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Title: British speeches of the day
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Full Text
-. -A_9:Ct '41




WINSTON CHURCHILL, Prime Minister, July 6, 1944.
Flying Bombs.
LORD WOOLTON, Minister of Reconstruction, JulV 5, 1944.
Employment Policy.
W. S. MORRISON, Minister of Town and Country Planning, July 11, 1944.
Replanning the Blitzed and Blighted Areas.
MAJOR G. LLOYD GEORGE, Minister of Fuel and Power, July 13, 1944.
Wartime Fuel Administration.
HERBERT MORRISON, Home Secretary and Minister of Home Security,
July 14, 1944.
Government Controls in the Post-war Period.
THE DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for
the Colonies, July 19, 1944.
Demobilization and Reconstruction in Africa.
LORD WOOLTON, Minister of Reconstruction, July 20, 1944.
The Cost of Social Reform.
HERBERT MORRISON, Home Secretary and Minister of Home Security,
July 21, 1944.
The Home Front and the Invasion.
THOMAS JOHNSTON, Secretary of State for Scotland, July 4, 1944.
Scottish Agriculture During and After the War.
LEOPOLD AMERY, Secretary of State for India and Burma, July 28, 1944.
Post-war Planning in India.

Vol. II, No. 8 August 1944

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Prime Minister
House of Commons, July 6, 1944

I consider that His Majesty's Government were right in not giving out a great
deal of information about the flying bombs until we knew more about them and
were able to measure their effect. The newspapers have in an admirable manner
helped the Government in this, and I express my thanks to them. The time has
come, however, when a fuller account is required and a wider field of discussion
should be opened, and in my opinion such a discussion is no longer hampered by
the general interest. I would at the same time enjoin upon hon. Members and
the public outside to watch their step in anything they say, because a thing which
might not strike one as being harmful at all might give some information to the
enemy which would be of use to him and a detriment to us. Still, a very wide
field of discussion will be open henceforth.

German Preparations Known in Advance
Let me say at the outset that it would be a mistake to underrate the serious
character of this particular form of attack. It has never been underrated in the
secret circles of the Government. On the contrary, up to the present time the
views which we formed of the force and extent of the danger were considerably
in excess of what has actually happened. The probability of such an attack has,
among other things, been under continuous intense study and examination for a
long time. During the early months of 1943 we received, through our many
and varied Intelligence sources, vague reports that the Germans were developing
a new long-range weapon with which they proposed to bombard London. At
first our information led us to believe that a rocket weapon would be used. Just
over a year ago the Chiefs of Staff proposed to me that the Joint Parliamentary
Secretary to the Minister of Supply, my hon. Friend the Member for Norwood
(Mr. Sandys), should be charged with the duty of studying all the intelligence
as it came in and reporting what truth, if any, there was in these reports and ad-
vising the Chiefs of State and the War Cabinet as to counter-measures. Long
before this time my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, whose vigilance has
been unceasing, had begun to strengthen the street shelters generally, and he now
intensified this work so that these shelters are by no means ill adapted to with-
stand the blast effects of the bombs at present being used.
The House will realize that the enemy took all possible precautions to conceal
his designs from us. Nevertheless, as the result of searching investigations by
agents and by reconnaissance, we had by July, 1943, succeeded in locating at
Peenemunde, on the Baltic, the main experimental station both for the flying
bomb and the long-range rocket. In August last the full strength of Bomber
Command was sent out to attack those installations. The raids were costly on
account of the great distances into Germany which had to be flown, but very
great damage was done to the enemy and his affairs, and a number of key German
scientists, including the head scientist, who were all dwelling together in a so-
called Strength-Through-Joy establishment, were killed. This raid delayed by
many months the development and bringing into action of both these weapons.
About this time we had also located at Watten, in. the Pas de Calais, the
first of the large structures which appeared to be connected with the firing of a
long-range rocket. This site was very heavily attacked as long ago as September,
and has been under continual treatment since by the heaviest weapons carried

British Speeches of the Day

by the British and American Air Forces. We also carried out a most thorough air
reconnaissance of the whole of North-West France and Belgium. This was an
immense task, and not without its cost, but in the result we discovered in October
last that in addition to the large structures of the Watten type other structures, in
greater numbers, were being erected all along the French coast between Havre
and Calais. I meditated at that time whether I should make a statement to the
House in Secret Session on the subject, but on the whole, everything being in such
a hypothetical condition, I thought that might cause needless alarm and that we
had better proceed step by step till we had greater assurances as to what we
could say.

The Hundred Firing Points
The reconnaissance which we carried out was an immense task, but it yielded
very important information: Eventually we found that about 100 of these rather
smaller sites all along the French coast between Havre and Calais were being
erected, and we concluded that they would be the firing points for a jet-propelled
projectile much smaller than the rocket to which our thoughts had first been
turned. All these hundred firing points were continuously bombed since last
December, and every one of them was destroyed by the Royal Air Force, with the
wholehearted assistance of the growing United States air power. If it had not
been for our bombing operations in France and Germany, the counter-prepara-
tions in which we indulged, the bombardment of London would no doubt have
started perhaps six months earlier and on a very much heavier scale. Under the
pressure of our counter-measures, the enemy, who felt, among other impulses, the
need of having something to boast about and to carry on a war of nerves in order
to steady the neutrals and satellites and assuage his own public opinion, developed
a new series of prefabricated structures which could be rapidly assembled and
well camouflaged, especially during periods of cloudy weather. It is from those
comparatively light and very rapidly erected structures that the present attack is
being made.
What is the scale of this attack? The hundred firing sites which were destroyed,
assuming that the enemy's production of the missiles was adequate, could have
delivered a vastly greater discharge of H.E. [high explosives] on London per
day than what we have now. I think it is only just to the British and American
Air Forces to record that diminution in the scale of attack to which we are now
exposed by their untiring and relentless efforts. The new series of firing points,
like the first, have been heavily and continuously bombed for several months past.
As new sites are constructed or existing ones repaired, our bombing attacks are
repeated. Every effort is used to destroy the structures and also to scatter the
working parties and to deal with other matters concerned with the smooth run-
ning of this system of attack. The total weight of bombs so far dropped on
flying bomb and rocket targets in France and Germany, including Peenemunde,
has now reached about 50,000 tons, and the number of reconnaissance flights now
totals many thousands. The scrutiny and interpretation of the tens of thousands
of air photographs obtained for this purpose have alone been a stupendous task
discharged by the Air Reconnaissance and Photographic Interpretation Unit of
the R.A.F.
These efforts have been exacting to both sides, friend and foe. Quite a con-
siderable proportion of our flying power has been diverted for months past from
other forms of offensive activity. The Germans, for their part, have sacrificed a
great deal of manufacturing strength which would have increased their fighter
and bomber forces working in conjunction with their hard-pressed armies on every
front. It has yet to be decided who has suffered and will suffer the most in the

Flying Bombs

process. There has, in fact, been in progress for a year past an unseen battle into
which great resources have been poured by both sides. This invisible battle has
now flashed into the open, and we shall be able, and indeed obliged, to watch its
progress at fairly close quarters.
To the blood-curdling threats which German propaganda has been making in
order to keep up the spirit of their people and of their satellites, there have been
added the most absurd claims about the results of the first use of the secret
weapons. I minimize nothing, I assure the House, but I think it right to correct
those absurdities by giving some actual facts and figures, knowledge of which,
although they may not be known to the enemy, will do him very little good, in
my opinion and in the opinion of my advisers. Between 100 and 150 flying bombs,
each weighing about one ton, are being discharged daily, and have been so dis-
charged for the last fortnight or so from the firing points in France. Consider-
ing the modest weight and small penetration power of these bombs, the damage
they have done by blast effect has been extensive. It cannot at all be compared
with the terrific destruction by fire and high explosives with which we have
been assaulting Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and scores of other German cities and
other war manufacturing points in Germany.
This form of attack is, no doubt, of a trying character, a worrisome char-
acter, because of its being spread out throughout the whole of the 24 hours, but
people have just got to get used to that. Everyone must go about his duty and
his business, whatever it may be-every man or women-and then, when the
long day is done, they should seek the safest shelter that they can find and
forget their cares in well-earned sleep. We must neither underrate nor exag-
gerate. In all up to six a.m. today, about 2,750 flying bombs have been discharged
from the launching stations along the French coast. A very large proportion of
these have either failed to cross the Channel or have been shot down and de-
stroyed by various methods, including the great deployment of batteries, aircraft
and balloons which has been very rapidly placed in position. Well, batteries move
to any position in which they are required and take up their positions rapidly, but
once on the site great improvements can be made in the electrical connections and
so forth; and the Air Force, confronted with the somewhat novel problem of
chasing a projectile, have found new methods every day.
Therefore, I say, a very large proportion of those that were discharged from
the other side has been shot down and destroyed by various methods. Sometimes
shooting them down means that they explode upon the ground. Therefore the
places where they should be shot down are better chosen where successful hits
do not necessarily mean explosions in a built-up area. I am very careful to be
vague about areas. The weather, however, during the month of June has been very
unfavorable to us for every purpose. In Normandy it has robbed us in great
part of the use of our immense superiority. These battles in Normandy are being
waged without that extraordinary and overwhelming, exceptional aid of the vast
Air Force we had collected for the purpose. When the weather improves a new
great reinforcement will cpme into play. In Britain the bad weather has made
more difficult the work and combination of the batteries and aircraft. It has
also reduced the blows we strike at every favorable opportunity at the launching
stations or suspicious points on the other side of the Channel.
Nevertheless, the House will, I think, be favorably surprised to learn that the
total number of flying bombs launched from the enemy's stations have killed
almost exactly one person per bomb. That is a very remarkable fact, and it has
kept pace roughly week by week. Actually the latest figures are 2,754 flying bombs

British Speeches of the Day

launched and 2,752 fatal casualties sustained. They are the figures up to six
o'clock this morning. Well, I am bound to say I was surprised when, some time
ago, I perceived this wonderful figure. This number of dead will be somewhat
increased by people who die of their injuries in hospital. Besides these there
has been a substantially larger number of injured, and many minor injuries have
been caused by splinters of glass. A special warning of this danger was issued
by the Ministries of Home Security and Health, and in giving wide publicity to
the recommendations for reducing this risk the newspapers have also rendered a
most useful service.

Americans and Other Allies Help
As this battle-for such it is-may be a somewhat lengthy affair, I do not
propose to withhold the number of casualties. I will give the number because I
believe the exaggerated rumors and claims that are made are more harmful than
the disclosure of the facts. I will now give the casualties up to date and, there-
after, they will be given in the usual form, at monthly intervals, by my right hon.
Friend the Minister of Home Security. The total number of injured detained in
hospital is about 8,000. This does not include minor injuries treated at first-aid
posts and out-patients' departments of hospitals not needing to be detained at
the hospital even for a single day. Of those detained in hospital a large propor-
tion has, in fact, been discharged after a few days. Here let me say that the
casualty and first-aid services of Greater London are working excellently. This
machine has been well tested in the past, and it has been continually reviewed,
kept up to date and improved in the light of experience. It is not at all strained
beyond its capacity and, naturally, we draw from other parts of the country which
are not affected to strengthen the central machine.
So far as hospital accommodation is concerned, we prepared for so many
more casualties in the Battle of Normandy than have actually occurred so far that
we have, for the present, a considerable immediate emergency reserve in which
to disperse patients. The injured are speedily transferred to hospitals in safer
districts, and I am glad to say that penicillin, which up to now has had to be
restricted to military uses, will be available for the treatment of all flying-bomb
casualties. Here, I must say a word about our American friends and Allies in
London, from the highest official to the ordinary soldier whom one meets, who
have, in every way, made common cause with us and been forthcoming as helpers,
wardens and assistants of every kind. No one can visit a bombed site where an
explosion has recently taken place without seeing how very quickly they are, in
many numbers, on the scene and running any risk to give a helping hand to any-
one in distress. And the same is true of the great headquarters under General
Eisenhower, where they are conducting this great battle and where, apart from
that, every conceivable assistance is given to our Forces and aid services. It will
be another tie, I think, between our two peoples to see something of what we go
through in London and to take a generous part in facing this burden. A very
high proportion of these casualties I have mentioned-somewhere around 10,000
-not always severe or mortal, have fallen upon London, which presents to the
enemy-now I have mentioned it the phrase "Southern England" passes out of
currency-a target 18 miles wide by, I believe, over 20 miles deep, and it is,
therefore, the unique target of the world for the use of a weapon of such gross
The flying bomb, Mr. Speaker, is a weapon literally and essentially indis-
criminate in its nature, purpose and effect. The introduction by the Germans of
such a weapon obviously raises some grave questions upon which I do not propose
to trench today.

Flying Bombs

Repairs and Evacuation
Slight repairs to buildings are being done as quickly as possible. As a tem-
porary measure these are usually rough protective repairs to roofs and windows.
A large force of building workers is engaged on this work. Copious reinforce-
ments have been brought in, 'and are being brought in, from the provinces by
my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour, and are arriving here daily. Re-
pairs to a very large number of houses have already been carried out, but there
are areas where the blast damage is at present somewhat ahead of our growing
repair forces. This will be remedied as time goes on.
As to evacuation, as I have said, everyone must remain at his post and dis-
charge his daily duty. This House would be affronted if any suggestion were made
to it that it should change its location from London. Here we began the war,
and here we will see it ended. We are not, however, discouraging people who
have no essential work to do from leaving London at their own expense if they
feel inclined to do so by the arrangements they make. In fact, they assist our
affairs by taking such action at their own expense. We do not need more people
in London than are required for business purposes of peace and war. For people
of small means, who are not engaged in war work and wish to leave, registers
have been opened and arrangements will be made for their transfer as speedily
as possible to safer areas. . Children are already being sent at their parents'
wish out of the danger areas, which are by no means exclusively confined to the
Metropolis. There is, of course, the bomb highway over which the robots all
pass before reaching that point of Southern England which I have ventured to
particularize this morning. Children are being sent if their parents wish out of
the danger areas and, in all cases, mothers with small children, or pregnant
women, will be given full facilities by the State. And we do not propose to sepa-
rate the mother from the child except by her wish, but a terrible thing happened
last time. Mothers were separated from children of two or three years of age,
and, after a period, when they have saved up money and got time to go down
to see them, the children hardly knew them. I hope now with our growing
strength, reserves and facilities for removal, we shall be able to say to a mother
with three or four children, "If you wish to leave, it is perfectly possible. Ar-
rangement will be made to take you into the country with your children. If you
wish them to go by themselves and you wish to stay here with your husband, or
because of your job, then arrangements can be made that way too." We do not
consider that the scale of attack under which we lie at present justifies Govern-
mental compulsion in any case. In order to speed these arrangements, my Noble
Friend the Minister of War Transport, Lord Leathers, has arranged that the
railways should provide a larger service of trains from the London stations.

The Social Side of the Flying Bombs
All these matters, Sir, and many others are reviewed daily, or almost daily,
certainly whenever necessary, by the Civil Defence Committee over which my
right hon. Friend the Minister of Home Security has so long presided. He has
presided over it since those dark days when he took over the care of London,
especially, which he knew so well, in the old original blitz. Upon this Com-
mittee sit either the heads or the representatives of every single Department con-
cerned, and the War Cabinet is always available to confirm any decision which
involves high policy. There is no delay. Matters are settled with very great
speed, but a very great power is given to this Committee, and the question about
what I may call the social side of the flying bomb, the social reactions, should be
addressed either to my right hon. Friend, who will answer them himself, or to the
Minister of Health, who has a great sphere of responsibility.

British Speeches of the Day

A good many questions can be asked, but the House, I am sure, would wish
to have a check-up on them beforehand, because a perfectly innocent and proper
question might have some connection which would tell the enemy more than we
need tell him. After all, the Germans keep large Intelligence "services, always
prying about and trying to find out everything they can, and really we ought to
leave them something to do. I can see lots of questions that could well be dis-
cussed here, and if there were some particular kind of question we wanted to talk
over among ourselves such procedure is always available to the House. I am not
going to attempt to parade to the House the many difficult questions that have
been settled. I have mentioned a good many of them. I could give a complete
list, and if I have left anything out, that is a, matter that can be reserved for a
future day. We can with confidence leave our civil organization to do their work
under the watchful supervision of the House of Commons. We have had many
periods in the war in wTich the Government have relied on the House of Com-
mons to keep them in close touch with the people and the population affected
and from whom we have welcomed helpful suggestions. I think that we can have
great confidence in our civil organization, for they have immense experience and
have handled machinery which has stood far greater strains than this.

The Operational Side
On the operational side, a Special Committee has been set up to review, con-
cert and advise upon all counter-measures, both offensive and defensive, to deal
with the flying bomb. This Committee consists of my hon. Friend the Joint
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply as Chairman; Air Marshal Hill,
who is in charge of A.D.G.B.; General Pile, who has been our highly compe-
tent Commander-in-Chief of the Ack-Ack Command since the beginning of the
war; the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff; and a representative of the Deputy Allied
Commander, Air Marshal Tedder. This Committee .have at their disposal a great
number of able scientists and engineers who are studying from the technical
standpoint the improvement of our counter-measures. The Committee report to
me personally, to the Chiefs of Staff, and, finally, to the War Cabinet. There is
an organization for getting quick decisions from all the authorities concerned.
The House will ask, What of the future? Is this attack going to get worse,
or is it going to be beat like the magnetic mine, or beat like the attempted de-
struction of Britain by the aeroplane, or beat like the U-boat campaign was beat?
Will new developments, on the other hand, of a far more formidable character
come upon us? Will the rocket bomb come? Will improved explosives come?
Will greater ranges, faster speeds and larger war-heads come upon us? I can
give no guarantee that any of these evils will be entirely prevented before the
time comes, as come it will, when the soil from which these attacks are launched
will be finally liberated from the enemy's grip. In the meanwhile I can only say
that when I visited various scenes of bomb explosions on Saturday, only one man
of many hundreds whom I saw asked a question. The question was, "What
are you going to do about it?" I replied, "Everything in human power, and
we have never failed yet." He seemed contented with the reply. That is the
only promise I can make.

Battle Operations Come First
I must, however, make it perfectly plain-I do not want there to be any mis-
understanding on this point-that we shall not allow the battle operations in
Normandy or the attacks we are making against special targets in Germany to
suffer. They come first, and we must fit in our own domestic arrangements in
the general scheme of war operations. There can be no question of allowing the

Employment Policy

slightest weakening of the battle in order to diminish in scale injuries which,
though they may inflict previous suffering on many people and change to some
extent the normal, regular life and industry of London, will never stand be-
tween the British nation and their duty in the van of a victorious and avenging
world. It may be a comfort to some to feel that they are sharing in no small
degree the perils of our soldiers overseas and that the blows which fall on them
diminish those which in other forms would have smitten our fighting' men and
their Allies. But I am sure of one thing, that London will never be conquered
ahd will never fail and that her renown, triumphing over every ordeal, will long
shine among men.
[House of Commons Debates.]

Minister of Reconstruction
House of Logds, July 5, 1944

Ignorance and want are the two giant evils of which any sensitive society
should be afraid, and the prevention of want is not only better but cheaper than
its cure. On the last occasion when I occupied your time I outlined the Gov-
ernment's proposals for dealing with ignorance in young people by encourag-
ing learning and the cultivation of knowledge over a wide field. Today I com-
mend to your Lordships the conclusions at which my colleagues and I have
unanimously arrived for dealing with the prevention of want. The White Paper
which I submit to you is called Employment Policy. With difficulty I resist the
temptation to digress from that Paper and to discuss the abstruse question of why
people work. To many of us work is a pleasurable occupation. We are very
fortunate. The idea used to prevail that Governments should make work in order
to deal with the unemployed. I think that idea was both amateur and ill-
conceived; there is no virtue in working unless it produces something of per-
sonal or communal value, and work should be a means of satisfying wants.
The proposals in this Paper are designed to maintain such a general control
over the volume of employment in the country as will secure that the labor of
the country is engaged in meeting the needs of our society. The control which
is envisaged aims at maintaining a high level of consumption, and by that means
maintaining a high level of employment. .. I think that the question before
us is whether a Government can by any acceptable means of administration meet
these responsibilities and secure these ends. I have to say that we think that it is
possible and we have outlined our proposals on this basis.
The Transition Period
They involve three major considerations: firstly, our trading relations with
other countries; secondly, the management of our affairs in the period when we
are moving from full war employment or partial employment devoted to war
purposes to the period of peace; and thirdly-and this is the more important
aspect of the problem-the conditions in which in normal times the Government
can act to maintain employment at any required level. I must necessarily leave out
many things in dealing with this Paper, and I will not occupy your Lordships
any longer than I can help. First on the domestic side. This period after the
war-or between the two wars if by chance one of our enemies retires from the
conflict before the other-is going to involve a great deal of administrative skill.

British Speeches of the Day

It will present problems, but always the problems will be of a temporary nature.
Of course we shall be passing out of the difficulties, apart from technical difficulties,
of moving over from one form of production to another. There will, I sur-
mise, during this period be a greater demand for labor than the supply. It will
be a period in which we shall have to guide our commercial and industrial policy,
both at home and abroad, with great care, with great foresight, and I think with
great clarity. Capital and labor must flow to those industries that can perform the
greatest national service. We shall have to rebuild not only our homes but our
industries, and during this period we shall have to buy a great deal of our food
We therefore suggest that, in this transition period, it will be necessary to
ask the country to exercise a continuance of restraint-to maintain a control over
the use of such raw materials that are in short supply: to continue rationing
until supply is equated to demand: to discourage the production of non-essential
goods for home consumption, however profitable they may be: and generally to
seek--during this period when money will be very plentiful in consumers' hands,
when human spirits will be buoyant with relief, when, without a doubt, there
will be a great demand for freedom-to continue for a necessary while those con-
trols which will prevent violent rises in prices, and a disorderly rush to some end
that will serve personal, rather than national, ends. Meanwhile, as indicated
in paragraph 14 of the Paper, the Government will be seeking to give administra-
tive effect to an orderly unwinding of the Controls it has imposed for the pur-
poses of war. I do not anticipate from an employment point of view any great
difficulty in this period, provided that throughout there is clear expression of the
Government's intention, so that people know what it is that we are trying to do,
and full co-operation with all the parties both industrialists and trade unionists
concerned with these readjustments.

The Long-Term Aspect
Now I turn to another part of the Paper. It is very natural when we are living
under circumstances of war that we should look back with longing to the condi-
tions of peace and say we wish we could return there. But I do not think it is
true that we want universally to go back to pre-war conditions; that might be
simple, but it might be disastrous. During these years we have advanced a gen-
eration in experience and in productive technique and we must benefit by that
experience. But the thing to which I would particularly like to draw your Lord-
ships' attention is the outstanding adaptability that the workers of this country
have shown during the war. They have learnt new trades very quickly, they have
achieved great skill, and nowhere has this been more pronounced than in those
areas which before the war suffered largely from unemployment.
Some of your Lordships, I hope, will support me with your practical expe-
rience in saying that in these old "distressed areas," where before the war there
was perpetual unemployment for so many, you found during the war that
there were good and willing workers available to whom you could take new in-
dustry with some confidence. I think these people had a very hard time before
the war, but the war has proved that they are capable of rendering much greater
service to the community than they were allowed to do before the war. They do
not want to be on the dole: they want to work-and they have proved, beyond any
sort of doubt during this war, that they can work willingly and with great effi-
ciency. I ask your Lordships' consideration of bur proposals to secure, in these
places, a balanced distribution of industry; Lgo, if I may, a stage further, and
appeal to the industrialists of this country to recognize that, in the interests of
human justice and social stability, this problem has to be solved-and I hope

Employment Policy

they will join with the Government wholeheartedly in seeking and in finding a
solution of it.
And now I come to the long-term aspect of this problem. You will find it
in chapters IV and V of the White Paper. Total goods and services must be pre-
vented from falling to a level where general unemployment appears, and in para-
graph 41 is this significant statement:
"The Government are prepared to accept in future the responsibility for tak-
ing action at the earliest stage to arrest a threatened slump."
One of my friends, with much political experience, asked me if this was a White
Paper or an election address. I have read election addresses that have been worse,
and I have read election addresses on the subject of finding employment which
have been less definite. Our proposals involve first of all the Government taking
upon themselves the obligation of knowledge. They will maintain an economic
staff to advise them on the way that trade and employment is going. We shall
have a Manpower Budget as well as a Mopey Budget. We shall have to ask
employers of labor, even in the good days of peace, to fill in another form to
give us information so that the Government of the day can form some estimate
of what the manpower situation is. I have heard some doubts expressed by
manufacturers as to whether this is not going into their secrets. No, my Lords.
They will be able to trust the Government not to hand on this information to their
competitors. Their competitors might indeed be much more anxious to know
what their income was than what their idea was as to future employment of
labor. We have been filling in Income Tax forms for years, and they are re-
garded quite rightly as entirely confidential documents. I can assure industrialists
that they need have no fear that in giving this sort of information they are likely to
disclose anything to their competitors.
With this information the Government will be able to encourage or discourage
public and private investment in capital expenditure. In the past, it is true, that
public and private investment in capital expenditure has tended to run on parallel
lines. The time when industrialists thought it was unwise to go in for further
enterprise was the same, very often, as the time when the local councils, in a
spirit of impending disaster ahead, thought also that it would be unwise to
incur expenditure. If trade was bad, public economy demanded a reduction in
expenditure, and so, with private capitalists reducing their expenditure and
public authorities reducing their expenditure, the position became aggravated and
trade went worse. Trade depends largely on the consumption of goods, and in the
future the Government will ask public authorities to increase their public works
when trade begins to show a sign of falling off. I must be very brief here about
a subject which very properly could take a long time. Public works in the past
have met with much criticism as a method of dealing with unemployment. But
why? Because public authorities began to think about what public works they
were to undertake when unemployment 'was already grave. Our suggestion is that
they should be ready to come in at the very beginning in order to check the slump
at the start. That is the purpose of the five years' program of public works indi-
cated in this White Paper.

