HC Deb 06 March 1929 vol 226 cc389-421
The SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Sir John Gilmour)

I beg to move, in page 15, line 22, at the end, to insert the words: Provided that in the case where there is in force, as regards one of the burghs included in a united burgh, an order under Section 7 of the Town Councils (Scotland) Act, 1903, fixing a day other than the first Tuesday of November for the annual retiral and election of councillors, such order shall in the aforesaid year be deemed to apply to each of the other burghs included in such united burgh, and the foregoing provisions of this Sub-section shall apply with the substitution of the day so fixed for the first Tuesday of November. This Amendment is moved at the request of certain burghs that are going to be combined. It has been found in one case, the combination of Kilrenny and Anstruther, in Fife, that the date on which the Town Council would be elected is inconvenient, particularly from the fishing point of view, and it is in accordance with their representations that I move the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, in page 15, line 42, to leave out paragraph (ii).

On the last occasion, when this matter was under discussion in Committee, there was very little time, owing to the course of business, to deal with it. The discussion took place on an Amendment to omit the whole Sub-section. In this case, the Amendment is merely to omit a paragraph. The matter, though a small one, is of considerable importance to the district which it affects. It will not in any way wreck the Bill. If anything, it will simplify it, because in working out the details of an amalgamation, such as is proposed in this Clause, there are bound to be various matters which will crop up and will require negotiation and matters on which it will be very difficult to get the amalgamating parties to agree. If the Amendment were accepted, those difficulties would be avoided. In addition to simplifying the putting of the Bill into operation, Nairn would be released from amalgamation, which has never been asked for and is not wanted. The Secretary of State and his colleague are well aware by now that very strong opposition is felt locally to this proposal. All the local authorities are opposed to it, and the Secretary of State has received a petition signed by a considerable percentage of the residents. Had more time been available and had the weather conditions been less severe, there is no doubt that many more people would have signed that petition if the upland districts had been canvassed more systematically. I should like to thank the Secretary of State and the Under-Secretary of State for the very careful attention which they have always given to the representations which I have made to them on this subject, I only hope that the representations may have weight. I realise that by this amalgamation the county of Nairn are not going to lose their identity entirely. They will still retain their ordinary parish, and they will retain their county council for certain purposes, but that will only be for minor purposes. They will also retain their name. They will not be merged into Morayshire in that respect. Nevertheless, very grave apprehension is felt, and I should like to state the two chief reasons as to why strong opposition is felt to this proposal.

It has been stated by the Secretary of State that some of the functions which are to be transferred to the joint county council may be delegated back to the Nairnshire County Council, but there is no guarantee in the Bill that this will take place. Therefore, I do not think that much weight can be attributed to this argument which has been put forward in support of the fact that there is no desire to interfere with the status of the county. On the contrary, it appears that Clause 12 of the Bill which deals with the setting up by the joint county council of certain statutory committees to deal with education, police, and poor relief will entirely prohibit such delegation back to the county council as has been suggested. The Secretary of State, in a letter, has said that it is not his desire or intention that the status of the county as an independent unit in local government should be materially affected, but, in view of the fact that these very important services are to be transferred, it is difficult to see how that argument can be supported. It will require a good deal of explanation in order to set at rest the local feeling on this subject.

Secondly, on the joint county council which it is proposed to set up, Nairn will always be very much in the minority. Under the proposals of representation of county councils, Command Paper 3263, the representation allotted to Morayshire would be 35, whereas Nairnshire would have a total of 12 members. It is natural, therefore, that the people of Nairnshire should be doubtful as to the reasons why their status is not to be materially affected by this proposal. I realise that already counties do combine for certain purposes, for example, in regard to a medical officer of health. This is purely a voluntary combination, because it suits both parties to enter into it. It is a very different matter from forcing an amalgamation upon two counties. After all, in any case, where they are forced or where they are compelled to do a thing, it is much more likely to lead to trouble, and the work will be considerably increased in volume.

