§ As amended, considered.
§ 7.30 p.m.
§ Sir JOHN MELLOR
I beg to move, to leave out Part IV.
Although at first sight this question may appear to be one which affects only my constituents in the Tamworth Division of Warwickshire, none the less it is capable of very extended application, and is one which may well concern the country as a whole in the future. I feel that the issue is really this: If Parliament provides powers for a specific purpose is it right that a corporation should, by means of a private Bill, seek to acquire different powers for the same purpose? 1417 Birmingham is in process of establishing an airport in Warwickshire. A very small portion of the airport is within the city bounds. The scheme is roughly this: In the centre will be the aerodromes, surrounded by two zones, each zone being about 500 yards in width. The scheme is that those two zones shall form what is called a protected area, in which the height of obstructions shall be restricted in order to secure safety for aeroplanes descending and rising. The proposed restrictions are these: In the inner zone nothing is to be raised to a greater altitude than will subtend an angle of three degrees at the nearest point of the aerodrome. In the outer zone nothing is to be raised above a height of 75 feet from the base of the aerodrome. As the aerodrome is surrounded at some points by rising ground there are places where probably nothing could be built at all.
I wish to make it clear that from a technical point of view I have no criticism whatever to offer on these proposals, and am quite prepared to accept the view that they are necessary and reasonable. My complaint against Part IV, which contains these proposals, is made from the business point of view, and I shall endeavour to indicate that Part IV is unnecessary. Under the Air Navigation Bill, the Government's own Bill, which we have reason to expect will receive the Royal Assent before the end of this week, it will be quite possible for the Birmingham Corporation to do all those things without the assistance of Part IV. Indeed, already the Birmingham Corporation have been exercising compulsory powers of purchase such as they will be given specifically under the Air Navigation Bill under an Act of 1930, the Public Works Facilities Act. Not content with the right to exercise compulsory powers of purchase for the purpose of establishing this aerodrome, the Corporation, under Part IV, have adopted certain provisions of the Ribbon Development Act, and by means of those provisions will, if Part IV remains in the Bill, make it an offence for anyone to raise an obstruction to a greater altitude than I have mentioned within the protected area, without the consent of the Corporation. The reason why the Birmingham Corporation have discarded the opportunities given by the Air Navigation Bill in favour of this scheme of their own appear in a 1418 circular which has been sent to hon. Members, in which they say:The Corporation are not adopting compulsory purchase partly because the cost would be prohibitive and partly because there seems to be no justification for depriving the owners of their property when the object can be attained by less stringent means.Taking the second reason first, I think it is absurd to argue in that way, because the fact that compulsory powers are available does not mean that they necessarily have to be exercised. It is possible that the Corporation, when approaching an owner whose land they desire to restrict, will find him, if he desires to retain his land, quite agreeable to accept restrictive covenants. It seems to me that under the compulsory powers of the Air Navigation Bill the owner of the land will have the choice of what he shall do. If he is content to accept the restrictions he will stay on his land and enter into a covenant, but if, on the other hand, he considers the restrictions intolerable he will sell to the Corporation. Under Part IV it is the other way round; the owner of the land will have no choice but the Birmingham Corporation will have a choice, because under this Bill they are not only asking for the right to restrict, which is contained in Part IV, but they are taking to themselves the powers of compulsory purchase.
The first reason given, namely, that the cost would be prohibitive, deserves a little examination. We are told that these restrictions will not be very grievous. If that is so the Corporation, having purchased the land under compulsory powers, can quite easily attach to it restrictive covenants and resell, and if those restrictions are not severe the difference in the prices at which they have to buy and offer to sell will not be very serious. Therefore, I think the question of cost ought not to defeat them. None the less, even if the cost were going to be a very heavy matter, surely it is right that it should be at the expense of the Corporation and not at the expense of the landowners. To justify the provisions of Part IV it must be proved either that they are better provisions than those in the Air Navigation Bill—and if that is so, I should like to know why hon. Members who had these provisions in mind did not move Amendments to the Air Navigation Bill with a 1419 view to their incorporation—or that there is something about the neighbourhood of Birmingham which is quite different from the neighbourhood of other cities which are establishing air ports. Before the Private Bill Committee the only argument put forward on that point, so far as I can recollect, was that the neighbourhood of Birmingham is extremely foggy. I think it is probably the first time it has ever been claimed that we should have differential legislation in order to meet the prevailing conditions of weather. On 22nd June, when this question was debated on a motion that it should be an Instruction to the Committee to leave out Part IV, the Under-Secretary for Air said:The proposals in Part IV are novel and far-reaching, and my Noble Friend feels that their grant or rejection is a matter for the House itself to decide. I would remind hon. Members that under the Air Navigation Bill now before the House there are provisions to enable local authorities to ensure that the land in the vicinity of an aerodrome should be kept free from dangerous obstructions. … There is also a provision for the illumination of obstructions in the neighbourhood of aerodromes. My Noble Friend does not, therefore, propose to ask the House to give powers to local authorities in excess of those which are in the general Bill now before the House. Under that Bill, as hon. Members know, it will be possible for municipalities to acquire land compulsorily if necessary. They will have those powers as permanent powers, which they have not had before; and not only that, but they will be able to sell or to let that land subject to restrictive covenants, which is something they have not hitherto been able to do. Those powers will be available for all local authorities."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd June, 1936; col. 1512, Vol. 313.]I hope that to-night the Under-Secretary for Air will stand up for his own Bill, because I cannot see how the Government can possibly welcome the sort of competitive legislation which is contained in Part IV. I am sure that careful consideration was given to the provisions contained in the Air Navigation Bill, and if he considers that Part IV is better, then I hope that the Government will take steps to adopt it and to incorporate it in the general law of the land, but I hope he will tell the House to-night that it is unnecessary and most undesirable that the Birmingham Corporation should be given these exceptional powers. Before the committee a certain amount of evidence was given, 1420 but I urge that this is not a case for external evidence, but that this House is just as capable of considering this matter with care as any committee having before it all the expert evidence available. It is not a question of evidence at all, except the internal evidence of the Bill itself.
A point has been made of the fact that no petitions were presented against this Bill. I think that is intelligible. It is quite natural that humbler people should say, "It is no use trying to fight Birmingham." After all, when Birmingham can arrive with an array of counsel, Parliamentary agents, solicitors and expert witnesses it is natural that private individuals should be frightened away from expending a great deal of money in presenting petitions. There is one point with which I should like to end. The Postmaster-General is exempted from the provisions of this Bill, and I hope and I feel sure that the House will have just as close a regard for the rights of private individuals as for those of the Postmaster-General. I ask the House to say that the powers given by the Air Navigation Bill are adequate, and that there is no reason for distinguishing Birmingham from other cities which desire to establish air ports.
§ 7.45 p.m.
§ Mr. LEVY
I beg to second the Amendment.
It might be as well if I were to explain the reasons why we are opposing this Measure upon the Report stage. It will be within the recollection of hon. Members that the matter was discussed upon the Second Reading; we thought it would be wise to send it to the Committee. As hon. Members well know, when a Bill is sent to a Committee it is assumed that both sides will be represented and that the Committee is a judicial Committee which will hear both sides and deliver judgment accordingly. This Bill went to a Committee consisting of very distinguished Members, but only one side was represented. There was no opposition representation at all. [Interruption.] Hon. Members will have an opportunity of making their speeches afterwards. The Committee heard ex parte statements. In view of the fact that, as a judicial Committee, they could not take to themselves the functions of opposition, they 1421 naturally listened to the ex parte statements, and, there being no opposition, the Bill came down to us in its present form from that Committee. I hope that nothing I have said will cast any aspersion upon members of that Committee.
Hon. Members may ask why there was no opposition. In the belt surrounding the aerodrome there is a large number of small landowners. In order to create opposition they must first know Parliamentary procedure. They have then to get together, create a fighting fund and employ, out of their own pockets, Parliamentary counsel. Then they can petition. In Parliamentary procedure, unless your petition is put in within a certain period, you are precluded from petitioning at all. I would emphasise that any landowner or any householder in this country is entitled to look to the House of Commons for justice. It should not necessarily mean that they have to petition in order to obtain it.
The Birmingham Corporation very properly desire an aerodrome for civil aviation, for the benefit and in the interests of Birmingham. The aerodrome would be inadequate for the whole country, and I believe that the Birmingham Corporation are more prudent than to make that claim. They would prefer to provide their own facilities and to let other local authorities look after their own aerodromes. The Corporation purchased sufficient land to make an aerodrome, and then, instead of using compulsory powers to obtain the land around the other two belts, in order to safeguard the take-off and the in-come of their aeroplanes, they preferred to ask this House for restrictive measures which would sterilise all that land around. We are all very concerned about the safety of taking-off and in-coming of aeroplanes, but the only question which we have to decide is, who is to pay? Are the small landowners to pay by having their land sterilised, or are the Birmingham Corporation to pay? The Corporation say that if a landowner can put up a case to show that compensation should be paid, there is a Clause by which he can receive compensation.
I ask any hon. Member to imagine that he owned a piece of land with a perfectly clean, clear title which would enable him to develop the land now or in the near future, and that the Birmingham 1422 Corporation proposed to take it away from him and to substitute a restricted title. If the development of that land is restricted because of some provision in regard to the heights of buildings, or what not, the title is restricted. I have in mind one large tract of land which, as the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment said, slopes up. If you reckoned 75 feet from the base of the land, even for agricultural purposes, you could not put up a haystack higher than five feet, because it would exceed the 75 feet. The Corporation say that there will be no depreciation. If so, why can they not use their compulsory purchase power and resell or let? If there is no depreciation, there will be no loss to Birmingham, and everybody will be happy.
I am a member of a group in this House which has, since the beginning of 1932, examined all the Private Bills that come before us, with the object of deleting objectionable Clauses brought in by local authorities, when we believe that those Clauses ought to be of national application. This question is one touching not only Birmingham Corporation; it is a national question, because if it is passed by this House it will create a precedent for all local authorities throughout the country. Birmingham, obviously, framed their Bill long before the Air Navigation Bill was framed. The Air Ministry, who are erecting aerodromes all over the country, very prudently asked for powers as wide as possible in order to build their aerodromes in perfect safety in every respect. In the Air Navigation Bill powers were conferred upon local authorities similar to the powers which the Ministry required for the Royal Air Force. Birmingham Corporation are asking for powers greater than those possessed by the Air Ministry, or than this House thought necessary to confer in the Air Navigation Bill. If Birmingham would be satisfied with the powers in the Air Navigation Bill, we should not be objecting now. If Part IV of the Bill be deleted, Birmingham will be no worse off, because the powers conferred by the Air Navigation Bill upon Birmingham local authority will be automatic.
