§ Order for Third Reading read.
§ 3.42 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. John Maclay)
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.
If the beginning of that opening sentence is held to be reminiscent of a number of speeches which I made during a recent stage of this Bill, hon. Members will, I believe, concede that not only were they brief, but that there was no ambiguity about them. On this occasion I will not be quite so brief, but I hope, nevertheless, that I will be able to say what I have to say without detaining the House excessively.
We have, in fact, had a very intensive discussion of this Bill and I am deeply indebted to my right hon., learned, and hon. Friends who sit beside me for the very able way in which they have dealt with the admittedly complex detail of the provisions which are included in the Bill.
I am grateful, too, for the several useful and constructive suggestions that have come from right hon. and hon. Members opposite and from my hon. Friends on this side of the House and there is no doubt that the Bill has emerged, as it should, from Committee a better Bill than when it started on its adventures.
Of course, I agree that some parts of the Bill are complex and even involved—necessarily so, I am afraid—and I respect the valiant attempts that have been made, with some success, to simplify and clarify. The pursuit of clarity in legislation is a noble one, but let us be fair: there is a vast history of legislation and interpretation behind almost everything we do in this House and I believe that the Parliamentary draftsmen do a magnificent job in putting our intentions in terms which, while capable of unambiguous interpretation on points of law, are, nevertheless, reasonably comprehensible to lesser mortals.
The objects of the Bill are clear-cut —the changes in the housing subsidies, the provision for overspill and town development, and the miscellaneous but useful amendments of the Housing Acts.
1262 I do not propose to go over again ground that has been very fully covered in the earlier stages of the Bill in discussion of the new rates of housing subsidy. Broadly speaking, our object is to put housing finance on a more rational basis. We take the view that there must be some limit to the burden falling on the taxpayer and the ratepayer.
§ Mr. Maclay
We firmly believe that, given a fair rent policy, including rebate schemes, the subsidies provided in the Bill will enable most local authorities that are still faced with an urgent housing task to go ahead, at least until 1961, without financial difficulty. If we are right in this, there should be no diminution in the output of houses in these districts, and it remains our policy that the local authorities concerned should press on as quickly as possible with schemes designed to produce the additional accommodation that is needed.
But there may be, as I said on Second Reading, some local authorities that can show that they are faced with an urgent housing problem that they are not in a financial position to tackle unaided. In appropriate cases I am ready to consider asking the Scottish Special Housing Association, within the limits of its annual programme, to come to the help of these authorities by building a number of houses without any charge on the rates.
Whatever may be our differences on Part I of the Bill, the general principles of Part II are, I think, accepted by all those who are interested in the problem of overspill, although there may be different views as to the emphasis which is desirable on certain aspects. Of course, we do not suggest that Part II of the Bill will be the complete answer to Glasgow's problem, which will ultimately involve providing houses for 300,000 people outside the city. But it is our sincere view that the most useful way of augmenting the efforts of existing new towns at the present time is by enabling other local authorities to lend a hand.
On the experience we gain from the working of this Bill, plus East Kilbride and Cumbernauld, there will undoubtedly be lessons to be learned which will point the way in due course to the next stage of the operation.
1263 Town development will obviously call for the closest co-operation between the exporting authority and the receiving authorities, and of course for a sharing of the financial burden. Hon. Members will remember the discussion in the Standing Committee about whether the Bill should lay down a minimum annual payment of £14 a house for ten years to be paid by exporting authorities. My hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary then undertook to have further consultations with the local authorities. He has since done so. The meeting made clear that the county councils and the Convention of Royal Burghs would prefer the Bill to remain as drafted.
Glasgow Corporation would, naturally, have preferred to see the contribution laid down in the form of a maximum rather than a minimum payment, but they accepted that, in practice, no receiving authority could, in present circumstances, be brought to agree to a lower figure or a shorter period.
After full consideration of all the views expressed, I am satisfied that increased scope for negotiations would not result from leaving the amount or the period of the contribution out of the Bill and that the present Clause secures the maximum flexibility in practice as well as taking account of the Clyde Valley Committee's recommendations by providing a firm starting point for negotiations. To substitute a less definite provision might well only result in the prolongation of negotiations without any prospect of different results at the end of the day.
It should be borne in mind that, if circumstances change, the Secretary of State has power to reduce the £14 minimum. That would be by Order under Section 127 of the principal Act, as extended by Clause 9 (8) of the present Bill. This would enable a lower figure than £14 to be negotiated between exporting and receiving authorities for overspill agreements subsequently entered into.
I turn now to a subject on which there was considerable discussion in Committee and which we promised to examine with care, namely, the obvious need, if this whole operation is to be a success, for industry as well as housing in the receiving areas. Doubts were expressed as to whether existing arrangements plus those made possible by this Bill will do the 1264 job. No one, on a subject of this kind, can be categorical, but I do feel that some of the views expressed have been excessively gloomy.
I would recall that the Joint Under-Secretary of State pointed out—and he had the support of my hon. Friend the Member for Pollok (Mr. George)—that industry is now becoming more accustomed to paying economic charges for factory space. The Distribution of Industry Act factory rents have moved up to current market level. Factors other than rents or amortisation terms, such as availability of labour, availability of power and services, attractive site, modern factory layout, accessibility of good houses for workers, are all of far greater importance in determining where industry will establish itself.
This was one of the main points discussed on Amendments considered in Committee, especially on an Amendment in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn), and in the light of what was then said I have had consultations with my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. I should not be in order, at this stage of the Bill, in recalling fully the reasons why we could not accept that Amendment, but what I can do is to indicate how we expect that industrial dispersal will take place as part of the whole overspill operation.
In what I am going to say I may repeat some of the things that have been said earlier, but I think it is desirable, in view of the importance of this subject, to bring them all together and to try to present a coherent idea of what we think should, may and will happen.
The first thing I would say, and it is very important, is that if, in any particular case, it appeared likely that the overspill operation might create conditions in any overspill reception area which satisfied the test already prescribed in Section 7 (2) of the Distribution of Industry Act, that there is likely to be a special danger of unemployment, then the President of the Board of Trade and I would be able to add such an area to the list of scheduled Development Areas under the Act of 1945. It might be said that some part of what the right hon. Gentleman wished to achieve already exists, because I assume that the right hon. Gentleman 1265 would not have expected a reception area to be scheduled if population and industry were, in fact, moving together and in such a way as to raise no question of unemployment.
Obviously, I repeat again, we all agree that industrial dispersal must accompany the movement of Glasgow's population. What we are debating is whether this will happen. On all available evidence, bearing in mind what I said earlier, I believe that it will. I think it may help if I explain again what the present position is.
First, priority of consideration must clearly be given to those industrial firms whose premises will be displaced by the redevelopment operations and who will have to secure new sites and new buildings elsewhere. Such firms will receive compensation for the loss of their existing premises. They will, in practice, get the present market value of these premises, and compensation for disturbance. That comes from Part IV of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act, 1947, which prescribes existing use value. While redevelopment is still some way off, this, in practice, means the open market value in the kind of case arising here.
§ Mr. C. N. Thornton-Kemsley (North Angus and Mearns)
My right hon. Friend will agree, will he not, that that is 1947 prices? It is a rather important qualification.
§ Mr. Maclay
I think I had better proceed with developing this matter rather than allow myself to be drawn away into dealing with side issues. I am not quite certain whether my hon. Friend the Member for North Angus (Mr. Thornton-Kemsley) is right. I want to think over carefully what he said.
§ Mr. Maclay
If firms get early notice of the redevelopment proposals of the corporation and get their compensation early enough they will be put in a position to prepare in good time for their removal to a reception area or new town where housing is being provided for Glasgow overspill and where accommodation can be made available for their workers. 1266 To help this process the Government have, as the House knows, authorised the corporation to spend up to £250,000 a year on the advance purchase of industrial premises which will be affected by the redevelopment, and where the firms concerned are proposing to move to an overspill reception area or new town. The Corporation of Glasgow will get an Exchequer grant of 50 per cent. on its annual charges on this expenditure for which it will borrow in the normal way.
How is all this expected to work? As redevelopment goes ahead in Glasgow there will be a steady flow of acquisition of industrial premises. Industry is inextricably mixed up with housing in the bad areas. Already, since the £250,000 offer was made in February, two of the largest firms in the Gorbals area, employing together over 600 workers, have proposed to the corporation that their premises should be purchased now to allow the firms to get ahead with their dispersal plans. A most important aspect of this policy is that the corporation, having purchased industrial premises in redevelopment areas in this way, will be able to control the premises until redevelopment takes place and prevent their reoccupation by other industrial undertakings. On being approached by firms in Glasgow redevelopment areas, the corporation will arrange discussion with them and with the Scottish Controller of the Board of Trade.
The Scottish Controller will have at his disposal all the information about sites, services and factory building costs in the new towns and in the local authority areas where Glasgow overspill housing is being planned. He will be in a position to recommend the firms to consider one or other of the areas and to discuss their requirements with the New Town Development Corporation or the local receiving authority.
When the firm has selected an area or a site it will either itself build with the compensation it gets for its old premises or with other capital procured from private sources, or it may ask the New Town Development Corporation or local receiving authority, as the case may be, to help it. The help which the Development Corporation or receiving authority can give may range from the offer of a factory site to the actual construction of the factory, either for leasing to the firm 1267 or for disposal to it on amortisation terms over a period of years.
In debate in Committee some hon. Members expressed doubts whether the receiving authorities, particularly the smaller authorities, had the technical resources and know-how to carry out industrial development, which is so important to the success of the overspill operation. Reference was made to the possibility of the great experience of Scottish Industrial Estates, Ltd., which has such a fine record of achievement in this work, being made available in some form to the local receiving authorities for this work.
I have considered this suggestion most carefully with the President of the Board of Trade, who has a most sympathetic understanding of the twin problems of unemployment and overspill in the Glasgow area. With his agreement I am glad to say that the Board of Trade will be prepared to arrange in suitable cases for Scottish Industrial Estates, Ltd., to put its knowledge and experience at the service of receiving authorities. Scottish Industrial Estates' good offices in this respect will be available to authorities contemplating the use of their planning Act powers —
§ Mr. A. Woodburn (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)
Will it be possible to offer the services of Scottish Industrial Estates to smaller authorities outside the Development Area?
§ Mr. Maclay
Yes. I think that I had better finish my full description of what will happen. Experience will be made available to receiving authorities outside the Development Areas subject to what I am going to say in the latter part of my speech.
Scottish Industrial Estates' good offices in this respect will be available to authorities contemplating the use of their planning Act powers to promote industrial development as part of their contribution to the relief of Glasgow's overspill problem with which Glasgow's unemployment problem is so closely linked. The arrangement will, I expect, be of particular value to the smaller authorities, who may feel the need for a guiding or helping hand in their initial ventures into what will be for most of them an entirely new field of development.
1268 The House will understand that the part which Scottish Industrial Estates will be able to play in any particular case will depend on the scale and character of the industrial development required as well as on the circumstances of the receiving authority, and that any outlays incurred by Scottish Industrial Estates would have to be defrayed by the authority.
§ Mr. McInnes
Does the right hon. Gentleman mean, by saying that the knowledge and experience of Scottish Industrial Estates will be available, that they will undertake to build the requisite industrial accommodation on behalf of small authorities?
§ Mr. Maclay
I must ask the hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends to read carefully what I have said, because at this stage I cannot go beyond that.
§ Mr. William Ross (Kilmarnock)
On a point of order. Could you help us, Mr. Speaker, in the strange position we have got into? The Secretary of State has obviously been making what was intended to be a reply to an Amendment which was not called during the Report stage. Can we have any advice as to how far we should be allowed to go in the subsequent proceedings in debating what the right hon. Gentleman has mentioned?
§ Mr. Speaker
I did not gather that the right hon. Member was straying outside what is in the Bill. It is true that on Third Reading the debate is more narrowly confined than it is on any other stage. I thought that the Secretary of State was dealing with what is in the Bill. and with its effect. That is all right.
§ Mr. William Hannan (Glasgow, Maryhill)
Further to that point of order. When hon. Members have been speaking on Third Reading the general rule has been, as I understood it, that we could speak only on what was in the Bill. This matter is certainly not in the Bill and now, on Third Reading, the Secretary of State has developed it for the past five minutes. Are we not entitled, Sir, to reply at some length to his points?
§ Mr. Speaker
I understood that the Secretary of State was explaining the effect of the Bill. He must not go outside what is in the Bill.
§ Mr. Maclay
What I was trying to do. Sir, within the rules of order for Third Reading, was to explain what will happen under the Bill, and adding a piece of information about facilities which do not require legislation but which must be available if we are to make the Measure effective, and which are the result of certain discussions I have had recently with the President of the Board of Trade. I feel, Sir, that this is strictly within the terms of what is in the Bill, and I hope that right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite will not object to my trying to make as clear as possible what we are trying to do.
§ Mr. Maclay
That is not for me. If I may finish what I was saying on that matter, I will repeat carefully the last part.
I made it clear that any outlays incurred by Scottish Industrial Estates would have to be defrayed by the authority. We have heard discussed often the great problem of local authorities who have not undertaken factory building under the planning Acts. A strong point was made of this in many speeches. In discussion with the President of the Board of Trade I have established the position that the know-how and advice of Scottish Industrial Estates will be available.
§ Mr. T. Fraser
The right hon. Gentleman will agree that something was also said, and said with some force during the Committee stage, about the inability of the local authorities to finance this venture.
§ Mr. Speaker
I think I ought to say here that if the Secretary of State has developed this point about what will be the effect of the Bill, and that is what he is doing, any other hon. Member is entitled to refer to what he has said as showing either that it is not the effect of the Bill or that it is a bad effect or a very good effect.
§ Mr. Maclay
That is an expression of opinion with which I thoroughly disagree, but every hon. Member is entitled to his own opinion.
I believe that we can have effective work in the dispersal of industry under our proposals. I hope that hon. Members of all parties will do nothing to discourage what we are all trying so hard to achieve. It is possible for hon. Members to have views that we ought to do more or less or something else, but in this big effort we are all trying to make let us make the best of what we have got from the point of view of hon. Gentlemen opposite.
They will realise from what I have said that there is good reason to believe that what we all want to achieve will be achieved. There is one final point about Scottish Industrial Estates. I should make it clear that their main task will still be to cater for new industries coming into the Scottish Development Area to relieve unemployment, and that this must remain their primary and predominant function.
§ Sir James Henderson-Stewart (Fife, East)
When my right hon. Friend says that the good offices of Scottish Industrial Estates will be made available, does he mean that if an authority asked them to do so, they would actually build the factories?
§ Mr. Maclay
My words were carefully chosen and I ask my hon. Friend not to press me to go further, because it might be to the disadvantage, in the long run, of what we are all so anxious to achieve.
§ Mr. T. Fraser
But when the Minister is making the first speech in the debate it is important that the House should know what he has said. His hon. Friend the Member for Fife, East (Sir J. Henderson-Stewart) has just asked him what he said. Has he said that the factories will be built by Scottish Industrial Estates or by the local authority, who will merely be given some technical guidance by the former? I thought he implied that Scottish Industrial Estates would build the factories. In any case, he can surely give us the answer to the question. If he cannot, we shall have a debate in a vacuum and read his speech tomorrow.
