HC Deb 27 May 1936 vol 312 cc2097-143

(By Order.)

Order for Consideration, as amended, read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill, as amended, be now considered."

7.51 p.m.


I beg to move, to leave out the word "now," and, at the end of the Question, to add the words "upon this day six months."

This Bill revives an old scheme to provide a new western exit from London. The opposition to the Bill is based purely on engineering and traffic grounds. I am aware that there are a large number of eminent authorities dealing with the traffic of London in support of the Bill, but those who make so bold as to oppose it are not entirely overawed by the formidable phalanx of authorities. When one considers what has happened to the traffic of London in the past, one is a little less awed, especially when we remember how late London was in the introduction of modern developments like the one-way street. We also remember how long it was before the traffic authorities of London saw fit to introduce traffic lights, which had been used for many years in other countries, and how the London traffic authorities missed opportunities of making new arterial roads out of London with proper pathways, when they had the chance of buying the land on each side and making a proper and ordered development. The provision of proper amenities has been neglected; indeed, the London traffic authorities have been old-fashioned and done things which represent the ideas of 10 years past. When one remembers all these things and looks at this scheme, one cannot have quite the same respect for it.

An arterial road, to fulfil its purpose and to justify a very large expenditure of money and a large destruction of good property, must, in accordance with modern ideas, be a real through way for traffic. There should be as few crossings as possible. This scheme which has been preferred to the alternative scheme of bridging over a portion of the Great Western Railway, has a large number of crossings, compared with only two crossings in the alternative scheme, and will hinder and prevent the free flow of traffic. Nor should there be a large number of shops or private residences abutting on the road, in front of which butchers' and bakers' carts may be standing. On the Great West Road you get that kind of thing, a number of vans standing on each side of the road, stopping the free flow of traffic. It is even more necessary that there should not be houses and shops on the side of an arterial road because of the danger of children running out of houses and getting involved in an accident.


When you go by in your Rolls Royce.


I have not got one. The alternative scheme of going over the railway would have no houses or shops abutting on the road and would, therefore, lessen the possible danger of children being killed. Under this scheme there will be every opportunity for children running out of the houses on each side of the road to be killed, whereas under the alternative proposal there is a possibility of avoiding that danger. This scheme is nothing new. It is an old scheme, and an old-fashioned one. Its opponents, however, are quite prepared to admit that it is the cheapest scheme, but when you are dealing with long-distance development of London traffic you can be pound foolish. Take one instance. The Great West Road was built as a, single road. It has now to be divided into two roads. With a little foresight this might have been done originally, and at less cost. It has to be done now, in a less satisfactory manner, because the cheapest scheme was accepted in the first instance. Although it is the cheapest scheme, the money will be spent largely on compensating property owners. Under the alternative scheme a much larger proportion of the money, in fact nearly all of it, would go in work, wages and materials. It is true that the alternative scheme might cost more, but when you think of municipal and national finance, the scheme will destroy a large amount of rateable value and give no increment in return. I am sure that the supporters of the Bill will make much of the expense of the alternative scheme, but I hope the House will not be pound foolish, and will take the long view. We do not accept the enormous difference. in the figures between the two schemes which has been suggested by the supporters of the Bill. The difference is much smaller than they declare.

Nor do we accept the plea that by opposing the Bill we are holding up something which as vital and urgent. It has been said upstairs that it may be seven years before the new road is open; and the proposal has been considered for 25 years. Therefore we think that one more year's consideration and a better plan is not an unreasonable proposal. There is one other objection to this scheme which I am raising at the instance of St. Paul's School, a portion of whose playing-ground will be cut off. The supporters of the Bill point out, quite rightly, that only a small portion of the field of the school will be cut off, but the authorities point out that in a field of this size the problem of keeping a sufficient turf on alt area on which a large number of boys are playing is very difficult, and that if the Bill is passed, instead of having three Rugby football pitches, they will have only two, and that as one of these pitches will have to be rested each year on account of the turf, they will he left with only one field available for play. They are also going to lose three cricket pitches. Already they are rather constrained so far as area is concerned, and it is impossible to restrict the field of play for cricket without spoiling the game and making it difficult. I hope the House will think that those are convincing reasons. I understand it is not in order for me to expound fully the alternative scheme, but I think it is obvious, in view of the fact that the present scheme has many crossings and does not give that free flow of traffic which should be given, Via, the extra money would be well spent.

From the beginning we have tried to keep this an engineering and not a political dispute, and if to some extent it has become a political issue, I am afraid that is due to the lack of tact, shall I say, which the London County Council has displayed in dealing with the opponents of the Bill. We were given a very short time in which to prepare our opposition. When it was asked in the County Hall in the most courteous fashion that certain figures which were available should be given, they were not given to us, nor were we given the chance to get ready the alternative scheme as fully and as carefully as we would have liked. Therefore, we ask that this House should reject the Bill and that the matter should be reconsidered, not only because of the extent to which it affects this particular district., but because the general problem of arterial roads must be looked at in the most modern spirit. We ought not to be doing things as usual, about 10 years behind the ideas of countries which are more advanced on traffic matters. We should be leading, not following about five lengths behind.

One of the facts which is brought out by the supporters of this Bill is that there are certain statutory obligations on railroad companies which make an alternative scheme of bridging over railways more expensive. They say truthfully that to some extent they are bound down by restrictions which are not in accordance with the most modern engineering practice and which were devised a considerable time ago. Consequently, we appeal to the Minister of Transport to see, in the next 12 months —in which time we hope he will have an opportunity to consider this—how far the statutory restrictions on railroads in this matter are obsolete and could be revised. I will give one example of which the House probably knows already. The restrictions were devised at a time when doors swung open and needed a larger clearance. Now the vast majority of trains on this particular railroad have sliding doors. It is that sort of thing which needs investigation and which might call for a general Bill, so that these private Bills could be based on the most modern engineering practice. I can assure the supporters of this Bill that if it is rejected we will give them the fullest co-operation and the fullest good will in the examination of modern alternatives; we will do our best to get a Western exit out of London which will really avoid accidents, which will facilitate the flow of traffic and will last for a long time, and will be something of which London can be proud.


Would the hon. Member be good enough to say who he means by "We"? On whose behalf is he speaking?


I am speaking on behalf of myself and of my hon. Friends who are opponents of the Bill.

8.5 p.m.


I beg to second the Amendment. I wish to associate myself with the remarks of the Mover of the Amendment, and to ay that I know the local authorities concerned will do everything they can, if the Bill is rejected, to co-operate in the production of an alternative scheme. I wish also to say that those of us who are opposing the Bill feel that inadequate time has been given to us and that insufficient consultation took place before the Bill was introduced. The borough which I represent feels that very strongly indeed. I think no one would suggest that an improvement of the western exit from London is not needed, but the crux of the problem is Hammersmith Broadway. My hon. Friend has dealt with the objections to the Bill principally in so far as they concern that portion of the road which runs through Fulham up to Hammersmith Broadway. I wish to consider some of the objections to the Bill which appertain to the other part of the road from the time it passes Hammersmith Broadway until it reaches the Great West Road, that portion which runs through Chiswick.

Our objection, in the first place, is that under this Bill there is to be constructed a great new arterial road parallel to an existing main road and running within a few hundred yards of it. We say that that is absolutely contrary to the best principles of planning. Further, the road would go right through the heart of a quiet residential area, much valuable property would be destroyed and rateable value lost, and indeed the whole character of the district would be changed and destroyed. Perhaps the worst feature of the Bill is the extent to which it would have a deleterious effect upon open spaces. For example, it would go right through the centre of Homefields recreation ground and would also affect part of the ground of Chiswick House. Many hon. Members on this side feel that the London County Council do not care very much for open spaces, and I feel that in this case they have infected the Middlesex County Council with the same spirit.


Is not Chiswick under the Middlesex County Council? Has it anything to do with London?


I am aware of that, as I happen to live in Chiswick. I would remind the hon. Member, however, that the residents of Chiswick are entitled to protest against the open spaces in their borough being destroyed. Whether it is the Middlesex County Council—


The hon. Member is blaming London.


I am blaming the London County Council and the Middlesex County Council, but I am saying that the London County Council cares nothing for open spaces and has infected the Middlesex County Council with the same spirit. I think it is unfortunate that the Ministry of Transport should apparently have been persuaded to take the same line of action. I admit at once that it is cheaper to go through open spaces, where it may not be necessary to pay very much in compensation, than to go through property, but even in these days when the Road Fund is becoming somewhat slender, I do not think that open spaces should be destroyed. The case of the Homefields recreation ground is a particularly bad one. It consists of 10 acres and was secured by the Metropolitan County Gardens Association from the vendors at half the market value on the express condition that it should be maintained in perpetuity as a public open space. It may be said that that does not matter very much, since Chiswick is a district having many open spaces, but I would remind hon. Members that the Homefields recreation ground lies very near to Hammersmith, which is very badly off indeed, so far as open spaces are concerned. It is absolutely wrong that property which has been expressly bought to be maintained as an open space should be wantonly and unnecessarily destroyed.

It was suggested in Committee that a piece of land equivalent to the amount destroyed should be provided by the promoters, but this was turned down by the Committee apparently on the score of expense. It seems unfortunate that we should economise at the expense of our open spaces. The Parliamentary Secretary made a speech the other day in which he said: I have been horrified at the lighthearted way in which some of our M.Ps. talked of throwing out the Great West Bill for reasons wholly inadequate and parochial. Hon. Members opposite seem to share the same point of view. I would remind hon. Members that that speech was made at the National Safety Congress. Now, if there were no other reasons for rejecting this Bill I suggest that it ought to be rejected on the grounds that this new road, which is designed to carry a vast volume of fast-moving traffic, would go right past two schools, housing almost 1,000 children. Does anybody suggest that that would contribute to safety?

