HC Deb 05 July 1927 vol 208 cc1103-89

Sir Robert Sanders.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

On a point of Order. Is it intended to have a general discussion on the Amendment which is to be moved by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Wells (Sir R. Sanders)—in page 34, line 36, at the beginning to insert the words "On the first day of January, nineteen hundred and twenty-eight"?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Churchill)

On that point of Order. It would be more convenient to have a general discussion upon the next Amendment—in page 34, line 39, after the word "representing," to insert the words "twenty-five per cent. of "—which raises a much larger issue.


Does the right hon. Gentleman mean the next Amendment—in page 34, line 36, to leave out the words "in accordance with the directions of the Treasury"—or the Amendment standing in the name of the right hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham)—after the word "representing" to insert the words "twenty-five per cent of."


I mean the Amendment standing in the name of the right hon. Member for Central Edinburgh.


Any general discussion upon any Amendment can only be by the general consent of the Committee. I do not know whether it makes very much difference, but in some ways, perhaps, it is more convenient to take the general discussion on the first Amendment.


May I suggest that it would be better to take the general discussion on the first Amendment, because if it is spread over three Amendments there is bound to be a certain amount of repetition.


In my opinion, it would he better to take the general discussion upon the first Amendment. If you rule strictly upon the first Amendment, the discussion would be very restricted and limited, because it simply raises the question of the date when the raid on the Road Fund shall come into operation.


As you have said, Mr. Hope, it is only by the general consent of the Committee that we can take a general discussion on any of these Amendments. When a general discussion is raised on an Amendment which raises a very small point and there are other Amendments later which raise the whole question, what happens is that we have a long general discussion upon a purely formal Amendment, and afterwards we have a general discussion on each of the Amendments which raise the topic.


I am not sure that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is quite right there. I think there is a good deal to be said for the suggestion put forward that we could raise the whole issue upon the first Amendment, which, I understand, is to postpone the operation of the Clause.




That raises the whole issue, if you would permit us to range generally, I have an Amendment down—in page 34, line 39, after the word "representing," to insert the words "half of," but I should not think of repeating my observations. I am not sure whether it would be in order on the Amendment standing in the name of the right hon. Member for Central Edinburgh to do so; but assuming it to he in order, I should not think of repeating the same observations. I should crave leave to make my statement in opposition to the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the general Debate which would be raised on the first Amendment. Otherwise, we shall have a very truncated and mutilated discussion. We are bound, more or less, to discuss the merits upon the proposal of the right hon. Member for Wells; but if we were strictly limited to the point raised in that Amendment, it would be a very unsatisfactory Debate. I should have thought that to have a general Debate on the first Amendment, would have the effect of limiting the Debate afterwards.


I entirely agree with what my right hon. Friend has just said, that it is for the advantage of the Committee to use some particular Amendment to deal with the real issue, but I am bound to examine the proposals because they can only be examined by general agreement from the point of view of ensuring that when there has been a thorough and prolonged discussion perfectly free and unlimited on some particular point, it is the general understanding that the other Amendments shall be dismissed as speedily as possible, having regard to any special point which they may raise.


If I am asked to rule on the point of Order, I should say that we cannot, unless everybody agrees, have a general discussion upon any of the Amendments, and, in that case, it would have to take place on the question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." If it would meet the wishes of everyone" we might have a general discussion, say, on the first Amendment, and then, when we come to the Amendment standing in the name of the right hon. Member for Central Edinburgh, we might have a Division, if so desired.


That would be quite agreeable to the Government.


I beg to move, in page 34, line 36, at the beginning, to insert the words, On the first day of January, nineteen hundred and twenty-eight. On behalf of those hon. and right hon. Members who intend to move Amendments on this Clause and who attach great importance to the question, I may sax that we thank the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Commander Eyres Monsell) for not taking the discussion on the Road Fund in the small hours of this morning, and putting it off until this afternoon. On that, I shall have the agreement of all parties. The object of my Amendment is to postpone the evil day. My Amendment has this advantage over the Amendment standing in the name of the right hon. Member for Central Edinburgh and the Amendment standing in the name of the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), both of which have been quoted,, that in my Amendment the Chancellor of the Exchequer would eventually get the whole of the money, while under those two Amendments he would not.

I have no doubt that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will tell us that he is compelled by financial necessity to adopt the course of taking this money from the Road Fund, and that if hp did not adopt that course, he would have to put a charge of something like fourpence on the Income Tax, which would be very painful to him. I am quite sure, as far as that goes, that we are all of one mind in our desire to spare the Chancellor of the Exchequer that painful duty. I think all parties in the Committee, certainly the party to which I belong, look with great suspicion upon these raids on the Road Fund. It is very likely the Chancellor of the Exchequer will explain to us that this is not really taking the money out of the Road Fund, that it is really a book-keeping transaction by which he will finance their expenditure during each current year. We all admire the ingenuity of mind and the dexterity in debate of which the Chancellor of the Exchequer so often gives us proof, but it is very difficult for a bucolic Member addressing a bucolic audience to make them understand that it is possible to take £12,000,000 out of a certain fund and leave it no worse off after the process than it was before. That is the difficulty we have to meet in our constituencies. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is a county Member, and if he has not yet realised how strong is the feeling in the counties on this subject I shall be much surprised if his constituency does not make him feel it before very long.

The fact is that these road expenses are rising steadily. Whatever class of road you take the expenses are going up; and you cannot prevent it. I have been a member of the road committee of my own county council for a great many years past, and I am as much in favour of economy both in local and national administration as anybody. But when you have these questions to deal with locally and have to go into the case of each particular road, it is very soon borne in upon you that it is bad economy to let any road go to rack and ruin, and beyond that, I think local authorities owe a debt to those who use their roads to see that those roads are as safe for traffic as is reasonably possible. Our county roads are in some way the most dangerous roads in the world, as they are almost invariably roads between hedges, and we constantly have, for the safety of the public, and to avoid the accidents which may occur and which have actually occurred, to make improvements in order to add to the safety of these roads. All this costs money. Hon. Members from every part of the country can get figures. I have asked for the figures from my own county, which I think is one of the most economical areas in England. I find, if you take the main or county roads, that the rate has gone up from 13d. in 1914 to 2s. in 1927. I have taken two district councils in my own neighbourhood. In Shepton Mallet the rate was 1s. 5d. in 1914, and 4s. 5d. in 1927; in Wincanton it was 1s. 3d. in 1914, and 2s. 9d. in 1927. That is, after making allowances for the grants which have been received from the Road Fund. It shows that the increase in the total charge in the case of one district is from 2s. 6d. to 6s. 5d. and from 2s. 4d. to 4s. 9d. in the other.

That is a very big increase, and I fancy that it is quite possible for some parts of the country to show more extreme cases, but I just put these forward as typical instances, and I think they make the case quite strong enough. It is to be remembered that the payment of rates is not quite like the payment of Income Tax. You only pay Income Tax on the income you receive. If you have no income, you pay no Income Tax. But you may be losing money, yet you still have to pay your rates just the same, and the fact that you are losing money does not prevent the rates from going up. That is the grievance, and it is a grievance which is accentuated by the fact that this increased expenditure is not caused by our own local traffic. It is bad enough to have to pay for expenses for which you yourselves are responsible, but it is much worse when you have to pay for expenditure and damage over which you have no control, and for which you yourself and the county generally are not responsible. Take my own district. In my own county we have the heavy traffic going through in char-a-bancs from Bristol to Bournemouth. They are no good whatever to us in the county. They do not even stop at the public houses, and even if they did, owing to the recent wisdom of Parliament, they probably would not be able to get any refreshment at the time at which they would stop. That is the grievance which is felt, that we are spending money on damage that is caused by other people, and generally every district considers that the other people who are causing the damage are much richer and much better able to pay the bill than the district itself.

Our duty as representatives of these districts is to do what we can to get some remedy for this trouble. I do not want to ask for anything unreasonable. It is not our suggestion that what is really capital money should be taken and applied to purposes of income, nor do we ask that money should be given out of the general taxation to supply local needs of this sort. What we do ask is that the actual resources of the Road Fund should be used to the utmost extent to remedy the grievances which we are now putting forward. We were all very glad to read the announcement made in Cornwall the other day by the Prime Minister. I understand, perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer will correct me if I am wrong, that announcement to mean that there is to be an increase of the grants upon what are known as second-class roads, and that on these alone it is to be 25 per cent. to 33⅓ per cent. For that, we say. "Thank you." Some of those who are interested in the agricultural industry would possibly find that their efforts were more appreciated if, when they got something they asked for, they did say, ''Thank you." I tell the Chancellor of the Exchequer quite freely that we are very grateful for the announcement made through the Prime Minister—


By the Prime Minister.


The announcement made by the Prime Minister the other day. [HON. MEMBERS "You have not got it yet!"] We have not got it yet, but we are asking the Chancellor of the Exchequer to re-affirm that announcement, as Minister of the Department responsible. I conclude he is going to do so, and I hope I am not premature in thanking him for it. We do not want to thank him only for past favours. We want to say something about the expectation of favours to come. We first ask him that this year it should apply not only to the Class 2 roads, but also to the district council grant-receiving roads. We reckon that would come to about £400,000. The amount given for that purpose last year was £1,300,000, and one-third of that sum would be about £400,000. That is the first thing for which we ask, but I have also been asked to bring to the Chancellor's notice the case of the urban district councils in rural areas. I had a letter the other day from the chairman of the county works committee in my own county, in which he said: I sent you some time ago copy of a statement I made regarding the position of urban districts that are rural in character. Having enumerated some of them, he proceeds: All have very long mileages of unclassified roads. They receive no assistance from the special grant made for the relief of unclassified roads in rural districts. I have been to see the Ministry of Transport two or three times, but the present rule is that no grant can be made when the population exceeds one per acre, and that works out very unfairly in districts where you have a very long mileage of roads compared with the population, and where a penny rate only provides £60, £70, or £80. In the districts referred to, the main body of the population is situated in the actual town itself. As you know, in Shepton Mallet the majority of the population live within a radius of a mile and all the rest of the district is rural, with long lengths of road. That applies in other cases as well. That position is being brought before a good many of us and it is one with which we ask the Chancellor to deal when he gets an opportunity. That is all we ask as regards this year's programme, but I hope the Chancellor will make some announcement as to the future. There is an Amendment on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for Keighley (Mr. Lees-Smith)—in page 34, line 42, at the end, to insert the words such allowances or deductions being first made as when added to the revenues of the said fund for the year ending the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and twenty-eight, will enable provision to be made in respect of that year for—

  1. (a) the payment of grants on the following basis, that is to say, sums equal to seventy-five per centum of the cost of maintenance and works in respect of first-class roads, fifty per centum of such cost in the case of second-class roads, and twenty-five per centum of such cost in the case of such unclassified roads as are eligible for grants; and.
  2. (b) all other grants and payments ordinarily paid or made out of the said fund or falling to be paid or made in the course of that year out of the said fund pursuant to any engagement entered into by the Minister of Transport before the commencement of this Act."
I understand that Amendment is not in order, but the first part of it—paragraph (a)—represents very much what we ask for in future years, except that there should be an alteration—33⅓, per cent. Instead of 25 per cent. with regard to rural district roads. With the fund increasing as it is doing, I believe these alterations may be made in the near future. I think it has been already pressed upon the Chancellor, but perhaps I might again suggest it to him, that we think the time for big new construction has ceased. The Chancellor has said on more than one occasion that we have the best roads in Europe. I believe that to be true, and it seems to me that in the future what we want to do is not to go in for luxuries but for necessaries. We believe if there were no more luxury roads and no more raids upon the Road Fund, the reforms which we advocate might be brought about in a very short time. In regard to what we ask for this year, if the Chancellor has not actually the money in the Road Fund at the present time, I ask him to make us this promise—that if, when he comes to make up his accounts, he finds he has a balance on the right side, he will give us the benefit of it. It is not a very big sum for which we ask. It only comes to £400,000 and it would make an enormous difference if it were added to the concession promised by the Prime Minister. I hope the Chancellor would tell us now that, if he has the money in hand, he will give it to us for that purpose. I believe when he works out the accounts of the Road Fund towards the end of the year, he will probably find that the receipts are bigger than he expects. It is also probable that he will find that some of the expenditure which has been budgeted for will not actually take place. For instance, I have here an answer given by the Minister of Transport to my hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester (Sir T. Davies) on 22nd June which gives a very fair budget of the Road Fund in the coming year. In that answer I find the following item: D.—Works (including Thames Bridges) recommended by the Royal Commission on London Cross-river Traffic, £1,000,000."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd June, 1927; cols. 1867–1868, Vol. 207.] Does the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Minister of Transport believe that that £1,000,000 is likely to come in the course of payment in the present year? If not, there is a fund at his disposal out of which the right hon. Gentleman might do something to help us. I have tried to put before him what we are asking. I will not use any hard word about it but if he is asking us to condone, what I will merely call a gigantic acquisition of other people's property, we should be given a sop for the present, and some assurance for the future.

4.0 p.m.


I do not think the Chancellor of the Exchequer need worry very much about the Opposition behind him. It is quite clear that although he has been taking away from the Road Fund a sum of money which had been allocated definitely by Statutory declarations and by solemn promises in this House, to the extent of £26,000,000 in the course of two years, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells (Sir R. Sanders) and his Friends are very grateful for the very smallest sixpence that the Chancellor will give them in order to buy off his "acquisition." The proposal which the Chancellor has put forward is I think one of the most anti-social and anti-economic proposals submitted to the House of Commons for some time. What is this Road Fund The Road Fund was set up, deliberately, by the House of Commons—and I do not think it was even a controversial matter at the time—for the purpose of dealing with an absolutely new problem which was confronting the country. That was the problem of the new traffic which suddenly burst upon civilisation not merely in this country but in every other country in the world—the new method of propulsion. The roads came to their own again, after having been neglected for a great many years, and became an essential method of communication between man and man and town and town, and in the carriage of goods between one place and another. It was a proposal that was put forward in connection with a very controversial Finance Bill, but, in spite of that, my recollection is that it was unanimously accepted by every party in the House. Taxation was imposed upon one special set of taxpayers, who contributed, in addition to the other taxes, a special tax, with the assurance that the money would be utilised for the purpose of improving the roads which they used. Since then, there has been an enormous growth in that particular traffic, which shows that we foresaw what was happening, and that we were dealing, in anticipation, with a real social need.

I will give one or two figures, because it is only by means of figures that you can illustrate the proposition which I am putting forward and realise the magnitude of the mischief which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is perpetrating. In 1909 there were 8,000 commercial vehicles on the road. In 1926, there were 355,000. That is a gigantic figure in the whole business of the, country. Between Gloucester and Bristol, in June, 1913, 1,891 tons per week were carried along the road. In August, 1926, there were 28,267 tons per week conveyed along the same road. I could give a great many other instances. In the present year we have licensed motors, of one kind or another, for one in every 26 of the population. In the United States of America there is one in six. I do not know if we shall over reach that state of affluence, or perfection, or congestion in transit, but it is perfectly clear that we have attained nothing like what is possible in this country. You are doubling, as Lord Montagu said in a statement the other day—and I think it is quite in accordance with the figure—in about four or five rears the number of motors on the road. There is more in it than that. You are not merely doubling the number of motors. You are trebling or quadrupling the weight carried on the roads, which means wearing them very badly.

I watch every week very closely the figures of railway traffic in this country. I think they are most significant as indicating what is going on in the business, trade and industry of this country. Compare year by year the quantity of goods carried. I am very glad to see that there is an improvement even in comparison with 1925. That is very gratifying, and it has gone on for years. But if you take the number of passengers, it is going down steadily year by year. That is very largely due to the fact that you have a complete change in the methods of transport. I know that railway companies say, "it is very unfair that we should pay rates, and that those rates should contribute to the maintenance of roads for the purpose of giving facilities to our rivals." That would be so if the Chancellor and his predecessors had not very fairly imposed very heavy taxation upon commercial and private vehicles. In 1921, the commercial vehicles of this country contributed £4,000,000 a year in taxation; in 1926, they contributed £7,600,000. They are going up at the rate of about £500,000 to £800,000 a year. So that they are also contributing towards the maintenance of the roads. The same thing applies to private motor cars.

Here you have an absolutely new problem with which to deal. The right hon. Gentleman has dealt with one branch of it, and although I have complete sympathy with what he says, it is only a very small portion of the problem. I will not say it is not a very important one, because it is very important, but it is only part of the whole problem. I quite agree with him that you have, first of all, to deal with the grievance of the ratepayer, and it is a very serious one. I am in entire agreement with him when he says that there is this difference between a payer of Income Tax and a payer of rates. The ratepayer has to pay whether he is making a profit or not. The Income Tax payer only pays upon his profit. That is a very serious thing, especially in some parts of the country, and that is why rates are really inflicting a more serious damage upon the industries of the country than taxation, although taxation is higher. There are a great many industries in the North of England where the rates make the difference not merely between making a profit and a deficiency, but of being able to carry on at all. There are places where rates are so high that they cannot carry on, and if anyone will watch what is going on at the present moment, the movement of industries from the North to the South, he will discover that one of the reasons—there are other reasons, undoubtedly—is that they are moving from places where rates are almost prohibitive, having reached 15s., 20s. and even 27s. in the £ to areas where the rates are very much lower. It shows that the rates, for the first time, have become almost a determining factor in the industry of the country.

