HC Deb 09 July 1926 vol 197 cc2471-510

Motion made, and Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Division No. 358.] AYES. [2.10 p.m
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Falls, Sir Charles F. Oman, Sir Charles William C.
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Fielden, E. B. Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool,W. Derby) Finburgh, S. Pennefather, Sir John
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Foster, Sir Harry S. Percy, Lord Euslace (Hastings)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Foxcroft, Captain C. T. Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Atkinson, C. Frece. Sir Walter de Pilditch, Sir Philip
Ballour, George (Hampstead) Garzoni, Sir John Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Asshetan
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Ramuden, E.
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Grant, J. A. Rees, Sir Beddoe
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Greene, W. P. Crawford Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)
Bennett, A. J. Gretton, Colonel John Ramer, J. R.
Berry, Sir George Grotrian, H. Brent Remnant, Sir James
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Gunston, Captain D. W. Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.) Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Blundell, F. N. Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne) Rye, F. G.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bowater, Sir T. Vanslttart Hawke, John Anthony Sanderson, Sir Frank
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle) Savery, S. S.
Brittain, Sir Harry Hills, Major John Walter Shepperson, E. W.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Matylebone) Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham) Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Sinclair, Col. T,(Queen's Univ.,Beilast)
Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb[...]'y) Holland, Sir Arthur Skelton, A. N.
Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan Holt, Captain H. P. Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Burton, Colonel H. W. Howard, Captain Hon. Donald Smithers, Waldron
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Hume, Sir G. H. Stanley, Col. Hon. G.F.(Will'sden, E.)
Campbell, E. T. Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Hurd, Percy A. Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N.(Ladywood) Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Christie, J. A. Iliffle, Sir Edward M. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Churchman, Sir Arthur C Jacob, A. E. Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Clayton, G. C. James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Cobb, Sir Cyril Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. King, Capt. Henry Douglas Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K. Knox, Sir Allred Ward, Lt-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on- Hull)
Conway, Sir W. Martin Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Cope, Major William Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Warrender, Sir Victor
Couper, J. B. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) MacIntyre, Ian Wells, S. R.
Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry McLean, Major A. Wheier, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Macguisten, F. A. Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Curzon, Captain Viscount MacRobert, Alexander M. Williams, Cam. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Dalziel, Sir Davison Makins, Brigadier-General E. Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Davidson, J.(H ertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd) Margesson, Captain D. Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Meller, R. J. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Dawson, Sir Philip Monsell, Eyres, Corn. Rt. Hon. B. M. Wise, Sir Fredric
Eden, Captain Anthony Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Wormer, Viscount
Elliot, Captain Walter E. Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Womersley, W. J.
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) Neville, R. J. Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Everard, W. Lindsay Nicholson, O. (Westml[...]ster) Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Fairtax, Captain J. G. Nicholson, Col. Rt.Hn.W.G.(Ptrsf[...]'ld.)
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Major Hennessy and Lord

The Committee divided: Ayes, 157; Noes, 83.

Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Hardie, George D. Scurr, John
Attlee, Clement Richard Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Sexton, James
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Heyday, Arthur Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Barr, J. Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Batey, Joseph Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield). Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Bowerman, At. Hon. Charles W. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Snell, Harry
Broad, F. A. John, William (Rhondda, West) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Bromley, J. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Stamford, T. W.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Stephen, Campbell
Cape, Thomas Kelly, W. T. Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Charleton, H. C. Kennedy, T. Taylor, R. A.
Close, W. S. Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Cove, W. G. Lansbury, George Thurtle, E.
Crawfurd, H. E. Lawrence, Susan Tinker, John Joseph
Dalton, H ugh Lee, F. Valley, Frank B.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Lowth, T. Vlant, S. P.
Day, Colonel Harry MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon) Watlhead, Richard C.
Dennison, R. Mackinder, W. Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Donnico, H. MacLaren, Andrew Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) March, S. Westwood, J.
Gardner, J. P. Montague, Frederick Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Gosling, Harry Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianeily)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln,, Cent.) Palin, John Henry Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Paling, W. Windsor, Walter
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Potts, John S.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Purcell, A. A. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Groves, T. Sakiatvala, Shapurji Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Hayes.
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Scrymgsour, E.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report the Bill, without Amendment, to the House."

Captain BENN

We are not entitled, of course, on this Motion to discuss the merits of the Bill, but we are entitled to comment on the procedure by which the Bill has been passed.


The hon. and gallant Member is not entitled to discuss the procedure by which the Bill has been passed. It has nothing to do with the Motion before the House.

Captain BENN

But the Motion is, "That the Chairman do report the Bill, without Amendment, to the House," and

Division No. 359] AYES. [2.28 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Limit-Colonel Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Eden, Captain Anthony
Aeg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Burton, Colonel H. W. Elliot, Captain Walter E.
Albery, Irving James Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool,W. Derby) Campbell, E. T. Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Everard, W. Lindsay
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Fairfax, Captain J. G.
Atkinson, C. Christie, J. A. Falle, Sir Bertram G.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Falls, Sir Charles F.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Clayton, G. C. Finburgh, S.
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Cobb, Sir Cyril Foster, Sir Harry S.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Foxcroft, Captain C. T.
Bennett, A. J. Conway, Sir W. Martin Frece, Sir Walter de
Berry, Sir George Cope, Major William Ganzoni, Sir John
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Sklpton) Cowper, J. B. Gates, Percy
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.) Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham
Blundell, F. N. Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Grant, Sir J. A.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Greene, W. P. Crawford
Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart Curzon, Captain Viscount Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Daiziel, Sir Davison Grotrian, H. Brent
Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B. Davidson,J. (Hertf[...]'d, Hemel Hempst'd) Gunston, Captain D. W.
Brittain, Sir Harry Davies, Dr. Vernon Hall, Lieut.-col. Sir F. (Dulwich)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Davison, Sir W. H (Kensington, S.) Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks,Newb'y) Dawson, Sir Philip Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry

I submit that I am entitled on such a Motion to say that it is very rare a change of such constitutional importance should be made with such haste, and that the Third Reading should be rushed through after the Committee stage, there being no Report stage owing to the Government's attitude. It is a public constitutional question, and I think a protest is called for because of the indecent haste with which the Bill has been rushed through the House.

Question put, "That the Chairman do report the Bill, without Amendment, to the House."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 157; Noes, 80.

Hawke, John Anthony Moore, Lieut.-Colenel T. C. R. (Ayr) Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle) Morden, Col. W. Grant Smithers, Waldron
Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Morrisorn-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Wilirsden, E.)
Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Neville, R. J. Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'etand)
Holland, Sir Arthur Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Holt, Captain H. P. Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Sueter, Rear.Admiral Murray Fraser
Howard, Captain Hon. Donald Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Hume, Sir G. H. Oman, Sir Charles William C. Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Hurd, Percy A. Pennefather, Sir John Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Hutchlson, G. A. Clark (Midl[...]'n & p[...]'bl's) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Illffe, Sir Edward M. Perkins, Colonel E. K. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. LA Kingston-on-Hult)
Jacob, A, E. Phillpson, Mabel Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Pilditch, Sir Philip Warrender, Sir Victor
Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Pownall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Assheton Waterhouse, Captain Charles
King, Captain Henry Douglas Ramstlen, E. Wells, S. R.
Knox, Sir Alfred Rees, Sir Beddoe Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington) Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Remer, J. R. Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Rhys, Hon. C. A. U. Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
MacIntyre, Ian Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
McLean, Major A. Rye, F. G. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Macqulsten, F. A. Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Wise, Sir Fredric
MacRobert, Alexander M. Sanderson, Sir Frank Wolmer, Viscount
Makine, Brigadier-General E. Savery, S. S. Womersley, W. J
Malone, Major P. B. Shepperson, E. W. Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Margesson, Captain D. Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down) Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Meller, R. J. Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfast) Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Skelton, A. N. 45
Monsen, Eyres, Corn. Rt. Hon. B. M. Slaney, Major P. Kenyon TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Major Hennessy and Lord Stanley.
Attlee, Clement Richard Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Sexton, James
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston) Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Barr, J. Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Batey, Joseph Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan Neath) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. John, William (Rhondda, West) Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)
Broad, F. A. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Snell, Harry
Bromley, J. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Kelly, W. T. Stamford, T. W.
Cape, Thomas Kennedy, T. Stephen, Campbell
Cherleton, H. C. Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Cluse, W. S. Lansbury, George Taylor. R. A.
Cove, W. G. Lawrence, Susan Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)
Crawford, H. E. Lee, F. Thurtle, E.
Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale) Lowth, T. Tinker, John Joseph
Day, Colonel Harry MacDonald, Rt. Hon.J. R. (Aberavon) Varley, Frank B.
Dennison, R. Mackinder, W. Vlent, S. P.
Donnico, H. MacLaren, Andrew Wellhead, Richard C
Edwards. C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) March, S. Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Gardner, J. P. Montague, Frederick Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Gosling, Harry Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Westwood, J.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coine) Oliver, George Harold Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Palln, John Henry Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Paling, W. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Groves, T. Potts, John S. Windsor, Walter
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll) Purcell, A. A.
Hardie, George D. Saklatvaia, Shapurji TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Scrymgeour, E. Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Hayes.
Heyday, Arthur Scurr, John

Bill reported, without Amendment.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]


I beg to move, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day three months."

We have now reached the final stage of a, Bill which, apparently dealing with one area, strikes a blow at local government in this country. We were led, indeed, to believe on the Second Reading of the Bill that West Ham was a seething mass of corruption, that large numbers of ratepayers had been driven to the Poor Law, that these people were those who, in fact, had put the present board of guardians into authority, and that therefore there was no other way of dealing with this problem than the simple one of superseding the Poor Law authority. Let me tell the House this: At this year's election of the board of guardians there were contests in four wards; in other wards there were no contests. In the parish of Wanstead there are 8,114 voters on the register: of these, 3,245 recorded their vote. In the parish of Woodford the electorate numbered 9,793: the number of electors at the election numbered 3,865. In another ward the electorate numbered 13,000: of these there voted 2,839. In a further ward the electors numbered nearly 16,000: there were 2,596 votes recorded. In view of these facts, what becomes of the theory that the board of guardians is being superseded because the board have been elected by an overwhelming mass of people who themselves are in receipt of relief? It appears to me from these figures, either that a large number of people who are not in receipt of relief acquiesced in the rule of the board of guardians, or that they were people who, if not independent ratepayers themselves, were in receipt of relief and have never exercised their franchise. These figures, I think, do show undoubtedly that the charge that the present, board of guardians was elected corruptly by the people who were themselves seeking relief is unfounded, in view of the large number of people who did not exercise their voting powers at the last election.

One would have thought the Government would have agreed to a further election to test public opinion rather than to supersede the local authority. It is well to know what precisely the Government is going to do in placing this Bill on the Statute Book. Is it to be applied to West Ham only, or to the other long list of boards of guardians who have now reached the end of their financial resources? Because what it comes to is: not that boards of guardians are to be superseded because of proved malpractices, or because they are unfit to discharge their duties, but because, by sheer accident in their particular areas, all their resources from the rates are for the time being inadequate to meet the demand made upon them. In other words this Bill, once it is brought into operation, will, in practice, be brought into operation only because the unions are in financial difficulties. For the most part those unions will be unions where there is a large amount of poverty, because their reserves are exhaustive, and because they are poor and have fallen into the clutches of the right hon. Gentleman. In other words the curse of the poor is their poverty, and the poorer they are the more readily will they come under the provisions of this Bill.

Two months ago, during the great strike, the sacred name of democracy was invoked. The strike was regarded by some as a challenge to democratic government. We believe that this Bill is as great or even a greater challenge to democratic government. I should like to remind the House as to what was said on this point of constitutional government during those days. That great organ of British opinion now deceased, the "British Gazette," said every day: Believe nothing until you see it in the British Gazette.' These are some of the things said eminent people on this question of constitutional government, and reported in the "British Gazette." Viscount Grey in that paper said: It is by democratic government that liberty has been won; by this alone can it be maintained. The alternatives are Fascism or Communism. Both of these are hostile and fatal to liberty. That is our charge against this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Health has chosen the alternative of Fascism. Earl Balfour in the same illustrious organ of Government opinion said: Revolutionary methods would be completely powerless except for evil. We regard this Bill as a revolutionary Measure. We believe that its result will be evil, and nothing but evil. What in those days was said by the Prime Minister? He used these words: Constitutional government is being attacked. … The laws of England are the people's birthright. The laws are in your keeping. But the Minister of Health proposes to take the laws out of the keeping of the people who have been democratically elected for the purpose! It seems to me the explanation of this different attitude of mind on two occasions, separated by only a few weeks, is, largely, panic. In a further issue of the "British Gazette," Mr. Rudyard Kipling is quoted in these words: From panic, pride and terror, Revenge that knows no law, Light, haste and lawless error, Protect us yet again. That is our plea against this Bill. We ask to be protected against panic, pride and the terror of the Government, from their revenge upon local authorities who are ill-equipped with resources, and we object to the haste and the lawless error of the right hon. Gentleman. A few days ago the Minister of Health defended the Coal Mines Bill in this passage: The Bill would not compel anybody to work eight hours, but it allows miners to do so if they choose. The idea of allowing people to do what they like had shocked the Socialist party. The ides of West Ham doing what it likes has shocked the right hon. Gentleman. The party opposite are prepared on one occasion to invoke freedom and liberty and constitutional government; and on another occasion, for motives which are perhaps not obscure, they are prepared to discard them—unless they can be invoked in furtherance of their own policy. It has been repeatedly said that this Bill is based upon the situation in West Ham. If it is true that it has been introduced solely to deal with the situation in West Ham, it is a preposterous and complicated way of handling that problem. To think that the whole engine of legislation should be brought into play by the Imperial Parliament to deal with a small body of people in West Ham! It is an affront to the dignity of this House, and an exhibition of the right hon. Gentleman's bankruptcy.

If, however, the Bill is intended to deal with more than West Ham it is a really revolutionary Measure, which strikes at the root of local government in this country, because the right hon. Gentleman could, next week, if the Bill were then law, entirely destroy for the time being one-tenth of the boards of guardians in this country. If the Bill is intended merely as a temporary Measure we might well have spent our time on other questions. I understood from what the right hon. Gentleman said yesterday the Bill was intended only to last as long as hoards of guardians.


I said it could last only as long, because when there were no more guardians there could be no defaulting guardians.


The right hon. Gentleman also re-affirmed the Government's intention to introduce legislation to deal with boards of guardians next year. The Coal Mines Bill, which was given a lease of life of five years, was described as a temporary Bill, but this Bill is to be even more temporary than that, and I think the right hon. Gentleman ought to have found another way of dealing with this problem.


Can you suggest one?


At this stage in the proceedings it would not be right for me to do so; indeed, it would not be in order for me to do so. If the right hon. Gentleman had given us longer time for Debate on the earlier stages of the Bill we should have been delighted to do so.

If the Bill is not a temporary Bill, what is the position going to be? The Minister has said that this Bill could not continue in operation longer than boards of guardians continue to exist. I hope that may he taken as a quite definite pledge on his part that he does not intend, when he introduces his Poor Law Measure next year, to render it possible in any way to coerce municipal authorities, who in future will he exercising the functions of boards of guardians.


And who may want loans.


Yes, and who may want loans. We have never had that undertaking given. If there is a shadow of doubt as to whether or not this Bill can be used in the future to coerce local authorities, it is a dangerous Bill, and we ought to ponder long over it before passing it. Yesterday when a question was put from these benches asking whether, if the West Ham Town Council would not levy rates, they would be superseded, there were loud, though unofficial, answers in the affirmative from back-benchers opposite. I have no doubt many hon. Members opposite would be glad to suppress the West Ham Town Council and glad to suppress every Labour local authority in the country, and a Bill which begins that kind of policy is obviously a dangerous one. Hon. Members opposite would not be entitled to grumble if some succeeding Governments used that power for purposes of their own.

This Bill, though it is a constitutional revolution, is really part of the Govern- ment's financial policy. This is a second Economy Bill. It has no other object. 'The right hon. Gentleman is prepared to work a far-reaching revolution in the machinery of local government merely for the purpose of carrying further the Government's economy plans. To do that is an abuse of the Government's Parliamentary majority. The Government have no mandate to introduce such a Measure. It was never discussed during the last General Election. The people of the country did not know that the right hon. Gentleman was harbouring schemes for destroying boards of guardians which he did not like, and it is unwarrantable that the Government should press upon the House a Measure of this kind. I wish to say frankly that I think this Bill reveals a spirit which is un-British. It is inverted Communism. It is Fascism. I cannot believe the resources of the right hon. Gentleman and the resources of the Civil Service—the ablest Civil Service in the world—are exhausted because of the deadlock which has been reached between the Government and a single board of guardians. If they are exhausted, present Ministers are unfitted longer to hold office. If a recalcitrant authority—assuming it were such—cannot be dealt with by Ministers without these large constitutional changes, then they certainly are not competent for their duties. This Bill is based on the theory that the Minister of Health knows how to govern West Ham better than do the people in West Ham.






The people of West Ham do not think so, but, at any rate, that is the view on which it is based. It is a view which has never been accepted in this country that any external authority outside a local area is better able to govern that area than the people in their own district. The Bill is a denial of every democratic constitutional principle. If the Government persist, which I have no doubt they will, in carrying this Measure through the House of Lords, as they have done through the House of Commons, of course it will reach the Statute Book. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Right hon. Gentlemen and hon. Members opposite who seem to view that as a pleasant prospect will have a rude awakening one day, because there is nobody able to speak for local authorities who will give any support whatever to this Measure, and the Government are taking very grave risks. Of course, that is their own look-out.

I am concerned more with the larger constitutional issues raised by this Bill, and I venture to say that within living memory there has been no Bill dealing with constitutional questions which could have been so dangerous as the Bill which is now before the House, and I say, when it reaches the Statute Book it will be a blot upon it. I am sorry to think that the Minister of Health—who was nurtured in municipal government, and whose distinguished father was one of the greatest of our municipal administrators, and who himself has had considerable experience of local administration—in a panic is prepared to throw aside all he has learned throughout his life, and is acting in a way which is unconstitutional and unworthy of the Minister of the Crown.


I beg to second the Amendment.

Had the question with regard to administration by the Board of Guardians in West Ham been one of malpractices solely, this Measure would never have been brought forward. Although much was made when the Bill was introduced about alleged malpractices and corruption in West Ham, the real essence of the Bill is the default of the West Ham Board of Guardians, and it is very desirable that we should divide the two questions, that of the financial position of the West Ham Board of Guardians and the alleged practices which are supposed to suggest a certain measure of corruption in that Poor Law union. With regard to the question of relief and the standard of treatment of those who apply for Poor Law relief under the Poor Law guardians, I would like to put this to the Minister of Health. He will not grant a loan to that particular union because he insists on their standard of living being lowered. That standard of living means a maximum of 55s. per week for a man, his wife and six children as a maximum. If this were just an ordinary question of the relief of the destitute or the relief of those people who are not able to make their way in the world, degenerate or incompetent people, there might be some case made out for a lower standard than that. Personally, I would rather say that such people deserve to be treated with generosity as well as anybody else, but the position here is that you have a peculiar state of affairs in West Ham, and a condition of things where there is a vast reserve of labour required in the district. That is what I want to insist upon, and I base my main argument upon it. It is not a question of destitution prima facie, but of competent able-bodied people who can work and are willing to work, and are there as a, reserve army of labour which is required to keep the industries of West Ham going.

We hear something about the big dock proprietors and companies and factory owners in that district who are compelled to pay big rates and who have no power of determining the policy of the West Ham Poor Law Union. That may be good or it may be bad. There is a lot to be said about that, but I want to say that these big companies do get their dividends out of West Ham, and are able to carry on because of the existence of this army of able-bodied reserve labour. The policy of the West Ham Socialists—and it is a political question more than anything else—and all the Socialists all over the country under those circumstances is that if work cannot be found—these people are willing to give their services to the community—it is not too much to ask, as a reserve of labour is required, that maintenance upon some decent standard, not upon a pauperisation standard, but one under which the people can live decently and under decent conditions. That we say is only reasonable and it particularly applies to the conditions prevailing in West Ham at the present moment. The Board of Guardians of the West Ham Poor Law Union took up the position that there should be no generosity, because 55s. a week is not generous, but that the thing should be regarded from the ordinary standard of Poor Law relief. That is a different question. West Ham is an industrial centre of a particular type and we say that the standard of living under those circumstances should be adequate for the maintenance of the people. On the top of that we come to the argument that there is corruption at election times because Socialist candidates go out to the street corners and to public meetings and say that if the people will vote for them they will give them a generous scale of Poor Law relief. That has been called corruption. That is rather an unfortunate expression under any circumstances because it is not corruption at all.

It is a desirable thing that that lever should exist with regard to this vast army of reserve able-bodied labour, and surely that only brings us down to the real fundamentals of the whole situation as to the political aspect of the case. What do we expect the Socialists to do in an election but to tell the people, or anybody else, that they are willing and are going to grant a decent standard and a definite standard of relief under these circumstances? If you want to avoid the implication of corruption, then you must regard the question as a national one, not merely going from this House of Commons or from a Department of State to interfere under these peculiar circumstances, but accept the responsibility nationally for the maintenance of those who are wanted in the district and are willing to work, but for whom work cannot be regularly found. The only way out of the question is to regard it as of national consideration. I am prepared to admit that they are malpractices—I do not think that they have been proved to exist in West Ham or anywhere else—that it is quite competent and right for the House of Commons to interfere and to do it in the most efficient way it can. There is no democratic argument in saying that a local authority can do precisely as it likes on every occasion and under every circumstance. Every sensible person must agree that the House of Commons must be supreme. But that is not the argument for this Bill, because the House of Commons or the Department.of State can deal efficiently and effectually with any real malpractices that may be occurring in West Ham or anywhere else.

This Bill is not brought in to deal with malpractices at all. It is brought in definitely to reduce the standard of relief in West Ham and elsewhere. I have admitted that this so-called corruption is an undesirable thing. It is unquestionably undesirable that there should be any lever of that local character whereby candidates can make definite offers, though I do not think it has been done in any corrupt fashion at all. I am perfectly sure that the Labour party in West Ham or anywhere else are not to be any more charged with malpractices or corruption than any other party in local government, and I speak as one having had some experience of local government. If you want to deal with it properly, then take the whole question out of the hands of the West Ham Board of Guardians or any other boards of guardians, and realise that it is a national question due to the economic condition of the country. It is not an ordinary Poor Law consideration or an ordinary question of Poor Law relief, but is a question, especially in West Ham and other big industrial centres, of capitalism being unable to deal with its own reserve army of labour. These people are not going to be treated as paupers while we can help it, but we are going to see that they have something approaching a decent standard of life.


The speech of the hon. Member for West Islington (Mr. Montague), in seconding the rejection of the Bill was much more impressive than the speech of the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. A. Greenwood) who moved. The speech of the proposer seemed to me like a thunder storm with a great deal of thunder and very little lightning.


You did not get much of a laugh out of that.


No, because the people who would have appreciated it are not here. The Seconder referred to the reserve army of labour in West Ham. That may be a fair description, but it is probably the case that the number of reserves has been somewhat added to by the policy of the West Ham Board of Guardians. He urged that his party took the view that if work cannot be found there should be maintenance of a decent standard. He was, however, dealing with unemployment, and the relief of unemployment to-day is not mainly the function of the boards of guardians. We have devised other means of dealing with that problem, namely, unemployment insurance. When the party to which he belongs was in office, they introduced an amending Bill which made certain changes. In fact, they made certain increases in the amount of benefit. If my recollection is correct, the rate of benefit for a man was raised by 3s., and the benefit in respect of a child was increased from 1s. to 2s. [Interruption.] We are dealing at the moment with the rate when people are drawing the benefit. If the hon. Member was logical and consistent, and believed in this matter being dealt with nationally and in an adequate standard being provided, that was the time to take the proper steps. Of course, the proper steps were not taken at that time, because it would have involved very much higher rates of contributions, and the party to which he belongs was not prepared to face the unpopularity of asking for higher rates of contribution. They know perfectly well that the great mass of the workers do not believe in these high rates of relief when there is unemployment. They believe in a moderate rate of relief, and they also believe that it should be more profitable to be at work than out of work.

