§ 8.20 p.m.
§ Major Sir ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR
I beg to move, in page 2, line 3, after the word "houses," to insert the words "not in a rural area."
I hope I shall not be out of order if I express my very great regret at being called upon to discuss a Bill of this importance, raising issues of such serious controversy, at this hour of the night. The Bill is as important to Scotland as the English Housing Bill was to England and Wales. I wonder if even now the Government could not make some 2276 arrangement of their business so that we might have an adequate discussion of what for Scotland is a very important matter. I know that a number of friends of mine who were very anxious to be here on Wednesday and made their plans to be here could not alter them so as to be here to-day. It was certainly understood that we should have only an hour or two taken off our time by the Indian Debate and that we should have a full opportunity for a thorough discussion of the proposals of the Bill. I very much regret that that has not turned out to be the case.
The effect of my Amendment would be this. Under the provisions of the Bill the subsidy that was given to housing under the 1924 Act is to be reduced from £9 in the case of houses built in other than rural areas to £3, and the subsidy of £12 10s. for houses in rural areas is also to be reduced to £3. If my Amendment was carried, it would not affect the provisions of the Bill in respect to the £9 subsidy—that is dealt with in a later Amendment—but it would leave the £12 10s. subsidy in operation in the rural areas. There is a real need of houses in rural Scotland at present. The Scottish Housing Commission reported in 1917 that there was a dearth of houses in rural areas and it was of the utmost importance as a matter of public policy to build houses. They declared that the absence of houses was not one of the results but one of the causes of rural depopulation, and the situation since then has not very greatly improved.
I was informed by the Secretary of State, in answer to a question a week or two ago, that the number of houses required in county areas to replace uninhabitable houses was no less than 8,690. That is according to returns which local authorities have made to the Department of Health under the provisions of the 1930 Act. When the National Government was formed, the seriousness of this situation occupied my attention as Secretary of State. At that time we were economising in every direction and were cutting expenditure ruthlessly, and necessarily. In spite of that fact, so serious was the position that we decided to put into partial operation the Housing Rural Workers Act, 1931, which at that time was not in operation at all, and to build 500 houses in rural areas. There were applications actually for 1,700 but, 2277 in view of the serious position of the national finances at the time, it was remarkable that we managed to find the money for these 500, and it would not have been done if the need had not been clearly urgent.
In order to get these houses built, the Committee which was set up under the provisions of the Act to advise the Department of Health as to the amount of the subsidy necessary to induce local authorities in poor rural areas to build houses found itself bound to advise a very large subsidy indeed. In reply to a question two or three weeks ago, I was informed that, including the Wheatley subsidy of £12 10s., the highest subsidy given was no less than £24 10s. and the lowest in the rural areas was £14 15s. That will show clearly that the idea of being able to build houses with a subsidy of £3, or the idea that building societies merely with the Government guarantee will be able to build houses in the rural areas, is the merest moonshine. We shall be deluding ourselves if we think that any housing- will be done in the rural areas of Scotland under the provisions of this Bill. It is just possible that a little housing may be done, even in rural areas, under the provisions of the Slum Clearance Act, 1930, but its provisions have not yet been found easy to work, and I doubt very much if it will be found to apply on any large scale in the rural areas. It certainly has not been so applied yet. The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, when he comes to reply will say that he is not only relying upon that but upon the Housing (Rural Workers) Act, 1926. I have asked the Secretary of State some questions about the operation of that Act in the rural areas of Scotland, and I find that out of 33 counties in Scotland, no fewer than 11, one-third of the whole, have only modified schemes under that Act in operation. Four counties in -Scotland have suspended their schemes altogether under the Act, and a fifth county has suspended except for urgent cases.
If hon. Members will look at the answer which I received to two questions which I asked on the subject on 13th March, they will see that the tendency is for counties to do less; that in every case the tendency is gradually to contract their schemes and to modify them in a backward direction and to do less and less as time passes. Obviously the reason 2278 why they are doing less is that they cannot afford to do more. Consequently, it is not surprising to find that it is exactly in the poorest counties, where the need for housing in the rural areas is greatest, that the tendency to do less and less is most marked. Where the need is greatest the least work is being done. The number of houses built under this Act during each of the last three quarters for which information is available, that is, up to the end of December, 1932, shows a gradual decline—771 houses, 735, and, in the last quarter, only 667. Therefore, the House will see that less and less is being done, and that least is being done where the need is greatest.
I submit that this is no time to take away any advantage which has always been given, and, by general agreement, rightly given, to housing authorities in rural areas as compared with burghal areas. Hon. Members representing burghal constituencies always agree that the relatively small advantage of £12 10s., as compared with £9 given under the Wheatley Act, does not, in fact, fully equalise the difference in conditions between the burghal and the country areas. The advantage, far from being too great, is really inadequate. Therefore I ask the right hon. Gentleman and the House to agree that, at any rate, some substantial advantage should be retained for the county areas. The figures which I have quoted of the subsidies paid under the 1931 Act show so clearly how difficult it is to get houses built in the rural areas in Scotland that they would very nearly destroy my case because they are almost too strong for my case.
It may be said that if you could only build houses with a £14 10s. subsidy, if that were the smallest subsidy with which you could get houses built in the rural areas last year, what is the use of asking even for a £12 10s. subsidy? My answer to that is that it is, in fact, true, as Government spokesmen have emphasised repeatedly in the Debates which we have had upon this Measure, that there has been a fall in building costs. I think that it is true to say that this fall in building costs probably has made it possible for houses to be built in the rural areas in Scotland at the present time, providing a really substantial subsidy is given. But if, indeed, rural authorities are driven back upon the 2279 Housing (Rural Workers) Act, or upon a £3 subsidy under the present Bill, then, indeed, the outlook for housing in rural areas in Scotland will be black. I, therefore, beg of the House and of the Government to accept the Amendment which I have moved.
§ 8.32 p.m.
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. Skelton)
The first observation I would make about the Amendment of my right hon. and gallant Friend is a technical one, that it would have exactly the opposite effect to what he hoped to achieve. If you exclude, as he excludes, rural houses from Subsection (1) of Clause 1, the effect of Clause 2 would be to deprive them of any subsidy at all, whereas the House well knows that we propose that urban and rural areas shall, where houses are uninhabitable and overcrowded, even have the £3 subsidy.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I did not suppose that the Government would accept the Amendment exactly in the form in which it was moved, but if my hon. Friend will indicate that the Government are prepared to accept the principle of the Amendment, I will very gladly accept any consequential Amendments which may be necessary.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I am afraid that I am not prepared to accept the Amendment in any form. In any case, it would need most elaborate drafting arrangements which could not possibly be carried at the moment. On the merits of the Amendment, my right hon. Friend laid great emphasis upon the fact that the rural areas in their return far 1930 showed that there was a need of 8,000 houses, and he said that those 8,000 houses were required to replace houses which were uninhabitable. Very well, in that case those houses will get the slum clearance grant—the 1930 Act grant—which remains intact. All Scottish Members of the House very well know that the 1930 Act has been largely made use of in Scotland for replacing individual uninhabitable houses as well as for going in for the major provision of the Apt, namely, either clearance or improvement schemes. The replacement of the 8,000 houses required will not in the least be affected by the provisions of the 2280 present Bill. It is not mere chance which makes rural authorities concentrate upon uninhabitable houses. It is one of the features of the rural districts in England and Scotland that the rural population is not increasing but declining. Therefore, the major problem in Scotland, particularly in the rural districts is the replacement of uninhabitable houses. The solution of that problem remains quite unaffected by the provisions of this Bill.
