§ Mr. ERNEST BROWN
I beg to move, in page 35, line 11, to leave out from the beginning, to the word "in," in line 12, and to insert instead thereof the words:Such grants as are payable out of the Consolidated Fund or the growing produce thereof into the Local Taxation (Scotland) Account.This Amendment has for its purpose to effect an alteration in the method of distributing the general Exchequer contribution. We move to leave out from the operation of the block consolidated grant the health grants and the road grants. I believe that there is no single issue raised in the Bill which is causing more disquietude in the country—and I am quite sure that that has been reflected in the minds of the Members of the Government themselves—than the change over as regards health services from the percentage to the block system. We have heard many arguments about the advantages and disadvantages of the two systems. Two main arguments have been used about the advantage of the block system as compared with the percentage system. The first one, and the one which has been most sharply raised, is that it will make for economy, but it is quite obvious that the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland will not use that argument in connection with the health services. However strongly he may press it with regard to the whole rate-borne and grant-borne expenditure, he will not raise that argument with regard to health services, so of course those who favour this particular plan have been driven back to the argument that the percentage system works unfairly as regards the necessitous areas, and that as a matter of fact the percentage system has enabled the more well-to-do to proceed with their health services, whereas the necessitous areas have not been able to do so.
I want to ask the Committee for a minute or two to look at what this means, first of all with regard to Scotland, and secondly, with regard to the City of Edinburgh. We propose to leave out from the operation of the block system the maternity and child welfare grant for Scotland amounting to £157,000, the grant for tubercular treatment amounting to £347,000, the grant for venereal disease treatment amounting to £66,000, the grant for the welfare of the blind amount- 1398 ing to £20,000, and the mental deficiency grant of £76,000, totalling £667,000, with the road grant amounting to £280,800. With regard to Edinburgh, the figures will be: for tubercular treatment £20,900, for child welfare £9,000, for venereal disease £12,000, and for sundry other services £345, totalling together £42,380. If I may take the comparison between the total grant of £2,050,000 for Scotland and the £778,000 for the City of Edinburgh, the Committee will have some idea of the magnitude of the proposal.
The first argument that I wish to urge in favour of the proposal contained in the Amendment is that the Committee have already decided that the Government's plan for merging all the public health services under one control in order that they may obtain team work against disease or for maternity benefit, will be hampered by the application of the block system to those services. I think the Under-Secretary will find that it will be hard to shake that view. Indeed, I think I can prove from the Bill itself that the argument I am now using was in the minds of the Government when the Bill was drafted, because I cannot read Clause 50 in any other way The Government themselves take power in that Clause to reduce the grants in the case of inefficient administration which they define in two ways, first of all, cases where not enough money has been spent on these services, and, secondly, cases where there has been, extravagance in regard to these services. That seems to show that the Government themselves are aware that, having departed from the principle of allocating the grant for a specific and definite service to the principle of merging the sum of money so provided in a general grant, they will not be able to control, without other powers, the distribution of the money. That is what has been the cause of the dubiety which is to be found among those who are concerned in forwarding the health services of the country.
The proposal of the Government is that in place of the percentage arrangement previously given there shall be a fixed sum to be included in the general grant. That fixed sum shall have no relation to the actual expenditure on any one of these particular services. Further, that fixed sum shall not merely have no relation to any particular service, but it will 1399 be fixed once and for all upon the moneys expended in the standard year. That I regard as one of the worst of all the elements in the proposal. There can be no assurance—of course the Under-Secretary will urge that the sum given in compensation will make allowance for expansion—that the additional moneys amounting in the first period to £760,000 only for the whole of Scotland, will be sufficient to make up for the money that is to be directed into these channels. This sum of money, being applied on the basis of a particular year, cannot be used to meet the actual expenditure of any other year. We have no assurance that the particular year fixed—1929—will be an ordinary or an average year at all, much less a year calculated to meet expanded services. Indeed, when we read the official answers given as to the present distribution of these services throughout Scotland, we all know that, so far from the means of forwarding these services having been exhausted, in very many cases these services are only in their infancy at present. That is a powerful argument for hesitating before we do for Scotland what we have done for England, namely, to merge these sums of money inside the block grant.
The whole issue may be raised in two ways. First of all, let us assume for a moment that the Government have been wise in saying that they will transfer the health functions from other authorities to the county councils, and to the large burghs as regards the major services. Let us assume that the UnderSecretary—I know he would like to do so—is leading a new crusade for preventive medicine against disease and is asking for more efficiency in the administration of the health services from the new units chosen. Let us grant the Government that they have taken a step forward. Let us put it as high as we can. Let us grant that it is a great idealistic conception—and I believe it is—in order more fully to organise the medical services and, what is even stronger, to enable more whole-time medical officers of health to be appointed because of the wider area and the greater concentration of the services. How foolish it is when, having in view a thing of that kind, to risk—I put it on the lowest ground—the efficiency of your new organisation by departing from the 1400 system of grants which, by general consent, has worked in the direction of increasing and developing the services. There can be no doubt whatever that where the percentage grant has been applied it has been a powerful stimulant to the development of these services.
We ought not to part with this without having some regard to the principles on which these grants ought to be distributed. Surely, we ought to recognise in settling the principles of the ideal system, that State grants to the local authorities are the necessary concomitant of duties which are national in character, or designed to benefit the community as a whole, and are only administered locally for reasons of public policy and convenience instead of being administered centrally. If that be the basis, it follows that the State grant for these services should not be fixed on the basis of local resources or ability to pay, but on the basis of services rendered. These grants should be direct in respect of definite services. That is the core of my argument. These services should rest on the basis of a contractual relationship between the State and the local authorities. The local authorities' part of the contract should be to administer the duties to the satisfaction of the State. The State's part of the contract should be to make equitable payments on a definite basis for, or towards, the administration of the particular duties or services. These are very sound principles. The system now being inaugurated does not fit in with such a basis or with these principles. The only argument I have heard in favour of the change is that the authorities that have used the percentage system have been those that are the better-to-do. The less well-to-do have not been able to use them. If the Government could prove that by their system they can more equitably distribute the money and allocate it to these services, there might be weight in the argument. But the whole system that the Government are proposing will give the lie to that argument, because, whatever may be the proportions distributed with the principle of the weighted population and the formula which determines it, not one penny of a particular sum of money allocated to an area, whether it be a needy or a prosperous area, is allocated to any definite service.
1401 It cannot be said that the country has any assurance that the allocation of these grants inside a general fixed grant, based on an arbitrary system and determined by an arbitrary formula, will enable one single necessitous area to increase its health service as against the other. On the other hand, it can be powerfully argued that such progress as we have had with the development of these services is due to two movements. It is generally argued that the move must come from the centre. I contest that argument. It is true that the basis of service rests on Acts of Parliament, passed in this House and originating in this House, but it is also true that those Acts of Parliament have generally been made possible by the final assent of certain local authorities. This kind of re-distribution of the grant must powerfully hinder experimental work of all kinds in the future among these particular authorities. Therefore, we may lose that local initiative and urge which has helped to make the popular conscience which, in the end, has determined the legislation of these and other authorities through the central chamber.
There are two other points I would like to make. I would remind the Under-Secretary that in the Convention of Royal Burghs Report these significant words—and they are very significant—are to be found:Almost without exception the financial officers of local authorities are satisfied that the substitution of the block grant system for the percentage grant system will, if introduced, operate to the advantage of the Treasury and to the serious disadvantage of the local authorities. The fixing of the amount of the grant for fixed periods, based on a standard year, will tend to stop all progress, and, in the event of an industrial crisis or a period of severe unemployment, will place an overwhelming burden on the local ratepayers.I think that sums up the argument from the point of view of finance, but we are dubious in the matter also because of the very structure of the grant now proposed to be made. Surely it cannot be argued by the Under-Secretary that the additional monies in the first period of three years—£750,000—proposed, or that the new guarantee now to be found in the Bill of the retention of the ratio between the first Exchequer contribution and the total rate-borne grant or expenditure for all time is sufficient to meet any expan- 1402 sion. We have to remember two things. We bad to remember first that, in the Memorandum attached to this Bill, it is pointed out that the ratio so determined will only be one-quarter of any increase. The figure as given in the Memorandum, the suppositious increase, is £1,200,000 at the end of the period when the revision comes, and the ratio will be 25 per cent. of that—£300,000—leaving the remainder to be borne by the local ratepayers and, in a larger proportion by the ratepayers who are not de-rated under the scheme. That is, on a narrow assessable basis. In Edingurgh, that basis, argued in terms of a penny rate, means that the yield of a penny rate has gone down from £20,000 to £18,600.
I am sure the Government did not undertake this without serious thought, but I cannot allow this thing to go through without having the chance of moving an Amendment and without urging that the experiment of the police grants of 1890 ought to have warned the Government that the block system is a very grave danger to the local authorities. It leaves the Treasury with a calculable burden, but it leaves the local authorities with a burden which, being incalculable, is a very dangerous burden. It leaves the Treasury, which has many ways of raising money, with that calculable burden, but it leaves the local authority with an incalculable burden and with only one way of raising revenue, and that is by its rating system. The percentage system, with all its defects—and I do not want it to be thought that it has no defects—is simple, it is understood, it is definitely allocated to a particular service, it has aided progress wherever applied, and it does meet definite annual obligations.
