HC Deb 30 January 1947 vol 432 cc1129-241

Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [29th January,"] That the Bill be now read a Second time."—[Mr. Silkin.]

Question again proposed.

4.1 p.m.

Mr. Manningham-Buller (Daventry)

I beg to move, to leave out from "That," to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof: this House while desiring a further measure of Town and Country Planning, declines to give a second reading to a long and complex Bill making great changes in the powers of local authorities before time has been given to those authorities and other interests vitally affected to study its provisions; which fixes for compensation an arbitrary sum not purporting to be just and not determined by independent inquiry, and lays down no principles for its allocation to individuals; which gives no sufficient indication of the principles to be followed in levying development charges; which continues to provide for the compulsory acquisition of land by reference to a basis of money values which changed conditions have rendered invalid; which makes possible discrimination against proper development by private persons; and which, by leaving for decision by subsequent Orders matters requiring definition in the Bill, will create uncertainty and so will hamper and delay sound development. The Minister of Town and Country Planning described this Amendment as an indictment, and I think that is an accurate description. It is also true to say that many counts of that indictment have already been established beyond reasonable doubt, but there is one thing upon' which all sides of the House are agreed and that is the necessity of planning the limited land of this island so that it can be put to the best possible use. I recognise the cogency of the Minister's argument for the reduction of the number of planning authorities. At the same time, I regret that non-county boroughs and rural districts are so completely eliminated from any degree of responsibility in the preparation of these plans. Many of those non-county boroughs and rural districts are keen on devoting the land in their area to the best possible uses. We have been told that they will be consulted. "Consultation" is a word with a very indefinite meaning, and sometimes it is suggested that consultation by the Government merely means an announcement beforehand of what the Government are going to do. I should have hoped even though the county councils should be the planning authorities, that provision would be made for representatives of the non-county boroughs and rural districts to sit on the planning authorities. I personally welcomed the Minister's observations with regard to the joint boards. It would be a good thing to get the county and the county town working together so that they can appreciate to what a great extent they have common interests. I feel sure that will be for the benefit of the country. A good deal has already been said about the short time that hon. Members of this House have had for the consideration of the contents of this Measure. I do not propose to go over that ground again, but I am confident that if those engaged in agriculture had not been occupied with the Agriculture Bill and if they had had sufficient opportunity to appreciate this Measure and its effect upon agriculture, their opposition to this Bill would have been vigorous, vociferous and perhaps violently expressed.

I desire in the first place to examine this Bill from the agricultural angle. The urban views have been fairly fully stated in the course of this Debate. Only last Monday the Minister of Agriculture told us: For the first time in history, the farmer will be able to plan ahead with certain knowledge of market and price and only another Act of Parliament could rob him of that security."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 27th January, 1947; Vol. 432, c. 631.] Yesterday the Minister of Town and Country Planning moved the Second Reading of this Bill, and I shall endeavour to show that if it becomes an Act, it can indeed rob the farmers of their security and so can constitute the Measure to which the Minister of Agriculture referred. The hon. Member for West Dorset (Mr. Digby), in an excellent speech yesterday, touched upon this aspect, and I propose to go over it with a little more detail and to show that no matter how far the farmer plans ahead, he will carry on his business always under the threat of dispossession in the future, for, at any time, land may be designated as subject to compulsory purchase.

Can anyone doubt that the vast majority of the land which will be so designated will be agricultural land, and that nearly all, if not all, the land required by Ministers, local authorities, statutory undertakers, and required for the reallocation of population and industry and likely to require compulsory purchase to be developed in accordance with the plan, will be agricultural land? Now we are told—indeed it is the case in the Bill—that the Board of Trade are to have control over the distribution of industry. Dealing with that, I only hope that their decisions will be made more quickly than they are at the present time. But why is there no reference in this Measure to the Minister of Agriculture? The Board of Trade can say that industry must not go there or should go there, but the Minister of Agriculture will not be consulted at all about the compulsory taking away from agriculture of land that is wanted in the interests of feeding the nation. Why should not his views be heard about preventing the loss of good farmland? There is no power in this Bill for the agricultural committees in the counties to take any part in the preparation of the plan, and I regard that as a serious defect.

The Minister said the fact that the Bill limits the land under the threat of compulsory purchase is in the interests of owners. As I understand this Bill, there is no limit to the amount that could be designated as subject to compulsory purchase. The Minister referred yesterday to the fact that the draft schemes in 1937 for half England and Wales had zoned housing areas sufficient to accommodate 350 million people. I very much fear that he will find, under this designation for compulsory purchase, that far more land will be put under that threat than is likely to be required. There is no proper safeguard in this Measure against too much being so designated. The only safeguard is that the Minister should exclude any area so designated, if, in his opinion, it will not be required for 10 years. On what material will he be able to judge? Another Minister or a local authority may come to him and say that they want certain land for a purpose, and that they require it as soon as they can get it. Will the Minister have the material on which to form an opinion that it will not be required within 10 years in spite of what they say?

I readily conceive that in one case perhaps, the Minister would have ample justification for refusing consent. So long as we have the present Minister of Health—such is the deplorable rate of housing at the present time—the Minister would, perhaps, in those circumstances be justified in saying that no more land was, likely to be required for housing for a considerable period. If land is designated for compulsory purchase, it follows that the farmer will have no security of tenure, and if it is not designated in the original plan, there is no security that it will not be designated at any time because the plan can be amended at any time, either by the local planning authority, or pursuant to directions given by the Minister, and it has, anyhow, to be revised once in five years.

The Minister of Agriculture said that farmers could plan ahead with certain knowledge of market and price. How can the farmer do so if this designation is followed by compulsory purchase and so destroys the very foundation of his planning by dispossessing him of his farm? I cannot believe that this vague provision is at all in the interests of the owners as the Minister suggested. I agree with what the Minister said about it being desirable that there should be some degree of flexibility. But this permanent threat to owners and occupiers of all classes of land we regard as a bad feature of this Measure. When the hon. Member for Hertford (Mr. Walker-Smith) was making his excellent speech last night, the Minister asked him why he thought this designation for compulsory purchase was a bad thing. I was surprised at the Minister putting that question because, in the Committee on the New Towns Bill, we had some discussion upon it, and, as a result of that discussion, the Minister himself moved an Amendment reducing the period during which the threat of compulsory acquisition could be held over an occupier or owner. Indeed, I should have thought it was obvious that the occupier of land of any description which might be seized at any time within ten years, was not likely to sink much money in that land, or to do much to it. The Agriculture Bill contains many penal provisions to try to promote farming efficiency; this Bill does nothing to encourage such efficiency,. and once the farmer's land has been so designated, how quickly can it be acquired? How speedily can the farmer be dispossessed? There is no regard for the nature of the interest which is to be acquired—whether it is a factory, dwelling house or farm—in determining the period which the man will have before he has to get out.

There are only two questions which have to be considered in fixing the time he has to move. One is, Who wants his land? The other is, What is it wanted for? In a very wide variety of cases he will be dispossessed not earlier than seven days and not later than three months after compulsory purchase has been authorised, and that power of dispossession applies to every kind of interest which it is sought to acquire, and to every kind of occupation which is being taken over. We regard this threat of dispossession as most harmful, and as a deterrent to proper reconstruction and redevelopment. What use is it providing for security of tenure under the Agriculture Bill, providing that a notice to quit shall not be effective in certain circumstances without the consent of the Minister, if the farmer is liable to such speedy dispossession at the hands of the State or local authority. He may well regard, if he does not do so already, the Socialist State as his enemy, and the landlord as his friend.

Another point in connection with this is worth drawing to the attention of hon. Members. What compensation will a tenant farmer obtain who is so dispossessed? He will get the existing house value at 1939 prices, he will get compensation for crops. but, as I understand this Bill, he will not get any compensation for long-term improvements, and he will get no compensation for disturbance, both of which he can get under the provisions of the Agriculture Bill. He will get only 1939 prices, no matter what he has paid for his farm, and no matter whether Death Duties have been assessed on that estate or interest since 1939 at a figure higher than 1939 prices. So far, we have had no explanation at all of the reason for adhering to that standard. Why was the Minister so silent upon that? It is a fruitful matter for speculation. He dealt with everything else in the indictment against this Bill in great detail, but he said nothing about that. Is it because he does not himself believe the 1939 standard now to be fair? Is it because he thinks it is wrong that he made no attempt to justify it? I do not regard it as treating hon. Members and this House in a proper way to tell us that this matter will be justified at the conclusion of the Debate, when we shall have no opportunity of commenting upon what is said in justification.

I pose this question. The Socialist Party have talked in their literature at elections about fair compensation. Why should not compensation be given to these people who are to be dispossessed to an extent that will enable them to secure alternative accommodation of a similar character, whether it be a dwelling house, a farm or a factory? What is the objection to that? Some hon. Members opposite yesterday spoke about landlords and the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr McGhee), was particularly hot in his pursuit of landlords. The hon. Gentleman seemed to forget that a great number of people affected by this compulsory purchase are occupiers and that, if they are dispossessed, they have to find accommodation elsewhere. They are occupiers and owners combined—owner-occupiers. What will be their position? How will the Government justify their conduct towards them? They are dispossessed, paid 1939 prices, and then have to find other accommodation and pay a higher price for it. Is that fair? Is it just? I do not know how the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who has been so reluctant, so far, to explain this matter to us, will seek to justify it. He may indulge in a tirade against landlords, but I again emphasise the point, because it is most important, that landlords will be only a fraction of the number of people affected toy this standard being imposed, and imposed apparently for an indefinite time. We may be told that the value of the land is so inflated that present prices could not be paid now. If that is the argument, then I would say that the inflation in the price of land is largely due to the policy of the Government, and to the policy which the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer has adopted, to the policy of the Government with regard to housing and, in particular, to the depreciation of the pound.

There are wide enough powers now for compulsory acquisition, and I do not believe that this labelling of land in the plan as subject to compulsory purchase really serves any useful purpose at all. The plan should designate the use, and not contain a threat. Of course, it may be that the Government have the hidden object of discouraging by that threat proper development by private enterprise. I think it is clear that the threat of compulsory purchase hanging over people's heads will be very strongly deterrent of any initiative or any improvement or development.

I come to another point. The word "development" in this Bill appears to be used in two different senses. The Minister said, dealing with the one sense, that profitable development by a private owner is only possible because of the efforts of the community in the neighbourhood. That describes one form of development, and in that case I agree that there is a proper case for a development charge. The Bill, however, refers to development in quite another sense; it provides that a farmer who builds a new cottage for his farm worker, who adds a new wing to his farmhouse exceeding one-tenth of the cubic capacity of the original house, who builds himself a new farmhouse, will be liable to pay a development charge of an uncertain amount, with no definition, no principle stated as to whether it will be the same for all in a particular area. He can house his hogs and pay no tax to the State, but directly he tries to improve the housing accommodation of his employees by extending it, then he becomes liable to a tax to an unknown extent.

This Government have shown, so far, little sign of any intention to improve conditions in rural areas. Now, by taxation, the Government seek to hinder it. There is a curious feature here which is in fact of advantage to the farmer. He is not quite so badly dealt with as the market gardener and nursery gardener. The farmer will not be required to pay a development charge on farm buildings, but the market gardener and nursery gardener will be liable to pay a development charge on any new building put up in extension of an existing building, which exceeds more than one-tenth of its cubic capacity.

The same principle applies to factories and dwelling-houses. If one has offices in a big block of office accommodation in a city, and extends them by more than one-tenth, one will become liable to a development charge. I do not understand the justification for that form of taxation. What is the justification for taxing that form of improvement? I am not challenging the principle where development values accrue as a result of the efforts of the community, that that is a proper subject for tax. But, a case has not been made out for imposing such a tax on what is done by people living in rural parts of the country to improve the conditions of the people they employ.

These developments are to continue indefinitely. They are to continue after the £300 million has been collected in development charges to repay the amount paid out of the Fund, which an hon. Member opposite thought was only coming from the general body of taxpayers. The right hon. Gentleman is not only trying to engage in town and country planning, which is his proper function, but is trying to provide a code for compulsory; and speedy acquisition of any interest in towns or cities, or land which anyone may possess, and he is also seeking to usurp some of the functions of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He described this as a fairly comprehensive new planning code. It is silent on many matters of major importance. He has only give us the barest outlines for the scheme for controlling advertisements, and the Bill is completely silent as to the betterment proposals in regard to existing mines. He has given us no details of the provision of grants to local authorities. He has given us no definition of what "hardship" is going to mean in the interpretation of the scheme for the distribution of the £300 million. He suggests that people throughout the country should put in claims against that sum, without having any knowledge of the basis of which claims are to be determined. That seems quite a novel procedure and may lead to the Ministry of Town and Country Planning being clogged with a multitude of claims. The Minister's Bill contains no guarantee that the development charges will be equitably imposed, and that there will be no discrimination against individuals in the same area who are seeking to secure the same sort of development.

On all these matters, we shall not have an opportunity of putting forward Amendments for consideration by hon. Members in this House. All those matters are to be dealt with by regulation. The attitude of the Government will be that we have to take those regulations, whether we like it or not. I suggest that the attitude of the Government in leaving out these very important parts of the scheme, and so depriving us of our rights, is an abuse of Parliamentary procedure. I do not intend to follow the example of the right hon. Gentleman in traversing the whole scheme of the Bill. A great deal has been said in support of the Amendment. I have tried to look at it from the agricultural angle because, having listened to most of the Debate yesterday, I think far too much attention has been paid to the interests of those who want to acquire, and far too little consideration has been given to those who are going to be turned out and who, in the present state of housing shortage, have to secure other accommodation at the shortest notice. For all those reasons, I say the House should not give a Second Reading to a Bill that is so vague and uncertain in its character and which is bound to hamper and impede the proper development of our land.

Mr. Snadden (Perth and Kinross, Western)

I beg to second the Amendment.

4.29 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Town and Country Planning (Mr. Fred Marshall)

The Clauses of this Bill are highly technical, and complicated. Anyone who determines to master its maze of legal terminology sets himself a formidable task. I have no doubt that in subsequent discussions in Committee, and on the Third Reading, hon. Members of the legal profession are going to have a good time, and we shall inevitably be involved in legal hair-splitting, and, in some cases, the blank confusion of legal interpretation. My concern is that in the many statements, contentions, logical consequences, and general nomenclature of the lawyers, coupled with the involved legal terminology of the Bill, we shall not lose sight of its main objects, and its physical and social background.

Before applying my mind to some of the criticisms which have been made of the Bill, I propose briefly to describe the problem which it is designed to solve. Like many others, I was attracted to planning because I could see that the beauty of this country was being eaten up at a terrific rate. The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century placed this country at the head of the nations of the world, but it left us a fearful legacy of physical ugliness. Under its powerful impetus many towns were enlarged and others built. Into those places houses were packed at 70 to the acre, and an overwhelming mass of bricks and mortar submerged every vestige of greenness and beauty. Environments were created in which the very faculty to appreciate beauty was almost lost. Those of us who have spent much of our lives in one of these towns know only too well the utter limits of dreariness and squalor reached in their slum areas where, in order to get more miser-able dwellings packed in, they were placed back to back. We also know of the uncountable cost it has taken, and will take, before these blots cease to befoul the face of the land. Ground rents have been drawn from these places during probably the greater part of 150 years.

Perhaps we reached the climax of this degradation of living conditions in some of our mining villages, with their long monotonous rows of ugly terraces. We can appreciate something of this degradation when We compare, say an Alfriston or a Broadway with some of the Durham mining villages. It has taken us a long time to appreciate all that the Industrial Revolution has meant to us in spiritual poverty, stunted physique and ill health, not to mention cost. It would be true to say that the work of local authorities during the last 50 years has been mainly concerned in cleaning up the worst features left by that Revolution, and they have not finished yet.

The last century left us grievous problems, but the damage was concentrated and limited mainly to a number of towns and cities and the coalmining areas. In the meantime, however, another revolution was upon us, and this has taken place in our lifetime. It is one which has had a powerful effect on the use of land in this country, and has added considerably to the problems left us by the earlier Revolution. I refer, of course, to transport, public and private. Public transport has made possible the rehousing of our slum dwellers on the perimeters of our towns. I have not a word to say against the housing accommodation there provided. It is infinitely better than the slums, but from a planning point of view, many of these estates leave much to be desired. They involve heavy journeys to and from work, which eat up the leisure of the workers, they create enormous transport congestion in our cities, and perhaps one of the most potent criticisms against them is that they are one-class dormitories. This suburban sprawl has thus confronted us with immense problems, not the least of which is: What is the appropriate size of towns? It has brought very much to the forefront the necessity for solving the great traffic problem. Again, private transport has had a tremendous influence in scattering the people in the countryside. It has scattered them about in isolated and ribbon development, using up great areas of land and sterilising much more, ruining our lovely coastline with unlovely shacks, and in many cases punctuating the very skyline of the sea cliffs themselves. Under this potential threat no landscape has been immune and no shrine sacred, and places pregnant with English history, have become the scene of the operations of the speculative builder. Anyone who wants to know the devastation caused by this kind of development should read that fine report written by Mr. Steers.

The House is only too well aware of the problems connected with industrial distribution, and the tendency during the last 30 years or so for industry to settle in a few places, leaving poverty-stricken distressed areas in the North-Eastern and South Wales, and creating vast overgrown conurbations in the London area and several other places. We must add to all this the scenes of devastation left by mineral extraction—the hon. and learned Member for Daventry (Mr. Manningham-Buller) speaks eloquently in this House on this matter—tips and spoil heaps bestrewing the countryside, vast areas of land poisoned and ruined without, in many cases, any effort being made to cover up the devastation, or place upon owners and developers the responsibility of doing some restoration work. As the hon. and learned Member knows, in his own county there are something like 3,800 acres almost ruined by the extraction of iron ore. My hon. Friend the Member for West Wolverhampton (Mr. H. D. Hughes) brought vividly before the House yesterday the state of the Black Country, a vestige of the old Industrial Revolution, in which 9,300 acres have been covered with these tips. All this indicates the formidable task confronting the House.

If it be thought that I have overdrawn the picture, let me say at once that it could have been painted in far darker colours and still be within the strict limits of truth. It is a story of neglect and carelessness, and lack of effective control. Bad development has been allowed, owing to the haunting fear of heavy compensation. Central direction has been lacking; there has been little or no coordination between planning authorities; many planning authorities have been too poor to implement their plans. There has been no set-up against the very heavy cost of planning, that is there has been no betterment. Some local authorities have not had the will to plan, others have had the will but not the means, and until 1943 there had been no obligation to plan. I think that the whole position was well summed up in an article in the "Spectator" recently, in which it was stated: These islands are so small and the use of their soil has been so wasteful, that there is no room left for haphazard development. It is no longer possible to leave this matter to the profit motive and the care of the more enlightened landowners. Planning there must be, and since that is so, it had better be positive planning rather than the mere accumulations of prohibitions and the conferment of unworkable enabling powers on local authorities. We have been brought up with a jolt against the fact that this country is a very small one, and that development for another 25 years similar to that which has taken place during the last 30 years will just about render the problem insoluble and unmanageable. It will take many years to rectify the harm already done, and will impose upon the public of this country a terrific cost, and unless we now invest both the central and local government with the necessary powers of control and acquisition, we can say "goodbye" to the idea of a better Britain, so far as physical planning is concerned. That is the problem as I see it, and I have had opportunities of observing it both from the local and the national angles. The Bill makes provision for those powers. People who love this land and are jealous to safeguard its heritage of beauty, have waited a long time for such a Measure.

It is against that background that the provisions of the Bill must be judged and criticisms of it assessed. I think when anyone looks at the picture I have painted—and it is a true one—they will agree that the criticisms are very thin. I do not think that there can be any serious objection to the purpose of this Measure.

Its objects have been common ground amongst Members of all parties for a long time. It is generally recognised that if planning is to play a vital part in the reconstruction of our towns and cities, and the necessary control exerted over land in the countryside, some Bill such as this is imperative. One could detect in some of the more critical speeches yesterday a general underlying recognition that here is an urgent problem to be solved, upon the solution of which depends whether development in the country shall progress according to an orderly pattern, or shall be distorted and frustrated owing to the inability of local planning authorities to face the heavy cost. Of course, it would have been very unusual if some criticisms had not been made against many of its far-reaching provisions. Those criticisms have been forthcoming. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cirencester (Mr. W. S. Morrison) spoke for His Majesty's Opposition yesterday. I did not think that the right hon. Gentleman was quite as happy as he usually is on these occasions. I fondly imagined that he would be in a very difficult position, in view of the fact that, as Minister of Town and Country Planning, he was responsible for the issue of the White Paper on the Control of Land Use; but with considerable adroitness he passed that by in his speech, with an airy wave of his hand.

I propose to spend a few minutes in examining that Paper. I confess that when I first read that document, it gave me a thrill of pleasure. While it did not contain everything that one could have wished, its proposals, had they been implemented by legislation, would have marked a vast improvement in planning law. I have often wondered why the House were never invited to discuss it, for I know that many hon. Members were aching to express their views upon it. The right hon. Gentleman never provided us with an opportunity. He never tested it on the House. This promising infant saw the light and was then allowed to fade away by neglect. The right hon. Gentleman certainly did not take his parental responsibilities very seriously. Perhaps he could see the rather awkward potentialities of his offspring, and realised that it would take a lot of bringing up. It may have been a case in which the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er by the pale cast of thought. Or did the right hon. Gentleman linger shivering on the brink And fear to launch away"? Whatever the reason may be, we never had an opportunity of discussing that White Paper. It was perhaps the knowledge that he was responsible for it which made the right hon. Gentleman's speech so inconclusive yesterday. He reminded me of the famous Lord Mayor who, when appointed to his high office, said, "Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am not going to make a long speech. I will say this, though: I know what is right and I know what is wrong, and I will always try to steer a clear course between the two."

I wish to discuss the relationship between the White Paper and the Bill. The White Paper speaks of a universal requirement to obtain consent. That was referred to yesterday by the hon. Member for The High Peak (Mr. Molson) but perhaps I can refresh the minds of hon. Members. A universal requirement to obtain consent is required by the Bill. The White Paper speaks of a betterment charge of 80 per cent., leaving 20 per cent. of the development value in the hands of the owner as an inducement for him to sell his land for development. A development charge can be imposed under the provisions of the Bill but no rigid percentage is specified. There is a little variation in order that the right development can be encouraged at the right time. Again, the right hon. Gentleman's White Paper proposed to pay compensation to owners for loss of development rights: so does the Bill. There is a difference. The Bill makes provision for a global sum of £300 million. In the White Paper there is no provision for a global sum. In both proposals it is stated that no compensation for floating value shall be paid. In short, the element of floating value is eliminated from both sets of proposals. The proposal in the Bill is that payment shall be made within five years; in the White Paper payment shall not be made under five years.

The next point about the Bill is that, with certain exceptions, all land is included in the proposals and, at the appropriate time, payment will be made under claims which have been established. Under the proposals of the White Paper land is classified in three categories—green land, white land and other land—and it is only proposed at the end of five years to pay compensation for green land. In the case of all other land compensation would be payable only on a refusal of permission to develop. In the case of consent for development, it seems to suggest that compensation will be paid by a suitable set-off in the betterment charge. Various charges of vagueness have been made against the Government. The right hon. Gentleman himself made charges of vagueness. I defy him to find a more value proposal than the one I have indicated.