§ Mr. Maclay
I have used carefully chosen words. They mean exactly what they say. The good offices of Scottish 1271 Industrial Estates will be available to give such help as they can to those receiving authorities who ask for that help. If I am asked a straight question as to whether they will actually build the factories, my words do not cover that. My words say that their know-how will be made available, their advice will be made available. I cannot go further than that.
May I leave that point and come briefly to one other comment? Throughout the discussion there was a certain amount of comment on the powers of the Secretary of State, and hon. Members did me the honour of looking up a certain number of the speeches I made in years gone by on this subject. I am gratified by the care they took. My comment on that is that they will realise from the views I expressed earlier, which I still hold, that the powers of the Secretary of State in this Bill have been extremely carefully examined by me, and I am satisfied that they are really necessary.
In commending this Bill to the House, may I add that I know the first part of it is controversial? Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite have properly argued it hard, but I believe they will recognise that we are sincere in our belief that its provisions are in the best interests of everyone. On the remainder of the Bill our aims are identical. Those of us who know Glasgow well are more than anxious to see the great problem of overcrowding solved, with all that must mean in terms of a healthier and better life for generations to come.
§ 4.10 p.m.
§ Mr. A. Woodburn (Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire)
If the Secretary of State has not been convinced of the doubts which there are about the efficiency and worth of the Bill, I think the support that he has been getting from his hon. Friend the Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro) must now have put some doubts into his mind.
§ Mr. Nabarro
As the only English hon. Member present in the Chamber at the moment, perhaps I might point out to the right hon. Gentleman that the English taxpayers will have to find most of the money for the subsidies provided by the Bill, and, therefore, I am very concerned with what my right hon. Friend does.
§ Mr. Woodburn
That further illustrates how little the hon. Member for Kidderminster knows about the Bill.
The Secretary of State has made his second major speech—the first was on Second Reading—on what he himself has described as a most important Bill for Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman, knowing what he has said, and having heard the views of hon. Members in various parts of the House, must realise that he has not enlightened us very much about the Bill and that a great many questions still remain to be answered.
I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that his hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Craigton (Mr. J. N. Browne), has devoted much time and energy to the Bill and dealt with it in a splendid way. The hon. Gentleman always gave complete satisfaction to my hon. Friends when they wanted points elucidated, though sometimes he was embarrassed by legal help in this direction. On the whole, the hon. Gentleman bore the main brunt of the Bill.
Whether it was entirely necessary for the Secretary of State to leave all the responsibility to his hon. Friend, I do not know. It had certain disadvantages. People expect to get a decision from the "boss", and we gathered the impression that in this case the "boss" did not delegate any authority to his hon. Friend to listen to reason and to make concessions where that was desirable. Since the "chief" himself did not interfere after having delegated insufficient authority, the result appeared to us to be that all the reasonable arguments which were put forward by the Opposition and by Government supporters did not receive sufficient attention. It appeared that there was some stubbornness in adhering to the text of the Bill as originally drafted and that it would require almost dynamite to shift even the grammar of the Bill in the course of our debate.
We ought to pay testimony to the persistent efforts of my hon. Friends the Members for Hamilton (Mr. T. Fraser), Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) and Edinburgh, East (Mr. Willis) for the improvements that resulted. They were responsible for a large share of the work in connection with the Bill. As a result of their efforts, both the sense and the grammar of the Bill have been considerably improved 1273 against the resistance of the Government. I am sorry to say that some of their more fundamental proposals were also resisted by the Government.
The Bill is really three Bills. The first part is designed to stimulate or compel local authorities to raise rents or rates. Judging by the example of Dumfries, I am afraid that the Government will be entirely successful in their purpose in that respect. The second is concerned with town development, and the third with some miscellaneous items.
The policy of the Government has, almost since its inception, been to save the Surtax payers and to pare away Government responsibility for assisting local authorities. There has been a steady transfer from the Government to the shoulders of ratepayers and rent payers of the responsibility for running local affairs.
There is not much more to be said about the first part of the Bill. All that needs to be said is that we are still against it. Nothing that we have been able to say has influenced the Government, nor do I see any hope of the Government changing their view. The Government ought to be influenced a little by the results of the South Edinburgh by-election. I first fought South Edinburgh in 1929, and on that occasion I just skimmed home and saved my deposit by 50 votes. Today, the Government hold the constituency with a minority vote. I remember that Sir Samuel Chapman said that it was the safest Tory seat in Britain.
§ Mr. Speaker
A question was put to me by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) as to what was relevant to the Third Reading of the Bill, and I stated my opinion as well as I could in answer to that question. However, I am perfectly certain that I have seen nothing in the Bill which has any reference to the South Edinburgh by-election.
§ Mr. Woodburn
In view of the result of the by-election, Mr. Speaker, I was just wondering why the Secretary of State moved the Third Reading of the Bill. There seems to be a suspicion that if the decision about the Bruntsfield Hospital had been made before the by-election, the result would have been complete defeat for the Government.
The second part of the Bill purports to be a constructive contribution to the 1274 solution of the problem of Glasgow's overspill. We are in wholehearted agreement with that intention, but we are very doubtful about the efficacy of the means proposed by the Government. The Bill has major defects which we fear will frustrate the declared intentions of the Government. Glasgow's overspill is treated as a Glasgow domestic problem, and the Government begin by offering their services as "honest brokers" to facilitate agreements with receiving authorities.
The Bill empowers local authorities to do much to help, but then the Government proceed, first, to make quite sure that they will not be involved in helping financially. The steps which the Government have taken in the Bill to make sure that they will on no account be asked for any money probably surpass anything in any previous legislation.
Secondly, the Government have inserted so many safeguards, provisos and restrictions that local authorities will he reluctant to make agreements.
Thirdly, once an agreement is made, the local authority is then bound hand and foot in such a way that it is threatened even with prison if it slips up in any of the provisions. We cannot believe that the best way to get friendly agreement is to adopt this threatening attitude and provide penalties for default. The whole Bill reeks of Chicago forms of "friendly" persuasion, by putting a gun in one's back —"nice and friendly" as used to be said.
The right hon. Gentleman came to the kernel of his speech and it was clear that his conscience very greatly troubled him over the results of his efforts to give consideration to an Amendment of mine, which he had promised to do. I am sorry to say that he still misrepresents or misunderstands it. The Amendment did not suggest in any way, nor was the suggestion ever made, that areas should be described as Development Areas in a wholesale fashion. What was suggested—this bears on the Bill's defect—was that for purposes outside the existing Development Areas the Government should at least take the necessary power in case the right hon. Gentleman's optimistic dreams come to nothing. It is all very well for the right hon. Gentleman to say that he believes that this or that will happen and that firms will move out. Suppose they do 1275 not. If they do not, the Bill comes to an end.
Is there any reason why East Fife—I cannot understand the position of the hon. Member for Fife, East (Sir J. Henderson-Stewart) in this matter—should not receive the same assistance for helping Glasgow as Kilmarnock and other development Areas receive? Is there any reason why Stirlingshire should not have that help? That was all that was proposed. if that is necessary to facilitate the work of the Bill, the Government should take these powers.
The right hon. Gentleman says "if unemployment develops". Are we to look forward to unemployment? I hope that the present Government will not last long enough for that. I should like hon. Members to look at the Conservative mind in this matter. It carries my memory back to before, the war when children were given boots only if they were suffering malnutrition.
§ Mr. Woodburn
That was Conservative policy before the war. To be given boots, children had to be suffering from malnutrition. In the same way, nothing is to be done to help the Bill to operate in non-Development Areas. Its operation will be helped only in areas suffering from unemployment and malnutrition. That is a fantastic way of going about a great constructive dream of spreading the population of Scotland outside Glasgow.
If 300,000 people are to be moved into Lanarkshire because that is a Development Area, the problem will only be transferred from Glasgow to Lanarkshire. That is the wrong way to set about it. Those 300,000 should be spread further over Scotland, in accordance with the recommendations of the Cairncross Report and the Scottish Council for the Development of Industry. I know that at this stage of the Bill there is not much hope of influencing the Government. We have met resistance on every fundamental proposal about this part of the Bill and the Secretary of State cannot deny that every Amendment we have tabled has been put down with a view to helping this part of the Bill to work.
We are satisfied that the Government have not taken all the means necessary 1276 to make the Bill work. We still believe that it is likely that more new towns will have to be built. If the Bill is to make any contribution to a solution of the problem, the Government must take powers so that, if the Secretary of State's hopes prove fruitless, something can be done for areas outside Development Areas which are likely to receive the overspill population.
§ Mr. James Stuart (Moray and Nairn)
Would the right hon. Gentleman be in favour of declaring the whole of Scotland a Development Area, because it seems to me that we would then get back to where we were before we started?
§ Mr. Woodburn
I was very careful, as the right hon. Gentleman may remember, to stress that the Government would not have to declare even a receiving town a Development Area, but should have been able to take a small area where a factory was to be built. It was for that reason that we suggested that the powers were necessary. If the powers had proved to be unnecessary, they would never have been used, but they would have been in reserve. All that the Secretary of State has done is refuse reserve powers to come in at the last minute.
The Government have handled the problem badly. They have handled the Bill badly because they have not allowed the Committee work to be done constructively and to meet with a reasonable reception. The legal authorities and the Secretary of State himself have stubbornly refused to accept reasonable suggestions. I am sorry to say that sometimes there has even been bad temper, which did not make for good will in the Committee.
The Government have been unimaginative in their whole attitude to constructive Amendments. The passage of the Bill is not a part of the Scottish history of Parliament in which any of us can feel any pride. We must register our disappointment at the Government's attitude and failure to tackle the problem in the imaginative way in which it should have been handled.
§ 4.23 p.m.
§ Sir James Henderson-Stewart (Fife, East)
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) persisted in suggesting that the Amendment to which he referred did 1277 not propose to designate certain areas as Development Areas. I do not want to make too much play with words, but, in fact, the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment contained the proposal[...] to designate … as a development area …He cannot get out of that. That was his Amendment.
§ Mr. Woodburn
On a point of order. I wish the hon. Member would read what the Amendment says. It was giving the Secretary of State and the President of the Board of Trade power to designate Development Areas in certain conditions and if the other purposes of the Bill were to fail. It did not designate anything at all. No Bill can do that.
§ Mr. Speaker
The right hon. Gentleman appears to be complaining about an Amendment not being accepted. Consequently, he must, presumably, be dealing with a matter which is not in the Bill.
§ Sir J. Henderson-Stewart
The right hon. Gentleman confirmed what I said. His proposal was that the Secretary of State should be given powerto designate … as a development area".That would have been a wrong policy but since you, Mr. Speaker, have pointed out that it would not be in order to develop that theme, much as I should like to do so, I will leave the matter there.
In his admirable speech, the Secretary of State indicated what would be the manner in which the policy would be implemented. He said that the essence of the whole plan was to ensure that industry moved out with the population, or, at least, that industry followed population into the new areas. Without doubt, we are all agreed that a great movement of population in Scotland, which is inevitable over the next five, ten or fifteen years, must be accompanied by a deployment, development and strengthening of industry.
In Committee, all our discussions on Part II of the Bill revolved around the question of how that was to be done. The Secretary of State has today indicated how he visualises that operation will be carried through. He said that the receiving areas—that is, the areas into which the population, by agreement, will move —may turn to and receive the good offices of Scottish Industrial Estates Limited. I 1278 gather that that did not include the building of factories, but that it was confined to the offer of the company's experience and knowledge.
That organisation is one of the most remarkable which Scotland has ever produced. It has done magnificent work and the gentlemen who have controlled it in recent years deserve our very highest praise. I would pick out one, the managing director, Mr. W. C. Kirkwood, who has served Scotland altogether admirably. However, with great respect to my right hon. Friend, I do not think that merely to put the good offices of this body at the disposal of those authorities will be adequate.
I venture to suggest another way which might be a better means of implementing this policy. I agree with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Stirling-shire that the receiving authorities must include many more than those in the immediate environs of Glasgow. I entirely agree that Fife and Stirling and others even further away should receive the benefit of the Bill. But those authorities will need not only technical advice, but some sort of financial aid—as I shall explain in a moment—and a body to do the building. The view of the Opposition is that the Government should provide the financial aid. I do not take that view and I think that if the Opposition were in power they would not take that view, either.
The whole country realises that, more and more, stage by stage, we have to make our various industries self-supporting. Each section must stand on its own feet. Incoming industrialists must, therefore, be discouraged from thinking that they have merely to turn to the State and ask it to provide them with cheaper factories. That is the wrong policy from a national point of view at this time, and it has been proved wrong by experience. Figures show that in the last three or four years more factories in Scotland, and still more south of the Border, are paying for their extensions, and entirely out of their own funds.
In nearly every case the difficulty is to find the capital to build new factories. People are always ready to pay a rent, and many of them are ready to enter into an amortisation arrangement. In my experience, the payment of an economic rent has not hindered the setting up of 1279 companies in Scotland. What has hindered a good many, and what hinders them today, is the difficulty of providing all the capital to build the new factories. That is the crux of the problem.
Where is that capital to come from? How can we best provide it? I do not think that the Development Area procedure will help. I do not think that we should turn to the Government in this case. In the earlier debates on the Bill it was suggested that some local authorities might provide the capital to build the factories, and we know that one or two have already done so in the West Highlands, but they are only tiny schemes. The Bill also provides for considerable Government grants to local authorities for the buying and servicing of land. Local authorities will be better off in this respect than they were before, but I do not think that they will be well enough off to enter into schemes for building factories unless we take a further step.
We need to establish a body in Scotland to operate outside the Development Areas, in the same way as Scottish Industrial Estates Limited has been working within them. In Committee upstairs, referring to this matter, I used the words "Scottish Special Housing Association" when I meant to refer to Scottish Industrial Estates Limited. We must look fairly far ahead, and I am looking five or ten years ahead, when we shall need a skilled and experienced organisation with the appliances, strength and breadth to establish factories all over Scotland, including the Highlands.
I therefore suggest that we should aim at establishing an organisation on the lines of Scottish Industrial Estates Limited —not a Government concern—to operate outside the Development Areas. How could that body be established? I suggest that it should consist of a combination of banking firms, insurance companies, or building societies. I notice that the working party dealing with Midlothian the other day made a suggestion somewhat upon those lines, and that a plan roughly of that nature was suggested by the Scottish Council.
On the financial side, the body should be composed of already established non-Governmental financial houses. With such an organisation we could gather round it skilled builders, architects, managers and staff.
§ Mr. E. G. Willis (Edinburgh, East)
On a point of order. Prior to your taking the Chair, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, we were warned by Mr. Speaker that we must discuss only what was in the Bill, and the effects of the Bill. With respect, I suggest that what we are listening to now has very little to do with the Bill.
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Gordon Touche)
I was listening to the hon. Member with some concern. I was not quite sure how to relate his remarks to the contents of the Bill.
