HC Deb 06 February 1929 vol 224 cc1875-905

I beg to move, in page 11, line 10, at the end, to insert the words: and, after the passing of this Act, any burgh or the combination of any two or more burghs forming a united burgh and containing a population of 20,000 or upwards shall, for all purposes whatsoever, on application to the Secretary of State be deemed to be a large burgh. In the past, in the natural order of things, amalgamations of adjoining burghs have taken place when those burghs saw that amalgamation was desirable for administrative efficiency. In those cases amalgamations were sought in order to secure unification of their administrative machinery and their administrative services. I am quite sure that as the burghs grow this tendency will naturally increase, and I feel certain that no Member of the Committee would desire to retard it. The simple purpose of my Amendment, a purpose which is not served by any other part of the Bill, so far as I can see, is to provide that after the passing of this Bill the general provisions of it relating to large burghs shall be applicable to any new combination or amalgamation of burghs provided that the united burgh contains a population of 20,000 or upwards. It would be an impossible situation, unfair and inequitable, that a burgh with a population to-day, or at the last Census, of 20,500 should have conferred on it all the advantages and the status of a large burgh, while a united burgh which comes into being perhaps 12 months hence or earlier, with a population of 39,000, should be placed under county administration and refused the status of a large burgh. So far as I can see, there is nothing in the Bill to provide for such a situation.

The Secretary of State, it is true, has put down Amendments relating to the future position of united burghs, for instance, the position of Royal burghs, which retain their status, if they unite with burghs other than Royal burghs. It is true, also, that he has put down an Amendment to provide that where two or more burghs are united the whole of the functions of the councils of such burghs shall vest in the council of the united burgh. But the Committee will observe that this Clause relates to unifi- cation as defined in Schedule 2 and all the burghs referred to in Schedule 2 are small burghs; their status is not changed, and naturally they come under county administration. The direct and definite-issue raised in this Amendment is this, will the amalgamation later of two-burghs, if the united burgh contain a population of 20,000 or upwards, result in that united burgh being given the status of a large burgh and being placed automatically outside county administration? That is the object I want to secure, and it is in order to get a definite statement from the Government as to their intentions that I am moving my Amendment.


As I understand this Amendment, the Mover of it desires to make clear what will happen in the case of any burgh or the combination of any two or more burghs forming a united burgh with a population of 20,000 after the passing of this Bill.


Would my Amendment secure that object?


Yes, Sir. The question is whether future increases in population should automatically bring such a combination of burghs within the purview of this Bill as large burghs. We have a precedent for this Clause in the Act of 1889, and the principle involved was settled by Section 104 of that Act. If there was good reason for this proposal at that time, there is a much stronger reason for introducing it in this Bill. The question is whether a burgh with a population of over 20,000 which has been arrived at by amalgamation with other burghs should automatically become a large burgh, or whether that should be done by Provisional Order or a Bill promoted in this House.

Everyone realises that the question of the transference of functions, property, and other liabilities ought not to be done automatically, and that is a question which should be settled at the time of the passing of the Bill by special provision dealing with any particular burgh. It is not really practicable for burghs at a later date, in view of the allocation of the grant and the transference of services, to come into this scheme automatically in later years. That would involve a complete rearrangement of all the services which are settled at the initial stages of this Bill. That is why no provision has been made for any future decrease of population. For these reasons, we prefer that this matter should be dealt with on its own special footing.

With regard to any possible amalgamations which the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy (Mr. T. Kennedy) may have in mind, if those almalgamations could be effected before this Bill passes, it would be perfectly simple to include them in this Measure. I understand that that might be accomplished in one case which the hon. Member has in mind. If the hon. Member waits until the Bill is passed, then what he requires will be a very difficult thing to arrange, because the conditions will have changed in some areas. That is why it is necessary to say that it may be perfectly fair and right to do this by amalgamation and then apply to be admitted when they have obtained a population of 20,000.

9.0 p.m.


One of the good points which have been claimed for this Bill is its elasticity. We are now considering a case where elasticity is certainly not in evidence. It will be a great disappointment to find after the passing of this Bill, that we shall not be any further than we are to-day, and that we shall have to go through the same elaborate procedure in the future. If the words of this Amendment are not correct in form, or do not quite meet all the points, surely some phrase could be introduced which will ensure that the central authority can act as arbiter on such matters as the allocation of grant. I think the object of the Amendment can be attained in that way. This Bill has been brought forward in order to give more efficiency by producing larger administrative areas, and consequently everything in the Bill should tend to encourage the further development of that idea. We know many instances in Scotland of fairly large burghs which are adjacent that might be united with very great advantage to those burghs. I know that a large number of people object to these amalgamations, but, if it were possible under this Bill for these burghs to become automatically autonomous local government units, there would be a very great encouragement to go on with such schemes.


You cannot combine those burghs without legislation; you require legislation for a combination.


This is legislation.


If burghs are ready to combine in time to be put into this Bill, we will consider putting them in, but the Amendment deals with combinations which may take place after the passing of this Bill, and that proposal could not be made effective without legislation.


At any rate, it will make the legislation much more complicated and expensive if the question of the allocation of grants has to be dealt with by Act of Parliament, or if it has to be dealt with at Westminster instead of in Scotland. One of the things that has helped to develop Scottish nationalism,. with which we have been familiar lately in its broadest aspect, has been the fact that if one part of Scotland has wanted to amalgamate with another, it has had to come to this House, engage any number of English lawyers, and has been put to the enormous expense of bringing witnesses. All that is perfectly unnecessary since we could do what we want quite well in our own country. It does not seem to be to be beyond the scope of draftsmanship to provide, by a little rearrangement in the Bill, that any combination of burghs, or any burgh developing in a natural way by increase of population, should automatically become a larger burgh after passing the 20,000 population limit, and that any question of grants or allocation of functions which could not be satisfactorily settled between them should be settled by the central authority. It seems to me that the encouragement which the Bill seeks to give to the development of larger areas of administration, and also to economy in. administration, suggests that the Amendment of my hon. Friend is one in spirit with those ideals, and that it would tend to the development of local government and amalgamations and to administrative efficiency. I should be glad, therefore, if the matter could be further considered.


