HC Deb 18 March 1938 vol 333 cc760-89

11.42 a.m.

Mr. Tomlinson

I beg to move, in page 5, line 12, to leave out "some person other than the council," and to insert: a society, body of trustees, or company to which this Section applies. In the event of this Amendment being agreed to there is a further Amendment which proposes a definition of the society, and it will be found further down on the Order Paper. The reason for moving the Amendment is to make it impossible for the tied-house system to be started or perpetuated under the Bill. The principle at present in the Bill is to provide a strong inducement to the landowner to provide a house in order to get the subsidy, the purpose of which is intended to be to induce the provision of the house. I am arguing that it is more likely that the provision will work the other way round. If that should be so, as we believe it will, the Bill gives the landowner inevitably a very undesirable hold over his employé quite apart from the principle of a subsidy going to a private individual.

The argument used on Second Reading in order to get the principle accepted was that we needed to keep labour on the land and that it would be an inducement in that direction if houses were provided for the agricultural labourer either by the local authority or, as the Clause proposes, by some person. That is not the way to keep labour on the land. The inducement to that end should rather be in the form of wages and working conditions than by the provision of a house. I think it should be recognised that the agricultural labourer is a human being capable of entering into the social life of the community, and that provision should be made for him to get away from his work periodically, in order that he may take his share in other departments of life than simply that of agricultural work. I believe we should do more to keep the agricultural labourer on the land and happy in his work by providing a means for his getting away from it occasionally than by tying him to it in this way. I speak from some little experience, at any rate, as a farm labourer. I worked for at least three years in that capacity, and, speaking as one who was very pleased to leave the land because of its lack of facilities for entering into other departments of social life, I want to put in a plea on his behalf for more variety. I think that, if the question of the farm labourer is studied from the standpoint of providing amenities other than by simply providing what I regard as an essential, namely, a good house for him to live in, it would be a better way of serving his interests.

The assumption has always been, and still seems to be, in this House at any rate, judging from the Debates to which I have listened, that all that the farm labourer desires is an opportuntity to cultivate a piece of land of his own after he has finished his daily work, and the suggestion is often made that he should be provided with a piece of land. I suggest that the House might begin to think along the line that, when an individual has spent 10 or 11, or it may be 12 hours on the land already, it would be advantageous for him to be found some other occupation than that of putting in his spare time in cultivating that to which he has been attached throughout the whole day. I know the assumption has been that he is too poor to enter into other types of enjoyment, and that is perfectly true. Again I speak from experience. One is bound to put in one's time on the land, because, if one has no money to spend, it is the only place where, perhaps, some little enjoyment can be found without somebody wanting to be paid for it. I suggest, however, that from this point of view we should do more to aid the agricultural labourer than by simply trying to tie him to the land.

Another fault that I have to find with the Clause, and another reason why we are seeking to amend it along these lines, is that there is no stipulation in the Act or in the Bill that a condition of drawing the subsidy shall be that the individual who provides the house shall not make a profit out of it. The rent is determined, I know, under Sub-section (1, b) of Clause 3, as the value at which the benefit or advantage of a cottage is to be reckoned as payment of wages in lieu of payment in cash. What does that mean? It means that the landowner gets a house valued at £330 as a free gift after 40 years. The interest which, I am given to understand, represents a reasonable price at which money can be obtained to-day, is roughly speaking, on £300, £10 per year. That is the amount of the subsidy. In addition, the landowner gets the power to keep a stranglehold on the labourer, because he owns the house in which the man lives, and the principal condition of his continuing to live in the house is that he must continue to work for the landowner. It might be suggested that the landowner is not receiving anything in the way of capital charge for the 40 years, but I suggest to the House that the rent which is taken into consideration in the wage of the agricultural labourer would, over a period of 40 years, just about meet the capital value which the landowner is called upon to find; so that to all intents and purposes it is not the agricultural labourer who is receiving the benefit, but the landowner himself, who, at the end of 40 years, becomes the owner of a property for which the agricultural labourer and the State have jointly paid, the one out of his wages and the other by way of the subsidy.

This is not helping the agricultural labourer at all. It is not subsidising the agricultural labourer. The point has been made in this House that it is in the interests of the agricultural labourer that this provision is made, that it is in the interests of the agricultural labourer that these persons are to be called upon, in the event of the council not providing houses, or rather, if the council desire them to provide houses. It has been suggested that it is for the benefit of the labourer that this legislation is being passed. I suggest to the House, however, that it is not subsidising the agricultural labourer, but subsidising the landowner. It is not the labourer who is getting the advantage, but the landowner, who gets, not only the ownership of the property at the end of a period, but during the whole time has a stranglehold upon the labourer, in that he nominally owns the house. Although it has not yet been paid for, he is not paying anything towards it in effect, and he is given a stranglehold over the labourer because of the fact that it is to all intents and purposes a tied cottage. Therefore, no plea can be made in justification of this particular proposal in the Bill.

If you are in earnest about wanting the labourer to have this advantage, I suggest that there is no alternative to accepting this Amendment. Otherwise, it must be definitely intended that the advantage should go to the landowner and that the labourer should be regarded as but a secondary consideration. On the basis that you want the labourer to have this advantage, the Amendment provides all that is not provided in the Bill. Its purpose is to take out the provision whereby an individual may provide the house, and substitute a housing association or a body which is constituted for the purpose of house-building, or which has in its rules and regulations as one of its objects the purpose of house-building, and is limited in that it cannot pay more than a reasonable amount of interest on its loan and share capital. During the Debate on the Rent Restrictions Bill, we heard quite a number of Members on the opposite Benches speaking about the advantages of housing associations. If there is an advantage in a housing association, I suggest that, if there is earnestness behind the plea that the housing association should be given an opportunity, here is a first-rate opportunity. It is the alternative, if an alternative is needed. We suggested on the Second Reading that there need be no alternative, but that it was the duty of the local council to provide the houses, and we believe that the local council would provide the houses. But here is the alternative, if alternative be needed, to the local council, and we have suggested, in an Amendment which will come later if this principle is accepted, that the authority should be defined as: any society, body of trustees, or company established for the purpose of, or amongst whose objects or powers are included those of, constructing, or facilitating or encouraging the construction of dwelling-houses for the working-classes, being a society, body of trustees, or company which does not trade for profit or whose constitution prohibits the use of any share or loan capital with interest or dividend exceeding the rate for the time being prescribed by the Treasury. That definitely prevents the setting up of bodies which have for their object the undue making of money out of these proposals. Such bodies, I submit, would have no power over the tenant, because they would not be the employers of the tenant. Such houses would not be tied houses. That would be a great advantage because of the disadvantages which, I think, everybody realises are associated with the tied-house system. The labourer, under the Amendment, would have some measure of freedom, whereas the labourer in a tied house has none. The individual who is compelled to work upon the land because he lives in a certain house is definitely tied practically for all time. The wages he receives, the conditions under which he lives, make it well-nigh impossible for him to get away, and you would tie him in a very real sense by the provision made in this Bill. Such a measure of freedom as he would be given under the Amendment would not leave the Government open to the charge of having handed over money from the Exchequer to their friends. If the Bill is passed, the charge cannot be refuted that, at the expense of the agricultural labourer and the State, jointly, the Government are making a present to every individual who comes forward now to build a house.