When you come to the agricultural industry, which, at the present moment, is in a state bordering on insolvency, it is a very serious matter, I agree, and their special grievance is that the money goes towards maintaining roads they do not use, that they are almost compelled to spend money upon the main roads which pass through their particular areas. The result is that they are neglecting the roads which they use themselves for the benefit of roads which are really maintained for traffic which makes not the slightest contribution to the general wealth of the little community in which they live. There is no doubt that the old rural roads are very much neglected, because the community cannot bear the expense of even the moderate repairs they used to effect in the old days of the 2s. 6d. rate or less. Therefore, there is a very serious grievance for the ratepayer there, the grievance, first of all, that he is maintaining roads which he very rarely uses, and has to neglect the roads which he has to use for his own business.

There is more than that. There is the question of the development of the road system to meet a new demand. The right hon. Gentleman who moved this Amendment, quoting the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said that you have the best roads in the whole world, which is a suggestion that you are really spending too much on roads. I remember presiding over an international conference on roads held here at which there were representatives from every country in Europe, and I was very delighted to find that, whereas France at one time was regarded as the first in the world for its national roads, we had now taken her place. There is no doubt at all that we have now the best roads in the world, apart from the fact that they twist and twine around, which is a very good thing, because the traffic, instead of rattling along at 50 or 60 miles an hour, is occasionally forced to slow down. At any rate, the roads are better, but that does not meet the problem at all. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is very busy with his Super-tax payers and other questions, and, therefore, probably has not time to master the intricacies of this problem. But consider what the county councils think. The county councils in the main are composed of the right hon. Gentleman's present supporters, so that he may depend upon it they are not approaching this question from the point of view of persons who are anxious to do damage to the Government, or to take political advantage of any mistake they make. They are very alarmed about this, and they say, even about the main roads, which are the best in the world, that, approximately, 38 per cent. of these main roads require reconstruction in order to fit them for motor traffic. Of those, 25 per cent. require widening and diverting at a very great cost.

Another thing they point out is that there are a great many bridges upon the main roads of this country which are utterly unsuited for motor traffic. Somebody the other day was rejoicing in that fact, because he had a house in the country not very far from a town, and the crowds could not get anywhere near him, because a bridge three or four miles away was so bad that no charabanc could use it, and he was saved by the Chancellor of the Exchequer from the intrusions of "the madding crowd." And there are a great many districts in the country where the great motor lorries, which have been increasingly used to the advantage of the community, cannot use the bridges. I received a letter from a great engineering firm in Manchester. They wanted to send a boiler, or something of that sort, to a colliery district in North Wales. They discovered that even on a main road a bridge was not strong enough to enable a motor lorry to cross. According to the County Councils' Association, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of bridges of that kind here and there across the country.

These things must be put right in order to make the main roads fit for motor traffic. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has simply in his mind the ordinary motorist. Of course, the ordinary motorist can cross any of these bridges, but, when you come to the business community who have to send goods across country, you will find that the traffic is blocked at the present moment because of the deficiency of the road system Everyone knows perfectly well that there are great advantages in the new development. They were pointed out very well, I think, by the County Councils' Association. The advantages of the transport system of motor traffic are that you save, for instance, the double handling which is involved when you have to send anything by rail. First of all, the goods must be put on a truck, and then on a motor lorry, but in the system of motor traffic we have to-day you save that and also a great amount of time, so that in transit, and generally, there is a great saving to the community. The Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to think this very amusing, but I can tell him it is a matter concerning the business community—not merely the farmers who are alarmed, but the business community—and if he goes through the towns of this country he will see the enormous burden that is placed on the business community. The London County Council stated that it was equivalent to a loss of £200,000 a day, this block in the traffic. That in a year of 300 days would be a loss of £6,000,000 to the community. It more than doubles the burden of the rates.

It is really a very serious matter for the business community. I agree that, if you are looking at the roads of this country from the point of view merely of the pleasures of the motorist, they are the best in the whole world, but you have to consider men who are earning their living on farms or by industry to which these roads are essential for communication between one place and another for the purposes of their business. Take Germany, which is a very much poorer country than ours. In spite of that, they are, in Germany, constructing about 9,000 miles of important roads, because they find it essential for the conduct of their business. In New York, they have just completed a system for traffic which has cost them £132,000,000. I do not know whether there, is greater congestion in New York than in London, but they are spending that amount of money on improving transport communication, so that they may the better be able to conduct their business. The conditions are very bad in all our great cities. You are spending a considerable amount on classified roads, but you are only spending a mere pittance on the unclassified roads. If you spend this £500,000, it is a quite inadequate sum for equipping those roads for the new traffic.

When you come to the development which is necessary throughout the whole country in order to improve the condition of the new traffic, it is something which is a pittance, and yet here is a sum of money raised specifically for that purpose, and raised for that purpose with the consent of the taxpayer. I am not going to lay down the proposition that we can only tax a person with his consent, but when you impose a tax and say to the taxpayer, "You are paying your Super-tax and Income Tax, and they are very high, but we are going to ask you to make a greater contribution for the upkeep of roads in the country and it is for a specific purpose," motorists say, "Very well, we accept that tax for that purpose." That is the consideration which ought to weigh with the Government. The Chancellor has given a very plausible answer in the House. He says, "I am short of a very considerable sum of money," and I think he is entitled to say, "How do you propose to meet that?" Well, I say quite frankly that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer has to choose between the Sinking Fund of £60,000,000 and depriving and restricting the essential development of the resources of the country, I would not hesitate for one moment. I might give him the answer that he could economise here and economise there, but I would have no hesitation in saying that the best Sinking Fund in this respect for the country would be the development that would remove the burden on industry which had been created by this new traffic and for dealing with which this Fund was set up.

Take agriculture. What is one of the greatest difficulties of agriculture? It is the enormous gap there is between the price which the farmer gets for his goods and what somebody else gets when they are sold in the market. When you can bridge that gap£you cannot do it completely—but if you could narrow it, it would make an enormous difference to the position of those producing the food of this country. This is a question of marketing, and marketing is largely a question of transport. Therefore, when you come to the question of transport, it seems to me that for the development of the roads of this country it is not sufficient to say that we have the best roads in the world from the point of view of the pleasure of the motorist. But for the farmer in trying to get his goods from his farm to the market there is nothing like concerted action to facilitate his doing so. It is, therefore, essential from the point of view of the farmer, not that you should give half a million to reduce his rate, because I do not think it will reduce his rate, because it will be lost in the increased burden east on the rate; it is a question of using the money for the purposes of enabling him to get his stuff to the market more cheaply, more effectively without the intervention of the middleman. Of course, the retailer must get his profit, but there is a good deal between the farmer and the retailer, and I say that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken the wrong road, if I may use the phrase in this discussion. [An HON. MEMBER: "The wrong turning!"] He has taken the wrong turning, and he is doing something which inflicts real damage on the business community, real damage upon the farming community, and he has arrested the development of road transport at a stage where we were starting to be in front.

He has thrown us back, and he stopped it just at the point when we were beginning to develop into something that would help the business community. Just at that stage he is taking away in the course of two years, £26,000,000 from the Road Fund. The hon. Member for Thirsk (Sir E. Turton) made a statement in the House to the effect—I have not his exact words before me—but I think he said that so far from there being a surplus in the Road Fund, there was a deficit at the present moment in the sum available. So that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has taken this £12,000,000 not out of a surplus, but out of a deficit. He ought to allow this money to accumulate, and so encourage the Transport Ministry to carry on this necessary development. The Minister of Transport, I must say, has been very easily discouraged. These new developments have been demanded by the community in this country, and yet they are slowed down and they are stopped, and the county councils and others who know how essential it is that these developments should go on, are protesting against this money being taken out of the Road Fund. Therefore, I hope the House of Commons will protest emphatically against taking this money away.


The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) has in a former speech of his described the Chancellor of the Exchequer as the best tax collector since Robin Hood. I think that description may be somewhat acrid, but I suggest that perhaps the Chancellor of the Exchequer will go down to history as the "Gentleman of the Road Fund." The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs criticised the Chancellor for taking money from the Road Fund. I do not agree with him on this particular point, and I am going, if I may, to come to the assistance of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to his great surprise I am sure. I do not think the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs in his speech really hit the point which has prompted the Chancellor to take this money, which is the exceptional condition of the country this year. There is a Spanish proverb which runs, "When it rains we all get wet," and I think that is a very appropriate saying on this particular point. There is really no reason why you should spend the money of the Road Fund entirely on roads when every industry in the country is in a bad condition, and after the disasters of last year I think we should put the whole programme with regard to the roads back for a little bit until the roads should be apportioned to their proper sphere in the life of the country.

I want to make this suggestion to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I am sure he appreciates what tremendous importance rests upon the system of taxing motor vehicles, because the motor industry which we have in this country—the light car industry—was developed owing to a very curious system of taxation and it was because of that system that we have to-day such a large industry and that we are to-day such a big exporter of light cars. Consequently, the arrangement of the taxation on motor cars is of very great importance to the industry of this country, and I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give this suggestion very serious consideration. It is that motors should be taxed in two ways. First of all, we must start with a fund to which every motorist contributes in proportion to the damage he does to the roads, and that fund once collected should be inviolable from the point of view of succeeding Chancellors. Over and above that they should pay a luxury tax, and a tax on motors, which are a luxury, is quite legitimate as a source of revenue to the Imperial Exchequer. But behind this there has always been the other system by which the taxation should be paid into a continuous Road Fund. In that way I feel certain that we could get a continuity of policy with regard to road construction which we very sadly want, uninterrupted by Chancellors looking from one year to the other with greedy eyes on the Road Fund. Therefore, my suggestion comes to this, to have two taxes, one purely for the roads on the basis of the damage done, and another on a luxury basis which will come to the Chancellor direct, and if that system be adopted, I think a lot of the trouble we have every year with regard to the roads will be got over.


Some of us are rather tired of discussing what form of taxation is best adopted in the interests of the community, but this Road Fund was originally established For the purpose of enabling Great Britain to become once again what it used to be, the most important industrial country in Europe. Some of us regret that more has not been said with regard to the claims of London in this respect. It does not seem to be a very important question, because, after all, London seems only to be a village. Most of its members are dumb. We are not discussing, as far as I am personally concerned, the construction of an arterial road that takes you to "Southend-on-the-Mud" for a week, nor of a road that leads you to some part of the North of England. What I am talking about is the road that leads to the Empire, namely, the road to the London Docks. The party opposite are great champions of the Empire, and they are always waving the Union Jack, hut we have in London to-day docks that are being made equal to any docks in the world, and nothing has been done to construct a road to those docks. In the last 14 years over £20,000,000 has been spent to make the docks of London equal to any other clocks in the world. That work has been accomplished under the auspices of the Port of London Authority. During the whole of that period the roads to the docks have remained practically in a most chaotic condition. We have swing bridges and level crossings all over the place, and however much we may improve the docks themselves, we are still in a state of congestion in getting to and from them. The docks lead to the outgates of Empire. I suggest that all the promises that have been made to provide suitable roads to the docks have been broken.

We have been told just now that there was really no surplus at all in the Road Fund, but a deficit. We are living upon our losses, as all great capitalists do. But we want to know what has become of our share of the Road Fund. It must be considered that the large towns are paying a great share of this tax while the rural areas pay a comparatively small proportion. I am not blaming them, because a poor man cannot pay as much as a rich man, although the rich men, judging by yesterday's discussion, try to pay as little as possible. We in West Ham are paying comparatively more than our fair share in this particular case, and what do we get? Simply deferred promises and unredeemed pledges. The gentleman from the Prudential always tells us to wait until we are dead, and then we shall get what we expected. We have a grievance in this case. If you are going to tax a commodity, the people who make that commodity are consulted. Now the tax on roads was originally intended for certain purposes. I do not want to call the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer any fancy name, because sufficient names have been applied to him. We know how honest he is when he is asleep. We cannot trust him when he is awake. We are not blaming him, because we know it is not himself who is to blame, but that it is a case of "His master's voice." You can call out my father, sister or brother, But, for God's sake, don't touch me! That was the song we used to sing during the War, but it has also, I think, become the slogan in peace time, when anybody wants relief from taxation towards the national expenditure in a great time of expenditure. My hon. Friend opposite talked about the great difficulties of the nation. He did not mention the General Strike. That might have been an oversight. I expected this to be trotted out once again, because no matter what Minister or Tory Member of Parliament Ends himself in difficulties, he trots out the General Strike. The General Strike has nothing to do with the Road Fund.


The hon. Gentleman said he was surprised that the General Strike has not been mentioned. He himself mentions it for the first time, but he states quite rightly that it has nothing to do with the Road Fund.


I am sorry, Sir, but I congratulate the hon. Member on not dragging in the General Strike by the nape of the neck. My own experience in my own district is that we shall have to have practically a revolution in our road transport system if we are to have effective communication with the London docks, and yet what do we find? At a time when our statesmen ought to show real statesmanship, they are looking round to see where they can pinch a sixpence. It reminds me of the man who looked for a three penny bit and found sixpence, and thought he had a great deal of money. It is all very well to talk of economy, but we do not want economy at the expense of the productive and commercial side of our life. Our country was the pioneer in road transport, and now we are dropping behind in the development of transport. We had a fund established for the purpose of developing our road transport, but instead of using our imagination and statesmanship to make this country the greatest country in the world, which it could be now in the matter of motor transport with its enormous possibilities and its great wealth, what are we doing? Instead of tackling these financial problems from the point of view of statemanship and imagination, we are talking like village shopkeepers. I represent a constituency which is hard hit by the delays of the Government. We were promised a new road to the docks which have been carried out. Schemes have been adopted, but so far the goods are not delivered. We cannot get the necessary improvement in West Ham and the surrounding districts because it is too poor to undertake any considerable capital expenditure. We have got a lot of sympathy from the Ministry of Transport, but sympathy does not butter any parsnips.

The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Colonel Ashley)

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member, but he is not doing justice to the Ministry of Transport. The scheme of the Victoria Dock Road is actively in hand and negotiations are proceeding.


I am not finding fault with the Minister of Transport or his Department. Since he has been in charge of it, he has always been kind and courteous to us. We know the schemes are there, and it is all very well to say that everything is lovely in the garden, but the money is not forthcoming

Colonel ASHLEY

The contribution of the Government is available.


That is right, and an extra contribution must be made by the local authorities surrounding, one of which has been scarified in the Press for giving relief to the poor of the neighbourhood. All these places are poverty-stricken areas owing to circumstances ever which they no control.


I must direct the hon. Member's attention to the statement already made by the Minister of Transport that the money available from the Government for the purposes to which he is referring would still be available whether the money is from the Road Fund or not.


I accept the Minister's explanation, and I thank him for it, but we have had so many statements made as to what will happen in the future. When will the scheme be started? An Act of Parliament will be required and a Bill will have to be passed through the House before we can have it.


We cannot discuss this on a general Amendment.


That is a local matter.


It is not a local matter. It is a matter of great national importance and of great Imperial importance.


It is a question of a special grant. This is a general, national discussion, and the hon. Member introduces a special matter.


I thank you very much, Mr. Hope. I have said what I want to say in that connection, and I am very pleased to have the Minister's intimation of their intention. I would say to you, Sir, that this is not a national or local question; it is an international one. It affects every part of the British Empire and all the countries with which we trade. Members who every year receive invitations from the Port of London Authority to visit the docks of London from Tilbury up to London Bridge know as well as I do that it is not a matter affecting merely East or West Ham, Poplar, Greenwich or Woolwich, but that it affects our whole Imperial trade and the countries with which we trade. I am not talking about an arterial road, I am speaking about an Imperial road, a road in which Cæsar would have gloried if he had had the honour of building it.


If the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) had been here, I have no doubt he would have talked of Northumbria and of the road which is likely to be made to Hull.


I thank you for the correction, Sir. After all, Northumbria and all those other small kingdoms counted for nothing compared with this. Therefore, I am appealing to the imperial minds of the Feat statesmen opposite to help us to realise an imperial idea—a road to the Empire, down through West Ham, Poplar and all the other places.


After the exceedingly interesting interlude to which the Committee has just listened, I think we can go back to the Amendment. My right hon. Friend the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) who spoke a short time ago from the bench in front of me and who has just left the House, made an interesting suggestion in regard to a twofold method of taxation, but he confused one very important idea in regard to the question of the kind of roads he had in his mind. This was a matter which the hon. Memmer for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) put in the forefront of his speech, namely, the great development of new arterial roads. It is perfectly true that at present we have to call a halt in that form of construction, because we must cut our coat according to our cloth. We are all agreed that that is the policy of the Government at the present moment, not to enter on any new commitments on that scale. An important and outstanding feature, however, still remains in regard to the maintenance of the roads at present in use, particularly second-class and unclassified roads in the rural areas. I do not wish to repeat arguments which have been brought forward on so many different occasions. We shall shortly, in this country, have to face the very big question of the full relationship of local and central taxation.

If there be one thing which has developed more rapidly than any other and which will have to be dealt with by the nation as a whole it is the question of road transportation. That is becoming not a local but a national question. We are not engaged, as the hon. Member for Silvertown said, in bringing back our roads to what they once were, but in developing them into something which they never have been. That means losing entirely the local aspect. Every road in the country that can take a motor car upon it becomes a national road, because the moment you begin to improve it, you attract a form of traffic, in ever-growing quantities, which does an ever-increasing amount of damage. The right hon. Gentleman who opened the Debate, put that point very ably before the Chancellor of the Exchequer. We on this side of the Committee have a very special right to plead with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on this particular matter.

