HC Deb 15 May 1933 vol 278 cc39-69

Section two of the Act of 1920 (which provides for certain increases in rent) shall have effect as though in paragraph (c) thereof for the word "fifteen" there were substituted the word "ten," and as though in paragraph (d) thereof for the word "twenty-five" there were substituted the word"twenty."—[Mr. Maclean."]

Brought up, and read the First time.

3.54 p.m.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

In the Committee stage we endeavoured to get the increase permissible under the Act of 1920 amended so as to reduce the total increase, including repairs, to 20 per cent. In view of reduced costs and the reduced wages of those inhabiting the houses to which the Act applies we considered that to be a reasonable figure. If the Minister of Health made inquiries in any of the industrial areas in England or Scotland he would find the general view taken by the inhabitants of these houses is that the 40 per cent. total should be wiped out; that owing to the reduced earnings of the workers and the reduction in costs there is no longer any necessity for permitted increases at the rate sanctioned by the original Act. While we cannot go back on the decision of the Committee, which declined to accept a proposal to reduce it to 20 per cent., we are asking the House by this new Clause to reduce it to 30 per cent. The Minister time and again has had his attention drawn to the fact that the repairs for which allowance is made to house owners are in most cases not being done. The 25 per cent. in the Act to cover the cost of repairs was origiNaily allowed because of what was then deemed to be the high cost of material and the high wages paid to those doing repairing work. But that period has passed; those high wages no longer prevail and costs are no longer as high as they were.

Anyone who has anything to do with the housing of the people throughout the country and who makes inquiries into the methods of house owners and estate agents, or collects the views of the tenants of these houses on the question, will find that very few repairs are now done by the house owner or his agent. If I could get the Minister of Health to accompany me on a tour round the working-class districts of Glasgow I would be able to show him tenement dwellings in which no interior repairs of any kind have been done Since the original Act was passed. House owners, estate agents and house factors have now concluded, for the most part, that the 25 per cent. origiNaily permitted for the specific purpose of repairing the houses was actually given to them as an increase in rent. They have now pocketed, and are pocketing, that 25 per cent. in addition to the 15 per cent. permitted increase of rent. I submit that the time has now come when a change ought to be made in this respect. Everything else has come down. Costs have come down, wages have come down, and hon. Members associated with public companies complain that dividends have come down where companies are still in the fortunate position of paying any dividends at all. If everything else has fallen there is no reason why we should continue to have one section in the favoured and privileged position of house owners who are able to impose higher rents than they were permitted to do when the first Rent Restrictions Act was passed. The new Clause proposes to adjust that matter by making a 30 per cent. increase cover both repairs allowance and increase of rent, and I hope that the Minister will accept it.

4.0 p.m.


I beg to second the Motion.

I want honestly to appeal to the Minister to accept this Clause, and I want also to suggest to hon. Members that there can be no justification in tenants of houses which were built previous to the War now paying an additional 40 per cent. on the standard rates and rents of 1914. I think that sometimes when we are discussing this issue Members are apt to forget that we are dealing here with property which was bulk prior to the War, when all landowners could fix an economic rent unimpaired by legislation according to the demand for houses in various parts of the country. They could fix a standard rent which the tenant was bound to pay, and I submit that in every instance it would be a full economic rent which would be giving to the landlord a fair return for his money. The War broke out, and I do not think anyone in the country raised the slightest objection to the landlord being given by State legislation some right to increase his rent in proportion to the conditions that he had to face when prices went up and the cost of living was high in times of prosperity during the War and just following the War.

But now we are confronted with very different times, and hon. Members must be aware that tenants who are called upon to pay a 40 per cent. increase in their rents above those of 1914 have had a tremendous reduction in salaries and wages Since 1921. The economic condition of the country has left 3,000,000 people without wages tenanting houses tied with a 40 per cent. increase. I never heard a word in the Debate on Second Reading or in Committee from the lips of any Member of this House justifying the continuation of this 40 per cent. increase. It is true that in many parts of the country some landlords at the time did not take full advantage of the 40 per cent. increase. I know many landlords who were satisfied with 30 per cent. increase, and have Since admitted that they got full value for their money from that 30 per cent. increase. Now we do submit that when we have millions of men with no wages dependent upon unemployment pay, and thousands dependent upon public assistance, the time has come when there can be no justification for continuing a guarantee to the landlords of 40 per cent. above his pre-war rent prices.

We, therefore, appeal to the Minister to accept this Clause, and we suggest that every Britisher will be satisfied with the conditions which we propose. In areas we represent, where depression is terrible, where miners are out of work in thousands and have no early prospect of returning to work, this concession would be a very good thing to them, and we still give to the property owners a fair crack of the whip. The cost of living and the cost of repairs to his property have considerably decreased Since he was made this allowance. I want, therefore, to appeal to the Minister to take into consideration the full factors which are operating in the country. We ask the Minister, in the interests of the general community, in fairness to the people who are going through terrible distress, privation and poverty, to accept this Clause, which, when all is said and done, gives to the property owner all the protection he can expect at this time of day, and is a fair thing.

4.6 p.m.


I rise to support this Clause. I think that there will be very few in the House who, after examining the actual position, can possibly disagree that the contentions put forward in respect of the Clause are reasonable. There should be very little need to convInce anyone on that score, because, in the first place, I think that Members ought to realise that one of the reasons for obtaining possession of a house is on the ground of arrears of rent. It is highly essential that Members should realise that that means that a person who is not in a position to pay the rent, even although that rent may be a controlled rent, has to appear before the courts or leave the place, and consequently be left without a home. I am not putting that forward on the ground that anyone who does not pay his rent should be entitled to remain, but when it becomes a question of what is a reasonable amount, and what is not, I think we should walk very warily, and decide on the merits of the position before coming to a conclusion that will enable those additions which are at present permissible to remain.

It must be clear to everybody that to-day the cost of repairs is less than it was at the time when this provision was made. It is obvious to everybody that money is cheaper to-day, and that consequently the amount of expenditure would not entail as much as might have been paid by way of interest at the time the original Act of 1920 was brought into force. Those are two very important factors, and, taking them into consideration, I think it is only reasonable to say that at the present stage we should reduce the permissible amount of increase so as to correspond with the amount which the landlord has to expend in order to provide repair?, and the amount the land- lord would normally be expected to receive as a return for his money in excess of the amount which was origiNaily returned to him at the time the War broke out. I think in fairness, apart entirely from the unfortunate difficulties which arise, we must look upon the matter from a reasonable standpoint.

Apart altogether from the arguments which hon. Members have expressed that it is a great hardship on people who pay rent, there is an additional argument that no such person should be called upon to pay more than a reasonable increase upon the rent which was origiNaily charged. If one does not take that into consideration, it means that the balance of hardship falls more heavily on the tenant than it does on the landlord. There is the additional fact that there are not so many people who, if they know that a 40 per cent. increase can be imposed, are so generous of heart as to refrain from imposing that increase. What actually happens is that the printed form of increase notice is used by nearly every landlord. That form contains the usual clauses, and the 25 per cent. and the 15 per cent. are incorporated in the form. I am quite sure there are very few landlords, indeed, who, when they get that printed form in their hands, cross out the 25 or the 15, and put in their place, shall we say, 15 and 10, or 20 and 10, as the case may be. In these circumstances, I hope that the Government will see their way clear to accept the Clause, which is a very reasonable one.

4.10 p.m.


I am sure that all Members who served on the Departmental Committee will have taken this matter up on the basis—and it must be the general desire of the House—that no excessive amount must be charged, whether for repairs or any other purpose, and it is obvious that any fall in the cost of repairs must be taken into account. That has been the only point put forward by the hon. Members who have spoken on this proposed Clause. I am surprised that they did not read the Departmental Committee's report on this subject, because that committee entirely recognised this point. There was another factor that they had to weigh against it, which hon. Members have not mentioned, and I particularly refer to the hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Janner), who, with his professional knowledge and training, did not take that factor into account. It is that the original amount for the statutory increase for repairs was founded on the report of Lord Salisbury's Committee, to which I do not think sufficient credit has been given, and which has been the basis of all this on the total number of houses that were protected.

This Bill proposes to remove from the area of protected houses Class "A" houses, that is, the better class of house. Everyone knows that the better class of house requires less repair than the worst class of house, and Class "C," we all know, is the particular kind of house which hon. Members have rightly had in mind in suggesting this Clause. These houses require a tremendous amount of repair, which, I am afraid, is very often not sufficiently carried out. Class "A" houses require very little repair, and it is frequently carried out by the tenants themselves. The original figures were laid down as an average for all houses, and the Departmental Committee said so in its report. But now it is proposed to take away the upper layer of houses from this field of houses on which you have got to strike the average. You are very greatly increasing the burden to the repairer when you are keeping the same average for the houses which need much more repair. The difference taken between the two classes of houses is one-fifth and two-fifths. It is taken as the basis of the Rating and Valuation Act, 1925, where for those purposes the difference in repairs was taken to be double in the one class of house from what it is in the other class of house. The Departmental Committee, after going very thoroughly into this matter, proposed to keep the average the same for the houses which will still be protected under this Bill. It is really an actual decrease of revenue allowed for repairs.

The Committee felt very strongly that they must arrive at a right decision in this matter, because although it is obviously in the interests of everybody that fairness should be done to both sides, and that no extra increase should be allowed to landlords which would mean a profit to them, it must be a businesslike arrangement. If, however, you are going to give less than is businesslike to the landlord, as has been shown to us in evidence again and again, and allow even less than the cost of repairs, those landlords who own only a few houses simply cannot afford to do the repairs, and SO the repairs are not done. That, I am afraid, has been the reason for a great many of the houses falling into disrepair. You must keep up the proper average, and when you do that, and allow the proper increase for repairs, it is up to the local authorities to insist on the repairs being done. It can only be done if you are fair to both sides, and, therefore, the case for the new Clause, which seemed to be so fair and just, ought to be resisted.

4.16 p.m.


I wish to support the proposed new Clause. The hon. Member for St. Albans (Sir F. Fremantle) is a mystery to me, because I do not know why he, being a doctor and one who undoubtedly has interested himself in the housing of the people, takes the point of view that he does. He compliments the Salisbury Report and says that we forget that the better class houses do not require as much repairing as the poorer class. Therefore, the poorer class houses are required to pay the increase in order that the repairs may be done. I would appeal to the hon. Member and to the House not to forget that the individuals who put their money into houses do so in order to make a profit. They do not build houses because the folks require houses; it is only incidental that houses are homes. They build them first and foremost in order to make a profit out of them, and they recognise full well that the safest investment in the country is to invest money in the homes of the people, and of the very poorest people. The struggle that our womenfolk have to keep those houses habitable passes all human understanding, particularly in our great industrial centres, as you find when you go inside for, although the outside may be old and mean, the result of the endeavour and ingenuity that are put forth by the mothers of working-class children to make their houses homes is plain to see. Instead of criticising and putting strictures upon them, this House ought to take a generous view of the situation.

In this new Clause we have made a great concession, because we are pledged to our constituents—at any rate, I can speak authoritatively for Scotland—to pre-war rents for pre-war houses, and we come forward to-day and have modified that demand. We have tried everything that is humanly possible in order to wring from this powerful Government some concession for the folk who sent us here, who made them practically all-powerful in this country, who gave them practically a dictatorship. They called it a doctor's mandate. The Prime Minister wanted a blank cheque, and he got it, and we make this demand on behalf of the folk who gave them all that power, who surrendered everything to them, to take Britain out of the terrible mess that it was then in, and that it is still in as far as the folk whom we represent are concerned. Their conditions are just as hellish to-day as they were when the National Government took over the reins of office. They are not one whit better, and the longer it goes on the worse it gets, the people never having enough money to buy anything new, and not even enough to procreate their species. That is what you are subjecting over 3,000,000 Britons to at this juncture.

We come forward with this new Clause. We have been appealed to, by those who are supposed to be able to gauge the pulse of this House, and told that if we would forgo the 50 per cent., we might get some concession. It is nearly 50 per cent. In the West of Scotland it is 47i per cent., and in England, to my own personal knowledge, it is 60 per cent. I can give the districts where that is in operation now, but in our part of the world it is 47½ per cent. increase that they got, and our folk sent us here to demand that that should be taken off entirely. We have tried that; we have reasoned with Members of this House, publicly and privately, and we have been advised that the best thing we can do is to see if they will give us a 10 per cent. increase only. That is going a long way, when you consider what the situation is to-day and what the situation was that obtained when they got that increase. They got 33⅓ per cent. first, in 1920, and they got it from a Government that was pledged not to give them it. Then it was increased to 47½ per cent., and they got that on the distinct understanding that 35 per cent. of that increase would be for making the necessary repairs, which had not been done as a result of the War. The whole of the property had fallen into a state of disrepair, and the argument carried great weight with the then Minister of Health, Sir Alfred Mond, that properties were becoming dilapidated as a result of repairs not having been done. They therefore agreed to 35 per cent. increase in that respect.

