The following Notice of Motion stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Mr. RYE:
That it be an instruction to the Committee on the Bill to leave out Part VIII and Clause 11 of Part II, and Clause 20 of Part IV.
§ Mr. J. H. THOMAS
I want to raise -a point of Order in connection with the Instruction about to be moved. Standing Order 207 says:In cases where the Second or Third Reading of a Private Bill, or the consideration of a Bill as amended by the Committee, or any proposed Clause or Amendment, or any Motion relating to a Private Bill, is opposed, the same shall be postponed until the day on which The House shall next sit or such further day as the Chairman of Ways and Means may determine.Provided that any such opposed Private Business set down at half-past seven may be arranged in such order as the Chairman of Ways and Means may determine.Where any such Opposed Private Business is set down by direction of the Chairman of Ways and Means, and is disposed of, any Motion contingent directly or otherwise thereon may, with the assent of the Chair, be considered and disposed of at the same sitting.The Bill to which this Motion relates was put down in the ordinary way for Second Reading. There was ultimately objection raised, and a day was named for the Second Reading in the ordinary way, in accordance with the Standing Order at 7.30 p.m. There was on the Order Paper an Instruction to the Committee which in the ordinary way would have been moved following the Second Reading Debate. The Second Reading took place in accordance with the decision of the Chairman of Ways and Means. The Second Reading was passed. Out of six names on the Paper with regard to the Instruction, not one hon. Member was present, but another hon. Member rose to move the Instruction standing in the name of other hon. Members. It was ruled that no Notice was on the Paper in his name, and, therefore, the Instruction could not be moved, whereupon the Bill, having passed this House, was in the ordinary way sent to a Committee upstairs.
The Chairman of Ways and Means gives a further opportunity for this Instruction to be moved. I have looked up every precedent in connection with Private Bill legislation to try if possible to find any that justifies this amazing procedure. I find none. The nearest approach is in 1914, when the then 1724 Speaker, on a Bill reported to the House, gave a ruling that an Instruction could then be moved on Third Reading. That is the nearest precedent that I can find. I, therefore, want to submit to you two things. First, supposing this was the ordinary procedure of the House, and a Motion in my name was on the Paper, and by either the accident of business or agreement between the Government and the Opposition, I am not in my place when this Motion is reached. A few minutes after—not a day nor a week—I arrive in the House and ask permission from you to move the Motion standing in my name. I know of no precedent that would allow that to be done. That is exactly the situation in connection with the Motion before the House, and I ask your ruling as to whether it is in order.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Mr. J. H. Thomas) has kindly given me notice that he was going to raise this point of Order, and, as far as I can judge, he desires me to give a Ruling as to whether the Instruction on the Paper to-day is in order or not. The right hon. Gentleman has referred me to Standing Order No. 207, relating to Private Business, and I think he really wants to draw my attention to the last paragraph in the Order, but that seems to me to refer to rather a different matter. It is to the effect that by the consent of the Chair a Motion contingent directly or otherwise on a Bill which has just received either Second or Third Reading can be moved, entirely at the discretion or with the consent of the Chair. That does not arise in this case. This is another thing altogether. The question is whether it can be moved immediately after Second Reading or Third Reading of the Bill. That was what was done according to this Standing Order on the previous occasion.
With regard to the other matter, whether this Instruction is in order to-day, in my view the Chairman of Ways and Means has acted quite in order in putting this Motion down for this evening, because it appears to me to be entirely within his discretion to do so or not as he thinks fit. My Ruling is very largely influenced by a precedent which occurred as long ago as 1903 on the London County Council Tramways and 1725 Improvements Bill. That was a very similar case to the present one. The Instructions appeared on the Paper on the same day on which the Bill received Second Reading, were postponed, and were put down at a later date, a week afterwards, in exactly the same manner as this Motion has been put down. That case went further in that an Instruction was on the Paper which had not been put down on the same day on which the Second Reading took place. Therefore, it seems to me that these proceedings are entirely in order.
