§ 3.58 p.m.
§ Mr. ARTHUR GREENWOOD
I beg to move, in page 62, line 4, to leave out Subsection (2).
I wish to make it clear that I have no objection, nor have my colleagues any objection, to giving reasonable assistance to retail traders who happen to be displaced because of there housing of the people. Indeed, in Section 41 of the 1930 Act, I made provision for allowances in respect of traders having to quit their places of business because of slum clearance schemes. Therefore, I am not arguing against some provision of that kind but Subsection (2) of this Clause raises a number of very serious principles. The first part of the Clause refers to Section 41 of the Act of 1930 and the proposal is to introduce the following Subsection at the end of the said Section 41:(2) Where as a result of action taken by a local authority under Part I of this Act the population of the locality is materially decreased, they may pay to any person carrying on are tail shop in the locality such reasonable allowance as they think fit towards any loss which in their opinion he will there by sustain, but in estimating any such loss they shall have regard to the probable future development of the locality.I should like the Minister to explain the meaning of the term "the locality." How far does a locality extend? With the modern system of transport for shopping purposes, a locality may be a2d. or 3d. tram or omnibus ride from the places where people live. The suggestion is that in a locality so very vaguely setout as "the locality," it will be possible under this Measure for a local authority to grant a permanent dole to retail traders who, it is alleged, have lost trade because, owing to the abatement of over crowding. their trade has declined. If there is one thing about this Clause which, I think, is worse than any other, it is the fact that no time limit is put in. This proposal would permit a local authority to grant an annuity for life to 1152 a small shopkeeper who could persuade the local authority that, as the result of abatement of overcrowding, he had lost a certain amount of trade, but, of course, the difficulty in practice would be that, whereas the multiple shops in any area keep their books very accurately, the small shopkeeper or costermonger with his barrow in the East End area keeps no books at all, and would find it very difficult to convince the local authority that because of this overcrowding he had lost trade. Certain large multiple stores, which I will not name, could, with the aid of their accountants, advisers and lawyers, convince any local authority that their large multiple stores had been imperilled for the rest of their existence, and then they might profit as the result of this Bill. I do not understand how this loss of custom arising from a decrease in the population of an area is to be measured. It may be that small shops have been going down hill for years, for one reason or another, quite unconnected with the abatement of overcrowding. There are no indications as to how a local authority is to proceed in assessing the loss which is due to the action of the Government in bringing in this Bill.
My chief objection to this Clause is that it is really establishing a new principle, not in the sense of a dole, because the principle of the dole has been applied by this Government most generously to all kinds of interests, but it is a new principle which is capable of infinite application. I should like to put to the House the question, whether, in accepting the Clause, we accept all its implications; whether, whenever the community, either through a local authority or through the Houses of Parliament, takes action which may detrimentally affect the economic interests of certain persons, we are, therefore, to give those persons who happen to be detrimentally affected compensation for life? I put this as a very serious question to the Minister of Health. Suppose the Government decide to move the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich to the West of Wales, and the suggestion has been made many times. We do not know yet what the Government's answer to that is, but suppose the Arsenal were to be removed lock, stock and barrel to some other part of the country, would the Government be prepared, on the same principle as in Clause 82, to provide, for an unlimited 1153 period, compensation to all the retail traders in "the locality," whatever that might mean I Would they be 'prepared to pay compensation for the loss of trade in the whole of that district 7 If they are not prepared to do so, then they have no right to introduce this principle in the Bill and impose it upon local authorities.
Although I know that this Clause is permissive, it does impose anew burden upon local authorities far wider in its scope than the relatively small burden which was imposed by Section 41 of the Act of 1930. I do not suppose that this Clause is the result of negotiations with the local authorities, and I am bound to say that I object—and this is not the first occasion in this Bill where it has arisen—to the Government holding out the hope of a certain subsidy to local authorities, and then proceeding in the Bill to deprive them of the full advantages of that by imposing certain new responsibilities upon them. It may be said, and I have no doubt that it will be said in the discussion on this Amendment, that this is purely permissive, but I am bound to say that I know no single occasion where in a Government Bill possibilities of logrolling have been more likely than in the case of this Clause. Every little shopkeeper and every large multiple store are going to exercise all the political pressure they can to bully local authorities into making financial provision for shopkeepers, because, owing to change in social circumstances, aided by the Government, certain people are going to lose money. It is quite true that local authorities need not use this power unless they desire to do so, but I suggest that every organisation in this country interested in retail trade will mobilise all its political resources into compelling local authorities, out of the rates, without any assistance from the State, to provide compensation, in circumstances and conditions of which we are not aware at the moment, to shopkeepers who mayor may not have lost trade because of the operation of this Bill when it becomes an Act of Parliament.
I submit that this Clause is really a danger to the integrity of our municipal life. I think it establishes a principle which cannot be defended. I think it is going to be one of the blots on a Bill, which I do not think is too good a Bill, 1154 and about which I shall have something to say later. I ask the House to consider very carefully whether by inserting this loosely drawn new Subsection into the Act of 1930 for compensation to traders, without any kind of conditions, for an unlimited period of time, this House is acting in the best interests of the people, and is really going to assist the abatement of overcrowding I think the right hon. Gentleman has been a little too prone to listen to those who have financial claims. There is a generosity in this Bill for the owners of property, whether they be owners of houses or occupiers of shops, which, I think, is unfortunate. I can understand his desire to meet the claims which have been made by the slum owners. I can even under stand his desire to exploit the political significance of bribes to shopkeepers. But I am bound to say that I think this kind of assistance is open to the gravest possible objection. In 1930provision was made of a purely limited kind for shop keepers who were displaced because of a slum clearance scheme. This Clause, which is an addition to the 1930 Act, opens up a much wider principle, and I should hope that even now, on the Report stage, the right hon. Gentleman would be prepared either to withdraw it, or to undertake some revision of it perhaps on the lines suggested by my hon. Friend the Member for Upton (Mr. Gardner), which would limit its operation to an amount which this House, and which local authorities, without being under the influence of pressure, would regard as being reasonable.
§ 4.14 p.m.
