§ Amendment proposed [4th July]: In1602
§ page 7, to leave out from the word "used," in line 81, to the end of the Sub-section."—[Mr. Harney.]
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 172; Noes, 120.1603
|Division No. 248.]||AYES.||[3.51 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Ganzonl, Sir John||Moles, Rt. Hon. Thomas|
|Albery, Irving James||Gates, Percy||Monsell, Eyras, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Grattan Doyle, Sir N.||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E.)||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrst'ld.)|
|Astbury, Lieut-Commander F. W.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Oakley, T.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Hacking, Douglas H.||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Balniel, Lord||Hammersley, S. S.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Hanbury, C.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Harrison, G. J. C.||Preston, William|
|Bethel, A.||Hartington, Marquess of||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Radford, E. A.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Haslam, Henry C.||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Brass, Captain W.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Ropner, Major L.|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnbam)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hilton, Cecil||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. Q.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Nawb'y)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustavo D.|
|Buchan, John||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Savery, S. S.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whlteh'n)||Smith, R. W. (Abard'n&Kinc'dtns, C.)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hurd, Percy A.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hurst, Gerald B.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt, R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. P.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Jephcott, A. R.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Christie, J. A.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Sooden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Lamb, J. Q.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Cachrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Loder, J. de V.||Waddington, R.|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Looker, Herbert William||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Couper, J. B.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Lynn, Sir R. J.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||McLean, Major A.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Ellis, R. G.||Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Evans, Captain A. (Cardiff, South)||Manningham, Buller, Sir Mervyn||Wood, E. (Chester, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Margesson, Captain D.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Wood, Sir S. Hill (High Peak)|
|Fermoy, Lord||Meyer, Sir Frank||Wragg, Herbert|
|Fielden, E. B.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Colonel Anthony||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Captain Bowyer and Mr. Penny.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Harris, Percy A.||Riley, Ben|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Ritson, J.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hayday, Arthur||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hayes, John Henry||Runciman, Hilda (Cornwall, St. Ives)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Rundown, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Barnes, A.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Barr, J.||Hirst, G. H.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Sexton, James|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Bromfield, William||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Shinwell, E.|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Buchanan, G.||Kelly, W. T.||Smillie, Robert|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kennedy, T.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Snell, Harry|
|Connolly, M.||Kirkwood, D.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Cove, W. G.||Lawrence, Susan||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lawson, John James||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lee, F.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Davits, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lindley, F. W.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Day, Harry||Livingstone, A. M.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Duncan, C.||Lunn, William||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Dunnico, H.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Varley Frank B.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Gillett, George M.||March, S.||Westwood, J.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Whiteley, W.|
|Greenall, T.||Montague, Frederick||Wiggins, William Martin|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Morris, R. H.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Murnin, H.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Naylor, T. E.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Groves, T.||Oliver, George Harold||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Palin, John Henry||Windsor, Walter|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Paling, W.||Wright, W.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Hardie, George D.||Potts, John S.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Harney, E. A.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Sir Robert Hutchison and Mr. Fenby.|
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Chamberlain)
I beg to move, in page 7, to leave out from the word "shall," in line 39, to the end of the Clause, and to insert instead thereof the words:be deemed to be occupied and used for transport purposes, except in so far as it is occupied and used for the purposes of a dwelling-house, hotel, or place of public refreshment, and except in so far as any part thereof is let out and capable of separate assessment.Provided that, in the case of a hereditament occupied and used for canal transport purposes as part of a canal undertaking or occupied and used for dock purposes as part of a dock undertaking—
This Amendment is rather an important one, making a change, not merely in the 1604 drafting of the Bill, but in a point of substance. Sub-section (3) of Clause 6 deals with the method of determining the proportions in which a freight-transport hereditament is occupied and used for transport purposes and for other purposes. It says that
- (a) the hereditament shall not be deemed to be occupied and used for transport purposes in so far as it is occupied and used for the housing or maintenance of road vehicles; and
- (b) no part of the hereditament, being a building, yard, or other place primarily occupied and used for warehousing merchandise not in the course of being transported, shall be deemed to be occupied and used for transport purposes."the hereditament shall not be deemed to be occupied and used for transport purposes in so far as it is occupied and used for the purposes of a dwelling-house, hotel, or place of public refreshment, or of providing warehouse accommodation for merchandise not in the course of transit, or of the housing or maintenance of road vehicles.It has been represented to me that that procedure, in the case of the railways, would lead to the expenditure of a very great amount of time and work in examination and classification, with a somewhat disproportionate value in the result obtained. The properties of the railways are scattered right over the whole country. There are some thousands of railway stations, there are hundreds of local authorities that have to be dealt with, and the apportionment of all the various properties as between transport 1605 and non-transport purposes would undoubtedly be a very large piece of work, while the proportion which the properties not used for the actual purposes of transport bear to the transport properties is, relatively speaking, in the case of the railways, comparatively small.
In view of those circumstances, on the representations that have been made to us, we have decided to make this rather sweeping change, and to say, in effect, that all these various properties shall be considered as used for transport purposes, and, of course, subject later on to de-rating, except those hereditaments which are now separately rated and assessed, like dwelling-houses, hotels, places of public refreshment, and any other hereditaments let out and capable of separate assessment. That is the purport of the first part of the Amendment. It is, however, followed by a proviso which applies, not to railways but to canals and dock undertakings, and the proviso has two parts. The first part singles out premises which are occupied and used for the purpose of garages, and in that respect it follows the precedent already applied in the case of industrial hereditaments. On previous occasions I have explained that in the case of all industrial hereditaments we do not think it would be fair that a manufacturer who had a garage should be de-rated, because that would be putting him in an advantageous position with regard to that garage as compared with carriers who had their own garages, which would not have the benefit of de-rating, and, therefore, in order to save and protect the position of firms engaged in carrying, we specially excepted garages tin works from the de-rating proposals.
