§ 3.38 p.m.
§ Mr. Spence (Aberdeen and Kincardine, Central)
I beg to move, in page 118, line 23, column 1, to leave out "Buchan," and to insert "East Aberdeenshire."
It might be for the convenience of the Committee if this and the next Amendment in my name and the names of my hon. Friends were discussed together—in line 27, column 1, leave out "Dee and Don," and insert "West Aberdeenshire."
The reason for the Amendments is that the recommendations made by the Boundary Commission regarding the renaming of the Aberdeenshire constituencies have proved extremely unpopular with the people of Aberdeenshire. For that reason we suggest that we might consider this Amendment in the light of popular feeling. I might put the matter in this way: a large majority are opposed to the new names, a small minority is indifferent, but no one is in favour of the new names. We are most anxious to preserve the name of Aberdeenshire as a constituency name on the Floor of the House of Commons. Without going into further details, I express the hope that the right hon. Gentleman will be able to see his way to accept the Amendment.
§ The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Woodburn)
I have given consideration to the point raised by the hon. Gentleman and the inquiries which I have made seem to confirm the point he has put. Therefore, I shall have very great pleasure in accepting the Amendments.
§ Mr. Thornton-Kemsley (Aberdeen and Kincardine, Western)
As one who has the honour to represent the area which could, I suppose, be described as the area of the Dee and Don, may I express 218 my pleasure at the concession which the Secretary of State for Scotland has made, and say that it will give great satisfaction in Aberdeen City and throughout Aberdeenshire that the county name is to be preserved?
§ Mr. Charles Williams (Torquay)
I am not in any way objecting to this Amendment, but may I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he has made quite certain —as we have had one or two rather startling examples recently—that what will be West Aberdeen is really West Aberdeen, and not East, and that in the same way East is not West? I am not sure whether the right hon. Gentleman has gone into it, although I feel certain that my hon. Friend who moved the Amendment will be able to describe in exact detail how far down South-West would have to go before it became South and how far South-East would go before it became South. It really would be rather awkward if at another time and stage we were informed that what was called West or East was really North or South.
Mr. McKie (Galloway)
It is seldom that I find myself in disagreement with the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams), but I can assure him that, so far as the Scottish Office is concerned, on this question they are more likely to show geographical accuracy than even the Home Office. I would like to say how glad I am that the right hon. Gentleman saw fit to accept these two Amendments. I for one would deeply deplore it if we were to set a precedent in this direction, so far as the essential constituencies are concerned, whereby in future county names might have been withheld from the constituency designation. I am sure that we should not be interpreting the wish of the people in so doing. I cannot claim to speak with authority about Aberdeenshire, but I am satisfied with what my hon. Friends have said, and that if the right hon. Gentleman had held to the original designation there would have been a storm of controversy.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendment made: In line 27, column 1, leave out "Dee and Don," and insert "West Aberdeenshire."219
§ 3.45 P.m.
§ Mr. Maclay (Montrose Burghs)
I beg to move, in page 119, line 5, column 2, at the end to insert:except the burgh of Inverbervie.I think it would be convenient if we discussed the whole group of Amendments in my name together. The object of this Amendment is to restore the constituency of the Montrose District of Burghs which has been abolished by the present proposals that we are discussing. It would also have the effect of adding an extra seat to the 71 Scottish seats, and I realise that that may not necessarily be completely acceptable. The difficulty has been that to make the necessary adjustment would involve highly complicated juggling with the figures involving five constituencies in the North-East area of Scotland and an Ayrshire seat, because a seat has been taken away from the North-East area of Scotland and has been put into Ayrshire.
The main burden of my argument is that while, numerically, there may have been a case for reducing the number of seats in Angus and Kincardine, numerically there is no case for increasing the number of seats in Ayrshire. So it boils down to not taking a seat away from North-East Scotland in order to find one for Ayrshire. It is true that, on a strict mathematical application of the formula to Scotland, one seat has to be taken away from the North-East area. That is the point I wish to argue in some detail but I would point out before so doing that I believe I am speaking for every constituent of mine, of every shade of opinion. That was borne out by the public inquiry that was held, which clearly established two main points. One was that there was a strong community of interest between the burghs making up the present constituency, and the second main point was that there was great value in an undivided representation of these burghs as distinct from dividing the burghs into two groups and putting them into two large county areas.
I will not elaborate that argument this afternoon. I did so on an earlier occasion, on Second Reading. The point I would like to make is this. On the question of mathematical requirements the result of the local public inquiry made it clear that our general argument of community of interest was established, but it 220 seemed to the Boundary Commission impossible to retain the status quo, which was what we were, in effect, requesting, because of the mathematical requirements of the original instructions. The Home Secretary has made a substantial point on more than one occasion that Scotland, with its 71 seats, is achieving better representation than the English and Welsh equivalents, and that I think is mathematically correct. I would suggest there is, quite logically, a strong case for carrying that principle a further step, inside Scotland. After all, if Scotland has 71 seats, which are rather in excess of its mathematical equivalent, there must be some good reason. It is perhaps Scotland's special contribution to this House and its geographical nature, or other possible reasons, but surely there is a strong case for carrying the argument forward, inside Scotland, and seeing that we get the best possible representation for Scotland as a whole without paying excessive regard to pure mathematics.
As they stand, the present proposals give no less than 22 seats to Lanark and Glasgow, and the total representation of what one might call the industrial and heavily populated area of Scotland is 46 seats. Fife, which is in a special category, because it is becoming increasingly industrialised, has four, That is 50 seats for the central belt of Scotland, already heavily populated and industrialised. The whole of the rest of Scotland has only 21 seats. Surely, every party, and Members of every shade of opinion, have been arguing for years that one of the most imperative needs in Scotland is to redistribute population and industry throughout the whole country. We hear a great deal about the de-population of the Highlands, and I would suggest, particularly today when Governments are taking such an active part in this question of industry—in fact, it is impossible for industry to move without the sanction of a Government Department—full and adequate Parliamentary representation is extremely necessary, if one is to get the proper assistance for industry to move away from the industrial area. That is the main substance of my argument on numbers.
I do not attempt to say that mathematically we can justify three seats in Angus and Kincardine which would be the result if my proposal was accepted. 221 However, on the evidence of recent years, with the beginning of the flow back of population to that area, there is every case for not taking a Member away from there and giving the seat to Ayrshire which cannot be shown to need an extra seat. I would not expect my exact proposal to be completely acceptable, because it deals only with the Parliamentary county of Angus and Kincardine. To make a proper job of this, and to meet the general case about the progressive under-representation of the non-industrial belt of Scotland, it would be necessary to look again at the position in Aberdeenshire and then to study carefully the effect of these new proposals on Ayrshire. It should be possible to produce a perfectly equitable redistribution which would leave Scotland with 71 seats and enable us to revert to the status quo before the Boundary Commission reported.
I close by saying that Montrose Burghs in its present form has a very long history. It has been precisely as it is now since 1832 and, with only a slight alteration, it has been in the same form since 1708. It has a long record of prominent representatives in Parliament, including such diverse characters as Joseph Hume and Lord Morley. If its present incumbent is not up to standard, that cannot be held against the constituency. I sincerely hope that this constituency, with its long and honourable tradition, including the fact that never since 1832 has it returned any Member other than a Liberal, will be considered. I hope that the Secretary of State will give sympathetic consideration to my argument and possibly ask the Boundary Commission to reconsider the whole of this area together with Ayrshire, and, in effect, accept what I propose.
§ Major Ramsay (Forfar)
I heartily agree with everything said by my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose Burghs (Mr. Maclay). He put the case most clearly. I confirm what he said about community of interest in Angus. Local interests have been upset by the proposals of the Boundary Commission. I also wish to make a few remarks about the North-East of Scotland generally. That area is vitally important in our Scottish economy. It is not only a great food producer, but we hope that it will become a great industrial producer. There are industries there now and, if the area gets all the attention it deserves, I hope that it will go 222 ahead as a flourishing part of the community. I agree that it is difficult to submit alternatives to the proposals of the Boundary Commission. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to go into the matter with a view to finding out whether he can maintain the present number of Members in the North-East of Scotland. It may be that as a result he would need another Member, perhaps in the industrial belt or in Ayrshire. If he did, there is no reason why he should do the wrong thing by the North-East. We could have another Scottish Member. The position was worked out rather inaccurately yesterday by the Home Secretary. He based his argument entirely on mathematics. I do not believe that mathematics are the essence of the argument in a case such as this. There are very wide areas to be covered in the North-East of Scotland with varying interests which require attention. I sincerely support my hon. Friend in his plea that the right hon. Gentleman should consider this matter further.
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes (South Ayrshire)
I wish the hon. Member for Montrose Burghs (Mr. Maclay) had confined his remarks to making a case, whether mathematical or otherwise, on the merits of the question without trying to commit an act of aggression against Ayrshire. In the latter part of his speech he claimed apparently that because Joseph Hume and Lord Morley, people of great repute to whom I pay tribute, represented his part of the country, special consideration should be given to that area. If we act on that argument and ignore mathematics entirely, I will claim another two seats for Ayrshire on the strength of Robert Burns and Keir Hardie. The hon. Gentleman's argument about the drift of population should not influence the Secretary of State for Scotland to consider taking away a seat from Ayrshire. In Ayrshire the position is not theoretical. The plan: ping authorities have already made practical proposals for a much bigger increase of population in Ayrshire than can ever be considered in Montrose. Although I do not object to my hon. Friend's claim for Montrose, I suggest that we should rule out immediately the suggestion that because Montrose Burghs wishes to be enfranchised, Ayrshire should be disfranchised.
§ Mr. Thornton-Kemsley
As the Member who, under present proposals, would 223 have my own county of Kincardine taking over three of the five burghs in Montrose Burghs, I wish to say a few words. I heartily support what has been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose Burghs (Mr. Maclay). He advanced three main reasons in support of his contention that the proposals of the Government should be looked at again. His first reason was the community of interest between the burghs concerned. I heartily agree with him. Places like Brechin, Forfar, Inverbervie, Arbroath, and indeed Montrose itself, have a great community of interest. As the hon. Member said, they have been associated in one Parliamentary constituency for over 115 years, and that is very strong ground for keeping them as they are now. His second ground was that there is a conflict of interest between the burghs and the surrounding countryside. I have often told my hon. Friend that I do not see eye to eye with him on that topic. I have had the honour to represent the county town of Stonehaven. I found no great conflict of interest between the people of the county town and those of the countryside. The people from the country come into the county town for their markets and meetings and many other purposes. The same position exists at Montrose.
§ Mr. Thornton-Kemsley
It may be that the same applies in Ayrshire. I entirely agree with the hon. Member's third point. The under-representation of the constituencies in the non-industrial belt is a serious matter. I disagree completely with the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) when he says that if the Amendment were accepted he would claim two extra seats for the industrial area of Scotland. That area is already over-represented and we ought not to consider increasing the number of seats there.
There is one other ground which I wish to advance. Under the present proposals we are doing something which is quite unnatural. We are bringing the county of Kincardine south and associating it with the county of Angus when, in all other respects, it is associated northwards with the county of Aberdeen, I think that is very bad, because, in local government and in everything else, Kincardine goes 224 with Aberdeen. It is used to going that way, and we would be doing something quite unnatural to dissociate the county of Kincardine from the whole of Aberdeenshire, compelling the people to make new affiliations elsewhere. I think that is a point which should be borne in mind. While I cannot in detail support the exact wording of the proposal of my hon. Friend, I am altogether with him in his suggestion that this matter ought to be reconsidered. The whole of North-East Scotland ought to be looked at again, and if I am asked what is the right solution, I would say let it be the status quo.
§ 4.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Maclay
May I deal with two points? When I used the word "conflict" as between burgh and county, I should not have done so. I do not suggest there is conflict; there is community of market and interests. It is, however, very difficult for an hon. Member trying to represent a series of burghs, all of which are actively interested in the development of light industries, and, at the same time, trying also to represent very large agricultural areas. I know that hon. Members do it in various parts of the country, but I say that, because it happens in same places, there is no reason for pushing that process on to others. I have believed for many years, and, in speaking in this Debate I repeat, that it is difficult to keep a balance when we get burghs mixed up with counties, and I gravely doubt whether in these days we can keep the balance between the industrial districts and agricultural interests. As regards Ayrshire, I think it may be a little difficult to increase the number of Scottish seats over 71, but, if Ayrshire is going to receive additional population, there may be, in due course, good reason for giving another two seats. At present, however, I do not think the figures justify it.
§ Mr. Woodburn
I can sympathise with the hon. Gentleman, but this is not really a question of the Government doing anything. The Government have brought in this Bill, and, so far as Scotland is concerned, have practically confined themselves to the recommendations of the Boundary Commission. Therefore, the arguments are against the Boundary Commission and not against the Government. 225 The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment has quite rightly concluded that it is not likely that Scotland can claim more than 71 seats, but he must have learned from the Home Secretary that England, relatively speaking, feels itself much under-represented compared with Scotland on a mere mathematical basis. I agree with him entirely that this is not a matter which can be settled completely by arithmetic, because, at the Speaker's Conference, when these matters were considered, clearly the question of geography and contours had to be taken into account.