It is also claimed that economy may be effected by this proposal. I should like to point out that there is going to be an additional expense in setting up this new body. According to the figures furnished by the White Paper, there will be a saving, as a result of the amalgamation, of 5d. per head of the population in Nairnshire. With a population of 8,790, I estimate that the saving will come to about £183 per year. If you are going to set up a new county council with the expenses incurred thereby, such as the clerk, the treasurer, and various other officials, I think it is clear that that saving of £183 which is suggested would very soon be turned into a very severe loss. It is very difficult to see how any saving worth speaking of is going to be effected in this way. Speaking personally, and as a member for both counties, I have found considerable duplication of work in already being on two county councils, and, whoever is my successor and has the honour to represent Moray and Nairn, when I have lost my seat as a result of this Clause or else been forced into bankruptcy owing to the severe cost of dealing with all the correspondence I have received on the matter, will find, instead of having two county councils to deal with, he will have three. This certainly does not tend by any means that I can see to simplify the work.

4.0 p.m.

I have stated that on the ground of public health amalgamation is desirable, but I suggest, if necessary, that this could be effected by making an Order under Clause 11 of the Bill for an amalgamation for the purposes of public health. I do not admit that this is necessary, because the health services have been adequately maintained in the past. Both the county and the burgh of Nairn are served at present by a voluntary hospital and by district nursing services. This should not be discounted, because it is voluntary and is not a burden on the rates. It shows, on the other hand, their sense of the importance of this matter and their independence. Although there is no formal scheme for dealing with tubercular cases, adequate provision is made in this respect. In connection with maternity and child welfare, there is a district nursing service and an arrangement with local doctors to attend in case a child is ill. I do not want to detain the House unnecessarily on this subject. I have already had copious correspondence with the Secretary of State on the question, and I think he is well aware of the attitude which the county of Nairn has adopted. I would ask him, in conclusion, to accept this Amendment on the grounds that I have stated, namely, that this provision in the Bill is not wanted, and has not been asked for; secondly, that it is difficult to see how any economy is going to be effected; and, thirdly, that the Amendment will in no way wreck the Bill, for if anything, I submit, it would be a simplification of the Bill, and any amalgamation of certain services which is thought to be necessary, can well be carried out under Clause 11. I ask the Secretary of State to reconsider this matter very carefully before refusing to accept my Amendment.


I beg to second the Amendment.

My hon. Friend who has proposed the Amendment told us that if it were not accepted he would lose his seat. That would be a result which would be very deeply deplored in his constituency, and I do not anticipate any such disaster. I quite understand that when this question was shortly discussed in Committee, my right hon. Friend indicated that he did not desire to accept any such Amendment as that which had been put. Undoubtedly it runs counter to the main principles of the Bill, and the desire of my right hon. Friend to extend the areas of administration. My hon. Friend and myself have no quarrel with the general proposition to enlarge areas of administration. We quite realise that it will generally be of advantage. But my right hon. Friend will admit that a provision of this kind may possibly, and will probably, act with disadvantage, and even with injustice to certain minor localities. We hold that Nairnshire comes into such category, and although an extension of boundaries might be a good thing, we shall receive no advantage from it in Nairnshire. On the contrary, we believe it will be a disadvantage in that county. My right hon. Friend will also admit that although the advice he received from his Department may be excellent, and no doubt is, he may receive better advice and a more correct view from those who live in a locality affected by this Bill, and if this suggestion holds in this instance, my right hon. Friend will accept the Amendment, for the Amendment expresses the unanimous view of Nairnshire.

We resent the imposition of this amalgamation. We have not asked for it; we do not desire it, and, in our opinion, we do not require it. Surely the opinion of those who have lived in the locality all their lives, those who have taken part in public and local affairs should be considered. It is not too much to say that we view this amalgamation with real apprehension and even indignation. The county council of Nairn has acted since its inception with efficiency. It has carried out the whole of the requirements of the county. It has provided or arranged for all public requirements to the complete satisfaction of its constituents. I quite realise that, in dealing with this question, we are dealing with the future, and not with the past, and the point we have to decide is whether under amalgamation the local administration of Nairnshire would be more effective or better. We do not think it will. We think that the new requirements can all be met under the provisions of Clause 11. We cannot see why the control of our local administration should be taken away from us when we can effectively deal with it under the provisions of that Clause.