In the case of railways, of course, if such relief were given in respect of garages, it would have to be passed on, and, therefore, no outside firm is in any way prejudiced by the fact that garages owned by railways are de-rated. But when you come to docks—I do not know whether it applies to canals, but certainly it does to docks—the position is analogous, and we have thought it desirable to put in that proviso. The second part of the proviso deals with the case of warehousing, which was one of the points raised by the hon. Member for East Ham North (Miss Lawrence) on 1606 the Second Reading of this Bill, when she directed some criticisms to the provision which, in the Sub-section that we are now considering, included the words:providing warehouse accommodation for merchandise not in the course of transit.I am not quite sure whether those who inspired her to make that criticism will be entirely gratified that the point which she made has been recognised, but certainly there is something to be said for a somewhat different form of words, owing to the difficulty of sorting out those properties which are used for goods in the course of transit from those which are not technically used for transit purposes although they may be used for goods being transported. Therefore, we have put in a new proviso which, in effect, says that any building belonging to the undertaking which is primarily used for storing mechandise not in the course of transport, is not to be subject to de-rating, but is to be excluded and outside the scope of the Bill. That means that we shall not have to examine each building in detail, or to pick out one floor from another or one part of the building from another. The one question to be ascertained and decided is whether the building is primarily used for purposes named in the proviso, or whether it is primarily used for what may be called the transport purposes of the undertaking.
§ Mr. HARRIS
May I ask why there should be a preference given to canals and garages connected with canals over railways and garages connected with railways?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
As far as garages are concerned, I thought I made it clear. At any rate, I endeavoured to do so, and spent some time in explaining it. The hon. Member could not have heard.
§ Mr. HARRIS
I cannot see the reason for the differentiation. The right hon. Gentleman made out a case for canals, but there did not seem to be any reason why there should be a difference in the case of railways.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I can only repeat that in the case of the railways any relief which is given has necessarily to be passed on to certain customers of the railways. Therefore, a railway itself 1607 will not benefit by a reduction of burden on its garages, and for that reason cannot be undercutting a private firm engaged in carrying outside.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The relief which the railways are to obtain is to be distributed among certain specified traffics. It is not to be given to the public at large, and, therefore, there is no temptation to the railway, because it is de-rated upon its garages, to increase those garages at the expense of any outside contractor.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I do not follow that. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will take an opportunity later of making his point clear. I think the difference between the railways and the dock undertakings with regard to warehousing accommodation is also to be found in the difference of the circumstances to which I have already alluded. The railways really cover the whole country. Their properties are distributed among the areas of an enormous number of rating authorities. Docks, on the other hand, are concentrated in particular areas, and, moreover, the dock property, obviously, will contain a very much larger proportion of warehouses than is to be found among the railways. It is a question of the relative importance of the warehouse accommodation in the two cases as compared with the value of the whole property.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Would the right hon. Gentleman address himself for one moment to the case of the dock-owning railway companies? There is a special case there.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
In the case of a dock owned by a railway company, that, of course, goes in with the railway transport undertaking.
§ Mr. ARTHUR GREENWOOD
Do I understand that all docks owned by railway companies are railway undertakings for the purpose of the Bill, but not dock undertakings?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I think I am right in saying so. Of course, there are two cases. There are docks owned by railways and railways owned by docks, and they have to be sorted out for their respective purposes.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
If the right hon. Gentleman will look at Sub-section (2) of Clause 5, he will see that there are three forms of freight-transport purposes outlined. Under "railway transport purposes" there is no reference to dock undertakings at all. It is true that under "canal transport purposes" and "dock purposes," there is a reference to railways. This is a new interpretation of the Bill.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I think the hon. Gentleman is quite correct, and that docks, even although owned by a railway, would be considered as a dock undertaking.
§ Lieut.-Commnander KENWORTHY
Is that certain? Most of the docks in Hull are owned by the London and North Eastern Railway, but we have certain docks owned by the municipality and some by private companies, and I want to be quite certain there will be no differentiation between them, and that the docks owned by railway companies will get the same relief as those owned by municipalities and private companies.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
That is quite right. Docks, whether owned by municipalities or railways, will be treated exactly in the same way.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
May I ask a further question in order to save a speech? The right hon. Gentleman has not mentioned the case of private firms. On the Second Reading the Minister said that where a dock was owned by a private firm it did not get relief, as it was not owned for the common good. So that, therefore, we are in the position that docks owned by municipalities and railways will be relieved but not docks owned by private firms.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I think the hon. and gallant Gentleman must distinguish between the two kinds of docks—taking that word in the sense in which it is used in the Bill—owned by private firms or individuals. There is the private dock which is used solely for the purposes of the owner, and there is the dock owned by the private firm, but which nevertheless is used for public traffic. That is the one which is treated on exactly the same terms as a public dock for the purpose of de-rating. It is only in the case of a dock owned by a private firm, and used solely for the purposes of that private firm that it is not de-rated, and, therefore, is differentiated from other kinds of property.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
May I put the case of a firm which only supplies oil for one particular oil company, but whose dock is a convenience to the ships of many companies?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I do not think it is quite fair to ask me to give an opinion about circumstances which I have not had time to consider, and which, perhaps, I do not know altogether. I think the general lines I have laid down will give an indication to the hon. and gallant Member how this matter will be approached.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I do not want to be unfair, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, in a matter of this great importance, but if he would consider this between now and the Report stage, and communicate with me, we might find an opportunity to elucidate it further.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in his view, the expression "goods in the course of being transported" has a different meaning from "goods in course of transit"?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
Yes, I think the hon. Member will recollect that she gave certain instances where the goods might legally be held to be in course of transit, although, as a matter of fact, they might not be in the course of being transported. It might be technically in course of transit, but it could not possibly be interpreted as in the course of being transported.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
The further we go with the Bill the more confused we become. One good thing that is happening is that the Bill is now crumbling to pieces, as many of us thought it would do. Under the Clause dealing with freight transport, very substantial changes have been made in the provisions of the Bill, and a further one has been made to-day by the right hon. Gentleman. He is in this Clause really behaving unfairly to the dock authorities as compared with the railway undertakings. Railway undertakings are primarily transport enterprises. Docks are not primarily transport enterprises. They are very large warehousing enterprises, and they are becoming increasingly warehouse enterprises. So that with all the advantages the Government appears to be offering to the docks, once they are translated into terms of the Bill we shall find the docks are going to come out of this very badly, because so large a proportion of their premises are devoted to purposes that are outside the terms of the Amendment.