The worst effect of the application of the new system will be that, so far from drawing together all those who are in favour of the expansion of health services as a band of brothers who desire to help each other in the great work for preventive medicine, it will set up a competition among idealists which will mean that one will want more money for tuberculosis treatment, another will want more for maternity and child welfare, another will want more for the treatment of venereal disease, and it will leave local authorities with a very grave burden or a change of burdens, and with the 1403 temptation that these moneys may be used for other local needs. That is the meaning of Clause 50. I regard it as a retrograde step. I believe it will hamstring the Government's own scheme for the concentration and better working of the medical services. Therefore, I move this Amendment, hoping that the Government and the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland will be wiser than the Minister of Health in England, and will, for Scotland, as apart from England, cut out at least the health grant, if not the road grant, from the operation of the general consolidated rate grant.
§ Major ELLIOT
The hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) has undoubtedly raised one of the major issues of the whole of our Debates upon this Bill, and it is an occasion on which this can be examined in a rather favourable atmosphere, because, first of all, it is clear that we are not dealing here with a party issue, and furthermore, that we are dealing with an issue which will confront Governments of successive complexions for a period of many years to come. The great problems of taxation, the great fiscal problems, are undoubtedly going to be more and more important as time goes on. The State has already become a large partner in industry, a partner to the extent of 25 per cent, or it may be 50 per cent. by the weight of the taxation which it imposes, and the direction in which its enormous influence is felt will have a preponderating effect on the development of industry as well as on the development of those social services to which we are now addressing ourselves; and local taxation has, as we all recognise, become in recent years a factor scarcely less important than that of Imperial taxation itself.
Therefore, the problem of the revenues of the local authorities, which was tackled in 1899, which has been tackled from time to time since, which is tackled in this Bill, will, as I say, confront not merely this Administration but future Administrations, and it may well be that on some other occasion, from some other quarter of the House, I may be forced to criticise the actions of some other Administration which is carrying out developments of this scheme to which I would find myself whole-heartedly opposed. Therefore, we have now a distinct problem, the 1404 problem of providing revenue, of deciding from what source the local authorities are to derive the revenues which are the very steam in the boiler of the whole engine. On that, the system of assigned revenues has been tried and has clearly and obviously broken down.
§ Major ELLIOT
It might perhaps take me rather far to answer that question, but, in general, we should all agree that the assigned revenues have broken down, because of the de-localisation of finance. In the modern industrial State, with the local revenues derived from no one particular place, it is no longer possible to apply that system. The collapse of the shale industry may only be remedied by revenues drawn from the expanding trade in oil imported into Cardiff, or somewhere else hundreds of miles away. I would go further and say that we all agree that the Exchequer, the great financial engine of the State, must be brought into play to raise a great portion of the revenues which the local authorities are to expend. We are dealing now with the basis on which the Exchequer contribution is to be made towards the needs, the expanding needs, it may be, of the local authorities. The scheme of the Government is the scheme which we are now discussing, and we are discussing it with particular reference to the health services. The scheme is not a stereotyped grant, as the hon. Member seems still to have in his mind.
§ Mr. BROWN
The hon. and gallant Member is misrepresenting me. I made it perfectly plain that it is a stereotype grant as regards the elements of grants and rates in the Exchequer contribution, and I made it plain that there was a variable sum of money, £750,000. The only part of the grant that is not stereotyped is £750,000; the other is.
§ Major ELLIOT
I think we are talking of different things. My point is that this grant is not a stereotyped grant, but is subject to the revision of experience.
§ Mr. BROWN
I cannot agree with that view. We are dealing with a general Exchequer contribution with three elements: Element A, £3,200,000, for loss of rates; element B, which is what we are now discussing, £2,050,000, for loss of grant. Those two elements are fixed for all time, and there is no alteration and no revision of them. The only element in this general Exchequer contribution which is liable to revision is the £750,000 and whatever may be added to that.
§ Major ELLIOT
But the hon. Member has given away the whole of his case in the last words, namely, "whatever may be added to that," because a sum has to be added to that to preserve the ratio between central and local expenditure which is now existing, and, although he said it was a 25 per cent. relation, yet he is not ignorant of the fact that now the Exchequer is assuming partial responsibility over a much wider field than the field previously covered. Now, the whole of the expenditure of the local authorities, instead of a portion of it, is brought within this ambit; and expenditure on Poor Law services, services which in the past have been among the most expensive services of the local authorities, are now brought within the operation of this scheme, so that any expansion in the Poor Law services such as took place after the industrial depression, which did not attract a penny from the national Exchequer, would, and will now, if ever it occurs, attract a proportionate amount from the national Exchequer. Although it is true to say "£750,000, or whatever may be added to that," yet what would need to be added to that to preserve the ratio in the case of all that local expanding Poor Law expenditure would, as we all agree, have meant to the local authorities a very considerable sum if this guarantee had been in existence in 1919, 1920, or even 1921.
We have, therefore, adopted the method of a grant based upon, first of all, compensation; secondly, a weighted population, a very important factor; thirdly, a permanent increase in the rateable value for every area in the country, and, as well, a substantial sum of new money; and, further to that, a guarantee carrying with it a guarantee of an increase in successive periods if and when local authority expenditure increases. In the 1406 original scheme this sum was to be revised at a five year period, but I submit that a great portion of the hon. Member's argument is cut away by the proposals which we are now bringing forward. This sum is now to be revised in a three year period. Whatever the fears of the hon. Member, he cannot seriously ask the Committee to believe that within a three year period not only will the whole of the sum of the new money have been eaten up, but that the local authorities will be pushed so far against their financial limitations that it will be cramping and crippling the new social services which they are anxious to expand. We have cut down the period enormously. The local authorities themselves did not do more than suggest a three year period of revision, and that has been conceded. The first revision takes place in three years from now, and we can all, surely, admit that the stereotyped grants, such as the grants for the police, which the hon. Member is bringing forward to support his case, were not revised in three years. If they had had in the past the guarantees which we have now of a statutory review within three years, of a further review four years later, and successive reviews at intervals of five years afterwards, I venture to say that the anomalies which have arisen in the case of the police grant would never have arisen at all.
We have this question to consider. Is the proposal of the Government reasonable in close relation to the particular services which we are considering, namely, the health services? I say it is, and for this reason. The essential part of any scheme, as has been said by the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton), is that it should make the money available for these services if the local authority desire to expend it on these services. The principle of percentage grants has worked in many cases satisfactorily, but in other cases it has not worked satisfactorily. There are large areas to-day, represented by hon. Members on the Liberal benches, which, for instance, have no child welfare schemes at all. The central department has no power, at present, to enforce schemes and the local authorities have no money with which to put schemes into operation. The Highland counties will receive a sum of over £80,000 a year 1407 under this proposal and the Government will have power to call for the institution of such services. There is a compulsory element. The Government scheme provides the cash and the necessary compulsion, but we do not believe that compulsion will be necessary. The local authorities themselves, if they have the funds, will desire to put these services into operation. This is not by any means the novelty in our finance and in our health legislation that the hon. Member for Leith seems to suppose. Previously, the vast health field covered by the Poor Law did not attract one penny of grant.
§ Major ELLIOT
We are bringing the Poor Law within the ambit of the services which are covered by the general guarantee, and, public scandal or not, let me put it to the hon. Member, that local authorities in the past have not hesitated to develop their health services under the Poor Law. They have not hesitated to develop health services under the Poor Law in Glasgow and in Aberdeen and in many of the cities and counties of Scotland although, in fact, those services were not attracting Government grants. Take the case the other way round. Many hon. Members opposite will remember a famous Debate which took place not long after the Clyde brigade came down to the House of Commons when a number of Members were suspended. The hon. Member for Bothwell (Mr. Sullivan) will doubtless remember that occasion clearly. The Debate arose because of the discontinuance under a previous Administration of certain grants which had been given in aid of the treatment of measles and hon. Members on this side were denounced in unmeasured terms for having countenanced or sanctioned the discontinuance of that expenditure.
It was put up to us that we were slaughtering the children of Glasgow. I was younger and more impressionable then, and I was carried away by those denunciations, and, that year, when we were revising the Estimates, I went to considerable trouble—as the ex-Financial 1408 Secretary will realise—and managed to obtain a substantial grant to be expended on a percentage basis and on an ad koc basis for stimulating the treatment of measles by hospitalisation, particularly in the industrial centres of Glasgow. I reviewed that grant a few weeks ago. What had happened? It had not made one penny of difference one way or the other. When the grant was discontinued Glasgow did not cut down hospitalisation by one day, and, when it was restored, Glasgow did not add to its hospitalisation by one day on account of that grant. The argument that the percentage grant is the determining factor with the local authorities breaks down completely in that specific case. This was acting simply as a general Exchequer contribution and when this sum was given, the rates were reduced to that extent, and when it was taken away the rates were increased.
§ Major ELLIOT
What the hon. Member for Leith was contending was that unless a sum were given ad hoc the city or the county would cut down its services.