I should be glad if the Lord Advocate would give a little more consideration to this Amendment than he has given to it up to the present. If I understood him aright, he agreed that, if the Amendment were inserted in the Bill, it would make possible the necessary arrangements for the future combination of burghs and for burghs whose population has not yet reached the 20,000 standard but might reach it later. I understood the Lord Advocate to admit that, if this Amendment were put into the Bill, it would accomplish that object.


No. What I said was that I understood the intention of the Amendment to be that that object should be accomplished, but my view was that it was not possible, and that was my objection to the Amendment. It certainly would not be possible by this Amendment alone, though I am not complaining about that.


That brings me to the second point that I want to put to the Lord Advocate. If this Amendment would not accomplish the object that we have in view, would he not consider now, or between now and the Report stage, the putting in of suitable words to accomplish that object?


I do not think it is possible.


If such an arrangement is not made, it will mean that, at any rate for a considerable number of years, the present arrangement will be stereotyped, and the view of my hon. Friends was that, having regard to the costly nature of the process of amalgamation—


If there is no opposition there is no great expense.


I fear that my hon. Friend has not had very much experience of these matters, or he would not talk about there being no great expense. Those of us who have had experience of our local bodies having to come to the House of Commons to get sanction for a change such as that with which this Amendment deals, know that it is a very costly process, and I think that, while we are legislating, it would be wise to frame the legislation so as to leave it open for future combinations of burghs, or burghs that may within a reasonable period have an increase of population beyond the 20,000 standard, to obtain the status of large burghs. Unless that is done, it may happen that a burgh whose population has increased even to 50,000 will still be described as a small burgh. I think it would be wise for the Government and for the House of Commons, as we are legislating, to make provision for the two contingencies dealt with in the Amendment, and I hope that the Lord Advocate has not said his last word on this point.


I should like to join in the appeal that has been made to the Lord Advocate to consider this matter between now and the Report stage. If, as he says, the wording of the Amendment is not suitable, it should not be beyond the ability of the Scottish Office to devise words that would get over the difficulty. I am afraid that it is just the mood in which the Lord Advocate is at the moment that has been responsible for the attitude of the Scottish burghs towards this whole Bill. I do not need to remind the Lord Advocate that fierce hostility has been shown by the burghs towards the whole scheme of the Bill. The Government might have found much more agreement in Scotland had they been willing that there should be a little more come and go than has been shown by either the Secretary of State or the Lord Advocate.

In the case of a burgh that has grown, either naturally, through its population exceeding the 20,000 limit, or by amalgamation, I do not think that any difficulty should be placed in the way of its achieving the position of being a large burgh, with the right to manage its own affairs. In the mood in which the burghs are at present, amalgamations are hardly to be looked for, because, as I have already said, they look upon the whole Measure with suspicion. Consequently, even where burghs have teen considering amalgamation, they do not feel that they are on entirely safe ground in going forward. Either the bigger or the smaller burgh is holding back rather than amalgamate now, because they do not know exactly what their position is going to be after the Bill becomes law. Provision should be made in the Bill for future amalgamation, or for a burgh whose popu- lation exceeds the 20,000 limit gaining the right to be looked upon as a large burgh. I am certain that it is possible in the Measure that is now before us, to include provisions for taking these burghs out of the county scheme and placing them in the position of large burghs. There have always to be these negotiations and comings and goings between burghs and county councils; we have frequent cases of conflict between a county council and a burgh with regard to burgh extension; and there should be no objection to burghs whose population has gone beyond the 20,000 limit being placed in the same position as those which are beyond that limit at the passing of this Measure.

If the Lord Advocate will take a bit of good, sound advice, he will reconsider this matter, and it may bring him the advantage of causing the burghs to look upon this Measure much more favourably than they have up to the present. I dare say the Lord Advocate would be prepared to admit that, apart from the education authorities, the greatest hostility to this scheme has come from the burghs. That is due to the suspicion that has been in the minds of the burghs ever since the scheme was placed before the country. I hope, therefore, that the matter will be reconsidered between now and the Report stage, and that it will be found possible to devise a form of words that will get over the difficulty and allow these large burghs to become established without having to go through the costly process of promoting either Provisional Orders or Private Bills for the purpose. It should be our object to avoid expensive litigation in cases of that kind in the future and I hope the Lord Advocate will consider the matter.


I can follow the point as to the difference between proceeding by Bill or by Provisional Order, but I cannot appreciate the Lord Advocate's following argument that it is necessary from the point of view of practical considerations affecting the grants. I can quite understand that under the new system there will be great changes necessary if you take two burghs out of a county area in applying the grants. But surely if you can alter that as the result of a Provisional Order you can alter it when ft is the effect of natural growth, because the whole thing from the point of view of growth turns on what the grant is to be based on the standard year. The standard year is the same year whether you get powers to become a large burgh or whether it is a case of natural increase or of burghs uniting as suggested in this Amendment or whether in five or 10 years' time you can do it by way of Provisional Order in Parliament. The standard year problem is precisely the same in any case, so I fail to see where the practical argument from the point of view of grants applies. I can quite understand the definition in Clause 59 that a large burgh means one with a population of 20,000 or upwards, but I fail to see in the case of two burghs agreeing to unite, or a burgh increasing in population beyond the figure of 20,000, why the practical difficulty of applying the grants in the standard year, if it can be overcome in the one case, cannot be overcome in the other. That is the problem in my mind, and, although the Lord Advocate's statement was perfectly clear, he did not make clear to my mind what was the difficulty in the one case that did not exist in the other. We ought to have some further statement, because it is a very important matter. I agree that there would be a great loss in a county area if you took, say, the Burgh of Hawick, with a population of 17,900, out of it. In 10 years' time it may exceed 20,000 and may agree to unite with another and get a Provisional Order, and then it will be possible for Parliament to say that it shall become a large burgh. If you can get over the difficulty then, why not now? It seems to be much simpler, either in this form of words or by extending your definition, to make provision without raising the difficulties I foresee in the matter.