One fact, admitted by everyone, is the very critical condition in which the agricultural industry finds itself to-day. It is on those engaged in that industry that the greatest burden falls in the maintenance of the second-class and unclassified roads in our large and slenderly populated country districts. Therefore, I wish to add my voice to those of other Members this afternoon in regard to the question of giving us a little more generous treatment in this matter. It is not solely on the actual merits of how the Road Fund should be handled—I do not wish to enter into that question to-day—but from the point of view of the very genuine right which the interests which we represent have to this further consideration. If from a political point of view—and, after all, we are engaged here in political activities—we cannot assist the agricultural industry along the lines on which so many of us are looking for assistance to-day, we ought to think twice before closing up those channels along which we can legitimately assist them in bearing the very heavy burdens which fall on them at present. Perhaps the greatest of all those burdens is that of the roads, and that is particularly the case in areas which are less able to carry the heaviest burdens, but where such a burden has to be borne. I do not wish to weary the Committee with repetition, but I would, with all the energy of which I am capable, urge on the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Transport that, even at this late hour, they should see whether they cannot go this very small way, so far as the number of thousands of pounds is concerned, in giving additional assistance to an industry that deserves it.


I want to speak in support of the Amendment, and to put forward a view which has not been enlarged on very much, either in the House or in the Committee. It may be right, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer protests, that some of the great arterial roads of the country have had some attention, too largely, I am afraid, for pleasure rather than for general utility. I wish to point out to the Government the position of some of the lesser main roads, on which I think this Fund could very usefully be spent, not only in improving the position of the roads and in facilitating rural traffic and even through traffic, but in adding to the extent of the surface of the land cultivable in this country. This fund, as has been said so frequently, both last year and during this discussion, was contributed for a certain purpose. Agreed that very large sums had been used for the purpose for which the fund was contributed; but to take away funds specially contributed, in order to ease taxation in another direction, when anything of a utilitarian nature might be done with the roads of the country, is bad finance and unwise national policy so far as feeding the small towns and rural areas is concerned.

I should like to draw the attention of the Minister of Transport to the meandering of many of our second-class, unclassified roads, roads which were built in the days when the builders were all drawn from agriculture. Those roads went about the country in such a way that they took up more space than the actual road bed necessitated, and rural vehicles or through traffic occupied a great deal more time in getting from point to point than should be necessary in an age when time is said to be money and, possibly, when time is more valuable than it ever has been before in our history. Again, there is the danger involved in the faster traffic, which now passes along these smaller roads, which wind and twist and take up space, with their dangerous corners, and which are quite unsuitable for the traffic of to-day. Funds, contributed for the purposes of improving roads, not only arterial roads, have been taken to facilitate, I am afraid, the escape from taxation of some other moneys which should have contributed to the national Exchequer. I can visualise a time when some authority in the country will see the necessity for straightening out and classifying some of those other roads, apart from the main roads. They will straighten them out and make it possible to see further along them and, while they improve the roadways, they will also assist other industries, because there are many places where a low bridge or a light steel girder taken over a small gulley or a little hole in some pasture land or cultivated area would make a road which would take as much traffic as would for many years come along the other road. That would clear the old road, facilitate fast traffic, and cut off corners and generally link up the roads. Such work would give facilities for similar traffic in the rural areas round the towns, such as are only dreamed of by the people now using those roads. This reflects on many municipal bodies, which have to find the cash for road improvements round their towns, that these many millions of pounds contributed for a specific purpose have been raided by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ease other contributions to the national funds. Having suggested these one or two things with regard to straightening the roads, making them more safe and bringing the land they now cover into more use, so far as the country roads are concerned, I support the Amendment.

5.0 p.m.


We are engaged in discussing a problem of prime national importance, and there is no subject which engages more attention in our country districts than that of the Road Fund. That interest is caused very largely because people are suffering under the enormous burden of road taxation, which has increased tremendously in recent years. Yet, with all that burden from which we are suffering, we see that the great improvements which are being effected to our roads are only being done to the main through roads. We have a network of country roads which are so necessary to our rural population. We do know that the industry of agriculture is suffering at the present time from very severe depression and therefore, if any fresh burden is put on it, I think it is only right and wise that this House ought very carefully to scrutinise such a burden. It has been said that the alternative to raiding this Road Fund would be to put an extra 4d. in the £ on our Income Tax, but, as has been said here this afternoon, we know that Income Tax is only paid by people who have got incomes, but that road rates are paid for by everybody, whether they have incomes or no incomes. Would it not have been fairer that this burden should rather have been put upon those who can bear it than that it should be an additional burden placed on our agricultural districts at the present time of severe depression? I know that our versatile Chancellor of the Exchequer has been passing through a very abnormal time and that the money had to be found, and perhaps some of the disagreement which may exist on this side of the House as to the ways in which he has taken money may show that hon. Members recognise the great difficulties through which he has been, but what we say is that that portion of the community, the agricultural section, which is less able to bear the burden is having this burden put upon it and we as country representatives are bound to make an emphatic protest against it.

I think there are one or two points which we must insist upon if this Clause goes through. First of all we want to be assured that any further income which is derived from these motor duties on traffic shall be kept exclusively for road repairs and maintenance. Then, again, we want the Transport Ministry, if it is to be kept in existence, to take greater care that this money is spent in a wise way, because we are very critical of some of the ways in which it has been spent in the past. We have seen this money, which is contributed by motor taxes in order to repair the damage inflicted by motor traffic, spent very largely on making or adding to what are called "joy roads." Not only have these large boulevard roads been made on the outskirts of our cities, but money has also been spent on grandiose schemes like the Mersey Tunnel and the new Edinburgh-Glasgow Road, and that money is to be spent on Waterloo Bridge, and we say that this money should be spent on our country districts in order to repair the damage done by motor traffic. I think it would be only just that this should be done. I have no doubt that road traffic will, in the future, increase enormously, as it has done in the past, and that the cost of our road maintenance will go on increasing year by year. I only hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he or his representative winds up this Debate tonight, will say something in the way, as it were, of an apology for taking this money which ought not to be taken. In making this change I hope he will give an assurance to the country, an assurance which the country desires and almost expects, that no repetition of this sort of thing will take place and that the money raised by these motor duties will be wisely and carefully used in the maintenance and repair of our country roads.

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

I think we shall all of us agree that when these motor taxes were put on they were put on with the object of obtaining revenue to be used for the maintenance and improvement of the roads, but I do not consider that the motor user has a right to consider himself the person who should dictate the way in which the money raised under these taxes is to be spent. When the taxes were put on the country was in a very different state to what it is now, and no one could foresee the way in which these taxes would grow. It is not for the motor-car owner to say how the taxes shall be spent. It is for us to decide in this House. We have to decide what money is to be raised for different purposes, how it is to be raised and how it is to be spent. We have to decide how the expenditure on the upkeep of the roads is to be divided between the taxpayer and the ratepayer. We have also to decide how much is to be spent on the upkeep of the roads. It is generally owned that our roads are probably the best in the world, and I know that huge sums of money are spent on them. I think probably the amount spent on the roads is rather more than we can afford at present. For these reasons, I have no sympathy either with the motor-car owner or with the complaints made by his organisation, but I have a very deep sympathy with the ratepayer. The rates have been going up by leaps and bounds, and one of the causes of the increase is the increased sum which is spent on the upkeep of the roads.

In my own district council the upkeep of the unclassified roads in 1913 cost £6,500. It is now £13,600—I am giving round figures. The county council of Devonshire spent out of revenue in 1913 £111,000. This year they have spent on the roads £322,000, after deducting grants received from the Road Fund. The average cost of the main roads per mile has gone up since 1913, when it was £80, to £363 per mile. That is not for large improvements; it is only for maintenance and for small improvements such as the taking off of small corners. In addition, the county council have had to borrow very large sums for big improvements and big alterations that are being made. The increase in the costs of the roads and the increased rates are borne in part, and as regards unclassified roads very largely, by agriculturists, and although agriculturists may get some indirect benefit from these improvements to the roads they get also an indirect and direct disadvantage. The roads are made up in such a manner now that they are not fit for horses to go on; they are too slippery. Also, the agriculturist has lost the market for his horses, for his oats and for his hay; due to the fact that horses are being replaced by motor vehicles. Therefore, the agriculturists have paid increased rates which do not bring them increased advantages. We all know the plight of agriculture at the present time. I do not want to enlarge upon that, but the best way to do something to help agriculturists now is by reducing the rates and taxes they have to pay and by making extra grants for the roads we shall have a very good chance of reducing the rates that they have to pay in country districts.

We all welcomed the announcement of the Prime Minister which he made in Cornwall to the effect that an extra £500,000 was to be spent on second-class roads, thereby raising the percentage to 33⅓. That goes some little way towards meeting our demands, but it does not do anything whatever for the unclassified road, and we ask now that the Chancellor of the Exchequer shall allot a sum of £400,000 or £500,000 to increasing the grant for unclasified roads from 20 per cent. as it was last year, to 33⅓ per cent., the same as the grant for second-class roads. That is our demand for this year, and I think it is a very reasonable demand. We shall expect more next Year. We shall expect to see bigger percentages for the first- and second-class roads than we are getting, and I do not want the Chancellor of the Exchequer to think that giving us this grant this year will be sufficient. We shall certainly expect a larger grant from the Road Fund next year for the upkeep of the roads. We recognise the difficulties of the Chancellor of the Exchequer this year, and therefore we are not putting forward the full demand. The Chancellor of the Exchequer may very likely say, when he comes to reply, that he has not got sufficient money available to give us this small extra grant of £400,000 or £500,000, but he has got a sum of something over £19,000,000 to be expended on the roads this year.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is not half as clever as I believe him to be if he cannot find, out of that £19,000,000, a way to pinch £500,000 for us. He can get money for himself if he wants it, and I am sure he can find some way in which he can get something out of those £19,000,000 for the purposes for which we require it. We know that huge sums are being spent on the improvement of the roads, and on making new roads, and we know that in many cases the work is being done in an extravagant manner, and we know that money is being spent on such objects as the planting of trees. Surely, some of that planting could be put off so as to give us part of our £500,000. Also, we know that £1,000,000 has been allotted to the Thames bridges, and it is almost certain that this money will not be spent during this year. If it is not spent during this year, we might have some of it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us he wanted a sum of £12,000,000 to balance his Budget, but in the Clause which we are now considering, Clause 46 of the Finance Bill, there is no mention of a sum of £12,000,000, but he says now that he proposes to take all that stood to the credit of the Road Fund on 31st March. That sum may have been a very great deal more than £12,000,000, and if the Clause stands as it is now, we may find the Chancellor of the Exchequer taking more than he requires. I understand that the alternative to taking this money from the Road Fund is an increase in the Income Tax of 3d. or 4d. in the £. This is a very serious thing. This year has been an exceptional year, and we must expect exceptional measures In view of the serious consequences that would arise from putting this money on the income Tax instead of drawing on the Road Fund, I feel that I should not be justified in opposing this Clause. I can, however, only support it under certain conditions. If the Chancellor takes this money to aid the taxpayers, he must also treat the ratepayers justly by giving then; the aid for which I have asked. If he will give £500,000 to the unclassified roads, and if he will accept the Amendment which stands in the name of the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton (Sir E. Turton), to limit the amount to £12,000,000, then I can support the Clause, but if he will not accept these two proposals. I am afraid I shall have to vote for this Amendment.


I think hon. Members must keep a sense of perspective in dealing with this matter, and ask those outside the House who have been raising clamour from time to time to do the same. One would suppose that the proposal in the Finance Bill would deflect money from road purposes, and that that would be reflected in a corresponding diminution in road work. As a matter or fact, it does nothing of the kind. The fact is that the balance which it is now proposed to abolish has accrued over a term of years under a system which was unsound from the very start. Whenever a new capital scheme was approved under the old grant-in-aid system, it was the practice to put aside out of the yearly revenue some appropriate sum towards the ultimate cost of completing the scheme. Practice has shown that, in fact, the road revenue is well able to meet the annually accruing charges without any reserve of this kind being built up at all. All that is proposed, as I understand it, is that these annual accruing charges, coming into charge as and when these schemes are completed, or by way of instalments upon the schemes, will be met by the Exchequer in future out of the annual road revenue or the sums derived from road taxation. The progress of the schemes already sanctioned will not be retarded, nor will the sanctioning of new schemes necessarily be diminished. The proposed abolition of this reserve will not inflict the slightest possible hardship either upon road users who contribute to the fund, or any of the local authorities whose case is being so strenuously pressed to-day. These questions of additional grants in aid of rural roads and of allocating particular sums from the Road Fund to particular purposes, bear no relation whatever to the present proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and one cannot too strongly urge on the organised interests outside that they are beating the air when they complain about this alleged deflection of the Road Fund, because no deflection is taking place.

I suggested a Moment ago that we should try to keep a sense of perspective on this Road Fund question, because it is implied that the rural roads, although admittedly presenting a case for consideration, have a claim which is more urgent than the claim the urban areas can advance. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) indicated just now that the high rates levied in the urban or borough areas are a great handicap to industry. That is perfectly true. The great producing industries are just as much handicapped by the high rates in the boroughs as agriculture is handicapped by rates in the rural districts, in fact, more handicapped, because in no rural area are the rates anything like so high as they are in a borough.


The road rate?


The hon. Gentleman forgets that agricultural land is specially treated and receives special assistance from national funds. When the Roads Act was going through this House, with Sir Eric Geddes as the Minister in charge, I remember pointing out an anomaly in the Bill which was unfortunately enacted and is now the law. That anomaly particularly hits the big industrial towns in the north. In the city of Manchester every first-class road and some of the second-class roads have tramways along them, and the area occupied by the tramway, which has to be maintained out of the tramway fund, is deducted from the area which ranks for grant from the Road Fund. In the great cities where tramway systems operate in no case does a first-class road get the whole of the grant which ought to be paid to it and would be paid to it if no tramway existed. Owing to the operation of the Roads Act the onus of the maintenance of that first-class road falls on the urban population either in the form of rates if there is a deficit on the tramway and it is a municipal undertaking or in the form of increased fares if the undertaking is able to impose fares sufficiently high. To that extent urban populations are penalised, and have a case which in its way is just as strong as this rural case which has been so ably pressed in the House.

Some hon. Members might say, "Scrap the trams," but what would be the result of that policy? An omnibus with a capacity comparable to that of a tramway car pays about £108 a year in licence duty. The contribution which a tramway makes to the maintenance of the roads in the manner I have described varies from £200 per car per annum to as much as £400, and in some cases £500. If we scrap the tramways we shall throw on to the Road Fund and the local authorities responsible for the roads where formerly the tramway existed an expenditure equal to £200 or £400 a year, as the case may be, for every tramcar displaced in the locality. I have raised this point to indicate that there are anomalies in urban districts just as there are in rural districts with respect to the allocation of the Road Fund, and that it would be an unsound policy if the Government were to say they will permanently increase the grant in aid of roads to a certain percentage, or make some fresh and permanent allocation of these grants-in-aid, unless they take into consideration the whole of the circumstances which arise not only in the rural but in the urban districts. In London maintenance charges fall particularly heavily on the London County Council, and while the Chancellor is perfectly justified in the action he is taking in this Bill, and whilst it has no relation to the case which is being pressed on behalf of the rural districts, I do urge on him that in reviewing the future allocation of Road Fund revenue he should review also the claims of the boroughs and urban districts, not prejudicing the position by some premature decision in favour of one interest to the exclusion of the others.

I hope the Minister of Transport will realise that the question of rural read maintenance and repair has been considerably aggravated by the long delay in publishing Regulations governing the construction, size and weight of motor vehicles. For too long the announcement we have heard this afternoon has been delayed. As a result of the delay a great many of the difficulties now being experienced by rural road authorities have arisen. A great many of the complaints of high rates and under-maintenance are directly due to that delay, and if there is one argument which is stronger than another for absorbing the activities of the Ministry of Transport into another Department it is the fact that the question of safety on the roads, of motor law and its application, ought to be concentrated in one office, which, apparently, ought to be the Home Office.


I want to take the opportunity of voicing the complaint of the Durham County Council against the action of the Chancellor in raiding the Road Fund. At the beginning of this year, the county council passed a resolution saying: The whole of the limas collected by the motor tax should be used for the purpose of road improvement and maintenance. We are with the county council in that sentiment. We believe that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is altogether wrong in making any attack upon the Road Fund. We believe that, instead of the Chancellor taking this money, the money should have been used for the upkeep and maintenance of the roads. The Durham County Council, in my opinion, are justified in making this complaint, because we find that in 1919 the gross expenditure on the main roads in the County of Durham was £69,184, while in 1926 it had risen to £424,671. That was an enormous increase, and the county council only obtained from the Ministry of Transpors for the year 1926, £154,415. That left the county council to raise a very largely increased sum of money, as compared with the year 1919, for the maintenance of the roads, and the county council, having, to raise that much greater amount for the upkeep of the roads, are, in my opinion, justified in passing their resolution protesting against the Chancellor of the Exchequer taking any money whatever from the Road Fund.

