§ [Mr. Arthur Balfour, Mr. Attorney General, Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, Mr. Dalrymple.)
§ [BILL 232.] CONSIDERATION.
§ Bill, as amended, considered.1638
§ (Removal of disqualification of members of Provident Medical Societies.)
Any person otherwise duly qualified to have his or her name inserted in a list of voters entitled to vote at a Parliamentary, municipal, school board, or statutory election, but disqualified by reason of having received relief from the poor rates, who is legally entitled to receive medical assistance or hospital treatment for himself or for any member of his family, from any friendly society or friendly club registered under the Friendly Societies' Acts, or from any provident dispensary or other society or body providing medical assistance or hospital treatment, may claim to have his name inserted in such list of voters;
Such claim shall be in writing, signed by such person, and shall be sent by registered letter, addressed to the clerk to the Board of Guardians in the Poor Law Union in which such person has received relief from the rates, and shall be posted in the present year on or before the first day of September, and in any subsequent year on or before the twentieth day of July;
Every revising barrister shall appoint a day for hearing such claims, and shall give public notice of the. same in the same manner as public notice is required by Law to he given of the holding of Revising Barristers' Courts for the Revision of Lists of Parliamentary or Municipal Voters;
The clerk to the Poor Law Guardians in each and every Poor Law Union shall prepare lists of such claims made by persons who have received Poor Law relief so disqualifying, and shall deliver such lists of claims to the revising barrister on or before the day appointed for hearing such claims, and shall attend in the Revising Barrister's Court to give evidence respecting such claims;
A Post Office receipt for a registered letter addressed to the clerk to the Guardians of any Poor Law Union in which a person claiming under this section has received relief from the Poor Rates, shall he prima facie evidence of such claim having been made and of the date of such claim;
If the revising barrister be satisfied that the person claiming under this section is legally entitled to receive medical relief or hospital treatment from any such registered friendly society or friendly club, or from any provident dispensary or other society or body providing medical assistance or hospital treatment, being in the opinion of such revising barrister a bona fide society or body providing such medical assistance or hospital treatment, the revising barrister shall insert the name of the person so claiming in the list of persons entitled to vote at such election or elections, and such person shall be entitled to vote accordingly: Provided always, That the revising barrister shall not insert any such name unless he is satisfied that the person so claiming is or would be entitled to be placed on such list of voters but for the fact of his having received relief from the Poor Rates,
said, he did so because he thought the
Bill would have the effect of discouraging persons from joining friendly and provident societies, the growth of which latter in Manchester and other districts he regarded with approval. He desired the House to show that some value was attached to the principle of providence in medical and other affairs; and he contended that the persons who belonged to these societies should not he placed on the same level as those who made no provision for themselves whatever. If the clause were accepted by the Government it would not delay the Bill, as he was certain that no one on the Front Opposition Bench would oppose it.
§ Clause (Removal of disqualification of members of Provident Medical Societies,)—(Mr. Thomasson,)—brought up, and read the first time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."
§ THE PEESIDEN-T OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR)
said, that he entirely sympathized with the object which the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Thomasson) appeared to have in view; because he understood that the hon. Member meant to give what encouragement he could to friendly societies, and the Government were anxious to do all in their power to prevent this Bill having any hostile effect upon such societies. It was not possible, however, for them to accept the clause proposed by the hon. Member. If he understood it aright, under this clause a man might receive any amount whatever of relief from the rates; and if he subscribed a single farthing to a friendly society, whatever relief he received from the rates, he would not be disqualified. In other words, the smallest contribution to a friendly society would guard him from the results of the reception of any amount of relief of any kind from the poor rates. He thought that if that was the effect of the proposed clause it would be hardly necessary for him to argue against it. A man might receive a far greater amount from the rates than he had any right to from his society. Therefore, much as he sympathized with the objects of the hon. Member, he could not, on behalf of the Government, agree to this clause.
§ Question put, and negatived.1640
§ MR. JESSE COLLINGS
, in moving the insertion of the following clause:—The term 'medical or surgical assistance' in this Act shall include all medical and surgical attendance and all matters and things supplied by or on the recommendation of the medical officer having authority to give such attendance and recommendation at the expense of any poor rate,said, he thought that it was not necessary to go at length into the merits of the question, as it had already been pretty well thrashed out. He had received scores of letters from doctors, overseers, and medical officers in favour of the proposal he now asked the House to adopt. He had originally thought that the Government had made the provision contained in this clause; but on Tuesday, when the hon. Member for South Leicestershire (Mr. Pell) had asked the Question whether medical comforts and medical extras, such as beef tea or port wine, would be included under medical relief, he had heard with profound astonishment that medical relief was only to include drugs and physic. Under these conditions, he maintained that the Bill was a mere sham. On Tuesday night the noble Lord the Secretary of State for India (Lord Randolph Churchill) and the hon. and learned Member for Monaghan (Mr. Healy) held an informal meeting to see what should be forced on the House in reference to the measure. The hon. and learned Member for Monaghan twitted hon. Members for their slow zeal in the matter. But he begged to point out that the action of the hon. and learned Member for Monaghan and his Friends would disfranchise thousands of Irish voters whose poverty compelled them to accept beef tea or wine, or something else which the medical officers might give them. He appealed to the hon. Member for Cork City (Mr. Deasy), who had as large an experience as any Member of the House on the subject, and that hon. Member in an exhaustive speech argued that the clause would affect numbers of Irish voters, and he went into the Lobby in support, not of the Government, but of the poor Irish voter, whose interest he would not oppose on any consideration. He would appeal to the President of the Local Government Board to make the Bill a real Bill, because without this clause it would not effect its object. In order that there should be no difficulty after- 1641 wards in regard to the question, he hoped that the House would accept the clause which he proposed. If it was not accepted, the effect would be to intensify agitation; and, so far as the Government were concerned, they would have directly violated the pledge which they gave when they introduced the Bill.
Clause (Definition of medical and surgical assistance,)—[Mr. Jesse Collings,)—brought up, and read the first time.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."
§ THE PRESIDENT (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR)
said, that the hon. Member implored him to make the Bill a real Bill. He had certainly hoped, when he introduced the Bill, framed exactly on the lines of the hon. Member himself, using the very words which the hon. Member used, and in the same manner, that it could not be described by him as an unreal Bill. The hon. Member seemed to think that he had some power of altering the English language as interpreted by the Judges. But how could the hon. Gentleman think that the words "medical relief" meant one thing when introduced in his Bill, and another when introduced in the Bill of the Government? The meaning of the words was perfectly well known, as they were suggested by the hon. and learned Member for Christchurch (Mr. Horace Davey) in his famous Amendment to the Registration Bill. Anyone who should consult Hansard would see that by medical and surgical assistance was meant then what was meant now. And the thing was made still clearer by the late Lord Chancellor (Lord Selborne) in the other House, because he distinctly asserted that the words did not mean, as now suggested, medical comforts. When the right hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Chamberlain) went down to agitate the country upon this question, he was as well aware as the House was of the actual meaning of the words, as stated by his own Colleague. And yet the right hon. Gentleman, at a late hour on Tuesday night, told the House, in language more forcible than classical, that unless they introduced the Amendment of the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Jesse Collings) the Bill was not worth "a rap," that being the very Bill 1642 for which the right hon. Gentleman tried to raise the whole country, and for rejecting which he denounced the House of Lords. The right hon. Gentleman, after careful consideration, in a letter which had been published, described the clause of the hon. and learned Member for Christchurch as a clause which would remove a gross injustice. But he would ask the right hon. Gentleman and his Colleagues, and hon. Members who desired this clause, how it was that words which in June would remove a gross injustice would "not be worth a rap" in July? When the right hon. Gentleman had explained that to their satisfaction, they should, perhaps, be able to understand the motives that had influenced him. After what had passed in that House and in "another place," and after the correspondence between the right hon. Member for Birmingham and Lord Balfour of Burleigh, no one could say that the Government intended anything different now from what they intended before. He admitted that it was extremely difficult and almost invidious to draw a distinction between ordinary drugs and a glass of brandy given to remove faintness. But if they were to draw the line at all before reaching the point of removing the disqualification from everyone receiving outdoor relief, this was the place to draw it. He did not mean to argue the question now whether persons receiving outdoor relief should be disqualified. Gentlemen on both sides, with one or two very rare exceptions, desired to continue the disqualification which did exist, and had always existed, with regard to persons receiving outdoor relief. If they wished to continue that disqualification, they ought to draw the line where it had been drawn by the late Government, and was drawn by the present Government. That line was already familiar in the administration of the Poor Law system. It was not in the power of a medical officer to give anything to a patient beyond medicine. If he did so it was upon his own responsibility. The line drawn by the Bill was also consistent with the practice of hospitals. Outdoor patients received medical assistance; but they did not receive medical comforts. He wished, further, to impress upon the House that if they accepted the clause hon. Gentlemen would make the relieving officer potentially a 1643 political agent, and give him an immense power of putting men on the Register or taking them off. Then, again, the House must bear in mind how great would be the inequalities which would exist between parish and parish, and union and union, if the Amendment were carried. If a doctor took a large view of his duties—if he thought it his duty to order mutton, chickens, beef-tea, port wine, and so forth—it would be in his power, by ordering a sufficiency of these extras, to prevent a man seeking any other form of relief, and the people in his parish would be kept on the Register. But in the neighbouring parish they might have a doctor who took an entirely different view of his responsibility, and who, before ordering these large medical extras, would think it his duty to call in the relieving officer. They would thus have two adjoining parishes under different medical authority, and they would have an entirely