§ Major ELLIOT
He was contending that if these sums were given ad omnia the city or the county would be unable to maintain and develop its services. A single example of that kind taught me a great deal. I realised that the long-continued and developed health policies of the great health authorities are not deflected one way or the other by the casual offer or even the continuing offer of a percentage grant. They depend on far more stable and permanent things. They depend on the health conscience of the community, on the will of the electorate, on the enlightened health administration of the local authorities. These are the things on which they should depend, and the local authorities ought to be left, as free as possible, vis-è-vis the central authority. The central authority, I am sure, should make its contribution, giving as free a hand as it can to the great local authorities. It should do its utmost, as we are doing in this Bill, to see that the 1409 local authority covers a sufficient area, and has sufficient resources itself to plan and develop such policies. The contribution of the central authority should be given with a view to bringing the aid of the national resources to the help of the local resources which the local authority is able to command. If we can get it to a point where it does not need to exercise its influence by continually holding out a carrot here or a carrot there in front of the running donkey of local administration then we shall have reached a very much happier position.
§ Major ELLIOT
I shall not go into a debate upon that matter with the hon. Member. I say that the principle of the local authority itself planning and developing its services with the aid of a contribution, generously devised, and given so as to throw the greatest money where its weight is most needed, and providing for revision at fixed periods, is a sound economic and administrative scheme, and it is the general basis of the proposal which we are advancing here. We are not strangers to this line of policy in Scotland. Our great education grant is not distributed on a percentage basis but on terms analogous to those which we are about to propose.
§ Major ELLIOT
It is for a particular service with all kinds of ancillary developments which might or might not be undertaken by a particular authority in a particular matter. It is given in the form of a general Exchequer contribution distributed according to a formula which has many of the elements of complexity complained of in the formula in the Bill. It is distributed on lines which actually give less to certain areas than a percentage grant. Edinburgh for instance has not only less than a fifty-fifty percentage on education but the percentage has actually been diminished in recent years—1926–27, 44.3; 1927–28, 44.4, and, 1928–29; 42.5. I have not heard that Edinburgh has cut down its education or is stinting its children or is starving its schools for defectives on that account. Meanwhile, by the formula, we throw money into other places. Sutherland for instance is getting 79 per cent. 1410 of its educational expenditure and a county like Inverness is also obtaining much above the fifty-fifty proportion of its educational expenditure. We have under our hand the example of a great service fed by a general Exchequer contribution distributed, not on the fifty-fifty basis, but on a basis according to needs. It is on that basis that we ask the House to consider the scheme we are bringing forward. It is on that basis that we have devised the scheme to assist local revenues which we are now bringing forward. In the past we have found this problem a most difficult and intractable one. The problem of the local revenue and its relation to the national revenue has been examined by administration after administration. I do not pretend that this solution is perfect, I do not pretend that it will not need to be revised, but it does lay down broad general lines upon which national and local development can take place. I confidently ask the Committee to reject the Amendment and to support the Government.
§ Mr. WILLIAM GRAHAM
The Amendment which has been proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) undoubtedly raises one of the most important parts of this Bill as applied to Scotland, and I entirely agree with the observation of the Under-Secretary that we should try to debate it with the care which the subject deserves. First of all, we want to be perfectly clear as to the position which Scotland will occupy if by any chance this scheme becomes the law of the land. We had a certain preliminary discussion on the Financial Resolution. The Government will no doubt contend that they are bound by the decisions reached on the English Bill, but in Scotland it is our duty to notice what is the broad nature of the grants we have been receiving within recent years, and what is involved in the introduction of a block or fixed grant system, although it may be a varying annual amount as applied to these health services. This Clause wipes out the old assigned revenues, it wipes out, on their present basis, the health grants under the headings described in the Bill, and it also wipes out certain road grants. It proposes to incorporate these in an ingredient of the coming general Exchequer contribution. With the 1411 part of the speech of the Under-Secretary devoted to the assigned revenues probably no Member of the Committee will disagree, because right from 1889 and the so-called Goschen reforms it has been plain that, sooner or later, such an allocation of the revenue from a kind of fixed fund would become wholly inappropriate to the development of social and other services. Practically all the Royal Commissions and committees since that time have reported adversely upon the assigned revenues, and it has been one of the miracles of the system of local government in Great Britain that that system should have survised until 1929. It only survived because it became, from the standpoint of finance, a very unimportant element in the general relationship of the State to the local authorities, and so no tears will be shed by any Scottish Member over the disappearance of this fixed and now futile contribution.
Let us observe the position of Scotland as regards those grants to which the Under-Secretary directed attention. I will take the case of education and the police. Unfortunately for our country in some respects, we have been dragged at the heel of the English arrangement in education. It is true, as I suppose the Under-Secretary would argue, that we have got a kind of percentage, which is fixed, of the sum determined for England in terms of the Goschen arrangement; but in practice, and as applied to Scotland, it has become very nearly a block grant. No doubt the examination of the accounts, both upstairs in the Public Accounts Committee and elsewhere, confirms the point that the precise percentage has passed from the normal 50–50 arrangement as between the State and the local authorities. In particular districts in Scotland it is less than that and it is larger in others, but as applied to the country as a whole the theory in regard to education has been that the State was finding one-half of the annual expenditure and the local authorities the other half, although Scotland has tended, because of the arrangements, to be on a form of block grant.
Now let us notice the position of die police. There again, in theory, the position was that there was a 50 per cent.
1412 contribution from the State and 50 per cent. from the local authorities, but as regards both education and police, as was clearly impressed upon the Meston Committee, both the State and local authorities have been overridden by the decisions of national committees, for the adoption of their recommendations has virtually fixed a great deal of the expenditure under both heads. There was the application of the Burnham scale of salaries to the teaching profession, and the application of the recommendations of the Desborough Committee to the police. I wish to make it perfectly plain that from these benches we are not criticising the decision of those committees. We agree that there must be some national basis in order to secure a proper remuneration in these professions, and within the limits of their broad national recommendations there are certain variations which recognise the differing circumstances of localities; but all the same there is a large national element in that expenditure. As regards these important branches of administration England had, so to speak, a form of the percentage grant, no doubt within control, but Scotland was almost literally on a block contribution. So, in so far as the percentage grants survived in the matter of education and police, our country, whose qualities no Member of this Committee denies, was in a kind of financial bondage.
We say that a distinction ought to be drawn between these services and the health services. We say that you can ascertain police costs, and I will make the concession and say that, with our knowledge of the diminishing birth-rate, of school accommodation and the general standard required, we might even know tolerably well in advance what the educational demand will he—although I stand for a percentage system there because of the innumerable duties we have to overtake; but even if we make the fullest concessions of that kind, in that part of the relationship which was already more or less fixed, as applied to Scotland, that argument could never be applied to these new health services —the public health, tuberculosis, the treatment of venereal diseases, the grants under the Blind Persons Acts and certain sanitary or other services, because there we have not the same long 1413 line of experience as in education and the police. We have to consider the acute social conditions both in the country districts and in the crowded industrial centres. The intention was to have an expansive grant and not a wasteful grant, and it was intended to be a State recognition or a public recognition of a supreme national duty in regard to effort ministering to the health of the people. Rightly or wrongly, this was based upon a percentage of 50 from the State and 50 from the local authority. In the case of venereal disease, there was to be a 75 per cent. contribution.
I come now to the real case behind the arguments put forward by the Under-Secretary. With all the friendship that exists between one Scottish Member and another, I contend that the hon. and gallant Gentleman has been putting forward an absolutely indefensible proposal. Let us trace it from the days of the Geddes Committee and supermen, and the bogus economy which followed the artificial conditions of the War. What happened? We had growing industrial depression. There was the vast expenditure during the War period. The result was that we had a strong criticism of the growing expenditure of our local authorities, although in Scotland there has been no charge of waste or misdirection and innumerable tributes have been paid to the efficiency of the services which now come within the percentage grant.
The Geddes Committee was formed. They took evidence from Departments. But many of their recommendations by subsequent analysis have been proved to be perfectly futile. In our analysis upstairs on the Public Accounts Committee, we have shown how ridiculous many of these recommendations were. The Government itself has had to go back upon quite a number of them. With a total disregard of the history of this problem, the Geddes Committee attacked the percentage grants. The outcome of that was the appointment of the Meston Committee and the Terms of Reference were framed in order to get a recommendation in favour of another system For reasons into which it would be useless for me to enter to-night, that Committee never reported and its documents are not available. As however, this matter has been publicly mentioned 1414 I will make one or two observations upon it. I want to say first of all to the Under-Secretary of State that the Scottish Board of Health gave evidence before that Committee directly opposed to every word of the doctrine which he has put forward to-night. They supported the percentage grant system as applied to public health services. There were only two Departments of any standing which made a recommendation in favour of a fixed contribution. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said in the early days of this Government, that he was going to find a method of replacing these percentage grants, and he held out a large hope of economy on that score. But now not even the Chancellor of the Exchequer adheres to the arguments which he used on that occasion. There has been a steady policy which has found expression also within the ambit of the rating reform scheme as applied to Scotland.
I have no hesitation in saying that no Royal Commission, no Committee, and no body which has ever examined this problem have recommended the scheme which the Government now propose to apply to Scotland. How can this be called a rating reform? Householders who put up 70 per cent. of the local rates get no direct benefit under this Bill. How can it be said that you are re-casting your system of Exchequer grant in a satisfactory manner when you leave such services as education, police, and others on their present basis and pick out the public health services which are reserved for treatment on restrictive lines. That, argument will not hold water. The Under-Secretary did not advance that argument very seriously, and he was more concerned to try to show that we were safeguarded under this Bill. Part of my hon. and gallant Friend's case is that the State must determine its liabilities. That is the principle of the fixed element in the Exchequer contribution.