11.57 a.m.

Mr. G. Macdonald

I beg to second the Amendment.

I cannot claim to have been an agricultural labourer; my work has been underground and not above ground. But the Minister, I think, should consider the Amendment. From the way that he worded the Clause, it is evident that he sees difficulties. The Clause says: Where the council of a county district are satisfied that in any particular case housing accommodation required for members of the agricultural population of the district could more conveniently be provided by some person other than the council, … He realises that, as things are to-day, this Clause would mean a continuance of the tied system. In my division there are people living under the tied system, and they make serious complaints about it. I can quite see that there are times when the rural district council would think that somebody else could do this job better than they, and if that situation should arise, it ought to be possible for the district to decide accordingly. I fully appreciate the Minister's purpose: but we think the way suggested in the Amendment is a better way for giving some elasticity to the county districts, which in many cases they will need, in order to carry out the Minister's desires. Our sole purpose is to achieve what he wants achieved. We do not think, however, that one person ought to be entrusted with the work, because we are afraid that that one person will be the farmer or landowner. The Minister might say, "Still, this is an elected body." I agree; but he knows that rural councils in the agricultural areas are, in the main, dominated by farming interests; and, in doing this, he is simply handing over the job to the farmers or landlords.

In order to dispel the suspicions hinted at by the Mover of the Amendment that this is something for the landlords, the Minister should accept the Amendment. The landlords have done well for hundreds of years, but the agricultural labourer has certainly not done so well out of legislation. We ask the Minister to accept our Amendment. In doing so, he will realise his purpose, and will not create the suspicion which arises under the Clause as it now stands.

12.1 p.m.

Sir K. Wood

Both the hon. Gentlemen who have just spoken have put their case very clearly and persuasively, and I appreciate what the hon. Gentleman who spoke last has said. He sees the necessity for some such Clause as this, and this Amendment is put down from the point of view of administration. I will remind the House very briefly of the objects of this Clause, which I do not think has been sufficiently understood. It provides that, subject to certain conditions, to which I will refer in a few minutes, rural district councils may make arrangements for the provision of houses for the agricultural population by private enterprise, and that the Minister may pay to the rural district council a subsidy, not exceeding £10 a year for 40 years in respect of each house provided by private enterprise, and the subsidy paid by the Minister must be paid by the rural district council to the owner of the house for the time being. Three conditions are laid down. The first is, that this Clause is intended solely for members of the agricultural population; and, so far as letting is concerned, there is a very important provision, which, I think, disposes of some of the anxieties which have been mentioned, because it says: if let, is let at a rent not exceeding—

  1. (i) the weekly rent which, by any order of the appropriate agricultural wages committee in force at the time of the letting, is determined as the value at which the benefit or advantage of a cottage is to be reckoned as payment of wages in lieu of payment in cash for the purpose of any minimum rate of wages fixed by the said committee under the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) Act, 1924, or
  2. (ii) If no such rent is so determined, such weekly rent as may be determined by the council of the county district …",
and the third provision, a very necessary one—and the hon. Member for East Woolwich (Mr. Hicks) will appreciate this—is that they shall be of suitable size and construction. I would also like to mention what, I think, will allay some of the apprehensions of the two hon. Members, that the subsidy is paid year by year, and if the conditions are not observed the subsidy finishes. This is a very drastic provision, and gives a great deal of power so far as the local authority is concerned. I would also add that this provision has been inserted in the Bill on the suggestion of the rural subcommittee of my Central Housing Advisory Committee. That sub-committee is a very important body. It included members of all parties and many experts on the housing situation. They said: In a comparatively small number of cases, it may be necessary to build new houses on isolated farms for the accommodation of stockmen, etc. In view of their situation, such cottages will, we anticipate, only be suitable for the accommodation of the employés of the particular farm on which they are built. The local authority will not always be able conveniently to undertake the erection of houses in such a situation, and to meet this relatively small need, we suggest that a subsidy equal to the Exchequer subsidy which would be payable to the local authority should be made available to private enterprise in the form of annual payments over a period of 40 years on condition that the rents of the cottages erected shall not exceed the rent fixed for the area by the Agricultural Wages Board for new houses. I think it is clear that if I accepted this Amendment, it would limit the utility of the Clause, and, indeed, prevent its application to the very type of case which the Advisory Committee had primarily in mind in recommending an extension of the Exchequer subsidy. It is clear that the Amendment would defeat the object of the Clause, and I do not think it would even assist the provision of a single house if it were necessary to form a society of the kind referred to in the Amendment. I hope that, after the explanation which I have given, hon. Members opposite will not press this matter further. The Clause follows the recommendations of the Committee itself, and I do not think that it would be wise, and, indeed, it would very largely stultify the operation of the Clause to limit it in this way. The payment in this particular way was provided under the Housing (Financial Provisions) Act, 1924, which was administered by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood), and I know that he found cases under the administration of that Act—I have certain instances before me now with which I need not trouble the House—where difficulties could have arisen if the limitations of the amendment had applied.

Sir Percy Harris

If the tenant of a particular house ceased to be an agricultural labourer and an agricultural labourer was no longer required on the farm and the house was transferred to a visitor from the town, would the local authority automatically be able to withdraw the £10 a year?

Sir K. Wood

Yes, that is to say, that one of the conditions would not have been fulfilled. The local authority are in a strong position. It is not as if they made a large payment in advance. They make payments year by year, and if such a condition is not fulfilled, I do not allow the subsidy to be paid.

12.8 p.m.

