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Eighth Schedule—(Orders Giving Effect To Schemes)

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 23 July 1947

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

Lords Amendment: In page 142, line 52, leave out from "cause" to end of line 3 on page 143, and insert:

"in the case of a scheme under Part IV of this Act, a public local inquiry, or, in any other case, an inquiry, to be held with respect thereto by a person who is not a servant or officer of the Minister."

I beg to move, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

I do not think that the House will want me to elaborate this Amendment at this stage, but if it is discussed later on, I will make a further reply. The point, simply is this: in any local inquiry which is held under the Bill, the Lords Amendment provides that the person holding that inquiry shall not be a servant or officer of the Minister. The Amendment also provides that the report shall be published and that the Commission and any objector are to appear at the inquiry and be subject to cross-examination. We disagree with the Lords Amendment on what we consider good constitutional grounds. So far as I know every Department of State, when it holds public inquiries into matters of importance, on which the Minister has to adjudicate, and where other parties are concerned, sometimes invites one of its senior officials to hold the inquiry and advise the Minister.

That is the procedure which Conservative ministers, as well as Labour ministers, have carried out, and it has been found to work exceedingly satisfactorily. These are inquiries into matters in which the Minister is not a party. He has to decide in this case between the Commission and an outside body. It is quite wrong to prevent the Minister choosing a senior servant in his Department to hold an inquiry, if he desires to do so. We also say it is wrong to force the publication of the report of the inquiry. The value of such an inquiry would be much less if it were known that that report was to be published. We also say that it is wrong that the Commission should be forced to give evidence. If it has evidence, and desires to give it, it will do so. But to force it to give evidence when the Commission think that undesirable would be wrong. For these reasons, we disagree with the Amendment, and ask the House to support us in this Motion.

On a point of Order. Are we discussing not only line 52, but some of the Amendments which follow?

The Parliamentary Secretary was speaking to the Amendment to page 142, line 52, but I suggest that it is convenient to consider also the following Lords Amendments in line 3, lines 7 to 12, and line 14.

The Parliamentary Secretary has made a rather abbreviated statement on these Amendments, to which we attach much importance. There are some rather special features about these Amendments. By no means the least is the fact that they are the last of the major Amendments we are to discuss today. This is the first time that the Eighth Schedule has been discussed by us. Therefore I do not think it unreasonable, at this rather extraordinary hour—I do not know whether it is a late hour or an early hour—that we should give some attention to these matters. They were given careful attention in another place and it should be realised before we part with this stage of the Bill that these inquiries are of very great importance and affect very large numbers of people.

There are the schemes for passenger road transport. From time to time we have discussed the schemes the Government have in mind for passenger road transport and they have given very vague answers, because they state, quite frankly and fairly, that the schemes are not highly developed. Inquiries into the schemes are of very great importance and will affect every person who uses road transport for business or pleasure. I have no doubt that my hon. Friend the Member for Montrose Burghs (Mr. Maclay) will be saying something about docks and harbours. I have nothing to say on that, except that the schemes will affect an enormous number of people, from shipowners to stevedores, every type of person connected with the export trade. If we are to have inquiries of this sort we should be very careful to see how they are set up and conducted.

9.30 a.m.

It is not just a small point, but a question of an inquiry over the whole, broad field of these two matters. Though the Minister himself—and this is the important thing—will make the decision as a result of these inquiries, the action that he takes is purely administrative. That, I believe, is the whole argument of the Government. The inquiries are themselves of a quasi-judicial nature, and it is essential, if they are to be conducted properly, that witnesses who appear should be properly examined and, if necessary, cross-examined. Therefore, we take exception to the rather light way in which the Parliamentary Secretary dealt with the question of the Commission's giving evidence on these matters. I think I am right in saying that the precedent for this is the formation of the Clyde Port Trust, which is, I believe, conducted by Lord Cooper, and it is on the lines of that inquiry that we want these inquiries to take place. That inquiry was very carefully conducted, and at the end of it agreement was reached, and everybody was satisfied with what took place. I suggest that it is very important that not only should the Minister give a decision that is right, but that the people who have to work with him should feel that they have had their say, and have played their parts in reaching the right decision. I know the right hon. Gentleman has that in mind, just as much as we have on this side; and so there is not a great deal between us on this Amendment. It is not a party matter, but a matter of technical administration

