HC Deb 18 July 1833 vol 19 cc898-913
Mr. Strickland

said, the real question before the House was, whether or not protection should be confined to persons under thirteen years of age. He knew a case of a young man whose thigh bone was completely bent by working fifteen hours a-day in a factory, and that deformity did not commence till he had attained his fifteenth year. He believed that no man could work for fifteen or sixteen hours a-day without injury; and he must, therefore, support the proposed limitation to the eighteenth year. He had long entertained a feeling favourable to two sets of children; but from the state in which the question now was, he had but little choice. He was glad, however, that the measure had been so fully discussed, and that something like a principle was established. As to what had been said of our inability, under the proposed alteration, to send our products abroad as we now did, he must say he had no fears on that head. He had too strong-an opinion of the stability of the principles on which English commerce was founded, to think that its success must depend on deforming the limbs of children.

Mr. Duncombe

said, the question had been asked whether, in the event of the Ten-hour Bill being passed, the operatives were ready to submit to a fall of wages? and he had been expressly informed by then that they would, rather than sec their children exposed to such hardships as they were now compelled to submit to. An hon. Baronet had stated, in the course of the debate, that paid agitators had been sent throughout the country to excite a feeling in favour of the Bill. He positively denied that, cither in Lancashire or Yorkshire, there had been anything like paid agitation. He implored the House to pass the Bill, and thus make some claim to the respect and confidence of the people. He had no hesitation in saying, as the result of a good deal of observation, that that House—that boasted Reformed House—had not much of popularity lo spare. He would entreat, without urging them to pander to clamour or surrender their own judgments, to take that opportunity of reconciling themselves with the people, by meriting their confidence and respect.

Mr. Wilbraham

supported the Amendment proposed by Lord Althorp. He objected to the original Bill, not only because it allowed too many hours for labour, but also because it made no difference between the different branches of manufacture, for it was a fact that a smaller quantity of labour in one branch was equal to a larger one in another.