Let me complete the picture so far as the provision of new houses is concerned by saying that the £3 subsidy of the 1933 Bill which will be available to rural authorities in cases where low-wage earners in over-crowded conditions desire better accommodation, will be at least the equivalent of the £12 10s. subsidy, that is to say, the rural subsidy, when it was granted in 1924. Therefore, I do not think that it is open to my right hon. Friend to say that the subsidy will not carry out its functions. The main problem with which rural authorities and the authorities of small towns in the centre of rural districts are faced is the problem of the uninhabitable houses. Let me take, for instance, two small burghs which my right hon. Friend knows very well, the Burghs of Thurso and Wick.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I think that is true, but it is none the less relevant to show that what is true of the actual rural areas is equally true of the small burghs in their midst. Even there in those small burghs their 1930 estimate was only based upon uninhabitable houses and not at all on an increase of population. It is in these circumstances that I ask the Committee not to accept the Amendment, because if there is one department of which we can say in particular that the new situation which will follow will absolutely meet the problems with which we are faced, it is in the rural areas, because there the question is the uninhabitable house, and that is dealt with by the Act of 1930. If the houses and the cottages are not uninhabitable, if they are still in a habitable state but need repair, then there comes into the play the Rural Workers Act, which was passed originally by the Conservative Government and prolonged by the Labour Government. Its function, speaking broadly, is to bring up to modern 2281 requirements rural cottages, the general structure of which is perfectly sound but which may be defective either in water supply, drainage, or very often in regard to the number of rooms, according to modern standards. If we look at the rural problem as a whole it is clear that it is largely covered by the combination of the slum clearance subsidy of £2 10s. per unit displaced, the rural workers' housing operations, with the valuable work which has been done for country cottages, and then the £3, subsidy.
One word about the functioning of the 1926 and 1931 Acts. My right hon. Friend said the trouble was that certain counties have for the moment suspended the operation of the 1926 Act, but he ought also to have stated that the work done under that Act in Scotland has been of the very largest size. Actually more houses, more cottages, have been reconditioned in the country parts of Scotland under that Act than in England, not in proportion but actually more. I have not with me at the moment the number of cottages where operations are going on just now, but at the end of last year the number completed was very nearly 12,000, and I know that a very substantial number are at present being reconstructed. Therefore, although it is true that certain counties, after the great amount of work that they have done in the past—Berwickshire was one; it was pre-eminent in its activities under the 1926 Act—have suspended the Act for the moment, it by no means follows that they will not renew the operations under this Act as need requires. I would ask my right hon. and gallant Friend if he cannot see his way to withdraw the Amendment, because it is no improvement of the situation, and in its present form it would have exactly the opposite effect from that which he desires.
§ 8.41 p.m.
§ Sir ROBERT HAMILTON
I do not with to say anything about the drafting of the Amendment, but I should like to say a few words about the merits of the question, and particularly in regard to the 8,000 houses which the Under-Secretary said could be dealt with under the Slum Clearance Act. The amount of money available under that Act depends upon the numbers in any family that have to be moved. In that case if it was a small family the amount available for 2282 dealing with any house would be very small. The amount of subsidy would be so small that I am afraid it would not be sufficient to enable the Under-Secretary to give a definite guarantee that that work could be carried out under the Act. I should like an assurance that he is definitely satisfied that the 8,000 houses can be dealt with under the existing Slum Clearance Act.
§ 8.43 p.m.
§ Mr. DUNCAN GRAHAM
The Under-Secretary would seem to suggest that the housing problem only affects the agricultural counties, but I would point out that a very large proportion of the Scottish population lives in industrial areas, where the housing conditions are exceptionally bad. The acceptance of the Amendment, or some understanding in regard to the point raised, would go a long way towards removing one of the biggest blots on Scottish housing. The houses in rural areas are in many ways unspeakable, not only in counties in the north and the south of Scotland but also in what are regarded as industrial areas, mostly in the county of Lanark. You will see there some horrible spectacles of houses in which people are living and nothing can be done to recondition them. They are diseased houses, and it is absolutely impossible to preserve anything like health in them. New houses are required, but the local authorities, particularly in the south-west of Scotland, cannot find the money from their rates to enable them to provide the necessary accommodation, to enable houses to be built which provide for the separation of the sexes and for the other amenities required in any house to give modern sanitary conditions. I should like the Under-Secretary to endeavour to meet the point raised by my right hon. Friend opposite, and to make the subsidy cover a bigger area. I hope it will be possible for the Government to meet the point raised by the right hon. and gallant Member.
§ 8.45 p.m.
§ Mr. SKELTON
With the permission of the House I will answer the direct question put to me. We are all aware of the large number of houses in industrial districts which are uninhabitable, and also the large number which are rapidly becoming uninhabitable, but I think the provisions of the 1930 Act 2283 adequately meet that situation. And for this reason. That Act provides a subsidy of £2 10s. per person displaced; and that means that where you have a family of five persons you get a subsidy of £12 10s. The average subsidy has worked out at about, £12 10s. In the class of house and district which the hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. D. Graham) has in mind the families tend to be large and very often the subsidy is more than £12 10s. The satisfactory nature of the subsidy is further made manifest by the number of cases in which it has been possible to allow the rate contribution to be definitely less than the £4 10s. allowed for in the 1930 Act. The fact is that there is a large and growing list of burghs and other local authorities in Scotland where the rate contribution is far below the £4 10s. sanctioned. If you take into account the progressive decline in the cost of houses, which is so marked that since the beginning of this year the average decline is about £7 per house, and even more in individual cases, and also the fact that in the truly rural, areas families tend to be large, you will find that in practice the subsidy of £2 10s. per person displaced will be adequate for the work of replacing uninhabitable houses, and that no local authority is likely to be overburdened with expenditure in this matter.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
Can the Under-Secretary do anything to urge local authorities and county authorities in Scotland to make more decisive attempts at overcoming the overcrowding and to overtake the large number of houses, the 8,000, which are required to be replaced in county areas?
§ Mr. SKELTON
The House will forgive me for rising the third time, and perhaps it would be more convenient if hon. Members put their points before I replied. Without forestalling observations which really are not relevant to this Amendment may I say that the work under slum clearance is constantly increasing. The activity of Scottish local authorities in slum clearance in the use of the 1930 Act shows a most rapid and satisfactory increase which is by no means confined to urban districts. Let me give the House three figures of houses completed under the 1930 Act at 2284 the end of 1930, 1931 and 1932. In 1930 there were only 518, at the end of 1932 1,170, and in 1933 2,150. That is to say, in two years there has been an increase from 500 to 2,000; and in order to complete the picture may I add that in the first three months of this year the number of new applications approved under the 1930 Act has amounted to a total of 1,418. I beg hon. Members' pardon. The figures for the first three months of the last three years are, in 1931 518, in 1932 1,170, and for the first three months of 1933 1,400.
