Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment to Question [3rd December],
That the Bill be now read a Second time.
Which Amendment was, to leave out from the word "That," to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof the words
this House declines to assent to the Second Reading of a Bill which, in defiance of the emphatic protest of local governing bodies in Scotland, attacks the democratic foundations of local government by the co-option and nomination of urepresentative persons; dissipates effective local interest in administration and creates a new and costly bureaucracy; perpetuates the indefensible system of treating unemployment as a local and not a national responsibility; is calculated to hinder necessary developments in the public health services; and will add burdens to already harassed tenants and shopkeepers, while relieving wealthier sections of the community of their proper share of financial responsibility "for local government."—[Mr. Johnston.]
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question.'
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. William Watson)
I thought that it might be convenient at this stage of the Debate if I were to attempt to deal with some of the points which were raised in the course of yesterday's discussion. I would like, first of all, to pass some general observations on the purpose of the Bill itself. With regard to the proposals, I need hardly remind the House of their course; on the other hand, some of the remarks made yesterday seemed to suggest that the appearance of this Bill in the House was the first time any of the local authorities knew of the proposals of the Government. That is not correct, as Members who are acquainted with the facts know. We issued a White Paper in the summer, in order that we might get the assistance and help of those who were interested to evolve the best scheme on the lines laid down for the benefit of the people of Scotland as a whole. The Bill was introduced after the lapse of several 1050 months, and whatever Members may say about the drastic or reckless—or whatever other adjectives they may apply—proposals of the Government, they are less drastic and reckless as they appear in the Bill than they were in the White Paper. What we intended and wished to be the result of the publication of the White Paper and the following consultations, has happened. We have had the advantage of a great deal of useful and helpful criticism, and we have the benefit of those criticisms in the Bill. To say that we did that under a threat is surely a strange misuse of language. I think that some injustice has been done to the course which the Government have pursued in this matter.
It is now my duty to deal with the proposals in the Bill. Everyone knows that the main consideration which prompted these proposals was, first of all, the situation of many, if not most, of our basic industries as affecting the employment of labour and trade in this country; secondly, the condition—which is very largely a consequence of that situation—of what are familiarly known as necessitous areas, and the consequential, the long wished-for and asked-for reform in Scottish local Government. As regards the unfair incidence of the rates, because of which the de-rating proposals were made, it does seem to me that there has been considerable confusion of thought with regard to the reason for them, and the method which has been adopted. The purpose of the de-rating proposals is not to reduce rates; it is to alter the unfair incidence of rates, and it is very important to keep that distinction in mind.
§ Mr. MacLAREN rose—
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I would much rather proceed with my argument. If you reduced the rates by an extra amount, you would still leave untouched the question of the unfair incidence of the rates.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
It is very much better to let the right hon. and learned Gentleman pursue his speech without interruption.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
The incidence of rates is always a relative question between the different classes of ratepayers, and if there is an unjust incidence as regards any particular class, you really meet that by altering the incidence on that particular class, thereby reducing their burden relatively to the other classes in the community. The following words from the Yellow Book have often been quoted in this House, but they make clear the real gist of the unfairness of the incidence of rates on this class of ratepayers, and, if I may be allowed, I will read the extract once more:For poor relief, public health, education, and other objects of local expenditure, we exact contributions from our industries, not in proportion to the profits they make, but in proportion to the amount of fixed capital they employ. This in an extraordinarily vicious principle; so vicious that we should hardly tolerate it if immemorial usage did not blind our eyes to its significance. It penalises enterprise and capital development. It puts a premium on doing things in ways which require only a small plant, to the detriment of ways which require a large one.That last sentence is the key to our proposals for de-rating. [An HON. MEMBER: "Nonsense!"] It is neither argument nor helpful to say it is nonsense. The main object of this alteration in the rating of that class of subject is in order to remedy the very defect that is pointed out in that passage. Accordingly, we propose, first of all, to amend the incidence of rating, and, secondly, we propose the reform of local government—a reform affecting areas, authorities and finance, with a new basis of grant and a large sum of new money from the central authority. The first part of the proposal benefits particular industries. The second part of the proposal benefits the ratepayers generally, and it is very important to remember that it benefits them both by the guarantees and by the new money that is provided. Further, it must not he left out of account that, in the natural course of things, considerable economies 1052 ought to result from this centralisation, and that is all to the benefit of the general body of ratepayers, too. I see it suggested in the Amendment that we are setting up "a new and costly bureaucracy," and, in the same breath, we are attacked for destroying so many local authorities in Scotland with all their separate staff and all their separate expenditure. The two arguments will not stand together. Let me say a word or two about the incidence of rating referred to in the Amendment. If the incidence on that class of ratepayer is unfair, the question of whether there may he a profit out of the subjects or not is totally irrelevant. If the Amendment is just and fair, it means that a part of the subjects is being unfairly included as a subject of taxation.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
That is exactly what we are doing. The question whether, incidentally, under that, profit is or is not being made is entirely irrelevant. How does it help this matter for the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) to give long strings of the amounts of relief to be given by this just amendment of the rating law? Among that list, I see the hon. Member includes the Fairfield Shipbuilding Company, £13,000 odd, and a little later in the Debate we were told by the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Shinwell) that that would enable them to paint a new ship and nothing more. I mention these matters to nut them aside, because it seems to me that they have nothing whatever to do with this part of the proposal.
There were two other points made in the course of the Debate. The hon. Member for Dundee raised a point with regard to mineral royalty owners. Under Clause 33 (4), mineral royalty owners are bound, during the currency of existing leases, to hand over the whole of the relief they get to their tenants. I agree, there remains a point as to whether that relief should be given after the expiry of the lease. I propose to deal with that later, because the same argument applies to agricultural leases, and I come to that at once. It is suggested that the obligation on agricultural owners in Scotland to hand over 1053 during existing leases a part of the benefit they get should be continued on the expiration of those leases. It does seem to me what I should call a useless proposal, and I will tell the House why. The suggestion, of course, is that after parties are free to contract again the landlord is bound to take this into account in considering the amount of rent. They will be free agents in contracting their new rent, but observe, first of all, that we have experience of this matter. The same argument was used in 1896, both in England and Scotland. It was used again in 1923, but the experience of both countries has been that the landlords have not raised the rents.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
Let us take it apart from that. I understand that it was the argument of those who support the taxation of land values that whatever you do, everything will be put on to the tenant. Then what does it matter whether you provide that this handing over of part of the relief to the landlord is to be continued after the lease expires or not? Nay, if you accentuate the putting of that obligation upon the landlord after the lease is come to an end, you will make it all the more probable that that will be hastened. That does not seem to me a suggestion that would be of practical advantage to the tenants.
I pass to the question that has been more fully debated—local government reform. Here, again, I am going to venture, with the permission of the House, to quote another sentence from the Yellow Book—I am not sure whether it is a coincidence that the wastepaper baskets in the public parks are being painted yellow:At present our local government is a mass of anomalies and intricacies due to long-past historical origins. Overlapping, inefficiency, complications, and inequity exist everywhere, due to the variety of local government areas and their failure to correspond to the facts and necessities of to-day. Yet local jealousies and local interests are so strong that it is exceedingly difficult to secure the needed reforms and rearrangements, particularly because in any redistribution certain areas are hound to lose, as probably in equity they ought, in order that others may gain.In spite of that rather discouraging truism, the Government have taken their 1054 courage in hand, and have made proposals for the reform of local government. I will observe, first of all, because I think it is important, in view of the criticisms, for instance, of the right hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr Macpherson), that we do not discredit parish councils any more than we laud county councils. We think that both, with the machinery at their hands, have done their best, and done it well; but what we want to know is, what is the most effective machine, looking to the public need? Our strong belief is that the mixing of and help from both the small burghs and councils will result in a stronger body. I agree that there is a great deal of truth in what the right hon. Gentleman said yesterday, that many of the small burghs have done their housing admirably, and most keenly and economically, and some of the counties have not, and we propose to get some of the energy from the small burghs to help the counties. In other directions you will find it the other way. Surely that is one of the strongest arguments for the proposals which we have made.
Major-General Sir ROBERT HUTCHISON
Is that an argument in favour of putting the inefficient in charge of the efficient?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
It is an argument to make the inefficient efficient by putting them alongside the efficient—a very obvious and excellent method. The question of the abolition of parish councils begins with a general agreement which, I think, is best expressed in the words used by the hon. Member for Dunfermline (Mr. W. M. Watson). He said:It is because of the problem of the necessitous areas that we have had the demand for wider areas for parish administration in Scotland. I agree at once that there is such a demand. We all agree that the parish unit is too small."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd December, 1928; col. 899, Vol. 223.]That being the general basis for the discussion, the question is "What is the best reform to make, and what is the best unit?" The hon. Member for Dundee promised us yesterday what he called a better scheme than had been brought out. So far as I know, only two suggestions have been made up to the present. The first suggestion, of which 1055 we heard in connection with the English Bill, was to transfer relief of the able-bodied and the main roads to the State. I think that has already been very fully answered, and I do not propose to deal with it in detail, but may I draw attention to an observation of the hon. Member for Dundee which did not seem very helpful to his argument? I find an expression of his views with regard to what State control would mean when he is referring to the operations of the Ministry of Labour; he pointed out there the extraordinary variations under that administration. That does not seem to be very helpful to his argument; but there are many and important reasons, which were fully developed in connection with the English Bill, and there was also the reference to the Blanesburgh Report made by the hon. and gallant Member for Dumbartonshire (Lieut.-Colonel Thom) yesterday.
Here, perhaps, I may be allowed to digress for a moment to take up a point which the hon. Member for Dundee raised. He seems puzzled about the fraction of the Road Fund allocation of £3,000,000 being 11/91sts of the amount. I would like to make this, which is really a simple matter, quite clear. When Ireland was part of this country for financial purposes we dealt with it on a 100 per cent. basis. The proportions were: 80 per cent. to England, 11 per cent. to Scotland and 9 per cent. to Ireland. Ireland has now dropped out, and while it is correct to say that Scotland's proportion is 11/80ths of what England gets, it is incorrect to say it is 11/80ths of the Fund being distributed. You have got to divide the Fund into 91 parts, and England takes 80 and Scotland 11, and therefore the correct fraction is 11/91sts. The other suggestion which the hon. Member for Dundee made was the suggestion made by the parish councils' representative, that my right hon. Friend ought to appoint a Commission in order to delimit the new areas for parish council administration. He said:Let him send that Commission round the country, and let it recommend to him new areas, not necessarily in the same counties, but areas selected rather on the basis of, if I may use unfortunate words, geographical propinquity, rather on the basis of the social arrangement of places that are 1056 adjacent to one another.—[OFFCIAL REPORT, 3rd December, 1928; col. 888, Vol. 223.]Surely that would introduce confusion worse confounded in the public mind as to what the limits of the authorities were to be, and our view is that it is much simpler to adopt the existing larger areas which we have in the county councils and the larger burghs. We have frequently heard of this question of the burden on necessitous areas. I recall references to it in the course of the Committee proceedings on the Scottish Rating Bill two years ago, everyone was agreed that from the point of view of the financial difficulties it was essential that the burden should be spread, but the one thing which always gave us the greatest difficulty was how to preserve that which we wish to preserve, namely, local touch and local interest. A happy and feasible combination of those two factors was what everyone was anxious to obtain. We believe that in the proposals now before the House we have discovered that combination. We have found the broader financial basis which will make the back broad enough to bear the burden, and by a system of local committees we secure that local touch will be preserved. It is quite obvious that the suggestion which my right hon. Friend said yesterday he would be willing to listen to, that these local district committees or councils should be put on an elective basis, is one which must be carefully considered in its detail. I do not propose to deal with it in detail now, but obviously the suggestion of the appointment of an elected district committee or council is one which is worth considering; and may I point out that there is already in the Bill a possible basis for that to be done? If hon. Members look at Clause 18, Subsection (1, b), they will observe that that possibility is there preserved. That deals with Part IV of the Act of 1894 in regard to libraries, and so on. There is a basis there on which to work this out. I come next to the question of the small burghs.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I have got the reference which the right hon. Gentleman gave us in Clause 18, but all I can see is that it has got something to do with libraries.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
The effect of that is that the power to levy a local special rate for a special district under 1057 Part IV of the Act of 1894, which is the Parish Councils Act, is preserved. It is not overturned by this Bill. Similarly, a library rate levied within the landward area, or a special district rate, is also preserved. Therefore, there is the nucleus of a district rating possibility in the Bill already. But I merely draw attention to this as an index, and not as anything more.
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether these elected committees will have the same powers as counties?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
No, Sir, I cannot say that. [Interruption.] It is a very general question, and I am anxious not to give an answer that would either be misleading or would rule out anything. One wants to think it out a bit more. [Interruption.] What is the purpose of having a Second Reading Debate or a committee stage except to consider these things? I hope that hon. Members, most of them, if not all of them, are anxious to help us.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
You have got your orders from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne).
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I pass now to the question of small burghs and how they are to be represented on the county councils for what I may call transferred services. Obviously, there are two alternatives. One is that you should have a separate election direct to the county council, and the other is that the town council of the small burgh should nominate those representatives who are to be members of the county council.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
Yes, that they should nominate some of their own members. I agree that there are arguments for and against this proposal, but the argument which impresses me most in favour of nomination is that undoubtedly it will form a useful liaison between the small burgh and the county council. It will enable the town council to have full information and full report of what the county council are doing, and vice versa, and it seems to me that 1058 one should not readily discourage the method of nomination on mere pure principles of democratic representation. That is what is weighing with me, and I hope the House generally will appreciate it, and that the town councils of the small burghs will also appreciate the reason for the course taken in this Bill.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Sir John Gilmour)
And other factors.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Does that mean, if they are elected under the same terms as in the 1889 Act, that they will not have the right to vote except on matters affecting their own burgh?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
They will have the right to vote on all matters in which they are financially interested.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
Well, these are all general county matters; on matters in which the landward area alone is interested, they will not have the right to vote.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
This is a very important point. The right hon. Gentleman will admit that in addition to the nominated members from the town councils not being entitled to vote on all matters, that the electors within the burgh will not be entitled to elect representatives on the county council. How does he meet that point?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I agree that the electors will not have that right, except in the sense that they will elect their representatives on the town council in the first instance, and I presume that they will elect those persons whom they regard as worthy. But let me pass on to another point. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ross and Cromarty referred to the fixing of 20,000 as the 1059 limit of population. It is quite obvious that whatever limit you fix you will find some burgh immediately below it. In that case 20,000 is the existing limit, and it is not tied down to the 1921 census, because under the provisions of Clause 59 (2) what is taken is the present population, and that Sub-section provides:(2) Any reference in this section to the population of a burgh shall be deemed to he a reference to the population within the police boundaries thereof according to the census of nineteen hundred and twenty-one unless it shall be established to the satisfaction of the Secretary of State within 30 days of the passing of this Act that in the case of any burgh it has a larger population as at the passing of this Act; and in any such case such reference shall be taken to be the larger population so established.The same right hon. Gentleman raised a question which I should like to make quite` clear with regard to the powers to interfere with the management of some of their services by small burghs. That rests on two separate Clauses. Perhaps hon. Members will first of all look at Clause 11 (2), and there they will see that there is a power given to the Central Department, as follows:(2) It shall he lawful for the Central Department on the application of a local authority, if it shall appear to the Department that the combination of that authority with any other local authority or authorities for any purpose would be of public or local advantage, to make an order combining the areas of the local authorities or parts thereof for the purpose specified therein.That applies to any burgh and any county. Now I come to Clause 25 (1). In the first place, this Clause only operates where the town council or a small burgh is in default andhave failed to discharge their functions with respect to the provision of a water supply or of sewers or drains or with respect to housing.This provision is limited to the functions relating to public health, and it is intended to apply to a temporary period and such period as the Board fixes. It is quite obvious that if any public interest, or the interests of public health of the residents of that particular small burgh are not being properly served under this Clause they have the means of putting the matter right. In the case of county councils, the central authority have control over them by a reduction of the grant in case there 1060 is inefficient administration, and in the small burghs there is not the same control. Therefore, when we are leaving these services for the small burghs it is only reasonable that we should have some such control.
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
I am grateful to the Lord Advocate for his explanation. My point is that the older burghs, and even the minor burghs, resent the interference of the county councils, but they do not object so much to the interference of the Board direct.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
What is wanted here is something to carry on the water supply and other services, and you must have someone in the locality. The right hon. Gentleman will remember that the county council we are dealing with is the reconstituted county council which will contain representatives of the small burghs.
§ Major Sir ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR
Is it not a fact that many of the county councils are as backward in regard to the public services they give as the burghs, and is there any guarantee at all that the county councils will be more efficient to carry out these duties than the small burghs?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
The hon. and gallant Gentleman will see that the check on the county council is the control we have over the grants, and we have not that check in the case of the small burghs. Of course, we are not assuming that this Section will necessarily come into operation. If the public in a particular area are suffering from a bad and ineffective water supply or bad sewers, surely there ought to be a remedy vested in the central authority to see that those services are put right. It is equally fair that we must have this power if the small burgh is to do what is laid down in the Section.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
Does that mean that the county council will have its grant withdrawn if it does not carry out, on behalf of a small burgh, the service which that burgh has refused to carry out?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
No, Sir; the power will operate equally, because in that case it will be an authority in default. The object of the Clause is to make sure that the public do not suffer, 1061 and power is given not only to take it out of their hands in case of default, but to operate the service efficiently until the small burgh gets back into proper order again. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Fife (Mr. W. Adamson) seemed to have some anxiety as to whether the rating powers of the small burghs would be left intact. I say at once that as regards the reserved powers which have not been taken away all their rating powers will be left quite intact, and they will be left exactly as they are at the present moment. Therefore, the right hon. Gentleman need have no apprehension on that score. Not only that, but there is an additional power given to the burghs where they become agents for the county council in such matters as rates, to contribute towards the cost of arrangements which they may find beneficial to their own areas.
The general efficiency of administration and the undoubted proud historical record of many Scottish burghs is not necessarily a final and conclusive answer as to whether they are the most effective and best areas in regard to size and other respects for administering certain services. It does not necessarily follow that because a burgh has admittedly done well for Scotland in the past that they are the most efficient body for administering those areas in the future under the new conditions. The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland is going to wind up this Debate, and, as he is far more familiar with these matters than I am, he will probably deal more fully with them. There was one point in the speech of the hon. Member for Dundee which I confess that I cannot follow. The hon. Member said:The heavier the local rate appears in the Valuation Roll the less is the effect of the proposal for de-rating, and therefore the less will be the relief which Scotland will get, and that very fact vitiates the formula."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd December, 1928; col. 878, Vol. 223.]As far as de-rating is concerned, it is quite obvious that the heavier the rates the greater the relief to the person de-rated, but I apprehend that the hon. Member was referring to the question of rateable value taken into the formula. I would like the hon. Member for Dundee to refer to the Fifth Schedule, Part III, paragraph 1 (ii), where he will find it 1062 stated in the rules for determining weighted population:(ii) If, in the appropriate year, the rateable value per head of the estimated population of the county or burgh is less than twelve pounds ten shillings by the percentage represented by the proportion which the deficiency bears to twelve pounds ten shillings.The reason for this is that the owner's rent and rates are included in the valuation in Scotland.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
It includes the owner's rates. I turn now to the question of education. First of all, may I state that with regard to the proposals for the alteration of the authority the right hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty is not correct in saying that the Act of 1918 has been scrapped. As a matter of fact, all the safeguards have been left intact, including transferred schools. Section 18 stands as it is now, and we also include the safeguard contained in Section 7 dealing with religious instruction.
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
The Lord Advocate says that the Act of 1918 remains intact, but may I point out that the cardinal principle of that Act was that the authorities should be representative of the people.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I said "intact, except as regards the alteration of the authority." The right hon. Gentleman talked about the whole Act having been scrapped, and in that he is incorrect. I mention this point, because it may raise apprehensions in the minds of a good many people. I would like to say a word about religious instruction. I agree with the hon. Member for Dundee that it would be most unfortunate if religious controversy were to be raised again, and anything that I say is in the hope of trying to get the matter on to a clearer and more helpful basis. I think that everyone is agreed, in the first place, that you cannot make religious instruction compulsory, and that, in the second place, it is desirable to maintain the "use and wont" in religious instruction, as prescribed in Section 7 of the Act of 1918. It may well he that the words inserted in parenthesis in Clause 11 are not the best 1063 form of words for the purpose, but I suggest that what it is really necessary to make clear there is that the provision for religious instruction under Section 7 of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1918, is included among the matters which stand referred to these Committees.
My hon. Friend the Member for Forfarshire (Sir H. Hope) yesterday said that he wished to see religious instruction continued. That is quite right, but "continue" is a difficult word to put into an Act of Parliament, because it involves in a sense some compulsion. suggest that some such word as "provision" would be amply satisfactory to accentuate, in the first place, the fact that this can be done, and, secondly, that the Section of the Act of 1918 remains intact. I apprehend that, as I have said already, we are really all agreed as to our object in this matter, and I suggest that discussion as to what are the most helpful words would be much more relevant in Committee than at the present stage.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I will agree to reconsider them; I cannot say more than that. I am as anxious as hon. Members are. My own desire is, on the one hand, to avoid any words which suggest compulsion, and, on the other hand, to make it clear that it is to be kept on the same basis which exists in the Act of 1918. Surely, we shall be able to get some words which will satisfy all parties. We are all equally agreed that we do not want to discuss the matter in any spirit of religious warfare or partisanship, or anything of the kind.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
The Lord Advocate has not touched the question of representation on these Committees. I do not want to interrupt him, but will he not face up to the composition of these Committees in so far as representatives are to be sent from the managers of the old transferred schools and from the Protestant community? He has not touched that point at all.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
That matter was not raised yesterday at all. The two points that were raised by the hon. Member in his speech were, firstly, the 1064 question of the pledge to the owners of transferred schools in 1918, in connection with which he referred to certain statements by Mr. Quin, and, secondly, the question of "use and wont" in religious instruction.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
The hon. Member's suggestion is, briefly, that the representation at present proposed for the Churches does not secure the end that we have in view. Is not that his suggestion?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I personally do not agree with it, but this again is a matter of words, which can be far more conveniently debated in Committee than on Second Reading, and I suggest that the Committee stage is a much more appropriate time for it. With regard to the transferred schools, the pledges given to them in 1918 were incorporated in the Act of 1918, and those pledges remain intact and will not be affected by this Bill.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
There was no pledge to the owners of the transferred schools that they would succeed in any elections to the authority, or anything of that kind.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
No, it does not; but I really do not want to enter into matters of that kind on the present occasion. On the general question, I think the case was most admirably put by the hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Mr. Buchan) yesterday, and I endorse every word that he said about the general advantages to education of the change from the ad hoc to the ad omnia authority.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I would repeat the words of the hon. Member for the Scottish Universities regarding the 1065 way in which, as I hope, hon. Members will approach these problems. He said:I hope that the criticism will be constructive. After all, there is only one major interest for all Scottish Members, and that is the good government of our native land." —[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd December, 1928; col. 905, Vol. 223.]We have conceived this proposal in that spirit, and have invited help and constructive criticism in that spirit. I am glad to say that we have received a good deal that has been helpful, and we should have been poor creatures if we had not taken advantage of any help that was so given. It is a commonplace, not only in forensic speaking, but, I think I may suggest, in this House also, that the stronger the denunciation, and the more there are of what I may call vacuous generalities, the less potent are the arguments available to those who follow that line. I would ask hon. Members to bend their minds to help us and to help Scotland. [An HON. MEMBER: "They have none to bend!"] That is a good illustration of what I said just now. It is not helpful; it is not argument; it does not tend to the good government of Scotland. That is the spirit in which we should approach this Bill, and by that means we shall make it an important and beneficial landmark for Scotland as a whole.
§ Mr. JAMES STEWART
With regard to the Debate yesterday, perhaps I might be allowed to offer to the Secretary of State my congratulations on his having dealt with a very difficult job in a way that was interesting, to me at least; and might I also offer my congratulation to the Lord Advocate for the peculiarly lucid and interesting address that he has given us this afternoon? He began by referring to the incidence of taxation, and he seemed to indicate that in his opinion this was merely a change in the incidence of taxation. As I understand it, it is not a change in the incidence of taxation, but is only a change in some formula that is going to alter for the benefit of a very few people the amount of taxes that they will have to pay.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
Perhaps I may make that point clear at once. My remarks about the incidence of taxation related to the de-rating proposals, and not to the formula.
§ Mr. STEWART
It is on the calculation of the formula that the de-rating 1066 proposals are to be put into operation. That is just an illustration of the fact that I do not understand the formula, in common with something like 90 per cent. of my colleagues in this House. Having made that confession, I will not refer to the formula further, for fear that I may betray my ignorance in a still deeper and greater degree. I take it that the reason for this Bill, and the reason for de-rating, is to provide a means of dealing with unemployment in a rational and effective way; but I say that, while that is the motive of the Government—they say that it is, and I accept it in that way—I do not believe that it will do any good in that direction whatsoever. Let me use the City of Glasgow as an illustration. It may be rather a far-fetched illustration, but still it is practically one-fifth of Scotland, it is a necessitous area, and it is an area in which unemployment is now, not epidemic, but endemic—it is continuous, never ceasing. Since 1921, the number of unemployed in Glasgow has not fallen below 50,000, and at the moment there are registered 54,000 unemployed men, women, boys and girls in Glasgow.
