HC Deb 04 March 1864 vol 173 cc1496-525

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Sir George Grey.)


said, he rose to move that the Bill should be read a second time that day six months. In the event of that Motion being carried, he should submit to the House another Bill, which he did not intend to be in any way a rival measure to the present Bill, but the object of which would be to consolidate the Acts which would then be mutilated and imperfect, by the abolition of the whole ticket-of-leave system in England and Scotland. One grave objection to the measure before the House was the slovenly manner in which it dealt with the important subject of penal legislation. The law as it existed was little better than a piece of patchwork, and the Bill of the right hon. Baronet merely proposed to add another patch. Our legislation for the last fifty years had been a repeated attempt to make the one specific of transportation serve as our highest secondary punishment, in spite of the increasing difficulty of rendering it compatible with the changed condition of the world. And when it became obviously impossible to carry on transportation any longer, and we were obliged to substitute another punishment, (which was done under the name of penal servitude in 1853), we could think of no device, but that of casting the new punishment upon the model of that which had become obsolete. The Acts of 1853 and 1857 enacted nothing specifically or distinctly in themselves. They were simply an attempt, by the most slovenly legislation, to transfer to the new punishment of penal servitude, all the provisions and expressions which were scattered over the statute book in relation to transportation, with the saving words added, "so far as they may be consistent with this Act." The consolidating Acts of 1861 had, besides, rendered much of these Acts superfluous, and some of the Acts recited in these Acts were since partially repealed. There was no hon. Member of that House who would not allow that the most essential features of penal legislation were clearness and precision; but these Acts which embodied the highest penalty next to death, so far from having any clearness or precision about them, were a mere snare and a misty speculation. The right hon. Baronet the Home Secretary, the other evening, bore somewhat unwilling testimony to the signal success of a penal Act, which was passed in the last Session, and which had at least this contrasting feature, that it imposed a clear and tangible consequence upon one species of crime. The right hon. Baronet gave the statistics of the remarkable diminution of that species of crime since the passing of the Act in question, but he sought to disconnect that diminution from the Act which bore upon the subject. The right hon. Baronet the Home Secretary asked how often the Act had been enforced. It had been enforced some five or six times. [Sir GEORGE GREY: No, no!] He bowed to the superior authority of the right hon. Gentleman, but he certainly thought his own information was accurate. At any rate, there were three sentences imposing corporal punishment upon garotters during the winter assize, and only the previous day he was present at Warwick Assizes, when Mr. Justice Byles ordered two men to receive thirty lashes apiece. However, he was himself better satisfied with the proof which had been afforded that good penal laws were economical of punishment, and that they produced a diminution of crime without any need for their enforcement. The right hon. Baronet was wrong in supposing that the proof of the goodness of a law was the multiplicity of its enforcements. If that were the test of merit, he would allow the very highest merit to penal servitude. He believed that penal servitude as carried out under the present law would, with the additional patchwork which would be introduced into it by the Bill before the House, multiply punishment to the choking up of the gaols of the country. But, abstaining from further remarks on that point, he would at once proceed to deal with the actual principle of the present measure. The first question raised by it was that of the wisdom of remissibility of punishment. It was proposed to amend the ticket-of-leave system as it had been carried out in England for the last eleven years, simply modifying a scheme which had been proved to be bad, and avowedly not removing the cause of that badness. The length or shortness of the term of penal servitude was not the main question before the House, and he must say he thought, that while long and short terms of imprisonment were both requisite and useful in their way, the right hon. Gentleman would have done better, if, instead of abolishing the shortest term of penal servitude, he had made it a short term of real punishment. The shortest term was supposed to fill up the interval between the punishment of imprisonment and that of penal servitude, and by its abolition the right hon. Gentleman had left open a space which he had not even attempted to occupy. True, the longest term of imprisonment was far severer than the shortest of penal servitude, which was meant to be an aggravation of punishment. But the true intention might be realized. It seemed, he might add, somewhat remarkable that both the right hon. Gentleman and those who entertained the same views on the subject, while generally showing so great a deference to the opinions of the Judges, yet condemned the extensive use made by them of the shortest terms without ever considering the reasons which might have induced them to take that course. But, to return to the main question involved in the Bill, he would briefly discuss the points whether, in the first place, there should be any remission of punishment at all; and, if so, whether it should be conditional or abso- lute. The reasons assigned for the remissibility of certain fixed portions of punishment were, first, that it gave hope to the prisoner, and, secondly, that it facilitated the task of keeping control over him. In support of the former reason, it was urged that a chief part of the punishment must consist of labour, and that labour without hope would brutalize. Earl Grey, in the Report, put the point more philosophically, observing that aversion to labour was the principal cause of crime, and that, therefore, incentives to labour would be the most appropriate remedy in the reformation of criminals. The noble Earl was in favour of making labour attractive, as necessary to the reformation of criminals, but it was only necessary to look a page or two further on to find him contending, that in the process of punishment labour must be irksome and distasteful; so that, in order to carry out the theory of remissible punishment, labour must be made at once attractive and repulsive. The fact, however, was, that the Report was full of contradictions, and that the right hon. Baronet (Sir George Grey), in seeking to introduce a Bill founded upon it, ought either to have divided his measure into two, or admitted that the arguments against his proposal, drawn from the Report, were as strong as those in its favour. For his own part, he was prepared to allow that labour, if made punitive, as it ought to be, in our prisons, must be distasteful; while he was willing to concede that it should not be made so distasteful as to shut out all the influences of hope. Hope should be held out, but that might be done better by means of classification and promotion in prison than by destroying the stringency of the sentence, as the Bill proposed. Indeed, he felt perfectly satisfied that the perpetual changes and experiments which had been made in our sys tem of secondary punishment had, so far from operating beneficially on the prisoner's mind, kept him rather in a state of constant irritation and suspicion of wrong which had often led to outbreaks in our gaols. Having said thus much on that point, he should proceed to deal with the second reason given for the remission of punishment—namely, that it facilitated the control over prisoners while in confinement. On that point he would say, "Make your system of punishment what it ought to be—not of a nature to brutalize by any means—but when you have made it what it ought to be, trust rather to the strength than to the discre- tion of your sub-officials for its administration. If the number of those officials be too small, make the aggregate of prisoners in each goal smaller, or the staff of your warders larger; but, at all events, let everybody see that you have power to carry out the discipline you have imposed, and do not trust to humouring and coaxing to enforce the sentence which has been formally and judicially pronounced." The right hon. Baronet, however, contended that there would be no uncertainty in punishment under the Bill, inasmuch as the portion which it made remissible was a fixed proportion of one-fourth. But the proportion remissible up to the present time has also been fixed, not indeed by Act of Parliament, but by circulars, in every gaol, so that whatever failure had hitherto been found to attend the system would be no less likely, on the score of fixity, to continue under the operation of the right hon. Baronet's scheme. For his own part, he felt assured that so long as any portion of the punishment was subject to remission, the whole would, to a criminal's calculations, be characterized by uncertainty. Any man would fear more the certainty of dying in twelve years than the possibility of dying in less. But there was another kind of uncertainty which was even more objectionable than the interference with the sentence, and it was that which arose from the feeling that punishment might depend, more or less, for its continuance or abridgment on the caprice, the want of judgment, or the cowardice or dishonesty of any one of a number of subordinate officials. So strongly had that objection been felt, that it was said the remission of a sentence should no longer be made dependent on the report by warders of the conduct of a man, but on the actual amount of work done by him, for which there should be a specific test. What would be the result so gained? Why, that the strongest villain in the gaol would get off with the lightest punishment, while his miserable fellow prisoner, who had, perhaps, been led by him into crime, would suffer most. Earl Grey, in another place, spoke very strongly in favour of the remission of punishments, contending that those who were opposed to it were taking steps to retrograde from the position which enlightened men had taken on the subject of criminal legislation for the last fifty years. But he added, "there is great difficulty in carrying out the system, for this reason—that there is no fair measure of conduct, and that the greatest hy- pocrite gets off the best." Supposing, however, that the House was determined to continue the remission of punishments, the next thing they had to consider seriously was, whether it should be conditional or absolute. If the remission was conditional, it was so simply on the convict committing no fresh crime; but would not a severer punishment, in the event of a second conviction, have an equal, if not a greater effect? The only value of conditional remission was, that it afforded a pretext for police supervision. That suggested two questions—would such supervision be advantageous, and, if it were advantageous, was it possible? Great objections had been raised against it. It, was a system quite un-English, and which could be thoroughly carried out only in a country like France, and which was not much approved of there. If it had succeeded in any degree in Ireland, it was only because the circumstances of Ireland resembled those of France rather than England in the centralized police. At all events, he had a very strong conviction that; supervision would not be beneficial. All agreed that it very much impeded the liberated convict in returning to an honest course and in obtaining employment; and he knew of no compensating good which it produced to set against that great evil. But, whether advantageous or not, was supervision possible? They had had eleven years' experience in England to convince them that it was impossible in this country. Even the author of the present Bill himself told the House that he did not believe supervision to be practicable here; and neither in the schedule of the measure, nor by means of provisions outside that House, did he mean to attempt to carry it out. Well, then, if police supervision in such a placeas London is of doubtful utility and more doubtful practicability, and conditions of remission have no value except for this purpose, he hoped no one would support a sham condition. If it could not be made a reality, any condition ought to be dispensed with. The right hon. Baronet the Home Secretary had confessed that he entertained a strong feeling against attaching any conditions to the remission of punishment, and was personally rather in favour of making the remission absolute. He had not been able exactly to gather the counter reasons which had led the right hon. Baronet to give up that opinion. He intimated, indeed, that without supervision we might seem to be letting out criminals to emigrate; but that seemed a reason in favour of remission without supervision. It was very significant, however, that after so many years of experiment they were invited to try a new one which, its author and advocate told them plainly was intended only for the present and was not to prejudge the future. In his opinion, it would be better to make the remission of punishment absolute rather than conditional, if the conditions are shams; but it would be better still to have no remission at all. He might add his regret that the Bill should have been extended to Ireland, because whatever they did, they ought to leave well alone. Ireland had been very successfully treated under the existing system, and there was no reason for a change. There was sufficient difference between the conditions of Ireland and England to account for such a law being successful in the former which might not be suitable for the latter country. He hoped that, whether or not the measure was passed for England, Ireland would be exempted from it. Before he concluded, he might, perhaps, be allowed to say a word in his own personal defence. A friend had charged him with inconsistency in advocating fixed and simple punishment for men, and mixed treatment for juvenile criminals. He thought he was justified in drawing a distinction between the two classes. The young who fell into criminal life by the default of tutelage were not altogether responsible for their actions, and there was some hope of reforming them. It was justifiable, therefore, to give them short punishments, and afterwards to attempt their reformation at school. Such a speculative effort, however, was out of place when one had to deal with hardened adult criminals, who were fully responsible for their deeds. It was with diffidence that he ventured to oppose his opinion to that of the Home Secretary, who had had such great experience on the subject, and had so long occupied a high place in the councils of the country and in the estimation of his fellow-countrymen. He entertained, however, very strong and deliberate convictions on the subject, and held that, after the repeated failures they had witnessed, they ought to be very cautious in committing themselves to such a measure as that before them, and he thought, moreover, that the success of the Bill he had introduced in the previous year entitled him to express his convictions. He begged to give notice that, in the event of his Motion on the present occasion not being successful, he would on a subsequent stage, and by a specific Resolution, raise the question of retaining tickets-of-leave without police supervision. He begged now to move that the Bill be read a second time that day six months.


begged to second the Motion. He said, that the time was come when the House must face the great and embarrassing question of penal servitude for our criminals in all its bearings. To send convicts to Australia under present circumstances would be inexpedient, and would, moreover, be only a temporary remedy for a growing difficulty. They must also consider the system of punishment in county and borough gaols, for Sir Joshua Jebb said, that a very large proportion of the inmates of convict prisons had found their way there after suffering frequent imprisonment in county and borough gaols. The system in county and borough gaols should be changed, so as to make it more punitive, that criminals might dread imprisonment there. In Hampshire, at the instance of the Earl of Carnarvon, certain changes in the penal discipline of the county prison had been made. Alterations had been made in the hard labour, in the diet, in the hours of sleep, and in other matters. They had made their discipline more stringent and more irksome to the prisoners, though without undue severity; and it was to be hoped that other counties would take example by what had been done, for it was of paramount importance that uniformity of punishment should prevail in the various counties. But what would be the use of stricter discipline in county prisons, if the Government establishments were so conducted that prisoners actually longed to be sent there, and committed crimes with that very object? The Governor of Gloucester Gaol had supplied very interesting information on that head, and had brought forward several cases of criminals who had broken the law in order to enjoy the advantages of the Government prisons. One, for instance, declared that it was not worth while stealing bread or committing any small offence, and that it paid much better to go in for the burning of a rick or something serious at once. He feared that the present system of penal servitude was not as deterrent from crime as it should be; and the Commissioners agreed in this view. It was dangerous that such a slate of things should exist. The principle that the counties should deter and the Government reform, had been carried to a most unwise and injurious extreme, as was proved by the number of prisoners against whom previous convictions were recorded. There must be some mistake in a system which allowed such a vast increase in crime. The immense expenditure which it entailed was an additional reason for looking into the question. It was a fact, proved in evidence, that many ticket-of-leave men were re-convicted without detection. Hence it was impossible to tell how much any calculation fell below the proper average; but if we gave our convicts in gaols light labour, an ample diet, large gratuities, and a tolerable certainty of revision of sentence, we need not wonder that many looked forward to imprisonment as rather an indulgence than anything else. He did not mean to say that the labour was nothing. The evidence showed that three convicts did the work of two ordinary labourers. That was a fair amount, but it did not demand the large and ample diet which was supplied. Men suffering for crime should not be treated better than honest and industrious labourers. The average cost of the keep of a pauper was 2s.d. per week and 2s.d., while that of a convict was 3s. 10¼d. It had been said that diet was simply a medical question. What view did the doctors take of it? The question was, whether 39oz. of meat per week, which was the allowance of a convict, were absolutely necessary. To some paupers the allowance did not exceed 4oz. Mr. Gye, an eminent surgeon, whose opinion was entitled to great consideration, said he should consider the diet excessive for any amount of work that could be got out of prisoners by any contrivance. As for gratuities, it might be said that some incentive should be held out to convicts for good conduct and industry, but he thought the gratuities were rather high. Those given in Ireland were about half that were allowed in English prisons, and he believed they operated well. The question of remission of sentence was a very difficult one. The Lord Chief Justice had ably argued, that under no circumstances should there be a remission of sentence, but the evidence generally was rather opposed to that view. It was said that the discipline of a gaol was promoted by the prospect of a remission being held out. He would say, however, that remission should not be made certain, but should depend upon the good conduct of the prisoner, who ought to be taught to regard it as something to be earned. Hitherto, unless a man had behaved himself very badly, he might almost reasonably look forward to a remission at a certain period. Let them change that, but in changing it something more must be done. The ticket-of-leave system was established for a good purpose, but the provisions of the Act had been systematically disregarded. There had been no supervision of any sort over discharged prisoners. The present Bill provided that holders of tickets-of-leave should be severely punished on reconviction, but how were the police to prove that they were ticket-of-leave men if they did not know them? If men were to be discharged with tickets-of-leave, there ought to be an active supervision by the proper authorities. He did not agree with the right hon. Member for Staffordshire (Mr. C. B. Adderley), that police supervision would be difficult to carry out, or was un-English. No doubt, as the Commissioners said, there were difficulties in the way, but the object was one of such extreme importance, that it ought to be attempted. Sir Richard Mayne was of opinion that the arrangements adopted in Ireland might be introduced into England. At first sight it might appear that police supervision would interfere with the employment of discharged prisoners, but that would be the case only when the duty was performed without either tact or discretion. If the police performed their duties properly, no such consequence need ensue. The evidence showed that in Ireland, where the officials certainly were very able, police supervision had actually assisted convicts in obtaining employment; and if the Irish plan were introduced into England, we should have no reason to regret it. The great fault of our criminal system was indicated by Sir W. Crofton, one of the highest authorities on the subject, when he said that the success of the Irish system was due mainly to a feeling on the part of the convicts from the commencement of their sentence, that they could not follow crime as a vocation with impunity, and that the great evils which had occurred in England, and the great expenditure consequent on crime, had arisen from our believing that the majority of convicts in Government gaols were casual offenders. They were dealing more with hardened criminals than with casual offenders, and he thought the Government might have adopted the recommendation of the Lord Chief Justice, that there should be no remission of sentences at all. Although he did not himself agree entirely with that recommendation, still it would have been a definite course to pursue; but, in the next place, if the remission of sentences were to be retained, it should be retained under particular safeguards, and, above all, a prisoner once discharged should be entirely free. That, he was inclined to think, would be the best principle to adopt, and then the convict should be obliged to earn the remission by a regular gradation. The system of "marks" which obtained in some of the Irish prisons might be introduced into the English prisons, and then, if the prisoner were discharged quite free, he would be more likely to conduct himself well than if he were released under a ticket-of-leave. If, however, tickets-of-leave were maintained, there ought to be an active supervision by the police. But, instead of taking either of these courses, the Government appeared to have come to the conclusion, that the best thing was for them to do nothing. They had, indeed, increased from three to five years the minimum term of penal servitude; but then the mass of the evidence was in favour of not less than seven years. In conclusion, he concurred in the hope that that House would emphatically express its opinion on this subject, and he trusted the result would be the introduction of a measure more adequate to the occasion than the one now before the House. For these reasons, he would cordially second the Amendment.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."—(Mr. Adderley.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."


said, that the question before the House was no party question, and he had no hesitation in rising thus early in the debate to express his dissent from the views advocated by his right hon. Friend the Member for North Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley). The opinions entertained by his right hon. Friend were purely theoretical, and were opposed to those of persons who had special experience of the working of our convict system. His right hon. Friend objected to Ireland being brought within the purview of the Bill, because the system was working so well there. Well, Ireland was exempted; but the object of the Bill was to introduce that system as far as practicable into England. No doubt the Bill might be amended with public advantage, but the principle of the partial remission of a sentence, to be earned not upon the easy terms of submission to the authorities of the prison, but by hard work and actual good conduct, was, he thought, a salutary one. His right hon. Friend said that, under such a principle, the strongest man would have the best chance, but of course those who had the care of prisoners would have to apportion the tasks imposed upon them according to their varied physical capacities; and then, if the work so allotted were not honestly done, the convicts would not earn the proffered remission. His right hon. Friend objected also to what he called experiments in the matter; but in the treatment of human beings there would never be anything but experiments. His right hon. Friend had propounded his own theories, and had laid down certain rules to be adopted in the prisons, and he should certainly not like to be in a gaol in which the system proposed by his right hon. Friend was adopted. His right hon. Friend said the system of punishment should be uniform, deterrent, and bitter; and he was not disposed to dissent from that statement. He trusted that during the nine months which convicts were to pass in prison before going upon public works, they would be subject to the same strict and bitter discipline which was to be enforced in county prisons. There must be something wrong in the present system under which a man sentenced to what was nominally the lighter sentence of eighteen months' imprisonment considered himself more hardly used than a man who was sentenced to three years' penal servitude. It was clear that a Judge, in directing what was supposed to be a heavier sentence, ought not to be obliged to impose what was in reality felt to be a lighter one. It was, however, stated that prisoners had expressed that preference. "Well, that ought to be amended. He could not agree with the right hon. Gentleman that punishment, when lengthy and severe, was not also to be treated as a curative and reformatory process. The hon. Member for Hampshire (Mr. Beach) had spoken of the ticket-of-leave men obtaining the assistance of the police in, procuring employment. These men must have been impressible, if they would thus go to the police for counsel and advice. Doubtless men who had gone on in a long career of crime were almost hopeless, but their reformation should not be given up altogether. He did not think we should use our punishments merely as instruments of terror. If that were adopted as a principle we ought to go back to the obsolete system which prevailed before our prisons underwent visitation, and even to others of a more horrible nature than anything that was ever likely to be adopted in this country. We had heard much of Neapolitan prisons, in which prisoners were chained together by night and by day. If any punishment would be deterrent that would seem to be so; but such punishment was too penal, and inflicted injury on the minds and the hearts of the prisoners as well as on their bodies. Such punishments were physically, intellectually, and morally evil; and they ought to be entirely discountenanced. He believed that the prison diet had been too good; but that question was not involved in the principle of the Bill. Where the diet had been too good it ought to be modified. In 1852 the expense of a prisoner's diet at Portland amounted to £7 10s. a year; whereas in 1857 it had risen to £12. That was an enormous increase, and, contemporaneously with such increase, crime had risen, though not to the height at which it stood before the diminution which was antecedent to that increase. Then as to the gratuities, it was his opinion that they ought to be diminished. He understood the right hon. Baronet to say they were to be diminished. [Sir GEORGE GREY: They have been.] He believed they were to be £3 as a maximum. Of this he approved. That amount was liable to diminution, but there could be no increase. Of course, it was absolutely necessary that prisoners should have some means when they left prison, or they must of necessity return to their former courses. His right hon. Friend had stated, that the Bill he was influential in passing last year had had a very great effect. He trusted it might have a good effect; but he was not one of those who supported it, because he did not believe in its efficacy as a deterrent from crime, nor in its efficacy as a punishment except when sharply and immediately applied for offences in prison. His right hon. Friend objected to remission of punishment altogether, or he objected to it unless accompanied by a very stringent supervision. In his objection to remission altogether, he certainly was not very consistent. He said it was necessary to hold out moral incentives; it was necessary to have classification. Well, he (Mr. Hardy) went from his right hon. Friend as a theorist to practical men; and said that the system recommended by his right hon. Friend had not succeeded, and that something more was wanted than increase of diet, elevation in classes, and marks of honour, and that what a prisoner sighed for was the time when he would be his own master again—when he would be free from that strict supervision and task-mastership under which he was suffering. All those who were connected with prisons knew that the only real incentive on which they could rely for effecting a moral influence on the conduct of convicts was the prospect of shortening the term of their imprisonment. The directors of convict prisons told them that if they relied solely on moral incentives, or upon coercion alone, or on both together, they might send the convict out of the prison worse than he went in, in a hardened state, fitted for any crime. Having received no kindness, they would return none; and when they went forth among their fellow-creatures it would be to prey upon them, as they had done before they entered prison. His right hon. Friend had said that remissions introduced uncertainty, and that changes were undesirable, because no one would know what his punishment really was. But if change was undesirable, the changes which his right hon. Friend proposed were much larger than that of the right hon. Baronet. His right hon. Friend proposed that sentence should be pronounced by the Judge, and that there should be no diminution at all. The right hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Home Department proposed that sentence should be given, but that there should be a certain known remission to be earned by the hardworking and good conduct of the convict. There was no uncertainty there, except in the man himself. That element might also be made certain if he chose. He could make his punishment nine years, instead of twelve or thirteen, as pronounced by the Judge. Where, then, was the uncertainty? It had been suggested by the Directors of Prisons that convicts should not go immediately into liberty from the public works, but that they should undergo a short imprisonment separately before they finally left the custody in which they had been. It was very desirable that they should be taken away from their associates on public works for some time; but that was a matter of mere arrangement for the Home Office, not for the Legislature. Suppose they were to have remission, what sort of remission was it to be? He thought the period assigned by the Secretary of State not an unreasonable one—that by hard, continuous work, and good moral conduct, a convict might have one-fourth of his original sentence remitted. This could not well be done without efficacious supervision. Unless the supervision were efficacious, it would be better to let the prisoners go free at once. Supervision was, indeed, said by his right hon. Friend to be un-English. He agreed with the noble Viscount at the head of the Government, that a favourite proposition of some hon. Gentlemen on the noble Viscount's side of the House was un-English. But when he was told that supervision was un-English, he denied the allegation. On the contrary, it was an English duty to supervise criminals. Talk of depriving a man of his civil rights! It was the convict who had deprived himself of civil rights. Even the most imaginative chartist of former years insisted that the acquisition of the franchise should be restricted to those who were not convicted of crime. The men to be dealt with under the Bill had not only committed crime, but part of their sentence was unexpired. He understood that an hon. Member had given notice of an Amendment to let the men go absolutely without supervision, provided, however, that if they committed a new offence they should be recommitted to undergo the remainder of the original sentence. Well, that was not an absolute remission. It was conditional, after all. But what was the dreadful supervision his right hon. Friend seemed so much afraid of? When the man left prison, it was necessary that the police should know where he went, and that he should receive, at all events, a portion of his gratuity in the place to which he removed. He would be satisfied with the supervision of a Prisoner's Aid Society where one existed. But in. places where there was no such society in existence, the prisoner must go and report himself to the police. Not that he should say to every policeman whom he might meet, "I am a ticket-of-leave man, and you must keep a close watch, on my movements;" but he would report himself to the head police officer in the place, and it would be for that officer to use such means as he thought proper to watch over him, and see that he did not again fall into crime. It was objected by some that policemen should not have the power of supervision, but it was well guarded, as in the case of any breach of licence the man must be taken before a magistrate. It was for the same reason as he distrusted the common policeman that he distrusted the common warder; and, therefore, he hoped the Home Secretary would tell them whether in the prisons as they were in future to be carried on, there would be better and more responsible heads over a smaller number of prisoners than had hitherto been the case. What was wanted was a certain limited number of prisoners separated from the rest, as he understood was recommended by the prison directors—of some 300 prisoners, with officers responsible to and in communication with the prison directors, so that the discipline should not be left to persons so incompetent as mere warders, who, as appeared by returns, were being constantly changed. The next point upon which he desired to make a few remarks was transportation. Having been a member of the Transportation Committee which sat two or three years since, he had heard a good deal of evidence about Western Australia. At that time, considerable objections were urged by the other Australian colonies against an extension of transportation system, but the objections were not so extreme as they had since become. Most of those who sat upon that Committee arrived at the conclusion that transportation, if it could be obtained, would be a benefit alike to this country, to the prisoners themselves, and to the colony of Western Australia, and they thought that an exaggerated notion of the evils likely to occur to the other colonies was prevalent. That being so, he was not surprised to find that the Royal Commissioners took the same view as the majority of the Committee. But, knowing that in governing mankind respect must be paid not only to their wishes, but even to their prejudices, he could not help thinking that if the feeling in the other Australian colonies was so strong as it appeared to be, it would be unwise to resist it. Therefore, he reluctantly submitted to the necessity of con- fining the inquiry to discipline at home with a limited amount of transportation such as they now had. The right hon. Gentleman had introduced a new limitation by advancing penal servitude from a minimum of three years to five years. That was an improvement, but he would have been pleased if the limitation had extended to seven years. He could not help thinking that the step to nine months imprisonment, and three years and nine months on public works, was not so great a step as was formerly taken with regard to transportation, and which, with the experience of the course taken by some of our Judges, we ought to take. Some of the sentences recently pronounced for short periods of penal servitude were, having regard to the offences for which they were the punishment, so ludicrous as to make the criminal law a perfect farce. He had recently seen reported a case of violation of a child, accompanied by robbery, in which the sentence was but three years penal servitude. In the case of violation by a number of men—the heaviest, most brutal, and wicked offence that could be committed—the offenders were also sentenced to even penal servitude. Even if he remembered correctly, only three years since the discussion in that House, in which five years had been assented to as the shortest period for penal servitude which could be inflicted with advantage, at the last assizes, in one case for a very heinous offence, the Judge pronounced a sentence of four years penal servitude. It seemed to him that, although there had been faults in carrying out prison discipline in sentences of penal servitude, yet what was chiefly wanted was, that when the Legislature had awarded a certain punishment for a given offence, when that offence had been committed in its worst degree, the heaviest punishment should be inflicted. The contrary practice led to what was called discrepancy of punishment, because there were some Judges who, looking at the statutes under which they were acting, felt bound to award the heaviest punishment for aggravated offences. It was also said, that as prisoners knew one gaol from another, so they knew one Judge from another, and were especially anxious not to come before particular Judges. In the same way, the improved prison discipline in Leicestershire deterred the criminal class from becoming subjects for its operation, while it actually improved those prisoners who underwent that discipline by inducing them to resolve never to risk the ordeal again. He had heard that since the discipline of Winchester Gaol had been altered, the criminals of Hampshire, those who looked upon the prison as an agreeable place to spend six weeks occasionally, now were of opinion that it was not a place to enter again. Penal discipline should commence as severely as was consistent with the maintenance of the physical and mental health of the prisoner. The diet ought not to be such as to injure a man, but, on the other hand, it ought not to be such as would in any way cause envy to those who were leading honest and industrious lives, nor provoke a remark of discrepancy between the destitute poor in workhouses and the criminals in gaols. After the imprisonment there should be a period of employment upon public works—a strict disciplinary punishment, such as would compel a man to work hard to procure a remission of his sentence. Every day's remission thus earned was something gained to the prisoner, by teaching him the value of industry and hard work. His right hon. Friend near him said that the strong man would have the most work to do, but the fact would be that the man who was most anxious to obtain his liberty, who was most improving under the discipline, would be the hardest worker, and his character would be improved by the discipline. He agreed that the practised thief—the man educated to crime—would he found difficult to reform, but there was a large class of prisoners undergoing punishment for what were called crimes of violence—men who had committed offences in moments of hot passion, and to those men such discipline as he had described would be acceptable and beneficial, although it might fail with the hardened thief, the practised burglar, or the receiver of stolen goods. There was one other point of considerable importance upon which he wished to make a remark. At present there was no punishment between the sentence of death and one of penal servitude. In cases where sentence of death was remitted, a sentence of penal servitude under the forms of the law was wholly inapplicable to the crime that had been committed. Sentences of death were only pronounced in cases of murder, and in such cases he thought the criminal's transition from the sentence of death to penal servitude should be one of actual civil death, as far as his friends and relations in this country were concerned. He admitted that that would inflict hardship and suffering upon friends and relations, but that was one of the unhappy consequences of crime; as now, when a prisoner pleaded for mercy on account of his wife and family, the Judge told him he should have thought of them before committing the offence. What was really to be considered was the interest of the public, and he insisted that the punishment for such heinous offences should be sudden and deterrent, by cutting off the offender from all those social and domestic ties, a severance of which in this country was held to he equal to death. Theirs should be a separate and distinct punishment from that inflicted on other criminals. Such men should never be brought into community with those guilty of lesser offences; and it should be proclaimed that in this country the sanctity of life was so great, that a man who wilfully killed another should be cut off from the ordinary society of mankind. He knew the advantage which he would be giving to those who argued that capital punishment should cease altogether by the institution of such a punishment. But there was no more chance of abolishing capital punishment while the present system continued than there was of changing the course of the earth, for it was felt that penal servitude, as now enforced, was a punishment wholly inadequate for so enormous a crime as that of taking a man's life. He thought it would be unwise to reject the Bill upon a second reading. In the main, the House seemed to be agreed that penal discipline was to be carried out more strictly and for a longer time than at present, but that they would not yield to theories as against the experiments of those who were experienced in prison discipline—that they would not take away the remission of sentences, while, at the same time, they would insist on a proper system of police supervision. Criminals who were in fact still undergoing their punishment had not the ordinary privileges of Englishmen, and, having cut themselves off from honest society by their crimes, must expect, while in custody, to be subjected to a uniform and a deterrent discipline, and afterwards, so long as their sentences hung over them, to the supervision which it was alike the right and the duty of the State to enforce.


stated, that the difference in the propositions of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Adderley) and those of the Government rested mainly on two points: the advisability of remission, and the advisability of a system of conditional release, and consequent upon that some description of supervision. It was argued that the remission was a departure from the sentence of the Judge, and was a boon granted to certain prisoners. But the fact that, under certain circumstances, this remission would be granted, was a fact which was, or ought to be, well known to the Judge before he passed sentence, and the consequence was that he increased the length of the sentence. There was thus an addition, at present, to the term during which the prisoner would otherwise be confined; and if he were not well conducted and industrious, he would have to pass that period in prison. Thus he was led to adopt a habit of self-control which, to persons accustomed to indulge their passions, was in itself a severe and salutary punishment. It was pretty generally admitted now that they could not, by brute force alone, oblige a man to work as hard as he could work, and to behave himelf as well as he could behave if he liked. "Well, then, the system of remission came into play, and this was how it worked:—Suppose a man sentenced to eight years' imprisonment, with the remission of one-fourth if he conducted himself well. Would he not, with the alternative before him of suffering an additional restraint during two years, be less likely to be idle and misconduct himself than he otherwise would be? "Then," it was said, "by these remissions you introduce a great deal of uncertainty into the punishment of crime." But in the case he had just put, the punishment was equally certain, whether it was suffered for the six or for the eight years. In the able memorandum drawn up by the Lord Chief Justice, his Lordship said that the uncertainty attendant upon remission made the punishment less deterring than it should be; but he highly approved of transportation to "Western Australia and of remission there; and it was difficult to see how, if uncertainty was the result of remission at home, it was not equally so abroad. The Lord Chief Justice, therefore, was inconsistent with himself. The substitutes proposed for remission, if even they were practicable, were objectionable in principle. As to rewards for good conduct, he thought that there were serious objections either to rewards in the shape of a better dietary or to those by way of gra- tuities. The first tended to interfere with the general arrangements of the prison; besides which, the general dietary in convict prisons was notoriously better than that which could be obtained by the honest poor man outside. The system of gratuities was objectionable because, if they discharged a convict with any considerable sum of money in hand, the great probability was that he would spend it in dissipation, which would result in fresh crime. It appeared to him, therefore, that the only safe way of rewarding a convict, was by the remission of a portion of his sentence. Then, on the question, whether the remission should be absolute or conditional, he was in favour of the latter, accompanied by supervision. If they did not put in force the conditions, they ought to abolish tickets-of-leave. If they were not to have supervision, let them discharge the convict absolutely when they sent him out of prison. It was urged against a supervision of convicts by the police, that it would be the introduction of the French system of espionage. He contended that the supervision, obliging the discharged convict to report himself to the police authorities, would not be analogous to that system; but at present there existed in this country something very like the French espionage, for in our criminal statistics there were tables under the heads, "Known thieves," "Receivers of stolen goods," "Tramps and prostitutes," "Suspected characters." The police were directed to watch all discharged criminals, to note their doings, and observe the houses frequented by suspicious characters. Those proceedings of the police had been going on for years without any objection having been taken to them. Again, it was said that if discharged convicts were obliged to report themselves to the police authorities, it would interfere with their obtaining employment. That he denied, and he might refer to the case of Ireland in support of his position. In that country the supervision of the police had greatly facilitated discharged convicts in obtaining employment. Even if such an instance had not existed, he should on theory have expected the same result. The Government seemed to favour the proposition of resorting to photography. And it was proposed to dispense with the necessity for the prisoners reporting themselves, but, at the same time, to afford the police every facility to discover what they did when discharged from prison, and photography was to be used to facilitate their recapture by the police if necessary. If they did that, were they not carrying out that espionage to which they so much objected, and which they sought to abolish? It might, indeed, be said, that by abolishing the system of supervision they were encouraging espionage. He had been greatly amused the other day by reading an article in The Times, which gave a graphic account of the steps taken by the French police to discover what the conspirators were about. In that article the leading journal warned Englishmen against police supervision, hut a proper supervision of criminals discharged before their sentence had expired, would have the effect of rendering the elaborate system of the French police wholly unnecessary. No doubt a proposal to abolish the ticket-of-leave system would, at first sight, be acceptable, but the experiment of conditional release had never really been tried in this country. Men were discharged with a piece of paper, and told not to frequent certain places, but they had been allowed to do it nevertheless. In Ireland the conditional release system had been put into operation in name and in fact, and had been found to work well. This proposal would merely abolish a name here, but in Ireland it would abolish a system which had been most successful there. It would be more reasonable to extend the Irish system to this country. While he agreed in the main with the measure, he could not agree in the proposal contained in the fifth clause, which enacted that for every breach of licence the offender should be brought before two magistrates and sentenced to a special punishment for that offence. He was afraid that in Ireland that provision would lead to a great deal of difficulty in the working out of the system which, up to that time, had worked so well there. He had certainly given his assent to the paragraph in the Report on which the provision was founded, but it was with the intention of giving facilities to the Crown for revoking the licence on the breach of its conditions. It would be simpler on breach of the conditions of licence, to send a man back to suffer the unexpired portion of his sentence. At any rate, he hoped that the Government would consent to except Ireland from the provision. In conclusion, he must express a hope that the right hon. Gentleman would not oppose the second reading of a Bill which was based on right principles, and might be satisfactorily carried into effect.


said, that having acquired a knowledge of criminal law from presiding at Quarter Sessions, he would ask the indulgence of the House while he gave his opinion founded on an experience of thirty years. They had before them three systems which were proposed as an alteration of penal servitude. 1st, The system recommended by the Commissioners; 2nd, that of the right hon. Baronet the Home Secretary; 3rd, that of his right hon. Friend the Member for North Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley). He had no hesitation in giving his support to the system of the Commissioner which assigned, as the minimum of penal servitude, the period of seven years. As the right hon. Baronet intended only to send persons under a long sentence to Western Australia, it must be his intention to keep those under the minimum servitude at home; and in this way he would carry out the wishes of the people of Western Australia, and give the community an opportunity of testing the effects of the system. He was sorry that the right hon. Baronet had not, along with the Bill under consideration, laid upon the table his Bill on prison discipline. The two subjects were intimately connected and ought to be discussed together. But unless the right hon. Baronet took the regulation of prison discipline in his own hands, and laid down general rules defining hard labour and the dietary of every prison and house of correction, little would be done to equalize punishment. He should be glad to state what he considered to be the effects of the present system of penal servitude not only upon the prisoner, but upon the country at large. He had read with great care the Report of the Commissioners, and the statements of Sir Richard Mayne and of the chief constable of his own county. A great deal had been said about supervision, but it appeared from what Sir Richard Mayne stated, that no supervision of criminals in the metropolis had been exercised, except in the year 1863. It was an anomaly that whilst the police could warn the employers of old thieves who had served out their term of prison punishment, their mouths were closed against men who had been more recently converted and had obtained tickets-of-leave. That was not fair treatment of the public. Sir Richard Mayne stated, that there was an accumulation of thieves in the metropolis owing to the short periods of penal service, and the system of tickets-of-leave and letters of licence, and gave it as his opinion that the short sentences did not deter either those who had been in penal servitude or those who were likely to be so. Then, again, the chief constable of his own county gave him three instances of criminals recommitted in one year. The first was of a man who committed burglary on his way home from the convict establishment at Chatham, and said he did not mind being sent back to Chatham as he lived better there than in his own house, and if he wanted anything he had only to ring his bell and a servant in livery attended him. The second was that of a notorious burglar, from Birmingham, who had been previously convicted of robbery with violence, and he said he did not care about going back to prison, as the only thing he missed there was his daily paper. The third was the case of a man charged with arson, who expressed a hope that he might be transported, as he lived better during his term of penal service than he had ever done at home, and after the expiration of his former sentence received £15. These instances showed that penal servitude had no deterring effect, and that there was a necessity for carrying it out with greater vigour. It was ridiculous to bring prisoners out to South-sea Common to work and have a band playing for their amusement. Such was not a proper penal servitude. He would refer to the case of a man who, in 1851, committed a crime and was sent to prison on fifteen years' sentence. Long before the completion of his sentence he was at large, and when asked how that had come to pass, his reply was, that he had assisted in saving the life of a warder. That was very good. In 1861 he was tried for murder, and was acquitted, though not morally, and on that he should offer no remark. In 1862 he was again brought up, and was found guilty of two offences, for one of which he was sentenced to a week's imprisonment, on the other to fifteen years' penal servitude. He again got at large, and then was convicted of burglary, for which he was sentenced to ten years' penal servitude, to commence at the expiration of the former sentence. Now, that man was at large again in 1862, although his character was bad in every respect. The man was too knowing a great deal to commit any fresh crime himself, but his occu- pation consisted of training young thieves to commit such offences as might insure their being condemned to penal servitude, instead of mere imprisonment when once convicted. It was the fault of our entire system that it was too tender to the criminal, too oblivious of the public; and yet it was proposed that the minimum sentence should be five years, though the Commissioners had recommended that it should be longer. As to the question of conditional and unconditional pardon, he had always thought that once the Judge had pronounced sentence, no pardon should be granted except under the Royal prerogative. But, looking to the system acted upon since 1853, he was prepared to abandon his own ideas. He thought, however, that the Judge, at the time of passing sentence, ought to be empowered to point out to the criminal how, by industry and good conduct, he might better his position. And that he would certainly do in every ease if the remissions were embodied in an Act of Parliament: the circulars of his right hon. Friend, on the other hand, being only good for one year, were likely to be referred to in addresses to juries, and then to be forgotten. He regretted that the Duke of Newcastle having laid down principles in his despatch which no constitutional lawyer could gainsay, had not felt it right to act up to them. The expectations and desires of the West Australian colonists had been disappointed by the arbitrary limitation to two shiploads of convicts, only 500 or 600 in number. He had listened with great pleasure to the arguments of the hon. Member for Leominster (Mr. Hardy) whose speech had his approval in all respects, except as to the conditional and unconditional pardon. He believed that when pardons were given they ought to be unconditional, for gangs of men had no objection to work with convicts who by fulfilling their time were supposed to have expiated their offence. Ticket-of-leave men, on the contrary, were shunned and sent away.


said, he had trespassed so long on the attention of the House when bringing in this Bill, that he should only feel it necessary to offer a few observations, especially as he gathered from the tone of the debate that there was no serious objection to the second reading of the Bill, and many of the points adverted to could be better disposed of in Committee. The Bill was grounded entirely upon the recommendations of the Commission, which sat so long and went so carefully into the whole of the subject, and which was composed of men in whose judgment and experience the House might place every confidence. It had not been practicable to carry into effect all the recommendations of that Commission, but there was no portion of the Bill which was not founded upon some part of their Report. The objection taken to the minimum period of penal servitude was one which could better be discussed in Committee, and he would, therefore, abstain from repeating the considerations which had influenced the decision of the Government. One hon. Member had objected to the measure as it applied to Ireland, but the power given to magistrates to adjudicate in cases of alleged breach of the conditions of licences was in accordance with the Report of the Commissioners, and was the only mode in which the supervision of convicts could be effected. No doubt there was great difficulty in acting on the mere report of a policeman, and where a licence-holder was believed to be acting in violation of his licence, he might, under this Bill, be taken before two magistrates. He would there be entitled to defend himself, the evidence would be given on oath, and the magistrate would adjudicate on the case. In accordance with the recommendations of the Commissioners, when a licence was revoked the holder was not to be subject to go back to prison merely for the unexpired term of his sentence, but would begin at the point when he was discharged, and be liable to serve the whole of the term then unexpired. It was hoped that the provisions of the Bill would make the punishment of penal servitude more deterrent than at present. A photograph of the licence-holder on his discharge would be sent to the police of the place where he goes: he would have to report himself to the police of any county or town to which he might go after his discharge; and when the police had reason to think that he was acting in violation of his licence, they could take him before a magistrate. He had been struck with the difference of the views of the mover and seconder of the Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley) objected to the punishment of transportation; the hon. Member for North Hants (Mr. Beach) regretted that it was not carried out to a greater extent. The right hon. Gentleman objected to the principle of the remission of sentences; the hon. Gentleman, on the other hand, concurred in the principle of remission. He would not go over the ground again, but both the English and Irish convict directors had found from experience, that the principle of remission was essential to any good system of penal servitude. He agreed with the Chief Justice that the great object of punishment was the protection of society, and that the reformation of the prisoners was but the subsidiary purpose of penal servitude, the primary one being its deterring effect. But he thought that the two principles might be combined. The principle of the remission of punishment had been in operation for some time, and he believed it to be essential where convicts were subject to imprisonment for a long term of sentence. He thought that if his hon. Friend had visited Pentonville he would have been satisfied that the separate imprisonment was sufficiently severe. It was not intended that any remission of the preliminary term of separate imprisonment should take place, and the whole of that punishment would, therefore, be undergone until the removal of the convict to the public works. He could not but think that the account given by his hon. Friend the Member for Somersetshire (Sir William Miles) was rather highly coloured. He could only say that under no regulation of which he was cognizant could a man, who had been sentenced to twenty-five years' transportation, and ten years' penal servitude, have gained his freedom within the time named. If, however, his hon. Friend would give him the man's name he would make an investigation into the facts. It was desirable to remember what the system of punishment was before penal servitude was partly substituted for transportation. At one time convicts who were sentenced to seven years' transportation, were all retained in the country, and discharged without restraint after undergoing less than half the term of their sentence. With regard to the maintenance of the punishment of transportation, it would have been possible for the Government to have disregarded the remonstrances of the colonists, and to have fully carried out the recommendations of the Commissioners. He regretted that the Government did not possess greater facilities for transporting prisoners. It was an advantage to the prisoner by removing him from a country in which the labour market was overstocked, and it was to the advantage of this country to get rid of him. But the Government could not come to any other conclusion than that which they had announced, unless they had been prepared to enter upon a contest that would have led to much had feeling between the colonists and the Home Government, which it was most desirable to avoid. He was glad to find that the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich (Sir John Pakington), who was one of the Commissioners, had come to the conclusion that, under all the circumstances of the case, the Government had no other course to pursue than that which they had taken. With regard to the question of diet, a Committee had been appointed, consisting of three medical gentlemen, who had made careful inquiries into the dietary of prisoners in separate confinement, and had made certain recommendations which would be adopted. They would also investigate the diet of the prisoners employed on public works, with a view of seeing whether any reduction could be made consistently with the health of the convicts, and with enabling them to perform the labour allotted to them. The Committee would also inquire into the dietaries of the county and borough prisons. The principle upon which they would proceed would be, that the diet should not be more than would preserve the prisoners in health, while, on the other hand, it should not be a penal diet, in the sense of being injurious to health and life. The hon. Member for Leominster (Mr. Hardy) had referred to the classification of convicts under proper officers and in small bodies. That point had not been lost sight of. A classification of convicts had been made, the staff of officers had been increased, and officers of a higher class, in whom confidence might be felt, would be placed over different bodies. The principle of marks also, by which the industry of convicts might be rewarded, had been adopted. If Parliament should sanction the Bill before the House, he thought that a material improvement would be made in convict discipline.


said, differing as he did with the right hon. Gentleman who had moved an Amendment to this Bill, he concurred in the main with the views to which the right hon. Baronet (Sir George Grey) had given expression, and he begged to record his appreciation of the importance of the measure. It was a source of great congratulation that no party spirit had been evinced in that debate, and he trusted their future discussions on the Bill would be conducted in a similar manner. He was at a loss to conceive why the system which had been adopted in Ireland should not be admitted in this country. It was true the police organization in both countries was not analogous, but he had no doubt that a wise supervision on the part of the police would be eminently successful in mitigating the difficulties with which we had to contend. He hoped the House and the country at large were not prepared to go back in the course upon which they had entered, that they would not revert to fixed sentences, and that, maintaining the system of remission of sentences, but under a due police supervision, they would accomplish the end which they all had in view. It was alleged that in the country districts it would be impossible for the police to exercise a surveillance; but his own experience led him to the contrary conclusion, though he did not believe it could be carried to the same extent as in Ireland. He and some of his fellow-magistrates of the West Riding of Yorkshire had gone over to Ireland with the object of examining into the Irish system, as it had been organized by Sir W. Crofton, whose services he hoped were now so appreciated that he would soon be placed in a position where his eminent talents would have full scope. Upon their return they introduced into that part of the Wakefield Prison over which they had control—they could not do so with regard to the convict prisoners—some of the privileges accorded to prisoners in Dublin, and the consequence was, they succeeded in establishing a much better discipline, and in effecting at the same time a considerable saving of expense. He hoped their success at Wakefield, owing to a well-regulated system of diet and discipline combined, would be an inducement to others to follow their example. He trusted that for the future licences given to convicts would not be a mere matter of form, but that those who held them would be required to act up to the conditions on which they were granted, and that, if they abused the licence, the same would be revoked and the offenders punished accordingly. There were many ticket-of-leave men in the West Riding who, although not committing crime, were living an idle and disso- lute life, and it should be compulsory on the police to take them up accordingly. He should cordially support the Motion for the second reading, should the House go to a division.


said, he believed the diet given to prisoners in this country was very much in excess of what was necessary for the support of health. It had been stated with truth that the convicts who had been sent out to Australia were far better fed than the sentinels who guarded them. He was not of opinion that a sufficient supervision could not he exercised over ticket-of-leave men in this country. The system which had been adopted by Englishmen in our colonies might equally well be carried out in the great towns and cities at home. If that system were adopted in this country, the police would be able to tell where every one of the dangerous characters was to be found, and that would be a great safeguard in the administration of justice. It was quite impossible to resume transportation to the Australian colonies on any large scale; and, therefore, it had become absolutely necessary to determine how the resources in this country could be best applied to the control of the criminals at home. In his opinion, the only way to provide an effectual control over them was by placing them under the supervision of the police, and making them muster once in every month. With regard to ticket-of-leave men, he was quite sure that it ought not to be necessary to take them before a Judge and jury to ascertain whether they were escaped criminals, but that the magistrates in petty session ought to have power, on the production of the record, to re-subject them to their original sentence. Sympathy with criminals was all very well in theory, but what ought to be looked to was the protection of the honest part of the community. He thought that the present Bill was a step in the right direction, but it did not go far enough. He accepted it as an instalment of a better measure, which he still hoped to see carried out, and would give his vote for the second reading.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 2°; and committed for Friday next.