Every indication shows that local authorities are more and more concentrating upon the use of the 1930 Act. I cannot give details as to how far county authorities are making use of it, but my impression is that they are also making adequate use of the Act. Indeed, they have every inducement to do so. May I say now that the work of local authorities as a whole in Scotland, in using the first 50 per cent. grant under the old Act and now the subsidy under the 1930 Act for the purpose of replacing uninhabitable houses and slum clearance, is really worthy of high praise.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
I want to get this clear. He said that the number was 2,103 in 1932. Is that completed or approved houses?
§ Mr. SKELTON
I must apologise to the House. I should have left these figures to a more convenient moment. I intended to compare the first three months of the last three years, and I should have confined them to the 1930 Act. I have the figures showing the total slum clearance work done under the old 50 per cent. grant. Let me give the figures finally and, I hope, clearly. The increased activity in the use of the 1930 Act can best be judged by compar- 2285 ing the first three months of this year with the first three months of the last two years. In the first three months of 1931 there were 518 applications, in the first three months of 1932 there were 1,107, and in the first three months of this year there were 1,413. If I were to add the houses under the old 50 per cent. grant I should get a figure even more striking for the present year.
§ 8.56 p.m.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
There are only three points I wish to make. It is very good of the Under-Secretary to give its those figures, and we are grateful to him for the information. As to the housing situation in the rural areas I can only say that I do not know where this Act is being used. It is certainly not being used in the parts that I know. The Under-Secretary stated that the £3 subsidy is now equal to the £12 10s. subsidy when Mr. Wheatley first introduced his Act. Although that was considered a generous subsidy, it was quite inadequate for the purposes of housing in rural areas, and in fact hardly any houses were built under it. It is only because costs have now fallen that that subsidy is now a good one for the rural areas. When the Under-Secretary said that the average subsidy is worked out at £12 10s. under the Slum Clearance Act of 1930, of course he forgot to explain that naturally local authorities in their slum clearance schemes provide first for the big families, because they get. a subsidy of £2 10s. per person, and they generally leave over the small families of a single individual or a married couple, or a married couple and child, hoping that these will find alternative accommodation on their own initiative. Therefore it is only natural to find that in the early stages of the operation of the Slum Clearance Act local authorities have earned the higher rate of subsidy. But it is very far from being the case that that would be the average over the whole of Scotland.
§ 8.58 p.m.
What the Under-Secretary said has gone a long way to reassure those of us who represent rural areas as to what the position will be under the new conditions about to be set up. Perhaps my Liberal friends will see their 2286 way now not to press their Amendment to a Division. We have been reminded that the question of housing is an acute problem not only in the rural areas, but in the industrial and urban districts as well. The condition of housing in every area is a matter of serious concern to every Scottish Member, and to every Member of this House. On this Amendment we have been considering once again the question of the subsidy, or a subsidy, and it shows how wise the Government were in introducing two separate Measures for housing, one for England and one for Scotland, thereby showing that they fully realise the totally different conditions that apply to rural areas and industrial areas in Scotland and in England. My hon. Friends regret the reduction of the subsidy. They fear that local authorities will not be able to do all that the Under-Secretary has suggested that they will do. There are some people in the country who regret that a subsidy is to be maintained at all. I am certainly not one of them—
§ Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Captain Bourne)
I must remind the hon. Member that we are confined strictly to the question of the continuance of the subsidy in Scotland in rural areas only.
This Bill is part of the Government's general scheme, and as such as accept it. I think what the Under-Secretary has said, as to what local authorities have done in the past, will reassure us as to how those authorities will proceed in the future. Housing in the agricultural areas is a very serious problem indeed. Even now, in a period of agricultural depression, there is a housing shortage, and the question naturally arises as to what is to happen when we have, as we are almost certain to have, an increased demand for housing owing to a revival in agriculture. I notice that the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) laughs. Such a revival is about to come. I hope that the Government will take time by the forelock and carry on the good work that they have been doing hitherto.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 47; Noes, 200.2269
|Division No. 134.]||AYES.||[7.54 p.m.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Hales, Harold K.|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Daggar, George||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanron)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Ztl'nd)|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Dobbie, William||Hanbury, Cecil|
|Atkinson, Cyril||Doran, Edward||Hanley, Dennis A.|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Duggan, Hubert John||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Dunglass, Lord||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Edwards, Charles||Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Herbert, Capt. S. (Abbey Division)|
|Bernaye, Robert||Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Entwistle, Cyril Fullard||Hirst, George Henry|
|Blindell, James||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Horobin, Ian M.|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Evans, David Owen (Cardigan)||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||Howard, Tom Forrest|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Ganzoni, Sir John||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)|
|Burghley, Lord||Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Hume, Sir George Hopwood|
|Burton, Colonel Henry Walter||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)|
|Butler, Richard Austen||Gillett, Sir George Masterman||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Glossop, C. W. H.||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Goff, Sir Park||John, William|
|Cape, Thomas||Gower, Sir Robert||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Carver, Major William H.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Castle Stewart, Earl||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Ker, J. Campbell|
|Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)|
|Clark, Frank||Grenfell, E. C. (City of London)||Kerr, Hamilton W.|
|Clayton, Dr. George C.||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro'. W.)||Kirkwood, David|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Grimston, R. V.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Groves, Thomas E.||Lawson, John James|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Grundy, Thomas W.||Leech, Dr. J. W.|
|Cove, William G.||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Leonard, William|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Lewis, Oswald|
|Cross, R. H.||Guy, J. C. Morrison||Liddall, Walter S.|
|Lindsay, Noel Ker||Owen, Major Goronwy||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Parkinson, John Allen||Spens, William Patrick|
|Lloyd, Geoffrey||Patrick, Colin M.||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)|
|Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Pearson, William G.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Penny, Sir George||Stevenson, James|
|Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F.|
|Lunn, William||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Mabane, William||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)||Summersby, Charles H.|
|McCorquodale, M. S.||Potter, John||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|McEntee, Valentine L.||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Pybus, Percy John||Thompson, Luke|
|McKie, John Hamilton||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western isles)||Thamson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Ramsbotham, Herwald||Thorne, William James|
|Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Rankin, Robert||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Magnay, Thomas||Rathbone, Eleanor||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||Rea, Waiter Russell||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Margesson, Capt, Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)||Rosbotham, Sir Samuel||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Merriman, Sir F. Boyd||Runge, Norah Cecil||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Milner, Major James||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.|
|Mitchell, Harold P.(Br'tfd & Chisw'k)||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour-|
|Moreing, Adrian C.||Salmon, Sir Isidore||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Morgan, Robert H.||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Morrison, William Shephard||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Moss, Captain H. J.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Young, Rt. Hon. sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Muirhead, Major A. J.||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Newton, Sir Douglas George C.||Skelton, Archibald Noel||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Smithers, Waldron||Mr. Womersley and Major George Davies.|
|O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Fuller, Captain A. G.||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, B'nstaple)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Gluckstein, Louis Halls||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Greene, William P. C.||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Remer, John R.|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Renwick, Major Gustav A.|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Beaumont, M. W, (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Hellgere, Captain F. F. A.||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Bracken, Brendan||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Knox, Sir Alfred||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks., Newb'y)||Levy, Thomas||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, Citv)||Macdonatd, Sir Mirdoch (Inverness)||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||McGovern, John||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Courtauld, Major John Sewell||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Maxton, James|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Davison, Sir William Henry||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Mr. Charles Williams and Lieut.-|
|Donner, P. W.||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Colonel Windsor-Clive.|
|Eastwood, John Francis||Oman, Sir Charles William C.|
Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.
