HC Deb 13 April 1938 vol 334 cc1160-85

4.25 p.m.

Mr. Barr

I had set myself the task of giving considerable figures to show, in a constituency like my own, the vast character of the problems that are still before that community, and I had reached the point that, on the very latest figures which had been supplied to me by the town clerk of Coatbridge, the degree of overcrowding there at the present moment is, he calculates, 44 per cent. of the houses surveyed. If I may add what I have already said in regard to Airdrie to what I have now said in regard to Coatbridge, and thus cover my whole constituency, I find that altogether the number of families in the whole constituency that are at present living in overcrowded conditions is no less than 6,691. I would emphasise the very extensive character of the task before that community by mentioning that, of the one-roomed houses in Coatbridge alone, no fewer than 54 per cent. of those houses are overcrowded, while of the two-roomed houses no fewer than 51 per cent. are given in the survey as overcrowded. That leads me to a further aspect which will tend, I think, to accentuate what I have said.

I take, first, the town of Airlie. In that town there were in 1931 still 909 single-apartment houses — single-end houses, as we call them in Scotland. This single end is a tragic institution. I do not think there is anything more tragic that the small pamphlet published years ago containing a speech by Dr. Russell, Medical Officer of Health for Glasgow entitled "Life in One Room," in which he tells of the births and deaths and all the happenings taking place in that single room. There are 16.1 per cent. of one-roomed houses in Airdrie, and if you take the one-roomed and two-roomed houses—in Scotland that generally means a room and a kitchen— you will find that there are no fewer than 60.5 per cent. that have no further accommodation than that in the town of Airdrie. In Coat-bridge, 23 per cent. of all the houses are single-apartment houses, and if you take all the one and two-roomed houses, they constitute 73.9 per cent. of the total for Coatbridge. Altogether, of single-apartment houses, there are no fewer than 2,108 in Coat-bridge. But that is not all. I will examine these houses still further, and if hon. Members will consider what I am saying they will be a little surprised.

I mentioned that in Airdrie there were 909 single-roomed houses. Will it be believed that 312 of these were occupied by five or more persons all the year round? I am quoting now from the figures of the last census. It is fair to say there has been a considerable change for the better; but it is only a partial change, and it does not affect the nature of the problem that has still to be faced. Of these houses, 130 were occupied by five persons; 98 were occupied by six persons; 48 by seven persons; 18 by eight persons; 12 by nine persons and six by 10 persons—all these living in one-single end. At Coatbridge, there were 2,108 single-end houses, with one room serving all purposes, and of these, 812 were occupied by five or more persons. There were 319 occupied by five persons; 237 occupied by six persons; 133 by seven persons; 60 by eight persons; 44 by nine persons; 15 by 10 persons; three by 11 persons; and one by 12 persons. That is the situation that has to be faced.

What has this community done? It is very unpleasant for me to have to state that such conditions prevail, but it is fair to ask what they have done. I will take Coatbridge as an illustration. Facing this question of overcrowding, they sought to allocate one- and two-roomed houses in such a way as to conform to the Acts, and find how many houses it would be necessary to build. They concluded that it would be necessary to build 2,743 houses. They calculate that in the three years from 1936 to 1938 they may, with good conditions, be able to build 1,384 houses; but when you take into account that there is not only the question of overcrowding to be faced, but that of the separation of families, and of bringing in of higher standards, you see how far they are from being able to meet that gigantic task before the date in the Bill. I will read a letter I have received from the Town Clerk of Coatbridge. He says: At the end of 1937, 812 overcrowded families embracing 5,224 persons had been relieved and this number is growing as the town council's housing programme advances, but it will be readily understood that overcrowding is still very rife in Coatbridge, although it is diminishing slowly as a result of the local authority's housing operations. I will put what they have done in another way. I will take the number of houses that were reported in these burghs at the last census. In Airdrie, there were reported to be 5,658 houses. Acting under the various Acts, the town of Airdrie has either completed, or is in course of completing, no fewer than 3,196 houses, which means that, taking the number of houses as they were determined by the last census, they have completed, or are completing, as new houses no less a proportion than 56.4 per cent. of the houses existing in the burgh at the time of the census. That is a noble record in such a district. Indeed, on one occasion the town of Airdrie stood highest of all the burghs in Scotland in respect of the percentage of new houses to population. At the time when they stood first, they had completed, or were in course of completing, 95 houses for each thousand of the population. Similar figures relating to Coatbridge were these: At the census there were 9,164 houses. You may take that as a kind of close approximation of the number of houses. They have built, or have in course of completion, no fewer than 3,740 houses. Coatbridge, like Airdrie, has stood very high indeed right through in the proportion of the new houses that they have built.

I want to pay this tribute to them, that surrounded by these adverse conditions they have done so nobly. In one of the Debates not long ago on the Special Areas the hon. Member for Dumfries (Sir H. Fildes) said he would like to see these Special Areas beginning to do something for themselves. I want to bring this in as an answer to any accusation of that kind. It is a very noble thing, with such conditions and such a burden of poverty, that these towns have made such a noble attempt to meet their housing conditions. Yet, with it all, it is quite impossible, as I see it—and I only mention this for what it is worth—for such a district to be ready by the date in the Bill.

I wish to give one or two more general considerations. The date in the Bill should be one that would cover all cases. It should cover Scotland and Wales, as well as England. If it does not do that, it fails. In the Ridley Committee's statement on housing conditions in Scotland, it admits at once that the housing shortage is much more acute in Scotland than in England. Indeed, it says that there is about six times more overcrowding in Scotland than in England and Wales. It says also that overcrowding exists in all parts of Scotland, and, taking a figure of 10 per cent. of overcrowding, it proceeds to indicate the towns and the counties that are above or below that standard. It says that none of the cities or large burghs is down even to the 10 per cent. of overcrowding.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member has spoken at some considerable length, but I am not sure how he connects that with the Amendment. It seems to me to be more suitable to a Debate on the Housing Bill.

