HC Deb 06 March 1929 vol 226 cc440-5

Amendment made:

In page 28, line 31, leave out the words "relative to the aforesaid expenses," and insert instead thereof the words "so far as inconsistent herewith."—[Sir J. Gilmour.]


I beg to move, in page 29, line 1, to leave out Sub-section (5).

I will explain shortly the difficulty which has arisen in regard to certain public libraries. In the Education Act of 1918 there was a proviso that education authorities in counties, as an ancillary means of promoting education, could provide books by purchase or otherwise, and that those books should not only be of benefit to the children for whom they were first obtained but also be available for the adult population resident in the area. The education authorities were empowered to make arrangements with public libraries, and all the expenses of this particular form of library were to be chargeable to the education authorities, but subject to a certain proviso. I think it would be as well to read the proviso, which is rather confusing: Provided that in any burgh or parish as defined by the Public Libraries (Scotland) Act, 1887, the library rate by that Act authorised is levied, there shall be raised within such burgh or parish on account of any such expenses such sum as will, with the produce of the said library rate, amount to the sum which would have been raised within such burgh or parish under this Section had such library rate not been levied within it. I think I can make that clear to the House. The Public Libraries Consolidation (Scotland) Act, 1887, allowed the levy of a rate of 1d. in the pound. Under the Public Libraries (Scotland) Act, 1920, that sum was raised to 3d. I will take the case of a burgh—my own or any other burgh—having an ordinary library rate of 2d. and I will suppose that the education rate for this special purpose is 3d. in the pound. The effect of the proviso which the Government are now proposing to delete is that that particular burgh would only pay up to 3d. in the pound, that is to say, it would pay the 2d. it pays as a library rate and 1d. in addition; but if we take away that proviso it would mean that instead of being rated at 3d. in the pound it would be rated at 5d. in the pound. That is how I interpret it, and I think I have interpreted it correctly.

I would adduce one or two illustrations of why we should maintain this proviso. In 1918, when this system was established, a definite promise was made that there would never be a double burden such as will now fall if we eliminate the proviso. The Government may reply that if they take it away there will be an urge on those communities to come into line with the county as a whole and with its arrangements. I believe this is what is behind it, that there is a desire to have a flat rate for the county as a whole, but I do not think that that is a sufficient answer to the injustice which we shall be doing to a burgh. The argument about a flat rate and securing absolute uniformity all round has been so constantly brought up here that it is becoming weary, stale, flat and unprofitable. The action of the Government will penalise the burghs and areas which have been the most progressive. During the last two or three days we have heard from hon. Members advertisements of a great many towns—Saltcoats, Ardrossan, Rothesay, Dunoon and Oban. I would like to take the opportunity of advertising my own town of Motherwell. It has not an esplanade, as some of these other places have, but I would say of the towns I have named that if you put them all together they do not make up one Motherwell. All I am asking is that towns which have gone ahead, relying on a definite promise made in 1918, should not be penalised for their progressiveness, and that a proviso which I regard as being in the nature of a debt of honour should not now be taken away on the plea of the necessity for securing uniformity.


I beg to second the Amendment.


I realise that this is a question which is of great interest to a large number of burghs as well as county areas. It seems to us that the arrangement we propose is really the most suitable one. What we are, in effect, doing is to leave with the existing burghs the libraries which they already possess, because we do not desire to take away from them institutions in which they have a considerable interest. It might be justifiable in the common interest, eventually, to bring the whole of those institutions under one authority, but we do not think, even in the cause of efficiency, that that time has yet arrived. The hon. Member has said that under our scheme a burgh, in place of being charged only an extra 1d., might be charged the full 3d., but they can avoid that calamity if they enter into an agreement with the education authority. I think that the libraries now existing in the burghs will tend to form centres, distributing points, for much larger areas, and it may be that under a system of co-operation with the education authorities we may engage more largely in the distribution of books by motors. It is just because we desire to leave with existing burghs the institutions in which they are so much interested, and to keep open the door for a measure of co-operation, that we think

it would be unwise to accept the Amendment.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 197; Noes, 104.

