Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £303,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1926, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, including a Subsidy on Sugar and Molasses manufactured from Beet grown in Great Britain, Expenses under the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) Act, 1924, Loans to Agricultural Co-operative Societies, Grants for Agricultural Education and Research, Grants for eradication of Tuberculosis in Cattle, Grants for Land Drainage, a Grant in Aid of the Small Holdings Account, and certain other Grants in Aid; and of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
This Supplementary Estimate, under the guise of, apparently, routine expenditure, raises some questions of very high importance and some points on which the Minister has a discretion to exercise. I want, first, to say a word on the third item, the £250,000 devoted to the Beet Sugar Subsidy. That is in accordance with the Act of Parliament, but there is a point I want to make with regard to the Minister's discretion. The subsidy was granted under the Act on certain conditions. One, for instance, is the condition that in the factories a certain wage shall be paid, and that some machinery shall be recognised in regard to wages. Morally, in my opinion, it also involves a condition affecting agricultural wages. When the Sugar Beet Subsidy was advocated from these benches, it was urged as one of the reasons for such a departure that it would have a valuable effect on agricultural wages. That, I think, was really an integral part of the sugar policy. The right hon. Gentleman the Minister might reply that wages were only affected in regard to certain farms, but I notice with interest that he made a speech yesterday, reported in the papers to-day, in which he advanced the argument that the Sugar Beet Subsidy had been of value to arable farmers, not in individual and separate cases but generally. He said that the Sugar Beet Subsidy has done a great deal to help arable farmers especially, and he is reported to have said that by the subsidy the farmers got 54s. a ton for their beet, whereas in countries like Holland, where there was no subsidy, the farmers got only 30s.
That stated the very obvious fact that the influence on the demand for labour and on farmers' profits has been generally spread over the arable area, and I find confirmation of that fact in the Report of the Ministry upon the proceedings under the Agricultural Wages Act. I find it stated that the extension of sugar beet cultivation in certain areas has resulted in an increased demand for agricultural labour and so on. I feel that the Minister should take into account this fact in exercising his powers in regard to the Agricultural Wages Act. A great point was made of retaining in that Act a Section which gives the Minister power to demand a reconsideration by the local wages committee of the rates which they have fixed, and, not to labour this point too long, I think it is generally felt that in view of the improvement that has taken place in farmers' profits, particularly in the Eastern Counties, it would be very reasonable—and it has Surprised the public that the minimum wage has not been raised above 28s.—
I must point out to the right hon. Gentleman at an early stage of this Debate that the discussion on this Supplementary Estimate must not be turned into a debate on wages. There is no particular item in the Estimate which deals with wages, and the time to raise that question is on the main Estimate, in which an item for agricultural wages does appear.
Some of us are strongly opposed to the whole principle of the subsidy to sugar beet, but we are told that, it has an effect on wages, and, if in being asked to vote another £250,000 we are not permitted to discuss the arguments which are given in favour of granting the subsidy, it will be very difficult for us to proceed.
One of the objections taken to this Vote is that it is extending the principle of the subsidy, against which he have already protested. The justification giver by the Minister has been the benefit which accrues to the wage-earners in the industry concerned. That has been one of the main grounds which he has put forward in support of the extension of the subsidy beyond the limits which were first stated in the original Vote. I submit that it would be very difficult to conduct a discussion on the extension of the subsidy without taking into account the main thesis put forward by the Minister.
It certainly may be generally argued whether the granting of the subsidy does or does not increase wages, but detailed questions of wages certainly cannot be raised on this Vote. It would be departing from all the traditions of Parliament to discuss on this Vote a question which really appears on the main Estimate.
We have been asked to vote a further sum. When the sum was first mentioned, we asked that accounts of the subsidy should be laid. We have had certain accounts laid, and from them we could estimate the amount of the subsidy right down. When we work the figure down for the purposes of the Debate we get a certain result. For example, what is the wage on account of the subsidy given per ton or per acre to these companies? If we cannot refer to this, we shall not be able to get an answer.
If you, Mr. Deputy-Chairman, are not going to allow discussion upon whether or not the subsidy affects wages, how can you comment at all upon the increased fertility of the soil or the increased capability of this industry? I submit, on a point of Order, that if you are going to permit reference to the benefits accruing to the agricultural industry from the subsidy on the one hand, you must also allow a discussion as to the benefits in the other direction.
But if the question of wages is brought out on the one side then, in the other direction, the question of fixing the wages is permissible? We ought to be able to debate that? All that we are suggesting ought to come within the Vote, and, so far as my reading of the forms of Debate and the procedure of this House goes it comes within that category—when the subsidy can be debated here! We are debating the allocation of this money—whether the allocation be in wages or in grants—and surely that particular allocation can be debated by hon. Members who are discussing the Vote?
Am I entitled to ask whether it is correct that the wages of the workmen in the sugar-beet factories are getting cut down? [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"] Some of us are interested because our members work in them. We want to know about the wages in the sugar-beet factories. Are they not regulated by the Agricultural Wages Board? The answer would apparently be "no."
On a point of Order. May I submit that the Committee is voting a certain sum of money in the expectation that that sum is to increase agricultural wages. If the facts prove that that expectation has or has not been fulfilled, surely, in considering the extension of the subsidy, we are entitled to bring that to the notice of the Committee?
I have given my ruling in regard to the extent to which the debate should go. The matters referred to can be mentioned in debate, but they cannot be discussed in detail. It is for me to say how hon. Members are to develop their arguments, but if they go beyond the ruling I have given I must call them to order.
I have found it difficult to separate the general argument from that which you allowed in regard to the connection between the subsidy and the difference in wages and the method by which the Minister can exercise his authority one way or another. Therefore, I found it necessary to allude to his powers of demanding reconsideration from the Committee. You will, I think, allow me, therefore, without going into any detail to allude to one other matter which has been reported, that certain sugar beet factories have a notice posted up that no agricultural labourer need apply. You will allow me to ask the Minister whether he knows anything about this; if it is in connection with action by himself, or whether he is aware that the Minister of Labour has communicated on the point with the exchanges. If there be a connection between the two things, it is in this sort of way that the Minister is responsible, so that it becomes a point of administration and relevant to this Vote.
May I turn to other matters. I want to ask the Minister, before we let this Vote go through, a point in regard to the foot-and-mouth disease expenses. There are two great questions involved in foot-and-mouth disease. There is administration, and there is research. I wish he would tell us whether he has been able to record satisfactory results from the stringent action in regard to the cleaning of railway trucks, and, again, whether the standstill Orders, which I see have been made, have proved a successful experiment. In regard to research, it is now very nearly two years since I myself appointed, what is called, the Leishman Committee. We know that research is a long matter, but we had a Report some eight months ago. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman can tell us whether any new light has been shed on the very urgent situation by the research which has taken place. Abroad I find they are talking about new methods of immunisation. In Italy, for instance, as I saw the other day, they are able now to minimise the effects of the disease, and recovery is extraordinarily rapid. It is not the Italians alone now that make us the subject of ridicule as to our very costly methods of slaughtering. The disease I think is much more virulent here than in more southern and more sunny countries. There mast, however, be a great value in keeping in close touch with the research being conducted in foreign countries, in America and in Germany. I see there are great hopes of further discoveries in Germany. Perhaps the Minister can tell us about, or give us some further confirmation of, what discoveries have been made.
I wonder also—because I myself felt when I was Minister that other things crowded in so much that this business of research was in danger of being a little unduly overlooked—whether something could not be done through the International Agricultural Institute at Home? You have other countries spending a great deal of money on research which is really a matter of international interest. Could not some system be devised for pooling expenses through the Institute—where we have able representation in the person of Sir Thomas Elliot—because the work of research could be to some extent internationalised? We have got unwelcome experience in regard to foot-and-mouth disease in the recurrence of very serious outbreaks in a short period, in 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925 and 1926, and I do not know that there has ever been such a recurrence of the disease. There is a certain danger that we may become habituated to the idea that this must always he with us. Do not let us get asphyxiated into this attitude of mind with respect to foot-and-mouth disease. I hope the Minister will keep in very close touch with the question of research.
The next item with which I want to deal is in regard to tuberculosis. I am not sure whether the figure given of 75 per cent. compensation is entirely correct. Will the Minister tell ue whether it is so in every case?
Seventy-five per cent. is paid. Of course, there must be many cases where the disease could be put down very largely to the fault of the owner who may know that the cow may have been suffering for months together. I do not know whether the Minister could so modify the compensation arrangements that the incidence could be fairer? Clearly, there are some cases where compensation is more deserved than in others. I wonder whether the right hon. Gentleman is using his authority in this matter in connection with tuberculosis. During the time that nothing has been done in regard to it there must have been some increase in the disease. I wonder, again, what has happened in regard to the varying and extraordinary contradictory results of the tests and whether that has held up his hands in any degree? In this matter the Minister's position is rather peculiar, because he is associated with the Minister of Health, and the public suffers from the marked prevalence of the disease.
That is a matter for the Minister, and I cannot, I am afraid, answer that question. The disease is so prevalent that some say 30 per cent. of Cows are affected. The result of the prevalence of this disease is very bad on the public health through the diminished consumption of milk. In this country, consumption is something like 20 gallons per head per annum. In America it is 54 gallons. In Sweden it is 68 gallons. Ours is so low that it is urgent that things should be pushed on in that direction.
To turn to another subject, that of drainage. It is a small item on the paper, but it raises a very great problem, and the Committee are entitled to know much more than they do about the Minister's intentions in regard to spending money on drainage. We ought not to be asked to sign a blank cheque. No doubt he will give us the information, as far as he can, and I hope it will go a long way, because we ought not to pass this token Vote without knowing much more than there is in the White Paper. In the White Paper we are told that grants will be made, but the last sentence alludes also to legislative proposals, so that it is difficult to keep off the forbidden ground of legislative possibilities, seeing that they are mixed up with the only information vouchsafed to us on this £10 vote. If we are to ask for information, it involves us in the question of what alternative plans there are and I hope, Sir, that you will give us as much latitude as possible on the question of drainage, because we are so much in the dark. It is not a question of whether there ought to be a drainage policy, but of how the money ought to be spent. It would be a, sheer waste of time to elaborate the need for drainage, for it is perfectly evident that land is going back in many parts of the country, and at a moderate estimate there are probably a million acres needing special attention. The problem of drainage, and in some cases reclamation, is as big a question as, if not bigger than, that of building.
I hope the Minister can assure us he is tackling the question of a general survey. In my opinion such a survey must be done from Whitehall. That would be far more satisfactory than throwing the burden on to the counties. Till we have a systematic survey, we do not know whether we are spending money in the directions where it is most urgently needed. There are two sides to the problem involved in this token Vote, the question of the machinery and the question of the cost And its fair incidence.
I am afraid the Chairman would not allow me to go very deeply into that question. There is a large number of highly capable men available, and with a sufficient number of men on the job we could limit the period to a quite reasonable time. Everyone knows that drainage authorities overlap, and there is great need for overhauling the frontiers between them. I hope the Minister, if he intends to make grants, will be able to use them in the direction of unifying the activities of small, and sometimes overlapping, authorities dealing with areas which ought to be treated as an entity. If he is contemplating legislation in connection with this problem, he ought, in my judgment, to confer much greater powers on public authorities to compel those who neglect their drainage to carry it out and, if they fail, to enable the authorities to do it and charge those who have been negligent. When it is a question of forming a new authority, it is sometimes possible for individuals to hold up the whole business and prevent the authority being formed. I hope the right hon. Gentle man intends to utilise county councils, and to throw much more responsibility on them.
The really difficult question arises in connection with the incidence of the cost. The Minister may say, "You, the Labour party, when in office, continued grants for drainage." We took office in the middle of the winter season, and when these unemployment grants were made they were, in my judgment, an absolutely sound policy, justified by two particular facts. One was that work for the unemployed was being sought in that emergency, and this drainage work was very useful; and, secondly, if we had attempted to put the cost on to the drainage authorities they could have replied, "This is not the sort of labour we would have employed and not the time of year at which we would have done the job," and therefore we could not impose a charge upon them. Now, as I understand it, the Minister proposes a new departure. What we did was to increase the grants of £250,000 for that season by £60,000 in order to carry the schemes on into the Spring and make preparation for the following season. The whole amount spent in three seasons was, if I remember aright., about £900,000, of which some £250,000 was recoverable from private owners.
Now, I suppose, a much bigger operation is contemplated; it is to be drainage on its merits, and not, because we want to find unemployment relief work. Therefore, before we pass the Vote, the Minister ought to assure the Committee that we are going to proceed on a really sound principle. It is a difficult thing to harmonise strict principle in regard to expenditure of this kind, which benefits the land, with the need in practice for getting on quickly. What we can see clearly is, first, that large resources will be lost to the country if we do not act quickly or in some way stimulate the owners, the local people to act. Certain owners may be very indifferent as to whether an area of land does go out of cultivation or not, and we cannot allow that to happen in the public interest, but we cannot interfere with the private individuals unless we take new powers. While, on the one hand, the business is extremely urgent, we ought also to agree that there is a, very strict limit to what may be done in the way of spending public money. We do not want to provide by this scheme for a gratuitous betterment of the land, any more than we should want to undertake some huge urban improvement, like the creation of the Thames Embankment in Mr. Glad-stone's time—nobody would say it was a sound thing to give some gigantic betterment to individuals at the expense of the State.
In embarking on drainage schemes the Minister ought to take care that we do not do that. I would ask him to consider his own position, as I should consider mine if my neighbour were complaining in regard to the scanty acres I possess that ditches are not clean and that I ought to clean them. If the Minister is fortunate enough to own any of that delightful sandy land which he represents in the House, I do not believe he would say, supposing there ought to be better drainage, or redrainage, of that land, that the State ought to come and make a large contribution towards the expenditure. When we look at the matter in a personal way, it appears to me very easy to see that we must be extremely careful in deciding what contribution is due from the State. The Drainage Act, 1918, lays it down in regard to smaller schemes that they must not be embarked on where the cost will exceed the increase of value. It is assumed that there will be a proportionate increase in value. On the other hand, there are some schemes in which the public, as distinct from the owner of the land, clearly has an interest in seeing that drainage is carried out. In one of his recent books, Lord Ernle enumerates the things which the State has begun to do for the farmer and owner which 50 years ago nobody would have dreamed the State would do. We must all agree that there must be a limit to the contributions the State makes when the owner, as distinct from the public, is going to gain. I think we can see that it would be almost as absurd as to make a large donation to an owner, as it would be, say, to undertake the liming of his land. There is a great distinction between a scheme of drainage and a scheme of liming, but it has even been proposed that there should be State contributions towards helping to put lime on the land. We can clearly see that we must be very careful when we get to that point.
When it comes to the question of what we ought to do, it seems to me that we ought to adhere to a principle such as this: that the contribution of the owner should be as nearly as possible equivalent to the gain that he secures. How to carry that out is for the Minister to decide. It is to some extent carried out in the contributions under the Unemployment Grants. They vary in extent as between one authority and another, and I want the Minister to assure us that he is going to adhere strictly to a principle, of that kind. Our difficulties are multiplied a hundred times because we have not got control of the land, and in my judgment there is no satisfactory method except the acquisition of the land we are draining—that would be the right way to administer this fund. Those are the points I want to raise, and I think we shall fail in our duty if we do not ask for satisfaction before we pass this Vote.
I beg to move to reduce the Vote by 5100.
The right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken made a very interesting observation on the consumption of milk in this country, in the United States and in Sweden, and, quite rightly, drew the attention of our new Minister of Agriculture to the point. Something ought to be done to encourage the consumption of milk in this country. I think one of the reasons why the consumption is higher in the United States and in Sweden is that in both those countries Prohibition is in force.