A precedent is sought in this case by a local authority, and I am asking the House to say that it ought not to be allowed to pass. If it be said that the Air Navigation Bill does not give 1423 sufficient powers to any local authority, I reply that a fresh Bill should be introduced by the Government which should be of general application, covering all the local authorities of the country. It should not be necessary for local authorities, one after another, to introduce Private Bills, in order to obtain powers to run aerodromes. The Birmingham aerodrome is not intended to be a military aerodrome but a civil aerodrome. It is ostensibly, whatever may be said to the contrary by my distinguished colleague, for the benefit of the ratepayers of Birmingham.
It is said that there is provision for compensation. Landowners would have to bring an action against the Corporation, but the ordinary man who owns a piece of land, and who thinks that he is suffering injustice, would have to bring the action out of his own resources against the Birmingham Corporation, who would defend the action out of the ratepayers' money, to which the piece of land in question may have subscribed. If Birmingham Corporation should suggest that there is matter of principle which should go to the House of Lords, what little landowner could afford it? The Corporation say that the case may go to arbitration, but the man would have to pay for it out of his own pocket, while Birmingham Corporation would pay for it out of the ratepayers' resources. I submit with confidence to hon. Members that they should see that justice is done to those little people. I know that hon. Members opposite are always in favour of giving power to local authorities, but I am sure, if they look at the facts and deal with the position as it is, that they will say that if Birmingham Corporation want power to deal with those outer belts, the powers contained in the Air Navigation Bill are sufficient for the purpose. We intend to take this matter to a Division, and I sincerely hope that this iniquitous Part of the Bill will be deleted.
§ 7.58 p.m.
§ The CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS (Sir Dennis Herbert)
I think it will be for the convenience of the House if I say a word, in my official capacity, in regard to the Motion before the House, relating to Part IV of the Bill. As we are at the beginning of a new Parliament it may be well for me to 1424 state in a few words, as I have done on other occasions, what my duty here is. I am officially, so to speak, in charge of every private Bill introduced into this House, but not in the way in which a Member of the Government is in charge of a Bill, to defend it through thick and thin. My duty is to see that the promoters get a fair hearing, that the petitioners against the Bill, if any, get an equally fair hearing, so far as possible to see that the ordinary practice of Parliament is observed and, if I find it necessary and right, in the interests of the Committee to give the House some information as to the Bill and as to the Committee's decisions with regard to it.
The House will remember that, as my hon. Friends have already said, this matter was debated on Second Reading, and, listening to my hon. Friends, I did not hear anything which was new, if I may venture to say so, or which was not said on the Second Reading, in any of the arguments which they put forward to-night. But they then came, I think, to a perfectly proper conclusion, and I cannot do better, in explaining that, than call to my aid the words of my hon. Friend the Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams), whom I do not see in his place at the moment, but who is one of those whose names are attached to this Amendment. On that occasion he said:There may be exceptional cases where a local authority ought to have powers in excess of the general body of powers contained in a general public Act"—that, of course, was in reference to the Air Navigation Bill, which is now nearing the Statute Book—and the Committees upstairs exist for the purpose of considering whether any particular municipality should receive powers in excess of the customary powers. They have the advantage of hearing evidence presented to them with the help of Counsel, and of seeing maps and hearing all about the circumstances of the district. I do not think that the Birmingham Corporation ought to be denied that right.The Birmingham Corporation had that right, and the matter was heard before a Private Bill Committee. My hon. Friend went on to say:Let us assume that the Bill goes upstairs, and four of our colleagues, who sit as a Select Committee to consider it, are ultimately driven to the conclusion that in this particular case, for special local, geographical and other reasons, these peculiar powers are justified. Birmingham will then 1425 get them, but that will not justify anyone else getting them."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd June, 1936; col. 1511, Vol. 313.]I am sorry that my hon. Friend is not here, because I would like him to explain why, after making that speech, he put his name to an Amendment to leave out Part IV of the Bill.
§ Mr. LEVY
May I be allowed to enlighten my right hon. Friend on that subject? May I say, as one of those who dealt with the matter on that occasion, that we came to the conclusion that both sides would be represented, and that the Committee would be able to give a verdict on the evidence put before them by both sides? In this case, however, both sides were not represented.
§ The CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS
My hon. Friend is now referring to a point with which I was just going to deal, because he dealt with it in his speech. It was the next point that I was going to take. I think that every single one of the arguments which were put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Tamworth (Sir J. Mellor) and by my hon. Friend the Member for Elland (Mr. Levy) was considered most carefully by the Committee. My hon. Friend the Member for Tamworth referred to the proceedings before the Committee, and I assume, therefore, that either he was present at those puroceedings or, at any rate, had read the transcript, as I have done to-day. In that case he must know that those arguments: were put before the Committee. The whole matter was gone into at very much greater length and in much more detail than would be possible for my hon. Friend in putting it before the House here, and all those arguments were answered to the satisfaction of the Committee, who, consequently, found in favour of the Corporation of Birmingham in regard to this particular part of the Bill.
I come now to the question raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Elland, and I really must, as a matter of duty apart from anything else, protest against his description of a Private Bill Committee and the way in which they do their work. It is perfectly true, technically, to say that there was no opposition. Both of my hon. Friends in their own way have tried to explain that, and it is a fact that there were no petitioners against the Bill; but, owing to the 1426 Debate which took place on the Second Reading, and the importance which hon. Members in many parts of the House seemed to attach to this Bill, I, in the exercise of the power which is vested in me, referred the Bill to what is known as an Opposed Bill Committee, although the Bill was not opposed, partly in order that that Committee might have the advantage of hearing counsel for the only party they could hear, namely, the promoters. I am perfectly certain that any lawyer in this House, or anyone acquainted with the law courts, will realise that a Committee of this kind derive very great assistance from having counsel before them, even in the interests of other par ties who are not there and whose interests might be different from those of the promoters—
§ Sir PATRICK HANNON
May I remind my right hon. Friend that in point of fact counsel did present both sides of the case in the submission which he made to the Committee?
§ The CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS
I am much obliged to my hon. Friend; I was just going to mention the fact. I would remind my hon. Friend the Member for Tamworth that Mr. Tyldesley Jones, a very distinguished Parliamentary counsel, who appeared before the Committee, used these words in dealing with a point in connection with the question of compensation:If the Committee take the view that that is right, well and good, but I do feel that it is my duty to call your attention to it.That was a point against his own clients which he himself had raised. A little later he said:May I say this? I drew your attention to this point, and we put it forward, but perfectly frankly, when I am appearing for the Corporation and I have no opponents, I do think it is my duty to draw your attention to points which appear to me to require your consideration, and there is this point.I am not going to argue the case on its merits; that is a matter entirely for the House; but it is my duty to protect to some extent the Private Bill Committee who heard evidence and went into this matter with the greatest care, and who, in accordance with the usual practice of such committees, if I may say so, especially to my hon. Friend the Member for Elland, went into the matter, 1427 obviously, in the interests of anybody who might be affected and who was not there present at the time. I believe I am right in saying that Parliamentary agents sometimes take the view that those who are likely to be, or may be, adversely affected, are sometimes, like a poor person who is looked after by the magistrate in a police court, very much better taken care of by the Committee than if they were represented by counsel. I think that that was so on this occasion.
§ Sir J. MELLOR
May I point out that I never made the slightest reflection upon the Private Bill Committee, or suggested that the counsel, Parliamentary agents and other professional gentlemen in any way behaved unfairly in any circumstances? What I did suggest was that people in the neighbourhood of a city like Birmingham might feel at such a great disadvantage, in the face of such an array of professional talent, that they would hesitate to fight the Birmingham Corporation.
§ The CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS
I quite absolve my hon. Friend from having said anything wrong or any thing derogatory to the Members of the Private Bill Committee or anyone else personally in this case, but I cannot help feeling a certain amount of amusement at the idea of the great city of Birmingham being frightened by the Parliamentary agents concerned. [HON. MEMBERS: "It is the other way round!"] I should have said the large number of people in the city of Birmingham—
§ The CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS
I have never heard that the people of Warwickshire were in any way lacking in standing up for their rights. May I proceed with the case which I want to put to the House? I would put it quite shortly in this way, that, as my hon. Friend the Member for South Croydon said, the proper body to go into these matters was a Private Bill Committee upstairs. The Bill went to a Private Bill Committee upstairs, as though it had been an opposed Bill, in order that every possible chance might be given to those, who might be affected to have the whole matter thoroughly inquired into.
§ Mr. H. G. WILLIAMS
I have read the report of the committee, but there is not one word in the report of the committee dealing with the subject-matter of the Debate on the Instruction which was moved after the Second Reading, namely, that Birmingham was to be given powers different from those provided for every other municipality under the Government Bill which I imagine will receive the Royal Assent on Friday. There is nothing about that in the report.
§ The CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS
I am talking about the evidence. I do not know whether my hon. Friend the Member for South Croydon was present at the proceedings before the committee, but, as he has put his name to the Amendment, I assume that he has read the evidence through. Perhaps the House will accept it from me that the point was dealt with by the committee.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
May I ask whether this evidence is available in the Vote Office? I asked three or four days ago for the report on the Bill, and this document which I have here is the only one with which I was furnished.
§ The CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS
My hon. Friend is quite right; the evidence is not available in the Vote Office; but, if he had inquired at the Private Bill Office, he could have got it. However that may be, I have got it, and I am glad to be able to tell my hon. Friend that what he said just now was mistaken, and that the matter was dealt with very carefully and thoroughly by the Committee.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
All that I said was that in the report, which is the document officially presented to the House—what is available in the Private Bill Office I do not know—there is not a single, solitary word on the subject-matter which gave rise to the discussion.
