§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ VISCOUNT SANDHURST
Your Lordships will recall that two or three years ago we had a considerable debate when the Health Ministry was set up, and the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, will remember that we had a struggle then as to whether there should be two Under-Secretaries or one. The noble Marquess beat us on that occasion, as he was sure to do, and he was deaf to a blandishment. of mine that if we had a second Under-Secretary he would be in the House of Lords. In the fulness of time Lord Astor came to the House of Lords, and so, as we say elsewhere, Lord Salisbury "won both ways." He not only succeeded in depriving the Ministry of a second Under-Secretary, but he got the Under-Secretary in this House.
§ VISCOUNT SANDHURST
I gladly echo that remark of the noble Marquess, and I equally regret with the noble Marquess Lord Astor's absence. Being part and parcel of that Ministry, he would have had much greater facility in dealing with this complicated measure than I can have. Therefore I ask for the kindly patience of your Lordships.
This Bill is a very different Bill from that which was introduced into the House of Commons some time ago. It has been much attacked. The main line of attack has been that it will add additional burdens to the Exchequer and to the rates. I can only say in regard to that line of attack, if it is honest—and, of course, the attack is honest—that it is really owing to misapprehension respecting the provisions of this Bill. I have no doubt whatever that I shall be able to show your Lordships that in the first place no charge at all is made upon the Exchequer, and that clause after clause is drawn with the intention of saving or lightening the burden of the rates. Perhaps as I conclude I may enumerate those clauses which appear to bear on this portion of the subject.
As your Lordships may have observed, the Bill is in two parts. One deals mainly with housing, and the other with miscellaneous provisions. Clause 1 relates to compulsory hiring of houses by the local authorities. Your Lordships know perfectly well the shortage of houses. It has been impossible to build fast enough, and anxiety has been expressed not only on behalf of the Government but also on behalf of your Lordships, and, worst of all, on behalf of those who were particularly concerned. And, indeed, there have been some disastrous consequences in some places. Reports from all over the country show how many desirable houses of the kind are standing empty owing to owners refusing to let in the hope of selling the leasehold or freehold at an extravagant price to those who would pay such a price because of the shortage. Already there have been some disturbances, and local authorities are very anxious to have the power to hire houses.
Therefore Clause 1 enables a local authority compulsorily to hire such houses if they have not been occupied for three months immediately preceding the Order, 121 provided that they shall not be rated at more than £60 or £50 in the country. The terms of letting are not to go beyond June 23, 1923, which is the date at which the Rent Restriction Act comes to an end. I may point out that this power is not to extend to houses that have been acquired for the Public Service or for statutory services, or to new houses built since June, 1919, nor to houses which are used for the housing of those employed in agriculture, although they may be temporarily vacant for part of the year. The rent is to be fixed by the local authority, and if no agreement is reached there is to be a reference to arbitration under the Lands Clauses (Acquisition) Act, 1919. Here I may perhaps remind the house of a Committee of which the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, was chairman, in regard to the Rent Restriction Act. Those who have perused the evidence given to that Committee will see that a number of wit-necesses favoured this proposal. No Order is to have effect until confirmed by the Minister.
As to Clause 2 and I hope your Lordships will consider that this provision is essential—you will remember that much importance was attached in your Lordships' House to the fact that it was extremely desirable to encourage private enterprise in building houses; indeed, I believe I am correct in stating that in one of the Bills that was passed in July a hint was given, I think by a noble Lord sitting opposite, that something should be done in this direction. The result was that in the Additional Powers Act passed last December provision was made for £15,000,000 for subsidising private enterprise. That money had to be spent within one year. But this intention it was found impossible to carry out owing to a variety of circumstances, so that this clause now proposes that the time in which that money can be expended shall be extended to two years. I would emphasise that no increased sum whatever is asked for in the aggregate. The clause simply enables the intention of Parliament to be carried out with regard to the subsidies for private enterprise of which full advantage could not be taken in one year. The number of houses for which grants are now due exceeds 20,000 and as the provision becomes more widely known the number rapidly increases. I think it is a matter of general assent that private enterprise should not be checked. I 122 may remark here that this provision tends in the direction of economy, for it costs less for the Treasury to pay this subsidy of £260 rather than be responsible for any cost exceeding what would be provided by the levy of a penny rate. There is this further safeguard, that every Regulation made by the Minister has to be laid before the two Houses of Parliament.
Clause 3 gives power to a local authority to prohibit what is known as luxury building, but this is subject to an appeal to an independent tribunal. There are machinery sub-clauses, but I wish to draw the particular attention of your Lordships to subclause (3). This is a power to enable a local authority to prohibit construction in cases where the contractor seeks to seduce away labour from small house building in favour of less necessary or luxury building by special advantages such as bonuses or rates of pay in excess of the recognised rate. This is supported by employers, and is pressed for by the Resettlement Committee of the Building Trades Council. This seduction has occurred in many cases and has seriously impeded building. There are other machinery sub-clauses with which at tins moment I need not trouble your Lordships.
Clause 4 gives the local authority power to carry out a housing scheme outside its own area. The powers it possesses at present can only be exercised within its own area. Houses are being built in accordance with schemes by local authorities. The duty of providing sewerage or a water supply is by law laid on the actual district authority within whose area the houses are being built, and this has to be done, of course, before the houses are assessed and income is derivable from them. But that district authority cannot finance such undertakings, and it is proposed that the local authority carrying out the housing scheme shall have power under the clause to enable the district authority to meet the expenses, which cannot now be done, and the account will be adjusted thereafter when the properties are assessed.
I ask your Lordships' attention to paragraph (b) of the same clause, which deals with the payment of interest out of capital. I desire to say frankly and at once that the Government have not willingly put this provision into the Bill. I equally acknowledge that it is open to criticism if not objection, and nothing but the urgent circumstances of the case war- 123 rant it. Your Lordships know that it is not a novel power. It has been sanctioned already by Parliament where the urgency of such cases has been recognised, and I believe I am correct in stating that in regard to Railway Bills it is to be found in what are known as the Model Clauses. I have a number of cases before me or I can find them should your Lordships wish for a reference. If those cases were urgent I submit that the case of housing is not less urgent, and I hope your Lordships may agree. I call attention also to the safeguard, and it is a real safeguard because the proviso to subsection (2) lays down that in any order of the Minister referring to such loans the payment of interest from capital shall be provisional and shall not have effect, therefore, until confirmed by Parliament.