The amount of disturbance which will emerge as the result, ex hypothesi, when a burgh with a very large rateable value is taken out of the county unit, is only ascertainable at the time that the legislation is passed. You cannot anticipate: that now, because you do not know in how many years after the present time the disturbance is going to arise. It is not a question of words at all, but of practicability. We could easily find words if the thing were practicable, but in principle it is not practicable. In the other case, it is equally impracticable, and I fear there must be legislation. There is always a certain amount of expense involved, even where there is no objection taken to a proposal and the parties are agreed. In taking away half the area of the medical officer of health, by suddenly dropping what has become a large burgh out of it, you are upsetting the whole scheme, and obviously you can only tell how far it is going to upset it, and what is a fair solution of the difficulty, by knowing the facts at the time when the circumstances arise. It might emerge only three years after the Bill has started working, or 20 or 25 years after, and it would make all the difference in the world whether it was 26 years or only three. The damage would be much more serious in the third year than in the 25th. But it is not practicable by any form of words in this Bill to anticipate fairly a settlement on the basis of which what has become in fact a large burgh by amalgamation or by natural growth should be allowed to drop out of the scheme.


I think the Lord Advocate is agreed that there is no practical difficulty in accepting the Amendment, or in finding a suitable form of words.


No, it is exactly the opposite way. It is not as question of words. It is a question of practical difficulty and nothing else.


The Lord Advocate has been engaged in work of this kind, and he knows quite well that when a burgh is taken out of a county area a certain arrangement has to be come to. We are not suggesting that these arrangements will not still take place, but you can say that, in the future, when we reach a certain population or come to an agreement, the same thing would take place. You can overcome the disturbance to the system by fixing a time limit. You could say one, two, or three years after they have come to a decision, then automatically without any Provisional Order this thing can be put into effect. Some hon. Members seem to think that it is an easy thing to promote a Provisional Order. The last one I heard about cost £ 12,000. It may be that it can be done more cheaply, and it may be that it costs more. We believe in economy, and, if we can put this into an Act of Parliament and save expense, it is only common sense that we should do it.


I gather that the position is to be that, when two burghs wish to unite, they will have not only to satisfy a Committee here in the usual way that the combination is desirable, and will make for efficiency and good government, but that there will also be a new factor, and that is as to whether the combination will upset the balance of the county scheme. Therefore, we must take it that this new arrangement is going to be an additional hampering of the possibilities of unification in the burghs of Scotland. That is a serious point. I understood that the Lord Advocate said that taking a big rateable proposition out of the county was a very serious factor and would have to be considered in the inquiry into the scheme. That is introducing something new, which hitherto the burghs have not had to consider when the possibilities of amalgamation have been brought before them.


I am naturally not satisfied with the attitude of the Lord Advocate on this Amendment, and I ask him to face a possibility—in my opinion it is a probability—of a burgh being placed by the Bill, as it now stands, in the legal category of a small burgh, even though it has a population of 50,000 or more. His statement means that, while the Bill confers the benefits of unification on many small burghs, while it will, for example, confer it on a burgh like Arbroath, he still insists on compelling burghs in the future to incur all the expense and trouble of promoting a Provisional Order. Surely if unification of two burghs or a single burgh give a burgh of 25,000 or over and application is made, then we are entitled to assume that all interests have been taken into account by the burgh represenatives and that they have taken steps to adjust all their interests and relations with county interests with which they were formerly associated. Before this Amendment goes to a Division, I would like to ask the Lord Advocate whether, in the event of two burghs deciding to amalgamate before the passing of this Act and the population of the unified burgh amounting to over 25,000, he is prepared to give that unified burgh the full status of a large burgh and bring it within the scope of this Bill without the necessity for legislation.


No, I cannot, for the reason I have already stated, that I do not think it is possible to do so by any kind of words in this Bill. It is for that very reason that in 1889 they tied down the test of a small burgh— though they did not say so in words— to 7,000 as ascertained in 1889 or as ascertained in the Census of 18S1 or to a figure to satisfy the Secretary of State. One of the burghs, which, I understand, was at that time under 7,000 and is a small burgh for the purpose of the Act of 1889 at the present day, is the burgh of Clydebank, which at present has a population of 46,000 persons. It is a practical

question. I have already detained the Committee as long as I can in explaining how difficult it is to anticipate events. We have to anticipate, not only the question of agreement, but the question of dispute between the county and the burgh which gets out of it. I have not heard anything suggested from the opposite side which would lead me, however willing, to take the course which they suggest.

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

The Committee divided: Ayes, 100; Noes, 170.

Division No. 176.] AYES. [9.33 p.m.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Palln, John Henry
Adamson, W. M. (Staff, Cannock) Grundy, T. W. Paling, W.
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bllston) Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton) Ponsonby, Arthur
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll) Potts, John S.
Barnes, A. Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Ritson, J.
Barr, J. Hardie, George D. Saklatvala shapurji
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Hayday, Arthur Scrymgeour, E.
Broad, F. A. Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Scurr, John
Bromfield, William Hirst, G. H. Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Bromley, J. Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Crown, Ernest (Leith) Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Shinwell, E.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) John, William (Rhondda, West) Smillie, Robert
Clark, A. B. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Stamford, T. W.
Cluse, W. S. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Stephen, Campbell
Clynes, Right Hon. John R. Kennedy, T. Strauss, E. A.
Compton, Joseph Kirkwood, D. Sullivan, Joseph
Connolly, M. Lansbury, George Sutton, J. E.
Cove, W. G. Lee, F. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Pialstow)
Crawfurd, H. E. Lindley, F. W. Thurtle, Ernest
Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh) Longbottom, A. W. Tomllnson, R. P.
Dennison, R. Lowth, T. Townend, A. E.
Duncan, C. Lunn, William Viant, S. P.
Dunnico, H. MacDonald. Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon) Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Edge, Sir William Mackinder, W. Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Wellock, Wilfred
Gardner, J. P. MacNeill-Weir, L. Welsh, J. C.
Glbbins, Joseph Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Westwood, J.
Gillett, George M. Maxton, James Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.) Morris, R. H. Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Graenall, T. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Windsor, Walter
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Mosley, Sir Oswald Wright, W.
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Murnin, H.
Griffith, F. Kingsley Oliver, George Harold TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Hayes.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Dalkeith, Earl of
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C. (Berks, Newb'y) Davies, Dr. Vernon
Applln, Colonel R. V. K. Buchan, John Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)
Apsley, Lord Burman, J. B. Dixey, A. C.
Atkinson, C. Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Alton) Edmondson, Major A. J.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Elliot, Major Walter E.
Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Chapman, Sir S. Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Charterls, Brigadier-General J. Everard, W. Lindsay
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Clarry, Reginald George Fairfax, Captain J. O.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Clayton, G. C. Falle, Sir Bertram G.
Berry, Sir George Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Fanshawe, Captain G. D.
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Flelden, E. B.
Blundell, F. N. Couper, J. B. Ford, Sir P. J.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Courtauld, Major J. S. Forestler-Walker, Sir L.
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Forrest, W.
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend) Foster, Sir Harry S.
Brittain, Sir Harry Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Frece, Sir Walter de
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Llndsey, Galnsbro) Fremantle, Lt. Col. Francis E.
Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart) Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)
Galbraith, J. F. W. Maclntyre, Ian Skelton, A. N.
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Macmillan, Captain H. Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Mac Robert, Alexander M. Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Grant, Sir J. A. Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Smithers, Waldron
Hacking, Douglas H. Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.
Hamilton, Sir George Milne, J. S. Wardlaw- Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Hanbury, C. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Harland, A. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Harrison, G. J. C. Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Moreing, Captain A. H. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Them, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Nuttall, Ellis Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Henderson. Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Oakley, T. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough
Henn, Sir Sydney H. Penny, Frederick George Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Hilton, Cecil Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Ward, Lt.-Col.A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Warrender, Sir Victor
Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Pilcher, G. Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Hopkins, J. W. W. Pownall, Sir Assheton Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Preston, Sir Walter (Cheltenham) Wells, S. R.
Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S. Price, Major C. W. M. White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Radford, E. A. Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Hume, Sir G. H. Raine, Sir Walter Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Reid, Capt. Cunningham(Warrington) Winby, Colonel L. V.
Hurst, Gerald B. Rhys, Hon. C. A. U. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Iveagh, Countess of Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y) Withers, John James
Kennedy, A. R. (Preston). Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford) Wolmer, Viscount
King, Commodore Henry Douglas Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford) Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Lamb, J. Q. Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A. Wragg, Herbert
Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)
Loder, J. de V. Rye, F. G.
Looker, Herbert William Sandeman, N. Stewart TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Sanders, Sir Robert A. Major Sir George Hennessy and
Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Savery, S. S. Captain Margesson.