§ Sir PERCY HARRIS
The right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken I think will recognise that I feel very little sympathy with any part of the Bill that proposes to increase compensation to owners of slum property. I have taken the line that if people have bad property, they must pay the penalty. But I think there is a very important differentiation between the cases with which this Sub section attempts to deal. I think the right hon. Gentleman will admit—Ibelieve he did admit in Committee—that what he aims at is very difficult to achieve. In fact, that explains why the whole matter is left to the discretion of the local authority. I have had, in the course of my considerable experience of local government, a good deal of experi- 1155 ence in this job of slum clearance. I have always thought that there has been gross exaggeration about cases of hard ship which have been shouted from the housetops, but the case of the small shopkeeper, what is called the general shopkeeper, who deals in a little sweets, a little tobacco, a little grocery, and perhaps does a little trade in milk, who is generally located in the poor areas, does deserve special treatment. For a great number of years it has been the custom of the London County Council generally to make some special provision in these cases in the direction either of reinstatement or of a, compassionate allowance, but it has always been of very doubtful legality.
Most of these people are weekly tenants and depend for their living on the existence of houses in a particular area. When the houses are cleared away their livings and their businesses go too, and only too often there is no opportunity to start again. They have nothing to sell, their capital is small, and it is a serious blow to them. It is difficult to interpret words in an Act of Parliament, but I do not believe that the right hon. Gentleman aims—I hope he does not—at giving compensation to the multiple shop and the cooperative store. I do not believe any decent local authority would consider they were under an obligation to compensate them, because what they would lose in one area they would gain in another. They would be able to open new shops in the area to which the displaced people had moved, and the local authority could be trusted to use its power with wisdom and discretion. What I believe the majority of the House feels is that there are cases of great hardship in the kind of areas that will be cleared and are being cleared under the Act of1930, and, if by some words in the Bill the attitude of local authorities in the past can be legalised, it will be in the interests of the local authorities concerned and will remove a serious cause of hardship and uncertainty to the small shopkeepers.
§ 4.19 p.m.
§ Mr. LEVY
I think that the Minister of Health is doing right in including this Subsection, and hope that he will not accept the Amendment. I gather that my right hon. Friend has in find that where 1156 a slum area is cleared and the people are displaced the shopkeepers concerned will have to bear a great hardship until rebuilding takes place. I have in mind 'an area that was cleared. For seven or eight months the small shopkeepers surrounding that area practically lost their custom. It is only fair and right that they should be allowed to have compensation, if the local authority feels it is right and proper—it is in their discretion—until the blocks of flats which are being built are occupied. During the building of the flats these shopkeepers are struggling to get a living and their custom has gone. They should receive some small compensation during this period, and when the population returns the compensation should cease.
I have always felt that hon. Members opposite look upon even the smallest shopkeeper who has some employés as a capitalist and a person who should not be considered at all. They have no hesitation in considering the employés, but in their view the shopkeeper himself is not to be considered. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood) was a little inaccurate when he said that these small shopkeepers did not keep books, because they have to make Income Tax returns, and they cannot do that without keeping proper books. The right hon. Gentleman raised the question as to the extent of the locality. That should be determined by the common sense of the local authority in the administration of this Clause. Although I do not altogether agree with every part of this Bill, I think that this provision is wise, and I hope my right hon. Friend will reject the Amendment.
§ 4.22 p.m.
§ Mr. GARDNER
I rise to reinforce what has been said by the right hon. Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood) When this Clause was discussed in Committee, we raised the question of what was meant by "the locality," and we did not get a satisfactory answer. The word "locality" occurs in this Subsection three times, and the Subsection turns round it. It is a very loose word, and is unknown to English law, as far as I can ascertain. Its only existence in law was in an Act of 1862, which was repealed in1903, and then it could not stand alone; it had to be qualified, and to make it operative a resolution of the licensing 1157 magistrates was required, for they had to define a particular locality. That is all we want to do. As used in this Sub section the word "locality" may mean the next street and even the next town, and local authorities will have great difficulty in operating the Subsection. This is my 29th year as a local administrator, and I can see the many pitfalls that there 'are in this wording. There are unscrupulous people who want to get on to town councils. They will take up the case of the shopkeepers in a locality and create in their mind a political prejudice. In some cases they will probably succeed in blackmailing the local 'authority that really wishes to help the small shopkeeper.
The fact that this Subsection is so wide may cause some authorities to hesitate to put it into operation. Our desire in moving the Amendment is to help the Government and to protect the local authorities. I know that the loose ness of wording is not the fault of the Minister, for he was kindhearted and accepted this Clause from the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. Williams). This matter was referred to in the "News Letter," an organ of which some hon. Members may have heard. It has a wide circulation among Members of Parliament, nearly all of whom, I believe, are on the free list. Speaking of the acceptance of the new Clause by the Minister, it said that the Clause opened up complex questions and dangerous possibilities. I am inclined to agree. Twice in the Clause the local authorities are supposed to be more or less gifted with second sight. They are to paysuch reasonable allowance as they think fit towards any loss which in their opiniona shopkeeper will thereby sustain. They have to look into the future. They are not to judge of something that has been ascertained, which is the usual procedure, as far as I know, incases of loss and damage where a public authority has moved and somebody has suffered. The question of betterment also comes under the Subsection, for it says,
in estimating any such loss they shall have regard to the probable future development of the locality.That is what I understand by the word "betterment." Here again they have to gaze into the future and estimate what will happen in the locality. It gives a 1158 chance of discrimination between one shopkeeper and another. The local authorities can say in one case, "You have suffered loss, and you will be compensated"; and in another case, "You have suffered loss, but you will be all right by and by." We ask that the Sub section should be put into proper shape, so that the local authorities will not be subjected to the kind of thing that is likely to arise if it becomes law.
§ 4.27 p.m.
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Sir Hilton Young)
I appreciate to the full the motives that underlie the arguments which call this Clause particularly to the attention of the House. When any fresh provisions for compensation are included they deserve that careful scrutiny which is suggested by hon. Members opposite. In all these matters of compensation in slum clearance procedure there is an element of novelty which requires the careful attention of the House. I therefore welcome the opportunity of dealing with this new proposal in the light of the criticisms that have been made. It is the result of a careful Debate in Committee at a time, I think, when the mind of the Committee, among all the elements that constituted it, was in favour of some such proposal. I think that when we see exactly what we are doing we shall see that the arguments of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood) rather tended to make a mountain out of a molehill. It is legitimate, I think, to send him to his own molehill, because this proposal is a natural consequence of the temporary allowances to shopkeepers which were included in the Act of 1930, for which he was responsible.
