HC Deb 06 December 1926 vol 200 cc1797-827
The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. William Watson)

I beg to move, in page 11, line 5, at the end, to add the words 'County Court' means 'sheriff' and 'injunction' means 'interdict.' In consequence of the new Sub-section to Clause 3 which has been added to-day, in reference to injunctions in County Courts, it is necessary to extend the Scottish glossary of this Clause, and that is the purpose of this Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, in page 12, line 8, to leave out from the beginning to the end of line 6, on page 13.

This exactly corresponds to what has already been accepted, the Amendment of my right hon. Friend in Clause 2 to leave out paragraph (d). This is the Scottish equivalent to paragraph (d).

Amendment agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."


I beg to move to leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof the words this House, whilst recognising the necessity for and willing to assist in the improvement of much of the housing accommodation at present afforded to workers in rural areas, cannot assent to the Third Reading of a Bill which provides public money for the improvement of private property and for the relief of landlords well able from their own resources to put their property into decent condition, and which cannot he regarded as an acceptable alternative to the erection of new houses. I think hon. Members on this side of the House have been struck by the different appearance of the opposite benches to-day and last Thursday. We have had a Division to-day where more Members opposite voted than on the occasion of the very important Motion for the reduction of the housing subsidy, from which I can only conclude that to hon. Members opposite the imposition of a new tax upon the mass of the people in the interests of rural landlords is far more important than the reduction of the subsidy for the provision of new houses. I am glad to think hon. Members opposite have been a little more faithful in their attendance to-day than they were the other day, because it bears out a statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer not very long ago. He was good enough to criticise the programme of the Labour party relating to agriculture, and the Liberal land policy, and he said: So far as His Majesty's Government is concerned, we are not able to associate ourselves with either of these hopeful plans. We cannot pretend, like those who have put them forward, to be entirely disinterested, because the country party, the landed interest, the great industry of agriculture, is one of the strongest elements in the political forces which we represent. This Bill is a proof, and the attendance of hon. Members opposite to-day is a proof that in this matter they have a very special interest. It is unfortunate that this Bill should have come forward at a time when the Government has decided on the reduction of the subsidies provided under the Acts of 1923 and 1924. In order to satisfy "the country party, the landed interest and the great industry of agriculture," which is one of the strongest elements of the political forces that hon. Members opposite represent, they have provided a sop to the agricultural interest to compensate them for the reduction of the general housing subsidy.

The relief that is being given to rural landlords is a very substantial one. They may be provided with two-thirds of the cost of the improvements of their houses, or a sum of £100. Up to the beginning of October next year the Act of 1923 provided, out of public money, only £75 for a new house, and this Bill proposes to pay out of the public purse up to £100 for the improvement of an old house, and the author of it is the author of the scheme for providing £75 out of the public funds for a new house. A year hence that £75 is to be reduced by £50, and almost at the same time, while the new rate of subsidy is to be capitalised at £50 per house, the Government is prepared, in the case of a patched up and improved rural cottage, to pay a public grant up to £100. Measured in terms of the value of the houses, it really means that in the case of a town house worth £400 or £450 the subsidy under the 1923 Act is, after the 1st October next, to be one-eighth or one-ninth of the value of the house, but in the case of this dofe to the rural landlord up to £100, that contribution may be one-half, one-third, or one-fourth of the value of the house. In other words, the Government are prepared to subsidise old, reconstructed and improved houses far more heavily than they are prepared to subsidise newly-built houses. If the same proportionate rate of subsidy now to be given by the tight hon. Gentleman applied to new houss in rural areas, the problem of housing in the rural areas would fairly speedily be solved.

To-day we have heard with sadness that the Government has now inscribed on its banner, "Working-class houses without baths and bathrooms." This is to be regarded as the Conservative standard of what are fit houses for workingclass people to live in. They have hitherto declared that they were, at least, in favour of a fixed bath. Two years ago, I was violently opposed by hon. Members who now sit opposite when I rose to move the Schedule to the 1924 Bill, and to add, after the words "fixed bath," the words "in any bathroom." That was done against the wishes of hon. Members opposite. But they have been responsible for a provision which requires a fixed bath to be put in the new houses. Within three years they have so far gone back on that policy that they are prepared now to admit that a house may be perfectly satisfactory in every way—that is what it says in this Bill—without a bath or a bathroom. We are glad to have that confession of the new housing police of the Government and the Conservative party.

We have had raised to-day the question of the authority that is to be responsible. We take the strongest objection to making constitutional changes in a Bill dealing with some social problem. This Bill may in the eyes of hon. Members opposite be an important Bill but, measured as Treat Measures go, it is a small Bill, and in a small Bill of this kind we ought not to have any far-reaching changes made in the relations between various types of local authorities. It is unfair to the larger local authorities like the county boroughs and the non-county boroughs, and it gives to the smaller local authorities little opportunity to defend themselves, because naturally they are anxious to see rural houses provided, though they do not wish to see their powers being whittled away by the enlargement of the powers of the county councils. Our primary objection to this Bill goes much deeper than objections to specific Clauses. We are not opposed to the improvement of old houses. I would much rather live in many an old house that has been improved than in some of the new houses that are being built to-day.

What we object to is the method by which the proposed improvement of the old houses is being carried out. It is being carried out by the aid of a colossal subsidy. It is colossal when you measure it in terms of the value of the houses, while the houses are to be left not under definite public control, in spite of the provisions of the Bill, but still under private enterprise. I draw attention to the fact of which I reminded hon. Members on the Second Reading of the Bill, that the Minister of Health was Chairman of a Committee only a few years ago which dealt with bad houses, and which came to the conclusion that the only way to see that they were put right and kept right was to bring them under the control and ownership of the local authorities. That was what the Minister of Health said when he was Chairman of the Committee, before he had reached his present office. When I drew his attention to the fact, he said that that had nothing to do with rural housing. But a bad house is a bad house whether it is situated in a town or in the country. The dispersion of the property in rural areas makes public control even more vital, if the necessary improvements are to take place and the improvements are to be maintained, than is the case in the towns.