The right hon. Gentleman explained why it is that he differentiates, as regards garages, between canal and railway undertakings, but that argument will not hold water. He is going to give to railway undertakings a remission of local rates in respect of their garages, just as he has given them a remission of 4d. a gallon on the petrol they use. The effect and the intention of that, as with the rest of the rating relief given to railways, is a reduction in railway freights to the consumer. That means that the railway enterprises are, with the assistance of the State, going to be put into a position of offering the carriage of merchandise at lower rates than operated before as against road transport and as against canal enterprises. That is not treating these enterprises on the same footing at all. It is a plan whereby traffic will be diverted to the railways and taken away from canals and roads, and in so far as it does that it is clearly penalising these other forms of undertakings.
The point to which I wish to refer specially is the alteration the right hon. Gentleman has made with regard to goods in transit. The term "in course of transit" is one that has a perfectly clear meaning to the Courts of law where the whole of this Bill will have to be interpreted 1611 within the next year or two. The term "in the course of being transported" is a new term that the right bon. Gentleman has invented in order to get him out of his difficulty. He has also put in some other new Words to get him out of another difficulty of dealing with whole buildings instead of with floors and parts of buildings. As a matter of fact he has not met the criticism that was made on the Second Reading. The only effect of these words is going to be to increase litigation. This is not going to assist in clearing up the trouble. It is going to add to the trouble.
The real point is that in the dock undertakings there is always a large amount of merchandise which is there for a variety of purposes. Some of them are actual manufacturing purposes. The completion of the curing process of tobacco at the docks is as much a part of the manufacturing process as any other process. The case of spirits has been mentioned. If you take wool, wool sales actually take place there. Are these warehouses or are they factories, or are they such a part of the warehouse as will get relief? We have not had the slightest light thrown on this by the Minister. All he has done is to give us a new form of words in pursuance of his policy of confusing the minds of the Committee. We were confused enough before, and the new words really make the situation more difficult, more complicated and more dubious than it was before. Would not the best thing be to face the fact that you cannot cut up these dock undertakings in this kind of way? Half the trouble we have had in discussion on the Bill has been this attempt on the part of the Government to cut up industrial processes and industrial enterprises. The distinction between production and distribution is purely artificial. The distinction between the actual wharves and the warehouses round the wharves is an artificial distinction. You must take the dock undertaking as a whole if you are to take the advice of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that if you give relief you should give it courageously and boldly. The courageous and bold way is to say a dock enterprise shall be relieved of its rates in respect of the whole of the enterprise.
This attempt at differentiation between dwelling-houses and refreshment rooms 1612 and warehouses is going to make it very difficult for the dock authorities, which have always had special difficulties about their rating, and have always had to spend considerable sums of money year by year on rating appeals and on expert advice because of the complications of the undertaking. The Minister is simply going to add to their difficulties. I do not suppose he will accept any advice from this side of the House, but if he wants to give these enterprises help comparable to that which he is giving to the railways he ought to take in the garages and warehouses. Although I will admit that, in part, his Amendment is a little clearer than the original wording of the Bill, the latter part of the proviso makes the Bill infinitely worse, and we would rather have had the Bill, bad as it was, than the new Amendment.
The point put by the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) is one that occurs in many parts of the country, but it would be unfair to expect the Minister at this stage to give a definition of the various kinds of property in wharves. The difficulty we are in is a really practical one. The competition between the railways and docks and other accommodation, warehouses and garages, is not confined merely to railway docks and those held by municipalities. In many cases they are held by Commissioners, like the Mersey Dock and Harbour Board. In some other places the docks are owned, as in one or two cases I could mention in South Wales, by private individuals, but they are used generally.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Sir Kingsley Wood)
For public traffic.
Yes, but they were originally constructed, and mainly used, for private purposes. You cannot differentiate between them. The predominant amount of trade may or may not be by the people who actually own the docks. This is peculiarly the case in the metal trade, where perhaps the whole of one side of the dock is used for the importation of metal which is essential for the industry, and the whole of the other side of the dock may be used for the export of coal, because it suits the importing company to have 1613 their vessels discharged on one side and loaded up on the other. There you have a distinction which is very difficult to draw, and I doubt very much whether any of the definitions we have had, in speeches, in the draft of the Bill or in the Amendments, entirely meet the point. It is one of great difficulty when you come to the case of warehouses. When is a warehouse not a warehouse? It is quite certain that in some instances the warehousing is an essential part of the process of manufacture, without the goods being held up as not being in course of being transported. Let me take an instance I used to know very well when I represented Dewsbury. Dewsbury is the centre of the rag wool industry of the world. The rag wool goes there and, while in the warehouses, it goes through the process of being sorted out, and then it goes out to all the various classes of mills that are using this wool in various qualities, drawn from different classes of garments, with different lengths of staple, and so on. It is an essential part of the wool industry that the sorting out should be done before it goes into the mill. You may say the bales of rags that come in are not in course of transit. They may or may not be. It will be very difficult for the rating authorities to decide whether or not they come within the definition the Minister has now provided.