My point is that it was the tenants, who did not own the houses, who were asked to pay for the repairs to houses that belonged to somebody else, and the Government of the day agreed to that, agreed to the poor, who are so poor that they cannot afford to build houses for themselves, paying for those repairs. The Government of that day were, and evidently the Government of this day are, prepared to make the poor people pay for the repairs to houses that do not belong to them. It is the only case in Christendom, even under Capttalism, in which this idea operates, that the folk who are paying rent for the houses in which they live have to keep those houses in a state of repair—not the owners who are drawing the rents, but the tenants who are paying the rents. That is the accepted idea. That is the mentality that is brought to bear on this subject by the ruling class of this country. When they got that increase, to all intents and purposes there was no unemployment in this country, and wages were at least from 60 to 70 per cent. better than they are today. The scene has entirely changed. The landlords representations to the Government were that they had got none of the swag, that they were not allowed to profiteer the same as the rest of the profiteers during the War. We made the case out against them that those houses, those homes of the people, were built before the War, and that the War conditions had nothing to do with them. There was no extra cost involved, and they admitted, in stating their own case, that the war-time conditions did not apply, because they had made no repairs.

I think we have made out a very reasonable case for this very reasonable Clause. How are we to go back to our folk and justify their sending us here? They will say: "What is the use of your House of Commons? What is the use of sending individuals down there? "We say to them: "Send working-class representatives to the Floor of the British House of Commons, where the outstanding feature is one of 'Come, let us reason together,' and where we are able to state a reasonable case to reasonable men who are met together for the good of the country, not for the good of a section." If the Minister of Health does not accept this new Clause we will divide the House. We shall have a good case with which to go to the country, and we shall draw attention to the fact that, after all our pleading and our sweet reasonableness, the Government are hidebound to any appeals that can be made on behalf of the poor of this country, and that they are essentially out to defend private property and the rich and to condemn the poor.

4.31 p.m.


This matter was discussed at considerable length during the Committee stage, and it is not my desire to detain the House long on Report, but, as one who expressed the view on Second Reading and again in Committee that the Government would do well to reduce the permitted increase of 40 per cent. to 30 per cent., I desire to say a few words on this last opportunity before the Third Reading. When my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health replied to the rather long Debate which we had in Committee he based his argument for resisting any reduction of the permitted increase upon the theory that what the landlord lost on the War-time swings he should be allowed to get back on the depression roundabouts. My right hon. Friend's exact words were: In considering the circumstances at the present time, when the cost of repairs has fallen, those who have, during so many years, put up with a permitted increase which was inadequate, must be allowed time to recover from the effect of the loss which they have suffered during that period."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 11th April, 1933; cols. 2483–4, Vol. 276.] The Minister gave a review based largely on the report of the Inter-departmental Committee showing how sharply the cost of repairs had risen Since 1914 and how it has only recently begun to decline. My right hon. Friend went on to give the considered opinion of the Government that, in view of all those circumstances, they considered that the permitted increase should remain at the figure of 40 per cent It is to that argument I desire to address myself. I wish to contest the suggestion that in legislating in 1933 we have to base ourselves on the circumstances of 1914. I have lively recollections of the recent General Election in a working-class area when I stood upon the Government programme of various cuts and economies and defended them by the unusual circumstances of the time as being necessary in order to keep the country upon an even keel. Out of those cuts was a cut in the pay of the Army and Navy, but I have heard no one suggest that because the private soldier in 1914 was engaged in protecting his country at 1s. a day, while others at home were earning £7 or £8 a week on war work, such as the making of munitions, and because he was unable to stay at home then, he should be immune in 1931 from a cut in his pay in order to get back on the depression roundabouts what he had lost on the wartime swings. No one suggested that for the obvious reason that he was not the same soldier and that one seeks in vain in the barrack room of 1933 for the private soldier of 1914–18. If we wish to find the private soldier of those years, we shall find him in a controlled house paying a 40 per cent. increase over pre-War rent. A new generation has come into being. Fifteen years have passed Since the Armistice. It is not the same soldier to-day, and in very many cases it is not the same landlord, and it is entirely fallacious to base our calculations upon a review of a period so long ago as 1914.

May I say a word upon the possible injustice to the investor in property should the Government see their way to accept this new Clause which I hope they will. The Government have taken the view, to use the words of the hon. and learned Solicitor-General on Second Reading, that to make this reduction would be retrospective legislation of a confiscatory nature The property owner in 1914 was subject to certain disadvantages which the Minister outlined when he spoke last, but may I compare him with the holder of the 2½ per cent. Consols, which was the gilt-edged security of that time. The holder of Consols, which stood at 114 just before the War and fell to 57 during the War, saw half his Capttal swept away. This was due to the issue of new Government stock bEarlng 5 per cent. interest, to the heavy borrowings of the Government to finance the War, and to circumstances of that kind. These caused the holder of 2½ per cent. Consols, who himself had been subjected to a conversion not very long before—they were origiNaily 3 per cent. and were reduced to 2¾ and then to 2½ by conversion schemes—to suffer heavy reductions, and no one has suggested that he should not have remained the victim of those circumstances. It is very probable that in many cases the holder of Consols sold his stock and obtained 5 per cent. War stock, and yet we have dealt with the holder of 5 per cent. War loan during the past 12 months by the successful conversion scheme of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Even the report of the Inter-departmental Committee on which my hon. Friend the Member for St. Albans (Sir F. Fremantle) served so ably, made this statement in Paragraph 60: As regards the 15 per cent. permitted for increased interest, either to the mortgagee or to the owner himself, it is difficult to see how there could reasonably be any alteration so long as the owners still have to pay the mortgagees their increased interest, and we have received no evidence justifying any alteration of this increase. That was the situation in 1931, but Since then surely a change has come over the scene.


Not on the mortgages on these houses.