Question, "That the proposed words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.


I beg to move, in page 11, line 10, at the end, to insert the words: Provided that any intervening county territory shall be included within the burghs so united, and the Secretary of State, subject to the provisions of this Act, on submission by the town and county clerks, jointly or severally, of a plan showing the boundaries and the territory to be so included, shall by order approve of a plan so submitted, or make such alterations thereon as he deems proper.


On a point of Order. Perhaps it may be convenient if I remind the hon. Member that under my right hon. Friend's proposal there will be no such case as that contemplated in the Amendment. Therefore, the Amendment is not required.


I could give illustrations of such cases.


Not under the Bill, with my right hon. Friend's Amendments


The object of the Amendment is to avoid unnecessary expense in connection with the taking over of territory, and to give powers to the Secretary of State to approve the plan of the territory to be included or make necessary alterations.


The Amendment relates to two or more burghs which are united by my right hon. Friend's proposals in pursuance of Sub-section (1). Sub-section (1) unites the burghs mentioned in the Second Schedule. Of the burghs which are mentioned in the Second Schedule, there are two instances of burghs which have bits of counties in them. One instance is the burgh of Prestonpans, which, with the burgh of Cockenzie and Port Seton, forms the second paragraph of the Schedule, and the other is paragraph 3, the burghs of Kilrenny, Anstruther Easter, Anstruther Wester and Pittenweem. Pittenweem is separated from the other three burghs by an intervening bit of county territory. Under the Amendments which my right hon. Friend has put down to the Schedule, No. 2 disappears out of the list, and Pittenweem disappears out of No. 3. Those are the only instances of intervening county territory being affected, and, assuming the carrying of the Government proposal, this Amendment is really unnecessary.


I think the Lord Advocate is a little too previous. It is quite true that with regard to those that are mentioned in the Schedule that may be the case. But as the Bill is going through the House various burghs are specially interested in what is taking place. It may quite well be, for example, that the burghs represented in Ayr burghs, face to face with the fact that their representative in this House has not been able to persuade the Government to take them out, will now come to the Government. Suppose Ardrossan and the neighbouring town council pass resolutions agreeing to combine so as to become a larger burgh, and they come to the Government and want to be included in the Schedule? There you have a case. All these contiguous burghs in Scotland are in the position that they did not know whether their representatives would be able to persuade the Government to protect their interests, and now, the Bill having passed so far, it is probable that many town councils will take action in order to protect themselves. This Amendment would provide for those cases. It is quite true that there is nothing definite, but anyone who has been in touch with the districts knows that there has been much talk about the possibility of that being done.

With regard to the burghs that are mentioned in the Schedule, the Lord Advocate said that it was all clear in their case now, and that nothing further was necessary. But there is another Sub-section with which we are dealing to-night, and the Secretary of State is taking to himself the powers of a Mussolini to deal with anything in case anything has been omitted. If no burghs come into this position in future there will be no harm done by passing the Amendment, but if there be some of these burghs, and we find that there has been a mistake made in regard to areas, we shall have provided for it. From my knowledge of the Scottish Office and the present regime, I shall be surprised if we do not discover later that there are many things of which no account has been taken.

Amendment negatived.


I beg to move, in page 11, line 10, at the end, to insert the words: (3) Where a burgh being a royal burgh is united in pursuance of this Section with a burgh other than a royal burgh, the royalty of the royal burgh shall be extended to comprehend the burgh other than the royal burgh, and where any burgh included in a united burgh is for the purpose of any statutory provision a Parliamentary burgh the united burgh shall for the purpose of such statutory provision be deemed to be a Parliamentary burgh. This Amendment is to make it clear that in the case where a royal burgh is united by force under this Bill with another burgh which is not a royal burgh, the royalty of the old royal burgh shall be extended to coincide with the boundaries of the extended burgh. There are many reasons why that is advisable, but none more important than that of making it clear that it will be a continuing of the old royal burgh and the preservation of that sentiment which we are all anxious to preserve as far as we can. Similarly, the second part of the Amendment makes it clear that where a Parliamentary burgh is combined in the same way, the united burgh is, for the purpose of the statutory provisions, to be deemed to be a Parliamentary burgh.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, in page 11, lint: 22, to leave out paragraph (a).