The hon. Member for West Islington seemed to regard this Bill as being directed solely at the scales of relief. I am inclined to think it is not only the scale which is the problem. There is also the problem of the numbers of people in receipt of relief from the guardians. I attempted, by means of certain statistics, when speaking on the Second Reading, to show that for some mysterious reason the ratio of unemployed persons who get Poor Law relief in West Ham, in addition to the insurance benefit, is very much higher than in other areas. It is very difficult to get satisfactory comparisons, because the areas of Employment Exchanges and of Poor Law guardians are not in many cases co-terminous, but a careful examination of the figures does establish the fact quite clearly that the boards of guardians who have got themselves into difficulties have done so because they have encouraged numbers of people to apply for relief who would never have dreamed- of doing so but for speeches delivered at street corners. 3.0 P.M.

We were told by the mover of the rejection of the Bill that it was a revolutionary measure striking at the root of local government. It is not this Bill which has struck at the root of local government; it is those who have abused local government. There is no form of local government which has any right to continue unless it is carried on in an efficient and fair way. The moral justification for any form of local government is that it works smoothly, and, broadly speaking, satisfactorily, and here we have a case where it has failed. The guardians cannot carry on. They have not the wherewithal to do so, and they want to be in the happy position of distributing largesse among other people without having the responsibility of finding the money. That is where the breakdown has occurred. The hon. Member, in moving the rejection of the Bill, quoted certain electoral statistics with regard to the guardians' election in the West Ham Union. I was not able to take them down, but I recognised one or two areas, such as Wanstead and Woodford, and I think, broadly speaking, in the areas which returned very definitely Red guardians there was in a great many cases no contests, and no contests for the very obvious reasons that it has become recognised that is is perfectly futile to attempt to contest them in view of the conditions which have prevailed, and in view of what has been described in this House as corruption. It is not legal corruption, but it is corruption in the broad sense in promising to the electors these benefits provided only that Socialists are returned.


What about Protection?


Protection is a definite policy. It is not a policy under which money is promised to individuals if they vote in a certain way, but it does promise to give legislative sanction to certain things, and it urges that, if that happen, certain consequences will follow logically. That is entirely different from the deliberate handing out of large sums of money week by week to the individuals who cast the votes. So far as I am aware, there have been few legislative proposals put before the country that have contained that kind of promise. Neither the Liberal party nor the Conservative party, in the main, have indulged in that kind of electioneering promise. The hon. Gentleman who moved the rejection said that it was merely an accident that the resources of West Ham were inadequate in relation to the demands made upon it; but I think that if the hon. Gentleman, who has had experience of municipal government, and who was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health in the last Government, had considered the conditions which prevail in other local government areas, he would have found areas which have had problems of unemployment far more grave than anything that West Ham has known at any time since the Armistice.




I will take the constituency in which I was a candidate in the Black Country, where 40 per cent of the insured population were out of work in 1922.


Is the hon. Member aware that the condition in West Ham in 1922 was worse than it is now.


In 1922, quite obviously, it was worse than it is now; it was worse everywhere in 1922 than it is now—and by "now" I mean the condition as it was before the general strike. In 1922 there were great areas in this country which were suffering from unemployment far in excess of anything that London or Greater London has known. Greater London is not an area which has been very badly affected by unemployment, compared with what has prevailed on the North-East Coast and in large areas of the Midlands. The hon. Member for East Ham North (Miss Lawrence) objects to my remark. Of course, if she is not acquainted with what has happened elsewhere, that is not my fault; but it is notorious that the worst areas of unemployment are those areas in which the heavy industries are carried on, particularly the iron and steel industry and various branches of the heavy engineering industry. Those areas have been really plagued with unemployment, and yet in most of those areas the guardians have had the courage to say, "No." My grievance against the guardians of West Ham and Poplar is that they have lacked the courage to say "No," and the essential basis of democratic government is the courage to say "No." The reason why the Socialist party fails in this and in other countries is that it never has the courage to say "No," and tell the people the real truth in this matter. On the Second Reading I said that I should vote for this Bill with very great pleasure, and it will be with even greater pleasure that I shall vote to-day for its Third Reading.


I have not intervened during the stages through which this Bill has gone, but have been watching quite keenly all the same. To rid this discussion, so far as it has gone, of the mere pettifogging details which concern West Ham, I think it is incumbent on us to get down to the real causes for this Bill being here at all. The Conservative party are menaced, consciously or unconsciously, with the towering growth of taxation and local rates in this country. They know that they are going up, and they are attempting all devices to get them down, but they know that, in spite of all their actions, rates are creeping up, and now we have £140,000,000 odd in rates to meet this year, and possibly more next year. They know instinctively, although they may not reason it out in this House, that the industries of this country are gradually being impeded in their growth and extension by this constant growth of taxation. For a long time West Ham has been a by-word, a sort of scapegoat among local authorities in this country, and so the occasion is brought in now that something has happened at West Ham, and we are going to make a moral people by Acts of Parliament; so we will introduce this Bill, nominally to deal with West Ham, when as a matter of fact it is but the precursor of action that the Government propose in the near future, for holding in check the expenditure of local government bodies.

I want to say in passing that a lesson which we ought to learn and never forget is that the danger to democracy is the centralisation of finance. When you centralise your finance you create a gap between the taxpayer and ratepayer and those who expend the money, and it is one of the saving graces of this or any other country that there is an interest taken in local areas where vast sums of money are spent in this way. But this Bill proposes to give the Minister power to check the prodigality of local authorities. It has been asked, if there is this delinquency in West Ham, what is our alternative. How can we deal with it? There are many ways of dealing with it other than by instituting a Bill which is national in character. This Bill does not stop at West Ham, or anywhere else. I have heard much talk to-day and yesterday about corruption. I have had some short experience of local government and my experience has proved to me that they are not angels who go into local government, and if there is going to be a searching for corruption I am afraid the right hon. Gentleman will be very busy for the next year or so because he will find plenty of work to do in putting this Bill into operation. I could tell him of local authorities which are not Socialist in character or Radical in colour at all, but for corruption they might teach West Ham a good deal. I have been in contact with it in Stoke-on-Trent. I could a tale unfold there which would make the people of West Ham look like amateurs. So that if you are going to deal with West Ham as a body of people who have overstepped themselves you might have done it by some other method than this.

There is another point which hon. Members opposite must know. It is not the thing spoken to you, it is the unseen things which are felt that inspire men to speak at all. Unemployment is growing. I wonder what the Minister will do with the Bill by way of dealing with the necessitous conditions of these various areas. Does he really contend that by this Bill he is going to cut off liberal supplies that might have gone to those in distress? This distress is with us whether we like it or not. It is high time Governments were beginning to ask themselves how far the very method they pursue in imposing their taxation and rating is giving rise to the very diseases they are trying to cope with. This unemployment is growing, in my opinion, by virtue of the very machinery of taxation and rating which is in force. Here we are in a vicious circle. Local authorities up and down the country are facing bankruptcy if this thing goes on. The Minister is making a scapegoat of West Ham and proceeds with a Bill of this kind. In reality it is the foreshadowing of a policy, which, in my opinion, they hope to pursue in the future, of curtailing the expenditure of local authorities. It is true we are told we cannot allow this lavish expenditure, because if it continues it means that one-half of the population will be living on the rates of the other half. That is a question I should like to follow up, but it would go rather wide of the mark. I do not wish to suggest what lines the Government ought to pursue in order to get away from this impasse into which they are gradually getting. What we are witnessing at West Ham, and in almost every local authority in the country, is the natural outcome of the system of rating and taxation, and this tinkering Measure will never relieve it. It will only create suspicion, aggravate the minds of the people whose affairs are to be administered, and do nothing but make matters worse. I am hoping that with the growth of intelligence outside and by the return to this House of men and women who will be inspired with the idea that in this House we can do something of a radical character, we may change the incidence of rating and taxation which is doing such devilish things to-day, and is driving a Conservative Government to tricks of this kind. I hope the day will not be far distant when men and women will have power in this House to deal radically with these deep-rooted causes which are giving rise to these effects and to Bills of this kind, which are not even palliatives, which are mere pretexts and which cannot be apologised for. The Government are trying to deal with certain diseases, but they are only making them worse by these methods. It is difficult in dealing with a transitory Measure of this kind to try to get back to the fundamental principles and to find what are he generic causes which give rise to these diseases in society. I will content myself with protesting against the action of the Government in making a scapegoat of a poor distressed area and hoping to accomplish anything in the nature of sane administration by a Bill of this kind.