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

Can the hon. Gentleman mention an alternative route on which there would not be schools?


Yes. On the Chiswick High Road the hon. Member will not find schools housing 1,000 children. It might be thought at least that this new so called by-pass would be the last word in modern construction. After all, the scheme is to cost over £2,500,000, more than half of which is to be provided by the taxpayers. It is nothing of the kind. I would remind the House that it is to go through a residential area. Many local residents in the area have cars and there will be a great deal of local traffic of one sort and another. Many people living in the southern part of Chiswick would have to cross the road in order to reach Chiswick High Road to do their shopping. I suggest that a road of this sort ought to have service roads on either side if it is to come up to modern standards. We are being asked to undertake this very large expenditure without having a really modern and up-to-date road in the end. I suggest, further, that the present Chiswick High Road, which could be widened, is a direct link between the Great West Road and London whereas the new so-called by-pass, which would be a longer route, would go through a purely residential area. It is true that the present Chiswick High Road has a bad name for accidents, but due to the admirable work of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport that has been very largely done away with during the last few months by the removal of trolley buses and by the installation of traffic lights. Now the Chiswick High Road compares favourably with other roads.

As recently as 1926, a Royal Commission on Cross River Traffic advised an alternative scheme. All the promoters of the Bill can say on this point is that: The Royal Commission were working under stress of great urgency. They presumably infer that the Royal Commission had not given sufficient consideration to the point. I feel that my hon. Friends may prefer to be guided by an impartial Royal Commission rather than by a Bill promoted by these county councils.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

What date was that?


That was in 1926, which is quite a recent date, and the problem has not greatly changed since then. You will find the real reason for this road in a statement issued by the promoters, in which they say: The reasons for embarking on these works which have in character been mainly the construction of new roads, have not been to meet any peculiar need of the county of Middlesex, but generally to relieve unemployment, to improve the means of access for the increasing amount of traffic to and from the Metropolis and the North and West…and the trend of industry to the South, involving the erection of modern factories on the Western side of London. The statement goes on to the recent construction of the Chertsey by-pass road leading to the new Chiswick bridge. They infer that unless you build this new road, you will not be able to have the full volume of traffic along the Chertsey bypass. I protest emphatically against the principle of building the Chertsey by-pass road and a new bridge, and then coming along, when you have done that and it has proved to be unnecessary and insufficiently used, and saying that you must spend £2,500,000 on building a, new road in order to make sufficient use of the road and bridge already built which have not been found to be successful. I suggest, in regard to the argument about relieving unemployment, that although I represent a constituency in Middlesex which is not unfavourable to new industries, the general policy of this House should be not to spend money to encourage industries to come to the South, but rather to encourage industries to go to the distressed areas. We have put forward a reasonable alternative scheme, and I say again that we realise that something must be done and are prepared to consider any alternative scheme, but we feel that this particular scheme is not the right one and that the whole matter has been rushed.

In conclusion I urge that the proposed new road is very expensive. The Severn bridge scheme has just been turned down on expense, but this road costs even more money. The scheme is ill thought out, it disregards the recommendations of the Royal Commission, it involves the maintenance in perpetuity of two arterial roads running parallel to each other through a residential area, it destroys open spaces, and, by passing through, involves still further danger to child life. On all these grounds I hope the House will reject the Bill.

8.18 p.m.


I have listened closely to the arguments of both the Mover and the Seconder of the Amendment, and I have heard nothing which has caused me to change my view in the slightest degree that this Bill presents the most practical way of solving a very difficult problem; and I sincerely hope the House will give the Bill its Third Reading. The first point is that there is general agreement that it is necessary to do something. Those who oppose the Bill go as far as that, and I think they agree that the conditions of congestion, which are well known in the Hammersmith Broadway, Kensington High Street, and that part of London, are such that they should not be tolerated much longer, so I shall waste no time in arguing whether or not it is necessary to have something done, some scheme adopted, because that is agreed upon. The problem before the House, therefore, is whether the scheme outlined in the Bill is the best that can be framed and submitted to this House. I maintain, after very careful and full consideration, that it certainly is the best.

When I heard the arguments of the Mover of the Amendment in opposition to the Bill, I was rather puzzled by some of them. He appeared to me to be asking for a further 12 months' delay to consider the Bill and at the same time complaining that this is an old Bill which has been examined over a great number of years, and yet he suggested that the Bill had not received sufficient consideration. The mere fact that the Bill has been before the county councils and other authorities for so long is a proof of the immense amount of consideration which has been given to it. Again the supporter and Seconder of the Amendment are themselves, on one or two matters, in complete disagreement with each other. The Mover of the Amendment laid it down as one of his first axioms that it was most necessary not to have a large number of shops and tradesmen on an arterial road. I agree absolutely with that statement, but the Seconder of the Amendment made it clear that he would have preferred not to have a new road but to widen, the Chiswick Road and make a great arterial road through the biggest shopping centre in that part of London.


I think my hon. and gallant Friend may not be familiar with the district. As regards Fulham, the part which I represent, there is this alternative of going over the railway, but that alternative is not available in the district represented by my hon. Friend who seconded the Amendment.


I am satisfied to leave with the House the statement made by the Mover of the Amendment that it is most undesirable to build a new arterial road through a big shopping centre, because you would always have tradesmen's vans and other cars standing about on the road, which would greatly obstruct the traffic. I agree, and I only point out that when you go further west there are two schemes, one for widening the existing Chiswick Road and the other the scheme outlined in the Bill. The Seconder of the Amendment is only too anxious to oppose the scheme in the Bill which avoids the shopping centre and to build an arterial road through the most thickly populated shopping centre in that part of London. The bulk of the speech of the hon. Member who moved the Amendment was dealing with only about a third of the whole length of the proposed new road. He was really dealing with a scheme which looked rather inviting when first glanced at, namely, a new road over the top of the existing railway. This is not the place to argue that scheme, but I would say that a careful examination of it satisfied me at any rate that it is not a sound and practical scheme.

I agree with the Mover of the Amendment that the whole problem cannot be settled entirely on the question of cost, but cost, after all, is a material factor to be taken into account, and, other things being equal, surely the most economical scheme should be the one to be carried out. When you compare these two schemes, however, you find out that things are not equal and that the more expensive scheme means the demolition of just as many houses as, if not snore houses than, the cheaper scheme. Anybody listening to the statements put forward against the Bill would never have gathered that that was the case. The estimated colt of the low level scheme, that is, the one which will do the least possible damage to the houses adjoining the railway—

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER (Captain Bourne)

I think I must point out that on this Motion the Debate must be restricted as though we were on the Third Reading. I am advised that the scheme to which the hon. and gallant Member for Northampton (Sir M. Manningham-Buller) refers was outside the scope of the notices and therefore could not have been put into the Bill by the Committee on it. So far as the Committee stage is concerned, it is quite competent for them to consider the alternative schemes and to find the Preamble not proved, but we have now to consider the Bill as it is sent down to us, and we must not go into the details of alternative schemes.


I apologise for straying rather far afield, and I will bow to your Ruling. I would like to say a few words about the damage that will be done to St. Paul's School playing field. The case of the opponents of the Bill has been rather spoiled by over-statement with regard to that damage. Naturally, there is every desire on the part of anybody connected with a great Measure of this sort to protect open spaces, and particularly the playing fields of an old-established school such as St. Paul's. The amount which was originally proposed to be taken off was something like one-sixteenth of an acre; that has since been reduced. and the only effect it will have on the football ground and the cricket field is that, whereas they had four cricket practice nets alongside the road, there will be two, and two will have to be found elsewhere on the ground. It appears that there is ample room for them. The fact remains that the amount taken from the grounds is small, but it is with regret that it has been found necessary. It is impossible to plan a new arterial road out of London in any direction without affecting some property and interfering with some interests. The promoters regret the necessity for this but they had to choose the lesser of two evils. If this piece of land had not been taken from the playing fields of St. Paul's School, there would have been a bend in the road and they would have had to move a useful building opposite called the Froebel Institute at a cost of from £75,000 to £100,000.

I will now turn to a further portion of the road which was dealt with by the Seconder. I gather that although he is in favour of something being done to relieve the immense amount of traffic going out into the Great West Road, he does not wish to have a new road built but wishes to widen the existing road. He made very little reference to the immense value of the Bill in linking up the new arterial road which goes over the new Chertsey Road Bridge. That bridge was built only a few years ago. It is hardly used and is almost sterile. While 4,000 vehicles use this bridge in 24 hours, 35,000 cross Hammersmith and Putney Bridges. The reason the Chertsey Road Bridge is not used is mainly because it leads straight into Hammersmith Broadway, which is a place no reasonable motorist would use. Once you connect that bridge, as this Bill does, with the new road which will bring you to Cromwell Road without touching Hammersmith Broadway, there is little doubt that full use will be made of the bridge and the new arterial road, and it will make another valuable exit from London over the Thames, relieving the pressure on the Great West Road and over Hammersmith Bridge. If you do not link up with that road the expense incurred on it will be practically wasted.

The Seconder made a reference to the Royal Commission. That commission was on cross-river traffic, which is really a different problem from the one with which this Bill deals. The commission was not dealing with finding the best means of relieving the tremendous amount of traffic going out from the West End. It dealt with the problem of cross-river traffic. At the time the commission recommended the building of two bridges, the new Chertsey Road Bridge was not in existence. Its erection has entirely altered the whole position, and it is doubtful whether the Royal Commission would have reported in favour of two new bridges over the Thames if that bridge had then been in existence. The examination of that commission was made for a different purpose and in different circumstances.

