HC Deb 08 March 1938 vol 332 cc1794-858

Order for Second Reading read.

7.31 p.m.

Major Sir Ralph Glyn

I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."

This Bill is the ordinary means by which the London Passenger Transport Board must come to Parliament in order to get permission to carry through work essential for London traffic. The Bill contains no works of great magnitude, but they are all works which are essential if the schemes, many of which have been approved by this House, are to be put into execution. The most important matter in the Bill is that dealing with the Wood Lane scheme, which is necessary in order to provide additional siding accommodation and to carry out realignment of the railway to permit eight-coach trains to pass round the curve, which they cannot do on the present alignment. Unless this work is put through in proper time it will not be possible to complete the programme that has already been approved whereby trains will run off the London Passenger Transport system on to the Great Western and complete the journeys to Ruislip and Denham. There is a large increase of population in that district, and this scheme is considered of great importance to enable workers to get into London. Unless this preliminary work at Wood Lane can be put through in time, it will inevitably delay the fruition of this important scheme.

Hon. Members will probably appreciate that, owing to the increased number of coaches attached to the ordinary trains run on the London Passenger Transport system and to the fact that the tunnels have been extended in many cases, the ventilation question becomes of great importance. With yesterday's Debate fresh in their minds, hon. Members will probably appreciate the fact that it is the duty of the London Passenger Transport Board to see that there is an adequate and proper ventilation throughout the tube system. If this Bill is not given a Second Reading, that work will be delayed. It has been found by practice that the ordinary extractor fans do not accomplish the work as satisfactorily as was once thought, and it is essential to acquire property and sink shafts in order to have clear ventilation to the upper air. I hope the House will appreciate that that is another part of this Bill which is of great importance to the comfort of the millions of people who use the London underground system.

The House will also realise that the Board have been in process of changing over the old tramway system to the trolley-bus system for the purpose of improving street traffic and speeding up the rate of vehicles; and another part of the Bill deals with that essential matter, the turning point where trolley-buses go round on a curve. That work is to be carried out at Highgate Hill, and it is of great importance because all the Archway routes, as they are called, will depend on that turning point. All those who wish to use the trolley-buses will feel it rather strange if these powers are not obtained so that that essential amenity can be given to the people who live in that part of the area served by the London Passenger Transport Board. Another matter contained in the Bill is the extension of time. In the Act passed in 1935 certain important works were autho- rised, and some have not been completed, partly owing to difficulties of obtaining necessary material, and partly in order to push forward other works of perhaps greater importance.

I would mention only the following points which are contained in the Bill: The Harrow and Rickmansworth widening scheme, which is intended to serve the convenience of those people who are going out to live in the northern suburbs; Baker Street Station reconstruction scheme; sidings at the Elephant and Castle, and unless they are built it will be impossible to accommodate the necessary number of trains to serve the peak and rush hours; and the extension, from which no doubt hon. Members have experienced great inconvenience temporarily, at King's Cross where tremendous works are being carried out to meet the interchange arrangements for the convenience of passengers coming off the Great Northern line and joining that network of underground services which coalesce at King's Cross. At South Kensington there is another important work which is concerned with what is called a fly-over junction, which means that trains can reach a line on the far side which otherwise they would not be able to reach if they were all kept on the same level. This fly-over junction is of great urgency, and permission to extend the date for that and the other works is asked for a further period of 24 months up to October, 1940. The present permission under the Act of 1935 expires in October this year.

Another matter contained in the Bill, which is of vital importance in connection with the services of defence, is the interchange of electrical supply. In a time of emergency it is necessary to maintain the underground communications now more than ever. Until now it has been possible for the Board to rely solely upon their own sources of supply. I suggest it is worth the consideration of the House to decide whether it will throw out a Bill which would postpone the making of these junction arrangements with other electricity supply companies, which it is the duty of the Board to make, and so prevent these essential services being continued should one main temporarily be cut off. The Bill provides that the Board shall have power with the Electricity Board to make such agreements as are now considered essential to meet the new circumstances.

Captain Arthur Evans

Before my hon. and gallant Friend leaves the question of employés vis-à-vis Territorial Army service, will he tell the House how many women conductors the London General Omnibus Company employed in the last War, and whether he feels that the services rendered to the public on that occasion were not satisfactory because women were substituted for men in certain classes of work?

Sir R. Glyn

I would like to be allowed to postpone my reply to that question, because I am now dealing with what is in the Bill. My hon. and gallant Friend has raised a point which is not in the Bill. I am prepared to meet it if he will first do me the honour of listening to what is in the Bill, for it might be of some interest to him.

Clause 48 is rather an important provision, and I would draw particular attention to it because hon. Members have been sent various documents dealing with it. I would like to point out the origin of this Clause and why it is put in the board's Bill. A report was presented to the House in May last year by the Ministry of Labour—Command Paper 5464. That report was the result of an inquiry under the Industrial Courts Act which was set up to go into the questions and factors which governed the bus stoppage last year. In that inquiry a good deal of emphasis was laid on the fatigue and undue strain which the men suffered. If the Industrial Courts Act is not to be a dead letter as regards statutory undertakings, such as the London Passenger Transport Board, it is essential, if the board does its duty by its employé and this House, that it should attempt to give effect to the recommendations, and they do so in the Bill now before the House. I would like to read, because it is essential that I should do so, the terms of the recommendation as affecting Clause 48: With regard to facilities for meals, this is a matter which can be met partially by the board by the provision of mobile canteens, such as they have recently begun to institute in cases in which satisfactory permanent facilities are not available. We appreciate the difficulties and expense of making adequate provision at terminals which are liable to have their location changed owing to the continual extension of the outer suburbs and the modifications of routes and services necessitated by traffic fluctuations. Where suitable provision and accommodation cannot otherwise be made, we think that the cooperation of local authorities concerned should be given to secure the appointment of terminals at which refreshment facilities are available. That recommendation of the Court of Inquiry is contained in this Bill. I submit that the board have done their duty and are anxious to carry out that recommendation. I would ask the House to consider what would be the position if they terminated for ever the bus routes at certain points while at the same time London County Council and other authorities are extending their housing schemes? If there is to be efficiency in housing, there must be efficiency in the transportation system in order to bring the workers to their work. I say, therefore, that we shall not get an efficient transport system unless we look after the interests of the men who serve the public. I ask hon. Members in all parts of the House to realise that if we are to make this service what it should be, something which will help the public of Greater London and London itself, we cannot ignore the recommendations of courts of inquiry, and the House should think twice before it turns down the first Bill introduced which contains a strong recommendation of that kind from a court of inquiry.

There seems to be an idea prevalent that the London Passenger Transport Board—of all authorities—wish to put down a shelter in the middle of a highway. In the old days there were cabmen's shelters, and there are now. If the men who drove horses required sustenance there is no reason why the men who drive motor vehicles and are subject to far greater strain should not get sustenance. Nobody wishes to put the shelters where they will block the highway. The whoie policy of the Board is to provide quick and safe transport between different points, and what folly it is to suppose they would put up a shelter in the middle of an essential highway. The legal term "highway" means I understand, the whole distance over the centre of the road to the sides of the pavement—from fence to fence or wall to wall.

In many cases it has been possible for the board to acquire shops or houses for the canteens, but in many cases that is not possible, and, as the recommendation itself says, although the shelters are called temporary and mobile, it is not intended to have a kind of van on wheels, but to have something which can be picked up and taken where it has to go. I ask hon. Members to consider what will be the feelings of the men, who put their case very fairly to the industrial court, if this House turns down something which everybody is agreed is essential for the health and the comfort of the drivers and the conductors, and that means the safety not only of the passengers carried but of all people living in the London district. In regard to the provision which will be made, there is some idea that the board want to compete with private enterprise. That is perfectly untrue, but in places where it is impossible for the men to get what is necessary we believe it to be an obligation on the undertaking to provide at cost price good wholesome food. While I am talking of this it would be unfair if I did not say that, besides bodily sustenance, other amenities and facilities are provided for the men.

I come now, with the permission of the House, to deal with something which is not contained in the Bill, and that is the question of recruiting for the Territorial Army. Personally, I regret very much to find myself in the position of appearing to be the devil's advocate, but I support the Bill as it appears, and when this new matter is raised—I admit that it has been raised on previous occasions—it is no use running away from the case. The thing to do is to face up to it, and I will put the board's point of view as far as I can. I recognise that many people feel that it is the business of a great undertaking like the London Passenger Transport Board to set a very good example in this matter, and I believe that the Board are as anxious and as ready as any other public undertaking to do their duty in this respect, but I beg the House to remember two things. The first is that a transport undertaking has definite obligations and duties to the public, not only in peace time but certainly in war. I will read directly a statement which I think will put the thing concisely and enable the House to understand what is the position of those responsible, not only for people going about their everyday business but responsible in an emergency to maintain communications and also to fulfil their obligations by providing men who may be required to serve in different capacities. This is the statement to which I referred: The board admit that the record so far as current war service is concerned would not appear satisfactory. Yet the Board have not refused anyone consent to serve in the Territorial Army. The board admit that something more might be done and are open to discuss the situation with the appropriate Government Departments at any time. I should like the House to note this, especially with yesterday's Debate fresh in their minds. The Board are not yet advised as to what is required of them in a state of emergency. There are many tasks to which their undertaking can be applied. It represents a specialised organisation of men and equipment which is certainly available for defence purposes. It would seem that there should be better ways in which it can be used effectively than through mere enlistment of the staff in the Territorial Army. The approach to a solution of the problem would not seem to lie through a decision of this House upon the resolution now before it, but rather through discussions with those responsible for the distribution of man power, having regard to all the tasks that will fall to be discharged in the event of war; and in any event the circumstances of transport undertakings differ largely from the circumstances of manufacturing and trading undertakings, so that special consideration will be necessary if the action to be taken will prove effective. Such action should be general and not particular in character. So far as the Board are concerned, they hold themselves ready to enter into such discussions whenever they are invited. I would like to add one other point. The total number of men who are on the pay roll of the London Passenger Transport Board who belong to the Territorial Army is 383, but it must also be remembered that there are 1,815 Army Reservists who would be called up. The House probably knows that the board employ 82,000 men. Of those 82,000, 74,000 are highly specialised men. On the average it costs £25 to train each skilled man. Such men cannot be replaced, they are irreplaceable. I would beg the House to remember that those here who may vote against the Bill to-night would be the first to turn round and blame the board if, in an emergency, they could not provide all their services.

Last year it was properly and rightly agreed that all the employés should be entitled—as in the case of the main line companies—to have a fortnight's holiday with pay. In order that that should be done it was necessary to employ another 1,400 men. They have had to be taken on as extra to the normal establishment and trained so that they could replace those who are having their holidays. I do not say that theirs is an analogous case with that of the 380 Territorials, I do not mean that at all, but I understand that the complaint is that the board do not at present pay to the men their full pay when they have that extra week in camp. I would point out that the position is easier for organisations which are not restricted by a rates tribunal in regard to what they sell, because, after all, the London Passenger Transport Board sells transport. We cannot shove up the fares. We are controlled by the rates tribunal. Other commercial firms, even the biggest of them, can put on a certain amount to cover the cost. I wish we could do that. An hon. Member opposite seems to dissent. I say that I wish we could do that, but we cannot recoup ourselves.

We have to remember that very small investors—holders of C stock and others—put a large sum into this undertaking, one which this House approved after weeks of consideration in Committee, and is the House entitled, without conference with the War Office and other authorities, to say that the best way in which a transport undertaking can help to defend the country is for these men to join the units of the Territorial Army? I, and no doubt other hon. Members, remember that in the last War the difficulty we had was to grab back from the Army men who were key men and should never have gone into the Army at all. The House will remember what a wicked loss was entailed by sending out highly skilled men who would have served their country far better by carrying on at their jobs. Tribunals were set up, but it was a great job to drag the men back.

Now we have quite a new situation, such as was never known before in this country, where the home front, inside the island, may be the most vital place. Only a fool must suppose that we can carry on without highly skilled men in transport. Are we justified, without further consultation, and without looking at this matter from a man-power point of view, to say that we are quite sure that the best thing is for individuals—they have no restriction placed on them as it is—to join any unit they like in the Territorial Army? They are men who are vitally important to the life of London, to the movement of food and supplies. Who will tell me that the skilled bus driver would not form one of a convoy to move people from point to point to resist aerial attack? How can we move large sections of the civilian population from danger spots if all the drivers are in the Territorials? I am told that we could have women conductors. I daresay we could have women conductors, but I should like to see the hon. Member opposite let his sister go as a woman conductor when there is a rush of people all wanting to get away.

Captain A. Evans

Perhaps the hon. and gallant Baronet will recall that many women relatives of Members of this House played a very prominent part in that duty during the general strike.

Sir R. Glyn

I am sure the hon. and gallant Member will allow me to say that I am casting no aspersions on any of his relatives, or anybody else's, who did their duty. I am saying that you have got a new situation which you never had before, where you have got a Home front, where you have got to exhibit a new position entirely. A speech was made by the right hon. Gentleman the present First Lord of the Admiralty, I think in November of the year before last, in which he said that the War Office were framing the regulations so that men who were employed in such occupations as made it difficult for them to attend the camp at the ordinary time would be provided with facilities for so doing.