Centralisation of finance is common to both sets of proposals. In the Bill, powers of public acquisition are pretty wide. Powers of public acquisition under the White Paper are mainly confined to those of the 1944 Act. What the right hon. Gentleman proposed—and this answers to some extent the hon. and learned Member for Daventry—was that there should be a reserve power of public acquisition in the interests of good planning, in cases where, for instance, an owner refused to sell land which was needed for development. We do the same kind of thing in this Bill. When we look at these two sets of proposals, I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman did not get up and proudly claim his parentage of the proposals, but I must leave the right hon. Gentleman where he is, to compose the conflict in his own mind.

There is one other criticism of the Bill, a general sort of criticism, which I would touch upon here, and that is the criticism directed against the large number of regulations which fall to be made under the Bill. That criticism is made under the general charge of vagueness. I would point out that, if the Bill provided all that it is intended to describe by regulations, it would be a vastly bulkier Bill than it is, and not necessarily easier to understand. There may, be two opinions whether, in a particular case, it is better to deal with a certain matter under the Bill or by way of regulations. But the Bill cannot provide for everything. It is clear that certain parts of the machinery can properly be left to be dealt with by regulations, if only to obtain the flexibility in the day-to-day administration of such a Measure as this. If there is a large number of regulations it is because the vast undertaking of this Bill requires them. On the more important series of regulations, those dealing with the Treasury scheme, the mineral scheme and development values, there will be an opportunity for this House to express its opinion upon the contents of those regulations.

Sir John Mellor (Sutton Coldfield)

Is there not to be an opportunity for this House to express its opinion on all the regulations?

Mr. Marshall

I am not concerned about the others, only those concerned with this Bill.

Sir J. Mellor

That is why I am asking. Will not this House have an opportunity of expressing its opinion on all the-regulations made under this Bill?

Mr. Marshall

The hon. Member asked a question on this point yesterday. He asked what arrangements were intended to be made by the Government to ensure adequate discussion of the regulations made under the Eill, and he mentioned, particularly, the regulations on the development charge and on the Treasury scheme for distributing the £300 million. There are others, of course, equally important, such as the regulations about minerals and advertising. The hon. Member said that on the more important regulations it would be most unsatisfactory if the only opportunity which the House would have for discussing them was for a couple of hours before midnight. That is a perfectly reasonable point of view, and I hope that there will be the fullest opportunity for Debate on all these important matters. But the hon. Member knows that it is not in my power to give any undertaking in matters of this sort. For one thing, some of these regulations are not likely to come up in the lifetime of the present Parliament, and the hon. Member knows that representations can always be made through the proper channels when the time comes. The Business of the House is always arranged having regard co the importance of the subject, and a desire to meet the convenience of hon. Members in all parts of the House. Knowing the hon. Member well, I am quite sure that none of these important regulations will pass unchallenged if he is in the House, and I think I am quite right in giving the assurance that there will be an opportunity to discuss the regulations.

Mr. Assheton (City of London)

The hon. Gentleman said that these regulations are not likely to come up within the lifetime of the present Parliament. I do not quite understand the corollary of that statement.

Mr. Marshall

Five years hence.

Mr. Assheton

Does that mean that there will be no regulations for five years?

Mr. Marshall

Some of them may not come up in that time. I should not like to commit myself any further than I have already done on that. Referring to the criticisms which the right hon. Member for Cirencester made, and which were repeated today by the hon. and learned Member for Daventry, there was a charge of uncertainty. It was said that the farmer will be in a state of uncertainty whether he can retain the use of his land owing to the fact of designation. Personally, I would hazard the opinion that designation will make the farmer more certain. What is the position now? It is—if I may borrow the word "floating" _that there is a floating uncertainty hanging about the farmer. He never knows when he is going to be pounced upon by some authority which says "We want your land"—statutory undertakers, local authorities, Government Departments—

Mr. McGhee (Penistone)

And the War Office.

Mr. Marshall

Yes, and the War Office. Designation in a development plan, of particular parts of land for public acquisition means that they will be definitely known. The threat is limited, and the consequence is that there will be no excuse, either for the developers or owners, not acquainting themselves with the details.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

The hon. Gentleman seems to have misunderstood the point which I put earlier. I agree that there will be designation in the original plan, but my point was that the plan can be altered at any time, and, although the land might be outside the area of an order for compulsory purchase, the farmer might wake up a week later to find that he was inside.

Mr. Marshall

The plan can be altered when it comes up for review every five years.

Mr. Manningham-Buller

And not in between?

Mr. Marshall

And in between, with the consent of the Minister. In any case, the general layout of the development plan will give some definition to the zoning arrangements and will provide everybody concerned with definite and precise information as to the areas to be acquired. From that point of view, instead of uncertainty as to the position, there will be a good deal more precedent. In reference to one or two other matters which were raised yesterday, the right hon. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) made a very favourable speech in support of the Bill, and I thank him for it. May I also say, I was rather disappointed that the hon. Member for The High Peak (Mr. Molson) did not come down frankly on the side of the Bill. He agrees with the planning proposals, as many in this House do, but he took exception to some of the financial Clauses, with which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer will deal later today.

A word as to the non-county boroughs. Having served in local government for many years myself, I can sympathise with the district councils and the non-county boroughs, whose planning powers will be given to the county councils, and especially with those who have done good work in the past. But planning in larger units is essential, if we are to plan this country aright. While they have lost their planning powers, they are not made voiceless in the matter. It is up to them to accept the inevitable and to secure that, by consultation and by the best use of their areas, a good job is done. My right hon. Friend is determined to see that the consultation that is mentioned is made a real thing, and he is prepared to consult local authorities about the machinery of delegation, too. Therefore, while they will lose their planning powers as such, they will be able to exert a considerable influence on the operations of planning in this country. Furthermore, the Bill provides that certain of the powers of the county councils, other than those relating to development plans, may be delegated to the county districts. Such delegation may be general or it may be applied in particular cases. I have no doubt that my right hon. Friend will arrange for such delegation in appropriate cases at the right time.

It should also be borne in mind that powers of purchase and of development remain in the hands of the district councils. Accordingly, it is clear that, while they may not be local planning authorities in name, district councils will have a high local planning responsibility under the Bill. With regard to the preparation of development plans, we are planning for the country as a whole, and for that purpose we need, as heretofore, the knowledge of the smallest local units; but the Government are convinced that this new kind of planning must start on a broader basis than hitherto. I think that with this assurance that the smaller council will have a voice in the matter, that they can consult with the county council, and that the Minister will insist on that consultation, it will be agreed that they will exert an increasing influence on the operations of planning in the country. A question was asked as to whether the vast task implied in the provisions of the Bill would bring about a shortage of technical staff in the country. My right hon. Friend stated yesterday that the provisions of the Bill will reduce 1,441 planning authorities to 145. I am assured that this will bring about considerable economy in technical planning staffs, and we do not anticipate any difficulty on that account. Again, we were asked whether there are enough valuers in the country to deal with such a vast undertaking. The intention is to use district valuers as the agents of the board. By using them it will be unnecessary to duplicate the accommodation. This may mean some increase, but we are informed that the increase will be a manageable one. Further, I can give an assurance that this work will not mean the neglect of any other work.

I want now to say a few words about the point that was raised by the right hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Assheton). The right hon. Gentleman stated his case yesterday with courtesy and persuasiveness. He suggested that the transfer of planning powers to the London County Council would delay the reconstruction of the City. I can give the right hon. Gentleman an assurance, on behalf of my right hon. Friend, that no avoidable delay would be allowed to occur on that account. It may be that before the Bill is passed the plan which is now being prepared will be submitted or approved, or a declaratory Order made under Section I of the 1944 Act. If so, that work should not be wasted. The London County Council would be able to carry on from whatever point had been reached, and I have no doubt that the plan now being prepared for the City by Prof. Holford and Mr. Holden will be of great assistance to the London County Council. If it has been drawn up with proper regard to the requirements of the remainder of the administrative county, as I am sure it has been, it can probably be adopted as it stands. I can give that assurance with pleasure. On the other issue which the right hon. Gentleman raised, I am afraid I cannot commit myself beyond what the Minister said yesterday.

My hon. Friend the Member for West Wolverhampton (Mr. H. D. Hughes) asked whether the Bill gives the Minister power to coordinate the claims for land of various Government Departments. The answer is, "Yes." That coordination will be effected by consultation between the various Government Departments, and I may say that in those consultations planning considerations will be well to the fore, and will not be neglected. The hon. Member for Hornsey (Mr. Gammans) said that the Bill was untimely, unfair and unworkable, but almost in the next sentence he said: Whatever may be the virtues of this Bill—and it has many— and then, a little later, he said: It is a good Bill with a worthy purpose. It seems to me that there is a general conflict in the mind of the hon. Member. His reason tells him it is a good Bill and his political philosophy induces him to say nasty things about it. He said, for instance, that it reveals all the evils of Socialist philosophy."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th January, 1947; Vol. 432, c. 1050–5.] The only thing I can say is that if an instrument designed to secure that the use of the land shall be in the best interest of the country is Socialist philosophy, I am proud of it. The hon. Member went on to talk about the complete cessation of private development. That is a general, wild flinging about of words, and it bears no relation to the real facts. My hon. Friend the Member for the Drake Division of Plymouth (Mr. Medland) wanted to know whether, when buildings are purchased to be demolished in a development area—a blitzed area—the cost will be taken into account in estimating the Government grant. The answereis, "Yes." My hon. Friend raised one or two more difficult points, but I think we had better leave them until the Committee stage.

Mr. Medland (Plymouth, Drake)

Cannot my hon. Friend say something about them now?

Mr. Marshall

Most of the points were Committee matters. Many other speeches were made, and I do not propose to comment on them; many of them made Committee points. I want only to say, in conclusion, that when the right hon. Member for Cirencester introduced the Ball which became the 1944 Act, he referred to it as an ambitious thrust into a new territory. It was. It brought into our planning code certain novel and far-reaching principles, such as the designation of land, increased powers of acquisition, and the redevelopment of areas as a whole. I think we can say that the 1943 and 1944 Acts marked a very significant turning point in our planning history, the turning point from a negative and restrictive to a positive code of planning. The New Towns Act, 1946, developed and strengthened that trend. The provisions of the Bill may carry that tendency to its logical conclusion. The "ambitious thrust into a difficult territory" has now become a general advance on all fronts.

5.11 p.m.

Mr. J. H. Hare (Woodbridge)

The House has listened with interest and attention to the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary, who in some parts of his speech adopted tactics to which we on this side of the House are unaccustomed. He dwelt on the evils of the past and tried to make out that only hon. Members who occupy his side of the House actually live in and understand the 20th century. On this side of the House we do not attempt to deny the evils of the past. The tragedy of our overcrowded cities and of our scarred countryside is, as hon. Members opposite know, due to the fact that this country went through its Industrial Revolution in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, long before most other countries in the world. We made grave mistakes in the process of industrialisation. Countries like Sweden which developed their industries in this century have been able to benefit from the grave errors which were made in those days. Because Tory and Whig parties existed in the 18th and 19th centuries, it does not follow that we, who occupy these benches must necessarily think in terms of the 18th and 19th centuries. We accept fully those principles of good planning which are contained in the Bill, and we are not moving rejection of the Bill as a whole. We do, however, object to certain features of the Bill. It is unfair to accuse my right hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester (Mr. W. S. Morrison) of being ashamed of the parentage of his White Paper of 1944. He is not ashamed of it. He is enormously proud of it. He has been of very great help to the Minister in the preparation of the Bill. Let us get this clear. As a party, we object chiefly to a number of the financial provisions of the Bill. We do not object to those good principles of general planning which are contained in it.

In addition to that, we feel, and I think justifiably, that the Measure is being rushed through the House of Commons. It was published on 7th January, and here we are, three weeks and two days after the date of publication, in the final stages of the Second Reading of this vital Measure. Whatever our individual opinions may be as Members of Parliament, we have a duty to our constituents in matters of such importance as this, and time should be available to us to consult institutions, private individuals, local authorities and other interests in our constituencies, if they are likely to be affected by the provisions of the Bill. It is a travesty of truth to say that anyone has had time to do that.

Even the Minister admits—I regret to see that he is just leaving the Chamber-that the Bill is not easy to understand. Yesterday he explained it very well, but he said: Now, at long last, I have completed ray task of describing and justifying the Bill. And yet, I realise that I have been able to deal with much of it only superficially."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th January, 1947; Vol. 432, c. 985.] That was said in a speech of remarkable lucidity, but one which lasted for more than two hours. Even during that period the right hon. Gentleman was unable, or unwilling, to mention in any detail probably the most controversial matter contained in the Bill. I refer to the decision of the Government to pay compensation at the 1939 level of prices for land compulsorily acquired. At the same time, as has already been emphasised, the Government are proposing to levy their development charge under the Bill according to the 1947 price level of land values.

If it is the Government's intention to be just, such a disparity between these two methods of compensation needs explanation. The Government are being completely hypocritical. A large number of hon. Members on the benches opposite believe that no compensation should be paid at all. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] They have said so clearly, and they have every right to express their opinion. I feel that it is perhaps in order to calm the wrath of back bench feelings that the Government have had to state in their White Paper that, although no-one has a right to compensation, the Government are prepared, because of hardship, to earmark a global sum of some £300 million. Will anyone tell me that even a Socialist Government are likely to pay out such a sum unless they have sound reasons for doing so? What are the reasons? There is only one clear, simple reason, and it is that there is in fact a just case for compensation, which even our present rulers do not pretend to deny. If there is a just case for compensation, and if large sums of money have to be earmarked for that purpose, let us be honest and fair, and be absolutely certain that that compensation is paid on a just valuation of prices, and not on the purely illusory values of 1939.

Now I will say a word about the payment of grants to local authorities in respect of the acquisition and clearance of development areas. As the Minister explained very clearly yesterday, there will be a maximum payment of 90 per cent. towards land charges for such development, in areas of extensive war damage. That grant of 90 per cent. will be scaled down after a certain period of time. In addition, there will be an 80 per cent. maximum grant, payable in areas of bad layout or obsolete development. The extent of those grants, the actual amount to be paid to the local authorities, is to depend upon the financial status of the authority concerned.

The hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Pargiter) raised an important point in regard to this matter. I see great dangers in such a reservation, and I was very glad that it was referred to by him. I hope that the Minister will be able to say something on the subject, and will tell us how the financial status of a local authority will be judged. I think that most of us agree that the operation of the block grant has proved to be most unsatisfactory. It is based upon the financial status of the local authority concerned. As far as this Bill is concerned, is it intended that the financial strength of an authority should be judged on the indebtedness of that authority? If that is the case, then, obviously, those authorities who are foolish and reckless in their expenditure will be given an undue preference. Or, is this judgment to be obtained by examining the rates levied by particular authorities? If that is the case, the disparity of the method of assessing rates throughout the country would make such a basis of valuation quite unfair. For example, let us take the county borough of Bournemouth which levies, I understand, a rate of 9s. in the pound. That creates a rate charge per head of £6 13s. 10d. Stockport, on the other hand, levies a rate of 10s. 8d. in the pound, which creates a rate charge of only £3 14s. 5d. If that method is to be used in judging the financial status of a local authority, a grave injustice will be caused. Therefore, I hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer may have a word to say on this point.

The success or failure of this Bill, as it now stands, must depend very largely on the wisdom, the integrity and the intelligence of those who are required to administer it. I thought that what the hon. Member for Rutherglen (Mr. McAllister) said on this point yesterday was most relevant. Town planning experts cannot be turned out of a sausage machine. They have to be carefully chosen and trained. They must have a great knowledge of other things besides the drawing of plans, and they must fully understand the weaknesses and the desires of human nature—that human side which, in fact, plays such a prominent part in effective planning. How are we going to find these men and women? With our present manpower shortage, it is obviously going to be extremely difficult to get a sufficient number in the required time, I am sure that the Minister has this point in mind. Anybody interested in seeing that planning is soundly administered must be forgiven if they raise the point in this House.

My own feeling about this Bill is that it could have been a good Bill, but that it is not. We have placed on the Order Paper the reasons why we think it is a bad Bill, and they are the reasons why we are not prepared to vote for its Second Reading. We are legislating on a subject which is going to affect the happiness, health and prosperity of many future generations of British people, and I feel that the Government would have done well to have listened to the really sincere criticisms which most hon. Members on this side of the House have tried to level against what they consider to be certain inequalities and injustices in the Bill. These criticisms have been sincerely made, and are sincerely meant. I feel that we have here a great chance, as a united House of Commons, to get together and to produce a model Bill. We, on this side of the House, feel that, if the majority party do not accept these major points which we have put forward, a Bill will be made law containing certain evils which will vitiate the implementation of those sound principles of planning in which all parties, I believe, have placed their faith.

5.25 p.m.

Mr. Braddock (Mitcham)

I am glad that I caught your eye, Mr. Speaker, immediately after the hon. Member for Woodbridge (Mr. Hare) had sat down, because he touched on the subject of technical manpower, on which I have a word to say. Many aspects of this Bill have been debated in the House, and I do not wish to repeat what has already been said. In the early part of his speech, the hon. Member for Woodbridge endeavoured to excuse Members of his own party, who have gone before, on the score that what they did was done a long time ago, in the days when we were building factories in this country, and that his party should not be blamed for recent events.

I take it that the general purpose of this Bill, quite apart from details, is agreed by everybody in this House and in the country to be necessary. Those of us who have lived in, on or about great centres of population in the period between the two wars, have seen examples of the ingenuity, machinery and technical ability of modern civil engineers and builders. We all know that, in some way or other, the same thing is going to happen in the very near future. There is a bubbling up, underneath the restrictions, which are necessary at the present time as the result of the recent war. In every town, and among all people, there is a desire to develop, to rebuild and to get our country into a better condition. I think that our experience in the years between the wars has proved that, unless there are consideration and control, what happened in the inter-war period will happen again on an even larger scale. In my opinion, there is a need for rapid action, and, although, generally speaking, I accept this Bill, on this point I confess that I am a little doubtful.

The new planning authorities are to be given three years in which to produce their plans. We have to allow for the period while the Bill is going through this House, and we have got to allow for certain arrangements which the Minister intends to carry out with regard to joint planning committees. In those circumstances, I think that, if the provisions of this Bill are going to be adhered to, something like four years must elapse before this country would know what is going to be done with regard to town and country planning. Frankly, I do not think that we can wait that time; neither do I think that there is any reason why we should. The London County Council and the Greater London area have produced their plans. There is no reason why development cannot safely go on within the ambit laid down by those plans. I suggest that, in many other parts of the country, plans of a similar nature are approaching completion at the present time. Have we then to mark time for something like three or four years, and shall we be able during that time to keep under and suppress the desire on the part of the people of this country to improve housing conditions and surroundings? I suggest that that is asking an impossibility.

It may be said, as is rightly said in the Bill, that we must take a wider view than that which was taken in the past; we must have regional planning. I agree with that wholeheartedly. In fact, I am rather surprised that there is no mention of a national development plan in the Bill. When presenting his interim Bill for the building of roads and bridges, the Minister of Transport indicated that he had in mind a great national plan for roads, rivers, canals, etc. I think it is necessary that that plan should be produced as soon as possible, because it will be very difficult for the Minister of Town and Country Planning to judge the suitability or otherwise of these regional plans unless, in some way, he can connect them with the overall aspect of the country as a whole. The Minister's speech yesterday seemed to be a little contradictory in one respect. He said in two places in his speech that the plan of the regional authority would be an outline plan, and, would not need to go into great detail. In that I agree with him, but. in the few lines following on both occasions be said that in many cases it would be necessary to prepare the plans in greater detail.

It has been said that there are difficulties in connection with professional and technical ability in the preparation of these plans. I do not think so. This is not a matter of personnel, but of principles and knowledge. We have a great mass of principles, ability and methods that can be applied to our problems. In fact, they have already been applied with great success in this country. Sir Patrick Abercrombie, in the two or more plans that he has prepared, has shown the way for all our planners in dealing with questions of this sort. In our great colleges of engineering, architecture and town planning we have produced a sufficient quantity of young and energetic men and women who are only awaiting the opportunity to show what they can do. Sir Patrick Abercrombie is a great town planner, and this has been known for the last 25 years. What has he needed? Simply the opportunity. Given the opportunity, he has proved what can be done. In nearly every town in the country there are young men and women as well trained, with the same enthusiasm, ability and access to maps, knowledge and statistics which are in the offices of every local government body in the country Those people are there, awaiting an opportunity to use their skill. The Minister should reconsider this matter, insisting that these authorities should get their staffs together within a limited period of a few months and tell them that he wants these outline plans presented and ready for acceptance within 12 months. I am perfectly certain that it can be done.

With regard to the lesser authorities, I think they have a justifiable grievance. Every time a Measure is introduced, whether it be public health, transport or anything else, there are protests, which we can well understand, from these authorities that their powers and opportunities are being taken away from them. What do we intend to give them in their place? This matter of town and country planning can be developed admirably by the smaller local authorities. They are the people who can do it best. Let us have the national plan. Let us have the regional outline plan, but do not let us impose on the lesser authorities these regional bodies, with their staffs and professional men. Let these people have freedom; let them have an opportunity of developing their areas within the outline scheme, in accordance with increases in the population and all the other relevant considerations. They will accept that opportunity. Having done that, we should give them an opportunity to develop their own communities in the way they think best. The knowledge is there. Schemes have been prepared, and the qualified men and women are ready. We shall lose a great opportunity if we do not take advantage of the knowledge and enthusiasm which exists in our country. I know I am critical of the Bill, in this respect, but I think the enthusiasm and knowledge of the people is in danger of being overlooked.

It will be said that mistakes may be made, but we must no longer be afraid of making mistakes. After all, in questions of design and of town and country planning, it is very often a matter of opinion. One person thinks one thing and another person thinks another. Even if we do make a mistake, we must remember that some of the best loved buildings in this country are architectural mistakes. Look at Big Ben. What an architectural abortion—and yet we all love it. That sort of thing can be repeated over and over again. We need not be afraid of making mistakes. A little mistake makes the thing human. It makes us love it, and, in any case, we shall not make so many mistakes as all that. Therefore, we have no need to be afraid of going forward rapidly. If we do not, we shall cause frustration and depression in the country.

I do not wish to conclude without referring to the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Penistone (Mr. McGhee) with regard to this proposed gift to landlords. In many of our proposals we are prepared to give consideration to those people who may suffer hardship, but that is no reason why we should set out deliberately to distribute a sum of £300 million in respect of hardship the extent of which we are not aware. We do not know where these people are. As my hon. Friend pointed out yesterday, land differs materially from other things. While there may be a case for compensating a railway shareholder who was actually getting an income from his railway shares, there is no case for compensating a landowner for an income that he has not yet received. We are going to pay that man the present-day value of his land. What right have we to compensate him for a possible advantage he might get in the future? At that rate, we might just as well bring in a Bill to compensate people who put a bet on a horse or a dog, and do not succeed in winning. The logic is exactly the same.

I had an astonishing experience yesterday. I went into a City office and interviewed one of the leading professional men in one of our great industrial undertakings. He was rather astonished when I told him I was a Member of Parliament. When asked if I was "one of those Leftists," I said, "Yes, I am one of those who are rather on the Left side." He said, "Good for you. What are your Government thinking about in suggesting that £300 million should be given in compensation with regard to land?"—a most unexpected query from such a quarter. I tell the Government that there is no need to put those Clauses in this Bill in order to get it passed. Let the Government delete those Clauses and, although I have not circulated a "round robin" or asked for signatures, I guarantee that hon. Members on this side of the House will carry the Bill through. We intend to do no wrong to anybody. If there is hardship, we will look after those people; we give them that guarantee. But as the representatives of the people of this country we have no right to give the landlords of this country compensation for advantages they never had.

