§ Sir ROBERT HAMILTON
I beg to move, in page 32, to leave out from the word "heritages," in line 39, to the word "shall," in line 41.
The Clause, as amended, would read:Every occupier of agricultural lands and heritages shall be entitled, on any rate becoming due in respect of such lands and heritages to recover from the owner thereof by retention out of rent or otherwise a sum equal to the amount of the owner's share of such rate multiplied by two and one-half.I do not propose to move the second Amendment which stands in the name of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir A. Sinclair) who I regret is not able to be present to-day—in page 33, line 3, after the word "rate," insert the words: "as is levied in the first complete year after the passing of this Act." The intention of the Amendment which I have pleasure in moving is to take out of the Bill the limitation as it stands and to give to all tenants the full benefit of rate relief provided by the Clause. The position in Scotland is different from the position in England, where the occupier pays the whole of the rates, and it is owing to this difference that difficulties have arisen in the Scottish Bill in endeavouring to see that in the farming part of industry the tenant gets the full benefit of the de-rating. From the discussions that have already taken place, the Government will he well aware that the Opposition are not satisfied that the benefits which go to industry under this Bill are ail going to the right quarter. Although the tenant farmers will benefit materially at the outset, in the course of time the benefit will run off and the major part of what we call the subsidy that is going to industry will go to the landlords, who are not the important 1326 part of the industry. We want to see the tenant farmers getting the full benefits to which they are contributing.
The case has been argued already, but we cannot emphasise too much the actual position of affairs. At the end of seven years, under the Bill, the major benefits of de-rating will go directly to the landlords, and the object of the Amendment is to secure that, as far as possible, and as long as possible the occupier of the land shall retain the benefits given in the Bill. I realise the difficulties that must occur when there comes a break in the lease. There is difficulty in securing that the benefit that is paid to the landlord shall be passed on to the tenant. The Amendment would provide that every occupier of land should continue to have passed on to him his share of whatever benefit goes to the owner. It is admitted that rents go up and that the value of land must increase when burdens are taken off the land. I do not argue that all the landlords will take advantage under the Bill and put up the rents, but we must admit that when burdens are taken off land the land is able to stand a heavier rent and, in the ordinary course of things, the tenant will be asked to pay heavier rent.
I have had inquiries made in Scotland, and I find that that is already being done where breaks have occurred in tenancies. I have had an instance quoted to me where the rent was 21 shillings an acre, and it has already gone up to 27 shillings an acre, directly in consequence of this Bill. When we see that sort of thing occurring, it is perfectly obvious that the benefits which the Bill intended to confer on the tenants are not going in the right direction. If we had land courts to consider the question of fair rents and the relationships between landlord and tenant, the matter would be simpler. That question will be raised on a later Amendment. Here, we have to consider the ordinary relations between the tenant farmer and the landlord.
I will quote some simple instances, in figures which divide easily, which will show how the thing works out. Take a farm with a rental of £240, with rates of 10s. in the pound, half the rates being paid by the owner and half by the occupier. The owner at present pays on 75 per cent. of the rental, namely, £180, at 1327 five shillings, which amounts to £45. The occupier pays on 25 per cent. of the rental, namely, £60, at five shillings, which amounts to £15. In future, both the owner and the occupier will pay on one-eighth of the rental which will mean payment on £30, at five shillings, amounting to £7 10s. The owner's relief will be £37 10s. less the one-half which he has to return to the occupier, namely, £18 15s., which leaves £18 15s. The occupier's relief is £7 10s., plus the one-half which he is to receive from the land-lord, namely, £18 15s., making a total of £26 5s., with the result that the occupier receives £11 5s. when the liability for rates has been discharged. That is only temporary. At the end of his lease, or when a break comes, the occupier will, pay one-eighth on his rental. If his rental remained the same, he would pay £7 10s., 'but we have to remember that he is contributing very largely by means of the Petrol Duty towards the raising of the money which relieves him. Instances have been quoted by the National Farmers' Union of Scotland from which it would appear that a farmer will be paying actually more by way of Petrol Duty than he will receive by way of benefit under the de-rating scheme.
This Amendment is designed, as far as possible, to ensure that the benefit which the farmer is going to get at first shall be continued. The owner-occupier gets the full benefit of de-rating, and in the case which I have quoted his full benefit will be £37 10s., plus £7 10s., totalling £45. To an owner-occupier who, unfortunately, as happened in many cases in Scotland, bought at unreasonably high prices after the War, that relief will be of undoubted benefit. The owner-occupiers represent a considerable percentage of the farmers of Scotland, but we have to bear in mind that the percentage is only about 20 per cent., so that we have still 80 per cent. of the tenant farmers to consider. The whole of the de-rating may be considered in the nature of a subsidy to the agricultural industry, and it is our desire on these benches to see that that subsidy goes to the quarter where it will be most beneficial. What we foresee is that a large portion of the subsidy will, eventually not go into that quarter, but into a quarter which is not the active partner in the 1328 farming industry. The case for the Amendment is self-evident, and I do not think it is necessary for me to argue it further.
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. William Watson)
As the hon. Baronet has already observed in moving the Amendment, this mattes has been very considerably canvassed already, to some extent yesterday and also on Second Reading, and, therefore, I do not propose to detain the Committee very long. I cannot help thinking that there is a wrong principle altogether in this Amendment. The view the Government take is this—I know that many hon. Members opposite do not agree with it—that, in the first place, the landlord has already been recognised under the Acts of 1923 and 1926 as a partner in the industry; secondly, that as the tenant at the present moment is paying only on one-quarter of his annual value, it is impossible in practice to give relief to him in the tenant's share of the rates to such an extent as to bring the measure of relief to the agricultural industry up to anything like the amount it is getting in England under the different system of payment of rates. That being so, we take the view that the landlord ought to get further relief to such an extent as will bring the total relief to the agricultural industry to something equivalent, in fact, a trifle better, perhaps, than what the same industry is getting in England. Consequently, we propose that both the landlord and the tenant shall be rated at only one-eighth of their valuation.
We further thought that as in the case of existing leases and existing tenancies the arrangements for such tenancies had been made in ignorance of this new condition of enlarged measure of relief, it would be fair that some reduction in the rent standing at the present time should be given to the parties in that situation. Therefore, we have provided in the Bill that, during the currency of existing leases, and for a period of seven years in the case of a tacit relocation, and year to year tenancies and smallholders, that the landlord shall pay over, or the tenant shall be able by retention out of his rent to secure, half of the landlord's relief. Observe that our reason for giving that is because we think the rent should be reduced to that extent by reason of the 1329 altered circumstances. That is the broad principle and the broad reason for which we are making that provision, and, clearly, if that is the ground, it would be quite wrong to make perpetual the handing over from the landlord to the tenant. That should only last until the parties are free, in the full knowledge of the new conditions, to make such new bargain as they can come to. That principle, of course, is entirely inconsistent with this Amendment.
I want, for a moment, to consider what is the principle of this Amendment. Its promoters look upon it, as far as I can understand, as being a relief from rates to which the tenant is entitled, and the result of the Amendment would be that the tenant in perpetuity would not only be paying no rates at all, and have no interest in the local government in his area, but he would be receiving a fixed sum in addition as a relief from rates over and above. He would not only be totally de-rated, but he would get as it were some of the rates into his own pocket. I cannot understand the sense or the logic of any such suggestion. There is this further remark to make, and it has been stated before. The hon. Baronet the Member for Caithness (Sir A. Sinclair) stated yesterday:The whole benefit of rating relief will go, must go, over a course of years, and by the operation of the economic law of rent, to the benefit of one partner in the agricultural industry."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th February, 1929; col. 12:35, Vol. 225.]If that be so, what is the use of this Amendment? What difference does it make whether you have it or not. It does not seem to me if that is the view that is held, that hon. Members can in any way support the proposal. For the reasons I have given I much prefer the proposal of the Government which says that in so far as it can fairly be suggested that the parties existing in the relationship of landlord and tenant have made their mutual obligations in ignorance of the increased measure of relief, that should be put right as long as the mutual obligations exist, but as those obligations come to an end, the parties are free, with full knowledge of the condition of things, to make a fresh bargain. But, even under this proposal, they will be free with full knowledge. They would both know if the Amendment went through that there was a perpetual 1330 obligation on the landlord to hand over one-half of his share of the relief in rates to the tenant. Is it suggested that that is not going to be taken into account in fixing the rent? Then what is the use of doing it? There are sound reason, common sense and fairness in the Government's decision, and, as at present advised, I can see no advantage or good reason for the Amendment.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
The plain fact, as I understand it, about this Amendment is that the hon. Gentleman who moved it desires that there should be no limitation as to date. In the Clause as it stands, it is provided that one-half of the landlord's relief shall go to the tenant under existing leases only, and that in fresh leases the landlord shall be entitled to retain whatever he possibly can out of the relief. That does not apply, as the right hon. Gentleman is aware, to other beneficiaries under the Government scheme. The whole of the relief to industrial landlords has to be passed on, as in the case of docks—
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
— —duing the currency of existing leases. I hope the hon. and gallant Member will be able to appreciate the distinction before this Debate is over. The docks are compelled to hand over the relief which they secure under this Bill. In the case of agricultural property, however, the landlord is to be compelled to hand over only one-half of, shall I call it, his share of the swag during the currency of an existing lease. After the existing lease—and the Lord Advocate is aware that leases are falling in every day, and most of them will fall in within seven years' time—the landlord will be able to secure the entire benefit of this de-rating.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
I will go further than the right hon. and learned Gentleman, and say that he will be able to extract the tenant's share in the form of increased rent.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
That may be. It all depends whether rents are rising or falling. I would point out that rents have 1331 been rising in Scotland since the Armistice, and I, for one, do not believe that rents are in the least likely to fall in the face of this subsidy of £1,000,000 per annum to the industry. On the contrary, the tendency will always be for rents to rise. Who are the people who know most about the facts? Obviously, the organised farmers, the gentlemen who call themselves the Farmers' Union of Scotland. I know that the Lord Advocate, or some other member of the Government, will say that there is no evidence that previous relief of rates to the agricultural industry has resulted in increased rent. I have even heard it argued that relief to agriculture in the past has actually meant decreased rent. I was so amazed at that that I asked the Farmers' Union of Scotland if they could give me specific instances to justify their view that rents would rise as a result of this Measure, and I have got some of these instances here. I will give the Lord Advocate the details later if he wants them. I will confine myself to saying that it is the opinion of the executive of the National Farmers Union of Scotland, representing the farmers in Scotland, that the power given to the landlord under this Measure will mean ultimately an increase in land rent.
An increase in land rent will not benefit agriculture. I can understand increased benefits to the producer of the soil. I can understand and support relief to the actual producers in agriculture, but I cannot understand, after all these years of experience, a deliberate policy of handing over £770,000 per Annum to the landlords in Scotland—it is the Government's own estimate—and only £110,000 to the farmers in Scotland. It is quite true that provision is made for one-half of that £770,000 to return to the farmers. That still leaves the landlords with half of the £770,000 as a clear gift to them, and the possibility, if we put it no higher, that they will be able, by one channel or another, to retain the other half of the £770,000. I go further and say that, in the course of time, they will extract from the farmers that additional benefit of £110,000 which the farmers, obviously, in the first instance, are to receive under this Bill. For these reasons, we propose to support 1332 the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir R. Hamilton), because that specifically deletes the limiting phrase in Clause 33, which says that half the relief shall go to tenants only under existing leases. We desire that those limiting words should be removed, and that the entire benefits should go to the active producers, the farmers, and not to the useless burden on the wheel of the machine, the landlords of Scotland.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
The Debate on this Amendment has the usual atmosphere of unreality. Hon. Members opposite seem to be living in the days of a century ago; they do not seem to have any knowledge or appreciation of the state of land ownership in Scotland at the present time. They raise all the old ancient bogies of 100 years ago, and picture the agricultural landlord as a kind of Jewish Isaac Gordon who is bleeding the tenant farmer white. Nothing is further from the truth. The landlords of Scotland have not many votes, and it is very easy to denounce them and try to make party capital, but at the same time, justice should be done to even the smallest class in the country, however unpopular they may be. Hon. Members opposite seem to associate in their minds rural landlords with town landlords, but the former are in a totally different position, and take a very different view of their duties and obligations to town landlords. In the country estates in Scotland, you will find that the same families have rented and farmed the same land for hundreds of years. I could give instances of a number of farmers in my own parish of origin whose ancestors have been on the same farm for centuries. When times were good they paid their rent, and when times were had they were treated with much consideration by the landlord. Really, they and their landlords are in the position almost of being members of one clan, one community. The hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) said that rents were rising.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
They are not rising, and they have not risen since the Armistice. Rents in Scotland have fallen since 1879.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Surely it is common knowledge that after the Corn Production Act rents in Scotland soared, in some cases over 200 per cent.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
No, Sir. That is not the case. There were a, number of landowners who found the burden and responsibility too great for them, not having much capital resources to sustain the land they had, and they took the opportunity of selling their land at high prices. Very high prices were paid, and I am sorry for these gentlemen who bought at these high prices. They trusted in the Corn Production Act, and in so doing they simply trusted the British Government, and it is the British Government that has let them down, not the landowners of Scotland. The real position is that land in Scotland is very much in the same position as land in England. The return upon it is very poor. There is no more unremunerative subject than a parcel of land especially if it is left to agricultural tenants. The suggestion here that the inevitable economic law will take place is all very well, but it does not work out in effect. It is all very well in theory. It is like Ricardo's theory of rent which pictures the cultivators always seeking the more fertile land, whereas in fact they do nothing of the kind, but stay as near where they are born as possible. An apparent difference between English and Scottish tenants has been pointed out by that body which issues innumerable circulars, the Farmers Union of Scotland, the most diligent body in propaganda I have ever known. The secretary is a legal gentleman who believes in proper propaganda. The point he makes is that at the conclusion of seven years, during which the tenant gets half the relief given to the landlord, the landlord in Scotland need not do anything except simply sit still and the rent will remain the same, the landlord will get the benefit,while in England he will have to actually raise the rent.