I should like, briefly, to submit the three points I want to make with regard to this matter. First, we feel that the man who holds the inquiry should be an independent person. I do not think that that can be considered by anybody in any part of the House as unreasonable. What the Parliamentary Secretary says, quite rightly, is that it is possible for the Minister to choose a civil servant, somebody capable of taking this inquiry; although that may be so, I think it would be wrong that somebody in the Minister's employ should be the person to take the inquiry. Fundamentally, it is wrong that the Minister should set up the court, be his own judge, and say what witnesses are to be admitted. Though he may get just as good a chairman from the Civil Service, it would be better for the whole conduct of the inquiry if the person who presides is an independent person.

Second, the case should be clearly stated. It is most important that the ca se should be put fairly and squarely, that either side should have the chance o cross-examine the other. Third, the report should be published; I cannot quite see why there should not be publication. I understand that the inquiries are to take place more or less in public, that anybody who wants to listen will be allowed to do so, and that the report will be published for the people concerned. I understand that the only objection to publication is that it might force the Minister's servants to render confidential reports to him that would have to be made public. That is not our intention. Our intention is that when the inquiry has taken place, and when the public have been allowed in—and I understand there will be fairly wide circulation of the proceedings—the proceedings should to generally available. If there is nothing to hide, I do not see why the Government should take exception to this Amendment. But if there is anything secrer, and the proceedings are not held in public, then suspicions will arise. These three points are not matters of great and sweeping principle, but we attach great importance to them, and, in view of the somewhat narrow difference between the Government and ourselves, I would urge that they should be reconsidered.

My hon. Friend the hon. Member for Oswestry (Mr. Poole) put with admirable clarity the main points which we would wish to cover in our case. I should like to deal more specifically with the ports and docks' side and the inquiries into the kind of scheme. The Minister, at another stage, produced an Amendment which meant that consultation between the Commission and the interested parties was very complete, and it might be argued that consultation was so good that it took away most of our worries. I do not think that that necessarily follows, because in making a scheme it is laid down that

"The Commission may, with a view to securing the efficient and economical development, maintenance or management of any trade harbour or group of trade harbours, prepare, in consultation with the persons theretofore carrying on harbour undertakings in or in connection with the harbour or group of harbours and with such bodies or persons as the Commission may consider to be properly representative of shipping and traders actually using, and of workers actually employed in, the harbour or group of harbours, and submit to the Minister a scheme providing for all or any of the following matters…"
It may be said that that is extremely comprehensive in regard to consultation, and that if agreement is reached between all those parties there is chance of real substantial agreement. But we must remember that there are others who should be consulted, such as local authorities, whose property lies behind a port or harbour. Where there is objection which comes under special Parliamentary procedure, surely it is reasonable to suggest that the public inquiry should be one which would command the complete confidence of everybody who can possibly be concerned. I agree that on this matter there is not much between us and the Government. We are trying to get procedure to work smoothly, as far as possible, because if any ill-feeling is left it will do enormous harm. The Parliamentary Secretary made what seemed to me a very surprising remark when he said it had been common practice in the past for Ministers to appoint their own men to handle these inquiries. I must submit that in this kind of Bill there is a new kind of scheme, and I do not think that before this Government came into power there were any schemes which went into such detail as we are now going into concerning all sorts of industries, ports, and other activities which had previously been handled, not by Governments, but under different circumstances altogether. If there was a case for that kind of inquiry in the past, there is no such case today for its continuance. We have got to satisfy all kinds of people if these schemes are going to work.

Another difficulty is the proposal to make all inquiries public inquiries. My remarks in this connection are directed not only to the Parliamentary Secretary, but also to the Home Secretary. I would remind him that when we were discussing another Bill of which he was in charge something like the same issue arose in regard to inquiries for which he was responsible. I asked a question as to what was the procedure in these local public inquiries, and I found that there was no set procedure at all, that it varied from place to place. I am not clear now whether the words, "public local inquiry," actually mean a definite procedure which is to be followed in every inquiry, when we use the words, "public local inquiry ' as distinct from an inquiry. It would be extremely valuable if we could be told just what procedure will be followed for a public inquiry, and whether it will follow the pattern which is adopted under other Bills. Only last night I attended an inquiry, which was conducted with admirable fairness. But it was not possible to ascertain, in advance, how it was to be handled, and, indeed, it was clear that there was no set procedure. It is highly desirable that, with all these Bills coming before us, which affect the trade and commerce of the country, and where there is provision for a local inquiry, there should be absolute certainty in regard to that provision. I submit that the suggestions incorporated in these Amendments are the only basic ones which would satisfy the needs of such an inquiry.

An argument advanced from the other side in favour of the nationalisation of road passenger transport has been that the Commission is to be able to provide excellent co-ordinated schemes. There is no doubt that these schemes will affect a very large number of people, because many people in this country use the buses. I cannot understand why the Minister is so frightened about holding a full public inquiry, and having the details published. One of the effects of this Amendment will be to ensure that evidence is taken. Surely, the public have the right to see that such evidence is given, and to have the results of the inquiry published.

With regard to the question as to who is to conduct the inquiry, I do not think that, in a case like this, the Minister should send down one of his officials to conduct it. He is in a very special position owing to the stranglehold which he insists on keeping on the Commission in regard to the schemes under Part IV of this Bill. The Commission are the promoters of these schemes, and are responsible to the Minister for them. He can, in fact, direct them to prepare a scheme for a specified area, and, having done that, can then send down one of his officials to conduct an inquiry into it, the results of which will never be made known to the public. That is most unfair, and is a further indication of the nervousness of the Minister about the efficacy of his own schemes under this Bill.

There is only one point I wish to make in connection with what the Parliamentary Secretary said about a Conservative Administration having produced this particular form of appointment. We have objected, time after time, in previous Parliaments, to Ministers appointing their own officers to conduct inquiries. We have also objected, in like manner, to the results of such inquiries not being made public. I would refer the Parliamentary Secretary to the fact that there has not been a Conservative Administration in this country since 1929, and that under the National Government—[HoN. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary will say whether there has been a Conservative Government since 1929. Everyone knows that in a National Government there are 50 per cent. Socialists.

9.45 a.m.

I cannot help approaching this question with a recollection of what took place at recent inquiries into town and country planning cases. Nor can I forget the elegant phraseology of one of the ornaments of the Front Bench opposite about "blowing off steam." I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman would descend to the levels which were touched in those inquiries, but it is just possible that there might be a changeover of offices. It would be so much more satisfactory if any possibility of that kind of thing were excluded. I am not clear that it is excluded, even by the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment which is to be moved in lieu of the Lords Amendment. I hope it is, but I do not think so. I would like an assurance on that point.

I turn to the three points which were raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Oswestry (Mr. Poole), which are the essential three points. I would draw the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to the fact that for a long time past the Scottish Office have almost always employed outside people to be chairmen of even somewhat minor inquiries. I cannot remember in the last 15 years a single Scottish inquiry of first-class importance—and I can scarcely remember any of second-class importance—where the commissioner or chairman, or whoever was.1eputed, was not an outsider, generally a member of the Scottish legal profession. I should add that such jobs are not much sought after, because the fees do not much exceed the niggardly Treasury scale, so let it not be thought that I am putting in a plea for the legal profession. These matters are undertaken as public duties, not as lucrative jobs.

If the right hon. Gentleman were to try to appoint one of his own officials for inquiry in Scotland, he would find it extremely badly received if the inquiry was one of any real moment. The right hon. Gentleman is not giving away very much here. These are inquiries of first-class importance. I do not see why the right hon. Gentleman cannot meet us on this point. I cannot imagine him ever really wanting to put one of his own officials, however highly qualified, in charge of one of these inquiries. I do not think he would, but if he did he would be extremely foolish. Even if the official were better at the job than an outsider, I still say that the right hon. Gentleman would be extremely foolish. It is certainly not so much the actual result of the inquiry that counts, as that people should feel that their case has been heard and considered by someone who is quite unprejudiced and who has no connections with the Minister.

Second, in the matter of cross-examination, I am sure that the rignt hon. Gentleman will agree, and, if he does not, any lawyer who sits behind him will tell him, that the truth of anything can never really be reached, unless the parties are allowed to cross-examine. I do not say that it is always reached then, that would be too much to hope, but it is the best way of going about the job. There is no excuse for having an inquiry where there is not the fullest right of mutual cross-examination, and cross-examination by those skilled in the law, because to ex-chide a skilled man in those circumstances is not sensible, and I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman would do that.

I come now to what is perhaps the biggest of these three questions. Whatever the right hon. Gentleman does in theory, he will, in practice, follow our suggestions on the first two points with which I have dealt. On the third, I am old-fashioned enough to refer, when opportunity occurs, to the Donoughmore Report. I know that it has been out of favour for a long time, but I would ask the right hon. Gentleman and those associated with him to read the findings in that Report. I do not think they have lost any of their importance. It is a good while since I looked at them, and I regret that I have not the passages here today, but I do not think they have lost any of their importance with the passage of time.

What is the objection? There is only one possible objection to the publication of a report. Perhaps there are two, but the one reasonable objection is that the report may contain confidential matter about the character or the behaviour of certain individuals which it would be quite improper to publish, and that if it was stated in advance that the report was to be published, that would not, and could not, be put in because the Minister would not get a full view of the situation. I know that applies where one is dealing with personal questions, but here we are dealing with enormous questions which far transcend any personal matter. I cannot conceive what kind of confidential information would be likely to be put in a report about, say, the Clyde Trust and the Clyde Harbour. I cannot imagine that if Lord Cooper's report had been a private report it would have been any more informative to the Minister; certainly it would have lost half its importance, because the general public would not have had an opportunity of seeing and studying it. These reports form public opinion, and surely the Minister wants to nave public opinion on his side.

These enormous matters, like area road transport and the organisation of a particular group of harbours, have always been the subject of the most careful consideration in public—generally by more than one reporter—then there is a very carefully framed report, and then an interval—sometimes too long an interval—while the whole matter is being considered, and the public mind is being directed to the question in the report. The report will lose nothing, or practically nothing, if it is known from the beginning that it will be published immediately. But it will lose an enormous lot if it is known that it will not be published, because it will then be of no use for moulding public opinion. Surely, the Minister knows that if he tackles one of these big jobs without local public opinion having been adequately prepared there is no more thorny task that he can undertake? I should have thought that for his own protection he would have made a point of seeing that the report was published.

The only other reason why he would not publish a report would be because he did not agree with it. I have no means of knowing how often in this and past Governments that has been a reason for keeping back a report. It has often been thought to be a reason. A good deal of suspicion has been engendered because it has been thought that a Minister who reached a decision which was not ultimately very popular might suppress the report because it would not fit in with the Government line. I am sure the Minister would not like that sort of suspicion to get about. Whatever might be done in minor cases, I am sure no Minister would ever take the responsibility of suppressing a report of that kind, on a matter of such extreme public importance. If he did, it would be extremely difficult to catch up with misconceptions and rumours that he had suppressed a report, and I beg him, therefore, in order that the scheme may go through smoothly, not to regard these reports as confidential. I do not want to detain the House at this time, but if what I have said does not induce the Minister to alter his mind at this moment, I hope it will keep him on the right path when he first has to do this job in practice.

I have felt, both in listening to the Debates in another place, and in digesting the views put forward this morning, that this subject is being unduly laboured. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Well, I really think there is a good deal in what the hon. Member for Oswestry (Mr. Poole) said, that the difference between those who are advocating different points of view is more apparent than real. On the public inquiry point, I am meeting the Amendment fully. Let me read to the House the Clause as it was, as it would be if the Amendment from another place were accepted, and as it would stand if the Amendment in lieu of the Amendment from another place were embodied in the Clause. In the Clause as it left this House, the Minister was only obliged to cause inquiries to be made. [Interruption.] I do not know whether hon. Members who put various points to me are interested in my reply. I am probably more anxious than anyone to bring an end to these proceedings, but I thought hon. Members attached some importance to this point.

If I was rude, I am sorry. There was a sudden diversion, and I am glad that the right hon. Gentleman called my attention back to the proceedings.

If this House accepted the Amendment from another place the Clause would say that the Minister should cause:

"… in the case of a scheme under Part IV of this Act, a public local inquiry, or, in any other case, an inquiry, to be held with respect thereto by a person who is not a servant or officer of the Minister."
I have not stated in any of the provisions of the Bill that the person holding the inquiry will be an officer of the Ministry, and I am not quite sure why that should be imported into the discussion. Of course, if an Amendment of this kind is introduced and it is said that the person to hold the inquiry shall not be an officer of the Ministry, attention is centred on the point and there is controversy about the words; but it is not the intention of the Minister to appoint officers, and so on. Members know that on matters of this kind I have steadfastly refused to be tied down unnecessarily. I do not think there is much sense in trying to provide in the Bill for every contingency of this charac- ter. One must take into consideration the matters covered by the part of the Bill which we are discussing—area schemes to be considered for local passenger services, area schemes to be considered for the grouping of ports, harbours, and the bodies to administer those schemes. Procedure has been laid down in the Bill to ensure that there is the fullest possible examination of the problems locally, a ad the fullest possible consultation with the local opinion.

The Amendment which I ask the House to accept in lieu of the Lords Amendment, states:
"Where any such objection is made and is not withdrawn, the Minister shall cause in the case of a scheme under Part IV of this Act, a public local inquiry, or, in any other case, an inquiry, to be held with respect thereto."
I fully accept there that it will be a public local inquiry.

There is obviously a distinction here. Would the right hon. Gentleman tell the House where I can find the rules which govern a public local inquiry and those which govern an ordinary inquiry?

10.0 a.m.

There is no particular significance in the words. The words are in the Lords Amendment as well, and it is to cover the same contingency. Here, we are dealing primarily with the type of inquiry to determine the area to be covered, and that is to be a public local inquiry. If that is the case, it follows that it will be open to the Press. All interested bodies can submit their case and they will get the fullest possible publicity. I cannot conceive that there would be many cases where the Minister would object to publication.

When the hon. Member for Oswestry said that the person who holds the inquiry ought to be independent of the Minister, or otherwise the Minister would be a judge in his own cause, that indicated a complete misunderstanding of the functions of the Minister. The Minister will not inaugurate these schemes. It is the Commission which will initiate the proceedings which lead up to the consideration of the schemes. The Minister carries a detached responsibility to see that the schemes go through a certain procedure and are thoroughly examined, and that all local interested opinion has an oppor- tunity of putting its case. The Minister must satisfy himself that that is done, before he is prepared to put it in the form of an Order. Finally, if there is any dissatisfaction it can be raised here because the schemes must pass through special Parliamentary procedure. Therefore, as the whole of the proceedings of these inquiries are held in public, it may not be necessary, in many cases, to publish voluminous reports, but if there is a demand obviously the Minister could do it. I do not really think that there is any conflict between myself and Members opposite. In the vast majority of cases I feel that the concern in their minds will disappear. It is almost inevitable that events will follow the course they, and we, have in mind in the case of an inquiry of this kind. There may be occasions when it may not be desirable, or necessary, to make it compulsory upon the Minister to publish the report. I hope that with this explanation, hon. Members will agree t o the course which I suggest. I feel I have fully safeguarded the re, quirements of a public inquiry, and I think it is wise to discourage attempts to tie the Minister down to something of this nature.

We have been sitting here tor nearly 20 hours, and I certainly do not propose to detain the House for more than a few minutes. I should like to take the opportunity, once again, of complaining about the great length of time during which the Government keep us up. Quite clearly, they have not given enough time to the consideration of the Lords Amendments and, as a consequence, we find ourselves, at 10 o'clock in the morning, dealing with an Amendment on a subject which this House has never discussed before on any stage of the Bill. That, in itself, is evidence of the fact that our discussions on this Bill have been grossly curtailed. I make no complaint of the way the Minister has treated the House. He has treated us extremely well. I make great complaint of the way in which the Government have treated the House. The Minister has been obliged to fall in with their decision.

I appreciate all the Minister has said, and I believe that he intends that these

Division No. 337.]AYES[10.8 a.m.
Adams, Richard (Balham)Anderson, F. (WhitehavenAyrton Gould, Mrs. B.
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South)Attewell, H. C.Balfour, A.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)Austin, H. LewisBarnes, Rt. Hon. A. J.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Awbery, S. S.Barstow, P. G.

inquiries should be conducted entirely fairly. We had expected that that would happen in the case of inquiries about town and country planning, but it has not worked out in that way. Therefore, we are rather suspicious. In view of the case which we on this side of the House have put forward, we shall have no alternative but to divide the House

Recently, several of my right hon. and hon. Friends and I have been helping to pilot the Agriculture Bill through the House, and we have been faced with the same problem as that with which we are trying to deal here. If there is one thing against which we feel deeply, it is the appointment as an arbitrator, of an officer or servant of the Minister. There should be an independent arbitrator appointed to deal with any questions which have anything to do with the subject concerned, and I wish to add my protest against the tendency for arbitrators to be appointed by the Minister. It is only fair to say that English justice is regarded as the fairest in the world, and I hope that the tendency to which I have referred will not lower the prestige of English justice. I protest against this system by which Ministers of the Crown arbitrate in their own cases.

I would like to say a few words about local inquiries, because they cause a great deal of upset in the countryside. We have recently had one in Devonshire, in connection with the Town and Country Planning Act, to decide how much land the Army should take. The local inhabitants thought that it would take place locally, but it took place some distance away. At the inquiry, the military were allowed to state their case very fully, whereas the local inhabitants had a very Lard time, and the discontent was so great that one of the hon. Members for Plymouth has been goaded into taking action. We should be very careful about these local inquiries.

Question put, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

The House divided: Ayes, 224; Noes, 60.

Barton, C.Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield)
Bechervaise, A. E.Herbison, Miss M.Popplewell, E.
Beswick, F.Hewitson, Captain M.Porter, E (Warrington)
Bing, G. H. C.Hobson, C. R.Price, M. Philips
Binns, J.Holman, P.Pritt, D. N.
Blenkinsop, A.Holmes, H. E, (Hemsworth)Proctor, W. T.
Blyton, W. R.House, G.Randall, H. E.
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)Hubbard, T.Ranger, J.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)Rees-Williams, D. R.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham)Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Reid, T. (Swindon)
Bramall, E. A.Hughes, H. D. (Wolverhampton, W.)Richards, R.
Brook, D. (Halifax)Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)Ridealgh, Mrs. M
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Robens, A.
Brown, George (Belper)Irving, W. J.Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Brown, T. J. (Ince)Janner, B.Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Bruce, Major D. W. T.Jeger, G. (Winchester)Ross, William (Kilmarnock)
Burke, W. A.Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)Royle, C.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)Sargood, R.
Carmichael, JamesJonas, P. Asterley (Hitchin)Shackleton, E. A. A.
Champion, A. J.Keenan, W.Sharp, Granville
Chater, D.Kenyon, C.Shurmer, P.
Chetwynd, G. R.King, E. M.Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Cocks, F. S.Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.Simmons, C. J.
Coldrick, W.Kinley, J.Skeffington, A. M.
Collins, V. J.Kirby, B. V.Skeffington-Lodge, T. G.
Colman, Miss G. M.Lang, G.Skinnard, F. W.
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G.Lavers, S.Smith, S. H. (Hull, S. W.)
Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N. W.)Lee, F. (Hulme)Snow, Capt. J. W.
Daggar, G.Lee, Miss J. (Cannock)Sorensen, R. W.
Davies, Edward (Burslem)Leonard, W.Sparks, J. A.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield)Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)Stamford, W.
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S. W.)Lindgren, G. S.Stephen, C.
Deer, G.Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
de Freitas, GeoffreyLogan, D. G.Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, N.)
Delargy, H. J.Longden, F.Stubbs, A. E.
Diamond, J.Lyne, A. W.Swingler, S.
Dobbie, W.McGhee, H. G.Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Dodds, N. N.Mack, J. D.Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Driberg, T. E. N.Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N. W.)Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnel)
Dumpleton, C. W.McKinlay, A. S.Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Durbin, E. F. M.McLeavy, F.Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Dye, S.MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Ede, Rt. Hon J. C.Macpherson, T. (Romford)Tiffany, S.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty)Mallalieu, J. P. W.Timmons, J.
Evans, John (Ogmore)Mann, Mrs. J.Titterington, M. F.
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.)Tolley, L.
Ewart, R.Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)Usborne, Henry
Field, Captain W. J.Mathers, G.Vernon, Maj. W. F.
Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)Mellish, R. J.Walker, G. H.
Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford)Middleton, Mrs. L.Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Freeman, Peter (Newport)Mikarde, IanWallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)
Gallacher, W.Mitchison, G. R.Watkins, T. E.
Ganley, Mrs. C. S.Moyle, A.Watson, W. M.
Gibbins, J.Murray, J. D.Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Gibson, C. W.Nally, W.West, D. G.
Gilzean, A.Naylor, T. E.White, H. (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Glanville, J. E. (Consett)Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Gordon-Walker, P. C.Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)Wilkins, W. A.
Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Grierson, E.Noel-Buxton, LadyWilley, O. G. (Cleveland)
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)Oldfield, W. H.Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)Oliver, G. H.Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Gunter, R. J.Orbach, M.Willis, E.
Guy, W. H.Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Haire, John E. (Wycombe)Palmer, A. M. F.Wise, Major F. J.
Hale, LesliePargiter, G. A.Woods, G. S.
Hall, W. G.Parkin, B. T.Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.Paton, J. (Norwich)Zilliacus, K.
Hardy, E. A.Pearson, A.
Hastings, Dr. SomervillePeart, Thomas F.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Haworth, J.Piratin, P.Mr. Hannan and Mr. Davies.
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford)Platts-Mills, J. P. F.

Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.Cuthbert, W. N.Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D.
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R.Darling, Sir W. Y.Gammans, L. D.
Baldwin, A. E.Davidson, ViscountesHead, Brig. A. H.
Bennett, Sir P.Digby, S. W.Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich)
Birch, NigelDodds-Parker, A. D.Hurd, A.
Bossom, A. C.Dower, Lt.-Col. A. V. G. (Penrith)Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'gh, W.)
Butcher, H. W.Drayson, G. B.Jarvis, Sir J.
Clarke, Col. R. S.Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)Kerr, Sir J. Graham
Cooper-Key, E. M.Elliot, Rt. Hon. WalterLambert, Hon. G.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L.Langford-Holt, J.

Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.Peto, Brig. C. H. M.Taylor, Vice-Adm. A. (P'dd't'n, S.)
Lindsay, M. (Solihull)Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry)Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.Vane, W. M. F.
Mackeson, Brig. H. R.Ramsay, Maj. S.Wadsworth, G.
Maclay, Hon. J. S.Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Marshall, D. (Bodmin)Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Mellor, Sir J.Robinson, Wing-Cmdr. RolandWhile, J. B. (Canterbury)
Neven-Spence, Sir B.Ropner, Col. L.York, C.
Noble, Comdr. A. H. P.Smithers Sir W.
Mutting, AnthonySpearman, A. C. M.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Osborne, C.Strauss, H. G. (English Universities)Major Conant and
Lieut.-Colonel Thorp.

Amendment made in lieu of the Lords Amendment last disagreed to:

In the words so restored to the Bill, in page 142, line 52, leave out "inquiries to be made," and insert:

"in the case of a scheme under Part IV of this Act, a public local inquiry, or, in any other case, an inquiry, to be held with respect thereto."

In page 143, line r, leave out "result of the inquiries," and insert:

"report of the person by whom the inquiry was held."—[Mr. Barnes.]

Further Lords Amendments disagreed to: In page 143, line 3, insert:

"(3) The person appointed to hold the inquiry shall make a report thereon in writing to the Minister, containing—
  • (a) his findings and conclusions as well as the reasons therefor, upon all the material issues of fact, liability or discretion involved in the exercise of the functions in respect of which the inquiry has been caused to be held; and
  • (b) his recommendations in regard to the exercise of the said functions;
  • and copies of such report shall be made available on payment of a reasonable charge therefor, to the persons entitled to attend the inquiry. The Minister may, after considering such report, make the order either in the terms of the draft, or subject to such amendments, additions or modifications as the Minister thinks fit."

    In line 3 insert:

    "(3) The Commission shall appear at any such public local inquiry in favour of the scheme and any objector may appear and tender evidence Any person appearing in favour of the scheme or any objector appearing at the inquiry shall be subject to cross examination.
    (4) For the purpose of this Schedule the person appointed to hold such public local inquiry shall have the same powers as are granted to the Minister by Section twenty of the Ministry of Transport Act, 1919 "—[Mr. Barnes.]

    Remaining Lords Amendments agreed to [Several with Special Entries].

    I beg to move,

    "That a Committee be appointed to draw up reasons to be assigned to the Lords for disagreeing to certain of their Amendments to the Bill.
    "That Mr. Assheton, Mr. Barnes, Mr. Ernest Davies, Mr. McLeavy, and Sir David Maxwell Fyfe be the Members of the Committee;
    "That three be the quorum."
    I think we can say that the Transport Bill discussion has now drawn peacefully to its close.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Committee to withdraw immediately.

    Reasons for disagreeing to the Lords Amendments reported, and agreed to; to be communicated to the Lords.