What is it we are doing? Already under the law a local authority can, of their own free will, give an allowance by way of compensation to shopkeepers who are bought out at site value. That is the basis to which we have to relate our present proposals. To that we add, under the Bill, the proposal that when the shopkeeper is not bought out at site value but at market value he shall be able to get a voluntary allowance at the freewill of the local authority. Having accepted the principle that there may be voluntary compensation when you move the shop away from the business, we here accept the proposition that there may 1159 also be voluntary compensation when you move the business away from the shop. That appears to me to be almost a necessary consequence of the first provision. I can quite understand that when the proposals were first framed that logical consequence would not present itself to the minds of practical administrators, but in the course of experience it has been found that there was this difficulty in the way of local authorities, and to remove that difficulty this provision is necessary.
Let us remember the purpose of all these provisions. It is to increase the flexibility of the powers of local authorities, in order to facilitate their task in these great schemes of slum clearance. We have learned by practical experience that nothing facilitates that task so much as enabling them to deal reasonably with hard cases, and that is what we are after—giving them power to deal with hard cases in a common sense way. As was pointed out by the hon. Baronet the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris) these are voluntary powers. There is no compulsion on the local authorities to exercise them, and as he also pointed out there will be no temptation for a local authority to exercise them in other than a common sense manner. That deals with the basis of this proposal as regards the general principle. But there is a further criticism made by the right hon. Member for Wakefield and by the hon. Member for the Upton Division (Mr. Gardner) with which I feel I have to deal, namely, that the provision itself is framed in too loose a manner. It is often dangerous to suggest a generality in order to defend a particular case, but may I suggest that while, when you are imposing a duty on somebody, you cannot define that duty too clearly, when you are giving a voluntary power it is often much better not to define it but to leave it as flexible as possible, in order that that voluntary power may be exercised in a reasonable way. That has been our guiding principle in drafting this Clause—to leave the power as flexible as possible in order that it may be exercised in a spirit of common sense to meet the circumstances of the case.
We have laid down what appear to me to be the two essential qualifications. First of all, attention is to be paid to 1160 the future development of the locality. I am not sure whether that is technically "betterment" or not, but it is a circumstance to which the local authority ought to pay attention although one of which they are likely to lose sight unless it is particularly brought to their notice. The second phrase in the Clause to which particular criticism has been directed is that which states that local authorities are to have power to give an allowance in respect of a shop where the population of the locality is materially reduced. There, I believe, the phrase is really a helpful one. The question of what is the locality really answers itself in this case, because the real test is whether damage is going to be suffered by the moving away of the population. Unless there is such damage there can be no allowance; and so the definition of locality really means any shop which is so close that it would actually lose custom by the moving away of the population. It is the practical test, the test which is really relevant to the loss which has to be considered. I am not afraid of the fact that "locality" has not often been used be fore in Acts of Parliament, because when you are setting out to deal with new conditions it is often better to use a phrase which has not a legal history but one which can be interpreted in accordance with the new conditions.
The right hon. Gentleman also ex pressed his fear that the inclusion of this fresh provision might lead to more pressure, as I understood, pressure of an illegitimate sort, upon the local authorities by the shopkeepers. I should not have supposed myself that that apprehension was justified. I think that what leads to illegitimate, vehement pressure is a sense that some injustice is 'being done, that a man finds himself in a position in which he is beating himself against a brick wall and cannot get his rights. The only way to enable the parties to get together on a reasonable basis is to give the party who has to deal with the complaint the widest possible powers to act in a reasonable way. That has been the idea in the drafting of this Clause. I believe it expresses in the most practical manner what was the general intention of the Committee, and that it is to be commended to the House as providing a real assistance to the work of slum clearance.
§ 4.37 p.m.
§ Mr. G. R. STRAUSS
I have no doubt that the Minister, in proposing this new Clause, had the best of intentions, but I am convinced, particularly after hearing his arguments, that he has no idea whatsoever as to how it will work in practice in a large clearance scheme. I was surprised to hear the hon. Baronet the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris), who has undoubtedly had great experience in housing matters, advocating this proposal. Perhaps I could help the House with a personal experience. In my constituency there was recently a very large clearance scheme, and shopkeepers in the area, who under the Act of 1930 are entitled to compensation, at the discretion of the local authority, banded together and exerted without question, I will not say illegitimate pressure but very considerable pressure indeed. They were particularly fortunate, or unfortunate, in that the clearance scheme coincided with the by election in which I was returned to this House. During that election those shopkeepers, fearing that they would not get sufficient compensation from the London County Council, a fear which I think was quite unfounded, banded together, holding meetings and exerting very considerable pressure in the neighbourhood in an effort to exact promises from the candidates.
If that happens with the shopkeepers in the area, who, I think, are in quite a different category from those living outside—because their premises are going to be pulled down—what is going to be the situation when everybody in the locality who may consider that his shop has suffered damage as the result of the removal of the people will feel entitled to look to the local authority for compensation? It is an appalling prospect. I forget how many houses were involved in this particular scheme, but I suppose there was a population of several thousand. "Locality" not being defined, it would be possible for every shop keeper within a radius of a mile to prove without question that certain of his customers had disappeared and that therefore he had lost revenue and was entitled to compensation. I am certain that in this instance from 200 to 500 shops could put up some sort of claim for compensation.
1162 From my experience of this and of other clearance schemes I know that a certain amount of temporary hardship may be inflicted, but I have never found any general dissatisfaction, or any general agitation that these people should receive compensation, and we shall be stirring up a tremendous amount of trouble fore very local authority which wants to undertake a clearance scheme if we make them subject to this pressure. I do not say that it is illegitimate pres sure, because the shopkeepers will think they are only asking for that to which they are entitled. It is the very vague ness of the proposition which is the danger. It would be better if it were possible to confine "locality" to a certain area, it would be better if it were possible to limit the amount of compensation to a certain formula—that would limit the difficulty and the agitation. As regards houses in the clearance area there is a certain understanding—anyhow in London—as to the basis of compensation. It is, roughly, the cost of removal and help towards acquiring a similar business somewhere else. But these proposals are vague. Are the shopkeepers to be paid compensation in respect of every penny they would have received as profit during the period when the houses were demolished; over what area is the new rule to apply; for what period; and for what type of shop?