§ The CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS
Perhaps my hon. Friend has got hold of the wrong document for the purpose of his case. I spent this morning again studying this transcript of proceedings, and I can assure the Committee 1429 that all these matters, including the matter mentioned by my hon. Friend, were gone into very carefully by the Committee and discussed with counsel and ultimately the Committee, having had the advantage of maps, hearing witnesses and seeing them, came to the conclusion that Birmingham was justified in asking for these powers, and that the powers in the Air Navigation Bill would not be sufficient in the circumstances. I think, therefore, it is my duty to advise the House that, in accordance with its usual practice, it should accept the views of the Committee in regard to this particular point that the Committee had to deal with. If there is any point of principle otherwise on which hon. Members desire to oppose this as, for instance, general antagonism to anything in the nature of an aerodrome near a big city, they are quite justified in doing so, but every single one of the points that have been referred to by my hon. Friend the Committee went into most carefully, and it is my duty to say to them that, in the words of my hon. Friend which I quoted, I am sorry to say before he came in, which he used in the previous Debate, it is the proper course for the House to take to give Birmingham these powers. I will quote his words again as he was not here when I did so before:Let us assume that the Bill goes upstairs, and four of our colleagues, who sit as a Select Committee to consider it, are ultimately driven to the conclusion that in this particular case, for special local, geographical and other reasons, these peculiar powers are justified. Birmingham will then get them, but that will not justify anyone else getting them.My hon. Friend has got hold of a document which is the formal report, in the usual form, of the findings of the committee. They certainly do not in this report go into any full details. I am sure that this House will accept it from me that every single one of these things has been dealt with, and the committee, after going into them most thoroughly, came to the conclusion that Birmingham ought to have these powers.
May I add this one word, which I think I am justified in doing in this case? Aviation and air navigation is, comparatively speakng, a new matter for Parliament, or Governments, or local authorities to deal with. We have much to learn about it yet, and I do not suppose that 1430 the Air Ministry for a moment imagines that the Air Navigation Bill is likely to be the last word that Parliament will have to say on the subject during the next 10 years. Anyone who has had the advantage of reading, as I have done, the evidence that has been given before that committee will realise that every locality—it is not merely a question of the district round Birmingham—will probably require somewhat different powers, if it establishes a big aerodrome like this, different from those required in another locality in a different part of the country, and a case was clearly made out before the committee as to the insufficiency of the powers in the Air Navigation Bill in the case of Birmingham and the fact that, so far as the committee could ascertain, nobody would be harmed by it without having the ordinary rights to compensation, and these questions of compensation also were gone into very carefully, and indeed the terms of this part of the Bill were altered and strengthened. The arguments which up to now have been put before the House were put much more fully before the committee and all the points were taken by the committee, the whole matter was gone into, and it was after that judicial investigation that the committee came to the conclusion that this part of the Bill ought to be given to the Corporation of Birmingham.
§ Sir J. MELLOR
Do I understand correctly the right hon. Gentleman's view that the Report stage of a private Bill should be a matter of form in so far as concerns matters that have been discussed before the committee?
§ The CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS
I think the hon. Baronet has put it just about correctly. To put it in my own words, the Report stage should not be used as an occasion for throwing out a Private Bill, or part of a Private Bill, on any of those matters which have been, by order of the House, investigated by a Private Bill Committee, unless on a point of principle on which Members of the House feel that they are against the Bill. May I, without wishing to say anything unpleasant, I hope, to either party, say that there are Private Bills, as we all know, which involve sometimes questions which are in issue between the principal political parties? If that is so, 1431 I do not complain of Members of one party voting against the Bill at every stage. But there is no question of that sort here. Where it is a question of an ordinary matter dealt with by a Private Bill, where a committee has come to certain conclusions and passed the Bill in a certain form on those matters which have been referred to it, and on which it has taken evidence, it is the common practice of this House to accept its findings on the Report stage. Indeed, that was the main object of my rising, to say that that was so, and to explain the way in which the committee has done its duty in regard to this Bill.
§ 8.22 p.m.
§ Sir P. HANNON
I think the House will be particularly grateful to the Chairman of Ways and Means for the speech that he has delivered to us, and to new Members especially it will be a great advantage to realise the respect in the proceedings of the House in which Private Bill Committees stand. The two hon. Members who moved the elimination of Part IV of the Bill were a little bit emphatic and extravagant in the views that they submitted. If in a Bill providing in Part IV for all those safeguards which are essential in the case of aircraft approaching to and departing from aerodromes—if in making provision for that measure of safety they were so much disturbed as the hon. Baronet would suggest at the restrictions that were suggested in this Bill, the details of which were submitted to every person concerned in the whole of the area affected, if it affected the rights of property so intimately around the aerodrome centre, why was not some definite organised protest made against the Bill? It is a very extraordinary thing that during the long time that this Bill has been before the House and when the object of the introduction of the Bill has been familiar to everybody concerned with the establishment of this aerodrome, no organised effort of any kind has been forthcoming from the landowners and those immediately concerned in the area which the aerodrome is contemplated to occupy. Only one protest, and that of a very indefinite and vague character, has been presented since the original notice was served on the local parties interested 1432 and since this Bill took its place in its various stages before this House.
§ Sir J. MELLOR
I think that my hon. Friend misunderstood me. I did not suggest that there had been any violent protest. I endeavoured to make it clear to him and to the House that I had been objecting on the grounds of principle.
§ Sir P. HANNON
In this world of ours we often have to ask ourselves what is principle. It is one of those vague and indefinable terms which so often enter into political discourses, and my hon. Friend opposite will forgive me if I say that the principle, in its application in this case, is a very limited commodity. I think that in relation to the promotion and establishment of this aerodrome the Corporation of Birmingham deserve the commendation of the whole country. Here is an enterprise on the part of that corporation which is not merely for the benefit of Birmingham itself, but it may indeed become in the process of time a component part of the organised aerial defence of this country. My hon. Friend beside me, who so lightly cast aside the possibility of a national advantage from this aerodrome, forgets that this is the first case in which a municipality in this country has sought all these powers for the purpose of giving a lead to the Air Ministry in the organisation of aerodromes throughout the country.
It is necessary to have these restrictions over the area concerned for the safety of aircraft arriving at and leaving the aerodrome. There were two courses open to the Corporation of Birmingham, either to buy the land, or ask Parliament for the power to impose the restrictions which are sought in Part IV of the Bill. To buy the land would have been a very heavy burden upon the ratepayers of Birmingham, and, as my hon. Friend has said, it is in the interests of the ratepayers of Birmingham that this aerodrome should be provided, but in regard to this great effort on the part of Birmingham to provide aerial transport in the Midlands, it will take a very long time before the ratepayers of Birmingham can be relieved of their responsibility in relation to it. The Birmingham Corporation have undertaken, in the establishment of the aerodrome, a liability of very nearly £500,000, and that is something which ought to be endorsed with approval by this House.
1433 We do not want to deprive the owners of the property in the protected area around the aerodrome of their rights to enjoy their property so long as they comply with the conditions laid down in Part IV of the Bill. We ask only that these restrictions should be such as will secure the safety of the coming and going of aircraft, with provision of the necessary apparatus and all the elements of safety in the aerodrome area. I will read to the Committee a letter which has been addressed to the Corporation by the Air Ministry, but before I do so I want to say that my hon. Friends, who issued a Whip to Members of this House to come here this evening and support them in the rejection of Part IV of this Bill might at least have made it plain in the circular which they issued, that compensation was contemplated in the case of buildings and trees and so forth, to which the restriction would apply in regard to the aerodrome.
§ Sir P. HANNON
I do not know that it is necessary to detain the House by reading the Whip issued by the opponents of the Bill, but if it is the wish of the House, I will certainly read it. This is the circular note which was sent round to Members of the House of Commons to assist in the elimination of Part IV of the Bill:On Tuesday, 28th July, at 7.30"—You see how precise my hon. Friends have been—there will be a Debate, and afterwards probably a Division on our Motion to leave out Part IV of the Bill. Part IV will give the Birmingham Corporation power to interfere with the rights of the ownership of land in the vicinity in excess of the powers proposed by the Government and confirmed in the House of Commons and included in the Air Navigation Bill. The Air Navigation Bill will give local authorities compulsory powers to acquire land in order to control its development. The Birmingham Corporation is not willing to buy the land, and seeks powers in Part IV to restrict the height of buildings, trees, etc.There is not a single word about the fact that wherever they had to acquire rights over buildings or impose restrictions, compensation was always contemplated as part of the scheme. This 1434 document is signed by 12 distinguished colleagues of mine in the House of Commons. [HON. MEMBERS: "Who are they?"] They include the hon. Gentleman the Member for the Tamworth Division (Sir J. Mellor), in whose constituency the aerodrome is situated, and who, of course, is perfectly entitled to voice the interests of his constituents, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Elland (Mr. Levy), the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams), who is not in his place at the moment, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling), the hon. Gentleman the Member for Penryn and Falmouth (Mr. Petherick), the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Hitchin (Sir A. Wilson), the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Carlisle (Brigadier-General Spears), whom I do not see here, the hon. Baronet the Member for West Wolverhampton (Sir K. Bird), who I see in his place to-night, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stone (Sir J. Lamb), the hon. Gentleman the Member for Smethwick (Mr. Wise) and the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Leicester (Mr. Nicholson).
The extract from the letter which I propose to read, which has been addressed to the Corporation of Birmingham by the Air Ministry, is worthy of the careful consideration of the House. This is an extract from the letter:The Secretary of State has already expressed the view, in his letter of the 15th November last, that the restrictions for which provision is made in the Bill are no more than are reasonably necessary to protect the aerodrome from obstruction; and he is prepared, if you wish it, to amplify his previous observations to the extent of adding that the proposed undertaking is, in his opinion, entirely satisfactory from the technical and operational points of view, and that the Bill contains, in the words of your letter, sufficient and adequate provisions for the protection of the aerodrome and persons navigating by air to and from it.He also raises no objection to your bringing the contents of this letter, and of his letter of the 15th November last, to the notice of the Parliamentary Committee, and suggests that you may wish to draw their attention to the fact that the Air Navigation Bill, now awaiting Second Reading in the House of Commons, contains provisions empowering local authorities to protect the air approaches to aerodromes under their control by the compulsory purchase of the surrounding land. He doubts, however, whether, having thus 1435 expressed approval in principle of your clients' Bill, so far as it relates to the aerodrome undertaking, he can suitably comment further on what may be described its local merits, or so far identify himself with your clients' proposals as to make his views the subject of a special report to Parliament.We can, of course, understand the last part of the letter from the Air Minister.
The Bill has been examined upstairs, and I am glad to see that my hon. Friend who was Chairman of the Committee is here. No doubt he will address the House afterwards. All that we are asking for is that these powers, which are sought in the interests of the development of air navigation in this country, should be granted. If hon. Members contend that they are slightly in advance of the provisions of the Air Navigation Bill, I would ask them to recall the fact that Private Bill legislation in this country has from time to time given a lead to national legislation. If on this occasion Birmingham asks for a little more than may seem desirable in itself, I would say that it may become a very important feature in national legislation in the future.