Let us consider this as applied to Scotland on that basis, and particularly in regard to the health services. First of all, it should be remembered that all these services originated under Acts passed by the House of Commons which the House of Commons is free to amend. In the next place, much has been made of the point that the control of the 1415 central department is complete and efficient. Again you have the presentation to this House of Estimates which are capable of reduction if the House of Commons so decides. Therefore, it is idle to suggest that the local authorities are going to indulge in extravagant expenditure, more especially when dealing with public health administration.
There is every kind of check upon the expenditure provided you exercise it. It is one of the weaknesses of the control of this House that the check upon expenditure is not always exercised in the most efficient way. I have never worried very much about that part of the Government's case. And I am not betraying any secret when I say that the Meston Committee could have indicated methods which would have given much greater freedom to the local services without penalising them in the contribution to local rates and introducing a form of fixed grants. This Bill does not embody any of the real reforms of the percentage system. My hon. Friends on these benches are generally in favour of retaining that system, but we have never said that it cannot be improved.
The Meston Committee would probably have recommended that you should mark off areas on much better lines than those which now exist. So far as that is concerned, it is attempted in a very difficult way under this Bill. We would also have said that you could lay down a certain standard of service in public health, education, or whatever the case may he. Only a general Clause has been put into this Bill for that purpose; but, after all, the difference in regard to finance is the vital difference between what that Committee would have recommended and what the Government now propose. I do not pledge any Member on this side to this suggestion, but the statistical material bearing on these services is notoriously inadequate, and, only for the purpose of contributing to their efficiency—that is to say, getting the best result—I have sometimes suggested that units of cost should be taken, as is done in the case of some services now, and then you would ascertain whether you were getting a good return for your money both nationally and locally, and would develop the services on the best lines, 1416 making, moreover, the best provision that you could for the patients in the hospitals, or for whatever section of the community was affected by the service. All these steps might be taken, but the Government do not attempt that; they take a part of the field—and, in our view, the vital part—and impose this form of regulation on that service.
In conclusion, let us notice what the Government themselves are compelled to do, and let us ask ourselves quite frankly if this is desirable in the case of Scotland. It is plain that they do not trust the fixed elements in the finance of the Bill. From the first day they have not trusted them, because, all along the line, and in their later concessions, they have been driven to make one modification after another. There was a fixed or standard payment in the case of the joint Exchequer contribution, but then they proceeded to say that they would have a ratio of the rate and grant-borne expenditure to the burden on the local authorities, and that that would help them out. In the next place, there was a certain amount of new money. Then, to crown all, they introduced a formula, which has many mathematical attractions, and certainly lends itself to a good deal of subtle debate, but which nevertheless is a limping formula, and is only to come into operation over a term of years, because, quite plainly, the Government could not trust its full blast on the local authorities within the next year or two, or within a shorter period than about 15 or 17 years ahead.
My hon. and gallant Friend argues tonight that new expansion is provided for —and this is his real case—by safeguards, and that it is not going to be penalised. What I would ask him on that point is this: If you are, in fact, providing for expansion in vital public health services, why not leave the percentage grant system alone? It will give you a true expansion; you can make it more efficient; you safeguard the local authorities; you give them the encouragement which they deserve in this matter, and you cover the field. Within the limits of the Bill as applied to Scotland, it is idle and useless to have this difference and say that you are doing anything of a genuine character in rating reform.
1417 9.0 p.m.
That is our case against this Clause. If the Government pass it, the Under Secretary will recognise that in the years ahead it will be revised, altered, and probably abolished. I should think that that is the inevitable result. The Government seek to indicate that the position is safeguarded, but we do not agree. We think that it would be infinitely better to continue this method in what is a new service, to give it a longer trial, to add to it those improvements which we all know can be added, and, above all, not to take away the measure of freedom from this one part of the relationship of Scottish local finance to the national Exchequer which we have so far preserved for the country to which we belong.
§ Mr. J. STEWART
My reason for rising, after the very eloquent speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham)—I cannot pretend to follow him or to be nearly so interesting—is to deal with some of the local aspects of this matter, and to examine them with a view to indicating the line along which this proposal is going to lead. On this side of the Committee, the block grant is looked upon with suspicion. We believe that it will not work out, as is stated by those who are proposing it on behalf of the Government, in the interests of efficiency and development in our social services. In the past, our local authorities—not merely the corporations and town councils, but the parish councils—have had every reason to suspect anything in the nature of a block grant. In 1858, for the express purpose of stimulating and coaxing them to do certain much-needed work, they were given the promise of a 50 per cent. grant towards medical relief. Then that was whittled down until, in 1897 or 1898, the grant was stabilised at £20,000.
As the years went on, and the services naturally developed owing to the growth of public opinion as to what was requisite, the amount required for these services was greater than ever, but a block grant—not, perhaps, as it is described here, but still something in the nature of a block grant—was allotted to Scotland regardless of the expenditure in connection with these services. To-day, instead of getting anything like 50 per cent. for these services, we are 1418 getting something nearer to 3 per cent. It has been even worse in the case of the lunacy grant and of the nursing grant, and altogether it makes those who have had some experience of local government hesitate in accepting the proposition, though we have no doubt—I, at least, have no doubt—that it is made in all sincerity by the Government, that the position of the authorities is not going to be worsened but bettered, and that, with the revision that will take place from time to time, there is no possibility of their losing. As I have said, our experience of the past does not lead us to \believe that with the best intentions in the world this policy will be continued. If it had been, the position would be very different from what it is now.
Quite recently in Scotland, and in Glasgow in particular, the public health authorities were coaxed to go in for the hospital treatment of measles and whooping cough, which in large industrial centres are endemic and never absent from our midst, and which sometimes grow to alarming proportions and are responsible for a great many of the infantile deaths that take place. Of course, the poorer the locality, the higher is the death rate from these diseases, and not merely the death rate in numbers, but the percentage death rate as compared with the number of children that there are in the various localities. In the well-to-do localities, this thing sinks almost to nil, but as you go down the scale, and reach the worst housing and social conditions, you find a steady increase. The Board of Health —and I desire to pay my tribute to their humanity and their desire to improve the conditions—coaxed, as I have said, the local authorities to increase the development of the treatment of these diseases, and they gave us a grant of £20,000. The 50 per cent., however, ultimately became a 10 per cent. grant.
To-day the average expenditure of Glasgow for the treatment of measles and whooping cough is £21,000, and, instead of getting the £10,500 which was promised by the Government, they are now only going to receive £4,500. That does not lead me to believe in block grants, although we are told that it is going to lead to efficiency and to development. T think I heard someone say the other night—I am not sure 1419 whether it was from the Government side or not—that when an authority was called upon to do something somehow or other the machine creaked, and it did not move at all quickly, and that sometimes years elapsed before it was possible to get the authority to do a very simple thing. There was a promise made to us that we were going to have less bureaucracy in local administration and that more freedom was to be given to the local authorities; that while they would get their grant there would not be the same kind of compulsory inquisition as to how the money was to be spent or as to how the authorities were to be conducted.
I have only met one or two men who have said that they understand this formula. I make the confession that, owing to my lack of education or something of the kind, I cannot understand the formula, and I believe that if hon. Members generally were to get up they would only be able to repeat my story. I believe that on all sides of the Committee that confession would be made. As far as I do understand, however, certain grants are to be given and divided according to it, and the authorities are to be left free to spend them or part of them in the best way possible. Therefore, in the Highland Counties referred to by the Under-Secretary to-night, instead of the money being spent on the development of child welfare or on nursing or on hospitals for the treatment of tuberculosis, we may have the authorities spending it on something which they may consider of greater importance. Ultimately, there may be some power brought to bear upon them by the central department to make proper provision for dealing with health matters in their particular areas. I believe that that is quite a possibility. Child welfare is one of the services in respect of which we are going to have a block grant. We have placed an Amendment upon the Paper, asking that maternity and child welfare should be excluded from the system of block grants and that the percentage basis should be allowed to continue.
Last year, Glasgow spent a total of something like £116,000 on child welfare, and of that amount we received £53,000 from the Government, practically a 50 1420 per cent, contribution, hut now in the standard year the grant will be based upon what is being spent in that direction in conjunction with other things. Glasgow is contemplating a much needed development of its child welfare service. The maternity work of our city, while it is done, I think, as well as that in any large community or centre in Britain, is not being done to the satisfaction of the people or of those responsible for the administration of affairs in the city. There is a proposal to develop the maternity side by providing more maternity hospital accommodation, which is very much needed, as there is an undoubted shortage. Supposing we do this and undertake the capital cost and then begin to bring people under treatment, at the end of three years, when the revision comes along, we may not get the advantage under the block grant system in respect of any additional developments that may be taking place. Therefore, we shall have this tremendous outlay in the city at a time when the rates are rising very considerably. The consequence may be that under the proposed block grant system no provision will be made for treatment.
We also require and are contemplating the provision of country homes and nursing homes for mothers with young children. At the present time, we maintain mothers in nursing homes, but we can only find accommodation for a very limited number. We cannot provide accommodation for anything like the number who require such treatment. In desiring to expand in that direction by providing nursing homes for mothers and homes for young children—a kind of convalescent home—we shall again be handicapped, because we shall not be getting the 50 per cent. grant. I do not know of any authority in Scotland that is dealing with child welfare or which is making an effort to deal with the problems of bad health and the necessity of developing the health services in the interests of the community which has not protested against the reform suggested in this Bill.
