Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £322,295, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1927, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Scottish Board of Health, including Grants and other Expenses in connection with Housing. Grants to Local Authorities, &c., Grants in respect of Benefits and Expenses of Administration under the National Health Insurance Acts, certain Expenses in connection with the Widows', Orphans', and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act 1925, and certain Grants-in-Aid.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Sir John Gilmour)
As the Committee will observe, the first item in this Supplementary Estimate covers salaries, wages and allowances. Those items have been increased mainly through the coming into operation of the Contributory Pensions Act. In addition, there have been certain officers appointed, including a dental officer, a district medical officer and in the medical referee services, to assist in carrying out the machinery of this Act. Following 1456 upon these activities, there are, of course, certain additions to the travelling expenses. Under the heading "F/" there are grants towards housing expenses of the scheme which the Government instituted "or supplementing ordinary house-building methods. In the main this extra expenditure has been incurred owing to the speed with which the 2,000 original houses have been built. While in one sense it is unfortunate that Parliament should be asked for more money, on the other hand it is, perhaps, a matter of congratulation that housing has been expedited, and that of the 2,000 houses we anticipate that 1,750 will be completed within the period With which we are dealing. I have also to say that the Government have decided to continue this policy, and they are asking for an additional sum to cover their extension of the contract with the housing company for an additional 1,000 houses. These are the steel houses which have proved by experience to commend themselves to the people and to the company which has been carrying out this work. I now turn to the Rosyth housing scheme. I think hon. Members are aware of the great difficulties which faced the company responsible for carrying out the Rosyth housing scheme owing to the change in Admiralty policy and the reduction of personnel at Rosyth. Although there have been increased rates and a certain number of houses unoccupied, I am happy to say that, owing to the Treasury having approved of the reduction of the rents by 43 per cent. so as to make them the same as those charged to Admiralty employees, thus bringing the rents down to one level, we have been able to find tenants for the great majority of those houses, and I think there are only 34 houses which are unoccupied at the present time. While it is true that since the 1st January, 1926, 1,217 houses have been given up, no less than 1,182 of those houses have been re-let. I hope that it will be found in the future that this scheme will be of great benefit to that district.
We now come to the item for maternity and child welfare. This amount has been considerably increased owing to the very heavy claims which have fallen on this service during the recent trouble in the country. Of course, I shall be prepared 1457 to answer any question which may be raised on that and which any hon. Member may desire to put to me. The treatment of tuberculosis shows also a serious increase, and that is in the main due to one factor and one factor alone, namely, the great increase in the price of fuel during the strike period. The last part of this Vote relates to sickness, disablement, maternity, etc., benefits. I can only say with regard to this problem that it is one which has shown rather an alarming increase, and one which is causing considerable difficulty both to the Board of Health and the medical profession in ascertaining exactly why this trouble should have arisen. I believe it is a problem which has arisen owing to the very abnormal circumstances, and I hope it will not show on investigation any slackness of administration or lack of appreciation on the part of the medical men who have to deal with it. At any rate, this is a matter which my Department is taking up with those responsible, and I can only say that during the period in which this enormous rise took place, there was no real epidemic of sickness, or any difficulty which would have given rise to that, and equally on the other hand it was surprising to find how on a certain date this expenditure fell with great rapidity. It is quite clear that this has been in the main due to the abnormal circumstances, and the difficulties in which many people have been placed in the administration of this service. It is a matter which we are investigating, and a question upon which something further will be heard. Of course, I shall be very glad to answer any further questions which may be out to me on this Vote.
Mr. WILLIAM ADAMSON
I think that the Committee is entitled to a fuller explanation as to the reasons why such a large Supplementary Estimate has been put forward, amounting to an additional sum of £322,295. Before such a Vote be passed some very good grounds should be made out why such an addition to our annual expenditure has been found to be necessary. Personally, I do not object to increased expenditure if the money be wisely spent, and if that section of the community who are in need of help are getting the benefit of the money which is expended. Unfortunately, this is just the point where some of us part company with the Secretary 1458 of State for Scotland. We are not convinced that the money the right hon. Gentleman is asking for is necessary in some instances, or that it has been wisely spent in others. Take, for example, the first item mentioned, namely, "Salaries, Wages and Allowances." The right hon. Gentleman told us in a word or two that that did not apply to any increases in salaries, but that it was mainly owing to additional expenditure in connection with the administration of the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1925. I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that there had been no increase in wages.
I understood it was a question rather of increasing the salaries because of the extra work involved, and I objected to that at a time when other sections of the community had to suffer a reduction of wages.
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
With regard to £7,300 of the £9,000 for salaries, wages and allowances, is it not a fact that the £7,300 was for an entirely new staff on account of the administration of the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1925?
I was pointing out that, if it were a question of increasing the salaries, the Government would have been doing it at a time when other sections of the community were having to suffer reductions in wages, and not only that, but at a time when they were having their hours' of labour increased. Take the miners, for example. If it were a question of increasing salaries under conditions like that it would have been very objectionable. I notice that an additional sum of £2,000 is required for travelling expenses. I do not think the Secretary of State for Scotland said a single word in explanation as to why at a time like this an additional £2,000 was required for travelling expenses, and I think the Committee are entitled to have a much fuller explanation regarding an item of that kind. There is a further additional sum of £165,000 required for grants towards housing expenses. I say, quite frankly, that I am not objecting 1459 because this sum is a large one if it is making ample provision for housing our people. Under those circumstances, I should have commended the right hon. Gentleman for spending more money to provide the necessary houses, providing those houses were of the right type.
We have got very little explanation as to whether the £165,000 additional expenditure has been spent on providing brick houses or steel houses. The Committee will remember that, first of all, steel houses were proposed, and there was a considerable amount of criticism levelled against that proposal. Now we have had a little experience of steel houses in Scotland in various parts of the country where they have been erected, and people occupying them are finding from experience that a considerable amount of the criticism made against the proposal at first was quite justified. I find that the people who are occupying the steel houses, although they have nothing to complain of in regard to the accommodation which they say is quite equal to the brick or stone houses that have been put up, say that in the winter the steel houses are very much colder than the brick or stone houses, and that is one of the criticisms which was made when the proposal was first mentioned in this House. At that time it was pointed out to the Secretary of State for Scotland and others that a steel house was not a suitable house for the Scottish climate, because it would be found in practice that a steel house would be much colder than a brick or a stone house. Now we are finding out from the experience of those occupying steel houses that our criticism has been fully justified. They say that so cold are these houses that they are not getting value for the rent they are paying—that the rent they are paying is far too high for the type of house they are getting.
Again, we have found that the steel house is not so likely to stand the storms that we occasionally get in Scotland as the brick house or the stone house. The Under-Secretary will know that in some instances these steel houses have suffered very badly as the result of some of the storms that we have had in recent times. I think that that is an experience which ought to guide the Scottish Board of Health and the Secretary of State for 1460 Scotland, and that they will require to give very serious consideration to the question whether it is profitable to proceed with the building of many more of these houses. The steel house is repugnant to a considerable section of the Scottish people. We do not like the idea of any section of our people being housed in steel houses, and the experience of those who are occupying them should cause the Secretary of State and the Scottish Board of Health to pause before spending more money on providing houses of that type.
I regret that the Secretary of State, when he came to the question of the building of the additional 1,000 houses, did not tell us of what type they were to be—whether they were to be brick houses or steel houses. Even if they are to be steel houses, he did not give us any information as to whether they were to be Weir houses, Atholl houses, or Cowieson houses. He knows that there is considerable disagreement as to the relative value even a the various types of steel houses that are being put up in Scotland, and I think that, before such a large additional sum as he is asking for is granted by this Committee, we are entitled to a much fuller explanation as to how he proposes to spend this money. Another of the items over which he passed very lightly was the deficit of £4,850 on the Rosyth Housing Scheme. He has already pointed out, and it, is within the knowledge of some of us, that while it was expected that when Rosyth closed down a large number of these houses would remain empty, it has not worked out in that way, but a considerable number of these houses have been taken up, after the Rosyth workmen left by other people, and it is rather a curious thing, with that experience before us, that an additional £4,850 should be required to be paid by the Scottish Board of Health to the Rosyth Housing Company.
Another item in this Supplementary Estimate is a sum of £48,700 for maternity and child welfare. That, again, is an item of expenditure with which I do not disagree; indeed, it is an expenditure with which I should have agreed even had the Secretary of State for Scotland been asking for a much larger sum. I think that, if the Scottish Board of Health had done its duty during the 1461 trying times through which we came in the last nine months or thereabouts, it would have been asking for a much larger sum. The Scottish Board of Health, and I have no doubt the Secretary of State is aware of it, objected to our town councils and our parish councils doing so much child-welfare work during the stopapge of last year, and they held up loans, so far as the parish councils were concerned, until the parish councils would consent to take upon themselves the onus of making provision for child welfare. Some of us at the time pointed out that that was a curious line for the Scottish Board of Health to take, in view of the fact that town councils and parish councils were quite prepared to spend some money in attending to maternity and child-welfare work. The Scottish Board of Health, however, objected, but I believe the chief reason for their objecting was that, so long as the expenditure was being incurred by the town councils or the county councils, they had 50 per cent. of the expenditure to meet. I think that the town councils and the county councils and the Scottish Board of Health were much better able to meet that expenditure than the parish councils were. Our parish councils were heavily burdened as the result of providing for emergency relief for the wives and children of our people during that trying time, and that was a direction in which the Secretary of State and the Scottish Board of Health could have well afforded to increase their expenditure and ask for a bigger Supplementary Estimate for that purpose than this sum of £48,700.
