§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ 11.5 a.m.
§ Mr. Lovat-Fraser
I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
This Bill is entitled:A Bill to restrict the use of the name Architect to Registered Architects and to extend the time within which practising architects may apply for registration.Last Session, when the Bill came down to the House of Commons from another place, having passed through all its stages there without amendment and without a division, it was talked out. The object of the Bill is to ensure that a person shall not call himself an architect unless he is a registered architect. In 1931 the Architects (Registration) Act was passed, and I would call the attention of hon. Members to Section 10 of that Act which states that:Any registered person shall be entitled to take and use the name or title of 'Registered Architect', but a person shall not practise under any name, title or style containing the words 'Registered Architect', unless he is a registered person, and any unregistered person who so practises or wilfully pretends to be a registered person, or takes or uses the name or title of a 'Registered Architect', or any name, title, style or description implying that he is a registered person, shall on summary conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds for the first offence and one hundred pounds for every subsequent offence.It will be seen, therefore, that the Act of 1931 provided for the voluntary registration of architects. From that Act good results have accrued. No fewer than 12,000 architects came within its purview, and an organisation was called into being which, broadly speaking, represents the whole of the profession. The Bill now before the House completes the work which was started in 1931. Clause 1 of the Bill provides that:A person, not being a registered person within the meaning of the principal Act, who after the expiration of two years from the commencement of this Act, shall take or use the name, style or title of 'Architect' or any name, style or title containing the word 'Architect' shall be deemed to have committed an offence under section ten of the principal Act and the provisions of the said section including the provisos thereto shall 1492 apply accordingly: Provided that nothing in this section shall affect the use of the designation 'Naval architect', 'Landscape architect' or 'Golf-course architect'.By Clause 2 the objects of the Act of 1931 are further advanced so as to provide a complete safeguard for those whose livelihood will be affected by the passing of the Bill. Clause 2 is as follows:Nothwithstanding anything in the principal Act, a person shall, on application made to the Council in the prescribed manner and on payment of the prescribed fee, be entitled to be registered under the principal Act, if the Council are satisfied on a report of the Admission Committee that his application for registration was made within two years after the commencement of this Act and that at the commencement of this Act he was, or had been, practising as an architect in the United Kingdom:Provided that any person aggrieved by the refusal or failure of the Council to cause his name to be entered on the Register on an application made by him under this section shall be entitled to appeal to a Tribunal to be constituted for the purpose of this Act consisting of three persons, not being members of the Council, to be appointed from time to time as follows:—
and the decision of the Tribunal on any such appeal shall be final.
- one person to be appointed by the Lord Chancellor;
- one person to be appointed by the Minister of Health;
- one person to be appointed by the President of the Law Society;
§ Mr. Robert Gibson
Is it intended that this Bill should apply to Scotland? If so, would it not be wise that there should be some representative from Scotland on this tribunal?
§ Mr. Lovat-Fraser
No; anybody can register. With regard to the question of the hon. and learned Member for Greenock (Mr. Gibson), we are willing to meet those who object to there not being a Scottish representative.
Those who are earning their living as architects are safeguarded by the proposal that any bona fide practising architect shall be entitled to admission to the register for two years after the passing of the Bill. The promoters, since the Bill was presented by me, have endeavoured to allay the fears of those who feel that persons holding architectural appointments 1493 under the Crown or under a local authority may be adversely affected. There is nothing in the Bill to prevent anyone such as a borough engineer or surveyor from carrying on architectural work, but, un-hiss he is a registered architect, he will not be able to call himself an architect. It is only a question of nomenclature. To safeguard the position of those who are at present in the employment of the Crown or a local authority, I am prepared to accept in Committee an Amendment with an accompanying schedule to provide that a person who holds an office the title of which is "architect," or contains the word "architect," at the commencement of the Act, shall for a period of two years be entitled to be registered under the principal Act. It is suggested that the Schedule should include chartered civil engineers, chartered structural engineers, chartered surveyors, and members of the Institution of Municipal and County Engineers.
The reason for the Bill is the protection of the public. The public do not appreciate the distinction between an architect and a registered architect. The important point is that, as the law stands to-day, there is nothing to prevent anyone, no matter who he is, from calling himself an architect. This is a fraud on the public which we ought not to allow to continue. The Bill is supported by architectural organisations comprising a total membership of some 14,000. These bodies are the Royal Institute of British Architects, representing 6,992 architect members; the 67 provincial associations allied to the Royal Institute of British Architects, with 1,386 architect members; the Faculty of Architects and Surveyors, with 582 architect members; the Architectural Association, with 1,705; the Association of Architects, Surveyors and Technical Assistants, with 387 architect members; and the Association of Representatives of "Unattached" Architects, which has 2,933 members.
§ Sir Arnold Wilson
Can the hon. Member give the address of that last society? Does it exist? I do not think it does.
§ Mr. Lovat-Fraser
I wish to impress on the House the importance of this matter, and in doing so I will read an extract from the circular which hon. Members have received—
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
On a point of Order. Is it in Order for an hon. Member to read every word of his speech?
§ Mr. Lovat-Fraser
I am not an architect, and I know nothing of the technicalities of the architect's profession. I am here trying to put their case, I hope fairly, in the presence of a large number of technical Members, and I am very surprised that my hon. Friend should get up and take exception to my using the notes which are always necessary on a Bill of this kind. I wish to impress on the House one important fact, and, in doing so, I am going to read an extract from a circular which has been received by all Members of this House:The actual promoters of the Bill are not the Architects' Registration Council (which has no power under the 1931 Act to promote legislation), but a self-seeking body of persons connected with the Royal Institute of British Architects who are supremely anxious to obtain for that body a paramount position which it has been unable to obtain in an open field by fair competition with other bodies devoted to the welfare of the architectural profession. In actuality it is the Royal Institute of British Architects, and not the Registration Council, which seeks, via the Bill, monopolistic control of the profession.The true facts about that are these. The Architects Registration Council have no power under the Act to spend money in promoting this legislation. They, therefore, appointed a Parliamentary Committee, composed of representatives of all the constituent architectural bodies on the council with the exception of the opposing association, which is supported by the hon. Member for Holborn (Sir R. Tasker). The committee consists of representatives of the Royal Institute of British Architects; the Architectural Association, London, the Faculty of Architects and Surveyors, the Association of Architects, Surveyors and Technical Assistants; and the Association of Representatives of Unattached Architects. These bodies have subscribed, in proportion to their numbers, the necessary funds for expert advice in drafting this Bill for presentation to Parliament. The Bill was before the Registration Council in 1937, and its introduction was approved by them by 22 votes to four, the only dissentients being the three representatives of the association of which the hon. Member for Holborn is the leading member, and 1495 one other member who represents the views of the Institution of Municipal and County Engineers. I do not think it is necessary for me, in introducing this Bill, to say more than I have said, and I leave it now to be discussed by the House.
§ 11.18 a.m.
§ Mr. Hicks
I beg to second the Motion.
I have had some correspondence upon this Bill. I think it would be an exaggeration to say that that correspondence was non-controversial. Let us hope that the House at the end of the discussion to-day will have a clearer understanding than the parties, perhaps, have been able to impart. Their correspondence has been conducted with an incisiveness that makes a plumbers' and hot-water engineers' trade dispute fade into insignificance. I have certainly had more correspondence on this than I should have had had I been conducting a campaign for an increase in wages for a million building trade workers; but I am certain everyone has been charged with a general desire to inform the minds of Members on this matter, in order that they can give their views with knowledge and correct impartiality.
What is it all about? It is proposed that those people who qualify as architects should be registered, in order that the community, when desirous of employing their services, will feel that those who have the title have submitted their capacity to the test of examination, and that, so far as human practice has been able to evolve a test of capacity, they have proved themselves to be qualified. Is there anything wrong with that idea? I know that when builders are enlisting a bricklayer they want to be satisfied that they have a first-class commodity. They are entitled to ask that others whom they may desire to employ should also have capacity. We want to give a minimum guarantee that the individual who poses as an architect shall know something about the job, about the soil, the sub-soil, the structure, the stresses and strains, the locality, something about all the necessities for building, and, provided that he subscribes to this very modest examination paper which has been prepared, and is approved in such a way, the clients may accept him as an individual worthy to be employed. Does 1496 anybody doubt the necessity for having a qualified architect when one looks at some of the higgledy-piggledy messes—
§ Mr. Hicks
I will try to do that for the hon. Member. I am trying to engineer this Bill through.
The building industry to-day is a very busy one. The personnel of the industry is well over 1,000,000. I think it is the largest male-employing industry in this country. We require something like £400,000,000 worth of work each year in order to give employment to the personnel of the building industry. It is important, in my opinion, that an industry which employs such a personnel, and is so important in the economy of our national life, should not be allowed to develop haphazardly. Everyone on my side is constantly asking for national planning. I believe we ought to plan. We cannot get the planning we require if we allow things to pursue a haphazard and an uncontrolled development. Our past history in this is a very mixed one. We have many beautiful buildings, and many ugly ones. Some of my hon. Friends are concerned about this qualification of the architects and the examination. I would ask them, Who designed our working class houses in the East End of London, in Battersea, Kenning-ton, and other places, and in our big cities?
Who designed our slums? Somebody did. Those people whose mind, mentality and expression are reduced to such an abominable level ought to be struck off any list of people competent to design houses. These buildings are an eyesore to everyone of us to-day. Someone has designed them, producing a dreadful environment for the health, morality and mentality of our people. I get more votes as a result of new housing schemes than I do out of the slums. Someone designed our ugly factories. Our modem architects have shown us to-day that factories and workshops need not necessarily be ugly. It is a pity that those who designed our old workshops had not had an examination paper before them. Many of these workshops are illventilated, dark and damp, and many of 1497 them verminous and insanitary. These are the places in which our people have to get their livelihood.
I have been through most of the towns and cities in the country, as have also, I presume, many hon. Members. I have been to many of our mining villages, and I have seen the attempted housing of our people there. I used to wonder why these men sing, but when I look at their houses, I know why they do. It is to prevent themselves from crying. I have seen the contour of the land, with the houses all built up the side of the hill, and the roofs taking exactly the same line as the contour of the land. A fortnight ago I was privileged to be present at a housing and town-planning conference at Harrogate, and to attend a lantern lecture given by Mr. Morgan, who is the borough and housing architect for the Swansea Town Council. He showed us the development of hillsides. He is a great architect. One would imagine, according to the opinion of some people, that architects are re-actionary people. Many of them are in the Labour party, and we hope to get more of them in, and some of them sit on the benches opposite. I would refer to the lay-out schemes of Mr. Edwin Unwin, who has shown us how to develop the hillside. Instead of having the houses face to face with their backs showing down on to the lower level, he has planned whole schemes, so that when you look at the front elevation, you see the houses standing one above the other, and they present a nice sight. There is a change of as much as 8 ft. in the floor levels in the space of four houses, and unless you had a trained eye you would not be able to see the changes in the buildings and roofs and gables, and so on, forming the structure, the whole making a particularly pleasing block of buildings.
It is a fallacy to imagine that, because an architect designs a building, it will be more expensive than if it were designed by an engineer. That is not true, and cannot be supported by facts. The competent architect can save money provided the quantity surveyor will see that he puts in his bill quite properly. We are particularly interested in the need for good building. We do not want the ugly kind of buildings we see going up to-day. I am certain that none of us like to see 1498 them. When the late Lord Balfour went to America he was taken around to see the buildings there. The chief thing that they could do was to show him their buildings. We in this country are more important than would appear from the way we express ourselves, because we leave our work to speak for itself. They were showing him their buildings, and telling him how many hundreds of thousands of dollars they cost, and that they were so many floors high, and they said, "You know, they are fireproof," and the late Lord Balfour said, "What a pity!"
§ Mr. Hicks
Yes, there is. We are town-planning now very largely in this country. We are urging the fresh location and the decentralisation of industry, and we are building many towns and habitations for our people around our industries. A number of these schemes are not housing schemes in the ordinary sense at all. They are new towns, and in building new towns we ought to try to avoid the mistakes of the past to the maximum of our ability. In building these new townships we should build the picturesque and not perpetuate the grotesque, as is the case in many places now. I am surprised at the opposition of my hon. Friend the Member for West Walthamstow (Mr. McEntee). We are excellent friends and I hope that when the Debate on this Bill is over, we shall still be friends. There is also my hon. Friend the Member for West Willesden (Mr. Viant). We are proud of our craft. I am an officer of a craft union, and I am anxious to preserve our craft. I am President of the National Federation of Building Trade Operatives, and we have many craftsmen in that organisation who are particularly jealous of their craft and skill and of their fine tradition for excellent workmanship. I believe in craftsmanship and I am sure that every hon. Member does. We should encourage it to the maximum of our ability. The idea of robots, and belts, and soulless machinery was dealt with by Adam Smith many years ago in his "Wealth of Nations." Realising how soul-destroying the whole thing is, and the effect it has upon the character of the individual, we desire to cultivate craftsmanship in every walk of life.
1499 The Royal Institute of British Architects have been associated with the Architects Registration Council in circularising some information in support of this Bill. I am a member of the Council having been appointed by the National Federation of Building Trade Operatives, of which I am president. My secretary, Mr. Coppock, is also a member of the council, and he has reported to our executive council. It was only this year that my nomination was put forward and I was elected by the council to represent them upon this particular body. We did not go round and consult every man in every union, but our organisation is represented. My hon. Friend the Member for West Walthamstow, the president of his own union, who has been a member of this council for several years, and, as far as I know, there has never been any objection raised by the representative of the executive council, or by any branch of his organisation. It was only when he resigned from the Presidency of the National Federation of Building Trade Operatives and I became president that there came a change of representation. There is no attempt to make that particular side the guiding and controlling factor. The fact is that we are represented on the council, and I, as one of its representatives, am desirous of seeing this Bill go through, because I genuinely and seriously believe that it would benefit the community at large.
There may be instances of men who, through lack of qualifications, are not able to stand the test of examination. I am sorry for the individual who is not able to stand that test, but it is much better that he should not be successful in getting through than that the community should suffer the effects of his incompetence.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
Does the hon. Member mean that he is not able to pay the very heavy expenses of qualification?
§ Mr. Hicks
I will deal with that matter later, and there are other hon. Members who can also explain it. The relationship between architects, builders and operatives used to be of a very stilted character. The architect was regarded as the aristocrat, the man who had great authority, and when we used to see him marching on to the job we had a sort of 1500 fear and trembling. We used to talk to each other on work days, but on Sundays it was never possible to recognise each other on the pavement or in the park. I am thankful to say that we have grown out of that. There has grown up in the building industry a recognition among architects, employers, material manufacturers, merchants and operatives that we need to pool our experiences and ideas so that the industry may be better able to deal with the rapid changes and innovations which the community is constantly demanding, and be able to deal with them in a more efficient way. Is there anything wrong in that? The Royal Institute of British Architects is an institution of over 100 years old. Is there anything wrong in pooling experiences of such organisations and seeing what can be done? It is surely a good thing that our joint contributions should be put to greater service for our people and for the community in general.
You cannot make an architect in a night. A man must have considerable qualifications if he is to become an architect. It requires years of training. It is not the same as in politics, when one night one may be a trade unionist official and next day a Member of Parliament. I have on previous occasions tried to enlist the support of hon. Members opposite on these questions, and although I have had their sympathy I have not had their votes. When we have gone from this House we have continued our efforts in order to raise the standard of quality in the building of houses. I have here the copy of a certificate of the National House Builders Registration Council, which shows that, in the first place, the house has been architecturally planned, and that it has been built under conditions of labour that are nationally negotiated between the representatives of the building trade operatives and the representatives of the employers. There is an examination as to the location and nature of the site, the stresses and strains and what foundation must be put in for carrying the superstructure. There is also examination as to general amenities and sanitation. The house is inspected six times during the process of construction, and if at the end of the period any fracture takes place within two years, it is repaired free of cost. It has been worth while to bring that about, and I quote it as an illustration of what we 1501 have been attempting to do by joint consultations of architects, employers, operatives and clients. We have brought them together for the purpose of discussing these things, and our desire is that good results should flow generally from these steps.
We see people indulging in sharp practices, calling themselves architects, drawing out plans, taking advantage of shady finance, getting the plans through, employing people of shady character and then outraging all our conditions. What discipline have the architects over such people at the present time? They can call themselves architects and go on with their sharp practices, but if they were registered and such malpractices were being pursued, they would be reported to their association, and their conduct would have to be amended or they would be removed. It is, therefore, a surprise to me that any trade unionists should object to the qualifications which we are seeking to establish. I shall be willing to listen to the points of view that they put, and to do my best to meet the difficulties which they bring forward. I have given an outline of the sort of work that we have been trying to do from which the community will benefit. The poor people who buy or rent a house under the present system are hedged round with liabilities and find very often that they are spending whatever bit of money they can afford in maintenance charges, let alone capital charges. We want to be able to help these people and to give to the general community such safeguards as would be provided if a standard qualification such as we advocate were established.