We have further to deal with the question of the tuberculosis grant. In Glasgow, at the present moment, we are spending £220,000 on the treatment of tuberculosis. We hope to open a new 1421 hospital this year—it certainly will not figure in the calculations of the standard year—which is costing in round figures £400,000, with 440 beds, each bed costing about £1,000. The rate of maintenance in Glasgow for a tuberculosis patient in our hospitals runs to over 54s. per week per patient. When the hospital has been built, we shall have to face the fact that this new institution has cost £400,000, and that all the charges for interest and sinking fund will have to be added to the maintenance, of cases, with the result that the cost per patient per week, including the cost of treatment and administration, will run from 55s. to 60s. The Government would have best served the interests of Scotland if, while determined to institute the block grant for roads and other services, they had maintained the percentage grant in regard to health services, at the same time taking, if need be, more powers to deal with authorities that were not doing their duty in providing proper health services.
In the case of the poverty of the localities, such as is to be found in the Highlands and the Islands, where they are unable to provide a proper health service, the Government ought to have been prepared to raise the grant. There is a, precedent for doing that. It will be remembered that the Government came to the local authorities and said that venereal disease was causing immense ravages in the community and that the local authorities ought to take the matter up. They gave us not the 50 per cent. grant but the 75 per cent. grant, in order that we would undertake the work. It was only in 1915 that the Government of the day passed its Notification of Births Act, thrusting upon local authorities, willy-nilly, the responsibility for child welfare. In that matter they acted more wisely than they knew. To-day, in my opinion and in the opinion of others on this side of the House, the action of the Government in this part of the Bill will destroy initiative, in some respects. If the work is going to be done, it is going to be done under the power of compulsion, and where there is no desire to carry out the work, or whether there is a sense of grievance or a feeling that they are being wronged, financially and otherwise, 1422 the tendency will be that the compulsion will not succeed. I hope that, even at this late hour, the Government will consider doing away with the block grant so far as maternity and child welfare are concerned.
§ Dr. DRUMMOND SHIELS
It will be agreed that this subject is one of the most important of those arising in connection with the Bill. We have already had some powerful speeches dealing with it. The Under-Secretary defended the block grant system, and, in the circumstances, he did well, but he was defending a very difficult proposition. A very simple test in this matter is to ask whether the first impulse for a change from the percentage grant system came from the medical authorities in the public service or from the finance department of the public service. I do not think it is necessary even to have the confirmation which the right hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham) gave us in regard to the attitude of the Scottish Board of Health on the percentage system, to realise that no medical authority would have pleaded for a change from the percentage to the block grant system. Therefore, we can trace the original impulse for the change to the Treasury. The change in the system with regard to the public health services has, quite obviously, been made because these services are the fast developing services. In many cases, they have doubled and trebled in amount since they were instituted. The harm which we think will be done by the block grant system has, no doubt, been modified to some extent by the substitution of three years for the first five-years period. That will enable ultimate adjustments to be made, but even that modification has only been granted after very strong pressure by the local authorities.
I am particularly interested in child welfare and maternity, and I think there is a very special case for those services being favourably considered. I am hoping, still, that even if all the other services have to come under the block grant system, an exception will be made in favour of child welfare and maternity. Very great general public interest has been aroused in the question of maternal mortality. We know that the Minister of 1423 Health, the Ministry of Health, and the Scottish Board of Health have made investigations into the subject, and that there have been commissions and committees set up to deal with it, some of which are still sitting. The subject is a difficult one—
The hon. Member must not travel too wide, seeing that he has a later Amendment on the subject of maternity and child welfare.
That is so. I do not mind the hon. Member referring to the subject, but he must riot develop it too far, seeing that he has a later Amendment on the Paper.
§ Dr. SHIELS
I understood that an arrangement had been made to have a general discussion which would include all the Amendments.
If the hon. Member does not wish to do more than formally move his Amendment, I raise no objection to his dealing with it now.
§ Dr. SHIELS
That is what I propose to do. It is not easy to allocate the causes of maternal mortality, but one thing has been definitely settled, and that is that ante-natal supervision of the mother does very definitely lessen this maternal death-rate. An adequate antenatal service in every centre of population is absolutely essential. At the present time we have not an adequate service. In Edinburgh, Glasgow and other cities we have a fairly good service, but even in those places the number of centres is not sufficient, while the accommodation and comfort of them is very far from being what it should be. In other places things are worse. I want these places to be such that women will go willingly and readily to receive the treatment and attention which will mean so much to them at a later date.
With regard to the question of child welfare, I agree with the hon. Member for St. Rollox (Mr. Stewart). The last few years have been economy years in the public health committees of most of the town and county councils of Scotland. 1424 I know in Edinburgh they have been contemplating a scheme for debilitated children which was to cost about £25,000. I understand that it is very uncertain now whether that will go on, because, obviously, this last has been the standard year, and any expenditure over and above the amount of that standard year for the next three years will fall on the ratepayers. The new money, about which the Under-Secretary was speaking, is not likely to be nearly adequate to meet the developments which would normally nave taken place under the percentage system. I gave figures in connection with the subject of antenatal work on the Second Reading Debate, and I will not repeat them now. I would, however, like to emphasise that, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many authorities who have studied this subject, it is a service which urgently needs developing, it saves lives, and that if it is taken out of the percentage grant system, it will not nave that development and local authorities will not push it.
Something was said by the Under-Secretary to the effect that it was owing to the poverty of localities that these services were inadequate or, in some cases, non-existent. I do not believe it is mainly a question of poverty, but that it is rather one of lack of interest and of reactionary authorities who do not or will not understand the importance of these services. I do not see, if that is the case, that a block grant is going to make any difference, because the money is not earmarked for any particular purpose, and there is no necessity for them to spend it on child welfare, maternity, or any other public health service. They can spend it on roads if they like. Therefore, I do not see that the fact that a locality, which has not had child welfare services, is even going to get more money, is likely to ensure that those services will henceforth be started or be made adequate. The hon. Member for St. Rollox has dealt with tuberculosis. There is no doubt that though, fortunately, that disease is not assuming the proportions which it once did, it is yet a very serious scourge, and there are by no means too many beds available in Scotland for patients. There are in the slums and tenements far too many consumptive people who are a danger not only to themselves but to the whole community. With 1425 regard to the treatment of venereal disease, I think that is specially endangered under this block grant. We know that it is an unpopular service, and it is also a service which got previosuly 75 per cent. from the State, not 50 per cent. Therefore, the local authorities will now have to find 100 per cent., where they used to have to find only 25 per cent. These very important services will tend to suffer under the new arrangement, especially it the Government carry out the plan which they have suggested, of dropping all assistance in the way of propaganda to impress the public with a realisation of the seriousness of these diseases.
With regard to the blind, I think there is no doubt that they are at present a very neglected section of the community. They are fearful, and, I think, rightly fearful, that under this new arrangement they will have rather cursory treatment from some of the local authorities. I think their fears are not unfounded. In regard to mental defectives, here is one service where we do need a very great advance. Anything based on the standard year will be obviously inadequate. It seems to me that we have never yet realised the tremendous stupidity of educating these defective children up to the age of 16, giving them special teachers and special schools, and then throwing them out at 16, a danger to themselves and to the comumnity, just at the time when they need most attention. That is a service in which I really am surprised the public do not take more interest, and especially that the Government, who ought to know better, do not see that some change is made. I feel, taking it again on the standard year, that any advance in the treatment of mentally defectives or any desirable new arrangement is very unlikely to accrue. The fact always remains—and I think it is a very important point—that this new method is supposed to make for economy. It has been suggested that the weak point of the percentage system was that the more a community spent the more it got, and therefore a poor community which was not spending so much did not get so much benefit. I suggest that there is no place in Scotland where the health services, however good they are, are completely adequate to the needs of the community. We are living in a time 1426 when the public is being well educated in regard to health matters, and is becoming increasingly favourable to them. The public conscience is more alive than it used to be, and, undoubtedly, there is not only a great need but a great demand for these public health services, arid they ought to go on and develop.
The Under-Secretary called attention to Glasgow and Edinburgh, and suggested that because their services had not suffered by the suspension of certain percentage grants, it showed that there was nothing hindering any such suspension. He must remember that Edinburgh and Glasgow are not typical of the whole of Scotland. The people there are educated and sensitive on these matters, and are capable of exercising considerable pressure. But in many parts of Scotland the position is very different. In the same way the Under-Secretary was speaking about the Poor Law services, and said there was no percentage system there, and, in spite of that, the Poor Law health services had been very well developed. He took the instance of Glasgow. We know that, owing to the presence of a progressive section among the Glasgow local authorities, there has been, certainly in the Poor Law services, an equipment and style of buildings which can hardly be rivalled in any similar class of institution in the whole country. The Stobhill Hospital is one of the finest in the country, but if you go outside Glasgow to other cities and other parts, you will find that the Poor Law institutions on the health side are by no means well equipped. One of the advantages which possibly may come from this Bill by the absorption of the Poor Law system in the larger scheme is that these poorly equipped institutions may be brought up-to-date.