This is a drafting Amendment, and is coupled with another Amendment which is to be moved later to insert a new Subsection (5). The purpose of the two Amendments together is to apply automatically the provisions of the Bill and not to make that dependent on an Order by the Secretary of State.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, in page 11, line 30, at the end, to insert the words: (5) Where two or more burghs are united in pursuance of the foregoing provisions of this Section, the whole functions of the councils of such burghs shall be transferred to and vest in the council of the united burgh, and the provisions of this Act relating to the transfer of and compensation to officers shall apply in like manner as they apply in the case of. officers of parish councils


I beg to move, as an Amendment; to the proposed Amendment, in line 4, after the word "officers," to insert the words: provided that nothing in this Section shall operate so as to take from the burgesses and ratepayers of a burgh possessed of a common good, the right to, and exclusive property in, such common good. I am moving this Amendment in order to obtain a declaration from the Secretary of State simply for greater accuracy. There is, in many parts of the House, a feeling of misapprehension, which I do not share, as to whether small burghs mentioned in the First Schedule are in any way prejudiced in any funds which they may have as their own peculiar property. I shall be perfectly satisfied if the Secretary of State would give an assurance on that head—that beyond those items in the First Schedule the small burghs are not in any way prejudiced in their existing position.


The common good of the Royal burghs of Scotland is familiar to many people, and it is quite certain that under this Bill the common good qua common good will not be affected in any way. There have been cases where the common good has been used to supply a building for the purpose of another department of the burgh, and in every case, as far as I can ascertain, that building has been turned over to the department. It may happen, therefore, that that building is part of the health equipment of the burgh and will fall under the institutions which have been transferred under Clause 2, but that it is no longer part of the common good in any real sense. I thought it only fair to mention that so that there should be no misapprehension. The property of the common good of the burgh is not affected by any transferred provisions of this Bill found in Clause 2. That is the point on which, I understood, the hon. Gentleman desired reassurance.


This is practically the only occasion in this Bill in which any reference at all is made to what is a very important item in the property of many of these Scottish burghs, namely, the common good. It is important that we should be perfectly clear as to what is transferred under the earlier Clauses of the Measure, and as to the precise effect of this Clause. Am I right in understanding from the Lord Advocate that the position would be as follows? We will take quite a common case of a burgh in Scotland which owns farms or land that I would describe as the common good, in the use of which the burgh has considerable freedom at the present time in the use of their powers and duties under the ordinary legislation covering burghal administration. Unless I am wrong that, quite clearly, under all the changes of this Bill, remains indisputably the property of the burgh, but according to the Lord Advocate, if the common good has taken the form of some building or property which has become part of the public health administration, then, as I understand it, that goes to the county authorities or to the bodies to which these properties, powers and duties are transferred under this Bill. Is that the state of affairs, and is that quite clearly safeguarded under the Clauses as they are now drawn?

10.0 p.m.


Undoubtedly, in my opinion, it is perfectly clear. The common good has to be kept in a separate account, and I think it is quite clear that if, out of the common good, any building is built for the common good and for the benefit, say, of the public health department, that building must be transferred when set up to the public health department account. I mention that for the purpose of greater accuracy. That has become part of the public health equipment, and it is liable to be transferred under the transferred Clause as part of the public health equipment. But it is no longer part of the common good or of the common good account, and there is nothing in the Bill that can directly touch or affect the common good account. We are talking, of course, of transfer under Clause 2, but this point has been raised in another Clause in regard to a different matter, the combining of county councils and uniting burghs, under Clause 10. Where you are uniting the burghs, the common good extends equally with the royalty. This has been done in Edinburgh every time the royalty has been extended.


I do not in the least dispute what the Lord Advocate said about the property falling within the public health administration, and, of course, what he says about Edinburgh is also quite accurate, but only for the first time have we noticed in connection with this Bill, and more particularly under the powers of transfer in the earlier part of the Bill, that there is no specific provision safeguarding the common good. I am not arguing for a moment that it is intended by the Government to make an inroad upon that, but now I can see the possibility of a difficulty of that kind emerging. Accordingly, I think it would be better to insert a provision in the Bill putting the ordinary common good of the burgh as divorced from any properties so hypothecated.


May I be allowed to refer to the case where a burgh has, out of its common good, provided a clinic? The value of that asset still remains in the common good fund, and is to that extent security for the borrowing of the burgh. If under this Act that clinic, being now part of the health administration, passes over as an asset to the county, there is taken from the burgh one of the assets used as security for borrowing. It is taking an asset from the common good account of the burgh and leaving a liability in the common good account. Therefore, I think the Secretary of State might give some consideration to such a possibility, and perhaps he could insert some Clause before the Report stage which would give us greater assurance, and which would relieve anxiety.


We should be only too glad to consider any such point. Of course, one does not want or desire to touch property, but I should be surprised if such were the case. The liability retained is not necessarily the liability of the Health Department. I am quite willing to reconsider this point, but I am unable to conceive anything about the transfer which could be held by any stretch of language to include the common good.


I should not hesitate to say that under Clause 2, when you come to transfer these functions to the town councils, it is very likely that a difficulty of this kind may emerge. I am satisfied if the Lord Advocate will undertake to look into it, and put the common good beyond the shadow of a doubt into the Bill later.


This is a matter which is greatly troubling certain of the burghs in my constituency. They are not satis- fied that under the Bill the common good is safeguarded. The common good in one of the burghs in my constituency has been used as an asset by which they have been able to raise money on cheaper terms than they could have done otherwise. It is of the greatest importance that the Government should make it clear, beyond any doubt whatsoever, that the asset which the common good is to these burghs shall be in no way affected by this Bill I am quite sure that that is the intention of the Government; but, as it stands in the Bill, it is not clear, and I ask the Government to make it clear before the Report stage that nothing will touch the common good.


As to the question of the common good being used as an asset, may I ask, if you take from the common good certain services now rendered by it, what is to be the position?

Amendment to proposed Amendment negatived.


I beg to move, in page 11, line 31, to leave out Sub-section (5).