With regard to the final examinations and the position of the Architects' Registration Council, the question is asked, why do they not conduct the examination themselves? The answer is that there are a number of institutions which they accept as being authorities who can examine. I will read the names: The School of Architecture, the Schools of Architecture of Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, the Welsh School of Architecture, the Liverpool School of Architecture, the School of Architecture for the universities of Manchester and Sheffield, and the Armstrong College in the County of Durham. There is a long list of institutions which are prepared to conduct the examinations. I do not know whether the association with which the 1502 hon. Member for Holborn (Sir R. Tasker) is associated has held any examinations lately. I have seen their syllabus, a very nice syllabus, for 1936 and 1937, but I have not seen their syllabus for 1935–36.
The facts which have been supplied to me show that in the examinations of the Royal Institute of British Architects, out of 215 successful candidates in 1936, 128 trained themselves by attending evening schools, while the remainder, 87, studied at home or through correspondence classes. What foundation is there for the suggestion that there is any monopoly on the part of the Board. The idea that we are going to set up a monopoly exists only in the imagination, not in fact. I shall have to deal with the finance later, otherwise hon. Members may say that I am shirking it. Once an individual has qualified by passing the minimum examination—I will not read it out, but I am certain hon. Members will agree that it is the very minimum for which we should ask—but once he has been able to pass that examination he is not compelled to join any association. He need not be a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, there is no compulsion. It is only a question of registration so that the community shall be protected by having a guarantee, as far as it can be provided, that the individual who holds an architect's qualification has passed the standard which has been set up. There are 75 persons on the board of the Architects Registration Council, but the various members of the organisation and their different qualifications have been repeated so many times that it is unnecessary for me to repeat them again.
There is also the Regent Street Polytechnic, which has recently made a formal application. I know one of its distinguished members, Mr. Bennett, who has run the school of architecture there for many years. I was not a student there, but I have been invited on many occasions to attend technical schools, and their prize distribution, and got the usual cup of coffee and vote of thanks at the end of the proceedings. The Regent Street Polytechnic has made a formal application, and at the present time is compiling particulars to submit to the board. I am a member of that board, which I hope will be some guarantee to hon. Members. The board will decide whether the mini- 1503 mum examination is right. We have a right to ask the people who know to lay down the qualifications necessary, so that the community shall be properly and effectively protected. The Ministry of Health is represented, and so are the Office of Works and the Board of Education, in order to give a guarantee that they are going to do the things that are right.
My own borough council of Woolwich have sent me a letter asking me definite questions about this. They have, it seems, apprehensions in the matter. I am rather surprised, because they are a very intelligent borough council. There is a Labour majority on the Council, and has been for many years, and they have a borough architect, a registered architect, but at the moment they are wondering what is going to happen in the event of his leaving or dying. The last time I saw him he was in an excellent state of health. Those who have had the privilege of going through my constituency, and also that of the Minister of Health will agree that the borough council has put up first-class houses. I think they have put up better houses in my hon. Friend's constituency than they have in mine, for which I am a little sorry, but glad the occupants have such fine accommodation. In their communication the borough council say:Architectural work of a special character should be carried out by their own qualified officers who have a more intimate knowledge of the particular requirements than is possessed by the majority of private practitioners.I expect that is true. There are a large number of private practitioners who do not possess the necessary qualifications who are masquerading as architects. We propose to remedy that at the earliest opportunity with the aid of the hon. Member for West Walthamstow and the hon. Member for Holborn. They go on to say:The borough council has its own engineer as a registered architect.There is nothing to prevent them if they are so inclined having a borough engineer and a borough surveyor. There is nothing to prevent them, if they are satisfied with the qualifications, having a borough surveyor and engineer to do their planning. We say that if a man poses as an architect he should accept the 1504 minimum standard of examination in order that his work should be appreciated. Then there is the question of how the money has been spent. The hon. Member who moved the Bill referred to the generous efforts made to have an Amendment of the Bill and a Schedule to the Bill, which should include people who are now under the heading, chartered civil Engineers, chartered structural Engineers, chartered Surveyors and members of the Institute of Municipal and County Engineers. I will not read the proposed Amendment, but I think it is necessary to deal with the question of finance. There has been a good deal of innuendo—at least it has been whispered in my ear and I have had post cards and circulars on the matter—that during the first five years while the reserve is being built up the whole of each year's income cannot be paid in grants. An extended series of scholarships has been arranged.
Most hon. Members will remember that after 1931, when the Bill was passed, it took a couple of years before there was an opportunity to utilise any money for the purpose of scholarships. It will be understood that as there were 13,000 architects throughout the country, having no general registration, an enormous amount of work was involved in getting them registered. Hon. Members who know anything about registration in the dental profession and so on will understand that a large amount of money had to be spent in setting up a council and in carrying on the necessary work of registration. It is in this case that they have attempted to get Parliament to agree to postpone the operation of the second half of the registration fee for a period of two years.
The scholarship awards in 1935 amounted to £156; in 1936, £514; in 1937, £806; and next year the amount available will be £1,156 and in 1939, £1,500. It is estimated that the reserve at the end of 1939 will be £3,500. Consequently, out of a revenue of £10,000 during that period, £7,700 will either have been distributed in grants or set aside as a reserve for future grants. A balance-sheet has been presented every year, and at every quarterly meeting a financial statement has been given. To imagine that there has been some hiding of finance or that someone has been dipping 1505 his fingers into the pool and that no one has watched him is an unworthy innuendo. The financial statement has been made at the quarterly meetings, the balance-sheet has been presented every year, the constituent parties are entitled to have a copy of the balance-sheet, the Press has been represented at each of the meetings and has had available a copy of the balance-sheet. Therefore, to say that there has been underhand work is not right, and it creates unworthy prejudice and bad feeling. I say that such statements are completely unfounded. I do not think I ought to say more now. Unfortunately I shall not be able to reply to the Debate, as I can at my trade union meetings, and I shall have to hear many things said which I shall not be able to correct.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
Will the hon. Member deal with the point which I put to him before about the cost of training?
§ Mr. Hicks
The hon. Member can get some advice on that from his Front Bench which will be better than the advice I can give him. I would like to say that the reasonableness of the Registration Council in meeting all the parties is beyond any possibility of doubt, provided there is a willingness of approach, and a willingness to adapt existing circumstances to the future, with a view to building up a general standard of which everyone in the House and in the country may be proud. The inside of a building belongs to the individual, but the outside of a building belongs to the public. The public has the right to ask that a client, whoever he may be, shall employ a competent man. Not only ought he to know everything about the building, but he ought to be in a position to advise the client, even sometimes against the client's wish, as to the nature and character of the monstrosity which the client would erect if he had an opportunity of doing so. I regard the face of Britain as something to protect and not as something to despoil, and I hope the House will give the Bill a Second Reading.
§ 12.1 p.m.
Sir Robert Taskers
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."
I would like to answer some of the questions which have been put to me 1506 either directly or indirectly by the hon. Members who moved and seconded the Motion for the Second Reading of the Bill. The hon. Member for Lichfield (Mr. Lovat-Fraser) asked a question as to what qualifications a man must possess to be a registered architect. I would draw his attention to Section 10 of the 1931 Act; and Section 6 which sets out very fully the qualifications for architects' registration. Section 6, Sub-section 1a, b, c and d, and Sub-sections 2, 3 and 4, fully cover that matter, and if the hon. Member will look at that Act, he will find all the particulars about the standard of qualifications. The hon. Member for East Woolwich (Mr. Hicks) asked me a direct question which I will answer. He wanted to know whether the Incorporated Association of Architects and Surveyors hold examinations. The answer is in the affirmative. They have held examinations regularly for the last seven years, the last examination being in November of this year. The syllabus to which the hon. Member referred, and which I gather receives his commendation, has been in operation for the last four years.
§ Sir R. Tasker
I am afraid I cannot answer that question, because I am not very intimately connected with the detailed work of that body.
§ Sir R. Tasker
I am not a member of the examining body, and although I am an ex officio member of the committee, I never attend the meetings. If the hon. Member attaches any importance to the matter, I will endeavour to get the information for him before the end of the Debate. This is a highly controversial Bill. It is a Bill which seeks to violate the undertaking which was given in 1931. It seeks to impose the condition that the word "architect" of itself shall not be employed. The first duty of the Standing Committee which considered the 1931 Bill was to find a definition, and ultimately it provided that people who were registered under the 1931 Bill should be known as "registered architects." Therefore, primarily this Bill is an attempt to get the House to reverse its decision of 1931.
The hon. Member for East Woolwich is a practical man. He attaches great 1507 value to examinations, as I do. The hon. Member compared present-day architects with architects of days gone by. When I asked one of these new-fashioned architects "Why do you put a frog in a brick?" I received the unexpected answer "You cannot pull my leg." I might just as well have been talking to him in Latin or reciting the Iliad in ancient Greek. He knew nothing at all about it. My next question was "Do you know the difference between a handsaw and a half rip saw?" and his reply was "I think you are trying to be facetious." I attach the greatest importance to the practical side of building. As a matter of interest and of history, I may tell the House that my father before me, I and my sons were compelled to work in mine, quarry, brickfield and shop before we were allowed to go into the office to make those pretty drawings, many of which are fit only for Christmas cards. I was a little disturbed about the hon. Member's reference to a modest examination paper. May I ask my hon. Friend to what examination paper he was referring?
§ Sir R. Tasker
It seems a rather left-handed compliment to the Royal Institute of British Architects to suggest that the paper for their final examination is to be regarded as modest. I should have thought if they considered that the passing of the examination conferred the hallmark of knowledge, ability and understanding of the complicated business of building, they would not set a modest paper. I can assure the hon. Member that I would not describe either the preliminary intermediate or final examination papers of the Incorporated Association of Architects and Surveyors as modest.
§ Sir R. Tasker
That is a matter of opinion. I suppose we shall never agree on the subject of examinations. One will think of the academic side and another 1508 of the practical side and we can never agree on that subject any more than on art. But my own view is that a man ought to know something about material, construction, design, proportion and the like. My hon Friend opposite said that he had obtained his information from his friend Mr. Coppock. I think I can describe Mr. Coppock as our mutual friend because he and I have been colleagues for many years on the London County Council. He is a very busy man and as I have found myself, in relation to the association of which I am vice-president, that it is almost impossible to attend regularly. I am not surprised that the information which Mr. Coppock has been able to give is based upon the minutes which he has received. I entirely agree that technical training is invaluable, and one of the complaints against the Architects' Registration Council is that, through the Board, they refuse to recognise any technical school or college or any body uncontrolled by them. It may be news to the Seconder of the Motion that the schools in the list with which he dealt with are entirely dominated by the Royal Institute of British Architects—every one of them. That is one of the complaints against this Bill—that it is an insidious attempt to get something which will lead to something else. I shall deal with that point in greater detail later.
With regard to the point which was made about the outside of a building belonging to the general public, I suppose the inside of a building belongs to the man who pays for it. May I point out that under the Town and Country Planning Act local authorities now have some voice in the design of the outsides of buildings? The hon. Member referred to certain buildings and asked who designed such buildings. Presumably architects designed them, and it is to be remembered that many buildings which to-day are slums were in their time very good buildings. In my own constituency, New North Street, Harper Street, Devonshire Street and Gloucester Street were residences of the aristocracy 100 years ago, but they are little better than slums today. But for the resistance of the London County Council the Holborn Borough Council would have rebuilt in certain areas in order to re-house our brothers and sisters who to-day have to live three and four, and sometimes five, in a room. But land is so expensive that 1509 there was a difficulty with the central authority and we have had to abandon scheme after scheme.
Would this Bill make any alteration as regards badly designed buildings? I suppose there are not fewer than 100 Members of this House who have served on municipal authorities. Not one of them will deny that a very large percentage of the plans submitted to an authority bear no designation to show that they are the work of architect, engineer, surveyor or anybody else. As long as those plans conform to the Building Act of that town or city, if there is a Building Act applicable to it, or to the relevant by-laws, the local authority has no power to refuse them. There is nothing in this Bill to prevent a man doing in the future what is done now. As long as plans conform to the by-laws, the local authorities pass them. Then, what has happened in the past with regard to mass production? An architect designs houses for a speculative builder. The speculative builder considers the design too expensive; he alters it here and there; the architect has no control over it, just as he has had no control in the past, and he will have no control in the future under this Bill.
I think I have now dealt with the points raised by the hon. Member opposite in his very delightful speech, and I now turn to the Bill itself. It is a Bill of misrepresentation. It is a boycotting Bill. May I call special attention to that word "misrepresentation?" Any lawyer can tell you and any architect ought to be able to tell you, that misrepresentation by a professional man acting as an architect is fraud. If an architect misrepresents something to his client, he can recover no fees, and can be made to refund any fees which he has received under that commission. Clause I is an attempt to deny to certain people the right to use the name "architect." I cannot understand the inconsistency of those who say that they want to improve this art, and who at the same time want to reopen the door which was closed in 1931. Why do they want to let in people, all and sundry, under precisely the same terms and conditions as under the 1931 Act?
§ Mr. R. Acland
What would the hon. Member have said if we had left out of the Bill a Clause allowing men to register as architects in the next two 1510 years? He would have been very much more fierce.
§ Sir R. Tasker
I have no doubt that the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Mr. Acland) knows all about it. He has been a student for three or four years. I, unfortunately, have been practising for 44 years, and I would not pretend to know as much about the Architects Registration Council as he does, because he became a member about two years ago. I have been a member ever since its inception.
§ Sir R. Tasker
I think I might be allowed to go on without interruption. I have already pointed out that this Bill is a violation of the undertaking given in 1931. It was because of that undertaking that it was given a Second Reading, as hon. Members will see if they look at the minutes of evidence before the Select Committee. I have brought a pile of evidence here, because I am going to rely on documentary evidence and on documentary evidence alone. A great deal of literature has been issued to Members of Parliament in connection with this matter, and I do not know whether other hon. Members feel as I do, but I feel extremely annoyed about it. I think it is a waste of time and energy. If hon. Members will look at the beginning of the evidence given before the Select Committee, they will see that the undertaking given in this House was made good before the Select Committee, and that was their first business. That Bill was, without dispute, promoted, paid for, and engineered by the Royal Institute of British Architects. There is no question of anybody else in it. Nobody has called in question their good faith, and I may say, with regard to the Royal Institute of British Architects, I want to make my position clear, that it is the oldest architectural institution in this country, that it has a very fine past, and that it has on its rolls the names of many eminent men and brilliant architects.
I say at once that if the Royal Institute of British Architects had only carried out the conditions of its charter, there would have been no need for the Bill of 1931, the Bill of 1934, or this Bill, there would never have been any opposition to the Institute, there would have been no 1511 Society of Architects, there would have been no Incorporated Association of Architects and Surveyors, there would have been no Institute of Registered Architects and there would have been no Faculty of Architects. While I do not want to blame individual members of the Institute, I think it is a pity that more eminent men could not find the time to devote their attention to the affairs of the Institute or from among all those members who have passed an examination—and there must be 50 per cent. of them who have passed an examination. After all, however, I have to face facts as I find them, I recognise that it is the business of the members of that Institute whether they intervene or not and whether they let a small body—and it is only a very small body—within that Institute engineer this Bill. The general body of members must be responsible for the acts of the smaller body within the Institute.
I beg the House not to regard anything that I say which may sound derogatory to the Royal Institute of British Architects as meaning that I am pointing the finger of scorn. The great majority of the members of that Institute, conduct an honourable profession in an honourable way, but I do take the very gravest exception to the actions and the attitude of a small group within the Institute and to their methods of attempting to secure this Bill. Their attitude or that of their friends is outrageous. Let me give an example. Member of this House have been attacked by them. Their honour has been attacked. I myself am a victim of their spleen. It has been circulated, not only in this House, but among my clients, that I am interested in people supplying building materials. That is the sort of weapon that is being employed, I am now being asked whether it is a fact that I am interested in this way. It so happens that one of the conditions of a partnership in my firm, made before I became a partner, is to the effect that no principal or partner in the firm shall ever secure, purchase, or acquire any share or interest in any firm supplying any building materials, and if he does, his partnership automatically ends. That is my answer to my traducers. You cannot find out who this scoundrel is who traduces your good name. I have 1512 endeavoured to do so, but my efforts have been in vain, and there I will leave it.
§ Mr. Fleming
Can the hon. Member tell us, on that important point, how it has come to his ears that he is being traduced in this way? Are there any documents?
§ Sir R. Tasker
No, Sir, but anyone practising as an architect, or surveyor, or civil engineer knows what goes on. It is said, "Is it true that you are interested in So-and-so? I am told that you are constantly specifying this firm, that firm, or the other firm." That sort of thing is inevitable. You have to exercise your own judgment. You have to rely upon your experience and on what you consider are the right firms to employ. I assure the hon. and learned Member who interrupted me that I have left no stone unturned to try and find out who is the author of these outrageous suggestions.