|Division No. 135.]||AYES.||[9.2 p.m.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Batey, Joseph||Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Bernays, Robert||Hirst, George Henry||Maxton, James|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Milner, Major James|
|Cove, William G.||John, William||Owen, Major Goronwy|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Daggar, George||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Kirkwood, David||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Thorne, William James|
|Dobbie, William||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Edwards, Charles||Leonard, William||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Graham, D. M, (Lanark, Hamilton)||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Lunn, William|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro'. W.)||McGovern, John||Mr. Maclay and Mr. Dingle Foot.|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Ganzoni, Sir John||Moreing, Adrian C.|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Gillett, Sir George Masterman||Morrison, William Shephard|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Moss, Captain H. J.|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Glossop, C. W. H.||Munro, Patrick|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Goff, Sir Park||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Goldie, Noel B.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Gower, Sir Robert||North, Captain Edward T.|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Nunn, William|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Greene, William P. C.||O'Donovan, Dr. William James|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Grenfell, E. C. (City of London)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G.A.|
|Atkinson, Cyril||Grimston, R. V.||Pearson, William G.|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Penny, Sir George|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Gunston, Captain D, W.||Percy, Lord Eustace|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Guy, J. C. Morrison||Perkins, Walter R. D.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Hales, Harold K.||Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n,Bilst'n)|
|Blaker, Sir Reginald||Hanley, Dennis A.||Potter, John|
|Blindell, James||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Ramsbotham, Herwald|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)||Rankin, Robert|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Herbert, Capt. S. (Abbey Division)||Rawson, Sir Cooper|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks., Newb'y)||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)|
|Suchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Burnett, John George||Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Horobin, Ian M.||Rosbotham, Sir Samuel|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Horsbrugh, Florence||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Howard, Tom Forrest||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)|
|Carver, Major William H.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)|
|Castle Stewart, Earl||Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Clarke, Frank||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard|
|Clayton Dr. George C.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Scone, Lord|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Ker, J. Campbell||Selley, Harry R.|
|Collins, Rt. Hon. Sir Godfrey||Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Knebworth, Viscount||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Leech, Dr. J. W.||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Levy, Thomas||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Liddall, Walter S.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Crookthank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Cross, R. H.||Mabane, William||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Spens, William Patrick|
|Culverwell, Cyril Tom||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset,Yeovil)||McKie, John Hamilton||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Duggan, Hubert John||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Stevenson, James|
|Dunglass, Lord||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Magnay, Thomas||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Entwistle, Cyril Fullard||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Martin, Thomas B.||Thompson, Luke|
|Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Merriman, Sr F. Boyd||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Mills. Major J. D. (New Forest)||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Fuller, Captain A. G.||Mitchell, Harold P.(Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Ward, Lt.,-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)||Whyts, Jardine Bell||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Walleend)||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton(S'v'noaks)|
|Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Wells, Sydney Richard||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George||Sir Frederick Thomson and Dr. Morris-Jones.|
|Whiteside, Borras Noel H.||Womersley, Waiter James|
§ 9.12 p.m.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I beg to move in page 2, line 11, to leave out the words, "three pounds," and to insert instead thereof the words,not more than nine or less than three pounds as the Department may determine.The object of the Amendment is to prevent in one case too much money being given—perhaps more money than is necessary—and in another case to see that adequate subsidy is paid to enable houses to be let to lowly paid wage-earners at rents which must necessarily be uneconomic. If we expect local authorities to build houses to be let at uneconomic rents, we must pay adequate subsidies. One hon. Member in the Scottish Grand Committee said that he would vote against our Amendment if he were assured that houses could be provided on the basis of a £3 subsidy. It is clear from correspondence which I and other hon. Members have had, that houses cannot possibly be provided in many areas of Scotland, by local authorities or by private enterprise, on the basis of a £3 subsidy, to be let, as the Government according to a later Amendment intend, at rents of not more than 6s. or in exceptional cases 6s. 6d. a week. My hon. Friends and I are assured that in many districts in Scotland the finance of such a scheme is fantastic, and that it will be impossible to get houses built on the basis of those figures. Indeed, I think it is clear from statements in the Scottish Grand Committee. The Under-Secretary said that if the local authorities were to build houses with a £3 subsidy, they would themselves have to shoulder, more than the burden of the £4 10s., which was laid upon them under the Wheatley Act of 1924. The hon. Gentleman said:Surely it is not too much to ask that, if necessary, the local authorities, in building £3 subsidy houses, should be prepared to spend rather more than the £4 10s. If there is going to be variation of subsidy why should not the local subsidy vary instead of the State subsidy? "—[OFFICIAL REPORT (Standing Committee on Scottish Bills), 7th March, 1933; col. 55.]But where are those houses wanted? They are mainly wanted, especially for 2290 the lowly-paid wage-earner, and the unemployed man with a family, in the most distressed areas of Scotland, where already the burdens upon the local authorities threaten to break those authorities. One of the great problems facing this House is how to enable such local authorities to continue to carry their existing responsibilities let alone building houses to be let at substantially lower rents than they have hitherto received with only one-third of the subsidy which has hitherto been payable. It could not have been very easy for the Israelites in Egypt to make bricks without straw, but it will be quite impossible for the local authorities of Scotland, especially in the distressed areas, to make houses to let at 6s. a week with a subsidy of only £3. Again, the Under-Secretary of State, on the same day and in the course of the same Debate, said that local authorities would work in their operations under Clause 1 with their operations under the Slum Clearance Act of 1930, and he said:If you can show that in a large number of cases the contribution is less than £4 10s."—that is, the contribution under the slum clearance schemes—surely, as a make-weight, it is not unreasonable, in the case of a local authority working out a slum clearance plan, rebuilding uninhabitable houses and combining it with the provision of houses for low-paid wage earners with a £3 subsidy, to ask the Committee to take into account the fact that slum clearance is done at a rate less than Parliament anticipated…It is not an unsound proposition that you may have to put on a local authority in certain conditions, a greater subsidy than you put upon the State, especially when you recollect that up to date exactly the opposite has been the case."—[OFFICIAL REPORT (Standing Committee on Scottish Bills), 7th March, 1933; col. 58.]But I say that at this date, when local authorities are faced with the enormous financial problem with which they are confronted now, when the housing conditions are worse, this is not the time when you can call upon them to shoulder this extra burden in respect of housing. In, deed, it is only in the minority of cases that the local authorities can get their slum clearance done at a lower rate than £4 10s. The Minister in that same speech 2291 showed that out of 6,000 houses, which were the figures that he had at that date, no fewer than 4,000 either received the full subsidy or more, and only 2,000 received less than the full subsidy. My first point, therefore, is that we are putting too much upon the local authorities, if we allow the Bill to be passed in its present form, and expect them to build houses for low-paid wage earners to be let at 6s. with only a £3 subsidy.