My hon. Friend has referred to the question of finance. It is undoubtedly the basis of the subject. It is the desire of my right hon. Friend to spread the area of extra expenditure over a larger valuation, and it is also his desire to extend the area of administration. The former seems to me the best standard. I should like to ask him why he considers, as he apparently does under the Bill, that Shetland, with a gross valuation less than Nairnshire, can in the future carry on under the reduced valuation better than can the county of Nairn? Does my right hon. Friend consider that we in Nairnshire are more incapable?


He does not put it so bluntly.


Another point is the geographical point. Our county councillors, in carrying out their duties, have to go to the capital town of Nairn, and on the day of the county council meeting there is the ordinary weekly market where our county councillors can carry out their private business as well as their public duties. Under the Bill, if there is amalgamation, they will have to go to Elgin for their public duties. It may seem a small point, but it is a real grievance, and has to be taken into consideration. We want the best men we have had on our county council, and I do not believe that they will continue to give their public services. It will be a great disability to our county. In the opinion of leaders of our county council in Nairnshire, it is felt that amalgamation will bring about friction, which has never existed in our local affairs. It will be cumbersome in its operation, and we believe it will entail upon Nairnshire an unnecessary financial burden. I think some consideration ought to be given to those who really know more about the subject than anyone else. I hope, therefore, my right hon. Friend will give favourable consideration to the Amendment of my hon. Friend.


I am sure that the House, as I do, will realise the interest which my hon. Friends the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment have taken in this problem, and I, myself, as Minister am very conscious, of course, of the numerous representations which have been made to me upon this point. I hope to be able to show to my hon. Friends and the House that we are not seeking to make this combination out of malice, or with any other desire than to confer upon the inhabitants of these two counties the best opportunities of the future development of the services which are necessary to their well-being. When one has to consider this problem of dealing with the larger services, let me remind my hon. Friends that this combination is only to have effect for the purposes for which small burghs are to be included within the county, that is, the major services of education, poor relief, public health, police and classified roads. Outside those particular problems the county of Nairn will continue to operate and be in being as it is to-day.

There is, I think, a measure of misconception, if I may say so, in the minds of some of those in the locality as to what is really meant, and they will find that a good many of their misapprehensions, as I will explain, are due to the fact that they have not really studied what these alterations mean. As my hon. Friend said, they will retain the ancient name of their county, and nothing will alter that. They will retain their Lord Lieutenant and their county council, and they will continue to control and operate all matters relating purely to their landward areas. If we look at the problem of population, Nairnshire, including the burgh of Nairn, has a population amounting to only 8,790, and the County of Kinross one of 7,963. Those are the two instances of counties in Scotland which we are seeking to combine, and if one were not to combine these two very small counties, what indeed would be the justification for combining a great number of the burghs which we are combining under this Bill. There are only two counties with a population of less than 20,000 which are not being combined. One of these is Sutherland with a population of over 17,000, or double that of Nairn, and the other is Peebles with a population of 15,000, which again is much higher than the population of Nairn.

If I turn to the problem of Nairnshire when the de-rating takes effect, the House will observe, that a rate of a penny per £ will produce in the landward area of that county £84. When that figure is stated it is evident that it is practically impossible for such a unit to carry on a large part of the necessary development of such services as health and education. It is said, of course, that Nairn is going to lose because of the inconvenience which will be caused by county councillors having to attend meetings in Elgin instead of Nairn. All I would say on that is that I think if any inconvenience of a personal nature arises from this circumstance, it will be found to be minor compared with the great advantages which are going to accrue to the county. Further, I would point out to my hon. Friend that in this Clause which we are discussing paragraph (f) says: Subject to the provisions of their administrative schemes, the joint county council may delegate any of their functions to the county council of either county as if such council were a committee of the joint county council. Those are very wide powers, and I do not doubt that they will be used by the county council, and that it will be found that a very large part of the work which Nairnshire will have to carry out in the future will be delegated and that they will only require to go to Elgin for their special meetings on comparatively few occasions. A precedent exists for such a combination as the one proposed. When the National Health Insurance system was introduced, Nairn and Moray were combined. In the matter of health services, I find that in the county of Nairn there is no county scheme for the treatment of tuberculosis and none for maternity and child welfare service.