§ Sir J. Henderson-Stewart
I was trying to do what the Secretary of State did a little earlier; I was trying to visualise how the Bill would work. Unless, somehow or other, we create a body of the kind that I am describing, I suggest that it will not work. I want Part II to work; I want industry to spread all over Scotland, but unless we create a non-Governmental body of the kind that I have been describing it simply will not operate.
§ Mr. T. Fraser
How are we Members of the House of Commons to create this body? The hon. Member is merely suggesting that the Government might be helped out of a difficulty by private persons in Scotland taking certain action. He knows perfectly well that this idea has been canvassed and that it has been repudiated. He must not look to that argument as a means of solving the problem posed by the Government.
§ Sir J. Henderson-Stewart
First, it has not been tried, secondly, it has not been repudiated and, thirdly, it is not meant to get the Government out of any difficulty. This is the House of Commons, and some of our words go out to local authorities. This is a matter for the great Scottish local authorities, together with the finance houses. The Secretary of State has some influence with all these great bodies. I suggest that Scotland can provide for this need in its own way.
§ Mr. Hannan
On a point of order. I must follow up the point of order made by my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Willis). Is not the hon. Member indirectly discussing Amendments which have already been discussed in Committee? The proposal to which he is now referring is not in the Bill. Is he not, therefore, out of order?
§ Sir J. Henderson-Stewart
If the House will bear with me, it may well be that in five years' time it will find that this organisation has been created out of necessity—and I am only looking ahead a little way, as it is the duty of hon. Members to do if they are to give their country the service they ought. If my suggestion were carried out there would be an inducement to local authorities to act, and they would receive some assistance in order to enable them to play their part in development schemes under Part II. The inroduction of an organisation of that kind—non-Governmental, but strong and powerful, and with all the influence of Scotland behind it—might achieve this end.
In Part II of the Bill we have opened the door to a very great and new advance in the development of Scotland's economy. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh"] It is no use hon. Members opposite saying "Oh"; there is a very great deal that is new here. I support my right hon. Friend in the appeal that he made for unity in this matter. If, as Scottish Members, we can together, by our words, inspire all our Scottish authorities, finance houses and public men to play their proper part, we can begin this great movement of population and industry which will be of such vital concern to our country in the days ahead.
§ 4.40 p.m.
§ Miss Margaret Herbison (Lanarkshire, North)
I am sure that by the speeches of the Secretary of State and of the hon. Member for Fife, East (Sir J. Henderson-Stewart) we on this side are no more convinced that the provisions of the Bill are good for Scotland than we have been during the whole of the time that the Bill has been before us.
The right hon. Gentleman has said today that the first part of the Bill is an attempt to put housing finance on a more rational basis. In his Second Reading speech, he said:The Government's approach is based on two quite simple principles; first, that subsidies should not be given to those who do not need them; and, secondly, that no one in genuine need of a house should be asked to pay more rent than he can reasonably afford."—[OFFICIAL. REPORT 18th February, 1957; Vol. 565, c. 43.]1282 I want to take up those two points. First, so long as we have this Government and the high rate of interest we shall never be able to get our rational basis for housing finance for local authorities in Scotland. Secondly, does not the Secretary of State realise quite clearly—if he really wants to ensure that no one is denied a good house, a house provided by the local authorities—that it will he quite impossible, now that he has cut these subsidies, for local authorities, even with a rent rebate scheme, to ensure that some of their people will be able to get these houses without putting an intolerable burden on the rest of the council house tenants?
I have a particular objection to the cutting of the subsidy from an average of £42 to £24. I represent a constituency where mining has been carried on for generations. In the village of Harthill, not a single house for general needs has been built since before the Second World War because of difficulties in finding a site on which to build houses. The Lanarkshire County Council has now been able to start to build houses, but I think that it will find it very difficult because of the provisions of the Bill.
I have an area which is much worse than that. It is a huge area, covering the western part of my constituency—an area that the Secretary of State may know, as it is not very far from his own constituency. It covers, Stepps, Auchinloch, Chryston, Annathill, Glenboig and Gartcosh—a very big proportion of my constituency. There, the provision of houses has been held up for a number of years either because of subsidence caused by the undermining experienced in that area, or because the National Coal Board has still to win coal from that area. The local authorities now have their site and have started to prepare to build houses but, because of these exceptional difficulties—and there must be like difficulties in other constituencies—they will be very badly hit by the cut in the subsidies.
Both on Second Reading and again today the right hon. Gentleman has said that if local authorities could prove any special hardships or difficulties he would be willing to consider another rate of subsidy, and it is mainly because of that that I now ask him this question. In the sort of position I have just described, 1283 affecting, as it does, a large part of my constituency—and one which will affect the financial arrangements of the Lanarkshire County Council—will the county council be able to get a rate of subsidy higher than the £24? I hope that the Joint Under-Secretary will be able to answer that question. Dealing with the whole question of the cutting of subsidies, the Secretary of State told us that in three or four years' time it would result in a net rent of £39. I doubt that very much indeed, particularly when we have the example of Dumfriesshire.
The hon. Member for Fife, East said that Part II of the Bill, that dealing with overspill, gave us a chance of a great new advance. I do not know whether he has read Part II, or if he really knows its provisions, but it seems to me that those provisions give little chance at all for Glasgow's overspill problem in particular to be met adequately; to be met, not only by proper housing for the people, but by industry in the vicinity of that housing.
The Secretary of State has said today that among the things that attract indusrialists to a particular area, availability of labour is one. In my constituency, I have found that the greatest attraction to any industrialist is the availability of factory space. When the hon. Member for Fife, East was Joint Under-Secretary of State I made this case to him time and time again, and time and time again he rather pooh-poohed the idea. Certainly, neither he nor his Government did anything.
Nevertheless, when a factory became vacant in my constituency, my continued plea for advance factories was proved to be the correct way of really atracting industrialists to that area. Just as it then was, so it remains the case today that the greatest attraction for any industrialist in the areas where we want new industry is the availability of factory space.
Today, the right hon. Gentleman seemed to think that he was making a great concession when he said that after his talks with the President of the Board of Trade there would, if it were found necessary to meet this problem of Glasgow's overspill, be other scheduled Development Areas. If the Government mean to do no more for any new scheduled Development Area than they 1284 have done for some of those areas that have been scheduled for a long time it certainly will not help Glasgow's overspill.
§ Mr. Maclay
I think that the hon. Lady may have misunderstood something that I said. Did she think that I said that there would be new scheduled areas? My reference to that was simply in relation to the terms of the Distribution of Industry Act. That Act can be employed if there are signs of unemployment.
§ Miss Herbison
That is exactly the point with which I was dealing.
Again, the right hon. Gentleman thought it was a great announcement to make today that Scottish Industrial Estates would be prepared to give help—technical help, I understand—to local authorities, and that the local authorities would have to pay the expense of any technical help that they got. The fact is that already local authorities could, if they wished, build factories. We did not need an announcement like that.
The Lanarkshire County Council could always build factories, shops and the like, and it has been as keen as I in getting industry into those areas. It was not the lack of any technical assistance that prevented it from building factories. The real lack was lack of finance, and the right hon. Gentleman's statement does not deal with that problem of lack of finance in Lanarkshire or in any other area.
The matter has been raised in this House. Scottish Industrial Estates were just as disappointed as I was and other hon. Members were when the Government refused to build advance factories, but they said, "We will do our best", so they approached finance houses, about which we have heard, and the local authority. They found that they could not get support, for different reasons, from either of them. Lord Polwarth had to drop the idea altogether.
It is wrong to try to put on the shoulders of local authorities or of the finance houses this important matter of the well-being of the Scottish people, the Secretary of State for Scotland and other Ministers ought to accept it as their own responsibility. It is undoubtedly the responsibility of the Secretary of State to see that the overspill problem of Glasgow is dealt with 1285 adequately and that there is industry for the people wherever they go so that there shall be no unemployment.
My great criticism of Part II of the Bill is that it goes no way at all to meet these needs. What a wonderful opportunity the Government had to plan Glasgow and the West of Scotland not only to ease the overspill problem, but to bring hope to many areas in the West of Scotland that may in the future be derelict. What a saving of public money it would have meant in the long run if the Government had really decided to plan. They could have dealt with these problems and could have ensured that all the public and private money that is invested in these dying areas of Lanarkshire would be saved.
The Government have done just nothing at all to meet even the problem of Glasgow's overspill or the problems of areas like mine that would be delighted to have Glasgow people in their midst. We would not only give them a welcome, but communities to live in that are considered very fine. To not only Part I but Part II do I take the greatest objection, and I shall be very glad to go with my right hon. and hon. Friends into the Division Lobby against the Bill tonight.
§ 4.53 p.m.
§ Mr. C. N. Thornton-Kemsley (North Angus and Mearns)
Nothing that has been said in the rather protracted earlier stages of the Bill—the Second Reading, the long Committee stage, reconsideration and Report—or, indeed, in the early part of the debate this evening, has been more true than the words spoken by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in his opening speech on Second Reading some months ago. He then said that the major problem that was coming to dominate the Scottish scene was the need to disperse at least 300,000 people and their jobs from Glasgow.
If, in her speech today, the hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) had said that there was very little chance of Part II of the Bill solving the immense problem which faces Glasgow, and, indeed, the whole of Scotland, I would certainly have agreed with her, but she went further than that and said, "The Government are doing nothing to solve the problem". There, I must break a lance with her in disagreement. To solve the problem by providing for overspill 1286 in expanded towns is not enough. The late Sir Patrick Abercrombie, who did so much to advise us about the Clyde Valley scheme, advised that Glasgow should be encircled with at least four new towns. We already have East Kilbride and Cumbernauld. We still need two more.
I hope that the new town movement in Scotland will not stop with East Kilbride, Glenrothes and Cumbernauld. The real solution to the overspill problem lies in the creation of at least two more new towns. There should be an early decision to build these new towns as the major solution of the problem to which my right hon. Friend referred. I cannot develop that point at any length in this Third Reading debate.
I agree wholeheartedly with those who who have congratulated the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland on the way he largely conducted the Committee stage of the Bill. He did it with great patience and the practical knowledge which he has developed over the time that he has been at the Scottish Office. He reminded the Committee that the target was what he described as a "ten-year plan" to build 50,000 new houses. I had better say "dwellings", because they include flats. There will be 15,000 within the boundaries of Glasgow, 15,000 in the overspill areas and 20,000 in the new towns, spread over the ten years and providing accommodation for about 170,000 people. Those are the figures which the Joint Under-Secretary gave, and that is the target.
That is the plan for rehousing 120,000 persons outwith Glasgow in the next ten years. whereas the problem is, as the Secretary of State reminded the House this afternoon, to rehouse 300,000 persons outwith Glasgow. We have not yet measured up to the problem that faces us. It cannot be done without more new towns. I am extremely grateful for Part II of the Bill—many of us have pressed for it for a very long time—but the need is still there to press for the full implementation of the work of that great practical visionary the late Sir Patrick Abercrombie, whose passing, a week or two ago, is such a great loss to the country.
The success of Part II depends almost entirely on the attitude of the towns which will be the reception authorities. 1287 Those smaller authorities are being asked to take appreciable risks in the expansion of their boundaries. What can they expect out of town development? Unless they are to get something out of it, it is perfectly true—as many hon. Members said in Committee—that they will not do this work. It is no good talking optimistically about the Bill being a success unless there is incentive and vision and a willingness on the part of the smaller towns to accept overspill population under town development schemes.
Let us look, first, at the tangible things they can expect if they go in for schemes of this kind. They can expect the overspill subsidy of £42 a year for sixty years on all the houses they erect to rehouse the population of Glasgow under a scheme of this kind. In passing, I should point out that that is a great advance over the English arrangement. In England and Wales, the subsidy is only £24 a house, plus £8 for a period of ten years if the move is in support of a transfer of industry.
Secondly, they will receive at least £14 a year for a minimum of ten years from the exporting authority. In England and Wales the plan is not so good because they have legislated only for a minimum of £8 a year from the exporting authority for ten years.
Thirdly, during the early years—one is not quite sure what that term means, though it has been suggested that it may mean five years—they can expect to receive a Government contribution towards the cost of land acquisition, site preparation, water and sewerage schemes. All that early expense I sometimes think of as pump-priming which is necessary before one can go in for large-scale land developments of this kind.
The advantage of our arrangements in Scotland under this Bill is that the Government contribution will be based upon the effect of such schemes on local revenues. The intention, I understand, is that there shall be a Government grant of 75 per cent. of the deficiency in the local authority's income and expenditure account as a result of a development scheme. Moreover, the exporting authority, if it wishes, is authorised to contribute towards the balance of 25 per cent. of that expenditure.
That scheme is very much better than the one in England and Wales because 1288 it is based on an actual deficiency—I almost said an actuarial deficiency—between the local authority's income and expenditure account, whereas in England and Wales power to make a grant of this kind is discretionary and, in general, the grants are limited to 50 per cent. of the cost of the work.
Fourthly, a receiving authority can expect the Scottish Special Housing Association to come in and build houses. That is extremely important. It may well make a great difference to local authorities of small towns in deciding whether they can go in for town development when they know that the Association, which was formed as a kind of commando force to go to areas where houses are badly wanted and build them quickly, can come in and that the resources of that organisation are at their disposal.
Those are direct incentives, pecuniary incentives, to go in for these schemes, but indirectly, authorities will get more out of the provision than that. It is always very difficult to talk about intangibles, but, certainly, they will get a larger population and often a larger population is an advantage to a country town. It is certainly an advantage to a decaying country town. It brings new life to it, it brings hope of better services and it brings the certainty of greater variety in retail trade. It gives a greater chance for multiples such as Woolworth's and shops which offer great value to come to those places. It gives enhanced status to the local authority and I think it will be worth having that.
It is sometimes suggested that the main deterrent to agreements for town development—I am talking now of the experience in England and Wales, because that is the only experience we have to go on—is the fear of small authorities that acceptance of such schemes will involve increases in local rates out of all proportion to the benefits they hope to get. I think that is true as a generality and very likely it has been true in some cases, but there is another factor to consider. That was brought to the attention of the former Minister for Housing and Local Government by Lieut.-General Sir Humfrey Gale, whom I have mentioned more than once in Committee on this Bill.
The former Minister for Housing and Local Government, the present Minister of Defence, did a very wise thing in England and Wales when he found that 1289 schemes for town development there were hanging fire. In fact, they were not developing and nothing was happening about them. The right hon. Gentleman asked the Chairman of Basildon New Town, Sir Humfrey Gale, whether he would act as his personal liaison officer with the towns which might be expected to receive some of London's surplus population and the L.C.C. Sir Humfrey Gale went to many of those towns and reported to the Minister.
One of the things he said was that he thought the inability of exporting authorities to work out in detail a scheme financially attractive to receiving authorities was because receiving authorities—which, generally, were small authorities, urban districts and small boroughs—had not the necessary staff. They had not the technical facilities nor the time to embark on the necessary investigation which such schemes would require and, at the same time, to go on with the ever-increasing amount of day-to-clay administration which faces all local authorities.