Milk used to be drunk in large quantities by young people a few years ago, but now they drink alcohol. But even if young people must drink alcohol, they can drink it with milk. With regard to the pernicious practice of drinking among young women, if they drank more milk and less alcohol it would be better both for their morals and their health. The effect of the figures which have been given in this Debate show that the position of this country in regard to the consumption of milk is below the normal, and the Minister of Agriculture ought to do something to increase the consumption of milk by propaganda and by consultation with the Minister of Health and the Home Secretary.
With regard to land drainage my right hon. Friend the Member for Northern Norfolk (Mr. N. Buxton) paid a great tribute to the Liberal land scheme in his closing remarks. Of course, it is going to be absurd if, for the sake of providing employment and helping farmers, we are going to the expense of draining the land and afterwards making a present to the landlords of the improved value at the expense of the State. We have been told that there is going to be a contribution to the landlords, but I would like to ask the Minister of Agriculture if he is going to see that the landlord carries out the regulations applying to land and also carries out his duties as a landlord. Is the landlord going to have a present made to him of the enhanced value of the land through the drainage, or is it going to accrue to the State? Are the landowners whose land is to be drained going to contribute any proportion of the cost for the benefit they receive? That is a very important matter, and in the present state of land tenure we cannot go on providing drainage schemes when only the owners will benefit by it. I notice the First Lord of the Treasury is in his place drew the attention of the Financial Secretary the other day to the way in which the Estimates were presented, and I wish to draw the attention of the First Lord of the Treasury to this matter today. These Estimates are drawn up in a way which makes it most difficult for hon. Members to understand them, and I am afraid that the deliberate intention
in some cases is to mislead the Committee. Item JJ is for
Grants to Drainage Authorities to meet part of the cost of approved drainage schemes for the improvement of agricultural land.
The sum asked for is £10. What does it mean? I turn to the main Estimates, and I cannot find any item under JJ. This Supplementary Estimate is for grants to drainage authorities, and it is a totally new service and should be explained to the Committee. Supplementary Estimates ought not to be presented in this slip-shod way. What is the Department going to do with this £10? It is not at all proper that the Estimates should be presented in this very loose manner.
With regard to beet-sugar, will the right hon. Gentleman inform us how it is that miscalculations have taken place which render it necessary now to ask for a further £250,000. To me this seems very extraordinary. Is the reason because the beet factories are being put up more rapidly than was expected; or has there been a great saving by having the machinery imported from Holland instead of buying it in this country? We were told that this scheme was going to provide employment, and yet it is well known that a great deal of the machinery for this new industry has been bought abroad, just as in the case of the stamp used by the Post Office authorities for stamping on letters the words, "Buy British Goods." The same argument applies to people who urge people to buy British goods and then go for a holiday to Monte Carlo. [An HON MEMBER: "What about Ostend"!] I have only been there once since the War, and I only went over for 24 hours.
What is the real truth about the employment of agricultural labourers in connection with this scheme? Here we have agriculture subsidised by the State, and yet in regard to this scheme agricultural labourers are declared ineligible for employment. It is very unfair to discriminate against an important class of workers like this. I am against this subsidy in any case, but I shall be more strongly against it if it is being used in this way. I hope hon. Members who represent agricultural constituencies will remember this fact. If it is true that this scheme is going to be of great assistance to agricultural labourers, is it right to lay down that these poor agricultural labourers should not be allowed to work in any of these factories in their own neighbourhood, and it is very unfair that the Government should put obstacles in their way. Surely this is a point which ought to rouse the ire of hon. Members opposite, because it is really a lapse to the days when serfs were bound to the estates and the manors. I think the Minister of Agriculture should be pressed to give an answer to this point. He may not be responsible, because he has only just taken up his office, but I think it would be a good thing for him to put this important matter right without any further delay. In order to mark our disapproval of these Votes containing these ridiculous restrictions, I hope hon. Members will support the reduction which I move.
I want to say a word or two about the money required for the animal diseases grant. Foot-and-mouth disease is inflicting enormous injury to the agricultural industry, and, in addition, very large sums of money are being paid by the Treasury. Agricultural opinion in Scotland considers that we are not taking all the possible steps which we might take to prevent the disease coming into the country from Continental Europe. In Germany, Holland, and Denmark this disease is rampant, and yet we allow hay and straw to come in from those infected countries as packing material. By the substitution of wood wool, as a packing material, instead of hay and straw, this source of infection might be eliminated. Then, in addition, German and Dutch potatoes which have been stored there and covered with their infected straw may also bring in the disease to us.
The enormous injury which the agricultural industry suffers by these continuous and continued outbreaks of disease is well known, and I think it is only right that we should take every practical step that can be taken to stamp out this disease. Up to the present time I do not think we have been doing all we might do in this direction. With regard to these land drainage grants, I am at a loss to know whether Scotland comes under them, but I should almost think it does not. I should like to hear from the Minister of Agriculture whether Scotland is in any way going to be affected by the money which is being voted to-day under this Vote.
I want to deal for a few moments with the question of land drainage. During the last few days I have been asking the right hon. Gentleman if he could assure the House that, in regard to the money which was to be expended on drainage schemes, the Government would have any control over the future use of the land so improved. The Minister of Agriculture has told us that, during the past three years or so, some £640,000 has been spent upon the improvement of privately-owned land, and that the Ministry of Agriculture has no control over the future use of the land or over the rent which the landlord may charge. I really think that idea is wrong in principle, and is not likely to have the desired effect.
First of all, if the land is badly drained, as was stated to-day, it would in many cases go out of cultivation altogether, and for the moment that land would be absolutely useless to the existing landowner. In the case of slum property in urban or city areas when property reaches a certain stage of dilapidation, and is no longer tenantable, you tell the landlord that he cannot enjoy receiving further rents for that property, and he must relinquish it on account of its condition, and that also applies equally in the case of any waterlogged land in this country. I agree that all parties ought to welcome any really big scheme for draining water off land which is going to increase the amount of land for arable cultivation in this country.
I noticed, however, in reply to a question a few days ago, the right hon. Gentleman told us that, notwithstanding any improvements that may have been effected as a result of national finances having been provided, the arable acreage had been reduced no less than a quarter of a million acres between 1924 and 1925, so that there at all events we can see that whatever happens to be the best paying proposition for the moment, the producers of food or landowners work in that particular direction. It, seems to me that there may be some logic from their point of view in doing so, but from the national point of view it is entirely wrong in principle that we should be supplying unlimited sums of money to improve land which the nation does not own.
I should not imagine that one could find a single landowner in the whole of the country who happens to be the owner of waterlogged land, who does not also own a good deal of land that is providing him with a decent rental per annum. And just as the man with two, three or more factories happens to have two factories bringing in a fair return, say, of 10 per cent. or 20 per cent. dividend, and one factory which has gone out of production and no longer up to existing requirements, if that factory owner came to the Government demanding certain sums of money before he put his old factory into production again, he would have an equal right to demand national money as has the landowner who owns 10,000 acres, perhaps 1,000 of which happen to be waterlogged at the moment. To my mind the landowner who always makes the best of his opportunities, when the land is used for the urban population, to exact the highest price either when it is used for housing or other social purposes, ought to be called upon to drain his land just as in urban areas. There is no consideration then as to whether or not bad sanitation, if improved, is going to be profitable to the property owner. When hon. Members opposite happen to be members of urban authorities or city authorities, and it is discovered by the sanitary authorities that there is insanitary property, do they send word to the property owner and ask him, "Will it be profitable to you to put your insanitary property in a sanitary condition, and, if not, will you put it in a sanitary condition if a part, say, two-thirds, of the capital required is provided?" They do not say anything of the kind. They tell the owner that he has got to comply with the local health regulations and to put the property in a fair condition, whether it is going to be profitable or not. I think that is exactly what ought to happen with large tracts of waterlogged land in this country.
The right hon. Gentleman tells us that the landowners have not increased the rent of any land that has been improved as the result of the use of national finances. He tells us that there is no further profit for the landowner. Ought the landowner to be entitled to any
further profit? Ought he, for instance, to be permitted to remain the landowner when he is not prepared to drain and remove all impediments from the land? The right hon. Gentleman, in reply to a question yesterday, said:
Some of this drainage would not in itself be economic under present marketing conditions.
I would like to ask him what he meant by that. He added:
But without it the land would have gone out of cultivation."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th February, 1926; col. 1523, Vol. 191.]
The obvious implication is this, that unless the various Governments are prepared to provide hundreds of thousands of pounds to drain privately-owned land it will slowly but surely go out of production, and men will be thrown out of work and become more and more dependent on imported food, and to that extent one will need a bigger Army or Navy, as some Members opposite always argue. That seems to me to be an entirely wrong policy. Either the nation should declare that it is going to schedule areas for the purpose of drainage schemes, and they are not going to provide money to drain land which in future will be privately-owned, or they themselves, having scheduled fairly large areas, ought to become the owners of that land.
I quite agree that the logical deduction from my remarks would mean that the only solution would be to nationalise land and drain it property, but I have no desire to pursue that particular subject. What I should like to suggest is, first of all, that these small, isolated, piecemeal drainage schemes, ostensibly for the purpose of providing work, are not only not bringing large tracts of land into cultivation and providing a fairly large volume of work, but are not having the desired effect in either one of the two directions. If we are going to contemplate the spending of large sums of money for these particular purposes, it seems to me that we could find better ways and means than spending this money as has been the case in the past.
The right hon. Gentleman in his White Paper—and I think we all agree with this phrase—declared that one of the most serious impediments to great production was the waterlogged condition of considerable are-as in different parts of the country. Any person travelling between Peterborough and London does not need to be persuaded of that. But, again, I repeat that this land remains in the hands of people who are not interested in its drainage, and who are only waiting for the Government to come along and say: "Well, we have got such an unemployment problem that it would probably pay us better to provide money and drain your land and put some men in work than to leave these men out of work and receiving unemployment pay," thereby permitting the landowner, who is neither a patriot nor a well-wisher of his country, to employ national funds for his own purposes. Any Member who has been in this House during the last 12 months needs no persuading as to what the present Government had been doing with vested interests in various ways. No section of the community has been better treated and has received more presents at the hands of the Government than has the land owning community. This drainage business calls for a good deal of comment from the right hon. Gentleman, and he ought to be willing to tell us two things: first of all, that future drainage schemes are going to be on a large scale, and that the real intention is to extend the area of land available for arable cultivation; and, further, that he is not going to be dealing with little tin-pot schemes, finding a few dozen men work, but something that is going to be of lasting value to the nation, and that the landowner has got to see that that land is used for the production of food.
The right hon. Gentleman told us yesterday, in reply to a question, he had no guarantee of that. There is £640,000 being spent in improving privately-owned land, and actually he has no guarantee that this land shall not be used in future for the production of game or sport. I think when money is spent it should be on a big scheme, and should provide permanent and not temporary work. It should be a scheme that is going-to be of real national and permanent value, and not one that is going to enrich the indifferent landowner, for although such a landowner may not be making bigger profits at the moment—and I think the right hon. Gentleman will not deny my argument—if he does not increase his rent beyond, a reasonable point, is there anything, in the provisions laid down under which these schemes are undertaken, which says that the landowner shall not sell the land when he desires to, and if he desires to sell it, is there anything to prevett him from taking away the value of the improvements which have been effected as the result of the expenditure of national finances? These are questions to which we are entitled to real answers, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman is going to tell us that his idea in future is to be much bigger than the ideas of his predecessors and that the landowner is not going to have the first call, and that if he gets a call at all, it should be the last.
I think it will save the time of the Committee if I at once answer some of the points which have been raised. It is very pleasing to find myself in agreement with some of the arguments of the hon. Member opposite, and I can assure him that our new scheme of land drainage complies with some of the conditions which the last speaker specially laid down. What I want to make plain from the start is that that is really discussing a matter which does not arise under this Supplementary Estimate at all. We are not discussing on this new Vote anything to do with the unemployment scheme far which the hon. Member for Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) has so little use. There was a good deal he said about tin-pot schemes.
If I may interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, the Estimate speaks of the improvement of agricultural land, and in all his answers he refers to be schemes being undertaken exclusively for providing employment in the winter months.
The hon. Member is referring to certain questions answered in the House of Commons about the expenditure under the old system. That does not arise on this. Vote, and, if I may mention it, it is not strictly in order on this Vote. Therefore, many of the statements which he has quoted, and which are, no doubt, very apt to his argument, really do not arise on this Vote, because we are not dealing with these unemployment schemes at all, but with larger capital schemes which we hope to institute in the future. The unemployment schemes were instituted for a particular purpose, and I believe that they were justified, but they were certainly not as efficient as the schemes which we are now asking the House to sanction and which will be done, not only in the winter months, but at the best period of the year for this drainage work.
We were told by the right hon. Gentleman who opened the Debate that the State should not contribute to maintenance schemes—I think he used that word—and that in this expenditure, for which we are to-day taking a token Vote, no schemes ought to be started except major schemes, which would not be instituted by the statutory drainage authorities without assistance from the Exchequer. Before I leave the unemployment scheme, however, I think it is only fair to deal with the point raised by the hon. Member for Don Valley, that we have been looking after vested interests, and to point out that, under the administration of the right hon. Gentleman, in the case of these voluntary schemes, the landowner was only called upon to contribute 33 per cent. of the cost. If we are looking after vested interests, did not his own Government do so? Did not they do more, seeing that, since they went out of office, we have tightened the conditions, and have exacted 90 per cent. instead of the 33 per cent. which satisfied hon. Gentlemen opposite.
Not at all; he brought in the Estimates, and he was responsible for the Estimates which were in force when we came into office; and, under those Estimates, in the case of voluntary schemes, only 33 per cent. was exacted from the landowner. I do not think it is a matter of importance, and I do not, want to take it up as between one side and the other, but, when we are attacked for looking after vested interests, it is only fair to point out that we have tightened up the conditions, and I believe that, under the conditions which have been in force, the vested interests of which we have heard this afternoon will really have got no advantage at all, because I believe they have themselves paid the full amount of the benefit which they have received.
To come to the new schemes, they will be schemes for statutory drainage authorities, and normally the State will contribute one-third of the cost. In exceptional cases there may, perhaps, be a contribution of 50 per cent. but all cases of maintenance will be strictly ruled out. We are approaching the drainage authorities. A letter will be going out shortly inviting them to send in their schemes, and we shall administer the money for which this token Vote is given on the basis of only approving for grants those capital schemes of statutory drainage authorities for which there is evidence that it would not be possible to carry them out without assistance from the Exchequer.
The normal contribution will be 33 per cent., but, where exceptional circumstances are shown to exist, we may be able to sanction amounts up to 50 per cent., which will be the maximum. I hope the voluntary schemes will go on, although they will in future get no part of this assistance. The right hon. Gentleman asked about a survey. Circulars were sent out to all the drainage authorities, and we have now got the information, which, generally speaking, confirms that which was already in the possession of the Department. I do not think that any further steps are necessary to obtain all the facts upon which to decide on our drainage policy.
Yes. Whether the circulars went to the statutory drainage authorities as well, or not, I do not know, but they certainly went out to all the county councils, so that the whole of the ground has been covered. The right hon. Gentleman raised the question of wages in connection with the new sugar beet industry, but I understand that I should be out of Order if I made any but a passing reference to this matter. I would point out, however, that, under the Agricultural Wages Act, it is the duty of the Wages Committee to consider what is practicable, and, naturally in deciding what rates of wages it is within the power of the industry to pay, they must take into account all the conditions, such as this new and valuable industry which has been set up. It is easy, however, to exaggerate the effect of an industry of this kind. I see that, in the right hon. Gentleman's own county of Norfolk, with 1,011,000acre—
Then I will say no more about it, but I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that there is no reason to doubt that the Agricultural Wages Committees are taking all these matters into consideration. The right hon. Gentleman raised the point of agricultural labour not being accepted at the factories. We really cannot control that it is a matter between the factories and the farmers. In no case can the Employment. Exchanges dictate to employers what kind of labour they shall take on.