Industry Will Co-operate
The question, of course, arises whether private investment will follow these
lines. Whilst we are under our present system of the organization of society,
which I understand commends itself on the whole to quite a number of your Lord-
ships, it is no use talking about how we are going to make private people invest
their money. No one can make them do it, but I am satisfied that if we accept
these proposals as part of national policy we shall find active co-operation from

British Speeches of the Day

the business community. It pays to develop capital structure in periods when trade
is slack, in order to be ready for development when trade is brisk: moreover
the installation of new equipment when trade is falling often secures that in-
creased efficiency which prevents further fall. In my remarks to your Lordships
at the close of the first Reconstruction debate I ventured to make a personal ob-
servation on this subject. One of my friends in another place wrote me a letter
the other day in which he said "Can you tell me who is the idiot who produced
this White Paper, because it contains nothing of any value and nothing that is
new." He gave me a list of very distinguished people in the past who had ex-
pressed views along these lines-a long catalogue of them, a catalogue, as he
thought, of failure. I wrote back to him and said "Would you mind adding just
one thing to your catalogue? If you add my name to this list of distinguished
people I should be very much obliged, but add this too, that I practised these
views in the period of depression, and it was of considerable benefit to those
people who were associated with me in business and a little tp my own benefit, too,
I am glad to say." These are not wild theories that no business man would look
at. They are very practical ones.
Finally, may I direct your attention to the proposals for increasing the demand
for consumers' goods at home, during a period of trade recession, by increasing
the spending power of the public through a reduction in the level of insurance
payments? I have referred to this before in this House, in a debate introduced
by Lord Strabolgi. I called it an economic thermostat. I observed that Mr. Punch
said on that occasion that your Lordships did not see very clearly what I meant-
and that maybe I shared your views. I hope that paragraphs 67 to 70 will have
rolled away any clouds from the mind of Mr. Punch. I have taken much time to
deal with this Paper in some detail. I could not do otherwise. We are dealing
with a problem that is vital to our social stability and to our economic life. It is
true it has defied solution in this country in the past: it has defied it during
periods of great expansion in our trade and commerce. It is a problem that has
beset the conscience of philanthropists and has eluded the skill of statesmen. And
yet, patently, it is the greatest problem that confronts the industrial age in which
we live.
Some totalitarian States have gone a long way towards solving it-at the price
of freedom. We neither could, nor would, desire to do that in this country. After
much thought the Government submit to Parliament these proposals, which, if
generally accepted and acted updn, they believe would go far to meet the problem.
We submit them to you and we desire the opinion of Parliament concerning them.
Many members of your Lordships' House have devoted years of study to this
problem of unemployment. Many of you, as bankers, industrialists, agriculturists,
are competent to give to the country, and to the Government, expert advice on the
various means whereby a high rate of employment can be secured, and it is for
the purpose of obtaining that advice we have submitted to both Houses of Parlia-
ment these proposals. But the probleni is not a narrow one of Government respon-
sibility, and it transcends personal or Party issues. It is a matter of waging war
against the greatest evil that threatens the welfare of the State and the domestic
peace of our country.

Alliances Against Poverty
No Government can go to war without the overwhelming consent of the public,
and indeed in this country no Government can go to war without seeking alliances.
Here is a proposal to declare war on want that makes for poverty, war or malnu-
trition and on all the misery that arises from both. It is the considered view of
this Government of all Parties, men of wide Parliamentary experience, trade union

Employment Policy

leaders and industrialists, that the proposals in this White Paper are worthy of
consideration as a means to this end. Both at home and abroad we must seek
alliances in this work. We know that the Government alone cannot provide full
employment. This is the question that comes to our minds: Will the employers
of, the country help us, along these lines, to solve the problem of unemployment?
Will the trade union leaders and the trade union organizations help? Are local
authorities prepared to exercise qualities sometimes of restraint and sometimes
of adventure in the allocation of their expenditure on public works in order to
help to even out the booms and slumps in the demands for labor? Do these
proposals, with the restrictions on capital issues and their hopes for a low interest
rate, appeal to the judgment of the bankers and the financiers? Are the merchants
of this country prepared once again to become "merchant venturess" to resume
their Elizabethan quality with the products of modern industry and go out ven-
turing in the world overseas for trade for the benefit of Britain? These are the
questions that arise from this White Paper: they are the questions that we put
to this House and the country.
And what is the prize? It is not the prize of personal profit-that is not
enough. The -prize is the future .stability of our industrial life. I ask your Lord-
ships to think what unemployment has meant in this country-in misery, in
suffering, in physical deterioration, and in the degradation that follows in the
mind of a man as he goes about vainly seeking work and when, as he fails, he
sees his family suffering, his household goods being sold, his skill unwanted.
What a cost it has been to the nation, and even when the country has been pre-
pared to mitigate physical needs by the "dole," still, I say, what a cost it has been,
what instability it has caused, and what distrust has arisen from it. In the
seventeen years between 1922 and 1939 we paid in unemployment benefits 1,260,'-
000,000. We had an average of 1,700,000 people drawing unemployment insur-
ance benefit: we lost 250,000,000 days of work.through industrial strikes and
lock-outs. It is -an expense, both of manpower and money, and misery, that we
must not again incur.

An International Problem
This is not a problem for Britain alone. The same problem has occurred in all
industrialized countries of the world. Unemployment, like any other disease,
knows no boundaries of nationality, and I am glad to know that this White Paper
has already travelled the world and met with comment-almost always favor-
able-in the press of other countries. We are not seeking prosperity for ourselves
alone. Looking back at the period between the wars, we realize that nations are
mutually dependent: bad trade, reduction of spending power, lack of confidence
in one country, all affect other countries. The slump in the United States in 1929
was very soon followed by industrial trouble in this country: narrow nationalism
in trade does not pay, and our trade problems are not exclusively our own prob-
lems-they are world problems, and those of us who are looking for a fuller
life for the people of this country are also looking for a fuller life for the people
of other countries.
We want to buy their goods because without them we cannot have the stand-
ard of living that this country has determined for itself-but we cannot buy
their goods unless they buy ours. For half a century and more we spent our savings
overseas: we have adventured: we have built railways and docks, bridges and
rivers: irrigated the arid lands, electrified towns and railways, financed the develop-
ment of raw material and the production of crops. And we have attacked famine
and disease wherever we have found them. The small population of this island
has done more than its share in developing the natural resources of the world-

British Speeches of the Day

often to our financial gain, but sometimes indeed resulting in the loss of our
invested capital.
That has been our past history. What is our immediate position? We have
sold almost all that we had in saleable overseas investments in order that, when
we stood quite alone, we could continue to fight this war for the maintenance of
our freedom. We have incurred overseas debts that are double the amount of
all our previous .overseas investments: we have given of the wealth of our past:
and we have pledged our future, and a new Britain has been born that has a
place in history as a people who keep their pledged word. We are infinitely
stronger in productive capacity, in the application of scientific technology, than
we were before this war. We now offer that capacity to the world with this assur-
ance-our goods will be better, and they will be goods that can be trusted. If
we can trade with the world we shall secure full employment here and with it
enjoy a rising standard of living: and we shall be able to pay the debts we have
accumulated: if we again embark, with our great industrial capacity, on this world
trade, we shall add to the wealth of the world, and we shall buy from other coun-
tries their natural products at prices that we hope will bring them prosperity too.
I foresee a universal movement for raising the standard of living of the world
by clearing the channels of trade, by orderly management of international cur-
rencies and international investment, by evening out the extreme fluctuations-
these booms and slumps which in the past have affected, generally to the ultimate
detriment of the growers, the prices of primary products .(both food and the raw
materials of industry) : I hope that we shall have continuing consultation regard-
ing the domestic employment policies of different countries. Surely it is not with-
out significance that 44 nations, gathered at Hot Springs, have subscribed to these
ideas. The Government of this country believe in them, and conferences now
Meeting in the United States on monetary policy have these ends in view. What
we are working for (as my honorable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer
said in another place a few days ago) is general agreement on an international
code of rules which will limit the use of devices calculated to impede trade but
will still leave the nations free to take the necessary action to preserve their own
internal economic activity and balance of payments.
We seek our proper place in the trade of the world. We have earned it by
enterprise in the past: we shall maintain it by the quality of the services we offer.
We seek it for the expansion of the benefits that trade brings through the inter-
change of commerce: we seek it in no narrow desire for the exclusion of others.
But trade we must if this country is to retain its place among the leaders of the
world. By our past we earned that place and our recent record gives us un-
paralleled right to retain it.
[House of Lords Debates]

Minister of Town and Country Planning
House of Commons, July 11, 1944

I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."
In opening this discussion I should like to try to put this Bill in its proper place
in the picture of town and country planning. It is evident from the mirth opposite
that hon. Members do not see it in relation to its proper background. Some of the

Replanning the Blitzed and Blighted Areas

criticism that I have heard arises from an honest failure to appreciate the objectives
of this limited but still ambitious thrust into very difficult territory. It is called the
Town and Country Planning Bill and is another in the series of Bills which have
borne that title. The first Bill of that name, it is interesting to note, was introduced
in 1931 by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wakefield (Mr. A. Green-
wood). Political events not connected with the Bill prevented him from seeing it
on to the Statute Book. The same Bill, however, was introduced by the succeeding
administration and became law as the Town and Country Planning Act, 1932.
That Act, of 58 Sections and six Schedules, remains the foundation of the code of
town and country planning. It provides an elaborate machinery for the making of
planning schemes whereby the activities of private owners are organized, so as to
result in a pattern of land use which is in the public interest. This time last year
this House, at my invitation, passed the Act of 1943, also a Town and Country
Planning Bill when introduced, which, while founded upon the Act of 1932, made
the application of the 1932 Act mandatory over the whole country and gave
increased powers to planning authorities, central and local, which are strong enough
not only to prevent undesirable development but also to encourage desirable devel-
opment. These two Acts together constitute the planning code. Under them
planning authorities are set up with certain statutory powers and duties, and they
have made and are making plans. On their activities, and on those of my Ministry
depend the future lay-out and pattern of town and country. We shall have to
overhaul in due course the planning machinery proper, in the light of experience,
and, in particular, we shall have to deal with the question of compensation and
betterment, which is such an important feature in the whole problem.

A Limited Problem
The Bill now before the House deals with a separate and limited, but a novel
and formidable problem. Hitherto, the planning code has provided for restrictions
upon the use to which owners might put their land. Land might be zoned under
the existing code for various purposes, such as residences at various densities, private
and public open spaces, industry, shops, and so on. All these powers are now in
the existing code and are being actively exercised by planning authorities. The
machinery needs overhauling, and this will be the next step after this Bill, in the
legislative program. Meanwhile, the war has brought about the problem of the
bombed city and the necessity for its reconstruction as soon as possible after the war.
No one, I imagine, thinks that it would be good enough simply to rebuild things
as they were. Everyone would like to see their reconstruction on a scale more
gracious, with better buildings, safer streets, less crowding and better conditions
generally for the health and happiness of the people. If this redevelopment on a
new and better pattern in bombed cities is to take place, it is necessary that the
land which has suffered very extensive war damage should be acquired by the
local planning authority in order that it may be developed as a whole. In these
devastated areas it is not possible to reconstruct property unless the area is acquired
together with the adjacent land necessary to make a good job of the project as a
whole; also, it is necessary to acquire at the same time land which is needed to
accommodate those whom the reconstruction may remove from the area.
There are three main features in the task of reconstructing an area of this kind
which the House should bear in mind. First, a great deal of the land will be
required for public purposes if the full life of the community is to regain its natural
momentum as quickly as possible after the war. The public purposes are open
spaces, roads, car-parks, school sites and public buildings of various kinds. Second,
the existing plots of land in the sites, would not fit into that development, in
accordance with the new and better plan. They may be small, oddly shaped or
unsuitably arranged in relation to each other, and the existing plots could not con-

British Speeches of the Day

form to the attempt to achieve a better and safer street pattern. Third, the long
growth of our urban communities has led to a proliferation of interests in the
bombed land which has to be seen to be believed. For example, in one part of a
central district of Portsmouth, measuring only 30 acres, there are over 500 interests
of all kinds involved in the land. The conclusion is that the proper redevelopment
of the bomb-damaged and obsolete areas can only be achieved if the interests are
amalgamated in one ownership and then redistributed in accordance with the
approved plan. It has long been conceded that there are certain purposes of
planning which cannot be achieved without this process. It was recognized in
Section 2 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1932, and in the Housing Act,,
1936, with its plan for development areas to relieve overcrowding. The bomb has
added a new and challenging case to this whole procedure.

A Flexible Code
So much is, I think, agreed, but the carrying out of the purposes which I have
indicated demands legislation with the following objects in view. First, powers
to acquire the land must be conferred, if necessary, by compulsion. Local authorities
possess various powers to acquire land by agreement and by compulsion under
various private and public Acts, but they have no powers adequate for this purpose.
Second, the powers of acquisition must be expedited and simplified and brought
into line with the novel purposes which they will have to serve. Third, there must
be a direction as to the price to be paid for the land to prevent speculative values
over pre-war values attaching to the land which is necessary. Fourth, there must
be assistance from national funds to aid those cities which have been chosen by the
enemy as his target. It is to these complicated and formidable tasks that the Bill is
directed. There is one more that I have not yet mentioned, namely, the provision
of powers to local planning authorities, not only to reconstruct bad development,
but themselves to engage in creating good development. I think that this is a
big enough mouthful for us to be getting on with today. The planning code and
the powers of planning authorities rest for the moment on the Acts of 1932 and
This is a Bill to empower local authorities to acquire land for certain planning
purposes, in the main for the reconstruction of bombed sites and, as opportunity
allows, for the reconstruction of those urban areas which have suffered, not from
the enemy, but from the bad lay-out and from the tooth of time. A great part of
the Bill is directed to the new procedure to enable this to be done in a quicker and
simpler manner. Perhaps I may help the House to understand what is a technical
and difficult matter. It has been objected against the proposed new code in the
Bill that it provides variants of procedure. Why not, it is asked, find out one form
of procedure and make it generally applicable to all these transactions ? That is a
very natural question, but the attitude of mind behind it has failed to grasp the
immense variety presented by our bombed cities and towns. We have cases where
the need of action is clear, and these are provided for in Clause 2, Sub-section (2)
of the Bill. From that extreme we get a shading off by imperceptible degrees to
areas where the damage is less total and where by a corollary there is still, among
much damage, property still in beneficial occupation. The property may consist of
small freehold houses bought through the building societies, or under the Small
Dwellings Acquisition Act through local authorities. It is in those areas where com-
plete devastation is diluted by blocks of such houses and buildings that the local
authorities would like to set about the matter at a quicker pace than their present
powers allow. It is a great mistake, in my judgment, to believe that we can confer
any boon upon local authorities by giving them powers which look well enough on
paper, but which, in their daily contact with their citizens, they are reluctant to use.
Our experience of slum clearance legislation convinced me of that long ago. Some

Replanning the Blitzed and Blighted Areas

authorities have made use of that legislation. Others have not done so because it
was too rigid and too drastic for them to enforce against fellow citizens. We have
tried here to present to the House a code which is flexible enough to meet the
varied facts of the situation while allowing a speed of acquisition which local
authorities think with their local knowledge, they would like to, and can, enforce.
To the question "Why not one procedure?" the short answer is that one
procedure would either be too quick for some authorities to be willing to work it,
in their circumstances, or too slow for the necessities of others. When we come
to consider the new procedure which we should adopt, to make these powers
speedily effective, we find that delays, in the present system, occur at two stages
in compulsory acquisition. Those two stages are, first, the procedure for getting
the order for compulsory purchase, and, if you have got the order, the second stage
is the actual completion of the purchase. The Bill simplifies all this procedure. Let
us take the first stage first, that of obtaining the order. If you look at that, you
find that the delays occur through two causes. First is the process of referencing
and secondly, the necessity for public inquiry. As to referencing, the facts are
that under the present law, before an authority can apply for a compulsory pur-
chase order, it must compile a book of reference showing the owner of each
interest in the land affected. This is a very laborious task. It has, in certain cases,
taken over two years to complete this book, and all this has to be done before the
authority can ever apply for its powers of compulsory purchase. I am indebted to
the London County Council for an instance showing not only the time but the
labor which is involved in this referencing process. They tell me that their exper-
ience is, over a wide range of cases, that referencing of owners requires six men for
six acres for six weeks. Thus, to reference the owners in an area of 1,500 acres in
six weeks, would entail a temporary staff of 1,500 men. It is hard to see where this
staff can be found at the present time. The Bill recognizes this difficulty. It
recognizes also that in the case both of war. damaged and obsolete areas, this
requirement has outlived its usefulness. By the First Schedule, the requirement is
replaced by the duty to advertise the application in "The London Gazette" and
locally. This must result in a vast saving of time and is justified by the purposes of
the Bill.

The Public Enquiry
When we come to the second cause of delay, the stage of public inquiry, we
ought, I think, to move with more caution than some critics of the Bill appear to
consider necessary. I know that these inquiries are sometimes considered as a
nuisance by local executives who are genuinely keen to get on with some pro-
ject in which they heartily believe. They dislike both the publicity and the delay
involved, but, in my judgment, we should remember the merits of these inquiries
when we resolve upon their modification. The ordinary citizen of this country likes
to know what his rulers are about.
He likes to form his own opinion about the merits of a proposal, and he likes
to be able to have his say in public before his friends and neighbors and before an
independent person. Speed is not worth purchasing by any undue frustration of
these desires. Indeed, it is doubtful whether, in fact, a sense of grievance arising
from the mistaken notion that there is something hole-and-corner about what is
taking place, makes for speed in the end. It is better, in the long run, to carry the
people with you in the open. You may get a better scheme as a result-as I hope to
get a better Bill from the discussions in Committee-stage. This is an excellent Bill,
but I do rely, quite seriously, upon useful contributions from Members of Parlia-
ment who are in contact with their constituents, and I invite their help during the
Committee stage to make the Bill, good as it is, still better. ..

British Speeches of the Day

Having said all that about public inquiries, I would add that it seems that, in
this work of reconstruction, where larger areas are being acquired than were ever
before undertaken by legislation, modifications of existing procedure with regard
to public inquiries are both necessary and justifiable. What the Bill proposes in this
regard is this. Under Clause I, the authority applies for its area of extensive war
damage, or several areas in the case of a large town, to be declared subject to com-
pulsory purchase, together with adjacent land, whether blitzed or blighted or not,
round about it, which is necessary to make a satisfactory unit of redevelopment.
The land required for the so-called overspill, namely the land required to rehouse
the people who will be displaced by the proposal for redevelopment from the whole
area, which was probably congested as we regard modern standards-the whole
demand for land, damaged area, adjacent land and land for overspill--can thus
be considered as a whole together with the proposals for its reconstruction. ...
If there are any objections to the whole project, these are heard-at one public
inquiry, where the question is whether the project for redevelopment is right or
wrong. Anyone can object on the ground that a better project would exclude his
land. Once the order is made under Clause I, the land covered by it can be acquired
in rapid and progressive stages without further public inquiry. That is the pro-
cedure laid down for the typical, mixed bombed area. An exception is made for
those clear cases where the need for acquisition is demonstrable, whatever may be
the proposed form of reconstruction. Under Clause 2 (2) a compulsory Purchase
Order can be made without the previous declaration of the Order, and without a
public inquiry. ...
The Bill does not refer specifically to Crown lands but that an arrangement has
been made with the Crown Lands Commissioners whereby they will fall in with
any project- of that sort, where an area requires redevelopment'in accordance with
the proposals of the planning authority. ... The Bill means that in a proper case,
the local planning authority can acquire land outside its own area, if it proves its
case. There is a third variant introduced-and this is the end of them-in that
the Bill provides for a middle course between the extremely rapid procedure of
Clause 2 (2) and the process of declaration, and it enables local authorities to
carry on contemporaneously an application for the area to be declared and an
application for the compulsory purchase orders within it, so that when the area is
declared under Clause 1, the necessary stages towards the order for compulsory
purchase have already been completed. That is in paragraph 6 of the First Schedule.
Notice of Entry
Now I come to the second stage, where delays occur. That is the stage after the
order for compulsory purchase has been made and confirmed and between that
point of time and the time when the land is finally vested in the local planning
authority. These provisions are, as a matter of drafting, very complicated in appear-
ance, because they must be grafted on to the Lands Clauses Act, 1845. It has been
the universal practice for nearly a century to follow the precedent of that Act, and
its operation has been worked out in a great body of case law. Words are given
precise and definite meanings of a technical sort, and to try to frame an entirely new
code would involve an enormous volume of work. Nevertheless, expedition at this
stage is also necessary, and it has been secured by the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh
Schedules. When the compulsory purchase order has been confirmed it must be
advertised locally, with an invitation to claim compensation and to furnish particu-
lars. The order is then registered as a local land charge and the registration oper-
ates as a notice to treat en bloc. Twenty-one days are left for challenge in the
courts and then the order becomes operative. The authority may then give notice
of entry on the land, leaving the question of compensation to be duly settled

Replanning the Blitzed and Blighted Areas

At the same time the older form of completion is retained as an alternative.
The notice to treat in this case is served individually. That is for use in appropriate
cases. For example, liability for compensation for disturbance runs from the
date of the notice to treat, and in the case of smaller and less urgent purchases the
authority might well prefer to choose that date as near as possible to the time when
They are to enter. Thus the procedure has been speeded up at both stages, and the
resultant new method not only is quick where speed is essential but is flexible, with
variants at both stages of the process making it readily adaptable to the variations
in the actual physical problem with which it is designed to deal.
It is to be remembered that-and I ask the House to pay attention to this-
that what counts is smooth working in practice and not a delusive simplicity in
the print of the Bill. These details of procedure can well be considered in Com-
mittee. But I would like the House to have at this stage my general justification,
for it is not an apology, for a method which must increase the difficulties of hon.
Members but will ease the labors of those who have to put the legislation into
practice. These powers to acquire the bombed areas which is conferred by the
first two Clauses of the Bill form part of the Government's reconstruction program
for the period immediately succeeding the armistice. They are limited in general,
and with exceptions, to a period of.five years after the passing of the Act. I think
it will be the desire of everyone that as soon as we can we shall set about healing
the wounds which the enemy has inflicted upon our towns and cities, and it is
right that a sense of urgency should be imported into the Statute. At the same time
private enterprise has its own great part to play, and from that point of view people
should know as soon as is practicable whether their property is to be acquired or
not. The problem of thq blighted areas or, as they are defined in the Clause-
"Areas of bad layout and obsolete development"
is familiar to every one of us. . These areas are similar to the bombed areas in
that they need redevelopment as a whole, but there is this important difference:
The bombed land is dead and needs resuscitation; the blighted land is still alive,
though squalid, and in need of attention as soon as we can get to it. Provision is
therefore made the acquisition of these areas and the land necessary for the
resultant overspill which may be necessary.

Blight, Blitz and the Countryside
I understand that some of my hon. Friends fear that the provision for overspill
may involve the consumption of agricultural land which otherwise would not take
place. I think otherwise. There is a long-term problem here. Nothing can be worse
for the preservation of the countryside than the process, which has gone on too
long, of cities dying at the center and spreading further and further on to green
land outside. It is rather like the Mad Hatter's tea party, at which if you spilt the
tea in one place, you moved on to a dean place round the corner of the table. It is
similar to the dust bowls which have devastated large areas of the earth's surface
as a result of people working on an area, exploiting it and then moving on to
another area, leaving the first one a desert. There is no ultimate policy for the
preservation of the countryside from building except that of making the interiors of
our cities healthier and happier places to dwell in.
Perforce owing to the war the problem has a longer range. We shall need all
the homes we have for some years after the war, and instead of pulling down
houses we shall be in general striving might and main to build more. We recog-
nize the need for dealing, in a land acquisition Bill of this sort, with the powers
of local authorities which are at present defective. Therefore, they are given power
to acquire the land by compulsory purchase if need be as and when they feel able
to redevelop it and a public inquiry is enjoined in each disputed case. In other

British Speeches of the Day

respects the new, expedited and flexible procedure is applied to blight as to blitz.
It is eminently desirable, in my view, that these new powers of acquisition shall
not be exercised piecemeal and in isolation from each other. The safeguard against
this is good town planning over the whole area of a town, the parts which are to
be acquired as well as those which are not. Working to such a good plan and
applying the planning powers as they exist at the moment, and as we hope to
improve them, as well as those of acquisition, steady progress can be made in the
improvement of the whole urban community.
Additional powers to acquire land are given by this Bill and this is the land
which they cover: bomb damaged land and the land necessary to make a recon-
struction program round about, and also the land necessary for the overspill;
blighted land and the land necessary for providing alternative accommodation for
persons displaced therefrom; and also the land necessary-and this is important-
for the highways which are required for both these reconstruction proposals. There
is one further category of land to acquire which powers are for the first time con-
ferred by the Bill. It is mentioned in Clause 10. ...
What is meant by overspill is the land outside the area which is being recon-
structed which it is necessary to take in order to supply accommodation for people
who are displaced from the area which is being reconstructed. It is additional land
which local authorities can acquire as mentioned in Clause 10. The purposes for
which this power is given are these. The Clause is headed-
"Power to purchase land for certain planning purposes: authorization under
normal procedure."
The purposes are: First, to secure balanced development, that is to say, the indus-
trial or commercial development of a town which lacks facilities of that kind. The
House will remember that the Corporation of Kingston-upon-Hull recently pro-
moted a Bill seeking this power for themselves, and I said at the time that what
Hull required in this direction was also required by all the bombed cities which have
suffered and resisted so gallantly. This applies to all planning authorities. Further,
this Clause may be used to provide for alternative sites where redevelopment should
not take place on the old sites but should, in -the public interest, take place some-
where else. For example, in the case of a hospital which has been bombed it might
not be the best thing for it to come back to the old site, but a hospital will be
needed in the area and power is given to acquire land on which to erect the hospital
if it does not come back to the original spot. Generally, the Clause can be used to
enable the planning authorities to smooth out the wrinkles due to planning, recon-
struction and the war. As this land will normally be acquired in relatively small par-
cels normally the non-expedited procedure is imposed by the Second Schedule. .

Disposal of the Land
Next I want to come to the disposal of the land once it is in the hands of the
local planning authorities, a question which is dealt with in the main in Clauses
15 and 16. There will be some land which a local authority will require for its
own purposes-its housing program, roads, open spaces, schools, public buildings
and so on. Much, however, will be required for other developments which will be
carried out in the main by private enterprise, for in this work of reconstruction we
must enlist the whole energies of both public and private enterprise.
The Bill assumes that, in the main this development will be carried out by
private enterprise, shops, banks and so on, and it provides that the authority may
dispose of land acquired normally by lease. I would draw attention to one thing
in the Bill. In Clause 15, Sub-section (6), there is an important point there which

Replanning the Blitzed and Blighted Areas

hon. Members may wish to have drawn to their attention with regard to this
question of disposal. Sub-section (6) says:
"The powers conferred by this Section on a local planning authority in
respect of the disposal of land thereunder, and on the Minister in respect of
consent to such disposal, shall be so exercised as to secure so far as may be
practicable to persons who were living, or carrying on business or other
activities, on land which the authority have acquired for the purposes of this
Part of the Act, who desire to obtain accommodation on such land, and who
are willing to comply with any requirements of the authority as to the develop-
ment and use of such land, an opportunity to obtain accommodation thereon
on terms settled with due regard to the price at which any such land has
been acquired from them."
That, generally, enables a local authority to dispose of land, once it has got it,
without being forced to sell it to the highest bidder. It can do so without risk of
surcharge; it can have regard to the desire of those previously living on the land to
come back and live on it again, and it can, in charging them rent, have equitable
regard to the price paid for the land.
Further to these methods of disposing of the land, Clause 16 contains a further
power enabling the local planning authority to dispose of its land in a new way.
Although, as I have said, it may be anticipated that the main burden of rebuilding
will be borne by private enterprise, it cannot be assumed that, in the disturbed
conditions of the immediate reconstruction period, private enterprise will find its
way quickly enough to meet certain public needs of that period. A reserve power
is, therefore, provided in this Clause for the local planning authority itself to
carry out development in order to crank things up and give a lead. It may be the
starting, for example, of a shopping center in the right place, or factory premises
necessary to a proper location of industry in the area. A quick start with this prob-
lem is essential. If things hang fire, not only do the public go short of facilities,
but the finances of redevelopment may be seriously prejudiced. There is no reason
why these properties should be less remunerative to the planning authority than
private properties to private enterprise.
One particular object which I have much at heart can come into being by such
means. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service also
has this matter much at heart-the provision of flattedd factories." Let me explain
what they are. Most of the great industries of this country started at some time with
someone in a backyard with a lathe, a few other tools and an idea, . I should
greatly like to encourage the man with the idea by putting him in good surround-
ings in order that he may develop it, because we shall need all the ideas available
in the years to come. What we want is a well-designed structure of a few storeys
where a man can rent space, for a modest sum, equipped with water and electricity.
This will give him a chance and prevent the baclkrd growing into the workshop
and factory with the consequent jumble of property which we have seen in the
past. I think this enterprise should be started early, and I seek power for the
national planning authority to enable the necessary steps to be taken. . .

I come now to the contentious, but very important, topic of money which I
divide into two parts. The first part concerns how much local and planning authori-
ties should pay for the land which they acquire under these extended powers of
compulsory acquisition. The second concerns the question how much, and to what
extent and in what manner, should the Exchequer be called upon to contribute to
their expense in acquiring it. I should preface my remarks by pointing out that,
throughout the Bill, where the compulsory acquisition of land is authorized, so also

British Speeches of the Day

is it made legal for the local planning authority to acquire land by agreement. If
the owner is not willing to sell he must be forced to sell, but what then? The
House will recollect that the Government in 1941, when people were afraid that
speculation in land values above the 1939 levels would defeat the object of
planning, made a statement on this subject following a report of the Uthwatt Com-
mittee which said that they recommended a general principle that compensation
ultimately payable in respect of public acquisition of land, or of the public control
of land, should not exceed sums based oh the standard of pre-war values. By
"pre-war value" was meant the value at the 31st March, 1939. The Government
accepted 'the principle of the following recommendation:
"The Committee recommend that the compensation payable in public
acquisition or control of land should not exceed sums based on the standard
of values at 31st March, 1939. The Government accept this principle, and
legislation to give effect to it 'will be introduced in due course. The detailed
application of the principle requires consideration. Adjustments may be needed
to meet particular cases, and the principle must be open to review if circum-
stances arise which makes its application inequitable. It is contemplated that
the principle will remain in force for a limited period during .which long-
term policy for the reconstruction of town and country after the war is being
We are dealing with the problem of what the local authority should pay for
the land in the case of compulsory purchase. I do not intend at this stage to spend
too much time on this for we shall hear a good deal about it in Committee,
and the Financial Resolution on the Paper is purposely drawn wide, so that if any-
one has a better solution than that proposed by the Government, he can put it on
the Paper and let us all have a look at it, and consider its effect. We can then make
up our minds which of the various proposals does, in fact, work more justly
than those proposed in Clauses 45 and 46 in the Bill. Whether complete, absolute
and abstract justice can ever be achieved in this matter is open to doubt. To every
solution that can be advanced, some objection can be raised. Let us have the
views of the House in the form of Amendments. The Government have given thd
most careful consideration to these difficult matters and the conclusions to which
they have come, and which they submit to the House, are embodied in the Bill.
The value of a piece of land in money is determined in the open market by
what John Doe is prepared to pay for it, and Richard Roe is prepared to sell it for.
It is an ordinary transaction between two bargainers, one willing to buy and the
other willing to sell.
But when you come to compulsory purchase, the transaction is artificial, because
Richard Roe is not willing to sell. He has to be compelled to do so by a Bill such
as this. Therefore, we call in, il these cases, the great profession of valuers to our
aid, and they, practising the mysteries of their profession, arrive at the price which
is computed by law under Rule 2 in the Acquisition of Land Act, 1919, which says:
"The value of land shall be taken to be the amount which the land, if sold
in the open market by a willing seller, might be expected to realize."
When you remember that the seller, in this case, is not really willing to sell, it is
not surprising that valuers frequently differ widely in computing the proper sum,
and that the arbitrator is brought in to decide where lies the golden mean. The
point is that valuers have to refer to an open market and a willing seller. By an
open market, I mean a normal series of transactions. The war has, temporarily,
depressed values in areas such as those on the South East coast and raised the
values of others through purely temporary causes, which will cease to have effect
within a short time after the armistice. Such transactions as have taken place

Replanning the Blitzed and Blighted Areas

during this disturbed period do not afford an open market and where people have
sold land for what it would fetch, it is doubtful how far, in justice, they can be
considered willing, sellers. What we propose to do, for five years only, since
valuers must do their job and refer to an open market, is to direct them back to
the most recent date when there was an undisturbed market in land, namely, the
31st March, 1939. Therefore, Clause 45 says that the value of land shall be ascer-
tained by reference to prices current at 31st March, 1939.
This, incidentally, is the formula agreed to by Parliament in Section 10 of the
War Damage Act, 1943, under which many thousands of valuations have already
been made, and there are great administrative conveniences in adhering to it, and
great complications for the War Damage Commission in departing from it,
especially when we remember that we are here dealing so largely with war damaged
land. In two cases, so far, we have evidence that this rough justice might work
harshly, where there seems to be strong evidence that a rise in value since 1939 has
taken place, which is not due to the war but to social tendencies of a more per-
manent character. One is the case of the smaller houses and the other is that of
agricultural land. To the owner-occupier in each case we ask for power to pay if he
is dispossessed an additional sum calculated by reference to 1939 prices at what is
called a prescribed percentage. The dwelling houses concerned are described as
those with a rateable value not exceeding 100 in London and 75 in the provinces.
These are the limits laid down in the Rent Restriction Act. This limit covers the
whole or by far the majority of the homes of the people, and the object is, if the
rise in price of these houses persists, to enable an award of such a sum as would
roughly enable owner-occupiers to get a similar house. A like object lies behind
a similar provision in the case of the owner-occupier of agricultural land.

Exchequer Grants
I come to the last chapter of this long story-assistance from the Exchequer for
this great operation. The financial provisions deal with the issue of immediate
urgency, namely, the areas of extensive war damage but as has already been said,
the area for reconstruction will not be rigidly restricted in any way, should the
proper needs of replanning require the designation of a wider space; and any
overspill area for the reinstatement of .those displaced is also included. What are
the financial problems facing the local authorities of war damaged towns? I sug-
gest there are four main problems. First, although this is a matter not strictly
part of reconstruction, they may already be suffering a temporary loss of rates
revenue serious enough to threaten a breakdown of essential services. This is
a misfortune which they share in common with towns whose loss arises not from
war damage but from evacuation. Relief is afforded by the Ministry of Health's
wartime assistance scheme, and its continuation may be expected for as long as is
necessary. Secondly, the amount of capital required for the purchase of the areas
affected-many of them town centers in which the cream of site values will be
found-will run to very large figures. The amount involved cannot be accurately
estimated, but the Financial Memorandum to the Bill conjectures that the sum
may be of the order of 575,000,000 in respect of expenditure on acquisition and
clearance. In order to assist local authorities provision is made, in Clause 38 of
the Bill, to give them access to the Local Loans Fund.
The third and fourth problems arise respectively in the short and long terms,
but they are closely related. In both cases the question is "Will the annual income
arising on the reconstruction scheme balance the annual outgoings in the form of
loan charges?" Let us examine the two cases separately. The short-term problem
may extend for perhaps ten years, during which the immense task of physical recon-
struction will be proceeding. There is a gap, a "dead period," during which

British Speeches of the Day

inevitably receipts will lag behind outgoings, although towards the end of the
period the'amount of the annual deficit may, it is hoped, taper off and even cease.
The general nature, although not the particular incidence, of the problem is for-
seeable, and a relief for it. is wanted in some dependable form and knowledge that
it is for a reasonable period ahead. The long-term problem is of a different kind.
When the buildings are up, when life has been restored to the town, the testing
time for the ultimate success of the scheme will begin. The improvements effected
may enable values to be re-established at such a level that profits will mature. On
the other hand it is not impossible-I do not gainsay it-that the requirements of a
proper layout or other circumstances may prevent the scheme from becoming self-
supporting even in the long run. But all this is to enter the realm of guesswork.

A Great Opportunity
How does the Bill provide for these two problems? To take the short-term
problem first-the proposals, I suggest, march with the need. During the first
two years after the purchase of land, when in the average case no or very little
income may be coming in, the local authority will be relieved of all loan charges
whatsoever-in other words during these years they would pay nothing in respect
of the land which they have acquired-and this extends to overspill areas as well
as to reconstruction areas. Next, for the ensuing eight years the relief is continued
in so far as the land acquired is "incapable of being brought into use for any
substantial purpose." Further this relief is "in special circumstances" to be ex-
tended for-a further five years. Accordingly both the extent and the terms of the
relief are nicely adjusted to the circumstances of the individual case, and where
special circumstances justify it the relief is available up to a maximum period of
fifteen years. This strikes me as a practical and workmanlike way of dealing with
the short-term problem. Indeed the interpretation of what is "short-term" may be
deemed to be generous; and in regard to the administrative application of what
should be considered "use for any substantial purpose," specific provision is made
for consultation with the associations of local authorities before rules are made.
It is, therefore, submitted that these grants satisfy the tests mentioned above, and
afford relief in the short-term period in dependable form. ...
I pass to the long-term problem. Let me say by way of preface that I hope
Members and the local authorities concerned will look upon a reconstruction as
a great opportunity as well a a weighty responsibility. It is an opportunity for the
building of finer and worthier town centers and other war-damaged areas. Nor
need we preclude the probability of a satisfactory financial outcome if the oppor-
tunity is taken. Providing that during the first few years we nurse these towns
back to convalescence, which we propose to do, financial recovery should, we hope,
then set in. Accordingly, the Bill provides that in the long-term period quin-
quennial reviews should be made in order to judge what has been the financial effect
of the redevelopment. If the reviews show that a net profit has accrued,
"the Minister . after considering any representations made by the authority
may certify the amount thereof"
and to that extent the grants previously made become repayable. I have seen criti-
cisms on this point and it should be emphasized that the question of repayment
only arises if a profit has been made on the scheme itself. Only the financial effect
of the scheme, not the whole finances of the local authority, are taken under review.
But I shall doubtless be asked to consider also the case where not only no profit
accrues but a loss continues into the long-term period. It will be pointed out that
the Bill says nothing specific about that contingency. The reason is not far to seek.
As I have already said, we are here in the realm of guesswork; and you cannot

Replanning the Blitzed and Blighted Areas

prescribe in terms, and with financial commitments attached, for the incalculable.
Let us see what in fact the local authority associations desire in this particular
regard. They desire that the matter should:
"be subject to review in the light of the current financial results."
That is a very reasonable request. No definite or impracticable commitment is
sought. The associations merely ask that the door should be left open for review
at the proper time. The Bill does not differ from this. Clause 8 makes provision
for a quinquennial review. This review can have regard to losses as well as gains,
and could be made the basis for appropriate action in the case of losses, should our
successors at that time decide that circumstances call for further financial assistance.
So much in regard to financial assistance for war-damaged areas. The Bill makes
no provision for financial assistance for authorities who acquire land in obsolete
areas. The House may wish me to say a few words about this. The Government
feel that first things should come first. In the early years after the war, when there
is bound to be a shortage of labor and materials, the national effort should be
concentrated on restoration and on new accommodation-new houses, factories and
other essential needs. In this program war damaged towns will rightly have prior
claims. No effort should be spared in reconstructing devastated areas--with which,
as I have said, will be associated any obsolete areas which form a proper part of
the new layout. But to deal in general with the other overcrowded and obsolete
areas in this period would mean an unwise distraction from the supremely urgent
task of restoration, and to pull down rather than to build would moreover add to
the lack of accommodation at a time when none of it can easily be spared. It is
for that reason that no commitment is entered into in respect of finance for blighted
areas but the acquisition powers are in the Bill.
I would indicate one or two details in the provision for financial assistance to
bombed areas. The assistance is towards the cost of purchasing and clearing the
land. Clearing the land includes, by Clause 49, "preparing land to the prescribed
extent for development including the construction of any prescribed works in the
course of so preparing it." "Loan charges" cover both interest and sinking fund.
Clause 5, Sub-section 4, provides that if a local planning authority finances the
operation out of its own money, this is treated as a national borrowing, and the
grant towards loan charges is payable just as if, in fact, they had borrowed it.
These provisions are not ungenerous. ....
I have discharged my task of exposition to the best of my ability and I have
attempted to make the main plan and purpose of the Bill clear. The Bill confers
great powers on local authorities and I hope that they, with my Department and
the public, will work in harmony and with zeal for the accomplishment of the task
which lies before us all. As to future progress, I propose, if I get the Second
Reading, to enter into consultations afresh with the local authorities between now
Sand the Committee stage. I shall debar nothing from these consultations, and I
feel sure that these consultations will be more fruitful at this stage if they are held
in the light of the discussion which is to take place here today and tomorrow. This
is a matter which concerns not only a Government Department and the Executive,
and local authorities; it concerns vitally the general public, whom these bodies
exist to serve. Parliament is the guardian of the general public. As a result, I hope
that, with mutual good will, we can agreee upon Amendments, which will improve
the Bill and yet be agreeable to this House. Besides, I shall, on the Committee
stage, look with sympathy, as I have said, and with impartiality, on Amendments
put down by hon. Members on all sides of the House.
This has been a difficult Bill to get to this stage. The ownership of land is a
topic which, in the past, has aroused much controversy in the political arena. Minis-

British Speeches of the Day

ters, as well as Members, have their own views. But my right hon. Friends and I
have had before us the urgency of this work of reconstruction, and have agreed to
present the proposals in the Bill to this House. We regard the reconstruction of
our bombed cities as an epilogue to the national emergency which brought us to-
gether. May I ask for an equal degree of objectivity and mutual forbearance from
the House, in order that this great work may be set on foot by this present Parlia-
[House of Commons Debates]

Minister of Fuel and Power
House of Commons, July 13, 1944

While this is by no means the first time on which the work of my Ministry has
been reviewed, previous discussions have centered, practically entirely, on the
question of coal production. This is not altogether surprising, in view of the
circumstances which existed when this Ministry was formed, But I think it is of
real importance that the Committee and the country should realize that this
Ministry is responsible for all forms of fuel and power. While coal, of course,
is the source of most of the power in this country and will, therefore, attract
most attention, we must not forget petroleum, gas and electricity, which play an
extremely important part in our industrial and domestic life. Therefore, I think
it important that I should say a very brief word about those three industries,
before I proceed to the larger question of coal. On the supply side, most of
the work of the Petroleum Division of my Ministry must, for obvious reasons,
remain secret. I can only say that, under the direction of the Oil Control Board,
of which the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry, my right hon. Friend
the Member for Ladywood (Mr. G. Lloyd) is chairman, it is closely concerned
with the provision of adequate petroleum supplies to meet our wartime needs,
in the air, on land, and on sea. At home, of course, petrol rationing receives
rather more publicity, and, in the nature of things, cannot be popular. I do,
however, feel that, on the whole, the flexible method of rationing adopted has
general approval.
What may not be generally realized is the extent to which it has been possible
for coal and oil to assist each other. At an early stage of the war, it was thought
necessary, for supply reasons, to convert a number of industrial boilers and small
central-heating plants from oil to coke and coal-burning. Later when the supply
position changed for the better, some would change back from coal to oil.
Another illustration of this has been the relief given to the coal supply position by o
the use of gas oil for making water gas; this has saved nearly 500,000 tons of
coal this last winter. There is much public interest, and rightly so, in the ques-
tion of producing oil from coal. My Ministry is engaged with the Fuel Research
Board in full examination of this problem. During the war we have developed
on a very large scale the use of home-produced creosote pitch from coal tar as a
substitute for imported fuel -oil in industrial plants. This is by far the largest
substitution of a home-produced fuel for imported oil which this country has
yet seen. We have also greatly extended during the war the production of benzol
from coal at gas-works and coke-ovens. This benzol is at present largely used not,
as before the war, for motor spirit, but as a component of aviation spirit and as a
source of toluene for explosives.

Wartime Fuel Administration 25

As this war has progressed it has laid an increasing burden upon the gas and
electricity industries. It is common enough to think of the question of coal supply
as the only difficulty which confronts these two industries, but there are other
equally important matters which we have to consider. It is obvious that plants
in both these industries have been working under a very great strain since the war
started. Replacements and repairs, are not easy to make, and labor, particularly in
the gas industry, is an extremely difficult problem. But in spite of these great
difficulties the output of gas has been increased by over 10 per cent since the war
started and the electricity supply by over 51 per cent. This has been a very great
effort, and the country has cause to be grateful to those engaged in these two in-
dustries for the magnificent way in which they have met and overcome these very
substantial difficulties.
But we must remember that the demands made upon these two industries
for our war effort are constantly being increased, and economy in the use of gas
and electricity is more than ever necessary. I would, therefore, point out that
many domestic consumers have been a great deal less careful with gas and elec-
tricity,than they have been with solid fuel. There is an impression that by using
gas and electricity they are saving coal. Indeed, it was brought to my notice the
other day, much to my surprise, that there are certain people who do not con-
nect electricity with coal at all. It sounds a little startling and it is perhaps just
as well that I should repeat that there is a very close connection, and that it is
not a saving of fuel to save solid fuel, and substitute electricity or gas. In indus-
try, with the assistance of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Production,
very substantial cuts have been made, and without any appreciable effect upon our
production. In the same way economies by domestic consumers can and must be
made, and I believe they can be made. without producing any undue rigor or
Whilst we are dealing with the immediate and pressing problems we have also
to consider the long-term needs of these two industries. I recently appointed a
Committee, under the chairmanship of Mr. Geoffrey Heyworth, to consider the
future development of the gas industry. The Government also have under active
consideration the future organization of the electricity industry, and during the
last few weeks I have been collecting the views of the industry itself from as
many groups and points of view as possible. I need say no more here than that
they were not lacking either in thought or variety.

The White Paper
I now turn to the principal subject of this Debate, and that is the statistical
White Paper, published last week. I believe its publication in the form in which
it has appeared was absolutely essential. Experience has shown me that the pub-
lished figures were, in many casps, incomplete. I believe that this paper is almost
unique in its completeness. Indeed, I think it would be hard to find another
industry, certainly in this country, about which so much information has been
made available. It may be that the word "Digest" as a title was slightly optimistic,
but whether that be so or not I am certain that the White Paper will be of the
greatest value to hon. Members who are interested in fuel and power questions.
There are two comments which I would make on the White Paper. First,
formidable as this document appears to be, it is only a summary of the figures
available to my Ministry for the purposes of day-to-day control. In the second
place, for security reasons it has been necessary to withhold certain figures. . .
When I say "for security reasons" I really mean it, and I can assure my hon.
Friend that there have been certain incidents in the war years which fully justify

British Speeches of the Day

the leaving out of certain figures. It may be convenient, if, rather than deal with
items in the White Paper, I review the recent history of the coal industry and
refer to the salient figures illustrating its course as revealed in the White Paper.
The Committee will recall that when my Ministry was set up in 1942 its prime
function was, to put it briefly, to make both ends meet. I have described on other
occasions how in each coal year I formulate a budget, which like every budget
has to be capable of meeting any strains and stresses which may arise, indeed,
which are almost certain to arise in this industry in wartime. In 1942-43, when
we had a mild winter, we were able to add 4,400,000 tons of coal to our stocks.
Last winter, 1943-44, we barely got through, and far from adding to our stocks
we had' to take 4,500,000 tons out of our distributed stocks.

Summers Cancel Winters
It is not unimportant to remember that whilst we certainly had two mild
winters we have had two very cold summers. On three occasions only this sum-
mer, since the beginning of July, has the temperature reached 70 degrees Faren-
heit. Whilst one likes to have a mild winter, which is very helpful indeed, if
we do not have a fairly normal summer the effect upon stock-building, which is
very important in the summer, is serious. The effect upon the consumption of
electricity if there is a sudden cold spell in the middle of the summer is amazing.
I remember that on 13th June last year the temperature was exactly the same as
on 13th December last year. That does affect the stock position very much in-'
deed, and the effect of it is appreciable over the winter. The Committee will
not expect me to give the present figures of these distributed stocks, but I can
assure them it has never reached the level estimated by hon. Members of this
House who produced a pamphlet not very long ago, which said there was nothing
at all. That would imply a rather dangerous accuracy of calculation on the part of
my officials, which we could ill afford.
Hon. Members will recall that two years ago to restrict consumption was re-
garded as of as much importance almost as to increase production, and they will
be interested to know the successive reductions in total consumption and will find
them in Table 22 of the White Paper. In 1941-42 we consumed 206,000,000
tons; in 1942-43, 199,000,000 tons; and in 1943-44, 198,000,000. This last figure
of 198,000,000 tons is a remarkable figure in view of the increased requirements
during the war of our public utilities, our Services, and certain branches of our
The necessity for restrictions has been emphasized by the decline in output.
Restrictions on their existing scale, without inflicting any real hardship or seri-
ously affecting the output of industry, have only been possible through the exercise
of the system of control known as the "programming of supplies," which was
referred to in the White Paper in 1942. During the past two years I have in-
stituted a system whereby every industrial firm ih the country which consumes
more than 100 tons of coal or coke per annum, together with 10,000 non-indus-
trial establishments, received coal under a regular weekly program. It has meant
that the needs of every consumer have had to be estimated by a separate calculation
of the- requirements met grade by grade in the types of coal required. Similar
programming exists for public utilities, Service Departments and other types of
consumers. By these means we have been able not only to ensure a regular and
planned flow of supplies from colliery to consumer but also a system whereby
every ton of coal produced, no matter what its type, size or quality, is sent into
essential production. A member of the American Mission now in this country
told one of my officials that our coal distribution machinery reminded him of the
Chicago stockyards where everything except the squeal was used. I do not know

Wartime Fuel Administration

who gives the squeal in this country, but I can assure hon. Members that we
use that as well. . .
We have maintained our war production and given to our people, on the whole,
a reasonable standard of comfort. We quite appreciate that the quality of some
of the coal is not as good as before, nor could it be, and it is the same with other
things. The fact of the matter is that we have done well on the whole and made
the greatest war effort that any country has ever seen.
A further consequence of this control over distribution has been that it has
enabled us to improve the transport of coal, a very important matter in these
days. Cross-hauls have been eliminated and valuable ton-miles saved by a radical
rearrangement of transport. In the Midland district, in particular, we have intro-
duced a system whereby a large proportion of the coal goes in complete train-
loads straight from the collieries to the consumers. This has eliminated the need
for the marshalling of wagons en route and relieved the congestion of the rail-
ways. The advantages of this control over distribution and transport were realized
to the full during the difficult period we went through in the Spring, when we
had strikes in two of the largest coal producing districts, as well as the tremen-
dous task the railways were performing in handling military traffic made ordinary
distribution impossible. Through this control alone could my officers determine
with precision when somebody must be helped and whence that help was to come.
The maintenance of the electricity supplies in South Wales, and the continuance
of the railways services during the Yorkshire stoppage, are good examples of
the benefits flowing from this control. But in addition to the control of supplies
from the colliery end, my regional organization has been keeping constant watch
on the position from the point of view of the individual consumer. Every week
-and this is a point I do want the Committee to remember-the stock, con-
sumption and delivery position of all the 23,000 industrial consumers, of the
10,000 non-industrial consumers, the public utilities and the 6,000 household coal
depots is known in my Ministry, and action is taken to adjust their stocks where
necessary. That is a tremendous item, and I do not think there is anything like
it anywhere else. As a result of that, despite all the difficulties of last winter, the
number of industrial consumers who were recorded as stopping production for
want of coal was less than 100, most of these being relatively low priority firms.
With regard to the domestic consumer, much the same procedure is adopted.
Like the industrial concern, he is encouraged where conditions permit, to stock-
up during the summer so that he can draw upon his store in the winter months.
It is vitally important that those people who can store coal in the summer should
have every reasonable opportunity of doing so, because, by doing so, they are re-
leasing the distributors' transport and labor to be concentrated during the winter
on the consumers who have no storage capacity at all. At the same time, reserves
of coal in merchants' depots must be built up during the summer to provide coal
for distribution in the winter, and this is one of the reasons why it is essential
to place some restriction, even during the summer, on the amount of coal which
householders can be permitted to buy and store. The opportunity to buy coal
during the summer carries with it, of course, the obligation to save as much as
possible for the winter, and I cannot over-emphasize the importance of rigid econ-
omy during the summer in order to meet our obligations during the winter to the
people without storage space. To those persons in large tenements, for instance,
we give priority of delivery in winter. . .
Some areas will be getting stocks earlier than others, because of operational
difficulties, over which we have no control. Where there are cases of difficulty, such
as we had last winter, the number has been very greatly reduced and, indeed,

British Speeches of the Day

it would be much smaller still, I believe, if the people concerned would make use
of the services of their local fuel overseer. Many cases have come to my notice
which I have found have never been before the local fuel overseer and when sent
back to the overseer they have been adjusted. Where a case cannot be adjusted,
it comes to me, but, as I have said, in many cases the fuel overseer had never
been approached at all and had he been approached he could have.adjusted the
matter. I am going to make that known during the winter so that people can
make use of the overseer to overcome their difficulty.

Strikes and Absenteeism
I devoted some time to the mechanism of distribution since this has proved
of such tremendous value to us in getting through this last difficult winter, but
our main difficulty is one of production. Production, beyond doubt, as the first
Table in the White Paper shows, has been acutely disappointing. I may, per-
haps, recapitulate the reasons. Disputes have been a most serious impediment and
voluntary absenteeism, although the Paper shows that there has been some
improvement, is still of serious dimensions. There are other important con-
siderations, however, such as the increasing age of experienced men, and the
time-lag before new entrants attain real efficiency, wartime. shortages and so
on, but the big losses have still remained due to strikes and absenteeism. At the
time of the new wages agreement, both sides of the industry emphasized their
resolve to do everything in their power to eradicate disputes of the kind which
led to so many, and such severe, stoppages in the coalfields earlier this year. For
that reason I do not want to discuss these strikes, grievous as their effect has been.
In one region, however-Scotland-strikes, although mainly short-lived and on.
a small scale, have persisted, and I should not be doing my duty if I failed to draw
attention to the damage done by such stoppages, not only to our war effort but
to the confidence engendered by the wages agreement. Far too often these stop-
pages are for very trivial and unreasonable causes .
As regards absenteeism, this does show some improvement. Involuntary ab-
senteeism has increased at the end of the fifth year of war, but voluntary absen-
teeism has declined from 5 per cent in the first quarter of 1943 to 4.7 per cent
in the first quarter of this year. A considerable part of the credit for the reduction
of absenteeism must go to the work of the regional Investigation Officers and to
the effect of the voluntary fining system of which the Committee is aware. I
would like to refer shortly to a special inquiry made six months ago by my Ministry
as a result of a suggestion from my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham
(Mr. Keeling).
This showed that in a normal week over 76 per cent of the men lost no
shifts at all, voluntarily. Seventeen per cent only lost one shift and only about
seven per cent two or more shifts. How many shifts were worked? The number
of shifts worked per man is still greater than before the war and 76 per cent
lost no shifts at all during the week which is a considerable achievement. I feel
bound to repeat that, having regard to the fact that we are now nearing the end
of the fifth year of war and to the nature and circumstances of coal mining work,
the vast majority of the men are attending satisfactorily. Only a relatively small
minority are taking advantage of wartime conditions to purchase leisure at their
country's expense, and the number of these men, as I have said, is actually reduced
for last year.
Before I deal with the steps taken by my Ministry to offset these impediments
to production, I must briefly refer to the coal won from open-cast workings. To
say that this coal has been useful is to put it rather mildly. In the last coal year

Wartime Fuel Administration

the output was 5,500,000 tons, and since November, 1941, 9,500,000 tons of
saleable coal have been produced and 7,500,000 tons disposed of. It is hoped-
that, during the present year, we shall be able to get at least 12,000,000 tons
from this source. In the autumn of 1943, a program for the construction of
linking points, railway sidings and speeding plants was undertaken. It was
hoped that this program would be complete by the beginning of this coal year,
but there have been delays from various causes which have led to an accumula-
tion of stocks, in the Midland district particularly. Much has been done, however,
and the Ministry of Works hope that the work will be substantially complete in
about two months. The screening of coal will greatly increase its sphere of
usefulness, and add to the large coal available for domestic purposes.

Steps to Increase Production
With regard to further production, my Ministry have taken a number of
important steps to offset these impediments to production. These steps, which
I will briefly outline, are not only of wartime importance. They will, I anticipate,
Effectively increase the post-war efficiency of the industry. First, as a wartime
measure, I have appointed a number of group production directors in each Region,
in each case drawn, in the main,'from the general manager and managing-director
class in the mining industry, who now supervise production at large groups of
pits. In this way, their experience and knowledge is pooled for the benefit of the
industry as a whole and is not confined to ohe particular undertaking. It is still,
obviously, too early to report on the outcome of this measure, but I can say that
it promises well. Secondly, we have recently had the benefit of a visit from a
technical and economic mission of United States experts brought here to ex-
amine and report upon our methods, with particular reference to mechanization. I
hope that we shall derive considerable advantage from the report of the mission,
which I have just received. Naturally, it deals mainly with the problem of
mechanization, to which I will refer later. I would first draw the attention of the
Committee to the increase shown in the White Paper in the percentage of coal
cut by mechanical means-Table 10. It is now over 70 per cent as compared
with 59 per cent before the war. The conveying of coal by machinery has also
risen during the war and now stands at 68 per cent. I think it was 54 per cent
before the war..
I nee4 not remind the Committee that conditions here differ very greatly from
those in the United States. We here have some difficulties arising out of those
different conditions, and from the lack of officials and men experienced in handling
and using these new American machines. We have been up against inevitable
delay in delivery, which the Committee will understand, and we have also been up
against teething troubles, and, quite frankly, they have lasted longer than was
anticipated. It is unlikely that a large increase will result from the use of Amer-
ican machinery during the present coal year. ...
I think the experiments are encouraging and that they ought to be persevered
in. The output per man-shift is already, on the average, some 80 per cent higher
than that obtained by the methods previously employed. It is important to remem-
ber that that increase is only half the target figure set. Only last week, at one
colliery, the output per man-shift rose from 21/2 tons to the target figure of 8.2
tons, while the output per loader shift was 150 tons, which compares quite favor-
ably with American practice. Vigorous steps are being taken to improve the posi-
tion generally, and we are taking full advantage of American knowledge and
practical experience. The number of demonstrations in this country has been
increased, and visits to the United States by British mining engineers are being

British Speeches of the Day

The most important step was the establishment at Sheffield by the Ministry of
'Labour of a Mechanisation Training Centre. Here, American machinery has been
installed in prepared galleries, and officials and workmen who are to operate the
machinery, are given a short course of training. A longer course, lasting six
months, has been established for selected workmen from collieries, in which instruc-
tion is given in mechanical and electrical work to fit the students for employment
underground at the face on maintenance work, both with American and other
machinery. The work done at this Centre has received high commendation from
the American Mission, and is clearly of very great value for the future.
The steps which I have outlined to increase production and efficiency in our
pits will depend largely on able and efficient management. We need, everywhere,
a relationship between management and workmen based on confidence rather than
suspicion. I know from my own experience that such conditions can be created,
and, indeed, that it exists at many pits up and down the country. Elsewhere, how-
ever, indiscipline and customs restrictive of work exist and I think should be
abandoned. This has led to repeated requests by colliery managers that I should
remove the Essentiaf Work Order from the coal-mining industry, in order that
they may again have the sanction of dismissal. I do not think they fully appreciate
what the implications of such an action would be, but, apart from this, I must
say again that, if we succeed nationally in our policy of full employment, a new
technique of labor management in the mines will be necessary, because this has
nothing to do with the war; it is a question of the supply and demand of labor.
The coal industry might do worse than consider the suggestion made last year by
my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Fylde (Lieut.-Colonel Lancaster) when
he advocated a system of personnel managers. It is for the industry itself to find
its way out of this difficulty.

Labor Problems
This leads me to a short account of the work of my Ministry on labor prob-
lems. I would first of all emphasize the importance I attach to the new wages
agreement. Again and again, on my visits to the coalfields I was impressed by the
attitude and point of view of the workmen, who always expressed anxiety as to'
their future, and particularly with reference to what happened after the last war.
I was determined that some form of security should be secured, and we all know
that the agreement prescribes a minimum period of four years free from wage
strife, during which the transition from war to peace can take place, and future
needs can be considered and agreed. In addition, the agreement seeks to encourage
greater output by providing a suitable reward for effort. The new wage rates must
lead to an increase in the prIce of coal unless output is increased, but a greater output
per man-shift will diminish, or possibly avoid, the need for such an increase in price.
Throughout my term of office, my principal concern has been to obtain the
best return possible from the manpower available, within the framework of Gov-
ernment policy. I do not propose to discuss the problems of the ballot and the
direction of new entrants. I should like to refer, however, to the results of this
policy. I have now received returns from all the regions of my Ministry, and these
show strikingly similar results. No less than 80 per cent of the new entrants are
satisfactory or more than satisfactory, while only 6 per cent are really disappointing.
I think that is a very encouraging figure. I think it is right, and I think the Com-
mittee will agree that the efforts of these young men should be recognized. I
would like also to pay tribute to those in the mining areas who have welcomed
these young men, particularly the workmen, who have made much easier the new
entrants' task of adjusting themselves to totally new conditions. In every has been so.

Wartime Fuel Administration 31

I have mentioned recruitment during the war. No one will dispute that it
is going to be one of our major problems in the post-war period. It will be seen
from Table 3 of the White Paper that in 1943, less than 50,000 youths below 18
were in the mines, compared with over 70,000 in 1938. Further, at the present
time, juvenile recruitment is running at the annual rate 'of 11,000, against a
national gross wastage of nearly 40,000. It is not necessary for me to drive home
the lesson of these figures. Hon. Members are entitled to ask what is being done
to meet the situation, which is not of wartime importance only. If the industry
is to attract our youth, it must be made an industry that offers real opportunity.
It is, however, difficult in wartime, to make changes affecting the industry. Mate-
rials and labor are in short supply, and it is generally necessary to think in terms
of weeks rather than in terms of years. Even so, since the Ministry was set up
two years ago, we have been able to establish a Mines Medical Service, to extend
to the number of eight the rehabilitation centers operated by the Miners' Welfare
Commission-two more have been opened in the last few weeks in Durham and
Northumberland-and to bring into operation, again through the Miners' Welfare
Commission, canteens serving about 1,000 collieries employing nearly 700,000
men. We have also set up, with the help of the Ministry of Labour, 13 training
centers for new entrants, through which nearly 20,000 men have already passed,
and a special mechanization training center at Sheffield, for training mine person-
nel of all grades, in the operation and maintenance of all type of machinery. ...
The allocation of the trainees is proceeding smoothly, but hon. Members will
appreciate that it is not easy to maintain the appropriate weekly rates of flow in
view of fluctuations in the rate of supply and the obvious desirability of respecting
the preferences of the trainees themselves. Further, there are one or two areas
of special difficulty. The number of men becoming available in the mining indus-
try in Lancashire, fdr instance, is much in excess of the numbers required to meet
with the region's requirements and it has been necessary to send a proportion of
them to neighboring regions. Housing has also presented difficulties, but reception
in private houses in mining areas has been remarkable. At the moment there are
about 2,500 new entrants, lodged in well-equipped hostels, which have been estab-
lished by the Ministry of Labour in the coalfields.
My hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary will deal in detail with mat-
ters affecting safety and welfare, with which he is peculiarly fitted to deal, but I
would like to draw attention to Tables 28 and 29 in the Digest which deal with
the number of fatal and other accidents. They show a decrease in the number of
fatal accidents and those producing serious injuries. The total of 713 fatal acci-
dents is, indeed, the lowest ever recorded for a full year's working which, I think,
in the fifth year of war, serious enough. Still it is encouraging to know that this
year it is the lowest that has ever been recorded. The decrease in serious accidents
has been evident both at the pits and on the haulage roads, the former being due
to fewer falls of roofs, consequent, no doubt, on better roof control, a matter to
which we are paying particular attention. There has, however, been an increase
in minor injuries resulting in absence from work for more than three days. No
convincing explanation is given of this increase, and it is not easy to visualize a
change in working conditions which would simultaneously result in a decrease of
minor accidents. It may be that the cumulative strain of five years of war has
caused a somewhat longer recuperative period to be necessary in the case of some
injured men.
I do not want to detain the Committee longer than I can help but there are
one or two points on which I shall have to touch again before I conclude. Mem-
bers representing the mining regions will be glad to hear that it has recently been
possible to make some small headway-and I emphasize this-with the preparation

British Speeches of the Day

of a new Coal Mines Safety Bill on the lines of the reforms worked out by the
Royal Commission of 1935 to 1938, so that we may be in a position to press for-
ward with this legislation at the earliest possible date. But, as I say, I emphasize
the fact that, owing to circumstances beyond our control the matter cannot be dealt
with at the moment. Even during the war itself it has been possible to make some
progress, without recourse to legislation, on some of the recommendations of the
Royal Commission-for instance, in the compulsory installation of mist-spraying
and dust-laying apparatus in the South Wales anthracite pits. I must refer, too,
to the report which has just been submitted to me by the special committee which
I set up to study the incidence of pneumoconiosis in those pits, and I hope soon
to report what action is being taken on its recommendations. This Report, which
will soon be published, is being very closely studied. This record of reform and
improvement in wartime is not, of course, complete. I am hoping, for instance,
that when circumstances improve the Miners' Welfare Commission will be able to
resume, even in wartime, the erection of pithead baths at those pits which are most
in need of them. Here again, progress will have to be slow because of shortage
of labor and material.

Pit Production Committees
Finally, I am glad to report that there has been a gradual and steady improve-
ment in the standard of pit production committees during this last year. It has
considerably improved on the figures which I gave the last time I spoke on this
matter, and I would like to say that there has been more co-operation, as a result
of my appeal, particularly through the managements and definitely they have very
greatly improved. But much still remains to be done, however, and much must
depend on the active interest of the district miners' unions. I made an appeal to
the managements. Hon. Members opposite may agree that it would be helpful to
encourage special pit ballots for the men's representatives.
Last year 25 per cent of them [the Committees] were very good, and the rest
not' so good. There has been a tremendous improvement this year and I am saying
that we want 100 per cent, because, in my view, it will be of tremendous value to
the industry, and the more there are, the better it will be. ...
No observer of the coal-mining industry in this country, certainly no one who
listened to our Debates in the old days, could fail to be impressed by the constant
harping on the past. If such references are merely in order to keep alive resent-
ments and suspicions, then all must agree that they are to be deplored; they can
be justified only where there is an intention of learning from the mistakes that
have been made in the.past. In the coal-mining industry, more perhaps than in
any other, our attention should be focused on the needs of the future; for the
industry is not merely of importance to the nation in the stress and turmoil of war,
but is the very basis of our industrial prosperity in peace. It is, of course, for
Parliament to decide, as it has been laid down, what the future control of the
scheme of this industry shall be, but I do want to stress this. Whatever the system
or structure 6f this industry after the war, whether it be nationalization, private
enterprise or any other form of control-whichever form it takes-the industry
will have to be run efficiently.
This has to be agreed upon-if the industry is to make a proper contribution
to national economy, if it is to maintain the people who work within it at a
decent standard of life we all wish to see, we must have an efficient industry.
Hon. Members will agree that this industry will not be able to make that contri-
bution either to national economy or to the standard of living of its people, on
the present low output per manshift, and consequently the present high cost of
production per ton. I believe in good wages. They are the spur to efficiency,

Wartime Fuel Administration

and I am glad, and so is everybody else, I think, in this country, that the miner
is being remunerated more in accordance' with the arduous and dangerous char-
acter of his calling, and in a closer relation to other industries, than he has been

Labor Relations
But the men themselves must understand that high wages can only be main-
tained by a high output per manshift, so that the cost of production permits the
supply of coal at a reasonable price to our industries, particularly those manufac-
turing goods for export, and to those who buy our coal overseas as coal. It may
be an old story, but it is none the less true. What are the steps which have to be
taken to increase the efficiency of this industry?
I would say without hesitation that the first essential is to improve greatly
the present relationship between the two sides of the industry.
I do not think that, generally speaking, this country has much to learn in the
matter of labor relations from any other country, but I do know that visitors from
overseas, who have visited our coalfields, have been astonished and dismayed to see
how poor are the relations between owners and men in some sections of our coal-
bearing districts. I am certain that a genuine improvement in co-operation between
those engaged in the industry would.cause a substantial and speedy increase in coal
production. Wise leadership on both sides now is therefore essential. The second
requisite is to have pits properly planned and equipped, so that proper effort and
co-operation will reap their reward in output. This is a conservative industry and
while it is true that much coal face mechanization has been done in this country,
involving the use of coal cutters and conveyors, the underground transport systems
have never, generally speaking, been overhauled. We are still working very largely
with the same size of tubs, the same type of haulage, equipment. Delays due to
poor facilities of this kind have, in many cases, prevented us getting the fullest
advantage of the face equipment that has been put in.
Where they can be applied, American methods and machinery can do much to
increase the productivity of our mines, but it must be recognized that the use of
the longwall system, either advancing or retreating, will still be necessary over a
large portion of our coalfields.
There is need for considerable research into new methods of coal-getting which
will be applicable to British conditions. A resulting reduction in the cost of haul-
age and road making of itself should make an overhaul worth while. There must,
too, be a marked increase in efficiency where men can be transported to the face,
rather than walk, as fi some pits as much as two miles or more underground before
reaching.their working place. Apart from the question of efficiency, I take the
human side to support that. That should certainly be overcome and it is one of
the things which will have to be done. It is true to say that in far too many
of our pits today we are trying to carry the motor traffic of the pre-war days on the
roads built in the last century. That is a thing which has to be put right. In
addition, surface equipment must be brought up to date so that coal is properly
prepared for the market. Properly planned development work, including new
sinkings, should be put in hand to replace obsolete and uneconomic pits. Many,
I am sure, will have read with approval the passage in a pamphlet to which I
referred recently and in which we are reminded that the interests of a coal-bearing
area should be considered as a whole, rather than the interests of a .particular
No less important than efficiency in the production of coal is efficiency in its
utilization. This is, in my judgment, the third essential for a more efficient indus-

British Speeches of the Day

try and one of the most important lessons we have learnt in the past two years
Substantial reductions in industrial consumption have been made as a result of
education in the utilization of fuel. I commend my hon. Friends to look at what
has been done by the fuel economy experts in my Ministry. Hon. Members will
have observed the scale of my Ministry's efforts. I attach equal importance to
improved fuel utilization in peacetime, not in this case to balance the coal budget
but to reduce the fuel costs of industry. Wartime research and education will
provide a valuable contribution to this. My Ministry, together with experts in the
industry, are already working on peacetime problems of fuel utilization. I have
previously informed the House of my decision to appoint a National Fuel and
Power Advisory Council, one of whose principal functions will be to advise on
certain major technical and economic problems of fuel and power production and
utilization. I am glad to inform the Committee that Sir Ernest Simon has accepted
my invitation to act as Chairman.
The Committee will appreciate that, inevitably, my attention and that of my
principal officers in the past has been devoted almost entirely t, the urgent task
of ensuring that essential industry should get the coal necessary for the successful
prosecution of the war, and that there should be adequate supplies to maintain
health and reasonable comfort among domestic consumers. Nevertheless, discus-
sions were begun last December, in accordance with the Prime Minister's pledge
that uncertainty and harassing fears among miners should as far as possible be
allayed. These discussions were interrupted by the strikes following the Porter
Award and the w'age negotiation over which I presided, but I hope they will now
be resumed.

A Factual Survey
Meanwhile, I have asked my Regional Controllers to prepare a factual survey
of the present resources and future development required in their regions. My
hon. Friends from Scotland will be aware that work of this kind has already been
undertaken in that region. In the preparation of these surveys my Regional Con-
trollers will be assisted by representatives of owners, mine-workers, and expert
advisers. When they are completed we-shall, I hope, be in a position never before
attained in this country I would say, to decide how to develop our resound es in each
region to the best advantage, and I believe, until we get that, it will be very diffi-
cult to know exactly how developments will work out.
I have detained the Committee longer than I meant to do tut I have, I hope,
given the Committee in outline the work of my Ministry in the main part, at any
rate, in the two years since its formation. Our record of achievement in these two
very, difficult years is not insubstantial. I have referred in'the latter part of my
remarks to work to be undertaken in the future. In reality, however, it is impos-
sible to draw distinctions between work done to meet present needs and work
designed to meet future needs. Our aim is, in short, that the value of our wartime
efforts shall not be diminished when the war ends. For the time being, however,
our efforts are directed, above all, to maintaining and increasing coal production
for wartime purposes. That has still got to be done. An increase of even one cwt.
per manshift would produce 10,000,000 more tons per annum. The need for it
is as great, if not greater, than ever. Not only have we to maintain our great war
industries but we must maintain our civil population in reasonable comfort. We
have also to provide coal supplies for operations by the Allied Forces on the Con-
tinent, and we hope that in the near future supplies of coal may also be required
for the succor of the liberated peoples of Europe. That is a very formidable task
but, I am satisfied, not one beyond our powers.
[House of Commons Debates]

Government Controls in the Post-war Period

Home Secretary and Minister of Home Security
House of Commons, July 14, 1944
I wish to give some indication of the steps which have already been taken by
the Government in this matter in preparation for the situation at the end of the
European war. We fully recognize, as a Government, that, when hostilities in
Europe come to an end, there must be a general review of the emergency powers.
When that stage is reached there will be three main questions for consid-
eration, The first one is that the end of the European stage of the war will not
be, so far as we can see, the end of the war. His Majesty will, in all probability,
still be at war, and everybody in the House will agree that there must be no
slackening of effort until Japan, as well as Germany, has been defeated. The
House will no doubt agree that for that purpose the Government must be armed
with all such powers as are required for the successful prosecution of the war in
the East.

War with Japan and Transition in Europe
We are engaged in one war, not two. There must be no mistake about that,
because it may lead to misunderstandings abroad. We shall still be at war, and
the Japanese war will not be a light one. We must not underestimate the Japanese.
The war may be long, or it may be short, but we may be certain it will be tough.
All sections of the House will be at one with me when I say that we are determined
to fight that war through, side by side with our Dominions, the United States and
other Allies to the utmost of our ability. There could be no question of leaving
it to our American Allies or of any shirking of our burden of the conflict. I ask
the House to agree, as I think it will, that, if the Japanese war continues longer
than the European war, the Government could not be any party, and I am sure
the House would not be any party, to any proposal that our necessary powers
should be fettered in such a way as to interfere with the effective prosecution
of the war against the barbarism of the East, which is no less a menace than the
barbarism of the Nazis in Europe.
Secondly, there is the question of the special powers which will be required
in relation to the economic problems of, and the equitable distribution of supplies
during, the transitional period between the end of hostilities in Europe and the
return to normal peacetime conditions. There are, of course, varying views as to
the necessity of such economic controls, but there is not necessarily any clear party
division of opinion. There will be gradations of opinion. As a matter of fact,
in the Debate on the White Paper on Employment Policy, there were speeches
made from this side of the House which did contemplate a period when necessary
economic controls might have to be continued.
There may be a transition period when it is desired to do certain things, and
without proper controls it may not be possible in the rapidly changing conditions
from war to peace to do them at all. It may be that there would have to be fresh
legislation under which Regulations may be made.
That is a point for consideration, but I would resist any idea that, for each
item of economic control, during the transition period, there must be a fresh
Statute. There may be legislation and there may not. It is a perfectly fair point
to argue. In that Debate there were some very interesting observations made by
a number of hon. Members, and I say this to indicate there is not a unanimous
view among Conservative Members of the House on the problem. ..

British Speeches of the Day

It will be wise for all of us to address our minds to that problem, not with
preconceived party or doctrinaire beliefs but by trying to satisfy ourselves as to what
is the right course in relation to each separate problem; what is the necessary
course in the public interest in the circumstances of the time. If all of us try
-to act in that spirit we may be able to arrive at agreed conclusions. I am not sure
about this, but it is possible, and this is the spirit in which we should seek to
approach the matter.

Revision of Defence Regulations
The question of the nature and scope of the special powers which the Gov-
ernment will need after the war to check inflation and mal-distribution of supplies
during that critical period will require the most careful consideration at the time,
and before the time. It is hoped that many of the emergency restrictions which
have been required, while the war is being waged on the Continent can be aban-
doned or modified when the war effort is concentrated in tht Far East. In particu-
lar, both the Government and the House of Commons will be anxious at that
stage to reconsider Defence Regulations which affect personal liberty and other
civil liberties, such as the freedom of the Press, and I think the House will give
me credit for the fact that I have never manifested any wish to retain these powers
for a minute longer than is necessary for the defense of the Realm. ...
I affirm on behalf of the Government, that we-and the House, too, I am sure-
will be anxious at that stage to reconsider that body of the Defence Regulations.
Civil Defence is as good an example as any of where it should be possible to
remove wartime restrictions-all the Regulations relating to Civil Defence, the
blackout and so on. There will be no reasonable excuse for continuing these and
we shall not want to do so when the European war is finished. Who knows, they
may be reconsidered, some of them, before the European war is finished? Cleady
they are in the field for reconsideration at that stage. In my view, it will be the
duty of the Government to sweep away all restrictions which can safely and with-
out social disadvantage be dispensed with, ard it will be the duty of the House
to keep the Government up to the mark. So we are all agreed about that. The
Government have every intention of doing their share of the job to the utmost
practicable extent.
I hope that I shall carry hon. Members with me when I say that it would be
premature, certainly at this stage, when no one can foresee with certainty what
conditions will obtain at the termination of hostilities in Europe, to attempt to
specify what policy in connection with Emergency Powers ought to be followed
at that stage. A concrete decision must be postponed until the question can be
considered in the light of the circumstances obtaining at that time. Ne ertheless,
the Government have already been thinking ahead and they have been earmarking
various emergency measures which it may be possible, as far as can be foreseen
from the knowledge at our disposal at present, to revoke or to modify when
hostilities in Europe cease. When that date is reached it will be not only the duty
of the Government themselves to make up their own minds about that general
review, but it will be their duty to come to Parliament and to consult Parliament
and give the House the fullest opportunity of reviewing the whole position and
considering the extent and nature of the Emergency Powers which ought to be
continued. It will be the duty of the Government at that time to make a con-
sidered declaration as to where they stand on the matter and what their policy is.

Parliament Must Decide
I have been careful not to commit myself to the view that new legislation will
be either necessary or desirable. I leave the Government absolutely free on that
point. On the other hand, hon. Members have urged that there should be new

Demobilization and Reconstruction in Africa 37

legislation, and they have every right so to urge, All that I have said is that the
House at that time shall have a full opportunity of reviewing the whole situation
on a statement which the Government will make. The question of new legislation
is a matter for consideration at the time. Of course, at the end of the day the
Government must meet the wishes of Parliament. The Government must either
adapt itself to the will of Parliament, or make way for a Government which will
do so, but it will be for the Government to make up its mind and Parliament must
decide. I do not propose to go now beyond a broad outline. For the reasons I
have given, it would be wrong to contemplate that the whole system of emergency
powers can be brought to an end at that date. Undoubtedly special powers will be
needed, both for the purposes of the continuing conditions of war and for the
purposes of the economic and social problems of the transitional period. It may
be that some slight extension of the emergency powers may be needed in certain
respects, just as it may be, that they can be diminished in others. We must have
fluid and open minds as to what is necessary in the public interest at the time.
Nevertheless, the nature and extent of those emergency powers is a question which
the Housewill be fully entitled to review in the light of fresh considerations which
will arise as the result of the cessation of the war in Europe.
If I may say so, I think that fairly meets the various points which have been
raised in the House. Nobody can expect the House' to be absolutely unanimous
on these things. There are temperamental differences about them and I do not
claim to be absolutely representative of every hon. Member in this respect. I try
to serve the House at faithfully as I can, to reflect its will and to reconcile it
with my duty as Secretary of State for the Home Department. But what the House
was entitled to ask for, and the essence of what the House in all quarters did ask
for, was that when a situation arises in which there is a prima facie case for
reviewing this matter the Government will not evade the issue but will come
to the House afresh and say, "Let Us have a talk about it." That we will do, and
we go further. We say that we are already examining this matter in detail, so
that there will be no need-provided the House gives us reasonable latitude as
regards time-for that Government to come along and say, "We are very sorry,
we forgot to thiuk about this question before, and now you must wait for an
indefinite period until we have had time to think about it." That situation will'
not arise; we shall be ready, quite frankly and fairly to confer with the House
about the matter in the situation which will then exist. I hope that, with that
assurance, the House will be good enough to give us the Motion moved by my
right hon. Friend.
[House of Commons Debates]

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies
House of Lords, July 19, 1944

My Lords, I think your Lordships' House, the Governments of the African
Colonies, the peoples of Africa, and the Colonial Office are all very much indebted
to the noble Lord, Lord Rennell, for raising this Motion this afternoon. It is all
to the good that the many and important problems to which he has called attention
should be discussed and thought over as fully as possible. I am quite sure that the
discussion we have had here today would stimulate, if that were possible, the in-
terest which' has already been taken in these subjects in Africa. I welcome the

British Speeches of the Day

raising of this Motion for very many reasons-if for no other, because it does give
me an opportunity of paying tribute to the magnificent work which is being done
by African subjects of His Majesty from all over the African Empire. The noble
Lord, I know, is fully aware of the position, but he has used the expression "called
up." It is of course the case that all the fighting men and the overwhelming
majority of the Pioneer Corps and others are volunteers. There is no such thing
as a conscript African soldier. There may be, to a very limited extent, conscription
in certain categories of labor, but the fighting men are volunteers without exception.
I think it is proper that your Lordships should realize that. Africans have re-
sponded freely and very courageously to the call of service. They have served with
great distinction in many campaigns, and are serving magnificently today in many
theaters of war. There is still great work for them to do. I think that all your
Lordships will feel that there is a very special duty laid on us to ensure that on
their return to civil life they shall find that their Governments have not neglected
their responsibilities in the matter of making proper arrangements for their re-
absorption into civil life.
I welcome this opportunity not only of getting off what is an extremely hard
seat, but also of making known what plans the Colonial Office and the Colonial
Governments are making. I hope that I shall not be thought to be minimizing
the importance of the noble Lord's speech if I try to show, in the course of what
I have to say, that to a very large extent he is knocking at an open door. I must
also make it plain that when I describe the plans which are now in course of
preparation I must not be taken as implying that any large-scale demobilization
of the African Colonial Forces is contemplated in the immediate, or indeed in the
near, future. i hope that the noble Lord, Lord Rennell, will forgive me if, before
I give a detailed reply to his points, I refer to one or two of the points raised by
the noble Lord, Lord Faringdon. To most of them I will reply when dealing with
the speech of Lord Rennell, but there are some few with which I should like to
deal now.

Government Machinery
SLord Faringdon asked a number of specific questions as to how far demobiliza-
tion plans had gone in the African Colonies, what committees have been set up
and what is their composition. I shall be dealing to some extent with that point,
but I think it would be helpful if, before I go any further, I make a few preliminary
remarks on the demarcation of responsibilities. Your Lordships will know that
the African Colonial Forces are at the present time under the complete control of
the War Office, and it follows from that that the responsibility for the process of
demobilization, including its timing and its extent, must rest with the military au-
thorities. They are using the troops, and they must say, on operational grounds,
when their services can be dispensed with. On the other hand, the responsibility
for reabsorbing the discharged men into civil life clearly rests with the Colonial
Governments, who are in turn responsible to the Secretary of State.
Quite apart, therefore, from any local committees or other bodies which in-
dividual Colonial Governments have set up to work out resettlement schemes for
the future, it has been necessary to devise administrative machinery, both in East
Africa and in West Africa, to secure proper co-ordination between the civil and
the military authorities. Both in East and in West Africa the military Command
is a single entity, and it naturally desires to have a uniform policy for the progress
of demobilization; but included in each Command there is a number of separate
Colonies, each with its own Government, its own Legislative Council, its own
Budget and its own problems, and the plans which they will have to make for the
resettlement of the men after their discharge will vary from Colony to Colony
according to the economic and social conditions prevailing in each.

Demobilization and Reconstruction in Africa

I have heard no one trying to maintain that the problem of demobilization in
this country is going to be a simple one, but it is going to be relatively simple
compared with the immense complexity of this problem in the African Colonies.
It is immensely more complex there than here or in the Dominions, where the
military and civil authorities are both the servants of the same Government and
dealing with a single country. To meet this difficulty there has been for some time
established in East Africa a Standing Demobilization Committee under military
chairmanship on which all the Governments are represented, and which has a joint
civil and military secretariat. This Committee functions under the egis of the East
African Governor's Conference at Nairobi. A similar Standing Committee is now
being established at Accra on the initiative of the West African War Council.
Many of the African Colonial Forces are at the moment serving in the Middle
East Command, and plans for the eventual demobilization of the Forces in that
Command are at present under discussion with the military authorities. Among
other developments, the Army Education Corps-and I was glad to hear the noble
Lord pay the tribute which he did to the work done for education in the Army-
have offered to provide preliminary vocational and other training preparatory to
eventual demobilization.

Nutrition, Land and Wages
The noble Lord also referred to nutrition. I do not think that I can quite agree
with him that nutrition is a neglected subject. I think that the Nutrition Com-
mittees have been doing very valuable work. We have Nutrition Committees in
a very large number of Colonies, and I think that the majority of them have done
really valuable work. Following on the results of the Hot Springs Conference,
my right honorable friend communicated further with Colonial Governments on
nutrition policy, and the Medical Research Council have recently formed a Human
Nutrition Research Unit which, under the direction of-Dr. B. S. Platt, is engaged
in investigating Colonial nutrition, and is offering hospitality for study and research
for nutritional workers from the Colonies. The Unit is also ready to advise Colonial
Governments on technical questions, and its formation is a first step towards a
wider organization which it is hoped will include both teaching and research in
its scope. I hope that in the near future Dr. Platt will again visit various Colonial
territories for the purpose of investigating the position and advising on future
plans. I might also add that my right honorable friend has very recently set up
a Colonial Fisheries Advisory Bureau to consider both inland and sea fisheries, and
I am not without hope that that will make a really useful addition to the animal
protein diet available to the peoples of Africa. As a rule there is no deficiency of
starchy foods; it is animal proteins which are required, and this Committee may
be able to make a really useful contribution there.
The noble Lord also raised the question, referred to by other speakers, of the
making of more land available to Africans in East Africa and in Northern Rhodesia.
I am very much indebted to the noble Lord, Lord Hailey, who, from a fund of
knowledge which, if I were even capable of it, it would take me many years to
acquire, replied in some detail, so that I need scarcely pursue that subject. A good
deal is being done, and steps are being taken to relieve congestion where it exists.
The Government of Northern Rhodesia have put into force resettlement schemes
by purchasing land formerly held by the British South Africa Company and by
the North Charterland Company in the Northern and Eastern provinces. Land
which willbe declared native trust land is being resettled with Africans from the
crowded areas.
The noble Lord also raised a very important question about the creation of
trade boards or industrial council machinery for fixing minimum wages. Here

40 British Speeches of the Day

there is a very real difficulty owing to the lack of appropriate persons to represent
the workers. I agree with the noble Lord that it is very desirable that the machinery
which he suggests should be brought into being, but we are faced with a real
difficulty. Appropriate people to represent the African workers are at the moment
not available. I have every hope that with the spread of education and with the
various measures taken to improve the standard of living of the African they may
be available in time, but the fact is that they are not available now and in existing
circumstances it is felt that the best results can be secured by the use of the Labour
Advisory Boards and the maintenance of a strong Labour Department for each
Colony. The noble Lord dealt with housing, which I shall be speaking of later,
but I would remind your Lordships that Major Orde Browne, from whom the
noble Lord opposite quoted very extensively, is a member of the staff of the
Colonial Office. He is my right honourable friend's Labour Adviser, and he writes
these reports not only that the noble Lord may quote from them in your Lordships'
House, but in order that my right honorable friend may act upon them. The noble
Lord may take it as a fact that when he quotes Major Orde Browne's reports those
reports have been read and in many cases acted upon.
It may be that the conditions which the noble Lord quoted no longer prevail.
I do not want to weary your Lordships, but it is a fact that in Northern Rhodesia
in particular very marked advances have been made in housing. There is some
way to go yet before we reach the standard achieved by the mining companies in
the Copperbelt, but great advances are being made in housing and the standard is
constantly rising. There is minimum wage legislation in all the African Colonies,
but experience has shown that legislation of that sort in itself is not a remedy for
the conditions which the noble Lord deplores. The true remedy is the raising of
the general standard of living and of education, which can only follow from
improvements in housing, in nutrition and in social service amenities. Colonial
Governments are making great efforts to bring about these improvements.

Turning to the main question raised by the noble Lord, Lord Rennell, I begin
by saying what we have done from our end, the Colonial Office end. A com-
prehensive and general statement of the need for the careful planning of schemes
for the reabsorption into civil life of men serving in the Forces was issued to
Colonial Governments by my right honorable friend rather more than a year ago.
In it he drew attention to the necessity for close co-operation between the military
and civil authorities in preparing plans for demobilization and for civil authorities
to be given as long notice and as much information as possible as to the program
of release. The statement was accompanied by suggestions for the planned employ-
ment of ex-soldiers, and it was pointed out that it would be necessary to take
account of the improved standard of living and pay to which members of the
Forces had become accustomed during their period of service, and thar special
provision would be required in local schemes for the absorption into civil life
of soldiers who return to civil life having acquired some special trade or skill.
Attention was also drawn in my right honorable friend's circular to the need
for development, where it is economically possible, of soundly conceived secondary
industries and for agricultural development, accompanied by credit and marketing
schemes and for the provision of social welfare amenities. I should like to assure
the two noble Lords opposite that we do very definitely look upon the return of
these men who have learnt a different way of life from that which they had before,
very much as an opportunity for getting on with the improvement of the standard
of living in Africa, rather than as a liability. The circular also made reference to
the possibility of giving a limited preference-I emphasize the word "limited"-
to demobilize soldiers filling Government appointments, but it was laid down that

Demobilization and Reconstruction in Africa t

here the interests and requirements of the public service must be paramount, and
that the right course was for Governments to help ex-Servicemen to take their
place in civil life on their merits rather than to place them by preferential treat-
ment in positions which they might not be fully qualified to fill.
So much for the general lines of the directive issued by the Colonial Office
rather more than a year ago. But even before this statement was issued the Govern-
ments both in East and West Africa had had the question under active consideration
in consultation with the local military authorities, and in some territories Com-
mittees had been set up to report on all aspects of demobilization and re-settlement.
Even at this early stage the problem was seen not so much as one of providing
special facilities for ex-Servicemen to gain their livelihood under improved condi-
tions, as of preparing and implementing plans for comprehensive post-war develop-
ment designed to improve the social and economic life of the people by steady
progress in health and educational services and in housing and better methods of
agriculture. At this point I might refer to one aspect of the problem which has
very special reference to ex-soldiers, that is, the rehabilitation of the disabled. This
presents special difficulties in the case of Africans, but by specialized and sym-
pathetic treatment it is hoped that the majority of disabled men will be able to
take their place in the civil life of the community and be economically independent.
A center has been established in Nairobi for the training and rehabilitation
of disabled ex-Servicemen, and it is already doing valuable work. It is proposed
to expand this center so as to provide facilities for all disabled soldiers of the East
African Forces. In West Africa plans for rehabilitation centers are being put into
operation, and Lord Swinton has paid a visit to Nairobi with a team of civil and
military officers from West Africa with a view to applying East African experience
to the plans being put into force on the West Coast. An expert from Roehampton
has visited West Africa and has made what I hope will be very satisfactory arrange-
ments for the provision and fitting of artificial limbs. He is now visiting East
Africa. The needs of blinded men have not been overlooked, and in Nairobi the
Salvation Army, with assistance from the Kenya Government, is running a special
school for the blind, which will accept cases from all the East African Forces.
Arrangements are under consideration in consultation with St. Dunstan's for the
provision of expert staff to assist in this important work.

East and Central Africa
The field we are discussing is a very large one, and I should weary your Lord-
ships if I dealt more than quite briefly with what is being done in the many
Colonies covered by the terms of the Motion. I can assure the House that general
planning in East and Central Africa is progressing on a comprehensive scale. In
Kenya a Committee was appointed by the Government as far back as May, 1941,
to consider what steps should be taken by the Government to absorb ex-Servicemen
into economic structure of the Colony, and this Committee appointed a special sub-
committee which devoted its attention entirely to the problems of reabsorbing
African ex-soldiers into civil life. Lord Faringdon asked me if that Committee had
reported. Its report was issued last year, and I have it in my hand. Attention is
being given to the provision of training facilities for craftsmen and tradesmen of
all cadres and to supplement technical training which men have received in the
Army, centers and workshops to be set up for providing instruction for fitters,
blacksmiths, carpenters, motor mechanics, builders, tailors, butchers, bakers and
laundrymen, in fact for the improvement and development of any skills which
Africans have acquired during their Army life.
The economic life of the East and Central African territories must, as far as
one can see ahead, continue to be based upon agriculture, and it is recommended

British Speeches of the Day

that in Kenya the Government should actively encourage the growing of all kinds
of crops by Africans by the establishment of native agricultural training centers
and the organization of marketing. At the moment an expert in co-operative mar-
keting is in Kenya to advise the Government on the constitution and development
of native co-operative societies, with particular reference to marketing problems.
Long-term programs of soil conservation and agricultural development have been
approved for assistance under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act together
with schemes for developing water supplies in native areas.
In Uganda the Governor has recently prepared a program of post-war develop-
ment. It is not the policy actively to encourage ex-soldiers to abandon their former
agricultural pursuits, since agriculture is the mainstay of the Protectorate's economy,
but the Governor agrees with the noble Lord this afternoon that there will be
numbers of men who will not wish to return to peasant agriculture, and for them
adequate training facilities will be provided to enable them to earn a livelihood
in trade or village crafts. The Uganda Industrial Committee has recently established
a pottery at Entebbe, and it is intended to develop such village industries as spin-
ning and weaving, and brick and tile making. In Tanganyika the confident ex-
pectation is that the vast majority of discharged soldiers will want to return to
their villages. The District Administration staff is being made responsible for
seeing that ex-soldiers are provided with suitable employment on the land, and
small Provincial committees are being set up to survey the local field of employ-
ment for skilled and semi-skilled men.
In Zanzibar a Committee set up last year concluded that the problem of re-
absorbing ex-Servicemen into civil life must be regarded as one with that of the
development of the Protectorate as a whole. Funds have been provided by the
Zanzibar Government for an experimental smallholders scheme and other projects
are under consideration. In Nyasaland the Post-War Development Committee,
consisting of officials and the unofficial members of the Legislative Council, has
made excellent progress with the working out of post-war plans covering a wide
field. It is intended to provide vocational training for the soldier who has seen
service with the various transport corps or has worked in the Army in a semi-
skilled capacity. Labour Bureaux will be set up within the demobilization centers
to assist ex-soldiers to find employment. In Northern Rhodesia comprehensive
development schemes are in course of preparation and will be considered by the
Development "Adviser whose appointment was announced a short timi ago. An
inquiry is being undertaken by an outside expert into the possibility of establishing
secondary industries and the Development Adviser will pay special attention to
the encouragement of rural industries.

West Africa
Turning to West Africa, the Governments of Nigeria, the Gold Coast, and
Sierra Leone now have planning organizations with special full-time officers at-
tached actively at work on the planning of post-war developments and the
preparations for demobilization. The Gambia has already formulated its proposals
for a comprehensive development plan. Arrangements are being made by the West
African Governments to ensure that men are demobilized near their homes and
that a full record is maintained and will be available of the trade qualification of
all soldiers. That should be a very valuable document. In the case of Nigeria a
register has been compiled giving particulars of each man with his qualifications
before he entered the Army and the type of training which he received in the
Army. This will clearly be of the greatest value in dealing with the problems of
demobilization and reabsorption into civil life.
Much thought has already been given by the Committees which have been set

Demobilization and Reconstruction in Africa

up in the West African Colonies to the problems of re-settlement of demobilized
soldiers. The placing of skilled men in suitable employment is obviously an
entirely different problem from that which faces the Governments in regard to
unskilled men who are of course in the majority. Moreover, the placing of in-
dividuals calls for a different technique from that suited to the collective employ-
ment of men in organized bodies. For the former, the skilled men, it is envisaged
that the plans will include employment for such types of men as drivers and
mechanics in road transport services, agricultural demonstrators, teachers in technical
schools, surveyors and medical and sanitary orderlies. For the latter, the un-
skilled, a scheme is being considered for the establishment of mobile units on
development works of all kinds such as road making, water works, reafforestation,
anti-malarial and anti-tsetse fly works, slum clearance and house building, anti-
erosion work, and land reclamation. These proposals are at present necessarily
tentative and will require considerable detailed examination when the main lines
have been determined. Their consideration is, however, being undertaken as
rapidly as circumstances permit. Consideration is also being given to the measures
necessary for the encouragement and regulation of secondary industries, in which
it will be essential to ensure that every opportunity is given to Africans to play
a full part. In all this work it is the task of the Development Adviser for West
Africa, working with the Resident Minister, to ensure that planning by the four
Governments is co-ordinated on a West African basis.

I have dealt necessarily only very briefly and in the barest outline with what
is being done in each colony, but I hope I have said enough to convince the noble
Lord that the Governments of the African Colonies are aware of their responsibil-
ities and are making serious and sustained efforts to be in a position to meet
them when the time comes. The noble Lord argued-and no one is likely to
query the validity of his argument-that many African soldiers who have learned
trades or have grown accustomed to an improved standard of life in the Army
will not be content to return to their villages and to, a primitive life but will want
to pursue trades and enjoy a higher standard of living in the towns. He urged
that this makes even more urgent than before the need for improving the stand-
ards of African housing and especially of African urban housing and slum clear-
ance and of improving the water supplies. Much thought has been given to this
subject during the past four years, though, unfortunately, the shortages of materials,
manpower and staffs have prevented much actual progress. There is, as Lord
Faringdon and others have indicated, unhappily much leeway to be made up in
the provision of suitable housing, and for this reason it is not contemplated at
present that schemes should be devoted to the needs of ex-Servicemen alone.
Your Lordships will agree that housing schemes of the dimensions which the
need demands require most careful thinking out by experts, surveyors and engineers,
and it is the case that many schemes have been held up by shortage of staff. In
Kenya, schemes for housing large numbers of African employees of the Govern-
ment are in progress in Nairobi and Mombasa, and money will be advanced to
local authorities for carrying out approved schemes of building for other classes
of Africans. The noble Lord mentioned a figure of 80,000. The figure I have
is 600,000, planned to be spent during the next few years, and assistance is to
be given under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act by way of free grants
and loans. About half of this expenditure will be incurred in providing suitably
planned houses in Nairobi, where, as the noble Lord pointed out, the need is
especially great, and this scheme has already been submitted by the Governor and
is under consideration in the Colonial Office. Further schemes are in contemplation
for increased housing accommodation in Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Nakuru.

British Speeches of the Day

As regards housing in rural areas, the possibility of utilizing the provisions of
the Housing Ordnance for local Native Councils is being examined, and apart
from this funds have been provided for the manufacture of bricks and other
building materials for re-sale at cost in Nyanza Province. In Uganda a large-scale
building estate scheme is being worked out for Kampala, the commercial capital,
which it is estimated will accommodate some five thousand persons. In Jinja, the
cotton port on Lake Victoria, building schemes are already in preparation. Most
rural native administrations are prepared to assist ex-soldiers with loans up to 80
per cent of the cost of the building of houses of permanent materials, and the
Protectorate is considering ways of financing housing schemes by loans where
In Tanganyika experimental housing schemes are being carried out in Dar-es-
Salaam with a view to the preparation of a full-scale scheme which will be sub-
mitted for assistance under the Colonial Development and Welfare Act. In Zan-
zibar, a plan for the rebuilding of the whole native town of Zanzibar over a
period of years with funds to be provided under the Colonial Development and
Welfare Act is under consideration. In the meanwhile an experimental slumt
clearance scheme has been approved. In Northern Rhodesia, a comprehensive survey
of requirements for the urban areas is being undertaken and an African Housing
Commission is expected to report shortly, and a scheme embodying a housing pro-
gram for a period of years will then be drawn up and put into effect. While this
work of planning has proceeded a good deal of building has been carried out, and
in spite of all the wartime difficulties many improvements have been made during
the past five years. A great deal remains to be done before the general standard
of housing in the urban areas of Northern Rhodesia will compare with that pro-
vided by the mining companies on the Copperbelt, but substantial and real im-
provements have been made even during these war years. In West Africa the
Governments will have the advantage of the expert advice and outstanding skill
and experience of Major Maxwell Fry, who has been appointed Town Planning
Adviser for West Africa. He has now a team of architects with him and planning
is proceeding on a broad scale. In Accra, in the Gold Coast, a long-term scheme
of rebuilding has been approved, and the necessary financial arrangements have
been made.
Town Planning
With regard to Lagos, to which the noble Lord made special reference, I am
glad to be able to say that the Government have in mind a comprehensive slum
clearance and rebuilding scheme to be undertaken as soon as materials and staff
are available (but of course they are n6t at present available), with a double objec-
tive pf improving housing conditions and providing work for demobilized soldiers.
I might perhaps say that the Lagos Development Board had made a start with
town planning and slum clearance at Lagos Island and at Yaba on the mainland
before the war. Slum clearance on the island necessarily stopped in 1941 when
building materials ceased to be available, as the only effect of continuing the clear-
ance work without rebuilding would have been to aggravate overcrowding in
Lagos. The new program is now being worked out by a strong committee called
the Lagos Housing Committee which has been set up under the Chairmanship of
the Commissioner for the Colony and it is to pay special attention to the housing
of the poorest classes. It will work in close touch with the Lagos Executive De-
velopment Board which has a Town Planning Officer attached to it, and will also
have the advice of Major Maxwell Fry.
The noble Lord made special reference to the Freetown water supply which
in the past has given rise to very much complaint. There a really comprehensive
scheme must await the end of the war until the necessary materials are available

Demobilization and Reconstruction in Africa

and also labor; but there has been built a new concrete reservoir for 1,200,000
gallons, which is now in operation at Hill Station and treatment works have also
been completed. This is in addition to a new steel service reservoir and various
War Department and Admiralty supplies. Forty-three wells have been re-opened
in the town at sites approved by the medical authorities. The water from these
has still to be boiled. Some progress therefore is being made, though I recognize
it is not on a very great scale. But that must await the end of the war. In the
meantime the Government are doing what they can to improve water supplies
under war conditions.
With regard to Lagos water supply, to which the noble Lord also made special
reference, it is true that a substantial increase of its capacity is also needed, but I
am afraid it is also clear that any very large extension of the supply must necessarily
await the end of the war. Preparatory investigations have already started and it is
hoped that if pumping machinery can be made available some increase can be
achieved without much delay.
With regard to the planning of Freetown, the Government have been up
against very special difficulties. A Slum Clearance Committee appointed by the
Governor of Sierra Leone reported in 1939 on the question of overcrowding in
Freetown, and in 1941 the local Slum Clearance Committee recommended, as an
urgent interim measure, the acquisition of certain specified areas of land and the
creation of town planning areas. The Secretary of State approved the expenditure
of funds for this purpose in September 1941, but almost immediately the Govern-
ment's plan became impracticable on account of urgent Service demands for the
immediate use of most of the areas ear-marked for re-building. Apart from this,
the execution of plans has necessarily been held up by the acute shortage of man-
power and material for purposes not absolutely vital to the war effort. We also
had great difficulty in planning this necessary re-development owing to the difficulty
of obtaining from the Services their post-war requirements in this strategically
important area. That matter is being considered now in conjunction with the
various authorities. This delay in the detailed planning of the rehousing and slum
clearance scheme in Freetown is unfortunate though unavoidable as there is much
work to be done in laying out the areas, formulating satisfactory financial proposals
and generally for building schemes to be carried out when staff and materials are
available. Housing conditions in Freetown have been made worse by the large
influx of labor into the neighborhood for works specially required in connection
with the war.
Now that the pressure of war requirements has been somewhat eased in Sierra
Leone, it is hoped that these special causes of overcrowding will gradually cease
to aggravate the problem. It is clear that the development of Freetown must be
based on an adequate plan for the whole area affected. The Assistant Town Plan-
ning Adviser, a member of Major Maxwell Fry's staff, was, at the time the
Governor telegraphed, in Freetown collecting data for the plan, and I am con-
fident that the Sierra Leone Government for its part will do all that is possible to
hasten the preparation of a comprehensive scheme.
My Lords, there is a mass of detail in these enormous territpries which it is
not possible to deal with in the limits of a Parliamentary debate, but I hope that
I have covered the ground sufficiently to convince the noble Lord and those who
spoke with him that the Colonial Office and the Colonial Governments are alive
to the problems of reabsorption into civil life of their ex-soldiers and are pushing
on as fast and as far as possible in providing Africa with reasonable standards
of housing.
[House of Lords Debates]

British Speeches of the Day

Minister of Reconstruction
House of Lords, July 20, 1944

I think I shall carry your Lordships with me when I say that we are very
much indebted to the noble Earl for having introduced this subject. It has cer-
tainly led to one of the liveliest debates I have heard in your Lordships' House
for quite a long time. While from time to time one might have judged that
there was a great divergence of opinion between those who have spoken, I do not
think when we get down to fundamentals there was an awful lot of difference.
It is true that the noble Earl who introduced the debate was perhaps a little
cautious but his speech I thought was full of understanding of the social needs
of the post-war world. He referred with great sympathy to the need for housing
and he did not even attack the Government's proposals, that he has not seen,
regarding social insurance. I speak from memory, and I may be wrong in my
memory, but I think the Prime Minister referred to that scheme as gigantic. I do
not remember that he said it was expensive.

Facing the Facts
Certainly he said gigantic. In one respect, however, the noble Earl was cer-
tainly wrong in stating that the Prime Minister said he would present it next
week. We shall present it-the noble Lord, Lord Latham, would like me to say
"Shortly after"-we shall present it for the consideration of your Lordships when
you return refreshed. It seemed to me that the speech of the noble Earl was
somewhat characteristic of a man from the North whose native caution demanded
that before he even contemplated a journey, however enticing that journey was
going to be, he should feel in his pocket and make quite sure that he had the
money to pay the fare to get there. There have been private rows in your Lord-
ships' House this afternoon and I do not think it is a good thing to intervene in
private rows. The noble Lord, Lord Southwood, contemplated, it seemed to me,
potential wealth while the noble Earl, Lord Stanhope, was not talking of potential
wealth but of present wealth. That seemed to me to be the difference between
them. I had not suspected that noble Lords who spoke were attacking the Govern-
ment. The noble Lord, Lord Strabolgi, who was good enough to give me sup-
port-support that I appreciated the whole time except when he mentioned Mr.
Schacht-seemed to think the Government was being attacked. I was insensitive
to attack. I thought that all your Lordships were asking us to do was to look
facts in the face. That was the basis of the noble Lord, Lord Meston's speech. He
was just asking the Government, as is their duty, to look facts in the face and
there is nothing reactionary about looking facts in the face, especially if they hap-
pen to be rather uncomfortable facts.
The noble Lord, Lord Strabolgi, said we might have to contemplate the pos-
sibility that through some unhappy circumstance the war might last for another
year. Of course we might. We have not finished the war yet. No sensible man
would get up at this Box and say that he knew what the financial future of this
country was going to be. We have no means of knowing what the ultimate cost
with which we shall be burdened by the war will be. The noble Earl, as I gathered
from his closing remarks, will not be disappointed in regard to this, and will not
expect me to make an estimate of our future financial position. Ie was good
enough to tell me beforehand, with great courtesy, for which I thank him, the
lines on which his remarks were going to run today. Since there is much virtue
in consistency in Ministers, I read up the report of the first debate we had in this

The Cost of Social Reform

House after I became Minister of Reconstruction in order to be quite sure that
I had not committed myself then to any views that I do not hold now. I find
that I said then-if you will forgive the egotism of my quoting:
"The country is still in danger. The danger to its physical life has not
passed, unfortunately, and its commercial life will remain in danger for some
years to come. We shall need all the commercial wisdom and foresight in the
immediate post-war years if we are to rebuild our national prosperity. From
the commercial danger of the nation"-
and that is why I refer to this-
"there follows the danger to all those hopes for a better world that depend
on the solvency of our national finance."
I quote those words-and I hope that your Lordships will forgive me for doing
so- because they indicate the approach that I have made to the problems to which
the noble Earl has called our attention today.

Wealth Produced by Work
I think that the question that faces us is this: How can we best secure the
commercial prosperity and the social stability-and they must run together, we
shall not get commercial prosperity unless we get social stability-of the nation?
How can we best get this? The answer is difficult, but this I am quite clear about:
we can dismiss the idea that we are going to do it by a restriction of expenditure.
Cutting out of waste there must be. We must reduce the number of people who
regulate and control our personal lives and our commercial enterprises, but, in
the end, it will not be merely by an economy campaign, but by the expansion of
our trade and the development of our national resources, both human and material,
that we shall regain our position in the commercial world. The root of the matter
is to be found in the amount of business we can do, and not in the amount of
money that we can avoid spending. But what we spend must be nationally pro-
ductive. We must avoid the creation of a state of affairs in which the overhead
charges of getting ideal conditions are such as to prove beyond the earning capacity
of the country. On the other hand, our social structure must be one that gives the
conditions that will make possible the maximum of production-and production
moreover, of such a high standard of efficiency that it will be competitive in the
world's markets.
The noble Earl was fearful as to whether he had been guilty of platitudes in
his speech. If I may respectfully say so, his fear was unfounded. I trust that the
observations which I have just made may not make it appear to him that I myself
have fallen into this error. Those observations really are the application of sound
business principles to the affairs of State, I wonder if your Lordships will bear
with me for a few minutes while I elaborate this a little in relation to the develop-
ment of our whole reconstruction program? Wealth is produced by work, and
to enable the people of this country to give the maximum amount of work we
must secure for them those conditions that will enable them to work well. Those
of us who have had experience in industry know that if we can get healthy fac-
tories with plenty of air and light, reasonable hours of work, adequate holidays
and recreational facilities and some reasonable sense of security among the work-
people, so that they know they will not be thrown into unemployment if things
should happen to go a little badly, then we secure a happy, and contented staff,
a high level of production, and we have a good chance of making a commercial
success out of our enterprise. It all involves the spending of money, it all involves
overhead expenses, but these charges are productive charges. That, I think, is the
modernist's view about industrial conditions as opposed to the older views of two
or three generations ago.

British Speeches of the Day

The Economics of Insecurity and Sickness
I have raised this question because I want to ask your Lordships: Does not that
parallel fit the nation? Will we not get the same conditions from a nation as we
should get when we look at it in the narrower field of an individual unit like a
factory? A fortnight ago in the debate on the Employment Paper, I drew your
Lordships' attention to the cost of industrial disputes in the years between 1922 and
1939. The figure was 250,000,000 lost days of work. I do not know what monetary
figure we can put upon that loss of 250,000,000 days lost in consequence of in-
dustrial strife. We can only guess at it, but it cannot be less than 100,000,000,
and it was all lost ...
I am very modest in my estimate. Not only was that money lost but it left a
great amount of unhappiness and acrimony behind it. Social instability is a very
expensive overhead charge for any nation. And now let us look at health. The
noble Lord has told us in round figures that we shall have to find, from rates,
taxes, and contributions from the Insurance Fund, for the early years of the Service
148,000,000 a year. We shall have to spend that to maintain a higher standard
of health. It is a vast expenditure but it will not be all new expenditure, even
if we adopt the proposals of Sir William Beveridge, and if we take the figures
which the noble Earl quoted. Before the war, the cost to public funds was 61,-
000,000. But of the increase of 87,000,000, some 40,000,000 must be reckoned
as being merely transferred from one type of payment to another type of payment.
And of the remaining difference of 47,000,000, some of this must -be put against
the inevitable increase in the cost of the existing services due to the rise in prices,
between the period before the war and the period after the war. But what do we
lose now through absence of men and women from work due to sickness? This
is one of our industrial expenses-an overhead charge-that I believe we can
Do you know how much it has cost this country to have people away through
sickness-absenteeism? At current rates of absence the loss may amount to as
much as 280,000,000 per annum. I am going to reduce that figure, because it
must be remembered that the present rates of absenteeism are abnormally high
as a result of war conditions-long hours of work, the increase in the number of
married women in industry, the withdrawal of the younger and stronger men
from industry to the Armed Forces, and so on. If one assumes more normal
absence rates the loss which might be expected after the war amounts to a sum
of 180,000,000, which we shall lose from sickness and absenteeism in a year
unless we can do something to improve the general standard of health. The White
Paper which we have discussed in this House on the Health services, and which is
the foundation of the noble Earl's figure of 148,000,000, contains proposals
which are directed to that improvement in the standard of health which, while
it is going to cost us a great deal of money, will, I believe, prove a very profitable
economic expense.
I should like to direct the attention of your Lordships to a Paper which has
already been referred to in the course of this debate, a most instructive Paper
entitled "An Analysis of the Sources of War Finance and the Estimates of National
Income and Expenditure for the years 1938-1943" (Cmd. 6520). You will find
on page 20 of that Paper that in 1938 we were making from national funds pay-
ments due to unemployment and the relief of poverty amounting to 11?,000,000.
In 1943, when we had full employment, the figure was 17,000,000. These losses
from strikes, sickness, absenteeism and unemployment are all unproductive over-
head charges which, considered from an economic point of view alone, we cannot
ignore when we compare the future cost of Health Services with the past, and in
the aggregate they amount to vast figures.

The Cost of Social Reform

No Prosperity without Sweat
I hope that I have not dwelt too long for your Lordships' patience on this
Subject. I have done so because I am anxious to show that there is this close
association between improving the general social conditions of the country and
improving the earning power of the country. To make these improvements, even
at some cost, may be a beneficent and humane action on the part of the State,
but I believe that it is one which will be commercially profitable. To do these
things, however, is not the same as to promise a new heaven on earth for our
soldiers when they return, and I am glad that the noble Earl said what he did on
that point. The statement that our fighting men are fighting for better conditions
of life when the war is over is an inadequate estimate of their patriotism; I agree
with the noble Earl there. They are fighting to beat the enemies of this country,
and that is enough. But they do share the hopes which we at home have too, that
there will be a better and a fuller life afterwards, a life in which the individual
is less liable to the malevolent effects of outrageous fortune and of mischance. I
think that it is the unfairness of misfortune which has created so much social insta-
bility. We who are in the Government believe that by an extension of a system
of contributory insurance-I emphasize the word "contributory"-the magic of
averages may come to the rescue of the individuals who suffer from misfortunes
which arise from ill-health or from the failure of employment.
The future as I see it-perhaps I am not quite at one with the noble Earl here,
I do not know-is not going to be a bed of roses for any class in this country. Our
potential wealth is very great, but the truth is that we have spent our substance. We
have spent on this war the savings of years. We have been able to conduct the
war-a very long war now-and to pay for our vast Armies and their equipment
by borrowing from one another and from our friends. The debt will remain when
the war is over, and we shall all have to work very hard and with the full employ-
ment of an extended capacity in this country if we are going to meet the obliga-
tions of that debt. However, hard work is nothing new to the people of this
country. I do not believe that there can be prosperity without sweat. History shows
that we have been through this before. If we so will it as a nation, then I believe
that we shall overcome, in due time, the burden of this debt. I do not believe that
we shall be any less happy because we all have work to do. I thinkthe nation will
be happier if it can retain the national spirit that it has now, and the feeling that
all the time we are working not only are we working for our private profit or our
wages but that as a result of our labor the country is benefiting.
The Object of White.Papers
We must, however, have the conditions which will contribute to a full expansion
of individual capacity, and I am therefore a little less fearful than the noble Earl
about the expenditure of money on Social Services. I believe that they will come to
pay a very handsome dividend both to the Exchequer and to human happiness. I
do not judge that there is very much disagreement between myself and the noble
Earl as to these general principles, but I am sure that I must be irritating him a
little, because he must be saying, "But have you counted the cost?" The answer is
that we have; I can assure him that the Government have constantly before their
mind the question of how much these things are going to cost. The Chancellor of
the Exchequer today is daring enough in war, but, believe me, he is no spendthrift.
Moreover-and I think that this must satisfy the noble Earls, Lord Glasgow and
Lord Stanhope-whatever plans we have we are submitting them to Parliament.
This is not a question of the Government rushing into Social Service expenditure
and coming to Parliament and saying, "Here is our legislation." We have very
deliberately adopted the system of producing White Papers. The object of the
White Pa'per is to enable a frank discussion to take place in Parliament before

50 British Speeches of the Day

we embark on legislation; and before Government credit is too deeply involved
we listen to the views of Parliament. Parliament is therefore in no danger of being
rushed into expensive commitments without a full knowledge of the expenditure
which it is incurring, and the responsibility whether we do these things, and when
we do them, must properly rest squarely on the shoulders of Parliament
I do not want to enter today on thebroad issues of taxation policy to which the
noble Earl has directed our attention, although I do not mind telling him that I
should find it rather a fascinating discussion to have with him, but I must keep
within the bounds of my own responsibilities. A noble Lord referred to the fact
that during the war taxation is performing a double purpose: it is financing the war
very considerably and it is reducing the spending power of the public. Without
this check, we might easily-I think we should certainly-have been led into very
high, prices and into inflationary danger. I can assure the House that the Govern-
ment are fully alive to the importance of reducing taxation when the war is over
in order to encourage personal and industrial initiative and enterprise. But I beg
the noble Earl, when he considers the social charges to which he has drawn atten-
tion, to recognize the great change which has taken place in the distribution of both
income and taxation during the last few years: Since 1938 the number of people
with incomes between 250 and 500 a year has risen from 1,745,000 to %,500,000;
the number of incomes between 500 and 1,000 a year has risen from 500,000
to 1,110,000; those with incomes from 1,000 to 2,000 have risen from 195,000
to 295,000; while the number of people with over 10,000 a year has remained
unchanged at 8,000. The figures are given in the White Paper that I referred to a
short time ago-the White Paper on National Income and Expenditure. Moreover,
the rates of taxation on all incomes has considerably increased. I mention these
figures because we no longer depend on geese that lay golden eggs.
If we are to have State schemes of social betterment they cannot be financed by
taxing the rich to a greater extent than they are taxed now, and anyhow there are
not enough of them left to pay for these schemes. The cost will fall, broad based,
on the public at large, who will be the recipients of the benefits of these schemes.
It will be for them-and I refer now particularly to the observations of the noble
Earl on the subject to which he directed most attention, that dealing with social
insurance-it iill be for them when the social insurance scheme is published to
see, through their representatives in Parliament, whether they are willing to meet
the cost, in contributions and in taxation, that will be necessary in order that they
may have these benefits. Your Lordships will give a critical examination to these
proposals when they are submitted to you after Parliament resumes. Today I have
refrained from discussing further the financial aspect of them. I hope I have not
kept your Lordships too long, and I am personally grateful to the noble Earl for
having raised what I think has been an interesting debate.
[House of Lords Debatesl

Home Secretary and Minister of Home Security
To the Worshipful Company of Carmen, London, July 21, 1944
London is getting on with its business under the flying-bomb attack, and doing
no more than the ordinary amount of grumbling which is the Englishman's, and
certainly the Londoner's, birthright. But I know that our friends and guests
from overseas, American and other, have been deeply impressed, as ivell they

The Home Front and the Invasion

might be, by the fortitude of the people under this trying attack. And to men-
tion only one body of workers-the transport workers of all kinds, streets, docks
and railways, have been splendid under this assault. These are typical of the rest.
For it is a trying attack and there is no point in making light of it. We know
we are on the last lap of the war; even if the last lap may not be as short as we
would like, we know that victory is certain.
It is one thing to endure a bombing attack when you know you are in the last
ditch and it is neck or nothing, as it was in 1940. It is another thing when you
have this kind of cruel, utterly indiscriminate and vexatious onslaught at a time
when it cannot possibly affect the issue of the war and can have no result but to
create senseless damage and suffering-and, of course, to harden the mood of the
people for their dealings with Germany after the war.

Our Air Mastery and German Weakness
Londoners have many different ways of adjusting themselves to this attack, and
many different thoughts about it. I draw definite comfort from the knowledge
that these flying-bomb attacks bear a definite relation to the air mastery which we
possess, to the glorious success of our Armies abroad; and, above all, to the fact
that that success has been bought at a cost in life and limb so much less than was
expected. If the Germans had had the additional strength in fighters and bombers
and coastal fortifications of which they chose to deprive themselves in order to
manufacture flying bombs and sites, it would undoubtedly have been a factor of
importance in the Normandy battle, a factor which might well have reduced the*
speed of our advance or increased our casualties, or both. It is no more than the
truth that when Londoners take the load of the flying-bomb attacks, they are taking
a real burden which, if in another form, would otherwise have been borne by the
men of the Armed Services in Normandy. ...
Very large numbers of these missiles have been brought down by the fighters
and the guns in the coastal and rural parts of southern England. Many fall in
open country where they do no damage to anybody, but unhappily others fall on
or near people's houses. Bombs intended for London have inflicted much damage,
suffering, and anxiety on small towns, villages and farms that lie between the
southeastern and southern coast and London, and I am sure that we in London
would all wish to acknowledge the fact and give the population there our sympathy,
gratitude and praise. There are some parts of southern England that have stood
in the front line ever since the invasion of France. The Battle of Britain was
fought in their skies. They have had evacuations of their population, closing
down of businesses, the exclusion of visitors, the impoverishment of towns, defense
measures and military restrictions, the shelling of towns, bombings, tip-and-run
raids. They have seldom been free from enemy attack in one form or another.
Today they are still in the front line gallantly helping London to win its battle
against the flying bomb. For win London will.

Let me give the parents of London a warning. Do not be influenced by a
quiet night now and then, or.even a few quieter days and nights. We are tackling
this new weapon with all we know and all we have got; and we shall beat it. But
we have not beaten it yet; and the strain on the housewife and her children may
get worse before it is finally and completely removed. So I strongly advise the
mothers still in the evacuation areas to think again and think hard. They will
be far better out of London until this battle is won.
Let me also give a warning to those who have already gone out. Stay where
you are until you are told' it is safe for you to come back. This vast operation

British Speeches of the Day

cannot be free from troubles. There may be inconveniences and difficulties for
you away from your home, families, and familiar faces and places; just as there
are many extra burdens for those who are sharing their homes with you, and to
whom, by the way, you must be as helpful as you can. We must all tackle this
situation in a give-and-take spirit. Everybody must help everybody.
Of course you cannot move nearly 200,000 mothers and children away from a
great city to areas all over this country without some difficulties, and even hard-
ships, on both sides. But all these things have got to be considered and tolerated
in relation to the size of the movement and the nature of the emergency. A good
deal has been made of difficulties in particular places; but there is no doubt that
as to the majority of householders in reception areas, this great movement has
produced a vast and most creditable fund of sympathy, kindliness and hospitality.
Let me now thank all those householders of the Provinces, on behalf of the
Government. We have presented them with a heavy task. I know how onerous
it can be, after nearly five years of war during which tremendous, unrelenting
strains have fallen on the women who run the homes of this country. I thank
them also on behalf of the fighting men. To the minority who may be resenting*
or evading billeting, I would say this-reception of evacuees is not only a human
service to those in trouble, but a plain duty. The thinning out of the population
of the London area at this particular moment is part of our war policy. The Gov-
ernment expect, as they have every right to expect, that everyone will make the
fullest possible contribution to a speedy ending of the war, as the men overseas
are making theirs.
[Official Release]

Secretary of State for Scotland
House of Commons, July 4, 1944'

Measured by the employment it provides, agriculture is our greatest industry.
At the last census in Scotland there were 176,000 persons who made their living
by it. Our next largest industry was coal mining, with 132,000. But agriculture
is more than our largest industry. It supplies the lifestream of the nation. With-
out continuous contact and reinvigoration from agriculture, our urban population
would wither and die. In wartime we should have been starved into surrender,
had not our farmers, farmworkers, scientists, technicians, and administrators united
to increase the yield from our flocks, from our herds, and from our fields. Yet
week after week goes by, And seldom is there a Question in this House about Scots
agriculture. That does not mean that there are no grievances to be met, or improve-
ments to be made, but it does, I think, mean that the machinery of the war agri-
cultural executive committee and local consultation is functioning well and that
the general relationship between farmers, farmworkers and the Department of
Agriculture for Scotland could not have been bettered. Nevertheless, this absence
of Questions on the Order Paper about agriculture certainly leaves me in gathering
doubt as to the subject or subjects I should choose for commentary in presenting
the agricultural Estimates for the next financial year.
Apart from war services, the estimated increase of expenditure will be 138,000.
I will not, I hope, unduly burden the Committee with figures, but hon. Members
will be interested, I am sure, to know that the acreage under crops in 1943 was
2,120,700. That was an increase of 43 per cent over the last pre-war year, and it

Scottish Agriculture During and After the War

was 21,500 acres more than the acreage under crops in 1918, despite the loss of
300,000 acres of agricultural land since that year .. -lost, for example, for

Scotland Exports Food
In 1939, some 120,000 tons of seed potatoes were exported to England. From
the 1943 crop, the comparable figure is, approximately, 473,000 tons, equal to an
increase of 300 per cent. The number of allotments in Scotland in 1943 was
84,000, compared with just under 20,000 in 1939; and a peak of 43,000 in the
last war. The estimated yield from our allotment system is 40,000 tons of vege-
tables. To assist production on marginal lines, grants in 1943 amounted to
126,670, an average of nearly 20 per farm assisted. The scheme is being intensi-
fied this year and 300,000 is provided in the Estimate for that purpose. Of land
improvements and drainage, I can report that, since the outbreak of war, nearly
450,000 acres in Scotland have benefited by drainage schemes. On lime, our
deliveries in Scotland for the year 1940-1 amounted to 190,000 tons. For 1943-4,
that tonnage is increased to 550,000 tons. Since the beginning of 1943, 18 new
limestone -grinding plants have been established or arranged for construction in
Scotland, involving a total tonnage of 172,500 tons per annum, or almost the
entire total of deliveries we had in the year 1940-1. Regarding livestock and
milk, our dairy cattle increased by nine per cent since 1939. The proportion of
cattle in the special and grade A categories in Scotland had risen from 82 per cent
in 1941 to 89 per cent in 1943-a very considerable and gratifying increase. ...
On mechanization, our Scots farm tractor equipment has risen from a pre-war
figure of 6,250 to over 20,000-again a very considerable and very gratifying
increase. In harvest labor, the following are the particulars of the casual workers
enrolled in 1943: 2,593 senior schoolgirls enrolled for the raspberry crop; 7,500
volunteers enrolled for the grain harvest, and 55,560 school children for the
potato crop. There are expected to be increased numbers for the current harvest.
All these arrangements are being made, where our school children are concerned,
in close association with the education authorities. Industrial volunteers, fortu-
nately, are coming forward in large and in increasing numbers for the harvest.
They are now 4,500, which-is more than four times those recruited last year, and
I am in hopes that we will be able to evolve this system of "holidays with pay"
in certain of our industries on a voluntary basis in the post-war years.
We in Scotland are a nation of food exporters-a remarkable fact. The total
United Kingdom food production-I beg my hon. Friends to note these figures-
is estimated to be 22,500,000 tons, excluding fish. Of that 22,500,000 tons, we
in Scotland produce 14 per cent. On the basis of the Ministry of Food's inter-
national investigations and calculations-that we consume 990 pounds' weight of
food per man, woman and child-it follows that we in Scotland feed ourselves,
and export nearly a million tons in oats, beef, sheep and potatoes, and, I can add,
150,000 tons of fish. These are remarkable figures. . .

A Policy for Nutrition
Most of the leaders of our Scottish agricultural industry are naturally concerned
about the long-term prospect-prices, markets, security against the dumping of
foreign surpluses at noneconomic prices and so on. Milk and livestock have,
therefore, already been given guaranteed prices for four years-that is, until 1948.
The future prospects in cereals and potatoes are now being discussed with the
leaders of industry. Meanwhile, prices are to be reviewed in February every
year. What other system of price arrangement will obtain in the years that are to
be I will not venture to prophesy. It may be that import boards regulating the

British Speeches of the Day

inflow of imported potatoes to the absorptive capacity of our markets will be
provided, but whatever may be the method of price-fixing for producers, I, person-
ally, very much hope that we shall pay far more attention than we ha e hitherto
done to the nutritional requirements of our people, by that means assuring a
tremendous expansion in our home market. We need not wait upon decisions
about international trade, quotas or the like. We in Scotland are beginning-
hesitatingly, tentatively, but beginning-to pursue experiments in the way of
instructing our next generation of housewives upon the most attractive methods
of cooking our own Scottish basic products. The domestic science courses in the
schools and on the cinema screen' are good avenues to the new nutrition and to
the stabilization of our home production in our fields, and on our hills and our
It was, the Committee may remember, the Lanarkshire school milk experiment
in 1930 which formed and still forms today the basis of our great national school
milk consumption. There was also a rather remarkable experiment, to which,
unfortunately, insufficient public attention was given, in Scotland at all events, of
a method of disposing of surplus potatoes at Bishop Auckland in Durham, and the
Empire Marketing Board away back in 1929, by a propaganda effort, increased
threefold the weekly sale of select Scots graded and marked sides of beef in the
London market. The resultant effect upon price was immediate. I certainly do
not think that the possibilities of organized selling by home producers in our
home market have ever been seriously considered, and anything that ] can do-
and I am happy to say that I know I have the heartiest concurrence of my right
hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture in England in this matter-to stimulate
discussion for the better marketing of our primary products and for the disposal
of surpluses in such a way that they will not ruin the producers, will be done.

Prevention of Speculation
If I may express a purely personal point of view, the one serious handicap to
a long-term guarantee of stability and assured prices in industry-and I am all for
it-is a widespread fear that a great part of any assistance given to agriculture
may disappear in land speculation, and that unjust and unwarranted rent-raising
may absorb part-only part-of what the nation would be willing to see devoted
to an increase in agricultural well-being. It is not only here and there that a land-
lord may seek to extract rents beyond any reasonable figure of recompense for his
outlays on farm buildings, for example, but do not let us forget the owner-occupier
who may capitalize his guaranteed prices, and sell out to needy and anxious buyers
at greatly enhanced figures. That certainly happened in the boom period imme-
diately following the last war, and I have already evidence that there is again a
beginning of that sort of thing. No fewer than 23 per cent of our Scottish
tenancies are held by owner-occupiers, and when we get to the larger farmers of
over 300 acres, the proportion of owner-occupiers rises to 38 per cent. I want
to prevent today owner-occupiers from capitalizing any assistance gi en to agri-
culture, and selling that assistance to needy purchasers. I venture to express the
opinion that sooner or later . Land Court machinery of some kind, even if
the State should own the land, will require to be used to prevent exploitation,
either in rent increases or in selling price increases. I do not for a moment dispute
the necessity of ensuring a just return to every section of the industry for any
buildings, equipment or any other service rendered. Indeed, there are instances
where the inadequacy of farm buildings is simply due to the fact that no one now
is likely to provide the capital without being assured of an adequate return. If
farm buildings are to be improved, if the status and standing of the agricultural
worker is to be improved, and there is to be a development of amenity in our
greatest industry, then a just price must be paid for the product, but let us see to

Scottish Agriculture During and After the War

it that the just price reaches the right person. I have said that there are great
and practically unexplored methods of developing the home market for the home
producers, but the speculator, the regrater and the exploiter require to be pre-
vented from harassing this great industry with their exactions.

Hill Sheep Farming
May I say a word about the one section of our agricultural industry where
conditions have not been satisfactory, and that is, hill sheep farming. As the Conm-
mittee knows, we appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Lord Balfour
of Burleigh on November 20, 1941. That committee reported on December 13,
1943, and we published its report on January 10, 1944. Since then, all the hill
sheep interests have had an opportunity of discussing among themselves the impli-
cations of that report. They sent me on March 29 a memorandum giving me their
considered views. I have met their representatives to consider and to discuss that
memorandum. They accept, in the main, the ordered programs of improvement
recommended in the report but they disagree with the proposed scheme of dis-
posing of surplus store, lambs. Instead, they put forward a proposal for a subsidy
on wedder lambs retained on farms. I have also had a memorandum within the
past few days from the Land and Property Federation, indicating their general
approval of the main recommendations of the report. But howsoever it is settled,
it is clear that the problem of the disposal of store lambs surplus feeders require-
ments in any given year is one of the key problems of this industry. In years of
large lamb crops the surplus ought not to be the means by which prices are
battered down to noneconomic levels.
The Balfour of Burleigh Committee made a recommendation as to one method
by which this ruinous process can be avoided, and a bottom fixed in the producers
market prices. The industry itself now suggests an alternative method that they
think will settle this problem. This method we are now examining in detail with
representatives of the National Farmers Union of Scotland and with the hill sheep
interests, and my right hon. Friend the Minister for Agriculture and I are now
discussing the other major question referred to in the Burleigh report, the recom-
mendation for a wool marketing board. I am hopeful, however, that by amicable
arrangement with the Forestry Commission some of the most depressed hill sheep
areas and farms will be put to forestry purposes and part of the hill sheep industry
problem thereby automatically solved. ...

Sheep Take Over Deer Forests
There are still areas of deer forests reported upon by the Land Court as suitable
for grazing sheep and cattle, where sheep and cattle have not, so far, been pro-
vided. Last month, a rough preliminary estimate of the return shows that the
present stocking of the deer forests amounts to 127,000 sheep, and 4,000 cattle,
but there are still vacant acres for 72,000 sheep and 3,000 cattle. In 1939, I re-
quested the executive committees in the Highland areas to get more use made of
the grazing resources of suitable deer forests where the owner was willing to
negotiate lets or longer leases to stock owners. The committees were asked to do
everything in their power to promote these arrangements; failing that, the com-
mittees were invited to make recommendations that I should take possession under
the Defence Regulations of these forests for the purpose of letting the grazing to
suitable applicants. The committees were informed that I would be ready to take
possession of any suitable forest, which could not be put to full productive use
by agreement with the owners. We have already taken possession of eight deer
forests under these Regulations, covering 169,000 acres. Four of them are man-
aged by the agricultural executive committees on behalf of the department; three
by direct management of the Department of Agriculture; one has been let. They

British Speeches of the Day

are now all grazing cattle and sheep. One of them is at Torosay in Mull, where
we took possession in June, 1941. The stocks now number 3,600 wedders and
80 cattle. The wool dip alone in two years has been sold for 1,120. We have
made improvements in fences, repaired buildings, cut bracken, drained the land
and, notwithstanding this expenditure, the financial return on that particular forest
showed a surplus of 1,000 for the whole period of management. ...
I am not arguing at all in favor of centralized management in the use of these
deer forests; I am merely saying that.there are instances where the forests, or part
of them, can be put to productive use, and I am sure that the agricultural executive
committees will do everything in their power to see to it that recommendations
are forthcoming in suitable cases. All these great experiments and ventures in
land, in increased tractor equipment, in agricultural co-operation and consultation,
in practical demonstration and advice, in improved yield and efficiency, surely
ought not be allowed to lapse or disappear with the war, but should be extended
and developed to provide added wealth and better nutrition to the nation, and a
more adequate livelihood and recompense to our primary producers.
[House of Commons Debates]

Secretary of State for India and Burma,
House of Commons, July 28, 1944

We have been listening to a most interesting Debate, one in which sincere good
will to India has not been incompatible with a certain amount of frank speaking.
To deal with all the great issues which have been raised today, as well as to make
certain statements about the present handling of the food situation in Bengal and
India, and some of the plans of reconstruction that are before the Government
of India, will I am afraid compel me to encroach at some little length upon the time
of the House. The Debate was opened by the right hon. Gentleman the Member
for East Edinburgh (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence) in a very wise and thoughtful speech
which I thought was a most admirable opening to our discussions. The right hon.
and gallant Gentleman the Member for Kelvingrove (Lieut.-Colonel Elliot), in
one of those speeches in which he is so often wont to go deep to the very heart
of problems launched what at first sight may seem to be merely a daring paradox.
I agree with my right hon. and gallant Friend that a division of India into two
may be more difficult to realize than a division into a number of units. I also agree
with him-and indeed it underlies not only the present situation in India but
any constitution that may be formed-that economic development, to be effective,
must have support and not merely passive acquiescence of the people. It must enlist
something in the nature of patriotism. Therefore, to get economic development
for India as a whole you must have behind it something like an Indian patriotism.
On the other hand, when he held out South America to us as an example of
the solution of India's problems, I profess that I was not altogether able to follow
him. When the present nations of South America came into existence over 100
years ago, that continent, nearly five times as large as India, was an empty conti-
nent, not only empty of population but, even more important, empty of history,
with all its memories of conflict and interlocking ambitions. The colonists who
revolted from their European mother countries were scattered all along the coast
line. They had no serious frontier difficulties. They had no communications to
enable an effective central Government to be set up. They, each of them, dealt


Post-war Planning in India

naturally in commerce more with Europe and the outside world than with each
other. If we want a narrower parallel to India let us come nearer home to Europe,
and more particularly to those regions of Central and Eastern Europe which have
not been shaped by long history into dearly separate nations but where Teuton
and Slav, Moslem and Christian have been fighting it out for 1,000 years, where
the disappearance of two great autocracies, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and
the Ottoman Empire have left behind not peace and progress, but two terrible con-
flicts for which perhaps the only ultimate solution is some possible form of
European unity.
Cripps Offer Still Open
Therefore, I would hesitate to say that we should of deliberate purpose jettison
that Indian unity which geography and 250 years of British influence have brought
about. But it is to this very inherent and inescapable complexity of the Indian
situation, which both precludes rigid unity and yet forbids complete severance, that
His Majesty's Government were bound to address themselves when they framed the
proposals which my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Aircraft Produc-
tion took out with him to India just over two years ago. The whole objective of
those proposals was to enable India, after this war, to attain to complete freedom,
to unfettered control of her own destiny in the world, whether within the free
partnership of the British Commonwealth or even without it, under an agreed
constitution of her own devising.
It was obvious to us that only in an agreed constitution could at any rate some
measure of Indian unity be preserved. Any constitution which was based on the
coercion of such a powerful element as the Moslem majority in North-Western
or North-Eastern India nearly could not have lasted but would have been bound
to break down in disruption and civil war. It was just in order to secure unity
by agreement and compromise, not because we favored partition, that we insisted on
the right of the predominantly Moslem Provinces-a right already conceded to the
Indian States-to stand outside any constitutional scheme which imperilled their
culture or way of life or lowered their status. The same stipulation made it equally
dear that we were not prepared to make non-agreement an excuse for indefinite
postponement of Indian self-government. It is against the background of these
indispensable conditions for the solution of the major problem of India's future
constitution, that we were further prepared for a bold immediate advance by
inviting Indian party leaders to form a provisional Government. Such a Govern-
ment would necessarily have been under the existing Constitution, that is to say,
subject to the Viceroy's reserved power, a latent power which has never yet been
exercised in the course of the last four years, but which was essential not only as a
guarantee of continued loyal support to the war effort but also as the only guarantee
to the minorities, not only to a great and powerful element like the Moslems, but,
as the hon. Member for West Islington (Mr. Montague) reminded us, for elements
not so powerful as the Moslems. It is the only guarantee that a provisional Gov-
.ernment once in power would not use that power to prejudge the constitution of
the future to their detriment.
My hon. Friend the Member for the Combined English Universities (Mr.
Harvey) asked for an assurance that the promises we made two years ago should
still hold good. I will readily give that assurance. His Majesty's Government
stand by the proposals that we then laid before India and before the world in all
their generous amplitude. We shall stand by them in the hour of victory as we
did in the days of adversity. The shifting fortunes of war played no part in their
inception and they cannot limit their fulfillment. But we also stand, and for the
sake of India's peace we must stand, by the indispensable conditions which accom-
pany them.

British Speeches of the Day

Mr. Gandhi's Statement
In answer to my hon. Friend the,Member for Kidderminster (Sir J. Wardlaw-
Milne), I can say that on the main issue there is no other declaration that we can
make. That brings me to Mr. Gandhi's recent initiative or gesture, call it what
you will. The House will remember that as far as India's future constitution is
concerned Mr. Rajagopalachari, former premier of Madras, was the only Congress
leader at that time prepared to admit the justice of our stipulation that an agreed
constitution could only be arrived at if the predominantly Moslem Provinces were
free to adhere or to stand out. It is a signal vindication of the statesmanship,
that at the time led to his expulsion from the Congress ranks, and of the patient
persistence with which he has continued his advocacy of an agreed solution, that he
has succeeded on this issue in securing, in principle at any rate, Mr. Gandhi's
support. How far the formula in which that support has been embodied is likely
to be acceptable to the Moslem League, which I understand, is meeting in the
next few days, or indeed to Moslem, or, for that matter, to Hindu opinion gener-
ally, is not yet clear. What is clear to my mind is that neither meticulous criticism
nor uncritical commendation of Mr. Gandhi's proposal in this House would help
what we all have at heart, namely, the removal of what is undoubtedly the greatest
stumbling block in the way of an agreed foundation for India's constitutional
future. We shall be wise to be content with the fact that an approach has been
Apart from the particular issue which affects the future, Mr. Gandhi has in
Press interviews and statements recently expressed his views as to what he con-
ceives to be an immediate solution. These statements are not free from obscurity
and reservations on particular points. I do not think I need go into those, for
they are, in any case, all bound up with and attendant upon one central demand
on which he does not leave any room for ambiguity, that is the demand for the
immediate recognition of India's independence under a provisional Government
in which the only powers reserved for the Viceroy are those which deal with
the control of active military operations. All the reserve powers indispensable to
ensure that the various functions of administration are co-ordinated with the war
effort-which are also no less indispensable, as I have said already, to safeguard
the future constitutional position of the minority elements-are to disappear. Well,
that is after all just the demand upon which the negotiations with Congress broke
down two years ago and were bound to break down. I will only invite hon.
Members to read Mr. Gandhi's statements side by side with those which were then
issued by the Congress leaders to see that, in this respect at any rate, there has
been no real advance. Indeed, Mr. Gandhi now adds the further stipulation that
India is to bear no part of the cost of her own defense. So long as that is the basis
of his proposals, they obviously do not form even a starting point for profitable
discussion, either with.Lord Wavell or with the interned Congress Party leaders.
They are in no sense a response to the Viceroy's invitation to Mr Gandhi to
produce constructive proposals. All we can do is to continue to hope that the
time will come when we shall have before us proposals which conform to conditions
which have not been imposed by us arbitrarily but are indispensable both because
India is at war and because no future agreed constitution is yet in sight.
If I may turn for a moment to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for
Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) who produced a detailed plan of his own for the
immediate solution of the Indian problem-he will certainly not expect me to
go into details of the plan. It was, however, a plan based on bringing India under
the South-East Asia Command. I must remind the House that the South-East Asia
Command and India were one not so long ago, and were separated, because it was
more than one organization could manage to deal both with operational needs and
the immense problem of the administration involved in making India the recruiting

Post-war Planning in India

and supply base for those operations. The operations are, indeed, already under
. international control. They are directed, in the first instance, by the Combined
Operations Staff in Washington. They have as their background the Pacific
Council, which at the times when it has met in this country has been attended by
the representatives of India at the War Cabinet. But none of these things can
get away from the fact that India as a base is a single administrative unit in which
all the elements of Government must come together and, in so far as it is such a
unit, then those essential difficulties to which I have already referred in connection
with the proposals of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Aircraft Production are
still there and are, I fear, not brought any appreciably nearer to a solution by my
hon. and learned Friend's suggestion.

India's Fighting Forces
However, if I may turn from that point, if the deadlock in the political field has
not yet been resolved, there are other fields in which India has made great
advances as well as encountering grave difficulties. Political leaders and their
followers do not, after all, cover the whole varied range of India's life. Let me
turn for a moment to India's fighting forces, for they too are India. They have a
long and glorious tradition of valor and loyalty, and I am glad that my right hon.
Friend the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) has paid his tribute to them.
India's Army has expanded from a nucleus of some 200,000 to over 2,000,000
-the largest voluntary Army in the world-an expansion which has involved a
stupendous task of equipment and supply, of organization and of training which
could only have been accomplished by untiring devotion to duty and by the
resource and ingenuity of all concerned-British and Indian-in every grade of
I will ask the House to consider how that effort has stood the test of war. No
one has stated more emphatically than Lord Wavell what he owed to his Indian
Divisions and to Indian supplies in that first campaign in which, against over-
whelming odds, he saved the Middle East, and, with it, the Allied cause. So that
Indian Divisions in this war have fought their victorious way from the mountains
of Abyssinia to the Appennines, from the waters of Damascus to the Arno. Those
who fought with them, and those who fought against them alike, have acknowl-
edged their quality. Indian troops have held for the Allied cause the whole vast
area of Iraq and Persia. They have borne the brunt of our ill-fated retreats from
Malaya and Burma, and today they are effectively repaying old scores against the
SJapanese on the Burma front. Apart from those on that frontier, some 250,000
Indian troops are serving overseas today.
That Army-my right hon. Friend drew attention to the point-is a unit in
which communal differences between Indians and, I might add, racial differences
between English and Europeans, are transcended by one common brotherhood in
arms. There is no racial distinction in that Army today. Some 35 per cent of
its officers are Indian and their numbers are steadily increasing. Those young
Indian officers have stood up well to the exacting demands of modern war. Some
of them are already in command of units and qualifying by their war experience
for the highest commands in future years. Has that fact no bearing upon the one
essential underlying all India's future freedom, namely, her power to defend
herself by her own Forces under their own leaders? Has it no bearing on India's
future that, on demobilization, something like 500,000 Indians will return to civil
life who have been trained for technical services during the war? What I say
applies, of course, no less to the Royal Indian Navy, which has expanded some
1,500 per cent during the war, and to India's Air Force, which has grown from
a personnel of 200 to one of over 23,000. They, too, are not only part of India's
war effort, they are also essential elements in India's future freedom.

60 British Speeches of the Day
The Economic Situation
It is equally true of India's immensely developed output of all the equipment
and supplies essential to modern war. I wish time would allow me to go at any
length into the immense contribution which India has made to the Allied cause in
munitions and military equipment of all kinds-in military stores, in textiles,
cottons and woolens, leather goods, parachutes, steel, in fact every conceivable
element that enters into modern war. I would only sum it up by saying that,
measured in terms of money, that material contribution of India has already
amounted to some 500,000,000. It has been a contribution of value; it has made
a great contribution' to India's industrial capacity, and it has also involved an
immense strain upon India's relatively primitive economic structure, her limited
labor transport facilities and, not least, upon that mere handful of senior civil
servants, British and Indian, to whom my right hon. Friend the Member for
Horsham and Worthing paid a well deserved tribute. How they have stood up
to their work over all these years is something which this House ought to recognize.
An immense strain has been put upon them.
The ever increasing task of furnishing India with the imports of consumer
goods, to match the ever growing production, from outside, as well as the diversion
of her own industries from war purposes to consumer goods [sic] has steadily in-
creased the disparity between expenditure and consumption. In the first 21/2 years
that was held in check, and wholesale prices rose by only 50 per cent. But after the
entry of Japan into the war a new and more difficult situation arose. Prices ad-
vanced, in the course of 12 months, by something like 100 per cent, and the
difficulties were accentuated not only by a lack of goods but the loss of confidence,
by hoarding and by civil disturbance. It is to meet that situation that the Govern-
ment of India have taken very vigorous measures over a wide field.
Last year the Budget increase in India's revenue was something like 33 per
cent. In the last two years India has borrowed 326,000,000 internally, a small
sum judged by our standards but by no means contemptible when judged by the
extraordinarily limited surplus of wealth that really exists in India. Everything
has been done, despite the immense difficulties, to increase the import of con-
sumer goods, to provide large quantities of standard cloth and take drastic steps
to see they get on the market. Large amounts of gold have been sold on the
market in India on account of His Majesty's Government and the United States.
America has lent 100,000,000 ounces of silver for coinage purposes and to ease
the inflationary strain. As the result of these measures price levels are lower than.
in any country in the Middle East. The position, however, is one which still needs
watching with the utmost care. By far the gravest consequence of the strain im-
posed on India's economy has been the strain on the food situation. It has been,
and will continue to be, quite apart from the war, an increasingly serious problem.
It has, of course, been greatly aggravated from 1942 onwards by the war, by the
cessation of the normal import of rice from Burma, by overstrain on the railways,
by general uncertainty as to the military situation, by political disturbances and
by the inflation of the vast population of rural consumer-producers, sellers only
of their surplus, who have been reluctant to sell when their ordinary needs for
consumer goods could not be satisfied at a reasonable price, or even satisfied at all.

The Famine: Investigation and Prevention
In a previous Debate I explained how, from the autumn of 1942 onwards,
anxiety on this score as regards Southern and Western India preoccupied the
Government of India and His Majesty's Government. That difficulty was effec-
tively dealt with, but on it there supervened a far greater situation, percipitated
by the failure of the Bengal rice crop at the beginning of 1943. The causes of the

Post-war Planning in India

Bengal famine were fairly and eloquently stated by my hon. and learned Friend
the Member for Montgomery. Its cause and the epidemics that followed are to bi
investigated by a Commission, whose appointment and terms of reference were
announced the other day. Its chairman, Sir John Woodhead, has had exceptional
local experience both for many years in the Bengal Civil Service and also as
acting Governor of that great Province. He is supported by three Indian members
with special agricultural knowledge and Dr. Aykroyd, Director of India's Nutri-
tional Research Laboratory. The terms of reference cover not only the past but,
what is far more important, the future. In regard to both administrative and agri-
cultural methods its investigation will subsequently cover the wider problem of
famine and its prevention over the whole of India. But in any case there can be
no dispute as to the particular fact, the dreadful fact, that in Bengal last year
about 700,000. human beings died as a consequence of that famine, either directly
of starvation or, to a much larger extent, from ever present endemic diseases
which break out in a large scale where there is malnutrition.
The House will want to know what measures have been taken to check these
calamities and prevent their recurrence. In Bengal itself, and more generally in
India as a whole, thanks to a record rice harvest in January, the fear of a recur-
rence of famine such as there was last year in Bengal has definitely receded. To
make assurance doubly sure, and to overcome the loss of confidence among culti-
vators, as well as the loss of the normal carry-over, the Government of India have
relieved the Bengal Government of responsibility for feeding the city of Cal-
cutta, with its 4,500,000 inhabitants, a responsibility amounting to 640,000 tons
of grain. Following on Lord Wavell's own and decisive intervention-the very first
act of his Viceroyalty-and the ability and energy of the new Governor, Mr. Casey,
which have been at the disposal of the Bengal Ministry in their efforts to grapple
vigorously with this situation, real progress has been made. The invaluable help
of the Army, particularly in regard to transport and distribution, has been con-
tinued. The river and canal boats which were removed in 1942 for fear of the
Japanese'invasion have been restored and repaired, and a large program of re-
building by civil and military authorities is in hand. This has been an essential
condition of the efficiency of the system of procuring rice which has been procured
by the Government in surplus areas to be removed to deficit areas.

The Health Side
The target in that respect has already been nearly reached. Not only have Cal-
cutta and the larger cities been rationed, but a rural ration scheme has been initi-'
ated over the whole Province. A variety of measures have been taken to increase
the efficiency of agriculture in the Provinces. Legislation has been passed to
enable cultivators to recover the holdings whichthey were forced to sell for a mere
song under pressure of famine. On the health side there are now 530 special
hospitals, with 18,000 beds in the districts, and 650 beds in Calcutta hospitals for
the treatment of persons suffering from the after-effects of famine. Forty-five medi-
cal units are touring the villages, and 1,300 satellite centers are working in conjunc-
tion with existing dispensaries. The House knows only too well that in the wake of
the famine there followed epidemics of cholera, smallpox and malaria. By the
end of the year cholera had waned, and in March deaths due to it were below the
normal for this time of year.
I am referring to Bengal. Between 1st November and 15th July, 15,000,000
anti-cholera inoculations were carried out and some 28,000,000 vaccinations against
smallpox-some attempt at any rate to make up for the neglect of previous years.
A very liberal allocation of quinine was made to the Bengal Government in
1943-4. For the new year Bengal has had allocated 65,000 lbs. of quinine, 30,000
lbs. of chinchona febrifuge, and 100,000,000 tablets of anti-malaria synthetics.

British Speeches of the Day

These allocations are enough to provide an average course of treatment for well
over 10,000,000 people. The great bulk of it has already been supplied. Last
year there were undoubtedly serious local shortages of anti-malarial drugs owing
to inadequate distribution arrangements. I will not claim that even now arrange-
ments are entirely satisfactory but, at any rate, the situation in this respect has
been greatly improved.
Let me turn now to the work of the Central Government. Under Lord
Wavell's inspiration, and under the administration of Sir Jwala Srivastava, the
able and energetic holder of the Food Portfolio in his Government, the Center
has worked away steadily at creating an effective and reasonably uniform control
[of] distribution [and] prices throughout India. The difficulties which originally
delayed, or impeded, effective co-operation between the Central Government and
the Provinces have been progressively overcome. Rationing is now in force in
226 towns and cities, with a population of 35,000,000, as well as in many rural
areas. Prices are being controlled. Most of the procurements in surplus provinces
and areas are being actually carried out by trade agencies on behalf of the Govern-
ments concerned, but the question or organizing a Governmental purchase mon-
opoly is being closely studied in case existing measures fail to meet the situation.
No measures taken within India's own confines would be wholly adequate to
secure the best possible distribution of the internal resources, and the confidence
which is essential for that purpose, without some measure of help from without.
It is not only that India was already an importing country before the war, and
that its population has since grown by 20,000,000, but the immense increase in
the Armed Forces, more particularly from this country and the United States, has
added, in effect, another province, a consuming but not a producing province, to
the problem of India's food supply. The House can rest assured that neither the
Government of India nor His Majesty's Government has failed to realize that
aspect of the question at any moment over the last two years. The House has been
informed that 800,000 tons of wheat will have been shipped to India in the year
ending this September. I fully realize that the Indian Central Food Advisory
Council has expressed disappointment with these figures as compared with their
own standard of 1,000,000 tons a year of imported grain for current consumption,
with 500,000 added for reserve. That disappointment is natural in view of India's
own grave anxiety.
The preoccupations of His Majesty's Government over an even wider field are
no less anxious and critical. There never seems to be a limit to the urgent demands
for shipping for military operations, and it is only by the closest scrutiny of the
situation, from quarter to quarter, that those responsible can manage to scrape
together the ships required for any given task. All I can tell the House is that
the question of finding ships for further consignments of grain to India is under
active consideration by the technical services directly concerned. In addition to
the measures of procurement, price control, and rationing, the Government of
India have also been active in steps to increase the acreage of food crops and
to improve cultivation and to secure the better use of natural and artificial ferti-
lizers. At this moment an expert mission from this country is in India to advise
on measures necessary to increase India's output of artificial fertilizers to a target
of 350,000 tons a year.

Plan to Double Agricultural Production
That brings me to the problem which has been raised in more than one speech,
the greatest of all problems for India, namely, how to enable her natural resources
and an increased efficiency in their utilization and the development of new in-
dustries, to raise the standard of living and production. There is no other way

Post-war Planning in India

of bringing happiness to her teeming millions, or of giving to India as a whole
the material strength and revenue, without which political independence would
be little more than nominal. Mere numbers do not constitute either wealth or
strength. Unless they are matched by increased efficiency, they are, indeed, the
greatest menace to all efforts to raise the standard of living or to sustain political
freedom. I heartily agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge Uni-
versity (Professor A. V. Hill). There are, we all know, elements in the problem
which depend on social customs and religious preconceptions, which can only
be dealt with by the slow process of education and a gradual change of outlook.
That is all the more reason for bold and prompt action in the field in which the
Government can hope to produce early results. How urgent this is has been
shown, not only by the recent famine and the anxiety about the food situation
generally, but also by the progressive deterioration of the position shown by
statistics. Someone stated in the Debate that in the last 20 years the population
of India increased by 27 per cent. The increase in acreage under crops was 10.per
cent. The increase in acreage under food crops was only 1 per cent. Another
speaker pointed out that, as compared with other countries, that limited acreage
is not compensated for by efficient production. On,the contrary, there is a woe-
fully inferior standard of production per acre. Nothing in the production of export
crops in India or in the development of Indian industry can sufficiently balance
these grave deficiencies.
It is in the light of these facts that the Government of India are consulting the
Provinces, with whom the primary responsibility for agriculture rests, on a plan
which is designed, to double India's agricultural production over the next 15 years.
In that plan are included extension of irrigation, the combating of the devastating
spread of soil erosion, the improvement of seeds and of breeds of livestock, and the
extended use of natural and artificial manure. Last, but not least, is research and
the training of instructors. I might add that by no means least important in this
connection is the extension of forest areas, both to combat erosion, and also to
supply firewood and so save the appalling waste of some 200,000,000 tons of cow
dung a year used for fuel. Let the House judge of the scale of what is in con-
templation by the fact that the increase of forest area in view is 100,000 square
miles, nearly double the total area of England and Wales. Again, the total capital
cost of this agricultural plan is estimated at 750,000,000, with a recurrent cost
of 50,000,000. I do not think that the Government of India can be charged with
lack of courage and imagination in facing the problems of India's agricultural

Co-operation with the Provinces
These plans are to be carried out in co-operation between the Central Gov-
ernment and the Provinces, regardless of whether the Provinces are self-governing,
or administered under Section 93. I think that in this respect there will be no
difference. The Government were bound to turn to agriculture first and foremost,
because it has always been and always must be the mainstay of the great majority
of the Indian population, and it is in the prosperity of that population that India's
growing industries must find their best and most assured markets. That does not
[Earl Winterton: Before my right hon. Friend leaves this question of agricul-
ture, might I make one suggestion? I think it is important to emphasize what
speakers in the Debate did not apparently realize, that the production of crops in
temperate climes such as England and the United States is utterly different from
that in tropical countries. I may not be the orly person in the House who has
been engaged in tropical agriculture, but it occurs to me that a lot of what is pro-

British Speeches of the Day

posed to be done might meet with very great disappointment and that the applica-
tion of large-scale farming to India is very largely in the experimental stage.
Sir S. Reed: Does the scheme cover consolidation of holdings and take into
account the fact that large areas in India have been disforested because they were
That is just one of the problems on which the Woodhead Committee will report.
On the other point, I would not dissent from my right hon. Friend. The last thing
I would suggest is that Western methods should be applied indiscriminately, and
without the most careful consideration to India's conditions; nor would I overlook
the fact that, in certain areas, the prospects depend upon the difference between a
good or bad monsoon. That is one of the reasons why industrial expansion may
make an immense contribution to the problem of balancing India's economy by
furnishing a market which can absorb the output, or a great part of the output,
of Indian agriculture.
The Industrial Future
India is already the eighth industrial country in the world. Her industry and
the trained skill behind it have been amazingly expanded to meet the needs of war.
It stands today, undoubtedly, as more than one hon. Member has pointed out, on
the eve of great industrial advance, which I hope will be accompanied by a corres-
ponding social advance in the handling of major problems, not by some of the
terrible mistakes which accompanied our own industrial revolution.
To that advance we here can, I think, wish well. The days have long gone when
British industrialists tended to look upon India as their own preserve and to look
upon Indian industry as an uneconomic intrusion in their domain. On the contrary,
I have found, whenever I have discussed this problem with our own industrialists,
a universal readiness to welcome India's industrial progress, and a universal desire
to lend their co-operation in helping forward that progress, in the confident con-
viction that in the growth of India's prosperity there will always be an opportunity
for British trade, provided that we supply India with what she needs, and not
simply with what we have been accustomed to sell in the past. I am quite sure
that the Indian industrialists who will shortly visit this country will meet from
every quarter in British industry with the kind of reception I have just indicated.

Unofficial Indian Plans
How strongly that vision of India's industrial future has appealed to her
imagination is shown by the eager reception accorded to the plan put forward by
a group of Bombay industrialists which aims at doubling the standard of life for
the whole of India within 15 years at an expenditure of 7,500,000,000. An even
bolder plan, which lays greater emphasis on agriculture and social reform, and
involves an expenditure of 11,250,000,000 in ten years has been put forward by
the Indian Federation of Labour. What is significant in these schemes is not the
detailed figures; they are not estimates for criticism, but illustrations of an inherently
sound argument. What matters in these schemes is the boldness of their concep-
tion. It is only those who have set their target high, as Russia has shown, who are
at any rate not unlikely to get somewhere near it. From that point of view I think
the Government of India has shown no sign of failure to appreciate the greatness
of the opportunity before her. Nothing could be more significant of Lord Wavell's
outlook in this respect than his invitation to Sir Ardeshir Dalal, one of the ablest
of the authors of the Bombay plan, to take up the Portfolio of Planning and
Development in the Viceroy's Executive Council. Nothing could be more signifi-
cant than Sir Ardeshir Dalal's acceptance of the post, which he would only have
thought worth taking because he believes that in it he will find the wholehearted
support of his Chief and his colleagues of the Viceroy's Executive.

Post-war Planning in India

Hydro-Electric Development and Research
The reconstruction plans of the Government of India over and above the great
agricultural scheme to which I have referred include, as an essential instrument
for full industrial and agricultural development, a great increase in hydro-electric
power. .. India is a veritable paradise for the hydro-electric engineer,
and something like 90 per cent of her definitely ascertainable sources of power are
still unused. Even more important is the power of the brain. A sum of 750,000
is to be allocated for establishing a series of research laboratories by the Indian
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. To that sum the great firm of Tata is
adding another 150,000. Many of the suggestions made by my hon. Friend the
Member for Cambridge University in the course of his most fruitful visit to India
are being taken up, and I look forward to the forthcoming visit of a number of
distinguished Indian scientists as calculated to be of the greatest benefit to both

Education and Health
The whole problem of industrial training, with which great progress has been
made in the war, is being fully investigated. Behind that lies education. Sir John
Sargent's proposals aim at the provision, over a number of years it is true, of
universal education for all boys and girls from 6 to 14, at a cost rising from
7,500,000 to an eventual total of over 200,000,000 a year. Such a scheme can
come to fruition only in the course of time. Teachers, of whom 1,800,000 will be
ultimately required, could not be improvised, even if the requisite buildings were
available. Again, the Health Survey Development Committee under Sir Joseph
Bhore is now studying the whole field of public health, nutrition, maternity and
child welfare, housing and water supply, and malaria and other endemic diseases,
and it is expected to report this year.

If these reforms are carried out, they must be brought within reach of the
people scattered in India's 700,000 villages, and, therefore, a great improvement
in India's roads especially her rural roads, is an indispensable concomitant of
reconstruction. A plan is being worked out, at a cost of 340,000,000, over ten
years, for 400,000,000 miles of road. These are all big figures, and the Govern-
ment of India have to take into account the financial possibilities and limitations.
These, and even more the availability of trained staff and technicians, will inevit-
ably extend the period over which these ambitious plans must be carried out. It
is significant that the Finance Member, Sir Jeremy Raisman, in his last Budget
speech, anticipated that 750,000,000 might be available from revenue and borrow-
ing for reconstruction over the first five years after the war, in addition to the
reconstruction funds which some Provinces have accumulated, and to private capital
investment and that important element of India's wartime saving represented by
her accumulated sterling balances.

Giving the Constitution a Good Start
I have dwelt very fully on these plans for reconstruction, not because they can
supersede, or even postpone, the need for finding a solution to India's problems. I
quite agree with the hon. Member for West Leyton (Mr. Sorensen) that there
can be no question of using economic development to sidetrack the political issue.
My right hon. Friend the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence)
truly said that progress in other directions cannot be fully sustained if there is a
fundamental disequilibrium in the political structure. .All I would say is that these
reforms are essential to Drovide the -material foundation of individual standard

British Speeches of the Day

of living and of collective resources without which Indian freedom would mean
very little, either at home or in relation to the outside world. At any rate, there
could be no reason for not pushing ahead with these reforms while conditions for
a political solution are maturing, so that, at whatever stage a new constitution comes
into being, no time will have been lost in giving it the best possible start. Nor is
it too much to hope that, in the light of the practical difficulties and the immense
opportunities of Indian reconstruction, even political difficulties may find a truer
perspective in relation to the immense political opportunity for Indian statesmanship.
I think I am voicing the general sentiment expressed in this Debate if I say
that we look forward undoubtedly to the satisfaction of India's natural aspiration
to the unfettered control of her destiny as a partner in the British Commonwealth,
Sand a member of the comity of nations of the whole world, standing as the equal
df any nation in the world. I am glad that the hon. Member for Walsall (Sir
G. Schuster) suggested that India must have an opportunity of playing a leading
part in the future destiny of Asia and the world as the equal of China. We all
look forward to that, but we also wish her to start off with a new chapter of her
history under the most favorable auspices possible, at peace within herself to begin
with, secure from aggression from without, with some measure of unity-which
is essential, able to play her part in contributing tb the peace of the world and
make her own contribution to the welfare, the culture and the thought of the world
and enjoy; in ever-increasing measure, prosperity, health and happiness.
[House of Commons Debates]

The number of pupils receiving milk at school [in
Scotland] as apart from meals has increased by 14,000
during the past twelve months, and has now reached the
very considerable figure of 69% of the entire school
population of Scotland. In West Lothian 85% of the chil-
dren are receiving milk at school, in Mid Lothian 82%,
in Glasgow 83% and in Edinburgh 80%. So far as mid-
day meals are concerned, the best figure curiously enough
is reached by Peebles County, with almost 43%. It is
closely followed by Lanark County with 38% and by
Dumbarton County with 36%. The cities of Glasgow,
Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh are practically running
neck and neck, Edinburgh with 23%, Glasgow and Dun-
dee with 22%, and Aberdeen with 21%. While the school
medical examinations have been restricted in most parts
of the country owing to war conditions, all the evidence
there is in the continuing examinations goes to show that
the health of the school child is steadily improving, and,
as I announced the other day on the Health Estimates, in
Glasgow in particular the height and weight of the school
child, both at entry to the registers and at the school-
leaving date at 13, are materially improving over the fig-
ures for the last pre-war years.

[Rt. Hon. Thomas Johnston,
Secretary of State for Scotland,
House of Commons, July 4, 1944.)


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