Mr. Whiteley

We on this side of the House do not really accept the explanation of the Minister as being entirely satisfactory. We believe that the reference to an individual in this Clause ought to be eliminated altogether. The Minister of Health, with his strength and determination, ought to be able so to guide local authorities that he should not have to look forward to any difficulty of this kind in leaving it to private enterprise to build individual houses or some groups of houses for this particular means. As the Minister has explained, he is not prepared to do that, but only to accept the provisions of Clause 3 as it stands at the present time. We come along with a further suggestion and say, "Here is the nation and the local authority paying a subsidy, and in the interests of the nation and of the people there ought to be a body of trustees to control the situation in order that the property might in the end come under the control of the local authority when the 40 years have expired." That is what we want the House to realise. We are not objecting to anything being put forward that will induce the provision of more and better houses for agricultural labourers. We are anxious that that should be done, but we are also anxious that, where national and local money is given for a particular purpose, there ough to be some measure of control, and in our opinion this Amendment would provide for it very forcibly.

12.10 p.m.

Sir Francis Fremantle

I should like to reply to what has been said on this matter, having been a member of the Rural Housing Sub-Committee to which the Minister so generously referred. We had before us the practicability and not the theoretical desirability of any proposal. It is not necessary to go into the prior question—that has been settled—as to whether it is necessary on occasion to have certain cottages actually on the farm. The question is, as the Minister said, one of administration. The proposal of the Amendment looks very well on paper and it appeals to many who, like the hon. Baronet the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris), have had a great deal to do with private public utility societies. We have to know, when we look at the matter as a practical question, the people who will run such societies or be such trustees. It is useless to expect these public utility societies really to be effective in carrying on this kind of work unless they have favourable conditions for such work.

It is quite impracticable in an out-of-the-way district or village to form a public utility society which will effectively work on a few isolated cottages. The person running the utility would be the good landlord locally. If that be so, would he carry out the work better as an individual or as a public utility society? Obviously, he would do it better as an individual, and the local district council would probably prefer him to do it under his own authority and under the conditions laid down. The idea of forming a public utility society removed from remote villages is not really a practical suggestion. The Sub-Committee fully recognised the enormous advantages from the point of view of the agricultural labourers of having them resident in the villages rather than in a scattered area. It was not, as the hon. Member who moved the Amendment suggested, in the interests of agricultural labourers that this matter was put forward, but in the interests of farming. Those who are engaged in farming realise how essential it is for stockmen and farm labourers to be near their work.

From this point of view the Rural Housing Sub-Committee strongly recommended that which is now before us in the Clause of the Bill. It is one that we are very glad to see introduced into the Bill. It is essential for the continuance of agriculture in this country. It will not redound to the financial advantage of the land owner, but it will be an advantage to everybody concerned with agriculture to help on the proper working of the farm.

12.14 p.m.

Mr. Tinker

The Minister has tried to explain the Clause, as he did on the Second Reading. He made a good case as to why it should be continued as it is, but that has no altogether removed our fears. This provision will place into the hands of the landed or farming classes greater power than they now possess. We do not want to continue the system which prevails at the present time. There are examples in mining areas where the colliery company possess huge blocks of property, and we know very well what effect this sort of thing has on the minds of men when they desire to leave and go to another colliery. They realise that they will have to get out of their houses. Therefore, it is always a deterrent to a man when trying to improve his position when he knows that the housing accommodation, which he may like, will have to be given up if he obtains employment at another colliery. So it is with the question that we have before us. We know that at the present time, when a landlord or farmer owns the houses on his land, a man is practically "tied," and that if he attempts to get work elsewhere he has to lose his house. This provision will continue that system. It is very difficult to stop it. But when it comes to a question of giving public money in order to carry on that system, we think it our duty to protest.

The Amendment suggests a means whereby control could be put under a public body. It may be argued that a local council could not undertake this work, that they may not have the means to do it. But there may be in their area a public utility society, public-spirited in many ways. I remember that when the Labour Party conference was held at Brighton I went to see a friend of mine who was connected with a society that was trying to provide houses for the working-class community in his part of the country. It seemed to me that the society was acting in a public-spirited way and was not trying to make too much profit. It is such a body that we have in mind in supporting this Amendment. I know that the Minister and hon. Members opposite are wedded to what is called private enterprise and that it is very difficult to break it down. In any Bill that comes before us we always find provisions inserted for the maintenance of private enterprise. On this occasion, as

on every occasion when the matter is raised, we shall argue that where public money is to be given greater protection ought to be provided before it is handed out.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 121; Noes, 73.

Division 143.] AYES. [12.18 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lt.-Col. G. J. Fildes, Sir H. O'Connor, Sir Terence J.
Anderson, Sir A. Garrett (C. of I. dn.) Fox, Sir G. W. G. Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Aske, Sir R. W. Fremantle, Sir F. E. Palmer, G. E. H.
Astor, Hon. W. W. (Fulham, E) Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J. Pickthorn, K. W. M.
Atholl, Duchess of Grant-Ferris, R. Pilkington, R.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Gretton, Col. Rt. Hon. J. Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Bernays, R. H. Guinness, T. L. E. B. Raikes, H. V. A. M.
Brass, Sir W. Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H. Ramsay, Captain A. H. M.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan- Reid, Sir D. D. (Down)
Brocklebank, Sir Edmund Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Ropner, Colonel L.
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith) Hoare, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Ross, Major Sir R. D. (Londonderry)
Burgin, Rt. Hon. E. L. Holmes, J. S. Rowlands, G.
Burton, Col. H. W. Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Russell, Sir Alexander
Campbell, Sir E. T. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.) Samuel, M. R. A.
Cary, R. A. Hume, Sir G. H. Sandeman, Sir N. S.
Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester) Hutchinson, G. C. Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. N. (Edgb't'n) Keeling, E. H. Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose) Spears, Brigadier-General E. L.
Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead) Kimball, L. Storey, S.
Clarry, Sir Reginald Latham, Sir P. Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.
Clydesdale, Marquess of Leighton, Major B. E. P. Strauss, H. G. (Norwich)
Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston) Loftus, P. C. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.
Conant, Captain R. J. E. Lyons, A. M. Tasker, Sir R. I.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Mabane, W. (Huddersfield) Tate, Mavis C.
Croft, Brig.-Gen. Sir H. Page MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross) Touche, G. C.
Crooke, Sir J. S. McEwen, Capt. J. H. F. Tree, A. R. L. F.
Cross, R. H. Maclay, Hon. J. P. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil) Macnamara, Capt. J. R. J. Waterhouse, Captain C.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Maitland, A. Watt, Major G. S. Harvie
Dixon, Capt Rt. Hon. H. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)
Doland, G. F. Maxwell, Hon. S. A. Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Dower, Major A. V. G. Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J. Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury) Meller, Sir R. J. (Miteham) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Dugdale, Captain T. L. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Duncan, J. A. L. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Dunglass, Lord. Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Withers, Sir J. J.
Edmondson, Major Sir J. Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Unlv's.) Wood, Hon. C. l. C.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Munro, P. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Ellis, Sir G. Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H. Young, A. S. L. (Partick)
Elmley, Viscount Nicholson, G. (Farnham)
Everard, W. L. Nicolson, Hon. H. G. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Mr. Grimston and Mr. Furness.
Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple) Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. McGhee, H. G.
Adams, D. (Consett) Grenfell, D. R. MacLaren, A.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Maxton, J.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Groves, T. E. Messer, F.
Benson, G. Hall, J. H. (Whitechapel) Montague, F.
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (S. Ayrshire) Harris, Sir P. A. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)
Charleton, H. C. Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.) Noel-Baker, P. J.
Cluse, W. S. Hayday, A. Paling, W.
Cocks, F. S. Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Parkinson, J. A.
Daggar, G. Henderson, T. (Tradeston) Pearson, A.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Hicks, E. G. Pethick-Lawrence, Rt. Hon. F. W.
Day, H. Hills, A. (Pontefract) Pritt, D. N.
Dobbie, W. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Quibell, D. J. K.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) Kennedy, Rt. Hon. T. Riley, B.
Ede, J. C. Kirkwood, D. Ritson, J.
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) Leach, W. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Gallacher, W. Lee, F. Seely, Sir H. M.
Gardner, B. W. Leslie, J. R. Silverman, S. S.
Garro Jones, G. M. Lunn, W. Simpson, F. B.
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Macdonald, G. (Ince) Smith, Ben (Rotherhithe)
Green, W. H. (Deptford) McEntee, V. La T. Smith, E. (Stoke)
Smith, T. (Normanton) Tomlinson, G. Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) Viant, S. P. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Thorne, W. Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Tinker, J. J. Williams, T. (Don Valley) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Adamson.