I am sure the hon. Gentleman will appreciate that one of the peculiarities of the railway man is that he has to do his work to help other people to enjoy themselves, and who are the first to shout if you have not got an excursion train properly manned, and who are the first to complain if you do not run such trains. How many of the people going to the illuminations in Blackpool think of the difficulties of transport companies in arranging holidays for their men in the slack time before normal holidays? I think hon. Members would appreciate the difference it would make to railway men if only we would spread the holiday period of the ordinary population. The longer we spread it the better it will be for railway men to have a holiday. If you want to try to do something to help the training of men who are Territorials, is it not up to the War Office to provide certain facilities so that men can train outside the holiday period? Surely arrangements might be made for railway men to go to the depots or some alterna- tive? We were even led to think that was possible, but I do not want anybody to think that in saying that I am making excuses, and I appreciate the point put by my hon. Friends who have put their names to the Amendment. I dare say I should have been with them in other circumstances some years ago, but there is a new situation arising, and before they throw out this Bill, or vote against it, I would beg them first of all carefully to consider what it is the Bill proposes to do, and how it is going to improve the traffic facilities of London.

Secondly, they feel strongly—and I quite agree with their feeling—about these extra facilities, but, boiled down, "extra facilities" means that the board should pay men to attend camp their normal pay as well as the men getting their Territorial pay. No possible obstruction is now put in the way of men who want to join. I have searched the records and can find that no component part of what now forms the London Passenger Transport organisation ever granted pay to men who attended camp. I, therefore, beg hon. Gentlemen that they will, at any rate, give the board this opportunity of consulting not only with the War Office, but with the Ministry of Transport and all other Government Departments, recognising that we have a new situation, and that a railway-man engaged in transportation is a valuable asset in the home front. Nobody wants to under-rate the duty of serving the country in time of emergency in any way possible, but I beg the House to give this Bill a Second Reading, and let us see whether the Government Departments and the board cannot devise something which will be for the benefit of the country in time of emergency.

8.5 p.m.

Mr. Parker

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 oppose the Bill as the representative of a constituency in which there are very strong feelings about the London Passenger Transport Board, but I would like to dissociate myself from the Amendment on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling). Personally I cannot possibly agree, especially after hearing the arguments of the last speaker, with the idea that special facili- ties ought to be given to enable people who are essential to national services in war time, to go away and leave their jobs. I want in opposing the Bill first of all to deal with general criticisms of the London Passenger Transport Board, then to deal with local criticisms in my own area, and finally to deal with Clause 48. I think it is a very great objection with many Members of this House that there is no possibility whatever of criticising the services of the London Passenger Transport Board except when a private Bill of this kind is before the House. If hon. Members put down questions about the services of the transport board to the Ministry of Transport, they do not get satisfactory answers. All that the Ministry does is to take the question to Number 55, Broadway, get a reply, and come back and read that out to the hon. Members of this House. Time and again the Minister of Transport has specifically stated that he has no powers whatever over the board, and I think it is generally recognised by hon. Members that the London Passenger Transport Board is an entirely irresponsible body so far as this House is concerned. In order to bear out the point I am making I would like to quote from a speech made by Mr. Frank Pick at the London School of Economics on 26th February, 1934: The Minister of Transport has almost faded from the Act and the Board is neither responsible to the Ministry of Transport nor to the Railway Rates Tribunal. It may be responsible to Parliament, but Parliament must undo its work in order to restore its sovereignty. In the escape from capitalist control we have almost fallen into dictatorship. I agree with the whole of that statement except the word "almost." There are various sops which have been created for the benefit of the public. There is the Railway Rates Tribunal. This body, however, has its hands practically tied until the standard rate of interest has been paid on the "C" stock and, therefore, appeals to the Railway Rates Triburnal, unless the board is making very large profits, are not a satisfactory way of redressing grievances. The London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee can make investigations about the services in the London area, but it has no power to compel the board to act. Then there is the London Passenger Transport Board's public relations officer, who has done a great deal of good in a small way, but despite what has been done, there are many grievances that still require remedying. Various Traffic Advisory Committees have been set up around London, and one in the Romford Division has worked extraordinarily well in raising local grievances; but it is only an advisory committee and has no power to get major grievances redressed. I think that an expansion of these advisory committees would lead to many improvements in other areas around London, but such machinery alone is not enough. None, in fact, of these bodies really gets to the root of the problem, which is control over the policy of the board.

Personally, I believe that a number of changes are necessary in regard to relations between the board, this House and the Government, if the policy of the board is to be changed and to be more satisfactory. I believe that the policy of the board ought to be controlled by Parliament and that the Ministry of Transport ought to be responsible for appointing the board. It was an unfortunate change in the original Act by which the Minister lost his power to appoint members to the board. At the present time the board is appointed by trustees including the Chairman of the London County Council, a member of the London and Home Councils Advisory Committee, the chairman of the London Clearing Bankers, the President of the Law Society and the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Perhaps one or two of these know something about London transport. Personally I think it is necessary to restore to the Minister of Transport the right to appoint members of the board.

Then also I think it is essential that the accounts of the London Passenger Transport Board should be submitted yearly to this House and approved by this House. That would give an opportunity to Members of this House to voice their grievances against the board and to control its policy. With regard to all the various public corporations which have been set up, if they are not to degenerate into dictatorships quite independent of democratic control, it is essential that each should be responsible to a Minister of the House, and that their accounts should be discussed and approved yearly by this House. If the Minister then does not carry out the wishes of this House, he can be "sacked" by this House, and if he finds that a particular board is not carrying out his general policy, then he can "sack" the members of that board. Only by having relations of this kind is it possible for this House to maintain democratic control over the various public boards, and if we are to get democratic control of the London Passenger Transport Board it seems essential to go back to the original proposal, and to see that the Minister of Transport is finally responsible for the board's policy in this House and should appoint the members of the board.

At the time the change was made hon. Members opposite argued that it was desirable to remove all political interference from this board, but that turns out to have been an argument in favour of creating an independent dictatorship free from democratic control. It has always seemed to me that it is the job of the intelligent politician to listen to the experts quarrelling and decide between them, and in this case it should be the job of the Minister of Transport to listen to the advice of the experts at 55, Broadway, and then decide the general policy to be adopted. I would like also to criticise the financial policy pursued in the creation of the board. There is a lack of elasticity about the Act as regards the creation of reserves. The board has to take each year separately, which makes continuity of policy difficult, and no reserve can be created apart from renewals and the Sinking Fund until 5½ per cent. has been paid on the "C" stock.

When the board was created overcompensation was given to the shareholders in various companies taken over by the board. They took 1928–30 as the basic years for working out compensation, and it was quite obvious when the depression followed that shareholders who got stock in the new concern did very well indeed. There was a rise in London Transport stocks received by debenture holders between the 24th April, 1931, and the 31st December, 1931, of nearly 25 per cent.—to be accurate 24.65 per cent.—which showed quite obviously the extent of the over-compensation at the time of the creation of the board. It seems to me that this over-capitalisation will somehow or other have to be got rid of if the board is to be put on a sound financial basis. At the present time the stock of the board cannot be redeemed until various dates between 1965 and 2023, and that is a very long time hence. Stockholders have gained generally at the expense of the employés and the public, and it seems to me that either a Government guarantee of interest should be given and the rate of interest reduced, or else sanction should be given for an early conversion by the board.

I would like to deal now with various local grievances in my constituency. There is a very strong feeling throughout the whole of the Eastern suburbs of London that they do not get a square deal. The people there feel that the richer areas, North, South, and West, get better services in proportion to population than do the people in the Eastern areas, due to the fact that the other areas are wealthier and likely to offer a better return to the board. Many of us believe that it was unnecessary that plans should have been passed for building a tube right out beyond the Green Belt to Aldenham, when there are already many areas to the East of London, thickly populated, which have not got adequate services. It seems that better co-ordination in planning is required between the Transport Board and the local authorities when there are developments of new areas around London. In particular, in the Romford Division, there is great discontent because of the long delay with regard to the electrification of the North Eastern Railway out from Liverpool Street, and that is an essential part of the general scheme for serving that area.

There are also strong complaints with regard to the Green Line services. Recently there has been a rise in fares, especially in season-ticket fares, on the Green Line routes out from Aldgate to Romford and Upminster, and as a result of that I presented a petition to the Minister last December. As a result of the rise in fares, there has been great distress in those areas. It is argued by the Board that those particular fares, even after the increase, are still lower than the general standard for Green Line fares in all other services around London. That may be true, but I maintain that those particular services are in a different position from the ordinary Green Line services around London. They are much more in the nature of express bus services. The services are very frequent indeed, and they are felt by the people in that district to be just a small compensation for the general inadequacy of the services covering the whole of that Eastern area. Many people have gone out to live in areas like Upminster, Hornchurch, and Romford, and have bought their own houses there, having first worked out their budgets carefully and estimated that they would have so much only to spend on fares travelling to and from their work in the City of London. Therefore, an increase in their fares affects them very much, especially when an increased assessment is also threatened. There is a very strong feeling indeed about this increase in the Green Line fares in that district, and I would like to ask the Board to reconsider their decision and to consider the point that the Green Line services in that district are in the nature rather of express bus services than ordinary Green Line services.

Finally, with regard to Clause 48, I agree largely with what the hon. and gallant Member opposite said. It seems to me that if the busmen of London are to have the facilities to which they are entitled, they should have these canteen facilities at terminal points, and I only hope that an attempt will be made to reach an agreement with the various local authorities and to prevent friction on the point, because if you are to have this Clause working smoothly, it is necessary to get the good will of the local authorities and their support. I therefore hope that an attempt will be made to reach an accommodation with them. For the reasons given, I oppose the Bill.

8.20 p.m.

Mr. Lansbury

I beg to second the Amendment.

I put my name to the Motion for the rejection of the Bill for several reasons. I wish to ventilate some of the difficulties in connection with the transport system in my own division. The hon. and gallant Member who opened the Debate will probably remember the several occasions on which I have raised questions connected with Bow and Bromley and Poplar. The Borough of Poplar is a very difficult one to deal with from the point of view of transport, because it is very narrow and very long, and we are bisected and dissected in all kinds of ways by railways and canals, and partly by the River Lea, which at any rate comes close up to us. During the whole of the 50 odd years that I have lived in Bow we have never had a proper service throughout the length of the borough. People living in certain parts of the area find it extremely difficult, if they are at all incapacitated or if they are worn out with work, to get away, either to places of amusement or for other purposes, into the main road.

I will not follow my hon. Friend into a discussion of the constitution of the Transport Board, except to say that I think it is a very great pity that it is not possible to bring our grievances in connection with the board to some authority that can have a deciding voice instead of being compelled to take up the time of Parliament with what, after all, are local grievances. The questions connected with the future of the board will, I am sure, have to be dealt with much sooner than is anticipated, but I do not want to argue them to-night. I only want to explain that I would have preferred not to have taken up the time of the House on a subject which it will be very difficult for me to make clearly understood. It may be argued by the hon. and gallant Gentleman that my colleagues on the borough council have had ample opportunity to discuss our difficulties with the officers of the Transport Board. I agree that that is so, but when we have our discussions, although we are treated very courteously, we are bound to feel that we are before them as if we were before a tribunal that had the power to decide things and to tell us, "That is our decision, and that is an end of it." The last letter that we have received tells us, bluntly and plainly, that the appropriate officers have decided that, so far as they are concerned, the matter is ended. That is not good enough for our municipality or for the people in that area.

The question is the running of a set of buses over another route from the Lime-house side of the borough into Bow Road. There are two lines running, but each of them runs right on the edge of the borough. One goes down Burdett Road to East India Dock Road and through to the Isle of Dogs; another goes along St. Leonard's Road, which is on the extreme other side of the borough, leaving the whole of the centre untouched. We ask that there should be a detour, and that some of the buses that come down the main Burdett Road should turn off to the centre into Campbell Road.

The argument put up against us was that there was not enough distance for people to travel to get on to the Burdett Road or on to the Bow Road. Whoever measured the map must have done so with his eyes out of focus. I can walk fairly well now, and I know that anybody who has to walk from the centre of Devons Road, near the Campbell Road into Bow Road, will find it quite a considerable walk; and so it is to walk the other way, into Burdett Road. It is sheer unadulterated nonsense for the chief officials of the London Passenger Transport Board to send that sort of communication to people who have to live in the district and meet the inhabitants who have appealed for those services. It was stated that the police might not allow the buses to come along the road because it was rather narrow. When I read that statement I thought that that was most nonsensical, because one of the roads along which a line of buses runs is very much narrower and much more dangerous than the route we suggested to the board. The route through Hackney Wick, Parnell Road and Jodrell Road into Wick Lane is an extremely difficult road for a motor bus to negotiate, but Campbell Road, Devons Road and another road whose name I just forget and which leads on to Burdett Road, are quite all right, except in one particular portion, and are almost straight for a large portion of the route. I hope that the hon. Gentleman is not going to talk about the danger of negotiating traffic there.

