§ The CHAIRMAN
The three Amendments standing in the name of the hon. Member for East Bradford (Mr. Fenby) and other hon. Members—(1) in page 106, line 22, to leave out the words "the standard," and to insert instead thereof the word "each"; (2) in line 34, to leave out the words" in the standard year"; and (3) in page 108, line 4, to leave out the words "the standard," and to insert instead thereof the word "each"—relate to matters upon which the Committee has already come to a decision.
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Chamberlain)
I beg to move, in page 108, line 33, at the end, to insert the words:2. The amounts aforesaid shall be estimated and certified as if road grants had been made in respect of the standard year at the rates at which they were payable immediately before the appointed day.This Amendment relates to, and is consequential upon, the announcement which was made recently by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the classification grants in respect of Class 1 and Class 2 roads were to be substantially increased. The grant in respect of Class 1 roads is to be increased from 50 per cent. to 60 per cent. and that in respect of Class 2 roads from 33⅓ per cent. to 50 per cent. That, I need hardly say, is a very substantial windfall for various local authorities. Where the grants are given direct, of course, there is no further question raised, but in the case of London and the county boroughs where these Class 1 and Class 2 roads are taken out with the discontinued grants, and go into the block grants, I think they would have a reasonable grievance if they were left out of the benefit of this increased grant. Accordingly, this Amendment is designed to bring in the 1168 county boroughs and London, and provides that in calculating the amount of discontinued grants in a standard year, they are to be considered as though this change had taken place and the increased grant had been given instead of the old one. Therefore under this Amendment the county boroughs and London will get their full share of the advantages of this concession which my right hon. Friend announced.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Sir Kingsley Wood)
I beg to move, in page 109, line 9, at the end, to insert the words:and—(b) any grants paid or payable in respect of the standard year to the King Edward the Seventh Welsh National Memorial Association for the purposes of sanatoria shall be treated as if they had been included among the amounts paid or payable out of the discontinued grants; and(c) the area for which a voluntary association acts shall be determined by the Minister.This Amendment really meets the case put to my right hon. Friend in which certain Members are interested in connection with the Welsh National Memorial Association and the special position in Wales, and gives effect to a promise given to the Association. It provides that any grants in respect of the standard year payable to the Association for the purposes of sanatoria should be treated as though they had been included among the amounts payable out of the discontinued grants under the Bill. Those grants as my hon. Friends know, are grants in respect of certain capital expenditure. Grants for similar purposes in England have beer. 50 per cent. of the loan charges payable in respect of such service. Therefore, in these circumstances we have agreed to meet the Welsh authorities in this particular matter, and the last part of the Amendment is to make it clear in appropriate cases that a voluntary association shall be deemed to he for the purpose of the ascertainment of the losses on account of grants in one area only.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The next Amendment on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) 1169 and other hon. Members, in page 109, to leave out from the beginning of line 26 to the end of line 25, page 110, and to insert rules for distributing the formula grant between counties and county boroughs, deals with a matter which has already been passed. With regard to the Amendment standing in the name of several hon. Members for Durham—in page 109, line 29, to leave out the words "under five years of age," and to insert instead thereof the wordsof school age receiving free education at public elementary and secondary day schools provided by local education authorities,and the following Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for East Bradford (Mr. Fenby) and others—in page 109, line 29, to leave out the word "five" and to insert instead thereof the word "fourteen"—they deal with very much the same point. In putting the question, I will save the latter Amendment, but I think it will be for the convenience of the Committee that these Amendments should be discussed together, although there can be separate divisions.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I beg to move, in page 109, line 29, to leave out the words "under five years of age," and to insert instead thereof the words:of school age receiving free- education at public elementary and secondary day schools provided by local education authorities.I feel here that I am now taking a bold and audacious step. In putting my name to the Amendment I am engaging in an impossible task, the task of amending the indefensible-something which is, by its nature, so inherently absurd that you can hardly hope to improve it. I want to say this in order to justify myself in moving this Amendment. I am aware that no formula can be satisfactory which attempts to cover entirely unlike things in one Measure, and this formula covers things as distinct in their nature as a gift and a debt. The money we take from the local authorities is in the nature of a debt. The money we give them in grant is in the nature of a gift, and no formula which can be devised will cover these debts and these gifts. On the Second Reading, when I read the formula, I was at that time imbued with a genuine political passion. It seemed to me a thing worth fighting with every inch of power, but now I am not very much bothered about that formula. It 1170 has been so restricted in its operation and so limited in its duration as to be comparatively harmless.
But I come back to the task of pointing out one of the absurdities as I think them to be. The population of children under 5 is to be taken as one of the elements governing the expenditure of the localities. All the local authorities have said, or, at any rate, the Association of Municipal Authorities has repeatedly pointed out, that the number of children under 5, even if you take education and health services only, is not a proper measure of the demands on the locality for services. Children under 5 are not even an index of the size of the family. Anyone who studies the astonishing curves in the birth statistics knows that one of the things is the altogether disproportionate proportions of the age groups of children. Before the War it was perfectly correct to take the number of children under 5, or, indeed, the number of children at any age, multiplied by the appropriate figures as an estimate of the child population as a whole. There was an enormous peak in the birth-rate in 1919. There was then a slow and gradual decline running down pretty steeply, and recovering a little in recent years. The result was that the number of dependent children in a family at different ages is an abnormal thing. The number of children born in 1919 who would therefore be from 9 to 10 years of age in the standard year, are a very much larger group than the children from 3 to 4 and the children. from 2 to 1.
If you desire to make an estimate of the needs of a district, it is not legitimate to take the children of any particular group. The local authorities point out two other things. The first is that the children under five above a certain economic level are no burden of any sort upon the locality. The Association of Municipal Corporations stresses that point. They say that if you take a poor district like West Ham, the children under five are children who come upon the rates in regard to maternity centres and school attendance, but if you take communities like Eastbourne, Bournemouth and so forth, the very young children there are no burden at all on the rates. They do not demand an increase of housing or health services, or milk. They are a section of the popula- 1171 tion who make absolutely no demand. The Association therefore say that if you are trying to deal with the matter scientifically, you should compute the number of children of school age. The number of children attending the elementary schools is the proper measure of the needs of the district if you take child population. How are you to come by the number of children under five accurately and quickly? The answer is that you cannot do it, but you have means at your hand for immediately and accurately enumerating the children above five. They are all on the schedule. We have got their number in a way altogether surpassing the accuracy of the census.
Now local authorities say that if you desire to measure the needs of a locality in children, you have to take the number of children attending the elementary schools, and that is the point of this Amendment. The Minister, no doubt, will say that we are dealing with health grants, and therefore the school children do not come under his grants, but come under the education grants. That is very true, but that is not the point I am after. He can estimate the number of children under five very much better by taking the number of children from six to seven in the elementary schools. If you want to get at the number of children under five actually from year to year, you will do much better by counting the number of children of six years old at school, and making the appropriate calculation. Then, if you are estimating the needs of the district for housing and such services, what you want to know are the total number of children. The second point is to get an idea of the total of the population which weighs upon the locality and the number of children under five is a very bad criterion. I know that the weighting of the whole elementary schools population would be difficult, but the people who devised the formula have in the recesses of their inner consciousness different weights appropriate for different classes of population, and they would have no difficulty in adapting their weight to what is, I think, a more reasonable statistical figure.
§ Mr. ERNEST BROWN
The hon. Member for East Ham, North (Miss Lawrence) 1172 has said that it is much more difficult to take this discussion seriously than it was when the White Paper was first issued, because, although this will be very important as a factor in some 17 years' time, the mitigations that the Minister of Health has made in the course of the last month or two really make discussion on these factors at the moment discussion in a vacuum. It was difficult for those who first went into the matter to understand why the Minister should have chosen children under five. The first wonder was whether it had any relation to health services, and then why all children of school age should not be taken. Then, of course, we understood, as we understand now, that this has been taken as an arbitrary test of the relative poverty, and therefore the need of a district, and I want to say two things about it. As it is now drafted, it seems to have too much weight in determining the distribution according to the need, seeing that first of all it is applied to the actual population, and that unemployment brings so much less in proportion to the total amount applied by the weight. We have no actual figures as to what will happen. The estimated figures of the Minister are based on certain assumptions, and no figures can be accurate until we have the actual facts of the standard year 1928–29. This particular factor of children under five will, roughly, apply to an amount of between £12,000,000 and £13,000,000 out of the total of £45,000,000. Therefore, this particular factor is really, when weighted population becomes the total thing to be reckoned with in the distribution of the money, extremely important.
I have never attached particular importance to this or that item of the formula itself. My view has been from the beginning that the real trouble with this formula is not in the cost of one factor over another inside the formula, but in the fact that you are trying, by this artificial, arbitrary means of certain selected factors, to apply moneys originating at two different ends of a scale; namely, moneys originating from the Treasury, being Treasury money by way of grant, and moneys originating out of rates which at the moment are applied by the local authority, and in the future are lost to the local authorities because of the de-rating. This particular factor deserves criticism on two grounds; first 1173 of all because of its arbitrary nature. We start with a policy of applying this factor to another, namely, actual population, but that is a thing which nobody at the moment can determine. The last Census was in 1921, and the only statistics which we have are the Registrar-General's figures of births and deaths. We have no accurate knowledge of the movements to and from various areas, which have been very great in certain parts in recent years. So the fundamental basis of apply-the money is inaccurate.
On top of that, we get this fact. The Minister is making paper babies, that is, babies on paper, to add to the estimated actual population; and the fact that there are more or less paper babies in an area brings more or less money. That seems to me the whole trouble, because we have only a certain block of money and an arbitrary system having no relation to the actual loss of rates in the particular area on the one hand, or actual expenditure on the other, and we are told that the one and only test of poverty in a district for the original part of the weight is children under five.
§ Mr. BROWN
I am treating rateable value as a test of relative wealth and not poverty. The point I am arguing is the point of poverty. In order to get what is the actual need of an area, the Minister is making what was described from that Bench the other day as a simple linear equation between the test for poverty and the test for relative wealth, because when the Minister in the second part of the formula says that it must be £10 per head of rateable value—
§ The CHAIRMAN
The argument of the hon. Gentleman would be more appropriate to the Schedule as a whole. For the moment, the hon. Gentleman had better stick to the Amendment.
§ Mr. BROWN
I regret that I was led away from the delightful question of babies. The fact is that babies are very important, and they will become more 1174 important. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Central Bradford (Lieut.-Colonel Gadie) will find that this particular factor will affect Bradford very heavily in 15 or 17 years' time, and the question as to whether the choice of babies under five years of age or of children—
§ Mr. BROWN
Of course on paper. That is the whole fallacy. The whole thing is so arbitrary that, in our judgment, it will not make for the distribution of the money according to need as the Minister claims that it will. Everything that we have said in criticism of the choice of these factors has been borne out by the whole trend of the discussions between the Minister and the municipal authorities and by the concessions which have just been announced. I can quote the Parliamentary Secretary in support of my statement that this test of poverty is bound to be arbitrary and anomalous, and bound to be erratic. I have been looking into a speech made by the Parliamentary Secretary which I will quote. My late friend, Mr. Trevelyan Thomson, was once worrying the Parliamentary Secretary to apply moneys to necessitous areas according to a formula, and the Parliamentary Secretary, in reply, quoted the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour in the Labour Government, as follows:A very interesting point was raised by the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough in relation to the grants made to necessitous areas and I should like to give him a definite statement of our policy on that point. The hon. Member dealt with the deputation which went to the Ministry of Health with a proposal that special assistance should be given to necessitous areas by means of a grant based on a complex formula. After careful consideration the Government had not been able to accept this. The formula if applied would give rise to the most grotesque differences in the grants to the various necessitous areas. It is very difficult to find a formula which would be fair. The general policy of the Government is to extend the unemployment programme and in this way greatly to relieve the local authorities of some of their burdens. That is definitely the policy of the Government on that point.Having quoted that from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour in the Labour Government, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health in this Government expressed his agreement with it. He goes on to say: 1175Then…the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough rose to his feet and asked to what extent the Government were prepared to increase grants to local authorities in these areas with regard to work for the unemployed, and the reply was:'I think I must stick to the reply I have given, that it is very difficult to find a formula which will be fair. I cannot go beyond that.'
§ Mr. BROWN
Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will let me finish. He went on to say:That was the statement made on behalf of the Ministry of Labour in the late Government in regard to necessitous areas, and hon. Members opposite will appreciate that, if that was the view adopted then—and there is a good deal to be said for this view—it was a definite rejection on that occasion of any extra assistance to the necessitous areas."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 4th December, 1925; cols. 2775–2776, Vol. 188.]My point is that, which the right hon. Gentleman agreed was anomalous, is equally so with regard to his own method. The hon. Member for West Middlesbrough was asking for special help for the necessitous areas. There was no talk then of de-rating necessitous areas and limiting their assessment, or of depriving the local authorities of their rates, and now the Minister comes forward with his formula. He professes that he has solved the problem, but he must not be surprised to find that his arbitrary selection of factors, upon which will depend some 25 per cent. of the total financial relations between the local authorities and the National Exchequer in 17 years' time, are as defective as the original formula suggested to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour in the Labour Government.
It is quite obvious that the factor of children under five does not apply equally throughout the country; more than that, that some of the areas where children under five are not the largest class, are some of the needy areas. I am bound to say that, taking all the factors into consideration, if there is to be a factor in regard to children, which is to be treated as a test of need and poverty without relation to a test of rateable value added to actual population, I should much prefer to have, instead of consideration of children under five, all children under 14. To discuss the individual factors is to have a discussion in a vacuum, for the 1176 reason that neither the Minister nor anybody else has sufficient tables to tell whether this will work out well or otherwise in the great bulk of the areas. As the Minister knows, we are still without any figures about a great number of English counties. If we are to include children as a test, there is a powerful case for making the children of elementary school age the test, and not merely the children under five.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The particular Amendments which we are discussing, or are supposed to be discussing, have been put down with a view to substituting children of school age for children under five. Broadly speaking, that is the substance of both Amendments. I want to devote myself to these Amendments, but, as both the speakers have alluded to what they describe as the anomalies of combining together grants and rates in order to find a pool which is to be distributed according to a formula, I must reply to that particular observation. I cannot address myself to the hon. Member for East Ham, North (Miss Lawrence), because she docs not appear to be in the Chamber, but I do particularly address myself to the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E, Brown) who, I know, is making a serious study of this Bill; and, while I may not be able to convert him to my point of view, I should at least feel more satisfied if I thought he understood what that point of view was. I want, therefore, to say to him, and to any hon. Members who agree with him, that there is nothing inconsistent in making the distribution on a formula of these two items, loss of rates and loss of grant, if once you appreciate the theory of the whole transaction.
What is the theory of the whole transaction? The hon. Member always speaks of making up a loss of rates to local authorities. That is exactly where we differ from him, because our view of the whole transaction is this: that in this Bill we are undertaking a reform of a rating system which was inequitable and unjust. The first thing to be done is to reform the system, and, when you have put that right, you must then address yourself to the problem which arises of how local authorities are to carry on their work after they have been deprived of what has hitherto been a substantial part of their revenue. That is 1177 the problem to which we address ourselves, and the way in which we deal with that is to say that we have to find a means of distributing the money provided by the Exchequer in such a way that every local authority shall have adequate resources to carry out its duties properly. If that be understood, the hon. Member for Leith will see that there is nothing inconsistent in my point of view.
I now want to address myself to this particular Amendment. I would note that all the efforts of the combined Oppositions have not been able to find any serious fault with the formula of the Government. In spite of all the jaunty criticisms of the hon. Member for East Ham North when she began to discuss this Bill, she has not found any new factor, nor is she disposed to quarrel with any of the existing factors in the formula. All the criticism that is directed against it refers to the weighting of particular items, and suggestions are made that the weights should be altered in some way. Hon. Members opposite have been puzzled to know why we have selected children under five. The hon. Member for East Ham North did not mention at all in her consideration of the subject the reason we have so repeatedly put forward, but the hon. Member for Leith will fully appreciate that in taking into account in the formula the proportion of children under five to population we are not primarily concerned with the actual burdens thrown upon the community by the presence of those children, the actual services which have to be performed in respect of those children. We take those children as part of the measure of the relative wealth or poverty of the district. I cannot follow the hon. Member when he seems to think that relative poverty has to be placed in a different category from relative wealth.
The question the Committee have to consider, if it be accepted that this is a factor introduced in order to give a measure of relative wealth or poverty is: Is this is a good factor or would it be a better factor if we took instead the children under 14 or children receiving free education at public elementary or secondary schools? The hon. Member described our formula as arbitrary and erratic. Why is it any more arbitrary or erratic than to take the number of children under 14? He is only substituting one arbitrary and erratic thing 1178 for another. What hon. Members evidently have not appreciated is that if you look into it there really is no difference between the two in practical effect. I have a great number of figures here, in fact I have the figures for all the county boroughs, showing what would be the proportion of children under 14, or the average attendance of school children, if that be reduced to a figure which will enable us to compare it with the children under five. When I look through this list I am surprised to find how very little difference there is between the two. The hon. Member for Leith said that his factor would be a very much better indication of the relative wealth or poverty of necessitous areas, but he is wrong.
Let me give the Committee one or two figures. The first one that catches my eye is the figure for Barrow, which is undoubtedly a necessitous area. There the figure of the hon. Member for Leith —although I think this figure does not take account of secondary day schools, but only of primary schools—is 106, and the figure according to the Government's formula is 108, so that Barrow would stand to lose. In the case of Birmingham the figure would be 93 under the school attendance formula, and 92 under the Government's formula. For Bradford the figures are 74 and 68, for Brighton 71 and 71, for Dudley 109 and 110 and Eastbourne 52 and 48.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
No, not percentage. In the one case it is the number of children under five per thousand of the population. In the other case we take the figures of the children under 14, or children receiving elementary education, and reduce them so as to make them comparable with the figures of the children under five. Supposing on the average the children under five are 100 and the children under school age are 150, then it will be seen that the proportion is as two is to three.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
The number of children under 14 is in itself a very much larger figure than the number of children under five. The Minister should explain what he means by reduction. Does he 1179 obtain it by dividing by two and a-half, or something like that?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
You must take a datum. I am suggesting, therefore, that if on the average the children under 14 were 150 and the children under five were 100, that would be a proportion of three to two; and, if so, we take two-thirds of the figures in the case of children under 14 so as to bring both to one level scale. Obviously, one cannot compare the larger number with the smaller. By making this reduction I get comparable figures, and the ones I have read out show that there is hardly any difference between them. In this first batch I have come across one area, Barrow-in-Furness, which is better off under the Government's formula, and another, Eastbourne, which is worse off. I do not think I need trouble the Committee with more figures. The other figures are on the same lines, and show that practically there is no difference.
I may be asked, Why did we choose the one and not the other? There is one consideration which has to be taken into account. The number of children under five is a figure which cannot in any way be altered by any action on the part of the local authorities. The number of children at school age can be altered, and although I do not want to suggest that any local authority would take measures to attract a larger number into that particular class in order to weight its population and bring it a larger grant in the next fixed grant period, yet it might be thought by some other ill natured local authority or critic that such a thing was being done, and as the two figures are practically the same we felt it was better to take the figure of children under five, which could not possibly be exposed to any such suggestion. I hope I have shown the Committee that there is nothing in the principle and nothing in the factors which have been suggested which would in any way improve upon the factor put forward by the Government.
§ Mr. ARTHUR GREENWOOD
I am not sure that the right hon. Gentleman has resolved all our doubts. I am not contending, and I do not think my hon. Friends would contend, that this Amendment is going to put the formula right. We never suggested it. We never had 1180 the courage of the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. Brown). We have not produced a new formula. I admire his courage, but I doubt his wisdom. I can imagine that if his formula had been discussed it would be open to very grave criticism from the Treasury bench. I am not disposed to argue the details of the formula. The right hon. Gentleman has explained his theory. We do not accept his theory. That is the real difference between us. He regards this as a Measure of rating reform—I have not a high opinion of it as a Measure of rating reform—and he is not concerned with making up the loss of grants for specific services. He has a logical point of view about that, but it is one with which we do not in the least bit agree and nothing anybody can do with this formula can put it right from our point of view. It does not matter which factor you alter, the result will not be a satisfactory formula; and further, in a sense, the details of the formula are hardly worth discussion, because the formula is now purely a temporary matter.