As regards the able-bodied unemployed who are out with that number, who are not registered, the cost is falling mainly on two parish councils. We have nine parish councils in Glasgow, but the main burden of unemployment falls on two of them. It cost the City of Glasgow Parish Council last year £556,000, and it cost the Govan Parish Council £502,000. In the case of Govan 41 per cent. of the amount collected in rates for the relief of the poor went for the relief of the ordinary poor while 59 per cent. went for the relief of able-bodied unemployed. That is to say, the burden borne by Glasgow in connection with the relief of able-bodied unemployed amounts to practically £1,200,000. That only began after the passing of the Act of 1921. At that time the rates in Glasgow were something like 2s. 1d in the £so far as the City of Glasgow Parish was concerned; to-day they are 4s. in the £. In Govan the position is still worse. We have spent on able-bodied unemployment relief in Glasgow since 1922 practically £5,000,000, and the State has not contributed a single penny towards that expenditure. It may be taken as correct that the total amount of rates 1067 annually collected in Glasgow is, in round figures, £7,000,000, and the cost of unemployment may be taken as £1,200,000, that is to say, one-seventh of the total rates. The rates in Glasgow are 14s. in the £, so that the one-seventh which represents the cost of unemployment would reduce the rate by 2s. in the £. What this Bill is doing is to give to people whose rental is £1,075,000, relief to the amount of something like £670,000 annually in their rates.
Here might I refer to a statement made by the Lord Advocate with regard to the Fairfield Shipbuilding Company. Its gross valuation is £26,000, but in 1926, under the new Rating Act, they got a reduction of 61 per cent. of their rent. That reduces the valuation by something like £1,500, and now they are getting this reduction of 75 per cent. The Lord Advocate has described it correctly as a reduction of £13,000 on the valuation of £25,000, so that they are only paying, for all the benefits they get, £4,000 of rates, and we are told this is going to be beneficial to employment. The hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Shinwell) told us yesterday that this would not pay for the painting of one of their ships. If that is true, how is it going to affect unemployment? It may have this effect, that it may enable the company to pay a slightly increased dividend or build up their reserve fund, but it will not enable them to take on extra labour. The cost of a 20,000-ton passenger ship is £1,000,000. How much is a relief of £13,000 going to reduce costs and create an increased demand for ships? In my opinion it will have no effect in that direction whatever.
Being as wise as you are and wishing to cheapen the cost of industry, you carefully exclude gas, water and electricity from getting any benefit from de-rating. That would benefit industry to the extent of £365,000 annually. If tramways, water, gas and electricity were relieved of these rates it would immediately cheapen the cost of those commodities, and every industrial concern, as well as every user of electricity, would benefit by the reduction in the unit charges and it would be as advantageous as giving to Buchanan's, the confectioners, a grant of 1068 some £2,000. If we reduced the cost of sweets and toffees, it would enable Buchanan Brothers to employ more girls in their works at a miserable wage. This is, in my opinion, what you are going to do with unemployment. You are reducing the rates with the stated reason that you are going to reduce unemployment all round. I submit that you are failing very badly. I cannot see how de-rating is going to be beneficial to the mass of the people. Of all the rates that are raised in the city, more than 80 per cent. is borne by the shopkeepers, the warehousemen and the householders.
You are only giving relief to industrial producing concerns. I can visualise two great concerns in Glasgow, both distributing concerns, which are in great difficulties because of the changes that have taken place. Exports have fallen off, and their business was in a great degree connected with the export trade, and the very same reasons that have affected our main industries have also affected them, and I have yet to learn that you can separate production from distribution. The one is the necessary complement of the other. The two of them are part of one whole, and in giving this advantage merely to the producing side you are creating unemployment in the firms I have in my mind. It will have the effect of reducing wages, as it has done in both cases already. In my opinion, in taking away that 80 per cent. from the tenants of Glasgow, who are paying high rates, and giving them no advantage whatever while they are being crushed by these burdens you are not improving employment but are rather tending to increase unemployment.
You have claimed that in dealing with the Poor Law you are going to give us certain mysterious advantages. You are going to wipe out Poor Law administration by parish councils and hand it over to the town and county councils and the Secretary of State has announced that you are going to set up elected sub-committees in certain areas. If you are going to do that, it seems to me that, while you make a change, it just remains the same. These elected sub-areas will, I suppose, administer the Poor Law while the central authority will raise the finance. How are you going to allow the sub-committees to administer the Poor Law if they are to be controlled by 1069 the central authority? Will the central authority set up a scale that they must; not go beyond? Is every case to be considered exactly alike? I have some nine years' experience as a parish councillor and Poor Law guardian and, of the thousands of cases I have dealt with, I have never yet met two cases exactly similar. If you are going to say there shall be a scale of 4s. or 5s. per child and not allow the local administrators, who know the local needs, to give the benefit of their local knowledge and grant relief, either indoor or outdoor, as their knowledge and experience have taught them, you will do harm to Poor Law relief.
I suggest that the Secretary of State should consider more fully this matter of the powers he is going to give to the local committees. I am not against the abolition of the parish councils. I am not against the abolition of Poor Law guardians. I stand for the abolition of the Poor Law. Imagine the position of a widow whose husband was insured and who, therefore, comes under the Widows' and Orphans' Pension Act, while a woman whose husband did not die in sufficient time to enable her to get the advantage of the Act becomes a pauper, with all the stigma of pauperism attaching to it, and gets relief according to the will or the peculiar outlook of a certain member or members who sit on the relief committee. When it comes to dealing with outdoor relief you will find differences in every locality. You may find a degree of similarity but, according to the different outlook of the members who compose the sub-committee, there will be no uniform relief such as is granted under the Widows' and Children's Pensions Act.
Again, take the old age pensioner. It is as true to-day as it was more than 20 years ago, that a man is too old at 40 and, consequently, many of these men are infirm and aged long before they are 65, through no fault of their own. They are debilitated and physically weak as the result, perhaps, of parentage but also of poor feeding and living under bad conditions. While others become pensioners at 65, they have to apply to the Poor Law and become paupers and get relief after an inquisition, after an investigation, after questions about the income of their sons and daughters. 1070 They again are haled before the Committee to state what provision they are prepared to make for their aged parents. I want to see the Poor Law broken up. I want to see all our aged and infirm the recipients of pensions. If the party opposite is prepared to go the length of breaking up the Poor Law, making sickness a part of public health administration and putting young children under the education authority, I for one, no matter who might be against it, would support any such proposal. I believe that I am speaking for the Members on this side of the House when I say that that is their conception of breaking up the Poor Law and dealing with boards of guardians.
Take the health side of it. We have had the Minister of Health stating that it would be the duty of the Members in dealing with public health to see that a charge was made, except in the case of infectious diseases. What is an infectious disease? Is pneumonia an infectious disease? It is in Glasgow. It is a notifiable disease in Glasgow, and costs the public health authority some £30,000 a year in order to deal with it. But it is not so everywhere. Is it an infectious disease, or is it not? Who is to settle that question? Again, when do, measles and whooping cough become infectious diseases? In some places, they are notifiable while in other places they are not. If they are not notifiable, if they are not infectious diseases, then the cases are to be charged for. You may have two persons in one hospital—one put in by the public health authority as a patient suffering from pneumonia and the other, put in by the Poor Law authority because he is destitute and suffering from pneumonia. In the one case the patient is not to be paid for. There is no inquisition, no investigation as to means, no investigation as to relatives who are able to contribute towards the payment. The case is to be treated as a free case in order that the health of the community may be protected. The authority says: "The health of the community must be protected, and therefore we will treat this patient free of cost." But in respect of the other case it is not to be so.
Let us take another example. There are two men in one home, one perhaps the father and the other the son. The 1071 son is suffering from tuberculosis. That is an infectious disease, and he is not to be charged in respect of institutional treatment. The patient may have to live in an institution for five months, which is the average time in Glasgow for the maintenance of phthisical patients. It costs Glasgow £47 in respect of a patient's maintenance during that period. The old man, the father, is suffering perhaps from heart disease, or asthma, or bronchitis, or something that is not infectious. He requires hospital treatment and nursing. He has to be taken care of, and he goes into a hospital, and then once again begins the inquisition, once again begins the investigation as to means. He is asked: "What does your son do?" A son, who is earning £3 a week and has a wife and two or three children to care for, appears before the Committee. He is asked what contribution he is prepared to make towards the maintenance of his parent? Why? His first duty—and I am quite sure that the Secretary of State will agree with me—is to look after his children. He is responsible for his children; he is not responsible for his parents. His parents are responsible for him, and he is not responsible for them, and in my opinion he ought not to be made financially responsible in a matter of this sort. In taking, money from him for this purpose they are really taking it from the wife and children, and I submit that such a course is grossly unfair. This old man with asthma or rheumatics requiring care and attention is described as a pauper, while the other man is made to feel that there is no degradation about the matter.
If hon. Members came to Glasgow and saw there the class of people whose friends and relatives are inmates of our tuberculosis hospital, they would understand the difference that there is between that institution and the institutions of the parish council. I have seen men in the last stages of tuberculosis. I have pleaded with them to go into hospital and told them that their wives and children would be looked after, but they would not go because they would be paupers. To-day, with the public health administration looking after the position, all that has entirely changed and people of all classes go into the hospital. I cannot see how you are going to separate these two cases, how you are going to 1072 make a charge if you put the Poor Law work on to the corporation. I do not see how John Jones can be made to pay while in respect of William Jones there is not to be a penny paid though the cost of his maintenance may be much higher than that of John Jones. I wish the right hon. Gentleman would tell us how they are going to separate these two in the one authority without disastrous results. You could do it quite well, or you could do it without great disturbance, as long as you had the Poor Law separated from the county council and the town council, but you cannot do it in the way of which I have spoken.
There are other matters. There is the question of the provision of hospitals. In Glasgow, we have one of the finest general hospitals that there is in the country, with 1,700 beds, and that institution is now to be transferred to the town council. The result will be that you will be having two classes of people in the same institution, the one being paid for and the other a pauper patient. Here may I observe that in your de-rating proposals you are taking the valuation of 1928 as the standard valuation. We are building just now, as hon. Gentlemen are aware, at Mearnskirk, a hospital for 440 patients that is going to cost us fully as many thousand pounds. It will cost us not less than £1,000 per bed. The maintenance rate with its overhead charges will be per week for the 440 patients in that sanatoria, and you are making no provision in respect of that at all. You are doing the same with regard to the parish councils. There is the case of Lennox Castle. The purpose of that was to provide for a thousand patients and now after the place has been bought you are turning round to them and saying that they are not to be permitted to go on with the scheme. They are to stop short at something like 400 patients, and they are not to have any allowances made in respect of them.
One further word with regard to Poor Law and the block grants. You gave to us in Glasgow some years ago a block grant of 50 per cent. for the treatment of measles and whooping cough. Afterwards, you made a grant for the whole of Scotland, of which you gave us our share, but, instead of giving us the fifty-fifty as you did at the beginning to encourage us to go on with the treatment 1073 of these diseases the grant was reduced to only 25 per cent. This is always the tendency of block grants. Let me illustrate what has taken place with regard to Poor Law hospitals and nursing and medical administration. After 1845, it was found that the Poor Law guardians were not paying that attention to the sick that the Government of that time thought ought to be paid. The Government instituted a fund and made a grant for trained nurses. They also made a grant for medical relief: That grant was something like fifty-fifty to begin with. But in 1882 it was stabilised, and it was stabilised again later in the 'nineties, with the result that to-day, instead of getting fifty-fifty, they are, for every 21 shillings that is being spent on relief of that kind, only getting something like 2s. 8d. The same is true of the lunacy grant. This used to be a block grant given on a fifty-fifty basis, but to-day the parish councils who are dealing with the lunacy grant, instead of getting the fifty per cent., are getting only 12 per cent.
The Government are proposing to give us a block grant. I ask them to look at the history of block grants and see how inimical they are to the development of health administration in this country. I believe that if hon. Members examine this scheme they will come to the same conclusion as I have, namely, that the block grants mean the stopping of further health development. We do not, as I have said already, treat these health problems for the benefit of the individual. We treat them for the benefit of the whole community. What we have to consider in this mater to-day is the question of dealing with unemployment, and this Measure is not going to prevent unemployment. It is not going to diminish unemployment. It is not going to relieve the rates one iota. It is going to relieve the rates of a handful of somebodies at the expense of the great masses of the people who are groaning under these rates. It is not going to have the effect of spreading out the money so that it can be better spent. If we could have a reduction of two shillings in the pound on the rates in Glasgow, on a £20 rent, which is about the average rent, it would mean that an additional per annum would be available to the masses of the ratepayers—and there are something like 300,000 or more ratepayers in Glasgow—to spend.
1074 That, and I am thinking of shops, warehouses, and houses, would be much better in creating an effective demand that would diminish unemployment than any small grant made to the favoured few who are already in a position, most of them, that they do not require any relief.
I hope that, as a result of the discussion that took place yesterday and that will take place later on to-day, the Government will understand, as I think they will understand from the criticisms, that something more will have to be done. Even the hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Mr. Buchan), in his delightful speech yesterday, made a more effective and deadly contribution in his criticisms of the Government's proposal than I could make. When the hon. Member spoke, it did not need very much penetration to see that though he cooed so sweetly he was most damaging in his attack, or so it seemed to me. From all quarters there is criticism of the right hon. Gentleman and of this Bill. As a result of that criticism, which is not offered in a party spirit, but with a view to helping in the development and welfare of our country, and in order to deal with unemployment, sickness, health and the prosperity of the country, I hope that the Government will see to it that the Bill is withdrawn or, if not withdrawn, that it is amended in such a way as to make it decently passable, if that can be achieved, but I do not think it is possible.
§ Captain FANSHAWE
The hon. Member for St. Rollox (Mr. Stewart) has told us that we are all criticising the Secretary of State for Scotland. My personal criticism of the Secretary of State is a very favourable one with regard to this Measure. The hon. Member also told us that the way to increase employment and to decrease unemployment is to decrease the rates in Glasgow by 2s. in the pound. I cannot understand how by decreasing the rates and perhaps increasing the purchasing power of individuals up and down the streets of Glasgow, we should get to the root of unemployment, which this Measure is designed to do.
§ Mr. STEWART
I never suggested that it would get to the root of unemployment. What I suggested was that it would be a better contribution than the one proposed by the Government.
§ Captain FANSHAWE
I beg the hon. Member's pardon. Perhaps I exaggerated. He said that that would be a better contribution than the one which is put forward by the Government. I disagree with him. I contend that the Measure does strike at the whole root of unemployment in the country, and I suggest that the hon. Member's suggestion would not strike at the root of unemployment. Although it might for a time make certain individuals happier, in the long run it would spell disaster and, possibly, if carried to the full extent, national bankruptcy. I have made investigations, which I believe to be correct, and the result of those investigations show that 25 per cent. of the price of every British manufactured article is due to local taxation. Of that 25 per cent., 75 per cent. is to be removed from the price of the article by the operation of this Bill. Let us visualise a British-made article lying in a show case in a shop alongside a foreign-made article. The British-made article is penalised to the extent of 25 per cent. of its price as against the foreign-made article. Hon. Members opposite may criticise my figures if they like, but I believe them to be correct. If they do not agree with them, let them make their own investigations. Even if they do challenge my figures, I contend that I am right, because the foreign-made articles coming into this country under our system of Free Trade, do not subscribe one penny to our local taxation, although the British-made article does. Hon. Members may criticise my figures, but they cannot criticise that fact.
We cannot increase employment in this country unless we increase the capacity to employ, and we cannot increase the capacity to employ unless we increase the number of purchasers in the country who are buying British goods. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] I am glad that hon. Members opposite cheer that statement. If we reduce by three-fourths the 25 per cent. of additional price which is put upon a British-made article by local taxation, we shall be directly increasing the purchasing power of this country as far as British goods are concerned. That is why I say that this reduction of taxation will be a vital matter with regard to unemployment in this country. The hon. Member for St. Rollox referred to a 1076 remark made by the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Shinwell), that the reduction of local rating so far as the Fairfield Shipbuilding Company was concerned, would only go so far as to give a coat of paint to the outside of one ship. It may be that there are some things which are built into ships which will not be affected very much as finished articles in the way that I have illustrated, but there are a great many articles, machinery, furniture and the like which are of great value and which are being built into the liners of to-day on which the Fairfield Shipbuilding Company will benefit by 18¾ per cent. on every ship that they build so far as these finished articles are concerned. Therefore, that will enable them to lower their prices when competing with ships built abroad.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
I would remind the hon. and gallant Member that in reply to a question the other day, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade stated that the total effect of de-rating on shipbuilding in this country amounted to £400,000.
§ Captain FANSHAWE
That may be, but that does not affect my argument when I say that the Fairfield Shipbuilding Company so far as finished articles are concerned which are being built into their ships will get a benefit to the extent of 18¾ per cent. of the total price, in the same way that any other manufactured article will benefit.
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD BENN
Is the hon. and gallant Member aware that on Monday Lord Invernairn stated that from now onwards the price of shipbuilding will continue to increase?
§ Captain FANSHAWE
I do not know what Lord Invernairn said, but I do say that if this Measure had been an Act of Parliament in operation at the present time, it would have saved some of that inevitable increase in price. It would have acted beneficially for us while the general price of shipbuilding throughout the world was increasing. We should be holding back a little while in other countries the price would be appreciating, and the advantage would obviously be with us and not with the foreigner. This is only the first step towards the relief of unemployment, great as it is, and it will lead to the next step, in due course. 1077 The hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston), in speaking last night, referred to some other step that he had in mind. I agree with him to a great extent in regard to the further step which he has in mind, although I do not perhaps agree with the method that he would employ. The hon. Member for Dundee, in moving his Amendment, read out the names of a number of Glasgow firms and twitted us on this side by trying to make out that all these firms that are to receive rebates and reliefs in Glasgow, are either friends of the Government or personal friends of hon. Members on this side. The hon. Member shakes his head. He said something about somebody being chairman of the Conservative party in Glasgow. I think that by that he was twitting us on helping our friends. Does he really think that the relief given to these great Glasgow firms or to firms anywhere in the country is going into the pockets of the owners?
§ Captain FANSHAWE
I am sorry that some hon. Members on the other side of the House have very little understanding of the ordinary course of trade and commerce and the general procedure in industry, to think that. We welcome the size and the prosperity of the firms that are to receive this relief on their local rates. The more prosperous the firms and the more relief they receive, the more capable they are to employ more of our fellow countrymen who are unemployed. There are certain productive industries in this country which, I hope, will be excluded, if that can be done. There is an Amendment on the Paper to exclude breweries, distilleries and tobacco factories. I do not believe that those particular concerns will be able to expand so as to absorb a great number of unemployed people. The hon. Member for Dundee, and I think the hon. Member for St. Rollox, complained that the small shopkeepers and tenants did not get any relief.
§ Captain FANSHAWE
I thought the hon. Member mentioned them. The hon. Member for Dundee mentioned them last night and he also made the same statement in a speech which he did me the honour of making in my constituency. If we are going to increase the number of employed in the country, are we not going to reduce the great sum of money, which amounts of £80,000,000 or £100,000,000 a year, paid out in unemployment relief? If we are going to reduce that large sum of money because of men going into employment, is it not obvious that the ratepayer will benefit and the taxpayer will benefit, and that that will bring down the cost of living? By these means shall we not raise the purchasing power of the nation, and will not the shopkeeper benefit?
The hon. Member for Dundee said that the Loyalty owners will get relief, while the colliers will get no relief. The Lord Advocate has dealt with that statement. The hon. Member did me the honour of speaking in my constituency on several occasions lately and he said in a speech which he made there that there was nothing in this Bill for the colliers, but that for the man who was a royalty owner there would be an invitation to the banqueting hall. I do not think the hon. Member intended directly to misinform or mislead his audience, but he must know, if he has read the Bill, that the 75 per cent. relief given to the royalty owner is to be passed on to the firm renting the colliery during the time of the present lease. That is in the Bill and will eventually become law. I am not going to argue with hon. Members as to whether the next time the lease is determined the colliery owner will or will not get that benefit. That point has been made quite clear by the Lord Advocate. I do not think that the hon. Member for Dundee should go about the country making a statement of that sort, which is not in accordance with the provisions of the Bill.
§ Captain FANSHAWE
I say to the hon. Member for Dundee that it is not the case, In regard to the landlord, the royalty owner and any person who owns a factory which he lets out on rent, whatever relief those people get under this Bill they have to give that relief during 1079 the time of the present tenancy to the occupier of the premises, and what the hon. Member for Dundee says is not quite in accordance with the provisions of the Bill. I regret that the National Farmers' Union of Scotland have taken that line also with regard to the passing on of the relief by the landlord to the tenant farmer. It is a great pity that they have taken that line because it does not help matters, and, as the Lord Advocate has already pointed out on two previous occasions, when this House has passed Acts of Parliament with a provision of this kind the relief has actually been passed on. Such examples are of far more value than any suspicion or doubt which may be cast on any of our fellow subjects for the purposes of party politics, either in this House or elsewhere. I really think we ought to credit everybody with being honest and obeying the law of the land.
It is perfectly obvious that when we have given this great relief of 75 per cent. to productive industry we have to give local authorities something in respect of loss of rates, which, I believe, in Scotland amounts to about £3,200,000. Some people say: Why not leave local government machinery in Scotland in exactly the same position it is now; why not leave the county councils, parish councils and education authorities as they are now? Even if the structure of local government in Scotland is left alone entirely some method will have to be adopted to distribute this money evenly and equitably. Immediately local government comes under scrutiny we find inequalities and injustices, overlapping and extravagance, unequal burdens, which have to he borne by different localities. Is it fair that a poor area which may not be able to spend anything at all should receive hardly anything at all while a richer area, which is able to spend a good deal of money, is to receive a considerable sum? That is what happens under a percentage grant. I contend that every citizen of the country, whether he lives in a big or small house, is entitled to an equal local government service. There may be more taps in one house than in another, but the supply from all should be of the same quality and the same pressure—
§ Captain FANSHAWE
It is not Socialism. I say that where the percentage grant exists you find inequalities, but under the block grant, which is going to be given in accordance with the formula—and I have yet to learn that any hon. Member opposite has devised a better formula—you will find that the money will be distributed far more justly. Again, why should the small area remain, carrying large numbers, perhaps, of unemployed people, at great expense, because there may be a pit or factory in the area, and another area close by goes scot free from any contribution towards the maintenance of the unemployed? It is absolutely essential from that point of view that we should have wider areas.
§ Captain FANSHAWE
I do not say that the hon. Member is not entitled to his opinion; I am not arguing the point as to whether the State should do it. I am giving my experience, and I find that the whole of the burden of the unemployed is borne by a parish council in my constituency. There was a dispute not long ago in a small parish in my constituency, and they had to spend £1,000. If that had been distributed over the whole of the county they would not have felt the burden so much. We must have wider areas.
§ Mr. ERNEST BROWN
Would not that argument also apply to loss of rates; would it not cut exactly the other way?
§ Captain FANSHAWE
I do not quite follow the hon. Member. I was giving an example from my own constituency showing why it is necessary to have wider areas; and the incident happened less than a month ago. A lot of prejudice has been aroused in the country, and must be aroused, by the proposals in the White Paper, but it would have been very wrong if we had left this antiquated machinery of self-government to be worked by people who have given a great deal of time and service to local government. As soon as the White Paper was issued criticism was aroused at once. It was only issued to draw fire—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Surely, hon. Members opposite understand that that was the sole purpose for issuing the White Paper. What 1081 did the Secretary of State do? He did not go away and have a holiday, as many more fortunate hon. Members did. No, he did nothing of the sort. He gave up the whole of his holiday for the purpose of meeting everybody in Scotland who desired to discuss these proposals with him. They were pared down, and out of them we have the Bill, which no doubt will be pared down again when we get to the Committee stage. I was glad to hear the Secretary of State yesterday, in opening the Debate, indicate that the Government would put forward proposals for the constitution of district councils in order to get away as much as possible from the system of co-option. I hope that will be one of the results of the Bill, and I have no doubt that when if is placed on the Statute Book and comes into operation local bodies in Scotland will find that they have far more power, and more money, which will mean a far stronger system of local government in Scotland than exists at the present time.
§ Sir ROBERT HAMILTON
The Lord Advocate took credit to the Government because the proposals in this Bill have now been before the country since the month of July. Our complaint is that we have not had a longer time to consider them and that we shall not have a long time to consider this Bill. The Secretary of State has asked for criticism, and he already has had a certain amount, to which he has listened. He will have more, and I hope he will listen to it, so that when the Bill becomes law it will be very different in shape to the measure which is before us at the present moment. It is entitled: Local Government (Scotland) Bill. It has a very short title but it is a very long and very important measure. It is true that it is not as long as the English Bill but its importance to Scotland is far greater than that measure. The structure of local government in England is not affected by the English Bill to anything like the same degree as local government in Scotland is affected by this Bill. How is the Bill brought before the country? It is introduced right at the end of the Government's term of office when we know by the time table in front of us that we shall not have full time to consider it. We see the shadow of the Guillotine over the Committee stage already. We give two days' discussion 1082 to the Second Reading of a Bill affecting the whole of local government in Scotland, and it is to be put through this House not by Scottish Members. When the division bells go the English Members of the beck of the Secretary of State for Scotland, will come in and carry the Measure. I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is going to be sent to the Scottish Grand Committee. I do not think so. I expect it will be committed to a Committee of the whole House, and we shall have English Members, who know nothing of what has taken place in regard to this Bill in Scotland, to whom local government in Scotland is a matter of no concern, again deciding upon matters which affect Scotland, and upon which hon. Members from Scotland may disagree with the Government.
I do not know whether the Secretary of State has had his attention drawn to what is called the nationalist revival in Scotland. If not I can assure him that the procedure which is being adopted with regard to this Bill is giving that movement a very great fillip, and it is such procedure as this which will make that nationalist movement a living vital force in British politics. What would have been the true constitutional procedure before bringing in a measure of this sort? The proposal should have been put before the country and a General Election held. Instead of that the Government are foisting it on the country at the fag end of their term, of office. What surprises all hon. Members from Scotland is that the Secretary of State, in introducing the Bill, made no mention at all of its finance. He said that it had been discussed on the English Bill, and the only reference we have had to finance was when the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) gave the House to understand that he at least understood the finances and the formula, but he did not enlighten other hon. Members. As far as this Scottish Bill is concerned we have had no enlightenment at all as to the finance on which it is founded. It is true that we are going to have a Financial Resolution, but I think the Secretary of State ought to have said something about finance when introducing the Bill, and before this Debate is closed I hope we shall hear something from the Under-Secretary for 1083 Scotland on the point. I observe that the Bill has no Preamble. Bills of this nature very often have no Preamble, and I imagine that the Government would have been in a difficulty to find the Preamble they would like to have put in. Let me suggest one for them:That whereas these proposals relating to the reform of local government in Scotland have not been asked for by the people of Scotland, and whereas they have met with opposition in every burgh, in every parish, and in every educational authority in the country, be it enacted.6.0 p.m.
I suggest that every burgh and parish council and every education authority has objected to the proposals in the Bill. Why have the two matters of de-rating and local government been so closely connected? We have had no arguments to show that it was necessary at all. The Secretary of State did give a hint as to the reason when he suggested that the representatives of rural constituencies should go into the counties and say that they would not take the benefits of deraing and would vote against the Bill. In that case, it is a bribe to the representatives of Scotland to give away the free and domocratic institutions which they have enjoyed so long; and which they are determined to keep. What have the parish councils and the education authorities to do with questions of de-rating? Those questions have nothing whatever to do with this Bill. The Secretary of State said earlier in the year that the proposals put forward in the White Paper as regards local government, and as regards de-rating must absolutely stand or fall together. I ask him what alteration has been made by the fact that he has given back to the burghs certain powers which he proposed to take away from them, with regard to drainage and housing and water? If it was so important and necessary that those two portions of the Bill should stand or fall together, I ask him whether any alteration has been caused by that difference of view, whether he has given way to the criticism that was fired at him from every corner of Scotland, and particularly by the Convention of Royal Burghs.
Let us come to the first clause of the Bill, which deals with the taking away of the powers of parish councils. As has been said already, the parish has been 1084 from time immemorial a unit of local government in Scotland. In the old days the parish minister carried out a very large portion of the work now done by the parish council. It was at the end of the eighteenth century that Sir John Sinclair applied to the parish ministers of all the parishes of Scotland to get the information that he wanted for his statistical accounts. I quote that as an instance which shows how important the parish and the parish minister were in the old days. That was carried on by the institution of parochial boards in 1845 and later by the parish councils of 1895. That their work has been well done has been admitted on all sides. I shall not quote again the report of the Consultative Council, in which it was said that parish councils were indispensable adjuncts to the local government of Scotland. I heard the Noble Lady, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education, give a very unconvincing explanation of the attitude which she adopted then and which she adopts now. We can understand perhaps that her position in the Government has somewhat altered her point of view. But what she said in that report is as true to-day as when it was written in 1921 and published in 1923. What has given value to the work of the parish councils of Scotland is that the work done on them has been voluntary, has been done by people who knew the circumstances with which they were dealing, and by people who were responsible to the electors who put them into the position to do the work. What was said by the Secretary of State yesterday has considerably modified the position. We now realise that there is a possibility of proposals of the Bill being altered very considerably. But I would like to be a little bit clearer on the point before I leave it. I will quote what the right hon. Gentleman said yesterday:All I am saying to the House is that I am prepared to listen to a proposal, as regards recruitment of these local committees, that they should, [...]ather than be co-opted in all cases, be secured under a method of local election within the district. I am prepared to consider that. It must be clear that these local committees will be linked up with the elected representatives of the central body, and it must also be emphasised that in Poor Law the financial control will be in the central body."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd December, 1928; col. 868; Vol. 223.]My first question is whether the Secretary of State was referring only to rural 1085 parish councils or whether he included in his view urban parish councils, when he made those remarks. Provided that the council that is going to do the work locally is democratically elected, I do not think there is anyone on this side of the House who would raise any unnecessary objection to amalgamations of parishes where they are desirable. We all admit that boundaries may be improved in many cases, but the principle for which we stand is the democratic election of the local members who do the work of what I hope will still be called parish councils. The hon. Member for Perth and Kinross (Mr. Skelton) yesterday made a plea of very considerable force with regard to the retention of the name of parish council, and keeping it as the centre, without breaking with the tradition of the past, which is of no little importance when we are dealing with what we may call the pivotal matter of local government in Scotland. We shall be only too glad to think that the 860 parish councils are not now to be swept away altogether, and I can assure the Secretary of State that on this side of the House we shall do all we can to see that these councils, which he has promised to keep, will be councils for areas that will be useful for the local government of Scotland and will carry on the old traditions of the parish councils.
I pass on to Clause 2, which deals with the matter of small burghs. Here I say at once that I think it is regrettable that small burghs have been treated in the ruthless fashion in which the Bill proposes to deal with them. It is on the ground of efficiency and economy that it is proposed to take away so many of the powers of the small burghs. It is admitted by everyone that the small burghs have set an example to Scotland in efficiency and economy. Admittedly there are some burghs of very small populations. I could quote burghs with populations of 2,000, 3,000 and 4,000 which carry out their local government with the utmost care, and with every eye to efficiency and economy. One of the small burghs in one of the counties that I have the honour to represent, in the eighteenth century brought a case up to the House of Lords in order to establish its own independence and freedom of rating and freedom to carry on its own affairs. That burgh, with all those great 1086 traditions, is to be thrown into the county council which has no particular interest in the affairs of the burgh. Then the whole selection by the burghs of their representatives on the county council is open to very great criticism. Why should a town council of a burgh be asked to nominate a representative? Why should not that representative be elected in the same way as any other member of the county council? Why should his power of voting on matters which come up in the county council be limited, whereas I understand that the powers of other county councillors will not be limited as regards matters of the burgh? I should like to be corrected if I am wrong.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Major Elliot)
The county council will have no power over the burgh's housing, water, drainage, or any of the reserve services. Similarly, the burgh's representatives will have no power over these things in the county. It is as broad as it is long.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
That means that the burgh representative will represent the burgh and will not be a county councillor. I am throwing this out as a criticism. It is a matter which has to be considered, for I do not think it can be allowed to stand as it is.
§ Major ELLIOT
Surely it must be plain that there is a county council on which certain committees will consider certain matters, and that certain committees will consider other matters. Surely it must be plain that if the burgh housing is withdrawn from the power of the county councillors, as it most reasonably is, the burgh should not vote on the county housing.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
It is a very important point and it is not clear in the Bill. Here you have your nominated councillor, nominated by the burgh to the county council. His powers are limited to voting on matters which affect the burgh. Am I right in that? Then I ask whether a county councillor elected for another part of the area can vote on any matter which affects the burgh? I take it that he can. I leave it at that. I pass to the question of the transferring of the education authorities' powers to the county council. This proposal is absolutely beyond me. I cannot understand whatever induced the Government 1087 to make this arrangement. We had got the whole matter settled in 1918. It has been running without any difficulty and it has given satisfaction to every one. You have people devoted to education, giving their time and labour in carrying on the work of education authorities, and now, without it ever having been called for and without it affecting the rest of the Bill in any way, this proposal is brought into the Bill and raises questions which need never have been raised. With what object? Is it proposed in the interest of education? No. It is admitted by every one that the education authorities have done their work well. Then in whose interests is it proposed?
I listened to the hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Mr. Buchan) the other day trying to bring up arguments in favour of the Government proposal. The only argument he used was that it was better to have an ad omnia authority dealing with education than an ad hoc authority—a most remarkable argument to come from the Member for a university. We have always supposed that people who are interested in education and who devote their time and their life to educational matters are the people who, rather than anyone else, should have such matters under their control. As members of education authorities who have interviewed Members of this House have pointed out, even if they desire to go on with this work they are not willing to go on as co-opted members. They like to be elected by their fellow men. Even if they could stand for the representation in the new county council they would not he able to give the time. That is another very serious consideration.
On the general question of co-option I should like to say a few words. The reason given by the Secretary of State yesterday for the insertion of co-option in such large measure in the Bill, was rather an astonishing one to me. It was that so little interest was taken in the local elections that it would be just as well to appoint. Because little interest is taken in local elections when it is known who will be the best people and that there will be no contest, is no reason for disfranchising people by taking away from them the power of ultimate control that they now have. That goes to the basis of local govern- 1088 ment in Scotland. Another reason is that you are putting enormous work on to this re-constituted county council. That work is to be doled out again to committees all over the country. Those committees will not have the knowledge possessed by locally-elected representatives, but it is hoped that they will get local knowledge by the aid of co-opted members. I need not go into that question in detail, but those who have read the Bill know how co-option is provided for in all these committees to a most extraordinary extent, even to the extent of one-half of the members of a committee being co-opted, and that co-opted committee appointing a sub-committee with further co-options. It is all contrary to our ideas in Scotland. How the central body is to work with all these burdens on its shoulders I do not know.
Let the House bear in mind the burden which is placed on the re-constituted councils—the work of the parish councils, of the education authorities, of the district committees, of the boards of control and of the standing joint committees. How often, I ask, are the county councils to meet in the course of the year? It is clear that they will have to meet a great deal more frequently than heretofore. Then how is the difficulty of attending these new councils to be met? It is all very well for Members who live in constituencies where they can get trains and attendance at a meeting will perhaps take an hour or two hours, but what about the big rural areas? What about the islands? What about the counties which I represent, where it may take a Member a fortnight to get down to a meeting, and he may not get back for another three weeks? That is a point to be considered when you are dealing with practical local government on the spot. Members travelling from a distance to These frequent meetings cannot do so at their own expense. I asked the Secretary of State the other day a question as to the expense involved. Provision is made in Clause 17 for paying the expenses of county councils, and the right hon. Gentleman made an estimate of £20,000. I think that is below the mark. That estimate was only for the the fares and out-of-pocket expenses of councillors. If these meetings are to 1089 be held as frequently as I expect, that estimate will require to be largely increased. Not only that, but this proposal raises directly the question of paid county councillors. That is what we see looming in front of us.
This Bill is supposed to be one of the new moves towards economy. I do not know that you are going to get efficiency and I am doubtful about the economy. How are the county councils going to carry out this work without skilled assistance? There will be the necessity of engaging and paying highly skilled treasurers and assistant treasurers to deal with finance—people who understand formulae. An hon. Member near me suggests that Senior Wranglers will be required. They will certainly have to be people who understand mathematics and finance. There again I foresee considerable expense. Are you going to get greater efficiency with this centralised body? Are you going to get greater economy? I think we may say immediately that there will be no greater economy in the working of the scheme and I very much doubt whether you will get greater efficiency. The scheme, in my view, will destroy the spirit of democratic responsibility and control under which thousands have given free and voluntary labour towards local government in Scotland. I would rather see local government in Scotland kept free and independent, though the wheels might creek, than have it running on silent wheels and controlled by paid men. That is one of the things which we have to keep in mind when dealing with this Bill.
I pass from that point to the new rating proposals. It is to be remembered that a large proportion of the money which is being raised for the purpose of de-rating comes from the Petrol Duty. The people of this country are being asked to make an effort to raise money to get industry and agriculture out of their difficulties and to help employment. The nation is submitting itself to taxation to achieve these objects. I do not deny that benefits will arise from de-rating, but, at the same time, I am not prepared to buy the benefits of de-rating by giving up the democratic control of our local government in Scotland. I would like to question the Government as to the method by which this money is going to be applied? The Lord Advocate brushed 1090 that point aside with a wave of his hand. He said, in effect, that it did not matter if prosperous industries were going to get thousands of pounds. But the common sense of the country will revolt against such a proposal. A country which is taxing itself in order to get industry and agriculture out of their difficulties is not going to allow the money raised for that purpose to go to prosperous industries which do not need any help, and I am delighted to see that there has been placed on the Order Paper in the name of hon. Members on the other side of the House, a proposal to prevent what I should call a monstrous misuse of public funds. If I raised a charitable fund for the blind and gave the money to people who could see, I should possibly be brought before a court of law for misapplying the fund. Here is money raised to help agriculture and industries and relieve unemployment and it is to be given in large quantities to people who do not want it.
In the case of agriculture alone, let me instance the money that is going to the landlords. I want this point to be carefully considered. How is money which is given to the landlords, money which increases the capital value of the landlords' holding in land, going to help agriculture? The Lord Advocate may say that the landlord will not ask more rent. Past history indicates that that is not going to happen. Past history teaches us that when you take burdens off land and increase its capital value, you get more rent for the land and, in fact, that is what happens. I am willing to grant that there will be landlords who will not take advantage of the increased capital value, but, speaking by and large, under the rules of general political economy, you cannot get away from the fact that if you take burdens off land and increase its capital value, a higher rent will be obtainable for it. My right hon. Friend the Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Macpherson) yesterday quoted some figures with regard to the value of this gift to the landlords. He put it, indeed, rather higher than I did, but I believe that calculated on 20 years purchase, the increase in capital value to the landlords of Scotland is about £15,000,000. Give, me 15,000,000 and I will renovate the: whole of Scotland!
1091 Where is it going? It is going into the pockets of the landlords eventually. The benefit which the landlord immediately gets is to be handed back to the tenant as long as the existing lease is continued. Why should it stop there? I could not understand the argument advanced to-night to show that it should stop there. The Lord Advocate said it would be open to the parties to make a fresh agreement at the end of the period. True and it would be open to the landlord to say to the tenant "The rent of this farm which was previously £150 will now be £175 and if you do not like it, I will take another tenant." Then the incoming tenant would be rated at one-eighth of £175 instead of one-eighth of £150. We were promised that we were to have exactly the same de-rating in Scotland as in England. Why should the benefit now promised to the tenant, cease at the end of the existing tenancy? It may be taken that incoming tenants of farms will be liable to be rated at more than the eighth which has been promised on the basis that it is equivalent to the benefit given to the tenant farmer in England.
The people who will benefit most under the de-rating proposals will be the owner occupiers. The big farmers will also benefit subject to the limitation which I have just mentioned and, when you come to the small farmer and the crofter, it is a matter of half a crown or five shillings. We in the Islands, knowing where the shoe pinches, say we would rather be de-freighted than de-rated. Where we pay out our money is in freights for the carriage of goods in and out of the islands. If we got a reduction in freights it would benefit us far more than the de-rating scheme. That is another matter, of course, but I may mention here that I have not been able to get any estimate of the amount of money which, under the de-rating scheme, is going via the docks to the shipping companies, and, through them, to productive industry. I hope we shall have some indication of the amount of money that we may expect to be passed on in the reduction of shipping freights in our coastwise traffic.
I come to the question of block grants. Nearly every speaker has held forth on the block grant as being a drag upon 1092 any active and lively local authority which has a desire to improve and to march with the times. It is obvious that that must be so and I would ask the Under-Secretary to give us some information as to a particular case which is an example, I believe, of several cases existing in Scotland to-day. In my constituency a sanatorium has recently been built at considerable cost on the under-standing that there will be a percentage grant—a "fifty-fifty" grant—and, in addition, a grant from the Highlands and Islands Fund. As the sanatorium has just been opened, no grant will be shown for the standard year. It is very important to know how that institution will be placed. It will not be possible to show any expenditure for the standard year and there will be no basis on which a claim can be made for assistance in the years to come. As the whole of the undertaking was based upon the understanding of a 50–50 grant, I hope provision will be made to cover cases such as these.
Now I cannot help thinking, as many others, I am sure, will think, that there will be in the course of years an inevitable increase in rates. If we are without any definite assurance and promise given us from the Government that what is taken away in rates will be returned to the localities when there is any increase of public services, any improvements, it is inevitable that the burden of taxes for these new services will fall on the non de-rated subjects, and that being the case I think that we are not only fully justified in looking askance at the de-rating portion of the scheme, and in criticising it fairly severely, but, as I said earlier, whatever advantages there may be in this scheme, Scotland should not buy them at the price of her liberty.
§ Sir ROBERT HORNE
I am sure that the House is grateful to my right hon. Friend the Lord Advocate for the clear and lucid speech which he made this afternoon in circumstances which were more difficult than I think I have ever witnessed in this House in the case of a Second Reading Debate. The sounds that came to my ear were more like the rapid firing of shots than a Debate on Second Reading, but he succeeded, I am sure, in making much more clear to the House at large what the 1093 proposals of the Government involve. I do not propose to detain the House for more than a very few minutes, because indeed nearly everything that can be said about this Bill has already been said. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I do not mean to say that this discussion by itself would have cleared up all the matters, but we have had three days of Debate on a similar Measure, and undoubtedly, although the circumstances vary, there are many principles which are common to both Bills. Accordingly, it is not prudent to traverse again the same road which has already been proceeded upon by many others in the previous debates.
One has just had an opportunity of listening to a speech by a Member from the Liberal benches which, I confess, sounded to me like one of the most reactionary speeches that I have heard during the course of the present Parliament. I could have understood it from some of my friends on these benches, but I confess that, from those who profess progressive and Liberal principles, it came as a somewhat unnatural exhibition of devotion to the past. I congratulate the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir R. Hamilton) upon the way in which he brought before us the picture of the 18th century and those institutions which he would like to see kept to-day in the same condition in which they have been for centuries. I read with much more interest the speech which was made yesterday by the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston), because indeed in that speech it was admitted, as has been made clear by a very large number of Committees that have sat over a period of years, that local government in Scotland undoubtedly requires reform. In particular, it has been laid down time after time that the parish council system as we know it to-day is entirely out of keeping with our modern conditions and our present day needs. That was a part of the speech of the hon. Member for Dundee, and I confess that I agreed with that part of his speech.
It is quite obvious that the services rendered in the parish to-day could be much better rendered by a much wider community, and that the burden which falls on individual parishes is out of all keeping with that which falls upon those which ought, in the ordinary communal 1094 life of this country, to bear just as large a proportion of the national needs as do the particular parishes that happen to be so burdened. Accordingly, when you find in contiguous parishes such a wide disparity of rating, it is perfectly plain that if you are going to deal fairly with these various communities, you must spread your burden over a very much wider area. I think everybody agrees about that, and that we have to make some change.
The proposal, as I understand it, which comes from the Labour party is that we should appoint a Commission to delimit new areas for these local authorities. I confess that my mind does not at all reject that suggestion, but upon a balance of considerations I think we would do very much better to widen the present areas into a region which is well known and which people would understand. It would be very difficult, if we began to carve out new areas, to make people understand in what particular area they were, and the better way, it seems to me, is to stick more or less to those conventional lines which people know if we are going to make any alteration at all. Accordingly, I entirely agree that we should amend our present regions, and that the extension of the parish should be into the county, which everybody knows. At the same time, I have every sympathy with what has been said in favour of the spirit of the parish, and I do not think we should lose that altogether. Accordingly, I am very glad to hear that the Secretary of State is very ready and willing to consider keeping alive that parish spirit by allowing the elections to take place for the committees of the county council which will be required to do the business hitherto done by the parish councils. The suggestion that you should also preserve the name is another matter, I confess, but that you must have a very much wider area over which to distribute your rating system is, I think, clear; and for my part, rather than delay, as you would inevitably do, by appointing a Commission to examine the whole subject, and rather than have new fangled areas which nobody at present knows about, I should be perfectly agreeable to adopt the suggestion that we should extend the area to the county.
That was the first matter with which the hon. Member for Orkney and Shet- 1095 land dealt. The next topic to which he addressed attention was that of education. I confess upon this matter to having had a very great amount of hesitation. I have been long familiar with the education system of Scotland. I remember almost the beginnings of the school board system in Scotland, I have recollections of what I was told in regard to the old parochial schools, and I have a natural aversion to changing the ad hoc system in Scotland, especially in view of the success which we have attained under it. I do not attribute all our success to the education authorities, because indeed the great lead in education that Scotland got in the world was long before school boards were thought of, but I think everybody admits that the education authorities have worked on the whole very well in Scotland.
What influence my mind are these considerations: In the first place, while I remember, as a boy, there was a very great interest taken in the local elections for the education authorities, I have noted with great regret that that interest has not been kept up in more recent times to anything like the same extent, and far fewer people really take an active interest in the election of these local bodies. That at least is my experience, which I do not say is tremendously wide. The other thing that I have noticed is in connection with some of the larger cities of our country, and that is that the education authority election has resolved itself into a strife between two rival religious factions. From my point of view, that is not good for the spirit of the people at large, and I have great hopes that one of the results of this Measure will be to take away that opportunity of strife. I think it is a good thing that the subject of education should be taken an interest in by a very much wider body of people, and I believe from that it will receive on the whole just as adequate a treatment as it has had in the past, but in addition I feel that we shall get rid of this perpetual wrangle as between one religion and another. [Interruption.] I will give my reasons for thinking so.
The Government have suggested a method by which, on the education committees of the local authorities, provision 1096 should be made to enable the Government to keep byegone contracts. As we all know, the position of the transferred schools to-day is that they are entitled to have religion taught in the schools, and, as I take it, nothing that the Government could do now except by breaking a contract, could ever get round that. Accordingly, they provide, quite properly, that there must be a representative of the transferred schools on the education committees. They have attempted also to preserve the position of the other schools, and I am not sure that they have done it effectually. At least, I was glad to hear from the Lord Advocate this afternoon that he is perfectly prepared to consider various different ways of dealing with this matter. For myself, I entirely agree with the criticism which came from the hon. Member for Dundee yesterday, that to provide that somebody conversant with use and wont in the Scottish schools should be on the committees is entirely inadequate to meet the difficulties. I mean that you might find somebody conversant with the methods who was at entirely the opposite point of religious view, and that would satisfy the form of words which is being used.
From my point of view, I should wish some provision to be made which would entitle use and wont to be followed in the teaching of religion in Scottish schools as it always has been in the past. I should like that made quite clear, whatever particular form of words is used. It is true that there is incorporated in the Bill Section 7 of the Education Act, 1918, but I am not perfectly certain that that does all that is required. I am perfectly sure, on the other hand, that my right hon. friend the Lord Advocate will be willing to look into this matter and to put it in the shape which I am sure he himself desires to see. Accordingly, on the education question, while I have had myself great qualms and doubts, I have come to the conclusion that education in Scotland will be much better served on the whole, when we are making this great change in local government, if we incorporate education among those subjects which will be dealt with by the wider authority.
The next point with which the hon. Member dealt was the question of the small burghs. He acknowledged that 1097 there were some, which indeed are so very small that though perhaps something was to be said for incorporating them in the county—so I understood him—
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
What I said was that, although they were so small, they were very efficient and economical.
§ Sir R. HORNE
Some are so very small that you can scarcely imagine that they could carry out some of the services, certainly by themselves, which it is necessary to carry out. I entirely agree with the hon. Member about the history of the small burghs in Scotland and I agree that they have been well and economically managed. To-day there is a much greater development in the general services of this country, particularly in the matter of health, and a large number of the small burghs cannot perform these services for themselves. I agree with the hon. Member for Dundee when he said that there are in certain respects combinations of people who have been able to meet the difficulty. It is clear, on the other hand, that such combinations never worked so well as a really coherent body which is dealing with the whole matter, and while I am of opinion that it is wise to leave to the small burghs the duty of looking after their housing, water and drainage, I am clear that, with regard to the larger services their people will be much better dealt with by being incorporated in the larger areas.
The hon. Gentleman did not seem to understand precisely the position in which the burgh would be. I do not see any difficulty, for the burgh representative on the county council will not be entitled to vote upon matters for which the burgh pays no rates in the county, namely, housing, sewerage and water, but he will be entitled to vote like an ordinary county council member upon all the major services, including the poor, the roads, the police, health and education, which are the five great services to be dealt with. Accordingly, it is only in matters in which the burgh is not concerned that they will not be entitled to vote. It is a perfectly proper arrangement. The county will not vote on these matters in the burgh, and the burgh will not vote on them in the county. It does not make him any the less an effective 1098 county council member, for he will vote on all the great questions that come before the county council.
§ Mr. MAXTON
The position of the burgh representatives on the county council will be the same as that in which the right hon. Gentleman would be in this House if he were only permitted to vote on things affecting Glasgow.
§ Sir R. HORNE
If Glasgow were paying nothing for these services in respect of the other burghs of the country, I should not be entitled to vote. It is really a question of taxation and representation, and representation following the burden of taxation. There is no more difficult or obscure principle than that. I turn to the last topic with which the hon. Gentleman dealt, namely, the question of de-rating. May I say with great respect to him that he has entirely misunderstood what the foundation of the de-rating principle is? He calls it a distribution of charity. It is nothing whatever to do with charity. It is not the distribution of a charitable fund at all. That is not the object or the foundation of it. As far as we have had experience up to now, it is the one fruitful principle which has been offered in order to relieve unemployment, but it is not a charitable distribution to people unemployed, and that is not its intention. It is a proper arrangement of rating in order to increase employment.