Is the multiple store in the area to have a claim? The multiple shopkeeper will, in point of fact, be able to prove his claim better than anyone else. Probably three quarters of the shopkeepers who surround a slum clearance area in London do not keep accounts, and it will be quite impossible for them to give any proof of loss of trade. That is a great difficulty in the case of all compensation claims. The big shops do keep accounts, however, and they will be able to come forward with very definite statements about their losses, although the loss may, in fact, be due to entirely different cir cumstances—due to incompetence in management, or to all sorts of things. I say, therefore, that the very vagueness of these proposals make them doubly dangerous. The right hon. Gentleman said this proposal would help local authorities in their clearance schemes, but speaking with experience of the work of a local authority which has carried out far more clearance schemes than any other in the 1163 country, I can assure him that so far from helping this Clause will seriously handicap local authorities.
A further danger arises from the principle which is being adopted here. We are opening a wide door to claims such as may not have occurred to the Minister. There are other people than shopkeepers who may be entitled to compensation for loss oftrade—publicans, bookmakers who carry on their trade in the area, and street newspaper sellers. If it is suggested that where a local authority carries out a public improvement every private interest that suffers is to be compensated out of public money—because that is the principle here stated, for the first time, as far as I know, in any Act of Parliament—where do we get? If a local authority makes a new bypass road it is perfectly certain that a garage or a petrol station on the road which it is proposed to bypass will lose considerable business. Is it proposed that the garage owner or the petrol station owner is to receive compensation out of public funds? It is opening the door immensely wide—most dangerously wide—in slipping this suggestion into this Bill. If people are to be de housed in a particular area because a factory is to be set up and the street is vacated, as sometimes happens, because the factory wants that particular space for carrying on its business, it is not suggested that that factory should compensate people in the area for loss of trade. I feel that this is a point slipped into the Bill without proper consideration. It is extremely dangerous. No such principle should be admitted by the House without the fullest consideration, and without it being much more carefully thought out. I strongly advise the House, in view of the circumstances, and in order to help slum clearance throughout the country, that the best thing to do would be to leave the Clause out of the Bill.
§ 4.46 p.m.
§ Mr. PIKE
I should like to ask the Minister if he will go a little further in his definition of one or two words in the Clause. Members opposite have emphasised to the Minister the necessity for defining "a locality." I think per haps when this becomes an Act of Parliament, defining the words "a retail shop" will be much more important. Points were raised by the hon. Member 1164 which showed clearly the difficulties into which local authorities may be forced. For myself, I would regard a retails hop as an establishment or place that was available for the purchase of goods de sired by the public either for immediate or future consumption. Is a public house a retail shop? That is a very important thing. I ask that question because many public houses have been left isolated as the result of clearances, and their weekly sales have fallen from 20 barrels of beer a week to one barrel, and from dozens and dozens of cases of whisky to half a case of whisky. The whole of the community upon which the licensed premises used to depend has been re housed in another area, and, as there have been no alternative sites for licensed houses on the new estate, naturally the trade which once existed no longer exists, and great loss has fallen not only on the brewery companies that own the houses but also upon the tenants who have depended upon them as a form of livelihood.
We must have a much more indisputable definition of the meaning of the retail shop. Will it embody any establishment that exists for the purposes of satisfying the needs of the community? If you are going to make flesh of one and fowl of the other you will put local authorities into a very difficult position. The principle of compensation is already accepted. Even the right hon. Gentleman opposite does not object to compensation. He does not even object to any form of compensation. His only formula is that it should be based on a period of six months to be laid down by the local authority. If compensation is admitted for one it must be admitted for all, so long as all come within the definition—in so far as the Minister can create a definition—ofretail shops. Before he asks the local authority to enforce this part of the Act he should make a clear definition of these terms.
§ 4.50 p.m.
§ Mr. JANNER
I oppose the Amendment for reasons similar to those adduced by my hon. Friend the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris). At the same time I also want to ask the House to appreciate the difficulties that have arisen in the very district which my hon. Friend from North Lambeth (Mr. G. R. Strauss) is representing in this House. He has given us one side of the picture, but 1165 be has forgotten to tell us details of cases which actually took place in his own district and which were, I have no doubt, brought to his notice at the time. There is a discretion to be exercised so far as the local authority is concerned, and public opinion is sufficiently strong to prevent any local authority exercising any discretion in the direction suggested by the hon. Member for North Lambeth, although he tried to reduce it to an absurd basis. The retail trader who has been trading for years in a particular locality, through no fault of his own is to be prevented from continuing his trade there, and he may be completely deprived of his livelihood. He may indeed be a man of very poor means. Again, he may be a man whose family have accumulated a certain amount in the course of their work and have sunk the whole lot into a business. Let me give an illustration of one of the most highly used retail businesses in industrial areas, namely, that of the fish fryer, a shopkeeper who caters for the population of our industrial districts to no small extent. In the first place, the London County Council have declared that that type of shop is a nuisance and ought not to be permitted in some of the areas where there are to be places for those who have been taken from one district and put into another area. My hon. Friend says it is not so. I should like a definite statement from him on that.
§ Mr. G. R. STRAUSS
I think the hon. Member has been misled. There was some agitation with regard to this important question some time ago. I think I am correct, although I am speaking from memory, in saying that the statement made by the housing department of the county council was that if there were any demand by the new tenants of houses put up by the London County Council for fish and chip shops the London County Council would have no objection to such a shop being built or incorporated in the new blocks.
§ Mr. JANNER
That is, if I may say so with respect to my hon. Friend, rather begging the issue. The position remains that if they are not being actually prohibited, in fact they are not being allowed, and shops are not being built for that purpose. There are no fish shops, and people are given to understand that they are not to be invited to open them. 1166 Take the case of some of those people who are being dispossessed at present. One gentleman from Lambeth says this:My family and myself have been fish fryers in Lambeth for L6years, and I under stand my shop is to be condemned under the contemplated clearance scheme. I have a 35year lease yet to run. I have given £300 for the property and have spent£200 on improvement. I was told not to apply for another shop when the new estate is built because fish frying is an offensive trade.This is a statement which has been categorically made. Perhaps my hon. Friend will investigate these cases, be cause if they are proved to be correct it is highly important that they should be rectified. In another district a fryer brought a house and shop in 1926 for £776 and the authorities made him spend a further £319 to bring the shop into line with their requirements. The total cost to the fryer was thus £1,095. The housing committee of the council now pro pose to demolish his shop and house, and the fryer will not receive a penny compensation. They are not paying one penny compensation to any of the shop keepers whose businesses they have ruined. I would invite the attention of those who are opposing this particular Clause in the Bill to matters of that description.