The right hon. Gentleman came down to the House with a full-fledged formula which was to be put completely into operation in 15 years. Now the whole thing goes into the melting pot at the end of seven years, and will never emerge from it, because I am satisfied that after seven years' experience—if local authorities put up with it as long as that—we shall find that the formula has to be subjected to a very substantial revision. The whole thing is a purely empirical formula, and it is not based on any scientific foundation at all. The right hon. Gentleman has tried to make the best of a bad job. However you work or modify the formula, you will get most astonishing results. If we had produced a new formula I am sure the Minister would have shown some most remarkable anomalies.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I cannot help thinking that the hon. Member is getting far away from the Amendment before the Committee.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
So far as the Amendment is concerned we have not had any comparable figures at all from the Minister. The right hon. Gentleman considers it good enough to give us 1181 the result of the formula as applied in respect of children in elementary schools, but we want to know the number of children receiving education at public elementary schools and secondary schools provided by the local education authorities. The real weakness of this proposal is choosing children under five, and that shows the weakness of selecting children of school age. Surely, the Minister does not suggest that as a serious argument. On this point, I would advise him to consult the President of the Board of Education. Is it supposed that local authorities are going to burden themselves with so many pounds a year for every school child in order to get a fraction more out of the Government grant? As a matter of fact they would lose money by that process, and every local authority knows that that would be the result. The reason why children of school age are preferable rather than children under five years of age is that the number of those children attending elementary schools is known, while on the other hand nobody knows the number in any town under five years of age.
There is an old standing controversy with regard to infant mortality. The medical officers have their own estimates of population and the Ministry of Health have their estimate. We have had much controversy as to what the population is at any given time, and although the five-yearly census will enable us to make a reasonable estimate, at the very best it will only be an estimate and the formula will have to be based on the estimated population modified by another estimated population of the children under five years of age. If you take the number of children on the roll of an elementary or public secondary school who are receiving free education then you are proceeding on a perfectly well known principle, and that will give you results about which there can be no controversy at all. It may be true that the difference in the two cases would not be very substantial. The difficulty I am in is that if I wish to propose an increase in the weight given one factor I have to diminish the weight given to another factor, and it is difficult to know what the precise result would be.
It is not true to say that we have not found fault with the elements of the 1182 formula. We have found fault with its general structure and the principles upon which it is based. What we are concerned with now is to show that, as regards one particular point, the formula does not work. I submit, in all seriousness, that it would meet with the approval of local authorities if the Government would agree to accept the school age population instead of the population under the age of five years. Every time the Parliamentary Secretary has been able to refer to the so-called agreement with the local authorities he has done so, but I notice that the Minister of Health did not refer to that point. Most of the experts connected with the local authorities in this country do not approve of the selection in this case of children under five years of age, and I know that many of the best experts would have preferred to see in the formula a provision applying to children of school age and not to children under five years of age. That being so I think we are entitled to press this Amendment as being a reasonable proposal.
I think hon. Members opposite who put down their names on the Order Paper in support of this Amendment in order to attack the formula owe a big debt of gratitude to the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood). The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne has admitted that he has not been particularly helpful in these Debates, and he told us that he has now come to the most difficult part of the Bill. When the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne, who for the moment, has assumed the leadership of the Opposition, makes an admission of that kind it does not look as though he had any constructive suggestion to put forward.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
I should have been out of order if I had attempted to put forward any alternative proposals.
I say quite frankly that I thought the hon. Member had more knowledge of our Parliamentary procedure. I will not follow the hon. Member any further on that point, but I will come back to the actual definition which has been given of this proposal dealing with children. It seems to me that if there is anything clear and obvious in the working out of a formula of this kind and in appreciating its various 1183 factors you can only have in mind one main object and that is the need of the district. I believe that the children in the poorer districts are in need of more assistance from outside. A good deal has been said about the method of dealing with children under the age of five and 14 years of age.
As far as children under fourteen years of age are concerned some of them are coming near the stage when they may be earning wages. In many families children of the age of 17, 18 or 19 are a real help. The younger the children are the more the district has to contribute towards the family. When examining these services greater weight should be given to the younger generation. I think it is admitted that formulae are the only way of working out the more difficult questions of the day. I congratulate the Minister of Health not on the formula itself but on this particular fraction of it. We know that it may have to be changed from time to time. There is another formula dealing with highly scientific questions.
I believe this formula is an essential factor in the scheme. I think it is a most important factor in the position that we shall reach in the future.
§ Mr. CECIL WILSON
It is apparent from the small attendance in the Committee that hon. Members are engaged in something more important than the consideration of this Bill and that is by-elections. I cannot understand why the limit of children under five years of age has been adopted under this Measure. I have in my possession the last report of the Board of Education in which various ages of children are dealt with who are in attendance at the classes and at the different schools throughout the country, and this report gives the estimated population in July, 1927. Taking the estimated population of children under five years of age, I find that the average number is 655,000. From five to eight the average is 768,000. From eight to twelve, there is a very steep drop to
§ an average of 575,000. From twelve to fourteen, we get an average of 704,000. With the exception of this age from eight to twelve, where the figure is very low for reasons that we do not need to go into now, I find that the average under five is a lower figure than in the case of any other of the averages here; in other words that, with the exception of these exceptional years, those under five are the smallest available figures. If you take it even over the whole of the 14 years, including the very low years, the figure for those under five is still lower than is obtained by taking the whole, including those very low and very exceptional years.
§ We ought to have some explanation as to what are the figures on which it has been suggested that we should take under five only when it happens to be the lowest possible figure and not a figure which is in any way justified by those for the years before. This is going to be a very much greater burden on the poorer areas, because the birth-rate there is distinctly higher than in other areas. I have in mind particularly, though it applies everywhere, the City of Sheffield. The birth-rate, I think I am right in saying, is very nearly twice as large in parts of the East End as it is in parts of the West End. If one considers the condition in which a number of these children themselves are in the poorer areas, there is no doubt whatever that there is immense need, and the older the child the greater is the need. We can see that clearly where children are receiving free meals and in regard to clothing and, of course, education. We ought to have some very much clearer explanation as to why five has been taken, it being a particularly low figure. I am not concerned with the position in Barrow and certain other places, but I am taking the country as a whole, and I assume that the figures which I have been quoting are figures which have been arrived at from the same sources as are available to me.
§ Question put, "That the word 'under' stand part of the Schedule."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 177; Noes, 111.1187
|Division No. 146.]||AYES.||[5.6 p.m.|
|Albery, Irving James||Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Bennett, A. J.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Berry, Sir George|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Birchall, Major J. Dearman|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Brass, Captain W.||Hamilton, Sir George||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Harland, A.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Preston, William|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. H. l.||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Buchan, John||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Radford, E. A.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Ramsden, E.|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hills, Major John Waller||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hilton, Cecil||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Ropner, Major L.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Ross, R. D.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt, R.(Prtsmth, C)||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Rugqles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Salmon, Major I.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Sandon, Lord|
|Christle, J. A.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Cockerill, Brig -General Sir George||Hurd, Percy A.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Iveagh, Countess of||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Cope, Major Sir William||James, Lieut.- Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Couper, J. R.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||king, Commodore Henry Douglas||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Knox, Sir Alfred||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Lioyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Spret, Sir Alexander|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Loder, J. de V.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Lougher, Lewis||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Lucas-Tooth, sir Hugh Vere||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Drove, C.||Lumley, L. R.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Macintyre, Ian||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Ellis, R. G.||McLean, Major A.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Macquisten, F. A.||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Wells, S. R.|
|Fermoy, Lord||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Fielden, E. S.||Margersson, Captain D.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Meller, R. J.||Wilson, Sir Murrough (Yorks, Richm'd)|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Wildsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||Mitchell, W. Font (Saffron Walden)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Fremantle, Lieut.- Colonel Francis E.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Moore, Lieut -Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Morrison, H. (Wills, Salisbury)||Wood, Sir S. Hill (High Peak)|
|Gates Percy||Nelson, Sir Frank||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Goff, Sir Park||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Penny, Frederick George||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Mr. P. C. Thomson and Captain|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Dunnice, H.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown.)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannork)||Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Evans. Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Gardner, J. p.||Kelly, W. T.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Kennedy, T.|
|Barnes, A,||Gibbins, Joseph||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Barr, J.||Gillett, George M.||Kirkwood, D.|
|Batey, Joseph||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Lansbury, George|
|Bellamy, A.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lawrence, Susan|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Greenall, T.||Lawson, John James|
|Briant, Frank||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Lee, F.|
|Bromfield, William||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Lindley, F. W.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Lowth, T.|
|Buchanan, G.||Grundy, T. W.||Lunn, William|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R.(Aberavon)|
|Cape, Thomas||Hamilton, Sir R (Orkney & Shetland)||Mackinder, W.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hardle, George D||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Cluse, W S.||Harris, Percy A.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Hayday, Arthur||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Compton, Joseph||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)|
|Connolly, M.||Hirst, G. H.||March, S.|
|Cove, W. G.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Montague, Frederick|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Mosley, Sir Oswald|
|Dennison, R.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Palin, John Henry|
|Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Stamford, T. W.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Stephen, Campbell||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Ponsonby, Arthur||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Potts, John S.||Sullivan, J||Westwood, J.|
|Purcell, A. A.||Sutton, J. E.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Ritson, J.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W.R., Elland)||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Scurr, John||Thurtle, Ernest||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Tinker, John Joseph||Windsor, Walter|
|Shinwell, E.||Tomlinson, R. P.||Wright, W.|
|Short, Alfred (Wednesbnry)||Townend, A. E.|
|Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)||Wallhead, Richard C.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Mr. Hayes and Mr. Charles Edwards.|
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I beg to move, in page 109, line 29, to leave out the word "five," and to insert instead thereof the word "fourteen."
§ Question put, "That the word 'five' stand part of the Schedule."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 181; Noes, 107.1189
|Division No. 147.]||AYES.||[5.15 p.m.|
|Albery, Irving James||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Ganzoni, Sir John||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Gates, Percy||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Ashley. Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Goff, Sir Park||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Grant, Sir J. A.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Preston, William|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Bernett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Radford, E. A.|
|Bennett, A. J.||Hamilton, Sir George||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Harland, A.||Ramsden, E.|
|Berry, sir George||Harrison, G. J. C.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, ch'ts'y)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Brass, Captain W.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Ropner, Major L.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hills, Major John Waller||Rye, F. G.|
|Buchan, John||Hilton, Cecil||Salmon, Major I.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Sandon, Lord|
|Bullock Captain M.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Sassoon, sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Burman, J. B.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Scott, Rt. Hon. Sir Leslie|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Shaw, Lt.-Col A. D. Mcl.(Renfrew, W)|
|Cayzer Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R (Prtsmth, S.)||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Smith, R. W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine,C.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whitsh'n)||Smith Carington, Neville W.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Christle, J. A.||Hurd, Percy A.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Inskip, sir Thomas Walker H.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Cochrane, commander Hon. A. D.||Iveagh, Countess of||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Colman, N. C. D.||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Knox, Sir Alfred||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Couper, J. B.||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Loder, J. de V.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Crookshank, Cpt.H.(Lindsey, Galusbro)||Lougher, Lewis||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vera||Tinne, J. A.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Lumley, L. R.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Wells, S. R.|
|Drewe, C.||Macintyre, Ian||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||McLean, Major A.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Edmonoson, Major A. J.||Macquisten, F. A.||Wilson, Sir Murrough (Yorks, Richm'd)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Ellis, R. G.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Withers, John James|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Margesson, Captain D.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Meller, R. J.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Fermoy, Lord||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw-||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Fielden, E. B.||Mitchcll, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||Nelson, Sir Frank||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|Fremantle, Lieut-Colonel Francis E.||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Mr. Penny and Captain Wallace.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hamilton. Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Potts, John S.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hardie, George D.||Purcell, A. A.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Harris, Percy A.||Ritson, J.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hayday, Arthur||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)|
|Barnes, A.||Hayes, John Henry||Scurr, John|
|Barr, J.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Batey, Joseph||Hirst, G. H.||Shinwell, E.|
|Bellamy, A.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Briant, Frank||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Buchanan, G.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Stewart, J. (St. Rolfox)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Sullivan, I.|
|Cape, Thomas||Kelly, W. T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Kennedy, T.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kirkwood, D.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Clynes, Right Hon. John R.||Lansbury, George||Thurtie, Ernest|
|Compton, Joseph||Lawrence, Susan||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Connolly, M.||Lawson, John James||Tomilnson, R. P.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lee, F.||Townend, A. E.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lindley, F. W.||Viant, S. P.|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lowth, T.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Dennison, R.||Lunn, William||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||Mackinder, W.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||MacLaren, Andrew||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Westwood, J.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Gillett, George M.||Malone, C. L'Estranga (N'thampton)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||March, S.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Montague, Frederick||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Greenall, T.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Windsor, Walter|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Mosley, Sir Oswald|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Palin, John Henry||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Sir Robert Hutchison and Mr. Ernest Brown.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
§ The CHAIRMAN
The next four Amendments—(1) in page 109, line 30, after the word "exceeds," to insert the words "one hundred and"; (2) in line 31, to leave out the word "fifty," and insert instead thereof the word "eighty"; (3) in line 32, after the word "to," to insert the words "one hundred and"; (4) and to leave out the word "fifty," and to insert instead thereof the word "eighty"—are consequential upon Amendments which have already been disposed of. The Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member far West Middlesbrough (Mr. K. Griffith)—in page 109, line 34, to leave out the wordsestimated population of the county or county borough,and to insert instead thereof the wordsnumber of persons of 18 years of age and over insured under the Unemployment Insurance Acts,is in the wrong place, owing to a misprint; it should come in line 43.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
I beg to move, in page 109, line 37, at the end, to insert the words:Provided that in subsequent revisions under the formula the amount of £10 shall be increased or decreased in the proportion which the average rateable value per head 1190 of the estimated population of England and Wales according to the valuation lists then in force has increased or decreased in relation to the average rateable value per head on the appointed day.The purpose of this Amendment is to add to Part If, dealing with the valuation lists and the datum of £10, a proviso that in subsequent revisions the amount of £10 shall be increased or decreased proportionally as the average rateable value per head of the population, according to the valuation list then in force, has increased or decreased in relation to the average rateable value on the appointed day. The figure of £10 is now put in as a sort of datum line, but it is quite clear that, on a subsequent reconsideration of the weighting of the population, the figure of £10 might yield very different results because of changes in the rateable value in the intervening years. The proposal in my Amendment is not to attach any greater weight in subsequent revisions to the factor of low rateable value per head, but to give it the same weight in subsequent revisions as, it has on the appointed day. That would be, not to vary it, but to maintain it at its present value. It might well be that to retain the figure of £10 permanently would 1191 create very serious differences in the allocation that might take place subsequently, and it seems to be reasonable to ask that the weighting for low rateable value shall remain fixed.
§ Sir K. WOOD
It is perfectly true, as the hon. Gentleman has said, that the datum level, for the purpose of the rateable value factor in the formula, has been fixed at £10, and, where the rateable value per head of the population is less than £10, the estimated population is increased in proportion to the deficit below that amount. The figure of £10 is not a sort of general datum line, as the hon. Gentleman seems to imagine, but has been adopted as being near to the higher limit of the range of rateable value per head and so providing a loading in the great majority of cases. If, of course, the average rateable value of the country as a whole changed substantially, then, naturally, the datum level would require to be changed, but I think we may well await anything of that kind. There is, of course, the further provision, which is now being inserted in the Measure, that there shall be a full investigation into the whole working of the formula before the expiration of seven years, and, in these circumstances, we do not consider it necessary to make any special arrangement in connection with this matter.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
May I put this point? I am not complaining about the figure of £10; I think that there are certain justifications for it. The point that I am putting is this: It is true that there is to be a revision in seven years, but at the end of three years there will be a revision. The total rateable value of the country is going to be diminished, quite apart from the Rating and Valuation Act, by about £24,000,000, a very substantial amount. That is the amount by which the rateable value of local authorities, apart from reassessments under the Rating and Valuation Act, will be reduced. If the figure of £10 be right now, it does not follow that it will be right in three years' time or at any subsequent period. I am not asking for anything except that the Rill shall lay it down that the rateable value shall be increased or decreased, as the case may be, according to the increase or 1192 diminution in the total rateable value of the country. That is my point; it is not as to the figure of £10 now.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
The Parliamentary Secretary has just suggested that it is unlikely that the rateable value of the country would change to any appreciable extent for some time to come, but the history of rating shows that the rateable value does rise pretty steeply. If we take the years 1920 to 1926, we find that the rateable value of the country as a whole has risen in that short time by 17 per cent. If we include the last two years, and make the comparison between the years 1924 and 1928, we also see a rather steep rise. It is very important that this average figure should be accurately determined, and, as I pointed out, a thing that grows 17 per cent. in six years is a growing thing. I am not unmindful of the fact that rateable values went down owing to the operation of the Act of 1922. Rateable value does rise quicker under the provisions of the Valuation Act, 1925. It is perfectly true that in the past the value had some element of comicality about it because, owing to imperfect valuation, it rose erratically in certain rural districts; but, even so, this figure shows a very appreciable rise. It is likely to show, I think, even more rise under the far stricter valuation.
Therefore, why not agree that this average figure shall be revised year by year, or three years by three years, as the circumstances change? The truth is that the reason why all these things are pushed on one side is that the whole of the scheme is under the shadow of the promise of a general revision. At the end of seven years we shall have to discuss over again the amount of the general Exchequer contribution. and before three years are over we shall have to have an inquiry. That has taken the heart out of the Debate. You can debate things, however disagreeable or however intricate they are, when they are realities. If it was not for the coming revision, the Parliamentary Secretary would take far more seriously the prospect of continual revisions of this figure.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I am not surprised that the Parliamentary Secretary turned 1193 this down in so casual a way. After all said and done, five years is an arbitrary figure, and so is £10.
§ Mr. BROWN
If £10 is an arbitrary figure, an arbitrary figure is taken in Scotland, because it is recognised that the general level of rent is higher in Scotland than in England. £10 is a fixed figure of the reduced rateable value, I was interested to notice that the Parliamentary Secretary, who was smiling because I described this factor as a test of wealth, did exactly the same thing in giving his reply. He approximated to my point of view, that the point to be taken was not below, but above £10. This is a very important factor in the distribution of the money. It means that some £7,000,000 or £7,500,000 will be distributed arbitrarily according to this £10. There are some very important cities which come very near the £10 level. Let me quote the figures for Manchester. The estimated rateable value per head of the population, after de-rating comes into operation, is £3.4. It is quite likely that the rateable value of Manchester will grow in the next year or two above £10, being so near, and if that is the case, Manchester will lose all share of the distribution of the money as regards this particular factor in the formula.
|Division No. 148.]||AYES.||5.39 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Gillett, George M.||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Greenall, T.||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Coins)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Grenfell, D. R (Glamorgan)||March, S.|
|Barnes, A.||Griffith, F. Kingsley||Montague, Frederick|
|Barr, J.||Grundy, T. W.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Batey, Joseph||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Mosley, Sir Oswald|
|Bellamy, A.||Hardie, George D.||Palin, John Henry|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Harris, Percy A.||Pethick Lawrence, F. W.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hayday, Arthur||Ponsonby, Arthur|
|Briant, Frank||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Potts, John S.|
|Bromfield, William||Hirst, G. H.||Purcell, A. A.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Ritson, J.|
|Buchanan, G.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F.O.(W.Bromwich)|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Scurr, John|
|Cape, Thomas||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham. Slivertown)||Shinwell, E.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Compton, Joseph||Kelly, W. T.||Smith, Ronnie (Penistone)|
|Connolly, M.||Kennedy, T.||Stamford, T. W.|
|Cove. W. G.||Kirkwood, D.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lansbury, George||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Crawfurd, H. E.||Lawrence, Susan||Sullivan, Joseph|
|Dennison, R.||Lawson, John James||Sutton, J. E.|
|Dunnico, H.||Lee, F.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lindley, F. W.||Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)|
|Gardner, J. P.||Lowth, T.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Lunn, William||Thurtie, Ernest|
|Gibbins, Jpseph||Mackinder, W.||Tinker, John Joseph|
§ That would seem to me not only to make it vitally necessary that there should be a general revision, but it should be laid down, in the actual rules determining how the weights are apportioned, that this £1o should itself be subject to revision if the rateable value should go up.