We have listened with interest to the attempt of the hon. Member to turn the subject of his discourse into a discussion of a topic in which he takes a peculiar interest. There are certain aspects of this question with which he dealt to which I would like to refer. He pointed out that the disease with which West Ham has to deal grows with the means Which West Ham has been in the habit of using in order to remedy it. We must bear in mind that prevention is better than cure, and that however successful the cure may be, it is necessary to get rid of the origin of the disease. The cause of the difficulty with which West Ham has to contend is the policy which West Ham has pursued. The policy which West Ham has adopted has created and tended to enlarge the very difficulty with which it asserts its desire and even maintains its ability to deal.

As far as this Bill is concerned, the Minister has been challenged on several counts. Efforts have been made to suggest that alternative methods were at his choice had he chosen to adopt them. We have only to read the right hon. Gentleman's speech on the Second Reading to see that he has already considered the alternatives. There is in the Statute Law at the present time no alternative beyond that which this Bill proposes for dealing with the difficulty with which we are now faced. That difficulty is not a difficulty which may be summarised as "striking at the roots of local government." What we are hoping to do is to stimulate and strengthen local government in this particular area.


Does this Bill do that?


It restores the freedom of the inhabitants of that area. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] Yes, by giving them an opportunity of good administration. They are suffering from lack of good administration, and they are entitled to have it. If they cannot secure it for themselves, it is the duty of the Government to secure it for them. The hon. Member for West Islington (Mr. Montague) dealt with this difficulty from very much the same standpoint from which I regard it. He drew attention to the extent of unemployment. I hold the view that unemployment is worse in West Ham than it otherwise would be because the lavish scale of outdoor relief does not induce a desire for work, and, secondly, because heavy rates must tend to increase unemployment.


Will the hon. Member inform the House how people since 1920 have been able to get houses in the West Ham area and move into the borough?


I am afraid if the housing problem was solely confined to the actual number of houses in existence, the problem would not be as difficult as it is. My information tends to show that even if the number of houses had not increased the number of people occupying them has. Reference has been made to the question of standard and scale. It is not a question of scale or of standard so much as a question of administration. The Minister of Health in his statement drew attention to the defective administration in West Ham and the fact that too lavish allowance was given in cases where destitution did not exist and where the standard was already sufficiently high not to need the assistance. The hon. Member has dealt with the question from a different point of view from that which Poor Law guardians are bound to regard it. Their function is to relieve destitution. That is the law. They have a discretion, but their function is to deal with destitution and not to set up a certain standard or scale of life or lay down a certain figure which they regard as the figure which a family should have.


The Act of Queen Elizabeth states that guardians must give adequate assistance. What is the meaning of the word "adequate"?


There have been Statutes subsequent to 43 Elizabeth. We have the Act of 1834, and there has been legislation since that date, in which it is clearly laid down that the function of a Poor Law authority is to relieve destitution and not to supplement a standard which they may regard as being too low. If you take the Statute of Elizabeth you find something is said about people being found work, and the Act of 1834 includes regulations about the institution of workhouses. We are not discussing these points now and we must try and look at what is the plain, simple issue. Extravagant out-door relief increases and emphasises the very difficulty which a sympathetic administration has to deal with, and the more extravagant you are the more difficult you make the attainment of the very object you have in view.


I should not intervene in this Debate if this Bill was merely intended to be confined to the West Ham Union and the alleged maladministration of affairs by that board of guardians. In my opinion this Bill has been brought in with an ulterior motive. The West Ham Union has been the subject of much criticism for many years past, and the Minister of Health, who was in office in 1923 and has been in office since the present Government came in, has had several opportunities of bringing pressure on the West Ham Union with regard to these things, whether they are true or not. Hon. Members who represent London constituencies have dealt with many of these criticisms. There are many Poor Law unions in the country which are open to the same kind of charge of alleged maladministration, and there are certainly 60 or 70 unions which are necessitous in the same way and for the same reason as West Ham. On many occasions, for years past, it has been pointed out that the root difficulty in local government, so far as it concerns the relief of the needy poor, is that we are suffering from abnormal conditions, and have been so suffering since the Great War came to an end. The percentage of unemployment, which in normal conditions is never more than 2, 3 or 4 per cent., has become as high as 10, 12 and 15 per cent., and when you take particular years, is 40, 50 and even 70 per cent. of the entire industrial population of an area. It is remarkable that if we analyse the degree of unemployment and the burden of Poor relief throughout the country, we find that the great majority of what we now call necessitous areas, are geographically situated in the greatest industrial centres that are concerned most largely with our foreign trade. It is the shipping centres, the iron and steel and engineering centres, and those coalfields which export one-third to one-half or more of the total output, which suffer chiefly from this burden of high Poor relief, unemployment and so on.

It is because these heavy industries are very sensitive to the fluctuations of international trade that we are in this position. It is very unfair that the Poor Law authorities and the ratepayers in those necessitous areas should be called upon to bear the alarming rate burdens that they have to meet. It is not due to any maladministration in West Ham or any other part of the country that they have these high rates. It simply happens that the masses of the industrial population have to live near their places of employment, and that these particular industries are so sensitive to the fluctuations of international trade. We all know that for the past five or six years international trade, relatively to home trade, has been very depressed. We say that the burden of national unemployment should be borne, not out of the rate revenues of the necessitous areas, but out of national revenue, and should be made a national charge because it is a national evil. The Bill does not affect the situation at all. It is true that the Minister, in his opening speech when introducing the Bill, told a long tale of certain malpractices of the West Ham Board of Guardians. If he had scanned other unions he would have found something similar in other areas. He would have found that of which he complains, in the area represented by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health.


That is a Labour board of guardians.


If the Minister would only appoint a Committee of inquiry to go thoroughly into the whole question, he would find that there is much more of it in other parts where there are few or no Labour members on the local authorities. All the necessitous areas of the country have been appealing to the Government for a long time past to put this matter right.. It is true they appointed the Goschen Committee, and that Committee has not recommended the particular scheme known as the West Ham scheme. The fact that the scheme was so called prejudiced the Government against it right away, independent of its merits. But it is remarkable that all the necessitous areas of the country strongly supported it. If that scheme, for practical reasons, was not effective and did not bring about the right results, it was the duty of the Government to bring forward an alternative scheme. They have not attempted to do so. To-day the Minister seeks to give the public the impression that this Bill is only going to apply to West Ham in the first place, and is not likely to extend beyond, possibly, two or three other boards. That may be the right hon. Gentleman's personal conviction, but I respectfully point out that it is not the impression which has been created in the minds of the officials and guardians in many of the necessitous areas in the country. They have read into his Bill something much more than the Minister admits.

Having listened to the right hon. Gentleman's own statements, I have read into the Bill much more than he is prepared to admit. It is obvious to me, from their correspondence with boards of guardians in mining areas and from Circular 703, that the Government anticipate that this coal stoppage may last a long time. Therefore, the Minister has told the guardians in those areas that they are to limit their expenditure in accordance with the possibility of a prolonged stoppage. It may not be familiar to hon. Members that while the rate revenue in all necessitous areas is a serious burden, in the mining districts it is particularly serious, because the bulk of the rate revenue for all local authorities, including guardians, in coalfield areas is secured out of the output of coal. That is the chief source of revenue, and when the collieries are at a standstill there is no revenue coming in from that source, while all the small business people and tradespeople and the other ratepayers who are, in the main, miners, have no income and there is no means of paying the guardians.

Let me give an illustration which applies to all necessitous areas, but particularly to the coal districts. Most of these authorities have collected the bulk of the revenue due for the half-year ended 31st March and, so far, they are all right, in spite of the fact that they have a very heavy rate to pay in that half-year. The current half-year from 1st April last to 30th September next is the half-year for which they are now beginning to collect the money, and it is impossible for them to get in their revenue for that period in the normal way. The. information which I have from the board of guardians in my own area—the Pontypridd Union, which is the second largest in the United Kingdom, covering the, central portion of the South Wales coalfield—is that they have not been able to secure, up to date, more than 10 per cent. of the total revenue for the current half-year. They cannot hope to get more than another 5 per cent. to 10 per cent. during the present half-year because of the coal stoppage and its possible continuance for weeks or months yet. Even if it were to go through successfully, as I hope it will, and end in a wage agreement before long, nevertheless the stoppage will result in the present half-year in a loss of revenue to these bodies. It is doubtful if they will get 50 per cent. of it, even after waiting for a long period.