I will say a word about the damage done by the road going through a residential area of Chiswick. If you are to have a new arterial road going out to the west and linking up with the new Chertsey Bridge, and are to avoid taking the traffic through a dense shopping centre, you must have a new road somewhere north of the river to link up where the Great West Road comes in. Therefore, you must go through Chiswick somewhere. It is a curious thing that in another scheme which was put forward the portion of the road which goes through Chiswick was identical with the road in this scheme. It rather looks as if the line of the road selected by this Bill is the best line that can be found. It is true that it goes through a small portion of some playing fields, of which complaint was made—


Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman think that cutting through playing fields is going through a small portion?


The size of these playing fields is 10 acres. The road will cut off three acres from the rest of the ground. These three acres are already cut off from the playing ground and are used as tennis courts, so that they will not be cut off to any greater extent than they are now. Only a short time ago Chiswick Park, which is a fine open space, was purchased and presented to the public; it is a quarter of a mile from these playing fields through which this road will run. In view of the fact that it will take only little more than an acre—regrettable though the necessity is—and that within a short distance there are the fine new grounds lately opened at Chiswick Park, I do not think it can be said, having regard to the difficulties attendant on the making of any arterial road, that we are imposing any avoidable hardship on people interested in playing fields.

We have been told, also, that the scheme will destroy the amenities of the district and involve the destruction of some fine old houses bordering Chiswick Mall. The projected road will pass 100 to 150 yards at the back of those houses, and as it is almost impossible to drive any new road through any part of the town without treading on somebody's toes I think the case of the opponents has in that respect been rather spoiled by over-statement. We were told about the houses which will be completely ruined, and it was said that the whole area would never be used for residential purposes again. I suppose that the distance from St. James's Square to Piccadilly is about the same as the distance of that residential area from the new road, and would anybody really argue that the houses in St. James's Square are completely ruined and uninhabitable because of the traffic in Piccadilly?

In conclusion, I would say, first of all, that I think everybody is agreed that something must be done to provide a new exit in this direction. We have been asked to delay this proposal for 12 months. I believe that the erection of a certain number of new buildings is being delayed awaiting the fate of this Bill. If this Bill is thrown out those buildings will be put up, but sooner or later a road will have to be built, and the only effect of the delay will be that a great deal more will have to be paid by way of compensation, making the scheme more costly than it is at the present time. Opponents of the Bill have pointed out that the scheme has been under consideration for many years. Surely that is an argument why something should now be done without further delay. If, as I hope, the Bill is passed and the road is constructed, it will undoubtedly take away a great deal of through traffic from the Chiswick High Road by providing a good straight exit from the Cromwell Road to the Great West Road. It will also enable more traffic to make use of Chiswick Bridge, and in that way relieve the pressure on the bridges at Hammersmith and Putney, which would be a most desirable thing. The present scheme is a thoroughly sound way of tackling an exceedingly difficult problem, it has been given the closest consideration for many years and has withstood the fire of cross-examination and criticism exceedingly well, and I hope the House will agree to it.

8.38 p.m.


The House has a difficult task in one respect, and that is that it is quite impossible for the Members, 95 per cent. of whom have had no chance of studying this problem, have no map and do not know the location of the places which have been mentioned, to come to any decision as to the merits or demerits of the scheme in the short time which we can give to this Debate. Fortunately the question has been dealt with by a Select Committee which sat for nine days to examine this Bill. They went into the merits of this proposal and also into the alternative schemes submitted, and they found in the end that the Preamble of this Bill was proved. I was rather surprised to hear the Mover and the Seconder of the Amendment making constant references to the London County Council. It seemed to me that, realising the weakness of their case, they hoped to get some support from their own side by putting forward the bogey that this scheme was the work of the London County Council. As a matter of fact, this is a joint Bill. I am not a member of the London County Council, but I was for several years a member of the Middlesex County Council. While it is quite true that London has a Labour County Council, it is equally true that Middlesex has a Conservative County Council—


With a Socialist chairman.


May I say that I have nothing at all to do with Middlesex?


—and therefore I feel that it is entirely wrong for anyone to introduce political motives. All I have to say about the matter is that I know that this scheme has been under discussion for a great number of years. It was discussed by the Middlesex County Council before the War. In 1925 the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee—[hope we shall have a word from the chairman to-night—in the first report they issued, recommended this scheme. As I have already said, a Select Committee of this House has discussed it and recommended it, and the Ministry of Transport, if I mistake not, wholeheartedly approve of it and propose to contribute 60 per cent. towards the cost. Therefore, in my view, an overwhelming case has been made out in favour of this House letting the Bill go through without further ado.

I am astonished that in a scheme of this magnitude any hon. Member should raise a piffling question concerning a few yards being taken off the playing fields of St. Paul's School. In my constituency there is a school where the building and the playground for 800 children cover together no more than one acre, and I wish that some hon. Members who work themselves into a fever of passion over a few yards being taken off the playing fields of a school which already has room for four or five football pitches would show an equal amount of passion to improve the playgrounds of some of the schools in other localities. It shows a lamentable lack of proportion to import a small question like that into this discussion. I submit that the House is not in a position to examine at length the merits or demerits of alternative proposals, but we know that this Bill is supported by the London County Council, the Middlesex County Council, the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee and the Ministry of Transport, and in view of that support and the fact that the scheme has been under consideration for a great many years the House ought, without further delay, to allow the Bill to go through.

8.43 p.m.


I am in a somewhat difficult position in this matter. For some years I was vice-chairman of the Improvements Committee of the London County Council, and had much to do with improvements of this sort, and I realise that, no matter what happens, we have to make improvements in London, even though we cannot get all that we want. A great improvement is being advocated here, and we know that it is necessary to relieve the pressure of traffic in that area of London, but at the same time there are circumstances connected with this Bill which to many of us are very undesirable. We must recognise that in the case of all great improvements many amenities must be sacrificed. It is a sad thing, but it is a fact, and in the circumstances we have to do our best to make the sacrifices as small as possible. I feel that in this Bill a great many sacrifices have not been made as light as they might have been. Many of us feel that sufficient consideration has not been given to the effect of this scheme upon certain open spaces and certain churches. It has been said that this scheme is essential in order to remedy the Hammersmith situation, which is very serious. The engineer to the London County Council said, in testifying upstairs, that the limit of time was seven years for the entire scheme to be completed, but he did not say that this particular part would take seven years. This part is one of the most troublesome, and in view of what we have heard we are justified in assuming that the opposition to it will be very great. Every possible opposition will be raised, and the chance of getting this part of the road through Hammersmith, where the congestion is worst, without great opposition, is remote.

It is worth while calling the attention of the House to the fact that this is a scheme for the widening of an existing road, now being very much used in order to relieve the Hammersmith situation. When an attempt is made to widen a road, that road is neutralised for the time being. It is not the type of road upon which you get through traffic. This proposal will limit the use of one of the traffic arteries, through Hammersmith, while the new road is being constructed. This is a very unfortunate situation. An hon. Member said that good houses would not be pulled down, but when you are widening a road you are definitely taking down a lot of houses that are on one or the other side. You purchase the land on which the houses stand, which brings about a situation which all of us would like to see reduced to a minimum, namely, paying the landowners compensation for the land. We would rather that the same sum of money were spent in a way that would give relief to unemployment. I am sure every hon. Member will agree with that. The proposed road definitely requires the pulling down of many good houses.

I understand that we are on Consideration and Third Reading. I will try, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, with your permission, to state a few of the conditions that will exist if the proposed road were built. If we could put a road parallel with the existing road and over the railway tracks which have been referred to, we should be well justified in giving this plan Consideration. We have all received this morning circulars from the promoters of the Bill, in which they say that it would cost £1,000,000 more to carry out the alternative scheme of the roadway over the railways. The promoters do not give any details of cost, nor were such details given upstairs. In the testimony that was given upstairs certain facts were brought out. It was suggested that the road over the tracks could not be built in the normal, modern, commonplace way due to existing Regulations. Those Regulations were introduced 50 odd years ago, when trains had side swinging doors, but that situation no longer exists. Many cities, such as New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, have been able to modernise their roads, and construct them in ways definitely beneficial to the community over their railway tracks. The engineer of the London County Council, when he was testifying upstairs upon oath, said that he would like to try this scheme of a road over railways, but that it was too costly. How can this great cost be justified? It was said that all the work would have to be done at night, but if the District Railway would only refer to its next door neighbour, the Southern Railway—


The hon. Member is now going into the details of the alternative scheme, but that cannot be done at this stage of the Bill.


I appreciate your point, Sir. I ask for information as to what we are entitled to say upon Consideration. I understand that we are on Consideration and Third Reading of the Bill.


The hon. Gentleman well knows that the rule of this House on Third Reading—this Motion is equivalent to Third Reading—is that we discuss only what is in the Bill. It is open to the hon. Member to suggest that the Bill should not be continued because there is an alternative, but he must not go into the details of the alternative, which is not involved in the Bill.


Thank you, Sir, for your explanation, which leaves me in a most embarrassing position, as I understood I could explain certain details. The work that is being proposed omits many benefits that could be gained in other ways. Some benefits may be preserved and the good houses will not be destroyed if the alternative be adopted. In respect to these house s, if purchased, we know, as the valuer to the London County Council testifies upstairs, that the land can often be sold at a profit. If you are widening a road on one side you cannot sell half a house at a profit. If the alteration were to be made with a road over the railway, as is suggested, there would be two roads at the finish, instead of one as at present proposed, and there would be oily one owner, the railway, with whom to negotiate. When negotiating with 100 people you cannot get along as quickly as with one.