5.41 p.m.

Mr. Bossom (Maidstone)

I will not follow on exactly the line taken by the hon. Member for Mitcham (Mr. Brad-dock). I certainly do not agree with his last remarks, but I think every hon, Member would agree with him in the earlier part of his speech, when he referred to the desire to get ahead.

Mr. Follick (Loughborough)

What about what he said in regard to Big Ben?

Mr. Bossom

I prefer to leave that to hon. Members to come to their own decisions.

Mr. Follick

What about the Albert Memorial?

Mr. Bossom

Let me get on with my speech. It has been very clearly emphasised that speed is desirable. There is enthusiasm, and there is anxiety to get ahead. I will try to show the House, by means of unquestioned facts which can be verified, that we will not be able to do exactly what everybody would like to have done. I will not discuss the general terms of this Bill, because many hon. Members have commented on them, and I do not intend to repeat what has been said. But I will go into detail on one vital weakness—and it is a real and vital weakness—in the handling of the Bill itself. The Minister has accepted honorary membership of the Town Planning Institute, and he should know the condition of that body, its size, how many members there are, how many students there are, how many are being trained and how long it takes to train them. Those are unalterable facts which anybody can verify. This Bill depends upon planners. As the hon. Member for Mitcham said, there are any number of enthusiasts anxious to do it. I agree that there are a lot of enthusiasts anxious to do it, but their knowledge is somewhat limited. I would further remind the hon. Member that they are not trained or experienced. That is one of the most serious difficulties of this, Bill. All of it has to be planned in three years. That is a condition of the Bill. But, you know, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, planners cannot be improvised. Although one can improvise for certain things, planning is not one of them, because planning forms the bones upon which everything else has to be built.

If planning is done by inexperienced people we will have not a few, but a lot of mistakes. We know what happened just recently in regard to the London plan, and how it was thrown back after they had worked on it for two years. When we do the job we want to do a good one. Planning is a most difficult and complicated science and, I submit, requires more expert knowledge than any other technical type of work in this country at the present time. What is the requirement of the Bill? The Bill is very frank about it. In Part II, Clause 5, it says the planner shall, not later than three years after the commencement of this Act, or within such extended period as the Minister may in any particular case allow, submit to the Minister a report of the survey together with a plan (hereinafter called a 'development plan ') indicating the manner in which they propose that land in that area should be used (whether by the carrying out thereon of development or otherwise) and the stages by which any such development should be carried out. In Subsection (2) it goes on to say: …any such plan shall include such maps and such descriptive matter as may be necessary to illustrate the proposals aforesaid with such degree of particularity as may be appropriate to different parts of the area; and any such plan may in particular— (a) define the sites of proposed roads, public and other buildings and works, airfields, parks, pleasure grounds and other open spaces"— every hon. Member knows what will happen if they are put in the wrong places— or allocate areas of land for use for agricultural, esidential, industrial or other purposes of any class specified in the plan. All those things have to be done within three years. These planners will have to settle where those things must go.

I wonder if hon. Members realise the situation? At this very moment the local authorities require no fewer than 1,800 more architectural assistants, and they cannot get them. These are official figures, from which we cannot get away. Today—right now—local authorities need 1,800 more men with technical architectural knowledge than they can get. There is no unemployment among trained men. There is not one unemployed fit qualified town planner at the present moment—not one known to the Town Planning Institute. The situation has gone so far that the Minister of Labour's Technical Personnel Committee have even stopped trying to recruit men to town planning. Also, hon. Members should not forget that there are only 313 members of the Town Planning Institute, 1,007 associates and only 501 students. If local authorities are now waiting for 1,800 technical architectural assistants and cannot get them, and if there are only the numbers I have quoted in the Town Planning Institute, what will happen if all this work is attempted to be completed within three years?

Mr. Sparks (Acton)

Why cannot they get them?

Mr. Bossom

They do not exist. There is only one university in the country, namely, Durham University, which gives a degree course in town and country planning, and only nine recognised schools. As I have just said, there are only 501 students recognised by the Town Planning Institute at this moment. I obtained those official figures from the institute this morning, in order to see what were the conditions.

Mr. George Hicks (Woolwich, East)

Would these town planners agree with each other after they had submitted their plans? I am grateful to the hon. Member for bringing this matter forward. Is it necessary to have all professional planners in order to plan? When a town is planned, do the town planners agree with each other?

Mr. Bossom

I thank the hon. Member for interrupting at this moment. All he is saying is that, in view of the limited number available, they have to be divided up, not all to be made available to do one job, and that they have to agree amongst themselves, and only trained men are competent to lay out our country.

Mr. Hicks

Local governments have to do it.

Mr. Bossom

That could not work. There has to be a very high degree of training to do town planning properly. There is no getting away from the fact that to train a town planner properly needs five years at a school or university. As I have said, there are only 501 students connected with the Town Planning Institute at the moment, though there are of course some in schools. Some will have finished their training this year, some next. But are we to risk the future of London, the future form of England to inexperienced men who have not had any or sufficient training, who will only just have finished their course? Would a Cabinet Minister let a lawyer who has only just finished his course work for him as a barrister on a vital matter?

Mrs. Jean Mann (Coatbridge)

How many towns is it possible for one expert planner to plan? For instance, how many has Professor Abercrombie planned?

Mr. Bossom

I suppose- there are 20, 30 or 40 men at Professor Abercrombie's office. I think the Professor himself would agree that he has so much work to do today that he cannot do it all himself; it has to be left quite a lot to assistants.

I am sure if he were able to do it all himself he would do much better planning than his own assistants are doing. If they were capable of being the head of the firm and doing it as, well as Abercrombie, they would be heads of firms themselves, but they are not; they need more training.

Mr. Hector Hughes (Aberdeen, North)

Looking at it in the pessimistic way in which the hon. Member is looking at it, how many years does he think it will be before there are sufficient town planners in existence—5, 10 or 50 years?

Mr. Bossom

If the hon. Member had only waited a few minutes, he would have heard exactly. There is another reason why this is the condition. In the past the salaries offered to town planners were so small that people did not come into the profession. Only today there is an advertisement in the paper for two chief assistant town planners, and it offers salaries of £510 a year. These men will decide where our public buildings and our parks are to be, and I do not think they are quite the type of man upon whom we want to leave such great responsibility. We want something a little better—one of these men is for Mid-Essex than the man who will be attracted by the £510, rising to £600 a year. There is one other advertisement offering £1,400 a year for a chief town planner for Sussex. Such chief planners are exceedingly rare. They are very hard to find, and I would ask the Minister to be a little cautious in rushing this Bill through. We have to think of all that will be done by these men, because whether we like it or not their decisions will be final. We cannot change a town plan once it is settled; buildings must be put where the planners decide we are to put them, and they cannot be moved about later, or that would wreck the whole situation. Furthermore, all questions of betterment and compensation will be settled by the layout of the town planners, and as the last speaker said, we ought to have a plan covering all England. How we are to get it is the problem before us.

This Bill has been produced too quickly. There are many rough spots in it that might have been ironed out. It is being rushed through the House too quickly, and the local authorities have not had the opportunity of making themselves properly acquainted with its provisions so that they could give us the benefit of their knowledge and experience. This job cannot be done satisfactorily in three years, because the trained men do not exist. An hon. Member has just asked how long I thought it ought to be. In view of the type of training, the number of men and the increase of salary which must be given to get the right men into the profession, this plan cannot be finished under 10 years. I have had as much experience in this sort of work all over the world as anybody in this House, and I know that these plans cannot be made without the qualified men, and such men do not exist. There is no question but that it will take at least 10 years to get this done. If it is rushed there will be mistakes, which I am sure the Minister will be terribly sorry to have. He will not be able to check every plan that comes to him and there may be all sorts of grave injustices. It is not fair to the country to try to force upon it a plan made in three years by inexperienced and untrained men.

I beg of the Minister to be a little lenient on this matter of the three years period that he is now insisting upon. I wish he had been here while I was giving the actual figures of the number of men available and the possibility of training new men. I think that if he had been here he would have agreed with what I said, because I know he wants to do a good job. So do we all, on whatever side of the House we sit; we want a master plan to be made. It is not a political issue, but concerns the future of Britain, and we want it to be well planned. I beg of him to reconsider this period of three years, because if he does not the face of our country will be wrecked, and wrecked irretrievably.

5.56 p.m.

Mr. Francis Noel-Baker (Brentford and Chiswick)

After hearing the hon. Member for Maidstone (Mr. Bossom), I rise with some diffidence to speak on such a vast and complicated subject, because I have not got behind me either the detailed experience or the years of study of a great many other hon. Members who have already spoken in this Debate. Indeed, when all but the last of the more recent Measures for town and country planning were before the House, I was studying quite other subjects in a school a few hundred yards from this House. I have, however, taken the two precautions without which the hon. Member for Hornsey (Mr. Gammans) said last night that no Member of this House was entitled to express any opinion on the subject, namely, I have done my best to study in detail the provisions of the Bill and I have also taken care to consult with members of my local authority and with representative people in my constituency.

The Parliamentary Secretary, when he was making his very moving and impressive speech, referred to areas of this country which he said had been blighted by the industrial revolution, and the hon. Member for West Wolverhampton (Mr. H. D. Hughes) spoke about the same problem last night. The hon. Member for the Drake Division of Plymouth (Mr. Medland) spoke yesterday about the effect of the blitz in devastating the centre of the city which he represents. The area which I represent did not suffer particularly from the industrial revolution, and has not suffered more than many others from the effects of the war; indeed, it is a relatively prosperous district. And yet I believe that, if any hon. Member still has doubts about the main purpose of this Bill, if I could invite him to look at the Western end of my constituency all his doubts would disappear. Brentford not very long ago was a flourishing county town, and even a few years ago there were acres of rich and fertile agricultural land not many miles from the High Street. Today a great part of that area is one of the most hideous monuments that could be imagined to the inefficiency, brutality, ugliness and unhealthiness of planning—or rather the lack of planning—by private enterprise. I hope and believe that one day the banks of the Thames opposite Kew will again become a source of beauty. health and enjoyment to the inhabitants of Brentford, as God meant them to be, and I believe that the provisions of this Bill will help towards that end. I know that these people and their representatives realise full well that they cannot do the job by themselves in isolation from the neighbouring areas. They cannot do it even in isolation from the local authorities on the other side of the river. Therefore, my local authority will welcome the setting up of a wider town planning authority. Already it has been taking the initiative in discussing with neighbouring districts joint plans for transplanting our surplus population to some areas outside London.

Naturally there is some concern locally that purely local interests should not be overridden either by the new wider planning authority or by the Minister, and there is also some concern that the administration of the Bill should be as simple as possible, and also—here I am following the hon. Member for Maidstone—that it should be carried out by properly qualified people. During his speech yesterday the Minister referred to the possibility that the provisions of this Bill might have been covered in several different Bills. I know that my own local authority will welcome the extent of consolidation that has been achieved in this Bill, because it will make the problem very much easier to deal with administratively.

There are a great many other points in the Bill about which I should like to speak. I should like to say something about the control of outdoor advertising. I think that is a long overdue Measure, and I only wish that the Minister could schedule the whole of this country as a "special control area" and abolish outdoor advertising altogether. I very much hope that one day he will do so. I should like to speak also about orders providing for the preservation of trees, woodlands and historic buildings. There was a time when the party now in Opposition claimed a kind of monopoly of interest in the subject of amenity, but that interest, as far as I can see, never went very far when it came to legislation, particularly legislation which might affect vested interests. We on this side of the House are interested in amenity because we believe that the enjoyment of beauty is and should be the right of all the ordinary people, and I only hope that one day the idea that some particular parts of this country should be considered as beauty spots while the places in which people live and work must of necessity be drab, squalid and ugly, will disappear. I believe that this Bill is the first great step towards making amenity and beauty part of the daily lives of all our citizens, in their place of work as well as in the places where they go to enjoy their holidays.

As the Minister predicted, the brunt of the Opposition's attack—and we were led to believe it was to be a major attack, though judging from the crowded and cheering benches opposite during today's Debate it seems somewhat dehydrated—that dehydrated attack has been directed in defence of the landowner, the speculator, and the business man. The hon. Member for Hornsey (Mr. Gammans), in his speech yesterday, suggested that when this Bill became law, private enterprise in the development of land might be strangled. My answer to that is quite simple. If the riverside of Brentford is a criterion of what private development can do, then the process of strangulation is many years overdue. I welcome this Bill, the power it confers, and the objects it seeks to achieve; and I am certain that under the guidance of my right hon. Friend and the Parliamentary Secretary, and the Government as a whole, it is going to achieve those objects very quickly indeed.

6.1 p.m.

Colonel Wheatley (Dorset, Eastern)

To begin with, I should like to make a few observations on the remarks of the hon. Member for Brentford and Chiswick (Mr. Noel-Baker), who said that private enterprise was responsible for ugly and overcrowded buildings. If he had seen some of the barracks in which I have had to serve, he would realise that Government Departments can put up buildings just as ugly and just as overcrowded and unhealthy. The question of betterment has been raised very often in this Debate, and particularly by hon. Members opposite. When the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. McGhee) was talking in yesterday's Debate about betterment being produced by the enterprise of the people, he was courteous enough to allow me to intervene and ask him what he meant, but he was unable to give any indication at all. There are many causes for betterment. Very often it is due to some individual or private enterprise building a new factory in an area; which in consequence leads to an increase in its population. The town has to spread out, which gives a higher value to the land. Land, like everything else, when it is in short supply and people want it, tends to go up in price. It is the same thing with any article in life. I do not suppose there are many hon. Members opposite who have not speculated at some time on the Stock Exchange. They have benefited out of it whenever they have got a chance, and thought they were being very clever. There is nothing wrong about that, and I cannot understand why, in their speeches, they regard the betterment of land as being something terrible and immoral.

Yesterday, the hon. Member for West Willesden (Mr. Viant) asked my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey (Mr. Gammans) whether he did not realise that the motives of Members on the Government side of the House were just as honest as those of Opposition Members. I accept that well-deserved compliment to Members on this side of the House, but it is hard to follow his argument, when hon. Members on the other side talk in a sort of disparaging way of any one who owns land. Members opposite seem to imply that the owners of land are all rich, and are probably Tories. Many landlords are very modest men in this world's goods, and there is many a small builder who probably started off as a bricklayer, who by his hard work and natural business acumen, has developed land and made a living thereby. Is that a dishonest thing to do, and should not these people be compensated for their business acumen? An hon. Member opposite said that there was no case for giving this £300 million to the landlords, but why should not a man, who by his own business acumen and hard work has produced betterment to a parcel of land, have some benefit?

I had a letter today from a man of this type, who had bought some heath land out of his savings in the hope that it would become more valuable than it is today. Why should he not have some compensation, and why should he not get betterment out of his foresight? I do hot want to pursue this matter any further, but I felt I could not stand up in my place without making some remark about these disparaging statements against anyone making any profit at all out of land. It is the same old bogy which we always get from the Socialists, and it makes it difficult to believe that they are honest. They are always running down anyone who is making any profit, and yet I dare say there is not a single Member opposite who sometime in his lifetime has not made a profit somehow or other, or has tried at least to do so.

I should now like to refer to the question of non-county boroughs not being permitted to carry on the work they have been doing. I find that my views on this have some support from Members opposite. In my constituency, I have the large non-county borough of Poole, with 75,000 people and an area of some 20 square miles. It has been a town-planning authority ever since planning started, and it is a great disappointment to them that, they are now to lose their powers to the county council of Dorset. Dorset is an agricultural community, Whereas Poole is a thickly populated urban and industrial part of the county. Poole pays one-third of the rates of the county, and if Poole were taken out of the county, Dorset would not be able to carry on. The House can imagine the civic pride they have in their responsibilities, which have extended ever the centuries. Under the Charter of Queen Elizabeth, Poole was designated a county entirely separate from the county of Dorset, but when the County Councils Bill came in, they sold their birthright for £1,000 a year, and lost their separate identity. They are rightly proud of their responsibilities. They have their own recorder, for instance, and their own responsibility to carry out various services. They will feel extremely disappointed that they are to lose their responsibility for town planning, which the Minister will agree they have done extremely well up to date. Why should he put that authority under a remote county council, which has no experience of urban and town planning, and consists of landowners, farmers and so forth?

I would like to support what was said by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Worthing (Brigadier Prior-Palmer) yesterday, when he asked the Minister if he would consider making a limit of population of 50,000. After all, there are many small county boroughs which have smaller populations, and it is very irritating to be a member of a big non-county borough and feel that you are not allowed to plan your own town, that it must be handed over to somebody who is remote, while, at the same time, another authority, one-third the size, have the responsibility and great pleasure of planning their own town. I think it will be found that in this matter not only Conservatives and anti-Socialists, but Socialists themselves, strongly object to the trend of legislation which is taking away from local authorities all their responsibilities. I have talked to many Socialist members of councils who have told me that they do not like this trend of present legislation. I should not dream of warning the Government of anything, but I can assure them that they will not gain in popularity by taking all responsibility from local authorities, and bringing it to Whitehall.

In most local authorities, there is great civic pride among the men who like to give their services and, in so doing, feel that they are doing their best to serve their generation. So, I strongly support the suggestion that the Minister might well consider giving delegated powers to the larger non-county boroughs to carry on the work which they have been doing so well in the past. I may not be able to persuade the right hon. Gentleman, because he rather gives us the impression, judging by his actions under the New Towns Bill, that he is a stubborn man, but I hope that he will at least not turn down this suggestion at once, that he will consider it. Although this suggestion has come mostly from these benches, it has also been put from the Government' side of the House, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will realise that there is something in the point of view that non-county boroughs, or even large urban areas which are capable of running their own town planning, should be able to carry on the work which they have done for so many years.

6.14 p.m.

Mr. Chetwynd (Stockton-on-Tees)

In view of the importance which we were led to believe the Opposition attached to this Bill, I think it should be pointed out that their biggest attendance so far today in this Debate has been 15. At one point their numbers sank to three, and now they are getting up to 15 again. Listening to the speeches from the other side, I think it is true to say that we have had very unreal opposition to this Bill. The opposition seems to be on purely tactical grounds—

Brigadier Prior-Palmer (Worthing)

On a point of Order. I would like to point out to the hon. Member that we number 29 on these benches.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Major Milner)

The hon. and gallant Gentleman is not entitled to interrupt unless the hon. Member for Stockton-on-Tees (Mr. Chetwynd) gives way, and he certainly cannot do so in that way on the pretext of a point of Order.

Brigadier Prior-Palmer

I apologise, Sir. I was under the impression that the hon. Member opposite had given way.

Mr. Chetwynd

I was making the point that the opposition was purely one of tactics, on the principle that it is better to oppose and lose than never to oppose at all. That dubious maxim is one that is applied to love, and is even more dangerous when applied to politics.

I think the terms of this Bill provide us with the necessary background against which any adequate scheme of planning can be carried out. Now that the hitherto insurmountable barrier of finance is to be removed from planning authorities, they will be better able to carry on than before. On the question of giving £300 million in compensation under this Bill, I think that if I had such a sum to give away on compassionate grounds I could have found more worthy recipients than those who will receive this money. Although the aspect of the Bill dealing with compensation is important, it is not, in my opinion, the most important part of this Measure. The most important part is that which deals with the machinery of planning. The problem facing the Minister must have been the major one of making an effective compromise between the need for getting larger areas of planning, and the need for consulting the men on the spot, at more or less parish pump level. I agree that we must have as wide a conception as possible of a planning authority, but I have certain doubts as to whether the Minister's choice of agent, the county council and the county borough council, is the best means of carrying this out.

What does my right hon. Friend mean by "county council"? Do the same powers apply to Rutland, Flint, and Westmorland, as to Lancashire, the West Riding and Middlesex? In many cases the county boundary does not coincide with what is the best area for planning purposes. Let us look at the North-East coast as an example. There, we have three counties, Northumberland, Durham and the North Riding of Yorkshire, divided by the River Tyne and the River Tees. If the county councils are the authority for planning, the river will act as a dividing line, and in my constituency, where I have one non-county borough in Dunham, and one in the North Riding of Yorkshire, if each county plans separately, one side of the river may not know what is going on, on the other side. I welcome the Minister's intention to use his fullest powers to promote joint boards for planning, and I hope he will consider the North-East coast—which is one area from the point of view of economic development, and has one tradition and social outlook—as one planning area. In these joint authorities, I think it would be advisable if the Minister could combine specific representatives from the county boroughs to sit side by side with those from non-county boroughs and county councils. In that way we could get the benefit of local democracy with the wider conceptions of planning.

This Bill is a godsend for planners, because it is giving to the expert a chance that he probably has never had before, but I am always a bit chary of trusting everything to the expert. We are dependent upon the experts to produce this plan in three years, but after the speech of the hon. Member for Maidstone (Mr. Bossom), which threw a good deal of cold water on the enthusiasm of my hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham (Mr. Braddock), I am doubtful whether we have the necessary planners available. It does not mean only people who can plan towns and buildings, but people who are well versed as social scientists and economists. I do not think that sufficient attention has been paid to the human side of planning. We can build when we have the plan. In order to make this social survey, which is essential, we need a much greater drive in the universities and different schools to get the right type of person. I would like to have seen powers in the Bill, more or less to impel the Minister to do his utmost to promote the new science of town and country planning, and, if necessary, to set up some central institution for this purpose. We must not depend only on the expert. This plan, if it is to be successful, must be related to the everyday lives of the hundreds of thousands of everyday people which it is going to affect. I welcome the assurance of the Minister that there is to be a propaganda drive by means of exhibitions, talks, and so on, to bring the principles of good planning down to the average citizen's level.

I had hoped that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would have been here, because I would like to refer briefly to a part of the world with which he is familiar. There are many beautiful spots in the County of Durham, but I can hardly imagine—and I think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would agree—that Bishop Auckland would be considered one of the most delectable places in Durham. On the North-East coast, in particular, we have suffered from every form 01 unplanned development, from blitz and blight, and we have had conurbations on each side of the Tyne, with no obvious planning whatever. We have a most depressing train journey on Teesside from Middlesbrough to Redcar; we have almost decayed villages in South-West Durham and we have many ugly slag and pit heaps. If any county could prove the need for the urgent exercise of the powers in this Bill, I think that the County of Durham would do so. I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the other Ministers whom we have from Durham—the Minister of Education represents Jarrow, a town which in itself is sufficient condemnation of the old unplanned way in which people went on in the last 50 or 60 years—if they would impress on all the authorities the necessity for making full use of the powers in this Bill to acquire land and get financial help from the Treasury to bring beauty back to these areas. If we consider what the people in Durham did during the war years in the mines and shipyards, I think that we owe them something more than the kind of environment which they have at present.

In conclusion, I am concerned as to what will be the physical aspect of this country in 10, 20 or 50 years. This Bill will decide that for good or ill in the next three, four or five years. It gives us the opportunity to set the pattern of our country and to enable all our citizens to enjoy a much fuller and freer life. The Bill, in my opinion, is an inspiration and a challenge. I am confident that the Minister, with his knowledge, ability and enthusiasm, will provide the inspiration which, in the end, will overcome the challenge.

6.24 p.m.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley (Aberdeen and Kincardine, Western)

I think that most of us in the House were in agreement with one part of the speech of the hon. Member for Stockton-on-Tees (Mr. Chetwynd). Most of us would agree that there will be a great need for a new generation of planners—of young, enthusiastic experts who are trained in planning in its widest sense, ready to take up the new career which opens up before them. I would not go quite as far as the hon. Gentleman, and urge the Minister, as he did, to put in the Bill something about the need for new organisations. I do not think that it is necessary to start any new organisations. I think that the organisations already exist—the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Town Planning Institute and other organisations—and I am quite certain that the promise of a useful and interesting career, at a fair remuneration, will attract sufficient new entrants in the future. What I am unhappy about—in spite of the reassurance which I know the Parliamentary Secretary intended to give to the House on this point—is the possibility that we may overburden our experts during the next five-year period. We have lost a great many first-class men in the war, through one cause and another, and the profession will be greatly overworked.

I am grateful for having caught your eye, Mr. Speaker, for although this Bill applies directly only in part to Scotland—in those parts under which the Central Land Board is set up, and in the fact that some unknown proportion of the £300 million compensation for depreciation of land values will in due course accrue to Scotland—yet, indirectly, it cannot fail to have an enormous affect upon the legislation which is likely to be brought forward in the next few months to deal with the Scottish problem. It is inevitable that the lines on which this problem is settled for England and Wales will be followed when we come to discuss the town and country planning of Scotland. I want, therefore, to speak briefly from that point of view, and also from the point of view of one who is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and who has spent a great deal of his life in valuing land and other property. I do not think that this Bill is, by any means, all bad—not by any means; and, in particular, I welcome the fact that it places the obligation to prepare a plan within three years fairly and squarely upon the shoulders of the planning authority. To that extent it may do something—I know that it is intended to do something—to overcome the danger into which I think we were drifting—of accepting interim development procedure as a permanency.

Secondly, I welcome this Bill because I think that it goes a long way to straighten out the tangle of legislation, into which we have got ourselves. Ribbon development, bypass bungalows, seaside chalets, are, in all conscience, bad enough in themselves, but the unfortunate surveyor and valuer, the property owner and the lawyer were at times tempted to feel that the labyrinth of legislation into which their prevention had led us was almost worse than the cause.

This Bill has some bad aspects. It is upon one or two of those aspects which I think are very bad in this Bill that I wish to speak quite frankly. The first thing, as I see it, is that the Government now accept the idea that the basis of compensation to owners should not be the amount of their loss, but should be a share of a global figure worked out on a not very well defined basis. What I would rather see, which is perfectly practical, would be a piecemeal valuation in every case with appropriate downward adjustments in respect of the floating value. I do not think it would be impossible to arrive at this figure. The Minister in his most interesting speech yesterday gave us, I think, an indication of the kind of way his mind is working about how that £300 million was made up. He told us that between 1927 and 1937 no less than 60,000 acres of land a year were lost by agriculture to building and other kinds of development. That must mean that in each of those ten years no less than 60,000 acres of land had development value and were used for development of some kind or another.

The Minister of Town and Country Planning (Mr. Silkin)

I should like to correct that. The figure I gave of land development value was 40,000 acres, the 15,000 acres being for other purposes not relevant to this particular issue.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

The amount is not important; what is important to the argument I am trying to advance is that there is a basis which it should be possible to ascertain fairly clearly, if we like, on the average of the past corrected by the expectations of the future. If we take that figure and the average development value which the Minister suggested to us, in that way we arrive at the factor by which the piecemeal valuation should be corrected to give an actual valuation in each case. I put that forward because I believe it would be a much fairer way inasmuch as I believe that it is frightfully difficult to arrive at anything which is fair under this global method.

Why not—and the Minister put this question in order to answer it himself though to my mind he did not answer it satisfactorily or at any rate to my satisfaction—appoint an expert committee to go into the whole matter? The Minister's answer, if I understood him aright, was that there would not be available to such a committee any more data than the Minister has available to himself at the moment. That is perfectly true, because all the data that are available must be presumably in the books of the district valuers, because that is the main source of information of this kind. But much more than data is required. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester (Mr. W. S. Morrison) said, there is an advantage in having an independent tribunal considering this matter, examining witnesses and any representations which are made to it and weighing the evidence which is placed before it. There is another great advantage in having some kind of independent tribunal or committee of that kind and that is it would make a report to the Minister, which, in due course presumably, if the usual precedents are followed, would be published.

If the Government will not accept a suggestion of that kind—and I do not think it is too late for it—then I would suggest that they should publish a White Paper which will give the details by which they arrive at this figure of £300 million. I want to say this with all sincerity, that if the Government are trying to be fair the important thing is not only to be fair but for the people to see that the Govern- ment are being fair. They cannot do that if they produce figures out of a hat without giving any more justification than I am quite sure the Chancellor of the Exchequer is going to give at ten o'clock tonight, which we shall not be able to debate, because it will be too late.

The next thing about which I want to speak is what I regard as a bad feature of this Bill and a very bad one indeed—the unjustifiable anomaly of the 1939 price. Many speakers have spoken on that point, and I think it is right that many speakers should speak on it because we feel strongly about the matter. The Uthwatt Committee recommended that the March, 1939, standard of values—not, mark you, the price—should be the basis, to quote from the Report, during such period … as would enable the long term policy of planning to be determined, and any alteration in the present principles governing compensation to be brought into force. It is now proposed to pay the 1939 prices in respect not only of land which is compulsorily acquired for planning purposes, but in respect also of the prohibition of certain specified development. Here indeed is high handed treatment—here is the iron hand in the Silkin glove, or perhaps the dead hand of Dr. Dalton banging upon the Cabinet Table as he emphasises his policy of allotting only such compensation as would salve the consciences of the unscrupulous.

The proposal that public authorities should be able to acquire property at less than market value is unjust, and I would go further than that. Even if it were right to relate for a further limited period the value of property compulsorily acquired to 1939 prices, it cannot be right to relate compensation in respect of town planning restrictions to this prewar standard, because the loss to the owner in these cases is what he is prevented from doing now and not what he was unable to do in 1939. This is an anomaly which can neither be defended, I suggest, on grounds of logic nor of justice. The sooner we see the restoration of open market value—and by that I mean the value which was laid down in the Acquisition of Land (Assessment of Compensation) Act, 1919, the better for all concerned.

We are separated from March, 1939, by years of war and social and economic upheavals almost without parallel in our history. I myself was valuing until 1939. I have not done so since. I have been at the war and I have been doing other things, but looking back now I would find it most frightfully difficult, even if I had the records in my office, to remember the values in 1939. One looks up a sale and sees that a certain property changed hands at such and such a value—the Minister knows how it is done and that there are special circumstances in many instances which have to be weighed before one can arrive at the real value in a particular case. All those are reminiscences of the past, but I think that this Measure is placing a dreadful handicap on the young man who is the person we want to encourage to come in to the profession. It is all right for those elderly gentlemen who have been at it for a very long time and remember their values since they were valuing long before 1939 and can go back to 1939 values and be pretty sure that they were right. But what this Bill is doing—although I do not believe that it is intentional—is to give an enormous advantage to the Inland Revenue valuers, because the district valuers will very soon be the only people who have complete records of all these transactions and a note of the circumstances which surrounded every sale from 1931 onwards. The Government are placing in their hands something which they can use against the private man. As I have said, I am quite certain that this was not intended, but it will nevertheless be the effect, which is unfortunate to say the least.

I would add my word to the pleas that have been made and would draw attention to a resolution passed by the Council of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors—the body which is most concerned with these things—at their meeting held on 2nd December, 1946, before this Bill was published. The resolution was: That, on the Report of the Parliamentary Committee, the Council adopted the view that compensation for land (except land subject to war d nage) which was compulsorily acquired for public purposes should be the amount which the land, if sold in the open market by a willing seller might be expected to realise. That, I suggest, is a condemnation from the experts of the 1939 prices provision.

I have spoken about some of the shortcomings of the Bill as I see them. In a speech which the House enjoyed, the Parliamentary Secretary said that he thought there could be no serious objection to the purposes of the Bill, and with that I entirely agree. I think that the Bill is the logical outcome of the Town and Country Planning Acts which have preceded it from 1909 onwards, of the reports from the Barlow Report to the Uthwatt Report, and of the White Paper of 1944. I believe that if we on these benches had been His Majesty's present advisers we should have introduced a Bill which, so far as concerns the planning proposals, would have been on the same general lines as the Measure which we now have before us. But for reasons which are given in the reasoned Amendment which has been moved this afternoon we cannot give our consent to Second Reading without calling attention to the serious defects which mar an otherwise imaginative, comprehensive and useful Measure.

6.45 p.m.

Mr. Gibson (Kennington)

I should like to begin by congratulating the Minister on the speech which he made yesterday and, in particular for being able—although it took over two hours to deal with the Bill—to hold the attention of the House of Commons the whole time. I thought that that was a tribute to his knowledge and to the work which he has put into the preparation of this Bill, and whatever might be one's views on some of the details, I think this recognition is due to the Minister of Town and Country Planning for the careful and comprehensive way in which he explained the Bill in his speech yesterday.

I have been finding it very difficult to understand just what line the Opposition are taking on this Bill. Nearly every hon. Member who has spoken from the benches opposite has begun by saying that he agrees that there is need for new town planning legislation, but has then proceeded to spend the rest of the time saying how bad this Bill is, how poor is the compensation provided to landowners, and generally tearing it to pieces. I think it must be agreed that the state into which the towns and villages of this country have fallen since the beginning of the industrial revolution makes it absolutely essential that there should be effective town planning powers capable of bringing about the conditions which will abolish the ugliness, squalor and inefficiency which Victorian England built up in all our towns and many of our villages.

Sir William Darling (Edinburgh, South)


Mr. Gibson

I repeat; ugliness, squalor and inefficiency, and I hope that the powers which this Bill gives will be used drastically and will permit the replanning of Britain to be undertaken in a way which will improve the conditions of life and work of the people of this country. As those of us who have served on town planning committees know, there was urgent need for a Measure which would give the planning authorities positive powers rather than the purely negative ones which they have had in the past. There is also need for powers to deal rapidly with the land problem in this country, and I should like to say a word or two about that. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Penistone (Mr. McGhee) who said that the planning provisions in this Bill are very good. They are excellent, and they go further than any other planning Bill has gone in the history of this country in providing effective powers. But, as the hon. Gentleman said, this Bill has all the attributes of the parson's egg in some respects. It is a pity that, mixed up in a Bill to give local authorities planning powers, there should be what I regard as completely unnecessary compensation to the landowners.

As I have said, the Bill provides assistance and effective powers for the planning authorities, and I know that the associations of local authorities in this country are glad that these powers have been given to them. I think it right that the powers should have been given to the counties and county boroughs. I do not agree with those of my hon. Friends who have been arguing for the continuance of the powers in the hands of the existing planning authorities. I think that an unbiased examination of the work done by planning authorities in this country proves the need for a larger authority covering a much bigger slice of the country if effective planning is to be achieved. I am, therefore, glad that the Bill provides that the counties and county boroughs shall be the planning authorities, and that where it is necessary in the interests of good planning joint authorities of neighbouring counties or county boroughs may be set up.

I would like to urge the Minister not to be lured by the siren voice of the City of London which we heard yesterday. There is really no justification for the City of London having planning power within the County of London, except a sentimental interest in its ancient history. There are times when I am quite prepared to defend the City of London—when I think of its history—but anyone who has had any experience of the attempt to get good and effective planning done in London must realise that it is impossible to have right in the middle of the County of London one square mile with its own powers to do exactly as it likes on planning matters. As this Bill proposes, those powers should be thrown into the powers of the County Council itself. The Bill makes good provision for the City to be consulted. I do not wish to oppose that, but I think the Minister has been much more tender to the susceptibilities of the City than he ought to have been. I hope he will stand firm on the point that the planning authority for the County of London must be the County Council. There is no more justification for granting the City these powers than there is for granting each of the 28 London borough councils the same powers, and it would be utterly impossible to get any effective planning for the whole of the County of London if we had 28 or 29 authorities. There must be one only, and I hope that on this point the City of London will not press their claim, and if they do, I hope the Minister will resist it.

This Bill is a good one because it provides not only wider powers but the means of flexibly working those powers. It is possible to adjust plans which are prepared to suit changing circumstances and conditions, and to do it without the long drawn out inquiries and consideration required under existing legislation. I am glad that the Bill provides for additional grants to local authorities replanning large blitzed areas. Those of us who live in towns which have been badly blitzed, as London has, know what a tremendous burden the replanning of our blitzed areas is and how the fact of that financial burden has very often held back effective consideration for early action in the replanning and rebuilding of those areas. This Bill 'provides much greater assistance and should enable the authorities in all the blitzed towns to go ahead with confidence in replanning and rebuilding. I am also glad that the Bill provides wider powers for replanning areas which were not blitzed but are obsolete, worn out and unfit for human beings to live in on any modern standard, and that substantial State grants are to be made to ease the burden which local authorities will have in that connection.

There are two other points on the planning side of this Bill which I would ask the Minister to consider. Under the Uthwatt Committee's Report it was proposed that a non-conforming user should be given a life and at the end of that life, it should be abolished without compensation being paid. I am not clear under the terms of this Bill whether when a nonconforming user comes to an end or if it is decided that the non-conforming user is against national interest in planning, the local authority concerned will be involved in heavy compensation payments. I hope the Minister will deal with that point and say whether it is not possible to give some assurance to the local authorities on that matter.

Another point is the making of regulations. I have no objection in principle to the Bill providing that the Minister shall make regulations but there are quite a number of Clauses giving the Minister power to make regulations all of which will seriously affect the work of the local authorities. I suggest the Minister should give an undertaking to consult with the local authorities when he is drafting regulations and before they are issued in their final form. If he can do that he will find the enthusiastic cooperation of the local authorities of this country in an effort to make this Bill a real success during the next ten or 15 years.

I want to refer to the portion of the Bill dealing with compensation and betterment. My view is that this Bill could have been passed through this House and become effective in the country without including the Clauses dealing with so-called compensation and betterment. I have very serious doubts whether anybody can separate development values from the value of land. It is certainly true that it has not been possible under past legislation for local authorities to gather to themselves the betterment which might accrue from any of their schemes. I therefore regard the £300 million provided for under the Bill as a completely free gift to the landowners of this country without any justification whatsoever. Indeed, I have already heard the Bill described in this House as the Town and Country Bounty Bill, and it seems to me that that is so for the landowners. I was amazed to find that in dealing with compensation and betterment in his speech the Minister should justify it on the ground that it was something better than even the Coalition Government had put forward. I will quote what he said: In this respect the Bill is broadly in line with the recommendation of the Uthwatt Committee and is considerably more favourable to the owners of land than the proposals in the Coalition White Paper."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th January, 1947; Vol. 432, c. 977.] To me and a very large number of other hon. Members that is no justification for the proposals. I hope that these Clauses will be drastically reconsidered before they reach the Statute Book. There has been a suggestion that we must do justice to this, that and the other person, and one or two hon. Members opposite have talked about doing justice to landowners. It is nearly time that justice was done to the common people of this country in this matter of the land problem and I hope that the House will decide not to give this free gift. It is a little difficult to understand how the figure gets in at all because the Bill provides that there shall be no legal right to compensation and then provides the sum of £300 million to give compensation if hardship can be proved.

I have been trying to imagine what kind of hardship a landowner suffers if his development rights are taken away, and I have been unable to think how it would affect the small owner-occupier in any way, though I can imagine how it would affect some of the big landowners in the City of London. In my view, development values are not created by, the landowner and never have been and, in fact, the landowner as such cannot create such values. They are created by the community, by the coming together of men and women who live there, by the efforts which the community, through the local authority and through the State, makes so that it is possible for men and women to live in a reasonable standard of comfort. Such development values ought not to go into private pockets; they ought to come into the common purse directly.

May I give the House one illustration, of many, as to why development values ought to come back into the common purse rather than go into the pockets of private landowners? The London County Council round about 1930 rebuilt Lambeth Bridge, which is not far from this House. Before that bridge was rebuilt the area of land at both ends of the bridge was in a terrible state of development and, because of the poor bridge facilities, if a heavy vehicle had gone over it, Lambeth Bridge would have collapsed into the river.

Sir W. Darling

Would the hon. Gentleman allow me to interrupt? Which was the bridgemaking authority?

Mr. Gibson

If the hon. Gentleman will listen, he will perhaps get the point. The London County Council decided to rebuild the bridge—

Sir W. Darling

With the ratepayers' money.

Mr. Gibson

—at a cost of £839,000. The hon. Gentleman says it was with the ratepayers' money. Of that money £102,500 went directly into the pockets of the landowners for easements and the purchase of land at both ends of Lambeth Bridge. I think that was wrong, but that is not the point I want to make. Directly as a result of that public improvement, paid for by public money, the value of land at both ends of the bridge increased enormously.

Sir W. Darling


Mr. Gibson

I have the support of "The Times" of 19th March, 1930, for that statement for, on that date, after referring to the great development in the neighbourhood, it pointed out that it is the building of Lambeth Bridge that has stimulated this land development, and has so enormously increased neighbouring values. The Duke of Westminster had nothing whatever to do with the increase of those values, no private landowner had anything to do with it; they were created entirely by the community, and I say that such values ought to come back into the public purse.

Sir W. Darling

What about Schedule "A"?

Mr. Gibson

There is no justification for giving a bonus of £300 million to landowners to compensate them for what are called development values which are taken from them, as is provided in this Bill, and the. proper thing to do is either to nationalise the land—which I think should be done—or, alternatively, to put a heavy land tax on all land values and let all improvements in land values come back into the public purse. I regret very much that line has not been taken, and that compensation is included in the way it is.

I believe this is a good Bill so far as its planning provisions are concerned. It is clear to anybody who is not completely blinded to the fact that good planning at an early date is essential in all our towns and villages, but it is equally clear that good planning cannot finally succeed unless we bring the land of this country under the ownership and control of the common people. Therefore, while I welcome enthusiastically the planning proposals in this Bill, and I hope they will be adopted and perhaps improved as the Bill goes through the Committee stage, I regret very much that a Bill of this kind, which I believe to be of such enormous benefit to the people of this country, has mixed up with it land proposals which are very difficult for some of us to support. I have very great respect for the Minister. I served as his vice-chairman on one of the important committees at the County Hall for over five years, and I know the energy and enthusiasm he brings to all his work. I hope that, before we reach the Third Reading, some step may have been taken so that it is possible for some of us to ease our consciences on this matter.

7.7 p.m.

Mr. Stanley Prescott (Darwen)

The right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Town and Country Planning took over two hours in moving the Second Reading of this Bill. I have no complaint that he occupied so much of the time of the House, because this is a very long and complicated Measure. May I say at the outset how very clearly I thought he put the House in the position of realising the important issues included in this Bill? I could address the House tonight for a long time concerning this Bill, for I have always been interested in town and country planning. I should tell the House that until the outbreak of war I was actively engaged as a member of the Bar in town and country planning matters. I no longer practise, so I have not a professional interest in the Bill, I am interested in one aspect of the Bill, however, in so far as I happen to be a member of the Court of Common Council of the City of London.

There are many points in this Bill upon which I would wish to address the House, but tonight, Mr. Speaker, if I may, with your concurrence and the kind attention of the House, I will direct my observations to one point, namely, as to whether the Corporation of the City of London should or should not be entitled to retain its town planning powers. I listened with interest—not to the whole speech, for I was out part of the time, but to the major part of the speech of the hon. Member for Kennington (Mr. Gibson), who has great experience of town planning matters as a member of the London County Council and, I think I am right in saying, as the Chairman of the Housing Committee. Therefore, he speaks with great authority on these matters, and hon. Members in all parts of the House always listen with great interest and attention to those who address us who have personal experience of the matters on which they speak. I, therefore, crave the indulgence of the House because I myself have personal experience with regard to the City of London and with regard to the work of the Common Council. I noted the observations of the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Town and Country Planning with regard to the great importance of the Corporation of the City of London and the part it should play in the future. I wish to make a plea that the Court of Common Council and the Corporation of the City of London should be able under this Bill to retain their town planning powers. I am specially interested in the prestige and privilege and tradition of the ancient City of London, but I do not confine my plea tonight merely to those grounds; I would adduce much more practical grounds why I think the Corporation should be entitled to retain their town planning powers. It is a fact that the City of London is an entity unto itself. Physically it is an entity unto itself, and I would respectfully submit that those who are elected to the Corporation of the City of London are best able and equipped to know what is in the interests of the City from a town planning point of view.

I entirely agree that the City cannot live unto itself. It cannot plan unto itself. Its plan must be integrated with the plan for the whole of Greater London. That must be obvious, and acknowledged by everyone who has any experience of town planning matters. My plea is not that the Corporation should be enabled to produce a plan which will suit the City but may have no connection or integration with the plan for London as a whole. I would not be so stupid as to make a suggestion of that kind. The Corporation desire that their plan should be the best for the City of London, and that it should also fit in with the plans of the L.C.C., and the Metropolitan boroughs, to produce for Greater London as a whole the best possible town planning structure. That is our desire and intention-. As the Minister knows, we are producing a plan which should be completed and ready in April.

I believe the two eminent gentlemen producing that plan were appointed at the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman. I am told that it is an exceptionally good plan, which we hope will-meet with approval. It must not only meet with the approval of the right hon. Gentleman, but with the approval of the London County Council, because it must be such a plan as will not only suit the City but London as a whole. Therefore, we desire most fully to co-operate with the London County Council and with the right hon. Gentleman. We gave instructions to the two eminent gentlemen to produce the plan, and I am told that it is a plan which will command general acceptance. I see the right hon. Gentleman nods his head. We have discharged a very large part of the duties of a town planning authority.

Mr. Silkin

I do not want my nod to be misinterpreted. I was not nodding acquiescence, but in order to show that I was listening to the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Prescott

Let us take it that the right hon. Gentleman was nodding his understanding of what I said, but not necessarily agreeing with what I said. This plan is almost complete, and we have almost discharged the whole of our functions as a town planning authority. It is a little hard that at this stage it should be proposed that in future we should no longer be a town planning authority. We wish to cooperate with the London County Council, and no plan for the City would be a proper plan unless it fits in with the plans for Greater London, and with comprehensive planning. Not on the grounds of prestige and position, but from the practical point of view, we say this Bill is inadequate in this matter and we ought to be allowed to retain those powers we have had in the past, to exercise them for the benefit of London as a whole. In the future we would exercise them with even greater alacrity than in former days. My plea is that this Bill qua the City of London might receive further consideration by the right hon. Gentleman and hon. Members opposite. May I say how pleased I am at the way in which the House has listened to my observations? I do not speak for prestige and privilege, but for what I think right for the City of London as a whole.

In reply to the hon. Member for Kennington who asked why, if the City of London were a town planning authority, that should not equally apply to the 28 Metropolitan boroughs, I would point out that we are already a town planning authority, and the 28 Metropolitan boroughs are not. We are having something taken away from us, but the Metropolitan boroughs are not having anything taken away from them. We claim that there would be no detriment from a town planning point of view if we retained our powers. It would be an advantage to town planning as a whole if we were permitted to retain them, subject to any plan for the City being such as to fit in with the plan for London as a whole.

Mr. Silkin

And subject to the approval of the London County Council?

Mr. Prescott

I cannot go into Committee points. I cannot bind the Corporation on this, but, expressing my personal point of view, I would say that any plan which was produced would be such as would meet with approval by the London County Council, and it would have to fit in with the plans for Greater London. I do not think there would be any difficulty in devising machinery whereby that happy result could be achieved. I thank hon. Members for the way in which they have listened to me, and I hope they will think further on this matter, and consider that our plan is not only the best for us, but that it will be the best for the whole of London.

7.17 p.m.

Mrs. Jean Mann (Coatbridge)

I have listened with great interest to the speeches from the other side of the House. Were J not already convinced that this is a thoroughly good Bill, the speeches I have heard would certainly have succeeded in convincing me how wonderful it really is. The opposition has been exceedingly weak. It has been worse than that, it has been very partisan and sectionally minded. I wonder what they would think if hon. Members opposite could see their speeches collected together and handed over to their constituents. One hon. Member spoke of "the people affected" and went on to explain that those people are the owners. Other hon. Members make no bones about it and say that they are the owners. Surely, the people affected under this Bill are the 45 million people living in these islands who are more overcrowded than any other people in Europe. They alone are the people who are affected under this Bill. Yet, Opposition speakers have concentrated on "their people," meaning their own sectional interests.

Their speeches have also taken a sordid turn, and have been concerned with, "How much money can we get?" The landowners of this country should be the last ever to raise the question of the money of the taxpayers of this country. Even while they slept, during every minute of the night the values of their land were soaring.

Sir W. Darling

Or falling.

Mrs. Mann

They cannot even tell us that "the labourer is worthy of his hire," because they neither laboured nor did they hire, yet "Solomon in all his glory was never arrayed like these."

Sir W. Darling

That was before the Board of Trade was established, with coupons.

Mrs. Mann

At their last annual conference the party of the hon. Members opposite proclaimed themselves the custodians of Christianity. May I present them with the 24th Psalm, 1st verse: The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; or the Book of Leviticus: The land shall not be sold for ever, for the land is Mine; or the preacher in Ecclesiastes who says: The profit of the earth is for all. How, in face of these quotations, can hon. Members support their plea that they are the upholders and defenders of Christianity in this country?

This has been a long awaited Measure. I was surprised to hear the right hon. Member for Cirencester (Mr. W. S. Morrison) say what he did say about this Bill being "brash." I used to regard him as an expert on town planning, as one who realised the faults and frailties of each town planning Measure since 1919, firstly, that in 1919 introducing compulsory planning, which was then withdrawn and others substituted restoring laissez faire. It is the old question—money. Again, we have the 1944 Act and commission after commission before that. There was the Uthwatt Report as a result of the Barlow recommendations. Hon. Members know how they refused to face up to the crucial aspect of the Uthwatt recommendations, and gave us another Act in 1944 which could only succeed in patchwork planning, in suburban sprawl. Everyone regrets suburban sprawl, but it is occasioned by necessity, because local authorities dare not clear up the centre of their cities, dare not really plan, because it has always been prohibitive. The right hon. Gentleman actually told us about how the Bill penalises the man who wants to make two blades of grass grow where only one grew before, the man who wants to put two houses where only one house was before. I wonder if by any chance he was tilting at the density. If so, I should think it is a crime to put two houses into, let us say, 900 superficial square feet. The point is whether it is a good thing to put two houses into the space of one. It the city from which I come there are 700 persons to the acre, and there are about four square miles with densities of from 400 to 700 persons to the acre. I think and hope that that is the worst in Great Britain. but we find those densities everywhere.

The fact is that Abercrombie stumbled against the problem in the London Plan, and much to his regret he had to accept, as a compromise, densities of 200 to the acre. So if it is a good thing that a man should build two houses where only one house was before, I take it that the right hon. Gentleman regards it as good that 700 should be housed to the acre. But the question is entirely one of density and the Bill is entirely one for opening up, for lessening the density, for enabling local authorities to plan new towns and site them properly. I think it was the hon. Member for Maidstone (Mr. Bossom) who spoke about the lack of planners. Presumably, he thinks that planners are architects who have served through the Town Planning Institute, and that nothing will be done because we have not got planners. I have never been a planner in that sense of the term, but I have seen in my city time and again buildings that ought to be removed in order to give us nothing but an open space. Sociologists are surely planners, and surely we could get ahead with making breathing lungs in our cities to provide playing fields, playing spaces? I have sat in court morning after morning, taking cases of juvenile delinquency—youngsters who have committed a crime actually because they have played football or some game in a back yard. The crime was committed by the people who put up the value of land, making it quite impossible for local authoritities to provide open spaces.

If I might venture a criticism on this Bill, it is in respect of what I consider the vast sum of money laid down for compensation. If these landowners had actually expended any energy or done anything, we should have had a different position to consider, but if one traces the land owned in this country from Tom Johnston's "Our Noble Families," or, prior to that, compensation is due to the people of this country, not by the people of this country. My other criticism of my right hon. Friend's speech concerns the statement that no industry would be allowed to settle in these new towns or new estates unless the Board of Trade approved. I wonder whether the Board of Trade are the town planners, or whether it is the Minister who is the town planner. Those of us who know anything about sociology know that the people follow industry and that houses have to be built for the people near their. work. Therefore, if the Board of Trade decide to recongest the redevelopment areas with industry we shall have all the evils of the past repeated again. I hope that it will be realised that when new towns or centres are opened up industry will have to go out, and I should like to see the Minister operate a little dictation in that respect.

It has been my privilege to visit quite a number of the capitals of Europe this year. I have been in France, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden, and I have met and talked with town planners. From my talks with them I know that in no country in Europe is town planning being tackled in the vigorous, courageous fashion in which it is being tackled in this country by this Government and by our Minister. I say, "God speed the Bill," and the people will be exceedingly proud of it.

7.30 p.m.

Sir William Darling (Edinburgh, South)

This is to me a very interesting Debate because of the personality of the Minister. It is quite obvious that he is one of those rarely happy men who has found, in a cause or purpose, something which fills his imagination and his life. I could not fail to be impressed by the lucid and effective exposition he gave of town and country planning. The Silkin Code may take its place with the Code of Napoleon in political history, and the credit shall certainly be his. I approach this matter not with the enthusiasms of the hon. Lady the Member for Coatbridge (Mrs. Mann), who has given many years, in Scotland and elsewhere, to the subject of town planning. I approach it from a very different, and perhaps much less satisfactory, point of view. I have no great confidence in planning at all, or at least in the kind of planning which is superimposed here as a result of three Royal Commissions and a good deal of mental excitement on behalf of the majority who are controlling the destinies of this country.

I am not carried away by the untidiness and irregularity, the ugliness, if hon Members prefer it, of the confusion of our city and country life. I think on the whole that this is a very pleasant, agreeable and variegated little land. It seems to me extremely snobbish of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen who are engaged in denigrating this country. The population is something like 45,000,000. But for the Victorian age, which was so offensively referred to by the hon. Member for Kennington (Mr. Gibson), this present generation would not be in being at all. They would not have been born and the population of this island would still be 12 or 14 millions. This is a barren island which has few resources of natural wealth which we are able to exploit, and certainly has few resources for the maintenance of a large population, except by the individual energy and skill of its trading and commercial population.

I understand the feeling of persons who come perhaps a little new to political matters. It is the proud claim of the Government that on their Benches the age is much younger than that of the average Member of the Opposition. I imagine that I know how the right hon. Gentleman the Minister feels. We had quotations from the hon. Lady the Member for Coatbridge which were remarkable for their inaccuracy. The Old Testament is not part of Christian doctrine. It is the New Testament which is the heart of Christian doctrine. I want to quote, too. A quotation which I would like to offer to the House is one which I think particularly applies to the Minister and those who share his impatience about the unplanned character of our country: Ah! Love, coaldst thou and I with Fate onspire To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire, Would not we Shatter it to Bits, and Then Remould it nearer to the Heart's Desire?

Mr. Berry (Woolwich, West)

Did I understand the hon. Member to attribute that to an English poet? The poet was Omar Khayyam.

Sir W. Darling

I would attribute it to an English poet, and correctly. Omar Khayyam is a fanciful figure and what I quoted was from Edward Fitzgerald. If my hon. Friend wants to correct any quotations would he consider addressing his erudition to the hon. Lady who represents Coatbridge, who thought her quotations were from the New Testament when they were from the Old, and vice versa? The Minister and those who share his views would like to take this sorry scheme, as he sees it, shatter it to bits and remould it nearer to his heart's desire.

How does he set about undertaking this great responsibility? We have three years in which to do this, three crowded years in a country which barely is paying its way and, in the opinion of some, is well nigh bankrupt. This great plan is to be evolved in that comparatively short time when labour resources are limited. Certainly, the number of intelligent persons who can address their minds to the problem of planning is much more limited still. Town planning is not a thing invented by the Independent Labour Party or their successors, the present Labour Government. Town planning is as old as history. I represent a city which was planned before Socialism was thought of or even defined, and a well planned city it is. Reference has been made to the City of Edinburgh which was planned, as hon. Gentlemen opposite would say, by private capitalism, planned by persons greedily seeking a profit; but in their search for this greedy profit, which seems so deplorable to the modern planners, they created beautiful, well planned cities which are models to the world today. If that is true of Edinburgh it is equally true of Bath and many other cities.

It is to me revolting and repulsive to see men and women who are citizens of this great country denigrating their country as if it were not good enough for them to live in or fight for. This country which has been so badly planned, indifferently managed, racked by capitalism and ruined by landlords' greed, has fought two wars and produced a manhood and a womanhood second to none. "By their fruits"—if I may quote the New Testament this time—"ye shall know them." Will this planned paradise produce a better race than this unplanned paradise indeed has produced? I doubt it. It is a significant fact that the nations in Europe which stood up against the late enemy, which fought against the tyranny of Germany, and fought most readily, were not the planned peoples. They were not the over-planned Danes, not Norwegians, sated with social services; they were the ill-planned, tenacious, pugnacious, stupid English, Scots and Welsh. It was not the produce of a streamlined system with high birth statistics. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food thinks highly of that free milk distributed to people living in ideal homes. It was not necessarily from that kind of community that the vital resistance came to the enemies of freedom. It came from this ill-planned residue of Victorian ugliness and mismanagement.

It is not true that this theory—which I profoundly regret is accepted in all parts of the House—that planning by Government, through bureaucracy, is somehow better than the kind of planning which self-seeking persons, pursu- ing their own interests, somehow manage to achieve. This country has been created by these tens of thousands, millions, of people each in their own individual way seeking what they believe to be their advantage; but in the aggregate their search for their advantage produced a collective advantage which made this country at one time the richest and most prosperous in the world. It is that system of millions of persons seeking their own advantage which the Government intend to throw away for a planning board under the direction of the Minister himself. It is a planning board which, it seems to me we are not in a position to man at present.

I return to my own city again. We have had two reports on planning—the Clyde Report and the Abercrombie Report. Can anything be done in the matter? Of course, nothing can be done. Where are the labour and material? Can any other authority aet more actively than we can? The only great change which has taken place in the mighty City of London during the last 10 years has been the building of the Waterloo Bridge. As the House knows, that was built against the wishes of the Government and by the ratepayers of the London County Council. It defied the central planning authority.

A friend of mine after a long life of four score years, a life given to piety and good works, said to me not many days ago, "I have one observation to make at the end of my career and it is: How difficult it is to do good." This Town and Country Planning Bill is an opportunity to do good but it is a sterile opportunity. It will not go very far. It will satisfy the frustrations and anxieties of the busybodies who man the benches opposite, to a large extent, and who want to feel they are doing something and getting on with the job. But does anyone believe that ten years from now much that is in this document will ever have materialised? I do not believe it will be, because there is not that thrust or drive which a free and responsible private enterprise puts behind all it does. What is the drive behind this? The Minister and a political majority, and a number of busybodies with varying degrees of activity in local authorities. That is the drive behind this Bill. It seems to me a very unlikely dynamo for generating anything at all.

I am sorry there is no representative of Scotland here in the important place where Scotland should be represented—the Government Front Bench. This Bill is to be applied to Scotland; at any rate, a similar Measure for Scotland, says the White Paper, will be issued later. Scotland has been warned. We know that a Bill will be imposed upon us, but I hope that, when this Bill is produced, we shall learn something which does apply TO Scotland, which is at present very concerned about the fact that it is deeply underpopulated. The hon. Lady the Member for Coatbridge referred to crowded towns, but she must know that we have vast open spaces in Scotland in which we might well take some of the seven or eight redundant millions of the London County Council. One of the absurdities of the situation is that the London County Council is steadily adding to the number of people in its area, which overburdens the whole problem of the distribution of population. I hope that, when we come to the Scottish Bill, we shall have from the Secretary of State a Measure which is more likely to attempt to remedy that very important matter.

There are a number of very simple observations one might make on this subject, but I am more concerned to say why I support the Amendment standing in the names of my right hon. Friends. I am not a supporter of this Bill. I am an independent opponent of all large-scale, centralised, bureaucratic planning. I do not believe in it, because it has not worked and does not work. I do not believe in all these powers being given to the Minister. I believe in the decentralisation of these powers, and that the nearer we are to the people—and this should commend itself to my bureaucratic friends—the more we get a response from the people as to what the people want. I take it that, the Minister, who has now left the House, his patience having been exhausted, no doubt, and I am not surprised at that, is a great lover of London. My hon. Friend the Member for Darwen (Mr. Prescott, referred to the rights and claims of the City of London to assert itself as a planning authority. He did not make much of a claim for the other boroughs—Chelsea, Kensington, Fulham and the like—and he may not be aware that a great English writer, Gilbert Keith Chesterton, has actually looked at this subject in a very well-written fable called "The Napoleon of Netting Hill.

He describes how the boroughs of London had imposed on them just such a Measure as this, in which it was proposed to drive a great road from Kensington to Notting Hill and how one Adam Wayne waged war against one Mr. Buck and Mr. Barker, the Mayor of Kensington, how a battle was fought, and, let us remember with comfort and satisfaction, how little Notting Hill won. The point of this fable is that this little concentration of persons, who want to run their Chelseas, and Fulhams and Batterseas and Kensingtons in their own way and after their own ideas, should not be denied the right to do so if they want to. If they like to make a hell or a heaven of their own, why should not they be allowed to do so? Modern educational standards have gone so far that one would think they would have led the Government to trust the people of Chelsea to arrange Chelsea in the way they want to. This idea of coordination and centralised control by the Minister is, I know, fashionable now, and a great many people subscribe to it, but it is a profoundly dangerous idea and the very negation of democracy as it removes people from the direction of their own affairs to centralised direction from Whitehall or some other place equally disreputable.

I support the Amendment because the Bill is, in the words of the Amendment, one of undeniable complexity. However strongly hon. Members made speeches for or against the Bill they made it clear that it is a Bill of great complexities. It embodies the Scott, Barlow and Uthwatt Reports and much thinking on this subject in years gone by, and we want more time to consider it. The local authorities have not had adequate time to consider this Bill, and no one here who is in close touch with the local authorities will disagree with what I am saying. The local authorities are, of course, democratically elected bodies, and central bureaucrats do not like them. I know how tiresome it is when one is possessed of an all-absorbing idea to get on with the job and get things done irrespective of other people's opinions, and how irritating it is for a Minister to find himself being frustrated and delayed by these local authorities, but that is how democracy works. It is a different system altogether from dictatorship. I am not afraid of the people. I am not afraid to consult them, and I am prepared to take their decisions. There is a time-limit for landowners and for local authorities. The New Jerusalem is not in such a hurry as that, and the Minister is mistaken in thinking he can do this in three years.

I protest, and I shall vote against this Bill, because of its complexity, because of inadequate consultations, particularly with the democratically-elected representatives of the people on the local authorities. I protest against it because the compensation basis is quite inscrutable and arrived at by no known process of reasoning, but which simply amounts to thinking of a number and adding a nothing to it. The £300 million might well have been £3,000 million, like the rotating loan which the Minister of Works took away the other day. The roofs are not on the houses, and the houses are not yet built, but the loan is still rotating. It is a meaningless figure to me, and meaningless figures are not unfamiliar in this House. And so I protest on the grounds of compensation. I protest, finally, on the money basis of compensation. It is, surely, grossly unfair, and a challenge to the Chancellor, who. after his eminently successful and, I think, regrettable, money policy, is now going to pay compensation on the 1939 value. Surely, it is a grossly improper comparison to make? I can see no justification for estimating the value on the 1939 basis. For these reasons, and for the further reason that I object to every governmental control, and am opposed to the State in all these respects controlling the individual, I shall vote against this Bill.

7.50 p.m.

Mr. Berry (Woolwich, West)

We have heard a number of quotations from the hon. Member for South Edinburgh (Sir W. Darling), whom I hope I may still call my good friend. He treated us to a quotation from Omar Khayyam, and in exchange for his quotation, I would like to address one to him: Awake, for Morn into the Bowl of Night, Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to flight, And lo! the Hunter of the East— in this case, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Town and Country Planning— Has caught the Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light. To leave the realm of poetry, I think we should ask ourselves what really is the end-all and be-all of town planning. It is not a system around which long-haired men and short-haired women, both physically and mentally, should cluster. It is something which goes much deeper than that. I prefer the definition of Dr. Theodore Kimball, of Harvard University, who says of city planning, which is the term used in the United States—and which is applicable also to country planning—that when one speaks of city planning, one speaks of the arrangement of homes and shops and roads and parks and places of business and means of transportation, so that the people who live in cities may have the maximum of health, wealth and happiness. Town planning should be the servant of the people, serving their highest ends, and should not be a vehicle merely to serve the vagaries of architects. It is something which should seek the highest good for the great mass of the people.

The hon. Member for South Edinburgh paid a tribute to certain places in this country which, he said, had been well planned. One need go no further than the Capital city of this Empire and Commonwealth to see certain parts that have been well planned. I have paid my tribute to the planning of those delightful old squares in London. The private owners who planned them did very well indeed at the time. But planning is not a static thing. One of the greatest difficulties I had during the five years that I was chairman of the London County Council's town planning committee was in trying to get into the minds of people that planning could never be static, but had to move. It was something that moved sufficiently far in five years, but in 50 years it would move much further. This Bill gives us a vehicle which, to my mind, will be adaptable to the varying circumstances of the life of this island. I am well aware that a plan brought out today, or during the next decade, might not be suitable to the changing economic circumstances brought about by science in 50 years' time, but the vehicle which this Bill gives us will be adaptable to all such changes. It is not claimed—I am sure my right hon. Friend the Minister of Town and Country Planning would be the first to repudiate any idea of claiming—that he is the first ever to attempt planning in this country. I pay a tribute to the Act of 1944, the chief author of which was the right hon. Member for Cirencester (Mr. W. S. Morrison), although I think the right hon. Gentleman would be the first to agree that that Bill left room for great improvements. Having referred to the vehicle, I think it would be well to refer to the way in which it is to be used. It has been said: For forms of government let fools contest, Whate'er is best administered, is best.

Sir W. Darling

Alexander Pope.

Mr. Berry

I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman, although I was not entirely unaware of the author of those lines. It is an indisputable fact that a faulty law well administered may be better than a good law badly administered. That has often been found to be the case in our public life. It is necessary that, in the administration of our town planning, whether it be administered by Government Departments or by the town planning departments of local authorities, there should be kept in view the idea of Theodore Kimball which I enunciated at the beginning of my remarks, that town planning is for the people of the country, and is not a. vehicle to satisfy the vanity of the administrators in Governmental or local governmental services.

There is one suggestion I wish to make. In former times, when applications came in, if they were not approved within a certain time, approval was taken for granted at the end of that period: That procedure was reversed, and there were good reasons for reversing it. Today, if approval is not given within a certain' time, refusal is to be taken for granted. There is this great danger, however; administrators, whether national or local, will always be inclined, quite humanly, to take the full time, knowing that if approval is not granted within that time, the unfortunate applicant will have to take a refusal, and then go through the whole gamut of things again. All of us who want to see things done ought to protest against that type of administration. It is necessary that all possible speed, consistent with efficiency and the right interpretation, should be maintained. Therefore, I hope that, instead of town planning being used as a vehicle for delaying proper development, as is sometimes the case, all due speed will be shown in order that development may go forward. I would remind the House that we have come through the greatest crisis in our history, that the damage done has been tremendous, but that the opportunity offered is also tremendous, and that the speed with which we construct—I do not suggest that it should be blind speed—will determine the health and happiness of our people for many years to come.

There has been a great deal of criticism of certain parts of the Bill. The hon. Member for Darwen (Mr. Prescott) waxed eloquent—a tendency which he has inherited, if he does not mind my saying so, from his father, a former Member of this House—concerning the woes of the City of London. The relations between the London County Council and the City Corporation have been, for many years, of the best. Whatever happens, I do not doubt that those relations will remain good. While I may regret that in the past the City of London neglected quite a number of opportunities—for instance, when in Jacobean times it turned down the opportunity and honour of running the first municipal water supply in this country, and abandoned it to the New River Company—while I deplore those neglected opportunities, I pay a tribute to the great things it has done for London. For Epping Forest and West Ham Park we are indebted to the City Corporation. I should be the last to decry the work which that great Corporation, with all its prestige, has done. I think that if the members of the City Corporation will forget a little bit of their prestige, and, as they usually do, patriotically agree to work together with the London County Council for the good of London, we shall find that, even if this Bill goes through in its present form, very good results will be obtained.

Mr. Prescott

May I interrupt the hon. Gentleman to say that, whatever happens under the Bill, we will always work, as we have done in the past, with the greatest co-operation?

Mr. Berry

I felt sure that I was interpreting not only the mind of the hon. Member, but the mind and will of the City Corporation.

In view of the state of affairs foreshadowed by the hon. Member for South Edinburgh, I would remind him that we Londoners have a knack of managing our own affairs, and doing it quite well, in spite of the introduction of some of our friends from the Celtic fringe. London was London, and was a great city long before we had the Celtic influx—not that we do not welcome them with open arms. Hon. Members can go to Oxford Street and see the Welsh names, if they want evidence of how we have welcomed them. The next thing would be one of the Metropolitan boroughs setting up a claim, just as the City of London has done, for autonomy. However, I have no fear of that coming about, for, in addition to the good sense of the City Corporation, there is good sense animating the Metropolitan boroughs and I am sure it will remain.

Mr. Prescott

Is not there in fact a distinction between the position of the City of London and that of the Metropolitan boroughs?

Mr. Berry

I quite agree, and it raises the question whether such a difference ought ever to have been made. It raises the question whether such powers ought to have been given to the square mile within the centre of the County of London.

I would once again reiterate my plea, that, in the working out of this town planning system for the good of the greatest number of people it should be borne in mind that here is a vehicle for a planned economy for our country. That economy would, I believe, be of immense benefit to the country not only at present, but to an even greater extent in the future. I hope the Bill will go through. There is no doubt about that, although there may be opposition. I believe it will be a vehicle for an even brighter England—and Scotland as well.

8.3 p.m.

Mr. Charles Williams (Torquay)

Everyone who has had the honour of listening to the speech made by the hon. Member for West Woolwich (Mr. Berry) will realise that he gave us a speech such as we do not often hear. He is one of the men who have given a great deal of time and energy to the service of his fellow citizens and he was talking as one who has given four or five years on the London County Council to this aspect of local authority work. I may have some criticism to make of the London County Council, but I feel that the hon. Member should have had friends to back him up on his own side, when he showed such practical common sense as he has just been displaying.

In his references to individualism the hon. Member allowed matters which might have been said by any Tory to creep into his speech. Those things should have been anathema to his Front bench, although they probably did not notice them. When he said that town planning was not simply a matter for architects but for the ordinary man of our towns and cities, that was a human touch, and I am very glad he said it, in his short and very interesting speech. I noticed the gloomy silence among the occupants of the Front bench. I have paid what I intend to be a tribute to the hon. Gentleman, whose speech I admired.

We can never realise too strongly that planning is not static. It must grow and develop during the whole time., We cannot say that we will stop when the plan has been made. That is one of the troubles of the one mile of the City of London, that small area which has had these powers for generations. The City of London can manage their own affairs without interference from the Celtic fringe, said the last speaker. Whether I am part of the Celtic fringe or not I do not know, but I have nothing to do with the City of London. It was a little unkind of the hon. Member, and not in keeping with the kindness of the rest of his speech, to make that reference to his leader, who is still unable to defend himself at the present time. I believe he is of Scottish origin and has contributed a good deal of time to the City of London. It may be that the hon. Gentleman thinks as I do, but he will not necessarily contribute towards this part of the Bill in that way. It was unkind, although I do not think the hon. Gentleman meant anything really bad.

Another speech which interested me was by the hon. Member for Coatbridge (Mrs. Mann). She began in the fashion of many speeches on the other side by asserting that the opposition to the Bill was not very real. She went on to say that the opposition was weak. It is not entirely the fault of the Opposition that we are weak in numbers, but sometimes very weak Oppositions have a habit of growing. Even the Socialist Party are aware of that. The hon. Lady said that we were partisan and sectional in our speeches on the Bill; what in the world is the use of having a Second Reading discussion on a Bill of this sort unless the Opposition can put up something which is not only controversial but which shows that they have a party or partisan point of view, and that they represent a section of opinion and views in the country? The whole object of the House of Commons is to bring the clash of ideas together, and so to work out ultimately a better policy, as would be worked out in connection with this Bill if the Government had the courage to take the Committee stage on the Floor of the House. I do not want to see town planning become the mere battledore or shuttlecock of politics.

The hon. Lady, apart from her attack upon the Opposition, incidentally delighted every hon. Member who had the pleasure of hearing her, by her quotations from the Old Testament. There was a time during her speech, as she worked from one quotation to another, from Solomon onwards, from one book of the Old Testament to another, when I really hoped she would sing one of the old songs which I used to hear when I first went in for electioneering, that is, "God gave the land to the people."

Mr. Berry

Will the hon. Gentleman tell the House where that song will be found in the Old Testament?

Mr. Williams

I said that the hon. Lady was working through the Old Testament, until I thought she might come to that song. It was not in the Psalms. At one time, that song was sung with almost religious fervour, and some of the older hon. Ladies opposite may remember it, or some of it.

Mrs. Braddock (Liverpool, Exchange)

Would the hon. Gentleman like me to sing it to him?

Mr. Williams

I should be only too delighted, because I am sure it would be charming.

I would like to contrast the speech with which the Minister for Town and Country Planning opened this Debate yesterday—a speech certainly not lacking in knowledge, but one which seemed to be rather unenthusiastically read in certain parts of it—with the speeches of the then very alive Lloyd George on the same subject. It rather seemed, from this lack of enthusiasm, as if this Bill was a departmental thing, worked out without any regard to the great need of the people of today, as though it was just a Bill brought forward to carry out some form of improvement, which is rather doubtful. Where, at the present time, can the Government obtain anything like the number of capable people necessary for maintaining the main parts of this Bill?

Let us look at the speech which the right hon. Gentleman delivered. I read it, and listened to some of it, with very great respect. I do not intend to take the whole of the speech, word for word, because I am not the only hon. Member on this side of the House who has something to contribute to the Debate. But I would like to come to one point which I think exercises the minds of a rather large number of people. I noticed just now that, to a minor extent, it exercised that of the hon. Member for Stockton-on-Tees (Mr. Chetwynd), who was not very happy, as I understood him, about the position of the non-county boroughs and the county councils. He made what I thought was an excellent suggestion. It was that members of these two bodies should sit together on the planning authority. It would seem that the planning authority ought to take in the largest possible number of members. Now let us look at the approach of the Minister to these bodies. It is curious, but this is what he said: The result is that the number of planning authorities in England and Wales will be reduced from 1,441 to 145—roughly by nine-tenths. That is to say, nine out of ten of the present authorities will be abolished; they will be washed out, whether they are good or whether they are bad. They will go, and they will no longer be used. The right hon. Gentleman was kind enough to go on to say: I want to make it clear that the removal of planning powers from the Common Council of the City of London, and from the councils of county districts is not to be regarded as, in any sense, a penal measure,"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th January, 1947; Vol. 432, c. 958.] It is all very well for him to say that, but to add that it is not a direct punishment that he was laying down, is not much of an argument. It is also not much of an argument to say that someone is not a criminal, and then to say that he is going to cut off his head, which is what he proposes to do to these authorities. The Government are abolishing them because they happen to think that there are too many of them. Would it not have been better, before bringing in an Order for the general execution of authorities to see which were good and which were bad, which were adequate and which were not? There are some local authorities who would wish to be absorbed, county councils, and even very much larger authorities. There are certainly some. Some of the cities of this country which will not, I presume, be absorbed, should be absorbed. Would it not have been better to have got out a plan, and to have divided up these authorities in such a way that, in the best interests of general planning, a large number of the good ones could be kept and encouraged, and the bad ones abolished?

The Minister then went on to say something about the City of London. I would like to put forward an entirely different point of view, as far as the City of London is concerned, from that which, I believe, has been put forward in this Debate today. I do not think that enough regard has been paid to the fact that this is a small area in the centre of London, and an area which has a very old history. In the development of roads, parks and; of almost everything else, it has always tried to work with the other authorities around it. That fact is acknowledged, and it has been openly said in this House today by an authority on the City of London that that is the position. This Bill has 108 Clauses. There is a special Clause for the preservation of trees. It is a very good one, and I shall, possibly, have something to say about it later, because it seems to be an interesting Clause. When one considers all these Clauses, useful and important as they may be, and then considers a city such as the City of London, which has held a position which no other city has ever held in the history of the world, with a great tradition of democracy in the past and at the present time, surely a Clause might have been inserted in this Bill to prevent it from being absorbed by the London County Council? Surely that would not have been above the wit of man or Minister? When the right hon. Gentleman was speaking about his 25 years in the City, I hope that they were not 25 years spent in waiting for the day when he could push the City of London out of its position. I notice that all sorts of people take the view that the City does not matter very much, but I think that it has an historic value, quite apart from anything else, and that we should endeavour in this Bill to preserve it as something quite separate, and in no way subject to the London County Council at all, but only subject to the Parliament of this country.

Having dealt with those points, I wish to come to one particular point which is laid down in the Amendment.on the question of compensation. I am glad to see that the Minister has come back. For his information, I would say that I have just made a suggestion about the City of London which I will repeat very shortly. I have pointed out that it was something quite different from any other place. We have had assurances tonight that the City of London authorities will work with any other local authorities, and I thank the hon. Member for West Woolwich for backing me up on this point. The City of London authorities have always worked with the other authorities round them. In the Bill there are Clauses dealing with all sorts of matters and, surely, we could have one Clause which would exclude the City of London? There could be provision for the City of London coming under the control of the Minister or something of that sort, but, at least, the City should be excluded. I take it that the Minister does not favour that suggestion, and I think I understand why that may be.

I would like once more to refer to the very interesting speech of the hon. Member for Stockton-on-Tees. He complained of the position of Durham, saying that that city had been suffering from the result of blights and blitzes, among other things. I can tell him that it is suffering from something worse. Durham contains as Members of this House four of the most incompetent Ministers this country has ever had. I am glad the hon. Member drew my attention to that point of blights and blitzes in Durham County. He also said that in Durham, as in other places, the authorities are sometimes divided by a river. In many cases a river is the most perfect of all divisions. That reminds me of a point which is causing us very considerable concern in the West Country, namely, whether the division between the counties of Devon and Cornwall is to be broken down by Plymouth spreading, out into Cornwall. That is the sort of instance where, undoubtedly, the County of Cornwall is more a unit than any other county. It should be preserved, and should not be subject to any possible interference by a borough which is big but, at the same time, vastly over-represented in this House. I mention that point as an illustration of the fact that where there is a large river, like the Tamar, with a totally different outlook on both sides, the Minister, in making his appointed boundaries, should regard that as a good boundary. This is not the case of a river like the Thames, of course, where the difference in the opposite banks is nothing like so great.

That takes me on to a few other remarks I wish to make. It is really rather monstrous in a matter of this kind concerning a Bill with over 100 Clauses and numerous Schedules—a Bill which is simply one of many others of the same kind—that the Minister should say, "So far as compensation is concerned, we will give a nice global figure of £300 million." Some hon. Members opposite think it is too much, and some hon. Members on this side think it is too little. I do not pretend to know, because no evidence has been given to show whether it is adequate or inadequate. This sum has been chosen very much in the dark, and I think it is almost immaterial what we do on this point. That is not the way to treat Parliament. Why cannot we have a real basis on which to make a calculation? We are told that we shall extract from the land some materials of value. I was interested to note that among those who praised the Bill was the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies). He reminded us of a very unfortunate precedent of the Lloyd George Act of 1909 which had to be repealed under a Liberal Prime Minister, supported by prominent Liberals, as they then were, like Dr. Addison, who is now in another place. It had to be repealed because it cost £4. to collect £1. It is very unlikely that the cost of this Bill will be anything less than that in proportion to what we shall get out of it. The Minister seems hardly to think of that, and, as he now has the Chancellor with him, I do not suppose he is going to say anything about it.

I would like to remind the House that there are two or three matters which will make this Bill quite impossible and unworkable. I do not believe—and there is certainly no evidence in this Debate—that the skilled men and women are available to work the intentions of this Bill. I do not believe that where there are good authorities it will necessarily be possible to take their skilled people away to assist the bad authorities. There is an intense shortage of highly skilled men, and also an equally great shortage of labour to carry out the vast plans proposed in the Bill. In addition, there is a shortage of clerical staff. In other Words, apart from the fact that I very much doubt whether the average Member will be able to contribute his fair share, the real defect is, as in the case of many other Bills, that this Bill is presented simply because the Government want to push legislation through. It is almost certain that there are not the administrative powers or the capacity or the number to administer and carry out the provisions of the Bill at the required intensity.

Quite apart from the financial side, for the reasons which I have given, I am bound to vote against this Bill, much as I would have liked to support it if it had had any reasonableness or commonsense in it. It has got one reasonable Clause, and that is the Clause about which I said I would like to say something. It is Clause 25. I feel sure that it would be wrong if I did not refer to it, because it concerns a matter about which, possibly, I have rather greater knowledge than I have of some of the other Clauses This Clause deals with the power to stop the cutting down of woods and trees. It is a Clause of some value, and I hope to be able to take some part in debating the Clause at a later stage. I have been connected with various horticultural bodies, including the Royal Horticultural Society, and I have some knowledge of this sort of thing. I would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give me his attention for one moment. I will try not to weary him, because I know he is very overworked. I would like to know whether, under this Clause, it would be possible to do something to encourage the planting of better class trees.

There is a great opening for horticulture, about which I will not weary the Chancellor further, who is one of those who like the other side of life. I would, however, ask him whether under that Clause it is not possible to encourage development, and, as well as preventing individuals destroying trees; encouraging people to plant them. I am not afraid of individuals doing destruction; the worst destruction I have seen has been destruction of good trees by the local authorities themselves, and also destruction by the military authorities. When the Chancellor comes to reply I would like to know whether, under this Bill, there is power over the military authorities, and whether it is possible to control them thoroughly under this Clause, or some other part of the Bill. If he could even give me that assurance, I would have some small reluctance in voting against this really abominable Bill.

8.31 p.m.

Mr. James Hudson (Ealing, West)

First, I wish to say a few words of congratulation to the Minister which I am sure he deserves, for a Bill which is the outcome of good Socialist thinking and working done by himself and others for many years. Indeed, I would add, I consider that when he introduced this Bill in a long speech in words, none of which was too long, he was speaking with the authentic voice of the Socialist movement regarding the necessity for the planning of our country. I believe that in that aim he has done well in the Bill he has brought before us. I am inclined to give ear to a statement I have heard, that even £300 million paid to landlords was worth while to produce so good a result as this. I address myself to that point, as have hon. Members tonight and last night. I do not think there is anything else on which I could agree with the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams), except on this point.

I was amazed to hear the way in which the Minister worked out his case for a payment of {300 million to landlords. There was a dividing up of the amount. He said he arrived at a figure of £150 million because the 45,000 acres which will be largely affected under this Measure had risen in value in the period in question to the extent of an annual sum of £9 million. Working that out on what he said was a basis of 15 or 16 years' purchase, he arrived at the figure, as the worth of that, of £150 million, in round figures. By taking the 15 years I make it £135 million. I remember that he also put in a word of caution. He thought £9 million as an annual value was a great deal too much. If so, the figure of £150 million quoted by him was even more out of the question. From his point of view, it should be something very much less than that. But more unsatisfactory still was the other land in the Bill, regarding which he wanted to make some sort of estimate, but he brushed it aside and said that was another £150 million which he could, therefore, add. He adds the two together and says, "That comes to exactly the £300 million mentioned." Is that a basis for a very serious Bill, remembering all that we have stood for in the Labour Party regarding the land? That is the basis for the payment of this amount, at a time when we are all in great anxiety about the financial situation of a country which is borrowing at the rate of—what? £700 million a year; rather more than that if the full truth must be known. That we should have to pay over to landlords such an amount on such a basis is, I submit, quite impermissible.

We have been paying heavy compensation in regard to several Bills with which the House has been dealing in the last year or so. I do not know that I can seriously criticise the necessity of paying compensation while a capitalist system exists, which we have to keep going until we can secure our planning. I do not know that I can resist the necessity of compensation for work done and properly created by human labour and human organisation. But land is not, and never has been, in that category from our point of view. Any improvement that is made in the value of land is arrived at by the nature of the land, by the nature of the law of rent, which is not dead yet. Though Ricardo and Henry George may be dead, this law goes on working, irrespective of what we do. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchili) said, on one famous occasion, that under this law the community may improve its work, its amenities, and its general conditions of life, but in the long run the power of the landlord under the law of rent is enabled to take away the result of all their labours and appropriate it to himself. It is with the remembrance of that that we have worked this out over a long period of years. I am not referring merely to the years when the late Philip Snowden voiced our views in a Budget with a definite proposal for the taxation of land values. I am thinking of the period after Philip Snowden had gone, with a heart broken by the knowledge that he had been fooled by the Tories whom he joined on this very issue—about which I had the privilege to warn him before he was fooled by them.

After all that had happened, in 1935 the Labour Party was explicit about the necessity of declining to pay landlords on the basis of their claims. I have in my possession the notes for speakers published by the Labour Party for our guidance in that period, which I cannot now quote, as I had originally intended, because of the short time at my disposal. I see that the position has not altered at all by reason of the fact that we have now gone in for this great planning proposal. I ask the Chancellor, who is to reply, what the development value is in regard to young men for the 18 months' service that they are to give up during the best years of their lives, interrupting, as they will interrupt, their period of training during that most valuable time. How much compensation are they to receive? Under a proposal for conscription are we going to pay those men for the loss of 18 of the best months of their lives? We shall have to go out into the country with this proposal, which I say again is a magnificent proposal on town planning, which I support up to the hilt, but we shall have to defend this grant of £300 million to the landlords of this country, arrived at by a computation which I cannot for the life of me understand and which I believe the Minister cannot understand either. Perhaps the Chancellor will be able to get over the difficulty, but nobody has got over it yet, and I challenge him to do so when he replies.

All I have to say about this matter, remembering what our commitments have been, is that I admit we in this Parliament were not clear in our right to go forward with a land nationalisation Bill which would have been the best thing to do in the circumstances. We were not in a position to do that, but neither are we in a position to pay these £300 million. Where the Minister has gone wrong is in having immersed himself in the study of a series of documents which had merit in them, like the Uthwatt Report, the Barlow Report and the White Paper produced by the Coalition Government, without realising that the feelings of the day when those documents were produced did not correspond with the feelings that sent this party to these benches. They were at bottom Tory documents. The Coalition White Paper was an entirely Tory document, and the Minister, in his desire to get through his difficulties, has been guided by these documents and has landed himself in a situation which ultimately the Chancellor of the Exchequer will have to face and which I ask him to face now, namely, that we are crystallising a system of payment to landlords which will make it impossible later on to carry out our fundamental belief that we should place upon the landlords of this country a tax in relation to the wealth they have never created but which they have merely secured from the general enterprise of the whole community.

A payment on the basis of hardship might be defended, as the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. McGhee) said yesterday, but this is simply doling out money at a time when we have the White Paper before us to remind us of the dangers we have to face. I and most of us intend to go out to the community and appeal with all our power for more work, more production and a more serious outlook on the part of the community we represent. Are we to have thrown back at us the remark, "Yes, you threw £300 million away to the landlords, on a basis you could not justify when you tried to explain it in the House of Commons?" That is my complaint, and I hope the Chancellor can give us some satisfactory undertaking. I do not expect him to tell us what he intends to do in his next Budget, but at any rate he is free, and he knows he is free, to do what Philip Snowden set out to do, namely to place this burden on the shoulders of the landlords who are the people best able to bear it.

8.45 p.m.

Sir Patrick Hannon (Birmingham, Moseley)

I hope the hon. Gentleman opposite will forgive me if I do not follow him in the touching appeal he made to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to explain the reason why the landlords should be expropriated without any compensation My few observations relate to Clauses 28 and 29, and I want to tell the House at once that I am interested in billposting; somebody once described me as a billposter by trade. I would like to acknowledge the courtesy and consideration extended by the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Town and Country Planning to a deputation he received from the billposting community about this Bill. The organisations with which I am indirectly associated in relation to billposting are at present carrying on from one hoarding to another a campaign describing what industrial production is doing in this country to meet our economic situation, and we are in entire agreement with the Minister of Town and' Country Planning that no amenities shall be despoiled in that campaign.

The appeal just made to the Chancellor on the subject of this £300 million may be put to him from another angle altogether. He may, in the course of the next few months, have some difficulty in finding a great many millions to meet the exigencies of our financial situation, and perhaps he will begin to realise that in embarking on Measures of this kind one after another he is involving the country in conditions which it will be extremely difficult for him to meet in the Budget which he will present to Parliament in the course of the next couple of months. The Chancellor is a cautious, careful and thoughtful person, but I believe that he finds himself at the present moment, vis-à-vis the structure of his forthcoming Budget, in one of the most difficult situations any Chancellor has ever found himself in. As the American loan begins to, fade away and as the purchasing power of the loan begins to diminish, I think the Chancellor will find some difficulty in meeting his financial obligations. Therefore the policy of this Government ought to have been to balance the financial situation before embarking upon measures such as this involving such large expenditure. Every week further commitments have been entered into in this House, and the resources of the country may not be able to discharge its obligations. Although this Government may find a tragic consummation to its efforts to discharge its obligations, the unfortunate reflection is that when it comes to topple down, and I believe it will, it may bring the country down with it. I therefore hope that the Chancellor, who is a serious person full of economic knowledge and wise in his generation, will deal carefully and thoughtfully with the situation he has to face, and not be prepared to shoulder a burden in relation to' measures of this kind far beyond the financial resources of this country.

8.49 P.m.

Mr. Henry Strauss (Combined English Universities)

My opening words concern the two Ministers who have contributed to the Debate so far. I should like to say at once to the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Town and Country Planning that I am sure we on these benches had no complaint whatsoever of the length of time he thought necessary for expounding this long and necessarily complicated Measure. In fact the only criticism I should like to make of his speech on this point is that I should have liked it to be a little longer, and to have dealt with the one point which he notoriously omitted and left to the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is to follow me. I need hardly say that that is not expressing any doubts about the competence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to discharge the function, but I think it would have been more courteous to the House that the defence, if there is a defence, of the provisions to which we object should have been made at an earlier stage of the Debate, when the whole House could have dealt with it. As regards the hon. Gentleman the Parliamentary Secretary, I think the only adverse criticism I could make of his speech would be that he seemed at one time to be under the impression that we were debating the Coalition White Paper and not the Bill. He devoted a good deal of time to the Coalition White Paper to show to what a large extent the present Bill is based upon it, which makes the references of the hon. Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson) to it as a Tory document rather comic.

Both Ministers will agree that I genuinely desire a further Measure of town and country planning. Indeed, unless I were to make nonsense of every speech I had made on this subject in this House from 1937 onwards, and of speeches which I made earlier outside this House, I could not possibly pretend that I do not think a further Measure of town and country planning necessary. Long before I entered politics, I spoke and wrote on this subject. The attacks I made on the system prevailing between the two wars were far more violent than those which have been delivered by either Minister in this two-day Debate. No one, who has spoken and written upon this subject, can be ignorant of how wide are the circles to whom the plea for the preservation of the beauty of the English countryside and the dignity and design of our cities appeals. It appeals to Members of all parties, and to Members who do not belong to any party. I am still receiving letters from different parts of the world from people, who are unknown to me, about a speech I made in this House as long ago as 1937.

Let me say at once to the Government that there is much in this Bill which I welcome. I recognise, as I think all students of this subject recognise, that much hard and excellent work has been put behind some of these provisions by civil servants, by experts in the right hon. Gentleman's Department, and by experts whom he has consulted outside. Knowing something of the complexity of the subject, I should like to add my tribute to the skill of the Parliamentary draftsman. This is an extremely complex Measure, as I am sure the Attorney-General would agree, and it is not easy to put it in language which is readily comprehensible. Indeed, the language of town and country planning is often completely ridiculous. As Was pointed out on an earlier occasion, by my hon. Friend the Junior Burgess for Oxford University (Sir A. Herbert), town planners, when they wish to describe the dedication of land to the most productive of all human uses, namely, the production of food, describe that process as "sterilising the land." There is very little sense in the language applied to this subject, but, nevertheless, in spite of all the difficulties, I think that in this Measure, which is largely a Measure of codification, the right hon. Gentleman is to be congratulated on the drafting. Having said that, I hope he will not be tempted not to try to do even better. I notice, in reading through the Bill—and I wish we had had a little longer to study it—that Clause 18 (3) is difficult even for a lawyer to understand on first reading. I am inclined to think that it is probably quite correct, but I hope that the admirable Parliamentary draftsman, aided by the skill of the Attorney-General, might perhaps manage to break up a sentence which is now nearly half a page long, so as to make it more comprehensible on first reading.

I believe it to be a fact that no great industrial community can today afford not to have a good code of town and country planning. While no community can do without it, there are certain facts which make it more important and more urgent in this country than elsewhere. First, this is the most crowded country in Europe. When I say that, I am for the moment excluding Wales and Scotland, but even if they are included, this is, with the exception of Belgium, the most crowded country in the world. Secondly, while we have the greatest and most varied natural beauty of scenery in the world, that natural beauty is uniquely vulnerable. Unlike some other countries whose beauty consists in grandeur, the beauty of England is exemplified in the Sussex Downs, which provide the noblest and most sub-, lime beauty in nature; the loveliness of their lines is subtle and delicate, and it would be quite as possible to spoil their beauty by unworthy or ill-placed buildings, as it would be to take a hatchet and cut to pieces some masterpiece of painting. In my view, in town and country planning, we shall save both town and country, or we shall save neither. The difficulty in this country is that, while the love of the countryside is widespread, the appeal of the town is comparatively rare. Dean Inge drew attention to the very modern idea that a town was a blot on the landscape, an idea that would seem very ridiculous to those who created Athens or Bath. I believe that the English countryside will not be preserved without some proper and worthy redevelopment of our towns. Without such redevelopment we shall ruin the countryside, if the town is regarded as a place from which to flee.

The distinction between these two good things should not be blurred, and the failure of town and country planning for many years was that we destroyed both town and country, creating in their place a universal suburbia without the charm of either. The most fantastic example of this was ribbon building, which was due in part to defects in the law, and in part to sheer stupidity. It was not always the greed of private developers, but often the folly of Government Departments. The Ministry of Transport were for many years under the impression that there was nothing wrong with ribbon development, except that the ribbon was too near the road, and: that, provided you shifted the buildings back, the whole thing was all right. The thing to do with ribbon development is to stop it. I believe that all these desirable objects can be effected by planning.

I hope, nevertheless, that we shall not exaggerate what can be done by planning. I do not believe it to be true that there is any wisdom in any Department, central or local, which can say what is the best use for every acre of land in this country. The science simply is not there, and to pretend that it is may land us in tyranny without resulting in good planning. I believe that in this matter, if we are to succeed, it is desirable that we should proceed with the maximum amount of consent and approval among all parties and interests, and I think it is vital, in our present economic position, that we should encourage good developers, public and private. I was sorry that my right hon. Friend the Member for Cirencester and Tewkesbury (Mr. W. S. Morrison), in his admirable speech, when he referred to the good work of private developers in our historic cities, among them the new town of Edinburgh and the city of Bath, excited laughter in some quarters on the benches opposite. I believe we shall succeed best with town and country planning if we do not regard it as a modern invention coming from the extreme left, but remember that it is a science and an art in which this country, in the 18th century, attained the greatest skill which has yet been reached.

I see two outstanding dangers in this Bill. The first, whether it is intended or not, is the discouragement to good private development. It is very easy to suppose that in order to give local authorities power to effect good and comprehensive development the powers of land acquisition cannot be made too large or too easily exercised. That is not true, because, while that may help a local authority, if it produces a sense of uncertainty, unpredictability, and peril in the private landowner, who loves his land and wishes to develop it well, then you are obstructing as much good development by him as you are facilitating development by a public body.

The other great fault that I see in this Bill is the injustice of certain provisions. In some cases I believe that injustice to be real, and in other cases I believe that, whether it is real or not, the Bill is such as to excite suspicion of it. I believe—and every town planner will agree with me in this—that injustice is not only undesirable in itself, and a thing which every Member of this House would fight against if he recognised it, but is peculiarly injurious to planning. Once it is generally thought that certain powers given by the Bill are unjust it is certain that they will not be fully used. Let me mention what seem to be some of these injustices. Let me turn to the £300 million, which it is proposed to pay for depreciation. I want to deal with questions which I think hon. Gentlemen opposite, whether they agree with my answers or not, will agree are the right questions. First, is any payment right at ill?—[HON. MEMBERS:"NO."]. There are those who say "No" to that question, but, clearly, the Government must say, "Yes." They would not have provided this £300 million if they thought it was not right to do so.

Let me say at once, that I think that it would be an obvious injustice if there were no payment. There must clearly be a payment. In my view, the right hon. Gentleman misrepresented the quite clear meaning and intention of the very distinguished Uthwatt Committee, who reported on this matter. I do not agree with the whole of the Uthwatt Report, but I think that it has very high intellectual integrity, and is of immense value to us all. Anyone who has studied the Uthwatt Report will find that the main paragraphs concerned are 36 and 79 onwards. What the Uthwatt Report points out is that the Common Law does not give any right of compensation for a mere restriction of user, but it goes on to point out that where a restriction of user is not anything in the nature of an extension of the law of nuisance, but a restriction which acts unequally between different owners, then it would be causing the greatest hardship if a right to compensation were not provided by statute. The hardship would arise if you imposed anything like a universal restriction on the development of land unless there were also conceded a right to compensation. When the Government says that it concedes no right at all and will only meet cases of hardship, it is not following the clear intention and recommendation of the Uthwatt Report.

I think that it would be perfectly natural that a landowner should have no right to compensation for any alteration in the law of nuisance that applied to all landowners equally according to modern civilised standards. Anything in the nature of a universal restriction on development must clearly carry a right to compensation. In answer to the hon. Member who raised this point, I would say that he seemed to forget the simple fact that this right which is being taken away from the landowner is a right which the law has recognised, and on which it has taxed the citizen. The Chancellor of the Exchequer does not come along and say, "There is an element of floating value in your land, so we will not charge you Death Duties on that." On the contrary, he charges Death Duties on the actual value of the land, including the floating value.

Assuming that it is quite clearly right that there should be a recognised right by Statute to compensation for the universal restriction, is the figure of £300 million right, too much, or too little? [HON. MEMBERS:"TOO much."] I have no idea how any of us can say whether it is right, too much or too little. It must quite clearly be decided on proper, expert examination. The right hon. Gentleman in his speech yesterday mentioned the Barlow Report. "The Report quotes an intelligent guess of £400 million, based on 1937 values. I quite agree with the right hon. Gentleman that you cannot accept £400 million as necessarily right even in 1937. What I say is that, if that guess was intelligent at that time, the present figure of £300 million is almost certainly too little. I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that what he has said really is:" I have thought of a number and I believe in it for the reasons that I have given. "Even those reasons might have been published in the White Paper so that they could have been studied. I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman and to the Government that, if they want their provisions to be accepted as just, this matter should be examined by a proper independent tribunal.

Supposing that request is refused, then I say that there will be substance in this criticism by a paper which is not a Conservative paper though recently it has been a little troubled by some of the Government's actions. I refer to the "Economist," which stated recently: The Uthwatt principle of laying down a global sum for compensation for all development rights in the country, so as to obviate factors making for distortion of individual land values, has been understandably embraced, but the global sum has been fixed at the low figure of £300 million. This sum would seem to be far lower than the kind of figure which both the Barlow and Uthwatt Committees had in mind as reasonable, and there is no attempt in the White Paper accompanying the Bill to justify it or to explain by what hasty and tendentious methods it has been reached. That the Government know it to be unfairly low is revealed by the blustering attempt of the White Paper to deny the principle of any right at all to compensation, which is apparently awarded only as an act of grace to avoid hardship. This statement of a right to confiscate existing values in land, which despite some degree of distasteful speculation have been bought and sold for the most part in good faith in the same way as any other form of investment, is wisely left wholly unsubstantiated by argument. It is really an attempt, and a singularly unfortunate one, to cover up the smallness of the compensation which will in fact be paid. How is this compensation to be distributed? If hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite will look at Clause 51 (3) they will see that under it a person, if the House passed the necessary Order, can be excluded altogether. What I say is that it would be obviously and demonstrably unfair to exclude from compensation for loss of right to develop a man who is subsequently taxed under the provisions of this Bill when his land is developed.

Lastly on this point, what about the value of money? The value of money in the estimation of the "Economist" has fallen by at least one-third since 1937. Inflation is at last admitted by His Majesty's Government. The admission is contained in paragraph 19 of the recent White Paper which ought to be called but is not, "Let Us Face the Present." The particular sentence I would quote is: The volume of purchasing power is already far bigger than the supply of goods at present-day prices. The total amount of incomes of all sections of the community after paying Income Tax is well over £7,000 million, but the value of goods and services available to be bought by consumers is only about £6,000 million at present prices. The right hon. Gentleman who is to reply used, I believe, to be a lecturer on economics. I understand that the definition of inflation which used to be current and which I dare say he will still accept is that we have inflation when the volume of means of payment is increased without any corresponding increase in the goods and services offered for purchase. On that definition it has been admitted by the Government that there is inflation. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman this question, will he make an estimate of how much this £300 million will be worth in hard currency at the time when it is paid to those who are entitled to it?

When one turns to development charges one finds that they are left entirely at large and that it is completely uncertain on what principles they are to be calculated. The right hon. Gentleman said that this gives great flexibility, and he gave reasons why we should treat different people unequally for various national objects. I can quite imagine that those national objects might make it desirable to favour or give some benefit to one class of person and not to another, but the Treasury must have greatly changed its principles if it thinks the way to do that is by treating them quite unequally in the matter of rents and not by ad hoc legislation for dealing with it. I say that this complete lack of certainty and absolute absence of all fairness is opening the door to the possibility of corruption in a service which, we pride ourselves, is quite free from it, and the Government would be well advised to look into that again.

Finally, on this point, let the Government consider this. If they have a monopoly and have the power of taxation through the development charges, surely an aggrieved person should have a right to go to some independent tribunal. On the practicability of the scheme I wonder if hon. and right hon. Gentlemen have studied Clauses 63 and 64 of the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman said—and I credit him with his good intention in this—that he wants to make one application cover all the necessary things, but I am not at all sure that he has not landed himself, by certain provisos in those Clauses, in the position that where a man wishes to develop land he may be unable to do so until he has ascertained the development charges, while at the same time he would be unable to ascertain those charges until he had permission to develop the land.

Then we come to 1939 values which is the next injustice. Here we have an admitted injustice—at any rate there has been no attempt whatsoever up to now to defend it. I can think of one conceivable thing the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer may say in reply. He may say, "What are the Opposition grumbling about? It is in their own Act." If that is his reply I am sure he will realise that it is a poor one, and I hope that he can do better than that. That was enacted at a time when, owing to the air attacks on this country and other factors when we were at war, there was no satisfactory market in land so that we could not satisfactorily use market prices. That reason has now gone, and if the Opposition were bringing in a comprehensive Measure of this kind, they would certainly repeal that particular part of the 1944 Statute.

May I point out one other thing which I am sure the right hon. Gentleman and the Government would do well to consider, apart from any of these financial matters, in order to give the effect and the appearance of justice? The right hon. Gentleman will have in all sorts of matters to exercise quasi judicial functions. I ask hon. Members to look at Clause 96, subsection (2), where they will see that the Minister, in the exercise of his quasi judicial functions, is at liberty to see one party privately without the knowledge or the presence of the other party or of his legal advisers. I say that provisions of that kind do not give the appearance of fairness. Whether or not that is new or has been covered in previous Acts, I believe the right hon. Gentleman is injuring the possibility that he or his successors may give the impression of discharging their functions justly—as I am perfectly certain they will attempt to do—if he allows himself to be protected by provisions which seem to conflict with the rules of natural justice. If the right hon. Gentleman will turn to Clause 101 he will also find that he is made the final court of appeal in a matter which might well be left to some external tribunal. I hope he and his legal advisers will consider that and other points.

Several hon. Members have raised another very important matter that arises out of planning and that is whether there really is planning as between different Government departments. I do not think there is, nor do I think it right to mention the Board of Trade specifically in Clause 12 (4) and to give them power in the case of industrial development and not to mention any of the other departments. There are two possible theories. One is that the coordination by the Government itself is so good that we need not mention any department. The other is that it is not so good and that we must mention the different departments. This is neither one thing nor the other. The Board of Trade is mentioned and given a jurisdiction which, if it is meant to be far greater than the influence of the other departments, is not right. There is no more reason why the Board of Trade should have a statutory right to interfere in this matter all over the country than there is for the Minister of Town and Country Planning to have a statutory right to interfere in the choices of the Service Departments. Finally—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—I do not think any of my points have been frivolous, and if hon. Members opposite do not want arguments and think they can convert this House into a Reichstag we can assure them that hon. Members on these benches will strenuously resist such an attempt—

Mr. Medland (Plymouth, Drake)

You are the Fascists over there.

Mr. Strauss

I wish to continue with my speech and to give time to the right hon. Gentleman, but if hon. Members continue to interrupt me I shall not be able to do so. I now come to the question of the authorities who are to exercise the planning functions. Let me say at once that after three years of experience in the planning Ministries I can discover no planning reasons of any kind for taking away the powers of the City of London. At the present moment their plan is being made by probably the two most distinguished planners in this country, and I have very little doubt that the right hon. Gentleman will approve the plan when it is produced. The point which I put to the right hon. Gentleman -—because I know he wishes to make up his mind honestly—is, if he approved that plan, what is he going to do with applications for development after that plan is approved? If he transfers that planning approval to the L.C.C. he will obviously be transferring it to a body which is less competent to carry it out than those who have grown up with the plan.

If, on the other hand, to avoid that he makes the London County Council delegate it to the City, then is not that a confession that the whole transaction is completely pointless? If he will look at his provisions dealing with London, he will see that for some obscure reason he says that the L.C.C. alone of all the planning authorities cannot be required to join with another planning authority. I wonder why that is? No explanation has been offered so far. Is it that he thinks—I cannot think this is the reason—that the L.C.C. is a body with whom it is impossible to cooperate? Is it on the principle that Lex non cogit ad impossibilia? Let us see what has been the planning record of the L.C.C. which is treated in this extraordinary way. They are taking over Hurlingham. That may be completely right, it may be that Hurlingham should now go into public ownership. What I suggest cannot be right is that any part of Hurlingham should not be left as an open space. Let me give another example. The right hon. Gentleman has himself had to intervene, and he has done it to his credit, to prevent the L.C.C. destroying their own green belt at Chessington. I hope he will prevent them from destroying the Hackney Marshes. Even the Minister himself, sincere though his efforts have been in the whole sphere, can, I believe, make serious mistakes, and will be more likely to make those mistakes if he does not subject his proposals to the most rigid public enquiry and examination. I believe his choice of a new town at Crawley and Three Bridges is one which has excited the disapproval of most expert planners.

I believe that in this Bill there are some good things attempted, and some are achieved. I believe the Bill is marred by some real and by several apparent injustices. I believe that, unless those injustices are removed, all the purposes which the right hon. Gentleman and his Parliamentary Secretary have at heart, will be prejudiced and marred. Therefore I support the Amendment and ask the House to refuse the Second Reading of this Bill.

9.28 p.m.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Dalton)

We come to the close of two days' passionate Debate upon this most important subject. I congratulate the Opposition upon their stout and sustained resistance to this Bill; there have never been less than three Members of the Opposition present. They have asked so many questions that I will plunge at once into a series of replies and, after that series of replies to particular points, I will seek to draw together the threads of the case in favour of the Bill. I have been asked about development charges, under Clauses 53 and 75. I can assure the hon. Member that the rebuilding of war damaged premises does not attract development charge. Equally under Clause 75 dead ripe land is not subject to development charge. Both these cases fall free. I have been asked also to speak about the 1939 standard, and the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the Combined English Universities (Mr. H. Strauss) has suggested the answer that he thinks I might give. And in part it is the answer, but not quite the whole of it. It is the case that the 1939 standard was adopted, following the recommendation of the Uthwatt Committee, in Part II of the Town and Country Planning Act which the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Town and Country Planning at that time introduced, the Act of 1944.

It was introduced in 1944, and was imposed for a period of five years. It was to run until 1949. It was a Coalition Government Bill, and it was made quite clear that in 1949 it would fall to be reconsidered, because in 1944 we could not foresee the conditions of 1949. Clearly, the five years might be an experimental period of uncertainty in which the 1939 standard might have to be maintained, and thereafter it would be subject to reconsideration. We are only a little more than halfway through the five-year period, and it is the view of the Government that at this moment, when presenting the Bill to the House it would be too early to go back on the right hon. Gentleman's own project. There are other matters hinging on this, particularly the war damage value payments which I undertook last month to have examined urgently by the War Damage Commission as to what escalation should be applied. This means escalation over and above the 1939 value.

Mr. W. S. Morrison (Cirencester and Tewkesbury)

Do I understand from what the right hon. Gentleman has told us, and leaving war damage payments out of account for the moment, that for the price of land compulsorily acquired the Government propose to take no account at this time of the fact that the war is over?

Mr. Dalton

I would like to put it my own way, and my way of putting it is that I do not wish to be so disrespectful to the foresight of the right hon. Gentleman as to take it for granted that what he proposed was wrong. We will have on open mind on that. I have asked Sir Malcolm Trustram Eve, who has done such important and distinguished work as chairman of the War Damage Commission, to make a report on escalation. I am hopeful that I will be able to make a statement before long to the House on this subject. The War Damage Commission are working very hard on that and we all pay them our tribute. It is more likely than not that I shall be able to make a statement to the House on the report they will make to me about the 1939 standard for value payments before this Bill is through its Committee stage. That is my guess, and I say quite frankly that when I get that report I will ask my colleagues to look again at the general situation as it will be affected by the recommendations of the War Damage Commission. It may, or may not, be that when we get to the Committee stage of the Bill there will be a case for making some amendment. We will listen, as we are always anxious to do, to arguments which may be adduced when it is possible to put before the House and country, as part of the general picture, what the Government propose to do in regard to escalation in the field of value payments. Pending that, we will stick to the right hon. Gentleman's plan.

I have also been challenged, principally from hon. Members behind me, including my hon. Friend the Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson), who is a good conservative Socialist in some respects, on the question of the £300 million. At some stages of the Debate it almost looked as though there would be a sort of coalition against the Government on this matter between the right hon. Gentleman the junior Member for the City of London (Mr. Assheton), who made some interesting remarks on it yesterday, and some of my hon. Friends. My right hon. Friend the Minister in moving the Second Reading—a great test of intellectual and physical endurance in which he set a standard difficult for future Chancellors of the Exchequer to follow in their Budget speeches—dealt with this at length. We do not say that this figure, or any other figure, is to be justified as representing what the landlords are entitled to as of right, because we deny that there is a legal right and we follow the Uthwatt Committee and the old common law of England in so denying. We also say that there is no precise method of estimating. No independent inquiry could frame such an estimate. The data are not there. There are no Stock Exchange quotations which we were able to take.

There is no logical method of calculating this thing. Therefore, we had to make a guess at what would be reasonable. My right hon. Friend has made his guess. I think it is as good as anyone else's guess. He guesses that £300 million would be just about enough to keep the wolf from the door in a number of cases of hardship, which in due course will be revealed. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London used an argument in favour of paying little and not paying it yet—I mean the junior Member for the City of London, as I see the other representative of that great financial constituency has taken his seat on the Front Bench opposite—[HON. MEMBERS: "Go on."]—I was only wishing to distinguish the representative of the City of London other than the one now sitting on the Front Bench. The right hon. Gentleman regretted that we were going to make these payments to landlords because they were inflationary. He said: I do not think anyone has called attention to the inflationary character of the proposal- to distribute the sum of £300 million. It is impossible to distribute £300 million, or even the interest upon it, in relation to undeveloped values without having some inflationary effect upon our financial structure."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 29th January, 1947; Vol. 432, c 1033.] That is a reason perhaps for reducing the figure, and perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will put down an Amendment to that effect at a later stage of the proceedings. It is also an argument in favour of slowing up the payments. Under the Bill we are only required to pay within five years. The Coalition were not in favour of paying anything until after five years. Our formula is to pay within five years. His argument is that we should pay slowly rather than quickly. It is also, of course, a tremendous argument for keeping down the rate of interest. It is an argument for a relentless pursuit of the cheap money policy.

Having said all these things, I would remind my hon. Friends behind me that Philip Snowden once said, "You must not think only of what you take from a man, you must think of what you leave behind." I would say to my hon. Friends, "You must not think only of what you pay, you must think of what you get for it." What we get for this £300 million compassionate payment are all the development values of all privately owned land in this island. That is not nothing. On the contrary, it is something extremely large and important, and just as when we were discussing the nationalisation of the Bank of England—though there we had certain statistical elements to help us which we have not got here—I ventured to tell the House that we were getting a good bargain for the payment we were making by way of compensation to the shareholders, so I have no hesitation in saying the same thing now. I think we are getting a very good bargain indeed in obtaining for the community, for all time, all development values, present and future, for the payment, within five years, of £300 million. Balancing one thing against the other, I am quite prepared to defend that decision. Of course, if the Opposition were to ask for the sum to be reduced, we would give careful consideration to the suggestion.

May I turn to another group of beneficiaries under the Bill—local authorities? I would like to say, in reply to questions by hon. Members, especially by my hon. Friend the Member for the Drake Division (Mr. Medland), what we are doing in regard to financial assistance for local authorities, and to deal with one or two questions arising out of that. Grants to local authorities from the Exchequer are much more generous than any grants that have ever been made before in regard to planning. They fall under three heads. In the first place, with regard to the blitzed areas we are giving 90 per cent. of that part of the loan charges which is in respect of a loss incurred in the acquisition and clearing of blitzed areas. For the acquisition and clearing of land in blitzed areas we are giving a grant of 90 per cent. of that part of the loan charges, which the local authorities incur, which is in respect of a loss on these two preliminary operations. This is to be given for an initial period, the duration of which is now being discussed with the local authorities and has not yet been finally settled. The Government are listening to the views of the local authorities but the period will be set out in the regulations which my right hon. Friend will issue in due course.

In the second place, with regard to blighted as distinct from blitzed areas, the Act of 1944 gave nothing for blight. We are giving up to a maximum of 80 per cent. of the same figure which I have quoted for the blitzed areas, namely, that part of the loan charge which is in respect of a loss on the initial stages of reconstruction. Further than this, here is another example in which this Bill is more generous to local authorities in blitzed and blighted areas than was the Act of 1944. This assistance—not at the maximum initial percentages but at some percentage which we shall discuss with the local authorities—will continue to be given throughout the 60 years which represents the lifetime of the normal loan for this purpose. In the Act of 1944, it was limited to 15 years. We are extending it to the whole period.

In the third place, we are giving, for the first time—there is nothing of this in the 1944 Act—a grant from the Treasury up to a maximum of 60 per cent., which will vary according to the conditions of different authorities, for losses incurred as a result of planning activities in all areas, including those fortunate areas which are neither blitzed nor blighted. Grants will be made right through the country to every local authority in regard to these planning activities which will be mainly on revenue account. The first two operations which I have been discussing will be on capital account. Those are the loan charges. The general planning activities will be normally financed out of revenue—and we shall give up to 60 per cent. on losses incurred—

Mr. Kirkwood (Dumbarton Burghs)

Does that apply to Scotland as well as to England and Wales?

Mr. Dalton

Scotland is never left out in such a reckoning as this. We never exclude Scotland. This third type of grant which I have been seeking to explain has never been provided before. It is quite a new form of national financial assistance to planning activity. The actual percentage will vary from one local authority to another on the principle that the poorest will get most and that the richest will get least, measured by the ordinary standards based on rateable values. That is all being worked out and, following consultations with the authorities, regulations which my right hon. Friend will issue will set the whole matter out in detail.

My hon. Friend the Member for Drake asked me, arising out of this matter, one or two specific questions. I hope I have succeeded in making clear the general arrangements about the grants. He pointed out that Section 30 of the 1944 Act compels local authorities which acquire land to find alternative accommodation for the dispossessed. He asked how that stood. The answer is that that provision remains in force in this Bill. The hon. Member also asked whether it also bound Government Departments. I suspect that he had the Admiralty in mind. Indeed, I think he told me that.

Mr. Medland


Mr. Dalton

The answer to that question is, "No, it does not bind them."

Mr. Medland

Tell me why.

Mr. Dalton

The answer is because of the legal technicalities, and because this Statute does not bind the Crown. It is open to my hon. Friend to transfer his persistence from the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the First Lord of the Admiralty.

Mr. Medland

I will do so.

Mr. Dalton

I have no doubt that he will be received with patience, sympathy and understanding, but the matter must be adjusted direct. The Statute does not help us. My hon. Friend also asked about Clause 5 and the designation of land. The Clause provides that land can be designated for compulsory acquisition only if it is likely to be wanted within 10 years. My hon. Friend tells me that Plymouth wants to designate land which they will not be in a position to acquire within 10 years, and he asks if designation cannot be for longer. The answer is, "No," but that does not mean that they can never do it. The thing must be done in stages, but as the years go by, it will be open to Plymouth City Council, or any other local authority, to put before my right hon. Friend further and succeeding plans. Initially, however, they must limit their view to the 10-year period.

A further question which my hon. Friend asked, and to which I shall be able to give him a satisfactory reply, was whether the acquisition of buildings for pulling down were included in the phrase "acquisition of land" for the purpose of counting for grant, and the answer is, "Yes." I was also asked by another hon. Member about local authorities' power to acquire land compulsorily, if the land is designated, and lease it for factories and industrial development. The answer to that also is "Yes," and this is a new provision of very considerable potential importance. It is now possible, provided that the Minister has approved, and I assume that that preliminary will have been gone through, it is perfectly possible for a local authority to acquire land compulsorily for industrial purposes, and having acquired it, to lease this land to industrial undertakings. It is largely a new provision, and, I think, a salutary one.

Questions have been raised whether what we are seeking to do is in accordance with our mandate. The hon. Member for West Ealing, who, I hope, is now quite satisfied on the subject of the £300 million, raised a question as to the relation of this Bill to the pledges made to the country and the votes the electors cast. It is curious how closely the actions of this Government coincide with the promises made before they were elected. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Oh, yes, this coincidence constantly recurs. This House of Commons has no mandate for the wholesale nationalisation of the land in this Parliament, but, so far as this Parliament is concerned, this is what we said when we asked the electors for their support: Labour believes in land nationalisation, and will work towards it, but, as a first step, the State and the local authorities must have wider and speedier powers to acquire land for public purposes wherever the public interest so requirts. This Bill does that. We went on to say: In this regard, and for the purpose of controlling land use in town and country planning, we will provide for fair compensation;— and I hope my hon. Friend will note this— but we will also provide for a revenue for public funds from' betterment. That is a summary of what this Bill provides. We are moving towards the nationalisation of the land, and not by slow steps. Large areas of land, both in town and in country, already belong to public authorities of many kinds—the State, local authorities, national boards, public commissions, and so forth—and constantly, as the years go on, particularly accelerated by the processes of this Bill, the rate of transfer of land from private to public ownership will be hastened. If I might quote from the words of an ancient hymn: Part of the host has crossed the flood. And part is crossing now. I come now to the alternative line of approach to the land problem, the question of the taxation and rating of privately-owned land values. The thing has no interest if the land is publicly owned, for then it is purely an accounting transaction within the field of public finance. I would say to those—and they are many; they are good friends of mine, and together we have fought the good fight for good causes through long years—who attach great importance to the taxation of land values, that land values are being, by this Bill, substantially deflated. That is the first effect which this Bill produces on the level of privately-owned land values. They are being deflated to the extent that any element of value reflecting an expectation of a change in the use of the land is being eliminated. That is what it means when we take over development values for the community. This source of land speculation will be stopped for ever. In future, no land that is privately owned will have a value in the hands of the private owner simply because he thinks that some day somebody will develop it, or that some day an open field will be built upon. All that is finished. The value of land from now on is determined solely by its value for its existing use.

The question arises whether it is worth while, in these conditions, still to pursue the purpose of the taxation or rating of land values. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Health and I—it is primarily his responsibility, but we are in close consultation on the matter—have been studying this problem, as I promised some time ago that we would study it. In my view, in his view, and, I think, in the view of all of us on this side of the House, there is still great strength in the argument that taxation is better levied on a land value even if deflated, which has been created by the work of the community and not by the work of the owner, than upon the buildings and other improvements. Therefore, there is still a strong case in principle for shifting the burden of local taxation, in some part at any rate, from buildings and improvements, on to site values even though they are deflated by this Measure. I say that as far as the principle is concerned.

As regards the practical application of this proposition, I can only say that my right hon. Friend and I have been giving close and careful study to the matter and we are now seeing whether we can work out a practicable scheme which would give enabling powers to local authorities to levy a local rate on site values within their area. We are working on that problem. If it should so turn out, as I hope and believe it may, that we can produce such a practicable scheme, then this would fall within the broad field of the reform of rating and valuation, long overdue, which my right hon. Friend is handling, and on which in due course this Government will, I hope, be able to legislate.

I now turn back from those considerations to the general provisions of this Bill, to which all my observations have been relevant. What good would it have been to turn to it earlier? The Opposition have shown a marked degree of absenteeism from the Chamber, and to make these observations earlier would have been of no benefit.

I believe that history will judge this Measure to be one of very great and fundamental importance in the reshaping of our economic system. It is true that it focuses upon one part of it, but upon a fundamental and underlying part, the proper use of land. Through the years, through many centuries, the land of this country has, in one way or another, been misused and monopolised by some sections of the people. Somebody has said to me, poetically perhaps, "This Bill is the workers' revenge for the enclosures." There is something to be said for that. That is a reference to the time when the Government of this country rested in the hands of a tiny minority of privileged, rich men. That is no longer so. Today, we are placing the national interest first.

This land of ours makes us both proud and ashamed at the same time, proud of the beauty that remains, proud of the evidence of enterprise which shows itself in so many directions, but ashamed of the muddle and of the ugliness which cover so great a part of the scene. I believe that planning of the countryside is no less important—indeed it becomes more important—than the planning of the urban areas. We could do great things with this land of ours, if we chose. I believe the Bill gives us the instrument with which we can do these great things.

As I was thinking of the Bill, some words came back to me, from a book I read some time ago, some 40 years ago, by a great writer lately dead, H. G. Wells, who had qualities conspicuously denied to the Conservative Party. He had a gift of vision and prophecy. In this book, "New Worlds for Old," which is still worth reading, he was describing a conversation he had with a friend on the

Embankment, looking out upon the mixture of beauty and squalor in London by night. He said: For a moment I caught a vision of the coming City of Mankind, more wonderful than all my dreams; full of life, full of youth, full of the spirit of creation.

That is the spirit of the Bill.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 342; Noes, 150.

Division No. 62.] AYES. [9.59 p.m.
Adams, Richard (Balham) Corlett, Dr. J. Hall, W. G.
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Corvedale, Viscount Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. Cove, W. G. Hannan, W. (Maryhill)
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Crawley, A. Hardman, D R.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Hardy, E. A.
Allighan, Garry Crossman, R. H. S. Harrison, J.
Alpass, J. H. Daggar, G. Hastings, Dr. Somerville
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Daines, P. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)
Attewell, H. C. Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Herbison, Miss M.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Davies, Edward (Burslem) Hewitson, Capt. M.
Austin, H. Lewis Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Hicks, G.
Awbery, S. S. Davies, Harold (Leek) Hobson, C. R.
Ayles, W. H. Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Holman, P.
Bacon, Miss A. Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)
Baird, J. Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) House, G.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Deer, G. Hoy, J.
Barstow, P. G. Delargy, Captain H. J. Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)
Barton, C. Diamond, J. Hughes, Hoctor (Aberdeen, N.)
Battley, J. R. Dobbie, W. Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.)
Bechervaise, A. E. Dodds, N. N. Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Donovan, T. Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)
Benson, G. Driberg, T. E. N. Hynd, Rt. Hon. J. B. (Attercliffe)
Berry, H. Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich) Irving, W. J.
Beswick, F. Durbin, E. F. M. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Dye, S. Janner, B.
Bing, G. H. C. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Jay, D. P. T.
Binns, J. Edelman, M. Jeger, G. (Winchester)
Blenkinsop, A. Edwards, John (Blackburn) Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)
Blyton, W. R. Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Jones, Rt. Hon. A. C. (Shipley)
Boardman, H. Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge) Ewart, R. Keenan, W.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Fairhurst, F. Kendall, W. D.
Bramall, Major E. A. Farthing, W. J. Kenyon, C.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Field, Capt. W. J. Key, C. W.
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) King, E. M.
Brown, George (Belper) Follick, M. Kinley, J.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Foot, M. M. Kirby, B. V.
Bruce, Maj. D. W. T. Forman, J. C. Kirkwood, D.
Buchanan, G. Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Lang, G
Burden, T. W. Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford) Lavers, S.
Burke, W. A. Freeman, Peter (Newport) Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Gaitskell, H. T. N. Lee, F. (Hulme)
Byers, Frank Gallacher, W. Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)
Carmichael, James Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Leonard, W.
Castle, Mrs. B. A George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Leslie, J. R.
Chamberlain, R. A. Gibbins, J. Lever, N. H.
Champion, A. J. Gibson, C. W. Levy, B. W
Chater, D Gilzean, A. Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)
Chetwynd, G. R. Goodrich, H. E. Lewis, J. (Bolton)
Clitherow, Dr. R. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Lewis, T (Southampton)
Cocks, F. S. Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Lindgren, G. S.
Coldrick, W. Grenfell, D. R. Lipson, D. L.
Collick, P. Grey, C. F. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Collindridge, F. Grierson, E. Logan, D. G.
Collins, V. J. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Longden, F.
Colman, Miss G. M. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Lyne, A. W.
Comyns, D. L. Gunter, R. J. McAdam, W.
Cook, T. F. Guy, W. H. McAllister, G.
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. Haire, John E. (Wycombe) McEntee, V. La T.
Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.) Hale, Leslie Mack, J. D.
McKay, J. (Wallsend) Proctor, W. T. Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Pursey, Cmdr. H. Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
McKinlay, A. S. Randall, H. E. Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
McLeavy, F. Ranger, J. Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles) Rankin, J. Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Macpherson, T. (Romford) Rees-Williams, D. R. Thomson, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)
Mallalieu, J. P. W. Reeves, J. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Mann, Mrs. J. Reid, T. (Swindon) Thurtle, E.
Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.) Rhodes, H. Tiffany, S.
Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Richards, R. Timmons, J.
Marquand, H. A. Ridealgh, Mrs. M. Titferington, M. F.
Marshall, F. (Brightside) Robens, A. Tolley, L.
Mathers, G. Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth) Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.
Mayhew, C. P. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Turner-Samuels, M.
Medland, H. M. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.) Usborne, Henry
Mellish, R. J. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Vernon, Maj. W. F
Middleton, Mrs. L. Rogers, G. H. R. Viant, S. P.
Mikardo, Ian Ross, William (Kilmarnock) Wadsworth, G.
Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R. Royle, C. Walkden, E.
Mitchison, Maj. G. R. Sargood, R. Walker, G. H.
Monslow, W. Scollan, T. Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Montague, F. Scott-Elliot, W. Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)
Moody, A. S. Shackleton, Wing.-Cdr. E. A. A. Warbey, W. N.
Morley, R. Sharp, Granville Watkins, T. E.
Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes) Watson, W. M.
Mort, D. L. Shawcross, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (St. Helens) Weitzman, D.
Moyle, A. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Murray, J. D. Shurmer, P. Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Naylor, T. E. Silkin, Rt. Hon. L. West, D. G.
Neal, H. (Claycross) Silverman, J. (Erdington) Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Silverman, S. S. (Nelson) Wigg, Col. G. E.
Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Simmons, C. J. Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B.
Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford) Skeffington, A M. Wilkes, L.
Noel-Buxton, Lady Skeffington-Lodge, T. C. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
O'Brien, T. Smith C. (Colchester) Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Oldfield, W. H. Smith, Ellis (Stoke) Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Oliver, G. H. Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.) Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Orbach, M. Solley, L. J. Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Paling, Rt. Hon Wilfred (Wentworth) Sorensen, R. W. Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Palmer, A. M. F. Soskice, Maj. Sir F. Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J.
Pargiter, G. A. Sparks, J. A. Wilson, J. H.
Parker, J. Stamford, W. Wise, Major F. J.
Parkin, B. T. Steele, T. Woodburn, A.
Paton, J. (Norwich) Stephen, C. Woods, G. S
Pearson, A. Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Wyatt, W.
Peart, Capt. T. F. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.) Yates, V F.
Piratin, P. Stress, Dr. B. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Platts-Mills, J. F. F. Stubbs, A. E. Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield) Summerskill, Dr. Edith Zilliacus, K.
Porter, E (Warrington) Swingler, S.
Porter, G. (Leeds) Symonds, A. L. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Price, M. Philips Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield) Mr. Snow and Mr. Poppleweli.
Aitken, Hon. Max Davidson, Viscountess Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C.
Amory, D. Heathcoat De la Bère, R. Henderson, John (Cathcart)
Anderson, Rt. Hon. Sir J. (Scot. Univ.) Digby, S. W. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. Dodds-Parker, A. D. Hogg, Hon. Q.
Baldwin, A. E. Donner, Sqn.-Ldr. P. W. Hollis, M. C.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Dower, E. L. G. (Caithness) Hope, Lord J.
Beechman, N. A. Drayson, G. B. Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)
Bennett, Sir P. Drewe, C. Hurd, A.
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.)
Boothby, R. Duncan, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (City of Lond.) Jeffreys, General Sir G.
Bossom, A. C. Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Jennings, R.
Bower, N. Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L. Joynson-Hioks, Lt.-Cdr. Hon. L. W.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Foster, J. G. (Northwich) Kerr, Sir J. Graham
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G. Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) Lambert, Hon. G.
Bullock, Capt. M. Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M. Langford-Holt, J.
Butcher, H. W. Gage, C. Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.
Butler, Rt. Hon. R A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n) Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. Lennox-Boyd, A. T.
Carson, E. Gammans, L. D. Linstead, H. N.
Challen, C. Glossop, C. W. H. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Channon, H. Glyn, Sir R. Low, Brig. A. R. W.
Clarke, Col. R. S Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G. Lucas, Major Sir J.
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Grant, Lady Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Gridley, Sir A. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Grimston, R. V. MacAndrew, Col. Sir C.
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) McCallum, Maj. D.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Maodonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Mackeson, Brig. H. R.
Crowder, Capt. John E. Haughton, S. G. McKie, J. H. (Galloway)
Darling, Sir W. Y. Head, Brig. A. H. Maclay, Hon. J. S.
Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry) Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)
Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Prescott, Stanley Teeling, William
Manningham-Buller, R. E. Price-White, Lt.-Col. D. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Marlowe, A. A. H Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Marsden, Capt. A. Ramsay, Maj. S. Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Rayner, Brig. R. Touche, G. C.
Maude, J C. Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury) Turton, R. H.
Mellor, Sir J. Ronton, D. Vane, W. M. F.
Morrison, Maj, J. G. (Salisbury) Roberts, H. (Handsworth) Walker-Smith, D.
Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall) Ward, Hon. G. R.
Mott-Radclyffe, Maj. C. E. Ropner, Col. L. Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Neven-Spence, Sir B. Sanderson, Sir F. Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Nicholson, G. Smith, E. P. (Ashford) White, J. B. (Canterbury)
Noble, Comdr. A. H. P. Smithers, Sir W. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Nutting, Anthony Snadden, W. M. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Spearman, A. C. M. Willink, Rt. Hon. H. U.
Orr-Ewing, I. L. Stanley, Rt. Hon. O. Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Osborne, C Strauss, H. G. (English Universities) Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Peake, Rt. Hon. O. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Peto, Brig. C H. M SutcIiffoe H. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Pitman, I. J Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne) Mr. Buchan-Hepburn and
Commander Agnew.

Bill accordingly read a Second time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be committed to a Com

mittee of the Whole House."—[Mr. W. S. Morrison.]

The House divided: Ayes, 153; Noes, 330.

Division No. 63.] AYES. [10.12 p.m.
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)
Aitken, Hon. Max Glossop, C. W. H. Mott-Radclyffe, Maj. C. E.
Amory, D. Heathcoat Glyn, Sir R. Neven-Spence, Sir B.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G. Nicholson, G.
Baldwin, A. E. Grant, Lady Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H. Gridley, Sir A. Nutting, Anthony
Beechman, N. A. Grimston, R. V. O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H.
Bennett, Sir P. Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells) Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Osborne, C.
Boothby, R. Harvey Air-Comdre. A. V. Peto, Brig. C. H. M.
Bossom, A. C. Haughton, S. G. Pitman, I. J.
Bower, N. Head, Brig. A. H. Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Hoadlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C. Prescott, Stanley
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G. Henderson, John (Cathcart) Price-White, Lt.-Col. D.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.
Buchan-Heoburn, P. G. T. Hogg, Hon. Q. Rayner, Brig. R.
Bullock, Capt. M. Hollis, M. C. Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)
Butcher, H. W. Hope, Lord J. Renton, D.
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n) Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Byers, Frank Hurd, A. Roberts, H. (Handsworth)
Carson, E. Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.) Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)
Challen, C. Jeffreys, General Sir G. Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Channon, H. Jennings, R. Ropner, Col. L.
Clarke, Col R. S. Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr. Hon. L. W. Sanderson, Sir F.
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Kerr, Sir J. Graham Smith, E. P. (Ashford)
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Snadden, W. M.
Cooper-Key, E. M. Lambert, Hon. G. Spearman, A. C. M.
Corben, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Langford-Holt, J. Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E Lemiox-Boyd, A. T. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Crowder, Capt. John E. Linstead, H. N. Sutcliffe, H.
Darling, Sir W Y. Lipson, D. L. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Davidson, Viscountess Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)
Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Low, Brig. A. R. W. Teeling, William
De la Bere, R. Lueas, Major Sir J. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Digby, S. W. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
Donner, Scin.-Ldr. P. W. MacAndrew, Col. Sir C. Touche, G. C.
Dower, E. L. G. (Caithness) McCallum, Maj. D. Turton, R. H.
Drayson, G. B Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight) Vane, W. M. F.
Drewe, C. Mackeson, Brig. H. R. Wadsworth, G.
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Walker-Smith, O.
Duncan, Rt. Hn. Sir A. (City of Lond.) Maclay, Hon. J. S. Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Wheatley, Colonel M. J,
Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L. Maitland, Comdr. J. W. White, J. B. (Canterbury)
Foster, J. G. (Northwich) Manningham-Buller, R. E. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Marlowe, A. A. H. Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) Marsden, Capt. A. Willink, Rt. Hon. H. U.
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Gage, C. Maude, J. C
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D Mellor, Sir J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Gammans, L. D. Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)' Sir Arthur Young and
Major Ramsay.
Adams, Richard (Balham) Durbin, E. F. M. Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Dye, S. Leonard, W.
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Leslie, J. R.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Edelman, M. Lever, N. H.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Edwards, John (Blackburn) Levy, B. W.
Allighan, Garry Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)
Alpass, J. H. Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) Lewis, J. (Bolton)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Lindgren, G. S.
Attewell, H. C. Ewart, R. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Fairhurst, F. Logan, D. G.
Awbery, S. S. Farthing, W. J. Longdon, F.
Ayles, W. H. Field, Capt. W. J. Lyne, A. W.
Bacon, Miss A. Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) McAdam, W.
Baird, J. Follick, M. McAllister, G.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J. Foot, M. M. McEntee, V. La T.
Barstow, P. G. Forman, J. C. McGhee, H. G.
Barton, C. Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Mack, J. D.
Battley, J. R. Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford) McKay, J. (Wallsend)
Bechervaise, A. E. Freeman, Peter (Newport) Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)
Bellinger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Gaitskell, H. T. N. McKinlay, A. S.
Benson, G. Gallacher, W. McLeavy, F.
Berry, H. Ganley, Mrs. C. S. MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Beswick, F. Gibbins, J. Macpherson, T. (Romford)
Sevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Gibson, C. W. MaHalieu, J. P. W.
Bing, G. H. C. Gilzean,, A. Mann, Mrs. J.
Binns, J. Goodrich, H. E. Manning, C (Camberwell, N.)
Blenkinsop, A. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)
Blyton, W. R. Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Marquand. H. A.
Boardman, H. Grenfell, D. R. Marshall, F. (Brightside)
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Grey, C. F. Mathers, G.
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Grierson, E. Mayhew, C. P.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exoh'ge) Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Medland, H. M.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Mellish, R. J.
Bramall, Major E. A. Gunter, R. J. Middleton, Mrs. L
Brooks, T. J (Rothwell) Guy, W. H. Mikardo, Ian
Brown, George (Belper) Haire, John E. (Wycombe) Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Hale, Leslie Mitchison, Maj. G. R.
Brupe, Maj D. W. T. Hall, W. G. Monslow, W.
Buchanan, G. Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Moody, A. S.
Burden, T. W. Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Morley, R.
Burke, W. A. Hardman, D. R. Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Hardy, E. A. Mort, D. L.
Carmichael, James Harrison, J. Moyle, A.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Hastings, Dr. Somerville Murray, J. D.
Chamberlain, R. A. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Naylor, T. E
Champion, A. J. Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick) Neal, H. (Claycross)
Chater, D. Herbison, Miss M. Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)
Chetwynd G. R. Hewitson, Capt. M. Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)
Clitherow, Dr. R. Hobson, C. R. Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)
Cocks, F. S. Holman, P. Noel-Buxton, Lady
Coldrick, W. Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) O'Brien, T.
Collick, P. House, G. Oldfield, W. H.
Collindridge, F. Hoy, J. Oliver, G. H.
Collins, V. J. Hubbard, T. Orbach, M
Colman, Miss G. M. Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)
Cotnyns, Dr. L. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Palmer, A. M. F.
Cork, T. F. Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.) Pargiter, G. A.
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme) Parker, J.
Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'Well, N.W.) Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Parkin, B T.
Corlett, Dr. J Hynd, Rt. Hon. J. B. (Attercliffe) Paton, J. (Norwich)
Corvedale Viscount Irving, W. J. Pearson, A.
Cove, W. G. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Peart, Capt. T. F.
Crawley, A. Janner, B. Piratin, P.
Cripps, Rt. Hon. Sir S. Jay, D. P. T. Platts-Mills, J. F. F.
Crossman, R. H. S Jeger, G. (Winchester) Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield)
Daggar, G. Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.) Porter, G. (Leeds)
Daines, P. Jones, Rt. Hon. A. C. (Shipley) Price, M. Philips
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools) Proctor, W. T.
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow) Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Jones, P. Asterley (Hitohin) Randall, H. E.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Keenan, W Ranger, J.
Davies, Hadyn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Kendall, W. D Rankin, J.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Kenyon, C. Rees-Williams, D. R.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Key, C. W. Reeves, J.
Deer, G. King, E. M. Reid, T. (Swindon)
Delargy, Captain H. J. Kinley, J. Rhodes, H.
Diamond, J. Kirby, B. V. Richards, R.
Dobbie, W. Kirkwood, D. Ridealgh, Mrs. M.
Dodds, N. N. Lang, G. Robens, A.
Donovan, T. Lavers, S. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Driberg, T. E. N. Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich) Lee, F. (Hulme) Rogers, G. H. R.
Ross, William (Kilmarnock) Stross, Dr. B. Watkins, T. E.
Sargood, R. Stubbs, A. E. Watson, W. M.
Scollan, T. Summerskill, Dr. Edith Weitzman, D.
Scott-Elliot, W. Swingler, S. Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Shackleton, Wing.-Cdr. E. A. A Symonds, A. L. Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Sharp, Granville Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield) West, D. G.
Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Shawcross, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (St. Helens) Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet) Wigg, Col. G. E.
Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare) Wilcock, Group.Capt. C. A. B.
Shurmer, P. Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin) Wilkes, L.
Silkin, Rt. Hon. L. Thomas, John R. (Dover) Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Silverman, J. (Erdington) Thomson, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.) Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Silverman, S. S. (Nelson) Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton) Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Simmons, C. J. Thurtle, E. Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Skeffington, A. M. Tiffany, S. Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Skeffington-Lodge, T. C. Timmons, J Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J.
Smith, C. (Colchester) Titterington, M. F. Wilson, J. H.
Smith, Ellis (Stoke) Tolley, L. Wise, Major F. J.
Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.) Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G. Woodburn, A.
Solley, L. J. Turner-Samuels, M. Woods, G. S.
Sorensen, R. W. Usborne, Henry Wyatt, W.
Soskice, Maj. Sir F. Vernon, Maj. W. F. Yates, V. F.
Sparks, J. A. Viant, S. P. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Stamford, W. Walken, E. Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Steele, T. Walker, G. H. Zilliacus, K.
Stephen, C. Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.) Warbey, W. N. Mr. Snow and Mr. Popplewell.

Bill committed to a Standing Committee.