Birmingham does not ask for any privileges of any sort or kind. We are a highly self-respecting community in Birmingham, and we are imbued with an outstanding spirit of enterprise. This Bill is an example of the lead we are trying to give to the rest of the country in regard to air navigation, and we ask the House to reject the Amendment and to support the Corporation, after having heard what has been said by the Chairman of Ways and Means. The Corporation of Birmingham submitted its case in all its aspects to the House in the first place and afterwards to the Opposed Bills Committee and, as the Chairman of Ways and Means pointed out, Parliamentary counsel, as was his duty, took the opportunity of placing both sides fairly and squarely before the Committee. Apart altogether from any local considerations, in view of the fact that Birmingham in the general interests is seeking to give a great enterprise the opportunity of development and expansion, I ask the House to support us in carrying the Bill to-night.
§ 8.40 p.m.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
After the alarums and excursions of last week it is very pleasant to be able to discuss a matter 1436 of this kind in a sort of Olympian calm, and I do not wish to say anything to disturb that calmness, which many of us enjoy. The hon. Member for the Moseley Division of Birmingham (Sir P. Hannon) read out a list of Members of this House who had signed a Whip. I was not responsible for sending it out, and I regret it, although I did add my name to it. It was not sent to hon. Members opposite, whose support we hope we shall get in the Lobby to-night. I will explain to them the reason why we are moving to omit Part IV of the Bill. I shall have something to say a little later about the hon. Member for the Moseley Division.
First, I should like, perhaps imprudently and rashly, to take up something that was said by the Chairman of Ways and Means. He is a bold man who embarks on a discussion with the Chairman of Ways and Means, but, with the rashness and innocence of youth, I am going to try to do so. At the end of his speech, when he was interrupted by the hon. Member for Tamworth (Sir J. Mellor), I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that when a Bill had come down here for the Report stage, having been discussed fully in the Opposed Bills Committee or in the Unopposed Bills Committee, it was open to the House only to make alterations or Amendments or to turn it down entirely if there was an overwhelming case made out on a point of principle.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
I accept the correction. I am very ignorant in matters of procedure compared with the right hon. Gentleman. The common practice is, when a Bill comes down after having been fully discussed upstairs, that the House should not turn it down unless a great matter of principle is involved. Every hon. Member must be impressed by the admirable work which the Opposed Bills Committee and the Unopposed Bills Committee do in their discussion of the Bills which are sent to them. It is very rare for the decision of an Unopposed Bills Committee to be challenged. Bills go to them upstairs and they come down again after very careful discussion. It would not be too much to refer to that Committee as that "bourne from which no traveller returns."
1437 In this particular case, for peculiar reasons, the Bill was sent to the Opposed Bills Committee in order that it might have very careful consideration. The Bill had very careful consideration upstairs but, as the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams) said, there is nothing in the report of the Committee to show the reasons why the line of action that we are adopting to-night was disapproved of upstairs. With due respect to the Chairman of Ways and Means, he did not adduce any reasons why the course which we are adopting to-night was not one which would receive the approval of the House, although not the approval of the Committee upstairs. All that he said was that it had not received the approval of the Committee, and that we should look to the evidence which was adduced in order to see the reason why. But the evidence does not show why. Evidence merely consists of facts which are produced before a Committee or a court of law. The reasons which are given are generally given in the summing up of a judge or in his judgment, or in a case of this kind they are given in the report of the Committee, but no reasons have been adduced against our Amendment to-night to omit Part IV.
§ Mr. FLEMING
Can the hon. Member explain why it is that the opposition to Part IV which is so vocal this evening was not represented by counsel before the Opposed Bills Committee?
§ Mr. PETHERICK
Unfortunately, they were not able to be represented before the Opposed Bills Committee. The Bill was sent to the Opposed Bills Committee as a matter of form. We withdrew our Instruction on the Second Reading, but by the direction of the Chairman of Ways and Means, over which this House has no control, the Bill was sent to the Opposed Bills Committee instead of the Unopposed Bills Committee.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
I am proposing to deal with that. What is the object of the Bill? It was clearly stated on the Second reading by the hon. Member for King's Norton (Mr. Cartland), who said that the first consideration was the safety of airmen. That is indeed a consideration, but the first consideration is the 1438 safety of people near the aerodrome, who may possibly be killed if proper precautions are not taken. We have to consider the safety of the airmen using the aerodrome and the safety of the public. The hon. Member for King's Norton said that the proposal for compulsory purchase which is advocated by many is very much more drastic than the restrictions which are being asked for by the Birmingham Corporation. He was answered by the hon. Member for Tamworth, who said that if the Birmingham Corporation were obliged to purchase the whole of the area owners had two courses open to them; they could sell to the Birmingham Corporation or they could accept the restrictions. I am anxious to know why the Birmingham Corporation did not buy the 1,700 extra acres necessary instead of dealing with the matter by restriction. The only conceivable reason is that of expense. If the restrictions are going to do no damage to the property owner it seems to me that the question of expense does not enter into it. Having raised a loan and bought the 1,700 acres, they could sell that part of the area which they do not desire to keep and get back the purchase money in that way, and then deal with the remainder by letting it out. The rates would not be one penny worse off, unless, of course, the restrictions are in fact going to do damage to property owners. If they are, then obviously the fullest compensation should be paid. The hon. Member for Moseley said that nothing was mentioned about compensation when the Instruction was moved.
§ Sir P. HANNON
What I said was that those who advocate the elimination of Part IV of the Bill should have mentioned the word "compensation" in their circular.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
I regret that it was not included, but I am not responsible for the circular. The hon. Member for Moseley pointed out with great pride that the Birmingham Corporation are going to pay compensation in certain cases, but I must point out that compensation is offered only if proposals for the development of the land are practicable, or would have been if the Bill was not passed. In other words, the owner has to prove in a comparatively short time after the Bill has been passed that he was proposing to develop his land and that he cannot do so because of the passing of the Bill. That 1439 is merely to say that for a short time only after the passing of the Bill is the property owner protected. I do not see why any vested interest, including trade unions, should not be protected and should not receive consideration. It is not right for a man who owns property to be told that he cannot deal with it as he likes because it may be of considerable value in the future, and that unless he can produce evidence immediately after the passing of the Bill that he proposes to develop his property he is not going to get compensation. It seems to me that compensation on those terms is absolutely worthless, it is not worth very much to property owners. Downright purchase should be carried out by the Birmingham Corporation. It would not prejudice their ratepayers and would be far preferable to the proposals in the Bill.
May I ask two specific questions? There is a reference in the beginning of Part IV to the protection of the aerodrome, and I cannot see that it is defined in any part of the Bill. Perhaps an hon. Member on behalf of the promoters can point to a definition Clause. The other point is with regard to Clause 19, the removal of obstruction. The Corporation may give notice to the owner of any land to remove any obstruction, and if he does not then they are entitled to do it themselves. I do not know who is to pay for this removal, whether it is the Corporation or the owner. The point has been made that nobody has objected to the Bill. I can point to one powerful body which has objected—the London Midland and Scottish Railway. If they did not object, why were they put in the Bill at all? As the hon. Member for South Croydon has said, they were bought off, although he did not mean that in any offensive sense. It is obvious that the London Midland and Scottish Railway made a powerful objection to the Bill, and we claim that it is not right that a great, strong and powerful corporation or company should be able to get concessions in a Bill merely by the exercise of money which the ordinary private individual, the small owner of a house, is not able to get.
§ Sir P. HANNON
Would my hon. Friend please tell the House what he means when he refers to the use of money? Does he suggest that money has 1440 been used in the buying of some concessions? If he makes an accusation of that kind, I hope he will give the details.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
I am glad my hon. Friend interrupted me. I made no suggestion of that sort, and I think hon. Members will agree that I simply said that a rich corporation, it may be a municipality or a great company, is able, by the employment of Parliamentary agents, by being ready to fight a Bill through all its stages in the House, by the employment of counsel and solicitors, and by other methods, to make out a very strong case, whereas a small man would not be able to do so. I am glad the hon. Member interrupted me, because it has given me an opportunity to make myself quite plain. I am saying that these rich corporations, because of the powers at their disposal, are able to bring great pressure to bear to get a Bill in their faveur through Parliament, but the small owner of property in the Birmingham area is not in the same position, and it is for that reason that objections have not been raised. I see the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Foot) opposite, and I know that he also stands up for the small man. He will know the Latin maxim:"Quod vigi lantibus et non dormientibus obveniunt leges,"which may be freely translated:The law is for sharps, and not for flats.Therefore, because these poor people are not themselves sharps, they are entirely unworthy of respect and consideration.
§ Sir STAFFORD CRIPPS
Is not the hon. Member quite wrong in what he is saying? I see that in the Bill there are provisions for the protection of the trustees of William Barwick Cregoe Colmore, for the protection of W. and A. George, Limited—who are two individuals—and for the protection of James Upton, Limited, and Ada Anne Davis. All these persons have presumably applied for protection and got it, just as the London Midland and Scottish Railway.
§ Mr. PETHERICK
I am afraid I am not very familiar with the details concerning these ladies and gentlemen who have apparently received some form of protection, to which the hon. and learned Gentleman has drawn attention. The only thing is that I think there is a large number of people who have not been able 1441 to obtain protection because they have not been rich enough to afford the services of solicitors or perhaps of a legal adviser such as the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite. The fact remains that there is a number of such people in Birmingham who, as my hon. Friend the Member for Tamworth pointed out, strongly object to the very large powers contained in this Bill.
In conclusion, a Bill has recently been passed through this House, the Air Navigation Bill, which gave certain powers to local authorities to insist that illuminations must be put up at aerodromes and that obstacles must be removed. At the same time the Birmingham Corporation, which we all admit is a representative governing body of a very great and a very well-governed city, has asked for wider powers than are granted under the general Bill. It has often been maintained that in certain cases a Corporation or local authority is entitled to wider powers than the general law of the land gives them, but I do not think it is right, at a time when a general Act is being passed laying down certain powers for local authorities, for a corporation to go further and to ask for increased powers. It is for that reason that I ask the House to vote with me and my hon. Friends who are moving to omit Part IV from this Bill.
§ 9.0 p.m.