§ Sir R. HORNE
If I misunderstood the hon. Gentleman, my argument is unnecessarily diffuse. But let us get right to the root of this matter. One of the main reasons why unemployment has been bad in this country is because of the burdens which press upon productive industry, and one of the biggest burdens, as we have all agreed for many years, is that of the rates, which impose upon productive industry far too great a weight. If you examine the rating system of this country, you will find at the very foundation of it a principle which might have been good in the old days, but which to-day is pernicious and vicious. It is quite wrong that we should tax to the full the factories of this country upon the basis of making them pay more, the more machinery of production they put into their works. For an industrial country you cannot have a principle more monstrous upon 1099 which to proceed than that, and we have only discovered the burden of this fallacy in the post-War period, when our competition has become so great and the rates have become so high.
The Government are therefore taking quite a proper step in saying that this is no longer a principle which can be recognised, and that the tools of industry must be relieved from these appalling burdens; otherwise our competition with the rest of the world that does not have these burdens becomes impossible. Once you arrive at that principle, it is plain that every productive establishment is entitled to this remission, and not merely those that are in distress. It is not a charitable distribution to people who are in distress; it is the recognition of a principle upon which employment depends. Accordingly, the principle must operate all over. If you began to say that we should deny this remission to people using productive tools because they are successful, what a pernicious principle that would be, and success would be something that should have a penalty put upon it. Once you see the thing from the foundation, the whole matter becomes perfectly plain and simple. As it happens, many of our industries are depressed, and three-quarters of the relief will go to them. But that is not the principle upon which this proposal is based. The whole object is to put rating on some foundation so that industry is not overburdened in competition with the rest of the world.
Of all the things that have been suggested to relieve unemployment, I think that this is the best, because it is the only one that goes to the root of the matter. What is the proposal that comes from the Labour benches? It is that you should give the whole of this money in relief of the poor rate. That is only another system of giving doles to the community instead of doles to individuals, and we have gone on too long with doles in this country. We have tried palliatives all the time, and have never tried remedies which go to the root of the matter. This proposal of the Government is one of the remedies that go to the root of the matter; it takes from industries a burden which will enable them to reduce their costs, and sell their goods at prices which will compete with 1100 their rivals. That is the object of the scheme, and I look forward with the greatest possible hope and confidence to the success which we shall have from it.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
I propose to deal with the Government's proposal in relation to education, but, before doing so, I must reply to the amazing speech of the right hon. Member for Hillhead (Sir H. Horne). He has seriously suggested that one of the biggest burdens in connection with industry is rates. What about the Scottish mining position? I have here the figures for the first eight months of this year, and they show that the cost for rents, royalties and way-leaves total £532,075 and the costs for local rates total £127,051. The cost for rates was approximately 1½d. per ton on every ton of coal raised; the cost for rent, royalties and wayleaves was approximately 6d. per ton. We are told this is a way to get right to the root of matters; it is no mere palliative for the purpose of reviving the mining industry; it is a great revolutionary proposal. The total loss per ton on the coal raised in June in Scotland was approximately 1s 2¾d. per ton, and to revive the industry we are to get 75 per cent. rebate on a cost in rates of 1½d. per ton cost.
§ Sir R. HORNE
My hon. Friend forgets the benefit which is going to be obtained from de-rating the transport system of the country. That provides very much higher figures.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
Admitting that there might be some advantage, and taking the Government's own figures, it is equal only to 4d. per ton. Consequently, if you wiped out rents, royalties and wayleaves, you would be in a better position to help the mining industry than will be done by the tinkering proposals associated with de-rating.
§ Sir R. HORNE
The hon. Member says that royalties are one of the serious burdens on the mining industry, but under the de-rating scheme 75 per cent. of the royalties are to be de-rated and handed back to the coal industry.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
They are only to be handed back, as far as the landlords and tenants are concerned, during the current tenancy.
§ Sir. R. HORNE rose—
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
I can remember an occasion when I asked the right hon. Gentleman to give way in connection with a statement which he made, but on this occasion I am having a little of my own back, and I have proved that a Labour member can give way to the right hon. Gentleman two or three times to give him a chance of getting out of the mess which he has made in his defence of his Government.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
I want to put to the Lord Advocate or the Secretary of State for Scotland a question which I have already asked, as to how it would be possible for the de-rating propsals to help either the mining industry or industries generally in this country? How will it be possible for £24,000,000, which is really the amount of the de-rating proposed to be given indiscriminately to all productive industries, to benefit industry by creating employment, when £23,000,000 was given indiscriminately to the mining industry for nine months, and, instead of reviving the industry, really knocked the bottom out of it, and made it more impossible to get decent conditions for the men? I hope that I shall get an answer to that.
I want now to direct my remarks to the local government proposals of the Government, particularly in their relationship to education. I have carefully followed this Debate, and conscientiously sat through it, because I am interested in Scottish education. I have heard no criticism directed against the work of the present education authorities. Unless you can criticise their work, you have no right to ask us to enter into some other arrangement, of the result of which we know nothing. You must prove to this House and to Scotland that the present system is of no use, and is a disadvantage to education. I listened yesterday to one of my constituents, the hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Mr. Buchan), delivering a most admirable speech, but I found that he had no criticism to direct against those who are to-day administering the law in connection with education in Scotland. The right hon. Member for Hillhead made 1102 practically a similar statement to that made by the hon. Member for the Scottish Universities. Indeed it was with the greatest difficulty that he had been able, balancing up all the factors, to decide in favour of the Government proposals. There has not been a single speech of criticism delivered against the existing order of administering education in Scotland. It was simply a question of glancing at but not effectively dealing with the proposals for Scottish education. The Lord Advocate has followed on the same lines as the Secretary for Scotland and has made practically no reference to education.
Let us see some of the reasons given for abolishing the education authorities. We should remember that, after all, there is something to be said for tradition and, as far as education is concerned, it has given to Scotland a better system of education than prevails in almost any other place on earth. We have been told that it is necessary because of the derating proposals, because of the block grant proposals of the Government. But the de-rating proposals have no association with educational administration. You can carry through your de-rating proposals without changing the system of educational administration in Scotland. It is proposed in the Bill to continue a separate Scottish Education Department, a separate Education Fund, and the laying of Minutes on the Table of the House as to the allocation of this Fund to the various education committees. You are to give to the county councils the power to assess for a deficit created in connection with the running of education, a deficit as between the amount from the Scottish Education Fund and the amount necessary from the ratepayers. Therefore, there can be no argument as far as the de-rating proposals are concerned. Your Education Fund remains as it was; your system of allocation of that Fund remains exactly as it is at present. There is no association of any kind between the de-rating proposals and the Government's proposals in reference to education authorities in Scotland.
The second reason given is the need for larger areas. Yet you do not propose to enlarge the areas as regards educational administration, except in four instances, and one of the proposals you make is the most stupid proposal imaginable. You suggest enlarging the 1103 area as far as Perth and Kinross are concerned. Kinross has all its associations with the county of Fife. All its legal administration is clone through the Sheriff who is the Sheriff of Fife and Kinross. Its Chief Constable is the Chief Constable of Fife and Kinross. Of the children in Kinross who are to get secondary education three fourths, if not five-sixths, get it in the Fife education authority's schools and not in Perthshire at all. There are no associations of any kind between Kinross and Perth; they are all between Kinross and Fife. I point that out to show how absurd the proposals are. There are only four instances where you seek to enlarge the area of administration. Therefore, I submit that, as the county has been the area of administration since 1918, there can be no logical reason for changing the system of administration as is proposed in this Bill.
The third reason that has been given is economy. How can you get economy under these proposals? I have here the balance sheet of a typical education authority and, though I do not want to weary the House with all the details, I will take the major expenditure. That shows that the expenditure on salaries, for day schools, continuation classes, and so on, was £477,570. Books, stationery, rent, rates, replacements, fuel, lighting, cleaning, etc., amounted to £121,700 a total of £599,270. That is out of a total expenditure for the county of £738,528. There has to be added to that £599,270 the sum of £62,520, which is for repayments in connection with capital and the borrowings of that particular education authority. I see nothing in the Bill suggesting wiping out interest as regards the education authority in order to bring about economy. If you take those three totals together you only leave £76,738. Therefore in that case there is no possibility of economy in any shape or form. After presenting this one typical Budget of an education authority, I ask how it is possible for a single moment that the proposals which the Government are making will give more economy than the present system.
The fourth reason which has been given is that of efficiency in administration. How will you get that through these proposals? I have here a list of the 1104 total memberships of the education authorities. They range in number from nine in the county of Kinross to 49 in the case of Lanarkshire. What do you propose to put in the place of these education authorities, in which the maximum number is only 49? It must he remembered that that maximum number deals with all the problems associated with education. I submit to the House that, unless a member has served upon an education authority and spent a long time in watching its work, it is absolutely impossible for him to understand the intricacies and great difficulties that face them so far as county administration is concerned.
What do you propose in place of the education authority directly elected at the present time by a system of proportional representation, which guarantees to minorities representation if their numbers justify it? All the guarantees which have been given to minorities are bound to be taken away if this Bill is placed upon the Statute Book. What do you propose to put in their place? The county council is to be the new body responsible for education. How is the county council to be elected? That is laid down by Clause 8 of this Bill. So far as the county area is concerned, every elector will have a direct vote for the individual to represent him on the county council. But when we come to large burghs we find that you are going to disfranchise every elector for education purposes. The burghs are not to be electoral areas. The burgh council is to select from its number the individuals who are to be sent to the county council to look after education.
I will take my own case. For 20 years I have devoted the best part of my life to educational administration. I may have a desire, even though I am in this House, to continue my association with it, yet, by living in a large burgh, I am disfranchised, and I have no possibility of offering my services to the electors either for acceptance or objection. You give me no hope. My case is typical of that of the 20,000 electors in that burgh, not one of whom will have the right to offer his services for education administration. Even if I offer my services to the town council, I have the admission made at the last meeting of that authority that, knowing my views on certain questions, I am as 1105 one voice among 26 voices, and that I have no possibility, despite what little knowledge I have obtained of education administration, of ever being a co-opted member. I am completely disfranchised. No wonder the right hon. Member for Hillhead has disappeared. We heard him say there should be no taxation without representation, but you are going to compel me to pay education rates and to compel every elector in Kirkcaldy or Dunfermline to do so without any earthly possibility under this Bill of election or of representation to control that expenditure.
Let us examine the proposals still more carefully. Not only is the power of education to be handed over to the county councils, but you are not going to call upon the whole county council to deal with education. It is to be handed over to a statutory education committee. I will take the county of Fife, as an example. There are 44 members elected to deal with the whole problems of education there. The present total membership of the county council of Fife is 73. I assume that, under the rearrangement or reconstruction of the county councils, it will not be less. Assuming that they allow one-third to be on the education committee, that would mean 25. Allowing for the co-opted members being 23 or 24, it will mean that you will require a larger committee—and part of it merely co-opted —to deal with the problem of education that you have at the present time. But, under the proviso of Clause 12, the education committee of the councilshall not so delegate any function in regard to—(a) the appointment, transfer, remuneration or dismissal of teachers.I will again take that education authority as typical of all the other education authorities. They have a committee known as a staffing committee dealing with the whole problem of the appointment of teachers. They number 15 and deal with all the problems in connection with staffing and report to the parent committee. In the Government's proposals there is to be no delegation of these powers even to a sub-committee of the education committee. So, if there is to be an appointment made in the future, it has to be done, in the name of efficiency and economy, by calling 1106 together representatvies from all parts of the county, plus the co-opted members, to deal with perhaps only a single appointment. It is expenditure run mad. It is the most wasteful proposal that has ever been submitted in this House, and I have seen a few during the time that I have been a Member. Then, the appointment of bursars and the exercise of other functions under Section IV of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1918, have to be reserved for the whole committee. Again, let me take a typical case. There are seven electoral areas in the county of Fife. In those seven electoral areas you have seven committees drawn from the immediate area who are dealing with applications for bursaries, and the result is that we are able to avoid unnecessary expense in the calling together of the whole committee; but the whole committee, when it is called together, have rights of supervision so far as the recommendations of those district committees are concerned. But now when there are applications for bursaries, the whole committee will have to deal with them, and I feel that the same consideration and the same care will not be given to the subject as it receives at the present time.
Now I come to the question of the school management committees. I would draw attention to the fact that the only sub-committee of any of the committees which has kept clear of the proviso about having a majority of elected members is the sub-committee of the school management committee. A school management committee must have a majority of elected members on it. We asked for a return from the Secretary of State for Scotland, and that shows that in the county of Fife there are 24 school management committees. One of the committees has 27 members on it. Under the proposals of this Bill there has to be a majority of elected representatives—[Interruption.] Oh, yes. The only subcommittee that is clear of the proviso of having a majority of elected representatives is the sub-committee of the school management committee, and, again, I submit that that will tend neither towards economy nor efficiency. No wonder that the right hon. Member for Hillhead and the Lord Advocate have run away from their proposals in connection with co-opted members. The Bill says: 1107(4) Every scheme constituting an education committee shall provide …(b) for the appointment by the council of persons of experience in education.Incidentally, I would remind the House that the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland has pointed out that experts are not required; in fact, in one speech he suggested that the less these people knew about education the better it would be. I do not think he will deny that. But in the drafting of this Bill it is admitted that it will be necessary to have somebody with experience in connection with education, because it goes on—and of persons acquainted with the needs of the various kinds of schools.After that we come to what is I think the biggest joke of the whole lot. I heard it suggested during the Debate on the English Bill that it was an office boy who had thought of the way out of the difficulty in finding a formula. He suggested that they should multiply instead of dividing, and so we got that wonderful formula which is going to destroy Scottish government so far as the present Secretary of State for Scotland is concerned. But let us read this Clause, because there has been a correspondence between the Secretary of State for Scotland and Dr. White, and I cannot understand how Dr. White accepted the explanation of the Secretary of State. The Bill goes on to say that the education committee shall include—in all cases at least one person conversant with the custom which has prevailed in the public schools of Scotland of giving instructions in religion to children whose parents do not object.This person has only to be "acquainted with the custom." He may be a Hindu a Hottentot, a Confuscian, a Buddhist, a Brahmin, an Atheist or an Agnostic, and he would still meet the requirements of this wonderful Clause. He has only to be acquainted with the custom prevailing. I know an hon. Member of this House who would not claim for a moment that he was a Christian. He believes in a very old religion, and is as much entitled to his belief as I am entitled to mine. I refer to the hon. Member for North Battersea (Mr. Saklatvala). He could act, because it does not even say that this person must belong to the locality; he may belong to London, or anywhere. All that those who co-opt him 1108 have to prove is that he has a knowledge of the custom prevailing in connection with religious instruction. And Dr. White, of all people, accepted that as a satisfactory explanation, and as giving a guarantee that the custom of use and wont would be observed. The more one examines the Bill the more ridiculous it seems. There can be no argument in favour of this system of government. Whenever you start on the slippery slope of co-opting members for public administrative work you are up against all kinds of difficulties.
We have got over our religious difficulties in Scotland so far as our transferred schools are concerned. In spite of what the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead has said, I believe that outside Glasgow there is absolutely no religious rancour in connection with any of our elections to education authorities. We are enabled to get minority representation in accordance with the numbers in the particular localities, we have our transferred schools entirely under the control of the education authorities, and have removed the religious controversies, but I say without hesitation that under this Bill you will simply carry religious controversies into the municipal arena. To-day neither Catholics nor Protestants have any complaint in connection either with the administration or with the Act itself, or in connection with the methods of election, but now we are going to resurrect the old religious controversies so far as the counties and many of the burghs are concerned. I wish to emphasise the point that there will be neither efficiency nor economy under the Government's scheme, and that there is no justification for their proposals is proved by the fact that not a single resolution in favour of them has been sent to the House There may be four education authorities who have said they are prepared to consider the general scheme, but a meeting of the executive of education authorities, by 33 votes to 7, protested against the attempt on the part of the Government to take away the ad hoc principle and to hand over education to the county councils. There has been no mandate from the people of Scotland for the Government to take this step, and I submit that it will be detrimental to education; and as one who has spent 20 years in connection with educational 1109 work, that is the only thing which matters, in my view. The question is, Will the new system be better than the present system, and has the present system outlived its usefulness? Let me take the statement made by the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland:I will freely admit that the record of the education authorities during the last 10 years had been good…. An ad hoc body is undoubtedly useful at the inception of a service, sincere creative ideas, undivided attention, specialised knowledge and a strong driving force are then necessary to overcome inertia and launch the new scheme.There are at least half-a-dozen new schemes under the 1918 Act which have yet to be launched. The day has still to be nominated by the Secretary of State for raising the school age. If it be true that the ad hoc system is necessary to furnish the creative ideas for these new schemes, then I submit there can be no case for the proposals presented by the Government. I have referred to the speech in which the Under-Secretary said there was no need for experts. I suggest it is far better to have someone who knows about the intricacies of administration rather than to hand the whole business over to the county council, which will not show the same interest in education as has been shown by the elected representatives of the people on the ad hoc bodies.
Reference has been made to the comparison between the English system and the Scottish system of education. Being trained in a Scottish village school, I got opportunities such as no child in an English school gets even at the present time. Along with a few others I was chosen by the headmaster, rightly or wrongly, as a "lad o' pairts." I got an opportunity to study two languages other than English. I do not say that I succeeded, but I got the opportunity, and also I got the opportunity of studying mathematics, algebra, and all the other higher subjects, at the age of 11. Economic conditions, however, forced me to leave school immediately I had got beyond the age at which attendance is compulsory. I was compelled to carry through the rest of my education by attending evening classes. At that time no provision had been made to ensure that the child who could benefit by education had no financial barrier placed in his way. By continuing the ad hoc system and getting the larger area, we 1110 have now been able to remove most of the financial barriers which have stood in the way of our children. I can honestly say of the county of whose education authority I am proud to be a member that within our borders no obstacle stands in the way of the "lad o' pairts" or the "girl o' pairts" getting a higher education; but I see the possibility of all the progress we have already made being lost if these duties are handed over to a county council which does not know the individual cases, is not directly interested in education and is not prepared to make the sacrifices for the cause of education which have been made up to the present time.
It has been suggested that the English system is better than the Scottish system. I am suggesting that it is not, and I say, further, that you are not even giving us the chances of the English system, bad as that is. In England at the present time there are, I think, 318 elected authorities dealing with education. Boroughs with more than 10,000 population have their elementary education committees, and urban areas with more than 20,000 population also have their own education committees. Under this Bill, we in Scotland are to have only 34 elected authorities to deal with the whole problem of education, poor relief and other questions. Another argument in support of this Bill has been that it will prevent overlapping. I suggest that the Bill will not. There has been only one case tried in the Law Courts in Scotland in connection with overlapping, and that was about the feeding of schoolchildren. It was the case of the Fife Education Authority versus the Kirkcaldy Burgh Council. Will this Bill prevent such a thing as that? Not by a long way. This Bill hands over to the Kirkcaldy Town Council control in connection with poor relief, but does not hand over to them anything to do with education, with the result that we can still have the same problem arising between two authorities as has already arisen in the case to which I have referred.
But I submit that the worst feature of the Bill is contained in Clause 21. The Education Committee to be set up is to have no control whatever over capital expenditure or the collecting of rates. When we on the education authority in the County of Fife agree to 1111 build a school we have control of the capital expenditure, and it is only necessary to carry the resolution by a majority of one. Clause 21 of this Measure states:Any sums borrowed after the commencement of this Act by a county or town council under powers conferred by any enactment whether passed before or after the commencement of this Act shall be borrowed upon the security of all funds, rates and revenues of the council.only it adds in sub-section (2) that there must be a majority of two-thirds of the Members present and voting. You are going to make it absolutely impossible for the education committee to get a single school built. We have to borrow in order to build schools and before we can carry out any capital expenditure, we must have a two-thirds majority of those present and voting. Surely you are going to make education administration ridiculous so far as these proposals are concerned. I would like to make one other comparison. I read an interesting article in the "Times" of 28th November this year in which attention was drawn to the differences between expenditure upon books in England and Scotland. In that article it was pointed out that the expenditure upon books in England was only 1s. 8d. per head, whereas under our ad hoc system in Scotland where we take a more direct interest in education, we have been able to provide a more efficient and necessary supply of books in order to see that our children are educated, and our expenditure on books is three times more than in England. The article in the "Times" to which I have referred said:The fact that a large disparity does exist can hardly, on the strength of the figures given, be denied. If that is so the children of England and Wales, in comparison with the children of Scotland, are being starved in one of the essential elements of their educational training.We are asked to accept a system in Scotland which in England starves the children in regard to their educational advancement. I believe the course of education in Scotland has been betrayed by this Bill and those who are betraying it have more to fear than those who are being betrayed. Shakespeare said:Though those that are betrayed do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor stands in worse case of woe.The Secretary for Scotland is one who has betrayed the best interests of education 1112 and the best interests of Scotland. I have a kindly recollection of one who was one of the finest men I have read about and known, from whom I have managed to get sometimes certain small kindnesses, and who was revered by a good many people—I allude to the honoured father of the Secretary of State for Scotland who I believe was honoured by every one of his tenants. He was a man who was proud of his county and proud of the rights of Scotland, and I am absolutely sure that he at least, whilst he would be proud that his son has risen to such a position of honour as that of Secretary of State for Scotland, would resent his son supporting a Bill of this kind which betrays the best interests of education and the best interests of Scotland.
Lieut.-General Sir AYLMER HUNTERWESTON
I rise to applaud and to deplore. I wish to applaud the great patriotism and broad statesmanship and courage of the Government in bringing in this Bill, which I think future generations of Scotsmen will look upon as a milestone in the improvement of local government, and which I look upon as a valuable contribution towards a solution of the greatest problem of the day, namely, industrial depression and unemployment. But, while I applaud the general principles of the Bill, I must deplore the fact that two particular principles have not been given due consideration. As these two points are questions of principle, they are essentially points for a Second Reading Debate. The first principle, I would submit to this House, is that a county should not be broken up, even if the administrative advantages appear to be very great. The second principle I pat forward is that an island county, which consists only of islands, should not be united or allied with the mainland. The difficulties which have occurred in those counties which for generations have consisted both of mainland and islands, are well known, but the age-long association of the inhabitants has enabled them to get over their difficulties. I maintain that to introduce as between separate counties such a proposal as that which is contained in the Bill, would be a very great mistake and indeed would show a great lack of statesmanship. If the combination suggested in the Bill were 1113 voluntary, the case might be somewhat different. If these two principles be admitted, and I think they must be agreed by every fair-minded judge who has a knowledge of Scotland and of men in the mass, I think that we must all agree that to transgress against the first principle and to divide the county of Bute, putting one portion with Renfrewshire and another portion with Ayrshire would be a mistake, and a mistake that should be avoided even if it happened to be an administrative advantage.
My second objection is putting Bute, which consists of islands only, with a mainland county. The responsible authorities of the county council have made representations to the Secretary of State for Scotland to the effect that the third and fourth Sub-section of Clause 5 of the Bill should be deleted. The conversations I have had during my very extensive peregrinations in this county in the course of my autumn tour and my heavy correspondence show and convince me that, except in the case of Milport, which has close interests with Ayrshire, the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants feel that the principles embodied in these two Sub-sections are contrary to their best interests. The fact that the sea divides Bute from every other county makes it entirely unique as compared with the rest of Scotland, and that invalidates the argument for a combination of counties which are adjacent and contiguous on the mainland.
Although in most cases the alliance of a small and poorer county with a large and richer one is altogether to the advantage of the smaller county, in Buteshire its combination with either Renfrewshire or Ayrshire would have the result of greatly increasing its rates. If this county were combined with Ayrshire, it would have its rates increased by 3s. 6½d. in the £, and, if combined with Renfrew-shire, its rates would be increased by 2s. 1½d. in the£. I ask that the Secretary of State for Scotland will give favourable consideration to my arguments which I have cut down to the very smallest limits on account of want of time. I hope, when the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland replies at the end of the Debate this evening, he will be able to inform me what is the decision of the Government in regard to this important matter.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I would like at the outset of my remarks to support the point of view which has been put forward by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Ayr and Bute (Sir A. Hunter-Weston). I am a native and a citizen of Renfrewshire, and I do not know what motives or guiding principles have animated the Secretary of State for Scotland in presenting the Island of Bute to Renfrewshire, because it has no historical or geographical connection with Renfrewshire except that the people of Renfrewshire go to the Island of Bute to spend their holidays. I know that the county council of Bute very strongly resent this transference. I would like to know who the Secretary of State for Scotland consulted in regard to his decision to break up the three portions of that county and scatter them to the four winds of heaven. I know that is a Committee point, and I hope I shall be able to support the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Ayr and Bute in any efforts he may make during the Committee stage of this Bill against the course which has been suggested by the Government.
I have been sitting here for the last two days listening to the discussions on this Bill, and I was reminded of one of the flights of fancy of our great fellow-countryman, Sir James Barrie, when he conceived the idea of two personalities, embodied in himself, Sir James Barrie, and M'Connachie. I feel that I have two personalities, one a mild student of political philosophy who has watched with very great interest the contortions, the convulsions and the acrobatics of the present Government in its attempt to buttress up a system of society which has outlived its day and generation. That is interesting and entertaining to a man who is well fed and clothed, and comfortably housed, and who has read most of the works on political philosophy, including one by the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, published at the cost of 2s. 6d., containing a foreword by the Prime Minister. There is another M'Connachie inside me which is more primitive, which rises in revolt, whose whole soul is filled with bitterness to see intelligent men playing away with this machinery of Government while millions of their fellow-countrymen are absolutely at their wits' end to live. I have sat here with the one interest alternating 1115 with the other, and wondering when this Government will really begin to take itself, the country, and the interests of the country—and the interests, particularly, of the working people of the country—with some degree of seriousness.