Not only have the county council a complaint on this store, but the rural district councils in the, County of Durham are also suffering, and are entitled to complain. In the Auckland Rural District Council, in 1919, the highway rate levy was only 9½ d., but in 1926 it had increased to 1s. 10d. In the case of the Chester-le-Street Rural District Council, the highway rate levy in 1919 was 8d., and in 1926 it had increased to 3s. 6d. The Durham Rural District Council, in 1919, had a highway rate levy of 6d. which in 1926 had increased to 5s. 2¾d. The Easington Rural District Council's highway rate levy, which in 1919 was 8½d., had increased to 3s. 0½d. in 1926, while, in the Houghton-le-Spring Rural District it was 1s. 1d. in 1919, and 4s. in 1926. In face of these huge increases, we think we are entitled to protest against the Chancellor of the Exchequer Making this raid on the Road Fund. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider the fact that these heavy increases of rates are bearing very hardly on a county like ours in the North of England, because the County of Durham is a mining county, and is just now suffering very severely. Heavy local rates are one of the things that make it impossible for collieries to carry on, I noticed that last month at the annual meeting of one of the large concerns in the County of Durham, the chairman said that, while that company, in 1914, was paying £29,000 a year in local rates, on the 31st March, 1927, it was paying £118,000 a year. With this heavy burden upon collieries at the present, time, we are not surprised at so many collieries ceasing to work.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer may be able to take this money from the Road Fund, but, if he does so, and the local authorities have to increase their rates, it simply means that the Government, somehow or other, will have to find other money for the purpose of relieving districts that are hit so hardly as our districts are at the present time. The Government cannot afford to sit still and see counties like ours with huge numbers of collieries standing idle, and with thousands of men unemployed. The Government must be prepared to do something, and this is one of the ways—although I do not think that even this way will meet the situation fully—in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer might have eased the burden in such districts, and, instead of seizing the Road Fund, he might have allowed the whole of the money obtained from the licences to go towards the upkeep and maintenance of the roads. I am hoping that the Committee will be bold enough, that there will be sufficient dissatisfaction in the Committee to make them, when the Division takes place to-night, record an emphatic protest that will prevent the Chancellor of the Exchequer from continuing his raids upon so important a fund as the Road Fund.

Brigadier-General CLIFTON BROWN

I am afraid I cannot support the remarks of my hon. Friend the Member for Hulme (Sir J. Nall) as to there being no special reason for assistance in the case of rural roads as compared with roads in towns. My hon. Friend is much more experienced in connection with Parliamentary Committees than I am, but I have sat under his chairmanship, and I know that the one thing that we have to see to is that a tramway under-taking, or whatever other undertaking it may be, is self-supporting. Surely, the tramways do not get assistance either from the rates or from the Road Fund, because they are only allowed on condition that they are self-supporting; and, therefore, I cannot see any analogy at all between that part of the difficulties of towns and those of the rural districts think no one can deny the right of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to use any surplus of the Road Fund, but I think that he himself must admit that the Road Fund was started, and is now in being primarily, for the needs of the roads, and I deny his right, until the needs of the roads are satisfied, to take that money away for any other purpose. How have the needs of the roads been met? I am concerned, I must confess, with the needs of rural roads. I was told the other day by the Minister of Transport, in answer to a question as to how many miles of unclassified roads still did not get any grant at all, that there were 86,000 miles of roads in that category in this country.

Colonel ASHLEY

I must point out that a very large proportion of that mileage which is not classified or scheduled consists of grass tracks, or stretches of road on which in any case practically no money is spent in maintenance.

Brigadier-General BROWN

I know, but "a very large proportion" is a very misleading way of putting it. Let me quote from a few Yorkshire rural district councils, which have nothing to do with my constituency, to show how many miles of unclassified roads they have for which they do not get any grant at all. The parish of Bridlington has 109 miles, for which it receives no grant at all. The parish of Driffield has 138½ miles for which it gets no grant at all; the parish of Howden has 131 miles for which it gets no grant at all, and so forth. The result is that the rates in those parishes have gone up, in some cases from 1s. 8d. to 6s. 8d., and in others from 1s. 4½d. to 10s. 4½d. It cannot, therefore, be said that the needs of the rural roads are by any means met, and the people who live in those localities can no longer afford the necessary rates. As another instance of the manner in which rural districts are affected, I may mention that I happen to be on the Committee which is at present considering the Croydon Bill, and Croydon like a good many other big towns, wants to take in a little rural area outside Croydon. A penny rate in Croydon yields £5,000, but a penny rate in this little outside district of Addington yields only £45. Can it be wondered at that people in Addington are grumbling at the rates on their roads, when this will mean an increase of more shillings to them than it does pence to the bigger borough of Croydon?

I do not think that any more need be said about that aspect of the matter. Everyone recognises its existence, though they may not recognise the seriousness of it. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) has already pointed out what very high rates have to be paid in respect of the roads in country areas. If the Chancellor of the Exchequer would guarantee that the proposals which not only the Unionist Committee of this House, but also the Rural District Councils Association put before him, that the modest request for this year and what the Rural District Councils Association want for next year would be acceded to, then one would have no difficulty, in these hard times, in supporting his proposal. If he feels anxious as to where he is going to get the money from, I would submit to him that, if he will look into the extravagant way in which some of the grants in respect of the big roads are administered, he will find plenty of money for the small temporary needs of the rural district. Last year I asked the Minister of Transport how much he was going to give to the Middlesex County Council for planting trees, and he said it came to £175,000 a mile. [HON. MEMBERS: "What?"] I beg pardon; I have got the answer here. The estimate was £175 a mile for planting trees along 24 miles of arterial roads. There are many ways of finding the small amount of money that is asked for by the rural district councils for this year's grant, by stopping extravagance and taking money which is not going to be spent next year, so that the Chancellor would still be free to take his £12,000,000, or whatever he wants for other purposes.

In conclusion, I would point out the great unfairness that is brought about by the way in which these big roads are treated. The answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester (Sir T. Davies) on the 22nd June, which has already been quoted, shows that something like £11,000,000 has been granted for 35,000 miles of road, as compared with £2,500,000 for all the 110,000 or 120,000 miles of unclassified roads in this country. That works out at something like £330, or more, per mile for the first-class roads, while the unclassified roads get less than £20 per mile. That great difference imposes on country and rural districts a very heavy handicap, and I do urge the Government to remember that, if they want cottages built, if they want agriculture helped, if they want business to go on in the country, if they want to get our people back from the towns to the countryside, the chief thing is to reduce the rates, and the best way in which that can be done is by helping to reduce the rates in respect of the roads in our country districts.


I have considerable sympathy with hon. Members on the other side of the Committee. They are very anxious indeed to promote the maximum degree of economy in connection with our administration, but they all want economy at somebody else's expense. This is the sort of Debate that makes one almost despair of Parliament as an institution for adequately representing public opinion. There is no doubt whatever, from the speeches that have been made on this subject of the raid on the Road Fund in various parts of the House, that if the matter were left to a free and unfettered vote it would be defeated by a very considerable majority. Almost every Member who represents a rural constituency has complained, rightly I think, of the gross unfairness of the present contributions which residents in those communities are called upon to pay towards the maintenance of roads, and the position, so far as urban areas are concerned, is equally serious. It was stated on a previous occasion, by an hon. Member who speaks with great authority on this matter, that the highway rates in rural areas, taking the country as a whole, had increased from something like 6d. before the War to 6s. in the £ to-day, and that represents a very serious burden upon those communities.

With regard to urban areas, perhaps in some ways the burden is even more disastrous in its results. Unfortunately, we have had unemployment concentrated in many of our industrial areas where great staple industries have been established, and in those urban communities the cost of road making, owing to the growth of motor traffic, has increased enormously. The unclassified roads and the streets of our urban districts are used by motor traffic to an increasing degree, but the Government obtain the whole of the revenue from the receipts of taxation, and most local authorities are facing with a good deal of trepidation the very difficult situation they are in in regard to the enormous increase in local rates, mainly with regard to unclassified roads, for which they receive no grant. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has been compelled to engage in a series of buccaneering expeditions, of which the raid on the Road Fund last year and this year is only one, because he has taken the step of reducing direct taxation to a point below what is justified by the conditions of the country, and if Income Tax and Super-tax payers are to be given the advantage of making a contribution of £42,000,000 a year less to our national revenue the Chancellor is compelled to find the money somewhere.

It seems to me this method of securing temporary revenue is particularly atrocious in the present circumstances. When the Labour party was in office they were harassed from day to day by Members of the party opposite. They were subjected to a great deal of criticism because they were told they were making no contribution whatever to the solution of unemployment. With regard to the position of the party opposite, I should like to stress this side of the problem for their consideration. We have spent something between £300,000,000 and £400,000,000 since the Armistice in un-remunerative relief to alleviate the position of those who have been unemployed. This question of road reconstruction, the building of new roads and the erection of new bridges is an area of activity in which the Government is making an immediate and very considerable contribution towards the solution of the problem of unemployment. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Macpherson) in a previous Debate placed before the House this very significant fact, that 50 per cent. of the money spent on the building of bridges and road maintenance and road construction went directly in the form of wages to British workmen, and some 25 per cent. of the materials used in the construction of those roads and bridges was also made by British workers, so that 75 per cent. of the total amount of money spent on this improvement and construction of new roads went directly in wages and undoubtedly could make an immediate and a considerable contribution towards the solution of the problem of, unemployment. It has also been estimated that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer had left the distribution of the Road Fund as it was two or three years ago, if the £25,000,000 or £27,000,000 that he has taken from the fund during the last two years had been left for the purpose for which it was intended, it would have provided work for at least 80,000 men on our roads for a very considerable time. That seems to me to be a side of the problem which the Government have apparently overlooked.

We are continually told that it is the duty of Parliament to do all it can to offer constructive suggestions for alleviating the problem of unemployment. It is sheer, unadulterated hypocrisy for Members opposite, who voted in favour of the Chancellor's action in this matter to pretend that the Government are doing their duty to the unemployed, when you have this kind of thing going on which is directly increasing unemployment, or preventing the absorption of a considerable number of men. There are quite a number of ways in which this money that the Chancellor has secured could have been used with great good to the country and to various local communities. All over the country you have problems arising out of level crossings, which are creating great congestion and delay and involving a considerable amount of waste and expense. You have the question of the difficulties and inconveniences arising out of the number of toll bridges. I understand there are something like 45 or 46 toll bridges on main and secondary roads alone in Great Britain, and the Government are taking no action to remove this prehistoric inconvenience to modern traffic. The Minister of Transport on various occasions has informed us that he is prepared to deal sympathetically with applications of local authorities in freeing toll bridges, but the majority of these local authorities are not in a position to undertake the very heavy liabilities which would be imposed upon them by the freeing of these bridges, particularly as the freeing of a toll bridge very often brings very small benefit to the particular locality which would have to find such a large portion of the money. Therefore I hope the Committee will assert itself, and that those hon. Members opposite who have spoken so strongly against the Chancellor's action will support the local authorities and for once give us an exhibition of a really free and independent spirit and refuse to march into the Lobby at the dictation of the Party Whips. If it was left to a decision of the Committee without the pressure of the political machine, I am sure the right hon. Gentleman's proposals would be rejected.


Many of us find the greatest difficulty in accepting this Budget, as I said on its introduction, but this is not the time nor the occasion to discuss the whole policy of finance. We are dealing now entirely with the Road Fund. The hon. Member who has just sat down talked about finding employment for the unemployed. It is a very large item that is constantly being put down in the accounts of the Road Board, and many schemes which to us have seemed extravagant and unnecessary at this period have been justified only on the ground that they are finding employment in time of stress for those who would otherwise be out of work. All the work on the roads which we are all advocating, is going to find employment. What we are now advocating, I believe with the entire sympathy of hon. Members opposite, is that more should be done by the Road Fund to maintain the roads we have and that less money should be spent on extravagant schemes for the creation of new roads. The Road Fund is constantly increasing by the process of more vehicles paying increased taxation, and that growth of traffic entails constantly increased cost in the maintenance of roads. One of the causes of complaint in country districts is that the grants made for second-class and other roads are often combined with conditions which, in fact, impose upon country districts an additional rate in order to obtain grants. I had a case the other day before the Minister of Transport of the kind of thing that goes on. The corporation of a town desired to widen part of a road leading into the town. It cannot be anticipated that any great volume of heavy traffic will go down the road, because it is a steep gradient and there is an alternative route for heavy traffic, but it was a reasonable and proper proposal, as the town is extending in that direction. The estimated cost of what the corporation desired was about £17,000. They went to the Road Board, who said, "We will not agree at all to your scheme of widening this part of the road only. You must widen the whole road down to the residential part of the town, already built upon, and incur the cost." The result of that action of the Road Board was that the estimated cost was raised to £37,000 £38,000, and possibly a good deal more for the compensation which would have to be paid.

6.0 p.m.

That is the kind of condition, in face of local experience and knowledge of local requirements, which is so often imposed on the action of the Road Board. These grants should not be combined with onerous conditions which are not necessary and are against local experience, and they should be made for the maintenance of the surface and the foundation of the roads. This question is a very urgent and very vital question to country districts. County districts, many of them, are in a very straitened and impoverished condition. The rates are constantly increasing. I hope the Road Board will not impose new burdens, but will allocate much larger sums to country roads on to which motor traffic is often diverted and cut them all to pieces during alterations to other roads. I hope they will give a generous grant. I hope that the county councils will be able to pay such sums, granted from the Road Fund, as are really needed for the maintenance of roads without conditions imposing increased expenditure upon country districts.


The question of policy which we are discussing this afternoon is, as I understand it, "Should we or should we not slow up in the development of our roads? "I will not enter upon technicalities as to whether the transference of this sum from the Road Fund into the Treasury is going to reduce our expenditure or whether it is not. If I understand the policy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer aright it is, that he agrees to the honouring of the commitments of that fund, but, on the other hand, he considers that in the state in which the country now is we should call a halt in the general development of roads which would otherwise have taken place.


Oh, no. Limiting the rate of increase.


Limiting the rate of increase. I will accept the Chancellor's word on that, but I am one of those who think that this is not a sound policy. I think that in regard to agricultural districts it would be far better policy to go ahead and endeavour really to do something to provide better transport for the agricultural industry. The slowing up and the limiting of the rate of increase this year will undoubtedly mean that the rates will not be kept down. So far, the necessities of the rural roads are so great that the rural district councils in my part of the world, and probably in most parts, are faced with considerable increases of expenditure. The increase of grant which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is proposing this year will not go sufficiently far even to stop that increase.

We have heard a great deal about the rural rates this afternoon in comparison with urban rates, and I should like to point out that many Members seem to be under a certain amount of misapprehension in regard to the relief which rural rates are already getting. It is very frequently stated that in regard to the ordinary rates, the Government come to the assistance of the ratepayers in the case of agricultural holdings to the extent of 75 per cent. I would like to point out that that is not quite exact; it is indeed far from being exact. It is quite true that under the Rating Relief Act, 1896, the Government undertook to pay half of the rural rates but that was based on the position which existed at that time. The rates have very much increased since then and the contribution remains the same. It now amounts, not to 50 per cent. but to something very much less indeed. The total rural rates at this moment are something like £14,000,000 and the total Government assistance is somewhere between £4,000,000 and £5,000,000, which is very far, indeed, from being 75 per cent. If that is the case I should like to argue that surely you cannot have a better way of carrying out a policy which was agreed upon by all parties, the policy of 1896, when it was generally agreed that the rural rates were inequitable and unjust, because after all the land is the raw material of the farmer. Would it not be well to endeavour to make some further efforts to reduce the rates which are so heavy with regard to the highways?

In my district the highways rate will increase this year by quite a considerable amount. We have heard that in the old days rates were 6d. and 1s. and that kind of thing. I would like to give some of the figures for the last few years relating to Horncastle District Council, the district which I represent: in 1924–25, £12,728; in 1925–26, £14,373 and in 1926–27, £15,881. That shows a progressive increase, and other rural district councils show similar increases. There is a progressive increase all the way through. The assistance—and I am far from denying that the Government have given considerable assistance—is hardly sufficient to meet the growing demands. Therefore, I should like to associate myself with the protest that has come from these benches with regard to the policy of the Government in reference to the rural roads.


I want to take some exception, in the first place, to the remarks that fell from my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the Hulme Division of Manchester (Sir J. Nall) in his reference to the effect of the rates in urban areas compared with the rates in rural areas. I submit to this Committee, very definitely, that the charge in rural areas for the purpose of the maintenance of roads is far greater than in the urban areas. Practically, the whole object of the Amendments moved from this side of the Committee were definitely in the interest of the industry of agriculture. What we require is that the rates on agricultural land should be reduced by means of a grant from the Road Fund. I am perfectly certain that Members on all sides of the Committee, above the Gangway and below the Gangway opposite, as well as those on this side, recognise the very unfortunate position that agriculture is in at the present time. We are one and all seeking for some remedy for the disease which has overcome it. I want to suggest that one practical remedy for the industry of agriculture is to attempt to decrease the cost of production, and that one practical method of decreasing the cost of production is by the relieving of rates upon agricultural land. I further suggest that a practical method of relieving those rates is to obtain further grants from the Road Fund towards the maintenance of the roads. I want to express my gratitude, as an agriculturist, to the Minister of Transport for the grants he has recently made to the local authorities for the maintenance of roads, and I want to suggest to him that agriculturists—and by agriculturists I do not merely mean the farmers, I include the landlords and the labourers equally—are justified in asking for further assistance.

Let us compare for a moment the roads of to-day with the roads of 50 years ago. Fifty years ago our roads were merely metalled with loose granite and the farm carts and the farm waggons had to roll in the granite. At that time almost the sole user of the roads was the agriculturist himself, and it was only equitable and just that he should bear the cost of the roads. Compare that with the position to-day, where the chief user, and in some cases to the extent of 90 per cent., is the motorist. The agriculturist sees that by means of reinforced concrete and tar macadam and so on these roads are being repaired at very great cost. He knows perfectly well that 90 per cent. of the users of the roads are motorists and realises that it is almost unsafe for him to use the roads. I suggest to the Committee that the farmer has some justification for asking the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the Minister of Transport to see to it that the motor owner who does the damage to the roads, and in respect of which these great costs are incurred, should pay for the damage he does. The motor owner would be justified in replying: "I do pay, at the present time, for the damage I do to the roads." He does pay, but the difficulty is that we in the rural areas are not getting the money, or at least we are not getting sufficient of the money so paid.

