§ Sir ARTHUR STEEL-MAITLAND
With your permission and approval, Mr. Chairman, it would perhaps be better for the general discussion to be taken on the second Amendment which appears on the Order Paper in the name of my right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the New Forest (Colonel Ashley). I do not, therefore, propose to move the Amendment standing in my name.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
I beg to move, in page 33, line 38, to leave out from the word "schemes," to the word "which" in line 39.
The Clause which we are now considering and upon which I understand that within reason a general discussion is to be allowed, is of very considerable importance. The words that I propose to leave out areexpedited on account of the existing conditions of employment.Last week we had a short discussion on the Financial Resolution on which this Clause is founded, and the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Transport made a full statement explaining the Financial Resolution, and my right hon. Friend the Member for South Croydon (Sir W. Mitchell-Thomson) gave a short answer to it. I must briefly refer to a statement which was made by the Minister of Transport, while the Financial Resolution was being discussed. He said what was not justified, namely, that the necessity for borrowing from the Treasury was owing to the action of my right hon. Friend the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), when he occupied the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer. Nothing could be further 248 from the truth than that imputation of the financial uprightness of my right hon. Friend. What are the facts? In 1926 the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, rightly or wrongly, induced this House to agree to his taking £7,000,000, then standing to the credit of the Road Fund, and to his taking away from the Road Fund what he called the luxury part of motor taxation. That is to say, he was allowed to deduct from the taxation which accrued from the use of private motor-cars and motor cycles, one-third, which was to go to the Treasury to be used for general purposes, and the remaining two-thirds, representing the wear and tear on the roads, was to remain in the Road Fund.
Naturally I personally was sorry that my right hon. Friend did so. It is understandable that anyone who has had the handling, subject to the Treasury, of a large sum of money and has been in charge of a Department responsible for road transport, should think that the money would be better spent on roads than on general services. Many motorists thought the same thing. What I want to make clear is that the then Opposition had exactly the same view, and that the present Chancellor of the Exchequer was so clearly of opinion that we were wrong, that he divided the Committee against the Government of the day and said that, not £7,000,000, but only £1,000,000, should be taken from the Fund. Next year my right hon. Friend the Member for Epping was placed in a very difficult position from the financial point of view. The General Strike of 1926 had taken place, with its terrible financial consequences to the community, and my right hon. Friend was obliged to take a further £12,000,000 from the Road Fund. To say that the taking of this £12,000,000—£3,000,000 more than the £9,000,000 which it is now proposed to borrow—was my right hon. Friend's fault is a travesty of the facts. The fault lies with right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite who supported the strike. We know that the right hon. Gentleman the present Prime Minister was present when the committee of the Trade union Congress decided on the strike, and supported it.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I must point out to the right hon. and gallant Gentleman that we cannot on this occasion enter into a discussion of that subject.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
May I then put it in this way: Owing to facts consequent upon happenings which were beyond his control, my right hon. Friend the Member for Epping was obliged to take a further £12,000,000 from the Road Fund, and had he not been obliged to do so, by circumstances which it was beyond his power to control, this Resolution would not have been necessary. It seems strange to me that the party who denounced the action of my right hon. Friend on that occasion in all the moods and tenses now come along and continue what they described as the pernicious activities of my right hon. Friends. Have the Government paid back the £19,000,000 to the Road Fund? Have the Government ceased to draw on the luxury part of the Fund? Not at all. They have out-Heroded Herod. They have gone one better than Satan. They have not only approved of sin, but improved on the sin.
On the general proposition which arises here, namely, whether we are justified or not in sanctioning this proposal, we must, before we divide on the question, consider whether the nation can afford these luxury roads, and these grandiose schemes and whether the financial state of the country warrants us in allowing the Chancellor of the Exchequer to advance to the Road Fund during this financial year no less a sum than £9,000,000 sterling. Many of us, I am afraid, have lost our sense of proportion in regard to these matters. In Mr. Gladstone's time — [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] I am not ashamed to cite Mr. (Gladstone as a great financial expert. In Mr. Gladstone's time what would have been said if the Government of the day had come down to the House and declared that they wanted to advance £9,000,000 sterling to a specific service? Why, the very proposal is enough to make Mr. Gladstone turn in his grave, and though we have, I am afraid, lost a great deal of our respect for these financial principles, may I put some considerations very briefly to the Committee? At the present moment we have a £900,000,000 Budget. Before the War, the whole of the National Debt was only £709,000,000, so that the Government are actually asking the House of Commons in this Finance Bill to spend in 12 months nearly £200,000,000 more than the whole National Debt in 1913.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
Of course there has been a war, and that is the reason why we ought to be more careful than ever not to spend more money than is absolutely necessary. It is all the more reason why we should make sure that we do not expend money unnecessarily; and in my opinion the present expenditure is not necessary. In present circumstances we ought to make quite sure that the money which we do spend is used for the best possible purpose, and that it accomplishes the end which the Government have in view, namely, the diminution of unemployment. When we consider that we are taxed twice as heavily as any other country, and that the ratepayers in the county council areas are now finding £28,000,000 a year, compared with £10,000,000 in 1913–14. I think it is apparent that we must scrutinise with special care this particular Clause.
What is the justification put forward by the Minister for this Clause? Last year the right hon. Gentleman induced the Prime Minister to attend a meeting of local authorities, and the two right hon. Gentleman urged the local authorities—borough authorities, county councils, and, even, I think, some of the rural district councils, but at any rate the major local authorities—to expedite, as far as they could, and practically regardless of cost, road works and bridge works for the relief of unemployment. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport were in their most persuasive mood. It was not for them to intimidate the local authorities, or to say anything which would arouse the opposition of the local authorities. They cooed as softy as doves. They said, "We will give you larger grants if you expedite this work." I am not enamoured of this way of getting local authorities to carry out local works—bribing them with grants to undertake works which whether they be large or small, will increase the weight of expense on the already over-burdened ratepayer. But what I object to most strongly is the attitude taken up on this matter by the President of the Board of Trade. One would regard him as a man who could win over anybody. He is a persuasive person—I might almost call 251 him a meek and mild person—and he certainly is most charming in his speeches in this Chamber. Even when he resists one's amendments he does so in such a charming way as to disarm one's criticism. But when he gets outside, especially when there is a county council election going on, he can be a little misleading. What did he say with regard to these works, speaking in Hackney on 27th February last?Unless the schemes which are now being considered by local authorities could be greatly accelerated in the interest of providing work, it might be necessary for the central government to take additional powers, and to take those powers away from the local authorities.4.0 p.m.
I strongly object to that statement. Is the proposition seriously to be advanced that great municipalities like Liverpool, Birmingham and Glasgow, great county councils like Lancashire, Yorkshire and Hampshire are to have their powers for dealing with unemployment taken away from them simply because they stand for sound finance? It is those bodies which are putting a brake upon national expenditure in resisting the demands of the central government which is seeking to force them to spend more money. In this connection, I would draw attention to the very illuminating resolution which was passed by the County Councils' Association at the end of March last. The County Councils' Association, whether you agree with their politics or not, or whether you agree with their unemployment programme or not, is a highly representative and powerful body. It is consulted by the Home Office, by the Board of Trade, by the Ministry of Health and very often by the Ministry of Transport before any change is made in local government or any new burden is placed upon it. Therefore, they are people whose considered opinion one cannot easily disregard. What was the resolution passed in March last?Neither by legislation, nor by order, regulation or pressure of Government Departments should any additional expenditure be imposed upon local authorities during the existing trade depression.I submit that that is a very strong expression of opinion, It is felt by the local authorities, in no hostile spirit, that really the limit has been reached in national expenditure, and I do hope the 252 right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Transport will not disregard this resolution when he has a little more time to think over the matter.