We are told that this is consequential on the de-rating scheme, and that, in order to relieve productive industry, it is necessary to upset the whole scheme of local government in Scotland. I can not see the necessity for that, and I absolutely dissent from the view that the rating relief which this Government propose to give to productive industry will have the faintest value in stimulating industry in any way. I did not hear, but read in the OFFICIAL REPORT, the speech by the learned Solicitor-General for England in which he stated that this grant which the Government are proposing to make represents a relief of 3½ per cent. on productive industry. If £24,000,000 represents 3½ per cent. on productive industry, then I take it, on a rough calculation, that the whole productive costs of this country total up to somewhere in the region of £800,000,000. I know, however, that the whole national income is considerably higher than that. It is at least four times that sum of £800,000,000, which means that, somewhere after the production of goods to the value of £800,000,000, there is put on to that production cost something in the region of £2,500,000 before the goods actually get to the customer. After the act of production is finished, you put on nearly three-quarters more in price before the goods are handed to the customer, whether he is at home or abroad. I put it to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Kelvingrove (Major Elliot), who, I understand, is going to close this Debate, that it would have been more profitable if the Government had made some investigation as to where that additional three-quarters went, rather than investigating the very small and negligible item that rates constitute in the cost of production of any commodity in this country.
I had the privilege the other morning of examining some very careful costings for agricultural production. I examined them in the closest detail, and I could not find any single crop, whether potatoes, 1116 wheat, barley, beet, or anything else, where the rates were an appreciable amount in the finished cost of the hundredweight, or bushel, or whatever the ordinary marketing bulk was. I could not find a single crop where the rates entered as an important item into the cost price; and I believe that that would be found to be true also in the field of industrial production. I want my hon. and gallant Friend to consider this further point, that practically every item that goes to make up the total rates of a community is a payment that is of some value to industry. If the health of your population is looked after, then, presumably, you have more physically lit workers. If the education of the children of the community is looked after, presumably your workers are more intelligent, more efficient, and more capable. If your factories and workshops are thoroughly well policed, presumably insurance premiums and so on are cheap. If you have an adequate fire brigade, there are not the same losses that need to be provided for in respect of risks of that description. It is the same with an adequate and pure water supply or an adequate gas supply—every single item in your rates represents something that is of value, directly or indirectly, to the industrial process.
There is only one item that I know in rates which seems to me to be a burden on industry. Practically every community has a tremendous annual charge to pay for the interest on loans, and, when you examine into how these various civic, burgh and county edifices have been built up, you find that on every occasion one of the biggest items has been that of borrowings for the acquisition of land. The landowners of Scotland and of Great Britain have always regarded the burghs and the counties and the nation as a milch cow from whom they could draw on every occasion. If a water extension, a road widening, a civic improvement, or a public park was required, the landowners of Scotland came in and put on fancy prices. That money had to be borrowed, again, presumably, from the same people. You have to pay a fancy price to the aristocracy as landowner to get your land, and, to get the money to pay the price, you have to go to the same aristocrat as a direct lender, so that he gets you both on the swings and on the roundabouts.
1117 Every community in Great Britain has been compelled to pay this tremendous annual charge as a heavy and important burden in its rates, through the landowning classes and the money-owning classes in Scotland and in England constituting themselves parasites who live without effort and without work on the toil of the productive worker. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne) talked about getting down to the very root of the matter. He scrambled about among the branches; he was merely among the leaves; he did not get near to the root of the matter. But when one begins to get down and find the toll that an idle aristocracy, an idle rentier class, takes out of the productive work of this nation, one begins to get to the root of the matter. It is because the British worker has to carry a higher overhead charge for decorative figureheads, for idle, leisured people who take no part in the productive process, that our local government and our central government to-day are in their present appalling position, and our captains of industry—the real, genuine captains of industry, the actual workers in industry—are at their wits' end to know how to market British commodities, even when they know that those commodities compare, for quality and for economy of production, most favourably with the products of their foreign competitors.
The fact must be realised that Great Britain cannot afford to carry overpaid idlers at the top of the social scale, and that every man in the community has got to render some decent service to the community, and to be paid only a reasonable price, instead of the exactly opposite position that we have to-day, when, the less useful and necessary the service rendered, the greater the remuneration, while the more necessary the service rendered the nearer the worker is to the starvation level. This Bill does absolutely no solitary thing to get near to this fundamental proposition. I put it to the right hon. Gentlemen who are representing Scotland that this is essentially an old-fashioned Tory proposition. I know that the Prime Minister and his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Kelvingrove think that they are something different from the old-fashioned Tory, that they have brought their philosophy up to date and dressed it in 1118 a modern guise for consumption in industrial centres which have shown little desire for that particular brand of politics; but they are in exactly the same position as the old Tories, and they are working on their basic philosophy—make right first the few, the aristocracy, the best people; and, if you make right the few select people, then ultimately, in the long run, the benefits will trickle down and finally reach the poorest sections of the community. I have come into this House with exactly the contrary political philosophy. I say, start with the ordinary man, the ordinary fellow. Make him right, put him in a position to live, put him in a position to spend, let him eat his way back into a job—[A laugh.]
§ Mr. SKELTON
The hon. Gentleman does not seem to be capable of distinguishing between appreciation and foolishness.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I suggest that the contrary philosophy is the sound and correct one. Start with the common man; put him into a position to spend; make him able to buy. I listened with very great interest to a Debate that we had just before the Autumn Recess, when the President of the Board of Trade made a survey of our trade conditions and showed some indication of appreciation of this fact by saying—I am not attempting to quote him exactly, but I am sure I am quoting correctly the sense of his remark—that the social services were a very considerable item in keeping our trade much better than it would be in the absence of the buying power that was made possible only through the social services that were already in existence. This Bill takes away from the working classes, puts added burdens on to the working classes, and gives gifts to the best-off and wealthiest section of the community. Hon. Gentlemen opposite resent it very much when we suggest that they are simply doling out charity to their 1119 friend's, but, after all, cover it up as you please, justify it as you please, that is exactly what the Government are doing in this Bill. They are handing out largesse like the monarchs of old, or perhaps I may use a more homely simile which will be better understood, at any rate in Western Scotland. At a wedding, when the bride and bridegroom are going off, the youngsters gather round and shout, "Hard up, hard up!"; and the poor bridegroom, who himself is hard up, is expected to throw money out of the carriage window, and the youngsters scramble for it. That is what the Tories are doing. Their friends throughout the country have been saying "hard up," and before they go out of office the Government decide to throw them some coppers and let them scramble for them in the hope that, among them they will create a sort of general impression that they are a very generous hearted crowd. Perhaps they had not very many brains, but they were kind hearted and threw us some money.
I have not so far dealt with the question of the changes in local machinery. A friend of mine has a very ancient motor car, which spends a minimum of time on the road and a maximum of time in the garage. At all his leisure times you find him in an old suit of clothes covered over with oil and rust, and generally showing signs of wear and tear. He spends more of his time under his car than ever sitting in the driver's seat. If you ask him what he is doing, one day he is "mucking about"—that is his phrase—with the carburettor, another day he is "mucking about" with the magneto, and another day he is "mucking about" with the steering gear. He extracts a whole lot of fun out of the pastime. The Government are exactly like my friend. They spend all their time, in this Bill particularly, "mucking about" with the machinery, instead of trying to make the thing run right off the reel. I have been a teacher and I have been a student. I started to study under one system of control of Scottish education, I started to teach under another system of control in Scottish education, and I finished up as a member of an education authority with an entirely different 1120 scheme of education. The machinery did not matter one brass farthing, if you had capable men and women doing the teaching and if you had an adequate amount of money for the purpose.
I cannot think of one solitary thing that this proposed change will do for education and for the youngsters in the schools. It may do something for the administrators and for the higher educational command. It may make someone or other a convener of an education committee, but it will do absolutely nothing for the youngster sitting on the benches that was not being done before, and it is a wasting of the time of the House and of the time of the people in Scotland to start this great upheaval, which is having this effect. It is making the people think there is something really doing, whereas, as a matter of fact, there is nothing doing at all. You are, in education, changing the form of control and, in. Poor Law, changing the form of administration. At the inception of the Bill, the right hon. Gentleman was going to save human effort by abolishing the parish councils and the education authorities. During the process of the Debate they have given all that away, and they are going to engage more people in the administration of education and of the Poor Law than they have at. present engaged in them. There is no economy in human effort at all. There is only an economy in one or two elections, and even that is in danger of going by the board, because he is offering us elections again where at the beginning he was standing for co-option.
The essential problem that is facing responsible government to-day is not the abolition of the parish councils, not even the abolition of the Poor Law that some of my friends have been arguing for, but the abolition of poverty. That is the problem that is facing the Government, and, instead of facing up to the problem of abolishing poverty, they are performing the much more useless task of abolishing the poor, harmless parish councils that never did anyone any harm in all their life. I put it to the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Kelvingrove as a political philosopher, if he can separate himself from the humiliating post he happens to hold at this period of his life as Under-Secretary to the right 1121 hon. Gentleman sitting next to him. Let him disembody his spirit from the sordid clay in which it happens to be encased and agree with me that they would be far more intelligent and courageous men if they faced up honestly to the problem of poverty instead of merely postponing it to some indefinite time in the future when someone else will come along and look at it again and run away. If the poverty problem is to he solved, it can be solved as well to-day as at any time in the future. If it is not to be tackled to-day by honest and courageous Scots I have very little hope for our descendants, because if they are descended from people who run away from their responsibilities they will be cowards themselves. I wish the right hon. Gentleman and the hon. and gallant Gentleman had seen their duty in that light.
There is another aspect of it. I have mentioned this in other debates. As I see this Government, I see a whole series of Acts during their period of office that are directed definitely to withdrawing effective power out of the hands of the working-classes, starting with the Trade Unions and Disputes Act, an attempt to cripple the political and industrial machinery that the working people have built up with toil and difficulty and sacrifice as their legitimate weapon of defence against a rapacious capitalist system that was always trying to drive them down to the starvation level. This Government endeavoured to cripple that machine with, I am glad to say, only a limited measure of success, but the intention undoubtedly was to cripple the working-class opportunity of taking an effective part in political work and of making an effective use of their industrial power and organisation. It is only a few months since, having done that, the right hon. Gentleman took steps to destroy local control over our central offices. He came forward with a Bill for the reorganisation of offices, wiped out the Board of Health, the Prison Commissioners, and half-a-dozen well-established boards which had become part of the Government assistance and maintained touch between various localities and the centre. Now they come along with this further scheme to destroy the parish councils, where working men in their leisure time have to a very large extent entered into administrative work, 1122 and there is not one parish council in Scotland against whom they could bring any serious charge of misdemeanour on dereliction of duty. It perhaps would have been more creditable to the Scottish parishes if some of them had been in the position of West Ham or Chester-le-Street or Bedwellty, but even from the narrow, mean, penurious point of view of the right hon. Gentleman they could not bring one word of criticism against thes3 parishes except that working men were now getting into them. Similarly, with the local town councils in the small burghs.
They come along and say: "This will not do. We cannot have working people interfering with local government. We have to withdraw power away to some further point where it will be more difficult for these people to secure representation and where the public finances will be administered, not in the same spirit as these workers will administer them, but in the interests of the better off sections of the community." That is mean, to put it on its barest level. It is not sportsmanship. It is not playing the game. Labour has come steadily forward penetrating into local government and national government as it had a perfect right to do. It used the ordinary instruments of political machinery, the platform, reasoned debate and discussion and, finding themselves getting beaten by the ordinary weapon of constitutionalism—I do not like the word, but it will serve—the party opposite say: "We must hamper these common, ordinary people by crippling the local bodies upon which they have been finding expression for their desires and aspirations." I hope and trust it will be possible for the House of Commons to delay this Measure until the present Government have gone out of office, and that when the Government goes out of office no other Government with a similar political outlook will ever be permitted to take its place. I hope this added to the other evil and prejudiced legislation that the Government have accumulated for itself, will mark absolutely the end of aristocratic tyranny. I argue this more strongly, not out of political prejudice, but because I believe the one practical constructive thing we can do is the point with which I started my speech, namely, to get rid of the tremendous burden on 1123 our industry that results from an idle, useless, overpaid aristocracy.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Earl of DALKEITH
The hon. Gentleman the Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) will take no exception to my suggestion that he did not do justice to his fellow Scotsmen and that he failed to substantiate the abuse which he delivered against them. I welcome this Bill as a solid effort towards helping to solve the serious problem of unemployment, and as an attempt to carry out the findings of very important commissions on the reconstruction of our system of local government. Certain features still seem obscure, but will, I hope, be capable of a clearer definition before the Committee stage is reached. Much of the opposition referred to by the Amendment is due to uncertainty and suspicion of what is intended in the Bill, and no one can be blamed for being unable to visualise what exactly will be the results. Much of the air has been cleared in my constituency by the removal of certain matters from the White Paper which were the principal and original cause of opposition in the burghs.
Representing a constituency of several small burghs and an important rural interest, I find that the main criticism dwells upon the actual constitution of the new council which is to be elected next year. It does appear that under the Bill as it now stands sufficient due weight will not be accorded to burghal representation. This is an important consideration and one which weights heavily with many people who are prepared to accept the Bill if they are given an assurance that burghal interests will not be submerged. The border burghs are very proud of their independence and zealous of their privileges. It may perhaps be true that people there make a hard bargain, but once they have done so they are very generous. In the same way, I think, the border burghs are very anxious to insure that their own position is as strong in the future as it has been in the past. They are very anxious to safeguard their position and, I think, unduly cautious in doing so, but I am certain that when they realise that the Government are going to make a fair representation and that the bargain is a fair one they will be generous and among the foremost to co-operate in carrying it out.
1124 The success of this Measure as regards local government and the carrying out of it in future will depend very greatly upon the willing co-operation of the two wings composed of members from rural districts and the burghs, and when it is made clear that the representation will be a fair one this will be a sound, smooth, working arrangement. The Government have succeeded in making a formula for de-rating, and I am confident that they will be able equally to devise a method by which fair representation will be given to each side. There exists a spirit of antagonism, I regret to say, for which there does not appear to be sufficient cause between representatives of burghs and county districts. I am sure that this can be removed, and its removal will help the future working of the scheme. In making this reference to burghal interests, I do not wish the agricultural interests to be swamped in counties where their population is weak nor, I feel sure, would the burgh population desire that this should be the case. I welcome the references that have been made by the Secretary of State to this point earlier in the Debate, and I am sure that more information on the subject would clear up the doubts of many people.
I have listened to the charge that this is an attack upon democratic local government, and I listened only last night to the ex-Secretary for Scotland who said that in future democratic representation was quite impossible. If this charge was correct and could be substantiated, it would be a serious one. I am quite sure that it can be denied, and I hope that the Under-Secretary of State will make it clear in winding up the Debate. Speaking as a member of a local authority—and I am proud to admit that I am a member of a county council in spite of the remarks made against them—I am sure that the answer is simple, and that if the Bill provides for adequate representation, and if the schemes drawn up locally provide for sufficient representation, the work can be so organised and the committees so arranged that working-men representation will be just as easy in the future as it has been in the past. This point has especially been brought up with regard to education. Surely, it will he possible for those desirous of being on the education committee, a certain pro- 1125 portion of them, also to be on, perhaps, the finance committee. But surely it should not be necessary under the new authority for members to be on several committees at the same time. I am very much against any great increase of bureaucracy or loss of personal touch, and I am sure that this Bill will be passed in such a way that there will be no fear of that. I believe that changes are due and that more combination is most desirable, and, if the opportunity is lost now, it will be much more difficult later on.
I have listened to many attacks upon the de-rating proposals. I am surprised to find the opinion of the opposite benches is that there will be no assistance to employment or to agriculture. I prefer to listen to the emphatic resolutions which chambers of commerce have passed, and I was glad to receive yesterday a unanimous resolution from an important part of my constituency warmly approving the proposals of the Government with regard to agriculture. I have heard no good argument to prove, and I know of no precedent to suggest, that agricultural rents will be increased because of this rate relief. There have been many attacks on the Bill from this point of view, but I do not know of any arguments which really support it. Nor have I heard any arguments why the agricultural owner who has paid three-quarters of the rates in the past should not receive any share of the relief which comes to him.
The hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir R. Hamilton) asked about the benefit to agriculture going to the owner of agricultural land. Doubtless, many owners of agricultural land who are prosperous, as well as those who are less prosperous, will receive advantage from rating relief. We know that there are far too many instances where owners have been unable to carry out their obligations and to bear their share of the expenditure on farms owing to the burdens upon the land. These owners will be assisted by this relief in keeping up maintenance and capital expenditure. Those owners who have been more able in the past, perhaps from other sources, to carry out the necessary maintenance and capital expenditure, and who have been able to give considerable employment in direct methods such as afforestation, and in indirect methods, such as the improve- 1126 meat of cottages, buildings, and so on, will be able to do so in an increased way in future. It seems to me very illogical for the Liberal party who have made nationalistic proposals in regard to land on the ground that the owners are unable to carry out their obligations towards their tenants, should deny that relief which would help them to carry out those obligations. One would not expect a party who favour complete nationalisation to support this method. I welcome the Bill. I am sure that the de-rating proposals will assist unemployment and agriculture, and although certain proposals in regard to local government may not be pleasant to certain people affected by them, the benefit to those whom we have the honour to serve will be considerable.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
The noble Lord has remarked upon the discursiveness of the Debate. I think the answer to that will be found in the Bill, which is not merely a collection of Clauses and Schedules and memoranda and parts but is two or three separate Bills loosely stitched into one; a procedure which has an advantage from the point of view of the Government of facilitating the progress of the Measure, and a further effect, which perhaps they do not regard altogether as a disadvantage, of crippling and stifling criticism of its various important points. I do not wish to deal with the de-rating side of the proposals to-night. I made some remarks on that subject on the Rating and Valuation Bill in the summer, when I drew attention to the unfairness of the proportion upon which agricultural subjects were to be assessed in Scotland as compared with England and advocated one-twelfth instead of one-sixth. I also drew attention to the necessity of securing to the tenant a full measure of the relief afforded by the de-rating proposals. I pointed out the effect of the Bill would be to add to the insecurity of tenants and, therefore, the necessity of providing security of tenure. I shall, no doubt, have other opportunities of reverting to this subject on the Committee stage of this Bill.
I wish to deal specifically with the local government reform aspect of the Bill. I have no more patience with those people who say that we ought to approach this question from a vague nebulous, pseudo-statesmanlike attitude 1127 than I have with those who approach large questions of national and Imperial policy from the parochial standpoint. If we are to understand these questions properly and to provide the people of the country with the local government which they need, we have to get down to brass tacks, and to picture to ourselves the conditions, needs and desires of the people, and those who have actual experience of county, burgh and parish councils. Our burghs are, rightly, proud of the standard of administration to which they have attained, and jealous of their ancient privileges. No wonder that they object to being placed in regard to many of their important responsibilities under the control of relatively upstart county councils. Equally, they are entitled to resent the condescension of the 'Secretary of State, who graciously concedes to them the retention, though under a somewhat precarious tenure, of some of the most vital of their powers connected with housing, water supply and roads. Most of all do they object to being reduced to the status of mere agents to the county councils.
The Noble Lord said that they were unduly cautious. I do not think there has been any undue caution in their attitude. I am sure that the caution which they have shown in relation to the Government's proposals should be emulated by Scottish Members in all parts of the House and that we should do our best as this Bill goes through Committee to secure the position of the small as well as the large burghs. Nothing is more characteristic of the light-hearted way in which these problems have been approached than the calculations of the Secretary of State, in his speech, of the relative numbers of parish councils and paupers in the various districts of Scotland. The parish council is a far more important and vital organ of government, at any rate in the rural areas of Scotland—I feel that I am only entitled to speak for them—than any such argument would suggest. The Lord Advocate, speaking to-day, said that the hon. Member for Dunfermline (Mr. W. M. Watson) had put the case and had expressed the general agreement of the House when he said that there was a very large measure of reform necessary in regard to parish councils. I think he was rather ex- 1128 pressing the opinion of the urban parts of the country or the semi-urban parts, whereas in the rural districts, and particularly in the Highlands, I am convinced that it is as true to-day as it was in 1923 when it was found by the consultative Committee of the Scottish Board of Health that these councils are indispensable to the local government of Scotland.
There is the important question, the care of the poor. That is a question which brings government intimately into the homes of the people. It is a question in which the personal touch, the local knowledge is of the very essence of careful, humane and sympathetic administration. The parish councils have many other responsibilities, certainly in the Highlands. They have the roads to look after, not the big highways, but those parish roads which are particularly necessary to the people who live in the country districts, the farm roads, the peat roads, those roads which are necessary for the smallholders, the farmers and occupiers in order that they may get about their daily avocations. They look after public property, war memorials, recreation grounds and graveyards. In all these matters they perform vital administrative functions to the life of these scattered rural districts. Some of these parishes are as large in area as some counties in the South. Sparsity of population is rightly being taken into consideration by the Government when considering the question of finance; surely it should also be accepted as a factor in local Government.
The hon. Member for Perth and Kinross (Duchess of Atholl) said that the situation had altered a great deal from 1921–1923, because there were so many parishes in the Highlands where unemployment was becoming very serious and imposing exceptional burdens on the people. There are very few of those parishes in the Highlands of Scotland. Even if there are some, is it any fairer to lay that burden on a particular county, perhaps on the very county which the Noble Lady represents in this House? If that is an argument at all it is an argument for taking the care of the able-bodied unemployed off the local authorities I altogether and making it a national charge, as we on these benches advocate The Secretary of State, and also the right 1129 hon. Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne), referred to the small number of elections for parish councils. That shows that they do not understand how local government works in the rural districts. There are very few formal elections but there is all the time a process of what I may call latent election going on. It is well known that in a great many cases the councillors are giving perfect satisfaction. In other cases it is discovered that there is some particular councillor who is not giving satisfaction, or it may be that some local issue comes up and the people want a change. They desire to put other members in as their representatives in order to decide this local issue. What happens in that case? When it comes to the point of having an election which they do not want one side or the other gives way, and time after time you will see in the local papers that there are so many candidates but just before nomination day one or other of them gives way. There is this process of what I have called, for the want of a better name, latent election going on all the time; a keen interest is taken in the work of these parish councils throughout Scotland.
Even if that were not true, how would an enlarged authority bring greater interest.? In the case of the educational authority in the cities and large centres of population there was an increase owing to the great efficiency of the authorities, but in the country districts the effect was to decrease local interest. There was not the same keen local interest taken as in the days of the old school board. That is not necessarily an argument in favour of the old school board as against the local education authority, but it does show that an enlarged area will not tend to increase local interest but instead will tend to diminish interest locally in the election. There are, of course, one or two parishes which are abnormally large. There is the case of Glasgow with 600,000 people, and there are one or two parishes which are abnormally small; but they do not exist in the Highlands of Scotland. If there is a case for the adjustment of boundaries, and I dare say there is, let the case be admitted, but do not abolish parish councils altogether and bring them under the county councils because of that. The right way to deal with it is to try 1130 and get agreement, as I am sure you would in a great number of cases, between parish councils, and set up a Court of Appeal to which any cases of disagreement may be referred and the boundaries finally adjusted. The Secretary of State has said that he is contemplating methods whereby some new kind of district council will be elected. We do not know, and the Lord Advocate is unable to tell us to-day, what is in the round of the Secretary of State. I appeal 1;o him now to go a step further and, at any rate as far as the rural districts of Scotland are concerned, and especially the Highlands, to maintain the present parish councils with their full powers in their present position with such adjustment of boundaries as may be found to be necessary.
The Minister of Health, in the powerful speech he made in introducing the English Bill, said that sentiment is a very powerful factor and that anyone who flouts it is taking a very rash course. The Secretary of State will be well advised to take those remarks to heart. If time had permitted I should have liked to have spoken on the question of the education committees, but that ground has been admirably dealt with by the hon. Member for Peebles (Mr. Westwood). There is one remark of the hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Mr. Buchan.) to which I should like to refer. He said that if educational committees are carefully chosen then, he thought, they would work well. The right people to choose the education committees are the electors of the country. Their careful choice in the past has been a strong factor in maintaining, both in the case of the old school boards and in the case of the education authorities, the high standard of Scottish education; and it is the interest of the electors which it is essential to maintain. What is the justification for these proposals?
The Secretary of State has a new word; one of those words which pass into the currency of political controversy and serve to conceal a lot of idle thought. I mean the word "unification." It is like the word co-ordination, which used to be so popular at one time. Now it is unification; and what is it about There are only two arguments which I have been able to disentangle, and one is with regard to overlapping. They say 1131 there is so mach overlapping; and when they come to particulars there is one particular which is always brought up—hospitals. They say that a small authority cannot alone supply an up-to-date hospital. But they do, not by themselves, but they combine with other authorities now. The right hon. Member for Hillhead said that it does not work well. It does, at any rate it works admirably in the cases of which I have practical knowledge; and it is not marble halls and electrical appliances which necessarily make the best hospital. It is the humane personal treatment, the personal interest of the doctors in the patients whom they know in their own town; and the interest of their friends. All these things, and those which make for careful humane nursing and treatment, are admirably supplied in the hospitals which are maintained either independently or in combination with adjacent local authorities by the small burghs of Scotland at the present time. But what other instances of overlapping are there? There are one or two. Those of us who know local government in Scotland would be able to quote one or two. But they are not quoted in this House or in the country, for the simple reason that they are so small and insignificant that they would be laughed out of Court as a reason for introducing proposals of this drastic character.