I may be told that the proposed route will not pay. If so, I will call attention to the fact that, before the establishment of the London Passenger Transport Board, West Ham Corporation honeycombed their side streets with trams. That was long years ago. They put the trams down, knowing that they would not make money, and that they would probably have to make other portions of the system pay for those trams. The first consideration of the Corporation was the convenience of the citizens, and what they lost on the swings they were satisfied to gain upon the roundabouts. The same principle should apply in the case of the London Passenger Transport Board. Those who have travelled these streets know them better than do officials who sit in an office near here, in The Broadway.

This matter is of concern not only to the people who live in the area but to a large number of nurses and social workers in various institutions. We have close by a huge hospital, and there are many social settlements in which we are glad that people come and work with us and offer us any help they can in lightening the lives of the people. Then there are numerous young people who go to the Evening Institute in Coborn Street, Bow Road. I have had three or four petitions from them, and I believe that the London Passenger Transport Board has had their petitions also. So have the Borough Council. It is not good enough for Mr. Pick to say these things. He is courtesy itself, but when he is most courteous he is most dangerous, because he does not intend to give way one bit. I do not look upon him as the master of London's passenger transport but as the servant of the people of London, and that is the only capacity in which I should think of him.

Years ago we had to deal with Lord Ashfield. Many of us think of him as a man whom we should have been glad to find as the head of a great municipal service in London if he had not been born with two silver or gold spoons in his mouth. I very much wish that those who have this business in hand just now had more of the spirit possessed by Lord Ashfield. If we had dealt with him we should not have had to plead during these months for this small concession. It is not a new line, and you could quite easily reach some of the buses along the route in order to give people the facilities which they need. That is all I want to say upon this issue. I want to turn to another question about which the hon. Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) had some correspondence with me when the board came to its agreement two or three years ago to carry out the improvements which they are carrying out now.

I join my hon. Friend the Member for Romford (Mr. Parker) in speaking about the way in which East London has been dealt with. I do not know how many years ago it was that I raised the question in the House and received sympathetic consideration from the hon. Member when he replied. It is time that a tube were put down the East India Dock Road, notwithstanding all the difficulties which we are told are connected with that suggestion, and that we had a connection down that road to Barking. I invite anyone to go into that district during any evening or morning, and to go down East India Dock Road. You can go only by bus or tram. When the trolley buses get there, conditions will be a shade better; but as traffic increases it will hardly be better at all. It is only necessary to travel down there to discover how difficult it is as compared with Bow Road. Bow Road is eased because of the railway facilities; the number of people who go by tube is enormous. If the board were to run a tube down Commercial Road and East India Dock Road and through to Barking, and in any other direction on that side of East London between Bow Road and the river, I am sure they would find tremendous business.

We have a feeling in East London that the railway which is now being built to connect up with the electrified London and North Eastern is going to deal with a whole crowd of people who are not resident in East London. It is East London that I pleaded for in the first argument that I tried to put to the House, and I plead now for consideration for the people who live in Poplar, Canning Town and neighbouring districts. These are my main reasons for supporting the Amendment to reject the Bill. I could not in any circumstances vote for another Amendment on the Paper, and I should certainly vote against the Bill if that Amendment were carried and embodied in the Bill in any way. I think that those who work for the London Passenger Transport Board have a right to free choice as to whether they will join the Territorials or not. [HON. MEMBERS: "They have now!"] So long as we are agreed on that point, I do not mind. I also support whole-heartedly Clause 48, because I believe we ought to do all we can to give the drivers and conductors the very best conditions.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Dennis Herbert)

Perhaps I might tell the right hon. Gentleman that the procedure proposed, with Mr. Speaker's sanction, is that the Instruction should be taken separately after the Second Reading, when the Bill has been read a Second time.

Mr. Lansbury

I am sorry; I did not know the arrangement.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I am not raising any objection to what the right hon. Gentleman said about it.

Mr. Lansbury

In conclusion, I desire—because I would not like anything I have said to be misunderstood—to pay my tribute of praise to the service generally of the London Passenger Transport Board. They have revolutionised travelling in London. I travel very often by omnibus or tram—mostly by omnibus—and thoroughly enjoy it. The men are civil and obliging, and I do not think they are paid anything like enough. I think the men who manipulate the omnibuses in the streets of Bow are geniuses in the manner in which they do their job. Instead of any of us wanting, because of our grievances against the board, to cut down any amenities, let us extend them as much as ever we can. I join also in saying that, while these men earn their money, we owe them something for their courtesy and good will. I see them dealing with old people and children getting on and off omnibuses, and it is a joy to see the manner in which they carry out their job. But I think that those who are at the centre, and have to do nothing but look at maps and draw up schedules and so on, might have a little more consideration for East London, and not be quite the grand seigneurs that they appear to be. I repeat that they are charming, but when they are charming they are extremely dangerous.

8.40 p.m.

Mr. Keeling

My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) was here to move the Second Reading of this Bill, on the back of which his name appears, but where are the two hon. Members for the City of London, whose names also appear on the Bill? Why are they not here to support it? It seems to me to be a case of Three little nigger boys whose names were on the Bill, Two ran away from it, and then there was one. That one, my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Abingdon, made a very courageous speech, and made the best case he could for the Bill, but he was also very frank about it. He described himself as the Devil's advocate. Now neither I nor any of my hon. Friends who support me would have gone so far as to describe the London Passenger Transport Board as devils, but I can quite understand that my hon. and gallant Friend, having accepted a brief from that quarter, feels his position acutely, and I would like to offer him my respectful sympathy.

I support the Motion for the rejection of the Bill, not because of anything that the Bill contains, but because of the attitude of London Transport to the Territorial Army. It may be asked, should Parliament reject a private Bill which is not objectionable in itself, merely because the conduct of the promoters is unsatisfactory in some way not connected at all with the Bill? My answer is that there are a number of precedents for this. Several private Bills have been thrown out by this House on Second Reading because of the way in which the promoters treated their employés, and as recently as 1925 the Bill of the London County Electricity Supply Company was rejected on Second Reading for no other reason than that the company was not on the King's Roll. The case for the rejection of this Bill to-day is far stronger than that, because the vital interests of the country are involved. I ask that the Bill be rejected because the London Passenger Transport Board is failing to bear its proper share of the burden of defence, and especially the defence of London, in which its property is situated and in which it carries on its business.

Here is a corporation which was brought into existence by Parliament, which enjoys a monopoly of public transport over an enormous area, and which has, morever, borrowed immense sums on the guarantee of the House of Commons. Surely we are entitled to insist, as the price of giving it further powers, that it should play its part in carrying out the declared policy of this House regarding national defence. Two years ago the Secretary of State for War appealed to all employers to grant extra leave with pay for the period of the Territorial camps, and that appeal has been repeated on several occasions, both by the Secretary of State for War and by the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence. Many large employers responded to that appeal. I have a long list here, which I am not going to weary the House by reading but am going to summarise briefly in this way: The Government themselves have granted extra leave with pay, in addition to ordinary holidays, to all civil servants. Many local authorities, including the London County Council, under its present leadership, have done the same—the Westminster City Council has done it with such effect that the number of its employés in the Territorial Army rose from 16 to 62 within 18 months; the Metropolitan Water Board, many gas companies, many oil companies and a large number of engineering and other firms have done the same; and many of them, unlike London Transport, are not enjoying a sheltered monopoly, but are subject, on the contrary, to fierce competition.

London Transport are conspicuous among the large employers of London in giving no extra leave with pay, though in approved cases they give one week's extra leave without pay. I do not deny that the Board, in giving two weeks' ordinary holiday with pay, are good employers, though no better than most of the others I have mentioned; but the net effect is that if the London Transport man who is in the Territorial Army goes to camp, as he must, for a fortnight, and also wishes to go to the seaside with his wife and family—a not unreasonable desire—for a week or more, he has to spend the whole of that time at the seaside without pay. The result is that out of the 83,000 employés of London Transport, nearly all of whom are men, only 383 are members of the Territorial Army. I suggest that that is a miserable contribution to the defence of London. Is it conceivable that London Transport, with power stations and other properties peculiarly vulnerable to air attack, are unaware that London relies on Territorials, to man not only the infantry battalions, engineers, signals and other units of the Territorial Army, but also the whole of the anti-aircraft guns and searchlights around London, the four auxiliary air force squadrons in London, which form part of the 123 squadrons included in the Metropolitan Air Force, and, finally, the new squadrons which are about to start recruiting for the balloon barrage? These units of the Territorial Army and Air Force—and I might have added, the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve—include many technical men, such as London Transport are well fitted to supply. If these units are not manned, what becomes of the defence of London?

How does this figure of 383 out of 83,000—or half of 1 per cent.—compare with that for other employers? Hon. Members will not be surprised to hear that it compares extremely unfavourably. The Gas Light and Coke Company, with 24,000 employés, contribute 2 per cent. of their number—or four times the proportion of London Transport—to the Territorials. I have no other figures for London, but many employers can show much better figures even than that. We are entitled to ask that, if the Board could not set an example, at any rate they might follow the example of these others. But not only are they not making progress, they are actually going back, because, contrary to what my hon. and gallant Friend stated, I am informed that when London Transport took over the tramways some years ago the tramway employés were enjoying extra leave with pay for this purpose, and that privilege has been withdrawn. So, in spite of the enormous increase in the number of men needed for the defence of London, the Board are granting fewer facilities now than two or years ago.

What reasons have been given by the Board for their attitude on this matter? We heard something some time ago about the cost of giving extra leave with pay. I am glad to see that in the statement circulated to hon. Members yesterday by the Board, that argument has been dropped. It is quite true that the full dividend on the "C" stock has not been paid, but I am sure that if those stock-holders were called together none of them would object to the paltry sum which this concession would involve.

Mr. Fleming

Can the hon. Member give us any idea of what the sum would be?

Mr. Keeling

It would depend, of course, on the number of men affected, but I am told that a reasonable percentage, in comparison with other employers, for London Transport to contribute to the Territorial Army would be two per cent. That would be 1,660; and if they gave one or two weeks' pay the figure, as hon. Members will see, works out at something between £6,000 and £12,000, according to the period. In the statement circulated yesterday, and also in the speech of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Abingdon, two other reasons were put forward by London Transport. The first was the difficulty of sparing men in time of war, and in the circular which the Board sent round they said that they are in touch with Government Departments regarding this matter. My hon. and gallant Friend read out a statement, which he was authorised by the Board to make, which said that they were willing to go on discussing the matter. I suggest that this is not convincing, it is not enough, and it is rather late. Of course the services must be maintained in time of war, of course many technical men are indispensable; but I challenge the Board and my hon. and gallant Friend who, I understand is going to reply, to answer two questions. Is it not a fact, as the hon. and gallant Member for South Cardiff (Captain A. Evans) suggested, that in the last War large numbers of underground, omnibus and tram employés were sent to the War and never fetched back? It is perfectly true that key men had to be brought back, but in the Amendment which a number of us have put down we expressly bar any suggestion that we want key men to join the Territorial Army.

My second question is: Have the Board ever been told by the War Office that only half of 1 per cent. can be spared in time of war? Under the Territorial Regulations, civil establishments under the War Office, such as Woolwich, are actually allowed to contribute 5 per cent. of their men to the Territorial Army, and it is fantastic to suggest that the War Office would discourage further recruitment of London Transport employés above half of 1 per cent. On the contrary, I am informed that ever since 1934 the War Office have been urging that extra facilities be given. When my hon. and gallant Friend speaks of maintaining the services in time of war he seems to forget that, if an effective Air Defence is not built up, no London transport may be left to function at all.

Finally, the Board say that there is difficulty about granting leave. Surely that is common to every large organisation, and if other large corporations took this line very few recruits could be expected from them. The War Office has actually met this point by arranging that, if it is not convenient for a man to go to the summer camp, he can put in a fortnight instead, at some other time of the year more convenient to him, at a depôt and, therefore, that excuse is no longer open to London Transport. Of course, attendance at camp is better than attendance at a depôt, and it may be true that if more men attended Territorial camps some of the rest of the staff would have to take their leave either earlier or later in the year, but it is not unreasonable that their interests should give way to the country's need.

I hope that I have said enough to persuade the House that this Bill should be rejected. Lord Chancellor Bacon once gave this warning to the country: Let no Estate expect to be great that is not aware upon any just occasion of arming. The House is entitled to say to-day: Let no great public monopoly, enjoying powers entrusted to it by this House, expect to get further powers if it is not aware upon this just occasion of arming.

8.57 p.m.

Captain A. Evans

I do not propose to follow the hon. Member for Romford (Mr. Parker) in his general condemnation of the London Passenger Transport Board. My only regret in that direction is that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Hackney (Mr. H. Morrison) was not here to listen to the opinion expressed by one of his followers of his own little child. [Interruption.] I am glad to see that that finds general support among hon. Gentlemen who occupy those benches. I rise to support my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) in urging the rejection of this Bill, and, in common with him, I sympathise with the hon. and gallant Baronet the Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) in his very noble effort to put a very bad case in the best possible light. I do not think that I am being disrespectful when I suggest that my hon. and gallant Friend failed in his effort so to do. He agreed in his opening remarks that it was necessary for all public undertakings, and particulary that of the type of the London Passenger Transport Board, to set an example so far as National Service is concerned, and, in this connection, it is not an exaggeration to say that the responsibility, as far as the national service of the Transport Board is concerned, does not end by providing efficient transport for the people of London. Having been granted certain powers by this House, it assumed a responsibility towards national problems as a whole—a responsibility which we do not feel that they are discharging as they should, by their attitude towards the Territorial Army at this particular time.

