§ Order for Consideration, as amended, read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill, as amended, be now considered."
§ Mr. McKINLAY
I beg to move, to leave out the word "now," and, at the end of the Question, to add the words, "upon this day three months."
Many hon. Members will wonder what connection a Glasgow Member has with a Torquay Traction Bill, but many of us have made it our deliberate purpose, since we were returned to this House, to watch Bills of this nature by reason of the fact that private and municipal Bills have been passed through this House in previous Parliaments to the detriment of the local ratepayers. We have been asked to oppose this Bill, not only on behalf of the 4,000 people who have petitioned against it, but on behalf of the organised labour forces in the Torquay Division. Some of my hon. Friends say that it serves Torquay right, because this Bill is not their only liability in the 123 House at this moment, but that is an argument which only Torquay people thmselves can settle.
I would like to suggest that this Bill, introduced as a late Bill in March, has been hurried through its stages under the guise of a certified Bill. So far as that is concerned, it leaves some of us absolutely stone cold. We are gratified at the philanthropic outlook of the Torquay Tramway Company. We believe it is their desire to confer a boon on those who reside in Torquay and the surrounding district; we also believe that the present Torquay tramway system is obsolete, and that to make it an economic proposition additional capital expenditure is absolutely necessary, but we deny the right of the corporation to give its assent to abrogate the terms of a previous Act of Parliament, whereby the people of Torquay have the option to purchase this undertaking in 1935, without at least consulting the people of Torquay.
There is one other reason for opposing the Bill, and that is that it confers on the Torquay Tramway Company the right to have a minimum fare of 1½d., and there is no provision made for facilities for working men; there are no workmen's tickets. When they suggest to us that the reason for introducing this Bill is, first, to provide employment for local people and, secondly, to confer on the people of Torquay a more up-to-date system than they have at the moment, we view such a claim with suspicion. I do not wish to take up the time of the House, but it is our intention to force this question to a Division.
§ Mr. GEORGE OLIVER
I beg to second the Amendment.
I do so, because I am interested in the principle laid down in this Bill. As in the case of my right hon. Friend who preceded me, it might be inquired why a Member from the Midlands is interested in a Bill promoted in Torquay, but I take it that Members in any part of the country have a right to be interested in private Bills in which monopoly powers are being conceded. This is not only a matter in which Members on this side are concerned, because I am glad to say that in the borough of Torquay there is a large number of other people, who do 124 not share our political views, who are equally concerned. I have received a letter from a very well known citizen of Torquay asking me to oppose this Bill, and he does not share my political faith. I ask on what grounds the ratepayers of Torquay desire this Bill to be opposed, and I find that there are very good reasons why the Tramway Company of Torquay and the present Town Council of Torquay should be particularly interested to introduce this Bill as a late Bill and get it through this House at the earliest possible moment.
I understand that it will cost roughly £250,000 for the borough of Torquay to purchase the existing tramway system, and if they were to do that, it would be necessary to set aside something like 5 per cent. interest on capital and 4 per cent. interest on sinking fund, and in 20 years' time it would become the property of the Corporation. I understand too that that would entail an annual charge of something like £22,500, but when we come to look at the balance-sheet of this company, we find that the balance-sheet of 1928 shows that after they have paid £10,907 for upkeep, there is a gross profit of something like £29,000. Therefore, it is well understood that with a profit of £29,000 and an annual charge of £22,500 to the Corporation, a very handsome profit will be made and a substantial sum placed to reserve.
The citizens of Torquay are quite seized of this information and are very much disturbed that we should contemplate taking away the power which will be theirs in 1935 to convert this private company into an asset of the Corporation. That is the reason that the ratepayers of that borough have promoted a petition asking us to oppose this financial ramp, as it has been characterised, and I ask my hon. Friends not to hesitate for one moment to reject this Bill, on the ground that it merely seeks to promote the principles of private monopoly, a monopoly which is created by the people themselves and the visitors to Torquay, and yet the whole of the value and the financial proceeds are to go into the pockets of a private company. I understand that in the last few years they have paid 10 per cent. We do not object to their paying 10 per cent., but we want to see that 125 interest coming into the corporation's own coffers and not going into the pockets of private shareholders.
The people of Torquay want to know why the company and the present town council do not leave this matter to the people who will be in power in the local council chamber in 1935 to determine whether they should or should not exercise the option conferred upon them by this House in an earlier Act. Why this undue haste? There is no necessity for it, and if the people themselves do not know, I am sure that this House is not very competent to judge of that matter. If this Bill passes, it will mean that the Torquay Corporation will not be able to exercise its option till 1951, and, therefore, I ask not only my hon. Friends on this side but hon. Members opposite as well to say that this is a matter for the ratepayers of Torquay. If it is so urgent a matter, in view of the controversy which has been created in that borough, surely it was competent for the corporation, like other corporations, to submit the matter to a plebiscite of the town. They have not done that. They have merely forced the matter before this House in the hope that it would get through without criticism or with very little criticism.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
As a Devonshire Member, with no interest whatsoever financially in this company—although, from what the last speaker said, I wish I had—I must ask the House to agree to pass this Bill. I have no knowledge of the merits of the case, except that I know that Torquay is a very beautiful town, but as to the merits of the tramway company or the question of purchase, I know nothing. I am going to speak on this question because I am a believer in self-government and that the Torquay Town Council know their own business. [Interruption.] If the hon. Member opposite thinks he knows better than the Torquay Town Council, I should think he is mistaken. The Torquay Town Council is elected by intelligent ratepayers, one presumes. After all, we Devonshire men have a fair share of common sense, and the Torquay Town Council have passed the resolution to promote this Bill by 24 votes to four. Surely they understand their own business, and I appeal to hon. Members opposite: Can 126 they go down to a town council and say, "You do not understand your business"? I know nothing of the merits of the case, I frankly confess.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
I have the figures here. I have read the case, but I have no personal knowledge of it. In regard to the shareholders, I understand there is one gentleman who holds 850 shares, and that he took no part in the negotiations with the company, nor did he vote at any meeting of the council when matters affecting the company were considered; and there are three other members who hold debentures. I want my hon. Friends to understand that we in Devonshire do not allow our private interests to interfere with our public duty. [Laughter.] That may excite mirth on the other side, but I can assure hon. Members that some of us do put our public duty before our private interests. The hon. Member for Ilkeston (Mr. G. Oliver) asked why the corporation did not submit this to a plebiscite of the ratepayers, but that brings us to the old device of the referendum. I submit to reasonable men on the other side of the House that the town council know their own job; if they do not, we cannot teach them. This Bill went before the House of Lords, and a House of Lords Committee passed it in all its stages.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
I am just giving a little information about the procedure. I do not approve of the House of Lords as a legislative assembly, but my hon. Friend will find, if he inquires, that the Private Bill Committees of the House of Lords are very good indeed. I have heard it over and over again from experienced Parliamentary counsel that the Private Bill Committees of the House of Lords are equal to those of the House of Commons. The House of Lords spent three days on this Bill, and passed it. The ratepayers who oppose the Bill went before the House of Lords Committee and put their case forward, but the Committee decided against them. Then it comes before this House, and the petitioners, I understand, prayed not to be 127 heard and did not ask for a Select Committee, but asked that the Bill should be thrown out on Third Reading. This Bill has been promoted by the Torquay Town Council, and they know their town, and if the House of Commons throws out such Bills as this on Third Reading, it will put an end to all municipal enterprise.