Mr. Barr

I at once bow to your Ruling, Mr. Speaker. My point was that the Ridley Committee says most distinctly that, in fixing the date you must take into consideration all the areas, and it expressly says that Scotland will not be satisfied with a date that might suit England and Wales, and therefore, it takes a different line. It was with that argument that I was dealing, but I do not pursue it. I thought it was a point, and I just mention it in the words of the great philosopher, Immanuel Kant: Act so that you can universalise the law of your maximum "— Which means, If your date is not suitable for Scotland, then it will have to be removed for the others. [Interruption.] Yes, that is exactly what Kant meant. I might just say that the minority report of the Ridley Committee, which was signed by Councillor Brady, my hon. Friend the Member for Hamilton (Mr. D. Graham) and my hon. Friend the Member for West Islington (Mr. Montague), used these words: Our examination of the proposal convinces us that any hard-and-fast fixation of the period of control is undesirable. They go on to argue that they are not of opinion that we should deal with decontrol as though it were a thing that was necessarily desirable, but rather that a certain measure of control might still have to be exercised. There is one other consideration only of a general kind that I adduce, and I think it applies to England as well as to Scotland. House building has reached a certain crisis in respect of luxury building, labour and materials. So much so that in Scotland we have had two conferences on the subject, one on 30th September of last year, and the other on 25th March last. They were by no means confined to any one party. All Members of Parliament were invited, and representatives of county councils and other local authorities. The first of these was presided over by Sir lain Colquhoun of Luss, Bart., Convener of the County of Dumbarton, and the second by the Vice-Convener. They said that unless certain measures were taken, the building of houses for the working classes might be brought to a complete close in Scotland.

The conclusion that I draw from the figures that I have submitted is that the problem will still be there in vast proportions at the time of the date fixed in the Bill, and still calling for some measure of control. Behind it are the question of increase of rent, the raising of standards, and of general housing progress. I understand that, in any case, Parliament will come in, and that the Minister has given a promise of a committee of inquiry as to whether it should he the date in the Bill or another date. In the town of Jedburgh in Scotland there was a celebrated judgment given in the reign of James VI. Some summary executions were carried out. From that time it was known as exacting what was called "Jeddart justice," according to which a man was hanged first, and tried afterwards. The Minister, in putting in this determination in the first Clause of the Bill and then appointing a committee of inquiry, is giving us a new form of Jeddart justice. Before he has even started his State trial, and before he has elected his jury, he raises the gallows in the first Clause, which I will call the first charge in his indictment, and fixes the date of the public execution, namely, 24th June, 1942. History has a strange way of repeating itself, and, long before 24th June, 1942, comes round, it will, I predict, be true of the right hon. Gentleman and his gallows: So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.

4.50 p.m.

Mr. Leslie

I beg to second the Amendment.

On 2nd March, when the Bill was before the House, the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Health said that decontrol should be effected as soon as there was an adequate supply of housing accommodation. The reason for this Amendment is that we do not believe that there will be adequate accommodation before 1942. Certain houses have to be decontrolled this year, and I think that I can demonstrate to this House and the country at large the fearful consequences to tenants. It will simply be a forerunner of what is likely to happen in 1942, when all houses are to be decontrolled. Why should the Government think that there will be an adequate supply of houses by that date? Have there not been repeated complaints in this House about the slowing down of house building?

What has been the answer from the Government Benches? At one time we were told that it was due to a shortage of materials, and at another time to an alleged shortage of labour. The Minister told us that houses to let were being built at the rate of 140,000 per annum, but at that rate half the number that are considered necessary will not have been built by June, 1942. We are concerned about houses to let and not with houses for sale. It is houses to let which are wanted when dealing with slum clearance and overcrowding. The poor people who have to be removed under slum clearance and overcrowding schemes cannot afford to buy houses that are built by private enterprise. At one time we heard a great deal about steel houses being built in order to meet the housing shortage, but I imagine that all the steel that we can get will now be utilised for armaments, so that there will be no question of steel houses.

Mr. Quibell

They are to be wooden houses now.

Mr. Leslie

Now we are told that wooden houses will be erected. The housing shortage in the London area and in the Home Counties has been increased by the neglect of the Government to deal with the location of industry. Factories and workshops have been erected to an enormous extent, as well as cinemas and public houses on the housing estates, utilising building labour and increasing the cost of houses. That congestion has led to sub-letting. I could take hon. Members to rows of streets around the London area where nearly every house has been divided. I could take them to houses that were built 30 years ago for £250 and let for £32 a year, which to-day are being let at £76 per annum, apart from rates. What is the result? The people who rent these houses cannot afford to pay £76 a year, and the result is that they sub-let.

What applies in the London area and in the Home Counties applies equally in the Midlands. The other day an hon. Member of one of the Birmingham Divisions approached me and asked if I would agree to some allowance being made in respect of the Sunday Trading Act because of a considerable amount of congestion in certain of the Birmingham Divisions. He said that there were hundreds of houses without pantrys, and that therefore the small shop had become the pantry for these houses. Yesterday we heard a story from Birmingham, and it is very important that Birmingham should have been selected. I should have thought that in the city from which the Prime Minister comes there would have been a considerable amount of house-building, and that there would have have been no shortage. We were told yesterday by a Birmingham representative that they were continuing to build between 2,000 and 3,000 houses a year, yet it is stated by the officials that it will be at least five or six years before we shall have met the needs of the present time in any way."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 12th April, 1938; col. 1033, Vol. 334.] Birmingham wants five or six years, but this Bill allows them only four years. Where houses have been decontrolled, rents have doubled, and consequently tenants are forced to sub-let, and thus we have overcrowding and a lack of proper sanitary arrangements. Overcrowding exists to an extent never dreamed of by hon. Members. If the Minister, instead of bolstering up housing associations, had acted more generously towards municipal authorities, much greater progress would have been made in dealing with the housing problem. The Minister may be very optimistic as to what will happen during the next four years, but certainly signs point to a decided shortage for many years, and some who profess to know say that it will be so for at least 10 years. According to the Bill we are to get only four years, and it will be a calamity to thousands of poor people if all houses are decontrolled by 1942. I, therefore, urge the acceptance of this Amendment.

4.57 p.m.

