§ Question again proposed, "That the Clause be read a Second time."—[Mr. J. Edwards.]
§ 5.15 p.m.
Mr. E. P. Smith
At the time when we turned from being a Committee to being the House of Commons, I was talking to the Minister of Health about lines 65 to 80. I quite understand that no powers are being given to the council of a county or to a parish council such as are proposed to be given to other councils, but that makes no difference to the extreme objection which one has to the provisions of Subsection (7).
I ask for enlightenment on this subject from the right hon. Gentleman, who is not in the Committee—oh, he is just returning. No doubt he has been looking the matter up. The point is that these entertainments are to be provided by the council of a county or a parish council, in the offices of the county council or of the parish council. I see no earthly reason why these provisions should be so fantastically restrictive. If a county or parish council are giving a concert, why should they not be able to perform a one-act stage play, a very definite art form which has very little encouragement in the country today? Why should that be excepted? Subsection (7, ii) says: 1370The concert or other entertainment shall not include any performance in the nature of a variety entertainment.I could very easily argue that any turn in an ordinary concert can be regarded as part of a variety entertainment. The Subsection goes on:(iii) no cinematograph film other than a film illustrative of questions relating to health or disease shall he shown.I can quite imagine that that would come under the heading of what my hon. Friend the Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. S. Marshall) would regard as a cultural film. But I am not very interested personally in the pictorial representation of either health or disease. The Subsection then says:(iv) no scenery, theatrical costumes or scenic or theatrical accessories shall be used.The Subsection obviously needs alteration. If it cannot be altered, the Minister should give us a very clear and and lucid explanation why these restrictive provisions should be retained in the new Clause. In spite of all the struggles which it has had for hundreds of years with statesmen, priests and kings, the art of entertainment in England goes gallantly on. Its claims are being advocated today between Welshmen and Scotsmen. It is, therefore, not entirely unfitting that one who is of Irish blood should say a word in its defence.
§ Mr. Mitchison (Kettering)
Much of what the hon. Member for Ashford (Mr. E. P. Smith) said finds agreement on this side of the Committee. I should like to take a little further some of the points he was making about Subsection (7). The Parliamentary Secretary, in commending the proposed Clause to the Committee, rightly stressed the importance of the provision of entertainment in rural districts where there are many places a long way from a cinema. Members on this side of the Committee have continually stood for the extension to the countryside of opportunities of cultural and entertainment such as are at present more readily available in the towns. There are two large rural districts in my constituency containing many villages from which it is not possible for the ordinary working man to travel to and from neighbouring towns to see whatever entertainment is available.
I regard it as of the highest national importance that places like those should 1371 get an opportunity as soon as possible for the kind of entertainment that the Clause is intended to promote. The Clause enables the local authority either to do the job itself or to contribute to its being done by others. It is no doubt a matter for local wishes, conditions and requirements how far the local authority adopts one or other of the alternatives. A local authority is defined as a district council or a county council, but does not include a parish. When we come to the proviso to which the hon. Member has just referred, we find restrictions upon the powers of county and parish councils. I recognise that these provisions have not originated in this Subsection, but go back to the Public Health Act, 1925, in which there was a section dealing with the use of council premises for entertainment.
I regard this recital of the effect of these Sections as a little misleading, because the Physical Training and Recreation Act, 1937, not only applied those provisions to parishes, as suggested in this Subsection, but also extended them in a very much more important way, which is not mentioned in this Clause at all. Under Section 4 of the Physical Training Act, 1937, there is power for a local authority to organise holiday camps, to organise centres for the use of clubs, societies or organisations having athletic, social or educational objects. Those activities under Section 4 of the Physical Training and Recreation Act ought to be encouraged. If such camps are provided by, for instance, a county council, then the entertainment in those camps ought not to be limited in the fashion contemplated by this Clause, which, I repeat, is not a Clause first introduced in the legislation we are now considering, but one which dates from earlier legislation.
In my view, to discover the most backward legislation and the maximum of anomalies, the secret is simple: go to the places where the functions of different Government Departments interlap, and they will be found. In this case we have an interlapping between, first, the functions of the Ministry of Health, which is in charge of this Measure; secondly, the functions of the Ministry of Education, which is engaged in this matter in connection with village halls; and lastly, the 1372 functions of the Home Office, which is concerned with the licensing of theatres.
A great deal of the effect intended in this Clause will be frustrated in rural areas, for the very simple reason that there will be no theatres available. Although it may be intended that the rural district council—in my view perhaps not quite the best local authority for the purpose—should provide entertainments, which would include stage plays, they will be unable to find a licensed theatre in which to do it. The reason for that goes back to the Theatres Act, 1843, which dates from a time when those connected with theatres—which would include the hon., and, indeed, distinguished Member for Ashford—were regarded as rather strange and wild people who could be tolerated only on sufferance, and who certainly would not have obtained the general recognition and respect to which the hon. Member and others of his calling are fully entitled. I am glad to see the Home Secretary on the Front Bench, and I take this opportunity of suggesting that this is a matter which needs careful consideration if the intended effect of this Clause is to be obtained to the full in rural areas, on which the Parliamentary Secretary quite rightly laid stress when commending the Clause to the Committee.
I must make a short confession, which illustrates the difficulty of the position. In the course of examining this matter I discovered that I had been guilty of a number of offences under the Theatres Act, 1843. My offence was to take part in promoting in the local village hall a play written by a local author, or authoress—I hope. of some distinction—which was performed by the fishermen who are the main inhabitants of that village, with the assistance of the village schoolmaster, who proved to be an actor of first-rate ability. I believe it to have been an exceedingly good play, and exceedingly well performed. At any rate, it was a great success, and went round a number of other village halls in the area where again, I understand, it had great success. I have now discovered to my horror that each and every one of those performances was a breach of the Theatres Act, 1843. I would not have had the courage to confess it to the Committee—especially in the presence of the Home Secretary—had I not also found in that Act a stipulation limiting the time 1373 within which prosecutions may be brought. Protected as I am by that stipulation, I can now confess my misdoings.
I ask the Committee to look at the result which is intended, that, whether by means of the rural district council or the parish council, performances shall be given, in some way or another, within the rural districts. Where are they to take place? It cannot be in the village hall—although in many villages that Is a very suitable place for a performance—unless an application is made to have that hall licensed as a theatre. Surely, some less cumbersome machinery could be found? I believe there has been a case recently in one large borough where performances had been given for a long time in a place which was later discovered to be unlicensed; and it was also discovered to be open to a common informer to recover his Shylock's portion of the penalties under the Theatres Act. Therefore, I take this opportunity of suggesting—
§ The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Ede)
The hon. and learned Member is quite wrong. There is no power open to the common Informer, either to institute a prosecution or to collect any proceeds.
§ Mr. Mitchison
I am exceedingly glad to hear that. The activities of the common informer commend themselves to but very few people. I am glad that that rumour was unfounded. I am grateful to the Home Secretary for denying it, for it will relieve a great many people of some anxiety.
To carry the matter one stage further, I wish to point out one other absurdity. Certain powers are here given as regards rural district councils, but the powers are limited as regards a parish. Let me take one very small form of entertainment which is frequently given in parish offices, and other such places: a Christmas tree for the local young. If a Christmas tree is put in the offices of the rural district council the chairman of the council is entitled to come in the costume of Santa Claus. If, however, it is a parish, the chairman is not entitled to come in the costume of Santa Clause because there is a proviso thatNo scenery, theatrical costumes or scenic or theatrical accessories shall be used.1374 This matter surely ought to be reconsidered, and something done to meet the realities of the situation in rural districts, as regards both the respective functions of the rural district council and the parish council, and the question of what halls can be used for the type of entertainment which is contemplated.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing (Weston-super-Mare)
I will not attempt to follow the line taken by the hon. and learned Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison) because, with great deference, I cannot help wondering whether he was talking about this Bill or about some other Measure which should have been introduced by the Home Office. I think I should be out of Order were I to discuss a Bill which should have been introduced by the Home Office, and I prefer to discuss this proposed Clause in the Local Government Bill.
I speak as a much more interested party in this matter than the hon. Member for Ashford (Mr. E. P. Smith), who spoke as a dramatist, for I speak as one who enjoys the theatre and the drama. After all, it is the consumers of the drama who dictate, very largely, what shall be presented to us. For that reason I must join issue with the Parliamentary Secretary who introduced this Cause. I cannot accept his arguments, based on the assumption that the choice of drama to be presented would be much better made by the local authority than by those who are trying to make a living out of the job. Of course, a local authority is quite entitled to express its views on what should and what should not be performed, just as much as anybody else, but it is very unlikely that they would be equal runners with the professional who has to make a livelihood out of the job.
The hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson) raised a bigger issue. He claimed that we should entirely revolutionise the type of individual who would stand for election for the local authorities. I think that over-statements of that nature do this Clause no good. In practice, we shall find nothing of the sort will happen. I do not think it likely that the Mayor of Cheltenham, or the Lord Mayor of somewhere else, is likely to be chosen because he took a great interest in the performance last year of 1375 "Faust," or because he did a great deal to ensure that the right film was shown, for instance, in the Leeds City Hall or theatre. This Clause will not encourage a man of that type to go on the local council. This is not a matter which should rank as of the highest possible importance within the general powers of local authorities. If local councillors are to be elected in the future largely because they are the type of people who will take a practical interest in dramatic entertainment for the local residents, then Heaven help local government.
As a Member representing a seaside holiday resort, I am strongly in favour of the purpose behind this Clause. I agree with a great deal of what has been said about the provision of entertainment for those in the countryside, but, after all, we shall not always be without basic petrol or road transport. I agree that we must have a greater diffusion of dramatic enterprise throughout the country so that drama is available to a wider public. When we come to the seaside and holiday resorts we find a very particular situation arises. In a town such as I represent, and in many other parts of Somerset, where the static population is small in comparison with the temporary holiday population which streams in during the summer months, we have an extraordinarily difficult problem. It raises all sorts of economic difficulties for those who finance and run any form of entertainments. I am not at all sure that the powers asked for in this Clause should not be granted; in fact, I would go so far as to say that in this particular type of case such powers should be granted.
I make one important stipulation, however, and that is that the local electors should have an opportunity to decide this matter by public poll. It is all very well for my hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. E. P. Smith) to say that the local authorities risk their money in these enterprises. They do nothing of the sort. The local authority risk the money of their constituents, which is a very different thing.
Mr. E. P. Smith
I am sure that my hon. Friend does not mean to misrepresent me. What I had in mind was that the local authority risk under this Clause the money entrusted to them by the electors, paid in the form of rates, in the 1376 same way as anything else they finance. I do not for one moment suggest that the local councillors are risking their own money. That never entered my head.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
I am certain that my hon. Friend, who is probably a local councillor, would not suggest for one moment that local councillors would risk their own money in these enterprises. In all common sense, is a council going to be elected for the purpose of running these entertainments? We all know that this will not be so. They will be elected on many other issues, and this is not likely to be the main issue at an election, unless a council has made a most awful mess of some similar type of enterprise, but even then, this will not be the main issue. It may well be said that the electors have an opportunity to dismiss the council at the next election. Of course they have. But the point is that the council can, in the meantime, use up money to the extent of a 6d. rate in launching out on considerable enterprises, and by the time the next election comes along the commitment has been made, and the capital expenditure has been incurred. The argument in such cases is always that it will cost more to get out than it would to carry on. That argument is used over and over again in the case of local authorities who undertake enterprises and do not make a success of them.
If we are to have this type of Clause—and I want something like it in this Bill—the only fair way is to give the local electors an opportunity, by a public poll, to voice their opinions on whether the council should or should not risk their money. I cannot see any great novelty in this suggestion. The Minister knows very well that under existing legislation there are certain functions which cannot be undertaken by local authorities without a declaration of opinion by the electors at a poll. In a matter such as this, where the Minister seeks to give power to a local authority to expend and risk considerable sums of the ratepayers' money, surely it would be wise to modify this proposal to that degree, and to give the local electors a fair chance of expressing their views.
§ Mrs. Ayrton Gould (Hendon, North)
I was very interested in the speech of the hon. Member for Weston-super-Mare (Mr. Orr-Ewing) and a little puzzled, because he 1377 seemed to think that for the Clause to work effectively those elected to a local authority should be chosen because of their interest in this special scheme.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
Surely the hon. Lady does not wish to misrepresent me? I said exactly the reverse. I said that we all know that in electing a local government body this Clause would not be the main issue.
§ Mrs. Ayrton Gould
I did not intend to misrepresent the hon. Member, but it would be a tremendous advantage to any local authority if a certain number of their members had a greater interest in entertainment and in the cultural activities of their citizens. The hon. Member alleged that the Parliamentary Secretary had suggested that the choice of drama would be better left to members of the local authorities. I do not think that the Parliamentary Secretary said anything of the kind. The hon. Member went on to say that he did not think local authorities would be equal runners with those who have to make their living out of the job. This is a fundamental question. Those making their living—and a very fat living—out of all kinds of entertainment have done it in such a way that it has prevented many people from taking advantage of that entertainment.
I want to congratulate the Minister on introducing this Clause which, I believe, will be a great step forward towards providing the culture that we on this side, and some Members opposite, have for so long been anxious to provide for our people. We want to make every kind of culture and entertainment available, and ensure that all who wish to take advantage of it will be able to do so. This Clause will enable people in sparsely populated areas—where the nearest theatre is perhaps 10 miles away—to taste joys of drama and music which have hitherto been denied to them.
During the war much good work was done by the Arts Council in taking music, drama and the visual arts to all sorts of places in the-country. Now, many people have an appetite for these things which they did not have before. Because that appetite has been aroused the Arts Council, of which I have the honour to be a member, find that they are unable, in many cases, to help to provide drama, music and the visual arts, because there 1378 are no halls or theatres in which they can be staged. I suggest that to this Clause there should be added the power to buy theatres and halls at a fair compensation. I do not know whether that provision is already in the Clause—
§ 5.45 p.m.
§ Mrs. Ayrton Gould
I wish they could. I want as many halls and theatres as possible to be acquired wherever they are needed for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of this country. Members opposite seem to be confused on this point. They do not want it to be possible for local authorities to spend a 6d. rate under the provisions of this Clause. Some have taken it for granted that the whole of the £8 million which is brought in by a 6d. rate over the whole country w ill immediately be absorbed in providing entertainment. My own fears are the other way, that many local authorities will not take the advantage that they might of this Clause, and will not use the money that could be used to provide this entertainment. An hon. Member opposite asked whether it would be right to pander to the desires of people by providing dances which would pay for symphony orchestra concerts. I cannot think why anybody should object to that.
