§ (6.) £536, House of Commons Offices.
§ SIR HENRY HOLLAND
said, he did not know whether this Vote had reference to the shorthand writers in the Reporters' Gallery; but, if it did, he wished to express his satisfaction at the decision Mr. Speaker had arrived at to allow the gentlemen of the Press to continue the use of Committee Room "No. 18." He had served on the Committee appointed to inquire into the accommodation given to the reporters, and, with other hon. Members, had been shocked at the small amount of room given to them, and the great inconvenience which they suffered. He, with others, had carefully inquired into the matter; and had recommended that, if possible, a Committee Room should be set aside for the accommodation of the reporters. That recommendation had, unless he was misinformed, been, at all events for the present, set aside by some orders which had been circulated; but it was with great satisfaction that he had heard that, since the issue of those orders, Mr. Speaker had found himself able to allow the reporters to continue the use of the Committee Room.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
wished, if it were competent for him to do so, to draw the attention of the Representative of the Office of Works to this Vote. First, however, he wished to say that the Government ought either never to have begun giving a subsidy for reports of the proceedings of the House, or ought now to go a great deal further. He held that the reports of the debates in the Houses of Parliament formed part of the history of the country—the most important part of that history. Those who had been compelled to read the thick volumes of Hansard would know that the gentlemen who prepared the reports had much better material to draw upon 20 or 30 years ago than they had now; for, in the days of which he was speaking, Parliamentary debates were reported in the newspapers with great fulness and completeness; whereas hon. Members knew that in the smaller space of the cheap penny papers of today, those reports had to be made very short. He would not go so far as to say 982 that the newspapers afforded no materials for supplying a report of Parliamentary proceedings; but he would ask why, seeing that the Government had gone so far, they had not a sufficient staff for reporting all the proceedings? This was the only important Legislature in the world which had not a complete official report of its debates. He did not know whether he should be in Order in the observations he was now about to make. He was glad that the right hon. Gentle man the Postmaster General (Mr. Shaw Lefevre) no longer had control of the internal arrangements of the House, partly because the change had given the right hon. Gentleman promotion—for he (Mr. O'Connor) supposed the right hon. Gentleman now held a better Office— and partly because he had appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to make certain improvements in the House, and the right hon. Gentleman had never done so. It was to be hoped that the right hon. Gentleman's Successor would prove a little more amenable to reason. Some hon. Members were compelled to spend in the building the greater part of the 24 hours every day for six months in the year; and they, there fore, had a right to ask that their comfort should be well attended to. He would appeal to the late Chief Commissioner of Works to make one or two reforms. In the first place, he might make the means of communication between the different parts of the House—
This Vote deals simply with the shorthand writers—? therefore the hon. Member is not in Order in discussing the question of the means of communication in the House.
§ MR. HIBBERT
I may explain that this Vote is caused by the Autumn Session. It is the additional money paid to the shorthand writers for the additional work they did during the Autumn Session.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (7.) £796, Privy Council Office.
§ SIR R. ASSHETON CROSS
How does it happen that there is no original Estimate at all under this head? It must have been known when that Estimate was prepared that this work would have to be done.
§ MR. HIBBERT
The proposal to spend this money in this way was made after the Estimates were laid on the 983 Table last year. Previously, statistics were obtained by sending round circulars and forms to be filled up; but it was considered that more trustworthy information as to the produce of the country might be obtained by means of collectors. The system we have adopted has been in operation in Ireland for many years past.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
asked how the statistics were collected? How did the collectors obtain them—from whom and how?
§ MR. HIBBERT
said, there could be no doubt that the new system was much better than the old. The Returns this year were much more satisfactory than those hitherto obtained. Great praise had been given to them, greater care having been bestowed upon their collection than formerly. The collectors were sent round to the different farmers to procure all the information they required.
§ SIR ALEXANDER GORDON
asked whether the Government would consider the propriety, under the new system, of assimilating the form of Returns in England and Scotland to that of Ireland? It would be a great advantage to have one uniform system in the Three Kingdoms.
§ MR. HIBBERT
said, the subject would be considered with a view of taking what steps were possible to carry out the suggestion for uniformity.
§ Vote agreed to.
(8.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £2,825, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1885, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Charity Commission for England and Wales.
§ MR. ARTHUR ARNOLD
said, he wished to know whether there was not an item in this Vote for alterations to Gwydyr House in Whitehall; and, whether the cost of those alterations was to be defrayed by the State?
§ MR. SHAW LEFEVRE,
in reply, said, that the money was now being paid by the country; but it would be refunded by the City of London Parochial Charities. The alterations had been rendered necessary by the appointment of an increased staff in connection with the Parochial Charities.
§ MR. ARTHUR ARNOLD
There has been no transfer of the administration of the Parochial Charities to the State?
§ MR. SHAW LEFEVRE
Only for a certain time. Either the total sum will be paid out of the funds of the Charities, or a rate will be levied for 10 years, which will cover the whole amount.
§ MR. JESSE COLLINGS
said, this Vote for the Charity Commissioners seemed an ever-increasing one. It was now £37,000 per annum, and he ventured to say there was no Department giving greater dissatisfaction in the country. This dissatisfaction was not often expressed, it was true; but that was because it was felt amongst poor people, who had no means of expressing it. They had only to suffer, and suffer often very grievously, through the policy adopted by the Charity Commissioners. He considered it was time that this centralization, in regard to the administration of Charities, should be put an end to, and that the localities—or, rather, the poor in them—should be protected by having their concerns managed by their Representatives. The people whom the Charities affected should not be at the mercy of some half-dozen men sitting at Whitehall. To illustrate what he meant, and bring the subject home, he would mention the case of Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham. The poor people, from time immemorial, or for a very large number of years, had enjoyed certain privileges and rights. Those privileges and rights consisted of gifts of various kinds, such as boots and shoes, and medical attendance when sick, which was a very important privilege. What were the Charity Comnmissioners doing at Sutton Coldfield?—and, in mentioning that case, and that scheme, he was only giving an instance of what the Commissioners were doing, and had been doing, throughout the country. They were taking away the ancient privileges of the poor to a large extent, and were about to establish a high school for girls which could only be taken advantage of by the wealthier classes. He had not the least objection to a high school for girls. On the contrary, he believed in schools of the kind. He did not think, however, that they 985 should be established by the confiscation of the rights and privileges of the poor. But to show the contempt with which the Charity Commissioners treated all the wishes and the representations of the Local Authorities and the people in the localities, he might say that the members of the old Governing Body of Sutton Ooldfield—which place was about to be incorporated—had been joined by representatives of the people appointed in public meeting, and had met to confer together on the new scheme for the Sutton Coldfield Charities. This representative Body had agreed — as he thought, too freely—to surrender up certain rights belonging to the poor; but though they had agreed to go a long way in that direction, the Charity Commissioners were not satisfied without having a far larger share taken away from the poor. It came to this— that a gentleman had the matter in hand who knew nothing about the locality, and was seeking to over-ride by his will the combined opinion of all concerned in the locality. The people of the country were having their eyes opened to the action of the Commissioners in these matters; and the time, he thought, would soon come when they would be determined that this system of centralization should no longer exist. The matter was one which the Government should take up, for, so far as he could find out, the Charity Commissioners were responsible to no one. They could do any amount of evil in small places where public opinion did not exist, or where it was powerless. They had their own way, and the poorer classes had only to suffer. Then the Charity Commissioners had the administration of the Allotments Extension Act. He believed that in every other Department of the Government, without exception, when a new Act of Parliament was passed, to come under its administration, the rule was for the Department to communicate with those concerned, informing them of the passage of the Act, and giving directions concerning it. Not only had the Charity Commissioners neglected to do that, but, when asked to do it, they had sheltered themselves under the declaration that the Act of Parliament did not require them to do it. That, with other things, indicated, if not hostility, at any rate indifference, to an Act which was in- 986 tended to, and did, confer great benefits upon the poorer classes in those districts which needed help. He could assure the Committee that the times were not so good in these rural districts and poor places to admit of any of the small charities they had being taken away from them; and he could further assure the Committee that if Parliament did not protect these places the Charity Commissioners would not. The present policy of Parliament was being rebelled against; and he knew of no action anywhere which was creating such grave dissatisfaction as the action of the Charity Commissioners. Take the case of the Allotments Act. Only this week he had written to, or directed a letter to be sent to, the Charity Commissioners, informing them of certain action which was about to be taken by some trustees of charity lands. He had not been aware that this Vote was coming on tonight, otherwise he would have provided himself with the particulars of this case. The place, he believed, was somewhere in Norfolk—at any rate, it was a place where the trustees of charity lands were about to let those lands by auction in defiance of the 4th clause of Allotments Act, which directly required them to offer their lands to the labouring poor of the district. They had written to the Commissioners—it was not the first, nor the second, nor the third time they had done the same in other places—asking them not to allow this action of the trustees. He did not know whether any reply had been received during the last two days. Certainly, up to Thursday none had come. The auction was to take place on Monday next; and, if it was not stopped, these lands would be placed beyond the reach of those poor people for the length of time—whether short or long—for which the lands were held under the terms of the letting. If the House of Commons passed a law, was it going to have it carried out, or was the Government going to sit still and see the Department which had the administration of that law defy and defeat the Act? If it did, hon. Members who felt as he did on this question could only appeal to the constituencies to know if that sort of thing was to go on. He could occupy the time of the Committee for a much longer period in simply giving a list of the grievances which 987 these poor people had suffered at the hands of the Charity Commissioners; but he would not do so. There wore other charges to be brought against the Commissioners, which would come under the head of positive breaches of faith. He would again allude to a case which was coming up and would continue to come up until it was satisfactorily settled—namely, the case of the Tonbridge School. That school, according to the original scheme, was to have been in or near the town of Tonbridge. A short time after that scheme was settled on, the Charity Commissioners sprung a mine on the Tonbridge people, and it was found that in the scheme had been placed the words "in or near the parish of Tonbridge," and the consequence was that the school would be placed in the town of Tonbridge Wells. The Skinners' Company had given £10,000 of their own money, and another £10,000, making in all £20,000, on the faith of the school being placed in Tonbridge. He contended, therefore, that what the Charity Commissioners had done—or what they proposed to do in this matter, for the transaction was not yet completed—amounted to nothing less than a breach of faith. The action of the Commissioners was affecting the public good, and particularly the interests of the poor. He was, of course, not bringing personal charges against the Commissioners, but only condemning their policy. Doubtless, they themselves considered their policy to be right, but he conceived it to be wrong; and he and those who acted with him, who knew that the poor classes were suffering extremely from the operation of that policy, had a right again and again to impeach that policy until the House and the country saw that it was time to put an end to the system, as foreign to our ideas of right, and as unnecessarily expensive. As a business man, he ventured to assert that all the work for which they paid this £37,000 they could easily get satisfactorily performed if they reduced the sum by £20,000. Tie would move that the Vote be reduced by £2,000.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £825, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1885, for the Salaries and Expenses of
the Charity Commission for England and Wales."—(Mr. Jesse Collings.)
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
said, ho entirely sympathized with what had fallen from the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Jesse Collings) in thinking that the Endowed Schools Commission was one of the most unjust and injurious Commissions in the country. It was continually shifting up the recipients of the benefits of endowments—that was to say, endowments which had been intended for the poor were shifted up to the higher classes. As, however, he understood the Vote was not to be increased, he hoped the hon. Member would rest satisfied with the protest he had made, and would refrain from going to a division.
MR. ILLING WORTH
said, he thought that what had been pointed out by his hon. Friend (Mr. Jesse Collings) was really deserving of the attention of the Committee. When, originally, the Endowed Schools Commission was appointed, its operations were confined within a comparatively small compass. Year by year its operations had been extending, and the interests at stake and affected wore now very great. The work of the Endowed Schools Department had passed into the hands of the Commissioners. They had an assurance from the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department a short time ago that the work in connection with the London Charities would only continue for a short period. So they were assured when the operations of the Endowed Schools Commission were started. He (Mr. Illing-worth) remembered his right hon. Colleague (Mr. W. E. Forster) stating that the work of the Commission would be completed in three or four years, and yet the work of the Commission was going on still. He would venture to point out that the work of this Department was very anomalous. In connection with almost all other Departments of the State there was someone in the House who would accept responsibility for the work done. There was the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Council (Mr. Mundella), who was now in his place. He (Mr. Illingworth) would be the last man in the world to suggest that, in addition to the work in his hands, the right hon. Gentleman should be asked to attend to the details 989 of this Department; but, at the same time, it was absolutely necessary that the House of Commons should fix the responsibility somewhere. [Laughter The right hon. Gentleman smiled at the excuse he (Mr. Illingworth) was furnishing for him; but he had heard from the right hon. Gentleman's own lips in that House, in regard to the Commission, declarations of this sort—"Of course it was impossible for him to know everything that was going on in regard to the administration of this Department." The work the Department was doing was very important nationally, and the policy of the Commissioners was a matter of the greatest interest to the people of the country. He did not say he went, in details, with his hon. Friend (Mr. Jesse Collings). He thought a Commission of this character would be useful; but it ought to be kept within strict limits in order to carry out the principles laid down by legislation. In all questions of finance—questions affecting the administration of the funds—Parliament should break up the work of the Commission and delegate the main part of it to the local bodies in the country. He wished to ask this. If Parliament had deliberately sanctioned and given over to the municipalities of the country power to deal with rates amounting to hundreds or thousands a-year, in particular municipalities, how was it to be made out that these same municipalities were incapable of dealing with these paltry little trusts? It was true that Parliament had laid down the lines on which public money should be spent; and, in the same way, it seemed to him that Parliament had done everything that was necessary when it had indicated the way in which the funds of these trusts should be expended. Now, there were two Commissions in this anomalous position, and in regard to which the House of Commons had no direct power. They all knew it was very hard work for Parliament even to control the Departments over which it had substantial and immediate control; but it was impossible for it to exercise control with regard to this Commission, and that even older one which it had on its hands—namely, the Ecclesiastical Commission. Take the personnel of the Commission. There had been complaints—well-grounded and wide-spread complaints—on this head, since almost 990 The creation of the Commission. There used to be, practically, a religious test applied, marking down that no Dissenter was to be regarded as a fit man to be on the Commission. Administration after Administration, year after year, had been applied to to break down this test, applied in such a paltry spirit. A large and influential class of Her Majesty's subjects—a class largely interested in the trusts, and very materially affected by the operations of the Commissioners—were without representation on the Commission. Ultimately a temporary Commissioner was appointed from that body— appointed to a position than which there were one or more larger positions open to him. Now, he, for one, thought a very important change in the character and working of this Commission and also of the Ecclesiastical Commission was necessary; and he hoped the Government would take the advice given to-night as being indicative of the very strong feeling prevalent in the country in regard to the matter. If the hour were not so late, and other Business were not before them, he should venture to support what he had already said by a statement of grievances which had been brought under his notice in different parts of the country. It was a disgrace to the British people, or, at any rate, to the British Parliament, that they tolerated the one-sided and arbitrary dealings of the present Charity Commission. The paltry details into which they entered, the arbitrary decisions at which they arrived, and the trouble which they gave trustees, went to show it was high time there should be something like a radical reform in the Charity Commission.
§ MR. W. H. JAMES
said, he did not intend to waste the time of the Committee by entering at length into the doings of the Charity Commission. He desired, however, to express his opinion that much good would result from the appointment of a Minister responsible for the Charity Commission. He had always been struck by the great difficulty of transferring the powers of the Commission to local bodies. The functions of the Charity Commission were really those of a Court of Law and Equity, and he failed to see it would be possible to transfer such functions to municipal bodies. He hoped the views which had been expressed by his hon. 991 Friend the Member for Ipswich (Mr. Jesse Collings) with regard to the eleemosynary duties discharged by the Commission were not likely to find general acceptance. The duties of the Charity Commission were the result of the labours of some of the ablest and most learned and most distinguished men of the last 30 or 40 years; and any hon. Gentleman who took the trouble to examine Lord Brougham's Report and the proceedings of the subsequent Commissions would find it was utterly impossible to revert to the old and iniquitous state of things, a state of things which the country unanimously condemned.
§ MR. HIBBERT
said, he hoped his hon. Friend the Member for Ipswich (Mr. Jesse Collings) would not persist in the Motion he had made, but would be satisfied with the protest ho had made respecting the dealings of the Charity Commission. He (Mr. Hibbert) knew the hon. Gentleman held very strong opinions on the question; but a Committee had sat upon the subject, and he should have thought his hon. Friend would have been satisfied with the long inquiry which the Committee held. He believed that the Committee approved of the working of the Charity Commission. He could not avoid saying that, to a certain extent, he sympathized with that part of his hon. Friend's speech in which he said it was most-desirable that there should be some Department of the State responsible for the work of the Commission. He quite agreed that if some responsible Department of State could represent the Charity Commission, great good would accrue. At present, he failed to see that any bodies in the country were fitted to undertake the work of the Commission. Probably, when they got a proper system of local government they might be able to transfer to the County Boards some part of the work that was now done by the Commission. Reference had also been made to the working of the Allotments Act. As a matter of fact, he gave his hon. Friend (Mr. Jesse Collings) every assistance in the carrying of that Act, and he had always wished to see it carried out in the best way possible. At the same time, he could not avoid drawing his hon. Friend's attention to the fact that the present Estimate was for the salaries of the Endowed Schools Commissioners—for three months' sala- 992 ries—which could not be included in the Vote which was brought forward during last Session; and, therefore, as this was merely a carrying out of the Vote of last Session, he hoped his hon. Friend would not persist in his Motion.
§ MR. JESSE COLLINGS
said, he thanked his hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Hibbert) for the very satisfactory manner in which he had alluded to the possibility of placing the duties of the Charity Commission in the hands of the rural municipalities, which it was hoped would shortly be created. He ventured to say that nothing short of that would satisfy the electors of those rural municipalities, for this was becoming—very fast becoming—little short of a national question. He felt sure that nothing short of putting the interests of localities in the hands of the representatives of localities would satisfy the people. He desired to say a word or two with regard to the remarks of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Gateshead (Mr. W. H. James). He (Mr. Jesse Collings) was somewhat ridiculed because he upheld so-called charities, and ho wanted to make himself thoroughly understood. He did not wish to maintain any particular form of charity. If it was thought demoralizing to give boots and clothes to the children of the poor, let the system be altered; but do not take away the charity altogether; do not take away from the poor the proceeds of charities which belonged to the poor, and had been enjoyed by the poor for generations—do not take them away and give them to the higher classes. His hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead and his hon. Friend the Member for Stoke (Mr. Woodall) were afraid the poor would be demoralized by having these gifts made to them, yet they did not seem afraid that the rich would be demoralized by their children getting an education worth £20 a-year for £10. In the case of the wealthy classes, the demoralization ought to be much greater, because many of them could afford to pay the £20. He was not objecting to free education; he should like to see all education free; but he objected to take free education away from the poor on the plea of its demoralizing character, and giving it to the wealthier classes. In the case of a great endowment at Birmingham, of which he was a Go- 993 vernor, he had seen boys coming on horseback and in carriages from mansions—coming to have free teaching and a splendid educational banquet, while the poor were not allowed to pick up the crumbs which fell from the table. For generations this had gone on, and not a single word had been said about demoralization; but the moment the Education Act of 1870 was passed, and thereby opened the door by which the poor could come in to enjoy this better education, the Charity Commissioners stepped in and put up the barrier of payment; and they did it because, in their opinion, it would be demoralizing to the poor if they should have a free education. It was high time that they should get rid of the cant as to the demoralizing effect of these gifts upon the poor. That these gifts should be confiscated, or taken from the poor, and granted to people who were well able to pay for them, was an increasing grievance throughout the country. This was a matter which he hoped both sides of the House would unite in rectifying, and he agreed with his hon. Friend the Member for Bradford (Mr. Illingworth) that there were no means of protecting the privileges and, he would say, the property of these poor people, but by taking them out of the hands of a centralized body, and placing them in the hands of the representatives of localities. It was a farce to suppose that half-a-dozen men sitting in Whitehall could know all about the position and circumstances of 20,000 parishes in the country, and could regulate everything for the best. The Commissioners were partial in their election of trustees. They did not want trustees who represented the people, but trustees who represented their — the Commissioners' own—policy; and if they could not find men in the locality to represent their policy, they went miles away to find them. He again thanked his hon. Friend (Mr. Hibbert) for alluding to the possibility, in the promised reform of county government, of placing the management of these things in the hands of rural municipalities. Having received from the hon. Gentleman such an important suggestion, a suggestion which he hoped would mature and ultimately be adopted, he asked leave to withdraw his Motion.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.994
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ (9.) £3,720, Local Government Board.
§ MR. ARTHUR ARNOLD
said, he noticed that there was a charge of £2,600 for Poor Law Medical Officers. Was that a permanent charge, or was it an increase during last year?
§ SIR CHARLES W. DILKE,
in reply, said, it was a self-acting increase. It was one of those unfortunate contributions from the public Treasury towards several salaries, without any will or act on the part of the Government. These were contributions which many of them desired to put an end to; for as long as they went on it was not certain what the amount of the charge would be.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (10.) £6,730, Patent Office, &c.
§ MR. MOLLOY
asked, what the receipts, in the shape of fees in the Patent Office during the period which this Vote covered, amounted to?
§ MR. HIBBERT,
in reply, said, he was sorry he was not able to give the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Molloy) the information he desired; he would, however, obtain it, and very gladly supply it to the hon. Member. The increased, payment was entirely owing to the increased number of applications for patents.
§ MR. MOLLOY
asked, if patents were sent over to Dublin? A few books were sent over occasionally; but there was no public library. A considerable part of this large sum went towards the maintenance of the Patent Library in this country. The library was open to the public without payment. Similar facilities, however, were not given to the public in Dublin. Sanitary works, or works useful to those engaged in building, were not supplied in Dublin. Of course, he did not object to the facilities given to the public in England; but all he desired was that the same facilities should be afforded to the Dublin public. Could the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Hibbert) say whether patent works were supplied to some library in Dublin where they were open without payment to mechanics and others interested in them?
§ MR. SEXTON
said, that he lately put some questions in the House to the hon. Gentleman's (Mr. Hibbert's) Predecessor (Mr. Courtney) with reference to the incompleteness of the indices in the 995 Record Office in Dublin. He had found that the indices were very incomplete indeed. The point was really this—that if, in Dublin, or in any other part of Ireland, an inventor, or a person who imagined himself to be an inventor, desired to compare his work, to ascertain whether he had been anticipated by an earlier inventor, he found very great difficulty indeed. He believed that in most cases such persons had to engage professional help; and in some cases they had even to send to London. The Irish Members objected to this state of things; and they would resist the regular Estimate unless they were assured that the facilities for searching patents in Dublin should be put on the same level as those in London.
§ MR. HIBBERT
said, he should be glad to do what ho could to give the same facilities for search in Dublin as in England. He was rather surprised to hear there was no Library of Patents in Dublin.
§ MR. HIBBERT
promised to inquire into the matter; and he reminded hon. Gentlemen that when the Patents Bill was passing through the House, the President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Chamberlain) said his intention was to give great facilities for search to every person.
§ MR. MOLLOY
said, the library in Dublin was not of the same benefit to the public as the one in London was. It would be extremely useful to persons engaged in scientific work, or in chemistry, if there was in Dublin a library such as was attached to the Patent Office in Chancery Lane. At the latter place a person could find the records not only of the English patents, but of those of other countries—America, Germany, France, Italy, and so on—and, besides, there was a large general library for reference. Those who were engaged in making improvements in machinery, or in regard to the manufacturing industries of the country, had not the means, as a rule, of purchasing books which would enable them to judge of the value of certain inventions. Practically speaking, the libraries in Dublin were not open to the working public. He and his hon. Friends wanted that something of the same value as that in London should be open to the mechanic 996 class in Dublin, and the assurance they asked from the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Hibbert) was that he would see that steps were taken to improve the facilities, in this respect, afforded to the public in Dublin. He (Mr. Molloy) would bring the matter up again on the detailed Estimates. Of course, he did not say that the library in Dublin should be equal in every respect to that in Chancery Lane.
§ MR. HIBBERT
said, he would see what could be done to provide in Dublin the facilities suggested by the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Molloy). The library in Chancery Lane was, of course, much superior to anything there was in any other part of England, and he could not promise that the Dublin library should be made as complete as that.
§ MR. TOMLINSON
asked for an explanation of the item of £229 as a contribution to the International Bureau. This appeared to be a fresh Vote altogether, as there was no original Estimate. He noticed that there was to be an annual subscription to the Bureau of £150; but there was nothing to show what amount the country would be liable for under an arrangement which seemed to have been arrived at. What expenses would fall on the country with reference to this Bureau?
said, in these matters it was usual to give an estimate of the expenditure which would be involved. It appeared there was to be an annual subscription of £150. There were also some preliminary expanses in connection with the Central Patents Bureau at Berne. The question was what would be the final charge which would be imposed on the public by reason of the "adhesion of Her Majesty's Government to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property?"
§ MR. HIBBERT
said, it was shown in the Vote that the annual subscription would be £150. The remaining part of the £229 was spent in expenses before the Bureau was established.
§ COLONEL NOLAN
said, he was afraid the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Hibbert) had lost sight of the point raised by the hon. 997 Gentleman the Member for King's County (Mr. Molloy) in regard to the patent library in Dublin. It was much easier for Manchester men, for instance, to come up to London to search the records than Dublin men, and therefore he thought there should be in Dublin some special means for search, something like what there were in Chancery Lane. He did not think there ought to be a better library in Dublin than there was in Chancery Lane; but in Dublin there was nothing of the kind at all.
said, he wished to make himself thoroughly understood. He could not give a pledge that in Dublin there should be a library equal to that in Chancery Lane; but he would do what he could to give the facilities asked for.
§ MR. MOLLOY
thanked the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Hibbert) for what he had said. It was clear it was too much to ask for an exact copy of the Chancery Lane Library; but what he suggested was that the indices in Dublin should be as perfect as they were here, that there should also be copies of the records of the Patent Offices of other countries, and that there should be such books of reference as were necessary for ordinary needs.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (11.) £15,383, Stationery and Printing.
SIR HENRY FLETCHER
said, he wished to ask his hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Hibbert) for an explanation of the item for printing for Public Departments. He noticed that the additional sum required was £14,000. The original Estimate was £159,000; the total now was £173,000. Perhaps his hon. Friend would say why so large an additional sum was required?
§ MR. ARTHUR ARNOLD
said, it would assist the Committee very much in the discussion of this Vote if they had before them the Report of his hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton (Mr. H. H. Fowler). He wished to ask the Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Hibbert) whether the Report of the hon. Member was complete; and, if so, whether, and when, it would be laid before Parliament? Then there was only one other question he wished to ask his hon. Friend, but it was of a very curious 998 character. There was in this Vote, under the head of "Incidental Expenses," a charge of £820 for "Arrears of preparation of 800 tons of waste paper for sale in the open market." That was about 1s. a-cwt. If that was the charge for the arrears of preparation, what had been the total sum for the preparation of the 800 tons; and when the transaction was complete, what would be the advantage to Her Majesty's Treasury?
§ MR. HIBBERT
said, that, in reply to his hon. and gallant Friend (Sir Henry Fletcher), he was obliged to admit that the increase of £14,000 for the printing for Public Departments arose from the fact that the original Estimate was cut down too much. With respect to the question just asked by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Salford (Mr. Arthur Arnold), he might say that the Report which had been prepared by his hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton (Mr. H. H. Fowler) was complete, and would be laid on the Table of the House in a few days. He was certain that it would have the very good effect of inducing economy in various Departments of the State. With respect to the large quantity of waste paper, to which attention had been called, he had himself been very much surprised at this item, and had inquired into the circumstances, with the result that he found it was necessary, before the paper could be sold for anything like a satisfactory sum, that it should be torn into small pieces, which operation, it appeared, had been originally done by prisoners. Owing, however, to the fact of the prisoners being occupied with other work, their labour was not now available for the purpose, and it had to be carried out by others.
§ Vote agreed to.
(12.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £1,271, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1885, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Fishery Board in Scotland and for Grants in Aid of Piers or Quays.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Sexton.)999
§ MR. HIBBERT
I hope the hon. Member will allow us to finish Class II., of which there are only two Votes remaining.
§ MR. R. W. DUFF
No, Sir; it has nothing to do with that Commission. The Votes are entirely separate.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ (13.) £75, Registrar General's Office, Scotland.
§ Motion made, and Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again,"—(Mr. Hibbert,)—put, and agreed to.
§ Resolutions to be reported upon Monday next.
§ Committee to sit again upon Monday next.