I do not want that to happen in Scotland. In Committee, I suggested that it might be wise for the Government to consider the appointment of someone like Sir Humfrey Gale as liaison officer for the possible reception areas in Scotland. It might be that my right hon. Friend has the facilities in the Department for doing that. I think it necessary that some initiative should be taken by the Department, after careful survey has been made of the whole of Scotland, to see that someone goes to authorities which, on the face of it, seem likely to be able to receive some of the surplus population of Glasgow and examines the position with them.
We want rather more than that. We want a small team, probably formed of experts from the Department of Health, which would be prepared to go to the offices of local authorities considering such schemes and work out with them the potential advantages of their becoming receiving authorities. It may well be worth seconding someone from the Department to undertake that work of going round, advising, helping and encouraging the reception authorities.
Once a local authority has decided that it will enter into a scheme, and once a scheme has been undertaken, it seems 1290 highly desirable that the receiving authority should draw up a master plan for the expansion of the town. I cannot conceive that any master plan of that kind will not involve amendment of the development plan, because the development plan envisages a small town in the country, but when it is to be made into a rather big town we are faced with the fact that we shall have to amend the development plan, and I believe that in many cases it will be very necessary to remodel the town centre.
§ Mr. McInnes
I am attracted by the hon. Gentleman's proposition of a liaison team between exporting and receiving authorities. Does he suggest that such a team with its technical and other skills should render its services free? We heard the Minister make a statement today that councils will have to pay the Scottish Industrial Estates for their experience and knowledge. Would the hon. Gentleman suggest that it should be free and provided by the Government?
§ Mr. Thornton-Kemsley
When I spoke about an expert like Sir Humfrey Gale, I envisaged that he would be someone who would be remunerated for the time he put in. I then went further and suggested a team of two or three seconded for that work from the Department of Health. The members of the team would receive, of course, their normal remuneration as civil servants, but whether the local authority should contribute some part of that cost to the Department I would not know. That would be a detail which would have to be worked out by the Department and the local authority concerned. Certainly I had not envisaged that a local authority would be required to contribute in cash for the advisory help that could be given.
I would go further. I am not going to talk in any detail, but I hope that when a master plan is drawn up for the new areas the towns which are to be developed, the planners will have a good look at the town centres because I believe that a town centre reflects the personality of the town. If it is spacious, gracious and harmonious, I think that the citizens will take a pride in it. Conversely, if it is cramped and badly designed, the town itself is unlikely to have character.
I believe that when we are replanning our town centres—I dare say that it will 1291 come strangely from someone on these benches to say this—it is worth while taking compulsory powers. If we do that and acquire as much as we can of the town centre which is to be replanned, we shall find that we shall receive worthwhile returns from the rateable values of shops when the town centres are rebuilt.
It is highly important that every inducement possible should be given to local authorities undertaking town development schemes. One of the inducements should be that they should plan boldly and not hesitate to use compulsory powers in order to take advantage of rising commercial values when they have an increased population and recoup themselves in that way by the higher rateable value on commercial premises and the higher rents of commercial premises on land which they will then own themselves, just as the new towns own the land. In that way there should be a great inducement to go on with the scheme.
When I say "plan boldly", I do not only mean the new areas themselves must be planned boldly but that the whole concept of the town development must be planned with vision and looking tar beyond the Clyde Valley regional area. The scheme will fail if we take the population out of Glasgow and put it down in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Renfrew-shire. I am quite certain that we have to go beyond that. I repeat what I said in Committee, that I hope we shad not rule out some of the Highland towns like Invergordon. Dispersal has to be planned boldly and people have to look widely over the whole of Scotland not ruling out anywhere until it is found that for some reason, such as transport and cost of freight, a town must be ruled out. I would look very widely because we have such a tremendous problem to face.
There is one problem which is not solved by the Bill, and for that reason I cannot do more than refer to it, although my right hon. Friend referred to it in his speech this afternoon, and That is the problem of the factory in Glasgow, for instance, which is to be vacated by the industry which is moving out to a newly developed town, an expanding town. I am sure that we were all glad to hear the announcement in Committee, repeated again by my right non. Friend this afternoon, that £250,000 is to be placed at Glasgow's disposal and to 1292 be subject to a 50 per cent. Exchequer grant for the acquisition of factories vacated by industries which have been moved out in pursuance of town development schemes. It is absolutely vital that these factories should be taken over and closed down. It is no good moving people out if other people are to be tenants of the factories vacated. This sum of £250,000 should be of very material assistance.
I would express one regret. So far I have given praise because I am certainly most grateful for the provisions of Part II of the Bill. Now I must say something which I am not happy about and which is contained in Part I. I am not happy about the provisions of Clause 3 concerning higher subsidies for high flats, where the height is to be at least eight storeys.
§ Mr. Thornton-Kemsley
The additional subsidy to be given is, I understand, two-thirds of the additional cost over the cost of building and site development on ordinary houses. The flat with a lift, that is to say a flat six or eight storeys or more high, costs £1,000 a unit more than a house.
The extra Exchequer subsidy in such a case works out at £36 a year. The House will remember that under Part II of the Bill we propose to enable the exporting authority, Glasgow, to pay a subsidy of at least £14 a year in respect of each house which has been or will be provided under a town development scheme. I think that it is of very doubtful wisdom to offer a greater inducement for Glasgow to choose a form of housing which costs £1,000 a dwelling more and which, in my view at any rate, is less desirable socially.
I realise that building high flats can be justified in some cases. In many cases, I admit, they meet a local demand. Some people like living in high flats. These flats certainly reduce the cost and the wear and tear of long journeys between the place of work and the place of dwelling. It is frequently true, a fact which one must face with great reluctance, that there simply is not the land available within the boundaries of the city for lower density development.
Despite all these facts, however, building high flats cannot be justified on 1293 the ground sometimes put forward that it is uneconomic to use good agricultural land. The cost of saving agricultural land in this way is out of all proportion. If hon. Members work it out in pounds, shillings and pence they will see that it is far cheaper to reclaim marginal agricultural land than to go in for large-scale building of high flats in this way.
It is an arithmetical fact that even on very expensive land it is more costly per unit to build flats at high densities than to build houses at a lower density, and very large sums can be saved by reducing the number of dwellings replaced on the spot and increasing the amount of dispersal to new and expanding towns.
Having said that, let me repeat that I welcome the Bill. I am very glad that we are sending it on its way tonight with a welcome, certainly for Part II, from all parts of the House.
§ 5.23 p.m.
§ Mr. William Ross (Kilmarnock)
I think that we have already heard more from the Government back benches in the debate on Third Reading than in all the debates we had on the Bill in Committee. I must compliment the hon. Member for North Angus (Mr. Thornton-Kemsley) upon making a speech which would have been much more relevant—particularly the latter part of his speech, in relation to multi-storey flats—when we were debating the Amendments on the relevant Clauses. On that occasion, he never said a word.
The hon. Member gave a modified welcome to Part II—or, rather, it is a farewell at this stage, not a welcome. May I ask him some questions about Part II? Is he satisfied that within Part II as we have left it there is that bold planning which he demanded? Is there any indication of that vision which he wanted to see? Is he satisfied that the agency under which all this overspill and town development is to be carried out is adequately provided for in the Bill? I am sure that if he answered those questions frankly his remarks, even in relation to Part II, would be considerably modified.
We should note that in his speech today the Secretary of State dealt mainly with Part II and that other speeches from the other side of the House have dealt 1294 mainly with Part II. What about Part I? It cuts the housing subsidies for houses to be built by local authorities in Scotland to £24 per house, and the size of the house does not matter. When we remember that at present the subsidy is £42 5s. for a four-apartment house, we realise exactly what Part I of the Bill will mean in respect of the rents of houses still to be built.
In judging whether we should give the Bill a Third Reading, we must remember what my right hon. Friend the Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) said—that this is not one Bill. I disagree with my right hon. Friend in one respect, however, because I think it is four Bills. It is a housing subsidies Bill, contained in Part I; it is a town development Bill, contained in Part II, for which we had two separate Bills relating to England; it is a Bill relating to compensation in respect of unfit houses in clearance areas, contained in Part III, for which there was a separate Bill for England; and it is a Bill relating to miscellaneous Amendments to the provisions of the 1950 Bill, contained in Part IV. We thus have four Bills. Indeed, we have complained about the way we have been treated in Committee and on Report.
In my opinion, Part I is tragically mean and morally unjustifiable. Hitherto vie have related what was done in respect of housing subsidies to the effect which this would have on the housing problem of Scotland. The Scottish housing problem remains. Hundreds of thousands of people are living in homes in which happiness and health are frustrated and in which in many cases even morality becomes difficult. That is a comment from the Church and Nation Report of the Church of Scotland last year. The phrases are not my own.
In trying to solve that problem, since 1952 local authorities have been hampered by the Government's financial policy. We boggle at the present financial difficulties, but they arise from the fact that interest rates for local authorities are such that it becomes more and more difficult for them to build houses and to let them at reasonable rents.
The Bill is the Government's solution. What does it do? Instead of meeting the local authorities' financial requirements, it further cuts the subsidy and exaggerates their financial difficulties. The 1295 Government tell local authorities to raise their rents. We have at least twice heard them told by the Joint Under-Secretary, "Double the rents". The same comment applies not only to local authority houses but also to those of the Scottish Special Housing Association. When we dealt with the Bill on Report it was again repeated by the Joint Under-Secretary of State. He could not tell us what the housing rent policy of the Scottish Special Housing Association would be but we know that it will mean an increase in rents. Far from helping to solve the problem, the Government have exaggerated local authorities' difficulties. It is no longer the need of Scottish housing which matters it is the need to cut Government expenditure.
As far as I can see, Clause 2 and the Bill's financial provisions will save at most £400,000 a year. It is only a few months ago that the Chancellor of the Exchequer relieved the Surtax payers by no less than £34 million, a sum which could have covered this saving on Scottish housing for the next century. The tax relief given to the Surtax payer for one year could have met what is being saved under the Bill for the next hundred years. How can we morally justify that in relation to the housing position in Scotland?
Considering what we are to get under Part I of the Bill—and by that we must judge the Bill—we shall get fewer houses, because local authorities will be unable to afford to build them. The houses which are built will be smaller houses, because they will attract the same subsidy whether they are two-apartment, three-apartment, four-apartment or five-apartment houses. Consequently, if the authorities build at all they will build the smaller houses. In that connection, we must remember that one of the curses of Scotland today is overcrowding. This Bill will make that worse, because we shall get fewer houses and cheaper houses.
There is no solution in Part II of the Bill, and no honest Scotsman who has lived among and been brought up in contact with the people and who knows what housing means to them can possibly vote for the Bill while it contains Part I. The intentions contained in Part Ii are good. It is tricked out with respectable legal language. I do not blame the draftsmen in any way. It is the timid 1296 trio who dealt with the Bill who are to blame. They are the people who lay down the policy and who say what powers have got to be put into the Bill. It is the job of the unfortunate draftsmen to try to do all that they want done. Therefore, no one on this side of the House blames the draftsmen for the defects in the Bill.
But good intentions are not enough. The hon. Gentleman wanted vision and bold planning. Of course, we all want those things, but, in relation to them, we have to look at the agency under which overspill and town development is to be dealt with. The Government say, "Leave it to the local authorities." Even the hon. Gentleman who was formerly Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland put forward a new scheme today. We should have been very glad to discuss it had he put it forward during the Committee stage of the Bill. Then we had that miracle of mass silence on the part of hon. Members opposite which has suddenly disappeared on Third Reading.
The fact is that the local authorities will not be able, with their own financial burdens, to advance with that vision and bold planning. How on earth can they finance this work? To my mind, it is far outwith the ability and power of many local authorities to carry it out. We on this side of the House want to see a solution to Glasgow's overspill problem, but what is here proposed can, at best, only fringe the problem. It may well lead to chaos.
Do not let anyone underestimate the problem. We have not only to clear people out of Glasgow to the receiving area, but we have to transfer industry at the same time. The factories have got to be closed in Glasgow. The houses, too, will have to be closed because we shall not want people going into them any more than we shall want industry going on in the factories. It should be remembered that the people living in the houses which are to be closed will not always be the people working in the factories that are closed.
Do not let us underestimate the social problems that arise in a receiving area. If a small decaying town is selected for this treatment—and to my mind the decaying town is the right thing to become the centre of this—there will be a 1297 tremendous upheaval of the social life of the community. After all, the heritage of such a town is the people who live in it now, and if we are going to bring in 5,000 or 6,000 people who will swamp it we shall have to have co-operation from the very beginning.
The hon. Gentleman spoke about someone going down and discussing with the local people all the advantages involved. We must do more than that. We must discuss the disadvantages, too, so that people will know exactly upon what they are embarking and will realise the difficulties and complexities involved. I say to the Scottish Office, "Do not try to talk local authorities into doing this by just putting up the advantages, pecuniary or otherwise, and appealing to the prestige of size." What is going to matter in the end is co-operation based on an understanding of the difficulties as well as the advantages and the determination to meet these things as we go along.
Clause 16—on which we have had long discussions—parades the powers, pains and penalties and flourishes the big stick. The Joint Under-Secretary of State has done all that, and I now suggest that he takes these pains and penalties and the big stick and locks them in the furthermost cupboard of St. Andrew's House, forgets all about them, and leaves the matter to the local authorities. I would tell the Secretary of State to keep well out of the matter.
The Secretary of State has not answered with any satisfaction at all our main worry in respect of this matter. I say quite frankly that I am the Member of Parliament for an area that is interested in this question. Out of the generosity of Kilmarnock's spirit, and seeing in sight the solution of our own housing problem, we want to help Glasgow. But we in Kilmarnock have a very well-balanced community. We have a community which, more or less, enjoys full employment and which has a diversity of industry. We do not want a new dormitory suburb of Glasgow to be developed in Kilmarnock, quite apart from the fact that we might get the wrong type of people.
We are all for doing what we can in respect of transferred industry and of the people who work there and who will be able to be absorbed and become part 1298 of the living community of Kilmarnock. We do not want to create a new community which has no links with and no roots in Kilmarnock. Kilmarnock has to demolish 1,300 unfit houses in the next five to ten years. To do that, it has to get from the Government a subsidy of £24 for each replacement house built. Can anyone imagine what the rent of these houses is going to be? If Kilmarnock builds houses for Glasgow, it will get £42, plus £14 for Glasgow, making a total of £56.
What do we imagine is going to happen in Kilmarnock if the town neglects its own housing and starts to build for Glasgow's overspill? The social implications of this are dynamite. We certainly had no evidence from hon. Members opposite during the Committee stage of the Bill that they were interested in the matter. It is true that, at times, the hon. Member for Pollok (Mr. George) evinced some interest in the proceedings, and that the hon. Member for Galloway (Mr. Mackie) spoke in his sleep. It was a very different speech from the one which he made the other night during the debate on the Church of Scotland.
§ Mr. Ross
The danger is that even limited success in relation to overspill may well be at the cost of destroying healthy conditions in relation to an existing community. Therefore, do not let the Government push people into agreements from which they will be unable to get out, with Clause 16 in the background. Get the people together and let them talk about the agreements. Let the agreements, be flexible.