I hope that a large amount of money in rates will not have to be spent by local authorities, that they will not find it necessary to spend much, apart from acquiring the buildings, because they will be able to provide successful entertainment at no great cost. That would be an excellent thing. Everybody knows that a symphony concert, which, to many of us, provides the highest form of music, is difficult to produce with any financial success because unless there is a large audience such high prices have to be charged, that the concert is put out of the reach of many people. The local authority should provide symphony concerts for all those who would take great pleasure in them and help to meet their cost by organising weekly dances.
Members opposite, although they have not exactly said so, are not in favour of 1379 this Clause because they are interested in the vested interests that have always gone with provision of entertainment, drama and music. To put on plays at theatres it has been necessary to pay huge rents to the theatre owners. The hon. Member for Ashford (Mr. E. P. Smith), who is a dramatist himself, said that he was only too anxious that the Clause should be adopted because it would increase his livelihood and that of his children if more theatres came into being. We on this side certainly want to make available for the large mass of our population all the culture and entertainment of which they can take advantage. We do not want to see this entertainment provided by private enterprise and vested interests, which will make huge profits out of it. I welcome this Clause as a great and imaginative scheme for bringing joy and happiness to the people of Great Britain.
§ Mr. Bevan
Having spent so much time on it, I should hope that when we come to the Amendments to the Clause we might be exempted from the necessity of having a repetition of the general arguments which have so far been adduced. I do not want to waste the time of the Committee by repeating those arguments, which were so charmingly and adequately put by the Parliamentary Secretary when he moved the Clause. I want to deal with the question of machinery. I would point out to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison), that enthusiasm for the functions of a parish council, if carried too far, would defeat itself. We have in the last few years added considerably to the powers of parish councils, and he must remember that they have limited financial resources. If they tried to carry too heavy burdens, the result would be not an increase in parish council activity, but a sharp reaction on the part of ratepayers in parishes, so that the result would be worse in the end than at the beginning.
1380 The reason why the county councils and parishes are not being armed with these powers is because, as the Parliamentary Secretary pointed out, they should be exercised by communal units and not by wide local government units. The county council is not the appropriate body to provide this kind of facility. In fact it cannot often do so. We would merely have contention between that part of the county not provided with the facilities and that part of the county which was provided with them. The proper body to do this work is the local authority unit that lies closest to the citizen—the borough and county district. The county district can do on behalf of the parish areas all that has been claimed for the parishes, and do it more adequately.
I admit that a problem can arise in the rural areas through borough or county districts being too small to provide the facilities necessary to service a wide area of rural country. Under Clause 121, the county council is able to make a contribution towards the expenses of a county district providing the facilities. Therefore, we have the financial resources of the county council available to help the county district, without the duplication that might arise by arming the county council itself with the powers to provide the facilities.
§ Mr. Benn Levy (Eton and Slough)
It seems to me that the case which my right hon. Friend is making out is for not obliging parish councils or county councils to operate in this fashion. The point that has been made is why they should be prohibited from doing so.
§ Mr. Bevan
I am making out that case. They are prohibited from doing so, because if the county council and the county district can both discharge these powers, there will be hopeless overlapping and duplication, as well as an enormous amount of friction and jealousy. One can imagine the sort of situation that might arise. A county council might want to build a theatre or a cinema in a county district and the county district itself might want to do so.
§ Mr. James Hudson (Ealing, West)
Is the Minister dealing with the activities already carried out by the London County Council?
§ Mr. Bevan
No, I am dealing with the distinction of function between the county council and the borough, and I am asserting, what I think will meet with universal approvel, that the appropriate local government body to do this is the county district or borough and not the county council. Where the financial resources of the county are necessary in order to assist a borough or county district to carry out these functions for populations lying outside their areas, Clause 121 provides that the county council can make a grant towards the cost.
§ Squadron-Leader Fleming (Manchester, Withington)
Can the county councils contribute towards the cost of theatres?
§ Mr. Bevan
Yes, under Clause 121 there is no limitation on the kind of object to which a county council cart make a contribution to the expenses of the county district. This is a new power. It is very important indeed in certain instances because it enables the county council to help the poorer county districts. The hon. Member for Hanley (Dr. Stross) talked about providing these facilities for a wider conurbation. There is nothing in the Act to prevent local authorities forming joint boards for the purpose of carrying out any of these activities. That meets the point raised about services for a wider area. I have in mind the situation in Wales, where we need sometimes a hall which would be too large for any normal purpose in a county district to house an Eisteddfod. The same might apply in Scotland, because in those two places intellectual activity is very avid. Therefore, several bodies can join together to build a large hall where wider areas of population can assemble for the larger spectacles which are a feature of Eisteddfods. All these things are being met in the proposal now before the Committee.
I would point out one reason why this power is so necessary. I say this not for the purpose of repetition, but to call the 1382 attention of the local authorities to it. During the last 30 or 40 years which has seen the rise of the cinema, we have seen the creation of a building which is useful for one function only and for no other purpose. All of us, I am certain, have spent many dreary hours addressing meetings in cinemas. [An HON. MEMBER: "Dreary for whom?"] Dreary for us and for the audience. The acoustics are all wrong because these places were never intended for public speaking. They are ill lit, miserable and dismal and even our speeches fail to illuminate the gathering. We need halls where it is possible to show a film as well as put on a play, where the acoustics are adapted to the living theatre as well as to the silver screen; but there are wide areas in this country where there is nothing at all except the dismal cinema in which it is quite impossible to carry on any cultural activity.
Therefore, we want the local authorities to be armed with general powers to put up theatres of a kind that can also be used as cinemas. It is true that there is in this country to a very remarkable extent an intellectual and artistic renaissance.
§ Mr. Bevan
I have seen it myself in some of the areas with which I am most familiar. I know of a cinema which is being run by workpeople very profitably, because there is no art in the running of a cinema. All one wants is a building. One hires the films and then stands between the films and those who want to see the film and charges a toll. That is all a cinema is. This workpeople's committee made very large profits—[Interruption.] All unpaid, run by a group of miners. They made large profits which they ploughed back into the institute to buy books for a library—not to pay dividends to anybody. Some years ago, before this Parliament met, the committee were very angry because they were called upon to pay Entertainments Tax. They asked me to intervene to see whether this tax could not be removed. I said that if they had made a profit they had to pay the tax. They said, "How are we to avoid the tax?" I said, "Fail to make a profit," and they said, "How do we do that?" I said, "Devote every fourth week to providing a celebrity concert, or 1383 what might be called an unprofitable high-brow entertainment to raise the general standards of education." They put on "Medea" and several other Greek plays. In three weeks time I had another letter calling my attention to the fact that it was no good because they had made more profit than ever.
§ 6.0 p.m.
§ Sir W. Darling
Entertainments Tax is not paid on profits; it is paid on the tickets. I am sorry to spoil the Minister's story.
§ Mr. Bevan
It is the same thing. In many parts of the country there are to be found people who are hungry for the things that lie beyond the mere repetition of feature films day after day, week after week and month after month. It will, of course, be some time before full advantage can be taken of these powers, because we are up against the limitation of our physical resources. Nevertheless, I hope the local authorities will look upon these permissive powers not as something to lie idle, but as something of which to take every advantage, because I am quite sure that this Clause opens wide a fertile field of local government activity.
§ Mr. Bevan
No, because that is a detailed point which we can go into later. I do not accept that position because it is a limitation. It is for the local electorate to say what they want and if the council give them what they do not want, or do not give them what they want, the electors can exercise their democratic powers and remove the council.
§ Mr. Gibson
Will the Minister say a word about the special point I raised in connection with the London County Council.
Mr. Somerville-Hastings (Barking)
Does this add to the powers of the London County Council?
§ Mr. Hastings
If the London County Council is not given any powers by this Clause it will not increase the powers it has.
§ Mr. Roland Robinson (Blackpool, South)
I do not feel I need apologise for keeping the Minister just two or three minutes longer, because he himself last night said that this was a subject worthy of special discussion. Therefore, it was held over until this afternoon when we had plenty of time. I promise I will not be more than a few minutes, but I feel that exception should be taken to one thing. The Minister said that the Committee was taking a lot of time over a measure which was agreed to by all sides of the Committee. Watching him during the course of the Debate, I thought he was listening intently. That must not have been so, because on our side of the Committee there has been a certain measure of disquiet on this matter.
The Parliamentary Secretary, when he opened the discussion, told the truth when he said that this Clause does give very wide powers indeed. I had hoped that we would have some examination of those powers and a justification for their use. Instead of that, the Parliamentary Secretary gave us a very interesting talk on the need for culture and for the development of art and music. Quite frankly, that is something with which all of us, not only on this side but throughout the Committee, fine ourselves in very full agreement. So far as the Minister went in regard to the development of arts and culture, we are entirely with him. But if that was the real reason for this Clause, then why not have a special Bill to develop the arts and culture on a national scale? I have in mind the idea of a national theatre or something like that, which could be done well instead of acting through the medium of local authorities. We have in the country areas where the people are interested in culture—
§ Mr. K. Lindsay
We are spending a quarter of a million of national money on the very thing the hon. Member for South Blackpool (Mr. Robinson) is talking about.
§ Mr. Robinson
I did not say we were not spending national money. What I was arguing was that we should have power to do what is proposed here on a national scale. The point I was making when I was interrupted was that there are in parts of the country people who are interested in arts, culture and music and they enjoy those things, because they are created through their local societies and not through the local authorities. Where they are not interested in those things they get nothing and giving power to the local authority only means that where the interest in the arts and culture is already there, it will be increased, but where no interest exists at the present time the local people will not get anything at all. We would probably have done better to spread this thing over the whole of the country.
What worries me about this is that it is not a matter of art and culture, but that the Government are trying to make a direct excursion into the entertainment industry. As I see it, they are not taking a return ticket but a one-way ticket, and they mean to stay there and play a great part in it. That is a matter which is open to very strong criticism indeed. It has to he proved first, before the Government go into this entertainment industry, that the industry has not done its job in that it has not met the entertainment needs of the country. Personally, I think it has done so.
I come from a constituency—Blackpool—where the job is done well. Where there is free enterprise and an energetic people, the best entertainment is to be found from the point of view of amusement, and of culture as well. I think the cat was let out of the bag by the hon. Member for Coatbridge (Mrs. Mann), who told us about her experiences in Sweden and of the great desire there was to get the local authorities into the industry, because they wish to have an opportunity to make a little bit of money. On the other side of the Committee they got the idea that here is an industry which can make a profit, so the Government should get into It and use that profit entirely for purposes their own. As I have said, the hon. 1386 Lady let the cat out of the bag, and I can well imagine the Parliamentary Secretary turning to the Minister and saying, "It's that Mann again."
I do not think the entertainments industry fears competition at all. It only objects to unfair competition which will come from the subsidisation of a 6d. rate. That would be a dangerous principle to adopt. Take the town I represent. It is engaged principally in the entertainments industry, and the biggest ratepayers in the town are entertainment people themselves. It is they who will have to pay the subvention to keep their municipal competitors in business. That does not seem to me to be fair trading. It is nearer to the policy of the loaded dice.
The suggestion made by my hon. Friend the Member for Weston-super-Mare (Mr. Orr-Ewing) that we should use the procedure of a Private Bill if this kind of entertainment was required, so that the local people would be given an opportunity to say by a poll whether or not they wanted it, was a very good idea. I believe we are all out to improve the general culture of our country, but I am uneasy about this idea, because this is an extension of the Government policy which we have seen throughout the last two years—the nationalisation of industry and the municipalisation of trade. The Government here are taking an entirely wrong view of the functions of local government. Local government is there to help its citizens to create conditions in which those citizens can give of their best, not only in their own interests but in the interests of a community as a whole and not to compete with them. I hope the Amendments which are to be proposed will be given careful consideration by the Minister, because so far as he wants to develop culture we shall help him, but insofar as he wants to extend the municipalisation of industry he will find himself up against us.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Clause read a Second time.
§ The Deputy-Chairman (Sir Robert Young)
I think the following Amendments to the New Clause might be discussed together. Those in the names of the hon. Member for South Edinburgh (Sir W. Darling), in liner to leave out 1387 "do, or"; of the right hon. and gallant Member for the Scottish Universities (Lieut.-Colonel Elliot), to leave out line 4; and of the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Challen), in line 11, at end, to insert:Provided that a local authority shall not—and of the hon. Member for South Edinburgh, to leave out lines 29 to 31, might be discussed together.
- (a) provide for or arrange for the presentation of a stage play or for the exhibition of any cinematograph film except for or in connection with the advancement of art, education, drama, science, music or literature;
- (b) exhibit within a period of twelve months after it is first generally released in Great Britain any cinematograph film which commonly forms the main item of a cinematograph entertainment."
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot
These bring up quite separate points. I should think it would be difficult to discuss them together. The distinction is very marked. I do not see how we could discuss together the proposal that local authorities should only work through delegated power and the proposal I have down.
§ The Deputy-Chairman
I am in the hands of the Committee. As there is some understanding between the two sides of the House, I thought that would be the best way to do it. If the right hon. and gallant Gentleman desires that they should be taken separately, that can be done.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot
These Amendments can be taken together, but it will not add to the expedition of Business if we have a discussion on separate things at the same time. I think we should do better to take them separately.
§ Sir W. Darling
I beg to move, in line 1, to leave out "do, or."
You will agree, Sir Robert, that this is a very neat Amendment. It calls for the elimination of two very short words—the word "do" and the word "or"—and a comma. It has the effect of preserving local government as I understand it. My experience is that when local authorities 1388 try to do things they often do them very indifferently. They have tried to run electricity and gas, and they have apparently done it so badly that His Majesty's Government are taking it out of their hands. The object of this Amendment is to recognise the limitations of local authorities—they are no small limitations—and not to throw on them burdens which the Government, notably, do not believe they can effectively carry.
The effect of my Amendment is that:a local authority may arrange for the doing of"—etc. The Clause reads:a local authority may do, or arrange—With my Amendment, we give these powers to local authorities to arrange but not to do. My reason for saying that is that local authorities, as I have seen them in action, are administrative authorities—the Minister and his supporters would not deny that—and not creative authorities. This Clause throws upon the local authority the responsibility for doing works of great creation, of building theatres, organising and running theatrical entertainments, engaging bands and orchestras, and conducting dance halls. This is a misunderstanding of the function of local authorities. I can quite understand omnibus minded men and women who think that local authorities can do everything. An opposite view is often taken and it is held that the powers of local authorities must be cribbed, cabined, confined and reduced.
However, I do not follow the reason which places on the statute book the view and conviction that local authorities cannot conduct, gas, electricity and transport but can conduct theatres and dance halls. In order to make this embarrassment less apparent, I offer what I think is one of the simplest, shortest, most concise and clearest Amendments I have ever seen on the Order Paper. You will agree, Sir Robert, that it is a first-class maxim in local authority rating affairs never to kill a ratepayer. The ratepayer is the fountain of one's wealth and strength and authority in Parliament. The Clause as it stands will kill ratepayers. They are the financial source from which this power is drawn. If the Clause is amended it prevents the death of a ratepayer, because the local authorities may not "do" the death but only "arrange" it.