They have no formal scheme as regards tuberculosis, but adequate provision is made to meet cases which arise with regard to maternity and child welfare, the work is done by voluntary associations, and they have an arrangement with local doctors to attend in cases of childbirth.


That may be so, but that does not alter the fact that when the general scheme comes into operation throughout the country the health services which are essential and necessary do not exist at the present time there. The medical officer of health and the school medical officer are obtained by combination with Moray. Treatment for venereal disease is also provided by a combination with other areas. It has been argued that with regard to tuberculosis the conditions in this case are such as would scarcely justify a formal scheme for treatment, but that is hardly borne out by the facts. During the five years 1923–27 there were 37 deaths from tuberculosis, and 12 cases were notified in the landward part of the county in the three years 1925–26–27, and there were 12 cases notified in the burgh of Nairn in 1926–27. There is no institution either in the county or in the burgh of Nairn for the treatment of early or advanced cases of tuberculosis. It may be said that those on the spot think that they are doing sufficient for the purpose, but I hope they will find that when the combination takes place they will be in a position of advantage and will be able greatly to increase these services. As regards maternity and child welfare, the county of Moray has adopted a scheme, whereas Nairn has not, although the conditions of the two counties are not dissimilar. The hon. Member for Moray and Nairn (Mr. J. Stuart) has told us that the question of maternity and child welfare is being dealt with by voluntary associations. I am willing to admit that that meets the position to some extent.

Let me turn to the health of the school population. As regards the school health administration, the position in Nairn is less complete than that made by Moray, especially as regards dental treatment and treatment of the ear, nose and throat. I do not wish to point out these things with respect to Nairn in a derogatory way, but it is right that they should realise to the full that what I am asking is that they shall combine for the improvement of these services by coming into line with the neighbouring county. It is said that the county will make a loss financially by this amalgamation. I do not think they will be able to maintain that position. If the two counties are left separate, Moray would gain under the scheme 70d. per head of population, and Nairn County 65d. per head, whereas the united county would gain 70d. per head. So that Nairnshire would gain 5d. per head from the union. Whether it is to be a forced union or not, I should say that from the point of view of the ratepayers it is a desirable union.

I am asked why I insist upon this amalgamation, whereas in the case of Shetland I do not so insist. The answer is twofold. In the first place, the population of Shetland is something like 20,000.




Twenty five thousand as compared with a population of something like 8,000 in Nairn. Moreover, Shetland is surrounded by sea, and there is the impossbility of combining it with other places. I hope very sincerely that, on further reflection, my hon. and gallant Friend will be able to show to those who are feeling sore about this matter, that it will be materially to their advantage that this combination should take place, that there is nothing derogatory to their ancient traditions and nothing which impinges or takes away from the position which Nainshire has always rightly held in Scotland. I hope that the last thing that will happen will be that any action of mine will result in the disappearance of my hon. and gallant Friend.


We all appreciated the admirable speech made by the hon. Member for Moray and Nairn (Mr. J. Stuart) in defence of the privileges of his constituents. I do not feel that the Secretary of State has given any adequate answer to the points which the hon. Member and the Seconder of the Amendment brought forward. He does not meet the point that if there is any difficulty in the existing health services it can be dealt with under Clause 11, or outside the ambit of the Bill by firm leadership and voluntary understanding between the parties concerned. I refuse to believe that the people of Nairn, once they realise, if it be a fact, that the figures for tuberculosis, which the right hon. Gentleman quoted, are worse in their county than in other counties similarly situated, would allow that slur to rest on the county. They would be the first to insist that it should be remedied, either by action in the county or, if that was impossible, by agreement with the county of Moray, so that by voluntary means a more efficient system of health management could be introduced.