Another item on which I want to say a word is the sum of £20,000 for tuberculosis. I understood the Secretary of State for Scotland to say that this additional expenditure is largely accounted for by the increased price of coal during last year. I am very much surprised to find that the coal bill in our tuberculosis institutions increased by £20,000. I fear we shall require some further explanation regarding this item of expenditure than that it was simply in consequence of the additional cost of fuel. Another point on which I think we are entitled to more information than has already been given is in regard to the last item in the Supplementary Estimate, namely, Appropriations-in-Aid. There is 1462 a sum here, "Receipts in connection with Rosyth Housing Scheme, £627," and there are other sums mentioned, regarding which we have had little or no explanation. I think the Committee is entitled to a much fuller explanation as to the necessity for spending this sum of £322,000 odd than has yet been given, and I hope that we shall have such explanation before this discussion finishes.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
There are two parts of this Estimate upon which I should like to reinforce the complaints of insufficiency of information which have been put by say right hon. Friend the Member for West Fife (Mr. W. Adamson). I refer first to Sub-head F.1, Grants towards Housing Expenses. I should like to know something more about this subsidy towards the erection of further steel houses. We are told that a further 1,000 steel houses are to be erected, and I should like to know from the Under-Secretary what his experience really is regarding cities where steel houses, brick houses and cement block houses have been erected. How do these three compare? Take, for example, the City of Dundee, where an English contractor was given a contract for 500 houses on the cement block principle, he guaranteeing to take 400 unskilled men from the Employment Exchange for every 500 houses he is allowed to put up. I-Te takes these 400 men, and he not only pays them the 1s. 3d. which is the minimum rate of wages in the building trade, but, in addition to that, he pays them a bonus on wages, which, added to their normal building trade wages, brought their total rate of wages up to about £3 6s. 8d. a week.
What is the Board of Health's experience in Dundee? How do these houses in The Law compare with the steel houses erected on the Broughty Ferry Road? Are they cheaper? Is it the case that the local housing authority there estimate that the upkeep costs of the steel houses will be much greater than the upkeep costs in the case of the brick houses or of the cement block houses that have been built? I have seen them all, and, so far as I am concerned, if I were given the choice as to which of the three kinds of houses I would live in, I would certainly choose either the brick or the cement block house in preference to the steel one. But here, evidently, the 1463 Scottish Board of Health are encouraging the erection of further steel houses, and I want to ask the Under-Secretary whether, as the result of the experience of the last year in Scotland, it would not be more advisable that his Department should encourage the building of these cement block houses? Then I should like to hear from him whether it is the case that Messrs. Weir, who are very probably going to get the majority if not the whole of the new contract for 1,000 houses, are still engaged in wage breaking? Is it the case that they broke the rate of wages on the Glasgow housing scheme—that the Duke of Athol] in the case of the Atholl house, and Messrs. Cowieson in the case of the Cowieson house, are paying the normal rates of wages to unskilled labourers on their contracts, whereas the Weir firm actually broke the rate of wages down to 10½d. an hour?
Then, with regard to Subhead H.2, I think we really ought to have a little more information than the Secretary of State for Scotland vouchsafed to the Committee in his opening remarks. This £93,000 required as an additional Estimate is in my judgment really due to poverty. It is necessity and hunger that cause this expenditure, and we ought to have a statement of the areas and the blocks of towns in which the expenditure has been incurred. This is really a distressed area. In these areas it is not the fault of the tax-raising arrangements for the relief of the poor. You have the poor keeping the poor. You have areas which are unable to bear their present burden being called upon to meet additional burdens, and unfortunately it is in these areas where our distressed industries, steel, coal and so on, so largely operate. These industries are very heavily burdened and handicapped in competition with industries elsewhere in this country and outside it. The fact of the matter is that these areas, already heavily overburdened, with the heaviest rates, are the areas where the health of the people is worst and where we shall have to incur in future years a very much larger sum by way of ambulance work to endeavour to repair the broken bodies and the physique of the people. We ought to have a very much fuller and wider statement of the position in which the Secretary of State 1464 finds himself so far as concerns these areas. You have areas which are practically paying no poor rate at all. Where there are no industries, or the industries are not handicapped, they are getting off lightly, but where the poor live, the areas where the industries are harassed are called upon to bear the burden, and I should have thought the right hon. Gentleman would use the opportunity to make a wide survey of the facts and draw public attention to a very serious and very clamant evil, which this House would do well it an early opportunity to take in hand.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I wish to ask the Secretary of State for Scotland a few questions. With regard to Item A1, Salaries, Wages and Allowances, and additional provision for extra staff, I know quite well that this extra staff is required, and, seeing that it has been employed and we are asked to contribute £9,000 towards the extra expenditure, I should like the right hon. Gentleman to give us some explanation of the delay in the payment of the benefits to people to whom they are due. In Item F1, Grant towards Housing Expenses, we have the additional provision required for advances made to the Scottish National Housing Trust. We are asked here for £165,000. We want to know if you are going to continue to give preference to a type of house that is not suited to Scotland. They might be made more substantial than they are, because they have not been able to stand our inclement weather. In the storm about a month ago at Robroyston their homes were blown all over the place. They were not able to stand our inclement weather. There is no denying that fact. I hope, therefore, you are not going to give them precedence when you write out the contracts for the building of houses. I am prepared to accept any kind of house, because we are in desperate need of houses, but those houses should be made to meet the requirements, having due regard to our inclement weather, because if the storm that struck Scotland about a month ago had struck some of the towns in England it would have wiped them out. It is because of the substantial nature, generally speaking, of the houses in Scotland that we were able to withstand the 110 miles rate at which the wind was travelling.
1465 You have to have regard to that when you are dealing with the housing question. I believe it is possible to build steel houses, wooden houses, concrete or cement block houses, and brick houses which will withstand the weather, but you have to have all these things in your mind when you are handing out a contract, and not simply hand it out to some of your friends, because Lord Weir is a particular friend of the Tory party in these days. There is no denying that fact, having due regard to the Duchess' husband and the Atholl Department. How it is I do not know, but there is no doubt that Lord Weir has been able to bring special pressure on the Government, because this house is not the best type of house. No one in the Government has been able to prove that the Weir house is a better type than any other temporary house, because it is only temporary. Yet Lord Weir is favoured, and from the point of view of the working class he is the worst employer, and we have fought him most. We have put up every kind of objection, and our case has been a perfectly legitimate case against Lord Weir, because Lord Weir has gone out of his way time and time again to crush the workers clown to the very lowest. Even at this moment, when China is before us, this same Lord Weir of the Weir housing scheme was the man who caused the first trouble on the Clyde, because he brought Chinese into the moulding shops in order that the Scottish labourers should be sent into the trenches. Lord Weir and men of his type do not give a button. They have no sentiment, no patriotism, and absolutely no country. The only thing that weighs with them is making the bawbees.