Amendment made: In page 6, line 6, leave out "section," and insert "subsection"—[The Solicitor- General.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

12.25 p.m.

Mr. Whiteley

There are one or two matters to which we must call attention before we part with the Bill. The great thing so far as we on this side of the House are concerned has been the alteration in the subsidy. That is going to have a very detrimental effect on the local authorities. I should like to show what will happen in the area from which I come. The clerk of the council has made a very careful calculation of the value of the subsidy under the new Act as compared with the position at the present time in regard to the building of 50 houses. At the present time 50 houses, with an average of 3½ persons per house, would bring in from the Government a subsidy of £393 15s. The local contribution would be £3 15s. per house, that is, £187 10s., or a total for Government subsidy and local authority contribution of £581 5s. for the 50 houses, an average of £11 12s. 6d. per house. For the building of 50 houses under this Bill the Government subsidy would be £275 and the local authority contribution, £137 10s., a total of £412 10s., or £8 5s. per house. That is a tremendous difference between the existing position and the position which will be brought about under the new legislation.

My district is in what is called a Special Area. We have difficulties of all kinds, without additional difficulties being put upon our shoulders by the reduction of the housing subsidy. Therefore, we want to make a last appeal to the Minister. He is as well aware as we are that in these areas particularly this Bill will not be of any advantage, compared with the present situation. We want him to realise that situation and, by some means, give the assistance which is essential for the full development of housing programmes in the country. I give the right hon. Gentleman the credit that he desires to improve the housing position among the working class population as much as any man in this House, but he will not do it in this way. Therefore, if he is as anxious as I think he is, I want him to face up to the situation and to give the local authorities under his charge, as Minister of Health, every possible facility to overcome their difficulties and to meet the very urgent housing position which exists. In view of the necessity for slum clearance and the remedying of overcrowding there is a tremendous lot to be done in improving the housing of the people. From this side of the House we would urge the right hon. Gentleman to examine the case very carefully and see that in no measure is he going to reduce the possibility of the advanced movement of the local authorities in this respect, but that he will facilitate that advance in order that we may overcome the difficulties so far as housing is concerned.

12.32 p.m.

Sir P. Harris

I have very little to say, because we have had an admirable discussion on the Bill, considering the scale of its aspirations. The right hon. Gentleman will not claim that it is a great constructive Housing Bill. It is very much of the character of Bills that we place in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill. If it becomes an Act of Parliament, certain parts of this legislation will automatically disappear. Therefore, we have to approach the Bill in its final form from that point of view. The Minister will not suggest that the Bill makes more generous provision for housing than the legislation on the Statute Book. I do not take exception to the unification of subsidies. The Bill simplifies book-keeping, and when it comes to rating it simplifies the administration by the appropriate department of the local authority.

The right hon. Gentleman, with his great energy and enthusiasm for public health, has lost an opportunity. The work of the last 20 years since the War has enabled us to acquire a good deal of experience. We are always learning. I have learned a great deal during the last 20 years by active contact with housing, and, like the right hon. Gentleman, I have had to readjust my opinions in the light of experience. I hope that he will not suggest to the House and the country that this is the last word in housing legislation and that it completes the edifice. I regard the Bill as a temporary Measure to continue existing laws, to simplify them, to adjust them and to make the terms a little less generous to the local authorities and a little more in the interests of the taxpayers. Be that as it may, all of us who are interested in housing are glad that the subsidies are to continue.

I hope that one or two comments I have made during the Committee stage will have some effect upon the right hon. Gentleman. My first suggestion is that in regard to future legislation the subsidy will be per room instead of per house. There was a time when as a member of the local authority I and my colleagues preferred the subsidy to be per house, but in the light of recent experience I think it is vital now to encourage the building of houses for large families. To a great extent the demand for houses for married people without children has been met, but people with large families are finding local authorities less and less able to meet their requirements. When the subsidy is per house irrespective of size there is a temptation on the part of some local authorities to build small houses rather than large ones, and I think the Minister should encourage local authorities to provide houses for people with larger families. There is a danger in the unification of the subsidies that the gravest problem of all, the overcrowding of large families, will not be met. In a recent report it was proved up to the hilt that the worst overcrowding of all occurred in the case of people with large families. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will give us an undertaking that he will consider this problem and encourage local authorities to build more houses suitable for large families. If the subsidy were per room instead of per house, it might be a satisfactory solution of the problem.