The right hon. Gentleman referred to the low valuation which will be left in Moray and Nairn if they remain separate. He says that a penny rate in Nairnshire will only raise £83 and that that would make it impossible for the county of Nairn to develop its services adequately in future under the provisions of the Bill. What about the counties of Orkney and Shetland? Whereas Nairnshire will only have £83 return from a penny rate, the county of Orkney will only have a return of £73 and the county of Shetland only £68. Therefore, by the Secretary of State's own criterion we have a condemnation of this Bill as applied to such counties as Orkney and Shetland. The Secretary of State said that the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment had not sufficiently studied what their proposals meant. I think the general feeling in the House was that they realised more keenly and more accurately how the Government's proposals will affect their constituents than the Secretary of State does.

The right hon. Gentleman said that it was not his intention that Nairn should lose its status. They are going to lose

the control of their five major public services. We were talking yesterday about burghs like Nairn with a considerable population, which attract at holiday seasons a very large population. We were debating how they would be absorbed into a county, and the Secretary of State and the Under-Secretary assured us that these burghs would have a great say in the county. Here is one of the principal small burghs of Scotland, the burgh of Nairn, not merely losing its identity in its own county but losing it in a combination of counties, in which it will be in an insignificant minority. It seems to me that the provision for the combination of those two counties is one of the most indefensible in the Bill. The Secretary of State said that the combination was necessary, otherwise he would find it difficult to justify the combination of burghs with counties, which we have already criticised. Two blacks do not make one white. The reason given by the right hon. Gentleman is a very inadequate ground on which to defend a proposition which, on its merits, is obviously indefensible. I hope that the Amendment will be pressed to a Division.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 157; Noes, 106.

Division No. 254.] AYES. [4.28 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Cohen, Major J. Brunel Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.
Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Conway, Sir W. Martin Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Cooper, A. Duff Hopkins, J. W. W.
Applin, Colonel R. V. K. Couper, J. B. Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe) Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Dalkeith, Earl of Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)
Balniel, Lord Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester) Hudson, R. S. (Cumberl'nd, Whiteh'n)
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Davies, Dr. Vernon Hume, Sir G. H.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Edmondson, Major A. J. Hurd, Percy A.
Berry, Sir George Elliot, Major Walter E. Iliffe, Sir Edward M.
Bethel, A. Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert
Betterton, Henry B. Fairfax, Captain J. G. Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)
Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. H., Skipton) Falle, Sir Bertram G. Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William
Boothby, R. J. G. Fanshawe, Captain G. D. King, Commodore Henry Douglas
Boyd-Carpenter, Major Sir A. B. Fermoy, Lord Lamb, J. Q.
Brassey, Sir Leonard Ford, Sir P. J. Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip
Briggs, J. Harold Foster, Sir Harry S. Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Fraser, Captain Ian Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Ganzoni, Sir John Looker, Herbert William
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Gault, Lieut. Col. Andrew Hamilton Lougher, Sir Lewis
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Lumley, L. R.
Buckingham, Sir H. Goff, Sir Park MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) MacIntyre, Ian
Burton, Colonel H. W. Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Macmillan, Captain H.
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Hacking, Douglas H. MacRobert, Alexander M.
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)
Chapman, Sir S. Hanbury, C. Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn
Charteris, Brigadier-General J. Harland, A. Margesson, Captain D.
Christie, I. A. Harrison, G. J. C. Marriott, Sir J. A. R.
Churchman, Sir Arthur C. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden)
Cockerill, Brig.-General Sir George Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)
Moore, Sir Newton J. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford) Templeton, W. P.
Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury) Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive Ropner, Major L. Tinne, J. A.
Murchison, Sir Kenneth Ross, R. D. Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough
Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Ruggies-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A. Wallace, Captain D. E.
Nicholson, O. (Westminster) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Ward, Lt. Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.) Rye, F. G. Warrender, Sir Victor
Nield, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham) Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Oakley, T. Sandeman, N. Stewart Wayland, Sir William A.
Oman, Sir Charles William C. Sanders, Sir Robert A. Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William Sandon, Lord Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Pennefather, Sir John Savery, S. S. Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)
Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple) Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Power, Sir John Cecil Smithers, Waldron Wright, Brig.-General W. D.
Preston, Sir Walter (Cheltenham) Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Preston, William Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Price, Major C. W. M. Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Radford, E. A. Styles, Captain H. Walter Sir Frederick Thomson and Captain Bowyer.
Reid, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y) Tasker, R. Inigo.
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Groves, T. Ritson, J.
Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery) Grundy, T. W. Runciman, Hilda (Cornwall, St. Ives)
Barnes, A. Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter
Barr, J. Hardie, George D. Saklatvala, Shapurji
Batey, Joseph Harris, Percy A. Scrymgeour, E.
Bellamy, A. Hayday, Arthur Shield, G. W.
Benn, Wedgwood Hayes, John Henry Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Shinwell, E.
Bondfield, Margaret Hirst, G. H. Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W. Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S. Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Broad, F. A. Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Bromfield, William Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Snell, Harry
Bromley, J. John, William (Rhondda, West) Stamford, T. W.
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Stephen, Campbell
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown) Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Buchanan, G. Kelly, W. T. Sutton, J. E.
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Kennedy, T. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Cape, Thomas Kirkwood, D. Thurtle, Ernest
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Lawrence, Susan Tinker, John Joseph
Clarke, A. B. Lawson, John James Tomlinson, R. P.
Cluse, W. S. Lowth, T. Townend, A. E.
Compton, Joseph Lunn, William Viant, S. P.
Connolly, M. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon) Wallhead, Richard C.
Cove, W. G. MacLaren, Andrew Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Crawfurd, H. E. MacNeill-Weir, L. Westwood, J.
Dalton, Hugh Maxton, James Whiteley, W.
Day, Harry Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley) Wiggins, William Martin
Dennison, R. Montague, Frederick Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Morris, R. H. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
England, Colonel A. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Gardner, J. P. Owen, Major G. Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Gillett, George M. Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.) Ponsonby, Arthur TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Potts, John S. Mr. James Stuart and Sir James Grant.
Griffith, F. Kingsley Purcell, A. A.
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Riley, Ben

I beg to move, in page 16, to leave out from the word "for", in line 3, to the end of line 5, and to insert instead thereof the words: every purpose for which any small burgh is by virtue of this Act included within a county and for no other purpose. This is largely a drafting Amendment. It is in order to make it clear that only major services shall be transferred. It is thought that it would be undesirable to transfer from the burghs a matter like the registration of motor vehicles.

Amendment agreed to.


I beg to move, in in page 17, line 10, to leave out Sub-section (8).

Let me make it quite clear at once why I am moving this Amendment. We hope that much time will not be spent upon it because there are important Amendments coming on later which were not discussed during die Committee stage; for example, an Amendment dealing with house factors' remuneration, and we hope to so arrange business this afternoon that an opportunity will be found for discussing these important questions. Therefore, I do not propose to take up much time on this proposal, because it was discussed at some length during the Committee stage, and it will arise again in a more acute form on Clause 68. I should imagine that under Clause 68 the Secretary of State can take whatever powers he chooses and that he does not require to have them repeated in this Clause. I cannot understand why he should ask for the same powers twice in the Bill. If he gets them in Clause 68, I cannot understand why he requires them in Clause 10.


I beg to second the Amendment.

This Sub-section seems to me to be redundant. If the right hon. Gentleman contemplates passing the remainder of the Bill with the inclusion of Clause 68, then clearly there is no occasion for this Sub-section. I think he will share that view. If he will look at the Sub-section, he will find that the words are almost the same as those in Clause 68, and like my hon. Friend I am at a loss to understand why it should be necessary to have two provisions in the Bill bearing on the same point and in almost precisely the same language.


I propose to accept this Amendment. Since the Committee stage I have had time to look into it, and I see no necessity for retaining this Sub-section.

Amendment agreed to.