I know it is not usual to give a personal example, but I am in a rural area surrounded by rural roads. I have three cars, and I have to pay taxes upon those three cars, but the roads I go on are in no way metalled with tar macadam. They are made of loose granite, and I have to roll down that granite with my motor cars. I am paying heavy rates to the highway authority for the maintenance of the roads, and I am also paying heavy taxation on the cars, and at the same time I have to do the work myself. I do respectfully suggest to the Committee that I have some cause for complaint. I recognise, and I think every other agriculturist recognises, that, although we are in this unfortunate position and although we are all seeking a remedy, at the present time the Chancellor of the Exchequer is placed in a very difficult position, and we accept the fact that it was essential for the purposes of the financial position that he should raid the Road Fund to the extent of £12,000,000. Accepting that, we make this appeal to the Minister of Transport and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on behalf of the agriculturists to treat them sympathetically in the future and not to repeat again this raid on the Road Fund. I hope the raid will not increase above the £12,000,000, and that they will consider the rural and agricultural interests by giving further sympathetic grants. I do make that appeal on behalf of agriculture.


The last speaker, and the right hon. and gallant Member for Burton (Colonel Gretton), asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer not to repeat the raid and the Chancellor of the Exchequer said, "Not again." He gives a promise with great facility. He would promise anything in order to get his Budget through. I remember, two years ago, when this matter was first mooted, and he got into trouble with his Budget, there were volumes of protest from all over the country and it looked as if a first-class crisis was going to arise in the Tory party when he raided the Road Fund; but he had only to come to this House and make a speech and state that if he had not taken the money from the Road Fund there would have been an increase in the Income Tax, and the protests ceased and the Budget went through. He has come again this year, and raided the Fund, again there are volumes of protest, and we have had loud protests from the agriculturists, but the hon. Members opposite who have protested will go into the Lobby in support of the right hon. Gentleman. When they make a protest the Chancellor of the Exchequer has only to indicate that he will not do it again, but probably next year he will be in as big a financial crisis as he is this year—we shall always be in financial crises so long as he is Chancellor of the Exchequer—and he will say that the state of the country warrants him in taking the money from the Road Fund, and the Tory party will fall in again if he hints that if he does not take the money from the Road Fund he will have to increase the Income Tax. The Chancellor of the Exchequer does not care twopence for their protests. He knows that he can always bring them to heel, whatever their protests may be.

There is a real question of unemployment connected with this raid of the Road Fund. As a Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire, I know that there are miles upon miles of roads that need remaking and widening, toll bridges which require to be altered and put on a free basis, and bridges that require to be widened. Within nine or ten miles of Doncaster, on one of the main highways to one of our ports, the lorries have to unload on one side of a bridge, take the freight across and load it again on the other side. That has been going on for years, and one of the reasons why the necessary improvement has been held up is because of the lack of money, and it is likely to be held up for years while we have a Chancellor of the Exchequer of the character of the one now holding the office, who takes money for any purpose other than the purpose for which it was contributed. In my own Division, a few weeks ago, we had a case of the widening of a bottle-neck, a very dangerous place, where there have been many accidents. For nearly four years the negotiations have been going on with a view to arrang- a compromise as to how much shall be paid by the Government. The Ministry of Transport almost wants to get out of paying anything. We had an inspector down a few months ago and he frankly admitted that because the Road Fund had been raided, the possibility of getting this scheme through had been put back probably for months and years. That is the kind of thing that is going on all over the country.

The Minister of Transport knows that he has had to turn down dozens and hundreds of schemes up and down the country, dozens from the West Hiding, the carrying out of which would have helped to solve the question of unemployment. He knows that he cannot approve the schemes, because the money is not there, and he knows that he has had volumes of protest not only from the West Riding County Council but from nearly every local authority in the West Riding.

Colonel ASHLEY

How can the so-called raid affect this work?


I should imagine that it is harder to get the work done when there is no money available than when funds are available. I agree that the agriculturists are in a very serious position, and that the question of rates and roads presses very hardly upon them. They have voiced their protests this afternoon, which reminds me that a week or two ago I had a document sent to me by the East Riding County Council. I will quote two cases from that document. The Howden rural authority, with a population of 13,000, has 22 miles of second-class roads, 73 miles earning special grants, and 131 miles earning no grant at all. The highway expenditure in 1913 amounted to £5,700, and in 1926–27 to £15,802. The total rates in the £ for highway expenditure are 8s. 0½d. The second case is that of the Skirlaugh rural authority with a population of 7,000, 28 miles of second-class roads, 69 miles earning special grant, and 84 miles earning no grant at all; total mileage, 181; highway expenditure in 1913, £6,000; and in 1926 £21,000; with a rate of 10s. 4½d. for highway expenditure.

One frankly admits that when rural districts are faced with these alarming increases, something has to be done. I ask hon. Members opposite who represent agricultural districts, what are they going to do about it? A crisis is arising in agriculture. They cannot get money from the Road Fund because it has been taken for other purposes. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the first instance, gave away £42,000,000 to the Income Tax and Super-tax payers. He then found himself in a difficulty, and he had to pinch money from the Road Fund to make it up. Then as a result of pinching money from the Road Fund, the rates in agricultural areas go up, and now those districts are appealing against it and there is a crisis in the agricultural industry. The next thing we shall find will be a demand from the agriculturists that in order to meet the situation the wages of agricultural labourers should come down and their hours of labour should go up. When we get into crises of this description in agriculture, mining or any other industry, that seems to be the only way to solve the problem.

This raid will not only affect the rates, but ultimately the wages of the agricultural labourers. That is the condition into which the country has been brought by this precious Chancellor of the Exchequer, who promised the right hon. and gallant Member for Burton that he would not raid the Fund again; but we know that when another big crisis comes, he will do the same thing, and he will threaten his Tory opponents with an alternative increase in the Income Tax, and once again they will go into the Lobby in his support.


Coming as I do from a purely rural area, I feel it is my duty to reinforce what has been said by rural Members, and to press upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Transport how very seriously this matter is looked upon in our country districts. We are grateful to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what he has been able to do for us in the past, and we are also grateful for the pledge of the Prime Minister when he visited Cornwall that he is going to give us an extra £500,000. The hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Paling) has been abusing the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and saying that agriculture is passing through a crisis. What he did not tell us was that when the Socialist. Government were in power they never did anything towards helping agricultural rates out of the Road Fund or in any other way. Under this Government it is the first time that agriculture has been given anything in the way of relief towards rates by maintenance grants from the Road Fund.

There is another side to the picture. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Government must be perfectly well aware that the agricultural industry is in a very desperate position, and it is for that reason that we in agricultural constituencies take this opportunity of urging the Government to try to give us some more relief. The Government have said over and over again that they are sympathetic towards agriculture and would do whatever it is within the power of any Government to do to help the industry, and I maintain that this is an opportunity which is within the power of the Government to give us some relief more than we have enjoyed hitherto. In our farming we are in competition with every country in the world, and if we are to compete we must have no heavier burdens to bear than our competitors overseas. I agree with what has been said that national economy is of the very greatest importance at the present time. We are not asking for any new form of taxation to be raised, and to be devoted to a subsidy for agriculture or anything of that sort. We have been told that even after the £12,000,000 have been taken out of the Road Fund there is still a larger sum to be distributed than there ever has been before. All we are asking is that in rural areas we should get a fair proportion of that increased sum.

The right hon. Member for Wells (Sir R. Sanders), in moving his Amendment, outlined the scale that we propose as representing agricultural constituencies in this party and what we think is a fair and just scale. We do not think that it is unreasonable to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to try to arrange the Road Fund finance so that we get a fair increased share of the increased grant which we understand is to be distributed from the Fund. I am quite certain that last Year when the Government gave a grant for the maintenance of our rural roads, and that was the first grant the any Government has given purely towards maintenance, they did it with the intention that it would in some way help to reduce our rural rates, Unfortunately, the cost of upkeep has gone on increasing, and although the £1,250,000 grant which we got last year purely for road maintenance has been very gratefully accepted, it has not done anything in itself to reduce the rates, because the general burden of expenditure has gone on increasing. Some of the rural district councils in my constituency are particularly agitated over this matter, and one of them, Okehampton District Council which had a rate for road maintenance before the War of 1s. 6d. has now a rate of 4s. in the £. They have decided to stabilise at that figure, although that does not do full justice to the roads. They feel that they would have to go very much higher to do full justice to the roads, but they say that they will stabilise at that amount. I appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on behalf of our rural communities and of agriculture, which everybody must realise is an important industry, to see whether he cannot, even at this late hour, do something to help us still further in our rural areas.


I wish the Chancellor of the Exchequer had been here all this afternoon. It would have been an education to him to have seen how in every quarter of the Committee, Members of every shade of opinion have denounced this proposal for the raiding of the Road Fund. I say that because last year he stated that public opinion was not merely resigned to the acceptance of these proposals, but that it was gratified and relieved that the proposals had been so moderate, and he added that he had no further designs upon the Road Fund. With this assurance, it was easy to buy off the opposition of hon. Members behind him. They were only too delighted to have an excuse for dropping the rather unpleasant bone of protest in order to catch the shadow of assurance which the right hon. Gentleman held out to them. An hon. Member opposite has said that no work is being held up. He was repeating what the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said; that no work started by the Ministry of Transport has been held up. That is a statement which must be definitely challenged. I have here the Report of the Ministry of Transport for the year 1924–5, and I see that among the works which were then commenced was the road from Perth to Inverness right through to the North of Scotland to Wick and John o' Groats. That road has been definitely held up on account of the raid on the Road Fund.

The work which has been started is of a most uneconomical kind, because in the county of Sutherland on an isolated stretch of about 10 miles of road £25,000 has been spent. No expenditure could be more uneconomical than that. If the road is completed it will be worth while, because it will open up the country, but to do an isolated stretch of 10 miles at a cost of £25,000 and then stop—nothing could be more uneconomical. I, therefore, press the Chancellor of the Exchequer to let us know definitely whether this road, which was included in the Schedule of the work for the year 1924–25 is to be completed or not? Then there was the great West Road through the Western Highlands, which was to open up one of the most beautiful areas in the whole of the country for tourist traffic. This would have found employment for large numbers of people in Scotland, and, incidentally, the construction of the road would have found direct employment for 8,000 men for a year. Is that to be proceeded with?

Colonel ASHLEY

Tenders have gone out for the first section.


I want to know if that road is going to be completed. The answer of the Minister of Transport may satisfy hon. Members behind him, but it will not satisfy me. Will that road be carried to completion? The head of a great insurance company told me that if the work which was put on foot by the administration of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), by the first administration of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bewdley (Mr. Baldwin) and the administration of the Socialist party in 1924 had been carried out, it would have provided employment for 64,000 men in Scotland for a year. I want to know whether this schedule of work is going to be completed. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells (Sir R. Sanders) who moved the Amendment, told us that there is no need for much more new construction. In the Highlands of Scotland we are far behind the standard which rural England has reached. There is a great need for the reconstruction of the roads. You started there after you had got into your stride in England, and there is a great need for more reconstruction in Scotland in order to bring the standard of Scottish roads up to the standard of English roads. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has said that we have the best roads in the world. As an isolated statement of fact that is perhaps perfectly true, but the last census shows that this country is by far the most densely populated country in the world and, although we have not as many motor cars per head of the population as the United States, we have more motor cars per linear mile and, therefore, there is a much greater strain on the roads in this country than anywhere else in the world. The Chancellor of the Exchequer also said that the State contribution has kept pace with the development of motor traffic. As a matter of fact, it has only just kept pace with the actual increase in the number of motor cars, and these motor cars are increasing in size, power and pace, and are more destructive to the roads. It is necessary, therefore, to go in for more expensive methods of construction. Consequently, the State contribution ought to increase at a much more rapid rate than the increase in the number of motor cars.

Nor does this argument allow for the fact that the increase in motor cars is proceeding more rapidly now than it has at any time in recent years, and instead of raiding the Road Fund there is a clear case for a larger expenditure in order to meet the growing destructive power of motor traffic. I agree with what has been said that one of the most important aspects of this question is that the burden of rates in the Highlands of Scotland, as in many parts of England, is now crushing the life out of the countryside. Many hon. Members realise that one of the greatest tasks of statesmanship is to rebuild the countryside of Britain, and nothing is making this harder to do than this crushing burden of the rates. Take the County of Sutherland, into which has been thrown a whole mass of motor cars upon roads which are not yet fitted to bear the burden of this traffic. A penny rate in Sutherlandshire only brings you in £400, and a county like that cannot possibly bear the burden of dealing with this great problem unless you go on and improve the roads right up through the northern counties. The right hon. Member for Wells referred to the action of the Chancellor of the Exchequer as a gigantic act of acquisition, and he said that they were offered a sop of £400,000. That is a precious small sop when it is divided among all the rural districts of the country, and it is a belated sop, because it is one which was promised us years ago by the Minister of Transport. I do not suggest that the Minister of Transport actually promised us £400,000, but he promised to increase the help to the unclassified roads. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, as if this was one of the fruits of his policy, said, "I have raided the Road Fund," and the implication was: "I am able by doing so to give this largely increased sum to the rural roads." As a matter of fact, the very reverse is the case.

This is merely honouring a pledge given by the Minister of Transport on a very small scale, and if it had not been for the raid of the Chancellor of the Exchequer a more substantial sum than £400,000 would have been given to the relief of these roads. Many of the unclassified roads do not earn the grant. If a road stops at a dead-end, although it may go through two or three flourishing villages and serve important little districts, with six or seven different communities, it is not qualified to come in for a grant under the present Regulations of the Minister of Transport. There are many of the important unclassified roads which will not earn this increased grant, this small increase from 25 per cent. to 33⅓ per cent, which hon. Members opposite are demanding. The hon. and gallant Member for Tiverton (Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte) said he expected more next year, and another hon. Member opposite said that unless they got this £400,000 he would vote against the proposal. We shall watch with interest to see what action they are prepared to take. We have had a long series of speeches from hon. Members opposite and I have no doubt they will look as well in the local newspaper as they have sounded here. But more is necessary. Those who led the rebellion yesterday were a more determined lot of men than those who are leading the rebellion to-day. I warn those who have spoken so eloquently to-day that the effect of their speeches will be largely discounted if, in the event of an unfavourable reply being given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to their moderate and meagre demands, they fail to support their speeches by going into the lobby in support of the Amendment.


The Committee will probably feel, in spite of the very spirited speech to which we have just listened, that the subject which has been engaging our attention this afternoon is, to a large extent, exhausted. The Debate has followed the usual course on this occasion. We have had the usual condemnation of extravagance, and the usual demands for expenditure. We have had the usual appeals for this or that part of the country, and the usual condemnation of sops of all kinds, except when they happen to go to the neighbourhood of particular places which are fortunate enough to find a spokesman in this House. I am not able to offer to the Committee any but the main and general reasons to justify the course which the Government have taken. We had a speech earlier in the afternoon from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), who presented himself to us in the guise of the unsleeping guardian of hen-roosts, and who delivered a general disquisition upon the importance of roadways. We are at one. There is no doubt whatever that very great and increasing sums should continue to be spent on the development of British roads. I welcome from the right hon. Gentleman, and also from the hon. Member who has just spoken, the admission that our roads are at the present time the best in the world. I am not quite sure that every part of our social and economic arrangements would win such a high place in an international competition. But the roads of Britain are, by general admission, the best in the world, and more is being spent on the development of those roads in proportion to their mileage than is being spent by any country in the world, or, at any rate, in the old world.

When we are asked to say whether the amount which is being spent on roads is sufficient or not, the question cannot be decided actually. It can only be decided in relation to the other requirements of the community. The Government, from their central point of view, are bound to weigh one form of economic activity against another; bound to measure one class of need—urgent, clamant need—against another. It is the duty of the central administration to consider whether it would be wise, for instance, to carry out the full ambitions of the road enthusiasts and to spend, as we are told, hundreds of millions of pounds in a very short time on our roads, even if to do that we had to raid our Sinking Fund or reduce our armaments below a proper margin of safety, or cripple our education, or hamper our social services. All these questions and issues must be balanced one against the other, and a proper sense of proportion must prevail. We have also to consider the great developments which are taking place in road transport in their repercussions on railway traffic. There is no doubt whatever that the railways, with their £1,200,000,000 of capital and 600,000 employés, are suffering acutely from some forms of the competition of the motor vehicle. I believe, myself, that it should be possible harmoniously to adjust the relative claims of these two forms of transport. Certainly it would be most foolish for us by lending undue emphasis to the one, to inflict untimely and unnecessary curtailment on the other. When, many years ago, we had a fine canal system in this country and railways were introduced, railway development was conducted in such a manner as virtually to destroy, to atrophy, the canal system: whereas it might well have been that the canal system could have played a larger part in the transport system of this country than it does, in fact, play at the present time. All these matters, as I say, must be judged in due proportion and in proper relation from the central point of view. Leaving that general observation, I come to one of a very direct and particular significance, namely, our financial difficulties. We are passing through a time of exceptional financial difficulty.


And will as long as you are there.


I am very sorry I did not hear what I am sure was the very excellent speech delivered by the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones), who, I am told, fired the Committee with the liveliest feelings, but I am sure that he would not attach such overweening importance to my personal contribution to our affairs, as to attribute to me all the misfortunes from which we have suffered in the last few years.


