MUNICIPAL TRADING. Trading, either monopolist or in competition with private enterprise, e.g., municipal authorities, is not properly defined as a branch of Socialism though the Social ist Parties alone have advocated it as part of a general policy. Certain of the most remarkable experiments have been under taken under anti-Socialist direction, as in Blackpool where munici pal enterprise caters for amusement, and Birmingham, which has a municipal bank.
The water supply, according to the Municipal year book 1928, is in the hands of about two-thirds of the country boroughs of England and Wales, of nearly all the non-county boroughs and of about half the urban districts. In the metropolitan area it is also in the hands of a public authority, the metropolitan water board. The following table gives the position of certain of the main undertakings according to the Labour Year Book 1927.
Over I70 tramway undertakings in Great Britain are owned by municipal authorities. The following figures are given according to the Return of Tramways, etc., Undertakings 1925-26.
Nearly all these are run under special acts. The problems of inter municipal co-ordination and the general problems arising out of trams will be found discussed under TRAMWAYS. Permission for municipal motor bus services has been less freely granted : only 66 towns had in 1927 a motor bus service of their own.
The shortage of houses after the World War caused the passing of measures which enabled municipal authorities to embark on housebuilding, with the encouragement of a subsidy from the Government. Under C. Addison's act of 1919 174,583 houses had been built by the beginning of 1928 and 39,186 under his Private Builders' Act. Of the 315,749 houses built under N. Chamber lain's 1923 act, the majority were provided by private enterprise; of the 161,363 built under J. Wheatley's 1924 act the majority were supplied by local authorities. This building was undertaken very largely with the advice and under the direction of Joint Town Planning Committees, of which there were 53 in England and Wales. For further details see HOUSING.
Under the item Parks notice should be taken of the increase in municipal golf courses (municipal tennis courts and other play ing fields are almost universal). These are maintained by Bir mingham (4 courses), Bournemouth (2), Brighton, Leeds, Leices ter, Llandudno, London City Corporation, London County Coun cil, Manchester, Margate, Nottingham (2), Portsmouth, Sheffield, Southend, Southport, Wallasey, Yarmouth and others.