I think it is quite obvious that the combinations proposed in this Clause are not very happy ones, and I understand that the last two of them have been dropped. Even in regard to No. 3, which I understand is being dropped, I believe there is still a difference of opinion. It is obvious that these suggestions have been made without any proper consultation with the local authority, and I think that has been a very bad feature. I know, at least in regard to some of the burghs which are in a similar position, that the first intimation they got of it was when it was in the Bill. The only hope of success of combinations of this kind is to secure the good will of the localities beforehand. There is always a natural objection to uniting, especially, I think, with a near neighbour. Very often the nearer the neighbours are, the less likely they are to appreciate the prospect of being joined together.


Perhaps it would be for the convenience of the Committee if the three Amendments were taken together, because they all hang together. There has been considerable feeling with regard to the amalgamation of burghs, but it has not aroused anything like the feeling which has been created by the proposal to amalgamate the counties when that has been done without consultation with the local authorities.


The Amendments to which the hon. Member refers are, no doubt, of the same nature, but they do not apply to the same places, and I think it will be necessary to take one Amendment at a time.


I do not see how we can discuss wiping out Sub-section (5) without discussing the details, and the other Amendments refer to the details.


I do not think that the hon. Member quite understands the position. The Amendment now before the Committee is an Amendment to leave out the whole of Sub-section (5). On that, of course, a general discussion can take place on the question of the populations dealt with in Sub-section (5), but when you come to the other special combinations, they will have to be dealt with separately on their own merits.


It will certainly save discussion if we discuss the details now.


The more that is said now, the less perhaps will be said on the Amendments that follow.


The proposed combination of Kinross and Perthshire is a very unhappy one, and I hope that the County of Kinross is going to be allowed to retain its identity in the same way as Nairn and Moray. It may be more economical and more advantageous for small counties to be amalgamated to large counties, but those small counties are particularly proud of their county associations and identities. Those who have had control of local administration in these counties will feel that in an amalgamation such as is proposed the whole identity of the county will have gone. With regard to the proposed combination of Kinross and Perth I do not know why Perth has been chosen. As far as Kinross has any connection with any other county, it is with the county of Fife. The only exception is in the matter of the Parliamentary representation which is shared with Perth. As regards local services, the joint services are all shared with Fife and not with Perth. The sheriff of Fife is the sheriff of Kinross, and the chief constable of Fife is the chief constable of Kinross. There is a joint sanatorium for Fife and Kinross, and, in many other ways, these two counties are working together in local services. If there is any intention of amalgamating Kinross with any other county it should be with Fife, and certainly not with Perth. But my main contention is that Kinross should be allowed to retain its identity and that there should be no amalgamation of counties in Scotland.

The Government have done quite enough injury to local government in Scotland by amalgamating the burghs against the will of the. burghs without also forcing on the counties an amalgamation which the counties do not desire The Government have already dropped 50 per cent. of their proposals in this respect. The hon. and gallant Member for Bute (Sir A. Hunter-Weston) has been successful in getting the identity of the county of Bute retained and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will reconsider this particular case also. It will do a great deal to allay feeling in these areas if he allows them to carry on their own local services, as they have done in bygone years, especially in view of the fact that the burgh of Kinross is to lose certain of its local services which will be transferred to the county council. If there is to be any amalgamation at all. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not overlook the claims of Fife and the services which Fife has rendered to Kinross.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he is dealing with the case of Bute under this Amendment?


I hope the Secretary of State in his reply will deal with the case of Moray and Nairn which I have brought before him on various occasions both personally and by correspondence. Recently, the right hon. Gentleman has received a petition signed by a large percentage of the inhabitants of the county of Nairn, and I think he will agree that it is natural that the county of Nairn, being the smaller community, should be very apprehensive as to its position under the proposed amalgamation. The White Paper shows that whereas Moray will have 35 members on the joint county council, Nairn will only have 12, and Nairn will therefore, in certain respects, be completely at the mercy of Moray—that is in respect of these services. I thank the right hon. Gentleman for giving me this opportunity of calling his attention to this point and I hope he will be able to reconsider the position of Nairn.


I am sure that everyone will agree that what my hon. Friend the Member for Moray and Nairn (Mr. Stuart) has just said deserves very careful consideration, as indeed does this whole problem. Let me explain that the sole object of the Government in bringing about these combinations is to ensure that, just as the small burghs which are being combined, being incapable of themselves of bearing the burden of the great public health services and developing for their people those services which are essential to the life of the community, so it is essential that in some cases, fortunately in very few, certain counties in Scotland should be amalgamated for the carrying out of these services. If it is urged that the distinctive position of these counties should be maintained, the reply of course is that it is being maintained. Nothing in this Clause is going to take away from the county of Kinross its distinctive position either in name or as a county. It remains, and it retains its own local county council.

So far as this Sub-section is concerned —the island of Bute has been struck out, after representations and very careful consideration of the various factors in that particular case—in the case of Kinross and Perth, it was suggested that no consultation or investigation of the circumstances has taken place. That is very far from the case. When the problem of amalgamation was first considered, it did appear that Kinross might well have been amalgamated with the county of Fife, but on investigation, and from the representations made by those who speak for Kinross, it was clear that they desired that the amalgamation should be other than with the county of Fife. In view of the fact that all that the Government and I, personally, are desirous of obtaining is a linking up of the weaker with the stronger for the general welfare of the community, it was obviously a question for consideration whether the county of Kinross should be amalgamated with Fife, or with Clackmannan, or with Perth. After the most careful consideration, and taking into account all the views expressed by those in the counties concerned, I have decided that the amalgamation should be with the county of Perth.

In the case of Moray and Nairn, my hon. Friend will realise that what I have just said about the necessity of combination in the case of Kinross and Perth applies in the same measure to the counties of Moray and Nairn. I realise, of course, the anxieties which must be in the minds of those who have for long held separate sway within their own particular borders, but I must plead with my hon. Friend to try to convey to those who are concerned in this matter the idea that, in fact, they are being combined for the common good of their we communities, and that they retain within their own borders their own identity and control over all the things which are their immediate concern in fact over those major services in which, because of the size of their population and their rateable value, it is inconceivable that they really can play a satisfactory part unless this combination takes place. The apprehension that the counties of Moray and Nairn would he swamped by amalgamation will, from this point of view I think, on further investigation not really have sure foundation. Surely those services which the public demand, and which they have the right to be given, can only properly be administered if those who are working them have the financial ability and area to be able to bear these burdens without undue severity on the general ratepayer. That is the foundation of and the necessity for these amalgamations. As regards the figures in the White Paper, what has been suggested in that Paper, based upon a variety of calculations which are explained, are not final and definite, and, of course, the Government will listen with great readiness to any representations that may be made, and, no doubt, after due consideration, certain alterations may be made.