§ Mr. EDE
The hon. Member for Penryn and Falmouth (Mr. Petherick) closed his speech by intimating that, inasmuch as his friends had forgotten to favour hon. Members on this side of the House with the whip for this evening, he would address a few arguments to us that might induce us to support him in the Division Lobby. I am bound to say that I feel he rather forgot those arguments in the course of the speech he delivered to the House, because I cannot imagine a speech less likely to appeal to this side of the House. We have just celebrated the centenary of the greatest municipal man who ever lived in this country, a man who, as everybody on all sides of the House will admit, made Birmingham in the middle of the last century a place which every one interested in municipal work regarded with the very greatest pride.
§ Mr. EDE
I recollect that on one occasion, before he became a Member of this House, he said he hoped he would be remembered as the man who removed the kidney pavements from Birmingham. If his ambitions had been confined to that, the world might be a happier place now than it is. But is it not strange that hon. Members opposite, who are so proud of the achievements of that man in other spheres, should to-night be engaged in restraining the Corporation of Birmingham in once again giving a lead to the municipalities of the country? I can only say that I hope my hon. Friends on these benches will take the same view as I do, that this is a matter on which we can safely go into the Lobby with the hon. Member for Moseley (Sir P. Hannon). I sincerely hope that the House will pass this Bill to-night. All that is claimed by the Birmingham Corporation could have been done under town-planning, and it would not then have come before the House.
§ Mr. H. G. WILLIAMS
Will the hon. Member explain how the Birmingham Corporation can town-plan another municipal area?
§ Mr. EDE
By co-operation. The hon. Member's constituency adjoins the parish in which I live and the county in the administration of which I take some share. There we have a regional town-planning committee in which we co-operate and in which the desire of one corporation is given effect to in the area of the surrounding county. There is nothing more pleasant than the way in which co-operation in that matter takes place between the various municipalities and county and county boroughs of the country. The only difficulty is that town-planning is exceedingly slow, and the needs of the country in the matter of air navigation on the commercial and pleasure side are exceedingly urgent. The Birmingham Corporation, faced with the problem of developing this aerodrome, and of giving effect to their proposals, have had to come to the House, and I hope the House is not going to embark on a series of contests with the great municipalities of the country with regard to the needs of their immediate vicinity. I am bound to say that I think the most useful work done by the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams) in 1443 public life was done by him as a Member of the Wimbledon Borough Council, and I thought that he would have more regard to the feelings of such an exceedingly independent body as the Wimbledon Borough Council than to start a general campaign of opposition to the municipalities of the country. This Measure has been considered already on sworn evidence. I am afraid if the hon. Member for South Croydon and the hon. Member for Penryn and Falmouth were called upon to give first-hand evidence on the actual facts of the case they would be placed in the position of the lady who, having heard the terms of the oath, to speak "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" said, "With all those limitations, I feel that I can offer no useful observations."
Although no petitions were presented against the Bill it had the great advantage, because of opposition to it at an earlier stage, of being examined by the Committee on Opposed Bills. I have been a witness before that committee on several occasions and I know that particular care is taken by it to watch the interests of those who, owing to some technicality, are not represented before it. My hon. Friend the Member for Workington (Mr. Cape) who has acted as Chairman of Private Bill Committees will bear out that statement. This Bill, as I say, had the advantage of being examined by that committee, having previously been debated in the House, so that the committee had no doubt about the concern of some hon. Members in this question. This great municipality is carrying on the tradition which it established in the past, in the setting up of a municipal bank for instance and in the great work of the late Joseph Chamberlain in municipalising gas and water services when such a step was regarded as the beginning of revolution. All those things entitled the Corporation of Birmingham to be treated with the greatest respect when it comes to this House for a Bill of this kind.
The hon. Member for South Croydon and his friends argue that it is wrong to have in private Bills promoted by corporations provisions which are not embodied in the general law of the land. That is a doctrine which we on this side repudiate. I encountered it earlier this 1444 year when the hon. Member and some of his friends objected to the Surrey County Council Bill. They seem to take the line that they are a body of inquisitors before whom progressive authorities—using the word in a non-political sense—must go to be told how much they are to be allowed to get. Apparently if you are not prepared to bow the knee to the hon. Member and his friends you will have a rough time here at every stage of your Bill. We see an example of it in connection with this Bill of the Birmingham Corporation a body which cannot be accused of political sympathy with hon. Members on this side. I believe that the great municipalities of the country have often shown the way to Parliament in regard to reasonable developments within their own areas and obviously the provision of protection round an aerodrome is a special matter in relation to each area concerned. As the Chairman of Ways and Means rightly said—if I may venture even to express approval of what the right hon. Gentleman said—Birmingham in this matter presented their special case to the House; it has been specially considered and subjected to serious examination. I hope, therefore, that the House will pass the Measure and allow Birmingham to remain in the van of municipal progress.
§ 9.10 p.m.
§ Mr. H. G. WILLIAMS
I listened with the greatest pleasure to the chairman of the Surrey County Council paying off a few old scores against those who were responsible for having about 15 Clauses struck out of his own Bill. I am not surprised that the hon. Member is cross.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
He has come to the aid of his Conservative friends in the great city of Birmingham, but I wish somebody who is supporting the Bill would tell us precisely why these proposals are to be regarded as progressive. Nobody has troubled to do that, neither the big gun, if I may so refer to him the right hon. Gentleman the Chairman of Ways and Means, about whom we all speak with awe because we look forward to the occasions when he will sit in an other part of the Chamber and when we shall want to catch his eye—
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Well, we always hope to catch the right hon. Gentleman's eye, and the hon. Baronet himself is very often successful though his party is not very numerous. But we have not had the faintest suggestion from anybody to-night that these proposals are progressive or that there is the slightest justification for them. Is there the slightest reason why Birmingham should be given privileges other than those accorded to Manchester, Glasgow, Sheffield, Newcastle, or any other city? Why should Birmingham be put in this exceptional position? Did the hon. Member for Moseley (Sir P. Hannon), for whom I have the greatest respect, produce one solitary argument to show why this special arrangement should be made for Birmingham? It is no good merely saying that Birmingham was the home of the late Joseph Chamberlain. We know that. That does not prove that the present administrators of Birmingham are necessarily right when they produce a Bill which conflicts with the policy of the Government. We all regret that one of the Members for the City of Birmingham, who is also a Member of the Cabinet, has gout and cannot be with us. I presume that the Chancellor of the Exchequer approves of the Air Navigation Bill. In theory he does, because members of the Cabinet are collectively responsible for Government legislation. Then on what ground do his 11 Birmingham colleagues—and they are a very faithful band and always work together—oppose a Government Bill That is something we ought to know.
§ The CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS
It is my duty, for the protection of the promoters of private Bills generally, to remind the House that if the Government oppose a private Bill they say so, and the hon. Member has no right whatever to suggest to the House that because the Government have promoted an Air Navigation Bill this Session, they are opposed to a private Bill, which, if I may say so, does not conflict with the policy of their Bill.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I am grateful to the Chairman of Ways and Means for the assistance he has given us. Here we have a document sent out by the Corporation, an extract from which was read by my hon. Friend the Member for Moseley—a letter from the Air Ministry: 1446He also raises no objection to your bringing the contents of this letter of 15th November last to the Members of the Parliamentary Committee.When that was read out, I was very much impressed. I thought this was a letter which they had written after the Debate which we had last month, but it was not. This was a letter written months ago. The plain truth of the matter is that the Air Ministry have got themselves in a mess over this job, and they have not the courage to write any letter of any kind to the Committee. Let us be frank about it. The Chairman of Ways and Means more or less attacked me because, on the Second Reading, I said that if this was properly examined and we had the advice of the Committee that it was a fit and proper Bill, the special exception was justified. I went into the Vote Office for the report of the Committee. The Chairman of Ways and Means rather suggested that I should have run round to some other part of the building to find the evidence. Why should Members of Parliament run round this building to find documents, the proper place for which is in the Vote Office? The Chairman attacked the Proposer and Seconder of this Motion—
§ Sir P. HANNON
My hon. Friend is as familiar with the methods to be employed in this House to obtain information as any hon. Member here. There is nothing connected with the finding of information here that he does not know, and he knew he could have got the evidence from the Parliamentary agents to the Birmingham Corporation.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
I am amazed that it is supposed to be the duty of a Member of Parliament to run round to the Parliamentary agents of the Corporation of Birmingham. Surely it is the duty of the agents to run round after us. At least, if it is not, we shall have to teach them that it is. We are the elected representatives of the people, and it is their duty to wait on us, and not our duty to wait on them. I think that is a doctrine to which I shall have general assent. We had a Debate on this Bill, and I was privileged, I think, to be the last speaker. At the request of my colleagues, I indicated that we were not going to divide because I hoped the thing would be ventilated in the appropriate way and that the case for and against 1447 would be stated upstairs. The case against Part IV was not stated apparently, because there was nobody sufficiently interested in the matter to risk his wherewithal in presenting a petition and going through the expensive process of employing counsel and bringing witnesses. It is all very well for the London, Midland, and Scottish Railway, who maintain a Parliamentary office, to get protection, and it is all very well for the Postmaster-General to get protection. They have the organisation to do it. I do not know whether these people are big farmers or little farmers, big landowners or little landowners, but they did not do that, and as a result the case was not stated. To a material extent it went by default upstairs, because there was no one there to state it.
Why did we have a Debate after the Second Reading? It was because of Part IV. Therefore, when I go to the Vote Office a week ago and ask for the report, I am amazed at its contents. I do not blame my hon. and gallant Friend who was the Chairman of the Committee. He is following established procedure, but if this report represents established procedure, it is time we altered it. The report is a most inadequate document. I ask hon. Members to read it. There is not in it a single reference to the issue on which we had the Debate a month ago.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
If that is the system of reporting, it is time we altered it. I think this House is entitled to have some guidance, and I really suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that to ask Members of Parliament to read 40 or 50 pages of evidence when a Committee has been appointed to advise them is too much. At least, it ought to be regarded as their duty, and I am not blaming my hon. and gallant Friend for following past procedure.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Where is the advice? They heard the evidence, and they have pronounced judgment without giving the slightest indication why, and not one 1448 speaker to-night has told us why Birmingham should appropriate the rights of certain people, whom I have never seen, instead of following the example which the Government propose for everybody else, namely, that they should purchase the land fairly and squarely and then let it out. That is the honest way of dealing with it. Why should Birmingham be put in this privileged position? What reference is there in the report to the only matter of controversy? They state:The Bill does not give any powers which can be obtained by means of by-laws made subject to the restrictions of general Acts already existing.Not a single reference to the fact that there is passing through Parliament a Bill which will alter the existing law. I say it is grossly unfair to this House that, after we had a Debate on Second Reading on this issue, and on no other, we should be placed in this position. No one objects to Birmingham having an aerodrome. The whole Debate has taken place on Part IV. I do not know whether this is the old procedure, but if this Committee represents the procedure, I hope that in future we shall have much more adequate reports from the Committee than we have had in the past. Surely it would not have been difficult for them to have said, "We have heard the evidence, and we consider that Birmingham should have these special powers. The reasons why Birmingham should have them are so and so, and on those grounds we think the Birmingham aerodrome ought to be treated differently from any other existing or future licensed municipal aerodrome." If such an argument had been put in, not one of my hon. Friends would have troubled to interfere with that most delightful of amusements, a Scottish Supply Day, but we have not been given any such argument.