§ Sir R. Tasker
I think the hon. Member might ask other Members of the House whether any pressure has been brought to bear upon them. He might find it profitable, because he may find that other men have been approached and that there have been methods of intimidation. I would ask the hon. Gentleman to be patient and to leave it to other Members to relate their experiences if they so wish.
§ Mr. H. Strauss
Will my hon. Friend make it clear that he has no reason to believe that this has anything to do with the Royal Institute of British Architects?
§ Sir R. Tasker
I have already said that I regard the majority of the members of the Institute as honourable men. I have said there is a small group of people whom I regard as unscrupulous who do not hesitate to make use of any weapon in order that they may belittle people who are opposed to this Bill.
§ Mr. Strauss
Will my hon. Friend say whether he has any reason to believe that any member of the Royal Institute of British Architects is responsible for this slander?
§ Sir R. Tasker
I am not charging the council, but I am assuming that the authors of this charge belong to the Royal Institute of British Architects.
§ Sir R. Tasker
The hon. Gentleman seems to imagine that he is a kind of Old Bailey cross-examiner. I suggest that I might be allowed to proceed without any further interruptions.
§ Mr. Bossom
This is a very serious charge which is being made against a perfectly reputable body. I think that my hon. Friend ought to justify his statement or withdraw.
§ Sir R. Tasker
I am much obliged for my hon. Friend's advice, but this seems such a personal matter that I suggest we get on with the business. The object of the Bill is to restrict the use of the word "architect." I have here a document which was referred to by the mover and the seconder, and which is supposed to represent the views of something like 14,000 men. There is a reference here to the Association of Representatives of Unattached Architects and to 2,933 members. I do not know from where they get the 2,933 members. It is pure imagination that there is any such body in existence. Then it says that the Royal Institute of British Architects represents 6,992 architect members. In 1936 there were 7,731. Where have the 800 members gone? Are they dead and is there nobody to replace them? As to the allegation of the Seconder about examinations, it appears that of the 7,731 members of the Institute, only 4,469 have passed any examination. That is their concern and not my business, but if we are going to insist on examinations, let everybody be examined. I frankly say that I would not like to go through an examination to-day because I should be hopelessly ploughed, but I do not think that it would affect my practice.
There is no definition of architects in the Bill. What does it mean? It means to-day a registered architect. It is to mean to-morrow a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. When the 1931 Act came into force the first thing the Royal Institute of British Architects did was to seize control of the council. They next seized control of the Board of 1514 Architectural Education. They predominated on the council, and it became known as "the gramophone." If something was brought up by a member of the Institute there was a chorus of "Agreed." You might just as well have had a gramophone. If anybody from my Association made a suggestion it was either shelved or hopelessly defeated. This was a body supposed to represent all parties. When the council was formed, it became a hotbed of intrigue, and instead of concerning itself with architects it concerned itself with the glorification and predominance of the Royal Institute of British Architects. If it had carried out its job there would have been no objection. I suggest that this Bill is an attempt to deride the decision of Parliament in 1931. It also derides Parliament in regard to the Bill presented in 1927.
Is there any truth in the statement, so freely circulated in the House with a view to getting the Bill through, that the Home Office had signified their approval and that the Home Secretary would give it his blessing? I cannot imagine either a Minister, or his Under-Secretary, or an official being so indiscreet as to indicate either approval or disapproval of a private Member's Bill of so highly controversial a nature as this one. Those who are opposing the Bill believe that there should be no barriers except those imposed by a man's ability and industry—that if a man has the ability and the industry, there is no reason in the world why he should not practice as an architect and be successful. But I will resist, and continue to resist, this scheme, which shuts out all technical schools and all technical training, because I assert here and now that the R.I.B.A., through the Board, have only approved schools, which are dominated by the R.I.B.A.—the Universities alone excepted. Of course, it would be very difficult to say that a man who had obtained the degree of Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture at a University is not fit to be qualified. If the House were to pass a Bill like this, what would happen to architects who have been practising for 20 or 30 years and who are distinguished in the profession but who say, "I do not want to be registered, I will not be registered"?
§ Mr. Grant-Ferris
Cannot they be registered within two years on supplying sufficient evidence that they have been practising?
§ Sir R. Tasker
If the hon. Member will read the Act of 1931 he will find that this Bill is only extending the time. If a man objected to be registered between 1931 and 1933, and has the same objection to-day, it is no answer to say to him, "You have become registered within two years". It is no argument to say to a man, "You ought to be registered because midwives and people who sell firearms are registered." Why should architects be compelled to be registered? This Bill is an attempt to compel a man to do something. At present it is optional, if this Bill be passed it will be obligatory. Barristers, solicitors and accountants do not have to register. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Doctors do not have to register. [Interruption.] We do not interfere with the osteopath, except to say "You cannot call yourself a doctor."
§ Mr. Bossom
Will the hon. Member say where he finds in the Bill anything which compels any architect to register?
§ Sir R. Tasker
I never said so. A man will be permitted to practice as an architect after the Bill passes, but unless he is registered he cannot call himself an architect. A man who has been calling himself an architect for 20 or 30 years will be put out of practice. Does my Hon. Friend suggest that a man who is a gold medallist of the Royal Institute of British Architects should be put out of practice because he is not registered and refuses to register, because that is the effect of this Bill? If he wants the names of a gold medallist I will supply him. We are told that this Bill has received universal support, but that is not true. A document issued, presumably, by the Royal Institute of British Architects, though there is no name on it, includes apparently the whole of the architects who are members of it, but I will beg leave to read a letter from one who is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects:As an associate by examination since 1906 and a member after the necessary qualifying period of private practice since 1917, I feel strongly that the Royal Institute of British Architects have broken faith with me in supporting this Bill. In 1906 we were informed 1516 that all future fellows would have to qualify. However, after the War, fellowships were given away. When the amalgamation of the societies took place we were told that this was the final stage in the degradation of the qauifications. Then came the first Registration Act, under which any house agent who copies plans for a builder can claim to be practising as an architect and become a registered architect. That Act, however, still left to those like myself the option of refusing to class themselves in that category. Now, however, that right is to be taken away and we are to be compelled to enter into the fold, and will have, without doubt, to describe ourselves as registered if we are to obtain any work. We are forced to couple our names with the type described above. You can make any use of this letter you like.That is from a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. I admit that I have had far more letters from members of the Institute in my constituency who have asked me to support this Bill than from members who oppose it, but I have replied to each one that I am unable to support the Bill. I think that I understand it, and I think that they do not. Another man writes:The Bill gives a sense of false security, since all matters on which the public will require to be protected have to be overhauled by the engineering profession.Now I come to the 1934 Act. My hon Friend the Member for East Woolwich has called attention to the finances; it is in connection with the finances that feelings of resentment and opposition have been aroused. That Bill was introduced in a very short speech of about half-a-dozen lines. The mover assured his brother Members of Parliament that it was agreed to by all concerned in architectural education, though actually it was not. Hon. Members know that there has been opposition from more than one quarter. What was the pretext for depriving the boy or girl of something which had been earmarked for them? I quote the actual wording of a statement on the subject:I fear there was an oversight in that the finance for running the council and the committee was not provided during the first few months of its operation. This Bill, by universal consent of all those concerned in educational registration, makes that omission good.I call the attention of the House to the pronouncement that the finances were not provided for during the first few months. That is perfectly true; when members of the council endeavoured to ease the situa- 1517 tion a deaf ear was turned to them. The chairman of the Finance Committee let a couple of attics to the Registration Council, but the Council were offered offices for nothing, and no expense need have been incurred. The council indulged in shorthand notes of the whole of their proceedings and had them transcribed. That was quite unnecessary; thus money was dissipated and disappeared. I ask the House to take note of the date when this declaration was made. It was 7th June, 1934. It was not a case of "the first few months," because two years and five months had elapsed, and the very moment that declaration was made there was over £3,000 in the coffers of the Architects Registration Council. There was the sum of £1,400 which had been earmarked. There was another £1,900, making over £3,300 in hand.
That body came to this House. The Bill, having been promoted in another place, came before us. The House passed it, because no hon. Member could think that any one would make such a gross misrepresentation. What happened then? Three months afterwards at the next council meeting, when the House had relieved the Registration Council of their obligation to the poor boys and girls, involving thousands of pounds, we were told that we owed the Royal Institute of British Architects £1,500 and that we had better get rid of the debt at 4½ per cent. interest. That we proceeded to do. I hope that the Member who introduced this Bill in another place realises how he was deceived, how he was duped, and what he has done for the poor boys and girls. If that money were in hand and we owed £1,500 to the Royal Institute of British Architects, why could the money not have been borrowed from the scholarship fund? At the same meeting they were able to borrow money from the scholarship fund in order to give a gratuity to one of the architects. This they borrowed at 4 per cent.
The Bill is an attempt to get something through which is undisclosed, and I cannot support it. The ex-Prime Minister talked about going into the shadows; he and I are about the same age, and if I knew that, when I sat down, I was going to be gathered in by the Great Reaper, my last words would be: Do not encourage people to do something wrong, something which would be dishonouring to a noble profession.
§ 12.49 p.m.
§ Mr. McEntee
I beg to second the Amendment.
I do not propose to speak very long, but I hope I can induce hon. Members to give more consideration to the Bill than they appear to have given up to now. I oppose the Bill because I am a working man, and because it proposes to close another profession to working-class people. That is how its proposals must work out, and I hope to give evidence to prove what I say. If the Bill becomes law, the position will remain in many respects what it is at present, that is, the Royal Institute of British Architects will dominate, as they do now, the council under which examinations are held, the nature of the examinations, the fees paid for them, the tuition in connection with examinations and every possible move that was made in the original Bill. We have been told that the council consists of 75 members, of whom 46 are members of the Royal Institute of British Architects. The examinations are set by them and they will lay down the examination fees. In every way, a close corporation will be created, under the dominance of the Royal Institute of British Architects, to prevent working-class boys and girls—I do not see why girls should not come into it—entering the profession as freely as heretofore. I am not interested in any dispute that has taken place between the differing or opposing organisations within the profession, and I am not opposed to an examination. Registration may be necessary; possibly a good case can be made out for it, and I have an open mind on the point, with an inclination towards it. I will not go any further than that.
§ Mr. Fleming
Will the hon. Member explain how it will become difficult for working class boys to enter the profession?
§ Mr. McEntee
I am going on to explain. Please let me conduct my own case. When registration and examination are to be dominated by one organisation, the principle is wrong, and ought not to be approved by the British House of Commons. The creation of vested interests in the profession will make it more difficult for ordinary working class boys and girls to get into the profession in future. If registration is adopted, the fee should be purely nominal, but will it be so? The 1519 R.I.B.A. can fix what fee they like. I am very suspicious, because of my experience in the past of professional organisations generally, and particularly in regard to this professional organisation because of its conduct, that the fee will be made prohibitive and the examinations conducted, and entrants for it selected, in such a way as to make it almost impossible for working class boys and girls to get in. After all, why are there selected organisations for the examinations if it is not the intention of the promoters of the Bill to keep the profession select and only to admit into it those whom they want in it? There are technical colleges, such as the Regent Street Polytechnic, whose examination is not accepted. Why?
§ Mr. Bossom
Two A.R.A.'s, both great architects who have been recently elected by the Royal Academy, are FF.R.I.B.A., and got into it through studying at the Regent Street Polytechnic.
§ Mr. McEntee
That proves nothing. There is always an exception which proves the rule. The rule is that in future architects have to be trained by selected organisations, and not one of those organisations is a technical college. Further, grants for scholarships are given only to those who enter by that door.
§ Mr. Grant-Ferris
Out of 250 successful candidates for the R.I.B.A. in 1936, 108 trained themselves by attending evening schools.
§ Mr. McEntee
I am well aware of that. The figures have already been given, and if the hon. Member had been here he would have heard them, and would not have found it necessary to waste the time of the House. The fact that they were admitted through a technical college has nothing to do with the case. They had to enter by the examination of the selected bodies to which I have made reference. Grants are made only from the Fund that is created under Parliamentary grants, and are made only to those who submit to the examination of 13 bodies, every one of which is controlled by the R.I.B.A. Will any hon. Member tell me whether there is one of these 13 bodies which is not under the control of the R.I.B.A.? And can he tell me of anybody who has got in except through those examinations?
1520 The fact that this Bill is being introduced to-day is a proof that the Bill of 1931 was not a success. It has failed in many respects. One respect in which it has failed is finance. When it was introduced this House was misled by the promoters. Hon. Members who voted for it voted under a promise given that 50 per cent. of the fees collected would be paid out of the fund for giving scholarships to poor boys. Was that done? No. If it had been, why was it necessary in 1934 to promote another Bill asking Parliament to waive the conditions of the 1931 Bill and to allow the money to be used—for what? Not for scholarships, but for the purpose of paying exorbitant expenses to the people conducting the examinations under the Act. In regard to finance, it is as well we should know something about what was done in the succeeding years after Parliament had permitted them to use the money between 1931 and 1934 in a way that was not contemplated in the Act of 1931. In 1934 the fund was charged with £308 for administrative expenses and £156 10s. for scholarships. Did the House contemplate that in 1931? I venture to say it did not. In 1936, £514 was awarded in scholarships, and £550 was charged to administrative expenses. If that is the kind of finance that this House desires to support, I, at any rate, want to make my protest against it; it was never the intention of the House in 1931 that the money should be spent in that way.
The other point I want to make is in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for East Woolwich (Mr. Hicks), who has had to go away. He told us a very harrowing story with regard to the conditions prevailing in slum houses and slum factories. Incidentally he told me a story that I hope to be able to use on another occasion. I agree with him, and I think most Members will agree with him, in all that he said about the bad architecture in those houses. But will this Bill prevent these bad architects from still practising? Cannot any man still register, regardless of qualifications, who is to-day practising as an architect, or even who comes in between now and the time when the Bill comes into operation? My hon. Friend's reply was, "According to the Act, yes, he can register." So that if we have incompetents now, we shall have incompetents in the future. The Bill will not exclude 1521 them. The supporters of the Bill argue, quite legitimately, that after an interval of two years the Bill will commence to prevent incompetents from coming in in future. With that I entirely agree, but in the meantime every incompetent now practising has only to go and register and pay the registration fee, whatever it may be. The main argument that I have heard, and the one that has most influence with me, is that the Bill, if passed, will prevent a person who is not a qualified architect from passing in future. But under the Bill all he has to do is to apply to the Registration Council at any time within the next two years and he is admitted.
§ Mr. Bossom
He has to submit his credentials, and if the council are not satisfied, and do not admit him, his case has to be submitted to an independent tribunal.
§ Mr. McEntee
No. I ask the hon. Member to read his own Bill. It does not say any such thing. Clause 2 says:Notwithstanding anything in the principal Act a person shall, on application made to the Council in the prescribed manner and on payment of the prescribed fee"—Mind you, no particular amount of the fee is mentioned there—be entitled to be registered under the principal Act, if the Council are satisfied on a report of the Admission Committee that his application for registration was made within two years after the commencement of this Act and that at the commencement of this Act he was, or had been, practising as an architect in the United Kingdom.That is the part that is operative, and nothing can undo it. [Interruption.] I will read on if hon. Members desire it. It goes on to say:Provided that any person aggrieved by the refusal or failure of the Council to cause his name to be entered on the Register on an application made by him under this section shall be entitled to appeal to a Tribunal…It says that he shall be registered if he applies within two years and has practised in the past. There is no mistaking the meaning of that provision. No other meaning can be attached to it than the meaning which I am attaching to it now. My hon. Friend the Member for East Woolwich has no authority, nor have the people who have sent out literature on behalf of the R.I.B.A., nor the R.I.B.A. themselves, to speak for the Building 1522 Trades Federation. The Building Trades Federation has never been consulted. If it were consulted, I am as certain as that I am standing here that it would not agree. I do not believe that any of the workpeople's organisations, if they considered this matter, would give their consent to a Measure to make it more difficult for their sons and daughters to enter one of the professions whose doors it is now sought practically to close against them. It is worth noting that only eight scholarships were granted last year. The hon. Member for Maidstone (Mr. Bossom) told me about the number of entrants to the examinations who passed. I think he said it was 215. Of all that number, only eight got scholarships. Did anyone in 1931 contemplate that that was going to be the state of affairs? I am sure nobody did. The House was deliberately misled by the people who promoted the Bill at that time, and an attempt is being made deliberately to mislead the House by those who are promoting the Bill at this time.