I hope that when the Minister considers the other parts of the Bill he will cleat up the point in relation to overspill agreements and will say whether or not they are to include the industrial establishments and all the other facilities that are going to be built. How are we going to get vision and bold planning in these things unless the local authorities who build the factories know that someone is going into them who will be prepared to pay an economic rent? To my mind, the provision is far from good.
I do not propose to say very much more because I know that many hon. Members wish to speak in the debate, and I hope 1299 that as many as possible will be able to do so. To my mind, Part I of the Bill is an unwarranted attack on the Housing of Scotland. Every Tory who votes for it should be ashamed of doing so because it will mean that the homeless will have to wait longer still for accommodation and that those already living in overcrowded conditions will have to continue living in those conditions. I sincerely hope that we shall think again about the position and not try to justify it by reference to rents.
Is the Secretary of State going to say, "Look what Dumfries County Council has done," and then say to other local authorities, "Go thou and do likewise—charge £130 a year for rent and rates for a prefabricated house"? That will only lead to higher costs and higher prices which will be reflected all round throughout the community of Scotland. Part II of the Bill is lamentably weak and inadequate, and I sincerely hope that steps will be taken, even at this stage, to improve it. Of the Secretary of State's part in the matter, all I can say is that he has been "Maclay in the hands of the plotters."
§ 5.40 p.m.
§ Mr. J. C. George (Glasgow, Pollok)
I shall follow some of the arguments advanced by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) later in my speech. Now that we are approaching the end of a long and detailed examination of the Bill, I still feel that the time spent was not disproportionate to the vitality of the subjects involved. The first post-war change in financial housing policy was an extremely important step which was not very well received by hon. Members opposite, as one may learn from their speeches. There are also great plans to relieve congestion by the building of new towns and the expansion of existing towns. These are vital subjects, and particularly vital to the city of which I represent part.
§ Mr. George
I hope that when next the Scottish Standing Committee meets it will be streamlined. The silence about which hon. Members opposite have spoken made us feel futile and frustrated, and when next we meet I hope that there will be a timetable giving generous time. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I say that frankly. I am sure —
§ Mr. Deputy-Speaker
Order. I hope the hon. Member will not pursue that point too far. It has no relation to the Bill.
§ Mr. George
Intimations of Government intentions never come from humble back benchers, as the hon. Member should well know.
§ Mr. George
The futility of that long silence during Committee stage discussions was not good for the Bill, and I have no doubt that many valuable contributions were lost. That is why I hope that in future the Scottish Standing Committee will be streamlined and time-tabled.
I join in the congratulations to the Joint Under-Secretary of State. to the Lord Advocate and to the Solicitor-General. They were able and courteous all through the discussions on the Bill. The Joint Under-Secretary is batting still after a very long innings. For many days and afternoons—and a few nights—he dealt skilfully with the slow bowling of hon. Members opposite, and with the occasional Kilmarnock googly and East Edinburgh spinner which were thrown in. But he gave few chances, and still he is there, able and willing to carry on explaining and justifying the Bill, which, indeed, needs little justification.
It would be churlish were we not to say how much we on this side of the House admire the stamina exhibited by hon. Members opposite and the obviously great amount of study which has been given to the Bill. As a comparative newcomer to the House, I feel that it was an object lesson to hon. Members on this side and one which, were the country ever unwise enough to put us in Opposition, we might well use.
The Bill has two main purposes. The purpose of Part I is to provide subsidies at the levels necessary. I am prepared to join issue with the hon. Member for Kilmarnock on this point. Part II relates to progress with the development schemes. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock waxed angry about this attack on 1301 Scottish housing standards and deprecated, in his usual terms, the performance and intentions of this Government. Surely, the hon. Member must know that we need not hang our heads when talking about our housing performance. Not a bit of it. We are prepared to cry out loud about everything we have done in the matter of housing the way in which hardships have been removed and desperate conditions dealt with such as were mentioned by the hon. Member and also at the Assembly of the Church of Scotland. We have made a most effective contribution to Scottish housing in the last five years. What did the Socialists do during the six years in which they were in office? They built 115,000 houses in six years. We have built 187,000 in five years.
§ Mr. George
I will not pursue that matter further, but I felt that the attack made by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock on the performance of the Conservative Party, which was allowed to pass, should be answered. However, I accept your Ruling on that point, Mr. Deputy-Speaker.
At any rate, there can be no justification for the statement of the hon. Member that this is a definite attack on housing standards in Scotland. The whole record of this Government during the five-and-a-half years they have been in office disproves that. Let us look at what was said about the reduction in subsidy. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock said that it was a wicked attack on housing conditions and standards in Scotland. The hon. Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison) said that the policy of the Conservative Party, that nobody would be denied a house because they could not pay, would no longer be possible and that this imposed an intolerable burden on her local authority. The hon. Lady also made the rather naive statement that in a village in her constituency where houses had not been built since before the first war, it would be impossible to build now because of the subsidy. That sounded rather strange.
The intention of the Government in Part I of the Bill has been described as 1302 unexpected, unjustified and cruel. But we made no secret of our intention. In 1953, in "Houses the Next Step," we said:Any increase in private enterprise house-building, whether for letting or for sale, would in some measure lighten the ever-growing burden of housing subsidies which, in the interest of the general body of taxpayers, cannot continue indefinitely at the present rate.That was our statement in 1953 regarding our intention about subsidies.
§ Mr. Hamilton
Will the hon. Gentleman indicate whether he said in his election address—or, indeed, whether the Conservative Party stated—that there would be these cuts in housing subsidies?
§ Mr. George
It was on record in 1953. It was not unexpected, or should not have been. In any case, subsidies were never meant to be a permanent feature of housing finance. The 1946 Act, which was passed by the party opposite, intended that there should be a reduction in the subsidies. I will not quote the statement of Mr. Westwood which was quoted during the Second Reading debate, but he said it was the intention to reduce subsidies as quickly as possible, that the figure then fixed for Exchequer grant and rate contribution was the maximum and that it would be reduced as quickly as possible.
§ Mr. Woodburn
The hon. Gentleman will agree that the expectation then was that after the war we should also be reducing prices.
§ Mr. George
That is one of the reasons why we are moving now, because that expectation has not been fulfilled. In other words, Mr. Westwood was waiting for something to happen—a return to normality—to justify a change in the subsidy. We say now that we have reached normality. The high costs today are normal and we should pay a normal housing subsidy. The right hon. Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) said in his Second Reading speech that housing subsidies were a bribe and were fixed unduly high at the end of the war. It was never intended that subsidies on all rents of all houses should be a permanent feature of housing finance.
§ Mr. George
There is no justification for a local authority saying to everyone who applies for a house, whether he has a high or low salary, "We are going to subsidise you." That cannot be continued, and so this is neither an unexpected move nor is it unjustified.
Let us look at the charge that it is cruel and will lead generally to vicious and unreasonable rent increases. When the 1946 Act was passed, nobody anticipated that the rate contribution fixed at one-third of the Government grant would be so blatantly and widely abused —
§ Mr. George
Yes, abused. I use the word advisedly. This increasing annual rate burden had an anaesthetic effect on local authorities who regarded it as an easy way to stop worrying about the difficulty of raising rents. It is likely to have alcoholic consequences because there is a headache coming to them now that they will have to face facts.
I am a member of a local authority which deliberately shirked the issue of raising rents year after year and placed the burden on the rates. The reason for doing this was to buy votes from the council tenants at the expense of the ratepayers. The rate contribution which was fixed at one-third of the Government grant is now over 100 per cent.—three times higher than it was expected to be when the Act was passed in 1946. Resentment is growing, and rightly so, against this increase in the rate contribution throughout the country. Freedom from the minimum payment which is granted by the Bill only recognises the fact that the minimum has never really existed and that the rate contribution has reached levels never expected.
I should like to quote what the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) said when talking about rate burdens on council houses. He said: "Remember that those with the worst houses are being forced to make a contribution to those with better houses." Those were not his exact words, but I have expressed his view. These cuts are not unexpected; neither are they unjustified nor cruel. Hon. Members opposite may try to alarm 1304 and confuse the electorate on these points, but we must get the housing finance of Scotland on to a sound basis, and if hon. Members opposite had been in power they, too, would have had to do so. Subsidies are unduly high; rents are, generally speaking, too low, and the rate contribution is too high.
§ Mr. George
I am not the first to have mentioned rents today. That subject has been mentioned by hon. Members opposite.
The money for local authority housing accounts comes from three sources—from rents, Exchequer grants and the rate contribution. The Exchequer grant is reduced, and therefore there are only two courses of action—to raise rents or to raise rates. We must leave it to the local authorities to use their good sense in dealing with the people whom they represent. In my view, rents should rise and the rate contribution should fall.
I should like to answer one point which has been raised about the so-called vicious increase in rents which will result from the cut in the subsidy. As the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) said, the cut in the subsidy is only £400,000.
§ Mr. George
There are 500,000 council houses. If we divide £400,000 into 500,000 council houses, it comes to something like 3½d. a week—an annual increase of 3½d. a week resulting from what takes place in Part I of the Bill.
We have advocated the pooling of all the subsidies received by local authorities; that is the answer to the problem. Hon. Members opposite have always railed against that. We know that the authorities have had powers for a number of years to pool subsidies and they have not done so. The hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Lindgren) said on the Third Reading of the Housing Subsidies Bill:It is equally humbug for the Parliamentary Secretary and the Government to talk about this Bill providing an opportunity for the pooling of rents … If I may say so without undue pride on behalf of my hon. Friends, it was largely because of pressure from Labour groups and Labour authorities in the country that the provision enabling pooling was included in the 1936 Act1305 He also said:…the pooling of rents has been going on ever since then, even on houses built since 1936."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th February. 1956; Vol. 548, c. 2386.]That is the view of the hon. Gentleman on the question of pooling which has been condemned by hon. Members opposite but which is the cure for undue increases in rent in any specific housing scheme.
To pool the subsidies over all the houses is the effect of the Bill, and that is not a vicious effect. If the local authorities have got to add to the 3½d. which I have mentioned by reducing the rate contribution, they are only doing it belatedly, because the burden has been on the wrong shoulders for years. If it is now put on the right shoulders, those who have been getting the benefit in the past cannot complain.
§ Mr. Willis
The hon. Gentleman keeps talking about 3½d. a week. Is he aware that his hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary said that the Bill would increase rents by £5 a year?
§ Mr. George
My hon. Friend did not say that. He said that as a result of the working party's investigation, it had been shown that if rents rose to £39 in three or four years from now, the local authorities could balance their accounts with this subsidy and the rate contribution at its proper level.
§ Mr. George
Sometimes it means more than doubling rents. I quoted rents of 3s. a week, and there is no hardship in doubling 3s. It is not as if we are talking of doubling £5. What my hon. Friend said was that the working party had examined the whole picture and had come to the conclusion that the local authorities could balance their accounts at the rent of £39.
To turn to Part II of the Bill and to the town development schemes, I share the views of my hon. Friend the Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. ThorntonKemsley) and of the hon. Member for Maryhill (Mr. Hannan) that Glasgow's problem will not be solved by town development schemes alone. I am of the opinion that at least two additional new towns will have to be built, and the quicker they are started the better.
1306 Let us consider the town development schemes. I do not regard Part II as applying to two problems, housing and industry. They must go together. They are one and indivisible. To see that Part II achieves that purpose will require most anxious and continual vigilance from now on. As has been said many times, local authorities are bound to be suspicious and timid. This is easy to understand, and I do not think the proposals have been put very clearly to the country.
One important aspect of town development has not been sufficiently emphasised. It was stated by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in his Second Reading speech when he said:The third method of providing houses for overspill is through the medium of the Scottish Special Housing Association. It is not the Government's intention that the Association should embark on an extensive new programme of overspill housing, but rather that overspill needs should be given a prominent place in determining where houses should be built by the Association in carrying out a programme on about its present scale.I should like to know what is meant by "about its present scale." In 1953, the Association was building at the rate of 5,000, and by 1956 it had dropped to 3,000. Would it be the average or 5,000 or 3,000?
My right hon. Friend went on to say:The broad purpose of the Association's activities is to help authorities whose housing needs are particularly great in relation to their resources.He went on to say how that would be done. He said:It will be a standard condition that the receiving authority will build a number of overspill houses at least equal to the number provided by the Association."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 18th February, 1957; Vol. 565, c. 47.]That is an extremely important announcement which has somehow slipped past without a good deal of recognition. It amounts to this. In the overspill areas, the Association will build one for one with the local authority, and I think that that fact should be made clear beyond doubt to the local authorities, because it is vitally important. They are going to get at least half the number free and they will get the rates that will flow from them to help them with the general burden. I should like to see that point emphasised. I have said twice before that unless the local authorities can see themselves at least breaking even over the whole job, they will not be very 1307 anxious to enter into it. Indeed, why should they be? What are they to get? They will get half the houses built by the Scottish Special Housing Association free, and for the other half which they build will get £42 a year for sixty years, plus £14 for ten years from the exporting authority, with additional grants for water and sewerage of 75 per cent.
I hope that my right hon. Friend can arrange for forecast budgets to be made out for all these possible receiving areas, showing how the local authorities will fare financially at different stages of development. By these budgets the authorities can see that the scheme can be made to pay. It should be shown that it can pay and so dispel the fears of the local authorities. Naturally, there has been much suspicion among them, and there will be, until they understand the whole scope of the scheme which they are to undertake in the future.
We must also wonder at this stage whether the local authorities will plan to build for overspill while they still have heavy waiting lists for houses. I think that this problem must be dealt with in the manner described by my hon. Friend the Member for North Angus and Mearns, and that full and complete information should be passed on to the local authorities concerned. Local authorities may be much more ready to become receiving areas if they could be assured that the industry which was coming into their areas would absorb more people than those which it was bringing with it if, in fact, overspill industry would provide work for the people presently residing in the receiving towns. Naturally, we hope that all local authorities will join in the scheme, but we all recognise that the steering of industry to the right place at the right time is a vital condition.
I was very glad today to hear my right hon. Friend say that he has now arranged for the Scottish Special Housing Association to co-operate with the receiving authorities in giving its experience and skill, and that it should be paid for it. Why should it not be paid for it? I know that many of these authorities have not the skilled personnel necessary to do the job, and I am glad to know that they can get help to do it 1308 if it is needed, and that they shall pay for that help. That is one step forward towards one of the objectives which I mentioned in my speech today.
There are many pitfalls in this scheme. We are dealing here with human beings, their fears and fancies, their happiness, ambitions and prosperity, and we must remember that their whole future outlook is tied up by considerations of where they will live and work. We are going to change that position for 300,000 of these people. It is a gigantic task. We know that there is dissatisfaction with some points in the Bill and perhaps anger about Part I, but in our hearts we all want this scheme to succeed. It can only succeed if we are vigilant, careful and energetic all the way through, using any means which appear at the time to be needed.