The next question I would ask the Committee to consider—and it is a very important one—is this: Has the road programme dealt with in Clause 31 achieved its object? I would like to quote again an extract from the report of the Unemployment Commission. It was quoted by my right hon. Friend the Member for Croydon on the Financial Resolution, when he used these words:We ought to say at once that we regard this, and this sort of remedy, when considered as a contribution to the solution of the unemployment problem, as being purely derisory. We share that view with the Unemployment Commission, and I would call attention to one sentence of the report of that Commission, which hon. Members will find on page 9. The Commission are dealing with various classes of industries in which exceptional unemployment is prevalent, and they say:'The causes of the depression in the industries of exceptional unemployment are easy to understand. These industries fall into three broad classes. … There is third, a class of industries, which has been expanding rather than contracting and enjoying in some cases, a high degree of prosperity. … To this class belong building and public works contracting, in which a large expenditure of public money has stimulated employment without preventing unemployment.'"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 17th June, 1931; cols. 1854–5, Vol. 253.]You may not pay attention to the views of right hon. and hon. Members who sit on these benches, but you cannot disregard the considered views of the Unemployment Commission as outlined in that extract which I have just read to the Committee. What is the programme exactly, as I understand it—it is a little difficult to follow—which the right hon. Gentleman proposes in dealing with the £9,000,000? The total estimated expenditure on the five-year programme, of 1929 is £27,500,000, and of this the Road Fund will find £12,000,000. Then we come to the trunk road programme, which amounts to £21,000,000. So that the two programmes together amount to the stupendous sum of £48,500,000, which, if I know anything about it, will extend to £50,000,000 with unforeseen contingencies before we have done with it. Therefore, we may say that we are giving sanction, as far as we can in this financial year, in this Clause to a programme which entails the expenditure of 253 £50,000,000—an enormous amount of money which, even in these days, when money is being spent like water, is worthy of the serious consideration of the Committee. I want to make it clear that this £50,000,000 is not, of course, going to be spent in this financial year. I understand that the £50,000,000, or roughtly that amount, will be spread over five years, and we are in about the second year, probably, of the five-year programme.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
I can only tell my hon. Friend that the total estimated expenditure under the five-year programme is £27,500,000, and of that, I understand, the Road Fund will find £12,000,000, so that the rates will have to find £15,500,000.
§ Sir BASIL PETO
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether the £50,000,000 is over and above what you may term the normal expenditure on the roads?
§ Colonel ASHLEY
I am not, of course, in charge of the proposals, but this is over and above the ordinary expenditure. It is an expenditure of £50,000,000 for five years solely, from the Government point of view, to relieve unemployment. Is it going to achieve its object? Even if it is, I venture to oppose it, because I think that there are better ways of doing it. But will it achieve the professed object of the right hon. Gentleman and the Government? Certainly not. At the present moment there are some 2,600,000 unemployed. The number may be a few thousand more or less, but I think it is not an unfair statement to make that we have 2,600,000 unemployed. I should be out of order in going into the unemployment question generally, but, in passing, I may say that the Government are not finding work under all their schemes for more than 9½ per cent. Keeping to the strict terms of the question before the Committee, namely, the work to be expedited under this Clause. I may remind the Committee of the recent statement made by the right hon. Lady the Minister of Labour that on 24th April last, on State-aided road and bridge schemes, 48,000 people were directly em- 254 ployed. That is to say, you may take it that at the present moment, that on road and bridge schemes which are aided by State money, 48,000 people are directly employed.
It has always been an agreed principle in the Ministry, and also, I gather from his statement, by the right hon. Gentleman the Dominions Secretary, that if on bridge or road work you employ one man, you indirectly employ another, and, therefore, to give a correct picture of the amount of employment created by the right hon. Gentleman's bridge and road schemes, you have got to multiply his 48,000 by two, which gives us as the total number of people employed, 96,000—let us say 100,000 employed at the present moment by these works on roads and bridges. What is the cost of employing them? If you spend on bridges and roads in any 12 months £1,000,000, it is calculated that you provide employment for 4,000 people directly and indirectly. I think that is an agreed proposition which no one seriously contradicts. Therefore, we have the terrible result, the astounding result, that in the 12 months you employ these 96,000 people, the State is spending £24,000,000. Is that justified?
My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Kelvingrove (Major Elliot), in a very thoughtful and well-reasoned article in the magazine of Lloyds Bank for April, gave it as his considered opinion—and I do not think my hon. and gallant Friend is inclined to exaggerate—that if you spent £1,000,000 in 12 months on unemployment benefit you would look after 20,000 people. Therefore, by this programme of the right hon. Gentleman he is spending £5, when he could possibly have got off with £l, in providing for the unemployed. It may be said, "That may be so, but, after all, you have got the asset when the road is made." Does it not turn upon whether the roads and bridges you are now making are really needed or not? I may be wrong, but I am of opinion that, even towards the end of the time in which we were in office, we were approaching the end of the list of the really necessary roads and bridges to carry on in this country in our present financial position. These bridges and roads may be desirable. They may afford a great deal of contentment to the motorist who 255 wants to go 100 miles an hour, but they do not really add to the wealth of the country. What is more, hon. Members opposite forget that they have got to be maintained out of the local rates. Therefore, I oppose this proposal in Clause 31 on the ground that it does not achieve its object. It is outrageously expensive, and, above all, it turns the attention of the local authorities away from their proper function, namely, the maintenance of the existing roads in good order.
We cannot afford the maintenance of existing roads and the improvement of the rural roads which are so much needed if we try to do everything at once. It would be far better, and it would help the country so far as trade and communications are concerned, if we concentrated on the real A.1 maintenance of existing roads, and if in the country districts extra help were given to the county councils to bring up the country roads to the level of the first-class roads, instead of going in for this large and expensive programme which the right hon. Gentleman asks us to contemplate. As a contribution to unemployment, such programmes are not a success. It is far better to leave the money in the hands of the private capitalist in order that he may give permanent employment. What is the use of employing a man for 18 months or two years and then sending him back on to the unemployment list? The hon. Gentleman is like Canute or Mrs. Partington. He sits there, and says to the tide of unemployment, "You go back." Mrs. Partington tried to mop up the Atlantic with her mop, and the right hon. Gentleman will not succeed in moping up the sea of unemployment. I suppose that this Clause will go through to-day, and we shall be committed to this huge programme of £50,000,000 and an unknown burden upon the local rates. We on our side, however, will have made our protest, and have done what we can to prevent it. It may be said that it is strange for an ex-Minister of Transport to speak in this way, but I have tried to take a national and not a departmental view, and, if one thinks that a Department is going too far, one must lift up one's voice in protest.
§ Mr. VAUGHAN
I was grieved to hear the speech of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman who formerly held high office as Minister of Transport. Until to-day I had reason in my capacity of chairman of a committee of the county council with which I am associated, to think highly of him. Since the present Minister of Transport has succeeded him, I will go so far as to say, without being disloyal, that I have compared the previous occupant of that office with the present occupant to the advantage of the previous occupant. There are certain occasions in my memory when the right hon. and gallant Gentleman actually awarded our county 100 per cent. grant on an arterial road, and we have never had that——
§ Mr. VAUGHAN
Since this Government came into office, we have tried the same persuasive powers on the present Minister, but have never once succeeded. To what does the speech of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman amount? I, too, read the article by the hon. and gallant Member for Kelvingrove (Major Elliot) to which he referred, and was impressed by the information which it conveyed. He was not advocating that men should be kept in idleness and not in work. He was trying to point out that work could not be accelerated because it was cheaper to keep men in idleness than in work. To-day we have the right hon. and gallant Gentleman going a step further in his reactionary attitude, and saying confidently that it is better for the country to keep men on unemployment benefit or public assistance maintenance than to give them work which would give the country abiding assets'. Whether that be so or not, let us admit at once that the County Councils Association to which the right hon. and gallant Gentleman referred is one of the most reactionary bodies in this country.
I will try to traverse his argument that expenditure in road and bridge development is unsound finance. Upon his own figures he contradicted his own statement that £1,000,000 spent gave employment for one year to 4,000 men. From my experience, I could very much increase that number; if only I had the power to eliminate the atrocious cost of land and the cost of profits, the labour costs would 257 be greatly in excess of the figure that has been accepted by the House and by experts. In fact, to make a road or bridge, if you could eliminate the profit of private enterprise——
§ Mr. VAUGHAN
I am sorry to have wandered so wide. If 4,000 people are given employment for a year for every £1,000,000 spent, surely the common sense of the country will say that it is far better to give that much of solid work than to keep a large number of men doing nothing. Is not the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that there is nothing that helps the growth of wealth more than roads? Over and over again we have seen along new roads—unfortunately too much alongside in the case of ribbon development—that wealth begins to build, and houses spring up and factories grow. I shall be faced with the argument that that growth is extracted from some other place in the country, but what the local authorities in their misery have needed for years is a growing rateable value, and these roads minister to that need in almost every instance. I have taken great pains to go round and ask what ground rents are paid, and I am convinced that for every road cut, on the average, the expense can be paid by the increasing wealth and business which is immediately created around it.