No, but some of them are on the borders of canals, and no one knows better than the right hon. Gentleman that it has been a difficult thing for the canal undertakings to maintain their competition against the railways. If you are going to place them under any disadvantage they will gradually go down and you will be injuring some of the concerns which are dependent on this kind of traffic. These complications are not new. They have been very present to the minds of many of us who have been engaged in rating troubles and complications in the past. Indeed, an hon. Friend beside me reminds me that there are some buildings which are warehouses at one time and are not at another. During the cotton depression in Lancashire there were a certain number of mills which ceased to be rated as cotton mills and were rated 1614 as warehouses. That is the kind of thing which, if it occurs within the borders of this Amendment, will give rise to all sorts of trouble and confusion. I quite recognise that what the Minister is dealing with is a special class of warehouse situated in a special place. But when it comes to these complications of differentiation and so on, would it not be very much better to take the whole batch, as the hon. Member has just suggested, and really not try and draw these distinctions as between properties owned by railway companies, owned by the dock authorities, owned by the canal authorities, and owned by private individuals? If he could treat all alike—it is quite true he would not be giving that predominant advantage to railway companies which the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated to be one of his objects—then I am not at all sure that it is not a justifiable matter. It is far better carefully to hold the balance between all forms of transport rather than try to give a special advantage to the railway companies.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The right hon. Gentleman continually argues as though the railway companies are going to retain for themselves the relief which is obtained by de-rating. I maintain that they do not retain that relief, and therefore I cannot understand the argument that by de-rating in the case of railways, you are putting docks at a disadvantage if you do not also de-rate in the case of docks.
I was coming to an explanation of that very point. I do not wish to take it in any imperfect form. There is very great competition between railway undertakings and many of the docks. If the railways are to have the advantage of de-rating, it is quite true that the railway rates—the charge which is made for the carriage of goods—will be reduced. You are going to attempt to try and give the advantage to those who have traffic passing over the lines. They are going to get the full advantage of it.
And only special traffic. That is a very essential fact, but that means that the railway companies will in every case, under this Measure, when it really gets into working form, 1615 be able to offer to the customer better terms than can be offered by other undertakings which may be competing with railway undertakings. Surely, that is obvious. I do not think that I am straining the point when I say that the railway companies, quite naturally, want to increase their profits as much as possible. Canvassers will go round and will make this point again and again; "It is true that we all ought to be put on the same footing, but we are going to have powers under this Act to give to certain persons who are customers a reduction of rates, and we can offer you advantages which you cannot get from any other form of transport." It is not holding the balance between the various forms of transport round the docks and elsewhere. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will consider the question very closely before he decides upon the final form of this proviso which is going to be put into the Bill. He must have realised the complications which must arise. It is no use saying that they will not. It is difficult now, but when you get everybody having an upset and the whole of our rating system put into the melting pot again, men are not going to take the matter lying down. They will fight for their rights and differences will have to be taken into the Courts. If the right hon. Gentleman is going to do good service to the trade community, let him so far as possible relieve them from legal charges.
§ Mr. ELLIS
There is just one point stated by the right hon. Gentleman to which I think there is an answer. There would not be any real competition intended by the difference in the rate you got from de-rating in regard to this particular case as between canals and railways. If you examine the course of these goods which are to get relief—pit props and coal and things of that sort—you will find that the bulk of the goods will continue to go in the course in which they go at present, and the little difference that can be made by de-rating will not be sufficient to bring about a change from one system to another. There is another point which I should like to put to the Minister. I am afraid the Minister is going to have trouble, either he or those who follow afterwards, in dealing with the question of private 1616 docks used for public purposes and private undertakings which do a certain amount of public work. I would like to suggest that he should consider this way out. It is done in certain other directions. Might not there be some direction to rating and assessment authorities to take into account the turnover derived from public use and de-rate them and rate the rest. I think that to treat the matter in that way would not be unfair as between public work and private work and as between a private undertaking and an entirely public undertaking.
§ Mr. MARCH
I want to follow up the question which I put to the right hon. Gentleman when he was illustrating his new Clause and said there would be no competition between the railways and the outside contractors. I want to put a case, which, I think, will enable him to see that there will be a difference. Take for instance a railway which conveys, say, 20 trucks of bricks. In the ordinary way the contractors would take those bricks away from the railway to the various depots where they were wanted. If the railway company is going to be de-rated to a certain extent, will not they be able, if they feel inclined to do so, to cart those bricks to the factory or place where they are required at a cheaper rate than the outside contractor? They will be able to do it because you are giving them assistance by de-rating a certain portion of their railway sidings. You have already given them some relief by not charging them the petrol duty of 4d. per gallon which is being charged on the outside people. People outside are not getting any de-rating for their garages or stables or shops or warehouses and they are also having to pay the extra 4d. per gallon on petrol. The same thing may apply in regard to timber en route to the shipyards. The railway companies convey truckloads of timber which is required at the docks and the shipyards. Usually, the contractors do the carting. If the railway companies make up their minds to do this work, they will be able to cart the material from a station or goods depot to a ship at the docks cheaper than an outside contractor can do the work. Therefore you will be favouring the railway companies to the disadvantage of the outside contractors.
§ Mr. SEXTON
I am very much concerned at this attempt to differentiate between the railways and the docks. What is the right hon. Gentleman going to do in a case like this? It may have been my misfortune, but I spent a large portion of my life as an ordinary dock labourer, both in the capacity of discharging and loading vessels. I want to know what the right hon. Gentleman would do in a case like this. There are two processes at the docks, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman) pointed out, namely, the discharging and the loading of ships in different berths. When a ship is discharging, is she to be excluded or included? When a ship is loading is she to be excluded or included? The question of warehousing is one of very grave concern, and I am anxious to know what length of time is to be the test as to when a dock shed is a warehouse and when it is not a warehouse? In the old days when there was only a quay level shed and a cargo was passed immediately across the quay on to the vehicle or wagon, it was all right. The warehouses nowadays are of two and three stories and the goods are stored for a considerable time to await the instructions of the consignee. Are they during that period to be included, or are they to be excluded as not being within the process of legitimate transit? From the definition of the right hon. Gentleman, there would appear to be considerable doubt on this point.
These are questions which are going greatly to confuse the administration of the Act in the same way as the administration of the Workmens Compensation Act was confused when an attempt was made to decide when a ship was not a ship. I have a lively recollection of what occurred at that time. The word "ship" was left out of the Factories Act, and the Workmen's Compensation Act only included those trades covered by the Factories Act. A ship was only a factory when it was moored alongside the dock, and only that side of it was a factory which was moored. The starboard side which was not moored to the dock was not a factory, while the port side which was moored was a factory. Let me give the right hon. Gentleman one of the legal technicalities which arose out of that. Men working on the 1618 quayside were working in a factory. The men working on the other side were not in a factory. A man was engaged in driving a winch and he was taking goods from the port side to the starboard side, and while he was lifting goods from the port side he got his finger crushed and came under the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act. A man who took his place was lifting a "sling" of pig-iron from the starboard side when it collapsed over the hatch and killed a man working below on the port side. No compensation was paid because the "sling" came from the non-factory side.