This Bill simply improves the value and improves the amenities of private estates and private property. It places the rural landlord in an entirely different class from the town landlord. I am no friend of the town landlord. But the town landlord has been harried by law into putting his houses into a proper state of repair. It is no use where there is a vigorous local authority the town landlord pleading poverty. It would not make the slightest difference. He would be required to put his houses into a state of proper habitable repair. The town landlords, many of them far poorer than the poorest country landlords, are under the ban of the law if they do not keep their houses in a proper state of repair, without any assistance of any kind from public funds. They have the fear that possibly their houses may be confiscated and taken over at their site value without one penny being given for the value of the house.

Whilst that state of affairs holds in the town, the Government find a hundred excuses not to penalise the rural landlord, but actually to put £100 in his pocket for every cottage that he improves. There is no element of justice in that policy. If it he that the rural landlords cannot afford to put their houses into proper habitable repair, if they cannot improve them and make them conform to reasonable modern standards, they are bankrupt and they ought to be relieved of their responsibility. There is no case for giving them this substantial public subsidy to help them in their difficulty. It is not as though the landed classes, the country interests, have been poverty-stricken. In so far as they have passed through bad times, they have always found sympathetic assistance from Conservative Government after Conservative Government. The rural landlords to-day do not pay their fair share of taxation and they do not pay their fair share of rates. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] They do not. There are on the Statute Book provisions which exempt them from the responsibilities of other citizens. Whilst that is so, and we have a particularly favoured class of landlord in the country, this class is the very class to whom the Government now make this generous offer of assistance for the improvement of their cottages. This is an attempt on the part of the Government to give definite financial support to a class which is one of the strongest in the political forces which they represent. It is an unfair and an unjust act, a Measure of political bribery to a class of their political supporters, and it will do next to nothing really to solve the rural housing problem.

It is estimated that over 20 years £1,200,000 is to be spent. That will not solve the rural housing problem; that will not go one-tenth of the way towards solving it. But what is going to be the position in the rural areas after this, when the county councils are given definite powers in this matter above the heads of other housing authorities? The subsidy is being reduced, local authorities are going to be discouraged, and they will be rightly annoyed because of the new powers given to county councils. The county councils will be left to deal with this problem of propping up the old cottages, and there will, as a result, be less new houses built in the rural areas. On any assumption, even assuming that the Government got the maximum out of this Bill, there is a need for an enormous increase in the amount of new building in rural areas, and our fear is that this Bill will be sufficient to salve the consciences of certain local authorities, who will operate it and neglect their responsibilities with regard to the building of new houses. However much we may wish to keep, and we ought to keep, the old houses that are capable of being made reasonably habitable, however much we may pursue that policy, it is quite incapable of meeting rural needs to-day. Therefore, because the Bill tends to stop the building of new houses, because it is a backward Measure, because it subsidises so heavily the improvement of old houses as against the subsidy to new houses, because it is a mere political dodge on the part of the party opposite to gain further favour with their agricultural supporters, I move this Amendment.


I beg to second the Amendment.

The Amendment expresses, not so much our view with regard to the needs of the agricultural labourer, but our view as to the unfair advantage that is now being taken of those needs by the friends of the party opposite. There was never any need why this Bill should deal with the agricultural problem in the way suggested. There was on the Statute Book, long before the Government thought of this Bill, arrangements whereby, had the Minister of Health desired to deal with all the unhealthy cottages in which the farm labourers to-clay are living, he could do so. There existed the Town Planning Acts and other arrangements by which rural district councils, or, if they failed, county councils, or, if they failed, the Minister himself, would finally have insisted upon those repairs being put into operation which would give the agricultural labourer a chance in the unhealthy dwelling in which he may now be living. But the objection to that procedure in the mind of the Minister—I will not be too hard on the Minister, for I do not think it was in his mind, but in the minds of the friends of the Minister—the objection to that procedure would have been that the cost of those repairs would finally have been placed upon the rent that ultimately the landlord would have drawn. Hon. Members opposite will realise that, if this process had been carried out, the landlord and his friends would ultimately have had the privilege of paying, as they ought to have paid, for the repair of the scandalously unhealthy property in which so many of the farm labourers are living. We were fully prepared to have those sections carried out, but the Tory Government was not. It is for that reason that this Bill was introduced. We have had the spectacle presented to us to-night of the party opposite being so ashamed of what they are doing that it is not even to be made known what are the names of the persons who are to benefit by the steps they are now taking. The whole thing is a hole-and-corner business. It has never been dictated in any part of it by regard for the needs of the agricultural labourers.

I want very particularly to draw the attention of the Parliamentary Secretary to the argument which he addressed to us in very great detail last week regarding the effect of a subsidy upon the costs of the processes which this particular subsidy is intended to help. The Parliamentary Secretary, in his very great innocence, as I suggested to him in a speech I made last week, told us that the reason why the Government objected to the subsidy, when applied to new houses, was because that subsidy in the long run raised the cost of the new houses, and he told us that the way to bring down the price of buildings was to reduce the subsidy. Indeed, last week he had no other argument to offer for the proposal that the Government was then making. I ask the Parliamentary Secretary whether he can tell the House to-night what effect the subsidy will have upon the cost of repairing property. Does he mean to tell us now that landlords may get this help from the State, and thereby be assisted to pay out to house property menders the money that they would obtain from the State, and that the mending of property will not be influenced by that process which he protended would operate with regard to new property?

I submit that, as between last week's Bill and this week's Bill which we are now discussing, the Government are caught between the horns of a dilemma. They have got to decide quite frankly, if the subsidy raises prices, that it raises prices all round. If it be true that prices of new property have gone up as the result of the subsidy suggested by my right hon. Friend in his Bill and of the subsidy arranged for in the Measure that the Minister brought in in 1923, then, exactly by the same argument, the subsidy that you are now proposing to pay for the improvement of rotten property is ultimately going to operate in raising the price of mending that rotten property. You cannot have the argument on one process and then entirely forget it on the other process. I suggest that last week the Government was completely insincere in that argument. They have proved that insincerity to-day by the Bill we are now considering. In the interests of the farm labourer and the provision of decent cottages for them, as well as in the interest of public decency and honesty, I urge that this Bill should not be passed. This subsidy ought not to be paid into the pockets of those who have had the duty of attending to the cottages of their agricultural labourers, but who for years have left them with little better than pigsties in which to dwell.