We understand from my hon. and gallant Friend that of the 82,000 employés of the board, 74,000 come within the category which could be described as highly specialised technical employés. It is difficult, I imagine, to know what the total employés were of those undertakings which went to make up the London Passenger Transport Board, as they existed at mobilisation in 1914. I should like to know what percentage of those employés came within the category to which I have just referred, because, as my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham has pointed out, a large number of those employés volunteered for active service immediately and went to the Front, and, unfortunately, shared a fate which we all regret. But their places had to be filled, and it is common knowledge that at a time of national emergency such as we shall experience if war ever comes, the public will not expect to have the same efficiency which they enjoy in times of peace. At the same time, it is obvious that there are being carried out by the London Passenger Transport men employés essential duties which can be discharged with efficiency by women. Attention has already been drawn to the statement which was issued by the board in support of their Bill. In paragraph (5) I find the following words, which—they have already been referred to—frankly, I do not understand: The board have for some time been in touch with the appropriate Government Departments on this and related matters and feel that they are best dealt with in that way. Knowing that there was an Amendment on the Order Paper in the terms already referred to, it is a matter for regret that the hon. and gallant Baronet did not tell us what that correspondence was, and what were the appropriate Government Departments with which the London Passenger Transport Board have been in communication. I believe that this is a misleading statement. It rather infers that correspondence has taken place, that negotiations are about to be commenced, and that the War Office and the other Departments are quite satisfied with the position. I suggest that that is far from the truth. I do not think that the War Office are satisfied with the position. I understand—and I shall be glad if my hon. Friend the representative of the War Office will correct me if I am wrong—that a short time ago certain undertakings were asked to furnish a return of indispensable members and employés who would come within indispensable trades. I should like to know whether that return was furnished to the War Office by the board, and, if so, what classes of employés were included in that category. Is it suggested that conductors of omnibuses come within the category of highly specialised technical employés, because I hardly think that that is a view which would be shared by the majority of the Members of this House. While it is a very efficient and important duty to collect the revenue of the board, I hardly feel that, furnished as they are with modern and up-to-date equipment, it can be regarded as a highly specialised form of employment.

If we accept the argument which has been submitted to the House by the hon. and gallant Baronet, surely, it is consistent to say that that argument could also be applied to railways of all kinds throughout the country and to practically every public undertaking. If war ever comes public undertakings of all kinds, in this country will have to make sacrifices in the same way as every other national service will have to make sacrifices. In the last war we had a most amazing experience. In the national emergency it was found possible to dispense with employés who previously were regarded as indispensable, and their places were taken by volunteers of both sexes.

There is another aspect of this case which has not been referred to so far, and that is the question of petrol supplies. I wonder whether, if war were declared to-morrow, the Minister of Transport, in the interests of national efficiency, would find it necessary to curtail petrol supplies, not only for private use, but of transport undertakings of all kinds. It might be that in the case of a national emergency, whether we like it or not, transport services, not only in London, but in all our big industrial cities, would be cut down by perhaps, 50 per cent. as a safeguard, and perhaps as a necessity. If that is the case, then the London Passenger Transport Board would be able to release a far greater number of what they are pleased to term highly specialised technical employés. I suggest that there is not the slightest doubt that in this particular case somebody is being very obstinate. It is of paramount importance, if the Secretary of State for War is to meet with the success he deserves in his recruiting efforts, that important and responsible bodies like the board and all other organisations should give their active assistance and say, "Here is the maximum number of men we can raise in time of war. We will do everything in our power to encourage their recruitment for national service, and we will not confine ourselves to not refusing an application, but will make up our minds that we are prepared to make a contribution, not only in the interests of our own company but in the interests of national defence, and the moral of the nation as a whole."

9.8 p.m.

Mr. Benjamin Smith

The discussion this evening has taken the form, first, of complaints against the methods adopted by the London Passenger Transport Board so far as their services to the community are concerned. While it may be good sense for a board to be set up to which these grievances might be taken, nevertheless, it is hardly fair to expect hon. Members from all parts of the country to be the judges as to what is fit and proper in regard to the services of London, and it seems to me that there should be some machinery whereby these matters can be properly discussed instead of it being a matter for barter across the Floor of the House as to whether the Bill on its merits should go through. In the second place, various local authorities are saying that the men should have proper facilities for food. The board suffered a long strike at the Coronation period. I do not pro- pose to go into the merits of that strike, or to discuss whether the time was opportune or not, but the fact remains that the men felt they had a real grievance and that their health was suffering by the type of service they were called upon to do. In the discussions later on it was revealed that there were no proper facilities for the men to get rest and recreation or to perform other functions in connection with their daily life. In Clause 48 of the Bill the board say they are prepared to offer proper facilities.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

I do not know whether the hon. Member was in during the early part of the Debate when I mentioned that Clause 48 would be open for debate on the Instruction after the Second Reading had been carried.

Mr. Smith

I bow to your Ruling. The next point is the question of the Territorial Forces. I happen to know, as one who was directly associated with the old omnibus company, that during the last War the men and their women did yeoman service; and would undoubtedly do it again. It is not fair to compare the employés and the members of this board with any undertaking in the country. The board has to cover an area of 25 miles from Charing Cross and to move a population of 11,000,000, which is continually changing owing to the housing developments taking place in all parts of London. In the event of war taking place, I imagine that one of the first things that will be done will be to commandeer, as they did in the last War, a large number of buses and the necessary staff to run them. I cannot understand hon. Members waxing wrath with a concern which they know will have to find facilities in time of war for moving the great population of London to and from their work. That is one of the first duties of the board. Therefore, to say that the board are putting obstacles in the way of men joining the Territorial Force, and that this is militating against recruitment is an unfair suggestion for any hon. Member to make. I should like to ask the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) how he voted on the question of holidays with pay when it was brought forward from this side of the House?

Mr. Keeling

I have already said that the London Passenger Transport Board give a fortnight's holiday with pay.

Mr. Smith

That is not my point. I want to know why this body of 40,000 men are to be chosen willy-nilly by the hon. Member and compelled to join the Territorial Force, when other people are to go free?

Mr. Keeling

I made no suggestion of that sort.

Mr. Smith

The hon. and gallant Member for Cardiff South (Captain A. Evans) said that every form of encouragement should be used to get the men into the Territorial Force. What form of economic pressure is to be brought upon these men? Let me put another proposition to the hon. Member for Twickenham. How many of the stores which he cited are giving facilities for their men to join the Territorial Forces? How many are giving a fortnight's holiday with pay and also a fortnight's holiday to go to camp?

Mr. Keeling

To the best of my knowledge, the majority of them.

Mr. Smith

The hon. and gallant Member for South Cardiff challenged representatives of the board to produce evidence as to the various Government Departments with whom they had been in negotiation. Surely, it is equally fair for me to ask that the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) should not generalise about this matter, but should give us the facts.

Mr. Keeling

I am prepared to give the facts, and I can give some of them now. Government Departments give a large amount of leave for ordinary holidays, and they also give an extra fortnight's leave with pay for attendance at a Territorial camp to any members of the staff who get not more than 18 days ordinary leave. The Middlesex County Council, the London County Council, the Bank of England, the Westminster City Council, Imperial Chemical Industries, Shell Mex—I do not think I need name any more—give at least a fortnight's holiday with pay, and in addition an extra fortnight with pay for attending Territorial Army camps.

Mr. Smith

I beg to differ. With regard to the Government Departments, does the hon. Member suggest that if the same facilities were granted by the board, the board would have the same means of getting the revenue with which to pay the cost? The mere expedient of raising more revenue by the Government meets the cost with regard to Civil Servants, but the board have to go before various tribunals if they want to raise fares. Therefore, I say that it is not fair for hon. Members to pick out one concern which undoubtedly will be an important war unit, if war takes place. The hon. and gallant Member for South Cardiff said, "Let us assume that a 50 per cent. reduction in petrol supplies will be effected in the event of war." Of course, we should expect that immediately. I can tell him that in the last War, the whole of the petrol supplies were deducted, and I remember that Lord Ashfield discussed with me now how he was going to "put up" with white paraffin—and when he had got that, 50 per cent. of it was taken away. There is no question that there will be a curtailment of the service as far as petrol is concerned, but there will also be a curtailment in the sense that in the event of war, traffic which is not necessary will be removed. The one will counter-balance the other. One hon. Member referred to the work that women would do in a war. Women rendered admirable services as conductors during the last War; but in a future war, with air-raid precautions, with the streets darkened, the signals gone, and a panicky population, do hon. Members think that it will not be necessary to have men on the buses? As far as London is concerned, the last War was play compared with what the next one will be.

Captain A. Evans

Surely, the hon. Member will admit that if he carries that argument to its logical conclusion, everybody will be a civilian and there will be nobody in the Army.

Mr. Smith

If the hon. and gallant Gentleman carries his argument to its logical conclusion, everybody will be a soldier and there will be nobody to do any work.

Mr. Keeling

Is not the hon. Member aware that the establishment of the Territorial Army is limited to about 200,000 men?

Mr. Smith

I am equally aware that there are 80,000 men employed by the London Passenger Transport Board, and that the hon. Member seems to have made a dead set against that body. I speak for the men employed in that institution. I have been with those men ever since I first organised them 25 years ago, and it has taken 25 years for us to get anything like reasonable holiday conditions. It was only last year that we were successful in getting a fortnight's holiday with pay for them. The service of the London Passenger Transport Board is a mobile and ubiquitous one; it is a service which has to meet varying conditions at all times. For the operating staff in London, holidays cover eight months in the year, and I believe I am right in saying that on the Green Line service, they have to get holidays at any time during the year.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

As the hon. Member knows what is in the minds of the employés will he inform the House why it is that they are not joining the Territorial Army?

Mr. Smith

If a survey could be made of the number of people in the employment of the board who have been in the Service or who are on the Reserve, there would be a very different story told in the House about only 381 who happen to be in the Territorial Forces. The hon. and gallant Gentleman says that I know what is in the minds of the men. I can tell him, knowing the minds of the men, that if they get it into their heads that the House is trying to force their employers to bring economic pressure to bear upon them to join the Territorial Army, it will be a very bad thing for the Territorial Army. The board places no obstacle in the way of a volunteer if he wants to use his holiday in this way; but when hon. Members come to the House and say that a Bill which is necessary for the development of the services which the board render to the people should be rejected for these reasons, I think they are taking a mean advantage of the House. I say that frankly.

Hon. Members who show such assiduity in getting recruits for the Territorial Army will no doubt be equally assiduous in getting soldiers, sailors and airmen; but if they believe in their policy, it is not right that they should pick out one undertaking; rather, they should face the issue boldly and tell us in the House that they want conscription. They have not the courage to do that. If conscription were brought in, there would not be an hon. Member sitting on the benches opposite after the next election. Hon. Members opposite know that. The Prime Minister has pledged himself not to bring any pres- sure, economic or otherwise, upon men to join the Regular Army. Nobody knows that better than the Prime Minister himself. I remember the right hon. Gentleman getting his first official appointment in London, when he came here as Minister for National Service. I believe I was the first man who met him in that position, and the question which arose then was not that of getting people into the Army, but of how many he could release so that efficient services could be carried on by the London omnibuses. That may surprise hon. Members, but it is a true statement. The arguments which have been adduced against the board on the question of its Territorial policy should not be allowed to secure the rejection of this Bill. This question is not one which arises in the Bill, and the Bill should be allowed to go to the Committee. I hope that all my hon. Friends will join with me in opposing the Motion for the rejection of the Bill.

9.24 p.m.

Major Whiteley

I think that the hon. Member for Rotherhithe (Mr. B. Smith), in his very interesting spech, allowed his enthusiasm to run away with him a little, for he completely distorted the remarks which have been made by my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) with regard to the Territorial Army. No one has ever suggested, and no one is every likely to suggest, that pressure should be brought to bear on anyone.

Mr. Benjamin Smith

What is meant by the remark about giving the necessary encouragement?

Major Whiteley

That is a very different matter. Encouragement and pressure are two different things. No one would dream of suggesting that key men, essential men who will be needed in time of war or in time of emergency, should, in peace time, be taken away and trained as Territorial soldiers. The hon. Baronet who moved the Second Reading of this Bill in his very lucid speech rather cleverly confused the issue by speaking as if it were the intention of hon. Members to encourage the enlistment of key men. That is not the case. All that some of us desire—I hope the House desires—is that reasonable encouragement should be given to men who want to join the Territorial Army and who can be spared to do so, and, when they have joined (and this includes men who may have enlisted already and who may be key men), that they should be given every assistance to attend camp and to carry out their obligations. We are told in the document which has been circulated to hon. Members that this is what is done: The Board places no obstacle in the way of those not required for essential public service enlisting if they so wish. No one can take exception to that as far as it goes, but there is all the difference in the world between placing no obstacle and giving reasonable encouragement.