The next item that comes under my review is G2, Treatment of Tuberculosis. When I bring this before your notice, I think you will have in your mind's eve a recent deputation which I was on from the Dumbartonshire Education Authority. I was the only Socialist there except my agent, who happens to be a member of the education authority. It was really a Tory deputation. The spokesman was the chairman of the education authority, a professor. He explained that there were 700 children in Dumbartonshire, which includes my constituency, Clydebank and Dumbarton, who had to go to school in our inclement weather in winter time without boots. We were there appealing to you because 1466 the parish councils were not able to give any more allowance. They were practically bankrupt. There were two parishes that were prepared to fall in with the idea, the reason being that they had no poor, Helensburgh and Bearsden. Those are the two places that do not pay, but Clydebank and Dumbarton are direct payers. It is in Clydebank and Dumbarton where the money is made in Dumbartonshire, but though the money is made there, those who walk away with the money live in Helens-burgh and in Bearsden, and they escape the taxation for unemployment on the Clyde. They do not pay their fair share. That is why we appeal to you as Secretary of State for Scotland, who represent us in the Cabinet, and it is your duty to represent our people in the Cabinet. We have appealed to you time and again to draw the attention of the Cabinet to the fact that the unemployment question is a national question and should be made a charge on the entire nation, and that districts such as Clydebank and Dumbarton should not be made to carry the whole of its unemployment, while Bearsden and Helensburgh go scot free. Your constituency does not pay its fair share.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Captain FitzRoy)
Will the hon. Member kindly address me and not the Secretary of State for Scotland.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I am in the habit of addressing the Secretary of State for Scotland, or dressing him down, and that is the explanation which I think is due on this occasion. But that is the reason why there is so much tuberculosis abroad. There are more tubercular cases in the West of Scotland than in any part of England, and the Secretary of State and the Under-Secretary along with him, who is a doctor by profession, ought to think shame of themselves that they do not use all their influence in the House to change that state of things. We in Scotland are a hardy race. Had that not been the case we would have been wiped out by the voracious and the ferocious employing class in Scotland. The Secretary of State for Scotland and the Under-Secretary of State, who is designated the Minister of Health, are both cognisant of the fact that it is because of bad housing conditions in the West of Scotland, the low standard of life and 1467 the poor wages paid that our people are in a terrible state so far as health is concerned. It is no use the Under-Secretary saying in reply how the death rate is decreasing.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member must not go into the whole policy of the Government on this Vote. There is an additional sum required under G.2 of £20,000 for treatment of tuberculosis, mainly due to the increased cost of fuel. That is the only matter for discussion under that particular heading.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I agree at once that that is the item, but I am trying to show why there is tuberculosis.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I have explained to the hon. Member that he cannot deal with that on this Vote; he can only do that on the main Vote and not on this Supplementary Estimate.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I leave it with you. You are the judge between me and yourself. There is an item of £20,000 in respect of approved schemes for the treatment of tuberculosis, and I am trying to show to the best of my humble ability, that tuberculosis is prevalent in the West of Scotland more than in England. That is wrong and need not be, and I am protesting against it. I am trying to show that it is wrong. We are not going to lie down and tolerate the continuance of this state of affairs. I am glad to see the Prime Minister present, because I want to point out that our folk and the mothers of our children are as good mothers as ever there were in Britain.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
This is not the time to deal with that question. The only question that we have to discuss now is the extra. £20,000 required. The whole policy of the Government as to treatment must be dealt with on the main Vote and not on this Vote.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
It is evident that you have made up your mind you will not allow me to proceed on the line that. I am taking, and I bow to your ruling. I want an explanation of the expenditure of this £20,000. I want to know who has got the £20,000. Is it the coalowners who have got it? I am perfectly satisfied that the colliers have not got it. It is 1468 the colliers who produce the fuel, not the owners, and it is the colliers who suffer from tuberculosis, and not the owners. I wish it was the owners who suffered. It is because of the reasons which I have stated that we have tuberculosis. The position is aggravated by our having to pay an extra £20,000, and that £20,000 has gone to the coalowners. At any rate, it has not gone to the working class. It may not be quite accurate to say that it has gone to the coalowners.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
The one thing I am satisfied about is that it has not gone to the working classes. It may have gone to some engineering employers. Under Item K, I would like some explanation of the £18,679 refund in respect of expenses incurred in administering the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act. The expert in that, the Under-Secretary of State, is now sitting on the right hand of the Secretary of State for Scotland. This huge sum of £18,000 is a bagatelle to you fellows; it is not very much when you say it quickly, but it is a good deal to the workers. Why has there been so much trouble on our part in order to get widows and orphans on to this pensions scheme3? I should like answers to these questions.
§ Major Sir ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR
It is deplorable that the Secretary of State for Scotland should be bringing forward Supplementary Estimates which are so large and so absolutely opposite, to what the Scottish nation would like, and so fraught with the opposite spirit of that which they would like to see, namely, the spirit of economy and carefulness in administration: in short, the spirit of thrift. On the first item, A.1, for additional staff required in connection with developments arising out of the administration of the Widows', Orphans', and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, a sum of £7,300 is required, and for provision for additional staff, £1,700. There are large sums. I agree with the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. Kirkwood) that they are very large sums, and they argue a lack of prevision and a lack of careful financial control for which the right hon. Gentleman is responsible. Provision is required for additional staff. I notice that provision is always found in Govern- 1469 ment offices for headquarter staff, but when it comes to provision of the salaries of other staffs year after year, the staffs, for instance, of colleges and so forth working under the headquarter staff, we have to press the Secretary of State for Scotland to pay heed to the just claims, for example, of the Scottish Agricultural Colleges, and, year after year, we are fobbed off with all sorts of excuses.
Then there is the question of travelling expenses under Item B, which has increased by 14 per cent, over the original Estimate. I submit that an increase of 14 per cent. is a very wide margin for his Department to be responsible for and, again, it argues lack of prevision and hick of strict financial control. Tinder Item F.1, Giants towards Housing Expenses, we find 11 per cent, more than was estimated for when the right hon. Gentleman introduced his housing proposals. If we could see a great forward housing move up and down the country, and if we in the country distracts could sec a great forward movement as a result of the Act we passed last year, I should be perhaps less critical than I feel inclined to be, but the benefit of these schemes, such as it is, is confined to certain chosen areas, and even there, if one can judge from the speeches delivered by hon. Members who represent those areas, the benefits are not very highly appreciated.
Then we come to the Rosyth housing scheme. This is, perhaps, one of the most interesting items in the Supplementary Estimate. Here is an expenditure which is 17 per cent. higher than was anticipated when the original Estimate was passed. This expenditure was upon a scheme which was one of the economy schemes of the present Government, namely, the reduction of the Rosyth dockyard. I speak as one who is always glad to see,, wherever it is possible, reduction in the expenditure upon armaments, but why this up-to-date dockyard in Scotland was scrapped when obsolete dockyards in the South of England were kept on, I never could understand. It was always told us that the reason was that we were going to get considerable ecenomy as a result. Many hon. Members who sit on this side said at the time that against any economies which the Government were going to make they were gravely under-estimating the expenditure 1470 in which they would be involved, and we find in this particular case alone, in the case of the Rosyth housing scheme, that the economy was over-estimated by no less than 17 per cent. When we come to Item 11.2, Sickness, Disablement, Maternity, etc., Benefits (Grants-in-Aid), the right hon. Gentleman said, in introducing the Estimate, that this £93,000 was due to some error or laxity in administration in his office.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I must apologise for misrepresenting what the right lion Gentleman said, but I think the explanation which he gave was so curt, so short, and rather perfunctory, that I would ask him or the Under-Secretary to give us some clear account of what has happened, so that we may know where this sum of £93,000 has disappeared. Is it the approved societies of which the right hon. Gentleman is complaining? Is it the doctors against whom his complaint is lodged? Who is responsible for this waste of £93,000? I understand that the right hen. Gentleman's inquiries are not quite complete, and he may not be able to give us a considered judgment, but let us, at any rate, have some information as to how this sum, of £93,000 was squandered by somebody, and in what direction. I feel convinced, therefore, that the people in Scotland will be horrified at this great. Vote of £322,000 for this one body of Scottish administration. The Government preached economy to us two years ago, and in their Speech they said it was essential if the industries of this country were to revive. We in Scotland would like to sec our Scottish Office giving a lead in that respect, but, instead of that, we find, as compared with ail the other Government Departments for whom we nave had Supplementary Estimates in the last two weeks, that this Scottish Board of Health is actually making greater demands and is showing a greater lack of financial control and prevision than any of the other Government Departments.
I agree with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Fife (Mr. W. Adamson), who said that we would not grudge expenditure if it was necessary and wisely spent, but it is just because 1471 there are so many traces of unwisdom of expenditure and lack of proper financial control that it is essential for us to criticise this Estimate. The Scottish Office is in a fair way of earning a reputation for being the most extravagant of all Departments. We see it, for example, selling sheep stock which 18 months ago were worth over £20,000 for £10,000. You see it here making this great demand which is greater than in any other Department, and I hope that we shall have, from the Minister who replies, clearer, more adequate, and fuller information on the points which have been raised, and that we shall also have an assurance that the utmost pains will be taken in estimating in the coming year so that when the Scottish Estimates are brought in there will be some prospect that they will not be exceeded in the course of the year.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Fife (Mr. W. Adamson), in opening from this side, made special reference to the steel houses and a very authoritative statement as to how those houses are being considered from the standpoint of residence and actual experience, and evidently he has found that disappointment exists concerning these houses. I have had some correspondence with the Secretary of State for Scotland on this question, but we have not yet got satisfaction. Seeing that the rent of these steel houses is to be £27 as against £22 10s. for the brick house, we should like to know whether that is to be accounted for by such indications as were given by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Fife, and whether the cost of upkeep necessitates this demand for extra rent? Whether that is so or not, it is undoubtedly a very grave reason for dissatisfaction when the people who are being obliged to reside in steel houses are having to pay such a rent as £27 while those who are having the very much better facility of the brick house, which is provided under other schemes, are only paying £22 10s. From a personal examination of the houses, and particularly the interior, I think there is not a shadow of doubt that the brick house in the finished state is far and away a more comfortable house than the steel one.
In regard to contract prices, regarding which I was very pleased to receive an 1472 answer to a question, we find that for the steel houses in the particular class which we are considering, £357 is given in one case as against £380 in the other. Those are the figures for steel houses according to the Department's own figures. The figure that is given by the City Engineer for the brick house, which is so much preferred and for which so much less rent is paid, is £410. The right hon. Gentleman, in the correspondence which I had with him, indicated that the figure which was given for the rents was on a par with houses which had been erected much earlier in Dundee by the Corporation. The answer to that is, as we have since explained—although we have not yet had the reply—that those other houses were produced under the 1919 Act and therefore cannot be fairly compared in connection with the question which we urged on behalf of the Corporation. The Corporation has certainly urged—and we think rightly urged—that this question of the higher rents charged for the steel houses should really be seriously reconsidered, and that some advantage should be given in the way of a reduction, particularly when we have in view the point I have sought to emphasise, that the brick house is a very much better house.