different practice as regarded the keeping on and the striking off from the Register. If the House were going to allow a man to get everything the medical officer gave, they would allow him to receive a great deal more, perhaps, than some hon. Members supposed. Medical officers were not obliged to restrict themselves in their advice to such things as beef-tea, port wine, and brandy. Within the last 24 hours a case had come under his notice where a medical officer recommended that the patient should be removed to a better house. If they once refused to disqualify a man from exercising the franchise when he received out of the rates better lodging, better food, perhaps clothes, perhaps bedding, perhaps nursing, he failed utterly to see how they were to maintain the distinction, which they all admitted to be a wholesome and necessary distinction, between the man who received outdoor relief and the man who did not receive outdoor relief. He did not think it was necessary for him to lay any more arguments before the House; but he might say, in anticipation of the discussion about to ensue, that it was the intention of the Government, at all events, to omit Scotland from the operation of the Bill. He should be out of Order if he were to state the grounds on which the Government had come to that determination; but to that determination they had come. He wanted to point out how 1644 great would be the inequality between Scotland and England if they left Scotland out of the Bill, and carried the Amendment. [An hon. MEMBER: And Ireland.] It would be recollected that he gave a promise across the floor of the House two nights ago that if the Irish Members also desired Ireland to be excluded from the Bill it should be so. Ho had taken pains to find what the views of hon. Members were; and he was now given to understand that not only the Scotch Members, but the Irish Members on both sides, and in every quarter of the House, also desired to be excluded from the Bill. If that were the case —if Ireland and Scotland were excluded from the Bill—and they introduced this Amendment, they would produce an enormous inequality between the three Kingdoms, and he could not believe that that was a wise proceeding. In Scotland a man would be absolutely excluded from the vote even if he got purely medical relief, and to that inequality it was now proposed to add the enormous inequality of allowing men in England to receive medical comforts, which might consist of new clothes, new bedding, and of a new house, and yet to retain their names on the list. Before the House sanctioned an inequality of that kind between England on the one hand, and Scotland and Ireland on the other, it would be well seriously to pause. The Government, then, objected to this clause, because it produced an inequality between the three parts of the Kingdom, because it broke down the only practical line which could be drawn between the existing system and one which should remove entirely the disqualification or account of outdoor relief, and because the Bill, as the Government had introduced it, was precisely the Bill as brought forward by hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House, the Bill upon which the country had been agitated from end to end, and which had received the enthusiastic support of the agricultural labourers. If the House should force this clause on the Government, and any serious accident happened to the Bill in its future progress, on hon. Gentlemen opposite, and on them alone, would the responsibility rest.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said, that the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down quite cheerfully accepted the invitation to leave Ireland out of 1645 the Bill, and to leave Scotland out of it, and apparently the right hon. Gentleman would not be sorry if he had the opportunity to leave England out of it also. He (Sir William Harcourt) did not, however, make any complaint of the way in which the Government had dealt with the Bill. On the contrary, he thought they had very fairly brought in a Bill for the purpose of meeting a grievance which might not have been at first fully understood or appreciated, but which, when it came to be insisted upon, was felt to be a very great grievance indeed. The right hon. Gentleman said, he dared say truly. that the words in the Bill were in former Amendments and in former Bills; but that really did not conclude the question. As regarded himself, all he could say was that, not having sufficiently critically examined the words of the Bill, he was distinctly under the impression that the Bill did include all medical relief—that was, that it included what might be called medical comforts as well as medicine and surgical aid. He admitted now that he was wrong in that impression; but it was not until ho had made a careful legal investigation with Ms two hon. and learned Friends the late Attorney and Solicitor Generals that he discovered that the interpretation given to the words used in the Bill by the right hon. Gentleman was the right one. What was the state of the case. The great majority in the House were of opinion that certain persons who were unfortunate enough, under pressure of illness, to receive parochial relief in the form of medical assistance ought not to be disfranchised; and if that was the principle they ought to act upon it, and not introduce fine-drawn and invidious distinctions in the matter. Surely, everybody must feel that to draw a distinction between a stimulant administered in the form of brandy and one administered in the form of ammonia was a most invidious one. They should not, he thought, make any distinction between medical drugs and medical comforts. If they accepted the principle that disfranchisement was not to be the result of receiving assistance in illness by way of remedy, they ought to take a common-sense and liberal view of the question, and do, in fact, what they had said they intended doing. He believed that in nine cases out of ten medical as- 1646 sistance included medical comforts, and if this clause was rejected the Bill would—he did not say intentionally on the part of the Government—be practically inoperative. If that were so, there would be very great disappointment and regret. Then they ought not to overlook the danger that had been pointed out—namely, the danger of placing in the hands of the medical officer the power of disfranchisement. He did not desire to put the matter invidiously; but suppose that a medical officer did desire to disfranchise the poor people in his district, he had nothing to do but to recommend as necessary to the treatment of each case some medical comforts. Ought such a power to be placed in the hands of a medical officer? The right hon. Gentleman said he was going to exclude Scotland and Ireland from the Bill, and that if the Amendment were carried there would then be great inequality between the three countries. But inequality was not in the Amendment; it was in the Bill. To redress the grievance in the country where it existed was not to create an inequality between the countries—it was to create an equality. If no man was disfranchised from this cause in Scotland the grievance did not exist; and if men were disfranchised from it in England, then to cure that evil was to establish an equality, and not an inequality, between the two countries. He did not wish to argue the question in any hostile way; but he desired to put it very seriously before the House. There could be no doubt that great expectations had been raised throughout the country in regard to it. He dared say the exact bearing of the particular distinction which had been raised between medical drugs and medical comforts was not at first fully realized; but now that it was realized and was fully before the House they should take care not to practically destroy that which was intended to be given, and ho imagined that what was intended to be given was that a man who, by misfortune and illness, required to receive medical relief was to receive such relief as was necessary for the cure of his illness. He hoped, therefore, that there would be no hair-splitting about what was and what was not medical relief; and that the House, having resolved to give a boon, would see that it gave a boon which was real.
said, they had had an illustration of the extremely difficult position in which the Government had placed themselves by having caught the Whigs bathing and running away with their clothes. On this occasion the particular suit of clothes which had been taken away seemed to him to be of the pattern of the Kilmainham Treaty—indeed, he might call it of the Maamtrasna pattern. He supposed that, owing to an arrangement with the Scottish and Irish Members, Scotland and Ireland were to be excluded from the Bill. He never liked the Bill, and was one of the 22 Members who voted against it on Tuesday night; but it seemed to him that the principle having been admitted by a large majority of the House, it was extremely inconsistent to oppose the Amendment of the hon. Member for Ipswich. He (Mr. Macartney) belonged to what had been designated the reactionaries of the Tory Party. He could not understand the rapid changes of opinion which had recently taken place on the Ministerial side. The hon. Member for the City of Cork (Mr. Parnell) had said that Mr. Gosset, owing to sitting in the vicinity of Friends of the hon. Member for the City of Cork, had caught some of their geniality. The Members of the late Fourth Party who were now Members of the Cabinet also sat when in Opposition near the Friends of the hon. Member for the City of Cork, and they appeared to have caught up the atmosphere of those hon. Gentlemen and to have brought it into the Cabinet. It was said that a little leaven leavened the whole lump; but a considerable leaven had in this instance got into the Cabinet. It seemed to him that at present the principle was that whatever had been advocated very loudly by one Party should be adopted by the other, and that they should hunt in couples and take alternative possession of the Treasury Bench. As to the present Amendment, he thought that when once the House had, by an overwhelming majority, decided to enfranchise paupers, this hair-splitting about medical relief was rather absurd. He was opposed to the entire Bill. and could neither vote for or against the proposed clause.
§ MR. MELDON
said, that the arguments which had been adduced against the Amendment had been of a some- 1648 what extraordinary character. What was it that they had been told? That because the majority of the Scottish Members wished it Scotland was to be excluded from the Bill, and they were also told that Ireland was to be excluded for similar reasons. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board had thrown out the threat that if this clause was adopted they would give up all responsibility for the Bill. He must enter his protest against such a threat. He hoped the Amendment would be carried by an overwhelming majority, and if it were its supporters would easily find means to have the wishes of the majority of the House of Commons on this very important subject carried into effect, notwithstanding what had been said on behalf of the Government with regard to the fate of the Bill. He passed by the arguments that had been used, and would ask the House if the Conservative jerrymandering of 1867 was to be repeated with a large Liberal majority in the House of Commons? In 1867 the Conservative Government filched one of the eggs of the Liberal Party in the shape of a provision connected with the borough franchise. What did they do? What they gave with one hand they took away with the other by the operation of the Eating Clause. Was that transaction to be repeated now, or was it not? The Conservative Government had filched the Liberal measure brought in before they acceded to power, and they took away a great part of what was intended to be given by the framework of the Bill as it stood at present. It had never been the intention of the hon. Member for Ipswich nor of any supporters of his Bill that it should have a limited scope. This fact ought to be clearly understood. In regard to the exclusion of Ireland, he believed that instead of being an enfranchising measure, supposing the Bill were to apply to Ireland, it would, on the contrary, most distinctly he a disfranchising Bill. The systems of affording medical relief were different in the two countries, and this Bill, if extended to Ireland, would be highly prejudicial. He hoped, therefore, that it would not be sought to include Ireland within the scope of the measure. There was one danger which they must guard against. They practically made the medical officer the returning officer, 1649 and gave him the power of qualifying or disqualifying electors in a closely contested election. Indeed, the politics of the medical officer in an election contest would be one of the first things to be inquired into.