It seems to me that the argument that the Poor Law system, in spite of lack of grants, has developed to a high state of efficiency, is not really one that can be advanced at all looking to Scotland generally. I hope we shall not slavishly follow the lead of England in this matter. Already in the discussions on this Bill we have shown that we are not bound by English precedents. We are glad that we have evidence that the Government, as representing Scotland are not going to 1427 be tied to the heels of England. I should very much like the Government to accept this Amendment and the others relating to it, but if they are not able to do that, I plead very strongly that at least they shall make one exception, take out the maternity and child welfare sections and continue them, even for the first fixed grant period of three years, and allow these services to get a proper hold and to be properly stabilised before they put them under the block grant system. I trust we shall have an intimation to that effect from the Government.
§ Mr. SCRYMGEOUR
I do not want to take up much time of the Committee on this question, but I should like to emphasise the fact that women's organisations are keenly anxious that there should be a continuance of the percentage grant in respect of maternity and child welfare services. There is no doubt whatever as to the importance of developing these services. The hon. Member for Edinburgh East (Dr. Shiels) has referred to some of them and I should like to mention the question of the treatment of venereal disease. The City of Edinburgh last year tried to make notification compulsory, but did not succeed. That, however, is an evidence of the great importance of this matter. It should receive the careful attention of the Government, and, so far as localities like Edinburgh and Dundee are concerned, where they are striving to make some advance in the treatment and prevention of this disease, some financial assistance should be forthcoming. In other services there have been developments which, I think, reflect the greatest credit on some of our great municipalities, and Dundee is entitled to a substantial share in any contribution towards the advancement and development of our public health services.
The argument frequently advanced has been that a municipality is induced to spend money on a service because they expect to get 50 per cent. of the expenditure from the Government. The Under-Secretary of State, by the illustration he gave from Glasgow to-night, showed that this is not the case. The Under-Secretary deserves credit for the steps he took to bring about an increase in the grant, although the result was not as good as he would have liked it to be. It shows 1428 that there are strong reasons for the retention of the percentage grant system. The right hon. Member for Edinburgh Central (Mr. W. Graham) has made some startling revelations as to the way in which our affairs are handled. Some of us were entirely in the dark in regard to the revelation he made that the Scottish Board of Health itself strongly recommended the retention of the percentage grant.
One of the strongest arguments in support of the retention of the percentage grant is that since the Bill was introduced we have changed the period of revision from five years to three years and given an additional sum which might be augmented in given circumstances. When we consider the importance of these health services to the poorer people of the community it is doubly necessary that they should be adequately maintained and developed and that we should not risk the possibility of hampering or checking or retarding the substantial progress which has been made in the last few years, with such excellent results to the poorer families of our great industrial towns. Why should the Government pursue the course of altering the percentage grant in favour of the block grant system? If there had been the slightest flaw in the arguments put forward by the right hon. Member for Central Edinburgh, the Under-Secretary would no doubt at once have challenged them. The Government made no serious objection to any of those arguments and, therefore, I think we are warranted in supporting the Amendment.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
All who have been associated with local administration entertain the most serious misgivings in regard to the system which is now suggested should take the place of the old percentage grant system. My experience in connection with the administration of a large burgh and also of a small burgh—I have been in both—has proved that it is most difficult to get these administrative bodies to take an active and keen interest in the less popular services. The less popular a service the more difficult it is to get the town council or the education authority, as the case might be, to spend any money upon it. Take for instance the Blind Persons Act of 1920, which gave certain powers to burghs and 1429 education authorities. It was with the greatest difficulty that I was able to get a large burgh to take any interest in the welfare of the blind, despite the fact that they were enabled to get a certain percentage of their expenditure. We are, however, to get no percentage grant now in connection with that expenditure, and where there is to be a general scramble by the various conveners to get the maximum sum possible for their respective departments I can see the blind being left out altogether.
I can see exactly the same thing happening in connection with mental deficiency. It is not a very popular thing to argue in favour of carrying on that particular service. Possibly the day will come when we shall realise that every mental deficient is a danger not only to himself but to everyone else in the community, and consequently, of necessity, a development of that particular service will be required. But the difficulty is to get our administrators interested in this business when there is to be a general scramble for the money in the pool that is to be created. Not only will the less popular and the weaker services suffer, but even education will suffer under these proposals, because the Clause seeks to abolish the Local Taxation (Scotland) Account, from which there has been an ever-growing sum of money going to education in Scotland since the year 1920. In 1919–20 the total sum paid out of the Local Taxation (Scotland) Account for education was £250,000, but by 1928–29 the sum had increased to £546,000. In Scotland the residue of the Estate Duty Grant really goes for educational purposes, but now the Government are going to fix for all time the sum of money that is to be paid for education, and as the sum paid since 1919–20 has been an ever-growing sum, it seems to me that in future the Exchequer is going to gain.
For these reasons, I am opposed to the abolition of the percentage grant system, and I am particularly opposed to the abolition of the Local Taxation (Scotland) Account, because out of that account we were getting ever-growing sums of money for education in Scotland. I believe that this proposal is merely a preliminary. Just as the 1926 Act was the preliminary to the abolition of the whole of our existing local government, so I believe that 1430 this substitution of a block grant system for a percentage grant system is but the preliminary to a stopping of the whole of the percentage grant system in connection with education, and that we shall have the block grant system applied to education just as it is applied to the health services. For these reasons I must support the Amendment.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
I wish also to support the Amendment. It is not long since the things that we are discussing to-night were taken up by the public authorities. The Under-Secretary's statement that in a large part of the country practically nothing has been done is perfectly true, and it is probably because so little has been done hitherto that he is able to say we are getting a big increase on the amount previously received.
§ Major ELLIOT
I was speaking of the education service. For that the county of Sutherland is getting a higher percentage.
§ Mr. SULLIVAN
In many counties of Scotland practically little is being done for such things as tuberculosis and maternity. It is difficult to arouse public opinion on these questions. A system of percentage grants, however, was an inducement to those who were interested to urge the authorities to take up these questions. It is true that in industrial centres and in big cities much progress has been made. It would be a big pity if we were compelled to stay our hands when we were beginning to get results. The Government come along and say in effect, "The agreement that we came to in the past has now to end. "But the local authorities in a place like Glasgow have to go on, and even when the Government withhold their share of the payment the ratepayers in Glasgow will have to continue to pay, because the local authority cannot stop. During the last week or two we have had a report concerning South Wales and Monmouthshire and the prevalence of rickets amongst the children there. What applies to South Wales applies to industrial areas in Scotland which are affected by unemployment. The percentage of unemployment in the West of Scotland is as high as it is anywhere else, and the children there are just as likely to suffer, but the 1431 Government propose to take away the chance that the child has of getting adequate treatment. We are often appealed to to help in building up a virile race, but how can we do it? If the work that is being done now is interfered with the results will be seen in future years.
Take the case of the blind. It is to our discredit as a people that we have not looked after those who are afflicted with blindness better than we have done in the past, and, instead of pulling back, we ought to try to do something more. Something also requires to be done in connection with medically defective people. I have sat on a bench and tried people who have been brought before me who really were not capable, and it seemed to me that in sitting to try those people who were mentally deficient I was committing a bigger crime than they had committed. What is required is the treatment of the children, and they ought to be treated after they had left school, when at present our responsibility ends. We require to do something after they come into the world. Prison is not a cure. In most cases we are not able to get them certified as lunatics, and the result is that they are hanging in mid air, nothing is being done, and they continue to propagate, which is a very serious thing, and will add to public expense in years to come. In the interests of posterity I think we ought to do something more now instead of doing less, in order to help these people who are unable to help themselves.
§ Major ELLIOT
I think it would be discourteous to the Committee, after the interesting and thoughtful Debate which the Committee has had on this subject, that no reply should he made from these benches. The right hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. W. Graham) undoubtedly reviewed the position with that skill and experience with which his long years of study of public accounts have endowed him, but I do not think that he met the real line of argument which I was attempting to address to the Committee, or, if he met it at all, he only glanced at it for a moment and then passed by on the other side. He said "The hon. Member the Under-Secretary devoted his attention to 1432 showing that we were sufficiently safeguarded under the proposal which the Government are bringing forward," but he did not examine that part of my case at all, or at least I did not grasp that he did. The argument which I was advancing for the attention of the Committee was that this was not a stereotyped grant, that this was not a block grant of the ordinary kind, but that this was a grant with fixed periods of revision, and sufficiently frequent periods, especially in its early stages, to make it certain that its operation could be watched and any errors in its operation corrected. That differs fundamentally from the stereotyped grant against which the gravamen of his charge and of the charges of other hon. Members opposite was levelled.
It seems to me that that is the point to which I should ask the Committee to return when making up its mind on this important question. We are not dealing here, I say again, with a stereotyped grant; we are dealing with a grant which moves as a whole with the expansion of expenditure over the whole field of local authority expenditure, instead of over a limited field of expenditure, as it has done in the past. Let me take a single example. Reference was made by one of the previous speakers—I think by the hon. Member for Midlothian (Mr. Clarke)—to the inadvisability of touching the assigned revenues. "We attach great importance," he said, "to the assigned revenues," and he thought it was a most injudicious thing, and a had thing for local authorities, to interfere with their revenue derived from that source. The assigned revenues in 1890–01 were of the order of £731,000, and rates were of the order of £3,658,000. There was a total, then, of £4,389,000, of which the assigned revenues were exactly one-sixth. If we had taken one-sixth of the corresponding expenditure in 1927–8 we should have drawn £3,725,000 on behalf of the local authorities. If the guarantee which the Government are now giving of a fixed relation between the general Exchequer contribution and the rate expenditure had continued to operate throughout this period by the system proposed, we would have drawn £3,750,000, instead of which the local authorities drew only £1,125,000. 1433 Now I can understand the objection of local authorities to a scheme which, starting with one-sixth, derogates so rapidly as to give them only £1,125,000 in 1927–8 as against the share which they should have had, namely, £3,750,000. It seems to me that here is a definite set of proposals which are well worth the attention of the Committee, which introduce a novel principle, and which, I think, remain unaffected by the criticism which the right hon. Gentleman the late Financial Secretary to the Treasury has launched against them.