This is where it is leading the right hon. Gentleman and those who are advising him. You must either include the whole of the dock, or you are going to cause endless confusion in regard to legal technicalities while administering the Act. If I understand the right hon. Gentleman correctly, a double storage shed at the docks which store goods for an indefinite period is not going to be considered to be entitled to be included. There is hardly anything else to-day on the docks except double storage sheds. The goods are placed in the storage sheds for weeks at a time. For the life of me I cannot see that these niggling technicalities are likely to give any satisfaction either to the dock-owners or to the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues, or that any tangible result will follow from legislation of this kind.
§ Mr. ERNEST BROWN
This matter about the docks is very important. On the question of the new Clause moved by the right hon. Gentleman, I do not agree with the interpretation of the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood). I can quite see the necessity for not de-rating the private warehouse as such, because it is obvious, if it is mainly used for private purposes, the relief will not be passed on. All the great docks, Leith, for instance, are run by statutory companies or boards. They do not make profits in the ordinary sense of the term. Such profits as are made on the turnover go back either to the undertaking, by way of improving it, or they are used by way of lowering the charges on freights. Therefore, the object aimed at by the de-rating proposals in regard to the railways 1619 is actually obtained at the present time in connection with the working of the statutory dock undertakings. The dock undertaking of Leith is generally recognised as being extraordinarily well and efficiently managed. Those who have to operate the statutory docks at Leith will complain, if the right hon. Gentleman consults them, because their chief competitors are two railway docks at Methill and Grangemouth, and those two competing docks will get an advantage. At the present time, because these two docks are operated by railway companies, the railway companies by means of a differential rate are able to attract trade to their own docks. If things were equal and all three were statutory companies, the major part of the traffic would go to the docks that were best run. The Leith dock authority will complain that they are at present rather unfairly treated in competing with these other two undertakings, and I have no doubt that the same complaint will apply to dock undertakings in other parts of the country.
As I understand it, the Amendment, as drawn, will give to the warehouses of the railway companies, as transporting companies, de-rating relief, but in the case of canal undertakings and in the case of dock undertakings it will not give relief to the warehouses in so far as they are covered by the definition in the last part of the Amendment. If a dock undertaking and a canal undertaking has a warehouse attached to it, equally with a railway undertaking, and all the three warehouses are used for public traffic, will they all get the benefit of the de-rating proposals, or is it only when the warehouse is on the dock or canal undertaking which is privately owned, and privately operated for the private purpose of a particular firm, that this limitation applies?
§ Mr. BROWN
I have endeavoured to make myself clear, but it is very difficult, without consulting those who are particularly interested in this matter, to put the point clearly. Let me put two questions, this way: (1) Here is a railway dock at Grangemouth, here is a warehouse at Leith, which is operated by a statutory company, and here is a canal, 1620 also with a warehouse. The three warehouses are used for public traffic, for public purposes, and not for the private purpose of the owners of the various undertakings—the railway company at Grangemouth, the canal somewhere else, and the statutory undertaking at Leith. Do all the three classes of warehouses get the advantage of de-rating under this Clause? (2) If that be so, is the sole effect of the Amendment, as drawn, to debar from the de-rating relief warehouses in possession of private firms, the canals of private firms and docks used for private purposes for private firms? A third question is impossible to answer; therefore I will not put it.
It will be difficult, as the right hon. Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Runciman), has stated, to decide when a warehouse is not a warehouse for goods in process of transportation. If we could be informed here and now by the Minister what is the answer to the questions which I have put, it would help to clear matters materially. Will the three classes of undertakings to which I have referred all get the advantage of the relief—the dock and the railway equally pass on the benefit to the transporter of the goods—or will the sole effect of the amended Clause be to debar canals, docks and warehouses privately owned, from receiving the relief?
§ Miss LAWRENCE
Some reference has been made to certain remarks which I addressed to the House on the Second Reading of the Bill, with regard to the question of the docks and to those who inspired me. I am not in the least ashamed of the source of my inspiration. I have represented a dock constituency and municipality for many years, and there I have learned to understand something of the detailed business of the Port of London and its effect on the lives, the prosperity and the conveniences of the working people. When first I read the Bill it appeared to me that the dock conditions were unworkable from the point of view of rating, and I at once took steps to consult merchants and the Port authorities. One of the series of Amendments to which my name is attached has been prepared by the Port of London Authority, and the Harbour and Docks Association, and the second set have been prepared by the Public Wharfingers Association. Of those Amendments only one 1621 is left to be discussed. I want to lay down the principle that you should treat transport undertakings, such as docks and warehouses, fairly. If you favour one, and if your real desire is to help industry, perhaps the export industry has the greater claim. It is idle for the Minister to say that it does not matter that one undertaking in particular is to be de-rated, because it will pass on the benefit by offering either lower dock rates or lower railway rates. That is what we mean when we talk about the effect of de-rating this or that portion of railway or dock property. Every portion of doe property which you de-rate means that there will be a lowering of the rates, and an additional attraction to business.
In a multitude of ways, this Bill discriminates unfairly between railways and docks. Take the question of the wine trade. The Great Western Railway Company have a bonded warehouse, and the dock authorities have bonded warehouses. The bonded warehouse owned by the Great Western Railway Company will be de-rated, but the bonded warehouse at the docks, at any rate to a considerable extent, will not be de-rated. Those bonded warehouses will be doing exactly the same class of business, that of holding wine in bond for maturing, and so forth. The railway bonded warehouse will be de-rated, while on the other hand the dock bonded warehouse will not be de-rated. It is not merely that the dock bonded warehouse will not be de-rated, but they will have an extraordinarily difficult task put upon them of sending in their claim for part of the bonded warehouse according to the purpose for which it is used. That is an unjustifiable differentiation against the dock undertakings. Take the coal trade. The railways have dumps of coal which are really for the purpose of storage. They are in the nature of open-air warehouses. Those dumps will be de-rated. If you go to the docks, you will find dumps of coal, only very much bigger, within the curtilage of the docks, awaiting transit. The railway dumps of coal will be de-rated, but the dumps of coal at the docks will not be de-rated. Again, this Bill will put the dock companies at a disadvantage. I could go on mentioning other classes of storages which are carried on at the docks and the railways in which the same differentiation is made.