Colone Torrens

considered the present question as the most delicate and important which had hitherto been brought under the consideration of the Reformed Parliament. It should be discussed calmly and dispassionately, and without any personal feeling, or party bias, or partial view. The interests of the masters and operatives, when truly considered, would be seen to be one and the same, and neither could derive any permanent advantage from the injury of the other. It was the interest of the labourer that the profits of the master should be ample and sufficient; for, unless profits were adequate, increased capital could not be accumulated, and without the increased accumulation and employment of capital, the increase of population could not be employed, the demand for labour would be less than the supply, and thus a permanent fall of wages would result from a fall of profits. On the other hand, it was the obvious interest of the master that his workmen should be supplied with all the necessaries required to preserve them in vigorous working condition. And further, it was the interest of masters, that the operatives should not only have their physical wants provided for, but that they should have sufficient leisure for intellectual and moral improvement; for, if destitute of this, the operatives could not perceive and feel that it was at once their interest and their duty to maintain that peace and order without which the pursuits of industry could not be carried on, or the labouring classes be adequately employed. It was obvious, it was self evident, that the interests, the permanent interests, of master and operative were inseparably connected, were one and the same; and therefore he conceived it would be practicable for the House to legislate ill a manner satisfactory to both. With respect to the two propositions now before the House—that of the noble Lord (Ashley), and that of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he (Colonel Torrens) decidedly preferred the former. By the Amendment of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the labour of children under nine years would be limited to eight hours; the labour of young persons under eighteen would be limited to twelve hours; while those above eighteen would have no protection whatever. Now, those who supported the Amendment, admitted that it was a bad measure, and advocated it only because they felt that some legislative enactment with respect to the limitation of labour was unavoidable and thought that the Amendment would be a less evil than the original Motion. He (Colonel Torrens) conceived that the Amendment, if passed into a law, would make things worse than they were under the existing system, and would aggravate all the evils of which the operatives complained. They prayed the Legislature to limit the labour of their children to ten hours, and they were willing to submit to the diminution of the wages of their children to that extent. No, says the noble Lord, we will not grant you what you ask, but we will grant more: we will limit the labour of children under thirteen to eight hours, and reduce their wages in this greater proportion. The result must be, that the operatives, unable to bear this greater reduction in the wages of their children below thirteen, would be compelled to work their children above that age a greater number of hours than before. The Amendment allowed persons above eighteen to work unlimited hours; relays of children would be employed with adults, and adults, instead of obtaining relief might have to work for fourteen or sixteen hours. Thus the Amendment would prove more injurious than the existing system, and he therefore should oppose it, and give his support to the original Motion limiting the labour of young persons under eighteen to ten hours. Objections had been urged against the measure—he was prepared to meet them. It was said, that the Ten-hours' Bill would have the effect of limiting the labour not of children only, but of adults also. The noble Lord (Ashley) who introduced the measure, avowed this was a part of his object; and it was therefore urged against him that his measure was in violation of the principle that the adult labourer should be left free to make what contracts he thought fit, and to dispose of his labour to the best advantage. He admitted the truth of the principle, that adult labour should be left free, but he contended, that this, like all other general principles, was liable to exceptions. In the present ease the exception was, that, in point of fact, the Legislature did not leave adult labour free, and did not permit the labourer to dispose of his labour to the best advantage. The Corn-laws were a violation of the principle of free labour; they deprived the labourer of the power of disposing of his labour to the best advantage, and compelled him to receive as his wages a less quantity of the necessaries of life than he would otherwise obtain. Thus the Legislature had destroyed the level of free labour, by casting a weight in one scale against the labourer; and, therefore, equity demanded that the balance should be re-adjusted by throwing in the other scale a counter weight in the labourer's favour. It was also objected to the Ten-hours' Bill, that it would render the British manufacturer unable to meet foreign competition, would injure the commerce of the country, and, by throwing the operatives out of work, aggravate their distress. He contended, that England possessed such decided advantages in manufacturing industry, from her coal mines, her energy, and her skill, that a given quantity of British labour produced a much greater effect than the same quantity of foreign labour. To the extent of this advantage British labour might be limited without endangering foreign competition. If, aided by superior machinery, and the greater cheapness of fuel, the effect of nine hours' labour in England was equal to that produced by twelve hours of foreign labour, then might English adult labour be limited to ten hours without the danger of foreign competition. He admitted, that there was danger from foreign competition; but that danger was created by the Corn-laws, and by the taxes imposed upon articles of food and raw materials. Parliament was placed in a dilemma. Justice demanded that the hours of labour should be limited; and the errors of our commercial policy so increased the cost of production upon the master, that justice could not be done without letting in foreign competition and checking trade. In this difficulty, the proper course to be pursued was, not to deny justice to the people, but to abolish the Corn-laws and the taxes upon industry, by which masters and operatives were alike oppressed, and the danger of foreign competition created. For these reasons he should give his decided support to the Ten-hours' Bill introduced by his noble friend.

Mr. Richard Potter

said, he would detain the Committee but for a few minutes. The hon. member for the Northern Division of Yorkshire said, he was not aware of any attempt to agitate. When this subject was before the House a fortnight ago, he (Mr. Potter) gave the House a pretty fair example of the kind of efforts used in Yorkshire to produce agitation; for that exposure he had had no small portion of abuse heaped upon him; but if the authors of that abuse thought to intimidate him from the discharge of his duty, they were greatly mistaken. The Gallant Colonel, as well as his hon. friend the member for Salford, had connected this subject with the repeal of the Corn Laws; but he would venture to predict that almost every gentleman who had spoken in favour of the Bill, would be as strenuous opponents of the repeal of those laws as they were supporters of this measure. The hon. member for Stamford read some evidence to the House to show that there was no fear of foreign competition; but if the House would give him its attention for a very short period, he should be able to show, that not only was there great fear of foreign competition, but that it was in full operation. Machinery was now made in France, and other places, upon the most approved and newest plans. It appeared by official documents, that spinning and the cotton manufactory were rapidly on the increase, not only on the Continent, but in the United States of America. By the official returns made to Congress in 1832, it appeared, that the United States had consumed in the previous year, 77,557,316 lbs. weight of cotton, and had 795 mills, in which were 1,246,503 spindles at work. It further appeared, that the whole quantity spun in England in 1822, was 222,596,907 lbs.; of this 71,662,850 lbs. were exported, of which only 62,798,270 lbs. were sent to the Continent of Europe. The continental establishments spun in the same year 99,038,762 lbs., and we exported to them only 62,798,270 lbs. It could not be supposed that our smaller quantity would govern the prices of the greater in the market. In France, Switzerland, Prussia, and the Rhenish provinces, Saxony, Lombardy, Austria, and India itself, cotton-spinning was increasing. So much for foreign competition. When this Bill was first introduced he took occasion to observe, that many of its provisions were so objectionable, that if passed into a law, a blow would be struck at the cotton trade of this country, from which it might never recover. He rejoiced that the noble Lord who introduced this Bill now proposed to leave out the objectionable clauses. He also rejoiced that the discussion was carried on with that calmness which its great importance deserved.

Mr. Sanford

supported the Amendment of the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, though he confessed his preference for some plan which would limit the period of labour to eleven hours. On the whole, he thought it would be better to limit infant rather than adult labour.

Mr. Fryer

was of opinion, that something ought to be done for the relief of the children employed in factories. But legislative enactments, merely limiting the hours of labour, would furnish no remedy for the evil. It was the direct necessity which compelled these children to undergo such excessive labour. The only means, in his opinion, of doing away with that necessity, was by opening a free trade in corn, and in taking the monopoly of food from the great landed proprietors. It was totally impossible that things should continue in their present condition; and the probability was, that the change would be anew election either in that House or out of doors. It would depend entirely upon the House itself whether that revolution should be a peaceable one, or whether it should be accompanied with every species of bloodshed and violence. It might, perhaps, be imagined that the people were inclined to engage in a sanguinary revolution; but he was confident that the good sense of the English people would declare in favour of a peaceable revolution. In the first place a revolution would have the effect of wiping away the National Debt. The House might laugh if they pleased; but did they suppose that the people did not contemplate such a result? The Church Establishment and the tithe system, would also, in all probability, be wiped away. He did not mean to say, that the people were hostile to religion itself. On the contrary, he was sure they loved it. In the next place, the whole nest of sinecurists would be ferreted out and destroyed, as well as all the abominable monopolies of sugar and corn. Did the House consider how the country was circumstanced? If it should happen that in a winter of distress and poverty, a few bold men should incite their comrades to resist the military and be successful in that resistance (an event which was by no means improbable), in an hour after the event was known all England would be in arms. What would then be the condition of the Members of that House? And what would become of the nobles of the land? They would at once be annihilated. Was it to be supposed that the people of England would think anything of sacrificing a few Lords for such an object? With respect to the Amendment before the House he would support it, although he considered it a contemptible scheme—a poor and paltry illusion. Ministers were now acting on the same plan as they had pursued on the Irish Church Bill. They were truckling in the basest manner to their opponents, because they felt that they were too feeble to resist them. By a sneaking pickpocket scheme they had robbed the Irish Church of 60,000l. for the payment of the Vestry-cess; and having once admitted the principle of spoliation, they might just as well have robbed the Church of 6,000,000l. In conclusion, the hon. Member begged leave again to observe, that he would vote for the Bill, because he was convinced, that it would either be effectual or would altogether put a stop to the manufactures of the country; and if the latter should be the case, the master manufacturers would no doubt immediately join with the people in endeavouring to put down the cursed—damnable—Corn-laws.

The Atlorney General

fully admitted the necessity of some legislation in favour of the children employed in the manufactories, and he congratulated the noble Lord on his success. With respect to the clause immediately before the House, he had merely to observe that, if his noble friend (Lord Althorp) had not proposed the Amendment, and it had been proposed by any one else, he should have given it his support. He agreed that, from the age of nine to seventeen or eighteen years, children ought to be protected, but he objected to children between nine and fourteen being obliged to labour for an equal period with children between fourteen and eighteen. He should therefore support the Amendment of his noble friend.

Mr. Hardy

was pleased with the manner in which his hon. and learned friend who had just sat down had treated the subject. The proposition was not complex; it was simple, and required no eloquence to set it forth. It would be safest for the House to rely upon the evidence obtained by the Commission. In particular he alluded to the medical evidence. It had long been the opinion of all who were placed in the neighbourhood of the manufacturing districts, that it was neces- sary to adopt some measure for restricting the hour of labour. In this view, the Bill had been brought forward, and it had now been for twelve months before the public. It was perfectly absurd to say, that a child of thirteen years of age should only work eight hours; but that, in a single night after that child's birthday, it might be made to work twelve hours, or perhaps for a longer period. No man who had the feelings of a father would propose to work children between thirteen and eighteen, in the same way as they would work adults. The hon. Member then proceeded to cite various passages to this effect from the medical evidence. The hearts and the feelings of the country were so much interested in this question that it was absolutely necessary that the House should do justice—extending to them the protection which they so much required.

Mr. Poulett Thomson

said, there was no doubt in any quarter with respect to the necessity of legislation for the regulation of infant labour; and the only question which remained was, whether the Bill of the noble Lord, as it originally stood, or the Amendment of his noble friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, would be the more advantageous to the parties interested. His principal objection to the original Bill was founded upon the admission of the noble Lord (Ashley) that his object was to regulate manufacturing labour. If the proposition of the noble Lord (Ashley) should be successful, he should entertain the greatest apprehension respecting the consequences. He was willing to admit the propriety of legislative interference up to a certain point, but he was of opinion that any attempt to proceed beyond that point would be productive of the greatest mischief. He maintained, that gross exaggeration had taken place with regard to the effects of the present factory system; and he concluded by declaring, that he would give his support to the Amendment proposed by his noble friend (Lord Althorp).

Mr. Pease

said, after the best consideration he could give to the question, he felt it his duty to vote for the Amendment of the noble Lord. It relieved him greatly to find, that the principle of Sir John Hobhouse's Bill was to be applied to all our manufacturing establishments, for he felt no hesitation in saying, that if it had been done some time since, the present abuses would never have existed, nor would these complaints from the factory children have been heard of. He was satisfied, that no child ought to work ten hours a day, and that was the reason for his vote, for, though perhaps with loss, the manufacturer could adapt himself to the system; and, even if he could not, it did not alter his view as to the amount of work at so tender an age.

Mr. Bolling

said: It is with a bad grace that the hon. member for Yorkshire now comes forward to reproach the cotton-manufacturers with cruelty, after Members of this House have so long neglected their duty by forbearing to enforce the law which would have protected the children whose fate they now lament. I will not deign to answer the attack which has been made upon myself, for, although a stranger in this House, my character, I trust, is too well known in my own neighbourhood to need a formal justification on my part. I have always endeavoured to act from some good reason, and now that I have come into the great council of the nation, I shall not for the first time stultify myself by voting without a good reason. I consider that when attacked I have a right to defend myself, and when, therefore, I hear it asserted over and over again that all the evidence proves the oppression, cruelty, and inhumanity of the factory system, I say, and I will prove it, that such is not the fact. If Sir John Hob-house's Bill had only been properly carried into execution—if those who are now so ready to make puffing humanity speeches had been in their respective neighbourhoods, seeing that those masters who were inclined to evade the law, and take advantage of the conscientious scruples of those who obeyed it were punished,—the evils now complained of would never have arisen. It has been said, over and over again, by the noble Lord, the member for Dorsetshire, that the factory system is fraught with mischief to the health, the morals, and the general good conduct of the factory children. The noble Lord, it seems, relies almost wholly upon the evidence of the doctors, whom, as I do not know, I shall speak of as I find them in his book. In opposition to their evidence I beg to place that of persons from the town I have the honour to represent; for it behoves me, in vindicating the factory system, not to lose sight of the good name I wish to maintain in my own town, and truth, I doubt not, will after all prevail in the long run. Now, what is the evidence I have before me? It is a statement of certain particulars connected with a Sunday School Society composed entirely of children. In it are 1,300 children, and among them is formed another Society, called the sick society, to which 580 of the scholars subscribe. From data taken two or three years back, without reference, mind you, to this inquiry, it appears that half of these subscribers consist of factory children. It follows, that if the factory children enjoy the same degree of health as the rest of the population, one-half of the numbers on the sick list would be from the factories. It appears, however, that the proportion of factory children on the sick list is only one-fourth of the whole, and that the proportion of the deaths among them is only one-fifth instead of one-half, so that both in the numbers of the sick, and in the number of deaths, the advantage is on the side of the factory children. I cannot make this go further if I will, but nothing can prevent it going as far as it will. Hon. Gentlemen may talk of the opinion of doctor this and doctor that: but what is the fact? I'll show you. If you ask a doctor whether it is right that children should work ten hours a-day, of course he will say, "No;" and if I were to ask him whether a husbandman, who worked through winter and summer in wet and in dry, sometimes up to his knees in a ditch of water, the effect of such labour must not be to produce chronic rheumatism in advancing age, no doubt his answer will be "Yes." But putting doctors aside, we must consult common sense and common reason; and I really hope soon to see nothing else prevail in this House; I wish I could say, that I have seen nothing else prevail. Now I happen to be treasurer to the society to which I have referred, which may teach hon. Gentlemen, who are disposed to look after the interests of the infantile population, that there are means of doing it, without coming into this House to make puffing speeches about the distress of the labouring population. Speeches, let me tell this House, can be made on both sides of a question, and I know that for this I shall have to vindicate myself on a future occasion, but I shall never be ashamed of what I am saying, for I believe it to be truth. I will say now what I first said, when I offered myself on the hustings,—if I don't suit the place, or the place does not suit me, I'll turn out to make room for a better man. The sick society of which I was speaking is so well regulated that, although the subscriptions are only one penny per week, it has now the sum of 600l. in the Bank. I do not boast of this, mind you, but I mention it in self defence, in order to show hon. Gentlemen who make puffing speeches, that if they would go home and practise the like in their several districts, they would do more good than they now do. Sir, I object to both the propositions before the Mouse; for when we take a doubtful step in legislation, that step should be as little as possible. I agree with the hon. member for Durham (Mr. Pease), that if all factories had been brought under the operation of Sir John Hobhouse's Act, these abuses never would have been heard of. All Mr. Sadler's evidence applies to factories in which that Act was not enforced. What I would propose, then, is, to try that Act for one year in every branch of our manufactures, and to appoint inspectors subject only to this House, to sec it properly carried into effect. If this were done, I would defy agitators, or any other persons whatever, to bolster up a case for this House. The House would then be able to legislate upon impartial evidence, without having to depend either on the testimony of Mr. Sadler's Committee, or of the Government Commissioners—into both of which it is said party feeling enters. I certainly do not believe, that it does into both; but at any rate you would have the satisfaction of proceeding upon the report of inspectors appointed by yourselves, and responsible only to yourselves. I am told, forsooth, that this would be disappointing the wishes of the people. I know it. I live amongst them, and shall have to convince them of the rectitude of my own conduct when I go back into the country; but I have said nothing which is not founded in truth—nothing which I cannot fully vindicate. When I went down to Lancashire in the Easter week, I sent to a body of spinners, and explained my thoughts upon the matter to them. Said I, "I see how the wind is blowing; you may think the Ten Hours' Bill all right, but in spite of all your flaming speeches and dashing meetings in London, there are certain under-currents you are not aware of, for the supporters of the Ten Hours' Bill are actuated by very different motives, to those you give them credit for. I tell you plainly I shall not give a vote which will perfectly satisfy yon, but you may depend upon it I shall give a vote which will satisfy my own conscience. Many of those consenting to the Ten Hours' Bill, I can tell you, wish to work two sets of hands, and make you labour twelve or fourteen hours." "The deuce they do," they said. "Yes," said I, "its true enough. I do not like to mention names to every body, but if you will send your Committee I will mention names to them." As I told the spinners I would do what would satisfy my own conscience, I now full the House what that is—namely, throw overboard the schemes of the two noble Lords, and give the Bill of Sir John Hobhouse a general trial of twelve months, with competent inspectors. I feel assured, that this would ultimately lead to the best settlement of the matter. If the inspectors should inform us that abuses continue, we can then, and we ought then, to legislate. As to the hue and cry raised of giving the people a stone when they ask for bread (according to my hon. and gallant colleague) I can only say, that 25s. a-week is the common rate of wages to adults, and that the 1,500 persons in the establishment with which I am connected, average nearly 10s. per week. I ask hon. Gentlemen if wages like these were generally paid throughout the country, whether there would be much real cause for complaint. Now, I can tell this House, that there is one class of the population the state of which culls much more imperiously for attention than that of the classes employed in factories—I refer to the hand-loom Weavers. They really want consideration their slate really calls for pity and protection: but let the House not apply a plaister where none is wanted. It is said that the factory system causes the disruption of domestic ties; I deny it; for numbers of parents bring their children into the factory, and have them under their own eye. A certain portion of the work requires children; and if a man has got none of his own to begin with, he employs those of other people. The noble Lord near me (Lord Ashley) is quite in error on this Point; and if he will come to Bolton with me, I will convince him of it. With respect to the important point of education, although I am no friend to Quixotic legislation, I must say, that I feel myself as much bound in conscience to teach the poor man to read his Bible, as to feed or clothe him if hungry or naked. In the course of these discussions, insinuations have been thrown out against Sunday-schools, which they do not deserve, and if hon. Gentlemen will call upon me at Bolton, I will convince them of the fact. If the hours for work are to be reduced to eight or less, the establishment of some system of education, or a great addition to the number of constables, will be necessary. Education will certainly raise the manufacturing population in the scale of society, and prevent them going to the dram-shop or the beer-house. I entreat the House to be cautious in its proceedings. We are not now in the possession of the whole of the spinning trade. By the restrictions having been taken off, the exportation of machinery and the emigration of artizans (whether unfortunately or not I do not say), America and several of the European nations are fast overtaking us. America now spins one-third of the cotton we do; France and the rest of Europe spins another third; and if peace lasts for ten years, they will rival us in the amount now spun in this country. Hon. Gentlemen talk of the difference between twelve and ten hours as if it were only a drop in the bucket; but it is, in fact, no slight matter, for it has come to my own knowledge that orders from abroad for yarn were not to be executed if the price was a halfpenny above a certain fixed sum, because, for that additional halfpenny, the order could be executed by spinners abroad. When a difference of two farthings turns the scale, why should we commit the suicidal act of tying up our hands before entering into competition with foreign nations. I will trouble the House no further, except to urge upon it the simple extension of Sir John Hobhouse's Act, and the appointment of inspectors to see its provisions, duly enforced.

Mr. Mark Philips

had given the subject the greatest consideration, but he was bound to say that the measure of the noble Lord (Ashley) was so surrounded with perplexity and confusion that he could not conscientiously give it his support. A great stress had been laid upon the cruelty exercised in the factories toward the children. He admitted that individual cases might exist; but wherever they were to be found, he contended they existed without the know- ledge of the master manufacturers. The factory system had been universally condemned, nor did he intend to defend it; but he did say, that if the evils had grown into the system to the extent complained of, it could not be expected to find a remedy in any one legislative measure. Having had some practical experience in these matters, he should for these reasons, give his support to the amendment of the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in preference to the Bill of the noble member for Dorsetshire.

Mr. Gisborne

said, he was afraid of meddling with such a complicated subject, not being so confident in his own opinion as the noble Lord, the member for Dorsetshire, and he would support the proposition of the noble Lord the Chancellor of the Exchequer as the least interfering of the two.

Mr. Hume

suggested whether it would not be better, after such a lengthy and useful discussion, they should now report progress, and ask leave to bring in a Bill which should give a full and substantial effect to Sir John Hobhouse's. If this was not agreed to, he should vote for the adoption of the lesser evil—the Amendment of the right hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Mr. Cobbett

said, a new discovery had been made in the House that night, which would doubtless, excite great astonishment in many parts; at all events it would in Lancashire. It had formerly been said that the Navy was the great support of England; at another time, that our maritime commerce was the great bulwark of the country; at another time that our colonies; and it had even been whispered that the Bank was; but now it was admitted, that our great stay and bulwark was to be found in three hundred thousand little girls, or rather in one-eighth of that number. Yes; for it was asserted, that if these little girls worked two hours less per day, our manufacturing superiority would depart from us. This was the only observation he should then make; at another, and more appropriate opportunity, he should go fully into the question.

Lord Althorp

said, the real question was, whether the words "eighteen years" should be inserted in the clause. He should oppose that proposition; and the point to decide would then be, what age should be inserted. He could not but observe on the strong good sense—the manly sense, he must say—which had characterized the speeches of the hon. Representatives of those towns which had been enfranchised by the Reform Bill, a good sense, to which, however, he was compelled to say, the hon. member for Oldham had presented a contrast. He could not deny that even his own proposition was liable to objections; but he thought the House was really bound to consider whether some protection was not necessary for these children. Further than what was necessary he did not wish to go; for he felt in all such matters they ought not to interfere beyond what the positive urgency of the case required. As to the assertion that under his proposition two relays of children would be necessary, he must say he would admit the truth of it. He thought the course he proposed was, under all circumstances, the best that could be adopted for the many interests concerned.

The Committee, on the Motion that the words "eighteen years" stand part of the clause divided—Ayes 93; Noes 238: Majority 145.

Lord Ashley

said, having taken up the subject fairly and conscientiously, he found that the noble Lord had completely defeated him. He should, therefore surrender the Bill into the hands of the noble Lord; but having taken it up with a view to do good to the classes interested, he would only say into whatever hands it might pass, God prosper it.

Lord Althorp

said, that there could be no doubt about the motives of the noble Lord. The course which the noble Lord had pursued was dictated by the most honourable and praiseworthy feelings. He thought the best course now was to report progress, and ask leave to sit again. His own Amendment had had no object but the advantages of the children.

The House resumed. Committee to sit again.

List of the AYES.
ENGLAND. Chapman, A.
Aglionby, H. A. Cobbett, W.
Attwood, M. Dare, R. W. H.
Attwood, T. Darlington, Earl of
Barnard, E. G. Dillwyn, L. W.
Bish, T. Duffield, T.
Blackstone, W. S. Duncomabe, Hon. W.
Brotherton, J. Estcourt, T. G. B.
Bulwer, H. L. Faithful, G.
Burrell, Sir C. Fielden, J.
Calcraft, J. Finch, G.
Cayley, E. S. Forester, Hn. G. C. W.
Freemantle, Sir T. Tullamore, Lord
Gaskell, D. Turner, W.
Gaskell, J. M. Tyrell, Sir J.
Gore, M. Walter, J.
Grimston, Lord Whalley, Sir S.
Gulley, J. Wilks, J.
Halford, H. Younge, G. T.
Handley, H. SCOTLAND.
Hardy, J. Agnew, Sir A.
Hardinge, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Bruce, C.
Sinclair, G.
Harvey, D. W. Stuart, Capt.
Henniker, Lord IRELAND.
Hotham, Lord Baldwin, Dr.
Hughes, H. Barry, G. S.
Hurst, R. H. Blake, M.
Langton, Col. G. Christmas, J. N.
Leech, J. Colo, Hon. A.
Lennard, T. B. Finn, W. F.
Lister, C. Forbes, Lord
Lowther, Hn. C. Hayes, Sir E.
Nicholl, J. Lefroy, Serjeant
Parker, Sir H. Lefroy, A.
Palmer, R. O'Connell, D.
Pigot, R. O'Connell, M.
Plumptre, J. P. O'Connell, J.
Poulter, J. O'Dwyer, A. C.
Roberts, A. W. Perceval Colonel
Ripon, C. Ruthven, E.
Robinson, G. R. Sheil, R. L.
Sholefield J. Verner, Col.
Shawe, R. N. Vigors, N. A.
Stanley, E. TELLER.
Strickland, G. Ashley, Lord
Stormont, Lord PAIRED OFF.
Talbot, C. R. M. Buxton, T. F.
Tennyson, Rt. Hn. C. Ruthven, E. S.
Torrens, Col. Bellew, R. M.
Townshend, Lord C. Beauclerk, Major