§ Mr. JOHN WILMOT
May I ask the hon. Gentleman if he would be good enough to inform us whether the statements he has been reading are admitted facts or merely ex-parte statements?
§ Mr. JANNER
They were made presumably in a public paper. Even if one cannot give the exact names, they are quoted from a public paper, and my hon. Friend knows very well there are very large numbers of such cases. These are only one or two examples of a large number of cases where the same thing applies. If he has a desire to prevent them in the future, even if be thinks such a thing does not really exist now, let him give an opportunity in the Bill for the prevention of any matter of this description arising in the future. It is perfectly true these cases come under slum clearance schemes, but the same principle applies here. It is a question of what is going to happen to the small retail shopkeeper and so far as profiteering is concerned my hon. Friend knows very well that it is not a question which would be entertained by a local authority. 1167 The idea that in a district where there is unwholesome overcrowding, which is to be relieved, some important multiple shop is going to be allowed to obtain compensation under this particular Clause, is in my view out of all reason. I do not think a local authority would dream of doing it, and, if they did, public opinion would be sufficiently strong to make them take other steps in order to remove this blot on what might otherwise have been a very fair escutcheon.
We believe that the small retailer is entitled to get a fair deal over this matter. The livelihood of himself, his family and hisdependants—in some cases they have given credit over many years which they cannot recover once they re move from the district—isendangered. My hon. Friends ought to change their minds and withdraw the Amendment they have put on the Paper.
§ 5.0 p.m.
Mr. WI LMOT
I think it should be made clear to the House that some of the statements made, unwittingly I am sure, by the hon. Member who has just sat down, are statements of opinion and not of fact. There was in this particular case an attempt to exercise pressure, in my view some undue pressure, in the special circumstances with regard to this compensation in some clearance areas, and the statements which the hon. Gentleman has been reading are not statements from a public paper, in that they are statements from some official report or council minutes, but, if the hon. Member looks again at them, he will see that they are statements made in the heat of the moment to some industrious news paper reporter in search of hot local copy. The paper, I am told, is the "Fishing News," and in the circumstances I think the description I gave of an ex parte statement just about fits it. The hon. Member omitted to say what in fact happened about these people. Did they receive any compensation Were these claims met? Were they entirely brushed aside and not considered 7 I am not a member of the authority concerned, but it would have been only fair and proper to have stated that the claims made were met, and that the people who claimed compensation received compensation on a proper, equitable basis.
§ Mr. WILMOT
The hon. Member seems to know what I am going to say before I say it. I have not so far raised the slightest objection to reasonable compensation in cases where compensation is equitable, and that is what happened in the cases my hon. Friend has quoted. In fairness to everybody concerned, it seems to me wrong to quote an ex parte statement of that kind in regard to cases which have been dealt with fairly, and met.
§ Mr. JANNER
Will the hon. Member tell me how much was paid to the various traders in the borough of Lambeth?
§ Mr. WILMOT
I really think, with all respect, that this House is now discussing a Clause in this Bill, and we had better leave that matter.
§ Mr. WILMOT
I certainly think the proper thing to do is to discuss the matter before the House. My objection to the Clause is not that it gives compensation where compensation is due, but that it is so loose and ill defined that it will open the door to all sorts of undesirable things. In considering a matter of this kind, surely the party opposite, for once, can divest themselves of their hatred of the Opposition. We are concerned in this matter to do justice to two parties—those who have to be paid and those who have to pay. Hon Members opposite, if this were a case of dealing with the poor, would be very careful to see that the local rates were properly safeguarded, but since it is a case of dealing with people whom they regard as their political friends, they are concerned much more with the liberality of the payment than with the safety and security of those who have to find the money. The Government, in putting down this Clause, lay an obligation up on the local authority.
§ Mr. WILMOT
The Minister says it does not lay an obligation. It lays a facility on them; it gives them what is at one remove an obligation and what will 1169 in course of time quickly grow into an obligation to meet certain classes of claims. It is because the Clause is so loose and ill-defined that it is so dangerous. If the Government had offered to provide this money and had realised that this was a national obligation which the Minister was imposing, there might be something to be said for it, but it is a direct addition to the local rates, and we have to remember that the shopkeepers who receive this money will receive it at the expense of other shopkeepers who do not receive this money. So ill-defined is the Clause that it may well be that those who contribute the payments will not be as well off as the people who receive the payments.
Let us take the case of the multiple shop. Is there anything in this Clause which will preclude a perfectly proper claim by a branch of some great multiple combine? It is in.the locality. The population has been decreased. By an inspection of the book and by an affidavit of the accountant, it can be clearly shown that owing to the removal of the population the trade of that particular branch of that great national multiple concern has gone down. If the local authority is acting fairly and in the spirit of the Clause, that is, using those facilities which it has been given to make some compensation to some small shopkeepers, then it would be improper for it to discriminate against the branch of the multiple shop, because there is nothing in the Act which asks it to do so.
Suppose it does not discriminate, but does in fact allow the claim of that particular branch of the multiple shop. What is it doing? It is making a payment not to a branch but to a national concern, and since that national concern has branches in every locality and probably branches in every few streets, the population which has left this particular locality is probably buying its goods from another branch of the same concern in another place. Therefore, you might easily be paying compensation to one branch for an injury suffered by that branch, when as a matter off act some other branch somewhere else, or a group of branches, might be reaping the trade which No. 1 branch had lost. It might very easily happen. There is no legal discrimination against it, and it seems to me an example of the danger of putting loose compensation Clauses of this kind 1170 into a Bill. The Minister provides this compensation out of the local rates, but it is not the practice of the Government to provide compensation for its Acts.