All these boards have to come to the Minister for loans to enable them to provide the necessary poor relief for the wives and children of the miners who are locked out. In my own union of Pontypridd, the normal poor relief is less than £5,000 per week, but at present it is above £20,000, and in the nature of things it is bound to increase by a thousand or two each week as time goes on, assuming the stoppage continues, and that, not on a high scale of relief such as has been quoted for West Ham, but on a very low scale. The last time that this board went to the Minister for a £20,000 loan, he used his position and power to induce them to reduce their scales of relief to 10s. for the wife and 2s. per child. I say that that was taking a very unfair advantage of the financial difficulties of this board of guardians, and what applies to Pontypridd applies generally, within 6d. or ls., to all the mining areas as a result of the screw that is being put on by the Ministry in this matter. How can any woman, with the present cost of living, in any coalfield in Britain, exist on 10s. a week, and how can she keep her child, a growing child, that needs more attention and nutriment than even an adult person, in a certain sense, be properly treated and kept in health on 2s. a week?

There is another feature to which we take very strong objection. This relief has to be given in kind practically always. In some cases there is a certain amount of cash permitted, but very little, and it is only permitted to purchase certain articles of food, but the mothers with two, three, four, five or six young children to look after have, in practice, to think of something in addition to the food, because even in the districts where the education authorities are feeding the children—the majority, I believe, two meals a day, and in other cases three meals—even where that is done, and the burden of actually feeding the children of school age is taken from the family, the fact remains that every one of these children, if it is to be properly educated, must be kept healthy in body and mind, land food is only the first necessity. In addition, the child needs clothing and a pair of boots, and, unfortunately, the situation is now becoming very acute in all the mining areas. The boots that they had in good condition when the stoppage began have been worn out, and many of them are in a very ragged condition for going to school, and without proper footwear. As long as the summer weather lasts, it may mean a minimum of discomfort, but even with the present. weather there are very many hard cases in every mining area, and if we should get a very cold snap of weather or heavy rain, thousands of these young children would be placed in a very serious condition of health as a result.

Will the Minister not reconsider his policy on this matter? If he considers that the 10s. and 2s. must be adhered to, I would ask him to make an extra relief grant in kind, of boots and shoes, in all cases where the local guardians are satisfied that they should be granted, and in other cases of clothing for the body. Unless this provision is made, the public money spent, even in feeding the children to enable them to attend school, is largely vitiated, and the other money spent out of public funds, out of the local education rates and the annual grants of the Board of Education, is money that will be largely wasted on the children, because they will not be in a condition to receive their proper education because of these defects. What the Minister says with regard to the functions of the guardians in relieving necessitous cases is not our interpretation of the law. The law has been clear ever since the days of Queen Elizabeth. There has been no variation in the law from that day to this, and that law makes it very clear that it is the bounden duty of the guardians in every parish to relieve every necessitous case, irrespective of the reasons and the causes which have led to that necessity. It is true the Merthyr Tydvil judgment has now come along and has whittled that relief down, but, even with that limitation, I venture to say the Ministry and the Government are not doing their duty.

Why, then, has the Bill been brought in at the present time Without hesitation, I say the sole reason for bringing in this Bill is to put pressure upon boards of guardians throughout the country, particularly in the mining areas. This Bill is only one of three stages in the screw which the Government are putting on the miners. In the first place, the Government for months past have been tightening and tightening the regulations dealing with the administration of unemployment benefit, solely for the same purpose. They have been tampering with these things. Then they have just passed through Parliament the Eight Hours Bill, which is another screw to force the miners to work extra hours, so as to enable the royalty owners and the coalowners to live on their backs. 'This Bill is the third stage. It reminds one of the Thugs in India. It is to throttle local government, and compel the guardians to toe the line.

That is really the substance of the policy, and I think it is a national disgrace that Members of Parliament attached to any political party should not see through the fact that it is the policy of the Government to use all the machinery at their command in local and national government to try, somehow, to force the miners into subjection, and into accepting starvation conditions. That is the intention. Otherwise, why bring in this Bill? On either ground, the whole Bill is an abrogation of the principle of local government. Local government is a thing which has grown up in this country for a longer period even than national government, and we have always prided ourselves up to now that it is the local inhabitants, who know local conditions, who shall judge what shall be spent in this direction. That is now being challenged in this Bill. This is a defiance of democracy, and a striking example of autocracy. The Minister of Health is the new British Mussolini so far as he goes, though he is not yet up to the level of the Italian. He has not yet got the British Army and Navy at his disposal, but, as far as he can, he has certainly adopted the same tactics and the same methods. The precedent which he is laying down in this Bill will act as a boomerang, and his party will have cause to regret it in years to come. The Government have brought in several useful precedents for us in this direction, and what is good for the Tories to-day may be very good for a Labour Government in the future. Instead of reducing the powers of local government, as they have done, we shall increase them, so that the landlord class, who now do not bear a fair share of rates on royalties and ground rents, will have to face the bill as well.


In the few minutes that are left to me I should like to try to bring the House back again to the real issue which is before us, because some of the fantastic suggestions of hon. Members are far away from the point—the point we have to consider. We have not brought in a Bill of this kind until there was an absolute necessity for it. Had it not been for the contumacy of one particular board of guardians we need never have brought in this Measure at all. That is the answer to some of the statements of the hon. Members opposite. It has been said that it is a deliberate policy on the part of the Government, but it was in the power of the West Ham Board of Guardians to behave like other boards of guardians, and, by accepting the scale which we laid down, for them to have avoided legislation of this kind.

What is the real problem that we have got to face? Let me remind the House. The West Ham Board of Guardians time and again have come to the Ministry of Health and asked for loans to enable them to carry on the work of out-relief. As I said on the Second Reading of the Bill I know they are in a situation of exceptional difficulty. They are one of the board of guardians that have no claim on the Metropolitan Common Poor Fund and, therefore, it is necessary for us to give them special consideration. As has been explained, although it has been stated that we had no sympathy, we have shown them sympathy to the extent of lending them over £2,000,000, and they have run up a debt far in excess of other unions. This Bill is not intended to deal with the question of necessitous areas. They are not involved at all in the Bill. They will be dealt with when we bring forward the much larger measure on Poor Law reform. That will enable us, perhaps, to deal with these other problems of a similar kind upon an equitable basis. Until legislation is placed upon the Statute Book we have to enable these unions to carry on.

But the position in this particular case is that we shall have to advance them money—not money raised in their area, but money provided by the general taxpayer. In those circumstances we say it is our duty to ensure that that money shall be spent in a reasonable way. The hon. Member for West Islington (Mr. Montague) recognised quite clearly that the rights of local government and democratic government have their limitations, and that there may be cases where it is necessary for some central authority to step in if the local authority are not carrying out their duties. That is precisely what has happened in this case. We have been obliged to intervene because the local authority have failed, or are about to fail, to carry out their functions. That is the problem we have to face. I said on Second Reading, and I repeat, that no Government faced with this position could afford to take the course which I think would be advocated by the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury), though I doubt whether it would be advocated by any responsibleperson—[HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw! ']—and that is that the Government should go on advancing money to any Board of Guardians ad libitum.


Excuse me, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman what his authority is for that statement—the statement that I support the proposition that the Government should go on handing out money ad libitum? You read my speech and you will see what I said.


I was not in the House when the hon. Member spoke.


Well, do not put words into my mouth which I never said.


My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary put a question to the hon. Member asking him whether he considered that the Government ought to go on advancing this money ad libitum, and I understand that the hon. Member said, "Yes."




If the hon. Member says that is not his position, of course I accept it.


Of course it is not.


I thought the hon. Member was in a minority of one, but apparently he has joined the great majority, who agree that that is an impossible position, and that is the basis of my argument, that the position is impossible. The only thing we have to consider is whether the particular method adopted in this Bill is the right method for dealing with a situation of that kind. The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) quoted an observation which I made in a recent speech when I chaffed the Socialist, party with being horrified at the idea of allowing the miners to choose as they liked, and asked why we did not allow the people of West Ham to do as they liked. Could anybody think there was any analogy between the two cases, or be deceived by an argument of that kind? What is the essential difference between the Eight Hours Bill, as it is called, and the case of West Ham? The case for the Eight Hours Bill is that the miners are allowed to do as they like with their own labour.








The Eight Hours Bill is a permissive Measure. [Interruption.] In the case of the West Ham Guardians, what the hon. Member is saying is that they should be able to do as they like with other people's money. [Interruption.]


If they could raise the money—[HON. MEMBERS "Order !"] —you could not—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"]—that is the case—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order!"]


On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker.


The Minister who is speaking has declined to give way, and there is no point of Order.


I wanted to draw your attention to the fact that such strange noises were coming from the party opposite.


I was dealing with that situation. On the Second Reading of the Bill, I said that I thought we were entitled, if hon. Members opposite did not approve of our proposals, to ask them to suggest a Measure of their own for dealing with this situation, and the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley said he could suggest one method. What was his remedy? Socialism. Is that any remedy for the emergency with which we are faced? Here is the Board of Guardians who, in a very short time, will be in a position of not being able to grant any relief at all, because they will have no funds. How is Socialism going to provide the funds? In the scheme contained in the Bill we have a method I hope will be found effective. So far from it being revolutionary or a novel proposal or one which strikes at the root of democratic government, it is one which has an ample precedent in the Education Act, 1870, which has been on the Statute Book for over 30 years, and which has been used on numerous occasions in this way. Therefore, I say it is no new proposal, but it is the one proposal which, in my judgment, will have a reasonable effect in saving local government from a condition of anarchy and chaos. In these circumstances, the Government have been faced with a position which, on the report of

Division No. 360.] AYES. [3.58 p.m.
Acland-Troyle, Lieut..Colonel Brown, Brig,Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb'y) Cunliffe. Sir Herbert
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Buckingham, Sir H. Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry
Albery, Irving James Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Curzon, Captain Viscount
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Burgoyne, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Alan Dalkeith, Earl of
Allen, J. Sandeman (L'pool.W. Derby) Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Dalziel, Sir Davison
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopotd C. M. S. Campbell. E. T. Davidson,J.(Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Davidson, Major-General Sir John H.
Ashley. Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Cayzer.Maj.sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmtn. S.) Davies, Dr. Vernon
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover) Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil)
Atkinson, C. Cecil. Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.) Dawson. Sir Philip
Balniel, Lord Chadwick. Sir Robert Burton Dean. Arthur Wellesley
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Eden, Captain Anthony
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Chilcott, Sir Warden Edmondson, Major A. J.
Bennett, A. J. Christie, J. A. Edwards. J. Hugh (Accrington)
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish. Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Elliot, Captain Walter E.
Berry, Sir George Churchman. Sir Arthur C. Elveden, Viscount
Betterton, Henry B. Clayton, G. C. Erskine, Lord (Somerset,Weston.s.M.)
Birchall. Major J. Dearman Cobb. Sir Cyril Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Evans. Captain A. (Cardiff, South)
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.) Cockerill. Brig.-General Sir G. K. Everard, W. Lindsay
Blades. Sir George Rowland Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Fairfax. Captain J. G.
Blundell, F. N. Conway, Sir W. Martin Fal[...]., Sir Bertram G.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Cope, Major William Falls, Sir Charles F.
Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart Cooper, J. B. Fanshawe[...] Commander G. D.
Bowyer. Captain G. E. W. Courtauld, Major J. S. Fermoy, Lord
Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B. Courthope. Lieut.-Col. Sir George L. Fielden. E. B.
Brass, Captain W. Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn., N.) Finburqh, S.
Briscoe, Richard George Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Ford, Sir P. J.
Brittain. Sir Harry Cralk, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Foster, Sir Harry S.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Fraser, Captain Ian
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Frece, Sir Walter de
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro) Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.

the auditors, shows there has undoubtedly been a grave abuse of the powers entrusted to the guardians. It is not merely a question of whether this or that amount is sufficient for a family to live upon, but it is a question of giving relief wholesale.[HON. MEMBERS: "Rubbish!"]


It is a lie!


This has taken place in many cases where no relief was required. It is a case of giving relief without proper investigation, as shown by the report of the auditors, in regard to the resources at the disposal of the guardians. When circumstances of that kind are brought to our notice, then I think the Measure we are proposing here is the one and only way to deal with he situation.

Several hon. Members rose—

The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Commander Eyres Monsell)

rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put. "That the Question be now put."

The House divided: Ayes, 278; Noes, 87.

Galbraith,.J. F. W. Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Ropner, Major L.
Ganzonl, Sir John Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Gates, Percy Looker, Herbert William Rye, F. G.
Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Lord, Walter Greaves- Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Glyn, Major R. G. C. Luce, Major-Gen, Sir Richard Harman Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Goff, Sir Park Lumley, L. R Sanderson, Sir Frank
Gower, Sir Robert Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W-) Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Grant, Sir.J. A. Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart) Savery, S. S.
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Greene, W. P. Crawford Macintyre, Ian Shepperson, E. W.
Greenwood, Rt.Hn.Sir H.(W'th's'w, E.) McLean, Major A. Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Macmillan, Captain H. Sinclair, Col. T.(Queen's U niv.,Belfast)
Grotton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Macquisten, F. A. Skelton, A. N.
Grotrian, H. Brent MacRobert, Alexander M. Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Gunston, Captain D. W. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Smithers, Waldron
Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Malone, Major P. B. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Hall, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne) Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Hammersley, S. S. Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Stanley. Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sdon, E.)
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Metter, R. J. Stanley, Hon. O.F.G. (Westm'eland)
Harrison, G. J. C. Merriman, F. B. Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Hartington, Marquess of Meyer, Sir Frank Stuart, Crichton., Lord C.
Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Maine, J. S. Wardlaw. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Hawke, John Anthony Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Headiam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H
Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle) Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. R. C. (Ayr) Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)
Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Monre-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell.
Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Morden, Col. W. Grant Tinne, J. A.
Herbert,S. (York. N. R., Scar. & W h[...]'by)Moreing, Captain A. H. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Hoare Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury) Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Wallace, Captain D. E.
Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy Murchison, C. K. Ward, Lt.-Col.A.L (Kingston-on-Hull)
Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Neville. R. J. Warner, Brigadier.General W. W.
Holland, Sir Arthur Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Warrender, Sir Victor
Holt, Captain H. P. Newton, Sir D. G. C (Cambridge) Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Hope, Capt. A. O.J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carliste)
Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel.J. N. Nicholson, Col. Rt.Hn.W.G.(Ptrsf[...]'ld.) Wells, S. R.
Howard Captain Hon. Donald Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Whaler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Hudson Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Oakley, T. White, Lieut,Col. Sir G. Dalrymple
Hume, Sir G. H. O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton) Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis Oman, Sir Charles William C. Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Hurd, Percy A. Pennefather, Sir John Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm'd)
Hutchison,G.A.Clark(Midl[...]'n & P'bl's) Penny, Frederick George Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Hiffe, Sir Edward M. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Winby, Colonel L. P.
Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Perkins, Colonel E. K. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S. Peto. Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Con'l) Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Wise, Slr F redric
Jacob, A. E. Philipson, Mabel Withers, John James
James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Pilditch, Sir Philip Wormer, Viscount
Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Ramadan, E. Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)
Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William Rawson, Sir Cooper Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Kindersley, Major Guy M. Remer, J. R. Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
King, Captain Henry Douglas Remnant, Sir James
Knox, Sir Alfred Rentoel, G. S.TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Rhys, Hon. C. A. U. Major Sir Harry Barnston and
Little, Dr. E. Graham Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford) Captain Margesson.
Ammon, Charles George Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Jones. T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)
Attlee, Clement Richard Gardner,.J. P. Kelly, W. T.
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Gillett, George M. Kennedy, T.
Barr, J. Gosling, Harry Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.
Batey, Joseph Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Lansbury, George
Bann, Captain Wedgwood (Leith) Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Lawrence, Susan
Bowerman. Rt. Hon. Charles W. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Lee. F.
Broad, F. A. Groves. T. Lindley, F. W.
Bromley, J. Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvi1) Livingstone, A. M.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Hardie, George D. Lowth, T.
Cape, Thomas Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon MacDonald, Rt. Hon.J. R.(Aberavon)
Charleton, H. C. Hayes, John Henry Mackinder, W.
Cluse, W. S. Henderson, T. (Glasgow) MacLaren, Andrew
Cove, W. G. Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) March, S.
Crawfurd, H. E. Hore-Bellsha, Leslie Montague, Frederick
Dalton, Hugh Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield). Morrison,.R. C. (Tottenham, N.)
Day, Colonel Harry Jenkins. W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Oliver, George Harold
Dennison, R. John, William (Rhondda, West) Patin, John Henry
Duncan, C. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Potts, John S.
Dunnico H. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Purcell, A. A.
Sakiatvala, Shapurji Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Scrymgeour, E. Stamford, T. W. Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Scurr, John Stephen, Campbell Westwood, J.
Sexton, James Stewart, J. (St. Rollox) Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston) Taylor, R. A. Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)
Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow) Windsor, Waiter
Slesser, Sir Henry H. Thurtle, E. Wright, W.
Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rothethithe) Tinker, John Joseph
Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley) Vlant, S. P. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Snell, Harry Walthead. Richard C. Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.
A. Barnes.