Coming now to Part II, I will only trouble your Lordships with three or four of the principal clauses. Clause 8 deals with the treatment for incipient mental disorder. This clause has created, naturally, considerable comment, and the principal criticisms I believe to be two—first, interference with the Lunacy Laws; and, secondly, in regard to the liberty of the individual. Regarding the interference with the Lunacy Laws your Lordships will find it is distinctly laid down in subsection (6) that nothing in this Act shall affect any power exerciseable with respect to lunatics by the Lord Chancellor or the Commissioners in Lunacy or by the Judge or Masters in Lunacy.
Then in reference to the liberty of the subject, I hope to show that this objection is adequately met by safeguards. At present those suffering from any stage of mental disorder cannot be admitted to a home of any kind, and very severe penalties can be inflicted upon anybody taking them in, without being certified as lunatics. There are a large number of incipient cases known, I believe, to be temporary in character, and it is computed that about 60 per cent. are cases that may recover. Expert opinion favours the idea that their recovery is only to be hoped for if there is entire dissociation from the machinery of the Lunacy Acts, and it is proposed in this clause that such cases as those—on the border line, if I may so call them—shall be treated in homes without certification, subject again to safeguards. The real object of this clause is to endeavour to deal more efficiently, more judiciously, 124 and I think it is not unfair to say more justly, with this kind of case.
There are two particular classes of cases which I think will command your Lordships' sympathy. One is in regard to women, and I do not think I need particularise them further than to say that they are cases in which it is generally hoped that the great majority will recover. They are very sad cases, and it seems hard to label them as having been in a lunatic asylum or to give them the taint of its atmosphere, and likely enough or certainly it is considered that their recovery is delayed if it may not be prevented by their detention. The other case I know will meet with no less sympathy and goodwill from your Lordships, and that is of men suffering from shell shock or the results of shell shock. Here again we have been told that some 60 per cent. should recover, but, though certified—and certified they must be—there is no power to admit them to anywhere else than the lunatic asylum or the insane wards of Poor Law infirmaries, and your Lordships will agree that these men deserve better of us than that. In these cases, as with others, existence in such surroundings as are found in these asylums, however well conducted—and well conducted they are known to be—postpones recovery, to say the least of it, and I think your Lordships will agree that something should be done to ameliorate the condition of those who have done so much for us.
As regards the safeguards for individual liberty, the maximum term of treatment is to be six months; the patient is not to be detained if notice to leave is given in writing, and in dangerous cases the superintendent of the home must have forty-eight hours' notice so as to be able to communicate with the patient's friends. The institution must be approved by the Minister; no person is to be admitted without his consent in writing and a doctor's certificate stating that the treatment is likely to be beneficial; and the reception of each patient is to be reported to the Minister within twenty-four hours. The approved institution is to be periodically inspected by officers appointed for that purpose by the Minister. Regulations may be made by the Minister to carry this clause into effect, and any such regulations must be posted in the institution and approved by Parliament. That is to say, they must lie on the Table of both Houses 125 for twenty-one days and are subject to a Resolution approving them. This plan is not new either. I understand that it has been successfully worked with admirable results in Scotland for over fifty years. The proposals have the strong, and I believe unanimous, support of the Medico-Psychological Association, and I am sure they will command your sympathy and I hope you will acquiesce in them.
Now I come to Clause 9, known as the Hospital Clause, which has been much changed since the Bill was first introduced. I do not propose to explore the pecuniary conditions of the voluntary hospitals as that question has been relegated to the inquiries of the Committee. But even now I know that this is a clause which is of general interest. Taking the country as a whole I believe there are 45,000 voluntary beds and 94,000 beds in Poor Law infirmaries. While the 45,000 beds of the voluntary hospitals have long lists of people waiting to occupy them, of the 94,000 beds of the Poor Law infirmaries there are 30,000 beds which are left vacant up to the Report of October last. The object in view is to relieve the acute shortage by making the vacant beds in the Poor Law infirmaries available to the general public. They are not used by them at present because their hospitality can only be extended to those who are destitute. It is not proposed to confer this power upon Poor Law authorities, because treatment by them would carry with it the taint of pauperism, and the declared policy of the Government is to make the county councils and county borough councils the hospital authorities for their respective areas.
Sub-clause (1) enables a county council to acquire on terms approved by the Minister any existing Poor Law hospital or infirmary within its area and maintain it as a hospital, and to establish and maintain, or aid in so doing, an ambulance service for dealing with cases within or without their area. The next sub-clause (2) enables, in default of agreement, the Minister to order a transfer, but this is to be done by Provisional Order necessitating, of course, the confirmation of Parliament. Then follow minor matters of machinery, such as Joint Committees, arrangements for paying patients, and so on.
Clause 10 has to do with clinical thermometers, on which there has been some correspondence, and indeed one can hardly approach this particular clause Without 126 a smile. Under D.O.R.A. the Minister of Munitions, in the interest of the wounded forces of the Crown, could forbid the use of untested clinical thermometers. I said just now that one could not approach the matter without a smile, because I have heard so often of the enormous Department to be set up—a Director, a sub-Director, clerks, buildings, apparatus, and all the rest of it—which would cost a very large sum of money. I will come to that in a moment. The Minister of Munitions did this under D.O.R.A. during the war, but D.O.R.A. will presently lapse, and therefore if this is to be compulsory legislation is necessary. But before the war clinical thermometers could be tested on application at the National Physical Laboratory at Kew. Arrangements were there made during the war, and it was proposed to continue them. This clause is supported by the Association representing all the manufacturers, and whereas I believe the number of defective thermometers some years ago was about 40 per cent., now I understand it to have come down to 2 per cent. Here are some figures which are up to date. The weekly test is 30,000, and up to October 31 last there were 1,600,000 tested. The pre-war charge to manufacturers was 1s. per thermometer for testing; the present charge to the manufacturers of thermometers is 3d., which covers all the expenses of what are termed the overhead charges. When the compulsory system began the defective number was, I understand, 5 per cent.; now with a more stringent test it is 2 per cent. The German thermometers when tested were defective to the extent of about 30 per cent., and those of the best British firms are now defective 5 per cent. I venture to think this is rather an interesting statement, and in view of what has been said about these various establishments, and the cost, and all the rest of it, what is the fact? What is the staff? Not one single office-boy. The cost to the Exchequer and the rates or any other cost to the public is not one single farthing. Clause 15 elongates, if I may use the term, the borrowing period, and therefore eases the rates. The county councils were required to repay loans in thirty years; that is now extended to sixty years.