The only argument which the Chairman of Ways and Means used was to say that I ought to have got the evidence. Most of us work rather hard in this Chamber, and most of us are persons who have some occupation whereby we try to earn a living in addition to doing our Parliamentary duties, and surely it is the duty of the judge and jury upstairs, when they have heard all the case, to tell us why they have come to their conclusion. I hope that to-night we shall vote on this question on the constitutional basis. Is it right in the same Session of Parliament 1449 for two Bills to be passed dealing with identically the same subject and for the House to take decisions which are in fact contrary, unless it is given substantial reasons why in the lesser case a decision should be taken which is contrary to that taken in the major case. It is on that issue alone that we ought to vote to-night.
§ 9.24 p.m.
§ Sir C. MacANDREW
I think that, as chairman of the committee which considered this Bill, I might be allowed to intervene for a moment or two. I can imagine that nothing would have annoyed my hon. Friend the Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams) more than if the committee had not followed the procedure of this House. For the hon. Member to stand up in his place and criticise a report which I think it is absurd to criticise and to blame the committee on that ground, is most unfair. If the procedure of this House requires altering, this is not the occasion on which that should be suggested, and I may say that if we tried to alter our procedure to suit the views of individuals, we should very soon get into difficulties. The committee which considered this Bill were in absolute agreement that the Bill should be passed as it stands. One of the Members of the committee, my hon. Friend the Member for Rotherhithe (Mr. Benjamin Smith) has had to leave the Chamber, but he told me before he went a moment or so ago that I could associate him with what I was going to say, and the other two members of the committee are here beside me now.
It has been said that because there were no objections to this Bill we were unable to assess what was right and what was wrong. It does not do great credit to a Private Bill Committee, appointed by the Committee of Selection and drawn from all parties in the House, to say that we were not able to assess evidence. We are quite able to do that. In this case, as the Chairman of Ways and Means pointed out, counsel for Birmingham Corporation made one point against himself in his anxiety to put the case absolutely fairly. That point we thought reasonable and left in, but the idea that counsel were trying to throw sand in our eyes is absurd. There has been some talk about the enormous expense that private individuals would have been put to if they had tried to petition against the Bill.
1450 As one who has served on these Private Bill Committees I think that a private individual appearing before a committee is listened to with respect, and probably the case put by a man who is not an experienced advocate carries more weight than that which is put by one of great experience. I hope the public will understand that they can appear and will get a fair hearing from the Private Bill Committees. The hon. Member for South Croydon said that no reasons had been given why the Birmingham Corporation should be given these powers. With my colleagues I had the advantage of hearing various reasons why these powers should be given. We had put before us the restrictions put on in France, Germany and other countries in regard to aerodromes. The Birmingham Corporation have taken powers more or less on all fours with what is done in Germany, and much less than what is done in France. That is a point that should not be forgotten.
Play has been made with the fact that there is an Air Navigation Bill which will become an Act before the end of this week, and that therefore the Birmingham Corporation should have been content with what was laid down in that Bill. Let me remind the House that the Corporation have been dealing with this matter for many months, they have been making preparations and buying land, and that as the Air Navigation Bill is not yet a Statute, they were entitled to come to the House with their Private Bill and ask for it to be passed. Why the hon. Member says that the Birmingham Bill conflicts with the Air Navigation Bill I cannot understand. In the Second Reading Debate the Under-Secretary for Air said:My Noble Friend does not, therefore, propose to ask the House to give powers to local authorities in excess of those which are in the general Bill now before the House."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd June, 1936; col. 1512, Vol. 313.]He did not give any indication that he was opposed to the Bill.
§ Sir C. MacANDREW
No. If the hon. Gentleman had read the speech he would have seen that at the end of it the Under-Secretary of State said:Therefore, it is for the House to decide whether in this particular case wider powers 1451 are to be granted to the local authority, or whether if, as I am sure, my hon. Friends do not propose to push this Instruction to a Division, it should be referred to the Private Bill Committee."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd June, 1936; col. 1513, Vol. 313.]Surely if he thought it should be opposed he would have said so. He did not give any indication that he did not want the Bill passed. The hon. Member for Moseley Division (Sir P. Hannon) quoted from a letter of 15th November in which the Secretary of State said:The restrictions for which provision is made in the Bill are no more than are reasonably necessary to protect the aerodrome from obstruction.The Committee were unanimous and confident that this Bill should be passed as it stands. Some of those who want Part IV left out take the view that the Birmingham Corporation should work under the Air Navigation Bill. The only objection to doing that is that it would cost a great deal more money. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] For this reason. In an aerodrome the aeroplane is run on the ground for a distance and gradually rises, and therefore, although the land round the aerodrome is not required, the space is needed for rising, and surely it is common sense to take powers to restrict the height of buildings in the vicinity. [HON. MEMBERS: "Sterilise it."] But the people will be compensated. If you can do it more cheaply that way I think it is preferable. This matter has been considered judicially, we have had the opportunity of hearing evidence and witnesses on oath, and it seems to me that it is reasonable that the Bill should be passed as it stands.
I hope no one will be misled by this Whip which has been quoted to-night. I was very much surprised when I saw the hon. Members who have put their signatures to it, and I thought they could have signed it only because they had not read the Birmingham Bill. It is most misleading to read thatthe Birmingham Corporation are not willing to buy the land and seek powers in Part IV to restrict the height of buildings, trees, etc.There will be compensation—
§ Mr. H. G. WILLIAMS
There is no proposal in the Bill for automatic compensation. It only arises in the remote event of it being possible to prove that 1452 development schemes would have been undertaken.
§ Sir C. MacANDREW
I do not know what automatic compensation is but compensation in the ordinary sense is well safeguarded. The committee went into that very carefully, and if the hon. Member will look at the circular that was sent out he will see that theyamended the Clause relating to compensation in order to make it clear that compensation is payable if the consent to the erection of buildings is withheld or conditions are imposed.I feel quite confident that the people in the vicinity of this aerodrome have been safeguarded. I hope, therefore, that the House will pass the Bill as it stands.
§ 9.36 p.m.
§ Sir ARNOLD WILSON
The right hon. Gentleman, the Chairman of Ways and Means, has chided some of us for not having read the evidence. I made application at the Vote Office, and they could not find it. I made application also in the Library, and it was not there. I am told by my hon. Friend the Member for Moseley (Sir P. Hannon) that I should have asked the Parliamentary agent for Birmingham, but I object to doing that. I have never heard a thinner speech than that of my hon. Friend the Member for Moseley. He has really given us no reasons, except that this is an aerodrome, that this is a great step forward, and that we are taking the line of the Under-Secretary of State for Air, who has, by the way, been absent from his place during the whole of this Debate.
§ Sir A. WILSON
So far as the arguments in favour of the Bill were concerned, but he has disappeared and has not been seen since.
§ Sir AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
The arguments in favour of the Bill were not given at the outset of the discussion; he was only in the House half an hour, and, therefore, could have heard no arguments in favour of the Bill.
§ Sir A. WILSON
I thank my right hon. Friend for that correction. I think that I am right in saying that he was away within half an hour and has not been back since. Since the first arguments against the Bill were presented he 1453 has absented himself and has not been seen since. If my hon. Friend the Member for Moseley really believes that this Bill is a great advance in the development of aerodromes in this country, the Under-Secretary of State should be here to explain why he does not object now to a power to which he seems to have taken exception some months earlier. I endorse every argument used by my hon. Friend the Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams) in that connection. We are passing within a few days of each other two Bills dealing with an identical subject, and I can see no connection between the two. My hon. Friend the Member for Moseley has twitted us who signed the Whip on our wide geographical distribution, but our principles, such as they are—and I now know for the first time that my hon. Friend attaches little weight to principles—are not based, like this group of seven Members for Birmingham, upon geographical boundaries. We claim to speak for a wider area. We can appreciate that the Birmingham Corporation might well shrink from buying more land than they need, but was there any good reason why they should not have attempted to obtain restrictive covenants for the remaining land? That is a frequent practice among landowners and local authorities, and it would cost very little indeed to acquire all the restrictive covenants they required. I do not gather that that was discussed.
The Chairman of the Private Bill Committee has explained, as the right hon. Gentleman the Chairman of Ways and Means has explained, that the case for both sides was very fairly put by the counsel employed by the Birmingham Corporation. I do not doubt it for a moment, but the prosecutor for the Crown in any case in which he is engaged in the courts is also at pains to be scrupulously fair to the case for the other side, but that does not absolve the other side from the necessity of employing the very best counsel possible. There is no easier thing than to imagine that when counsel has put as fairly as he can the opposite side as he sees it, that is all there is to be said on the other side. There may be a great deal to be said on the other side.
I do not think it can be complained that we ought to have read the evidence. There is no evidence to-day in the report, of which I make no complaint, but 1454 when I am asked to accept the blame for the Whip, for which I accept joint responsibility, I can only say that a Whip is not intended to be an argumentative document, but that it is intended to draw the attention of those Members who receive it to the existence of a controversial point and to express the hope that they will be present, not merely to vote, but to listen to the arguments for and against. We could not possibly have discussed the question of compensation, but when the Chairman of the Private Bill Committee expresses his confidence that compensation is adequately provided for in the Bill, I am bound to point out that Sub-section (2, a) of Clause 22 provides that it can be given only afterproposals for the development of that land which at the date of the claim to compensation are immediately practicable or would have been so if this Act had not been passed are prevented.That means that for a whole series of reasons it may not be immediately practicable, but that it might very well be a reasonable expectation. I should like to ask Members on both sides of the House how they would regard their position had they owned a piece of land on which they had intended, within the next two or three years, or as soon as they could afford it, to build a small house, a small bungalow, or a small cottage?