I would myself have accepted an Amendment which was put forward by the right hon. Member for East Stirlingshire if I had thought that the proper remedy lay therein. We have got to use whatever method seems to be required at any given time. If what is now in the Bill is not enough, then we shall have to add to it as the years go by, but we have got to make the Bill work. It can work, and I am quite certain that, with the co-operation of this House and of the local authorities, it will work.
§ 6.4 p.m.
§ Mr. George Lawson (Motherwell)
None of us on this side of the House would deny the concern that we feel about the problem of Glasgow and its 300,000 overcrowded citizens, but we would not agree with the hon. Member for Pollok (Mr. George) when he insists that this Bill will make a contribution of any considerable importance towards solving that problem. I myself can see no contribution of any importance; in fact, I think it will be rather the reverse, and that, instead of helping, it will hinder the solution of this problem of Glasgow's overspill.
In the little time at my disposal I do not want to attempt to follow the hon. Member for Pollok in all he had to say, but I must refer to his comments on a 3½d. increase in rents. I suggest that in this matter practice is much better than theory, and we now have before us the practice of the Dumfries-shire County 1309 Council, which is likely to flow from this Bill. It has already been mentioned in the debate that the Dumfries-shire County Council is charging for all its houses a rent of £95 per year.
§ Mr. Lawson
It is a Tory county council, which seems to be following very closely what this Bill suggests should be done. It seems to be trying genuinely to do what the Bill suggests should be done that is to say, it is a Tory county council following the lead of a Tory Government.
What is happening in Dumfries-shire is that people are being faced with rents of £95 a year, irrespective of the size of the houses, and, in the case of "prefabs", they are faced with rents and rates amounting to £130 a year. Here is the practice, as against the theory of which the hon. Member for Pollok spoke.
I should like to take up some of the major points in Part I of the Bill. Part I, apart from reducing the subsidies, establishes a principle which I and my right hon and hon Friends on this side of the House definitely consider to be a very harmful principle indeed for Scotland, if not for the United Kingdom as a whole. We have been told time after time that one of the major problems in Scotland is not merely the insufficiency of houses in terms of numbers, but the inadequacy of the rooms in the houses that exist. We know how badly Scotland has suffered from overcrowding, and we also know that it was urged on the local authorities of Scotland that they should build more larger houses.
For example, we know that in the inter-war years the local authorities in England and Wales were building practically 80 per cent. of their houses above the three-apartment or three-bedroom level—in Scotland we do not talk of bedrooms, but of apartments, and the kitchen is one room in Scotland. In Scotland, the reverse was the case, and 75 per cent. of what we were building were smaller houses. After the war, it was urged that local authorities should concentrate on building larger houses, and they did endeavour to meet this need, although there has been a steep falling away, since this Government took office, in the building of larger houses. Nevertheless, there was 1310 that effort made, and the need in Scotland for these larger houses is still vital.
Part I of the Bill gives this flat subsidy, irrespective of the size of the house, and it cannot but follow that any local authority—perhaps I exaggerate, and should not say that it cannot but follow, because I am prepared to think that some of the local authorities will face up to their obligations and needs and build larger houses, despite the fact that they are to get no money for them. The odds are heavily in favour of local authorities building the smallest possible houses. The whole bias of this particular provision is to encourage the building of smaller houses as against the building of larger houses.
§ Mrs. Jean Mann (Coatbridge and Airdrie)
I think that the figures ought to be on record. In 1945–52, there were only 11 per cent. of three-apartment houses built; in 1953–54, it was 54 per cent.; and in 1955–57, 57 per cent.
§ Mr. George
On a point of order. You, quite rightly, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, stopped me from referring to the housing figures in Scotland. Is the hon. Lady in order in continuing on this line?
§ Mr. Lawson
We are dealing with a provision which will affect very definitely the size of houses built in Scotland. The figures quoted by my hon. Friend the Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mrs. Mann) are very much to the point.
The second of the provisions in Part I is that which relieves the local authority from any statutory obligation to make a rate contribution towards housing. I know that many local authorities have been contributing more than the statutory rate contribution, but they are here given notice of what the Government think ought to be done. Again, I am quite sure that many dutiful Tory local authorities will follow the advice and guidance of the Government.
Clearly, the future is to reduce and eliminate housing subsidies and to reduce and eliminate rate contributions towards housing. I would say that on this basis we have a clear indication of the Government's attitude, which is that housing 1311 should no longer be regarded as an essential social service. I said only the other day that this type of work would never have been done had it not been for the intervention of the central authority. We are now getting the withdrawal of the central authority from the provision of houses.
I should like to comment on Part II. I am not a member for a Glasgow constituency, but I would say that the provisions here are unfair to Glasgow. I do not see why Glasgow should be asked to pay £14 towards any of these houses.
§ Mr. Lawson
Many hon. Members have denied the opportunity, but I say this as a member for other than a Glasgow constituency. The problem which arises there is not one created by Glasgow. It is a problem of the unregulated nature of the social order of which hon. Members opposite are so fond of boasting. It is this private enterprise order which moves towards where the greatest profits are to be obtained.
What has happened to Glasgow is happening to London. It is a drawing in of industry to the big centres. London has one-quarter of England's population, and Glasgow has one-quarter of Scotland's population. Over the years the population has been drawn to Glasgow, not through the action of the ordinary citizens of Glasgow, but through the unregulated type of private enterprise of which we all know.
The ordinary people of Glasgow are being made responsible, but this is a national problem. I express my disagreement. It is unfair that Glasgow should be expected to pay for the movement outsides its boundaries of those people who are now described as citizens of Glasgow. Glasgow is expected to do something which I would hardly blame it for not wanting to do. It is expected deliberately to export jobs. Time after time we have heard from the other side of the House —and even from this side—that this plan will not work unless we get the movement of the jobs as well as the people.
Glasgow is expected deliberately to buy factories, to close them, to sterilise the ground. This is to cost the city £250,000, of which it is to get one-half 1312 back, so it will cost £125,000 per annum to export jobs. Glasgow has 16,000 unemployed. That she should be supposed to be thinking in terms of exporting jobs. I regard as fantastic. I can hardly see Glasgow being prepared to co-operate.
The approach of the Bill to this problem is basically wrong. What is called for is a redistribution of industry approach. What is essential, and what is certainly not being done here, is that the jobs should be provided in the first place. Factories should be encouraged to go to other areas; it should not necessarily he a question of closing factories in Glasgow but the development of factories elsewhere, though this may mean that some Glasgow factories will close. If the jabs are a step ahead of the people, the people will quickly go to the jobs.
The Joint Under-Secretary talked about rents not being important in determining the occupancy of factories. He talked about the availability of labour. I remind him that jobs have steadily been moving south of the Border for years, and they are still moving south. Although, proportionately, there is much more labour in Scotland than there is south of the Border, jobs are moving into the Birmingham area despite the fact that there is a great scarcity of labour there. Jobs continue to move into London although there is a great scarcity of labour. Labour becomes available and jobs become available. Labour goes to meet the job.
The approach in the Bill is backside foremost. The approach is seeking to move out first with no guarantee that once the people are out a job will go out to them. There is no guarantee of that. The approach is basically wrong. It is unjust to Glasgow. Not only is it unjust, but this is a wrong way of tackling the problem. Because the Bill gives the appearance of tackling the problem—it makes a pretence—it will do more harm than good. It will enable the Government to rest on their oars and say, "This is what we are doing; we think that if there is co-operation this will solve the problem'', but this will not solve the problem. The fact that there is this pretence will act as a smoke-screen, as it were, against getting down and tackling the problem as it should be tackled.
From that point of view the Bill is harmful, not beneficial. It will retard. 1313 It will prevent people looking more clearly to the kind of solution which should be followed. For these reasons this is a harmful Measure, which we should certainly oppose. I shall be very happy indeed to support my colleagues when we vote against the Bill tonight.
§ 6.18 p.m.
§ Mr. Norman Pannell (Liverpool, Kirkdale)
I believe that it is unusual for a Member representing a constituency south of the Border to participate in debates on legislation of exclusive consequence to Scotland. My justification for speaking tonight is that I had the honour to be co-opted to the Scottish Standing Committee which considered the Bill in great detail, sitting throughout the night on two occasions and, on one of those occasions, well into the next day. I should not like the opportunity to pass without making a small contribution to the debate.
My view of the Bill is that it is extremely generous to Scotland in comparison with the corresponding Measure which dealt with the situation in England and Wales. The English legislation reduced the subsidy as from November, 1955, to £10 per annum for houses built for general purposes. This Bill reduces the subsidy for general housing in Scotland to £24 per annum per house. It is difficult to find the reason for that disparity, but I am told that housing conditions in Scotland are much worse than those in England and Wales.
I have some knowledge of Scottish housing, especially in Glasgow. As a Member of a deputation, I have visited the housing estates at East Kilbride and elsewhere. I am prepared to concede that housing conditions in Glasgow are probably worse than those in any other city in the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Pannell
But I do not concede that housing conditions in the rest of Scotland are necessarily worse than in certain parts of England and Wales. I represent a Liverpool constituency, where the housing conditions are extremely difficult. In the City of Liverpool alone, 44 per cent. of the houses have been declared unfit, yet Liverpool will get no subsidy at all, because the £10 per annum has since been abolished, as compared with 1314 £24 per house for general housing needs in Scotland.
I fail to understand how these generous concessions come to be granted to Scotland. I can only ascribe it to the persuasive, almost inexhaustible, eloquence of Scottish hon. Members which has wrung these concessions, quite apart from the merits of the case, from a reluctant Parliament. I think that this Bill, so generous in its terms, should be seized upon with alacrity by Scottish Members, and that they should give it a Third Reading without opposition.
§ 6.21 p.m.
§ Mr. John Rankin (Glasgow, Govan)
I am sure that we welcome the intervention of the hon. Member for Kirkdale (Mr. N. Pannell), and we hope that he will he long spared to attend the Scottish Grand Committee and, if necessary, take part on the Floor of the House in further Scottish debates.
The time now available shortens my contribution, but it is, I think, fortunate that at least one Glasgow Member on this side has caught your eye, Mr. Speaker, since Glasgow figures so considerably in the Bill. Unlike the hon. Member for Kirkdale, I do not regard the Bill as generous in its terms. It has been condemned by the speeches of the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland. During the Committee stage, the Joint Under-Secretary stated the plan which this Bill was supposed to meet. The hon. Member for North Angus and 'Warns (Mr. Thornton-Kemsley) has referred, in part, to this already.
The Joint Under-Secretary said that, within a period of ten years,the target is to provide 15,000 houses within Glasgow's boundaries, either on new sites or in central redevelopment; another 15,000 houses in overspill areas of other local authorities; and another 20,000 houses in the two new towns. This will be a total of 50,000 houses for 170,000 people, of whom 120,000 people will move out. That will leave an estimated 180,000 people who must sooner or later be housed."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Scottish Standing Committee, 7th May, 1957; c. 811.]In that statement, and in the attitude of every single hon. Member opposite who has spoken tonight, there is not the faintest trace of an indication that the Government have any idea of the urgency which lies behind this problem. The Joint Under-Secretary tells us that, at the end of ten years from now, there will be 180,000 people in the City of Glasgow who will 1315 still be waiting for a new house. At the end of ten years, we shall not have started to deal with their problem. Yet hon. Members opposite quietly congratulate themselves on what they call the generous nature of the Bill. This is shockingly inadequate treatment for what has been described by hon. Gentlemen on the Government side as the greatest social problem in Europe. Yet, at the end of ten years, we shall not have dealt with half of it.
There are people in my division who have been on the waiting list of Glasgow Corporation already for ten years, and that waiting list, which numbers 112,000 now, is still growing, despite all that is being done. What is said, in effect, is that thousands upon thousands of people in Glasgow are to have no new house at all in their lifetime, and we are asked to put that into legislative effect, the Government side congratulating themselves upon doing so. This is shocking treatment.
The hon. Member for Pollok (Mr. George) admitted that he represented one of the most salubrious areas of Glasgow; Pollok is one of the newer parts of the city. If he had been in such places as I have often visited, I wonder whether he would have spoken so complacently. Has he sat, as I have done, in a single end, where lived eleven children and the mother, with four pails outside the door for conveniences, the boy of the family, a lad of 19, working to help to produce the ships on which the country's life depends, a nice, tidy girl of 17, working in a city office as a shorthand-typist—yet the whole bunch living in a single end? If he had sat, as I have, in another house and listened as the excrement from the houses above passes through, or if he had seen it trickling down the stairs, would he have been so complacent and talked so much about the financial provisions which are necessary to solve this problem?
It is a human problem, as the hon. Member for Pollok admitted later. While we all agree that money is necessary to solve it, that money, if it is to solve it within a reasonable space of years, must be given by the Government more lavishly and on better terms than are provided in this Bill.
I am sorry that I have comparatively so little time; I should like to have been 1316 able to imitate some hon. Gentlemen opposite. None the less, I have made my point, and I will finish. The Bill stands condemned by the fact that it admits a tremendous social problem and then, in effect, it says, "All right; we will deal with a bit of it in the next ten years, and we will leave 180,000 people to stew in Glasgow's slums during those ten years. Then, at the end of the ten years, we shall awake from our sleep and start thinking about the next half of the problem". It is that next half of the problem that we should be thinking about now, in terms not merely of housing development but in terms of new towns.
Scotland is beginning to develop too much in the wrong part. It is like a man who, on reaching a certain age, begins to fatten round a particular place, around the middle. That is Scotland—getting congested round the middle, with great bare patches at both ends. This is the problem which faces us. There is the space, if we will go and occupy it. If we have to occupy it, the Government must help. We are not getting that help from the Government, and I, for one, shall be glad to go into the Lobby and vote against the Bill tonight.
§ 6.29 p.m.
§ Mr. Thomas Fraser (Hamilton)
I wish that some of the hon. Members on the Government side who talk about sharing the cost of housing more equitably had shared more equitably the time available to hon. Members in this debate. Some of the speeches were far too long—some of them, in fact, much longer than the time left to the Joint Under-Secretary and myself to conclude the debate; indeed, some hon. Members have been squeezed out altogether.
I think that every hon. Member will agree that housing.is a tremendously important economic activity. That would be conceded by the Government. Whenever the Government wish to encourage any economic activity, they subsidise it or they remove impediments to its development. That is traditional. Our minds go back to 1952, when higher interest rates were imposed. At that time, the Government had a housing target that was set by the previous Tory conference. Therefore, the Government cushioned housing against the impact of higher interest rates by increasing the subsidies. They were 1317 removing the impediment to the development of this desirable and highly important economic activity.
Interest rates, however, have gone higher still. If the intention were the same now as in 1952, still higher subsidies would be offered. Instead, they are reduced. The only possible deduction we can make is that the intention is not the same as it was in 1952 and that the policy has changed, as, indeed, it has. Despite what was said by the hon. Member for Pollok (Mr. George), it has been changed without a mandate from the electors.
§ Mr. Fraser
The Government have set out to force up council rents and to slow down the building of council houses. There is no denying that. All the evidence is that they are no longer giving the assistance to the development of what they themselves agree is a most important economic activity.