I would put this point to the House, and particularly to those who are associated with me in the movement with which I have been for a long time connected. Does anybody on this side of the House imagine, if a Bill were introduced to register carpenters and joiners, or members of the Union of Post Office Workers, and to give them permission to charge fees for registration and to register bricklayers or members of any trade union, and the right to hold an examination before members were admitted into the trade, that the House would give such a proposal the support which it is being asked to give to this Bill? I am not opposed to examinations; I have already said so; but that is not the point. The question is, would they be given the right to charge a registration fee and to prevent anybody else from calling themselves carpenters and joiners, bricklayers, Post Office workers, miners, or any other of the trades or callings in or out of the building industry to-day? I am amazed that working-class representatives should permit themselves to be associated with a Bill which can have only one object, namely, to close the profession and make it as limited as possible so far as entrants are concerned—to make it difficult for poor boys or girls to get in, and in every way to make it 1523 a close corporation such as some other professions are at the present time. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment said, I think wrongly, that the legal profession is one in which registration is not necessary. Everybody knows perfectly well that no one can practise as a lawyer unless he has the consent of the organisation which dominates that profession, that nobody can practise as a doctor to-day unless he has the consent—
§ Mr. David Grenfell
My hon. Friend has made reference to some of us who are his associates in this House. Does he realise that I, for instance, who am as competent in my trade as he is in his, would not be allowed to work with him on his job, because I should not be deemed qualified to do so?
§ Mr. McEntee
I do not realise any such thing. The person who decides whether my hon. Friend or anyone else shall work in my trade is not the organisation, but the employer.
§ Mr. Grenfell
My hon. Friend knows that the trade unions in the building industry are actively protesting against dilution in all trades.
§ Mr. McEntee
Of course, we are protesting against incompetents coming in, but my point is this: If we, or my hon. Friend's organisation, came to this House and asked the House to give us legal power to extract fees for registration, does he suggest that the House would give us that power? [Interruption.] These interruptions are really unfair. I am trying to keep within reasonable limits of time, but, if I am interrupted as I have been continuously, I shall go on as long as I like, and I think I am justified in doing so. Everyone, including my hon. Friend the Member for Gower (Mr. Grenfell) knows that, if his union or mine desired to set up a registration council, to impose an entrance examination and to extract fees from members of the union, we should never get power to do so from this House. I suggest to my hon. Friend 1524 and other Members that it is just as important that there should be skilled miners, skilled carpenters and joiners, skilled bricklayers, and so on, as that there should be skilled architects. A skilled architect may do a lot of harm. He may endanger life; he may endanger the beauty of the landscape; he may do all kinds of things to which I and a great many others would object; but an unskilled miner may endanger hundreds of thousands of lives because of his lack of skill, and so may an unskilled building trades labourer.
Three or four weeks ago I was at the job which is now going on at the town hall, Walthamstow, and the general foreman was pointing out to me the foundations, some of which are 12 or 14 feet deep. He said, "I must have skilled timbermen down there. If one man that is not skilled goes down into that pit, be may endanger the lives of everybody in it." But would anyone in this House suggest that such workmen as that should be registered, that the organisation to which they may or may not belong should have the power to extract fees for registration and to make it difficult for them to get into the job, to put up a money bar against their getting into the job? Nobody would dare to suggest that in this House. Why do we always say that the professions must have a money ring around them? The professions must have a skill that is guaranteed by examination. They must have their members registered, so that the children of the ordinary man and woman are prevented from getting into them. If this Bill becomes law, it will be more difficult and more expensive for working-class boys and girls to get into this profession, and I hope that the House, with the fairness that it usually shows in matters of this kind, will reject the Bill for that reason.
§ 1.16 p.m.
§ Mr. Bossom
I am not going to attempt to follow along the line of argument made by the hon. Member for Holborn (Sir R. Tasker). He indulged in an attitude which I do not think this House favours. Comments have been made, both by the hon. Member and by the hon. Member who seconded the Amendment for the rejection of the Bill about restrictions on poor people and about the dominating influence of the Royal Institute of British 1525 Architects. It has been said that of 75 members of the council, 46 were elected by the R.I.B.A. If you examine the proportions of members of the profession, you will find that that proportion is as nearly as correct as can be. I believe there are about 12,000 members of the profession registered, and about 7,000 who are members of the Royal Institute of British Architects. I do not think that we wish to go over a matter that was settled by the House in a 1931 situation. It was then agreed that registration was to be the rule for architects if they wished to call themselves registered architects. There was then a two-year period allowed, during which anyone might apply for registration, and I have not heard it contended that anyone was kept out by unfairness in that time. That is a very fair indication of what would happen in the future. I think if we had satisfaction during that time we are entitled to expect satisfaction the next time.
§ Mr. McEntee
The hon. Member has told us how many architects were registered; can he carry his figures a little further and say how many are not registered?
§ Mr. Bossom
That is an impossibility. No one can say how many there are if they are not registered, but I believe there are something in the neighbourhood of 13,000 or 14,000.
The question has been raised about the Royal Institute of British Architects being the dominating body. This body has been in existence since 1834. It has had a very distinguished existence in our national life. I do not think there has ever been an architect member of the Royal Academy who has not been at one time in his life a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects; and I think that speaks fairly well for the judgment of the men who are there. It is quite right that the influence of such a group as this should be fairly widespread. But this Bill is not put forward by the Royal Institute of British Architects, but by the parliamentary committee appointed by the Registration Council, and the Registration Council, which was appointed in 1931, is separate from every one of the individual societies. The finances are kept quite separate. The question of unattached architects has been raised, and I have seen a statement in which it was contended that 2,900 unattached 1526 architects were represented by seven people. I have endeavoured to check this and I find that there are 2,900 odd architects and that they are paying a yearly subscription. I do not believe anybody wants to pay a subscription unless they need to.
§ Mr. Bossom
They pay it to the Registration Council. The Registration Council was formed, and an educational committee set up behind it, and that has carried on the work. Although it has been criticised, I think I am justified in saying to-day that it is getting into working order, and there is not the friction in the working that there might have been in the first year. The Act of 1931 permitted people to join. This Act will permit them to apply and be registered. It says they shall be entitled toif the Council are satisfied on a report of the Admission Committee…
§ Mr. Fleming
Does that mean that the applicant shall be entitled to be registered only after the report of the Admission Committee?
§ Mr. Bossom
I quite agree with the hon. Member, and I think that the Clause might be a little more clearly worded.
I would like now to deal with the question of the education of the poor boy, and the question of making this a dosed profession. I wonder if anyone in the House would consider it too expensive for a boy earning his own living to be charged as much as a shilling a week—actually £2 7s. 6d. a year. That is one of the highest charges, and the lowest is 8s. a year. That is all that is needed by certain of the schools that are providing candidates for examination and are getting them through the examination. At Aberdeen, which accommodates one of the registered schools, there is a fee of £1 a year for evening classes, and men or boys who attend these classes are getting through the examination. In Birmingham the fee is 7s. 6d. and 20s. a year, according to age; Cardiff, 1 guinea; Glasgow, four guineas; Leeds from £1 10s. to £2 5s. up to the end of the five years' course, and 1527 at London University school, which is the most expensive, six guineas per year. At Sheffield it is one guinea. I have been in correspondence with the various schools all over the country, and there are as many men getting through annually from the Northern Polytechnic in London as anywhere. The fees there are, for boys under 21, 18s. per year, and for those over 21, 30s. per year.
I do not think that these are prohibitive fees which should stop anybody who works in an office during the day, or as a bricklayer, carpenter or plumber, or who works in an architect's or an engineer's office, from attending these courses during the evening. One hundred and twenty-six of those who applied last year obtained their education at these evening classes. We must not be unjust and say that it is prohibitive, when at Chelmsford the entire course is provided at a cost of from 7s. 6d. to £1 per year; at Westminster from £1 to £1 10s., and at the Central School of Arts and Crafts run by the London County Council, from 2s. 6d. to £1 10s.
§ Mr. Bossom
I thank the hon. Member very much. There are many scholarships provided in addition to those provided by the Registration Council. They are provided separately in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London and in other places. They provide separate scholarships to enable boys to work in the day-time or at night. I have received all these documents from the different schools giving the prices charged to boys who work in the day time and get through the preparation for the examination at night. We are doing it. Out of the numbers who applied last year, practically one-quarter of those who were successful did the work at home or through correspondence schools. Approximately another quarter of them were successful at evening schools, and approximately one half of the number did it at the various day schools and at universities.
The statement has been made this morning that the various schools which are registered and recognised are dominated by the R.I.B.A., and it has also been said that no technical knowledge is recognised. I believe that the Cardiff 1528 Technical College is one of the technical colleges putting a number of pupils through the R.I.B.A. examination. The Regent Street Polytechnic every year submits its pupils, and its courses are recognised by the R.I.B.A., and it has now applied for registration under the Registration Council. It is not correct to say that these technical schools are not providing the pupils. They are providing the pupils. Is it contended that the Royal Institute of British Architects dominates the Edinburgh College of Arts, the Glasgow School of Architecture, the University of Liverpool, the University of London and the Universities of Manchester, of Sheffield and of Durham? That is not a fair statement for an hon. Member to make.
§ Mr. Bossom
They are not dominated by the examination board in the way the hon. Member imagines. They are not dominated. I am an honorary lecturer at Leeds, and I also lectured at Liverpool and am connected with the University of London in this respect. I lectured at Cambridge in the same way, and I can assure the House that they are not dominated by any one body. The men who run the educational institutes are respected and highly qualified, and they are not dominated by anyone. They are fair and open-minded men who are trying to do their best for an honourable profession. Any boy can to-day obtain all the education he needs—and literally thousands are doing it—for one shilling a week while he is earning his living elsewhere, and in some cases it is only 8s. a year. No one can say that that is creating a monopoly and exclusion.
Certain statements have been made that there are exclusions of certain people, such as engineers, civil and otherwise. They really are not excluded from doing anything that they are doing to-day. They can go on doing it for anybody, and nothing in the world can stop them. But you cannot, by giving yourself a name, make yourself a different person from what you are. If they are qualified as architects, they can apply, and if they are not satisfied with the treatment they receive they can go to the tribunal on appeal. The engineer, in many instances, can be put on the register at once. There 1529 is no reason why he should not be. There are people who say that in future, if the Bill goes through, they will not be able to get a local builder to build a small garage. There is nothing to prevent that. As the hon. Member for Holborn said, at the present time plans are submitted to building authorities without the name of any architect or engineer upon them. That can go on. There is no law in the land to prevent that in any way, and this Bill in no way affects the position. The Bill is purely one to safeguard the public, so that, when they employ a man who calls himself an architect, they will know that he has a certain amount of knowledge.
This profession is one of the most complicated in the world. We all have to live in a house somewhere designed by someone, and the scientific side of this question is quite as important as the artistic side. Men should have scentific knowledge. We all know our feelings concerning the ventilation of this Chamber. We would like to see a first-class engineer get on with the work of improving it. To-day architects are moving forward. There have been 3,000 new inventions since the beginning of the century in architecture and the building industry. A man to-day has to receive a lot of training in order to obtain the knowledge needed to enable him to provide a building which is considered to be satisfactory. There is no one at all who is excluded here. As to the importance of the building industry in this relationship, I believe that it gives direct employment to 1,100,000 people, and spends about £400,000,000 a year. In the ancilliary trades connected with it another 1,400,000 are employed and another £500,000,000 a year is spent. Approximately 2,500,000 people are employed and £900,000,000 are annually invested and handed to this great industry, directly or through the ancilliary industries.
Therefore, it is essential that we should endeavour to see that those who are to play an important part in directing this work should attain to a certain standard of education and training. There is nothing in the Bill that would prevent anyone practising, but if he puts the name "architect" on his plate it will mean that he has had the necessary education and training. For these rea- 1530 sons, I heartily support the Bill and hope that it will receive a Second Reading. Any helpful Amendments that are proposed in Committee will be very carefully considered.
§ 1.37 p.m.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
I speak as one who, having gone through the preliminary stages of architectural training in an architectural association school, feels that he must oppose the Bill. I am sorry that I have to do so. After my preliminary training in the school I apprenticed myself to a very emiment architect, whose name is well known and who has produced some of the finest domestic architecture in England. That architect was not a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects at that time, and it was only later that he was elected to that body in an honorary capacity as a result of the work he had done. An example of that sort might be remembered by the hon. Member who has just spoken as showing that good work can be, and has been, done by architects who are not qualified to put certain letters after their name.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
I am not concerned whether he is on the register or not. I put no value on the register. As a matter of fact, a very low value is put on the register; so much so that very few have bothered to make use of the title "Registered architect," even when they are on the register. We all recognise that some form of qualification is absolutely necessary. There must be a test of some sort as to whether the man who is to be responsible for the design and structure of a building is qualified, and that his work will not involve the building trade, and those who have to make use of the building in some calamity. The hon. Member for East Woolwich (Mr. Hicks) who followed, with his delightful anthem the First lesson, which was so carefully read by the Mover of the Second Reading of the Bill, said that the slums we saw and the factory buildings 1531 which are so bad were the work of architects who had no qualifications, and he suggested that if an Act such as the one now sought to be passed had been on the Statute Book, those buildings would never have been erected. I think he was going very wide of the mark in that statement. Most of us know that the majority of the big housing schemes, and the majority of the big factory buildings in this country, have been designed not only by men who call themselves architects, but by men who put letters after their names. The mere fact of having letters after your name, or using the word "architect," or being registered, is no guarantee whatsoever that the buildings put up by that person are of real value to the community, or good to look at, or that they conform to the requirements as to stability or commodity. If we are to have bad buildings let them be as bad as possible in order that at an early date, as a result of their rottenness they may disappear from the face of the earth.
There are various kinds of letters that can be used to designate certain qualifications, and it would seem to me that there are different tests which can be applied by different learned bodies to see how skilled an individual is in the profession which he wishes to follow. It is fair to say that the fact that there are these different grades of test leads to competition, under which one particular association or society may try to overtake or exceed the prestige of another by raising the standard of those who are allowed to put certain letters after their name. In that sense one can arrive at a healthy state of competition within a profession, that, surely, can be done in architecture in very much the same way that it has been done more indirectly in the medical profession. There are certain letters which members of the medical profession put after their names which have a higher value than other sets of letters. That is the right way to deal with this question of qualification.
§ Mr. Bossom
Does the hon. Member suggest that there should be no minimum standard? This Bill aims at setting up, at any rate, a minimum standard of qualifications.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
I made it clear at the outset of my remarks that we are all 1532 agreed that there must be some qualification, but the danger is, and I think the hon. Member is inclined to forget it, that this Bill proposes as the next step to make a monopoly of the word "architect" and shuts out everybody who does not possess that qualification. In seeking to do that, the Bill is tending to lower the whole standard of architectural practice. [Hon. Members: "No"]. If it is agreed that, for instance, in the medical profession some letters are of more value than other letters, why cannot the same position be arrived at in architecture? If you say that the title "architect" means so-and-so and that only certain men are qualified, to use that title on a low basis of qualification, then you are tending to lower a very health competition in the profession, and that is a point that we should very carefully watch in considering this Bill.
A great deal has been said about the cost of qualifying. The cost of qualifying for the lowest possible standard would be small, but if you are to have qualifications which are to be of any value the cost is very high. Although that matter is not directly covered by the Bill, I feel that the provision that is made for scholarships under the 1931 Act is by no means sufficient. If we are to continue with the 1931 Act—an Act which was passed in a most unfortunate vintage year, and if we are to continue to cellar this bad vintage, some portion of which had to be rebottled in 1935—we must make some efforts outside the structure of this Bill to devote more of the attention of learned bodies towards the provision of better and freer scholarships for those who are to study in this vital profession of architecture.
The hon. Member for East Woolwich was right when he said that there has been a good deal of undignified squabbling within the profession. On that score I would ask the House to consider whether this is the right time for this Bill to be given a Second Reading. We are concerned with a profession which, quite rightly, aims at being considered a dignified profession, in whose hands rest heavy responsibilities for the future lives of the people of this country, but I would ask whether this is the right moment to come to Parliament and say: "Give us something in the nature of conscription in this profession, and add to the very bad feeling which already exists between 1533 two branches of the profession," one perhaps greater than the other. It is a very undignified procedure, and I deeply deplore the fact that the profession should come to Parliament at this stage and ask Parliament to smooth out these difficulties. It would have been much more dignified if the profession could have smoothed over their own differences and then come to Parliament in full agreement and ask for these powers. We have by no means reached that stage, and we should be unwise, therefore, if we gave the Bill a Second Reading.
I must again stress the fact which has been so kindly glossed over by every speaker who has supported the Bill. The mere use of a name is no guarantee whatever to the community of efficient design and building. There are three essentials to good architecture—commodity, firm-less and delight. Commodity we know; we can agree about the suitability of the building for the purpose for which it is designed. As to firmness, we have in the different branches of architecture most skilled knowledge, which is also concentrated in all the different trades, upon which we draw information for the building that is to be erected. But as to delight, I would say that there could be no agreement amongst hon. Members, if we were to examine any building in London from the roof to the foundations as to its suitability, as regards taste and preciousness of the design of the doorhandle or roof tiles or bathroom tap, let alone the question of decoration, which is entering more and more closely into the work of an architect. The point is, that the claim that by the use of a name as a monopoly we can de something to improve the style, standard and type of building which is to be erected in the future, is absolute nonsense.