§ MR. EDWARD CLARKE
said, he thought that everyone must have sympathized with his right hon. Friend the President of the Local Government Board when he was speaking on behalf of the Government in the endeavour which he made to draw distinctions which, some days ago, had been pointed out to him were absolutely untenable between the propositions he was discussing. He was one of those who thought that the Government was perfectly right in accepting this proposition; and he believed that they accepted the proposition, which was the main proposition of the Bill, with the cordial assent of the great majority of those who agreed with them in political matters. But the fact was that, although the two Front Benches had to some extent pledged themselves with regard to the principle of the Bill, the majority of the House of Commons had not pledged itself and had not really expressed any opinion upon the principle. In the divisions which took place when the Registration Bill was before the House, it was agreed by both Front Benches that it was undesirable to embody a clause of this kind in the Bill; and those who were anxious, in the pressing circumstances of the time, to get the Bill sent up to the House of Lords joined the Front Bench in resisting the introduction of a provision which was felt to be undesirable. Those who voted in the first division on the 6th of May expressed no judgment on the main principle at issue; it was merely on the question of the convenience of Parliament. But it was very difficult to understand the position taken up by his right hon. Friend. It was clear from his speech, and from the speech made by the late Attorney General, that there were those on both Front Benches who now had no heart in this proposal at all, who were not in favour of the principle of this Bill, but who were simply making it a matter of competition for the votes of the agricultural labourer at the next election. He did not take that view. He thought the proposal was a good one on its merits. He listened 1650 the other evening with great interest and with a feeling of admiration for his great courage to the speech of the hon. Member for Liskeard (Mr. Courtney). Undoubtedly, if this Bill were to trench upon the principles which he then enunciated, he (Mr. E. Clarke) would steadily refuse to vote for it; but he thought the House had accepted the clear distinction between ordinary Poor Law relief and that form of relief which was generally given in consequence of sudden or unforeseen illness, when the heavy expenses to which the working man was put could hardly be provided for by him. He, like the late Home Secretary, quite believed, when he voted in favour of this provision for medical relief, that the term "medical relief" included not merely the doctor's fee and the medicine, but also included those things which, though they might be comforts and articles of food, were, in his judgment, necessary to the medical treatment of the patient. He had been entirely unable to find any strict definition of the term "medical relief;" but he believed that if a legal definition could be taken it would be found to include everything which the doctor ordered for the medical treatment of the case. But whether technically or not the term "medical relief" included those things, he understood it to include them when he voted for this Bill; and if it was necessary to accept the Amendment of the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Jesse Ceilings) in order to make the matter clear, he should quite readily and simply, in pursuance of the intentions he had the other night, vote for the Amendment. There had been certain considerations advanced with regard to the political influence of this matter. No one could be insensible to the danger that in all eases of this kind relieving officers and medical officers might act from political motives. Unfortunately, they could not get rid of those influences. If they made it a disqualification it might be as difficult to disqualify an opponent as to please a voter who remained on the list; and he was afraid by making this relief a matter of disqualification it would have the effect of obliging the poor man, instead of getting his relief from the rates, to go to the squire or to the clergyman, or some other private source of charity, for that which he had much better take from the rates. When 1651 a man was struck down with sudden necessity he had better go to the fund to which he had helped to subscribe, and out of which, with the help of his subscriptions, others had been relieved, than go to ask for individual doles from people of the neighbourhood. He believed that to do so would lower his self-respect and independence much more than by going to the rates. In these circumstances, he certainly intended to vote for the hon. Member's Amendment. He hoped the House would not take too seriously the last sentence of the right hon. Gentleman's speech with regard to an accident happening to this Bill, for if ever there was a Bill over which the Front Bench had no real effective right or control, it was this Bill. While he believed the Government were right in accepting the principle of the measure, he thought they would have been much better advised, though, perhaps, not perfectly consistent with their dignity, if they had accepted the Bill of the hon. Member for Ipswich. They had chosen, however, to accept the principle of the Bill; they had carried that principle by an overwhelming majority and by a strong use of their influence in the House; and, that being so, surely they were not at liberty to threaten the House with abandoning the Bill, and thereby securing the disqualification of a large number of voters if the House took a different view from that which they themselves took as to the interpretation to be placed on one of the phrases of the Bill. He thought this Amendment was simply for making the interpretation of the phrase "medical relief" that which the House believed it had, and intended it should have; and, believing that, he hoped the Amendment would be successful, and that the Bill would, nevertheless, live and be carried into effect.
§ MR. HENEAGE
said, he. had assisted the hon. and learned Member for Christ-church (Mr. Horace Davey) with his Amendments to the Registration Bill, and was associated with him and the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Jesse Collings), and the hon. and learned Member for Grantham (Mr. Mellor) in the preparation of their Bill and with the present Amendment, and they believed that the measure contained that provision for which they were now fighting. He was of opinion, however, that they 1652 owed nothing to the two Front Benches in this matter. It was absurd to say that the hon. Members from Ireland and Scotland wore to have their way as regarded the application of the Bill to those countries, and that the English Members were not to have their way in regard to the measure. He considered that if the Government were to throw out this Bill on account of a majority in favour of the Amendment such conduct would be a breach of faith with the hon. Member for Ipswich, who withdrew his Bill on the understanding that Her Majesty's Government would take up the measure themselves and carry it forward.
§ MR. ALDERMAN COTTON
said, he hoped the Government would see that the feeling of the House was in favour of the Amendment, and that they would think it proper to include it in the Bill and see it passed into law.
§ MR. PELL
said, he thought it might be convenient to state the course he intended to take with regard to this Amendment. The only course which to his mind was consistent and proper for him to pursue was to walk out of the House when the division was called. The House of Commons, as far as this Bill was concerned, had accepted what he believed to be a wrong principle—namely, that relief from the rates was not to disqualify when it was given to a poor man in the shape of medical relief. The Government said that so long as the parish doctor gave a man medicine and drugs the man should not be disqualified; but the moment he went beyond that, even to the extent of giving a teaspoonful of brandy, the man should be disqualified. He ventured to say that if they gave sick people good food and nourishment and kept the drugs and the doctor away, more people would recover. He detested the Bill, and thought it the most mischief-making measure ever considered since he had been a Member of the House; but he could not vote against the hon. Member for Ipswich's Amendment.
