§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ On Question, "That the Preamble be postponed,"
§ MR. CRAWFORD
said, he wished to make an appeal to the right hon. Gentleman at the Head of the Government as to the expediency of proceeding further with the measure. It had already, he said, been discussed with great minuteness on the Motion for going into Committee, and it was quite evident from the opposition it had met with, that there would be a lengthened discussion on the clauses. That being so, and seeing that the Bill must also lead to considerable discussion in the other House, he did not think there was any hope that it could be carried to a satisfactory conclusion in the present Parliament. It should be borne in mind, too, that those who opposed the Bill in its previous stage represented no less than 10,000,000 of the inhabitants of the country, and that those whose interests would be affected in the matter would not be content unless they were heard by counsel against it in "another place." Taking into account, besides, the great amount of business which still remained to be disposed of—among other measures the Electric Telegraphs Bill, which would give rise to a great deal 1515 of discussion in both Houses—he trusted the right hon. Gentleman would see the propriety of responding to his appeal, and, in deference to the wishes of those who were deeply interested in the question, not proceeding further with the Bill then under the consideration of the Committee.
said, the question was one which affected, not only the interests of the metropolis, but of the country at large, inasmuch as the Bill, if passed, would make the importation of foreign cattle difficult for all future time. He objected to legislation being pressed on so important a question at so late a period of the Session, and the proper course was, in his opinion, to postpone the present Bill, and to institute an inquiry into the whole subject.
§ MR. DISRAELI
Sir, I think the hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford), in the appeal which he has made to me, was very inconsistent. He tells us that this Bill was very recently discussed with great minuteness in this House, and he asks us on that account not to proceed with the Committee upon it. But is it not the proper inference to draw from the very minuteness of the discussion which has already arisen that our proceedings in Committee will be greatly facilitated in consequence, and that, coming to a subject which we have fully mastered, we shall be likely to make more progress than under ordinary circumstances we could fairly anticipate? I am hound, also, to say that I cannot express any sympathy with the general views which the hon. Gentleman has advanced on this subject. He refers to the Paper containing the order of Business, and tells us that if we do not go on with this measure we may go on with the Electric Telegraphs Bill; but he must know that it is necessary, especially at this period of the Session, to arrange the Business before us with some adherence to the plans which have been laid down, and that the Electric Telegraphs Bill has been fixed for half past four to-morrow, in order that the Committee upon it might not be broken. Therefore, if we do not go on with the Metropolitan Foreign Cattle Market Bill, we cannot go on with the Electric Telegraphs Bill without deranging all that has been settled and disappointing many hon. Members who have left the House on the faith of the arrangement made. To agree, therefore, to the proposal of the hon. Gentleman—which I can by no means 1516 accept—would simply be to waste an evening. It appears to me that we shall go with great advantage into Committee, inasmuch as every point of the Bill—according to the hon. Member for the City—has been thoroughly investigated. Then, with regard to the right hon. Gentleman who has just addressed us (Mr. Headlam). His speech was one against the principle of the Bill and against the policy of the Government, and not a speech in Committee on the Bill. At this stage, with Mr. Dodson in the Chair, it is ridiculous to go into the principle of the Bill and to say that the large majorities by which the Motions to stop the progress of the measure were defeated are not to be respected because they were the result of passion. I may remark that those majorities were furnished from both sides of the House, which is strong evidence that the decisions of the House in respect of this Bill were as free from passion as the votes of a popular assembly can possibly be, and that the subject is felt to be one of general, I might say universal, interest. The right hon. Gentleman made an appeal to the Government not to proceed with the Bill; and he based that appeal on grounds which I think cannot be entertained at this stage. I have risen at the present moment to prevent any discussion of this kind from proceeding—a discussion which is always very inconvenient when we are in Committee. I hope that we shall not only proceed with the Committee, but shall make such progress as will assure us of carrying the Bill to a successful issue.
§ MR. DISRAELI
Yes; but in conversation on Saturday it was arranged that it should be taken as the first Order to-morrow.
§ MR. CRAWFORD
said, he was not aware of that; but the right hon. Gentleman had not referred to the difficulties which this Bill would have to encounter in the other House.
§ MR. DISRAELI
I am responsible for the arrangement of Business in this House, and in its arrangement I endeavour to consult the convenience of Members; but I am not responsible for the management of Business in "another place." It is not very long ago since comments were made to the effect that "another House" was not occupied so much as the country would desire; and therefore I think no one here 1517 should complain if the Members of that House are now asked to give us their valued assistance in advancing the Public Business.
§ MR. AYRTON
said, he should not have risen to continue this discussion, but that hon. Members on his side of the House were cut short on a former night by hon. Gentlemen opposite, who declined to allow them to discuss the principle. They declined to allow hon. Gentlemen to address the House, and yet they declined to allow the House to adjourn; while they talked of sitting up all night, or sleeping on the Benches, of refreshing themselves, and stimulating themselves to oppose the adjournment of the discussion. When the Bill was formerly discussed he (Mr. Ayrton) urged that it was unnecessary, because a Bill had been passed last Session on this subject which had been unanimously adopted as a compromise between conflicting opinions; and they were told at the time that it would be satisfactory. But in answer to his remarks he was told by the First Minister of the Crown that that Bill, so far as the metropolis was concerned, was a dead letter, because the local authorities would not put the Act in force. He (Mr. Ayrton) had since applied to the local authorities, and he was positively assured by them that they had received no communication whatever from the Government requiring them to carry the Act into effect. Fearing their memory might be at fault he desired them to search among their records, which they did, but could find no authority on the subject. Now, he wished to know from the Government if they would produce the Correspondence, or state in what form it had taken place—whether verbally or in writing. The present Bill contained no compulsory powers; so that even if it were passed it would not put the Government in a better position as regarded the taking of land than that in which they stood under the Act of last year. If they could not get land by agreement, they would have to come to Parliament next year for compulsory powers to take it.
said, he could not help thinking the tactics adopted by the other side in regard to that Bill somewhat peculiar, if, as the hon. and learned Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton) now said, the Privy Council already had power to do all that that Bill would accomplish, why did the hon. and learned Gentleman not inform the House of that on the second reading? The 1518 House had been occupied three days in discussing the Motion for going into Committee, and the adjournment was moved at nine or half past nine—a thing almost unprecedented—merely, as it seemed, that they might have the same speeches made over again, the whole burden of the song then being, "Let us trust to the Privy Council, with its elastic powers; an Act of Parliament is unnecessary." But, surely, if the Privy Council had had the power to save the country from the cattle plague, and yet had failed to do so, it was not surprising that the House should want to have some statutory authority for that purpose? But the hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford) now came down, and in the blandest manner asked them how they could expect to pass that measure at that period of the Session. He did not know whether the hon. Member desired to have dear meat; but it was quite clear that he wished the inhabitants of London to have their trade subjected to all the existing inconveniences. He hoped this matter would be soon settled, and not kept hanging between heaven and earth in the way it did at present.