The economic theory is that if the land of Scotland was suddenly to become infinitely more valuable owing to improved methods of agriculture, or greater scientific knowledge, or the development of electrical power, if it suddenly quadrupled in value as an agricultural subject that there would be great competition for it, and, therefore, rents would rise.
1334 But such a rise would have nothing to do with the incidence of the rates. Who should get such an increase in value of the land? Is it the man who pays the rent or the man who owns the land; the man who has sunk his capital in if? It may be said that capitalists are useless persons, but a capitalist must have been useful at some time or other, otherwise he would not have obtained his capital. But suppose matters remain exactly as they are, that the rent and value of land remain precisely as they are to-day, then on the conclusion of the lease the parties will begin to bargain. The tenant will go to the landlord and producing his account book, will show that he has had a struggle to make a, profit, and he will say to his landlord, "Well, sir. You have at last got this abatement on your rates. Possibly you can take less rent." If the tenant has been there for centuries there is not the slightest doubt that the reasonable Scottish landlord, the agricultural landlord, will make some concession to such a tenant. In the main, landlords and tenants are on good terms with one another. They have to live together. I remember the case of a revivalist preacher who came from my own native village. He was preaching on the text of the importunate creditor; the man who called for his rent.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Perhaps I am not using the exact phrase, but that was the theme of his discourse. I said to him afterwards, "Do you not realise that the roof of the house and the house itself were the result of the landlord's efforts? Surely he must get something for it, and if the tenant was not paying something the landlord was in an unfortunate position." Agricultural land is in a totally different position from house property. It is there by the hand of the Almighty. Rents have fallen so much in the last two generations that it can almost be said that there is not a farmer except in the fertile parts of the Lothians in Scotland who is paying rent for his land as land. The only people who are paying rent for their land are the Scottish crofters; and their rents were fixed long ago when rents were paid for land. The agricultural farmer in nearly all the 1335 places in Scotland is not paying a return, or more than a comparatively moderate return, on the capital that hag been expended on his land, his tenements and buildings. There is nothing for the land itself at all. If you go to Canada or America and try to get a farm you will have to pay far more for the land than you pay in Scotland. Land in Scotland is moderately rented, and, therefore, I think the Amendment is very unreal. If the landlord is the rapacious person whom the disordered imagination of hon. Members opposite pictures, there will be nothing whatever to hinder him at the conclusion of a lease saying to the tenant, "Now, sir. I have to hand over to you for all time and in perpetuity the whole of this relief that has been given to me by this Bill and, consequently, I propose to raise your rent by that amount or more." It would be perfectly within his power to do that, and nothing in this Amendment would prevent it. It does not, however, work out in practice like that, because landlords in Scotland do not exact such terms, and I believe they never will. I think the Amendment is entirely futile. It is put forward only as an electioneering policy. It will be a splendid thing for hon. Members opposite to say that the hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire supported the landlords. I am not doing that; I am only supporting common-sense and logic, which is totally lacking in this Amendment.
§ Mr. J. BROWN
Has the hon. and learned Member read any of the memoranda issued by the National Farmers' Union?
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
I have read a vast quantity of memoranda, and particularly one which pointed out that the landlord need not raise his rent. There, are only 24 hours in the day and it is almost impossible to read all the documents which have been sent out by this particular union.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Of course I did, and I should like -to know how this gentleman of the Farmers' Union acquired the gift of omniscience and prophecy.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
For the first time in the Debate I am indebted to the Government Benches. We have had two most enlightening speeches this afternoon. The hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire (Mr. Macquisten) in his closing sentence seemed to fear that there will be an enlightenment of the electors of Scotland. The hon. and learned Member has told us that the statements made by the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) are 100 year old bogies, and that there is no reality about the Amendment and the speeches which have been made in support of it. There is certainly some reality in the. £770,000, which is to be taken from the pockets of industrious people and put, into the pockets of the landlords. The hon. and learned Member also pointed out that many landlords resided on estates which had belonged to their ancestors for centuries.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Many of the farmers I said, not landlords. I said the tenants had been on the same estate for hundreds of years.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
We know that in some parts of Scotland the tenants have lived on the same farm for many years, but when the hon. and learned Member tells us that it is absurd for the Movers of the Amendment to propose that the landlord should hand over in perpetuity benefits given under this Bill surely his common sense will tell him that it, is equally absurd to propose that the community should hand over to the landlords in perpetuity £770,000 a year. I ask the Committee to remember that it is not merely the farmers who entered into a lease from the 16th of May of last year, or the 1st of June as is now proposed, who are to be deprived of the benefits, but that all farmers after a period of seven years will be deprived of the benefits under the Bill. The hon. Member who spoke last seemed to forget that fact. It is an important item in the scheme that the occupier's share in the 1337 benefits is for only a temporary period and a short period, but that the landlord's benefits from this Bill are in perpetuity.
In the opening stages of the discussions on this policy we heard much about the benefits that were to accrue to industry from this expenditure of public money. Will the Government tell us why these landlords should get this public money? Is there any scarcity of landlords? Is there any land going without an owner, without someone to confer on it those wonderful benefits that appear to reside in the imagination of the hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire? We know that we have idle men, but it will be information to the Committee that we have un-owned land and that we require to give a bribe to people to confer on the community these wonderful benefits. Why, then, is this money being taken from industry to give it to the landlord? You may prepare whatever formula you like, but you will never get away from the hard fact that the money that is to be disposed of here is to come out of the industry of the country. You may make whatever form of words you like, but every single penny of this money, to use the words of a miner friend of mine, is to come from the point of the pick. It is all to come from industry.
The Government are taxing depressed industry in order to grant to landlords, who do not contribute anything in the way of labour to the production of wealth, a larger income than that which they have to-day. I thought the Lord Advocate's speech was delightfully frank. He described this Bill as a Landlords' Relief Bill. He did not try to gloss it over. He said that the object of the Bill was to grant relief to the landlords. I think the public ought to know where we are. We are to spend this public money in granting relief to the landlords. The Lord Advocate said that the reason for that was that the landlord was a partner in industry. He is a partner in the industry in the very same way as I am a partner in a bank if I deposit a little money with it in order to get a return for that money. The landlord is not a partner in ploughing or in reaping; he is not a partner in doing any of the work that has to be done in adding to the wealth of the nation on the farm. He 1338 is a partner in the industry merely for the purpose of exploiting his fellow-partner.
We are told, of course, that he only goes in for the good of his health, for the amenities of his estate, for social status and for all those things that he cannot get without being a landlord. But we know that many men in this country have all this prestige without becoming landlords. I think there must be an ulterior motive in the owning of land in Scotland, because many of the owners do not enjoy that social prestige and do not enjoy the amenities of an estate. Many of them find the amenities they want in the South of France and in other more fortunately situated parts of of the world at seasons of the year like this. I wish again to impress on the Committee that the Lord Advocate's description of this portion of the Bill as a Clause for the relief of landlords is strictly correct, that the occupier's portion is to be only temporary and only small, and that the Government regard it as something lamentable that the occupiers should be allowed to share in it, even to the temporary extent that is referred to in the Bill.
It is incredible that we should be told that this is something to encourage industry. The hon. and learned Member who has just spoken said that it could be all fixed when the leases come to be readjusted, when a fresh lease has to be signed. That, of course, will be necessary only within the period of the seven years. The hon. and learned Member described it as a bargain. He cannot describe as a bargain terms which are entered into between a man who requires to get land for the purpose of earning his living when there are perhaps other people on the verge of starvation prompted to apply for a lease of the same land. It is certainly not a bargain on equal terms. There is a limited amount of land, just as there is a limited amount of work. There is competition for the land among the people who need it, and the man who holds the land, like the man who holds the capital, has the power to fix the terms of life for the people who cannot get their living without his permission.
Therefore, it is absurd to say that in arriving at this bargain the farmer, if he does not like to allow the landlord to walk away with the whole of this sub- 1339 sidy, as it has been described, is free to refuse to occupy the land. Then he will be told by the hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire to go to Canada. The hon. and learned Member seems to forget that when the man goes to Canada a landlord is there waiting for him still, and that the man will have to pay a higher rent for land in the neighbourhood of the towns in Canada than he has to pay for similar land in Scotland. What a glorious future for the willing worker—finding himself attacked at home by a landlord, driven in the name of Empire and in the name of God to Canada, to find that even there he has not escaped from the conditions that drove him from his native land!
The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
I think the landlords in Canada are outside the scope of the Amendment now under discussion.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I succumbed to the temptation that was so eloquently put in my way by the ill-considered admission that when our people go to Canada they have not escaped from the 'greedy landlord. I want to add only that this portion of the Bill, at any rate, is a gross fraud. All this money is to come out of the industry of the country. It is to come out of the workers and out of the capital invested in other industries. Whatever may be said for capitalists in industry, very little can be said for the majority of the owners of land. The hon. and learned Member said that these people must have been industrious at one time or they would not have had the money that they have invested in the land. It is a new doctrine; a new moral doctrine as well as a new economic doctrine that the mere possession of money indicates that the possessor is an industrious person. I wonder whether the hon. and learned Member in his legal profession would accept that definition of an industrious man—the mere possession of wealth?
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
As I have said, it is a new doctrine economically and 1340 morally. It will justify any method of obtaining money, and evidently we have arrived at the stage when such a widening of moral justification is required by the people who are defended by the hon. and learned Gentleman. I say that instead of this being a contribution to the relief of industry it is adding a further burden to the industry of the country. It will do nothing to relieve unemployment, except in the way that the sinking of a ship or the destruction of wealth in one form or another may bring relief in a sad way to unemployment. This proposal is a further tax on industry. It is all to come out of the work of the nation. I hope that when Scotland gets the opportunity of expressing its view on the proposal, having read the speeches delivered from the Government side to-day, it will express its common sense in the manner in which it will record its vote.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I would like to congratulate the Lord Advocate, and to say that, although I approach with the fullest sympathy the hon. Member for Orkney (Sir R. Hamilton) and those who supported this Amendment, yet I want to assure the Lord Advocate that I am in entire agreement with him and against the Amendment. I want to assure him of that for this reason: I am not in favour of giving the value of the land either to a landowner or to a tenant. Those who are in favour of this Amendment, while they think that there is something coming and that it should be divided between two parties, and that the tenant has as much right to a share of the division as the landlord, yet by that very sentimental attachment to the depressed partner in the contract they are overlooking an economic fact. Therefore I want to emphasise what the Lord Advocate said, and I hope that the Scottish Members present, more especially those on the Labour benches, will go back to their divisions and report every word that the Lord Advocate said to-day. There has been more clear, cold reasoning on the Scottish Local Government Bill in one day that has been expressed during the whole period of the discussion on the English Bill.
The Lord Advocate, with that clarity of reasoning which is inherent in him, tells the country deliberately, what does 1341 it matter whether you divide this quota of money betwen the tenant or the landlord, if it be true that the landlord will eventually reap the whole benefit? He quoted the hon. Baronet the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir A. Sinclair), who last night adumbrated the economic fact that the growth of progress in the community postulates an increase in rent. The hon. and gallant Member for Caithness and Sutherland said even to-day that where you allow profit for the use of land the owner of the land will become wealthy in the growth and the progress of the community because of the increase of rent. The Lord Advocate to-day read that quotation from the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Caithness and Sutherland, and I thought he was going to challenge it. I am always willing and anxious to listen to any Conservative or any politician who will dare to challenge the economic teaching of the law of rent, but the hon. and learned Member did not challenge it. He rather assented to it, and then told us—this I want my Scottish Labour friends to take back to Scotland with them, and perhaps the hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire (Mr. Macquisten) will there combat them on the point—
§ Mr. MacLAREN
There was this difficulty last night, that the right hon. Gentleman delivered himself of quite an oration on the whole Bill and made as many economic blunders in a short time as I have ever heard any man make on the opposite side of the House, but having made them, he had recourse to the outside hall rather than stick to his place so that he could answer our arguments.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
I may not be making that clear, but that is really the truth of the matter. Were it not for these economic blunders, we would not be talking here like school children. The Lord Advocate assented to the teaching of the, law of rent. He did not attempt to meet it, but, having read the quotation from the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Caithness and Sutherland, he said: "If it be true that rent rises with the growth and the progress of society and the owners of the land will stand to reap the harvest, what does it matter whether you give part of this money to the tenant or not, because finally the landlord will stand to reap the entire benefit?" That is true, and I want every critic of the Bill to take that back to Scotland and to tell the people of Scotland that the Lord Advocate last night not only admitted that the landlord would absorb the benefit, but again to-day—[HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense!"] Consult the OFFICIAL REPORT and see whether he did not admit that last night. I am with him to-day; I am saying now, with the Lord Advocate: If it be true that the advantage finally goes to the landlord, why should we, through mere sloppy sentimentality, want to hand some of it in perpetuity to the occupier? As I said before, I say now: If the rent or value of the land belongs to the whole of the community, then I am not going to be a party to any Amendment which divides that between the landlord and occupier.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, to the word 'sixteenth,' in line 40, stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 176; Noes, 98.1343
|Division No. 214.]||AYES.||[4.49 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Boothby, R. J. G.||Chamberlain, Rt.Hn.SirJ.A. (Birm.,W.)|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Brass, Captain W.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Brassey, Sir Leonard||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Briggs, J. Harold||Cohen, Major J. Brunel|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Briscoe, Richard George||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Cope, Major Sir William|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I||Couper, J. B.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Courtauld, Major J. S.|
|Bennett, Albert (Nottingham, C.)||Buckingham, Sir H.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.|
|Berry, Sir George||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)|
|Bethel, A.||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt.R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Salmon, Major I.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Locker-Lampson, Com. O.(Handsw'th)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Ellis, R. G.||Long, Major Eric||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Lougher, Lewis||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew,W.)|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Fermoy, Lord||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Skelton, A. N.|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||MacLaren, Andrew||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne,C.)|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||McLean, Major A.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Macquisten, F. A.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Gates, Percy.||Margesson, Captain D.||Streatfelld, Captain S. R.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Hamilton, Sir George||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Templeton, W. P.|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Hanbury, C.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Harland, A.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Waddington, R.|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingeton-on Hull)|
|Henderson,Capt.R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Nicholson, Col. Rt.Hn.W.G.(Ptrsl'ld.)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Nuttall, Ellis||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Hills, Major John Waller||Oakley, T.||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Hilton, Cecil||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Penny, Frederick George||Wells, S. R.|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Power, Sir John Cecil||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Preston, Sir Walter (Cheltenham)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut-Colonel George|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Raine, Sir Walter||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Ramsden, E.||Womersley, W. J|
|Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Ropner, Major L.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Ross, R. D.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Major|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Rye F. G.||the Marquess of Titchfield.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Scurr, John|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff, Cannock)||Hall, F. (York, W. R. Normanton)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Barr, J.||Hardle, George D.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hayes, John Henry||Snell, Harry|
|Bellamy, A.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Hirst, G. H.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Sullivan, J.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kelly, W. T.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cape, Thomas||Kennedy, T.||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lee, F.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lindley, F. W.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhonda)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lowth, T.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Connolly, M.||Lunn, William||Welsh, J. C.|
|Cove, W. G.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Westwood, J.|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Mackinder, W.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Dalton, Hugh||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Whiteley, W.|
|Day, Harry||Maxton, James||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Duncan, C.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Dunnico, H.||Montague, Frederick||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Murnin, H.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Gillett, George M.||Oliver, George Harold||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Paling, W.||Windsor, Walter|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln.,Cent.)||Ponsonby, Arthur||Wright, W.|
|Greenall, T.||Potts, John S.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Ritson, J.||Major-General Sir Robert Hutchison|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Scrymgeour, E.||and Major Owen.|
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I beg to move, in page 32, line 40, to leave out the words "sixteenth day of May," and to insert instead thereof the words "first day of June."
The first day of June was the date upon which the scheme was made public; therefore, we are proposing to extend the period to that date; that is to say, we are including leases granted right up to the 1st June instead of the 16th May, 1928.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I am not quite clear upon the meaning of this Amendment. Does it mean that tenants are going to get a fortnight's more money by reason of this Amendment?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
No, Sir. Clause 33 as it stands limits liability for payment of tax to leases entered into prior to the 16th May, 1928. We think that that is cutting it too short, and we propose to extend it to the 1st June. Therefore, if amended, as now proposed, the Clause will read:Every occupier of agricultural lands and heritages occupying under a lease entered into prior to the first day of June, 1928, shall be entitled "—and so on, which brings in a fortnight more.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I should like to make a few comments upon this alteration which is proposed, and to congratulate the Government on this concession which they have made in allowing an extra fortnight. Most of us on this side of the House feel that the tenant should have this right whenever he comes into occupation of the land, and I think that the Government, in now making the concession of a fortnight in this connection, conceive that a real benefit will be done to the tenant in every case where the tenant will get this right. That is the reason why they have made the concession. I think it is really intolerable, in the difficult circumstances in which agriculturists at the present time are, that they should not have this encouragement whenever they come in, and I think 1346 it is a piece of nonsense that the 1st June should be the date. I think that whenever they enter into a lease—
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
May I, in a word, point out that the Lord Advocate is now admitting for the second time that the deliberate purpose of the Government, in accordance with the Amendment which he is now moving, is, sooner or later, and sooner if possible, to hand over the whole of the £770,000 per year to the landlords.
§ Amendment agreed to.
I beg to move, in page 33, line 3, to leave out the words "two and one-half," and to insert instead thereof the word "five."
Under this Amendment, the tenant will get double the amount of benefit compared with the proposal in the Bill. Our desire is to give the maximum benefit to the farmer. This is a very important question from the point of view of agriculture, because we feel that there are other burdens in addition to that of the rates which press heavily on the farmer. The condition of the people to-day is very unsatisfactory, and that is partly due to the great increase in the population of the towns compared with the rural districts. One reason of the very deplorable condition of the people is the neglect of agriculture. If there is ever to be any great improvement in the condition of the people, we shall have to reverse the procedure now adopted in regard to agriculture.
One great object of the Bill is to secure an improvement in trade, but there are other causes than those dealt with in the Bill which adversely affect the condition of the people. Very few people realise what deplorable conditions exist in our land. Yesterday, reference was made to the amount of milk consumed by the people. It is not generally realised that in Great Britain our people are only consuming about one-sixth of the amount of milk—which is so important an element of diet—consumed in several other countries, such as Canada, Sweden and Norway. In the town of Rutherglen, which gives its name to the Division I 1347 have the honour to represent, it was stated recently that the amount of milk consumed was one-sixth of a pint per head of the population. It is quite clear that that is largely due to the lack of purchasing power among the people.
If some vast improvement could be made in agriculture, not merely in this country but in Scotland, probably a great improvement so far as the people are concerned would follow. We want to give the farmer greater advantages than he possesses at present, and we believe that that is possible by giving him the full benefit under this Amendment. During the last 150 years, the power of man to increase wealth has grown enormously. Yet the condition of the people has remained very much what it was 100 years ago. Lord Byron, who returned from a visit to Turkey 100 years ago, expressed this opinion:I have been in some of the most oppressed provinces of Turkey, hut never, under the most despotic of infidel governments, did I behold such squalid wretchedness as I have seen since I returned in the very heart of a Christian country.
I think the Amendment to leave out the words "two and one-half," and to insert instead thereof the word "five," is hardly large enough a peg on which to hang the interesting disquisitions of the hon. Member.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
On that point of Order, Mr. Herbert. The change from "two and one-half" to "five" would give so much extra relief to the farmer that it would allow him to sell his commodity cheaper—
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Surely, Mr. Herbert, with all respect, I am entitled to put to you, on your Ruling, the point that the hon. Member for Rutherglen (Mr. Wright) is simply seeking to show that we have got to cheapen the price of agricultural commodities because of the tremendous impoverishment of our country.
I have taken note of the hon. Member for Camlachie's (Mr. Stephen) point of Order. I still adhere to the remarks I made to 1348 the hon. Member for Rutherglen (Mr. Wright), and invite him to follow the subject of the Amendment.
You will pardon me, Mr. Herbert, for making this observation, but I think you did not hear my argument before you called me to order. My point was, and I think it was perfectly in order, that there has been very slight improvement so far as the people are concerned during the last hundred years; and that poverty of such an acute character that vast numbers of our people are unable to obtain the essentials of a well-ordered life has continued from the day when Lord Byron made those observations in another place 100 hundred years ago down to the present time. Vast numbers of people in the county from which I come are suffering, to-day, precisely in the same way as were those people to whom Lord Byron referred. Despite all this wonderful progress, which is belauded from time to time, the condition of the people in my county is of such an appalling character that a very distinguished lady observed, not long ago, that having visited Russia since the revolution she found the conditions in Lanarkshire quite as bad, if not worse, than anything she had seen in Russia. My point is that improvements, so far as agriculture is concerned, which would enable the farmer to sell his produce at a better rate, and which would give the people greater purchasing power, would enable the people to live at a higher standard than at present.
If the Government really desire to assist agriculture, there are other ways by which they may do it on lines which the farmers themselves have asked for on more than one occasion. We have often been advised to buy British goods. The railway rates for agricultural produce are a very important point, and they operate as a very severe handicap to the farmer. For instance, for a full wagon load of grain from Elgin to Glasgow, a distance of 194 miles, the rate is 23s. 11d. per ton. That compares with a rate of from 18s. to 20s. a ton for a sea voyage to Britain from Argentina, which is a distance of 6,000 miles; while from Australia to Britain, 11,000 miles, the rate is 35s. a ton. If you take dead meat—
I have already warned the hon. Member. I must now warn him again that he must confine any further remarks which he has to make strictly to this Amendment. Otherwise, I must ask him to resume his seat.
I will endeavour to obey your Ruling, Sir, but I am bound to say that I think this has a very close connection with the Amendment which we are discussing, and that view is held by quite a number of my colleagues. Of course, it is a very difficult matter sometimes to keep strictly within the rules of Debate. The difference in rates, to which I was referring, would probably play a very great part in reducing the cost of agricultural commodities to the community. Whatever we may think with regard to many other questions raised in the House from time to time, from my point of view—and I think from that of my colleagues—there is no great purpose to be served in a large number of these discussions unless we are going to improve the lot of the common people and to make life possible for them, instead of allowing the scandalous, shameful, disgraceful conditions which exist at the present time to continue.
§ Mr. HARDIE
The object of the Amendment is really to obtain something more for the producer and to give something less to the consumer. I want to draw attention to the central fact that when the Government were advertising what were to be the benefits to the occupier, I raised the question here of an occupier of a milk-producing farm. I showed then, giving the name and address of the man and the name of his farm, that when he had received the amount of relief in rates due to him under this Bill and when he had paid the extra tax on petrol, he would be £8 out of pocket. I should not have spoken at all at this point but for the fact that the Government refused to give any reply to my statement. If we make this figure in the Bill five instead of two-and-a-half, we shall take from those who do nothing and give to those who produce.
I can see nothing more useful than to say that you will give something to those who are doing the work. The incidence of the petrol tax is not going to operate 1350 in that way, and it will not do justice to those engaged in farming. When you take the cost of the petrol used in the daily runs by farm transport for carrying produce, you find that the farmer is losing money because of the extra amount he is compelled to pay in the tax. In order to try to help him, we are seeking to increase the benefit under the Bill from two-and-a-half to five. Where a farm is situated near a big industrial area, the tendency of the farmer is to produce the article which commands the largest sale in that area, and it happens that as a rule that article is milk. You also get this fact, however, that when the farm is near a big industrial area, and the social demand for milk is created, power is also given to the landlord, because of the social conditions, to get which he has done nothing at all. Yet he relates that power to his land as though he had worked for it, whereas in fact, he may have been in the Mediterranean. He uses that power to extract more from the tenant in the shape of rent. As a result of that, the farmer will be compelled all the time to relate whatever increase in rent he has to pay to the price which he charges for his produce.
