HL Deb 15 May 1905 vol 146 cc239-44

House in Committee (on Re-commitment) (according to Order).

[The Earl of ONSLOW in the Chair]

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2.

LORD BALFOUR OF BURLEIGH moved the insertion of a proviso at the end of Clause 2, the effect of which was, he said, to provide a time limit for advertisements now in existence, so that if and when the Bill became law those who had advertisements already up should have a certain period of grace before the local authority could order their removal.

Amendment moved— In Clause 2, page 1, at end of clause to insert the words, 'Provided that a local authority in making by-laws under this section shall provide for the exemption from the operation of such by-laws of any hoardings and similar structures in use for advertising purposes, and of any advertisements exhibited at the time of the making of the by-laws, for such period, not being less than twelve months, as they may think fit."—(Lord Balfour of Burleigh.)


I may say that there is no objection on the part of the Government to this or to the other Amendments standing on the Paper in the name of Lord Balfour of Burleigh.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.


said that the object of the Amendment standing in his name was to check a very mischievous and annoying practice, and one which was becoming more common, especially in the neighbourhood of towns. People armed with advertisements or stamps travelled all over the country and fixed announcements to trees, gates, walls, and other property referring to somebody's boots or corsets, and these advertisements constituted a serious nuisance. It was very desirable that the practice should be stopped, or at all events checked. He knew a case in Scotland in which a county council passed a by-law for this purpose, but it was held that the by-law was beyond the power of the county council. He therefore hoped the Government would accept his new sub-section.

Amendment moved— In Clause 2, page 1, line 16, after the word 'landscape' to insert as a new sub-section the words: (3) For preventing the affixing or otherwise exhibiting advertisements upon any wall, tree, fence, gate, or elsewhere on private property, without the consent of either the owner or the occupier previously given in writing."— (The Earl of Camperdown.)


The view of the Home Office with regard to this Amendment is that, although in itself it is a very desirable one, it is not necessary, because the power already exists. In the case of London there is a provision in the Metropolitan Police Act, 1839, dealing with this particular case, and declaring it to be an offence for any person, without the consent of the owner or occupier, to fix any bill or other paper against any fence or wall. The law with regard to county council and borough areas is somewhat different. There is power to make by-laws under the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, and also under the Local Government Act, 1888, and by-laws are constantly made for this particular purpose. A model by-law has been approved by the Home Office which provides that— No person shall affix or cause to be affixed any placard upon any building, wall, fence, gate, door, pillar, tree, or post in or abutting on any public street or place, without the permission of the owner or occupier, unless authorised so to do by law. I am not authorised to speak on the case of Scotland. I do not represent the Scottish Office and have no means of knowing whether the law is different in Scotland; but as regards England the view of the Home Office is that the Amendment is unnecessary, as the power already exists.


did not think the model by-law which the noble Lord who represented the Home Office had just read would cover country districts, because it contained the words— In or abutting on any public street or place. The object which Lord Camperdown had in view, and with which he (Lord Heneage) cordially agreed, was to put a stop to men going about with paste pots and posting advertisements on gates in open fields and elsewhere, not necessarily in or abutting on a public place. Only the other day he saw a horse shy at one of these large advertisements. He (Lord Heneage) also objected to the small bills, many of which were, not nice reading.


reminded the House that the Indecent Advertisements Act of 1888 rendered a great number of these advertisements indictable, and that within a year of the passing of the Act the gate posts in the country—at any rate in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire—were cleared of objectionable bills. He hoped the noble Earl would press his Amendment, because it went a little further still, and would, he hoped, have the effect of clearing the country of every kind of advertisement which could in any way be spoken of as objectionable.


said that, so far as he was personally concerned, the object of Lord Camperdown had his cordial sympathy. If the class of offence in question was not prohibited under the existing law, he would be glad to see his Bill made the machinery for putting an effective prohibition upon it. But, in view of the statement of the noble Lord representing the Home Office, he suggested that Lord Camperdown should postpone his Amendment at this stage, so that in the meantime they might see exactly how the matter stood and make absolutely certain whether there was an existing power sufficient to meet the difficulty.