§ The fact is that this is an arbitrary test and an arbitrary figure. It will not matter much in the next five or seven years, but when the whole of the money to make up for the loss of rates and to apportion the grants comes to be applied according to these factors, including this one, it will be a very important factor from the point of view of the yield of a penny rate in areas that are losing heavily by de-rating. Since the Parliamentary Secretary last night, for the first time, admitted that there was a possibility in certain areas of an increased rate poundage because of this loss in the yield of the penny rate, I think the Minister would have been wiser if he had accepted the Amendment, which would do nothing but help the successful working, if successful working is possible, of this distribution by factor. I gladly support the Amendment.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 10& Noes, 193.1195
|Tomlinson, R. P.||Wellock, Wilfred||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Townend, A. E.||Welsh, J. C.||Windsor, Walter|
|Viant, S. P.||Westwoed, J.||Wright, W.|
|Wallhead, Richard C.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr. Hayes.|
|Albery, Irving James||Ganzoni, Sir John||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Gates, Percy||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Applin, Colonel R. V. K.||Goff, sir Park||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Grant, Sir J. A.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Waiter E.||Preston, William|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.)||Hamilton, Sir George||Raine, Sir Walter|
|Bennett, A. J.||Hanbury, C.||Ramsden, E.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish||Harland, A.||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.|
|Berry, Sir George||Harrison, G. J. C.||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Bowyer, Captain G. E. W.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.|
|Brats, Captain W.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Rye, F. G.|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hills, Major John Waller||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Buchan, John||Hilton, Cecil||Sandon, Lord|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James||Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Scott, Rt. Hon. sir Leslie|
|Burman, J. B.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. U. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Cayzer Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hopkinson, Sir A. (Eng. Universities)||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfast)|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R.(Prtsmth, S.)||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Skelton. A. N.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Alton)||Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney.N.)||Smith, R.W.(Aberd'n & Kinc'dine,C.)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Christle, J. A.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Somerville A. A. (Windsor)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hurd, Percy A.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Spender-Clay, Colenel H.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Iveagh, Countess of||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Cockerill, Brig-General Sir George||James, Lieut.-Coionel Hon. Cuthbert||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Cope, Major Sir William||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Cooper, J. B.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn, N.)||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Styles, Captain H. W.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Loder, J. de V||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Crookshank, Cpt.H.(Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Lougher, Lewis||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Lumley, L. R.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Drewe, C.||Maclntyre, Ian||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L.(Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||McLean, Major A.||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Macquisten, F. A.||Wells, S. R.|
|Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington)||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||Maitland, A. (Kent. Faversham)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Ellis, R. G.||Margesson, Captain D.||Wilson, Sir Murrough (Yorks, Richm'd)|
|England, Colonel A.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Meller, R. J.||Withers, John James|
|Fairtax, Captain J. G.||Milne, J. S. Wardlaw||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Mitchcll, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Womersley, W. J.|
|Fermoy, Lord||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Fielden. E. B.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Wragg, Herbert|
|Fremantle, Lieut-Colonel Francis E.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|Gadle, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Neville, Sir Reginald J.|
|Galbraith, J. F. W.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Penny and Captain Wallace.|
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, in page 109, line 38, to leave out the word "number," and to insert instead thereof the word "numbers."
1196 This Amendment appears to be rather trifling in itself but it leads up to a further Amendment which stands in my name, in line 43, the object of which is 1197 to include in the unemployment factor unemployed insured women to the extent of 10 per cent. At an earlier stage in the Debate this point was raised by some hon. Members who argued that where women were largely employed in certain areas it would not be fair to leave them altogether out of calculation. On that occasion, I pointed out that there was unfairness in opposite directions, and that if we were to take the total numbers of unemployed women and add them to the number of unemployed men, we might have an unfair weight attached to a particular part of the country where women were employed in large numbers, as compared with men, and at the expense of other places where women were not so largely employed. In fact, that would be so.
I have worked out some figures which I think are sufficient to indicate what would be the result. I will take three towns, Bradford, Gateshead and Oldham. In Bradford, the percentage of unemployed men to the total population is 4.06 and of women 2.25, making a total of 6.31. In Gateshead, the figures are 6.02 per cent. of men and 74 per cent. of women, making a total of 6.76 per cent. Taking those two towns and comparing them the percentage in Bradford, reckoning men and women together, will be rather higher than the percentage in Gateshead. In other words, we should treat Bradford as being rather more necessitous than Gateshead. The same thing applies to Oldham, where the total figures amount to 7.52 per cent., including both men and women, compared with Gateshead's 6.76.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
In Oldham, the percentage of men is 4.77 and of women 2.75, making the total of 7.52, which would make Oldham more necessitous than Gateshead, which is, of course, absurd. Therefore, it is quite clear that you cannot deal with the matter on that basis. At an earlier stage I thought that we might take into account the number of women who are heads of households. There, again, there is a difficulty, in that you have women who are heads of households in all areas. In some cases they are insured women and in others they are not insured, yet the needs are exactly the same in the two cases, but those who 1198 are insured count and those uninsured do not.
It is an interesting fact that when you look into the figures you find that the number of women with dependants who are receiving benefit under the Unemployment Insurance Act, compared with the total number of unemployed insured women, is only one-fortieth of the corresponding percentage amongst men. That would give 2½ per cent. as the figure that one might take as the relative value of the two percentages. One might, therefore, take the figure of 2½ per cent. of unemployed women as being the proper figure to add to the number of unemployed men. Although, perhaps, that is as high as one should go on the actual figures, I do not think that that is quite all that we ought to take into account in considering the real equity of the case. Take a district where there is a large number of women ordinarily engaged in industry; there we must see that unemployment amongst those women tends to create a greater drop in the prosperity or the standard of that area than in the case where women are not ordinarily employed. It is that consideration which has been in the mind of the Government in adopting the higher figure of 10 per cent. instead of the 2½ per cent. which is arrived at from the figures which I have quoted. Under the proposal that we have made, to include a factor of 10 per cent. in regard to women, I think the claims of the industrial areas of Lancashire and elsewhere have been very fairly met, and I hope the committee will see their way to accept it.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I am very glad that the Minister has seen the evil position that would 'be left if the Bill had remained in its original form. I made special reference to this matter on the Second Reading and I called the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to the fact that as the Bill stood it formed a very grave injustice not only to women but to the particular parts of the country where women were largely employed. Therefore, I rejoice that he is proposing to make some alteration, but I cannot say that I am at all satisfied with the alteration that he proposes to make. Whether you look at it from the theoretical or from the practical point of view, there is only one sensible way of dealing with the matter and that is, not 1199 to deal with unemployed men in one category and unemployed women in another, but to deal simply and frankly with unemployed persons whether they be men or women,, and to adopt a straightforward reasonable attitude with regard to the person concerned, whoever that person may be.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
Yes, unemployed insured men and women. We should not make a distinction between the sexes, but should treat men and women on precisely the same footing. If the formula confines itself to unemployed insured men—I am not debating the question whether insurance should come in or not—then, I. maintain that if it is going to specify the unemployed insured men it ought equally to deal with unemployed insured women. The right way to deal with the matter is to add the figures of unemployed insured men and unemployed insured women together and arrive at the total in that way and adopt it in the formula. As far as I could understand the Minister, he objects to that simple plan. I am not quite clear what his ground is. In the Second Reading Debate he said that that would not be a satisfactory plan, because the same household would be counted twice over. He argued that it might be fair to take the households where the women were the breadwinners, and to add those figures. Now, he says that he has found that plan impracticable; but I am not quite clear whether even now he departs from that in theory. What is the theory of the matter? You get households where there is more than one man breadwinner. There may be the father and two or three sons who are working. They are to be added together under the formula as it stood originally and under the formula as the right hon. Gentleman proposes to alter it. on the other hand, there may be a family in which there is a husband and a wife but no sons, and where the husband and the wife are both employed. I can see no reason why if you count in one case four men as four separate persons, four times, for the purpose of the formula you should not count the husband and wife separately, 1200 when both of them are earning money. Both of them would be included in the formula if you did not make a sex differentiation.
It seems to me that the right hon. Gentleman is in a muddle over this thing. The question is not how many families come upon the rates, but what impoverishment to the locality is implied by persons being out of work. If a husband and wife who, normally, are both in work and earning wages in an insured occupation, both become unemployed, there is double the impoverishment to the locality that there would be if only one of the two was out of work. Supposing the man remains in work and the woman falls out of work, there is just as much an impoverishment of the family and the locality as if the husband went out of work and the woman stayed in work. Therefore, on this idea about the household and the distinction as to the worker being a man or a woman, the right hon. Gentleman has no case at all. Let us make a practical application of the matter. The right hon. Gentleman proceeded to go through an argument on figures as to the proportion of women who were out of work as against the proportion of men. That seemed to me to be wholly irrelevant to the question at issue. If we are to leave the theoretical side and come to the practical side, the question arises whether this fresh formula as far as unemployment is concerned gives a satisfactory result in the places where unemployment is a serious element in the situation. On that, I think there can be no two opinions. Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire are the places where, everyone knows, the formula works out the worst. In spite of the fact that there is very grave unemployment and distress in those areas, this formula does not give to Lancashire or to the West Riding any considerable measure of relief.
The right hon. Gentleman gave certain figures in regard to selected towns in Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire, and compared them with Gateshead. I am not in a position to say whether these are typical towns, but I will assume for the sake or argument that they are typical towns and represent the areas. I cannot see anything particularly unsatisfactory in adding unemployed men and women together in those 1201 places and having a formula on that basis. This formula, improved in the way that it would be if men and women were taken together, on terms of equality, would do something to improve the position of Lancashire and the West Riding, which districts come out particularly badly under the Bill. I think it would improve it, but not so much as to put them in an unfair position with regard to other parts of the country. From the practical point of view the Minister has not reached a satisfactory conclusion. The practical thing would be to lump men and women together, and not differentiate between the sexes. On the theoretical point, there is something rather absurd in the right hon. Gentleman coming to Parliament at this time of day, when the Government have given equal franchise to men and women, and an empirical formula of this kind, a formula which has no real sound basis at all, say that an unemployed man shall count as one and ane unemployed woman as one-tenth. That seems to me to be so absurd and ridiculous that I can hardly imagine even this docile Committee will agree to it. I want to see the formula amended so that men and women shall be on an equal footing. Unless that is done, you will have no final or satisfactory solution of the matter.
How will that affect my actual vote on this Amendment? This proposed alteration of the right hon. Gentleman's takes place in three parts. First, there is the Amendment we are now discussing, to substitute the word "numbers" for the word "number." Then there is the consequential Amendment, after the word "men" to insert the words "and of unemployed insured women," and, thirdly, there is the Amendment later on the Paper to leave out the words "that number" and insert the wordsthe number of unemployed insured men increased by 10 per cent. of the number of unemployed insured women.In order to give effect to the proposal I want to see embodied in the Bill it would be necessary to leave in the word "number." Then I should like to support the second Amendment, to add the words "and of unemployed insured women," and oppose the third Amendment. I shall have to oppose the present Amendment, not because I think the 1202 position in the Bill is better than the position the Minister proposes by the Amendment, but on the ground that it does not go far enough. He makes a 10 per cent. bite instead of swallowing the whole principle at once, as he should do. I intend to oppose this particular Amendment.
Dr. VERNON DAVIES
As a Lancashire Member I have taken a deep interest in this subject and have studied the statistics on the point which have been supplied to me. Naturally, I was very anxious that unemployed women should be brought into the formula, largely on the argument which has just been used by the hon. Member for West Leicester (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence), but the further I went into the subject the less sure I was of my ground. I found, in the first place, that unemployed men had been taken as an index factor comparable between different county areas, but when I took unemployed men and unemployed women in Lancashire—there are very large numbers there, and the position is not the same in other parts of the country—and went into the question of dependants, I was; surprised to find that the number of unemployed men with dependants was 40 times as great as the number of unemployed women with dependants. These statistics I obtained from figures given me by the Ministry of Labour, and it shows the ratio to be 2½ per cent. Lancashire and Cheshire Members, who are deeply interested in this question, have examined the matter very thoroughly and have had several consultations with the officials of the Ministry of Health and the right hon. Gentleman, and they have definitely come to the opinion that the right hon. Gentleman is treating Lancashire more than fairly. If we were to ask for strict equity we could not expect a higher percentage than 2½per cent., and in giving 10 per cent. the Minister is really meeting the views of Lancashire and the West Riding very considerably.
One thing we must not forget, that when you have a definite pool if a larger amount of money is taken out for Lancashire then other parts of the country will have to suffer. It can be argued that there are some distressed areas where the women do not go to work; that the man when he is working has to support the family, the wife and boys 1203 and girls. If he is out of work, the whole family income is stopped. When we come to Lancashire and the West Riding the man may be out of work and the wife in work; they have a double source of income supply. As a result, although there are distressed areas in certain parts of the country particularly in the mining areas we cannot say that there are any distressed areas in Lancashire or Yorkshire. Although personally, as a Lancashire Member, I should have been delighted to have got as much money as we could out of the Minister, I recognise that we could only have done that at the expense of other districts in the country. It would not have been fair. The Lancashire and Cheshire Members, and also some of the officials of the big trading organisations, are quite satisfied that the right hon. Gentleman has met us as far as he can and is really treating us with more than justice.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
I must make it perfectly clear to the Committee that the hon. Member who has just spoken does not carry with him either myself or hon. Members who sit on these benches and who represent Lancashire and Cheshire constituencies. I dissent entirely from the view that hon. Members from Cheshire—
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
I was about to remark that it was the subservient Members from Lancashire and Cheshire who agree that the right hon. Gentleman is treating Lancashire more than fairly. My first submission is, that if the Government gave 100 per cent. of the total unemployment they would not be treating Lancashire fairly; and I will explain why. It is customary in the Lancashire textile industry to work short time in the manufacturing processes in a way that obtains in no other industry in the country. Nobody has ever known how much real unemployment there is in Lancashire. I could take Members of the Committee into hundreds of homes in my constituency to-day where you will find people working a 48 hour week, but attending to two looms instead of four. Every Lancashire Member knows that for years past thousands of Lancashire cot- 1204 ton operatives have worked 48 hours a week, but have taken home only one-third or one-half of a week's wages. These figures do not appear in any statistics, and if the Government paid us on the whole unemployment figures we should still have ground for complaint. Consider how far we are being well treated. According to the right hon. Gentleman, Lancashire's gain under the scheme per head of population is 15,2d; which is half what the county of Surrey gains. There can be no justification for that. What is the amount of the unemployment factor in pence per head of population? It is 1.3 per head out of a total Grant-in-aid of 263.7d. per head—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN (Captain Bourne)
I was listening with considerable interest to the speech of the hon. Member but I do not think he has developed his argument sufficiently to enable me to say whether he is discussing the entire formula or merely how one part of the formula will operate.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
I was replying to the point raised that Lancashire had been well treated, and I say that the unemployment factor in the formula amounts to 1.3 pence per head out of a total grant in aid of 263.7. It is microscopic. If you add 10 per cent., to what does it amount? The Minister of Health gave us some figures for three towns— Bradford, Gateshead and Oldham. Under his present proposals the proportion per thousand insured persons for Bradford is 4.06 men; and if you add one-tenth for women you get a result of 4.29. That is a microscopic addition. Gateshead instead of 6.02 will be 6.09, and Oldham instead of being 4.77 will be about 5.05. Hon. Members opposite must remember that all the right hon. Gentleman is giving in respect of the unemployment factor is something between £1,000,000 and £1,500,000, small enough in all conscience, and to add to that merely one-tenth of the amount on account of unemployment amongst women will do next to nothing for those areas where unemployment is really serious and particularly in those areas where unemployment is serious amongst 1205 women. It does not influence me in the least to hear the hon. Member for Royton (Dr. Davies) say that unemployment benefit received by women with dependants is one-fortieth as large as in the case of men with dependants. That may be true over the whole of the country, but even if it were true in each district it does not touch the problem at all.
What do the Government mean by dependants? Anybody who knows the Lancashire working class home knows that the word "dependant" is practically unknown. You have a number of co-operating contributors to the home in practically every working class household in Lancashire. A married woman is a contributing member to the family income, and that is also the case with the young men and women. They pay so much money into the common pool to maintain the family, and very often these people work in the same mill and are afflicted by the same periods of bad trade. We often find that they are both working two looms instead of four, and there is really only one person's wage coming into the home. In Lancashire the unemployment figure is not in the least to be measured by the Government's percentage even if you give them the full benefit.
How is the Government's figure calculated? You say women should be allowed 2½cent. But it is said: "That is really very small, and so we will multiply it by 4 and call it 10 per cent." Another of the arbitrary figures! Ten per cent. could not be justified. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for West Leicester (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence) that if you are to count the unemployment factor at all you must count all people who are unemployed, because whether they are men or whether they are women they have lost their wages during that period. The locality is to that extent the poorer and there is so much less money spent in the shops in those districts. If you have half the men out of work you get precisely the same result as if you have half the women out of work, if the numbers and the wages are the same, and in Lancashire there is no differentiation in wage scales between men and women. The principle of differentiation simply cannot be maintained.
1206 Why did the Minister include women at all? Because he had to make some allowance for distress. This is the measure of the necessities of an area where you have unemployment, whether that employment is amongst men or amongst women. It is a monstrous thing at this stage to say that you are going to count every man as one and every woman as one-tenth. There is no reason for the difference. If you counted 100 per cent. you would not increase the total figure at the very outside to more than £2,000,000, and £2,000,000 as the necessitous area grant under this formula, out of the total sum that is to be distributed, is negligible. At a later stage I hope to be able to move an Amendment to increase the weight given to unemployment, and to raise the general question. At this stage I merely say that the small amount which would be added, even if women were counted in on the 100 per cent. basis, would still leave areas which are severely hit by unemployment, like Lancashire and the West Riding, where woman's unemployment is common, almost as necessitous as they are to-day, but it would at least be doing some small measure of justice and not be setting up an arbitrary distinction as between the unemployed man and the unemployed woman worker.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I find myself in very great difficulty in following the last speaker in this matter. I agree with the view that he holds as to sex equality, and if this was a question of distribution of money between individual men and women I should be with him. That is precisely where I am in a dilemma, for we are not discussing sex equality in itself, but only as a, factor in the distribution according to the need of a particular area. That is a very different matter. I think the hon. Member was singularly unfortunate in his choice of Surrey. Let me remind him how it works out. Take the White Paper. The first county mentioned is Buckingham. There the weight for unemployment is nothing. The second county is Cambridgeshire, and the weight for unemployment nothing; the third, Cheshire, weight for unemployment nothing; the fourth, Cornwall, weight for unemployment, nothing; the fifth, Cumberland, weight for unemployment 12; the sixth, Derby, weight for unemployment three; 1207 and the seventh, Gloucester, weight for unemployment two. Then we come to the counties at the other end. For Glamorgan you get the huge weight of 38. This is my dilemma. What the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) is asking us to do, if the Minister's figure is right, is not, by altering the factor for unemployment for women, to attract the money from Chester and Cornwall to Lancashirp and the West Riding, but to attract it from Glamorgan and Gateshead and Middlesbrough and the mining areas. That is my dilemma.
This is not a question of distributing money between men and women. Unemployment has been chosen as a factor. It was obvious, on the original figure, that there was a case for treating women as an item in the factor. My friends and I went very carefully into it, but we came to the conclusion that if you took a total sum you would not do precisely what was wanted. That is why we approached the problem from another point of view. If you want to increase the weight for unemployment and put it where it should go, you must place it, not in regard to total population, but in regard to the total of insured workers, which would raise the level at once. But on this point, if you weight for the unemployment factor too heavily, you are attracting money from areas which do benefit by the present factor, and you are not giving it to areas worse off, and in attempting to redress your inequality you might be inflicting a grave inequality on areas that need the unemployment factor very much indeed.
I must not be taken as agreeing with the Minister here. I regard this as an arbitrary method. Here is a town where in one district one-third of the whole are unemployed. That particular district, which used to be apart and by itself and would have been weighted 45 times for unemployment, is now incorporated into the larger area and does not get that figure. When we do add women to the factor it is necessary to consider whether 10 per cent. is the right ratio. I am not able to say, because I have not got the figures. The Minister's figures seemed to show that there was to be a modification. Although I am a very strong supporter of the principle of sex equality, I am 1208 not going to be a party in this House to taking any of the money which actually does go to the necessitous areas, in order to redress the balance in other areas which may not be quite as badly off as areas which do benefit at the moment from the unemployment ratio.
The Minister of Health knows that in the application of the formula the West Riding of Yorkshire comes out very badly, and he knows also that in the West Riding there is a very considerable amount of unemployment. On referring to his Table on page 50 of the White Paper, I find that out of a total of 311 pence only 2.2 is allocated as coming from the unemployment weighting. Under the scheme the West Riding would get only 17.5 pence, whereas Surrey would get 30 pence. I would like to stress the fact that in the West Riding, just as in Lancashire, there is a very great deal not of complete unemployment but of short-time working. I had occasion during the Christmas Recess to make a very careful inquiry into the amount of distress in my own constituency and I discovered that, whilst there was relatively little complete unemployment, there was a very large amount of partial unemployment, because men and women in the textile and other industries were working only two or three days a week. I suggest that while this is not recorded in the figures of unemployment it plays a specially important part in the life of the West Riding. On that ground I submit that there is a case for the alteration of this figure of one-tenth, so that women can be regarded as unemployed on the same terms as men, certainly so far as the great textile industries are concerned. In studying the recently published Statistical Abstract I found that, while there are in this country 13,500,000 men and 5,700,000 females employed, when you come to the textile industries there are 889,000 men and 1,284,000 women employed. Although the textiles are not confined to Lancashire and Yorkshire I submit that these figures are relevant. Therefore the Minister will see how heavily this incidence of men's and women's unemployment might count in redressing the balance so far as Yorkshire is concerned. I object to the niggardly way in which the right hon. Gentleman has dealt with the matter.
§ Mr. TOWNEND
I would like to emphasise the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood), when he denied having taken part in any consultation with the Minister for the purpose of obtaining satisfaction for Lancashire. At the same time I do not appreciate the apprehension of my hon. Friend the Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown). He insisted upon the sex equality principle and emphasised it in his remarks. Then he went on to say that if my hon. Friend's proposal were adopted, some other area, such as Glamorgan, might suffer. It is conceivable that there are other areas which will "get well away with it" and which are not being called upon, under the formula, to contribute their share, assuming that sex equality was accepted by the right hon. Gentleman and the distressed areas got that to which they were entitled. I wish to put to the right hon. Gentleman our conception of sex equality as compared with his. To suggest that the women of Lancashire who work in the textile trade are to be taken as only one-tenth of the men, in the assessment of their value for the purposes of this Bill, is something which I can assure the Minister will not be accepted by them for one moment. No matter what satisfaction the hon. Member for Royton (Dr. Davies) may have obtained as a result, of his interviews with the right hon. Gentleman, I want to deny straight away the statement which the hon. Member appears to accept that only 2½per cent. of the unemployed women are breadwinners.
§ Mr. TOWNEND
That assurance seems to have satisfied the hon. Member for Royton. He repeated the assertion that, because only 2½ per cent. had been demonstrated to him by the Ministry to be breadwinners in the homes of the textile workers of Lancashire, he thought the Minister was extremely generous in laying down as a basis for the assessment of women in this factor, that figure of 10 per cent. or four times as much.
May I correct that statements? I did not say that only 2½per cent. of the women were breadwinners. What I said was that, of the unemployed women in Lancashire, only 2½per cent. were women with dependants, which is an entirely different thing.
§ Mr. TOWNEND
in the circumstances which we are now considering, the difference is so fine that, frankly, I cannot see it. The hon. Member for Royton also said that in the textile areas in Lancashire there were no depressed areas. What he means by that I do not know. If he refers exclusively to the textile areas, I submit he has no need to go beyond my own constituency. Within the last four weeks we have reached something like 13 per cent. of the unemployed who are now found on the register. Whether or not that constitutes it a depressed area in the opinion of the hon. Member I do not know, but I think it is to be assumed that a depressed area is one which approximates to the figure I have just given, namely, 13 per cent., and the area with which I am concerned will probably go over the 13 per cent. line at the end of the year. A very fair proportion of those who earn their living in that constituency are concerned with the textile industry. When we are told that there is this tremendous difference between the men and women, in making an assessment for valuation under this formula, we are told something which it will be very difficult indeed to get these people themselves to accept. Perhaps the Minister does not know that, for generations, the principle of equality has invariably been insisted upon by the women in the textile industry. Years ago, they laid it down definitely that wage scales as between men and women were to be exactly the same. They form their trade unions on exactly the same footing, pay the same contributions and receive the same benefits.
§ Sir WILFRID SUGDEN
I am sorry to interrupt my hon. Friend, but do I understand from him that the women workers in the textile industry in Lancashire are co-equal with the men in representation on the unions?
§ Mr. TOWNEND
As far as the question enters at all into any phase of their administration, exactly the same prin- 1211 ciple applies to women and men. They work the same machines and tend the same looms, and they bring that equality into the homes. But now we are told that if the son or the father is unemployed—though he is paying the same contributions—he is to receive different treatment, as regards relief, from that given to the wife or the daughter. The Minister is endeavouring to ride away on the assumption that he has satisfied all the just claims which the textile areas might make, but, irrespective of what the hon. Member for Royton may say, we are not prepared for a moment to accept his view on this question of sex discrimination.
§ Mr. KELLY
The Minister in putting this proposal to us has given as a reason for it, that in the case of women workers there are fewer dependants than in the case of men, and he has quoted a fraction of one-fortieth. I do not know where the right hon. Gentleman got that figure, but I dispute it straight away, because the Ministry of Labour have never asked for particulars as to the number of people dependent upon insured persons.
§ Mr. KELLY
The Employment Exchanges do not know how many there are. They do not know whether these people have dependants or not. I am glad to see that the hon. Member for Royton (Dr. Davies) is apparently going to try to ascertain. It will be something new if he shows that the Ministry of Labour know how many persons there are in the families of each individual who is paying contributions under the Unemployment Insurance Act. If that figure has not been taken by the Ministry of Labour, where has the Ministry of Health obtained the figure quoted to the Committee to-day? The Minister in this matter is dependent on that figure. If it goes by the board, his case for saying that only one-tenth in the case of women should be counted also goes by the board. We find that the Minister is treating women entirely different from men in this respect. Unemployed men are never asked whether they have dependants or not, and single men, who may or may not have dependants, are counted in to the extent of 100 per cent. But in the case of women, the Minister 1212 says, "Oh, no. We shall only have one-tenth of the women brought into this formula." If unemployment is to be taken as a factor, the women ought to be counted in the same way as the men.
I put it to the Government that there are means of ascertaining how many people are dependent and that they have not done so. The hon. Member for Royton told us that he had some figures as to Lancashire. I do not know why he should confine his attention to Lancashire in this matter. Women are employed in many other industries. They are employed in the metal trades, for instance, as well as in the textile trades, and in many other industries of this country. To suggest that those women workers have no dependants is not in accord with a finding of the Umpire within the last few days as to whether, in the case of a young woman, even though there was a male member of the family, the mother was not dependent upon the young woman. I suppose that in the figures taken out by the hon. Member for Royton, he takes no account of single women, or as to whether they have dependants or not. Immediately after the War, some of us tried to press on the Coalition Government the view that many wage-earning women had people dependant on them, and that those who looked upon women in industry as working merely in order to supplement the family income, were not taking the right view of the position. I think it unfair of the Minister to quote that figure of one-fortieth, because he has no proof of it, and it is unfair of the hon. Member for Royton to talk of the 2½ per cent. unless he is prepared to give us the source from which those figures have come.
§ Mr. KELLY
We shall know whether in is reliable or not, when we hear what that source is. But is it to be suggested that because a little more money might go to certain districts if women were included in the formula in the same way as men, or because other districts might be prevented from having the amount which they expect to get, we ought not to put right this injustice. I intend to vote against the Amendment because I think it unfair and unjust that women should not be placed in the same category as men in this matter of unemployment. 1213 They are suffering in exactly the same way, and I hope the Committee will reject the Amendment.
§ Mr. AUSTIN HOPKINSON
A challenge has been thrown out by more than one Member on the benches above the Gangway against my hon. Friend the Member for Royton (Dr. Davies). He has been challenged, again and again, to justify the figures on which he has based his argument that the Ministry of Health in this matter has made a scale which is, at any rate, fair to Lancashire. Those figures were supplied by the statistics department of the Ministry of Labour. I have here the particulars which were supplied to the hon. Member for Royton, and they give the detailed figures for all the county boroughs as well as the administrative county of Lancashire. They show the insured women between 18 and 64 recorded as unemployed on 22nd October last year. The total numbers of the claims in respect of unemployed women with dependants which were authorised for benefit show 2.6 per cent. for approximately the whole county of Lancashire, so I hope the Committee will not be misled by the challenges which have been thrown out, but will understand that these figures have not emanated from the imagination of the hon. Member for Royton, but have been produced from the only source from which such figures could come.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
The argument of the Minister is that if the unemployment figure was more heavily weighted for women, money would be attracted from the districts where the men are out of work, but I do not think there is very much in that argument. The frightful inequality between the different localities must have struck everyone, and my own view is that there has been far too little weighting given to the unemployment factor, and that any increase of that would lead to a fairer distribution between the counties which have no unemployment and the counties which have a great deal. Let me make my point clear by taking two counties. I will take the County of Lancaster, where unemployment is generally high, and I will take the administrative County of Southampton, where unemployment is not sufficiently high to appear at all. The administrative County of Lancaster gains, under the formula in question, 15.2d. per head of 1214 population, and the administrative County of Southampton gains 58.5d., that is to say, three and a-half times as much.
I could give other information. I could point out that Surrey, which is a prosperous county, gains 30.01d., but I believe that the main reason for such a wild discrepancy as the one I have quoted —and there are many others—is that an absurdly low value has been given to the unemployment factor and a very much larger value to the density factor. There is very little difference in the number of children under five, but the density factor can run up as it has done in the case of Southampton, until it accounts for 31d per head of population, and unemployment weighting in the whole of Lancashire only accounts for 1.3d. per head of the population. The amount attributable to density weight in Lancaster County is 8.6d. per head. The amount of pennies apportioned by the density factor in Southampton is 31, and that wild disproportion between the effect of the density factor and the effect of the unemployment factor is the main reason which tells us why these things vary so greatly. If we increase the unemployment weight given, we are attracting money away from the counties where the unemployment is so small as to be negligible, and I do not think there is much in the Minister's objection. I think Members are much too good-natured to waste an afternoon making reasonable suggestions to the Minister, who said that I was contenting myself with Amendments. I know that moving Amendments to this scheme is like pouring water into a sieve. We are trying to bring in a tiny little bit more sense, but after all the Parliamentary Secretary says the whole scheme is to be revised, and therefore it may be true to say that Amendments are not worth while.
§ Mr. POTTS
Well, I will accept that correction. Let me take my own area first. In the borough that I represent, taking the male working population, one-fourth of the entire working population 1215 is unemployed. Taking coal mining, that is, within the borough itself, the number totally unemployed last year, as against 1927, increased fourfold. Then, if I look at domestics, I find that the unemployment on the registers is twice what it was in 1927. When I refer to the clothing department in my own borough, I find that the unemployment there increased 10 times over 1927. When I get to shirt machinists, factories within the borough, I find that the unemployment there last year increased 22 times over 1927. These figures relate to the 9th of this month, as against 1927. In my borough, which is an important area, unemployment is becoming enormous, so that the statement of the hon. Member has no foundation whatever so far as that area is concerned. Let me take a wider area, and let me look at the whole of the mining in the West Riding. I find that, in coal mining in the West Riding, the total unemployment exceeds 22,000 and temporary working—a day, two days, and not exceeding three days a week—is 27,000, so that 49,000 are actually unemployed out of 169,000 termed as working population. I only got back three weeks ago, and I found, in my own borough, a man working, with a family, who had to get up on a certain morning to go to his work—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
I think the hon. Member's argument would be more appropriate to an unemployment debate. He has not so far touched on the question as to whether unemployment of any character should or should not be weighted by the addition of women.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member is somewhat mistaken. The hon. Member for Royton (Dr. Davies) stated that it was not technically a distressed area, but he went on to point out that the addition of unemployed women would be a benefit to Lancashire. The hon. Member could deal with that, but he is carrying his argument beyond bounds.
§ Mr. POTTS
I bow to your Ruling. The fact remains that the West Riding of Yorkshire is in about as bad a condition of distress as any part of the country, and it is getting worse in all the industries. I am now coming to the point that is creating the distress. So far as mining is concerned, what is creating the distress more than actual unemployment is the working time, and—
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member cannot pursue that line of argument on this Amendment, which is simply on the point as to whether unemployed women, and, if so, how many, should be added to the factor for weighting population. He must confine himself to that. If not, I must ask him to resume his seat.
§ 7.0 p.m
§ Mr. POTTS
I said I would bow to your ruling, Captain Bourne, and I will do so. My opinion on that point is this, that all the women unemployed, equally with men, ought to be taken into-account, and I hope the Minister will withdraw from his position and accept the suggestion of the hon. Member for West Leicester (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence). It matters not whether a man or a woman is unemployed. They are equal so far as humanity is concerned. If a woman is unemployed, she has the same feelings and the same necessity to be fed as a man. She has the same electoral rights so far as the country is concerned, and she ought equally to be considered in this matter. Will the Minister tell us on what grounds he suggests even 10 per cent. or any percentage other than the full 100 per cent.? The Minister has given no reason for adopting this method. I suggest that he should either give us a reason why the figure of 10 per cent. should be inserted, or else he should count women equally with men. In the case of Lancashire, in districts like Preston, where there are a large number of mills, you would probably find a majority of women are employed, whereas in coal mining districts like my own area a vast majority of men are unemployed. Why should we make a distinction? We ought to take them all together. I hope the Minister will withdraw his proposal, and accept the suggestion of the hon. Member for West Leicester.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
Before the Question is put, I should like to say that I have consulted my colleagues, and we find that a better way of making our point clear would be, not to oppose this particular Amendment put forward by the Minister, but to allow that to go through, and also the second Amendment, but, when it comes to the third Amendment, to move an amendment putting our point of view. Our Amendment would be to leave out the words "increased by 10 per cent. of," and to substitute the words "added to." That would have the effect of putting our point, that men and women should count equally.
§ Mr. KELLY
I disputed the figures of my hon. Friend the Member for Royton (Dr. Davies), and I wish still to dispute them, because I have had the opportunity of looking at them as presented to him by the Ministry of Labour. I am not blaming the hon. Member for Royton. It is the statistical department of the Ministry of Labour who have furnished him with figures of a certain number of people who have claimed for benefit, and some of whom made claims for dependants' allowances. The people who were granted dependants' allowances are the people who were quoted. Not a line of that should have been quoted because it does not indicate to the Committee how many people are dependent upon insured persons, and particularly on the insured women. It is unfair and unjust for the Ministry of Labour to
§ hand out such figures for the purpose of influencing the judgment of this House.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendments made:
In page 109, line 40, leave out the word "quinquennium" and insert instead thereof the words "fixed grant period.
After the word "men," insert the words "and of unemployed insured women."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I beg to move, in page 109, line 43, to leave out the words "that number," and to insert instead thereof the words:the number of unemployed insured men increased by ten per cent. of the number of unemployed insured women."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ Question "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Schedule," put, and negatived.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the proposed words be there inserted."
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, to leave out the words "increased by ten per cent. of," and to insert instead thereof the words "added to."
I have already explained the effect of this Amendment.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the proposed Amendment."
§ The Committee divided; Ayes, 199; Noes, 101.
|Gates, Percy||Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Lumley, L. R.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||MacAndrew Major Charles Glen||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W)|
|Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Macintyre, Ian||Sinclair, Cot. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfst)|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||McLean, Major A.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Hamilton, Sir George||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Hanbury, C.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Harland, A.||Margesson, Captain D.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Sprot, Sir Alexander|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Meller, R. J.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Waiden)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Stuart, Crichton, Lord C.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Hills, Major John Walter||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Hilton, Cecil||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Perring, Sir William George||Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough|
|Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney,N.)||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Ward, Lt.-Col.A. L. ( Kingston-on-Hall)|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Preston, William||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Wells, S. R.|
|Iveagh, Countess of||Raine, Sir Walter||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Ramsden, E.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Rees, Sir Beddoe||Windsor-Cilve, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Reid, D. U. (County Down)||Withers, John James|
|King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Remer, J. R.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.||Womersley. W. J.|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Ropner, Major L.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Little, Dr. E. Graham||Ross, R. D.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Ruggles-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.||Wragg, Herbert|
|Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|Loder, J. de V.||Rye, F. G.|
|Lougher, Lewis||Salmon, Major I.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Sandeman, N. Stewart||Mr. Penny and Major the Marquess of Titchfield.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Ritson, J.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Hardle, George D.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Harris, Percy A.||Scurr, John|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston)||Hayday, Arthur||Sexton, James|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Barr, J.||Hirst, G. H.||Shinwell, E.|
|Bellamy, A.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Briant, Frank||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Bromfield, William||Jones, J. J. (West Ham. Silvertown)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bromley, J.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Buchanan, G.||Kelly, W. T.||Sullivan, J.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Kennedy, T.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cape, Thomas||Kirkwood, D.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lansbury, George||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Lawrence, Susan||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Compton, Joseph||Lee, F.||Tomilnson, R. P.|
|Connolly, M.||Lindley, F. W.||Townend, A. E.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lowth, T.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dennlson, R.||Lunn, William||Watts-Morgan. Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Dunnico, H.||Mackinder, W.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Gardner, J. P.||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Gibbins, Joseph||March, S.||Wilson, C. K. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Gillett, George M.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Mosley, Sir Oswald||Windsor, Walter|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Palin, John Henry||Wright, W.|
|Greenall, T.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||ponsonby, Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Groves, T.||Potts, John S.||Mr. Hayes and Mr. A. Barnes.|
|Grundy, T. W.||Purcell, A. A.|
§ Proposed words there inserted.
§ Mr. KINGSLEY GRIFFITH
I beg to move in page 109, line 43, to leave out the 1220 Words "estimated population of the county or county borough," and to insert instead thereof the words: 1221number of persons of eighteen years of age and over insured under the Unemployment Insurance Acts.The effect of the Amendment is substantially to increase the weighting factor of unemployment as compared with other factors. There is standing in my name and those of my hon. Friends a consequential Amendment—in page 110, line 1, to leave out the words "one-and-a-half," and to insert instead thereof the word "three." The effect of that would be to prevent the weighting of the unemployment factor going too far, but, even with that allowance, the effect of the Amendment would be to increase the weight of the unemployment factor in reckoning the total formula. We were concerned just now with Amendments that put us in some difficulty, because those of us who recognise the equality of the sexes, were puzzled whether in supporting them we should not be doing an injustice to places where unemployment is bad; but, if this Amendment be carried, no such difficulty occurs. By supporting this Amendment, one is not supporting, let us say, Lancashire and the places where there are a great many women unemployed, against places like Gateshead or Middlesbrough. One is demanding justice for those areas where there is heavy unemployment and demanding treatment for them, the payment for which will come from the more fortunate places and not from those which are in even greater distress. Therefore, there are no such difficulties with regard to this Amendment as there were in regard to the last.
It is an extraordinary thing that the unemployment factor should weigh so little comparatively in the Government's formula, when one remembers that the ostensible object of the whole of this legislation—de-rating—has been said to be aimed at relieving the districts suffering from abnormal unemployment. Yet when you come to consider what is done with unemployment, and consider the sum which is specifically allocated to unemployment, you find that it is a mere drop in the ocean; and one is compelled to conclude there is something wrong and unscientific and badly thought out in a formula which is the mainspring of this complicated piece of machinery. When 1222 you come to this formula, you find that unemployment counts for comparatively little. I am not complaining of the formula as a whole from a Middlesbrough point of view, because I am bound to recognise that its operation gives to the people of Middlesbrough a weighted population which is, on the whole, very favourable, but, even in the formula as it applies to that town, it is significant that the factor of children is greater than the factor of unemployment. If there is a town which has been suffering notoriously and grievously from unemployment for many years, it is Middlesbrough, and yet, in the operation of this formula, we are actually getting more because of the fertility of the families in that city.