The cost of the work in the proposed scheme will be taken up largely in compensation to landowners, but in the alternative the expenditure would consist largely of steel, bricks and cement, and 80 per cent. of this would go to all parts of the country in wages for workers. As the Government are providing 60 per cent. towards the cost of the road, it would be good for the remainder of the country to get benefit out of this large expenditure. I am particularly disturbed at this situation, and it is unfortunate that the favourable conditions which are available are not being enjoyed by all the country. In spite of that, there is a very great need for more facilities in that part of London and I am going to support the Bill.

8.54 p.m.


I hope I may be allowed briefly to give the reasons why for some years this scheme has received the full support of the London and Home Counties fraffic Advisory Committee, of which I am chairman. May I be allowed to tell exactly who the Advisory Committee are? The committee are made up of representatives of all local authorities in this great area, the radius of which is 30 miles from Charing Cross, of the Central Government and of all the great operators, the railway managers and general managers and distinguished trade unionists. Few tribunals, therefore, could approach problem; of this kind with such catholicity and. completeness. By two Acts of Parliament we have been given statutory powers to review the traffic problems in this great area, and it may be of interest to the House to know that in our London traffic area there are now living 12,000,000 people—one-quarter of the population of the British Isles. Therefore, I would venture to say that, if we put before the House a considered opinion with regard to the scheme, it at least deserves some sympathetic consideration.

When the committee came into existence in 1925, there were many problems that we had to face with regard to the traffic needs of the London area, but of those needs and problems there were few so anxious as the question of the congestion in Hammersmith Broadway and King Street, Hammersmith, and quite early we decided that to that problem we must give our almost immediate attention. As the House probably knows, a great arterial road, the Great West Road, had been built by the Middlesex County Council, having been begun in 1919 and completed in 1925, and we were definitely of opinion that a great new road starting from Cromwell Road should be made in order to link up with this new great arterial road, the Great West Road. The scheme that we elaborated, in conjunction with the officials of the Ministry, is, for all practical purposes, the scheme that is before the House to-night, and from that day to this we have consistently advised successive Ministers of Transport that this was a scheme which we strongly advocated.

You have quite rightly decided, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, that we must not discuss alternative schemes on this occasion, but I think I may be permitted to say that, had that been possible, I could have given a complete explanation why we have never accepted the proposals put before the Royal Commission in 1926 by the Western Exits Society. We have consistently and repeatedly in our annual reports recommended this present scheme. In 1929 and 1930 we reaffirmed our preference to the then Minister of Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Hackney (Mr. H. Morrison). We have emphasised it to the two immediate predecessors of the present Minister, and, as he knows, also to him. The problem, therefore, has been before an expert committee, who have had a wealth of engineering advice during this long period of time. It is getting worse and worse, and, the longer it is put off, the graver the traffic problems in this area will become. I am reluctant to quote a large number of figures, but perhaps the House will allow me to give one or two. Taking the Kensington Road, from the junction of Holland Road to the junction of Warwick Gardens, the number of vehicles passing within a period of 12 hours is now 41,174. In Hammersmith Broadway, in 1912, the number of vehicles passing during the corresponding period of 12 hours was 12,974. In 1925, the number had risen to 28,774, while in 1935 it was 37,683, so that in 10 years the number of vehicles passing through Hammersmith Broadway has increased by no less than 31 per cent. In High Road, Chiswick, to which reference has already been made, at its junction with the Great West Road, no fewer than 30,000 vehicles pass in that particular 12 hours.

On the fringes of Middlesex remarkable industrial developments are taking place, which impose upon whoever is responsible for advising the Minister, and, in the end, on the Minister himself, tremendous burdens, because of the obligation to provide proper traffic facilities for people on those fringes to come to the centre. We have heard to-night from the hon. Member for Brentford and Chiswick (Mr. H. Mitchell), on behalf of his council, the suggestion, that we should widen the Chiswick High Road and abandon the idea of making this alternative by-pass road. I am sure my hon. Friend must know, however, that at this moment the Chiswick High Road is a very busy shopping centre, and attracts a large amount of pedestrian traffic. It is one of the four black spots which the Traffic Advisory Committee have recently had to bring to the notice of the Minister in regard to dealing with the menacing question of accidents, to which he has devoted so much skill and energy. We have already made certain minor alterations and improvements to the carriageways, but, however much the road is improved, the needs of the locality continue to increase, and the small advantage that we gain by these trifling minor improvements cannot be put forward as a reason for not proceeding with a larger scheme.

It seems to me that the real opposition to the Bill comes from those who consider that, instead of making this new by-pass, we should improve the condition of the road through Chiswick. But the whole point of this new road, linking up with the Great West Road and the Chertsey by-pass and connecting them with Central London, is that we have found by experience that it is always unwise to project a great arterial road, upon which a large amount of through traffic must necessarily go, by widening a road in a very densely used industrial and urban area. If that is done, it increases the difficulties by precipitating a vast through traffic into the area, and the last condition is worse than the first. I would say to my hon. Friends who are asking us to advise the Minister to widen the High Road, that we are firmly of opinion that the conditions in Chiswick High Road, and also, of course, in King Street, Hammersmith and Hammersmith itself, would thereby be made worse. We venture to say to them that the real solution is an alternative road which will take away a great deal of through traffic that would become a burden upon the community in Chiswick High Road itself, and, with the great development of vehicular traffic which is indicated by the figures I have quoted, it is clear that in time both of these roads will be needed.

When the hon. Member for Brentford and Chiswick asks us to consider widening the High Road, I would ask him, and through him his local authority, to recognise that in our opinion the real solution, and the only solution, is that which is placed before the House to-night. I quite agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford University (Mr. Alan Herbert) that we can do something for pedestrians by way of traffic lights and roundabouts, but I would in all fairness say to my hon. Friend the Member for East Fulham (Mr. Astor) that London has not been retrograde in these matters; indeed, we have been very much in the foreground with experiments in regard to traffic in this great area. But that is a small thing compared with this great new highway which will link up the centre of London with the great arterial road leading to the West. Because we believe that this is one of several great, fundamental road problems in London which it will be necessary to face sooner or later if the ever-increasing problems of London traffio difficulties are to be met, and because we have consistently approved of the scheme which is before the House to-night, I hope that 1 he House will by a majority reject the Amendment.


Is there any chance of amending the scheme so as to retain the present playing fields?


That question should be addressed to the Chairman of the Committee, which, I am sure, has considered all these details, and has given the greatest care to the protection of amenities.

9.6 p.m.


This scheme has been before the Middlesex County Council, of which I have been a member since 1925, for a very long time. It must not be assumed that it is merely a London problem. Middlesex in this instance is as important as London. When that great engineering feat, the Great West Road, was made, it was known that, unless there was a process by which it could be continued into London without causing any sort of bottleneck, it would be creating difficulties rather than easing the difficulties of transport. The question of open spaces is one that agitates the minds of many of us. Chiswick has more open spaces per acre than any other part of Middlesex. The Middlesex County Council has never refused to make a grant of 25 per cent. towards any open space that Chiswick has wanted to purchase. There is an enormous area of open space known as Gunnersbury Park which Chiswick itself was not prepared to assist in purchasing, but which was purchased despite the reactionary policy of Chiswick in that instance. Chiswick is not losing any public amenities by this scheme. If there is anyone who is in doubt as to that aspect of it, I hope I have been able to clear that up. The geographical situation, perhaps, will not easily be understood by those who do not quite understand the relationship of Middlesex with London. To get into London from the west or the north you have to go through Middlesex.

What we have beer realising recently is that London has been made easily accessible but, when the traffic has got into London, the gateway has been closed, and it is impossible to foresee what is going to happen if we accept the suggestions that have been made, and are to go on waiting. Almost all authorities who are troubled by this question realise that, if the matter is delayed, the situation gets worse and not better. It is not going to improve by waiting. Consideration will not produce a better scheme for, if that consideration is tending in the direction of building a main road that does not go through a residential area, you will not be able to build one that does not. [Interruption.]Building over the railway only dodges part of it. It does not clear the residential space that you have to go through. You cannot help going through a residential part. If you are to wait for a road leading out of London through some area which is not residential, you will have to wait for an exodus of the population. It is a frank impossibility.


Is the hon. Member aware that complete schemes have been worked out by competent engineers whereby roads would be taken from the very heart of London and run right out to the suburbs?


I do not think the hon. Member was here when I pointed out previously that consideration of the Bill must not deal with alternative schemes.


This scheme provides for an exit from London. There is no scheme that can provide for an exit from London which does not go through a residential area. There are schemes which purport to be able to do it but they must go through some part of a residential area. Anyone who knows London and the method by which you are going to get out of London on the West knows that there is not any area of open space. You have to go through a residential area before you can join up with the Great West Road. If it is to he accepted that it is not necessary to continue that process of the Great West Road, one can understand the opposition, but the traffic problem in that part of Middlesex is such that I hope the House will waste no more time and will let Middlesex and London get an improvement that is required both in the interests of the life of the people and the convenience of transport.

9.13 p.m.


I realise that it may be unusual to oppose a Bill that has been considered by a committee on private legislation for the first time on the Third Reading but, if the Third Reading is not to be a mere formality, I cannot conceive any Bill on which it could possibly be more proper that the opinion of the House should be taken on the merits. It is true that by the rules of the House there are many interests that can petition against a Bill and be heard by the committee, but there are many interests vitally concerned with the preservation of amenities which have no right of audience before the committee and I, therefore, do not criticise the committee in any way for not having given consideration to matters which were not and could not be fully put before them. The matter raised in the Bill is one that concerns all England, and I hope the Division to-night will not be on party lines, because I know that there are hon. Members opposite who are also vitally interested in the preservation of amenities. I think the short issue that is raised by the Bill is whether traffic considerations are so overwhelmingly more important than everything else that the destruction of amenities and beauty must not be considered at all in comparison. I say that deliberately.