This point is strengthened if we have regard to this further point, that out of 6,553 houses erected last year, most of them with a subsidy of £9 but some with a subsidy of £12 10s., only 978 were let at a rent of less than £17. It is true that the local authorities under the provisions of this Bill will have greater latitude in fixing the rents—that has been provided for by the latter part of Clause 1, which cuts out the relations between the rents of new houses and the rents of houses built under the Wheatley Act—but it is impossible to bridge that gap. The local authorities receive £9 and yet only let 978 out of 6,553 houses at a rent of less than £17, and if they are now to be asked to let at a rent of £15 12s., it will require a greater subsidy than £3.
There is another point. I do not believe the houses will be built for this £3 subsidy. The Under-Secretary of State reminded us, quite rightly, in Committee that a statutory obligation will rest upon local authorities to provide houses for the working classes in their areas, but the question is, How quickly will they provide them; how boldly will they face up to their responsibility? They are moving faster now than they have moved for some years past, but whereas they furnished returns under the 1930 Act in which they said that 56,000 houses would be required in three years, in the first two years they have built only about 20,000 houses; and if they are now going to receive only £3 instead of £9 as a subsidy, the inevitable deduction from those facts is that they will move more slowly still. Indeed, I am assured that when the local authorities met the Under-Secretary of State a few weeks ago he left this impression upon them—and I would ask him, if he is able to remove it to-day, to do so—that provided they work under the 1930 Act for slum clearance, no pressure will be exer- 2292 cised upon them to build houses under the £3 subsidy. I do not ask the hon. Gentleman to reply to that at once, but I can assure him that I am most credibly informed, from a source which it is impossible to disregard, that that was the impression left upon the local authorities by his speech, and I hope he will take the opportunity of this Debate to remove it, if in fact the Government are serious about intending houses to be built for the low-paid wage earners with the aid of this £3 subsidy.
A great deal depends, in the Government's admission, on the falling of prices. The Government have said time after time that a £3 subsidy now is better for the local authorities than a £9 subsidy was in 1924, when Mr. Wheatley's Act was first passed, but in fact that £9 subsidy under Mr. Wheatley's Act was not sufficient to enable houses to be built for those who needed them most, the poorer wage earners. It was not sufficient for that task to which the Government rightly attach so much importance at the present time. It is only as housing costs have fallen that it has become possible more and more to build for the lower-paid wage earners, and it will be impossible now to build at the rents which the Government are expecting the local authorities to charge unless a higher rate of subsidy is given. Further than that, the Government tell us frequently that it is their policy to bring about a rise in prices. Let not the Government be too defeatist. They may be successful. They have not very often been successful, but they may yet be successful in achieving the object of their policy. We may get a rise in prices, and if we do, then indeed the £3 subsidy will be still more hopelessly inadequate.
Then there is the fact that no provision is made in this Bill for a man who is earning between 40s. and 60s. a week. The Under-Secretary of State in his speech on Second Reading referred to the report of the Consultative Council on Local Administration and General Questions on the problem of proper rent to be charged to men who were earning different rates of wages, and he rather rebuked my hon. Friends opposite for what he considered their ignorance of this very important report. If one refers to Appendix I of that report, one finds 2293 that the Council considered that a man and his wife, with an income of £3 per week should be entitled to receive a. subsidy house at a rent of not more than £25. That means that they came to the conclusion that one-fifth is a fair proportion of a man's income to spend on rent. They worked out a scale and, working up the scale to the highest point one finds that, where a man with a number of children is earning £6 a week, they consider if he has sufficient dependants that he is entitled to a subsidy house at £25 or less, thus preserving their principle that for a man and his wife without dependants one-fifth is the proper proportion of income to be spent on rent. The Government have adopted that principle, and they are reserving their low-rented houses, which enjoy the advantage of this subsidy, for the man with 40s. a week.
We find, however, that, according to the calculations of the Government, the building society houses would be let at a rent of about £30. Adding 4s. in the pound for rates, that means £36, which would be suitable for a man with no dependants earning 15s. a week. Suppose he has dependants, then he ought to have a cheaper house, but there is no provision for the man earning £3 15s. a week with dependants, and no provision for any man earning between and £3 15s. a week. This is a vitally important question. It is not merely a question of a man having to economise and not spending so much on cinemas and entertainments. Scientific research has shown that a man would be better off by remaining with his family in an insanitary house in a slum, if he can get that house at a low rent, than by moving into a fine airy house and having to pay a higher proportion of his wage in rent than he ought to pay. A very careful investigation has recently been carried out by the medical officer of health in Stockton-on-Tees. There 710 people were moved from an insanitary area and put in a beautiful new slum clearance estate at a place called Mount Pleasant. They were watched for five years, and at the end of that period it was found that, far from being healthier as a result, their health was not so good and the rate of sickness had largely increased. They had an investigation to find out why it was. They looked into the drains, sewerage and sanitation—
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
But, as my hon. Friend says, not into the stomachs. They found that was the difficulty, and that the people were spending such a high proportion of their wages on rent for these new houses that they were worse off there than in the old slum. It will be useless to provide new building society houses for people who cannot afford to pay or who, if they manage to pinch and scrape to pay the rent, deny themselves and their families the essentials for a healthy life. If the Government will agree to give us this valuable subsidy, it can be varied. It will be possible in areas where the £3 subsidy is sufficient to pay no more than £3. I agree that there are some areas where £3 is ample, and there may be some where it is too much. I am not perfectly convinced that there are areas where they can do it without any subsidy at all, but I am not convinced to the contrary. There are, however, a great many areas, where the housing conditions are worse and where there is the greatest need for housing activities, where houses cannot be built on the basis of the £3 subsidy. There you will be flinging the man earning over 40s. a week back upon the building societies and upon such houses as those societies will be able to provide and at such rents as they may choose to charge. I would therefore urge the Government to arm themselves with this additional power, which I am sure the House would be willing to grant. It can be left either to the uncontrolled discretion of the Department of Health or it can be dealt with by setting up a body like the committee which was constituted under the provisions of the Housing (Rural Workers) Act, 1931, to advise the Government on the allocation of these valuable subsidies according to the needs of each area. That committee worked admirably, and I have heard of no heart-burning over their decisions in awarding different subsidies in different parts of the country. I therefore urge upon the Government the importance of taking this power so as to enable, on the one hand, due economy to be observed in the payment of subsidies, and, on the other hand, to give where it is necessary adequate subsidies to ensure that houses can be let at economic rents to those men who need them.
§ 9.35 p.m.