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
I specially referred to the amount of money which was paid out of the taxation of Scotland, and the Under-Secretary has not dealt with that particular point. That was a sum of money which grew from £250,000 in 1919–20 to £546,000 in 1928–29, and under Schedule 4 of the Bill you are giving no possibility of that grant growing. You are stereotyping that grant on the total amount of money paid from the local taxation account in 1928–29; that is to be the stereotyped amount to be paid for all time into the Education (Scotland) Fund, according to Schedule 4.
§ Major ELLIOT
The hon. Member was discussing the general position of the assigned revenues. We are discussing one particular item against another. Nobody can deny that under the assigned revenue scheme, there has been an inelasticity of revenue. By this Bill elasticity is restored to the revenues of local authorities by the device of the general Exchequer contribution bearing a fixed relation to the expanding expenditure of local authorities. Let me point out again that every single example which hon. Members opposite gave proved that local authorities were not deterred from increasing their expenditure by the fact that an immediate increase of grant from the State was not forthcoming. The Poor Law, the police—grant after grant —were instanced by hon. Members opposite, grants which originally were not paid, and which formed a considerable proportion of the expenditure. The hon. Member for St. Rollox (Mr. Stewart) gave as an example the grant which was given for medical services for the Poor Law, which at the beginning was of the order of a fifty-fifty grant, but which had fallen away in later years 1434 until it became a grant of 3 per cent. Does he not see that that vitiates his whole argument that the local authorities will refuse to expand their expenditure because they are not immediately sure of recoupment by the central authority? If the expenditure is good, if the expenditure commends itself to those in charge of public funds, the local authorities will undertake it. What this scheme provides is that if the local authorities do so undertake expanding services, then the general Exchequer contribution will reflect that in its successive revisions in the fixed grant periods.
§ Dr. SHIELS
Is that not true only of progressive communities such as we know the City of Glasgow to be? The Under-Secretary for Scotland cannot say that that is true of other communities in Scotland which have shown themselves backward and defective in these services.
§ Major ELLIOT
Of course the cities which the hon. Member (Dr. Shiels) and I represent we consider are the most progressive parts of Scotland, but no part of Scotland would admit the charge of being backward and defective. Even if an authority were backward and defective, let me point out that the expenditure on services undertaken by that authority will be reflected not merely for the benefit of that particular authority but also for the benefit of all Scotland. I do suggest that the the new principles upon which the grants are based make a novel departure, and are something quite different from the old stereotyped grants fixed for all time, against which hon. Members opposite have rightly launched criticisms. This scheme provides for a flexibility that hitherto has not existed in the relations between the local authorities and the central authority. For that reason, I again commend it to the favourable consideration of the Committee.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
The Under-Secretary complains that we have not appreciated the strength of his argument, and I make the same, complaint against him. He persists in saying that this grant will be revised. I persist in saying that that is an inaccurate way of stating the facts. Here is a sum of £6,000,000 in Scotland and of that all but £750,000 is fixed, once and for all, and no revision at the end of three, four, five, ten or twenty years 1435 will alter it. The only possible way to get an alteration is if, in any successive period, it is proved that over the whole realm of rate and grant-borne expenditure there is an increase. If there is, then the increased guarantee given provides that 25 per cent. of that increase shall be borne by the Exchequer. That is how the ratio works out in the Memorandum itself. May I point out, with all respect to the Under-Secretary, that he cannot say that that is a basis which should be applied to this particular service, so sensitive and in many cases so novel.
I have a letter here from a county clerk in the rural part to which the Under-Secretary referred in which it is pointed out that they have not yet begun their work. His trouble is that because they had not begun their work in the standard year such sums as it may be proposed to apply to these services in the future will not rank in the original block A or B inside the general Exchequer contributions. The Under-Secretary seems to take it for granted that he can separate, over the whole realm of rate and grant-borne expenditure, such an increase as may come on these particular services. That cannot be done. It may be that with the increase in certain areas of expenditure on these particular services there may be a fall in the expenditure on other services outside this grant. But, reckoning the total estimate of rate-borne and grant-borne expenditure of the whole country to which the ratio applies, there will not be an increase of the guarantee, and the £750,000 may be less if there is a diminution. The Under-Secretary must remember that he is not dealing with a case similar to that which he quoted in reply to the hon. Gentleman the Member for St. Rollox (Mr. J. Stewart). He is now reckoning with the whole field of varying services, and 20 per cent. of the whole relations of the total rate-borne and grant-borne expenditure of the
§ country will be definitely allocated by this grant.
§ A part of the sum inside this grant will make it difficult for some authorities to increase their expenditure. The more necessitous the area from the point of view of industrial trouble the greater will be the de-rating. This particular sum of money about which he speaks will in no way make up for the loss of rates, and it will he the very necessitous areas which will lose rates. It may be true that, on balance, some may gain more per head, but you have not merely to reckon the amount you have allocated by this formula in respect of the services in this particular block, but you have to consider your loss of rates on the yield of a penny rate in that area. If, as will be the case in many areas, they will lose thousands of pounds in the yield of a penny rate, supposing you get an increase of the other services, then the increase of rate poundage on those services will make it impossible for these particular health services to get the amount which they ought to get in order to allow for necessary expansion. I believe the Government as a whole have never understood or fully appreciated the effect of their scheme in narrowing the assessment basis and losing the yield of a penny rate. The difficulties that will ensue, revision or no revision, guarantee or no guarantee, in the application of an arbitrary system like this have never been fully realised. Once again I repeat what I said at the beginning: Whatever may be said from the point of view of idealism for concentrating health services and getting team work on the administrative side, any advantage obtained in that direction will be more than nullified in experience by the application of this particular arbitrary formula.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 174; Noes, 102.1439
|Division No. 220.]||AYES.||[10.13p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Boothby, R. J. G.|
|Albery, Irving James||Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Bennett, Albert (Nottingham, C.)||Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Berry, Sir George||Brass, Captain W.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Brassey, Sir Leonard|
|Atkinson, C.||Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Blundell, F. N.||Briggs, J. Harold|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Remer, J. R.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hills, Major John Waller||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y,Ch'ts'y)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hope, Sir Harry (Fortar)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Càssels, J. D.||Horlick, Lieut. Colonel J. N.||Ross, R. D.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Ruggies-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt.R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Rye, F. G.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hume, Sir G. H.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Hurd, Percy A.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Hurst, Gerald B.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Couper, J. B.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Sanderson, Sir Frank|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Sandon, Lord|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)||Sassoon Sir Philip Albert Gustave D|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Savery, S. S.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl (Rentrew, W)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Loder, J. de V.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Long, Major Eric||Smith, R.W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Mac Andrew Major Charles Glen||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Ellis, R. G.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||McLean, Major A.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Fermoy, Lord||Macquisten, F. A.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Margesson, Captain D.||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Fremantle, Lieut-Colonel Francis E.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Meller, R. J||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Gates, Percy||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Waddington, R.|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Ward, Lt.-Col.A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Warner, Brigadler-Geiteral W. W|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Morrison H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Nuttall, Ellis||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Hamilton, Sir George||Ornan, Sir Charles William C.||Wells S. R|
|Hammersley, S. S.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Harland, A.||Perring, Sir William George||Windsor-Clive. Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Plicher, G.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hartington Marquess of||Power, Sir John Cecil||Womersley, W. J.|
|Headlam, Lieut-Colonel C. M.||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Wragg, Herbert|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Preston, Sir Walter (Cheltonham)|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Radford, E. A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Ramsden, E.||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Mr. Penny.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.)||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Greenall, T.||Murnin, H.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Naylor, T. E.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Oliver, George Harold|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Palin, John Henry|
|Barnes, A.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Paling, W.|
|Barr, J.||Groves, T.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hall. F. (York. W.R., Normanton)||Potts, John S.|
|Bellamy, A.||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hardie, George D.||Ritson, J.|
|Bromley, J.||Hayes, John Henry||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hirst, G. H.||Scurr, John|
|Buchanan, G.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shield, G. W.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Connolly, M.||Kelly, W. T.||Smillie, Robert|
|Cove, W. O.||Kennedy, T.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lawrence, Susan||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lawson, John James||Snell, Harry|
|Day, Harry||Lee, F.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Dunnico, H.||Lindley, F. W.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lowth, T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Absravon)||Strauss, E. A.|
|Forrest, W.||Mackinder, W.||Sullivan, J.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||MacLaren. Andrew||Sutton, J. E.|
|Gillett, George M.||Mac Neill-Weir, L.||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Maxton, James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Tomilnson, R. P.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Whiteley, W.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)||Windsor, Walter|
|Wellock, Wilfred||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Welsh, J. C.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Westwood, J.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)||Major-General Sir Robert Hutchison|
|and Major Owen.|
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
I beg to move, in page 35, line 13, after the word "grants," to insert the wordsother than the grant given to Highland counties under Section 22 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1889.This Amendment is moved with a view to eliciting information from the Government on a point which is not quite clear to the ordinary Member. Section 22 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act provides that certain sums from the Local Taxation (Scotland) Account may be applied in a particular manner, and these sums include a sum of £10,000 granted to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland to be expended for such purposes and in such manner as the county councils of the areas concerned may determine. This particular grant would appear to be one of the discontinued grants and I wish to be assured that this £10,000, formerly assigned specifically to the Highlands and Islands, has not been left out of account but will be met from other sources.