Mr. James Hall

I wish to call the attention of the Minister of Health to the very parlous state of many families to-day because of the difficulty of finding houses in which they can live under decent conditions. If control should end within three or four years, large numbers of families in this country will be left at the mercy of any rent profiteer who likes to come along at the end of that period. In Stepney we have a neighbourhood that was built up many years ago, and to-day it has reached a state where the demolition of the whole of the district is essential. If the Government say that, at the end of four years, decontrol shall end, it will mean that very high rents will be charged for places that are dilapidated and hardly fit for habitation. The difficulty is that building operations must be very high because of the very high price of land, and private enterprise cannot do anything to assist in overcoming the housing shortage. The housing of the people in that part of London must be undertaken both by the local council and by the London County Council because private enterprise would find it quite uneconomic to attempt to build in that district. Therefore, four years can make very little impression at all upon the very difficult state in which the people are living. Because of these conditions overcrowding is rife.

The Mover of the Amendment gave a very moving picture of the difficulties under which working-class people live in Scotland. It would be quite easy for me to give pictures of a similar character of the life of the people in London, but I do not want to harrow the feelings of the House. Some time ago my attention was called to two families who had been washed out of their rooms. The two families were each living in one room in the topmost part of a house. There were 12 people in one family and eight people in the other family. Because of its defective state, the roof had to be removed and had been replaced by tarpaulin which, however, was so badly placed that when a storm came on in the night the two families were literally washed out of their rooms. The landlord took those 20 human souls and put them into a cellar which had been closed for two years. Had the landlord possessed pigs he would not have put them in that cellar, because pigs are worth money. Only yesterday afternoon I went to see a family of nine people who were living in one room. The conditions are such that the husband and father has to go out to sleep somewhere else so as to provide a little more room for the other members of the family. We have always been told that British character is based on the national life of the people—the family life. How we are to develop family life under these conditions I do not know.

An alarming feature of the situation is that, in spite of all that is being done through out medical services, tuberculosis is increasing in that part of London, and increasing, in my opinion, because of the conditions under which the people have to live. It may be said that the people ought to find an opportunity of expanding, going out of the district and living elsewhere. There are difficulties against that suggestion. The majority of the people who live in that district get their livelihood at the docks as casual workers, and in order to earn their living they have to attend the call-on place at 7.30 in the morning and 1.15 in the afternoon. It is extremely difficult for men who rely entirely upon casual employment to be able to live miles from the place where they work. Moreover, the extreme poverty under which the people live makes it impossible for them to afford to live any distance away, necessitating railway fares or other cost of transit. In view of these facts, we cannot regard the likelihood of early decontrol as calculated to do other than create acute hardships for working-class people.

Despite all that may be said from the other side of the House, the fact remains that where decontrol takes place rents immediately rise considerably. I have listened to some of the figures that have been stated officially and, not knowing how they are compiled or the source from which the figures are obtained, I cannot reconcile them with my knowledge of the sky-rocketing of rents that takes place when houses become decontrolled. Living where I do, I know that just before the War there was a new experiment in housing, and for the first time flats were built in that part of London, to be let at 7s. a week. To-day, flats which are comparable in character, are being built by private enterprise and let at anything from 23s. to 32s. a week. It would be fair to say that the difference between the 7s., with an addition for higher rates, and the 32s is a reasonable comparison of the difference that occurs when control is removed.

There is a tremendous urge and impetus for the removal of control at an early date. There are 4,500,000 houses controlled. Suppose that control were taken off now and the increase of rent simply averaged £13 a year, the country would immediately be giving to the owners of that property £60,000,000 t year. That is a big sum to give to the investing class, one of whom spoke yesterday. The Minister ought to take into consideration the fact that the report indicated that there was every likelihood of a slowing down in house building. Nobody knows better than the Minister that there has been an increase in the cost of building materials. I was a member until recently of the housing committee of the Stepney Borough Council, and we viewed with misgiving—I know that other authorities must be similarly situated—the continuance of the housing plan that we had set out because the enhanced prices of building materials were so high.

We had estimates for the building of a block of flats, to cost about £41,000. When we got the tenders the lowest was in the vicinity of £60,000. The increase was, so enormous that we asked the architect to explain the difference between the amount that he had estimated and the lowest tender that we had received, and he was able to assure us that during a period of four months the increase in the cost of building materials had been 12½ per cent. If councils and public authorities are faced with a situation of that character, one can readily understand that there is likely in the future to be a reduction rather than an increase in the building of houses to let at rents that people can afford to pay.

The great difficulty that working-class people have to face to-day is the fact that rents, particularly in decontrolled houses, take too large a share of the income of the tenants. It was computed that at one time the working classes paid one-sixth of their income in rent; to-day they pay one-third of their income in rent. The council on which I sat very frequently have had to refuse to accept people as tenants because we knew that people could not afford to pay the rent we asked. High rents are being paid to-day because people are prepared to half-starve themselves in order to keep a roof over their heads. I suggest that the Minister should be prepared to review the situation and see whether it would not be possible to extend considerably the period of control. Three or four years is much too short a time. It is very difficult for anyone to judge the date when control can end. The only fair method that could be adopted would be to allow a future Parliament to decide this question.

5.8 p.m.

The Minister of Health (Sir Kingsley Wood)

I am glad to have an opportunity of addressing myself to the Amendment and making a short statement on the Government's intention so far as this Clause is concerned. I must confess that I was pained and grieved at the allusions to myself that were made by the hon. Member for Coatbridge (Mr. Barr). I thought that one following his calling and devoted to the mission of peace and good will towards all men, might have been a little kinder to me. However, I will bear it and do the best I can. The proposal in the Bill is to continue the extension of the Act for a further four years. Previous legislation has extended the Rent Restriction Acts for different periods. The 1920 Act gave a three years' extension; the 1923 Act gave two years, and the 1933 Act five years. Between 1925 and 1933 the Acts have been extended under the Expiring Laws Continuance Act. We make the proposal for four years for the reason that I think it will ensure that the review of rent restrictions shall take place at the same time as the review of housing finance falls to be made under provisions which Parliament has recently approved and which are now on the Statute Book. The consequence will be that in 1942 the review of both sides of the position will take place. We shall be able then not only to see the progress that has been made under our new housing proposals but to examine the question of rent restriction.