§ Mr. LAMBERT
Company enterprise, if you like. Hon. Members opposite and I may differ about Socialism, but their Socialism is a long way off, and they will realise that, if private enterprise is to be abolished, it will take a long time, and in the meantime Torquay people will not have their trolley tramways. A citizens league has been formed to oppose this Bill, but they had their opportunity at the last municipal election. I am speaking purely as a man who knows nothing of the merits of the case, and as one who believes that the Torquay Town Council are the best judges. I have no other title to speak than that.
The alteration proposed will cost £132,000, and £70,000 will be spent in labour. Some hon. Gentlemen opposite, pursuing their Socialism, say, "We will not spend it." If it were not spent, it would mean holding up a necessary improvement, and I hope that hon. Members will not do it. I therefore ask the House to pass the Third Reading of this Bill: first, because it has been approved by the town council of Torquay; second, because it has been approved by a Select Committee of the House of Lords; and third, because it appears before this House as an unopposed Bill. If these are not reasons enough for the House to pass the Third Reading, I do not know what reasons will weigh with Members. I ask hon. Members not to turn down these proposals because of their political prejudices. I have political prejudices, but I do not allow them to come into this matter at all. If this is to be rejected, no improvement will be effected, and I appeal to hon. Members in fair play to give the Bill a Third Reading.
§ Mr. EDE
I have an interest in this matter as one who has enjoyed a great many pleasant days in Torquay, and who has a brother-in-law living there, the 128 worst thing I can say about him being that he votes for the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams). Therefore, it can be assumed that, when we get down to the political issue, he is not likely to side with the party on this side of the House. He writes me a letter because he feels so strongly on the matter, and, as showing the views of a Conservative tradesman in the district, it ought to be made known to the House. He says:The general feeling runs high against this Bill, and personally I cannot under stand why the present council or, shall I say a select few, are so opposed to the interests of the ratepayers as to concede such power as is proposed to a company. It was greatly against public opinion that the tramway company was first permitted to run trams, the earlier ones being on the old Doulter or Live-Stud principle, which was condemned by the Board of Trade somewhere about 1907. The option of the ratepayers to purchase the company in 1935 under the terms of the contract would without the slightest doubt be exercised"—that is, if the ratepayers had theirway; I am not talking of the town council—and I cannot see why the ratepayers at that date can possibly be deprived of their rights under a contract made practically 30 years previously, the essential terms of which were that the right of the company to run trams was given in exchange for the option of the ratepayers to purchase at a given date. Surely the privity of contract is still a great point in British law. For your further guidance I enclose a cutting from to-day's issue of the Torquay 'Times.' and also the statement.I do not know whether the Torquay "Times" supports the hon. Member for Torquay on ordinary occasions, because there is nothing in the cutting to indicate its political opinions, but it heads its article—Bitter Opposition to the Traction Bill. Determined attack promised on Third Reading. Tuesday's terrible fiasco. Where does Mr. Charles Williams stand?From the temper of the article, there is no doubt that there is a considerable body of responsible opinion in the borough opposed to this Bill, which in some way or other did not have to receive the sanction of the ratepayers at a meeting and poll held under the Borough Funds Act. In consequence, the ratepayers as a body have had no opportunity of expressing their opinion. I have taken some trouble to ascertain that these views represent that of a substantial body of ordinary moderate opinion in the borough, 129 and in face of this attitude, it is highly desirable that this House should not take from the ratepayers of Torquay the option of using their right to purchase this company in 1935, when the present tenure of the company will expire.
§ Mr. CHARLES WILLIAMS
I do not resent hon. Members on the other side opposing the Bill. We always welcome visitors to Torquay in whatever capacity, and we generally, after a short time, turn them into sane Conservatives. We do not resent their interference or interest in this matter. I have heard a considerable amount of the discussion on this matter in different ways, and have read more, but I have taken no part in the controversy, and have no direct or indirect interest in it. My point of view however, must be influenced by the fact that it is essential that on occasions such as this the local corporation can appeal to the local Member to put their case before the House of Commons. That is the only fair way in which the Member can look at it. Several points have been raised about the Bill, one of which interested me deeply; I was not entirely satisfied that the position of workmen's fares was safeguarded. I have looked up the Tramways Act of 1904, and I find in Section 34 (2) that if complaint is raised, the Board of Trade have to deal with the matter. Three other points against the Bill have roused a considerable amount of criticism. There is the question of the option to purchase in 1935, which I will deal with; there is the question of the lease being too long, with which I will also deal; and there is the question whether the town council have adequately considered the feeling of the town as a whole.