We are told that if the Second Reading of this Bill is rejected it will cause the most undesirable delay, and that this very essential work, which everyone agrees is necessary, will as a result be held up. I think that is unfortunate, but it happens that it is the only way in which hon. Members can bring home to this and similar undertakings their views on this subject. Sorry as I should be to feel that the public were going to suffer as the result of the rejection of the Bill, I feel that the eventual result may be a good one, and that in future, when Bills of this sort are brought forward by this or similar undertakings, they will see that they come here with clean hands in the matter of national defence. The country as a whole is making a tremendous effort for rearmament and national defence, and great statutory undertakings such as the London Passenger Transport Board—and there are others in the same position—will, I think, do well to understand that when they come to this House for increased facilities their Bills will be carefully examined in order to ensure that they are doing what they can to assist the country to put its defences in order.

Something has been said on the question of holidays with pay. The London Passenger Transport Board assert that they give a fortnight's holiday with pay, and in addition a week's holiday without pay for members of the Territorial Army; but apparently this fortnight's holiday with pay does not apply to all their employés—I wish it did. We have been given no figures to indicate the proportion of these three hundred odd men in the Territorial Army who are receiving a fortnight's holiday with pay. Not long ago a gentleman who is very well known in this country and in industry, Lord Cadman, was speaking in my village at the opening of a Territorial drill hall, and he said that he thought it was desirable that all undertakings which could do so should provide not only holidays with pay, but special leave with pay in addition, to enable men to go to Territorial camp. I feel very strongly that that must come in time, and that, wherever possible, a lead should be given by these great statutory undertakings in order to encourage smaller undertakings to follow their example.

I do not think that we are asking anything unreasonable of the London Passenger Transport Board. We do not suggest that there should be any compulsion. We are perfectly well aware, being, I trust, reasonable men, that it would be folly to encourage the enlistment of men whose services in their present work are vitally esential in time of emergency. The board have said that they are ready to enter into negotiations with the appropriate Government Department. Well, it appears that even the threat of the rejection of their Bill has had some effect, and it is high time that they did enter into those negotiations. I should have wished that those negotiations with the appropriate Department—I imagine, the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence—had been in full swing long before this, not only in the case of this particular undertaking but of other similar ones. We hope that by rejecting the Second Reading of this Bill we shall ensure in the future that large undertakings fully understand their responsibility towards the national defence, and that they will take reasonable action, and no more, to carry out the obligations which we expect the ordinary private citizen to do.

9.31 p.m.

Mr. Ede

I want to speak in this Debate as one who joined the old Volunteers 40 years ago, and therefore I may claim to speak in this matter with some knowledge of the feelings of the rank and file of the present Territorial Army, for when the War came I re-enlisted in the Territorial Army. I am bound to say that, from my knowledge of the views of the ordinary workman who served in the Territorial Army, no greater disservice has been done to the recruitment of that Army than the speeches we have listened to to-night from the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Buckinghamshire (Major Whiteley) and the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for South Cardiff (Captain Evans). On every local autho- rity on which I have served I have always stood for the principle that men, if they are willing to give up their time, should receive from the local authority leave with pay for attendance at the Territorial camp, but when that has been done I think there is no further responsibility towards the men. It has been suggested to-night, however, that that is not sufficient, and that there should be actual encouragement by the employer. I believe that if, as the result of the negotiations with the War Office, the London Passenger Transport Board find themselves able to increase the number of men who can be recruited for the Territorial service, this will be regarded by the men with a suspicion which would not have existed had this Debate not taken place.

I regard the speeches of the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) and of the two other hon. Members I have mentioned, in the light of the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) as a very serious attack on the Government, because the hon. and gallant Member for Abingdon has made it quite plain that conversations are proceeding between the board and the War Office on this matter. For a few minutes we had the pleasure of seeing the Financial Secretary to the War Office here this evening, and I was anticipating that he would take part in the Debate and tell us what the position was with regard to those conversations.

All through the great public utility undertakings there is the feeling of uncertainty which the hon. Member for Abingdon referred to as existing in the minds of the London Passenger Transport Board. Gas, water, electricity or transport undertakings have not had the slightest indication from the Government of the policy which is to be pursued with regard to their staffs in the event of an emergency. My hon. Friend the Member for Rotherhithe (Mr. Benjamin Smith) speaking from his great experience, alluded to the way in which the London buses were used for the conveyance of troops on the occasion of the last War—I suppose I should say the latest, rather than the last. Those buses were used over many routes in France from the rest billets to near the front line. I am told that 1,360 buses were taken over from the London General Omnibus Company for that purpose and those of us who were in France during the War know the ser- vice which the drivers of those vehicles rendered. One feels certain that, in the event of any future mobilisation of the forces, the same kind of service will be required.

Surely it is time the Government gave some indication to those responsible for public utilities of the extent to which they will be expected to contribute to whatever forces may be mobilised as auxiliaries. If that information were available, I believe a great many of the problems mentioned by hon. Members might be solved—but for the speeches of the hon. and gallant Member for Buckingham and the hon. and gallant Member for Cardiff, South—in a way that would meet with general approbation. I sincerely hope that the threat made by the hon. Member for Buckingham that all public utility Bills will in future be examined to see whether or not some arrangement acceptable to him has been made between the directors and the employés with regard to Territorial Army service, will not be carried into effect. If it were thought that employers who from time to time have to come to this House for Bills were to be examined to see what percentage of their employés was in the Territorial Army, then the whole advantage of the voluntary character of the Territorial Army would be destroyed. I can only hope that the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) will not be pressed to a Division.

Mr. Keeling

It will not be called.

Mr. Ede

We have been told, however, that a Division will be taken on the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Romford (Mr. Parker). Having had this discussion, and having heard what appeared to be the complete answer of the hon. Member for Abingdon on the present position of the board and the difficulties which exist, as we all know, owing to the delay of the Government in tackling this issue of man-power, I hope that no Division will take place and that we shall be able to proceed with the Second Reading and the consideration of the Instruction.

9.40 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Captain Austin Hudson)

It may be convenient if I intervene at this stage, as I understand that another hon. Member proposes to wind up on behalf of the board. In spite of the comparative heat which has been engendered on this question of Territorial Army recruiting, I am not sure that some form of agreement may not yet be reached. This is an occasion on which hon. Members exercise their right to raise grievances. In the past, most of the points raised have been points of detail which have been taken into consideration by the board. On this occasion, in addition to comparatively detailed points, we have had raised a matter of wider implications. I propose to deal first with the smaller points, and then to say something on the question of Territorial Army recruiting.

The House will, no doubt, remember that under the London Passenger Transport Board Act of 1933 the powers of the Minister of Transport are closely circumscribed. My right hon. Friend may use his powers of persuasion to get the board to adopt a certain course, but he cannot order the board to do so. It was the deliberate decision of this House that jurisdiction in questions of charges and facilities should be vested, not in the Minister but in the Railway Rates Tribunal. I understand that it would be out of order on this Bill to debate the question of whether the Minister should appoint the board or whether Members of Parliament should be members of the board. I would, however, remind hon. Members opposite that the question of any form of political control was debated in 1933, and when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Hackney (Mr. H. Morrison) brought in his Bill in 1931.

May I deal now with three points of detail? The hon. Member for Romford (Mr. Parker) raised the question of Green Line fares. I would remind him that under Section 29 of the 1933 Act a local authority may apply to the Railway Rates Tribunal for the adjustment of fares or the modification of conditions applicable to such fares. In this case as Parliament has given that right of appeal the Minister cannot interfere, and it is for the local authority to make use of the machinery provided. It has not so far done so and the hon. Member for Romford may like to take up that point with the local authority. Very much the same point was raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) as regards bus and tube services at Bow. Under Section 59 of the Act the local authority can approach the London and Home Counties Traffic Advisory Committee who may take certain action, or under Section 30 they may appeal to the Railway Rates Tribunal. Whether that is a satisfactory form of appeal or not is not for me to decide.

Mr. Lansbury

Has either of those authorities the power to compel the board to do what we want them to do?

Captain Hudson

They have certain powers under the Act but what I was saying was that the Minister himself has no powers. Certain forms of appeals have been devised under the Act and until the machinery created by the House has been brought into action, it is difficult to see how the Minister can do anything.

Mr. Lansbury

I did not raise the matter because I thought that the Minister could do anything. I happen to know how that Measure was drafted and how the House left it—so that the Minister could not have power to do anything. I wanted to show the absurdity of having to waste the time of Parliament in dealing with a purely local matter when there ought to be one authority to which we could go to have it settled, while avoiding the trouble and cost of going to two authorities.

Captain Hudson

I think we shall have to leave the detailed point there. The hon. Member for Romford raised the question of the accounts. The accounts of the board are presented in a form and compiled in a manner prescribed by the Minister. They are published, and the board is also required to make to the Minister an annual report which must be laid before Parliament. I am assured that a full report is made from year to year. That is, perhaps, not known to the hon. Member for Romford. I will say what I have to say about Clause 48 in the Debate which will take place on the Instruction.

As regards the question of Territorial Army recruiting, I must say definitely that I do not think the board have acted well in this matter. My Minister yesterday notified the board that he found himself unable to support the attitude of the board on this issue, but, in reply, he got no offer whatever of conciliation or of an effort to meet the point of view which is obviously felt by a large number of Members. The work which the board would have to perform in time of war is, of course, being considered seriously by my Department. We can, however, see no reason why the board should not give more encouragement to men to join the Territorial Army, and we feel that, if this led to larger numbers of men joining, that circumstance would not prejudice the usefulness of the board's undertakings in time of war. In the course of the Debate it has appeared that what my hon. Friend's Amendment asks for is time off with pay, as against time off without pay. I really cannot see, if we look at this thing in a judicial manner, that that can be called undesirable pressure. The War Office has been mentioned once or twice; they entirely agree with the attitude that my Minister has taken up.

On the other hand, I tell the House frankly that my Ministry would be very sorry to lose this Bill, which contains useful provisions for the improvement of London transport. There is work in the Bill to the value of £287,800. We must also consider that the rejection of the Bill will not punish the board so much as the citizens of London. In these circumstances, I have tried to see whether there is any method by which we can keep the Bill and, at the same time, let the board know that a large number of Members of the House—I think probably a majority—take a serious view of the matter. I suggest that the House might consider whether they will not allow the Bill a Second Reading to-night, while reserving, as every Member is entitled to do, their right to reject it, if they wish, on Third Reading. In the meantime, the board will have the opportunity of studying the speeches which have been made in this Debate and my Minister will ask the board's chairman to confer with him to see whether he cannot suggest some arrangement to meet the wishes of the House.

While the question of the Territorial Army would not be debatable on Third Reading, I understand that I should probably be able to inform the House of the result of the proposed conference. I would remind the House that the hon. and gallant Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) said that the board were ready to discuss this matter with the ap- propriate Government Department. Therefore, the suggestion which I make would appear to be satisfactory to the board, and I hope it will be satisfactory to the House. By adopting this method it may be possible to save this useful Bill, while getting agreement on a matter about which undoubtedly large numbers of Members take a serious view. This is a matter for the House itself to decide, for it is a private Bill, but I make the suggestion in the hope that in this rather difficult position it may prove to be a possible solution.

9.52 p.m.

Mr. Walkden

I would ask the House not to be so unwise as to reject this valuable Measure on the grounds put forward by hon. Members opposite in regard to recruitment for the Territorial Army. The area covered by the Transport Board represents a quarter of the population of the country, and it would be amazing if an action of this kind were taken by the House of Commons. The other grievances that have been ventilated will not be remedied by the rejection of the Bill. Neither the constitution of the board nor the representation of the board could be altered by its rejection. The hon. Member for Romford (Mr. Parker) would agree with me that that is not the way to get the original Act of 1933 amended. These are relatively trivial matters to the greater question that emerged in the later stages of the Debate in the deplorable speeches in which hon. Gentlemen opposite were in favour of encouraging this great public board to take steps in the matter of recruitment. If those speeches were deplorable, the speech delivered on behalf of the Government was far more deplorable. If that encouragement is given because of the threat to reject the Bill, the results will be exceedingly disastrous. The principle that has prevailed so far, and for which we understood the Government stood, was that recruitment, whether for the Territorials or for the Regular Army, was to be absolutely voluntary on the part of the recruit and that there should be no pressure put on him by anybody, either employer or Government, and that no pressure should be put on employers to take special measures to induce men to join the Forces.

The Parliamentary Secretary has not appreciated the excellent documents we have had on the question of granting further leave with pay. That can be given only at the expense of the other men, those who are too old to go into the Forces and those who have not joined. The House in the very hard financial terms on which it insisted in the Act of 1933 has chained up the board to the payment of very high rates of interest, amounting to 5 per cent. and 4½ per cent., when the rate on public money is 3 per cent. and 3¼ per cent. Further, the board have had put upon them the obligation to fatten up the dividend on the "C" stock to give a higher yield than is given by any of the railway companies' stocks or any comparable stocks in the country, and any further expense which is put upon the board is bound to have an adverse effect on the staff. Bad blood will be created throughout that body of very intelligent men: there are among the employés of the Transport Board men whose attainments and knowledge of affairs equal those of any of us in this House and not only can they think but they can take action. I warn hon. Members that the attitude of mind displayed to-night in this House is most deplorable, and I hope that it will be modified before the Bill is disposed of.

9.56 p.m.