1622 I come now to a matter which is of special importance to business men of all kinds. The first part of the Amendment:except in so far as any part thereof is let out and capable of separate assessment.relates to the docks. Paragraph (b) says:No part of the hereditament, being a building, yard, or other place primarily occupied and used for warehousing merchandise not in the course of being transported, shall be deemed to be occupied and' used for transport purposes.I do not see any particular difference between goods "in the course of transit" and goods "in the course of being transported." I do not see any particular difference in the words, in the ordinary literary meaning. "In the course of transit" has been the subject of many legal definitions, and I can perfectly well see that goods "in the course of being transported" will be interpreted by the Judges as goods "in the course of transit." [An HON. MEMBER: "No!"] "In the course of transit" is, of course, "in the course of being transported," although one is supposed to be a little bit narrower than the other in its meaning. But that is not the main difficulty. The main difficulty is that the same terms are used very indiscriminately for goods which are in the process of being transported and goods which cannot be held in any way to be there for the purpose of transit. This does not concern very much the newer London docks, which are mainly sheds by the edge of the water used for the purpose of transport, but the older docks, the London Docks, the West India Docks, the Surrey Docks, St. Catherine's Dock are used for mixed storage purposes of goods in the course of transit.
I have given as an illustration the wool trade as a trade which is perhaps predominately a warehouse trade, but the warehouse in which the wool is stored is used for goods in the course of transit. Certain warehouses are used partly for goods which are in course of transit and partly for goods which are stored. The difference is perfectly well recognised at the docks, because a transit rate is charged for goods which, in the opinion of the harbour authority, are passing through, while a different rate, a consolidated rate, a rate for a longer period, is charged for goods which are being 1623 stored. Those who understand this business and have considered the matter in relation to this Bill feel that the duty of having to separate the hereditaments will be very difficult, particularly having regard to the use of the word "primarily," and they have drafted an Amendment which asks for a little concession, and that where 10 per cent. of the annual value of the hereditament is attributable to non-transport purposes, that should be overlooked and the hereditament should be treated as if it were occupied and used wholly for transport purposes. You say to a factory, "You may ignore 10 per cent. of the hereditament," but, when you are dealing with a dock you use the word "primarily," and nobody knows where they are. What the dock authorities ask for definitely is that they should be treated in the same way as the railways, and should be allowed to ignore the 10 per cent. of business which is not primarily transport' business. I have the opinion of the business world behind me in this matter.
I come to the general considerations which move us on this side of the Committee. I have said over and over again how very much you hinder industry, trade and commerce when you draw up these lines of division. When you come to the dock business you come to a business which, of all businesses, is the most complicated. It is partly transport, and perhaps the most important part of all the transport of this island. It is partly warehousing. A very important part of the warehousing of the City of London is done at the docks. It is also partly manufacturing—manufacture as far as tobacco is concerned, as far as tea is concerned, and as far as wine is concerned. When you see the trade and commerce of England, the distributing business of England, as it were, within the great dock walls, you see what you are doing when you try to draw these fancy lines between warehousing, distribution, transport and manufacture. All these four things are carried on at the docks, sometimes in identically the same building. Then you have a picture of the revaluation of the Port of London and other ports and the trouble to which the whole world will be put by the artificial transmutations in the Minister's Bill.
1624 There are many persons in the House who understand dock interests thoroughly, and we are having a proper discussion on the dock question. Under the guillotine we never had a proper discussion of the commercial or manufacturing interests outside the docks. Inside the dock we get the whole of these things together, and any child can see what folly it will be to set the valuers to work in making a number of calculations for no earthly purpose at all. I hope that before this discussion is over, having regard to the concessions to the railways, the Minister will decide to treat the docks exactly as he treats the railways. Let him knock out every one of these distinctions; let him get rid once and for all of this business of measuring up the floor space of the warehouses. The Minister says that the making of a concession to the railways does not matter, because they will hand it back again. Will not the docks hand it back again? There is no point in that argument at all. If it does not matter, in giving the railways a little more, because they will use it to reduce rates, exactly in the same way, if a little more is given to the docks, they will use it to reduce rates. We shall then do away with the wasteful competition which is to-day a very real thing.
We all desire that transport should be carried on by the method that is most suitable, that takes least labour and that uses better the fixed capital already possessed. Giving a little bribe to people to send their goods by rail instead of by the docks, making coal carried by train cheaper than water-borne coal—that is what the Government are doing under this scheme. It is merely wasting resources and putting an additional handicap on commerce. For the sake of simplicity I again ask the Minister to do what I advised him to do on Second Reading, that is to go to the dock authorities, give them a remission of rates and ask of them a remission of their charges. The scheme as outlined by the Minister I regard as a wanton interference with the course of business.
§ Sir K. WOOD
The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. A. Greenwood), in opening this very interesting discussion described the Amendment and its progress through Committee as indicating that the Bill was "crumbling to pieces." 1625 It was a very curious phrase. I thought that the whole purpose of the Committee stage of a Bill was the consideration of matters of this kind, so that the Committee might have the advantage of the experience and the contribution of every Member, as long as there was no interference with the principle of a Measure. It will be within the recollection of many Members of the Committee that on the Second Reading of the Bill my right hon. Friend expressly stated that he was desirous, in Committee, of taking advantage of suggestions that were made, and I do not think anyone should complain about the Bill crumbling to pieces when we are showing a proper anxiety to meet cases of a substantial nature which are put to the Committee. I can understand some hon. Members being opposed to the Bill, but the House adopted the principle of the Bill on Second Reading, and I take it that it is the view of most Members that we should try to make the best of the Bill. Therefore I take exception to the statement, directly my right hon. Friend shows any desire to meet Members of the Committee, that his proposal is the crumbling to pieces of the Bill. When we refuse an Amendment, on the other hand, it is said that we will not take suggestions from anyone.
