believe to be the case under this Regulation, that once you have passed it, once you have scheduled these streets, once you have stabilised the position from the 1st of January, you may, if you then like, remove other omnibuses from the streets, and the effect might easily be to squeeze out the small private omnibus owner. The answer to that objection has been given by the hon. Member for Central Wandsworth (Sir H. Jackson), who made an admirable maiden speech, who said that there have been only three objections. I would point out to hon. Members opposite that this is a very childish answer—[Interruption.]


Withdraw "Childish."


Well, youthful. A great many of these men are ex-service men, not particularly well educated, and certainly not readers of the "London Gazette." In enforcing the Regulation, it may easily have the effect of driving off the streets the owners of single omnibuses, You then schedule your streets. I have a plan in my hand, and I defy any hon. Member opposite to point out a single alternative route where these men can make a living with their omnibuses. This Regulation may very easily have the effect of leaving the whole of the traffic of London in the hands of a monopoly. If there is to be a monopoly in this matter, it should be a Municipal monopoly, and not a private monopoly. You are taking away the control of the streets from the people who are responsible to the public—the local authorities. It has been suggested that the motives behind the moving of this motion are to make political capital. What we are doing is entirely in the interests of private omnibus owners. It is a protest against the creation of a monopoly. It is the first step and what I want to suggest is that this first step is in the wrong direction and should not be taken at all. You can either reduce the number of omnibuses and that is what you are doing, or you can increase the amount of street space which is what you ought to do. That is the kind of method that ought to have been used to solve the London traffic problem. It is not a problem of administration; it is a problem of physical structure. I had the advantage of speaking this afternoon to a prominent member of the Automobile Association and his reply was that this is a move in the wrong direction. It is because we resent creating a monopoly and because it is a great hardship that my friends must press this matter to a Division

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

It being after half-past Eleven of the clock upon Thursday evening, Mr.

Question put: That a humble Address be presented to His Majesty praying that the London Traffic (Restricted Streets) Regulations dated the 18th day of February, 1925, be annulled.

The House Divided: Ayes, 22; Noes, 154.

Division No. 38.] AYES. [1.31 a.m.
Barr, J. Hartington, Marquess of Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Broad, F. A. Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose) Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock) John, William (Rhondda, West) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Crawford, H. E. Livingstone, A. M. Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Moore, Sir Newton J. Wragg, Herbert
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Naylor, T. E.
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Ramer, J. R. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Mr. Harris and Mr. Macquisten.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Nuttall, Ellis
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Hammersley, S. S. Oakley, T.
Atkinson, C. Hanbury, C. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Penny, Frederick George
Balniel, Lord Harland, A. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Banks, Reginald Mitchell Harrison, G. J. C. Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Beamish, Captain T. P. H. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Hawke, John Anthony Price, Major C. W. M.
Blundell, F. N. Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)
Boothby, R. J. G. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Henn, Sir Sydney H. Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sury, Ch'ts'y)
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Boyd-Carpenter, Major A. Henniker-Hughan, Vice-Adm. Sir A. Rye, F. G.
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Briscoe, Richard George Hilton, Cecil Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Sanderson, Sir Frank
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Savery, S. S.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Holt, Capt. H. P. Scurr, John
Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan Homan, C. W. J. Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)
Burman, J. B. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)
Butler, Sir Geoffrey Hume, Sir G. H. Shepperson, E. W.
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Huntingfield, Lord Skelton, A. N.
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Illffe, Sir Edward M. Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Christie, J. A. Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Jacob, A. E. Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Clayton, G. C. Kindersley, Major Guy M. Smithers, Waldron
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. King, Captain Henry Douglas Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Colfax, Major Wm. Phillips Knox, Sir Alfred Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Cooper, A. Duff Lamb, J. Q. Stanley, Hon O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Cope, Major William Lane-Fox, Lieut.-Col. George R. Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Little, Dr. E. Graham Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Loder, J. de V. Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Looker, Herbert William Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Curzon, Captain Viscount Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell-(Croydon, S.)
Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd) Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Warne, G. H.
Dawson, Sir Philip Lumley, L. R. Warrender, Sir Victor
Day, Colonel Harry MacAndrew, Charles Glen Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Drewe, C. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dairymple
Edmondson, Major A. J. McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Ellis, R. G. McLean, Major A. Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Everard, W. Lindsay Macmillan Captain H. Windsor, Walter
Fairfax, Captain J. G. Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Fermoy, Lord Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Wise, Sir Fredric
Fielden, E. B. Margesson, Captain D. Wood, Rt. Hon. E. (York, W.R., Ripon)
Finburgh, S. Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K. Wood, E.(Chest'r. Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony Merriman, F. B. Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Gates, Percy Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Goff, Sir Park Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Grace, John Moore, Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Greene, W. P. Crawford Nelson, Sir Frank Colonel Gibbs and Captain
Gunston, Captain D. W. Neville, R. J. Hacking.
Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)

SPEAKER adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.

Adjourned at Twenty-Two Minutes before Two o'Clock a.m., Friday, 13th March.