It is ridiculous to compare the representation of Ross and Cromarty with the representation of a burgh or a compact group of burghs like the Montrose Burghs. It is quite true that the constituency of the Montrose Burghs is disappearing, and I think every hon. Member who found himself in that position would have a feeling of sorrow at parting with old traditions, but it is quite impossible to have progress without change. The argument of the hon. Gentleman is an argument not to have this Bill at all, but to leave everything as it is. If we are to have changes, then somebody must lose if someone else gains. As one of the hon. Members who is losing something like 6,000 friends and voters, I have a very keen sympathy with other people who are also losing, but I have to face the fact that, if there is to be a re-distribution and fair representation for everybody, somebody must lose, and there must be a stage when the population, in some cases, must break with old traditions. The area of the Montrose Burghs cannot claim special consideration because of its geographical contours, and it would not justify special consideration in the same way as the Highlands or the Western part of the country. The contour of this part of the country is not much different from that of the adjacent areas.
It is quite true that the Government are taking steps to get the population moving into the countryside, and that may take place. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the present is not a static arrangement. The Boundary Commission are permanent, and, as changes take place, so can the Boundary Commission alter their recommendations to the House. No doubt, in due time, it what the hon. Gentleman hopes for actually takes place 226 in his district, he will be able to secure the extra Member. Possibly some of the congested districts which he mentioned will be so reduced that they will be able to part with a Member with entire fairness. I express my regret that I cannot accept the Amendment, because, as the hon. Gentleman has pointed out, its acceptance evidently requires a complete redistribution in Scotland again. We should start with these constituencies of Ayrshire and West Aberdeen and completely alter the representation, and then, in regard to the industrial areas, it would mean a complete re-organisation. Scotland has been left far less disturbed than England and Wales, and we stand by the Boundary Commission's proposals, which we think were sound.
§ Mr. Maclay
We should have advanced our arguments with greater diffidence had it not been for the fact that there has been a departure from the recommendations of the Boundary Commission in the actions of the Government, which undoubtedly affects the whole issue. We fell that, after the Boundary Commission had covered the whole country and had reported, hon. Members were pretty well bound to accept their decisions, particularly after public local inquiries had been held. We now find that the Government are engaged in departing very substantially from the recommendations of the Boundary Commission, and it is on that policy that I put forward my case. Another point which I do not think the Secretary of State has fully met is one which was referred to by all hon. Members who have spoken and which concerns the under-representation of the non-industrial areas. What the Secretary of State says is that mathematics really must rule the matter. If that is the case, and if that is the decision of the Government, I would have been inclined to accept it had it not been that we have had these continued disturbances of the Report of the Boundary Commission. I think there was a very strong case for considering the matter on the mathematical basis, and I hope that the Secretary of State will have a look at it again from that point of view. I can give him some figures to bear out my case.
§ Mr. Woodburn
I am sorry that I did not answer the particular point which the hon. Gentleman made, but, before I do so, I think he has misunderstood what 227 has happened in England and Wales. The hon. Gentleman probably did not hear the Home Secretary explain that he has accepted the alternative recommendations of the Boundary Commission which were based on the question of policy and not on the question of alteration of boundaries. In regard to the point which the hon. Gentleman made, it has always been the complaint of country areas that burgh Members did not understand their needs. Therefore, the finest education for a burgh Member is to have country constituents, so that when he comes here he will be able to take a balanced view of the whole population and not be lop-sided one way or another.
§ Mr. C. Williams
I wonder if I might try to be helpful and make a suggestion. It seems quite obvious that the whole difficulty could be overcome if Scotland could have one more Member. I am not arguing for the balance to be upset, but, as I see the Home Secretary is here, I wanted to ask him whether it would not be perfectly easy, as this is a case which ought to be met, if possible, to give Scotland one more Member and Plymouth one more Member. That would he quite fair. I put that suggestion forward in the interests of peace and common fairness and I understand that almost everyone in the Committee agrees. Perhaps the Ministers will think it over between now and the Report stage, and may be able to put forward something really sensible.
§ Mr. Maclay
I think the Secretary of State has been sticking very closely to his brief, but there may be a chance of altering this matter later. In the hope that it will be reconsidered between now and the Report stage, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Lieut.-Col. Sir Thomas Moore (Ayr Burghs)
I beg to move, in page 119, to leave out lines 25 to 45, and to insert:
This Amendment is the first of a series of five Amendments standing in my name, and I think it might be convenient to discuss them together, as they all concern the same constituency. The other Amendments are minor ones, mainly concerned with changes of name. If King Solomon gained his reputation for wisdom by suggesting the division of a child into two parts, then undoubtedly the Boundary Commission have made an all-time record for wisdom, because they have divided my constituency into three parts. I am hoping to develop an argument which will convince the right hon. Gentleman that the Boundary Commission have literally and actually failed in the duty which was imposed on them, and that it is now in his power to rectify that failure.
- "1. Ayr—The burghs of Ayr, Prestwick and Troon, the parish of Monkton and the electoral division of Dundonald in the district of Ayr.
- 2. Bute and North Ayrshire—
- (i) The county of Bute, inclusive of all the burghs situated therein;
- (ii) the burghs of Largs;
- (iii) the district of Kilbirnie.
- 3. Cunningham and Irvine—
- (i) The burghs of Irvine, Kilwinning, Stewarton, Ardrossan and Saltcoats;
- (ii) the districts of Irvine and Saltcoats.
- 4. Kilmarnock—
- (i) The burghs of Kilmarnock, Darvel, Galston and Newmilns and Greenholm;
- (ii) the districts of Newmilns and Kilmarnock."
I would like to say how much I agree with the remarks of the present Member for Montrose Burghs (Mr. Maclay). We do not want another seat in Ayrshire. We were all satisfied that we were most adequately representing our constituents, and we never had any complaints—except possibly the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes)—that we had failed to represent them. Personally, I feel it a matter of great regret having to sever friendships which have been built up over the last 23 years. "My old Dutch" and I have been together all that time without having had one quarrel or one cause for complaint on either side. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will realise the feelings with which I view the proposals in the Bill.
This series of Amendments would not interfere with the present composition of the adjacent constituencies in Ayrshire, and therefore I feel that I shall not be infringing on any one's susceptibilities and that I shall be allowed to make my own speech without having any interruptions from the hon. Member for South Ayrshire. These Amendments are merely intended to redress some of the anomalies referred to in the recommendations of the Boundary Commission. Indeed, I go further and say that my Amendments are necessary in order to give real effect to the aims of the Boundary Commission 229 itself. Those aims, as I understood them, were threefold. They were, first, to tidy up the country geographically, secondly, to equalise these five constituencies numerically, and thirdly, to preserve the general character and interests of these constituencies. In their recommendations, which are now incorporated in the Bill, the Boundary Commission have achieved the first two aims; they have undoubtedly tidied up the country, and they have to a large extent equalised numerically the representations in the five combined constituencies; but they have undoubtedly failed in the last—they have not preserved the general character and interest of the constituencies.
If the proposed Amendments are accepted, and if my argument convinces the right hon. Gentleman, the following changes will be involved. The old constituency of Ayr would consist of the burghs of Ayr, Prestwick and Troon, the parish of Monkton and the electoral division of Dundonald in the district of Ayr. The proposed new constituency of Cunningham and Irvine—a stupid name—would consist of the burghs of Irvine, Kilwinning, Stewarton, Ardrossan and Saltcoats and the districts of Irvine and Saltcoats. North Ayrshire, which is represented by my hon. and gallant Friend, South Ayrshire and Kilmarnock Burghs would remain almost as at present, geographically, numerically and politically, with the exception of the unimportant change that would be involved by my proposals.
I have deliberately not mentioned the district of Ayr, to avoid any infringement upon the constituency of the hon. Member for South Ayrshire. It might well be decided by the right hon. Gentleman to incorporate it into the old Ayr constituency because, without unbalancing the constituency of the hon. Member, it would undoubtedly round off the new Division which is to be called Ayr. None of the arguments which I am using is in any way personal. I shall not live for ever and eventually I shall be succeeded by somebody else. It is not in my own interest that I am advancing these arguments, but in the general interest of the Ayrshire community. The arguments are brief. Ayr Burghs has for 30 years been an almost entirely urban district consisting of seaports, harbours, flourishing 230 industries, seaside and holiday amenities and attractions, and some very good commercial industries. Under the new scheme it would receive substantial additions in the way of agricultural interests, coalmining districts and other odds and ends which would destroy the characteristics it has enjoyed for 30 years. I hold this to be foreign to the intentions of the Commission and it also flouts the undertakings given by the Home Secretary on Second Reading, and also by the Lord Chancellor on Second Reading in another place. Both said it was their intention not to disturb historical interests or flout local susceptibilities. In the proposals under the Bill, these undertakings are being disregarded.
If the Amendments which I am proposing are approved and accepted, they will ensure that both the old constituency of Ayr and the new constituency of Cunningham and Irvine will retain their present characteristics as well as the general industrial and social character which they have preserved for so long. They would also ensure that North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and Kilmarnock would undergo practically no change. I am informed, and have every reason to believe, that these proposals meet with the general assent of the communities concerned. I hope that I have made out a convincing case which the right hon. Gentleman will find no difficulty in accepting.
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes
I agree with the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore) that the name "Cunningham and Irvine" for the new constituency is long-winded. I would have a certain amount of sympathy in advance with the future Socialist Member for that division, who would have to be called "the hon. Member for Cunningham and Irvine" instead of by the simpler name of Central Ayrshire.
§ Mr. Hughes
I understand that the hon. and gallant Member adduced an argument on that matter. On the whole, I have to dissociate myself from the arguments of the hon. and gallant Member: I do not think they are supported by any of the authorities in the constituency. For example, there has been no opposition to the recommendations of the Boundary 231 Commission from the Ayrshire County Council. I believe that the Boundary Commission has done its work strictly and objectively and without any political considerations. I do not see that in these days there is any argument for retaining the present characteristics of constituencies because of something which has happened in the remote historical past. The Secretary of State was perfectly justified in saying that we have to break with tradition when common sense so demands.
I believe that we are really doing a good service to the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs in transferring to him certain villages in the district of Ayr. He will have in the new constituency a healthy infiltration of miners. The inhabitants of places like Annbank and Tarbolton will not be anxious to go into Ayr Burghs to be represented by the hon. and gallant Member; they would rather stay where they are. We understand their allegiance to South Ayrshire, but we realise it will mean an infiltration of new blood into Ayr Burghs, which might conceivably change its political representation. On strictly objective considerations, I believe that these recommendations should be accepted. Indeed, the party with which the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr and Bute, Northern (Sir C. Mac-Andrew) is connected has not raised any serious representation, as is shown from the fact that the hon. and gallant Member is not here to support his colleague from Ayr Burghs.
§ Sir T. Moore
I have consulted the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr and Bute, Northern (Sir C. MacAndrew). He entirely agrees with my proposals on the Order Paper.
§ Mr. Hughes
If the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr and Bute, Northern, entirely agrees with the proposals, he certainly has not emphasised his support by being present to reinforce the rather flimsy arguments of the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs. We have to look upon this matter, not from a party angle, but from the view of accepting the decision of an impartial body. Although I very much regret that the 3,000 miners will leave my constituency and go to support the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs, I believe that this proposal has been part and parcel of a really objectively thought-out plan.
§ Mr. William Ross (Kilmarnock)
I think we can all understand the feelings of the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore) on the loss of a constituency which he has represented for so long. It is difficult, however, to understand his new claims to be able to supplant the Boundary Commission in judging just how we shall fit in the new Member in Ayrshire. So far, our discussions have generally been on the loss of constituencies; but in Ayrshire we are getting an extra Member. I feel that, in dividing Ayrshire, the Boundary Commission have done a very good job, so much so that there has been very little criticism in Ayrshire of what they have done.
The only complaint I have had is the matter which the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs is raising later regarding the name of the new constituency. I cannot, however, accept his proposed changes in so far as they affect my own constituency because, whilst under the report of the Boundary Commission I shall lose Mauchline, Catrine and Sorn, which I would very much like to keep. I do not see why, in place of them, I should receive, from the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs, Stewarton and Dunlop, which have not been part of the Kilmarnock constituency. If he had consulted me I would have made that point quite clear. I do feel, however, that it will be quite a loss for him to lose Troon and I can understand the effect it will have on the new Ayr constituency in offsetting the influx of people from Mossblown, Annbank and Whitletts. I can see the hon. and gallant Member will be looking with regret on the vanishing support which he had there. There was bound to be a certain amount of complaint and regret at loss of friendship in this matter of division. In the case which has been presented by the hon. and gallant Member, however, I do not feel there is sufficient justification for overturning the report of the Boundary Commission. I suggest that the Secretary of State should leave well alone.
I was very interested to hear the speech of the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes). From one angle, I welcome the fact that some 3,000 of his present constituents will go to make up the new constituency which has been represented hitherto so efficiently by my hon. and gallant Friend the Mem- 233 ber for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore). I rejoice to think that some of the present supporters of the hon. Member for South Ayrshire are so dissatisfied with him in their present Division that they will welcome the chance, if they eventually go into the new Division, of registering their dissatisfaction with his representation in Parliament by swelling the ranks of those who will make the biggest majority that my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs has ever had. That was the only sentiment in the speech of the hon. Member for South Ayrshire with which I was in any agreement.