There was a statement made which I quoted, that the steel houses in Glasgow were the only houses which had really suffered serious damage, and I had from the right hon. Gentleman a reply, somewhat guarded, of course, that his information was not just confirmatory or something to that effect, but we did not get the benefit of knowing what had been the results as far as he had learned. Now we have had it from the hon. Member for Dumbarton (Mr. Kirkwood) in a statement about which there can be no doubt. He said they were blown about all over the place. That needs some answer from the Secretary of State for Scotland. I could not have managed to say that, but the hon. Member for Dumbarton has such powers of visualisation that he had no doubt whatever the houses were blown about all over the place. We do want something in the form of a straightforward reply. It is not a matter for correspondence but for verbal statements, and I certainly express the sincere hope that we are going to get satisfaction on behalf of the Corporation, by effecting an improvement in these rents for steel houses. Another 1473 point—applicable to various parts of the country—is that those old-time war huts are unfortunately still being occupied by people, some of whom have been in them for seven years. Some of the huts are getting in a very bad state and require the attention of the sanitary inspectors. I should like to ask whether any general impetus is being given by the right hon. Gentleman's Department to the corporations of the country to sec that preferential consideration is given to those who are unfortunately obliged to reside in wooden huts. Scotland is now suffering badly, and we are in sore need, having more to deal with than we can manage to handle.
I think I am perfectly in order in saying there is a great deal more we should like to have brought before the Secretary of State for Scotland, but in any case we want some consideration to the fact that steel houses are unsatisfactory, that wooden houses are worse, and that we have proved now that brick houses are satisfactory to Scotland and that they are remarkably good houses. We have got past the stage of the answer we got from another Conservative Government when the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health, answering on that occasion and supported then by his chief, Lord Novae, said that brick houses would never suit Scotland. We, have passed that stage, and brick houses are established in Scotland, and are being found exceedingly satisfactory, while, as we have proved here to-day, the rents are very much cheaper. They are better houses, and, consequently, we do not want to have more steel houses. If you are obliged to have them, surely, with the figures that have been quoted for the contract prices, as against those for brick houses, we ought to get them at much cheaper rents than at present.
§ Sir ROBERT HAMILTON
We are really very much disappointed, and I am sure the Secretary of State for Scotland is disappointed, at the size of the Supplementary Estimate which is being introduced to-day, but I must say we are glad to have considerable farther information with regard to two or three items. With reference to the first item, with regard to salaries, wages and allowances, of course, salaries and wages are required for these officers, but why did we not foresee that these salaries and allowances would be 1474 required and have provision made for them in the original Estimates? We have had no proper explanation as to why they are only included now in a Supplementary Estimate. As regards the item, "Tuberculosis Treatment," the Secretary of State for Scotland said that the extra £20,000 was due very largely to the increased cost of coal. I should like to have some further information on that point. Does he really mean that some 10,000 tons of coal were purchased for the tuberculosis institutions or that the cost of running the institutions has gone up because of the coal strike and for other reasons? I think we want some further explanation than he has given.
Now I come to the more important item of £93,000 in respect of Sickness, Disablement, Maternity, etc. Benefits (Grant-in-Aid). There was a suggestion thrown out that that large sum arose owing to mal-administration, but we are kept in ignorance as to the cause of it. Who was it—the societies? How does it arise? It is not sufficient to say that inquiries are being made, and, if they are completed, we are to be told that it was very largely due to mal-administration. Here is the, Secretary of State for Scotland coming to the Committee with a Supplementary Estimate asking for £93,000 under this one head, and, before we are asked to pass the Vote, we are entitled to have a much fuller explanation than we have been accorded.
§ Dr. DRUMMOND SHIELS
I am sorry I had not the privilege of hearing the statement of the Secretary for Scotland. Scottish Members have a small grievance that a Scottish Estimate should be put down for a Monday. It is very inconvenient, and I hope that if possible some other day will be allocated in the future. In regard to the item Fl, Grants towards Housing Expenses, I did not hear the explanation which was given regarding steel houses, but I expect that information has been asked for as to how these houses are pleasing the various corporations under whose auspices they have been put down. We cannot, within the limits of the Rules of the House, start again on this Estimate the question of steel houses versus brick houses or' wooden houses, though in that connection. I rather disagree with the hon. Member' for Dundee (Mr. Scrymgeour) in regard to wooden houses. If wooden houses are 1475 satisfactory in Canada and can stand the climate there, I see no reason why they should not do so here. I understand, however, that the cost of wooden houses is rather more than the cost of steel houses. I would like to have some idea as to whether steel houses have been supplied or are to be supplied under slum Clearance schemes. Though there seems to be a tendency on the Government side to consider that housing is more, or less satisfactory nowadays—an impression which, I think, is very erroneous—we have at least had an assurance that slum clearance schemes will be pushed on. I would like to know whether there is some idea of steel houses being used in that connection.
In regard to Rosyth I would like to emphasise, even if it is rather unkind, what the hon. Baronet said in regard to the economies we were to have as a result of the abandonment of Rosyth. It will be remembered that Scottish Members protested very strongly against this transaction. I am afraid that the voice of Scotland is generally ineffective in these matters, but whether it is ineffective or not, we who are Scotsmen and Members for Scotland must continue to raise our voices and claim justice for our country. Does this Estimate not prove one of the points which we made in our criticism, that there we had a big housing scheme on which a huge sum of money was spent, and that these houses would become a liability instead of an asset? I understood that many of these houses were being taken up by people from Edinburgh, who were travelling to and fro, and also by retired people who had settled down, and that the houses would probably not be left derelict. If that is not true, if a certain number of these houses have been left, or if in order to get them occupied the rents have been reduced below the economic rent, and if, though the houses have all been occupied, there is a deficit, it would be a matter of some interest to hear about it. In view of the housing scarcity in Edinburgh and many other adjacent districts I think that if reasonable facilities were offered for these houses to be occupied, something of such a deficit might be avoided.
Then I come to Sub-head H.2, for the large sum of £93,000. I am rather interested in an interjection by the right 1476 hon. Gentleman which I heard and which suggested that the unfortunate doctors were to blame for this sum of £93,000. I think it must have been a very good effort on the part of the medical profession which could produce such an enormous deficit. But I would like the Secretary of State for Scotland either to justify or retract this slur upon an honourable profession. It seems to me that another explanation is possible and more likely. I understand the implication is that approved societies during this period went beyond the estimate which the Department had anticipated. Would it not be correct rather to suggest that the period of the stoppage was also a period when there was a very considerable increase in illness. I think that is really a significant point. There is a connection in this item with the Government Bill which is coming on this week in connection with poor relief. We know that in many of the mining areas the wife of the miner was getting poor relief hr herself and her children. In some cases the wife's and the children's food had even to be shared with the miner. I have no doubt that in many cases the miners and the others unemployed suffered very much in health as a result of insufficient food during the stoppage. It seems to me that the increased expenditure has probably not been due to the foolishness or weakness of doctors or to the maladministration of approved societies, but rather due to the great increase in sickness, which was the almost inevitable result of the suffering and privation which many of these men—miners and others—endured. I shall be very glad to hear what the Under-Secretary has to say in reply.
§ Mr. NEIL MACLEAN
I wish at the outset to protest against the taking of the Scottish Estimates on a Monday, after it had been arranged that the Debate was to take place on a Tuesday. I do not know what is the reason for the alteration of the plan, but I am certain that the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Under-Secretary know quite well that quite a number of the Members who reside in Scotland go home sometimes for the week-end, and find it impossible to arrive here before 6.30 or 7 or even 8 o'clock on a Monday night. I want to register my protest against interference with the understanding reached when we left this 1477 Chamber on Friday as to the week's business and the order in which it was to be taken. It was understood that the Scottish Estimates were not to be taken to-night. Otherwise there would have have been a larger number of Scottish Members present, and undoubtedly those who would have taken part in the Debate would have had facts and figures which would have been put before the House in a way that cannot be done in the absence of those Members.
I wish to speak upon the question of Rosyth. It will be remembered that when it was announced by the Government that Rosyth Dockyard was to be closed down, the Scottish Members protested and pointed to the suitability of Rosyth for the Fleet. Unfortunately, the Secretary for Scotland was not strong enough in the Cabinet to have his way, and those in the Cabinet, who were interested in English dockyards seemed to have greater pull. The Cabinet decided to close Rosyth. We pointed out at the time that a large township had, been erected in Rosyth, that extensions had also been made in Dunfermline, and that quite a lot of public service had been undertaken by Dunfermline largely because of the promises of the Government. I want to know whether there is any other liability due by the Government to the Dunfermline Town Council or to any other public body in the area that has not yet been put forward in a Supplementary Estimate. We have mentioned here a sum of £4,000 odd to go to the building company which has had the Rosyth building schema. That, I understand, is due to the decrease in rents caused by the closing of the dockyard.