Captain EDEN

The House, while listening to the last two speeches, will have readily appreciated how very sorely the Socialist party regret that they made no serious attempt to deal with this difficulty during their period of office. Finding themselves in that unhappy position, they do their best to make a travesty of the Bill we are now discussing. I do not want to deal with that to-night; I only want to suggest to hon. Members opposite, who, as we know, are kind enough to cast a friendly eye on the rural areas of England, that their best policy is to see how this Bill works before they attack it if they hope to win any seats in rural England. The Minister of Health, in the Second Reading Debate, stated that our difficulties in rural England, our housing difficulties, were due in the main to two causes; first, to the fact that so many houses had fallen into disrepair, and, secondly, to the fact that a great many cottages in some areas have been diverted from their original purpose of housing the rural workers, and were now occupied by week-enders and other dwellers from the towns. I want to refer to that aspect of the difficulty.

In some parts of England the problem is becoming increasingly serious. Anyone who has any knowledge of ally parts of rural England which are close to any of our large cities will be compelled to admit that the difficulties in housing these areas have been almost entirely created by the demand which the town makes on the accommodation which should be available for the workers on the land. I shall carry the House with me no doubt in this proposition, that houses in rural areas should be available, in the first instance, for those who live and work upon the land. The Minister of Health will know a city, a very large city, which has shown a capacity to expand in an amazingly rapid degree. He will know the City of Birmingham, and in Warwickshire our problem is great because the City of Birmingham is expanding so rapidly. No doubt in other districts there is the same problem. We do not want to prevent the dwellers in towns coming into the country. Quite the contrary. They are very welcome. The more they come the better, but with this important proviso, that the country man must have the first call upon the houses available in the district.

In this Bill, for the first time, we have a proviso which says that for 20 years these houses shall not be let to people other than rural workers. This is the first step that has been made to meet that difficulty. The right hon. Gentleman, the late Minister of Health, increased the subsidy, but did not help our problem very notch because there was no provision by which the houses should be first made available for rural workers. This Bill provides for that. At the same time I must plead with the Minister of Health to go a little further at some future time. This Bill deals with houses that are reconditioned, but even the proviso which keeps these houses for 20 years for rural workers will not in the near future be anything like enough. The problem is not getting less acute but more acute, and I plead with him that if the need exists and he cannot meet it without asking for more powers, that he should obtain these powers so that we can safeguard the houses in rural areas for rural workers.

We are all apt to indulge in a back to the land song, but it is in different melodies according to whether it comes from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), from hon. Members opposite, or from the Conservative party. But the first necessity, if there is to be any back to the land movement, is that the rural workers shall have some assurance that the housing accommodation is available for him, and that he will not lose it owing to his friends from the towns coming in and being able to pay a higher rent. The Government will have to take vigorous steps in that direction. The question is becoming every day, every week, more acute. We fully realise the difficulties of the housing position, and, valuable as this Bill is and heartily as we welcome the Clause which safeguards these houses for 20 years for rural workers, we believe that something further will have to he done if a really effective measure of reform is to be carried out to deal with the housing problem in rural areas adjacent to our great cities.


The speeches made by the Mover and Seconder of the rejection of the Bill were such a mass of fallacies that it seems entirely unnecessary at this stage of its progress to deal with them. I should like to bring the House back to what is the real problem and what this Bill is trying to do. We have had two housing Measures since 1923, the Act of that year and the Act of 1924, and, whatever those Acts aimed at doing, the facts of the situation are that they failed to touch the one problem with which this Bill, in a small way, is trying to deal. Those Acts dealt with the provision of an increased subsidy for cottages in rural areas where the tenants are not the ordinary rural agricultural workers whom we have in mind this evening. The rents that have to be paid, on account of their cost, put them entirely outside the domestic budget of the ordinary rural workers, and the result is that, regardless of all the merits of these housing Measures, this outstanding need has not been touched. In fact, the situation, instead of improving, is becoming worse, because the limited supply of cottages in rural areas has been diverted, people other than rural workers are occupying them. With the development of the sugar beet industry this problem is further magnified in many parts of the country.

It is all very well for hon. Members opposite to point out the defects of the Bill, most of them based on an entire misapprehension of the Measure; but that does not help to deal with the crying need of the moment, which is primarily to safeguard these rural cottages for those who should by right occupy them, and, secondly, to bring them nearer to our modern standard of what housing should be for any worker. Those of us who are fortunate enough to live most of our lives, apart from Westminster, in rural surroundings can claim to have some intimate knowledge of this problem and how it presses. There is one point which has not been touched upon at all so far, and it is an important one. The Minister of Health in the Labour Government (Mr. Wheatley) prided himself, and not unjustly, on the fact that owing to his legislation a very large number of apprentices were being brought into the building industry, and he said that that increased the number of potential skilled craftsmen and labourers in the industry. Unfortunately sufficient time has not elapsed to enable those apprentices to become skilled workers. Anyhow, even if the numbers of available workers for housebuilding have been increased to any extent, the facts still remain that with the enormous need for housing the actual numbers engaged in the industry are not commensurate with the requirements of the country. There has been a competition between one local authority and another, and between one private builder and another, and that to a certain extent has been the cause of the tremendously increased cost of building.

With regard to the policy that is envisaged by this Bill, I am convinced that we have, so to speak, hidden away in the rural areas of the country an unsuspected reservoir of building labour that has not been touched by the contractors who in urban and semi-urban districts obtain contracts for as many as 20, 50, or 100 cottages at a time. It is worth the urban contractors' while to contract on a large scale. They are conveniently situated with regard to railways and other conveniences, so that their costs can be kept down reasonably. In the rural districts, where cottages are scattered about in ones and twos and threes, those conditions do not exist. It is not practicable to get labour from the more concentrated and more popular centres of the country, on account of the difficulty of housing them while work is in progress. There are also the cost of the transportation of supplies and all the rest of it. In every village, however, there is a certain number of workers who are not included in the numbers that are returned as engaged in the building industry, but they are quite able to do the work, or a great deal of it, that is contemplated under this Bill. In the actual operations of reconstructing and rehabilitating many of these cottages we shall not have to call on the reserve building supply of the country, which is already fully occupied in putting up the houses that are being erected by local authorities or by private enterprise, which houses have all had to be let all rentals far in excess of those that the agricultural worker can afford to pay.

