HC Deb 16 June 1875 vol 225 cc4-78

Order for Second Heading read.

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


, in rising to move that the Bill be read a second time that day three months, said: Mr. Speaker, in discharging the duty of proposing the rejection of this Bill, I am extremely anxious to avoid saying anything that could in the slightest degree hurt the feelings of any person, and I should indeed be extremely sorry if there was any question except one of principle between the hon. Baronet the Member for Carlisle and myself in this matter. It may be true, as has been asserted, that those who oppose my hon. Friend have no originality whatever. Well, I, at least, never made any claim to be considered an original. I leave that wholly and entirely to my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle himself. The reason why I make these observations is that, unless he has been grievously misreported, my hon. Friend said that so far as his opponents were concerned there was not the slightest degree of originality among them all. Well, I plead guilty to that charge so far as it regards myself; and with reference to those who agree with my course of action, I do not think it requires much originality when we find ourselves followed into the Division Lobby by nearly three-fifths of the House of Commons. This is a very ordinary matter indeed. It even seems to me that this Wednesday afternoon in the middle of June, and in the midst of the hot weather, is more to be spent in a summer afternoon's amusement than in anything else. If I did not perfectly well know that this is a foregone conclusion, I might really treat the views of my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle, with regard to his originality, as something at which I might be either ashamed or frightened, but I know the hon. Baronet too well. I know that he could not frighten me if he would, and that he would not frighten me if he could; and if he were to try it, I should be very much amused to see the result. So far as dealing with the question immediately before the House is concerned, I apprehend that the Permissive Bill tells its own tale and pleads its own cause infinitely more strongly than I can do; for it is self-condemned, and so far its condemnation is self-pronounced. I have not the least objection to my hon. Friend and his immensely long series of somewhat noisy followers abstaining from drink if they please, whether it is beer, spirits, or water. Let them by all means abstain. I would not ask them to take one glass of wine or one glass of beer; but I certainly would say to them—"If you please, as I do not interfere with you, do not you interfere with me. The rule which is good for you ought to be equally so for me. You like water; I like beer. You take your water, and stick to it by all means; but leave me, if I choose, in a position to stick to my beer." But I am told by some enthusiastic persons, look what a mass of Petitions has been presented to Parliament in favour of this Bill from all parts of England, from the north of Northumberland almost to the very south of the county of Cornwall. Well, and what then? We all know how Petitions are got up for express purposes, and sent here, not to tell the House what are the feelings of the country, but as pre-arranged by a large organization which is stated to have £100,000 at its disposal, a great part of which is said to be spent for the purpose of manufacturing Petitions. ["Oh, oh!"] I say, "manufacturing Petitions" advisedly; for let any person examine those Petitions and inquire as to the method by which the signatures were obtained. I venture to assert there is no hon. Member of this House who will not confess that they have been manufactured. Any person who chose to pay for it could get any number of signatures to any Petition; for those signatures cost nothing to those who append them, except indeed it be the outlay for pen and ink. But if it be asked, did the persons who signed act up to the doctrine preached; did they do themselves what they told somebody else to do? I would reply by simply saying—"Look to the Petition presented to-day from the Mayor and Master Cutler of the borough of Sheffield." Now, I happen to know that, so far as the Master Cutler of Sheffield is concerned, every year he gives one of the most beautiful feasts that could be seen or accepted in the whole provinces of England. When I happily attended many times—and I hope to attend many more—I never saw a teetotal Master Cutler, and I never observed that there was not any wine on the table. When I am told—"Oh, we must set an example;" I reply—"Yes, by all means; but pray be good enough to practise what you preach, or, if you do not, then do not preach at all." Petitions, therefore, cannot be considered as a reflex of the real opinions and practices of those who sign then; and I mention this merely to show that very little stress can be rightly laid upon the number of Petitions presented. The Permissive Bill will not, and cannot, put an end to drunkenness, and it is absurd to legislate against drunkenness by Permissive Bills. To say because some people get drunk there should be no more intoxicating liquor sold is pretty much the same as though it were argued that because a murder had been committed with a knife you should put away knives altogether, and stop the cutlery trade entirely of Birmingham and Sheffield. We are told that this Permissive Bill is to deal with all our home and social questions in a way which I venture to think is neither desirable, useful, advantageous, just, nor fair to the community. We are told that if two-thirds of such number of the ratepayers of Sheffield or Leeds, as can be induced to trouble their heads about the matter in any way, attach their signatures to a prayer, merely saying, "Aye" or "No," then those two-thirds are to bind not only the remaining one-third or, indeed, the rest of the ratepayers, but all the inhabitants in the borough. That is a very neat proposition, which I fancy those who make it suppose will pass current, under the impression that ratepayers are inhabitants. Not a bit of it. The ratepayers are not all inhabitants. Why should two-thirds of the ratepayers be able to deprive the remaining third of their accustomed beverage; and not only so, but everyone else who resides within the borough? That is a monstrous proposition, and should be, I will not say thoroughly ex-posed, but, at all events, well understood by everybody who undertakes to advocate this Bill and consents to go into the Lobby with the hon. Baronet the Member for Carlisle. The proposition would not be so objectionable if some provision were made to test the feeling of the whole of the inhabitants of a borough or district on the question, but there is no such provision. The whole matter is left in the hands of an alleged two-thirds of the ratepayers, and as we sometimes forget how much force may be brought to bear upon them, there need be no difficulty to get this so-called two-thirds of the ratepayers to declare in favour of the adoption of a permissive measure; but I consider it most unfair that they should have the power of dictating to the remaining one-third, and the whole of the non-rated inhabitants. But this is not by any means the worst feature of the Bill. By Clauses 8 and 9 you will find that, supposing there were any community so thoroughly unwise, unreasonable, and inconsequential as to endeavour by two-thirds of the ratepayers to mate a prohibited district, they may keep that district in continual agitation, holding their meetings once a-year till they have attained their end, and when they have got the prohibition, they have the power to saddle the rest of the inhabitants with it for three years to come because of the objectionable nature of continuous agitation. Continuous agitation, no doubt, does a great amount of harm; but continuous agitation is, in this respect, much the same, whether carried on in favour of the Bill or against it—and you have only to look at the Petitions on the subject to judge of the kind of agitation that would be carried on if this Bill were to pass. Why, we have things rolled up here in the shape of Petitions so large as to remind me of those barrels of old which, crowned with a laureated image, were carried between two men at Roman feasts; and when I saw some of the Petitions that were brought to the Table to-day, I fancied they only wanted a little Bacchus at the top, with an Exeter Hall wand or bâton in his hand, to complete the picture. When I look at a Bill like the present, fraught with every possible bane that can affect humanity, brought in under the guise of a philanthropic notion, while those who support it leave themselves at perfect liberty to do as they please, at the same time that they seek to prohibit others from ob- taining even moderate refreshment, it passes my comprehension to discover anything that can be said for it in reason or as a matter of common sense. Who made these people judges over me? What right have they to tell me whether, in accordance with the will of two-thirds of the ratepayers, or even by a majority of a single ratepayer, by 100,000, or by 1,000,000 ratepayers, that I am not to be at liberty to get a glass of beer if I see fit? Who made them governors over me or my personal conduct? They might just as well tell me that I should not buy a round hat, because the fashion of the day is to wear what is called a chimney pot. All these things are matters of social life and domestic arrangement, and if once you begin to interfere with what a man eats or drinks, you will lay down the principle of the right to interfere in all other social and private habits of life. Why any man is to tyrannize over my mind I do not understand, or why he should tell me it is wrong to do this or that I am at a loss to comprehend; but I do understand that the advocacy of those principles is invariably to be found in the mouths of those gentlemen who, on all other occasions, are pleading for the freedom of idea and liberty of conscience; but when it comes home to those gentlemen themselves there is no freedom of idea or liberty of conscience. They are the men who propose to give two-thirds of the ratepayers power to make the rest of their neighbourhood as uncomfortable as possible, and that without the slightest ground for supposing that any advantage whatever would be gained. If to-morrow you were to put the cordon of this Bill round any particular district, you would not stop the sale of liquor in the immediate outside circle. You would do no good by stopping that sale in a small place while you left the outside district free, for you may depend upon it there are districts that never can be brought within the action and operation of this Bill, and by putting this cordon round, you will do no more than send those who want to get drink into the non-prohibited district outside. These are matters which seem to be wholly unprovided for and unthought of by those who arranged the clauses of this Bill. We have heard much of some reserved localities. I do not know whether these are in Cumberland, but there is said to be one in Yorkshire where drink is not sold. There may not be public-houses within the limit of that district itself, but from intimate personal knowledge of the place I know there are a great many public-houses on the very edge of and all around it. But that is not the only matter. Do you think that when there is a prohibited district a man wishing to get something stronger than water to drink will have any difficulty? Are there no such places as chemists' shops or grocery establishments where the Wine Licensing Act has been brought into operation? Are there no places, whether licensed or not, where the want, or—if you so please to call it—the weakness, will be supplied? If you look England over, from Kent to Westmoreland—if you look even into Scotland—you will find that wherever there is a demand so there will be a supply. Like everything else, this is a question of supply and demand only. You may form what legislation you please; but if it is a question of what they shall eat or what they shall drink, men will not care for penal laws, but will set them at defiance. They will have what they want; and the worst thing you can do is to make that illicit and secret which is now open and above-board, and subject to regulations which are just and good. Commit no mistake in the matter. Is it right that that which is an open affair now should be so managed as to be put aside for secrecy? Mind, whatever you propose, drunkenness will go on, you may depend upon it, as before. It was said by an hon. Member of the House when he went into Maine, where it was thought that the Permissive Liquor Law is in full force, he found from end to end of the State people ready, able, and willing to set the law at defiance by selling liquor whenever and wherever it was asked for. I think it was the hon. Member for Derby told us that there were something like 2,000 arrests in one year for drunkenness in that State, and something like 1,200 or 1,500 other people—I presume above the class usually frequenting public-houses—who were sent to their homes in a state of intoxication without being arrested at all. Where was the drink obtained? We are told that the Maine Liquor Law has been a blessing to the State; but I think that the fewer blessings of that sort which the State obtains the better it will be for the State itself. What is to be said for such a case where the people, though they did not drink openly and under regulation, drank secretly, and got so drunk as to be arrested for that offence at the rate of 2,000 a-year? That is what the Maine Liquor Law does in the country where it has the largest, the strongest—I do not like to say the fairest—trial, for no such trial can be justifiable. It is not the public-houses or the sale of intoxicating liquor which makes men drunk, but the capacity for getting drunk on the part of the men themselves, and all the legislation in creation will not stop a man from getting drunk if he chooses to do so. If it be said that nobody should have the opportunity of getting drunk, I beg to ask, how is it to be prevented? Parliament cannot prevent it if it would, and it would be wrong to do it if it could. The matter should be left to be governed by the reasonable habits and enjoyments of the people. I will say—"Do not legislate for one or for nine-tenths of the community as though they are drunkards. If you wish to legislate for drunkenness alone, do so by all means, but deal with them as you would with other criminals; if you catch them, and they have done wrong, punish them." Every man who is able to govern himself, and who is temperate enough to know when he has had as much beer or wine as is good for him, should be allowed to have that wine or beer. Are there in this House or out of it, except my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle, half-a-dozen men who, whatever they might do in the way of signing Petitions, would hesitate here or elsewhere to take that glass of wine which is necessary and good for them? They may talk as much as they like and vote in any Lobby they please, but I want to know what they do in the Refreshment Boom at the end of this building. How many of them sit down to a solid luncheon without also taking something liquid, which is not water? These are practical views and practical tests, and when I find nothing but glass tumblers and water bottles ranged on the tables of our House of Commons Refreshment Room, I will believe in the practice, though I do not believe in its; utility or good. Am I to be prohibited the liberty of going into a club between this and St. James's Street and having, a glass of wine? Why should I be asked to legislate so as to leave me at perfect liberty to go into the Refreshment Room here, or any refreshment room between here and St. James's Street, while I tell the inhabitants of St. Martin's Lane that they shall not get that which I am able to get at my club. The public-house is the poor man's cellar. Do you think for a moment that the poor man can give an order to a brewer or wine merchant to stock his cellar? He more often lives in a cellar than is able to stock it with wine, and I object to that man being prohibited from getting his glass of beer when I am to be at liberty to get what I like, when I like, at my club. The principle of your legislation should be that it is right and just to deal with every class of man as if he were a freeman, with all his senses about him, and as well able to judge of his requirements as any of us; and I never will consent under any state of circumstances to deprive the labouring man of the very few bodily comforts he has, until the Legislature deprives me also. Do not tell me that because I do not enter a public-house I cannot get what I want anywhere else. But the public-house is the working man's club. It is there that he goes for his social requirements. I know it is said that we may have public-houses without drink; but I am not to be compelled to go for refreshments to a place where nothing but water is sold, because such places are considered useful for those who are unable to control their own wants or their own vices. Let those who desire it go to temperance houses, which I only wish were always as temperate in their management as their name would imply. But, again I say, whatever you do with regard to your own ideas and your own wants, leave me to follow the bent of my own inclination. The Preamble of this Bill says— Where as the common sale of intoxicating liquors is a fruitful source of crime, immorality, pauperism, disease, insanity, and premature death, whereby not only the individuals who give way to drinking habits are plunged into misery, but grievous wrong is done to the persons and property of Her Majesty's subjects at large, and public rates and taxes are greatly augmented"— getting from the philosophical to the practical at a jump— and whereas it is expedient to confer upon cities, boroughs, parishes, and townships power to prohibit the common sale aforesaid, be it enacted," &c. I contend that it is not the common sale, but the actual and immoderate use of intoxicants that produces immorality. If the hon. Member for Carlisle intends by this Bill to make a raid upon public-houses, brewers, and distillers, he should say so in the Bill. It will have that effect in certain little boroughs where the majority of the people do not want to have them; but if in a large borough—as, for instance, the borough I represent—two-thirds of the ratepayers could by any accident be supposed some fine morning to have determined in favour of the permissive Bill, I should like to know what the rest of the inhabitants would say? I fancy that it would not be very palatable to them, and that it would not do. Leeds would not have it. Certainly not; and if the prohibition were in some way obtained, they would take the earliest opportunity to remove it. The Bill, it is said, is not intended for us highly-respectable people, against whom there is no allegation leading to the inference that we would do wrong, but for a different class of people altogether. It is for a class who cannot govern themselves, and it is promoted also in the interest of those who live in the neighbourhood of that class. We are told that we must legislate so as to provide against every possible chance of leading our neighbour into temptation. So say I, where the temptation is a positive breach of the law, so far as the individual is concerned; but if we are to begin legislating against leading men into temptation by the example of other men's conduct, you would have a great deal more to do than this House could manage in any number of centuries. We are told that in one particular district there is no drink-shop at all, that there is no brewery, and that a distillery is altogether out of the question. Another hon. Member of this House has made some inquiry with regard to that blessed locality. I have done so myself—and I know very much of the district—but the results I obtained with my preconceived bias on the subject would not, perhaps, be received with much weight. But the hon. and learned Member for Barnstaple has made an investigation—in the first instance, by a visit to the spot, and afterwards by endeavouring to arrive at the truth from an independent source—and he found that in the very heart of the district he had not the slightest difficulty in getting anything he wanted to drink. Theorising might be all very well, but that was the practical view of the subject. I hold in my hand a little tract published by Mr. Wilson Turnbull, of Norwich, which puts under nine heads all the objections to the Permissive Bill, which seem to dispose of all argument on the matter: these objections being, that it is in conflict with the fundamental canons of English jurisprudence; that it is utterly indefensible in principle; that it could not be enforced, and cannot be worked favourably under any state of circumstances in England or elsewhere; that it would not operate uniformly on all the several classes of society; that it would be productive of greater evil than it removed; that all legislation was illogical which forbade the sale of liquors but permitted the manufacture; that all legislation was illogical which suppressed public drinking and did not at the same time suppress private drinking; that in directing their efforts against the sale of liquor and not against its use, the supporters of the Permissive Bill had not the courage of their opinions; and that public-houses could be permanently removed only by removing the demand for them, since they are not at all the cause of drinking habits, but the consequences of them. Surely it ought to be an answer to any attempt at legislation of this kind that, however much we may desire to prohibit the manufacture in this country or the importation of beer, wine, or spirits, you cannot do so. The importation is actually arranged for by the Excise laws; but until you stop it you can do nothing in the matter except that which will be unjust and unfair to certain classes. No doubt my hon. Friend would desire to prevent the importation of a single drop of wine, but he will find England too strong for him. If this Bill were carried out to-morrow, not only would there be illicit and illegal drinking, but in some place, where land is tolerably cheap, you would have enormous distilleries, enormous breweries, and enormous stores of malt and hops, forming a sort of citadel which would be strong enough to repel all the assaults of teetotalism. But even supposing you could prevent that, does my hon. Friend suppose that the want would not be supplied from abroad? Burton-on-Trent, it is said, sends out beer to India and elsewhere in very large quantities; and if you interfere with the large brewers and distillers, what is to prevent any man from building a brewery or a distillery just out of the limits of the country and sending us as much as we want? If there were a cordon of police and revenue cutters all round the shores of Great Britain, men would get what they thought they needed for eating or drinking in spite of all the prohibitory laws in creation. Where drink is prohibited, I do not know whether they do not import opium, but that is one result that we might anticipate. Men would get drink on the sly if they could not get it openly, and that which is now done under the control of public opinion and legislative enactment would have to be suppressed, if it were suppressed, by a strong hand such as would create, if not a rebellion, at least a revolution in England. This is no new thing. It was tried a long time ago, in the 9th George II., by which Act the Legislature endeavoured to prohibit spirit drinking in England; but that Act, which was passed in 1741, caused such an outcry throughout the length and breadth of the land as an attempt at class legislation, that in two years Parliament was compelled reluctantly to give it up. Something of the same kind was tried not long ago with regard to England by a proposal similar to the Forbes Mackenzie Act in Scotland, but the people would not have it. This Permissive Bill is neither a rational nor a national mode of dealing with a question of this kind. It is, after all, a working man's question. Why should a labouring man working at the docks be compelled, because he happened to be in a prohibited district, to go a mile and a-half to get a glass of beer? Is there any sense or reason in such a proposition? Let hon. Gentlemen who are opposed to drinking do all they can to carry out their views in any way short of actual coercion. This Bill is an attempt at coercion. I am not to be influenced by the large number of Petitions presented in favour of this Bill, for I know how' easy it is to obtain signatures. I am perfectly unimpressible—if you like, perfectly irrepressible—in matters of this kind; but I certainly will protest against any attempt at legislation by which the poor man's right is invaded, or where Bills are sought to be introduced into Parliament for the purpose of legislating for one class of men at the expense of another. Put us all on the same footing. Leave us to decide as to our own wants, or, if you please, our own weaknesses; and if there is a necessity for such a measure as this, let it not be the work of amateur legislation, but let it be introduced upon the responsibility of the Government. We shall know exactly how to deal with any Treasury Bench that sets itself to work upon an operation of this kind. Under the circumstances in which I am placed my duty on this occasion is a very easy one. It is one about which there will be no mistake when we come to a division, and it now only remains for me to move that instead of this Bill being read a second time to-day, it be read a second time this day three months.