Question put accordingly, "That the word ' now ' stand part of the Question." 83.

Division No. 361.] AYES. [4.8 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Cunliffe, Sir Herbert Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T. Curtis-Bennett, Sir Henry Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy
Albery, Irving James Curzon, Captain Viscount Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Dalkelth, Earl of Holland, Sir Arthur
Alien, Sandeman (L'pool,W. Derby) Dalziel, Sir Davison Holt, Captain H. P.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Davidson,J.(Hertf'd, Hemet Hempst[...]'d) Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Davidson, Major-General Sir John H. Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.
Apsley, Lord Davies, Dr. Vernon Howard, Captain Hon. Donald
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent,Dover) Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Hume, Sir G. H.
Atkinson, C. Dawson, Sir Philip Hume-Wililams, Sir W. Ellis
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Dean, Arthur Wellesley Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer
Balniel, Lord Eden, Captain Anthony Hurd, Percy A.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Edmondson, Major A. J. Hutchison. G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)
Barnston, Major Sir Harry Edwards, J, Hugh (Accrington) little, Sir Edward M.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Elliot, Captain Walter E. Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.
Bennett, A. J. Elveden, Viscount Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Erskine, Lord (Sornerset, Weston-s.-M.) Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)
Berry, Sir George Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith Jacob, A. E.
Betterton, Henry B. Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South) James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington)
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Everard, W. Lindsey Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William
Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.) Fairfax. Captain J. G. Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)
Blades, Sir George Rowland Falls, Sir Bertram G. Kindersley. Major G. M.
Blonde'', F. N. Falls. Sir Charles F. King, Captain Henry Douglas
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Fanshawe, Commander G. D. Knox, Sir Alfred
Bowater, Sir T. Vansittart Fermoy, Lord Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Heiden, E. B. Little, Dr. E. Graham
Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B. Flnburgh, S. Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)
Brass. Captain W. Ford, Sir P. J. Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)
Briscoe, Richard George Foster, Sir Harry S. Looker, Herbert William
Brittain, Sir Harry Fraser, Captain Ian Lord, Walter Greaves-
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Frece, Sir Walter de Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Galbraith. J. F. W. Lumley, L. R.
Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks, Newb[...]'y) Ganzoni, Sir John Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Buckingham, Sir H. Gates, Percy Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus
Burgoyne, Lieut-Colonel Sir Alan Gilmour. Lt.-Col. Rt, Hon. Sir John Macintyre, I.
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Glyn, Major R. G. C. McLean, Major A.
Campbell, E. T. Goff, Sir Park Macmillan, Captain H.
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Gower, Sir Robert Macquisien, F. A.
Cayzer, Maj.Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.) Grant. Sir J. A. Mac Robert. Alexander M.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Maitland. Sir Arthur D. Steel-
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Greene, W. P. Crawford Makins, Brigadler-General E.
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.) Greenwood. Rt. Hn.Sir H. (W[...]'th's'w, E) Malone, Major P. B.
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Grotrian, H. Brent Marriott, Sir J. A. R.
Chlicott Sir Warden Guinness, Rt. Hon. Waiter E. Mason, Lieut,Colonel Glyn K.
Christie, J. A. Gunston, Captain D. W. Meller. R. I
Churchman. Sir Arthur C. Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Merriman, F. B.
Clayton, G. C. Hail, Vice-Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne) Meyer, Sir Frank
Cobb. Sir Cyril Hammersley, S. S. Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-
Cochrane Commander Hon. A. D. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Mitchell. S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K. Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Colfax, Major Wm. Phillips Harrison, G. J. C. Monsen, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.
Conway, Sir W. Martin Hartington, Marquess of Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Couper, J. B. Harvey, G. (Lambeth. Kennington) Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.
Courtaufd, Major J. S. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Morden, Col. W. Grant
Courthope, Lieut.-Col. Sir George L. Hawke, John Anthony Moreing, Captain A. H.
Cowan. Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.) Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)
Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootie) Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive
Crack, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Hennessy, Major J. R. G. Murchison, C. K.
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Neville, R. J.
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by) Newman. Sir.R. H. S. D. L. (Exater)
Crookshank,Cpt.H.(Lindsey,Gainsbro) Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt, Hon. Sir S. J. G. Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)

The House divided: Ayes, 278; Noes,

Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Sanders, Sir Robert A. Wallace, Captain D. E.
Nicholson, Col. Rt. H n.W.G. (Ptrsf[...]'ld.) Sanderson, Sir Frank Ward, Lt.-Col.A.L (Kingston-on-Hull)
Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D. Warner, Brigadler-General W. W.
Oakley, T. Savery, S. S. Warrender, Sir Victor
O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton) Sheffield, Sir Berkeley Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Oman, Sir Charles William C. Shepperson, E. W. Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down) Wells, S. R.
Pennefather, Sir John Sinclair, Col.T. (Queen's Univ.,Bellst) Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H
Penny, Frederick George Skelton, A. N. White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple
Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Sianey, Major P. Kenyon Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Perkins, Colonel E. K. Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.) Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Pato, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Smithers, Waldron Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) Wilson, M. J. (York, N. R., Richm[...]'d)
Phillpson, Mabel Spender-Clay, Colonel H. Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Pilditch, Sir Philip Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.) Winby, Colonel L. P.
Ramsden, E. Stanley, Lord (Fyide) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Rawson, Sir Cooper Stanley, Hon. O. F. G.(Westm'eland) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington) Steel, Major Samuel Strang Wise, Sir Fredric
Remer, J. R. Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C. Withers, John James
Remnant, Sir James Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn) Wolmer, Viscount
Rentoul, G. S. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser Wood, Sir Kingsley (Wootwich, W.)
Rhys, Hon. C. A. U. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford) Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H. Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Ropner, Major L. Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.) Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell
Rye, F. G. Tinne, J. A. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement Major Cope and Captain Mar-
Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney) Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P. gesson.
Ammon, Charles George Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Scurr, John
Attlee, Clement Richard Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Sexton, James
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Hore-Belisha, Leslie Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Barnes, A. Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Barr, J Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Siessar, Sir Henry H.
Batey, Joseph John, William (Rhondda, West) Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Smith, H.B. Lees (Keighley)
Broad, F. A. Jones, Morgan (Caerphllly) Snell, Harry
Bromley, J. Jones. T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Kelly, W. T. Stamford, T. W.
Cape. Thomas Kennedy, T.Stephen, Campbell
Charleton, H. C. Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Cruse, W. S. Lansbury, George Taylor, R. A.
Cove, W. G. Lawrence, Susan Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Dalton, Hugh Lee, F. Thurtle, E.
Day, Colonel Harry Lindley, F. W. Tinker, John Joseph
Dennison, R. Lewth, T. Viant, S. P.
Duncan, C. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J.R.(Aberavon) Wellhead, Richard C.
Dunnico, H. Mackinder, W. Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Gardner, J. P. Mac Laren, Andrew Wobb. Rt. Hon. Sidney
Gillett, George M. March, S. Westwood, J.
Gosling, Harry Montague, Frederick Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Caine) Morrison. R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Oliver, George Harold Windsor, Walter
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Palin, John Henry Wright, W.
Groves, T. Potts, John S.
Hail, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Purcell, A. A. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hardie, George D. Sakiatvala, Shapurji Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr.
Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon Scrymgeour, E Hayes.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

WhereuponMr. SPEAKER adjourned the House, without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 3.

Adjourned at Eighteen Minutes after Four o'Clock until Monday next (12th July).