Mr. Anstruther-Gray

The hon. Member for South Bristol (Mr. Walkden) in common with a number of hon. Members on his side of the House, appears to approach this question of Territorial service under the misapprehension that there is no difference between encouraging men to do a thing and compelling them to do it. I put it to the House that there is all the difference in the world between driving one of us out of this Chamber with sticks and encouraging one to go out by offering one a drink. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport has intervened with a suggestion which requires very careful consideration. On the one hand he says quite clearly that he is not satisfied with the attitude taken up by the board, but, on the other hand, he is conscious of the value of the Bill, and speaking as a Minister of his Department he is anxious that the Bill should not be lost. He suggests that the difficulty might be reconciled by the House granting the Bill a Second Reading on the understanding that the transport board would then meet with the Departments concerned, and that unless the board had granted suitable facilities to Territorials by the time the Third Reading was reached the House would reserve its right to reject the Bill at that stage.

At first sight that is an attractive suggestion, but I do not feel at present that I could recommend those of us who are anxious to see Territorials who are employés of the London Passenger Transport Board receiving pay and an extra holiday to attend camp to accept the Minister's suggestion. Is there very much in the hope that the board will see reason now when they have not seen it in the past? This controversy has not grown up overnight, but has been going on for fully 18 months. All the arguments which the board are using to-day are the same arguments as they were using 18 months ago. No progress has been made, and I see no reason to hope that the board should take a more helpful attitude after the Second Reading of this Bill has been passed than they do now. We are told that they will get into touch with the War Office. Surely we know that they have been in touch with the War Office already. We have that information in the circular issued by the board yesterday. And surely we know that they put forward no acceptable proposals to the War Office. If their proposals had been acceptable my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) would have mentioned them to us. We know, further, that not only are the proposals not acceptable to the War Office—the War Office might ask more than we do—but that in the view of the board those proposals would not be acceptable to this House, because otherwise we should have had them put before us.

We are invited to sacrifice our chance to resist this Bill on Second Reading in the hope that after Second Reading the board will be more reasonable. I wonder whether that is likely to be so. Everybody with knowledge of the procedure of this House knows that the fate of a Bill hangs on Second Reading. Once a Bill gets through Second Reading it is very difficult indeed, I will not say to "work up" but to organise serious opposition to it, however strongly it may be felt. People will say to you, "I quite agree with your point of view, but you had your chance on Second Reading and you got beaten—or you ran away—and now you will have to put up with it." Another argument is, "The Bill was given a Second Reading and went upstairs to Committee, many days—nine, 10, 11 or 16 days—have been spent on it in Committee, and surely we are not going to throw it away after all that work has been done on it." Or else we get the purely practical point of view of the Whips' office: "If you stage a Debate against the Third Reading of the Bill we shall lose another Parliamentary day," and they use their influence to persuade one not to oppose the Third Reading. I am pretty young in experience of this House, but if hon. Members who have been here a long time will cast their minds back they will not, I think, recall many cases where even a private Bill which has been given a Second Reading and has got throught its Committee stage has been thrown out on Third Reading.

For that reason I am afraid I cannot agree to the suggestion of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport. He made it perfectly clear that he was intervening in a Debate upon a private Bill, that the Government Whips were not on, and that Members would have complete liberty to vote as they think right without any thought that they will be voting against the Government. I came to the House frankly determined to vote against the Bill, and though I have considered the words of the Parliamentary Secretary they have not persuaded me to alter my mind. I have great personal sympathy with everything said by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Abingdon, and I think he put his case very well, but it was not an easy case to put, and I do not honestly believe that he relished his task. I understand that the hon. and gallant Member for Wallasey (Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon) will also put the point of view of the London Passenger Transport Board. After all, however, I think it will be found that the overwhelming majority of Government supporters share the view which I have that little though we may like to oppose the Bill—not because of what it contains, but because of an allied subject—yet this is the only means we have in this House of bringing to the attention of the London Passenger Transport Board the view we take of their failure to make adequate provision for employés of theirs who want to serve their country as Territorials.

I must not labour too long the arguments which were put, because they were present so amply in the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling), but it is to my mind little short of a disgrace that this great monopoly-holding statutory corporation, with 82,000 men working under them, should be able to let only 383 men join the Territorials. I felt almost as much disappointed with those figures as with the arguments that were put forward by the board. In all the earlier stages of this controversy they attached great importance to the question of expense. Well, to give a week's pay to these 383 men, who are at present Territorials, assuming that they are getting about £4 a week, will cost the board something in the neighbourhood of £1,500 a year, and if we found that the effect of granting pay to join this extra holiday would increase the number of the Territorials under the Trans-port Board to the same percentage as we find under more or less kindred undertakings—to what, I think, is the not unreasonable percentage of 2 per cent. instead of a ½ per cent.—that would mean that the number of Territorials would be about 1,500 or 1,600, and if you had to pay other people to take their place for this one week, again at the rate of £4 a week, the cost would be only something in the neighbourhood of £6,000, and surely that is not a very serious item to a corporation whose general wage bill comes to something over £16,000,000 a year. Surely not.

That brings us to the argument that so many of these men are working on specialised jobs that a temporary staff could not do the job for them, and it would be necessary to enlarge the regular and permanent staff. I would like to give two answers. First, we are only asking that these facilities should be granted to men not essential in time of war, and secondly, if the encouragement of a second week's holiday with pay did succeed, as I suggest it might, in multiplying by four times the number of Territorials, bringing it up to 2 per cent. of the staff, surely there must be some means, either within the staff itself or from outside sources, by which the board could make good a deficiency of 2 per cent. if that deficiency had to be made good at all. But the board could run with 98 per cent. of its staff. You get many more than 2 per cent. away for holidays at one time. The question of holidays might be met very easily by other members of the staff taking their holidays at different times from the men who wanted to go to the Territorial camp.

The hon. Member who represents the employés of the Transport Board has left the House at the moment—he probably knows what the thoughts of the Transport Board's men are—but I would say for those employés of the Transport Board that surely they would not begrudge having their holidays either a week earlier or a week later if thereby they could enable one of their colleagues to serve his country by joining the Territorials. I do not know that it is necessary for all these men to be away at one time. I do not think there is any reason why one should expect all the men to join the same Territorial unit, and in that case I think they might go to camp at different times and, further, the War Office would be perfectly open to allow some such arrangement as for a man to do an attachment at some other time and not during the rush holiday period.

The last argument that has been used by the board is that all their employés will be essential if war breaks out, but honestly I cannot accept that argument seriously, and it is only non-essential men we are asking for. There are innumerable conductors and ticket collectors—jobs that could and would perfectly well be done by women or older men. Nobody who remembers the last war forgets how efficiently those jobs were then filled by those women. I do not want to prolong the Debate, but I feel that on this point we in this House would be wrong to give to any body increased powers unless we were satisfied that that body appreciated the importance of national Defence.

Mr. Kelly

Would you apply that to wages, too?

Mr. Anstruther-Gray

The particular defence we are thinking of by London Territorials is defence against the air, and what use is the London Passenger Transport Board going to be if we cannot defend London from the air? Personally, I should find it impossible to hope for a Bill giving this board greater powers unless they show a realisation of their responsibility, and I would put it to other Members in this House that if the defence of the country falls upon us in this House we should support the Governvent in every defence. We should support the Government, encourage people to join the Territorials, and I feel that we should do something more than encourage men to join the Territorials. I think we should do what we can to see to it that men who join the Territorials are given fair play and generous treatment by their employers.

Mr. Parker

On a point of Order. I should like to withdraw the Amendment.

Hon. Members


10.13 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

I feel it a very great privilege that I should be able to say a word on behalf of the board, because I feel in a way that I am one of those to whom it is due that many, many years ago the board came into being at all. If you remember, during a Government of a Conservative nature there was inquiry after inquiry in different parts of London as to what would be the best way of getting through the pool, and the answer always came down that there must be a co-ordination of traffic, and it was due to those recommendations that finally the general scheme was evolved, that the pooling of all resources was envisaged, and it was eventually born, so to speak, with a Labour Minister of Transport as its father, but it was weaned by a Conservative Government, and the progeny as you see it now is not really loved by anybody. It is not quite the Socialist Measure that the Socialists like, and from these benches it has always been looked upon as something we had to put through against our wishes; but still we have got to admit, I think, that the board, qua board, has been a great success. But nobody would go back to competitive transport in London if he knew anything about it at all. That is the position as we find it to-day.

The hon. Member who moved the rejection of the Bill brought to our notice the fact that he could not arraign the Minister of Transport for some of the misdeeds of the board. That was a pity from his point of view, but from the point of view of the time of the House, we should have questions addressed to the Minister of Transport most of the afternoon if that were the case. I noticed that the right hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) said that he would like another form of authority before whom he could put his complaints with regard to his own locality. I have tried to get from the "powers that be" sympathetic consideration about a service down Devons Road, but in the short time that I have had, and in spite of my right hon. Friend's eloquence, I am unable to tell him that there will be that service down that road. I am sorry about that, but, on the other hand, I can assure him that there are many other services that we should like to have very much, although I agree that it is very tiresome to feel that when you are representing a great authority a man in the capacity of the ruler of the Transport Board can say "No" to you, and that is the final word. I feel very great sympathy with him, but I would suggest that possibly some local money might be spent in raising that machinery which my right hon. Friend envisaged in trying to get perhaps his own point of view accepted. That would be an interesting experiment, something which has not been done yet, and I hope it would come to a successful conclusion.

Mr. Lansbury

You lend us the money.

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

The hon. Member who moved the rejection of the Bill was not, I think, seriously wanting it, because he made a peroration in which he pleaded with the House to clear up Clause 48 and not to wreck the Bill. He was using this private Bill as we all use such Bills, and we have had a very enjoyable evening. We all use them, like Railway Bills, to air our grievances about night sleepers, bad trains, and so on. I will now pass to a rather more serious side, and that is the question of the Territorials. I think the point has not been made enough that the fact that the board gives two weeks' holiday with pay is not a discouragement to anybody joining the Territorials. If anybody during those two weeks wishes to spend one week with the Territorials, he can do so. There is no objection on the part of the board to that, but to ask that, in addition to the fortnight, there should be another week with pay for joining the Territorials, is, I think, to ask a good deal, unless it becomes general.

The whole question has been cleared up by the Minister in his speech to-night, although I did not approve of what he said, because he seemed to me to take the typical attitude of Colonel Blimp and to say, "By Gad, Sir, the next war is going to be exactly like the last one." I do not agree, because if it were going to be anything like the last one, perhaps what my hon. Friend behind me wished to happen, that everybody should join up in the approved way, might be the right way of facing up to the problem, but the next war will probably be entirely diferent, and that is why an organisation like the Transport Board should be kept altogether as an organisation, until we know what we want from the board. It seems to me that the request should come from the Government, either from the Ministry of Transport or from the War Office, and—

Captain A. Evans

May I—

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

I am going to deal with you. The only request that has come from the War Office is for a list of the skilled craftsmen, and that is being complied with.

Captain A. Evans

The hon. and gallant Gentleman says that the request should come from the War Office. Surely some attention should be given to the recruiting efforts of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War, who has made speeches in the country and in this House asking big employers of labour to encourage their employés to join the Territorial Army.

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

I could not have been speaking loudly enough. I tried to impress upon my hon. and gallant Friend that we are dealing with a unit of transport, a unit in this great City of London, and that when war breaks out next time—who knows what will occur?—there may be such a demand for exodus from this city that transport will be all-important. That is the kind of thought that has to be given to this matter. It is no use for the Minister of War to tell us that conditions will be the same as they were in the last War. We are told that the Transport Board have to act as an ordinary employer, but that is not the idea.

Mr. Keeling

In saying that the next war will be very different from the last, does my hon. and gallant Friend suggest that the defence of London will require fewer men in the next war than it did in the last War?

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

I think it will require many more men, but if anybody has to give thought to that matter it should be the Government. They can make a plan to include all these great organisations. So far they have made no request to the London Passenger Transport Board except to ask them to rally round the old system; but the old system may be the wrong one. The Ministry of Transport and the War Office have to consider this matter together, and they should go to the Transport Board and ask for what they want when they have decided what it is they want. The question has to be looked at from a different point of view from that which has been taken to-night. After what the Minister has said it would be a very grave step for the House to throw out this Bill. He has told us that if the negotiations between this great board and the Minister during the Committee stage are not satisfactory, he will give us a recommendation to throw it out on Third Reading, although he will not be able to speak upon it at that stage. He having told us that, I cannot believe that we ought to divide against the Bill on Second Reading.

Those who are thinking that the Territorial question is bigger than the question of national Defence are misguided. The Bill is badly needed. It is the first time that this great board have come to us to ask for power, and it would be a very great error on our part if we refused their request to-night to give them those powers, because of a point which has nothing to do with that request.

10.23 p.m.

Commander Sir Archibald Southby

I listened with great interest to the very persuasive speech of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn), and I must confess that he went a good way towards allaying the fears that I had on this question of the Territorials. The speech to which we have just listened was, however, hardly a speech that would completely allay the fears of people who like myself think that something should be said about the right of men to join the Territorial Army. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wallasey (Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon) suggested that the Minister had said that if the result of the negotiations which it is intended should take place between the London Passenger Transport Board and the Government were not satisfactory, the Government would advise the House to throw the Bill out on Third Reading, but I did not think that the Minister went quite as far as that. The House should have it in mind that between now and the Third Reading very considerable expense may be undertaken by the board and by others who will appear before the Select Committee to explain their views upon the Bill. It seems to me that it would be better to have some more definite undertaking at the present time on the subject of the right of men to join the Territorial Army, rather than to wait until the Third Reading and then have to throw out a Bill which I think most Members of the House, except for the vexed question of Clause 48, feel is a good Bill and ought to be passed.