I want to know whether it is an end of the liability of the Government, or whether we are staving off the total sum that will ultimately have to be paid to liquidate the promises made to the local councils in and around that area, to some other Government which will take the present Government's place. After all, there ought to be at least some honour in this Government, and it ought to pay its own way, and not leave to posterity or to the Labour Government, that is bound to take its place, the payment of debts that are likely to be incurred in Fifeshire because of the folly and shortsightedness of the present Government. This House is entitled to be taken into 1478 the confidence of the Government on questions of finance. Apart from the effect of the famous letter which was circulated all over the country, this Government was brought into office on the promise of economy. The House has not yet seen much of the economy proposals of the Government. We find year after year that the Estimates, instead of covering the total expenditure, have to be supplemented by further Votes. It is always better to hand back money that you do not require than to come to this House repeatedly asking for more money because of additional expenditure.
Another item that calls for explanation is A1—salaries, wages and allowances provision required for other additional staff, £1,700. What is the total staff, and what are the salaries? In Votes that came before the House we generally have a detailed statement, in an appendix, of the salaries of various members of the staffs in respective Departments, and we are able at once to see whether the Government are paying decent or extravagant salaries. It would have been much better in this case if the Secretary of State for Scotland had taken the House into his confidence and given us such details. I do not know whether the extra staff is to be permanent staff for the carrying on of the Contributory Pensions Act, or whether it is temporary staff only to be employed during the opening period of the operation of that. Act. There is simply the item "additional staff," and I cannot see why the Government should be asking £7,000 for temporary staff if at the same time £1,700 is required for additional permanent staff. That is another item which requires explanation.
I am also concerned at the suggestion that the blame for this item of £20,000, under the Subhead G (2), is to be placed on the coal stoppage. The Estimate states that the sum is "mainly due" to the increased cost of fuel. What is meant by "mainly due"? £11,000 would be the "main" part of £20,000, but there would still be £9,000 due to some other causes. The Committee should be told how much has been required for fuel and how much has been devoted to other purposes. The Secretary of State for Scotland ought to take the Committee more into his confidence in this matter. Day after day questions are addressed to the Secretary 1479 for the Mines Department calling his attention to the high price of coal and the manner in which the consumer is being fleeced by the retailer. We want to know whether the Government purchases this coal in great quantities by contract; whether or not the contract prices have been broken and the original prices increased, or otherwise, how this additional cost has arisen? I take it, that the word "fuel" refers to coal; presumably there is very little peat burnt in these sanatoria and other institutions. We should also be informed exactly as to the other purpose or purposes for which this extra sum is required.
In all Debates on Scottish housing the question of the steel house arises. The Prime Minister having witnessed the "Blue Mountains" in Dundee, set out to destroy slumdom in Scotland, and he decided that the way in which to wipe out the "Blue Mountains" was to erect steel houses. Accordingly, permission was given for the erection of steel houses so that they might be "tried on the dogs" north of the Tweed. The experience we have had since the Prime Minister's pilgrimage to Dundee shows that the experiment has not been successful. Our experience has not corroborated the opinion held by the Prime Minister, backed up by the Secretary of State for Scotland and also, I think, by the Under-Secretary. Were the Prime Minister to see, to-day, some of the steel houses which have been erected since his famous visit to the slums of Dundee and Glasgow, I think he himself would not be willing to reside in any steel house which had been standing for a period of two years. I put it frankly to the Government that the steel houses have been tried and have proved a failure. They are not a cure, not even an alleviation in a small way of the housing shortage in Scotland, and it is high time that some other material was found. I am convinced, from what I have heard in discussing this matter with the building trade, that it is possible to secure a material as cheap, if not more cheap a material, which will be lasting and will also be artistic, a material far better in every way than the steel which is at present on the market and is being used in the erection of houses in Scotland.
1480 The Secretary of State for Scotland need only go around his own constituency in Glasgow and he will see a number of fine houses which have been erected recently on terms Just as reasonable as those on which the steel houses have been erected. I am one of the right hon. Gentleman's constituents and I have a right to heckle him here, since I cannot attend his meetings. I suggest that he should walk round the Pollokshields district, instead of driving round it as lie usually does, and he will see these houses. I will go round with him on any Sunday and show him houses which have been erected at a cost as reasonable as any of the steel houses which he has subsidised. There is plenty of building material in Glasgow as both the right hon. Gentleman and the Under-Secretary know. There is scarcely a corner in the centre of the city which has not been altered during the last two or three years by the erection of banks and insurance offices constructed of the finest stone and woodwork—towering edifices, six storeys high which are replacing the old buildings. If there is plenty of material for these buildings surely there is material for dwelling-houses? One has only to walk along Sauchichail Street to see that two great dance palaces have been erected there so that the people of Glasgow and visitors to Glasgow, including Cabinet Ministers, may have an opportunity of indulging in the "Charleston." There is ample material to provide decent houses for the working classes in place of the sardine boxes in which they are now being asked to reside.
I hope we shall have a statement from the right hon. Gentleman as to the meaning of all these things. I hope he will let us know whether we may hope to have any attention paid to these matters during the remainder of the Government's term of office. Are the Government going to take thought and mend; are they going to get on with real housing reform, or are they going to continue year after year pottering with steel houses? If we have to spend money, let us spend money on something which will provide suitable houses, make the people comfortable and solve the housing problem. Let the Government erect something for which the people can praise them. There is no praise for the Government in connection with what they are erecting now. The people do not look 1481 upon the present houses as monuments of progress, but as monuments of shame. They stand as a confession of the incapacity of a Government which could not see far enough ahead to solve one of the simplest problems—the housing problem of our time.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
I am in a difficulty to-night. In connection with these discussions T have often complained bitterly about the administration of the Secretary of State for Scotland and about the manner in which these Estimates are made. I want to say now that the Scottish Board of Health was placed in a very difficult position during the last year and for the first time I find myself in the position of congratulating them on the way in which they have overcome those difficulties. I think they have shown more soul than they are in the habit of showing in dealing with present problems, and since we have criticised them at other times it is only fair we should give them credit when they do some good. The Committee know that in connection with the big industrial stoppage last year great privation existed among numbers of our people. On the whole they met us fairly well in that connection and I cannot complain about a Supplementary Estimate in regard to a matter of that kind. While I say that the Board of Health showed a certain amount of soul, I think at the same time that the Secretary of State for Scotland was none too generous in connection with the prosecutions and sentences in the-Scottish Courts.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
I accept your ruling, Sir, but I hope the Secretary for Scotland has an idea of how we feel on the matter. The information which I want is in connection with salaries. I expect that additional staff is required where there is additional work, but I would like to know the number of extra staff engaged. Are these positions to be the perquisites of hangers-on, near the Scottish Board of Health in Edinburgh, or are they to be open to the country on merit and by a system of examination? In all my local government experience I have never met one from the West country who was working in an office, and who got into a berth of that 1482 kind, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will explain the method of appointment. I wonder if the additional sum for housing is a reflex of success in the provision of more houses, or does it mean that the cost of building material has gone higher than was anticipated? I hope the Secretary of State for Scotland will be able to assure us on that point. It has often occurred that just as we were beginning to build houses the cost of material has gone up, and no steps have been taken by the present Government to control any increase in prices. That is one of the failures of the present system.
I have never opposed the erection of steel houses; for reasons of my own. The dearth of houses was so great that I felt it was better to have houses of some kind rather than continue the slums and the lack of houses which existed North of the Tweed. I never agreed that the steel house is a cheap house. As a matter of fact, the cheapest house you can build is a brick house. Steel houses are much dearer, especially when you take their length of life into account. I have had complaints in connection with many of the steel houses that have been erected, and from personal examination I maintain that they have not fulfilled expectations. They have been criticised furiously by some hon. Members on this side of the House, and in my opinion that criticism has been justified in the short period during which they have been built. It would be much better to take the advice given by hon. Members on this side of the House and not waste public money on the erection of steel houses when you can build brick houses. We have not had many brick houses built in Scotland, and for the reason that we have, no brickworks, as in England. Most of our houses are built of stone and I hope that, in the future the Secretary of State for Scotland will consider the erection of more stone buildings in Scotland, or, at any rate, that the frontage will be of stone, and thus give employment to the stonemasons and quarrymen in Scotland.
I should also like to refer to the additional cost of coal. I think we- ought to have more information on this point. Hon. Members know that when the country was threatened with trouble in the coalfields that the Government was preparing for a long time. I wonder how much the Government spent in the pur- 1483 chase of coal; did they wait until the stoppage arrived and then rush into the market and buy? I want to know where the Government bought coal, and what price they paid for it. I also want to know whether the Government made large contracts at high prices for foreign coal. It is regrettable that the Government should contract so far ahead and be compelled to take coal which can never be used. It would be much better to dump this coal into the sea rather than let it land. There is an increase under H.2., a very heavy increase, in connection with Grants-in-Aid for sickness and disablement benefit. Our men during the period of stoppage got no help unless it was given to their wives and children. The men would suffer rather than take the food which was provided for the wives and children. During that period also, there was a great increase in the examination of people who reported on to the sick fund under the National Health Insurance Act. I wonder if it cost more to keep people off the fund. This is the first time in my public life that I have been able to congratulate the Scottish Board of Health and I sincerely hope they will continue in their good work.
§ Mr. KIDD
I was rather disappointed to hear some of the criticisms from the other side of the Committee, particularly in regard to housing. Hon. Members opposite will no doubt agree with the general admiration expressed throughout Scotland for the splendid services which the Scottish Board of Health has done for the whole country in the matter of housing. The housing difficulty to-day is not the difficulty it was some two years ago, and that is entirely due to the diligent way in which the Government have pursued their housing policy. There is this to be said, in addition to what has been already said, on the subject of steel houses. Apart from any criticism which may be levelled on the ground of construction, the steel house has introduced that competition with builders of other forms of material which has resulted in bringing about the present housing conditions in Scotland, and I think we may now feel assured that the difficulty has been removed in regard to housing. If the steel houses have done nothing else than compel greater activity and greater competition, which has led to bringing 1484 down the cost of builcing—the old kind of house can now be erected without subsidy—that alone, I think, entirely justifies it. I think the Secretary for Scotland has already had brought to his notice a little occurrence—
§ Notice taken that 40 Members were not present; Committee counted; and 40 Members being present—
§ Mr. KIDD
I think it only right to mention this, seeing that the occurrence took place in my own parish. No little alarm was created some eight days ago by iron houses, which were thought to be secure against fire, taking fire, with the result that one house was completely destroyed in 10 minutes, and the house next door was in a state of complete collapse in about 20 minutes. These houses were put up by subsidy by the county council, and it is rather important from the standpoint of the dwellers of these houses to point out that no fire brigade could be got because of some difficulty in determining who would pay the cost. The nearest fire brigade was called upon, or at least the police were invited to get that fire brigade, but until some guarantee was given as to who would be responsible for payment the fire brigade could not appear. Afterwards an effort was made to get another fire brigade, and this was secured without any such guarantee being asked, but before it arrived the fire had done all the damage it could and the two houses were destroyed. I hope the Secretary of State for Scotland will be able to make an arrangement whereby any fire brigade of an adjoining borough can be called upon to attend such a fire as this. Here was the case of county council property, paid for by public subsidy, being destroyed.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I do not think the hon. Member can pursue the subject of the payment of the fire brigade.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
Surely it is relevant on the question of the housing subsidy to discuss the inflammable material which is being used by certain people, who are receiving the subsidy, in the erection of these houses
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I allowed the hon. Member to go so far as to say that the fire brigade should be within call.
§ Mr. KIDD
I do not wish to press the point any further, but I hope the Secretary of State for Scotland will be able to attend to the matter. Another criticism was made on the other side with regard to salaries, wages, and allowances. I understand that the additional sum required is the result of the passing of the new Insurance Act, and I can hardly imagine anyone concerned with the recipients of these allowances taking any exception to the inevitable increase of staff which is necessary, more particularly when it is considered that the pensions of these people ought to be paid at the earliest possible moment and with the least possible delay.
§ Mr. KIDD
I have no doubt the information will be forthcoming, but it seems to me that the facts speak for themselves. The new Insurance Act is there, and it involves a large amount of work, to which attention should be given at once, so that these poor people shall receive their allowances without delay. This particular item is one which ought to have been particularly approved by hon. Members opposite, who profess particular anxiety for the working classes of this country. I have no more to say, and I conclude by congratulating the Scottish Board of Health on having given satisfaction in the matter of housing and expressing my agreement that the institution of the Insurance Act has necessarily involved this extra expenditure, which has been justified.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Mr. HARDIE
The Estimates have been looked at from a liberal point of view through the eyes of the hon. Baronet the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir A. Sinclair). He spoke of what he called thrift and he seemed to think that we should have been excused if we had come here with no extra demands for money. When I heard him talk about thrift I understood how it was that in Scotland we do not use that word "thrift" in the same way as it is used in England. When the Minister pretended to talk about thrift he did not seem to understand the Scottish history or the Scottish character. The thrift of which the hon. Baronet the Member for Caithness and Sutherland was speaking 1486 was to do without something you need. There is no thrift in doing without things you need if you can get them. Coming to the subject dealt with under the heading F.1, I would like to know why it was that the Secretary of State for Scotland, when he made his statement to-day under this head, gave no indication as to what is to take place in regard to steel houses. He seemed to be rather inclined to get clear of what must be a very thorny and difficult subject. For instance, the Secretary of State for Scotland was here in the House one night when I made an effort to analyse the steel houses built and though the reply I got was made in my absence by the Minister of Health who did nothing else but apply insulting remarks to what I had said, I let them go, in the hope that the Secretary of State for Scotland would come along with some statement and show the House that the money spent and the money now being asked for was spent in a way that would give a full and sufficient return, as against money spent on other classes of houses that are better to live in and better houses.
I am not going again into the question of the construction of the houses with which I dealt before, but I want to draw attention to that part of my statement when I referred to what are called fireproof materials used in these steel houses. I said that night in the House that there was no such thing as fireproof material at all. I was laughed at; but here you have proof of that fact. At Bo'ness the fireproof divisional walls of the steel houses did not prevent the spread of the fire and the houses were burnt out before a fire brigade could be obtained. I would like the Secretary of State for Scotland to deal with that side of the question. I know the bulk of the Members of the House get tired when anyone starts to talk about the technical side of a house, but when it comes to a question of life and death I would point out that it was only a chance that the people got clear of these houses. I want the Secretary of State to tell us just exactly what was the percentage of asbestos used in these boards and what were the other materials that were mixed, because, after all, when it comes to the question of fireproof material you may get a non-inflammable material, but you have never yet got a material that cannot be burnt. I would 1487 like to get a real clear pronouncement in regard to that because the Secretary of State for Scotland made no reference in his speech to my previous statement. I would have thought that if I had been in his place and anyone in opposition to sue had detailed that house as I did that night I would have been after that fellow all the time and shown him if and where he was wrong.
The Secretary of State has never said yet what was the longest period of tenancy that he could record in a Weir house. There are other things beside asbestos which have to be attended to, and you have the statements made by the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) to the effect that brick houses are cheaper and better houses than the steel houses. You have not proved yet in any way what is the actual life of these steel houses. We have had proof of the life of stone and brick and concrete houses. I am not going to talk about my basic argument of corrosion. I am waiting until someone takes the inside panels to see what they are like six inches from the base. Some of these houses have been built in my constituency, and although the last gale of wind did not blow them away it bent the side of them —it made a curve. When it does that, you know how the house is built because it has to bend somewhere else. There is a good deal of opposition to these houses. Hon. Members ought to go up and talk to the people who live in them. They are a very humorous class of people who live there. If they had not a sense of humour they would have died.
Now I come to the question of child welfare, and I would like something to be said in the reply to my questions in regard to the light treatment that has taken place. I should like to know if any steps are to be taken to improve the health of the child by that treatment, whether we are going to have an increase in the number of centres and in the districts where light treatment will be given to the children, such treatment as is taking place now in the East End of Glasgow. The Under-Secretary knows all about it, and I hope he will tell us some thing about it. Under the heading G.2. I would like to know what is the annual consumption of coal? If we can be told the actual consumption of coal and the 1488 actual average price, then we can deduct the six months' of the stoppage and we shall know exactly how much was paid for a ton of coal after the stoppage took place.
Then I should like to refer to the heading H2, on page 28, and I suggest to the Secretary of State for Scotland that lie should get a regional nap of Scotland and just make black all the areas where this Grant-in-Aid applies. Let me take an ilustration. Here is an area called Cambuslang, and it comes specially under this head of Grant-in-Aid. In that district there is a big steel works. The week before last a new machine in those steel works produced 5,000 tons of finished steel-plate in five days. Here is the relation to this point that is contained in the heading H.2. One operation in that production of steel was performed by live men and it was previously done by 5, and here we have TO men brought under this heading H.2. If that increased power of production had been making less wealth in that area, and if there had been less coming from the machine, we could have understood the need for this.
§ The CHAIRMAN
How does the hon. Member bring this within the headings "Further provisions required owing to increased expenditure by Approved Societies"? That seems to me to be the point to which he should address himself.
§ Mr. HARDIE
In every district where you get this kind of poverty you get further claims made because of sickness, because you cannot have a body depleted of what it should have without having corresponding sickness, and I am showing here that this is not a question of unemployment due to lack of work, but I am showing that it is a question of displacement by scientific improvements. These men are being thrown out of work permanently, and surely that is a matter of harm and conies under this heading. These improvements are displacing the men, and it is likely that this displacement will become permanent and that it will not be a matter a Supplementary Estimate alone. Unless we reorganise our industry so that increased wealth does not mean increased poverty, this is likely to be permanent. I hope the Secretary of State or the Under-Secretary of State will take note of these points when he replies.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Major Elliot)
I think it is a matter for congratulation for all of us that we have been able to debate this Supplementary Estimate in the very reasonable and helpful manner in which the Committee has debated it. The questions asked have been addressed to the points at issue and if, for some reason or another, I cannot answer them all I am sure hon. Members opposite will acquit me of any discourtesy since in some cases I am prevented from replying by a lack of knowledge and in other cases by fear of the Rules of the House. It would not be possible for me to go into the question of light treatment and the extension of child welfare centres in Glasgow, on this Supplementary Estimate, and the hon. Member for Springburn (Mr. Hardie) who has a very accurate knowledge of the rules of Order as we have heard by his objections when he was pulled up by you, Mr. Hope, I am sure realises that.