In order that there should be no misapprehension in regard to our proposals the Government have taken the precaution of stating in a White Paper what their policy is for the future. I hope hon. Members will get a copy of the White Paper, for I should not like there to be any misapprehension in the matter. The White Paper says: On this question of major policy, that is, the question of control and de-control— the Government agree, without reserve, with the judgment expressed by the Marley Committee with one dissentient and endorsed by the Majority Report of the Ridley Committee that it is desirable that 'the restrictions should at once be lifted from any class of property as soon as it can be shown that they are no longer needed in the general interest.' On the last page of the White Paper there is this statement: The Government believe that in the case of all three countries it is in the national interest that decontrol should be effected as soon as there is an adequate supply of housing accommodation; and they agree with the view of the majority of the Ridley Committee that decontrol should be progressive and should be related to areas and determined in the light of local conditions. The exact method and time at which such local decontrol should he brought about in England and Wales are matters which will call for further examination, and the Government, therefore, propose in due course to set up a committee to examine these matters. Obviously, such a committee will have to be set up before the date mentioned in the Bill, and not afterwards. In this examination it is the Government's opinion that, whilst the state of over- crowding in an area must play an important part, all considerations bearing on housing conditions in the area must be taken into account before further decontrol is effected. In that matter we are adopting the view of the hon. Member for East Birkenhead (Mr. White) who was a member of the Committee and opposed to the view of the majority, who suggested that only overcrowding should be taken into account. We have taken the view that in any further decontrol all matters relating to housing should be taken into account. In the last paragraph relating to Scotland, it is said: The Government consider that the question of further decontrol in Scotland must be subject to special consideration, and while it is hoped to accelerate the building of working-class houses in that country, it is clear that the Government would not be justified in initiating any general scheme of decontrol until conditions have materially improved. The reason, therefore, for putting in this period is, in the first place, that it follows the precedent adopted in various Acts of Parliament dealing with rent restriction, and the explicit period of four years has been chosen in order to secure that a review of the position shall take place at the same time as the financial provisions made with local authorities come to a conclusion. The Government of that time will, therefore, be in a position before the expiration of the date to set up a committee to examine the whole matter. As far as the Government are concerned we think that any further decontrol should be determined in the light not only of the housing conditions generally throughout the country, but with reference to the position in particular areas.

5.18 p.m.

Mr. Montague

For a gentleman whose exterior is more reminiscent of Pickwick than of Scrooge, I wonder why the right hon. Gentleman is so anxious to dangle Marley's ghost in front of us every time? I can assure him that we are not much worried by the bogy of the Marley Committee, which sat under different circumstances and conditions from those of to-day, and that we are determined to put our point of view regarding the housing conditions which exist at the present time. What the Minister of Health has just said surprises me. He has quoted from the White Paper and told us the intentions of the Government in reference to the general question of de- control. He speaks of granting four years for things to settle down, so that we may be able to find by inquiry what the housing situation will be in 1942. If that is good enough in respect of the time-table which was proposed by the majority of the Ridley Committee why is it not good enough for class B houses? We are proposing to decontrol in September of this year all houses over £35 in rate-able value in England and Scotland and over £20 in the provinces. By our Amendment we suggest that the problem of decontrol in respect of other classes of B houses is just as much open to the desirability of further investigation as is the decontrol of class C houses some time in the future according to a policy to be suggested by the report of a committee which is to be set up.

In 1934 Sir E. D. Simon, a Manchester housing authority, with a number of colleagues considered the question of housing and made a statement as to the number of houses which would be required in a given time to meet adequately the housing needs of the country. He said specifically that for a moderate standard of housing it would be necessary to build 6,000,000 houses by 1951. Up to date through municipal control and private enterprise about 4,000,000 houses have been built, while the population has increased by 4,000,000 people. That means that we are considerably behind the proportionate increase which is required if Sir E. D. Simon's estimate of the needs of the nation was correct. The Minister will probably say that the Government recognise there is still a shortage by putting off any consideration of decontrol for lower class houses, or for what the Ridley Committee call "working-class houses," but that so far as houses in the upper B class are concerned there is an adequate supply. That is the argument for decontrol. It has been accepted that decontrol must depend upon an adequate supply of houses. Most of the witnesses before the Ridley Committee from the property owners side admitted that there would be an increase of rent if houses above £35 in London and above £20 in the provinces were decontrolled at the end of this year, not very much, but they said that the owners were entitled to an economic rent, which is not being paid at the present time. That was the line of argument.

It is true no doubt that in some areas you will find not a shortage but a slight surplus of upper B class houses, houses of a higher rate-able value, but that is not true of the country as a whole. In many areas there is a shortage. This is one of those things which are not amenable to averages. You cannot average human considerations. You must recognise that you have to deal with this question in stages, and also in respect of various areas. It is proposed to decontrol upper B class houses in September of this year. That will inevitably and unquestionably mean an increase of rent and a lack of security for hundreds and thousands of people, not all of them of the middle class but some of them of the working class.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Captain Bourne)

Whether this Amendment is accepted or not it will not affect that position. That question arises on the next Amendment.

Mr. Montague

I understand that the next Amendment is not being called because of its similarity to the present Amendment.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

In either case this particular Amendment deals with the period, and the question of class B houses arises on Clause 2.

Mr. T. Johnston

While the Amendment does not deal with any particular class of house but with the period in which decontrol shall take place, it simply asks that no decontrol of any kind shall take place until Parliament otherwise determines.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

That would not be the effect of carrying the Amendment unless there were subsequent Amendments to the next Clause, which are not at present on the Order Paper.

Mr. Montague

I understand the Amendment is to leave the question of the decontrol of upper class B houses to Parliament in the future.

Sir K. Wood

This is purely a question of date. If the Amendment were carried it would leave the time undetermined. The proposal in the Bill is for a particular period, and I do not think the Amendment has any bearing on upper class B houses.

Mr. Montague

The Measure we are discussing is to decontrol upper class B houses in September of this year.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

That is so, but that proposal would not be affected by the Amendment. That is dealt with by the next Amendment.

Mr. Johnston

This is rather a difficult point and it is almost impossible to discuss the matter in water-tight compartments. In this Amendment it is true that only a question of time is involved. The right hon. Gentleman in the Bill says that it shall take place on a certain date, and by our Amendment we suggest that it shall not take place until Parliament at some later date, which is undetermined, shall so decide. With great respect I trust that you will permit my hon. Friend to adduce reasons owing to the shortage of houses why the Amendment as to date should be adopted by the House.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

Obviously he is entitled to do that, but what I am pointing out is that the question whether the decontrol of class B houses shall take place in September of this year or not is unaffected by this Amendment.