The hon. Member is entitled to make that observation, but he can hardly look ahead until 1938, which is the period covered by this proposal, and say that that would be the situation then.


The present mortgages hold good.


If it is the case that there is to be no reduction of these mortgages, one wonders why the conversion scheme was launched at all, and why we pride ourselves on having provided cheap money. If my hon. Friend is right, we cannot take the credit which we have been taking for the financial policy of the Government.


Will the hon. Member in the course of his interesting argument deal with this point? Does he seek to limit this increase to all other cases? How would he deal with the question of wages, some of which are 100 per cent. above 1914?


I am afraid that I should be out of order if I were to discuss on a proposed new Clause to the Kent Bill the particular case of wages. I tried to relate the two matters more closely on the Second Reading and perhaps the Noble Lord will do me the honour to read my speech. I am an enthusiastic supporter of the Government's new housing policy and of the efforts which they are making to provide houses for letting at rents, exclusive of rates, of approximately 3s. 2d. I am anxious to see that move in the direction of lower rents succeed. I am only a little afraid that by taking the rent of the pre-War houses for five years at the figure of 40 per cent. above the pre-War figure, it may put an obstacle in the way of the very desirable goal which the Government have set themselves. I want to claim, as one who is neither a landlord nor a tenant, that I have done my best to weigh up the merits of this case. I am in no sense an enemy of landlords or concerned with championing the tenants as against the landlords, but I hold, after going into the figures very carefully, that we have to make a comparison with 1920, when the Rent Restrictions Act was passed, rather than with 1914. I have gone into the question as carefully as possible, and I have done my best to put the views that I hold. I do not think that my case is an attack upon property, and I do not think it is antagonistic to property to suggest, when the Government have taken control of rents, and when other things are falling the Government are not entitled to continue this permitted increase. In view of these circumstances, I hope that the Government, who owe their existence to millions of working-class people, will consider once more before the Bill leaves the House whether there is not a case for this small and reasonable reduction.

4.43 p.m.


I should like to reply to the speech made by the hon. Member for St. Albans (Sir F. Fremantle), who had the advantage of serving on the Inter-Departmental Committee. He also signed the report, which was, with one exception, unanimous, and was signed by Labour Members, Conservative Members and Liberal Members. When we have Labour Members appointed by the Labour Government, people of standing in the movement, and capable people who know their job signing a report with Conservatives and Liberals, one must pay great respect to it. The hon. Member for St. Albans remains, with one exception, the sole representative of the committee in the House, so that, when he speaks on the report, he speaks as a defender not merely of his own view but of the view of the committee.

He stated to-day that the committee considered the question of repairs, and in their report the committee are critical of the way that repairs have been carried out. The hon. Member says that it may be true that the repairs have not been done. There are different reasons for that, and he says that, although repairs have not been done, it does not mean that the landlord should not be allowed the increase, but that it is for the law to be carried out. The law ought to see that the money granted to the landlord is properly spent on the repairs for which it is paid. That is his reason. The hon. Gentleman used an amazing argument when he said that the better class houses are kept in better repair, and consequently the increase permitted on them was much more profitable to their owners than to the owners of the poorer class houses.


If, was not only that they are kept in repair, but that they cost much less to keep in repair.


Yes, and the reason given for that was that they were of a better type. When I heard that argument I almost despaired of the Departmental Committee. It is obvious to anybody who knows both class of houses that the poorer-class house needs repair more, and it must not be forgotten, also, that in the case of poorer-class houses the landlord is drawing a higher return as rent from a given acreage of ground. There is this further point, that the great bulk of the working class who are tenants are people directly or indirectly engaged on work similar to house repairing in their day to day jobs. The joiner in a shipyard is capable of repairing his own house, and an engineer is also capable of doing repairs at home, and the consequence is that the repairs to their houses are less costly, because the tenants keep on repairing the houses themselves. I worked in a shipyard. I do not know whether it will be regarded as a criticism of the men I worked with, but they were constantly seeking the permission of the foreman to make things to improve their houses. When working people are unemployed part of their time is often spent in repairing their houses.

The argument that working people do not repair their houses never had any force, because if there is one section of the community who repair their own houses it is the working class. One reason for this is that the average man capable of repairing his house does not want the bother of going to the factor or the owner—does not want all the cross duelling and the annoyance of it. Secondly, he does not want strange people about the house. A third reason is that people never know when the landlord will send someone to do the repairs, and so do them themselves. I should say that almost without exception working people do the overwhelming bulk of their own repairs. I have done them myself, and do them still—I worked all my life at wood work—and I am in a better position to get repairs done than most people. If there is a repair to be done in my house, what have I got to do to get it done? First, I must notify the landlord by letter, and then wait until he cares to send a man. When that man arrives he must take notes of what has to be done, and then he has to go away and come back again. My goodness, when I think of it I say, "I will do the thing myself." It is far less worry and annoyance.


Is the hon. Member bEarlng in mind the cost of the raw material when he does the repair himself?


Yes, even with the cost of the raw material it is better. You are not kept a prisoner at home, never knowing when the man is coming to do the repairs. And when he does come, look at the mess he makes. I had a window broken and rather than wait for somebody to be sent to repair it I got a local glazier to come up and do it. He did it in five minutes for a shilling or two, and that saved the wife being kept a prisoner at home till the landlord sent someone. Everyone knows how a wife dislikes the mess when plasterers and painters are about. Everyone who knows working class life knows that what I am saying is correct. It happens even in the case of labourers. They may not be tradesmen themselves, but they acquire a knowledge of their trade and are handy enough with their hands to do a job themselves, and they do it rather than lose their time and their patience waiting for the landlord to send along.

Consequently, I think the Labour party are putting forward a very reasonable Amendment. I disagree with the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) about their having asked for pre-war rents. They never asked for prewar rents. I am not arguing now about pre-war rents. What they did ask for was a larger decrease. Having failed to get the larger decrease, they are coming now to ask for a smaller decrease, which is a sensible thing to do. This is a terribly reasonable Amendment, and I cannot see any reason for not accepting it other than the report of the Departmental Committee, and I cannot see any justification for that report. I cannot understand the minds of the men and women who signed that report, and I am afraid those who sit on the Labour benches have a grave responsibility for what was signed. They signed recommendations allowing increases. It is no answer to say, "This is 1933 and it was 1931 then." We had millions of unemployed then, and wages were low. We stood for pre-war rent when wages were good, as the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs rightly says. Again I say to the Minister that this Amendment represents a reasonable and moderate request, and those who sponsor it have done quite right to put it forward after having failed to get the larger decrease.