Although Middlesbrough stands well on balance, there are many areas where the other factors do not come in to help so well, and where the unemployment factor is the only thing upon which they can rely, and where it would make all the difference if an additional weight were given to it. It should be the most important factor of all. As regards the actual operation of the Amendment, it is surely more scientific and logical, when you are working out the percentage, to compare the number of persons unemployed, not with the total population, but with the number of persons of employable age who are insured. I suggest that that is the only logical way of dealing with the problem, and I appeal to the Minister and to Members of the Committee, to whatever party they belong, to realise that, if they support this Amendment, they will not in any way attack the formula, but will strengthen what has been laid down to be its main object. The formula is part of a Bill which is directed to relieving unemployment, and I should have thought, unless weighty reasons were advanced why the unemployment factor should be put in a comparatively humble position that Members on all sides would have been delighted to take this opportunity of strengthening the hands of the Government and of advancing them along their own road by making this the most important factor of all.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
I am a little surprised to hear from the hon. Member that the unemployment factor is only a trifling incident in the weighting of population. I cannot help thinking that he is 1223 making the same old mistake that was started by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Snowden) in the early stages of the Bill, when he took the average of the unemployed factor over the whole country, and thought that that was the actual application of it in any individual locality. I pointed out at the time that the unemployment factor is a multiplying factor, and is so designed as to act with great power in those places where unemployment is rife. If the hon. Member will look at the administrative county of Glamorgan, he will see that that county, with an estimated population of 843,100, has added to it in respect of the unemployment factor no less than 941,911, so that the population is actually more than doubled in that county by the operation of this factor. He surely cannot call it a trifling incident when a population is more than doubled by means of the unemployment factor.
What does the hon. Gentleman's own proposition amount to 1 He proposes to relate unemployment, not to the total population, as is taken in the Bill, but he proposes to relate it to the total insured population. He says that that will add very much to the weight of the unemployment factor. But surely he must see that he will at the same time make very serious inequalities between different places. You may have different places with the same amount of insured population, but a very different total population. If you make the unemployment factor the insured population only, you will get some extraordinary anomalous results. Take, for instance, the case of Radnor. On 22nd October, 1928, out of 920 insured workers 132 were unemployed. That would give a weighting factor to be applied to the whole population of Radnor of 213 per cent. In the case of the West Riding of Yorkshire, on the same date, there were 384,000 insured workers, including women, and 64,560 were unemployed, which gives a weighting factor of 142. Radnor has one in 170 of the population registered as unemployed, and the West Riding one in 134. Radnor would get a 50 per cent. higher weighting of its total population than the West Riding on account of unemployment, and if one took a total sum of £3,000,000 as being available for the unemployment factor, Radnor would get £15 for every 1224 unemployed person, and the West Riding would get £4. The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) suggested a little while ago that if we had an opportunity of examining the formula as fathered by the Liberal party, we might find some anomalous results. His prescience has been justified by these figures, and the Committee will see that the Amendment would lead to a result that would be altogether absurd.
§ Mr. BROWN
The right hon. Gentleman is doing to us precisely what we do-to him, with this difference, that he has a mass of figures which nobody has any means of checking, and we have none, and he knows it. I quoted the other day from Charles Kingsley's Letters, and I will quote the words again:The men who only try to speak what they believe are naked men, fighting men, quilted sevenfold in formulae.That is so now. The right hon. Gentleman runs away from his own proposition, but that is not to give a weight of population on any given day in any particular county or town; it is to give an average over three years, and, if the right hon. Gentleman is to rebut the arguments of my hon. Friend, he must not produce arbitrary figures of any particular day and particular county in circumstances of which we do not know, but take the actual figures that would have been applied if his own formula had been applied in that particular area. We are not-taking 1½ per cent. or 6, 9 or 10 per cent. on a certain day as the basis of this relief for unemployment, but an average of 1½ per cent. for three years in each particular area. The right hon. Gentleman has the advantage of having the initiative. We are not able to discuss a scheme of our own which we would have much preferred, and which would have been much wiser for the country and a real rating reform, and not a mere differentiation in favour of some people against others. We are bound to take the scheme as we find it, and to do our best to point out where we think it could be improved. We are not responsible for the original anomalies. The right hon. Gentleman and his advisers are, and the brilliant people who have drawn this up have failed to grasp the fact that, when they come to use this factor, they do not use it in the most effective manner.
1225 The right hon. Gentleman made reference to the average for the country. I put a question to him, what proportion of this money is to be applied according to the factor of unemployment, and his answer was that he has no real figures, but that it is approximately £1,200,000. Since that agrees with the estimate of the actuary of the municipal corporations, we may assume that it is about the figure. Therefore, my hon. Friend is accurate in saying that, as compared with the total sum of £45,000,000, every penny of which is to be employed according to the factors in the formula this £1,200,000 is a comparatively trifling sum. I know that you cannot press that too far, because whereas the £45,000,000 goes all over the country, the £1,200,000 wholly applies where the level of unemployment for three years is above 1.5; but the fact is that, as compared with the total money which is being applied according to this and other factors making the weighted population, the sum is a trifling sum. If our view had been taken, namely, that you had a larger percentage of the actual unemployed men with the total insured workers, you would not have had £1,200,000 but nearer £3,700,000. This Amendment would mean that out of £45,000,000 presently to be allocated in every district according to this formula, £4,000,000 would go to the areas where the percentage is over 3½of unemployment. When the actuaries of the municipal corporations went to the Ministry of Health and expected to have adequate tables for an examination of the factors of the formula, they were surprised at the paucity of information for showing trial and error inside the Ministry before the official conclusions were arrived at by the Minister.
If I wished to detain the Committee, I could read the relevant passage bearing on the point in their first Report, but I will not do so. All I will say is that I was not going to vote against the Minister last time, because I did not wish to take away even a penny of the £1,200,000 from any of the areas which get it because the factors operate in their favour; but I would take away as much as I could from Surrey, Essex and the other areas which are not necessitous and give it to Gateshead, to Halifax and to West Middlesbrough—[HON. MEMBERS: "And Leith"] If hon. Members sat 1226 for Leith and had 5,090 insured workers out of 25,000 I hope they would not be backward in presenting the claims of that constituency. At any rate, they would have done what I have tried to do, they would have tried to understand the actual implications of a formula of this kind. In sitting down I would say that it is scarcely the game for the Minister to turn round to hon. Members here who are doing their best to see that the formula fulfils the purpose which he has indicated, of giving the money where it is needed, and say that the only result of our efforts to improve the formula will be to increase the anomalies. I think the hon. Member for West Middlesbrough made a strong case for the Amendment, and it is an Amendment which I shall have no hesitation in supporting in the Lobby.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
I find myself in the same position as the Liberal party were in last night. Then we had a perfectly good Amendment and the Liberal party found themselves unable to support it. I feel that this Amendment illustrates one of the difficulties which this Committee is in, and that is why I have never tried to monkey about with the formula, I was a little too wide awake for that. Though it is in a sense painful for me to have to say it, what the Minister has said has convinced me that the Amendment of the hon. Member is not one which I can ask my hon. Friends to support. I do not know whether the supporters of the Amendment wish to carry it to a Division, but if so I must sit as a silent spectator of the contest.
§ Amendment negatived.
Sir MURDOCH MAODONALD
I beg to move, page 110, line; 11, to leave out paragraphs (a) and (b), and to insert instead thereof the words:by the percentage represented by the proportions which 50 bears to the estimated populations per mile of roads.This Amendment deals with the formula in so far as it is applied to the public roads in a county. The original intention of the authors of this scheme was expressed in these words:In deciding what factors should be adopted and what weight should be given to each, the aim has been so to adjust the distribution of this new revenue as to make the assistance vary with the need for local 1227 government services in any area in relation to the ability of the area to meet the cost.The formula as it stands was divided into two parts. If we take the second part first, we find that in the case of a county in which the estimated population per mile of road is above 100, the loading factor is expressed by the percentage represented by the proportion which 50 bears to the estimated population. But the effect in reality is not as depicted in the words which I have read. In any county, as the density of population increases, so does the percentage decrease, and it would be imagined that the more densely populated counties would get a less share of the money; but I submit that that is not so. If one looks carefully at the figures it will be apparent that the loading over 100 of population per mile of road is the same throughout. It is an equal figure of 50 per mile of road, no matter how dense the population is.
In the county of Middlesex where, I think, it is 945 people per mile of road, 50 is added. All through the ranges of population, from 100 upwards to the maximum figure, which is represented by Middlesex, the addition per mile of road is identical under the formula. It might have been simplified by stating, in place of the rather involved words of the formula, that in each county where the density of population is 100 or over you must multiply the number of miles of roads by 50 and you get the addition to the population.
On the other hand, there are many counties with less than 100 people per mile of road. Do they also get 50? Oh no, the moment you get below 100 the upper part of the formula comes into operation, and it provides that in a county where the estimated population per mile of roads is in the appropriate year less than 100, it is to be increased by the percentage represented by the proportion which the difference between 200 and the estimated population per mile of road bears to 200. That gives a constantly increasing percentage to each county which has less than 100 persons per mile of road. As a concrete case, take Devonshire. The number of persons per mile of road is 56, and under the formula 72 per cent. would be added. 72 per cent. of 56 is about 40. That is a less figure 1228 than the 50 which is added in the case of all the counties with a denser population of 100 and over. In the case of the sparsely populated counties, which I presume this Bill was meant to benefit, the percentage ought to be greater and not less, as it is in fact. I submit, therefore, that it would be better if the first half of the formula were entirely omitted and the second half left in, and it would be much more simple if it simply said that each county right throughout the country was to have an increase of 50 per mile of road added to it for purposes of calculating the money which it should receive. I am naturally interested in the counties which have less than 100 per mile of road. Of the Welsh counties nearly all, at least nine out of 12, are dealt with hardly in this way; and then there are the Scottish counties, though I do not know whether it will be right for me to refer to them.
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member must not anticipate the discussion we are going to have next week.
§ Sir M. MACDONALD
The words happen to be identical in the other Bill, and if they are left as they stand in this Bill then the injustice will probably be perpetuated in the Scottish Bill, and if the injustice as I see it is removed in this case, when the Scottish Bill comes up there will be a possibility of the Government relenting and altering their formula.
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
The hon. Member must recollect that this particular factor which deals with sparsity of population is a subsidiary factor and not the main factor in weighting any particular area. Furthermore, I would remind him that all the financial experts who have applied their minds to the formula from the point of view of criticising it, although they have had other suggestions to make in respect of other parts of the formula, have raised no objection to this particular factor, and perhaps that may be taken as showing that they found no fault with it.
§ Sir M. MACDONALD
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that all counties with 100 per cent. and over get exactly the same treatment per mile of roads?
§ Mr. CHAMBERLAIN
If the hon. Member will look at the Memorandum he will see the reason for this provision. If 1229 you apply the first part of the formula to the number of people per mile of road, the load will not be more than 100. Where the number reaches 200 per mlie of road there will be no load at all. That is why paragraph (b) deals with an estimated population per mile of roads of 100 or more. I will consider for a moment what will happen under the formula in the hon. Member's Amendment. Take, for example, the case of Sheffield. Under the Bill, the weighting factor would be 72 per cent., and under the hon. Member's formula it would be 89 per cent. In the case of Merionethshire, the weighting under the Bill would be 77 per cent., and under the Amendment it would be 109 per cent. Taking Radnor, the weighting under the Bill would be 90 per cent. and under the formula of the Amendment 238 per cent. Surely the hon. Member must see that that would be an extravagant amount of weighting for those particular counties. I can assure the Committee that this matter has been worked out very carefully, and it gives fair results in the counties.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Amendment made: In page 110, line 27, leave out the word "quinquennium" and insert instead thereof the words "fixed grant period."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ Consequential Amendments made:
§ Further Amendments made:
§ In page 110, line 34, leave out the word "quinquennium" and insert instead thereof the words "and second fixed grant period."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ Consequential Amendments made:
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this Schedule, as amended, be the Fourth Schedule to the Bill."
§ Mr. LANSBURY
We propose to divide the Committee against this Schedule, and we do so because we disagree entirely with the formula and the proposals contained in the formula. We all agree that if this formula were to be rejected the whole basis of the financial arrangement would be wiped out. We should be very glad indeed if we had the power to wipe out the whole of the financial proposals of this Measure. I do not deny that in some respects people in certain districts will get some benefit, but I am quite certain that this method of dealing with a very difficult question is altogether a wrong one. We have had 1230 a good deal of discussion on this Measure, and that proves how true it is that no one can tell exactly what is going to happen under the formula, which is based purely on guesswork, although it may be very subtle and scientific.
Probably, it will work out to the advantage of one district and to the disadvantage of another district. In the working out of the scheme of this Measure, the poor district which I represent is treated the worst of all districts. When I pointed out this fact to the right hon. Gentleman, he replied that we had to bear one another's burdens, which meant, in fact, that the richer districts had to assist the poorer districts to bear the burden of poverty and destitution for which they were in no sense responsible. We have been told by hon. Members opposite that if we could only understand this Measure we should see how the formula worked. The Government are going to deal with a sum of money, part of which is taken from very poor districts like those in the East End of London, Middlesbrough, and poverty-stricken areas in South Wales. Instead of doing the straightforward thing, the Government have brought in a complicated scheme which will take away a good deal of the rateable value of some districts, and, instead of paying back the money, those areas are mixed up with the formula which we have been discussing to-night. The more we discuss the formula the more we must realise that it is based on no sure foundation at all.
The Minister of Health has admitted that it is impossible to tell what will happen under this Bill. This Bill is based on the erroneous assumption that high rates are the cause of unemployment and destitution. I agree that high rates in the poor districts are a terrible burden, but my opinion is that when this Bill comes into operation not one more human being will find employment. That is my real objection to the scheme. I have listened in the past to various Ministers when they were dealing with the Unemployment Insurance Acts in 1910, 1911, and 1912, and it will be remembered that I took a certain line in regard to those Measures. The statements made at that time about those Measures were exactly the same as those which have been made in support of this Measure. We are now dealing, not with causes, but with the effect of causes. It 1231 is no use the Minister of Health and his friends appealing to the country, saying; "We are brilliant, clever, and scientific people, and we are more scientific than the silly Socialists who say that the proper thing to do is to provide men with work. We are more clever than they are, because the Government have invented a formula which is based on nothing but which is a wonderful scheme. It is based on nothing, on no sure and certain foundation, but it is a wonderful scheme by which we take some money out of this pocket and put it into that pocket and it goes into the other pocket." What the right hon. Gentleman has done is to take some money, or to raise some money, from the local authorities. He has taken away from them grants which have been given to them for certain social services. To those he has added what he calls "new money." Where has he got this new money? Anybody would thing that the Government had started a paper factory and were manufacturing some new money and were going to distribute it all round. There is no new money in this wretched formula at all. All the Government have done is to pass, by means of the Budget certain legislation which enables them to put a tax on petrol and to compel one industry to pay a certain sum into the Treasury in order to fill up their pool. They call that new money and say that they are really assisting industry. The fact is that, in this matter of the formula and in the whole of this financial scheme, the Government are spreading it over a bigger area,.but they are not getting rid of pauperism. They are not getting rid of the problem with which the right hon. Gentleman and his Department have been expected to deal. That is proved by the fact, which I cannot discuss under this schedule but which I will only mention, that the who paraphernalia of the board of guardians is left in under another name.
There never has been a more fraudulent Bill than this brought before the House of Commons. I do not mean fraudulent in the very bad sense that they have done somebody down, except that they are deliberately misleading the public by trying to make out that here is a scheme which is going to get rid of high rates, of unemployment, and 1232 is going to put trade on its feet again. It comes with very bad grace from the party which is the Anti-Socialist party, the party that stands for private enterprise, for non-interference with industry by the State, for letting industry stand on its own feet; it comes with very bad grace that they are obliged to bolster up their private enterprise by subsidy, by grants-in-aid, and all this, that, and the other. It proves quite conclusively that private enterprise, under their benign influence, has to be propped up by the money of the very poorest of the people in the community. When hon. Members opposite hear us ask for money for pensions, and when we want to spend money on assisting the unemployed whom the hon. Members opposite will not allow to go to work, when we want to spend a little extra money to give people better conditions, we are always told: "You ought to think of where the money comes from. You ought to realise that if we put a tax on and take money from one industrial concern, that concern has not the money to spend in other directions." We have been told that hundreds of times. Yet this is the only remedy that the party which came into power with a positive remedy for unemployment—[HON. MEMBEES: "No, no!"] Yes, the Prime Minister told usߞ
§ Mr. LANSBURY
And when the Labour party comes into power, the right hon. Gentleman will And that we shall carry out what we have said.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The Question before the Committee is "That this schedule, as amended, be the Fourth Schedule to the Bill." The Fourth Schedule deals with the calculations in respect of general Exchequer grants. I rather think that the hon. Gentleman is making a Third Reading speech.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
This Fourth Schedule has to do with the formula and with the money raised by the Petrol Duty and with the sharing out of that money among the localities on the basis of the weighted population in regard to unemployment, and in regard to poverty, and so on. I was trying, to the best of my ability, to argue why it does not do any such thing as it sets out 1233 to do. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead (Sir E. Home) will agree with me, because I have heard him say many times that if you take away the surplus wealth of industry, or put a tax on industry, then you will cripple that industry. The right hon. Gentleman ought to be opposing this proposal, because the Government are taking away the money of the nation in order to bolster up private enterprise and private industry.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Under this formula, the Government are relieving certain industries of 75 per cent. of their rates.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Does not this formula contain the fact that certain productive industries undoubtedly are to be relieved of the responsibility of paying rates?
§ The CHAIRMAN
Oh, no; that does not come in here at all. All this Schedule provides is that the local authorities shall, by a certain formula and by certain calculations, receive the amount that they lose by discontinued grants and by other matters.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I cannot help thinking that the hon. Gentleman is playing the part of Junius Brutus on this occasion. This has nothing to do with taking away. This has to do merely with the principle on which money should be paid to the local authorities to make up their deficit.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
On a point of Order. This formula provides that three-quarters of this loss shall be returned. It is very difficult to discuss three-quarters without discussing the whole.
§ The CHAIRMAN
There appears to be some difficulty in discussing the Fourth Schedule without discussing the whole Bill, but, really, I think that can be overcome if hon. Members will give their minds to it.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
You, and your predecessor, Mr. Hope, have been very 1234 patient with me, and I have no intention of contesting your ruling. I shall try to keep in order. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hillhead, who is such a defender of the rights of private enterprise, and who thinks that public funds should be carefully safeguarded, really ought to be on our side in this matter. I will conclude what I have to say by just pointing out that, in regard to this formula and in regard to distribution of the money, we shall vote against this Schedule, because we are confident that the result of this scheme will not be that which hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite anticipate. We want the Committee to understand—I am confident we are making the nation understand—very clearly, that all these schemes, from the beginning of the Insurance Act right down to the present, have proceeded on the wrong lines. They have proceeded on the lines that the business of the nation is to deal with effects and not causes. This Bill falls into line with all the others. I said at the beginning what I repeat now, that high rates are not the cause of unemployment, destitution and poverty, but that unemployment, low wages and bad conditions of labour are the causes of poverty and destitution. Until these are tackled in a scientific manner, all these schemes will leave things where they are. I cannot imagine that common-sense men in this House who havereally thought about this Bill—
§ The CHAIRMAN
Really, we must deal with the Fourth Schedule, which is concerned only with effects and nothing else.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
My objection is that it should be dealing with causes. That is my real point, and with that I will conclude. I do not think I need move the rejection of the Schedule. We shall simply vote against it, and I hope that those who have not heard me, just because they have not heard me, will vote with me.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
We are now on the Fourth Schedule of the Bill and, of course, it is the heart of the whole business from the point of view of the local authority. We are now asked to pass the formula in respect of what are called general Exchequer grants, and we are asked to do four main things: First, to agree to the rules laid down for de- 1235 termining losses on account of the rates; second, to do the same with regard to losses on account of grants; third, to pass rules for determining what is known as the weighted population; and, fourth, to pass rules for calculating sums to be allowed to districts which do not get a distribution primarily on the basis of weighted population. These ought to be judged from three points of view: First, from the point of view of the effect of the rules we are now passing in the first stages, when they are passed with certain mitigations; second, from the point of view of the effect of the rules as the weighted population rules become more and more prominent in the allocation of the money; and third, we ought to regard these rules under the Fourth Schedule in their ultimate effect as the sole determining factor in the allocation of some 20 per cent. of the total financial relations between the national Exchequer and the local authorities.