I have had a case recently brought to my attention which illustrates this point very well. The Minister of Transport erects traffic lights at the junction of four cross roads. My correspondent for many years has maintained and carried on a first-class garage and petrol business situated at the junction of the four roads. In a, night, traffic lights are erected on all four sides of him. It is now impossible for cars to stop at his house, be cause, if the traffic lights are red, they must remain that side of them. If they are green, they immediately proceed beyond the second row of lights on the other side of the crossroads. That man, in the course of two months, has changed from a prosperous tradesman into a bankrupt. He has hardly opened his till since the traffic lights were erected. It seems to me that man has a very serious and undeniable claim for compensation, if you are going to admit such claims as these, but his claim is against the Treasury—the Ministry of Transport.
§ Mr. WILMOT
It would be improper, in my view, that the claim should lie against the local authority, for the local authority is not responsible for the scheme of traffic lights. It is only responsible for choosing those places where the traffic lights are put and the duty of the local authority is to choose those places not with regard to the trade of garages—
I think the hon. Member is developing his illustration rather too widely. We are not now discussing traffic regulations.
§ Mr. WILMOT
I bow to your Ruling, but I want to submit the point that the local authority must have regard to the primary consideration, the safety of the road. It arises again here, that you may easily, by these compensation pro visions, deflect the local authority from its primary duty of providing houses. There is just one other point which I think is very important. The hon. Member for Elland (Mr. Levy) said that we on this side are very concerned with the 1171 position of employés, but as soon as it comes to a little shopkeeper we regard him as a capitalist with whom we have no concern. That is entirely untrue. The Minister might easily be charged, with equal truth, with having regard to the employer but being oblivious of the interests of the employé. If a shop is forced to close by reason of action taken by the local authority under this Act, not only does the shopkeeper suffer; his trade departs, and so do his employés, but the compensation goes entirely to the employer, and the Minister is deaf and blind to the interests of, possibly, a large group of people who lose their employment through the very same cause.
It seems to me that there is a case, when public improvements in particular are undertaken, for compensation, but it is difficult to define the area in which that compensation can be given, since in redressing one hardship you may create a thousand others, as all the time, with the changing habits of society, there are continual changes in the interests of this, that or the other private person. The arterial road was an excellent case. Not only individual shopkeepers but whole villages—garages, teashops, public houses, every kind of trade that is done with people who pass through a town—have been suddenly by-passed and the stream of life has left them on one side. They find themselves thrown back into a kind of feudal state. There is no compensation for these people. It is very difficult to see how compensation could in fact be given. I would make this suggestion to the Minister:that he takes this Clause back, that he consults with the local authorities about it, that he comes to some arrangement whereby this compensation is paid out of national funds; that he endeavours to do justice not only to those whom he thinks are going to be injured, but also to those who have to provide the money and who may be in no better case themselves.
§ 5.14 p.m.
§ Mr. SELLEY
It seems to me that the Clause, as drawn, is not wide enough to leave it within the discretion of the local authority. All these hypothetical cases about the multiple shop and even the public-house are not in practice going to 1172 influence the mind of the local authority who have to deal with the clearance. I think these people will see clearly that if an area is to be re-developed they will reap some advantage. That is provided for in the Clause. I think the case chiefly in the minds of local authorities is that of what may be called the individual shopkeeper, who depends for the livelihood of himself and family upon the small of his shop. He is unable to wait for nine or 10months while the neighbourhood is being re-developed.
The local authorities are to use their discretion as to the amount of compensation in relation to the re-development that will take place. I cannot believe that that will be very hard upon the local authorities. Those who are anxious to get on with their job will see that justice is done. In our area, we are dealing with some of these people. We have even put up barrow stalls for costers who have been displaced. We have had no difficulty in dealing with these people, and we have tried to rehabilitate them in the areas from which we had displaced them. Let us leave the Sub-section where it is until we have a little experience of its working. I believe that it will work equitably to those who are disturbed, and that no very great hardship will be done to the local authorities. The new Sub section is merely a matter of defining the location and the time. I know how pernickety our hon. Friends are, and that they do not want anything running loose. In dealing with a very large clearance area, if you try to limit them to six months, by the time your limit is reached there will be a notice of a, further clearance for the area which you propose to compensate. If we leave the Sub-section where it is, I believe that it will work admirably, and that we shall find that we have taken a step forward, and have been just to all concerned.
§ 5.18 p.m.
§ Mr. McENTEE
The Clause is far too loosely worded, and is very dangerous in its possibilities. I do not agree that it will apply, or that it is meant to apply, only to small shopkeepers, because there is no word limiting the Clause to the small shopkeeper. It applies equally to public houses and multiple shops. No lawyer in the House would dispute that a public house is a retail trading establishment. The publican sells by retail something which has been sold to him 1173 by the manufacturer for consumption on or off the premises. He would un-doubtedly be entitled to compensation under the Clause if the local authority decided to give compensation. It is said that many multiple and other shops are at a distance from the spot from which the houses are to be removed. I know places within the London area, particularly where I live, in which the shops are not within a radius of 200 or 300 yards. People go to the end of their turnings and get a penny omnibus or tram to the shop ping area. If the shopkeepers in that area make a claim for compensation and the local authority agrees generally to consider such claims, they will be en titled to compensation because, although they may be a quarter of a mile away, their shops will be affected by the clearance order.
The Clause leaves it open for compensation to be paid. The Minister apparently thinks that it is good that the Clause should be optional, and that the local authorities need not work it unless they desire. Take two neighbourhoods which are side byside—for instance, my own borough of Walthamstow and the adjoining borough of Leyton. Assume that two somewhat similar clearance orders are made, one for Walthamstow and the other for Leyton, and that one borough decides to compensate and the other does not. Would that not create the greatest unfairness, in that two sets of people in precisely similar circum stances would receive different treatment? Would it not be infinitely fairer to say that compensation should be paid? The Minister is leaving it to the judgment of the local authority, but, in the interests of the people who will suffer most, it would be fairer to say that they shall be compensated in circumstances which can easily be defined.