§ MR. DENT
said, he would remind the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken that no discussion was taken on the second reading of the Bill. He had risen to make a remark personal to himself. He thought he had reason to complain of a speech lately made elsewhere by the hon. Member for East Norfolk (Mr. Read), in which his conduct in opposing that measure was unfairly denounced and characterized as rendering him unfit to be a member of the Royal Agricultural Society. The hon. Member had stated that he (Mr. Dent) had always taken a course opposed to agricultural interests. Now, he appealed to the House whether that was the case. He had never spoken in that House as representing the Council of the Agricultural Society, and he thought it was unfair of the hon. Member to make the statement he had. His object as a Member of Parliament was not to look at public questions in their bearing upon the interests of one particular class only, but as they affected the community at large; and for that reason he had opposed the present Bill. On the same principle he was ready to vote for Amendments in the measure which would make it less onerous and less oppressive.
§ MR. LOCKE
said, he trusted the right 1519 hon. Gentleman would not persevere with the Bill, which was extremely unsatisfactory to the metropolis. If the proposed cattle market should he established meat would be a great deal dearer than it was at present, and 3,000,000 of people would be left in the hands of the agricultural interest, to be dealt with as they might think proper. That was the position which consumers in the metropolis occupied with regard to their supply of bread before the repeal of the Corn Laws, and they were not desirous of being placed in the same position with regard to meat. How could the House pass the Bill at once? There was a great mass of evidence before the Committee, and it was most difficult to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion. The opinion of the noble Lord who presided had changed from north to south and from east to west, and any man must possess the greatest temerity who would venture to predict the effect of the Bill. Supposing the Bill to be carried, the project would not be advanced one step. Did any one even know where the proposed market was to be? A great amount of evidence was given on the subject by the butchers. [" Oh, oh!"] Hon. Gentlemen opposite said that butchers were no judges in the case; but they were as good judges as farmers or landed proprietors. Members on the Opposition side knew well the course taken by the landed proprietors with reference to the Corn Laws; that they would have starved the people of this country if they could; that their object was to raise the price of corn and put the money into their own pockets, and some of the Liberal party were so foolish as to think that the landed proprietors entertained precisely the same idea with respect to meat as they did with respect to corn. The butcher said, and it was a very reasonable assertion on his part—" If there is to be a market it must be accessible to me; I must have an opportunity of purchasing carcases and carrying them away conveniently, at a small expense, to some place where they are to be retailed." How did the Bill deal with that matter? It did not indicate any spot where the market was to be established. Would any hon. Member point out any spot where the proposed market could be placed? [An hon. MEMBER: Smithfield.] Was the hon. Member aware that no market could be established within seven miles of Copenhagen Fields? The Bill ought to be pressed no further this Session, and in the Recess the Chancellor 1520 of the Exchequer ought to go down the river and select some spot near Southwark as the site of a market from which the tanners of Southwark could conveniently get hides. The City of London ought to have been asked whether they would establish a market for foreign cattle on the banks of the Thames. This Bill was an interference with the privileges of the City of London as to the markets of the metropolis. In the Select Committee it was proposed to put certain burdens on the City, and the representatives of the City walked away. They refused to have anything to do with the affair. So did the Metropolitan Board of Works. And how did the case stand now? The Privy Council was to have power to make regulations, and the construction of the market was to be intrusted to five Commissioners who had not twopence in the world. They had no money; but the City had, and that was why he always liked the City to undertake matters. They not only had money to undertake the execution of a work, but they asked you to dinner to congratulate them when they had done it. He was one of their officers in former days, and he had a great respect for them. The Consolidated Fund, he was informed, was in an awkward state at present, and therefore it could not be made to supply the means of establishing this market. Moreover, supposing the Bill were passed, it could not be brought into operation for three years, and perhaps never. Besides all this, there was no market authority, and Heaven only knew what a market would be without an authority. It would be a scene of riot and confusion. Cows and bulls would be running wild, the offal—of which they had had in these discussions supplies ad nauseam—would be pitched at everybody, and the confusion would be complete. Everything that could possibly be said on this subject had been said already; and he would therefore say no more, but would content himself with appealing to the right hon. Gentleman at the head of Her Majesty's Government to postpone the consideration of the Bill until next Session. There was no machinery to carry it out. It could easily wait; there was no occasion for pressing it on as the Government were doing.
§ MR. KENDALL
said, that the hon. and learned Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton) and his Friends had done their work in attempting to talk out this Bill, and had done it well. But business was 1521 business, and ought to go forward; and were the majority who supported this Bill to go back to their constituents and say that they had allowed the hon. and learned Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton), the hon. Member for Southwark (Mr. Locke), the hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford), and the right hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Mr. Milner Gibson), to talk down this Bill, although there was a large majority in its favour? He, for one, would not go back and say so. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman at the Head of the Government, who had shown courage in this matter, not to be beaten by such an opposition.
§ MR. CANDLISH
said, he thought that the matter ought to be looked at from a business point of view. Regarding it in that light, the First Minister of the Crown must see that there were no means of giving effect to the Bill. He found that last year 177,000 head of cattle, and 500,000 head of sheep came into London, and that the maximum charges imposed under this Bill for the importation of these animals would do little more than pay the interest on the money which the Bill proposed the Commissioners should borrow for the purpose of forming the markets. The Commissioners to be appointed to carry out this Bill—the Corporation of London having refused to accept it—would have no security to offer for the capital necessary for the erection of the market, except the tolls. The Bill would therefore be inoperative and illusory. ["Oh!"] How many hon. Members opposite would lend money on the security of these tolls? Not one would lend a sixpence.