The general debate has ranged over three main heads. We have had the question of the increases in salaries, the question whether the increase in the Vote for health meant a deterioration of health or whether there is some other explanation for it, and, finally, the debate ranged over the question of housing and particularly the question of the Supplementary Estimate for the additional programme in regard to the provision of steel houses
With regard to the first, detailed questions have boon put, particularly by the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean), as to how the increased salaries were male up. The increased items here are partly temporary and partly permanent. During the launching of the old age pensions scheme, considerable temporary staff had to be taken on, and in addition there is a permanent enlargement of the staff which will be necessary to deal with the running of this scheme. The item of £9,000 for salaries includes £7,700 for temporary staff. The balance is for staff which will have to be permanently retained. The Committee will see, therefore that the majority of this expenditure is of a temporary nature and will not recur. In fact, a proportion of this will he recovered from one fund or another.
On the Vote for tuberculosis, the hon. Member for Springburn, in particular, 1490 stressed the point that he was anxious to have a statement as to what amount of coal had been purchased and as to the distribution of this coal, and other hon. Members also made inquiries about the contracts for this coal. This is an Estimate to deal with an anticipated demand from the local authorities. There has been none of this coal purchased by the Government. We have not, placed any contracts in respect to this coal, and it is not possible for us to give exact figures such as have been asked for, because it is not our responsibility, but that of a number of local authorities scattered throughout the country. In particular, their financial year does not end till the lath May, and it would thus be quite impossible for us to give exact information at this moment. No doubt it might be possible later to call for a return of the exact amount of coal used by the various organisations throughout the country but we could not get it from Government figures, and it would mean making special inquiries from the local authorities in this regard.
The third general question raised was that of housing. The auxiliary programme to which the Secretary of State referred was undertaken—and this is the essence of the problem— because of the delay which we experienced in getting the normal programmes carried out. The normal programmes are speeding up, and a very gratifying increase has taken place. The best single figure that I can give the Committee is that at the beginning of last year we had 13,000 houses under construction, and at the beginning of this year we had 19,000 under construction. In addition, there are 8,000 houses which are arranged for but not commenced, so that there are between 27,000 and 28,000 houses actually in sight. The number completed last year was about 12,500 of brick and 1,100 of steel, and consequently I do not think it can be said that we are exercising any undue favouritism for the steel house or going too far in the development of an alternative method if we are asking the Committee to make provision for the building of 1,000 additional steel houses, when we can show that we are making provision for building 28,000 houses by the normal method of construction. Therefore, I should think that, on the general lines of policy, the Committee 1491 will acquit us of any other motive than the motive to accelerate and speed up the housing programmes in Scotland and to provide houses of one kind or another to deal with the demand, which is still so great in Scotland and in respect of which we are still far short as compared with the position in England.
Certain specific questions were raised by hon. Members. The hon. Member for Dundee mentioned the rents of the steel houses in his city, and in reply I will simply say that the difference between the rent of the local authority's house and the rent of the steel house is exactly the difference of the subsidy provided out of the rates by the local authority. If the local authority cares to provide a similar subsidy out of the rates towards the steel houses, we should have no hesitation in reducing the rents by that amount. In regard to the steel houses, it is important to note that no burden of any kind is placed on the local authority in whose area they are built, whereas in the case of houses built under any of the Acts, the Chamberlain Act, the Wheatley Act, or any of the schemes, a burden is placed on the local authority, and to that extent, therefore, we claim that we have gone to a considerable length in meeting burden.; placed on the black areas, as described by the hon. Member for Springburn, in that we do provide a scheme which at any rate provides unemployed men with employment., and employment of a useful kind, producing an article which is eagerly competed for by the mass of the people. I wish we could say the same for all unemployment schemes which have been promoted by this and ether Governments.
The hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir A. Sinclair) put some questions, and the skill which he showed in introducing on a Supplementary Estimate for the Board of Health the question of the disposal of the Erribol sheep stocks, as compared with the price of other sheep stocks, showed that perhaps, not since the days of the Irish Members, has so ingenious an invasion of the Rules of the House taken place. The right hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. W. Adamson) referred to the travelling expenses and asked why these were higher. One of the main reasons was because, owing to the increased number of claims on the 1492 approved societies, there was an increased number of examinations. A considerable part of these travelling expenses will not be those of officials but of patients brought from one part or another of the country. The right hon. Member referred to child welfare and touched on a dispute he has pursued for some time with the Scottish Board of Health as to the burdens on the parishes. I should he out of order in referring to the question now, but we have not been unmindful of the parishes, as he will see on reference to the terms of the Bill recently presented to this House.
The hon. Member for East Edinburgh (Dr. Shiels), and several other hon. Members animadverted upon the statement by the Secretary of State for Scotland that the £93,000 by which the sickness benefit had gone up was due to some extent to mal-administration. I have every desire in the world to avoid that somewhat unpalatable conclusion, but I cannot entirely acquit the administration, particularly the medical administration of benefit, from having had a share in the very rapid rise in the curve of benefit which is seen in the months of the coal dispute. It was not and could not have beer due to a great increase in sickness. The great increase in sickness could not have been and was not purely a temporary thing of that nature. You would have found some reflection of that increase of sickness in some of the other sickness curves, but none of the other vital statistic curves have moved at all compabably. We do not find any corresponding peak in any of the curves except the benefit curve, and when you get a monetary curve moving like that, and all the vital curves remaining down, the conclusion is forced on one that this distortion is due to some other than a purely medical factor.
§ Major ELLIOT
There was an increase in sickness benefit, but whether there was a corresponding increase in sickness or not is a question which is engaging the attention, not only of the Board of Health but also of the Ministry of Health and of the British Medical Association and the insurance committees, all of which bodies are going into the matter very carefully at the present time. It would be premature to say 1493 more, but it is the case that there was a rise in the sickness benefit, but no corresponding rise took place in, for instance, any of the epidemic diseases.
§ Dr. SHIELS
Is it not likely that those suffering from insufficiency of food would be more subject to disease than others of the population?
§ The CHAIRMAN
I cannot follow this argument, but it seems to me that this is a matter of maternity and child welfare. Now we are getting on to epidemics affecting the population as a whole.
§ Major ELLIOT
I have not gone into details. This is not really maternity and child welfare benefit, because the increase under includes sickness benefit, and under sickness benefit there is an additional sum required of £93,000. That is expenditure by the approved societies and we are discussing this matter in connection with that.
§ Major ELLIOT
It is so, but it is expenditure by approved societies. It would not be possible, of course, for me to go into this matter at great length at this time, but hon. Members who raised it may be assured that we are inquiring into the matter of medical supervision, for a rise of this kind at frequent intervals would bankrupt the whole insurance scheme.
§ Dr. SHIELS
Is the implied suggestion Hut doctors have certified people as being ill when they are not?
§ Major ELLIOT
The hon. Member and myself are members of the medical profession, and therefore we can say things with regard to that profession which we should bitterly resent if mentioned by and all I will say is that the sickness benefit seems certainly above the sickness rates. We have examined this question, and this question is being examined now. The statutory conditions with regard to sickness were undoubtedly relaxed in the period of the stoppage. Whether that was right or wrong—and the conclusions one must draw from that are not to be examined just now—there is the reason of the big rise in the benefits under this scheme.
1494 The junior Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) raised some points with regard to the steel house scheme, and they were reiterated by the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs. The hon. Member for Dundee approved of £3 6s. 8d. per week as a wage paid by another firm building in Dundee. I have had the figures taken out, and I find that the average wages paid to all outdoor workers on the Weir scheme works out at £3 11s. per week, which is 4s. better than the wages held up for admiration by the junior Member for Dundee.
§ Major ELLIOT
I think that the number was 47 hours, but I am not going into that now. One wonders at the mentality of hon. Gentlemen who object to a good wage being paid because the day has been longer. I myself and every hon. Member in this House would rather work longer and take more money than work less and take more leisure.
§ Major ELLIOT
I was discussing the very germane point raised by the hon. Member for Dundee as to whether a wage-breaking policy was being conducted by His Majesty's Government, and I was pointing out that the average wage comes to no less than £3 11s. per week. I say that is a scheme worthy of the admiration and support of Members to whatever party they may belong.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the wage paid on a scheme in Shettleston is only obtainable by the men when they are working on Saturday afternoon, and that if it comes on wet they are sent home in the middle of the day and get no payment?
§ Major ELLIOT
I only mentioned the average wage. The worker on shell erection gets as much as £4 and on partitions over £7. If a man works on Saturday afternoon, producing a thing as badly needed as houses, and if he works overtime, which every trade regards as legitimate for housing, and if in addition he is also making a good wage, we should not begrudge his making a few shillings more a week.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
The hon. and gallant Gentleman knows that the experience is that he is working more than a normal week.
§ Major ELLIOT
If no one in this House worked more than a normal week, we should all get home at a more reasonable time.