I think I have said enough on the clauses to interest your Lordships at any rate in the Bill, and hope that you may take a favourable view of it. The Bill is to be extended to Ireland, and all that is 127 required to make the Bill operative is an Irish application clause which substitutes the appropriate Irish reference for the English reference—for example, "The Local Government Board for Ireland" in place of "The Minister for Health." The application of the Bill to Ireland has been carefully considered by the Irish Local Government Board, and has been prepared in accordance with their recommendations. I understand that so far as Ireland is concerned the Bill is absolutely non-controversial.
I said that I would enumerate some of the clauses to show they case the rates, or, at any rate, do not increase them. Clauses 6, 7, 11, 15, and 19 all case the rates. As I have said before, there is no extra charge to the Exchequer. I believe the only charge, excepting a small charge which may be a very useful one in regard to providing ambulances for these hospitals which will thereby make distances shorter and make the hospitals more useful, is a charge in Clause 19. Your Lordships know that half the Saving Certificates by the Budget were to go to housing, and the charges which are made are merely for the housing authorities to give them power to contribute towards certain expenses. The cost last year to the Treasury I believe did not exceed £7,000.
That is my case for the Bill. I observe that my noble friend Lord Strachie has a hostile Motion, and that he proposes that the Bill should be postponed or read a second time in two months. Seeing the position of the session and the work of Parliament, I can only treat that as a Motion for rejection, and I shall ask your Lordships to support me in the Lobby. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Viscount Sandhurst.)
§ LORD STRACHIE had given notice, on the Motion for the Second Reading, to move That the Bill be read 2a this day two months. The noble Lord said: My Lords, I am sure we have all listened with the greatest interest to the very clear and lucid explanation of a very complicated Bill, indeed a Bill which is so complicated and contains so many different measures that one might say it is a Bill that ought really to represent four or five different Acts of Parliament instead of being put into one general omnibus Bill as in this case.128
§ I was very much struck at the absence of one statement in the speech of my noble friend. He did not at all refer to the way in which this Bill has been rushed through the House of Commons without any consideration at all. It might have been thought that he would give us time here for the due consideration of it. I should like to remind the House that this Bill was read a second time in the House of Commons after a very long, not to say acrimonious, debate. So much so that the Minister in charge of the Bill, Dr. Addison, had to promise to drop fourteen clauses when it was sent to Committee, though in fact when it went up into Committee he dropped only six clauses out of the Bill. No doubt those were some of the most contentious clauses.
§ Then, after the Bill had been considered in Committee, not at very great length—and there again the proceedings were somewhat hurried—the Bill came down to the House of Commons for consideration on Report. The Government again gave no proper time for consideration of the Bill. They simply rushed it through, resisting practically every Amendment of substance, and it was passed in an all-night sitting, the House adjourning at a quarter to seven in the morning on the day after the Report stage had begun. Those who have sat in the other place know quite well that during an all-night sitting it is no question of considering the Amendments of a Bill, but only of voting in the Division lobby, supporting the party to which you belong. On the Third Reading also there was practically no discussion. I think, therefore, I may fairly claim that there was no due consideration of this Bill in another place.
§ Those reasons alone, I think, would justify this House in saying that the Bill either ought to be rejected or postponed for further consideration till there is an opportunity for this House to go into the details of the Bill, which are very complicated. I will not attempt to deal with the clauses in detail but will only refer to sonic of the principal clauses to which objection might be taken. Clause 1, as described by my noble friend, seems a comparatively innocuous clause; it is, he said, only to provide further housing facilities for those who are unable to get houses, and it applies only to houses of a rateable value of £50 or £40. When the Bill was introduced into the House of 129 Commons it was a much lower rateable value—I think £26 was the amount in the country and £36 in the towns. That was altered in the House on Report. If it is right in principle to take empty houses for housing the working classes or others I cannot see why you should have any limit at all. If it is right to take the house of a man rated at £50 why should it not be equally right to take the house of a man rated at a £100? I never like these distinctions, which seem to mean that you will deal more harshly with those who are better endowed than with those who live in poorer houses. Of course, it will be said that the number of houses is very small indeed, partly owing to this limitation, and partly because no new houses may be taken—even houses which have been built and are standing vacant awaiting a profitable sale because nobody at that particular time wishes to buy them.
§ Then there is the provision relating to bona fide occupation. That is explained to mean not merely occupation by the man himself but merely by the fact that a caretaker was put in and a few sticks of furniture left in it. I am rather doubtful whether it is going to be of much use. Again, the local authorities are going to be encouraged to spend money upon vacant houses, It is true they are not allowed to reconstruct, but the definition of reconstruction was given in the House by a Minister. The definition was this.—"Reconstruction means to alter the character of a house by addition to it or by such alteration, so that the character of the house is not changed." What will be the result of that? I think the House should bear in mind that the local authorities who are going to be invited to take these houses will have to spend money upon them in alterations, which are sure to be necessary; they are to be allowed to spend money on drainage, sanitation, painting, general repairs, and slating and tiling of roofs. That will show your Lordships that a very large amount of money can be spent by the local authorities on houses which they are to occupy only for two and a-half years. Of course, I may be told that the local authority will be able to recoup itself when it gives up these houses, but that is not so certain. They will have to go to arbitration about it, and very likely it will be said that the local authority spent too much on doing these things, for we very well know that when a local authority undertakes work 130 of any kind, whether it is housing or anything else, it always spends a great deal more money than the private person does.
§ There is also objection to Clause 3. That is the clause which amends the Housing (Additional Powers) Act, 1919. It empowers the local authority to prohibit the construction of any works or buildings if the construction of houses in their area, is being delayed owing to deficiency of labour due to the payment of higher remuneration than that recognised by the employers and trade unions in that area. What can the object of that be? It seems a curious state of things that a man in these days is not allowed to sell his labour to the best possible advantage. If a man is able to get better work upon other buildings than those which the local authority are erecting why should not he be allowed to do so? it is forbidding people to work a little harder or to work a little longer hours. Of course, I know it will be said that if they did so it would be against trade union doctrine, and the Government are always favouring the trade unions, except in the case of coal production, where the Government have actually arranged that the wages are to be higher in proportion as the amount of coal produced rises. But it should be exactly the same as regards houses. If you say that men are not to be allowed to work on buildings for longer hours and higher wages you prevent those buildings being put up as quickly as possible. There is a case in point to show how this works—the case of the great corporation of Manchester. There during 18 months under the Housing Act they have only built 86 houses, while in a much shorter time a few private contractors and builders have actually built 79 houses. The reason was simply that in the second case the houses were built by private enterprise, and the builders received a subsidy of £260. I believe a great many more buildings would have been erected if the subsidy had been used much more generally, instead of the local authorities being urged to put up these houses.