, after the ominous declaration of the President of the Local Government Board, wished to suggest that, in the event of the present Amendment being carried, the Government, instead of sacrificing the Bill, should fall back on the purpose of the Amendment he had moved on Tuesday for making 1653 The Bill an experiment confined to a limited period.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 180; Noes 130: Majority 50.1655
|Ackers, B. St. J.||Gladstone, H. J.|
|Acland, C. T. B.||Gordon, Sir A.|
|Agnew, W.||Gourley, E. T.|
|Ainsworth, D.||Gower, hon. E. F. L.|
|Allen, H. G.||Grafton, F. W.|
|Allen, W. S.||Gray, E. D.|
|Armitage, B.||Grosvenor, right hon. Lord R.|
|Asher, A.||Gurdon, R. T.|
|Ashley, hon. E. M.||Hamilton, J. G. C.|
|Baldwin, E.||Harcourt.rt.hn. SirW. G. V. V.|
|Balfour, rt. hon. J. B.|
|Barclay, J. W.||Hardcastle, J. A.|
|Baring, T. C.||Harvey, Sir R. B.|
|Barran, J.||Healy, T. M.|
|Barry, J.||Hill, T. R.|
|Bass, Sir A.||Holden, I.|
|Beaumont, W. B.||Holms, J.|
|Biddell, W.||Houldsworth, W.H.|
|Biddulph, M.||Howard, E. S.|
|Biggar, J. G.||Ince, H. B.|
|Brassey, H. A.||Inderwick, F. A.|
|Brett, R. B.||James, rt. hon. Sir H.|
|Briggs,W. E.||James, C.|
|Bright, right hon. J.||Jenkins, D. J.|
|Broadhurst, H.||Johnson, E.|
|Burt, T.||Kensington, rt. hn. Lord|
|Buszard, M. C.|
|Buxton, F. W.||Kinnear, J.|
|Caine, W. S.||Labouchere, H.|
|Callan, P.||Lawrence, Sir J. C.|
|Cameron, C.||Lawrence, W.|
|Campbell, Sir G.||Lawson, Sir W.|
|Campbell,R. F. F.||Leake, R.|
|Causton,R. K.||Leamy, E.|
|Chamberlain, rt. hn. J.||Lennox, rt. hon. Lord H. G. C. G.|
|Childers, right hon. H. C. E.||Lloyd, M.|
|Clarke, E.||Mackintosh, C. F.|
|Cohen, A.||M' Arthur, SirW.|
|Collins, E.||M'Arthur, A.|
|Colman,J. J.||M'Carthy, J.|
|Corbett, J.||M'Intyre,AEneas J.|
|Cowen, J.||M'Kenna, Sir J.N.|
|Davey, H.||M'Lagan, P.|
|Davies, R.||M'Laren,C. B B.|
|Deasy, J.||Maitland, W. F.|
|Dickson, T. A.||Mappin, F. T.|
|Dillwyn, L. L.||Marjoribanks, hon. E.|
|Dodds, J.||Martin, R. B.|
|Duckham, T.||Marum, E. M.|
|Duff, R. W.||Maskelyne, M. H. N. Story-|
|Ebrington, Viscount||Mason, H.|
|Edwards, P.||Meldon, C. H.|
|Ferguson, E.||Molloy, B. C.|
|Findlater, W.||Monk, C. J.|
|Fitzwilliam, hon. C. W.||Moreton, Lord|
|Flower, C.||Morley, A.|
|Foljambe, C. G. S.||Morley, S.|
|Fowler, H. H.||Mundella, rt. hn. A. J.|
|Fry, L.||O'Brien, Sir P.|
|Fry, T.||O'Brien, W.|
|O'Connor, A.||Slagg, J.|
|O'Kelly, J.||Smith, Lieut-Col. G.|
|O'Shea, W. H.||Spencer, hon. C. R.|
|Palmer, C. M.||Stanton, W. J.|
|Parker, C. S.||Storey, S.|
|Parnell, C. S.||Stuart, H. V.|
|Pease, A.||Stuart, J.|
|Picton, J. A.||Sullivan, T. D.|
|Power, J. O'C.||Summers, W.|
|Power, P. J.||Synan, E. J.|
|Power, R.||Tennant, Sir C.|
|Pulley, J.||Ihompson, T. C.|
|Ralli, P.||Thynne, Lord H. F.|
|Roberts, J.||Torrens, W. T. M.|
|Robertson, H||Verney, rt. hon. Sir H.|
|Roe, T.||Waddy, S. D.|
|Rogers, J. E. T.||Walker, S.|
|Ross, C. C.||Wallace, Sir R.|
|Rothschild, Baron F. J. de||Walter, J.|
|Waterlow, Sir S.|
|Russell, C.||Watkin, Sir E. W.|
|Russell, G. W. E.||West, H. W.|
|Russell, T.||Whitworth, B.|
|Ruston, J.||Wiggin, H.|
|St. Aubyn, Sir J.||Williamson, S.|
|Seely,C. (Nottingham)||Wills, W. H.|
|Sexton, T.||Wilson, Sir M.|
|Shaw, T.||Wilson, C. H.|
|Sheridan, H. B.||TELLERS.|
|Simon, Serjeant J.||Collings, J.|
|Sinclair, Sir J. G. T.||Heneage, E.|
|Sinclair, W. P.|
|Allsopp, C.||Egerton, hon. A. de T.|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, E.||Egerton, hon. A. F.|
|Aylmer, J. E. F.||Elliot, hon. A. R. D.|
|Bailey, Sir J. R.||Elliot, G. W.|
|Balfour, rt. hon. A. J.||Ellis, Sir J. W.|
|Barttelot, Sir W. B.||Emlyn, Viscount|
|Beach, right hon. Sir M. E. Hicks-||Evans, T. W.|
|Beach, W. W. B.||Ewing, A.O.|
|Bentinck, rt. hn. G. C.||Farquharson, Dr. R.|
|Beresford, G. De la P.||Feilden, Lt.-Gen. R. J.|
|Bourke, right hon. R.||Finch, G. H.|
|Brodrick, hon. W. St. J. F.||Fletcher, Sir H.|
|Bruee, Sir H.H.||Folkestone, Viscount|
|Burghley, Lord||Fowler, rt. hon. Sir R. N.|
|Campbell, J. A.|
|Cavendish, Lord E.||Fremantle, hon. T. F.|
|Churchill, rt. hn. Lord R. H. S.||Gathorne-Hardy, hon. J. S.|
|Clive, Col. hon. G. W.||Giles, A.|
|Close, M. C.||Gooch, Sir D.|
|Coddington, W.||Gorst, J. E.|
|Colebrooke, Sir T. E.||Greene, E.|
|Corry, J. P.||Greer, T.|
|Cotton, W. J. R.||Gunter, Col. R.|
|Cubitt, right hon. G.||Hamilton, right hon. Lord G. F.|
|Curzon, Major hon. M.|
|Dalrymple, C.||Hamilton, Lord C. J.|
|Davenport, H. T.||Hamilton, I. T.|
|Dawnay, hon. G. C.||Hay, rt. hon. Admiral Sir J. C. D.|
|De Worms, Baron H.|
|Digby, J. K. D. W.||Herbert, hon. S.|
|Dixon-Hartland, F. D.||Hill, Lord A. W.|
|Dyke, rt. hn. Sir W. H.||Holland, Sir H. T.|
|Holmes, rt. hon. H.|
|Ecroyd, W. F.||Home, Lt.-Col. D. M.|
|Hope, right hon. A. J. B. B.||Ritchie, C. T.|
|Ross, A. H.|
|Jackson, W. L.||Round, J.|
|Kennard, C. J.||Sclater-Booth.rt.hn.G.|
|Kennaway, Sir J. H.||Scott, M. D.|
|King-Harman, Colonel E. R.||Severne, J. E.|
|Smith, rt. hon. W. H.|
|Lechmere, SirE. A. H.||Smith, A.|
|Legh, W. J.||Stanhope, rt. hon. E.|
|Lewis, C. E.||Stanley, rt. hon. Col. F.|
|Lindsay, Sir R. L.||Stanley, E. J.|
|Lubbock, Sir J.||Stevens, J. C. M.|
|Macnaghten, E.||Storer, G|
|M'Garel-Hogg, Sir J.||Talbot, J. G.|
|Makins, Colonel W. T.||Thomasson, J. P.|
|Manners, rt. hon. Lord J. J. R.||Thornhill, Sir T.|
|Tollemache, hon. W.F.|
|March, Earl of||Tollemache, H. J.|
|Marriott, rt. hn. W. T.||Tomlinson, W. E. M.|
|Master, T. W. C.||Tottenham, A. L.|
|Miles, C. W.||Tyler, Sir H. W.|
|Mills, Sir C. H.||Warburton, P. E.|
|Milner, Sir F. G.||Warton, C.N.|
|Moss, R.||Webster, Sir R. E.|
|Mowbray, rt. hon. Sir J. R.||Whitley, E.|
|Wilmot, Sir H.|
|Mulholland, J.||Wilmot, Sir J. E.|
|Nicholson, W. N.||Wolff, rt. hn. Sir H.D.|
|Northcote, hon. H. S.||Wortley, C. B. Stuart-|
|Paget, R. H.||Wroughton, P.|
|Patrick, R. W. Cochran-||Wyndham, hon. P.|
|Wynn, Sir H. L. W.|
|Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.|
|Pemberton, E. L.||TELLERS.|
|Plunket, rt. hon. D. R.||Douglas, A. Akers-|
|Ramsay, J.||Walrond, Col. W. H.|
|Repton, G. W.|
Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday next.
THE CHANCELLOK OF THE EXCHEQUER
We did not conceal from the House, either on Tuesday or this evening, that in our opinion the adoption of the new clause or the Amendment of the hon. Member for Gravesend (Sir Sydney Waterlow) would be a matter of very great importance; and we cannot, under present circumstances, take any further responsibility with regard to the measure.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
I would only say that under the circumstances I suppose that the responsibility devolves on the majority of the House, whose property this Bill is, and therefore I beg leave to give Notice—I do not know what course the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer wishes to take, or how far he means to carry his dissent from this Bill; but if he only cast upon us the responsibility for the Bill I will ask whether the House will allow the Bill now to be read a third time?
§ Clause added.1656
§ MR. JESSE COLLINGS
asked whether he might be enabled to move the Amendment to the new clause standing under the name of Mr. Arthur Balfour?
In New Clause, "Provision for registration in the present year," line 12, leave out, qualification, "and insert"qualifications."—(Mr. Jesse Collings s.)
§ MR. WARTON
submitted that this Amendment would not be in Order, as the new clause must naturally come after Clause 2.
§ MR. ORR-EWING
said, that the last time the Bill was before the House he had moved as an Amendment that the words "United Kingdom" should be left out of the Bill, and "England and Wales" substituted.
MR. SPEAKER (interposing)
The hon. Member is going to a point prior in the Bill to that in respect of which the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Jesse Collings) has moved an Amendment; and it is only by asking the hon. Member to withdraw that Amendment that he can bring forward the Amendment to which he refers. Does the hon. Member withdraw his Amendment?