Therefore, while it is wrong in principle to give anything of social value, yet since we cannot with a Conservative Government get anything more, we have to try to withhold as much as we can from what the Government are giving to the landlords and to give it instead to those who really are doing useful work. The farmer is always doing useful work, but no one on the other side has attempted to show that the landowner has ever done any useful work at all, because even when we take the question as between the farmer in this country and the farmer in another country, we have been assured to-day from the Tory Benches that even in Canada you find the same thing relating there to an industrial area, namely, that there is a high rent charged against the farmer. In that, way the whole of the social wealth of industry is being sucked up in the form of rent, which, applied to production, means an increase in the price to the consumer. In asking that the Committee should accept this Amendment, we say that since we cannot get a full grip of all the social value, we 1351 want to do our best to give something to the man who is really doing the work.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I wish to support the Amendment. The object of the Bill, according to the Government, is to improve the opportunities of productive industry and thereby to create employment, and one of the things that we have to do, according to the Government's scheme, is to try to give a certain amount of help to the agricultural industry. Consequently, if the Government's thesis be correct, that by means of these de-rating proposals certain benefits will accrue to productive industry, then, on that reasoning, one ought to see that all of this relief will come to the people who are directly engaged in the productive industry. I do not think there is any hon. Member opposite who will say to-day that the landowner is really a co-operating factor in the agricultural production of this country. One of the most eminent agricultural authorities in this country has laid it down that in these days the landowner has simply become a rent-drawer and that he plays no useful part whatsoever. I notice that the Solicitor-General for Scotland shakes his head, as if he disagrees with that, but I can assure him that the authority I am quoting is one of the most eminent agriculturists in this country.
Here is the position, that we are going to hand over a certain amount of relief for production, and that that will reduce, the costs of the producer in producing his commodities. Surely, if we double the amount of relief, as suggested by this Amendment, if we can look for a certain amount of improvement from two and a half times, we can look for practically double that improvement from five times the relief that will be handed over by the landowner in this way to his tenant. It is proposed that the tenant is to get five-sixteenths and the landowner also, but why should the landowner get anything at all in connection with this derating? Is he going to employ an extra number of men through getting this five-sixteenths? Is he going to add a single member to his staff? Is he going to do anything whatever to increase employment or to lessen the price of commodities by getting his five-sixteenths? I cannot see, in any of these discussions, any 1352 indication that the landowner is going to do anything to improve employment or to reduce the price of commodities.
It may be arguable that the tenant will certainly, owing to this relief, if he is able to get his production reduced in price by a certain amount, be able to get so much more land under cultivation, and thereby may require the services of an additional man or boy. Something might be done in that way, but if you are going to give the relief in this way, then give the whole of the relief to the person who is directly concerned in the work of production, and give nothing whatsoever to the parasite. I am reminded of a story I once heard of a man who, when the better weather came and the frost had gone and the sun was on both sides of the hedge, was one day, when the sun was very high, lying down at rest by the roadside, and myriads of small creatures came on to him, but none of them did him any harm. Then a wasp stung him, and he got up, very annoyed. He saw all the little creeping things, swept the lot of them off him, and said: "That settles it; off you go, the whole lot of you!" I do not think the Government in this Bill are getting rid of any parasites at all, but here is the landlord, parasitical class, and if we do not get rid of them, at least to a partial extent, we can see to it that they are not going to come in as parasites and share in the amount of relief that is given in this connection.
Consequently, I should like to see the Lord Adovcate or the Under-Secretary make it plain that we do not require to follow the example of England in this respect, that because the English landowner is getting a bit, we have to give the Scottish landowner something also. Possibly, I shall not be able to persuade the Under-Secretary, seeing that he has the corresponding English Minister alongside of him on that bench, but there is no need why we should follow the English example. Here is a case where, with advantage to agriculture and to Scotland generally, we should make a departure, and I hope—
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Major Elliot)
Surely the hon. Member is not ignorant of the fact that there is no parallel here between the English and the Scottish rating practices.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
I am quite well aware that the rating system is different in Scotland from what it is in England, but I am also aware that the English Bill is giving its measure of relief to the landowner, just as the Scottish Bill is giving its measure of relief to the landowner; and my point is that, while the rating systems are different in the two countries, here is a case where we can make a divergence from the English practice and hand nothing to these parasites, as has been done in the English case. I hope I have made it clear to the Under-Secretary and that, if there is any advantage coming to agriculture from this relief, we shall make it as much as possible; and there is no man who can honestly say in this House that by giving something to the landowner, we shall help in any way in the development of agriculture. I hope we are going to get this concession and that the whole lot of the money will flow to the agricultural community, so that, if there be anything in it that is of great importance to the agriculturist, we shall see the experiment tried under the best circumstances, although, personally, I do not believe there is going to be any great development of agriculture or any increase of employment in the agricultural districts resulting from this Bill.
§ Sir R. HORNE
This Amendment is designed to take away entirely from the landlord any relief, and that, I gather, is defended upon the ground that the landlords are mere parasites and should not, therefore, get anything at all. I would not intervene in this Debate, because obviously we shall never come to an agreement—we hold totally different views, and we are as poles asunder on this question—but I do intervene so that it shall not be thought that there is nothing to be said for the other side. On the general question as to the position of the landlords of this country and the service which they have rendered to it, an eloquent speech has been made by a Member for a very large agricultural constituency, in the person of my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Argyll (Mr. Macquisten), and I do not propose at all to repeat the very powerful argument which he adduced upon that subject, hut I wish to say something in reply to the speech of the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton), 1354 though I am well aware that one hon. Member, speaking from the other side this afternoon, stated that my speech yesterday on a similar question was more full of fallacies than anything he had ever heard in this House.
§ Sir H. HORNE
I would observe to the hon. Member that a thing is not made an economic fallacy simply because the hon. Member says it is.
§ Sir R. HORNE
The most vain of all people who have been held up to the derision of the world at large was the man who is reported to have said, "What I say three times is right," but apparently the hon. Member goes further, and not only says that everything that he says is right, but that anything that anybody else says is wrong. Undismayed by the rebuke which I have received from the hon. Member, I wish to point out that even the right hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley), who cannot be supposed to have any particular affection for landlords, this afternoon made the admission that a landlord was only a partner in the business in the sense that a depositor in a bank was a partner. The right hon. Gentleman would think himself very ill-served if he did not get interest upon his deposit, and accordingly the landlord, at the worst, would be entitled to the interest on the money which he spends. If you take Scotland by and large, the interest which the landlord's expenditure is getting at the present time is very little, if any, more than one would get for a deposit in the bank at the present time. In fact, on the whole, it is rather less.
§ Mr. MacLAREN
When people speak of a landlord they speak of him as a rent receiver, or a man who hires land out at a rent. It may be true that such a person may improve the land and it was said last night, after the right hon. Gentleman had left the Chamber, that we would be in favour of giving relief for every improvement effected by a landowner as an improver. But, as a rent receiver, we still maintain he is rendering no service to the community. We said that, as a landowner, he was as good as his neighbour.
§ Sir R. HORNE
I think that argument becomes rather ridiculous if we follow it out on those lines. My hon. Friend opposite agrees that the landowner is entitled to such benefits as he may receive, along with the rest of the community, in respect of money expended on the land, but if we take that admission the whole case for the Amendment is given away. Take the case of the factory owner. I suppose it is agreed that he benefits the community by building a factory in which work is given to the people, and when you come to de-rate in his favour you make your concession upon the factories he has erected, and the equipment he has put into them. Then take the case of the landowner. Who has put up the farm steadings, and who keeps up the farm steadings? It is the landowner. Who, for the most part, does the draining of the land? It is the landowner—and we must remember that the keeping up of drains is a very expensive item and an important item in inducing the land to fructify. Who maintains fences upon most of the land? It is the landowner. On all these things, on the admission of my hon. Friend opposite, the landowner is entitled to de-rating.
What is the basis of the proposal here? It is that all land should be de-rated, but that rates should be paid upon the estimated value of the farm houses. In England the occupier pays the whole of the rates, and accordingly the landowner does not come into the picture. Therefore our rating system so far from being a slavish copy of the English system is based upon a different principle. In England the rates are being imposed on the value of the farm houses. What is being done in Scotland is to assume that one-eighth of the rent represents the value of the farm houses and upon that rates are to he paid. Again I put the question. Who has built these farm buildings? It is the landowner, and the very thing which is being de-rated, is the thing which he has supplied and which he contracts to keep in repair. Accordingly, on the principle to which the hon. Member opposite himself has agreed, it is perfectly plain that the landowner, if anybody, is entitled to the benefits of de-rating, according to his merits under this Bill.
§ Mr. BARR
I desire to support the Amendment on very much the same 1356 grounds as those put forward by the hon. Member for Camlachie (Mr. Stephen). There has been much discussion as to how much of the benefit which falls, in the first instance, to the landlord will pass to the occupier. In the Amendment we seek to secure that the whole of the sum will pass to the tenant as far as existing leases are concerned. The object of the Bill is to develop industry in this way, but while this concession remains in the hands of the landlords, there will be uncertainty as to how it will be spent. In some cases it may be spent on the landlord's own pleasure. In other cases, I grant, it may be spent on the improvement of the land. But we propose to take a step which will ensure that, as far as we can control it, this concession will go into the hands of the occupiers and tillers of the soil. In that case we may assume that while some of it may go to the greater comfort of the man who is farming the land, the larger part will go into the development of the land. Nothing so retards the development of the land as that the occupier should not have the necessary means.
Therefore, as far as it goes, I value the Amendment because it gives greater facilities to the occupier to develop the soil. The money is to be spent one way or the other. We are considering now how it is to be divided. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne) has correctly interpreted our intention, namely, that for the existing leases the whole of this relief should go from the landlord to the tenant farmer. I do not pursue the question of whether the landlord is always a parasite or not. In many cases which I have known the description would be quite accurate. On the other hand, I grant to the right hon. Gentleman opposite—speaking as one who has spent a considerable part of his life in the country and is familiar with the farming system in Scotland—that landlords vary, and that there are some who have put their available means into the development of the land. The right hon. Gentleman asked us who put up the buildings and fences and did the draining. One might also ask who leaves so many of the buildings derelict, who leaves so much of the land undrained, and who leaves so many fences in disrepair?
1357 I am not speaking at random. On the estate on which I was minister for six years in Dumfrieshire, it had been the custom to supply the wood and for the tenant farmers to put up the fences. An order was sent out from the estate office that they would no longer be able to do this and that the farmers must find their own wood, and thus, what had been accounted an immemorial right was found, after all, to be only a privilege. When we speak of the landowners as partners we have to remember that many of them are only sleeping partners, and many in Scotland to-day, as was formerly the case in Ireland, are absentee landlords. I do not wish to differ materially from anything which has been said from these benches, and I would not be in order in going back to a previous Amendment. But I thought my hon. Friend the Member for Burslem (Mr. MacLaren) was guided rather much by theoretical considerations in what he put forward. I have myself, to a considerable extent, subscribed to the doctrines that lie behind what he said, but I am not so much concerned about the logic of the matter, or about the multitude of the heresies or the fallacies which fell from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead. What I am concerned about is to give some practical help to a class of people whom I know to be struggling and suffering intensely in many parts of the country.