§ Amendment negatived.1389
§ 6.15 p.m.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot
I beg to move, to leave out line 4.
I trust that the Minister will agree that these matters have been expeditiously dealt with. We consider that the words:The provision of an entertainment of any nature …go far beyond what the House should sanction in general powers of this kind. If some of our later Amendments were to be accepted we should be more willing to leave these words in the Bill, but I see no sign from the Minister that he will be willing to accept any of those Amendments, even at a later stage. We consider that giving to all authorities here and now the power to provide any entertainment of any nature goes far beyond what is called for by the circumstances of the case.
§ Mr. Butcher (Holland with Boston)
I hope we shall have a longer reply from the Minister. Theprovision of an entertainment of any nature …is asking for powers far wider than ought to be conferred on any local authority. Imagine the position of a local authority which finds itself incurring a deficit. Instead of providing cultural entertainment, it might decide, in order to make its books balance in some way, to go in for a kind of entertainment which would not be approved by any hon. Member. Financial necessity might drive them to do that—
§ Mr. Butcher
Certainly. After a most regrettable loss on some plays by Mr. Bernard Shaw the council might decide to recoup its losses by exhibitions of striptease. [Laughter.] The right hon. Gentleman is moved to mirth, but he has given us an illustration of what was done by some energetic and patriotic miners under his guidance and the resource which they had to develop in order to avoid the payment of tax to the national revenue. If miners will do that 1390 sort of thing, I am frightened that local authorities may display similar initiative to bring the accounts into balance.
§ Mr. Butcher
The right hon. Gentleman has more experience of what aldermen do than I have. Look at the Labour Party junketings at Margate. I have seen some most attractive pictures of the right hon. Gentleman on the front at Margate, not at a striptease certainly, but in very different surroundings.
§ The Temporary Chairman (Mr. Bowles)
A photograph of the right hon. Gentleman at Margate has nothing to do with this Amendment.
§ Mr. Butcher
I appreciate your guidance, Mr. Bowles. However I feel that we should prevent a local authority from providing injurious entertainment which might have an adverse effect on a delegation visiting Margate or elsewhere. I think the Amendment goes too far, although facilities for dancing should be given, and I am wondering whether the right hon. Gentleman would agree to strike out the words "the provision of an entertainment of any nature or" and leave the facilities for dancing as they are at present.
§ Mr. Gallacher (Fife, West)
I am quite certain that if the right hon. and gallant Member for the Scottish Universities (Lieut.-Colonel Elliot) were asked to suggest to the Glasgow authority or the Paisley authority what entertainment they should be prohibited from presenting, he would be in the same position as his party was in during the by-election—incapable of offering any policy on any subject. The fact remains that the Glasgow authority has conducted a number of valuable entertainments for the benefit and culture of the people. My own Paisley authority has made extensive use of it on different occasions, and there is no reason why a local authority should not be given the utmost power for all entertainments. I am quite certain that no local authority will trouble itself with the performances referred to by the hon. Member for Holland with Boston (Mr. Butcher). The practice he suggested has been pursued by the National Liberals—they have pursued a policy of strip-tease until they, are 1391 sitting there naked and devoid of any policy other than the leavings of the fellows above the Gangway.
§ Mr. Butcher
On a point of Order, Mr. Bowles. In view of the proper correction you gave me just now, may I venture to suggest that we are now ranging rather wide of the Amendment?
§ Mr. Gallacher
I am sure that no justification of that Amendment can be given by the right hon. and gallant Gentleman who represents for the time being, and only for the time being, a university constituency. I would say to the Minister that there are several hon. Members on this side who will support him on this Amendment, and on all the other Amendments, if he will only be good enough to accept the next Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson) and other hon. Members, in line 10, after "refreshments," insert "excluding intoxicating liquor."
§ Mr. Joynson-Hicks (Chichester)
I am not quite sure whether the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) is supporting the Government or not, but I support this Amendment because I think the Clause is much too wide. The Minister has not dealt sufficiently with the matter. The suggestion he made, that it would be impossible for a local authority to provide dancing in an empty basement over which it had control is not the case at all, because they would have ample provision to enable them to do that under the subsequent Subsections of this Clause. They have power already to provide dance halls or other premises suitable for the holding of dances, and for any purpose incidental to holding a dance. So the suggestion upon which the right hon. Gentleman asked the Committee to turn down this Amendment is not in accordance with the facts. I submit that the limitation of deleting this completely vague provision for "entertainment of any nature" is sensible. I challenge the right hon. Gentleman to tell the Committee whether or not it would give statutory power to the Bognor Regis Urban District Council, for instance, to run a television business in competition with the B.B.C.
§ Mr. Charles Williams (Torquay)
I think we are entitled to have an answer to the proposition put up by the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher). He suggested that as far as this Amendment is concerned he would go the whole hog and as I notice that he has not his usual support on those benches, we might ask the Minister how far is the bargain going. I have been drawn to my feet most reluctantly to say, first, that I was surprised by the hon. Member for West Fife, and still more by the method of the Minister, who seemed to be trying to bullyrag us into doing this at his pace and not that of the Committee. I am in agreement with this Amendment, although I think it goes rather too far. It is a pity to cut out the dancing part. It would have been better to have had an Amendment which cut out the words "of an entertainment of any nature or."
§ Mr. G. Porter
On a point of Order, Mr. Bowles. Is it in Order to discuss the possibility of taking out this, that or the other from the Amendment?
§ The Temporary Chairman
No, the hon. Member is quite right, and I was just about to call the attention of the hon. Member for Torquay (Mr. C. Williams) to the fact.
§ Mr. C. Williams
I was only discussing the Amendment from the point of view that I thought part of it was good and part was not. If we could have all the good parts and cut out the rest, I should be inclined to support my right hon. and gallant Friend. I hoped I was in Order on that matter. Having arrived at that point, I wonder if, before we come to any definite decision on this question, we could not have some further advice from the Minister, because he might be able to help a considerable number of us in what is, I feel sure, a fairly widespread difficulty. I am sure that even if we have to take this as a whole, it would be better than no Amendment at all.
§ Mr. Medland (Plymouth, Drake)
May I ask the Minister what would be the effect, if this Amendment were passed, on, say, the Corporation of Torquay which habitually lets to entertainment companies its pavilion? Would it not mean that what the hon. Member is now 1393 asking is to limit the right of his local authority to giving an entertainment in its own home? [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] If that is so, I shall be glad.
§ Mr. Williams
I can assure the hon. and almost friendly Member opposite that, as far as Torquay is concerned we have, with other authorities, legitimate means for dealing with these entertainments. I am not entirely certain that the high standard we have always set in Torquay might not run the risk of being lowered to the standard of other parts of the country, but I thank the hon. Gentleman for his
§ kindness in having enabled me to enlarge upon this matter, and I feel sure that the Minister will be deeply indebted to him for his help. I always welcome any help from any part of Devon and if it were a matter of helping Plymouth, I would do everything possible to help, as I often have to do when the hon. Member is absent.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes. 279; Noes, 100.1395
|Division No. 84.]||AYES||[6.31 p.m.|
|Acland, Sir R.||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Irvine, A. J (Liverpool)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Irving, W J. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Isaacs, Rt Hon. G A|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Deer, G.||Janner, B|
|Attewell, H. C.||de Freitas, Geoffrey||Jeger, G (Winchester)|
|Austin, H. Lewis||Dobbie W.||Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St Pancras, S.E.)|
|Ayles, W. H.||Dodds, N. N.||Jones, D T (Hartlepools)|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B||Donovan, T||Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Driberg, T. E. N||Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)|
|Barnes, Rt Hon. A. J.||Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)||Keenan, W|
|Barstow, P. G.||Dumpleton, C W||Kenyon, C|
|Barton, C.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C||Key, C W|
|Battley, J. R.||Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Kinley, J.|
|Becheivaise, A. E.||Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)||Kirkwood, Rt Hon. D|
|Benson, G||Edwards, W J (Whitechapel)||Lee, F. (Hulme)|
|Berry, H||Evans, A (Islington, W.)||Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)|
|Beswick, F.||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||Leonard, W.|
|Bevan, Rt Hon A (Ebbw Vale)||Evans, John (Ogmore)||Leslie, J. R.|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)||Levy, B. W.|
|Binns, J.||Ewart, R.||Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)|
|Blackburn, A. R||Fairhurst, F.||Lindsay, K. M. (Camb'd Eng. Univ.)|
|Blyton, W. R.||Farthing, W J.||Lipson, D L.|
|Boardman, H.||Fletcher, E. G M. (Islington, E.)||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.||Foot, M. M||Longden, F.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)||Forman, J. C.||Lyne, A W|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Fraser, T (Hamilton)||McAdam, W.|
|Bramall, E. A.||Gallacher, W.||McEntee, V La T|
|Brook, D (Halifax)||Ganley, Mrs. C. S.||McGhee, H G|
|Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||George, Lady M Lloyd (Anglesey)||McGovern, J.|
|Brown, George (Belper)||Gibbins, J||Mack, J. D.|
|Brown, T J (Ince)||Gibson, C. W||McKay, J (Wallsend)|
|Bruce, Maj D. W. T.||Glanville, J E. (Consett)||Mackay, R W. G. (Hull, N.W.)|
|Buchanan, Rt. Hon. G.||Granville, E (Eye)||McKinlay, A. S.|
|Burke, W A.||Grey, C F.||Maclean, N. (Govan)|
|Butler, H W (Hackney, S.)||Grierson, E.||McLeavy, F.|
|Byers, Frank||Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)||MacMillan, M. K. (Wastern Isles)|
|Callaghan, James||Griffiths, Rt. Hon J. (Llanelly)||Mann, Mrs. J|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A||Griffiths, W. D (Moss Side)||Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)|
|Chamberlain, R A||Guest, Dr L Haden||Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)|
|Champion, A. J||Gunter, R. J||Mathers, Rt. Hon. G|
|Chater, D.||Guy, W. H.||Medland, H. M.|
|Chetwynd, G. R||Hale, Leslie||Mellish, R. J|
|Cluse, W S||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil||Middleton, Mrs. L|
|Cocks, F. S||Hamilton, Lieut.-Cot. R.||Mikardo, Ian|
|Collick, P.||Hardman, D. R||Mitchison, G. R|
|Collindridge, F||Hardy, E. A.||Monslow, W.|
|Collins, V J.||Harrison, J.||Moody, A. S.|
|Colman, Miss G. M||Hastings, Dr. Somerville||Morgan, Dr H. B.|
|Comyns, Dr. L||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Morley, R.|
|Cook, T. F.||Herbison, Miss M.||Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)|
|Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G||Hewitson, Capt. M||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)|
|Hobson, C R.||Mort, D. L.|
|Corbet, Mrs. F K. (Camb'well, N. W.)||Holman, P||Moyle, A|
|Corlett, Dr J||Holmes, H E (Hemsworth)||Nally, W|
|Cove, W G||House, G||Naylor, T E.|
|Crawley, A||Hoy, J||Noel-Baker, Capt. F E (Brentford)|
|Crossman, R. H S||Hudson J. H. (Ealing, W.)||Oldfield, W H.|
|Cunningham, P||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)||Oliver, G. H|
|Daines, P.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Orbach, M.|
|Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Hughes, H. D (W'lverh'pton, W)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)||Palmer, A. M. F.|
|Pargiter, G. A||Skeffington-Lodge, T.C||Viant, S P.|
|Parkin, B T||Skinnard, F. W||Wadsworth, G|
|Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)||Smith, C. (Colchester)||Walkden, E.|
|Paton, J.(Norwich)||Smith, E. P. (Ashford)||Walker, G H.|
|Pearson, A||Smith, Ellis (Stoke)||Wallace, G D. (Chislehurst)|
|Perrins, W||Smith, H N. (Nottingham, S.)||Watson, W. M|
|Piratin, P.||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)||Webb, M (Bradford, C.)|
|Popplewell, E.||Snow, J. W.||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|Porter, E (Warrington)||Solley, L J.||Wells, W T.(Walsall)|
|Porter, G (Leeds)||Sorensen, R. W||West, D G|
|Proctor, W T||Soskice, Sir Frank||Westwood, Rt. Hon. J|
|Pryde, D. J||Sparks, J A.||Wheatley, J T (Edinburgh E)|
|Pursey, Cmdr. H||Stamford, W.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Randall, H. E||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||Wigg George|
|Ranger, J.||Summerskill, Dr. Edith||Wilkes, L.|
|Rankin, J.||Swingler, S.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Reaves, J.||Sylvester, G. O||Willey, F T. (Sunderland)|
|Reid, T. (Swindon)||Symonds, A. L.||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Richards, R.||Taylor, H B (Mansfield)||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Ridealgh, Mrs. M.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)||Williams, Rt Hon. T (Don Valley)|
|Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonsh[...]e)||Thomas, D E. (Aberdare)||Williamson, T|
|Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)||Thomas, I O. (Wrekin)||Willis, E|
|Robertson, J J. (Berwick)||Thomas, John R. (Dover)||Wills, Mrs. E. A|
|Rogers, G. H. R.||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)||Woodburn, A|
|Ross, William (Kilmarnock)||Thurtle, Ernest||Wyatt, W.|
|Royle, C.||Tiffany S.||Yates, V F|
|Scollan, T.||Timmons, J||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Scott-Elliot, W.||Titterington, M. F||Zilliacus, K.|
|Sharp, Granville||Tolley, L|
|Shawcross, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (St. Helens)||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.||Turner-Samuels, M.||Mr. Simmons and|
|Silkin, Rt. Hon. L.||Ungoed-Thomas, L.||Mr. Richard Adams.|
|Silverman, J. (Erdington)||Vernon, Maj. W F|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Hollis, M. C||Peto, Brig C. H M.|
|Beamish, Maj. T. V. H.||Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)||Pitman, I J|
|Bennett, Sir P.||Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Poole, O B S. (Oswestry)|
|Birch, Nigel||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O|
|Bower, N.||Keeling, E H.||Raikes, H V|
|Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H||Ramsay, Maj. S|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W||Lambert, Hon G||Renton, D.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Langford-Holt J.||Roberts, Peter (Ecclesall)|
|Butcher, H. W||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A H||Robertson, Sir D. (Streatham)|
|Challen, C.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Robinson, Roland|
|Channon, H.||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Ropner, Col. L|
|Clarke, Col. R. S.||Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Sanderson, Sir F.|
|Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C||Low, A R W||Savory, Prof. D. L|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H||Scott, Lord W.|
|Cuthbert, W. N.||MacAndrew, Col. Sir C||Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)|
|Darling, Sir W Y.||Macdonald, Sir P (I of Wight)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Mackeson, Brig H. R.||Studholme, H G.|
|Digby, S. W||McKie, J. H. (Galloway)||Sutcliffe, H|
|Donner, P. W||Maclay, Hon. J. S.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A (P'dd't'n, S.)|
|Drewe, C.||Maclean, F H. R.||Teeling, William|
|Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)||Macpherson, N (Dumfries)||Thorneycroft, G E. P. (Monmouth)|
|Elliot, Lieut.-Col., Rt. Hon. W.||Manningham-Buller, R. E||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L.||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)||Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F|
|Foster, J. G. (Northwich)||Marshall, S. H (Sutton)||Touche, G C.|
|Fox, Sir G.||Mellor, Sir J.||Turton, R H|
|Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone)||Molson, A. H E.||Walker-Smith, D|
|Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D.||Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)||Wheatley, Col. M. J. (Dorset, E.)|
|Gammans, L. D.||Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)||White, J B. (Canterbury)|
|George, Maj Rt. Hn G Lloyd (P'ke)||Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Grimston, R. V||Neven-Spence, Sir B.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley)||Noble, Comdr A H. P.|
|Harvey, Air-Comdre. A V.||Odey, G. W||TELLERS FOR THE NOES|
|Head, Brig. A. H.||O'Neill, Rt Hon. Sir H.||Commander Agnew and|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col Rt. Hon. Sir C||Orr-Ewing, I. L||Major Conant.|
|Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Osborne, C|
§ Mr. J. Hudson
I beg to move, in line 10, after "refreshments," to insert "excluding intoxicating liquor."