The other reason that we are given is economy. The joke of this Government preaching economy to the local councils of Scotland is very much appreciated in the country. The Lord Advocate spoke of centralisation as necessary to achieve economy, but he made that same speech time and again two years ago on the Rating and Valuation Bill, which was then going through the Standing Committee on Scottish Bills. Very little economy has that brought. I find that in my own home county, of 13 parishes and special districts, the rates this year have gone up in 10, in only one have they remained about the same, and in only two is there a decrease. Very little economy do we get out of these centralisation schemes. We shall have to pay compensation to the officials who leave the public service, and we shall have also to pay travelling expenses 1132 of members. That is an unfair charge to put on the local authorities. The Government ought to help with it, for this is their policy. The travelling expenses are likely to be serious. If you scrap all your parish councils and concentrate all the power in the county authorities, of course you will have to pay the travelling expenses of members. As an hon. Friend said, the question of payment of members will come up too.
The travelling expenses alone will be a very serious business for many counties. They cost many hundreds of pounds to the education authority in Sutherland. Under this Bill there will be not only the education authorities, but the various sub-committees sitting in the parishes. In Sutherland some of the parishes will be 40 miles away from the nearest centre where the county council generally meets. There will be no railway available, so that members will have to go by road. Half of the committee is to be co-opted and the other half will be made up of members of the county council, and they will have to go to and fro all over the county, transacting the business of these districts. Even now the expenses of the education authorities alone run into many hundreds of pounds. Under the proposals a the Bill the expenses will certainly run into four figures and a great deal more in that one county. Of course, we do not assert on the Liberal benches that the structure of local government in Scotland is perfect. Certainly it could be improved. But this is no carefully considered plan of improvement which has been maturing over a long series of years in close consultation with all those who are most experienced in local government. This is nothing but a hastily drafted scheme to keep in touch with the plans of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Health in England. This is what has been described as a revolutionary scheme by the Secretary of State for Scotland. He said; "We have got local government by the throat."
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
Then I have confused the Secretary of State with the hon. Member for Aberdeen and Kincardine (Mr. Boothby), and I withdraw. What I thought was the picturesque pro- 1133 nouncement of the Secretary of State turns out to be the exuberant indiscretion of the hon. Member. They have got it by the throat and they are shaking it as a terrier shakes a rat, while the Minister of Health sits by hounding them on. The hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Mr. Buchan) appealed to us not to confuse the English and Scottish schemes. But we find that the Secretary of State himself referred to the necessity of keeping in touch with the English scheme. The right hon. Gentleman said yesterday, in a reference to the speech of the Minister of Health on this subject:Whatever differences of opinion there may be upon minor and even major provisions of the Measure, the explanation which my right hon. Friend gave to the House of the purport of the Bill was a clear and even convincing argument in favour of taking action. It follows in due course that I have the honour of introducing a Measure dealing with Scotland." —[OFFICIAL REPORT, 3rd December, 1928; col. 859; Vol. 223.]But in England the only people who are being abolished are the guardians. They do overlap; they overlap parish councils and district councils. But rural district and urban district councils and even parish councils are left in England with their powers unimpaired. The Secretary of State is not content to follow in the footsteps of his English master, but he out-Herods Herod in his massacre of the innocents. Of course reforms are necessary. That is the cry of every tyrant from the Mediterranean to the Baltic, when he sweeps away the liberties of the people. The Secretary of State echoed it, and the right hon. Member for Hillhead echoed it too. The Minister of Health believes that reforms are necessary. He has shown his interest in the question of local government over a long series of years. But when was the inefficiency of Scottish local government discovered by the Secretary of State? The Lord Advocate said that the scheme had not been hurriedly introduced, and that it was put into a White Paper last year. Yes, only last year. Until the Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced his Budget last year we never heard a word from the Secretary of State or from any of his colleagues about the inefficiency of Scottish local government. When has he advocated sweeping measures of reform? When has he shown any interest in the subject? Never.
1134 Public opinion stands aghast at the sudden fury of his onslaught.
The Minister of Health referred proudly in his speech to the position of Birmingham. He said that he was inspired, in drawing up proposals for the reform of local government, by the idea of giving to other parts of the country the advantages of the same kind of efficiency as they had in Birmingham. The cities and burghs of Scotland have no more to learn from Birmingham than Birmingham has to learn from them, and we object to Scottish local government being forced into the Brummagem mould. I agree that there is need for political reform in Scotland. There is; but first thing first. Let us first of all deal with the reform on a national scale. Let us have our own national Parliament in Scotland. That is the way to deal with it. Then let us get the advice of Scotsmen, and Scotswomen trained in local government, who appreciate the value of the long tradition of unpaid voluntary service in our local public life. Then let us get them to advise us and to devise with us a Measure which really will promote the interests and efficiency of Scottish local government and the happiness and welfare of Scottish people.
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
I think the Debate is brightening up a good deal—and I am sure that it is time. I should like, first, to refer to a remark of the hon. and gallant Member for Caithness (Sir A. Sinclair). I did describe this scheme as revolutionary, because I think it is revolutionary; but I never said that we had "taken local government by the threat." I said the problem of local government and rating was a, formidable one, and it was the problem which, I said, we had taken by the throat, not local government. I think I am entitled to make that clear. The hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) spoke the truth when he said that he was delivering the first Second Reading speech made in the course of this Debate. All of us who were privileged to hear that speech, listened to it with the most delighted attention, but there has been hardly any other speech from the Opposition side which has dealt with anything but Committee points. There are two main themes to be considered on the Second Reading of this Bill, and the first of 1135 these is de-rating. The only hon. Member who seriously attempted to deal with the de-rating proposals was the hon. Member for Bridgeton. He took the opportunity to make a savage and very brilliant attack upon the capitalist system. He told us that it was no use tinkering with de-rating under a system like ours, because, whatever we did, it would come to no good. That is an understandable point of view, and, if I paid as little attention to economics as the hon. Member for Bridgeton, I think I should probably come to the same conclusions.
I am not at all surprised, however, that hon. Members below the Gangway, who, I think, still believe that there is some life in the old capitalist system, have kept clear of the de-rating proposals, because, if you do believe that the capitalist system must survive, at any rate for some time to come, it is quite impossible not to advocate the proposals which have been put forward for the de-rating of productive industry and which form the basis and foundation of the whole scheme. I was very interested in the speech of the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston). He completely failed to do justice to the theme or to himself. I think, all Members in this House have the greatest respect for the abilities of the hon. Member, and his failure to deal with anything but purely committee points, the whole way through his speech, made me feel more than ever convinced of the value of the scheme. The only main charge which he brought against the Government was that it was reckless and desperate. When an hon. Member of the Socialist party on the Front Opposition Bench accuses a Conservative Government of being reckless and desperate, I can only say that a glow of pleasure comes over me personally. [Interruption.] I would ask hon. Members opposite to try to grasp one thing, however incredible and incomprehensible it may appear to them. They must try to accustom themselves to the fact that all legislation proposed from this side of the House is based upon principle.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
This Bill is based upon principle. I think hon. Members opposite, generally, will agree that this 1136 scheme can be divided wider three main heads. The first is the relief of productive industry from the burden of rates; the second is the widening of the areas of administration of local government, and the third is the substitution of the block grant for the percentage grant. I am going to try to explain to hon. Members the principles which underlie the three main proposals. The principle behind the de-rating proposals is that the tools and plant of production ought not to be taxed, but 'only the profits which arise from their use. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Is there any hon. Member opposite who will seriously challenge the principle that you ought to tax the profits, but not the means of creating them?
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
I am glad to hear from the hon. Member that he approves of taxing capital and taxing the means of producing wealth and disapproves of taxing profits. That is a very interesting admission.
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
I do not think it is necessary to add anything to what has been said in the Yellow Book about the, vicious principle of rating in this country. I have here a quotation from the Yellow Book which, I think, still holds the field as a denunciation of our rating system.This is an extraordinary vicious principle; so vicious that we should hardly tolerate it if immemorial usage did not blind our eyes to its significance. It penalises enterprise and capital development … A business must pay its rates whether it earns any profits or not. … Thus rates, unlike Income Tax, enter directly into the costs of production, raising the cost of living and diminishing the competitive power of our industries. Our industrial leaders are constantly asserting, and with truth, that local rates are now, by reason of their effect on selling price, a serious handicap to our exports.
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
No, this is the Liberal essay. There is one thing which I want to say about agriculture. We have been accused of putting money into the pockets of the landlords. I do not deny that some money will go into the landlords' pockets, and I do not think that it is at all a bad plan. For the last 30 years, the landlords of this country have been heavily taxed. I might almost say, without exaggeration, that they have been plundered both locally and nationally by taxation and Death Duties until they have not the capital which they ought to spend upon the land they own. That this scheme will put a certain amount of money into their pockets, as I say, I do not deny; but I do not think that is a bad thing, because I believe they will be able to spend more capital upon the land. [Interrupton.] I am not making an offensive speech in any way, and I think hon. Members ought to hear me without interruption. There is no class of agriculturists in Scotland more deserving of assistance from the State than the owner-occupiers and particularly those farmers who, as a result of the impoverishment of the landlords, in the last 10 years, have been compelled to buy their farms with inadequate capital or clear out altogether. These are the men who will be assisted more than any other class of agriculturists by the de-rating proposals.
The objective of the Government, however, is to take the burden of rates from the back of agriculture as an industry, and not from the back of any particular section of those engaged in the industry. That is perfectly sound. I think that of all the many foolish objections which have been advanced against the de-rating scheme, one of the most foolish, if not the most foolish, is the objection that we ought to differentiate between the prosperous and the unprosperous industries. The hon. Member for Dundee spent what seemed like half-an-hour reading through a dreary list of industries in Glasgow and Edinburgh that got some benefit from de-rating, just because they happened to be tobacconists or brewers, and the hon. and gallant Member for Caithness, I believe, challenged the principle that you should give anything to prosperous industries. [Interruption.] It has been suggested that it is outrageous that any industry that is making a profit should receive any assistance, but when is an industry 1138 prosperous and when is it unprosperous, and for how long must it be prosperous or unprosperous?
§ Captain GARRO-JONES
How can the hon. Member distinguish between industries which are already distinguished in this Bill? Will he tell me how to distinguish between productive and unproductive industries?
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
It has been done in the Bill. I would also point out that to distinguish between prosperous and unprosperous industries is not only quite unworkable in practice, but thoroughly unsound in theory, and would involve in many cases a subsidy to inefficiency, and vitiate the whole principle of the scheme, which is that you ought not to tax the means of creating wealth, but only the profits which arise from the creation of wealth.
Now I pass to the second main part of the scheme, which is the widening of the Areas of administration. The principle which underlies this is quite simple, and it is sound, although in detail the Bill may require some modification in Committee. The size of an area of administration and the powers of a local authority ought to bear some relation to the services they are required to render to the community in that particular district and the capacity of the inhabitants of the district to pay for them. At present, you have local authorities trying to administer districts which are unable to bear the financial burden of the services which they ought to render, and to render in many cases much more adequately than they do now.
You have a tremendous growth of residential areas, you have a great growth of purely working-class areas, and you have a third section—and this is the point to which I want to call the attention of hon. Members of the Labour party—which contains nothing but factories. I want to ask hon. Members opposite by what principle of justice they would impose on the parish council of a purely working-class district the responsibility for looking after the health of the workers who inhabit that district, and not allow them to derive any of the profits through the increased value of the property which they themselves, by their daily work, which may not necessarily take place in the district in which they live, help every day 1139 to make. Why should you put the whole burden upon a parish council in a purely working-class district? Why should you charge the local authority of a purely working-class district with the whole responsibility, during a time of national industrial depression, of looking after the poor? And exactly a similar problem arises in the rural areas, where you get the very sparsely populated districts to which the hon. and gallant Member for Caithness referred.
I ask hon. Members opposite whether they seriously think that the present parish councils are the proper unit for the administration of the Poor Law in Scotland. I do not think they are, and the sooner they are abolished the better. There is no sense, there is no rhyme nor reason in the parish council, and we must have a reorganisation of areas. The present system of local government in Scotland, coupled with the present system of levying the rates on industry, is a mass of anomalies, injustices, inequalities, extravagances, and confusion. I may point out that far the best Report on local government in Scotland was the Report of the Maclean Committee. I do not know whether Sir Donald Mao-lean is still a Liberal, or whether he supports the right hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George). I know that he was the chairman of an authoritative committee which recommended the unification of services, the reduction in the number of separate authorities, and a choice of more suitable areas of administration of local government in Scotland as "imperatively necessary," and he recommended that several years ago.
I want to say a word about the position of small burghs. The right hon Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Macpherson) dilated at some length on the position of small burghs, and so did the hon. and gallant Member for Caithness, and they both said, what is not true, that the small burghs were going to be under the county authority. They are not going to be under the county authority. They are going to be, for certain purposes, subject to the control of the central Department, that is, the Secretary of State, which is a very different thing and to which they make not the faintest 1140 objection whatever. The small burghs will remain absolutely intact in the future, as they have been in the past, with their own rating powers and complete powers over all the services which they have to render for their immediate local needs. The only thing that is going to be taken away from them is the administration of certain what you might call semi-national health services, such as hospitals. I think it is a good thing that there should be more coordination so far as hospital administration is concerned, but do not let us go on to say that the small burghs are going to lose their authority, their dignity, their status, their power, and to be put under the county authority because it is not true.
To show what a fog screen has been put up, I would mention that I find the greatest difficulty in my own constituency in convincing the small burghs that they are not going to be swept away altogether, and even now I think that there are many of the most worthy inhabitants of Peterhead who believe they are going to have all their rating powers taken from them. Indeed, it has been very difficult to catch up with the lies which have been told about this matter. The Secretary of State made one remark in his opening speech which was rather alarming. He said that in many cases in the small burghs the sewage and water supplies were closely interlocked. I am sure that where any case of that kind arises no hon. Member, of any party, would not admit that urgent action by the central Department was necessary.
I would like to say one final word about the nomination to the county authorities on behalf of the burghs. I think it is a better system on the whole, and I think the burghs would prefer to nominate two members than to have a separate election. [An HON. MEMBER: "What about the electors?"] I think the electors would much prefer it. I am almost certain, though I do not think this is a matter of very great importance or deep principle, that on the whole, so far as I can tell, the burghs would get better representation on the county authority by members who would be in a position to come back and make a full report to the town council of what went on in the county authority.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
What is the principle which guides the hon. Member in differentiating between the burgh electors and the landward part of the county electorate, in determining who shall represent them on the county council?
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
I said that the scheme was a revolutionary scheme, but I do not think you should necessarily sweep away everything that now exists. I do not think it is necessary to disturb the existing situation to that particular extent.
§ Mr. SHINWELL
Is it not possible, when members of the county council are being elected, for the whole area to include the electors within the burghs?
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
Because I think that it would be more practicable, and be preferred by the burghs, that they should be able to nominate two members of their town council to serve on the county council, than have a separate election for the county authority. It is not, however, a matter of importance, and I was only expressing the opinion that the people in the burghs on the whole would prefer that method. I come to the distribution of the money. The principle behind that is that it is better to base the contributions of the State to local administration upon the requirements of the district than upon the amount it can spend. I do not think that anybody can seriously challenge that. I have dealt with one or two of the main aspects of the Bill, and may I come back in conclusion to the most important of the scheme, which is the relief of productive industry. There are only two ways under a capitalist system by which any government can give any form of direct assistance to industry short of a subsidy, and that is by relieving industry of freights and rates, both of which are a first charge upon the cost of production.
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
I said that there are only two ways, short of a direct subsidy, by which any Government can bring specific assistance to industry, and they 1142 are by rate and freight reductions, and it is at rates and freights that the Government have struck. The hon. Member for Bridgeton argued that it is unwise to strike at anything in such a system as we have at present, but we take a different view, and, granting the capitalist system as we have it to-day, having had no mandate to sweep it away at the last election being anxious to strengthen and improve the present system of production by every possible means, and being pledged to do it in every possible way, we are entitled to take all the steps that we can. They are very drastic steps, and I am not surprised that hon. Members have—
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
None at all But I remember in the early days of this Parliament, the right hon. Gentleman the. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs said that nobody had any idea how difficult it was, to carry out any piece of constructive social reform in this country until he tried, to do it, and really saw the effect of the proposal upon the country. I am not surprised at the remarks he made. The opposition to this scheme has been almost frightening. I am not complaining of the attitude of hon. members opposite, for they are there to find holes in the schemes of the Government. They have found a few holes that need a microscope with which to see them, but, on the whole, they have put forward a few legitimate criticisms, which, however, will not hold much water. There has been a great deal of opposition on the part of interests concerned, but it has been very narrow and very obscurantist in character, and it has been based very largely upon false facts and assumptions; and to this tremendous and very formidable campaign, which temporarily threatened to obscure the main objectives of the scheme in a whole fog of misrepresentation, the Secretary of State, through many weeks and even months, has presented an absolutely inflexible front. He gave away nothing that would seriously damage the three main principles which I have endeavoured to show underly this scheme, and we ought to congratulate him upon his courage. For my part, I am glad that in the last year, 1143 as in the first year of its administration, the Government should be found engaged upon a great and enduring scheme of economic reconstruction and social reform.
§ Mr. JAMES BROWN
I have listened in vain for any new arguments on the other side. We are charged here with not knowing what we are talking about. We have a saying in Scotland:The Lord gie us a guid conceit of oursels.The hon. Member for East Aberdeen (Mr. Boothby) does not require to pray that prayer, but, if I may quote Scripture without impropriety, I will say:Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise.At least the hon. Member for East Aberdeen has taught us one or two things. He admits that something is going to dribble into the pockets of the landlord, and he has said, although his colleagues have been trying to prove the contrary, that the Secretary of State for Scotland has shown an inflexible front to all that we could say. It has been an inflexible front, and the inflexibility of that front will not do much good to the Government when it goes before the country. At the last General Election, I was one of those who said that we were ousted on a false issue which would not last very long, and that we would be able to remedy things later on, but the present Government have been determined to leave us in such a state that it will take us a long time to recover. The hon. Member mentioned the word "principle" 33 times; I counted them.
§ Mr. BROWN
It is, but the hon. Member and his party should take Biglow's words to heart:A merciful Providence fashioned us hollerIn order we might our principles swaller.If the proposal of the Government would benefit industry, I should not say a word against de-rating. But the Government has failed to prove in any single particular that their proposals would have that effect. Indeed, they go out of their way to damn our opinions, and say that we 1144 are not in earnest about our opposition. The tragic thing is that the principal newspapers of Scotland are saying the same. I could give quotations from some of the newspapers saying that we are not honest in our opposition to the Bill and that we are against the Bill because it will give us some political credit, and some political stand in the country. I am sure that it will. Already the constituencies are up in arms against the Bill, and it will be found that Scottish men and women will not have this revolutionary principle applied to their local government in Scotland.
I will take the case of my own constituency. The county in which I was born and lived presents all the characteristics of our country. We have all the industries anyone could name, and I want to ask the Members of the Government, and especially the Secretary for Scotland, the Lord Advocate and the Under-Secretary, who, I understand, is going to reply to the Debate, do they believe for a moment that this Bill will give any of the crippled industries one more day's work or any higher pay or better conditions. They know perfectly well there is no certainty about it. Even their leaders only say that they hope it will assist. I did not hear the speech of the Secretary for Scotland yesterday but I read his speech in the OFFICIAL REPORT and I was not much edified by it. I heard the speech of the Lord Advocate, and I attribute his failure to the badness of his case, for he had no case to put. Therefore, I do not care how clever a man is —and we all recognise the right hon. Gentleman's ability, for my heart always warms to the tartan, and I always like to give any credit to any of my countrymen—if he has no argument. I might attribute to the Lord Advocate the following quotation written by a great Shire man of mine when he went into the Parliament House and heard one of his great predecessors orating:He clenched his pamphlets in his fist,He ranted and he hinted;Till in a declamation mist,His argument he tinted.He gaped for it, he grasped for't,He fear'd it was awa' man,But what in argument came short,He eked it out wi' Law, man.The right hon. Gentleman advanced no argument that would convince me or Scotland. I am certain that the people 1145 of Scotland are up in arms against this Measure. The constituency of the hon. Member for Galloway (Captain Streatfeild) lies contiguous to my own, and I know that even in that agricultural area they are up in arms against it. Will any industry benefit by this Bill? I am certain that neither the textile industry, the fishing industry, the mining nor agricultural industries will benefit one farthing by this Bill. After a life time in agricultural districts, I have tried to know something about agriculture, and I know this, that when I do not know a thing I go to experts. What do these experts say about the Bill? What does the Secretary for the Scottish Farmers' Union say? He says quite emphatically that the Bill is a bad one and ought to be opposed, and that it will not help agriculture, and he knows what he is talking about. You may tell me that I do not know very much about it, but he does know what he is talking about, and he says definitely, without any hesitation, that he is sure the farmer will eventually lose anything that he gets in the meantime. We all know the truth of that.
Moreover, Scoland is being unfairly dealt with as compared with England in regard to de-rating. There is a different system in Scotland from that in England, but what does Mr. Batchelor say on this point? The amount beyond one-eighth is something that has been wrung out of the Secretary of State for Scotland, and when the hon. Member for East Aberdeen talked about the inflexibility of the right hon. Gentleman, ho was getting a little bit away from the facts in regards to this one-sixth instead of the one-eighth. Mr. Batchelor says it would require one-twelfth at least to place Scoland on an equality with England. I have given the point of view of the agricultural experts, and I know something about mining. I know that the Bill will not give a penny piece or take a minute off the day or change our conditions in the slightest. Everybody knows for a fact that we shall get nothing out of it. My own opinion is that the Government are bringing in this Bill because "Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad." If I had been wanting anything upon which to fight an election, I should have asked for this very thing. I will fight them on this, for it is going to upset the local legislation of a long, long time. I pray 1146 that God will give us all patience with a Government that can compose such a Bill at such a time as this.
I am not going to touch upon education, because that has been touched upon by others in a far better way than I could possibly do it, but I am very sorry that the education authorities in Scotland have agreed by a majority—[HoN. MEMBERS: "No!"]—well, the Educational Institute of Scotland and the teachers have. I am the more sorry because they are teachers. The newspapers were very careful to hide the fact that, although they decided by a majority that they would go under the county council, they did not make the fact clear that they were against the co-option of members on that authority. It is true to say that the teachers are against the co-option principle, and we' are against it, too. Nobody knows better than the four or five right hon. Gentlemen on toe benches opposite, who know Scottish history, that this is a retrograde step, and one which will put the hands of the clock back for at least a generation. I do not know of any more revolutionary thing in Scotland for fully 300 years—indeed, since the years of Lauderdale and Middleton. We are not going to, return to those days and be done out of all we fought for in the past.
If I had the time, and the Rules of the House would allow me to say all I am thinking, I should speak in far more than two languages, and in a language to which nobody would care to listen. I do trust that even now the Government will take thought and amend the Bill, or even take it back and bring in a better Bill, or let it drop altogether, so that in future we may get a Bill that will please the whole of Scotland instead of this hotch-poťch Measure. I am as sure as am standing here that the reason for bringing forward this Bill is that working men, and working women too, are making progress in the country. That may not be in the mind of the Secretary of State for Scotland, but I know that it is in the minds of many of his sup porters. That is the real reason that lies behind it all, and I would advise the Government not to press home this Bill, but to withdraw it altogether. Let us reconstruct when we are in a calmer mood. [Laughter.] It would make anybody angry, any good Scot, anyway. Let 1147 us discuss a real Bill for Scotland, one in which all Scotland will be able to rejoice.
I have had the privilege or misfortune of following my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. J. Brown) on many non-political platforms in Ayrshire, but I must say of his speech to-night that it resembles most of the others on this subject to which I have listened in its complete paucity of constructive suggestions. I am forced to ask myself why there should be this active opposition to this Measure, seeing that neither of the two parties in Opposition has anything to offer in its place. I find myself with three possible reasons. One reason is, possibly, the fear of childbirth; the second is the fear of producing a child but not being able to give it a good start in life and dreading the possibility of its being adopted and brought up by the Government; and the third is sheer barrenness or sterility. Having carefully considered the three reasons, I am driven to the conclusion that their sterility is at the bottom of the attitude which they have taken up against this Measure. That feeling would justify this attitude of envy and admiration of the child of the Government. After all, it is a genuine admiration, stifle it though they may, and they have tried to stifle it. There is no doubt that at the bottom of their hearts they feel that the ground has been cut from under their feet. They feel the people of the country are recognising that this Bill is going to make for the prosperity of every section of the community in the country. It is easy to criticise. You can remove a feature from any face and offer a reasonable criticism of that feature, but if you put it back into its general background—[An HON. MEMBER: "Leave the baby alone!"]—you find the effect of the whole is not altogether unpleasing. In the same way, you can take individual Clauses out of this Bill, consider them separately, and find them open to some objection; but if you put them back into the structure and give them their right background they will form a complete picture to which no one but a partisan can take any objection.
1148 I take off my hat to the Government. Many hon. Members are full of sincere admiration for the courage, misguided though it may appear to be, of the Government in bringing forward a Measure of this far-reaching importance within a stone's throw of a General Election. It has made it difficult for us, who hold the forward positions for the Government, to get it across in face of the misrepresentation, deliberate in some cases, of our opponents in the country. At the same time, we cannot get away from the fact that a Government which was secure of its return in six months' time has taken this step, although knowing that it would cut across vested interests, although, knowing that it would be misrepresented, although knowing that it might probably sever, temporarily, the affection of some of its own friends, although knowing it would afford a target at which our hostile press could hurl their blunted darts. But because they realised how urgent was the need, they took no thought of party advantage or personal interest, but went straight at it, determined that the good of the country should be their only consideration. We know jolly well that it is for the good of the country. I know it, and other hon. Members know it; even my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire knows that it is for the good of the country, and that it is to stimulate the prosperity of trade and industry. In my own constituency I have found that employers who have been forced to discharge men during the past two or three years are now, on seeing of what they are going to be relieved, preparing to take back the workmen they had previously discharged. I say that this Government have shown the true spirit of Disraeli in thinking of the future of the people and caring for the under-dog, in total disregard of what it may mean to them in the matter of votes or what may happen at the General Election.