The onus lies, if blame is to be apportioned for bad designing, on the people of the country as a whole. Take two examples. A local authority may throw open to public competition between architects the design for some public work. What happens? A panel is set up to judge the designs sent in, the design which looks nicest. Public opinion in that case decides. Take the other case of a public authority which chooses and selects its own architect. Why do they choose the particular man? They do so because they know from the work he has 1534 already produced what his design will be like. Again, public taste has decided the sort of public buildings that shall be put up. I say there is no protection from the mere fact that a monopoly use is to be given to the word "architect" that better buildings will, therefore, be put up. Some of the greatest buildings in this country and in Europe have not been built by architects, but by those who are called master builders. Are we deliberately going to cut—
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Captain Bourne)
There are a number of hon. Members who wish to speak, and speeches so far have been rather long. Every interruption lengthens the proceedings.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
I am afraid I have kept the House rather long, and I apologise.
There are, of course, bad qualified architects even with a lot of letters after their names, and also bad builders. I do not want to see countryside architecture dominated by the town mind. We have got that tendency and it will be dangerous for the countryside to allow a Bill to pass which allows only those with the word "architect" after their names to practise. In the countryside you can see houses 200 years old or more which with a few alterations are strong enough to stand the shock of modern requirements, and beside them elaborate lodges and keepers' houses rocking to their foundations in spite of the fact that they were erected by men with the most beautiful letters after their names. There is no protection in the Bill. If I do not wish to be a registered architect, what is to prevent me from calling myself a building designer. What is to stop me from setting up a building designers' society and that society eventually reaching the status of being allowed to call itself the Royal Society of Building Designers? I think the Bill is a sham. It has been brought before the House with the insinuation that it will do something to clean up building design in the countryside. It does nothing of the sort. It is an undignified attempt to try and smooth down the quarrels which exist in the profession, and I hope the House will refuse to give it a Second Reading.
§ 1.53 p.m.
§ Mr. Acland
The hon. Member for Holborn (Sir R. Tasker) poured a little scorn on the fact that I have no experience as an architect. That would have been proper if I had ever made any such claim in this House. I have not made any such claim. I speak as an ordinary Member of Parliament, although I had two years' training at the same school as the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare (Mr. Orr-Ewing), which training was unfortunately cut short by the decision of the electors in my constituency that I should do some other work.
May I say something about the Bill? Complaint has been made that it is not the same as the Bill of 1931—that it does something different from the Act of 1931. If the Bill had not been in any way different from the Act of 1931, there would have been no point in introducing it. There has been a suggestion of a breach of promise given in 1931 which we are now breaking. In 1931 the House decided that we should go so far in a certain direction, but there was no guarantee that at no future time the House would not propose to take a further step. In 1931 the House, on the then assumed statue of the architects' profession, was unwilling to allow the profession the right to safeguard the word "architect", and only gave them a right to safeguard the words "registered architect". After six years' experience, we find that the words "registered architect" are hardly used, because in the eyes of the public there is no distinction between "registered architect" and "architect."
With that experience behind us, we ask the House to make up its mind whether the time has not come when we should take a further step, but only a small one. I hope that the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare does not think that the promoters of the Bill are making any extravagant claims. We do not believe that there will be no bad designs if this Bill is passed; we do not consider that it is a revolutionary or epoch-making Bill; we think it is a small Bill, but none the less one that is justified. The only thing for which we ask is that the name "architect" should be protected, and that those who use it shall be known to have passed some examination. Of course, neither the use of a name nor the passing of an examination is a guarantee of competence, but in future, if the Bill becomes 1536 an Act, when the name "architect" is engraved on a brass plate or printed at the head of stationery, those who see it will know that a certain course of training has been undergone and a certain amount of knowledge acquired.
We are not asking for the powers which the dentists have. Some hon. Members have in a way condemned architects for asking for so little, but what would they have said if we had asked for the powers which the dentists have? In the case of dentists, it is made a criminal offence for any man to put an instrument into another person's mouth with a view to undertaking dental work unless he has passed an examination and has been registered. Of course, even those powers give no guarantee that a dentist is competent but simply mean that a man who describes himself as a dentist has passed certain examinations and has undergone a certain course of training. Nevertheless, since the Act was passed in 1921 or 1922, the standard of dentistry has improved, and in the same way, we believe that if this Bill becomes an Act, with its milder powers we shall not be able to bring about revolutionary changes, but we shall be able to bring about a modest improvement. If there is to be a name which is to mean something, somebody will have to conduct the examinations; and if there are any criticisms in detail about the composition of the Architects' Registration Council, they can be dealt with on the Committee stage, and put right.
I submit that the charges of domination and corruption, and of trying to make a "corner" in architectural knowledge, which have been directed against the Royal Institute of British Architects, have already been answered by the hon. Member for Maidstone (Mr. Bossom). The difference between the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Incorporated Association of Architects and Surveyors is that the examination of the former has been approved by the Board of Education, and that of the latter has not been approved, but that was not the work of the R.I.B.A., because the demand of the I.A.A.S. for the right to hold examinations was rejected by 24 votes to three, and even if all the R.I.B.A. members had not voted, it would still have been rejected by 10 votes to three, the three votes in each case being 1537 those of the representatives of the I.A.A.S. As to the question of corruption, I believe that the hon. Member for Holborn has been on all these bodies from the start, but I do not believe that he could tell us a single date on which he brought up before the Council, which was the proper place to bring it up, any charge of corruption. There have always been present representatives of Government Departments, and surely it was their duty, if they knew of any corruption or misappropriation of funds, to bring it to the notice of the competent authorities.
I maintain that the profession is entitled to ask for this small step forward, on account of what it has actually done. I submit that architects to-day are really doing progressive work which is worth while, and we all know the rather dreadful results which are sometimes achieved when architects are not employed. I can at second hand say a little on that matter, because my right hon. Friend the Member for North Cornwall (Sir F. Acland), who is chairman of the Rural Housing Committee in Devon, has to pass, for subsidy purposes, plans for the reconstruction of an enormous number of rural cottages, houses, barns and so on. I will tell the House what is his invariable experience. Plans are submitted, some of them marked "R.I.B.A." and some of them not so marked. It is not a matter of good taste, but a simple matter of planning, that over and over again the county architect, who is an R.I.B.A. man, can put a piece of tracing paper over the plan, and say that if they will just turn the stairs round that way or put a passage somewhere else, or make some little adjustment to the plan, they will get three decent bedrooms instead of two indifferent bedrooms. Those improvements and adjustments introduced by the county architect always come on the plans submitted by those who are not members of the R.I.B.A. Therefore, although the name does not guarantee anything, in practice it seems to work out that those who have had this training are more competent than those who have not.
In conclusion, I would like to make a brief reply to the remarks of the hon. Member for West Walthamstow (Mr. McEntee), who seemed to me to advance the only argument which we have heard against this Bill. He said that if we 1538 take this action in the case of architects, why do we not register bricklayers, miners, and so on? I think that is an argument that has to be considered, and I think I can put forward three reasons why what appears at first sight to be logical cannot be carried to the end. In the first place, if there is to be registry and an examination, somebody has to keep the register somewhere, and the expenses of the work will have to be paid by the people who are registered. It is very likely that carpenters and bricklayers would not be too keen if they were told that they had to pay a registration fee. Secondly, as a rule, although not always, the incompetent professional man can do more harm than the incompetent trade unionist. The incompetent doctor can do me more damage than the incompetent carpenter. There are exceptions, as, for example, the case which was mentioned of an incompetent timber-man in a mine, who can do as much damage and cause as much destruction of human life as an incompetent doctor.
§ Mr. Acland
That is another exception; but my argument holds good in general. The third consideration is that in the case of timber-men in mines, or bricklayers, the men are working under employers who should be able to recognise skill and competence, and they work alongside other men who should be able to recognise it. I support the efforts which the trade unions are making to prevent incompetent men being employed on jobs where incompetence can lead to danger. It is otherwise, however, in the professions, because the employer of a dentist, a doctor or an architect has no skill in detecting and rejecting incompetence. Therefore, in the professions, is it right that there should be the safeguard that anyone who uses the name must have the training? I hope that the Bill will receive a Second Reading.
§ 2.5 p.m.
§ Mr. Woods
It is a surprise to me to find the spokesman of the Liberal party supporting a Bill which, in its final application, will mean restriction of the liberty of the subject and will prevent men telling the truth. On whatever else we may agree or disagree, I think it is well recognised that architecture is a creative art. In other words, the archi- 1539 tect is born rather than made. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Either the creative genius is there, or is not there. If it is there, it will be vastly improved by training, but, thank goodness, this world is so designed that there is no one and only method of bringing out those innate capacities which blossom out in great architecture. The modem Christopher Wren may be quite unorthodox. He may come from Russia, for example, where there are fewer restrictions on, and greater liberty for, the architect, and if he came to this country, under the proposals now before us, he would be incapable of being described here as an architect although he might be the world's greatest architect. We should not be in a position here to tell the truth and to compliment him on his work as an architect, because he would not have the right to that title.
While opposing the Bill, I agree with almost everything that was said by my hon. Friend the Member for East Woolwich (Mr. Hicks) in seconding the Motion. My hon. Friend spoke eloquently of the tragedy of the slums, of the unsightliness of many of our buildings, of unsatisfactory workmanship, of bad town planning and various other things. We all agree with him and are anxious to see a substantial improvement in the standard of our buildings, artistically and structurally, as well as in relation to lighting, heat, ventilation and general utility value. But what application has all this to the Bill? I ask those who are advocating the Bill, how is it to achieve those desirable aims which we all have in view? If it were possible by passing a Bill of this nature, to abolish all the evils of which we complain, and achieve all the desirable things we are anxious to see, it would be the cheapest legislation ever passed by this House. But I would remind hon. Members that all these arguments were used in 1931, and that there has been no substantial improvement. While appreciating the work done in the past by the Royal Institute of British Architects, I think this Bill will not, in the long run, be in the interests of architects as such.
I dissent from the idea that architects, whether registered or unregistered, are to blame for the ugliness of which we have heard. They are very largely to be exonerated, and as far as buildings not 1540 designed by architects are concerned, this Bill will have no effect. It does not provide that a building can be designed only by an architect. It gives no power to local authorities to refuse to pass plans which have not been drawn by qualified architects. [An HON. MEMBERS: "The next step".] One of my hon. Friends suggests that that may be the next step, and I think that there would be objection to that step. But the Bill does not compel the employment of an architect by any person who is proposing to erect a building. It does not give any more scope to the architect than he has at present. After all, the architect is an employed person, and whoever is paying for the building has the final word. We all know what happens. Plans are submitted by the architect, and he is asked for an estimate of the cost. Probably the person to whose order the building is being erected considers the proposed cost too high, and asks the architect to reduce it. He does not want the building to be reduced in size, but he asks that all embellishments should be cut out, and the building made plain and homely so as to avoid all unnecessary expense. Of course, in such a case the architect can throw up the commission if he likes, but most of them are not made that way, and they carry out the commission according to the wishes of the person who is ordering the building.
On the question of status, I think the Bill will, if anything, lower the professional status of the architect. At present if a man or woman can describe himself or herself as an associate or fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects that is a guarantee, but if the Bill comes into force, the public will be bamboozled into the idea that those who can call themselves architects must necessarily be architects. The Bill will include in the term "architect" all those who can demonstrate that they have been practising as such. It will not matter how much practice they have had, as long as they have an office and have carried out a few jobs on plans which they have culled from some of the architectural journals. The little leaven will leaven the lump. In the interest of the profession itself, I think it would be much better that it should remain on the same basis as other professions and that a man should be able to qualify for the use of 1541 certain letters after his name which would give some guarantee of the standard attained by him.
As I say, I think we all want to bring about some improvement, and I suggest that legislation to give further powers to local authorities and officials of local authorities would be desirable. When I was on the streets and buildings committee of the city of York, plans were submitted for building work in the centre of the city and were passed. I considered them unsightly, and I remarked to the city surveyor that they were unworthy of York. He agreed, but said he had no authority over the elevation of buildings. If we want better buildings we ought to extend the power of the local authorities.
Several analogies have been used in this Debate. Architecture has been linked up with the building trade and other occupations. I suggest that in order to get this question in its right proportions, we ought to consider architecture as parallel with music and sculpture and art. To come back to what I said at the outset, great architecture is finally a creative art. What happens in those other walks of life to which I have referred? There are examinations for musicians and it may be said that anybody is a musician who can produce music and anybody is a composer who can compose music, but we have enough confidence in the general public to leave them to decide in those cases. A person may compose music with which he himself is highly delighted, but which delights nobody else. When he calls himself a composer people will simply smile, and that is the best way of killing that sort of pretentiousness.
It is the same with sculpture. You cannot say that a man is a sculptor because he has passed certain examinations. He may probably have improved his art by having studied and by having passed examinations, but the final test is that he is a sculptor because he can produce the goods, and the same test, I submit, should apply in the case of architects. The man or the woman who can produce the goods is worthy of being called an architect. While those of us who oppose this Bill are very keen on every aid being given, and on examinations and tests being applied to help and encourage the initiative of aspiring genius, we feel that the mere making of a copyright, as it were, of the word "architect" and applying 1542 it to a small percentage of the community who have passed a few examinations is entirely un-English. On those grounds, I oppose the Bill.
§ 2.16 p.m.
§ Colonel T. Sinclair
In the event of the House giving a Second Reading to this Bill, and as it is practically certain to be made applicable to Northern Ireland in the near future, I have to thank you, Sir, for the opportunity of taking part in today's discussion. I have the authority of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects to state that, with remarkable unanimity, they are whole-heartedly in favour of this Bill and are eager to have it accepted by this House and passed. As a representative of that part of the world, I therefore have pleasure in urging the adoption of the Measure. Clause 5 of the Bill suggests that it may be made to apply to Northern Ireland in the usual manner, so that it becomes of interest to the whole United Kingdom. I can testify to the uplift, both moral and spiritual, of a profession having a single register for all, one disciplinary tribunal, one high ethical sense, one body to award bursaries and scholarships to struggling and ambitious students, who, by night classes, at technical schools and private study, may be able and even encouraged to reach the coveted title "architect."
We have a parallel what happened in connection with the 1921 Dentists Act, by which the word "dentist" received a definite connotation. I am not an architect; I am a University Member, but my experience has been derived from having been a member for some years of the Dental Board of the United Kingdom and of the General Medical Council. The Dental Board, under the very capable chairmanship of the right hon. Baronet the Member for North Cornwall (Sir F. Acland), supplies an admirable model for the generous grant of bursaries and scholarships, so that there is no fear but that ample provision is made for the assistance and encouragement of the needy but ambitious student. In 16 years since the Dental Board was established a great transformation of dentistry has been evolved, almost securing for the dental profession the status or grade of one of the learned professions. The Dental Board completely transformed what had been a disorganised body of ignorant and untrained people who had been practising 1543 dentistry at will, without being amenable to the disciplinary body at all.
It interested me to hear that the claims of the municipal engineers and surveyors were to be favourably considered on the Committee stage of the Bill and that happily some remedy might be found for the disabilities of which they have complained and which have led them to oppose the present Bill. I ask the House to give the Bill a Second Reading, and I sincerely hope that the internecine warfare, if one may so call it, between members of the great profession of architecture may be happily composed and some accommodation or compromise agreed upon to enable the profession to maintain solidarity, so that the general public shall know where they are and what the word "architect" really stands for. I thank the House for its courtesy in listening to my remarks, as coming from Northern Ireland, where we hope that very shortly the provisions of this Measure may be made applicable.
§ 2.25 p.m.
§ Sir Arnold Wilson
I oppose this Bill with regret, not only in view of its backers, but of my many architect friends who have urged me to support it, while the number urging me to oppose it is small. But I know many who have declined to take sides. We are asked to reverse a decision taken by a Select Committee of this House in 1927, confirmed in 1931 after a strong hint by the then Parliamentary Secretary to the Home Office that the use of the term "architect" should not be restricted. This is what he said:By virtue of a measure of this kind we are apt to create a very close corporation, and many people in these days view that with great suspicion. We are entitled to regard the matter from a different point of view from the powers extended to the medical profession, to dentists or to the legal profession in this sense that we are here dealing with creative art.He urged an attempt in Standing Committee to reach a general agreement. Before the Select Committee in 1927, on the first day, the spokesman of the Royal Institute of British Architects proposed to Major Harry Barnes, who agreed, although with reluctance, to abandon altogether the idea of restricting the use of the word "architect" and to substitute "registered architect." Having 1544 recited at length the various councils and societies which objected to the Bill in its then form, he announced that the Royal Institute of British Architects and certain other architectural bodies had consented, as I certainly understand finally, that they would make no attempt to restrict the use of the world "architect." This Bill comes forward 10 years later to modify the decision reached unanimously by this House in the light of the report of a Select Committee.