My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Wallasey said that the next war was not going to be anything like the last, but, if the wars at present raging are any criterion, they seem to be following very much on the lines of the last War. Even, however, if there is a difference, there will still be a necessity to defend London, and, if that necessity remains, it should be the right of every man to join the Territorial Army if he wishes to do so. I do not think there is very much between this side of the House and the other side beyond a misunderstanding. I heard the speech of the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede), and was particularly struck by what he said with regard to men joining the Territorial Army. If I understood him aright, what he said was that he felt that a man should be allowed to join the Territorial Army if he wished, but that there should be no compulsion upon him to do so, and that, if he did join the Territorial Army, his time for training should be paid for by his employer.

Mr. Ede

I said that no encouragement should be given to him—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"]—but that, if he did join, I thought it was the duty of his employer to make such an arrangement as is suggested by the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite. What alarmed me was the extent to which the two hon. and gallant Gentlemen on the other side of the House were prepared to extend the term "encouragement."

Sir A. Southby

The point I was trying to make was that the hon. Member and myself were agreed that a man should be paid by his employer if he wishes to join the Territorial Army, but that there should be no compulsion upon him to do so. By "compulsion" I mean what I think the hon. Member opposite means by "encouragement." I agree that there should be no question of any compulsion by this employer or any other employer to force men to join the Territorial Army, but I think that, if a man desires to join the Territorial Army, it should not only be made possible for him to do so, but it should be made easy for him. After all, a man is giving up a great deal of his time. Reference has been made in this Debate to the possibility of a man who has a fortnight's holiday on full pay spending one week of his holiday at a Territorial camp. That is what men do at the present time, and all praise to them for doing it; but I think the family of the man should be considered too. The time for which he has a holiday with pay is a time when he might expect to be with his wife and family, and if in addition he wishes to serve his country by joining the Territorial Army, I feel that he should be given an opportunity of doing so and should be paid during the time he is undergoing training.

I think the House finds itself in a position of some considerable difficulty, because there is no doubt that the Bill should go through. My hon. and gallant Friend who moved the Second Reading said that consultations would go on between the London Passenger Transport Board and the Government. This Bill must have been on the stocks for a considerable time, and it seems a pity that these conversations and consultations have not gone on before the Bill came up to-day for Second Reading. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport said that negotiations have now been promised between the London Passenger Transport Board and the Government.

The House would like some assurance that these negotiations will be brought to a satisfactory conclusion, and I regret that in the speech of my hon. and gal- lant Friend the Member for Wallasey there was no reference to the negotiations envisaged by the Parliamentary Secretary, and no assurance given that the board will do everything in its power to meet the very real wishes of hon. Members of this House. I think that on the other side of the House, as on this, there are many hon. Members who feel as I do and desire to see facilities given—but no pressure applied—to men who are not key men, to enable them to join the Territorial Army if they so wish. It has been said that in the event of war it would be necessary to evacuate the population of London, presumably in the Transport Board omnibuses. We all know the wonderful work done during the last War by the old London General Omnibus Company's omnibuses, but I cannot see that a man driving a bus would be any less fitted to evacuate the population of London if he had done training in a Territorial unit. If the fate of this Bill is to be decided to-night, having heard the speech of my hon. and gallant Friend who supports the Bill, and having had no real assurance that any endeavour will be made by the board to find a solution, I shall have to vote against the Bill.

10.32 p.m.

Mr. Simpson

The easy optimism of many hon. Gentlemen in regard to extended leave and added facilities for staffs is encouraging from one point of view, and one can only hope that on other occasions and in other directions they will be equally generous in their attitude. The great mining communities might be attracted and interested if they were given payment for leave of this kind; but there is no indication that any similar pressure will be exerted on the mining employés. One would be surprised if a Measure of this character was immune from public criticism or comment in this House. Any kind of public service must accept public criticism; but one feels, after listening to speeches from the other side to-night, that a considerable amount of this criticism is directed against public enterprise as such. I do not know what the attitude of hon. Members opposite was when these transport undertakings were in private ownership, and whether they expressed the same views on those occasions, or whether they take a different attitude because this is a public corporation. Reference has been already made to the fact that when the question of holidays with pay was under discussion in this House, many non. Members who are now suggesting that it is easy and proper for this extended leave to be given, and under Parliamentary pressure, went into the Lobby against that proposal.

Any thinking person will appreciate that the life and safety of the people of this great Metropolis very largely depends on an efficient transport system, and possibly that will be more so in time of war than in ordinary circumstances. The attitude of hon. Members opposite reminds me of a notice in rather unfortunately worded language in an English-Japanese transport office: Hand us your goods and we will send them in all directions. Hon. Gentlemen opposite say, "Give us your man power," and they will do precisely the same with it in war circumstances. We cannot imagine that people can be better employed or more effectively serve the nation in case of emergency than in fulfilling their ordinary functions of giving their skilled transport service to this great community. The promise has been made of consultation and discussion and of further consideration of this problem with the appropriate Government Departments. I am certain that if any other interest had given a promise of that kind no further attention or support would have been given by hon. Members opposite to any claim that was being advanced against it. When the representative of the Government suggests that, under threat of opposition on the Third Reading, when there would be no opportunity for discussion, the board must give way, that seems equally unreasonable. We maintain that, on the merits of the services which these people render in the shape of national service, which is more urgent and vital under war conditions than in peace time, there is no case for the Amendment that has been moved from the opposite side of the House.

In view of the accommodation and the effort that have been made by the board to continue their negotiations, it is only misguided enthusiasm and zeal in a particularly bad cause that persuades hon. Members opposite to persist in their opposition, instead of accepting the gesture on the undertaking of the board, thus enabling them to discharge their appropriate functions and duties to this great City in time of war, and, at the same time, do what is possibly appropriate in regard to the services which have been under discussion.

10.38 p.m.

Mr. Denman

I beg to move: "That the Debate be now adjourned."

I think this will get us out of the real difficulty in which many of us at present feel ourselves to be. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] The proposal evidently is one that clearly meets the wishes of those who are not prepared to see this Bill have a Second Reading without far more definite assurances than we have yet had that serious consideration will be given to the real problem of the Territorial services. If we adjourn the Debate, we can have a Division later on, if no agreement is come to, without any further Debate whatever. At 7.30, on some day selected, the House could divide on the Second Reading. On the other hand, we could hope that, if the Debate is adjourned, time would be given to the board to see how strong is the feeling in this House, not that we want the least pressure put upon anybody. [Interruption.] Certainly not. Our point of view is simply that, if a man sacrifices a week in the service of his country, he should not be penalised by losing his payment for that period.

10.40 p.m.

Mr. Herbert Morrison

The hon. Member has suggested to the House a course which no doubt he feels will contribute to a solution of this problem, but I cannot see that an adjournment of the Debate would be a wise course to take. The issue is plainly before the House, and as hon. Members have put their points to the House it is only right for the House to come to a decision. I think it is better that a decision should be made. Hon. Members know that if the Bill proceeds very useful improvements in transport will go forward and that if the Bill is rejected these improvements will be stopped. For myself I do not think any of the issues which have been brought before the House to-night are of such a character as to stop these improvements in transport facilities being undertaken. But what is clearly a secondary question is also in the minds of hon. Members in regard to Clause 48, but as these points have not been discussed I will not go into them now. On the question of the Territorial Army my difficulty is this: The public authority with which I am associated in London have granted very wide facilities, but that did not stop hon. Members opposite putting down an Amendment to a Bill promoted by the London County Council on similar lines to the present Amendment, and we were charged quite recently with obstructing recruiting for the Territorial Army. I am glad that hon. Members opposite are perfectly satisfied with the London County Council, but I cannot understand why they were not satisfied when we were pursuing the same policy in principle.

On the question of the Territorial Army the House has really to consider whether it is going to lay down the principle that in every private Bill brought before the House, whatever the conditions of the industry and the practical difficulties in the way of the industry, this condition must apply. That is the logic of the arguments which have been put forward. Would it not be much wiser and more equitable to bring in legislation requiring every employer of labour in the land to give holidays with pay for the purposes of the Territorial Army? I am not arguing whether they should do so or not, but would not that be a tidier and more logical way of doing the thing? No doubt we should move Amendments to such a Bill to provide additional holidays with pay up to the standard provided by the London Passenger Transport Board, and I think it would be an improvement also in the conditions in the mining industry and in the cotton industry—

Mr. Speaker

I must remind the right hon. Member that he must connect his argument with the Motion for the Adjournment of the Debate.

Mr. Morrison

I am exceedingly anxious not to be controversial about a matter which need not be controversial, and I suggest to the House, with great respect, that it is best to face the issue now. The issue is whether a particular undertaking should be picked out and have conditions imposed upon it, or whether it would not be wiser, having settled this matter one way or the other, to consider at an appropriate point whether there should not be general legislation applying those conditions everywhere. I always took the view that the board should be substantially free from meticulous political interference, and I think I was right in taking that view. I thought that hon. Members opposite took that view much more strongly than I did, but now politicians seemed to be intervening in force on a point of management. I think that is a very doubtful thing to do.

It would be a pity if the important improvements provided for in this Bill were to be prevented because of this issue. There are ways of approach to the board that can be undertaken, but the House ought to decide to-night whether these further improvements in the transport facilities of London shall take place or whether they shall be stopped. If the House decides that they shall not take place, presumably the Board will have to act in accordance with that decision, but in spite of the relative importance of the issues that have been raised, I do not think they are of sufficient importance to warrant the out-of-hand rejection by the House of these much-needed improvements in the travelling facilities of London.

10.47 p.m.

Mr. George Balfour

I think that, broadly speaking, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Hackney (Mr. Morrison) has correctly put the issues which are before the House. During the last 20 years, there have been great changes in the Private Bill Procedure of the House, and in recent years every opportunity has been taken when a private Bill, under the special procedure, has been before the House, to attach conditions which should have been the subject of public legislation. Therefore, the House will understand that I quite agree with the view which the right hon. Gentleman opposite has expressed to-night. I also think that the decision should be taken on the issue now. I hope hon. and right hon. Gentlemen will not think it impertinent of me if I say that they ought always to remember that under the Private Bill Procedure, there is a very special procedure set up whereby subjects such as that of Clause 48 can be dealt with in the Committee, where the arguments of both sides, for and against, can be put. I agree with the right hon. Gentleman opposite that the general issue should be dealt with by public legislation, and that the opportunity should not be taken under the Private Bill Procedure to thrust forward these special matters, which are broad in application and applicable to many undertakings similar to the London Passenger Transport Board.

10.49 p.m.

Captain Sir Derrick Gunston

With regard to the speech made by my hon. Friend the Member for Hampstead (Mr. Balfour), who I think was not in the House earlier—

Mr. Balfour

I have been present during the whole Debate.

Sir D. Gunston

—the matter of further facilities being given by the London Passenger Transport Board to Territorials could hardly be raised in the Committee upstairs.

Mr. Balfour

May I point out to the hon. and gallant Baronet that I did not suggest it could? I said that it was a matter for general legislation, and ought not to be thrust before the House now

Sir D. Gunston

May I bring the House back to the issue which is before it?

Mr. Benjamin Smith

Is not the issue before the House the Adjournment of the Debate?

Sir D. Gunston

The Question before the House is whether the Debate should be adjourned. The Parliamentary Secretary told us quite frankly that in the matter of facilities for recruiting the board had not helped, and he said his view was supported by the War Office—a very grave statement to be made about such an authority as the London Passenger Transport Board. He then told us that he did not want to lose the Bill, and he suggested that the best way out would be to give it a Second Reading, and by the time it returned here for Third Reading perhaps some accommodation would have been come to. I would remind the House that after Second Reading the Bill goes upstairs to Committee, and it is an expensive process to get it through. It would be much more difficult to reject the Bill on Third Reading than now. A very valuable suggestion has been made that the Debate should now be adjourned. That means that when the Debate is resumed the House will know exactly where it is, and we shall see whether proper facilities have been given to the employés of the Transport Board to join the Territorials. I suggest that it would be much wiser to agree to the Adjournment now. If an accommodation were come to the Bill would only take a few minutes when it returned here for Third Reading.

10.52 p.m.

Mr. Buchanan

I should like first of all to enter some dissent from what I think was a presumption on the part of the hon. Member who has just spoken. He said that when the Bill returned here for Third Reading it would only take a few minutes. He is in a very high position but he has not reached the position of Speaker, and I hope the Speaker will maintain our rights. So far as I can gather, instead of proceeding with the Motion for the rejection of the Bill in order to give this so-called encouragement to joining the Territorials, hon. Members opposite now want the Debate adjourned in order to produce the same effect as their original Motion. Now what would happen? If after the Adjournment hon. Members opposite who supported the Motion for the rejection of the Bill do not carry their point, then the Bill will be rejected. Why not be honest about it?