I have a close knowledge of the Ayr Burghs constituency. I have known it all my life. I have known a great many people who had the honour to be electors in one or other part of the burgh which has hitherto made up the constituency. I would take the guidance of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs as regards local feeling and sentiment rather than—and I say this without offence—the somewhat perverted and shallow views of the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Ayrshire which he has brought to bear during the discussion today and, indeed, generally brings to bear upon any subject on which he gives the House of Commons the benefit of his views.
The hon. Gentleman congratulated the Secretary of State for Scotland upon having said that in the rearrangement and regrouping of the Scottish constituencies we must not be afraid, if need be, to break old traditions. The Secretary of State said this afternoon—I hope I am quoting him accurately—that if we are to have progress we must have change. Certainly, but I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that change does not of necessity mean progress. I would ask him to keep that fact in mind when considering this question of the boundaries of the new Ayr Burghs constituency. I do not think any hon. Member opposite will gainsay me when I say that tradition has always been very highly prized and long cherished by people in Scotland, particularly the people of Southern Scotland. This is all the more remarkable when we consider the strong radical views of the Southern Scots. That is a matter which the right hon. Gentleman will do well to bear in mind when redrawing the boundaries of the Ayr Burghs.
234 The right hon. Gentleman must consider whether the country will gain by the provision already in the Bill or whether it would not be wiser to consider the suggestions made by my hon. and gallant Friend who has in support of him the majority of the electors in these various parts of Ayrshire, who will be very vitally affected if the Bill goes through as at present drafted. Let not the right hon. Gentleman listen to the tempting blandishments of the hon. Member for South Ayrshire, who said that it would be good to have extraneous elements brought from the countryside into the burgh divisions. Indeed, the right hon. Gentleman used the same argument himself in the previous Amendment.
If these people were only coming from the agricultural districts I, for one, would not mind so much; neither would my hon. and gallant Friend, because there would certainly be a greater harmony of interest between those coming from rural parishes and the average type of elector in the present Ayr burghs. If, on the other hand, the hon. Member for South Ayrshire has his way, we shall not have that community of interest. If electors are brought in from the mining areas there will certainly be no desire at all to see continuity of interest, unless they are so dissatisfied with the representation of the present Member for South Ayrshire that they will readily seek an opportunity of registering different political views at the next election. I hope the Secretary of State will have something to say by way of making at all events, some compromise on these proposals.
§ Mr. Woodburn
I can only express my gratitude to all the hon. Members affected by these changes for having themselves tried to replace the Boundary Commission by doing the job all over again. I observe that this effort has been confined to those more ingenious Members such as the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore). We have had no representations from anyone else; neither have the people in the constituencies been consulted by the hon. and gallant Member on these proposed changes. Therefore, there is no evidence to support the suggestion of the hon. Member for Galloway (Mr. McKie) that there is any support in that area for these proposals.
The hon. and gallant Member's present constituency cannot be described as a 235 rational one. Indeed, one would need to be something of a kangaroo to reach all the different places by jumping over all the other places en route. Whatever else may be said, the Boundary Commission have made a more homogeneous area so that the hon. and gallant Member can reach the people on foot if necessary. That would have its advantages from the point of view of enabling him to know the people better, and I am quite sure that once he gets to know the miners at Ann-bank and in the surrounding areas he will find that he has got a lot of fine people in his constituency.
§ Mr. Woodburn
He will find that he has got people who are playing a great part in creating the wellbeing of this country. We must recognise that Ayrshire is a developing county, and that it will be one of the great coal producing areas in Scotland. The Boundary Commission have foreseen these developments, and have planned the division of the constituencies accordingly.
As to the comparison between the efforts of the hon. and gallant Gentleman to redraft the boundaries, and those of the Boundary Commission themselves, I am bound to say that from the point of view of the rules given to the Boundary Commission by Parliament, their decisions and recommendations comply more closely with the desires of Parliament than do the proposals of the hon. and gallant Gentleman. For that reason, and for the reason that, generally speaking, the constituencies so arranged are more homogeneous and can, by common sense, be justified as a rational distribution of the constituencies, I cannot accept the hon. and gallant Gentleman's proposal, and I must reject his Amendment.
§ Sir T. Moore
Much as I regret the temporary decision reached by the right hon. Gentleman, I shall not delay the proceedings of the Committee. However, as we know, second thoughts are nearly always wisest and best; so I hope that before the Report stage the right hon. Gentleman will have second thoughts. In the meantime, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.236
§ Sir T. Moore
I beg to move, in page 119, line 27, column 2, to leave out "Cunningham and Irvine," and to insert "Central Ayrshire."
As the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate, and as I know from correspondence that I have had with him, this is a very simple Amendment. It has no political significance whatsoever. It is merely intended to deal with the territorial designation of the new constituency which the Boundary Commissioners have created in Ayrshire. The first idea was to call this constituency Irvine and Troon. That was not inaccurate as a description, because Troon and Irvine are the two chief burghs in the new constituency, although, of course, substantial rural areas are also now included. However, for some reason that no one can ascertain, the Commissioners had second thoughts—certainly not better and wiser second thoughts—and they changed the name from "Irvine and Troon" to "Cunningham and Irvine." No one knows why. It is really a duplication of description. Irvine is a burgh in the Cunningham district. Troon is a burgh in the Kyle district. Therefore, to call the constituency "Cunningham and Irvine" is almost the same as calling it "Irvine and Troon."
I would also point out that as the Man College continues to attract new residents to Troon to obtain the splendid and cheap education that they can get there, Troon will become a dominating burgh in the new constituency one day. Therefore, to eliminate Troon altogether is sheer nonsense. Another point is that Cunningham has no significance in the county, and certainly none outside it. To preserve the name "Cunningham" for some abstruse reason is beyond any justification that I can think of. Therefore, this Amendment would solve those difficulties. "Central Ayrshire" is an accurate and literal description. It involves no local jealousies, and I think the right hon. Gentleman will agree that it is obviously appropriate. He would then have North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Central Ayrshire, Kilmarnock Burghs and Ayr Burghs as they now exist, all playing a part, all easily recognisable by a territorial designation. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will see the merits of my suggestion.
§ Mr. Woodburn
I am rather sorry that the hon. and gallant Gentleman was depre- 237 ciating the name "Cunningham." It is a very distinguished name.
§ Mr. Woodburn
At the beginning of the war one could hardly read about a naval battle or a naval victory without reading of the name of Cunningham. The Cunningham; played a considerable part in the history of Scotland, as well as giving the name to a district. I gather that the Boundary Commission thought that it would be a very colourful and, distinctive name to give to this constituency. I have looked into the matter, and I find that there is no great enthusiasm for the change of name and that generally speaking the evidence seems to be in favour of giving it the name of "Central Ayrshire." Therefore, I have pleasure in accepting the Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Consequential Amendments made.
§ Sir T. Moore
I beg to move, in page 120, to leave out lines 23 to 31, and to insert:
It may be wondered why I am going outside my natural boundaries in dealing with this Amendment. This Bill proposes to abolish altogether the present Dumbarton Burghs constituency, which has for so long and so well been represented by the right hon. Gentleman who is the present Member—an old friend and a new Privy Councillor to whom I take this opportunity of paying my official respects. It might, therefore, be asked why this Amendment has not been moved by him. Candidly, I cannot answer that question, but I can claim every justification for gaining his vocal support after I have explained the reasons for the Amendment. Instead of the present set-up, which consists of the County of Dun- 238 barton and the Dumbarton Burghs, it is to be divided into two sections of Dunbartonshire—East and West—so a whole tradition of over 150 years is to be destroyed practically overnight. My Amendment seeks to retain the existing arrangement of the county and the burgh constituencies, and I believe that when the right hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) has heard my argument he will support me.
- "(a) County Constituency.
- 1. Dunbartonshire—
- (i) The burghs of Cove, Kilcreggan, Helensburgh and Milngavie.
- (ii) The districts of Helensburgh, Old Kilpatrick and Vale of Leven.
- (iii) The districts of Kirkintilloch, Cumbernauld and New Kilpatrick.
- (b) Burgh Constituency.
- 2. Dunbarton District of Burghs—The burghs of Clydebank, Dumbarton and Kirkintilloch."
I listened carefully to the speech of the Home Secretary during Second Reading, and I also listened to the speech of the Lord Chancellor when moving the Second Reading in another place. I should like to quote those speeches, because they are very clear and unambiguous. The Home Secretary declared that community of interest was more important than mathematical considerations, and that communities which did not wish to be severed should remain political entities. The Lord Chancellor said:We intend to avoid splitting up old historical associations and groups.Well, the proposals that have been inserted in the Bill, which my Amendment seeks to correct, precisely violate those most admirable sentiments.
How did this anomaly come about? When the Boundary Commission first considered Dunbartonshire they came to certain conclusions, and made certain recommendations which, as far as I can gather as a result of my investigations, were approved by everybody—or at least, generally acceptable to both local authorities and to all political parties concerned. Then some one in the county council protested. Of course, there is always someone who will protest against every proposal, whether good or bad. Someone on the county council made a protest against the first proposals of the Boundary Commission, and as a result an inquiry was instituted and new proposals were formulated. I should like to make clear that these new proposals are fiercely resented by large and important sections of all the communities affected.
I would point out that this inquiry was held at the very height of the holiday season—31st July—and only 10 days' notice was given, so that it was quite impossible for the councillors to meet in the interim and consider their attitude to be expressed at the inquiry. Furthermore, 239 many of the councillors thought it was unnecessary to attend the inquiry because they had already agreed with the original proposals. Finally, the detailed proposals submitted to the inquiry by the county clerk had not previously been in front of the county council. I hold that that is a monstrous invasion of the rights and responsibilities of the democratically elected councillors. I do not intend to weary the Committee with a detailed analysis of the proposals in the Bill, although I have all the figures should anyone seek to challenge what I have said in support of my Amendment.
I will telescope my arguments under four headings. Firstly, a county constituency with a continuity of character extending over 150 years disappears. Secondly, an area with an almost equal balance between industrial and rural electorate is replaced by a division in which the urban is to the rural as 2½ is to one—completely unbalanced. Thirdly, the principle of tradition and community of interest stressed by the Home Secretary and the Lord Chancellor has been grossly disregarded. Fourthly, historical associations are flouted. I wish to make quite clear that few, if any, of the authorities in the proposed constituencies had any real knowledge of what the proposals were. No doubt hon. Members will have read recently in the Press how, when a Gallup poll was taken, it was discovered that 20 per cent. of our total population did not know of the existence of the United Nations. One can well understand from that how many people did not know of the existence of these proposals—which are comparatively insignificant—particularly as only 10 days' notice was given of the local inquiry.
This whole matter has been badly handled. I do not believe that the proposal to divide Dunbartonshire into East and West constituencies has the support of any substantial or authoritative body of opinion in the county. Indeed, I believe that the proposals are definitely opposed. The Boundary Commission made a false step here, and the local inquiry which was subsequently held did not give sufficient notice of its meeting, and the submissions made by the county clerk were not those approved by the county council itself. For all those reasons, I believe that I have made out a sound, if not, indeed, a cast-iron case for the retention of the existing 240 constituencies. I hope that the Secretary of State, with that sense of justice which I like to associate with him, will see fit to accept the Amendment.
§ Mr. Kirkwood (Dumbarton Burghs)
I have listened with interest to the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore), who has said that this constituency is over 150 years old. When I fought the constituency in 1918, that was the first time that there was a constituency of Dumbarton Burghs.
§ Sir T. Moore
I was referring to Dunbartonshire, the county constituency, when I said there was a continuity of 150 years. I thought I had made that clear.
§ Mr. Kirkwood
It was Kilmarnock Burghs. As far as I know, all the authorities concerned are quite satisfied with this re-arrangement of the constituencies.
§ Mr. Kirkwood
Personally, I am very sorry at what has happened. I had a unique constituency; I thought the best in Scotland.
§ Mr. Kirkwood
My constituency contained two towns, Dumbarton and Clydebank, which are eight miles apart, and I have to jump over the county from Clydebank to go to Dumbarton. I shall be very sorry to part with either. I have made many friends, and in nearly 26 years as the representative of the constituency I have seen a complete revolution take place, because Dumbarton used to be solid Tory.
§ Mr. Kirkwood
That is all gone. The Socialists are now in control in both places. That has all happened in my lifetime.
§ Mr. Kirkwood
Well, I have played my part anyway, second to none. I think that the proposal in the Bill is a fairer division of the constituency, because the county area has a quite different type of individual from the towns. It has greatly changed in my time. I remember when there was practically no Clydebank, 241 before Singer's left Bridgeton and went down to Clydebank, or before J. C. Thomson's, now John Brown's, went there. I think it is much fairer that the towns should be one, and that the other side of the constituency should be arranged as suggested in the Bill; that is, on the East side, the burghs of Clydebank, Kirkintilloch, Milngavie, Cumbernauld, Kirkintolloch and New Kilpatrick. I expect that will be my constituency. Then on the west side, the burghs of Dumbarton, Cove, Kilcreggan and Helensburgh, Old Kilpatrick and the Vale of Leven. That will make a far better labour constituency than it was before. With the regret that I am sorry to part with Dumbarton, I wholeheartedly support the recommendation in the Bill.
§ Mr. McKinlay (Dunbartonshire)
I join in the expression of regret with my right hon. Friend the Member for Dumbarton' Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood), that after so many years his constituency is to be abolished. But I cannot offer any congratulation to the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore). I would observe in passing that I thought the hon. and gallant Member for Argyll (Major McCallum) was put out because the British Broadcasting Corporation did not mention in the Scottish Home Service the fact that he intended to raise this matter, as is their wont from time to time. The hon. and gallant Member's object is neither vegetable nor mineral: it is political. I can only assume that his distorted picture of what transpired after the original recommendation of the Boundary Commissioners came from the headquarters of his party in Glasgow. The Commission's report was objected to by a Tory county councillor, who instructed the county clerk to appear. Am I correct?
§ Mr. McKinlay
I stood outside the whole controversy, because I took the view that the division of a constituency did not so much concern the sitting Member. The only equitable way to divide constituencies is to wait till the sitting Members die, after which any new proposals can become operative. It so happens that the member of the county council who moved that the matter be the subject of a public inquiry was a Tory from Helensburgh. On the way out that day one of his colleagues said to him, "You see what you have done. You 242 have handed both seats away to the Labour Party." From what the hon. and gallant Member has just quoted, I gather that he has been burning the midnight oil reading the correspondence columns of the "Glasgow Herald," because when the report of the Commission and the report of the independent tribunal were issued, many people in Dunbartonshire County discovered for the first time that it was incompatible for anyone who knew anything about industrial conditions to represent the rural population of Dunbartonshire County.
Because of the amending Bill made necessary after the first Commission's Report the Tory association got busy and, if I may say so, humiliated their own county clerk by passing a resolution rescinding a previous decision and instructing the county clerk to ask the Secretary of State for Scotland to let them have a new tribunal. The county clerk was, I presume, to go to whoever presided, and say, "My apologies. What I said last time was all wrong. My county council did not mean it. I have come along to make representations on their behalf and to say that in the first instance the Commission's recommendation was correct." Dunbarton county is about 62 miles long—it is not so much as the crow flies but along its winding roads the distance is considerably more. My hon. and gallant Friend, trying to enlist the support of my right hon. Friend the Member for Dumbarton Burghs, said that this county was going to be disintegrated, to be torn in half. My right hon. Friend said he had to jump eight miles between Clydebank and Dumbarton, but the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs, whose knowledge of the geography of Dunbarton county is strangely lacking, asks that the Commission's Report should be accepted and that my right hon. Friend in his old age should jump 20 miles from Clydebank to Kirkintilloch. If both of us come to the next Parliament we shall pass one another on the road—I shall take in one part of the county and my right hon. Friend will be representing the mass of the industrial population.
It is good to know these things, and, as I said at the beginning, this is neither mineral nor vegetable, it is political. I challenge my hon. and gallant Friend on that. He has been briefed by his political party to raise this objection. He has not 243 been briefed by the clerk of the county of Dunbarton, nor the town clerk of the borough of Dumbarton, nor the town clerk of either Kirkintilloch or Clydebank. Am I right? For seven years in this House I have been the mouthpiece of the Dunbarton County Council. It is passing strange, but on this occasion apparently they have overlooked that fact. I had to present the county council's attitude on the question of the Loch Sloy hydroelectric scheme, and I thought they were right. Without regard to politics I have carried out the requests of the county council as sent through the county clerk, or by the town clerk of Milngavie or Kirkintilloch, but on this occasion neither my right hon. Friend nor myself was approached. We must be lacking in political stature. We have not reached the Olympian heights of the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs.
My advice to the Secretary of State is, if he has not the history of what took place in Dunbartonshire before him, to compare my statement to this Committee with the concoction served up by the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs, and then I am quite satisfied what the result will be. In this new set-up, where the county is cut, and on the basis of the district councils, it was the only logical geographical division of the county of Dunbarton. Neither my right hon. Friends nor myself may be here as representatives of that county in the next Parliament, but the question which hon. Members must address to themselves is not, "What is the balance of political opinion as between the urban and the rural areas?" but "What is the balance between the residential and the non-residential, and what is the best geographical basis to give a workable constituency?" I do not think anyone can find fault with the recommendations of the Dunbarton County Council, which were accepted by the Commissioners, and I ask hon. Members to believe me when I say that while we have heard a good deal about political logrolling during the discussions on Amendments to this Bill, this is the most blatant example of political log-rolling that has taken place.
§ Sir T. Moore
On a point of Order. I must ask for your protection, Mr. Beaumont. I do not know whether the hon. Member is charging me with log- 244 rolling but if he is I must ask you to take some action.
§ The Deputy-Chairman (Mr. Hubert Beaumont)
I do not know that the hon. and gallant Member has been charged with political log-rolling. Furthermore, I should require a definition of "log-rolling."
§ Mr. McKinlay
If it is out of Order for the hon. Member for Dunbarton county to use it, then, with equal if not more force, it is out of Order for the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill) to use it.
§ The Deputy-Chairman
I would venture to suggest that we should leave this point and get on with the Amendment.
§ Mr. McKinlay
If I have been offensive I apologise. I apologise if there are more sensitive ears in this Committee than I ever dreamed there were. All that I am suggesting is that if the Dunbarton authorities had desired to oppose what appears in this Bill my right hon. Friend the Member for Dumbarton Burghs and myself were the obvious instruments to use. The authorities did not communicate with us, they did not ask us to oppose it, and, even if we had no other evidence, we can only assume, therefore, that they are quite satisfied with what is in the Bill.
§ Mr. Woodburn
I think the Committee will have gathered that the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore) might conceivably cause a little political controversy, but I am sure that neither he nor my hon. Friends will expect me to enter into the rather controversial atmosphere that has developed on what is, after all, a judicial decision by the Boundary Commission. It is true that there has been a bit of coming and going on this decision, and also true, as my hon. Friend has said, that the Dunbarton County Council's first thoughts were accepted by the Boundary Commission, but that the county council later changed its views and wanted a further inquiry. I have gone pretty care- 245 fully into the matter, and I am satisfied that after the second occasion the Boundary Commission did receive several representations and took those representations into account. I should like to assure the hon. and gallant Member that whatever may be the feelings of Members on both sides of this Committee in regard to the division of constituencies, the Boundary Commission were actuated by no motives of that kind, but made the decision on the best practical basis and they came to the conclusion that the representations that were made later were not justified and would have created an unbalanced constituency.
I happen to know a little about this constituency, for part of it is on the bounds of my own constituency at, I think, Castle Cary and the Vale of Leven, and I have some idea of what it would be like to fight an election campaign over an area of that kind. Moreover, it not only goes from Castle Cary to Dumbarton but goes right up to the top of Loch Long, and that is a long journey, especially on a winter's night. In spite of the fact that after this our elections may be in May, it is still a long journey, and it would be an impracticable change from that point of view. From my own knowledge of the constituency I think the Boundary Commission's decision is a good one, and having gone into what the hon. and gallant Member put forward in his correspondence and the remarks which he made today, I am bound to say that I cannot advise the Committee to disagree with the Boundary Commission and must advise them to reject the Amendment.
§ Commander Galbraith (Glasgow, Pollok)
I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman has reached the decision which he has just announced. I listened with great interest to the hon. Member for Dunbartonshire (Mr. McKinlay) detailing to us all that went on during this controversy, but I shall not allude to that; and let me assure him and the other Members of the Committee that I have not been briefed by anyone in this matter. Neither am I mineral or vegetable or something else, because my roots go back pretty deep in Dunbartonshire and into the town of Dumbarton itself, and what I feel about this is that the political aspect does not really come in here. What we have got now are two constituencies which it seems to me might swing either way. 246 Before, we had one constituency which the right hon. Gentleman has held for a long number of years and which one might suppose would be loyal to him so long as he goes forward for election, and on the other side we had a constituency which some people thought was opposed to the Government but, as it so happens, the hon. Member for Dunbartonshire sits on the Government benches, and it seems to me that we are not making much political difference by the way the county has been divided up.
What I cannot quite understand is the reference by the Secretary of State for Scotland to the difficulty of the long distances. They are not so long by comparison with the distances which some other Members have to travel. I should have thought the great difficulty lay in any Member of Parliament representing great industrial areas with their many industrial problems—some of which the right hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) deals with so often and so accurately in connection with the engineering industry—being able to look after their interests and at the same time look after the interests of a wide countryside, which has completely different problems. From that point of view I should have thought that the first decision of the Boundary Commission was the right one. It did leave the right hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs with his eight miles to go and it would have given him a few miles to go the other way too, but he would not have minded that, it would not have worried him at all. The difficulty which we have to get over, as I see it, is how one man can represent all the varied interests which appear in these two constituencies I do not believe that it is possible for any one individual to give adequate representation to the great and different interests that exist. I ask the Secretary of State to consider it from that point of view. It is not so much distance or the convenience of the Members but the giving of representation to the people who live in those constituencies. Again, I do not believe it is possible for any human being to represent a burgh like Clydebank and at the same time the farming interests miles away from that area.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Kirkwood
I would say, in reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Pollok 247 (Commander Galbraith) that both the hon. Member for Dunbartonshire (Mr. McKinlay) and I are quite capable of looking after the interests of all the people in the shire. We were practically born and bred in Dunbartonshire, and we know it inside out, so that it is not something new to us or something which we do not know. There is not a village or a township in it where I have not addressed a meeting in the last 30 years, even before I represented any part of it in Parliament. We have permeated that place with Socialist ideas with the result that we are here today representing that shire. We will see to it that these ideas continue to be propagated. The arguments of the Opposition are put forward in order to appeal to the people on the farms in the hope that they will think we are not capable of representing their interests. It is all part of the game. The hon. and gallant Member for Pollok has his eye on the General Election even though it is a distance ahead, and that is why I wish to draw attention to the fact that we who represent Dunbartonshire are well able to look after the interests of the whole of the people.
§ Mr. Scollan (Renfrew, Western)
I would not have intervened in this Dunbartonshire squabble had it not been for a remark made by the hon. and gallant Member for Pollok (Commander Galbraith). The arguments which he adduced cannot be allowed to pass without challenge. He has tried to tell this Committee and the country that a person who represents an industrial area is totally incapable of representing an agricultural or fishery area. I would remind the hon. and gallant Gentleman that when he and I stood for Parliament, we had to satisfy the people in our constituencies that we were capable of dealing with a number of questions, including those of the finances of the nation, tariffs and other things pertaining thereto, fisheries, industry—
§ The Deputy-Chairman
The hon. Gentleman must not go into a detailed list. It has nothing to do with the Amendment now being debated.
§ Mr. Scollan
There was the question of industry, of shipbuilding, engineering, lacemaking, flax work, agriculture, fishing, and all these things—
§ The Deputy-Chairman
I cannot allow the hon. Member to go through long categories like that. It is all right to mention one or two but that is all.
I am replying to the argument made by the hon. and gallant Member for Pollok in which you, Mr. Beaumont, did not see fit to intervene.
§ The Deputy-Chairman
That is a reflection on the Chair and it cannot be allowed. I feel sure it was not intended.
§ The Deputy-Chairman
The hon. Gentleman was replying to the arguments of the hon. and gallant Member for Pollok (Commander Galbraith) who did not elaborate all these industries.
§ Mr. Scollan
I am very sorry, Mr. Beaumont, that you will not permit the elaboration, because it is sometimes necessary to elaborate in order to get a point clear. I have sat in Parliament on many occasions and listened to long and wearisome elaborations which have been overdone. On this particular occasion I want to answer the argument as to what an hon. Member is capable of representing. Before he is elected to this House he must satisfy the electors that he is quite competent to deal with everyone of these particular things not only within his own constituency, but within the orbit of the whole nation. There are subjects which are colonial, and Imperial as well as national with which he has to deal. For a Member of this House to come forward at this time of the day with the kind of argument we have just heard from the hon. and gallant Member for Pollok shows that he is very hard up for an argument to try to discredit his opponents. Those who represent Dumbarton Burghs and Dunbartonshire in this House are worthy representatives and always have been.
§ Mr. Rankin
In a sentence I want to point out that the actual presence of the hon. and gallant Member for Pollok (Commander Galbraith) in this Committee destroys the very argument he put up, because he represents a constituency, which is not only composed of a section that is highly industrial but of a section that is completely non-industrial. In the new arrangements which are being made this will also apply in the—
§ The Deputy-Chairman
I can see where this argument is going to lead. We are not discussing the constituency of the hon. and gallant Member for Pollok but that of the hon. Member for Dunbartonshire (Mr. McKinlay).
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. Woodburn
I beg to move, in page 123, line 36, to leave out the first "Circus Place," and to insert, "Hanson Street."
The necessity for this Amendment and the three which follow has arisen because, since the Boundary Commission made their recommendations, the proposed street which was to be the boundary is now to be closed by a factory being built across its line. Glasgow Town Connell, in view of this, have asked for a rearrangement of the boundary line, and this will involve a slight rearrangement of the constituency as recommended by the Boundary Commission.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Consequential Amendments made.
§ Mr. Neil Maclean (Glasgow, Govan)
I beg to move, in page 125, line 15, to leave out from the beginning, to the end of line 40, and to insert:the River Clyde; thence southward along the centre of Govan Road and the centre of White-field Road, and the centre of Carillon Road to the centre of the London Midland and Scottish Railway (Paisley); thence along the centre of the said railway to the centre of Paisley Road, west; thence south-westward along the centre of Paisley Road, west; to Hillington Road; thence north-westward along the centre of Hillington Road to the city boundary; thence northward and north-westward along the city boundary to the centre line of the River Clyde; thence south-eastward along the centre line of the River Clyde to the point of commencement.
§ The Deputy-Chairman
I propose, that along with the Amendment which the hon. Member has moved, the Committee should discuss the Amendment in page 129, line 28, to leave out from "of," to the end of line 49, and to insert:Pollokshaws Road; thence south-westward along the centre of Pollokshaws Road to Nithsdale Road; thence north-westward along the centre of Nithsdale Road to the centre of Gower Street; thence north-westward along the centre of Gower Street to the centre of the London Midland and Scottish Railway; thence north-westward along the centre of the London Midland and Scottish Railway to Carillon Street; thence north-westward along the centre of Carillon Street to Whitefield Road; thence northward along the centre of Whitefield Road and Govan Road to a point at the centre of 250 the River Clyde; thence south-eastward along the centre of the River Clyde to the point of commencement.This Amendment also stands in the name of the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean).
§ Mr. Maclean
The second Amendment is complementary to the first and depends upon whether the first is accepted. The purpose of the Amendment to retain in my constituency the part which is being taken away and which is the old and historic portion of the Govan constituency, whose history can be traced back almost to the year 600 A.D. It is about time that the people who are appointed to consider the rearrangement of constituencies for geographical areas were instructed to consider the circumstances, historical associations and social habit of the people in those areas. This has not been done by the Commissioners in this instance, and that is why we have to consider this Amendment.
The Amendment covers three constituencies—Govan, Tradeston and Pollok. One of the things about the constituencies in Glasgow on the south side of the river is that Gorbals, Tradeston and Govan take up the entire river front. Behind them are the other constituencies of Cathcart and Pollok. The logical arrangement with regard to the extension of the constituencies was to go southwards and in the constituency of Gorbals the Commissioners have recommended that it should go southward and take in part of the Govan Hill Ward. With regard to Govan the recommendation is that Govan also should go southward and take in part of the building sites that are located southward of the Govan constituency.
However, the Tradeston constituency is not to go southward, as would have been logical, but is to go down to the river front and take away a large part of the Govan constituency. This I consider to be nonsensical, apart altogether from the manner in which it is proposed. What is proposed here is the extension of one constituency to take in part of another, which is older and more historical than the one which is taking it in. That is nonsense, as I told the Commissioners when I met them in St. Andrew's House, Edinburgh. Everything had been completed by that time. Boundaries had been drafted, and the maps completed, 251 and the Commissioners declined to go further into the matter.
The point of the Amendment is that the constituency of Tradeston should go southward in the same manner as the constituencies of Govan and Gorbals, and that is the attitude which has been taken up by everyone who recognises what has been done. I tried to get an interview with the Commissioners, and finally, when they were compelled to receive me following representations by Mr. Speaker, I told them that if there was no alternative I would bring the matter before Parliament and try to have it remedied. This is the place where a constituency, which has a historical connection so far back, can be given consideration along the lines I am suggesting. The constituency has developed until today it is looked upon as one of the most important shipbuilding and engineering constituencies in the country. It is wrong that this constituency should be broken up in this fashion and that a complete ward, the larger part of the constituency, should be taken away. That is the part which was originally named Govan. When I was a boy one could run about the fields in that constituency, but it is now all built up in the spread of Glasgow. To do what is proposed to an old place like Govan is an insult to the people of Govan and to the intelligence to the people of this country.
§ 5.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Pickthorn (Cambridge University)
I feel that the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean) ought to have some support from a university Member. On almost every Amendment which has been moved so far, the hon. Member for the constituency concerned has explained that that constituency ought to be treated as a very special case because of its historic and corporate importance, and I feel that that particular line of argument has not been perhaps put more eloquently by any of the very numerous hon. Members who have put it, than it was put by the hon. Member who has just addressed the Committee. I think it would be a pity if a university Member did not underline and emphasise and reinforce his argument, and perhaps it is not wholly out of Order to express the hope that, in pursuance of that line of argument, he and the other hon. Members who have been using it to- 252 day and yesterday will on the Report stage move to put universities back.
§ Mr. Gallacher (Fife, West)
I would like to reinforce the argument of the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean), but I would not reinforce the argument of the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Pickthorn) on the dual vote. Govan is an historic constituency and it has a peculiar history of its own in association with Glasgow, because before Reform there was one representative for Renfrew, Rutherglen, Govan and Glasgow, and Govan was able to manipulate Renfrew and Rutherglen and get the representation. Thus this constituency has always played an important part at Westminster. When its long history is taken into account, surely it is very undesirable to make this alteration in the manner proposed?
§ Mr. Woodburn
I listened with a considerable amount of sympathy to the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean). No one could fail to grieve to a certain extent at the breaks with a great many traditions which are taking place in these readjustments. I am all in favour of traditions if they are honourable and justifiable and in accordance with common sense. The hon. Member for Govan has pointed out Govan's historic connection, and he has represented Govan for nearly 30 years. One can understand that a break of that kind is a very serious wrench, and very considerable and good reasons must be put forward to justify it.
The Boundary Commission are reinforced in their decision by the readjustment of the wards of Glasgow and the changes that have taken place in Glasgow itself; and in re-examining the problem, I cannot do so simply from one point of view, but must take into account the point of view of the Glasgow Corporation and the readjustment of the ward boundaries in Glasgow. My hon. Friend's suggestion would mean that, instead of one ward being cut up, two would be cut up—one in the Pollok constituency and the other in the Tradeston constituency—and on balance the Commission came to the conclusion that it was necessary to adhere to their decision.
It would be impossible for me to accept my hon. Friend's Amendment. It has not been favourably considered by the local authority and so far, it has not been 253 supported by anyone except himself. Clearly, however much I sympathise with his point of view, it would be quite impossible for me, merely on those grounds, to accept the Amendment and reject the conclusions of those who have gone into it and of the Corporation. I cannot see that there is any reference here to the universities. Even their tradition might have had some justification if it had not been broken by its misuse.
§ Mr. Maclean
The Secretary of State said that my proposal would be likely to divide a ward in Tradeston. It does not divide a ward in Tradeston, but takes away a part of the Pollok Division. He might bear in mind that about half a dozen wards in Glasgow are divided up among the constituencies in Glasgow, so that this would be no exception.
I share the disappointment which no doubt the hon. Gentleman the Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean) feels at the way, his Amendment has been turned down by the Secretary of State for Scotland. It is fair to add that in resisting this Amendment the right hon. Gentleman did not use the same somewhat ruthless means which he has used towards Amendments coming from this side of the Committee. The hon. Member for Govan is the father of this House so far as Scottish Members are concerned, so that nearly everything he says must have the due consideration of all hon. Members. I was delighted to hear the hon. Member buttressing his argument with very sound historical facts. He took us back to the dim beginnings of the ancient kingdom of Strathclyde in the year 600, when St. Mungo, sometimes called Kentigern, could fish in the Molendinar Burn. I was delighted to hear the hon. Member showing such sound traditional and historical knowledge. I do not say it offensively, but I would never have believed it, till I heard him presenting his arguments.
I was also impressed by the fact that the Secretary of State for Scotland, in resisting this Amendment, paid much more regard to the traditional point of view than he did on Amendments which my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Ayr Burghs (Sir T. Moore) moved in relation to a constituency which, as the hon. Member for Govan will agree, has a history as well, although it is not as long as that of the Govan constituency. It 254 seems to me that the Secretary of State is impressed by the traditional argument only when it is addressed to him by hon. Members on his own side. I sincerely hope that as we proceed on our somewhat lengthy way this evening, perhaps far into the stilly watches of the night, the Secretary of State will show that he is not going to be impressed merely by arguments which come from his side of the Committee, but that he will also be impressed by similar arguments which are presented from this side. I very much hope that the right hon. Gentleman will be duly impressed by the necessity for doing that, and I also hope that the matter which the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Pickthorn) mentioned will not be disregarded when the appropriate moment comes on the Report stage, and that an Amendment to reinsert the university representation will be put down—
§ Mr. McKinlay
I appeal to my right hon. Friend to give us an undertaking that he will have another look at this matter before the later stages of the Bill. I am not going to ask that Govan should be retained because it was the place where I was born—that, indeed, may be an additional reason why it should be obliterated as a constituency. When I first saw the Commissioner's recommendations and noticed that it was even proposed to eliminate the name "Govan," it conveyed to me that there had been a wrong approach to the matter because, if my history of Glasgow and its environs, is correct, Govan was Govan at the time of St. Kentigern, and that is a long while ago; but that is no reason why it should be retained as a Parliamentary constituency known as Govan.
What surprised me most in the Secretary of State's reply was that it implied that the Glasgow Corporation agreed with the Commissioner's recommendations. That is not my impression. If it was automatic that when a readjustment of wards took place there should be an, automatic regrouping of constituencies, it would imply that two wards could be linked together to form a constituency, but in this case two and a half wards have been linked together. I do not even think that the boundary which is proposed is 255 a good one. I do not know who the advisers to the Commission were, but it appears to me that they said, "There are the proposals of the Glasgow Corporation for the readjustment of the boundaries; we will automatically take those readjustments." That is all wrong. In a constituency which I represented at one time and which is now represented by my hon. Friend the Member for Partick (Sir A. Young), and which has historical associations like Govan, the name "Partick" disappears and Scotstoun, which was the name of a local mansion house, is substituted for the ancient name of Partick. To say the least, the Commissioners showed a woeful lack of appreciation of local sensitiveness and local associations, and I believe that they could have been better advised about the creation of the new constituency. My hon. Friend is being given a sop in that instead of obliterating the name of Govan, the Government are restoring it to a constituency nine-tenths of which is not even part of the original Govan.
I ask my right hon. Friend to undertake that in the interim between now and the later stages he will take steps to get definite information from the Glasgow Corporation as to their attitude. It would not do any harm to give us the undertaking and, in the meantime, he might even be able to convince my hon. Friend the Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean) that this is the best that can be done. I would not like this proposal to go through the House and leave a sense of grievance. There is no political question here. Both constituencies are safe for the next 20 years, as they have been in the past 20 years, but that is not the point; the point is that, knowing the geography of the district as well as any members of the Commission, I believe they have made a mistake and that there should be a re-adjustment. I ask my right hon Friend to give us at least an undertaking that he will re-examine the position between now and the Report stage
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Scollan
I have sympathy with the sentiments of the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Maclean) on the passing of the constituency, but there is a real difficulty here. I know the locality well and my home will now be brought within the new 256 Govan. The difficulty is that Govan was a boundary constituency for many years and, outside that boundary, the city has developed tremendously, leaving the Pollok Division and the East Renfrew Division running into the City of Glasgow right round Govan, and only bounded by the River Clyde. Obviously these developments and extensions cannot go on indefinitely without some rearrangement of the constituencies, and I would like somebody to tell us how that can be done without moving the old boundary constituency further along the new boundary. While the sentiments of the hon. Member for Govan for his own constituency must be respected, the practical solution of the problem is to move the boundary constituency on to the new boundary. That is all that is being done. If, however, somebody can tell us how it can be re-arranged without moving the boundary on to the new boundary, I shall be glad to know.
§ Mr. Maclean
I would like to correct my hon. Friend in case what he has said should mislead other hon. Members. It is the old part of Govan that is being transferred into the Tradeston Division and away from the Govan constituency.
§ Mr. Woodburn
Clearly this is a matter of detail which we cannot settle in the Committee this afternoon. Neither the public nor the Glasgow Corporation has had an opportunity of studying my hon. Friend's proposal. The hon. Member for West Renfrew (Mr. Scollan) has pointed out some of the difficulties. The Glasgow corporation have put forward a scheme of redistribution of wards, and the Boundary Commission have drawn their boundaries on the basis of the Glasgow Corporation's re-adjustment of the ward boundaries—
§ Mr. Maclean
No, the Boundary Commission have split several wards into two in order to make up the necessary voting s strength in the constituencies.
§ Mr. Woodburn
Some of the old wards, presumably, have been reorganised, and they are apparently split into two. In the new ward boundaries they are not split into two. We cannot discuss the hon. Member's proposal today, for it must be considered by all the parties concerned. I suggest that he should consult the Glasgow Corporation and the people concerned and, if in due course he comes 257 along with concrete proposals which will satisfy everybody, then, as the hon. Member for West Renfrew said, the matter would take on a different aspect. However, without the other people involved being consulted, I cannot today accept an Amendment which would have such far-reaching consequences to ward boundaries and readjustments.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Mr. Gilzean (Edinburgh, Central)
I beg to move, in page 131, line 35, to leave out from "of," to the end of line 51, and to insert:Park Road; thence in a westerly direction along the centre of Park Road to middle of Dalkeith Road; thence in a northerly direction along Dalkeith Road to the junction with Preston Street; thence in a westerly direction along the middle of Preston Street to its junction with Lord Russell Place; thence in a northerly direction to the junction with the Melville Drive, along the middle of Melville Drive to the end of Melville Drive; thence along Leven Terrace; thence by Bruntsfield Links to Wrights Houses; thence in a westerly direction along the centre of Barclay Terrace to a point in.I am satisfied that this job might have been done better. When I say that, I hope no one will think I am being hypercritical of the Commission, because I understand the difficult task which must have been theirs. My Amendment proposes to revert to the old boundary line between Central Edinburgh and South Edinburgh, and will have the effect of putting back something which it is proposed to take out, and giving South Edinburgh something which, in my opinion, is quite alien to Central Edinburgh.
Central Edinburgh is the ancient Royalty. It embraces everything that made up Edinburgh over 200 years ago, and, consequently, is very old. The result is that it is confronted continually with a falling population, which means that in the long run the difference has to be made up in some other direction. I would like the Secretary of State to pay particular attention to this: the present proposal of the local authority is to decant no less than 13,000 persons out of that part of the city into South Edinburgh—the constituency that is taking away a part of Central Edinburgh. It appears to me that not sufficient attention has been paid to the fact that, in the immediate future, there will be a considerable exodus from Central Edinburgh 258 into South Edinburgh and that, consequently, Central Edinburgh will have the experience of becoming smaller and smaller all the time.
I suggest, therefore, that the Secretary of State looks at this to see if some adjustment cannot be made which will have the effect of maintaining an electoral balance, because in a short time there will be again complete unbalance. Hon. Members will understand that if one takes 13,000 people out of a constituency which, because it is surrounded by other constituencies, has no way of making up its population, in a short time it will again be a very small constituency electorally. At present, it has only 34,000 electors, against the normal 50,000. By this change it will have its electorate increased again, only to be brought down again immediately by the process of taking people away from where they should not be, to a place which will be much better for them. However, that does not alter the fact that the constituency will always be in a state of unbalance unless something is done to maintain it. The proposal of the Commission is actually taking away parts that have a probable life of at least another 80 to 100 years, and that is very unwise.
I believe that a much better set-up could be secured, a set-up that has nothing to do with politics but simply seeks to maintain the balance of numbers in constituencies. I take it for granted that the whole object of redistribution is to redress unbalance, and in a situation where it is no sooner redressed than it gets out of balance again, there is every reason to take a second look at the problem.
§ Mr. Woodburn
I have examined this Amendment carefully. Unlike the previous one, it is a proposal which has been considered by all the parties represented on the Edinburgh Town Council. The representatives there are of the opinion that no change should be made in the scheme recommended by the Boundary Commission, and that the proposals of the hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. Gilzean) would upset the ward boundaries. His argument about readjusting the population is a correct one, but he is rather anticipating that problem by intensifying its present condition. According to my information, his suggested splitting up of the two wards 259 would reduce, by at least 1,500, the electorate of South Edinburgh, which is already quite low at 42,694, and would increase still further the Central Edinburgh electorate, which is 52,841. In other words, instead of adjusting the balance, it would intensify the unbalance if this were done immediately.
It is quite true that in future the Boundary Commission have made allowances for South Edinburgh growing and Central Edinburgh decreasing, but that will take a little time. Moreover, the Boundary Commission is in permanent session and, therefore, as that change takes place, the Commission will take cognizance of the change and will no doubt made recommendations. Therefore, in view of the opposition of the authorities in Edinburgh to the readjustments suggested by my hon. Friend, and the fact that it does not improve the relationships of the numerical position of the two constituencies, I must ask the Committee to reject the Amendment.
§ Mr. Gilzean
Despite the fact that I cannot agree with all the arguments put forward by my right hon. Friend, I have no desire to press this matter, and I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
Naturally, I do not want to pit my judgment against the eminent authorities quoted by the Secretary of State, but I sympathise with the view put forward by the hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. Gilzean), about the unique character of the Central Division of the Scottish Metropolis. His constituency is of the greatest interest to me, because when I first entered political life, I was the unsuccessful Conservative candidate there in 1929, so I can subscribe to every word he said, in moving his Amendment, as to the way in which this Division has consistently suffered from shrinking electoral numbers. When I contested that Division in 1929, there were, speaking from memory, 45,000 or 47,000 electors. That number had shrunk at the Election of 1935 and by the time the last electoral role was prepared, before the outbreak of the Second World War, to something like 30,000 electors.
I associate myself with what the hon. Member has said about preserving the 260 historical character of this Central Division of the Scottish Metropolis, including, as it does, all that is best in the ancient city. Despite what eminent authorities, quoted by the right hon. Gentleman, have said against the Amendment, rather the reverse practice has been resorted to, in regard to the Central Division of the Scottish capital, from that which was adopted in regard to central divisions of other large towns. There, the Commissioners have proceeded on the principle of stretching the boundaries of the central divisions, whereas in Edinburgh they are working on what may be described as the contractual principle. The hon. Gentleman has shown us very plainly that he fears that the same kind of shrinkage may take place in future as in the last two decades.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Lord John Hope (Midlothian and Peebles, Northern)
I beg to move, in page 138, line 4, to leave out from "Granton," to the end of line 24, and to insert:Square thence in a southerly direction to West Granton Road, thence along the centre of West Granton Road to the junction with Granton Crescent and Pilton Drive; thence along the centre of Pilton Drive to its junction with Ferry Road.The object of this Amendment, which is in the name of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for West Edinburgh (Lieut.-Commander Hutchison), is to provide a more rational and clear-cut boundary line between Leith and West Edinburgh. There is a rather odd story attached to this case. When, at the suggestion of the Boundary Commission, the corporation drew up a scheme of redistribution of Parliamentary constituencies and municipal wards in the City, they used an old map which showed a small stream called the "Wardie Burn." This burn was duly designated as the dividing line between the two constituencies. No sooner had that been done than the authorities discovered that the burn no longer existed as, years ago, it had been put into a pipe. Instead of selecting some other prominent geographical feature or obvious line of delimitation, such as a main road or railway, for a boundary line, they endeavoured to follow the course of the invisible burn. As anyone who looks at the Post Office map can see, the result has been that the boundary winds its way 261 in completely aimless fashion through alleys and streets and is very confusing to follow. This Amendment provides a clear-cut line between Leith and West Edinburgh by using the important main thoroughfares of West Granton Road and Pilton Drive.
The adoption of this Amendment still leaves Granton Harbour and the industrial area of Granton in West Edinburgh, and there would be no question of Granton being joined to Leith. The suggested scheme of division would transfer several thousand more electors to the Leith Division from West Edinburgh. This, in itself, is an eminently reasonable proposition because, according to the Report of the Boundary Commission, there are already about 4,000 more electors in West Edinburgh than in Leith. I would also remind the Committee that while West Edinburgh is increasing in population, due to new building operations, Leith is likely to diminish in population owing to the clearance of certain bad housing areas. For these reasons, to which I think the hon. Member for Leith (Mr. Hoy) would agree, I hope the Amendment will be accepted.
§ Mr. Woodburn
I agree that it is possible to put up a case for the Amendment, and if it had been put up to the Boundary Commission and had fitted in with the existing wards there might have been considerable argument for its acceptance. But one of the difficulties is that the proposal would dislocate the whole of the ward arrangements of the City of Edinburgh. It would make the electorate of one ward 8,800 and convert another ward into an electorate of 20,300. That would dislocate the proposals of the Edinburgh Corporation in the readjustment of ward boundaries and, moreover, I have information that the committee of the Edinburgh Corporation concerned with this matter are definitely opposed to such a change being made. They are in favour of the recommendations of the Boundary Commission. Since it is not for me to act as a dictator in matters of dispute of that kind, and as the Boundary Commission have acted in their most judicial manner in dealing with this matter, I am compelled to ask the Committee to reject the Amendment.
§ Mr. Willis (Edinburgh, North)
My right hon. Friend refuses to accept the Amendment on the ground that it would 262 interfere with the arrangements for the division of the wards, but, at the same time, he has told us that the Boundary Commission will be in continuous session to make adjustments. Whenever they want to make adjustments they will be interfering with ward boundaries. What is the strength of the argument that this would interfere with existing ward boundaries? Whenever the Boundary Commission make proposals they will interfere with ward boundaries.
§ Mr. Woodburn
My understanding 1s that as far as possible the Boundary Commission do not split a ward between two' constituencies. If a change has to be made presumably a ward will be taken] out completely and put into another constituency, so that the electoral arrangements for local elections will work equally smoothly with Parliamentary elections. It would complicate matters if a ward were divided, and so far as possible the Commission, when considering constituencies, avoid interfering with the electoral arrangements of the locality.
§ Mr. Willis
That means that we are limited to adjustments which can only exclude or take in a ward. Sometimes that could mean a substantial adjustment of several thousand electors.
§ Lord John Hope
In view of what the Secretary of State has said, I think we have no alternative but to accept this inconvenient but distinguished boundary line of a drain pipe. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Lieut. Colonel Sir Walter Smiles (Down)
I beg to move, in page 141, line 15, column 2, to leave out "and."
§ The Deputy-Chairman
That would be advisable, and at the same time we could consider the other Amendments which deal with the same subject.
§ Sir W. Smiles
I certainly agree that it would be a good thing if these Amendments can be considered together. When 263 the Report of the Boundary Commission came out, I and my friends from Comber, Portavogie and Strangford were dissatisfied with the Report, but were prepared to accept it because we realised that the Commission had gone very fully and impartially into the question. I was astonished to find that the hon. Member for Fermanagh and Tyrone (Mr. Mulvey) was also dissatisfied, and we put down these Amendments. The constituency of County Down is a very large constituency, with an electorate of 148,000. These Amendments deal only with the internal 'divisions of County Down, and do not in anyway affect the neighbouring constituencies of Armagh, Antrim, or Belfast. The suggested alteration would sever a lot of localities which are united by close ties. For instance, Strangford is to be separated from Portaferry. The estuary is a very narrow run through, but although the tide there is the second or third fastest tide in the British Isles, very often one may see a boat, sometimes carrying a motorcar, or cattle, crossing the estuary. It has been a disappointment that Strangford and Portaferry are to be separated.
Communications are very much better from north to south than across the county. Quite naturally so, because all the roads and railways tend to converge upon the great City of Belfast. Then there is Downpatrick, which is excluded from North Down. Downpatrick is our county town, where we go for the Grand Jury, which still exists in Northern Ireland. It is now to be severed from some of the adjacent districts.
Last, but not least, is the question of the fishing industry. We shall have before us, on Thursday, a Bill about the white fish industry. During the last two weekends I have been discussing that Bill with the members of the fishing industry who are interested in it. In the winter it happens nearly every week-end that the boats from Portavogie, which is in the north, have to run for shelter into Ardglass. There are also herring curing industries in Ardglass and Portavogie. Even this morning, before I flew over, I was receiving complaints about the proposed separation between those two ports of Portavogie and Ardglass. It will make for a good deal of trouble and difficulty in future if the present constituency is 264 separated in the manner proposed in the Bill, which will have the effect of making the boundary line run from north to south, making East Down and West Down constituencies rather than, as at present, North Down and South Down constituencies. For these reasons I think it would be wise if the Home Secretary accepted this and the other Amendment.
§ Mr. Mulvey (Fermanagh and Tyrone)
What the Boundary Commissioners proposed was apparently no more satisfactory to the hon. and gallant Member for Down (Sir W. Smiles) than it was to most of the people belonging to my party in County Down. The hon. and gallant Member seeks to create new Divisions, one East and one West. My proposal is to effect some change in the two Divisions proposed by the Boundary Commission by the transfer of Moira rural district to North Down rather than to leave it in South Down. There is a disparity of about 4,000 between the proposed electorates, the figures being 72,040 for North Down and 76,000 for South Down. When we consider areas, that of the South Down constituency proposed by the Boundary Commissioners is practically double the size of that of North Down. The area of South Down will be about 414,000 acres and the area of North Down win be 220,000 acres.
The change I suggest is to break up Moira rural district and transfer five of the electoral units in that rural district to North Down, and two of the units to South Down. That will reduce the disparity in the electorate as between the two divisions by more than one thousand. The areas will not be much affected; South Down will still be practically twice the size of North Down. I agree with the Boundary Commission that North Down is the most industrial area of the county. There is, between the electorate of 72,000 for North Down and 76,000 for South Down, a disparity, but there is a proposal by Belfast City Council to take in the rural area of Castlereagh, or a portion of it, to extend the City of Belfast. If that happens in the near future, and if, also, the claims of South Down for new industries are conceded, the electorates will be readjusted in a short time.
I suggest that the Home Secretary should accept my Amendment as being the more reasonable and as endeavouring to equalise the electorate as between the two 265 Divisions. Further, Moira rural district is not in communication with the south of the county. Transport and communications are with the north of the county and with Belfast. Moira should definitely be in North Down. Moira rural district is a portion of the Armagh Union. The adjoining county is County Armagh and Moira rural district is controlled from County Armagh, the council offices being in Lurgan, in that county. I took up that matter when I was before the Boundary Commission, and I explained to them why Moira should be included in North Down. Evidently, they did not accept the view that Moira's associations and communications are with North Down. Moira should be incorporated in North Down, and the scheme which I have suggested should be accepted as the more reasonable one—one which makes for more equality in the size of the electorates.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Younger)
Both the hon. and gallant Member for Down (Sir W. Smiles) and the hon. Member for Fermanagh and Tyrone (Mr. Mulvey), who have spoken to their respective Amendments, have made it quite clear that they have carefully studied the report of the Boundary Commission on this subject. The hon. and gallant Member for Down at least paid a tribute—I am not sure whether the hon. Member for Fermanagh and Tyrone did the same —to the care and impartiality with which the Commissioners have gone into this whole matter. In arguing their cases here today both Members really put forward almost exactly the considerations which were put before the Boundary Commission, and which are set out quite fully on either side by the Boundary Commission in paragraph 17 of their Report. There is little I can do except reiterate, in reply, the counter-arguments which were also put in the Boundary Commission's Report, and which led them to the conclusion to which they came.
Perhaps I might mention the opening sentence of the Boundary Commission's Report in respect of this particular county. It says:The division which we recommend results in two constituencies with electorates of, respectively, 72,040 and 76,353. No other reasonably practicable boundary produces an equally even balance of numbers of electorate while maintaining the integrity of county districts.266 That sentence states, in fact, the conclusion reached by the Boundary Commission after they had considered proposals which, with small alterations, are substantially the same as those put forward by the two hon. Members today. I need not go through all the arguments. The hon. and gallant Member for Down, as he himself explained, is really proposing to divide the Division into East and West,. instead of North and South.
One of the arguments which made the strongest appeal to me as the Member for Grimsby was the one which affected fishing. I would point out to the hon. and gallant Member that even under the proposal which he has put before the Committee the whole coast line of this area would not be in a single constituency. As for the question of the precise port into which fishing vessels may run in a storm, I can hardly think that whether they run into a port in one constituency or another is really of great relevance to the division of the present constituency.
Members will have noticed that the Boundary Commissioners speak of maintaining the integrity of county districts. I do not think that either of the proposals to which we have listened do that as effectively as does that of the Boundary Commission. So far as the main arguments of the hon. Member for Fermanagh and Tyrone are concerned, particularly in regard to the stronger ties which he alleges the rural district of Moira has with the north than with the south, I can only say that that argument was examined by the Commission. In their Report the Commission say they do not really feel it is correct, nor do they feel that there is any substantial point in the question of communications. Although it may be true that the communications north and south are more numerous than those which run east and west they are, nevertheless, perfectly adequate in both directions, and the Boundary Commission did not think that the question of communications was sufficiently important to induce them to alter the decision to which otherwise they felt inclined to come.
To refer to one further point in regard to the proposals of the hon. Member for Fermanagh and Tyrone, he based himself, to some extent, upon what was likely to happen in the immediate neighbourhood of Belfast in the near future. On many occasions in this Debate my right 267 hon. Friend has had to make it clear that in coming to a decision about present boundaries we cannot be drawn very far into prophecies as to the future. The Boundary Commission also took that view.
Finally, if there was agreement on all sides as to how the Boundary Commission's Report should be altered, it might be felt that the matter ought to be looked into again. But the fact that we are now discussing two Amendments relating to the same constituency which are very different in intent, and the fact that there is really little relationship between the arguments put forward on the one hand and the other, shows that in this obviously difficult question the Boundary Commission came to a reasonable conclusion, from which it would not be possible for us to depart. Therefore, I cannot recommend the Committee to accept either of these Amendments.
§ Sir W. Smiles
In view of the Under-Secretary's reply, and to save the time of the Committee, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Mr. Mulvey
I beg to move, in page 141, line 36, column r, to leave out "North Tyrone and Magherafelt," and to insert "Mid-Ulster."
The object of this Amendment is to restore the name given at the outset to this constituency by the Boundary Commission. It is a rather novel Amendment in so far as there has been no other Amendment on the Order Paper during the time we have been discussing this Bill in Committee which has sought to effect the aim of this Amendment. Yesterday and today we have had Amendments seeking to change the nomenclature of constituencies proposed by the Boundary Commission, but this is an Amendment to restore the name given by the Commission to this constituency at the outset. In their preliminary Report the Commission gave it the title "Mid-Ulster "—a very appropriate title because the constituency is in the heart of Northern Ireland.
Why is it that the Boundary Commission changed the name from "Mid-Ulster" to "North Tyrone and Maghera- 268 felt"? In the Report of the Commission it states:For the name of the northern constituency our original proposal was 'Mid-Ulster,' which had at least the merit of brevity. We received, however, strong representations from several quarters, in particular from a Member of the Imperial Parliament who resides in the new proposed constituency, that the name 'Mid-Ulster' was not suitable; that it was not geographically accurate if 'Ulster' is taken in the political sense which it would inevitably connote in this context; and that it would be invidious to use the word 'Ulster in the title of one constituency alone, and that one, moreover, a constituency which is not typical or representative of Northern Ireland as a whole.The Commission's Report went on to say:We think that there is substance in these objections.I do not wish to make any comment about the Commission, except to say that they have turned a complete volte-face to satisfy the desire of a Unionist Member of Parliament in Northern Ireland and some of his friends. There is no getting away from that fact. It is admitted by the Boundary Commission in their Report.
The Member of the Imperial Parliament residing in the constituency—and I am glad to see him in his place this evening—is the hon. Member for Londonderry (Sir Ronald Ross). The hon. Member and I are good friends in a social sense, and I hope we shall continue to be so; we may differ politically, but we are good friends socially. Why the hon. Member for Londonderry suggested to the Boundary Commission that they should change the name from "Mid-Ulster" to "North Tyrone and Magherafelt" will certainly interest hon. Members of the Committee. He did so—and I hope I am not doing him any injustice in saying this —because the constituency is a purely Nationalist or Labour constituency, and he did not like the fact that a Division should be represented by a Nationalist or Labour representative, representing the heart of Northern Ireland.
I would like to draw an analogy which might arise in similar circumstances in England. We in Ireland have the country divided into provinces, which go back to the days of early civilisation. Historically and traditionally they show that the country, as a nation, is apart altogether from this country. In England there are no provinces. Suppose we were to take the county of York, which is a county as large 269 as Northern Ireland, and we were to assume that the majority of the electorate are of the Conservative brand and that the Boundary Commission are setting about the re-division of the county. They select a constituency in the centre of that county, to be called "Central Yorkshire." If the Unionists, or Conservatives, of Yorkshire went to the Boundary Commission and said, "You should not mention the name 'Central Yorkshire,' because it is not in accord with the political aspect of Yorkshire as a whole," what would be said of that statement?
I do not wish to put forward further arguments in favour of this Amendment. Anyone who looks at the map will see that the constituency is in the centre of Northern Ireland. No one can dispute that. There are several newspapers in Northern Ireland—I have been connected with one for 40 years—but I do not know of one bearing the word "Ulster" in its title, except two newspapers published in the constituency—the "Ulster Herald," and the still more appropriately named "Mid-Ulster Mail"—which largely supports the party of the hon. Member opposite. I will not waste the time of the Committee further, but I would ask the Home Secretary seriously to consider this change in a constituency situated in the heart of Northern Ireland, and to accept my Amendment.
§ Mr. Younger
I think that the hon. Member for Fermanagh and Tyrone (Mr. Mulvey) has sufficiently indicated that this is not, any more than the previous question, likely to be a matter of general agreement between all parties in Northern Ireland. He was good enough to read out a passage from the Boundary Commissioners' Report, in which they described the considerations which they had in mind in altering their first choice of "Mid-Ulster"—which, they said, was chosen for the purpose of brevity—to the somewhat more difficult title of "North Tyrone and Magherafelt"—if a mere Scotsman may attempt to pronounce such a word —which is now in the Schedule before the Committee.
This is not the first time that I have found myself compelled to stand here and enter reluctantly into a Northern Ireland quarrel. I do not want to enter into it any further than I must. But I think it is difficult to ask the Committee to do otherwise than to accept the con- 270 sidered judgment of the people who heard the pros and cons on the spot, who saw the proposers and objectors, and who reached the conclusions that have been reached. as to the considerations in the Schedule. For that reason I cannot, on what is at present before me, recommend the Committee to accept the present Amendment.
§ Mr. Carmichael (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
Like the Under-Secretary, I enter into a discussion of this kind with great, reluctance, but if we are to pass judgment— and we in this Committee have a right to pass judgment—we should do it on the facts presented. I think that hon. Members are bound to admit that the evidence presented to this Committee today is overwhelmingly in favour of the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Fermanagh and Tyrone (Mr. Mulvey). It is strengthened by the Boundary Commission itself. I do not think that it is a sound argument to say that their first reason for choosing the title of "Mid-Ulster" was because it was a convenient name. Surely, the Boundary Commission, when making its decision as to the name of the constituency, had in mind something more fundamental than the mere easy presentation of the name of the constituency. While it may be right and proper that people in an area should themselves come to an understanding, this Committee is the final authority. We have to weigh our opinions seriously and our decisions seriously, and there is no doubt about the argument presented. I think that the hon. Member for Londonderry (Sir R. Ross) might have intervened earlier. I think he was entitled to speak immediately following the hon. Member for Fermanagh and Tyrone—
§ Sir Ronald Ross (Londonderry)
I wanted to hear what the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Carmichael) said.
§ Mr. Carmichael
The hon. Member will hear it now, whether he wants to or not. It would appear that political influences have been at work and have deliberately exercised their powers to deny to the people concerned with this Amendment their right of proper designation. We have had overwhelming evidence of that, and I know because I come from a part of the country that has a very close relationship with Ireland, both North and South. I know full well that it is a common desire of a 271 certain section of the community not to create the impression that in Northern Ireland there is any Nationalist or Labour opinion at all. That is the general desire. But here we discover that the majority of the people concerned are Nationalist. From my own experience the Nationalists, in the main, have always been very sympathetic to the Labour movement. I do not think we can say the same thing about the people in Northern Ireland who are represented by the hon. Member for Londonderry. I say that from my own experience in my own city, and in Belfast. The newspapers in the area are designated as "Ulster" papers. We shall be doing a very great injustice to the people of that part of Ireland if we do not take stock of these facts.
We shall be more than delighted to hear the speech of the hon. Member for Londonderry, and other hon. Members will be more than competent to deal with it and answer it. If we are to get a decision tonight I hope that more evidence will be forthcoming, that the Home Secretary will go into the matter. If my right hon. Friend intends to speak tonight I would like him to be more detailed in telling us how the Boundary Commission, on whom we have been resting our judgment all day, came to alter their original decision. Just imagine addressing the hon. Member for that constituency as "the hon. Member for North Tyrone and—" I should require an interpreter to be on the spot to interpret the name. I hope that that will not be necessary.
§ Mr. Scollan
One point has influenced me very greatly. The Boundary Commission, sitting on the question of fixing boundaries, who gave the constituency a new name did so without any influence at all being brought to bear upon them. They approached the question in a perfectly neutral manner and with no bias of any kind in their minds. That was the proper spirit in which to approach a problem of this kind. They decided that the name of the new constituency should be "Mid-Ulster." Immediately they had done so, along comes the age-old fued. Somebody impregnated with the age-old feud says, "You cannot do that. We have a feud. This has been going on since the days of King William, and we must perpetuate it. We shall not allow anybody to stop it. It must be perpetu- 272 ated for all time, and consequently if you decide upon the name 'Mid-Ulster' you will lead people all over the world to believe that the people of Ulster are Nationalist at heart because of this. "Then the Boundary Commission begin to take stock of the situation. They say," Can we afford to cast off the age long prejudice; would it be wise to do so? Obviously, if we cast them off we might open a door that would stop all this nonsense which has being going on in Ireland for centuries. Then there would be nothing to fight about at election time. It would be far better to have the name 'North Tyrone and Magherafelt.' If they could fight about nothing else, they could fight about that name." On balance, the impartial neutral attitude of the Commission is the one which we should support.
§ 6.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Bing (Hornchurch)
I am sure that all hon. Members regret that the hon. Baronet the Member for Londonderry (Sir R. Ross) has not addressed in public to this Committee the very powerful arguments which he must have addressed in private to the Boundary Commissioners in order to cause them to change their views. But we ought not to treat this matter as a political question. It would be better if we looked at it from the point of view of history and considered whether or not this constituency had a right to this title. I do not know whether hon. Gentlemen opposite are aware of the Red Hand of Ulster, where it comes from, or where the O'Neills came from. I sometimes think that they have the story of the Red Hand of Ulster wrong. There are two definitions of the Red Hand. There is the Ulster one which is closely connected with the constituency and there is another which perhaps explains the absence of some hon. Gentlemen opposite. In certain circumstances, the Red Hand is a badge never to be expunged until the bearer has passed by way of penance seven years in a cave without companions, without shaving and without uttering a single word. That may be why so many hon. Members opposite who represent Northern Ireland constituencies are absent today. But that is not the reason why this badge is used in regard to Ulster—
§ The Chairman
I do not think that the question of a badge has anything to do 273 with the question of what shall be the appropriate name for this constituency.
§ Mr. Bing
With the utmost respect, I would point out that the badge originates in this constituency. The name of Ulster comes from this constituency, this very area of which we are speaking. The home of the O'Neills, Dungannon, is situated in this constituency. Donaghmore is in the constituency whence came Walker of Derry. In this constituency many of the defenders of Derry, afterwards exiled for their unfortunate views, lived. In Strabane—this is extremely interesting and—
§ The Chairman
Many of the hon. Member's speeches are extremely interesting, but they are not all relevant. If the hon. Gentleman would be relevant, the Committee would be obliged.