Unfortunately for the Government, Dumfries-shire County Council has jumped the gun. It has anticipated the Bill and has introduced a new rents scheme. It is not an increase of 3½d. a week. This is the first To-y council to apply realistic rents under the Bill and it has determined a rent of £95 a year for every house, irrespective of its size and location, including the temporary "profabs" which have already outlived the period during which they were expected to be occupied.
To the £95 a year must be added local rates, making a rent and rates payment for each house of £130 a year, or £2 10s. a week. The Government must be very annoyed with their friends in Dumfriesshire for having anticipated the Bill in this way. They should have waited until the Government got the Bill through and then they could have done as they pleased.
I hope that hon. Members and the people of Dumfriesshire will appreciate that those same council tenants who are having this tremendous imposition put upon them must now and for many years pay more than twice as much for all the local authority services as all those genteel, Tory-voting middle-class people 1318 with their owner-occupied houses in Dumfriesshire. That comes out of the Answer to a Question which I put to the Secretary of State yesterday. It is not a case of the other people subsidising the council tenants, but of the council tenants subsidising the others.
The Secretary of State knows full well that he does not have the backing of the Scottish people for the Bill. Almost all the local authorities are against him, except, possibly, two. There is reason to think that Edinburgh has been with him —at least, not against him—and one can assume that Dumfries-shire is not against him. Every other local authority, however, is against the right hon. Gentleman. The electors in the local elections and in the recent by-election have shown that the Secretary of State does not have their authority to put this Measure through.
In a Parliamentary democracy, the Government are accepted as governing by consent of the governed. Many are the times when hon. Members on the Government side have ridiculed Hitlerism and Stalinism because they meant government without the consent of the governed and they have boasted that we in this country have government with the consent of the governed. In this matter, clearly the Government do not have that consent. In these circumstances, the only honourable course of action for them is to get out and let the electors have the kind of Government they want.
The tenants' liability for rates was doubled by the Valuation and Rating (Scotland) Act, 1956. The Joint Under-Secretary of State says that rents ought to be doubled without this Bill, without the reduction in subsidies. In addition, further increases in rents will flow from the reduction in housing subsidies brought about by the Bill.
When we talk about Scottish housing, we all appreciate that our gross overcrowding is far worse than is to be found anywhere in England and we appreciate the desirability of building houses that are big enough to take families. In the Bill, however, the Government are departing from differential subsidies related to the size of the house and are resorting to a flat rate subsidy, which must be a plain incentive to local authorities to build smaller houses. On the other hand, the working party which reported to the Secretary of State made quite clear that 1319 the most serious problem yet in Scotland was the problem of overcrowding. It is bigger houses we want, not smaller houses, but the Secretary of State has provided a plain incentive to the local authorities to build two- and three-apartment houses. This is the economics of Bedlam.
The Secretary of State and his colleagues in the Government go on appealing to the workers and to the trade unions to exercise restraint in their demand for wages. The right hon. Gentleman must know—we all know—that the trade unions have been against the Bill from the outset. They have called attention to the increases to be made in the rents and rates that people must pay. Those are costs that the workers will seek to have met by increased wages. The Government, however, go on talking glibly about the need to get a realistic rents policy. Well, the workers will demand a realistic wages policy to meet any changes in the rents policy. That is understandable.
Part II of the Bill, which seeks to deal with overspill and town development, is doomed to failure. The Secretary of State, who took no part whatever in the Committee consideration of the Bill except to move, "That the Question be now put," made his speech today and appealed to those of us who asked him questions in the middle of it to read his speech carefully tomorrow, because he was not sure that he could put a proper interpretation upon what he was reading. He could not answer his hon. Friend the Member for Fife, East (Sir J. Henderson-Stewart), my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Central (Mr. McInnes), or myself. He answered the question only when he turned over the page. He pleaded with us not to press him, because he could not answer straight away.
§ Mr. Maclay
The hon. Member must get this right. I was anxious to reach each point as I came to it, so that it would build up into a proper logical case, and answer in due course.
§ Mr. Fraser
When the right hon. Gentleman reads HANSARD tomorrow, he will find that when asked whether the factories would be built by Scottish Industrial Estates or the local authorities, he said that he did not know. Later, when he turned over the page, he found that the answer was, "No."
§ Mr. Maclay indicated dissent.
§ Mr. Fraser
We will see in HANSARD tomorrow.
Part II of the Bill was supposed to be the sugar on the pill that would make the Bill acceptable, but the sugar has been found to be soft. This part of the Bill will not work. There is no reason to believe that it will work. It places far too heavy a burden on exporting and receiving authorities. The contribution from them is too high and the contribution from the Exchequer is hopelessly inadequate. There is no adequate provision in the Bill for the development of industry and for jobs in localities which are expected to take the overspill.
It is no use trying to get local authorities to take overspill from Glasgow and then, if unemployment is thereby created, for the Secretary of State to consider, with the President of the Board of Trade, the desirability of directing industry into the area. If the right hon. Gentleman is to make a success of overspill arrangements, the jobs must go there first, before and not after the people. Receiving authorities will not be so daft as to take Glasgow people into their areas while there is still unemployment among their own people.
There is no adequate provision in the Bill for assisting the receiving authorities in providing all the services and amenities which are necessary to a living community. Those of us who are anxious to deal with this overspill problem are anxious to see living communities created and not merely dormitories for people who cannot find a home within the boundaries of Glasgow. The Bill is a deception upon the Scottish people. There is no democratic authority for proceeding with the Bill. The Secretary of State has given the impression that he is so ashamed of it that he has not been able to defend its provisions in Committee or answer questions put to him today. There are only two courses open to the right hon. Gentleman. Let him throw in his hand, or throw out the Bill.
§ 6.42 p.m.
§ The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. J. Nixon Browne)
On behalf of my right hon. Friend, my right hon. and learned Friend, my hon. and learned Friend and myself I should like to 1321 thank the right hon. Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) and other hon. Members for the kind remarks they have made and also to thank hon. Members opposite for their co-operation, which was given sometimes in difficult circumstances.
The hon. Member for Hamilton (Mr. T. Fraser) and the right hon. Member for East Stirlingshire spoke about my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland not taking part in the Committee stage of the Bill. I am sure that they will agree that if a Minister is to take part in Committee he must either be in all the time or not at all. My right hon. Friend is a Cabinet Minister who speaks for Scotland. He has many important meetings to attend. He has a wide field of responsibility in Scotland's interest, and I feel sure that the way in which the Bill was conducted was the best way in the general interest of Scotland. The right hon. Member complained that my right hon. Friend did not delegate responsibility to his Joint Under-Secretaries. My right hon. Friend cannot, of course, delegate his responsibilities. Whatever is done is his responsibility, but, as we showed the Committee, he trusts his Under-Secretaries and his Law Officers.
I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for North Angus and Mearns (Mr. Thornton-Kemsley) that the Bill is not a complete solution to Glasgow's overspill problem. It is no more than a major step in the right direction. I do not follow the remarks of the hon. Member for Motherwell (Mr. Lawson) at all when he says that the Bill hinders overspill. The Bill creates overspill machinery, and without it there would be no overspill.
I agree with the hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Rankin) that, of course, other steps have to be taken. It is true that we have not measured up to the whole problem. Our job is to measure up to the present problem and those parts of the problem that will arise as Glasgow's central redevelopment proceeds. The Bill deals with overspill provision, and all the 300,000 people to whom the hon. Member referred are not immediately in need of homes.
The right hon. Member for East Stirlingshire said of Part I of the Bill, "All 1322 we can say about it is that we are still against it," and the arguments adduced during the remainder of the debate have not taken us very much further than that. This view was elaborated by the hon. Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) and by the hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North (Miss Herbison), who spoke of high interest rates and raised a constituency point to which, if I have the time, I will reply later. All that part of the debate was answered so well by my hon. Friend the Member for Pollok (Mr. George) that I would not again attempt to answer it. There are far more important things to discuss.
My hon. Friend the Member for North Angus spoke more against than in favour of high flats. They are one of the factors in the solution of Glasgow's problem. Some people like high flats. Not everybody wants a garden. The difference in price is not £1,000 but £900, and we hope to reduce the figure substantially. I would hope to see local authorities in all parts of Scotland building high flats where that is necessary and desirable.
The hon. Member for Hamilton blamed the Bill for rent increases. I do not blame him. It is quite good party policy to try to pin rent increases on the Bill, but I have sufficient regard for the hon. Member to know that he really knows that rents of local authority houses, if those bodies wish to square their accounts, would be doubled if we tore up the Bill. I will not accept the pinning on this Bill of rent increases by local authorities in Scotland.
The Hon. Member for Hamilton spoke about Dumfries County Council. As I have said before, my right hon. Friend is not responsible for the matter to which he referred. The hon. Member also spoke of a rent of £95, but what has not been said from the other side of the House is that this figure will not be payable unless there is an income for the family of about £20 a week. In other words, the burden on tenants follows the income.
The hon. Member for Kilmarnock and the hon. Member for Hamilton raised a point on which I would plead them to believe that they are wrong. They suggested that the Bill would lead to overcrowding and to smaller houses being built. This is a very serious point, put 1323 perfectly genuinely by hon. Members opposite, but if they will examine housing schemes in our big cities they will see rows and rows of largish houses which were built at the time when that was the greatest need. They will also see from the housing authority lists that the great need in Scotland now is not for the larger houses but for a balanced community.
§ Mr. Browne
The hon. Member should go there and see the elderly couples whose families have left them and who are still living in four-apartment houses and cannot get two-apartment houses. He should see the elderly people who are condemned to live in four-apartment houses because smaller houses are not available. Does he think that local authorities will be so regardless of the needs of their own areas as to build houses of a type other than that which their people need?
I now come to Part II of the Bill. The right hon. Member for East Stirlingshire said that the Government were unimaginative. The Bill is not the product of imagination, though some of the arguments put from the benches opposite may be. The Bill relies not upon imagination, but upon a most exhaustive survey of the facts. In my short experience in the Scottish Office I know of no Bill or part of a Bill which has been subjected to a more exhaustive survey than Part II of this Bill, and I assure the hon. Member for Hamilton that it is not doomed to failure. He says it is salt and not sugar. This Bill is good Scots' porridge and the Scots prefer salt on it.
§ Mr. Browne
My hon. Friend the Member for North Angus spoke with great knowledge, and gave us a very interesting survey of the difference between our legislation and the proposals adopted in England and Wales, and he emphasised the many practical improvements which are being made by the Bill for Scotland. 1324 I can assure him, and my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Pollok, that we shall study with very great care their speeches and the constructive suggestions made.
I can assure them that my right hon. Friend's Department will willingly and actively co-operate as far as practicable. I realise that the civil servants in Saint Andrew's House, who have such great knowledge of these problems, can be of real assistance. I have seen them in action, and anything they can do within their powers they will be prepared to do, but we must not forget that there are other agencies—the Clyde Valley Regional Planning Advisory Committee, to which we are very grateful, as I am sure hon. and right hon. Members opposite will agree; Scottish Industrial Estates on the industrial side; and Glasgow Corporation itself, which will, as I know, because I have talked with its members, give all the technical help and advice which that great organisation can give.
The right hon. Gentleman went on to talk about major defects in the Bill, and he said that the Government had made sure that they would not be involved financially. What about the £42 for overspill? What about the Scottish Special Housing Association, about which my hon. Friend the Member for Pollok spoke? I agree with my hon. Friend that the Association is prepared in certain circumstances to provide 50 per cent. of the overspill houses. What about the town development scheme, which qualifies for a very generous grant indeed? Of course the Government are involved financially. That statement by the right hon. Gentleman was quite wrong, and he knows it. He spoke of the default powers and said that the Government had dug a gun in the back of the local authorities. He even took us to Chicago. I prefer to agree with the hon. Member for Kilmarnock
§ Mr. Browne
—who said about these powers, "Let us lock them in the cupboard." Yes, we shall lock them in the cupboard. We shall not find any skeletons in it at this time of day. We shall leave it to the local authorities. He said that that is what we must do, and I agree with him.
1325 He said, and I think the hon. Member for Hamilton also said, that we must put new life into our old communities. I agree. We do not want people to be so housed in housing schemes on the outskirts as to be separate communities, perhaps with longer daily journeys to make. We want to merge the people in the overspill areas into our old communities, and bring new life and new blood into them, and that we shall try to do.
The right hon. Gentleman suggested that for Development Areas the Government should take powers if all else failed. That was the substance of the Amendment which he put down, and which was referred to by my right hon. Friend. I must remind the right hon. Gentleman when he regrets the Government have not taken the powers he wishes that those powers are in relation mainly, almost entirely, to the rents of the factories, and that experience has shown that fair rents are no barrier to firms moving into an area and establishing factories there.
§ Mr. Woodburn
I think everybody agrees with that, but in cases where that does not work I said that there was no reason why the Secretary of State should not have powers—when there are exceptional cases.
§ Mr. Browne
I understand the right hon. Gentleman's problem, but it is not rents that matter. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nobody said that."] What matters are the facilities available.
§ Mr. Browne
I am coming to the question of factory space. The receiving authority can provide the factory space. If a firm has not enough money for a factory the receiving authority can if necessary give rent rebates, and can borrow the money to provide the factory, just as it can borrow money to provide houses. If it can borrow for housing, it can borrow for factories. The factories can earn and can pay economic rates of interest in the form of rent.
The hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North dealt with this point and said that local authorities could build the factories now. I agree with her. But she did not say that the local authority in a Development Area could not have 1326 built factories unless we had Clause 25 of the Bill. She said that the stumbling block was lack of finance. I do not think her fears are justified. I remind the House that my right hon. Friend will watch this very closely indeed. I do not believe that the Public Works Loan Board would raise any difficulty over the small authority which needed the capital and which failed to obtain it on the open market.
§ Mr. Browne
The local authority in building a factory is adding to its rateable assets. It is a good thing for a local authority to provide a factory. It is a good investment for the ratepayers.
§ Mr. T. Fraser
Why should it not be for the taxpayers? If it is such a good investment for the ratepayers, why would it not be an equally good investment if the Scottish Industrial Estates built a factory as a good investment for the taxpayers?
§ Mr. Browne
Because we want the local authority to stand on its own feet—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—and to run its own show. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] My hon. Friend the Member for Fife, East (Sir J. Henderson-Stewart) spoke of the provisions in the Bill to help industry. I shall answer the interjection of the hon. Member for Hamilton when I say that my hon. Friend spoke wisely of the necessity for and the growing ability of industry to stand on its own feet. He was concerned about the need for some new body such as the Scottish Industrial Estates to help industries establish themselves. We shall look at that, but he will remember the I.C.F.C.—the Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation. It can give substantial assistance.
The hon. Lady the Member for Lanarkshire, North considered that building advance factories is a great attraction to industry. Here there is ground for a definite and honest difference of opinion. I personally do not agree. I think that advance factories are expensive, because when firms come into them they have to alter them, and I am sure that the majority of firms prefer the local authority to provide factories tailored to suit them. The experience of the hon. Member was 1327 of a time when there was very little factory space and firms were prepared to take anything.