, in seconding the Amendment, said, he wished to remind the House that last Session he pointed out that the practice of the hon. Baronet was not entirely in accordance with his teaching in this matter, and the hon. Baronet objected to such a reference to what he ate and drank. His (Mr. Goldsmid's) only object, however, had been to show that if a man made his private life accord with his public utterances, he would have more weight with the people of this country than if he did not do so. If report spoke truly, upon that point, at least, the hon. Baronet had reformed his ways; because it was rumoured that at a banquet held in honour of the "thorough good beating" the Bill received last year, no drink stronger than ginger beer was allowed to the guests on that occasion. He begged to congratulate the hon. Baronet on having had in this respect "the courage of his opinion." The hon. Baronet had on more than one occasion said that this Bill was the only true remedy against drunkenness; but he (Mr. Goldsmid) believed that to be a great mistake. It had been said that all who supported the Bill were in favour of the public, and that all who opposed it were in favour of the publicans. Now, that might be very good in theory, but it was not true as a matter of fact, because very many opponents of this Bill had no connection whatever with the publicans, their wish being not to interfere with the reasonable liberties of the subject. The hon. Baronet argued that drunkenness was increasing; but that was not supported by figures, which showed that in proportion to the increase in the population drunkenness was on the decrease. Last year he (Mr. Gold- smid) quoted some statistics showing that repressive legislation failed of its object, and this year he would refer to the opinion of Mr. Murray, British Consul in the State of Maine, United States, in reference to the Maine Liquor Law. That gentleman said— A long residence of nearly 14 years in this State has given me unusual opportunities for studying this question, and I have no hesitation in re-affirming that, with the exception of some isolated villages, the Maine Prohibition Law-has been a failure in the large towns and cities. Any good it might have effected was more than counterbalanced, he thought, by The hypocrisy and demoralization of a very large class, who, though nominally political abolitionists, are not consistent in their own conduct; and he illustrated his observation by taking the cases of committal to prison for offences from the 1st of March to the 31st of December. In that time in the town of Portland, with a population not exceeding 30,000, there were 2,628 arrests for all crimes, and of that number 2,200 were for drunkenness. Thus it was shown that in the city where the Maine Liquor Law prevailed, the great bulk of the offenders were committed for drunkenness. Still the hon. Baronet said that legislation of that kind would produce sobriety in the country. He (Mr. Goldsmid) denied that. Not many years ago it was a common thing to see a gentleman drunk in a private house; but public opinion and education had induced them now to consider that it was not a proper thing to take too much drink; and he believed that feeling was now prevalent, not only among the classes to which he referred, but also among the working classes of the country. He had seen a great deal of the working classes, and he believed that drunkenness among the educated working men was not now more prevalent than it was among the educated gentlemen, and that in proportion as education extended downwards so it would disappear without the necessity of any such legislation as now proposed. One of his strong objections to the Bill of the hon Baronet was its so-called "permissive" character. It was in reality eminently tyrannical. Take the 8th and 9th clauses, for instance—the supporters of this Bill might renew the agitation year by year; but if once successful, its opponents were not allowed to obtain its repeal until after the expiration of three years. Again, the power of shutting up public-houses was to be vested in a two-thirds majority of the ratepayers. Well, assuming that the ratepayers formed one-fifth of the population—and that was a liberal estimate—something like two-fifteenths of the inhabitants of a district, many of whom, perhaps, had cellars of their own, would have in their hands the power of preventing the other thirteen-fifteenths from purchasing any liquor. Surely, that was not a proposition which the House could seriously entertain. It seemed to him very wrong for the House of Commons to remit a question to be discussed and fought over in every parish in England which they had not the courage to decide themselves. If it was right to prohibit the sale of strong drink, let the House of Commons prohibit it; but do not let them adopt this cowardly mode of action. It was supposed the Bill would have a beneficial effect by removing temptation to drunkenness. To the great mass of the people, however, drink offered no temptation; and that even for those to whom it was, it was not desirable or wise to adopt this course, but rather moral means of persuasion. The best way of reforming drunkards was to bring home to them the necessity of restraining their appetites, and following the example set them by the hon. Baronet and his friends. The numbers in the division of last year on the hon. Baronet's Bill were very significant—namely, 75 Members voted for the Bill, and 301 against it; in other words, the hon. Baronet was beaten by 4 to 1. He (Mr. Goldsmid) wanted to know, under those circumstances, how it came that the hon. Baronet boasted that he had a satisfactory division on that occasion, and that of all the political parties of the last Parliament who came to grief at the last General Election, he alone had survived? "Well, it appeared that he had survived by obtaining one more supporter than he formerly had, and that was the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. E. J. Reed). Now, that was a fact on which he could hardly fairly congratulate himself, as that hon. Member had expressly stated that he was opposed to nearly all the principles contained in the Bill, and only supported the second reading because he thought that nearly all the clauses would be altered in Committee. He therefore did not think the hon. Baronet had much to boast of in having succeeded in obtaining this additional supporter. The fact was, that notwith- standing the years of agitation and the expenditure of large sums of money and labour, the hon. Baronet was still in that minority, had only been able to obtain one additional supporter to his Parliamentary crotchet; and if he went on in the future at the same rate he would have to live to the age of Methuselah, or longer, before he succeeded in gaining his objects. If it passed, in the present state of public opinion the Bill would be a perfect nullity, or if it were acted upon at all, the people of England would resist its enforcement. He was sure the House of Commons did not wish to legislate for the purpose of creating disturbance on the one hand, nor of adding to the enormous preponderance of votes at General Elections against the feelings of the majority for Representatives of the People. The hon. Baronet put an enormous number of names of Members of Parliament on the back of the Bill; but he (Mr. Goldsmid) wished to know whether every hon. Member who endorsed the Bill had read it? He thought that if they had done so, and had any experience of what Acts of Parliament ought to be, they would have regarded the measure as very crude. He thought the Bill, if enacted, would lead to very lawless results. He thought the hon. Baronet had endeavoured to instil into the measure a principle repugnant to the feelings of the people—a principle which would certainly stir up strife in every locality where the Act would come into operation. He thought there was evidently a lack of courage on the part of the hon. Baronet, and his supporters in not acting up to what their principles demanded, for if he and they wished to object to the sale of intoxicating liquor, the fairest course for him to adopt was to bring in a Bill for the purpose. He (Mr. Goldsmid) was a diligent reader, and had seen a speech of the hon. Baronet in which he boasted that he had the Pope and a Cardinal on his side, and he added that the vice of drunkenness could not be eradicated until we stopped the sale of intoxicating liquors. To be consistent, then, he should bring in a Bill for that purpose. The hon. Baronet, on another occasion, said he did not much care about what had occurred in America in reference to the liquor traffic, and when invited to America, he shirked the invitation; but, whether he made that journey or not, he (Mr. Goldsmid) might safely say-that if it were not for the popularity which he had won by the gay gravity and humorous folly with which he had diverted his hearers, the House of Commons would long since have shrunk from him and been sick of the Bill. No one without those agreeable qualities would be tolerated in taking up, in the latter period of the Session, the valuable time of the House, when important measures were awaiting discussion. It was therefore to be regretted that the plans of refusing to allow measures to be introduced was not now so generally acted upon as it used to be, for if the present measure had been rejected in that way, some valuable time would be saved. The whole of the agitation on behalf of the Bill had been got up by paid agents all over the country, and Petitions were manufactured for the purpose of making an impression that the public were favourable to the movement. One of those Petitions insinuated that those who were favourable to the Permissive Bill were entitled to a monopoly of legislation, as they acted for the highest ends. Before sitting down, he would ask the hon. Baronet whether he thought he was doing what was best for the country in occupying the valuable time of the House in the discussion of this question when much practical legislation was awaiting the consideration of the House? Would it not be better to allow the practical business which had a probability in its favour, and which must be considered before the Prorogation, to be dealt with, instead of occupying the time with a measure whose supporters were constantly diminishing? He would venture to urge on the hon. Baronet the propriety of reconsidering his position, and that he should not continue year and year to inflict on the House a Bill which there was no prospect of passing.