We are asked to do a very important thing. The sum involved in the calculation under these rules is a vast one— a matter of £45,000,000. I should not have so much hesitation about this matter if the rules that we are now discussing were only concerned with losses in respect of grants, because the losses in respect of grants originate in the Treasury—they are Treasury money—and do not affect the rating structure of the locality which either gets or does not get the grants. Up to the present, the grants have been given on a double basis, namely, on the one hand, the complicated basis of assigned revenues, and, on the other hand, the comparatively simple basis of percentage grants. Whatever formula, whether this or any other, is applied, a case may be made out for it; it may be said that this is neither better nor worse than any system of percentage grants. My fundamental objection to the passing of these rules is that the scheme is utterly illogical in its main conceptions. As the Parliamentary Secretary knows, I have never launched my attack specifically on particular factors of the formula. I have said from the beginning, and I say again now, that in my judgment the rules are illogical in this crucial respect, namely, that they set out to do two things which cannot be accomplished by the same set of rules.
1236 We are deciding, with regard to grants for major health services and for road services, that a sum of £10,000,000 shall be applied to a population based on two considerations—I am speaking now of what will happen in 17 years' time. The first of these considerations is an estimated actual population, and the second an artificial population created by the application of three or four factors. It may be three in a county or a county borough, or four outside, because none of the county boroughs have any relation to the factor for density. I believe that the whole basis of this artificial scheme is wrong. I do not believe that the population basis is an adequate basis for the distribution of this vast sum; I think that other factors should be taken into consideration as the basis of the weight. One of the things about which I complain is that the Ministry seem to have given no consideration to the problem of rate pressure, as apart from rateable value. Let it be granted that you may distribute, according to this artificial formula, the grants originating in the Treasury. My view is that, in so far as that is effective in sending money to areas which have been heavily de-rated, it will be found that the same rule will fail to be effective in making up the loss of rates in those same areas, and all the figures that the Ministry have given to me only confirm that view.
This is very important from the point of view of the ratepayers. Much has been said here, during the discussion of the calculations under this Schedule, about rich rating areas and poor rating areas. If one takes the factor for rateable value, namely, the percentage below £10 per head, there is a fallacy in it. While it is true that some rating areas are more wealthy than others in assessable value, yet inside every rating area there are poor ratepayers. If this scheme works badly, it will not only be necessitous ratepayers in necessitous areas who will come out badly, but also necessitous ratepayers in other areas not scheduled or spoken of usually as necessitous.
The position now is that the Government have decided to de-rate, according to their estimate on the year 1926–27, some £24,000,000 of assessable value. That is to say, certain favoured ratepayers are to 1237 get a remission which is now calculated at £24,000,000; it may be £30,000,000 on the basis of the standard year, 1928–29. That represents a -corresponding loss to the rating authority in which those ratepayers are, and my contention is that this formula, in so far as it applies grants according to need, will work badly because it makes use of the same calculation as applying to loss of rates.
The Parliamentary Secretary last night was considering the case of some sparse areas, and he admitted that he had to put a new Clause into the Bill to provide for cases where his scheme would entirely, or almost entirely, destroy the rating basis of various areas. Everyone who knows the rural parts of England knows that, in cases where nearly all the rates have hitherto been paid upon agricultural land and buildings, there will be now, owing to the de-rating, a very small assessable value left, and, therefore, if the scheme should work badly and there should be, to quote the words of the Parliamentary Secretary last night, an increased rate poundage, that increased rate poundage will come down with great and increasing effect upon the ratepayers who are not de-rated.
I cannot see how the Government withstood the original contention of the great local authorities. I agree that, so far as the authorities are concerned, the matter is not as grave now as it was nine months ago. I am quite aware that the Parliamentary Secretary, in his reply, will say that the large authorities have now agreed to withdraw their opposition. But why is that? The rules under these Schedules have been mitigated by other provisions which have been placed in the Bill, by guarantees, and by what I regret, namely, the breaking of the sacred quinquennium. I did expect that that one thing would persist throughout the whole Bill, but even that has gone, and the quinquennium is now a fixed grant period. I agree that from the financial point of view, for the next seven years, the matter is not as grave as it was before the guarantees were provided; but this Committee ought not to pass these rules merely on the basis of those guarantees, and for this reason.
We are concerned now not with a period of seven years, but with the whole 1238 appropriation for all time, or until the scheme is amended by some future and perhaps wiser Government, of this vast sum of money on the basis of this arbitrary calculation. Let us consider the calculation for a moment. You take the estimated population, and you add to that an artificial number of what I called babies just now, namely, children under five, each one bringing a sum per head. You then add some more paper babies calculated on the rateable value below £10, each one also bringing in a sum per head. When you have made these additions to the original figure, you then see if there is any addition to be made for unemployment, and, it! there be unemployed above 1½ per cent., 10 times the percentage above 1½ is added. That is done for a period, and then what happens?
As the general Exchequer contribution is applied more according to the formula, and less for the purpose of directly making up for losses in rates, the more the unemployment multiple is lessened and so there is a double gradation—a gradation downwards owing to the smaller amount applied directly to the making up of losses in rates and grant, and a gradation according to the arbitrary calculation under this Fourth Schedule which applies the rules. As that becomes more effective, that is to say, as this arbitrary financial system becomes the sole basis, so the weighting for unemployment becomes less, because the multiple becomes less. I think that the Association of Municipal Corporations and the County Councils Association, in their first financial examination of the Bill, were wiser than in their last, because from the beginning they stood for the principle that the same set of rules should not be applied to the apportionment of moneys for loss of rates as well as for loss of grant. In every document—and, as the Parliamentary Secretary knows, I have been through a good many—that I have been able to get from these authorities, in every financial estimate at the beginning, attention was called to the fact that it was utterly illogical under one set of rules, as in this Fourth Schedule, to try to apply moneys to make up for loss of grants originating in the Treasury, and for the loss of rates that are really lost to the rating authority.
1239 One more point on that. I do not believe during the whole course of the discussion the Ministry has given sufficient attention to the actual effect of the derating and of the arbitrary method of making up for the loss of rates. A town I have in mind will lose, by de-rating, £155,000 a year. That is to say, properties inside that town area will be de-dated to that amount. But under the formula that town comes out badly. That means that a penny rate, which now raises £20,000, will in future raise only £18,400. This is the position the Committee are in. We have no means of saying what will happen in the next 17 years, although we are legislating for the next 17 years. We have no means of telling how the guarantee that is to be applied to this rule to mitigate it will work out about expenditure in that area, and if it should be, as it well may, that there is an increased service not provided for under these rules and calculations for the distribution of the money affecting them, what will happen will be that the ratio guaranteed by the Ministry will not meet more than a quarter of the extra burden. The result will be that the Ministry, having refused to make up to the authority the actual amount of rates lost, will have placed the ratepayers in the area in the dilemma of having to ask Parliament for some other source of revenue, or, on the other hand, having to put upon their non-de-rated ratepayers a heavier burden than they would have borne if the Ministry had made up to them the actual money taken under this system of distribution.
In my judgment, this is bad, because it leaves the central Exchequer in the position of being able to calculate within £100,000 or £200,000 what its liability will be. At any period up to the first revision the Ministry knows what its total liabilities will be in respect of these grants. But no local authority can calculate it, because a local authority has to calculate not merely for the services to which these grants originally applied, now going into that general service, but to all their other services as well. The Treasury has a hundred ways of raising revenue and the local authorities have only one, and the local Chancellors of the Exchequer would be left with an incalculable problem. I regard this as 1240 artificial. I am sure it will work out in utterly unexpected and anomalous ways and it will never be applied as we are passing it now when the year 1947 comes, 100 per cent. on the basis of weighted population.
§ Mr. GILLETT
The main point in regard to this Schedule is that the Measure has been so altered that some of the dangers which some of us feared have been done away with. As a matter of fact, the concessions which the Government have made really prove that the formula is unworkable. I can see no other reason for the fact that the Government first of all have agreed to limit it to seven years, and, in the second place, have promised that at the end of the seven years the whole of the working of the Act is to be reviewed. There is one main principle underlying the scheme in which I rather sympathise with the object of the Government. As I gather, the plan they wished to introduce was an attempt to allocate this money according to the needs of the district, and most of us on this side are in sympathy with the idea of allocating money according to the needs. But the mistake they made was that when they got as far as that they overlooked the fact that the needs of a district may be altered by the fact as to how far they themselves are willing to take a hand in trying to meet their needs.
I do not know why the right hon. Gentleman is surprised at that, because it seems to me that the principle of the percentage grant is exactly the idea which I have in my mind. The percentage grant is based on the fact, in many cases, that the district is willing to incur a certain amount of expenditure, and the Government have then said "If you are willing to incur this expenditure, we are willing to do our share." There seems to be so much of this idea that the Government have attempted to cut out that principle and simply to say what is the need of the district and then allocate the money according to the needs. I think that can be shown by this formula. As a matter of fact, the formula obviously has failed, and at the end of seven years it may be possible to make something out of the experience gained by the different counties and towns.
1241 The most serious proposal in the whole of the Bill is that under this Schedule the loss of rates is taken per standard year. I have no doubt whatever that it is the deliberate policy of the Government, and it is really an attempt to handicap progressive local bodies. I have not a shadow of doubt that the Government wish to take away from these local bodies the power of spending money which was contributed really by industries in their districts, and I think they have succeeded in doing what they want, but it is a great outstanding blot on the Bill. The only proposal they make in order to meet the expanding expenditure of the local bodies is that the Government say total expenditure rises by so much. The Government contribution shall be a certain definite amount which is divided up among the different districts. If you have one district that is attempting to remove some social evils from its midst, and increasing its expenditure, it does not seem to me that it follows in any way, even at the end of five or seven years, that they will necessarily receive any increased amount whatever from the Government, because, if, on the other hand, the great mass of expenditure in the country was going down there might be no increase whatever in the Government grant.
It is true that in the table at the beginning of the Bill the figures are worked out as if there were an automatic increase of about £2,000,000 in five years, but that is a mere guess. Of course, there is nothing to show that the increase might not be more. On the other hand, it might. When you come to apportion the money among the various districts, it means that progressive and enterprising local body, having first shouldered any expenditure that falls upon it during the years until the end of the period, has no guarantee that it is going to get any help from the Government. Meanwhile, all the extra burden is being thrown upon the other people who have not benefited under this scheme. I do not believe in the basis of the scheme, and I think that it is likely to be found utterly unworkable. However, we have to accept the principle as having been passed in the Bill, and we are now making provision in this Schedule 1242 for the money that is to take the place of what the councils have lost in their rating system.
As the Debates are drawing to a close, the concessions of the Government have removed for the time being the opposition of the local bodies. The local authorities feel that for seven years so-far as their standard expenditure is concerned, broadly speaking, they are covered. Some of them undoubtedly, will get a larger sum. Therefore to that extent they have agreed to the scheme: but it will be a great mistake if the country overlook two fundamental principles in the Bill, the loss of rateable value and the effect of the formula. They will make a mistake if they think that the formula will be a working one. It may be possible to adjust it and it may be that experience will show that something can be done on those lines, but the concessions of the Government have demonstrated that certain parts of the Fourth Schedule have proved to be unworkable. They themselves have recognised that fact, and in order to get the Measure through they have made timely concessions to the local bodies. They have found the money necessary to ease the difficulties to such an extent that they will get their Measure but, on the other hand, the future of the finances of the various local governing bodies will pass almost into a state of speculation as to what will happen at the end of the seven years. I would emphasise what seems to me to have been ignored, and that is the very serious attacks which have been made by the Government upon the progressive powers of the local authorities.
Mr. L'ESTRANGE MALONE
The right hon. Gentleman is nearing the end of what must have been a very irksome task. The Bill, as we now see it, is very different from the Measure which he brought before the House some weeks ago. That fact has not alleviated but rather increased the burden of work which has fallen upon the right hon. Gentleman, and we must all sympathise with him. It has been a very difficult task. It is not his Bill. Those of us who know the work that he has done realise that it has been imposed upon him by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Any Minister of the intelligence of the right hon. Gentleman would be ashamed to have produced a Measure of this sort.
True, and we are discussing the most important chapter in a very long Bill. We are discussing the most vital chapter of the Bill, which gives us power to cover a very wide range of subjects. I wish to raise one or two specific questions arising out of the formula. Assuming that one had decided that a formula was the right method of allocating this money. One would then attempt to arrive at a correct formula. One would consult the local authorities concerned and the different bodies which have been brought into the business, whose ideas have only been accepted in part, and in a very small part. The Minister would then, presumably, instruct the Department to work out the results of the formula, and see how it would affect different parts of the country. I am interested particularly in the county of Northamptonshire, and I have studied the White Papers which have been produced, to see how the formula would affect the county of Northamptonshire. I look at White Paper 3134, and, when I had reached Lincolnshire and before I got to Nottingham, I hoped that I should find Northamptonshire; but it was not to be found. I waited for the new Command Paper 2127. I thought that, perhaps, the county of Northamptonshire presented certain difficulties, but I found that Northamptonshire had been omitted from the new White Paper. To-day, in this House, I asked the Minister of Health whether the figures for the county of Northamptonshire had been worked, and I was amazed to receive the reply that no figures at all had been worked out for Northamptonshire.
Can hon. Members imagine the feeling throughout the county of Northamptonshire to-morrow when it is learned that this carefully prepared scheme, which Tory candidates and Tory Members of Parliament are telling the people is a very simple scheme and one which has been thoroughly worked out by the Ministry of Health, has never been worked out? Think what will be the feeling, for instance, of those associated with the health services, who have just prepared a great estimate for starting a new maternity and health service, costing £10,000, and also those who are 1244 interested in roads and those who are interested in education, which will be affected, when they learn that the figures have never been worked out in connection with one of the most important counties in England. Figures have been prepared by the very eminent accountant of the Association of Municipal Corporations, and I find from an estimate which has been prepared that the formula shows a loss to the county of £56,227. The dismay of the people of the county in discovering that the Ministry has not worked out any figures for the county will be increased when the figures of this estimate are also given. It may be said that the figures do not count; that all the qualifications and provisos have pushed the formula into the background. But the scheme must be judged on the merits of the formula contained in the Schedule which we are now discussing. I make no charge against the Minister of Health for not having carried out these calculations, because it is not his fault. He has had a very difficult task put upon him by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
When the formula was first considered by the Association of Municipal Corporations they made very able researches into the weighting of the formula. The weighting of the formula, as set out by the Government scheme, gives the following figures: population, 27 per cent.; number of children under five years of age, 28 per cent.; low rateable value, 16.6 per cent.; unemployment, 2.8 per cent.; and sparsity of population, 14.8 per cent. In the scheme put forward by the municipal associations they quite rightly criticised this weighting and suggested a weighting which would be much more equitable in the distribution of the money. The percentage they suggested was: population, 20 per cent.; children, 25 per cent.; rateable value, 30 per cent.; sparsity, 15 per cent.; unemployment, 7.5 per cent.; and high rates, 2.5 per cent. The chief difference is that a greater weighting is put on to the figure relating to unemployment.
We ought to know, we ought to receive an authoritative reply, why the Minister of Health prefers his formula to that put forward by these capable accountants and authorities. I know it will be said that municipal associations are satisfied with the concessions which have been given. One can understand a point of view which is ready to accept a little rather than 1245 lose the chance of getting anything at all. But that does not satisfy those of us who believe that a different weighting could have been adopted, if we are to have a formula. That is one matter on which we ought to get a definite statement. A previous speaker has said that it is difficult to discuss the scheme because we do not know what is going to happen in 15 or 17 years. I do not think it really matters what happens four months from now, because anything that is decided now can can be altered and revised by the Government which happens to be elected to this House in three or four months time. The Bill, as it is passing now, is an entirely different Measure from that which was brought in a few months ago, and there can be no greater condemnation of the mistakes and misconceptions in the Bill than the tremendous alterations which have been made during its passage through this Committee. It came before us as a simple Measure, but the original principles are now buried deep below a rubble of special grants and provisions, and new Clauses which give the Minister complete power to cancel the original provisions. It is almost un-recognisable in its original features. We are glad that during the debates which have taken place we have managed to save the maternity and child welfare services—
The money which is allocated to these services, unfortunately, is coming through the formula we are discussing in this Schedule, and I was only remarking in passing that I was glad we have been able, by pressure both inside and outside this House, to rescue the maternity and child welfare services. Those are the two points I wish to raise. First, why the Minister has not made complete calculations as to the application of the money all over the country, and, in the second place, what is the right hon. Gentleman's reply to the alternative formula put forward by the Association of Municipal Corporations. These Debates have been very interesting. The Bill has changed from day to day. It has been buried under a heap of qualifying provisions, Amendments and special powers given to the Minister of Health, 1246 and it only remains now for the final dirges to be sung by the new Government which will come into power some time next June.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I want to gather up a few points which have not been emphasised by other speakers. The first point is contained in the words "expenditure in respect of the standard year." The expenditure in respect of the standard year, 1928–29, is to be the basis on which one of the main factors on which the loss on account of rates is to turn. The point I want to make has not been sufficiently stressed. It is this; that it is a foolish thing to take so uncertain a factor as the rate expenditure of the standard year as a permanent base of the system for calculating your loss on account of rates. If expenditure remained constant, if expenditure remained appreciably constant, over a term of years, it may be right to take the standard year 1028–29, but what is our experience during the last few years? I have here the total expenditure on rates over the country for a, series of years. They run from March to March; I should have preferred that they had run from October to October, for a reason which will be perfectly plain before I have finished. Look at the variations. In the year ending 23rd March, the total expenditure out of rates was £157,000,000. By March, 1924, it had fallen to £143,000,000, and by the year ending March, 1925, it had fallen to £141,000,000. That was the year in which a different Government was in power, and I do not think it is altogether a coincidence that the year in which the Labour party was in power was marked by so enormous a diminution in the rate burden. However, with a Conservative Government the tide turned, and the rate burden had risen to £147,000,000 by March, 1926, to £159,000.000 by March, 1927, and to £167,000,000 by March, 1928. Those are very interesting figures. I do not know what hon. Members opposite would have said to us if the position had been reversed; if they had left the rate burden at £141,000,000 and we had put it up to £167,000,000. I make that point because I have heard hon. Members opposite get up and say that it is well known that the Socialists increase the rates.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do not know how the hon. Member connects this with the "rules for calculations in respect of general Exchequer grants."
§ Miss LAWRENCE
I was giving a certain flourish to them, but my point was that to take the expenditure for the standard year and stereotype it is a bad thing to do, in view of the way in which rate expenditure has varied during the years. That is close to Schedule 4, I think. I was then led into an estimate of the causes.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member's argument seems to imply that rates have now gone up to a maximum and that under another Government they will decrease.
§ Miss LAWRENCE
Under another Government the rate burden will go down, the formula will vanish, all these things will vanish like smoke, and we shall have rational local government. I was going to say that, although you may have told me that it was a little beyond the Schedule. Suppose we had, as we may have again, in office a Government whose policy tended to increase the rate burden, suppose, on the other hand, we had a Government which diminished the rate burden; in either case my argument would hold. My argument is that when you are dealing with this variable figure of expenditure it is a foolish thing to base your permanent system of repayment on the expenditure of one year. If I had gone a little further back I could have shown even wilder variations of rates. As a matter of fact the rates jumped from £84,000,000 in 1919. So that it would be a matter of extraordinary importance to the local authorities whether you picked upon a year of very high expenditure or one of very low expenditure for the standard year. That is the very great fault I have to find with these rules— that instead of taking the average expenditure over the whole of the previous quinquennium they take arbitrarily chosen years in order to determine rate losses.