I am not sure that from the landlord's point of view it might not be as well to accept this Amendment. Large numbers of people cannot pay the rents which are now to be insisted upon, and it might be much better to have a lower rent, which the landlord might get, than to fix a higher rent which cannot be paid and must involve shocking hardships and almost persecution. In the West of Scotland we feel that the great need, above all things, is a decrease in rent. Everyone—Conservatives, Liberals and Labour people—is convInced that there is no need for this increase of rent. I remember the Prime Minister saying that he was not unsympathetic to this point of view. I see that the Secretary of State for Scotland is present. For 22 years he has been Member for Greenock, a town which is passing through fearful hardships at the moment, a town where men have been receiving shockingly low wages. The rent problem there is a terrible one. Meet the unemployed men at the Labour Exchange, and they will tell you that while they appreciate the fall in the cost of living the one thing that still beats them is the rent. If the right hon. Gentleman went to Greenock or Glasgow or to any other big city, he would find an absolutely unanimous opinion that rents ought to be reduced. Therefore, I support this Amendment. For myself, I agree about the pre-war rents, but I think the Labour party were right in altering their Amendment in view of the fact that they were beaten when they asked for a larger reduction. This is a very moderate and meagre request, and I hope it will be accepted by the Government.

4.58 p.m.


Nearly up to the time when I became a Member of this House I earned my livelihood as a labourer in the building trade, and I congratulate the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) upon his suggestion that every working-class man when he is able to do so should do his own house repairs. I would like him to go and tell that to the members of the building trade in his own division, because one of the principal complaints—at least, in the London area—is that there are too many people trying to do their own repairs.


But they do it.


Yes, and there are too many landlords taking advantage of it.


Hear, hear!


The landlords offer them the raw material with which to do the repairs, and tell them they will knock a proportion off the rent, but they do not allow anything like what it would cost if they had to employ outside labour to do the work. It is one of the most ridiculous things I ever heard said in this House, that we should solve the unemployment problem by taking in one another's washing. But that is only a point on a side issue. The main point is that the landlords want an increase in rent, and the landlords can always get their interests well protected in this House. We are asking for a reduction in rent—not as much as we would like, but as much as we can get. I know that we shall not get it—from this House. I might as well go into Trafalgar Square and appeal to the lions.


Appeal to the Labour men who signed the report.


You appeal to anybody you like. Do not try to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. That is the game you continually play in this House. You are always getting up and criticising your own colleagues. Now you are quarrelling with the new comrades that you lately found. They do not quite satisfy you. So far as I am concerned, I belong to the same crowd that I have always belonged to, and I shall belong to them to the end of the chapter. I do not find fault with those with whom I used to work, just to make a joke with the people on the other side.


Hear, bear.


I know that in the district I come from, which is more typically working class than most districts in the London area, that if you ask a landlord to do repairs you are asking for a notice to quit. Some of the houses have not been touched, even though the landlords have had the advantage of increasing the rents. It is an insult to ask a landlord or his agent to do any repairs. Nobody comes round to ask whether you want any repairs done; yet they are drawing their money every week for repairs that they have never done. The only time when the local authorities have power to intervene is when the houses become unfit for human habitation, and then they can come in and take action. No notice is taken of the need for external repairs until the water comes in through the roof. We have some landlords, and unfortunately for them they do not belong to the same race as we do—I am not blaming them for that—who do a particular trade in buying up dilapidated property. They do it up, to a small extent, and then they charge the fullest rent that they can under the Act, but the tenant has no protection. If the tenants say anything about the condition of the houses, the landlord takes advantage of his legal opportunities and uses his full powers as far as the law will allow him. If the tenant gets an order to get out of the house a new tenancy is created, and the rent goes up again.

We are asking for protection for the tenant. The better-class houses are already paying more than they ought to be paying. I know of skilled workmen in our district who work in the docks, and who do a lot to their own houses. They have made new houses at their own expense, and the landlord allows those repairs to be done at the expense of the tenant. Does the Minister believe that that system ought to continue? The repairs of the houses should be done by those who own the houses and not by those who live in them, because the men who live in them have no ownership. The concession that we are asking for to-day is merely one of 10 per cent., in order that the ordinary tenant living in a working-class house, shall not be bled to the extent that he is bled to-day. What about the position of the dock labourer? Come down with me, if you like, to-day or to-morrow morning, to the gates of Victoria Dock, and see thousands of men lined up, waiting for the chance of a day or half-a-day's work. They only get half-a-day guaranteed, but the landlord does not take half-a-day's rent. He wants the full amount. Thousands of men are turned away from the dock, but they are not turned away from the rent-book. That is going on all the time. I ask that this concession should be granted to those who most need assistance at the present time.

5.5 p.m.


I very gladly join in the invitation of the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) to take part in this Debate in the spirit of sweet reasonableness. I will say at once to the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean) who moved the new Clause, that I am unable, on behalf of the Government, to accept the Clause on the same general grounds that I was unable to accept the previous Amendment which was moved in the Committee stage of the Bill. Although this proposes a less reduction of the permitted increase of rent, the arguments which I placed before the Committee in opposing the original Amendment are equally valid to show that there should be no reduction at the present time. I wish to say nothing derogatory of the hon. Member for Hems- worth (Mr. Price) or of other hon. Members, but they have not placed any contention before the House on this occasion that they did not use on the last occasion. In saying that I am rather paying a tribute to the completeness of their first speeches, which covered the ground so extensively.

If there was a new contention advanced in the Debate, I think it was advanced by the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) in his description, which, I have no doubt, is in strict accordance with the facts, of the large amount of work done by many wage-earners in repairing their own houses. A duel arose, as soon as that contention was advanced, between the hon. Member for Gorbals and the stout champion of the trade unionists, the hon. Member for Silvertown (Mr. J. Jones). That is an aspect of the Debate which I shall not develop. In reply to the hon. Member for Gorbals, I would say that the argument is not complete or perfect when one simply says that so many wage earners do a large amount of repairs to their own houses. I have no doubt that they do, but everybody who has been responsible for the management of an estate will recognise that that is by no means always in relief of the liability of the owner for repairs. The repairs that are done with so much skill and energy by the actual occupant, tend, owing to a lack of money to find raw materials and to his desire not to disturb his house too much, to be of a superficial nature. When a house is dealt with in that manner, the dilapidations tend to accumulate, and the property owner has to spend as much in one big repair as-he would have done in carrying out annual repairs.

