I beg to move, in page 75, line 6, after "except," to insert:
as otherwise stated and except.
This Amendment anticipates an Amendment in page 98, lines 23 to 29, relating to the Borough of Hammersmith. As a rule, constituencies in the First Schedule are described by reference to circumstances as they existed immediately before the end of 1947, but an exception is needed in the case of Hammersmith where, in order to secure that the constituency boundary coincides with ward boundaries, it is proposed that the new constituencies should be described by reference to the boundaries of new wards constituted by Order made this year.
On a point of Order. There is an Amendment standing in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Camborne (Commander Agnew) which deals with the position of the parish of Gwennap. There has been some correspondence about this, and the matter was raised on the Committee stage, when I undertook that if there were no objections raised, I would endeavour to meet the wishes of the locality. It is a small parish which has more affinities with one division than the other. I have just received the final statements which enable me to feel that this meets with general acceptance locally, and had the Debate gone over, I would have put my name to this Amendment. I do not know if in the circumstances, Mr. Speaker, you will feel that you can call it?
I wish to make it quite clear that I had not selected any Amendment which changed the boundaries, but if this is merely a drafting Amendment, and there is no objection to it, I am prepared to ask the hon. and gallant Member for Camborne (Commander Agnew) to move it formally as a drafting Amendment.
I beg to move, in page 79, line 42, at the end, to insert:
During the Committee stage of the Bill, the question was raised with regard to several constituencies whether the spread of population over the area warranted their being regarded either as borough constituencies or county constituencies. This is one of the cases where, although a constituency has been put into the Bill as a borough constituency, the density of population per acre is such as to make it more suitable for inclusion as a county constituency.
I beg to move, in page 83, to leave out lines 15 to 21 and to insert:
2 Gateshead East—The following wards of the county borough of Gateshead, namely, East, East-Central, North-East, South and South-Central.
3 Gateshead West—The following wards of the county borough of Gateshead, namely, Central, North, North-West, West and West-Central.
This represents the revised views of the Boundary Commissioners on the proper division of Gateshead.
I beg to move, in page 91, to leave out lines 3 and 4.
During Committee we altered the order of names in the borough of Chatham and Rochester to read "Rochester and Chatham," but no correction was made in the alphabetical order of the constituencies in Kent. This Amendment will observe the niceties of the alphabet.
I beg to move, in page 93, to leave out lines 2 to 10, and to insert:
4 Blackburn East—The following wards of the county borough of Blackburn, namely, St. John's, St. Mary's, St. Matthew's, St. Michael's, St. Stephen's, St. Thomas's and Trinity.
5 Blackburn West—The following wards of the county borough of Blackburn, namely, Park, St. Andrew's, St. Luke's, St. Mark's, St. Paul's, St. Peter's and St. Silas's.
This is a recommendation of the Boundary Commissioners with regard to the division of the borough of Blackburn into two constituencies.
In line 35, at end, insert:
28 Manchester, Clayton—The following wards of the county borough of Manchester, namely, Beswick, Bradford, Miles Platting and Newton Heath.
29 Manchester, Exchange—The following wards of the county borough of Manchester, namely, All Saints, Exchange, Medlock Street, Oxford, St. Ann's, St. Clement's, St. George's, St. John's and St. Luke's.
I beg to move, in page 98, line 7, to leave out from second "the" to second "and" in line 12, and to insert:
8. The Cities of London and Westminster—Brompton ward of the royal borough of Kensington; The county of the City of London, the borough of the City of Westminster.
This is the first of the Amendments dealing with the adjustments necessary to make the new provision for the City of London constituencies.
I should like to make one small point, not on the merits but on the results of this Amendment. The effect of this Amendment will be to alter the representation of the metropolitan boroughs of the London County Council. I do not want to go into the merits of it now, but may I call the attention of the Home Secretary to this fact and ask him if he would be prepared to consider it?
I beg to move, in page 98, to leave out lines 23 to 39 and to insert:
14. Hammersmith North—The following wards (as constituted by the Hammersmith (Councillors and Wards) Order, 1948, S.I., 1948, No. 729) of the borough of Hammersmith, namely, College Park and Latimer, Coningham, Old Oak, Starch Green, White City and Wormholt.
15 Hammersmith, South—The following wards (as so constituted) of the borough of Hammersmith, namely, Addison, Broadway, Brook Green, Grove, Olympia, Ravenscourt and St. Stephen's.
This Amendment is due to an alteration in the wards of Hammersmith while the Bill has been going through the
House, and will ensure that when the new constituencies are formed the ward boundaries for borough elections will coincide with the boundaries of the Parliamentary Divisions at the points where the two constituencies touch.
I beg to move in page 100, to leave out lines 4 to 8.
The Government Amendments in pages 100 and 101 adjust constituencies in Middlesex to borough and county constituencies in accordance with the density of the population.
I beg to move, in page 108, line 5, column I, at the end, to insert "and Tipton."
The House may feel that this Amendment does not compare in importance with events at Trent Bridge and elsewhere, but I think that it encourages civic pride, and that is something we should seek to do. The Bill as it stands entails the severance of the borough of Tipton from the Parliamentary Division of Wednesbury and its incorporation in the new Division of Rowley Regis. Much as we regret that change, both on sentimental and political grounds, we do not oppose it, but the citizens and civic fathers of Tipton feel very strongly that the name "Tipton" should be included in the name of the new Parliamentary Division The town of Tipton is a compact community of 25,000 electors, whereas the remainder of the new Division, consisting of 34,000 electors, is split over four different communities, Oldhill, Cradley Heath, Blackheath and Tividale. Whereas there is no postal area at Rowley Regis, Tipton has a postal area of its own. I suggest therefore, that the inclusion of the name Tipton would aid identification. The industrial borough of Tipton is very well known and, ever since the early days of the industrial revolution our products have gone out to the four corners of the earth. The Home Secretary is a good democrat and a person well versed in civic affairs. He will not fail to recognise that there is a psychological aspect to the inclusion of the name of a compact community of 25,000 citizens in the nomenclature of a constituency.
Finally—[HON. MEMBERS: "Go on."] It is very dangerous to encourage a Black Country man. Finally, I would point out that in the county of Stafford, in which the borough of Tipton is situated, there have been several new divisions which have been given double-barrelled names like Lichfield and Tamworth, Stafford and Stone and Oldbury and Halesowen. I understand in the latter case that the name was originally confined to Halesowen but following representations the name of Oldbury was added. The electors I am privileged to represent cannot see why similar consideration should not be given to Tipton. On behalf of these 25,000 hard working Black Country men and women, whose character and tradition testify to the greatness of their past and the tremendous potentialities of their future, I ask the Home Secretary to accede to their request.
I beg to second the Amendment.
I do so for two valid reasons. First of all because of a very lamentable state of affairs—I missed an Amendment in my own name. Had I moved it, I should have said exactly what the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. S. N. Evans) said. The other reason is that I had a close association with the gas works in Tipton, and I expect the gas works impelled the eloquence with which this Amendment was proposed by the hon. Member for Wednesbury.
I should like in a few words to support my constituent, my hon. Friend the Member for Wednesbury (Mr. S. N. Evans). This proposed constituency happens to abut on mine and I can confirm all that he said about the civic pride of the people of the Black Country. We in Birmingham have had the pleasure of working with them for many years. Large numbers of workers from Tipton and from Rowley Regis come to work in our factories. We hold them in the highest respect for their solidarity, loyalty and public spirit. I know that this matter is felt very deeply in those districts. The Black Country workers have a great civic pride, and I hope the Home Secretary will be able to fall in with the Amendment so ably put by my hon. Friend.
I know from past experience that the burgesses of Tipton are people of great determination and resource, for I was sent there when I was at the Board of Education to open a school meals kitchen. At the same time, I was removing their powers as a Part III educational authority. The Mayor proposed my health in terms which indicated that he hoped I would not be too healthy during the next few months. Before I had a chance to reply, he announced that he had another engagement. During the afternoon I visited part of Tipton and saw there the construction of the Bailey bridges which played so great a part in the invasion of Europe. I also saw other evidence of the great industrial pride and strength of this borough. As it is the largest borough in the Division, I have, therefore, the greatest pleasure in agreeing that its name should be added to that of the Division.
I beg to move, in page III, line 38, at the end, to insert:
The object of this Amendment is to retain for Hastings its status as a Parliamentary borough and to resist the intention under the Bill to make it a county constituency. I have already put forward the case for Hastings during the Committee stage and will not weary the House by repeating now my speech on that occasion. I would draw the attention of the House to the final paragraph of the White Paper issued this month by the Boundary Commission. It says:
We have carefully considered the arguments submitted to us on this question and we have no objection, if the White Paper proposals are accepted, to the Hastings constituency being designated as a borough constituency.
In view of this I feel fortified in asking the Home Secretary if he will reconsider his previous decision and grant Hastings its borough status.
I beg to move, in page 118, to leave out lines 22 to 40, and to insert:
14. Leeds Central—The Armley and New Wortley, Blenheim, Central, Holbeck North, Mill Hill and South and Westfield wards of the county borough of Leeds.
15. Leeds East-Central—The Burmantofts, Harehills, Potternewton and Richmond Hill wards of the county borough of Leeds.
16. Leeds North-East—The North, Round hay and Woodhouse wards of the county borough of Leeds.
17. Leeds North-West—The Far Headingley, Hyde Park and Kirkstall wards of the county borough of Leeds.
18. Leeds South—The Beeston, Holbeck South, Hunslet Carr and Middleton and West Hunslet wards of the county borough of Leeds.
19. Leeds South-East—The Cross Gates and Templenewsam, East Hunslet and Osmond-thorpe wards of the county borough of Leeds.
20. Leeds South-West—The Bramley, Farnley and Wortley and Upper Armley wards of the county borough of Leeds.
This Amendment gives effect to the rearrangement of the proposed Leeds constituencies as recommended by the Boundary Commissioners.
I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, in line 5, column 1, to leave out "East-Central," and to insert "North-East."
First of all I should like to thank the Home Secretary for allowing a period between Committee and Report stages to enable organisations to make representations to the Boundary Commission and so produce a scheme much tidier than that suggested on the Committee stage.
The Amendments which we propose concern not the composition but the names of the constituencies. Whenever there are compass point names there is bound to be a great deal of confusion. In this case I think the proposed names will mean more confusion than ever, because we are to have a proposed "East Central" and a proposed "Central" constituency. I am quite certain that Leeds "East Central" will be very much confused with Leeds "Central." In addition, of the 49,800 voters in the proposed Leeds East-Central Division all but 6,400 have been in the Leeds North-East Division up to now. The proposed South-West division is the present West Division minus only one ward, and for no reason whatever three wards are now to be called South-West Division whereas three wards with the addition of one ward previously were called the West Division. This sounds confusing and it will be confusing in future unless the Home Secretary agrees to the changing of the names. Therefore, I ask him to retain the names which we have previously had, and to change Leeds East-Central to Leeds North-East, to change Leeds North-East to Leeds North and to retain the name of Leeds West in place of the proposed Leeds South-West.
I beg to second the Amendment to the proposed Amendment.
I wish to emphasise that East-Central is a contradiction in terms. I do not know how one arrives at East Central. It must be either east of the centre or it is the centre. In view of the fact that the people I represent are definite in their desire for their constituency still to be called Leeds Central and object to anyone else using the word "Central," I hope that the word "Central" will be taken away from the new constituency and that the-constituency will be named as is proposed by this Amendment.
I have had representations made to me from more than one quarter in Leeds that these suggested Amendments would make for convenience in the city and for the more easy identification of the proposed constituencies. Therefore, I am prepared to accept this and the two following Amendments.
I beg to move, in page 127, to leave out lines 2 and 3.
This is a simple Amendment which changes the designation of the burghs of Coatbridge and Airdrie from that of a county constituency to that of a burgh constituency. Historical reasons are the reason for this Amendment, which brings the designation into conformity with the actual facts.
I beg to move, in page 127, line 26, to leave out from "Bridgeton," to the end of line 34, on page 135, and to insert:
The following wards (as constituted by the Local Government (Scotland) (Glasgow Wardsand
and Councillors) Order, 1948, S.I., 1948, No. 876) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, Calton and Dalmarnock.
2. Glasgow, Camlachie—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, Dennistoun, Provan and that part of Mile-End ward which lies to the east of a line commencing at a point on the northern boundary of the ward immediately opposite the centre line of Millerston Street thence southward to and along the centre line of Millerston Street to the centre line of Gallowgate; thence eastward along the centre line of Gallowgate to a point opposite the centre line of Fielden Street; thence southward along the centre line of Fielden Street to the termination of the line on the southern boundary of the Mile-End ward immediately opposite the centre of Fielden Street.
3. Glasgow, Cathcart—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, Cathcart, Langside and that part of Govanhill ward which is South and East of a line commencing at a point on the western boundary of the ward where it is cut by the centre line of Calder Street; thence Eastward along the centre line of Calder Street to the centre of Polmadie Road; thence North-East-ward along the centre line of Polmadie Road to the termination of the line on the Northern boundary of the ward at the centre of the British Railways main line from Glasgow to Rutherglen.
4. Glasgow Central—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, Exchange and Townhead.
5. Glasgow, Gorbals—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, Gorbals, Hutcheson town and that part of the Govanhill ward which is not included in the Cathcart constituency.
6. Glasgow, Govan—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, Craigton, Fairfield and that part of Govan ward which lies to the West of a line commencing on the North-West boundary of the ward where it is cut by the centre line of Greenfield Street; thence Southward along the centre line of Greenfield Street to the centre line of Crossloan Road; thence South-Eastward along the centre line of Crossloan Road to the centre line of Craigton Road; thence Southward along the centre line of Craigton Road to the termination of the line at the ward boundary at the junction of Craigton Road and Shieldhall Road.
7. Glasgow, Hillhead—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, Kelvinside, Partick (West), and that part of Particle (East) ward which is south and west of a line commencing at a point on the ward boundary at the junction of the centre lines of Dowanside Road and Byres Road; thence southward along the centre line of Byres Road to the centre line of Ashton Road; thence south-eastward along the centre line of Ashton Road to the centre line of University Avenue; thence eastward along the centre line of University Avenue to a point opposite the centre of the southern end of Oakfield Avenue, thence in an easterly direction in a straight line to a point on the east side of Kelvin Way where the north
boundary fence of Kelvingrove Park meets the said Kelvin Way, thence in a generally easterly direction along the north boundary fence of Kelvingrove Park to the southmost limit of Westbank Quadrant, thence in a straight line in a south-easterly direction to the east boundary of the ward at the centre of the River Kelvin.
8. Glasgow, Kelvingrove—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, Anderston and Park.
9. Glasgow, Maryhill—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, Maryhill and Ruchill.
10. Glasgow, Pollok—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, Camphill, Pollokshaws and Pollokshields.
11. Glasgow, Scotstoun—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, Knightswood, White-inch and Yoker.
12. Glasgow, Shettleston—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, Parkhead, Shettleston and Tollcross and that part of Mile-End ward which is not included in the Camlachie constituency.
13. Glasgow, Springburn—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely Cowcaddens, Cowlairs and Springburn.
14. Glasgow, Tradeston—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, Kinning Park, Kingston and that part of Govan ward which is not included in the Govan constituency.
15. Glasgow, Woodside—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Glasgow, namely, North Kelvin, Woodside and that part of Partick (East) ward which is not included in the Hillhead constituency.
This Amendment refers to the City of Glasgow. Since the Bill was drafted an order has been made redividing the city into new wards, and now that the new wards have been named the purpose of the Amendment is to put in the actual names of the wards and thus shorten the descriptions already in the Bill.
With regard to the constituency of Govan, it will be remembered on the last occasion, after we had discussed the matter and the Secretary of State for Scotland had replied, he suggested that we should meet the other people and try to come to some agreement upon the matter. I wish to say to him that I took him at his word and we tried to meet the other people but they declined to meet us. The people of Tradeston came away from the Govan constituency without notifying the Govan people as to whether they had anything to say with regard to their attempts at filibustering.
The point that arises here is that we tried to meet these people and come to an amicable understanding with them. We even went to the Parliamentary Committee of the Glasgow Town Council and laid our case before them and impressed them so much that they agreed to rescind the previous decision justifying Tradeston taking over the Govan Ward. They suggested that we get in touch with the Tradeston Divisional Labour Party in order to come to an agreement. We tried to do that but the Tradeston people have declined to meet us. Consequently we are compelled to come to this House and ask this House to be the judges as to whether or not Tradeston is to take up an old historic place such as the Govan Ward.
Another objection raised by the Secretary of State for Scotland was in connection with the fact that we were dividing a ward in the re-apportionment of the Division, as set out in the Amendment I have down, with regard to both Trades-ton and Govan. He took exception to the fact that I was breaking up two wards in my Amendment. I have gone over the different wards in Glasgow, and in the 15 Parliamentary constituencies which compose the whole of Glasgow, we have five wards that are divided already, leaving out of account the Govan ward and part of Pollokshields ward. Consequently, his objection on the previous occasion should be entirely over-ruled.
I would suggest that the Amendment that I have down brings back into the Govan constituency the old Govan ward, which has existed for eight or nine centuries. It is an old name place in Scotland and of considerable historic interest and it has several historical significances. The House of Commons has shown how willing it is to accept Amendments which affect either the historical significance of a constituency or the better settlement of the constituency itself. I trust that, on this occasion also, the sentiments of the House will be with the Govan constituency in the hope that it should be restored to its old place as a complete constituency with all its old historical associations.
If I might, by leave of the House, make reference to what was said by my hon. Friend, I would point out that on the last occasion that he brought this matter before the House I explained that we viewed with sympathy his remarks about the breaking of an old tradition. There is no question but that this Bill makes great changes in many traditional constituencies throughout the country. Earlier the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London (Sir A. Duncan) put forward a most sincere and eloquent plea on behalf of that constituency. I am sure that my hon. Friend the Member for Govan (Mr. N. MacLean) must have had a fellow-feeling for the right hon. Gentleman when he put forward his plea. Previously I recommended to my hon. Friend that he should try to get agreement amongst all those concerned in this matter. I suggested that if he came forward with an agreement the Government, who have no prejudice on this question, would deal sympathetically with the situation.
However, he says that he has not been able to get agreement with the neighbouring constituency. The City of Glasgow has not taken any action to support his view. With the idea of helping my hon. Friend, I made what inquiries I could into the possibility of an agreement. I am sorry to report that all the political parties are reluctant to agree to his suggestion. In view of the large body of opinion which is either not prepared to help him or is frankly in opposition to his proposal, I regret that it is impossible for me to recommend the House to agree to his suggestion, however sympathetic I feel myself.
With the leave of the House, may I correct a statement made by the right hon. Gentleman? This constituency was taken away without the knowledge of the people of Govan. The people were not notified of any commission or committee. If the Secretary of State for Scotland is attempting to justify that deliberate action, which has been taken in order to make a safe constituency, then I have no faith in the Secretary of State for Scotland.
I beg to move, in page 135, line 43, to leave out from "Central," to the end of line 54, on page 143, and to insert:
The following wards (as constituted by the Local Government (Scotland) (Edinburgh Wards) Order, 1948, S.I., 1948, No. 1138) of the county of the city of Edinburgh, namely, George Square, Holyrood and St. Giles.
2. Edinburgh East—The burgh of Mussel-burgh and the following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Edinburgh, namely, Craigentinny, Craigmillar and Portobello.
3. Edinburgh, Leith—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Edinburgh, namely, Central Leith, South Leith and West Leith.
4. Edinburgh North—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Edinburgh, namely, Broughton, Calton and St. Andrew's.
5. Edinburgh, Pentlands—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Edinburgh, namely, Colinton, Gorgie-Dalry, Merchiston and Sighthill.
6. Edinburgh South—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Edinburgh, namely, Liberton, Morningside and Newington.
7. Edinburgh West—The following wards (as so constituted) of the county of the city of Edinburgh, namely, Corstophine, Murrayfield-Cramond, St. Bernard's and Pilton.
As a Scotsman who, I am sorry to say, has long moved south, I cannot help thinking that Scottish Members who still represent Scottish constituencies are losing an opportunity by not bringing in the burgh of Musselburgh into the title of what is called the East Edinburgh constituency. It is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, of the burghs in Scotland. That it is now being absorbed by East Edinburgh seems to me rather sad, and this might have been in opportunity for preserving the name.
I support what was said by my right hon. Friend the Member for Epsom (Mr. McCorquodale). I should like to hear the view of the right hon. and earned Gentleman the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. J. Wheatley) on this matter. Musselburgh is an ancient place. The term East Edinburgh is rather in-definite and perhaps the right hon. and earned Gentleman might have some suggestion to make.