Mr. Montague

I was aware of that, and I wanted to deal with the question of the supply of houses for the better type of artisan and the lower middle class.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

The hon. Member is entitled to do that on the Third Reading of the Bill but I do not think he can do so on this Amendment.

Mr. Montague

In that case I hope I shall get an opportunity of raising the points I desire to raise on the Third Reading of the Bill. On the general question, we are moving this Amendment because we are perfectly satisfied that there is no adequate ground for any kind of decontrol yet; that it is most desirable that the question shall be further considered by Parliament and that the date for decontrol shall be left open for Parliament to decide in relation to the housing needs of the country.

5.30 p.m.

Mr. Graham White

As the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Health has referred to me in connection with this matter, I should like to say how glad I am that the Government, after full consideration, did not adopt the proposal to apply the overcrowding standard as the sole factor in determining the process of decontrol. After mature consideration, Sir Miles Mitchell and I made a reservation to the report stating that we felt that to adopt the low standard of overcrowding in operation at the moment would be the wrong method of procedure, and might lead to very great hardship in many parts of the country. It is true that the majority of the Ridley Committee did not envisage that the overcrowding standard at present in force should be applied, but suggested that another and a better overcrowding standard should be adopted before the process of decontrol based on it was set in operation. I would add that in our reservation we strongly dissented from the proposal for an automatic time limit, but that has gone, with the remainder of the proposals.

With regard to the Amendment, the possibility of a fixed date of control has not escaped my attention at any time, but if the date of 1942 is fixed, there will still be at least 4,500,000 houses controlled at that time, and providing there is a Parliament still in existence, there is no power in this country which can prevent that matter being decided by Parliament. It must always be a matter of political importance in this country, and nothing can prevent it from being discussed and decided by Parliament. The hon. Member above the Gangway referred to the estimate of Sir Ernest Simon that some 6,000,000 houses would be required. The hon. Member went on to say that Sir Ernest Simon was a man who had given much attention to the matter and who was really an expert on housing. I agree with every word the hon. Member said, but I would add that Sir Ernest Simon is so well informed on these matters and has given so much thought to them that he would never have given an estimate of the number of houses that would be required without taking into account the natural growth of population. There is one point on which I am not quite clear. I do not gather what exactly is proposed in the Government's statement of policy on these matters. I imagine that at some time well in advance of 1942 it is proposed to set up a committee which will examine closely the possibility of bringing about decontrol by areas. That is a matter which Parliament will have to consider when it arises, but I am not quite clear whether there will be one committee to consider the detailed matters in the areas, and another to enable the Government to make up their mind on the whole issue.

5.34 p.m.

Mr. Silverman

What has puzzled me about the Debate which has taken place on the Amendment is that every hon. Member who has spoken has agreed that the precise thing which the Government are determined to enact shall never take place. As at present drafted, the Clause lays down that control shall come to an end in 1942, but I understood the Minister to say that he by no means contemplates that control will necessarily come to an end in 1942. The hon. Member for East Birkenhead (Mr. Graham White), who is supporting the Government on this matter, said that the reason he wants the Bill to stipulate 1942 as the date on which control shall end is that Parliament will not be bound by it.

Sir K. Wood

The Clause does not state that, but that control shall continue until such and such a date.

Mr. Silverman

The right hon. Gentleman will also remember that if conrol, under this legislation, is to continue until a certain date it follows inevitably that control shall cease upon that date unless the legislature intervenes in order to prevent that from happening. What I am pointing out is that every hon. Member who supports the retention of the Clause as it is gives as his reason for saying that control shall continue until, and therefore end at, a specified date in 1942, the proposition that Parliament will not be bound by that, and that it may never come to pass. They say that the situation really is that which is set out in the Amendment, namely, that control must continue until Parliament otherwise determines. If that be so, why not say so in the Bill? Why lay down a definite date in the Bill if all that can be said in support of that date is that one need not stick to it, but that a Committee will be appointed to inquire into the question of whether one shall stick to it or not, and that what one really has in mind is that control shall continue until Parliament otherwise determines?

I shall suggest to the House a reason for this. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment referred to trials and executions, and said that the Minister was proposing to have the execution first and then submit the case to a court of inquiry afterwards. The House will bear in mind that between now and 1942 the right hon. Gentleman himself will be in the dock. There is bound to be an appeal to the country before 1942. The method which the Government have adopted in this matter, as in most other similar matters, is to endeavour—an endeavour which often succeeds when it ought not to do so—to make the best of both worlds. A great many of the people who normally support the right hon. Gentleman and the Government want control to come to an end as soon as possible. Therefore, the right hon. Gentleman states in the Bill that it comes to an end in 1942. A great many other people, many of them having supported the right hon. Gentleman and the Government in the past, do not want control to come to an end. Almost half a million of those people will be submitted to the removal of control in September of this year, and a great many will look with fear and trembling to later events contemplated by the right hon. Gentleman. Therefore, the right hon. Gentleman says to the people who desire control to remain, and for whose support equally he angles, "Yes, but although the Bill says it will come to an end in 1942, we shall have an inquiry in the meantime, and perhaps it will not." Thus, when the trial proceeds, it will be left in doubt as to which way the cat is going to jump. It seems to me that if hon. Members agree, as I gather they do from the Debate, that control will not necessarily come to an end in 1942, it would be bad legislation for us to pass a Bill which says that it shall come to an end.

Sir K. Wood

It does not say so.

Mr. Silverman

If everybody agrees that control is to continue until Parliament otherwise determines, it would be good legislation for the House to accept the Amendment, which states that principle clearly. I cannot see why the right hon. Gentleman cannot accept the Amendment. If he says that for a number of reasons 1942 would be a convenient date for a review of the situation, there is nothing in the Amendment which would prevent the review taking place in 1942. If, on the other hand, it were convenient to have it either earlier or later than that date, it would be possible to do so under the Amendment. The Minister's hands would be less tied if he accepted the Amendment, for then he would be able to consider the situation at a given time and to take action according to the situation. I believe that the House would be well advised to accept the Amendment.

5.42 p.m.