I excuse my hon. Friend the Member for Burslem for not having the same feeling towards the tenant farmers of Scotland that I have. That is due to his upbringing in the city. But I was brought up among the farming community. I have often heard my hon. Friend the Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) speak about his class. I speak to-day as one who knows the struggles of the farming class. I know the extravagant hours they have worked in the past and are working still. I know that many farmers in Scotland could not pay their rent to-day were it not that their families are giving free labour on the land. I know of cases where the hard-won savings of a farmer have had to go in the payment of excessive rent. As one who knows the system from the inside, I may adopt the words of my hon. Friend the Member for Dumbarton Burghs and say that I speak 1358 for the class to which I belong, as one who knows the struggle which they are waging. If I had an opportunity of taking £770,000 per annum away from the landlord class—whether they are parasites or not, and I would discriminate, because we must discriminate between one person and another as a landlord—I would pass over the whole of that sum, as we are now seeking to do, to the industrious class in the community for whom I speak. I heard the hon. and learned Member for Argyll (Mr. Macquisten) say that the struggle to-day is not; what it was 100 years ago. There is some truth in that, but we have all read Robert Burns on the hard life of the farmer, and what he wrote is true of not a few farms in Scotland to-day:We labour soon, we labour late,To feed the titled knave, man IAnd a' the comfort we're tae getIs that ayont the grave, man!I would like to give the farmers a little comfort on this side of the grave. I have no doubt that some landowners in Scotland will pass on in various ways some of this benefit, just as certain other landowners will not pass on one penny of it. We are seeking to secure that this benefit should pass to the working-class population of the country, to the farmers and the agricultural labourers without any undue deference to the large landowners, to whom £770.000 is nothing compared with what it will be to the tenants. We are seeking to secure some substantial benefit arid encouragement and help to a most industrious class in the community.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I only wish to add a few remarks to what my right hon. Friend the Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne) has said. It must not be forgotten that the agricultural community, both landlord and tenant, after this Bill passes, will be receiving relief to the tune of something over £1,500,000, and that the tenants—but not wholly as the result of the Bill—will get off seven-eighths of their rating, which means £770,000. [HON. MEMBERS: "The landowners!"] No, excuse me. The tenants will get off seven-eighths, which is £770,000, and the landlords will get off seven-eighths, which is £770,000, and if you add these sums together they come to over £1,500,000, and during the currency of existing leases in some cases and for a period of seven 1359 years in other cases, the landlords will be handing over between £300,000 and £400,000 to the tenants. The question we are now debating is whether the remaining £300,000 odd is to go from the landlords to the tenants in addition to the sum of over £1,000,000 which they are getting already.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Is it not the case that on 3rd July last the Secretary of State for Scotland, answering the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir R. Hamilton), said that the relief in respect of owners rates was estimated at £770,000, and the relief in respect of occupier's rates at £110,000?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
The hon. Member has not been listening to what I have said. I said that after this Bill was passed the tenant would be relieved of seven-eighths of his rates, the amount being £770,000, but I also made it clear that that was not entirely under this Bill. I said that. I think I made it quite clear.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
At any rate, we have now arrived at an understanding as to the figures to which I am referring. The question is whether during the currency of the leases the remaining £300,000 is to be handed over by the landlord to the tenant. I was interested in the statement of the hon. Member for Motherwell (Mr. Barr) that the reason why landlords have ceased providing or maintaining equipment was because they are unable to do so. In many cases the landlord is quite unable to do his proper duty, even if he is anxious to do it, and is not able to keep up the equipment according to his natural obligations.
§ Mr. BARR
I am sure the right hon. Gentleman would not misrepresent what I said. I did not say at all that they were not able. I did speak of derelict estates; but the point I was then making was that landlords had discovered that the benefit they were conferring was a privilege and had nothing to do with immemorial right, and that on that ground they had withdrawn the benefits.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
The hon. Member used the word "able." He will see that if he consults the OFFICIAL 1360 REPORT to-morrow. I accept, of course, the correction he has now made. In this connection it is not uninteresting to note that when the Corporation of Glasgow was considering the question of running its farms one of the difficulties was that £7,500 was required in order that they, as the owners of the farms, should equip them on an economic basis. One of the Socialist members of the council said this:The suggestion of the expert that the farms could he reorganised on the lines of dairy farms at a cost of:£7,500 would be well worth more serious consideration by members of the corporation, particularly those attending the committee. It had been argued that that was a tremendous capital expenditure, but under the new De-rating Bill they would be entitled to a rebate of £400 on the farms, and that would more than cover the cost of the interest charged against the £7,500 which it was estimated was required to put them on au economic basis.That is a very good illustration of the kind of thing we have in mind. Hon. Members opposite wish, apparently, to penalise good landlords because there are a few bad ones. They admit, most of them, that there are many landlords who will do their duty in this matter, and take advantage of the help and relief given to them in order to better a farm which is let to a tenant. There are some bad ones, just as there are bad people in every trade, but that is not a valid reason for penalising the good ones. I would draw attention to a remark by the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston) yesterday, and in this connection I was interested to note what I think, probably, was the discretion of the hon. Member for Orkney (Sir R. Hamilton) in intimating to-day that he was not going to move the Third Amendment on the Paper. That Amendment would have stereotyped the payments according to the amount of rates in the first complete year, and the only object of that Amendment could have been to prevent any incentive on the part of the tenants, being in a majority on the local authority, to send rates up.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
Will the right hon. Gentleman allow me to say that he has given the exact reason why I did not move it?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I appreciate that statement. It would be very damag- 1361 ing to make any such suggestion; but the Amendment was on the Paper, and the wisdom came, though late. I would like to remind the House of what the hon. Member for Dundee said yesterday:Is it not the case that under the Government's proposals the tenant farmer, during the period that he gets one-half of the landlord's share, is actually going to be in pocket, and therefore for the first time in British economic history you are going to have a class in the country whom it will pay to vote for increased rates?A little later he said:A favoured class of the community is not only going to pay no rates at all, but will be put in pocket, and therefore there will he people who will have a direct economic incentive to vote for increased rates."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th February, 1929: cols. 1216–47, Vol. 225.]
§ Here we have an Amendment from the benches opposite to double that incentive. Where is this incentive most likely to be found? In the crofting areas. I hope the crofters will note the kind of conduct of which they are suspected by people who sometimes claim to be their friends. It is amazing, in face of that view, that they should come to ask us to double the incentive. For these reasons and also because we believe in the fairness of the distribution of the relief which we propose to make, I ask the Committee to reject this Amendment.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 194; Noes, 108.1363
|Division No. 215.]||AYES.||[5.54 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Davies, Dr. Vernon||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Dawson, Sir Philip||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Eden, Captain Anthony||Long, Major Eric|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman|
|Atkinson, C.||Elliot, Major Walter E.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Ellis, R. G.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||McLean, Major A.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Fermoy, Lord||MacRobert, Alexander M.|
|Bennett, Albert (Nottingham, C.)||Ford, Sir P. J.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Berry, Sir George||Forrest, W.||Margesson, Captain D.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Meller, R. J.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Gates, Percy||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Golf, Sir Park||Meyer, Sir Frank|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Gower, Sir Robert||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Granted, Edward C. (City of London)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Grotrian, H. Brent||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon, William Clive||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hammersley, S. S.||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Harland, A.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hartington, Marquess of||Newton, Sir D, G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Nicholson, Col. Rt.Hn.W.G.(Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Oakley, T.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Henderson,Capt.R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Cayzer,MaJ.Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Penny, Frederick George|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hills, Major John Waller||Radford, E. A.|
|Churchill, Rt, Hon. Winston Spencer||Hoare, Lt.-Col Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Ramsden, E.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Ross, R. D.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Rye, F. G.|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Couper, J. B.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington, N.)||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hurd, Percy A.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hurst, Gerald B.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Davidson, Rt, Hon. J. (Hertford)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Sandon, Lord|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew,W.)||Templeton, W. P.||Welle, S. R.|
|Shepperson, E. W.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||White, Lieut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple|
|Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Tinne, J. A.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Skelton, A. N.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Southby, Commander A. R. J.||Waddington, R.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Stanley, Lord (Fylde)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Streatfeild, Captain S. R.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Stuart. Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Watts, Sir Thomas||Major the Marquess of Titchfield|
|Tasker, R. Inigo.||Wayland, Sir William A.||and Captain Wallace.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W, (Fife, West)||Groves, T.||Ritson, J.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Barnes, A.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Scurr, John|
|Barr, J.||Hardle, George D.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Batey, Joseph||Harris, Percy A.||Shield, G. W.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Hayes, John Henry||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Bellamy, A.||Hirst, G. H.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Smillle, Robert|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Snell, Harry|
|Bromley, J.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Buchanan, G.||Kelly, W. T.||Sullivan, J.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kennedy, T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cape, Thomas||Lawrence, Susan||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lawson, John James||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lee, F.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lindley, F. W.||Tomilnson, R. P.|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock||Lowth, T.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Cove, W. G.||Lunn, William||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Mackinder, W.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Day, Harry||MacLaren, Andrew||Welsh, J. C.|
|Duncan, C.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Westwood, J.|
|Dunnico, H||Maxton, James||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Montague, Frederick||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Murnin, H.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Gillett, George M.||Naylor, T. E.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Oliver, George Harold||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercilffe)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.)||Owen, Major G.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Greenall, T.||Paling, W.||Windsor, Walter|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wright, W.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Potts, John S.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Mr. T. Henderson and Mr. Whiteley.|
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I beg to move, in page 33, to leave out from the word "landholder" in line 11 to the end of line 14, and to insert instead thereof the words:and every statutory small tenant within the meaning of the Small Landholders (Scotland) Acts, 1886 to 1919, who is in occupation or who is the statutory successor of a landholder or statutory small tenant in occupation of a holding on the first day of June, nineteen hundred and twenty-eight.6.0 p.m.
This is really a redrafting of the Clause, which originally did not include the statutory small tenant in occupation on 1st June who clearly ought to be included. The other part of his proposal corresponds to an Amendment we have already made changing the date from 16th May to 1st June, 1928.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
The Clause refers to leases entered into, prior to 16th May, and we now propose to alter that to 1st June.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Does that mean that those who made bargains is after that date will get no help under this scheme?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
They will not be entitled to recover the landlord's part of the rating relief, but they will get relief.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
I beg to move, in page 33, to leave out from the word 1365 "entitled," in line 16, to the word "This," in line 20, and to insert instead thereof the words:to apply to the Land Court for a reduction of the rent of his holding by an amount equal to two and one-half times the amount of the owner's share of such rates as are payable in respect of such holding during the year commencing on the day on which this Act comes into operation.This Amendment relates more particularly to the right of the tenant to apply to the Land Court for a reduction of rent. I do not desire to repeat arguments which have been used before. We consider that it is undesirable that this large sum should go to the party who is not the most active member in the partnership in industry. This Amendment will enable any statutory small landholder to apply for a reduction of rent equal to half the landlord's benefit. The case I am placing before the Committee is somewhat different from the cases dealt with earlier in the Debate, because there is no provision or machinery dealing with the handing over of the landlord's share in the case of an ordinary lease, and this Amendment provides the necessary machinery.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
As long as the portion of the landlord's relief is payable to the tenant by means of deduction from the rent, the landholder has an absolute right. This Amendment only gives the right to go to the Court, and it does not confer an absolute right to the full amount of the relief. In the event of an increase of rates the tenant would have to bear the result of that increase, but he would not get additional relief to the extent of an equivalent amount of the reduction of rent. This Amendment is intended to make the provision permanent, but that question has already been dealt with at great length, and it has been disposed of.
§ require can easily be made permanent, if the Government really desire to ensure that the active partner in production in agriculture shall succeed to the benefits which the Government pretend to give to agriculture, here is a ready method which has been accepted by the statutory small tenants all over the land. If the Government refuse to accept this proposal, it will be apparent that their intention is not even to use the existing machinery for securing that the active partner gets a square deal, and the landlord will ultimately collar all the relief given under this Bill. I hope the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir R. Hamilton) will press his Amendment to a Division, in order that we may put on record the fact that the Government refuse to use the existing machinery.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
During the period of the temporary relief, my argument remains uncontradicted that the landholder would be in a worse position. Under the Government proposal, as soon as the repayment of the relief has terminated, it is open to the landholder to go to the Land Court and ask for a refixing of the rent. To suggest that the machinery is not there is to take a wrong view of our proposal.