§ Amendment agreed to.
On the Motion of Mr. JESSE COLLINGS, the following Amendment, which stood in the name of Mr. A. J. Balfour, was agreed to. Line '39, after "registered," insert as a new paragraph:—
Any person whose name ought to have been inserted in the list made by the overseers under this section, and has been omitted therefrom, may claim to have his name inserted in the list of voters by giving to the overseers, within six days after the publication of such list, notice of such claim in the manner and form provided by law with respect to other claims, and the overseers shall produce all such claims to the revising barrister, and he shall revise and deal with the same in like manner as with ordinary claims.
§ MR. WARTON
pointed out that the two Amendments which had been adopted were Amendments to the new clause. He thought that it was not competent for the hon. and learned Member to move this Amendment now, as it was in precisely the same position as the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dumbartonshire (Mr. Orr-Ewing).
§ MR. SPEAKER
held that it was competent for the hon. and learned Member to move his Amendment, as the place of the new clause in the Bill had, not yet been determined.
wished to know how far this Amendment would go in regard to ratepayers who received medical comforts for their wives or children on the recommendation of the relieving officer or the recommendation of the doctor?
§ MR. PARNELL
said, that the purpose of the Amendment was to insure that such persons should not be disqualified.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is not in Order now. We have passed that point, and if no further Amendments are proposed a day will be fixed for the third reading.
MR. JESSE CODLINGS
With the consent of the House, I will move that the Bill be now read a third time.
§ MR. SPEAKER
It would be very unusual under the circumstances to take the third reading of the Bill now, and I can only assent to that with the assent of the House.
§ MR. RAMSAY
I wish to move that the Bill be now re-committed, and if that Motion is competent I hope the House will at once assent to it, in order that the hon. Member for Dumbartonshire may have an opportunity of moving his Amendment.
§ MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member will be perfectly in Order in moving that the Bill be re-committed if he will state the purpose for which it is proposed.
§ MR. RAMSAY
It is in order that the hon. Member for Dumbartonshire may have an opportunity of moving his Amendment.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be re-committed in respect of an Amendment to Clause 2."—(Mr. Ramsay.)
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said, he thought the proposal of his hon. Friend behind him (Mr. Ramsay) was not an unfair one. He was quite sure nobody would wish that by a mere accident a question of this importance should be excluded. He did not himself know what the view of the Scottish Members generally might be in regard to the question of the exclusion of Scotland.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOE INDIA (Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL)
Might I ask, Sir, whether it is in accordance with precedent or custom for a Motion for re-commitment of a Bill to be made other than as an Amendment to the Motion to read the Bill a third time, or to make such a Motion without Notice?
§ MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member would be in Order in moving to re-commit the Bill with a view to insert a definite Amendment.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
said, he wished it to be understood that the Scottish Members were not unanimous on the question whether Scotland should be excluded from the operation of the Bill.
§ MR. JESSE COLLINGS
said, that in view of the great urgency of the Bill he trusted the House would not allow it to be re-committed, as Scottish Members were not agreed as to the Amendment.
said, he was entirely opposed to the exclusion of Scotland from the Bill. He came down to the House resolved to oppose that exclusion, or the infliction upon Scotland of a penalty which was not inflicted upon the other parts of the United Kingdom; but he would prefer to have the matter threshed out in that House rather than to have it debated in the House of Lords. He hoped, therefore, the hon. Member for Ipswich would not oppose the re-committal of the Bill.
§ MR. WARTON
said, that it was by mere accident that the hon. Member for Dumbarton had been prevented from moving his Amendment.
§ Question put, and agreed, to.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair."
§ MR. RAMSAY
said, that he was only desirous of addressing a word to the House with reference to the remarks of the hon. Member for Glasgow. Of the Scottish Members who had been consulted in this matter, 21 were in favour of the exclusion of Scotland, and five were indifferent about it, but were rather in favour of Scotland being included. The hon. Members for Glasgow and Kirkcaldy made two more who adopted the latter view.
§ MR. A. R. D. ELLIOT
asked whether, when the Speaker left the Chair, it would be perfectly competent for any Member to move that Scotland be excluded from the Bill?
§ MR. SPEAKER
After I have left the Chair an Amendment is to be moved in accordance with the Motion which has been carried, that the Bill be re-committed for the purpose of proposing an Amendment in respect of Clause 2.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 2 (Medical relief not to disqualify).
§ MR. ORR-EWING
proposed to leave out the words, in line 7, "the United Kingdom," and insert the words "England and Wales." He said it would be remembered that when this question was last before the Committee every Scotch Member in the House at that time spoke in favour of Scotland being omitted from the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board (Mr. A. J. Balfour) promised that he would make inquiries, and if he found that the majority of the Scotch Members were in favour of Scotland being left out of the Bill, he would, at a later stage, move the exclusion of Scotland. In consequence of what had taken place since then, he (Mr. Orr-Ewing) moved this Amendment.
In line 7, to leave out the words "the United Kingdom," in order to insert the words "England and Wales,"—(Mr. Orr-Ewing,)
§ Question proposed, "That the words "United Kingdom' stand part of the Clause."
said, it was quite true, as had been said by his hon. Friend (Mr. Orr-Ewing), that the other night there was a chorus of Scotch opinion in favour of omitting Scotland from the Bill; but, as a matter of fact, that was accounted for because there was no Radical Representative from Scotland in the House at the time, and he thought it was to be also accounted for by the fact that the representations made as to the law in Scotland on the subject were totally inaccurate. They had been told to-night by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board that the Irish Members wished to have Ireland omitted from the scope of the Bill. It was true they did so, because they had got a better Bill of their own. To include them in this Bill would be to create a certain disfranchisement in respect to medical relief. It would disfranchise those who received it from voting in the election of Poor Law Guardians. As a matter of fact, outdoor medical relief in Scotland was administered in a manner so parsimonious and stingy as to be a disgrace to any civilized nation. But there was a certain amount of medical relief given in Scotland. That House voted annually a sum of £20,000 as a grant in aid of medical relief in Scotland. The sum was handed over to the Board of Supervision—their only equivalent for the English Local Government Board—for distribution amongst the various Parochial Boards. The Board of Supervision had laid down certain regulations with regard to participation in this grant. Any Board wishing to have a share must comply with certain regulations, and the medical officer must attend to the poor on certain conditions; but there were 117 parishes in Scotland which did not think it worth their while to comply even with the rudimentary requirements laid down by the Board of Supervision, and did not participate at all in the grant in aid of medical relief in Scotland. Let the Committee understand precisely what amount of money was spent on Scotland in medical relief. The amount per head of the population spent in the parishes which complied with the requirements of the Board of 1661 Supervision, and which participated in the grant, was only 2½d. per head per annum, or, to speak accurately, 2.61 of a penny per head of the population per annum; and in the parishes which did not think it worth their while to comply with the very rudimentary requirements of the Board of Supervision, the amount spent in medical relief was less than 1¾d. per head of the population per annum. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. A. J. Balfour) spoke to them about medical relief including fine clothes, and new houses, and all sorts of things. He (Dr. Cameron) thought the Committee might understand from the figures he had given what amount of fine clothing, or what number of new houses, could ho provided for the sick poor of Scotland out of 2½d. or l¾d. per head per annum. He believed that the Public Health Act of Scotland created the municipal body in towns the local sanitary authority, and in parishes it created the Parochial Board the local sanitary authority. If a man in a town contracted fever, or any infectious disease. and was unable to take care of himself, and to prevent himself from becoming a vehicle for the dissemination of disease, the municipal body, which was the sanitary authority took possession of him and placed him in hospital; and although he was maintained there out of the municipal rates, there was no question of his pauperization. In certain places in counties it was the custom for the Parochial Board to levy a special rate in respect to expenses required for epidemic diseases; but that was not universal. He had been told that in such cases men did not receive grants from the Poor Law funds, and were not thereby pauperized; but he had looked into the law on this point, and he had in his hand a standard work, in which it was laid down that the Public Health Act did not relieve the Parochial Board of the duty incumbent upon them by law, in cases of infectious disease, to take all means in their power to suppress it. It declared that it was the duty of the Parochial Board either to isolate the patients itself, or to allow the Local Authority to do so; and then it stated how the Local Authority might recover from the Board. The patients would be in receipt of relief from the Poor Law authorities, and would thus be pauperized. He believed that in certain coun- 1662 ties they would come on the Poor Poll, and that in other counties they would not. But, to put aside all those cases, there were in every county a great number of cases which must come on the Poor Roll. When a man broke his leg, or met with a serious accident, he was no longer able-bodied, and he at once came to he in the position of a pauper. He received a certain share of medical attendance, equivalent to his share of the I¾d per head per annum; and if they were to exclude Scotland from the operation of this Bill, that man would thereupon become pauperized, and lose his right to vote. This would occur not merely in the case of accidents; there were constant and innumerable cases of persons—persons suffering from consumption, or from chronic diseases of various sorts—whose relations were perfectly well able to pay for their keep, but who could not afford to pay for medical assistance for them. If the House were to exclude Scotland from the operation of the Bill, such persons as he had indicated in Scotland would he treated in a manner quite distinct from the treatment accorded to people in a similar position in England and Ireland. One principle had run through all those electoral reforms, and that was that they should take the widest measure of enfranchisement existing in any portion of the United Kingdom, and apply it to all portions of the United Kingdom. There was no justification and no logic to recommend a departure from this principle. If Parliament adopted the view of the hon. Member for Dumbartonshire (Mr. Orr-Ewing), there would be enormous dissatisfaction throughout Scotland. He was glad the matter had come before the House in a shape in which they could take a division upon it. If any Scotch Members were opposed to Scotland obtaining the same benefit in the way of the franchise as England and Ireland had obtained it, it was right that those Members should be paraded through the Lobby, and thus have their names brought before the constituencies. The constituencies would thus he able in November next to form an opinion of the difference between the different kinds of Scotch Liberals who came to the House of Commons.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL
said, he was very much in favour of Home Rule, 1663 and was quite ready that the Scottish Members should decide this matter. It was said there had been no consultation amongst Scotch Members; there had been no meeting, and still less had there been any opportunity of conferring with the constituencies. He was told that the majority of Scotch Members wished to exclude Scotland from the Bill. He thought he knew one hon. Member, the Member for Forfarshire (Mr. J. W. Barclay), who at one time was in favour of excluding Scotland from the Bill, but who, on obtaining further information, had changed his mind, and was now decidedly against the proposal. Another hon. Member, the Member for North Ayrshire (Mr. Cochran-Patrick) told him he had been in communication with Scotland, with the result that he was prepared to resist the proposal of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dumbartonshire (Mr. Orr-Ewing). He did not see how it could be assumed that the majority of Scotch Members and of the people of Scotland were in favour of the exclusion of Scotland, because there had really been no opportunity of ascertaining how the people of Scotland really wished this question to be decided. It was true that in Scotland an able-bodied man was not entitled to relief; but, as the hon. Gentleman the Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) had pointed out, a man who met with an accident or who became ill was no longer able-bodied, and therefore, under the law of Scotland, was entitled to relief. He (Sir George Campbell) was convinced that if the House of Commons adopted the view of his hon. Friend the Member for Dumbartonshire (Mr. Orr-Ewing), there would, whether the majority of Scotch Members were of one opinion or the other, be enormous dissatisfaction in Scotland; because of the inequality which would be created between the treatment of Englishmen and Scotchmen in the matter of medical relief. He agreed with his hon. Friend (Dr. Cameron) that those Members who proposed to leave Scotland out of the Bill should bear the responsibility which would be involved.
§ MR. BOLTON
said, he was one of those who were quite prepared to bear the responsibility of omitting Scotland from the Bill. The hon. Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) had given the Committee some very interesting statistics; but, unfortunately, they bore very 1664 slightly upon the matter. The Poor Law of Scotland excluded all able-bodied men from the pauper roll. No man in Scotland could get upon the Poor Boll unless he was destitute and disabled, and being upon the Poor Boll this Bill would not enfranchise him. A man could only be enfranchised by the Bill if he received assistance from the Parochial Board in the shape only of medical relief; but in Scotland he could not receive medical relief until he was upon the Poor Boll. Consequently for the Bill to be of effect there must be a change in the Poor Law of Scotland, and he questioned whether even the very Radical Member for Glasgow would propose the assimilation of the Scottish Poor Law to that of England. He(Mr. Bolton) opposed the inclusion of Scotland; first, because if the Bill were operative at all it could only be operative in an objectionable sense. It would be an encouragement to the people of Scotland, who now looked with horror and contempt upon the name of pauper, to accept that name, and plead for it the sanction of the House of Commons. He also objected to the Bill, because he felt it was the first step towards some change in the Poor Law of Scotland, and to that he was most decidedly opposed. He had still another objection to the Bill. If it would enfranchise a number of people it would also add to the rates; and certainly the ratepayers of Scotland were as much entitled to consideration at the hands of Members of the House of Commons as the very few who, according to the argument of the hon. Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron), might possibly come within the purview of the measure. For all these reasons he cordially supported the Amendment of the hon. Member for Dumbartonshire.
§ MR. THOMASSON
asked the late Lord Advocate for Scotland (Mr. J. B. Balfour) whether, if a man got his leg broken by accident, and was taken while unconscious, or otherwise against his will, to a place where his injury would be attended to by a Boor Law officer, he would lose his vote? If that were so he would vote in favour of Scotland being included in the Bill.
said, he thought the question had been debated on both sides in a rather broader way than it fairly required. It really lay in a very small compass. He was exceedingly averse 1665 to any clause being inserted which would exclude Scotland from the apparent advantages of this Bill. Ho quite agreed that the Bill would affect a very small class in Scotland; but still the Bill was, on the face of it, a beneficent one. It was intended as a boon to the humbler classes, and it seemed to him there would be great misconception if that boon were denied to these poorer classes. It was quite true, he repeated, that the advantages which would flow from this Bill would, in Scotland, be confined—from the peculiar system of parochial relief—to a very small class. As he understood the matter—although the able-bodied poor were not entitled either to medical or pecuniary relief from the funds raised by rates—there was still a small class at present who might be entitled to medical relief as distinct from pecuniary relief. That was the class of men who had been temporarily disabled, and who were entitled by law to be placed for the time among those who received parochial relief. That class, although small, was entitled to equal consideration with such men in England. It was said that the passing of such a measure as this would be an encouragement and incentive to persons not now receiving medical relief to come on the funds for that purpose; but there was no fear of that in Scotland, because there were two parties who must be consulted in such a transaction—not merely those who applied for relief, but the Parochial Board, who administered relief. The Parochial Boards were not entitled, under the stringent Poor Law of Scotland, to give such relief, except to those who were strictly entitled to it; and for these reasons he conceived that the passing of a clause, which would prevent the Scotch people receiving the benefits of such a measure as this, was a mistake.
MR. J. B. BALFOUR
said, he would only repeat, in a few sentences, the statement he made the other night of what ho understood to be the law of Scotland in this matter, taking special account of the question put to him by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Bolton (Mr. Thomasson). In Scotland no able-bodied person was entitled to parochial relief; consequently, there would be a comparatively limited application of the Bill in Scotland as compared with England, if it became law, 1666 as it now stood. But still there were conceivable cases which might arise, as he explained the other night, to which the Bill would apply. For example, it would apply to such a case as this—A person, not able-bodied, might be in such a position that he or she could out of his or her own resources, or the resources of friends, provide adequate food, clothing, and shelter, and yet might stop short of being able to provide medical relief or assistance. Undoubtedly, in a case of that kind, the Bill would apply. Whether the cases were numerous or not seemed to be a matter on which there was a difference of opinion. He should have thought they would be few; but several hon. Friends, with whom he had conversed, thought they would be more numerous than those who were present in the House the other night seemed disposed to think. It was impossible to ascertain the number precisely; but it did appear to him to be an appreciable, and, in the opinion of some, it was a considerable number. In reply to the question of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Bolton, he should say that if a man had his leg broken, he would, by that fact, become no longer an able-bodied man, and would, therefore, fall within the category of persons who, if they were poor enough, were entitled to apply for relief. That would be a particular instance of the class—a somewhat limited class—to which he had already referred. What was said by the hon. Member for Aberdeen (Mr. Webster) with regard to some other points of law was quite correct. He (Mr. J. B. Balfour) thought he had stated sufficient of what the law of Scotland was on the point to enable hon. Members to form a judgment. The remaining question was whether there might not possibly be a larger number of persons affected by the Bill than many hon. Members were disposed to think; and if the number was found to be considerable, it would undoubtedly be a serious step to make the law different as between the two countries. The prevailing fooling the other night was that the Bill—and he confessed that was rather his own view—would hardly have any application in Scotland; but that appeared now to be rather doubtful.
§ MR. ORR-EWING
said, he was afraid that, although his right hon. and 1667 learned Friend the late Lord Advocate (Mr. J. B. Balfour) was well conversant with the law of Scotland, he was not well acquainted with the practice of Parochial Boards. The medical officer received the names of the paupers from the Inspector of the Poor, and then he was obliged to attend to them, and then only. As to the case which was mentioned by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron), and repeated by the right hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. J. B. Balfour), if a man was obliged to send for the medical officer, he would not then be an able-bodied man, and would come on the Parochial Board, and would be disfranchised. He had some experience in the management of Parochial Boards; he employed a vast number of men; he had been Chairman of two Parochial Boards for many years, and he did not hesitate to say that such a thing as a man, not actually a pauper, losing his right to vote in consequence of receiving medical relief, never happened in Scotland, and could not happen.
§ MR. BRYCE
said, he understood that when this subject was last under consideration the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board (Mr. A. J. Balfour) promised to ascertain the opinions of all the Scotch Members upon it. Had the right hon. Gentleman any objection to say what the result of his inquiries was, and what course the Government would have recommended but for the resolution they had just come to not to make themselves further responsible for the progress of the Bill?