Mr. David Adams

When this Clause was inserted in the Bill, the situation was entirely different from what it is now. The Minister knows very well that the national housing programme, almost to a house, was based upon the present low standard of overcrowding, and he has all the data and particulars to enable him to determine when there will be a sufficiency of new houses to meet the demand. I think he cannot deny that his estimate, which was made a considerable time ago, that 140,000 new houses would be built each year, is unlikely to be fulfilled. The situation has completely changed. The armaments requirements, air-raid precautions, the change in labour costs and the rapidly-increasing rates burden in many parts of the country, will all tend to slow up the housing programme. I do not believe that the right hon. Gentleman himself estimates that the housing shortage will be abated in 1942. We suggest that control should continue, after that date if necessary, until Parliament otherwise determines. The alternative which the Minister has offered is that at some time between now and 1942 he will set up a committee to investigate the situation as it then is. That is a very tentative proposition. It is highly unlikely that after the next election the right hon. Gentleman will be sitting on that bench. He and his colleagues may by that time find a comfortable location on this side of the House. In that case, we are to rely upon some future inquiry to be carried out by some Minister of Health who may take a different view of the situation.

I have made inquiries in the district with which I am associated. We have a housing programme which cannot possibly be fulfilled in the suggested period of four years. According to the official figures which have been given to me by the Durham County Council, at the end of the year we shall have 9,000 houses to be built under the slum clearance scheme and 23,000 houses to be built in connection with overcrowding. That is a total of 32,000 houses as a minimum on the present low standard to be built in that time. The Durham local authorities do not at present, whatever may be the case in the future, feel themselves able to do it, by reason of the high pressure of rates. Rates have gone up this year by about 2s. in the £ over the county and many of the local authorities are burdened to such an extent that they are holding up their schemes of improvement. They now find that the Government have reduced the subsidy for slum clearance, which they anticipated, would have been utilised for the building of houses to relieve overcrowding. They feel that it will be dangerous in many cases to undertake these schemes for re-housing under present conditions, because to do so would, inevitably, mean an increase on current rentals as far as new houses are concerned to the extent of two or three shillings. Owing to the shortage of houses in the county—Durham being the most overcrowded county in the United Kingdom—rentals have been driven up to an inordinate extent. In Committee, I quoted cases which I carefully investigated, in which pre-war rentals have been increased by 70, 80, 90 and even 100 per cent. That is a parlous and difficult situation and if the Government persist in refusing additional aid to the county of Durham, then I believe that overcrowding conditions must to a large extent continue.

In those circumstances, it is sheer absurdity to say that at the end of four years the housing shortage will have been met. At present we are asking certain sections of the community, notably the engineers, to do certain things in the national interest—and this is germane to the question of housing, because many of those men are affected by the housing shortage and certainly will be most seriously affected by the abolition of control. They look with genuine apprehension to what will ensue when decontrol takes place. It will involve a mental burden upon a much greater section of the community, I mean the poorer section of the community, in the county of Durham and elsewhere, if it is felt that decontrol may take place, as is suggested or implied in this Clause, in four years time. The engineers are being asked by the Government to abrogate many of the rights which they have won only after long years of struggle and difficulty, of negotiation and compromise. They are being asked to agree to dilution, to changes in the apprenticeship system and to unlimited overtime in order to fulfil what the Government believe to be and what we believe to be, an obligation upon their great industry. Surely, it is a small concession to ask for, in connection with a Measure of this character, affecting to a material extent the contentment and domestic happiness of a large section of the community, who are prepared to do their duty to the State, that Parliament, representing the State, should meet them on the lines I have indicated.

5.50 p.m.

Mr. A. Bevan

I wish to add one more speculation to those which have already been made as to why the right hon. Gentleman proposes the year 1942 in the Bill. Clearly, he is not doing it because he wants control to end in 1942. As my hon. Friends have pointed out, it is absurd to contend that 4,500,000 houses can pass out of control in 1942. When that time conies, another Bill will be necessary to deal with the situation. My speculation is that the year 1942 has been chosen because the right hon. Gentleman desires that the then Minister of Health—hoping of course that a Conservative Minister of Health will be in office—will be in the same fortunate position as he is in to-day. What is his position to-day? He is able to get a highly controversial Bill through the House because if we sustained the opposition to it too long, all houses would pass out of control. The right hon. Gentleman wants either himself or his successor, to be in that position again in 1942. The right hon. Gentleman smiles at that remark. If he were as statesmanlike as he is cunning, his legislation would be better. He has got the House of Commons into a trap, but his supporters will discover before many months that they will have to pay a high price for his cunning, because as a consequence of the situation into which he has brought the House, Members are not able to subject the provisions of this Measure to proper examination.

The right hon. Gentleman has to come to one of two decisions. There is such a condition of anarchy now in the housing world that either control has to be exteded over the whole of it, or else control has to be slowly nibbled away. The right hon. Gentleman has decided in favour of nibbling it away. I say this in no party or controversial spirit, but his supporters will discover in their constituencies, that owing to this sort of trap—the kind of thing in which the right hon. Gentleman delights—the House of Commons has been largely deprived of the opportunity of exercising its critical functions on this Measure. He knows that if he brought a Bill before the House without this date, in other words if control were continued indefinitely, the other part of the Bill would not go through without substantial amendment. This is the bit of cheese to attract the mouse. In 1942 a little more control will be nibbled away. Then again we shall be near the date of decontrol and it will be suggested to the House again, "You must accept decontrol of certain additional houses, as a condition of continuing control of the rest." What the right hon. Gentleman is really doing is trying to keep control of this situation by making it necessary to have a new Bill in 1942 in order to continue control.

I make a prophecy. If the right hon. Gentleman's party is in office then—which will be a national disaster—there will be another Bill. It will be brought before the House near to the period of decontrol. It will not be introduced in 1941, but near the end of control. That Bill will continue control over a certain class of houses and it will introduce a further measure of decontrol, and, again, the House of Commons will find itself in the position in which it finds itself tonight. This is a conspiracy to force unpopular legislation through the House, because the right hon. Gentleman knows that unless he got us into this position, neither his own supporters nor hon. Members on this side, would give him this Measure.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 171; Noes, 127.