Another question is, is there any definite need for the Bill? I do not think that hon. Members opposite would maintain that the tramways are an up to date system, but in the narrow streets of Torquay, and particularly on the road from Torquay to Paignton, it is essential to abolish the tram lines and everything in connection with them at the earliest possible moment. It is not a question as between motor omnibuses and trolley omnibuses; it is a question of the Bill as we have it. There has been a colossal growth in Torquay in the last few years. Over 2,000 houses have been built there, and a large number at Paignton 130 as well. With this colossal growth, is the House of Commons going to say that the town may not improve and modernise its traction? That is the first point which the House of Commons will have to answer quite clearly.
The second point I want to put before the House is whether the town wishes to buy or whether it does not. They had the option to buy in 1921 and again in 1928, and as far as I know there was no movement among the ratepayers on either occasion in favour of buying. An hon. Member opposite said, "Look at the profits of the company." There are people looking at the profits to-day, but there are also a very large number of people who can remember when the company was not profitable, when it paid very, very little indeed; and taking both the long view and the short view, and having regard to the existing commitments of the town, I very much doubt whether, if there were a straight fight on the question of whether to buy or not to buy, there would be any practical support for buying, if the full figures were given. On the question of the actual voting, on the last occasion, on the council itself, there ware 24 in favour of this Bill and four against. That does not look as if there were any great movement for buying on the council itself. Outside, I admit there has been a great deal of talk on this subject.
I will now come to the option, which runs out in 1935. Under this Bill the company are being asked to scrap £196,000 worth of capital and to expend £130,000 of new capital; in other words, this affects the company to the tune of well over £300,000. Can anyone imagine a company expending all this money with only four years of its lease to run? It would not be practical. I do not see how one could expect them to have got any less terms than they save got, approximately 21 years. Is that so very wicked? It is not. It is a perfectly ordinary case. I have here a list of towns which have extended the terms. The terms of the Nottingham and Derbyshire tramways has been extended to 1958. With the exception of one town, Gosport, 1951 is the shorter date; indeed, that is rather below the normal period. The towns I refer to are not all Conservative towns, or anything like it.
The next point advanced has been that in 1935 the town might have got the 131 undertaking at a very advantageous rate, but it has been forgotten that the original Act lays down that when the town buys these tramways it, has to buy them at a fair value as a going concern. After what has happened, as far as I can see they could not be bought for less than about, £250,000. If, after all the figures which have been given, anyone still objects to the year 1951, I would refer him to the Act of 1904, under which a very much longer period was given. I had the date a moment ago, but I think, speaking from memory, 42 years was the period of the option then given them. I am not sure that that period of 42 years bas not got considerably mixed up in the minds of some people, and that when they realise that under this Bill the company are to get only 21 years instead of 42 a different view may be taken of the situation.
That is the position as far as the Town Council are conerned. I have tried to put the view of the local authority, which by an enormous majority voted in favour of this change. It is no good putting off this question. Something must be done to reorganise the traffic conditions in the town. The local authority, in their wisdom, have decided on this method. I am not saying for one moment that there may not be better ways, but this is the way on which they have decided, and are we in the House of Commons to turn down the local authority, who have come to a decision after much thought and after having twice refused to exercise the option which was given to them? They have gone into this matter with great care on many occasions.
There is another point which must be put, especially as I see the Minister of Transport is here. He will know that there is nothing unusual in the character of this Bill. Similar proposals have been put forward by other towns In their details these proposals must secure the approval of the Ministry of Transport. That fact in itself ought to be regarded as a certificate for the Bill, showing that it is necessary. It shows that the Minister has gone into the matter properly and efficiently—I would not dream of accusing him of not having looked thoroughly into the question.
§ The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Mr. Herbert Morrison)
It had better be made 132 clear at once that I have expressed no opinion as to the fundamental question of public policy.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I am very sorry if I was misrepresenting the Minister. As Minister he has to approve the details of the Bill, but not, the public policy. The public policy has nothing to do with him, but the details of the scheme, from a transport point of view, have to come before him, and I have yet to learn that his office has not given support to the Bill in its details. Another point is that this is a Bill which has been certified by the late Minister of Employment, the present Secretary of State for the Dominions, as a Bill which will provide employment and help industry, and that certificate shows that the Measure must have had the close consideration of the Government. The Bill comes forward under a new Order which we passed last November, which assists local authorities and Government Departments in facilitating the progress of any scheme which will provide employment. This Bill has been certified under that procedure, and purely from the point of view of providing employment I ask hon. Members opposite to hesitate before turning it down. It is a Measure which most give a large amount of employment not only in the locality but up country as well. If this Bill is turned down, one cannot possibly say what the effect may be on other local authorities, because they are watching to see what the House does in this case. Where a local authority is doing something to assist employment we ought to be very slow to discourage their enterprise. Therefore, I appeal to the House to weigh very carefully the action of the local authority. They have thought out this matter and have acted to the best of their ability, and it would not be wise for the House of Commons to turn down their action when they have been trying to assist in solving the unemployment problem.
§ Mr. McENTEE
I think the hon. Member who has just sat dawn is, like myself, an occasional visitor to Torquay, but probably he has a more intimate knowledge of the town than I have; certainly he is more intimate with the members of the Corporation than I am. But I know the town and I appreciate the need for improvement, only I disagree entirely with the bargain which we 133 are asked to approve. The hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams) said a capital expenditure of approximately £300,000 was involved.
§ Mr. C. WILLIAMS
No. I am sorry if I did not make myself plain, but I said the Council were cutting out £196,000 and there would be new capital expenditure of £120,000. The total effect on the company will be well over £300,000.
§ Mr. McENTEE
I accept that statement, but the point I wish to make is that those figures do not represent the truth, because if this Bill goes through there will presumably be a very considerable grant of public money which will enable the construction of this road to be undertaken at very much less cost than has been suggested.
§ Mr. McENTEE
Some of the roads are first-class roads, and as such they will presumably get a grant from the county council. That is public money. It may be also that they will get a grant from His Majesty's Treasury, which again is public money. At any rate, I presume they will get the county council grant, and that will reduce considerably the sum which has been mentioned. Another point is that as a tramway undertaking the company are responsible for the maintenance of roads over which their lines run. I have read the Bill and I do not see that any compensation is to be paid to the Corporation for the relief from road maintenance which this company will secure if this Bill goes through. I know something about tramways, and I estimate that there may be an additional charge on the ratepayers of from £6,000 to £8,000 a year during the period from now to 1935. If this Bill goes through, the company will get larger fares than those which are at present fixed by Act of Parliament as the minimum.
§ Sir DENNIS HERBERT
Is it not the case that the company are not liable for the upkeep of the roads, but only that there is a liability such as usually attaches to a tramway company which has to keep in repair a certain portion of the road on each side of the rails?
§ Mr. McENTEE
The part of the road for which a tramway company is responsible 134 is the tramway track plus 18 inches on either side, and that generally means about two-thirds of the road.
§ Mr. McENTEE
Yes, it is a very considerable charge and one which might have cost the local council from £6,000 to £8,000 a year, so that for the next five years the company is relieved of that cost of maintenance, and no compensation is to be given to the people of Torquay. The sum involved is nearly £40,000, and under the minimum charges the company will be able to increase fares by about 10 per cent., and no compensation is to be given to the people of Torquay for the increased fares. The best of the bargain appears to be on the side of the company, and the public of Torquay are entirely ignored.
I am not going to ask the House to consider the reasons which induced Torquay to enter into a bargain of that sort. My experience is that there are other things which often enter into bargains of that kind besides the public wellbeing, and I am suspicious that there may be something beside the public welfare in this proposal. I am forced to that view by my own experience, and the lack of compensation to the public of Torquay in the Bill as it stands. The new system will mean the development of new roads, and I presume the whole soheme will be new as compared with the worn-out system which exists to-day. The hon. Member for Torquay talks about there being a loss of £300,000 to the county. My opinion is that the new system and the new rates of fares will be worth a good deal more than a liability of £300,000.
§ Mr. C. WILLIAMS
The company have to pay for the new system and they have to pay for the upkeep of the roads. They have to meet all those charges whether they are worth more or not.
§ Mr. McENTEE
The company will have increased fares, and in addition to that they will have a complete monopoly of the whole of the passenger traffic for a number of years. They will also have many things for which no compensation is to be given to the town. The hon. Member for Torquay said that it would be a terrible thing if the House of Commons 135 turned down this Bill. I hope the Bill will be turned down, and that at the next election the ratepayers will be able to bargain with the company on a more equal basis than has yet taken place. The turning down of this Measure will mean postponing the Bill for another 12 months, and for these reasons I hope the House will reject the Bill, and give the ratepayers of Torquay an opportunity of coming together in order to obtain more consideration for the people of Torquay.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
I came to the House to-night without having made up my mind as to which way I should vote in regard to this Bill, although I have had some considerable knowledge of the working of the tramways in Torquay. I think I have had as much experience of them as any Member of the House. I took some part in the original fight over the tramway system of Torquay in 1924, which resulted in favour of the running of the trams by the corporation and not by a company. On one occasion the original proposal was turned down by the Ratepayers League, after holding meetings in the old Public Hall and the Salvation Army Barracks. Twenty-six years after that the ratepayers of Torquay, at a public meeting, decided to reverse their previous decision. Nevertheless, like other hon. Members of this House, I must give due weight to the expressed view of any publicly elected body, although we may not go quite the same way as the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams). There are good grounds for talking about the never ending audacity of elected persons, whether they are in this House or members of corporations, and they are not always the repositories of all the wisdom in connection with any particular problem.
I want to hear the case put forward by the corporation, and unless they can put forward better arguments in favour of the Bill, I shall be bound to go into the Lobby against it. The hon. Member for Torquay was rather specious in his pleadings, and he stated that the corporation had not exercised its option of purchase. The people do not desire that. The situation is entirely different at the present moment. It is one thing to ask, in the absence of any positive 136 proposal, to raise an agitation, and it is quite another thing to be faced suddenly, as in this case, with a definite proposal in regard to which you have to make up your mind at once for or against. That is what we are asked to do to-day.
I have probably received more personal letters on this Bill from people in Torquay than any other Member of the House, with the exception of the hon. and gallant Member for Torquay. Considering all sides of this question there is no doubt whatever that a great change of this kind ought not to take place until there has been full discussion. This question was not discussed at great length at the last election, or at any rate if it was discussed, the local papers were singularly remiss in reporting the proceedings. I feel quite sure that a change of this kind should not be made without full discussion, and unless there are overwhelming arguments put forward in favour of the Bill, I am inclined to give the people of Torquay a chance of recording their votes on this question next November.
I am by no means sure, knowing Torquay so well as I do, that the trolley tramway is the right solution of the difficulty. One of the main difficulties is that of Union Street. If I remember rightly the present tramway in that street is 7½ feet across. I understand that the new trolley tramway is to be 9 feet in width. I remember certain measurements being taken in that street, and there are points where it is only 22 feet across. I want the House to consider the position of two trolley tramways 9 feet across, that is 18 feet wide, being constructed in Union Street, Torquay, especially at that very difficult corner which we know as Market Street, where even now, with the track in the middle of the road, there is very great difficulty in conducting traffic satisfactorily. I am by no means sure that the trolley tram is the satisfactory solution, and unless I hear, before the debate ends, much more convincing arguments than I have heard already, I shall be bound to say that the case has not been proven for the corporation, and to ask that more light should be thrown upon it.
With regard to the company, the hon. Member for Torquay really need not be 137 too tender. I am not againt private enterprise; I am not against the company; but the history of the company shows that it knows a good thing, and so do the ratepayers of Torquay, in the case of a monopoly of this kind. If it is such a good thing, they should be allowed to say whether they would care to exercise their option or not. I think that one point has been overlooked as regards the capital that the company is proposing to sink in this undertaking. It began with a surface contact system. It scrapped that, and, as far as I know, the apparatus for that original system is still under the roads; I never heard of its having been shifted. In that they sank something like £100,000 worth of equipment, but, even then, they were able to pay their way, and last year they paid a dividend of 9½ per cent. The interests of the company, therefore, need not over-burden the minds of hon. Members in this debate.
The issues, as I see them, are two. In the first place, ought the ratepayers to have a chance to have this matter properly discussed when their elected representatives come to face them, and to put the arguments for and against? Secondly, if there is to be a change, ought it to be to a trolley system, or ought some other form of traction to serve the citizens of Torquay; and, in that case, ought this private company once more to have a monopoly of the traffic conditions of Torquay, or ought the people themselves to take over the undertaking? As far as this debate is concerned, no arguments have yet been put forward sufficient to give to me, a native of Torquay, what I should like to have, namely, the confidence to vote for the Corporation's resolution, and, therefore, unless something much more powerful is said, I shall vote against the Third reading of the Bill.
§ Mr. McKINLAY
rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER with-held his assent, and declined then to put that Question.
§ Mr. MELLER
I think the House is really entitled to hear a great deal more in support of the Amendment than we have heard this evening. The Amendment was introduced in a very short statement, in which the Mover said in 138 the first place that he objected to the Bill on principle—he objected to monopolies—and, secondly, that he had a suspicion. If statements like that are going to be made, it is well that there should at least be some further explanation of what they mean. Let me examine for a moment the question of monopolies. One would have imagined that this was an entirely new company, entering into a bargain with the corporation in a town which had never had any mode of transport before; but, in fact, the company which has Lorne forward with this Bill has been in existence in the district for some 26 years, and to-day it seeks for some alteration in the position—for the introduction of a trolley system—not of its own volition, but because it has been approached by the corporation itself.
I am not in the fortunate—or, perhaps, unfortunate—position of having received letters from individual ratepayers of Torquay; nor have I any relatives there who have confided to me their views on this matter; nor have I had the opportunities of gaining such knowledge as is possessed by the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown), who has lived in Torquay and knows the earlier discussions on this subject; nor have I that deep knowledge which, I agree, has been put forward in a very pleasant, clear and reasonable way by the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams). I am endeavouring to view this Bill as an ordinary citizen, who has taken some part in local government work, and I ask myself whether, after a Bill has been considered in Committee, after the objectors to the Bill have had their opportunity of coming forward and giving their evidence and being examined upon it, this House is to say that the Bill is not a proper one to receive its Third Reading?
What is the position? May I deal with one or two of the points which have been raised, and particularly one raised by the hon. Member for Leith? He felt some diffidence in considering the trolley system, because he understood that the trolley trams were to be nine feet wide. I have ascertained that the width is 7 feet 3 inches, and, that being so, perhaps his feelings on that subject will be allayed. Another question is that of fares. As a matter of fact, this Bill provides that the fares will be lower. Penny stages have been provided for, 139 and the minimum fare is to be 1½d. as against 2d. under previous conditions, while workmen's fares, I understand, are to be ½d. per mile; and the opportunities provided for the ratepayers to examine the matter have been very carefully watched and guarded in their favour.
What was the opposition to this Bill? As I understand it, some strong opposition has been worked up by some newspapers. We can get great oppositions worked up by small and by great organs, and sometimes, when an attack is made, even by a great organ, it does not take very much to pierce its bubble. The hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) said that there had been great headlines in the local papers, but no doubt he has seen from his newspapers to-day that there was a case at the Surrey Assizes on Saturday last when an action for libel was brought because of the great headlines in a newspaper. The Court dismissed it. We are not going to be frightened by headlines, but are looking at the real substance—
§ Mr. MELLER
I am on the question of headlines. The question that we have to consider is this: We find that, with an electorate of some 30,000 people, after all this energy on the part of some of the objectors to the Bill, only some 4,000 people signed the petition, and 26,000 have not signed it. Against that you have to put the votes of the councillors themselves, not on one occasion, not just a snap vote, but on three separate occasions, with good intervals between—
§ Mr. MELLER
I have had before me an analysis of the 4,000 who voted, and, in the case of a good many, it was doubtful whether they could have signed either as ordinary electors or as local government electors; but, on the figures themselves, there were 26,000 who did not vote against the proposal. It is said that an elected council should have some regard for the views of the inhabitants. What has this council done? The proposal has been submitted to it, and it has been discussed on three occasions. The voting on the 140 first occasion was 24 to nil, on the second 24 to three, and, on the third, 24 to four. Is there in that voting, after all the discussions, after all the newspaper reports, and after all the agitation of which we have heard, anything to justify the council in saying that the question was so undecided, that there seemed to be so much doubt in people's minds, that they really ought to take the views of the electors? The corporation and this House have acted very wisely in taking the views of the people as best they could. Is it suggested that, on every question on which there may be some newspaper discussion, the council ought at once to obtain a plebiscite of the people? Those of us who have had some experience of local government work know that very many important matters are considered and decided by councils, and that there are very few occasions when they think the matter is so urgent that they ought to go to the electors and place the issue before them.
In my view, the proposal which has been put forward here is very reasonable. First of all, the old scheme is admittedly a somewhat outworn mode of transport. The corporation said, "You ought to improve this. What are you prepared to do?" The company thereupon invited the council to view other systems. Some of the councillors had suggested omnibuses and, when they viewed the other systems, they came unanimously to the conclusion that the trolley system was the one. The details of the proposal were fully discussed by the council. The tramway company said, "These are our proposals. You have had an opportunity in the years gone by of taking over this scheme but you have not elected to do so." The council were not inclined to increase the rates in order to take up some problematic scheme. It is all very well to say this private enterprise has been successful but it does not follow because a scheme is taken over by a local authority, that it is going to show anything like the same profit. The people of Torquay are wise in their generation in saying, "Let these people, who have maintained the service and are prepared to bring it up to date, and who must listen if we ask for further improvement as science advances, have the scheme."
141 I have heard no argument against the Third Reading of the Bill. I hope, whatever prejudice hon. Members opposite may have against it, and whatever feelings they may have with regard to omnibuses, they will say, "Here is a Bill which has been subjected to every Criticism. Here is an opportunity of providing the men of Torquay with a considerable amount of work. Here is an opportunity of responding to the claim made by the late Lord Privy Seal to help local authorities to put works into operation." I beg those who have objections to the Bill to cast their prejudices aside and let it have its Third Reading.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
I am as far from being interested in Torquay as anyone who loves the beautiful parts of the country can be. I have no particular interest in that part of the country, but there are two points of view that occur to me that ought to be considered by the many Members there must be who are in the same position as myself in making up our minds what we are going to do. One thing that strikes me very much is that this appears as a certified Bill, and I think a very strong case ought to be put, up against it before we throw it out. With the exception of the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. E. Brown), the opposition to the Bill appears to have come entirely from the party who were so anxious, and I believe responsible, for the introduction of a Bill only to-day to overcome obstacles put in the way of Bills of this sort which were certified as likely to increase employment. That is certainly a very strong case, and think we ought to have some guidance as to the importance of the Bill as a certified Measure from the Government.
The other point of view that I want to put before Members in a similar position to myself is: What is the proper course for the House, as a House, to take with a Bill of this kind at this stage? Arguments have been adduced against it on matters of detail, one with regard to the liability of the company for the upkeep of roads, and there were other questions in regard to repairs. It was obvious, from the way the hon. Member dealt with the liability for the upkeep of roads and the replies he gave to my intervention, that that is one of the very points on which the House is likely to be misled unless the thing is thrashed 142 out very carefully indeed. Those are points which ought to be thrashed out, as they are in our practice, before a Private Bill Committee. I do not say that no one has a right to move to reject a Bill, but it is the duty of Members as a whole to support a Bill of this kind when it has been through the Private Bill Committee procedure unless there are some far greater objections to it than those which I have described as objections which ought to be properly fought out before a Committee. As I understand it, this matter was thrashed out most carefully before a Committee of the House of Lords, and there the opponents of the Bill failed. When it came before this House, perhaps knowing the valuable support they might get on the Floor of this House, they refrained from asking to be heard on their petition, and relied apparently upon opposition—
§ Mr. McELWEE
On a point of Order. I think it is unfair to stigmatise people on the ground on which the hon. Gentleman is doing. The real explanation is that they could not—
§ Sir D. HERBERT
Is this a point of Order or an interruption? I should not be asked to give way unless there is good reason for doing so.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Mr. Dunnico)
The point was not a point of Order, but the hon. Gentleman himself gave way.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
May I remind you, Sir, what the hon. Member opposite said. He said that he was rising on a point of Order, and my hon. Friend had to give way.
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that if a Member rises to a point of Order, I must listen to it and then decide if it is a point of Order.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
I should be the last not to give way to a Member who desired to interupt me if I had made a misstatement, or if he wanted an explanation, but I object on principle to this method of interrupting speeches under the guise of a point of Order. In those circumstances, I do not desire to be interrupted in my argument. When these matters have been thrashed out before a Committee of one House and the opponents have not claimed to be heard, but apparently endeavour to rely for their 143 success upon opposition on the Floor of this House, hon. Members of this House ought not to be persuaded to oppose the Bill by arguments which would more properly be put before a Committee. Unless they have a question of great political principle which is far beyond the type of question with which the Committee ought to deal, I say, as one who does not propose to go into the details of the rights and wrongs of this case, that it is my duty, and the duty of other hon. Members of the House in a similar position, to consider that all these Committee points have been properly dealt with by one of the most efficient tribunals of the kind existing anywhere. The Private Bill Committees of both Houses have the highest possible reputation for such work. It is our duty to support a Bill of this kind unless and until some great political principle has been put forward against it, which I do not regard as having been done in this case. Therefore, I desire at the moment to support the decision of the Committee before whom the opponents of the Bill were heard, and, consequently, to support the Bill.
Having come to that conclusion, I ask that we should have a word from someone on the Government Front Bench as to the position in which this Bill stands as a certified Bill. I do not for a moment suggest that, because this is a certified Bill, therefore the Government are committed as a whole to support it, but I think that where this new procedure of certifying a Bill has been urgently asked for by the present Government and given to them willingly by the whole House, when that particular method of procedure is put into action, if a Bill thus certified is opposed, as apparently this one is by a very large number of their own supporters, they should at least give the House some guidance as to where they stand and what is the duty of those who may have no particular interest in this Bill one way or another. What is the duty of such hon. Members who are interested in the question of unemployment, and therefore interested in getting through as quickly as possible any Bills which are likely to assist in remedying unemployment, and what sort of weight ought we to give to that argument in this case?
§ Mr. HERBERT MORRISON
It is not, in my view, obligatory for a Minister of a Department which may be indirectly involved to take part in a debate on a private Bill, and certainly I do not conceive it to be my duty on all private Bills to give the House definite advice one way or another as to what its course of action should be. But I have been asked by the hon. Member for Watford (Sir D. Herbert) to indicate to the House what, in connection with this Bill, is the significance of the certification which was given to the Bill upon ills introduction by the Lord Privy Seal. I must make it absolutely clear to the House that certification of a private Bill in no way indicates the approval or disapproval by the Government of that private Bill. All that certification does, is to say that this is a Bill, which, if passed, would provide a certain amount of employment, and for that reason it should be put into the category of Bills which, from the point of view of procedure, should be put into a privileged position and get, through that certification more rapid consideration than a Bill which is not no certified. Even if, in the opinion of the Government, the Bill was positively and clearly an outrageous Bill from the point of view of policy, so long as it was a Bill which would provide employment it would be certified, as that would be the category which the Bill should occupy. It might, therefore, be possible on a given occasion for a Minister who certifies a Bill from that point of view, definitely to advise the House to reject it. All that the certification does is to intimate to the House that employment is to be provided, and that, therefore, the Bill, from the point of view of rapidity of procedure should have all the advantages which certification gives.
The House must not take it that certification by the Lord Privy Seal indicates the approval of the Government. Indeed, it would be wrong for the Government to put their seal of approval upon any private Bin, because that would interfere with the freedom of the Select Committee to deal with the Bill upon the evidence submitted to it. I hope that I have made that point clear, and to the satisfaction of the hon. Member and the House as a whole. We have listened to 145 the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams) in serious mood upon a serious subject to-night. I only hope that, in spite of the opinion held fairly freely of the activities of the hon. Member for Torquay in this House, Torquay will not suffer as a result of those activities. If they do they must hold the hon. Member responsible. At any rate, we are delighted to see him serious to-night, and I hope that it will not be the last time we shall see him serious in the House of Commons.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
On a point of Order. Is it in order on a private Bill for a member of the Government to make what is practically a reflection upon the hon. Member for Torquay?
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER
I did not understand there to be any reflection upon the hon. Member for Torquay.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE
Surely, if an hon. Member speaking from the Front Bench fixes upon the hon. Member for Torquay and says that the House should not be held responsible, if, owing to him and to certain behaviour, which the hon. Member has not indicated, the Bill is lost, that is a reflection?
§ Mr. HERBERT MORRISON
I am sure that even if the hon. and gallant Member for Lough (Lieut.-Colonel Heneage) has not a sense of humour, the hon. Member for Torquay has. This matter really resolves itself into one or two very simple points of public policy. The town council have adopted a certain policy. They had two opportunities to purchase tihe undertaking which they did not exercise. An opportunity will arise again in 1935, in advance of that date and in advance of the composition of the council at that time, they propose to commit themselves to a policy which will secure the conversion of the tramway undertaking to a trolley vehicle undertaking which they consider to be advantageous to the town, and, in those circumstances to forgo any rights of purchase until the year 1951. The House has to consider, in coming to a decision, whether the conversion of tramways to trolley vehicles in a town of the size of Torquay is an advantageous 146 thing. I do not know the particular circumstances of Torquay or the particular routes. On the whole, there is often much to be said in a town of a restricted size, other things being equal, for the elimination of the tramway, but that matter must be judged upon the particular circumstances of Torquay, and the House must weigh that fact in coming to a decision. If the House took the view that the tramways should be so converted, then it would have to consider, if the existing system remained until the date of purchase in 1935, whether the Corporation at that time would be likely to purchase the undertaking. Would public opinion be such that the Corporation would be encouraged to do so, and, if so, would it then undertake the responsibility of conversion?
In considering these matters, the point which hon. Members have raised as to whether or not this matter has been an issue at town council elections, is a perfectly legitimate issue to raise and to take into account. I am not one of those who is enthusiastic about polls of ratepayers, and I would advise my hon. Friends not to embrace the nefarious and reactionary doctrine of the referendum. If Torquay had a poll of the town as to whether this tramway should be publicly or privately owned, I think it would be a very nasty sort of fight, where all concerns and interests would be involved. I believe in representative Government. I have not been converted to the Conservative doctrine of the referendum, and I am not certain that they have been converted. If the town council is going to make a fundamental departure in policy it is a material and legitimate point to raise as to whether it was an issue at the last municipal election, and whether the ratepayers would wish the matter to be postponed until it had become an issue at a municipal election. Upon the question of policy, that is a perfectly fair point to raise and to consider.
In Committee I made a number of recommendations on points of detail, and I am bound to say that all those recommendations execept one were agreed to in Committee. I think those that were agreed to were agreed to with the concurrence of the company concerned. One point on which my view was not taken was the monopoly Clause, which protects the company from competition. The Parliamentary Committee in both Houses 147 in coming to their decision on this Bill, came to their conclusion against my view, as they had done on a series of municipal Bills this Session, in favour of the monopoly Clause. I took the view that with the Road Traffic Bill going through it was not proper to pass Clauses which would give monopolies either to companies or to municipalities. I suppose they did not know that the Road Traffic Bill would go through, and they wanted to be sure that in this Bill the monopoly should be given. If the Torquay Company scraps its existing capital of £200,000 and substitutes new capital expenditure of £132,000, it is an argument for protection against reckless competition by petrol omnibuses, which might endanger that capital. However, the Committee did not accept my view, and it did not accept my view in municipal cases as well as company cases.
That is all the information that I can usefully give to the House. The Bill is before the House as a matter of policy, and the House must estimate as to whether the town of Torquay is likely, within a reasonable time, to have a Corporation that will go in for a policy of public ownership. That may be so or it may not be so. The House must estimate how far this is a matter of real controversy within the town of Torquay, and whether the citizens are entitled to expect from the House, irrespective of the town council, a decision that before this Bill goes through the citizens should have an opportunity of expressing their views, not by polls of the ratepayers or silly things like that, which really mean little, but whether they are entitled to express their view during the course of a municipal election, which is quite in accordance with the principles of representative Government.
It is perhaps unfortunate that this Bill was allowed to go through the Second Reading without opposition. Either someone was not as awake as they ought to have been or there was some diversion of attention which ought never to have happened. If it had been my town this Bill would not have got a Second Reading so easily as it did. It went to the Unopposed Bill Committee upstairs, and therefore opposition at this stage is unusual. Nevertheless, hon. Members have before them now a clear-cut issue of public policy on which the House should 148 be ready to vote. So far as the Government are concerned we have no obligation in regard to this matter, nor do I exercise the right of advising the House one way or the other. So far as hon. Members are concerned on a Private Bill they must vote in accordance with their individual convictions.
§ Sir D. HERBERT
May I ask the Minister of Transport to say whether I have rightly understood the answer which he gave to the question which I put to him. May we regard this Bill entirely without being influenced by the fact that it is a certified Bill?
§ Mr. MORRISON
The point has been made in discussion that this is a Bill involving expenditure of £132,000 of new expenditure in conversion, and it is stated by the promoters of the Bill—I cannot answer for the figures—that £100,000, or 70 per cent. of that amount, will go in wages. That is a factor which the House must take into account in voting upon the Bill, and it is an important factor. What I want to make clear is that certification by the Government of a Bill only says that there is an employment factor in it. Therefore, if the Bill is to be passed it should be passed as quickly as possible, but certification must never be taken in any way to indicate approval by the Government of the policy contained in the Bill.
§ Mr. E. BROWN
Is it not a fact of practical policy that if this Bill does not pass, the company will have to do a great deal of work on its present equipment?
§ Sir B. PETO
Stricture has been passed upon some unnamed Members of this House that they were not wide enough awake on the Second Reading of this Bill. Is is not a fact that at that time we had appeals from the Lord Privy Seal to do nothing whatever to prevent the passing of these certified Bills? In those circumstances, it is very possible that a good many Bills went through without due consideration.
§ Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."150
§ The House divided: Ayes, 109; Noes, 222.151
|Division No. 415.]||AYES.||[9.3 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel.||Forgan, Dr. Robert||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Muirhead, A. J.|
|Albery, Irving James||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Oldfield, J. R.|
|Atkinson, C.||Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gill, T. H.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Owen, Major G. (Carnarvon)|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Granville, E.||Penny, Sir George|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Gray, Milner||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Birkett, W. Norman||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Blindell, James||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Ross, Major Ronald D.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Buchan, John||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Buckingham, Sir H.||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hore-Belisha, Lesile.||Somerset, Thomas|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Hurd, Percy A.||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Hutchison, Maj.-Cen. Sir R.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Cowan, D. M.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Jones, Rt. Hon. Lelf (Camborne)||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||King, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Knox, Sir Alfred||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Leiqhton, Major B. E. P.||Warrender, Sir Victor|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Watts-Morgan, Lt-Col. D. (Rhondda)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Long, Major Eric||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Elmley, Viscount||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|England, Colonel A.||Margesson, Captain H. D.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s. M.)||Marjoribanks, E. C.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Ferguson, Sir John||Meller, R. J.|
|Fielden, E. B.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Foot, Isaac||Mond, Hon. Henry||Captain Bourne and Mr. Charles|
|Ford, Sir P. J.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Williams.|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Cluse, W. S.||Hayes, John Henry|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Henderson, Right Hon. A. (Burnley)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Compton, Joseph||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)|
|Arnott, John||Cove, William G.||Henderson, Thomas (Glasgow)|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Daggar, George||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Dalton, Hugh||Herrlotts, J.|
|Ayles, Walter||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)|
|Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Blision)||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hoffman, P. C.|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Dickson, T.||Hollins, A.|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Dukes, C.||Hopkin, Daniel|
|Barr, James||Duncan, Charles||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)|
|Batey, Joseph||Ede, James Chuter||Hunter, Dr. Joseph|
|Beckett, John (Camberwell, Peckham)||Edmunds, J. E.||Isaacs, George|
|Bellamy, Albert||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Edwards, E. (Morpeth)||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.)||Egan, W. H.||Jowitt, Sir W. A. (Preston)|
|Benson, G.||Freeman, Peter||Kelly, W. T.|
|Bentham, Dr. Ethel||Gibson, H. M. (Lancs, Mossley)||Kennedy, Thomas|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Gillett, George M.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Bowen, J. W.||Glassey, A. E.||Kinley, J.|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Gossling, A. G.||Kirkwood, D.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Gould, F.||Lang, Gordon|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edln., Cent.)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Lathan, G.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Law, A. (Rosendale)|
|Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)||Lawrence, Susan|
|Buchanan, G.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Lawrie, Hugh Hartley (Stalybridge)|
|Burgess, F. G.||Groves, Thomas E.||Lawson, John James|
|Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)||Grundy, Thomas W.||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)|
|Caine, Derwent Hall-||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Leach, W.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)|
|Cape, Thomas||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Leo, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Lewis, T. (Southampton)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hardie, George D.||Lindley, Fred W.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Harris, Percy A.||Little, Dr. E. Graham|
|Church, Major A. G.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Clarke, J. S.||Haycock, A. W.||Longbottom, A. W.|
|Longden, F.||Phillips, Dr. Marion||Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)|
|Lowth, Thomas||Picton-Turbervill, Edith||Sorensen, R.|
|Lunn, William||Pole, Major D. G.||Stamford, Thomas W.|
|Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Potts, John S.||Stephen, Campbell|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Price, M. P.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson||Strachey, E. J. St. Loe|
|McElwee, A.||Rathbone, Eleanor||Strauss, G. R.|
|McEntee, V. L.||Raynes, W. R.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)|
|Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Richardson, R. (Honghton-le-Spring)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|McShane, John James||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Townend, A. E.|
|Mansfield, W.||Ritson, J.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|March, S.||Romeril, H. G.||Turner, B.|
|Marcus, M.||Rosbotham, D. S. T.||Vaughan, D. J.|
|Markham, S. F.||Rowson, Guy||Viant, S. P.|
|Marley, J.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Walkden, A. G.|
|Marshall, Fred||Sanders, W. S.||Walker, J.|
|Mathers, George||Sawyer, G. F.||Wallace, H. W.|
|Matters, L. W.||Scott, James||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Messer, Fred||Scrymgeour, E.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Middleton, G.||Scurr, John||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Mills, J. E.||Sexton, James||Welsh, James (Paisley)|
|Milner, Major J.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||West, F. R.|
|Montague, Frederick||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis||Westwood, Joseph|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Sherwood, G. H.||White, H. G.|
|Morley, Ralph||Shield, George William||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Morris, Rhys Hopkins||Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)||Shinwell, E.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Mort, D. L.||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Moses, J. J. H.||Simmons, C. J.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Murnin, Hugh||Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Naylor, T. E.||Sinkinson, George||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Palin, John Henry||Sitch, Charles H.||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Leughb'gh)|
|Paling, Wilfrid||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Wright, W. (Rutherglen)|
|Palmer, E. T.||Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)|
|Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Smith, Bennie (Penistone)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Perry, S. F.||Smith, Tom (Pontefract)||Mr. McKinlay and Mr. G. H. Oliver.|
|Pethick-Lawreace, F. W.||Snell, Harry|
Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.
§ Question put, "That the words 'upon this day three months' be there added."
§ The House proceeded to a Division.
§ Mr. MOKINLAY and Mr. G. OLIVER were nominated Tellers for the Ayes, but there being no if ember willing to act as Teller for the Noes, Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER declared that the Ayes had it.
§ Consideration, as amended, put off for three months.