The new Clause, and that part of it which affects my Amendment really covers a large field, and while I promise to be brief, I certainly think that there 1396 is an opportunity, if I care to take it for a considerable and lengthy protest against what the Government are doing in this matter. After all, to give opportunities for the provision of theatres, concerts, film shows, dances, dance halls and halls that would be suitable for dances, is to cover 1397 a pretty wide field, when there is attached to it the incidental that in all these cases, if the local authorities think fit, there shall be refreshments and intoxicating beverages. In addition to that very large field, there is the further aspect that intoxicating beverages may be supplied in a park or part of a public park to the extent of a considerable area. For example, one-tenth of Heaton Park in Manchester might be taken for the purpose of producing some entertainment, and, associated with the production, the provision of refreshments, including intoxicating beverages.
Therefore, I ask my hon. Friends to consider this wide proposal. I feel that when the Government come forward with a proposal which includes this further point—and about this I make my most serious complaint—that part of a public park may be taken and then let out to some private firm for the purpose of producing any of the things referred to in the Clause, including, incidentally, the supplying of alcoholic beverages, they are embarking on a proposal which has not much to do with Socialist planning. If we make this concession, the brewing Interests will not be unaware of the provision which gives them the right, when a park can be used in this way, of pushing forward licensing facilities associated with the sort of thing which they are now doing in their own public houses—conducting various types of entertainments or what they describe as entertainments. It is because I realise that the proposal s of such a wide character that I make my protest and ask for this provision concerning intoxicating beverages to be withdrawn.
I would submit to the Minister that he might have done at least part of what he wants to do without risking all that which I have described, particularly in relation to my last point about parks and dance halls and provisions that give private individuals the right to come in and sell intoxicants. I believe that the Minister could have done it in regard to theatres, for I understand that when a licence for the conduct of a theatre is granted, such licence, unless the magistrates make a provision to the contrary, includes permission for the provision or intoxicants, and that theatres already work on some such basis as that in relation to the provision of intoxicants. Of 1398 course, I would like to separate the theatre and the intoxicants.
I do not think that the real role of a theatre is helped by the process, though this afternoon I heard an hon. Member on the benches opposite, who has distinguished connections with the theatre, speak about the fact that he intended to stand for the bar, apparently in order to help the people to face the second part of the programme. They might face it with minds a great deal clearer if they let the bar alone, thereby getting a great deal more enjoyment out of the theatre. I repeat that the Minister could have done what apparently he wants to do about the theatres without bringing forward this very wide provision.
I cannot understand the Minister's proposal in reference to cinemas. Practically all the cinemas in the country today are without a licence for refreshments or a licence for intoxicants. If they have one it is usually in association with their special restaurants. The Government have taken provision to provide British Restaurants, and already, under the powers they have unfortunately taken—I agree I voted against those powers—they could, if they wished, run a theatre with a restaurant attached, and could do what they want in reference to restaurants in cinemas.
Therefore, there is really left only this problem of the dance hall and the park and the provision of intoxicants in those places. I submit, on the question of the dance hall, that magistrates know how dangerous is the association of dancing and drinking. There is a special matter to be watched in that regard. I agree that young people themselves learn in time what the danger is, sometimes after their own unfortunate humiliation, and that they endeavour to provide against the danger themselves by avoiding such places. I do not see a Socialist Government adding to their laurels by giving powers to local authorities, and thereby encouraging them to provide these entertainments and to press magistrates to give them facilities in order to make such entertainments possible. I certainly object to the power of the publican or of the brewer to come in and utilise, in connection with this Clause, the public park for the purposes I have described. It is with those points in mind that I ask my 1399 hon. Friends to give consideration to this matter.
I see there is a later Amendment to which I will not refer, and, indeed, when it is being discussed I do not intend to take part in the discussion, because it you should call that Amendment, Mr. Bowles, it is a matter for the Scottish Members to deal with. But I have at least the right as an English Member to say that one important Measure has been passed by this House in which at the last minute the Government had to agree to the exclusion of Scotland. By excluding Scotland they proved that all they wanted to do in Scotland could be done without the association of intoxicants, while in the case of England the provision was retained under the pretence that what they wished to do could not be done here unless intoxicants were provided. As an English Member I object to that, and while I cannot say more until I see what happens to the Amendment concerning Scotland, I put this point to the Government very earnestly: If they can in any part of the country successfully run the projects that are provided for in this proposal they ought to be prepared to let those of us south of the Border do the same sort of thing that they permit the people in Scotland to do.
This is no time for the introduction of this proposal regarding intoxicants. In view of the trying times of care and even of austerity through which we are passing, some of us on these benches went to the Lord President of the Council and suggested that something might be said about the unnecessary waste of the food of the country, and the spoiling of the work of the country—
§ The Temporary Chairman (Mr. Bowles)
The hon. Member will allow me to point out that, up to now, he has been quite careful to relate his arguments, regarding the provision of intoxicating liquor, to the Amendment under discussion. I think he must continue to do that, rather than to go wider.
§ Mr. Hudson
I wish to say this, Mr. Bowles, and I beg that you will allow me to say it. I assure you it is in Order. A provision which gives this large opportunity for distributing intoxicants is surely inoperative on the part of a Government who have such problems to face. 1400 I cannot say much on this, Mr. Bowles, because you may rule against me again, but I beg that the Minister, when he replies, will not say that I have left untouched all the evils associated with drink that are found in other places. When the opportunity comes for me to deal with those evils, I will not be behind hand in submitting proposals, but the Government ought to have dealt with them before now, and they have not done so—
§ Mr. Hudson
I beg the Government to face this issue on its merits. They are making provision for a large additional supply of intoxicants in the life of the country when it is particularly appropriate that we should hold the position as it is, and refrain from any further advances in this matter.
§ Mr. Norman Smith (Nottingham, South)
I shall oppose the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson). I give him great credit for being sincere, but I do not give him credit for knowing anything at all of what he has been talking about. Behind all his remarks lies an assumption, which is demonstrably false, that what this Amendment calls "intoxicating liquor" is necessarily and inherently evil in itself, or likely to produce evils. That might have been true 40 years ago when I first started being a non-teetotaller. It is not true now. I submit that the hon. Member for West Ealing, and my other hon. Friends on this side of the Committee who have put their names to an Amendment of this kind, are simply out of touch with the feelings, habits, and ways of life of the majority of the working-class people who have put them where they are.
The carrying of such an Amendment would defeat the purpose which, I have no doubt, the hon. Member for West Ealing has in view. If people really want to drink, and regard a glass of beer, or wine, as a necessary incidental to their evening's amusement, and if they know they will not get it at the dance hall, there is always the possibility that they will stay away, and spend the whole evening in the very public house from which the hon. Member is anxious to rescue them. I know what I am talking about, because 1401 I go to dance halls where beer and other liquors are sold. I frequent the bar and I observe the people. I go to a working-class club in my constituency where concerts are held.
Let us suppose that young couples go to a dance and find there are no facilities available for a drink. One of two things is going to happen—and I speak of what I know. Either the fellow will go out to the "pub" alone to get a drink, and come back; or else he will go out to the "pub" to get a drink accompanied by his girl, and then come back again. In the former case, the effect that the Amendment would have would be to cause trouble between the fellow and the girl; alternatively it would get that girl out to a public house, when it would have been far better that she should have had a drink in the bar in the dance hall, where the Clause proposes that she should have it.
It is not true that "intoxicating liquor," as it is called, is necessarily an evil. When I was a boy, 40 or 50 years ago, it was common to see men about my native town—and most other towns—in a state of insobriety. One very rarely sees that today. There has been a tremendous change in the habits of people in that respect. I do not want the Labour Party to get itself tied up with fanatical ideologies which would alienate the vast majority of our supporters. I will tell the Committee of what happens in at least one working-class club in my constituency, of a character similar to that of dance halls and entertainment halls covered by the Clause. In this club it is the common practice to have a concert on Saturday evenings. Members and their wives are in the club. They have their drinks in front of them, and it is quite a usual thing for that concert to be interrupted for 10 minutes or a quarter of an hour in order that the club chaplain, who is a nonconformist minister, may hold a brief service. The drinks are still there—
§ Mr. Gallacher
I wish to ask the Minister whether he will try to resolve the problem, which we had on an earlier Bill which brought in the question of excisable liquor, as to how this applies in Scotland when the magistrates are all members of the council?
§ Mr. Bevan
In answer to the question of the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher), I do not propose to intervene in Scottish affairs. The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland will reply on Scottish matters, if it is necessary. I have troubles enough of my own without undertaking those north of the Tweed.
This Amendment would have the effect of imposing upon theatres in England and Wales a very great disability. The municipal theatre would be denied the facilities which private theatres enjoy. There is no justification whatever for an inhibition of that sort. As my hon. Friend the Member for South Nottingham (Mr. N. Smith) has pointed out, it does not necessarily follow that if we allow intoxicating drink on certain premises it always has undesirable consequences. I am convinced that the growth of temperance is not so much due to any advocacy from this sect or that sect, but to the fact that there are all kinds of competing recreations available to the modern generation. In my young days—although I am not an old man now—long before the cinemas, there was nowhere at all to go in our district, except to the chapel or to the "pub." Later on, when the cinemas arrived, and when all kinds of other facilities were created—libraries, general education and literacy—people did not spend so many hours in miserable "pubs," but in many other places. Although there may be more people drinking, there is less drunkenness, because there are superior education and additional facilities. I believe, for example, that it would have a very good effect upon domestic relations, upon sobriety and upon the general standards of the community, if a man were able to go with his wife into a proper place where, if he wanted to have a glass of beer or a glass of lager, he could have it and his wife could have a cup of tea—
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Bevan
My hon. Friend is a doctor. I did not know cocaine was distributed as freely as that. The fact is that I am convinced that it is the experience of most people that domestic felicity would easily be advanced by it. Many of these public houses would be compelled to change their character and become reasonable places if it were possible to have alcoholic refreshment in places with greater amenities. I confess also that I am temperamentally hostile to unnecessary interference with the liberty of individuals. [Interruption.] I could probably show, over 17 or 18 years of Parliamentary life, a far better record of defending the rights of individuals than many hon. Members opposite—far better. When most of them were howling and yelping in the pack during the war, some of us had to defend the liberty of the subject against their extreme views.
§ Mr. Bevan
I know that some of them were in the Forces, and I know where some others were. Do not press that point too far.
As far as this is concerned, why should we put this inhibition upon our people? If a man does not want to take a drink, he need not take it. Why should he be prevented from taking it because somebody else does not like it? This is entirely a matter for the people in the locality to decide for themselves.
§ Mr. J. Hudson
Would the right hon. Gentleman insist that there should be no liquor restriction laws at all?
§ Mr. Bevan
No, because they have other purposes as well, as the hon. Member well knows. In this case we say that, as a House of Commons, we should leave this matter to be decided by the people in their own localities. If the people in a county district or county borough do not want their local authority to provide alcoholic refreshment on these premises, they can prevent it. Why should we lay this inhibition upon local authorities? It is entirely indefensible. In this matter, I have always stood for local option; in other words, I have stood for this matter being decided by the smallest communal unit which one can get. There we get the least amount of tyranny. But 1404 if we had in Great Britain a comparatively small number of people who were able to bring pressure to bear upon the House of Commons to impose inhibitions upon vast numbers of the population, that would be tyrannous. I think, therefore, that the only safe thing for the House of Commons to do is to leave this to the mature and adult judgment of the local authorities and the citizens in their own areas.
§ Mr. Walker (Rossendale)
I wish to support the Amendment. I do so not because I am a teetotal fanatic, a super-moralist, a kill-joy or a spoil-sport, or any of those things. I do it because I feel that the dance hall especially is not the right place for the sale of intoxicating liquor. In my opinion, the right place for the sale of intoxicating liquor is the public house. I do not mind people going to the public house. I do not mind them drinking there, if they want to do so. The place has been provided for that purpose. It is licensed by law, and no one can legitimately interfere or make complaints about the people who frequent such institutions. The public house fraternity claim today that the public house has become a centre of social intercourse. I know nothing at all about that. I do not go to public houses. Moreover, I am a life teetotaller. I do not even know the taste of strong drink, and I do not think I am any the worse for that. I can compare my complexion, stamina and age with those of any other Member of the Committee. I believe that I am a fairly good advertisement for life teetotalism.
§ The Temporary Chairman
The hon. Gentleman is advocating drinking only in public houses. He is really not speaking to the Amendment.
§ Mr. Walker
I am sorry I strayed from the correct pathway; but so many previous speakers have done so, including the right hon. Gentleman, that I thought perhaps I might have a little bit of licence. However, with all respect to your Ruling, I will try to stick to the Amendment. I have already submitted that the right place in which to drink is the public house. I object to this facility for drinking being given to the dance hall. I know something about running dance halls. For one winter I was chairman of a committee which ran dances practically 1405 every Saturday night in our town hall. Hon. Members on this side of the Committee may be interested to know that we ran those dances in order to raise funds to purchase a Labour hall in the town. We made so much money that we went a long way towards paying for the Labour hall which is today a very useful institution for the party. The chief constable looked to me as a respectable citizen, a teetotaller, and a man known never to have been in a police court, as the right type of man to see that our dances were conducted in a proper manner without being hurtful or injurious to the young people. Unhappily for us, next door to the town hall was a public house. It was very convenient for many of the young people to run out from the dance into the public house. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] The hon. Member for South Nottingham (Mr. N. Smith) has the cheek to tell the Committee that we teetotallers know nothing about the feelings of men and women and working-class people. I know quite as much about working-class people as he does. I was brought up in the working-class movement. I was one of them and, because I was one of them, I had the responsibility of running these dances.
The point I wish to make is that these young people went out to the public house nearby for their "refresher" or "gargle," or whatever it may be called, and when they came back they were not the quiet, orderly, well-conducted people they were when they went out. That was where our bother started. It was when the drink was in that we had trouble with those who were patronising our dance. We were not all teetotallers on that committee, but we came to the decision not to admit anyone to the dance if there was the faintest suspicion that they had been imbibing strong drink. I will tell the Committee why. On one occasion two young fellows came to the dance under the influence of drink. In their hilarity they switched off the electric light in the town hall—
§ The Temporary Chairman
This Clause gives power to local authorities to grant licences to dance halls, theatres and so on, and also to provide refreshments. The Amendment is designed purely and simply to prevent the local authority from having the liberty to grant a licence for the supply of intoxicating liquor. The hon. Member 1406 appears to have been talking about a privately run dance. He ought to keep to the point of the Amendment.
§ Mr. J. Hudson
On a point of Order, Mr. Bowles. This Clause refers to town halls; it is proposed that town halls shall be licensed. Associated with the provision of dances, these town halls may be licensed, and I submit to you, Mr. Bowles, that my hon. Friend's argument illustrates the dangers that may arise in town halls when licensed facilities are available.
§ The Temporary Chairman
Surely it appears to the hon. Gentleman that his hon. Friend would not be entitled to use the argument about a town hall, as that is not related to the Amendment, which is concerned with refreshments supplied at a dance.
§ Mr. Walker
This Amendment has been put down specifically for the purpose of trying to avoid the situation in which a local authority would be able to provide refreshments at a dance which they had instituted and organised, and of preventing the further facility which they would have under this provision of applying for a licence for the sale of strong drink at a dance. I make an appeal to every Member of the Committee, and especially to those hon. Members who have young people in their families, sons and daughters starting on their careers. I do not mind young people dancing; I want to see them happy, and I have always urged a full quota of happiness for our young folk. A dance is all right and is a splendid opportunity for young people to meet, but if we provide at dances opportunities for the sale of intoxicating liquor, those dance halls become places of positive danger to the moral welfare of those young people. Therefore, I ask every hon. Member whether he is a teetotaller or likes a drink himself, to support this Amendment, in the interests of purifying and safeguarding the lives of our young folk, so that they shall not be led away through licences being granted to dance halls.
I know of scores of young people who would scorn to enter a public house for something to drink, and yet these selfsame people in a dance hall might be tempted, in that environment and in those circumstances, to partake of that which they would not otherwise have. I have great pleasure, as a lifelong teetotaller, 1407 and as one who, as the right hon. Gentleman has said, would allow freedom and liberty to the individual, in asking the Committee to support the Amendment and to safeguard the young people of our country from a danger that might blight their whole careers.
§ Mr. Orr-Ewing
May I ask the Minister a question? The particular Subsection to which the Amendment refers is very wide indeed, in that it refers to the provision of any kind of entertainment; therefore, the provision of drink is associated with the provision of any sort of entertainment. This is a far wider field than is the case under the powers granted to British Restaurants. This Clause covers any form of entertainment provided directly or indirectly by the local authority. I think that goes far beyond anything we have had before us recently, and it may be right or wrong. While endorsing what the Minister has said about the local people having the free choice and discretion whether this power should be exercised or not, does he not think that the best way in which to discover that free choice would be to take a local poll? Will he give way on that point?
§ Mr. Bevan
The hon. Gentleman is merely repeating a question which he asked before. A local poll is taken every time a councillor is elected, and that is exactly what happens. If local citizens disagree with the conduct of a councillor, they reject him at the poll. The answer to the first part of the question is that the local authority would have to have a licence in exactly the same way as any other person for the provision of alcoholic liquor on any other premises.
§ Mr. Gallacher
I want to associate myself with the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson), and also with the very fine speech which has just been made by the hon. Member for Rossendale (Mr. Walker). The Minister and those responsible for this Bill should not make, or give any opportunity for making, municipal dance halls into a sort of pool of supply to be used by the brewers for the "pubs" outside. I think the Minister should take note of some of the remarks that are made by magistrates in connection with drinking and dancing, and he would get a very good lesson on the undesirability of these things.
§ Mr. Piratin
I must intervene in this Debate, in view of the fact that the Committee may have the impression that my hon. Friend the Member for West Fife was speaking for the Communist Party. Normally, I agree with my hon. Friend, for whose views I have deep respect, as I have for the views of the hon. Member for West Ealing (Mr. Hudson) and others—
§ The Temporary Chairman
The hon. Gentleman may not go into the question of whether he or his hon. Friend adequately represent the views of the Communist Party. This is a question of detail in this Bill, and merely concerns the point whether local authorities should have the right to supply refreshments with or without intoxicating liquor, and that is all.
§ 7.15 p.m.
§ Mr. Piratin
With all respect, Mr. Bowles, I was coming to that. I was about to say that, for myself, I agree with the purpose of the Clause in this respect, and I do not associate myself with my hon. Friend. I agree absolutely with the hon. Member for South Nottingham (Mr. N. Smith) as to the effect—and I have seen it myself quite recently—of the non-provision of liquor at dance halls. If there is no liquor provided, the young people will go to the "pub" across the road or elsewhere; in some way or other, they will get it. I am absolutely in agreement with the Minister, who said that it is far better to provide these facilities in circumstances of amenity where people are much more likely to behave themselves than otherwise.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ The Temporary Chairman
I suggest that the hon. Member for Hampstead (Mr. Challen) should move the Amendment in line 11, and, at the same time, speak to the Amendment in line 31.
§ Mr. Challen (Hampstead)
I beg to move, in line II, at the end, to insert:Provided that a local authority shall not—I do not wish to say a great deal about this Amendment, or that in line 31—at end to insert:
- (a) provide for or arrange for the presentation of a stage play or for the exhibition of any cinematograph film except for or in connection with the advancement of art, education, drama, science, music or literature:
- (b) exhibit within a period of twelve months after it is first generally released in Great Britain any cinematograph film which
1409 commonly forms the main item of a cinematograph entertainment."Provided that a local authority shall not charge for admission to any stage play or exhibition of a cinematograph film which commonly forms the main item of a cinematograph entertainment a price less than the lowest price then current for admission to theatres in the district for similar entertainments.—because they speak for themselves, and I want to adopt the Minister's suggestion that one should not go over the ground which has already been covered in the Debate. I only wish to make an observation or two on the very wide powers being given to local authorities, and the need for having some kind of limitation. Anybody listening to the Second Reading Debate on this Clause would have thought that the English people had, hitherto, been largely uncultured and boorish people awaiting—
§ Squadron-Leader Fleming
On a point of Order. Could the House be told, Mr. Bowles, with which Amendment we are dealing.
§ The Temporary Chairman
The hon. Member for Hampstead has moved the Amendment in line 11, and is also referring to the first Amendment in line 31.
§ Mr. G. Porter
I would like your guidance, Mr. Bowles. In view of the decision on a previous Amendment about the "provision of entertainment of any nature," is this Amendment in Order?
§ Mr. Challen
I was saying that anyone listening to the Second Reading Debate on this Clause would have imagined that the English people had, hitherto, been an uncultured and boorish people, awaiting the day when a Socialist Government would enable local authorities to embark upon cultural activities. That is just not true. I am not going to argue about what we mean by "culture," although it occurs to me that some hon. Members would give different definitions from those given by others. It was accepted on all hands that, whether we are an uncultured people or not, if local authorities are to have these powers, they should be for the advancement of culture, 1410 education, art, music, and so forth. Therefore, my Amendment seeks to ensure that that shall be so.
There is a good deal to be said for the argument that local authorities are not necessarily the best organisations to undertake the advancement of culture, art, music, science, literature, and so forth. Many arguments could be used against such a proposition but if, in fact, we are to have this Clause there must be some limitation upon its exercise. We agree that it is desirable that local authorities should have powers for these purposes; there is no dispute about that, so far as I am concerned, and it is very desirable that some power should be given to local authorities beyond what they already possess, some power simpler than that of the usual method by way of a private Bill.
Do not let this Clause be acted upon in one way in one locality, and in another way in another locality, and thus create a hopelessly chaotic condition in the exercise of powers throughout the country. Let us have it laid down in the Bill that the local authorities' powers shall be used for these purposes, and let us set a high standard. I do not agree with the suggestion that the exhibitions, or the stage plays, may be highbrow, lowbrow, middlebrow, or any other brow. I suggest they should be part of the standard here indicated.
I come to the second part of my first Amendment, namely, that local authorities shall notexhibit within a period of 12 months alter it is first generally released in Great Britain any cinematograph film which commonly forms the main item of a cinematograph entertainment.That, again, largely explains itself. We should certainly not allow local authorities, at the cost of a 6d. rate, or any rate at all, to compete unnecessarily with the adequate provision of cinematograph entertainment in this country.
§ Mr. Challen
I do not want to do that; I merely wish to explain what my Amendment sets out to do, and to make the point perfectly clear.
In conclusion, I wish to say that I have no kind of connection, either financial or 1411 otherwise, with cinematograph films, the stage industry, or any entertainment industry of any kind. I do not represent a seaside or holiday resort, and I do not think that my local authority has any particular desire to exercise these powers. I approach the matter simply from the point of view of one's ordinary judgment as to what should be the limits of these powers which we propose to give to the local authorities.
§ Mr. Bevan
This is another Amendment seeking to limit the powers to be conferred upon local authorities. As this Clause was drawn up specifically with a view to providing wide powers, I cannot accept the limitation. I must resist any Amendment which seeks to limit these powers. There would be no point at all in framing the Clause as it is if we were to start curtailing the powers and making it more and more difficult to exercise them.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ The Temporary Chairman
I suggest that it would be convenient to the Committee if the hon. and gallant Member for Pollok (Commander Galbraith) were to deal with the first four Amendments standing in his name and the names of his hon. Friends.
§ Commander Galbraith
I beg to move, in line 37, after "exceed," to insert:a sum to be prescribed by the Minister which shall not in any case exceed.As you suggest, Mr. Bowles, I will deal with this Amendment, together with the one in line 38, to leave out "sixpence" and to insert "threepence"; the one in line 38, to leave out "plus," and to insert "or"; and the one in line 39, at the end, to insert, "whichever is the greater"—although I do not know that the second Amendment in line 38 would really come in on the same argument. However, if you rule that it does, I am quite willing to speak to it.
We feel that to give this general grant of a rate of 6d. is rather too high. My right hon. and gallant Friend the Member the Scottish Universities (Lieut.-Colonel Elliot), when speaking on the Clause, pointed out that it would mean an expenditure of some £8 million a 1412 year if the whole of the sum were required, and that, in the present circumstances, it was altogether unjustified. Therefore, instead of 6d., we consider 3d. would be adequate for the purpose. In a number of speeches attention has been drawn to the large profits which can be made by these municipal enterprises, and, therefore, we do not think that a rate of 6d. can be in any way justified.
I now come to another point in connection with the Amendment which seeks to leave out "plus" and to insert "or." It is one thing to say that any local authority which has these powers shall be allowed to meet a deficit by levying a rate of 3d. or 6d.; but to say that, in addition, it shall be able to spend any profit—I think that is what the words must mean—might lead the local authority, in estimating its expenditure, to the conclusion that it could make a large profit on certain things and then go to the whole extent of a 6d. rate on something which merely a few faddists wanted, and lose a great deal of money in the process. We have no objection to the rate being called upon, to a limited extent, to meet a deficit, although of course we hope that these enterprises will be run at a profit. We do not want the rates to be encroached upon at all, but, in any case, we do not want a 6d. rate to be regarded as the minimum to be spent. The fourth Amendment, to insert "whichever is the greater" is consequential upon the Amendment to which I have just referred.
§ Mr. Bevan
I am sure the answer to the first Amendment will make itself easily apparent to the hon. and gallant Member for Pollok (Commander Galbraith). It would put an intolerable burden upon a Minister to expect him to prescribe the amount to be spent year by year, and it would be entirely opposed to the spirit of the Clause, which is intended to leave these matters within the circumscription of the Clause to the initiative of the local authority itself.
With regard to the Amendment to leave out "sixpence" and to insert "three- 1413 pence," although it may appear that in some large cities the product of a 6d. rate would be very large, it would be quite small in some small county districts. Therefore, although a reduction from 6d. to 3d. might not be entirely crippling in the large aggregations of population, it would be inhibiting in the smaller ones, and it is not desirable to make the reduction. I should think that that point of view would appeal to hon. Members opposite.
As to the Amendment to leave out "plus" and to insert "or," and the consequential Amendment, there again it is very difficult. It is perfectly true that the local authority would be able to use the 6d. rate in addition to any profits it made on any undertaking, but under these Amendments the profits from the undertaking would eat into the 6d., and a situation would be reached whereby year by year the local authority would have at its disposal no funds out of which to initiate any new undertaking except the accumulated profits from the previous undertaking.
§ Squadron-Leader Fleming
Could the right hon. Gentleman explain whether the net amount of receipts referred to in the Clause relates to the whole period of a year?
§ Mr. Bevan
Yes, it would be over the whole year. Obviously, if the local authority made any profits, it would have to add all the profits together, and if they amounted to the product of a 6d. rate the local authority could levy no rate at all but merely use those profits. The effect, therefore, would be that in any particular year if the profits were greater than the product of a 6d. rate the local authority could undertake no work at all during that year except out of the profits made that year. As the effect of this Amendment would be extremely limiting, I am bound to resist it.
§ Squadron-Leader Fleming
Has the right hon. Gentleman considered the effect of a 6d. rate in a place like the City of Manchester?
§ Mr. Bevan
Yes, but it must also be borne in mind that a very large proportion of the population would benefit from the expenditure of a 6d. rate. The expenditure of this rate would not necessarily mean a loss. One cannot regard 1414 the expenditure of money on providing bands in parks and that kind of thing as a loss, any more than we can regard the expenditure of money on education as a loss. A local authority might decide to run an orchestra for several years, probably for the purpose of improving the playing of instrumental music and encouraging young people to learn to play instruments; this would be a worthy object and should be encouraged in this country, because we have become accustomed to listening to other people, and fewer people are learning to play instruments themselves. The expenditure of a 6d. rate might be regarded as a loss, but it need not be regarded as such, any more than the expenditure of money on other services provided by local authorities.
§ Colonel Wheatley (Dorset, Eastern)
Concerning the Amendment to substitute "threepence" for "sixpence," we have been told that a large authority can spend a large sum of money and that the effect of this Amendment would be to hit the small authority, because a 3d. rate would not produce enough income to enable the authority to do anything worth while. The Minister told us earlier today that a small authority can go to the county council if necessary. I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that a 6d. rate is felt very much more by a small authority than by a large authority, because in a small authority there are fewer people paying it. It may be psychological, but they do feel it more than in a big town.
§ Mr. Bevan
They can go to the county council, but the county council need not give them anything. There is the power to do this, but it is not an obligation. Therefore, a small county district may not be able to persuade a county council to make a contribution. On the other hand, the small county district need not spend the 6d. It might be that the expenditure of 2d. or 3d. would be as much as it could reasonably be asked to bear, and the county council could be asked to pay the rest. They are not obliged to spend 6d.; this is a permissive, and not an obligatory power.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ The Temporary Chairman
If the hon. and gallant Gentleman does not propose to divide the Committee on the next Amendment, does he think there is any point in moving it?
§ Commander Galbraith
I beg to move, in line 38, to leave out "sixpence," and to insert "threepence." I think it is as well that I should move the Amendment formally.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Commander Galbraith
I beg to move, in line 38, to leave out "plus," and to insert "or."
Here, I am afraid, I have to insist. If the right hon. Gentleman cannot see his way to meet me, I am afraid I must divide the Committee on the Amendment, because it seems to me—I should like to be corrected if I am wrong—that we are departing from the spirit of the words in the Public Health Act, 1925. I can well understand that where a loss is incurred a local authority should have power to rate, as is now being decided, up to 6d. to meet the loss, but where large profits are being made, I think those profits should be used for the purpose we have in view in this Clause. I think it is quite wrong that large profits should be accumulated and that ratepayers should still be subject to a charge if the local authority so decides. I do not know where that may lead us at the end of the day and, therefore, I am afraid I must divide the Committee on this Amendment.
§ Mr. Bevan
Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman appreciate how crippling the word he proposes would be to local authorities? I cannot imagine a local authority, which was making a substantial profit on the undertakings described in this Clause, adding to their revenues by imposing a rate charge on the ratepayers. Personally, I should have thought that most local authorities, having accumulated their profits, would use them for extending their activities and would not impose a rate charge in addition. The difficulty is that, if this wording were accepted, the authorities would in any particular year—each year—be limited to the profits or to the sixpenny rate, whichever is the greater. That would be a very important crippling provision which, I think, would be almost impossible to operate. I hope the hon. and gallant Member will appreciate the difficulty.
§ Commander Galbraith
I am afraid the right hon. Gentleman does not convince me. I am sorry, but it seems to me that my argument is quite sound, and that I must divide the Committee.
§ Question put, "That 'plus' stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 261; Noes, 84.1419
|Division No. 85.]||AYES.||[7.43 p.m.|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Byers, Frank||Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V.||Callaghan, James||Evans, A. (Islington, W.)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Castle, Mrs. B. A||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Champion, A. J.||Evans, John (Ogmore)|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Chater, D.||Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)|
|Attawell, H. C.||Chetwynd, G. R||Fairhurst, F|
|Austin, H Lewis||Cluse, W. S.||Farthing, W. J.|
|Ayles, W. H.||Cobb, F. A.||Fletcher, E. G. M (Islington, E.)|
|Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B||Cocks, F. S||Forman, J. D.|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Collins, V. J.||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)|
|Baird, J.||Colman, Miss. G. M||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon H T N|
|Barstow, P. G.||Comyns, Dr. L.||Ganley, Mrs. C. S.|
|Barton, C.||Cook, T. F.||George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)|
|Battley, J. R.||Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G.||Gibbins, J.|
|Bechervaise, A. E.||Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.)||Gibson, C W.|
|Beswick, F.||Corlett, Dr J.||Glanville, J. E (Consett)|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)||Cove, W. G.||Gooch, E. G.|
|Bing, G. H. C||Daines, P.||Granville, E. (Eye)|
|Binns, J||Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement (Montgomery)||Grey, C F.|
|Blackburn, A. R.||Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Grierson, E.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)|
|Boardman, H.||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Griffiths, W. D. (Mess Side)|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.||Davits, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.)||Gunter, R. J.|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Hale, Leslie|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Deer, G.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil|
|Hamilton, Lieut.-Col R.|
|Bramall, E. A.||de Freitas, Geoffrey||Hardman, D. R|
|Brook, D. (Halifax)||Dobbie, W.||Hardy, E. A.|
|Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||Dodds, N N||Harrison, J.|
|Brown, George (Belper)||Donovan, T.||Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Kingswinford)|
|Brown, T. J. (Ince)||Dugdale, J (W. Bromwich)||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)|
|Bruce, Maj. D. W. T.||Dumpleton, C W||Herbison, Miss M.|
|Buchanan, Rt. Hon. G.||Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Hewitson, Capt. M|
|Burke, W. A.||Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Hobson, C R.|
|Butler, H W. (Hackney, S.)||Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)||Holman, P|
|Holmes, H E.(Hemsworth)||Moody, A S||Sorensen, R. W|
|House, G||Morley, R.||Soskice, Sir Frank|
|Hoy, J.||Morgan, Dr H B.||Sparks, J. A.|
|Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W)||Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)||Stamford, W.|
|Hughes, Emrys (S Ayr)||Morris, P (Swansea, W.)||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Morris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)||Strauss, Rt Hon. G. (Lambeth, N.)|
|Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W)||Mort, D. L.||Swingler, S.|
|Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)||Moyle, A.||Sylvester, G O|
|Irvine, A. J (Liverpool)||Nally, W||Symonds, A. L|
|Irvine, W J (Tottenham, N.)||Naylor, T. E.||Taylor, H B (Mansfield)|
|Isaacs, Rt Hon. G. A||Oldfield, W. H||Taylor, R. J (Merpeth)|
|Janner, B||Oliver, G. H.||Tayler, Dr. S. (Barnet)|
|Jay, D P. T.||Orbach, M.||Thomas, D. E (Aberdare)|
|Jeger, G (Winchester)||Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)|
|Jeger, Dr S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Thomas, John R. (Dover)|
|Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)||Pargiter, G. A.||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)|
|Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)||Parkin, B. T.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)||Paton, Mrs F. (Rushcliffe)||Tiffany S.|
|Keenan, W.||Paton, J. (Norwich)||Timmons, J.|
|Kenyon, C.||Pearson, A||Titterington, M F|
|Key, C. W||Perrins, W||Tolley, L|
|King, E. M||Piratin, P.||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G|
|Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E||Popplewell, E.||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Kinley, J.||Porter, E. (Warrington)||Ungoed-Thomas, L.|
|Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J.||Porter, G. (Leeds)||Vernon, Maj. W F|
|Lee, F. (Hulme)||Proctor, W T||Viant, S. P|
|Lee, Miss J (Cannock)||Pryde, D J||Wadsworth, G|
|Leonard, W.||Pursey, Cmdr. H||Walkden, E.|
|Leslie, J. R||Randall, H. E||Walker G H|
|Levy, B. W.||Ranger, J||Wallace, G D. (Chislehurst)|
|Lewis, A. W. J (Upton)||Reeves, J.||Warbey, W. N.|
|Lewis, J. (Bolton)||Reid, T. (Swindon)||Watson, W. M.|
|Lipson, D. L.||Richards, R.||Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Lipton, Lt.-Col. M||Ridealgh, Mrs. M.||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|Longden, F||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)||West, D. G.|
|Lyne, A W||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)||Westwood, Rt. Hon. J.|
|McAdam, W.||Robertson, J. J (Berwick)||Wheatley, J T. (Edinburgh. E.)|
|McEntee, V La T||Rogers, G. H R.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon W|
|McGhee, H G.||Ross, William (Kilmarnock)||Wigg, George|
|McKay, J (Wallsend)||Royle, C||Wilkes, L.|
|Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)||Sargood, R||Willey, O G. (Cleveland)|
|McKinlay, A. S||Scollan, T||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|McLeavy, F.||Scott-Elliot, W||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Segal, Dr. S.||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Macpherson, T. (Remford)||Sharp, Granvilla||Williamson, T|
|Mann, Mrs. J.||Silkin, Rt. Hon. L.||Willis, E.|
|Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)||Silverman, J. (Erdington)||Willis, Mrs. E. A|
|Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)||Simmons, C. J.||Woodburn, A.|
|Mathers, Rt. Hon. G.||Skinnard, F. W.||Yates, V F|
|Medland, H M.||Smith, E. P. (Ashford)||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Mellish, R. J||Smith, Ellis (Stoke)||Zilliacus, K.|
|Middleton, Mrs. L.||Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Monslow, W.||Snow, J. W||Mr. Collindridge and Mr Wilkins.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P G||Grimston, R. V.||Marshall, S. H. (Sullen)|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Hannon, Sir P. (Meseley)||Maude, J. C.|
|Beamish, Maj T V H.||Harvey, Air-Comdrs. A. V.||Medlicott, F.|
|Bennett, Sir P.||Headlam, Lieut.-Col Rt. Hon. Sir C||Mellor, Sir J|
|Bower, N.||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Hogg, Hon. Q.||Neven-Spence, Sir B|
|Butcher, H. W.||Hollis, M. C||Odey, G W|
|Challen, C.||Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)||Orr-Ewing, I L|
|Channen, H.||Jeffreys, General Sir G||Osborne, C. H. M.|
|Clarke, Col. R. S.||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W||Pete, Brig. C. H. M.|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col W. H||Pitman, I. J|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Langford-Holt. J.||Poole, O B. S. (Oswestry)|
|Darling, Sir W. Y||Law, Rt. Hon R K||Prior-Palmer, Brig O|
|Donner, P. W||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Raikes, H V|
|Drayson, G. B.||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Ramsay, Maj. S|
|Drewe, C||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Roberts, Peter (Ecclesall)|
|Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)||Low, A. R. W||Robinson, Roland|
|Elliot, Lieut.-Col., Rt. Hon. W.||Lucas, Major Sir J||Ropner, Col. L.|
|Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir H||Sanderson, Sir F.|
|Foster, J. G. (Northwich)||Macdonald, Sir P. (I of Wight)||Savory, Prof. D. L|
|Fox, Sir G.||Mackeson, Brig. H. R||Scott, Lord W.|
|Fraser, H C P. (Stone)||Maclay, Hon. J. S||Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)|
|Gage, C||Maclean, F H R.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D.||Macpherson, N. (Dumfries)||Sutcliffe, H.|
|Gammans, L. D.||Manningham-Buller, R. E.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)|
|George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)||Marshall, D. (Bedmin)||Thorneycroft, G. E. P (Monmouth)|
|Touche, G C.||Wheatley, Col M J (Dorset, E)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Turton, R H||White, J B (Canterbury)||Mr. Studholme and|
|Walker-Smith, D||Williams, C (Torquay)||Lieut.-Colonel Thorp.|
§ Mr. Challen
I beg to move, in line 52, to leave out "metropolitan borough."
In London we are amply provided with entertainment facilities—music halls, concerts, theatres, cinematographs — entertainments of every kind and description. I should think that there really is no metropolitan borough that would seek these entertainments, and that it would not be desirable that the ratepayers' money should be spent in a place like London upon setting up rival entertainments in competition with existing entertainments.
§ Mr. J. Edwards
It is quite impossible for us to accept this Amendment. The grounds which the hon. Gentleman has advanced do not appeal to us on this side of the Committee. I can remember, and other hon. Members will, too, no doubt, that there was a time when we had quite a number of small theatres in the areas of the Metropolitan Boroughs. Some of them were blitzed, and others of them have been shut up. The notion that London can be adequately provided for in the matter of theatres alone merely in the area—the very small area—of theatre-land in the West End is quite erroneous. In our view, Metropolitan Boroughs are quite right and proper bodies to exercise the powers of this Clause. It is up to the ratepayers to make up their minds whether they want their councils to spend, and to what extent they want their councils to spend. It would be quite wrong to deprive the Metropolitan Boroughs of these powers.
§ Amendment negatived.
§ Commander Galbraith
I beg to move, in line 70, at the end, to insert:(8) No power conferred by this Section shall be exercisable by any local authority except in pursuance of an order made by the Minister and approved by both Houses of Parliament.It will be obvious, from the Debate which we had earlier, that on both sides of the Committee there is very general agreement with the purposes of this Clause. Where some of us differ from the Clause is in this: that it makes it permissive straight away for a local authority 1420 to go ahead. We much prefer the system under which a local authority came to the House of Commons with a private Bill to obtain powers. The reason why we do is quite simple: it gave the ratepayers in the area of the local authority an opportunity of making up their minds, and of taking action to stop their local authority going ahead if they felt inclined. Now the local authority will have permission to put these things into operation without really consulting the ratepayers at all. That, we think, is one of the blemishes in this proposal. We do not think that the new procedure really gives an opportunity to the ratepayers to know what is going on. Instead, they will suddenly, as was said earlier, wake up to find themselves being saddled with enormous expenditure of which they do not altogether approve.
It is for that reason that we have put down this Amendment, that none of these powers shall be exercisable except in pursuance of an order made by the Minister. That procedure would give the ratepayers an opportunity of understanding what was going on. While the order was being prepared, and being debated, no doubt, in the local council, they would have time to make representations which would affect, the council's deliberations and decisions. I do not at all agree with the Minister when he says, "Well, of course, they will be able to exercise pressure by dismissing the members of the council who agreed to the expenditure." I do not think that that really cuts much ice. The damage will have been done; and once large expenditure has been incurred and arrangements have been made it may be less costly to let the arrangements proceed than to try to get out of them at the last moment. In any case, I am quite certain that no local election will ever be decided on such an issue as this, compared with the great weight of matters which will come before the electors. I think this is a reasonable Amendment, and I hope the Minister may see his way to accept it. The next Amendment on the Order Paper is consequential. It is in line 70, at the end, to insert:(8) This Section shall have effect as from such date as the Minister may by Order appoint.
§ 8.0 p.m.
§ Mr. J. Edwards
There is clearly a difference of opinion between the hon. and gallant Gentleman and ourselves on this point. I am sure that he would not wish me to argue about it at great length, because that difference of opinion is clear. I do not suppose that it can be resolved. The hon. and gallant Member complained that under the Clause as drafted, local authorities can go ahead. That is precisely our intention. It would be ridiculous for me to imply anything else. We want local authorities to do what they can. We know that a lot of activities will not be open to them because of physical limitations of which we are all aware. We do not want to have the kind of procedure which the hon. and gallant Gentleman has suggested.
He said he thought that the Amendment was reasonable. It may be, but it would have the effect of completely destroying what the new Clause seeks to do. It is hopeless to give powers of this kind to local authorities and then fasten upon them a procedure which would be completely unworkable. If we are serious in our desire to give these powers to local authorities we must give them in such a way that the local authorities can exercise them without undue interference. I therefore hope that the Committee will reject the Amendment, as well as the Amendment which follows it and which, although not upon quite the same topic, is not unrelated to it.
§ Mr. Challen
The Minister is again being much too pedantic. There is nothing to prevent local authorities from obtaining powers of this kind by means of a private Bill. Many local authorities exercise functions of this nature in that way. There is a very great deal to be said for the private Bill procedure, because it enables Parliament to exercise control over the activities of local authorities. We are not seeking to set up some expensive and cumbersome routine. Why cannot some control be allowed to the Minister to say to a local authority that, in present circumstances they ought not to have powers for which they were asking because there was no demand for them.
There might be many instances in which the Minister would hesitate for a long time before making an order giving powers to a local authority. If the 1422 Minister came to the conclusion that the powers were reasonable and that the local authority ought to have them, he would lay upon the Table a draft of the order, which could then become a matter for Debate. I urge the Minister to consider this matter further and to see whether he can introduce the principle in another place. It is a very convenient principle, particularly to be employed in cases of this nature.
§ Commander Galbraith
I am somewhat disappointed with the reply of the Minister. There obviously is some difference of opinion between us. His argument was a little far-fetched when he suggested that what we are proposing would destroy the intention of the Clause. I do not think it would do so at all. After all, authorities who have already come to the House and obtained private Bills have done great work in this field in the past.
§ Mr. J. Edwards
I would emphasise that there is all the difference in the world between giving a local authority general powers and giving the Minister power to make an order in the case of a particular local authority. If the Amendment were accepted, it would, in that sense, destroy our intention of giving general powers to all the authorities.
§ Commander Galbraith
That may be. I accept the hon. Gentleman's assurance that the Amendment would destroy the intention, but it would make the whole proposal much more palatable to hon. Members on this side of the Committee. I cannot see any objection, or that there would be any real difficulty. The hon. Gentleman said that he wanted local authorities to go ahead at once. How much delay would be involved in this procedure? It would enable ratepayers of localities to say whether they wanted something or not. That is a point which has been stressed time and time again in the course of the Debate by hon. Gentlemen on the Government side. If one looks at the enormous number of things which can now be done without any necessity of consulting the ratepayers at all it is obvious that there should be some check. We have suggested in the Amendment what the check might be. If the hon. Gentleman is not willing to accept the Amendment, I regret to say that I shall have to divide the Committee.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted."1424
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 84; Noes, 257.1425
|Division No. 86.||AYES.||[8.8 p.m.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley)||Orr-Ewing, I. L|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.||Osborne, C.|
|Beamish, Maj. T. V. H||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt Hon. Sir C.||Peto, Brig. C. H. M.|
|Beechman, N. A||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Pitman, I. J.|
|Bennett, Sir P.||Hogg, Hon. Q.||Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)|
|Bower, N.||Hollis, M. C.||Prior-Palmer, Brig. O|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Hutchison, Lt.-Cdr. Clark (Edin'gh, W.)||Raikas, H. V.|
|Butcher, H. W.||Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Ramsay, Major S.|
|Challen, C.||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W||Roberts, Peter (Ecclesall)|
|Channon, H.||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Robinson, Roland|
|Clarke, Col. R. S.||Law, Rt. Hon. R. K||Sanderson, Sir F.|
|Conant, Maj. R. J. E.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Savory, Prot. D. L.|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Lindsay, M (Solihull)||Scott, Lord W.|
|Darling, Sir W. Y.||Lleyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Shepherd, W S. (Bucklow)|
|Davidson, Viscountess||Low, A. R. W.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Lucas, Major Sir J.||Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)|
|Donner, P. W.||Macdonald, Sir P. (Isle of Wight)||Sutcliffe, H|
|Drayson, G. B.||Maclay, Hon. J. S||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A (P'dd't'n, S.)|
|Drewe, C.||Maclean, F H R||Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)|
|Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)||Macpherson, N. (Dumfries)||Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A F|
|Elliot, Lieut.-Col., Rt. Hon. W.||Manningham-Buller, R. E||Touche, G. C|
|Fleming, Sqn-Ldr. E. L.||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)||Turton, R. H.|
|Foster, J. G. (Northwich)||Maude, J. C.||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Fox, Sir G.||Medlicott, F.||Wheatley, Col. M. J. (Dorset, E.)|
|Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone)||Mellor, Sir J.||White, J. B. (Canterbury)|
|Gage, C.||Morris-Jones, Sir H.||Williams, C. (Torquay)|
|Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D.||Morrison, Maj J. G. (Salisbury)|
|George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)||Neven-Spence, Sir B.||TELLERS FOR THE ATES:|
|Grimston, R. V.||Odey, G. W.||Mr. Studholme and|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Collins, V. J.||Gunter, R. J|
|Alexander, Rt Hon A. V.||Colman, Miss G. M||Hale, Leslie|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Comyns, Dr. L.||Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil|
|Anderson, A (Motherwell)||Cook, T. F.||Hamilton, Lt.-Col. R.|
|Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Corbet, Mrs. F. K (Camb'well, N.W.)||Hardman, D. R.|
|Attewell, H. C.||Corlett, Dr. J||Hardy, E. A.|
|Austin, H. Lewis||Cove, W. G.||Harrison, J.|
|Ayles, W. H.||Crawley, A.||Henderson, Rt. Hn A (Kingswinford)|
|Bacon, Miss A.||Daines, P.||Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)|
|Baird, J.||Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement (Montgomery)||Herbison, Miss M.|
|Barstow, P. G||Davies, Edward (Burslem)||Hewitson, Captain M.|
|Barton, C.||Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Hobson, C. R.|
|Battley, J. R.||Davies, Harold (Leek)||Holman, P.|
|Bechervaise, A. E||Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)|
|Benson, G.||Deer, G.||House, G|
|Beswick, F.||Dobbie, W.||Hoy, J.|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon A. (Ebbw Vale)||Dodds, N. N||Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Donovan, T.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)|
|Binns, J.||Dumpleton, C. W.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N)|
|Blackburn, A. R.||Ede, Rt. Hon J. C||Hughes, H. D. (Wolverhampton, W)|
|Blyton, W R.||Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)|
|Boardman, H.||Edwards, N (Caerphilly)||Irvine, A. J (Liverpool, Edge Hill)|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.||Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.|
|Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)||Evans, A. (Islington, W.)||Janner, B|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)||Evans, E. (Lowestoft)||Jay, D. P. T.|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Evans, John (Ogmore)||Jeger, G. (Winchester)|
|Bramall, E A||Evans, S. N (Wednesbury)||Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)|
|Brook, D. (Halifax)||Fairhurst, F.||Jones, D T. (Hartlepools)|
|Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||Farthing, W. J.||Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)|
|Brown, George (Belper)||Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)||Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)|
|Brown, T J (Ince)||Forman J. C.||Keenan, W.|
|Bruce, Major D. W. T.||Fraser, T. (Hamilton)||Kenyon, C.|
|Buchanan, Rt. Hon. G.||Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N||Key, C. W.|
|Burke, W. A.||King, E. M.|
|Butler, H. W (Hackney, S.)||Ganley, Mrs. C. S||Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr E|
|Byers, Frank||George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)||Kinley, J.|
|Callaghan, James||Gibbins, J.||Lawson, Rt. Hon. J. J|
|Castle, Mrs. B. A.||Gibson, C. W.||Lee, F. (Hulme)|
|Champion, A. J.||Glanville, J. E. (Consett)||Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)|
|Chater, D.||Gooch, E. G||Leonard, W.|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Granville, E. (Eye)||Leslie, J. R.|
|Cluse, W. S.||Grey, C. F||Lever, N. H|
|Cobb, F. A.||Grierson, E.||Levy, B. W.|
|Cocks, F. S.||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)||Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)|
|Collick, P.||Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)||Lipson, D. L.|
|Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.||Popplewell, E.||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)|
|Lyne, A. W.||Porter, G. (Leeds)||Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)|
|McAdam, W.||Proctor, W. T.||Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)|
|McEntee, V. La T.||Pryde, D. J.||Thomas, John R. (Dover)|
|McGhee, H. G.||Pursey, Cmdr. H.||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)|
|McKay, J. (Wallsend)||Randall, H. E.||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)||Ranger, J.||Tiffany, S.|
|McKinlay, A. S.||Reeves, J.||Timmons, J|
|McLeavy, F.||Reid, T. (Swindon)||Titterington, M. F|
|MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Richards, R.||Tolley, L.|
|Macpherson, T. (Romford)||Ridealgh, Mrs. M.||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G|
|Mann, Mrs. J||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)||Turner-Samuels, M.|
|Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)||Ungoed-Thomas, L|
|Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)||Roberson, J. J. (Berwick)||Vernon, Major W. F|
|Mathers, Rt. Hon. G.||Rogers, G. H. R.||Viant, S. P.|
|Medland, H. M.||Ross, William (Kilmarnock)||Walkdan, E.|
|Mellish, R. J.||Royle, C||Walker, G. H.|
|Middleton, Mrs. L.||Sargood, R.||Wallace, G. D. (Chisleburst)|
|Mitchison, G. R.||Scollan, T.||Warbey, W. N|
|Monslow, W.||Scott-Elliot, W||Watson, W M|
|Moody, A. S.||Sagal, Dr. S.||Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)|
|Morley, R||Sharp, Granville||Wells, P. L. (Faversham)|
|Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)||Wells, W. T. (Walsall)|
|Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)||Silkin, Rt. Hon. L.||West, D. G|
|Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)||Silverman, J. (Erdington)||Wheatley, J. T. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Mort, D L.||Simmons, C. J.||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Moyle, A.||Skinnard, F. W.||Wigg, George|
|Nally, W.||Smith, Ellis (Stoke)||Wilkes, L.|
|Naylor, T. E.||Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)||Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)|
|Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J. (Derby)||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)||Williams, D J. (Neath)|
|Oldfield, W. H.||Snow, J. W||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Oliver, G. H.||Sorenson, R. W.||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Orbach, M.||Soskice, Sir Frank||Williamson, T.|
|Paget, R. T.||Sparks, J. A||Willis, E.|
|Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)||Stamford, W.||Wills, Mrs. E. A.|
|Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)||Woodburn, A.|
|Pargiter, G. A.||Strauss, Rt. Hon. G. (Lambeth, N.)||Yates, V. F.|
|Parkin, B. T.||Swingler, S.||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)||Sylvester, G. O.||Zilliacus, K.|
|Paton, J. (Norwich)||Symonds, A. L.|
|Pearson, A.||Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Perrins, W.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)||Mr. Collindridge and Mr. Wilkins.|
Mr. McKinley (Dumbartonshire)
I beg to move, in line 86, to leave out paragraph (b).
With the leave of the Committee, I should like also to discuss the Amendment in line 93, at the end, to add:(9) No certificate shall be granted under the Licensing (Scotland) Acts, 1903 to 1934 for the sale of excisable liquor in any premises provided under this section in Scotland, hut nothing in this Subsection shall render it unlawful to grant under Section forty of the Licensing (Scotland) Act, 1903, a special permission for an entertainment in any such premises.Great as is the temptation offered, I do not desire to start an argument on the relative merits of beer drinking in England and whisky drinking in Scotland. Nor shall I dispute what I heard previously, that there is less drunkenness in one country or the other. Nowadays, most people are loaded to the Plimsoll line with water mainly: they are not drunk but waterlogged. Nor shall I cover the whole field of the virtue or otherwise of teetotallers as opposed to those who imbibe stronger drink. As may have been obvious to many hon. Members, I do not take strong drink myself.
1426 In Scotland, the difficulty with which we are confronted is different from that prevailing in England. I am doing my best to rescue the working-class in Scotland from falling into the prevalent bad habits in England. It brings a blush to my face when I hear men—I am not saying this in an offensive way—talking about taking their wives along to the "pub" to have a drink. We have a funny name in Scotland for women who go into "pubs" to drink, which I will not repeat here. The main difficulty in applying this otherwise good Measure to Scotland is that Scottish law is somewhat different and Scottish habits and customs are very different from those of England, and if the Clause were accepted without this Amendment, we should have the anomalous position that the owners of the theatre, the cinema or the dance hall would be the licensing authority for the theatre, the cinema and the dance hall for theatrical, cinema and dance purposes and also the authority for granting licences for the sale of alcoholic liquors. Most men in public life in Scotland are men of very high principles, but to ask them to separate their identities 1427 for the purposes of the impartial administration of a thing like this is utterly impossible
As I said on a previous occasion we could not get the benefit of this Measure with this thing tacked on to it unless we made a very substantial alteration in the licensing laws of Scotland. Whether that alteration is desirable or undesirable is not in dispute at the moment. I think I should ask the Secretary of State for Scotland outright to accept this Amendment. It will save the Scottish Office a great deal of difficulty. It will preserve the political reputation even of the Secretary of State himself. There are an awful lot of busy bees fluttering around his constituency depositing the honey of temperance in many of the homes, and if he wants to avert a political tragedy, he should accept this Amendment. Scottish Members are all for developing the purposes contained in the Bill, but for the reasons which I have given, and without elaborating them, I ask the Secretary of State to accept this very sensible Amendment.
§ The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Woodburn)
We have considered this point. It is true the Clause as drawn would not fit in with the present practice and the legislation passed recently in the House concerning the duties of municipalities and local authorities in this connection. The Amendment will bring the Clause into conformity with the previous legislation, and therefore I propose to accept it. It is very kind of my hon. Friend the Member for Dumbartonshire (Mr. McKinlay) to make references to my constituency, which has great impartiality in this matter. It is one of the greatest temperance constituencies in Scotland and, at the same time, the biggest exporter of beer in the whole of Britain—just as my native city has a wonderful record for being one of the most famous places for breweries, and also the world's record place for the printing of Bibles. We manage to stay together with these apparently mutually contradictory habits. I have no doubt that once this Clause is amended, it will fit in very harmoniously with the general legislation of Scotland.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot
The well-meant efforts of the Secretary of State to reconcile contradictions have been taxed to their fullest in accepting this Amendment. Only a little while ago the Minister of Health, who is fortunately not in his place and is not therefore put to any blush by these roundings of hairpin bends, was explaining that if this Amendment were carried in the case of England it would destroy the purpose of the Bill. Two hon. Members who delivered speeches of great strength were so struck by the Minister's argument that they did not divide the House on an Amendment which, from the vehemence they put into moving it, we thought they would certainly be forced to justify by a Division.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot
That is a fainthearted doctrine from hon. Members in a party which is supposed to be independent. The attitude that the party cannot be resisted unless the support of the Opposition is secured is not one which led the present Minister of Health to the high position which he now occupies. The Government are in so much of a tangle about this matter that this is a starred Amendment. In spite of the fact that this matter has been gestating for a very long time, the necessity for reconciling the laws of England and Scotland did not occur to anybody until last night. The reasons for accepting it might well be put in two words, force majeure. The reconciliation must be left to the right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends who were unsuccessful in screwing up their courage sufficiently to divide the Committee. As the Government have accepted this Amendment, we do not propose to protest against it. We are glad to see it added to the Bill.