I seldom find fairness among Conservatives when it comes to discussing working people, and I do not think they are fair to-night. What are they asking? That the London Passenger Transport Board should grant £4—that is the average wage, I understand—in order that for one week members of their staff should be Territorials. If hon. Members opposite were fair they would recognise that when a man joins the Territorials he is serving, not the transport board but the State—he is training for the community. The transport board are therefore asked to pay him for serving the State, not for serving the board. What are you going to do here? In my own division—

Mr. Speaker

I must remind the hon. Member that the question before the House is "That the Debate be now adjourned."

Mr. Buchanan

Others made long speeches on the Adjournment Motion, before I rose. The Adjournment Motion is meant to defeat the Bill without Debate. But may I make this one point? I am staggered at this figure of less than 400. In my division half, if not two-thirds of the men are unemployed and a large number are in the Territorials. The London transport employé who is serving the country in the Territorials gets £4 a week, my constituent gets nothing. If you want to get decent people to serve, it is for the Government to introduce a Bill giving every unemployed man £4 a week while he is serving. Make it a Government charge.

Mr. Speaker

It would be unfair to call other hon. Members to order for not keeping to the question and to allow the hon. Member to continue.

Mr. Buchanan

I only want to say this about the Adjournment. I think hon. Members should be perfectly frank and reject the Bill if they think it ought to be rejected, rather than say to the board "If you will not do what we want, we will humiliate you when the Bill comes up again." The House ought to face the proposition which is before it and either reject or accept the Bill. May I add that this Debate shows that we are getting nearer and nearer to the open advocacy of a conscript army.

10.58 p.m.

The Chairman of Ways and Means (Sir Dennis Herbert)

It has been suggested to me that I should say something as to what the position will be in regard to the Bill, if this Debate should be adjourned. The House will understand that I express no view on any of the matters which have been discussed to-night, nor do I express any view as to whether or not the Debate should be adjourned. I only want to remind the House of this simple fact. If the Bill is to go forward it must—I cannot give the exact dates—be before the Committee by the end of this month or thereabouts, in order to have a reasonable chance of passing in this Session. The position therefore is that the Bill will not be endangered by reasons connected with the machinery in regard to Private Bill procedure, if it is read a Second time before the end of this month. If, therefore, the Motion for the Adjournment of the Debate were to be carried, it would be my duty to put down the Bill from time to time on certain days for 2.45 and if it were objected to, then some time before the end of this month I should again put it down for debate at 7.30 in the evening.

11.0 p.m.

Mr. H. G. Williams

The House is grateful to the Chairman of Ways and Means for the guidance which he has given us. One right hon. Gentleman and two hon. Gentlemen have spoken in opposition to the Motion moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Central Leeds (Mr. Denman), a Motion which I was prepared to move if he had not moved it. Those who have spoken in opposition to it were not present during that part of the Debate which led to the Motion being moved.

Mr. Buchanan

I was here.

Mr. Williams

Then I do not think the hon. Member could have fully appreciated the significance of the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary. He expressed in plain terms the opinion of the Government in regard to the attitude of the board. He went on to say that if between now and Third Reading the attitude of the board was not altered, the House would be free to reject the Bill on Third Reading. That would be a difficult matter because we could not debate this question then. On Third Reading we can only debate those things which are in the Bill. Therefore, we should be in an almost impossible position. On the other hand, if the Debate to-night is adjourned and the board are given a fortnight or thereabouts to consider the position in respect of the points raised by some of my hon. Friends, then the Bill will be put down for further consideration at 7.30 one evening. If a settlement has been arrived at the proceedings will take a few minutes and there will be no interruption of the difficult programme which the Patronage Secretary has to get through.

It is true that the hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) will be free, if he wishes, to prolong the Debate, but the chances are that he will have to do it alone. Although I have every respect for his great capacity in that direction, I shall not be his ally. The proposal of the hon. Member for Central Leeds is worthy of consideration. It is clear that a large number of Members are in the same position as myself in not being satisfied with the attitude of the board but recognising the undesirability of rejecting a Bill which proposes certain traffic improvements in the Metropolis, in an area in which my own constituency is situated. That is the difficulty with which we are faced. Our proposal means that we tell the board that they must think again. It does not mean the rejection of the Bill. The House will be rendering a valuable service if it postpones the Debate to give the board an opportunity to think again.

11.4 p.m.

Mr. J. J. Davidson

It is interesting to hear so many Members who have not been much interested in the Debate until the last half hour desire now to have the Debate concluded. I disagree with the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. G. Williams) in his interpretation of the reason why the Adjournment was asked for. While we have certain customs or pretences to maintain in this House, let us for once face this issue clearly. The Adjournment was moved because of the objections of certain hon. Members on the other side to the attitude of the London Passenger Transport Board to the Territorials. The hon. Member for South Croydon is interested not so much in the Bill as in this question of the Territorials. After listening yesterday to the Government telling us how they had succeeded in establishing the defences of this country it is interesting to find—

Mr. Speaker

That is not concerned with the question of adjourning the Debate.

Mr. Davidson

I was going to point out that the proposal for the Adjournment is caused by the fear of hon. Members opposite that the Government are not doing their job efficiently in the matter of the Territorial Force.

Mr. Speaker

That subject is very remote.

Mr. Davidson

It may be remote, but it is also very true. However, I trust that those hon. Members who have any pride in retaining the customs of this House will not agree to the Adjournment after a full-dress Debate such as we have had. By such an Adjournment we should be telling the people of London that because a certain request has not been acceded to this Bill is to be postponed until the transport board give way. As a comparatively young Member I feel that the action of hon. Members in asking for this Adjournment shows deplorable Parliamentary tactics and can only be described as contemptible in the highest degree.

Question put, "That the Debate be now adjourned."

The House divided: Ayes, 186; Noes, 131.

Division No. 124.] AYES. [11.8 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J. Colman, N. C. D. Fyfe, D. P. M.
Adams, S. V. T. (Leeds, W.) Conant, Captain R. J. E. Gluckstein, L. H.
Agnew, Lieut.-Comdr. P. G. Cook, Sir T. R. A. M. (Norfolk, N.) Goldie, N. B.
Albery, Sir Irving Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Gower, Sir R. V.
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Cooper, Rt. Hn. T. M. (E'nburgh, W.) Graham, Captain A. C. (Wirral)
Apsley, Lord Courthope, Col. Rt. Hon. Sir G. L. Granville, E. L.
Aske, Sir R. W. Craven-Ellis, W. Greene, W. P. C. (Worcester)
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Crooke, Sir J. S. Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J.
Barclay-Harvey, Sir C. M. Cross, R. H. Grimston, R. V.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Crossley, A. C. Guest, Lieut.-Colonel H. (Drake)
Beechman, N. A. Crowder, J. F. E. Guest. Hon. I. (Brecon and Radnor)
Bernays, R. H. Cruddas, Col. B. Gunston, Capt. Sir D. W.
Birchall, Sir J. D. Davidson, Viscountess Hambro, A. V.
Bird, Sir R. B. Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil) Hannah, I. C.
Blaker, Sir R. Dawson, Sir P. Harbord, A.
Boulton, W. W. De Chair, S. S. Hartington, Marquess of
Boyce, H. Leslie Denville, Alfred Hely-Hutchinson, M. R.
Brass, Sir W. Dower, Major A. V. G. Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel A. P.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury) Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan-
Brocklebank, Sir Edmund Dugdale, Captain T. L Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)
Brown, Col. D. C. (Hexham) Duggan, H. J. Higgs, W. F.
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Newbury) Duncan, J. A. L. Holmes, J. S.
Bull, B. B. Eastwood, J. F. Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J.
Bullock, Capt. M. Edmondson, Major Sir J. Horsbrugh, Florence
Burgin, Rt. Hon. E. L. Elmley, Viscount Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)
Butcher, H. W. Emery, J. F Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)
Carver, Major W. H. Emmott, C. E. G. C. Hunter, T.
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Errington, E. Hutchinson, G. C.
Channon, H. Erskine-Hill, A. G. Jarvis, Sir J. J.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Evans, Capt. A. (Cardiff, S.) Jones, Sir G. W. H. (S'k N'w'gt'n)
Christie, J. A. Everard, W. L. Jones, L. (Swansea W.)
Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead) Findlay, Sir E. Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)
Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston) Fox, Sir G. W. G. Kerr, J. Graham (Scottish Univs.)
Knox, Major-General Sir A. W. F. Peters, Dr. S. J. Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.
Lamb, Sir J. Q. Petherick, M. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Leech, Sir J. W. Pilkington, R. Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.
Lees-Jones, J. Ponsonby, Col. C. E. Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Leighton, Major B. E. P. Procter, Major H. A. Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L. Radford, E. A. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.
Levy, T. Ramsbotham, H. Tate, Mavis C.
Liddall, W. S. Rankin, Sir R. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Lindsay, K. M. Rathbone, J. R. (Bodmin) Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (Padd., S.)
Mabane, W. (Huddersfield) Rayner, Major R. H. Thomson, Sir J. D. W.
M'Connell, Sir J. Reed, A. C. (Exeter) Titchfield, Marquess of
McCorquodale, M. S. Reid, J. S. C. (Hillhead) Tree, A. R. L. F.
MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross) Rickards, G. W. (Skipton) Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
McKie, J. H. Robinson, J. R. (Blackpool) Wakefield, W. W.
Maclay, Hon. J. P. Ropner, Colonel L. Walker-Smith, Sir J.
Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J. Ross, Major Sir R. D. (Londonderry) Wallace, Capt. Rt. Hon. Euan
Makins, Brig.-Gen. E. Royds, Admiral Sir P. M. R. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Ruggles-Brise, Colonel Sir E. A. Warrender, Sir V.
Maxwell, Hon. S. A. Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury) Waterhouse, Captain C.
Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Russell, S. H. M. (Darwen) Wedderburn, H. J. S.
Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Salt, E. W. Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)
Moore, Lieut.-Colonel Sir T. C. R. Sandys, E. D. Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Muirhead, Lt.-Col. A. J. Scott, Lord William Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Munro, P. Shakespeare, G. H. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H. Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Nicholson, G. (Farnham) Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A. Wood, Hon. C. I. C.
O'Connor, Sir Terence J. Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich) Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Smith, L. W. (Hallam) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. G. A. Smith, Sir R. W. (Aberdeen) Mr. Denman and Mr. Keeling.
Patrick, C. M. Somerset, T.
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, S.) Hall, G. H. (Aberdare) Moore-Brabazon, Lt.-Col. J. T. C.
Adamson, W. M. Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.)
Ammon, C. G. Hannon, Sir P. J. H. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Hackney, S.)
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Hardie, Agnes Naylor, T. E.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Harris, Sir P. A. Oliver, G. H.
Balfour, G. (Hampstead) Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.) Parker, J.
Banfield, J. W. Haslam, Sir J. (Bolton) Pearson, A.
Barrie, Sir C. C. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Plugge, Capt, L. F.
Batey, J. Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Quibell, D. J. K.
Beamish, Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Reid, W. Allan (Derby)
Benn, Rt. Hon. W. W. Hepworth, J. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Benson, G. Hicks, E. G. Ross Taylor, W. (Woodbridge)
Bevan, A. Hills, A. (Pontefract) Rowlands, G.
Broad, F. A. Holdsworth, H. Salmon, Sir I.
Bromfield, W. Hopkin, D. Sanderson, Sir F. B.
Brown, C. (Mansfield) Jagger, J. Seely, Sir H. M.
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (S. Ayrshire) Jenkins, A. (Pontypool) Sexton, T. M.
Buchanan, G. Jenkins, Sir W. (Neath) Shaw, Captain W. T. (Forfar)
Burke, W. A. John, W. Simpson, F. B.
Charleton, H. C. Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Sinclair, Rt. Hon. Sir A. (C'thn's)
Cluse, W. S. Jones, Sir H. Haydn (Merioneth) Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Cox, H. B. Trevor Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Smith, E. (Stoke)
Daggar, G. Kelly, W. T. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Davidson, J. J. (Maryhill) Kirkwood, D. Sorensen, R. W.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Lansbury, Rt. Hon. G. Stewart, W. J. (H'ght'n-le-Sp'ng)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Lathan, G. Stokes, R. R.
Day, H. Lawson, J. J. Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.)
Dobbie, W. Leach, W. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Duckworth, W. R. (Moss Side) Leonard, W. Tasker, Sir R. I.
Ede, J. C. Leslie, J. R. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Logan, D. G. Thurtle, E.
Evans, D. O. (Cardigan) Lunn, W. Tinker, J. J.
Fleming, E. L. McGhee, H. G. Tomlinson, G.
Foot, D. M. McGovern, J. Viant, S. P.
Gardner, B. W. MacLaren, A. Walkden, A. G.
Garro Jones, G. M. Macmillan, H. (Stockton-on-Tees) Watkins, F. C.
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) MacMillan, M. (Western Isles) Watson, W. McL.
Gledhill, G. Maitland, A. Westwood, J.
Graham, D. M. (Hamilton) Marshall, F. Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)
Green, W. H. (Deptford) Mathers, G. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Maxton, J. Woods, G. S. (Finsbury)
Grenfell, D. R. Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)
Gridley, Sir A. B. Messer, F. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Griffiths, G. A. (Hemsworth) Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Sir R. Glyn and Sir J. Nall.
Guest, Dr. L. H. (Islington, N.) Montague, F.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

Debate to be resumed upon Thursday, next.

Forward to