The argument is not to be decided in a just sense by mere appeals for a concession, or by exclusive attention to the interests either of the occupiers or of the owners. The anxious task which lies upon those who are responsible for making proposals to the House, and upon the House in judging those proposals, is to do equal justice to both sides. The argument of the Inter-Departmental Committee was perfectly sound when it stated that the present permitted increase of rent was not too large in respect of the item of repairs. It has been said by the hon. Member for Govan that that was three years ago, and that the cost of repairs. has fallen Since then, but, if hon. Members will look at the arithmetical basis of the argument, they will see that, at the time the Committee reported, there had already been a very substantial fall in the cost of repairs. The members of the committee no doubt weighed that when they gave their judicial judgment in their report. Not only had a large part of the fall taken place when the committee reported, but, if hon. Members consider the actual cost of repairs, they will see that there was still a very big margin to cover any further fall in the cost of repairs to the owner of the house. Hon. Members may read the passage to which I refer, on page 33 of the report, which says: The cost of doing repairs to working-class houses is now about twice what it was in 1914–1.e., it is about 50 per cent. of the pre-War net rent. It follows that there is no case for altering the permitted increase of 25 per cent. There was no case at that time, and there was a very large margin to cover a further fall in the cost of repairs. Let me compare the percentage allowed in this case with that allowed under another Act of Parliament, the Rating and Valuation Act. In respect of small houses of the sort that I am considering, the amount allowed in the Eating and Valuation Act is 40 per cent. Here it is only 25 per cent. The Inter-Departmental Committee said that they thought that 40 per cent., as in the Rating and Valuation Act, was too high. That leaves a very wide margin between the 40 per cent. allowed in that Act of Parliament and the 25 per cent. which we are allowing here. A very important aspect of this matter, from the point of view of the actual facts and figures of the case, was very well brought out by the hon. Member for St. Albans (Sir F. Fremantle). The arguments of the hon. Member for St. Albans were quite rightly taken up by the hon. Member for Gorbals, who studiously tried to do justice to the hon. Member, but the point is not that the more expensive class of houses need less repairs, or that the repairs to the more expensive class of houses cost less than the repairs to the smaller houses; the point is that, in proportion to the total rent, the amount which is required for repairs is less in the case of a big house and of a big rent than in the case of a small house and a small rent.


Is the Minister not losing sight of the fact that, in the first instance, the amount of Capttal invested in the smaller house is less than the amount that is invested in the greater house, and that it brings in a greater return eventually?


May I say that the point I intended to make was that the tenant of the well-to-do house usually knows his legal rights in regard to repairs, and is in a much better position to enforce them than is a poorer tenant.


I am not losing sight of the point referred to by the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs. I do not think the point made by the hon. Member for Gorbals is relevant to the argument, but I will deal with it in a moment. I am sure that all hon. Members have the point clearly in mind now. If you need 25 per cent. of the rent for repairs to a small house with a small rent, you will probably need a much smaller percentage in respect of a large house with a large rent. That is a fact very well known to all those who have been responsible for house-property. The House knows that what we are doing is to limit the operation of the permitted increase under the Act to the smaller class of house. The change that we are making as regards the limitation to the smaller class of houses is, therefore, a strong reason why we should not reduce the permitted increase of rent. If we had been decreasing it in the case of the bigger houses, there might nave been an argument for decreasing it in the case of the smaller, but we are doing the opposite, and the new conditions are a strong argument for retaining the old permitted increase.

Let me also remind the House of one of those facts which we are apt to lose sight of when our discussions become merely theoretical. That is that every year these small houses are getting older and older, so that every year the cost of repairs goes up and up, and, consequently, the reason for reducing the permitted increase goes down and down. It is true that, as has been mentioned by the hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. G. Braithwaite), when a similar Amendment was introduced in Committee I pointed out to the Committee that you could not, ill dealing with repairs, fail to take account of the whole period during which the artificial restriction of rent had been imposed upon this class of investor, and that you must consider what has happened to him in the past as well as what is happening to him at the present time. That still seems to me to be absolutely fair, and I differ from the hon. Member's view that that argument can be neglected. He says that the owners may not now be the same, but let me present to him this difficulty. Either the present owners are the same owners who had these houses when the cost of repairs was so much bigger than it is at present, or they are not. If they are the same owners, then, surely, they are entitled in fairness to some consideration of the fact that round about 1920, and for several years afterwards, the permitted increase of 25 per cent. was not adequate in respect of repairs. If they are not the same owners, then, in that case, they bought the houses and invested their Capttal on the basis of the 40 per cent. permitted increase of rent, and, if you now reduce that permitted increase, you confiscate a part of their property.


Is it not the fact that, when such houses changed hands in those circumstances, it was with the full knowledge that at any moment the 40 per cent. permitted increase, or any part of it, might be swept away, in view of the fact that at that time the Act was being renewed annually under the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill?


The houses were bought, as we may both suppose, upon the assumption that, as long as the permitted increase of 25 per cent. was justified by the facts of the case, it would be maintained. My argument is that the facts of the case still justify that permitted increase, and if, against those facts, it were reduced, it would be in the nature of a disappointment of a legitimate expectation on the part of those who have invested in this type of property, and I do not think it is using an exaggerated phrase to say that it would amount to confiscation of a part of their property.

There is one wide aspect of this matter which we must not neglect, and which underlies the whole question. We are dealing here with an artificial system which imposes a restriction, a diminution, in the interests of the community as a whole, upon the return which a particular class of investor would otherwise be able to get from his investment, and which he might legitimately have expected to get when he first made his investment. The making of any further reduction of that return, which is already thus artificially reduced, would require to be doubly and trebly justified in the interests of the community as a whole. I do not think that this proposed reduction would be in the interests of the community, or even of the occupier. There are ample provisions in the law to enable occupiers to see that repairs are carried out. I may remind the House that we are introducing into the law, in this Bill, a fresh provision, of much more importance than may seem to be the case at first sight, to assist the occupier in securing that his repairs are carried out. As the House knows, the occupier can refuse to pay the permitted increase of rent if the repairs are not carried out. In the past—


As far as Scotland is concerned, all that the owner is required to do is to keep the house wind and watertight.