§ MR. R. W. DUFF
said, this was a case of the metropolitan Members against the country. The metropolitan Members were making an attempt to talk out the Bill, and it was the duty of the country Members on that (the Opposition) side of the House not to countenance such a state of things. One of the principal arguments against the Bill was that it would raise the price of meat. So far as the metropolis was concerned, it was probable that the effect of the Bill would be to raise to some extent the price of meat; but the Legislature must not sacrifice the interests of the whole country to those of the metropolis, large as those interests were. Mr. Dudley Baxter, who had obtained some reputation as a statistician, bad published a pamphlet showing that only one-twelfth of the whole 1522 of the cattle consumed in this country came from abroad, and one-twenty-fourth, of the sheep. Would the House benefit the interests that supplied the one-twelfth of the markets or those that supplied the eleven-twelfths? Would they, for the sake of that small importation, risk the whole stock of the country? The metropolitan Members had a case against the Bill, but that arose from the existing regulations, and if those were removed the metropolitan market would be open to the whole stock of the country. It had been said that this was an election cry, but on which side? Considering the sacrifices some of the farmers of the North of Scotland had made for the Liberal cause, it was the height of ingratitude on the part of the Leaders of the Opposition to oppose this Bill. In matters of police regulation like the present they must disregard the laws of political economy. Absolute free trade in cattle and freedom from disease were incompatible, and they must choose which they would have. The true way to provide the poor with cheap meat was to keep our cattle healthy. He should give his cordial support to the Bill.
said, he would admit that the case was one of town against country; but he had looked at the figures of the late division, and he thought they would be a sufficient answer to the assertion of the hon. Member who had just sat down that the Bill was only opposed by metropolitan Members. He found that the 82 Members who voted against the Bill on the late division and the 25 Members who paired against it represented 457,099 electors, and 10,204,013 of the population, It was notorious that the Bill was opposed by the representatives of most of the large communities. Perhaps there had never been a question on which they had been more unanimous than in their opposition to this Bill. This was not a question, therefore, merely between the metropolitan population of 3,000,000 and the rest of the country. It was not a little remarkable that the Members for Liverpool and other Conservative representatives of large towns were absent from the division, possibly as arrangements had been entered into excusing their absence. The representatives of the manufacturing population of the metropolis, of the Midland counties, and of the North of England repudiated the Bill, and it was objected to by the large employers of labour, who were responsible for the happiness of those they employed. The 1523 price of animal food in London affected the price throughout the whole country. Every animal killed at £10 instead of £15 reduced the price £5 in every market in the country. The right hon. Gentleman the First Minister of the Crown probably wished to go to the country as the friend of the farmers as well as the friend of the Church; but he, and those who represented large manufacturing districts, would rather go to the country as the friend of the working man. As the representative of a large Midland constituency he should vote against the Bill. Independently of the objections to its principle, there was not machinery for carrying it out.
said, that the hon. Member who had just spoken said he represented the working classes; but the working classes would recollect at the coming election that it was the Conservative party, with a Conservative Chief, that first proposed the tariff under which foreign cattle were admitted into this country. He had sat in the House in 1842, and at that time not a single animal could be imported. Having voted on that occasion, with the late Sir Robert Peel, for admitting foreign cattle, and also for the repeal of the Corn Law in 1846, he repudiated the imputation that he was a Protectionist in supporting the Bill before the House.
§ MR. W.E. FORSTER
said, he regretted that the appeal of the hon. Member for London (Mr. Crawford) had not been acceded to. He did not think a single Member on either side believed in the probability of this Bill being passed. It was only persisted in for the sake of a victory of country over town, and it was absurd at this period of the Session to continue a conflict having no other object. Even if the measure passed this House, evidence would be required on the subject in the other House, and it would probably be referred to a Select Committee, so that it could not become law, unless, indeed, the Prorogation were delayed for three weeks or a month. He did not believe the Prime Minister was prepared for such a proceeding, and he presumed the understanding was that to-night should be wasted and that then there should be an end of the matter. Even the hon. Member for Banffshire (Mr. R. W. Duff) had admitted that the scheme was counter to the interests of the metropolis and to political economy. If the Bill were passed it could only be by a class struggle at the end of the Session. Was it advisable to try to hurry through the House 1524 by means of the exceptional strength of the Government at the end of the Session a Bill which was opposed by the City of London and other large towns of the kingdom. The feeling of the country would be that the Government had taken the present opportunity of forcing the Bill through Parliament, knowing that the next election would be against them.
§ MR. R. W. DUFF
explained that his argument was that, in the case of police regulations, the ordinary rules of political economy must be disregarded.
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
said, he had understood the hon. Member to admit that the Bill was prejudicial to the interests of London; and that this was the case was tolerably evident from the opposition to it of all the metropolitan Members. It was true the hon. Member for Cornwall (Mr. Kendall) had described those Gentlemen as actuated by an anxiety to retain their seats; but even on this hypothesis their constituents were opposed to the measure.
§ COLONEL NORTH
said, he must remind hon. Gentlemen opposite that the Bill was introduced as long ago as the 5th of December, and that every possible obstruction had been thrown in its way. During the sixteen years he had sat in the House he had not witnessed such a scene as that of Thursday last, when thirty Gentlemen kept up the opposition to the Bill till three o'clock against 130 Gentlemen who supported it; that opposition, moreover, being led by two ex-Cabinet Ministers, though a much larger number of Members of their own party voted on the other side. But for an appeal made on behalf of the Speaker by an hon. Member opposite, he believed the scene would have been kept up an hour longer. It was all very well for Gentlemen opposite to urge the withdrawal of the Bill; but he hoped Members around him would sit till six o'clock in the morning, if necessary, rather than yield to these obstructive tactics.
said, he did not intend to enter into the question of opposing the Bill by means of time; but he must protest against the doctrine of the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Colonel North). The hon. and gallant Member, on reflection, would not, he thought, adhere to his assertion in its full breadth. According to the accounts that had reached him of the operations of which the hon. and gallant Gentleman so much complained, they were all comprised within a single hour.