§ Major ELLIOT
This grant has not been left out of account but will be more than met by grants from other sources. Of course this particular grant, in this particular form—has been discontinued, but the net gain to the Highland counties will be enormously greater than the grant which is being discontinued. Grants amounting to £91,000 are being given in its stead, and the net gain to the Highland counties is over £80,000 sterling. Argyll which used to have £3,089 will have £19,856, Caithness which used to have £950 will have £6,600. Inverness which used to have 22,768, will have£16,403. Orkney which used to have £372, will have £7,033. Ross and Cromarty which used to have £1,859, will have £18,885. Shetland which used to have £204, will have £4,154 and Sutherland instead of £754 6s. 10d. will have £8,082.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
I understand that, but my point is that this was a special sum allocated for special purposes and specially set aside for the Highlands and Islands. I understand it is going to be dropped. The figures given by the hon. 1440 and gallant Gentleman relate to the general application of the scheme to the whole of Scotland.
§ Major ELLIOT
I am afraid the hon. Member is not intimately acquainted with the geography of Scotland. The Little Cumbrae is some distance from any of the places which I have mentioned. This sum comes under the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1889, and is one of the stereotyped grants which we are sweeping away under this Measure. It is quite true that it was devoted to various Highland purposes, such as roads and piers but, as I have said, sums much in excess of it are coming in its stead. The main Highland grant, however, which has not been swept away, is the Highlands and Islands Medical Grant. This is really untouched and will, in addition, have to be substantially increased. Taking the actual money going into the Highland counties to deal with the problems for which those grants were made in 1889 the grant of £10,000 is being discontinued and £91,000 will be available.
§ Sir R. HAMILTON
In view of the hon. and gallant Gentleman's explanation, and as I shall be quite ready to accept the larger sum, I ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. STEWART
I beg to move, in page 35, line 14, to leave out from the beginning, to the word "in" in line 15.
With this Amendment the Clause would read:The grants set out in the Third Schedule to this Act (in this Act referred to as 'the discontinued grants') shall cease to be payable in respect of any period after the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and thirty.The grants you are taking away are the grants for health services, and we desire to take a vote as a protest.
§ Amendment negatived.1441
§ Dr. SHIELS
I beg to move, in page 35, line 18, after the word "grants," to insert the words:except those for maternity and child welfare.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 106; Noes, 181.1443
|Division No. 221.]||AYES.||[10.30 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fits, West)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Saklatvala, Shapurji|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hirst, G. H.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Scurr, John|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hutchison, Maj-Gen. Sir R.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhamton, Bllston)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Shield, G. W.|
|Barnes, A.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Barr, J.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Batey, Joseph||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Smillie, Robert|
|Bellamy, A,||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Kelly, W. T.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Bromley, J.||Kennedy, T.||Snell, Harry|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Buchanan, G.||Lawrence, Susan||Stephen, Campbell|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Lawson, John James||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lee, F.||Strauss, E. A.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lindley, F. W.||Sullivan, J.|
|Connolly, M.||Lowth, T.||Sutton, J. E|
|Cove, W. G.||Lunn, William||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||MacDonald. Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dalton, Hugh||Mackinder, W.||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Day, Harry||MacLaren, Andrew||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dunnico, H.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Maxton, James||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Gillett, George M.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Westwood, J.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.)||Murnin, H.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Greenall, T.||Naylor, T. E.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Oliver, George Harold||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Owen, Major G.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Palin, John Henry||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Atterclife)|
|Groves, T.||Paling, W.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Windsor, Walter|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Potts, John S.|
|Hardle, George D.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hayes, John Henry||Ritson, J.||Mr. Charles Edwards and Mr. Whiteley.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Albery, Irving James||Cope, Major Sir William||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Couper, J. B.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M.S.||Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Hamilton, Sir George|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington,N.)||Hammersley, S. S.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Harland, A.|
|Atkinson, C.||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Dawson, Sir Philip||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian|
|Bennet, Albert (Nottingham, C.)||Eden, Captain Anthony||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Berry, Sir George||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Hills, Major John Waller|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Blundell, F. N.||Ellis, R. G.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Fermoy, Lord||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Ford, Sir P. J.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Forrest, W.||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Fraser, Captain Ian||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Jones, Sir G.W.H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Gates, Percy||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Cassels, J. D.||Gower, Sir Robert||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Grant, Sir J. A.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Loder, J. de V.|
|Long, Major Eric||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Preston, Sir Walter (Cheltenham)||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.|
|MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Radford, E. A.||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Ramsden, E.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Ramer, J. R.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|McLean, Major A.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Macmillan, Captain H.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Ropner, Major L.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Ross, R. D.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Ruggies-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Meller, R. J.||Rye, F. G.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Waddington, R.|
|Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Moore, Sir Newton J.||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Sandon, Lord||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Savery, S. S.||Wells, S. R.|
|Nuttall, Ellis||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew,W.)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Shepperson, E. W.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Skelton, A. N.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Perring, Sir William George||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Pilcher, G.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Southby, Commander A. R. J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Penny and Captain Wallace.|
§ It being after half-past Ten 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 by the Government of which notice had been given, and the Questions necessary1444
§ to dispose of the business to be concluded at half-past Ten of the Clock at this day's Sitting.
§ Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 181; Noes, 104.1445
|Division No. 222.]||AYES.||[10.40 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Hills, Major John Waller|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Dalkeith, Earl of||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard|
|Albery, Irving James||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Eden, Captain Anthony||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Atkinson, C.||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Ellis, R. G.||Hurd, Percy A.|
|Beamish, Bear-Admiral T. P. H.||Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Hurst, Gerald B.|
|Bonn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.|
|Bennett, Albert (Nottingham, C.)||Fanshawe, Captain G. D.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Berry, Sir George||Fermoy, Lord||Kennedy, A. R. (Preston)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Ford, Sir P. J.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement|
|Blundell, F. N.||Forrest, W.||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Loder, J. de V.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Fremantle, Lt.-Col. Francis E.||Long, Major Eric|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere|
|Brass, Captain W.||Gales, Percy||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Gower, Sir Robert||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Grant, Sir J. A.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Catheart)|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||McLean, Major A.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Macmillan, Captain H.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Macquisten, F. A.|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Mac Robert, Alexander M.|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Grotrian, H. Brent||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Meller, R. J.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth.S.)||Hamilton, Sir George||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Hammersley, S. S.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Harland, A.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Colfox, Major William Phillips||Hartington, Marquess of||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Headlam, Lieut.-Colonel C. M.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)|
|Couper, J. B.||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islington,N.)||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Tinne, J. A.|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Sanderson, Sir Frank||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Perring, Sir William George||Sandon, Lord||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Pilcher, G||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Power, Sir John Cecil||Savery, S. S.||Waddington, R.|
|Pownall, Sir Assheton||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Preston, Sir Walter (Cheltenham)||Shepperson, E. W.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston,on.Hull)|
|Radford, E. A.||Simms, Or. John M. (Co. Down)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Ramsden, E.||Skelton, A. N.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Remer, J. R.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Southby, Commander A. R. J.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.||Wells, S. R.|
|Ropner, Major L.||Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Ross, R. D.||Storry-Deans, R.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser||Womersley, W J.|
|Rye, F. G.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid||Wragg, Herbert|
|Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Mr. Penny and Captain Margesson.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (File, West)||Hirst, G. H.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Shield, G. W.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Shleis, Dr. Drummond|
|Amman, Charles George||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Slesser, Sir Henry H.|
|Barnes, A.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Smillie, Robert|
|Barr, J.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Batey, Joseph||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Bellamy, A.||Kelly, W. T.||Snell, Harry|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Kennedy, T.||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Bromley, J.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Lawrence, Susan||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Buchanan, G.||Lawson, John James||Strauss, E. A.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Lea, F.||Sullivan, J.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lindley, F. W.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lowth, T.||Thorne, G. R (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Connolly, M.||Lunn, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Mackinder, W.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Day, Harry||Mac Laren, Andrew||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Dunnico, H.||Mac Neill-Weir, L.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Maxton, James||Welsh, J. C.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley)||Westwood, J.|
|Gillett, George M.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Murnin, H.||Whiteley, W.|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.)||Naylor, T. E.||Williams, C. P. (Denbigh, Wrexham)|
|Greenall, T.||Oliver, George Harold||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Owen, Major G.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Lianelly)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Pailn, John Henry||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Potts, John S.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Groves, T.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Windsor, Walter|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Ritson, J.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Saklatvala, Shapurji||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hardie, George D.||Scrymgeour, E.||Mr. Hayes and Mr. Paling.|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Scurr, John|