Is the Island of Bute to remain as a separate unit?


We have excluded it, and are leaving it as a separate unit.


I regret that the Secretary of State for Scotland did not go a little further in explaining who was entitled to speak for the proposed combination of Perthshire and Kinross. I hope that he is not looking at this combination from the point of view of Parliamentary representation. I am aware that there is a combination in Parliamentary representation between Kinross and West Perthshire, but the combination that has been mentioned for county services ought to have greater consideration than any Parliamentary connection. The close and intimate connection presently existing between Perth and Fife with regard to the big county services are considerations which ought to have due weight if a combination be made. If a combination be made, we suggest, for very serious consideration, making the combination of Fife and Kinross instead of Perth and Kinross. There is an old saying in the part of the country to which

the right hon. Gentleman and I belong that, "Next to nae wife, a guid wife is best." The combination that already exists ought to demand his very serious consideration.


Has the Secretary of State for Scotland received any representation from the town council of Millport asking to be attached to Ayrshire? It is their unanimous desire that they should be linked with Ayrshire because of the better services that they are likely to get, so I hope that the Secretary of State for Scotland—

It being half-pant Ten of the Clock the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 12th December, to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment already proposed from the Chair.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the end of line 32, stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 195; Noes, 108.

Division No. 177.1 AYES. [10.30 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Davies, Dr. Vernon Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Dixey, A. C. Hopkins, J. W. W,
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Eden, Captain Anthony Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)
Apsley, Lord Edmondson, Major A. J. Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.
Atkinson, C. Elliot, Major Walter E. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N).
Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith Hume, Sir G. H
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Everard, W. Lindsay Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Fairfax, Captain J. G. Hurst, Gerald B.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Falle, Sir Bertram G. Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Fanshawe, Captain G. D. Iveagh, Countess of
Blundell, F. N. Flelden, E. B. Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Ford, Sir P. J. Kennedy, A. R (Preston)
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Forestier-Walker, Sir L. King, Commodore Henry Douglas
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Forrest, W. Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement
Briscoe, Richard George Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Lamb, J. Q.
Brittain, Sir Harry Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Galbraith, J. F. W. Little, Dr. E. Graham
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Ganzonl, Sir John Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Gates, Percy Loder, J. de V.
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Looker, Herbert William
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C. (Berks, Newb'y) Gllmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman
Buchan, John Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Lumley, L. R.
Burman, J. B. Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S) Hacking, Douglas H. McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Maclntyre, I.
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Hamilton, Sir George Macmillan, Captain H.
Chapman, Sir S. Hanbury, C. MacRobert, Alexander M.
Charterls, Brigadier-General J. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-
Clarry, Reginald George Harland, A. Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Clayton, G. C. Harrison, G. J. C. Margesson, Capt. D.
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Marriott. Sir J. A. R.
Cockerill, Brig-General Sir George Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Mason, Colonel Glyn K.
Couper, J. B. Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Merriman, Sir F. Boyd
Courtauld, Major J. S. Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxt'd. Henley) Milne, J. S. Wardlaw
Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend) Henn, Sir Sydney H. Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Hannessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon B. M.
Crookehank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Galnsbro) Hills, Major John Waller Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Dalkeith, Earl of Hilton, Cecil Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.
Moreing, Captain A. H. Sandeman, N. Stewart Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph Sanders, Sir Robert A. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Sandon, Lord Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough
Nuttall, Ellis Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D. Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Oakley, T. Savery, S. S. Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie Warner, Brigadier-General W. W
Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings) Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.) Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Skelton, A. N. Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome) Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam) Wells, S. R.
Pownall, Sir Assheton Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.) White, Lieut. Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-
Price, Major C. W. M. Smith-Carington, Neville W. Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Radford, E. A. Smithers, Waldron Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Raine, Sir Walter Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) Wilson, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)
Reld, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington) Southby, Commander A. R. J. Winby, Colonel L. P.
Rhys Hon. C. A. U. Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y) Stanley, Lord (Fylde) Withers, John James
Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hersford) Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland) Wolmer, Viscount
Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford) Steel, Major Samuel Strang Womersley, W. J.
Ropner, Major L. Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H. Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A. Streatfeild, Captain S. R. Wragg, Herbert
Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton) Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)
Rye, F. G. Thomson. F. C. (Aberdeen. South)
Salmon, Major I. Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell- TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Tinne, J. A. Mr. Penny and Sir. Victor
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West) Groves, T. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Grundy, T. W. Ponsonby, Arthur
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton) Potts, John S.
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bllston) Hall, G. H. (Marthyr Tydvll) Ritson, J.
Barnes, A. Hamiton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Sakiatvala, shapurji
Barr, J. Hardie, George D. Scrymgeour, E.
Bellamy, A. Hayday, Arthur Scurr, John
Bondfield, Margaret Hayes, John Henry Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Hirst, G. H. Shlels, Dr. Drummond
Broad, F. A Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose) Shinwell, E.
Bromfield, William Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Bromley, J. John, William (Rhondda, West) Smillie, Robert
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Smith, Rennin (Penistone)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Stamford, T. W.
Buchanan, Q. Kennedy, T. Stephen, Campbell
Clark, A. B. Kirkwood, D. Sullivan, J.
Cluse, W. S. Lansbury, George Sutton, J. E.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Lee, F. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)
Compton, Joseph Lindley, F. W. Thurtle, Ernest
Connolly, M. Longbottom, A. W. Tomilnson, R. P.
Cove, W. G. Lowth, T. Townend, A. E.
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Lunn, William Vlant, S. P.
Crawfurd, H. E. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon) Watson, W. M. (Dumfermilne)
Dennlson, R. Mackinder, W. Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Duncan, C. Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Wellock, Wilfred
Dunnlco, H. MacNeill-Weir, L. Weish, J. C.
Edge, Sir William Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Westwood, J.
Gardner, J. P. Maxton, Jamas Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Gibbins, Joseph Mitchell, E. Rotslyn (Paisley) Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)
Gillett, George M. Morris, R. H. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercllffe)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Mosley, Sir Oswald Windsor, Walter
Greenall, T. Murnin, H. Wright, W.
Greenwood. A. (Nelson and Colne) Oliver, George Harold
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Palln, John Henry TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Griffith, F. Kingslay Paling, W. Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Hayes.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)

The CHAIRMAN then proceeded successively to put forthwith the Questions on any Amendments moved by the Government of which notice had been given and the Questions necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at half-past Ten of the Clock at this day's Sitting.