§ Major ELLIOT
I will leave that matter for discussion between the hon. Member and his constituents. Hon. Members have complained in regard to the Rosyth housing scheme that an economy is not being shown and that additional money is required. Let me point out that it has always been stated that an additional burden would be thrown on public funds in relation to the Rosyth housing scheme because of the closing down of Rosyth dockyard. It was going to be made up by savings on other Votes, and so it has been and when the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean)—for Govan, a shipbuilding centre—complains bitterly that money is not being spent on keeping the dockyard open, I would like to point out to him that the money is being spent in Govan and elsewhere in the building of ships. A Member for a Clyde constituency should be the last to object to anyone shutting down a dockyard if it is going to give more money for building shins for the Navy.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
I am sorry to intervene, but I must defend my colleague. The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland knows perfectly well that he is misrepresenting the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean). He knows that Rosyth does not, generally speaking, compete with the Clyde, that on the Clyde we build ships, whereas Rosyth is simply a navel dockyard where they do repairs.
§ Major ELLIOT
I should be quite out of order in going into those arguments. What. I was doing in reply to complaints raised by hon. Members in all parts of the House that a saving on Rosyth was not being realised, was to point out that the Housing Vote is not the place to look for the materialisation of savings, that hon. Members should look in the Admiralty Vote. The point was also raised, whether all Scottish Members should protest when there was a question of 1496 shutting down Rosyth, and I said that it was very ill-advised for a Member for a shipbuilding constituency to raise that question. Still, I do not wish to be drawn into Debates on points which, however interesting to Scotsmen, are far from interesting to the rest of the House.
§ Major ELLIOT
Nobody could consider the hon. Member fog Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) representative of the rest of the House.
§ Major ELLIOT
I think this shows there is a danger of the Debate being drawn into fields far away from the Supplementary Estimates, and I hope, therefore, the Committee will be able to see their way to give us this Vote without much further discussion. Although there is an increase in expenditure, it is an increase on objects with which we are in agreement—an increase on the health services and an increase for the production of more houses for the people of Scotland, matters in regard to which we can sink our differences to some extent, as obviously we have been able to do in the course of this Debate.
§ Mr. STEWART
I think this discussion has disclosed that we Scotsmen can conduct a Debate in a way that is not usual when other people are in the House. We have debated matters in a friendly fashion, and I am sure people from another country who have been present will have recognised that we do not repeat ourselves very frequently, or ask the same question over and over again have some questions to ask which have not been put before. I am rather astonished at the statement made by the Under-Secretary of State with regard to the medical profession, and the implied aspersion that the people of our country have been taking advantage of doctors, sympathetic and otherwise, who did not do their duty. He said the matter was under consideration by various bodies—by themselves, by the medical profession, and by other interested parties—but before saying that he had left the impression on us on this side of the House, 1497 and I daresay on other hon. Members, that the doctors had connived in granting certificates which secured benefits to people who got those certificates—that they connived at a condition of affairs that was not creditable to those who sought the certificates or to the doctors who granted them. We should have been much better pleased if the Under-Secretary had left that statement unsaid until investigation had been made into the truth or otherwise of the allegation.
In regard to the question of steel houses, I have never during these Debates said a single word against steel houses. I saw the first house built by the firm who have been principally under discussion in all the Debates, and from what I saw of the house I was rather favourably impressed with it. Since then I have met those who are connected with the houses. I will give the name of the place, so that inquiries can be made. It is Robroyston, where steel houses were constructed for the accommodation of some of the estate workers. If I remember aright, they were not of the Weir type, but they were steel houses, and I am credibly informed that they showed many faults and that repairs were required. On one week-end when I was on a visit to that place men were working at repairs. In Glasgow, at all events, if not in other parts of the country, necessity has compelled people to occupy these houses, whereas if there had been a plenitude of other houses these would not have been occupied; but despite the fact that they are all occupied, and that if more are built those too will be occupied, the information I get is that they are not giving the satisfaction that Members of the Government claim they have given.
Since the shortage has taken place from year to year, alternative methods of housing have been considered, but there does not seem to have been much progress. During last year, we are told, between 12,000 and 13,000 houses were erected. This is nothing like approaching the requirements of Scotland, even allowing for 1,100 steel houses, for every year the housing conditions are getting worse. As a matter of fact, 20,000 houses are required annually, and in no year yet have we come anywhere near reaching that standard. There is not any part of Scotland where the housing problem is 1498 not growing gradually worse. The steel houses will not fill the bill, and you will have to try some other method of meeting our requirements. I have suggested from time to time methods by which we would be able to supply the required houses rapidly, but they have not been adopted.
The Secretary of State for Scotland has already dealt with the question of maternity benefit. Here I notice you are spending £48,000 extra, including additional expenditure for the provision of food and milk following the stoppage in the coal trade. I am sure there is not an hon. Member on this side or the other side of the House who will grudge the expenditure of £48,000 for milk and food for the children who come under the pro visions of the Act, but I would like to ask, was it spent upon an extra supply of milk and food, or was it due to increased prices? There is not the least doubt that there must have been a greater demand than ever, but I wish to know, was the demand for this extra money caused by the situation arising at the moment, or is it due to the increased prices charged to the Board of Health and the local health authorities? If we had been discussing the annual Estimates instead of Supplementary Estimates, I should have dealt much more fully with the question of maternity benefit and what might have been done, but I think we are entitled to some explanation, and I am sorry it has not been given in the interesting and general informative reply which the Under-Secretary has given.
With regard to the treatment of tuberculosis, here again we are told that the increase is mainly for the payment of grants and additional money due to the increased cost of fuel. I should like to know whether, because of the privation and distress, there has been an increased ease rate and a greater number receiving hospital and sanatorium treatment. If that is so, is this extra money mainly due to the price of coal? With the information before me I cannot see whether this increase is mainly due to the cost of coal or not. I may say that on this side of the Committee we are appreciative of every action taken in this direction in a time of abnormal distress caused by circumstances which we cannot discuss now, and we are all pleased that the Government have been able to do something to 1499 alleviate the ill-health arising from that experience. There is another matter arising out of the proposal made with regard to sickness. The Under-Secretary has spoken of the medical fraternity and the people who participated in that ill-
§ gotten money to which they had no right, and I am sorry to say that we intend to take a Division because of that statement.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 178; Noes, 78.1501
|Division No. 13.]||AYES.||[8.53 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Ramsden, E.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Albery, Irving James||Grotrian, H. Brent||Remer, J. R.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Rice, Sir Frederick|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Hawke, John Anthony||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)|
|Balniel, Lord||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Barrlay-Harvey, C. M.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Berry, Sir George||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Rye, F. G.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Walford)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Herbert, S.(York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Blundell, F. N.||Hills, Major John Walter||Savery, S. S.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D.(St. Marylebone)||Shaw, Lt.-Col A. D. McI.(Renfrew, W)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Brass, Captain W.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Sinclair, Col. T.(Queen's Univ., Belfast)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hurst, Gerald B.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hutchison, G. A. Clark (Midl'n & P'bl's)||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Jacob, A. E.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Clayton, G. C.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir G. K.||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Knox, Sir Alfred||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Cope, Major William||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Couper, J. B.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Lord, Sir Walter Greaves-||Tinne, J. A.|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Lucas-Tooth, sir Hugh Vere||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Waddington, R.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Macintyre, Ian||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Dixey, A. C.||McLean, Major A.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. H.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Wells, S. R.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Maitland Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Williams, Com. C (Devon, Torquay)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Ellis, R. G.||Merriman, F. B.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|England, Colonel A.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Fanshawe, Commander G. D.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Withers, John James|
|Fielden, E. B.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Murchison, Sir C. K.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Forestier, Walker, Sir L||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.).|
|Forrest, W.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Nuttall, Ellis||Wragg, Herbert|
|Fremantle, Lieut-Colonel Francis E.||Owen, Major G.||Young, Rt. Hon. Hilton (Norwich)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Penny, Frederick George|
|Gates, Percy||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Major Sir Harry Barnston and|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Radford, E. A.||Captain Margesson.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Raine, W.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Bromfield, William||Duncan, C.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Charleton, H. C.||Dunnico, H.|
|Barr, J||Clowes, S.||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.|
|Batey, Joseph||Dalton, Hugh||Gardner, J. P.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Gillett, George M.|
|Broad, F. A.||Day, Colonel Harry||Greenall, T.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Grundy, T. W.||March, S.||Sullivan, J.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Naylor, T. E.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Oliver, George Harold||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Hardie, George D.||Palin, John Henry||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)|
|Hayday, Arthur||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Hirst, G. H.||Potts, John S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Rose, Frank H.||Westwood, J.|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Kelly, W. T.||Scrymgeour, E.||Whiteley, W.|
|Kirkwood, D.||Scurr, John||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Lansbury, George||sexton, James||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Lawrence, Susan||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Wright, W.|
|Lawson, John James||Smillie, Robert||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Lindley, F. W.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherh'the)|
|Lowth, T.||Snell, Harry||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mackinder, W.||Stamford, T. W.||Mr. Hayes and Mr. Charles Edwards.|