Accountants are not forbidden to call themselves accountants until they have passed an examination. They are encouraged to call themselves chartered accountants when they have reached a certain standard of proficiency. Chemists are not forbidden to call themselves chemists; they are encouraged to be Fellows of the Institute of Chemistry, or members of the Pharmaceutical Society respectively; qualifications which have come by long experience to be recognised in each case as a real hallmark and a certain guarantee of competence. My own belief is that, if architects exercise patience, in another 10 or 15 years' time the words "registered architect" will have reached the same point that "chartered accountants" or "Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry" have reached and will be recognised as affording a real status. The Law Society waited for 30 years before it finally obtained a uniform system of examination. It was content to wait and allow the position to consolidate itself. I feel that the Royal Institute of British Architects and others are trying to press matters forward too fast.
I do not associate myself with, and I have no knowledge of, the quasi-personal matters or matters of internal administration, which have been raised by certain hon. Members this afternoon. There was a complete redrafting of the 1931 Bill on the basis of "registered architect" instead of "architect", and I cannot myself see that it is possible merely to reverse this decision without far more careful consideration than has yet been given. There is no definition in the Bill of the word architect". That is a real difficulty. Where is the dividing line between an engineer, a civil engineer, a surveyor and an architect? Ruskin in 1854 said:No person who is not a great sculptor or painter can be an architect…he can only be a builder.1545 If this Bill goes through I seriously anticipate that we shall find persons setting up, just as osteopaths have set up alongside of doctors, saying "We are not architects, we are designers of good houses, master builders, or practitioners in architecture." There is a score of possible synonyms, and we may very well find that confusion has become worse confounded.
I am the last to under-estimate the importance of architecture to the nation, nor do I under-estimate the high degree of professional competence reached by the architectural profession. I have still to hear that there has been any such deterioration in the past six years as to justify this Bill. It reflects ill upon the confidence of members of the architectural profession in each other that they should feel compelled to come to Parliament in order to restrict the use of the word "architect". I have had a good deal to do with architects, to my invariable pleasure, and I have heard a great deal more. I have been responsible, directly and indirectly, for a good deal of architectural work, and I should have said that the general level of competence in every direction of architects is steadily rising, and there is no reason whatever to fear that that small group of persons, variously estimated at 5 to 10 per cent. of the whole profession, are really doing it any harm. Architects are known by their fruits as perhaps no other profession; I find it hard to believe that the mere fact that a man calls himself an architect brings him more than his first job.
The Bill seeks to create by the sidewind of an examination a statutory monopoly of the word "architect." The outcome will be, in the first place, the growth of alternative designations, and, secondly, a certain increasing rigidity in professional standards. The medical profession have themselves sometimes revolted against the type of examinations which were being imposed upon them. They have, indeed, been doing so in the past 12 months, and they find it is exceedingly difficult to move great vested interests that grow up round certain types of examinations; I feel that freedom in architecture is not less necessary than freedom in medicine, and that we should think twice before we impose a uniform system of examinations. I do not care in the least whether the exami- 1546 nations are conducted by the Royal Institute of British Architects or by the State. In either case I feel that architecture, a creative art, is one which should be allowed its freedom, and that the public will not get such advantages from this Bill as will justify us in putting that great profession into shackles or into a strait-waistcoat.
One hon. Member said that £400,000,000 of money is spent every year by the building profession. Architects are responsible for spending a large proportion of that sum. The architect's primary duty to-day from a business point of view is to stand between the client and the contractor. It is an immensely responsible task; and no one architect knows more than a little of the innumerable crafts which he has to call into use for his great buildings. Architecture is divided into innumerable subsections, like engineering, heating and ventilating, structural steel, roofing, foundation work, piling. Each has its own separate skill; the architect is the man who combines them all into a harmonious whole. No examination can do much to secure competence, and the older a man grows the more competent he becomes, and the less does an examination matter. There is a distinction, I am sure, between the work of the civil engineer and the work of the architect. If we are to make this Bill work, surely there must be definition in the Bill. Rennie was an engineer and not an architect, but he built Waterloo Bridge. Vanbrugh called himself a builder and he built Blenheim. Wren always called himself an astronomer.
We cannot do much to raise the standard by legislation. We can do very much more outside. I venture to make this suggestion to the promoters of the Bill. We should be willing to give it a Second Reading and not to divide upon it, providing the promoters will let it go to a Select Committee for dispassionate consideration instead of before a Standing Committee. There are—and it is useless to hide it—real domestic differences within the profession. I have received representations from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute of Structural Engineers, and I believe that my hon. Friend the Member for Inverness (Sir M. MacDonald) desires to make representations on behalf of the civil engineers, who desire certain altera- 1547 tions in the Bill. Among those who have not signified their adherence, although they are named in the First Schedule to the Act of 1931, are, in addition, the Institute of Builders and the Institute of Chartered Surveyors. It is most undesirable, if we can possibly avoid it, that these professional or quasi-professional matters should go before a Standing Committee where Members of this House are compelled to take sides and put up a case for one side or the other, not from their personal knowledge or conviction, but in order to give the various interests a fair show.
If it could go before a Select Committee Members of the House would sit as judges and not as advocates. They would hear the representatives of the interested parties and the complaints and allegations, put forward could be sifted, or if not in order, could be refuted finally and conclusively. They should not remain half answered. It is impossible to do more than that in the brief time at our disposal. If my hon. Friends who backed this Bill agree, and if the Government would be prepared to make the necessary Motion that it should go before a Select Committee, we would not divide against the Bill; and I am convinced that the interests of those who are behind the Bill and of those who are opposed to it would be very well served. Failing that, I can see nothing for it but a long dog fight in the Standing Committee upstairs which will be inconclusive, and do much more harm than good to architects and the other interests which are inevitably closely concerned with the Bill.
§ 2.40 p.m.
§ Mr. Grant-Ferris
I am glad to have this opportunity to give the House my brief experience when I was a member of the architectural profession. When I completed my education I was articled to a firm of architects and surveyors, and subsequently went into partnership with the chief assistant of the firm. We were in business together for several years. In 1931 we began to hear of the Architects Registration Bill which was to be presented to the House. We were worried as to what our status would be should it be passed. We were neither of us qualified architects. My partner was an extremely able architect. The war had caught him, and when he came back he 1548 was impoverished and had to earn his living. He could not face the examinations and the work that they entailed at his then age. A friend came to us and asked us if we had heard of the Incorporated Association of Architects and Surveyors. I said that we had not, and he said that it was a society which would admit us without an examination, that we could have a certificate to prove that we were members of it which we could hang up, and that in all probability, should the Act be passed, we would be protected. We paid something like three guineas, and a certificate arrived, which we put up, needless to say, in the most conspicuous place in the office.
I am satisfied that we as a firm are not a danger to the public, but I am certain that if that practice could have been pursued so easily by us, with practically no inquiries by this body, any other firm in a similar position could do the same. I am convinced that that might easily be a great danger to the community. The hon. Member for East Woolwich (Mr. Hicks) will agree with me that an architect can be just as damaging to the public as a doctor or dentist or anybody else. He knows, as I do, that a proprietor is entirely in the hands of the architect and the builder, and that it is possible for them to get together and agree not to put the right amount of lime into the mortar, or not to provide the timber which is specified in the contract, and that the plaster should be of an inferior quality, and so on. If a man is registered and will not be able to work if he loses that qualification, it would be too great a risk to do such wicked things. That is a substantial reason why we should give this Bill a Second Reading. I do not believe that the House could, if it takes these matters into consideration, possibly refuse to do that.
We are all agreed—and I challenge the hon. Member for Hitchin (Sir A. Wilson) to contradict me—that architecture today in many cases, such as we see along our by-pass roads, is an absolute disgrace. In practically all cases the type of house to which I refer, which is nothing more than a box and only just sufficient to pass the local authority, is put up practically in all cases by the very type of man which this Bill seeks to exclude from the profession.
§ Mr. Grant-Ferris
The hon. Member says "No." I myself come of a family which has built 20,000 houses, and I know something about house building and house designing, and I am certain that if a vote could be taken of the Members of the R.I.B.A. they would be found to be absolutely ashamed of the developments of modem middle-class house architecture in this country to-day. An hon. Member remarks that the houses were not built by architects. We want to make sure that the gentlemen who build them have had the education which fits them to be architects. [Interruption.] I do not wish to enter upon a number of digressions, but I beg the House to give the Bill the Second Reading which it deserves.
§ 2.46 p.m.
§ Sir Murdoch MacDonald
As far as this particular Bill would ensure the training of everybody who has to practise as an architect, I am in full agreement with it. My particular complaint against it is that there are many other people besides those who are in the architects' profession who are fully qualified to do many of the things, if not all of them, which architects do. I am authorised to speak on behalf of a much greater body, numerically, than all the architects taken together. There are in the country to-day 11,000 registered civil engineers, and in addition some 3,800 structural engineers, whose work impinges upon architecture. None of those people desire to call themselves registered architects, but all of them desire to have that full freedom in the practice of their professions which has been theirs hitherto. They ask only this simple thing: "That nothing in the principle Act or this Act shall be construed so as to prevent any chartered civil engineer from perfoming any act or function or exercising any power which he might lawfully have performed or exercised if the principle Act or this Act had not been passed." That simple proposition has been put before the body promoting this Bill and they have refused to agree to it.
If it is a question of education, I do not think any architect belonging to the R.I.B.A. or any other body would dream of saying that the technical training of 1550 architects is in any way superior to that of chartered civil engineers. Indeed, I think I may say with very good reason that the technical education required by the civil engineer to-day—and for many years past—has been of the very highest standard, much higher, technically, than has been required for an architect of any description. To bar these 11,000 civil engineers and 3,800 structural engineers from saying that they were the architects of any particular thing which they have constructed, and which they were lawfully and legally entitled to construct under their profession; to say that not only must these registered civil engineers and structural engineers pass the examinations of their own associations but must join a body which has undoubtedly a lower standard of technical training than their own puts them in a position which is so grievous that I cannot believe for a moment that this House would agree to pass a Bill which did not contain a Clause such as I have suggested protecting chartered civil engineers and structural engineers in that respect.
I have tried this morning to ascertain from those who support the Bill what are their views on this particular point. The Mover of the Bill thought this suggested clause was an extremely reasonable one. He is a lawyer, not an architect or an engineer, and after he had read the clause he said, "Oh, yes, that seems perfectly reasonable." Then he turned to an architect friend sitting beside him and asked him to read it, and the latter said, "Ah—yes—that is all right—but you must not use the title 'architect,'"—not that the man must not use the title "registered architect" but that he must not even use the title "architect." No structural engineer, one of those who have put up all the great structures which we see round us to-day in London, would be able to say, "I have been the architect of this structure."
§ Sir M. MacDonald
Not at all. I understand perfectly what I am asking. I do not happen to be a structural engineer, so that the matter does not concern me 1551 personally, but if I were a structural engineer and had put up one of those great modern structures which we see to-day in London, and somebody said to me, "Were you the architect of that?" should I not be entitled to say that I was? Why should I have to turn round and say, "Hush. You much not use the word 'architect' to me. You must ask whether I was the engineer." It would be an obvious abuse of the English language. I cannot understand the attitude of mind of those who would resist the claim of a body of something like 15,000 people who are, if not better qualified technically, at least equally well qualified technically, with architects to say they are the architects of anything which they have erected. Unless the suggested clause which I have indicated is to be inserted in the Bill I shall be compelled to oppose the Measure not only on Second Reading but at all future stages. I hope that what I have said will convey clearly to the House that I and the institutions which I represent want everybody who practises as an architect to be fully trained. There is no objection to that. Here we have two bodies which do not admit anybody unless he is very highly trained. They ask to be allowed to use this word "architect" if they think fit, in regard to any works that they have constructed.
§ Sir T. Moore
Is not the hon. Member under a misapprehension as to the use of the word "architect"? There is no objection to the hon. Gentleman saying: "I am the architect of that bridge," but there is an objection to his saying, "I am Sir Murdoch MacDonald, architect." He can say: "I am the architect of my fortune and the architect of this house," but he would not be able to put up a brass plate and say, "I am So-and-So, architect," if he were a constructional engineer.
§ Sir M. MacDonald
In carrying out their profession, civil engineers may do things which bring them within the definition of the ordinary word "architect." Is it not reasonable that these highly trained and technical people should be able to say: "I am the architect of that building," and to write and say so. Why should there be any more objection to my writing it than to my saying it? What is the play on words that makes that particular difference between writing and speaking?
§ Mr. E. J. Williams
Do I understand the hon. Member to suggest that those architects should merge their identities in those of civil engineers?
§ Sir M. MacDonald
The architects would continue as registered architects. I am agreeable that the House should compel everybody who practises as an architect in the ordinary sense to belong to this registered architectural body, but we must remember that there are at least two other bodies, of civil engineers and constructional engineers, who are highly qualified and who equally should be able to use the word "architect," if they think fit, although not the term "registered architect". What objection could there be to my using the word in speaking of what I "had done or writing it if I were writing to a friend? I hope such a provision will be inserted in the Bill, in which case I should not oppose the Bill. Without such a provision, I say, on behalf of 15,000 people who are represented by their central bodies, that it is reasonable to ask the House to reject the Measure.
§ 2.58 p.m.
§ Mr. Godfrey Nicholson
Hon. Members will not expect me on behalf of the promoters to give a definite and detailed pledge upon the point which is under discussion, but the point of view which has been presented will receive sympathetic consideration. If civil engineers are actually acting as architects at the date when the Bill passes into law, they will be entitled to register as architects, and if they are not acting as architects, they will not. The Bill is solely confined to the use of the word "architect" as qualifying a man's profession. I think the hon. Member who last spoke is under a misapprehension. I want to refer briefly to the suggestion made by the hon. Member for Hitchin (Sir A. Wilson) that the Bill should be sent to a Select Committee. I am authorised to say on behalf of the promoters that we cannot advise hon. Members who are in favour of the Bill to accept that suggestion, as we believe it would seriously jeopardise the Bill. I am of opinion that it would do more than jeopardise the Bill; it would kill it this Session, because of the limited time at the disposal of private Members. There are only a certain number of private Members' days, and only four Fridays devoted to Report 1553 stage and Third Reading of private Members' Bills between Easter and Whitsun. The delay in Select Committee would result in numerous Bills having priority.
This is a particularly suitable Bill for Standing Committee. It is short, although it is, I admit, controversial. I can give a pledge that the opponents of the Bill will be treated sympathetically in Standing Committee. The last thing we want to do is to set up the proposed new regime in a spirit and an atmosphere of bitterness. The most serious criticism that the Bill has received came from the hon. Member for Hitchin. Like him, I dissociate myself from the bitter and acrimonious background to some of the opposition to the Bill. I believe that the hon. Member made the mistake that, while he produced many arguments against the Bill, he could not make up his mind on which to go nap. If he had concentrated on one argument I should have been more convinced. His strongest argument was that the Royal Institute might well become a harmful vested interest. That danger is present whenever you set up anything in the nature of a vested interest, but in this case the remedy appears to be automatic. If the Institute sets up harmful and irritating rules, the public can then cease to employ architects. There will be no obligation upon people to employ an architect after the passing of the Bill. The hon. Member for Hitchin, or myself, or anybody else, will be able to design and erect anything: from a rabbit hutch to a cathedral. If the Royal Institute should become a harmful vested interest it would lose in repute and its members would cease to be employed.
One of the many legs upon which the hon. Member for Hitchin supported his intention to reject the Bill was that the Bill would be harmful to the achitectural profession. Surely the vast majority of those in the architectural profession are better judges of their own interest than either he or I. They are asking for the Bill. The Bill cannot be harmful to the public, who will be under no obligation to employ architects. The duty of the House is clearly to give this great and noble profession the status that it asks for, and if that status is injurious to the public, the public have the remedy within their own hands. I seriously ask the 1554 House to pass the Bill and to send it to a Standing Committee.
§ 3.4 p.m.
§ Colonel Wedgwood
I am a civil engineer and a member of the Institution of Naval Architects, but I do not propose to speak from that point of view, because God help anybody who employed me in either capacity. The hon. Member for Hitchin (Sir A Wilson), with whom I have so often found myself at difference, is opposing this Bill also. He opposes it with reluctance; I oppose it with animosity, chiefly because I see on the back of the Bill the names of all my friends in the House of Commons. That does destroy one's faith in human nature. I oppose the Bill because I do not think, to be quite candid, that this House has any right to send a man to prison who has not been guilty of a crime. I wish Members who bring forward these Bills on Friday afternoons would just look through them and see how many crimes they are manufacturing in their Bills. There is always a Clause in a Friday afternoon Bill sending someone to prison. Under Clause 1 of this Bill, anyone who calls himself an architect in future without being registered will be sent to prison. He may be a perfectly innocent man. What right have you to say that people shall go to prison for calling themselves something which according to the English language they are?