Amendments made:

In page 11, line 37, leave out paragraphs (iii) and (iv).

In page 12, line 6, after the word "councils," insert the words: (reconstituted in accordance with the provisions of this Act).

In. line 12, at the end, insert the words: (c) For the purposes of this Act so far as relating to functions for which the combination shall have effect the joint county council shall be the transferee authority instead of the county councils of the two counties, and any such functions vested at the commencement of this Act in either of the county councils of the two counties shall be transferred to and vest in the joint county council.

In page 12, leave out from the word "of," in line 34, to the word "shall," in line 37, and insert instead thereof the words: "sub-section (2) of section twenty of this Act."

In page 13, line 8, leave out Sub-section (7).—[Sir John Gilmour.]

Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 199; Noes, 111.

Division No. 178.] AYES. [10.42 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Oman, Sir Charles William C.
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Grant, Sir J. A. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William
Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l) Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Hacking, Douglas H. Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)
Apsley, Lord Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Pownall, Sir Assheton
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover) Hamilton, Sir George Price, Major C. W. M.
Atkinson, C. Hanbury, C. Radford, E. A.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Raine, Sir Walter
Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell Harland, A. Reld, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Harrison, G. J. C. Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Barnett, Major Sir Richard Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'te'y)
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Birchall, Major J. Dearman Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Ropner, Major L.
Blundell, F. N. Henderson, Capt R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley) Ruggles-Brlse, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Henn, Sir Sydney H. Rye, F. G.
Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Salmon, Major I.
Briscoe, Richard George Hills, Major John Waller Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Brittain, Sir Harry Hilton, Cecil Sandeman, N. Stewart
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard Sandon, Lord
Braun-Lindsay, Major H. Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Hopkins, J. W. W. Savery, S. S
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C. (Berks, Newb'y) Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie
Buchan, John Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S. Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)
Burman, J. B. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Skelton, A. N.
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Hume, Sir G. H. Smith, Louts W. (Sheffield, Hallam)
Cayzer, Maj, Sir Herbt, R. (Prtsmth, S.) Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) Hurst, Gerald B. Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H. Smithers, Waldron
Chapman, Sir S. Iveagh, Countess of Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Charterls, Brigadier-General J. Jones, Sir G. W. H (Stoke New'gton) Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Kennedy, A. R. (Preston) Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.
Clarry, Reginald George King, Commodore Henry Douglas Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Clayton, G. C. Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Cochrane, Commander Hon, A. D. Lamb, J. O. Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Leigh Sir John (Clapham) Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.
Couper, J. B. Little, Or. E. Graham Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Courtauld, Major J. S. Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Loder, J. de V. Thorn, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)
Crooke, J. Smedley (Derltend) Looker, Herbert William Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)
Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick) Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell
Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Galnsbro) Lumley, L. R. Tinne, J. A.
Dalkeith, Earl of Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Davies, Dr. Vernon McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Maclntyre, Ian Vaunhan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Dixey, A. C. Macmillan, Captain H. Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Eden, Captain Anthony MacRobert, Alexander M. Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.
Edmondson, Major A. J. Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel- Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Elliot, Major Walter E. Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith Margesson, Captain D. Wells, S R
Everard, W. Lindsay Marriott, Sir J. A. R. White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dalrymple-
Fairfax, Captain J. G. Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)
Fanshawe, Captain G. D. Milne, J. S. Wardlaw Wilson, Sir c. H. (Leeds, Central)
Flelden, E. B. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Winby, Colonel L. P.
Ford, Sir P. J. Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Forestler-Walker, Sir L. Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M. Withers, John James
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E. Moore Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Wolmer, Viscount
Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony Moore-Braharon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C. Womersley, W. J.
Galbraith J. F W. Moreing, Captain A. H. Woodcock, Colonel H. C.
Ganzonl, Sir John Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph Wragg, Herbert
Gates, Percy Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)
Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton Nuttall, Ellis
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Oakley, T. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Captain Margesson and Mr. Penny.
Adamson, Rt. Hnn. W. (Fife, West) Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro') Barr, J.
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bllston) Bellamy, A.
Bondfield, Margaret Hardie, George D. Ritson, J.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Hayday, Arthur Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)
Broad, F. A. Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Saklatvala, Shapurji
Bromfield, William Hirst, G. H. Scrymgeour, E.
Bromley, J. Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose) Scurr, John
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath) Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bate) John, William (Rhondda, West) Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Buchanan, G. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Shinwell, E.
Clark, A. B. Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd) Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Cluse, W. S. Kennedy, T. Sitch, Charles H.
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R. Kirkwood, D. Smillie, Robert
Compton, Joseph Lansbury, George Smith, Renin (Penlstone)
Connolly, M. Lee, F. Stamford, I
Crawfurd, H. E. Lindley, F. W. Stephen, Campbell
Dennison, R. Longbottom, A. W. Sullivan, Joseph
Duncan, C. Lowth, T Sutton, J. E.
Dunnico, H. Lunn, William Thorns, W. (West Ham, Plalstow)
Edge, Sir William MacDonald, Rt. Hon.J. R. (Aberavon) Thurtle, Ernest
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness) Tomllnson, R. P.
Forrest, W. Mackinder, W. Townend, A. E.
Gardner, J, P. Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Viant, S. P.
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. MacNeill-Weir, L. Watson, W M. (Dunfermline)
Gibbins, Joseph Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton) Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Gillett, George M. Maxton, James Wellock, Wilfred
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley) Welsh, J. C.
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.) Morris, R. H. Westwood, J.
Greanall, T. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coins) Mosley, Sir Oswald Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianally)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Murnin, H. Williams, T. {York, Don Valley)
Griffith, F. Kingsley Oliver, George Harold Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercilffe)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Palin, John Henry Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Groves, T. Paling. W. Windsor, Walter
Grundy, T. W. Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan) Wright, W.
Hall, F. (York., W.R., Normanton) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll) Ponsonby, Arthur TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Potts, John S. Mr. Haves and Mr. Paling.