Lieut.-Colonel HENEAGE

When the hon. Gentleman refers to traffic does he also include safety on the roads, or is he only referring to traffic in the sense of moving vehicles?


I am willing to consider all relevant matters, but the case against this Bill on the ground of safety is more overwhelming than on most other grounds, with the one exception of amenities, with which I propose particularly to deal. I do not think that I need apologise for dealing with that question because it has scarcely been mentioned at all. In the literature which has been sent to us by one side or the other on this Bill there have been various estimates of the cost of various schemes, and it has been pointed out that this scheme is the cheapest, but in considering the cost no value at all is placed on the loss of amenities. The cost simply means out-of-pocket expenses. Though you destroy one of the loveliest things in England, it does not happen to be reckoned in the cost, but this House is entitled to reckon it in the cost, and it is the duty of the House to do so.

In case there are hon. or right hon. Gentlemen opposite who do not know the district concerned, let me tell them that Chiswick Mall is perhaps the most graciously lovely row of houses in England. I shall deal with the statement that it does not destroy Chiswick immediately. I know it does not directly, but indirectly, as I hope to establish it will. I do not believe that there is any Member of this House who, if he studies the question, believes that, if the Bill is passed, Chiswick Mall, as we know it, with its gardens behind, will long remain what it is to-day. It will obviously be quickly doomed. In London this district is unique. It has been rightly stated by the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Tottenham (Mr. Messer) that Chiswick has more open spaces than almost any other district. I agree with him. That is part of its charm, but is that not an argument why we should try to spread the standard set by Chiswick in other districts rather than destroy what we already have in Chiswick, which is one of the best and most beautiful things.


Will any of these open spaces be destroyed by this road?


I promise the hon. Member and other hon. Members who seem tempted to interrupt me before I have developed my argument, that I am really not going to shirk it. The only unspoilt stretch of London's river is Chiswick. There you have the unspoiled foreshore, then the green in front of the houses and then this beautiful row of houses of perfect architecture, and Church Lane and other equally beautiful parts near. By this road which you are proposing in this Bill, which can more accurately be described as the Chiswick and Hammersmith Devastation Bill, this lovely part of Chiswick will be cut off from its hinterland, and the road will no doubt shortly become a replica of the Kingston by-pass. If any hon. or right hon. Gentleman on either side of the House thinks that that disaster to one of the gems of this country is a thing that does not matter, I do not envy him his imagination or his knowledge of the people, rich and poor, workers and artisans, who reside in this district.

It is one of the districts of London which still preserves something of a village or community life. I know it from the river. I know it from some of its charming inns. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear !"] I am not ashamed of it, and if some hon. and right hon. Gentlemen knew more of these charming places they would know more of the opinion of the working classes of the country. What does this road do? I leave out the disputes question of what it does at St. Paul's School, which does not concern me nearly so much as what it does later. When it gets into Hammersmith and Chiswick one of the first things it does it to cut off the garden of William Morris's house. Is that received with great enthusiasm by those who consider themselves his followers?


You would have cut off his head.


I appreciate the hon. Member's joke, and he is welcome to it, but he may be surprised to hear that I am, and always have been, a very great admirer of William Morris, and I should not be surprised if I knew as much about his work as half the Opposition.


What are you doing over there?


What I am doing here, as I shall show the hon. Member, is to carry out one of the great traditions of the Conservative party by trying to preserve that which is of value. After it has cut off William Morris's garden, it then goes through the Latymer Road playground, and the churchyard of St. Peter's, and the next thing it does is to skirt St. Peter's Square and to ruin that example of perfect Regency town-planning. I know that the right hon. Gentleman who leads the majority party in the London County Council has recently decided to town plan the whole of London, and I have no doubt that in all quarters of the House there are those who realise the value of town-planning. It is rather an unfortunate inauguration of the better era that at one of the most perfect bits of town-planning handed down from the past, should be handed over for destruction.

I am aware, in case any one wishes to make a verbal point of this, that the particular area I am now dealing with is in Middlesex, but, after all, we are considering the scheme as a whole. If the scheme is bad in any vital part we ought to throw out the Bill on the Third Reading to-night. Then the road goes behind this beautiful row of houses to which I have referred, and their gardens will soon, no doubt, be built upon, and the district will be ruined. Then it bisects a recreation ground. It injures two churchyards, two recreation grounds, school grounds, and cuts several rows of houses across at right-angles. An hon. Member who has spoken on this side of the House in favour of this Measure referred, in what must have been a humorous passage, to this road as a bypass. What does it by-pass? It does not succeed in missing any amenity. Supposing you were worried about the congestion in the Strand and decided that you would relieve it by a road which involved the destruction of Somerset House and bisecting the Temple Gardens, would you call that a by-pass?


Would that mean that you would not have to pay Income Tax?


This district which by this Bill you are going to devastate does not consist mainly of show houses which might be preserved, like Walpole House and Strawberry House. It consists of a living community, a very happy community on the whole, enjoying more amenities than most people in London—open spaces, beautiful achitecture, the sight of the river. It is rightly said that the problem of traffic is getting worse and worse. There is another problem which is getting worse and worse—the difficulty of finding in London a place where a thinking man who wishes to use his brain can live in serenity and quiet. [HON. MEMBERS: "The House of Lords!"] Here you have a district suitable for thinkers, poets, architects and those who can enrich our life, and even our politics. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, no doubt, believe that the exercise of concentrated thought will reinforce their numbers. We have a similar belief possibly on our benches, and I think that we may all agree that amenities, serenity and quiet are of advantage to constructive thought, and I believe that in all parts of the House there may be some who will be willing to carry to the Division Lobby a sign of their conviction that there are values worth preserving as much as fast motor traffic. In this district there are 2,000 working people who will be displaced. At present they enjoy the amenities which I have described, and their children can go out untended without risk of slaughter in the streets. This threatened destruction of amenities is known to every man who visits the district and loves it, as those who live in it do. I do not live in it and I have not a personal interest, but I have got an interest, which everyone of us has a right to have, in one of the lovely things of England.

If there is any Member who believes that there is no alternative to this scheme he will believe anything. That was certainly not the view of the Royal Commission on cross-river traffic. I agree that that commission was primarily a commission on cross-river traffic, but in the case which we all received from the promoters of the Bill to-day they were at considerable pains to try to minimise the importance of what the Royal Commission said. Abiding by your Ruling I will not go into that scheme. I ask the House to consider that there is an alternative to a scheme which causes such destruction. It is not even alleged in any of the literature put before us that there is no alternative. It is only said that there is no equally cheap alternative. In estimating the cost no value is given for the amenities which you destroy in the process of making this road. I agree most heartily with what one of the hon. Members opposite, in supporting the Bill, said about this not being a question of party politics, and he pointed out how wholly unfair it would be to claim support for the opposition to this Bill on the ground that it was backed by a Socialist majority. I would not dream of such a thing. I agree that it is backed equally by the Middlesex County Council, which has, I believe, a Conservative majority. In their willingness to destroy things of beauty I do not find much distinction between Conservative, Liberal and Socialist local bodies.

Although it is not a question of party politics, it is a question in which deep political convictions may be involved. I am a Conservative. I believe it to be the tradition, the glory and the purpose of the Conservative party to maintain and preserve those things which are of value, and dignity, serenity, beauty, good architecture, worthy surroundings are things of value which as a Tory I would preserve. Toryism, as I understand it, was an old creed when Karl Marx was born, and it will still be young when he is forgotten, because it has permanent truth in it and is enshrined in the hearts of the people. Hon. Members may have representations from various traffic interests. Let them go into the districts threatened with devastation and let them see what the working men think about the destruction.

I have given some arguments which I think may appeal to a Tory mind. I will give one which might have some appeal to a Socialist. I can respect the Socialist creed even when I disagree with it in that it recognises that at times there are values greater than money. I believe that we have such a case to-night. Great care has been taken not to threaten any great shopping centre or interest. The traders could no doubt organise and protest; the people for whom I am speaking cannot organise as easily. They are people who love their homes, the safety of their streets and the character of their district, threatened with devastation. I am told that the Ministry of Transport favours this scheme. I hope that the Minister will not think me disrespectful when I say that when I am told that it is an argument against me that the Ministry of Transport favours this scheme I am reminded of the story of a famous member of my own profession who opened an appeal in the Court of Appeal in these words: "This is an appeal from Mr. Justice—There are, however, other grounds for the appeal" If this scheme goes through I have no doubt the Ministry of Transport will allow it to be botched as the Kingston by-pass and other schemes have been botched. I have the utmost respect for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport. I know that he loves amenities. However well the Ministry may have served the public in matters of transport, it has served it very badly in regard to amenities. When we remember the country through which the Kingston bypass goes and what might have been made of it, what a dozen countries of Europe would have made of the scheme, and we see the barbaric atrocity that the Kingston by-pass now is, we realise that the Ministry of Transport is not an infallible guide in these matters. I am well aware that that was not mainly the business of the Ministry of Transport. They may say: "We got the road, but someone else ought to have stopped ribbon development." It is, however, an unfortunate fact that while most of us have been pointing out what ought to have been done in regard to the Kingston by-pass—


Will the hon. Member come back to the Bill?