§ Mr. C. Williams
As an Englishman, I feel I should congratulate hon. Gentlemen opposite on having done something to improve what is otherwise a thoroughly bad Clause. I would certainly have voted in favour of this Amendment if the Government had not accepted it. They have accepted it, and there is no need for me to take any time on the matter except to point out that it is gross 1429 unfairness to England that this should be so very much more beneficial to Scotland and that when we come to deal with England, we are left with only the rotten part of the Clause. I congratulate the Scottish hon. Members on both Front Benches on the unanimity which they have found on this matter. I wish that the English and Welsh hon. Members could have joined together to get similar good terms out of a Minister of Health who does nothing to help this country or Wales.
§ 8.30 p.m.
§ Mr. McKinlay
I want to thank my right hon. Friend for doing what was the eminently sensible thing. I am surprised to know that a short period of gestation, even in the opinion of a doctor, led to such a happy offspring. A number of accidents have happened before, but I can say, "Thank you" to the Minister with joy in my heart not only because of what has happened here tonight, but because of what happened in Paisley earlier in the day.
§ Mr. J. Hudson
I would add a word of congratulation to my hon. Friends in Scotland for the victory they have secured. I am prepared to stand the jeers of hon. Gentlemen opposite that the same fortune did not come to me. However, the Minister himself must now face the fact, as indeed must the Government generally, that on two large vital Bills they have come to this House with proposals which they ought to have known at the time could not be made to fit in with Scottish law, and because of the pressure of the temperance and the church influences in Scotland on both occasions they have taken the wise course that they are now taking on this occasion. I am glad that it is so, but I assure them that although we could not tonight get any great sign of support for the proposals that we made as Members for English constituencies, I hope that will be taken to heart and brought home with regard to the administration in England. It will be a great mistake on the part of English local authorities to accept the facilities that have now been offered to them.
§ Amendment agreed to.
Further Amendment made: In line 93, at end, add:
(9) No certificate shall be granted under the Licensing (Scotland) Acts, 1903 to 1934, for the sale of excisable liquor in any pre-
mises provided under this Section in Scotland, but nothing in this Subsection shall render it unlawful to grant under Section forty of the Licensing (Scotland) Act, 1903, a special permission for an entertainment in any such premises."—[Mr. McKinlay.]
§ Motion made and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, be added to the Bill."
§ The DEPUTY-CHAIRMAN proceeded to put the Question.
§ The Deputy-Chairman (Sir Robert Young)
I was putting it from the Chair. Does the right hon. and gallant Gentleman wish to speak?
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot
You asked me, Sir Robert, if I wished to speak. I replied in the affirmative. This is the point at which we dispose of the Clause. The procedure is a little difficult to follow, but I understand that first the Amendments are made, and then finally the Clause is added to the Bill. It is at that point the Committee parts with the Clause, and it is at that point that I wish to offer a few observations to the Committee on the matter, because my hon. Friends and myself have to justify the action we are about to take. The fact is that we, as the Minister remembers, did not divide against the Second Reading of the Clause because—
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot
Yes, but as I say, we are unwilling to give a silent vote on the matter. On the Second Reading, as the Minister will remember, I said that we would not divide then because we were in sympathy with many of the purposes underlying the Bill, but that we hoped to bring to the attention of the Committee certain Amendments which we trusted would be accepted because we would find it impossible to accept the Clause as a whole. Unfortunately, for reasons of which we do not complain, the Minister was unable to accept any of our Amendments. Our view is, shortly—
§ Mr. Bevan
On a point of Order, Sir Robert. The vote is being taken. All that is before the Committee at the moment is whether or not, Sir Robert, you are collecting the voices. All we say is that if the Chairman did not hear the "Noes" opposite, let us have a Division but this is not the point at which to have an argument.
§ The Deputy-Chairman
The explanation is that as I had not fully collected the voices, the right hon. and gallant Gentleman could proceed, and that is why I allowed him to speak.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Elliot
I do not think the time of the Committee has been at all unduly wasted at this stage and I think that a matter of great importance has been discussed with commendable succinctness. From time to time argument has arisen on the Minister's side of the Committee which has been pressed, but I do not think it has unduly delayed progress. I simply wish to say, on the Clause as amended, that we on this side feel that the two small Amendments which have been accepted from the Government side of the Committee do not go to the root of the matter as we see it. We felt very definitely, first, on reading the Clause and, secondly, as the discussion proceeded, that there was a growing air of unreality about the whole presentation
§ of the matter to the Committee; that, in fact, pictures were being drawn of far-reaching and great reforms which are about to take place and of the buildings which are about to be erected, when we all know that the famine in building material is so great that it is difficult even to carry out a programme of house building.
§ We feel that these hopes being held out were typical of the unreality in which so many of our discussions are being conducted, and that to add to that unreality by permitting, without a Division, this Clause to be added to the Bill is a course which we do not feel able to take. For that reason we desire to divide the Committee against the Clause, and register our objection, not to the many excellent principles contained in the Clause, but to the adding of it to legislation at this time when it must be clear to all observers that it has no chance whatever of coming into force for a very long time, and that it will encourage the feeling that all is well in the country which other more responsible Ministers are doing their best to damp down in every direction.
§ Mr. C. Williams
I only wish to take two minutes. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I came down here today hoping and expecting that I might be able to vote for this Clause, which has a good deal in its favour. I have watched it fairly carefully, and I have not taken much part in the proceedings, but when I see no concession and no attempt made to help either the English or the Welsh sections of the community, and when I see the Scots getting their way every time, I have been forced to the conclusion that this is grossly unfair treatment. This Clause could easily have been amended into a decent Clause if the Minister had been kindly and helpful, and I say that the one person who on this occasion has turned me absolutely dead against the Clause is the Minister himself.
§ Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, be added to the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 255; Noes, 76.1435
|Division No. 87.]||AYES.||[8.40 p.m.|
|Adams, Richard (Balham)||Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)||Baird, J.|
|Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V.||Attewell, H. C.||Bartlow, P. G.|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Austin, H Lewis||Barton, C.|
|Alpass, J. H.||Ayles, W. H.||Battley, J. R.|
|Anderson, A. (Motherwell)||Bacon, Miss A.||Bechervaise, A. E.|
|Benson, G.||Hobson, C. R.||Pryde, D. J.|
|Bevan, Rt. Hon. A (Ebbw Vale)||Holman, P||Pursey, Cmdr. H.|
|Bing, G. H. C.||Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)||Randall, H. E.|
|Binns, J.||House, G||Ranger, J|
|Blackburn, A. R||Hoy, J.||Reeves, J.|
|Blyton, W R||Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)||Reid, T (Swindon)|
|Boardman, H.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)||Richards, R.|
|Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, H.)||Ridealgh, Mrs. M.|
|Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)||Hughes, H. D (Wolverhampton, W.)||Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)|
|Braddock, Mrs. E M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)||Hynd, H (Hackney, C.)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)|
|Braddock, T. (Mitcham)||Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool, Edge Hill)||Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)|
|Bramall, E A||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Rogers, G H. R.|
|Brook, D. (Halifax)||Janner, B||Ross, William (Kilmarnock)|
|Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)||Jay, D. P. T.||Royle, C|
|Brown, George (Belper)||Jeger, G. (Winchester)||Sargood, R.|
|Brown, T. J. (Ince)||Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)||Scollan, T.|
|Bruce, Major D. W. T.||Jones, D T (Hartlepools)||Scott-Elliot, W.|
|Buchanan, Rt. Hon. G.||Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)||Segal, Dr. S|
|Burke, W. A.||Jones, J. H. (Bolton)||Sharp, Granville|
|Butler, H W (Hackney, S.)||Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)||Shawcross, C. N. (Widnes)|
|Byers, Frank||Keenan, W.||Silkin, Rt. Hon L|
|Callaghan, James||Kenyon, C||Silverman, J. (Erdington)|
|Champion, A J.||Key, C. W.||Simmons, C. J|
|Chater, D||King, E. M.||Skinnard, F. W|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.||Smith, E. P. (Ashford)|
|Cluse, W. S.||Kinley, J||Smith, Ellis (Stoke)|
|Cobb, F A||Lawson, Rt. Hon, J. J||Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)|
|Cocks, F.S.||Lee F. (Hulme)||Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)|
|Collick, P||Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Collindridge, F||Leonard, W||Soskice, Sir Frank|
|Collins, V. J.||Leslie, J. R.||Sparks, J. A.|
|Colman, Miss G. M.||Lever, N. H.||Stamford, W|
|Comyns, Dr. L.||Levy, B. W.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)|
|Cook, T. F.||Lewis, A W. J. (Upton)||Swingler, S.|
|Corbet, Mrs. F K (Camb?well, N.W)||Lipson, D. L.||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Corlett, Dr. J||Lipton, Lt.-Col. M||Symonds, A. L.|
|Cove, W. G.||Lyne, A. W.||Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)|
|Crawley, A.||McAdam, W.||Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)|
|Davies, Rt Hon. Clement (Montgomery)||McEntes, V La T.||Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)|
|Davies, Edward (Burslem)||McKay, J. (Wallsend)||Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield)||Mackay, R. W. G. (Hall, N.W.)||Thomas, I O. (Wrekin)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||McKinlay, A S||Thomas, John R, (Dover)|
|Davies, S O. (Merthyr)||McLeavy, F.||Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)|
|Deer, G||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Thurtle, Ernest|
|Dobbie, W.||Macpherson, T. (Romford)||Tiffany, S.|
|Dodds, N. N||Mann, Mrs. J||Timmons, J.|
|Donovan, T.||Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)||Titterington, M. F.|
|Dumpleton, C. W.||Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)||Tolley, L.|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Mathers, Rt Hon. G||Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G.|
|Edwards, John (Blackburn)||Medland, H M.||Turner-Samuels, M|
|Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)||Mellish, R. J.||Ungoed-Thomas, L.|
|Edwards, W J. (Whitechapel)||Middleton, Mrs. L||Vernon, Major W. F.|
|Evans, A (Islington, W.)||Monslow, W.||Viant, S P.|
|Evans, John (Ogmore)||Moody, A. S||Walkden, E.|
|Evans, S N (Wednesbury)||Morley, R.||Walker, G H.|
|Fairhurst, F||Morgan, Dr. H. B.||Warbey, W. N.|
|Farthing, W. J.||Morris, Lt-Col H (Sheffield, C.)||Watson, W M|
|Fletcher, E G. M (Islington, E.)||Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)||Webb, M. (Bradford, C)|
|Forman, J C||Mort, D L.||Wells, P L. (Faversham)|
|Fraser, T. (Hamilton)||Moyle, A||Wells, W T (Walsall)|
|Ganley, Mrs. C S.||Nally, W.||West, D. G|
|George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)||Naylor, T. E.||Wheatley, J. T. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Gibbins, J||Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)||Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.|
|Gibson, C. W.||Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brantford)||Wigg, George|
|Granville, J. E. (Consett)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J (Derby)||Wilkes, L.|
|Gooch, E. G||Oldfield, W. H||Wilkins, W A.|
|Granville, E. (Eye)||Oliver, G. H.||Willey, O. G (Cleveland)|
|Grey, C. F||Orbach, M.||Williams, D J (Neath)|
|Grierson, E.||Paget, R T.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Griffiths, Rt Hon. J (Llanelly)||Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)||Williams, W. R. (Heston)|
|Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Williamson, T.|
|Gunter, R J||Pargiter, G. A.||Willis, E.|
|Hale, Leslie||Parkin, B T||Wills, Mrs. E. A.|
|Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil||Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. H|
|Hamilton, Lt.-Col R.||Paton, J (Norwich)||Woodburn, A.|
|Hardman, D. R||Pearson, A||Yates, V. F.|
|Hardy, E. A.||Perrins, W||Younger, Hon. Kenneth|
|Henderson, Rt. Hn A. (Kingswinford)||Popplewell, E||Zilliacus, K.|
|Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)||Porter, E. (Warrington)|
|Herbison, Miss M.||Porter, G. (Leads)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hewitson, Captain M||Proctor, W. T.||Mr. Snow and Mr. G. Wallace.|
|Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.||Henderson, John (Cathcart)||Pitman, I. J.|
|Amory, D. Heathcoat||Hogg, Hon. Q.||Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)|
|Beamish, Maj. T. V. H||Hollis, M. C.||Prior-Palmer, Brig O.|
|Bennett, Sir P.||Hutchison, Lt.-Cdr. Clark (Edin'gh, W)||Raikes, H. V.|
|Bower, N.||Jeffreys, General Sir G.||Ramsay, Major S.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P G. T||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.||Robinson, Roland|
|Butcher, H. W.||Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Sanderson, Sir F.|
|Challen, C.||Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.||Savory, Prof. D. L.|
|Channon, H.||Lindsay, M. (Solihull)||Shepherd, W S. (Bucklow)|
|Clarke Col R S.||Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Cooper-Key, E. M.||Low, A. R. W||Strauss, H G (English Universities)|
|Darling, Sir W. Y.||Macdonald, Sir P. (Isle of Wright)||Sutcliffe, H|
|Dodds-Parker, A D.||Maclay, Hon. J. S.||Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)|
|Drayson, G. B.||Maclean, F H. R.||Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)|
|Drewe, C.||Macpherson, N. (Dumfries)||Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)|
|Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)||Manningham-Buller, R. E.||Thorp, Lt.-Col R A F.|
|Elliot, Lieut.-Col., Rt Hon. W.||Marshall, D. (Bodmin)||Touche, G. C|
|Fox, Sir G.||Maude, J. C.||Turton, R. H.|
|Fraser, H. C. P. (Stone)||Medlicott, F||Walker-Smith, D.|
|Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D P. M||Mellor, Sir J.||Wheatley, Col. M. J. (Dorset, E)|
|Gage, C.||Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)||White, J B. (Canterbury)|
|Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D.||Neven-Spence, Sir B.||Williams, C (Torguay)|
|George, Maj. Rt. Hn. G. Lloyd (P'ke)||Nield, B. (Chester)|
|Grimston, R. V.||Odey, G. W.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley)||Orr-Ewing, I. L.||Major Conantand|
|Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.||Osborne, C.||Brigadier Mackeson.|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon Sir C||Pete, Brig. C. H. M.|
Question put, and agreed to.
§ Clause, as amended, added to the Bill.
§ Bill reported, with Amendments.
§ As amended (in Standing Committee B and in the Standing Committee on Scottish Bills, and on re-committal) considered.