There is the other point to which I want to refer—the danger of making the people in our great towns and cities flat dwellers. I admit that the construction of cottages in the centre of big towns is not a simple matter. If you are clearing a slum area and rehousing the majority of the people on the site, obviously, it is necessary to build up, but I am assured by architects that with a little ingenuity it is possible to include, when you are rebuilding on a slum area, a certain number of cottages. There is this further point, that there is a temptation on the part of architects and surveyors to sweep away large areas in order to make them attractive by well-planned development. Being interested in town planning I was at first somewhat attracted to that theory, I was all for large-scale rebuilding and re-planning. But in the light of experience it has been found that you turn people out of their homes to which they are devoted and push them into these monstrous buildings, these sky-scrapers, of which we are getting too many, not only for the working classes, but for the middle classes as well.

The right hon. Gentleman is in the position of being the guide, philosopher and friend of local authorities and the general public, and I want him to give a pledge that he will discourage the sweeping away of streets with habitable houses when it is done merely to complete a scheme. I am visualising at the moment a row of pleasant little houses I know, with nice gardens inhabited by very pleasant people, whose fathers and grandfathers lived in the same neighbourhood. There is a proposal to sweep away some of these streets in order to make a public open space to complete a rehousing scheme. Of course public open spaces are very desirable, and I am the last person to object to any proposal for open spaces, parks and playing fields, but I think that with a little understanding of the real problem, local authorities might be persuaded to spare these good streets of decent houses with back gardens.

It always comes as a surprise to hon. Members who represent rural constituencies when I tell them that although I represent an East End constituency I have the most live poultry society in the whole of Greater London. I am going to-night to present the cups in connection with our local poultry club.

Mr. Everard

I would remind the hon. Baronet that he learnt what he knows about agriculture when he represented the Market Harborough division.

Sir P. Harris

If the hon. Member will come down to our local institute to-night he will see poultry there which will beat any poultry produced in the Market Harborough division, which I represented during the War. This poultry is produced in back yards. Many of these back yards have been swept away by improvement schemes. You may be very clever and ingenious and enthusiastic in the study of poultry, but you cannot keep poultry in block dwellings; it is not allowed; it is not practicable. I give that as an example to show what the problem really is. By all means clear the slums and put up block dwellings, but spare the decent homes of the working class in London, Manchester, and Liverpool where it is not necessary to pull them down in order to get uniformity and good planning. With these two warnings, that the right hon. Gentleman should provide for large families and spare for working class people the decent houses with back gardens, I shall support the Third Reading of the Bill.

12.43 p.m.

Mr. J. Griffiths

May I join other hon. Members in thanking the right hon. Gentleman for bringing rural district councils within the ambit of the subsidy? I wish the right hon. Gentleman could have met more of our demands in Committee. However, we must make the best of the matter. I want to urge upon the Minister that even when the Bill becomes law he will realise that there are parts of the country where something more will be required to compel local authorities to take full advantage of the Measure. I have grave doubts whether the Bill is adequate to deal with the problem all over the country, and very grave doubts whether it is adequate to deal with the problem in Wales. The right hon. Gentleman will know that during the last few weeks there has been an investigation in South Wales conducted by the hon. and learned Member for Montgomeryshire (Mr. C. Davies). It has been a very able and a very courageous inquiry, and the disclosures have shocked our people and the nation. I regret that the inquiry has not been given wider publicity, but, honestly, the disclosures have been really shocking. It has been shown that the housing conditions are a scandal to my country and a scandal to this nation.

Last summer, when the Estimates of the Ministry of Health were before the House, I said that I had read all the available documents and reports and that I had discovered that Wales presented a very black picture from the standpoint of public health. Seven counties in Wales are on the black list for tuberculosis and for maternal mortality, including the county a portion of which I have the honour to represent. At that time, I pressed the Minister to make an investigation into the relationship of the problem of public health to that of housing. The right hon. Gentleman's officers have conducted a very thorough investigation into housing problems in the county of Carnarvonshire, and I thank them for doing so. Those investigations have disclosed the existence of a terrible condition of things and of slum property of the worst kind scattered over rural Wales.

There are in Wales many old-established market and industrial towns. They are really no more than large villages, but if one went there and described them as villages, one would have a rough time. They are proud of calling themselves townships, and some of them are ancient boroughs with charter rights going back almost to the beginning of English and Welsh history. In places such as Llandilo, Carmarthen, and Kedivelly in Carnarvonshire, and in other rural parts of the country, the investigations of the officers of the Ministry disclosed the existence of slum property more calamitous in its consequences than slum property in the East End of London. Very often the effects of slum property in large cities are lessened by the very good social services, but in the towns and rural areas to which I have been referring, there is very often not only poor housing but a poor level of social services. I will give the House one instance of what is the position. It is not an isolated case, and when the Minister receives the report of the hon. and learned Member for Montgomeryshire, he will find that there are other cases. It was found that within the last four or five years a father, mother and six children had lived in a house containing only one room downstairs, that room having an earthen floor. When the house was examined, there was found in the middle of the living room, as it was called, a pool of water. The doctor made an investigation into the history of the family and discovered that the father and mother and two children had died of tuberculosis, and that the four remaining children, who were still living in the house, were affected by that disease. If that were an isolated case, it would be less disturbing, but it is not, and it presents a terrible picture of conditions in rural areas of South Wales.

In the Bill which is now being passed, there is a unified subsidy, and for rural areas, thanks to the concession which has been given, there is an extra £1. However, I would emphasise that this House has passed many Housing Measures, I do not know how many since the end of the War. But what is the good of passing these Measures if the local authorities, either owing to the lack of financial resources or for some other reasons, cannot improve the housing in their areas? I urge the Minister that, if he finds that the provisions of the Bill do not give the adequate financial assistance which is required to tackle the problem, he should reconsider the matter very soon. In conclusion, when the Bill becomes law, I hope that the right hon. Gentleman, having before him all the facts which his Department has collected concerning maternal mortality, tuberculosis and housing conditions in Wales—a good deal of which is due in some instances to the local authorities having neglected their duties—will take strong action by all the means in his power to see that the housing conditions in the rural and semi-rural parts of Wales are dealt with under the Bill.

12.50 p.m.

Mr. Everard

; As one who represents an agricultural division, I wish to say that I differ to some extent from the hon. Baronet the Member for South West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris), who seems to think that the Bill is a temporary Measure. As far as the agricultural side is concerned, it is certainly not a temporary Measure. It supplies the subsidy for a very large number of years, and it meets a need which has existed in agricultural districts for a very long time. I am a member of the rural district council in the district in which I live, and I have noticed in the villages in that area that a large number of houses have been built since the War, but that in every case those houses have been built for people other than agricultural workers. The obvious reason for that is that they have been built to let at a rent which agricultural workers cannot afford. The needs which this Bill seeks to satisfy have been neglected until now.