Division No. 181.] AYES. [4.4 p.m.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Baldwin-Webb, Col. J. Bull, B. B.
Albery, Sir Irving Balniel, Lard Bullock, Capt. M.
Allen, Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Bernays, R. H. Burgin, Rt. Hon. E. L.
Anderson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (So'h Univ's) Boulton, W. W. Butcher, H. W.
Apsley, Lord Boyce, H. Leslie Butler, R. A.
Assheton, R. Briscoe Capt. R. G. Cartland, J. R. H.
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.) Broadbridge, Sir G. T. Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)
Atholl, Duchess of Brocklebank, Sir Edmund Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n)
Baillia, Sir A. W. M. Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham) Channon, H.
Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead) Holmes, J. S. Ramsbotham, H.
Clarry, Sir Reginald Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Rathbone, Eleanor (English Univ's.)
Clydesdale, Marquess of Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Colville, Lt.-Col Rt. Hon. D. J. Hume, Sir G. H. Rayner, Major R. H.
Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.) Hurd, Sir P. A. Reid, J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Cooper, Rt. Hn. A. Duff (W'st'rS. G'gs) Hutchinson, G. C. Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L. Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H. Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Cox, H. B. Trevor James, Wing-Commander A. W. H. Ropner, Colonel L.
Craven-Ellis, W Jarvis, Sir J. J. Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page Joel, D. J. B. Rowlands, G.
Cross, R. H. Jones, L. (Swansea W.) Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.
Crowder, J. F. E. Keeling, E. H. Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.
Culverwell, C. T. Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose) Russell, Sir Alexander
Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil) Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Salmon, Sir I.
De la Bère, R. Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Salter, Sir J. Arthur (Oxford U.)
Denman, Hon. R. D. Latham, Sir P. Samuel, M. R. A.
Denville, Alfred Leighton, Major B. E. P. Sandys, E. D.
Doland, G. F. Liddall, W. S. Scott, Lord William
Dower, Major A. V. G. Lindsay, K. M. Selley, H. R.
Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side) Llewellin, Colonel J. J. Shakespeare, G. H.
Duggan, H. J. Lloyd, G. W. Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
Duncan, J. A. L. Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S. Shepperson, Sir E. W.
Edmondson, Major Sir J. Mabane, W. (Huddersfield) Shute, Colonel Sir J. J.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. McCorquodale, M. S. Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.
Elliston, Capt. G. S. McKie, J. H. Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Elmley, Viscount Macnamara, Major J. R. J. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)
Emery, J. F. Macquisten, F. A. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Entwistle, Sir C. F. Magnay, T. Storey, S.
Errington, E. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.
Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.) Markham, S. F. Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)
Everard, W. L. Maxwell, Hon. S. A. Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Fildes, Sir H. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Tate, Mavis C.
Flndlay, Sir E. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)
Fleming, E. L. Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.) Thomas, J. P. L.
Fox. Sir G. W. G. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick) Touche, G. C.
Fremantle, Sir F. E. Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Train, Sir J.
Furness, S. N. Mitcheson, Sir G. G. Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan
Fyfe, D. P. M. Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J. Morris-Jones, Sir Henry Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
Gledhill, G. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.) Warrendar, Sir V.
Gluckstein, L. H. Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Waterhouse, Captain C.
Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral) Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J. Watt, Major G. S. Harvie
Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Nicholson, G. (Farnham) Wedderburn, H. J. S.
Gridley, Sir A. B. O'Connor, Sir Terence J. Wells, S. R.
Grimston, R. V. Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G. A. Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)
Gritten, W. G. Howard Orr-Ewing, I. L. Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir A. T. (Hitchin)
Guest. Hon. I. (Brecon and Radnor) Palmer, G. E. H. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W. Patrick, C. M. Wise, A. R.
Hannah, I. C. Peake, O. Withers, Sir J. J.
Harbord, A. Peat, C. U. Womersley, Sir W. J.
Hartington, Marquess of Peters, Dr. S. J. Wood, Hon. C. I. C.
Harvey, Sir G. Petherick, M. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.) Ponsonby, Col. C. E. Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.
Heilgers, Captain F. F. A. Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Assheton Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Hepworth, J. Procter, Major H. A.
Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Raikes, H. V. A. M. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Hoare, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Ramsay, Captain A. H. M. Captain Dugdale and Mr. Munro.
Adams. D. (Consett) Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Hall, G. H. (Aberdars)
Adamson, W. M. Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Hall, J. H. (Whiteshapel)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Day, H. Hardie, Agnes
Ammon, C. G. Dobbie, W. Harris, Sir P. A.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) Hayday, A.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Ede, J. C. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)
Banfield, J. W. Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Henderson, J. (Ardwick)
Barr, J. Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Henderson, T. (Tradeston)
Bellenger, F. J. Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Hills, A. (Pontefract)
Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W. Foot, D. M. Holdsworth, H.
Benson, G. Frankel, D. Hollins, A.
Bevan, A. Gallacher, W. Hopkin, D.
Broad, F. A. Gardner, B. W. Jagger, J.
Buchanan, G. George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)
Burke, W. A. George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) John, W.
Cape, T. Gibson, R. (Greenock) Johnston, Rt. Hon. T.
Cassells, T. Green, W. H. (Deptford) Jones, A. C. (Shipley)
Chater, D. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Jones, J. J. (Silvertown)
Cluse, W. S. Grenfell, D. R. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)
Cove, W. G. Griffith, F. Kingslay (M'ddl'sbro, W.) Kelly, W. T.
Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T.
Daggar, G. Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Kirby, B. V.
Dalton, H. Groves, T. E. Lathan, G.
Leach, W. Parkinson, J. A. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Lee, F. Pearson, A. Thorne, W.
Leonard, W. Price, M. P. Thurtle, E.
Leslie, J. R. Pritt, D. N. Tinker, J. J.
Logan, D. G. Quibell, D. J. K. Tomlinson, G.
Lunn, W. Ridley, G. Viant, S. P.
Macdonald, G. (Ince) Riley, B. Walkden, A. G.
McEntee, V. La T. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.) Walker, J.
McGhee, H. G. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.) Westwood, J.
Maclean, N. Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens) White, H. Graham
Mainwaring, W. H. Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey) Wilkinson, Ellen
Mander, G. le M. Sexton, T. M. Williams, D. (Swansea, E.)
Messer, F. Silverman, S. S. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Montague, F. Simpson, F. B. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe) Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Muff, G. Smith, E. (Stoke) Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Noel-Baker, P. J. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Paling, W. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. Charleton and Mr. Mathers.