While giving my whole-hearted, my ardent and my enthusiastic support to the Government and to the general principles of this great Measure, there are just one or two features—[HON. MEMBERS: "Ah?"]—which, without any trampling on the general structure of the Bill, might possibly be remodelled in order to give satisfaction to some, possibly, not particularly well informed but very genuine supporters of the Government in the 1149 country. One point concerns the position of prosperous us against non-prosperous industries in the de-rating part of the Government's proposals. I have no wish to penalise a well-conducted and efficiently-managed business, nor have I any wish to raise a tariff barrier around ineptitude; we do not want that; but if I read the derating proposals aright they are for the purpose of helping depressed industries, for the purpose of giving depressed industries a chance of expanding, developing and securing further business. Therefore, I say that if any industry is paying a dividend or is capable of paying a dividend of—take any figure—say 20 per cent. in any year—[Interruption]. I am making this suggestion to invite the sufficient and able reply which I know I shall get from the Under-Secretary. I suggest that such an industry should be exempted from the scope of the de-rating proposals during the period that it is—
I admit that it is difficult, but I am sure the Under-Secretary will explain the difficulty to me. This is a point which has been advanced by many people in well-informed circles, and they are wanting and expecting information. I know the Under-Secretary will give that information very fully. If the principles are to be carried out as designed in this Bill for relieving the depression in industry, I think this can be done out of the reserves of any industry which is sufficiently rich to pay dividends of 20 per cent. Therefore, I do wish to get an answer to this question from the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland in order to satisfy the genuine anxieties of a large section of our critics in the country.
I want to make one suggestion in regard to the financial side—I refer to the question of the block grants in regard to maternity and child welfare services. It was suggested by the Noble Lady the Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) that for a time at any rate the percentage grants should be continued in the case of child welfare and maternity centres, and I wish to press that point upon the Government. I am aware that the Minister of Health has told us that there is no danger to 1150 those services, but they are of such vital importance to the present generation and even to future generations that I think we ought to have some assurance that either the present grants will be continued or else that the revisionary period will be altered from five years to three years, so that any inequalities or injustices may be more quickly removed. The advantage in this suggestion would be that a Conservative Government would have the job of revision.
There is only one further suggestion I wish to make, and it is in regard to the question of education. I have been rather distressed about the continued appeals which I have received from educational bodies in Scotland in regard to the ad hoc system. There is undoubtedly something to be said for the ad hoc system, but I cannot understand the attitude which these people have taken up. Let us examine this matter a little more closely. In the first place, I would ask how many members of educational authorities are there in Scotland who definitely understand education and are experts on that subject. I think there are very few, and I say that without any intention of doing them an injustice. As a rule, the members of our education authorities are members of finance committees or building committees, but very few of them have had any experience on the curriculum committee or the staff committee. Surely the new body to be created, consisting partly of county councillors and other specially selected members of the community who understand education, would be an equally suitable body to administer education than the present authorities. You will have County councillors who will be business men, and you will have others selected on account of their knowledge of the curriculum and the staff side of education. That will be a most suitable body to administer the new educational system in Scotland. The Educational Institute of Scotland passed a resolution by a majority of 230 agreeing to come in under this Bill, and after all they are people who are definitely engaged on and concerned with the imparting of knowledge.
I have only two other small proposals to make. One of them is in regard to the name of the new authorities which are being created. I would suggest that "county council" be changed into 1151 "county authority." In many parish and town councils the name "county council" is suspect, because they think county councils are reactionary and controlled by men out of sympathy with town council aspirations. Without altering the structure or composition of this Bill the term "county authority" would more adequately and faithfully represent the views of parish councils and town councils. As regards the new parish committees, I would add my voice to those who have already asked why they should not be called "parish committees" so that the people with whose welfare they are concerned will feel that they are going to have the same continuity of human touch carried on.
I understand from the remarks of the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) that the Opposition have decided to oppose this Measure Clause by Clause and that they intend to resist every feature of the Government proposals. That can only mean one thing, namely, that they are willing to stand by the status quo. If that be so, I ask them with all sincerity: Are they prepared to stand by a status quo which involves 1,300,000 unemployed? Are they satisfied with the status quo of our depressed industries and a sluggish agriculture the conditions of which at present offer a perfectly hopeless future to thousands of our workers Are they satisfied with the prospects of our young men growing up without the self-respect which only an honest day's work gives? If hon. Members opposite are real patriots, then they will come in and join us in an endeavour to make this scheme into a great national Measure suited to the needs of the nation as a whole.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
The hon. Member for East Aberdeen (Mr. Boothby) has spoken at great length reproving hon. Members on the Opposition side for dealing with committee points during the Second Reading of this Bill. Then the same hon. Member proceeded in his own way to make a contribution which meant nothing at all. After making a number of criticisms of the Measure, the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs (Lieut.-Colonel Moore) finished by saying that he would give it his enthusiastic support. The hon. and gallant Member challenges some of the names in the Bill; he wishes 1152 to alter some of the grants, and he says that if the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland will make those changes, instead of walking out when the Division is taken, he will go into the Lobby and vote for the Measure.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
The hon. and gallant Member knows quite well that some of the fiercest critics of the Government are to be found in the constituencies represented by Conservative Members, and they are shaking their fists at the Government in regard to the proposals of this Bill. The point I want to make is that if de-rating is a good thing, why mix it up with a proposal to abolish so many public authorities in Scotland? If it is a good thing, and there are plenty of arguments used in its favour, why not deal specially with this particular subject and make a good job of it. Why stop at 75 per cent'? The hon. Member for East Aberdeen was very anxious to prove how excellent it was to remove taxation on the methods of production, but, if that be so, why tax anyone? If it is good to remove taxation, we should abolish it, and let the Imperial Exchequer face the music. If I thought that de-rating was likely to help to find men work, I should have no hesitation in supporting it, but it has been stated here to-day that it will only mean about 1½d. per ton on coal, and the loss last year was 1s. 3½d. per ton; and yet it is believed that this Measure is going to improve the conditions of the coal industry. I wonder if the hon. Members opposite who represent Aberdeen would kindly tell us how much it is going to help the herring industry. I read something recently about a visit to Russia in connection with herrings. I do not know whether those hon. Gentlemen went on that visit or not, but, if so, I am very much afraid that they have been bitten by something in Russia, for there seems to be a virus in them, because they do not appear to have been amenable to reason since.
Another matter about which I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman is the position of areas which include both rural and urban districts. Parish councils are quite modern bodies. In my district we have a very good parish 1153 council, and in most cases they do their work efficiently. I think there have been only two complaints in regard to parish councils, and the Government have refused to deal with them. Our parish councils have a clean record and are free from Poplarism. It is true that two parishes have refused to carry out the instructions of the Minister, but in those cases they were refusing to pay as much as he thought they ought to pay, and, because they were saving money, nothing awful happened. In Poplar they tried to pay more, but in Scotland they insisted on paying less, and they found salvation in that way.
As I have said, these bodies were quite efficient in their work, but a new job has been put on to them, namely, that of dealing with the unemployed. I am convinced that there would have been no attack on the parish councils but for the fact that they have consistently urged that the keeping of the unemployed should be a national matter. Now a complete alteration is being proposed in order to mystify them and make them think that something is coming to them. I do not want to defend one parish as against another parish, but what is the difference between a parish and a county? In one county the rates are so much, and in another county they are so much more. Once you admit that there should be equality of taxation, you admit that it ought to be national, and not confined to parishes or even to counties. I would point out that parish councils have other duties than relieving the poor. The parish councils in big and populous areas form the Lighting and Establishment Committee, and, although not burghs, they have a certain power of control in regard to keeping their parish clean and seeing that it is properly lit. What provision is there in the Bill for the continuation of those bodies? I have read the Bill very carefully, and can find none. It takes away everything, and puts nothing in its place. Much reference has been made to small burghs. We have in Lanarkshire a population of between 20,000 and 30,000 who are not in burghs. This is the only method of administration that they have, and it is now being taken away without anything being suggested to put in its place. The quicker the Government make up their minds on that matter the 1154 better, because something will have to be put there in the interests of the community as a whole.
I remember, in 1921, signing the Report of the Consultative Committee, but I did not feel too well pleased with the right hon. Gentleman in regard to it. We recommended that the parish councils should be kept in being and not dissolved, and that they should have control over their outdoor poor, but that the indoor poor should be looked after by a larger area. The reason for that is obvious. Every parish council has not its own poorhouse and it is necessary for a number of parishes to act together. I have been mystified by the proposal as to the parishes dealing with roads. I was for a long time a member of a parish council, and they never had anything to do with roads. I hope, also, that we shall hear something from the Government as to the position of parish councils in regard to hospitals. There is no provision made for hospitals, unless it be in connection with poorhouses. As far as Scotland is concerned, the provision of big hospitals comes under the county authority. I think it is a mistake, to do away with the parish councils as we know them, but I would like them to be confined to their legitimate occupations. On the other hand, a speaker on the other side has described how the right hon. Gentleman gave way in regard to the burghs. When he went to Scotland and saw the bailies, he ran away from them and gave way. Why he should have done so I do not know. The burghs are an old institution, and afford plenty of room for alteration, but, on the other hand, it is the parish councils which are quite modern, that are to go, while the burghs, which have bailies, are to be protected.
Then there are some subjects, such as water and sewage, which are kept out of the Bill; but, if there is anything at all that a small burgh should be relieved of, it is the question of sewage. The Scottish Office will remember the litigation that took place in connection with the question of sewage disposal in the County of Lanark, when we got very little redress in regard to preventing the discharge of sewage in its natural state within the county. With regard to water, very few small burghs have a separate 1155 water supply within their own territory. It is often utterly impossible for them without going for many miles, and it is impossible for any small burgh to deal with a matter of that kind. But, while they are being given things to do which they cannot carry out, they are being restricted as regards their legitimate business in other ways. Again, I think that the proposed abolition of the district committees is very serious. The county council is to be the authority in the future, but, while my experience is that the county councils as a whole are very good bodies, yet they are apt sometimes to become very reactionary, and I should like to see the district committees preserved. I regret their abolition, in view of the work that they do.
Coming to education, I want to put a question to the right hon. Gentleman, and I want a clear answer. Does he agree with the statement of the Lord Advocate that all the guarantees the transferred schools have under the 1918 Act are preserved? The transferred schools are mainly Roman Catholic, at any rate in the West of -Scotland. They have no wish to come under Government control. They did not wish to get the 1918 Act. They were actually up in revolt against it, but they were persuaded to accept it under certain guarantees. One was that by a system of proportional representation it was made possible for them to have representation on the education authority. Is the system of election going to be allowed to stand, or is some method going to be brought forward to make it possible for them to secure representation? In addition to that, they have the right to nominate two or three members of the committee. I think you are leaving that in the Bill, but you are taking away the possibility of any representation on the central authority. I have served on these bodies. I know the value of co-opted men. I know what it means, and if anyone tells me someone is to be co-opted to serve on that body to represent me, I say I am much better without it. If that is what we are to get in place of what is taken away, I warn the right hon. Gentleman that he is lighting a fire in the West of Scotland which will not be easily quenched.
1156 The people of this Empire have a multitude of different beliefs, and the great thing in connection with the Empire is that we leave everyone free to worship his Maker in his own way. That is the glory and the secret of the power of the Empire. The Government are doing something in this Bill that is likely to turn hack the hands of the clock as far as education is concerned. I sincerely hope the right hon. Gentleman will be right and I shall be wrong, but I can see no hope of the people who owned and controlled the transferred schools getting representation, and if they only get it through a back door in the way of co-option, they are much better without it. I appeal to the Government to think over the position they are in. One of my hon. Friends wondered why they were doing this at the tail end of their term. There is only one explanation. If a man is going to be hanged for stealing a sheep he goes the whole hog. He is going to be hanged anyway. The Government may know that they are going under, at any rate, and, if they can do something to reward their friends, it may be possible to weather the storm. [Interruption.] That amuses the hon. Member for Ayr Burghs (Lieut.-Colonel Moore). I believe he comes of Irish stock and does not believe in Home Rule. The Government has given them the left of the road and they will regret it most in time to come if they insist on putting forward this stupid Measure.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Major Elliot)
Let me assure the hon. Member that none of us were under any delusions as to his nationality as soon as he had launched that delightful bull, if I may bring in a third animal, when he said that a man who was going to be hanged for a sheep would go the whole hog. Only an Irishman is capable of making a statement like that. He has clinched his claim to his pedigree in this House, and he never need reassure us as to it again. I was in a certain difficulty in listening to his speech. I had waited patiently throughout the evening and, when at length he rose, I said, "Here is the clarion voice of Labour about to ring out in support of the proposals we are bringing forward, in accordance with the Report which a certain Joseph Sullivan signed in 1157 1923." I was wondering whether it was the same gentleman or not and, when he upraided me for not paying attention to him, I was, in fact, trying to verify with my friends and my advisers under the Gallery whether indeed this was the same or whether that M'Connachie to which the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) referred had perhaps exerted his fairy power to the extent of producing a changeling.
§ Major ELLIOT
I do not intend for a moment to deprive the House of a single sentence of this Report, and more particularly that portion of it dealing with public assistance and the abolition of the parish councils which is recommended there. I will read the last will and testament of the deceased Mr. Joseph Sullivan, M.P., before he passed away and was succeeded by the hon. Member for Bothwell. The hon. Member, in his previous incarnation, said:We are in general agreement with the principles enunciated in the Ministry of Reconstruction Local Government Committee's Report on Transfer of Functions of Poor Law Authorities in England and Wales (MacLean Committee's Report). The guiding principle adopted by that Committee was the concentration in one local authority for each area of the administration of all expenditure from public funds"—that is what the hon. Member for Bothwell (Mr. Sullivan) is in favour of—[Interruption]. I am reading it at the hon. Member's request. The hon. Member for Bothwell must be patient.The transfer of the functions of parish councils to the county councils and town councils, in addition to effecting much-needed reform in the sphere of health, would simplify to a certain extent the administration of public assistance and would eliminate much of the overlapping that exists at present.That overlapping of which we were accused by hon. Members sitting below the Gangway as having invented out of our fertile imagination, and not to have devoted that long, careful consideration and incisive attention to it which they had devoted to it. But the hon. Member for Bothwell, with his long experience, as he has himself informed me, of public authority work, detected this overlapping and called attention to it five years ago in the Report. [Interruption.] I do not understand why we have spent so 1158 much time on the Yellow Book during the two days' Debate, when there is so much more evidence, so much more authority in the document signed by gentlemen at least as eminent in their respective spheres as those who signed the Liberal Yellow Book. There are many important Liberal signatures to this document, and I am coming to them also. I will proceed:But we are convinced that much more is required to co-ordinate the various branches of public assistance. Full consideration of this question, however, is not possible within the terms of reference made to us, and we, therefore, confine ourselves to advising that in the interests of economy and efficient administration, the authorities should give early attention to it.I look at the date. It is signed "J. Sullivan, April, 1923." Five years have passed. Attention is being given to it, and all we can conclude is that the hon. Gentleman thinks five years is not long enough, that we should have neglected and brooded over these proposals for another five years before bringing them to the notice of hon. Members of this House.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of what the Noble Lady the Member for Perth and Kinross (Duchess of Atholl) said yesterday in defence of her change of attitude, and who also signed that document?
§ Major ELLIOT
Every line of this Report is burned upon my memory, and all I can say is that it is burned upon the memory of the hon. Member for Bothwell. I said to myself when he was speaking: "We have delayed long in bringing forward this Report. If we had waited another five years, he would have forgotten about it altogether," To continue:Our recommendations for the transfer of the functions of parish councils, if they are carried out, will assist any further steps that may he taken later. We recommend that the transfer of the health and Poor Law functions of parish councils in Scotland should be effected in a manner similar to that recommended in the Local Government Committee's Report, subject to the modifications necessary to harmonise the transfer with the form of local health administration which we propose.And the next paragraph is headed "Abolition of Parish Councils," and says:If the health and public assistance functions of parish councils in Scotland were transferred there would remain a number of 1159 miscellaneous functions.… We do not consider that these functions are such as would warrant the continuance of the parish councils as separate administrative bodies, and accordingly we recommend that all the remaining functions of parish councils should be distributed to town councils and county councils, and that the county councils should have power to delegate certain of these functions to the district committees.In the signatures I find the name of the hon. Member for St. Rollox (Mr. Stewart), the Parliamentary Secretary to the Scottish Board of Health in the Labour Government. The hon. Member did not go as far in his vigorous invective against our proposals as did the hon. Member for Bothwell. I can only conclude that his memory was better or that he did not take such a Draecnian attitude towards his own offspring.
§ Mr. STEWART
Would the hon. and gallant Member mind telling me what I said this afternoon, that was different in essence from what he has read out? Did I not plead that public health should come to the town councils? Did I not say that all health matters should be dealt with by the Public Health authority?
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
If my memory serves me right—I read the Report before I came to London—we recommended that the treatment of the outdoor poor should remain in the hands of the parish councils, and that the indoor poor should go to a larger area.
§ Major ELLIOT
All I can say is that the hon. Member's memory has betrayed him. He should have brought the Report with him when he came to London, for there is not a line of that recommendation in the Report which he signed. I am certain that his memory has betrayed him. I do assure him that there is not one suggestion in the Report on the lines which he has just put forward. I am sure that at the moment he must have temporarily mixed this up with some other document or some other recommendation. Now I come to my hon. Friends below the Gangway, I find that in addition to the Countess of Aberdeen there is the name of a former Liberal Member of this House. Ile is not with us on this occasion, hut he may appear; I refer to Mr. Joseph Johnstone. It was Mr. Joseph Johnstone who signed this recommendation and who brought it 1160 to the notice of the authorities in 1923, and asked us to pay early attention to it. That was five years ago. Then there is the right hon. Member for Ross and Cromarty (Mr. Macpherson) who was a Member of the Government at the time. He upbraids us for this violent, sadden and unpremeditated burst into a field of local government in which it is suggested that nobody had ever trodden until the Secretary of State for Scotland launched the White Paper in the early part of this year.
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
May I recall to my hon. and gallant Friend the fact that my case was based upon an excerpt from a Report signed by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education, the Noble Lady the Member for West Perthshire (Duchess of Atholl)? She signed a Report which distinctly emphasises the fact that in the rural parishes, particularly in the Highlands, parish councils should be maintained.
§ Major ELLIOT
I am perfectly willing to deal with that point too. Has the right hon. Gentleman, the great leader of the Liberal party, nothing to say about any part of Scotland save the Highland counties? Surely the right hon. Gentleman, representing his party as a leader, was speaking, not merely for the few constituencies they hold at, present, but for the vast scope of Scotland which they hope to represent very shortly. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will assure me that he had no other thought for any other part of Scotland, and that he is prepared to accept the suggestion of Mr. Joseph Johnstone for the abolition of parish councils. I am not quite sure whether I correctly interpret his position or not Does he desire to say anything with regard to the position of the parish councils in other parts of Scotland? I see that the Chairman of the Committee was Sir Thomas Munro, one of the greatest authorities in local administration that Scotland has ever produced, a man deeply versed in all matters of local administration, and one whose pronouncements on this subject are worthy of the closest attention by every Member of this House, no matter how expert he may be. The right hon. Gentleman, apparently, at the moment is not quite sure whether he ought to claim the position of leader for the whole of Scotland or whether he should entrench 1161 himself in his Highland fastnesses. But I have taken the precaution to provide myself with other indications of the attitude of the great Liberal party; with the most recent pronouncements on the subject. I notice that the annual conference was held this year at Stranraer, presided over by no less a person than the right hon. Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runeiman)—
§ Major ELLIOT
I will withdraw with pleasure. I see that it was presided over by Sir John Anthony, but it was addressed by the right hon. Member for West Swansea and the right hon. Gentleman lives in my mind and not the transient and embarrassed phantom of Sir John Anthony. The right hon. Gentleman came to a constituency of an hon. Friend of mine and launched an attack, a constituency, so I am told by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. J. Brown), full of indignation against the proposals contained in the White Paper. I have been trying to find the slogan, the battle cry with which Major Randolph Dudgeon, a name not unknown in Liberal circles, a man who was formerly a Member of this House—
§ Major ELLIOT
Well, let us see where he stands. Let us see the clarion call which he gave to the Liberals with r gard to many of these great improvements. He said:He hoped they were not going to take up the attitude that there was no room for improvement in local government in Scotland. There were certain services which had outgrown in a, financial capacity the administrative area in which they were now carried on. Speaking from the county point of view he would like to see semi-ad hoc bodies set up for such things as main roads and the major health services. He was inclined to think that if they had special joint committees set up for the administration of those services, having their members appointed from existing local authorities, they would have a very fine system of local government in Scotland.Then he went on:One thing they wanted a central authority for was the regulating of finance. It was essential, in order to get unity in local administration, that they should have one 1162 body responsible for collecting the rates and have some control at the same time.
§ Major ELLIOT
He did not seem to think so. He said further that:So far as the education authorities were concerned, he was afraid that the members of the education authorities had not very many friends. There was room for some centralisation in control of finance—though he still desired an ad hoc authority. He wound up by saying:in his experience of local authorities—and he had been connected with several local authorities in the past 20 years—they came to the conclusion that it was to the advantage of local communities to have a system of block grants.He added that the period of the block grants was too long; that the period of five years was too long, and that it should be three years. And he said:He would like to see Liberals supporting block grants because they would lead to efficiency and economy in administration.That is the programme on which Major Dudgeon hopes to be returned as a Member to this House, and I would ask the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) to note it.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
Since the hon. and gallant Gentleman has paid attention to the Liberal meeting at Stranraer, will he be good enough to read also the pronouncement of the Conservative provost at Stranraer in welcoming the delegates, in -which he declared whole-heartedly against the proposals of the Bill? Has the hon. and gallant Gentleman that cutting?
§ Major ELLIOT
But the hon. Member, like so many of his party, is entirely out of date. I visited Stranraer, and, by the way, I learnt the way to pronounce it.
§ Major ELLIOT
Anyone can pronounce Arbroath. I visited Stranraer and there I had the honour of having as chairman the provost of that burgh, and he, in making his opening speech at the Conservative Association meeting, pointed out how much happier were the circumstances 1163 in which we were meeting then than was the case formerly, for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State had made the concession with regard to housing, drainage and water, and the provost said that it went far to remove all the objections that the small burghs might have had. Those objections, I say, are based on the complete ignoring of a mass of documentary evidence, from all sections of public opinion, as to the urgent necessity for reform along the lines which we are taking in the present proposals.
§ Major ELLIOT
It would be unfair for me to pursue into all the burrows and recesses of their fastnesses, the last remnant of the Opposition on this occasion, but we shall go after them and we shall have them on another occasion. We are here speaking about grave and important matters. The accusation was brought forward—and if it were proved it would be a damaging accusation—that this scheme did not receive any consideration; that these proposals had not been before the people of Scotland; that they had not been canvassed and examined, and, further, that they were entirely evolved out of the recesses of some bureaucratic Department in London or in Edinburgh. That is the first accusation with which one has to deal in discussing a Bill of this nature, and I trust that after the signed statements of prominent Members of the Opposition parties, which I have been able to read to the House, we shall hear no more of that accusation, at least, against the Government proposals. Now we come to the criticism of the proposals as they are at present before the House. There, again, we have had the most incredible accusations made against us from the other side of the House. Certainly it is an important. thing, it is a far-reaching thing, it is, I believe, a beneficent thing to "countify," to place on a wide area the five great quasi-national services of Scotland—roads, police, poor, health, and education. To hear the criticisms of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, one would conceive that the Fascists had marched into George's Square in Glasgow and to the Municipal Buildings in Edinburgh, and established themselves there, and that prominent Socialists and 1164 Liberals were about to be taken out and shot in the public streets because of the proposals which the Government are bringing forward. Again, I would refer to one of the most progressive bodies in Scotland—and I think none of us will deny that it is the closest of all our great public bodies in Scotland to a Labour majority. I take the corporation of Glasgow.
§ Major ELLIOT
I will not have such humility from my hon. Friend the Member for St. Rollox (Mr. Stewart). Nobody denies that, in the municipality of Glasgow, these proposals were gone into, were closely debated, and keenly examined. Nobody denies that there was no suggestion of purely party opposition to them by the representatives of the Socialist movement in the great municipality of Glasgow. The very strongest advocacy of the proposals came from the Socialist members of that body. Surely it is not to be supposed that they were ignorant of the advantages and disadvantages of the proposals as affecting local bodies. None of the accusations, the wild and whirling words, launched by hon. Members opposite were heard from them. Certain prominent Socialists took a line against the proposal, it is true, but speech after speech was made from the Labour benches in Glasgow Corporation supporting these proposals, and finally, if my information is correct, the Moderate members sat back and said, "We have heard the thing debated on both sides by the Labour party, and we agree with that wing of the Labour party which supports these proposals": and therefore they did not make any speeches, because all the points in favour of the proposals had been fully brought out.