There can be no doubt that in the agricultural districts it is urgently necessary that something should be done for the agricultural workers. They are among the best of our population, and as far as housing and other conditions are concerned, they have undoubtedly been put on one side to a large extent compared with some of the industrial workers. I think there are three main reasons for the drift to the towns. The first is wages, the second I believe is the question of agricultural education in central schools, and the third is housing. It would be out of Order for me to deal with the first two reasons, but I am glad that my right hon. Friend has taken in hand the matter of rural housing. In the agricultural districts, there are very few modern houses. In the purely agricultural parts of my own constituency, I do not know of any houses that have been built recently, except those that have been built by such landlords as are still able to provide them. There is no doubt that there is not in the agricultural industry the amount of money that there used to be, and however desirous the landlord may be of building a sufficient amount of modern houses for the people employed on the land, he is very often unable to do so.

One hon. Member opposite discussed the question of tied houses in the agricultural districts. I would remind him that there are two sides to that question. Quite a number of agricultural workers have told me that they would like to leave one village and go to another village to work, but unfortunately they could not find a house. The fact that no houses are being built by the councils for agricultural workers has stopped those people from going to other villages to seek employment. It is not altogether a question of tied houses, although tied houses may have something to do with it. A very important consideration is the question with which the Minister is dealing to-day, namely, the provision of up-to-date accommodation for agricultural workers, which will give them a greater opportunity of choosing the farmer for whom they will work and the district in which they wish to live. Briefly, it is for those reasons that I heartily support the Measure.

12.55 p.m.

Colonel Burton

I should like to endorse what has already been said on the question of getting these houses built. We have had a great deal of legislation upon this subject during the past 20 years, but, unfortunately, we do not seem to be able to get the houses which are required. At present local councils are overburdened with all sorts of work which is thrust upon them by various Government Departments, and while in many cases the authority sympathise with the position of those who require houses, they cannot themselves undertake the work. They are already overburdened. Therefore, I feel a certain amount of sympathy with the Amendment which was moved with the object of getting societies to undertake this work. We on this side of the House are, of course, in favour of private enterprise, but I believe that if we adopted an Amendment of the kind which was moved from the other side, the building societies would come forward and provide these houses.

I have discussed this matter with representatives of leading building societies and I find that, while they are prepared to come in and to do the big thing themselves, they will have nothing to do with the circumlocution which is involved in dealing with the county councils. If they were able to deal directly with the Ministry they would come in and do the work. I received only this morning a resolution from the West Suffolk County Council in which they ask that the attention of His Majesty's Government should be called to the continued drift of labour from agriculture to other industries. That, as my hon. Friend the Member for Melton (Mr. Everard) has said is very largely due to the state of housing in the rural areas. Anyone who comes to my part of the country and sees the derelict condition of the houses there will understand the reason for the drift from the agricultural to the industrial areas. This resolution goes on to say that local authorities in connection with the education and other social services are hampered and their expenditure therein to some extent nullified owing to the uncertainty caused by movement of the population to urban areas and the deterioration of the financial position. It is a very serious business to find that in the rural areas our rates are going up and our population going down. We are promised all sorts of things by various Government Departments. The Minister of Transport, for instance, promises us electric lighting and other amenities, but the Minister of Agriculture passes measures for the restriction of output thereby causing additional difficulties in the agricultural areas. Now we are offered this small lifebuoy of a long-term housing scheme. I hope that special consideration will be given to the case of the agricultural areas in this respect.

12.59 p.m.

Mr. David Adams

I should be very glad if I were able to declare that this was a thoroughly good Bill. But after a long experience of the housing question in municipal and political life I cannot make that declaration. On the contrary, I believe that, as regards urban housing, this is a thoroughly reactionary Measure. As far as rural housing is concerned, it has certain advantages. It will stimulate local authority building and other forms of building which are urgently required in our country districts. But on the urban side of the problem the reduction of the subsidy by 50 per cent. will, on the one hand, arrest building, and, on the other hand, lead to an increase of rents in the case of the houses that are built. Undoubtedly application will be made by various authorities for further consideration of the proposals contained in this Measure. I trust the Minister will lend a ready ear to their representations.

I hope there will be further consideration for those authorities whose housing obligations are excessive, and particularly those whose resources are diminishing. In the county of Durham, to which reference has already been made, there is a housing programme ahead—up to the end of this year—of no less than 33,000 houses. In Durham serious apprehension has been felt as to the general health conditions of the community, and special investigations have been taking place into the high incidence of tuberculosis and other diseases in the county. It is not that the people, on the whole, are less healthy than people in other parts of the country or that the district itself is less pleasantly situated than other districts. This high incidence of disease is attributable to housing conditions. It is caused by gross overcrowding and by the continued menace of a slum problem with which that relatively poverty-stricken county has not been able to deal as rapidly as we would desire.

Under this Measure as against the 1930 subsidy, which we contend ought to have been continued, there will be a loss to that county in the course of 40 years of between £5,000,000 and £6,000,000. That is a serious burden to place on a district which is already stricken with poverty and in which rating burdens are rising. The latest returns show that the rates are rising 1s. 8d. in the £ and a special conference is to be held with a view to seeing what mitigation of the serious problem will be offered by the Government. To expect this county, in these circumstances to go forward cheerfully with an endeavour to solve this mighty problem is to expect too much. Therefore, while one would desire the passage of a long-promised and long-anticipated Measure to deal with the position, I feel that to-day we are being driven to pass what is, in reality, and what will prove in practice to be, as far as the urban areas are concerned, a reactionary Measure.

1.3 p.m.

Mr. Arthur Greenwood

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."

We made our attitude on this Bill clear during the Second Reading Debate, and I need not detain the House long to-day in explaining the grounds of our opposition to it. During the proceedings on the Bill nothing has been said by the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary to convince us that the abandonment of the principle of the Act of 1930 is wise or desirable. Not even the Minister with his Population Statistics Measure can standardise the size of the family, and it is important that housing accommodation should be provided with proper regard to the varying sizes of families. Provision has to be made for the childless couple and for the young married couple. We have also to deal with problem of the aged and one of the most difficult problems is that of the family which is larger than the normal.