I apologise. I realise that there are many forces raised against those who take the view that I am endeavouring to put forward. There are those who think that everything that has to do with traffic must necessarily be progressive. There are those who think that by destroying amenities you are showing yourselves to be rather up-to date. There are Close who think that congestion is rather more important than the question of the destruction of those few remaining places where civilised life can be lived. I will make a prophesy. I do not know how the vote which will be taken at the conclusion of this discussion will go, nor do I know in the event of the Bill receiving a Third Reading how it will fare in another place; but of one thing I am certain, and that is that if the Bill passes Parliament, within a few years that gracious oasis of peace, that lovely thing which the best district of Chiswick now constitutes will be only a memory, and we shall have the sort of district that exists all over the place, and England and London will have lost something unique. In case hon. Members may think that I am taking an exceptional view of this district, I would remind the House that it is starred in Baedeker. If the Bill does not pass, I firmly believe that n a few years Members of all parties, looking back on the record of what was done to-night will be astonished that there was ever a generation so barbarous as to have introduced this Bill. I commend the rejection to the House.

9.38 p.m.


As one who had the honour of being Chairman of the Select Committee on Private Bills which had this Bill before it in the Committee stage, I should like to be permitted to give what help I can to my colleagues who were not on the Committee and were not in the Committee Room during the prolonged hearing. The Bill was before us for eight days. There were originally 20 petitions against it, of which five were proceeded with and represented by counsel. The whole Bill was most carefully examined not only in regard to the contested Clauses, but on the ninth day we spent our time going through the other Clauses, as the watchdog of the public. I feel a slight delicacy about my position to-night, because although I have been Chairman of these committees for 13 years, this is the first occasion on which I have been in the position of having to say anything on a contested Third Reading in this House. It happens in this way, that I have always been careful not to give a vote on the Second Reading of any Bill which I had any reason to think might come into my list. This Bill did not have a contested Second Reading, and it is the first Bill in my 13 years experience that has had a contested Third Reading on the Floor of the House. I should not have mentioned that matter except for the little story that was told by my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich (Mr. H. Strauss) when he said that a member of his profession had stated that a certain case was an appeal from Mr. Justice Blank, but that there were also other reasons why the verdict should be reversed.


The hon. Member will appreciate that I was not alluding to the Committee.


The arts of advocacy are not to be denied. I desire to help hon. Members who are called upon to contribute towards a definite decision one way or another on this Bill. I am aware that on the Floor of the House we cannot deal in detail with any of the alternative schemes. We had three alternatives before us in Committee, but we could not have approved or authorised them. The most that we could have done, as Mr. Deputy-Speaker has pointed out, would have been to have rejected the Bill because we felt that after examination one or other of the alternatives would have been preferable. I should like, with the permission of the Chair, to deal with the three alternatives that were before us. The first was to construct the road about one-fifth of its total length, at the London end, over the District Railway and the tube railway, instead of passing along Talgarth Road and Fenelon Road. We turned that scheme down because of the very much greater expense which we were told would be involved by the engineer and surveyor of the London County Council and that distinguished public servant, Sir Henry May-bury, whose evidence was not shaken before us in cross-examination.

Another suggestion was that the road should proceed, as the Bill proceeds, as far as the Broadway at Hammersmith and then should run into King Street Hammersmith, through the narrow neck of the bottle in Hammersmith and at the London side where the vast volume of traffic comes down Goldhawk Road from the north-west, and then run on to the western boundary of the broadened High Road of Chiswick. We turned that scheme down because we were told that the expense would be vastly greater and that a great number of premises would have to be taken down. Moreover, we were told that if that expenditure were incurred London and the people who wished to come into London from the country would have only one broad road instead of two separate main arteries running in. Another alternative was what is known as the two bridges scheme, which would have had the advantage of providing two additional bridges over the river, but the roadway between would have had to be carried on a viaduct, and we were informed that the cost would have been at least £1,000,000 more than the scheme proposed in the Bill. Moreover, the road would have passed so far south that it was very doubtful whether traffic coming into London would use it, and that therefore it would have continued to contribute to the congestion of Hammersmith Broadway and High Street, Kensington.

As regards the playing field area of nine and three-quarters acres, one-eighth of an, acre was to be taken under the Bill as drafted, but the committee reduced that and, as I think has been said already, in order to avoid touching that area at all, it would have been necessary to swing the road out, creating an unnecessary curve there. It would also have been necessary to take down modern buildings at an expense of either £100,000 or £70,000 according to different estimates. Further, about three acres of the Home Field Recreation Ground of about 10 acres was to have been severed, although that portion would still remain fit for use as a playing field. It is severed at present because there are tennis courts which are entirely fenced off or netted off and although contiguous it is not common with the rest of the recreation ground. The amount actually taken away by the road is one acre. It would have been possible by pulling down the whole of one side of a road adjoining to restore that amount of open space but the cost would have been £52,000.

When the idea of touching the recreation ground was first mooted and objected to a few years ago, the beautiful property known as Chiswick House Park of 68 acres, less than, a quarter of a mile away, was still in private possession. It had not been bought and dedicated to the public. Therefore it would appear that the necessity for that one acre which is being taken from the Home Field Recreation Ground is not now so vital. We have it from the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of the Middlesex County Council that they aim at having 10 per cent. of open spaces. Chiswick already enjoys 14 per cent. and if you add in ground like the Chiswick lawn tennis ground and the cricket ground and other open spaces which are in private ownership, it has 22 per cent. Chiswick in this respect, far from being at a disadvantage is favourably situated in comparison with similar areas.

I think that meets most of the criticisms which have been advanced on particular points. We had the advantage in the Committee of wonderful wall maps or cartoons showing the details of the scheme and also photographs of all the streets in the district and the various types of property affected. The Members of the Committee went along the whole of the proposed route everyone of them once and several of them twice. In addition, we spent a day in going through the details of the route with the deposited plans and with the assistance of the valuers, and deciding as far as lay in our power whether it would be possible to achieve the object of the Bill without acquiring so much property. I am very much impressed of course by the speech of the hon. Member for Norwich (Mr. H. Strauss). His transparent sincerity was refreshing and his speech would be an ornament to any debate. But I hope I will be forgiven for saying that Chiswick Mall, beautiful and historic as it is, is even now, without this road, more or less moribund. Those beautiful houses which have been described are not the only properties there. There is an oil wharf near and a factory on the southern side and there are some shops at the end of it. I make bold to say that even without this scheme, Chiswick Mall would not be recognisable in 50, or perhaps in 20 years time.

We were called upon to decide which was the most practical scheme. As all Members of Private Bill Committees are bound to do, we signed a declaration that neither we nor our constituents had any interest in the subject-matter of the Bill. We gave the matter the, most careful consideration and we derided unanimously in favour of this scheme. I am grateful for the invaluable help given by my colleague who sits on the opposite side of the House as well as by my two colleagues who sit on this side of the House, and I trust that Members who, through no fault of their own, cannot-possibly have the knowledge of the subject which was imparted to us during those nine days' sittings, will not think it necessary now, on Third Reading, to reverse the Committee's decision.

9.51 p.m.


It is my duty to give the House what guidance I can from the Ministry of Transport, and as we have had so many excellent and well-informed speeches, particularly from my hon. Friends the N ember for Ipswich (Sir J. Ganzoni) and the Member for Northampton (Sir M. Manningham-Buller) both of whom were on the Committee, I hope to be able to make my remarks very short. It is only fair to say, straight out, that we at the Ministry of Transport would consider it something of a disaster if this Bill were rejected to-night. Every day the congestion on our roads in London becomes worse, and I believe that the conditions will become chaotic unless drastic action is taken and taken soon. We at the Ministry are often asked the question, and I expect that other individual members are also asked it: "What are you going to do about the traffic problem in London?" "I would reply, with regard to the congestion in the west, that the scheme now before us is the way in which we hope to get over those appalling conditions. If the House permits this scheme to go through I believe we shall be able to alleviate a great deal of the congestion which at present exists.

I would remind the House again-that the Bill has received a Second Reading, has had careful consideration from the Select Committee where the different points were threshed out very thoroughly by counsel and where witnesses were heard and alternative schemes examined; and further, that under our Parliamentary procedure this Bill, if it receives a Third Reading, will go to another place, there to pass through Second Reading, Committee and Third Reading stages. The Bill has the support of the London County Council—and of all shades of opinion on that body—of the Middlesex County Council, of the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee and of the Ministry of Transport, who have tried as best they can to settle the best route for this important project. It is vital to link up as soon as possible the Cromwell Road on the east with the Chertsey by-pass and the Great West Road on the west, and it was with that object that those two great roads in Middlesex were made.

I do not think there is any necessity for me to deal with the objections in detail. As hon. Members have heard, the two big alternatives in favour of which we are asked to reject the Bill would each cost something like £1,000,000 more, and they were not considered to be as good as the scheme now before the House. I would also remind hon. Members who may have been attracted by what is known as the railway scheme that it does not deal with the whole 3¾miles of road projected in the Bill, but with rather less than one mile of it. If there was a railway running the whole distance no doubt the suggestion to put a road over it would have been much more attractive than it has been found, but the scheme has not been found practical either by the engineers of the London County Council or by the engineers of the Department or by the Select Committee which very carefully considered the problem.

One word about amenities. The hon. Member for Norwich (Mr. H. G. Strauss) gibed at us for having botched the Kingston by-pass. That was the first arterial road made in this country since the War, but since that time we have learned a lot. I quite agree that the Kingston by-pass is by no means perfect, but we are doing our best to preserve the amenities of the countryside. Only last summer a very important Bill called the Restriction of Ribbon Development Bill was brought in and passed, and is now working satisfactorily. Chiswick Mall, about which my hon. Friend waxed so eloquent, is 100 yards from the point where the road as proposed will go. I do not think I need dwell on the question of St. Paul's School. The Chiswick High Road scheme was referred to by the Seconder of the Motion for the rejection. The trouble there was that the scheme as propounded by him was not as good a line as that which we propose; it would also have meant a greater cost and entailed double the destruction of property. Also it did not link up with the Chertsey by-pass. That scheme was turned down by the Select Committee. I do not think I need dwell any further on the alternative scheme.