§ Clause 9 is also a very debatable clause and is very much opposed by large bodies such as the Poor Law Union—the great association which represents 588 unions out of something like 640 in the whole country. They are very anxious that due consideration should be given to this 131 clause, which cannot be given under the present conditions. What is the proposal in that clause? It is to give power to the county councils to acquire, either by agreement or, in default of agreement, with the leave of the Minister—which no doubt would be given in the majority of cases—hospitals and infirmaries belonging to the boards of guardians. They are to be allowed to reconstruct and to make additions, and it would also be necessary for them to have a staff of officials for the hospitals and infirmaries. But it is impossible to think that in any great county the county councils themselves could give that individual attention to these institutions which can at the present time be given by the guardians, who are on the spot. My noble friend said just now that this would place no charge on the Exchequer or on the local rates, but he did not tell us how that would be avoided. It is not our general experience in the country, and if he sat on any local body, such as a county council, he would realise that all these duties that are put on local authorities by the Government simply mean an increase of the local rates, which are rising continuously.
§ I should like the noble Viscount in charge of the Bill to explain, supposing county councils are ready to take over these hospitals and infirmaries which I rather doubt in the majority of cases what will happen to those boards of guardians whose workhouses and infirmaries are taken over. I understand that they are not relieved of their statutory obligation to look after the nursing of the sick poor, and if their present buildings are taken over they will have to erect other buildings in order to perform this duty. The object of making this alteration is that there shall be no taint of the Poor Law, but if you send paupers into the hospitals and infirmaries of the county councils you will be doing that which is said was undesirable. If the statutory obligation remains, and it is still the duty of boards of guardians to look after the nursing and care of sick paupers, it will be necessary for them still to have infirmaries and hospitals.
The noble Viscount said that no expense would fall on the Exchequer. I believe the county councils have said that if they are asked to take over these infirmaries and hospitals they would expect a grant from the Exchequer in order that no cost should fall on local rates. The noble
Viscount made some observations with regard to clinical thermometers. I think the clause dealing with them is a very foolish one indeed, and is well described by The Times of to-day as—
an example of legislative fussiness, for 30,000 of these instruments are tested every week at Kew without any Parliamentary injunction at all.
If such a large number are being tested every day is it really necessary to interfere with the work? Why should not the Government allow the present conditions to remain? It will not do any harm.
§ VISCOUNT SANDHURST
It is done under the Defence of the Realm Act which will lapse, and if it is to go on it must be legislated for.
§ LORD STRACHIE
The noble Viscount has forgotten that before the Defence of the Realm Act existed clinical thermometers were tested at Kew. I do not know why he has interrupted me. It is only now that you are making a provision insisting upon it. It is grandmotherly legislation. The Government are constantly saying "You must do this and you must do that." I do not know whether the noble Viscount gave any explanation of Clause 18, a very important clause indeed dealing with the purchase and appropriation of land. I was unfortunately called out of the House for a moment. As I read the clause, it gives power to local authorities to buy land for one purpose and use it for another. That to my mind is very objectionable indeed, and so far Parliament has been particularly careful when giving power to local authorities to buy land for any particular purpose to say that they must not use it for some other purpose. You can see how easy it would be under a pretence of wanting the land for one purpose to acquire it compulsorily and use it for some purpose which was never intended. County councils will be able to use these compulsory powers for some purpose entirely unconnected with the Bill, and I think this House should look carefully into this matter and see that those whose lands are taken by compulsion are properly protected. Land should be taken for some specific object which has been recognised by Parliament, and when taken not used for some other object.
I do not think the noble Viscount explained at all the clause which applies the Bill to Ireland. I am not surprised. 133 I have been trying to understand it but have been unable to do so. At the same time I was much consoled when reading the debate in another place to find that Sir Edward Carson had been equally unable to understand it himself. The only thing I can make out of it is that it still maintains the subsidy to be paid by this country to Ireland for building houses; that is, £260 per house. It seems rather remarkable, when we have just been dealing in this House with a Bill giving Ireland power to manage her own affairs and her fiscal policy to a large extent, we in this country should still have to make a contribution to Ireland for building houses. It does not seem at all reasonable.
I object to this Bill and move its rejection, because consider it has never received adequate consideration in another place. It seems that the same procedure may be adopted in your Lordships' House and that we shall have no real opportunity of considering it. No one can pretend that adequate consideration can be given to a Bill of this character with the enormous amount of business now before your Lordships. For all practical purposes it cannot be taken this week at all, and next week there will not be very much time, and I suggest that the Government should consent to a long postponement in order that there may be an opportunity of considering it very fully and carefully.
Leave out ("now") and insert at the end of the Motion ("this day two months").—(Lord Strachie.)
My Lords, I hope that the noble Lord will go on with his protest against this measure because it seems to me almost an insult to Parliament to bring up such a Bill at this period of the session when it is impossible to give it proper consideration in Committee. With regard to Clause 9 I should like to say that county councils have never asked for this power in any way. They object strongly to all these various measures being hurled upon them from Government Departments all of which mean expense. It is all very well to say that these measures will hardly cost anything. When county councils get measures to administer it places them in the hands of the bureaucrats; we do not know where we are, and most of the cost falls on the rates.
In the old days local authorities had to deal with the Local Government Board 134 and, speaking from my own experience, always found that Department most anxious to help in our administrative work and also anxious to have efficiency and economy. They never urged that extra burdens should be put on the rates. There is also this other strong point, that all the various provisions in this Bill must mean an increase of bureaucratic staffs. We are getting tired of bureaucratic staffs, and I am a little surprised that the Government do not see the "handwriting on the wall." The public is tired, thoroughly and justly tired, of all this new taxation and new rates when we really want the country gradually to recover itself. What the country looks for is a drastic reduction of all the various staffs in the Government Departments. This Bill means an increase of those staffs and on that ground alone I think your Lordships will deserve the gratitude of the country, and the gratitude of the taxpayers and ratepayers, if you reject it at once.
My Lords, I do not know how the acquisition of the infirmaries by county councils is going to work. The noble Viscount told us that out of 94,000 beds in Poor Law infirmaries some 30,000 are vacant. That is, one in three. I can imagine a few infirmaries being entirely empty. They could be taken over easily, but where they are already partly occupied and two-thirds of the beds are full what is going to be arranged about the patients now in them who are Poor Law patients? How is it to be arranged for the county patients to be put in the same infirmary as the Poor Law patients? Who is going to administer the hospital infirmaries in these circumstances; the Poor Law authorities or the county authorities? If the Poor Law authorities are to hand over their patients to the county authorities, surely that must mean an increase in the staffs of county medical officers. The noble Lord, in his speech, did not deal with that point, and it would be very advantageous to the House if we understood how the thing is to be worked. It seems to me to be rather complicated. I suppose the noble Lord will say, as regards his claim that no increased charge would be made on the rates, that the Poor Law authorities already levy a rate and that nothing more is to be done, even if it is done by the County Council, but I should be very surprised if the county 135 medical officers do not ask for an increase in staffs as soon as they are charged with 30,000 patients in the country. I think it is almost certain that they will require increases.
I will say only one word as regards the commencement of the Bill. It is more, I think, of that abominable housing legislation which has led the Government and the country into all the inconveniences and blunders and unfairness, and, in fact, tyranny, which have been imposed on real property owners since the first introduction of these measures during the war. My honest opinion is that if it had been left to supply and demand, and if house-owners had been allowed to put up their rents conveniently in accordance with the increased cost of repairs and rates, we should now be in a more comfortable position as regards housing than we are. It is too late now to attempt to interfere with legislation of this kind. It has to go on, I suppose, but nearly every day, when one sees the interference that is taking place as regards housing matters, and the perplexity of Courts of Law as to what the law means and what it allows, the more one is convinced that the country has been on the whole perfectly right in leaving as much as possible to private enterprise.
§ LORD GAINFORD
My Lords, I am glad to see the Leader of the House in his place, because I rise to make an appeal to him to help us in the position in which we find ourselves. The noble Marquess, Lord Crewe, had intended to intervene ill this debate, but another public engagement has called him elsewhere. He asked me to say on his behalf that while he and many of those of us who sit on this side are not unfriendly to the Bill and are not anxious in any way to consider it in a hostile spirit but desire to help the Government to improve the Bill so far as we possibly can, yet we feel that at the present moment it is unfair upon this House that it should be called upon to try to pass this Bill through all its stages before Christmas. The Bill is not only complex, as Lord Harris has indicated, but it is very important, and it is inconceivable that the Government regard it as one incapable of serious and substantial improvement. It is with the view of giving noble Lords a fair and full opportunity of improving the Bill and making it as workable as possible that I appeal to the noble Earl the Leader of the Lord Harris. 136 House that if we give the Bill a Second Reading before Christmas the further stages may be postponed until we resume. I presume that there is no intention of the Government endeavouring to complete the whole of its programme before Christmas Day, which, after all, falls next week, and I think the interval might be well spent if we resume our discussions early in January with a view to passing the Bill through all its stages at a subsequent period.
§ THE EARL OF ANCASTER
My Lords, I hesitate to intervene in this debate, but I should like to say that the part of the Bill to which I object most—perhaps it is not a very great point, but it is a defect in the Bill—is that portion which prevents workmen getting the best wages they can obtain. I am one of those who think that Parliament has no right to restrict a man in the amount he can earn. Unfortunately, there is too much legislation in that respect now, and everybody is tied down to maximum prices. I should have thought that the question of men being taken away from building cottages and other work would have been better dealt with by making builders obtain a licence to show that the work on which his men were engaged was not of a luxury character and not work which could be postponed.
Having said these few words with regard to that clause, I should like to ask the noble Lord in charge of the Bill to give us a little more explanation with reference to Poor Law infirmaries and hospitals. Lord Harris has referred to that subject, and I think we ought to have more explanation. Personally, I should hate to stand in any way against the relief of people who are sick and ill, and if we postponed the Bill and there was a question of large numbers of people requiring medical and surgical aid which they could not obtain owing to the delay in the passage of the Bill, I should be very sorry. I do not quite understand the position as explained by the noble Lord. Apparently, some 30,000 beds are vacant in Poor Law infirmaries. I confess that it appears quite natural and wise, and also in the best interests of economy, that those 30,000 beds, if not wanted for the poor people, should be used for people who are above the line of pauperism. I cannot quite understand from the Bill that you will remove what the noble Lord calls "the taint of pauperism." I believe there is a 137 great disinclination among a certain number of people to go to Poor Law infirmaries for medical relief, but will you get over that in this Bill? Who will keep the hospitals going when they are taken over by the county councils? Charges will have to be met, but the patients using the hospitals which were Poor Law infirmaries will not be able to pay enough, to make them self-supporting, and the money for keeping these infirmaries which are turned into hospitals will have to come out of the pockets of the ratepayer or the taxpayer. It appears to me that the taint of relief from the State will remain. Therefore, before any Division is taken on the subject, I should like to hear some further explanation of the matter, and also of how the difficulty is to be got over, because Lord Harris said that probably 30,000 vacant beds are scattered about a large number of Poor Law infirmaries and that there are not many infirmaries which you can take over bodily and turn into hospitals under the county council.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, I think that my noble friend the Leader of the House will see that your Lordships are placed in very considerable difficulty by this Bill. It is an omnibus Bill, as has been remarked by a great number of your Lordships. I very much regret that the provisions of the Bill have been introduced in that form, because some of them are good, and I should be rather sorry if an adverse fate befell them. Others are doubtful, and I might almost say that they are objectionable: yet we are asked at this stage of the session to deal in full detail with this omnibus Bill, which was not properly discussed in the House of Commons, and in fact was discussed under the greatest difficulty. I am sure that all of your Lordships who have listened to the debate are satisfied that the Bill cannot go through in its present form. There is so much objection taken to several of the clauses of the Bill that if we are to be allowed to consider it at all they would have to be amended to such an extent as would be quite impossible before Christmas. It is really out of the question.
My noble friend Lord Gainford has suggested that the future proceedings on the Bill, after the Second Beading, should be postponed. I do not know whether that would be a suitable proposal. I am rather doubtful whether it is the best 138 way of dealing with it. I should like the Government to drop all the parts of the Bill which may be called of a controversial character, and only carry through those on which there is general agreement. I do not know if there is general agreement, but I am going to suggest that upon one or two clauses there is general agreement. I really think, in spite of the strictures of Lord Harris, that there is a good deal to be said for Clause I of the Bill. I know something of the subject, and I must say that I think the noble Lord in charge of the Bill was justified in saying that very great difficulty arises owing to the public feeling about empty houses. The strain is so tremendous in parts of England, and especially in parts of London, and the feeling which has developed in the minds of the public as they pass houses which are empty and realise the awful strain to which they are put, are such that it is rather difficult for us to ignore them.
I happen to know of a case in Liverpool which I may quote to your Lordships. There was house in Liverpool which was in such a condition that it was dangerous and had to be pulled down. The first difficulty was that there was no power to turn the tenant out under the Rent Restrictions Act, although the house might be tumbling about Iris ears. Perhaps the fact that the house might tumble about his ears helped to persuade the tenant, but at any rate at last he was persuaded to go out of the house and the house was pulled down. No other place could be found for him. He looked all over Liverpool, and it was not possible to find any place; finally he hired a small van pulled up in a little dirty yard outside his house, and in that van he lives now, and he has no other accommodation except a few rags hanging upon a pole, which he makes into a sort of tent where he has his meals. That is in one of the great cities of England at this moment, and there appears to be no remedy for it, for I personally went into the matter.
THE MARQUCESS OF SALISBURY
No, it is not indeed; but it shows the enormous strain, and I think that where conditions of that kind prevail, and there should be empty houses, it will create it feeling which cannot be ignored. Therefore I should be sorry if the first, clause in the Bill had 139 to be postponed. So also with regard to the second clause, for although I know the difficulty of administering the Housing Act, yet as you have seen fit to approve of the subsidy to private enterprise it seems a pity to cut it short, which would be the result if we failed to pass that clause.
I hope that my noble friend the Leader of the House will recognise that I have approached this Bill in as impartial a spirit as I can. But when I come to the other principal clauses of the Bill I must say that they appear to me, if I may say so, to be most improperly pressed upon your Lordships' attention this period of the year. I take, for example, the treatment of incipient mental disorder. I think there is a good deal to be said for the clause, but it raises most difficult questions which require to be treated with the greatest care because of the great difference of opinion which exists as to how these questions of lunacy should be touched. We are all of us most particular in safeguarding the liberty of the subject, and although I know that there are safeguards, and that those safeguards may be sufficient, yet one also knows that unless those safeguards are very carefully scrutinised great injustice may be done, and I do not think there is any possibility of giving them that scrutiny at this time of the year. The clause might Survive that scrutiny, but I cannot answer for it, and after the criticisms which have been levelled against the clause I think that the Government would be most unwise to press it now.
I think that even a stronger line can be taken about the clause which forbids a workman earning the wages which he wishes to earn. I am not defending luxury buildings where they compete unduly with the housing of the working classes, but it seems an objectionable way of dealing with the matter to forbid a workman earning whatever wages he can. It ought to be approached from a totally different angle, and this appears to be an objectionable clause, and one which will require immense care at your Lordships' hands.
I do not want to detain your Lordships, but I must say a word about the Poor Law infirmaries. That presents a most remarkable feature of the Bill. In the first place there was a pledge, or something like a pledge, by the Minister of Health that he would not introduce a compulsory clement into that clause. I do not want to accuse him of a breach of faith, but it does give 140 rise to considerable criticism that he should have changed his mind in that respect. The next thing is that neither the Poor Law authorities, from whom these infirmaries are to be taken, nor the county councils, to whom they are to be given, have been consulted. Is that not an astonishing thing? I know that it is so, because I have seen the Poor Law authorities, and they tell me that they have repeatedly asked for an interview with the Minister, and we are told by Lord Galway that the county councils are not prepared at all to take over the infirmaries, or at least have not pronounced upon the matter. Taking them over and working them as general hospitals supported by the rates will make an enormous difference in the whole future of the voluntary hospitals. They will become directly competing bodies, and you want to do that at the very moment that you have a Committee sitting to inquire what shall be the financial future of these voluntary hospitals. The policies are not consistent. The Committee, as your Lordships know, is not an obstructive Committee. It is a Committee which has been appointed in order to arrive at a conclusion with that due despatch which is absolutely requisite in the emergency, and in the middle of the consideration of that Committee, before they have had time to deliberate Or to produce a Report, to project a totally new proposal which upsets all the conditions of the problem is obviously not defensible. I am sure that your Lordships would not wish that Clause 9 should pass in such circumstances.
I could say a good deal more upon it, but I do not wish to detain your Lordships. The clause is quite incomplete as it stands. For example, there is no protection for the poor in it. I mean that when these infirmaries which have been built for the poor are transferred to the county council there is no provision by which the poorer members of the community should have preference in the treatment which is to be accorded. The poor might in fact be crowded out of these very buildings which were built for the poor and for no one else. Your Lordships will see how rough the clause is as it stands. There is no provision for the new medical staff, and there is not sufficient provision to force people who can pay to pay. There is also, what my noble friend Lord Harris has just called your Lordships' attention to, the inevitable expense wheels will fall upon the ratepayers 141 by the change. All this makes a case so strong that I am quite certain we cannot deal with Clause 9 in the week before Christmas in an omnibus Bill. Therefore I would suggest to my noble friend the Leader of the House, who I am sure will recognise that I have approached this subject in a thoroughly business-like spirit, that the Government would do wall to postpone the other stages of the Bill until after Christmas, or, if the other plan be preferable, that the Government should drop all the contentious clauses and only pass those upon which there is general agreement. If that were done I think there would be no difficulty in the matter. If my noble friend would indicate which course he thought it right to pursue I am certain that your Lordships would co-operate to help the Government.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON)
My Lords, I do not propose to speak—indeed, having heard so little of the discussion I am not competent to speak—on the merits of the Bill. Nor would any one expect me to do so, because the point on which I have been asked to express an opinion is one of procedure. The point was first raised by my noble friend Lord Gainford, who, speaking not only for himself but for the Leader of the Opposition (who is unfortunately absent at the moment), defined his attitude as that of general friendliness to the Bill and of anxiety to help in its progress. He concluded with a suggestion to which I will presently refer.
Then followed my noble friend Lord Salisbury, whose attitude was also friendly but distinctly more critical, and he made a rather different suggestion. His suggestion is one which, I may say at the start, I should be very reluctant to adopt. His suggestion was that, regarding the Bill as a measure of a controversial character—I think he described it as an omnibus or hotch-potch Bill, which from one point of view it certainly is—we should ask your Lordships' assent only to those parts which are not controversial and drop the rest altogether, reviving them at some later stage. I should be reluctant to accept that proposal, for the reason that there may be certain differences of opinion as to what are the controversial points of the Bill. The points about which the noble Marquess may desire to excite controversy may not be identical with those which are viewed 142 in a similar spirit by others. I should also hesitate as a general principle to accept the position that it is part of the function of a Government responsible for introducing a Bill that has controversial elements, when the measure comes to your Lordships, at the first sitting at which it is taken, to ask the House to carry into law only those portions of their Bill about which there is no dispute, and indefinitely to postpone the rest. That would be a dangerous precedent to set up.
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
Therefore I should be indisposed to accept the suggestion of my noble friend Lord Salisbury. What was the suggestion of Lord Gainford? As I understand it, it is this. He and his friends are quite disposed to give us a Second Reading of the Bill this evening—
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
The noble Lord spoke also, I understood, for the noble Marquess who is absent.
§ LORD GAINFORD
May I say that what the noble Marquess the Leader of the Opposition asked me to state was that, had he been present, he would have desired to protest against the further stages of this Bill being forced through at the present period of the session.
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
I am happy to say that the noble Lord did not stop at that. Indeed, after endorsing the sentiments of his Leader he put the contrary suggestion that we might fairly ask the House to take the Second Reading to-night if we would postpone the Committee stage to a later date. That proposal rested, of course, upon the hypothesis that it would be impossible for your Lordships to complete the business of the session before Christmas. Yesterday I spoke somewhat hopefully in the opposite sense, but afterwards I listened to the remarks of the noble Marquess, Lord Crewe, who said that there was very small chance indeed of our hopes being fulfilled, and that the difficulty of getting 143 through the whole of our programme before Christmas would be found in practice to be insurmountable. I think that quite likely that is the case. In these circumstances what I have to decide now is whether to press your Lordships to give a Second Reading to this Bill to-night and take the Committee stage next week, or—
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
I am stating the alternatives. I am not commending one rather than the other. The alternatives would be of taking the Second Reading to-night and asking you to take the Committee stage next week, or taking the Committee stage when we meet again after the Christmas adjournment. That, I understand, to be the proposal of the noble Lord namely, that, when we meet in the latter part of the year we should, having got the Second Reading to-night, put this Bill down for Committee. I think that is a quite reasonable proposal, firstly because of the difficulty of crowding too much into the interval between now and Christmas; and, secondly, because it is only fair that your Lordships, in the light of what lets been said to-night—and I have no doubt there are other speeches to be made should have time in which to consider the various points of view. I think it is only fair, too, I from the point of view of the Government. We should like to know very much what are the views of your Lordships, so many of whom, like Lord Salisbury, are thoroughly well qualified to deal with this matter. We would like time to consider what are the controversial points and what modifications may be needed. The noble Marquess made what he called and what I agree was a very business-like and practical speech, and such, I am sure, will be the character of the other speeches to which we are to listen. I am therefore quite disposed myself to accept the suggestion of the noble Lord, Lord Gainford, and to ask your Lordships, to be good enough to give us a Second Reading tonight, and to postpone the Committee stage for the present. I hope that I Shall Satisfy Lord Sheffield by so doing. Then we can set the Committee stage down at an early day when we meet again after the Christmas adjournment in the latter part of the present year.
§ THE MARQUESS OF LINCOLNSHIRE
My Lords, this only shows the difficulty that we get into by having so much business pressed upon us at this period of the session. We really are in a state of some perplexity. We do not quite understand the position in which we stand, and if my noble friend Lord Strachie goes to a Division I shall vote with him. But I should like to have a clear issue so that we might know upon what we are voting.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
I only speak again with the leave of your Lordships. I should like to ask my noble friend the Leader of the House exactly what he proposes. I know that the intention of the Government is that the House shall meet again on December 28.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
I am afraid that most of your Lordships view that prospect with anything but enthusiasm.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
Probably the noble Earl would have made himself almost the most popular man in this House if he had said that the House would not meet until at least a week later than that. I hope he will even consider that, but that, of course, is a detail. If we are going to consider, as we probably shall have to consider, the later stages of the Agriculture Bill and the stages of this Bill, the latter end of the session after Christmas will not be a very brief period. I hope that the Government have faced what that means. It may upset a good many of their calculations if we have a really prolonged sitting after Christmas before the Prorogation, which will inevitably happen if we are to consider this Bill as well as the Agriculture Bill.
I still think that the plan which I ventured to suggest to the Government as the right one—to pass what is really essential in this Bill and to drop the rest—would be much the more businesslike proposal. And though I quite agree with my noble friend the Leader of the House, if I may venture to say so, that no Government can be expected to cut out all the controversial parts of their Bills merely on the suggestion of independent Peers, and that 145 it would be as a general rule an unreasonable proposal, it is not an unreasonable proposal in the week before Christmas. That is the real essence of it. We have got to the period of the year when a long controversial discussion before the Prorogation is almost without precedent.
§ LORD RIBBLESDALE
I do not know what the noble Marquess means by "dropping the clauses which are the most controversial." Does he mean that the Government are to lose all the clauses with which he does not agree?
§ LORD RIBBLESDALE
I know. But have seen something of the procedure of this House, and I think the noble Earl made a distinct proposal. He said he would hang the Bill up and give the House time to consider it before the Committee stage. But the noble Marquess intervened again and said that he did not understand what the noble Earl meant, and then went back to his own proposal which is, after all, almost like pheasants asking to decide about foxes and foxes asking to decide about rabbits. Then he went on to say that his was the more reasonable proposal—namely, that the agreed clauses which nobody wants to discuss should remain where they are and that everything else should be dropped. I Want to know where it is to be dropped to? Is it that the Government are to lose their Bill? The clauses which interest the noble Marquess are controversial clauses, and those are the ones that he wants to see out of the way. Presumably those which interest the Government are also controversial clauses because they deal with things which the Government think ought to be done. I do not know which of the two is right, but I must say that I cannot understand the Government only letting clauses go through that everybody agrees to and knocking everything else out of a Bill of first-class importance and so losing their Bill.
§ THE EARL OF SELBORNE
I do not think that my noble friend who has just spoken or indeed my noble friend the Leader of the House quite appreciate the true position. This is a Bill which emanates 146 from the Department of the Government in which the public have the least confidence, a Department that has made itself profoundly unpopular in the course of the last few years. My noble friend assents to that; it is a Bill in the most extraordinary form. My noble friend the Leader of the House and myself have been in politics now for over thirty years, and I doubt if such a Bill has ever been introduced by a Government in either House of Parliament before. He called it a hotchpotch or omnibus Bill. Neither of those descriptions really suits the whole case. This very controversial and very inartistic Bill is produced to this House less than ten days before Christmas. It is the combination of these extraordinary circumstances that puts the onus on the Government of giving that attentive and courteous consideration to our criticism which my noble friend has already given. I want to ask him to bear patiently with the human weaknesses of those who sit in his House. He will make himself even more popular than he is if he will listen to what my noble friend behind me has said, and not ask us to meet on the 28th of December, but to meet a week later. I think that will make a great difference to the way in which his proposals are accepted by the House. I would also ask him to consider carefully and to consult us if he can as to the order of business when we do meet. We shall then be in some stage or other of the Agriculture Bill, and we shall have this Bill and other business, and the order in which it is taken is a matter of great importance to us all.
My Lords, I feel strongly that this is a very controversial Bill. It introduces a large number of perfectly new principles; it gives new powers and does not merely extend them. And when we are told that it is not fair for the Government to be asked to drop what they consider an important Bill, I say it is not fair for the Government to bring in an important Bill and ram it through the House of Commons by an all-night sitting with no opportunity for discussion. and then ask us at the very close of the session to deal with these important proposals.
For my own part I much prefer that the Bill should be 147 thrown out and stand over for due consideration in the leisure of a new session of Parliament. Next I should prefer what the noble Marquess suggested, that an endeavour should be made to find out which clauses the House would agree to and which would raise very serious discussion, and then let the Government get the clauses which are agreed to generally and drop the others. At any rate if the Government have the vague hope of getting the whole Bill through subject to discussion, I say it is unreasonable to ask us to meet between Christmas Day and the New Year. You would only get a skeleton House, and many noble Lords would not come up. The Government could rely on the presence of certain people they can always rely on, and there would not be the fair and independent discussion to which the House is entitled. If we reassembled about the 4th or 6th of January noble Lords might be induced to be present and there would be a fair discussion. The noble Earl the Leader of the House did not refer at all to meeting later in January, but, twice in his speeches mentioned the week after Christmas. I think that is an unreasonable and intolerable proposal to put before the House. I therefore hope that, unless we have an assurance that at the very least there will be no meeting till January, we shall all vote for the rejection of the Bill.
§ EARL CURZON OF KEDLESTON
My Lords, I can only speak again by the courtesy of the House. There is one point as to which there is absolutely no controversy at all, and that is that it is undesirable to have to meet in the week after Christmas. No person in the position of Leader of this House can afford to lose
§ any opportunity of adding to a popularity which is at any time somewhat dubious; and gladly as I would add to the modest laurels I possess if I could accommodate the House in this matter, perhaps the House will recognise that this is a question which affects another House of Parliament as well as our own, because of course they will be sitting simultaneously. It is therefore out of my power to give any binding assurance on the matter, but I will take the opportunity of presenting to my colleague the Leader of the House of Commons the sentiments which animate your Lordships. From the point of view of a holiday, nobody would he better pleased then myself to have a rather longer one than I had anticipated in my remarks of yesterday.
§ Only one other observation. I thought I had, in reply to my noble friend Lard Gainford, gone some way towards meeting the suggestion of the Opposition, and the only reward I receive is an immediate intimation on the part of the noble Lord, Lord Strachie, that he is going to ask the House to divide with a view of rejecting the Bill on Second Reading. Of course, he night have taken that Division anyhow, but the suggestion is now made that my proposal, or rather Lord Gainford's proposal, is in the circumstances so unwelcome that the only alternative is to throw out the Bill. I can hardly think that your Lordships will adopt that advice, and I invite the House to give the Bill a Second Reading now, relying on the assurances I gave somewhat earlier in the afternoon.
§ On Question, whether the word "now" shall stand part of the Motion?—
§ Their Lordships divided: Contents, 41; Not-Contents, 57.149
|Birkenhead, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Sandhurst, V. (L. Chamberlain.)||Islington, L.|
|Cave, V.||Killanin, L.|
|Hood, V.||Lee of Fareham, L.|
|Abereorn, M. (D. Abercorn.)||Milner, V.||Monk Bretton, L.|
|Peel, V.||Montagu of Beaulien, L.|
|Aneaster, E.||Ormathwaite, L.|
|Bradford, E.||Annesley, L. (V. Valenlia.)||Queenborough, L.|
|Chesterfield, E.||Clwyd, L.||Ranksborough, L.|
|Chichester, E.||Cochrance of Cults, L.||Rathercedan, L.|
|Curzon of Kedleston, E.||Cole brooke, L.||Ribblesdale, L.|
|Dartmonth, E.||Cozens-Hardy, L.||Riddell, L.|
|Lucan, E.||Dawson of Penn, L.||Somerleyton, L. [Teller.]|
|Lytton, E.||Gainford, L.||Southwark, L.|
|Onslow, E.||Harris, L.||Stanmore, L. [Teller.]|
|Vane, E. (M. Londonderry.)||Hylton, L.||Teynham, L.|
|Argyll, D.||Allendale, V.||Lawrence, L.|
|Bertie of Thame, V.||Lovat, L.|
|Bath, M.||Bryce, V.||Merthyr, L.|
|Camden, M.||Devonport, V.||Monckton, L. (V. Galway.)[Teller.]|
|Lincolnshire, M. (L. Great Chamberlain.)||Hutchinson, V. (E. Donoughmore.)|
|Linlishgow, L.||Nunburnholme, L.|
|Abingdon, E.||Askwith, L.||Ormonde, L. (M. Ormonde.)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Avebury, L.||Penrhyn, L.|
|Doncaster, E. (D. Bac[...] and Queensberry.)||Bellew, L.||Redesdale, L.|
|Bledisloe, L.||Saye and Sele, L.|
|Graham, E. (D. Montrose.)||Boston, L.||Stanley of Alderley, L. (L. Sheffield)|
|Ilchester, E.||Chalmers, L.|
|Iveagh, E.||Clanwilliam, L. (E. Clanwilliam.)||Stewart of Garlies, L. (E. Galloway.)|
|Jersey, E.||Crawshaw, L.|
|Lindsay, E.||Deramore, L.||Strachie, L. [Teller.]|
|Lindsey, E.||Ebury, L.||Stuart of Wortley, L.|
|Lovelace, E.||Eeskine, L.||Sudley, L. (E. Arran.)|
|Midleton, E.||Fairfax of Cameron, L.||Wemyss, L. (E. Wemyss.)|
|Morton, E.||Hindlip, L.||Wyfold, L.|
|Westmeath, E.||Kintore, L. (E. Kintore.)||Wynford, L.|
|Wicklow, E.||Lamington, L.|
On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Resolved in the negative, and Amendment agreed to accordingly.