The occupier is entitled to refuse to pay the permitted increase of rent if repairs are not carried out in a reasonable manner in accordance with the terms of the law by the owner. I have not hitherto heard any criticism of the definition of the type of repairs required to be carried out. Hitherto, in order to entitle the occupier to refuse payment, he has had to get a legal certificate that under the Rent Restrictions Acts the repairs were not being carried out. Now we have a new provision that, if any notice is issued under the Housing Acts to the effect that the premises are not in reasonable repair, that notice shall automatically have the same effect as a notice given under the Rent Restrictions Acts, That provision will have a very important effect, because the number of houses which are put into repair in one way or another under the Housing Acts in the course of a year amounts to no fewer than 500,000, so that, if even only a small proportion of this number were to fructify, so to speak, in assisting the occupier to secure the carrying out of proper repairs, it would be a very important addition to the rights and powers of the occupier in that regard. I believe that on this occasion the argument in favour of a reduction of the permitted increase has failed as regards the smaller houses, as it has in the case of the larger, and, for the reasons which I have stated, I ask the House to maintain it as it is in the Bill.

5.24 p.m.


I had hoped that the Minister would have met us on this Clause, especially in view of the speech of the hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. G. Braithwaite), who put what seemed to me to be a very powerful case. The right hon. Gentleman, in the early part of his speech, said that it was the object of the Government to do equal justice to both sides, but, surely, the object of the Government should be to give equal justice to all sides, and there are other sections of the community at the present time who are interested in this problem besides landlords and tenants. The whole economic situation to-day has to be taken into account in dealing with this problem of rent, and this is where I join issue with the Minister. He says that costs have fallen, and that is true; it was admitted when the Inter-Departmental Committee reported. They said, on the basis of evidence placed before them, that costs had fallen, and the greater bulk of the fall, it was suggested, took place before then; and, because that fall took place, the 40 per cent. is said to be right now. If the right hon. Gentleman will look at the report, which has been quoted so frequently during these Debates, he will see that the opinion of the Committee, having regard to the situation of 1930, was this: It is, however, clear that the permitted increase, though not excessive, is now, owing to the fall in costs, sufficient to enable a conscientious landlord to carry out all necessary repairs on an adequate scale. I am prepared to say that landlords, during the intervening time from the publication of the report down to to-day, have shown no increasing disposition to do these repairs, nor am I satisfied that the suggestions made in the Inter-Departmental Committee's report, or the provision made in the Bill, will have any real effect in ensuring that this right, for which the landlord, on the basis of 1930, can well afford to pay—I will come to the last three years in a moment—is going to be obtained by the tenant. It may be true that something approaching 500,000 houses are repaired each year, but, broadly speaking, with the present composition of local authorities, with the housing conditions that prevail, and with the shortage that there is in many areas, local authorities do not in fact exercise their powers, and, where they have to save their faces by doing something, they do not require the landlords to make the repairs that ought to be required of them in order really to carry out the law of the land.


Except in 500,000 cases.


I am trying to point out to the hon. and gallant Gentleman that a good deal of these repairs is purely eyewash. My contention is that the local authorities permit the minimum to be done. Indeed, it is not eyewash, but whitewash, and there is very little besides. The case I am trying to make is that local authorities, partly because they are largely representative of certain interests, or interests sway their opinions, and laregly because, in many towns, there is still a shortage of houses, do not feel that they can enforce the full rigour of the law on the landlords; and, in fact, of the 500,000 houses that are repaired each 3"ear, in the vast Majority of cases the repairs have been of a very simple character. My own view, and I am satisfied that it is the view of all people who are acquainted with this question, is that to-day landlords are not required to carry out the full measure of the law as regards the repairs of houses which they own. If it be true that the landlord could well recoup himself in 1930 with the 40 per cent. increase for repairs, it is increasingly so now, because the cost of repairs has fallen. Further, if it be argued that the landlord has additional burdens of taxation upon him I would reply, "So has everybody else, and that is no argument why the landlord should receive separate treatment."

He has this little fund also on which to draw. In addition to the further fall in prices Since 1930, one has to remember that the 40 per cent. increase was not decided upon merely in order to allow of the landlord meeting the increased cost of repairs. For that purpose the amount was 25 per cent., while 10 per cent. was for increased mortgage interest—and it has been pointed out already that this may, within the next five years, in hundreds of cases be substantially reduced—and 5 per cent. was for increased yield on the owner's Capttal. This is a pure windfall at present for the landlord of small property. There is an enormous amount of small property, especially in the provInces, which I know better than London, which has been in the possession of the same persons for 30 or 40 years, bought at astonishingly low prices when the rate of interest was lower even that it is to-day. They made handsome profits for 20 years before the War, when the small property owner was relatively rolling in wealth. They had a short period of time during the War when, because of their attempts at exploitation, they forced up rents. It was followed by the inevitable reaction and the Government, I have no doubt much against their will, had to step in to restrict their rights, but they got an additional 40 per cent. during 0the greater part of the War period, 25 per cent. of it for repairs. They never did any repairs during the War. The labour and materials were not there to do it. It was an almost unknown sight to see housing repairs during the War. (Practically all building operations, except for War purposes, ceased during the War and they were able during that time to charge that additional rent for repairs which they did not execute. It is true that for a few years after the War they had to pay very excessive prices for repairs compared with previous prices. If the right hon. Gentleman says that now they ought to be recouping themselves, I say that large numbers of them recouped themselves before rent restriction ever began, during the early part of the War and during the first period when rent restriction was imposed.


It is plain that the 1915 Act did not allow any increase of

rent. It was not till the 1919 Act came along, and, therefore, during the whole of the War there was no increase of rentals.


They allowed the 15 per cent., but the legal obligations as regards repairs still obtained and were not, in effect, being carried out. If there had been no war, they would have been required to do the repairs which national conditions made it almost impossible for them to carry out. The owner of Capttal in house property to-day is no more entitled than other people to a higher rate of interest, and the suggestion that we are trying to reduce rents below a level that is reasonable will not bear examination when one considers that these people are being permitted by law the possibility of a rate of interest which they would not normally be able to obtain in present circumstances if their Capttal were invested in other industries or in other services. My contention is that the situation has changed very substantially in the last three years. The economic position of hundreds of thousands of people has changed definitely for the worse. An appeal was made by the National Government for sacrifice from everyone and additional sacrifices from certain classes of people, in addition to the general sacrifice of taxation. But the position of the landlord as regards small house property is being pegged and safeguarded for the next five years. I should hope that the right hon. Gentleman even now might think fit to change his mind. I have very little serious hope that he will do so, but I think that the case that has been put, not only from these benches but by the hon. Member for Hillsborough, has not been met, and we must divide on the Clause.