§ Sir GODFREY COLLINS
During the first seven years the landholder might have increased burdens placed on his shoulders. The Amendment we are putting forward gives the tenant the option, and therefore if he thought that his interests would be adversely affected, he would not apply to the Land Court to secure the reduction. As the whole subject of the rates gives a very large benefit to the landlord, I still hope the Government will reconsider their view.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 192; Noes. 106.1369
|Division No. 216.]||AYES.||6.13 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Braithwaite, Major A. N.|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Brass, Captain W.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Brassey, Sir Leonard|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Bennett, Albert (Nottingham, C.)||Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Berry, Sir George||Briggs, J. Harold|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Betterton, Henry B.||Briscoe, Richard George|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Brittain, Sir Harry|
|Atkinson, C.||Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Brocklebank, C. E. R|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Boothby, R. J. G.||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Broun-Lindsay, Major H.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Ramsden, E.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hills, Major John Waller||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Remer, J. R.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth.S)||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Ross, R. D.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Ruggies-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Rye, F. G.|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Hurd, Percy A.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hurst, Gerald B.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sandon, Lord|
|Cope, Major Sir William||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Couper, J. B.||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew,W.)|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn., N.)||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne.C.)|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon: J. (Hertford)||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Long, Major Eric||Southhy, Commander A. R. J.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||MacAndrew, Major Charles Gien||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||McLean, Major A.||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Ellis, R. G.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monfeith||Macquisten, F. A.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||MacRobert Alexander M.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Margesson, Captain D.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Fermoy, Lord||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Meller, R. J.||Waddington, R.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Ward, Lt.-Col.A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Gates, Percy||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wells, S. R.|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||White, Lleut.-Col. Sir G. Dairymple-|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Harland, A.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Nicholson, Col.Rt.Hn.W.G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Nuttall, Ellis||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Oakley, T.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Penny, Frederick George||Wragg, Herbert|
|Henderson,Capt.R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Pownall, Sir Assheton||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Radford, E. A.||Captain Bowyer and Major the|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Dunnico, H.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwelity)||Kennedy, T.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Lawrence, Susan|
|Barnes, A.||Forrest, W.||Lawson, John James|
|Barr, J.||Gardner, J. P.||Lee, F.|
|Batey, Joseph||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Lindley, F. W.|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Gillett, George M.||Lowth, T.|
|Bellamy, A.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lunn, William|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Greenall, T.||Mackinder, W.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Griffith, F. Kingsley||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Bromley, J.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Maxton, James|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Groves, T.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Montague, Frederick|
|Buchanan, G.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Murnin, H.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Hardle, George D.||Oliver, George Harold|
|Cape, Thomas||Harris, Percy A.||Paling, W.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hayes, John Henry||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Potts, John S.|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Hirst, G. H.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Connolly, M.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Cove, W. G.||Jenkins, W, (Glamorgan, Neath)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Scurr, John|
|Dalton, Hugh||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Day, Harry||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Shield, G. W.|
|Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Thurtle, Ernest||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Sitch, Charles H.||Tinker, John Joseph||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Smillie, Robert||Tomilnson, R. P.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Snell, Harry||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney||Windsor, Walter|
|Stephen, Campbell||Wellock, Wilfred||Wright, W.|
|Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Strauss, E. A.||Westwood, J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Sullivan, Joseph||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.||Major-General Sir Robert Hutchison|
|Sutton, J. E.||Whiteley, W.||and Major Owen.|
|Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)||Wilkinson, Ellen C|
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I beg to move, in page 33, to leave out from the word "holding," in line 21, to the end of the Sub-section, and to insert instead thereof the words:at the first term of Whitsunday or Martinmas next succeeding the decision of the Land Court or an application for alteration of the fixed rent or, in the case of a landholder, on the expiry of the period of seven years from the first day of June, nineteen hundred and twenty-eight, if during that period no such decision has been given.This is really a re-drafting Amendment. The provision as originally worded only applied where the result was some alteration, either up or down, and the case in which, although an application had been made, the Court left the rent as it was, was not included. Obviously, that ought to be included also, and, therefore, we have so worded the Amendment as to make it apply to every case in which an application is made for alteration. It will be noticed that, as the Amendment stands on the Paper, the commencement of the period of seven years is given as the 16th May, 1928, but, in the Amendment as I have moved it, the 1st June, 1928, is given as the date, in order to make it correspond with the other Amendment that I have moved.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
I beg to move, in page 33, to leave out lines 27 and 28.
Up to this moment we have been discussing relief to argiculture; we are now discussing relief upon industrial lands and heritages. This afternoon the Government have resisted every attempt made from this side of the Committee to ensure that the agricultural tenant should receive his proper benefit, and we are attempting now to ensure that the tenant of an industrial heritage shall benefit for at least a longer period than the Government intend. The Government specifically say in this Bill that the only industrial tenants who shall benefit shall be those who have entered into a 1370 lease prior to the 16th May, 1998, so that the tenants of industrial lands and heritages will not receive benefit unless they have entered into their contracts before that date. We seek to remove this limit, and to ensure that all tenants of industrial lands and heritages shall receive benefit, whether or not they entered into a lease prior to the 16th May. Surely, if the Government's pretentions in the country, and their declarations in the House of Commons, that they intend that this money which is being poured out from the national Exchequer shall go to the relief of industry, are to be credited, they ought to ensure that the industrial landowner as such shall not receive the benefit, but that it shall be passed on to the user of the capital, for whom the Government have declared themselves so solicitous.
As the Clause stands now, unless I am completely mistaken, it means that seven years from May, 1928, the benefits accruing by way of relief in rates shall, or may—one can never say "shall" in a matter of this kind—pass to the proprietor of the subjects, and not to the user of the subjects. What that will mean to many a user of an industrial subject is perfectly apparent to every hon. Member of the House. Within seven years from now, industrial rents will be raised, new contracts will be entered into at increased rents, and the owner of industrial land will obviously scoop into his own pocket whatever benefits the Government here pretend are going to be given. It has been argued to-clay, as it was yesterday, that the proprietor of agricultural land was entitled to some relief. We had the argument from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne), and from the hon. and learned Member for Argyllshire (Mr. Macquisten), that the proprietor of agricultural land is entitled to some relief because he has expended capital in fencing, in drainage, in farmhouses and buildings—that the proprietor of the 1371 agricultural subject was definitely entitled to relief inasmuch as it was with his capital that the business of agriculture was largely carried on. That, obviously, cannot apply to the proprietor of land upon which there are certain classes, at any rate, of industrial subjects. Take, for example, a mineral royalty. No one can pretend that the mineral royalty owner has, from his capital store, expended money on improving his subject; he is purely a rent receiver. We 'are seeking by this Amendment to exclude the words limiting the benefits to those who have entered into contracts prior to last May, so that the actual tenant of an industrial subject, the man who, presumably, is using his capital to further industry, shall get the benefit of the relief given, and that it shall not go to the proprietor of the industrial land or heritage.
§ Mr. DUNCAN GRAHAM
I hope that there will be little or no opposition to this Amendment from the Government benches, and that the Government will accept it. I fancy that the Lord Advocate will have some difficulty in answering the point put by my hon. Friend the Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston). At any rate, he will have some difficulty in convincing Members on this side of the Committee and the public outside, though, I have no doubt, as a lawyer he will be able to make out a fairly decent case. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say in answer to the argument of my hon. Friend. This seems to be a very simple and a comparatively innocent proposal. There is no ulterior motive. We are seeking only to secure that the tenant of an industrial undertaking shall get what Parliament intends, or at least what we are asked to believe Parliament intends. The individual who renders no service whatever, but who is merely the owner of the land upon which either a factory is built or a coal pit is sunk, ought not to get the 'advantages that have already been decided shall go to the landlord of agricultural land. In order to make certain that the position is exactly what we say it is, I will read they Clause as it stands, and then read it in conjunction with our Amendment. By so doing, I hope that our friends on the other side, who are 1372 particularly anxious that industry should be helped by the action of Parliament in respect of the passing of this Bill, will be induced to influence the Government to accept the Amendment. The Clause as it stands reads:Every occupier of industrial lands and heritages occupying under a lease entered into prior to the sixteenth day of May,"—I suppose that now the 1st June will be the date—nineteen hundred and twenty-eight, shall he entitled on any rate becoming due in respect of such lands and heritages to recover from the owner thereof by retention out of rent or otherwise a sum equal to the owner's share of such rate multiplied by three.We are not taking exception to the action proposed in the Clause. What we are asking is that the two lines:occupying under a lease entered into prior to the sixteenth day of May, nineteen hundred and twenty-eightshall be taken out. The Clause would then read:Every occupier of industrial lands and heritages shall be entitled on any rate becoming due in respect of such lands and heritages to recover from the owner thereof by retention out of rent or otherwise a sum equal to the owner's share of such rate multiplied by three.That is perfectly clear, and it will not be necessary to go to the Courts. If the Committee accept this Amendment, there will be no question of the lawyers making profit out of this particular Bill. As far as I can understand the position, it is not intended that the lawyers should be included here. But it so happens, owing to the position that the Government have already taken up on other questions, and owing to their intentions with reference to industrial undertakings, that this will prove to be a bit of a gold mine for the lawyers. We want to keep the lawyers out. We have a somewhat less opinion of the lawyer than we have of the owner of the land upon which the industrial undertaking is built. Practically half the men in the mining industry in my County of Lanark at the present time are idle. We are asked to believe that the collieries that are working are not profitable as far as the owners are concerned. They certainly are not profitable as far as the workers are concerned, because they are not getting sufficient wages to enable them to live. However, every quarter that the returns 1373 are published we find that the collieries are very profitable to the owners of the land. The landlords are getting their share.
§ The CHAIRMAN (Mr. James Hope)
I must point out that this is a very narrow question as to whether people who occupy under lease or other arrangement should be included or not. The question is whether the relief given to those who occupy under a lease before the date mentioned shall be extended.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
The intention of the Bill according to the propaganda carried on throughout the country by that portion of the Press supporting the Government and by the Government themselves is to help industry and to make it possible for more men to be employed, and for some sort of return to be given to those who have invested their capital in the various undertakings. I submit that the Clause as it stands will be read in the Courts and by lawyers generally in exactly the same way as that part of it which applies to agricultural land will be read. We want to provide against that. We want to see a simple, clear and understandable Clause dealing with this matter.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I think that the hon. Member is arguing on the whole Clause. He will have an opportunity to do that when the Question is put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." It is a very narrow point as to whether those occupying under a lease later than the period stated should be included in the relief or not.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I accept your ruling, Mr. Hope, and will content myself by saying that we want these two lines taken out, so that it will provide that the occupier of industrial land, or the leaseholder of industrial land or heritages, shall be entitled, on any rate becoming due in respect of such land and heritages, to recover from the owner by retention out of rent. That is to say, that he shall keep the money himself. We want it to be made perfectly clear that he should have the right of keeping the money, and not have to hand it over to that party connected with the undertaking who renders no service at all. I sincerely hope that the Government will accept the genuineness of our demand in this 1374 respect, and will accept the Amendment which has been moved. It will then be possible for people in the country, at least those engaged in industrial undertakings, to believe that the Government are animated by the motives that their supporters have tried to make them believe is the case.
§ Brigadier-General CHARTERIS
The hon. Gentleman the Member for Hamilton (Mr. D. Graham) said, very truly, at the beginning of his speech that he had no doubt that a lawyer would be able to make a complete and competent answer to the case made out by the Mover of the Amendment. I hope that I shall be permitted, not as a lawyer but as a layman, to try to explain why, in my opinion, the Amendment is unnecessary and why it will actually operate in precisely the opposite way from that which the mover and supporter appear to intend. I am not quite sure whether it is clear to the mind of the hon. Member for Hamilton—though I am sure it was to the mind of the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Johnston), who goes into these things deeply—that the seven years' limit does not apply to all leases. It only applies to year by year leases or to arrangements which are not leases. If the Amendment were accepted what would he the result? The landlord would find himself faced either on a tacit agreement or a year by year lease with a perpetual burden on his property. He would have one way of escape, and that would be by at once terminating the tacit agreement or year by year lease and entering into a new lease with the tenant. That new lease would, of course, take no note either of the burden or the benefits in this Bill. If the Amendment were accented, the immediate result would be that the landlord would take steps at once to enter into a new lease in view of the changed conditions, and the tenant would cease to secure the relief provided in the Bill.
§ Brigadier-General CHARTERIS
I have not the least doubt that the landlords would take steps to terminate agreements. New leases would be made taking no note either of the burden or the benefits. That would not mean that 1375 the landlord would put money into his pocket. The position in regard to industrial property is entirely different from that with regard to agricultural property. Any person who has dealt with the question knows that if an industrial landlord dealing with an industrial tenant finds the property burdened with certain conditions his lawyers and the lawyers of the tenant who, after all, are business men, take due note of those conditions in making a new lease. The hon. Member for Dundee, though perhaps not intentionally, was confusing the issue by making it appear that the conditions in regard to agricultural property were the same as those obtaining in regard to industrial property. That is, of course, absurd. An agricultural landlord dealing with an agricultural tenant is in a totally different position from the industrial landlord dealing with an industrial tenant. He views the conditions differently, and is actuated by different motives. The effect of the Bill as it stands appears to be that when the lease terminates, or at the end of seven years, there will be a new lease entered into which will in effect reduce this relief. I think that if the Amendment were accepted it would not only not effect the purpose intended by the mover and supporter, but that it would act in precisely the opposite way with regard to tacit agreements or year to year leases.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
The speeches which we hear to-day from the opposite benches are enabling us to understand this Bill much more clearly than we did when the Debates began. We are dealing with the owner of industrial property now, rather than the benevolent gentleman who was described recently; that type of landlord who merely occupies the position of landlord for the good of his health and the social prestige of his estate. May I bring the Committee back to the statements that were made from the Government when this policy was first submitted to the House. We were then told that the sole object of the policy was to help industry, to encourage the manufacturer, to enable him to compete more successfully with his rivals, particularly his foreign rivals, to reduce unemployment and to give realisation, to some extent, to the repeated promises of 1376 the Prime Minister that industry was about to revive. We have departed from all that, and we have learned, on this Amendment and from the speech to which we have just listened, that the object of this portion of the Bill is to assist certain property owners in Scotland.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
So that the manufacturer in Scotland who has to apply for a lease has to depend upon the generosity of the property owner and not upon the generosity of Parliament.