Therefore, not only shall we be reserving rural cottages for those to whom they should go, but we shall have available for the work of reconstruction a class of labour which in the past has been rather less sought after; and we shall not deplete the available numbers of builders and painters and carpenters whose time is needed for catching up the arrears and keeping abreast of the growing needs of housing. For these reasons particularly I welcome this Bill, not as a solution of the problem of housing to rural workers, but as one which promises more practical success than we have yet seen from the Housing Acts of 1923 and 1924.


May I, in a word or two, venture to thank the Government for deciding to give the benefits of this Measure to the most deserving section of our population, namely, the Crofters of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland? I know no section of the population, in Scotland or out of it, who are so typical of all those fine qualities which have gone to make this Empire. No Member of this House who has any knowledge of the Crofter would deny this statement. Yet under all the recent Housing Acts these men have been completely and unfairly ignored As a Member of the Opposition I tell the Government quite frankly now that I have ample evidence from all parts of the Highlands and Islands that the Crofter will not only feel grateful for this Measure, but that he and his friends will do all that they can to make such use of it as will raise the whole standard of Highland housing.


I want to join in the appeal of the hon. and gallant Member for Warwick and Leamington (Captain Eden) to the Minister of Health with regard to houses in districts near the large towns. Perhaps an ounce of practice is worth a ton of precept. I happen to have in my Division, which includes nearly the whole of the Cotswold Hills—at any rate, 50 miles of them form the backbone of my Division—several very pretty villages, situated on the banks of the River Avon. I was there last year, and an agricultural labourer came up to me and made this remark: "What a d—shame it is that there is not a. single agricultural worker"—


Order, order!

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. James Hope)

I understand that the hon. Member was making a quotation. I do not quite apprehend its meaning, but, as a quotation, I cannot rule it out of order.


Had it not been a quotation I should not have dreamed of using it, but my agricultural labourers are not always over profit in what they say, and I wanted to give the House the exact words that the man used. I do not wonder that he used the language. This man said, and truthfully said, that there was not a single agricultural labourer living within two miles of his work, for the simple reason that every house in that village—it is a marvellously pretty village, Welford-on-Avon, 18 miles from Birmingham and four miles from Stratford-on-Avon, the most beautiful village in England, with a maypole on the village green, and so on —is occupied by week-enders from Birmingham, who either pay a very high rent or buy the houses. He told me that the agricultural labourers have to live two miles away. The hon. and gallant Member for Warwick has very much the same difficulties. His Division is alongside mine. It is very hard to have to see men come out of the towns and get the cottages and turn the agricultural labourer away from the neighbourhood of his work. The agricultural worker has to get a house at a higher rent somewhere else, and has sometimes to walk or cycle two, three and even four miles to his work.

Everyone will agree that that is a hardship which ought to be abated in some way or other. As to how it-is to be done I can see that there are difficulties in the way. One cannot wonder at a landowner or cottage owner who has been accustomed to receiving 2s., 2s. 6d. or 3s. per week rent for a house accepting an offer of 7s., 8s. or 9s. per week, especially when it is accompanied by a promise to keep the place in first-class order. That does not however ease the situation for the agricultural worker. Therefore, I hope that something will be done to prevent these men being turned out of their cottages in order to make way for weekenders from the towns, simply because the week-ender has more money.

The next point I wish to emphasise is that the three housing schemes which have been introduced into this House since I became a Member in 1918 have done nothing for the agricultural worker. In 1918 we had a Coalition Government under the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), and we had the Addison Act. No one would pretend that the houses built under the Addison Act could possibly be let at rents such as an agricultural labourer could pay. Not one single house under that scheme, I suggest, has ever been let to a bona fide agricultural labourer. Then we had the Ministry of the late Mr. Bonar Law and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ladywood (Mr. N. Chamberlain) was Minister of Health. It is true that he gave a subsidy and that thousands of houses were built under it, but I do not know that a single house under that scheme was let at a rent within the means of an agricultural labourer. Then we come to the Labour Government. I approve of and appreciate the steps that were taken to increase the subsidy for houses in agricultural districts with a view to giving the agricultural labourer a decent house at a reasonable rent. But I defy anybody to say that, even under that Act, the agricultural labourer could afford the rents which were required. I do not say so without knowledge. I have written to one of the biggest rural districts in Somersetshire and I have the figures for it and for a large rural district in Gloucestershire and for a smaller but important rural district in Worcestershire. I find that something like 500 houses have been built in these three districts under these various schemes and in not a single case has one of them been let at a lower rent than 5s. 3d. per week, the tenant paying the rates and this represents an average of 7s. 6d. a week. To ask agricultural labourers in those counties, where the wages are 30s. a week for day men, to pay 7s. 6d. a week, or a quarter of their wage, as house rent, is to ask the impossible. Nobody can deny that these are the facts of the case and I shall be glad to produce the details if any hon. Member desires to have them. I did find that in nine eases houses were let nominally to agricultural labourers, but the cheapest rent was 5s. 6d. a week and rates, and when I went into these nine cases I found that either the agricultural labourer in question had living with him two or three grown-up sons whose wages helped to pay the rent, or else he took in lodgers. I do not think it right that the agricultural labourer should be put in the position of being unable to live in a decent house unless he takes in lodgers which means more work for his wife and family and less comfort for himself.

10.0 p.m.