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


Sir, my hon. and learned Colleague the. Member for Leeds (Mr. Wheelhouse) has filled such a very large part of the picture in to-day's discussion upon the question which is before the House that I feel I should be scarcely doing my duty if I did not seek to occupy some small part of that picture myself. Although I may not be brought out in such colours and with such prominence as my hon. and learned Colleague, and though I may not be placed with exactly the same Party as he is, I wish to make a few observations in reference to this Bill, and, in doing so, I must ask that indulgence of the House which is usually offered to those who address it for the first time. I have ever found the House to be exceedingly indulgent, and to give to every Member—even though he may not have the ability of expressing his views in the best possible language, or with the greatest amount of plainness—the fullest opportunity of expressing his views. I wish most heartily I had the confidence and the nerve of the two Gentlemen who have already addressed us on this subject—namely, my hon. and learned Colleague, and the hon. Member below me who has talked to the hon. Baronet the Member for Carlisle like a father. I, however, thought that although these remarks might have been made by anyone representing Her Majesty's Government, they were scarcely in their place coming from the hon. Member for Rochester. I wish to take exception to two or three remarks which have been made by my hon. and learned Colleague. At the commencement of his speech he said he was not an original. I believe he is the only person in the House who would venture to give that opinion. I am sure there is not another hon. Gentleman in this House who could have made the speech that we have listened to; and I shall, Sir, before I sit down, have an opportunity of referring to another speech which the hon. and learned Gentleman made in another place, which I believe no other Gentleman in this House could have made but my hon. and learned Colleague. Sir, it is not my intention to discuss at length the principle of the Bill—I mean its main or leading principle—the prohibitory principle. Neither do I intend, Sir, to follow my hon. and learned Colleague through the arguments that he has used in opposition to the Bill. His arguments are neither new nor more weighty than when they were brought forward years since, and they have been most successfully replied to by Gentlemen who have followed him in previous years. Ever since I have had the honour of a seat in this House I have invariably supported my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle on this Bill, not because I agree with him entirely in reference to its prohibitory principle, but because I am anxious that the whole question of licensing and regulating the liquor traffic should be referred to the people—and decided by them rather than decided by a bench of magistrates, or by any committee appointed by the ratepayers. The hon. Gentleman who has spoken last has argued as if the Permissive Bill party in the country were afraid to relegate this question to the people. Now, I think that is a matter of detail, and I should be quite ready, if the Bill comes into Committee, to move that this matter shall be referred to the inhabitants rather than the ratepayers; and I have far more confidence that the great mass of the people would be in favour of this Bill than the higher classes. Sir, I believe the hon. Baronet has no idea of being successful to-day. Is it any reason that he will not be successful in future years because he has only one-fourth of the House with him to-day. My hon. and learned Colleague put it on that ground. He said—"Look, you have only a quarter of the House voting with you on this question!" But what great question has ever been carried through this House that has not been opposed and defeated by great majorities at first? What was the case with the Motions for the repeal of the Corn Laws and the Reform Bill of 1832? And this was the case when my late hon. Colleague (Mr. Baines) brought forward his Reform Bill. He had a few followers; but in a very few years the Bill got a large number of supporters, and in time was passed into law. My hon. Friend who spoke on the bench below me (Mr. Goldsmid) said that very great improvements had taken place in regard to drunkenness, that the higher classes drank far less than formerly, and that the working classes drank far less than formerly. Admitted. But who has brought about this improvement in reference to both the higher and the lower classes? I believe that it has been brought about entirely by the advocacy of temperance principles—by Gentlemen like the hon. Member for Carlisle. It has been the general discussion on temperance, and the evils which attend drunkenness, which has led to this improved feeling in the country. Sir, I very much dispute whether we should have had the Licensing Bills which have boon before us in the last four or five years, if it had not been for the agitation out-of-doors. If we had no Permissive Bill Association, no United Kingdom Alliance, I question whether we should have had the Bill which was introduced by Lord Aberdare. A very short time ago, little regard was paid to the number of licences issued in different districts. They were issued in numbers without the slightest regard to the influence they were likely to produce on the morals of the people. A short time ago a publican could keep his house open at all hours, both night and day. Now we have a prohibitory liquor law for several hours in the 24. Formerly, he could supply drink to children and to drunken people. He cannot do so now without rendering himself liable to a penalty. It is almost universally admitted that the publican's is a dangerous trade, and in consequence of its being a dangerous trade liable to abuse, it has come to be understood that no man can take up that trade except he is of good character. In former times, rogues and people of bad character have got licences by the dozen. Now, Sir, there has been a great alteration in this respect. And why? Simply because there has been discussion out-of-doors in regard to this matter, and that discussion has forced Her Majesty's Government to look at the question, and see what improvements could be made in the licensing system, with a view of removing the disgrace, and, as far as possible, the immorality which is attendant upon the drink traffic. Now, my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Wheel-house) has argued this question as if any limit whatever was tyranny. Now that argument, if of any weight whatever, should go to the removal of all restrictions, and ought to go to the removal of all licences, and leave a free and open trade, without any restrictions whatever. But we are not prepared to do that. It comes to this. It is simply a question of what amount of restriction is to be put upon this trade. In the circular issued by the licensed victuallers, the conduct of my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle and those who advocate this cause, is denounced as unhealthy and venal. I think these are very strong terms to use in reference to the advocacy of a number of people who can have no interest in the matter whatever, excepting the good of the people. They also say this in this circular—that there ought not to be opposition—such opposition as is allowed in this House—because they are a legally recognized body, and it is a legally recognized trade. But why is this trade legally recognized? Because of its danger, because of the evil of its influence on society. And I believe the only question between us—those who are opposed to this Bill and those that are in favour of it—is, how far these restrictions should extend? My hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle simply proposes that you should give the inhabitants or ratepayers of any district in the Kingdom the power of entirely prohibiting this trade, that they may be free from the evils which are consequent to it. Sir, the Gentlemen who oppose this Bill—not, of course, the majority of the House—are alarmed at the idea of the poor man losing his beer. That is a strong argument with my hon. and learned Colleague. I have had the opportunity of mixing extensively among the working classes for the last 25 years, and I have often had the opportunity of putting this question to them, and I have never found any serious opposition at any meeting I have attended against the adoption of the prohibitory principle where a large majority of the inhabitants of a district were willing to adopt it. Sir, if the feeling among the working classes is anything like as strong as has been represented by the two hon. Gentlemen who have spoken, why have they such a fear and dread of this Bill? And why should a large number of gentlemen connected with the licensed victuallers come up here, and lobby Members, in order to throw out this Bill? Sir, there is a great amount of false sentiment in these arguments with regard to the working man and his beer. Where beer enters into consumption with the meals, as it does in London, it might be a hardship to deprive the people of it. It might be difficult, and it would be impossible, I should say, to put this Bill into operation in such places. But does it follow that because you cannot remove an evil in London, you should not try to remove it anywhere else? My argument is, that where people are prepared to submit to this Bill, you should give them the opportunity of submitting. In most northern towns it is by no means the rule, but the exception to send out for beer with the meals, and it would be very little hardship to the northern population if this law was put into force. Now, Sir, I spent the early part of my life as an agricultural labourer, and it was not until I arrived at manhood that I entered a large town. There was not a public-house within three or four miles of the place where I spent the early portion of my life. But I do not know a more vigorous lot of men in the world than the men who inhabit that district. They do not see or taste drink from month's end to month's end, and yet they are some of the most vigorous working men in the Kingdom. Since then I have spent something like 25 or 30 years of my life at a large workshop, and had for many years of my life the conduct and direction of a large number of men, and I can say without the slightest hesitation that it would be very little hardship indeed to the great mass of the working classes to be compelled to do without the kind of stuff that is sold in public-houses. I am not speaking as a teetotaler; but I am speaking, Sir, as having had a considerable amount of experience in managing and directing men, and I say without the slightest hesitation that drink is idle. And if you allow working-men to have drink during the time they are at their labour, it is a great disadvantage both to the man and to the master. And I know that in some of the best workshops in the Kingdom there is a prohibitory law that no man shall either bring in or send for drink into the workshops during the working hours. Sir, I admit that if this prohibitory law was to come into operation to-morrow, that the minority might be put to considerable inconvenience, and that they might have to make a considerable amount of self-sacrifice. But that is only what we are called upon to do every day of our lives, and nearly all the laws that we pass in this House in some way or another effect the liberties of the people. I think, in discussing questions of this kind, we ought to consider the object as well as the rules which we lay down. A short time since we had a discussion on a Coercion Bill, and hon. Gentlemen who object so strongly to coerce people in regard to drinking, have no scruples whatever with regard to coercing the people of Westmeath. [Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen smile as if there was no parallel between the two cases. Well, you call upon the respectable and well-conducted inhabi- tants of Westmeath to deprive themselves of a number of privileges. And why? Because there are a few outrages and murders in Westmeath. Why, Sir, hundreds of outrages and murders take place in this country in consequence of drink, and yet hon. Gentlemen laugh when I want to draw a parallel between the two cases. Sir, the licensed victuallers in their circular say that the arguments of my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle are venal. I say that the arguments used on the other side in this case are not patriotic, and are not such as we should put into very great prominence either in our speeches or in our legislation. I have always been given to understand that it was noble, and great, and good to make sacrifices. But the arguments are just the opposite that have been directed against this Bill. We are told that to make people sober by Act of Parliament is to tyrannize over them. Sir, I wish to make two or three remarks in regard to the opposition of my hon. and learned Colleague. Just allow me to say, first, that I have found by experience that there are two classes of working men, the provident and the improvident. The provident man will be able to supply himself with beer or drink, if this Bill passes, just as well as the better-class man supplies himself now, and he will not be entirely deprived of beer. And if beer is such a capital thing, why not let the family have some of it as well as the individual who fetches it himself from the public-house? The arguments have not been brought forward to-day by either of the two hon. Gentlemen who have spoken, that the clubs in Pall Mall would supply the higher classes with everything they require, while the lower classes would be deprived of beer and spirits. I have yet to learn that the clubs in Pall Mall have any monopoly in club law. I believe the working classes have their clubs as well as the higher classes, and I believe there is no disposition to apply any laws to working men's clubs that are not applied with equal severity to the higher clubs. My opinion is, that if this Bill passed we should have more working men's clubs, where men could amuse themselves without having the publican coming in and reminding them to have something for the good of the house. Would not that be better for them than to have a constable coming in, as he very often does into a public-house, to warn those present that the hour is getting late, and that they had better retire to their homes? I am sorry my hon. and learned Colleague is absent from the House; for simple-minded people have the impression, and they express it pretty loudly sometimes in my hearing, that it is a disagreeable task to move peremptorily the rejection of this Bill, and that my hon. and learned Colleague would not take the course he does in regard to it if some very strong pressure was not brought to bear upon him to compel him to do so. That he does so, however, from the best and most generous of notions and the purest intentions I have not the slightest doubt. Now, I did hear that my hon. and learned Colleague had shrunk from the duty, and somebody else had been found to do it. But that was not to-day the case, for my hon. and learned Friend turned up and fought the battle as nobly and energetically as ever he did. I did hope that there was some truth in another report that I read in one of the newspapers—that my hon. and learned Colleague had turned teetotaler, and that he was going to join my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle. I fear, however, that report is not correct. But what does the inference that simple-minded people, of whom I have spoken, draw amount to? It amounts to this—that the great mass of the people of Leeds—his and my constituents—are in favour of opposing this Bill to limit the influence of the drink trade! Whenever there is a question of this kind before the House my hon. and learned Colleague draws his sword, and rushes to the front of the battle in favour of the drink interest. I do not want to give offence to him, but I entirely deny the inference is correct, for the last grand jury at Leeds made a presentment to the learned Judge who presided at the Assizes, deploring the evils of the existing system, and they asked the learned gentleman to forward it to the Home Office. My hon. and learned Friend will, I think, hardly be surprised if I take this opportunity of reading a few extracts from a speech which he delivered in November last. Sir, I claim for my constituents that they stand in the front rank of those who seek the welfare and improvement of the masses of the people, and it would be alien to their character and to their nature if they did not offer uncompromising opposition to the liquor traffic. I speak strongly on this question, because I have received so many protests against the conduct of my hon. and learned Colleague; and, Sir, I am sorry to say that his conduct is having its effects in other parts of the country. The people of Leeds are undoubtedly taking a leading part in the endeavour to put restrictions on the use of drink, and my hon. and learned Colleague, in the course he has adopted in this House, never dares to say that he speaks in the name of his constituents, or of the mass of the intelligent working men of the country. In this matter—the drink trade—my hon. and learned Colleague must be considered far more as the representative of the licensed victuallers of Leeds than as the representative of the mass of the intelligent working men of the borough. Sir, I said that the conduct of my hon. and learned Colleague was affecting the character of the borough, and so it has, in a way of which he is probably not aware. A few days ago a meeting was held at Grimsby, Yorkshire; and at that meeting the following question was discussed—"Shall Leeds be honoured by having the next conference held there? "and the argument against the meeting being held there was that Leeds had become demoralized; and had taken the lead in advocating the most demoralizing trade in the world. The proposition was carried against Leeds. The speech of my hon. and learned Colleague to which I have alluded was delivered on the 9th of November, 1874. He had been dining with the members of the Licensed Victuallers' Association at Leeds; and at that meeting he made use of these words—"There are few occasions on which I am so happy"—the hon. and learned Gentleman is proud of his position, and you will see directly that he is proud of his connection with the licensed victuallers. "There are few occasions," he says, "on which I am so happy, and scarcely any on which I feel more in my place than in coming to the dinners of the Licensed Victuallers' Association." My hon. and learned Friend then goes on to say— I never can forget, and I never will forget, how much I owe to those who were the Licensed Victuallers' Association, and the managers of it when first I came into Parliament for the borough of Leeds. Without saying that I owe all to them, I owe perhaps as much to them—and I am proud to acknowledge it—as any man in Parliament ever owed to any constituency, be it large or be it small. My hon. and learned Friend says— "Without saying that I owe all to them (that is, the Licensed Victuallers' Association) I owe as much to them as any man in Parliament ever owed to his constituency." That is the fair meaning of the words I have read. Let us analyze them a little further. "We all owe everything to our constituencies for sending us here; and my hon. and learned Friend cannot owe more to his constituents than we owe to ours. But is not this the inference which we may fairly draw from what he says—namely, that he owes to those gentlemen—the licensed victuallers—everything for sending him to Parliament in 1868. If that be the case, then it must largely detract from the value of the opposition which the hon. and learned Gentleman has made to the Bill; because, if he is indebted to the licensed victuallere for everything, then he is bound in gratitude to oppose this Bill. I call this "The extraordinary confession of the hon. and learned Gentleman." I must, however, say that this confession did not much surprise the constituency of Leeds, but it created a vast amount of sympathy for the hon. and learned Gentleman; sympathy, because it was felt to be a very great misfortune for the hon. and learned Gentleman that he was unable to attend any dinner-parties which gave him such great pleasure as these dinner-parties of the Licensed Victuallers' Association; it was felt to be a great misfortune that the hon. and learned Gentleman could find himself nowhere so much at home as at the dinner of the Licensed Victuallers' Association. Sir, may I express the hope that in the future the hon. and learned Gentleman will be able to find other dinner-parties which will afford him much more pleasure, and other society where he will find himself quite as much at home as at the dinner parties of the Licensed Victuallers' Association of Leeds? I am told that this meeting of which my hon. and learned Colleague was so proud broke up in something like confusion and disorder, in consequence of the state of excitement to which many of those present had been brought by the drink and extraordinary speech which my hon. and learned Friend then made. I am told that some other hon. Members who were present could not get a hearing in consequence of the excitement that prevailed. I have never attended any of the dinners of the Licensed Victuallers' Association—[An hon. MEMBER: Because you were never invited.]—but I have always been under the impression, that, though the dinners might be very good, the company was not such as a well-educated and learned man would find pleasure in, and feel most at home in. There were several hon. Members in this House who considered it consistent with their duty to go there; some hon. Members no doubt consider that they are under some obligations to the gentlemen—the licensed victuallers—and that it is their duty from time to time to meet them and thank them for the support which they have given them during Parliamentary election contests; but I never heard from anyone of the hon. Gentlemen who attended these dinners that the company were of a very intellectual order, or such as learned Gentlemen would be quite at home at. On the contrary, I fancy that the general experience is, that they come away sadder if not wiser men, and feeling that they would have been very much happier if they had remained at home. Nothing can be more touching than the expression of gratitude of my hon. and learned Friend—"I will never forget you; I never can forget how much I am indebted to you." Now, I would ask this House if it is not under a sense of obligation to these gentlemen that my hon. and learned Friend always comes to the forefront of the battle whenever this matter comes before the House. He tells you himself that he is under deep obligations to these men; and for that reason he champions their cause not only to-day, but on every occasion when their interests are brought before the House. I will only detain the House for a few moments whilst I allude to two or three matters connected with my own borough. My hon. and learned Colleague informed the House that he despised all Petitions which were presented to Parliament in favour of the Permissive Bill which were got up by the United Kingdom Alliance. These Petitions are got up, Sir, by purely voluntary effort, and are fruits of noble and generous acts. If the House is asked not to regard these Petitions, then I ask the House not to pay any attention to my hon. and learned Friend, for by his own acknowledgment he is sent here by men directly interested in the liquor traffic. In 1868 two gentlemen were before the constituency of Leeds—one a teetotaller, and the other a Permissive Bill man. The Licensed Victuallers' Association did their best to prevent these men from being returned, and they selected my hon. and learned Colleague to be their advocate, but the two temperance men were returned by a majority of 5,000 over my hon. and learned Friend. In the election of 1874 my late hon. Colleague (Mr. Baines) lost his election, and why? Because he supported my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle? No, but because for the first time in his life he refused to give Parliamentary support to the hon. Member for Carlisle. The question was put to him—"Will you, as in former years, support the Permissive Bill?" and my late hon. Colleague for the first time in his life said—"I do not believe in making men temperate by Act of Parliament." What was the result? He was not returned to Parliament; and that, I think, is a strong argument as showing that the people of Leeds are in favour of temperance principles. My presence here is as strong an argument as can be used to show that the great mass of the people are in favour of temperance as opposed to the principles of my hon. and learned Colleague. I have always been honoured by the uncompromising opposition of the licensed victuallers. Before 1868 they regarded me as a dangerous man; but all their opposition in 1868 did not prevent me and my late Colleague Mr. Baines—who was a teetotaler—from being returned at the head of the poll. Since 1868 they have been more bitterly opposed to me than ever, but all their bitterness and all their opposition did not prevent my being returned at the head of the poll in 1874. My object in referring to the speech of my hon. and learned Friend, and in using this language, has been to show that my hon. and learned Colleague has not the great mass of the people of the borough of Leeds at his back in the course which he has taken. I do not in the slightest degree desire to condemn my hon. and learned Colleague in the course which he has taken; he has a right to his opinions, and he has the courage of his opinions and his convictions, which a great many men have not. I believe that he is thoroughly honest in his views, and that no man believes more thoroughly in the cause he advocates. I do not censure him, I merely wish to put the question before the House in this light:—So far from my hon. and learned Colleague representing the intelligence and morality of the great masses of people of Leeds on this matter, he does not speak in their interests and on their behalf at all. There have been within the last five months scores of meetings held in the borough of Leeds for the purpose of supporting temperance, and my hon. Friend (Sir Wilfred Lawson) with respect to his Bill, but there has been no meeting on the other side except a meeting of the Licensed Victuallers' Association, and of course they are directly interested in the matter. I thank the House for listening with so much patience to my imperfect remarks. Until the Government, whether Conservative or Liberal, undertake to deal with this question in a satisfactory manner—I do not mean dealing with it in the manner in which successive Governments have been in the habit of dealing with it—I shall feel it my duty to support the hon. Member for Carlisle.


I beg to assure the House that I shall not long occupy their attention; to tell the truth, however, my present step rather alarms me after the speech we have just heard from the hon. Member for Leeds (Mr. Carter). Imputations have been thrown broadcast by him on his hon. and learned Colleague (Mr. Wheelhouse) that he is supported by the licensed victuallers. So am I. I am told he has attended their dinners. I have not; but notwithstanding all that has been said of him at the close of the speech of the hon. Member he said of his hon. and learned Colleague that he was a man who had the courage of his opinions, and that he knew he was honest and spoke what he felt. Well, that answered all he had said before, and destroyed the imputation that he was under the guidance of the licensed victuallers. I want, however, to lift this question out of the mud of personalities. I want to ask certain questions which I will attempt to answer, and which from a long political life I think myself some- what entitled and competent to answer. I want to ask if this Bill is a wise Bill; next, if it is a just Bill; and third, if it is a practicable Bill. Now, is it a wise Bill? We are placed by Providence in a world surrounded by certain means by which we are to be made better and more comfortable in our condition and in the enjoyment of life. In ancient times it was expressed in the short phrase—"That a country enjoyed corn, wine, and oil." Two of these things are struck at by this Bill, and that which ancient experience has taught us to believe to be great boons of the God of Nature this Permissive Bill is about to destroy and deprive man of. But it is said "this gift of God is a dangerous gift." Now, I would ask, is not every gift of God dangerous? He has given us metal, and we use it for our own destruction. He has given us medicines, and we use them as poisons; and when I am told that the liquor traffic is dangerous, I ask, Is not the chemist's trade a dangerous one, and are we not obliged to surround it by laws exactly as we surround the liquor traffic? Do we not also surround the dealing with powder with laws? Yet who will get up and say that no nation shall make powder or use medicines? The fact is this is an argument which has been driven to an absurdity. Supposing that the Bill was universally adopted, and the majority in England were to be allowed to determine what the minority shall drink, the result would be that every man's private arrangements would be interfered with. We maybe told that other laws do that; but there is a broad distinction. Laws do not interfere with men in certain cases. They do not regulate their private life. AH they endeavour to do is to regulate a man's conduct so that he shall not be a mischief to his neighbours. That is already done, or may be done, with regard to the liquor traffic. If a man chooses to make a beast of himself and get drunk, the law may take charge of him, and say—"You have offended against the rules of your country, and we will put you into prison." But to say that I who have lived a life of temperance, and know not what it is to be drunk, should be deprived of a glass of wine or beer, is going beyond the rule of law and jurisprudence, and cannot be brought forward as a line which we should follow. Therefore, I say this is not a wise Bill, and I affirm my conviction that if it passed, England would become next to a hell upon earth. I will tell you why. In every parish there would arise a contest which would be constantly carried on, and there would be an espionage instituted over every man's life. We should have A and B discussing what C and D drank, and we should have one-half of the community ranged against the other. We should, in fact, have in England from one end to the other a scene of riot, confusion, and disquiet. Not only that, but if the law was enforced, I am convinced you would have a rebellion. The advocates of the measure, though they claim to represent the people of England, in reality do no such thing; and the people, if the Bill passed, would not submit to such coercion, but would say that Parliament had nothing to do with their inmost life, which was, and which ought to be, under their own guidance. Now, is it a just Bill? What does it ask? Why, it asks that a majority of ratepayers in any community are to be able to say that all the rest shall not have the liberty to drink. Is that justice? The minority will say—"We have done nothing to offend the law; why should we be prevented enjoying that which Providence has given us?" Therefore, I hold that this is an unjust Bill. Well, is it a practical Bill? I will now endeavour to show what the real working of the Bill will be if it is passed. Supposing that in the parish A or B there is a meeting held, and a determination arrived at by two-thirds that the Bill shall be enforced in that parish. The parish will after all be a small area, and the district around it will not be affected by the law, and in the result there will not be the slightest diminution of the liquor traffic. So what is the use of passing the law? All round the precincts of the parish public-houses will be built and liquor will be transferred into the parish as freely as if it were done by pipes under the earth. If I go a step further and suppose that the whole of England would place itself under the operation of this Limited Liability Permissive Bill, then there would be a rebellion in the country. Summing up the whole thing in a few words, I would ask, why are we to be called upon, year after year, to express so strong an opinion as we have expressed regarding this Bill? I think I can imagine why. There is nothing in this world showing itself upon every action so much as personal vanity. I have seen very curious instances of that in my life in this House. I have seen it attempted to make one law for England, Scotland, and Ireland, and I have seen that opposed, and opposed moreover very much for one particular reason, and that was, that there were certain persons in this House who when laws were made for Scotland were the heroes of the night, and when laws were made for Ireland others came forward, and they were the heroes of the night; and when this Bill is brought forward the proposers are the heroes of the day. That is a sufficient explanation, and I think if the House were to take the wise course it would throw this Bill out on the first reading, and then there would be an end to all the injudicious and injurious agitation throughout the country. At present the country is kept in a state of fear lest the day should arrive when the Bill would pass the second reading. We have Petitions marshalled before us to-day, but we know what organization has got them up. I am told the Permissive Bill has £100,000 at its back. That money is being spent in procuring these enormous rolls of paper called Petitions, which are signed by men, women, and children, and often not only by men, but by the same men several times over. With £100,000 and a cry you may at any time get up these Petitions. I have seen many occasions when Petitions have been disregarded by this House, and I beseech hon. Members on this occasion to judge by their own reason and knowledge of life whether this Bill is a righteous one. If this Alliance would turn their hearts to the improvement of the morality of the people, and they would preach to the people the conduct they ought to pursue would take pains to instruct them, and would do all they can to increase and improve the education of the people, I would say they deserved the thanks of their country; but while they are going upon a wild scheme, which can never come to a beneficial end, they are only a nuisance to the people.


Mr. Speaker,—The hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down (Mr. Roebuck) informed us that he rose to lift this question out of the mud of personalities, but, before he had got very far, he said that this Motion was brought forward to gratify my personal vanity. I hope that in the remarks which I shall venture to make to the House, I shall succeed in keeping out of the mud better than he has done. Sir, when I looked at the Order Paper this morning, I found that I had not only my usual two antagonists to contend with, but that their number had been increased to three. First of all, there is my hon. and gallant Friend —[Laughter]—I say "gallant" because he has fought so gallantly—the Member for Leeds (Mr. Wheelhouse), who always takes up a position against me. I shall not deal with his speech, for I think he will excuse me if I say he is far more successful in "talking out" a Bill than in arguing it out. I have another reason for not alluding very much to what he has said—namely, that he has already been very considerably scathed by his hon. Colleague (Mr. Carter). Then, the second name on the Paper is that of the hon. Member for Rochester (Mr. Goldsmid). He and the hon. Member for Leeds are a kind of Siamese twins in this matter. Whenever any drink Bill is before the House, together they rush into the fray. Then there is my third opponent whose speech I am sorry I have not yet heard because he is a new opponent, from whom I expect to hear something good, and, looking at Dod's Parliamentary Companion, to find out what manner of man he was, I find him described as "a Conservative" who "has written poems," and hope still to have the pleasure of hearing him, and that there will be a few moments left in which he can address the House before we divide. I therefore hope hon. Members will allow us to divide on this question to-day, that we may hear how he treats this subject, because then we shall have had it discussed in all its varieties. The hon. Member for Rochester prophesied to the effect that I shall be as old as Methuselah before the Bill is carried, and if we have the speech of the hon. Member to whom I have just referred (Alderman Cotton) we shall have poetry, and the hon. Member for Leeds has given us prose. But, though my foes are so numerous, able, and determined, I feel I meet them at as great an advantage to-day as I ever met them, and I will tell you why. I have nothing new to say, and therefore I am afraid the House will be wearied with my arguments, which they have heard over and over again; but my case is stronger to-day than it ever was before. Every year the present system goes on working the evils against which I come to this House for remedies. If my opponents will come forward and say that that system goes on well, that it is working admirably, and that its effects are seen in reducing pauperism and crime, then they will have something very strong against the Bill. And, surely, it is time they should be able to show some results. We have had this licensing system at work for generations, and of late years it has been talked about, discussed, and debated on in this House more than in any previous period of our history. First of all Mr. Bruce brought in his Bill; then the present Government came into office, and the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Home Department brought in his Bill, and so the united wisdom of both sides of the House has been brought to bear to bring about a reform of these licensing laws. But what has been the result? Now, I do not think I should be justified in taking up the time of the House with many statistics, but it is necessary that I should give a few statistics, and state a few facts, because if I do not do so some one will, in all probability, rise and say that drunkenness is diminishing very much in the country. It appears, then, from the Returns and estimates of arrests for drunkenness during the year 1873, that they amounted in the Three Kingdoms to no less than 348,000 persons, and I have inquired what the Returns are for the last year, and I find that in England instead of there being a decrease there has been an increase of 2,700 odd, and in Ireland of 1,800 odd, thus making an increase of upwards of 4,000 cases of arrest for drunkenness. The latest Returns for Scotland I have not got. I want the House, however, to observe this, that these figures do not in the slightest degree indicate the extent of the evil. Major Cartwright, the lately deceased Inspector for the Midland counties, used to say, and our observation confirms the opinion, that for every person who is taken up for drunkenness 10 persons escape. In Edinburgh alone, 56 per cent of the persons apprehended for other offences than that of drunkenness are apprehended in a state of intoxication. It is, therefore, altogether impossible for the House to fully realize the enormity, the immensity, of the evil we are attacking. Now, in Glasgow we used to hear of the number of persons taken up for drunkenness; but some one the other day made a discovery—namely, that there were in the preceding year no less than 22,000 more people taken up for drunkenness than appeared in the Returns. These 22,000 persons were taken up for drunkenness by the police, but they were released without coming before the magistrates, and nobody knew anything about it. The other day an effort was made to alter this state of affairs, and then it was found that they had not room enough for the purpose in their prisons. I know I shall be told that this all arises from the high wages in the country; and I quite agree with that. I believe the rate of wages is one of the causes, and it therefore comes to this—that it is to be an excepted rule, that the prosperity of this country, which we all labour to produce, results mainly in enriching the publican and in filling the exchequer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer by the revenue derived from drink. After all these years of high wages that is what we have come to, and I do not think that any Member of this House will get up and say that this is a satisfactory state of things for what we call a Christian and civilized country. And I know more than this. I know the House will listen to any remedy which is suggested for grappling with the evil, although it may not believe that it is the most effectual remedy. I do think, then, we have a case for coming before this House, and I do not think I have ever felt so humiliated as I did on Monday night in this House, and I am sure we all did, if we could speak out what we thought, when the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary brought in that flogging Bill. Mind, I am not now saying that that is a wrong Bill, far from it, for this is not the time to discuss it. It may be absolutely necessary, and that is a point which can be argued at another time; but if it be absolutely necessary, it is much to be regretted that after years of teaching and preaching Christianity and civilization in this country we are obliged to have recourse to this horrible system of torture that we thought we had left behind us in the Middle Ages, I think my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds (Mr. Carter) alluded to that wonderful presentment of the Leeds Grand Jury, which I consider goes to the very root of the matter. In nearly all the cases which have been brought before them where violence has been committed, whether in aggravated assaults, or in the brutal beating of wives, or in the form of licentious outrages on women, the exciting cause has been strong drink; and the criminals are shown to have often issued from the public-house or beer-house in a state when they had lost reason and self-control. It is in the interest of the whole public that attention should be drawn to the exciting cause as well as to the punishment of such offences. That sentiment was fully endorsed by the learned Judge who presided on that occasion, and my position is based upon that very recommendation. I say that when people are liable to give way to these temptations, and a small minority of them commit these atrocious crimes, my position is that it is not advisable to thrust upon them, with the strong arm of the law the temptation to drink. That is your present system. ["No, no!"] Some one says, "No, no." Parliament, I say, has laid down very strict and definite rules in this matter, and let me allude to what the rules are which the Imperial Parliament has laid down, and show the House that I am not in any way trying to interfere with them. Parliament, after many years of experience has decided what sort of houses should be employed for the sale of drink; it has decided on what particular day those houses should be opened, and during what particular hours, from early in the morning till late at night. It has decided to what sums of money should be paid and levied on these drinks and on the licence to sell them. It has decided on the penalties which shall be paid by those who consume too much drink or sell too much drink; and more than that, it has decided on the exact class of men who are to engage in this trade. And let me here, when I allude to the class of men, say that I do not agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds (Mr. Carter) in one part of his speech, in which he tried to cast a little slur on the character and conduct of licensed victuallers in this country. I consider them to be picked men of the country, who have been selected by the magistrates for their many excellent and moral qualities. I would ask why we should sneer at the hon. Member for Leeds (Mr. Wheelhouse) for joining on those festive occasions with those excellent men? I have never been asked to attend any of these dinners, but were I asked I should go with a great deal of pleasure. Now, Sir, I do not propose to interfere with any of those rules and regulations which the Imperial Parliament has laid down. I am really not clever enough to run in the face of the aggregate wisdom and the long experience of the House of Commons, and to suggest any improvements in these laws. All I say is, that I want to make a little alteration in the condition under which you allow this elaborate machinery to come into force. No one can sell a drop of drink in this country without the sanction of the magistrates, and the magistrates only grant a licence for the sale of drink to the men who come and ask for it. It therefore follows that the magistrates and the publicans are the people who have the absolute power of setting up this trade in any district where they are so minded. To that power I, Sir, object. That is the only thing which is embodied in my Bill, and that is the whole question which we are discussing to-day—whether it is for the public good, for the advantage of the cause of progress and morality, that magistrates when so minded should, against the will of the majority of their fellow citizens, establish public-houses, gin-shops, and beer-shops in any district. But, Sir, that is not bringing a charge against the publicans: they are commissioned to sell, and they are commissioned to sell just as much as will do a man good, and no more; but, sell him a drop more, and they have exceeded the regulations. And that is one part of my case—that they have often made a mistake, and have sold to a good many men a great deal more than is good for them. It is impossible sometimes to decide for one's self, and it is certainly still more difficult for anyone to decide for him, how much liquor is good for a man, and it is not my case to define what quantity is good for a man. All the publicans in England cannot do it satisfactorily. There is a certain vagueness about the word moderation which baffles all attempts to define it. I remember the late Prime Minister, in one of his Budget speeches, told an anecdote of a working man, who, having got very much injured, was carried to the hospital, where he had to undergo an operation. The doctor at once said—"This is a very serious case, and in order that I may know whether the operation is likely to be successful, I must ascertain from his friends whether or not his habits were moderate." He thereupon asked one of the man's friends if he was a moderate man, and he was told—"Oh, yes! he is a singularly moderate man," and on being further asked how much a day he took, the reply was—"Oh! he never drank more than about eight quarts a day." That shows the difference of opinion which may exist as to what is moderation, and I do not consider the publicans are good judges of the matter, for they have failed to supply the exact amount of drink which is consistent with good order, and which will not produce disorder. In proof, I will tell you a fact, which I think will perhaps rather surprise you. I see the hon. Member for Liverpool sitting near me, and Liverpool is a place where they talk for ever about Licensing Bills. I do not suppose there is a human being there—certainly not a Liverpool magistrate—who has not a strong view of his own as to what ought to be done with the licensing system. At Liverpool, of all places, with a strong police force, with a large number of able magistrates, and a stipendiary magistrate, also, they will take care that the provisions of the licensing laws are carried out whatever they may be, and yet, notwithstanding this, last year no les than 23,000 persons were arrested in that town for getting drunk. But how many publicans does the House suppose were arrested and fined for making these 23,000 people drunk? Just three. Is not that an illustration of the way in which the system works? As to the magistrates, you give them unlimited power of saying what are the wants of a locality, and of this I do not think they can judge. They may have the best objects in view, but they fail; for they do not know what is required, because they have not the means of ascertaining at their disposal. Take the case of Liverpool, for instance. There has been a remarkable map going round the Lobby during the last few days, showing how magisterial discretion has been exercised in Liverpool. If you take the Sailors' Home there as a centre, and draw a circle of 150 yards all round it, you will find no less than 46 public-houses within that circle tempting these men to their ruin and disgrace. So much, then, for magisterial discretion; and now I come to what I propose. I simply propose that all the machinery which you have adopted shall remain untouched. I make no new licensing authority, neither do I make any revolutionary change. I propose nothing as to what houses are the best for the sale of drink, or as to what rent they should pay. I do not propose a single new penalty for any individual under this Bill. I do not believe very much in your penalties and punishments, although they may be necessary to a certain degree: but what I say is, that if there be a place in any part of the Kingdom—some country place, it may be, where there is a large majority—I say of two-thirds—in the Bill, copying in this respect some other Acts, who think that on the whole they could get on better without these drink-shops amongst them, they shall have the power of saying to the magistrates—"You shall not set this elaborate machinery in motion; you shall not licence these places, for they ought to be licensed, not for the good of the publican, but for the good of the public." I know, Sir, that if I begin to go into the details of the Bill I shall very properly be called to Order by you, because we are now discussing the principle of my proposal; but as one or two of my opponents have gone a little into detail, I am bound to defend myself upon the points they have raised. The hon. Member for Rochester (Mr. Goldsmid) says that I give three years for the experiment of prohibition; but that if they refuse to adopt it, the agitation may be renewed at the end of one year. Now I think that as we have tried the old system from generation to generation, it is only fair that a three years' trial shall be given to my system where a district decides upon adopt it, so that a fair opportunity may be given for ascertaining how it answers. Let me observe that in my Bill I have endeavoured to be very fair. I have said that although it requires an immense majority to bring my Bill into force—namely, two-thirds, yet if after a three years' trial a district finds itself poorer and worse off than it was before, if there is more drunkenness than had hitherto prevailed, then they may resort to the old system, and restore to the magistrates and the publicans the power of establishing these places by a majority of one vote only. Then the hon. Member for Rochester thought that I ought not to have taken the ratepayers and left it with them to decide, but that I ought to have taken the inhabitants generally. I am anxious to take the widest franchise I am able to get hold of and I am not ashamed of the ratepayers' franchise which I have proposed. I do not know how I can possibly make the register wider, but I am not bound to my franchise of the ratepayers. Still I remember on the first occasion of my bringing this Bill before the House the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham made a speech approving of some parts of the Bill, and in the course of that speech he said no doubt exception might be taken to the rate-paying franchise, but the ratepayers did substantially represent the views and the opinions of a neighbourhood. I hope the House sees really what I mean, that this is not intended to be a large and comprehensive measure. That is left for right hon. Gentlemen on the Treasury Bench, who are always bringing in large and comprehensive measures. This Bill of mine is only meant for those few places which are ready for it, and which really think they would be better without these houses. Last night I was speaking to a right hon. Friend of mine in the Lobby—I will not give his name, but he is an excellent and good man—and he said he should vote against my Bill, and added—"We don't want the Bill in my parish; there were three public-houses there, and I swept? them all away." I said to him—"Well, do the people suffer much or complain?" He laughed in my face and said—"Complain! why they are all delighted." I said—"Do you mean to-morrow to go and vote that the people up and down the country in any other parish who may feel the same evil that you felt, and who may wish to remove it, shall not have the same power of protecting themselves as you did in your parish?" and, Mr. Speaker, he was speechless. Now, let the House understand that I do not come here in a bigoted way to say that my Bill is the great panacea for all the evils in creation. I have heard it said over and over again that its machinery is insufficient, but I am not wedded to that machinery, and I will tell the House how I constructed it. You have many Acts of Parliament dealing with various matters which are of a permissive character, as the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary well knows. You have them for securing the cleanliness, the health, and the education of a district and so on. I got the best machinery I could out of these Acts, and pieced it together, taking a piece from one and a piece from the other, and it is open to revision by any hon. Member who can show me anything better. No man can go into the Lobby and say he voted against the machinery of the measure, because that is a matter which is wholly and entirely a question for the Committee. Now, I will come to the arguments against the Bill. Its opponents argue that compensation ought to be provided for in the Bill, and upon this point I would say that is a point for Committee also. But are you sure about this compensation? Let me give you what the Bishop of Peterborough said on this subject. Not long since the right rev. Prelate was speaking about the law of simony, and he, using a good expression, said—"the law of simony has slipped from its moral basis." So have the licensing laws, and so have a good many other laws. As to the compensation business the Bishop of Peterborough said he agreed entirely with the assertion that if we touch a man's property we are bound to give him compensation—I thought somebody would have cheered that remark—but the Bishop went on to say— I entirely deny that if you take away a privilege which is exceptional and injurious to the public welfare you are bound to give compensation for that; the Legislature always distinguishes between property and privilege. Now that is precisely what I do. No man has a right to sell drink, except it be a privilege granted to him by the magistrates, and granted only for one year, at the end of which it becomes utterly valueless, and if the State steps in and says—"I decline in future to give you that privilege"—and it has a perfect right to do so—I do not see what just claim there can be for compensation. I will not, however, commit myself, because I have not heard a great lawyer in this case express his views upon this question; but I should like to see one get up and inform the House that there was a shadow of foundation for giving compensation under these circumstances. I believe the result would be he would lose his character for ever. We always hear talk about the Slave Trade and the compensation which was given to the slave-owners. That, however, was paid to them as compensation for their property; but can anyone say that compensation was paid to anybody because he was forced to abandon the Slave Trade? That is quite a different matter, and the case is widely different from the one we have now before us. When a publican makes his bargain with the public one of three things must happen. He must during the years which he carries a licence make a good sum of money, or he must lose money, or he must remain exactly where he was. Now, if he has made a good sum of money he has got his profit, and I would say to him—"Stop your licence, go about your business, and do something respectable." If he has been losing money, it will be a great mercy to take his licence from him altogether; and if he remains exactly where he was before, then there can be no hardship in compelling him to give up his licence, and to do something which is more beneficial. We shall probably hear something about this question of compensation before the debate is finished; but for my part I say most distinctly that I cannot and will not recognize any vested right in producing what this trade does produce—namely, in the words of the right hon. Member for Birmingham, crime, disorder, and madness in the country. But if in Committee any one can show me a fair and just claim for compensation, I am perfectly ready to be convinced. I only wait to hear the argument. I hope I have made it clear what we are going to divide upon to-day, because that is my one point on the second reading. We are going to divide upon this question: Shall irresponsible authorities have the power to thrust drink shops on unwilling communities? Beyond doubt that is what we divide upon, and no one can get off by saying that the issue is anything else than that. All the rest may be done in Committee, if the House will only affirm the principle of the Bill. I do wish that my opponents would be logical; it is a foolish wish I know, and one that is not likely to be realized. Let them, however, have the courage to express their opinions. Let the Home Secretary to-day when he gets up and opposes me, as I think by his countenance he will, let him say that he knows the places where by the wills of benevolent landlords public-houses have been taken away. There is Saltaire. Sir Titus Salt removed the public-houses there, and the people are all the better off it. In Bessbrook, in Ireland, which was a small town, the landlords prevent the liquor traffic, and the people are better off for it there. We see the same evidence in Scotland. Public-houses have been taken away, and the localities have improved. It is so on the Shaftesbury Park estate, where they will not allow a public-house to be erected. The Prime Minister was there along with me not long since, and he was delighted. I never saw a man so pleased in all my life. He looked round that estate, and saw it free of public-houses, and prosperity and happiness smiling around him, and he said it was "a grand example," or something like that, "which would be useful in future legislation!" and acting on his advice I am utilizing it in legislation to-day. If the Home Secretary is logical, he must bring in a Bill to prevent these arbitrary landlords from shutting up those houses, and depriving the neighbourhood of those luxuries of life. They have done it, but people do not complain. He says that nobody should prevent the public from getting what drink they require. Then why does he allow them to do it? Let him bring in a Bill to compel these public-houses to keep open if he believes they are for the benefit of the people. Last year I quoted the case of Seghill, a mining village in Northumberland, where there were two public-houses, and a very poor neighbourhood, and the proprietor being a benevolent man took a vote of these miners as to whether they would prefer to have these public-houses kept open or not, and by ten to one they decided against them, and the licences to these houses were taken away. Now, what is the result of this? I quote this case again because I have fresh evidence in regard to it. Mr. Alderman Laycock spoke only a week or two ago as follows:— When the colliery came into hands it was in a degraded position.…A number of men had asked his opinion some time ago, as to whether he thought the closing of the public-houses altogether would not benefit the people. He was not entirely in favour of the Permissive Bill, which required to have two-thirds of the ratepayers to necessitate the closing of the houses. However, instead of a bare majority, ten to one voted for the closing of the houses; and, although it was a great sacrifice to himself, he felt it to be his duty to close the houses, if by that means he could elevate the people of the village.…He had great pleasure in finding, from police reports and other sources, that the people were more sober in their habits than they were before the closing of those houses. I am trying to persuade the House to allow the people to do for themselves what Alderman Laycock did for them at Seghill. If the Home Secretary is logical, he must provide for the establishment of public-houses in these places to make the people drink again. There is another question which has been before the House this year, and which has met with considerably more support than my proposition has. I allude to the Bill of my hon. Friend the Member for Londonderry (Mr. E. Smyth), for closing public-houses, compulsorily and entirely, with the exception of the usual regulations, on what is called the Lord's Day. Well, in my opinion, every day is the Lord's Day, in so far as we ought to follow the dictates of morality; and I wish the late Prime Minister was here, for he made a speech on this subject than which I think, although he has made many eloquent and thrilling speeches in his time, none ever gave more delight to the people of this country. The sentiments which he then expressed, and the principles which he maintained must absolutely and certainly be endorsed before long, and they go further than the policy which is embodied in the Bill now before the House. The right hon. Gentleman said— Is not this one of the questions on which the people of the three Kingdoms are in equity fairly entitled to have an opinion for themselves? Why, that is my Bill; to let people have an opinion for themselves, and to give them the power of acting upon it with regard to these places established around them. Why are the Irish people to be allowed to get rid of the pollution of public-houses on Sundays, and the English people not to be allowed to do the same on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or any other day in the week? Is there anything peculiar in the state of Ireland which should permit them to have that privilege and to deny it to our fellow-countrymen in England? I remember the first speech made in this House by Mr. Delahunty, the late Member for Waterford, whom we generally regarded as an entertaining Member. When he got up he said—"Sir, Ireland is an island; it is entirely surrounded by water." But what difference does that make? Why is a place surrounded by water to be considered, and a parish surrounded by an imaginary line not to have its wishes considered? The argument runs on all fours, and the Members opposing my Bill may think they are consistent when in reality they are most inconsistent. In my case there are many signs of the times which prove that this question cannot be grappled with in any other way than by establishing in some form or other the principle of local option. There was a very remarkable meeting at Birmingham the other day of the leaders of the Liberal Party in that town. This is no Party question; but I quote it as one of the signs of the times, and the hon. Members for Birmingham need not listen to this part of my speech if they do not like it. There is an organization at Birmingham consisting of 400 electors, who are supposed to be what is called the élite of the Liberal Party, and they met not long ago to discuss the regulations of the liquor traffic. And they passed this resolution, virtually unanimously—"That this meeting is of opinion that the liquor traffic should be under the control of the ratepayers." Do not let the House be led away. I know that different speakers attach different meanings to the word "control." But somebody asked the mover of the resolution—"Do you mean absolute control?" "Of course I do," he said; "control is absolute control. I am not going to indulge in tautology." Now absolute control must mean the absolute veto. And absolute veto is what is contained in the Permissive Bill. The 400 electors of Birmingham thus endorsed the Permissive Bill at that meeting, and I hope that the three Members for Birmingham will some day, I fear not to-day—at least I have not much hope of it—prove as liberal in their views as are those who elected them. Then they said that they would commission a committee of their number to draw up a scheme to embody their principles. This is right, I am waiting for the scheme, and when it comes forward I shall probably give it my support; but in the meantime we have got no scheme. But not only have I got the Liberal Party of Birmingham with me, but I have got a more powerful institution with me than that. I have got the Established Church with me. What do they say? In the report of a Committee of Convocation they say— Your committee are of opinion that as the ancient and avowed object of licensing the sale of intoxicating liquor is to supply the public with drink, the power of restraining the issue and renewal of licences should be placed in the hands of the persons most deeply interested and affected—namely, the inhabitants themselves, who are entitled to protection from the injurious consequences of the present system. I am happy to say that in addition to that recommendation we have now a most powerful organization, of whom one of the leading members is my hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough (Sir Harcourt Johnstone), which is called the Church of England Temperance Society, and it is supported by the whole, or nearly the whole, of the Bench of Bishops. And I am very glad to find in the list the name of the Bishop of Peterborough, because he once uttered a sentence which gave great delight to the friends of the hon. Member for Leeds—I mean the publicans. He said— It would be better that England should be free than that England should be compulsorily sober."—[3 Hansard, ccxi. 86]— which was quite incomprehensible to me, because I did not see how freedom and sobriety could be antagonistic to each other. However, he said that, and that we who were defending the Permissive Bill were doing mischief. Well, now, he supports the Permissive Bill and something much more. I dare say he would deny that, but I shall show that it is so. The Bishop of Peterborough supports and advocates" giving to public opinion its due share, in conjunction with the existing authorities, in the granting or refusing of licences, and in the regulation of public-houses and beer-shops." Capital! That goes a great deal further than I go. I simply say that if people are ready and anxious for it, let them have the power of refusing licences; but the Bishops put it into other hands to grant licences, and interfere with the magisterial discretion in regulating the public-houses and beer-shops. Now I say if that be the case, they certainly go further than I go, and they are advocating a more extreme measure than mine. The House cannot, perhaps, go so far as these extreme men go. I think it would be well if they would come forward and support mo, "rejoicing in the day of small things." I am quite willing to support them. I think it would be well if they would come forward and support me, and give me their assistance, when they know that I am perfectly ready to support them heart and soul when they choose to bring forward their more complete measure into this House. But, perhaps, my hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough may aspire to be what is called a practical man. I found out lately what a practical man is. A practical man, according to the newspapers, is one who abuses Sir Wilfrid Lawson's scheme and does nothing at all himself. Now, do not let my hon. Friend fall into that practical error. Let him vote with me to-day, and when his elaborate Bill comes in next year—if he brings one in—he will find no more hearty supporter than I shall be. Then, there is a great objection to this Bill because it is permissive. I do not know how it got the name of the Permissive Bill. There are heaps of Permissive Acts. I believe it is called the Permissive Bill, because the people of this country have a belief that it will do more good than all the other Permissive Acts put together. Tour present licensing law is permissive. Nobody knows that better than the Home Secretary sitting opposite me. No magistrate is obliged to licence any place. The district is marked out for him, and he is permitted to licence those places which, again, to use the words of the right hon. Member for Birmingham, produce crime, disorder, and madness in the country, and all that I want to do is to make a little alteration in that permissive law, and to permit the people to prohibit licences in these districts. It is clearly an alteration in the bye-laws of the country. I may be told, and told very truly, that this law will only come into operation in a few places. That is not my concern. I advocate it because it is just, and I wish to do justice to those places which are ready for it. I quite admit that there are many places which are too foolish to think of putting it into force. Knowledge comes and wisdom lingers, and it will be a good while before many places are wise enough to do away with the public-houses. But there are some simple people who will be wise enough to do it, if we are wise enough to sanction their doing it. Well, there is good done if you only clear out one place. I see the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire sitting opposite to me, and once he, when we were debating this matter, reproved me for my Bill, and said that if the drunkards could not get their liquor in one parish under the operation of my Bill, they would go on to another. That is an extraordinary idea. The idea of the right hon. Gentleman was that we should have a law provided for an equal distribution of drunkards throughout the country. Why, if they went to the adjoining parish, that parish would have nothing to do but to adopt the same course that No. I had done. If that was done the drunkards would have to go on and on, from parish to parish, until at last they would get to some place where their society was valued and appreciated. And that is very likely what would happen. I was told a story the other day by an hon. Friend of mine who knows a good deal about the Dominion of Canada. He said that there the Lower House of Representatives abolished the bar where the Members were in the habit of enjoying themselves and getting their liquor; and the consequence was that as the Members could not get their liquor there, they went away to the bar of the Upper House, where they could, and there was always great difficulty in getting them back to a division. And that might be the case here. If this bar were done away with, I can fancy that hon. Members would go up to the bar of the House of Lords, and drink with the Peers Spiritual and Temporal, and we should find a difficulty in getting them back again. And if the bar of the House of Lords were done away with, we should have the Peers Spiritual and spirituous coming down here for their liquor. Then we are told that the people would not be benefited by this measure. I deny that utterly. I say that such an Act as this would have a great moral effect even in places where it was not adapted. The publicans would feel that there was the sword of Damocles hanging over them, which only wanted the breath of public opinion to bring it down and polish them off. This would be the state of feeling. The people in a district where the Act was in force would see that pauperism and crime were decreasing, and the publicans in other districts would say—"This will not do; we must restrain ourselves; we must not go too far; we must not sell too much drink. Another suicide, a couple more murders, or, what will perhaps have more effect, another penny in the pound on the rates, will drive the people to put the Permissive Bill in force." My right hon. Friend the Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) has been in America lately, and he kindly gave me a few facts which had been collected by the Governor of Rhode Island. The Governor of Rhode Island made a few inquiries into the operation of the prohibitory law in Rhode Island, where the Act is in force. Some men said it worked well, and some said it did not; and from one man he got this answer— "In my opinion, the moderate drinking party are getting as much liquor as they want, while the notoriously drunken party are not." Two men of the latter class were asked why they worked more steadily than they used to do, and the answer was—"Because we cannot get the liquor, for the liquor-sellers dare not sell enough to make us drunk, lest we expose them." I do not know whether hon. Members remember seeing an excellent picture which appeared last year in one of our illustrated weekly periodicals. There is a gin-shop and a wretched, ragged, half-starved, miserable human being, such as we manufacture wholesale by our system, is standing at the door. There is a comfortable, well-dressed landlady standing at the bar, and she looks at the poor wretch who has been made what he is by drink, and she says to the potboy— "Joe, turn that lot out." Joe replies to the landlady—"He says he has fourpence." "Then," says the landlady, "ask the gentleman what he will have to drink." That requires no explanation. But, Sir, surely if this Bill is opposed because it is a Permissive Bill, the right hon. Gentlemen whom I see on the Treasury Bench ought to be the last men in the world to oppose a Permissive Bill. Has not the whole of this Session been permissive legislation from beginning to end? The Local Government Board brought in a long Bill relating to the public health, and the clauses are permissive from beginning to end. Then there is the Home Secretary who has brought in an Artizans Dwellings Bill. There is also a Permissive Bill. It permits a locality to remove houses which produce immorality, crime, and misery. I want a Bill to allow localities to remove the public-houses, which also produce immorality, crime, and misery. And then I come to the Prime Minister himself. We are all looking forward with intense eagerness to the day when he will bring in the Agricultural Holdings Bill, and that, I understand, is a Permissive Bill. It is only to come into force when people choose that it shall come into force. And last year what did we see? There was a great Bill for reforming the Church, and it is to come into force on the 1st of July. And in it the parishioners are permitted to bully any clergyman they may please who happens to be distasteful to them. That, the great Bill of last Session, is a permissive measure, and on the 1st of next July the aggrieved parishioners will be out on the war path. And is the Government, who supported that Bill, to get up and say—"We condemn the Permissive Bill?" I do not know whether we shall have the old argument that education is a sovereign cure. Well, I was told that when I first brought the Bill in 11 years ago, and you have been educating at high-pressure ever since. It should begin to tell a little, instead of which I prove to you that things are worse to-day than they were 11 years ago. But I do hope that hon. Gentlemen who talk about education being a sovereign cure will tell us how long we are to wait for it and when it is to be effectual. I am sure that if we wait until education cures drunkenness we shall have to wait a long time, and so long as you have a half-educated population, I say that it is a crime to set this temptation before them, and then every Sunday to go to church and say—"Lead us not into temptation." Now, Sir, I suppose the Government will oppose me. I have always observed during rather a long course of observation of Home Secretaries, that nothing rouses them to such a Parliamentary frenzy as the mention of the Permissive Bill. Even Sir George Grey used to get excited, and as for Mr. Bruce, his wrath was terrible. And even my right hon. Friend opposite, courteous and good humoured as he is, gets into a species of fury when this terrible measure is brought forward, and calls upon his own party and the whole House to give it its final quietus, which he has not succeeded in doing. But I am anxious to hear to-day what his policy really is on this matter, because I know that he is quite as anxious to promote temperance as I am. There is nothing I hate so much as to be called the "apostle of temperance." [Laughter.] The House laughs, but I am not jolting. I say that any man who would wish to continue the drunkenness which exists in this country is not a man but a devil. The only difference between me and my hon. Friends on whichever side of the House they sit, is as to the means of doing it. I do hope that nobody, either in ridicule or praise, will call me the "apostle of temperance," any more than my hon. Friend the Member for Derby. But I have hopes of the Home Secretary, because at Whitsuntide he employed himself in the midst of his arduous avocations very usefully, and went down to meet his constituents and lay the foundation stone of a church. He was well received—as I believe he ought to be. There was a promiscuous gathering of all classes and ranks to receive him. There was a volunteer corps, a number of clergymen, a Band of Hope; there were several brass bands playing Moody and Sankey hymns; and the discourse he delivered on that occasion was so good that he will excuse me reading it to the House. He said to his constituents— People said, why won't you make laws for the suppression of vice and for the furtherance of virtue? We might make laws, but we could do little in that direction by that means. We could not make laws much in advance at any time of public opinion. Exactly. That is my Bill, you know. And it was the laity of the Church of England and of all other Churches who had to help to form that public opinion which eventually found its expression in the laws of the land. Now he would take, as an instance, the crime of drunkenness. How much, when they went away from that place, would many of them see of drunkenness, vice, immorality, and wretchedness, even throughout that town of Garston? How much of that did they think by their example they could help to put down? A nation was merely made up of families and neighbours. They might take the husband and the wife, the parent and the child, or the workman and his fellow-workman, and think how much each individual could do to show the drunkard the shame of drunkenness and to make him hate it; show him that, at all events, if he did not hate it that they hated it, and that so long as he continued in that evil course they could not hold out to him the right hand of fellowship that he should otherwise have. They must remember when they talked of the responsibility of the clergy that there were responsibilities of the laity. He would appeal to the wives and mothers of England whether they did not think that by their example and influence they could do much to mitigate the vice, misery, and drunkenness which we at the present moment saw around us. Is there any man in this House who will say that the present system is kept up by the women and children of this country? You know as well as I do the whole benefit goes to the men, and that the women and children are the sufferers. The right hon. Gentleman may remember that in a weekly London paper, which writes me down, they said long ago that if this question was left to the women of England they would almost unanimously pass this Bill. My right hon. Friend spoke well and feelingly about it; but was his conscience clear? He talked about the husbands, wives, children, and fellow-workmen, but how much has he said to check drunkenness? What has he done for his constituents? Why, last year he opened the public-houses two hours a-day more. To-day, perhaps, he may suggest something. He may perhaps say that although he cannot support this Bill, he will do his best to bring in another Licensing Bill and strike another blow next year. ["No, no!"] Not likely, I know. But I warn him that if he hoists the flag of "No surrender" he will bitterly regret that he has not listened to the voice of those who have asked him to protect his fellow-countrymen in this matter. I know it might be painful to him to bring in a Bill to make an attack on the drinking business, because we know there are many excellent gentlemen, closely connected with it, who would not like to see their gains diminished. But it is a still more painful thing to lot the people of this country understand that the law is made for the benefit of one class, and not for the benefit of the whole community. Sir, I had an illustration of what people think upon this matter when I paid a visit the other day to Sandwich—so admirably represented by my right hon. Friend on the front Opposition bench—and I must say I wonder how such an excellent and good man ever got to represent such a place. I never was in such a place in all my life. I remember a friend of mine told me the story of a man in America who was in the House of Representatives in one of the Western Legislatures, and he was a very drunken man and used to go to the House intoxicated. Somebody on one occasion remonstrated with him, and he said—"Well, the fact is, I am never too drunk to represent my constituency." Now, that is why I say my right hon. Friend is not in his right place; for if, instead of being a sober and excellent and good man, he was a regular rowdy, he would still be far too good to represent that constituency. It was only the other day I saw, on Her Most Gracious Majesty's birthday, that the ships in the harbour or canal, there instead of having their banners flying, as they ought to have done, had them only half-mast high. An inquiry was made why this was done, and it turned out that the men had only had half allowance of beer, proving clearly what is said in many parts of the country is true, that beer is king. I went there once to advocate this little measure of mine, not to do them any harm, but to explain to them that I thought it right that in some places they should be allowed to do without public-houses. But there was a crowd and a great riot when I arrived there. There were sweeps and scavengers, penny whistles and trumpets, and a number of men who declared their devotion to King Beer. They made the greatest tumult and would not allow me to explain my Bill as calmly and with so good a reception as the House has given me to-day. They made such a fearful row that I could hardly speak. At last I called up some of the rioters to the platform and asked them what they had to say. One of those rioters came up three parts drunk, and I said to him—"Now, sir, what have you got to say on this matter." The man turned and pointed to the great brewer of the place—but I must do him the justice to say that he sat in his place without making any row at all—and said—" What's to become of this gentleman?" Now, when my right hon. Friend gets up do not let him have in mind the 25 brewers who sit in this House and ask—"What is to become of these Gentlemen?" Do not let him think what is to become of those Gentlemen, but let him think what is to become of the country, and then he will act far more as becomes a statesman. Depend upon it, Mr. Speaker, you may build artizans' dwelling-houses, you may increase the police, you may erect schools, you may lay the foundation stones of churches, and you may even introduce barbarous punishments into the law, but you will have no satisfactory change in the habits of the people so long as, for the sake of filling the pockets of the publican and the Exchequer of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, you thrust unbounded temptations upon the people of the country, leading them to vice, immorality, and crime. I do not, Sir, defend this Bill upon teetotal grounds. Somebody always gets up and says this is a teetotal question. I believe that the teetotalers are very worthy men, and I respect them. They are a trouble to nobody except to the Members of this House, by sending up boundless Petitions. I appeal to this House, as citizens anxious for the wisest and best laws, regardless of what our personal habits may be in this matter. I have known staunch teetotalers in this House, who have gone on platforms and denounced strong drinks, who yet did not vote for people being permitted to protect themselves from these temptations to drunkenness; and, on the other hand, I have known a brewer who has given me great assistance in this House, and who has voted for the Permissive Bill. Sir, I thank the House for having listened to me so patiently. I hope they understand now the object, the principle, and the machinery of this Bill. At a meeting the other day, a licensed victualler said the agitation for this Bill was unhealthy and venal. I must say that, although I have incurred a great deal of ridicule by carrying on this agitation, I am not aware that one of us will gain a half-penny by it; whereas those gentlemen who send out these circulars over and over again tell us that their interest and livelihood are involved in it. A charge of venal motives therefore does not come with a good grace from them. Well, at all events, I am not doing it for venal motives. I do hope that the House will agree with me that this is a serious case for inquiry and reform. You may again reject this Bill, and I shall not reproach anyone who votes against it in the conscientious belief that temperance is to be promoted by allowing magistrates to force public-houses on reluctant neighbourhoods. You may reject the Bill, and we shall have another year of unchecked steady drinking, misery, crime, immorality, brutality, and pauperism. I ask support only from those who believe that their fellow-countrymen are fitted for local self-government and may be safely entrusted with a power which they can employ for no other purpose than to promote the order, prosperity, happiness, and morality of the community.


said, he must deny that the House of Commons wished to encourage drunkenness. He, for one, disliked drunkenness as much as any of the supporters of this Bill, and he thought that the law on the subject showed that the Legislature had always had in view the discouragement of undue temptations to indulgence. But he was opposed to this Bill because it would interfere not only with the private habits of individuals, but with that liberty which constituted the pleasure of life. The hon. Baronet the Member for Carlisle had given an account of what took place at a meeting where he was opposed by persons who were averse to his Bill. He (Mr. Alderman Cotton) had had a somewhat similar experience. He did not consider that teetotalism promoted the amenities of life. He was invited to attend a temperance meeting, and spoke; but the moment he expressed a modified dissent from some of the views put forward he was greeted with groans and hisses, and when he said that he believed Sunday was better observed in this than in any other country in the world, he was hooted in such a manner that not a word could be heard, and an Irishman very frankly told him—"Faith, I wish you had never come at all." With respect to the Bill itself, he had little to add to what had been so well said already on the subject. As to the amusing description of the hon. Baronet of the influences which prevailed at ordinary public meetings, he could imagine the hon. Baronet presiding at a temperance meeting, where the aroma of coffee, the strength of the tea, and the enthusiasm of those present might produce a not less marked effect than conviviality had upon Tarn o'Shanter—"Kings might be blessed, but Carlisle glorious, o'er all the fumes of tea victorious." It might be objected, further, that temperance people were not temperate, as they did not confine themselves even to cold water or tea, but indulged in peppermint, cloves, and other stimulants— Ye Gods! what nectar have we here Lemonade or gingerbeer, Peppermint or spicy clove, The drinks of ever mighty Jove! He agreed with those who thought that the best means of attaining the object in view was to promote an improvement in the character of the people of this country by moral and educational means. He did not think there was any necessity for Paliament to interfere in the way it was called upon to do. In conclusion, he thought the hon. Baronet the Member for Carlisle had no more right to call upon the House to prevent a working man from having a glass of beer than they had to pass a Bill to compel him to drink brandy; and he should therefore give his cordial vote against the Bill.


said, that during the many years he had been in Parliament he had always voted against the "Permissive Prohibitory" Bill, but had never deemed it necessary to trouble the House with his reasons for doing so. If he now broke silence it was entirely owing to the action of his worthy and eccentric Friend the hon. Baronet the Member for Carlisle. Impelled by the restless activity of his nature and his ardent desire to prevent everybody from drinking any thing of a stimulating character, the hon. Baronet, as he had informed the House, had recently quitted his northern home and paid a visit to the shores of Kent. Why he should have selected Sandwich for the scene of his operations, he (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) could not tell. So, however, it was, and that ancient town, in which from time immemorial people had drank their beer and been all the better for it, was startled out of its propriety by the appearance of this perambulating advocate of an irritating and irksome restriction. The hon. Baronet had suppressed part of the succeeding narrative which he (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) was bound to supply. He was informed upon credible authority, that some of his constituents were so much astonished at the appearance of his hon. Friend that they prepared to give him practical proof that there was cold water as well as beer in Sandwich, by subjecting him to summary immersion in the canal. He (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) must offer, on behalf of his constituents, an apology to the hon. Baronet, for the treatment with which he had been threatened. He was sure the hon. Baronet would pardon it the more readily, inasmuch as his constituents had tempered their zeal with discretion, and mixed mercy with their justice; for, as the canal was deep and the bank steep, he understood that ropes and ladders were in readiness upon the spot, to avoid the possibility of a fatal termination to the career of his hon. Friend. He had, however, fortunately escaped to an adjoining school-room in which he held a quiet meeting, and revenged himself by a hostile criticism of his (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen's) Parliamentary conduct upon the question now before the House. What he said, he (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) knew not, for having written to him respecting certain statements imputed to him, he had replied that he had never made them. In the course of the correspondence which followed, his hon. Friend had invited him to come down and discuss the question at Carlisle, but as he (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) was not fond of going where he had no earthly business to go, he had replied that he would state his objections to the Permissive Bill in the proper place for a Member of Parliament—namely, upon the floor of the House of Commons. At that hour he would not attempt to go at length into the question; but he would state as briefly as he could some half dozen objections to the Bill, each of which appeared to him to be conclusive against it. First, however, he would protest against the assumption by the hon. Baronet and his followers of a monopoly of virtue, or of that particular virtue which led men to desire that others should be sober and temperate. He (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) and those who thought with him, were just as much alive to the evils of drunkenness as the supporters of the Bill. They only differed as to the manner in which those evils should be subdued. His hon. Friend said—"Excess of drink causes evil to the people, therefore shut up the public- houses and let nobody have anything at all to drink." In fact, his argument went to this—that you should remove temptation from the people. But drink was not the only temptation. Two days ago, whilst talking to his hon. Friend he had observed that he had on a very nice gold watch-chain. He did not know whether he had it still, as he had observed that in the interval he had attended a crowded meeting of tee-totallers, and possibly the principle of his own Bill might have been applied to him and his power of tempting people to steal removed. But, whilst he had it, and openly displayed it, he directly tempted the cupidity of his fellow-creatures, and to be consistent he should forbid portable property of value to be thus displayed and carried about. The fact was, that his hon. Friend would find the task endless and hopeless, if he intended to remove temptation from human nature. They were told on high authority to "resist the devil and he will flee from you," but his hon. Friend proposed to abolish the devil altogether, which he would find somewhat difficult. The truth was that we never could remove temptation from human nature, but what we might do and should aim at was to improve and strengthen human nature so that it might be better able to resist temptation. Now, let him state some" of the main arguments against the Bill. In the first place, it was subversive of all the principles upon which England and most other civilized countries had been governed for many centuries. Among savage tribes, and with men in a primitive state, no doubt actual majorities made laws and imposed them upon the minority. But as nations increased in number and intelligence, they found it better to entrust the making of their laws to representative bodies. So in England Parliament made laws which the people obeyed, and the administration of these laws was entrusted to a limited executive. But this Bill would reverse this system, and revert to the old plan, and yet do so in a clumsy and imperfect manner. The ratepayers were not synonymous with the people, and it would be quite possible that two-thirds of the ratepayers might be the minority of the population in any given area. But if two-thirds of the ratepayers were to be the best judges upon this particular question, why not upon other questions of a social and political character? It was impossible that they could stop at this particular point, if they once admitted the principle. He (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) remembered that he had given an answer to the first deputation which, years ago, had waited upon him upon this question, which answer had since been given by greater men, and was now familiar to the House. He had said— If your principle is good for anything, you must carry it further. You say that you desire to free the people from a poison which injures their bodies. But there are moral poisons which injure the soul. If the ratepayers are to close the public-houses, why may not they close the Roman Catholic chapels, where a majority of two-thirds of Protestants can be found; and in Ireland why may not the similar majority of Roman Catholics close the Protestant churches? And let them remember that in each case those majorities would believe—and honestly believe—that they were preventing the diffusion of a moral poison as pernicious to the welfare of the souls of the people as excess of drink was to their bodies. But if you carried out the principle you would soon bring Government to a dead-lock, and all would be inextricable confusion. Well, then, another objection to the Bill was this, that it would be adopted just in the places where it was least wanted. Where the habits of the people did not lead them to frequent public-houses, the Act might be adopted; but where the contrary was the case, and where most drinking prevailed, the requisite majority would never be obtained. Then, again, it would operate unequally. Take Sandwich, for instance. His hon. Friend would probably now be of opinion that there was little chance of his Act ever being adopted there. But close by Sandwich was the village of Eastry, recently declared a "populous place," and under the immediate wing of the hon. Member for Gateshead (Mr. James) a devoted supporter of the Bill. Suppose he should persuade two-thirds of the ratepayers of Eastry to adopt this Act. What would be the consequence? The drinking portion of Eastry would come down to drink in Sandwich, and if there" were evils in that town in consequence of drink, they would thereby be increased. Moreover, the Bill was incomplete and illogical. It made it a crime to sell liquor in certain cases, but not to buy it; so that anybody might freely buy beer in Sandwich and give it away for private drinking in Eastry. And it left the manufacture of the article untouched, whereas if it was wrong to sell and consume it, they ought surely to declare that it was wrong to make it at all! Then there was the old argument that this would be class legislation. He (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) disliked clap-trap phrases; but this much was certainly true, that whilst the rich man, who had his club, and who could store large quantities of wine and beer in his house, would escape the operation of this Act; the persons who would feel it would be the poor men who could get their drink nowhere else but at the public-houses. Then this legislation would produce illicit distillation, and smuggling, and as a matter of fact we should have just the same things going on as at present, only they would be done furtively and secretly, instead of, as now, openly and under proper regulation. One more objection to the Bill was this—that it would afford one more subject for agitation, and that agitation would undoubtedly take place from one end of the country to the other. The truth was, that from first to last, the advocates of this measure confounded the use with the abuse of liquor. Take other instances. People blew themselves up occasionally with gunpowder, and therewith wars were waged and great misery inflicted upon nations. But would the hon. Baronet therefore forbid the use of gunpowder for the many useful purposes for which it was employed by mankind? Take another instance. Litigation was a thing which had ruined hundreds and thousands. Would the hon. Baronet therefore close the Courts, imprison the lawyers, and have no more law in the country? He did not wish to detain the House longer, but the hon. Baronet had blamed him (Mr. Knatchbull-Hugessen) elsewhere, though not in that debate, for having remarked that with regard to licensing measures, he advocated consulting the brewers and licensed victuallers. What he had said he would frankly and boldly repeat. The licensed victuallers, rightly or wrongly, had been placed by Parliament in this position—that under a legal system of regulated monopoly, they had to guide and maintain the liquor traffic. He thought therefore that it had always been a gigantic mistake to consider them, as some legislators had appeared to do, as if they were public enemies, and that in bringing forward measures affecting their trade—a trade in which £120,000,000 of capital were embarked—it would have been well to consult, not those who were the advocates of restriction and the declared enemies of the trade, but those who were conversant with its organization, and who might be able to advise as to the manner in which necessary restrictions and proper supervision might be secured with the least possible interference with a legitimate trade, and the smallest possible amount of public inconvenience. It was most desirable, no doubt, that only fit and proper houses should be licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquors, and that only fit and proper persons should be entrusted with the traffic. If the House desired to diminish the evils of drunkenness in the country, they must proceed by other agencies than those which alone appeared to suggest themselves to the mind of the hon. Member for Carlisle. They would never effect their purpose by sudden and impulsive action, by coercive legislation, or by harsh restrictions which were not in consonance with the feelings of the general community. The work must be done gradually and cautiously. They must endeavour to elevate the physical and moral condition of the classes among whom the evils of drunkenness principally prevailed. The progress of the educational movement—in spite of the slighting tone in which it had been spoken of by the hon. Member for Carlisle—would do something, but there was more that might be done. Improvement of the dwellings of the operative classes, so that a man might not have to seek in the public-house that cleanliness and decency which he ought to find at home—this was one point of importance. Another was the providing of innocent recreations for the people, so that the poor man might learn some higher notion of pleasure than that of drowning his cares in beer, and find some other place than the tap-room in which he might enjoy social amusement and friendly conversation. But, after all had been done, evil would remain as long as human nature remained what it was, even if every public-house in England could be closed at once and never opened again. You could not cut down drunkenness like a tree, but you might do much to mitigate the evil-Punish the drunkard if you would, and consider drunkenness as an aggravation of crime instead of an excuse for it, as had too often been the case. Guide, instruct, elevate as you would; but the public opinion of this country would never allow you to punish the abuse of liquor by one man in 1,000 by forbidding its use to the other 999. The attempt to do so would inevitably fail, and if this Bill were carried it would create evasion and deception, and would ultimately be followed by a revulsion of feeling which would increase ten-fold the evils against which it was aimed. It would fail because it was unwise and unjust; it would fail because its operation would be unequal and oppressive; above all, it would fail because both in its conception and its execution it was opposed to the thoughts, the feelings, the traditions, and the character of the English people.


I support the measure before the House because I consider it to be a moderate proposal for dealing with a gigantic evil. When first I heard of this measure, some years ago, I withheld my support until I had heard speeches for and against it. I have heard speeches on the Permissive Bill, and I say that I have been made a determined supporter of the Permissive Bill by those speeches which have been made against it in this House and elsewhere. I am sorry. Sir, that I cannot indulge in the compliments which usually pass across the Table between the friends and foes of the Bill, because I charge against the opponents of the measure, and especially against the hon. Member for Leeds (Mr. Wheelhouse), the greatest insincerity and inconsistency. I do not find any consistency in any speech which has been made against the Bill. The hon. Member for Leeds said, in the course of his speech, that the public-house was the poor man's cellar. But does he believe it is the poor man's cellar? No, for if he does he would give him the same access to it as the rich man, and not shut it up at 12 o'clock at night. Are you sincere, honest, and consistent in arguing as you do, and opposing the Maine Law when you have a Maine Law of your own during 8 out of every 24 hours? During the debates on the Public-house Bills, I heard no argument to show why public-houses should be closed at 1 o'clock in the morning any more than they should be closed at noon-day. Rich men can have their drink at 1 o'clock in the morning, and if the public-house is the poor man's cellar, why cannot the poor man also have his beer at 1 o'clock in the morning? Why does not the hon. Member for Leeds stand up in his place and say that the poor man should have access to his cellar as well as the rich man, and at all hours? He does not do so because he has not the courage of his convictions; and I say he is inconsistent. Again, the hon. Gentleman the Member for Rochester is guilty of the grossest inconsistency, as I have seen him constantly voting for prohibition. [Mr. GOLDSMID: No, certainly not.] I am very much mistaken if I have not seen the hon. Gentleman again and again during the discussion on the Liquor Bill vote upon the question of limiting the hours during which the public-houses should be open. [Mr. GOLDSMID: I invariably voted for the longest hours.] If the hon. Gentleman wishes to be considered consistent, he should vote for making the trade entirely free. And here is another anomaly—those who oppose prohibition practise it. Recently in Dublin, in a district where there was no public-house, the licensed victuallers feed counsel to prevent a man, if possible, from getting a licence when he applied for it. What is that but carrying out the provisions of the Permissive Bill? Amongst themselves, in their own selfish interests, the publicans carried out prohibition; but where it is to be not by themselves, but by the people in the interest of the public, the licensed victuallers brought all their force to bear to prevent the Permissive Bill from being passed into law. But Parliament, too, is not consistent. It is admitted that the liquor traffic must be regulated, and if regulated, is it the public convenience, or the licensed victuallers' which is to be studied? Seek to disguise it as you may by all these arguments—I can scarcely call them such, but I do not like to call them "pretences"—your whole object is to prevent the working classes of this country getting their hands upon this traffic to raise themselves out of their misery. [Cries of "Oh, oh!" and "No, no!"] Whoever cries "No," and "Oh," let him trust the people—let him trust to the votes of the people. I charge this, and I say there is a silent proof of the progress of the views I am expressing in the debate this afternoon. We have heard less of the arguments which used to be used, about the publican being the friend of the working man, and the people being in favour of the publican. I also notice that the tide is rising in our own colonies. Wherever the people have raised themselves to what is called popular Government—whether in Australia or Canada or the United States—people are getting their hands upon this traffic, and are endeavouring with might and main to suppress it; and as the people attain to power in England so will the publicans' supremacy come to an end all over the land. And I cannot help offering upon this question my protest against the conduct of the Government, especially in so far as the Bill applies to Ireland. A majority of nearly 2 to 1 of the Irish Members are in favour of the Bill. The Irish Solicitor General the other night, when a certain constitutional question was under discussion, invited Irish Members to direct their attention to moral questions. Well, this is a moral question on which Irish Members are substantially united; and when we ask to have our magistrates and Judges taken at their word, and to be allowed to free ourselves from a great evil, this House, in which the popular liberties have been abridged, insist upon our retaining institutions for manufacturing criminals and filling gaols.


said, he had hoped that the speech of his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary last year might have had some effect on the hon. Baronet the Member for Carlisle, and convinced him, as he had taken the sense of the new Parliament on the question, that it would be well not to force on the House of Commons annual repetitions of these debates. Again, judging from a speech which the hon. Baronet made the other day, it would appear that his own hopes of success were so small as to induce him to carry out that object. For he found the hon. Baronet stating that probably the measure which he advocated would not become law in the lifetime of any of those whom he addressed.


denied he had ever made use of any such expression. The hon. Baronet was quoting from the observations of another speaker.


said, he was sorry he had misrepresented the hon. Baronet, but could assure him he had not intended to do so. Turning, then, to the main question, he would say that the arguments against the Bill were plain and simple, and were fully and explicitly stated in the speech of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck). That hon. and learned Gentleman had, in a few words, placed before the House all the faults of the measure, and his (Sir Henry Selwin-Ibbetson's) own belief agreed with that of the hon. and learned Gentleman—that it was neither a wise, a useful, nor a practical proposal. No doubt the hon. Baronet the Member for Carlisle thought that if Parliament accepted this measure it would add to the temperance of the country, but the sobriety of the country was not to be promoted by enforcing it even where a majority was in its favour. On the contrary, the effect of that would be to drive the inhabitants of those localities who wished to indulge in the use of intoxicating drinks into neighbouring places where no such prohibition was in force. It was clear that the measure would not produce that amount of sobriety which was expected from it. The same people who drank now would find the means to drink even should the Bill become law, and thus in passing it Parliament would not do anything to aid or promote the cause of temperance. In stating this he wished the hon. Baronet to believe that those who opposed that day, and had always opposed his measure had as anxious a wish as he himself had to see drunkenness done away with, and the only question in dispute between them was as to the best method by which that could be accomplished. Now what was the history of the question? There were some who considered that to throw the trade entirely open would be the proper panacea of the evil. The number was very limited. Then there were others who followed the hon. Baronet in this crusade against public-houses, and their number, he was inclined to think, was also limited. Then there was the large portion of the population which had always recognized the liquor traffic as a necessity, and that the proper mode of dealing with it was by regulation. Every Government that had hitherto undertaken to deal with it had followed that view of the case. The whole tone of legislation on the subject was to the effect that, admitting public-houses to be a necessity, the State should interfere and regulate them so as to guard against their abuse. Lord Aberdare had legislated in that spirit, and the Bill of his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department had been in the same direction. The hon. Baronet had quoted some statistics; but he did not place much reliance upon them, as they did not come before him with a trustworthy sound. The hon. Baronet had referred to the 348,000 convictions for drunkenness which had taken place in the course of a year; but even allowing it to be true, it did not represent a correct estimate of the arrested persons, for he omitted to explain that in that total there were included repeated convictions of the same offender, in some instances, he regretted to say, 30 and 40 times over. But even supposing the number represented so many individual drunkards, he would ask the hon. Baronet if he considered the existence of 348,000 drunkards a large proportion of a population of upwards of 21,000,000 of people. For his own part, he did not think it was by any means a large percentage, nor did he think it either wise or prudent to endeavour to restrict the large majority of the people in the reasonable use of intoxicating drinks because there were a few who were not able to control their own acts. He believed that by promoting such measures as the Artizans Dwellings Bill, so as to secure better houses for the working people, and by improving the education of the young of both sexes, they were working for the very proper results which the hon. Baronet had in view. In pursuing that policy they were, he believed, doing that which would produce those good results; whereas if they endeavoured to bring them about by a process of coercion they would produce disorder and confusion, and indefinitely postpone the object which the hon. Baronet had so much at heart. For instance, he would ask the House to try and imagine the confusion which would ensue if it were left to two-thirds of the ratepayers in any locality to decide whether there should be a public-house allowed within it or not. There would be a constant canvassing going on and constant altercation; and the three years during which the prohibition was in force, if they succeeded, would be made use of in efforts to reverse the policy. There was another point he wished the House to consider. The great object of Parliament hitherto had been to bring into the trade men of respectability possessed of a large amount of capital, so that it would be their interest to keep their houses in the best possible order; whereas if they adopted a system under which a man might be allowed to open a public-house to-day, and to-morrow find it swept away by the decision of two-thirds of the ratepayers, how would they, he wished to know, be able to get into the trade that amount of capital and respectability which they desired? In that way, they would lose the surest guarantee for the trade being properly conducted. Again, he objected to the ratepayers being considered the representatives of the population. They were only about one-fifth of the whole population, and they were not, and could not be, the exponents of the wishes of the whole body of the people. Besides, the ratepayers were men who had not the same necessity to be supplied from the public-house with the beverages which the mass of the people required, inasmuch as they had them stored in their own homes, and the result would be the tyrannical imposition of their ideas upon the subject upon those who did and might require them. For these reasons he should oppose this Bill as he had done on previous occasions. He would now refer to the argument of the hon. Member for Louth (Mr. Sullivan), in which he stated the House was afraid to trust the people in this matter. That argument went a good deal further. The whole history of Government in this country was that the people delegated their power to their Parliamentary Representatives, and acquiesced in the laws which they made on their behalf, and was the House now to hand that power back to them and allow the inhabitants of each locality to legislate for themselves. That was not, in his opinion, a wise policy for them to adopt. He believed the Bill would be resisted by the Representatives of the people for even a longer period than had been stated in the speech to which reference bad been made, It was repugnant to the whole history of our legislation; and, in conclusion, he trusted the decision of the House would be a repetition of the decision it had arrived at before, and that the hon. Baronet would, for the future, devote his brilliant talents to the furtherance of measures which would bring and create among the people the feeling of self-restraint.


said, that last year he felt it his duty to oppose the Bill of the hon. and genial Member for Carlisle (Sir Wilfrid Lawson), and he should do so on the present occasion, although he saw a considerable improvement in the debate, inasmuch as they had not had the American experience trotted out for their admiration—inasmuch as it was now admitted that prohibitory legislation had not proved beneficial in that country. His opposition to the Bill was based on entirely different grounds from those stated by previous speakers. He opposed it on the ground that it was asking Parliament to do that for the people which the people could, if they pleased, do for themselves. They could be sober if they pleased, without being forced to be so, and had the matter entirely in their own hands. They had been told about what had been done by the people of Seghill and Saltaire, and he did not find fault with them for it, but would say to those who admired them for it to go and do likewise, and to leave alone those who did not. They had heard from the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Roebuck) that he had been informed that a fund of £100,000 had been subscribed for getting up Petitions on this question. He believed that that was the case, but he would ask those who had contributed to that fund to apply it in the employment of popular advocates who might go about the country teaching the people the advantages of self-reliance instead of binding them up in the swaddling clothes of a Permissive Bill. The people had already contributed millions towards the establishment of co-operative societies and other social organizations, and if they were only let alone, more sobriety and good order would be got out of them by their own voluntary action than could be secured by the passing of this measure. He hoped, therefore, the House would reject the Bill, and that, too, by such a majority as would tell its advocates that they must seek to carry out their objects by the agencies he had pointed out rather than by Parliamentary interference. Public-houses would not exist if the people did not want them, and this was not the way to get rid of them. If they did not want them, it would be as just to pass a law to compel them to go into them as it would be to pass the Bill to shut the public-house door in their face when they did require the accommodation which it afforded them. The hon. Baronet had spoken of a certain amount of drunkenness in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Well, what did that prove? Why, it simply showed that in Scotland they had been legislated to death on this question of the liquor traffic. A public-house in Scotland could not open before 8 o'clock in the morning, and it must be closed at 11 o'clock at night, while on Sundays it was not allowed to open at all. The result was that there was a great deal of private drinking carried on. He regretted to have to say, but it was well the House should know it, that he had seen more drinking in a village of 1,000 inhabitants in Scotland, under its restrictive law, than he had seen in London with its 4,000,000 of inhabitants. If they wished the people to be improved let them open museums, so that the people might go there. Let them open their picture galleries, so that they could go there. Let institutions in connection with the Arts and Sciences be placed in all their great cities, and then they would voluntarily emancipate themselves, and when they had emancipated themselves they would stand erect in their own virtue, and would not be bound up in the swaddling clothes of a Bill called permissive, but which he looked upon as being tyrannical.


I shall not at this hour, when hon. Members are evidently so anxious to go to a division, detain the House more than a very few minutes. Indeed, I should not have spoken at all but for an observation or two which fell from the hon. and learned Gentleman who moved the rejection of the Bill (Mr. Wheelhouse). While admitting, as he could not but do, the vast number of Petitions which had been presented in favour of the Permissive Bill, he said it was a very easy matter, with a good organization and a free expenditure of money, to obtain any number of signatures in favour of any- thing. If that be so, why have not the licensed victuallers and publicans loaded the Table of the House with Petitions against the Bill? It will not be contended that it is because they are indifferent to the passing of the measure, for that we know is not the case; nor will it be argued that they are too poor or too weak, for they boast that they are the wealthiest trade in the country, and we know that their organization is of the completest kind. The only conclusion, therefore, to which we can come is, that they do not petition because the people will not sign their Petitions so readily as the hon. and learned Member for Leeds would wish us to believe. I believe a large number of the most active and most intelligent of the working classes of the country are in favour of this Bill. I know that many of the Petitions from my own neighbourhood are signed by working men, for I have examined them carefully; and I know further, that the persons who have interested themselves in obtaining these signatures are working men, who, after a laborious and exhausting day's work, and at considerable personal trouble and inconvenience, have canvassed for signatures in favour of the Bill. And it is an unworthy and altogether undeserved imputation on the character of these men to suggest that their unbought, and I may add their unpurchasable services, have been secured by the payment of money. The hon. and learned Member said he questioned whether there were half-a-dozen men who signed these Petitions who did not themselves drink beer. Prom the confident manner in which he spoke he seemed to believe that no one could exist, much less perform hard work, without intoxicating drink. Well, Sir, that is a great mistake. If I may, without presumption, refer to my own experience, I may inform the House that from the time I was 10 years of age until I was 28 I worked as a coal miner, a kind of employment which is generally acknowledged to be of the most arduous nature, and all the hard physical labour I ever performed was done without intoxicating liquors of any kind. Nor is my experience at all singular in this respect. There are tens of thousands of working men in all branches of trade who work every day without beer, and if we may take their word for it, they are unanimous in their testimony that they can perform their work, not simply as well, but much better without the drink than with it. But, Sir, this is not a temperance question. It is a question of whether or not the inhabitants of a locality should have a voice in deciding if they will have public-houses, or that magistrates and landowners should decide that for them. There are about 2,000 parishes in the United Kingdom in which, by the will of the landlord, no public-houses exist. If these houses are such a blessing, and are really, as so many Members say, a public necessity, I join my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle in asking why the Government does not make some provision for these unfortunate districts? Reference has been made by the hon. Member for Carlisle to Seghill Colliery, and as I am well acquainted with the circumstances of the case, the House, impatient as it naturally is at this hour, will perhaps allow me to briefly refer to the subject. My hon. Friend, I think, did the proprietor of the colliery in question more than justice when he attributed his conduct in closing the public-houses of the village altogether to benevolent motives. ["Oh, oh!"] Well, I am quite willing to allow the gentleman referred to as as high ground as he claimed for himself at the time. I accompanied the workmen on the deputation to him when the suggestion to close the public-houses was made. He said he received certain pecuniary advantages from these houses, but, on the whole, when he took into consideration the loss of work caused by drinking, he questioned very much whether he was at all benefited by such property. He had been told, he said, that a large number of the workmen were anxious to have the public-houses closed, and if the feeling of the men could be fairly tested, and he found a large majority in favour of abolishing the public-houses, he would shut them up altogether. When the vote was taken there were, I believe, seven to one in favour of abolishing the public-houses. These houses were, therefore, shut up, and Seghill was all the better for it. It is, indeed, I must admit, contended by some that the village is now again as bad as ever. ["Hear, hear!"] Yes, Sir, that may be, but why is this? The fact still remains that the people when appealed to deliberately gave their verdict against the public-houses, and Seg- hill is not worse because the people cannot get drink, but because, in spite of the best intelligence and the highest moral sense of the community, beer-houses have been opened out in another part of the village instead of the public-houses. My hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Mr. Macdonald), who has just addressed the House, has told us that the hon. Member for Carlisle had this year taken new ground in advocating his Bill. I may remind my hon. Friend that he, too, has taken new ground in attacking it. Last Session he opposed it because he said it was an arbitrary and tyrannical measure; but before he sat down he told us that if it had been a Maine Law to sweep) away the drink altogether he would have supported it. That may be quite consistent. It seems to me at least just as consistent as the position which he and other hon. Members have taken to-day in considering it a right and proper thing for landowners and employers of labour by their own will to sweep public-houses away, and yet to refuse to the people who suffer and pay the cost the right for a voice in a matter which so deeply concerns them. We have just been told that this is a working man's question. I ask my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford, who has so often rendered such good service to the working classes, and I ask other hon. Members who profess to have an earnest desire to protect and take care of their interests, to; show their confidence in and their respect for the working men, by allowing them to say for themselves whether or not they want beer, rather than to have it forced upon them when they do not want it, and to be prevented from obtaining it when perhaps they would like to have it.

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

The House divided:—Ayes 86; Noes 371: Majority 285.

Words added.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.

Second Beading put off for three months.

Allen, W. S. Birley, H.
Balfour, Sir G. Brocklehurst, W. C.
Bazley, Sir T. Brogdem, A.
Biggar, J. G. Brown, A. H.
Burt, T. M'Combie, W.
Callender, W. R. M'Laren, D.
Cameron, C. Maitland, J.
Carter, R. M. Monck, Sir A. E.
Chadwick, D. Montagu, rt. hn. Lord R.
Chambers, Sir T. Moore, A.
Close, M. C. Morgan, G. O.
Cole, H. T. Morley, S.
Conyngham, Lord F. Mundella, A. J.
Corry, J. P. Noel, E.
Cowan, J. O'Clery, K.
Cowen, J. O'Neill, hon. E.
Crossley, J. O'Reilly, M. W.
Dalway, M. R. Parnell, C. S.
Davie, Sir H. R. F. Potter, T. B.
Davies, D. Reed, E. J.
Davies, R. Richard, H.
Dease, E. Richardson, T.
Downing, M'C. Sinclair, Sir J. G. T.
Fletcher, I. Smith, E.
Fordyce, W. D. Smyth, E.
Gouley, E. T. Stuart, Colonel
Grieve, J. J. Sullivan, A. M.
Harrison, J. F. Talbot, C. R. M.
Havelock, Sir H. Tracy, hon. C. R. D. Hanbury-
Holland, S.
Hughes, W. B. Trevelyan, G. O.
James, W. H. Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill-
Jenkins, E. Waddy, S. D.
Kenealy, Dr. Wallace, Sir E.
Kinnaird, hon. A. F. Ward, M. F.
Laing, S. Whalley, G. H.
Leith, J. F. Whitwell, J.
Leslie, J. Whitworth, B.
Lewis, C. E. Whitworth, W.
Lloyd, M. Wilson, C.
Lush, Dr. Young, A. W.
Lusk, Sir A.
Macgregor, D. TELLERS.
Mackintosh, C. F. Johnston, W.
M'Arthur, A. Lawson, Sir W.
M'Arthur, W.
Adam, rt. hon. W. P. Bentinck, G. C.
Adderley, rt. hon. Sir C. Bentinck, G. W. P.
Agnew, R. V. Beresford, Lord C.
Allen, Major Beresford, Colonel M.
Allsopp, C. Bolckow, H. W. F.
Allsopp, H. Boord, T. W.
Amory, Sir J. H. Booth, Sir R. G.
Anderson, G. Bourke, hon. R.
Arkwright, A. P. Bousfield, Major
Arkwright, F. Brassey, H. A.
Arkwright, R. Bright, E.
Astley, Sir J. D. Bristowe, S. B.
Bailey, Sir J. E. Broadley, W. H. H.
Barclay, A. C. Brooks, W. C.
Baring, T. C. Bruce, rt. hon. Lord E.
Barrington, Viscount Bruce, hon. T.
Barttelot, Sir Walter B. Bruen, H.
Bass, A. Brymer, W. E.
Bass, M. T. Buckley, Sir E.
Bates, E. Bulwer, J. R.
Bateson, Sir T. Butler-Johnstone, H. A.
Bathurst, A. A. Cameron, D.
Beach, rt. hn. Sir M. H. Campbell, C.
Beach, W. W. B. Cartwright, F.
Beaumont, W. B. Cartwright, W. C.
Bective, Earl of Cave, rt. hon. S.
Benett-Stanford, V. F. Cave, T.
Cavendish, Lord F. C. Foster, W. H.
Cawley, C. E. Fraser, Sir W. A.
Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G. French, hon. C.
Chapman, J. Freshfield, C. K.
Charley, W. T. Gallwey, Sir W. P.
Childers, rt. hon. H. Galway, Viscount
Christie, W. L. Gardner, J. T. Agg-
Churchill, Lord R. Gardner, R. Richardson-
Clifford, C. C.
Clifton, T. H. Garnier, J. C.
Clive, hon. Col. G. W. Gibson, E.
Clive, G. Gilpin, Colonel
Clowes, S. W. Goddard, A. L.
Cobbett, J. M. Goldney, G.
Cobbold, J. P. Gordon, rt. hon. E. S.
Cochrane, A. D. W. R. B. Gordon, W.
Cole, Col. hon. H. A. Gorst, J. E.
Colebrooke, Sir T. E. Gower, hon. E. F. L.
Collins, E. Grantham, W.
Coope, O. E. Greenall, G.
Corbett, Colonel Greene, E.
Corbett, J. Gregory, G. B.
Cordes, T. Grey, Earl de
Cotes, C. C. Grosvenor, Lord R.
Cotton, Alderman Gurney, rt. hon. R.
Cowper, hon. H. F. Hall, A. W.
Cross, rt. hon. R. A. Hamilton, I. T.
Cubitt, G. Hamilton, Lord G.
Cuninghame, Sir W. Hamond, C. F.
Cust, H. C. Hanbury, R. W.
Dalkeith, Earl of Hankey, T.
Dalrymple, C. Hardcastle, E.
Davenport, W. B. Hardy, rt. hon. G.
Denison, C. B. Hardy, J. S.
Denison, W. E. Hartington, Marq. of
Dickson, Major A. G. Harvey, Sir R. B.
Dilke, Sir C. W. Hay, rt. hon. Sir J. C. D.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Hayter, A. D.
Dodson, rt. hon. J. G. Heath, R.
Drax, J. S. W. S. E. Helmsley, Viscount
Duff, M. E. G. Henley, rt. hon. J. W.
Duff, R. W. Hermon, E.
Dundas, J. C. Hervey, Lord F.
Dyke, W. H. Heygate, W. U.
Dyott, Colonel R. Hick, J.
Eaton, H. W. Hildyard, T. B. T.
Edmonstone, Admiral Sir W. Hill, A. S.
Hodgson, K. D.
Egerton, hon. A. F. Hodgson, W. N.
Egerton, Adm, hon. F. Hogg, Sir J. M.
Egerton, hon. W. Holford, J. P. G.
Elcho, Lord Holland, Sir H. T.
Elliot, Sir G. Holmesdale, Viscount
Elphinstone, Sir J. D. H. Holms, J.
Emlyn, Viscount Holms, W.
Errington, G. Holt, J. M.
Eslington, Lord Hood, Capt. hn. A. W. A. N.
Estcourt, G. B.
Evans, T. W. Hope, A. J. B. B.
Ewing, A. O. Horsman, rt. hon. E.
Fawcett, H. Howard, hon. C. W. G.
Fellowes, E. Hubbard, rt. hon. J.
Fielden, J. Hunt, rt. hon. G. W.
Finch, G. H. Isaac, S.
Fitzwilliam, hon. C. W. W. Jackson, H. M.
Johnson, J. G.
Floyer, J. Johnstone, Sir F.
Foljambe, F. J. S. Jolliffe, hon. S.
Folkestone, Viscount Jones, J.
Forester, C. T. W. Karslake, Sir J.
Forster, Sir C. Kavanagh, A. MacM.
Forster, rt. hon. W. E. Kennard, Colonel
Forsyth, W. Kennaway, Sir J. H.
Kingscote, Colonel Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Kirk, G. H. Pell, A.
Knatchbull, Sir W. Pemberton, E. L.
Knatchbull-Hugessen. rt. hon. E. Pennant, hon. G.
Percy, Earl
Knightley, Sir R. Phipps, P.
Lacon, Sir E. H. K. Pim, Captain B.
Lambert, N. G. Plunket, hon. D. R.
Lawrence, Sir J. C. Plunkett, hon. R.
Learmonth, A. Polhill-Turner, Capt.
Lee, Major V. Portman, hon. H. W. B.
Lefevre, G. J. S. Powell, W.
Legard, Sir C. Power, R.
Legh, W. J. Praed, C. T.
Leigh, Lt.-Col. E. Praed, H. B.
Lennox, Lord H. G. Price, Captain
Lindsay, Col. R. L. Price, W. E.
Lindsay, Lord Puleston, J. H.
Lloyd, S. Raikes, H. G
Lloyd, T. E. Ralli, P.
Locke, J. Ramsay, J.
Lopes, H. C. Bead, C. S.
Lopes, Sir M. Rendlesham, Lord
Lowther, hon. W. Repton, G. W.
Lowther, J. Ridley, M. W.
Macartney, J. W. E. Ritchie, C. T.
Macdonald, A. Rodwell, B. B. H.
Macduff, Viscount Roebuck, J. A.
MacIver, D. Russell, Lord A.
Mahon, Viscount Ryder, G. R.
Maitland, W. F. Sackville, S. G. S.
Majendie, L. A. St. Aubyn, Sir J.
Malcolm, J. W. Salt, T.
Manners, rt. hn. Lord J. Samuda, J. D'A.
March, Earl of Sanderson, T. K.
Marten, A. G. Sandford, G. M. W.
Martin, P. W. Sandon, Viscount
Massey, rt. hon. W. N. Sclater-Booth, rt. hn. G.
Matheson, A. Scott, Lord H.
Maxwell, Sir W. S. Scott, M. D.
Mellor, T. W. Scourfield, J. H.
Merewether, C. G. Seely, C.
Mills, A. Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir H. J.
Mills, Sir C. H.
Monckton, F. Sheridan, H. B.
Monckton, hon. G. Sherlock, Mr. Serjeant
Monk, C. J. Shorriff, A. C.
Montgomerie, R. Simon, Mr. Serjeant
Montgomery, Sir G. G. Simonds, W. B.
Moore, S. Smith, A.
Morgan, hon. F. Smith, F. C.
Mowbray, rt. hn. J. R. Smith, S. G.
Mulholland, J. Smith, W. H.
Muncaster, Lord Somerset, Lord H. R. C.
Muntz, P. H. Spinks, Mr. Serjeant
Murphy, N. D. Stafford, Marquess of
Nagnten, Lt.-Col. Stanhope, hon. E.
Neville-Grenville, E. Stanhope, W. T. W. S.
Newdegate, C. N. Stanley, hon. F.
Newport, Viscount Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.
Noel, rt. hon. G. J. Starkey, L. R.
North, Colonel Starkie, J. P. C.
Northcote, rt. hon. Sir S. H. Steere, L.
Sturt, H. G.
O'Brien, Sir P. Swanston, A.
Onslow, D. Sykes, C.
O'Shaughnessy, R. Talbot, J. G.
Paget, R. H. Tavistock, Marquess of
Palk, Sir L. Taylor, rt. hon. Col.
Parker, Lt.-Col. W. Taylor, P. A.
Pateshall, E. Tennant, R.
Peek, Sir H. W. Thynne, Lord H. F.
Peel, A. W. Tollemache, W. F.
Torr, J. Whitbread, S.
Torrens, W. T. M'C. Whitelaw, A.
Tremayne, J. Williams, Sir F. M.
Turnor, E. Wilmot, Sir H.
Vance, J. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Wait, W. K. Winn, E.
Walker, T. E. Wolff, Sir H. D.
Walpole, hon. F. Woodd, B. T.
Walpole, rt. hon. S. Wyndham, hon. P.
Walsh, hon. A. Wynn, C. W. W.
Walter, J. Yarmouth, Earl of
Waterlow, Sir S. H. Yeaman, J.
Watney, J. Yorke, hon. E.
Weguelin, T. M. Yorke, J. R.
Welby, W. E.
Wellesley, Captain TELLERS.
Wells, E. Goldsmid, J.
Wethered, T. O. Wheelhouse, W. S. J.

House adjourned at Six o'clock.