Question put, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

The House divided: Ayes, 55; Noes, 255.

Division No. 167.] AYES. [5.35 p.m.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke Cove, William G. Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)
Attlee, Clement Richard Cripps, Sir Stafford Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)
Banfield, John William Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Grundy, Thomas W.
Batey, Joseph Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)
Bernays, Robert Edwards, Charles Harris, Sir Percy
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Evans, David Owen (Cardigan) Hicks, Ernest George
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.) Hirst, George Henry
Briant, Frank Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin) Howard, Tom Forrest
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Janner, Barnett
Buchanan, George George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea) Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Kirkwood, David Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E) Tinker, John Joseph
Lawson, John James Maxton, James Wallhead, Richard C.
Logan, David Gilbert Milner, Major James White, Henry Graham
Lunn, William Pike, Cecil F. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
Macdonald, Gordon (Ince) Price, Gabriel Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)
McEntee, Valentine L. Rathbone, Eleanor
Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan) Roberts, Aled (Wrexham) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.-
Mr. John and Mr. Groves.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Elliston. Captain George Sampson Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.
Altchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgie M. Elmley, Viscount Mabane, William
Atlen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Emmott, Charles E. G. C. MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Emrys-Evans, P. V. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare) McKie, John Hamilton
Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K. Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.) McLean, Major Sir Alan
Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe Everard, W. Lindsay Macquisten, Frederick Alexander
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J.(Kent, Dover) Falle, Sir Bertram G. Magnay, Thomas
Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M. Fermoy, Lord Maitland, Adam
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Ford, Sir Patrick J. Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.
Balniel, Lord Fox, Sir Gifford Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Fraser, Captain Ian Marsden, Commander Arthur
Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar Fremantle, Sir Francis Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell Fuller, Captain A. G. Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John
Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury) Ganzoni, Sir John Merriman, Sir F. Boyd
Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th.C.) Gillett, Sir George Masterman Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Belt, Sir Alfred L. Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale
Bird, Ernest Roy (Yorks., Skipton) Gledhill, Gilbert Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres
Blindell. James Glossop, C. W. H. Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)
Borodale, Viscount Goff, Sir Park Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)
Bossom, A. C. Goldie, Noel B. Morrison, William Shephard
Boulton, W. W. Goodman, Colonel Albert W. Muirhead, Major A. J.
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Granville, Edgar Munro, Patrick
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.
Bracken, Brendan Graves, Marjorie Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)
Braithwaite, Maj. A. N. (Yorks, E.R.) Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. Nunn, William
Briscoe, Capt. Richard George Guinness, Thomas L. E. B. Patrick, Colin M.
Broadbent, Colonel John Gunston, Captain D. W. Peake, Captain Osbert
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Petherick, M.
Brown, Brig.-Gen.H. C.(Berks.,Newb'y) Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)
Buchan-Hepburn, p. G. T. Hammersley, Samuel S. Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada
Burnett, John George Hanbury, Cecil Power, Sir John Cecil
Burton, Colonel Henry Walter Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry PowNail, Sir Assheton
Campbell. Edward Taswell (Bromlev) Hartington, Marquess of Raikes, Henry V. A. M.
Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley) Hartland, George A. Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)
Castlereagh, viscount Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Cautley, Sir Henry S. Haslam, Sir John (Bolton) Ramsden, Sir Eugena
Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester. City) Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Rankin, Robert
Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth. S.) Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Ray, Sir William
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsf'd) Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)
Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Held, David D. (County Down)
Cecil, Rt. Hon. Lord Hugh Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Held, William Altan (Derby)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Remer, John R.
Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.) Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston) Rentoul, Sir Gervals S.
Clarke, Frank Hore-Belisha, Leslie Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.
Cochrane, Commander Hon, A. D. Horobin, Ian M. Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall)
Colfox, Major William Philip Horsbrugh, Florence Robinson, John Roland
Collins, Rt. Hon. Sir Godfrey Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. Ropner, Colonel L.
Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Hume, Sir George Hopwood Rosbotham, Sir Samuel
Cooke, Douglas Hunter. Dr. Joseph (Dumfries) Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Cooper, A. Dutt Hurst, Sir Gerald B. Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.
Cowan, D. M. Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H. Runciman. Rt. Hon. Walter
Croft. Brigadier-General Sir H. Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) Runge, Norah Cecil
Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle) Jesson, Major Thomas E. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Rutherford, John (Edmonton)
Cross, R. H. Ker, J. Campbell Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)
Crossley, A. C. Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose) Sandeman, Sir A N. Stewart
Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard Kerr, Hamilton W. Scone, Lord
Culverwell, Cyril Tom Kimball, Lawrence Selley, Harry R.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil) Knox, Sir Alfred Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.
Davison. Sir William Henry Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Dawson, Sir Philip Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.) Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)
Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F. Leech, Dr. J. W. Simmoncs, Oliver Edwin
Dickie, John P. Lees-Jones, John Skelton, Archibald Noel
Donner, P. W. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.
Doran, Edward Lindsay, Noel Ker Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)
Dower, Captain A. V. G. Llewellin, Major John J. Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.
Duckworth, George A. V. Lloyd, Geoffrey Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.
Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.) Spears, Brigadler- General Edward L.
Duggan, Hubert John Loder, Captain J. da Vere Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.
Spens, William Patrick Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby) Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Stanley, Lord (Lancaster, Fylde) Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford) Whyte, Jardine Bell
Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland) Thompson, Luke Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Storey, Samuel Touche, Gordon Cosmo Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Strauss, Edward A. Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement Withers, Sir John James
Strickland, Captain W. F. Turton, Robert Hugh Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley
Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn) Vaughan-Morgan, Sir Kenyon Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)
Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- Wallace, John (DunferMilne)
Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray F. Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart Warrender, Sir Victor A. G. Sir George Penny and Lieut-Colonel
Summersby, Charles H. Watt, Captain George Steven H. Sir A. Lambert Ward.
Tate, Mavis Constance Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour