Clause 24. — (Rating powers of drainage boards other than Catchment Boards.)

Orders of the Day — LAND DRAINAGE (No. 2) BILL [Lords]. – in the House of Commons on 28th July 1930.

Alert me about debates like this

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER:

Mr. Turton.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Do I understand that my Amendments on Clause 23 are not selected?

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER:

I would have called them if they were selected.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

May I ask if they are in order or not?

Mr. DEPUTY-SPEAKER:

I can only say that they are not selected.

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

I beg to move, in page 23, to leave out lines 3 to 6.

The object of this Amendment is to cut out what I believe to be a change in the rating law. When this was raised upstairs, the right hon. Gentleman said that he would go into the matter, and if possible put it right. I hope that he will be able to accede to a request to cut out these words. It is advisable to refer to the next Sub-section to see the effect of the Amendment. It will mean that any owner of any unoccupied hereditament, even though it be derelict, will have to pay a drainage rate upon it, notwithstanding that at the present moment rates are not collected even where there is any use attached to it or any beneficial enjoyment expected. There was a case decided some 20 years ago under which the holder of a living was held to be the owner of a burial ground because it was held that he would expect to get a beneficial enjoyment of part of that ground, notwithstanding that the burial ground was at that moment unoccupied. Under this Bill the parson would be liable to pay rates under this proviso, but if instead of taking the example of a burial ground, the Minister were to take the example of a mill that is closed and for sale, and which the owner is not expected to use, that mill at the present moment is not liable to rates. Under this proviso and the succeeding Sub-section it will be. There was an example some years ago of land that was for sale, and which never found an owner for 20 years. That land was not rated under the old rating law. If these words are kept in, such land would be rated. Whether hon. Members opposite think that that land should be rated or not, I submit that it would be a better plan that a change of that sort should be made by a rating Bill than by a Bill which is ostensibly a drainage Bill.

There is another point which I hope that the Minister will bear in mind. I have put it to him before. It is the question of seaside shops which the right hon. Gentleman will probably have met at such places as Southend-on-Sea. If these shops are let to a tenant who occupies them only in the summer, for all other rates than these rates, the rating of these shops will be levied on the occupier for only six months of the year. Under this Bill, we shall have the anomalous position that for six months in the year the occupier will have to pay rates and for six months the owner will have to pay rates. It is a mistake to have a different rating law for drainage rates and another rating law for other rates. I would ask the Minister to delete this proviso, and if he has those sentiments which some hon. Members opposite have about the rating of unoccupied land, I suggest that he should reserve this power for the Land Valuation Bill which the Government are still thinking of bringing forward in the dim and misty future.

9.0 p.m.

Photo of Mr Reginald Croom-Johnson Mr Reginald Croom-Johnson , Bridgwater

I beg to second the Amendment.

There seems to be a question here which is worth consideration. If there is going to be a re-examination of the methods by which rates are levied upon property generally, we should have an opportunity of allowing future discussion to deal with all rates. It is a pity that we should have an Amendment to the law brought in by a side wind in this way.

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

I do not know whether the House fully appreciates what this Amendment would really do if it were adopted. In drainage districts where there is an internal drainage authority, drainage rates always have been levied upon land, either on the basis of acreage or of annual value. In this Bill it is on annual value. They have been levied on land, first, because the operation of a drainage order safeguards it from danger, and secondly, because it derives benefit from the drainage works. These two principles have been applied to the rating of land for a long time, and the Act of 1929, which de-rated agricultural land generally, did not de-rate it for this purpose. It left rates on land for drainage purposes exactly as before. In the internal drainage districts there are two kinds of rates on the land, occupiers' rate and owners' rate, and the law is— and we are not altering it in that respect—that where the work to be paid for is a new work or an improvement, the, internal drainage rate is levied on the owner. Where the charge is in respect of current expenses, maintenance, and so forth, it is levied upon the occupier.

Take the case put by the hon. Member. There is a house which pays its share of the internal drainage rate, being, according to the hypothesis, in an internal drainage district. It will pay on a third of its annual value, being a hereditament other than agricultural land. The fact that it has this rate levied upon it presupposes either that it escapes danger as a result of the drainage work which has been undertaken or that a benefit is conferred upon it by that drainage work. If neither of those things be true, then the owner can go to the courts and claim exemption from the drainage rates. The occupier can shut up the house, but it will continue to escape danger or to receive benefit whether there is anybody living -in it or not. If there were no drainage scheme and the area were flooded, the House would not be liveable in when the occupier returned to it. That is a consideration which must be taken into account. We cannot pick and choose. For that reason I am sure that, on reflection, the hon. Member will see that it would be impossible for me to permit this discrimination.

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

It is intended under this Clause to charge drainage rates on derelict tenements?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

A hereditament in the internal drainage district would pay on a third of its annual value.

Amendment negatived.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

I beg to move, in page 23, to leave out lines 10 to 12.

The lines referred to in this Amendment read: and subject to the provisions of this section, every drainage rate shall be assessed at a uniform amount per pound throughout the area. Sub-section (4), in which these lines occur, deals with an internal drainage board's mode of raising revenue. It provides that the drainage rate shall be at a uniform rate throughout the area. I would point out to the House that we have given powers to the drainage board to levy differential rates, whereby certain land which benefits more than other land shall be rated more highly; and the Minister just now said that if any ratepayer can show that he is not either protected by the work of drainage or does not benefit from it he will not be rated. Both those exceptions seem to be in violation of the wording of this Clause. As the Clause stands there can be no differential rating, nor will people be in a position to say, "I do not benefit, and therefore I ought not to pay." If the rate is to be levied at a uniform rate throughout this area, there can be no distinction between different sorts of property. I do not see how these words can remain in the Bill if the interpretation which the right hon. Gentleman has put upon the powers of the drainage board is accurate. If people are entitled to complain to the Appeal Court that they ought not to be rated because they do not benefit, how can it be said that it is a uniform rate per pound throughout the whole area?

I ask the House to observe what rates can be levied, because this is the kernel of the Bill so far as the drainage boards arc concerned. There are 300 of these internal drainage boards. Some of them rate on acreage, but most of them rate both on acreage and on the ordinary rateable value of hereditaments. In this Clause, instead of an acreage basis of rating the rate is to be levied on the annual value of the hereditaments. Farm land escapes ordinary rates at the present time, and the annual value of the hereditament is to be its annual value for Schedule A purposes. This is the first time that Schedule A has been brought into a rating Act. It is a very good precedent, and one we hope to apply elsewhere. Not only does this system take the place of the old acreage rate, but, in addition, local authorities are given definite power to rate on the annual value of all hereditaments. For the first time they can put the rate on houses and on other property which does not benefit. [Interruption.] Well, I am not certain whether it does benefit or not, but I will come back to that point later. The right hon. Gentleman, to make it a little bit more popular, and as a result of a compromise between all the interests, has arranged that hereditaments which are not agricultural land are to be rated on one- third of their annual value. I had put down an Amendment that it should be one-fifth, because obviously the less the houses pay the more will be collected on the annual value of the agricultural land which escapes rates.

The main point, as I read this Clause, is that the rate levied upon the annual value of agricultural land and the rate upon one-third of the rateable value of land and buildings both have to be uniform throughout the whole area. If they are uniform there cannot be differential rating, and yet the drainage board may levy preferential rates. This power to levy differential rates seems to be contradictory to the instructions in this Subsection (4) to levy all rates on a uniform basis throughout the area. Still more does it make it impossible for people to plead that as they do not get any benefit from a drainage scheme they are not liable to the drainage rates. I cannot reconcile that view with this Clause any more than I can reconcile Sub-section (6) with Sub-section (4). I move the omission of lines 10 to 12 in order that this matter may be cleared up.

Photo of Mr Henry Haslam Mr Henry Haslam , Horncastle

I beg to second the Amendment.

Sub-section (4) provides that: every drainage rate shall be assessed at a uniform amount per pound throughout the area— That provision is entirely inconsistent with Subsection (6), which allows differential rates. Those two proposals are entirely inconsistent with what we have heard from the Minister of Agriculture, who has just told us that every hereditament is going to be rated according to the degree to which it is faced with danger or receives benefit. As far as I understand this proposal, if an hereditament does not come under either of those two conditions it may yet be rated. Let me point out the anomalies which may result where a uniform amount per £ is levied throughout the area. In the area which I represent, the rate per £ on the various hereditaments varies from 8s. to 8d. in the £. This is solely due to the fact that those who pay 8s. are in a much more dangerous position in regard to the waters, and they have had to erect very much more expensive works to keep out the sea water than those who only pay 8d. in the £. I think that point is quite clear, and there is no dissatisfaction with that very great difference, because the people who have to pay the higher rate recognise that they are in a different position, and the value of the land and the rents receivable are taken into account as well as the amount of the rates and the position they occupy.

Now the Minister tells us that the drainage rates are going to be levied at a uniform amount throughout the area, and we want to know what that means. The present system which has worked well hitherto, is based on a clearly defined principle. In the particular area to which I refer, the only expense which is borne by a uniform rate is the small expense of the Commissioners and bodies of that kind. What happens is that when any particular area requires drainage, or requires to be preserved from the sea, the Commissioners themselves undertake the work. It may affect only parishes like those in Lincolnshire, where you get these small rates as a separate affair. The small area served has to bear a heavier rate than the surrounding neighbourhood. I want to know from the Minister why that definite principle is going to be changed. I gathered, during the Committee stage, that this particular principle was to be continued, but now it seems to be discontinued by this Clause. If the old system is not continued, we ought to know the principle upon which the rating is to be based. The statements which have been made are entirely at variance with other statements made at an earlier stage. I shall certainly support the Amendment to leave out these words, because there is no reason, in the general principle of this Bill, or in its application to any particular area, why the system should be altered, and an alteration like that which is now proposed is certain to inflict serious injustice.

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

If the hon. Member for Horncastle (Mr. Haslam) had read the Bill carefully, he would not have made the speech which he has just delivered. The words in line 10 are: subject to the provisions of this section. Therefore, there is no change of the law in this particular case. The position is as I have already explained, that a person is liable to pay only on one of the two grounds which I have mentioned in a particular case. The internal drainage board may find that a particular area is especially dangerous, and in that case it can levy a high rate to fall upon the owners in that area. If an area is specially benefited, the board may levy a higher rate upon that particular area than upon the surrounding areas. Differential rates are provided for in Sub-section (6) of this Clause.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

I understand that a person can still appeal against a rate if he does not get any benefit from the works carried out.

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

We do not alter the law, and the basis remains as it was before. If a person is subject to a charge on one or other of the grounds which I have explained, he can apply to the Court. In a particular district there may be some advantages which benefit one part more than others, and in that one part there can be a uniform rate. The differential rates are defined under Sub-section (6). It is perfectly clear that these rates are subject to the provision of this section.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

I do not see any reason why the words I have proposed to omit should remain in the Bill.

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

If a particular patch is benefited more than others, surely the charge must be uniform in that patch?

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

The Minister of Agriculture says the law remains as it is, and that a person has a right to go to the Appeal Court, and say, "I am not liable to the rate which has been levied upon me." Under this Clause you are putting a proposal into the Statute Law saying that the rate shall be uniform throughout the area. That certainly does away with any previously existing right of any individual who is not benefited by a scheme to go to the Courts and to secure exemption.

Dr. ADDISON indicated dissent.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

The right hon. Gentleman says it does not, but nobody reading the Clause as it stands would read it in that way. There is nothing in the Bill which gives to the individual any legal right of exemption. Under Sub-section (7) a drainage board may exempt people who occupy areas high above sea level. That is only certain areas. Under Clause 30, if any person who is the occupier or owner is aggrieved by a drainage rate, he may, subject to the provisions of the Section, appeal against it. That is all right, but could anybody gather, reading the Bill as it stands, that he had a right to appeal to the Court because he is not benefiting by the scheme? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes !,"] Lawyers opposite may say "Yes," but we have no lawyers here. Having had large experience in making laws and none of administering them, I can only say that under the Bill as it stands, it seems to me that nobody has any more right to go to the Court and say the property is not benefiting from the scheme than he would if he did get benefit from it. If you leave the words out, the man still has his right under the existing law, but if you put them in, he has no right at all.

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

In this particular case the board would not be entitled to levy a rate if he went to the court and the court held that they could not levy a rate. In that case this would not apply.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Then why put these words in? What benefit do you get from them?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

It is a special area. If you subdivide an area, you must see that the two parts of the area are treated the same.

Amendment negatived.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arthur Heneage Lieut-Colonel Sir Arthur Heneage , Louth Borough

I beg to move, in page 23, line 16, at the end, to insert the words: (c) in the case of sea defence Sub-section (4) (a) and (b) will not apply. The object of this Amendment is merely to find out how the Bill stands with reference to sea defence. I must mention again that the Bill deals very largely with sea defence, because the words "defence against water" include defence against sea water. Several parts of the country have different methods of levying sea defence rates. The whole of the Bill deals with drainage rates, and I want to know from the Government if the drainage rate is going to include set defence rates, or are the two rates going on separately, and can the Government separate the two? It is quite posible, in certain areas, that they will have different methods of levying sea defence rates from those contained in the Bill, and are they going to be levied in exactly the same method as that which the Bill lays down for drainage rates? These questions were not examined upstairs, because we only found out comparatively recently the full implications of the Bill as far as sea defence is concerned.

There is another matter. In urban districts, sea defence of seaside towns may be borne by the urban authorities. This Bill has certain provisions whereby urban authorities get off a percentage of their values for the purpose of rating. What is going to be the effect of the sea defence rates in relation to paragraphs (a) and (b)? The point is put forward as to how authorities stand in regard to the security for loans raised for the purpose of sea defence. I would ask the Minister of Agriculture to pay special attention to that, because it is a new and an important point. Do the provisions of the Clause affect the security on the rates of money raised for sea defence? I shall be very glad if the Minister will answer that, because we have rates which have altered in value, whether they have decreased or not. Therefore, we want a re-assurance from the Government on this point.

Photo of Mr Walter Smith Mr Walter Smith , Norwich

I think that, in moving this Amendment, the hon. and gallant Gentleman has taken a step which would have the opposite effect from that which he anticipates. If he looks at Clause 81, he will see that drainage includes defence against water, and defence against water includes defence against sea water. Those definitions make the position clear on the point he has raised. In these areas differentiation will take place and rates will have to be levied on the annual value. Therefore, the position of land in that particular area, subject to this form of drainage, would be worse as compared with other land to which these two paragraphs apply. I can only assume that the hon. and gallant Gentleman put the Amendment down under a misapprehension, and I hope now that I have made the position clear he will not press it.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Arthur Heneage Lieut-Colonel Sir Arthur Heneage , Louth Borough

What about the security for loans?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

The security remains unaltered.

Photo of Mr Henry Haslam Mr Henry Haslam , Horncastle

The reply of the Parliamentary Secretary seems to have put the case in a very extraordinary position. If these two paragraphs are left out, then are we to understand that every drainage rate shall be assessed at a uniform amount per £ throughout the country? If we leave out these two paragraphs, will that have the effect of making the sea defence rate uniform? I cannot see, after what the Minister has said with regard to the previous Amendment about this drainage rate being assessed at a uniform amount per £ throughout areas, any point in having the words in, if a differential system is to be maintained whether for drainage or sea defences. The fact that the Under-Secretary states that leaving out these words would make this uniform, seems to me a very strong argument. It shows that the whole Clause is drafted in a most unsatisfactory manner, and it will lead to very considerable confusion in administration in those areas where at present we have a simple and satisfactory method of levying the rates and doing drainage works. If it is going to be altered, and there is to be doubt as to the continuance of this differential system, and we are to have these words in and to be told that there may be this uniform system of rating, it seems to me there will be confusion and difficulty, which are bound to cause a great deal of injustice.

For my part, I cannot see that the districts concerned are going to get any benefit whatever from these provisions. The Minister has not told us of any single benefit that can be derived by these seacoast districts from having this system imposed upon them. The present system is to be upset and undermined, and a new administrative system is to be set up, which is certainly a very difficult one to understand, as I have been told by the clerks of these commissions—men who have been used to interpreting Acts of Parliament—who do not know under what system they will have to levy rates. There will be a great deal of doubt in their minds when these commissions are turned into internal drainage boards. This Subsection as it stands will cause confusion, and is bound to work injustice.

Mr. GUINNESS:

I think there is a good deal to be said for the differential rate in the case of agricultural hereditaments, because, clearly, the agriculturist will get greater benefit than the owner of other forms of property from the maintenance of the main channel; but that distinction does not seem to me to apply in the case of defences against invasion by the sea. There it is not a matter of enjoying benefit, but is a matter of being defended from a force which would sweep away all values created by human effort, and, therefore, although I am not prepared, in regard to defences on the main river channel, to press very strongly any Amendment to drop the discrimination in favour of the non-agricultural hereditament, I do think that, in the interests of justice, where it is a matter of defence against the sea, all property should bear an equal responsibility for the works. It is not reasonable to put the whole burden upon the small and relatively distressed class who hold the land. Those who are enjoying the advantage of these sea defence works, and who, under the protection of those works, have been able to build up rateable value, ought all to stand on the same footing. It would remove an injustice, and make the Bill more acceptable in the areas where invasion of the sea is threatened, if it were possible to discriminate between expenditure by these authorities on the main river channel and expenditure in the matter of sea defences. I quite recognise that there may be some administrative difficulty, but, if that difficulty could be got over, I am sure that there is really no case on the ground of justice for putting the whole burden of sea defence upon the agriculturist, and leaving out the far richer classes of the community, who enjoy, relatively, much greater financial advantage.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

I think there is a great case on the ground of justice for the Bill as against this Amendment. If the Amendment is carried, there will be no rebate of two-thirds on the rateable value of house property; the object of the Amendment is to rate agricultural land and house property on the same basis. Surely, the reason for making the differentiation is that a house is no more valuable because it is protected by a sea wall, but the land is more valuable because it is protected by a sea wall.

Photo of Marquess of  Titchfield Marquess of Titchfield , Newark

The house would be washed away.

Photo of Colonel Josiah Wedgwood Colonel Josiah Wedgwood , Newcastle-under-Lyme

The house would not be built if there were no sea wall. The value of the house is what it costs to build; the value of the land depends upon whether it is protected from the sea or not. Therefore, we are perfectly justified in putting an increased burden upon the land, whose value is created by these works, instead of upon the house, whose value is created by the workmen who built it.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir William Wayland Lieut-Colonel Sir William Wayland , Canterbury

I have been hoping all the time that the Minister would take the question of defence against the sea out of the Bill altogether. It differs so much throughout the country. In the case of Lincolnshire, for example, it is a question of a small expense compared with Kent, where the cost of keeping up the sea wall is very high; and I agree that the agricultural land in Romney Marsh has increased in value considerably owing to the sea wall. Therefore, it is hardly fair, if this Bill passes, to ask other parts which will be within that catchment area to pay a rate for something from which they have received no value whatever. I sincerely believe that, as the question of defence against the sea is so visionary in this Bill, it would strengthen the Bill if it were taken out altogether, and, perhaps, included afterwards in the Coast Erosion Bill, which is now hung up. In my own particular "back yard," it is recognised that, where the level of the land is from five to eight feet below high water mark, if it were not for the sea wall the whole area would be submerged, and, therefore, the sea wall there is of far greater value than ordinary embankments against the sea in other parts of the country. Who is going to pay in that district the very high rate that must be imposed for the upkeep of that sea wall? It is not on all fours with most of the other coast defences around England, and I certainly think it would be far better if the question of defence against the sea were taken entirely out of the Bill.

Photo of Sir Albert Braithwaite Sir Albert Braithwaite , Buckrose

I do not think that we have had any reply to the questions which were put by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Louth (Lieut.-Colonel Heneage). We do not know now where we stand in regard to this sea defence rate. I would ask the Minister to answer a plain question. Is this sea defence rate to be included in the general drainage rate in the case of urban authorities? I think that the position needs to be put clearly in that regard, so that we may know exactly how far the Bill goes in connection with sea defence. In my constituency the cost of maintaining these sea walls is very considerable, and we want to know definitely who is going to pay in the future, and if this Bill is going, to introduce a new way of maintaining that defence. I shall be grateful if the Minister will be good enough to give me a reply on this point.

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

I am glad to give the hon. and gallant Member the information for which he asks. It does not, in fact, make any difference. It will be seen from Clause 81 that the word "drainage" includes defence against water, and it will also be seen that "defence against water" includes defence against sea water; that is to say, drainage includes defence against sea water.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir William Wayland Lieut-Colonel Sir William Wayland , Canterbury

That might be interpreted as sea water at the mouths of rivers.

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Swindon

I was explaining that sometimes sea water comes a long way up a river. At present, and for the purposes of the Bill, where there is an internal drainage board, they have as part of their concern defence against sea water just the same as against flood water. It makes little difference whether a house is flooded by fresh water or sea water. If it is flooded, the damage is done. The drainage rate would be levied as drainage rates are now levied. The principles are not altered by the Bill. I suggest that the reason the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Guinness) had at the back of his mind was that it would he administratively impossible to say what the defence was against. It might sometimes be flood in a river and sometimes high tide. To the ordinary person it is just as objectionable to be flooded out by river water as by sea water. The Amendment would add to the complexities and would serve no useful purpose. Defence against sea water is obviously provided for in the Bill.

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

I am not very satisfied with the right hon. Gentleman's explanation, and I am even more dissatisfied with the argument of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood), and I would not for a moment wish that argument to rest unexposed. He talked about protection for houses, but he is aware that the Minister intends to move at a later stage to cut out "hereditaments" and to put in "land," and in this case we can take the will for the deed. It will in future, in the case of agricultural land, be the full value, and in the case of other land one-third of the value. The whole point to me about the defence against sea water is that it is unjust that, if you have defence against sea water for protecting a path, a racecourse or a pleasure ground, it should be only one-third of the annual value while if you have it, as the Bill now stands, protecting an allotment, a cottage garden or agricultural land, it shall be rated at the full annual value. As long as that

remains, the Bill must be unjust, and the incidence of the rate must equally be unjust. I cannot conceive how the right hon. Gentleman can defend it.

Photo of Mr Ernest Shepperson Mr Ernest Shepperson , Leominster

I suggest that the Minister is suffering from a concession that he previously gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds. If it had not been for making that concession he might not have been troubled with this Amendment. If we had kept the rates on an acreage basis, the Amendment would not have been material. The hereditament would have paid so much per acre whether it was a house or a racecourse or whatever it was, and you would have had a much better equality of rating on that basis than you have on the annual value. I think the right hon. Gentleman is rather suffering from not have allowed us to make use of the permission given in a previous Bill to keep to the acreage basis, which in the fen areas we have been carrying on for four or five hundred years. I protest against that alteration of what has served us so well in the past.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 107; Noes, 250.

Division No. 468.]AYES.[9.52 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-ColonelGalbraith, J. F. W.Ramsbotham, H.
Ainsworth, Lieut.-col. CharlesGanzoni, Sir JohnRichardson, Sir P. W. (Sur'y, Ch't'sy)
Ashley, Lt,-Col. Rt. Hon. Wilfrid W.Gault, Lieut.-Col. Andrew HamiltonRodd. Rt. Hon. Sir James Rennell
Atholl, Duchess ofGilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir JohnRuggles-Brise. Lieut.-Colonel E. A.
Balfour, Captain H. H. (I. of Thanet)Grenfell, Edward C. (City of London)Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Balniel, LordGuinness, Rt. Hon. Walter E.Salmon, Major I.
Bevan, S. J. (Holborn)Gunston, Captain D. W.Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)
Bird, Ernest RoyHacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.Sandeman, Sir N. Stewart
Bourne, Captain Robert Croft.Hammersley, S. S.Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.
Bowyer, Captain Sir George E. W.Hanbury, C.Savery, S. S.
Boyce, H. L.Haslam Henry C.Shepperson, Sir Ernest Whittome
Braithwaite, Major A. N.Henderson, Capt. R. R.(Oxf'd,Henley)Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Klnc'dine, C.)
Brass, Captain Sir WilliamHeneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.Smith-Carington, Neville W.
Brown, Col, D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)Herbert, Sir Dennis (Hertford)Smithers, Waldron
Brown, Brig.-Gen.H. C.(Berks,Newb'y)Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John WallerSomerville. A. A.(Windsor)
Burton, Colonel H. W.Hurd, Percy A.Southby, Commander A. R. J.
Butler, R. A.Iveagh, Countess ofSpender-Clay, Colonel H.
Cadogan, Major Hon. EdwardKing, Commodore Rt. Hon. Henry D.Stewart, W. J. (Belfast South)
Carver, Major W. H.Knox, Sir AlfredThomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)
Cayzer, Sir C. (Chester, City)Lamb, Sir J. Q.Thomson, Sir F.
Cayzer, Maj. Sir Herbt. R. (Prtsmth,S.)Leighton, Major B. E. P.Todd, Capt. A. J.
Christle, J. A.Little, Dr. E. GrahamTurton, Robert Hugh
Colfox, Major William PhilipLlewellin, Major J. J.Wallace, Capt. D. E. (Hornsey)
Courthope, Colonel Sir G. L.Long, Major Hon. EricWard, Lieut.-Col. Sir A. Lambert
Crookshank, Capt. H. C.MacRobert, Rt. Hon. Alexander M.Warrender, Sir Victor
Croom-Johnson, R. P.Makins, Brigadier-General E.Waterhouse, Captain Charles
Dairymple-White, Lt.-Col. Sir GodfreyMargesson, Captain H. D.Wayland, Sir William A.
Davies, Dr. VernonMason, Colonel Glyn K.Wells, Sydney R.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil)Meller, R. J.Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Edmondson, Major A. J.Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)Windsor-Clive, Lieut,-Colonel George
Elliot, Major Walter E.Monsell, Eyres, Com. Rt. Hon. Sir B.Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Erskine, Lord (Somerset, Weston-s.M.)Moore, Lieut.-Colonel T. C. R. (Ayr)Withers, Sir John James
Everard, W. LindsayMorrison, W. S. (Glos., Cirencester)Womersley, W. J.
Falle, Sir Bertram G.Muirhead, A. J.
Fermoy, LordNewton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Fielden, E. B.Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. WilliamSir George Penny and Major the
Forestier-Walker, Sir L.Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)Marquess of Titchfield.
NOES.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. W. (Fife, West)Hardie, George D.Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Harris, Percy A.Noel Baker, P. J.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. ChristopherHartshorn, Rt. Hon. VernonOliver, P. M. (Man., Blackley)
Altchison, Rt. Hon. Cralgie M.Hastings, Dr. SomervilleOwen, H. F. (Hereford)
Alpass, J. H.Haycock, A. W.Palin, John Henry
Ammon, Charles GeorgeHayday, ArthurPaling, Wilfrid
Arnott, JohnHenderson, Arthur, Junr. (Cardiff, S.)Palmer, E. T.
Aske, Sir RobertHenderson, Thomas (Glasgow)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)
Attlee, Clement RichardHenderson, W. W. (Middx., Enfield)Perry, S. F.
Ayles, WalterHerriotts, J.Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.
Baker, John (Wolverhampton, Bilston)Hirst, G. H. (York W. R. Wentworth)Phillips, Dr. Marion
Baldwin, Oliver (Dudley)Hirst, W. (Bradford, South)Picton-Turbervill, Edith
Barr, JamesHoffman, P. C.Pole, Major D. G.
Batey, JosephHopkin, DanielPotts, John S.
Bellamy, AlbertHorrabin, J. F.Pybus, Percy John
Benn, Rt. Hon. WedgwoodHudson, James H. (Huddersfield)Ramsay, T. B. Wilson
Bennett, Capt. Sir E. N. (Cardiff C.)Hunter, Dr. JosephRathbone, Eleanor
Benson, G.Hutchison, Maj.-Gen. Sir R.Raynes, W. R.
Bentham, Dr. EthelIsaacs, GeorgeRichards, R.
Birkett, W. NormanJenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Blindell, JamesJohnston, ThomasRiley, Ben (Dewsbury)
Bondfield, Rt. Hon. MargaretJones, F. Llewellyn- (Flint)Riley, F. F. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Bowen, J. W.Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Ritson, J.
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Jones, Rt. Hon. Lelf (Camborne)Roberts, Rt. Hon. F. O. (W. Bromwich)
Broad, Francis AlfredJowett, At. Hon. F. W.Romeril, H. G.
Brockway, A. FennerJowitt, Sir W. A. (Preston)Rosbotham, D. S. T.
Bromley, J.Kelly, W. T.Salter, Dr. Alfred
Brothers, M.Kennedy, ThomasSamuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts. Mansfield)Kenworthy, Lt.-Com. Hon. Joseph M.Samuel, H. Walter (Swansea, West)
Brown, Ernest (Leith)Kinley, J.Sanders, W. S.
Brown, Rt. Hon. J. (South Ayrshire)Lambert, Rt. Hon. George (S. Molton)Sawyer, G. F.
Brown, W. J. (Wolverhampton, West)Lansbury, Rt. Hon. GeorgeScott, James
Buchanan, G.Lathan, G.Scurr, John
Burgess, F. G.Law, Albert (Bolton)Sexton, James
Burgin, Dr. E. L.Law, A. (Rosendale) Shaw,Rt. Hon. Thomas (Preston)
Buxton, C. R. (Yorks. W. R. Elland)Lawrence, SusanShepherd, Arthur Lewis
Calne, Derwent Hall-Lawson, John JamesSherwood, G. H.
Cameron, A. G.Leach, W.Shield, George William
Cape, ThomasLee, Frank (Derby, N. E.)Shillaker, J. F.
Carter, W. (St. Pancras, S.W.)Lee, Jennie (Lanark, Northern)Shinwell, E.
Charleton, H. C.Lees. J.Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Chater, DanielLewis, T. (Southampton)Sinclair, Sir A. (Caithness)
Clarke, J. S.Lloyd, C. EllisSinkinson, George
Cluse, W. S.Logan, David GilbertSmith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Longbottom, A. W.Smith, Frank (Nuneaton)
Cocks, Frederick SeymourLongden, F.Smith, H. B. Lees- (Keighley)
Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)Lovat-Fraser, J. A.Smith, Rennie (Penistone)
Compton, JosephLowth, ThomasSmith, Tom (Pontefract)
Daggar, GeorgeLunn, WilliamSmith, W. R. (Norwich)
Dalton, HughMacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)Snell, Harry
Davies, E. C. (Montgomery)MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)Snowden, Rt. Hon. Philip
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)McElwee, A.Snowden, Thomas (Accrington)
Denman, Hon. R. D.McEntee, V. L.Stamford, Thomas W.
Duncan, CharlesMcGovern, J. (Glasgow, Shettleston)Stewart, J. (St. Rollox)
Ede, James ChuterMcKinlay, A.Strauss, G. R.
Edge, Sir WilliamMacLaren, AndrewSullivan, J.
Edmunds, J. E.Maclean, Sir Donald (Cornwall, N.)Sutton, J. E.
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)Taylor, R. A. (Lincoln)
Edwards, E. (Morpeth)McShane, John JamesThurtle, Ernest
Elmley, ViscountMarch, S.Tinker, John Joseph
England, Colonel A.Marcus, M.Tout, W. J.
Foot, IsaacMarkham, S. F.Townend, A. E.
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)Marley, J.Trevelyan, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd (Car'vn)Marshall, FredVaughan, D. J.
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)Mathers, GeorgeViant, S. P.
George, Megan Lloyd (Anglesea)Matters, L. W.Walkden, A. G.
Gibbins, JosephMaxton, JamesWalker, J.
Gibson, H. M. (Lancs. Mossley)Melville, Sir JamesWatkins, F. C.
Gill, T. H.Messer, FredWatts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Gillett, George M.Middleton, G.Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah
Gossling, A. G.Millar, J. D.Wellock, Wilfred
Gould, F.Mills, J. E.Welsh, James (Paisley)
Graham, Rt. Hon. Wm. (Edin., Cent.)Milner, Major JWest, F. R.
Granville, E.Montague, FrederickWestwood, Joseph
Gray, MilnerMorley, RalphWhiteley, Wilfrid (Birm., Ladywood)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Colne)Morris, Rhys HopkinsWhiteley, William (Blaydon)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)Wilkinson, Ellen C.
Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro' W.)Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Groves, Thomas E.Morrison, Robert C. (Tottenham, N.)Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Grundy, Thomas W.Mort, D. L.Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Hall, G. H. (Merthyr Tydvil)Moses, J. J. H.Winterton, G. E. (Leicester,Loughb'gh)
Hall, Capt. W. G. (Portsmouth, C.)Muff, G.Wise, E. F.
Hamilton, Mary Agnes (Blackburn)Muggeridge, H. T.
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & zetland)Murnin, HughTELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. A. Barnes and Mr. Hayes.

Photo of Mr Andrew MacLaren Mr Andrew MacLaren , Stoke-on-Trent Burslem

On a point of Order. I want to ask your advice, Mr. Speaker. Would it be possible to ask the Minister to explain exactly what is meant by Sub-section (5) before we proceed to the next Amendment?

Photo of Mr Walter Smith Mr Walter Smith , Norwich

I beg to move, in page 23, line 26, to leave out the words, "as such a railway."

This is a drafting Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.