§ Brigadier-General CHARTERIS
Surely the right hon. Member is sufficiently wise to know that the terms of a lease depend upon supply and demand.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
Let us take a concrete case that will probably arise in Scotland in the ensuing 12 months. It is not the property owner in whom we ought to be interested but the small manufacturer. The great combines are usually in a position to take care of themselves. They can compete successfully with the small manufacturer. The small manufacturer cannot afford to erect the property in which he proposes to carry on his industry; therefore he must lease from a property owner the buildings and land where he is to carry on his business. The original object of the Bill was to help this manufacturer, but now we see, as we examine the Bill, that the small manufacturer is not to benefit much, because if he enters into a lease this year the part of the rates relief that goes to the property owner goes immediately to the property owner. My hon. and gallant Friend may say: "Yes, but that will be taken into account in fixing the terms of the lease." Does he suggest that we are to have a reduction in rent from the property owners, simply because of the benefits that will accrue from this Measure?
§ Brigadier-General CHARTERIS
What I suggested was that the property owner will be faced with the alternative of making a new lease which would take into account all the altered conditions, or continuing on the lines which I mentioned.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
The hon. and gallant Member suggests that there is no need for a Statutory obligation to be put upon the properly owner, and that we should leave the matter to him, because he is such a benevolent gentleman and can be trusted to deal fairly with his tenants. I would ask the Government this question. Why should we to-day, in order to help industry or to reduce unemployment, deliberately put a large sum of money into the pockets of property owners? I want to know, the people of Scotland want to know, and I hope we shall get an answer from the Government. I could see some hope, although I think it is an illusive one, of assisting manufacture by the gifts of public money which we are going to distribute under this Bill, but, what need is there to give money to property owners? The property owners have not complained. There are no unemployed property owners. They have not figured largely in the bankruptcy lists, certainly not in the West of Scotland. They are usually a well-secured, fairly prosperous class of people, much more prosperous than the working classes, who, in the main, will have to pay the subsidy.
It is unfair that if a small manufacturer takes a lease of property after the 1st June, 1928, as the Bill is now amended, he will have no claim to a share of the rates that are now paid by the owner. Under the Bill, a person who is fortunate enough to have a lease will, while that lease subsists, be entitled to get back from the owner a share of the rate relief which the owner receives. That is an admission that, in the view of the Government, it is right that the industrial occupier of the property should have the benefit of the rate relief which the owner obtains at the expense of the taxpayers. We have to look ahead. We are always being told to look ahead. It is not this year with which we are dealing, or next year. We are laying down a policy which will, according to the. Government, not only put industry on its feet in Scotland but keep it on its feet; but in this case, we are not subsidising manufacturers, we are giving a deliberate subsidy to property owners. Is there any scarcity of property owners? Is there any shortage of industrial premises in Scotland? Is it not a fact, as the right hon. Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne) knows, that 1378 there is scarcely an industry but it is over-capitalised as far as property is concerned? We have more mines, and more mills than we need.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
I have been tempted to go rather wide. It is a public scandal to take money out of depressed industries in Scotland and to hand it over to property owners. They do not need it. They have not asked for it. They have no right to it, and the country cannot afford to give it to them. The man who enters into a lease to-day will not get any share of the rate relief which will be taken by the landlord. I do protest most emphatically against public money being used in this way, and I hope that the people of Scotland will realise that this money is not going to the assistance of industry in any form whatever. The owner of the property who is going to benefit in this way does not come along in the way that was claimed for that wonderful landlord who was described the other day: the ground landlord who goes round with a hammer in his hand repairing property and putting it in order generally. There is nothing like that claim which can be made here. All these questions of rates, cost of repairs and so forth are always taken into account in fixing the rent. It is most unfair that the property owner should be given a gift of public money in the way that is proposed. Surely, there was never anything more indefensible. I am surprised that hon. Members on the other side who have gone to the hard-headed logical-minded people of Scotland and advocated this Bill should be supporting a proposal such as is contained in this Clause. It is not only the working classes who will protest against this provision, but the small manufacturers of Scotland, who have to depend for their industry upon rented property, who will be up in arms against the Measure when it is explained to them, as I hope it will be explained, within the next two months.
§ Sir R. HORNE
I have the greatest possible sympathy with the views which have been expressed on this question from the opposite benches, and if I thought that the effect of the Clause would be that the relief which is to be 1379 given to property owners was to pass by the tenant, I should not be in favour of the Clause. Holding those views, it appears to me perfectly clear that if the conditions to which the right hon. Gentleman referred to, exist, the Amendment would be entirely futile to cope with them. The reason why the concession of a reduction in rates is limited to people who have taken out their leases before the 1st June, 1928, is that the people had made their bargains before that date on the old conditions. They knew that there were certain obligations of rates on the landlord which he had to pay out of the rent, which was fixed when the lease was made. Accordingly, it would be entirely improper to allow the landlord to retain the full amount of the rent which he had got on the basis of burdens to which he was then subject, but which he will no longer have to bear when the Bill becomes law, and at the same time allow him to have this advantage at the expense of the tenant. Accordingly, so far as all leases are concerned which were entered into before the Bill was brought in, it was right and proper that the concession which the landlord gets in the way of rates should be shared with the tenant upon the basis that, undoubtedly, in rent, rates are taken into account. As far as any person is concerned who makes a lease after the date at which this Bill was introduced, the conditions are entirely different, because the rent which the landlord is going to ask will be conditioned by a lower system of rates, and, accordingly, in making his deal with the tenant, the tenant will take into account the fact that the landlord is having a certain concession in rates and that, therefore, the rent ought to be reduced by that amount.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
Does the right hon. and learned Member really think that that is the economic basis on which rents are fixed; that the tenant goes to the landlord and asks him how much rates he has to pay, what is the cost of his repairs, etc., and on that he asks for a reasonable rent?
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Sir R HORNE
I know quite enough about business to know that when a person is offering a rent he undoubtedly takes into account the burdens that have to be borne. Otherwise, he is making a very uneconomical arrangement. I am 1380 surprised to hear that the right hon. Gentleman thinks that these things are not taken into account by business men. I am certain that the industrial community are quite enough awake to look after themselves, and that in any bargains made subsequent to the passage of this Bill they will undoubtedly and seriously take into account what has been done in the way of relief of rates upon the particular buildings let to them. Hon. Members opposite will say to me, "Yes, but the landlord is in a very powerful position. He is a rack-renter. He is a man who will take blood out of a stone. He will not let them have anything." Let me assume that that is the attitude of the landlord, although I do not believe that it will be. In my view he will act fairly, not from any reasons of philanthropy or benevolence, but because he recognises that he is not going to get anything more than an economic rent, and that it is not to his interest to kill or stifle the trader or do anything in any way to injure the trade which yields his rent. Let me assume, however, that all that is wrong, and that the landlord is a hard-hearted skinflint who is determined to exact the last shilling that he can get from his tenant. How is this Amendment going to help the tenant? Its effect is that, with regard to all future leases as well as those at present existing, the same division of the rates will continue. But if the landlord is the hard hearted gentleman looking after his own interest that has been described, he has only to put up the rent by so much more on the ground that the tenant is getting all these advantages, and the Amendment comes to nothing at all. For these reasons, though I sympathise with the principle that has been expressed, I am entirely against it.
Mr. WILLIAM ADAMSON
I expected that we would have the sympathy of the right hon. Member for Hillhead (Sir H. Horne), though I was a little surprised at the attitude he took in his speech. The object of this Amendment is to help industry. The Government and their supporters have loudly and blatantly declared in this House and in the country that the object of this Bill is to help the depressed industries and 'agriculture. The undoubted object of this Amendment is that the full benefit proposed by the 1381 Government under its de-rating scheme shall go to those who are bearing the, burden of the depression in our industries. If it is the case that our Amendment, if carried, would place those in industry in the untenable position described by the right hon. Member for Hillhead, then surely he should be assisting us to impress upon the Government the necessity of putting in some other safeguard which would prevent the landlord from taking all the advantages that are to come from the de-rating proposals of the Government. If the words we are proposing here are not suitable, he, As a lawyer and as one sympathising with our proposals, should be assisting us to find a form of words that would protect industry from the greedy landlord who wants to take for himself the full benefit of de-rating.
The Government and their supporters have done their best to make it clear to the country that these proposals are for the specific purpose of helping industry. We, therefore, expect the sympathy of the Lord Advocate when he comes to reply, because the object of this Amendment is undoubtedly to help the depressed industries in Scotland. A considerable proportion of the industries of Scotland are struggling for their lives under present conditions. The struggle did not end on 1st June, 1928, but will continue for some time to come even under the most favourable conditions. If they are to get the assistance that the Government profess to give them, then some safeguard should be inserted to prevent a landlord of the kind described from walking off with the benefits of the Government's de-rating proposals.
§ Mr. MAXTON
If I understood the argument of the right hon. Member for Hillhead (Sir R. Horne), it was directed not so much in support of the Government's Clause as in demolition of the Opposition's Amendment. This is not the first time in Committee of this House that when an Amendment did not fully meet the point which it was desired to attain, by friendly arrangement a form of words was arrived at to carry out its object when both sides were agreed that the object was a desirable one. I take it the position of the right hon. Gentleman is that it is desirable that the full benefit of this concession should 1382 go to the occupier, the active industrial producer, the man who is going to show enterprise and who is developing new industries or old industries in a new way, and so employ people at present unemployed and render his quota of service to the defeat of the stagnation which has come over industry. I gather that it is his desire that the benefit should go to such a man, and not to the passive drawer of rent. He finished up, however, on a very dismal note by informing this Committee that, try as they pleased, they could not devise any form of legislation which would prevent the owner of property from getting the profit in the long run.
§ Mr. MAXTON
So it is popularly alleged. It seems to be rather an appalling statement, and an endorsement of the suggestion I offered to the Committee last night with reference to agricultural landowners, that the only possible final solution of this difficulty was to expropriate the landowners.
§ The CHAIRMAN
It cannot be in order to move an Amendment on that point which would not be within the Title of the present Bill.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I am sorry to have incurred your displeasure in this matter. I regret that I had left my present function of a Member of the House of Commons and had reverted to the profession by which I formerly got my living. I was endeavouring to teach the right hon. Member for Hillhead a few elementary economic principles. I do not think it is outside the wit of this House to devise an Amendment. Personally, I believe that the Amendment which has been moved does cover the ground. The right hon. Gentleman assumes that every transaction of this description is between a willing buyer and a willing seller. He knows perfectly well that such a trans 1383 action is the exception, and not the rule. He knows that the man wanting industrial premises invariably wants them in a particular place. His desire to have them is decided by supply of raw material, by supply of labour in the vicinity accustomed to the type of process he proposes to carry on, and by the convenience of transport facilities, either by road or by water. The man who is going to carry through some industrial function has his plans made on the assumption that he can carry it through at some particular geographical situation. He is an anxious buyer going to an unwilling seller. In these circumstances the unwilling seller is able to impose his terms on the buyer, and knows that the fact that the man owning the property is secured certain reliefs by the legislation of this House will riot enter as a factor into the fixing of the price. The seller of the property will demand the highest market price he can get. The active industrial producer, the, man whom it is intended to help by all this legislation, is going to be exploited once more, and any possible reduction in the price of his commodity which the Government hope to give him by this legislation will be taken away from him, and put into the pocket of the passive owner of property who is taking no part in the work of stimulating the production of this country. Therefore, I urge the Committee to support this Amendment, and to give effect to what was avowed to be the intention of the Government in introducing this legislation.