§ Sir A. WILSON
There are parts of the land where it would not be possible to build a bungalow five feet high, which is only room for a very small man. It is a very limited compensation, more limited than any other kind. I am still unable to understand why the Under-Secretary for Air found it unnecessary to put these Clauses into his Bill, but thinks them so desirable when they are found in another Bill. There was some suggestion that when we who oppose the Bill talked about "being bought off" we were referring to some improper procedure. We were referring to Clause 26, which says that nothing in the Bill shall affect the London Midland and Scottish Railway.
§ Mr. CARTLAND
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Birmingham Corporation have made a special agreement with the London Midland and Scottish 1455 Railway, which is far more restrictive in character than any of the proposals in this Bill?
§ Sir A. WILSON
That bears out my point that if you are big enough you can make terms even with the Birmingham Corporation. There are half-a-dozen persons who made terms with the Birmingham Corporation, but they are not the small men.
§ Mr. CARTLAND
The hon. and learned Member for East Bristol (Sir S. Cripps) pointed out that a large number of small people have already been protected.
§ Sir A. WILSON
When the hon. and learned Member for East Bristol intervened, I took the precaution to see to what he was referring, and I found that it was the safeguards introduced into the Bill in respect not of small men who are owners of property but small men who are lessees of the Birmingham Corporation, already in contractual relations with the Birmingham Corporation, which on its part has taken steps to safeguard its tenants as shown in the documents now put before the House. I am entirely unmoved by the references to W. and J. George and other obscure men, who may, for all I know, be very important persons, as they have a Clause to themselves. But I do not want to deal with purely detailed matters. As the right hon. Gentleman the Chairman of Ways and Means said, we should deal only with the principle, and the principle is simply this, that we are now depriving a small group of His Majesty's lieges of a reasonable expectation of the enjoyment of land which they had in prospect until this Bill appeared, and which they will not have if this Bill is passed. They had them also under powers given in a Bill on the subject passed by this House during the present Session.
It has not been found necessary to give these powers to any other municipality, but we have been urged by all those who have spoken to give them to Birmingham solely upon the ground that Birmingham is a great and good Corporation, which was created by great and good men, is represented to-day by great and good men and which will give a lead to England—as it well may do—in the future. But I submit that those are very weak grounds on which to commend a Bill of this sort to the House.
§ 9.48 p.m.
§ Mr. MUFF
I intervene for a minute or two to justify the position of corporations which are wanting to buy land for aerodromes under reasonable conditions and without vexatious opposition either from certain Members of this House or any other body. Birmingham is entitled to gain from the experience of corporations like Bradford or Hull, which have spent considerable sums because they were told that it was in the national interest to erect civil aerodromes in various parts of the country. These municipal authorities, because they have not been adequately protected in the past, have laid themselves open to the criticism that they have been acquiring what may be called white elephants, and I think the Birmingham Corporation are entitled to be congratulated on trying to foresee any difficulties in the future.
The hon. Member for Penryn and Falmouth (Mr. Petherick) indulged in an admirable exhibition of shadow boxing. He invited the House to agree that the Birmingham Corporation should buy 1,700 acres of land, whether that land was required by them or not. Indeed, the whole of the opposition during this Debate has made me wonder why we had the Debate at all, after the discussion upon Second Reading. Fortunately, we need not inquire too deeply into the motives of those who are opposing this Bill, and I do not propose so to do. As one who has spent a few years in municipal administration and entirely apart from party politics, but on the grounds of public policy and public utility, I think that the Birmingham Corporation or any similar corporation, whatever its political complexion may be, is entitled to come to this House and is entitled to common justice.
The Chairman of Ways and Means, in that admirable discourse he gave to us on procedure, has amply justified every Member going into the Lobby to give Birmingham the Bill which it wants. I cannot for the life of me understand the motives of the Members who signed the Whip against the Bill. I can understand the motive, perhaps, of the hon. Member for Elland (Mr. Levy) and of the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams). They appear to be almost the lineal successors or the in-carnation 1457 of Chu-Chin-Chow. I shall not detain the House longer, but I wish to say without equivocation or evasion or mental reservation that I can go into the Lobby to support the Birmingham Corporation, and I trust that they will set their Bill.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 326; Noes, 75.1459
|Division No. 319.]||AYES.||[9.53 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir F. Dyke||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Holdsworth, H.|
|Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple)||Dixon, Capt. Rt. Hon. H.||Holmes, J. S.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Dobbie, W.||Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Dodd, J. S.||Hopkin, D.|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Doland, G. F.||Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L.|
|Adamson, W. M.||Donner, P. W.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir R. S.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S.||Drewe, C.||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.)||Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)||Howitt, Dr. A. B.|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Dugdale, Major T. L.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)|
|Aske, Sir R. W.||Duggan, H. J.||Hulbert, N. J.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Duncan, J. A. L.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Baldwin-Webb, Col. J.||Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)||Hunter, T.|
|Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)||Dunne, P. R. R.||Hurd, Sir P. A.|
|Balniel, Lord||Ede, J. C.||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H.|
|Banfield, J. W.||Edmondson, Major Sir J.||Jackson, Sir H.|
|Barclay-Harvey, Sir C. M.||Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.)||Jagger, J.|
|Barnes, A. J.||Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||James, Wing-commander A. W.|
|Barr, J.||Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)|
|Batey, J.||Ellis, Sir G.||Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Emmott, C. E. G. C.||John, W.|
|Bellenger, F.||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)|
|Benson, G.||Errington, E.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)|
|Bevan, A.||Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Birchall, Sir J. D.||Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales)||Kelly, W. T.|
|Blair, Sir R.||Findlay, Sir E.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)|
|Boulton, W. W.||Fox, Sir G. W. G.||Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Frankel, D.||Kimball, L.|
|Brass, Sir W.||Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Kirkwood, D.|
|Briscoe, Capt. R. G.||Fyfe, D. P. M.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G.|
|Broad, F. A.||Gallacher, W.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Ganzoni, Sir J.||Latham, Sir P.|
|Bromfield, W.||Gardner, B. W.||Lathan, G.|
|Brooke, W.||Garro Jones, G. M.||Law, Sir A. J. (High Peak)|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Lawson, J. J.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (S. Ayrshire)||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)||Leckie, J. A.|
|Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.)||Gibbins, J.||Lee, F.|
|Bull, B. B.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Leech, Dr. J. W.|
|Burke, W. A.||Gledhill, G.||Leonard, W.|
|Campbell, Sir E. T.||Goldie, N. B.||Leslie, J. R.|
|Cape, T.||Goodman, Col. A. W.||Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J.|
|Cartland, J. R. H.||Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)||Lloyd, G. W.|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S.|
|Cassells, T.||Green, W. H. (Deptford)||Loftus, P. C.|
|Cayzer, Sir H. R. (Portsmouth, S.)||Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||Lunn, W.|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Grenfell, D. R.||MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (Br.W.)||Gridley, Sir A. B.||McCorquodale, M. S.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Macdonald, G. (Ince)|
|Chater, D.||Grigg, Sir E. W. M.||MacDonald Rt. Hn. J. R. (Scot. U.)|
|Clarke, Lt.-Col. R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Grimston, R. V.||Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Groves, T. E.||McEntee, V. La T.|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.||Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Drake)||McGhee, H. G.|
|Cocks, F. S.||Guinness, T. L. E. B.||McKie, J. H.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Gunston, Capt. D. W.||MacLaren, A.|
|Compton, J.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H.||Maclean, N.|
|Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)||Maitland, A.|
|Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.)||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Mander, G. le M.|
|Courthope, Col. Sir G. L.||Hanbury, Sir C.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.|
|Cove, W. G.||Hannah, I. C.||Marklew, E.|
|Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford||Harbord, A.||Mathers, G.|
|Crooke, J. S.||Hardie, G. D.||Maxton, J.|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C.||Harris, Sir P. A.||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.|
|Culverwell, C. T.||Haslam, H. C. (Horncastle)||Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)|
|Daggar, G.||Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)||Messer, F.|
|Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Davies, Major Sir G. S. (Yeovil)||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Montague, F.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Moore, Lieut.-Col. T. C. R.|
|Dawson, Sir P.||Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-||Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Day, H.||Herbert, Capt. Sir S. (Abbey)||Morgan, R. H.|
|De Chair, S. S.||Hills, A. (Pontefract)||Morris, O. T. (Cardiff, E.)|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H.||Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)||Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)|
|Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)||Salmon, Sir I.||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)|
|Morrison, Rt. Hn. H. (Ha'kn'y, S.)||Salt, E. W.||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Muff, G.||Salter, Dr. A.||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h)|
|Munro, P.||Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.|
|O'Connor, Sir Terence J.||Sandeman, Sir N. S.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Oliver, G. H.||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir P.||Thomson, Sir J. D. W.|
|O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Savery, Servington||Thorne, W.|
|Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Scott, Lord William||Thurtle, E.|
|Paling, W.||Seely, Sir H. M.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Parkinson, J. A.||Selley, H. R.||Tryon, Major Rt. Hon. G. C.|
|Peat, C. U.||Sexton, T. M.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Com. R. L.|
|Penny, Sir G.||Shakespeare, G. H.||Turton, R. H.|
|Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)||Viant, S. P.|
|Pickthorn, K. W. M.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)||Walkden, A. G.|
|Plugge, L. F.||Shepperson, Sir E. W.||Ward, Irene (Wallsend)|
|Potts, J.||Short, A.||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Pownall, Sir Assheton||Silkin, L.||Watkins, F. C.|
|Price, M. P.||Silverman, S. S.||Watson, W. McL.|
|Pritt, D. N.||Simmonds, O. E.||Wayland, Sir W. A.|
|Procter, Major H. A.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.||Wells, S. R.|
|Radford, E. A.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)||Welsh, J. C.|
|Ramsden, Sir E.||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)||Westwood, J.|
|Rankin, R.||Smith, E. (Stoke)||White, H. Graham|
|Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)||Whiteley, W.|
|Reed, A. C. (Exeter)||Smith, L. W. (Hallam)||Williams, D. (Swansea, E.)|
|Reid, Captain A. Cunningham||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Reid, W. Allan (Derby)||Smith, T. (Normanton)||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Remer, J. R.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, E.)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Richards, R. (Wrexham)||Sorensen, R. W.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|Ritson, J.||Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)||Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)||Spender-Clay, Lt.-Cl. Rt. Hn. H. H.||Wragg, H.|
|Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)||Spens, W. P.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Ropner, Colonel L.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)||Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Rowson, G.||Stewart, William J. (Belfast, S.)||Sir Patrick Hannon and Mr. Eales.|
|Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd)||Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)||Pilkington, R.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Fildes, Sir H.||Raikes, H. V. A. M.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Fleming, E. L.||Rayner, Major R. H.|
|Bird, Sir R. B.||Furness, S. N.||Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)|
|Blaker, Sir R.||Gluckstein, L. H.||Ross, Major Sir R. D. (L'nderry)|
|Bower, Comdr. R. T.||Gower, Sir R. V.||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham)||Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)||Tasker, Sir R. I.|
|Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.)||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Burton, Col. H. W.||Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb-rw'll, N. W.)||Tichfield, Marquess of|
|Cary, R. A.||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Touche, G. C.|
|Channon, M.||Jones, L. (Swansea W.)||Wakefield, W. W.|
|Chapman, A. (Rutherglen)||Keeling, E. H.||Walker-Smith, Sir J.|
|Christie, J. A.||Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Clarry, Sir Reginald||Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)||Waterhouse, Captain C.|
|Cook, T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)||Lees-Jones, J.||Wedderburn, H. J. S.|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Lewis, O.||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Cross, R. H.||Liddall, W. S.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Crowder, J. F. E.||Lyons, A. M.||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Dorman-Smith, Major R. H.||MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)|
|Dower, Capt. A. V. G.||Mitcheson, Sir G. G.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Duckworth, G. A. V. (Salop)||Nall, Sir J.||Wise, A. R.|
|Eastwood, J. F.||Neven-Spence, Maj. B. H. H.||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Eckersley, P. T.||Owen, Major G.|
|Edmondson, Major Sir J.||Patrick, C. M.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Elliston, G. S.||Petherick, M.||Sir J. Mellor and Mr. Levy.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."1460
§ The House divided: Ayes, 281; Noes, 124.1463
|Division No. 320.]||AYES.||[10.6 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir F. Dyke||Aske, Sir R. W.||Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.|
|Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple)||Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Benson, G.|
|Adams, D. (Consett)||Baldwin-Webb, Col. J.||Bevan, A.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.)||Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet)||Birchall, Sir J. D.|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Banfield, J. W.||Blindell, Sir J.|
|Adamson, W. M.||Barnes, A. J.||Boulton, W. W.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S.||Barr, J.||Boyce, H. Leslie|
|Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of Ldn.)||Batey, J.||Brass, Sir W.|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Baxter, A. Beverley||Briscoe, Capt. R. G.|
|Broad, F. A.||Gunston, Capt. D. W.||Penny, Sir G.|
|Bromfield, W.||Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Brooke, W.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Pilkington, R.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith)||Hamilton, Sir G. C.||Potts, J.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (S. Ayrshire)||Hannah, I. C.||Pownall, Sir Assheton|
|Bull, B. B.||Harbord, A.||Price, M. P.|
|Burke, W. A.||Hardie, G. D.||Pritt, D. N.|
|Campbell, Sir E. T.||Harris, Sir P. A.||Radford, E. A.|
|Cape, T.||Haslam, H. C. (Horncastle)||Ramsden, Sir E.|
|Cartland, J. R. H.||Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton)||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)|
|Carver, Major W. H.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Reid, Captain A. Cunningham|
|Cassells, T.||Henderson, J. (Ardwick)||Reid, W. Allan (Derby)|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Remer, J. R.|
|Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)||Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)||Richards, R. (Wrexham)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (Br.W.)||Hills, A. (Pontefract)||Ritson, J.|
|Channon, M.||Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.||Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Hopkin, D.||Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)|
|Chater, D.||Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L.||Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens)|
|Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S.||Horne, Rt. Hon. Sir R. S.||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Clarke, Lt.-Col. R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Horsbrugh, Florence||Rowson, G.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)||Russell, A. West (Tynemouth)|
|Clynes, Rt. Hon. J. R.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Salmon, Sir I.|
|Cocks, F. S.||Hunter, T.||Salt, E. W.|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H.||Salter, Dr. A.|
|Compton, J.||Jackson, Sir H.||Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)|
|Cook, T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.)||Jagger, J.||Sandeman, Sir N. S.|
|Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith S.)||James, Wing-Commander A. W.||Sandys, E. D.|
|Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.)||Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)||Seely, Sir H. M.|
|Cove, W. G.||Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)||Selley, H. R.|
|Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford||John, W.||Sexton, T. M.|
|Crooke, J. S.||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Shakespeare, G. H.|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)|
|Culverwell, C. T.||Kelly, W. T.||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)|
|Daggar, G.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.||Shepperson, Sir E. W.|
|Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill)||Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)||Short, A.|
|Davies, Major Sir G. S. (Yeovil)||Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)||Silkin, L.|
|Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Keyes, Admiral of the Fleet Sir R.||Silverman, S. S.|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Kirkwood, D.||Simmonds, O. E.|
|Dawson, Sir P.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. G.||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A.|
|Day, H.||Lansbury, Rt. Hon G.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)|
|De Chair, S. S.||Latham, Sir P.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|De la Bère, R.||Lathan, G.||Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Lawson, J. J.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)|
|Dixon, Capt. Rt. Hon. H.||Leckie, J. A.||Smith, T. (Normanton)|
|Dobbie, W.||Lee, F.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Dodd, J. S.||Leech, Dr. J. W.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Doland, G. F.||Leonard, W.||Spears, Brig.-Gen. E. L.|
|Drewe, C.||Leslie, J. R.||Spender-Clay, Lt.-Cl. Rt. Hn. H. H.|
|Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)||Lloyd, G. W.||Spens, W. P.|
|Dugdale, Major T. L.||Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'm'l'd)|
|Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)||Loftus, P. C.||Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)|
|Ede, J. C.||Lunn, W.||Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)|
|Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.)||MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G.||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||McCorquodale, M. S.||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.||Macdonald, G. (Ince)||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h)|
|Ellis, Sir G.||MacDonald, Rt. Hn. J. R. (Scot. U.)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.|
|Entwistle, C. F.||McEntee, V. La T.||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Errington, E.||McGhee, H. G.||Tate, Mavis C.|
|Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)||MacLaren, A.||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Findlay, Sir E.||Maclean, N.||Thomson, Sir J. D. W.|
|Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Maitland, A.||Thorne, W.|
|Frankel, D.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Thurtle, E.|
|Fyfe, D. P. M.||Marklew, E.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Gallacher, W.||Mathers, G.||Turton, R H.|
|Gardner, B. W.||Maxton, J.||Viant, S. P.|
|Garro Jones, G. M.||Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)||Walkden, A. G.|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Messer, F.||Ward, Irene (Wallsend)|
|George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Gibbins, J.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Watkins, F. C.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J.||Mitcheson, Sir G. G.||Watson, W. McL.|
|Gledhill, G.||Montague, F.||Welsh, J. C.|
|Goldie, N. B.||Moore, Lieut.-Col. T. C. R.||Westwood, J.|
|Goodman, Col. A. W.||Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Col. J. T. C.||White, H. Graham|
|Graham, D. M. (Hamilton)||Morris, O. T. (Cardiff, E.)||Whiteley, W.|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)||Williams, D. (Swansea, E.)|
|Green, W. H. (Deptford)||Morrison, Rt. Hn. H. (Ha'kn'y, S.)||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||Muff, G.||Williams, T. (Don Valley)|
|Grenfell, D. R.||Munro, P.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Gridley, Sir A. B.||Naylor, T. E.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)||Oliver, G. H.||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Grigg, Sir E. W. M.||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Wragg, H.|
|Grimston, R. V.||Paling, W.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Groves, T. E.||Parkinson, J. A.|
|Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. (Drake)||Peat, C. U.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Sir Patrick Hannon and Mr. Eales.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J.||Fox, Sir G. W. G.||Petherick, M.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd)||Furness, S. N.||Plugge, L. F.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Ganzoni, Sir J.||Procter, Major H. A.|
|Assheton, R.||Gluckstein, L. H.||Raikes, H. V. A. M.|
|Balniel, Lord||Gower, Sir R. V.||Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.|
|Barclay-Harvey, Sir C. M.||Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)||Rankin, R.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)|
|Beit, Sir A. L.||Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)||Rayner, Major R. H.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Rickards, G. W. (Skipton)|
|Bird, Sir R. B.||Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rwll, N. W.)||Ross, Major Sir R. D. (L'derry)|
|Blair, Sir R.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H.||Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)|
|Blaker, Sir R.||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.|
|Bossom, A. C.||Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-||Savery, Servington|
|Bower, Comdr. R. T.||Holdsworth, H.||Scott, Lord William|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Holmes, J. S.||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham)||Howitt, Dr. A. B.||Smith, L. W. (Hallam)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury)||Hulbert, N. J.||Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, E.)|
|Browne, A. C. (Belfast, W.)||Hurd, Sir P. A.||Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.|
|Burton, Col. H. W.||Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth)||Stewart, William J. (Belfast, S.)|
|Cary, R. A.||Jones, L. (Swansea W.)||Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)|
|Cayzer, Sir H. R. (Portsmouth, S.)||Keeling, E. H.||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Chapman, A. (Rutherglen)||Kimball, L.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Christie, J. A.||Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F.||Tasker, Sir R. I.|
|Clarry, Sir Reginald||Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.)||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Courthope, Col. Sir G. L.||Lees-Jones, J.||Touche, G. C.|
|Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Lewis, O.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Com. R. L.|
|Cross, R. H.||Liddall, W. S.||Wakefield, W. W.|
|Crowder, J. F. E.||Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J.||Walker-Smith, Sir J.|
|Cruddas, Col. B.||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Donner, P. W.||Lyons, A. M.||Waterhouse, Captain C.|
|Dorman-Smith, Major R. H.||MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Wayland, Sir W. A.|
|Duckworth, G. A. V. (Salop)||Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight)||Wedderburn, H. J. S.|
|Duggan, H. J.||McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.||Wells, S. R.|
|Duncan, J. A. L.||McKie, J. H.||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Dunne, P. R. R.||Mander, G. le M.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Eastwood, J. F.||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Eckersley, P. T.||Morgan, R. H.||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)|
|Elliston, G. S.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H.||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Nall, Sir J.||Wise, A. R.|
|Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)||Neven-Spence, Maj. B. H. H.||Womersley, Sir W. J.|
|Fildes, Sir H.||Owen, Major G.|
|Fleming, E. L.||Patrick, C. M.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Sir J. Mellor and Mr. Levy.|
§ Bill to be read the Third time.