§ Mr. Bing
I was going to say that from Strabane comes James Dunlap, who gave the name of Ulster to many places in America and who was, oddly enough, the first printer of the Declaration of Independence, a man who made the name of Ulster known throughout the new world. In honour of him alone I should have thought that from a purely historical viewpoint we might have preserved in this constituency, which is the actual centre of historical Ulster, the name of Ulster.
§ Sir Ronald Ross (Londonderry)
I hope that the Committee will excuse me for not speaking earlier, but I wished to hear the collective wisdom of other hon. Members and to see what objections there were to the name suggested. As for the hon. Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Bing), he is always so kind in displaying so much attention to Ulster, although Ulster is more interested in whether he pays for his own ticket on his frequent visits there.
§ Mr. Carmichael
On a point of Order. Is it in Order to infer that a Member of this House, travelling in Northern Ireland, tends to travel without a ticket when he should have one? I can enjoy humour with the rest of hon. Members, but I think that the inference is that the hon. Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Bing) has been in Ireland and that, on 274 occasions, he would travel without a ticket. That is the inference of the statement.
§ The Chairman
If the hon. Baronet made any such statement, having regard to the disavowal of the hon. Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Bing), I am sure that he would be willing to withdraw.
§ Sir R. Ross
Certainly. I withdraw any suggestion that the hon. Member is one of those who travel without a ticket. I was wondering whether he came as a private investigator or as one representing a political point of view and, if so, what. However, the hon. Gentleman is just as badly informed on archaeology as he generally is on politics. The Red Hand came from the Lough Neagh area where one of the O'Neills is supposed to have chopped off his hand and thrown it on to the land. Ire was in a boat race and it appears that the winner would be the first person to touch the land. This O'Neill is supposed to have chopped off his hand and thrown it ashore. I wish that I could have the attention of the hon. Member for Fermanagh and Tyrone (Mr. Mulvey) because I am going to say a most horrible thing about him. He does not come from Ulster at all. One can detect and enjoy the mellifluous phrases of a Connaught accent when the hon. Member addresses the Committee. In the words of Clause 67 of this Bill, he may be deemed to have landed in Ulster. He came to Ulster from Connaught. Is he ashamed of the name of Tyrone? Is he ashamed of Magherafelt?
§ Sir R. Ross
Far from it, but I would be if it were miscalled, misplaced or unsuitably used. The factor which I think influenced the Boundary Commission more than anything else was that this is the only constituency of all the Northern Ireland constituencies where the town or county was not used. Other names include Armagh, North Down and South Down, but here for some reason the first suggestion was Mid-Ulster. Certainly this does not happen to be the middle of Ulster. It is not particularly characteristic of Ulster. The hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Carmichael), who no doubt has made himself popular with his Irish friends by his speech today, does not know very much about it. The name which I would 275 have preferred, and which I think I urged upon the Boundary Commission, was that of Sperrin. Most of the constituency is in the Sperrin Mountains. Unfortunately, my powers of persuasion were not as great as hon. Members opposite attributed to me. I did not suggest North Tyrone and Magherafelt. That was the thought of the Boundary Commission. Probably it is the best name they could get if they felt they were unable to accept my suggestion.
I am much distressed to think that the hon. Member for Fermanagh and Tyrone should fight shy of representing North Tyrone and Magherafelt, though I agree that Magherafelt has probably more people who take my view in politics than the hon. Gentleman supposes, as he may find out. Probably the simplest solution to this question would be to leave things ac they are proposed by the Boundary Commission.
§ Mr. Mulvey
What was the reason why the hon. Member suggested to the Boundary Commission that they should not accept Mid-Ulster as the name for this constituency?
§ Mr. James Hudson (Ealing, West)
As a mere Englishman and a foreigner, I wish to draw the attention of the Committee to the unsatisfactory explanation given by the Under-Secretary. Of this more than any part of the country, it is less justifiable to say that we cannot do things unless we get the agreement of all parties. Whenever did we get the agreement of all parties on an Ulster matter? Nor is it justifiable to say that the people who heard the pros and cons on the spot should decide. We hear the pros and cons from hon. Members who are interested in the matter. I am
§ most interested to know why the hon. Member who seems to have had the most influence with the Boundary Commission—behind closed doors—should have suggested the name of a group of hills or mountains as the appropriate name for this constituency. He did not suggest a similar course in the case of the hon. and gallant Member for Down (Sir W. Smiles). The Mourne Mountains would give an appropriate name to that constituency. That was not suggested there; why should it have been put forward with reference to Ulster?
§ I shall not be supported by my hon. Friend the Member for Fermanagh and Tyrone (Mr. Mulvey) or by hon. Gentlemen opposite when I recall that the real Ulster is something much more than the six counties that are in Northern Ireland. I do not forget that, nor do I forget the geographical centre of that Ulster. I believe that the name Mid-Ulster would be correct geographically and historically and would be a more appropriate name than any other which has been suggested. I hope that the Home Secretary will be willing to listen to the representations of my hon. Friend, especially as we are still waiting for a settlement in a number of other constituencies.
§ Mr. Younger
Having heard the further argument, having listened to the eloquence of my hon. Friend the Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson) and, not least, having had the benefit of the argument of the hon. Baronet the Member for Londonderry (Sir R. Ross) which revealed the nakedness of the land, I am prepared to accept the Amendment.
§ Question put, "That the words North Tyrone and Magherafelt' stand part of the Schedule."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 112; Noes. 276.279
|Division No. 133.||AYES.||6.59 p.m.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Clarke, Col. R. S.||Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G.||Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M.|
|Anderson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Scot. Univ.)||Cole, T. L.||Gage, C.|
|Assheton, Rt. Hon. R.||Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Cooper-Key, E. M.||George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)|
|Barlow, Sir J.||Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)||Glyn, Sir R.|
|Beamish, Maj. T. V. H.||Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C||Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.|
|Beechman, N. A.||Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Grimston, R. V.|
|Bossom, A. C||Davidson, Viscountess||Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley)|
|Bowen, R.||Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Haughton, S. G.|
|Bower, N.||Donner, P. W.||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, J. A||Drayton, G. B.||Henderson, John (Cathcart)|
|Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.||Drewe, C.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)||Hollis, M. C.|
|Challen, C.||Eccles, D. M.||Howard, Hon. A.|
|Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)|
|Hurd, A.||Osborne, C.||Studholme, H. G.|
|Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Peake, Rt. Hon. O.||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Jennings, R.||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Keeling, E. H.||Pickthorn, K||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Lambert, Hon. G.||Pitman, I. J.||Thorp, Brigadier R. A. F|
|Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.||Ponsonby, Col. C. E.||Touche, G. C.|
|Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)||Turton, R. H.|
|Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Prescott, Stanley||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Low, A. R. W.||Raikes, H. V.||Wadsworth, G.|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.||Rayner, Brig. R.||Walker-Smith, D.|
|McFarlane, C. S.||Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)||Ward, Hon. G. R.|
|Mackeson, Brig. H. R.||Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C (Hillhead)||Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie|
|McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Renton, D.||Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)|
|Maclay, Hon. J. S.||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)||Wheatley, Colonel M. J. (Dorset, E.)|
|Maclean, F. H. R. (Lancaster)||Roberts, P. G. (Ecclesall)||White, Sir D. (Fareham)|
|Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)||Ropner, Col. L.||Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)|
|Maitland, Comdr. J. W||Sanderson, Sir F.||York, C.|
|Marples, A. E||Savory, Prof. D. L.||Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)|
|Mellor, Sir J.||Scott, Lord W.|
|Molson, A. H. E.||Smith, E. P. (Ashford)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES|
|Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)||Spearman, A. C. M.||Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter Smiles and|
|Neven-Spence, Sir B.||Spence, H. R.||Sir Ronald Ross.|
|Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Crossman, R. H. S.||Hubbard, T.|
|Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)||Daggar, G.||Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)|
|Allen, Scholefietd (Crewe)||Daines, P.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)|
|Alpass, J. H.||Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.)|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool)|
|Attewell, H. C.||Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Austin, H. Lewis||Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.|
|Awbery, S. S.||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Jeger,, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)|
|Ayles, W. H.||Deer, G.||Johnston, Douglas|
|Bacon, Miss A.||de Freitas, Geoffrey||Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool)|
|Baird, J.||Diamond, J.||Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)|
|Balfour, A.||Dobbie, W.||Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)|
|Barstow, P. G.||Dodds, N. N.||Keenan, W.|
|Barton, C.||Donovan, T.||Kendall, W. D|
|Battley, J. R.||Driberg, T. E. N.||Kenyon, C.|
|Bechervaise, A. E.||Dumpleton, C. W||King, E. M.|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Dye, S.||Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E|
|Benson, G.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Kinley, J.|
|Beswick, F.||Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)||Kirkwood, Rt. Hon. D.|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty)||Lang, G.|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)||Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J.|
|Binns, J.||Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)||Levy, B. W.|
|Blackburn, A. R.||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)|
|Blenkinsop, A.||Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)||Lewis, T. (Southampton)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Ewart, R.||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.|
|Boardman, H.||Farthing, W. J.||Logan, D. G.|
|Bottomley, A. G.||Fernyhough, E.||Lyne, A. W|
|Bowden, Flg. Offr. H. W.||Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||McAdam, W|
|Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)||Follick, M.||McEntee, V. La T.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)||Foot, M. M.||McGhee, H. G.|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Fraser. T. (Hamilton)||McKay, J. (Wallsend)|
|Bramall, E. A.||Freeman, Peter (Newport)||Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)|
|Brook, D. (Halifax)||Ganley, Mrs. C. S.||McKinlay, A. S.|
|Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||Gibbins, J||Maclean, N. (Govan)|
|Brown, T. J. (Ince)||Gilzean, A.||McLeavy, F.|
|Burden, T. W.||Glanville, J. E. (Consett)||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)|
|Burke, W. A.||Gooch, E. G.||Mallalieu, J. P. W (Huddersfield)|
|Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)||Gordon-Walker, P. C.||Mann, Mrs. J.|
|Carmichael, James||Grey, C. F.||Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)||Mathers, Rt. Hon. George|
|Chamberlain, R. A.||Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)||Mellish, R. J.|
|Champion, A. J.||Guest, Dr. L. Haden||Messer, F.|
|Chetwynd, G. R||Gunter, R. J.||Middleton, Mrs. L|
|Cluse, W. S.||Haire, John E. (Wycombe)||Mikardo, Ian|
|Cobb, F. A.||Hale, Leslie||Monstow, W|
|Cocks, F. S.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil||Moody, A. S|
|Coldrick, W.||Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.||Morley, R.|
|Collick, P.||Hardy, E. A.||Morgan, Dr. H. B.|
|Collindridge, F.||Harrison, J.||Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)|
|Collins, V. J.||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)|
|Colman, Miss G. M||Haworth, J.||Mort, D. L.|
|Comyns, Dr. L.||Herbison, Miss M.||Moyle, A.|
|Cook, T. F.||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Mulvey, A.|
|Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G||Hicks, G.||Murray, J. D|
|Corlett, Dr. J.||Hobson, C. R.||Naylor, T. E|
|Cove, W. G.||Holman, P.||Neal, H. (Claycross)|
|Crawley, A.||Hoy, J.||Nichol, Mrs. M E. (Bradford, N.)|
|Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)||Sharp, Granville||Vernon, Maj. W. F|
|Oldfield, W. H.||Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)||Viant, S. P.|
|Oliver, G. H.||Shurmer, P.||Walker, G. H.|
|Orbach, M.||Silverman, J. (Erdington)||Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)|
|Paget, R. T.||Simmons, C. J.||Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)|
|Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)||Skeffington, A. M||Warbey, W. N.|
|Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Skinnard, F. W.||Watkins, T. E.|
|Palmer, A. M. F||Smith, C. (Colchester)||Watson, W. M.|
|Parker, J.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke)||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|Parkin, B. T.||Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)||Snow, J. W.||West, D. G.|
|Paton, J. (Norwich)||Soskice, Sir Frank||Westwood, Rt. Hon. J|
|Pearson, A.||Sparks, J. A.||Wheatley, Rt. Hn. J. T. (Edinb'gh, E.)|
|Peart, T. F.||Stamford, W.||White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Perrins, W.||Steele, T.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W|
|Plans-Mills, J. F. F.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||Wigg, George|
|Poole, Cecil (Lichfield)||Stokes, R. R.||Wilkes, L.|
|Popplewell, E||Stross, Dr. B.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Porter, E. (Warrington)||Stubbs, A. E.||Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)|
|Porter, G. (Leeds)||Swingler, S.||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Price, M. Philips||Sylvester, G. O.||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Pritt, D. N.||Symonds, A. L.||Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)|
|Pryde, D. J.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)||Williams, R. W. (Wigan)|
|Pursey, Cmdr. H||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Randall, H E.||Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Rankin, J.||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)||Willis, E.|
|Reid, T. (Swindon)||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)||Woods, G. S|
|Richards, R||Thurtle, Ernest||Wyatt, W.|
|Robens, A.||Tiffany, S.||Yates, V. F|
|Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)||Timmons, J.||Young, Sir R. (Newton)|
|Ross, William (Kilmarnock)||Titterington, M. F||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Royle, C.||Tolley, L.||Zilliacus, K.|
|Scollan, T.||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Scott-Elliot, W||Ungoed-Thomas, L||TELLERS FOR THE NOES|
|Segal, Dr. S.||Usborne, Henry||Mr. Joseph Henderson and|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Word "Mid-Ulster" there inserted. Schedule, as amended, agreed to.