I ask the House most earnestly to realise that if the problem of traffic congestion in London is to be faced big schemes of this nature are absolutely inevitable, and big schemes must involve the destruction of a certain amount of property. This problem must be tackled at once, and I hope hon. Members will not be afraid to tackle it because of its size. I hope they will give us support in dealing with these great schemes. No question of principle is involved in the Bill, and I hope, therefore, that the House will see its way to adopt the usual procedure in the case of a Bill which has gone through a searching examination by the Select Committee, give a Third Reading to the Bill so that it can go to another place and pass through its further stages with as little delay as possible.

10.0 p.m.


I am bound to say that I am very surprised but also very gratified to find that on a difficult and local matter like this there are so many hon. Members who will take the trouble to listen to the complicated arguments about a locality which many of them do not know. But when the hon. Member pleaded quite rightly for sympathetic consideration for the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee I could not help thinking that perhaps a little sympathetic consideration might also be granted to those who are opposing the Bill. This House is the place where we are supposed to fight for the interests of our constituents: and we are here representing the inhabitants of the boroughs which will be affected by the Bill. I am glad that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport, with whose difficulties I sympathise, did not repeat the remark which he is reported to have made on Saturday, that the objections raised by opponents of the scheme were parochial.

It is very easy to make a remark of that kind. I believe the Italians are reported to have complained that the Abyssinians adopted a parochial attitude to the activities of Signor Mussolini. In this case it really is not fair. I would ask hon. Members to consider that this is not the ordinary case of a by-pass round a village or town and of a few selfish local people resisting the proposal. It is not even the case of a by-pass which is bringing 50–50 benefits to those who live in the towns and to those who pass by. This is the most gigantic and unprecedented programme of destruction that has ever been put forward in the whole history of our roads and towns. This new road is like a great swathe made by a steam-roller going through a field of corn. It is to go through residential suburbs where there are rich and poor houses, and if we produce reasoned arguments against it we are not parochial. After all, are not hon. Members who are supporting the Bill also parochial? I am not thinking only of the beautiful properties in Chiswick Mall, but of the many houses of poor people in the poor streets, 30 or 40 rows of houses, streets in which there is now quietness and safety and where the dogs and children can run about. This great road is going to cut right through these streets at right angles, and where there is now no danger and no noise there will be much danger and much noise.

I ask hon. Members not to think that we are parochial. Why do we use the epithet "parochial"? Does it not mean that those who are opposing the Bill are selfish? May it not be that the boot is on the other leg? Many hon. Members have said: "I shall vote for this Bill because I shall be able to get out of London more quickly" Is not that parochial, that is, selfish? It is a question of one man's convenience against another's; and I do not think we should fling epithets about like that. The hon. Member for Ipswich (Sir J. Ganzoni) and the other Members of the Select committee deserve a tribute for the great courtesy and care with which they have done their somewhat thankless task. I hope none of them will think we are casting any reflection whatever on them by taking this course. But, after all, what s the. good of having all these forms of procedure by which to fight every Bill to the last stage if we do not take advantage of them when we can? And now for the merits of the Bill. May I draw the attention of hon. Members to the Preamble of the Bill, which says: Whereas the traffic facilities between the counties of London and Middlesex are inadequate and inconvenient and it is expedient that for the improvement thereof the London County Council and the Middlesex County Council should be authorised to construct new streets execute street widenings and make improvements of streets… There seems to me to be a strange discrepancy between the Preamble of the Bill and the body of it. The Preamble does not say "Whereas it is expedient to cut through churchyards, recreation-grounds, school-grounds, and so on, and send 2,000 people of the working class away without care where they are to live" But that is what it does. What is still more serious, it does not do what it sets out to do.

What is it that makes traffic facilities between London and Middlesex inadequate and inconvenient? First, there is this Cromwell road hanging like a naked stump in the air and we all agree it ought to be extended. What are the other things which make for inconvenience? They are the Broadway and the bottle-neck on the west of that Broadway. The astonishing thing about this Bill is that although it is claimed in the Preamble that the Bill will improve the facilities, it does nothing about the bottle-neck and the Broadway. There will still be this bottle-neck and the insufficient Broadway, and there will still be congestion. It is of no use anybody telling me that with the construction of this new road Hammersmith Broadway is going to be a rustic retreat, with larks singing in the Broadway and haycarts down King Street. There will be very nearly as much traffic as there is now. Nobody has suggested that the London Passenger Transport Board is not going to run its omnibuses along King Street and through the Broadway. People will still come from Olympia and Kensington High Street way. The traffic is increasing, and in two or three years' time there will be just as much traffic, and then there will be a demand for the removal of this bottle-neck and an improvement of the Broadway. It is that which ought to be done now as an integral part of the scheme. We are told by hon. Members that the objection to widening King Street is that it is a shopping centre, but is there an artery in London which is not a shopping centre? Piccadilly, the Strand and Oxford Street are shopping centres. It is a contradiction in terms to talk about "bypassing" the Broadway. If you have a traffic circus or filter which is not doing its work, let it be improved. If you have an artery which is stopped at one end by a bottle-neck, let the bottle-neck be removed.

What is the second cause which makes the connections between London and Middlesex inadequate and inconvenient? It is the fact that the traffic which passes through the Broadway is not all east and west, but much of it is north and south, crossing the river. That traffic is confined to one inadequate bridge, Hammersmith Bridge, which was condemned in 1926 by the Royal Commission. There is no bridge east of that, except Putney Bridge, which is one-and-a half miles distant. There will still be this north and south traffic coming across the bridge and the position will be no better than before; indeed, there will be created one more point of congestion between the Broadway and the bridge.

There is your new Cromwell Road extension. Along that there will be not one stream of traffic proceeding west, but two streams, one west and another which goes south-west across the river. Would not the sensible thing to do be, not to adopt the whole of the Royal Commission's scheme, but to put a new bridge at Fulham for the cross-river traffic, and then send the west traffic through an improved Broadway freed of bottlenecks That seems to me the simple, sensible, and I should think less costly way. But I am not really frightened of cost in this matter, because we are building for the future and if this is to be a great scheme for the future, I do not think this great country need bother about spending another £1,000,000 or so.

In reply to the hon. Member for Ipswich (Sir J Ganzoni), it is true to say that my scheme was not put before the Select Committee: for I did not give evidence. I think it is a practical scheme and a cheap one, and one which will prevent this ghastly devastation in the neighbourhood in which I live and which I know so well. With regard to the Homefields Recreation Ground, I am surprised to hear hon. Members say in this lighthearted manner that only an acre is to be taken from the middle of that 10 acres. When an application was made to the Select Committee that, following the old principle of Parliament, where open spaces are taken away there should be some compensatory space returned, the Select Committee said that would be too great a burden on the promoters. I am tempted to say that if this Bill goes through in its present form I at least will never again subscribe a penny or lift a finger for the purpose of providing recreation grounds for the children of the poor. What is the good of badgering the charitable to pay money for these purposes, what is the good of talking about the King George V Memorial Fund for playing grounds, if, when you have an existing playing ground, you permit a harassed bureaucracy in a hurry to blast a great motor-track through the middle and pay not a penny for it and provide not a scrap of land in its place? I ask the House whether Parliament ought to stand that sort of thing.

I apologise for speaking at perhaps greater length on this subject than may seem to be justified. But I am speaking in defence, not so much of my own home, in which I have lived for 20 years, but the homes of hundreds, indeed thousands, of my neighbours, both rich and poor. I am speaking also for a very charming and unique part of London which you would never be able to replace again. Perhaps hon. Members will laugh when. I tell them that the Dutchmen, when they come up the river in their fine ships and anchor above Hammersmith Bridge, look at the coast there and say that it is the finest coast in the whole course of their passage up the river from the Nore. Not only those who live in our part, but men and women who come from all over West London on Saturdays and Sundays and in the evenings all through the summer, come there because the walks beside the river there are so quiet and charming.

All that will go—I do not say at once, but eventually—and if any hon. Member thinks that that is funny or unimportant, I am sorry.

I do not think that even the motorists will get their money's worth from this scheme, and I am sure that the State, that is, the taxpayers, and the ratepayers will not get their money's worth, for the reason, as I have already said, that in two or three years' time you will have the same outcry about the bottleneck and the Broadway, and you will have to start all over again. From all these points of view—I may be wrong, I may be foolish, I may be parochial—there is in my mind a passionate conviction that this road is wrong, and I say that this House should not pass the Bill without a little more inquiry into the various alternatives than they have yet received.

10.17 p.m.


I know the hon. Member for Oxford University (Mr. Alan Herbert) takes a very deep and keen interest in this proposal, and it would be discourteous if this Debate closed without some reply from the promoting authorities to what he has said. I do not intend to keep the House by discussing the actual route which he criticised, because that has been discussed so much this evening, and the Chairman of the Select Committee which considered the Bill has told the House how it is that the Committee, after nine days' careful consideration of this very technical problem, which, of course, is one which can be settled much better by a small committee considering plans and examining witnesses than by a body as big as this House, came to the conclusion that this was the best solution of the problem, after examining many alternatives. Therefore, I do not want to go over the same ground again, nor do I want to reply to the point mentioned by the hon. Member in regard to the Homefield recreation ground, because that also was adequately explained by the Chairman of the Select Committee.