In view of the fact that these three schemes have proved failures in so far as providing houses for agricultural labourers is concerned, we are trying the scheme in this Bill. I have had considerable practice in regard to this scheme, even before it was thought of, and as that may seem a very Irish way of putting the matter, I may explain. I am secretary of a large friendly or benefit society which has funds amounting to over £300,000. I started the society, and have been secre- tary of it for 37 years. We have advanced money to our members to buy and to improve their houses and to buy small holdings. We have hundreds and even thousands of small holders and market gardeners in my division. Scores of these people have bought their small holdings and their market gardens, and more still have bought their houses. The rules of our society provide for the men saving their money, and hundreds, if not thousands, of agricultural labourers and other workers have standing to their credit in the books of that society over £100 apiece. How the poor souls have saved that money God only knows, but they have done it. I have often said to one of them in regard to joining the society, "With your long family and your small wages you cannot afford to do it." But the man has done it and the most wonderful thing is that while we have from first to last advanced over £500,000 to men of the working class—not all agricultural labourers, but postmen, carpenters, masons, bricklayers, blacksmiths, paper hangers and a few agricultural labourers—in not one single case have we lost a penny piece of principal or interest. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Yes, my friends—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"] I beg pardon—they are honest people in the country and I ask hon. Members to bear that in mind. [HON. MEMBERS: "The labourers are!"] In a previous speech in this House I said that the agricultural labourer was the salt of all the Labour party; I say so still and I will say so to the very end. I am an agricultural labourer's son. My father lived in a cottage which had only two bedrooms, one opening into the other, and two rooms downstairs, one opening into the other, and he died in that house after an illness of two years. I am talking of what I know and understand.

Let us go a step further. If houses could not be provided under these three schemes because the costs are too high, are we going to fold our arms and to do nothing? I heard the discussions in Committee and in the House to-day and I have heard no one suggest a better scheme to provide cheap houses for agricultural workers than the scheme in the Bill. I have not the slightest objection to criticism if those who make it are prepared to put something better in the place of what they criticise, but no one has said how otherwise you are going to provide houses. We are told that the landlords and the farmers could afford to do this themselves and ought to do it. Let us see. Six miles from where I live is what I suppose to be the greatest co-operative farm in England. It is something like 4,000 acres, and the Co-operative society bought it eight years ago. Every year since they have lost money "galore." They have lost more than enough to pay for the freehold of the estate twice over in eight years. And nearly every co-operative society running farms has either had to give them up altogether or has given notice of doing so or has shown on its balance sheet a loss on the farm.

If anybody doubts that, I shall be pleased to show him the publication which was published by their society proving that it is true. I have not known many Co-operative Societies that have built new cottages. The next difficulty is that, apart from the weekender, you find that wherever you have a country village from four to seven miles from a town the postman, the railwayman, the telegraphist, the motor cycle man and others get on their cycles and take those houses in the country at big rents. We are told that the landlord cught to provide houses for the agricultural workers; but he has done that in the past. I have known over and over again where landowners have shut down their houses to go and live in flats, because out of the rents they were getting they could not keep their places up, but they were determined to see that the labourers were properly housed. [Laughter.] I will make this sporting offer to hon. Gentlemen opposite that, if any six of them will come into my Division, I will take them to village after village, not in a model parish but in an ordinary parish, and they shall see for themselves how well the gentlemen of England have done for the people. You will remember that I am talking of things that I know. I do not farm, I do not own an inch of land; six feet by two is the only land I am ever likely to have; I am not under any obligation to any landowner, farmer or labourer, but. I am speaking from a detached point of view.

Take the point we have heard to-night over and over again, that you are to give a certain amount of money to the landlords. I wonder how many of you are aware that the cottages which have gone out of occupation are, 19 times out of 20, not owned by rich landowners, but by poor people. It has been my experience hundreds of times that a small village shopkeeper, the baker or the little grocer, who also keeps the post office and sells drapery as well, saves money and buys houses in his village. He has to mortgage them, as I know, for I have got hundreds of deeds. This man dies, leaving his widow to carry on the business. It often happens that these cottages go from bad to worse until I have known them become uninhabitable. These are the people who will he encouraged by the Bill if there is any encouragement in it at all. When you are giving subsidies for housebuilding—I think the Minister says they average some £75 to £300 for a house—but there is nothing in the three Housing Bills stating that the man shall not sell the house at a profit, or stating what rent he shall let them for. Men build two or three of these houses, and about three months after they have done so and have the mortgages completed, they will come to me and say, "I have sold one, can you detach it from the other?" He tells me what it cost him and what profit he has sold it for, and when I ask him if he had paid the money back to the subsidy people, he says, "Oh dear, no; I put it in my pocket." But the man under this Bill cannot sell his house at profit. This Bill says, what no other Bill has said, that the rent shall be such as an agricultural labourer or someone in a similar position can pay. That being so, I do not think it lies in the mouth of anyone on any side of the House to say that you are making a present to the landlord if you compare his position with that of the man who took the subsidy to build a private house and then sold it. The man who had the subsidy is ten times better off than the landlord under this Bill.

Secondly, do remember that it was time something of the sort was done. In my work as Secretary to this particular friendly society, over and over again I have gone sick visiting. I went some years ago to see an old gentleman on his deathbed, and I said to him, "What, in the world, have you got that umbrella over your bed for?" He said, "You stand and look at the top of the umbrella." I looked, and I saw that the top of the umbrella was covered with snow. As that poor labourer lay dying, I could look up through the tiles of the roof and could see the sky, and that umbrella literally had snow upon it. That that should happen in a Christian land was a disgrace. [Hoy. MEMBERS: "The gentlemen of England" and "Land of Hope and Glory!"] That is a very senseless thing to say. You will ask who owned the house, and you will say it was a rich landowner. The man who owned the house was one of the poorest of the poor, and, had this Bill been in existence then, he could possibly have repaired it.


What village was the house in?


If you come with me, I will show you the village. I will motor you to the house and give you a jofly good luncheon besides. I agree very much with what was said by one hon. Member about village amenities. I live on the Cotswold hills, as I have said. We are very proud of our old Cotswold hills and villages and lanes, and we are very proud indeed of our cottages, because they are some of the most solidly-built houses you ever saw. Most of these houses, if they are reconditioned, will last twice as long as your jerry-built houses of to-day. They are warmer and stronger. We are very pleased to see visitors from all our large towns coming out in chars-a-bane to look at these places, and we want to preserve them in that state, so that we shall not have, along with a good old-fashioned stone-built house, some hideous red brick or iron erection, because if we do, it will spoil, not only the amenities of the place, but the pleasure of those men and women who, thank goodness, to-day are able to take a half-day off and come in their chars-a-bane and run all over the place. I thank the House for listening to me, but I feel very strongly on this question, and I say that unless you put something better in place of this Bill, I do not think you ought to be hard upon it.