§ MR. J. W. BARCLAY
said, he quite agreed with very much that the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dumbartonshire (Mr. Orr-Ewing) had said; but he did not think the hon. Gentleman was quite right in his interpretation of the Poor Law of Scotland. It was quite true that the parochial doctor received a list of patients whom he was expected to attend; but it was provided by the Board of Supervision that in a case of necessity the doctor was bound to attend a patient on receiving a notice from any member of the Parochial Board. The individual so attended would be disqualified from exercising the franchise unless he were protected by the this Bill. The Committee would do well to accept the late Lord Advocate's 1668 (Mr. J. B. Balfour's) interpretation of the law—namely, that if the parochial doctor attended a patient who happened for the time not to be able-bodied the patient would be disfranchised. If there were very few who would be affected by the Bill, that was a very great reason why the Bill should be allowed to remain as it now stood. What was the use of making the law in Scotland different from that in England and Ireland? It was very desirable to have uniformity in this matter. In this matter there was very considerable difference between the positions of the Scotch towns and counties. In the towns, the Town Councils, as the Local Authority, had to deal with infectious diseases, and a man in a town would not be disqualified if he received relief from the Town Council, because he was suffering from an infectious disease. But he (Mr. J. W. Barclay) had very strong reason to believe that in counties outside towns the case was different. In counties the Local Authority charged with the duty of dealing with infectious diseases was the Parochial Board. If, therefore, a man in a county was striken down by an infectious disease and received temporary assistance from the Parochial Board out of parochial funds he would be disqualified from voting. He (Mr. J. W. Barclay) considered that the attempt to show cause why Scotland should be exempted from the Bill had entirely failed. There was no substantial difference between the laws of the two countries in this respect, because the law of Scotland prohibited relief to any able-bodied man, yet the circumstances of medical relief pre-sup-posed a temporary disability. He would not enter into the arguments about the general evil effects which would accrue to Scotland if it were included in the Bill. He agreed with the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stirlingshire (Mr. Bolton) that the people of Scotland were extremely anxious to pay their way. It was because of that general disposition on the part of the people that he thought there was less reason for disqualifying the few persons who might be under the necessity of accepting medical relief. He failed to see that any valid reasons had been given why the Bill should not apply to Scotland as well as to England.
§ MR. ASHER
said, he desired to state the grounds upon which he intended to 1669 vote against the Amendment of his hon. Friend the Member for Dumbartonshire. In the first place, the House, by a very large majority, had approved of the principle of the Bill; and, in the second place, he was not satisfied that if the Amendment was carried it would not have the effect of disqualifying a considerable number of electors in Scotland. An impression appeared to prevail on the part of some hon. Members that there was something connected with the Poor Law of Scotland which made it impossible that this Bill could have any effect in Scotland. It did not appear to him that there was anything connected with the Poor Law of Scotland which should prevent the occurrence of a considerable number of cases to which this Bill could apply. It was true that, by the Poor Law of Scotland, no able-bodied person was entitled to parochial relief; but, on the other hand, a person might be temporarily disabled by accident or disease or delicate health, and when in that condition, though able from his own resources to maintain himself and family, he might yet not be able to procure medical attendance or medicine for himself or some of his young children resident with him and dependent upon him. It would be competent for a man in that position to go to the Inspector of Poor and explain his difficulty, and having satisfied the Inspector that he was unable to supply himself or family with medical attendance and medicine, he thought he would be entitled by the law of Scotland to receive assistance. It was quite true that in consequence of receiving that assistance he would become a pauper, and it would be the duty of the Inspector to put his name on the Roll; but he would only be a pauper in respect of receiving that medical relief or assistance either for himself or for a member of his family. As soon as he recovered he might be able to resume his duties, and to dispense with all further medical relief; and yet, in such a ease, if this Bill did not apply to Scotland, he would be disqualified from voting. Then it was said that the Bill would only apply to a limited number, and that, therefore, the benefit of extending it to Scotland would be comparatively small; while there would be an attendant evil of a much greater magnitude. It seemed to be supposed that the extension of the Bill to Scot- 1670 land would have the effect of increasing the class of persons whom ho had described as entitled to temporary medical relief of the kind he had mentioned. He had a much higher opinion of that class than to suppose that the mere extension of the Bill to Scotland would produce any general feeling of that kind among the working classes throughout Scotland. But the matter did not stop there. Suppose a tendency to apply were thereby created, that did not mean that the right to receive relief thereby arose. Even if it led to applications being made to the Inspector of the Poor it would be the duty of that officer to investigate the circumstances of each case, and satisfy himself that the person applying for medical relief was entitled to receive it. He (Mr. Asher) was unable to appreciate the attendant or incidental evil which was said to be connected with the extension of the Bill to Scotland. Therefore, on the ground that ho approved of the principle of the Bill, and that he was was not satisfied that the exclusion of Scotland would not have a disfranchising effect, his intention was to vote against the Amendment.
§ SIR EDWARD COLEBROOKE
said, in Scotland, when a working man got into difficulties through illness, he applied to his own doctor, and not the relieving officer, therefore the case cited by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Forfarshire (Mr. J. W. Barclay) had no bearing on the case. The man would be disqualified not on account of receiving medical relief, hut through coming on the Poor Poll. He (Sir Edward Colebrooke) had some experience of the practical working of the Poor Law in the agricultural districts of Scotland; and, in his opinion, the Bill would be practically inoperative in Scotland, and, under these circumstances, ought not to apply to Scotland. Until the hon. and learned Gentlemen (Mr. J. B. Balfour and Mr. Asher) below him could give something more than mere hypothetical cases, he should hold that the Bill ought not to apply to Scotland. There were, of course, cases of epidemic, but the sufferers were not put on the Poll, and, consequently, would not be disqualified under the existing law. The desire of the agricultural labourer in Scotland was not to pauperize himself or his family, and that desire was a very commendable one. It was because he wished to support the 1671 labourer in this desire to maintain his independence that he (Sir Edward Cole-brooke) intended to support the Amendment of his hon. Friend (Mr. Orr-Ewing). He had opposed the Bill throughout, not with reference to Scotland only, but from his experience in England as a Guardian of the Poor in the Metropolis; he had been struck by the gross abuses which attended relief of any kind. He wished that in his country there should be no temptation whatever to the people to apply for relief. No matter what threat might be held out to him, he was not afraid to walk though the Lobby and have his name paraded before the country as one of those who wished to exclude Scotland from the operation of this Bill.
§ MR. A. E. D. ELLIOT
said, the hon. and learned Gentlemen on the Front Opposition Bench (Mr. J. B. Balfour and Mr. Asher) had spoken as if Scotland would be placed in an invidious position if this Amendment were carried. As a matter of fact, Scotland, instead of being placed in an invidious position, would be placed in a very creditable position, because it would be recorded on the Statute Book that there was in Scotland some respect paid to what was called the free and independent electors. It was because he wished to preserve the good quality and the independent spirit of the electors that he supported the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dumbartonshire (Mr. Orr-Ewing). Like his hon. Friend who had just spoken (Sir Edward Colebrooke) he had opposed this Bill throughout, because he greatly regretted to see the want of respect paid in the House to the independent character of the electors. The hon. Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) had said that the other night —he (Mr. A. Elliot) was not able to be present on that occasion—there were few Radical Members from Scotland present. He did not know how the hon. Gentleman classified the Members; but the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Henderson) was generally supposed to be as thorough-going a Liberal as the hon. Member for Glasgow (Dr. Cameron), and he understood that the hon. Member got up and indignantly repudiated the idea of extending these pauperizing provisions to Scotland. He (Mr. A. Elliot) very much regretted that the question had come on for decision now, 1672 when the House was empty, and when many Scottish Members had gone away. It was not apprehended that anything of this sort would occur, and the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. Henderson) was not present; no doubt he would have made it convenient to be here had he known that the matter would be again considered. He (Mr. A. Elliot) would repeat the question put by the hon. and learned Member for the Tower Ham-lets (Mr. Bryce) to the Government as to what the result of the inquiries among Scottish Members had been, which the President of the Local Government Board promised to make. It had been pointed out by the late Lord Advocate that persons here and there might be excluded from the franchise; but the right hon. and learned Gentleman almost went out of his way to avoid declaring that he had known of such cases occurring previously. Were they, for the sake of a few possible cases, to give up that on which the Scottish electors and the Scottish Members prided themselves—the independence of the electors? They wanted the voters to be perfectly free and independent, as they had hitherto been; and he implored the House not to do anything which would detract from the high character of the Scottish electorate.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said, he hoped they would now decide the issue of this question. The hon. Member for Roxburghshire (Mr. A. Elliot) had spoken vehemently against Scotland being included in the Bill. He could not forget that that hon. Member was as equally vehemently opposed to the general principle of the Bill. There were some Scottish Members who thought that this Bill would have no application to Scotland as it stood. It was quite plain it could have no evil effect, except the suggestion that it might alter the sentiment of Scotland on the subject of pauperism. That he did not think was a solid ground to go upon. On the other hand, there were many Scottish Members who thought that there would be a considerable number of cases coming within the Bill. If there were only 20 persons in Scotland who would be affected by the Bill he did not see why they should be disfranchised. The application of the Bill to Scotland could do no harm. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the late 1673 Lord Advocate (Mr. J. B. Balfour) considered it was quite possible there might be cases which the Bill would reach. As it might be an injustice to a certain number of Scotchmen if Scotland were excluded from the Bill, he should vote against the Amendment.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 125; Noes 30: Majority 95.—(Div. List, No. 242.)