Some employers may say they will only take union members, and in that case the Employment Exchanges do their best to meet their requirements. I understand that in some cases the factories have made arrangements with the farmers, before the farmers signed their contracts, that they would not make it impossible for the farmers to grow and harvest their crops by taking away their labour. This industry cannot be established except by co-operation between the factories and the farmers; it is no use building a factory if the farmers will not grow the sugar beet.
Was it not laid down by the Government, and was not the argument used in this House, that such an industry would assist the agricultural labourer to improve his position? How can he improve his position as an agricultural labourer if he is barred from the factory?
I very much doubt whether it does improve the agricultural labourer's position to casualise his labour. If the agricultural labourer is working on the farm—
At low wages, I admit—he has the expectation of continuous wages. If he goes to the factory, he becomes a casual worker for about 12 weeks in the year, and does not oven qualify by the necessary number of contributions for the receipt of unemployment benefit. Therefore, I demur to the view that it would be to the advantage of the agricultural labourer to encourage him to leave his permanent employment and, after 12 weeks, be certainly thrown out of work with no right to draw unemployment pay.
One point that was made was that there were in the agricultural industry a large number of people who were not fully employed all the year round, and that the factories which would be set up by the subsidy would provide work for these people. What is the ruling that is laid down with regard to agricultural labourers? Are those people who get, say, 30 or 35 weeks' work in the agricultural industry to be barred from the short season in the factory?
I am sorry I have no information on that point. We do not come into it at all, any more than we do as between any other employer and the men whom he chooses to take on. Certain conditions are laid down in the Act of Parliament, which, admittedly, was drafted by our predecessors.
As I have said, I understand that arrangements have been made in certain cases between the factories and the farmers, but the point is that under the Act of Parliament we have no power to interfere even if we thought it advisable to do so.
The right hon. Gentleman also raised the question of foot-and-mouth disease, and asked what we were doing with regard to railway trucks. He will remember that railway trucks are a very dangerous source of infection, and we are watching the matter very carefully. Only a week ago I discussed it with some of the members of the Animal Diseases Committee of the National Farmers' Union, and we have arranged to take special steps to see that disinfection is adequately carried out.
The hon. Member for Forfar (Sir H. Hope) raised the question of packing, and suggested that, if we could import articles into this country packed in wood wool, we should avoid this danger. We went into that matter, but, in the first place, it is impossible to get direct evidence in reference to packing material. We may take sacks, boxes and containers of various kinds, and deal with them in laboratories, but it is like searching for a needle in a colossal haystack to try to find infectivity among all the vast bulk of suspected material that comes into the country. We have gone as far as we can by laying down that all these possible sources of infection in packing material shall be destroyed under certain conditions, and shall not be brought into contact with livestock, and, in other circumstances, in certain cases shall not be exposed in markets where they could possibly affect stock. The difficulty is that a very large number of our importing industries import articles which are packed in hay and straw, and, without direct evidence, it would be impossible to get those industries to agree to the inconvenience they would suffer if all these trade customs were brought to an end.
Of course, hay and straw may well be a source of infection, but there are other sources which are even more likely. We have strong evidence against migratory birds, and there is even stronger evidence against vegetables brought from the Continent—from infected farms, perhaps—and meat brought from the Continent and from the Argentine. Certain outbreaks have been traced to the feeding of pigs with swill made from unboiled vegetables of foreign origin, or parings of imported meat. At the request of the Leishman Committee, Sir Stewart Stockman is now on his way to the Argentine to inquire into this matter, and to see whether or not effective steps are being taken to prevent carcases in the infective stage being brought into this country. The right hon. Gentleman was anxious to know what the Leishman Committee were doing. They published their first progress report last year, and this year we shall get another report showing what has since been done, but he will remember from his inquiries in the matter that you cannot turn on scientific research with the certainty that you can turn on gas and water, and you may often have to wait a long time for the result, and then find it in an unexpected quarter. I can assure the Committee that everything in the power of that Committee is being done to press on with the work, and to try to save us the odious necessity under which we now live of having to slaughter all these animals.
I was asked about the standstill Order. During its operation—it may not have been due to the order; it may have been due to other circumstances—the number of outbreaks fell from 101 in November to 35 in December and to 14 in January. We withdrew the Order in the latter part of January and, I am sorry to say, since then the condition is slightly worse. In the first half of February we have had 18 fresh outbreaks, but mostly in already infected areas and therefore probably in no way connected with the withdrawal of the standstill Order. But really, when you consider the position in other countries, I think the Committee may feel confident that our policy is justified. Taking the worst month I have mentioned, that is November, when we put on the standstill Order, in this country we had only 101 outbreaks. In Denmark, in October, there were 5,100 outbreaks: in Holland, 4,300; in France, 3,200 and in Spain, 29,500 animals were attacked with the disease. There can be no question that it is to the advantage of the community that we should be saved this appalling loss that has been incurred in other countries where the disease has got out of control, and undoubtedly it is due to our policy that we have been able to avoid these serious developments.
The figures for Denmark are pretty constant, though they fluctuate from month to month. In June they were 2,600, and they rose by October to 5,100. Of course, there is seasonal variation, which is probably due to the effect of sunshine in destroying the virus, and there is also evidence that there are two strains of infection, and animals that are immune to one strain are not necessarily immune to the other. But all this is being inquired into by the Leishman Committee. They are in close touch with the methods that are adopted abroad, but I think, in view of the complete inability of those methods to check the disease, we have neglected no means which could by any possibility be effective in foreign countries.
The right hon. Gentleman asked about tuberculosis compensation, and suggested that as we did not vary our percentage from 75 it might encourage people to keep their animals alive in an infectious state. The way we avoid that danger is by providing that the local authorities pay only one quarter of the value or, on the average, about £2 10s. compensation in advanced cases, and three-quarters of the value or, on the average, about £10 in early cases. The State contribution is three-quarters of the sum paid by the local authorities. The incentive to the owner to deal with infectious cases in an early stage is offered by the difference that is paid by local authorities in compensation. To prevent any misunderstanding in the case of these steps that are taken to deal with tuberculosis, may I remind the Commit tee that they are not designed to deal with all tuberculous cattle. They are only aimed at stamping out the actively infectious cases—cattle that fall into emaciation due to tuberculosis, and the even greater danger of cattle that suffer from tuberculosis of the udder. I believe the developments are satisfactory under this Order. Local authorities seem to have taken it up very energetically, and for that reason we have spent rather more money in the first few months than we expected. We have dealt with rather more cattle than have been estimated, but the compensation has been rather lower. We have reason to believe that the worst cases have been dealt with first, and by the energetic measures that have been taken it is likely that the demands for compensation and the number of cattle slaughtered may be rather less in the next few months thin it was when the system was first inaugurated.
The subheads under this Vote are not so unconnected as might appear on the surface, and the right hon. Gentleman's speech shows how closely they are related. May I refer, first of all, to the trouble that comes to every Ministry in turn dealing with animal diseases? The amount of compensation paid to farmers under our slaughter system is no more than the animals are worth, but the farmer is not thereby freed from loss. It is not a mere question of losing his stock. It means that the whole arrangements of his farm, which may have taken years to build up, are interrupted, the whole farming operations are broken down, and it very often means a complete break of continuity that was of the utmost value to the farmer and everyone dependent on the farm. This compensation payment, therefore, can never be adequate for the total loss that is incurred in the areas that are affected, and the melancholy tale the right hon. Gentleman has had to tell to-day is similar to that which has been told again and again ay his predecessors. The experience not only of his Department but of the Treasury points every year to the fact that there can be no more profitable expenditure made by his Department than in effective scientific research, which would throw further light on these mysterious diseases and, we hope, curtail their virulence and perhaps enable us ultimately to stamp them out altogether. In that I feel sure the whole Committee is united, and we must all welcome the setting up of the Leishman Committee some time ago and the activities of the Board's scientific staff.
Now I come to the connection of some of these other Votes with this very problem. We are asked, in this Supplementary Vote, to provide another £250,000 in subsidy to sugar beet. If you compare what has been done under the Sugar Beet Subsidy with what could be done with a smaller expenditure in scientific research, the advantage to agriculture is out of all proportion. By an expenditure of £250,000 on scientific research the right hon. Gentleman's Department and his scientific officers would have been able to throw far more light on the mysteries of foot-and-mouth disease. They could, with the £1,250,000 that has been provided for the sugar subsidy, have conducted experiments in areas where it was possible to obtain complete isolation, and they would have been able to investigate in a way that is quite impossible in this country, where even the investigation area might be a centre of infection, and yet the scientific branch of the Department has been starved from the beginning. I cannot go into the expenditure of the Board's new laboratory, but it is really no credit to the Department, and still less to the Treasury, that the laboratory should be starved of money and men from its very inception.
In the days when that laboratory scheme was first started we had hoped we might be able to take toll not only of those who were skilled in veterinary science, but that we might obtain some of the young men who were trained in the region of human medicine in order that investigation might be carried on by them. Everyone who has had anything to do with research work of this nature knows that you must make the researcher entirely free from financial necessity. You must enable him to settle down and make research his life work. If he is a first rate researcher he does not require very great remuneration to induce him to stick to his job throughout his life. They obtain very rapidly a curious enthusiasm for scientific investigation, which is one of the greatest honours of a learned profession, and that, I believe, would have been one of the benefits of drawing these men into the region of animal diseases, which has been neglected by the Government because they have gone in for subsidies to individual industries, thinking they were conferring a little benefit here and a little benefit there.
They have lost their sense of proportion in the expenditure of public money. If we were able to get rid of foot-and-mouth disease we should every year be better off by from £500,000 to £2,000,000, and we should certainly add enormously to the productivity of the soil and the number of our livestock. If you could get rid altogether of swine fever you would confer benefits not only on the large farmer but what is of equal, perhaps of more importance, on those small cultivators who have their one or two pigs. And yet the losses which year after year we suffer from these animal diseases, running up to £2,000,000, are out of all proportion to the benefits which you say accrue from these subsidies we are now being asked to vote here. That is the direct connection of subhead N.1. with subhead H.1, The right hon. Gentleman would be more profitably employed in spending money on scientific research than on the promotion of sugar beet companies. Let me draw his attention to what is now obviously the concern of people outside. The benefit that may accrue to any agricultural area from the development of beet growing and the planting down of a sugar factory is not the only thing that has to be considered. We have to consider who gets the benefit out of these grants of public money. In the first place, we know that those who grow the beet undoubtedly have been getting some benefit out of these grants, although those benefits up to the present, I believe, have been exaggerated. The main portion of the profit which accrues from these schemes goes to those who own and finance the factories, and not to the farmers. The farmers may have got some benefit out of it, but they have not got the whole or by any means the whole of the benefit.
What about their employés? As far as we can ascertain, their employés are no better off under the new system than they were under the old. May I remind the right hon. Gentleman, who has been speaking as to the men who might or might not be employed in the factories, that when the sugar beet schemes were recommended to this House one of the grounds on which they were pressed was that there was a great deal of seasonal work to be done in the factories. We were told again and again that the work in the factories came when the work on the farms was slack and that a man who might be employed 33 or 35 weeks on the farm would find the rest of the year filled up with profitable employment in the sugar beet factory. I feel sure that the Minister of Agriculture would not think of putting up an official notice to say that agricultural labourers need not apply for work in the factories. It would be outside his official duties to do that; but somebody has been doing it. The fact remains that in some of these factories the undertaking has actually been given to the Tanners that their employés would not be taken on in the factories. That comes dangerously near a breach of faith with the House of Commons, for in the House of Commons we were told that this seasonal work would be an advantage to the dwellers in the rural areas. We now find that the thing is so administered that the actual rural worker, who has lived the whole of his We in the villages and is attached to the farms, is going to be debarred from this more remunerative work in the factories.
It is very shortsighted on the part of the farmers in these areas to restrict the employment of their employés. Nothing could be better for the farmers and for their employés than that the total annual remuneration of the men who work in the areas should be raised. They want to attract men into these areas and, in particular, they want to keep in these areas the young men who are drifting to the towns. They cannot expect them to remain in these areas if they find that they are to be debarred from employment in some of the factories because they are already working for part of the year on the farms. A combination of regular farmwork and casual work in the factories is one of the ways in which country life can be made more attractive to the rural population and it ought to be cultivated rather than discouraged by the Ministry of Agriculture.
I will not stress the main point on which we are opposed to beet-sugar subsidies. They are an example of the dangers which grow out of grants of this kind from public funds. We have seen the subsidy grow up to one and a quarter million pounds very rapidly, far more rapidly than either the Ministry of Agriculture or the Treasury anticipated. Simultaneously with that grant, guarantees have been made under the Trade Facilities Act to the companies, in order that they may be provided with the necessary capital. They are getting a double advantage. They get their capital at the same rate that the Government would have to pay when borrowing for its own needs. They get their subsidy on the basis of 2d. in subsidy for every twopenny-worth of product they produce—a scale of subsidy without parallel in this country.
That has been carried on to such an excellent extent that they certainly have been successful in drawing into the sugar-beet business financiers and others to whom interest in sugar-beet is of most recent growth. They never thought of sugar-beet until 12 months or so ago, when it struck them it was worth while tip invest their capital in it, seeing that they could get advantages under the Trade Facilities Act and make such quicker profit as is possible by getting 2d. subsidy for every twopennyworth of sugar they produce.
Looking at the matter strictly from the financial point of view, there would be sufficient reason to say that it was bad national finance that we were not getting good value out of it; but there is the further fact that the funds at the disposal of the right hon. Gentleman, admittedly far too small at the present time, are being thrown away in less profitable instead of more profitable channels. I urge my right hon. Friend that rather than foster the extension of this beet-sugar industry he should do what he can to get some money for the extermination of diseases in this country. That would be far more important for the well-being of agriculture.
On the question of land-drainage grants the right hon. Gentleman has not given us at any great length or detail particulars of the land-drainage schemes which he has in his mind and which he projects for the future. It is clear that the general principles laid down by the hon. Member for the Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) cannot be gainsaid. If there is to be an expenditure of national money in the draining of waterlogged land, you cannot in justice allow the increased value of that waterlogged land which is to be drained to accrue to private owners, without a full contribution from the private owners. The drainage rates or drainage taxes ought to be imposed up to the full value of the added wealth of that area. There is no doubt that it would be impossible to continue to work these schemes on the basis of grants to private owners. The grants to private must of necessity be small, and they cannot be effective.
Drainage schemes depend not on the artificial areas of estates and historical boundaries of private ownership; they depend entirely on the lie of the land. There are many private drainage schemes which have been reined because there were less enterprising people alongside more enterprising people; there was penury among some landlords just as there was a rich expenditure of money among others. The right hon. Gentleman has adopted the right plan in helping the drainage authorities. I would like to see him add to the powers of the drainage authorities. I would like them to have not only the power of drainage and engineering schemes but also the power of taxing those who benefit. He it not likely to recommend to this House schemes of land nationalisation. I have never seen any tendency on his part to step out on that road, but may I point out to him that in making these grants on these terms he is putting a strong argument in the mouths of those who believe in land nationalisation?
I can undersand that it may be profitable and beneficial to grant money for the development of great areas like the Sunk Island; but that is Crown land and every penny spent there means that the value accrues to the Crown. Some of the best land in the world is to be found there. The soil is rich. It has been enriched by drainage, and the benefit accrues to the Crown in the first place, and, secondly, to those who have the good fortune to be the tenants of the Crown, which is a most excellent combination. I do not suggest that we should transfer the whole of the waterlogged land in this country to the Crown, but short of that the right hon. Gentleman, if he is to protect public interests and not give private advantage without private expenditure, he should see that the full added value which conies from these drainage schemes should accrue to the public and not to private individuals.
I want to raise two questions. The first relates to the localities where the sugar-beet factories are to be built. In my constituency we have the Kelham sugar-beet factory, the first and the original sugar-beet factory in this country. It has been satisfactory as far as it has gone, but two other factories have sprung up or, rather, one has sprung up and the other is about to spring up. One is the sugar-beet factory at Colwick, and the other is the sugar-beet factory which is being built at Bardney, in Lincolnshire. These factories are, undoubtedly, rather a menace to the Kelham factory, because they will absorb, and to a certain extent they are absorbing, a certain amount of the beet that should be coming to the sugar-beet factory in my constituency. I should like to know, seeing that the Minister of Agriculture is giving a larger subsidy to the industry, whether a certain amount of control could be exercised over the places where these sugar-beet factories are going to be built.
The welfare of the sugar-beet industry is a larger question than the mere fact of one factory cutting the throat of another factory. The whole thing rests on good feeling and trust between the farmer and the sugar-beet factory owners. At the moment, the sugar-beet factories are paying 54s. a ton for their beet. That, in my opinion, is not enough. We have tried in my own home to grow sugar at a profit., but we have never been able to do so under a rate of 54s. a ton. If the sugar-beet factories would go so far as to give the growers of the sugar-beet 54s. a ton, free on rail, I believe the farmers would be really keen to grow the sugar-beet, and the industry would for ever be put on a substantial basis. If the sugar-beet factories do not pay a better price to the fanner for the sugar-beet, the farmer may turn round and say, "No better price, no sugar at all." Then all the money which the Government will have sunk in the sugar-beet industry will be thrown away.
With regard to drainage, the late Minister of Agriculture mentioned the question of efficient surveys. Efficient surveys are absolutely essential to the efficiency of drainage schemes. A great deal of my constituency lies alongside the low-lying valley of the Trent. The drainage there is carried out by a body of men who are known by the aristocratic name of the Court of Sewers. About two months ago I went into the whole question of draining that area. I cannot say that I actually saw their maps or their surveys, but I can assure the Committee that those maps are almost hundreds of years old; they are antiques. It will be a very expensive thing to make a new survey, but I hope the Minister of Agriculture will help us in this direction, and that when he gives these grants for drainage schemes all over the country he will not forget that accurate surveys are very important things.
I was much interested in the question raised by the right hon. Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman) with regard to the employment, or the lack of employment, of agricultural workers in sugar-beet factories. The Minister seemed to suggest that he was unaware of what actually exists with regard to these factories. I want to read to him a notice that is now displayed at one of these beet factories, that at Felsted, in Essex. It is to this effect:
No agricultural worker applying will be started. Anyone starting and found to be a land worker will be instantly dismissed.
I am old enough to remember that in the days of my youth there was a song with the words, "No Irish need apply." I never believed that, such a condition would again arise in this country. I have always been taught to believe that this was a free country, but I am beginning to believe that it is becoming a freak country. I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone in these days can have the audacity to put up such a notice, and say to free-born English people that in no circumstances would they be allowed to work in a sugar-beet factory. To what does it amount? There seems to be—and, I think, with the connivance of the Minister—a conspiracy between the Employment Exchanges, on the one hand, and the farmers, on the other. I suppose the Minister's Department knows all about it. They must know something about it.
That sounds very nice, but if the money was coming out of the right hon. Gentleman's pocket, the arrangement would not last five minutes unless his will was exercised. Would it? It is a very remarkable position, in the Eastern counties particularly. The Minister represents a very large agricultural area in this House, and one can only assume that it should be part of his business, at any rate to see that justice and fair play are dealt out to many of the people who reside in his constituency. What is the position? I am sure that he knows, as well as I know, that the lowest rate of wages paid in England is paid in the Eastern counties, in Suffolk and Norfolk, and that is a rate of 28s. a, week. He, surely, knows that the wages paid in these sugar-beet factories are very much higher than that. I have the figures here. Unskilled factory workers at Cantley, in Norfolk, are paid a minimum of 46s. a week, with an average bonus of 7s. 6d., making a weekly minimum of 53s. 6d.
What does that matter? The point I am raising is that the men who are employed in agriculture in the Eastern Counties are compelled to work for as little as 28s. a week, when there is employment available, to which they ought to have the right, at almost double the rate of wages. The agricultural labourers working for these very low wages are surely paying their share of taxation towards the amount of money that is included in this particular Vote—£250,000. Surely these agricultural labourers at 28s. a week, who are doing their best to keep their wives and children in decency, to educate them and all the rest of it have a right to some consideration. It is not only monstrous but criminal to deny employment to these people, who are just as good as any of us here. At least, some of us on the recruiting platforms did our best to make these men believe that they were just as essential to this country as anyone. These men played their part in the War, and many Members of the House went on to the recruiting platforms to induce them to join the Army. They were good enough then; we were all equal in citizenship then. It seems scandalous and wicked, vicious and preposterous to deny to these men an opportunity of the slightest shadow of advancement.
I was expecting, in this Debate, that the opposite side of the House, where are the largest numbers of those representing agricultural constituencies, would have been packed with big battalions anxious to raise this question. Hon. Members opposite know just as well as I do that their appeal during an Election is very largely to the agricultural workers Is there any one in the House anywhere who can honestly get up and defend the conditions existing now in connection with the beet factories, or who can continue to assert that these men shall be denied the rights of free Britishers to take employment where that employment is available That is my complaint. I do not believe that the present state of affairs can be justified by anyone. The Minister has attempted, in a roundabout sort of way, not to indicate his agreement, but to slide off on very thin ice and leave the House to believe that he has no power to deal with the question. Everyone in the House knows that he is just the man who can deal with it. Hon. Members would never dare for a moment to put up such a notice as that I have read, completely barring the poorest and the lowest paid workmen following agriculture in Norfolk and Suffolk, and denying to them an opportunity of taking part in this work at high wages.
When this matter was originally introduced and discussed in the House, one of the great points made was that men who were not fully employed throughout the year in agricultural districts would be given an opportunity in the factories. What better opportunity could these men expect than this chance of finding employment at a very much better wage? It would help them to put up with the ridiculously low wages that some of thin farmers are paying them now Is it too much to appeal to the Minister to make inquiries into this matter, and to rectify what is an obvious and gross injustice to these men? I suggest that he dare not go down to his constituency and justify this conduct of the beet factories. If he does, he will find himself on the most difficult and dangerous job that he has tackled in his life. Not only do I ask him not to defend it. To me the thing is utterly offensive in a free country. One of the things that every man has a right to the greatest pride in, is the fact that this is a free country, and that every man should have the right to seek employment, not where someone else thinks fit, but where he himself thinks fit. That is my point. There is nothing unreasonable in it; I am not endeavouring to make any unreasonable capital out of it. To me it is the most obnoxious thing that could be put into operation.
Mark again that a very considerable quantity of beet is grown in these two counties. When the matter was discussed before, we were led to believe that with the development of the growth of beet there might be expectations, where the farmers were growing beet, and in view of the prices they were getting for it—there might be expectations on the part of the men working for them of some consideration with regard to wages. It is not so. It is quite the reverse in Suffolk and Norfolk. I ask the Minister to give some attention to this matter. I hope that the House of Commons will never permit this kind of thing to continue in existence longer than is necessary. I deny the right of the Employmet Exchange, in collusion with the farmers, to create a conspiracy between—
There will be no need to take away the grant. A mere suggestion from the Minister that this kind of thing is indefensible, and that the House of Commons would never tolerate it, would be sufficient to wipe out of existence, to-morrow morning, the notice which I have read. I say that there is collusion and a conspiracy between the Employment Exchanges on the one hand and the farmers on the other hand to keep away from this employment the men who are working an the land, and to rivet them down for ever to the lowest possible wages. When the matter has been discussed thoroughly in this House I know that the right hon. Gentleman will desire to do the right thing. I hope that he will. It is a case where we can put him to the test. If he gets up here and justifies this kind of thing continuing any longer, we Shall have to take other means of trying to effect a change. But he may rest assured that this thing is going to be fought very hard. The matter has already been before the General Council of the Trade Unions Congress, and they are taking a very serious view of it. I am putting this matter to the Minister in what, I hope, is an inoffensive and reasonable way, and not with a view to finding fault with hon. Members, but solely with the idea of wiping out what I regard as a gross injustice and something which is contrary to the spirit of free citizenship.
We have listened to a remarkable outburst in reference to a matter which requires a little further examination. We are told that the sugar-beet factories are excluding land workers, and the ground for that statement is a notice, which is said to have been put up at the Felstead factory, to the effect that no land workers need apply. I wish to tell the Committee, in the first place, that the Felstead factory has not yet worked and is not yet equipped, and, to the best of my knowledge, its walls are not yet up.
What I object to is that an accusation should be made that the sugar-beet factories have been excluding land workers from coming in during the hundred days campaign at the high wages.
On a point of Order. Is it in order that an hon. Member who is financially interested in businesses should rise in this Committee to defend the expenditure of public money which will benefit the companies of which he is a director?
Is it not the case that, except in regard to limited liability companies, a member may not be interested in the expenditure of public money or occupy a position where he may be benefited by such expenditure? Why should the hon. Baronet be entitled to stand up and say that he is a director of a company which is to be assisted by the Vote we are going to make? If it were done in a board of guardians, it would mean imprisonment.
The hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury) apparently has in his mind the case of a member who tales a personal contract. There is no possible rule of Order against members who are personally interested in companies as directors or shareholders, from expressing their views on any matter of this kind.
My point is that an hon. Member who is interested in a company which is to benefit by the expenditure of the public money, ought not in common decency to take part in a discussion of this kind, having regard to the regulation to which the Chairman refers. I repeat that on a local authority this sort of thing would bring a man to prison.
There is no point of Order involved. The hon. Baronet is perfectly entitled to speak, and, if he is a director of the company impugned, I should have thought it was most desirable that he should speak.
Is it not the fact that this subsidy may be considered to be a contract between the Government as such and the owners of the sugar-beet factories? If that be so, does not that constitute a direct financial interest? And is it not against all the proprieties of the House that anyone with a direct financial interest in such a contract should take part in the discussion?
If the hon. Member wishes to argue that the hon. Baronet has forfeited his seat and made himself liable to severe penalties, there might be a means of raising that question, but it is certainly not out of order now for the hon. Baronet to proceed with his speech.
I desire respectfully to add to the submissions which have been made, and in doing so, I wish to cast no aspersion at all on the hon. and gallant Baronet. It is simply a question of the Standing Orders. On page 121 of the "Manual of Procedure," I find it stated that a Member may not vote on any question in which he has a direct pecuniary interest. If he may not vote, is he not equally committing a breach of the Rules if he takes part in the Debate?
I apologise for being the unwitting cause of these interruptions. I have not the least shame in speaking on this subject, and I think the fact that I am a director of these companies will convince hon. Members opposite that I have the necessary knowledge to refute—so far at all events as the companies with which I am connected are concerned—the assertions which have been made from those benches. With regard to the factory which is in process of erection at Felstead. I know nothing about it, but I will say quite frankly that if a notice of that kind was put up there—I do not dispute the fact, but I have no knowledge of it—I consider personally that it was not only a foolish, but an improper thing. If I had anything to do with the company, and if the fact that such a notice was being put up came to my knowledge, I should use my best endeavours to prevent it. With regard to the general statement as to the effects of these factories on rural employment, the Committee might come to the conclusion from this Debate that little or no employment was being given in these districts at all. On the contrary, wherever these factories have been at work, the additional employment afforded has been so great that there has been a general complaint of a shortage of labour. All the available labour has been absorbed either in growing the beet on the farms or in the work of the factories, and there has been a definite shortage. On that I can speak from personal knowledge. It may interest hon. Members opposite to hear in round figures the amount of employment which has been given. The factories for which I have definite figures have given employment to 627 men in each factory. I have the total figures for four factories which employed 823 skilled and 2,185 unskilled men throughout the whole of the beet sugar campaign—an average of 627.
The campaign is just over. If you apply that average to the 10 factories—I do not know if it is fair to do so—you get an employment of over 6,000 hands in the factories. I have also figures as to the cost of labour in the cultivation of the sugar-beet crop over a considerable acreage, and the labour costs work out at £8 14s. per acre for that acreage, and if you take that average over the whole 56,000 acres which were under beet last year, you will find that approximately £500,000 has been paid in wages to labour in sugar-beet cultivation.
Would the hon. and gallant Baronet tell me from where he gets the figure of £8 14s.? I am interested, because of the Oxford report as to the amount of labour required for lifting and filling.
I have included in these figures the largest farm on the Kelham estate, where 211 acres were grown, and there were several other smaller farms including one of my own, and I have taken an average figure. It represents the wages of labour on the farms, and that includes the labour employed in carting off the fields, but not transport beyond that point. An average of 1,426 men per factory was employed during the period of erection of the factories. I do not suggest there is any special value in these figures, but they indicate that the establishment of these factories has given a substantial amount of new employment. I should have thought this would have caused hon. Members opposite to welcome these factories rather than criticise them on what I hope I have shown to be exceedingly hollow grounds.
I should like to bring the Debate back again to the question of the grant in respect of foot-and-mouth disease. I am nut convinced by the speech of the Minister as to the happy position in which we find ourselves compared with other countries. Before going into the heart of the question, I wish to put two points to the Minister. In the first place, what oversight is exercised regarding straw which is conveyed from place to place in trucks? Quantities of straw are moved about in trucks and much of this straw finds its way to small holdings and other places. What power has the Minister to interfere with the removal of straw from centres which may have been infected to other parts of the country. My second point relates to the importation of Irish cattle. It has been said, probably with truth, that there is no evidence that the disease is brought over from Ireland to this country and I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman has he been able to trace the migration of the cattle from the port to the respective farms. I am informed—I will not say whether it is good or bad authority—by farmers that the worst of the Irish cattle that have been ill-fed are more likely to be susceptible to disease and a source of infection to the rest of the cattle in the community. I would like to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman has any knowledge on that point, because if you have starved cattle coming into the country, and the country is in a state of infection at various points, and that starved cattle is passing through those points, the possibilities are that it may contract the disease and take it from one place to another. As a matter of fact, he does know that cattle that has been taken from point to point has been the means of spreading the disease very widely in this country.
I am not at all sure that the course that we have been pursuing in the last four or five years has proved as efficacious as one would desire. The right hon. Gentleman stated that in Holland, in June, they had about 2,000 outbreaks,
while we had in this country, in November, only 101. I put a question to the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor last June, July, or August, and he told me then that we had not a single case of fort-and-mouth disease in this country—I think it was in August—but notwithstanding that fact we had in November 101 outbreaks here. Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us where these outbreaks arose, and whether the course that we have been pursuing, the policy of slaughtering, which has made this Vote so essential again tonight, is proving as efficacious as it might do? In 1922, the Committee that sat on the subject definitely said in their Report that the policy that was then being pursued was bringing us within reasonable limits of the end of the disease, but, as a matter of fact, as time proceeded, all their prophecies and prognostications were falnified, because in 1922 there were 1,140 outbreaks in this country, and in 1923, when the 1922 Committee thought they saw the end of the disease, we had no fewer than 1,929 outbreaks here, costing us no less than £2,200,000 in compensation. I submit that this continual slaughtering of all cattle, both the cattle that: is affected and that which is not, is not proving efficacious in stamping out the disease, and those who are brought most into contact with the disease from time to time very seriously question the policy which is being pursued. This is a remarkable resolution to find coming from a rural district council composed largely of farmers. It was passed in Cheshire at the time when the disease was most rampant, and is as follows:
That this Council, having jurisdiction over 34,253 acres of agricultural land, views with great dismay the wholesale slaughtering of cattle now taking place in its district, and urgently and respectfully appeals to the Minister of Agriculture to stay his hand, especially having regard to the failure of the extermination policy to stop the spread of the disease.
The right hon. Gentleman's predecessor asked, I think, for £39,000. That was an indication at that time that they thought the no-called preventive measures were going to be effective, but once more they have proved ineffective. I suggest that the history of foot-and-mouth disease is this, that for 40 or 50 years we have had recurring periods of an extreme spread of the disease and then of comparative quiet. When the right hon. Gentleman
was going through his last election he was questioned with regard to foot-and-mouth disease, and he pointed, quite rightly, to the fact that when we had no such thing as this slaughter policy, in 1883, we had no fewer than 18,732 outbreaks, but he forgot to tell his audience this fact, that with the measures adopted by the then Ministry to prevent the spread of the disease, by 1886 there was only one single outbreak in this country, without any slaughter policy at all. The facts are that in 1883 we had 18,732 outbreaks, in 1884 it had come down to 949, in 1885 to 30, and in 1886 to one single outbreak, and that was without adopting this wholesale slaughtering policy.
I suggest that it would be better to stay our hand with regard to cattle that is not affected. These large sums of money that we are voting from time to time are not having the desired effect. I have made it my business to speak to as many farmers as I could come in contact with, and nearly every farmer expresses the opinion that slaughtering should end with those cattle that are affected, and that, instead of giving the farmers compensation for slaughtering their herds, we should give them compensation for saving their herds. It is not only voting a large sum of money, but it means that so many head of cattle have been unnecessarily slaughtered. No wonder meat is dearer and we have the cost of living at the standard at which we find it, because during the last four or five years there has been a Wholesale slaughtering of the cattle of this country. We have slaughtered no fewer than, in round figures, 140,000 cattle, 78,000 sheep, and 61,000 pigs, and no hon. Member can get up in his place and say that such a wholesale slaughter has not had an effect upon the price of meat, because everybody knows that it has. I suggest that, notwithstanding all that has been said by the Food Committee that sat in 1922 and 1924, even in the 1924 Report you had the testimony of farmers that if they could have their way they would isolate the cattle. In my opinion, if you stopped this wholesale slaughtering and slaughtered only the affected animals, and said to the farmers: "We will give you 25 per cent. of the value of every beast that you can save," it would be to the advantage of this country in two ways. It would, first of all, save us a great amount of money, and, in the second place, it would keep for us a great deal of the stock which is having to be slaughtered at the present time.
I do not wish to do a single thing that would adversely affect the farming interests, but there is, even among the farmers themselves, a suspicion that the policy we are now pursuing has in some quarters actually encouraged men to seek the disease. There have been cases, and there has been one case that I know of, where an unscrupulous—I will not call him farmer, because it would be an insult to a great industry to do so—man was actually found cutting a calf's foot and mouth on purpose to deceive an inspector, in order to show that it had the disease, because he wanted his cattle slaughtered. I am pleased to say that these are rare cases, and that no real gentleman or farmer would attempt to do a thing like that, but it is a temptation to a man whose cattle have got any form of disease or whose cattle are not of the standard that they ought to be, to try to get foot-and-mouth disease upon his farm, so as to get rid of his cattle at the expense of the State. I think that the policy we are pursuing is not the right policy.
In conclusion, I would like to say a word to reinforce what has been said by the right hon. Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman). If we had spent a tithe of the money upon research that we have spent on compensation, we would probably have got rid of the disease by now. When we come to think of it, we do not know exactly what we are dealing with in this disease, we have not isolated the particular germ which gives rise to the disease, and we are playing with something we know nothing about. The only way to get to the bottom of it is to make a larger grant for the purpose of investigation along these lines, and I sincerely hope that sooner or later we shall make a change, but, whatever we do, I suggest that the Minister should do all he can to extend research into this question and give every man, every layman if you like, who has a specific, not for curing, but for prevention, a fair trial. It is alleged against the Ministry that Dr. Shaw and others who claim to have a specific for prevention, not for cure, have not had a real and fair trial given them, and I suggest that if there be any ground of truth in those allegations, the Ministry should be condemned for it. I do not know whether there is or is not any truth in them, but I make bold to make this statement, that wherever there is anyone, whether a qualified veterinary surgeon, or a mere doctor, or a layman, who claims to have a specific, as Dr. Shaw did, for the prevention of this disease, he should be given the greatest possible chance of proving whether or not the specific is what he claims it to be.
I make no apology for intervening in this Debate, because on all three matters which are before the Committee I claim to have some knowledge. I wish to take, first, the question of land drainage, and I must confess that I was rather surprised to hear the right hon. Member for North Norfolk (Mr. Buxton) compare land drainage and the policy of the Government in that direction with the liming of land. So far as the liming of land is concerned, that is a question which affects the private owner, but, so far as drainage goes, if the Government see fit, as I believe they will, to advance a certain amount of money to different drainage boards, those boards having to find an equal amount of money, then land will be brought into a higher state of cultivation, will be able to produce more food, will be subject to a greater taxation, and will bring in a greater income to the people of this country. We are told by our friends the Opposition that if you do that, you are going to do something for the benefit of the landlord. During the time I have been in this House, I have been rather tired of hearing that we are going to do something for the benefit of the landlord, because I believe—and I claim to have sufficient knowledge on the subject—that the landlord has been more sinned against than sinning, and I think it is high time that somebody was not afraid to speak for the landlord. I would not speak for the landlord unless I believed I was speaking for the benefit of my countrymen, but the time will surely come, if we are going to crush the landlord, and accept the policy of hon. Members above the Gangway or the policy of hon. Members below the Gangway—
I apologise. I am afraid I was led away by my enthusiasm for the agricultural interests, but I would like to say that if, as I assume, it is the policy of this Government to find money for land drainage to assist boards who are willing to find an equal amount, it will be of great benefit not only to farmers, not only to agriculture, not only to labour, but also to the country. There is one other point before I leave land drainage. I believe at the present time the county councils may, if they see fit, order a man to cleanse his private dike in order that an occupier or owner may get access to the main tributaries of a river. I would like to ask the Minister if in the future it cannot be an instruction to the county council that they shall order a man to cleanse his drains in order that his neighbour shall get access to the main drains.
I would like to say something in regard to the Diseases of Animals Act and foot-and-mouth disease, and I would like to compliment the hon. Member for Forfar (Sir H. Hope) on what be said with regard to the importation of goods into this country, packed in straw from infected areas. So far as we are dealing with cattle disease in this country at the present time, I know there are many who think we are doing too much, that our restrictions are hampering the farmers, and that we should curtail those restrictions would like to suggest that if any alteration is to be made in those restrictions, they should be made more stringent, but that they should be made in a different way. We have restrictions in regard to particular districts in this country where the disease exists. My hon. Friend who spoke last referred to the enormous amount of money that this country has paid—I believe £2,200,000 in one year—for compensation, but does he realise the amount of inconvenience and the amount of loss that a farmer suffers whose live-stock has not the disease, but who, owing to the restrictions, is unable to move his stock. His market is lost. He has no food to give those animals. He has no claim whatsoever. We hear the farmer complain. I would like to know whether any other business man put in a similar position would not complain. At the present time, in my particular district in Lincolnshire, there are men with large flocks of ewes, and they are actually buying mangolds at a high price and paying a heavy rail charge on the same. They take these to their ewes, because they are not allowed to move their sheep even to shelter. I am not saying it is wrong, but am pointing it out. People wonder where the disease comes from. They wonder, with all these restrictions, we have so much disease in this country.
The only wonder is that we have not more disease. As my hon. Friend the Member for Forfar suggested, we have bulbs in straw in packing cases, and potatoes in bags, coming from where the disease has been rampant. They come in day by day. We would not be allowed to move these things out of our infected areas, and yet they are allowed to bring them into this country. I know it will be said that I am side-tracking the question of protection for food, but I am merely pointing out that the only way to safeguard the food production of this country is to protect ourselves against disease from foreign countries. In every small market in England we see Dutch bulbs packed in straw in cases, and we see them sold by auction. We see cattle in the same market, and then you are surprised to find cattle disease. We see Belgian bottles packed in straw arriving in this country, and the veterinary surgeons immediately using them for drenching cattle. Then there is surprise that we have foot-and-mouth disease. The only surprise is that we have not more disease. I want to impress upon His Majesty's Government that we will support them with all our energy in order, at all costs, to stamp out the disease in this country permanently, in order that we may be rid of the scourge.
We have heard a great deal with regard to sugar-beet, and with regard to the men's wages. It has been suggested—and I am very sorry, because generally I do not think the farmer should be blamed—that in Norfolk the wages are no better to-day than they were before the sugar-beet factories were erected. I would like to remind my hon. Friend that Norfolk and the Eastern Counties in particular have had a very bad season. The goods they have had to sell have produced a small amount of money, and if I am not mistaken if it had not been for the money they had to take for their sugar-beet, they would not have received sufficient money from their other crops to continue paying their labourers' wages. This applies to the Eastern Counties. It has been suggested that the factories put out notices that they would not take farm labourers away from farms. There is another reason for this, which is, that when the sugar-beet requires harvesting the farm workers have spent a considerable part of the year in growing that beet, and if directly the sugar-beet factory opens the farm hands are to go into the factories, where are the men to come from to harvest the beet? There must be a certain amount of co-operation between the factory and the farmer to ensure that the factory will get a reasonable supply of beet to keep the factory running, and he must have the farm worker to do this, otherwise the factory will be idle.
It has been suggested that the farmer is making a great amount out of sugar-beet, and that the capitalist is also getting a very great amount of money from it, while labour is getting nothing. I deny all those three statements. With regard to the man who builds the factory, unless he can get his capital during the time of the subsidy, it will be impossible for him to continue after the subsidy has ceased, and, therefore, he has to make a good profit out of the business during the subsidy period. I stand here as an authority upon this question at the present moment, as we are particularly anxious to get a factory in a neighbourhood very near where I reside, and we have had very great difficulty in raising the capital, because the owners of capital are not certain that they will be recouped in time in order to make that building a permanent success. I think I heard an hon. Member say that farmers will not grow it. That is not true. There are 6,000 acres of beet contracted ifor in that particular district to deliver at that particular factory, and we have been unable to find financiers with sufficient capital. I think that is conclusive evidence that it is not any one particular person—or industry—who is getting a greater share than he ought to have. This industry was started by hon. Members who now sit on the Government side of the House. It was supported and carried through by hon. Members who now sit on the Opposition side. Every credit is due to them for that. Is it worth while, having started it and carried it on, supported by all sides of this House, at the last moment, be the purposes what they may, for anyone in this House to raise any objection to what has been done either by the party on this side or the party opposite?
The speech to which we have listened, I am sure very attentively, and enjoyed for the way it was delivered and not for what was said, takes us back to the point when the question of beet sugar was before the House and Committee last year. The position the hon. Member has outlined regarding sugar beet in his area is just the sort of thing we foreshadowed when this proposal to subsidise the industry was first introduced. All that has happened since only goes to confirm that. He says people in that area are unable to get capital for the industry because the people who would otherwise lend capital are not satisfied that they are going to recoup themselves as the subsidy is withdrawn. That is the basic argument that we used all the way through. I think the various reports which the Minister has received since, if he were perfectly frank with the Committee on the matter, would show that at the end of three years, when the present high rate is supposed to come to an end under the Beet Sugar Act, he will either have to continue the subsidy at the high rate, or else not only existing factories but all the projected factories will be no use at all, and the sugar beet industry will come to an end. I have been very intereseed in reading through the report of the Oxford Committee. I notice from that report that there are very serious qualifications as to the amount of labour which can be employed in the sugar beet industry.
I also notice that one of the chief hindrances to the wide development of the industry in the future is stated to be labour costs, and the Oxford Committee, giving a figure, I think, of just over £11 an acre as the cost, say, that after careful examination, if there is to be any effectual reduction in the future, it is to be in the labour costs. Those who are organising the new workers in the sugar beet factories would do well to note the Report of the Oxford Committee with regard to costs in the industry. Insofar as companies have been first granted facilities under the Trade Facilities Act for guaranteeing interest on capital, and secondly, have been given this large
subsidy, we argue that they will be able to recoup themselves entirely so far as their capital expenditure is concerned out of those provisions. I have here a paper dated 4th January, 1926. It is called the "Public Ledger," and this is what they say about it:
During the first of four lavish years the two old factories Cantley and Kelham, with Colwich in part, manufactured 23,000 tons. During the second year now coming to a close those three, along with the additional factories then completed for work, hope to make the quantity 50,000 tons. Capitalists expect that the profit to be earned during the existence of the subsidy will prove more than sufficient to repay the whole of their capital and outlay.
That is the opinion of a City of London financial paper. What many of my hon. Friends on this side, who from reasons which they are always ready to support and for which I can give every respect, would have laid down if they had been on the Government Benches is what we concluded for last year and that was, that if this great sum of money was to be voted year after year by way of subsidy, and if as is now shown by a competent financial paper that sum will recoup the whole of their capital outlay, then in the name of common sense the capital assets created should not be private capital used for further exploitation for profit but should be the property of the community which has voted the money. So far as we are concerned to-night, we shall be bound to oppose a vote of this kind which is going to add to that sum without any corresponding share being created for the community which has to vote the money.
There is another point I want to put. The more this grant is increased the more a vested interest is created in retaining a tax upon food in this country. When the Labour Budget of 1924 was introduced and a very considerable part of the Customs Duty on sugar was removed, we saw the advantage immediately. We had a great increase of employment in all the trades which were connected in any way with sugar and in which sugar was used as an ingredient. It increased the purchasing power of the people, and there are many of us who will never give up fighting until we have removed every kind of tax which has been imposed on the food of the people. Yet this scheme which we are asked to extend to-night is going to create a vested interest for retaining the tax upon sugar. The Minister knows, and every Minister who follows him will know, that if under this scheme he removes the customs duty from sugar he will immediately have to compensate the people in the trade by increasing the subsidy to make it up. From that point of view, we oppose it, because it contains a vested interest in keeping a tax on the food of the people.
I have been watching very carefully during the past 12 months since the Act has been in operation whether the increased production of sugar in this country would make any effective difference to the import of sugar from abroad. As a matter of fact, although we have been subsidising home sugar so heavily during the last 12 months, when I look at the actual figures of imports I discover that we have actually imported and retained for use in this country something between 5,000,000 and 6,000,000 cwts. more than the previous year. In the years that are coming now, as the German sugar-beet industry and the Czechoslovakian beet industry grow, you will have a larger import of beet sugar to contend with, and there is no indication at all that the present low price of sugar is likely to shift from that spot except to go downwards with an increased world production.
On the general question, even the roost optimistic authorities on this question have never estimated that we should be able to produce at the maximum more than 600,000 tons of sugar a year in this country. We need to retain very much more than that for our own use. As a matter of fact, the 600,000 tons that you might ultimately produce by the subsidy will do no mere than cancel out what we are getting to-day from our own Colonies. We are getting to-day just about 600,000 tons from the Colonies. Here is the position. We are paying to-day, for imports from the West Indies, £24 per ton for sugar, and we are giving a subsidy of £22 per ton on home-produced sugar. As regards sticking to the letter of the law under the Act of 1925 at the end of two or three years the subsidy should be decreased, and at the end of 10 years wiped out altogether, but you have only to look at some of the authorities quoted in this Report, which has been so kindly published by the
Minister of Agriculture, to see what is likely to happen. On page 52 it says:
Sir Daniel Hall has also recently stated that prices must fall as the subsidy is reduced until they range with the prices paid on the Continent in countries where the beet sugar industry obtains no assistance. What that price will be depends on many factors, but on the present showing it will not be safe to count on more than 25s. to 30s. a ton.
What does the Minister think of that statement of his expert adviser? Is the Minister prepared to go to the argicultural constituencies and say the Government will withdraw the subsidy under the Act or reduce it when the farmers cannot hope to get from the promoters of sugar-beet factories more than 25s. or 30s. a ton. I wonder if they will go on growing beet? He knows that when the period is up he will either have to face the question of the sugar-beet industry, once more absolutely slumping, or continuing the uneconomic subsidy of £22 per ton to a commodity you can import for £24 per ton. We did not give enough attention to the economic aspects of this question when we were rushing it through the House last year. As regards the effect on the producer himself, I take first of all the farmer. The Noble Lord the Member for Newark (Marquess of Titchfield) says he has carried out experiments in his own locality in an area where they had a wide experience of sugar-beet growing, and he has never been able to make a profit on sugar-beet at a price of less than 52s. a ton.
What is the position? When you take the public accounts which are being presented in the White Paper to this House, and work out the amount paid to the companies by way of subsidy, you find, as a fact, that the subsidy paid on sugar has been actually more per ton of beets than is paid per ton to the farmer for his roots; so that the subsidy is actually more than the actual amount the farmer receives. The sugar-beet factories, through the subsidy, get practically the whole of their raw material for nothing! There is a great deal of point in the plea put forward by the Noble Lord who spoke a while ago for certain of the areas affected, that if that was the way the subsidy operated there was a case for the farmer asking for more. The trouble will be that if the farmers of this country are induced to go in for the wholesale production of sugar-beet on the basis of that subsidy, then you will inevitably be faced with having to Continue the subsidy when the time comes. You will go on as you have apparently decided to go on in other industries—feeding the dog upon his own tail once more. So much for sugar-beet.
I just want in a word or two before I close to put to the Minister the item in regard to the estimated cost and working of the Tuberculosis Order. As I said in the Agricultural Estimates Debate last Bank Holiday, I have nothing but sympathy for the expenditure of money which will tend to eliminate tuberculosis from our herds. In fact, I believe the sum estimated by the late Minister who wanted £50,000 is a very small sum to effect the eradication of tuberculosis from herds like the British herds, which suffer so largely from the disease. But we are not quite satisfied in some ways. I have had a number of complaints from farmers concerned that they are not being fairly treated. I do not for a moment say that cows badly wasted ought to have heavy compensation. But I have had one or two cases brought to my notice of good cows on good farms in which the compensation has been exceedingly low. I wish to ask the Minister whether he is satisfied that the arrangements for assessing the compensation due to be paid to the farmer for tuberculosis are quite satisfactory? There may, perhaps, be a question of locality. Perhaps some localities are being better worked than others: but certainly in the part of the country to which I am referring—I am speaking of parts of Lincolnshire—I have had serious complaints.
There is a second point which I wish to put to the Minister because the right hon. Gentleman may depend upon it that those of us who are interested in the consumer's case in regard to food in this country will not leave the point until we get more satisfaction. If we are to pay public money in compensation for the destruction of an animal suffering from tuberculosis we hold the view that no particle of that animal should be sold for human consumption. We fought that fight last August. The Minister of Agriculture gave us the very slight concession that where the animal had been condemned by the local veterinary surgeon the carcase should not be removed for sale for human consumption unless it had first been seen by the medical officer. We were very thankful for that very small concession, but it is a very small one indeed. I cannot help thinking that if we pay money out of the Exchequer to compensate the farmer for the total loss of his animal, then it, is perfectly out of reason that the animal which has been condemned for tuberculosis should be offered for sale to our people for human consumption. I am persuaded that before many years are over we shall have to move the Ministry on this point.
There are three questions which I should like the Minister to answer before the Debate comes to a close. In the first place, has he any hope ultimately of the economic success of the sugar-beet industry without the benefit of the subsidy? If not, then the Government has no right to lead farmers into a cul-de-sac in that direction. Secondly, will he tell us whether he is satisfied that the arrangements made for assessing the compensation for animals ordered to be destroyed are satisfactory? Thirdly, will he tell us whether he is getting any nearer to the desirable state of preventing the carcases of tuberculous cattle, for the slaughter of which his Department pays compensation, from being sold for human consumption?
Some of us who know something of what has gone on during this last year cannot but feel that a good deal of thanks is due for the work of the Ministry of Agriculture during that period. I would refer to three very important alterations that have been made in the working of the Regulations. First of all, as to the importation of packing material. Secondly, with reference to the Standstill Order which, I believe, has had a great deal to do with the curtailment of the disease. The third point, which is one of very great importance, is the recent Regulation which the Ministry has just brought into operation whereby all those who keep live-stock have, to keep a proper record of the movements of that stock. That appears to me to be putting on the farmers and the live-stock keepers of the country a very great responsibility and a very much increased amount of work which they are not ordinarily accustomed to perform.
I submit that, in asking them to do that, the Ministry should also take into account what has already been put forward by an hon. Friend, which is that some method should be found by which it should be possible to reduce the burdens which the farmers have in this country. Farmers ought not, in the matter of foot-and-mouth disease, to have these very large restricted areas which are put on in the case of isolated outbreaks.
There is nobody with any knowledge of the disease who would not wish to see a wide area, scheduled in the case of an outbreak in a market. But in the case of small, isolated outbreaks, which have taken place up and down the country I really do think that to put on a, 15-miles area and keep it on for a fortnight, and then to reduce it to a five-miles area, is putting on too much restriction on the people who have not themselves got the disease in their establishments. So far as my division is concerned—and I can only speak for the town of Melton,—in the outbreak in 1923, the chairman of the urban district council publicly stated that the expenditure was £100,000 owing to the large area scheduled, and the actual closing of the cattle market made an increase in the rate of 4d. in the Surely, we ought to consider most carefully in a case of this kind whether this very large area is having the beneficial effect supposed or desired. I see from the Report of the last Departmental Committee set up that, in paragraph 95, there is the following sentence:
Any slight danger consequent upon the early reduction of areas would, in our opinion, be substantially reduced by compulsory registration of the movements of stock.
We have got this compusory registration of the movement of stock. Therefore, that argument put up by that Committee has fallen to the ground. In my opinion we should be just as well off, if not considerably better off, in this country if we made the areas smaller to start with and protected them much better, as they could be. In the country districts there are only a certain number of police, how is it possible for them to see that there is no movement of the stock in an enormous area covered by a 15-miles radius.
Surely it would be much better if we could keep these small areas of two or three miles in the case of an isolated outbreak and see that the restrictions were preserved under the severest penalties. I would also submit that something more might be done in the matter of the disinfection of infected premises, and other measures taken by means of straw sprinkled with disinfectant and put down on the main roads which are adjacent to the area surrounding the infected premises. By these means we should do far more to eradicate this terrible disease among cattle in this country than by isolating large areas and putting the farmers to enormous pecuniary disadvantage, and particularly those farmers who are not in the least affected by the disease. At the present time the farmer who is not affected by the disease is worse off than the man who actually has it. If the Regulations reduced the area, I think it would be much better for the eradication of the disease, and certainly better for all the parties concerned.
Before the Debate closes I should like to ask the Minister of Agriculture to give us a little further information in regard to the proposed land drainage scheme. Behind this Token Vote lies a most important matter—this new departure on the part of the Ministry. I listened very carefully as to what the Minister had to say about it. I think we all heard with pleasure and agreement the general principles laid down by the hon. Member for the Don Valley (Mr. T. Williams) as to the drainage schemes subsidised by the Government. The first question I should like to ask the Minister is in regard to the schemes which he has in view, whether they apply to Scotland as well as to England, and the amount of public money likely to be expended on them. I shall be glad if he can see his way to give us some idea as to the scheme by which the matters are to be financed. At present we are entirely ignorant on these points. It is very important we should be told how much of the taxpayers' money is likely to be spent and the lines on which it will be applied to the aid of the drainage authorities.
The hon. Member who has just sat down asked how much money we are going to spend on drainage. The programme laid down is to be spread over five years, and immediately follows the Token Vote by which I trust we shall be authorised to work our scheme in conjunction with the local authorities and settle the total amount to be spent during the next 12 months. Scotland, as always is the case in these matters, gets a separate grant. The hon. Gentleman can discuss that matter with the Secretary for Scotland. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Swansea (Mr. Buncimari) thought we ought to spend more money on research. We are spending altogether about £300,000 a year on research in various directions under the Ministry of Agriculture.
It is no good pouring out more money thin the scientific experts think can be usefully spent. The Leishman Committee have been provided with all the funds they have asked for, and in no way deprived of the necessary resources. The hon. Member for the Broxtowe Division (Mr. Spencer) takes a great interest in this matter, I know, and has asked various questions as to the control of the disease and as to straw in trucks. Railway companies do not like the use of straw, because of the danger of fire, and I believe it is never used for cattle, and used only to a small extent for pigs. But in all those cases it becomes manure, and has to be destroyed or disinfected under our regulations.
I mean the straw that is taken out of the trucks. When a truck goes to a colliery the man who cleans it out takes the straw home, or sells it on the road, sometimes, to a smallholder.
If the hon. Member can tell me of any cases where there has been slackness in this respect. I shall be very glad to look into them; but there is no doubt that is the rule in force. He asked about Irish cattle. There have been repeated assertions that infection was brought in from Ireland. In all cases we have done our best to trace back the infection to its source, and in no instance has any shred of evidence in favour of the existence of foot-and-mouth disease on the other side of the Irish Channel been substantiated. The hon. Member suggested that if animals are half-starved after their journey from Ireland, they will probably contract the disease. Well, all the scientific experts are agreed that the disease does not start on its own; it is always spread from existing virus. Of course, it may be that an animal in a low state of health will be a more easy prey to infection, but, under our Regulations, I do not think the hon. Member need feel anxiety as to the state of these Irish store cattle, because they have to be rested 10 hours at the port, and we have inspectors whose duty it is to see that they are fed before they undertake their railway journey.
He asked whether we considered slaughter to be effective in arresting the disease. I should have thought the figures I gave earlier this afternoon were absolutely conclusive on that point. The slaughter policy has not prevented infection; indeed, we could not expect that it could do so. Admittedly, we have not found out how infection from the Continent or from the Argentine always reaches us, but we are able to claim that, where the disease breaks out, these stringent Regulations as to immediate destruction of all contact animals have kept the disease under control and prevented it spreading. We are trying to find out how the disease is carried into this country. Undoubtedly, it is brought in in some way not yet established, but we do know from experience that when it is here we are, by our Regulations, able to check it from spreading through the virus of contact animals being carried by human or mechanical carriers to other districts. The hon. Gentleman suggested that it would be cheaper for us to pay people to save their cattle rather than to slaughter them. If we were going to pay 25 per cent. of the value of every animal that survived the outbreak, and an outbreak got completely out of hand, as it does abroad, then my mental arithmetic is not capable of calculating what we might have to spend.
Twenty-five per cent. was what was suggested, and that would run into many millions of pounds in view of the estimated value of the cattle in this country. If we were to allow the disease to go "rip" all over the country we should spend an absolutely staggering sum.
I did not suggest that I was not satisfied. I said it had been reported that he had not had fair play. I do not say whether that is true or not, but I ask whether it is so or not.
There is another hon. Member interested in this matter, but I do not see him present now. I understand that Dr. Shaw is not satisfied, but I would remind the hon. Member that it is not a usual practice to test all these alleged remedies, and an exception was made in this case on the recommendation of the Pretyman Committee, because in the disastrous outbreak of a couple of years ago many farmers believed in this alleged preventive, and it was the view of the Pretyman Committee that unless we were able to decide, one way or the other, whether there was anything in the claim, there was a danger that infection would be spread by farmers trying to cure their own cattle and concealing the disease.
That was the reason for making an exception in this case. We have achieved the object of that test. I need not go through all the details, in fact, I really do not know them, as to why Dr. Shaw was not present when the test was made; but I understand that steps were taken to obtain his assistance in the test, though for various reasons he was not himself present. Anyhow, the test was made after, in the opinion of my advisers, adequate and fair facilities had been given to him to assist them. The test was made under the observation and control of Mr. German, who is a great authority on this matter, and is the trusted chairman of the Livestock Committee of the National Farmers' Union. He has devoted an immense amount of time and experience to trying to deal with this problem. The local farmers were represented by someone else, and a local veterinary representative was appointed. Those three men were absolutely satisfied that the test was fairly made, and that it did not attain the results which were claimed.
That being so, and the farmers for whom the test was made being satisfied that it is not a preventive, there is no case for reopening the matter. It is not the only preventive which has been put forward. I believe the Ministry and the Leishman Committee have had about 1,500 alleged preventives and cures brought to their notice, and obviously it would be very dangerous to undertake to test all these preventives, because we should have to keep alive animals in a violently infectious state who would be pouring out the virus.
I understood the right hon. Gentleman to say a minute or two ago that we were already spending £300,000 on research. If he does not keep animals for the purpose of testing these specifics, how can he say the Government are making the research we ought to make?
I am glad the hon. Member raised that point, because evidently I cannot have expressed myself clearly. I was answering a point made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Swansea, who was talking about sugar beet, and said that we ought to spend money on research, not, however, merely on foot-and-mouth disease. The amount we are spending on foot-and-mouth disease is very much less than the amount named. We are not spending £300,000 on one object, but we are spending all that Sir William Leishman considers necessary.
The only other point is with reference to the sugar beet industry. The hon. Member for Hillsborough (Mr. A. V. Alexander) asked me whether I thought the sugar beet industry was going to be an economic success when the subsidy was withdrawn. Most certainly I hope so. I do not want to make a prophecy, but the authors of this policy, including the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Northern Norfolk (Mr. Buxton), who is sitting near my hon. Friend, no doubt were convinced that there was a good prospect of the industry becoming self-supporting, and I see no reason for changing that view. It is true that in the Report which was recently published certain figures were given which were not as encouraging as the figures which we now get from many farmers as the result of their experience with the crop which has just gone into the factories; but that Report was admittedly based on a necessarily small degree of experience.
The hon. Member can get it from the Ministry of Agriculture. That inquiry dealt with a comparatively small number of producers, and not with the results of this season, but the 1924 season. I believe the report has been very valuable in giving information as to the scientific methods which should be adopted in improving the methods of cultivation. The hon. Member is probably aware that though we get a good sugar content in our beets, foreign cultivation has produced a larger yield to the acre. It may well be that with more experience of the growth of beet upon our soil and in our climate, much of the gap which the hon. Member thinks exists between the production of sugar beet on its present basis and on an economic level will be filled up. The hon. Member for Hillsborough seemed in doubt as to which attitude to take up, and he developed certain inconsistency between the beginning and the end of his speech. At one period of his remarks he said that this industry ought to be in private hands, and at another part of his speech he said it was wicked that all this huge profit was being diverted into private hands. The hon. Member said it was wrong that this industry should not be in the hands of the State, and later on he began prophesying failure, saying the industry could not stand on its own feet and would fail after the subsidies stopped.
My point is, that people who reckon they will get their capital outlay back in the subsidy period will not be so much worried about whether the industry pays afterwards, and you will have induced farmers to put the beet down in the meantime.
I was not aware that these factories expect to get the whole of their outlay back in the subsidy period. The hon. Member said that it was very unsatisfactory that we should have this system because it is bolstering up taxation on food, and if you did not have this interest in keeping a tax on sugar you mould probably find that article of food would be admitted free. May I point out that the Government are entirely free to reduce the sugar tax right down to the stabilised preference, which is a very small figure. Really the answer to most of what has been said about the beet-sugar industry is that we are under statutory obligation to pay this money. We have contracted by an Act of Parliament with the factories that are being built, and with the farmers that these subsidies should be paid on this scale for the next nine years.
I entirely disagree with the argument that the farmer would have any grievance if these factories failed because the only people who would lose would be those who put the factories up. Of course, the farmers would lose a very lucrative form of agriculture if we are right in our forecast of this industry, but they would not lose any money and would merely lose an opportunity of making a profit. With regard and to what has been said about tubercular cows, that is outside my control, and perhaps the hon. Member who raised the point will take it up with the Minister of Health. As regards compensation for slaughtered animals, I will look into that matter. Already we pay our proportion of whatever local authorities pay, and I gave the averages which we expect the local authorities would be paid. We have now had a fairly long discussion of this Estimate, and a great deal of debate, and I hope in view of that we may now be allowed to pass the vote.
On a point of Order, Mr. Chairman, I wish to remind you that you recently ruled that directors of sugar-beet companies were entitled to participate in discussions on the sugar-beet subsidy and to vote upon that subsidy. I submit to you with great respect that the authority you cited in support of your ruling—Erskine May, page 374—refers to Private Bill legislation and not to legislation connected with public policy. May I direct your attention to page 370 of Erskine May, where it says:—
The Votes of three members were disallowed in the Session 1892 in favour of a Grant-in-Aid of a preliminary survey for a railway from the coast to Lake Victoria Nyanza, which had been undertaken on behalf of the Government by the British East Africa Company, of which two of the members in question were directors and
shareholders, and a third was a share holder.
I submit that where it is proved that there is a direct pecuniary interest, as in this case, it is improper for those hon. Members either to take part in the discussion or to vote.
I gave no ruling whatever about voting. If there is a primâ facie case where an hon. Member has voted that he has a pecuniary interest in the issue, a Motion to cancel his vote may be accepted by the Chair. That he has an interest as director or shareholder does not however prevent him from speaking.
Up to the present no statement has been made by the Minister of Agriculture explaining the £10 estimate which has been put down under Item JJ with regard to drainage. We now learn that what many of us surmise that this innocent figure of £10 means, that we are going to be committed to-day to authorising the Government to hand over £1,000,000 during the next five years to the support of a tottering agricultural landlordism. That is what this £10 Vote means. In the White Paper that is made clear, and we have also had it from the Minister that that is the intention of the Government. If hon. Members will refer to the White Paper they will see that the Government's programme is to devote £1,000,000 for the next five years to land drainage schemes, and that is to be the general taxpayers' contribution to the support of a particular property interest in this country.
As representing an industrial constituency not out of sympathy with the agricultural interest, I may say that would not object to the expenditure of £5,000,000 upon the development of the resources of this country if the nation was going to have the asset created by that expenditure. What we object to is that the whole citizens of the country are going to be taxed for the next five years in order to provide £1,000,000 not for the benefit of the whole people, but simply to enhance the value of the property of some people who own land. The Minister of Agriculture, in replying to the criticisms of the Minister of Agriculture under the Labour Government twitted the Labour party with having carried on this policy of giving grants to these various authorities for land drainage purposes. The Labour Government was in office for 10 months, and it had schemes before it of this kind to which previous Governments had committed them. Therefore it is quite true to say that the Labour Government continued that policy with new schemes, but it only went on for 10 months. The Minister of Agriculture however ought to have stated that it was his own friends and colleagues who had laid down the conditions of the scheme.
I gathered from a question which I put to the Minister of Agriculture last May that from 1921 to 1923 the Government of that period spent no less than £1,100,000 upon land drainage schemes, and of that sum the Government contributed £681,000 and £337,000 only was contributed by the owners of land. Therefore the Minister of Agriculture has very little ground for twitting the Labour Government for being responsible for this policy which was initiated by its predecessors. We have been told that the basis of the scheme is going to be altered. We have also been told that the Government are going to economise to such an extent that the nation will only De committed to 33 per cent. of the cost, although in certain cases it might be 50 per cent. Under the scheme obtaining in 1919, £620,000 was provided by the nation to improve the agricultural land belonging to the landlords, and under that scheme 75 per cent. of the entire cost was defrayed by the Government and only 25 per cent. by the landlord.
That is a most inequitable system for the taxpayers, and the Government have no right to call upon the general taxpayers to find money simply to benefit a tottering landlordism in this country. If this is a sound policy, why do not hon. Members opposite, interested in commerce and representing manufacturing industries, ask the Government to support this industry under the trade facilities scheme? One of the reasons advanced for this subsidy is that it will find employment. Very well, you have the Trade Facilities Act, which exists to assist manufacturers and industrialists to provide employment, and guarantees are given for the extension of machinery, and so on. Of course, the Government do not find the money, and they only guarantee the interest, and why should the State have to contribute
£1,000,000 as a capital sum in five years to increase the value of the landlords interests? I want to draw the attention of the Committee for a moment to a rather significant Section of the Land Drainage Act, 1919. In Section 16 of that Act there occur the words:
That the expenses of execution and maintaining such drainage works shall not exceed the increase in the value of the land arising therefrom.
That means to say that the amount to be expended upon any drainage scheme shall not exceed the value which will be given to the land by the expenditure upon it. That is a clear admission that the value of the land is increased by the expenditure of the money. I have only one final comment to make. Not only is this method of subsidising owners of land by defraying the cost of drainage, which raises the value of the land, inequitable to the general taxpayer but I want to submit to the Government that it is a flat contradiction of the policy set forth in their own White Paper. I find in the White Paper these words:
The Government have considered various proposals which have been submitted to them involving subsidies either direct or indirect, but they have come to the definite conclusion they cannot support or advocate any of these proposals.
Here is a declaration that the Government's agricultural policy is not a subsidy and yet we have before the Committee this proposal, which the Minister admits involves a million pounds subsidy. I submit to the Committee that, both on the grounds of equity and of policy, that is not right.
As the right hon. Gentleman, the Minister, rightly, as I think, said, there has been a considerable departure from the issue at stake in this particular Estimate which is a request that this House shall vote £303,000 more than the Ministry asked for at the beginning of the year under this particular head. I want to devote myself entirely to the 250,000 extra that is asked for the sugar beet subsidy. I am not one of the opponents of the sugar beet subsidy. I think it is a most interesting experiment, both from the agricultural point of view and from the point of view of a method of starting any new industry which has not been formerly in operation in this country. It is because I have been watching it with very great interest as an experiment that I am anxious that the success or failure of that experiment should be due to its intrinsic merits and not to the fact that the matter is being badly or unfairly handled by the experimenters.
I have had placed in my hands, a few moments ago, a research monograph, published by the Ministry, on sugar beet, drawn up by Mr. A. Bridges and Mr. R. N. Dixey of the Agricultural Research Institute of the University of Oxford. I could have wished that it had been placed in the Vote Office as a Parliamentary Paper and I think the Minister might make arrangements for it to be placed there so that all Members of the House could have an opportunity of studying it without having to go to the very great trouble involved in getting it from the Stationery Office. I hope in view of the paragraph in the King's Speech dealing with agriculture the right hon. Gentleman will endeavour to issue this and the other monographs in the same series, as Parliamentary Papers. I have only had an opportunity of glancing through it hastily and one or two of the points I want to raise are dealt with here. As far as I can judge, they deal with the purely agricultural side of the industry and the part dealing with manufacture is a very small one. I certainly know that the persons who prepared it are agricultural experts and not commercial experts.
I could have wished that the Minister in his introductory statement had told us why such a very big additional amount was required and what the Department originally estimated for. To come and ask for an increase of a quarter of a million pounds on an original Estimate of one million pounds is very, very wide estimating at the beginning of the year. I know that the right hon. Gentleman was not responsible for the original Estimate, but I should have thought he would have told us something about the additional acreage that has come under sugar beet, the additional output of the factories, something about the new companies which have been promoted, and the numbers of men that are now employed on the agricultural side and on the manufacturing side of sugar-beet production. The last figures I got—and I have been following this with interest all through the years since the Act went through—was that this industry employed 1,537 in winter and 393 in summer. That is the total number of men who are employed. That means an average of something like 700 for the whole year. If this was introduced—and it was one, at least, of the reasons given for it—as an unemployment aid, if this expenditure for an amount of £1,250,000 only employs an average of 700 men or 1,500 men at the maximum height of the winter season, it is pretty heavy unemployment expenditure. It amounts to paying these men a thousand a year each, roughly, for doing nothing, and that is somewhat better than is being given to men who are unemployed with a wife and family. It is just a little bit higher.
I want to know how much capital is now invested in this industry and how much of it is home capital and how much of it is foreign capital. The last time I had figures on this subject the totals showed that there were 10 sugar factories either in operation or in course of construction, and the nominal capital was £2,800,000, but the issued capital was only £1,800,000, and of this £825,000 was not owned by persons of British nationality. Thus almost half of the total issued capital was owned by persons not of British nationality. That means to say that nearly half of the British taxpayers' subsidy is going to go at the end of the year into pockets of persons other than British nationality. It means—I know the "Buy-British-Goods" enthusiasts think that this is only a joke—that if you pay £1,250,000 on a subsidy and half goes into foreign countries it is not going to be used in buying British goods, be perfectly certain of that.
I should also have liked to know whether all the companies that are setting up factories under this sugar-beet subsidy are like the Anglo-Scottish Company and the West Midland Company. There is the Anglo-Scottish Company, of which Lord Weir and Lord Invernairn are leading directors. They are also leading directors of the West Midland Company—Lord Weir, Lord Invernairn and Sir John Baird, who is now Lord Stonehaven and who used to occupy an honourable place on the Front Bench, but who has now gone to be Governor-General in Australia. These three Noble Lords are interested in these sugar-beet companies. It is interesting how some of these people get into all the various industries where there is some Government subsidy going. They are famous propagandists of private enterprise, but they never launch out on any enterprise unless the Government is standing behind them.
The point I want to put which is germane to this proposal is this, that there must have been, I am sure, several more companies in addition to the 10 I know of, floated in the last few months. Are these not only getting the very handsome Government support we give in the form of a subsidy under the Sugar Beet Act or are they, like the Anglo-Scottish and West Midland Companies, each in addition to having this guarantee, having the principal and interest invested in the company guaranteed under the Trade Facilities Act? The Anglo-Scottish Company has a guarantee, under the Trade Facilities Act, of its principal and interest up to £370,000. The West Midland Company also has principal and interest guaranteed to an extent of £150,000. Here we have this company, which is dominated by Lord Weir, getting a big share of the sugar beet subsidy and its principal and interest guaranteed under the Trade Facilities Act.
Then he comes along and under a different operation of this House gets a guarantee of £200,000 for the building of houses. I regret that the partnership of Lord Weir and Lord Invernairn who seem to hang so close together in sugar have now got set apart in the housebuilding industry so that they will not be able to put the whole of the profits out of the houses into the same pocket, but they are both there, although in different groups.
On all these matters I think the right hon. Gentleman ought to have given some general explanation because I have grave suspicions as whether this very great experiment in sugar beet growing and beet sugar manufacture is being done under the best possible conditions—conditions which we are likely to make it successful. If I have very great suspicions I have no doubt other Members will at least have some little doubts on the subject.