§ Mr. THOMAS
With great respect, I knew also of that Ruling, the precedent which justifies the statement you have now made, and I want respectfully to draw your attention to two other points. The Standing Order to which I referred pre-supposes the disposal of business connected with one subject. The words are quite clear and definite:Any Motion contingent directly or otherwise thereon may, with the assent of the Chair, be considered and disposed of at the same meeting.I submit that the only intention of that Standing Order is, always providing that there is time to dispose of all matters contingent to the subject before the House. That is my first point. With regard to the precedent you have mentioned, I want to submit that there is a difference between the two cases. In the case of the Tramways Bill the Instruction was in connection with something that had not previously been before the House, and therefore the Ruling was based on the assumption that the House of Commons ought to have the right to give an instruction on an entirely new issue. In connection with this Bill, I want to submit two things to you. First, that the Blackpool Corporation Bill, 1926, and the Newcastle Corporation Bill, 1928, contained similar Clauses and ultimately passed the House, and on the night before this Bill was up for Second Reading, we had the Chester Corporation Bill, with precisely the same Clauses in it. I submit to you, therefore, that it would not be on all fours with those cases if we were to allow the House to discuss something that has already passed the Second Reading and has been referred to a Committee upstairs.
With regard to the right hon. Gentleman's interpretation of the Standing Order, it merely means that an Instruction contingent directly or otherwise on the Second or Third Reading may be disposed of at the same sitting. It does not say "shall" be. It may be taken at a later date. With regard to the other point of the right hon. Gentleman, it appears to me a matter as to the merits of the Instruction that has been put down and not as to the point of Order.
§ Mr. RAMSAY MacDONALD
As this is an important matter, I hope that you will not consider that any attempt to have it straightened out is a waste of time. May I submit a point with due respect. I have looked up the precedents, but there is something in this matter which has not cropped up before. May I draw your attention to the fact that when the Second Reading was given to this Bill, the Instruction was not postponed. So far as I have been able to get from the OFFICIAL REPORT what actually took place, no attempt was made to move the Instruction, and it is perfectly clear from our Standing Orders when under these circumstances an Instruction may be moved. But what happened the other night? The Bill went through its Second Reading. An hon. Member at once rose and tried to move the Instruction. He was not in order, because I understand that although his name was on the Paper which was originally handed in at the Table, he was No. 7, and only six names can go on. From the point of view of Parliamentary procedure this is surely the situation. An attempt was made to move this Instruction and although six names were on the Paper, none were present and the opportunity had to go. What really is of substance in the point that we are asking you with due respect to settle is that an opportunity, the ordinary Parliamentary opportunity was not taken by those who wore in a position to take it, and that the effect of setting up this Instruction again and putting it on the Order Paper is that a lost opportunity can be redeemed. I submit that this is a violation of the practises of this House. If we miss our opportunities at any stage of a Bill, we have lost them and they cannot be set up again under any other Standing Order. So far as the letter of the law is 1727 concerned, I associate myself with great respect with your ruling, but from the point of Parliamentary practice, I submit that this is a case which ought not to be given in favour of this instruction now being in Order.
§ Mr. HANNON
On that point of Order, may I ask in reference to the case in which a number of hon. Members attached their names to an instruction which is put on the Paper in the first instance, and subsequently, under an arrangement which applies in this House in which six names only can appear, and the person whose name is seventh rises in his place to move the instruction, is it competent for him to do so, his name not being on the Paper?
I only have to deal with the particular Order Paper of the day. I agree with the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition that this is a very important case, and for that reason I looked very carefully into it before coming to a decision. It is only because I found a precedent almost exactly on all fours with this case, which in my judgment was an even stronger case, that I decided to give the ruling I do now. The question raised by the Leader of the Opposition is entirely in the discretion of the Chairman of Ways and Means.
§ Mr. THOMAS
The difference between the case you, Sir, have put and the case submitted by my right hon. Friend is, that you yourself called for the Instruction. The Instruction was on the Order Paper, and you yourself called for those responsible for it. There was no response to your call; and we ask where is the precedent for the ruling that someone who is prevented, for any reason, from exercising his Parliamentary right is given another opportunity of doing it. In the case you have quoted, the Instruction did not appear until afterwards. In this case, it was on the Order Paper, you exercised your right by calling for those responsible, there was no response, and another opportunity is now given. That is the new precedent that we submit to you.
I quite understand the point which the right hon. Gentleman raises, but the only consideration I have to give to it is whether it is in accord- 1728 ance with the Standing Orders of the House, and I do not see that there is anything contrary to the Standing Orders on this occasion. There, again, it is entirely in the discretion of the Chairman of Ways and Means.