§ Bill reported, without Amendment.
MR. JESSE CODLINGS
Considering the extreme urgency of the measure, I beg to move that the third reading of the Bill be now taken.
§ MR. SPEAKER
Is it the pleasure of the House to take the third reading of the Bill now? [Cries of "No, no!"and "Yes!"] The third reading of the Bill can only be taken with the general consent of the House.
§ MR. SPEAKER
No; I ruled that. In fact, the third reading can only be taken by the general concurrence of the House, and that has not been obtained.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
The day, I understand, has not been fixed yet for taking the third reading; and, as I understand it, you have asked for the day to be named. [Cries of "Order!"]
§ MR. SPEAKER
If the hon. Member will name a day, an opportunity will then be afforded for discussion.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be read the third time To-morrow."—(Mr. Jesse Collings.)
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
asked whether, in view of the Government having ceased to take any responsibility for the Bill, they would afford facilities for its being proceeded with? The Government were in possession of the time 1674 of the House, and could use great influence in preventing the further progress of the Bill. Ho should like to know what course Her Majesty's Government were going to pursue, and whether they would place the Bill in such a position on the Paper as would enable the House to pronounce an early opinion upon it?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR)
said, the right hon. Gentleman seemed to be under a mistake. The Government had no control under the arrangement of the Orders for tomorrow, which was Friday, and was, therefore, in possession of private Members. If the Bill was put down for tomorrow, it would take its ordinary position. There could be no need for further discussion on the third reading. The subject had been fully debated; it was not a Bill for which special facilities were required.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said, that it would be extremely inconvenient for hon. Members who desired to support this Bill if it were brought up at a very late hour.
said, that the possession of the time of the House by the Government did not apply to Friday; and if they would not accede to the wishes of the majority and give facilities for the third reading of this Bill, he and several of his Friends would put down a number of Motions on going into Committee of Supply on Friday.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I was, unfortunately, out of the House when this question arose, and I do not know the exact position of affairs; but I understand that a request has been made that we should place this Bill before the other Orders of the Day for tomorrow evening. I do not quite see the object of that. The Bill can come on at any hour of the evening; it cannot be blocked; it has been discussed over and over again, and I cannot imagine any necessity for any lengthened debate. We cannot put it before Supply, because that would be contrary to the Orders of the House. The Bill, however, can be moved by any hon. Member of the House, and the House can deal with it.
§ MR. CAUSTON
asked if the House was to understand that the Government did not intend to oppose the third read- 1675 ing of the Bill, and that it might consequently be taken at any hour of the evening?
§ MR. BRODRICK
said, that the House had taken a very unusual course in taking up a Bill after it had been abandoned by the Government; and the least hon. Members opposite could do was to give the Government time to consider the matter. He was prepared to move that the third reading be taken on Monday.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
asked whether Her Majesty's Government recognized this as a Ministerial crisis? Was it their intention to pursue the course adopted a few weeks ago under similar circumstances—namely, to go through the Orders of the Day, and then adjourn?
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
said, he thought the question of his hon. Friend (Mr. Causton) was a very reasonable one, and required an answer. What they wished to know was, what the position of the Government was at the present time with regard to this Bill. The Government had said that they ceased to have any responsibility with regard to it. Did that mean that they would not offer any active opposition to the third reading?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL)
It is very unusual to ask the Government on one day to state a course which they may be inclined to take on another day. I imagine that no one would have resisted an inquiry of such a kind more strenuously than hon. Gentlemen opposite when they occupied these Benches. The matter stands thus. The Government having ceased to take responsibility for this Bill, the hon. Member for Ipswich has very properly taken it up. The Bill will take its place in the other Orders for to-morrow. There are already nine Orders of the Day down, and it is not in the power of the hon. Member to move that it come before them. It will stand as the tenth, and will come on in the ordinary course; and no doubt hon. Members who take such an interest in the Bill will find no inconvenience in attending in order to move the third reading.
§ MR. JESSE COLLINGS
said, he would ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer—he would not ask the noble Lord, for no one expected him to know to-day what course he would take to-morrow— 1676 if, when the Bill did come on for third reading, the Government intended to support, oppose, or remain neutral with regard to it?
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I must put it to the hon. Member whether this is a fair question. Alterations have been made in the Bill which we conceive to be of great importance, and I have been utterly unable to consult my Colleagues with regard to it. It may be our duty to take one course or another; but all I can say at present is that we cannot assume the responsibility towards the Bill that we have hitherto done.
§ SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, if the House agreed to the Bill being taken on Monday, the Government would lot it be put down as the first Order for that day? It was of great urgency.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that the hon. Gentleman had answered himself. If it was of such urgency, it should be taken tomorrow. He could not accede to the hon. Gentleman's request.
§ MR. HENEAGE
said, the proper course to take was to move the adjournment of the House in order to give the Government time to make up its mind, which he would therefore do. He took this course in no Party spirit, for he had agitated this question against both the late and the present Governments. It was not only a question as to when the third reading would be taken, but what would become of the measure when it got to "another place." Was the Bill to be rejected there? He would remind the Government that they were allowed the time of the House upon their promise to take up certain Bills, and this was one of them. He desired to know if the Government felt bound to go on with the measure and see it passed into law or not?
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—(Mr. Heneage.)
§ THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Mr. E. STANHOPE)
said, the hon. Member, who was so very anxious for the passing of this Bill, had moved the adjournment of the House, which, if carried, would result in no day being fixed. The Chancellor of the Exchequer 1677 was willing for the third reading to be put down for to-morrow; and if hon. Members opposite were so anxious for the Bill, why on earth did they not take that course? The hon. Member for Grimsby had asked the Government to say what the House of Lords would do with the Bill. Well, he would say, let this House deal with the measure in its wisdom to-morrow or any day it fixed, and when it went to the House of Lords that House would, no doubt, in its wisdom also deal with it. But he had no right whatever to say what course the House of Lords would take with regard to the Bill. So far as this House was concerned, let it be put down for tomorrow.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said, he did not think that either the tone or the language of the right hon. Gentleman was calculated to facilitate the progress of Business. The inquiry made of the Government was a very fair inquiry. It was true they had declined responsibility for the Bill; but it was a Bill the importance and urgency of which they had admitted. True, it had been altered in a particular from which they differed, but a particular which the country would regard as not a very vital particular. The question which was now put to them was this—"What course are you going to take with regard to the Bill?" That question could not be disposed of by the defiant manner of the right hon. Gentleman, and by his saying—"Put it down for what day you will." Why could not the Government make up their minds what they wore going to do with reference to this Bill? Why could they not say that, although they did not support it in its present shape, at the same time they could not go the length of endeavouring to destroy the Bill here or "elsewhere?" That would be a reasonable and satisfactory statement. Let the Government say whether, on account of the alterations made, they were going to try to defeat the Bill, either directly or indirectly. The inquiry made was not an unfair one. The Motion to adjourn was made simply for the purpose of eliciting an answer to that question. It was not correct that the Motion for Adjournment, if carried, would defeat the Bill, because in that case it would be put down for Monday. The question was really one of the convenience of Members. They 1678 wished to avoid the inconvenience that would attend uncertainty as to the intentions of the Government with regard to the Bill, and they wished to avoid being kept at the House until 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning if there were no necessity. The Leader of the House would not desire to put Members to any unnecessary inconvenience. Let him make a statement which would allow Members on both sides to know whether there was to be a Party division. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would be able to give some information.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that he gladly recognized that the right hon. Gentleman had supported the Motion to adjourn with the simple object of obtaining information; but it appeared to him that the Motion had been made to prevent any further progress with Business this evening.
§ MR. HENEAGE
said, he could assure the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he had moved the adjournment solely to obtain some information as to the intentions of the Government.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
He was very glad that the hon. Member denied that imputation. The request that was made of the Government appeared to be unreasonable. They were asked to state what were the intentions of the Government with regard to this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman must know that he could not speak on behalf of his Colleagues without having had the opportunity of consulting them. If this were an important matter, the more necessary was it that the Members of the Government should consult before they stated what course they should pursue. He was afraid ho could not say more than that. He would consult his Colleagues at the earliest possible moment; and he should be prepared at half-past 4 o'clock on Friday to state what course the Government would take with regard to the third reading of the Bill.
§ MR. FINCH-HATTON
said, be hoped the consideration of the Bill would be resumed at the earliest practicable moment.
§ MR. CALLAN
said, he had been amused by the by-play which had taken place. The Government could not give any facilities on Friday; it was not in the power of the House to do so. The hon. Member for Grimsby had a Party 1679 purpose in view. Did he wish to put the Bill down for Monday so as to enable the rank and file of the great Liberal Party to pay their last tribute to the nobleman who brought about the downfall of the Government?
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill to be read the third time Tomorrow.