It is clear that if you are going to deal with the varying needs of the family, a [...]ndard rate, however skilfully you may [...] average it out, will place the local [...] in considerable difficulty. I [...]ave preferred that the right hon. Gentleman should have stuck to the principle of making the grant payable on the number of persons rehoused. The hon. Baronet has suggested that it might be on the number of rooms in the house, but I think that is a very bad half-way solution. I would prefer to stick to my own principle of a grant based on persons rather than on rooms, because if you do it on the basis of rooms, you may still get serious overcrowding, but if you base it on persons, you enable the local authority to meet the requirements of the family.

The right hon. Gentleman has tried to defend his new grant as being even more generous than my subsidy of 1930. In that, I fear, he has not got the approval of local authorities, who are viewing the situation with very grave apprehension, and if it be true, as clearly it must be, with regard to large numbers of houses under slum clearance schemes, that the grant payable by the State is smaller, then obviously there must be either fewer houses or a greater local burden. That greater local burden might be distributed in one of two ways. It might be by a heavier charge upon the rates, or it might be by higher rents; and, of course, it might be by both. I do not look forward with any amount of satisfaction to the possibility of the right hon. Gentleman's completing the programme that he has in mind, because I fear that with local authorities unable to face an increased burden, with ratepayers, hard pressed as they are in many areas, unable to face the burden, and with masses of the people unable to face increased rents, the result of the right hon. Gentleman's policy will be a slowing down of municipal activity in the field of housing.

My second objection to the Bill, as the right hon. Gentleman fully knows, is an objection to Clause 3, where he is now re-establishing the vicious principle of State grants in aid of private enterprise in housing. We cannot in any circumstances accept that principle, and the right hon. Gentleman himself has a very uneasy conscience in that matter, because when the Bill first appeared before the House the marginal heading to Clause 3 read: Contributions in respect of agricultural housing accommodation provided by private enterprise. Now the Bill appears before us with that side-head reading: Contributions in respect of agricultural housing accommodation provided by persons other than local authorities. The right hon. Gentleman still wants private enterprise, but he feels a little ashamed of putting it so nakedly on the face of the Bill, and so he has altered it to "persons other than local authorities." We still hold to the view that we took on Second Reading in regard to those rural areas where there are exceptional housing difficulties, which I fully recognise and would never try to minimise. In many cases their difficulties are greater than those of urban authorities, and if there is a case for local authority enterprise, it is to be found in the rural areas. The right hon. Gentleman is trying to add a new solution, that new solution being to revert to what I regard as the bad principle of financing private enterprise, and it can only work out in this way. The right hon. Gentleman has told us that it applies only to special circumstances, but there is nothing in the Bill to that effect. I asked him on the Second Reading and in Committee to make it perfectly clear that it applied only to special circumstances, to the lonely stockman out on the hill, to the shepherd, and so on, but under the terms of the Bill it is perfectly open to any rural authority in this country to give approval to landlords evading their own feudal responsibilities towards the people whom they employ by getting the local authority to give them financial assistance.

That seems to me to be wrong. Just as the Minister of Labour, who was here a few moments ago, thought he was doing something constructive for the people of this nation by relieving the feudal landlords of the responsibility of keeping their chauffeurs and gatekeepers and so on when they were out of work, so the Minister of Health under this Bill, is relieving those who ought to take their feudal responsibilities of those responsibilities, with the help of public money. On those grounds we have no alternative but to vote against the Bill in the division lobby. I take the view—and I am answering now the hon. baronet on behalf of the right hon. Gentleman—that this is not the end of housing legislation. I feel that this is a stopgap Measure, one which in some very important respects is retrograde, and in these circumstances we have no alternative but to vote against it.

1.13 p.m.

Sir K. Wood

I think the House would desire me to say a word or two at the conclusion of this Debate, and I should not like any hon. Member to think I was guilty of discourtesy in not answering or attempting to answer points that have been raised in the Debate. Of course, the real answer to those points must be found in the events which will follow the passage of the Measure, which alone can show whether the Bill fulfils in the main the promise and the hopes that those who are responsible for it have made and held on its behalf. I would, however, like to make one or two observations on some of the points raised by hon. Members, and I will say generally that I will take into account the suggestions which have been made in the course of the Debate as far as the administration of the Measure is concerned, as I am always desirous of doing. I am always ready to reconsider any suggestions which fall within the scope of the legislation that is on the Statute Book.

I was particularly impressed with regard to the condition of housing in Wales, raised by the hon. Member for Llanelly (Mr. J. Griffiths). I confess that I feel that, apart from new housing legislation, if only some of the existing legislation were put into operation, it would be of very great value, and I agree that both the Minister and the local authorities must pay increasing attention to some of the conditions which unhappily exist in Wales at the present time. He will agree that the Committee to which he referred and which has almost completed its labours has served a useful purpose in drawing public attention to this question. We may put legislation on the Statute Book, but we rely, as all parties must continue to rely, on the local authorities. We have to see that the local authorities do their work, and that can be accomplished only by maintaining a public conscience on this matter. No one must think that we have completed our housing endeavours either in Wales or in this country. Although we have made remarkable strides since the War, no one who goes to Wales or to some of the cities, and villages, too, in this country, will for a moment rest content.

I hope, however, that the criticisms and fears which have been expressed, as they always have to be expressed by the Opposition, may not be fulfilled, and that this Measure will ensure a continuous programme by the local authorities for the next five years. It will absorb, as far as one can see, practically all the building labour that will be available. I do not want to provoke any further controversy at this moment, but, as far as we can estimate, taking the financial position as a whole this Bill means an additional Exchequer contribution for the whole scheme of some £500,000 a year. There must be few countries in the world to-day which, unhappily, have to sustain burdens in connection with defence, as we have to do, that are able to carry social legislation forward as we are doing, particularly in relation to housing.

I will take into account a number of suggestions that have been made by the hon. Baronet the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris). He has stressed the need for provision for larger families, and I will continue to urge that on local authorities in proper cases. There are, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. Greenwood) has said with all his knowledge, the needs of various classes of persons to be taken into account. There are not only the needs of the larger families, but the needs of old age pensioners, and I am asking local authorities to endeavour to take them into account. I also appreciate what the hon. Baronet said about those large areas of decent streets which are being taken over for

housing. We would all like to see a number of these places saved, but when we are dealing with a large area we cannot avoid difficulties of this kind. It is easy to get up and say we want slum clearance and at the same time want to preserve these houses—

Mr. Montague

And the chickens.