No, but you are carrying the baby.


I hope I may be allowed to have the baby's bottle, too. At any rate, the fact is that our finance of the last three years has been violently deranged by the coal troubles. Never mind whose fault it was. That is not relevant to any argument I am now unfolding. Our entire finance has been deranged, first, by the subsidy, secondly, by the dispute, and, thirdly, by the aftermath—the consequences—of that dispute, and my object has been this year to try to tide over the extraordinarily difficult period of the aftermath of the great labour and industrial troubles of last year, without either having to make an increase of direct taxation or doing anything to increase the cost of vital necessaries to the mass of the people. That is the whole policy which I have endeavoured to pursue, and every shift and expedient to which I have resorted, and legitimately resorted, every device which I have presented to Parliament, has only had that object of enabling us to tide over this period of extreme difficulty. No doubt, the right hon. Gentleman opposite who has been waiting so hungrily all the afternoon for the opportunity of following me will say, "You would have had no trouble; you would have been forced to devise no expedients, if you had merely kept on, or, having taken off, had re-imposed 6d. on the Income Tax." It is quite true that 6d. on the Income Tax, producing over £30,000,000, would have placed me beyond the need of proposing any of these luxury taxes such as betting or making these inroads, which I regret on general grounds, into the Road Fund.

We see the difficulties of the course we have adopted, but do not let it be supposed that the imposition of an additional 6d. upon the Income Tax would be received by the general mass of taxpayers in this country with feelings other than those of the utmost pain and depression. I think to put the standard rate of Income Tax up from 4s. to 4s. 6d., eight years after the War would he a serious step in view of the immense and utterly disproportionate additions which were made during the War period to our direct taxation. To take a backward turn in regard to the standard rate of Income Tax would strike a blow at the confidence and enterprise of the country of the most serious character. Evil as are the circumstances in which we find ourselves, numerous as are the criticisms which are levelled at the Government, bitten and clawed as their representative is from every side in collecting revenue, I am quite certain the course we have adopted, unfavourable though it may appear, is upon the whole a far easier one than if, economising industry and invention, I had simply resorted to the crude method of marking up the standard rate of the Income Tax.

There is another reason why it would not have been justifiable this year to increase the standard rate. That would be a recurrent imposition. It is a tax which does not reach maturity in the first year, and the reimposition of 6d. would only reach maturity in the second year, and in the second year I should not need it. If we can get through this difficult period, the general revenues of the country give every reason to believe that they will balance expenditure next year. I may possibly have a few more suggestions to make when the time comes to adjust any minor adverse differences which may emerge. There are no grounds, on a general view of the balance of revenue and expenditure, which justify this reimposition and the task which lies before us, and which this Road Fund "acquisition" —I think that was the word my right hon. Friend the Member for Wells (Sir R. Sanders) used—so happily and conveniently discharges—that particular task is essentially one of bridging the gap.


Not bridging the road.


Bridging the gap and making a road across the gap, along which the general body of our fellow-countrymen may move forward into an easier and happier year. I have said so much on the general proportion of our road expenditure and so much upon the difficulties of our financial position. There are several Amendments on the Paper which it has been agreed we should discuss on the first Amendment and afterwards dispose of in the shortest possible time. There is the Amendment of the late Financial Secretary to the Treasury costing £9,000,000. There is the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs costing £6,000,000, and there is the Amendment of my right hon. Friend opposite costing £12,000,000. I must ask the Committee to reject all those Amendments, but the Amendment to which particularly I would draw the attention of the Committee is that in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) and its cognate proposal. As far as I can make out, he has borrowed these proposals from some proposals which have been most carefully considered and discussed by the Members on our side of the House who take a particular interest in agriculture. He has, as it is called, "lifted" the entire proposal in its most extreme form and, placing in on the Order Paper, has endeavoured to appropriate whatever support and popularity may be derived therefrom.

7.0 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman of all men has done this. He has come forward as the champion of the rural authorities Why, Sir, it is only little more than a year ago when the right hon. Gentleman indulged in one of the most disagreeable diatribes—and believe me, he can make his diatribes very disagreeable when he tries—against the agricultural community that I have ever listened to in the House of Commons. He argued that the Income Tax concession which they have long enjoyed should be taken away or greatly diminished, and he spoke of them, generally, with that sour disfavour which characterises his attitude to that great body of our fellow-countrymen. Mocking his opponents and reproaching them, he described the agriculturists and farmers of this country as the pampered darlings of the Tory party. I believe that is a phrase which has travelled far, and certainly some of my friends have not felt under any obligation to impede its progress. What we are witnessing to-day is the right hon. Gentleman making a desperate effort to retrieve his reputation as the farmer's friend. He wants to make quite sure that, instead of being the pampered darlings of the Tory party, they are his own pampered darlings. I do not believe that these manœuvres will deceive anyone out of this House or in it, and I am quite sure that their crudeness will excite pity and even a certain sentiment of disgust.

But leaving the motives which have animated the right hon. Gentleman and coming to the merits of the Amendment, I can only say its unwisdom is fully in harmony with the motives which have inspired it. This particular Amendment costs £5,500,000; the other Amendment which he has put down would cost £12,000,000. That, of course, would completely destroy the balance of the Budget, and there would be no possibility of our meeting our financial arrangements this year. Passing from that to the roads themselves, what an unthrifty and profuse—I almost said profligate—policy it would be to take £5,500,000 from the surplus and throw it down upon the rural roads without any provision for continuing it in future years. The revenues of the Road Fund in the ordinary course would not suffice to sustain expenditure at that level. To take this money from the reserve fund would no doubt make a splash for the first year, and a great many schemes would be started and hopes excited, but then there would be no continuing revenues to carry the process forward, with the result that waste of the most pitiful character would occur.

I am quite sure that some of this £5,500,000 which the right hon. Gentleman wishes to spend in order to retrieve his character with the agricultural community—and I think it will take all that to do it—could be much better devoted to reducing our National Debt through the medium of the new sinking fund, and thus maintaining the general credit of the country. The right hon. Gentleman's proposal is characterised by another extremely vicious element, namely, the proposal that the grants should in some cases reach a total of 75 per cent, from the National Exchequer, 25 per cent. only being contributed locally. We have already repeatedly examined some of the evil tendencies of the present grant system, and everyone knows, as I have said before in these Debates, that even the 50–50 grant tends to lead to local extravagance and to schemes being pushed forward, not so much because they are necessary or because they are the best, but because, at any rate, pound for pound, they bring additional money into the district. To go and spend £3 of national money to produce the expenditure of £1 of local money and to encourage local authorities to plan schemes of that kind is to put forward principles which utterly vitiate every conception of sound finance. It only shows that the right hon. Gentleman, who is always ready to pose as the most austere financier and strict economist, scatters those principles to the wind, like most other Socialists, whenever there is a chance, however brief or improbable, of securing votes.

I leave the right hon. Gentleman and his Amendment and I come to the record of His Majesty's Government upon this question of the rural roads, and in dealing with it I must also ask that this matter should be considered in relation to the general effort we have made to sustain agriculture. It is natural that the Government which owes so much of its support to the rural districts, should feel a special responsibility towards the agricultural community, and we have made a very important contribution to the needs of our greatest industry. Let me just read out—and it may surprise the Committee—the expense which is being provided in this year's Budget for the maintenance of the agricultural community—for the question of our road expenditure in the rural districts must be judged in its general relation. There is the beet sugar subsidy, which reaches a total of £4,500,000 this year; there is £400,000 for education in connection with agriculture, £355,000 for research, £96,000 for livestock improvement, £182,000 for animal diseases. £953,000 for smallholdings—


On a point of Order. When I spoke on this question of the Road Fund, I was not allowed to introduce any extraneous subject, and I should like to know whether the right hon. Gentleman is in order in introducing agricultural education, which has nothing whatever to do with the Road Fund.


On that point of Order, I think the hon. Member was allowed to go as far back as Julius Cæsar.

The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Captain FitzRoy)

The right hon. Gentleman is quite in order in justifying the taking of money from the Road Fund.


I only wanted to get it in, that is all.


There is £100,000 for drainage, and £106,000 for miscellaneous services—total £6,692,000. To that should be added the new agricultural rates grants which were introduced in 1923 and are now being provided regularly—£3,600,000, making a total of £10,300,000, to which must be added about £700,000 for general expenses, travelling and administration and so forth, or very nearly £11,000,000 in all which is being provided in the Budget of the present year in aid of agriculture in one form or another—that is to say, we are finding in this Budget a continuing expenditure very nearly equal to the total amount being taken from the Road Fund. I do not say this at all to indicate that we regard our task as finished. On the contrary; the existing conditions of agriculture are causing the deepest concern to His Majesty's Government and it shall be, and is, our ceaseless endeavour to find means—not detrimental or unfair to the rest of the country—by which it may be stimulated and encouraged. This Parliament will certainly not close without further effort to find means which will be, I venture to think, helpful to agriculture and far more useful to the agricultural community than flinging this lump sum, as the right hon. Gentleman proposes, without any prospect of continuance, upon the rural road authorities.

Let us see what we have done during the present Parliament to assist the development of rural roads and to lighten the burden on the country districts. Year by year we have provided £1,250,000 for the improvement of rural roads. That is a continuing provision to supply which the revenues exist. In 1926 we introduced an entirely new form of assistance as regard the unclassified roads in the shape of the 20 per cent. maintenance grant. This grant was estimated to cost £1,400,000, but when it was found that the whole amount would not be required on the 20 per cent. basis, we made, as hon. Friend has reminded us, a bonus distribution last year of 5 per cent. We have since renewed the same sum of £1,400,000 in the budget of the Ministry of Transport in the present year, but anticipating that more roads will be placed in this category and making some allowance for the growing expenditure. on these roads, we estimated that the £1,400,000 provided would not permit of a larger rate of distribution than last year's figure of 20 per cent. At the same time we have continued the policy of increasing the mileage of the roads in Classes 1 and 2 wherever such increase is justified by the traffic conditions.

We have recently made a fresh departure in raising the maintenance grant for Class 2 roads from 25 per cent. to 33⅓ per cent., that is, from one-quarter to one-third, with effect from last April. That is an additional concession which my right hon. Friend the Member for Wells asked me to confirm, and which was announced recently by the Prime Minister, and the effect of which is to cost the Road Fund upwards of £500,000 a year. In these ways we have now allocated the whole of the available revenues of the Fund for the year. I certainly had hoped, and it is still my hope, that the increased grant, for the Class 2 roads, although by no means satisfying the demands which have been made—and nothing, I suppose, will ever satisfy them—will nevertheless be accepted by all fair-minded people as the most we are able to do in view of the difficult circumstances of the year. I have, however, been pressed by my hon. Friends to endeavour to make some further provision for the scheduled roads. What is there more that I can do? I cannot derange the structure of the Budget, and I do not think I ought to be asked to do so from any quarter in the House. We are doing our very utmost to come through this difficult period, and I am counting on the £12,000,000 from the road-Fund to balance the general finances of the country, and the Government cannot possibly rest content with a lesser sum. It has, however turned out that the balance of the Road Fund on the 31st March was somewhat in excess of £12,000,000, and with this margin, and taking a somewhat more optimistic view of the Road Fund revenues for the year than I felt justified in taking last April, I think it may be possible to go some way to meet the wishes of my hon. Friends. I shall be glad to accept the Amendment which is on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto) to the effect that the Exchequer will take no more than the £12,000,000 upon which it is counting, and I propose to spend the additional money which thus becomes available for the further relief of the scheduled roads by making the distribution even on the greater mileage which we anticipate in the present year a full 25 per cent. instead of the 20 per cent. already announced. That is all I can do at the moment.


Could the right hon. Gentleman say what extra sum that would amount to?


I cannot, because it is not possible to estimate exactly what the surplus will be above the total of £12,000,000.


Will it amount to £200,000?


If we were to begin guessing we might easily narrow the field of speculation so that there would be nothing left for the future to disclose. We might find that the revenue of the Fund is greater than we expect or that the disbursements may be less than we are prepared for. If it should turn out that there is a further balance available in this way, I am quite prepared to consider whether some further relief might not be given to the roads in rural areas in one form or another; but it will be impossible to make any statement on that subject until after next January, when we shall know more exactly what the state of the Fund will be. Next year, no doubt, other possibilities will be open, and it is agreed on all sides that in future the emphasis should be laid rather an upkeep than on major works of new construction. We have provided this year for road purposes about £20,000,000, or £2,000,000 more than last year. Next year there should be available for the roads between £2,000,000 and £3,000,000 more. I have no intention of touching that.

It is not the intention of the Government in any way to make further inroads upon the yield of the Motor Licence Duties in the lifetime of the present Parliament. That increase, whatever it may be—and it will certainly be considerable—will be devoted continuously to the development, of the roads, rural and urban, according to the best possible scheme. Whatever may be received from these vast revenues, will be used for road purposes, and in particular it will be used to assist the local authorities in the ever-increasing burdens which lie upon them.

I have done my best to ease the many difficulties with which we are confronted, and, as far as possible, to bring into harmonious relation the special problems of the rural road authorities and the large general consideration of national finance. I trust that the Committee, which has now examined this matter from so many angles and so thoroughly, will be ready to support the Government in taking this sum of money from the Road Fund, which is an essential part of the general finance of the country.


Every one of the supporters of the Government who have taken part in this discussion has denounced the raid which the right hon. Gentleman has made upon the Road Fund. They may have derived from his concluding remarks sufficient satisfaction to justify them going into the Division Lobby in support of the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman, in the early part of his speech, when he was giving the reasons which in his opinion justified this raid, contributed nothing new to the reasons which he has on many previous occasions placed before the House and Committee. The right hon. Gentleman's reasons fall under three heads. First of all, we have the best roads in the world; we are spending more money on our roads than probably any other country, and therefore that is every justification for him taking this money and which, according to the statement he made in an early part of his speech, is really not needed either for maintenance or for the improvement of roads.

Then he advances the familiar argument that, in considering expenditure on roads, we must have a sense of proportion and that we must not curtail expenditure on other essential public services by spending too much upon the maintenance or improvement of roads. That argument loses all its force when we remember that the Road Fund stands in a special category. The money was raised for one specific purpose. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon (Mr. Lloyd George), in the course of his speech this afternoon, said that users of the road are specially taxed for the maintenance of the roads, and that, therefore, places this Road Fund in a special category. The money was contributed for a special purpose, and it is not right to use money which has been contributed for a specific object for some other purpose.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer's third argument was the familiar one that the financial position of the country was such that he really must lay his hands upon this fund. I am not going to enter at any length on his denial of responsibility for the present financial position—we have debated that often enough—but, whatever the financial position of the country may be, it does not justify the Chancellor of the Exchequer in taking money which does not belong to him and money which has been contributed, as I say, for a special purpose, and which is still needed for that special purpose The Chancellor of the Exchequer, anticipating what I might say, referred to the alternative of an increase in the Income Tax, and said that, if he had not come upon this Fund, that increase in the Income Tax would become permanent. Surely the right hon. Gentleman is quite mistaken there. He took off 6d, from the Income Tax two years ago, and, if he had imposed 6d. this year in order to meet the consequences of his reckless finance, and if when better times came he found he no longer needed that extra impost on Income Tax, it would have been just as easy for him to take it off as he found it to be easy two years ago.

There is a further point which the Chancellor of the Exchequer advanced. I am not quite sure whether he repeated it in his speech this afternoon, but he has made it many times on former occasions, namely, that the Road Fund was increasing at such a rate that it was quite impossible to absorb it in road improvements and road maintenance. That point has been dealt with by some hon. Members who have taken part in the Debate this afternoon. Instead, however, of money from this Road Fund being spent usefully in the maintenance and improvement of roads, schemes are being held up all over the country because of the refusal of the Ministry of Transport to make the necessary advances. The Chancellor of the Exchequer further said that, notwithstanding his resolute efforts at spending the money, the coffers of the Road Fund were continually overflowing. I have here a letter which was sent by the Ministry of Transport to the West Riding County Council declining to make any allocation from the fund for the purpose of improving a very dangerous bridge which is in their area. The West Riding County Council repeatedly made application to the Ministry of Transport for some assistance, and this is the letter which was recently received from the Ministry of Transport: I have to acknowledge receipt of your letters of the 3rd and 8th instant, respectively, enclosing forms together with calculations, specifications"— and so on— with an application for financial assistance from the Road Fund and for sanction for the necessary loan. Now, this is the point of the letter: I regret, however, to inform you that there are at present no funds available from which such assistance can at present be given, but the scheme will be registered with a large number of others and will be considered if and when funds become available. That letter was written by the Ministry of Transport just before the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced his raid of £12,000,000 upon this Road Fund. Yet the coffers of the Road Fund were overflowing. The funds could not be usefully employed. The public have to be endangered by bridges of this character, because there are no funds available; and this is the only one, according to the Ministry of Transport, of a great many others.