§ Mr. THOMAS
I am sorry to trouble you again. [Interruption.] Members on that side of the House are as jealous of the prerogative of Parliamentary procedure as we are, and therefore I want to submit this point. If the existing procedure deprives a Member of a Parliamentary opportunity, something may be said for the new procedure, but want to put this further point. First, you having given an opportunity, which is not taken advantage of, notwithstanding no one being available to take advantage of it, precisely the same Instruction could be moved on the Report stage of this Bill or on the Third Reading, to recommit the Bill, and yet the new procedure is laid down that a further opportunity is given.
That is so. A further opportunity can be had on the Report stage. My point is that it is not contrary to the Standing Orders of the House. That is really the only point that I have to consider.
§ Mr. THOMAS
There is no point in further challenging the ruling that you have given. I content myself by entering on the records our protests against this unusual procedure.
§ Mr. RYE
I beg to move, "That it be an Instruction to the Committee on the Bill to leave out Part VIII and Clause 11 of Part II and Clause 20 of Part IV."
If hon. Members will refer to the Instruction they will see that objection is made first to the clauses dealing with Town Planning then to Clause II and thirdly to Clause 20 of the Bill. As regards the first, I would like to remind the House that in the Town Planning Act of 1925, except as regards towns containing buildings of architectural, historic and artistic interest, there is no power whatsoever enabling any local authority to bring in and apply a town planning scheme to a developed area. A Clause was however inserted in that Act enabling a local authority to bring in a town planning scheme where it could be shown that such a scheme was necessary for the protection and preservation 1729 of towns possessing buildings of architectural, historical and artistic interest. That clearly shows that at that time Parliament must have carefully considered whether or not it was advisable to apply such a scheme to a developed area. In 1909, which is the date of the first Town Planning Act, and again in 1919, which is the date of the second Act, it was laid down that town planning should only apply to undeveloped areas. It was never contemplated in 1909, 1919 or 1925 that it would he right, fair, or proper to apply these schemes to the buildings in areas such as the town of Derby, and I suggest that it would be wrong of this House to agree to the extension of a principle which was clearly considered at the time of the passing of the various Town Planning Acts and a decision then come to that it should only apply to undeveloped areas or, I would call them, virgin territory.
I would like also to remind the House that the Derby Corporation have already got ample statutory powers to deal with street widenings under the Public Health Acts or the Road Improvement Act of 1925, and if they want to carry out any large improvement scheme they can do what the London County Council did in the case of the Kingsway improvement, and what the Westminster City Council are doing today with their Milbank scheme, that is, they can apply for a private Act. In a matter of that kind there is seldom any difficulty in obtaining the necessary powers. But that does not seem to be sufficient for the Derby Corporation, for they have inserted in a General Powers Bill an omnibus Bill containing 69 Clauses—special Clauses—to enable them to bring into force a town planning scheme for the developed area in the Town of Derby. I would specially draw attention to the fact that under the Town Planning Act of 1925 it is expressly provided in paragraph (2) of Part II of the Third Schedule.that land forming part of any path, garden or pleasure ground, or required for the amenities of any house shall not be converted for any town planning,That is the Act of 1925, but that is not sufficient for the Corporation of Derby. They now ask that Parliament should give them the right to repeal so far as their town is concerned the protection 1730 which was considered necessary in 1925. for undeveloped areas.
I would point out the disadvantages of town planning when applied to developed areas. In the first place, directly a Resolution to bring in a town planning scheme is passed, a clog is placed upon the development of property in the area. Until the scheme itself is brought into being—and it sometimes takes five years or oven more—the development of the district is held up. It is true that it is possible for an owner to appeal to the Ministry of Health, but that obviously must make for delay, and it seems to me to be obvious that in all these eases the probability is that the Ministry of Health are more than likely to say that they cannot interfere and cannot give consent, pending the preparation of the actual scheme. Moreover, if anyone who is desirous of building or developing decides, rather than have delay, to go on with the work, and if thereafter the class of building that has been put up, or the alteration that has been made, is prohibited by the scheme, the owner has to pull down his building or take away his alteration, without getting any compensation whatever. I suggest that however reasonable a town planning scheme may be for an undeveloped area, it is certainly not going to be of benefit in a developed area such as the town of Derby.