Sir K. Wood

Yes, and the chickens. It is difficult to see how this can be done within the realm of a practical scheme. I would like to thank my hon. Friends for what they have said in regard to agricultural housing. I do not think there is much difference of opinion in the House about the agricultural conditions, and this Bill is a real attempt to deal with the housing needs of the agricultural workers. I believe that their needs are very real, and my impression is that if we are to get them, and the younger generation especially, to stay on the land, we have to do a great deal more for them; and one of the most important things is better housing conditions. They are naturally not content—and they are right—to live under conditions under which their grandfathers lived. I hope that this Bill will be some contribution to that problem, and that the effect of it will be to make an important contribution towards keeping our slum clearance and overcrowding programmes alive.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 134; Noes, 63.

Division No. 144.] AYES. [1.23 p.m.
Acland, R. T. D. (Barnstaple) Dower, Major A. V. G. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hack., N.)
Aske, Sir R. W. Duckworth, Arthur (Shrewsbury) Hume, Sir G. H.
Balfour, Capt. H. H. (Isle of Thanet) Dugdale, Captain T. L. Hurd, Sir P. A.
Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'h) Duncan, J. A. L. Hutchinson, G. C.
Bernays, R. H. Edmondson, Major Sir J. Keeling, E. H.
Briscoe, Capt. R. G. Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. Kerr, Colonel C. I. (Montrose)
Brown, Rt. Hon. E. (Leith) Ellis, Sir G. Kimball, L.
Burton, Col. H. W. Everard, W. L. Latham, Sir P.
Campbell, Sir E. T. Fildes, Sir H. Leighton, Major B. E. P.
Cary, R. A. Fox, Sir G. W. G. Lennox-Boyd, A. T. L.
Cayzer, Sir C. W. (City of Chester) Furness, S. N. Locker-Lampson, Comdr. O. S.
Chapman, A. (Rutherglen) Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir J. Loftus, P. C.
Clarke, Colonel R. S. (E. Grinstead) Gluckstein, L. H. Lyons, A. M.
Clarry, Sir Reginald Grant-Ferris, R. MacDonald, Rt. Hon. M. (Ross)
Cobb, Captain E. C. (Preston) Granville, E. L. Macdonald, Capt. P. (Isle of Wight)
Colville, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. D. J. Grattan-Doyle, Sir N. McEwen, Capt. J. H. F.
Conant, Captain R. J. E. Grimston, R. V. Maclay, Hon. J. P.
Cooke, J. D. (Hammersmith, S.) Guinness, T. L. E. B. Macquisten, F. A.
Crooke, Sir J. S. Hacking, Rt. Hon. D. H. Maitland, A.
Crookshank, Capt. H. F. C. Harris, Sir P. A. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Crowder, J. F. E. Harvey, T. E. (Eng. Univ's.) Markham, S. F.
Davies, Major Sir G. F. (Yeovil) Hely-Hutchinson, M. R. Maxwell, Hon. S. A.
De la Bère, R. Hepburn, P. G. T. Buchan- Mayhew, Lt.-Col. J.
Denman, Hon. R. D. Hoare, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Meller, Sir R. J. (Mitcham)
Dixon, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. Holmes, J. S. Mellor, Sir J. S. P. (Tamworth)
Doland, G. F. Hope, Captain Hon. A. O. J. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Ross, Major Sir R. D. (Londonderry) Tasker, Sir R. I.
Moore, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. C. R. Rowlands, G. Touche, G. C.
Moreing, A. C. Russell, Sir Alexander Tree, A. R. L. F.
Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univ's.) Samuel, M. R. A. Wakefield, W. W.
Munro, P. Sandeman, Sir N. S. Ward, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Neven-Spence, Major B. H. H. Sanderson, Sir F. B. Waterhouse, Captain C.
Nicholson, G. (Farnham) Savery, Sir Servington Watt, Major G. S. Harvie
O'Connor, Sir Terence J. Seely, Sir H. M. Whiteley, Major J. P. (Buckingham)
Orr-Ewing, I. L. Shaw, Major P. S. (Wavertree) Wickham, Lt.-Col. E. T. R.
Palmer, G. E. H. Somervell, Sir D. B. (Crewe) Williams, H. G. (Croydon, S.)
Pickthorn, K. W. M. Somerville, A. A. (Windsor) Witloughby de Eresby, Lord
Pilkington, R. Southby, Commander Sir A. R. J. Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel G.
Ponsonby, Col. C. E. Spears, Brigadier-General E. L. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Pownall, LI.-Col. Sir Assheton Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde) Withers, Sir J. J.
Raikes, H. V. A. M. Stewart, J. Henderson (File, E.) Wood, Hon. C. I. C.
Ramsay, Captain A. H. M. Storey, S. Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir Kingsley
Reid, Sir D. D. (Down) Stourton, Major Hon. J. J.
Reid, W. Allan (Derby) Strauss, E. A. (Southwark, N.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.) Strauss, H. G. (Norwich) Mr. Cross and Major Herbert.
Ropner, Colonel L. Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir M. F.
Adams, D. (Consett) Hayday, A. Pritt, D. N.
Ammon, C. G. Henderson, J. (Ardwick) Quibell, D. J. K.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Henderson, T. (Tradeslon) Riley, B.
Benson, G. Hicks, E. G. Ritson, J.
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (S. Ayrshire) Hills, A. (Pontefract) Silverman, S. S.
Charleton, H. C. Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Smith, E. (Stoke)
Cluse, W. S. Kelly, W. T. Smith, T. (Normanton)
Cocks, F. S. Kirkwood, D. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Daggar, G. Leach, W. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Davies, S. O (Merthyr) Lee, F. Thorne, W.
Dobbie, W. Leslie, J. R. Thurtle, E.
Dunn, E. (Rother Valley) Macdonald, G. (Ince) Tinker, J. J.
Edwards, Sir C. (Bedwellty) McEntee, V. La T. Tomlinson, G.
Gallacher, W. McGhee, H. G. Viant, S. P.
Gardner, B. W. MacLaren, A. Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Garro Jones, G. M. Messer, F. Whiteley, W. (Blaydon)
Green, W. H. (Deptlord) Montague, F. Williams, T. (Don Valley)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.) Wilson, C. H. (Attercliffe)
Grenfell, D. R. Noel-Baker, P. J. Windsor, W. (Hull, C.)
Griffiths, J. (Llanelly) Oliver, G. H.
Groves, T. E. Paling, W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Hall, G. H. (Aberdare) Parkinson, J. A. Mr. Adamson and Mr. Anderson.

Bill read a Second time.