There is an urgent necessity for hundreds of miles of roads to be improved. The Roads Improvement Association sent out, a year or two ago, a questionnaire to the surveyors of road authorities. The hundreds of replies which came in were nearly all the same, although they were received from different parts of the country; they were to the effect that roads and bridges were in a deplorable state and needed widening. I know in my own county of Monmouth arterial roads that have never been laid with ballast. As the road traffic has increased on what was once a country lane, corners have been taken off and then the road widened, but no foundation has been laid at all. When unusually heavy traffic comes along, it bursts the road asunder, and the sides are pushed up against the kerb. It is then discovered that the only foundation 258 which the road has had is the continual tar-spraying and the gravel that has been applied from time to time. A vast amount of expenditure would be saved local authorities if the roads were even now properly laid. I would go a good deal further than the Minister of Transport is prepared to go. I would speak to the recalcitrant local authorities in stronger terms than our gentle cooing dove, as the right hon. Gentleman referred to the President of the Board of Trade, would use. These local authorities are chiefly Tory and reactionary authorities, which have been exploiting the Labour Government hoping to get larger and larger grants, biding their time until the increasing volume of unemployment might terrorise the present Government into giving 100 per cent. grant, and I wish that the Minister would make up ids mind and say to them, "We will wait for you no longer, but we will take the arterial roads and make them national roads"——
§ The CHAIRMAN rose——
§ Mr. VAUGHAN
I have finished. I am very much obliged to you for allowing me to get so far, although I knew that I was somewhat outside the Amendment. I hope that the Minister will resist the Amendment, and go on improving our great highways, cutting off dangerous corners and rebuilding bridges, until we can be commensurate in our progress with other countries such as Italy and America.
§ Mr. HURD
I understood the hon. Gentleman to say that all the local authorities are reactionary, and I am glad that he makes a distinction, because I am specially associated with a rural district council. I understand that he excludes them, and refers only to county councils. I take his main theme to be that, so far as the main highway authorities are concerned, they should be eliminated and wiped out, and that we should look entirely to Whitehall for any future development.
§ Mr. VAUGHAN
I said that I would deal with those recalcitrant authorities that will not develop their arterial roads.
§ Mr. HURD
Very well, I accept that statement. At any rate his policy is one of more roads and of better roads. It is our policy, too. I would remind hon. Members, in case they forget it, that in the year 1929 we, the people of England, were spending in rates and taxes £60,000,000 upon our roads. I should have thought that expenditure would have been sufficient to obtain all the better roads we really require, especially in view of the grave financial position of the country. Personally, I would have liked to see a much larger proportion of that £60,000,000 spent upon secondary roads and unclassified roads. I agree with the hon. Member that we have been far too negligent of them. As my right hon. and gallant Friend on the Opposition Front Bench said, we have thought far too much of those big, broad arterial roads which cut through the countryside and in many places are quite unnecessary, or at all events are in advance of the needs of the country, and far too little of those other roads which are so essential to our country life; but I am not so sanguine as to imagine that anything we on this side of the Committee may say will deflect the Minister of Transport or hon. Members opposite from the policy on which they have embarked. In view of the solemn warnings which have come from heads of the Treasury, from heads of industry and from heads of trade unions regarding the financial condition of the country and our steady trend towards bankruptcy, it is astonishing to me to find a proposal for continuing this large expenditure upon projects which, however desirable they might be in other circumstances, are certainly not a necessary addition to our national life.
My right hon. and gallant Friend on the Opposition Front Bench has pointed out how small an effect this expenditure will have upon unemployment. It is almost a negligible effect, in view of the huge amount of unemployment there is. Another consideration which I would urge upon the Committee is the way in which the extravagant development of the grant system is eliminating local government in many parts of England. We have Whitehall driving local authorities out of their 260 proper function of road management to an extent which is degrading. It is degrading from the point of view of effective local administration. One of the great glories of England of which we always talk—when we go abroad, at all events—is the way in which municipal life has been built up, close to the needs and the hearts of the people, upon a representative basis—it is a model to the world; but the action of the Minister of Transport under this swollen grant system is removing from highway authorities any effective control over expenditure. My own county affords a glaring example of this. The grant has been made so large that my county council might not exist, so far as road development is concerned. The grant gives the Whitehall authorities such power that our local people have not a say in the matter.
That domination by Whitehall is a deplorable feature of modern tendencies, and I believe it is leading to an extravagance in administration and to a waste which we can ill afford. In the early days of the late Administration some of us were so much impressed by the tendencies to extravagance which would follow the continued existence of the Ministry of Transport that we strongly urged its abolition. Unfortunately, we were not successful in our aim, but the condition of our national finances has become so grave, in the opinion of those far removed from political considerations, that this gross extravagance which is going on under the Ministry of Transport will have to stop, whether we like it or not, and the stopping of it will come far sooner than be imagine; and with the stopping of it I hope there will come the abolition of the Ministry of Transport.
§ Mr. MARCH
I was very much surprised to hear the ex-Minister of Transport speak as he did to-day about road improvement and road development. I always thought he was anxious to see our roads put into good order, and from time to time I have heard hon. Members opposite pressing the Minister of Transport to assist in improving rural roads, wishing to have them made classified roads—not No. 1 or No. 2 roads, but No. 3 roads; and I remember that some even advocated their classification as No. 4 roads, if only they could get a grant from the Ministry. What would the ex- 261 Minister do in this matter? Would he stop what is being done on the roads? Does he want to delete Clause 31 and cut out the £9,000,000 to be devoted to road improvement and road extensions? Is that the meaning of his Amendment? I ask that because from time to time we hear from the other side the question, "What are you doing for the unemployed?" Is this not doing something for the unemployed? The right hon. Gentleman himself had to admit that this proposal of the Government would employ 100,000 men. Surely it is better to have 100,000 men working rather than walking about looking for jobs. If he wants to stop the work on roads and bridges, with what work would he replace it; or are the unemployed to be told that they are to stand by for a year or two? Does he not know that this expenditure affects others besides the men employed directly on the roads? Does he not know that a large amount of cement is required, which provides work for other men? Does he not know that they want a good deal of gravel and sand with which to make the concrete? Does he not know that gravel pits have to be dug to get the gravel, and does not that employ men? I was surprised to hear the ex-Minister talking as he did. Then he asked what are the assets which all this expenditure will produce. There are many roads in Hampshire, his county, which could be improved.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
The hon. Member has been asking me a series of questions and so far I have resisted the temptation to reply, but I must intervene now. In Hampshire there are quite a number of secondary roads—rural loads—which urgently need repair, and I said so in my speech; but quite a number of bypasses are to be made which, in my opinion, ought not to be constructed, because we cannot afford them at the present time.
§ Mr. MARCH
Those bypass roads will relieve some of the second class roads, and then the local councils will have an opportunity of improving the rural roads. I come from the county of Essex. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Hon. Members may well say "Oh." I have said "Oh" many times. If there is a reactionary county council it is in Essex. They have only just begun to 262 wake up and to do any work. By the help of the present Ministry of Transport they have been able to make one or two by-pass roads. They are making some improvements, but they have been slow about it. I hope the Minister will not take much notice of what has been said by hon. Members opposite regarding this expenditure, but will go on with it and improve the roads. Not only have we to strengthen or improve existing bridges or build new ones but we ought to make a start in building bridges over level crossings. It grieves me when I hear of road traffic being run into at level crossings and people being killed. That could be avoided if bridges were put over the crossings.
With regard to the by-pass roads and first-class roads I would remind the ex-Minister that they are an asset to a local authority by saving them so much work in clearing the mud and slush off the rural roads which otherwise would be more used by motorists. The big new roads are soon cleaned after a shower of rain. I hope the Minister will take no notice of what the ex-Minister said regarding the Fund. It was depleted of £7,000,000 by the late Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1926. The ex-Minister could not say anything about the main reason why the then Chancellor of the Exchequer took that money, except that he had not balanced his Budget, and gathered in the money from the Road Fund. In 1927, when he was short of money again, he took £12,000,000 from the Road Fund, and explained his action by the General Strike, which he said was an unforeseen occurrence, although most people knew that as things were going there would be a general strike sooner or later.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I called the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for the New Forest (Colonel Ashley) to order when he referred to the General Strike, and cannot allow the hon. Member to deal with it.
§ Mr. MARCH
I want to remind the ex-Minister of Transport of the £12,000,000, because he made some speeches about it. We have been able to help the authorities to a much larger extent than before, and because the Minister now asks for £9,000,000 to carry 263 on this 12 months' programme all these old arguments are thrown up against him. The policy which has now been adopted was bound to come, because the progress of the work was being stopped. I hope the Minister will utilise this money for the improvement of bridges and the building of new bridges as soon as possible.
§ Lord ERSKINE
Reference has been made to the policy of the late Chancellor of the Exchequer in dealing with the Road Fund. I never regarded the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) as an angel of light in regard to matters of finance, but I think the one right thing that he did was his action in regard to the Road Fund. I am one of those who believe that since the War we have been spending far too much money on the roads. Those hon. Members who have been abroad and have made a comparison between the condition of our roads and foreign roads will agree that a great deal of the money which has been spent on our roads is not justified. A. large part of the money which has been spent on the roads in this country is justified, according to hon. Members opposite, on the ground that it is being done to help unemployment. I believe in the remarks made by Mr. Pitt when he said that it was far better to allow money to fructify in the pockets of the taxpayer. I think it is much better to allow money to go into the ordinary channels of trade than spend it on the roads in order to help unemployment. It has been said that this expenditure has put 100,000 people into work, but financial experts state that for every single man you put into work in this way by spending State money you are denying employment to a much larger number of men who would have been employed in the ordinary way by private firms. Hon. Members opposite have said that many county councils are reactionary, and do not like to spend money on road making, and that, when the roads are made, they become assets for those county councils. I doubt whether many of the ratepayers in some of the poor counties in this country regard these new roads as assets. I know that in many agricultural counties the county councils are very chary of undertaking expenditure of that kind, and I think that in many cases they are right.
264 There is one other fact which has not been mentioned in this Debate, and it is that the expenditure of these vast sums of money by the State in road development is doing definite harm to the railways of the country. A great deal of our traffic which is now carried along the main roads used to be carried over the railways. The traffic returns of the railways are going down, and we must realise that the reduction of the railway traffic returns has been entirely due to the development, of these great arterial roads. Thousands of railway workers are now unemployed because of the rapid development of traffic along the main roads. I think we ought to consider the effect which the spending of many millions of money upon the roads has had upon the railways both in regard to employment and dividends. It does not seem to me to be correct that a great Government Department should spend millions of money upon one class of communications when by doing so they are destroying the revenue of railways and the employment undertaken in the past by our large railway companies.
We have been spending too much money on the roads during the last few years. I would like to ask if this £9,000,000 with which we are now dealing is the amount of money which has been wrung from the Government by the Liberal party. When this Parliament began we had a tremendous scheme put forward by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George), and ever since that time the right hon. Gentleman and his Friends have been pressing the Government to spend larger sums of money upon the roads. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has won, because a great deal more than £9,000,000 was asked for in the scheme put forward by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs, and the Government have been able to resist larger demands made by the Liberal party. In spite of that, I think the Minister of Transport and the Government are now spending too much money upon roads. I have stated the reasons why I think that is so, and I hope in the future, when another and more enlightened Government is sitting upon the benches opposite, we may be 265 able to reduce the amount of money which is now being spent on the roads, and reduce taxation at the same time.
§ Major-General Sir ROBERT HUTCHISON
I think the policy of the Government is right on this occasion, because they are only trying to recover what has really been taken from the Road Fund by a previous Chancellor of the Exchequer. This Clause simply gives power to borrow the money when it can be usefully used. Hon. Members who take exception to the use of this money for these purposes forget that, in the main, it is not only the roads that require improvement for the first time, but the various bottleneck roads and narrow roads that need widening in order to allow the increased traffic to reach its destination. Anyone who has been near the docks in our great industrial centres must realise the great amount of money required in order to get the full use of the splendid roads which we now possess. I hope that at no distant date the Minister of Transport will assume the control of all our big main thoroughfares, because, after all, the chief complaint of the local authorities and the county councils is that their roads are blocked by traffic which has nothing to do with their own localities. We ought to adopt the continental practice and have big national roads under Government control, leaving the second or third-class roads to be handled by the local authorities.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
Would the hon. and gallant Gentleman be content to have the main roads in his own constituency run by Whitehall?
§ Sir R. HUTCHISON
I hope, at any rate, that the main roads in Scotland will be run by an office in Edinburgh, If we had one office to control all the main roads from one end of the country to the other we should also require offices in different parts of the country dealing with national roads. Surely it would be better instead of leaving all these things in the hands of the county council to go a step further, and provide that all the main arteries should be run under national control.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I have already called an hon. Member to order for 266 putting forward similar suggestions, and the hon. and gallant Member is not in order in dealing with national control.
§ Sir R. HUTCHISON
I am sorry that I was drawn away from my argument. I think the money which it is proposed to borrow can be usefully employed in very many directions. We must realise what traffic is likely to be in the course of the next 10 or 20 years, and, if we exercise foresight, we shall provide for a much larger development of traffic. I know that it takes time to do all these things, but what I always feel when motoring through the country and observing such a large development of motor traffic is that we shall not be in time with our provision of proper traffic accommodation, and we shall have a period of congestion until proper facilities are available.
I congratulate the Government upon their action in trying to get on with the solution of this problem. I hope they will speed up and not give way to all this talk about economy. Real economy does not consist in the holding up of money, but in the wise use of money. Even businesses which are making losses are now spending large sums of money on new plant in the hope that they will be able to lower the cost of production and earn a profit. It is the same with accommodation on the roads. If we curtail our expenditure now, we shall only have to spend tenfold when the real need comes in some years' time. I would like to refer to the remarks of the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Vaughan), who complained that the full benefit has not been secured by the public for the increased value of land owing to our big main roads bringing factories and other important developments to a district. I agree, and I wish that this Bill had dealt with that question instead of dealing with double taxation of land that is fully developed.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I called the attention of the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Vaughan) to the fact that that question is out of order.
§ Sir R. HUTCHISON
I will not detain the Committee further, but I commend this part of the Bill to the Committee, and hope the Government will go on with it.
§ Mr. J. JONES
The object of the Clause which we are now discussing is to improve our road communications. I heard an hon. Member opposite talking about the effect that it may have on the railways. The railways have had their chance. They had a monopoly of traffic in this country for many years, and they took full advantage of that monopoly. One of the things that we used to read in the "Times"—and I am a regular reader of the "Times," in addition to the "Daily Herald"—was how the traders used to grumble about the excessive charges of the railways for the carrying of goods over their lines. Having had the monopoly for all those years, they have suddenly discovered that a new method of transport has been brought into existence, whereby goods can be carried from door to door without interchanging, and all that kind of thing, and now they are screaming the odds. The railways are feeling the draught, and some of their directors are coming with tears in their voices, saying, "For God's sake, are you going to help us out of our own inefficiency?" They have done their best in the past to take advantage of the community's misfortunes, and now they come asking us to come to their assistance. I happen to come from a district where we have had the full advantage of their policy. Those who know the docks in the East End of London know that we have been going down almost on our knees, asking the railway companies to give us facilities for traffic to and from the docks.
§ Mr. JONES
I regret that I have introduced ancient history, but it is modern to me. We are going to spend £9,000,000 more on the development of our road transport system, and can anybody say that, although we have made great arterial roads in all parts of the country, that has solved the traffic problem? Every new road that we make creates a new problem. If you go to the South Coast you find that all the rural areas around there are immediately affected by every new road that you make, and the by-passes and other roads find themselves in difficulties as soon as a main road is settled. We are only asking that the main roads, which cause the main issue, shall also be helped by the assistance of 268 the nation in the development of the bypass traffic and the necessary connections therewith. I do not pretend to be an expert, but all of us can see the difficulties. In every village that you come to, as you pass from the South Coast up to London, you find congestion being created as a result of the fact that we have made more progress.
Some people in this House like to live in a sleepy hollow. The man who goes from London and the woman who is having a day out are looked upon as interlopers, who ought to be prohibited from making use of the roads of England. The only time when they are allowed to use England is when there is a war on, and then they can have their traffic everywhere. You cannot have a main road system of transport without having the corollary of proper connections between the main roads and the non-main roads.
Hon. Members opposite make a great cry at by-elections about the amount that the Government are spending. Have they laid it down as a definite principle in their policy that the Government must not spend money in these matters? Have they made up their minds that the money has not been properly spent? Yet we find private notice questions almost every day in this House and hon. Members asking why certain money is not being spent in their constituencies. It is wrong if it is spent in somebody else's district, but, when it goes to their own constituency, they do not care how much money is spent. They say, "Spend what you like on us, but do not spend money on the other fellow"; and they are the Imperial party. We say that this expenditure is necessary from a national point of view. This money is going to be spent to correlate the traffic of this country and to wake up the railways. They have already got something—75 per cent. of their rates has been forgiven them—and we are asking now that this money should be spent on the road accommodation of this country. I have not had many opportunities of travelling abroad, but I have travelled in some countries, when I have been sent as a delegate from my trade union, and when I have seen what has been done in other countries, less wealthy than our own, in the way of road traffic and development, I have been ashamed of myself coming 269 from the greatest Empire that the world has ever Been, upon which the sun never sets, because it has not a decent place to set upon.
I want to support the Minister in his attempt to make up the difference between the main and the by-pass roads and to give the people a chance of using their own country, for that is at the back of it all. We do not know much of our own country yet. We have not seen half of it. I remember that when I came to London first, full 40 years ago, the people with whom I lodged in the East End had never seen the Tower of London or St. Paul's Cathedral, and a journey to the Houses of Parliament was looked upon as an undreamable idea. We want to open the country up, to develop its possibilities. If England was properly known, not merely to the people of this country, but to the people of other countries, we should be able to make up some of the leeway that we have lost in modern industrial development. It can be done, and this money is only a flea-bite. Nine million pounds! It takes away the breath of hon. Members opposite. Ninepence an hour is their idea for the workman, but £9,000,000, when it is a question of getting capitalist incomes and rents from properties, is nothing. Only the other day, in London, a company floated a loan of £9,000,000, and the books had to be closed in 10 minutes; and the people who subscribed that money are those who say that they are unable to afford the money to pay decent wages for their workmen. I hope the Minister will take his courage in both hands. He is quite capable of doing so, and we will back him so far as we are able.
Our complaint against our Government is about their modesty. They are too modest, and they are making presents of votes to hon. Members opposite. Let us face the music, and tell these people that you cannot make omelets without breaking eggs, and that if you are not prepared to attack the abuses of the present industrial system, you will make no progress. This is only a small move in the direction in which we wish to go, and I hope the Minister and the Cabinet will have courage and will say, "We do not accept the notion that we must go slowly, but the time has arrived when we should go faster, when we should say 270 to the world that we are prepared to face our problems, and that we are not going to make the working-classes suffer more than they have already suffered, but to use our ability to stop them suffering as much as they have done in the past," That ought to be our policy, Courage and confidence are necessary, and I hope the Minister will stick to his guns and, when he replies, tell the hon. Members opposite exactly what he means and what he thinks.
§ Captain GUNSTON
I hope the Chancellor of the Exchequer will read with great interest the speech and the economics of the hon. Member for Silver-town (Mr. J. Jones). We are not attacking expenditure on roads because we do not want to see people put into work. We are attacking expenditure on roads because we believe honestly that for the amount expended in this way the least amount of work is provided. The last speaker was very anxious that the country should recover its economic strength and should recondition itself. One of the best ways of helping industry is to let industry recondition itself and put in new machinery. It is interesting to note that the amount of money that we have taken from reserves roughly corresponds to the amount of money that we have spent on roads since the War. We have spent about £600,000,000 on roads since the War, and in the same time we have taken the same amount of money from industry. That is our quarrel with hon. Members opposite. We believe that if this money had been spent in industry, it would have enabled industry to recondition itself, to put in more machinery, and to give more employment than a similar amount of money spent on roads.
The amount of money which has been spent on roads has been disappointing in the amount of employment which it has given, and it is rather surprising to hear hon. Members say that they want to open up the country so that people can travel and see our beautiful country. Is there any country in the world which is opened up as England is? Has any country in the world got the roads that we have got? Then why level the finger of scorn at motor manufacturers and say, "You only build cars suitable for English roads"? Why is that so? It is 271 because the English roads are so much better than any other roads in the world.
I wish to draw the attention of the Minister of Transport to a point which has just come before my notice on a committee which has been sitting on the Humber Bridge Bill in the past few weeks. It appears that if you want to put in a big scheme for giving employment and helping road communications, you can get a grant from the Ministry of Transport. On the other hand, if you want to put in a big scheme for helping other forms of communication, you have to go to the Unemployment Grants Committee to get a grant byway of a third interest, but you do not get a free gift, as you do for road transport. That means that we have got to this extraordinary position in this country, that the motorists alone can say how the money is to be spent on the roads; and not only that, but under this Clause 31 you are going to give money from the Exchequer and to say that road development can have this grant from the Exchequer, through the Road Fund, as a free gift, but that no other form of transport can have that grant. I put that to the Minister because I think it is a question that he will probably like to look into.
It would be out of order to go into the discussions that we have had upstairs with regard to road transport, but we have this curious position to-day, that it is quite possible to give a grant—a free gift—from the Treasury, through the Ministry of Transport, for the construction of a road bridge, but, if it is necessary to put some works into the river in order that navigation may not be impeded by the bridge, you cannot get the grant from the Ministry of Transport. I am sure that that is not the intention. I do not know if hon. Members realise it, but the position is that, if you want to help some big construction works in connection with any form of transport, you can get a grant from the Unemployment Grants Committee, which will be deferred interest, but, if you want a free gift, if you want to do some national work which the local authorities cannot possibly do, you cannot get a free gift unless it is for road construction or in connection with road construction. One of the most im- 272 portant needs in the country to-day is the development of water transport. A commission reported in favour of it——
§ Captain GUNSTON
I do not want to trespass any further, but only to call attention to the matter, because I am sure the Minister is desirous of helping all forms of transport. Many of us on these benches consider that no class in the community has any right to say how the money which is paid in taxation shall be spent, and I believe that the late Chancellor of the Exchequer was quite right when he raided the Road Fund. Personally I believe that the Road Fund ought to be abolished as a separate item, and motorists treated with the same equality as any other part of the community.
§ The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Mr. Herbert Morrison)
This is a very topsy-turvy Amendment and a thoroughly upside-down Debate. As far as I can see, although most of the arguments have been in favour of restricting expenditure, the purpose of the Amendment, properly interpreted, is to widen the powers of the Minister and enable him to spend more. Under the Clause as it is submitted, the borrowing powers are restricted to schemes which are expedited on account of the existing conditions of employment. The Amendment proposes to take out the words relating to the expediting of schemes on account of the existing conditions of employment, and, as that would leave the Clause, the borrowing powers could include any construction or improvement undertaken in pursuance of schemes which would be met out of the income of the Road Fund. Under the Amendment, therefore, it would appear that all that I have to show the Treasury is that I have not got the money, and then the Treasury goes and borrows it, whereas, as the Bill is drafted, my case must rest also on the point that the schemes are expedited on account of the existing conditions of employment. I suggest that the Opposition have moved an Amendment which is a widening Amendment and have made speeches in favour of a restricting Amendment; and I would suggest that they should all ad- 273 journ, compare the Amendment with their speeches, and make up their minds as to what they really want to do.
The complaint to-day, apparently, is that we are going forward much too rapidly with these road schemes, that we are spending too much, that we are getting rid of the money too quickly. In all the unemployment Debates which have taken place up to this year, certainly while my right hon. Friend the present Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs was Lord Privy Seal, the complaint of the Conservative party as an Opposition was that we were not spending the money quickly enough. They were always asking us: How much have you spent? How many men are at work? When are you going to get rid of the money? Why do you not spend it quicker? To-day the complaint is that we are spending it too quickly. Of all the illogical, topsy-turvy Oppositions that one has ever seen, this Opposition is the last word, and I suggest that really they have not made up their minds as to what policy they would like to pursue. It was contemplated, in the Development and Roads Improvement Act, 1909, as was current economic opinion at that time, and still would be if we were not faced with abnormal conditions, that it is a good thing over years of prosperity to save your money in so far as it is not really necessary to spend it at that time, and to concentrate the expenditure in the bad years, in the years of depression; and, in fact, in the Act of 1909 it was laid down that:In executing or making advances in respect of the execution of any work under this Act involving the employment of labour on a considerable scale, regard shall be had, so far as is reasonably practicable, to the general state and prospects of employment.That was the policy which was laid down, and, if ever we have reached a period of depression when it is desirable to stimulate employment and to stimulate economic work, surely the present is the right time to do it. But the late Chancellor of the Exchequer did not pursue that policy at all, and I am bound to say that the right hon. Gentleman who was my predecessor did not pursue that policy either. My hon. Friend the Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Vaughan) complained this afternoon that we are giving local authorities too much, but, as a matter of fact, my predecessor 274 gave to the County of Monmouthshire a grant which I have never given to anyone yet. He went to Monmouthshire, and they charmed him with their eloquent Welsh persuasiveness—that is assuming that Monmouthshire is a Welsh county, which is arguable—and they actually lifted from him a 100 per cent. grant for local highway improvements.
§ Mr. MORRISON
I know, but the right hon. Gentleman ought to be above those temptations. I have been to Monmouthshire, to Glamorganshire, and, even more dangerous, to North Wales, including Carnarvonshire, and none of them have ever got away with a 100 per cent. grant from me; and yet it is complained that we are too free with the money. My trouble is to try to get away from this awkward precedent of Monmouthshire, but it is contrary to my economic and local government faith that the State should give 100 per cent. grants. It is true that the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), being short of money, found that, despite these 100 per cent. grants which my predecessor was, I will not say scattering about, but giving in Monmouthshire, there was a surplus in the Road Fund, and he took it. He took £7,000,000 in one year, and £12,000,000 in another, not as a luxury element, but as a sheer raid, a sheer scoop. The right hon. Gentleman replies that it was not his fault, but our fault, because there were economic disturbances during 1926, but he might have got the money from somewhere else instead of from the Road Fund. The fact is that the right hon. Member for Epping took all the money without any principle whatever so far as road administration is concerned, and, unfortunately, the right hon. Gentleman who was my predecessor let him take it. He ought not to have let him take it; he ought to have stood up to him; and, if he had only stood up to the right hon. Member for Epping in the last Government, I am sure that my predecessor would have flayed him and beaten him on the question of taking all that money from the Road Fund.
The fund became practically finished. We came along and developed a road policy, not on a wasteful basis of spend- 275 ing money merely for the sake of spending money, but on the ground that these road and bridge improvements are necessary. I have questions every Wednesday afternoon and letters every hour of the day from hon. Members opposite asking me to spend money out of the Road Fund in aid of schemes in their constituencies, and then, in public, they come to the House and complain of me for giving them the money. That is not quite as it ought to be. The right hon. Member for Epping took the money, and, when we come to develop the biggish road programme that we have now on hand, and the bridge reconstruction programme, all of which we are convinced, although it is accelerated, is work of economic importance and betterment, the money is not there, because it was made away with by the late Chancellor of the Exchequer. In the fight over the Road Fund he thoroughly beat my predecessor, and I am very sorry for it. The only course open to us is either to stop the works and dismiss people or not take people on, or to borrow. We are borrowing on the credit of the Road Fund, and the Road Fund will have to pay the money back. Unfortunately for it, it will have to pay interest as well to the Treasury, though it is perfectly legitimate that the Treasury should ask for it. I have no hesitation in saying that in the presence of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But the cause of it is not the extravagance of the present Government; the real cause is that the fund was bankrupted, not by us, but by the right hon. Member for Epping, by the two raids, totalling £19,000,000, which he conducted some few years ago.
Some figures were given as to the actual expenditure. The five-years programme, which we are trying as far as we can to condense into the earlier years, involves an expenditure of £27,500,000, and the trunk road programme an expenditure of £21,000,000, making a total of £48,500,000. In addition to that, however, there is the expenditure on annual schemes, with which this Clause is not concerned. It is estimated that to this expenditure the Road Fund will contribute £18,500,000 on the five-years programme, and £16,000,000 on the trunk-road programme 276 making a total Road Fund contribution of £34,500,000, leaving £14,000,000 only for the local authorities to contribute. These grants, of course, vary; that is the average figure, and the actual grants vary from time to time.
Of course it is perfectly true that the County Councils Association would like higher grants, and that the rural authorities would like, in particular, higher grants for the unclassified roads. Road grants are based upon the sliding scale, so to speak, that in the primary, Class 1 roads there is a considerable national element, and, therefore, they get a bigger grant; that in Class 2 roads there is a lesser national element, and they get a smaller grant; while the unclassified roads are predominentry for local purposes, and represent a local responsibility, except as regards the block grant from the general Exchequer contribution and the special grants made from, time to time for purposes of reconstruction.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
The right hon. Gentleman says that, of the total expenditure of £48,500,000, £34,000,000 comes from the Road Fund. Can he tell me if all these schemes have been definitely accepted and passed by the local authorities, and, therefore may be taken out of the £48,500,000?
§ Mr. MORRISON
The answer cannot be conclusive on that point. Assuming that the programme goes on without any hitch, it will be so, and the Road Fund will find £34,500,000 and the local authorities £14,000,000. That is in respect of the trunk road programme and the five-years programme. But, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, there are two stages in approval; there is approval in principle and there is approval for commencement. So far, a proportion of the schemes have only been approved in principle, and, for all that we know, there may be hitches at one end or the other, and they may not get to the stage of approval for commencement.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
May I take it that, if a scheme which has been approved in principle does not begin on the agreed date, it falls through?
§ Mr. MORRISON
Yes. There is another point. We made stipulations, in the case of certain grants and some special grants, that these schemes were 277 for acceleration and that there must be acceleration, and that, if they were not commenced by certain dates, which we stipulated, the local authority would have "lost the bus" and the grant would not be available unless there were very special circumstances. That is the position, and will continue to be the position. Of course, this Clause of the Bill does not merely enable borrowing in respect of what are known as unemployment schemes, but I have dealt with that particular point because that was the particular point of the Amendment. The £48,500,000 figure is not necessarily over and above normal road works. There are included in the programme works which would have been done in any case.
I notice that the hon. Member for Devizes (Mr. Hurd) thinks that the Minister of Transport is extravagant, notwithstanding the fact that we spend a good deal of time disagreeing with the local authorities on the ground that we want their schemes to be less expensive than they sometimes want them to be. The hon. Member would like the Ministry of Transport to be abolished. He can go on liking. There is no sign of that contingency at present. The Ministry is thriving and getting on very well. [Interruption.] He is a clear 100 per cent. abolitionist. I do not mind. I only note the point.
Some interesting points were raised as to competition between road and rail. It is a real and worrying problem which no Minister of Transport can ignore. I hope, when the Minister comes up against some of the problems of road versus rail in the administration of the Road Traffic Act, he will never get any criticism from hon. Members opposite when he appears to be taking a certain point of view. I am often accused of having bias, but I have none. It is my duty to look at the interests of transport as a whole. I think we have established the case for the Clause and destroyed the case for the Amendment, which is quite contrary in the result to the speeches that we have listened to. As we have had the cordial support of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Montrose (Sir E. Hutchison) who was immediately afterwards in consultation with the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Spen Valley (Sir J. 278 Simon), I suggest that the Committee might well give us the Clause.
§ Captain Sir WILLIAM BRASS
I think the Minister was a little unfair when he taunted us by saying we came to him and asked him for grants of money for our constituencies and then abused him for acquiescing and giving us the grants. He is a very fair-minded man, and I am sure he would not want to suggest that we did anything of that sort. I do not quite agree with him when he says this Amendment is, so to speak, the wrong way round. If it were passed, borrowing would be confined to the Development and Road Improvement Funds Act, 1909, instead of being, as it will be with these words about unemployment in it, anchored on the problem of unemployment. We are saying to the motorists who pay large sums of money annually, "We expect you, through your direct horse-power tax, to support a certain number of unemployed who are to be employed in improving the roads and in building new roads." I am sure motorists as a whole would be only too delighted to help employment if they felt that the money was being properly spent, but I do not think that the money that is to be spent under this is to be spent in the right way or that it will do what the right hon. Gentleman thinks it will do.
I have probably covered some 200,000 or 300,000 miles in various parts of the world, and I do not agree with the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones) that we should be ashamed of our roads. I think they are the best in the world. I find that large portions of our roads are being widened and others are being remade, but the period over which these improvements are being made is much too long and the number of people employed making them and altering the roads is very small indeed. If a road is going to be improved or a new road made, many more people should be put on at a time so as to get the thing done more quickly. The number of people who are actually employed as the result of this money is very small, because it is not being done in the right way.
I also contend that the money is being wasted to a large extent, because the right kind of roads are not being made. 279 The Minister should take into account the result of making the big by-pass roads. It is that you change the passenger traffic to a large extent from the railways on to these roads and overload them, and you have almost ruined the railways. I do not think the roads are thought out carefully enough. To take one example, at the cross roads on the Cambridge bypass road there are enormous electric lights.
§ The CHAIRMAN
Much of what the hon. Member is saying should properly come on the Estimate of the Ministry.
§ Sir W. BRASS
I submit that in explaining the inefficient way in which the money is being expended, I am in order. The money is not being properly and efficiently spent, and, therefore, I want the Amendment passed.
§ Sir W. BRASS
I am only giving an example of what has happened in the past, and I hope it will not happen in the future. The lights make the cross roads extremely dangerous at night, and I hope, when the right hon. Gentleman comes to spend the money, he will see that that, does not happen and that the money is spent efficiently and not inefficiently, as it was before. I can hardly believe that the 48,000 men who are directly to be employed in making these roads will result in another 48,000 being employed indirectly. I could understand it in building bridges or houses and that sort of alleviation of unemployment, but I cannot understand, when you put a certain number of people on to widening a road, that for every man who is engaged on the work you employ someone somewhere else in relief of unemployment. When we are spending this money we put a burden on the local authorities who will have to maintain these roads, and we ought to consider very carefully whether we should spend money in this way. I am most anxious to give people employment, but, in doing it in this way, through the Road Fund, you are not actually employing the number of people that you could employ if the money were diverted into other channels.