I do not propose to stand long between the House and the Division which will bring our discussion to a termination, but I wish to take up a few moments of its time particularly in dealing with points that have been raised or suggested by the two very interesting speeches to which we have just listened from the other side of the House. I liked the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Yeovil (Major Davies) for its optimism, and I enjoyed the speech of the hon. Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Sir T. Davies) for its honesty. One hon. Member told us, when he rose, that be had one or two new points to put before the House. I cannot claim, having gone through these discussions both in the House and in the Committee, to have much that is new to say at this stage of the discussion. But the honesty of the hon. Member to whose enlightening speech we have just listened was really charming. At one stage, in a moment of forgetfulness, he addressed us as friends, but he immediately hastened to apologise. He withdrew the term "friends," and he addressed us for what we are.


May I say why I did that? It is because in the last speech in which I addressed the House as "My friends," the Deputy-Speaker called me to order.


The tone of the speeches Lo which we have listened from the other side was that the housing conditions in the agricultural areas are lamentably bad and that no party has been able to do anything substantial to improve them. Reference has been made to houses erected under the Addison scheme. At any rate, the Addison housing policy, whatever may be said against it, did erect houses in the agricultural areas. Under the Act of 1924, we have been told by the Minister of Health, some 8,000 houses have been sanctioned for erection in the sparsely populated agricultural parishes, and something like 3,000 of these have been actually completed. Therefore, we can say that we have done something to provide new houses in the agricultural areas, but no Member has been able to rise on the other side and say that, for letting purposes at any rate, houses have been erected under the Act passed by the present Minister of Health, and it comes badly, I submit, from those who have not been able to do anything in the way of erecting new houses, to blame those of us who have contributed something to the improvement of the agricultural districts by the erection of some thousands of houses.

We are told that these houses are of very little use, because they do not come within the budget of the agricultural labourer. No one would argue that the houses erected under any of the schemes are too good for any useful section of the British population. They are not mansions, they are not what we are accustomed to call villas, they are not houses that in any way betoken wealth, but they are houses which are not within the renting power of the agricultural labourer. They do not, in the language of the party opposite, come within that gentleman's Budget. We did not fix the Budget. That Budget has been fixed mainly by the supporters of the party opposite, and when they come and tell us that a house, which they condemned as inadequate when I was promoting the Bill of 1924, is too large, too costly, for the man who maintains the industry which is the basis of all our industry—the agricultural industry—because it does not come within the spending power of the agricultural labourer, then we say it is not the house to blame, but the wages which the agricultural labourer receives.

I put it to the party opposite that you cannot go on for ever living on a second-hand housing policy, and that is what you are proposing here. Having reached a stage where the wages paid to the agricultural labourer do not admit of his renting a house erected under any housing scheme approved by Parliament, V011 then come forward and tell us to live on the second-hand houses. The hon. Member drew a pathetic picture of the tenant of a house that he found inside his dwelling dying in the snow. Is it necessary for me to remind him that that is the description of England after centuries of Conservative government, and that it is that system of government which, after centuries, has given us these conditions that comes forward now and asks us to believe that the future greatness of England is safe in their hands? At one point we were told that the agricultural labourer could save £100. I wondered whether he should not be prosecuted. I think the agricultural labourer, who, out of the wages that we know he receives for Ns services, has saved £100, has not done full justice to himself and his family, because I do not think anyone in this House would say that it was extravagant living to spend the amount weekly which is received by an agricultural labourer.

We are told that this is a Bill which is not going to help landlords. We have the usual pathetic picture of the owner of house property being a widow or orphan struggling in a country district, after passing her years in the post office of a little grocer's shop, and trying to eke out a living through running dilapidated property, until she succumbs under the burden imposed. We do not meet these property owners in real life. It has been suggested that this is not a Bill that is intended to, or is likely to, help the owner of existing property of a questionable kind in the agricultural areas. The Minister of Health has frequently pointed to its financial provisions, and has reasoned this way: There is the existing house, and we are going to spend upon it a maximum of £150. The local authority and the State will be responsible for two-thirds of that sum, and the owner will contribute his quota of £50. When you come to fix the rent, the owner will only be entitled to charge the existing rent plus 3 per cent. on the money he has invested, and that means he will be able to increase his rent by only 30s. a year, or something like 7d. a week. It does not seem as if he were going to make a fortune out of that transaction. But we have heard a good deal during these discussions of buildings that may spoil the amenities of a locality by having tin hats put on them, to the annoyance of neighbouring dwellers. These are not the existing dwelling-houses contemplated in speeches to which we have just listened.

I think it was the last speaker who warned us that we ought not to allow our enthusiasm for the housing of the agricultural labourer to lead us into the erection of houses where they will spoil the amenities of people who are comfortably housed now. We are not going to erect any new houses. We are to deal with existing buildings. Those who talk about amenities forget that. We are not bringing into a district anything substantially new in the way of buildings. We are going to repair old dwelling houses or to reform existing structures of one kind or another. I take it from the amount of money that is to be spent that, speaking generally, the alterations will be in the internal arrangements of the house, more so than the external; but the point I want to make is that the only new thing we are bringing into these districts is the working class.

The building is there already. At present it is not occupied, but when it has been renovated we bring in the agricultural labourer. He is a very fine fellow in his own place, but his own place is not on the threshold of middle-class houses, and so the amenities of a middle-class district have to he protected, and we have to see that the agricultural labourer is housed where he will not annoy his betters.