There is no limit in regard to the time or to the amount of compensation under the Clause. In two neighbouring authorities one may adopt a high and the other a low standard of compensation, and there are possibilities of gross un fairness which ought to be removed from the Clause before we pass it. The Clause will operate very unfairly as between two local authorities who have an entirely different outlook. The Minister referred to areas where the population has materially decreased. What is "materially de- 1174 creased" Some local authorities may say that 10 per cent. is not material and others may say that 10 per cent. is a very material decrease, and one would compensate while the other would not. The Clause is so loosely drawn that I am amazed that it should have been brought before the House by a Minister who is usually so precise in the matters he brings before us. Another point is that if a local authority is to compensate for removal from its area, are the shop keepers who get the extra trade in the area to which the people will have gone to pay higher rates to their local authorities, or to help to pay the compensation? The Clause bristles with in equalities, and I am certain that it will be most unfair.
The cost which will be imposed upon the local authorities who decide to adopt the Clause will be unfair also. If the Minister were anxious to see justice done to those who suffer, he should ensure that the nation compensated them, rather than the local authority. Local authorities will have to be governed by what the Minister's Department sometimes tells deputations, which is," You will have to cut your coat according to your cloth," or, in other words, "Your rates are so high that we cannot allow you to provide this social service." That is what I have often been told when visiting the Ministry of Health to ask for sanction to institute some service in our area. In this case the Minister tells the local authorities that they need not adopt the Clause unless they like, if they are poor or if they do not desire to pay compensation, because the Bill does not compel them to do so. Is that not grossly unfair to the people concerned In some areas a penny rate brings in a large sum of money, and it will be easy for the local authority to pay compensation.' In smaller areas, clearance will be on a smaller scale and the rate of compensation will be much higher in relation to the number of people to be compensated. In some poorer areas, no compensation will be paid because of the inability of the local authorities to do so, while in another area only a little distance away, the local authority will easily be able to afford to compensate, and may do so. The unfairness of the proposal is so obvious that I am surprised the Minister has brought it forward.
1175 The Minister does not think that there will be any political pressure. His experience must be very limited in that direction. The hon. Member for North Lambeth (Mr. G. Strauss) gave an example under this heading, and I believe every other hon. Member could provide examples. I could adduce many examples, if I desired to do so. I might perhaps refer to the chambers of commerce. There are chambers of commerce in the cities, and they are very big undertakings, and the smaller towns like to imitate the big towns. In my locality the chamber of commerce consists to a large decree of very small shopkeepers, some of whom operate in the poorest areas. Chambers of commerce are very powerful institutions, and in my area they have, or they endeavour to have, very considerable influence. A chamber of commerce nearly always calls itself non political. The Clause will lead to very serious trouble for local authorities. There is nothing good in the wording of it, and the Minister ought to take it back and put into it some limit in regard to time and place. If compensation is to be operated at all, it should be compulsory upon all areas, and local authorities should be given guidance in the matter. In some cases the Ministry should assist the local authority to pay the compensation in respect of people who deserve to be compensated because of their loss.
§ Sir H. YOUNG
I wonder if I might appeal to the House to come to a conclusion on this Amendment? A common understanding has been arrived at that we should complete this stage of the Bill by half-past six. We have already had an informative discussion on this issue, and there are several other interesting issues still to be discussed.
§ 5.30 p.m.
§ Mr. EDWARD WILLIAMS
I shall be glad to respond to the Minister's appeal, though I cannot understand why we should hurry over a matter of such importance. There seems to be no doubt in the mind of anyone in the House that the retailer, the small family man, who is deprived of his business through slum clearance, should receive compensation, but there is some difference of opinion as to who should pay that compensation, how it should be assessed, and the time that should elapse before it is paid. I 1176 desire to protest against the reflections which some hon. Members cast upon local authorities whenever they have the opportunity. Whenever the question is one of payment, it seems to be considered that the local authority can at all times afford to make the payment, and I think that that idea should be protested against in this House. The Minister is endeavour ing to place upon the Statute Book a Measure with the final stages of which we are now dealing. The Bill will compel local authorities to do certain things, and, that being so, the Treasury ought to implement what is contained in the Bill. In other words, the compensation should be met by the Treasury, and not by those local authorities who are obliged by Act of Parliament to carryout the wishes of this House.
We never find this idea operating in the converse sense. There are areas in this country which are badly depressed because industries voluntarily move away to the coast in order to save transport expenses, or for other reasons of that kind. When that happens, the local authorities affected find their rates raised by shillings in the pound as a consequence. We have seen large iron, steel and coal companies moving from Dowlais to Cardiff, thereby causing an increase of 3s. or 4s. in the rate poundage. Small businesses are affected, and the rate payers are affected, but we never hear any suggestion from supporters of the Government that the industrialists who have caused these difficulties should compensate the authorities or the local trades people. It is unfair, too, to act as though the local authorities are responsible for the creation of slums. They are not the cause of the damage at all. The slums are due to landlordism. They are due to the fact that landlords endeavour to build as many houses—
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I have no desire to develop it beyond saying that, whenever anything of that kind is discussed in this House, the landlords are desirous that the local authorities should pay, and in that sense I protest against the statements and inferences that we hear from time to time. If the Minister is placing an obligation upon local authorities to 1177 clear these houses, and if as a consequence retailers find their business impaired, the Minister, through the Treasury, ought to see that those persons are compensated by the Government, and not by the local authorities.
§ 5.36 p.m.
§ Mr. GEORGE GRIFFITHS
As a Member who served on the Committee which considered this Bill for 20 days, I desire to say a few words. The Op position in the Committee did not oppose this Clause, but we did ask for some clearer definitions than are at present given in the Clause. I myself raised the question as to who was the retailer, and to-day we have had half a dozen definitions from all over the House. The hon. Member for Attercliffe (Mr. Pike) said that the publican had better be put in as a retailer, and, indeed, he is a retailer, and can put his case for compensation before the local authority because he is a retailer. Then the hon. Member for Whitechapel (Mr. Janner) says that he is only talking about the little man, but when the Act is on the Statute Book and comes before a court it is no use saying that the Minister of Health said so-and-so; all that is taken into account is what is stated in the Act.