It may be said that the people of Derby want this, but, even so, I would ask the House to consider the effect of a town planning scheme on a built-on area. It is true that under Section 10 of the Town Planning Act, 1925, compensation in certain events can be obtained for injury arising from town planning, but there is no compensation in the events referred to in Section 11, Sub-section (2), of the Act, or there may not be, because it rests with the Ministry of Health, to a great extent, in cases where the local authority under their scheme, have decided upon the space to be occupied by buildings, the height of such buildings, the space between buildings, and even the character and uses of the building. Is it fair, where the authorities have prescribed the height, and have said to the owner in a town who was entitled to go up to the full height allowed by the bylaws, that in the future the height should be fixed at, say, 50 feet, and having in 1731 consequence reduced the value of the site, there should be no compensation? That is the position under the Town Planning Act.
Again, there is the question of uses. It, may be that at present premises are used for a certain purpose, and it is true that if that purpose were prohibited under a town planning scheme the owner would not be called upon to pull down the premises. But suppose they are burnt down; suppose that, owing to their age and state of repair, they have to be taken down and rebuilt, and suppose they are in an area which has been declared under a town planning scheme to be a residential area. What is the position of the owner? He cannot build them up again as a shop or for use for factory or business purposes, and therefore he is at a serious disadvantage, and, under the Town Planning Act, 1925, he is debarred from claiming any compensation. That is what the Corporation of Derby want to do to the citizens of that town. A great question of principle is here involved. It is not right and proper in my judgment for the Corporation to bring in this question of town planning. It should he dealt with by a Government Measure, brought in by the Government, so that public attention may be focussed on the question, that those who are likely to be affected may have consideration, and that the matter may be thoroughly investigated. I do not think that this is a matter which should be dealt with as part of an omnibus Bill containing no fewer than 69 Clauses.
I want now to deal with the question of Clause 11. It will enable the Derby Corporation, after they have acquired property by means of the intended Act of Parliament, and for a specific purpose, and when they have found that they have surplus lands instead of selling or letting on building lease, as is the usual practice, to retain them and to build shops, factories, and warehouses, and to let those premises. If that is not municipal trading and speculation in trade by municipalities, I do not know what is. In my opinion that is pure Socialism. It must necessarily make a direct appeal to hon. and right hon. Members above the Gangway opposite, and I can readily imagine that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for 1732 Derby (Mr. Thomas) has savoured this morsel, and rolled it round his mouth. I am not surprised he is here to support this delightful exhibition of Socialism. I come now to Clause 20, which will enable the Corporation in the erection of municipal buildings to construct as part of those buildings shops, and strange to say, residential chambers. Where is it going to end? Is this House going to say to municipalities: "Oh, yes, you can have residential chambers. You can have service fiats. You can have whist clubs if you like." Surely the time has come when we ought to refuse to accept these proposals, and to say that this trading in shops, this trading in residential flats, this carrying on of municipal enterprises at the cost of the ratepayers is not at all a benefit to the community.
While on that subject I may say that the Derby Corporation have already indulged in some of these municipal undertakings, for I find on reference to a local paper that they have a municipal golf course. I am not surprised to see that there has been a loss in the year 1926, and again in 1927, and again in 1928 on that golf course. I am not surprised also to find that the elective auditors have expressed a very strong opinion that this municipal golf course should be done away with. That is not the only thing that the elective auditors have done by way of criticism when dealing with the accounts for the financial year ending 31st March last. They state that overtime has been paid to firemen on ordinary duty, that money is badly invested, that private firms collect corporation rents, that cash is disbursed without receipts, and that free tramway travel is excessive. This is the Derby Corporation who now come forward with this delightful Measure containing these Clauses which are pure Socialism. I hope that this House will refuse to countenance this.
§ Mr. RYE
That may be so, but, assuming that members of the Labour 1733 party were not responsible for that, they are responsible for this Bill. That is sufficient for me and it satisfies me that this proposal should not be approved. I hope the House will not be led away by precedents. It has been stated in a brief that has been sent out in support of the Bill that there are precedents in its favour, that Town Planning Clauses were inserted in the Blackpool Corporation Bill and in the Newcastle-on-Tyne Corporation Bill, and that those Bills were placed on the Statute Book. Suppose that to be the case and that such Bills slipped through the House, there is no reason why we should accept this further precedent. I would quote to the House what was submitted a short time ago in connection with the Local Government Bill by the right hon. and learned Member for the Exchange Division of Liverpool (Sir Leslie Scott). He said that the mere fact that there were precedents for things which he considered to be dangerous, was all the more reason why we should not allow any further precedents to go through. For all these reasons I beg to move the Instruction to the Committee.
§ Sir JOHN POWER
I beg to second the Motion. I am not very much surprised that this Bill received a Second Reading. I have the most profound admiration for the right hon. Member for Derby (Mr. Thomas), and I always observe that when he is concerned with a Measure, somehow or other, things seem to go in his favour, such little things as the Time Table of the House, and the people who are opposed to his Bills are taken by surprise. His influence is so great that, even if he is not in the House, or just round the corner, things go his way. I expect that we shall be told of various precedents for these particular Clauses. I agree with the last speaker that the acceptance of the existing precedents is no entire guide for the future. If everything that has happened in this world is to justify a similar act, then all the evil things that have taken place have an immediate justification.
I object to this Bill very strongly, because I am a Conservative. It is a creed of our party that we object to municipal trading. Municipal trading, to my mind, is very unfair. It simply means that a municipality is able to compete against its own ratepayers with the 1734 money of the ratepayers. That does not seem to me to be fair, because if the municipality makes a loss, as, unfortunately, frequently happens, it calls upon the very people with whom it has been competing, to make good the loss. That is not fair. The reason why municipal trading does fail is because of the lack of anyone who is vitally interested in the success of the enterprise. The business is carried on by officials, who do not share in the success and do not share in the failure. There may be much to be said in favour of certain kinds of municipal trading; by that I mean trades which only require ordinary industry in order to make a success. They do not require particular foresight and imagination beyond those qualities that go to the making of success in business. What I object to in this Bill is not that the Derby Corporation are not going in for what may by any manner of means be called ordinary trading. They propose to enter into what is called speculative building. Speculative building is a very necessary thing in our civilisation, but it is universally known that it contains great risks as well as great profits. That is not exactly the kind of municipal trading in which we expect to find a corporation indulging. If they are to take powers to engage in speculative building, why not take powers to indulge in speculation on the Stock Exchange. I say most emphatically that the chances of success on the Stock Exchange are perhaps greater than in speculative building.
This corporation takes power to borrow money and indulge in this and other kinds of activities, and as long as £10 out of every £100 borrowed is devoted to municipal purposes it can devote the other £90 to speculative building enterprises. It does so in a peculiarly favourable position. The speculative builder has a certain brake on his activities, a certain check. The ordinary speculative builder has to finance his scheme, he has to raise the money for it. He has to put his scheme before financiers, and while they are prepared to take what they consider reasonable risks, nevertheless, they do exercise their judgment and if the scheme seems to be so wild and improbable that they cannot support it he does not get his money. There is a certain check on his activities. But here there is no check. The corporation asks for money ostensibly 1735 for municipal purposes, and when they have obtained the money—and they will obtain it because behind the corporation stand the ratepayers—they can indulge in any wild cat schemes they choose, and there is no one to say them nay. If it is a success there is no one to give them credit; if it is a failure there are few to say anything about it, because we know how municipalities manage these affairs. It is long after the event that the ratepayers learn that a loss has been made and then it is to the interest of everyone concerned to minimise it as far as may be; and in any case the ratepayer is too busy endeavouring to make his own living, in competition with his own municipality, to give it much thought. I support the Motion because I do not believe that the citizens of Derby if they had known what their corporation proposed to do would have supported it, and it is the duty of this House to see that the citizens, no matter what the corporation may decide or how they have arrived at the decision, are not exploited in this way.
§ Mr. THOMAS
If any justification is needed for the protest made from this side of the House at the extraordinary procedure this evening it is to be found in the two Second Reading speeches which we have just heard. With the greatest respect, I say that a very serious innovation in Parliamentary procedure is taking place. We have, I repeat, heard two Second Reading speeches in circumstances unprecedented in Parliamentary procedure. I refuse to answer the insult of the hon. Member who seconded the Motion. He may have his views as to the intelligence of the electors of Derby; they may not be so enlightened as those of Wimbledon, they may not be so businesslike, but I would remind him and the House that the Derby Chamber of Commerce, not composed of Labour people, support the Bill and the Clauses with which we are now dealing. I was amazed to find the seventh name on the Order Paper, that of the hon. Member for Moseley (Mr. Hannon), who I am sure will enlighten the House as to his views. It will be interesting to hear the objections from Birmingham, which contemplates similar powers. As far as the mover of the Motion is concerned, the Bolshevism and Socialism in this Bill—all that has been 1736 pointed out—not only were sought for by the Blackpool Tory Corporation and the Chester Corporation, but these things were not then of sufficient importance to receive the attention of either the mover or the seconder of the Motion. Neither of them was at that time in his place; neither of them then took any notice; neither of them was concerned with the great moral principles that they are laying down to-night. I ask the House to observe that significant fact. Notwithstanding their indifference, imagine the reflection that they are casting upon their colleagues who sat upstairs, who heard all the evidence and arguments, and said that in their judgment—the Tory members, their colleagues—this Clause ought to he sanctioned. What is even more important is that the Ministry of Health said that the Clause was in strict accord with the recommendations of the Ministry.
The short point that I want to put is this: The procedure of this House lays it down that points such as have been raised to-night are points for the Committee stage upstairs. Everyone knows that there is no more impartial body than the Committee upstairs. Not only is a locus given to every Member but he can argue the pros and cons of any subject. Yet to-night we are asked to say that a Committee of our fellow Members, a Committee selected front all parties in this House, a Committee trusted by this House, is incapable of giving an impartial judgment on the matters referred to in the Motion to-night. And in order to influence the Douse the sins of the Derby Town Council are dragged in. It is unworthy of the hon. Member who moved this Motion. He ought to know, and he does know perfectly well, that anything to which he has drawn attention can be and is the subject of investigation and has no bearing whatever upon the body that is responsible for the promotion of this Bill. There is evidence of that. My own colleague in the representation of Derby, who is a Conservative, will be able to tell the House, as I have told it, that, whatever their views may be, this Bill represents the considered judgment of all political parties in Derby.
§ Mr. THOMAS
I not only say that but repeat it. My colleague on the other side of the House will endorse that statement.
§ Mr. RYE
Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that there was a unanimous opinion at the meeting under the Borough Funds Act?
§ Mr. THOMAS
The ordinary statutory meeting was held in accordance with the procedure under the law, and the Bill was not only endorsed, but almost unanimously endorsed. I go beyond that, and say that a special meeting of the Chamber of Trade and Chamber of Commerce was held and the Bill was there endorsed.
§ Mr. THOMAS
It would be absurd to assume that on any Bill of this character there would be complete unanimity in any municipality. I said that, so far as the political parties in Derby were concerned, they all endorsed the Bill. Of course there would be a minority of individuals. The hon. Member has been sufficiently long in the House to know that it would be absurd to claim absolute unanimity for any Bill of this character. We believe in democracy, however, and, I repeat, that there is a majority in favour of the Bill of all political parties. My final point is this. I ask the House to observe what we are asked to omit. What is it to which the hon. Members who have moved the Instruction object? A town planning scheme. Take almost any town in any part of the country; take, especially, any town in Lancashire, Yorkshire or the Midlands. Is there any Member of the House who will not agree that such a town is generally badly constructed making one wish for a, chance to start it all over again? Do not we all feel in going through almost any town to-day, that it must have been "rained down" and that there could have been no coherent plan in its construction? It is the duty of a municipality to look ahead and to endeavour to avoid these difficulties. That is all the Derby Corporation ask. That is all they want 1738 to have decided before the Committee. That is all they ask this House to say. If there should be restrictions, if there should be bias, if there should be anything wrong, the Committee uptairs will examine it. For all these reasons, and, above all, for the safeguarding of a Committee of the House, I ask the House to reject the Motion.
§ Major-General Sir RICHARD LUCE
I wish to follow the lead of my colleague, the right hon. Gentleman the senior Member for Derby (Mr. J. H. Thomas). This Bill has received a Second Heading and there is no need to describe what it contains or the great advantages that are expected from it by the town of Derby. We are concerned merely with those Clauses against which the Instruction has been moved. As has been said, the Bill was approved on two occasions by the Corporation. On the first occasion, in a meeting of 59 members there was entire unanimity. At another meeting it was endorsed without any objection, though there were two abstentions. The Corporation at the time was composed of about equal numbers of Labour members and Municipal Association members but, in spite of that fact, there was a practically unanimous decision on both occasions. At no time have I received any protest against it from any individual constituent and, I believe, the right hon. Gentleman, my colleague in the representation of Derby, can say the same. During the whole of that time right up to the present no letter or verbal objection has come to me direct regarding this Bill. Therefore, I think it is definitely shown that it is the wish of the whole population, with a certain few exceptions which much occur in every case, that this Bill, with these Clauses, should be passed by this House.