I object to the Bill on that ground, and I also object to it on a further ground, which I think ought to appeal to the whole House. Every one of these Bills for closing a profession is intended to stop competitors coming into that profession. It is closing the profession. We have had enough of that. One profession after another has come to the House and has got Bills making it so expensive for anyone to get into the profession that the working classes are ruled out. You cannot become a dentist now without spending £1,000—
§ Mr. Bossom
I think that my right hon. and gallant Friend was not here when I explained to the House that a boy can get all the needful education at a cost of not more than 1s. per week. He can get that at any county technical institute. In a number of cases the fees are 8s. per year, and a great many men have obtained their professional quail- 1555 fications at no more expenditure than that. I am sorry that my right hon. and gallant Friend was not here when I gave that information.
§ Colonel Wedgwood
We have all received, among the mass of circulars that has been sent to us, a list of half-a-dozen people—quite common people—who have got scholarships and have passed their examinations. One was a miner. I wonder that he was not presented at the Bar of the House as one of those people who raised themselves from the ranks. The object of closing a profession is to keep people out so as to get better terms for those inside. Is there to be no end to it? We have the architects to-day; we are threatened next year with the journalists, and the year after that with the undertakers. There is to be a close corporation of undertakers, because, for anyone outside it to call himself an undertaker and to undertake might injure England or be disastrous to the public interest. That is not all. The journalists are coming in. Is there anything to stop the writers coming in too? There are a number of blacklegs in this House who go in for writing. As far as I am concerned, what I am anxious about is the Royal Institute of Historians, who will be locking me up for writing a history of Parliament. It is all the same thing.
Every profession thinks it has a perfect right now to come to the Government and say, "We are a close trade union. We perform in the body politic a very valuable public service. You must enable us to protect ourselves by sending blacklegs to prison." I have every sympathy with the trade unions, but I never yet knew a trade union—although, mark you, they do know how to deal with blacklegs—to come to the Government and say, "Will you send blacklegs to prison for us?" and the Government to say, "Certainly; your work is in the public interest, and we had better exclude all those people who are blacklegs." I have never heard that even the strongest trade union has ever said to the Government, "Will you prevent any further people coming into our union unless they can find £1,000 to do it with?"
§ Rear-Admiral Beamish
Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that a 1556 few years ago co-operative interests tried to secure for themselves the word "co-operative"?
§ Colonel Wedgwood
I am not aware of it, but I am aware that some trade unions tried in America to get powers of this kind from the Government, but they have never been able, even in America, to get the Government to enforce their demand. This is utterly un-English. It is a return to mediaeval ideas. I am surprised that a Member like the hon. Member for Barnstaple (Mr. Acland), whose magnificent book on Libralism I have just bought, should come forward with a proposal like this. I can understand the hon. Member for Maidstone (Mr. Bossom) doing so. Architecture is his job; he is regarded by the architectural profession as their spearpoint in Parliament. But I cannot understand the hon. Member for Barnstaple, who is Liberal in his veins, of Liberal blood and Liberal stock, and not an architect at all. I ask hon. Members not to let themselves be carried away by the idea that we should legislate in the interests of an extraordinarily small section—a trade union which is strong enough at the present time—to shut out that free body which has produced in the past in this country extremely good architects. Criticism has been made of the kind of architecture we are getting now. As a pure Philistine, I think the houses built since the War are infinitely better than those built before the War. I see absolutely no reason why this House should give the members of this association the right to put in gaol people who compete with them.
§ 3.13 p.m.
§ Sir John Withers
I do not want to take up the time of the House, but there are a few words that I want to say on this subject. In the first place, I think it is very important that we should have architects who are capable of doing their work properly. In the second place, I was very interested to hear the right hon. Gentleman who spoke from the Labour benches saying that it is merely a matter of art. I can imagine that Wagner was a much greater artist than most architects, but I should like to see a garden village designed by Wagner; I cannot imagine what the style would be. Thirdly, I think for the first time in my life, I have been instructed by the authorities of the 1557 University of Cambridge to come here and say that they think it is in the interests of education that this Bill should be passed.
§ 3.14 p.m.
§ Mr. Ammon
I rise to support the Bill, on the understanding that we are not speaking for our respective parties, but that everybody speaks in his own individual capacity and, as he thinks, for the best interests of the community. Everybody expects my right hon. Friend and Gentleman, who is the last of the individualists, to take the attitude that he has taken, but, as I view this Bill, it is not promoted in the interests of a small section, but in the interests of the whole community, to defend the community against the atrocious buildings that are going up. It is surely only asking that there should be at least a minimum standard of qualification laid down, in order that those who seek to carry out this work shall show some competence. It is demanded either by apprenticeship or in some other way, even by trade unionists, that there shall be some guarantee of competence before men are allowed to practise in their particular calling.
It is not from that angle that I rise to defend the Bill, but in order to meet some of the statements which have been made that this Bill will operate against working-class people. I speak as the result of a very long connection with the education committee of the London County Council, which, among other things, repeatedly boasts of its very fine range of technical and evening institutes. I shall endeavour to show the House that the majority of people who have in later years passed the examination laid down by the Institute of British Architects have been those who have come from working-class homes and have passed through these channels.
I call attention to part of the com-position of the Board on Architectural Education because someone has said that it is entirely under the domination and direction of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Will the House listen to some of the bodies represented and then tell me whether they think they are likely to be dominated by the Royal Institute of British Architects? There is the London County Council, there is the Workers' Educational Association—I hope that my hon. Friends on this side will take notice of that—and there is 1558 the Co-operative Educational Committee—and I hope that they will also take notice of that fact. My right hon. Friend the Member for Hillsborough (Mr. Alexander) interposes to say, "Which we inserted." They are not likely to be dominated. There are the building trade operatives.
§ Mr. Ammon
They are represented on this Board, and my hon. Friend the Member for East Woolwich (Mr. Hicks) has already confirmed it. There are the representatives of six universities and 14 polytechnics, and the Technical Teachers' Association. Surely, nobody will get up after that and say that these people are going to be dominated by the Royal Institute of British Architects and that there is no democratic representation. A large number of those who have passed these examination have attended evening classes or have been able to study at home or have taken correspondence courses. I will give the figures. There were 215 successful candidates at the two R.I.B.A. examinations held in 1936, and of these 128 trained themselves by attending evening classes, while the remaining 87 studied at home or took correspondence courses. These are official figures and cannot be denied. It has been said also that the R.I.B.A. seek to achieve a monopoly for their own examination. I would point out that the Regent Street Polytechnic have made formal application, which is about to be granted, that their standard may also be taken into consideration.
It will be seen that all along the line there is every provision made as far as the representation of the working people is concerned. Of the persons admitted to the Royal Institute of British Architects since 1922 about one-half passed through a recognised school of architecture and the other half were admitted through the final examinations of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Of the latter half, 50 per cent. worked part-time in offices and attended part-time classes, at a total cost of £70, spread over six to eight years. The remaining 50 per cent. worked in offices and studied at home, at a total cost of £50, spread over a period of years. Therefore, they did not come from a privileged class, who were in an advan- 1559 tageous position, but they sought by their own energies and activities to raise themselves from humble circumstances and to improve their position. The Bill will give larger opportunities, because the Polytechnic and the education authorities will seek to get a larger flow of students into this profession.
I should like to reply to one of my hon. Friends who tried to pour scorn on the fact that we propose to admit for a certain period of time those who are already practising in the profession. There has not been a Bill introduced into this House concerning the laying down of standards for any profession in which provision has not been made for those who have carried out the work efficiently for years and whose vested interests have to be safeguarded. I will give one instance. By legislation, a certain standard has been laid down for mining managers, and when that Bill was introduced it was stipulated that certain men who had given years of competent service should be safeguarded and be allowed to carry on in the profession until such time as they were taken in. The same principle is sought to be applied in this Bill. Again, in reply to criticism by one hon. Member, I would point out that steps have been taken, with the consent of the employers and the employed at the docks, under which there is registration of people who can get work at the docks. They have to obtain a ticket, and they are placed on the register, through the mutual co-operation of the two sides. The examination laid down in the Bill is one that can be passed by any competent persons with qualifications that would fit them to be admitted to the profession.
I should like, in conclusion, to put two points to the promoters of the Bill. Assurance is required that a larger amount of money will be set aside to provide for scholarships, and also an assurance that steps will be taken as far as possible to make the examination fee as low as possible, in order to enable those who wish to enter the profession to do so as easily as possible from that angle.
§ 3.24 p.m.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)
I have very little to say, and I propose to take as little time as possible in saying it. I think I shall carry the 1560 House with me when I say that we have had an acutely controversial Debate and an unusual diversity of opinions expressed by hon. Members, without distinction of party. I think there is one subject on which hon. Members are agreed. It was expressed by what I may describe as the voice of the craftsman, by the hon. Member for East Woolwich (Mr. Hicks), and it was agreed to by the voice of the soldier and administrator, the hon. and gallant Member for Hitchin (Sir A. Wilson). That is the elimination of the architectural blots and monstrosities which we come across in the country from time to time. Apart from that, I do not think there is one subject on which everyone is agreed.
I only wish to explain the position as we see it at the Home Office in general terms. Parliament decided in 1931 that there should be a statutory scheme for registering persons who possess the proper qualifications for practising architecture. This Act made it unlawful for persons not admitted to this professional register to practise underany name, title, or style containing the words, 'registered architect.'The protection of the term "registered architect" instead of the term "architect" was a compromise agreed to by the Select Committee of 1927 appointed to consider an earlier Bill. The object of the new Bill is to provide the same protection for the term "architect" as is provided in the Act of 1931 for the term "registered architect." Everybody appreciates the importance of the profession of architecture, and there is, of course, much to be said for the argument that there ought to be some recognised standard of qualifications for the practice of the profession. It is very likely that ordinary members of the public do not fully appreciate the difference between the position of a man who calls himself a registered architect and a man who calls himself an architect, and it can be argued with some force that it is more logical to protect by law the use of the word "architect" rather than the term "registered architect."
If the architectural profession were unanimous in support of the Bill, it is unlikely that any objection to it would be raised on the part of the Home Office. It is obvious, however, to anybody who has been in the House to-day that far 1561 from there being agreement in the profession, it is a matter of acute controversy. This is a controversy merely of a technical and professional kind, and I am not going to enter into the controversy between the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Incorporated Association of Architects and Surveyors. Therefore, I must say to the House that the Home Office keeps an open mind on this subject. One of my predecessors remarked on a similar occasion that the concommitant of an open mind is the closed mouth, and in those circumstances the House will not expect me to enter into the arguments for and against the Bill. The House may take the view that it is better to wait until there is agreement within the profession before setting up the proposed professional register. On the other hand, if the House should decide to give the Bill a Second Reading, the Home Office will, of course, give such assistance as it can in making the Bill a workable Measure.
§ 3.29 p.m.
§ Mr. Beverley Baxter
I feel that I can support the Second Reading of the Bill, because 3,000,000 architects cannot all be wrong. Judging by the correspondence during the last fortnight I should not be right in putting the figure smaller than that. But what has also struck me during the snowstorm of literature has been the fact that most of the architects seem to live in my division. That in itself does not surprise me, because the salubrious climate of Palmers Green, Southgate, and Wood Green, the three components of my constituency, and the many examples of interesting and beautiful architecture, together with the lively building boom that is going on, probably account for the residence of so many architects in my Division.
I crave the indulgence of the House for a few minutes, not to give it my own poor opinion, but to invoke in this matter the voice of a great reformer of the past, a man whom we may call the A. P. Herbert of his time. I refer to a man, not a Member of this House, who sat in the Press Gallery for some time, no less a person than Charles Dickens. When he planned his book "Martin Chuzzlewit," he wanted to expose the greed, rapacity, and fraud of mankind, and in looking about for his character, he did not take the crooked solicitor, the share- 1562 pusher, the company director, or the journalist. He asked himself, What type of man is the most dangerous to the community? and he chose an unregistered architect. May I, in the language of the master, describe the establishment in which Mr. Seth Pecksniff held forth?The brazen plate upon the door (which being Mr. Pecksniff's, could not lie) bore this inscription, 'Pecksniff, Architect,' to which Mr. Pecksniff, on his cards of business, added 'and Land Surveyor.' In one sense, and only one, he may he said to have been a land surveyor on a pretty large scale, as an extensive prospect lay stretched out before the windows of his house. Of his architectural doings, nothing was clearly known, except that he had never designed or built anything; but it was generally understood"—and this is an important point—that his knowledge of the science was almost awful in its profundity. Mr. Pecksniff's professional engagements, indeed, were almost, if not entirely, confined to the reception of pupils; for the collection of rents, with which pursuit he occasionally varied and relieved his graver toils, can hardly be said to be a strictly architectural employment.So Dickens proceeds to describe how unfortunate young men, lured by the rumour of this great genius, studied under him, and created such a vast quantity of castles, Houses of Parliament, and other public buildings as was never before seen in the world. There is one more point in this question which I think we have to study as well. Dickens, having created his fraud in Pecksniff, had to create in turn a man who was most susceptible to this imposter. I am sorry to say that he seized upon a Member of the House of Commons. It will be remembered that Martin Chuzzlewit and Mark Tapley came back from America, where Martin Chuzzlewit had had a very difficult time when he had tried to practise as an architect in a swamp where there were no clients. On their return, they found in a town through which they were travelling, great excitement, with bands playing and so on. It was the laying of the corner stone of the new grammar school. Interested in the excitement, Martin Chuzzlewit asked the innkeeper what it was all about,'Our member has come down express, 'returned the landlord.' No scrubs would do for no such a purpose. Nothing less would satisfy our Directors than our member in the House of Commons, who is returned upon the Gentlemanly Interest.'1563'Which interest is that?' asked Martin.'What, don't you know?' returned the landlord.It was quite clear the landlord didn't.So we come to the final victimisation of the elected representative of the people:He said that since he had sat in Parliament to represent the Gentlemanly Interest of that town; and he might add, the Lady Interest he hoped, besides; it had been his pleasant duty to come among them, and to raise his voice on their behalf in Another Place often. But he had never come among them, and had never raised his voice, with half such pure, such deep, such unalloyed delight, as now.That was after meeting the great, the immortal Mr. Pecksniff. If for nothing else than to protect hon. Members of this House from having to lay the comer stones of buildings designed and fabricated by men unworthy of the title of architect, I ask the House to give the Bill a Second Reading.
§ 3.37 p.m.
§ Mr. Viant
Some of us have memories of the earlier Bills introduced in 1927 and 1928. The earlier Measure which was considered by a Select Committee had a rather stormy passage, and as a result of the opposition to it in Committee, the scholarship Clause was introduced. Some of us feel that to-day's Debate will have served a useful purpose if it persuades those who are responsible, to administer the law passed on that occasion more in the spirit of justice, and to give some consideration to the large administrative costs which are charged upon the scholarship fund. Some of us feel that the administrative costs are out of all proportion to the advantages given to those who obtain scholarships. We are persuaded that a far larger number of scholarships should be awarded than has been awarded hitherto. When one finds that the administrative costs are 50 per cent. of the registration fees, one cannot but feel that it is an undue amount for administration. I make no charge against those who are responsible for the administration.
Some of us offered keen opposition to the original Bill because we felt that a large number of poor people would be kept out of the profession. I am not persuaded after to-day's debate that that is not likely to happen in the future. I am not at all easy about the matter. I think it is unwise for this House to give to one professional organisation, because that is what it amounts to—the R.I.B.A. 1564 —the charter for which it is asking today. There are other professional organisations equally interested and of an equally high standard of qualification, and I would have preferred that the promoters of the Bill should have allowed the Bill to go to a Select Committee and there endeavour to arrive at a measure of agreement and accommodation, taking the other organisations affected into consideration.
§ Mr. Viant
I cannot recall the length of time that the original Bill took before the Select Committee, but it was not an undue length of time, and I am persuaded that you would gain in the long run, even if it did take a few weeks longer in Committee. Those responsible for the original Bill endeavoured to set down a standard of education with which the Committee did not ultimately agree. They agreed with some of us who were opposing the Bill that it would be likely to keep out of the profession people who might not have been able to matriculate, but who, from the point of view of architects and artists, were capable of rendering a great service to the community without in any way jeopardising the standard of the profession.
I would offer the suggestion to the promoters of this Bill that they should consider making it easier for those residing in sparsely populated areas to be able to attend technical schools and acquire the standard of education that is requisite. I am speaking now as a craftsman who has had a considerable amount of association with fellow-craftsmen who have been living in outlying districts. They have been able to obtain tuition by correspondence, but it has been utterly impossible for them to make a 10-or 20-mile journey to a night school. You cannot 1565 completely eliminate those difficulties, but you can make it more easy for education to be obtained by allowing a larger number of technical schools to give the type of education that is required. In this connection, I am very pleased to hear that the Regent Street Polytechnic is likely to be considered as an exceptional institution for this education.