Though I was led into pointing out the blessed position of the ratepayer in the year when we were in office, that was merely a grace note which I will not stress. The major factor of the formula, the 75 per cent. loss on account of rates, is vitiated by the fact that you take an 1248 arbitrarily chosen year in estimating the grant for a period of years. Seventy-five per cent. of the loss of rates is due to rateable value. Can it be said that rateable value has any appreciable relation to expenditure? I do not think it can. If during these years, when expenditure varied so wildly, you look at the growth of rateable values, you perceive that they grew every year. They did not grow uniformly, not at all; but there was no year in which they went down. They went up every year by varying amounts, while the rate-borne expenditure was rushing up or rushing down and picking itself up. What we are dealing with in regard to 74 per cent. of the estimates is loss on rateable value, and the loss on rateable value, as far as I can see, has no relation to expenditure.
I will take the year 1924, because that was the year first affected by the Agricultural Rates Act. In 1924 the rateable value was £234,000,000. It went up to £241,000,000, then to £246,000,000 and to £256,000,000. It went up, that is to say, at a time when the rate expenditure had gone to a peak, first a drop and then a great rise. The two things can move against each other and can move with each other. In happy times they both go up gently. They can move against each other. They are not, as far as I can see, connected by any law in the world, even if you take the country as a whole. It becomes very much more serious when you take, as is contemplated, each portion of the country separately, for the costs of rates in the different portions of the country are even wilder and show even greater difference. What we have seen has been, generally speaking, rates stationary or even dropping, and in other parts of the country wildly rising. So that the averages of rates do not represent the extraordinary variations of expenditure in different rateable areas. No more does the rateable value. So with regard to 75 per cent. I have said enough to show that it is on a thoroughly fallacious basis.
I come now to one or two remarks about the formula. We criticised the formula on Second Reading. We criticised the method by which it was drawn up. We asked for justification for it. When the Minister replied he said, "It is perfectly true that the formula is to a 1249 considerable extent empirical, and you must therefore judge it by what it does." My first point is that the Minister had no material whatever on which to form his estimates. We have had the White Paper, Cmd. 3227, and that is prefaced with eight excellent reasons why the figures contained in it are utterly worthless, and why, therefore, the Minister had no estimates whatever on which to base an empirical formula. He must have one of two things: Either a logical formula which would be justified, or an empirical formula. As to the figures, they relate to the abnormal year 1926–27. The White Paper stated that, as far as they relate to valuations,they are necessarily based on valuations now in process of being superseded.So far as they take account of losses of rate income, they take account only of estimates of those losses based on information as to valuations supplied by the rating authorities before the end of 1927–28, before the properties to be affected under these de-rating provisions of the Act had been defined in the Bill.
That is a perfectly awful statement. These estimates are based on valuations which were given before the provisions of the Rating and Valuation Act apportionment was known. Then we come to reason number four, which is also very surprising. It says:So far as the entries relate to the allocation of the new Exchequer grant for a county as between the county council on the one hand and the district on the other, they are based on an estimate—the best practicable in the circumstances—that the sum available for distribution to each borough and district council will be equivalent in urban areas to 150 pence and in rural areas to 30 pence per head of unweighted population.So that even if the rateable value figures were firm, which they are not, the whole figures with regard to all the districts are merely based on the asumptions which the officials very cautiously call "the best practicable in the circumstances." I shall not bother the Committee with the last three or four of the eight reasons why these figures are entirely untrustworthy. Figures based on valuations which we know are wrong, based on expenditure which we know to be exceptional, based, as far as the districts within a county are concerned, on an estimate which is "the best practicable in the circumstances"—these are the 1250 figures on which it is sought to justify an empirical formula. You could not have anything more hollow, anything more utterly unsatisfactory. Why, this is the sort of statement which in the City would not obtain for a moment. Imagine a prospectus based on figures like that asking people to subscribe to any undertaking. People would never subscribe in response to any prospectus which was based on eight uncertainties. I will not stress that point.
I come back to ask what logical defence is there for the formula. Ever since the Second Reading, I have been patiently endeavouring to get from the Minister, or from anyone who could guide me, a statement as to what was the justification for the various weights imposed in the formula. The nearest I got to an answer was when the Minister, during the Second Reading Debate, said it was admitted that a low rateable value made a place poor; that the number of children showed that; here was a great deal to be spent on the children, that the number of unemployed also meant expense, and that it was more difficult to maintain roads when you had a small population. When the Minister had said that, he seemed to consider that he had proved that taking these things, and multiplying them all together, would give a scientific formula. I do not wish to weary the Committee on this subject but the rank absurdity of this part of the Bill (ills me with amazement.
I come again to the empirical results. Rochdale would lose, Bradford would lose, Huddersfield would lose—and nobody has ever explained why a wise formula should produce losses in those particular boroughs which are not very rich, but which are notoriously well-conducted. As to Part IV of the Schedule, what is left of it? That was the part which allowed a flat block grant, on the unweighted population, to all urban districts and non-county boroughs and rural districts. But the effect was shown to be so lamentable and so disastrous to the towns, that the towns themselves rose in a sort of rebellion and applied vehement pressure to the Members who represent them in Parliament. They secured from the Minister the final concession that nothing in the block grant should apply to them for at least five years, and that there should be, in the 1251 meantime, a thorough inquiry into the whole matter. There is not much to be said about Part IV of the Schedule now. It is as dead as any proposal could be. The formula is dead. The formula has been put away in the cupboard for inquiry by another Parliament. The whole scheme is to await inquiry by another Government, and here we have only to chronicle again our disapproval of the wildest wild-cat Measure that any responsible Government ever brought forward in the House of Commons under pretence of introducing a serious scheme.
§ Mr. COVE
The hon. Lady has, I think, shown how impracticable the formula would be particularly as applied to the counties and county boroughs, but I did not quite agree with her as to the effect of Part IV of this Schedule. What I fear is that before there is any inquiry or readjustment, the scheme embodied in Part IV of the Schedule will have wrought tremendous havoc. Whatever may be said about the complicated formula, as far as counties and county boroughs are concerned, nothing can be said to justify the flat rate distribution to urban and rural district councils. It has not the remotest regard, cither for the percentage of de-rating that will take place, or for the expenditure of particular authorities. Whatever expenditure may be, whatever the percentage of de-rating may be, the same amount of money per head is distributed on a flat rate basis to these authorities. The result will be the creation of greater rating anomalies than those which now exist and the burdens will be increased unequally.
I call the Parliamentary Secretary's attention particularly to the effect of Part IV of the Schedule on what are known as the Part III authorities in education. The argument has been advanced that even though you get an increase in the education rate as such, in the counties and county boroughs, there will be sufficient money in the general county pool to make up for it. The President of the Board of Education has said that there will be a nominal increase in the education rate but that the general county rate will decrease. I believe that, taking Glamorgan as an example, he suggested that while the education rate would go up to 1s. 10d., the general rate would 1252 go down 5s. or 6s. I think he has confused a rate of 5s. or 6s. in the £ with a figure of 5s. per head of grant for the general county. But this is the serious position which will arise under Part IV of the Schedule. There are in this country about 124 Part III authorities responsible for elementary education. They levy rates on themselves for elementary education, and, as far as I can calculate, 57 of them will neither gain nor lose by the application of Part IV of the Schedule. These authorities have no reserve out of any other rates upon which they can draw to make up for any future increase in education services.
To take some examples in the Hartle-pools the actual total rate in 1926½27 is 18s. 8d. The estimated poundage rates for 1926–27, under the scheme, before the special grant is paid would be 22s. 10d. When the special grant is paid we are back again to the rate of 18s. 8d. The same applies to Stockton-on-Tees. In the West Riding every Part III authority with one exception starts off with the same rate after the scheme as it had before. That is to say that, first, having regard to the losses of the standard year, owing to de-rating, and the expenditure of the standard year, and then applying the scheme, I find that every one of these authorities, except one, would start off with the same rate after the scheme as that which it had before the scheme was put into force. That means that in cases like Brighouse, Harrogate, Keighley, Morley, Todmorden, Shipley and other places, every increase of expenditure in education is going to fall after the standard year upon a narrow rateable value. If I follow it up, as far as Bury is concerned, which, with Mountain Ash, is particularly hard hit, in Bury the derating amounts to one-third of its rateable value, and the value of a penny rate there is £1,010 before de-rating, but after it will be £673, which means that after the standard year you will have to raise in rates 30s. to get the same amount of money as you now get by a rate of £1.
The same roughly applies to areas like Monmouthshire, and it all means that, as far as the education service in 57 of these Part III authorities at least is concerned, every slight advance in the education service will be paid for by a rateable value which has been reduced by 10, 15, 20, 30, and even 40 per cent. I suggest 1253 that this is a very serious matter for these Part III authorities, and it is clear to me, from the answers given by the President of the Board of Education and from what we have heard from the Parliamentary Secretary, that the Government did not inquire and had no reasonable data as to the effects of this scheme upon the education service. It was in that respect a complete leap in the dark, and now all that they say is that these Part III authorities must end, that the service must be transferred to the county areas, and transferred under the pressure of bankruptcy. I am afraid the Government will have to pay the price for this. The adverse effect upon the education service in a large number of areas will react on the Government, and we shall find that educationists up and down the country will regard this scheme as deliberately meant to cripple at least a large number of these Part III authorities, so far as education is concerned.
§ Mr. TOMLINSON
I share the fears that have been expressed by the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Cove). So far as this scheme affects urban and rural districts which suffer considerably from de-rating, I am afraid that the grant of a fixed rate will mean a very serious loss to these authorities. I want to ask the Minister two questions. I am afraid, as I look at this Schedule, that these rules for determining losses on account of rates and grants do less than justice to the rating authorities in the rural areas. I have gone to a good deal of trouble in an endeavour to find out what the position is, but I cannot get a satisfactory answer. In my submission, if the rural areas had not lost the 75 per cent. on agricultural buildings under the 1925 Act, they would have been entitled to a larger grant under this scheme than they will get at the present time. Is it not a fact that, because that loss on buildings goes out of the assessment lists on the 1st April, and the 1st October is taken as the date at which you must look for the assessable value in the standard year, that loss will not be made up by a grant under this Bill?
The loss that will be sustained by the loss of rates in these rural areas will, I am afraid, be very serious when you come to deal with the special rates in rural areas, or schemes that may be provided 1254 under this Bill for a new water supply, or a new sewage scheme in a parish that cannot now afford it, and the medical officer of which may say that in the interests of health a new scheme ought to be provided. Under this Bill power is given for such a charge to be spread over the rural district and for the county to make its contribution. So far as I have been able to learn from this Bill, the national Exchequer will make a grant during the first quinquennial period of 75 per cent., and the county will make a grant of 25 per cent. In the second quinquennial period, the Exchequer grant will be down to 50 per cent., and there is nothing in this Bill to say what the county grant shall be.
§ Mr. TOMLINSON
In this Schedule we are dealing with the rules for determining losses on account of rates.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I do want to be dogmatic, but I think those losses mean losses by the county or county borough. I do not think the question of districts within a county comes in at all under this Schedule.
§ Mr. TOMLINSON
The heading of Part IV of the Schedule is:Rules for calculating sums to be allocated to Districts on the basis of Population.
§ The CHAIRMAN
If the hon. Member can connect his argument on Parts II and III with Part IV, he will be in Order.
§ Mr. TOMLINSON
That is what I am attempting to do. I am afraid that the local authority will be in a very serious position if the county says, "No, it is not determined in the Bill that we shall make you a grant of 50 per cent. now that the Exchequer grant has fallen to 50 per cent." If the parish has to meet that loss, it will be in a very serious position when faced with the loss of rating brought about by this Bill, and I shall be glad if the Parliamentary Secretary will assure me that the rating authorities in these rural districts will not be put to the disadvantage that I fear under this Bill.
§ Mr. CECIL WILSON
When this matter was before us on Friday last, the Parliamentary Secretary, in referring to 1255 certain observations that I had made, said:I think it will be found that those observations were made before the further concessions had been given by the Government."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th January, 1929; cols. 548–9, Vol. 224.]He was in part correct, because the quotation which I gave in regard to the Chamber of Commerce had not actually been adopted by the Chamber at that time, but on Tuesday of this week, dealing with the question of the formula and what the Government had done so far as Sheffield was concerned, they passed this Resolution:This Council of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, having considered the Government's proposals in Part 6 of the Bill…on the effect of the financial proposals, records its appreciation of the assistance given, but is of the opinion that the relief to Sheffield provided by the Government's formula is inadequate to meet the burden upon the rates of the past, present, and future maintenance of the able-bodied unemployed.That is a pretty strong condemnation coming from such a body, and it is felt, although appreciation is expressed of the assistance which has been given, that considering all we have passed through it is entirely insufficient. What it really means is that we have been given some £90,000 towards what has been incurred for expenditure, namely, something like £400,000. Therefore, we are getting about 4s. 6d. in the £, and we have been anxious to get a good deal more. In connection with this formula I am rather surprised that the Government have chosen as the standard year the year 1926–27. [HON. MEMBERS: "No, 1928–29."] I am referring to the Command Paper in which there was a statement showing the average expenditure. That applied to 1926–27, and it is upon that year that all these figures are based. We have always been told hitherto that the year 1926 was a most disastrous year, and it seems to me it is somewhat strange that the Government should have selected that year.
I would point out in connection with our Sheffield demand, more particularly in regard to the effect on the health services, that there was a distinct increase in the rates during that year, during half of which a Socialist majority had been established on the City Council. It is a 1256 very difficult thing to compare some of these boroughs, but if we compare Sheffield with the borough for which the Parliamentary Secretary sits, while his county had a rate for public health of 4d. during that year, we had a rate of 1s. 0¼d. It is something very material to us if there should be any cutting down in any of these health services. The position also applies to the borough of Southend, which I quoted on Friday last, showing that after all adjustments, the rate per head in Sheffield was only very slightly more than a place which had had no unemployment problem whatever. When we come to consider the formula, I would press to-day that we should have some explanation as to why the very low figure of the children under five in the population was taken. I do hope we may have some answer, because unless there is some good reason given as to why this very low figure has been taken, we are entitled to assume that there is something which it is not possible satisfactorily to explain. When we consider that, in connection with some of the other anomalies which there undoubtedly are in regard to this formula, it only adds more and more to the difficulties.
With regard to the estimated rateable value after de-rating is in operation, we have got, in addition to de-rating, the question of re-valuation. What is the figure which is actually going to be taken? Supposing you have a borough in which, as a result of de-rating and re-valuation, the figure comes down, and in another borough you have it actually going up, where are you going to be when these two are compared? You are fixing the question of unemployment upon the current year. You have cases where unemployment has been very serious for a large number of years, and again you have cases where it has only developed comparatively recently. In other words, you have cases where one borough has had the burden of unemployment come upon it recently whereas you have another where the burden has been very heavy over a prolonged period. It certainly does seem that if you are taking the question of unemployment upon one year only it is not a fair way to those boroughs which have been suffering unemployment for a very long time. We are to be left with the debts which have been incurred for a long period of time. We shall still go on paying for them over 15 years. I 1257 think there ought to be some further explanation of how the formula has been arrived at.
There is one thing I should like to say in conclusion. I thought the Parliamentary Secretary lately had given us a little more information than he has sometimes done. Last night he was quite informative, but he reminded me in these Debates of the person of whom the quip was said:Never say nothing unless you're compelled to,And then don't say nothing that you can be held to.I think that applies appropriately to the Parliamentary Secretary.
§ Lieut-Colonel HENEAGE
The hon. Member for Lancaster (Mr. Tomlinson) referred to the question of special rates, which is of particular importance to rural constituencies. That matter has been fully covered, but I should like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to confirm my reading of the matter as it stands. It is proposed, as regards special rates, that a rural district council should receive during the first quinquennium an Exchequer grant equivalent to 75 per cent. of the loss of rates under de-rating for the standard year 1928–29, and that the remaining 25 per cent. should be paid by the county council. Of course, that decreases in the second quinquennium, and still more in the third. Taking a comparison of special rates and special expenses, a sixpenny rate provides £57, and after the rateable value is lessened, the sixpenny rate will produce only £30. There are similar amounts in other parishes, and it is rather important. I should, therefore, be very glad if the Parliamentary Secretary would give as an assurance that in the many alterations of the Bill that will not be made worse.
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I rise only to put a question to the Minister, or to the Parliamentary Secretary, whoever replies. We have heard in this Schedule which is shortly to be put to the vote the quintessence of wisdom. As it was originally drafted, a considerable number of Members did not feel able thoroughly to understand all its provisions. In the course of its passage through the Committee, there have been considerable alterations, and I venture to doubt whether to-day a single Member 1258 of the Committee would even profess to understand it completely. It is very doubtful whether even the Minister or his agile Parliamentary Secretary, or even the hon. Member for East Ham North (Miss Lawrence) would undertake to work out a completely satisfactory sum showing the rates which any one particular locality will receive in relief of the burdens which they have at the present time.
These complications have been very much increased during the passage of the Bill through the Committee. Take, for instance, the one factor of unemployment. According to the original Schedule, we were to discover the proportion of unemployed insured men compared with the community; we were then to subtract certain things, and multiply the result by ten for the first quinquennium, and by amounts which were to change in each succeeding period according to certain complicated rules that depended on other parts of the Bill. Finally, we were to multiply all that by certain other factors which we have to take into account, and then we were to take for the first period one-quarter of that in order to arrive at a result. In its passage through Committee to-day, the Minister has complicated that by saying that whereas one unemployed man is to count as one human being, one unemployed woman is to count for one-tenth of a human being. We are to add men and women together on that basis, so that the unemployed miner or textile worker counts for one, and his daughter or wife or sister counts for one-tenth. That is all part of the scheme which it is expected to work out.
I come to the two questions which I want to put to the Minister. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] It was necessary to lay out the ground on which the two questions were based. We had before the final introduction of the Bill several financial statements telling us in as simple language as the character of the Bill permitted what were the financial consequences of the Bill, what was the precise meaning of the formula, and how it would all work out. I want to ask whether, seeing that we have had all these alterations, we shall, between now and the Report stage, get a new set of financial instructions which will enable us to understand exactly how the par- 1259 ticular formula contained in the Fourth Schedule will work out under all the alterations that have taken place during its passage through Committee. The other question is whether the Minister of Health has formed any estimate of the additional cost that will fall to the Ministry for employing computators who will be required to work out these complicated sums for the Exchequer grants that will be given to all these councils.
§ Mr. RENNIE SMITH
My hon. Friend described the Fourth Schedule as the quintessence of wisdom, and I suspect that that is the feeling of all members of the Committee. It is so much the quintessence of wisdom that it remains as it was some months ago— unintelligible to most members of the Committee. I want to suggest that this Schedule deserves a better immortality than will be found for it within the covers of the Bill, and that the Minister and his Parliamentary Secretary ought to take an early opportunity to write a first-rate British comedy showing how the Bill, and in particular how the formula, came into operation. The first act might very well be a description of the experts framing the formula, with the Minister of Health standing at the door after a number of protracted evenings, presenting a pistol at the heads of the experts demanding that they should all undertake to say the same thing. The second act might show the way in which the local authorities received the formula after it had become known, and the bombardment which took place from every local authority in the country, and how they all came down to Westminster to see the Minister about the formula. The third act could show how, just before Christmas, the Government capitulated to the mass attack of the local authorities. If the Minister likes to have a finale, he might grace the comedy with the way in which the formula served the purposes of this Government at the next General Election.
I would like to say something in regard to the weighting of the formula in respect of unemployment. I would represent to the Minister what has been a criticism from the very beginning, namely, that the unemployed areas, in the simple working out of the formula, will, on balance, come out worst. The North of England, in particular, under this scheme 1260 has the formula weighted against it from the beginning, and I would remind the Minister that we have done all that we can to get the unemployment part of this formula made much more considerable in relation to the other factors. Even today we have tried to get unemployment weighted a little more by a more generous inclusion of women, but we have not been able to prevail upon the Minister even to accept so slight a modification.
I think that when at last this famous formula had been produced it ought to have been allowed to do service for the districts within the counties. One would have thought it might have done service for the rural and urban districts, but in their case the Minister has deemed it to be sufficient merely to ration out the county council grants on the basis of mere population, without any adjustment. If the system was good for the county councils and the county boroughs, it ought to be of some service for the lesser local authorities. Now that we have secured these various modifications of the formula, I would like to ask him whether we can take it for granted that we shall not be confronted with any further modifications when we come to the Third Reading of the Bill. I should grieve very much if all our criticisms this evening should prove to be in vain for the simple reason that the Minister has the intention of further drastically changing the formula before the Report stage and presenting us then with an entirely new set of considerations.