With regard to the particular Clauses referred to, the most important one is that dealing with town planning. The original Town Planning Bill is now twenty years old, having been passed in 1909. There has been no alteration in it since that time, although there have been very great developments in regard to town planning. No one who seriously considers the matter can determine otherwise than that it is necessary now to have further powers if we are to make our towns what they ought to be. 1739 Derby itself is a very old town—one of the oldest in the country. For many years it was a small town, but in the last thirty years it has grown extraordinarily rapidly. It is now totally unfit structurally to carry out the duties which it is necessary for a town of its size and importance to carry out. It is therefore necessary that a great deal should be done to it, and this Bill provides certain things which it is necessary to do. It is almost certain that that which is asked for now cannot be the final solution and it seems to me that anyone who looks to the future must do so on some definite basis and plan. Therefore, it must be agreed that a town planning scheme should not apply merely to undeveloped areas, but should be laid down so that the town may be developed in accordance with what it is necessary to make it a place fitted for the work which it has to do. There will, of course, in the near future be the great question of slum areas to be dealt with. Unless you have some definite plan to cover the whole ground of the work which is to be done in the alteration of the town, that slum work can never be thoroughly done. It is exceedingly likely that in any Bill which is brought in to deal with the slums it may be necessary to include some such
§ measures as are included in these Clauses of the Bill.
§ The fact has been referred to that similar Clauses exist in other Bills which have been passed during this Parliament. There is not a single one of these Clauses which are objected to that is not taken absolutely verbatim from one or other of the Bills which have been passed during recent years. Seeing that they have been so passed, it is absurd to think that they were passed carelessly by a House like the present one. They were passed deliberately, and not one word has been said to-night either by the Mover or the Seconder of the Motion to show that in any respect they have been found failing. There has been no protest from Newcastle or from Blackpool as to the effect of the Clauses which have been passed. They have apparently been working quite satisfactorily. As the hour is late, I think I have said enough to show that this is not a party question in Derby, but that it is a question of a Bill which is really required and that these Clauses are essential to the Bill.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 49; Noes, 100.1741
|Division No. 235.]||AYES.||[11.56 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Henderson, Capt.R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Shaw,Lt.-Col. A. D. Mel. (Renfrew, w.)|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Hilton, Cecil||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W.R., Soweroy)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney,N).||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Atkinson, C.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Bevan, S. J.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Bowater, Cot. Sir T. Vanslttart||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Macdonald, R. (Glasgow, Cathcart)||Tasker, R. Inigo.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Nail, Colonel Sir Joseph||Templeton, W. P.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Couper, J. B.||Pilcher, G.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Power, Sir John Cecil||Wells, S. R.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Fermoy, Lord||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'tt'y)|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.ߞ|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Mr. Rye and Mr. Hannon.|
|Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Briscoe, Richard George||Compton, Joseph|
|Albery, Irving James||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Conway, Sir W. Martin|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Bromfield, William||Crookshank, Cpt.H.(Lindsey,Gainsbro)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Day, Harry|
|Barnes, A||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Dennison, R.|
|Barr, J.||Buchanan, G.||Duncan, C.|
|Batey, Joseph||Burman, J. B.||England, Colonel A.|
|Bellamy, A.||Campbell, E. T.||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Cayester, sir C. (Chester, City)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Charieton, H. C.||Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Clayton, G. C.||Gardner, J. P.|
|Gillett, George M.||Lunn, William||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Shield, G. W.|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Mackinder, W.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfast)|
|Grundy, T. W.||MacLaren, Andrew.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||McLean, Major A.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Hayday, Arthur||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Smith, Rennle (Penistone)|
|Hayes, John Henry||Macmillan, Captain H.||Snell, Harry|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Hirst, G. H.||Margesson, Captain D.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Hollins, A.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Murnin, H.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Whiteley, W.|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Oliver, George Harold||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Kelly, W. T.||Palln, John Henry||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Kennedy, T.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilton, Sir C. H. (Leeds, Central)|
|Kirkwood, D||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Potts, John S,||Windsor, Walter|
|Lansbury, George||Raine, Sir Walter||Womersley, W. J|
|Lawrence, Susan||Richardson, R, (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Lindley, F. W.||Ritson, J.|
|Loder, J. de V.||Saklatvala, Shapurji||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Longbottom, A. W.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Mr. J. H. Thomas and Major|
|Lougher, Lewis||Scrymgeour, E.||General Sir Richard Luce.|
|Lowth, T.||Scurr, John|