This is a very important subject and just the kind of subject which is suitable for discussion in Committee. It was with the desire of meeting objections which have been put before him that my right hon. Friend moved the Amendment. The Amendment seeks to cover two very important points. The first is that which has been raised by the railway companies of the country, and it is dealt with in the first part of the Amendment. I am very glad to know that not a single Member of the Committee has taken any exception to the alteration that we have put forward in the Amendment. I think it will be generally agreed that the case which the railway companies made out has been met, and that the Amendment will make it easier for them to do their part under the Bill. Then we come to the second part of the Amendment. Some valuable speeches have been made this afternoon by hon. Members who are intimately connected with this particular aspect of the case. We are very desirous of hearing criticisms of this kind, as naturally we want to make the Bill as 1626 workable and fair as possible. The charge that has been made, at any rate by certain hon. Members, is that we are behaving unfairly to the dock authorities. Many Members, although they corrected themselves afterwards, showed by their speeches that they have ignored fundamental differences.
It cannot be emphasised too often that the railway companies have to do two things. Hon. Members sometimes recognise one of those things and sometimes the other. The railway companies have to put this money into a pool, and out of that pool they have to relieve certain basic trades. The hon. Lady asks, "Why should not the other undertakings in turn, the docks, get the same amount of benefit?" The whole principle of the Government scheme is to relieve certain basic industries of the country, and the scheme will not achieve its object if we put the dock companies and others in that position, because they will not be able to carry out the fundamental obligation of the scheme. The hon. Lady referred to the words of the Amendment and said that the Judges would see very little difference in the change that has been made.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I said I was afraid that that would be so. I was most careful not to speak dogmatically.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I should have thought that the first thing the Judges would say, when they came to interpret the paragraph refered to, would be "Ah, there has been a considerable alteration made in the phraseology. In place of the old words which we have interpreted so frequently in the Courts there have been incorporated some, other words." There has been a considerable change made, and there is very little likelihood that the fear of the hon. Member will be realised. My right hon. Friend the Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman) made one of those contributions which we always appreciate in our Debates. He asked a question about the private dock, and as to what test would be applied to decide whether a private dock was used partly for private traffic and partly for public traffic. If the right hon. Gentleman will refer to Clause 5, paragraph (c), he will see that it deals with an undertaking where a substantial portion of the business is concerned with public traffic. 1627 Therefore the test to be applied, before a private dock is put in the position which I understand the right hon. Gentleman desires, is whether or not a substantial portion of the business is concerned with public traffic. With regard to his next point, he will remember that assessment committees can always amend the lists in order to meet the varying circumstances of the particular hereditament.
He also said that other undertakings, which he did not define, might be in direct competition with the railway companies. I wondered as he was speaking of what undertakings he was thinking, because the relief which is being given by the pool is only going for the use of certain trades, and I wondered what undertakings could be considered in direct competition with the railway companies in that case. One of the reasons why the Government have endeavoured to give this relief is the fact that railway companies are in a rather peculiar position. I am not sure that I have properly appreciated the point put by the hon. Member for Poplar (Mr. March). As I gather he put the case of some contractor dealing with a railway company, and argued that the fact that the railway garage was coming within the scheme would give some advantage to the railway company. I fail to see that. In the first place, railways have to pay the Petrol Duty for any petrol they use and, in the second place, any revenue they may receive in respect of the garage goes to the pool and, therefore, I cannot see how the apprehensions of the hon. Member can possibly arise. However, I will study his speech further because I may not have done full justice to it.
Finally, let me read a statement I have prepared on the general position. It will sum up the matter and also answer the questions which have been raised. A dock owned by a railway company is considered to belong to a dock undertaking, as such. Warehouses in docks will be treated alike, whether they belong to a railway company or a dock pure and simple. Docks, whether they are owned by a railway company or canal or dock authority, will be treated exactly alike and warehouses belonging to any of them will be de-rated or not accordingly as they are used primarily for transport or 1628 storage. Finally the warehouses which are to be re-dated irrespective of user are those which are connected with railways, but any relief obtained by railways in respect of them must be handed on to the selected trades. I have endeavoured to meet the difficult points which have been put by various hon. Members and I hope I have made some contribution to the Debate. I am sure the Committee will agree that my right hon. Friend and myself have tried our best to meet a very difficult situation.