The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells (Sir R. Sanders) confessed himself this afternoon to be pretty simple in the matter of arithmetic. He said he could not understand the contention which was urged by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that, notwithstanding the fact that he has taken £26,000,000 from the Road Fund during the last few years, there would be quite as much money available as if not a penny of this money had been taken. I place myself in the same school as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells. It does seem to those of us who have not the financial skill of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that, if you take £26,000,000 from a fund which has been allocated for a specific purpose, there must be that sum at least less available. And that, of course, is the explanation of the Ministry of Transport sending out letters like the one I have quoted, to the effect that they have no money, and that they cannot sanction the loan, and that the public must continue running the danger to their lives and limbs and traffic because of the financial policy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer got quite sarcastic about an Amendment on the Paper which stands in my name and that of my hon Friend the Member for Keighley (Mr. Lees-Smith) and claimed that it was put forward by some group or faction of the Tory party. Those groups in the Tory party now seem to be growing like mushrooms on a summer day. I was not aware that any section of the Tory party had been interested in the proposal which appeared on the Order Paper in the form of the Amendment. As a matter of fact, it is a proposal of the County Councils Association. The right hon. Gentleman paid particular attention to only one part of that Amendment, the part which proposes that there shall be a grant of 25 per cent. towards the maintenance of the unclassified country roads. It is quite evident that the right hon. Gentleman did not know anything about my Amendment. Those Who had prepared his speech for him had evidently not been made acquainted with it. In view of the right hon. Gentleman's criticism of that part of the Amendment, I was amazed to hear a little later in his speech that he is already making a grant of from 20 to 25 per cent. on the class of roads for which I am asking, in this Amendment a specific and regularised grant of 25 per cent.

An observation which I made in the course of the Debates last year has come as a perfect godsend to the Tory party, and I understand it has been very extensively used and quoted upon the Tory platform. I have not the least objection to that statement being quoted, provided it is quoted correctly. I may say that one Tory Member of Parliament has already had to apologise through the local newspaper for having misrepresented and mis-quoted that statement. I only referred to the farmer, but some Tory Members are saying that I referred to the labourer too. The hon. and gallant Member for Bournemouth (Sir H. Croft) made that statement in Sussex the other day. He said that I stated that the labourer had always been the pampered darling of the Tory party.

Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT

Will the right hon. Gentleman deny that the word "farmer" obviously includes all the parties engaged on the land?


Anybody who heard my statement, or anybody who will read it in connection with the point with which I was dealing—namely, the question of the income Tax—can place no other construction upon it, if they are honest men, than that I meant the landlord interested in agriculture. I do not see, therefore, why the Chancellor of the Exchequer should have been so sarcastic about that part of the Amendment which proposes that 25 per cent. of the maintenance of unclassified roads should be met from the Road Fund, when he himself a few moments later claimed the credit for himself and for the Ministry of Transport that that was something like the proportion which they were already allocating.


The part I touched upon specially was that dealing with the 75 per cent.


I am quite prepared to justify what I have said about the 75 per cent., 50 per cent., and 25 per cent. I justify the 25 per cent. for unclassified roads on the ground that they are now being used to an ever-increasing extent for motor traffic which does not belong to them. The same thing applies in an increasing degree to the second-class roads for which we are asking 50 per cent. In asking that 25 per cent. of the cost of the unclassified roads should be paid out of national funds, we are not asking for what is more than a reasonable and proportionate contribution from those outside the district who use the roads to an ever-increasing extent.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, near the end of his speech, tried to meet the objections which have been brought forward in such profusion this afternoon by members of his own party, by making some ambiguous and very indefinite promises in regard to some additional contribution which they may expect from the Road Fund at the end of this year. What is it going to be? If hon. Members who have spoken this afternoon, and who have expressed their irritation at the Chancellor's action, are going to be satisfied with what the Chancellor of the Exchequer has promised them, then they can be bought very cheaply. I do not know what this contribution will amount to in the County of Somerset, but I have the figure as to what it will amount to in one of the most important county councils in this country, namely, the West Riding County Council of Yorkshire. They are spending £2,000,000 a year upon their roads.


Those roads do not come under the county council ; they come under the district councils.


This is a contribution which will be received, not by the county council, but within the area of the county council.


It has nothing to do with the £2,000,000 spent by the county council.


I know it has not. Surely that interjection was unnecessary. I showed what was being spent upon the roads in that district, and what is the contribution which is going to come into the area from this grant; and it would amount to £6,000. I repeat, therefore, that if hon. and right hon. Members' objection to the raiding of the Road Fund is going to be met by the concession which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made, then they can be bought very cheaply.

I have touched on most of the points with which the Chancellor of the Exchequer dealt in his speech. He finished by making a promise that he does not intend to raid the Road Fund again. I would advise him not to be too reckless in his intentions and promises. Some of the promises that made shortly after he took office have come home to roost. I doubt if a single one has been fulfilled. The right hon. Gentleman is always an optimist. He expects to be in a better financial position next year. I am quite certain of this, that if he is in financial difficulties next year—and it is very likely that he will be not in a very good financial position—if there anything in the Road Fund he will not be deterred by the statements he has made this afternoon from raiding that fund. The right hon. Gentleman has done a good many reprehensible things during the last few years. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells has moderated his language in this Debate. I remember that a year ago he described the Chancellor of the Exchequer's action as being petty larceny. This afternoon it was a gigantic acquisition of funds, or something of that sort. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells concluded his speech by saying that, if the Chancellor of the Exchequer would make some very moderate concessions which he suggested, he would over-look the raiding of the larger sum. I wonder if the right hon. Gentleman really knew what he was doing. Does he see what all that involved? Last year he described the raid on the Road Fund as larceny; well, I believe larceny is a criminal offence. The right hon. Gentleman has repeated the larceny this year, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells says that if he will give him a sum of something like £400,000 out of this £12,000,000 he is prepared to condone this felony. It is rather a serious thing for the right hon. Gentleman who is a county magistrate to announce that he is prepared to condone a felony of £12,000,000 on condition that his own district can get a paltry half-a-million or so.

As I said, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has done many discreditable and reprehensible things during the last few years, but he has done nothing so bad as his raid upon the Road Fund. Instead of there being less need for spending money on the road, the need to spend more is increasing every year. An hon. Member who spoke earlier in the Debate this afternoon said that, however necessary or desirable it might he to spend more money on the roads, we could not afford to do it at the present time, and he quoted a Spanish saying that when it rains everyone gets wet. He applied that to the fact that we are in financial difficulties at the present time and that therefore everyone must stiffer in consequence. He reminded me of some negro dogerel which would be much more appropriate: The rain, it raineth every day, Upon the just and unjust fellow, But most it rains upon the just, Because the unjust's got the just's umbrello. That all through has been the financial policy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He has been letting the rain fall, not upon those who deserve to get wet, and this is only one illustration of the general policy that he has adopted during these years. He said last year, and he has said the same thing this year, that it was not unpopular, and that there was no opposiion to it. But the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wells began his speech this afternoon by saying that there was the strongest feeling against this proposal in the constituencies. The County Councils' Association, which is composed to a very large extent of Tories, and among whom are many Members who sit on the other side of the House, unanimously passed a resolution condemning this raid. The largest petition presented to the House of Commons in recent years has been presented against this raid on the Road Fund. But the right hon. Gentleman, of course, has brought his supporters to heel. They will go into the Lobby this afternoon, and they will vote in support of this raid. The right hon. Gentleman's first statement in his speech this afternoon was that this subject had been exhausted. This subject has not been exhausted. When the next General Election comes, this will not be one of the least of the counts in the indictment against the Government, and the party opposite will then learn that not the least of those who have contributed to the disaster which will come upon their policy then will be the right hon. Gentleman himself.


I have been told that I am ready to condone a felony if I get my price. I think I have got a little more, and, being a man of my word, I ask leave to withdraw my Amendment.



Lieut.-Colonel WATTS-MORGAN

I want to say an additional word with regard to the County of Glamorgan. We have had already an opportunity of putting the matter in detail before the Prime Minister and the Treasury, and I simply want to place it on record. In addition to the West Riding of Yorkshire, in Glamorgan we have 34 certified estimates drawn up and the plans have been approved of, and we have a very large number of men in each of these localities. We have, in addition to that, 12 schemes which are urgent, where the traffic is dangerous, and we have been asking, in all, for a total sum of £700,000 within the last five or six months. This money, we are told to-day, will be held up till January, and our unemployed will have nothing to look forward to. Notwithstanding the statement made that the coffers of the Road Fund have been overflowing in the past, we have been unable to get the money. The result of the holding up of this money by the

Treasury will be that we shall be unable to carry on our work unless at the expense of the ratepayers, and I want to protest, on behalf of the Glamorgan County Council, against this diversion of money from the Road Fund, the fund for which it is intended.

Question put, "That these words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 142; Noes, 260.

Division No. 239.] AYES. [7. 55p. m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West) Grundy, T. W. Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Scrymgeour, E.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hlllsbro') Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Ammon, Charles George Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Shiels, Dr Drummond
Attlee, Clement Richard Hardie, George D. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Harris, Percy A. Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Baker, Walter Hayday, Arthur Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley) Smillie, Robert
Barnes, A. Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)
Batey, Joseph Hirst, G. H. Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Snell, Harry
Bondfield, Margaret Hore-Belisha, Leslie Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfleid) Spoor, Rt Hon. Benjamin Charles
Broad, F. A. Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Stamford, T. W.
Bromfield, William John, William (Rhondda, West) Stephen, Campbell
Bromley, J. Johnston, Thomas(Dundee) Strauss, E, A.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Sullivan, Joseph
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Sutton, J, E.
Buchanan, G. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Taylor, R. A.
Cape, Thomas Kelly, W. T. Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Clowes, S. Kennedy, T. Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Compton, Joseph Lansbury, George Thurtle, Ernest
Connolly, M. Lawrence, Susan Tinker, Jonn Joseph
Cove, W. G. Lee, F. Townend, A. E.
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Lindley, F. W. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Dalton, Hugh Lowth, T. Varley, Frank B,
Day, Colonel Harry Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Viant, S, P.
Dennison, R. MacLaren, Andrew Wallhead, Richard C.
Duckworth, John Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Watson, W. M. (Duntermlins)
Duncan, C. MacNeill-Weir, L. Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Dunnico, H. March, S. Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington) Maxton, James Wedgwood. Rt. Hon. Josiah
England, Colonel A. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Wellock, Wilfred
Evans, Capt. Ernest Welsh Univer.) Murnin, H. Welsh, J. C.
Forrest, W. Oliver, George Harold Westwood, J.
Gardner, J. p. Palin, John Henry Whiteley, W.
George, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd Paling, W. Wiggins, William Martin
Gibbins, Joseph Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Williams, C. p. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Gillett, George M. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Williams, David (Swansea, E.)
Gosling, Harry Ponsonby, Arthur Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Potts, John S. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Purcell, A. A. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercilffe)
Greenall, T, Rees, Sir Beddos Wilson, R, J. (Jarrow)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Windsor, Walter
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Riley, Ben Wright, W.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Ritson, J.
Groves, T. Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Strettord) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Hayes.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.) Bourne, Captain Robert Croft
Albery, Irving James Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Bennett, A. J. Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Braithwaite, Major A. N.
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Berry, Sir George Brass, Captain W.
Astor, Viscountess Bethel, A. Brassey, Sir Leonard
Atkinson, C. Betterton, Henry B. Brittain, Sir Harry
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Birchall, Major J. Dearman Brocklebank, C. E. R.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Blundell, F. N. Brown-Lindsay, Major H.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Boothby, R. J. G. Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)
Buckingham, Sir H. Headlam, Lieut-Colonel C. M. Perring, Sir William George
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Burman, J. B. Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootie) Pilcher, G.
Burton, Colonel H. W. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Pilditch, Sir Philip
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Pownall, Sir Assheton
Carver, Major W. H. Hills, Major John Walter Preston, William
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Price, Major C. W. M.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Holt, Captain H. P. Radford, E. A.
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Homan, C. W. J. Raine, Sir Walter
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Ramsden, E.
Chapman, Sir S. Hope, Sir Harry (Fortar) Rawson, Sir Cooper
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Hopkins, J. W. W. Remnant, Sir James
Christie, J. A. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Rentoul, G. S.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Hudson, R. S. (Cumbert'nd, Whiteh'n) Rice, Sir Frederick
Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Hume, Sir G. H. Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)
Clayton, G. C. Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Cobb, Sir Cyril Hurd, Percy A. Ropner, Major L.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Rye. F. G.
Colman, N. C. D. Jacob, A. E. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Conway, Sir W. Martin James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Sandeman, N. Stewart
Cooper, A. Duff Jephcott, A. R. Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Cope, Major William Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Sandon, Lord
Couper, J. B. Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Savery, S. S.
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn. N.) Kindersley, Major Guy M. Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie
Craft, Brigadier-General Sir H. King, Commodore Henry Douglas Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.)
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Knox, Sir Alfred Skelton, A. N.
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Lamb, J. Q. Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Curzon, Captain Viscount Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd) Leigh, Sir John (Clapham) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H. Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Smithers, Waldron
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Davies, Dr. Vernon Loder, J. de V. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Long, Major Eric Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Dawson, Sir Philip Looker, Herbert William Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Dean, Arthur Wellesley Lougher, Lewis Stuart, Crichton-,Lord C.
Dixey, A. C. Lowe, Sir Francis William Styles, Captain H. W.
Drewe, C. Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Ellis, R. G. Lumley, L. R. Sugden Sir Wilfrid
Elveden, Viscount Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (l. of W) Tasker, R. Inigo.
Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South) Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart) Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Everard, W. Lindsay Maclntyre, Ian Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell.
Fairfax, Captain J. G. McLean, Major A Tinne, J. A.
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Tichfield, Major the Marquess of.
Fanshawe, Captain G. D. McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Fermoy, Lord Macquisten, F. A. Waddington, R.
Fielden, E. B. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Wallace, Captain D. E.
Foxcroft, Captain C. T. Malone, Major P. B. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Fraser, Captain Ian Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Frece, Sir Walter de Margesson, Captain D. Warrender, Sir Victor
Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K. Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Galbraith, J. F. W. Meller, R. J. Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Ganzonl, Sir John Meyer, Sir Frank Watts, Dr. T.
Gates, Percy Milne, J. S. Wardlaw- Wells, S. R.
Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Grace, John Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden) White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-
Grant, Sir J. A. Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Williams, Com. C. (Dovon, Torquay)
Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Greene, W. P. Crawford Morden, Col. W. Grant Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds Central)
Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Wilson R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Murchison, Sir Kenneth wise, Sir Fredric
Grotrian, H. Brent Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph Withers John James
Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristrol, N.) Nelson, Sir Frank Wolmer Viscount
Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Neville, Sir Reginald J. Womersley W. J.
Hacking, captain Douglas H. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Wood, E (Chestr', Stalyb'dge & Hyde)
Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge) Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)
Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Wood, Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Nuttall, Ellis Wragg, Herbert
Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton) Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Harrison, G. J. C. O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh Young, Ht. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)
Hartington, Marquess of Pennefather, Sir John
Harvey, G. Lambeth, Kennington) Penny, Frederick George
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Haslam, Henry C. Perkins, Colonel E. K. Major Sir George Hennessy and Mr.
F. C. Thomson.

I beg to move, in page 34, line 39, after the word "representing," to insert the words "twenty-five per cent. of."

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided : Ayes, 143; Noes, 253.