Division No. 182.] AYES. [5.58 p.m.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leads, W.) Furness, S. N. Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Albery, Sir Irving Fyfe, D. P. M. Palmer, G. E. H.
Allen. Col. J. Sandeman (B'knhead) Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J. Patrick, C. M.
Anderson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Sc'h Univ's) Gluckstein, L. H. Peake, O.
Assheton, R. Gower, Sir R. V. Petherick, M.
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E.) Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral) Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Atholl, Duchess of Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. Pownall, Lt.-Col. Sir Assheton
Baillie, Sir A. W. M. Gridley, Sir A. B. Raikes, H. V. A. M.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Grimston, R. V. Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.
Balniel, Lord Gritten, W. G. Howard Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin)
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Guest, Hon. I. (Brecon and Radnor) Rayner, Major R. H.
Bernays, R. H. Guest, Maj. Hon. O. (C'mb'rw'll, N.W.) Reid, J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Bossom, A. C. Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W. Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Boulton, W. W. Hannah, I. C. Remer, J. R.
Boyce, H. Leslie Harbord, A. Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool)
Briscos, Capt. R. G. Hartington, Marquess of Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Broadbridge, Sir G. T. Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton) Rowlands, G.
Brocklebank, Sir Edmund Hely-Hutchinson, M. R. Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R.
Bull, B. B. Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan- Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A.
Bullock, Capt. M. Hepworth, J. Russell, Sir Alexander
Burton, Col. H. W. Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Samuel, M. R. A.
Butcher, H. W. Holdsworth, H. Scott, Lord William
Campbell, Sir E. T. Holmes, J. S. Selley, H. R.
Cartland, J. R. H. Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree)
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n) Hurd, Sir P. A. Shepperson, Sir E. W.
Channon. H. Hutchinson, G. C. Smiles, Lieut.-Colonel Sir W. D.
Clarke, Frank (Dartford) Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir T. W. H. Somervell. Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead) James, Wing-Commander A. W. H. Spears, Brigadier-General E. L.
Clarry, Sir Reginald Joel, D. J. B. Spens, W. P.
Clydesdale, Marquess of Jones, L. (Swansea W.) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Colville, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. D. J. Keeling, E. H. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.) Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose) Storey, S.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Kerr, H. W. (Oldham) Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)
Cox, H- B. Trevor Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.) Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Leighton, Major B. E. P. Tasker, Sir R. I.
Cross, R. H. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L. Tate, Mavis C.
Crowder, J. F. E. Lloyd, G. W. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)
Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil) Loftus, P. C. Thomas, J. P. L.
De la Bère, R. Mabane, W. (Huddersfield) Thomson, Sir J. D. W.
Denman, Hon. R. D. McCorquodale, M, S. Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Evan
Denville, Alfred MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross) Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Doland, G. F. Macdonald, Capt. T. (Isle of Wight) Wardlaw-Milne, Sir J. S.
Donner, P. W. McKie, J. H. Waterhouse, Captain C.
Dower, Major A. V. G. Magnay, T. Watt, Major G. S. Harvie
Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side) Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Wells, S. R.
Dugdale, Captain T. L. Markham, S. F. Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)
Duggan, H. J. Maxwell, Hon. S. A. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Wise, A. R.
Ellis, Sir G. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Withers, Sir J. J.
Elmley, Viscount Mills, Sir F. (Leyton, E.) Womersley, Sir W. J.
Entwistle, Sir C. F. Mitchell, H. (Brentford and Chiswick) Wood, Hon. C. I. C.
Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.) Morris-Jones, Sir Henry Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Everard, W. L. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.) Wright, Wing-Commander J. A. C.
Findlay, Sir E. Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Fleming, E. L. Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H.
Fox, Sir G. W. G. Nicholson, G, (Farnham) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.
Fremantle, Sir F. E. O'Connor, Sir Terence J. Mr. Munro and Major Sir
James Edmondson.
Adams, D. (Consett) Cove, W. G. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Cripps, Hon. Sir Stafford Grenfell, D. R.
Adamson, W. M. Daggar, G. Griffith, F. Kingsley (M'ddl'sbro, W.)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. (H'lsbr.) Dalton, H. Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth)
Ammon, C. G. Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Griffiths, J. (Llanelly)
Aske, Sir R. W. Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Groves, T. E.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Davies. S. O. (Merthyr) Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.)
Banfield, J. W. Day, H. Hall, G. H. (Aberdare)
Barr, J. Dobbie, W. Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel)
Bellenger, F. J. Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) Hardie, Agnes
Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W. Ede, J. C. Harris, Sir P. A.
Benson, G. Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.)
Bevan, A. Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Hayday, A.
Broad, F. A. Fletcher, Lt.-Comdr. R. T. H. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)
Buchanan, G. Foot, D. M. Henderson, J. (Ardwick)
Burke, W. A. Frankel, D. Henderson, T. (Tradeston)
Cape, T. Gallacher, W. Hills, A. (Pontefract)
Cassells, T. Gardner, B. W. Hollins, A.
Charleton, H. C. George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesey) Hopkin, D.
Chater, D. Gibson, R. (Greenock) Jagger, J.
Cluse, W. S. Green, W. H. (Deptford) Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath)
Johnston, Bt. Hon. T. Messer, F. Simpson, F. B.
Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Montague, F. Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Jones, J. J. (Silvertown) Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Smith, E. (Stoke)
Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Muff, G. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Kelly, W. T. Naylor, T. E. Sorensen, R. W.
Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Noel-Baker, P. J. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Kirby, B. V. Oliver, G. H. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Lathan, G. Paling, W. Thorne, W.
Lawson, J. J. Parkinson, J. A. Tinker, J. J.
Leach, W. Pearson, A. Tomlinson, G.
Lee, F. Price, M. P. Viant, S. P.
Leslie, J. R. Quibell, D. J. K. Walker, J.
Logan, D. G. Ridley, G. Westwood, J.
Lunn, W. Riley, B. White, H. Graham
Macdonald, G.(Ince) Ritson, J. Wilkinson, Ellen
McEntee, V. La T. Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Brom.) Williams, D. (Swansea, E.)
Maclean, N. Roberts, W. (Cumberland,N.) Williams, T. (Don Valley)
MacNeill Weir, L. Robinson, W. A. (St. Helens) Wilson, C. H. (Atterclifle)
Mainwaring, W. H. Salter, Dr. A. (Bermondsey) Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Mander, G. le M. Seely, Sir H. M. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Mathers, G. Sexton. T. M.
Maxton, J. Silverman, S. S. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. John and Mr. Anderson.