I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for the explanation which he has given. I take it that what he has just read is what the Minister intends. I wonder whether they will look more carefully into the drafting and see whether it actually carries out what they intend. If that is what they intend and it is put into the Bill, I think the Committee might accept it.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I beg to move, in page 8, line 3, at the end, to add the words:Provided that where the part of the net annual value of the hereditament attributable to purposes other than transport purposes does not exceed 10 per cent. of the part thereof attributable to transport purposes the hereditament shall Be treated as if it were occupied and used wholly for transport purposes, and where the part of the net annual value attributable to such other purposes exceeds 10 per cent. of the part thereof attributable to transport purposes the part attributable to such other purposes shall not be treated as being attributable to those other purposes except in so far as it exceeds 10 per cent. of the part attributable to transport purposes.The essence of the Amendment is that the word "primarily" in the Bill is very vague indeed. We have dealt with this and similar questions in three ways in this Bill. When we were dealing with a factory business which has a very small non-industrial hereditament beside it, we said that unless there is 10 per cent., it shall not count at all. That is a very comfortable way of dealing with the question; and that is the way we deal with it in Clause 4. In this Clause we are dealing with buildings, some of which are of an exactly similar character. In this Amendment we are dealing with freight transport hereditaments which have a very small portion not used for freight and transport. It is strongly 1629 urged that it would be to the convenience of dock authorities if this concession which we made in the case of a factory can be made to them. If you have a factory with less than 10 per cent. as a non-industrial hereditament you say to the proprietor that he need not trouble to send up his claim because "we will not bother about the 10 per cent." Is there any reason, when you are dealing with a great transport undertaking which has a little corner which is not freight transport, why you should not deal with them in precisely the same manner as you deal with a factory. This is not a controversial matter; it is a matter of business, and the view, strongly expressed, is that it would be a great convenience if a dock undertaking had not to consider these details. Where you have a warehouse with quite a trivial corner used for storage, less than 10 per cent., you might cut it out altogether. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I think I am right in saying that this Amendment was put down before the Amendment which we have just passed, and I put it to the Committee that the method we have now adopted makes this Amendment quite unnecessary and, indeed, impossible. We have taken another method. We have said that the distinction between the various parts of an hereditament which are to be considered as used for transport purposes and those which are not, is to be decided according as the building, yard or other place, is primarily used for the one or the other. Having decided that you cannot say that you will bring in this 10 per cent. provision. I put it to the hon. Member that the very points which she criticised in the original drafting of the Bill would appear again under her proposal, and that they have already been met by the proposal which the Committee have just carried. She says: why give these proprietors all the trouble of picking out this part and that, measuring up this floor space and that floor space, and deciding what valuation is to be attached to this part or that. We have done away with all that by the last Amendment. All that has to be done now is to take any particular building and decide primarily whether it is being used for storage or transport. There is no question of measuring and valuing.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
My point is that the words "except in so far as any part" are in the Amendment which we have just carried.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
We are to find out whether it does include 10 per cent., and in order to find that out we have to find if the buildings are, as the hon. Member says, used partly for one purpose and partly for another, one floor used for one purpose and another floor used for another; a surveyor will have to go in and make an exhaustive examination, measure up all the respective parts and say whether they amount to 10 per cent. of the whole. All that is avoided by the Amendment we have just carried. Then the analogy between docks and industrial hereditaments is a false one. In the case of industrial hereditaments you are dealing with a large number of small people, and whether you include or not in the de-rating proposals certain parts of those factories which are not strictly used for productive purposes, nobody is affected except the owner of the factory; but in the case of the docks you have a whole area treated as one hereditament and if you say that 10 per cent. is being used for transport and 10 per cent. for another purpose, it is 10 per cent. of a large amount of value, it will represent a considerable amount of value. It might mean that you would bring in warehouses which themselves are of considerable value, and it would react on persons who own warehouses which are not part of a dock and who are competing with the docks. They would have a just grievance if this 10 per cent. were applied to the dorks and not to them. The Amendment is now inconsistent with the proposal the Committee have just accepted, and I hope they will reject it.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
We put forward the Amendment mainly in order to avoid the intricate valuations which were necessary under the original drafting of Clause 6, but I think the form of words the Committee have just passed will avoid that better than this Amendment. For my part, I do not propose to press the Amendment after the alterations which have been made by the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
In the circumstances, I think it wise to withdraw the 1631 Amendment at this stage, but if it does appear that there is any difficulty I shall raise the point again on the Report stage.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 202; Noes, 117.1633
|Division No. 249.]||AYES.||[5.30 p.m.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Gates, Percy||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hon. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Grace, John||Oakley, T.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (W'th's'w, E.)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Penny, Frederick George|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Hacking, Douglas H.||Perring, Sir William George|
|Atkinson, C.||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Harney, E. A.||Preston, William|
|Bainlel, Lord||Harris, Percy A.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Hartington, Marquees of||Remer, J. R.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Bethel, A.||Haslam, Henry C.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hilton, Cecil||Sandon, Lord|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hohier, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Savery, S. S.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berke, Newb'y)||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Sheffield, Sir Berkeley|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Buchan, John||Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n&Kinc'dlne, C.)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Burman, J. B.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whlteh'n)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Hurd, Percy A.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hurst, Gerald B.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hutchison, Sir G. A. Clark||Steel, Major Samuel Strong|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt, R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Iveagh, Countess of||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord H. (Ox. Univ.)||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Jephcott, A. R.||Tasker, R. Inigo|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Templeton, W. P.|
|Chilcott, Sir Warden||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Lamb, J. Q.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunei||Livingstone, A. M.||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Couper, J. B.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Waddington, R.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Loder, J. de V.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Looker, Herbert William||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lougher, Lewis||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Lynn, Sir R. J.||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Dixey, A. C.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Dixon, Captain Rt. Hon. Herbert||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Ellis, R. G.||McLean, Major A.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Macmillan, Captain H.||Wilson, R. H. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Margesson, Captain D.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Fenby, T. D.||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Fermoy, Lord||Meller, R. J.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Forrest, W.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Freemantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Moles, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Captain Bowyer and Major The|
|Gaibraith, J. F. W.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Marquess of Titchfield.|
|Ganzonl, Sir John||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Ammon, Charles George||Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Attlee, Clement Richard||Barker, G. (Monmouth, Auertillery)|
|Barnes, A.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Barr, J.||Hirst, G. H.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Scurr, John|
|Bowerman, Bt Hon. Charles W.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Sexton, James|
|Briant, Frank||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Broad, F. A.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Shinwell, E.|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kelly, W. T.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kennedy, T.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kirkwood, D.||Smillie, Robert|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lawrence, Susan||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Connolly, M.||Lawson, John James||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Cove, W. G.||Lee, F.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lindley, F. W.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lunn, William||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Day, Harry||Mac Donald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)|
|Dennison, R.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Duncan, C.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dunnlco, H.||March, S.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Maxton, James||Varley, Frank B.|
|Gillett, George M.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Viant, S. P.|
|Gosling, Harry||Montague, Frederick||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermilne)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Morris, R. H.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Greenall, T.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Murnin, H.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Naylor, T. E.||Westwood, J.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Oliver, George Harold||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Groves, T.||Palin, John Henry||Whiteley, W.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Paling, W.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Potts, John S.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hardie, George D.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Windsor, Walter|
|Hartshorn, Rt. Hon. Vernon||Riley, Ben||Wright, W.|
|Hayday, Arthur||Ritson, J.|
|Hayes, John Henry||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Charles Edwards.|