|Division No. 22.]||AYES.||[8.14 p.m.|
|Acland, Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Caine, Gordon Hall||Fairfax, Captain J. G.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Campbell, E. T.||Falle, Sir Bertram G.|
|Albery, Irving James||Cassels, J. D.||Fermoy, Lord|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Fielden, E. B.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Centr'l)||Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Forestier-Walker, Sir L.|
|Apsley, Lord||Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Forrest, W.|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Fraser, Captain Ian|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Chapman, Sir S.||Frece, Sir Walter de|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Christie, J. A.||Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Galbraith, J. F. W.|
|Balniel, Lord||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Ganzoni, Sir John|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Gates, Percy|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry Cavendish-||Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Gee, Captain R.|
|Berry, Sir George||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham|
|Bethell, A.||Cope, Major William||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Couper, J. B.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Greene, W. P. Crawford|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Grotrian, H. Brent|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbrol||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Hanbury, C.|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Dalziel, Sir Davison||Harland, A.|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Davies, Dr. Vernon||Harrison, G. J. C.|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Hartington, Marquess of|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)|
|Broun-Lindsay, Major H.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Haslam, Henry C.|
|Brown, Brig,-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newby)||Eden, Captain Anthony||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd. Henley)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)|
|Burman, J. B.||Fiveden, Viscount||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||England, Colonel A.||Henn, Sir Sydney H.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Everard, W. Lindsay||Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)|
|Hills, Major John Walter||Meyer, Sir Frank||Slangy, Major P. Kenyon|
|Hilton, Cecil||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Holland, Sir Arthur||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Holt, Captain H. P.||Moore Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (W ill'sden, E.)|
|Homan, C. W. J.||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Murchison, C. K.||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Hopkins, J. W. W.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Neville, R. J.||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Hume, Sir G. H.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Nuttall, Ellis||Templeton, W. P.|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Oakley, T.||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen South)|
|Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.||Penny, Frederick George||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell.|
|Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Tinne, J. A.|
|Jephcott, A. R.||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Kindersley, Major G. M.||Peto, G. (Somerset, Frame)||Waddington, R.|
|King, Captain Henry Douglas||Phillpson, Mabel||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Pielou, D. P.||Ward, Lt. Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Preston, William||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Lamb, J. Q.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Radford, E. A.||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Raine, W.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Ramsden, E.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Little, Dr. E. Graham||Rawson, Sir Alfred Cooper||Wells, S. R.|
|Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Rees, Sir Beddoe||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple|
|Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Loder, J. de V.||Remnant, Sir James||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Looker, Herbert William||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Lord, Walter Greaves-||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Lougher, L.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Luce, Major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Ropner, Major L.||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|MacAndrew, Charles Glen||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Withers, John James|
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Rye, F. G.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Salmon, Major I.||Womersley, W. J.|
|McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|MacIntyre, Ian||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'ge & Hyde)|
|McLean, Major A.||Sandeman, A. Stewart||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Sanders, Sir Robert A.||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Macquisten, F. A.||Sandon, Lord||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|MacRobert, Alexander M.||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Savery, S. S.||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Malone, Major P. B.||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Margesson, Captain D.||Shepperson, E. W.||Major Sir Harry Barnston and|
|Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)||Captain Bowyer.|
|Merriman, F. B.||Skelton, A. N.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Fenby, T. D.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Kenyon, Barnet|
|Baker Walter||Gillett, George M.||Kirkwood, D.|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Gosling, Harry||Lee, F.|
|Barnes, A.||Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)||Lindley, F. W.|
|Barr, J.||Greenall, T.||Livingstone, A. M.|
|Batey, Joseph||Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Calne)||Lunn, William|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Broad, F. A.||Groves, T.||MacNeill-Weir, L.|
|Bromfield, William||Grundy, T. W.||March, S.|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hall, F. (York, W. R., Nortnanton)||Maxton James|
|Buchanan, G.||Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Montague, Frederick|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Morris, R. H.|
|Cape, Thomas||Harris, Percy A.||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Heyday, Arthur||Naylor, T. E.|
|Clowes, S.||Hayes, John Henry||Oliver, George Harold|
|Cluse, W. S.||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Owen, Major G.|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Hirst, G. H.||Palin, John Henry|
|Compton, Joseph||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Paling, W.|
|Connolly, M.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Potts, John S.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Purcell, A. A.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Riley, Ben|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Ritson, J.|
|Dennison, R.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)|
|Duncan, C.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Kelly, W. T.||Scrymgeour, E.|
|Scurr, John||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)||Westwood, J.|
|Sexton, James||Sutton, J. E.||Whiteley, W.|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Taylor, R. A.||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Shiels, Dr. Drummond||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro. W.)||Williams, David (Swansea, E.)|
|Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Thurtle, E.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)||Tinker, John Joseph||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)||Townend, A. E.||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Smith, Rennie (Penistone)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Snell, Harry||Varley, Frank B.||Windsor, Walter|
|Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip||Viant, S. P.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Stamford, T. W.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)||Mr. Allen Parkinson and Mr.|
|Stephen, Campbell||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney||Warne.|
|Division No. 23.]||AYES.||[8.25 p.m.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hayes, John Henry||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Baker, Walter||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, H. B. Lees (Keighley)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Barnes, A.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Snell, Harry|
|Barr, J.||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Batey, Joseph||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Broad, F. A.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bromfield, William||Kelly, W. T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Kirkwood, D. Lee, F.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Buchanan, G.||Lee, F.||Taylor, R. A.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Noel||Lindley, F. W.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)|
|Cape, Thomas||Livingstone, A. M.||Thurtle, E.|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lunn, William||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Clowes, S.||MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)||Townend, A. E.|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Compton, Joseph||MacNeill-Weir, L.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Connolly, M.||March, S.||Viant, S. P.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Maxton, James||Wellhead, Richard C.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Montague, Frederick||Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Warne, G. H.|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Naylor, T. E.||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Dennison, R.||Oliver, George Harold||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Duncan, C.||Palin, John Henry||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Paling, W.||Whiteley, W.|
|Garro-Jones, Captain G. M.||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Gillett, George M.||Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Gosling, Harry||Potts, John S.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Greenall, T.||Purcell, A. A.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Riley, Ben||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Ritson, J.||Windsor, Walter|
|Groves, T.||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Grundy, T. W.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)||Scrymgeour, E.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scurr, John||Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy and|
|Harris, Percy A.||Sexton, James||Mr. Fenby.|
|Heyday, Arthur||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Brittain, Sir Harry|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Han. Sir James T.||Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Brocklebank C. E. R.|
|Albery, Irving James||Berry, Sir George||Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Leyton)||Bethell, A.||Broun, Lindsay, Major H.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Betterton, Henry B.||Brown, Maj. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)|
|Apsley, Lord||Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, Newb'y)|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Bullock, Captain M.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Blades, Sir George Rowland||Burman, J. B.|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Blundell, F. N.||Burton, Colonel H. W.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Butler, Sir Geoffrey|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Brassey, Sir Leonard||Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward|
|Balniel, Lord||Briggs, J. Harold||Caine, Gordon Hall|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Briscoe, Richard George||Campbell, E. T.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Holland, Sir Arthur||Raine, W.|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Holt, Captain H. P.||Ramsden, E.|
|Cecil, Rt. Hon. Sir Evelyn (Aston)||Homan, C. W. J.||Rawson, Sir Alfred Cooper|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Reid, Captain A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Christie, J. A.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Hume, Sir G. H.||Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Ropner, Major L.|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Hurd, Percy A.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cookerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Hutchison, Sir Robert (Montrose)||Rye, F. G.|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Salmon, Major I.|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Cope, Major William||Jackson, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. F. S.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Couper, J. B.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Jephcott, A. R.||Sanders, Sir Robert A.|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Jones, Henry Haydn, (Merioneth)||Sandon, Lord|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Savery, S. S.|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Shaw, Capt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||Knox, Sir Alfred||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Lamb, J. Q.||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset., Yeovil)||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Skelton, A. N.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Smith, R. W. (Abercrn & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Davison, Sir Philip||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Smith-Carington, Neville W.|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||Loder, J. de V.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Looker, Herbert William||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Eiveden, Viscount||Lord, Walter Greaves-||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|England, Colonel A.||Lougher, L.||Stanley, Hon. D. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.-M.)||Luce, Maj.-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||MacAndrew, Charles Glen||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Streatfeild, Captain S. R.|
|Follo, Sir Bertram G.||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Fermoy, Lord||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Fielden, E. B.||MacIntyre, Ian||Tasker, Major R. Inigo|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||McLean, Major A.||Templeton, W. P.|
|Forrest, W.||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Macquisten, F. A.||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, S.)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Thomson, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Mitchell-|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Malone, Major P. B.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Gainraith, J. F. W.||Manningham, Buller, Sir Mervyn||Tryon, At. Hon. George Clement|
|Garzoni, Sir John||Margesson, Capt. D.||Vaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.|
|Gates, Percy||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Waddington, R.|
|Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamilton||Merriman, F. B.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Gee, Captain R.||Meyer, Sir Frank||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Goff, Sir Park||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Watson, Sir F. (Padsey and Otley)|
|Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Moore, Sir Newton J.||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Greene, W. P. Crawford||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Watts, Dr. T.|
|Grotrian, H. Brent||Moreing, Captain A. H.||Wells, S. R.|
|Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||Morris, R. H.||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive.||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Murchison, C. K.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon. Torquay)|
|Hanbury, C.||Nelson, Sir Frank||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Neville, R. J.||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Harland, A.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)||Windsor, Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Nuttall, Ellis||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Harrison, G. J. C.||Oakley, T.||Withers, John James|
|Hartington, Marquess of||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||O'Neill, Major Rt. Hon. Hugh||Womerstey, W. J.|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Owen, Major G.||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Haslam, Henry C.||Penny, Frederick George||Wood, E. (Chest'r, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxi'd, Henley)||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)||Wood, Sir Kingsley (Woolwich, W.)|
|Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Perkins, Colonel E. K.||Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Peto, Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Woodcock, Colonel H. C.|
|Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Pato, G. (Somerset, Frome)||Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.|
|Herbert, (York, N. R. Scar. & Wh'by)||Philipson, Mabel||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.|
|Hills, Major John Walter||Pielou, D. P.|
|Hilton, Cecil||Preston William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Price, Major C. W. M.||Major Hennessy and Captain|
|Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Radford, E. A.||Bowyer.|
|Division No. 23.]||AYES.||[8.35 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Gates, Percy||Moore, Sir Newton J.|
|Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.||Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew Hamillton||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.|
|Albery, Irving James||Gee, Captain R.||Moreing, Captain A. H.|
|Alexander, E. E. (Layton)||Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George Abraham||Morris, R. H.|
|Alexander, Sir Wm. (Glasgow, Cent'l)||Gilmour, Colonel Rt. Hon. Sir John||Morrison-Bell, Sir Arthur Clive|
|Apsley, Lord||Goff, Sir Park||Nelson, Sir Frank|
|Ashley, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.||Grattan-Doyle, Sir N.||Nicholson, Col. Rt. Hn. W. G. (Ptrsf'ld.)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Commander F. W.||Greene, W. P. Crawford||Nuttall, Ellis|
|Astor, Maj. Hon. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Grotrian, H. Brent||Oakley, T.|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Guinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.||O'Connor, T. J. (Bedford, Luton)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Gunston, Captain D. W.||Owen, Major G.|
|Balniel, Lord||Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)||Penny, Frederick George|
|Barclay, Harvey C. M.||Hanbury, C.||Percy, Lord Eustace (Hastings)|
|Barnett, Major Sir Richard||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Perkins, Colonel E. K.|
|Barnston, Major Sir Harry||Harland, A.||Phillpson, Mabel|
|Berry, Sir George||Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||Pielou, D. P.|
|Betterton, Henry B.||Harrison, G. J. C.||Preston, William|
|Birchall, Major J. Dearman||Hartington, Marquess of||Price, Major C. W. M.|
|Bird, E. R. (Yorks, W. R., Skipton)||Harvey, G. (Lambeth, Kennington)||Radford, E. A.|
|Blades, Sir George Rowland||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Raine, W.|
|Blundell, F. N.||Haslam, Henry C.||Ramsden, E.|
|Bourne, Captain Robert Croft||Henderson, Capt. R. R. (Oxf'd, Henley)||Rawson, Sir Alfred Cooper|
|Brassey, Sir Leonard||Henderson, Lieut.-Col. V. L. (Bootle)||Rees, Sir Beddoe|
|Briggs, J. Harold||Heneage, Lieut.-Col. Arthur P.||Reid, Capt. A. S. C. (Warrington)|
|Briscoe, Richard George||Henn, Sir Sydney H.||Remnant, Sir James|
|Brittain, Sir Harry||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Roberts, E. H. G. (Flint)|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Herbert, S. (York, N. R., Scar. & Wh'by)||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Brooke, Brigadier-General C. R. I.||Hills, Major John Walter||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Braun-Lindsay, Major H.||Hilton, Cecil||Rye, F. G.|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks, N. wb'y)||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Hohler, Sir Gerald Fitzroy||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Bullock, Captain M.||Holland, Sir Arthur||Sandeman, A. Stewart|
|Burman, J. B.||Holt, Captain H. P.||Sandon, Lord|
|Burton, Colonel H. W.||Homan, C. W. J.||Savery, S. S.|
|Butler, Sir Geoffrey||Hope, Capt. A. O. J. (Warw'k, Nun.)||Sexton, James|
|Cadogan, Major Hon. Edward||Hope, Sir Harry (Forfar)||Shaw, R. G. (Yorks, W. R., Sowerby)|
|Caine, Gordon Hall||Hopkins, J. W. W.||Shaw, Copt. W. W. (Wilts, Westb'y)|
|Campbell, E. T.||Howard, Captain Hon. Donald||Shepperson, E. W.|
|Cassels, J. D.||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Simms, Dr. John M. (Co. Down)|
|Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)||Hume, Sir G. H.||Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)|
|Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton||Hume Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Skelton, A. N.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Ladywood)||Hurd, Percy A.||Slaney, Major P. Kenyon|
|Chapman, Sir S.||Iliffe, Sir Edward M.||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kine'dine, C.)|
|Charteris, Brigadier-General J.||Inskip, Sir Thomas Walker H.||Smith, Carington, Neville W.|
|Christie, J. A.||Jackson, Sir H. (Wandsworth, Cen'l)||Smithers, Waldron|
|Churchman, Sir Arthur C.||Jephcolt, A. R.||Somerville, A. A. (Windsor)|
|Cobb, Sir Cyril||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Stanley, Col. Hon. G. F. (Will'sden, E.)|
|Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Kidd, J. (Linlithgow)||Stanley, Lord (Fylde)|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Kindersley, Major Guy M.||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westm'eland)|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Steel, Major Samuel Strang|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Stott, Lieut.-Colonel W. H.|
|Cope, Major William||Knox, Sir Alfred||Streatfelid, Captain S. R.|
|Couper, J. B.||Lamb, J. O.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Craig, Ernest (Chester, Crewe)||Lane Fox, Col. Rt. Hon. George R.||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid|
|Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)||Leigh, Sir John (Clapham)||Tasker, Majar R. Inigo|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de W. (Berwick)||Lister, Cunliffe-, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip||Templeton, W. P.|
|Crookshank, Cpt. H. (Lindsey, Gainsbro)||Little, Dr. E. Graham||Thom, Lt.-Col. J. G. (Dumbarton)|
|Cunliffe, Sir Herbert||Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)||Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)|
|Curzon, Captain Viscount||Locker-Lampoon, Com. O. (Handsw'th)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dalziel, Sir Davison||Loder, J. de V.||Tinne, J. A.|
|Davidson, J. (Hertf'd, Hemel Hempst'd)||Looker, Herbert William||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Davies, Dr. Vernon||Lord, Walter Greaves-||Waddington, R.|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Laugher, L.||Wallace, Captain D. E.|
|Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)||Luce, major-Gen. Sir Richard Harman||Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)|
|Davies, Sir Thomas (Cirencester)||MacAndrew, Charles Glen||Warner, Brigadier-General W. W.|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)|
|Dean, Arthur Wellesley||Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)||Watson, Rt. Hon. W. (Carlisle)|
|Eden, Captain Anthony||McDonnell, Colonel Hon. Angus||Wells, S. R.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||MacIntyre, I.||Westwood, J.|
|England, Colonel A.||McLean, Major A.||White, Lieut.-Colonel G. Dalrymple|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||McNeill, Rt. Hon. Ronald John||Williams, A. M. (Cornwall, Northern)|
|Fairfax, Captain J. G.||Macguisten, F. A.||Williams, Com. C. (Devon, Torquay)|
|Falle, Sir Bertram G.||MacRobert, Alexander M.||Williams, Herbert G. (Reading)|
|Fermoy, Lord||Maitland, Sir Arthur D. Steel-||Wilson, R. R. (Stafford, Lichfield)|
|Fielden, E. B.||Malone, Major P. B.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Forestier-Walker, Sir L.||Manningham-Buller, Sir Mervyn||Wise, Sir Fredric|
|Forrest, W.||Margesson, Captain D.||Withers, John James|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Marriott, Sir J. A. R.||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||Merriman, F. B.||Womersley, W. J.|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Mitchell, S. (Lanark, Lanark)||Wood, B. C. (Somerset, Bridgwater)|
|Gadie, Lieut.-Col. Anthony||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Wood, E. (Chester, Stalyb'dge & Hyde)|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Wood, Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)||Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Woodcock, Colonel H. C.||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)||Mr. F. C. Thomson and Captain|
|Worthington-Evans, Rt. Hon. Sir L.||Bowyer.|
|Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')||Hayes, John Henry||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Henderson, T. (Glasgow)||Smith, H. B. Lees. (Keighley)|
|Baker, Walter||Hirst, G. H.||Smith, Rennie (Penistone)|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)||Snell, Harry|
|Barr, J.||Hudson, J. H. (Huddersfield)||Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip|
|Batey, Joseph||Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)||Spencer, George A. (Broxtowe)|
|Beckett, John (Gateshead)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Spoor, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Charles|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Johnston, Thomas (Dundee)||Stamford, T. W.|
|Broad, F. A.||Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)||Stephen, Campbell|
|Bromfield, William||Kelly, W. T.||Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)|
|Buchanan, G.||Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.||Sutton, J. E.|
|Cape, Thomas||Kirkwood, D.||Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro., W.)|
|Charleton, H. C.||Lee, F.||Townend, A. E.|
|Clowes, S.||Lindley, F. W.||Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. C. P.|
|Compton, Joseph||Livingstone, A. M.||Varley, Frank B.|
|Connolly, M.||Lunn, William||Viant, S. P.|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||March, S.||Wallhead, Richard C.|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Maxton, James||Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Morrison, R. C. (Tottenham, N.)||Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney|
|Day, Colonel Harry||Oliver, George Harold||Whiteley, W.|
|Duncan, C.||Palin, John Henry||Wilkinson, Ellen C.|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)||Paling, W.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Fenby, T. D.||Potts, John S.||Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)|
|Garry-Jones, Captain G. M.||Purcell, A. A.||Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)|
|Gosling, Harry||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)|
|Greenall, T.||Ritson, J.||Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)|
|Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)||Robinson, W. C. (Yorks, W. R., Elland)||Windsor, Walter|
|Groves, T.||Salter, Dr, Alfred|
|Grundy, T. W.||Scrymgeour, E.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Scurr, John||Mr. Neil McLean and Mr.|
|Harris, Percy A.||Shaw, Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)||Thurtle.|
|Heyday, Arthur||Shiels, Dr. Drummond|