A carriage and pair can be driven through this Clause on three very vital points. The first is the retailer. It is not only the licensee who might be in-chided. Some of my friends suggest that a bookmaker might get in, and, if he is licensed and is doing betting through the post, and if through the operation of the Bill he finds that he is losing money, he is a retailer from that stand point. In the second place, what is a locality? In some places you could have a retailer under this Clause living in another place altogether, but still being
§ in the locality. There are many parts of London where one side of the street is in District A, and the other side is in District B, where there may be a clearance order. If you take a few dozen people out of District B, arid transfer them somewhere else, is the retailer in District A to be able to claim from the local authority of District B while he is residing in District A? The Minister of Health did not bring out that definition. The word used is "locality," but, at the rate at which we are now going, we shall have a locality extending overseas. Distance has been obliterated. In Glasgow, Leeds and other places to-day people take a 2d. ride to do their shopping, and they might still be regarded as being in the locality, so that, if the retailer could show that he had suffered a loss, he would be able to claim.
In the third place, for how long is the loss to be sustained? It does not say. It simply speaks of the loss
which in their opinion he will thereby sustain.
The loss can go on to eternity; it can be a pension for life, as one of my hon. Friends has said. The retailer can go on sustaining that loss for 20, 30 or 40 years, and can put in his claim for it. We are not opposing the principle of the small shopkeeper being compensated, but we say that this Clause is so widely drawn that people can get compensation for losses from Heaven to Hell. We are bound to oppose it, not because we do not believe in the principle of the little retailer getting compensation, but be cause it will bring in other people who really should not get compensation at all.
§ Question put, "That the words pro posed to be left outstand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 271; Noes, 49.1181
|Division No. 224.]||AYES.||[5.43 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke||Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Bernays, Robert||Burnett, John George|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Birchall, Major Sir John Dearman||Butler, Richard Austen|
|Albery, Irving James||Blinded, James||Cadogan, Hon. Edward|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd)||Boulton, W. W.||Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir William (Armagh)||Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Bracken, Brendan||Caporn, Arthur Cecil|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Carver, Major William H.|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Brass, Captain Sir William||Cautley, Sir Henry S.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||Cayzer, sir Charles (Chester, City)|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Broadbent, Colonel John||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)|
|Balniel, Lord||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)|
|Barton, Capt. Basil Kelsey||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C.(Berk., Newb'y)||Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-spring)|
|Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Browne, Captain A. C.||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)|
|Choriton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Janner, Barnatt||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Reid, William Allan (Derby)|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)||Renwrick, Major Gustav A.|
|Collins, Rt. Hon. Sir Godfrey||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shield)||Rickards, George William|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Cooke, Douglas||Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger||Rothschild, James A. de|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Kimball. Lawrence||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Law, Sir Alfred||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Leech, Dr. J. W.||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)|
|Cross, R. H.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Levy, Thomas||Salmon, Sir Isidore|
|Curry, A. C.||Lewis, Oswald||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lindsay, Kenneth (Kilmarnock)||Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick||Samuel, M. R. A. (W'ds'wth, Putney)|
|Davison, Sir William Henry||Lioyd, Geoffrey||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd. G'n)||Savery, Servington|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Selley, Harry R.|
|Dickie, John P.||Loftus, Pierce C.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Doran, Edward||Lovat Fraser, James Alexander||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Drewe, Cedric||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)|
|Duckworth, George A. V.||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick)||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||MacAndrew, Major J. O. (Ayr)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D|
|Dunglass, Lord||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Smith, Sir Robert (Abdn & K'dine, C.)|
|Eady, George H.||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Smithers, Sir Waldron|
|Eales, John Frederick||McKeag, William||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Eden, Rt. Hon. Anthony||McKie, John Hamilton||Somerville, Annesley A (Windsor)|
|Fills, Sir R. Geoffrey||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Soper, Richard|
|Elliston, Captain George Sampson||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Entwistle, Cyril Fullard||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Erskine Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Magnay, Thomas||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||Maitlend, Adam||Spender-Clay, Rt. Hon. Herbert H.|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'morland)|
|Fleming, Edward Lascelles||Mander, Geoffrey la M.||Stones, James|
|Fox, Sir Gifford||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Galbraith, James Francis Wallace||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Ganzoni. Sir John||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.|
|George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)||Meller, Sir Richard James (Mitcham)||Sugden. Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Gibson, Charles Granville||Mellor, Sir J. S. P.||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Thompson, Sir Luke|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Milne, Charles||Thomson, Sir James D. W.|
|Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Goldie, Noel B.||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Grattan Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Morgan, Robert H.||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Griffith, F. Kingslay (Middlesbro, W.)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Wallace, Sir John (Dunfermline)|
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E.||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univer'ties)||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Moss, Captain H. J.||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Guy, J. C. Morrison||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Hales, Harold K.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Hamilton, sir George (Ilford)||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Peterst'ld)||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Hamilton, Sir R.W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Nunn, William||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour|
|Harbord, Arthur||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Harris, Sir Percy||Ormiston, Thomas||White, Henry Graham|
|Hartland, George A.||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Harvey, Major Sir Samuel (Totnes)||Orr Ewing, I. L.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Owen, Major Goronwy||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)|
|Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Peake, Osbert||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Pearson, William G.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Herbert, Capt. S. (Abbey Division)||Peat, Charles U.||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Petherick, M.||Womersley, Sir Walter|
|Holdsworth, Herbert||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Hornby, Frank||Pike, Cecil F.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'V'oaks)|
|Howard, Tom Forrest||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M.(Hackney, N.)||Procter, Major Henry Adam|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Pybus, Sir John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Sir George Penny and Sir Victor|
|Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Warrender.|
|James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H.||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Buchanan, George||Daggar, George|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Cape, Thomas||Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)|
|Banfield, John William||Cleary, J. J.||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)|
|Batey, Joseph||Cove, William G.||Davies, Stephen Owen|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Cripps, Sir Stafford||Dobbie, William|
|Edward, Charles||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Gardner, Benjamin Walter||Lawson, John James||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Leonard, William||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, North)|
|Grenlell, David Reel (Glamorgan)||Logan, David Gilbert||Thorne, William James|
|Griffiths, George A. (Yorks, W. Riding)||Lunn, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Wast, F. R.|
|Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||McEntee, Valentine L.||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Hicke, Ernest George||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Williams, Dr. John H. (Lianelly)|
|Jenkins, Sir William||Mainwaring, William Henry||Williams, Thomas (York., Don Valley)|
|John, William||Milner, Major James||Wilmot, John|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Paling, Wilfred|
|Kirkwood, David||Parkinson, John Allen||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. Groves and Mr. D. Graham.|