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Renfrewshire Upper District (East Wood And Mearns) Water Bill Lords (By Order)

Volume 180: debated on Thursday 8 August 1907

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

As amended, considered.

*MR. CLELAND (Glasgow, Bridgeton) moved an Amendment to provide that certain lands or premises should, for the purposes of the domestic water rate to be imposed and levied, be held to be one-fourth of the annual value thereof entered in the valuation roll. He said he did not propose the Motion of which he had given notice, that the Bill be read that day three months, because he felt that when a Bill had been impartially and exhaustively considered by Committees of both Houses it would not be respectful for a Member of this House to take that course, however strongly he felt on the question as representing a portion of the district which was likely to be prejudicially affected by the Bill. For himself he was prepared to accept the decision of the Committee upstairs, and he was not animated by any hostility to the principle of the Bill, which was that the county council of Renfrew was the body which ought to have the water supply in their hands. What he asked was to add to the Bill a new clause which would carry out the existing, he might say the invariable, practice in regard to the rating of railways and tramways, canals, or basins of canals, etc. In the case of drawing out a scheme of a water district such as this, there were two methods of procedure, by which the promoters might elect to make good their case. They might proceed under the Public Health Act, and appear before the sheriff with their evidence. The sheriff would then delimit the area which he considered a proper and suitable area for water supply; or they might elect to proceed by Act of Parliament or Provisional Order. The promoters of this Bill had chosen the latter course in their wisdom. In England tramways did not pay anything in the nature of water rates, but in Scotland a precedent had grown up by which tramways were rated at 25 per cent. of the annual value thereof entered into the valuation roll. Attempts had been made to equalise the law of Scotland with that of England, but those whom he represented did not seek to do that. Their desire was to preserve unbroken the practice of rating tramways which passed through their districts at a fourth of the value appearing in the valuation roll. The precedents for the clause which he proposed were in the Borough Police Act, the Dunfermline Act, the Melrose District Water Order, the East Stirlingshire Water Order, etc. It would, he thought, require very strong arguments before these precedents could be overthrown by a private Bill. He had been told that the Renfrewshire Comity Council had treated the tramways of Glasgow in an exceedingly generous way, by charging them no way-leave; but that example had also been followed by Dumbartonshire and Lanarkshire. Through the excellent electric tramway service those counties had reaped enormous benefit, because it had taken the people out of the crowded cities and placed them in the surrounding counties. They also benefited because the corporation maintained the whole of the tramway track and eighteen inches on either side, which was no small consideration. The whole community had reaped the benefit, including Glasgow, which he regretted to say had more congestion of population than any other city in Great Britain. In Glasgow the congestion in the densely populated districts had been relieved, more especially in the east of the city, where thousands had been taken out of the slums and planted amid the fresh air of the surrounding counties. When a county council came forward with a proposal to penalise a municipality and a private company by putting on them 75 per cent. additional rating value, that county council ought to make out a very strong case indeed. The case for the county council was that it followed the precedent of the Public Health Act of 1891. That was with regard to rating, but he wished to point out that there was one significant exception, and it was that for the first time they made an exemption for rating purposes for all sporting lands within this water district area. If they had to choose between relieving tramways and locomotion and the taxing of sporting lands he would tax the latter to their fullest extent, in order to relieve congestion in the urban districts. That this additional 75 per cent. of rateable value would seriously affect the development of tramway systems in the future and militate against their extension there could be no two opinions amongst those who had had any practical experience. He begged to move.

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said that after the full statement of the case made by the hon. Member for the Bridgeton division it was unnecessary for him to detain the House for more than two or three minutes in seconding this Amendment. The precedents of other undertakings had been quoted, but no reference had been made to the precedent in this Bill under which it was sought to exempt sporting lands. He did not make any point of that further than drawing the contrast. He asked the House to note that an attempt was being made to buy the county interests and an onslaught was contemplated upon Glasgow and elsewhere. In addition to penalising all the undertakings which the hon. Member for the Bridgeton division had enumerated, it also penalised the poorer classes of the community, and it was to that aspect of the question that he invited the attention of the House. They had heard a great deal about the housing of the working classes, and there was a general concurrence of opinion amongst social reformers that one of the best methods of dealing with the problem was to have the greatest possible facilities for communication between one part of a town and another. Anything that put an additional burden upon the tramway systems and prevented the freest possible outlet being provided for the people in the heart of our great cities was a step in the wrong direction. The Glasgow Corporation were willing by this Amendment to be assessed up to one-quarter of their value, a practice which had been sanctioned by Parliament ever since 1848, throughout the country. If the precedent of assessing tramways at their full value was set up in this Bill it would have a most injurious effect upon tramway undertakings not only in Glasgow but in other places. He asked the House to prevent this Bill being passed in its present form, and he hoped the decision of the Committee would be reversed.

Amendment proposed to the Bill—

"In page 6, line 8, at end, to insert the words 'Provided that the annual value of the following lands or premises shall, for the purposes of the domestic water rate to be imposed and levied under this Act, be held to be one-fourth of the annual value thereof entered in the valuation roll, viz.:—(1) All lands and premises used exclusively as a canal or basin of a canal or towing path for the same, or as a railway or tramway, excepting the stations, depots, and buildings which shall be assessable to the same extent as other lands and premises within the limits of supply; (2) All water works, gas works, electric power or electric supply works, and underground or other pipes of any water company, gas company, electric power or electric supply company, corporation, or commissioners; and (3) All mines, minerals, and quarries.'"—(Mr. Cleland.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

said that as the Chairman of the Committee which considered this matter, he hoped the House would pardon his intervention. It was claimed that the Borough Police Act provided a precedent for this Amendment. Apparently the hon Member who made that statement was not acquainted with the fact that the whole point was that there was a completely different system of rating in counties and in burghs in Scotland. The Committee in both Houses had to pay attention to what was the general law in Scotland, and therefore no new precedent was sot up in this Bill at all, because it followed the precedent of the law of the land. Under the Public Health (Scotland) Act, 1897, all lands and hereditaments were assessable at their full rate. The precedents of Lanarkshire (Middle District), Melrose, and the Dunfermline Act had been quoted. In the Lanarkshire case no county council had a locus before a Committee of this House, and they were obliged to agree to any terms that might have been imposed upon them by the parties with whom they were dealing. The same argument applied to the precedents of Melrose and Dunfermline. The point at issue was that the tramways should be rated at one-fourth. It was plain that when a poor county came before this House, possibly opposed by a very wealthy corporation, they had a serious responsibility thrown upon them. Nobody could deny that Glasgow had carried out these matters exceptionally well, notably their water affairs. The Corporation of Glasgow were fully entitled to oppose this clause, but they were not entitled to say it created or established a precedent. On the contrary it was in accordance with precedent. If any county of Scotland came before Parliament and asked for a water scheme they were entitled under the Public Health Act of 1897 to have these tramways rated to the full. With the question of whether it was fair the Committee had nothing to do. They had only to consider what the Public Health Act of Scotland said. In this Bill he respectfully suggested that the House had only to consider the general law of Scotland. This question did not rest on the decision of the Committee of which he had the honour to be the Chairman. They had the unanimous decision also of a Committee of the other place, and none of the public departments had anything to say in opposition to this or any other clause in the Bill. It was suggested that this matter was not brought before the Committee, but that Committee sat for eight days and no one could dispute the fact that the Bill was very fully considered, and that this part was one of those most fully considered. In addition to this there was the Renfrew County Council itself and the district council also which were unanimous in their support of the scheme, as being a just scheme. With regard to the clause as to sporting rights and the suggestion that the interests of the poor would be jeopardised by the sporting rights, he might mention that there were no sporting rights and that that question was never raised in Committee by the opponents of the Bill. If the opposition to the sporting rights was seriously considered he thought the clause was one that should not stand. He did not strike it out, because the Committee were not asked to do so. He thought the House would be wise to strike it out because it was valueless and was only put in because of an old precedent. With regard to the question of principle raised by the hon. Member opposite that if the tramways were rated at their full value the outward flow from the city to the suburbs would be checked and overcrowding increased, there was an answer to that. The first was that the Secretary for Scotland might possibly undertake that this should be dealt with in a general law. But with regard to specific cases the arguments were all the other way. The whole problem which the Committee had to decide was the question of levels—the question of getting the water to the higher level where there was a shortage of supply. Glasgow towards the north rose more or less sharply; therefore, though there was an ample supply from Loch Katrine in the levels of 200 feet, there was a shortage in the higher level. The Glasgow Corporation had recognised this by bringing forward a very reasonable and proper proposal to supplement their scheme by making a high level supply for a certain village called Eaglesham, which was at a level of 600 feet. If they threw out the Bill, which he thought might be expected if this Amendment were passed—he might be wrong, but he had been told so, although this was a very small sum to Glasgow, £550, yet it made a great difference to a poor county like Renfrew—if they threw the Bill out, they would be preventing the expansion of Glasgow in the best way; they would confine it to the low-lying levels. The object of the Committee was to have regard to the general law and public policy. They had followed the general law in the matter of rating. That was not in dispute; and in regard to public policy, he and his colleagues on the Committee believed that by securing a supply at the high level of 750 feet as compared with 200 feet they would enable the district to spread out naturally and normally, without being concentrated in the lower levels, It would be improper to urge the House to decide one way or the other, but he had given what information he could in regard to a complicated matter, which it was difficult to understand without the aid of the maps and plans which were before the Committee. He trusted the House would consider the difficulty of conducting private Bill procedure unless some regard was paid to evidence given on oath. The Committee were quite unanimous in their decision, and in the highest interests of Glasgow as well as of the county of Renfrew they sincerely believed that the House would be acting rightly in passing the Bill.

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said the hon. and gallant Gentleman had sympathetically compared the poor county council of Renfrew with the rich corporation of Glasgow, but the House would be less sympathetic when they learned that the poor county council had had an opportunity of obtaining water from Glasgow at a rate of 10d. in the £, but had preferred to obtain water for itself at a rate of 1s. 6d. in the £. It was a singular fact that the majority of the ratepayers in Renfrewshire or in the district concerned, representing the majority of the rateable value, were opposed to this Bill. So he thought they might dismiss that argument and deal with the question of rating on its merits. He entirely agreed that this matter raised a great question of public policy. Every Member of the House agreed that one of the most important means of dealing with overcrowding in our great cities lay in the development of means of communication, and for his part he thought it would be extremely unfortunate if they were to place excessive rates or taxes upon means of communication. In the normal condition of affairs they had to bear quite sufficiently heavy burdens, and there was no doubt that if they increased the burden of rating on tramways, those tramway undertakings would be discouraged. The Corporation of Glasgow, who had done, so much to relieve the congestion of that city, and to carry prosperity into the counties outside, would be discouraged in that work. The hon. and gallant Member for the Abercromby division had spoken as if he were bound by the Public Health Act. That was not the case. The county council of Renfrewshire might if they had chosen have proceeded under the Public Health Act, but they had introduced a private Bill. His hon. friend who moved the Amendment had pointed out that all the precedents of private Bill legislation in Scotland were in favour of his contention, and against the decision of the Committee. In many cases there was no charge whatever made on tramways for water. He hoped the House appreciated that this was not a question of rating for Poor Law purposes, but for water purposes. The precedents were not in favour of charging tramways on their full value, but of charging them an a fourth of the value for public supply; and in a great many places there was no charge at all on tramways for domestic supply. In this instance the tramways were of immense benefit not only to Glasgow but to Renfrewshire. What they were dealing with was a new charge put on, not under the Public Health Act, but under a private Bill promoted by the Corporation who wished to purchase certain waterworks and set up a water supply for themselves. They declined to take the cheaper supply offered by Glasgow. Surely that was a matter which the House would consider on its merits. Though the Public Health Act had been cited by the Chairman of the Committee, he had quoted no precedents under that Act. He hoped the House would not put on the tramways a burden for which there was no precedent. Glasgow had taken an extremely moderate attitude in regard to this matter. They were willing to pay a certain amount in respect of the waterworks and the tramways; they were willing to pay the public water rate and also the domestic water rate on a fourth of the value. But they were unwilling to pay the domestic rate on the total value and he hoped the House would not approve of an excessive rating being put upon means of communication.

said it was one of the great difficulties in discussing matters of this kind in the House that side issues were always introduced, and the hon. Member for St. Rollox had mentioned that the Glasgow Corporation had offered to supply this water at the rate of 10d. Perhaps the hon. and gallant Member for the Abercromby Division of Liverpool would correct him if he was wrong, but his information was that Glasgow offered a supply at 1s. 6d. in the first place. When that offer was rejected they made a second offer that in a certain part of the area they would supply the water at cost price, and when that was in turn refused they ultimately said they would supply it at 10d. The Committees of both Houses having heard all the evidence decided to reject all their offers.

MAJOR SEELY said perhaps it would be a convenience to the House if he stated that the offer to supply the water at the 10d. rate only applied to the most favourable part of the district. It only applied to a portion of the district and not to the high levels.

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believed it was applied to a comparatively small area. The hon. Members for Bridgeton and Blackfriars had put their case very eloquently, and the House had heard it stated in a very advantageous form, but he rose to ask the House to support the finding of the Committee in this matter. The Committee of this House sat for eight days and the Committee of the other House sat for seven days, and the finding in each case was absolutely unanimous. This was not a case of a Bill being sent down to Scotland, and the decision being arrived at by the casting vote of the Chairman. There had been two inquiries and there had been no dissentient voice in regard to the findings of the Committee. The Bill had been explained by the hon. Member for the Abercromby Division, and it only remained for him to call attention to the actual Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Bridgeton. The proposal was that railways and mines and quarries were to be relieved as well as tramways. As to the railways, the Caledonian Railway was the principal railway affected, and was a strong supporter of the Bill. That disposed of railways. As to mines, minerals, and quarries, hon. Members were misinformed. He believed that if such a course as was suggested by the Amendment were adopted it would create a disastrous state of things in such counties as Lanarkshire and Linlithgowshire. Such a plan would relieve the rich men at the expense of the poor men, and when the hon. Member for Blackfriars dwelt so eloquently upon the effect of the Amendment on the housing question he must point out that his proposal would relieve the rates of Glasgow and add to the rates of Renfrewshire. He was glad to know that the Glasgow tramways were a profitable undertaking and that the profits went in relief of rates, but that fact did not give them a claim for relief outside the City boundary. He concluded as he had begun by appealing to the House to support the finding of the Committee.

said the Chairman of Committees had made a statement to the effect that the Glasgow tramways made a profit which went in reduction of rates. That was not so, as the profit went to a reserve fund. The hon. Member who was Chairman of the Committee had alluded to Renfrewshire six times as a poor county. Renfrewshire was not a poor county, but on the contrary it was exceedingly prosperous.

said he alluded to Renfrewshire as a poor county relatively to Glasgow, and while this matter was of great importance to Renfrewshire it was of little importance to Glasgow.

MR. A. C. CORBETT said that while in the aggregate Glasgow was rich, there were parts of the city where there was a great deal of poverty. He held that the poor ratepayers had to be considered as much as the wealthier who lived in adjoining districts. Allusion had been made to the fact that different authorities had been arrayed against Glasgow, and mention had been made of the House of Lords. But hon. Members knew very well that when the opponents of a Bill went before a Committee of the House of Lords or a Committee of this House for the purpose of having it thrown out, they were advised not to discuss the clauses. When Glasgow was defeated on the main issue, the clauses were not discussed. It had been said that the Public Health Act governed this question of rating, but he would point out that the provisions of that statute had not been followed in this case. In certain circumstances special arrangements could be made for a limited rate under that Act, but the promoters of this scheme deliberately chose not to avail themselves of the provisions of the Public Health Act. They came to Parliament and threw upon it the responsibility for their proposal, and that was a responsibility which Parliament could not refuse to accept, in passing or rejecting the proposal. Reference had been made from time to time by hon. Members in all parts of the House to the housing problem and the necessity of easier communication. When a municipality carried tramways beyond its boundaries it made a considerable sacrifice because it carried the population beyond its rating area. There was, therefore a certain sacrifice of rates, and if in addition to that Parliament was going for the first time to rate tramways upon their whole rateable value it would do a great deal to prevent that free expansion of the population which had so much to do with the health and happiness of the community.

,

in supporting the Amendment, stated that at the present moment the tramways in the district of Renfrewshire with which they were dealing did not pay any water rate whatever, either public or domestic. To have that settled practice-altered, by a Committee consisting of four Members of the House of Lords and four Members of the House of Commons—good men though they might be—was unusual. There had been twenty-four Acts passed by this House during the last forty years, and in none of them was there provision for the rating of tramways for domestic water supply on the full assessable value. If the tramways did not use water, it would, for that reason, be unfair that the tramways in Renfrewshire belonging to the City of Glasgow should be rated to even a quarter of their assessable value. It was unfair that they should be so rated. It was more than unfair; it was absurd in the highest degree that they should be rated on the full assessable value as this Bill suggested. Another point had relation to the question of the waterworks which were to be acquired by the county of Renfrew and which at the present moment were exempted by statute from rating. He ventured to think that this was a most important factor. Under this Bill Gorbals Waterworks, which belonged to the Corporation of Glasgow, and which were situated in Renfrewshire, were to be rated to their full assessable value. These two facts, if borne in mind by the House, should lead Members to support the City of Glasgow.

said he did not rise to discuss the merits or demerits of the question. The hon. Member had truly said that the House was responsible for Bills which came before Committees, but it should be remembered that a Committee to which a Bill was referred called evidence, examined witnesses on oath, and went exhaustively into the questions involved. He submitted that if this House was going to set itself up as a judicial authority to revise the decisions, then the kudos and honour for the energy and time which hon. Members gave to the work upstairs would be in some measure lost, and the same attention would not be given in future to the business of Committees. The system had been often criticised, but no one had been able to devise a better. He ventured to submit that the House should think more than twice before it revised a decision like this. They had heard of decisions being revised. They had heard of questions discussed on Second Reading; they had heard of decisions reversed when the Committee upstairs had been divided, or when the respective Houses had been divided; but when they had a question on which two Committees had sat and reported unanimously he submitted that they ought to weigh the evidence very carefully before adopting any decided course. Above all, he would point out to the House that any decision they might come to which overthrew the decision of a Committee upstairs would tend more and more to invite a perfunctory discussion at a late hour of the night on a carefully thought out procedure in Committee. In his opinion that was not a wholesome or a responsible course for the House to take. In the present case they had had eight Members, sitting in Committee on the Bill—four from the House of Commons and four from another place. So far the opposition had largely come from the City of Glasgow, and he ventured to submit this question to the House: Who were the more likely to come to a dispassionate decision—the eight Members of the Committee or the representatives of the large Corporation of Glasgow which was earning profits on the trams running into the district which the present Water Bill concerned. He only wished in saying these few words to remind the House of the course it had taken in the past and of the course it would have to take in the future.

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said he would not have intervened in the debate had it not been for the speech of the hon. Member who had just sat down. The hon. Member had represented this as a dispute between the City of Glasgow and the District of Renfrew. That was hardly a fair position to put to the House, because many Members would have interposed in the debate had it not been for the fact that the hour was rather late, and that Glasgow was entitled first of all to express its view on the matter. He rose for the purpose of saying that he thought it would be very unfortunate if the House should allow its reluctance—a reluctance which he fully appreciated—to interfere with the decision of any Committee to blind it to the fact that if it did not accept the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Glasgow it would establish a principle of great importance. It would mean that for the first time, Parliament was going deliberately to say that tramways were to be rated in Scotland at their full value. He endorsed what had been said by the Chairman of the Committee as to the Police Act. But the invariable practice in Scotland was that tramways were only rated at one-fourth of their value in the terms of the Amendment of his hon. friend. If it was said that a different practice obtained in the counties it was the fact for this reason: that up to a recent date there had been no tramways in the counties. The tramways system had been comfined to boroughs. In every Act of Parliament except one, which was mentioned by the Chairman of Committees, where a private company was running tramways, Parliament had laid it down as a general practice that tramways should only be rated at one-fourth of their value. If the House that night took the step which was proposed it would have very serious consequences and all future legislation would be affected. Supposing the Amendment were agreed to, the House would not be interfering at all with the decision of the Committee on the main principle of the Bill. The principle concerned a waterworks system for Renfrew. The Committee had conceded that, and on the main principle the supporters of the Amendment did not take exception to the decision which was come to upstairs. All that they said was that the rating clause ought to be in conformity with the general law and practice of Scotland.

MR. SINCLAIR said that this was not a Party question in any sense of the word, and it was not his intention to go into the merits of the Bill. The Chairman of the Committee intervened as a representative of the department in some sense responsible for private Bill legislation in Scotland to indicate any views which the department might hold on the matter. He wished to say at once that naturally, as Secretary for Scotland, he was fully alive to and shared the admiration which had been expressed for the municipal work of the Corporation of Glasgow. In no department of that work was Glasgow more justly well known than in its various housing reforms, with which the question of tramways as a means of transit was most intimately connected. It was the good fortune of Glasgow to be exceptionally favoured in its relations with neighbouring local authorities. With the consent of those authorities it had extended its tramways in various directions with great enterprise and energy. It was of great importance—and he wished to impress this fact on those who were interested in Glasgow—that Glasgow should continue to be on good terms with these neighbouring local authorities. As the House would very well understand he was not able on this Amendment to make any definite statement in regard to legislation. The whole question of local taxation was inquired into in great detail by a Royal Commission some years ago, and a mass of evidence was at the disposal of any Government which desired to take up the task of acting upon it. There might be a good enough case for a change in the law; but what he had to observe on the present occasion was that the Amendment asked the House to sanction a departure from the general law in what, after all, was a Private Bill. It was true, as had been urged during the debate, that in two or three cases a departure from the general law had been obtained by consent; but none the less, it seemed to him that it would be a very serious thing for the House to assent to the

AYES.

Ainsworth, John StirlingHazleton, RichardRadford, G. H.
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)Henderson, Arthur (Durham)Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.Henry, Charles S.Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampton
Beck, A. CecilHigham, John SharpRoberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Bowerman, C. W.Hudson, WalterRoberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Branch, JamesJohnson, John (Gateshead)Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd
Brigg, JohnJones, Leif (Appleby)Rowlands, J.
Byles, William PollardKelley, George D.Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)Lardner, James Carrige RusheSears, J. E.
Cooper, G. J.Luttrell, Hugh FownesShackleton, David James
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)Sherwell, Arthur James
Corbett, T. L (Down, North)Maclean, DonaldShipman, Dr. John G.
Cory, Clifford JohnMacpherson, J. T.Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormskirk
Crosfield, A. H.MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.Sutherland, J. E.
Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)M'Callum, John M.Wardle, George J.
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)M'Crae, GeorgeWaterlow, D. S.
Fenwick, CharlesM'Killop, W.Watt, Henry A.
Ferens, T. R.Maddison, FrederickWhite, George (Norfolk)
Fetherstonhaugh, GodfreyMallet, Charles E.White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Ffrench, PeterMorrell, PhilipWilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Gill, A. H.Nolan, JosephWood, T. M'Kinnon
Glover, ThomasO'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Goddard, Daniel FordO'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Cleland and Mr. Barnes.
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)Pollard, Dr.
Hazel, Dr. A. E.Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)

NOES.

Adkins, W. Ryland D.Cave, GeorgeDewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.)
Barran, Rowland HirstCawley, Sir FrederickEmmott, Alfred
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)Everett, R. Lacey
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh HicksCecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)Fell, Arthur
Beale, W. P.Chaplin, Rt. Hon. HenryFerguson, R. C. Munro
Beauchamp, E.Cheetham, John FrederickFiennes, Hon. Eustace
Beckett, Hon. GervaseCherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.Findlay, Alexander
Berridge, T. H. D.Clough, WilliamForster, Henry William
Birrell, Et. Hon. AugustineCochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.Fuller, John Michael F.
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh)Corbett, CH. (Sussex, E. Grinst'dGibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)
Carr-Gomm, H. W.Craik, Sir HenryGladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John
Castlereagh, ViscountDalrymple, ViscountGordon, J.

Amendment. It would attach great weight—a weight proportionate to the importance of the city of Glasgow among the municipalities of the country—to a precedent, and possibly that would be done on insufficient evidence. It would be giving that weight to a precedent in contradiction of the result arrived at after a careful examination of the Bill by two Parliamentary Committees. He thought if he might respectfully suggest it to the House that too much weight could not be given to the advice tendered to the House by the Chairman of the Committee, and for his own part he must support the Committee in the decision at which it had arrived.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 71; Noes, 112. (Division List No. 395.)

Grant, CorrieMarkham, Arthur BasilSmith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)
Harrison-Broadley, H. B.Moore, WilliamStrachey, Sir Edward
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)Morton, Alpheus CleophasStraus, B. S. (Mile End)
Haworth, Arthur A.Murray, JamesStrauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Helme, Norval WatsonNewnes, F. (Notts., Bassetlaw)Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Helmsley, ViscountNicholson, Charles N. (DoncasterTaylor, Austin (East Toxteth
Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)Nield, HerbertTaylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Hills, J. W.Norton, Capt. Cecil WilliamThompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E
Hodge, JohnO'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)
Illingworth, Percy H.Paulton, James MellorVerney, F. W.
Kearley, Hudson E.Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek)Waring, Walter
Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Lamont, NormanPease, J. A. (Saffron WaldenWhiteley, George (York, W. R.
Lane-Fox, G. R.Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)Rainy, A. RollandWhittaker, Sir Thomas Palmer
Levy, Sir MauriceRidsdale, E. A.Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n
Lewis, John HerbertRobinson, S.Wills, Arthur Walters
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. DavidRussell, T. W.Wilson, Henry J. (York, WR.)
Lonsdale, John BrownleeSalter, Arthur ClavellWilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Lough, ThomasScott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Lupton, ArnoldSeely, ColonelYounger, George
Lyell, Charles HenryShaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. AlfredSilcock, Thomas BallTELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. J. W. Wilson and Mr. Godfrey Baring.
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)Simon, John Allsebrook
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John-
M'Micking, Major G.Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie

MR. LAIDLAW (Renfrewshire, E.) moved an Amendment to limit the rate all over the area to 1s. 6d. The Bill, if passed in its present form, now confined the limit of 1s. 6d. to those supplied by the Busby Water Company. It would go very hard on those in outlying districts, particularly farms, if they should be rated at anything up to 3s. It was only just and fair that the rate of 1s. 6d. should equally apply over the whole area.

The Amendment was not seconded.

*MR. MORTON (Sutherland) moved in page 35, line 33, to leave out from the word "grounds" to the end of the section. That, he said, would strike out words which seemed to give some special favours to sporting rights. The Chairman of the Committee which considered the Bill had explained that this would not matter very much financially, but the point he (Mr. Morton) wished to make was that it might be made use of as a precedent. He did not want to do any harm to people with sporting rights, but they ought not to have any special favours, and there ought not to be inserted in any Bill any clause which would create a precedent of that kind in any way. The Chairman of the Committee, before whom the Bill came upstairs, had said distinctly that so far as he knew if the words had been proposed to be struck out in Committee that would have been done. At that hour he would not detain the House further, but would move.

Amendment proposed—

"In page 35, line 33, to leave out the word" from the word 'grounds,' to the end of section. '"—(Mr. Morton.)

said the words were not essential to the success of the water scheme. They were only part of word" taken from other Acts. The House would be well advised to accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Bill to be read the third time.