The next point that I want to make is that by adopting your standard of education, you are undoubtedly endeavouring to safeguard the general public. I have heard no voice raised against that to-day—we are all in thorough agreement—but let me make this point: When I go into Westminster Hall I am inspired by the work in the roof of that building. It was not done by an architect as such; it was done by a master carpenter. The coming of the architect is quite a later stage in the industry. I am making the plea now for the craftsman who is prepared to acquire his certificate, the man who, having the practical experience, is ready to go to evening classes and obtain there the theoretical knowledge. He will probably become a far better architect than the ordinary architect who has received nothing more than theoretical training. I should like the promoters of the Bill to consider that point of view, and make this type of education more possible than it is to-day, so that we may in the future have architects with the knowledge of the craftsman as well as the theoretical knowledge.
Do not let us charge the unregistered architect with the responsibility for the type of buildings that we see in the ribbon development of to-day. So-called professional architects have got out the drawings for many of those houses, and you see the letters R.I.B.A. on the boards. They have to get their living, for the architectural profession is constituted like any other profession. This Bill will give no guarantee in that respect. When I go to Portland Place and see the headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects I am not inspired. Far from it. That building merely gives me the impression of a huge block of stone, with openings cut for doorways and windows. Compare that with the architecture of Westminster Hall. But that building is typical of the machine age through which we are passing, which is eliminating all conceptions of art. We take no exception to the setting up of standards of pro- 1566 ficiency, but this House is handing over a charter to one profession and organisation, a thing it should never do. The architects should appear before a Select Committee and submit their case there, and it is the business of this House to see that the profession of the architect is safeguarded. We should not, however, hand over to one professional organisation a charter which will enable it to impose its standards and its own level of examination fees, and, when it has attracted a sufficient number of members, to close the door by charging fees which are too high for poorer men to pay.
§ 3.49 p.m.
§ Mr. H. Strauss
We have had an interesting Debate, in which conflicts of view have appeared. In urging the House to give the Bill a Second Reading, I am not going to exaggerate for a moment the improvement in architecture that is likely to be brought about by its passage. It is perfectly true, as has been pointed out by its opponents, that it will still be possible for any bad architect at present practising to become registered and to use the title of architect. It is also true that there will be nothing to prevent atrocious houses being built by builders who do not employ any architect, registered or unregistered, or who appoint a bad architect. We shall, however, be taking at least a step to show that this country does not treat the architectural profession with scorn and that we recognise the noblest and the greatest of the arts.
It has been asked where we are to draw the line. There is always a difficulty in drawing the line. There are some crafts which one would not attempt to protect in the way in which this Bill attempts to protect the architect. But there are a great many professions where we put some protection on the name, not primarily in the interests of the people who are practising the profession, but in the public interest. As has been pointed out by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, this is an amending Bill. That is the primary thing to bear in mind. One of its opponents said that it would be dangerous to pass the Bill because people would imagine that when they went to an architect he had good professional qualifications, and that that might be untrue. Unfortunately, the state of affairs which he feared would result from passing this Measure is precisely the state of affairs that exists now. As a result of the Act 1567 of 1931, there are millions of people who have the vague idea that the name "architect" does mean something. Unfortunately it does not.
I am seriously of the opinion that if the House is not in favour of passing this further Measure, it might be well advised to repeal the Act of 1931. At present a false sense of security is given to the public. The public thinks, when it goes to somebody who is described as an architect that he has some professional qualification, but he need have none. He may be ignorant of everything that is necessary for the practice of his calling, and the result to the public is deplorable. The hon. Member for Holborn (Sir R. Tasker) went so far as to make the statement that the profession of solicitor was not protected. That is wrong. It is a criminal offence to pretend to be a solicitor unless you hold a practising certificate. Many other learned professions are similarly protected. There is some protection for the medical profession, and I would suggest that in some ways it is much more important to protect the name "architect" than it is to protect the doctor of medicine. After all, when a doctor makes a mistake, he generally buries it, but when an architect makes a mistake, it may be there for an enormous length of time, an impoverishment to the country, an offence to its neighbours, and a great hindrance to the orderly development of town and country.
One point which was made by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State has, I think, been exaggerated. He talked about the differences within the profession. I believe that the differences within the profession are microscopical. The architects of this country are, by an overwhelming majority, in favour of this Measure. It is true that there is a minor organisation, the majority of the members of which are not architects at all, which has steadily opposed this Bill, but there is no evidence whatever that the architect members of that body agree with that opposition.
I would call the attention of the House to one other matter, which I think is of some importance, to show that a great deal of the opposition to this Bill is mistaken. I take it that every Member of this House received, like myself, a letter from the Institution of Municipal and 1568 County Engineers setting forth their opposition to this Bill. Many county engineers wrote calling attention to the letter which their Institution had sent and requesting Members to vote against this Measure. The letter sent by the Institution was full of mistakes, and was, in fact, a complete travesty of the terms of the Bill. I wrote to one of my correspondents pointing out that the letter from the Institution was inaccurate in important respects and completely misrepresented the Bill, and set out in detail what the mistakes were. I said that I would vote in favour of the Second Reading and would consider on its merits any reasonable Amendment that might be put forward. I received from my correspondent a letter thanking me for my letter, greatly regretting that he, as an engineer, had been misled by his Institution, and saying that he would make his view known to the Institution. I think that when a responsible body which represents a profession writes to Members of Parliament asking them to vote against a Bill, they might at least take the trouble to read the Bill and study its provisions. I ask the House, in the public interest and in the interest of what should be the greatest and noblest of the arts, to give this Bill an enthusiastic Second Reading.
§ Mr. Lovat-Fraser rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but Mr. SPEAKER withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.
§ 3.58 p.m.
§ Sir F. Fremantle
I wish to put one point which I thing is rather germane to this discussion. Hon. Members have referred to the protection of the medical profession, and have said that architects ought to have equal protection. Already they have the same protection as the members of the medical profession, and I want that to be clearly recognised. I will quote from the principal Act which gives this protection to the medical profession.
§ Mr. Lovat-Fraser rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put," but Mr. SPEAKER withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.
§ Sir F. Fremantle
It is the Act of 1858, which says: 1569The words 'legally qualified medical practitioner' or 'duly qualified medical practitioner'—shall apply to a person registered under this Act.The architects already have such protection, and I maintain that nothing has been brought forward is this debate to show why the State should give better
§ protection to architects than has already been given to the medical profession.
§ Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 225; Noes, 50.1571
|Division No. 65.]||AYES.||[4.0 p.m.|
|Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple)||Furness, S. N.||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Garro Jones, G. M.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G.||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Munro, P.|
|Albery, Sir Irving||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)||Naylor, T. E.|
|Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead)||Gower, Sir R. V.||Nicholson, G. (Farnham)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh)||Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)||Nicolson, Hon. H. G.|
|Ammon, C. G.||Grant-Ferris, R.||Noel-Baker, P. J.|
|Apsley, Lord||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh|
|Astor, Major Hon. J. J. (Dover)||Green, W. H. (Deptford)||Palmer, G. E. H.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)||Parker, J.|
|Baldwin-Webb, Col. J.||Grenfell, D. R.||Petherick, M.|
|Balniel, Lord||Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.|
|Barr, J.||Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)||Power, Sir J. C.|
|Barrie, Sir C. C.||Grimston, R. V.||Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Assheton|
|Baxter, A. Beverley||Gritten, W. G. Howard||Price, M. P.|
|Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H.||Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake)||Pritt, D. N.|
|Beauchamp, Sir B. C.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H.||Raikes, H. V. A. M.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Hannon, Sir P. J. H.||Ramsbotham, H.|
|Bennett, Sir E. N.||Harris, Sir P. A.||Rankin, Sir R.|
|Bernays, R. H.||Hartington, Marquoss of||Rathbone, Eleanor (English Univ's.)|
|Blair, Sir R.||Harvey, Sir G.||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)|
|Boothby, R. J. G.||Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)|
|Boulton, W. W.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)||Reid, Captain A. Cunningham|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan.||Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.)||Ridley, G.|
|Brocklebank, Sir Edmund||Herbert, Capt. Sir S. (Abbey)||Ritson, J.|
|Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Hills, A. (Pontefract)||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Bull, B. B.||Horsbrugh, Florence||Royds, Admiral P. M. R.|
|Burghley, Lord||Howitt, Dr. A. B.||Russell, Sir Alexander|
|Burke, W. A.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)||Salmon, Sir I.|
|Campbell, Sir E. T.||Hudson, R. S. (Southport)||Samuel, M. R. A.|
|Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Hulbert, N. J.||Sandeman, Sir N. S.|
|Channon, H.||Jarvis, Sir J. J.||Sanderson, Sir F. B.|
|Christie, J. A.||Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)||Savery, Sir Servington|
|Clarke, Lt.-Col. R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.||Shakespeare, G. H.|
|Clarry, Sir Reginald||Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Keeling, E. H.||Short, A.|
|Colville, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. D. J.||Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.||Shute, Colonel Sir J. J.|
|Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)||Silkin, L.|
|Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.)||Keyes, Admiral of the Fleet Sir R.||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)|
|Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L.||Latham, Sir P.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U. B'lf'st)|
|Craven-Ellis, W.||Lathan, G.||Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.|
|Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page||Law, R. K. (Hull, S. W.)||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Crowder, J. F. E.||Lees-Jones, J.||Smith, E. (Stoke)|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J.||Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lees- (K'ly)|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S.||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)|
|Davison. Sir W. H.||Loftus, P. C.||Somerset, T.|
|Dawson, Sir P.||Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)||Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.|
|Denville, Alfred||McCorquodale, M. S.||Spears, Brigadier-General E. L.|
|Dobbie, W.||Macdonald, G. (Ince)||Spens. W. P.|
|Doland, G. F||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury)||Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight)||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side)||MacLaren, A.||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h)|
|Duggan, H. J.||Maclay, Hon. J. P.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Duncan, J. A. L.||Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J.||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Eastwood, J. F.||Maitland, A.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Eckersley, P. T.||Makins, Brig.-Gen. E.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Edmondson, Major Sir J.||Mander, G. le M.||Thorne, W.|
|Elliston, Capt. G. S.||Manningham-Buller, Sir M.||Tinker, J. J.|
|Emmott, C. E. G. C.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Touche, G. C.|
|Entwistle, Sir C. F.||Markham, S. F.||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Errington, E.||Marsden, Commander A.||Tryon, Major Rt. Hon. G. C.|
|Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)||Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)||Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)||Turton, R. H.|
|Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales)||Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)||Walkden, A. G.|
|Fildes, Sir H.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Walker-Smith, Sir J.|
|Fleming;, E. L.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R.||Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)|
|Fox, Sir G. W. G.||Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Col. J. T. C.||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S,|
|Frankel, D.||Moreing, A. C.||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Watt, Major G. S. Harvie||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord||Young, A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.||Withers, Sir J. J.|
|Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)||Wood, Hon. C. I. C.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)||Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.||Mr. Hicks and Mr. Bossom.|
|Adamson, W. M.||Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J.||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Groves, T. E.||Seely, Sir H. M|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. L. C. M. S.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Shinwell, E.|
|Assheton, R.||Hardie, Agnes||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)|
|Banfield, J. W.||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Barnes, A. J.||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Bower, Comdr, R. T.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Thurtle, E.|
|Broad, F. A.||Lyons, A. M.||Viant, S. P.|
|Butcher, H. W.||MacDonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. J. C.|
|Charleton, H. C.||McGovern, J.||Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)|
|Daggar, G.||MacNeill Weir, L.||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)|
|Day, H.||Maxton, J.||Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)|
|De la Bère, R.||Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Ede, J. C.||Oliver, G. H.||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Orr-Ewing, I. L.|
|Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Paling, W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Gardner, B. W.||Procter, Major H. A.||Sir Robert Tasker and|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||Rothschild, J. A. de||Mr. McEntee.|
Bill read a Second time.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That the Bill be committed to a Com-1572
§ mittee of the Whole House."—[Mr. McEntee.]
§ The House divided: Ayes, 35; Noes, 190.1573
|Division No. 66.]||AYES.||[4.10 p.m.|
|Adamson, W. M.||Gardner, B. W.||Seely, Sir H. M.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.)||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.||Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)|
|Banfield, J. W.||Groves, T. E.||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Barnes, A. J.||Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Bower, Comdr. R. T.||Hardie, Agnes||Thurtle, E.|
|Broad, F. A.||Henderson, T. (Tradeston)||Viant, S. P.|
|Butcher, H. W.||Kelly, W. T.||Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lyons, A. M.||Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)|
|Daggar, G.||McGovern, J.||Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)|
|Day, H.||Maxton, J.|
|Ede, J. C.||Neven-Spenee, Major B. H. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Oliver, G. H.||Sir Robert Tasker and Mr.|
|Fremantle, Sir F. E.||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||McEntee.|
|Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple)||Craven-Ellis, W.||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)|
|Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.)||Crowder. [...]. F. E.||George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey)|
|Albery, Sir Irving||Davidson, Viscountess||Gower, Sir R. V.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'kn'hd)||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. J. (Armagh)||Davison, Sir W. H.||Grant-Ferris, R|
|Ammon, C. G.||De Chair, S. S.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.|
|Apsley, Lord||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Green, W. H. (Deptford)|
|Assheton, R.||Denville, Alfred||Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)|
|Astor, Major Hon. J. J. (Dover)||Dobbie, W.||Grenfell, D. R.|
|Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.||Doland, G. F.||Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)|
|Baldwin-Webb, Col. J.||Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury)||Grimston, R. V.|
|Balniel, Lord||Duggan, H. J.||Gritten, W. G. Howard|
|Barr, J.||Duncan, J. A. L.||Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake)|
|Barrie, Sir C. C.||Eastwood, J. F.||Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H.|
|Baxter, A. Beverley||Eckersley, P. T.||Hannon, Sir P. J. H.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h)||Edmondson, Major Sir J.||Harris, Sir P. A.|
|Bennett, Sir E. N.||Elliston, Capt. G. S.||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Blair, Sir R.||Emmott, C. E. G. C.||Harvey, Sir G.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Entwistle, Sir C. F.||Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Errington, E.||Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)|
|Braithwaite, Major A. N.||Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.)||Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-|
|Brocklebank, Sir Edmund||Evans, D. O. (Cardigan)||Herbert, A. P. (Oxford U.)|
|Brown, C. (Mansfield)||Evans, E. (Univ. of Wales)||Herbert, Capt. Sir S. (Abbey)|
|Bull, B. B.||Fildes, Sir H.||Hills, A. (Pontefract)|
|Channon, H.||Fleming, E. L.||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Clarke, Lt.-Col. R. S. (E. Grinstead)||Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H.||Howitt, Dr. A. B.|
|Clarry, Sir Reginald||Fox, Sir G. W. G.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)|
|Colman, N. C. D.||Frankel, D.||Hulbert, N. J.|
|Colville, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. D. J.||Furness, S. N.||Hume, Sir G. H.|
|Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.)||Garro Jones, G. M.||Jenkins, A. (Pontypool)|
|Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.||Parker, J.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Jones, A. C. (Shipley)||Petherick, M.||Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.|
|Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.||Spears, Brigadier-General E. L.|
|Kerr, H. W. (Oldham)||Power, Sir J. C.||Spens. W. P.|
|Keyes, Admiral of the Fleet Sir R.||Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Assheton||Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)|
|Latham, Sir P.||Price, M. P.||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton- (N'thw'h)|
|Lathan, G.||Pritt, D. N.||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Law, R. K. (Hull, S. W.)||Procter, Major H. A.||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Llewellin, Lieut.-Col. J. J.||Ramsbotham, H.||Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)|
|Lloyd, G. W.||Rankin, Sir R.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)|
|Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S.||Rathbone, Eleanor (English Univ's.)||Thorne, W.|
|Loftus, P. C.||Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)||Tinker, J. J.|
|Lovat-Fraser, J. A.||Reed, A. C. (Exeter)||Touche, G. C.|
|Mabane, W. (Huddersfield)||Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)||Tree, A. R. L. F.|
|Macdonald, G. (Ince)||Ridley, G.||Tryon, Major Rt. Hon. G. C.|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight)||Ritson, J.||Walkden, A. G.|
|Maclay, Hon. J. P.||Ropner, Colonel L.||Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J.||Royds, Admiral P. M. R.||Ward, Irene M. B. (Wallsend)|
|Maitland, A.||Salmon, Sir I.||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.|
|Makins, Brig.-Gen. E.||Samuel, M. R. A.||Warrender, Sir V.|
|Mander, G. le M.||Sanderson, Sir F. B.||Watt, Major G. S. Harvie|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Savery, Sir Servington||Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)|
|Markham, S. F.||Shakespeare, G. H.||Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.|
|Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.||Short, A||Williams, E. J. (Ogmore)|
|Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)||Shute, Colonel Sir J. J.||Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Silkin, L.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's U. B'lf'st)||Withers, Sir J. J.|
|Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)||Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.||Wood, Hon. C. I. C.|
|Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)||Young, A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Munro, P.||Smith, E. (Stoke)||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Nicholson, G. (Farnham)||Smith, Rt. Hon. H. B. Lets- (K'ly)|
|O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh||Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Palmer, G. E. H.||Somerset, T.||Mr. Hicks and Mr. Bossom.|
Bill committed to a Standing Committee.