§ Mr. PRICE
While listening to the speeches of Members opposite complaining of the harm that is done to railways by the development of the road system, I could not help thinking of what might have happened in this House a hundred years ago when the railway systems began to come in and when those interested in horses and coaches, no doubt, objected to the revolution in transport that was coming about. We are passing through a revolution in the transport system and it is the duty of the Government in power to see that our road systems are sufficiently developed so as to be ready for the changes which must inevitably take place. It is surely clear that the local branch line railway systems are falling into decay, because it is infinitely more efficient and less wasteful for goods to be delivered from door to door from provincial towns to houses and farms than to have the uneconomic and wasteful system whereby they are delivered to a small railway station and then delivered further by a system of horses and carts and vans and small lorries. It is right that the Government should spend this money.
If I have any criticism to make, it is that they have not done enough. In my constituency we feel that sufficient attention has not been paid to road development in that area and that there is a great deal to be said for the Government giving 100 per cent. grants for Class I roads. The amount of local traffic carried on them is infinitesimal and the burden imposed on local authorities is too great. If they were relieved of the burden of maintaining the main roads taking traffic from the north and to Scotland they could pay more attention to the development of Class II and Class III roads. Hon. Members opposite may say that it is desirable at a time like this not to spend money, but to economise. I say that that is false economy. Here is a case of capital development which will, in the end, produce good results. It is penny wise and pound foolish not to be prepared for the inevitable revolution in transport which is developing. It is bound to develop. If the Government of the day do not lay out their plans accordingly, they will retard rather than assist the industrial development which this country will have to carry through if it is to keep abreast of the times.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out, stand part of the Clause."282
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 281; Noes, 199.285
|Division No. 340.]||AYES.||[5.47 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||McShane, John James|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thamptes)|
|Altchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgle M.||Groves, Thomas E.||Manning, E. L.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Grundy, Thomas W.||Mansfield, W.|
|Ammon, Charles George||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||March, S.|
|Angell, Sir Norman||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Marcus, M.|
|Arnott, John||Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)||Marley, J.|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Marshall, Fred|
|Ayles, Walter||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Mathers, George|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Harbord, A.||Matters, L. W.|
|Burnes, Alfred John||Hardie, David (Rutherglen)||Maxton, James|
|Barr, James||Hardie, G. D. (Springburn)||Messer, Fred|
|Batey, Joseph||Harris, Percy A.||Millar, J. D.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Mills, J. E.|
|Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Haycock, A. W.||Montague, Frederick|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Hayday, Arthur||Morgan, Dr. H. B.|
|Benson, G.||Hayes, John Henry||Morley, Ralph|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Morris, Rhys Hopkins|
|Bilndell, James||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)|
|Bondfield, Rt. Hon. Margaret||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Bowen, J. W.||Harriotts, J.||Mort, D. L.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Hicks, Ernest George||Muff, G.|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Hirst, G. H. (York, W. R., Wentworth)||Muggeridge, H. T.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Murnin, Hugh|
|Bromfield, William||Hoffman, P. C.||Naylor, T. E.|
|Bromley, J.||Hollins, A.||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Brooke, W.||Hopkin, Daniel||Noel Baker, P. J.|
|Brothers, M.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Oldfield, J. R.|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Hunter, Dr. Joseph||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)|
|Buchanan, G.||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Palin, John Henry|
|Burgess, F. G.||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Palmer, E. T.|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Calne, Hall, Derwent||Jones, Llewellyn-, F.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Phillips, Dr. Marlon|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Jonas, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Picton-Turbervill, Edith|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, Rt. Hon Leif (Camborne)||Pole, Major D. G.|
|Chater, Daniel||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Potts, John S.|
|Clarke, J. S.||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Price, M. P.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston)||Pybus, Percy John|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Kelly, W. T.||Quibell, D. J. K.|
|Compton, Joseph||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Cove, William G.||Kinley, J.||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Cowan, D. M.||Kirkwood, D.||Raynes, W. R.|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Knight, Holford||Richards, R.|
|Daggar, George||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Dalton, Hugh||Lang, Gordon||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)|
|Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park)||Ritson, J.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Law, Albert (Bolton)||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Day, Harry||Law, A. (Rossendale)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lawrence, Susan||Romerll, H. G.|
|Devlin, Joseph||Lawson, John James||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Rothschild, J. de|
|Dukes, C.||Leach, W.||Rowson, Guy|
|Duncan, Charles||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Ede, James Chuter||Lees, J.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Edmunds, J. E.||Leonard, W.||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwallty)||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)|
|Egan, W. H.||Llndley, Fred W.||Sanders, W. S.|
|England, Colonel A.||Lloyd, C. Ellis||Sandham, E.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Logan, David Gilbert||Sawyer, G. F.|
|Foot, Isaac||Longbottom, A. W.||Scurr, John|
|Freeman, Peter||Longden, F.||Sexton, Sir James|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, K.)||Lunn, William||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Shield, George William|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Gibson, H. M. (Lancs. Mossley)||McElwee, A.||Shillaker, J. F.|
|Gilt, T. H.||McEntee, V. L.||Shinwell, E.|
|Glassey, A. E.||McGovern, J. (Glasgow, Shettleston)||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Gossling, A. G.||McKinlay, A.||Simmons, C. J.|
|Gould, F.||MacLaren, Andrew||Simon, E. D. (Manch'ter, Withington)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)||Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Graham, Rt. Hon. Win, (Edin., Cent.)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Sinkinson, George|
|Gray, Milner||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)|
|Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Tinker, John Joseph||Westwood, Joseph|
|Smith, Lees-, Rt. Hon. H. B. (Keighley)||Tout, W. J.||White, H. G.|
|Smith, Tom (Pontefract)||Townend, A. E.||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Smith, W. R. (Norwich)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon Sir Charles||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Vaughan, David||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)||Viant, S. P.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Sorensen, R.||Walkden, A. G.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Stamford, Thomas W.||Walker, J.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Stephen, Campbell||Wallace, H. W.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Strauss, G. R.||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Sullivan, J.||Watkins, F. C.||Winterton, G. E. (Leicester, Loughb'gh)|
|Sutton, J. E.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)||Wellock, Wilfred||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Thurtle, Ernest||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)||Mr. T. Henderson and Mr. Paling.|
|Tillett, Ben||West, F. R.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Elliot, Major Walter E.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s-M.)||Muirhead, A. J.|
|Albery, Irving James||Everard, W. Lindsay||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Ferguson, Sir John||O'Connor, T. J.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Fermoy, Lord||O'Neill, Sir H.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Fielden, E. B.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Fison, F. G. Clavering||Peake, Capt. Osbert|
|Astor, Viscountess||Ford, Sir P. J.||Penny, Sir George|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Galbraith, J. F. W.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Balniel, Lord||Ganzonl, Sir John||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Glimour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Preston, Sir Walter Rueben|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Gower, Sir Robert||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Remer, John R.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Reynolds, Col. Sir James|
|Boyce, Leslie||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecciesall)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E.|
|Broadbent, Colonel J.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Samuel, A. M, (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Buchan, John||Hammersley, S. S.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Hanbury, C.||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Savery, S. S.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hartington, Marquess of||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Butler, R. A.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Haslam, Henry C.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Campbell, E. T.||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Castle Stewart, Earl of||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Somerset, Thomas|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A.(Birm., W.)||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Christie, J. A.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Stanley, Hon. O. (Westmorland)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Hurd, Percy A.||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Clydesdale, Marquess of||Iveagh, Countess of||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast, South)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Knox, Sir Alfred||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Lamb, Sir J. O.||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Thompson, Luke|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Latham, H. P. (Scarboro' & Whitby)||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Thomson, Mitchell-. Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C.||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Train, J.|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lymington, Viscount||Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||McConnell, Sir Joseph||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Makins, Brigadier-General E.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, s.)||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.||Wells, Sydney R.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Withers, Sir John James|
|Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Womersley, W. J.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton||Captain Margesson and Sir Victor Warrender.|
§ Motion made, and Question put, The "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Committee divided; Ayes, 281; Noes, 204.289
|Division No. 341.]||AYES.||[5.58 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)||Gossling, A. G.||McGovern, J. (Glasgow, Shettleston)|
|Adamson, W. M. (Staff-, Cannock)||Gould, F.||McKinlay, A.|