§ COLONEL NORTH
said, that the right 1525 hon. Gentleman himself took part in them, and then walked out of the House.
said, he did not regard this as a just accusation, and would like to know the hon. and gallant Gentleman's idea of justice. Was it a just accusation? He heard a Member near the hon. and gallant Gentleman say, "No, it is not," and he hoped the hon. and gallant Gentleman was by this time ashamed of what he had said. [Colonel NORTH: Not at all.] He was obliged, then, to tell the hon. and gallant Gentleman that his assertion amounted to an arrogant declaration that he (Mr. Gladstone) had no right to give his vote upon a Bill in this House, for the vote he gave was upon the merits of the Bill. In any vote having reference to time or to adjournment for the sake of delaying the Bill he had taken no part whatever; and therefore, with great deference to the superior knowledge, judgment, ability, and experience of the hon. and gallant Gentleman—[loud cries of" Oh, oh!" which prevented the remainder of the sentence from being heard]. It was all very well for the hon. and gallant Gentleman to retort by a personal observation that had no foundation. He was not sure whether the bon. and gallant Gentleman had been present much during the debates on this Bill. [Colonel NORTH: I think every night.] He thought that in that case the hon. and gallant Gentleman would be able to bear him out in what he was about to say—namely, that during nearly the whole of the debates upon this Bill about the same time had been occupied by the speeches on one side as by those on the other. The noble Lord the Vice President of the Council opened the debate with much the longest speech that had been made throughout the whole of the discussion. He fearlessly referred those who had any doubt on the matter to the columns of the newspaper, and then they would admit the justice of what he said. In fact, the nature of the subject involved so many complex considerations that it could not be treated otherwise than with much detail on both sides. The best proof of that was that the debate was not carried on by long strings of speeches from the same side of the House, but by short addresses, in which hon. Members from each side followed one another. And here he wished to say that if he had used any strong expression with regard to the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite (Colonel North) he wished to withdraw it, 1526 though that hon. and gallant Member did not seem disposed to recede from the statement which he had made. He (Mr. Gladstone) had wished simply to defend himself and his Friends from the accusation brought against them. With regard to the merits of the Bill, he had on a preceding occasion offered many objections to the measure, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer had replied to those objections in a tone of perfect candour and fairness; but he must say that the right hon. Gentleman's speech appeared to leave the Bill in a worse position than before. In his opinion the Bill was a bad one; but, nevertheless, he intended to yield with deference to the opinion of the House. [Viscount GALWAV: Why don't you go on with the clauses, then?] Because they were now discussing the Motion on the Preamble. Now, he would ask what would be gained by the passing of this Bill? The Chancellor of the Exchequer had said with truth that it would be necessary to come to a new Parliament for another Bill before this Bill could take effect, because, though it might be possible that by voluntary arrangement a particular plot of ground might be obtained for a separate market, yet that railway accommodation which was absolutely required could not be obtained except by the usual method of notice. When the new Bill for obtaining a site was submitted to Parliament neither the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Colonel North) nor the noble Viscount behind him (Viscount Galway) would hold that the new Parliament would be in any degree committed by the decision at which the present Parliament might have arrived. It would be the business, right, and duty of the new Parliament to pronounce a perfectly independent judgment on the merits of the Bill. And if the new Parliament should pronounce such an opinion, whether favourable or adverse, nothing would have been gained by pressing forward this Bill. One remark more with respect to the financial provision. [Viscount GALWAY: We have had all this over and over again.] Yes, but it must be gone over many times more, and it was perfectly clear that it had not as yet made its way in the slightest degree into the inner intelligence of the noble Viscount. In answer to his observations on this part of the scheme the Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated that by the Bill as brought in by the Government, a revenue would have been provided which would have 1527 sufficed for the expenses of the establishment. But would the right hon. Gentleman allow him to point out that, even if that were a true and sufficient answer with regard to the Bill as it was brought in, it was not a true and sufficient answer with regard to the Bill in its present shape; because the right hon. Gentleman ought to know, if his many duties would permit it, that new charges had been introduced which would raise the outlay from £300,000 to £500,000, and no revenue whatever had been provided to cover those new charges? He believed the hon. Member for Southwark (Mr. Locke) was perfectly right in saying that those Commissioners would go forth into the money-market, and that they would be objects of commiseration rather than of any other feeling, hopeless and helpless, unless some new source of supply was opened, of which as yet they had no scheme before them. Though he respected the judgment of the House in the decision which they had arrived at he still felt that there were very many questions on which they would require explanation with respect to this Bill; and on every legitimate opportunity it would be his duty to question the scheme, and resist its further development.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, he had not intended to take up the time of the House, because it seemed to him that the arguments advanced did not apply to the question before the Committee, which was whether the Preamble should be postponed, but were rather arguments against the principle of the Bill, and should have been employed on the second reading or on the Motion for going into Committee rather than at present. But after the speech of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Gladstone), he would be scarcely showing respect to him or to the House if he did not advert to some of the points which had been referred to. The hon. and learned Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton) objected on the score that they could already do, independently of the Bill, all that they desired. [Mr. AYRTON: All that you can reasonably desire.] Well, then, the hon. and learned Gentleman meant to say what they desired to do that was unreasonable. And then the hon. and learned Gentleman had found fault with the First Minister of the Crown. But the right hon. Gentleman the First Minister had never said that the Metropolitan Board of Works had cast any ob- 1528 struction in the way. They did nothing of the kind. The Chairman, Sir John Thwaites, gave every assistance in his power; but even with all the knowledge which Sir John Thwaites possessed of the peculiarities of the metropolis, they had found it impossible to carry out the Act of last year in the metropolis, though it had been carried out in other seaports throughout the country. The hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) had complained that this was a class struggle at the end of the Session. But that was not the fault of the Government. They introduced the Bill on the 5th of December; on the 13th of December it was read a second time, it was then referred to a Committee, and all the members of that Committee were well aware that the Government forbore from bringing forward a great deal of evidence, scientific and other, which they thought essential, in deference to the opinions of hon. Gentlemen on the other side, who desired that there should be no further delay. Therefore, it was very unfair to charge the Government with delay. The delay was far more due to hon. Members of the Opposition, who, day after day, insisted upon calling a great mass of irrelevant evidence, and who argued points which had been previously decided. Then the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Lancashire (Mr. Gladstone) had said that if they could not get land they must come to Parliament next Session. But it had been understood all along that a certain piece of land was available, which was in the hands of the Corporation. This, therefore, would require no Provisional Order, nor additional Bill. The same remark applied to the objection with respect to railways. They would not have to bring in a Bill to construct railways for this reason, that the piece of land in question was already accessible to existing railways. He was confident the Corporation would undertake to carry out this measure; and if the clause of which he had given Notice was passed, the Corporation would be able to pledge, not only the limited funds at their disposal, but their whole property, and so be able to raise the means at the cheapest rate. With regard to the supposed financial difficulty, he must observe that this was either an object of national importance and benefit, or it was not. If not, then the Bill should be opposed and rejected on that ground alone; but if it would be a national benefit, then it would be worth while for the nation to 1529 guarantee the expenses, and defray any deficit which the income of the market might be unable to cover.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
, who was received with cries of "Divide," said, hon. Members on that side of the House are in this predicament, that if they wished to discuss the measure they were met with cries of "Divide," and if they wished to adjourn at a late hour they were told they were factious. He would ask the noble Lord the Vice President of the Council on what clause it will be most expedient to discuss the general financial bearings of the question? [An hon. MEMBER: The last clause.] He would bow to the decision of the House, and discuss the matter on another clause.
§ MR. AYRTON
said, it had been asserted that the metropolitan Members had endeavoured to talk down the representatives of the counties upon this subject. It so happened that the metropolitan Members, except the right hon. Member for the City (Mr. Goschen) and himself, had abstained from taking part in the discussion, because they desired the discussion to show, as it had done, that the question was a national one, and that the views of the majority of the people of the country were against the Bill. No doubt the representatives of counties and small boroughs connected with them were, in the present state of the representation, a majority of the House, and the proceedings on this Bill would furnish a powerful argument for the re-consideration of the representation of counties.
§ SIR J. CLARKE JERVOISE
pointed out that there was no discussion on the second reading of the Bill. If there had been one thing made clear, it was the fact of the great inefficiency of the Privy Council. Nevertheless, he for one did not see how that inefficiency was to be cured by a Bill of this dangerous character. Such a proceeding was like the application of a blister over the whole body for the healing of a local irritation.
§ Preamble postponed.
§ Clause 1 agreed to.
§ Clause 2 (Interpretation. 18 & 19 Vict. c. 120).
§ MR. MILNER GIBSON
said, he rose to move an Amendment, the effect of which was to exempt sheep from the operation of the Bill. He was at a loss to understand why the Government proposed to place a restriction upon the importation of sheep. If there were a statutory restric- 1530 tion upon their importation into the port of London, there must be a similar restriction applied to other ports. It showed no confidence in the Privy Council to say they could not be trusted to regulate with the help of their scientific advisers the importation of sheep when circumstances of danger arose; and if they could not, we had better do away with the Privy Council. What was the meaning of this proposal? The farmers could not supply the people with food. We had a limited island and a growing population, and yet it was proposed permanently to restrict the importation of foreign sheep. Since the adoption of Sir Robert Peel's policy no such change as this had been proposed. Did anyone pretend to say there was any danger in the importation of sheep? [An hon. MEMBER: Yes.] Well; but the Privy Council did not think so. To use the words of a very moderate Lancashire paper, the Manchester Guardian, "Such a proposal would justify the most strenuous opposition." It was not a metropolitan question only. Foreign sheep could not be sent alive from London to other large towns, and that would have a most disastrous effect upon the importation of foreign sheep. What was the danger—what were we afraid of? Foreign sheep were at present forwarded to every part of the country, and was there any danger? The Privy Council did not think so, or they would make regulations to stop it. The Government did not think it wise to do that upon their responsibility as Ministers. He had in his hand a Return of what had gone on since we first admitted foreign sheep into this country; and he found that they had increased from 634 sheep and ten lambs imported in 1842, to 914,170 imported in, 1863. That importation had, however, been checked since 1865, owing to the Orders in Council with regard to cattle. The restrictions imposed then by the Privy Council had reduced the importation by 500,000. Sheep, however, had never been treated as cattle. They had heard a great deal about the Commissioners' Report, advising the stoppage of the importation of cattle; but the Commissioners never made any recommendation respecting sheep, and he did not think that sheep were treated in the same way as cattle in the measures passed with reference to the movement of cattle. There had always been a difference with regard to the importation of sheep and the importation of cattle. In this Bill that was abolished, and they were 1531 both placed upon the same footing. The right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government seemed to be posed by this question of sheep. He (Mr. Milner Gibson) could not understand how any Government should incur the responsibility of excluding sheep, seeing how it must affect the working classes of this country. There was a slight restriction already; sheep to enjoy freedom must be imported by themselves; but the Bill contemplated no such distinction. The Select Committee had inserted in the Bill the word "sheep," instead of the more limited words "sheep imported in vessels with foreign cattle." Sheep were sold out of the metropolis to the best butchers at Richmond, Twickenham, and that neighbourhood. They were also purchased by butchers in other counties. If the foreigner who dealt in sheep were not treated in the same way as the Englishman, he would not send his sheep to this country at all. If he had healthy sheep, and he was told that they should not be sold in the metropolitan market nor forwarded alive to inland towns, he would not send his sheep to this country at all. The object of the Bill was, indeed, indirectly to bring about a prohibition against foreign sheep, which Sir Robert Peel thought he: had put an end to in 1842. A gentleman residing in London had written to him stating that 6,000 or 7,000 foreign sheep were at times sent out of the metropolis weekly to Wolverhampton, Manchester, and other large towns. Now, if it was intended to stop that traffic, some very good reason ought to be given for such a proceeding. If in the present hot weather these 6,000 or 7,000 sheep were killed at Barking Creek and forwarded to the metropolis to be sent to the great manufacturing towns in the shape of dead meat, he fancied that the legs of mutton would look a little green on arriving at their destination. The contractors for the army and navy would not take dead meat, because the Commissariat and Admiralty preferred seeing the live animals, so that they might judge what the soldiers and sailors would have to eat, and consequently the proposal of the Government was to give to British agriculturists the monopoly of supplying the army and navy of this country with live meat. One eminent contractor stated before the Select Committee that if in purchasing live sheep and cattle he was to be exclusively limited to British agriculturists, he should be obliged to raise his contract at least £50,000 a year. That 1532 amount would have to be paid by the British taxpayers. The Bill was a deliberate proposal to establish a gross monopoly at the expense of the taxpayers and consumers of this country. No one ever alleged that foreign sheep coming from healthy districts in a ship by themselves, unaccompanied by cattle, would introduce the cattle disease into this country; and, consequently, the clause now under consideration appeared to him to be so indefensible that he would press his objections to it over and over again, in spite of any charge which might be brought against him of offering improper obstructions. The President of the Board of Trade went before the Select Committee and gave useful evidence, though not as a public officer representing the community, but, as he frankly and fairly declared, in the character of the farmer's friend, and in the interest of the producer. He went into the price of his Southdowns; but he would get a better price for these if foreign sheep were excluded. Now, he wanted to call the attention of agriculturists to this question. He wished he could act with the farmers and with Chambers of Agriculture. He believed, however, that hon. Gentlemen opposite would find the Chambers of Agriculture more difficult to manage than they imagined. They had three pet schemes—the malt tax, County Financial Boards, and the exclusion of foreign cattle. With regard to the malt tax——
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
rose to Order. It was not competent for any hon. Member to go into the malt tax in connection with this clause.
said, it was not competent on this clause to discuss the malt tax; but it was competent for an hon. Member to refer to it in illustration of his argument.
§ MR. MILNER GIBSON
said, that the Chambers of Agriculture had been induced to give up the malt tax and the County Financial Boards by a promise of getting the exclusion of foreign cattle. The farmer was told that the repeal of the malt tax would be inconvenient to the Government, and that the Financial Boards would displease the magistracy; but the Government would go in for cattle exclusion. Now, he (Mr. Milner Gibson) would gladly enable the farmers to exercise control over the expenditure of rates in counties; but the object of this cattle-and-sheep-exclusion scheme was to reverse the policy which let in foreign cattle to compete 1533 with their own. He believed that was the fact. But the exclusion of foreign sheep from Denmark, for instance, which were unaffected by disease, would be a great loss to the farmer. There were thousands of acres in Scotland not stocked at the present time, and these restrictions would stop the importation of sheep as well as cattle. The evidence of Mr. Robinson, a great promoter of this Bill, showed that the farmers as well as the consumers had an interest in the importation of sheep. The compulsion to slaughter sheep at the port of importation would make a difference of 6s. a head in the price. The quarantine system for fat stock was out of the question. It was condemned by most of the witnesses favourable to the Bill for store stock. It would be a great restriction, and afforded no security against cattle plague. For lean stock it was not practicable. There was only one security against cattle plague, and that was the prevention of cattle or sheep coming from an infected place—the restrictions not being greater than the necessity of the case and safety required. That was the course which statesmanship dictated. That was the course which France was taking—all the ports and frontiers of France were open. There was perfect free trade. Foreign sheep and French sheep, foreign cattle and French cattle, were sold in the same market.
§ MR. MILNER GIBSON
They were killed wherever the purchaser chose to take them. If they were to be killed in Paris, they must be killed in the abattoirs. The French Government were not so unreasonable as to oppress the French people with unnecessary restrictions or impose large sacrifices on the population to benefit the agriculturists. They did not demand anything so monstrous in order to meet a temporary emergency. If a permanent law should be passed, it would never be repealed without the consent of the other House of Parliament, the Members of which were extensively engaged in that very cattle trade for whose benefit foreign cattle and sheep were to be excluded. Why were they afraid of these foreign sheep? Did they think they would introduce disease? Why, the Privy Council would not undertake the responsibility of prohibiting them. The Privy Council would not have been silent unless their advisers had told them to be so, and 1534 as they had not attempted to put such a wanton restriction on the supply of food to the people of this country, why should the House now be asked to impose it by a permanent law? Experiments to test the liability of sheep to take the cattle plague had been conducted in 1865 by Professor Dick and other eminent authorities, and the results militated against the notion that they were likely to take the cattle plague and to carry infection to cattle in their wool or otherwise. No doubt they might, under certain circumstances, take the cattle plague. He had heard that men had taken it; but he contended that sheep were much less liable than other animals to take or to communicate it. He should be glad to hear what the Prime Minister or the Chancellor of the Exchequer had to say upon this part of the question. The Commissioners had never recommended the separate market now proposed. After the Commission had concluded their task a Committee sat, consisting of nineteen Members, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and they unanimously agreed that this proposal for a separate market was wrong. That Committee had read all the evidence taken before the Commissioners and the Commissioners' Report, and they agreed that it was undesirable to put the proposed restriction on the trade and the food of the country. One Member of that Committee was the Marquess of Salisbury, one of the ablest of the Commissioners; and he (Mr. Milner Gibson) contended that on this subject the Committee were quite as good authorities as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe.) His Report was written in a time of panic, whereas the Committee approached the subject more calmly. He appealed to those Irish Members who, under the leadership of Mr. O'Connell, were mainly instrumental in carrying the great question of Free Trade, to support the Amendment he now proposed. Many of their poor fellow-countrymen were living in Wolverhampton, Manchester, Ashton, and the other seats of industry in this country, and he asked them not to aid the attempt which was now deliberately made by the supporters of this measure to deprive these poor Irishmen of the few opportunities they had of tasting animal food. ["No, no!"] That could not be denied. The struggle of life was great enough without increasing its difficulties by such a measure as this. He trusted that the Government would consent to strike out the word "sheep" front this 1535 clause, which they could do without interfering with that part of the Bill which dealt with sheep which had been brought over in the same vessels with foreign cattle. He begged to move that the word "sheep" should be omitted from the Interpretation Clause.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 8, to leave out the word "sheep."—(Mr. Milner Gibson.)
said, the difficulty of the subject was sufficiently great without the real point being smothered by matters so completely extraneous to it, as were the topics which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ashton (Mr. Milner Gibson) had introduced into the discussion. Indeed, the way in which the right hon. Gentleman had treated the matter convinced him that he had been speaking throughout against his own conviction. The real question with which they had to deal was "aye" or "no"—were sheep liable to this disease, and could they bring it into this country? The right hon. Gentleman, losing sight of the real point in dispute, had devoted the greater part of his speech to the discussion of the question of free trade in food. The right hon. Gentleman had, however, given up the case with reference to sheep imported in the same vessels with foreign cattle; but what security was there that the sheep had not mixed with foreign cattle before they entered the ship? He had admitted that butchers going from market to market might convey the cattle plague in their clothes, and sheep had as handy clothes to convey the infection as the butchers. If the right hon. Gentleman could not prove that the means of detection in the case of cattle and sheep coming by sea were as great as those possessed by the French in the case of the cattle and sheep coming over their frontier, the whole of the fabric which the right hon. Gentleman had built up would fall to the ground. He would not himself give an opinion as to sheep having this disease; but, as far as he could form an opinion, he thought that it would be sufficient if the restriction were to apply to sheep coming over with cattle. If the right hon. Gentleman was not able to show that sheep were not liable to the disease, the whole of his arguments about the food of the people could only have been lugged in with the view to muddle the water, and keep in the background the real question, which was, whether sheep were or were not any source of 1536 danger? It was most unjust to charge the agricultural classes with trying to injure other classes in their action in regard to sheep. The object they had in view was to keep the disease out of the country, for by so doing they would tend to lessen the price of meat, and he could not sec that the right hon. Gentleman's proposal would be attended with that result.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, he thought the Amendment in its present form could not be accepted. The clause originally was to apply only to sheep which came over in the same vessel with cattle; but the Committee, in consequence of a great weight of evidence, unanimously altered it be that it should apply to all sheep. Professor Spooner said that the infection could be carried in wool, and Mr. Rudkin, the Chairman of the Markets Committee, said that the great fault of the present system was that sheep could go from the metropolitan market into the country. The Committee therefore were urged to cut out the words "imported with foreign cattle." He, however, would, in consequence of the want of time, offer no objection to these words being re-inserted.
§ MR. AYRTON
said, he was of opinion that before the proposed Amendment of the noble Lord was adopted the noble Lord must show that sheep which were not infected could be the means of communicating the disease. It was a most monstrous proposal that, because the cattle plague was engendered in certain spots on the Continent, no sheep were to be allowed to be imported from any part of the world. The proposal was one which would have the effect of preventing the free importation of sheep, and would thus result in depreciating the value of those sent to this country to an extent which would greatly discourage that branch of trade. The area of the cattle plague was becoming more circumscribed day by day, and what right had the Government to say that there should not be free importation of sheep into the port of London, and that in fact they would create a monopoly for the advantage of English sheep breeders?
§ MR. READ
said, he wished to call attention to the fact that all the veterinary evidence given before the Committee by opponents of the Bill distinctly showed that sheep transmitted the cattle plague more freely than any other agent, and were themselves subject to the cattle plague. Imported sheep also very often came with, the small-pox, and in 1866, when he had 1537 lost all his cattle, he bought some imported store sheep, but found them all so diseased with scab that he had to kill them at once.
§ Question put, "That the word 'sheep' stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 134; Noes 52: Majority 82.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU moved to insert after "sheep" the words "imported in the same vessel with foreign cattle." His only object was to save the time which would otherwise be lost in endless discussions.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
§ Clause 3 (Constitution of Market Authority).
§ MR. WATKIN moved that the Chairman report Progress.
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, he would remind the hon. Gentleman that the hour was not very late, that there had been no Morning Sitting that day, and that there would be no Morning Sitting to-morrow. The Committee, therefore, he thought, came to the discussion of the Bill with unusual freshness, and he hoped the hon. Gentleman would not persevere with his Motion.
§ MR. WATKIN
said, that no doubt there was abundant opportunity for the two par-tics in the House to discuss the question; but there was a large party deeply interested in it out-of-doors, and in order that they might know how it had been discussed, and learn the decision of the Committee, he must persevere with his Motion.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Watkin.)
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 37; Noes 132: Majority 95.
§ MR. MILNER GIBSON
said, that the clause under discussion, as well as those which followed it, involved important principles, and as there were many Members who desired to speak, he must appeal to the majority not to oppress the minority by insisting, contrary to all usual practice, on going on with the debate at an hour 1538 when the strength of Members was exhausted. These were important discussions, as was shown by the fact that they had practically extorted from the Government the admission of sheep. ["Oh, oh!"] Yes, by the last Amendment sheep were practically admitted. The hon. Member for East Norfolk (Mr. Read) had said to him, "They have spoiled the Bill, and you ought to be satisfied;" but he was not satisfied, and he hoped the Government would not proceed further to-night.
§ MR. LOCKE
said, he rose to move an Amendment, in page 2, line 15, to leave out the word "or;" and he also proposed to leave out the words from "if" to the end of the clause. If the Committee adopted the Amendment, he would be enabled to move that the Corporation should be the authority of the market, and this, be believed, would be entirely in accordance with the views of the noble Lord who had introduced the Bill. The City of London had a Committee to regulate all the markets, and as they had invariably done so to the satisfaction of the public, this market should be placed under their direction, instead of that of Commissioners, who would not understand what they were to do. The proposal of the Government to give inexperienced Commissioners the power to raise money—how they were to raise it did not appear—was very improper. Should these Commissioners become the market authorities, it would be a great failure.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 15, to leave out the word "or."—(Mr. Locke.)
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, he would remind the hon. and learned Gentleman that if the Amendments of which he had given Notice were carried, there could be no Commissioners, while the Corporation would not be obliged to take up the work of establishing the market.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
asked why the Commissioners were left in the clause if they were not to be called upon to act; and if they were to act, how they were to be provided with funds? He believed they had been introduced into the Bill merely to place a screw upon the City. He wished to know how the Government intended to deal with this question of Commissioners? They had not yet had an explanation of the financial part of the question—not a single line of estimate. There was no precedent for Government Commissioners interfering with municipal concerns as here 1539 proposed. If appointed, it was at least to be hoped that they would be supplied with Imperial funds.
§ After a few words from Mr. SELWIN-IBBETSON,
§ MR. MILNER GIBSON
said, he wished to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any assurance had been given by the Corporation that they would have anything to do with this measure or were willing to act under it as the market authority? It had been said in the Common Council and in the newspapers that the Government had broken faith with the City.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
It is most unusual for any Member of the House to single out a Member of the House to answer a Question. I cannot answer it, because the Privy Council and not my Department is the Department of die Government that was in communication with the Corporation of London.
§ MR. MILNER GIBSON
I asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer as the chief Member of the Government now present, and because I saw his name on the back of the Bill.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, that before the Bill went to the Committee upstairs the Corporation had intimated to the Privy Council Office by letter enclosing a formal Resolution, that they would undertake the execution of the Act. It was not true that the Government had broken faith with the City. The Corporation had furnished to the Committee a scale of tolls and a number of clauses, all of which were inserted into the Bill, except one which the Metropolitan Board succeeded in persuading the Committee to strike out. That produced a certain feeling of resentment, perhaps, in the mind of the Corporation. It was proposed to restore that clause, and then he was confident that the Corporation would undertake the execution of that Bill, and would he quite able to provide the funds requisite for the purpose. He spoke advisedly and on good grounds of authority. In fact, they had experienced considerable difficulty in dealing with two rival and jealous parties, the Metropolitan Board and the City; the City got angry with the Metropolitan Board, and a quarrel arose as to what should be done with the surplus which would accrue from the 1540 market. The City wanted to secure that surplus to themselves; the Metropolitan Board desired that it should be applied to the reduction of the tolls. They quarrelled over the booty, in fact, and the City being beaten, pretended to retire in a huff. The City had however, since evinced a friendly assistance. This was the "great financial difficulty."
§ MR. GOSCHEN
said, he was quite sure that the Corporation would not undertake the execution of the Bill if it remained in its present state. No answer had been given to the question how the Commissioners were to have funds provided for them.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I thought, Sir, I gave an answer to that question the other night. I then stated that the Commissioners would have no funds to fall back upon, except the tolls; and I believe that on that security persons would lend money to the Commissioners to establish the market. We could not assist them out of the Consolidated Fund, or give them a guarantee. If the Bill were restored to its former state, so that the Corporation should have the surplus tolls, there would not be the slightest difficulty in regard to the Corporation of London undertaking the execution of the Act. I believe the Metropolitan Board of Works would be willing to undertake it if they would have a right to the surplus tolls. If the clause be restored to its original shape, the difficulty will disappear.
§ MR. AYRTON
Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the tolls would be sufficient to enable the Commissioners to raise money for all the purposes of the Bill—to buy the ground, carry out the works, and give compensation?
§ MR. MILNER GIBSON
There has been so much misrepresentation that I must beg leave to say a word or two. I never said the Government had broken faith with the Corporation; I merely said it was stated in the Common Council and in the newspapers. I think the proposition to give the surplus tolls to the City is the worst of all that have been made. Here is a market to be supported out of the tolls, and if there be a surplus, they should be devoted to the lowering of the tolls.
§ MR. SERJEANT GASELEE
said, that when once he heard it admitted that the population of London would suffer by this Bill, that was quite enough for him. He advised hon. Members opposite not to be the Stupid country Gentlemen to be driven before the Government. Seeing that the Commissioners were to have no means of carrying out the scheme of the market, he hoped they would see that the Government were really laughing at them. The Government had broken faith on a question of bribery, and they should adjourn to see if the City of London would accept this new offer. He therefore moved that the Chairman report Progress.
§ MR. AYRTON
thought they ought to have some explanation from the Government of how they intended to treat the Committee, because after a certain hour it was impossible for notice to be taken in the newspaper reports of what took place, and therefore no means were afforded to the public of knowing what occurred. The last thing heard of the City of London was that they had withdrawn in the Select Committee from all connection with the Bill, and he wished to know whether the Government had communicated further with the City on the subject?
§ LORD JOHN MANNERS
said, that if the Motion for reporting Progress was withdrawn a division should be taken on the Motion of the hon. and learned Member for Southwark (Mr. Locke). When they had passed the clause the Government would consent to report Progress.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Question put, That the word "or" stand part of the Clause.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 113; Noes 26; Majority 87.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
supported the Motion. The noble Lord (Lord John Manners) had been understood to say that the Chairman should report Progress after this division. ["No!"]
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that what his noble Friend had consented to, was that when the Committee had arrived at the end of the clause, the Chairman should then report Progress. As, however, there had been some misunderstanding on this point, and as it was now nearly two o'clock, he would not oppose the Motion to report Progress.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Shaw-Lefevre.)
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 36; Noes 91: Majority 55.
§ MR. CRAWFORD moved that the Chairman leave the Chair. Seeing that the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill could not control his own party even—the Members of the Government having voted some one way and some another—he trusted they would not now proceed further with the Bill on which they were so much divided in opinion.
said, he would appeal to his hon. Friends to give way. He thought it was useless to attempt any further Progress to-night.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
explained that, being unwilling to take advantage of any misunderstanding, and several hon. Members having stated that they had misunderstood his noble Friend (Lord John Manners), he had thought it right that Progress should be reported. He had consequently voted in accordance with that view; but it was quite open for his hon. Friends behind him to take what course seemed to them proper.
§ MR. FLOYER
said, he must point out that the misunderstanding had entailed no consequences on hon Gentlemen opposite, none of them having left the House. He could not conceive how the noble Lord could have been understood otherwise than as consenting to report Progress after the clause had been agreed to.
§ LORD JOHN MANNERS
said, he was surprised at his words having been misunderstood, and could only attribute it to the lateness of the hour and the length of the Sitting. A misunderstanding having, however, occurred, he hoped his hon. Friend would allow Progress to be reported, with the view of resuming the Committee on Wednesday.
§ MR. CRAWFORD
said, he was willing that the Motion that the Chairman leave the Chair should be negatived, in order that the usual Motion to report Progress might be proposed.
§ Motion negatived.
§ MR. CRAWFORD moved that the Chairman report Progress.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Crawford.)
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 33; Noes 52: Majority 19.1543
§ After further short discussion, the Motion to report Progress was agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Wednesday.
§ House adjourned at a quarter after Three o'clock.