HC Deb 06 June 1932 vol 266 cc1676-80

I beg to move, in page 47, line 1, to leave out the word "a," and to insert instead thereof the word "the."

This is a drafting Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In line 3, leave out the word "this," and insert instead thereof the word "a."—[Mr. E. Brown.]

Brigadier-General CLIFTON BROWN

I beg to move, in page 47, line 12, after the second word "the," to insert the words "owner and."

Notice should be served on the owner as well as on the occupier. Most owners would be only too glad to have an Order to remove advertisements and I think the owner ought to know.

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

I beg to second the Amendment.


I am prepared to agree that the owners shall have a copy, as well as the occupier, and I propose therefore to accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 48, line 3, leave out the third word "or," and insert instead thereof the word "and."—[Mr. E. Brown.]

In page 48, line 13, leave out the word "shall," and insert instead thereof the word "may."—[Sir H. Young.]

In page 48, line 13, after the word "authority," insert the words: subject to such conditions as may be specified in the scheme."—[Mr. E. Brown.]


May I ask your guidance, Mr. Speaker? I handed in a manuscript Amendment earlier in the day which I hoped might take the place of the one which I have already put upon the Paper. It is more detailed, and perhaps is not so drastic in its application. I should like to know whether I am entitled to move it.


The hon. Member may now move his manuscript Amendment.


I beg to move, in page 48, line 38, at the end, to insert the words: (iv) in respect of advertisements or hoardings displayed or set up on or upon any railway station, yard, platform, or railway approach belonging to a railway company, or on or upon any dock, quay, pier, landing stage, wharf, lock or toll station belonging to any harbour, dock or canal undertaking. If hon. Members will compare that Amendment with the one which stands in my name on the Order Paper, they will see that we are modifying our suggestion very much as regards advertisements that are to be displayed or set up on any land or buildings belonging to any statutory undertaker. Every hon. Member is well aware of the interest that is taken about the regulation and control of advertisements, which have been dealt with by previous Acts in this House, especially under the Advertisement Regulations Act, 1907, and the Advertisement Regulation Act, 1925. The Act of 1925 was passed after some 18 years' experience of the first Act, and was of a rather amplifying character. On the whole, those two Acts have been very well carried out and have been welcomed by the advertisers, local authorities, and the public.

It will be within the recollection of those Members who served on the Committee that a new Clause was to be introduced by the Minister and that is Clause 42, which is before the House at this moment. Clause 42 sets out very fully the position relating to the control and regulation of advertisements as far as they can be dealt with in town planning schemes. I think hon. Members will agree with me that those who are concerned with the advertising industry have gone very far indeed to meet those who are interested in town planning. We have a new basis of regulations for advertisements that is going to be for the benefit of all concerned and to the guardianship of our scenery and the beauty of our country. I do not wish the Minister to think that, in moving this Amendment, I am trying to upset any agreement that has been made. I merely wish to safeguard certain provisions in the interests of those bodies of whom I have spoken this afternoon.

If hon. Members will turn to Clause 42, they will see that the powers conferred on the responsible authorities by Subsections (l) to (4) will not be exercisable in regard to certain advertisements that are set out. I need not detain the House by reading them, because they are set out in the new Clause. Section (4) of the Clause is only to apply generally the principles which have already been accepted by the Advertisement Regulation Acts to which I have referred, and by certain other private Acts of Parliament. Sub-section (3) of Section 1 of the Act of 1925 provides: This Section shall not apply to the exhibition of advertisements on or upon any railway station, yard, platform, or railway approach belonging to a railway company, or except within the district of a Rural District Council upon any dock, quay, pier, landing stage, wharf, lock or toll station belonging to any harbour, dock, or canal undertaking. I would like to point out to the House that a large number of those advertisements that are displayed upon railway stations or upon the properties of statutory undertakings are either advertisements relating to their business, such as time tables, fares, announcements of excursions, or they are in any case advertisements for the various resorts which are served by the railway companies concerned. In many cases they are an addition to the amenities of the neighbourhood, and not in any way a disadvantage. In certain places they are a legitimate source of revenue often wanted at the present moment by those people.

If we leave that question and turn from the general principle as laid down by the Act of 1925 to certain local Acts, we find that there are three methods by which advertisements are dealt with at the present moment in schemes analogous to those under town planning schemes and Acts. One is that it is provided that it shall not be lawful to erect any hoarding or similar structure to be used partly or purely for advertisement purposes to a greater height than 12 feet. In the past three years a number of local authorities have been including such a Clause in their Bills such as in the Epsom Rural District Council Act and the Tamworth Corporation Act of last year. In those cases, provisions were inserted to protect the railway companies and their property, and those powers were extended to canal companies as well.

The second type of case is that where the local authority has the right to serve a notice on an owner whose property has a poster display which might be regarded as being disturbing to the amenities of the property. This power was included in the Epsom and Guildford Rural District Council Acts of 1930 and the Rom-ford Urban District Council Act, 1931. Every one of those Acts also provided an exception, protecting the railway companies and their property. The third method of procedure enacts that it shall not be lawful to erect or exhibit any advertisement upon any building or hoarding except with a licence with the corporation. That Clause was contained in the Liverpool Corporation (General Powers) Act, 1930.

There are also provisions expressly put in the Act protecting railway companies and their property and also the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board from the provisions of the Clause. The Amendment which I am moving is a new paragraph to Clause 42, and is not dictated by any desire to take powers which would offend against the principles of town planning or the amenities of our countryside. It is only to ensure in this Bill, where we are dealing with the question of a display of advertisements, that protection which has been assured to statutory undertakers in the past both by the Acts of Parliament dealing with advertisements, and by a large number of local Acts which I have quoted. I hope the Minister will see his way to support my Amendment.


I beg to second the Amendment.


I am afraid I have not received any previous intimation of the reasons for this Amendment. Every effort has been made to meet the statutory undertakers in every possible and legitimate claim that they made. I cannot but think it was ill advised that they should make a claim which would put them in a purely privileged position, and in a manner which would differentiate them from other commercial undertakings. Why should a statutory authority be able to make a nuisance of themselves upon a railway station, yard or other place belonging to a railway company, or upon a dock, pier, landing stage, etc., when they are not allowed to do it anywhere else? I am unable to understand what is the basis of the Amendment in advancing the claim that the statutory undertakers should be put in a privileged position.

Further let me point out that statutory undertakers have, under Clause 38 of the Bill, special rights distinguishing them from other classes, including a special right of appeal against any provision proposed in a scheme on the ground that it is an illegitimate interference with them in the carrying out of their own undertaking. In these circumstances, I think it would be quite wrong to place them, with respect to the provisions of the Bill which deal with advertisements, in a different position from any other undertaking. The provisions of the Bill with regard to advertisements are very much circumscribed, and there is ample protection for the special interests of statutory undertakers, so that I think they ought to be put, so far as possible, in the same position as anyone else with regard to this matter.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment made: In page 49, line 5, leave out the words "during that period," and insert instead thereof the words "at that date."—[Sir H. Young.]