|Altchison. Rt. Hon. Craigle M.||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||MacLaren, Andrew|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (Hillsbro')||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)|
|Ammon, Charles George||Gray, Milner||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Angell, Sir Norman||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Arnott, John||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.|
|Aske, Sir Robert||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||McShane, John James|
|Ayles, Walter||Groves, Thomas E.||Malone, C. L'Estrange (N'thampton)|
|Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)||Grundy, Thomas W.||Manning, E. L.|
|Barnes, Alfred John||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Mansfield, W.|
|Barr, James||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||March, S.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hall, Capt. W. P. (Portsmouth. C.)||Markham, S. F.|
|Benn, Rt. Hon. Wedgwood||Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)||Marley, J.|
|Bennett, Sir E. N. (Cardiff, Central)||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Zetland)||Marshall, Fred|
|Bennett, William (Battersea, South)||Harbord, A.||Mathers, George|
|Benson, G.||Hardle, David (Rutherglen)||Matters, L. W.|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Maxton, James|
|Bilndell, James||Haycock, A. W.||Messer, Fred|
|Bondfield, Rt. Han. Margaret||Hayday, Arthur||Millar, J. D.|
|Bowen, J. W.||Hayes, John Henry||Mills. J. E.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Burnley)||Montague, Frederick|
|Broad, Francis Alfred||Henderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)||Morgan, Dr. H. B.|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Henderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)||Morley, Ralph|
|Bromfield, William||Harriotts, J.||Morris, Rhys Hopkins|
|Bromley, J.||Hicks, Ernest George||Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)|
|Brooke, W.||Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)||Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Brothers, M.||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Mort, D. L.|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts, Mansfield)||Hoffman, p. C.||Muff, G.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)||Hollins, A.||Muggeridge, H. T.|
|Buchanan, G||Hopkin, Daniel||Murnin, Hugh|
|Burgess, F. G.||Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Naylor, T. E.|
|Burgin, Dr. E. L.||Hudson, James H. (Huddersfield)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Calne, Halt-, Derwent||Hunter, Dr. Joseph||Noel Baker, P. J.|
|Cameron, A. G.||Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.||Oldfield, J. R.|
|Cape, Thomas||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Oliver, George Harold (Ilkeston)|
|Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S. W.)||Johnston, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Oliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Jones, Llewellyn-, F.||Palin, John Henry|
|Chater, Daniel||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Palmer, E. T.|
|Clarke, J. S.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Jonas, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Phillips, Dr. Marion|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Jowett, Rt. Hon. F. W.||Picton-Turbervill, Edith|
|Compton, Joseph||Jowitt, Rt. Hon. Sir W. A. (Preston)||Pole, Major D. G.|
|Cove, William G.||Kelly, W. T.||Potts, John S.|
|Cowan, D. M.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Price, M. P.|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Kinley. J.||Pybus, Percy John|
|Daggar, George||Kirkwood, D.||Quibell, D. J. K.|
|Dalton, Hugh||Knight, Holford||Ramsay, T. B. Wilson|
|Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Davies, D. L. (Pontypridd)||Lang, Gordon||Raynes, W. R.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Richards, R.|
|Day, Harry||Lathan, G. (Sheffield, Park)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Law, Albert (Bolton)||Riley, Ben (Dewsbury)|
|Devlin, Joseph||Law, A. (Rossendale)||Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Dudgeon, Major C. R.||Lawrence, Susan||Ritson, J.|
|Dukes, C.||Lawson, John James||Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)|
|Duncan, Charles||Lawther, W. (Barnard Castle)||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs, Stretford)|
|Ede, James Chuter||Leach, W.||Romerll, H. G.|
|Edmunds, J. E.||Lee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)||Rosbotham, D. S. T.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Lees, J.||Rothschild, J. de|
|Egan, W. H.||Leonard, W.||Rowson, Guy|
|Elmley, Viscount||Lewis, T. (Southampton)||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|England, Colonel A.||Lindley, Fred W.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univer.)||Lloyd, C. Ellis||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Foot, Isaac||Logan, David Gilbert||Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)|
|Freeman, Peter||Longbottom, A. W.||Sanders, W. S.|
|Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)||Longden, F.||Sandham, E.|
|Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, N.)||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Sawyer, G. F.|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)||Lunn, William||Scurr, John|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Sexton, Sir James|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Gibson, H. M. (Lancs. Mossley)||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston).|
|Gill, T. H.||McElwee, A.||Shepherd, Arthur Lewis|
|Glassey, A. E.||McEntee, V. L.||Shield, George William|
|Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Sutton, J. E.||Wellock, Wilfred|
|Shillakar, J. F.||Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)||Welsh, James C. (Coatbridge)|
|Shinwell, E.||Taylor, W. B. (Norfolk, S. W.)||West, F. R.|
|Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)||Westwood, Joseph|
|Simmons. C. J.||Thurtle, Ernest||White, H. G|
|Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)||Tillett, Ben||Whiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Sinkinson, George||Tinker, John Joseph||Whiteley, William (Blaydon)|
|Sitch, Charles H.||Tout, W. J.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)||Townend, A. E.||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Smith, Lees-, Rt. Hon. H. B.(Keighley)||Vaughan, David||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Smith, Tom (Pontefract)||Viant, S. P.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Smith, W. R. (Norwich)||Walkden, A. G.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Walker, J.||Winterton, G. E.(Leicester. Loughb'gh)|
|Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)||Wallace, H. W.||Wood, Major McKenzie (Banff)|
|Sorensen, R.||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Tudor||Young, R. S. (Islington, North)|
|Stamford, Thomas W.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Stephen, Campbell||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Strauss, G. R.||Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)||Mr. T. Henderson and Mr. Paling.|
|Sullivan, J.||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Eden, Captain Anthony||Maitland, A. (Kent, Faversham)|
|Ainsworth, Lieut.-Col. Charles||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Makins, Brigadier-General E.|
|Albery, Irving James||Elliot, Major Walter E||Mason, Colonel Glyn K.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l., W.)||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s. M.)||Milne, Wardlaw-, J. S.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Everard, W. Lindsay||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.||Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Ferguson, Sir John||Moore, Sir Newton J. (Richmond)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Fermoy, Lord||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)|
|Astor, Viscountess||Fielden, E. B.||Morrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley (Bewdley)||Fison, F. G. Clavering||Muirhead, A. J.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Ford, Sir P. J.||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)|
|Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)||Forestler-Walker, Sir L.||Nicholson, O. (Westminster)|
|Balniel, Lord||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G.(Ptrsf'ld)|
|Beaumont, M. W.||Galbraith, J. F. W.||O'Connor, T. J.|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon||Ganzonl, Sir John||O'Neill, Sir H.|
|Betterton, Sir Henry B.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William|
|Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)||Gibson, C. G. (Pudsey & Otley)||Peake, Capt. Osbert|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Penny, Sir George|
|Bird, Ernest Roy||Glyn, Major R. G. C.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Gower, Sir Robert||Perkins, W. R. D.|
|Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.||Graham, Fergus (Cumberland, N.)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)|
|Boyce, Leslie||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Pilditch, Sir Philip|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter||Power, Sir John Cecil|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Preston, Sir Walter Rueben|
|Broadbent, Colonel J.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Buchan, John||Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Remer, John R.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Hammersley, S. S.||Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Hanbury, C.||Reynolds, Col. Sir James|
|Butler, R. A||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecciesall)|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hartington, Marquess of||Rodd, Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell|
|Campbell, E. T.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Haslam, Henry C.||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E.|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth, S.)||Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd, Henley)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cazalet, Captain Victor A.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A.(Birm-, W.)||Hennessy, Major Sir G. R. J.||Samuel, Samuel (W'deworth, Putney)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)||Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Savery, S. S.|
|Christle, J. A.||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert S.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U., Belfast)|
|Clydesdale, Marquess of||Howard-Bury, Colonel C. K.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine. C.)|
|Colville, Major D. J.||Hurd, Percy A.||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Courtauld, Major J. S.||Inskip, Sir Thomas||Somerset, Thomas|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.||Iveagh, Countess of||Southby, Commander A. R. J.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Kindersley, Major G. M.||Spender-Clay, Colonel H.|
|Crichton-Stuart, Lord C.||Knox, Sir Alfred||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C.||Lamb, Sir J. O.||Stanley, Hon. O. (Westmorland)|
|Culverwell, C. T. (Bristol, West)||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Cunliffe-Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Latham, H. P. (Scarboro' & Whitby)||Stewart, W. J. (Belfast South)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Dalrymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir Godfrey||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral M. F.|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. (Hertford)||Lewis, Oswald (Colchester)||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E. A.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Llewellin, Major J. J.||Thompson, Luke|
|Davison, Sir W. H. (Kensington, S.)||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hon. Godfrey||Thomson, Sir F.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Lockwood, Captain J. H.||Thomson, Mitchell-, Rt. Hon. Sir W.|
|Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Lymington, Viscount||Todd, Capt. A. J.|
|Dugdale, Capt. T. L.||McConnell, Sir Joseph||Train, J.|
|Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement||Wayland, Sir William A.||Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount|
|Turton, Robert Hugh||Welle, Sydney R.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley|
|Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton|
|Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Warrender, Sir Victor||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Waterhouse, Captain Charles||Withere, Sir John James||Captain Margesson and Major the Marquess of Titchfield.|