Division No. 240.] AYES. [8. 4p. m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Groves, T. Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Grundy, T. W. Scrymgeour. E.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis
Ammon, Charles George Hail, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Attlee, Clement Richard Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Baker, J. (Wotverhampton, Bilston) Hardie, George D. Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Baker, Walter Harris, Percy A. Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Hayday, Arthur Smillie, Robert
Barnes, A. Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley) Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)
Batey, Joseph Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Hirst, G. H. Sneil, Harry
Bondfield, Margaret Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Hore-Belisha, Leslie Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles
Broad, F. A. Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Stamford, T. W.
Bromfield, William Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Stephen, Campbell
Bromley, J. John, William (Rhondda, West) Strauss, E. A.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Sullivan, Joseph
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Sutton, J. E.
Buchanan, G. Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Taylor, R. A.
Cape, Thomas Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Clowes, S. Kelly, W. T. Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)
Clynes, Right Hon. John R. Kennedy, T. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Compton, Joseph Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Thurtle, Ernest
Connolly, M, Lansbury, George Tinker, John Joseph
Cove, W. G, Lawrence, Susan Townend, A. E.
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Lee, F. Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn. N.) Lindley, F. W. Varley, Frank B.
Dalton, Hugh Lowth, T. Viant, S. P.
Day, Colonel Harry Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Wallhead, Richard C.
Dennison, R. MacLaren, Andrew Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Duckworth, John Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) Watts-Morgan, Lt. -Col. D. (Rhondda)
Duncan, C. MacNeill-Weir, L. Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Dunnico, H. March, S. Wedgwood. Rt. Hon. Joslah
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Maxton, James Wellock, Wilfred
Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington) Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N. ) Welsh, J. C.
England, Colonel A. Murnin, H. Westwood, J.
Evans, Capt. Ernest(Welsh Univer.) Oliver, George Harold Wiggins, William Martin
Forrest, W. Palin, John Henry Williams, C. P. Denbigh, Wrexham)
Gardner, J. P. Paling, W. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Gibbins, Joseph Pethlck-Lawrence F. W. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Gillett, George M. Ponsonby, Arthur Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Gosling, Harry Potts, John S. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Purcell, A. A. Windsor Walter
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Rees, Sir Beddoe Wright, W.
Greenall, T. Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Riley, Ben TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Ritson, J. Mr. Hayes and Mr. Whiteley.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stratford)
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Curzon, Captain Viscount
Albery, Irving James Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Buckingham, Sir H. Davidson, Major-General Sir J. H.
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Burman, J. B Davies, Dr. Vernon
Astor, Viscountess Burton, Colonel H. W. Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)
Atkinson, C, Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Dawson, Sir Philip
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Carver, Major W. H. Dean, Arthur Wellestey
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Cautley, Sir Henry S. Dixey, A. C.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Cazalet, Captain victor A. Drewe, C.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Ellis, R. G.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Cnadwick, Sir Robert Burton Elveden Viscount
Bennett, A. J. Chapman, Sir S. Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Everard, W. Lindsay
Berry, Sir George Christie, J. A. Fairfax, Captain J. G.
Bethel, A. Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Falle, Sir Bertram G.
Betterton, Henry B. Clayton, G. C. Fanshawe, Captain G. D.
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Cobb, Sir Cyril Fermoy, Lord
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Flelden, E. B.
Blundell, F. N. Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Foxcroft, Captain C. T.
Boothby, R. J. G. Colman, N. C. D. Fraser, Captain Ian
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Conway, Sir W. Martin Frece, Sir Walter de
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Cooper, A. Duff Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Cope, Major William Galbraith, J. F. W.
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Couper, J. B. Ganzonl, Sir John
Brass, Captain W. Courtauld, Major J. S. Gates, Percy
Brassey, Sir Leonard Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton
Brittain, Sir Harry Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Grace, John
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro) Grant, Sir J. A.
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Lowe, Sir Francis William Rye, F. G.
Greaves-Lord Sir Walter Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Salmon, Major I.
Greene, W. P. Crawford Lumley, L. R. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Sandeman, N. Stewart
Grotrian, H. Brent Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart) Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.) Macintyre, Ian Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. McLean, Major A. Savery, S. S.
Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie
Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew. W.)
Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Macquisten, F. A. Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Making, Brigadier-General E. Skelton, A. N.
Harland, A. Malone, Major P. B. Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Harrison, G. J. C. Margesson, Captain D. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K. Smithers, Waldron
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Meller, R. J. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Haslam, Henry C. Moyer, Sir Frank Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Headlam Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Milne, J. S. Wardlaw- Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxt'd, Henley) Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V, L. (Bootie) Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Styles, Captain H. W,
Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford) Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Hills, Major John Waller Morden, Colonel W. Grant Tasker, R. Inigo.
Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Holt, Capt. H. P. Murchison, Sir Kenneth Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Homan, C. W. J. Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph Tinne, J. A.
Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.) Nelson, Sir Frank Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Hopkins, J. W. W Neville, Sir Reginald J Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Waddington, R.
Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whlteh'n) Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Wallace Captain D. E.
Hume, Sir G. H. Nuttall, Ellis Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kinston-on-Hull)
Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton) Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Hurd, Percy A. O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Pennefather, Sir John Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l) Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Watts, Dr. T.
Jacob, A. E. Perkins, Colonel E. K. Wells, S. R.
James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Perring, Sir William George Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Jephcott, A. R Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-
Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Pilcher, G. Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Pilditch, Sir Philip Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Pownall, Sir Assheton Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Kindersley, Major G. M. Preston, William Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
King, Commodore Henry Douglas Price, Major C. W. M. Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Radford, E. A. Wise, Sir Fredric
Knox, Sir Alfred Ralne, Sir Walter Withers, John James
Lamb, J. Q. Ramsden, E. Wolmer, Viscount
Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Rawson, Sir Cooper Womersley, W. J.
Leigh, Sir John (Clapham) Remnant, Sir James Wood, E. (Chester, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)
Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Rentoul, G. S. Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich W.)
Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Rice, Sir Frederick Wood, Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)
Loder, J. de V. Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint) Wragg, Herbert
Long, Major Eric Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford) Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Looker, Herbert William Ropner, Major L.
Lougher, Lewis Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. F. C. Thomson and Mr. Penny.
Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

I beg to move, in page 34, line 42, at the end, to insert the words: Provided that all commitments of the Road Fund outstanding on the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and twenty-seven, shall, to the extent of twelve million

pounds, be met otherwise than out of the future revenue of the fund"

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 143; Noes, 254.

Division No. 241.] AYES. [8. 14p. m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Bromfield, William Duckworth, John
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Bromley, J. Duncan, C.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Brown, Ernest (Leith) Dunnico, H.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)
Ammon, Charles George Buchanan, G. Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)
Attlee, Clement Richard Cape, Thomas England, Colonel A.
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston) Clowes, S. Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)
Baker, Walter Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Forrest, W
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Compton, Joseph Gardner, J. P.
Barnes, A, Connolly, M. Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.
Batey, Joseph Cove, W. G. Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Gibbins, Joseph
Bondfiefd, Margaret Dalton, Hugh Gillett, George M.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Day, Colonel Harry Gosling, Harry
Broad, F. A. Dennison, R. Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) MacLaren, Andrew Strauss. E. A.
Greenall, T. Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Sullivan, J.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) MacNeill-Welr, L. Sutton, J. E.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) March, S. Taylor, R. A.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Maxton, James Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Groves, T. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)
Grundy, T. W. Murnin, H. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Oliver, George Harold Thurtle, Ernest
Hall, G. H. (Mertnyr Tyavil) Palin, John Henry Tinker, John Joseph
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Paling, W. Townend, A. E.
Hardie, George D. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.
Harris. Percy A. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Varley, Frank B.
Hayday, Arthur Ponsonby, Arthur Viant, S. P.
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley) Potts, John S. Wallhead, Richard C.
Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Purcell, A. A. Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Hirst, G. H. Bees, Sir Beddoe Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Hirst, W. (Bradford, South) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Hore-Belisha, Leslie Riley, Ben Wedgwood. Rt. Hon. Joslah
Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Ritson, J. Wellock, Wilfred
Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland) Welsh, J C.
John, William (Rhondda, West) Scrymgeour, E. Westwood, J.
Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Wiggins, William Martin
Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth) Shiels, Dr. Drummond Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Williams, David (Swansea, E.)
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Sinclair, Major sir A. (Caithness) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Kelly, W. T. Slesser, Sir Henry H. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Kennedy, T. Smillie, Robert Wilson. C. H. (Shefield, Attercliffe
Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Lansbury, George Smith, Ronnie (Penistone) Windsor, Walter
Lawrence, Susan Snell. Harry Wright, W.
Lee, F. Snowden. Rt. Hon. Philip
Lindley, F. W. Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Lowth, T. Stamford, T. W. Mr. Hayes and Mr. Whiteley.
Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Stephen, Campbell
Albery, Irving James Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Guinness. Rt. Hon. Walter E.
Alexander, E. E.(Leyton) Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Gunston. Captain D. W.
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Colman, N. C. D. Hacking, Captain Douglas H.
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Cooper, A. Duff Hall, Lieut.-Col.Sir F. (Dulwich)
Astor, Viscountess Cope, Major William Hall, Capt. W. D'A (Brecon & Rad)
Atkinson, C. Couper, J. B. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Courtauld, Major J. S. Harland, A.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn., N.) Harmsworth, Hon. E. C.(Kent)
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Harrison, G. J. C.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)
Bennett, A. J. Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish- Crookshank, Col. H. (Lindsey, Gaintbro) Haslam, Henry C.
Berry, Sir George Curzon, Captain Viscount Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.
Bethel, A. Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd) Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)
Betterton, Henry B. Davidson, Major-General Sir John H. Henderson. Lt.-Col. Sir V. L.(Bootle)
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.
Bird, E. R.(YorkS, W. R., Skipton) Davies, Dr. Vernon Hennessy. Major Sir G. R. J.
Blundell, F. N. Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Herbert, Dennis (Hertford, Watford)
Boothby, R. J. G. Dawson, Sir Philip Hills, Major John Waller
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Dean, Arthur Wellesley Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Dixey, A. C. Holt, Capt. H. P.
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. H. Homan, C. W. J.
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Drewe, C. Hope. Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)
Brass, Captain W. Ellis, R. G. Hope. Sir Harry (Forfar)
Brassey, Sir Leonard Elveden, Viscount Hopkins, J. W. W.
Brittain. Sir Harry Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South) Howard-Bury. Lieut.-Coionel C. K.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Everard, W. Lindsay Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Fairfax, Captain J. G. Hudson. R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Fanshawe, Captain G. D. Hume, Sir G. H.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Fermoy, Lord Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer
Buckingham, Sir H. Fielden, E. B. Hurd, Percy A.
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Foxcroft, Captain C. T. Insklp, Sir Thomas Walker H.
Burman, J. B. Fraser, Captain Ian Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)
Burton, Colonel H. W. Frece, Sir Walter de Jacob, A. E.
Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony James,Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert
Carver, Major W. H. Galbraith. J. F. W. Jephcott, A. R.
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Ganzonl, Sir John Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newinoton)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Gates, Percy Kennedy, A. R. (Preston).
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Kidd, J.(Linlithgow)
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Grace, John Kindersley, Major Guy M.
Chapman, Sir S. Grant, Sir J. A. King, Commodore Henry Douglas
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Grattan-Doyle,Sir N. Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Christie, J. A. Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter Knox, Sir Alfred
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Greene, W. P. Crawford Lamb. J. Q.
Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.
Clayton, G. C. Grotrian, H. Brent Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)
Cobb Sir Cyril Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.) Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip
Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Loder, J. de V. Pennefather, Sir John Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Long, Major Eric Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Looker, Herbert William Perkins, Colonel E. K. Styles, Captain H. Walter
Lougher, Lewis Perring, Sir William George Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Lowe, Sir Francis William Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Luce, Maj. -Gen. Sir Richard Harman Pitcher, G. Tasker, R. Inigo.
Lumley, L. R. Pilditch, Sir Philip Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Pownall, Sir Assheton Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart) Preston, William Tinne, J. A.
Macintyre, Ian Price, Major C. W. M. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
McLean, Major A. Radford, E. A. Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Raine, Sir Walter Waddington, R.
McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Ramsden. E. Wallace, Captain D. E.
Macquisten, F, A. Rawson, Sir Cooper Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Makins, Brigadier-General E. Ramnant, Sir James Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Malone, Major P. B. Rentoul, G. S. Warrender, Sir Victor
Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Rice, Sir Frederick Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Margesson, Captain D. Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint) Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Mason, Lieut.-Col. Glyn K. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford) Watts, Dr. T.
Meller, R. J. Ropner, Major L. Wells, S. R.
Meyer, Sir Frank Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Milne, J. S. Wardlaw Rye, F. G. White, Lieut.-Col Sir G. Dairymple
Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney) Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden) Sandeman, N. Stewart Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Sanders, Sir Robert A. Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D. Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Savery, S. S. Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Morden, Col. W. Grant Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie Wise, Sir Fredric
Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby) Withers, John James
Murchison, Sir Kenneth Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.) Wolmer, Viscount
Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph Sheffield, Sir Berkeley Womersley, W. J.
Nelson, Sir Frank Skelton, A. N. Wood, E. (Chest'r, staiyb'ge & Hyde)
Neville, Sir Reginald J. Slaney, Major P. Kenyon Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich W.)
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.) Wood, Sir S. Hill (High Peak)
Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Smith-Carington, Neville W. Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Nuttall, Ellis Smithers, Waldron
O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. F. C. Thomson and Mr. Penny.

I beg to move, in page 34, line 42, at the end, to insert the words: Provided that such sum shall not exceed twelve million pounds. I am moving this Amendment on behalf of my hon. Friend the Member for Barnstaple (Sir B. Peto).

Colonel ASHLEY

I can accept this Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 252; Noes, 141.

Division No. 242.] AYES. [8.25 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.
Albery, Irving James Broun, Lindsay, Major H. Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Buckingham, Sir H. Crookshank, Col. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)
Ashley, Lt. -Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Curzon, Captain Viscount
Astor, Viscountess Burman, J. B. Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)
Atkinson, C. Burton, Colonel H. W Davidson, Major-General Sir John H
Balfour, George(Hampstead) Carver, Major W. H. Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovll)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Cautley, Sir Henry S. Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Davies, Dr. Vernon
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)
Bennett, A. J. Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Dawson, Sir Philip
Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish Chapman, Sir S. Dean, Arthur Wellesley
Berry, Sir George Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Dixey, A. C.
Bethel, A. Christie, J. A. Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert
Petterton, Henry B. Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Drewe, C.
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Ellis, R. G.
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton) Clayton, G. C. Elveden, Viscount
Blundell, F. N. Cobb. Sir Cyril Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)
Boothby, R. J. G. Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Everard, W. Lindsay
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Fairfax, Captain J. G
Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart Colman, N. C. D. Falle, Sir Bertram G.
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W. Conway, Sir W. Martin Fanshawe, Captain G. D
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Cooper, A. Duff Fermoy, Lord
Brass, Captain W. Cope, Major William Fielden, E. B.
Brassey, Sir Leonard Couper, J. B. Foxcroft, Captain C. T.
Brittain, Sir Harry Courtauld, Major J. S. Fraser, Captain Ian
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn., N.) Frece, Sir Walter de
Gadie, Lieut,-Col. Anthony Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Ropner, Major L.
Ganzonl, Sir John Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Gates, Percy Loder, J. de V. Rye, F. G.
Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Long, Major Eric Samuel, Samuel (W'dtworth, Putney)
Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham Looker, Herbert William Sandeman, N. Stewart
Gilmour, Lt. -Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Lougher, Lewis Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Goff, Sir Park Lowe, Sir Francis William Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Grace, John Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Savery, S. S.
Grant, Sir J. A. Lumley, L. R. Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W. ) Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)
Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart) Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Rentrew, W)
Greene, W. P. Crawford Macintyre, Ian Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London) McLean, Major A. Skelton, A. N.
Grotrian, H. Brent Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm Slaney, Major P. Kenyon
Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.) McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Gunston, Captain D.W. Makins, Brigadier-General E. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Hacking, Captain Douglas H. Malone, Major P. B. Smithers, Waldron
Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich) Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Somervllie, A. A. (Windsor)
Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Mason, Lieut-Col. Glyn K. Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Meyer, Sir Frank Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent) Milne, J. S. Wardlaw styles, Captain H. W.
Harrison, G. J. C. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Taskor, R. Inlgo.
Haslam, Henry C. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Thom, Lt. -Col. J.G. (Dumbarton)
Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C.M. Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Thomson, F. C, (Aberdeen, South)
Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Morden, Colonel Walter Grant Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-
Henderson, Lt.-Col. Sir V. L. (Bootie) Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Tinne, J. A.
Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Murchison, Sir Kenneth Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Hills, Major John Walter Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K.P.
Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone) Nelson, Sir Frank Waddington, R.
Holt, Capt. H. P. Neville, Sir Reginald J. Wallace, Captain D. E.
Homan, C. W. J. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun. ) Nield. Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Nuttall, Ellis Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Hopkins, J. W. W. O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton) Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Howard-Bury, Lieut.-Colonel C. K. O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh Watts, Dr. T.
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Pennefather, Sir John Wells, S. R.
Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n) Penny, Frederick George Wheler, Major Sir Granville C. H.
Hume, Sir G. H. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple.
Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Perkins, Colonel E. K. Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Hurd, Percy A. Perring, Sir William George Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cin'l) Pilcher, G. Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Jacob, A.E. Pilditch, Sir Philip Wilson. R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon Cuthbert Pownall, Sir Assheton Wise, Sir Fredric
Jephcott, A. R. Preston, William Withers, John James
Jones, G. W. H. (Stoke Newington) Price, Major C. W. M. Wolmer, Viscount
Kennedy, A. H. (Preston) Radford, E. A. Womersley, W. J.
Kidd, J. (Linlithgow) Ralne, Sir Walter Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)
Kindersley, Major G. M. Ramsden, E. Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich W. )
King, Commodore Henry Douglas Rawson, Sir Cooper Wood, Sir S. Hill-(High Peak)
Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Remnant, Sir James Wragg Herbert
Knox, Sir Alfred Rentoul, G. S. Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Lamb, J. Q. Rice, Sir Frederick
Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R. Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Leigh, Sir John (Clapham) Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford) Captain Lord Stanley and Captain
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Compton, Joseph Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Connolly, M. Grentell, D. R. (Glamorgan)
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Cove, W. G. Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)
Ammon, Charles George Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Grovts, T.
Attlee, Clement Richard Crawfurd, H. E. Grundy, T. W.
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Dalton, Hugh Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)
Baker, Walter Day, Colonel Harry Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Dennison, R. Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)
Barnes, A. Duckworth, John Hardie, George D.
Batey, Joseph Duncan, C. Harris, Percy A.
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Dunnico, H. Hayday, Arthur
Bondfield, Margaret Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington) Hayes, John Henry
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. England, Colonel A. Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)
Broad, F. A. Evans Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Henderson, T. (Glasgow)
Bromfield, William Forrest, W. Hirst, G. H.
Bromley, J. Gardner, J. P. Hirst, W, (Bradford, South)
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Gibbins, Joseph Hore-Belisha, Lesile
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Gillett, George M. Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)
Buchanan, G. Gosling, Harry Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)
Cape, Thomas Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) John, William (Rhondda, West)
Clowes, S. Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Greenall, T. Jonas, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)
Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Rees, Sir Beddoe Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Thurtle, Ernest
Kelly, W. T. Riley, Ben Tinker, John Joseph
Kennedy, T. Ritson, J. Townend, A. E.
Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Robinson, W. C. (Yorks. W. R., Elland) Varley, Frank B.
Lansbury, George Scrymgeour, E. Viant, S. P.
Lawrence, Susan Shepherd, Arthur Lewis Wallhead, Richard C.
Lee, F. Shiels, Dr. Drummond Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Lindley, F. W. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury) Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Lowth, T. Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness) Wellock, Wilfred
MacLaren, Andrew Slesser, Sir Henry H. Welsh, J. C.
Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Smillie, Robert Westwood, J.
MacNeill-Weir, L. Smith, H. B. Lees(Keighley) Whiteley, W.
Macquisten, F. A. Smith, Rennie (Penistone) Wiggins, William Martin
March, S. Snell, Harry Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)
Maxton, James Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)
Murnin, H. Stamford, T. W. Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Oliver, George Harold Stephen, Campbell Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Palin, John Henry Strauss, E. A. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Paling, W. Sullivan, Joseph Windsor, Walter
Pethick-Lawrence, F. W Sutton, J. E. Wright, W.
Ponsonby, Arthur Taylor, R. A.
Potts, John S. Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Purcell, A. A. Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.) Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.
Charles Edwards.

Question put, and agreed to.