The hon. Member for the Bridgeton Division in one of those graceful, philosophic speeches which he alone can deliver in this House, with that charm of voice and manner which makes us all long to hear him go on even when we are most bitterly opposed to every word that he is saying and would, if we had the 1165 power, no doubt have him censored out of existence as a pestilent fellow—the hon. Member for Bridgeton made accusations against these proposals and said that they were designed to prevent the spread of democracy, to prevent the advent on local authorities of working men. He even went so far as to say that they were calculated to produce that end. I do not know whether he has listened to all the Debates on this subject in this House, but I would call his attention to the remarkable speech delivered by the speaker who was chosen by his own party only last week to second the Motion for the rejection of the English Bill. I would call his attention particularly to this passage:There is only one logical thing to do if the Government insist upon placing these powers in the hands of the county councils, if they want to act justly and fairly, if they believe in democratic government and if they want the workers to be represented, and that is to provide the payment for of expenses in order that working men may be members of county councils and be able to do their duties."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 26th November, 1928; col. 126, Vol. 223.]If we want to act fairly and justly, if we want to believe in democratic government, if we want the workers to be represented—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] I hear an approving chorus from the benches opposite.
§ Major ELLIOT
Of course, if hon. Members opposite do not read the Bill, I cannot help it, but I think it is a little harsh, when we have taken this step, when we have made preparations, when we have allowed for the payment of expenses—[Interruption]. There is the passage in the Bill.
§ Mr. WESTWO0D
Is it not a fact that the Bill repeals that provision in the 1918 Education Act that allows for the pay merit of time lost from ordinary employment, and that no provision is made for wages being paid to the workmen on the county councils?
§ Major ELLIOT
This is the suggestion. that this is to prevent working men from getting on the county councils, and I think that the hon. Member for Bridgeton at least will realise that, with the provisions for the payment of traveling 1166 expenses and necessary personal expenses which are in the Bill, a step has been taken in favour of allowing working men to be on these bodies, which goes a long way to satisfy the contentions laid down by the hon. Member for Consett (Mr. Dunnico) in the representations which he made to this House only a few days ago. I think we have dealt with the first two main contentions against the Bill, that it had not had any previous consideration by the people of Scotland, and that it was an anti-democratic Measure and would militate against working-class representation upon the public bodies in Scotland. The steps that have been taker in the Bill are themselves sufficient to prove that this is not so, and that a long step forward has been taken instead of a step back, a step which they have not seen fit to follow in the country South of the Border.
Several points of rather a secondary nature have been raised during the Debate, but whether it will be possible for me to deal with the whole of them in the limited time that still remains I do not know; I do not think that we have wasted time in dealing with these two major points, because, unless we got them out of the way, all the subsequent Debate on the Bill was mere beating of the air. One main question has been raised, that of the position of the education authorities, and I have been more particularly asked in what respect will matters be improved and what is the reason for this change. I can give one particular reason and one general reason, which have led me, at any rate to support and, indeed, to press strongly for this change.
One of them is well known to my hon. Friend the Member for St. Rollox (Mr. Stewart) and it is this. There are two authorities in Glasgow, an education authority and a municipality, who are both responsible for the health of young children. The municipality is responsible for the health of children under five and the education authority for older children. It is necessary to have clinics and places where these health purposes can be attended to. Any of us would agree that naturally these two bodies should work in the closest co-operation, and that common use should be made of facilities wherever possible in order not merely to reduce expenses, but to save the money which is urgently necessary for other purposes in connection both with child welfare and 1167 with education. There is at Springburn a modern clinic provided by the corporation. In April, 1924, Glasgow Corporation submitted proposals for building a maternity and child welfare centre at Springburn, and they bought a large piece of ground so that it should not be overshadowed, and they put up extensive premises. Later on the question arose as to what the education authority should do. Instead of making use of any of the facilities there, although the local authority approached them in the most conciliatory way, what did they do? They passed plans to build another clinic in the playground of the school on the other side of the street.
§ Major ELLIOT
The hon. Member suggests that the central bureaucracy should have interfered and prevented the two democratic bodies from planning out what they were apparently instructed to do by their electors. Negotiations went on for a considerable time, and the last information which I have is that on the 19th October, 1928, it was reported that the question was discussed at the meeting of the education authority on the previous day, and it was decided by 31 votes to 6 not to negotiate with the Glasgow Corporation on the subject. It appears likely that they are going ahead to build a new clinic on the other side of Hawthorn-street at a cost of £7,000 of public money. The education authority will precept the Glasgow Corporation for this sum, which the corporation will have to find, in spite of the fact that they have no wish to have this building, and that the building has been reported against by its own medical officer. Can anyone defend the system under which such a thing is possible?
§ Major ELLIOT
It is for two different purposes, but only for the health of children—in the one case for small children, and in the other for bigger children—and that fact is no excuse for building a clinic in the middle of a playground and so cutting down the space for recreation when all the time there is plenty of room on the other side of the street for the building.
§ Mr. STEWART
Is it not a fact that from time to time the Board of Health has prevented—and quite properly so—such things happening?
§ Major ELLIOT
I quite agree, but there is no reason why these things should go to Edinburgh or London before they can be stopped. I want them stopped in Glasgow, and to increase and reinforce local government, so that it shall be real local government and not be necessary to carry these squabbles about building houses on two sides of a street to Edinburgh, to the Scottish Office in London, and to the Imperial Parliament here. There is a concrete example of the sort of thing which I want to prevent, and which has made Committee after Committee report in favour of moving the health services at least from the education authority to the single health authority for the whole city, which in this case would be the Corporation of Glasgow.
In regard to general education, I am sure hon. Members on the education authorities will agree that the position of agricultural education in Scotland is profoundly unsatisfactory. With an education budget of some £12,000,000 a year, the agricultural teachers are having almost to beg their bread just now in order to get their exiguous salaries brought up to a decent living wage. The position of agricultural education in Scotland alone would warrant the most drastic overhauling of an educational machinery which makes our greatest and most important industry subject to vicissitudes of that kind.
The hon. Member who raised the point of view of the education authorities suggested that in some way or other larger committees would have to meet in future and would not be able to do their education work through committees, and in some way or other that the difficulties of the authority in carrying out its work were met by a system of sub-committees which would be utterly impossible under the provision of the Bill. Let me call attention to the Education (Scotland) Act, 1918, in which the hon. Member will find that, in Section 3, the most rigid Regulations are laid down. The proposals under this Bill do not go one whit further than the Statute of 1918, and anything that was possible under that Statute will be possible under the present Bill.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
Is it not a fact that in the Section of the Act to which he refers there is no delegation of the power of the school management committees, but that committees can be set up inside the education authorities for dealing with functions, staffing and higher education, whereas under this Clause there is no power to delegate such functions as are mentioned here to any sub-committee or education committee that is to be set up?
§ Major ELLIOT
No, the Education Act of 1918 says most rigidly that the education authorities shall in every case themselves retain, exercise and perform all the powers and duties in regard to certain things, among which are the appointment of teachers and such matters. I say in a sentence to the hon. Member that anything that was possible under the 1918 Act is possible under this Measure. There are many points which we shall have to take when we get into Committee; but there was one point, raised by the hon. Member for North Ayrshire (Sir A. Hunter-Weston) and reinforced by the hon. Member for Bridgeton, to which, in view of this unusual combination, we must give our closest attention. and that is the joining of the county of Bute to Renfrew or Ayrshire. On that I can certainly say that the Secretary of State will give this his closest attention, and I have every reason to suppose that the arguments which the hon. Member brought forward will lead us to support an Amendment he may put down in Committee. I will say nothing more at the moment, but I would call the attention of my hon. Friend the Member for Bridgeton to the marvellous results which can be obtained by conciliation, co-operation and co-ordination.
It is rather difficult in the three minutes which still remain to decide to which particular aspect of the Bill one should devote attention. I shall not further attempt to deal with the financial aspect, because we shall have a day for that tomorrow, and then many of the major proposals of the Bill can fitly be debated. What we are asking the House to grant us at the moment is the Second Reading of a Bill to put the five great semi-national services of Scotland on the widest possible area—the road services, health services, education services, poor services and the police services. The boundaries within which these can be administered can be settled only when we 1170 have cleared the way from the difficulties of finance which impede our movements in every direction. It is impossible to set up a delimiting commission to define new boundaries for the new administrative areas because of the district rates. Until we have dealt with the district rates, any attempt to alter district boundaries is impossible. Housing, water, drainage—all these are fit subjects for a more immediately local administration, and in the case of the small burghs they will so be administered; and in the case of the landward areas, by means of establishing the district councils of which my right hon. Friend has spoken, and which have been recommended to him by almost every speaker who has taken part in the Debate, we shall be able to meet the desire to have some other elected body between the cot house and the county council. By that means we shall be able to produce a focus, a nucleus of local thought and opinion which will serve in the counties in the same way as the small borough councils will be able to serve in the towns.
It is impossible for me to say much more now. I commend this Measure to the House for Second reading. It is a Measure which is in its principles and I believe in its practices for the benefit of the country which we all desire to see benefited. It is a measure which opens the gate to greater progress. Because it is a machinery Bill just now, let us not despise it. It is a Bill which makes it possible to get unified control of finance, without which feature advance is impossible. It is a Bill which makes it possible to deal with the Poor Law, and the best proof that we are about to do that is in our appointment of the new medical officer of the Board of Health, who himself in Aberdeen took an honourable part in dealing with that. In all these respects we are bringing forward a Bill for the benefit of Scotland, and I confidently commend it for Second Reading.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Commander Eyres Monsell), rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."1171
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."1172
§ The House divided: Ayes, 323; Noes, 150.1173
|Division No. 20.]||AYES.||[11.0 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn, N.)||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N)|
|Albery, Irving James||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Crookshank. Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Illffe, Sir Edward M.|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Curzon, captain viscount||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Astor, Viscountess||Dalkeith, Earl of||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Davies, Dr. Vernon||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Jones, Sir G. W.H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Balniel, Lord||Dawson, Sir Philip||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Kindersley, Major G. M.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Dixey, A. C.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Eden, Captain Anthony||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Lamb, J. O.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Ellis, R. G.||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth. Drake)||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Bennett, A. I.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Loder, J. de V.|
|Berry, Sir George||Everard, W. Lindsay||Long, Major Eric|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Looker, Herbert William|
|Bevan, S. J.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Lougher, Lewis|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Lowe, Sir Francis William|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Fielden, E. B.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Finburgh, S.||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Ford. Sir P. J.||Lumley, L. R.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Lynn, Sir R. J.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Foster, Sir Harry S.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Macintyre, Ian|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E||McLean, Major A.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Ganzoni, Sir John||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Gates, Percy||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Goff, Sir Park||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Brooke. Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Gower, Sir Robert||Manningham-Butler, Sir Mervyn|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Grace, John||Margesson, Captain D|
|Brown, Col. D. O. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Grant, Sir J. A.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.|
|Buchan, John||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Meller, R. J.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (Wth's'W, E)||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-|
|Burman, J. B.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Mitchell. S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Guest. Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Cassels, J. D.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. S. M.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry s.||Hacking, Douglas H.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T C.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Hamilton, Sir George||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hammersley, S. S.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Harland, A.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hartington, Marquess of||Newman. Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Christie, J. A.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxfd, Henley)||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Clayton, G. C.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Oakley, T.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||O'Connor. T, J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Hills, Major John Waller||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Pennefather, Sir John|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Penny, Frederick George|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Holt, Capt. H. P.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Perring, Sir William George|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Couper, J. B.||Hopkinson. A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Preston, Sir Walter (Cheltenham)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Preston, William||Skelton, A. N.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Price, Major C. W. M.||Smith, Louie W. (Sheffield, Hallam)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Radford, E. A.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne. C.)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Raine, Sir Walter||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Ramsden, E.||Smithers, Waldron||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Rawson, Sir Cooper||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Reid, D. O. (County Down)||Southby, Commander A. P. J.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Rentoul, G. S.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Wells, S. R.|
|Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Rice, Sir Frederick||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||Williams. A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'sland)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Storry-Deans, R.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Robinson, Sir T. (Lanc., Stretford)||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Renneil||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George-|
|Ropner. Major L.||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Ruggles-Brise, Lieut. Colonel E. A.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Withers John James|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Salmon, Major I.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Tasker, R. Inigo||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Staiyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Wood, Rt. Hon, Sir Kingsley|
|Sandeman, N. Stewart||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Sandors, Sir Robert A.||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Sanderson, Sir Frank||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of||Wragg, Herbert|
|Sandon, Lord||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Wright, Brig.-General W. D.|
|Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Savery, S. S.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)||Waddington, R.||Major Sir George Hennessy and Mr.|
|Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Wallace, Captain D. E.||F. C Thomson.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Harney, E. A.||Riley, Ben|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Harris, Percy A.||Ritson, J.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hayday, Arthur||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Runciman, Hilda (Cornwall, St. Ives)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hirst, G. H.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Baker, Walter||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Saklatvaia, Shapurji|
|Barnes, A.||Hollins, A.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Batey, Joseph||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Scurr, John|
|Bellamy, A.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Benn, Wedgwood||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Shinwell, E.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Briant, Frank||Jones, J. J. (West Ham. Silvertown)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Broad, F. A.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Smillie, Robert|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, W. N. (Carmarthen)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithen)|
|Buchanan, G.||Kelly. W. T.||Smith, Rennis (Penistone)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kennedy, T.||Snell, Harry|
|Cape, Thomas||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kirkwood, D||Stephen, Campbell|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lansbury, George||Stewart. J. (St. Rollox)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lawrence, Susan||Sullivan, J.|
|Compton, Joseph||Lawson, John James||Sutton, J. E.|
|Connolly, M.||Lindley, F. W.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cove, W. G.||Livingstone, A. M.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lowth, T.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lunn William||Tomilnson, R. P.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. I. R. (Aberavon)||Townend, A. E.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Mackinder, W.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Viant, S. P.|
|Day, Harry||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Dennison, R.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Dunnico, H.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Fenby, T. D.||March, S.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Maxton, James||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Montague, Frederick||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gillett, George M.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Westwood, J.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Mosley, Sir Oswald||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Murnin, H.||Whiteley, W.|
|Greenall, T.||Naylor, I. E.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Oliver, George Harold||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Owen, Major G.||Williams. Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Palin, John Henry||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Paling. W.||Windsor, Walter|
|Grundy, T. W.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wright, W.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Potts, John S.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hardie, George D.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Mr. T. Henderson and Mr. Charles|
§ Sir R. HUTCHISON
On a point of Order. Is it right and proper that this Bill should be placed before the House for the Second Reading without the Royal Burghs of Scotland having a proper discussion of their case? We
§ have had this discussion which is quite inadequate.
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 319; Noes, 150.1179
|Division No. 21.]||AYES.||[11.13 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Colman, N. C. D.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Albery, Irving James||Cooper, A. Duff||Henderson, Capt. R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Cope, Major Sir William||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Couper, J. B.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Amery, Bt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Herbert, S.(York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Hills, Major John Waller|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Hoare. Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Astor, Viscountess||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Holt, Capt. H. P.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Balniel, Lord||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Hopkins, J. W. W.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Messley)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leedi, N.)||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. sir Aylmer|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Berry, Sir George||Dixey, A. C.||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.|
|Bevan, S. J.||Edmondeon, Major A. J.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Ellis, R. G.||Jackson. Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Erskine, Lord (Somerset,Weston-s.-M.)||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Kindersley, Major Guy M.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Everard, W. Lindsay||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Lamb, J. O.|
|Braithwaite Major A. N.||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Fielden, E. B.||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Finburgh, S.||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Ford, Sir P. J.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Loder, J. de V.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Foster, Sir Harry S.||Long, Major Eric|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Foxcroft, Captain C. T||Looker, Herbert William|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Lougher, Lewis|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lowe, Sir Francis William|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Buchan, John||Ganzoni, Sir John||Lumley, L. R.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Gates, Percy||Lynn, Sir R. J.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus|
|Burman, J. B.||Goff. Sir Park||Macintyre, Ian|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Gower, Sir Robert||McLean, Major A.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Grace, John||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Grant, Sir J. A.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Greene, w. p. Crawford||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, F)||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Margesson, Captain D,|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Grotrian, H. Brent||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N.(Ladywood)||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.|
|Chapman. Sir S.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Meller, R. J.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Hacking, Douglas H.||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Christie, J. A.||Hall. Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.)||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)|
|Clayton, G. C.||Hamilton, Sir George||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hammersley, S. S.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Harland, A.||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunal||Hartington, Marquess of||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Salmon, Major I.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Newman, Sir ft. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Waddington, R.|
|Nuttall, Ellis||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Oakley, T.||Sandon, Lord||Ward. Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Savery, S. S||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Shaw. R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Pennelather, Sir John||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mel.(Renfrew, W.)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Penny, Frederick George||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Codown)||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Skelton, A. N.||Wells, S. R.|
|Perring, Sir William George||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'ni & Kinc'dine, C.)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Pownall, Sir Assheton||Smithers, Waldron||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Preston, Sir Walter (Cheltenham)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Preston, William||Southby, Commander A. R. J.||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Price, Major C. W. M.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Radford, E. A.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Raine, Sir Walter||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||Withers, John James|
|Ramsden, E.||Stanley, Hon. O. F.G. (Weitm'sland)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Rawson, Sir Cooper||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Held, D. D. (County Down)||Storry-Deans, R.||Wood, E. (Chest'r. Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Rentoul, G. S.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Rice, Sir Frederick||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Roberts. E. H. G. (Flint)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Wright, Brig.-General W. D.|
|Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes., Stretford)||Tasker, R. Inigo.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)||Commander B. Eyres Monsell and|
|Ropner, Major L.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)||Major Sir George Hennessy.|
|Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Montague, Frederick|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Grundy, T. W.||Mosley, Sir Oswald|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Murnin, H.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Naylor, T. E.|
|Baker, Walter||Hamilton. Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Oliver, George Harold|
|Barnes, A.||Hardie, George D.||Owen, Major G.|
|Batey, Joseph||Harney, E. A.||Palin, John Henry|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Harris, Percy A.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Bellamy, A.||Hayday, Arthur||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Bonn, Wedgwood||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Pontonby, Arthur|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Potts, John S.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hirst, G. H.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Briant, Frank||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Riley, Ben|
|Broad, F. A.||Hollins, A.||Ritson, J.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W. Bromwich)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Runciman, Hilda (Cornwall, St. Ives)|
|Buchanan, G.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Sakiatvala, Shapurji|
|Cape, Thomas||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Scrymgeour, E|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Scurr, John|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Compton, Joseph||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Connolly, M.||Jones, W. N. (Carmarthen)||Shinwell, E.|
|Cove, W. G.||Kelly, W. T.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Kennedy, T.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Kirkwood, D.||Smillie, Robert|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Lansbury, George||Smith, Rennle (Penistone)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawrence, Susan||Snell, Harry|
|Day, Harry||Lawson, John James||Stamford, T. W.|
|Dennison, R.||Lindley, F. W.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Dunnico, H.||Lowth, T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lunn, William||Sullivan, J.|
|Fenby, T. D.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Mackinder, W.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain Q. M.||MacLaren, Andrew||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Glbbins, Joseph||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Gillett, George M.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Townend, A. E.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Treveiyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Greenall, T.||March, S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coins)||Maxton, James||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.||Windsor, Waiter|
|Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Whiteley, W.||Wright, W.|
|Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Wellock, Wilfred||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|welsh. J. C.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Westwood, J.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)||Mr. B. Smith and Mr. Paling.|
Bill read a Second time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be committed to a Committee of the Whole House."—[Commander Eyres Monsell.]
§ Sir R. HUTCHISON rose—1180
Sir R. HUTHISON
On a point of Order. Surely a Bill like this which concerns Scotland alone should be referred to the Standing Committee on Scottish Bills. I pretest against the Motion.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 307; Noes, 145.1183
|Division No. 22.]||AYES.||[11.26 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Christie, J. A.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Churchman, sir Arthur C.||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Albery, Irving James||Clarry, Reginald George||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Bristol, N.)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Clayton, G. C.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Cochrane, Commander Hon, A. D.||Hacking, Douglas H.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Hall, Admiral Sir R. (Eastbourne)|
|Astor, viscountess||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Colman, N. C. D.||Hamilton, Sir George|
|Balfour, George (Hempstead)||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Balniel, Lord||Cooper, A. Duff||Harland, A.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Couper, J. B.||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Courtauld, Major J. S.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Harvey, Major S. c. (Devon, Totes)|
|Beckett, Sir Gervaso (Leeds, N.)||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn, N.)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Craig, Capt. Rt. Hon. C. C. (Antrim)||Henderson, Capt. R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian|
|Bennett, A. J.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend)||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Berry, Sir George||Crookshank, Capt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'hy)|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Hills, Major John Waller|
|Bevan, S. J.||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Birchall, Malor J. Dearman||Dalkeith, Earl of||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Bird, E. R (Yorkt, W. R., Skipton)||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Holt, Capt. H. P.|
|Bird. Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Dawson, Sir Philip||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N|
|Sawyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Dixey, A. C.||Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Braithwaite Major A N.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)|
|Braseey, Sir Leonard||Ellis, R. G.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Ayimer|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Evans, Captain A. (Cardlif, South)||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Everard, W. Lindsay||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Fairfax. Captain J. G.||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Iveagh, Countess of|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Fielden, E. B.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, eon'l)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks, Newb'y)||Finburgh, S.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Buchan, John||Ford, Sir P. J.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston).|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Kindersley, Major Guy M.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Foxcroft, Captain C. T.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Prater, Captain Ian||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Burman, J. B.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Lamb, J. O.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip|
|Cassels, J. D.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Gates, Percy||Loder, J. de V.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Gauit, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Long, Major Eric|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Looker, Herbert William|
|Cecil. Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Goff, Sir Park||Lougher, Lewis|
|Cecil, Rt. Han. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.!||Gower, Sir Robert||Lowe, Sir Francis William|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Grace, John||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Grant, Sir J. A.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Herman|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Lumley, L. R-|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Lynn, Sir Robert J.|
|Chllcott, Sir Wanton||Greene, W. P. Crawford||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Preston, Sir Walter (Cheltenham)||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Macintyre, Ian||Preston, William||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|McLean, Major A.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Radford, E. A.||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Raine, Sir Walter||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Hamsden, E.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Maitland, A. (Kent, Faverskam)||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W Mitchell-|
|Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Rentoul, G. S.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Roberts, E. H. G (Flint)||Waddington, R.|
|Mason, Colonel Glyn M.||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Meller, R. J.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lance., Stretford)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Ropner, Major L.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Milne, J, S. Wardlaw||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Mitchell, w. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Salmon, Major I.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Ht. Hon. B. M||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Wells, S. R.|
|Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairympie-|
|Moreing, Captain A. H.||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Sandon, Lord||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Savory, S. S.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew. W.)||Winby, Colonel L. P.|
|Newman, sir R. H. s. D. L. (Exeter)||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Skelton, A. N.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)||Withers, John James|
|Nuttall, Ellis||Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kine'dine. C.)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Oakley, T.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Smithers, Waldron||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Southby, Commander A. R. J.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Pennefather, Sir John||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Penny, Frederick George||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||Wright, Brig.-General W. D.|
|Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Perring, sir William George||Steel, Major Samuel Strang||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Storry-Deans, R.||Major Sir William Cope and Mr.|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.||F. C. Thomson.|
|Pownall, Sir Assheton||Streatfelid, Captain S. R.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West)||Graham, D M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lindley, F. W.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lunn, William|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hilisbro')||Greenall, T.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Mackinder, W.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Gienfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Baker, Walter||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Batey, Joseph||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||MacNeill-Weir, L|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Grundy, T. W.||Macpherson Rt. Hon. James I.|
|Bellamy, A.||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)|
|Benn, Wedgwood||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maxton. James|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hardie, George D.||Montague, Frederick|
|Briant, Frank||Harney, E. A.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Broad, F. A.||Harris, Percy A.||Mosley, Sir Oswald|
|Brown, Ernest (Lelth)||Hayday, Arthur||Murnin, H.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Naylor, T. E.|
|Buchanan, G.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Oliver, George Harold|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Hirst, G. H.||Owen, Major G.|
|Cape, Thomas||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Palin, John Henry|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hollins, A.||Paling, W.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Compton, Joseph||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Connolly, M.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Potts, John S.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Richardson, R, (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Riley, Ben|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Ritson, J.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw vale)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Runciman, Hilda (Cornwall, St. Ives)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Day, Harry||Jones, W. N. (Carmarthen)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Dennison, R.||Kelly, W. T.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Dunnico, H.||Kennedy, T.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Scurr, John|
|Gardner, J. P.||Kirkwood, D.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Prestos)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Lansbury, George||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Lawrence, Susan||Shinwell, E.|
|Gillett, George M.||Lawson, John James||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Sitch, Chariot H.||Tinker, John Joseph||Whiteley, W.|
|Slesser, Sir Henry H.||Tomlinson, R. P.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Smillie, Robert||Townend, A. E.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Smith, Ben (Barmondtey, Rotherhiths)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Smith, Rennle (Penistone)||Viant, S. P.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Snail, Harry||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen||Windsor, Walter|
|Stamford, T. W.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Wright, W.|
|Stephen, Campbell||Watts-Morn en, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondds)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Webb, Rt. Han. Sidney|
|Sullivan, J.||Wellock, Wilfred||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Sutton, J. E.||Welsh, J. C.||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. A.|
|Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Darby)||West wood, J.||Barnes.|
|Thurtle, Ernest||Wheatley. Rt. Hon. J.|
§ Bill accordingly committed to a Committee of the Whole House for To-morrow.