§ Sir K. WOOD
We are now nearly at the conclusion of the Committee stage of the Bill, and I congratulate the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood) on being able to survive the Debate to-day. Early in the afternoon I thought there was a danger of collapse, but he has brought all his forces to bear, and we have had a number of more or less relevant speeches dealing with the subject. His army, such as it is, has been gathered together and we are managing to eke out the time which has been given to us, and I hope that we shall not find him complaining that sufficient time has not been allowed for the consideration of the Bill, because it has been only by the very greatest endeavours on his part that his followers and supporters have been able to keep the Debate going.
1261 I feel some difficulty in replying to the more or less general observations which have been offered, and which would be more fitting, perhaps, to the Third Reading, but it is in some respects interesting that the Socialist party should be challenging this Fourth Schedule, because it contains the formula. Some time ago the formula was derided, but there are very few people, and certainly none in this House, who are prepared to challenge the formula to-day in the way in which it should be challenged. Except for the valiant effort of the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) we have seen no alternative put forward by the parties opposite. I think the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne was a little unfair when he rather jeered at the hon. Member for Leith for producing a formula, remarking that he had shown more courage than caution. The hon. Member for Leith ought to be congratulated upon his valiant effort. He is the only one who has put forward any constructive suggestions as alternatives. It is true that the only person who gave any support to the first alternative he put forward was himself, but it was none the less valuable on that account. It should be known that the Liberal party put forward an alternative, and those who have given this matter time and attention, as it has been my duty and pleasure to do, know what an heroic effort it was.
As we have been criticising the Government formula, we might spare a minute or two to look at the Liberal effort. I regret to say that under the Liberal formula the necessitous areas of the country are treated very much worse than under the Government formula. Perhaps it may surprise the hon. Member for Leith to know what the results of his formula are. Under the Government formula, we should give Gateshead 82d. per head, but, under the hon. Member's formula, I regret to say that Gateshead would on the same basis receive only 68d. per head. Merthyr Tydvil, a very deserving place, and in need of considerable assistance, receives under the Government formula 83d. per head, while the Liberals, I regret to say, were able to come forward with an offer of only 88d. per head. I have heard a good deal in many quarters, and have read a good deal of literature from the Liberal party, about the assist- 1262 ance which is being given to seaside towns under the Government formula. Under the Government formula Blackpool receives 27d. per head, but such is the affection of the Liberals for that very delightful place that they propose to give it 43d. I hope the results of that formula will not be conveyed to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) on his little cruise, because I fear it would upset the boat.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
May I ask whether, in the examples he has worked out, the Parliamentary Secretary has worked out the actual sum for loss of rates in addition to what is provided under the formula?
§ Sir K. WOOD
Yes, I can assure the hon. Member that every consideration and due criticism has been given to the formula.
§ Mr. BROWN
No, no, excuse me. The right hon. Gentleman has not answered the question. He knows perfectly well that the formula was put on the Paper for a definite purpose, and that definite purpose was to show that you could do two things, that you could make up the actual loss of rates by de-rating,—ah, now the Parliamentary Secretary is getting the answer; the figures are not quite so clear as he would have the Committee believe—and on top of that supply the loss on grants. Will the Parliamentary Secretary answer this question? Do his figures include as well the sums which they get for loss of rates?
§ Sir K. WOOD
After all, there is nothing practical in the Liberal scheme. I will now address myself to the criticisms which have been made by hon. Members opposite. What is their position? Under the formula in the Fourth Schedule and the other provisions of this Bill, the Government have endeavoured to adapt our system of local government and Government assistance to the needs of the day. At any rate, the Bill is designed to meet the needs of the various localities, and we are satisfied that it meets those needs. It is a curious thing that such is the attitude of the Socialist 1263 party to-day that its members find themselves defending a system which, at the present moment, is most unequal, a system which certainly treats unfairly the very places for which they have always professed the greatest concern. Who is prepared to get up in this House and defend the present system of local government? At any rate, that is what the Socialist party are doing at the present moment.
If this Schedule is defeated, we shall be thrown back to the old system under which the assigned revenues of the country were formulated, as long as 40 years ago, without any relation to the needs of the day, and we should be thrown back to the present system which has been demonstrated to be grossly unfair. I have yet to learn that the new pro posals contained in this Bill have met with any substantial criticism from the party opposite. Hon. Gentlemen opposite come down to the Committee at the last moment and declare that there is something wrong with the weighting for unemployment, or for rateable value and the provision in regard to children under five years of age. On those points they have used very extensively the criticisms made by the expert advisers of the local authorities during the early stages of the negotiations with the Minister of Health. Some hon. Members are making a constant repetition of the criticisms which have been made by those experts, but in no case have the local authorities adopted the schemes which were put forward by their expert advisers. Surely if those schemes were better than the proposals of the Government the local authorities would have pressed them upon the Minister of Health. Directly you attempt to deal with a formula of this kind, unless you can give careful consideration to them and apply the knowledge which the Government possess through their expert advisers, you will find that you are doing a great injustice to other parts of the country.
We have heard criticisms suggesting alterations in the provision dealing with children under five years of age, and it has been suggested that women should be brought in under the unemployment factor just the same as men. One hon. 1264 Member after another speaking from the Labour benches used that argument, and they did so at the instigation of the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. Greenwood). I am sure the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne did not mind what they said so long as they said something. The fact of the matter is that in relation to this Schedule and the other parts of this Bill, the Government are prepared to demonstrate to any impartial jury that the formula contained in this measure is a fair and reasonable proposal which is worthy of a trial.
The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne has criticised the agreement which the Minister of Health arrived at with the local authorities. What is that agreement? Simply that at the end of seven years, there will be a full opportunity, after we have had experience of the working of the formula in connection with county districts, of having a careful examination by the Government in association with the local authorities of the results of the working of the formula. Who can find fault with that proposal, and who can say that it destroys the practical effect of the scheme? Is it not apparent to everybody except those who are blinded by partisanship that in a matter of this kind there must be a subsequent examination of the effects of the formula? I suggest to the Committee, in regard to that arrangement which my right hon. Friend has made to safeguard the position of the local authorities, to ensure that inquiry should be made after a reasonable period, that no one who wants to give a fair and reasonable judgment on this scheme, and particularly on this Schedule, can say that the Government have not put forward at any rate a proposal which has stood the test of criticism and which ensures that, after a reasonable period, there should be a fair and reasonable inquiry into its working and arrangement.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman, who is in unusually fine feather to-night. He has been more than usually successful in evading all the arguments. His speech was full of witticism, full of innuendo; the sort of speech that despairs really to meet the arguments put forward from these benches. What was the right hon. 1265 Gentleman's first contribution to the Debate to-night? It was that the Debate was in danger of collapsing, that I had the utmost difficulty in rallying the forces behind them. The right hon. Gentleman, if he were not so blinded by political partisanship, as he says of us, would have known that my difficulty was to restrain hon. Gentlemen behind me in order that we might have some reasonable time to consider the formula. What has really hurt the Parliamentary Secretary is that while he in his innocence thought that we were not going to begin to discuss the formula until 7.30, we were, owing to the absence of Conservative Members who had Amendments down, fortunate enough to begin to discuss it at five minutes past four, and it is these six hours of debate that have really hurt his feelings.
His next ground of complaint against me was that was not sufficiently unwary to fall into the trap laid by him of bringing before the Committee an alternative formula. I have always said that I would never be so foolish as to bring forward an alternative formula. This problem is not to be solved by the application of a formula, however complicated and wonderful it may be. The next argument of the right hon. Gentleman, which he is prepared to change to-morrow, is that we are defending the present system. That is the most un-kindest cut of all, for if there is one thing that we on these benches would not defend it is the present system of which the right hon. Gentleman is such an ornament.
We have now arrived at what is really a very important stage in the consideration of the Bill; Schedule IV, the formula. The right hon. Gentleman has put into his stewpot £24,000,000, plus the equivalent of certain grants, plus something called "new money." The people really want to know what emerges from it, and what emerges from it is the formula. I do not believe it has ever been read in this Committee. Hon. Members opposite, who have committed the whole of their political future to the right hon. Gentleman and his formula, are very unfamiliar with the terms of it. Let me remind them of it. [Interruption.] It should be written in letters of gold, this great legend that they are putting on their banner at the next 1266 election. I hope they will be able to explain it. What is the formula that we are discussing in Schedule IV to-night; the formula which the Parliamentary Secretary has been careful to avoid mentioning? It is this:Let p = the population of a county in the standard year as estimated by the Registrar-General.Let c = 50 or the number of children under five years of age per 1,000 of the population, whichever is the greater.Let a = 10 or the rateable value in £ per head of the population according to the valuation list in force on the 1st October, 1929, whichever is the less.Let u = 1.5 or the percentage of unemployed men calculated as explained in Cmd. 3134, whichever is the greater.Let m = the number of persons per mile of public road.
§ Then (1) if m is greater than or equal to 100, the weighted population is
§ p (1 + a-50/50 + 10-a/10)
§ (1 + u-1.5/10 + 50/m)
§ (2) If m is less than 100 the weighted population is
§ p(1 + c-50/50 + 10-a/10)
§ (1 + u-1.5/10 + 200-m/200)
In the case of London and the county boroughs, the last term in the second bracket is always taken as zero, as there is no weighting for low density of population in those cases."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 9th July, 1928; col. 1872, Vol. 219.]
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
It works out in the most curious way, but it is a subject of our discussion to-night, this elaborate formula with which we are all so familiar and which all of us understand so well, including the Parliamentary Secretary. We have been told that there is an agreement with local authorities on the formula, but the local authorities have never agreed to this formula. They have agreed to have it investigated in seven years, instead of its running for 15 years, or indefinitely without any inquiry; and the right hon. Gentleman now rises, full of innocence, to say that it is a most reasonable thing that after seven years there should be an inquiry into this 1267 formula. If the Government had any-thought in their minds that there would be need for an inquiry in seven years, it would have been trumpeted in the Second Reading speeches to show the reasonableness of the Government's policy; but the truth is that they have been driven to this by the local authorities. It was never intended to have any examination of the details of the formula, and this is a compromise. Had the local authorities been able to do so, they would gladly have altered or destroyed the formula. The only alternative that could be reached, with a Government with a huge majority, by members of local authorities who are predominantly Conservative, was that they should at least limit the iniquities that might be perpetrated under the formula. Therefore we are to have an inquiry at the end of seven years. I prophesy that at the end of that inquiry the formula will cease to exist. The term used by the right hon. Gentleman is "revision," but "revision" is not the word for it; the formula will be so drastically revised as to be quite unrecognisable, and it will be necessary to introduce a new system as between the State and the local authorities.
How does this formula operate? The right hon. Gentleman says, "We will give it a trial." This is, after all, the innumerable serial publications, which I thought were never going to end, on this Bill. After the publication of table after table of figures, all pretending to mean something, we now learn from the Parliamentary Secretary that nobody knows anything for certain about this; it is a trial. I suggest that this matter is far too serious to be dealt with as a sort of leap in the dark, a mere wild guess in the hope that something will come out of it, and that it will not be too bad until after the next General Election. A trial of an entirely new system which is revolutionary in the history of this country, which works a revolution in the relations between the State and local authorities, is the maddest kind of proposition. There is no proof anywhere that any of the figures that have been used will turn out to be even nearly true after the scheme has been put into operation. So far as the figures go, anyone who has examined them will see how full of anomalies the final results of the operation of the formula will be. The Parlia- 1268 mentary Secretary said that our criticisms were vague and undefined; I will give him one that is very explicit and definite. How can he defend the fact that under the new scheme, if the figures prove to be true, the County of Surrey gains 30d., and the County of Lancashire gains only 15d.? How can that be explained? What justification is there for it?
There could be only one justification, and that is that the needs of Surrey in relation to its wealth entitled it to more public assistance from the State than did the needs and resources of Lancashire. Anyone who knows those two counties, and I know them very well, knows that that could not be upheld for one moment. You get a number of industrial towns in the North of England which, again if the figures are right, or even approximately right, will find that in the long run they are actually worse off, under the operation of this formula, than other industrial areas. What justification is there for that? There is no justification at all for it; it is one of the accidents of a stupid formula, and a formula like this and that presented by the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown) is bound to result in the most extraordinary anomalies. Given the way you build up the fund, and given the fact that you are going to discontinue certain percentage grants and that you are going to fill up the gap one way or another, you can have what formula you like, and I defy any mathematician in the land to devise a formula which will do justice.
This formula may be a miracle of mathematics but it is not sound statesmanship, and it cannot be sound statesmanship if it yields results which on the face of them give rise to reasonable grounds for injustice. If it can be said that certain great industrial areas, with all their problems and all their need and all their poverty as compared with some of the richer counties, are to be worse off relatively to some of the richer residential counties, it cannot be defended. The formula cannot be defended either because it happens to be based upon this particular year. It really destroys the effectiveness of the so-called guarantee. We had a prolonged discussion, which there was no difficulty in keeping going, the other day on the operation of the guarantee. No one opposite seemed to know what the 1269 guarantee meant, and very few people seem to know what it means yet, but one thing at least is clear, that the choice of this year as the standard year on which the operation of the block grant, so far as it is being applied, is concerned, will mean this. If, as the result of the right hon. Gentleman's pressure upon local authorities, their expenditure this year is lower than the normal, or lower than what is justified in present circumstances, if it should rise to the normal the operation of this formula will be to place an added burden on the ratepayer, because every penny of additional cost will fall upon the ratepayer and there will be no compensation what ever from national resources. That I think is undeniable.
The effect of making this formula operate for a term of years is equally disastrous. It is true now that it will operate only for three years in the first instance and four in the next period, and subsequently for five, if ever the scheme reaches that stage in its history, which I very much doubt. It means that the formula will exude to local authorities for each of the next three years a definite fixed amount of money. It may be that under the direct inspiration of a Minister of the Crown—at the instigation of the Minister of Health himself— local authorities haves entered into commitments for the future. They may have spent no money on those commitments up to the present time. The expenditure on them will not fall, therefore, in the standard year, and though when those commitments were made they ranked for State grants and were made with the approval of the Minister, the whole of that additional expenditure during the fixed grant period will fall upon local resources. That is undeniable, and it can only mean that the operation of the formula will put local authorities in the position that they will have to scrap commitments which they have made, or forego very necessary developments of their local services, or face the alternative of an increase in the rates, because the guarantee does not operate so far as additional expenditure is concerned, whatever that expenditure may be.
We have had a good deal of criticism from hon. Members opposite and from the right hon. Gentleman that we have not put forward any alternatives. It is 1270 very difficult for me to sit here and continually to be challenged to produce alternatives when, under the Rules of Order, it would be impossible for me to do so, at any length. I will, however, say one or two things about the formula. Under the formula, as I understand it— I am not quite sure, because I think the Minister gave a rather higher figure, and if he gives a higher figure I will accept it—the amount which will be allocated in respect of the unemployment factor will be something between £1,250,000 and £1,500,000. I think that is so.
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
It is round about that figure. At the present time, the expenditure of Poor Law authorities on outdoor relief, at least 95 per cent. of which is due to unemployment, and nothing else, is between £7,000,000 and £8,000,000 a year. I will give one alternative. I would not put £1,250,000 in a formula. I would take the £7,000,000 or £8,000,000 off the backs of the local authorities. That is the only reasonable thing to do. It would have the effect, which this formula will not have, of helping the districts according to their needs. Everybody knows that the most stricken areas to-day are those where Poor Law expenditure has been highest, and inevitably so, where the rateable value has been crippled and where the volume of unemployment has been large. Many of these districts have had to borrow money for current expenditure, which seems to me a bad method of finance. If these areas were relieved of that burden, they would be relieved of the biggest single burden that is plunging them into the state of necessity in which they find themselves to-day.
If I were able to deal with this question, I would not lump together road and health services. I would continue the percentage grant system. I am conservative enough to realise that what is old and tried is not necessarily wrong. I think the right hon. Gentleman said that this is a great reform of the rating-system. One of the best things that could be done would be to enlarge the resources of the local authorities, resources which they can control, and I would do it by the rating of land values. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Yes, I have not the time to argue the point, although I should be glad to do so. I can, how- 1271 ever, say that that kind of rating would have no disadvantageous effect upon industry, but it would add to the local resources of our great self-governing authorities, and would render them a little less under the thumb of a State Department. On those lines, and not
|Division No. 150.]||AYES.||[10.30 p.m.|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frame)|
|Albery, Irving James||Hanbury, C.||Pilcher, G.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Harland, A.||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Preston, William|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Raine, Sir Waiter|
|Bennett, A. J.||Honn, Sir Sydney H.||Ramsden, E.|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Reid, D. D. (County Down)|
|Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.||Hills, Major John Waller||Remer, J. R.|
|Brass, Captain W.||Hilton, Cecil||Rhys Hon. C. A. U.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y,Ch'ts'y)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Brooke, Brigadier General C. R. I||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Ropner, Major L.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Horlick, Lieut.-Colonel J. N.||Ross, R. D.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Burman, J. B.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney,N.)||Rye, F. G.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Sandeman, N. Stewart|
|Cayzer, Maj.Sir Herbt.R. (Prtsmth,S.)||Hurd, Percy A.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Shaw, Lt.-Col. A.D.Mcl. (Renfrew,W.)|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston}||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N.( Ladywood)||James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Univ., Belfst)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||King, Commodore Henry Douglas||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips||Knox, Sir Alfred||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Sprat, Sir Alexander|
|Cope, Major Sir William||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Couper, J. B.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon, Godfrey||Storry-Deans, R.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Loder, J. de V.||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Cowan, Sir Wm. Henry (Islingtn, N.)||Lougher, Lewis||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vere||Stuart, Crichton-, Lord C.|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Herman||Styles, Captain H. Walter|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H.(Lindsey,Gainsbro)||Lumley, L. R.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo.F.(Somerset,Yeovil)||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Macintyre, Ian||Tinne, J. A.|
|Drewe, C.||McLean, Major A.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Macmillan, Captain H.||Tryon, Rt. Hon George Clement|
|Elliot, Major Walter E.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Ward, Lt.-Col. A.L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Ellis, R. G.||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Watts, Sir Thomas|
|England, Colonel A.||Margesson, Capt. D.||Wells, S. R.|
|Erskine, James Maicolm Montelth||Mason, Colonel Giyn K.||White, Lieut. Col. Sir G. Dalrymple|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Meller, R. J.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Fielden, E. B.||Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Forrest, W.||Moore Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Withers, John James|
|Foster, Sir Harry S.||Moore-Bsrabazon, Lieut.-col. J. T. C.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Neville, Sir Reginald J.||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)|
|Goff Sir Park||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
|Grant, Sir J. A.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Mr. Penny and Captain Wallace.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Cluse, W. S.|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Bromfield, William||Compton, Joseph|
|Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bliston)||Bromley, J.||Connolly, M.|
|Barr, J.||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Dennison, R.|
|Batey, Joseph||Buchanan, G.||Duncan, C.|
|Bellamy, A.||Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Dunnico, H.|
|Bondfield, Margaret||Charleton, H. C.||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)|
§ by this hugger-mugger of a formula, we should be able to proceed on lines of rational self-government.
§ Question put, "That this Schedule, as amended, be the Fourth Schedule to the Bill.
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 170; Noes, 94.
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Kennedy, T.||Shinwell, E.|
|Gardner, J. P.||Kirkwood, D.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Lansbury, George||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Gibbins, Joseph||Lawrence, Susan||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Gillett, George M.||Lawson, John James||Stamford, T. W.|
|Grenfell, T.||Lee, F.||Stephen, Campbell|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Lindley, F. W.||Stewart, J (St. Rollox)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Lowth, T.||Sullivan, J.|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley||Lunn, William||Sutton, J. E.|
|Groves, T.||Mackinder, W.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Grundy, T. W.||MacLaren, Andrew||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Tomlinson, R. P.|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Townend, A. E.|
|Hardle, George D.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Viant, S. P.|
|Hayday, Arthur||March, S.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Hirst, G. H.||Palin, John Henry||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Hore-Beilsha, Leslie||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Potts, John S.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Purcell, A. A.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Ritson, J.||Windsor, Walter|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O.(W.Bromwich)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Scurr, John|
|Kelly, W. T.||Sexton, James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Hayes.|
§ Resolved, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—[Mr. Chamberlain.]
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.