I would like, however, to put this to him and to the House: It is obvious that in any really important new road development of a comprehensive character, particularly if it goes through a built-up area, there are bound to be objections, and, maybe, some substantial objections, to the route that is proposed to be adopted. Objections come from private individuals mho may be inconvenienced or from people who believe, on public grounds, that some other route should be taken. But, frankly, what has surprised me in regard to this Bill, which is going to drive a road some three and three-quarter miles long through built-up areas and which will cost over £2,500,000 and involve the rehousing of something like 2,000 working-class people, not miles away in Harrow, but in reasonably convenient places, is not the amount of criticism levelled against it, but the paucity of really effective criticism that has come forward. It is regrettable and inevitable that a certain amount of amenities should be destroyed by a. road of this sort, but I can assure the House that the promoting authorities took every possible care, in laying out this route, to avoid the destruction of or interference with more amenities than was absolutely necessary.

I want to deal particularly with the point put with regard to Chiswick Mall, and I think it is fair to say that that matter has been exaggerated by those who have spoken in defence of that area. It has really been suggested that we are going to destroy the water-front there, that Chiswick Mall will disappear, and that the Ministry of Transport, the Middlesex County Council and the London County Council are just a set of vandals who are going out to destroy the most beautiful spot in London. That, of course, is far from the truth, as has been explained. The area round Chiswick Mall has unfortunately decayed already of late. We are not going to interfere with the river-front in the slightest, and we are not going to destroy Chiswick Mall. The road is going 150 yards away from Chiswick Mall, and it is ridiculous to put before the House arguments that this road is seriously going to interfere with the amenities of Chiswick Mall as it is to-day.

I am sorry that there is going to be a road there, particularly because the junior Member for Oxford University lives in this delightful neighbourhood for it has brought him in against the Bill, and he is a doughty advocate of any cause he takes up. There are two consolations that I can give him however. One is that the public need for a road in this place is really overwhelming, and I am sure he will agree that that public need must override all private considerations. The other consolation I would offer him is that this road will enable him to get to his constituency very much faster than he can get there now. In stressing and exaggerating the damage which will be done in this area, no mention has been made of the vast improvements that we are going to make in other parts along the road. There are large areas of semi-derelict houses which should have been pulled down long ago. As the result of driving along this new road they will be pulled down and decent, dignified buildings will be put in their place. No mention has been made, moreover, of the undoubted fact that this road will remove a good bit of the overcrowded traffic that exists in King Street and Chiswick High Road, and it should have as one result a reduction of casualties among the thousands of women shoppers and their children who use these thoroughfares.

Another argument that has been put forward is that this matter has not been given adequate consideration. It has been considered for over 50 years. This House in 1884 passed an Act promoted by a private company to carry out the first part of this road scheme by bridging over the District Railway. The scheme has been considered at various times, and after meticulous examination it has been agreed to by the London County Council unanimously, by the Middlesex County Council, by the Minister of Transport, by the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee, and, after a whole barrage of learned counsel have put forward the objections to the scheme with all the eloquence at their command for

nine days, by the Select Committee which agreed that the scheme should be commended to the House. It is nonsense, therefore, to suggest that adequate consideration has not been given to it.

With regard to the speech made by the hon. Member for Maidstone (Mr. Bossom), if the alternative which he suggested were really carried out, not only would it cost about £1,000,000 more, but, what he particularly objected to', namely, the large amount of compensation which, is involved in the scheme now before the House, would be greater under the proposal which he advocates. I suggest that the House should agree to the proposal which is now before it, that it should consider it on its merits apart from any political considerations such as some hon. Members have unfortunately tried to introduce in a letter which went round to some private Members. The two county councils concerned, London and Middlesex, have been charged by Parliament with the onerous duty of effecting the road improvements and road widenings which they consider necessary, and in their view the most important and the most urgent is the relief in this west part of London of the traffic blocks which are a growing and appalling feature round Hammersmith Broadway and a cause of intolerable nuisance and delays to the public. The two county councils are prepared to carry out this great and extensive improvement. They present this Bill to Parliament, and I ask Parliament to allow it to proceed.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided: Ayes, 229; Noes, 33.

Division No. 210.] AYES. [10.27 p.m.
Adams, D. (Consett) Burke, W. A. Dalton, H.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Campbell, Sir E. T. Davles, D. L. (Pontypridd)
Adamson, W. M. Cape, T. Davies, Major G. F. (Yeovil)
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G. Cary, R. A. Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Day, H.
Allan, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd) Channon, H. De Chair, S. S.
Ammon, C. G. Charleton, H. C. Denman, Hon. R. D.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Chater, D. Dodd, J. S.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Clarke, F. E. Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)
Baldwin-Webb, Col. J. Cluse, W. S. Duncan, J. A. L.
Barr, J. Colfox, Major W. P. Dunn, E. (Rother Valley)
Batey, J. Colman, N. C. D. Eckersley, P. T.
Benson, G. Compton, J. Ede, J. c.
Blaker, Sir R. Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'burgh, W.) Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough E.)
Bossom, A. C. Cove, W. G. Edwards, Sin C. (Bedwellty)
Boulton, W. W. Craddock, Sir R. H. Entwistle, C. F.
Broad, F. A. Craven-Ellis, W. Fleming, E. L.
Brocklebank, C. E. R. Crooke, J. S. Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.
Bromfield, W. Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Fox, Sir G. W. G.
Brown, Rt. Hon, E. (Leith) Crossley, A. C. Frankel, D.
Buchanan, G. Cruddas, Col. B. Ganzonl, Sir J.
Bull. B. B. Daggar, G. Gardner, B. W.
Garro-Jones, G. M. Leckie, J. A. Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Lee, F. Rowson, G.
Gibbins. J. Leech, Dr. J. W. Salmon, Sir I.
Goodman, Col. A. W. Leonard, W. Salt, E. W.
Graham, D. M. (Hamilton) Leslie, J. R. Samuel, M. R. A. (Putney)
Green, W. H. (Deptford) Levy, T. Savery, Servington
Grenfell, D. R. Liddall, W. S. Scott, Lord William
Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J. Seely, Sir H M.
Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Lloyd, G. W. Selley, H. R.
Grimston, R. V. Logan, D. G. Sexton, T M.
Groves, T. E. Lunn, W. Shakespeare, G. H.
Guinness, T. L. E. B. Lyons, A. M. Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
Guy, J. C. M. MacAndrew, Colonel Sir C. G. Slikin, L.
Hall, G. H. (Aberdare) McGhee, H. G. Silverman S. S.
Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) MacLaren, A. Simmonds. O. E.
Hanbury, Sir C. Maclean, N. Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U. B'lf'st),
Hannon, Sir P. J. H. Macmillan, H. (Stockton-on-Tees) Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Harbord, A. Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Hardle, G. D. MacNeill, Weir, L. Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees. (K'ly)
Harris, Sir P. A. Manningham-Buller, Sir M. Somervell Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Harvey, G. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Sorensen, R. W.
Heligers, Captain F. F. A. Markham, S. F. Southby, Comdr. A. R. J.
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Marklew, E. Spears, Brig. -Gen. E. L.
Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Mathers, G. Spens, W. P.
Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Maxton, J. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Heneage, Lieut. -Colonel A. P. Maxwell, S. A. Strickland, Captain W. F.
Herbert, Captain S. (Abbey) Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Tasker, Sir R. [...].
Hills, A. (Pontefract) Messer, F. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)
Hills, Major Rt. Hon. J. W. (Ripon) Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Col. J. T. C. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Holdsworth, H. Morgan, R. H. Thomson, Sir J. D. W.
Holland, A. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Ha'kn'y, S.) Thurtle, E.
Hollins. A. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Tinker, J. J.
Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Morrison, W. S. (Cirencester) Tryon, Major Rt. Hon. G. C.
Hopkinson, A. Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J. Turton, R. H.
Hore-Belisha, Rt. Hon. L. Nail, Sir J. Viant, S. P.
Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Naylor, T. E. Wakefield. W. W.
Hulbert, N. J. Nicolson, Hon. H. G. Walker, J.
Hume, Sir G. H. Orr-Ewing, I. L. Walker-Smith, Sir J.
Jagger, J. Paling, W. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
James, Wing-Commander A. W. Parker, H. J. H. Warrender, Sir V.
Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Perkins, W. R. D. Waterhouse, Captain C.
Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath) Pethick-Lawrence, F. W. Watson, W. McL.
John, W. Ponsonby, Col. C. E. Westwood, J.
Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Potts, J. White, H. Graham
Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n) Price, M. P. Whiteley, w.
Jones, Morgan (Caerphlliy) Pritt, D. N. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Keeling, E. H. Quibell, D. J. K. Williams, D. (Swansea, E.)
Kelly, W. T. Radford, E. A. Williams. E. J. (Ogmore)
Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Ramsbotham, H. Williams. H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin) Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Kirby, B. V. Remer, J. R. WIndsor-Clive, Lleut.-Colonel G.
Lamb. Sir J. Q. Rickards, G. W. (Skipton) Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Latham, Sir P. Ritson, J.
Law, R. K. (Hull, S.W.) Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Lawson, J. J. Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens) Sir Henry Jackson and Mr. G. R.
Leach, W. Ropner, Colonel L. Strauss.
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Foot, D. M. Moore, Lieut.-Col. T. C. R.
Atholl, Duchess of Furness, S. N. Moreing, A. C.
Boothby, R. J. G. Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral) Owen, Major G.
Cartland, J. R. H. Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Hannah, I. C. Sutcliffe, H.
Cook, T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.) Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.) Wayland, Sir W. A.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Horsbrugh, Florence Wedderburn, H. J. S.
Davison, Sir W. H. Jones, L. (Swansea, W.) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Dorman-Smith, Major R. H. Lovat-Fraser, J. A. Young, A. S. L. (partick)
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Makins, Brig.-Gen. E.
Erskine Hill, A. G. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Findlay, Sir E. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick) Sir Cyril Cobb and Mr. Astor.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, considered accordingly.