Division No. 255.] AYES. [5.59 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Foster, Sir Harry S. Nuttall, Ellis
Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles Ganzoni, Sir John Oakley, T.
Alexander, E. E. (Leyton) Gates, Percy Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman Gault, Lieut. Col. Andrew Hamilton Pennefather, Sir John
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)
Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W. Glyn, Major R. G. C. Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Atkinson, C. Goff, Sir Park Power, Sir John Cecil
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.) Preston, Sir Walter (Cheltenham)
Balniel, Lord Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter Preston, William
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John Radford, E. A.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Grotrian, H. Brent Reid, Capt. Cunningham (Warrington)
Beckett, Sir Gervase (Leeds, N.) Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E. Remer, J. R.
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake) Hacking, Douglas H. Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Berry, Sir George Hall, Capt. W. D'A. (Brecon & Rad.) Richardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch'ts'y)
Bethel, A. Hammersley, S. S. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Hereford)
Betterton, Henry B. Hanbury, C. Robinson, Sir T. (Lane, Stretford)
Boothby, R. J. G. Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft Harland, A. Ropner, Major L.
Bowyer, Captain G. E. W. Harrison, G. J. C. Ross, R. D.
Braithwaite, Major A. N. Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington) Ruggies-Brise, Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Brassey, Sir Leonard Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Briggs, J. Harold Haslam, Henry C. Rye, F. G.
Briscoe, Richard George Henderson, Lieut.-Col. Sir Vivian Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Brittain, Sir Harry Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J. Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by) Sandeman, N. Stewart
Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I. Hills, Major John Waller Sanders, Sir Robert A.
Broun-Lindsay, Major H. Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar) Sandon, Lord
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham) Hopkins, J. W. W. Savery, S. S.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y) Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley) Shaw, Lt.-Col. A. D. Mcl. (Renfrew, W.)
Buckingham, Sir H. Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S. Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)
Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K. Skelton, A. N.
Burman, J. B. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Burton, Colonel H. W. Hudson, R. S. (Cumberland, Whiteh'n) Smithers, Waldron
Campbell, E. T. Hume, Sir G. H. Spender-Clay, Colonel H.
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer Stanley, Lieut.-Colonel Rt. Hon. G. F.
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City) Hurd, Percy A. Stanley, Lord (Fylde)
Cazalet, Captain Victor A. Iveagh, Countess of Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston) James, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. Cuthbert Steel, Major Samuel Strang
Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Storry-Deans, F.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood) Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir William Streatfeild, Captain S. R.
Chapman, Sir S. Kindersley, Major G. M. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Christie, J. A. King, Commodore Henry Douglas Styles, Captain H. Walter
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Lister, Cunliffe, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Tasker, R. Inigo
Cohen, Major J. Brunel Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley) Templeton, W. P.
Colfox, Major Wm. Phillips Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Cooper, A. Duff Loder, J. de V. Thomson, Sir Frederick
Couper, J. B. Looker, Herbert William Tinne, J. A.
Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities) Lumley, L. R. Turton, Sir Edmund Russborough
Craig, Sir Ernest (Chester, Crewe) MacAndrew, Major Charles Glen Ward, Lt. Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend) MacIntyre, Ian Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)
Dalkeith, Earl of McLean, Major A. Wayland, Sir William A.
Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester) MacRobert, Alexander M. Wells, S. R.
Davies, Dr. Vernon Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)
Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.) Margesson, Captain D. Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)
Edmondson, Major A. J. Marriott, Sir J. A. R. Womersley, W. J.
Edwards, J. Hugh (Accrington) Mason, Colonel Glyn K. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Elliot, Major Walter E. Merriman, Sir F. Boyd Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)
Ellis, R. G. Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark) Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.) Mitchell, W. Foot (Saffron Walden) Wright, Brig-General W. D.
Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr) Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Fairfax, Captain J. G. Morrison, H. (Wilts, Salisbury) Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (Norwich)
Falle, Sir Bertram G. Murchison, Sir Kenneth
Fanshawe, Captain G. D. Nall, Colonel Sir Joseph TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Fielden, E. B. Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter) Captain Wallace and Sir Victor Warrender.
Ford, Sir P. J. Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)
Forrest, W. Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock) Grundy, T. W. Saklatvala, Shapurji
Baker, J. (Wolverhampton, Bilston) Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland) Scrymgeour, E.
Barnes, A. Hardie, George D. Shield, G. W.
Barr, J. Mayday, Arthur Shiels, Dr. Drummond
Batty, Joseph Henderson, T. (Glasgow) Shinwell, E.
Beckett, John (Gateshead) Hirst, G. H. Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Bellamy, A. Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield) Sitch, Charles H.
Benn, Wedgwood Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R. Slesser, Sir Henry H.
Bennett, William (Battersea, South) John, William (Rhondda, West) Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Bondfield, Margaret Johnston, Thomas (Dundee) Snell, Harry
Broad, F. A. Kelly, W. T. Stamford, T. W.
Bromfield, William Kennedy, T. Stephen, Campbell
Bromley, J. Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M. Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Kirkwood, D. Sutton, J. E.
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute) Lawrence, Susan Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Buchanan, G. Lowth, T. Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel Lunn, William Thurtle, Ernest
Cape, Thomas MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon) Tinker, John Joseph
Clarke, A. B. Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan) Tomlinson, R. P.
Cluse, W. S. MacNeill-Weir, L. Townend, A. E.
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock) Maxton, James Viant, S. P.
Compton, Joseph Mitchell, E. Rosslyn (Paisley) Wallhead, Richard C.
Cove, W. G. Montague, Frederick Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Crawfurd, H. E. Morris, R. H. Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Dalton, Hugh Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Wellock, Wilfred
Day, Harry Naylor, T. E. Westwood, J.
Dennison, R. Oliver, George Harold Wheatley, Rt. Hon. J.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty) Owen, Major G. Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Garro-Jones, Captain G. M. Ponsonby, Arthur Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Gillett, George M. Potts, John S. Windsor, Walter
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne) Purcell, A. A. Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan) Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Griffith, F. Kingsley Riley, Ben TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Ritson, J. Mr. Hayes and Mr. Whiteley.
Groves, T. Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter