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London And North Eastern Railway Bill (By Order)

Volume 170: debated on Wednesday 5 March 1924

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Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."

I beg to move, to leave out the word "now," and, at the end of the Question, to add the words "upon this day six months."

I regret exceedingly the necessity for interrupting the ordinary business of the House by moving this Amendment. Secondly, I regret very much that it should have fallen to my lot to do so. I say that because I am connected, though only in a minor capacity, with the Ministry of Transport. I would much have preferred to have taken an entirely neutral attitude on the Bill. Those who were in the last Parliament will remember that I moved in that Parliament a Motion similar to this, and since then, so far from the London and North Eastern Railway Company having taken any steps to overcome the difficulty about which we complained, things have become considerably worse, and I have no option but to take the course that I am taking to-night. This is an omnibus Bill conferring various powers. I suggest that before passing the Second Reading this House ought to be satisfied that the powers already possessed by the company are not being used against the public interest. I want to put the case against the company as we in North London understand it.

For many years the whole of the residents in North London, representing a population of, roughly, 500,000 people, have been hampered in their business and in every way by inadequate travelling facilities. We have a population that is rapidly increasing, and housing schemes that are in progress are making matters worse day by day. During the lifetime of the last Parliament, the Minister of Transport received two deputations representing all the local authorities in North London. In addition to that a petition, signed by no fewer than 30,000 people, was presented to the Minister, and an appeal was made to the Metropolitan Railway Company, who appeared to be favourably disposed towards the construction of a tube railway north of Finsbury Park. When the agitation had reached that stage it was discovered that the difficulty in the way was a Section which appears in an Act of Parliament passed by this House 22 years ago. I propose to read that Section for the benefit of Members who were not in the last Parliament. The Section is contained in the Great Northern Railway (No. 2) Act, 1902, and is as follows:
"The City Company shall not, without the consent of the company, construct or seek power to construct or aid in, consent to, or acquiesce in the construction by any other body or company of any railway to the north of the prescribed line, and should any such railway be constructed by any other body or company, the City Company shall not, without the like consent, enter into any arrangement for or promote the running of trains or carriages to, from, or over such railway, from, to, or over the railway station or any part thereof, provided always that the foregoing provision shall not be taken to preclude the City Company from extending the railway by this Act in any direction, so long as it is not extended to the north of the prescribed line."
That is why it is necessary for us to take action to-night. The London and North Eastern Railway Company say that no one wants to construct a tube north of Finsbury Park, and, if they did, that Section would not stop them from doing so. My reply is that if that is not the object of the Section—it could have no other—why should the company not remove it? This is the second discussion that this House has had upon this Section, and I tell the company now that unless we are successful to-night, it will not be the last. Last year, the company had four representatives who took part in the Debate. I am pleased to say that the most formidable of the quartette has now gone to another place. The main arguments that the representatives of the company put forward last June were two. First, that the London and North Eastern Company had only been in existence for six months, and had not had time fully to consider the position They cannot put forward that excuse to-night. The second excuse was that I and those associated with me were trying to wreck a Bill that would provide employment. The answer to that is that it is not true.

All that we ask is that in the interests of the public the power obtained 22 years ago by something that looks very much like sharp practice, should be abrogated. I know that that is a strong phrase to use, and I will state why I use it. Twenty-two years ago, when the Great Northern Railway (No. 2) Act was introduced into this House, the Section I have read was not in the Bill. The Bill passed its Second Reading in this House and went to another place, and the Section was not in it then. While the Bill was in another place, at the instigation of a nominee of the railway company, the Section was put into the Bill. I am, therefore, justified in describing it as sharp practice. Then we say that if the company are right in their contention that this Section is of no importance, and that it is not hindering the construction of a tube railway in North London, what is the objection to the company removing it? Let me quote from the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, who took part in the Debate on 14th June of last year. He said:
"I fully admit that hon. Members who represent those districts in the North of London have serious cause for complaint. The travelling facilities (there) are deplorable. I have been there myself.… Conditions exist there which ought not to exist, which I think hon. Members are quite right in pressing upon this House.… as strongly as they possibly can, and which ought to be put right at the earliest possible moment.… I admit again.… that you want either electrification or new railways or both in that locality.… to serve the teeming scores of thousands of people who live there and have, old and young, weak and strong, to go in every day to their work under these unfortunate conditions. I have been in fairly constant touch with the London and North Eastern Company.… They are investigating the problem.… in conjunction with the Metropolitan. I take that to mean that they are now considering what, if anything, can be done to get a Tube extension.… to the affected areas."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 14th June, 1923; cols 848–9, Vol. 165.]
I had hoped that the former Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport would have been in his place to-night. I trust that those who voted with him to give last year's Bill a Second Reading, will seriously consider whether the time has now come to adopt the only effective method of making this company realise that they are not to be allowed to play with this House and the public any longer. Since last June the conditions have become considerably worse. The feeling of resentment against the company has grown to an extent of which the company, I am sure, has no conception. People outside are asking repeatedly why this House should continue to grant powers to a company which puts dividends first and the welfare of the public last.

This is not a matter of party politics. The discussion which I am initiating to-night will prove that before the Debate is over. I and those associated with me I have not entered upon this Debate lightheartedly or without doing everything possible to avoid it. Only a fortnight ago we spent two hours with the general manager of the company at King's Cross Station, and he refused to budge from the position that the company has taken up. Last Monday the same group, representing North London constituents, spent two hours with Lord Ashfield, and asked him why we in North London, with our teeming population, had been neglected in his schemes of tube extension while comparatively unpopulated districts have been served. The report of that deputation will probably be published to-morrow, and I hope hon. Members will read it. If they do, they will understand why we came away both from the interview with Mr. Wedgwood, the general manager of the London and North Eastern Railway Company, and from the interview with Lord Ashfield, more than ever convinced that in fastening upon this Section we have our finger on the spot.

The company has sent to every Member of this House a statement of reasons why a Second Reading should be given to the Bill. They say that the Bill will be the means of affording employment to a considerable number of persons. I agree, but if the company will waive the Section which we are asking them to waive, and which they say is not of any particular consequence, the employment will not be confined to the schemes embodied in this Bill, but will extend to a great many more. They also say in their statement that the opposition to the Bill is in regard to matters to which the present Bill does not relate. I entirely agree, but, as was pointed out last year, the only means which Members have of raising matters of this kind is to tackle private Railway Bills when they come before the House. No other method is open to us by which we can bring effective pressure to bear. We have tried other methods, and the London and North Eastern Railway Company have treated us with contempt. They further say in their statement that this Clause confirms part of an arrangement made between the Great Northern Railway Company and the Great Northern and City Railway Company. Has it come to this, that a bargain made 22 years ago between two railway companies neither of which now exists, made whilst the public was not looking, is to be used to deprive half a million people of reasonable travelling facilities for all eternity? Thousands of people are spending four hours of every working day of their lives in getting to and from business because of this bargain. It may be urged that omnibuses have been put on, but we find that as omnibuses are put on more and more, the journey take; longer and longer, because of the increased congestion in the streets.

I heard recently of a case which may startle the House. There are two men working in an office not a stone's throw from this House, one of whom lives in Brighton while the other lives in Tottenham. They leave work at the same time each day and the man who lives at Brighton reaches home before the man who lives at Tottenham. The company say in the statement they have issued that no consent to construct a tube railway has been asked for, and that, therefore, it cannot be argued that the Section prevented this being done. I have already explained to the House why steps have not been taken to construct a tube railway. The Section not only says that no company shall construct a rube railway, but it also says that no company shall take any powers or take any steps towards constructing one. The inference which the company try to make out is that this Section is of no importance. There is a simple and straightforward reply to that proposition. If, in the opinion of the company, the Section is of no consequence, and if we are on a wild-goose chase in thinking that it is, why should the company hold on to it so tenaciously? Has it a cash value? We ought to know, because, if it has, the public would be called upon to pay. I will ask hon. Members to look at a map of London which shows the tube railways existing just now. Immediately you will be struck by the extraordinary fact that a tremendous part of Greater London, north of Finsbury Park, has no tube railway of any description. That will lead you to seek for an explanation and your mind will revolve around this proposition: How comes it that tube railways have been constructed in comparatively unpopulated parts of London, while places like North London with its teeming scores of thousands have been neglected? The answer is, because of the Section to which we object. There is no other explanation.

Again, it is said in the statement, which has been issued to Members, that it would be unfair to deprive the company of this Section. I am sure no one in this House desires to be unfair to the London and North Eastern Railway Company, but what about fair play to the public? The business of this House is primarily to protect the public and see that they get fair play. I have already said this is not a matter of party politics. It concerns half a million people, irrespective of party—the whole of North London—Tottenham, Wood Green, Edmonton, Finchley, Barnet, Southgate and many other districts—and all the local authorities are solidly united, and men of all parties, and men of none, are agreed upon the urgency of better travelling facilities. For these reasons I hope none of the representatives of the companies here will imagine that we are not in earnest on this matter. Last June, after three hours' Debate, a Motion, "That the Question be now put," was carried by a majority of 93, and I am convinced that that majority was only obtained by the appeal of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman who was then Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport. He appealed to the House to give the then Bill a Second Reading, because he felt sure that the company was going into the matter seriously and would take immediate steps. I have read an extract from the right hon. and gallant Gentleman's speech on that occasion which conveys that impression, and I feel certain that is the only reason why the Closure Motion was carried. I would also remind representatives of the company that many changes have taken place in this House since last June, and there is a largely increased number of Members in the present Parliament who are not prepared to go on conferring new powers on railway companies, while the powers which those companies already possess are being used against the public. We ask for a simple guarantee that the company will waive this prohibitive Section which we claim ought never to have been obtained. It is a perfectly reasonable request, and if it is not acceded to, the responsibility for the defeat of this Bill will rest entirely on the London and North Eastern Railway Company.

I beg to second the Amendment. I want to agree most heartily with everything that has been said by the hon. Member for North Tottenham (Mr. R. Morrison). I am not going to take up time by describing in detail the hopelessly inadequate and scandalously inefficient conditions of travel that exist in the large residential area in the North of London at present served by the London and North Eastern Railway. This area might well be described as the dormitory of London. Practically the whole of the population of that area, men and women, have to go backwards and forwards every day of their lives to the business centres to earn their livelihood. Let it be sufficient for me to say, as the hon. Member for North Tottenham said, that these conditions were described last June by the late Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport, the right hon. and gallant Member for the New Forest (Colonel Ashley) as deplorable, conditions which should be put right at the earliest possible moment. I myself would not describe those conditions in such moderate terms; I would describe them as scandalous. It is a scandalous thing that travelling facilities such as those should exist in the premier city of the world, and I am confident that hon. and right hon. Members of this House, if they would take the trouble to go down to Finsbury Park Station at 6 o'clock on a wet evening, on any wet evening they like, would readily agree with what I have said.

Why is it that these conditions exist? They exist because the old Great Northern Railway Company wangled into their 1902 Bill an obnoxious Clause which reserves for them the whole of that area as a sort of Tom Tiddler's ground. It gives them a monopoly of the travelling facilities in the whole of that district, and nobody else is allowed to compete. I submit that the principle that a railway company should have a monopoly of this sort is a wrong one. The London and North Eastern Railway Company cannot possibly cope, under present conditions, with the travelling requirements of that vast area, and, mark you, it is rapidly increasing every year. They admit that they cannot and they never have been, and never will be able to. Well, if they cannot cope with it, they ought to clear out and let the tubes help them. Like the hon. Member who preceded me, I appeal to the House: Is it fair that that population in that district of London should suffer, as they have suffered for the last 20 years, should suffer for all time, for this obnoxious agreement which was come to between two companies, neither of which if any longer in existence—this dog-in-the-manger agreement? I say that it is not, and I should like to tell the promoters of this Bill that the population in that district of London are not going to put up with this state of affairs. They have suffered it long enough.

The agitation of those people has reached such enormous proportions that it is going to be impossible for the London and North Eastern Railway Company to stand up against the public opinion in that area any longer, and I submit to them that it would be wiser for them to grant us what we are asking now and not to wait until they are forced to give it. All the Members of this House of all political parties, all the local authorities interested, and every single society, organisation, and association in that part of London, are unanimous in their determination that this obnoxious section shall be removed. The business population in that part of London look upon this question as a more important question to them than any housing, rating, or any other question, and it is only natural, because who can say what the saving of even half an hour in the business man's daily travel represents to him in cash alone? The hon. Member for North Tottenham pointed out that a man who went to Brighton got home quicker than a man who went to North Tottenham. If that man in North Tottenham is going to save even half an hour of his daily travel to and from the City, it is going to be of enormous value to him.

In the old days of the Great Northern Railway Company, when the late Member for the City of London, now Lord Banbury, a man for whom, I might say. I have the deepest admiration and respect, was chairman of that company, of course it was quite hopeless to think that we should ever get any scheme of up-to-date travel, for he looked upon any electrification scheme with unmitigated horror. It was always amazing to me that he should ever have undertaken to be chairman of such a new-fangled contraption as a railway, even though I admit it was only a very primitive sort of railway. It seemed to me that he would have been more at home, and certainly more picturesque, driving the London to Brighton coach.

I do not wish to be disrespectful to Lord Banbury. The hon. Member for North Tottenham said he was glad he had left this House and gone to another place. I myself am sorry, because what he said last year in this Debate gave great strength to our case, and I may say that the insults which he heaped upon my constituents on that occasion did mc a great deal of good. When this question came up in this House last June the representatives of the present board of the London and North Eastern Railway Company told us that the amalgamation had only taken place six months previously, and that they had not yet had time to look into an electrification scheme, and they appealed to us to give them more time to draw up a plan of that sort. They have had that time now, and I hope that when the representatives of the company come to reply this evening they will be able to tell us that such a scheme is well in hand, although I have not much hope that they will be able to give us very much information, because at the deputation to which the hon. Member who preceded me referred we were told by Mr. Wedgwood that very little had been done, that their tenders had been sent out, but that they had not got on with the job quite as well as we hoped they would have done in a year. An electrification scheme of the London and North Eastern Railway will undoubtedly relieve the congestion in that part of London, but it is not going to solve the problem.

This is our point, and I want to emphasise it with all the strength at my disposal: The electrification scheme of the London and North Eastern Railway Company is not going to solve the problem. The problem is not going to be solved until the public have got the electrified line of the London and North Eastern Railway Company, and the extension of the Tubes, and the omnibuses, and the tramways. The London and North Eastern Railway Company cannot serve that area. They never will be able to serve that area, and hon. Members in this House have only to look at the map of London to see the truth of that statement and to see how urgently the extension of tubes from Highgate and Finsbury Park is required. It is a very much more urgent problem than was the extension of the Tube from Golders Green, and it is going to serve a very much more densely populated area. When we went with this deputation to the railway company a fort- night ago, we were told by the general manager: "This section has nothing to do with your arguments, because the Underground Company have never come to us with any sort of scheme for the extension of their tubes." I would like to point out that in the statement that has been sent round by the railway company they say: "No such consent has been asked for, and it cannot, therefore, be said that the section has in fact prevented any extension north." Of course, that is all moonshine, because the section says that no other company may seek powers to extend in that area. Therefore, they would be quite illegal in putting forward any scheme for any extension of their tubes. Mr. Wedgwood also implied—he certainly did not say so—that the Underground Group—Lord Ashfield's Group—were taking advantage of this section, that they had no intention of extending their tubes, or of extending the commitments which they had already undertaken, and that they were, in fact, sheltering behind this section. As I say, he did not say so, but that was the impression he gave to the 8 or 10 members of that deputation. That may be so. I do not believe it is true, because I have never met a more public-spirited man, a man who is more anxious to give the public what it should have in the way of travelling facilities, a man who appeared to me more capable of handling the complicated problem of London traffic generally than Lord Ashfield.

But, supposing it were true that Lord Ashfield, and the Underground Group, were sheltering behind this Section, is that not all the more reason for its repeal, in order that the Underground authorities might not avoid their service to the public? Lord Ashfield, I think I am right in saying—and I think hon. Members who were with me on the deputation will back me up in saying—said quite frankly that had it not been for this Section the tubes to Finsbury Park and Highgate would have been extended years ago. I frankly say he told us he did not think it would be possible for the Underground Company, even though they had power, to extend the tube at this particular moment, until the whole problem of London traffic generally had been cleared up. I very much hope that this problem is going to be cleared up by the Bill which, I understand, is shortly going to be introduced by the Government. At any rate, he promised, in conjunction with all the local authorities interested, to formulate immediately a plan for the extension of the tubes from Finsbury Park and High-gate to be put in hand at the earliest possible moment. The anomaly of that is, that he is not legally entitled under this Section to do that. Of course, he would have to get the consent of the London and North-Eastern Railway Company, but he is not legally entitled to do it, and even if they do draw up some plan for the extension of these tubes, the London and North-Eastern Railway Company can—and I am sure they will—say that they will have nothing to do with that extension scheme, and it will all be so much wasted effort. I think I am right in saying that the thing is such a farce that, Lord Ashfield had to ask the consent of the general manager of the London and North-Eastern Railway Company before he could receive us as a deputation.

9.0 P.M.

This is, I admit, a local matter, but it is a vital matter to us, and I do want to appeal to hon. Members in this House of all parties for their sympathy and for their support. Particularly, I would like to appeal to my own party. It is very unfortunate that, owing to the terrible onslaught of hon. Members opposite at the last Election, I am about the only surviving Member from that part of London on this side of the House. But our turn will come later. What we want is for the railway company to accept in principle the second Amendment which is being moved by my hon. Friend the Member for North Tottenham, that they will, on the Committee stage of this Bill, insert a Clause to repeal the section in the 1902 Act, which is the root of the whole problem. I want to repeat; that we do not want to reject this Bill. We feel certain it is full of the most valuable and urgent schemes for development, and for extensions of the London and North Eastern Railway, but the House must realise that this is our only weapon for getting what we want. If the London and North Eastern Railway Company grant us what we want—and I very much hope that they will—we will uphold this Bill to the fullest extent of our power. If they refuse to do so, then we shall do our utmost to defeat it, and I believe we have got a large amount of sympathy in all parts of the House. What is more, if they do refuse, I should like to tell them here and now, that we are going to block every Bill they introduce in this House at every stage, until we have got rid of this most iniquitous section.

This line serves my constituency, and I was asked, when this Bill was brought forward, to allow, my name to be put on the back of it. I confess at the time I took that step, I rather thought that my duties would be confined to seeing my name in print on the back of the Bill, but I found there was considerable opposition to the Bill, and, in the circumstances, I did, of course, what every Member of the House would do. I devoted a great deal of time and care to mastering the details of the Bill, seeing all the officials of the company who could instruct me on the subject, and I am quite sure I shall have the courtesy and toleration of the House while, on their behalf, I lay before the House the reasons for the Bill, which reasons, I suggest, make it deserving of support. First of all, there appears to be very considerable misapprehension as to the way in which this Section got into the Act of 1902. The position of affairs at that time was this. A tube railway had been authorised, and was partly constructed, but the promoters of the scheme had not any more cash to spend and the thing was hung up, and could not be completed. For 10 years the scheme to construct a tube railway to Finsbury Park station had been in abeyance, and in this crisis, with the tube partly constructed, and the daily needs of the locality growing, the people with this derelict tube turned to the Great Northern Railway Company and asked for help. Consequently, there was introduced the Bill of 1902, which, in the Preamble, sets out the facts I have indicated, namely, that this railway, as to the latter part of it, had been abandoned, and the Great Northern Railway Company were put under terms to find the capital for the continuation of the line. They were put under very drastic terms indeed, because Sub-section (13) of Section 36, which is the Section that has been designated by the hon. Member, who so ably and eloquently moved the rejection, as a piece of sharp practice—and the Act contains many other Sections—sets out the terms which were imposed upon the Great Northern Railway Company. It must not be forgotten that they were providing the capital. They had to make the issue for the purpose of obtaining the money for those who were building the tube, and hoped to make it successful. The terms put upon the Great Northern Railway Company are set out in Sub-sections (2) and (3) of Section 36:

"Within six months of the completion of the tube the Great Northern Railway Company has to lease the land and the railway to the Tube Railway Company and the latter has to pay as rent such an annual sum as shall be equal to the whole of the interest which would be payable in that year on the aggregate amount of the Great Northern Three per cent. Preference Stock which the company shall from time to time issue for the purpose of raising money."
It sets out the purposes to which the money is to be devoted, and it goes on:
"The aggregate amount of the interest which shall accrue on the Great Northern Three per cent. Preference Stock from time to time issued by the company for the foregoing purposes or any other.…"
The terms of Parliament to the Great Northern Railway Company were that they were to make no profit out of the transaction. They were to come forward and help this line—which was hung up—and they were only to get in return the actual interest which they had to pay to subscribers of the amount subscribed. These were very drastic terms. Very naturally the Great Northern Railway Company said, in view of these terms, if we have got to do that, if you are going to put us under these terms, at any rate it shall be made clear that we are not going to carry this derelict tube as far as Finsbury Park, and leave others to construct an independent tube to the north to compete with the railway. The Company, and the Government, thought that was just; and I do not think that any hon. Member will think otherwise, and that was why this Clause was inserted. I really think the Noble Lord (Viscount Ednam), who has just spoken so eloquently and forcibly, has perhaps not given some of these particulars as close attention as he might have done, because the only purpose involved in this Section is what I have stated. It so happens that the Tube Railway Company has now got a new name. The Great Northern is merged in the London and North Eastern Railway Company and the Tube Construction Company has become the Metropolitan. All, however, that the Section says is that the City Company, which is now the Metropolitan Railway Company, shall not, without the consent of the larger company, construct or enter into, or consent, or acquiesce in, construction by any other body or company to the north of the prescribed line. Then it goes on to say that if any other third party does put in a tube the Metropolitan Railway Company are not to grant powers of working it. The House will perhaps allow me to point out that, considered in the surrounding circumstances, it is idle to criticise that. It was a bargain made between these two companies, and at the time it was considered very fair. May I point out that this is a prohibition only against the Metropolitan Railway Company. It is a bargain between these two parties, these people constructing the Tube, and the people finding the capital for the construction, and it goes no further. There is nothing in this Section to prevent any person, if he thinks it is a remunerative enterprise, constructing a Tube Railway Station to the north of Finsbury Park. Hon. Members might say, and with great justice, that it is no good constructing a tube in the air. It would have to take a connection at Finsbury Park. Of course it would. For the construction of a tube an Act of Parliament would be required, and in that Act of Parliament any sane man would put powers to make the connection with the existing tube at Finsbury Park. It is idle to say that this prohibition is against all comers. It is nothing of the kind. Correspondence has passed between Lord Ashfield and certain earnest Members of this House, and they have seen him with a view to persuading him to undertake the construction of the new tube. In courtesy to the Great Northern he naturally communicated with them. He knows of the existence of the Act. It is instructive to read the letters which passed between him and the Great Northern Railway Company. In the last letter that the London and North Eastern Railway Company sent in answer they said:
"Dear Lord Ashfield,
I note that you have been asked to receive a deputation upon the question of extending the tube facilities in North London. I anticipated that you would re- ceive such a request, as I had previously seen a deputation headed by Lord Ednam. I told them that if you were prepared to put up a scheme for tube extensions north of Finsbury Park we should be perfectly prepared to give it fair consideration. I can have no objection at all to your receiving the deputation."
Does it not come to this, hon. Members want a tube. If I may say so, I do not wonder at it. We all know the needs of suburban London. But there is nothing in this Section—and I desire to emphasise to the House—to render illegal the construction of any tube except one by the Metropolitan Railway Company. They have not asked for leave. They have not approached the London and North-Eastern Railway Company upon the subject at all, but if anybody else comes with a scheme of that kind, I am quite sure it will receive sympathetic consideration from the London and North-Eastern Railway Company for, after all, if passengers require to get beyond Finsbury Park, probably the London and North-Eastern will carry them the greater part of the way. Human nature being what it is, you may be perfectly sure that if a railway company can cater for a remunerative passenger traffic of this kind they will do so. I have, as I hope, established that fact and made it clear. Let me pass to what is, I think, the other ground of complaint. First of all, you may take it that no one concerned, least of all the railway company, is so stupid as to under-estimate the difficulties, inconveniences, and discomforts of those living in suburban London. I cannot help thinking, however, that when this section was inserted in the Act of 1892, the large increase of suburban traffic must have been foreseen, and, therefore, Parliament must have had in view that the circumstances might now be as they are. However, that may be, nobody who travels in London can dispute for an instant what has been told by the two hon. Members. Just consider what the difficulties of this line are. I suppose there is no railway more burdened with this problem than is the London and North Eastern Railway Company. King's Cross, Liverpool Street, Broad Street, through trains from Moorgate Street, all go out to the most densely- and thickly-populated part of London. A vast population at least half of which all desire to be carried to London at the same time, and desire to be brought back at the same time. Electrification and difficulties of railway management, as I shall show the House, are not an easy problem. One of the chief difficulties of the London and North Eastern Railway Company, which this Bill is designed to put right and a step towards electrification, is that at two or three places where the trains enter the London stations these suburban trains have to cross on the level the main line, a very old-fashioned, clumsy, and I should have thought a rather dangerous arrangement.

If you look at Clause 8 of this Bill you will find there three provisions, and one of the objects is the widening and the alteration of the company's line between Liverpool Street and Stratford. There is also a similar alteration in Stepney and another between Fenchurch Street and Stratford. The cost of those three alterations is £1,500,000. What is the object of this? Simply to provide a bridge to go over the existing main line railways so that the suburban traffic can get into the stations without being constantly held up by the main line trains coming in and out. I believe they call these lines, in railway parlance, "flyover" lines. Some people call them flying bridges, and that is, apparently, the phraseology of the railway world.

The main question, however, is, how is this suburban traffic to be dealt with as expeditiously as possible? In the last Debate in this House the question turned largely upon the electrification of the line. That is a very easy thing to talk about, but when you come to tackle the problem in all its minutæ, it is very difficult to deal with. What has been done in this connection? In June last, after the discussion took place in the House, an expert Committee was appointed to consider this question. Please remember we are not only dealing with Finsbury, but, in fact, we are dealing with all parts of the suburbs served by this line.

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that Finsbury is miles away from that area?

That is so, but I mean Finsbury Park. The first thing we had to do was to get an estimate in order that we might have some idea what the work was going to cost, and three of the largest and most important firms engaged in this class of work were asked to send in estimates, and each of them refused upon the ground that under present conditions the work was larger than they could undertake, and they asked leave to combine and give a combined estimate. These firms are now considering that question, and although no specification has been taken out, the rough sort of estimate that has been given shows that the electrification of the line will cost round about £5,000,000.

When you have got from these firms the estimate, the next thing you have to do is to get quotations for the supply of electric current, and those have been obtained. You have also to get estimates for your high cable transmission, and those estimates are being obtained. You have to completely re-arrange all your signalling apparatus. You must have sub-stations for the distribution of electricity, and you have to get estimates for all these things. When it is remembered that this company only came into existence in January, 1923, and has taken over the burdens of the existing companies, and has to deal with the extraordinary increase in suburban traffic since the War, I think that any business man will be inclined to allow the company time to get out all these estimates and come to the necessary conclusion. I think I am authorised to say that this company will be prepared, within a certain space of time, which will be laid before the House, either to take immediate steps to put into operation and begin the electrification of the line, or to abrogate this Section altogether in order that the Metropolitan Railway may come in and construct the tube. I am not an officer of the company, but I have no doubt that is the view of this railway company at the present time.

In conclusion, I want to say that I do not want the House to run away with the idea that this railway company is treating the community with disrespect. They would be very foolish if they did so, because the community are their customers, and no man who is not an idiot treats his customers with anything but respect. They are only too anxious to cater for the public if it can be done on reasonable commercial lines. I am informed that a short time ago they spent £100,000 on providing eight new trains, and these will be working very shortly. I want the House to quite understand this, that no electrification of these lines will be any good or give any improved service, or give more trains unless you can first pass the Clauses in this Bill which enable them to get over the structural difficulty. It is essential. You might electrify the lines to-morrow, but as long as you have to cross the main lines, as those suburban trains do now, you would have a stream of electric trains waiting to get over instead of a stream of steam trains.

May I point out what the real purport of this Act of Parliament is? Do hon. Members really think that if they carry their eloquence and enthusiasm and their very proper sympathy with the suburbs in regard to the conditions of traffic, to the point of refusing a Second Reading to this Bill, would they be any better off than they are at present? Much worse off. The existing prohibition will remain. The Sections in the Act of 1902 will remain. None of those things that are an absolute necessity before electrification can be put into operation will be met. You are postponing electrification to the Greek Kalends, and you will be worse off than you are now. I have read Clause 8, which for the purpose of electrification I regard as most essential. Hon. Members, I am sure, will not forget that the railway company is not like a builder or contractor who has a staff of men to carry out work of this kind. All this work will have to be let out by contract and will certainly give considerable employment to the various localities where it is to be done. If you follow me quite shortly, the railways on page 6 the object of "a" there in the County of London, is to enable through services from the Moorgate Tube to Finsbury Park and so on. Turn to page 7—the railway in the county of Lincoln. That will enable Grimsby traffic to arrive in Lincoln and its level crossing will be done away with. It will cost £80,000. That will mean substantial employment for the City of Lincoln. The next thing is line 12. The object of this in the county of Lincoln is to get rid of the level crossing, and enable the traffic from the iron works to be dealt with more easily. That will cost £200,000, also, we hope, to be spent in the locality where the work is to be done. Line 25—
"a railway in the parish of Rufford by a junction with the company's Rufford Colliery branch and terminating in the parish of Bilsthorpe."
That equipment will involve an expenditure of £71,000. At line 30 on the same page in the West Riding of the County of York an alteration of the company's Manchester and Sheffield Railway in the parish of Thurgoland, being the conversion of the Thurgoland Tunnel into an open cutting. Purely manual labour. That will cost £200,000. On page 12—the hon. and gallant Member for Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) is not here otherwise I should claim his support—there are
"Lands in the urban district of Hessle situate on the north side of and adjoining the company's Hull and Selby railway."

On a point of Order. I should like to inform the hon. and learned Member that there are four Members for Hull, and although we may not have obtained the same notoriety—

I offer the hon. Member my deep apology. There is an hon. and gallant Member for Hull whom I had in view, who is so much more in our mind at the moment. The extension and re-arranging of the marshalling yard for the Hull traffic is to cost £100,000. I will not weary the House by going through all the details of the Bill. If it be passed it will involve an expenditure of £2,500,000. This company is being a little unjustly treated. There is great and natural discontent. The services, I have no doubt, can be greatly improved. I admit it. I am not contending that it is not so. I know the discomfort that travellers have to put up with. But do you remember the abnormal conditions: this vast population all wanting to travel at the same time; this old-fashioned line which has to be brought up to date. If you remember that, I suggest it would be a grave mistake to turn down this Bill which, after all, has many good Clauses in it. It would be very unjust to accuse this railway of dishonesty in any form. It made a bargain, a very proper one which obtained the sanction of Parliament. I do not suggest that bargains should never be set aside. I am suggesting that bargains should only be set aside, when they had the sanction of Parliament, for the gravest possible reasons. I suggest that this Bill should be passed with all the good objects it has in view and the various points which Members have to urge on behalf of their constituents could be thrashed out in Committee.

Last Monday night, in consequence of receiving a request from the town council of West Ham, I was authorised to put down a Notice of Motion similar to the one moved by my hon. Friend. It makes it very unpleasant for any Members, either on this side of the House or on the other side, to have to speak against a Bill of this character that is going to provide employment for a very large number of men in the various trades and callings in different parts of the country. I admit that one Clause of the Bill will provide work for some people in West Ham. As other speakers have mentioned, when these Bills are brought before the House of Commons every now and again the only chance we have is to enter our protest against the various railway companies because they are not carrying out their obligations in accordance with the powers they have already received. It will be remembered that last Thursday night, in this House, another railway company presented a Bill for Second Reading, and got it through without any opposition. But I would remind the House that, although they got their Bill through without opposition, the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company have had previous Bills before this House, before and since the War, and many of the obligations and powers contained in those Bills have never, up to the present time, been carried out.

There has been a good deal of talk about the North, side of London, and about the electrification of the railways, but not a single word has been said about the East side of London, where, as we are told, all the wise men come from. What I have to complain about is not the powers contained in this Bill, but the powers that are not in the Bill. West Ham has had a deep-rooted grievance against the Great Eastern Railway Company for many years past, and there are five or six members on this side of the House who know that part of the Borough of West Ham where this grievance exists. There has been a level crossing there for 18 years, and the Borough of West Ham has been urging the Great Eastern Rail-way Company to remove the grievance. One would have thought, in view of that long-standing grievance, that they would have put a Clause into this Bill to do away with this crossing. For a number of years we have had observations made at this crossing. We had one series in 1904, another in 1913, and another in 1922. A number of men were engaged by the council to take observations between the 2nd and the 7th January, 1922, between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. They took observations as to the number of hours during which the gates were closed, and also recorded the number of minutes that the gates were closed at one time; and we found that in some cases the gates were closed for 40 minutes out of 60. A vast amount of vehicular traffic passes over this crossing My hon. Friend the Member for West Nottingham (Mr. Hayday), and my hon. Friend the Member for North Tottenham (Mr. R. Morrison), know the White Gates Crossing, Victoria Dock Road, as well as I do, and on one day between the 2nd and the 7th January, 1922, as many as 10,000 vehicles passed over that crossing. That grievance has not been rectified.

We have another grievance against the Great Eastern Railway Company, because they have pinched a certain part of the highway belonging to the borough of West Ham—a case, to use rough phraseology, of highway robbery Yesterday I had a conversation with Mr. Speaker, and asked him whether I should be entitled to read to this House the memorandum that has been presented by our Town Clerk, and he said "Certainly." With the permission of the House, therefore, I will read that memorandum, so that it may be inserted in the OFFICIAL REPORT for future record. It is as follows:—
"The White Gates Level Crossing in the Victoria Dock "Road has been for many years a cause of great inconvenience. Every possible step has been taken by the corporation to obtain relief, but without success. The level crossing crosses the highway which affords direct access to the docks, and was described by a Committee of the House of Commons, after inspection some 18 years ago, as being dangerous to life and limb. At the time the crossing was first constructed the road was a private thoroughfare subject to tolls, and the railway, docks and roads were for all practical purposes in the same ownership. Hence, doubtless, no objection was raised by the owners of the road to the crossing. Subsequently the line became the property of the Great Eastern Railway, now merged in the London and North Eastern Railway. After much litigation the local authority acquired, under special statutory powers, the private interests in the road, freeing such road from tolls."—
I may tell the House that the corporation paid £30,000 for that part of the road—
"The site of the road was conveyed to the authority and is their property. During the War, namely, in June, 1918, the railway company approached the corporation, asking for facilities to enable them to carry out certain works at the level crossing, and, as it was understood those works were works of repair, consent was readily given. The Board of Trade informed the corporation that the works were urgent, the War Cabinet having given the necessary priority. The works were commenced one Saturday night and continued over one or two weekends, and it was eventually ascertained from an inspection that an additional line of rails had been laid across the highway on the level, making two lines in all, or four sets of rails. Immediately the Board of Trade were interviewed, and it was explained to them that the council understood only works of repair were to be executed, they having only asked that the railway company should be allowed to have possession of 'the level crossing'; that an encroachment had been made upon the highway; that further lines had been laid down without the slightest notification to the highway authority, and that the private property of the corporation had been utilised. The Board emphasised the extreme urgency and national importance of the matter, as it was apprehended at that moment the Channel ports might have to be closed, and the food supply of London enter the metropolis from the Western ports, and there was only one double line of rails into the docks, the warehouses of which were proposed to be used as the granaries of London. The Board appealed to the corporation on patriotic grounds not to compel them to proceed under D.O.R.A., but to allow the works to continue, and promised that West Ham should not be thereby prejudiced in any way, but on the termination of the War—the actual cessation of hostilities—when the necessity for the lines was removed, they should, if the council desired, be removed and the roadway reinstated to its original position. This was definitely arranged with Colonel Pringle, and subsequently confirmed by an official letter from the Board to the Town Clerk, dated the 24th June, 1918, the last paragraph of which is as follows:
'I am to add that the action now being taken by the railway company at the instance of the Government will not affect the status of the crossing or the legal rights of your council in relation thereto at the end of the War.'
"On the faith of these promises and representations the works were allowed to proceed, the corporation rendering all assistance in their power. Immediately on the termination of hostilities, namely, the 11th November, 1918, the corporation did not ask for the additional lines to be removed, but waited to hear from the Board of Trade; but no communication was received until, in December, 1921, the Disposal and Liquidation Board wrote that the Chief Inspecting Officer of the Ministry of Transport—Colonel Pringle, the gentleman who made the arrangement above mentioned—reported that the utility of certain works was dependent upon the retention of the four lines of rail over the White Gates level crossing, namely, the two original lines and the two lines laid down under War pressure. The Commission added that the Great Eastern Railway Company were prepared to purchase the works constructed at Government expense, provided they had the right to retain the additional lines over the public highway, and asked for an undertaking that the corporation would not in principle oppose an application to Parliament to confirm the construction and user of the additional lines. This undertaking the corporation found themselves unable, in the interest of their district to give, and eventually an appeal was made by the railway company under the Defence of the Realm (Acquisition of Land) Act, 1920, to the Minister of Transport, against the corporation's withholding of their assent to the retention of the additional lines of metals. The whole of the facts were carefully laid before the Ministry of Transport, including the promise and representation made by their predecessors, and the corporation submitted that no appeal lay in the matter. This contention was overruled, and Colonel Pringle—the gentleman whose actions were in question—was appointed to hear the appeal. On the 26th July, 1923, the corporation by counsel attended before the inspector. Subsequently the Minister gave a decision consenting to the use of the crossing after the 31st August, 1923, subject to any conditions which he might by Order prescribe. Although this intimation was given in August, 1923, no Order has yet been made." [Interruption.]
I have had permission from Mr. Speaker to road it, and I am going to read it.
"The corporation submit that the whole proceedings of the company, and the Ministry of Transport are irregular and ultra vires, that no appeal lay against their refusal to consent to the continued user of the original lines; that there was no power or right in the Ministry to take land belonging to the local authority; that the tribunal chosen was not the proper tribunal, and that the time within which an application could be made had long before expired; and if an opportunity affords, they are quite prepared to test their views in the Courts. This opportunity has, however, been denied to them up to the present. The corporation submit that Parliament would never sanction the construction of a railway level crossing or an additional set of lines across one of the most important highways to the docks, and that the conduct of and attitude adopted by the Ministry (the actions of whose predecessors are in question) is not what is usually associated with a Government Department in appointing the individual who made the arrangement, and who publicly stated that his mind was a blank, and he had no recollection in the matter, to act as judge practically in his own case." [Interruption.]
This is the most important part. I am coming to a finish.
"The corporation understand that the Disposal Board have been paid for their works some £25,000 by the railway company, presumably the actual cost of the work, and in order to obtain this sum the property of the corporation has been illegally taken and the public penalised by having another set of rails laid across the public highway. The corporation consider that no further powers should be conferred upon the London and North Eastern Railway Company until steps are taken by them to remedy the position at the White Gates level crossing."

Will the hon. Member tell me how many lines there are running across the road—three, four or six?

If you want to know what I mean by four sets of railways, I mean that two trains can run one way and two the other at the same time. The Corporation of West Ham have for 18 years tried to persuade the Great Eastern Railway Company to remedy this defect. We have not been successful, and this is the only chance we have of entering a most emphatic protest against the highway robbery of the Great Eastern Railway. I ask the Minister of Transport whether he will not have a proper investigation made into the case, so that he will be in a position to restore to the West Ham Corporation the part of the highway that rightly belongs to them. I have the right to ask hon. Members opposite if the Borough of West Ham was in their division, and they were subject to the same conditions, what they would say about it? They would be as much annoyed as I am. The Corporation do not mind these sets of rails remaining where they are, always provided they are going to give us adequate compensation. But after the West Ham Corporation have had to pay £30,000 for this piece of road, I most emphatically protest against the railway company coming along and pinching part of it. I am very pleased you, Sir, gave me the opportunity of reading that memorandum so that we might have it officially recorded in the Journals of the House.

Before I can see my way to vote for this Measure, there are one or two assurances I should like to have from the promoters. We have heard a great deal about the stranglehold of a monopoly on the City of London. I want to say a few words about another monopoly which has a stranglehold on the City of Hull. Before the Railways Act, 1921, we had two competing railway systems. That Act deprived us of this advantage by combining the competing line under the name and under the management of the London and North Eastern Railway. The point I want to raise is similar to that we have just heard about. It is a question of level crossings. May I explain, roughly, the ground plan of Hull. There are four large main thoroughfares, running north and east from the centre of the city. They are large, wide roads capable of carrying a vast amount of traffic, but, unfortunately, each of these lines of road is intersected by the main line of the London and North Eastern Railway. The corporation say it is necessary, for a good service, that passenger and mail trains should continue to run across these level crossings, and they raise no objection. What they object to is the carriage of mineral and goods traffic upon these level crossings. It is not necessary, because the competing line, the Hull and Barnsley, designed their entrance to the city with more consideration for the rights and the convenience of the inhabitants, and they constructed a high level line, which crosses all the roads by bridges, allowing at all times free traffic underneath, and by a very small re-arrangement of sidings and points this high level line could be used for all the mineral and goods traffic in and out of Hull.

During the Debate on the Railways Bill of 1921 the North Eastern Company practically gave a promise that if they got that Bill through, they would re-arrange the existing railway accommodation so that most of the mineral and goods traffic could use this high level line, leaving the level crossings for the use of passengers and mails. That has not been done. I am told the work is in progress, but I can only say it is in progress at a very slow rate. At any rate many of these level crossings are closed for something in the nature of 4 hours out of the 24, and it is no uncommon sight to see a line of five or six street cars, and lines of motor and other traffic extending for 250 yards, waiting for the level crossings to be opened. Therefore I must, before I can see my way to vote for this Bill, ask for an assurance from hon. Members who are promoting it that they will press on with all speed that new system of points and lines which will enable the high level line to be used for mineral and goods traffic. There is one further point with which I should like to deal, that is the question of the ferry service between the Corporation Pier at Hull and New Holland. Under the Railways Act, 1921, the London and North Eastern Railway took over the ferry service which formerly had been run by the Great Central Railway Company. I am not complaining of the service, although I do not say that it is good. The traffic is not very large, and the tides in the river make it somewhat uncertain, but there are difficulties in regard to transport of which I do complain. I complain that there are no facilities for taking transport of any kind across the river. Some time ago when the Great Central Railway wanted some alteration made to the Corporation Pier, something in the nature of deepening the water, an arrangement was come to between the corporation and the Great Central Railway that cranes should be provided on each side of the river for lifting motor transport on and off the ferry steamers. The corporation carried out their part of the undertaking, and cranes were provided on one side, but on the other side of the river the Great Central Railway did nothing. They provided no crane, with the result that it is almost impossible for motor transport of any kind to come from New Holland across the ferry to Hull.

That renders useless for motor transport the magnificent main road which lies south through Lincoln and opens up the whole of Lincolnshire, and further south. It is not sufficient for a small crane to be provided; it must be a crane capable of lifting weights up to six or eight tons, so that it will be available not only for small cars, passenger or pleasure cars, but for motor transport and heavy transport, which is coming more into use. As things stand at the present time, it is with the utmost difficulty that even a small car can be got on board the ferry steamer at New Holland. Once again, I must ask for assurance from hon. Members who are interested in promoting this Bill that something in the nature of providing crane accommodation should be done before I can support the Bill.

I hold no brief for this railway company or for any other railway company. I sympathise with the hardships of London, from whose representatives the bulk of the protests have come to-night. The bulk of the protests against the powers included in this Bill are centred round London. No doubt, London is a very important place, but may I respectfully say that there are places other than London, which are largely affected by this Bill, and the powers which it seeks? The complaints in regard to London are well grounded, but I would point out that although London may suffer inconveniences, it is not fair to the ports on the North East Coast that they should be butchered to make a Roman holiday for London's convenience. My point is that this Bill, with all its defects, out to be passed. The defects are a matter for Committee rather than for the Second Reading of the Bill.

10.0 P.M.

There are harbours and wharfs along the North East Coast and on the Humber which are much affected. I am speaking as one who has had experience for 25 years of dock works along the estuaries and rivers of this country. There are powers sought to be obtained in this Bill which would affect dock workers, and would prevent the necessity of our men having to work excessive hours, particularly the men who depend entirely upon the ebb and flow of the tide, not in enclosed docks, but open waters. There, the men have to work sometimes an excessive number of hours, particularly in Grimsby and Immingham, where they are told that this or that thing must be done before the tide runs out. That necessitates eight, nine or 10 hours' work, without rest, otherwise they will find that next day there is no work for them.

While sympathising entirely with the position of London, I do say that this Bill will benefit those whom I represent. The question of London traffic does not depend entirely upon the London and North Eastern Railway. The problem of London traffic has vexed Government after Government; it is puzzling the present Government, and it will puzzle the successor of the present Government when it comes. The traffic of London becomes more congested every year, and it is a general question rather than a local question, the blame for which ought not to be put upon the London and North Eastern Railway Company alone. I am not endeavouring to minimise the grievances of London, but I do say that, as far as I can see, the powers for which this Bill asks are powers which will benefit the men in whom I am interested, and I shall, on my own responsibility, vote for the Second Reading.

I shall support the Second Reading of the Bill, and in doing so I should like to say that I hold no brief for the railway company, that I am not a director or shareholder of the company, and that I have not been asked, directly or indirectly, to support the Bill. I feel, however, that it is my duly to support it. The last speaker gave the true statement of the position when he said that the London and North Eastern Railway Company ought not to be blamed for the position of London traffic. If hon. Members would read the memorandum which has been issued by the railway company, they would see that the company have made a perfectly straightforward case. We have had a very able speech from one hon. Member, in which he explained fully the reason for this particular Clause in connection with the tube railway. I recommend hon. Members to read the memorandum, and if they will do so I am sure that their minds will be disabused of some of the views which they hold.

There is one matter which has not been referred to in the memorandum, and that is the question of a certain bridge in Hebburn. I know Hebburn fairly well, and I consider that that particular bridge requires widening. The trouble is, who is to pay for it? It ought not to be an insuperable difficulty if the people concerned would get together and discuss the matter seriously. In conversation the other day with one of the directors of the London and North Eastern Railway Company I told him, in no uncertain terms, that the bridge ought to be altered. During the past few years, and particularly since the amalgamation has taken place, the negotiations which I, along with others, have had with the railway companies in the North of England have been of the best and the heartiest. From the constituency which I represent, time and again we have sent deputations when we have required something done, and I do not know whether it has been our eloquence, or the reasonableness of our claim, or a bit of both, but the fact is that we have managed generally to get what we required.

I would recommend that system of negotiation to some of those other people who have been complaining to-night. I do not think they have gone about it in the right way. If they had gone about it in the way we did, it would have been done now. Last year I was a member of a committee that had to deal with railway companies in connection with the shipments of coal on the Tyne. We had very many delicate negotiations with the railway companies. The difficulty we were in was that we were face to face with the problem of having to ship in 16 hours what we had been previously shipping in 24 hours, so that there was tremendous congestion, particularly in the Tyne. The railway company met us in the most reasonable way, and, without our being obliged to come to this House at all, they have opened three new staiths at Dunston. They have also tried three shifts a day, and this great congestion has been done away with. I merely mention that to show what can be done by means of negotiation. I would again urge those who have grievances to meet the general manager or the directors, and I feel sure that they will receive the same treatment in London or elsewhere that we have had in the North of England. I would like to remind the House of a point made previously, namely, that this amalgamated railway company has only been in existence for, 18 months. That is a very short time in the life of a railway company, particularly when you are dealing with great problems like London traffic.

I desire to oppose the Second Reading of this Bill. If the hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. Raine) had been here while the hon. Member for North Tottenham (Mr. R Morrison) proposed his Amendment and made his speech, he would have heard the extent to which we have been trying to negotiate. We have seen both the London and North Eastern Railway Company and the Tube Company, and our experience does not give us the simple faith he has in railway companies. I cannot imagine how he got those things in the North of England, but we cannot do anything approaching that in London. The hon. Member for North Tottenham and the hon. Member for Hornsey (Viscount Ednam) have put the case an commonly well, and I only need to emphasise the point they make. In Finchley there has never been such a combination of people on any question as we have on this at the present moment I happen to live on the North Eastern Railway system myself, and you have to live on it and travel on it daily to appreciate what we are suffering from Here we have a railway company which made a bargain some years ago, which in my opinion ought not to have been legally sanctioned. The London and North Eastern Company appear to adopt a dog-in-the-manger policy. They will not consider the question of a tube beyond Finsbury Park. Up to now we have no reason to believe that the company will consider tubes beyond the Finsbury Park as a means of relieving the congestion. Neither can any Tube Company have permission to make tubes, and the community is left to struggle to work or play by tram or 'bus or train as they like. We are hoping to build a great many more houses in the northern heights of London. The London and North Eastern Railway is not able to handle the present traffic, far from handling any further traffic that may accrue.

Whatever benefits have accrued from amalgamation, we have seen none of them on the northern heights of London. Dirty and overcrowded carriages are the order of the day. This company have failed to grasp the fact that railways are a service to the community for which the community pay in passenger fares and charges on freight. This is quite a simple matter. If this company is really seriously in earnest and disposed to come to the help of the community, there is a great reservoir to be tapped. If this company is in earnest and can give us a guarantee that it will not stand in the way of Tube development, which is a crying necessity, I do not think this Bill would be opposed. Those of us who are associated in opposition to this Bill do not oppose it lightly. I do not like opposing this Bill. It may be an antiquated way of doing things, but the only way left open to us is to do this and to stand up for our constituencies. It is because of that that we are holding up this Bill to-night. If we get some of these guarantees—and we must have them in black and white so that we can rely upon them; we are not to be fobbed off merely with some kind of promise—but if there are good guarantees given by the company that they will not obstruct any company or authority or any other concern from building tubes, the objection to this Bill would soon pass away. The hon. and learned Member for Bassetlaw (Sir E. Hume-Williams) made a good case for the Bill, but he did not endeavour in any shape or form to answer the objections of the hon. Members for North Tottenham and Hornsey. He only said he was sure the London and North Eastern Railway Company would give fair consideration. What does fair consideration from a railway company mean? It might mean anything or something or nothing. Unless we can get something much more definite and concrete than that, we cannot hone to withdraw our opposition to this Bill. When we hear that the main object of the Bill is to provide a fly-over bridge for suburban traffic, that particular point is a most interesting one. I for one would be glad to see anything to improve suburban traffic, but making these bridges does not promote tubes from Finsbury Park in any way. Great stress was laid on the electrification of the line. The Great Northern manager offered an electrification also, but that is no substitute for the tube which we want. The population of North London is so enormous in this area that we want more tubes, more omnibuses, more trams, more trains and electrification of the Northern Railway. There is no end to what we want. How the people have put up with existing conditions so long I do not know. I happen to be a North Londoner myself, and I was rather interested to hear that the people in the North-East get all that they wish easily out of the railway company, but I have a suspicion that these railway companies and big monopolies generally do anything they like in London. I happen to be a Member for London, and I intend to stand up for the London people. It is high time that London got a better chance. It certainly deserves a better deal than it gets.

The question of who shall control the traffic will come up some other day. Meantime we must deal with the London and North Eastern Railway Company, and I urge the House to turn this Bill down unless we get a guarantee from the railway company that they will take steps to eliminate that objectionable section which gives a monopoly of the district north of Finsbury Park. If we get a guarantee that that Clause will disappear I am certain that the opposition to the Bill will disappear also. The hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. Raine) has received the railway company's statement. I am surprised that he went so far as he went on this statement because it is far from accurate. I regret exceedingly that the North Eastern Railway Company should have issued such a statement. The company claim to have put in the necessary lifts and conveniences for the exchange of passengers at Finsbury Park. These lifts have not been working for nearly two years. They may be convenient but certainly they do not work. As for the platforms they are much too narrow and very dangerous. Why the railway company should suggest Finsbury Park as a pattern station I do not know.

In the next paragraph the company refer to the promotion of tubes. They say no such consent has been asked for, and it cannot therefore be said that the Section has prevented an extension northwards. The railway company have only to say now that they will give that consent, if asked, to some other company or companies to enable them to carry out an extension of the tube, and if they give that consent the Bill will have an easy passage so far as North London Members are concerned. They claim also that it is only for a period of about an hour in the morning and in the evening that this traffic is heavy. It is for more than two hours in the morning and more than two hours in the evening and on Saturdays with football grounds at Tottenham, and the Alexandra Park races, the railway is a perfect pandemonium, and there is no chance for the ordinary traveller to get home under three or four hours. The principal works for which powers are sought at present are the widening and re-arrangement of the line between Stratford and Liverpool Street Station, where the density of traffic is greatest. These works would afford a considerable measure of relief, and would be essential in any scheme of electrical work which it may be found possible to adopt.

I am not at all sure that this company is going to electrify these railways. In regard to electrification, I regret exceedingly that there is no company in this country which can do the job. That is a serious matter. Some three companies have to amalgamate to do it. I am not sure that the company is in earnest about this electrification. But electrification is no substitute for tubes from Highgate Archway and Finsbury Park. If the widening from Liverpool Street merely means that more passengers are to be carried more quickly to Finsbury Park, it does not answer our needs. We are in earnest about this, and we expect the railway company to take a much more serious view of the matter, and to do something much more considerable than anything it has done in the past. We are a perfectly united body of all parties, and we have no intention of stopping our objection to this Bill until the company goes forward and does the straight thing by the travelling public.

Before dealing with the larger question, perhaps I might refer to two points which have been raised, the first by the hon. Member for Plaistow (Mr. W. Thorne) and the second by the hon. Member for North-West Hull (Colonel Lambert Ward). The hon Member for Plaistow gave us a very long extract from a memorandum which has been adopted by the West Ham Council. All hon. Members who listened to that memorandum must have realised at the finish of it that this was, indeed, not a case of a fight between West Ham and the railway company, but a disagreement between West Ham and the Ministry of Transport. There is no doubt that the Ministry of Transport held an inquiry in regard to this particular Clause. The inquiry went against the wishes of the people of West Ham. That fact is not the real reason for blocking this Bill now. As to the point raised by the hon. Member for North-West Hull, I would remind him that when last year the former London and North Eastern Railway Bill was brought in it was pointed out that certain works were being carried out, and were, in fact, scheduled in the Bill in order to enable the company to avoid a great many of the delays to which reference has been made to-night. I can assure the hon. Member that those works are in course of construction, and will be continued, and that our earnest hope is that the result of the completion of those works will be that much more traffic will be carried by the high level railway in Hull, and that the delays will be reduced. As to the Ferry service, I cannot give him any definite information, but I can assure him that the matter will be most carefully looked into, and, if anything can be done, the railway company will be only too glad to do it.

With regard to the attack on the company by the Members for North London—it is an attack—I hope that the House as a whole realises that this attack, made, as it is, by the Members for North London, does not, in fact, touch any of the provisions of the Bill. It is an attack to stop the Bill—a Bill which has been shown by other speakers and more especially by the hon. Member for Bassettlaw (Sir W. E. Hume-Williams) to be a Bill which is required to enable the company to carry out very useful works in this country. It is entirely wrong for North London Members to suggest that because they cannot get everything exactly at the moment they require it—[Laughter]—perhaps hon. Members will allow me to develop my argument—that therefore these other works which are acknowledged to be useful, and indeed essential in different parts of the country, are not to be carried out.

There was considerable laughter when I suggested that the hon. Members for North London could not get what they wanted immediately. The hon. and learned Member of the Bassetlaw Division pointed out very truly that the company has not been idle since this question was raised 12 months ago. We were then—[HON. MEMBERS: "Who are 'we'?"]—I beg hon. Members pardon. The railway company was then, as I pointed out at the time, only a few months old, and recognising the difficulties which existed in the North London area, it was stated that electrification proposals would be examined with a view to seeing whether some of the complaints could not be met. No time has been wasted. The railway company has been continuing its researches; it has taken an enormous amount of pains and time in trying to arrive at a conclusion, but owing to circumstances which the hon. and learned Member has already pointed out, it had not been able to come to a definite conclusion prior to the time when this Bill had to come before the House of Commons. This is a question of the expenditure of something like £5,000,000, and I cannot agree that hon. Members for North London have any cause for complaint because we refused to hurry the matter unduly, and because we insisted on having time. [HON. MEMBERS: "We!"] I apologise for using the word "we," but it is only natural. The point which is troubling the North London Members is, firstly, that the company is not going fast enough in regard to electrification.

That is not our point. Our point is that we want the removal of this objectionable Section. I hope the hon. and gallant Member will not try to sidetrack hon. Members from the main issue. The whole intention of our argument is the removal of the Section.

The Noble Lord took me up rather too quickly. I used the word "firstly," and I was dealing, firstly, with the question of electrification. As the hon. and learned Member for Bassetlaw Division pointed out we hope to electrify the line [HON. MEMBERS: "We?"] It may simplify matters if I say that I happen to be a director of the company, and I think I am entitled to use the word "we." When a railway company wishes to undertake any work of this magnitude, they have to consider whether or not it is a commercial proposition. Under the Railway Act passed by this House in 1921, a railway company is bound to see that this is a commercial proposition before it adopts it or before, in the alternative, it puts upon the traders of this country the necessity of finding the standard revenue, and that is a point which this House should realise before pressing on a railway company a work of this magnitude without due consideration. As regards the question of the tubes raised by the Noble Lord, the hon. and learned Member for Bassetlaw pointed out, very truly, that there is nothing at all to prevent people, with the one exception of the Metropolitan Railway, building as many tubes as they like, in any direction, and at any moment. They could start those tubes to-morrow, and if they themselves, on their part, could show that it was a commercial proposition, I have no doubt they would find no difficulty at all in obtaining the necessary money.

I cannot give a guarantee of that kind. The hon. and learned Member for Bassetlaw has pointed out that, with the one exception of the Metropolitan Railway Company, which made an agreement—to which there were two sides, as he also truly pointed out—any company can start and build those tubes, and if it were a paying proposition I am certain the House of Commons, or the Committee upstairs, would give a Bill authorising the work most favourable consideration. There is the position, and I do not think there is anything further which I can add. The company does not want to assume a dog-in-the-manger policy. The company has shown, during the last 12 months, that it is anxious in every way to meet the demands of the inhabitants of North London. The company has not wasted time, but has made very considerable progress, and I do not think the company is asking for too much when it asks for another month or two in which to complete its investigations in regard to electricity, intending and hoping, as it does, that it will find that it will be a commercial proposition, in which case it will proceed with the work.

I should like first to deal with the question of the White Gates level crossing. This complaint really lies more against the Ministry of Transport than the railway company. In August last, after a formal inquiry was held, the then Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport authorised two additional lines of railway, which had been laid down during the War, over the White Gates crossing in Victoria Docks Road to be continued in use. The officer holding the inquiry reported that no danger had been caused by the use of the additional lines, and that incon- venience for road traffic, caused by the shutting of the gates, would be diminished by their use. I am well aware of the traffic difficulties in and near the docks. Indeed, I received an important deputation from the Chamber of Commerce to-day on this very subject. When a London Traffic Bill is got through, I hope we shall be able to deal with the problem of traffic to and from the docks, but I do not think this question is one that can be said, in any sense, to be the fault of the railway company.

The most serious complaints brought against the administration of the rail way company promoting this Bill are in connection with the facilities offered by its London suburban services, both in the district of the old Great Northern Rail way and in the district of the old Great Eastern Railway, and I certainly feel that, in spite of all the other claims on their attention, the directors have given a great deal of thought to this problem. As regards the Great Eastern district, the position now is that the existing lines are utilised practically to their full extent, and that no alleviation of the position can, with the lines as they are, be obtained by the substitution of electricity for steam as the motive power. The present Bill seeks to obtain power to make widenings of this line, which would be a necessary preliminary to any improvement of the service, and the company have already statutory power to electrify this part of their system. They are, in fact, as far as this section of the line is concerned, doing what they can to remedy the present state of affairs.

I want to get the House back, if it will, to the whole Bill, and not only that part of the Bill which affects London. If it were a Bill only dealing with London, I do not think I should have very readily got up to say anything under all the circumstances, but when one remembers that the Bill is loaded with work of all kinds that would be delayed, speaking for the Ministry that I am representing for the moment, we are a little anxious that this Bill should not miss the Second Reading. The only other word that I would like to say is with regard to pressing the promoters for a rather better promise than was given by the hon. Member who first spoke. The feeling, it seems to me, on this side is that it is rather a dog-in-the manger policy. If some assurance could be given that the company will either do it or leave it to somebody else to do, I. think we could hope that the Bill would get the Second Reading and go upstairs, where the remainder of the difficulties could be fought out.

By the leave of the House, may I be allowed to say one word in reply to the appeal made by the right hon. Gentleman? As I said before, I do not think the company want to appear in a dog-in-the-manger position, and they would like to meet the criticism as far as possible. Speaking on behalf of the railway company, I would like to say that if the Bill receives its Second Reading, and the instruction is not pressed, the company are prepared to undertake that they will proceed with all due expedition to a decision upon the proposal, which they have under consideration, to electrically equip the Great Northern section of the suburban line to Finsbury Park and northwards of Finsbury Park, and if they come to the conclusion that they are unable to proceed to carry into effect such electrification referred to, or they fail, when the time arrives in October next for the introduction of private Bills in the next Session of Parliament, to come to a final decision, then they will waive any provision, statutory or otherwise, under which their consent is necessary for the construction of a railway northwards of Finsbury Park by any other company, body or persons.

Has the hon. Gentleman nothing more to say about the condition of Hebburn?

I think it must be obvious to the House that at this late hour it will be impossible to move the Motion standing in my name, and the names of other Members of the county of Durham, in reference to the matter of bridges and stations. In reply to an interruption made by an hon. Member below the Gangway, the hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. Raine) said that he thought that people who did not succeed with the London and North-Eastern Railway Company did not go the right way about it, and I should like to ask the hon. Member whether the negotiations which have been proceeding for many years in relation to Sunderland Station I have succeeded. I should like to ask whether the railway company has a method of selecting larger companies and larger measures to the disadvantage of smaller communities?

I shall, therefore, claim the indulgence of the House in referring to a very important matter, that is the bridge of Hebburn-on-Tyne. This bridge was built in 1871. Since then nothing has been done to it except the ordinary repairs. In 1871 the population of Hebburn was 5,000. To-day it is 25,000. Hebburn itself lies on the River Tyne and is a great industrial centre. It is not dependent alone upon the shipbuilding, though I should say fully a half of the population are engaged in that industry, but there are other industries; and the whole of these employ over 10,000 workmen. These come from all parts of the district. This bridge measures only 25 feet 10 inches, and it is there because otherwise there would be a level crossing needed. The road on the south side of the bridge is 50 feet wide, and on the north side 54 feet. One can imagine what takes place during the early hours of the morning, at noon, and at the works' closing time, when you have a great rush of workpeople across the bridge. I am told that it is positively dangerous to both pedestrians and vehicular traffic. These large industries too, mean, of course, a paying proposition to the railway company in the way of merchandise carried. As I say, for a period of 50 years nothing has been done to widen the bridge. We have heard to-night that in connection with the Bill now before us, that certain items have not been included. I would like to state to the House that for years negotiations have been taking place without any result. Within very recent times efforts have been made to move the railway company, but still they have not done anything. They have had any amount of opportunities of adopting measures to deal with certain sections of this kind. I want to say a word or two about this station. The poet Keats wrote:
"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever,"
but the station at Hebburn is ugly to-day and uglier to-morrow. It was built without any regard to architectural beauty, and there is neither shape nor comeliness about it. Besides this, there is no decent accommodation for the people using the station. I want to assert here that the bridge at Hebburn, as well as the station, are a disgrace to the London and North Eastern Railway Company. I feel very strongly against the company for not meeting the desires of the Urban District Council of Hebburn in a better way than they have done in the past.

In rising to oppose this Amendment, and to support the Bill, I sympathise very much with the promoters of this Measure. I do not think it is quite fair that such trenchant criticism should be launched against the new group of railways managed by the North Eastern Railway Company with regard to the carrying out of so many works over their whole system, extending for many hndreds of miles, and which are very necessary. In reading the provisions of this Bill I take it that they are all good, and so far as I am concerned in my own particular corner of the country, there are only two Clauses to which I take exception, and they are Clauses 39 and 40.

In the former Clause the Company seek powers to make an extension of the line and for the carrying out and purchase of certain property of which they have had the option ever since the year 1910. What is felt on the Humber is that after a lapse of 14 years the company certainly have had time enough to make up its mind as to whether it is going to absorb those properties. In Clause 30 the Company seek an extension of powers for the construction of certain works. In my constituency in 1912 the old company obtained an Act of Parliament for the construction of a new fish dock at Grimsby, and the contract was let for about £250,000 in 1914 before the World War broke out. Although this great corporation has been approached repeatedly to endeavour to get them to carry out Parliamentary powers for the construction of this dock, so far the corporation has not succeeded in getting a move on at all. The construction of this dock in Grimsby at the present time is not only a matter of urgent local necessity, but I claim that it is one of great national necessity. Grimsby is the largest fishing port in the world, and the development of the fishing industry at the present time is grievously hampered by reason of the congestion and the inconvenience under which the whole of that community is, I will not say called upon to work, but simply to struggle for an existence. If, therefore, we can get an assurance from the London and North Eastern Railway Company that this dock will be gone on with at the earliest possible moment, I should have the greatest pleasure in supporting the Bill in its entirety.

The undertakings which have been given, so far as the tube extension is concerned in relation to the electrification of the Great Northern suburban line, seem to me to be irrelevant to the issues raised by the hon. Member for North Tottenham (Mr. R. Morrison). The Great Northern suburban lines, whether electrified or not, cannot replace the facilities for transport which are demanded by the Members representing London constituencies. The Great Northern Railway comes into King's Cross. That is of no use to the people who would come into the City of London on the Metropolitan line, or the people who would go into West Central or West London on the Piccadilly Railway. Therefore, it is an irrelevant consideration. All that has been offered is that, if the company undertakes to proceed with the electrification of its own suburban lines, there would then be no obligation on the company to waive its legal position, so far as the extension of the tube beyond Finsbury Park. That undertaking cannot in any way give satisfaction to the opposition to this Bill on this particular point. I am interested in the matter, not so much as other Members, but the people of Hackney have an interest in the matter in view of the communications they have with Finsbury Park. Another point I wish to raise is the scandalous state of the rolling stock provided for working-class passengers. I have travelled on the suburban lines of this railway a good deal. I venture to say that its third-class carriages are a disgrace to civilisation. I will not say that they are a disgrace to the Great Eastern Railway Company, because it is not possible for anything to be a disgrace to that company, but the condition of the third-class railway rolling stock on that line is a true indication of what the hon. Member who has the impudence to get up in this House and say—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order!"]

I beg your pardon, Sir, I withdraw. The hon. Member, who states that he represents the railway company—which seems to me to be a highly improper thing for a Member to suggest in this House; I should have thought he would have represented a constituency—It does show what he and his fellow directors think of the working classes when they provide rolling stock of that character.

On a point of Order. May I ask your ruling, Mr. Speaker, as to whether the state of third-class railway carriages has anything to do whatsoever with this Bill?

On the Second Reading of a Bill of this kind, it is customary to allow discussion on the manner in which the powers of the company have been used.

If the hon. and gallant Member objects to the discussion of the third-class carriages, I will have a word to say about the second. The third-class carriages are an indication of what the hon. Gentleman and other directors of the company think of the working classes. The condition of the second-class carriages is some indication of what the directors think of the middle classes; I assure the House that the second-class carriages are very little better than the third. They are dirty, the seats are exceedingly narrow, and they are really vehicles in which one would not travel if one were not compelled. They deliver the working classes and the middle classes of London to their places of employment, not in that state of pleasure and brightness in which working people ought to go to work, but in such a state of depression, sadness and misery that they cannot properly discharge their duties.

I have another grievance. I used to travel from Clapton to Liverpool Street on this company's line, and half that journey is through tunnels. They give you no light—and I understand that you get no light in whatever class you may be, so that even the aristrocracy get it in the neck. I have the good habit, or at least I had, when I took that journey, of carefully reading my "Daily Herald" in the newspaper train, and as soon as we got out of Clapton station we went under a bridge, and down went the paper in the darkness. We got to the light, there was then another bridge, and down went the paper again. We got to the light, then to a third bridge, and then we got to a place where the railway train, appropriately enough, goes under a lunatic asylum, and for quite a long time we were in darkness. Then there was light for a little while, even on the Great Eastern Railway, and then we got to Bethnal Green, which is beginning to see the light, for it has one Labour Member in this House. Then, between there and Liverpool Street, we were in darkness again, and, as often as not, the train stopped dead in the middle of the darkness and you could not see

Division No. 15.]


[11.0 p.m.

Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis DykeFoot, IsaacMcCrae, Sir George
Adamson, Rt. Hon. WilliamFranklin, L. B.MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.Galbraith, J. F. W.Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George AbrahamMacDonald, R.
Ammon, Charles GeorgeGilmour, Colonel Rt. Hon. Sir JohnMacfadyen, E.
Aske, Sir Robert WilliamGosling, HarryMackinder, W.
Bailour, George (Hampstead)Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)McLean, Major A.
Barclay, R. NotonGray, Frank (Oxford)Macnaghten, Hon. Sir Malcolm
Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar (Banff)Greene, W. P. CrawfordMakins, Brigadier-General E.
Beckett, Sir GervaseGretton, Colonel JohnMansel, Sir Courtenay
Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Grigg, Lieut.-Col. Sir Edward W. M.Marriott, Sir J. A. R.
Berkeley, Captain ReginaldGrundy, T. W.Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, E.)
Betterton, Henry B.Hacking, Captain Douglas H.Meyler, Lieut.-Colonel H. M.
Birktt, W. N.Hall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)Milne, J. S. Wardlaw
Black, J. W.Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)Morse, W. E.
Bonwick, A.Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryMoulton, Major Fletcher
Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.Harbison, Thomas James S.Muir, Ramsay (Rochdale)
Briscoe, Captain Richard GeorgeHarland, A.Murrell, Frank
Bullock, Captain M.Hartington, Marquess ofNall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Joseph
Burman, J. B.Harvey, T. E. (Dewsbury)Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)
Burnie, Major J. (Bootle)Henn, Sir Sydney H.Oman, Sir Charles William C.
Butler, Sir GeoffreyHennessy, Major J. R. G.Owen, Major G.
Caine, Gordon HallHerbert, Capt. Sidney (Scarborough)Perkins, Colonel E. K.
Chadwick, Sir Robert BurtonHillary, A. E.Perring, William George
Chapman, Sir S.Hindle, F.Ponsonby, Arthur
Clayton, G. C.Hirst, G. H.Raffety, F. W.
Cobb, Sir CyrilHobhouse, A. L.Raine, W.
Collins, Patrick (Walsall)Hodge, Lieut.-Col. J. P. (Preston)Rankin, James S.
Compton, JosephHogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)Rathbone, Hugh R.
Comyns-Carr, A. S.Hope, Rt. Hon. J. F. (Sheffield, C.)Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk. Peel
Cope, Major WilliamHopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)Rawson, Alfred Cooper
Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L.Howard, Hon. G. (Bedford, Luton)Rea, W. Russell
Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Henry PageHuntingfield, LordRendall, A.
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.Rentoul, G. S.
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)Jephcott, A. R.Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Deans, Richard StorryJohnstone, Harcourt (Willesden, East)Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)
Dickie, Captain J. P.Jones, C. Sydney (Liverpool, W. Derby)Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)
Dixey, A. C.Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Ropner, Major L.
Dodds, S. R.Jones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Duckworth, JohnJowitt, W. A. (The Hartlepools)Royce, William Stapleton
Dudgeon, Major C. R.Joynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir WilliamRudkin, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. C.
Duncan, C.Kay, Sir R. NewbaldRussell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Edmondson, Major A. J.Keens, T.Russell-Wells, Sir S. (London Univ.)
Edwards, G. (Norfolk, Southern)Kindersley, Major G. M.Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Edwards, John H. (Accrington)King, Captain Henry DouglasSandeman, A. Stewart
Elveden, ViscountLamb, J. Q.Savery, S. S.
Emlyn-Jones, J. E. (Dorset, N.)Lane-Fox, George R.Sexton, James
England, Lieut.-Colonel A.Leach, W.Sheffield, Sir Berkeley
Eyres-Monsell, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.Lee, F.Sherwood, George Henry
Ferguson, H.Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
FitzRoy, Captain Rt. Hon. Edward A.Lumley, L. R.Simon, E. D. (Manchester, Withingtn.)

anything. There are quite a number of Socialists about in these days, and one does not know what may happen to one's pockets in such circumstances. I submit that in addition to the point which has been raised by hon. Members representing constituencies in the North of London, on the point of the really scandalous and disgraceful state of the rolling stock—it is not a disgrace to private enterprise; it is what we expect from private, railway enterprise—

rose in his place and claimed to move,

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided: Ayes, 192; Noes, 149.

Simpson, J. HopeTerrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)Wheler, Lieut.-Col. Granville C. H.
Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)Williams, A. (York, W. R., Sowerby)
Sitch, Charles H.Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)
Smith, W. R. (Norwich)Thomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro, W.)Williams, T. (York, Don Valley)
Smith-Carrington, Neville W.Thornton, Maxwell R.Willison, H.
Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-In-Furness)Tillett, BenjaminWilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Starmer, Sir CharlesTout, W. J.Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Stewart, Maj. R. S. (Stockton-on-Tees)Turton, Edmund RussboroughWise, Sir Frederic
Stranger, Innes HaroldVaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)Ward, Col. J. (Stoke upon Trent)Wragg, Herbert
Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Sutcliffe, T.Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Sutherland, Rt. Hon. Sir WilliamWeir, L. M.


Tattersall, J. L.Weston, John WakefieldSir Ellis Hume-Williams and Mr.
Murrough Wilson.


Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Haycock, A. W.Purcell, A. A.
Alden, PercyHayday, ArthurRamage, Captain Cecil Beresford
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Hayes, John HenryRaynes, W. R.
Alstead, R.Henderson, A. (Cardiff, South)Remer, J. R.
Attlee, Major Clement R.Henderson, W. W. (Middlesex, Enfld.)Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)
Ayles, W. H.Hodges, FrankRitson, J.
Birkett, W. N.Hoffman, P. C.Robertson, T. A.
Banton, G.Howard, Hn. D. (Cumberland, Northrn.)Robinson, S. W. (Essex, Chelmsford)
Barnes, A.Hudson, J. H.Scrymgeour, E.
Batey, JosephIsaacs, G. A.Scurr, John
Becker, HarryJackson, R. F. (Ipswich)Seely, H. M. (Norfolk, Eastern)
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)Smillie, Robert
Broad, F. A.Jewson, DorotheaSmith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)
Brown, A. E. (Warwick, Rugby)John, William (Rhondda, West)Smith, T. (Pontefract)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Johnston, Thomas (Stirling)Snell, Harry
Buckie, J.Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Spence, R.
Cape, ThomasJones, T. J. Mardy (Pontypridd)Spero, Dr. G. E.
Cassels, J. D.Kedward, R. M.Stamford, T. W.
Chapple, Dr. William A.Kennedy, T.Stephen, Campbell
Charleton, H. C.Kirkwood, D.Sullivan, J.
Church, Major A. G.Lansbury, GeorgeSutton, J. E.
Clarke, A.Laverack, F. J.Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.
Climie, R.Law, A.Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Cluse, W. S.Lawrence, Susan (East Ham, North)Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)
Cove, W. G.Lawson, John JamesThurtle, E.
Crittall, V. G.Linfield, F. C.Tinker, John Joseph
Curzon, Captain ViscountLivingstone, A. M.Turner, Ben
Darbishire, C. W.Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)Turner-Samuels, M.
Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)Loverseed, J. F.Varley, Frank B.
Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)Lowth, T.Viant, S. P.
Dickson, T.Lunn, WilliamWalsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Dukes, C.M'Entee, V. L.Ward, G. (Leicester, Bosworth)
Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)Warne, G. H.
Finney, V. H.Maden, H.Watson, W. M. (Dunlermline)
Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.March, S.Watts Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)Martin, W. H. (Dumbarton)Welsh, J. C.
Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, North)Maxton, JamesWestwood, J.
Gillett, George M.Middleton, G.White, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)
Gould, Frederick (Somerset, Frome)Mills, J. E.Whiteley, W.
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Mantague, FrederickWilliams, David (Swansea, E.)
Greenall, T.Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)Naylor, T. E.Williams, Lt.-Col. T. S. B. (Kennington)
Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)O'Grady, Captain JamesWilliams, Maj. A. S. (Kent, Sevenoaks)
Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)Oliver, George HaroldWilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Groves, T.Paling, W.Windsor, Walter
Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)Palmer, E. T.Wright, W.
Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Young, Andrew (Glasgow, Partick)
Hardie, George D.Perry, S. F.
Harney, E. A.Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.


Harris, John (Hackney, North)Potts, John S.Mr. Robert Morrison and Viscount
Hastings, Somerville (Reading)Pringle, W. M. R.Ednam.

Question put accordingly, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

Division No. 16.]


[11.10 p.m.

Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis DykeBarrie, Sir Charles Coupar (Banff)Bowyer, Capt. G. E. W.
Adamson, Rt. Hon. WilliamBeckett, Sir GervaseBriscoe, Captain Richard George
Agg-Gardner, Rt. Hon. Sir James T.Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)Bullock, Captain M.
Alexander, A. V. (Sheffield, Hillsbro')Berkeley, Captain ReginaldBurman, J. B.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.Betterton, Henry B.Burnie, Major J. (Bootle)
Aske, Sir Robert WilliamBirkett, W. N.Butler, Sir Geoffrey
Balfour, George (Hampstead)Black, J. W.Caine, Gordon Hall
Barclay, R. NotonBonwick, A.Cape, Thomas

The House divided: Ayes, 198; Noes, 142.

Chadwick, Sir Robert Burton

kinson, A. (Lancaster, Mosslay)

Ropner, Major L.
Chapman, Sir S.

rd, Hon. G. (Bedford, Luton)

Roundell, Colonel R. F.
Clayton, G. C.

gfield, Lord

Royce, William Stapleton
Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.

n, Lieut.-Colonel C. M. C.

Cobb, Sir CyrilJephcott, A. R.Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Collins, Patrick (Walsall)Jones, C. Sydney (Liverpool, W. Derby)Russell-Wells, Sir S. (London Univ.)
Comyns-Carr, A. S.Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)
Cope, Major WilliamJones, Rt. Hon. Leif (Camborne)Sandeman, A. Stewart
Costello, L. W. J.Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)Savery, S. S.
Courthope, Lieut.-Col. George L.Jowitt, W. A. (The Hartlepools)Sexton, James
Croft, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Henry PageJoynson-Hicks, Rt. Hon. Sir WilliamSheffield, Sir Berkeley
Crooke, J. Smedley (Deritend)Kay, Sir R. NewbaldSherwood, George Henry
Darbishire, C. W.Keens, T.Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)Kindersley, Major G. M.Simon, E. D. (Manchester, Withingtn.)
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)King, Captain Henry DouglasSimpson, J. Hope
Deans, Richard StorryLamb, J. Q.Sinclair, Major Sir A. (Caithness)
Dickie, Captain J. P.Lane-Fox, George R.Sitch, Charles H.
Dixey, A. C.Lawson, John JamesSmith, T. (Pontefract)
Dodds, S. R.Leach, W.Smith, W. R. (Norwich)
Duckworth, JohnLee, F.Smith-Carrington, Neville W.
Duncan, C.Lloyd, Cyril E. (Dudley)Somerville, Daniel (Barrow-in-Furness)
Edmondson, Major A. J.Lumley, L. R.Starmer, Sir Charles
Edwards, G. (Norfolk, Southern)Lunn, WilliamStewart, Maj. R. S. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Edwards, John H. (Accrington)McCrae, Sir GeorgeStranger, Innes Harold
Elvedon, ViscountMacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Aberavon)Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)
Emlyn-Jones, J. E. (Dorset, N.)Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
England, Lieut.-Colonel A.Macfadyen, E.Sullivan, J.
Eyres-Monsell, Com. Rt. Hon. B. M.McLean, Major A.Sutcliffe, T.
Ferguson, H.Macnaghten, Hon. Sir MalcolmSutherland, Rt. Hon. Sir William
FitzRoy, Captain Rt. Hon. Edward A.Makins, Brigadier-General E.Tattersall, J. L.
Foot, IsaacMansel, Sir CourtenayTerrell, Captain R. (Oxford, Henley)
Franklin, L. B.Marriott, Sir J. A. R.Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)
Galbraith, J. F. W.Martin, F. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, E.)Thomas, Sir Robert John (Anglesey)
Gibbs, Col. Rt. Hon. George AbrahamMeyler, Lieut.-Colonel H. M.Thompson, Luke (Sunderland)
Gilmour, Colonel Rt. Hon. Sir JohnMilne, J. S. WardlawThomson, Trevelyan (Middlesbro.)
Gosling, HarryMorse, W. E.Thornton, Maxwell R.
Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)Moulton, Major FletcherTillett, Benjamin
Gray, Frank (Oxford)Muir, Ramsay (Rochdale)Tout, W. J.
Greene, W. P. CrawfordMurrell, FrankTurton, Edmund Russborough
Gretton, Colonel JohnNall, Lieut.-Colonel Sir JosephVaughan-Morgan, Col. K. P.
Grigg, Lieut.-Col. Sir Edward W. M.Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)Ward, Lt.-Col. A. L. (Kingston-on-Hull)
Guest, J. (York, Hemsworth)Oman, Sir Charles William C.Watson, Sir F. (Pudsey and Otley)
Hacking, Captain Douglas H.Owen, Major G.Webb, Rt. Hon. Sidney
Hamilton, Sir R. (Orkney & Shetland)Paling, W.Weir, L. M.
Hannon, Patrick Joseph HenryPerkins, Colonel E. K.Weston, John Wakefield
Harbison, Thomas James S.Perring, William GeorgeWheler, Lieut.-Col. Granville C. H.
Harland, A.Ponsonby, ArthurWhite, H. G. (Birkenhead, E.)
Hartington, Marquess ofRaffety, F. W.Williams, A. (York, W. R., Sowerby)
Harvey, T. E. (Dewsbury)Raine, W.Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)
Hastings, Sir PatrickRankin, James S.Willison, H.
Henn, Sir Sydney H.Rathbone, Hugh R.Wilson, C. H. (Sheffield, Attercliffe)
Hennessy, Major J. R. G.Rawlinson, Rt. Hon. John Fredk. PeelWindsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Herbert, Capt. Sidney (Scarborough)Rawson, Alfred CooperWise, Sir Frederic
Hillary, A. E.Rea, W. RussellWood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)
Hindle, F.Rendall, A.Wragg, Herbert
Hobhouse, A. L.Rentoul, G. S.Yerburgh, Major Robert D. T.
Hodge, Lieut.-Col. J. P. (Preston)Rhys, Hon. C. A. U.
Hogg, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (St. Marylebone)Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsay)


Hope, Rt. Hon. J. F. (Sheffield, C.)Robinson, Sir T. (Lancs., Stretford)Sir Ellis Hume-Williams and Mr.
Murrough Wilson.


Adamson, W. M. (Staff., Cannock)Climie, R.Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)
Alden, PercyCluse, W. S.Groves, T.
Alstead, R.Cove, W. G.Grundy, T. W.
Ammon, Charles GeorgeCrittall, V. G.Guest, Dr. L. Haden (Southwark, N.)
Attlee, Major Clement R.Curzon, Captain ViscountHall, F. (York, W. R., Normanton)
Ayles, W. H.Davies, Ellis (Denbigh, Denbigh)Hardie, George D.
Baker, W. J.Davison, J. E. (Smethwick)Harney, E. A.
Banton, G.Dickson, T.Harris, John (Hackney, North)
Barnes, A.Dudgeon, Major C. R.Hastings, Somerville (Reading)
Batey, JosephDukes, C.Haycock, A. W.
Becker, HarryEdwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)Hayday, Arthur
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.Finney, V. H.Hayes, John Henry
Broad, F. A.Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.Henderson, A. (Cardiff, South)
Brown, A. E. (Warwick, Rugby)Gardner, B. W. (West Ham, Upton)Henderson, W. W. (Middlesex, Enfld.)
Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)Gardner, J. P. (Hammersmith, North)Hirst, G. H.
Buckle, J.Gillett, George M.Hodges, Frank
Cassels, J. D.Gould, Frederick (Somerset, Frome)Hoffman, P. C.
Chapple, Dr. William A.Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)Hudson, J. H.
Charleton, H. C.Greenall, T.Jackson, R. F. (Ipswich)
Church, Major A. G.Greenwood, A. (Nelson and Colne)Jenkins, W. (Glamorgan, Neath)
Clarke, A.Grenfell, D. R. (Glamorgan)Jewson, Dorothea

John, William (Rhondda, West)Oliver, George HaroldThurtle, E.
Johnston, Thomas (Stirling)Palmer, E. T.Tinker, John Joseph
Jones, T. I. Mardy (Pontypridd)Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)Turner, Ben
Kedward, R. M.Perry, S. F.Turner-Samuels, M.
Kennedy, T.Pethick-Lawrence, F. W.Varley, Frank B.
Kirkwood, D.Potts, John S.Viant, S. P.
Lansbury, GeorgePringle, W. M. R.Walsh, Rt. Hon. Stephen
Laverack, F. J.Purcell, A. A.Ward, G. (Leicester, Bosworth)
Law, A.Ramage, Captain Cecil BeresfordWarne, G. H.
Lawrence, Susan (East Ham, North)Raynes, W. R.Watson, W. M. (Dunfermline)
Linfield, F. C.Remer, J. R.Watts-Morgan, Lt.-Col. D. (Rhondda)
Livingstone, A. M.Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)Welsh, J. C.
Locker-Lampson, G. (Wood Green)Ritson, J.Westwood, J.
Loverseed, J. F.Robertson, T. A.Whiteley, W.
Lowth, T.Robinson, S. W. (Essex, Chelmsford)Williams, David (Swansea, E.)
M'Entee, V. L.,Scrymgeour, E.Williams, Dr. J. H. (Llanelly)
Mackinder, W.Scurr, JohnWilliams, Lt.-Col. T. S. B. (Kenningtn.)
Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)Seely, H. M. (Norfolk, Eastern)Williams, Maj. A. S. (Kent, Sevenoaks)
Maden, H.Smillie, RobertWilliams, T. (York, Don Valley)
March, S.Smith, Ben (Bermondsey, Rotherhithe)Wilson, R. J. (Jarrow)
Martin, W. H. (Dumbarton)Snell, HarryWindsor, Walter
Maxton, JamesSpence, R.Wright, W.
Middleton, G.Spero, Dr. G. E.Young, Andrew (Glasgow, Partick)
Mills, J. E.Stamford, T. W.
Mantague, FrederickStephen, Campbell


Morrison, Herbert (Hackney, South)Sutton, J. E.Viscount Ednam and Mr. Robert
Naylor, T. E.Sykes, Major-Gen. Sir Frederick H.Morrison.
O'Grady, Captain JamesThorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)

Bill read a Second time, and referred to the Examiners of Petitions for Private Bills.