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I am divided between a desire not to appear discourteous to the Committee and a desire not to repeat arguments which, I am afraid, I have used more than once. It may interest the Committee to be reminded, with regard to this particular form of relief, that, in effect, there will be half as great a relief applied as a whole on the occupier's rate as on the owner's rate, because there are certain rates levied on occupiers only, and everybody knows that these premises will mostly be in towns and the rates are levied more heavily upon occupiers than upon owners. The Committee will also bear in mind that probably the bulk of the premises in question, and certainly the most valuable ones, will be occupied by owners whom this present question 1384 does not affect at all. The position of the Government is just the same as it was on similar arguments in other cases. We are wholeheartedly in agreement that, because of this new form of relief, it is fair to correct the conditions under which existing contracts have been entered into.
We equally believe that the right thing to do is to leave the parties free, on the basis of this new fact and circumstance, which is relevant to the fixing of rent, to contract again, and our views appear to be confirmed by the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton), who appears to think that the only cure for it is nationalisation. If it is true that nothing will prevent this benefit going to the landlord, as hon. Members opposite say, what difference does it make whether you accept the Amendment or not? Landlords, apparently, are a class distrusted and suspected by hon. Members opposite, even in connection with a comparatively innocent Amendment. The argument has been stated more than once previously, and I do not propose to detain the Committee any longer, except to say that we cannot accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. MAXTON
I want to ask the Lord Advocate whether this does not put the occupier of industrial premises in Scotland on an entirely different footing from that of the occupier and user of industrial premises in England. The position as between landlord and tenant in Scotland under this Clause is absolutely different from that which has been applied to England under corresponding legislation.
§ Mr. MAXTON
That is not an adequate answer to the essential point of my question. The difference is this: that while the industrial occupier in England, under the de-rating scheme, is going to have effective relief, the industrial ocupier in Scotland is not going to get such relief and therefore Scottish legislation in this matter is absolutely contradictory to English legislation.
The LORD AVOCATE
Not at all. At the present moment the occupier pays all the rates in England, and you cannot get away from that distinction. It is quite different in Scotland where the rates are divided generally half and half 1385 between the two. Therefore, you are starting on a different basis and you cannot apply the same system to both countries.
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
The Lord Advocate is scarcely covering the whole ground. He knows that under the English system the whole of the relief will go to the occupier of industrial property for whom it is intended, while in Scotland, on leases entered into after the 1st of June last year, only half of the relief will go to the occupier of property used for industrial purposes. Surely he sees that this is going to put a Scottish manufacturer in an unfair position as compared with his English competitor. Is that fair to Scotland? Is it not his duty to defend Scotland? Is it fair that manufacturers in Scotland should be treated differently to that in which competing manufacturers in England are treated? Surely we are entitled to protection?
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
May I ask the Lord Advocate another question? He has told us that there is a large proportion of owner occupiers. Can he tell us what proportion of rate relief is going to the proprietors of industrial land and heritages and what propertion to the tenants? He has given us figures for agricultural subjects. Can he give us the figures for industrial subjects?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE
I shall have to get the exact figures. Roughly, it works out at about half as much again. There will be half as great a relief applied as a whole on the occupier's rate as on the owner's rate.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
If I put a question down, will he give me a specific answer as to the amount of public money the proprietors of industrial leases are going to get?
§ Mr. HARDIE
So far we have had no reply from the Government to the statement that the English manufacturer is in an advantageous position as compared with the Scottish manufacturer. I think the Government should face the question; and I hope the Under-Secretary will see the necessity of letting Scottish industrialists know exactly what the position is going to be.
§ Mr. W. BENNETT
I fancy that my colleagues on these benches are labouring under a complete misapprehension. The whole object of the Government in regard to this Bill has changed. Whatever they may have said last year about it being a measure to assist industry, the position has changed even this afternoon. The right hon. Member for Hill-head (Sir R. Horne), has stated that the reason why a share of the loot should go to the landlords was because they were in the position of investors in the industry, and were only obtaining a small rate of interest, about 3 per cent., and, therefore, as investors, as shareholders, they were entitled to a share of the loot under this Bill.
§ Sir R. HORNE
May I point out to the hon. Member that I made no such statement. I gave the illustration about landlords investing their capital in farms and farm buildings as a reply to statements of hon. Members opposite, that landlords were a mere parasite. I explained that they were not parasites because they invested their money. I quoted what the right hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. Wheatley) said about a depositor being entitled to his interest, and pointed out that the landlord was not getting much return in the way of interest on the capital he had invested in land. That is a totally different point and I hope the hon. Member will not confuse the two things.
§ Mr. BENNETT
What the right hon. Member has just said only confirms my statement. The argument is that the landlord as an investor has a right, because he has invested his money, to share in the money which the Government is giving under this Bill.
§ Mr. BENNETT
The landlord is claiming a share in the relief under the de-rating scheme because of the fact that he is an investor and has put his money in the business of farming and agriculture. That is quite a different reason to that given in the first place; that the object of this Bill was to give relief to industry in order to increase employment.
§ Sir R. HORNE
Perhaps the hon. Member will read my argument and reflect upon it, and not misrepresent me further.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
I hope the Lord Advocate will reply to the question which has been put to him. It is quite true that the system of rating in Scotland is different to that in England. In Scotland the owner pays one half and the occupier the other half. But that does not apply to the whole of Scotland. In some burghs you may get an occupier paying five times as much as the owner.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
You are going to inflict a big hardship on Scottish industrialists as compared with English. In England they get all the relief but in Scotland the same principle is not applied, because we have a different system of rating.
§ Mr. SKELTON
May I ask the hon. Member one question? How does he propose to give rating relief if a man does not pay rates?
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
I do not know what the hon. and learned Member means. If a man does not pay rates he cannot get relief.
§ Mr. SKELTON
How can an occupier in Scotland who only pays half the rates get relief for the whole amount?
§ Mr. MAXTON
The hon. and learned Member for Perth and Kinross (Mr. Skelton) puts what he regards as an insoluble problem to my hon. Friend. He asks, how does a person who does not pay rates get relief? He gets relief by a subsidy from the Exchequer.
§ Sir R. HORNE
The position would be quite clear if the occupier in Scotland was in the same position as the occupier in England. In that case he would pay the whole of the rates. Unless you can put the whole burden of the rates on the occupier, as in England, you cannot get the same relief.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
The right hon. Member for Hillhead knows this question fairly well. The occupier both in England and Scotland pays the rates. In Scotland he pays in one way, and in England in another way. And you are making a difference in the legislation, as between the two countries.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out to the word 'sixteenth,' in line 27, stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 197; Noes, 109.1389
|Division No. 217.]||AYES.||[7.30 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut-Colonel||Burton, Colonel H. W.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Butt, Sir Alfred||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Albery, Irving James||Cassels, J. D.||Gates, Percy|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Cayzer, Maj.Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth,S.)||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Grant, Sir J. A.|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)|
|Atkinson, C.||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Harland, A.|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Cope, Major Sir William||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Bennett, Albert (Nottingham, C.)||Couper, J. B.||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Berry, Sir George||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington. N.)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Henderson,Capt.R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Blundell, F. N.||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hills, Major John Waller|
|Brass, Captain W.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Eden, Captain Anthony||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Ellis, R. G.||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Fermoy, Lord||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Ford, Sir P. J.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Fraser, Captain Ian||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Hurst, Gerald B.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Nicholson,Cot.Rt.Hon.W.G. (Ptrst'ld.)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine,C.)|
|James, Lieut-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Nuttall, Ellis||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Oakley, T.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Penny, Frederick George||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Perring, Sir William George||Tusker, R. Inigo.|
|Long, Major Eric||Plicher, G.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Power, Sir John Cecil||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Preston, Sir Walter (Cheltenham)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Radford, E. A.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Ramsden, E.||Waddington, R.|
|McLean, Major A.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Remer, J. R.||Ward Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Margesson, Capt. D.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Ropner, Major L.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Ross, R. D.||Wells, S. R.|
|Meller, R. J.||Ruggies-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dairymple|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Meyer, Sir Frank||Rye, F. G.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Moore, Sir Newton J.||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Sandon, Lord||Wragg, Herbert|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Nelson, Sir Frank||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl.(Rentrew,W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Shepperson, E. W.||Major the Marquess of Titchfield|
|Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||and Sir Victor Warrender.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hardie, George D.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Harris, Percy A.||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hayes, John Henry||Smillie, Robert|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Barnes, A.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Barr, J.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Snell, Harry|
|Batey, Joseph||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bellamy, A.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Kelly, W. T.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kennedy, T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Lawrence, Susan||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cape, Thomas||Lawson, John James||Tomilnson, R. P.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lee, F||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lindley, F. W.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lowth, T.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon.J. R.(Aberavon)||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Connolly, M.||Mackinder, W.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Cove, W. G.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Westwood, J.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Maxton, James||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Day, Harry||Montague, Frederick||Whiteley, W.|
|Dennison, R.||Murnin, H.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Dunnico, H.||Oliver, George Harold||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accilngton)||Owen, Major G.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Paling, W.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Forrest, W.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Potts, John S.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Gillett, George M.||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Windsor, Walter|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Ritson, J.||Wright, W.|
|Greenall, T.||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Scrymgeour, E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Scurr, John||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. T. Henderson.|
|Groves, T.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Shield, G. W.|
§ It being after half-past Seven of the Clock the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 12th December, successively to put forthwith the Questions on any Amendments moved by1390
§ the Government of which notice had been given and the Questions necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at half-past Seven of the Clock at this day's Sitting.1391
§ Further Amendments made:
§ In page 33, line 27, leave out the words "sixteenth day of May," and insert instead thereof the words "first day of June."
§ In line 39, leave out the words "In this Section," and insert instead thereof the words:1392
§ "For the purposes of this Section a lease shall be deemed to have been entered into on the date of the term of entry thereunder, and."—[The Lord Advocate.]
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 199; Noes, 109.1393
|Division No. 218.]||AYES.||[7.38 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut-Colonel||Ford, Sir P. J.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Forrest, W.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn.W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Albery, Irving James||Fraser, Captain Ian||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Oakley, T.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Gates, Petty||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Goff, Sir Park||Penny, Frederick George|
|Ashley, Lt. Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Gower, Sir Robert||Perring, Sir William George|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Grant, Sir J. A.||Plicher, G.|
|Atkinson, C.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Preston, Sir Walter (Cheltenham)|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Radford, E. A.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Ramsden, E.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Hammersley, S. S.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Bennett, Albert (Nottingham, C.)||Harland, A.||Remer, J. R.|
|Berry, Sir George||Harrison, G. J. C.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hartington, Marquess of||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Blundell, F. N.||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Henderson,Capt.R.R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Ross, R. D.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||RuggIes-Brise, Lieut-Colonel E. A.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Rye, F. G.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Hills, Major John Waller||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Samuel, Samuel (W'deworth, Putney)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Sandon, Lord|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Brovn-Lindsay, Major H.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew,W.)|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Shepperson, E. W|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Hume, Sir G. H.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Skelton, A. N.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Hurd, Percy A.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hurst, Gerald B.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Cayzer, Maj.Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Streatfelld, Captain S. R.|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Tasker, R. Inlgo.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Templeton, W. P.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Couper, J. B.||McLean, Major A.||Waddington, R.|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington. N.)||Macmillan, Captain H.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Macquisten, F. A.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Margesson, Captain D.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Meller, R. J.||Wells, S. R.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Meyer, Sir Frank||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Ellis, R. G.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Morrison, H. (Wilts. Salisbury)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Fermoy, Lord||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Major Sir William Cope and Sir Victor Warrender.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pentypool)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Groves, T.||Scurr, John|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bllston)||Hardie, George D.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Barnes, A.||Harris, Percy A.||Shield, G. W.|
|Barr, J.||Hayes, John Henry||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smillie, Robert|
|Bellamy, A.||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, Rennie (Panistone)|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bromley, J.||Hutchison, Maj.-Gan. Sir R.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Sutton, J. E.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kelly, W. T.||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kennedy, T.||Tomilnson, R. P.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lawrence, Susan||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Lawson, John James||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Connolly, M.||Lee, F.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Cove, W. G.||Lindley, F. W.||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lowth, T.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Dalton, Hugh||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Day, Harry||Mackinder, W.||Westwood, J.|
|Dennison, R.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Dunnico, H.||Maxton, James||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Montague, Frederick||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Murnin, H.||Williams, David (Swansea, E)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Oliver, George Harold||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Owen, Major G.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Gillett, George M.||Paling, W.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin.,Cent.)||Potts, John S.||Windsor, Walter|
|Greenall, T.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wright, W.|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Ritson, J.|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Saklatvala, Shapurji||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Whiteley and Mr. B. Smith.|