§ Mr. SKELTON
We have had an interesting speech from my right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Caithness and Sutherland (Sir A. Sinclair) which has covered a good deal of ground. I should like, in replying to him, to concentrate my attention on the actual Amendment. My right hon. and gallant Friend presupposes that if the Amendment were accepted there would be, as it were, a pool from which the Department of Health would bring out whatever subsidy they thought proper for the needs of any particular locality. I venture on that point to repeat what I said in Committee, that that would mean that in each housing proposal for which a subsidy was available there would be endless discussions as to the exact amount that each area ought to get. The precedent of the 1931 Rural Housing Act, on which my right hon. and gallant Friend relied, is not on all fours, because that was strictly limited both in scope and in time. Its object was to give special subsidy assistance to the more out of the way districts of Scotland where building was more expensive. Only 500 houses were provided, and there was one operation to decide how the houses should be allocated. As my right hon. and gallant Friend says, the decision was finally in the hands of the Government, and I am not surprised to find that he hears no complaints, because out of the total of 500, the number allocated to Caithness was 100. I do not think that that is a precedent that ought to be followed by this House, and I do not recommend its adoption.
§ Mr. SKELTON
It is not on the allocation of that 500 houses that I base my opposition to this Amendment. It is because it will put upon the Department of Health a duty which would involve endless and difficult discussions, and in my judgment useless and otiose discussions, with every local authority asking for a subsidy. It is not the first time that the question has been raised as to whether it was not possible to localise subsidies to a greater extent 2296 than is done in the main Housing Acts, and in each case, with the exception of the special 1931 Act, Governments of all shades of opinion and the House have rejected the view that the amount of the subsidy should be localised in each case. So much for the administrative side of the proposal of my right hon. Friend.
He turned to the question of whether, if we leave the £3 subsidy in its present form, it will serve the purpose which we intend, that is to say, the provision of houses to be let at not more than 6s. or in exceptional cases 6s. 6d. to low wage earners in overcrowded districts. My right hon. Friend is not really up-to-date in his particulars with regard to the cost of housing. I will give the House one or two figures with regard to the actual cost of houses. They will be the net cost in each case excluding land, roads, etc. In some districts such as Glasgow, £50 or £60 has to be added to the net cost for that purpose, but in the smaller towns a very much smaller figure would suffice. These figures were not in my possession on the Second Reading of the Bill on the 9th February. In Glasgow, for a three-apartment tenement, the net cost is now down to as low as £231, varying between £231 and £274. A four-apartment tenement is down to from £258 to £271. In Edinburgh the figures are even more striking. A three-apartment tenement, again exclusive of land, is down to £243 net. In another case it is £254, and the average price of a block of three and four-apartment tenements is £257.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I am afraid that I have not that information, but they are certainly not more than three stories. I will let the hon. Member know later. Let me turn to the small towns. At King-horn the cost of a three-apartment flat is £249 net; at Kirriemuir, £251; at Bath-gate, £264; at Buckhaven, £250, and at Markinch another Fife burgh, £264. These are the latest available figures and show how the progressive decline in the cost of housing construction is going on. They show that the figures I gave even on Second Reading are to some extent out-of-date. It is in view of figures of that sort and the response that is being made to the pressure for lower figures, that I 2297 feel that I am entitled to say that in our view the £3 subsidy in a great majority of cases will be amply sufficient to provide the houses required without any contribution from the local authorities larger than £4 10s.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I do not propose to give that because I am dealing with the cost of houses. The question of rent does not arise here because we know that the rent under this subsidy is to be fixed at 6s. or 6s. 6d. The rent charged by the local authorities for the houses I have quoted is a matter for themselves and does not concern my argument.
§ Mr. LEONARD
May I for the purpose of comparison give figures for the 10th January of this year, which were drawn up by responsible officials under Glasgow Corporation, of the cost of building alone in Glasgow of flatted houses four in a block? They are: three-apartment £275 and four-apartment £309; for three-apartment tenements, £274, and four-apartment tenements, £289.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I understand now that the figures which I gave are actual tender prices for schemes submitted this year. If there is any further point which the hon. Member desires to raise, we might discuss it in private. My right hon. Friend made considerable play—and I am not criticising him—with the view that the 1924 subsidy, although it is more than sufficient in many cases now, was less than sufficient in the early days to enable the local authorities to get off with the original contribution of only £4 10s. contemplated in the Wheatley Act. I have not got the figures for Scotland as a whole and I would not attempt to give them to the House; but this is the significant figure: that in Glasgow, taking the whole of the 1924 houses erected from the beginning until now, the average rate contribution has been only £3 12s. My right hon. Friend should recollect the very considerable advantage 2298 that the local authority gets by an increase of occupiers' rates in the houses built under these subsidies, and then he will see I think that the fears which he entertains are to a large extent groundless and to some extent imaginary.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
That really does not meet my point, nor, indeed, the interruption from the hon. Member opposite as to the rent. The whole point is that most of these houses are let at rents which are beyond the means of the low wage-earners. If they were let at anything approaching the rent which the Government now propose of 6s. a week, the cost to the local authorities would be so much the more.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I was attempting to deal with one point at a time. The point with which I was dealing was that it was a useless argument to say that the 1924 subsidy is now more than sufficient because for so long it was less than sufficient.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I am afraid that I cannot go into every point of my right hon. and gallant Friend's argument. Let me now deal with the matter when a 6s. rent is charged, and that will complete what I have to say with regard to my right hon. and gallant Friend's speech. Where a house costs, all in, £300—
§ Mr. SKELTON
Yes, I said, "all in." Where a house costs, all in, £300, and the rate of interest is 4 per cent., the rate contribution on a 6s. rent which it will be necessary for the local authority to make will be £2 19s. 9d., that is assuming the owners' rate is 4s. in the £, which is a very fair average for Scotland. With a rent of 6s. 6d. the rate contribution will be £1 16s. Where the all in cost of the house is £325—an ample figure, I think, in view of those which I have already given —and the rate of interest is 4 per cent., and the owners' rate is 4s. in the £, the local authority's rate contribution on a rent of 6s. will be £4 4s. 11d. and on a rent of 6s. 6d. £3 1s. 2d. None of these rate contributions is so high as the rate contribution contemplated by the Wheatley Act. All of them are under £4 10s.; and in the case of the £300 house the contribution is much below £4 10s.
2299 If one take interest, at 3½ per cent. instead of 4 per cent. with the other factors remaining the same, the rate contribution on the £300 house with a 6s. rent is £1 13s. 9d. and on a 6s. 6d. rent is the paltry sum of 19s. 1d. In the case of the £325 house with a 6s. rent the rate contribution is £2 16s. 7d., and with a rent of 6s. 6d. it is £1 12s. 10d. I will not attempt to inquire what the effect of a higher owners' rate would be upon these figures, for I think the House will agree that a calculation based upon an owners' rate of 4s. in the is a fair calculation speaking for Scotland as a whole; and when the rate contribution is so small as I have stated, that obviously allows a very considerable margin, in case the owners' rate grows to a higher level, before the figure of £4 10s. is reached. I would like to say that I appreciate most fully the interest of my right hon. Friend in the matter of satisfying himself that the £3 subsidy is really to be of value. I also appreciate most fully the great interest he took in housing in Scotland, and, if I may add a personal note, the great pleasure that I had in working with him for a time as his Under-Secretary, but I do venture to say to him that it is possible to be unduly pessimistic in this matter. I am satisfied that even now the fall in housing costs is by no means at an end, and that the great majority of local authorities will be able to make use of the £3 subsidy and not themselves be liable for a rate contribution of more than £4 10s. In these circumstances, and with that prospect ahead of us, I urge the House not to change the system entirely by putting all the subsidies into a pool and entrusting the Department of Health or any other Department with the duty of deciding in each particular instance what the appropriate contribution out of the pool should be, because I think that system would be bad administratively and unnecessary from the point of view of making use of the £3 subsidy, speaking of Scotland as a whole.
