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Clause 11—(Development Orders)

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 14 May 1947

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I beg to move, in page 11, line 9, at the end, to insert:

"(b) In any county or part of a county in respect of which a development plan has for the time being not been made and approved under the foregoing provisions of this Act the authority which if this Act had not been passed would have been the Interim Development Authority."
This Amendment goes with the following one—on page line 14, at end, to insert:
"(2) Before determining any application for permission to develop land, the authority referred to in paragraph (b) of the foregoing subsection shall consult with the local planning authority."
With permission I will deal with both together as they involve the same point, which is shortly this: This Bill makes a change in the local planning authorities. Up to now they have been identical with the housing authorities that is to say, in the counties they have been county districts, but now the local planning authority is to be the county council. It will be some time before these new authorities have found their feet, and before they have carried out what the Bill enjoins on them—the preparation of a survey, and the subsequent development plan. Therefore, it is certain that a considerable period of time must elapse before these new local authorities are in a position to deal with applications which will come before them. The purpose of the Amendments which we are now considering is to ensure that in that interim period before the new authorities are under way, the old planning authorities who have hitherto dealt with applications for consent should continue to function, but that in doing so they should consult the new planning authority, namely, the county council, so as to ensure that in giving or refusing consent they are, to the best of their ability, acting in conformity with the desire of the new planning authority.

It is really a machinery provision designed to ease over this difficult transition period from the old system to the new. It is, of course, of great public importance because we are all very anxious to see the work of development proceeding unchecked. Housing is a great necessity and in passing this legislation and agreeing, as we are, to the change of authorities, we wish to ensure that the change shall not be allowed to hamper the provision of necessary development. There is a further advantage in this proposal. Anyone wishing to build a house today has to go to the housing authority and obtain by-law consents. While they are scarce he has also to obtain from the local authorities permits for the necessary building materials. Although planning is taken out of the hands of the county district housing authorities by this Bill, the other functions to which I have alluded still remain with them. The county districts will still be the authorities for by-law purposes and will continue to handle the permits for materials. The developer who proposes to proceed will have to obtain one set of consents from the district council and, under this Bill, another from the county council for the planning consents.

I earnestly impress upon the Government and upon the House that at this time it would be very unwise to change horses too suddenly in the middle of the stream. These existing housing authorities are well accustomed to handling planning consents, and there will he a great advantage if the man who wishes to develop can go to one authority and obtain all his consents from the same person for the project he has in hand. I think the provision in the second Amendment to ensure consultation with the planning authority will obviate any risk of a clash or conflict between the consents given and the ultimate design of the plan. In general, as a matter of administration, the way the proposal would work would be that the interim development authorities, on whom we are proposing to confer the power of giving development consent in the interim period, would have a consultation with the new authority, the county council, and determine the lines on which they should proceed. They would have a general sailing direction from the new authority as to how far they should go in giving these consents. If that were done I apprehend that the time of everybody would be saved, and I am sure that it would obviate the risk of undue delay in granting these permissions.

There is another consideration which applies particularly to our rural districts. I will refer, by way of example, to the county of which I have the honour to represent part—namely, Gloucestershire. It is a very long and straggling county with, on the whole, difficult communications. It is split up into a number of rural districts such as, for example, the North Cotswold rural district and the Northleach rural district. These remote villages are a long way from Gloucester, and there is no habitual travelling between them and Gloucester. Apart from its geo- graphical connections Gloucester might be in another county as far as the inhabitants of these remote areas are concerned. This Bill makes it necessary for the developer to obtain a planning consent before any development can proceed. I think it is asking too much of people in these isolated parts to require them to journey all the way to a county town which is very difficult and expensive to get at unless one has a motor-car. Time will be lost by the mere physical difficulty of travelling to and fro. I do not deny that when the new county authority get into their stride it will be possible to arrange for them to delegate some of their authority outwards, or to arrange some postal system of application for these permits. But at the present time, until they have got into their stride, it will be quite impossible for them, having taken on these new functions, suddenly to have the necessary knowledge at their disposal to say whether the permission should or should not be given.

What will happen if this Amendment is not accepted is this. When the county authority receive a request for permission to develop they will, in fact, consult the rural district council and be guided by them as the only source of knowledge that is possessed. A man will be put to all the difficulty and possible delay of having to apply to the county council. and I think it is very important that these local authorities who have in the past discharged these planning functions with great success on the whole, should continue to do so until the new authorities are well established. For these reasons, we have put down these Amendments which are in no sense hostile to the Bill but are designed to produce a workable device for the interim period and provide a greater facility to the builder in that he could obtain all his consents in one place instead of dealing with widely dispersed rural authorities. I earnestly commend this suggestion to the House and to the Government.

8.0 p.m.

As one who has for a considerable number of years served on one of these planning authorities comprising representatives of a number of rural district councils, I am rather alarmed that there is any question about there being a gap between the old procedure and the new. Many of the applications which come before an authority of that kind—although some may seem somewhat trivial and deal with such things as tool sheds and alterations to cow stalls concern alterations which are in some degree urgent, and which it would not be possible to hold up even for a short time without the greatest inconvenience. If there is any break at all, any period during which it is difficult for these applications to be submitted, I am quite sure from my experience that there will be a tendency to evade the regulations, a tendency which up to now has fortunately not been very widespread. It would be a great pity if any encouragement were given to it the present time.

These applications will have to be considered from two points of view, first with regard to siting and second with regard to what is called, in Clause II (3) (a), "design or external appearance." With regard to siting, I agree that there is some difficulty as the plan, if there is one already in existence, is being revised under this Bill. Nevertheless, I believe it will be quite possible to meet this difficulty because, although I do not know what the practice is in other counties, in Dorset where we have always been well ahead with our planning provisions, the consultant to the joint committee is the same as the consultant who is in touch with the county council. In fact, therefore, there will be perfect co-ordination, and any change in view with regard to the plan will be fully provided for. With regard to the question of design and external appearance, it seems important that these matters should be seen to. We have been at great pains in our area, which includes many villages built of stone, to maintain design and I can see no reason at all why the interim authorities should not go on laying down their ideas on this matter. Finally. I would like to say again how important it is that there should be no break between the old system and the new. As far as the area which I represent is concerned, I can see no difficulty at all in going on without any break

May I briefly support my right hon. Friend's Amendment? I have here the figures of the average monthly applications made to my own planning authority, and in the whole district there are 15o applications, large and small, a month. Forty, as a matter of fact, come from the town of Harrogate itself. That is only one district out of a considerable number in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and during this interim period, when the officials of the new authority are not well aware of the general layout of the whole district, there is bound to be a good deal of time-wasting research, made by other officials if the interim development authority is not allowed to continue with these applications. There is a further point which I should like to put before the Parliamentary Secretary. The county district councils are to be consulted about the development plan. That is all to the good, but it seems to be quite unnecessary for them to transfer to the county councils the work of considering these development applications during the transitional period in order to transfer them back again at a later date. It is an extravagant waste of time and manpower, and I think that is a very strong argument for the acceptance by the Minister of my right hon. Friend's Amendment.

I associate myself with this Amendment. As the Parliamentary Secretary will appreciate, it has not been moved in any controversial or polemical spirit; it is indeed an Amendment which has the backing of what one might, perhaps, call the local government world, that is to say, local government people who, without distinction of party, are interested in good administration and government. This Amendment was tabled for discussion in the Standing Committee, but like so many other good things it fell under the guillotine, and is therefore brought within the ambit of Parliamentary discussion this afternoon for the first time. The case for it has been made fully and strongly by my right hon. Friend. He stressed the rural side, but of course this matter has its importance also from the urban aspect. What is vital, as has been so well pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for West Dorset (Mr. Digby), what we must have in these matters, is continuity.

My hon. Friend the Member for Ripon (Mr. York) gave some statistics to show the size of this problem of applications for development from his own experience in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Perhaps I may be allowed to reinforce that illustration on a more general basis. The number of applications for development in 1946, which, for many causes—not least the personality and policy of the present Minister of Health—was not what one might call a good year, was extremely large, as can be seen from the following figures. In the administrative county of Leicestershire it was 2,450, in that of Durham 2,10o, in Somerset no fewer than 3,500, and in the administrative county of West Sussex —administratively a county, but geographically only part of a county-—it was the same large figure of 3,500. Unless this delegation is permitted, unless the terms of this Amendment t are accepted, I can see that we are likely to have a very considerable hold-up indeed in considering and dealing with these applications. We want to see the 'principle of continuity established, and we want to see to it that good and reasonable development is not frozen for reasons of administrative bottlenecks. If we are to avoid that I think this Amendment should be incorporated in the Bill. We on this side of the House, though as I have explained we are not putting it forward in any party spirit—it is a matter which carries the good will of local government circles generally—urge that the Minister should agree to this Amendment.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Town and Country Planning
(Mr. Fred Marshall)

I appreciate that this Amendment has not been put forward in any hostile or party spirit. We are dealing with a matter about which there can be honest differences of opinion. We are dealing with the period which will elapse between the passing of the Bill, or the appointed day, and the time the development plan is out, which will be three years forward. Those three years will undoubtedly be a difficult period for the planning authorities and for any one who has to do with planning generally, until the new planning authorities get thoroughly into their stride. What we have done, with the unanimous consent of those who have given the matter thought, has been to place planning functions squarely upon the shoulders of the county councils. It will be their responsibility, after consultation with the district councils, to prepare a development plan. We have to remember that that development plan is going to cover areas considerably wider than those covered by the ordinary planning schemes. Therefore, the only people who will know what is likely to be in that plan, will be the planning authority, that is, the county council. If we now allow the district councils to retain the interim develop- ment decisions, we may find that they will give decisions arid permissions which will be altogether contrary to what is likely to be in the big plan.

The right hon. Gentleman knows that one of the effects of planning up to now, has been that local planning authorities have been covering too small an area. There has not necessarily been any coordination between them and their next-door neighbours. That is the reason why we are basing these planning units on much wider areas. I think it likely that district councils, if they are to retain the power to grant interim development permissions, will act in accordance with the manner in which they have always acted. They will give those interim development permissions—unless, of course, they consult with the county councils, as is proposed by the right hon. Gentleman in the next Amendment—in accordance with their conception of planning up to the introduction of this Bill.

As I say, there can be two opinions about this. My own belief, and it is the belief of my right hon. Friend, is that, on balance, this responsibility for granting interim development permissions should be placed squarely upon the shoulders of the county councils, that is, the new planning authorities. It is inconceivable that, being responsible for carrying out that function, they will not consult with the district councils. Obviously, they will get to know what is in the minds of the district councils, and give the permissions in accordance with that knowledge. The right hon. Gentleman puts it the other way. He would have the district councils operating those interim development per' missions, and would place upon them the obligation to consult the county councils before they grant those permissions. As I have already said, my own feeling and that of my right hon. Friend is that it is far better to place the responsibility for granting such permissions on the shoulders of the new planning authority, because they will naturally be the people who, after the co-ordination of all the plans, will know what is likely to be in the new development plan.

There is one further point. If the district councils were to retain the power to give these interim development permissions, it would mean that they would have to retain their present planning staffs. We all know, of course, that there is a grave shortage of planning staffs in the country. It would mean that for three years, at any rate, the district councils would have to continue to employ those staffs. I believe that, with good will and co-operation on all sides, we shall get over this rather difficult period. I am sure that the county councils, in shouldering this new and heavy responsibility, will not fail to consult with the district councils, in order to make the right decisions during the interim period. For these reasons, I sincerely hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not press the Amendment.

8.15 p.m.

Could the hon. Gentleman say how it will be physically possible for the county councils to deal with the number of applications which will be made to them?

The county councils will, of course, have the opportunity of sending people into the districts, and no doubt they will take advantage of that. The hon. Member knows that, after the three years have elapsed, the county councils will have to delegate many of their functions to the district councils. I have no doubt, however, that, in the meantime, the county councils will get over that difficulty by nominating someone to an area to whom would-be developers can apply. I am sure that, with goodwill on all sides, they will get over these difficulties.

I am very disappointed with what the Parliamentary Secretary has said because, as has been pointed out, no party issue is involved in this matter. The real issue is, which is the more practical way of dealing with this interim period? I must say that it is not very satisfactory to be told that the county councils will be able, somehow or other, to get over the impossible burden placed upon them. I am sure that my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, who has had a very great experience in local government, does not really think that a very satisfactory solution for a difficulty of this kind. As a matter of fact, what will happen if the Government resist this Amendment is that there will be an administrative breakdown, so far as the county councils are concerned, and I think the hon. Gentleman had better face that fact. After all, he has reminded us that a great responsibility is being placed upon the county councils. Does he now propose to add to that responsibility, at a time when their attention should be given to their major responsibilities, the difficult task of dealing with countless development permissions, about which they will know nothing and for which, in point of fact, he knows that they will have insufficient staff? He has suggested that he is going to filch the staffs of the county districts to carry out this work, and, at the same time, has reminded the House that the county districts will have a great deal of work to do because of the powers delegated to them. The Parliamentary Secretary ought to look at this matter again with a view to reversing his decision. It is a matter of what is practical. What the Amendment proposes is the practical way of dealing with the matter, which is the reverse of what the Parliamentary Secretary has said.

; Speaking as a representative of a non-county borough in Essex, I must say that I have a good deal of sympathy with this Amendment. It is my opinion, and the opinion of my people, that there will be an administrative breakdown and inevitable chaos if every individual application for permission to alter a house or a shed has to be sent to the county council at Chelmsford. The thing is fantastic, and they have not the staff to deal with it Everyone who has had anything to do with housing for the last few years will know that one of our greatest obstacles has been the shortage of experienced, trained, technical staffs. In our local borough councils, the town clerk and his assistants have a personal knowledge of the applications; they do not need to look up a file on every occasion. My own borough has to deal with over 1,000 applications a year. What will happen when all applications from every borough and urban district of Essex have to go to Chelmsford, I do not know. I sincerely hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will provide some better solution to the problem than the one he has just suggested.

I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to reconsider the view which he has put forward. A county that goes forward with a development plan will not be affected; the Amendment deals only with the case where the county does not go forward with a development plan. There will be a hiatus and an administrative breakdown, and a lack of a development plan by the county while power will not have been given to the county districts to go forward. The Parliamentary Secretary has not answered the question of what is to happen in the interim period. I would illustrate the situation by supposing that one had three brigades to do a job of work, and decided to put the divisional headquarters on top of them. One would hardly say that the brigades were not to do anything until the head quarters had been established. From the point of view of actual planning, I ask that the Parliamentary Secretary should look into this matter again, in a much more favourable light.

I would reinforce the point that there will be administrative chaos, if some arrangement is not made for the interval between the county taking over and the districts giving up their job. We in our districts have had hundreds of applications for development for housing. We think they will be greatly increased in the near future. All this cannot possibly be turned over to the county council. I have been a member of a county planning committee, and of a borough planning committee. A number of hon. Members have directed the Parliamentary Secretary's attention to the absolute certainty of an administrative breakdown if some very simple machinery is not set up to get over the break in the planning arrangements. I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will think over the matter again.

I also ask the Parliamentary Secretary to remember that Members on this side of the House will be in difficulties if this matter is forced to a Division. Nothing in the Amendment raises any question of development principle at all. If it is accepted, it will not interfere with the working of the Bill, and there is nothing to make the Parliamentary Secretary dig his heels in and resist it. Members who have had a great deal of experience in local authority work are uneasy about the effect that will follow if the Amendment, or something like it, is not accepted. I add my appeal that the Parliamentary Secretary should consult his right hon. Friend. If the form of words proposed is not acceptable, another form of words should be evolved and introduced at a later stage to cover the essential points. All that is involved is a matter of practical expediency and there is a necessity for some provision of the kind.

After the appeals that have been made to him from all sides of the House the Parliamentary Secretary should reconsider this matter. In the case of the planning authority with which I am acquainted, the machinery indicated by the Government will mean that case after case, already fully considered and fully understood by that committee, will have to go miles away to a new committee which cannot be properly equipped to deal with those matters. People will have to travel after their cases, and thus great delay will be involved in cases which are on the verge of going forward.

The Parliamentary Secretary is being pressed on all sides to give way on the Amendment. I should like to say a word or two in his support and to express the hope that he will remain firm in resisting the Amendment. I completely disagree with my hon. Friend the Member for Norwich (Mr. Paton) that there is no question of principle. The question of principle is: Who, during the interim period of three years, is the responsible authority for making the survey and preparing the plan? Where is that responsibility to lie? I also claim, with other hon. Members, to have had experience of prac-

Division No. 212.

AYES.

[8.31 p.m

Agnew, Cmdr. P. GDugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)Lambert, Hon. G.
Aitken, Hon. MaxElliot, Rt. Hon. WalterLancaster, Col. C. G
Assheton, Rt. Hon. RFleming, Sqn,-Ldr. E. L.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H
Baldwin, A. E.Fletcher, W. (Bury)Linstead, H. N.
Barlow, Sir J.Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)Lipson, D. L.
Beechman, N. AGage, C.Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)
Bennett, Sir P.Galbraith, Cmdr. T D.Lucas, Major Sir J.
Bower, N.Gates, Maj. E. E.Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.George, Lady M, Lloyd (Anglesey)Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W.Glyn, Sir R.Mackeson, Brig. H. R.
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.Gridley, Sir A.Maitland, Comdr. J. W
Byers, FrankHannon, Sir P. (Moseley)Manningham-Buller, R E
Carson, E.Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)Marlowe, A. A. H
Challen, C.Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.Marples, A. E.
Clarke, Col. R. S.Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon Sir CMarshall, D. (Bodmin)
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. GHogg, Hon. Q.Marshall, S. H. (Sutton)
Conant, Maj. R. J. EHollis, M. CMaude, J. C.
Cooper-Key, E. M.Holmes, Sit J. Stanley (Harwich)Medlicott, F
Cuthbert, W. N.Howard, Hon. A.Mellor, Sir J.
Davies, Clement (Montgomery)Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J.Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)
De la Bère, R.Hurd, A.Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)
Digby, S. W.Jarvis, Sir JNeven-Spence, Sir B
Drayson, G. B.Jennings, RNield, B (Chester)
Drewe, C.Kendall, W. DO'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H

tical planning, and to me there is no question that the body responsible for making the development plan, and carrying out the survey, should also be the body completely responsible for giving the decision during the interim period. It is fantastic to suggest that the body could not make organisational arrangements in order to meet all the objections that have been raised about the numbers of applications coming in to the county. I am amazed at the suggestions that have been made by hon. Members. Hon. Members have spoken of their own local authorities. My own experience is that a competent local authority or county council can have consultations with the district councils and make adequate organisational arrangements for dealing with the situation.

Only one speech has been made in support of the Parliamentary Secretary. Neither the hon. Member who made the speech nor the Parliamentary Secretary himself has given the House any guidance on how the practical difficulties can be overcome. Those difficulties are largely geographical. Reference has been made to good will and co-operation as the only hope upon which reliance can be placed. I am sure there will be good will and co-operation in plenty, but no amount of these can overcome the results of this most unsatisfactory provision. I warmly support the Amendment and hope that it will be pressed to a Division.

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

The House divided: Ayes, 101; Noes, 260.

Orr-Ewing, I. LSmiles, Lt.-Col. Sir WWebbe, Sir H. (Abbey)
Peto, Brig. C. H. M.Smith, E. P (Ashford)Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Pensonby, Col. C. EStoddart-Scott, Col. M.White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Prescott, StanleyStrauss, H. G. (English Universities)Williams, C. (Torquay)
Rayner, Brig. R.Studholme, H. G.Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge,
Roberts, H. (Handsworth)Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)Teeling, WilliamYork, C.
Ropner, Col. L.Thornton-Kemsley, C. N
Sanderson, Sir F.Vane, W. M. FTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Shephard, S. (Newark)Wadsworth, G.Lieut.-Colonel Thorp and
Shepherd, W S. (Bucklow)Walker-Smith, D.Major Ramsey.

NOES.

Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South)Edwards, John (Blackburn)McAllister, G.
Allen, A. C, (Bosworth)Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)McEntee, V. La T.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)McGhee, H. G.
Alpass, J. H.Evans, John (Ogmore)Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell)Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)McKinlay, A. S.
Anderson, F. (Whilehaven)Ewart, R.Maclean, N. (Govan)
Attewell, H. C.Fairhurst, F.McLeavy, F.
Austin, H. LewisFernyhough, EMainwaring, W. H.
Awbery, S. S.Forman, J. C.Mallalieu, J. P. W.
Ayles, W. H.Fraser, T. (Hamilton)Mann, Mrs. J.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs BFreeman, Peter (Newport)Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)
Bacon, Miss A.Gaitskell, H T. N.Maninng, Mrs. L. (Epping)
Balfour, A.Ganley, Mrs. C. SMarquand, H. A.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.Gibson, C. W.Marshall, F. (Brightside)
Barstow, P G.Gilzean, AMedland, H M.
Barton, C.Glanville, J. E. (Consett)Mellish, R. J.
Battley, J. R.Gooch, E. GMiddleton, Mrs. L
Bechervaise, A. E.Gordan-Walker, P. CMitchison, G. R.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.Greenwood, A. W. J (Heywood)Monslow, W
Benson, G.Grenfell, D. R.Moody, A. S.
Berry, H.Grierson, E.Morley, R.
Beswick, F.Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)Morrison, Rt. Hon H. (Lewisham, E.)
Bing, G. H. C.Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)Mort, D. L
Binns, J.Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)Moyle, A.
Blyton, W. R.Guest, Dr, L. HadenNaylor, T. E.
Bottomley, A. G.Guy, W. H.Neal, H (Claycross)
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W.Haire, John E (Wycombe)Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)Hale, LeslieNicholls, H. R. (Stratford)
Braddock, T. (Mitcham)Hall, W. G.Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)
Brook, D. (Halifax)Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. RNoel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P J (Derby)
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)Hannan, W. (Maryhill)Noel-Buxton, Lady
Brown, George (Belper)Hardman, D. R.O'Brien, T.
Buchanan, G.Hardy, E. A.Oldfield, W. H
Burke, W. A.Harrison, J.Oliver, G. H.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)Paget, R. T.
Castle, Mrs. B. A.Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)
Chamberlain, R. AHerbison, Miss M.Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Champion, A. J.Hobson, C. R.Palmer, A M. F.
Chetwynd, G. R.Holman, PPargiter, G. A.
Clitherow, Dr R.House, G.Parker, J
Cobb, F. A.Hoy, J.Parkin, B. T.
Cocks, F. S.Hubbard, T.Paton, J. (Norwich)
Colman, Miss G. MHudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)Pearson, A.
Comyns, Dr. L.Hughes, H. D. (W'Iverh'pton, W.)Pearl, Capt. T. F
Cook, T. F.Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)Platts-Mills, J. F. F.
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G.Irving, W. J.Porter, E. (Warrington)
Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camberwell, N.W.)Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.Porter, G. (Leeds)
Corlett, Dr. J.Jay, D. P. T.Price, M. Philips
Corvedale, ViscountJeger, G. (Winchester)Proctor, W. T.
Dagger, G.Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)Pryde, D. J.
Daines, P.John, W.Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Davies, Edward (Burslem)Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)Ranger, J.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield)Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)Rees-Williams, D. R
Davies, Harold (Leek)Keenan, W.Reeves, J.
Davies, Hadyn (St. Pancras, S.W.)Kenyon, CReid, T. (Swindon)
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. ERidealgh, Mrs. M.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Kinley, J.Robens, A.
Deer, G.Kirby, B. VRoberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Delargy, H. J.Lavers, S.Ross, William (Kilmarnock)
Diamond, J.Lawson, Rt. Hon J. JRoyle, C.
Dobbie, W.Lee, F. (Hulme)Sargood, R
Dodds, N. N.Leonard, WScollan, T.
Donovan, T.Leslie, J. RShackleton, E. A A
Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)Levy, B. W.Sharp, Granville
Dumpleton, C. W.Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)Shurmer, P
Durbin, E. F. M.Lewis, T. (Southampton)Silkin, Rt. Hon. L.
Dye, S.Lipton, Lt.-Col. MSilverman, J. (Erdington)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. CLogan, D. G.Silverman, S S. (Nelson)
Edelman, M.Lyne, A. W.Simmons, C J.
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)McAdam, WSmith, C (Colchester)

Smith, Ellis (Stoke)Thurtle, ErnestWilkes, L.
Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)Titterington, M. FWilkins, W. A.
Snow, Capt. J. WTolley, L.Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Sorensen, R. WTurner-Samuels, M.Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Stamford, W.Ungoed-Thomas, L.Williams, Rt. Hon. T (Don Valley)
Steele, T.Vernon, Maj. W. F.Williamson, T.
Stephen, C.Viant, S. P.Wills, Mrs. E. A
Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)Walkden, E.Woodburn, A.
Stubbs, A. E.Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)Woods, G. S.
Summerskill, Dr. EdithWarbey, W. N.Wyatt, W.
Swingler, S.Watson, W. M.Yates, V. F.
Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)Weitzman, D.Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)Wells, P. L. (Faversham)Zilliacus, K.
Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)West, D. G.TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)Mr Collindridge and
Thomas, George (Cardiff)Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.Mr. Popplewell.

I beg to move, in page 11, line 27, after "buildings." to insert:

"other than agricultural buildings, defined in Section two of the Rating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act, 1928."
Subsection (3, a) of this Clause provides that where permission is granted for the extension, alteration or erection of a building, the approval of the local planning authority may be required with respect to the design or external appearance. The purpose of the Amendment is to ensure that the approval of the local authority to the design and external appearance of buildings shall not be extended to agricultural buildings other than farm dwelling houses. We grant that the design of a farmhouse which is being erected might reasonably be subjected to the aesthetic control of the planning authority, but we say that the planning authority ought not to have power to regard the aesthetic appearance of farm buildings and to say, for instance, that a Dutch barn on a farm or a silo ought not to be allowed because its appearance is utilitarian and not in accordance with the aesthetic standards of the local planning authority concerned. The words in the Amendment are taken from the Rating and Valuation Apportionment Act, 1928, and they are imported because they specifically exclude farm dwelling houses.

I am sorry this Amendment has been moved. I think we all agree that farm buildings can be a very beautiful feature of the rural landscape. I, and many other hon. Members, no doubt, have enjoyed their beautiful lines and colour, and the way in which they fall into the general tone of the landscape. That effect may have been achieved not by conscious effort but by development. It certainly exists, and it is one of the grandest features of the English countryside. What the Amendment seeks to do is to remove from all control the design of farm buildings. It means that any farmer can erect any kind of an old shack, corrugated iron and wooden places, and all sorts of things, irrespective of their effect on the landscape. I should have thought that anyone interested in farming would have been rather eager to preserve a fine old tradition in farm buildings, and would have wished the design of those farm buildings to be submitted to control. We believe that control of design should be exerted. The designs of course, will be submitted to the agricultural committees concerned, and not to the local authorities. That should satisfy the hon. Member for West Aberdeen (Mr. Thornton-Kemsley), and induce him to withdraw the Amendment. We believe that in the intersts of the rural landscape, the design of farm buildings should be controlled in order to preserve and increase the beauty of future buildings, and, for that reason, we cannot agree to the Amendment.

8.45 p.m.

I very much hope that my hon. Friend will not withdraw this Amendment. Speaking as an owner-occupier in a small way, I am not averse to control, as control, but I am very keen on keeping planners' noses out of the farmyard as much as possible. [Laughter.] I daresay hon. Members opposite are laughing at the thought of instances of crass ignorance on the part of inspectors and officials who are sent out to deal with questions that arise on farms. At the present time a neighbour of mine is trying to build a new bull house. First, he was sent a questionnaire containing 52 questions, one of which asked how many w.c.'s he proposed to provide. In addition to that, a young inspector came down and asked him what the arrangements for milking would be. I anticipate, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, that you are about to rule me out of Order, so I will not continue with that. I feel, however, that my point that inspectors who just do not know their jobs so often come down to afflict farmers is an important one. For that reason, it would be a very good thing for agriculture if the Minister, in his courteous way, would accept this Amendment.

I quite realise the difficulty in which the Minister finds himself. The Parliamentary Secretary mentioned the difficulty in passing, namely, that he wishes to prevent the erection of the unsuitable and non-utilitarian hovels into which animals are sometimes put. I think my hon. Friends are thoroughly in agreement with him there. Our fear—and it is a fear which is shared by practically everybody who has anything to do with the erection of farm buildings—is that the planning authority will be influenced against what I might describe as a new idea in farm buildings. Today there are lines of thought on the subject of farm buildings which diverge completely from the old-fashioned idea of how farm buildings should be built. For example, there is a completely new trend of thought, that so far as possible the entire farm should be put under one roof. That means a vast expansion and a large span, and it may well be that certain members of the planning authority would consider it to be unsightly, and would consider that too small a span would be very much more beautiful. There we have the aesthetic man and the practical man at variance. We want to avoid the amenity man winning the day over the man who holds the new ideas which are coming into the agricultural industry. If the Bill remains without this Amendment there is every possibility of the town planner winning the day. Although I have admitted that there are difficulties in our Amendment, I cannot feel that there are any safeguards in the Bill to stop the town planner preventing experiment and development along the best lines in providing new farm buildings, and in experimenting along the lines which we desire.

I, too, realise that the Minister has to face certain difficulties in accepting this Amendment. The House should appreciate, however that the arguments which the Parliament ary Secretary used are contradictory. At the outset of his speech he claimed, I think rightly, that a considerable measure of beauty is the general rule for the farm buildings of this country. In the vase majority of cases those farm building have been designed and constructed without any measure of control. His argument went to show that it could be left to the common sense of farmers to ensure that their buildings are not unsightly. I hope, in view of what has been said, and particularly in view of the remarks just made by my hon. Friend the Member for Ripon (Mr. York)—who quite rightly pointed out the trend of thought which is being concentrated on the design of farm buildings—that we shall have another word from the Minister before we leave this Amendment.

I much appreciate the spirit in which this particular Amendment is being discussed. As several hon. Gentlemen have said, there is a conflict of view here. On the one hand, we are anxious to safeguard the beauty of the countryside. That is one of our most precious possessions, and it is something which every hon. Member of this House is anxious to see preserved to the fullest possible extent. That can only be done by a measure of control. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] If we allow people to build freely, without any control at all, we know what we may expect in certain quarters. We may expect shacks, and tin roofs, and all kinds of monstrosities perpetrated in some of the most beautiful parts of the country.

The right hon. Gentleman has just made a most dangerous statement. He has just said we may expect tin roofs. That is the very point we were making. We are frightened that the planners will put up tin roofs, and that half of the new buildings will have them.

I think that my broad statement is true, and that everyone who has given consideration to the matter would agree that, without some form of control, there is a danger that the beauty of the countryside will be spoiled. It has to be controlled. I think that most speakers have recognised that. Even the hon. and gallant Member for Totnes (Brigadier Rayner) has recognised that there has to be some control, only he does not want inspectors in his farmyard. Is it possible to draw a line as between certain farm buildings and others? It seems to me that there is a possible line of demarcation that can be made by regulation or by development order—a purely temporary structure, for instance. Obviously, if it were only a temporary structure one would not want to impose planning control on it; although I recognise that it could have a very serious effect on the amenities. But if it should be a temporary building, and is licensed as such there would be no need to exercise planning control. Possibly there are other types of buildings which may be exempted from control similarly. But, as I say, that can be done by regulation.

I agree with the hon. Member for Ripon (Mr. York) that there should not be any arbitrary censorship of taste. I wholly agree with him that, if a building serves its purpose, it should not be rejected merely because it does not conform to the aesthetic views of the planning authority. One has safeguards against that. One safeguard is the appeal to the Ministry. There is an appeal, and at the Ministry one has a uniform code and, I hope, a reasonable code. The Minister is answerable to Parliament, and if he adopted the policy of refusing permission to put up a building because that happened to be of a particular design which he did not like, he would soon hear about it in this House—quite rightly. That is one form of restriction on the activities of the members of the planning authorities.

Another suggestion is that we might ask that the planning authorities should be required to consult the agricultural executive committees, which are composed of practical people who realise the needs of the farming industry. I should be prepared to consider safeguards of that kind. I suggest that there must be some form of general control to prevent the worst abuses of building in rural areas. The House will agree that almost more harm can be done by bad building in a rural area than in an urban area. For those reasons, I hope that the Amendment will not be pressed. I give the House the assurance that the safeguards put forward will be seriously considered and provided for in the regulations, and that the farming community need have no fear of any im- proper interference with their legitimate activities on the score of planning.

I am sure that every Member in the House is anxious to preserve the amenities and attractions of the countryside—this green and pleasant land of England. I hope that after the depredations of the Minister it will still remain a green and pleasant land. I have much sympathy with the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman in regard to the local agricultural committees and the National Farmers' Union, and I hope that by these means we can get rid of the difficulty of spoiling agricultural buildings. Anyone who is familiar with the Cotswolds will know how important it is to preserve those beautiful buildings, which go back in the ages and have survived the difficulties of the times. Those buildings and the traditions they represent ought to be preserved in the days in which we live. I hope that the Minister will accept the Amendment, and that he will do everything he possibly can in his capacity as Minister responsible for the Act when this horrible, atrocious and detestable Bill is passed, to preserve all the amenities of the countryside. He will have the sympathy of the House in giving effect to the principles he has just enunciated in his speech.

I was not very convinced by the Minister's speech, because it largely amounted to a contradiction. In the first place, he praised the traditional building in the countryside, and then went on to say that in order to preserve that tradition it was necessary to have some control, without showing any reason why it was likely to fall by the wayside without control. He made no complaint at all that the standard of building was falling. What his control will mean is simply further obstacles being put in the way of getting permission from the many authorities before one can build. It means further obstacles and further delay. I was not very convinced when he said he was going to call in aid the agricultural executive committees. We all hope that they are composed of practical farmers, but farming is a very different thing from reading plans. As every architect knows, a client can easily be taken in by putting the right colour on a plan. It is not easy for amateur architects to read plans. I do not think this is at all a suitable task to give to members of the agricultural executive committees. The Minister says that he wants this control, but he has already got the control under the by-laws, and the local surveyors and staff are, surely the best people to assess whether agricultural buildings are suitable or not for their purpose. It is surely unnecessary to put on a further control above what is already there and necessary.

9.0 p.m.

I believe there is considerable agreement in the House that we want to preserve the amenities of the countryside. As a general rule, the countryman has a much better aesthetic taste than a townsman. A great handicap today to one wishing to put up a building is not only getting the required materials, but the number of plans which have to be passed. That is holding up the production of food as never before. If officials are required to look at the buildings further development of the countryside will be held up, and although I welcome the Minister's statement I think we had better leave the countrymen to look after these matters, and allow them to get on. Whether we divide or not on this Amendment, I hope that we shall be able to prevent this further imposition on the farmers.

We have had a useful, though short, discussion on this Amendment, and as the Minister has gone a long way to allay our fears, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment made: In page 11, line 37, leave out from the beginning, to "for," in line 38.—[ Mr. Silkin.]

I beg to move, in page 11. line 42, at the end, to insert:

"a development order may direct that any enactment passed before the passing of this Act, or any regulations, orders or bye-laws made (whether before or after the passing of this Act) under any such enactment, shall not apply to any development specified in the order, or shall apply thereto subject to such modifications as may be so specified."
These words provide that a development order may suspend an enactment or modify an enactment, regulations, orders, or by-laws for the purpose of improving development. The words largely follow the form which is common to other Measures, although there is a slight extension so that there may be modifications of an enactment.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 12, line 6, leave out "suspending," and insert "excluding or modifying."—[ Mr. Silkin.]

I beg to move, in page 13, line 2, to leave out from "prescribing," to the second "the."

I suppose as time goes on one's capacity for surprise at what the Socialist Government and the Socialist Party might do becomes reduced. But I confess that I find it surprising, in a matter of this sort; that the right hon. Gentleman should be seeking to introduce nothing more and nothing less than degrees of class distinction. I suppose it is really in conformity with recent utterances of the Minister of Fuel and Power. If hon. Members look at this Clause they will see that, by it, provision may be made by a development order for prescribing the classes of persons by whom" application may be made to the local planning authority for permission to develop land. Who is to be excluded from this? Are the Communist Party to be excluded?

Is the Communist Party to be one of the classes of persons by whom no application can be made for permission to develop land?

The hon. and learned Gentleman has referred to my party. As a great landowner, I will fight to the last ditch to preserve my rights.

The hon. Member has used the right words in referring to a ditch and he might find himself in it. It is right that we should have an answer on the question of why we are to have class distinctions in a Bill of this sort. What classes are to be excluded? Why is this power sought to differentiate between different categories of persons? It is right that, in different areas, permission should be granted on different principles. In one area you may grant permission more readily for the building of factories, than for the building of houses. But why should the classes of persons who apply for permission be prescribed? I do not know why the right hon. Gentleman inserted these words. But I do pray in aid in support of this Amendment, to leave out the words "classes of persons by whom," the attitude adopted by the Joint Under-Secretary for Scotland who, when the same Amendment was moved before a Committee, accepted it. I hope the right hon. Gentleman, adhering to the principle of collective responsibility, will follow the precedent set by his Scottish colleagues, and even at this late hour, in spite of the imminent operation of the Guillotine, will announce that he intends to accept the Amendment and follow the example so well set to him across the Border. If he does so, I am sure he will receive the approval of the Scottish Members even though some belong to the Communist Party.

These words were put in for a purpose, but not for the purpose which the hon. and learned Member, suggests. There is no suggestion here of class differentiation. It is necessary to ensure that people who make applications for development should have some interest in the proposed land, or should have the possibility of carrying out development. It is reasonable that the time of local planning authorities should not be taken up in dealing with applications for development, in respect of land which the person who is making the application has no interest in, or is not likely to have any interest in.

Does the right hon. Gentleman really contemplate that in these days people are so fond of filling in forms that persons who have no interest in development will fill in applications and send them to local authorities in order to obtain permission to develop land which does not belong to them?

The hon. and learned Gentleman would be surprised at the number of people who seem to enjoy doing so, and who have possibly a remote hope or flimsy expectation that somehow they will assume an interest in the property or that they may he able to dispose of a consent. It may well be that a person having a valid consent may think that he has something which is negotiable, and may then proceed to carry on business on the basis that he has consent to carry out development in respect of land in which he has no interest. These words are inserted in order to enable the Minister to lay down that in order that an application may be made a person should have some kind of interest. If the hon. and learned Gentleman says that the persons who have no interest will never apply, then these words do no harm, but in fact experience has shown that there is a certain kind of speculative interest in what a local authority may be prepared to do, and I think the words are worth having in the Bill.

The right hon. Gentleman has not, I think, really given an answer to my hon. and learned Friend. While I do not suspect the Minister of any sinister intention I think he has inserted words which would enable a Minister in his place who had a sinister intention to work great mischief. Although all the right hon. Gentleman wishes to do is to ensure that an applicant has a sufficient interest in the land, the words he has put in the Bill would enable him to exclude classes of persons even if they had a sufficient interest in the land. Although I fully accept that that is not in the least the Minister's intention, it is a possibility tinder the words of the Bill as they stand, and in that respect they are very much too wide. I think also that the Minister slightly misled the House—I am quite sure inadvertently—in suggesting that somebody with no sufficient interest might obtain a consent in which he could then trade. The ability to apply for something is not equivalent to the ability to obtain it, and it would be a perfectly proper question to ask any applicant to state what his interest in the land was. If a person had no interest, then, even though he could make an application, there would be no chance of his application succeeding.

My main point is that although the right hon. Gentleman's intention is the perfectly innocent one he says it is—which, of course, I accept—he will nevertheless see that the actual words of the Bill as they stand are hopelessly too wide because they would enable him, or anybody in his position, to exclude people who had an interest in the land and who could very properly claim to make an application. Therefore, though he has no intention himself of making a wrong use of this provision, I hope he will reconsider the words and introduce more appropriate ones.

9.15 p.m.

I think hon. Members on the other side are entirely exaggerating the character of this proposal. It should be made clear that the classes of persons here mentioned bear no relation to the classes of society described by hon. Members opposite. Classes of persons means particular individuals, and if the Minister had used the word "person" in describing the classes there would have been no difficulty.

There would have been exactly the same trouble, because there is no reason why the Minister should be able to exclude any one from making an application except for a good reason. If he wants to exclude people who have no interest in the land, that would be a good reason, but under the words in the Clause he would be able to exclude anybody.

If the hon. and learned Gentleman stretches a point in that manner, he could stretch it until the whole thing became ridiculous. No Bill passes through the House into which legal men cannot introduce arguments of that kind. The obvious thing is that, at a particular moment, it may be necessary to exclude certain persons who have no direct interest in the particular development, but the reason why the hon. and learned Gentleman has raised this matter, is because at the mention of the word "class" the Tory Party get themselves into difficulties. I say that they are exaggerating the whole thing. I hope that only persons of value to a development plan will be allowed to participate. May I in conclusion express the hope that hon. Members on the other side will have a plan for tonight, and that we will not have the awful debacle which we had a couple of weeks ago?

This is a point to which we drew attention in Standing Committee, and I confess that when I moved the Amendment at the time, I was not sufficiently class conscious to understand what was meant by the various classes described in this Bill. I understand that, in my absence, the Minister has defended the proposals in the Bill and has given his reason for desiring a retention of these words. If is a very remarkable thing— and perhaps this will interest the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher)—that in a similar Bill going through the Scottish Grand Committee the Government have accepted this Amendment which we are now moving. Whether it is that Scotland is infinitely less class-conscious than England or whether the logic which has grown up and endured in that fertile and lovely country compels people to see the justice of this argument, I do not know, but I cannot conceive if it is proper in Scotland to adopt this it would not be equally proper for England to follow such an example.

I do not like the Bill describing classes and saying that according to the class to which a person belongs, he shall be allowed this or that opportunity of making an application or exercising his democratic rights. As an example I wholly dissent from the view, which is apparently held by His Majesty's Government, that we on this side of the House, because we belong to a certain class politically, are not to be allowed adequate opportunity to express ourselves on this Bill. When 9.30 comes we will be denied by the action of those who sit opposite us, any further participation in the discussion of this matter at this stage.

That shows quite clearly the dangers of the legislation we are now considering, because if the Government can impose this Guillotine procedure on an institution as old and as famous as Parliament, there is no saying what the Minister might do when he has the power to distinguish between classes who make an application. We have clearly been rushed into the totalitarian age, and it is with the greatest suspicion that we view this step by the Minister to get the population divided into two sections, those who are allowed freedom to make application for planning consent and those who must have the Guillotine procedure applied to them. There may be two opinions about this matter. Although the right hon. Gentleman regards us on this side of the House, according to the statements of his colleagues, as not being capable of discussing the Bill at proper length, he has, nevertheless, attempted to meet us on many points. I am grateful for that consideration.

The right hon. Gentleman appears to be discussing something other than the Amendment which is before the House.

I may perhaps be going a little wide of the subject matter, but I am dealing with the attempt to differentiate among sections of the population called classes, in their right to freedom of speech and to make application for planning. I was using that as an illustration of the action of His Majesty's Government at the present time in truncating our discussions to this deplorable extent. As I have levelled that criticism against the Government I humbly suggest that my remarks were not perhaps so much out of Order. It might be of interest to the House to know that many of the succeeding Government Amendments will be concessions to our point of view.

The point we have to decide is whether to permit the Bill to go forward with the invidious segregation of people who apply for development into different classes. I am all against that. If the Minister has further opportunity to consider the matter I hope he will come to the conclusion that in the planning world, if not in Parliament, all people are equal and that planning ought to achieve the greatest good of the greatest number irrespective of the class of the community to which they belong. One of the objects of good planning should be to ensure that someone in a favoured position of ownership or possession of land should not use his

Division No. 213.]

AYES.

[9.27 p.m.

Adams, Richard (Balham)Blyton, W. RCorlett, Dr. J.
Adams, W T. (Hammersmith South) Bottomley, A. G.Corvedale, Viscount
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)Bowden, Fig.-Off, H. W.Daggar, G.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Bowen, R.Daines, P.
Alpass, J H.Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)Davies, Clement (Montgomery)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell)Braddock, T. (Mitcham)Davies, Edward (Burslem)
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven)Braman, E. A.Davies, Ernest (Enfield)
Attewell, H. C.Brook, D. (Halifax)Davies, Harold (Leek)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. RBrooks, T. J. (Rothwell)Davies, Hadyn (St. Pancras, S.W.)
Austin, H. LewisBrown, George (Belper)Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)
Awbery, S. S.Bruce, Maj. D. W TDeer, G.
Ayles, W. H.Buchanan, G.Delargy, H. J.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs BBurke, W. A.Diamond, J.
Bacon, Miss A.Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)Dobbie, W.
Baird J.Byers, FrankDodds, N. N
Balfour, A.Castle, Mrs. B. A.Donovan, T.
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. JChamberlain, R. A.Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich)
Barstow, P. GChampion, A. J.Dumpleton, C. W
Barton, C.Chetwynd, G. R.Durbin, E. F. M.
Battley, J. R.Clitherow, Dr. R.Dye, S.
Bechervaise, A. ECobb, F. A.Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C
Bellenger, Rt Hon. F. J.Cocks, F. S.Edelman, M.
Benson, G.Collindridge, F.Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)
Berry, H.Colman, Miss G. M.Edwards, John (Blackburn)
Beswick, F.Comyns, Dr. L.Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel)
Bing, G. H. CCook, T. F.Evans, John (Ogmore)
Binns, J.Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G.Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)
Blackburn, A. RCorbel, Mrs. F. K. (Camberwell, N.W.)Ewart, R.

temporary position to oppress people less numerically strong than himself and less favourably situated. Only by allowing all sections of the people to make proper application to the Minister will the planning authorities ultimately secure that equality of consideration which will yield the total result of planning for the nation as a whole.

If there were a continuation in the planning world of this invidious distinction between those who are given an opportunity to express themselves and those who are not, such as has been evidenced in our proceedings here, I should deplore it. I hope that the House will come to the conclusion that it is dealing with a matter which lies very close to the roots of our planning responsibilities. Hon. Members opposite exult for the moment because their numbers are temporarily large. It may not always be so. They ought to use their last endeavours on this procedure to support us in moving this Amendment, and in securing for the future that all classes of people will have an equal chance to make applications for planning permissions, and that, equally, all persons who are elected to this Parliament will have a proper chance of expressing their opinion on all matters of public importance.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 297; Noes, 114.

Fairhurst, F.Lipson, D. L.Shackleton, E. A. A
Fernyhough, E.Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.Sharp, Granville
Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)Logan, D. G. Shurmer, P
Forman, J. C.Lyne, A. W.Silkin, Rt. Hon. L
Foster, W. (Wigan)McAdam, WSilverman, J. (Erdington)
Fraser, T. (Hamilton)McAllister, G.Silverman, S S. (Nelson)
Freeman, Peter (Newport)McEntee, V. La TSimmons, C. J.
Gaitskell, H. T. NMcGhee, H. GSkeffington, A. M
Gallacher, W.Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.)Skinnard, F. W.
Ganley, Mrs. C. S.McKinlay, A. S.Smith, C (Colchester)
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey)Maclean, N. (Govan)Smith, Ellis (Stoke)
Gibbins, J.McLeavy, F.Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Gibson, C. W.Macpherson, T. (Romford)Solley, L. J.
Gilzean, A.Mainwaring, W. H.Sorensen, R. W
Glanville, J. E (Consett)Mallalieu, J. P. W.Soskice, Maj. Sir F
Gooch, E. G.Mann, Mrs. J.Sparks, J. A.
Goodrich, H. E.Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)Stamford, W.
Gordon-Walker, P. CManning, Mrs. L, (Epping)Steele, T.
Greenwood, A. W. J (Heywood)Marquand, H. A.Stephen, C.
Grenfell, D. RMarshall, F. (Brightside)Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Grey, C. F.Martin, J. H.Stubbs, A. E.
Grierson, E.Medland, H. MSummerskill, Dr. Edith
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)Mellish, R. J.Swingler, S.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)Middleton, Mrs. L.Symonds, A. L.
Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)Mitchison, G. R.Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Guest, Dr. L. HadenMonslow, W.Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Guy, W. H.Moody, A. S.Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Haire, John E. (Wycombe)Morley, R.Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Hale, LeslieMorris, Hopkin (Carmarthen)Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. RMoyle, A.Thomas, I. O (Wrekin)
Hannan, W. (Maryhill)Murray, J. DThomas, George (Cardiff)
Hardman, D. R.Naylor, T. E.Thomson, Rt. Hn. G R (Ed'b'gh, E.)
Hardy, E. A.Neal, H. (Claycross)Thurtle, Ernest
Harrison, J.Nichol, Mrs M. E. (Bradford, N.)Titterington, M. F.
Hastings, Dr. SomervilleNicholls, H R. (Stratford)Tolley, L.
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)Turner-Samuels, M
Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J (Derby)Ungoed-Thomas, L
Herbison, Miss M.Noel-Buxton, LadyVernon, Maj. W. F
Hobson, C. R.O'Brien, T.Viant, S. P.
Holman, P.Oldfield, W. HWadsworth, G.
Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)Oliver, G. HWalkden, E.
House, G.Paget, R. TWalker, G. H.
Hoy, J.Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Hubbard, T.Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)Warbey, W. N.
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)Palmer, A. M. F.Watson, W. M.
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Pargiter, G. AWebb, M. (Bradford, C.)
Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.)Parker, JWeitzman, D.
Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)Parkin, B. T.Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Irving, W. J.Paton, J. (Norwich)Wells, W. T (Walsall)
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.Pearson, A.West, D. G.
Jay, D. P. T.Peart, Capt. T. F.Westwood, Rt. Hon. J.
Jeger, G. (Winchester)Piratin, P.White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)Platts-Mills, J. F. F.Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W
John, W.Porter, E. (Warrington)Wilkes, L.
Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)Porter, G. (Leeds)Wilkins, W. A.
Jones, J. H. (Bolton)Price, M. PhilipsWilley, F. T (Sonderland)
Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)Proctor, W. T.Williams, D J. (Neath)
Keenan, W.Pryde, D. J.Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Kendall, W. DPursey, Cmdr. H.Williams, Rt. Hon. T (Don Valley)
Kenyon, CRanger, J.Williamson, T.
King, E. M.Rees-Williams, D. RWills, Mrs. E. A
Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.Reeves, J. Woodburn, A
Kinley, J.Reid, T. (Swindon)Woods, G. S
Kirby, B. V.Rhodes, H.Wyatt, W.
Lavers, S.Ridealgh, Mrs. M.Yates, V. F
Lee, F. (Hulme)Robens, A.Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Leonard, W.Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Leslie, J. RRoberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)Zilliacus, K.
Lever, N. HRoss, William (Kilmarnock)
Levy, B. W.Royle, C.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Lewis, A W. J. (Upton)Sargood, RMr. Snow and Mr. Popplewell.
Lewis, T. (Southampton)Scollan, T.

NOES.

Agnew, Cmdr. P. GBraithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G.Davidson, Viscountess
Aitken, Hon. MaxBromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. WDe la Bère, R.
Amory, D. HeathcoatBuchan-Hepburn, P. G T.Digby, S. W.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. RCarson, EDrayson, G. B
Baldwin, A. E.Challen, C.Drewe, C.
Barlow, Sir J.Clarke, Col. R. SDugdale, Maj. Sir T (Richmond)
Bennett, Sir PClifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. GEccles, D. M.
Birch, NigelConant, Maj. R. J. EEden, Rt. Hon. A.
Bower, N.Cooper-Key, E. MElliot, Rt. Hon. Walter
Boyd-Carpenter, J. ACuthbert, W. NErroll, F. J.

Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L.Law, Rt Hon. R. K.Ramsay, Maj. S.
Fletcher, W. (Bury)Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. HRayner, Brig. R.
Foster, J. G. (Northwich)Linstead, H. N.Roberts, H. (Handsworth)
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. MLow, Brig. A. R. W.Ropner, Col. L.
Gage, C.Lucas, Major Sir J.Sanderson, Sir F.
Galbraith, Cmdr. T D.Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.Shephard, S. (Newark)
Gates, Maj. E. EMacDonald, Sir M. (Inverness)Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W
Glyn, Sir R.Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight)Smith, E. P (Ashford)
Gridley, Sir AMackeson, Brig. H. R.Spearman, A. C. M.
Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley)Maitland, Comdr. J. W.Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)Manningham-Buller, R. EStrauss, H. G. (English Universities)
Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V.Marlowe, A. A. H.Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir CMarples, A. E.Taylor, Vice-Adm. F. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)
Hinchingbrooke, ViscountMarshall, D. (Bodmin)Teeling, William
Hogg, Hon. QMarshall, S. H. (Sutton)Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Hollis, M. CMedlicott, F.Thornton-Kemsley, C. N
Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich)Mellor, Sir J.Vane, W. M. F.
Hope, Lord J.Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)Walker-Smith, D.
Howard, Hon A.Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester)Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)
Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport)Neven-Spence, Sir B.Wheatley, Colonel M. J
Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J.Nield, B (Chester)White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Hurd, ANoble, Comdr. A. H. PWilliams, C. (Torquay)
Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.)O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir HWilliams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Jarvis, Sir J.Orr-Ewing, I. L.Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Jennings, R.Peto, Brig. C. H. M.York, C.
Lambert, Hon G.Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Lancaster, Col. C G.Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Langford-Holt, JPrescott, StanleyMr. Studholme and
Lieut.-Colonel Thorp.

It being after half-past Nine o'Clock, Mr. SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the Order made upon 3rd March, successively to put forthwith the Questions on Amendments moved by the Government of which notice had been given.