§ Mr. Browne
I have considered this very carefully and I know that there are firms of the opposite opinion, and who think that factories are best provided when they are tailored to suit them.
In summing up I would say that we have heard the voice of truth from my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Kirkdale (Mr. N. Pannell) because hon. and right hon. Members will agree that, in comparison with England and Wales, the Government have done well by Scotland and the Scottish people by the Bill. By the miscellaneous provisions in Part III we are legislating to increase both the scope and the amount of well-maintained payments. By Part I we take full account of Scotland's special housing problem in the revised rates of subsidy, by keeping the subsidy in Scotland for all approved houses, and the retention of a specially favourable subsidy for agricultural workers and for houses in remote areas, by the special and generous arrangements for incoming industrial workers, by the sensible and more generous new high flats subsidy, by the £42 subsidy for overspill houses and by the invaluable assistance of the Scottish Special Housing Association which will build free houses and create rateable value for hard-up local authorities and for overspill areas.
All these are adapted to the special needs of Scotland. As in England and
§ Wales, we have given the local authorities a greater measure of control over their own housing policy by cancelling the statutory rate contribution. In Part II of the Bill we have, after exhaustive investigation, created an instrument for dealing with overspill that is superior to its English counterpart, as it should be, because it comes later. We have removed the barrier that prevented local authorities in Development Areas from providing the factories themselves. We have made new provisions that will help exporting authorities to move out of their area factories displaced by central redevelopment.
§ By the whole conception of the town development scheme and the framing of provisions for grants we have given receiving authorities substantial Government assistance in a way, and at a time, they need it most. As my right hon. Friend announced, we now have supporting us actively and positively, the Board of Trade and Scottish Industrial Estates. I believe we have the people of Scotland supporting us, and especially the citizens of Glasgow who, without this Bill, would be condemned to live in a degree of squalor and overcrowding unknown elsewhere in Britain.
§ This Bill, as it should do, makes sense. It is urgently needed now, and hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite may rue the day when they sought to delay its passage in Committee.
§ Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—
§ The House divided : Ayes 312, Noes 240.1331
|Division No 136.]||AYES||[7.2 p.m.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Bennett, Dr. Reginald||Butcher, Sir Herbert|
|Aitken, W. T.||Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)||Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)||Bidgood, J. C.||Campbell, Sir David|
|Alport, C. J. M.||Biggs-Davison, J. A.||Carr, Robert|
|Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)||Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Gary, Sir Robert|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major Sir William||Bishop, F. P.||Chichester-Clark, R.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Black, C. W.||Cole, Norman|
|Armstrong, C. W.||Body, R. F.||Conant, Maj. Sir Roger|
|Ashton, H.||Boothby, Sir Robert||Cooke, Robert|
|Astor, Hon. J. J.||Bossom, Sir Alfred||Cooper, A. E.|
|Atkins, H. E.||Bowen, E. R. (Cardigan)||Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.|
|Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J. A.||Corfield, Capt. F. V.|
|Baldwin, A. E.||Boyle, Sir Edward||Craddook, Beresford (Spelthorne)|
|Balniel, Lord||Braine, B. R.||Crowder, Sir John (Finchley)|
|Barber, Anthony||Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)||Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)|
|Barlow, Sir John||Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.||Cunningham, Knox|
|Barter, John||Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Currie, G. B. H.|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley||Brooman-White, R. C.||Dance, J. C. G.|
|Beamish, Maj. Tufton||Browne, J. Nixon (Craigton)||Davidson, Viscountess|
|Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)||Bryan, P.||Davies, Rt. Hon. Clement(Montgomery)|
|Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)||Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.||D'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry|
|Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Burden, F. F. A.||Deedes, W. F.|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Hylton-Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry||Partridge, E.|
|Dodds-Parker, A. D.||Iremonger, T. L.||Peyton, J. W. W.|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Piokthorn, K. W. M.|
|Doughty, C. J. A.||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|du Cann, E. D. L.||Jenkings, J. C. (Burton)||Pilkington, Capt. R. A.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. Sir T. (Richmond)||Jennings, Sir Roland (Hallam)||Pitman, I. J.|
|Duthie, W. S.||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Pitt, Miss E. M.|
|Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Pott, H. P.|
|Eden, J. B. (Bournemouth, West)||Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)||Powell, J. Enoch|
|Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E. (Kelvingrove)||Jones, Rt. Hon. Aubrey (Hall Green)||Price, David (Eastlelgh)|
|Elliott, R.W.(N'oastle-upon-Tyne,N.)||Joseph, Sir Keith||Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)|
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Joynson-Hicks, Hon. Sir Lancelot||Profumo, J. D.|
|Errington, Sir Erlc||Kaberry, D.||Raikes, Sir Victor|
|Erroll, F. J.||Keegan, D.||Ramsden, J. E.|
|Farey-Jones, F. W.||Kerby, Capt. H. B.||Rawlinson, Peter|
|Finlay, Graeme||Kerr, H. W.||Redmayne, M.|
|Fisher, Nigel||Kershaw, J. A.||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Fletcher-Cooke, C.||Kimball, M.||Remnant, Hon, P.|
|Forrest, G.||Kirk, P. M.||Renton, D. L. M.|
|Fort, R.||Lagden, G. W.||Rldsdale, J. E.|
|Foster, John||Lambert, Hon. G.||Rippon, A. G. F.|
|Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)||Lambton, Viscount||Robertson, Sir David|
|Fraser, Sir Ian (M'cmbe & Lonsdale)||Lancaster, Col. C. C.||Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)|
|Freeth, Denzil||Langford-Holt, J. A.||Robson-Brown, W.|
|Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Leather, E. H. C.||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Gammans, Lady||Leavey, J. A.||Roper, Sir Harold|
|Garner-Evans, E. H.||Leburn, W. G.||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard|
|George, J. C. (Pollok)||Legge-Bourke, Maj. E, A. H.||Russell, R. S.|
|Gibson-Watt, D.||Legh, Hon. Peter (Petersfield)||Schofield, Lt.-Col. W.|
|Glover, D.||Lindsay, Hon. James (Devon, N.)||Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.|
|Godber, J. B.||Linstead, Sir H. N.||Sharples, R. C.|
|Gomme-Dunoan, Col, Sir Alan||Llewellyn, D. T.||Shepherd, William|
|Goodhart, Philip||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. G. (Sutton Coldfield)||Simon, J. E. S. (Middlesbrough, W.)|
|Cough, C. F. H.||Lloyd, Maj. Sir Guy (Renfrew, E.)||Smithers, Peter (Winchester)|
|Gower, H. R.||Longden, Gilbert||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|Graham, Sir Fergus||Low, Rt. Hon. A. R. W.||Soames, Christopher|
|Grant, W. (Woodside)||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)||Speir, R. M.|
|Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. (Nantwioh)||Lucas, P. B. (Brentford & Chiswick)||Spence, H. R. (Aberdeen, W.)|
|Green, A.||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Spens, Rt. Hn. Sir P. (Kens'gt'n, S.)|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||McAdden, S. J.||Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard|
|Grimond, J.||Macdonald, Sir Peter||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)||McKibbin, A. J.||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)||Mackie, J. H. (Galloway)||Steward, Sir William (Woolwich, W.)|
|Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G.||McLaughlin, Mrs. P.||Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.|
|Curden, Harold||Maclay, Rt. Hon. John||Storey, S.|
|Hare, Rt. Hon. J. H.||Maclean, Fitzroy (Lanoaster)||Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||McLean, Neil (Inverness)||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.)||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Harrison, A. B. C. (Maldon)||MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Sumner, W. D. M. (Orpington)|
|Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfd)||Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Harold(Bromley)||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)||Macmllian, Maurice (Halifax)||Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)|
|Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)||Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)||Teeling, W.|
|Harvie-Watt, Sir George||Maddan, Martin||Temple, John M.|
|Hay, John||Maitland, Cdr. J. F. W.(Hornoastle)||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Maitland, Hon. Patrick (Lanark)||Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)|
|Heath, Rt. Hon. E. R. G.||Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Henderson, John (Cathoart)||Markham, Major Sir Frank||Thompson, Lt.-Cdr.R.(Croydon, S.)|
|Henderson-Stewart, Sir James||Marlowe, A. A. H.||Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.|
|Hesketh, R. F.||Marples, Rt. Hon. A. E.||Tiley, A. (Bradford, W.)|
|Hioks-Beach, Maj. W. W.||Marshall, Douglas||Turner, H. F. L.|
|Hill, Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)||Mathew, R.||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)||Maude, Angus||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Hill, John (S. Norfolk)||Maudling, Rt. Hon. R.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|Hinchingbrooke, Viscount||Mawby, R. L.||Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.|
|Hirst, Geoffrey||Medlicott, Sir Frank||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Hobson, John (Warwick & Leant'gt'n)||Milligan, Rt. Hon. W. R.||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Holland-Martin, C. J.||Molson, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)|
|Holt, A. F.||Moore, Sir Thomas||Wall, Major Patrick|
|Hornby, R. P.||Morrison, John (Salisbury)||Ward, Rt. Hon. G. R. (Worcester)|
|Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.||Nabarro, G. D. N.||Ward, Dame Irene (Tynemouth)|
|Horobin, Sir Ian||Nairn, D. L. S.||Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.|
|Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Dame Florence||Neave, Airey||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)||Nicholls, Harmar||Webbe, Sir H.|
|Howard, John (Test)||Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)||Whitelaw, W. S. I.|
|Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)||Nicolson, N. (B'n'm'th, E. & Chr'ch)||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral J.||Nugent, G. R. H.||Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)|
|Hughes-Young, M. H. C.||O'Neill, Hn. Phelim (Co. Antrim, N.)||Wills, G. (Bridgwater)|
|Hulbert, Sir Norman||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. W. D.||Wood, Hon. R.|
|Hurd, A. R.||Orr, Capt. L. P. S,||Woollam, John Victor|
|Hutchison, A. M. C. (Edinburgh, S.)||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Weston-S-Mare)||Yates, William (The Wrekin)|
|Hutchison, Sir Ian Clark(E'b'gh, W.)||Osborne, C.|
|Hutchison, Sir James (Sootstoun)||Page, R. G.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hyde, Montgomery||Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)||Mr. Oakshott and Colonel|
|J. H. Harrison.|
|Ainsley, J. W.||Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Rwly Regis)||Popplewell, E.|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Harbison, Miss M.||Prentice, R. E.|
|Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Hobson, C. R. (Keighley)||Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)|
|Awbery, S. S.||Howell, Denis (All Saints)||Probert, A. R.|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Hoy, J. H.||Proctor, W. T.|
|Baird, J.||Hubbard, T. F.||Pryde, D. J.|
|Balfour, A.||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Pursey, Cmdr. H.|
|Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Randall, H. E.|
|Bence, C. R. (Dunbartonshire, E.)||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Rankin, John|
|Benn, Hn. Wedgwood (Bristol, S.E.)||Hunter, A. E.||Redhead, E. C.|
|Benson, G.||Hynd, H. (Acorington)||Reeves, J.|
|Beswick, Frank||Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)||Reid, William|
|Blackburn, F.||Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Rhodes, H.|
|Blenkinsop, A,||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.||Robens, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Blyton, W. R.||Janner, B.||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Boardman, H.||Jeger, Mrs. Lena(Holbn& St.Pncs.S.)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Bowden, H. W. (Leicester, S.W.)||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Panoras, N.)|
|Bowles, F. G.||Johnson, James (Rugby)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Boyd, T. C.||Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)||Ross, William|
|Braddock, Mrs. Elizabeth||Jones, Rt. Hon. A. Creech(Wakefield)||Royle, C.|
|Brockway, A. F.||Jones, David (The Hartlepools)||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Short, E. W.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Burke, W. A.||Kenyon, C.||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Burton, Miss F. E.||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||King, Dr. H. M.||Skeffington, A. M.|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Lawson, G. M.||Slater, Mrs. H. (Stoke, N.)|
|Carmichael, J.||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Slater, J. (Sedgefield)|
|Champion, A. J.||Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannook)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Chapman, W. D.||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)||Snow, J. W.|
|Chetwynd, G. R.||Lewis, Arthur||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Clunie, J.||Lindgren, G. S.||Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank|
|Coldrick, W.||Lipton, Marcus||Sparks, J. A.|
|Collick, P. H. (Birkenhead)||Logan, D. G.||Steele, T.|
|Collins, V. J.(Shoreditch & Finsbury)||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||MacColl, J. E.||Stonehouse, John|
|Cove, W. G.||MacDermot, Niall||Stones, W. (Consett)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||McGhee, H. G.||Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Cronin, J. D.||McGovern, J.||Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)|
|Cullen, Mrs. A.||McInnes, J.||Stross, Dr. Barnett(Stoke-on-Trent,C.)|
|Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.||McKay John (Wallsend)||Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Darling, George (Hillsborough)||MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)||Swingler, S. T.|
|Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)||MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)||Sylvester, G. O.|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Mahon, Simon||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)||Mainwaring, W. H.||Thomas, George (Cardiff)|
|Deer, G.||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfd, E.)||Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Dodds, N. N.||Mann, Mrs. Jean||Thomson, George (Dundee, E.)|
|Donnelly, D. L.||Mason, Roy||Thornton, E.|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hn. John (W. Brmwch)||Mayhew, C. P.||Tomney, F.|
|Dye, S.||Mellish, R. J.||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.||Messer, Sir F.||Usborne, H. C.|
|Edelman, M.||Mikardo, Ian||Viant, S. P.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. John (Brighouse)||Mitchison, G. R.||Warbey, W. N.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Monslow, W.||Watkins, T. E.|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Moody, A. S.||Weitzman, D.|
|Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)||Morrls, Percy (Swansea, W.)||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Morrison, Rt. Hn. Herbert (Lewis'm,S.)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)||Mort, D. L.||West, D. G.|
|Fernyhough, E.||Moss, R.||Wheeldon, W. E.|
|Fienburgh, W.||Moyle, A.||White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)|
|Finch, H. J.||Mulley, F. W.||White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)|
|Fletcher, Eric||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)||Wigg, George|
|Forman, J. C.||Oliver, G. H.||Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Oram, A. E.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.||Orbach, M.||Williams, David (Neath)|
|George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Car'then)||Oswald, T.||Williams, Ronald (Wigan)|
|Gibson, C. W.||Owen, W. J.||Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||Padley, W. E.||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Greenwood, Anthony||Paget, R. T.||Williams, W. T. (Barons Court)|
|Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.||Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)||Willis, Eustace (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Grey, C. F.||Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)|
|Griffiths, David (Bother Valley)||Palmer, A. M. F.||Winterbottom, Richard|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Pannell, N. A. (Kirkdale)||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Griffiths, William (Exchange)||Pargiter, G. A.||Woof, R. E.|
|Hale, Leslie||Parker, J.||Yates, V. (Ladywood)|
|Hamilton, W. W.||Parkin, B. T.||Younger, Rt. Hon. K.|
|Hannan, W.||Paton, John||Zilliacus, K.|
|Hastings, S.||Pearson, A.|
|Hay man, F. H.||Pentland, N.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Healey, Denis||Plummer, Sir Leslie||Mr. Holmes and Mr. John Taylor|
|Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.|