Let me return to the point about the potential financial advantage to be gained from this Bill by the owners of old property in the rural districts. It is wrong to assume that the only additional income which the owner can possibly obtain through this Bill is 7d. a week, representing 3 per cent. on the £50. The old buildings to which reference has been made have no financial value at the moment. It is all very well to say there is no building which is not of value, but they have no renting value. The owner of the house, the poor widow, can no longer let the house, because it is not in a fit state for human habitation, and so the house brings the poor widow no income, and the house which brings her no income has no value. Then you proceed and spend £150 on that house. The widow spends her £50 and the £100 comes out of the public purse. Is the widow going to get only 7d. a week? Remember that you are giving a fresh value to the ruins, and in future the building is not going to be valued at £150, but at £150 plus whatever value has been given to the whole structure by the expenditure of the new money. Therefore, the widow receives not only the 7d. per week on her £50, but a comparatively substantial rent out of the ancient part of the buildings from which she does not now receive a penny. All over the rural districts you will have that state of things, and have many people getting a sum of money out of the expenditure which we have just voted.

I only want to say, in conclusion, one thing, if I may be allowed to repeat, a thing I said during the Debate on the Money Resolution. I wish the House to believe that, like nearly every one of its Members, I have a very kindly feeling for the agricultural population, and it is not confined to the agricultural labourers. I realise perhaps more than most people how during the development of industrial capitalism during the 19th century British agriculture was ruined. I do not go the length of saying that either landlords or farmers find any particular pleasure in the conditions under which they are compelled to keep their agricultural labourers. I believe that to some extent, like the labourers, they are the victims of a wrong national policy. I wish we could see a bright future for British agriculture, and it is difficult to take that view now for the British nation.

We do, however, take a hopeful view, and we think there is a future for agriculture. We think you should be more optimistic than you now appear to be, and we are not the enemies of the countryside. We visualise a state of society in which you have a happy and prosperous peasantry providing to a larger extent than now for the needs of the people of Britain. In taking that view we think you should look ahead. We ask you to look ahead 50 or 60 years and we tell you the line you ought to have taken to help British agriculture was not to cut down your expenditure on new houses in order that you might expend more on the patching up of old houses. We say that you should try to lay down a new England and a new basis of society for the agricultural labourers, and for the other industries which they support.

I submit that that should particularly he the policy of a Conservative Government and not the present one of patching up old buildings and saying it is not worth while erecting new houses and that you cannot pay this and that. That policy is wrong. As things stand now hon. Members are only correct in the sense that if the labourer paid all his wages he could not meet the economic rent of a decent healthy dwelling. We must give the labourer a decent dwelling if we are to maintain him and the industry on which he depends. I am not speaking in a party sense when I ask the party opposite to take a more generous view of the requirements of our rural areas in their arrangements for expenditure on the necessaries of life.


We have just heard a characteristic speech from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley), and, if I may say so, one typical of the attitude of the Labour party to these proposals—suspicion, jealousy—[Interruption]—misconception, and, if I may say so, an apprehension concerning their political prospects, arising as a result of the introduction of this Measure, rather than consideration of and endeavour to meet the needs of the agricultural workers. I have said that there are considerable misconceptions, which have been illustrated by the speech to which the House has just listened. Let me just refer to two of them, because I only propose to speak for a few minutes. The right hon. Gentleman assumed that this scheme was an alternative to the various housing schemes which are now in operation. This scheme, however, is an addition to what is still going on in various parts of England to-day. It is a provision for assisting the housing programme which is now in existence, and it is a very necessary addition to that programme, because the right hon. Gentleman has not been able to displace the fact that, notwithstanding the very considerable additional subsidy that was given under what we know as the Wheatley Act of 1924, it is perfectly true to say that the erection of new houses in rural areas is proceeding but slowly, on account of the high costs and the prevailing condition of high rents. Without in any way intending to be offensive to the right hon. Gentleman, I think he would agree that very few of the houses that have been erected under his scheme are available, so far as rents are concerned, to the agricultural workers of this country.

One of the advantages of this Bill is that it in no way interferes with any existing programme which may now be in operation, and, as an hon. Friend of mine has reminded the House this evening, it does not interfere in any way with existing building labour, but brings in a class of labour which I believe will be available, and which will assist in the immediate and early erection of these new dwellings both cheaply and quickly. The right hon. Gentleman, and a good many hon. Members who have spoken, have attacked this Bill chiefly on the ground that it is an advantage to the owner of property in this country. The right hon. Gentleman gave an illustration to-night of the circumstances which might arise if an Ad building, which was not now used as a dwelling, was made available under the working of this Bill—if the money was spent upon it, and by that means further housing accommodation was made available. I am quite prepared to meet the right hon. Gentleman on that point. I say to the House that if, by the expenditure of money on a building of that kind, we can make available for the agricultural workers of this country further housing accommodation, I am not, myself, particularly concerned, so long as that dwelling is secured to the agricultural workers of this country, under the conditions of the Bill, at the normal agricultural rent, whether, in fact, a landlord or owner of the property makes a little more than an additional 7d. a week or not.

The great factor that we have to keep before us in connection with this Bill is, are we making available for the agricultural worker further housing accommodation at a rent that he can properly and conveniently pay, and it is nothing to me that in fact the owners may be making a little more than 3 per Cent. in those few isolated cases which may arise under the Bill provided we are giving further housing accommodation to the agricultural worker at a rent he can properly afford to pay, and that undoubtedly has been the great defect of all the efforts that have been made. It is quite a mistake to say that under the Housing Act, 1923, local authorities have not built houses to let, because a considerable number have been let; but apart from that, it is nothing to me as long as under this Measure I am making available to the agricultural workers further housing accommodation at a rent that they can properly afford to pay.

The hon. Gentleman who moved the rejection of the Bill said his great objection to the scheme was that there was no definite public control and that the operation of the scheme left the work still to be conducted under private enterprise. I quite admit the truth of the latter part of his observation. It is certainly part of the policy of the Government to continue to operate the Bill, so far as it convenientiy and properly can be, under private enterprise, but he certainly made a considerable mistake when he said there was no definite control over the operation of the Bill, because few Bills have been brought in with more stringent conditions as to the user of the dwelling for the agricultural worker. Under the right hon. Gentleman's scheme of 1924, there were no conditions whatever as to the user of the property. All sorts of people are living in houses for which a tremendous subsidy is being paid under the right hon. Gentleman's Bill. Tinder this Bill very stringent conditions are laid down, and what is more, under the Amendment we have made to-day we have given, a most easy remedy to local authorities whereby if a single condition under the Bill is infringed they can within a week apply to a local county court, get an injunction and insist, within a month at the latest, that every one of the conditions under the Bill is observed, I known of no Bill which imposes such stringent conditions both as to the user and as to the rent that has to be paid, and I know of no Measure which gives such an easy and quick remedy by which those conditions can be fully enforced. Therefore to suggest that this Bill is a Bill for the benefit of owners and a Bill under which there is no adequate control, is a complete misconception of the position. This Bill, like other Bills, will depend upon its results, and we shall see which of the two views which have been put forward so strongly in the Debate are correct. Whichever may be right, and I hold very firm convictions on that matter, I say that this is a right and proper attempt for something to be done.

If this is not to be done, what is to be the position of the agricultural worker in this country? Hon. Members opposite, as far as their plans are concerned, have abandoned him. They would condemn him to houses under the Housing Act of 1924 at rents which, in the great majority of cases, he is unable to pay. [HON. MEMBERS: "Give him better wages."] So far as this Bill is concerned, they will agree with me that in every possible way and on every possible occasion they have endeavoured to defeat its proposals. When this Bill goes to the Statute Book and, as I believe will be the case, very considerable additional housing accommodation at reasonable rents, for the agricultural labourers of this country is provided, houses for people who need them very much, hon. Members opposite must not complain if we do not refrain

from pointing our the conduct of the Labour party in connection with the Bill.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 225; Noes, 84.

Division No. 540.] AYES. [10.48 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Fraser, Captain Ian Malone, Major P. B.
Albery, Irving James Frece, Sir Walter de Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E. Marriott, Sir J. A. R.
Apsley, Lord Galbraith, J. F. W. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W. Ganzoni, Sir John Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)
Atholl, Duchess of Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Gates, Percy Moore, Sir Newton J.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Glyn, Major R. G. C. Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Goff, Sir Park Neville, H. J.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W. Grant, Sir J. A. Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish Greene, W. P. Crawford Nuttall, Ellis
Berry, Sir George Grotrian, H. Brent Oakley, T.
Bethel, A. Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)
Betterton, Henry B. Gunston, Captain D. W. Owen, Major G.
Blundell, F. N. Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Pennefather, Sir John
Boothby, R. J. G. Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Penny, Frederick George
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Brass, Captain W. Hamilton. Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Briggs, J. Harold Hammersley, S. S. Perring, Sir William George
Briscoe, Richard George Hanbury, C. Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Broeklebank, C. E. R. Harrison, G. J. C. Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Assheton
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Raine, W.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Haslam, Henry C. Ramsden, E.
Bullock, Captain M. Hawke, John Anthony Rawson, Sir Cooper
Burman, J. 8 Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Remer, J. R.
Burton, Colonel H. W. Henderson, Capt R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Rhys, Hon. C. A. U
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Rice, Sir Frederick
Carver, W. H. Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by) Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Hohler, Sir Gerard Fitzroy Ropner, Major L.
Christie, J. A. Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Ruggles-Brise, Major E. A.
Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Cobb, Sir Cyril Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities} Rye, F. G.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Hore-Belisha, Leslie Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Cope, Major William Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Courtauld, Major J. S. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Sandeman, A. Stewart
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L. Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n) Sanderson, Sir Frank
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Hume, Sir G. H. Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Craig, Ernest {Chester, Crewe) Huntingfield, Lord Savery, S. S.
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Hurd, Percy A. Shaw, R. G (Yorks, W.R., Sowerby)
Cunliffe, Sir Herbert Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's) Shaw, Capt. Walter (Wilts, Westb'y)
Curzon, Captain Viscount Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Shepperson, E. W.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Jacob, A. E. Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester) Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Skelton, A. N.
Davies, Dr. Vernon Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Dean, Arthur Wellesley Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Dixey, A. C. Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Smithers, Waldron
Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert King, Captain Henry Doublas Sprot, Sir Alexander
Drewe, C. Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Duckworth, John Knox, Sir Alfred Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Eden, Captain Anthony Little, Dr. E. Graham Storry-Deans, R.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Livingstone, A. M. Streatfield, Captain S. R.
Elliot, Major Walter E. Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Elveden, Viscount Looker, Herbert William Templeton, W. P.
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) Lord, Walter Greaves- Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South) Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Everard, W. Lindsay Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Falle, Sir Bertram G. MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen Tinne, J. A.
Fanshawe, Commander G. D. Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Fenby, T. D. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Fermoy, Lord McLean, Major A. Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Fielden, E. B. Macmillan, Captain H. Wallace, Captain D. E.
Forestier-Walker, Sir L. Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Forrest, W. McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Foster, Sir Harry S. MacRobert, Alexander M. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Foxcroft, Captain C. T. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Watson, sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle) Williams, Herbert G. (Reading) Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
Watts, Dr. T. Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd) Woodcock, Colonel K. C.
Wells, S. R. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George Wragg, Herbert
Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Wiggins, William Martin Wise, Sir Fredric
Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern) Womersley, W. J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay) Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde) Major Hennessy and Captain
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Murnin, H.
Adamson, W. M. (Stall., Cannock) Greves, T. Naylor, T. E.
Ammon, Charles George Grundy, T. W. Oliver, George Harold
Attlee, Clement Richard Guest, Haden (Southwark, N.) Paling, W.
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Ponsonby, Arthur
Baker, Walter Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Potts, John S.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Hardie, George D. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Barr, J. Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Riley, Ben
Batey, Joseph Hayes, John Henry Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)
Bondfield, Margaret Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Scurr, John
Bromfield, William Hirst, G. H. Sexton, James
Bromley, J. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Cape, Thomas John, William (Rhondda, West) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Charleton, H. C. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Stephen, Campbell
Clowes, S. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Taylor, R. A.
Cluse, W. S. Kelly, W. T. Thurtle, Ernest
Dalton, Hugh Kennedy, T. Townend, A. E.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Lawrence, Susan Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lawson, John James Viant, S. P.
Day, Colonel Harry Lee, F. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Duncan, C. Lindley, F. W. Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Dunnico, H. Lowth, T. Welsh, J. C.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon) Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Gardner, J. P. Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Gosling, Harry MacNeill-Weir, L. Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) March, S.
Greenall, T. Maxton, James TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Montague, Frederick Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. A.

Question put, and agreed to.