I have not the slightest objection to that course. I believe the object of the Amendment is already met, but if it is not we can deal with it in Standing Committee.


said his Amendment proposed to deal, not merely with indecent advertisements, but with advertisements of all kinds. No doubt in England the law was as stated by Lord Belper, but the objectionable practice in question had not been stopped under it. It seemed to him desirable that where the advertisement was an indecent one the offender should not merely be punishable on indictment but summarily. It had been decided by the Courts that county councils in Scotland, at all events, had no power to make by-laws to stop this nuisance, and, whilst he was willing to accede to the course suggested, he thought the evil was one which ought to be dealt with when they had a Bill of this kind before them.

Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.

Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 3.


said he desired to move an Amendment to this clause which was not on the Paper, but which he had mentioned to the noble Lord in charge of the Bill, and to which neither Lord Balfour nor His Majesty's Government had any objection. Some persons had doubted whether the Bill might not derogate from the powers that local authorities now possessed of making by-laws; whether it might not be held that he by-laws made under this Bill were in substitution for those already in force; and in order to make the matter perfectly clear he moved his Amendment.

Amendment moved— At end of Clause 3, to insert the words, 'Provided always that the powers conferred by this Act shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, any other powers of making by-laws possessed by any local authority.'"— (Lord Monkswell.)


said that personally he had no objection to this Amendment. He thought it reasonable, because in urban districts such as the county of London there were stringent powers which were not appropriate to rural districts. The Amendment merely safeguarded those stringent powers where they existed.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 3, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 4.


said the Amendment which he now moved had been suggested by the Irish Government, and was to make it quite clear that a certain rate in Ireland would be applicable to defraying expenses if any were incurred under the Bill.

Amendment moved— In Clause 4, page 2, line 12, to leave out the word 'and,' and after the word 'Wales' to insert the words 'or Ireland.'"—(Lord Balfour of Burleigh.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

LORD BALFOUR OF BURLEIGH moved an Amendment to provide that in the case of the city of London the expenses should be defrayed out of the consolidated rate. He believed the Amendment was agreed to by everybody concerned.

Amendment moved— In Clause 4, page 2, line 14, after the word 'fund,' to insert the words, 'in the case of the city of London out of the consolidated rate of that city and.'"—(Lord Balfour of Burleigh.)

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Consequential Amendments agreed to.

Clause 4, as amended, agreed to.


explained that there was a clause in the original draft of the Bill applying it to Scotland, but in the changes agreed upon between the Home Office and himself, and which were given effect to by the House at the previous stage, the application of the Act to Scotland was accidentally dropped out. He begged to move his Amendment.

Amendment moved— After Clause 4, to insert as a new clause the words: '(1) In the application of this Act to Scotland, the Secretary for Scotland shall be substituted for the Secretary of State. (2) The town council of a burgh to which Section 77 of the Burgh Police (Scotland) Act, 1903, applies, shall not have power to make by-laws for the regulation and control of hoardings and similar structures in terms of this Act. (3) By-laws made by a county council shall not be of any force or effect within a Royal, Parliamentary, or police burgh. (4) The section of this Act relating to expenses shall apply to Scotland with the substitution of 'general purposes rate' for 'county fund' 'Royal, Parliamentary, or police burgh' for 'borough' and 'burgh general or police assessment' for 'borough fund or borough rate.'"—(Lord Balfour of Burleigh.)

On Question, new clause agreed to.

Clause 5.

Consequential Amendments agreed to.

Drafting Amendments agreed to.

Clause 5, as amended, agreed to.


said that the new clause applying the Act to Ireland had been suggested and drafted by the Irish Government.

Amendment moved— After Clause 5, to insert as a new clause the words: 'In the application of this Act to Ireland the Lord-Lieutenant, acting with the advice of the Privy Council, shall be substituted for the Secretary of State.'"—(Lord Balfour of Burleigh.)

Remaining clause agreed to.

Bill recommitted to the Standing Committee; and to be printed as amended (No. 73.)