§ 9.53 p.m.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
I would like to show that in my opinion, at any rate, there ought to be some variation of the subsidy, and to say that the observations of the Under-Secretary have provided an argument in favour of it. In the first figures which he gave us relating to the cost of 2300 building houses he said the cost was the cost apart from the land, which in Glasgow would be higher than in most other parts of the country, particularly rural areas. He said a figure of £50 or £60 would have to be added for the land in the case of Glasgow.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
My point is that if in large cities like Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Dundee we pay higher prices for land than elsewhere, the probabilities are that we may require higher all-in costs for the house itself. If he compares the figures he gave later for the smaller boroughs, like Buckhaven and Kinghorne, with the figures for Glasgow, without the cost of the land being added, he will find that the cost of building houses in King-home, Buckhaven and the other small boroughs is not far short of the cost he has mentioned for Glasgow and Edinburgh, without the cost of the land being added there—all-in prices, I mean.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I said that all the figures which I was going to give—and I gave a long list—were net prices, exclusive of land, road charges, etc., so that we might be able to compare like with like.
§ 9.55 p.m.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
And the all-in cost with regard to the Glasgow houses he mentioned. If land purchased for building purposes is cheaper in those smaller areas, there will not be the necessity for the same kind of subsidy; that justifies, in a manner, the Amendment moved by the right hon. Gentleman. It is not a matter of a pool, of getting all the subsidy granted by the Treasury placed in a pool, to be set aside to be paid out to Scottish shipbuilding areas, and of saying that so much is to be taken out in accordance with the needs of the particular district, over the £3 mentioned. I cannot for the life of me understand why the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland mentioned a pool. I should rather have thought that the cities could tell from their own experience what it costs them to finance the erection of houses. He could fix with almost exact approximation the amount that would have to be set aside, in the variation of subsidy, for various towns in Scotland.
As it stands, the Bill when passed, if it is passed, will place upon the localities 2301 in Scotland, as localities, the burden of bearing out of their rates the amount of the subsidy which the Government ought to pay. The 'Scottish Health Department will be placing upon localities in Scotland the burden of bearing housing expenditure, in the same manner that other Departments have placed upon the localities burdens which ought to be borne by the nation. We will vote in favour of the Amendment, because we believe that, with the reduction provided for in the Bill, it would be fairer to the districts in Scotland, and much more equitable in the administration of the subsidy, if the Government were to make the subsidy variable as requisite, and would agree to insert the Amendment as it has been moved by the right hon. Gentleman.
§ 9.58 p.m.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
I desire to associate myself with the Amendment moved by the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Caithness (Sir A. Sinclair), and I hope that he can give some assurance to the House that he intends to carry this Amendment to a Division, because I can assure him that my Socialist throat is getting tired of supporting Liberal Amendments and of forcing Liberal Members into the Lobby against their will.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
If the hon. Member charges his memory aright—and I have the Committee reports here to assist him —I do not think that he will be able to name a single case in which we have not divided upon our Amendments.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
I am not accusing the right hon. and gallant Gentleman and his friends of refusing to divide; I am only accusing them of my having to use my voice to compel them to do so. The voices of the right hon. Gentleman and his friends are more faint in calling for a Division than they are against protecting against a reduction in subsidy. We are willing to concede that this is a very reasonable Amendment. We think, in view of the failure of the Government to concede the whole amount of the housing subsidy, that it is a modest request on the part of the Liberal Members to ask the Government for a variation of subsidy in the localities throughout Scotland. The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland made out a very fine case for a variation of subsidy 2302 in many areas. He gave us prices in connection with the cost of building, and he found that there was a considerable difference in many areas in Scotland. We may take it that that difference is not so much in wages as in the cost of transport and materials and various other things. Houses in the north of Scotland might be as costly to build as in Glasgow, with its cheaper transport and its dearer land.
The Government are largely gambling in the cost of house-building in the future. If we are to take the assurances of the Government that they desire an increase in cost, and we take also Lord Beaverbrook's drive for an increase in wages, we may say that the cost of house-building, if the Government and Lord Beaverbrook are to be equally successful, will be considerably increased during the coming years. I ask the Government to reconsider this question of the variation of subsidy. The right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Caithness stated that the Government had not had many successes. I do not intend to discuss, and I shall not be at liberty to discuss, their successes, but I think that they have been peculiarly successful in the things they have attempted in the way of economy. This is one more of the successes, in which the right hon. and gallant Gentleman has backed them all through. There have been much meaner reductions than this, and the right hon. and gallant Gentleman has been into the Division Lobby to support the Government on reductions in other fields than housing. We are, however, perfectly willing always to have the right hon. and gallant Gentleman's support in anything progressive which will improve the conditions of the people of Scotland. When I heard him speaking to-night, making that very fine appeal to the Government, both denunciatory and by way of impassioned appeal, I thought that we might expect to have him taking the market places and the soap box, in order to appeal to the multitude and against the Government.
This is a particularly modest request. Having received the assurances of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman that he intends to carry this to a Division—it becomes rather tiresome to sit here if there is no intention to divide, and we do not approve of hon. Members airing their 2303 thoughts without carrying them into the Division Lobby—we can add what small numbers we possess to the larger numbers of the Liberal party, in the hope that, with the addition of the still larger Labour opposition, we may be able to smash the designs of the Government to reduce the housing subsidy.
§ 10.4 p.m.
§ Mr. DINGLE FOOT
The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland accused my right hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Caithness (Sir A. Sinclair) of undue pessimism. That pessimism is not confined to my right hon. and gallant Friend or to the Members of this House. On 3rd March last the annual meeting of the Scottish National Housing and Town Planning Committee was held. If my information be correct, the delegates at that meeting were of the opinion that it would not be possible to build houses with a £3 subsidy, to let at 6s. or 6s. 6d. a week. We suggest, therefore, that the apprehensions which have been brushed aside are not confined to these benches or to hon. Members. That apprehension is very general throughout Scotland. Even the arguments that have been advanced in resisting this Amendment do not entirely bear on the point at issue. It was not disputed by the Under-Secretary, in his reply, that there is still a great deal of variation in the all-in cost of house-building as between one district and another. He gave us an average figure of 4s. for owner's rates, but owner's rates may vary quite substantially as between one district and another; while I do not think anyone will dispute the fact that rates of wages are not uniform, but tend to be substantially higher in the big cities than in the smaller towns and in the rural areas. In spite of what the Minister has said, I think that, if I may take the example of Dundee, we shall have very great difficulty there in building three-apartment houses at less than £330, or, at the lowest, £320, even at present prices. I listened with great interest to the estimate which the Under-Secretary put forward regarding the contribution that would have to be made by the local authorities. There is a considerable disparity between the estimate that he put forward and the estimate that I have received from local sources in Dundee.
§ Miss HORSBRUGH
May I ask my hon. Friend if he got that estimate from the local authority, or from the local housing association? Is it an official estimate from the local association?
§ Mr. FOOT
My hon. Friend has probably seen it, but the best information that I have been able to procure puts the local contribution under this scheme at some thing in the neighbourhood of £7 10s. If that were so, or if it were anything like that amount, we should have very great difficulty in persuading our local authority to meet the housing needs of the area. Where is the economy going to be found—if economy is to be taken as one of the aims of this Bill—if you are merely going to transfer the burden from the national to the local exchequer? I think it has been generally admitted in recent years by members of all parties, either expressly or by implication, that it is far better that burdens should be borne by the national Exchequer, when they are borne equitably over the whole country, than that they should be placed upon the local exchequer. That was the whole principle behind the De-rating Act of a few years ago. I cannot see where the economy will come in if, as I believe will happen, the burden is merely transferred from national to local shoulders.
There was one point in the speech of my right hon. Friend which was not cleared up in the answer of the Under-Secretary. My right hon. Friend pointed out that the impression has come to prevail in Scotland that the Government will look to the local authorities simply to concentrate upon slum clearance, and that the local authorities will not be pressed to carry out their duties in other respects. I do not think the Under-Secretary dealt with that point, and, as that impression has gained, we believe, very general currency, we should be grateful if he would deal with it.
§ 10.10 p.m.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I am sorry that I did not deal with that point, but the reason 2305 was simply that there was no meeting between myself and the local authorities in connection with housing. I think the meeting referred to was a meeting which I had with the National Housing and Town Planning Committee. It was not a meeting with the local authorities, but was a private meeting, of which no reports appeared in the Press, and the statement that particular impressions were gained at a private meeting between myself and representatives of that body involves a charge which, of course, it is extremely difficult to counter.
§ Sir A. SINCLAIR
I had not the slightest intention of making a charge when I mentioned the matter. On the contrary, I felt sure that the hon. Gentleman and the Government wanted the local authorities to make full use of their powers to provide houses for low-paid wage-earners under this £3 subsidy, and I thought I was helping the Government by bringing the point back to their attention and giving them the opportunity of making a statement.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I am sorry if I have failed to take advantage of the right hon. Gentleman's offer of assistance, but I did not know whether the hand was clenched, or whether it was spread in helpful gesture. Certainly, there was no desire in my mind, at the meeting to which I have referred, to give any such impression, and, looking over the Departmental notes of the meeting, I cannot see any ground for any such impression. Without making too much of the matter, I might perhaps suggest that second-hand evidence as to what Ministers, or even Under-Secretaries, say at private meetings, is not very helpful to the House in a Debate on a Housing Bill, but, if it was intended to be helpful, I am delighted to hear it. I can assure my right hon. Friend, however, and any Members of the deputation who may have gained that impression, that both were entirely wrong.
§ Question put, "That the words 'three pounds' stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 203; Noes, 49.2307
|Division No. 136.]||AYES.||[10.12 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Howard, Tom Forrest|
|Aitchison, Rt. Hon. Craigie M.||Cross, R. H.||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Hume, Sir George Hopwood|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Duggan, Hubert John||Jesson, Major Thomas E.|
|Apsley, Lord||Dunglass, Lord||Jones, Sir G.W.H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Eastwood, John Francis||Ker, J. Campbell|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)|
|Atkinson, Cyril||Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Kerr, Hamilton W.|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Emryt-Evant, P. V.||Knebworth, Viscount|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Entwistle, Cyril Fullard||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Leckie, J. A.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare||Leech, Dr. J. W.|
|Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.|
|Blindell, James||Fox, Sir Gilford||Lewis, Oswald|
|Boulton, W. W.||Fraser, Captain Ian||Liddall, Walter S.|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Fremantle, Sir Francis||Lindsay, Noel Ker|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Fuller, Captain A. G.||Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Ganzoni, Sir John||Lloyd, Geoffrey|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Loder, Captain J. de Vere|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berks., Newb'y)||Glossop, C. W. H.||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Gluckstein, Louis Halls||Mabane, William|
|Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie||Goff, Sir Park||MacDonald, Rt. Han. J. R. (Seaham)|
|Burnett, John George||Goldie, Noel B.||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||McKie, John Hamilton|
|Campbell, Edward Taswell (Bromley)||Gower, Sir Robert||McLean, Major Sir Alan|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Greene, William P. C.||Magnay, Thomas|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Grimston, R. V.||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest|
|Carver, Major William H.||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.|
|Cattle Stewart, Earl||Guntton, Captain D. W.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Guy, J. C. Morrison||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John|
|Clayton, Dr. George C.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Merriman, Sir F. Boyd|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hales, Harold K.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Collins, Rt. Hon. Sir Godfrey||Hanbury, Cecil||Mitchell, Harold P.(Br'f'd & Chisw'k)|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Moreing, Adrian C.|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Morrison, William Shepherd|
|Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Moss, Captain H. J.|
|Craven-Ellis, William||Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)||Munro, Patrick|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Nail, Sir Joseph|
|Nall-Cain, Hon. Ronald||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Russell, Richard John (Eddisbury)||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|North, Captain Edward T.||Salmon, Sir Isidore||Thompson, Luke|
|Nunn, William||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|O'Donovan, Dr. William James||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Pearson, William G.||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Penny, Sir George||Scone, Lord||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Perkins, Walter R. D.||Selley, Harry R.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Potter, John||Skelton, Archibald Noel||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Smith-Carington, Neville W||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Somerville, Annesley A (Windsor)||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Ramsbotham, Herwald||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Rankin, Robert||Spencer, Captain Richard A.||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Spens, William Patrick||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham-||Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Held, David D. (County Down)||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)||Womersley, Walter James|
|Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Stevenson, James||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Remer, John R.||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Rosbotham, Sir Samuel||Strauss, Edward A.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)||Sir Frederick Thomson and Lord Erskine.|
|Runge, Norah Cecil||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Grundy, Thomas W.||McGovern, John|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Banfield, John William||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot|
|Batey, Joseph||Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Bernays, Robert||Hirst, George Henry||Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Holdsworth, Herbert||Maxton, James|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||John, William||Milner, Major James|
|Daggar, George||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Owen, Major Goronwy|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kirkwood, David||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Dobbie, William||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Edwards, Charles||Lawson, John James||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Leonard, William||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Lunn, William|
|Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Maclay and Mr. Dingle Foot.|
§ 10.20 p.m.
§ Mr. SKELTON
I beg to move, in page 2, line 24, to leave out from the word "that," to the end of the paragraph, and to insert instead thereof the words:the rent charged for any of the houses shall not, except with the consent of the Department, exceed six shillings a week, and shall in no ease exceed six shillings and sixpence a week.Those who were Members of the Scottish Standing Committee are very familiar with the fact that in the course of the proceedings on the Bill, the Committee decided that, instead of leaving the rent for the houses which are to get the £3 subsidy to be determined by the Department of Health, it should be fixed in the Bill itself at a figure of 6s. in a normal case, or, in exceptional cases, up to 6s. 6d. In view of that being the general desire of the Committee, and, I think, really meeting the opinion of the House as a whole, I will not say more on the subject.
§ Amendment agreed to.