HC Deb 14 December 1888 vol 332 cc294-338

Order for Second Reading read.

MR. J. C. STEVENSON (South Shields)

, in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, that although he had had charge of the Bill since 1879, this was the first opportunity afforded him of taking the sense of the House upon the direct issue as to whether it should be read a second time or not. Before the Rules of Procedure were amended, this and many other important measures were prevented from coming to a direct issue in the House. He believed, however, that if the Rules now in operation had been in force in recent years there would now have been, in some shape or other, a Sunday Closing Bill on the Statute Book of this country. The fact that they had now obtained an evening for the discussion of the Bill at the end of a crowded Session of Parliament was itself a proof of the importance of the subject; and he thanked the Government for the hearty way in which they had discharged, at great inconvenience to themselves, their obligation under which they promised to provide an opportunity for a debate upon the second reading. The Prime Minister some time ago described this question as a burning question. This was an accurate description; but it would continue to burn until it had burned itself out by the passing of the legislation that was demanded. Many millions of the people of this country had an intense desire to see this question settled; and the only way to satisfy their demands was to legislate on the lines of the Bill now before the House. It was a monstrous anomaly that public-houses should be allowed to remain open while other places of business were closed on Sundays. The supporters of this movement did not expect that they would all at once reach the end which they had in view. Their desire was rather to keep the question to the front, and take what they could get until the full measure was applied to the whole country, which would break down the monopoly by which a single business was allowed to remain open on Sundays, and that business one which offered great temptation to people to waste their money and bring discredit upon themselves and misery upon their families. He might say at once that he did not expect to be able to apply the Bill to London. He was always ready to admit that London was in a peculiar position, being, from its great mass of inhabitants, a kingdom in itself, and in this, as in other matters, he thought the legislation for London should be specially applicable to London itself. London, therefore, might be regarded as altogether outside the scope of the Bill. As to the large towns, he believed that public opinion was ripe upon the subject, and that they were ready for the total closing of public-houses. In 1886 he carried an Amendment in Committee on the Bill of the hon. Member for the Barnard Castle Division of Durham (Sir Joseph Pease) for total Sunday closing all over England, except the Metropolis; but the Dissolution of Parliament, which shortly followed, put an end to the further progress of that Bill. If this House should take a different view, he hoped that hon. Members in Committee would propose such Amendments as would give what they thought the large towns were ready for. With regard to the rural districts, he did not think that anyone would deny that they were prepared for the total closing of public-houses on Sundays, and he believed that the publicans themselves were exceedingly anxious to have the Bill passed. He might mention in passing that the Church of England Temperance Society had issued a circular in which they expressed the hope that the second reading of the Bill would be strongly supported that night. Some people looked upon the measure as one of coercion; but he regarded it as a measure of liberation. It would set free on Sundays some 200,000 or 300,000 people who were engaged in the liquor trade—barmen and barmaids, a class which, perhaps more than any other class, required rest on that day. They heard a great deal about the nine hours' movement, and they knew that the labouring classes now worked 54 hours a week; but those who were engaged in the liquor trade worked 108 hours a week, and the man who would have his glass of beer on Sunday deprived these people of health, comfort, rest, and the opportunity of getting moral and intellectual improvement. He had received a letter from a barman, who said he had not had a Sunday for over 20 years, and that it was "simply miserable." There was no plea of real necessity in the matter, though there might be one of slight convenience. The House had been too long in responding to the demand of the public for Sunday closing. Lord Cross, when Home Secretary, received a Memorial on the subject, signed by upwards of 14,457 ministers of religion belonging to all Churches. In 1882 a declaration, signed by 3,598 County and Borough Magistrates, was presented to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian; and in 1883 there were sent to the House Petitions signed by 1,493,097 people, praying, not for a compromise, but for the Bill now before them. Petitions in favour of the Bill were also forwarded by 116 Town Councils and 362 Boards of Guardians. Last year a very interesting Memorial on the question was presented to Her Majesty, on the occasion of Her Jubilee, signed by 1,132,608 mothers and daughters of England. He said, therefore, that if the House withheld that measure from the people, it would be withholding from them that which the people desired. A canvass of householders of the country had been made with a view to ascertain their opinions on that subject, and out of a bout 1,000,000 householders, 883,000 had asked that public-houses should be closed during the whole of Sunday. There could be no doubt that the opinion of the country, as it had been expressed in different ways, was in favour of that important change. An overwhelming majority of those who were most interested in the question demanded that that measure should be passed. Up to 1839 there was no Sunday closing at all, except during Divine Service, and it so happened that it took place first in London, then in Liverpool, and afterwards in Manchester and Newcastle. The whole of the householders of the country were now represented in that House, which was more democratic than it had been before; and he urged that the House should now make up for the negligence of the past in that matter, and confer on the people that great boon which had been too long delayed, and which they so earnestly desired. All the temperance reformers, all who worked in Sunday Schools, or who were engaged in any way in promoting the welfare of the great body of the people, said that drink was one of the worst obstacles to the success of their labours, and that the most ready mode of diminishing the evils of drink was to deal with that question of Sunday closing. Scotland had had the advantage of a Sunday Closing Act for 34 years, and he did not think that the voice of a single Scotch Member would be raised for the repeal of that measure. Ireland and Wales had also legislation of that kind; and though in the case of Wales there had been some friction, yet they could hardly expect to have a great change of that description carried out without some amount of trouble or friction. And whose fault was that? It was the fault of Parliament, which had allowed the habit to be created, and the evils of Sunday drinking to go on so long; and he asked, would the trouble be made less by further delaying that beneficial change? He had a circular from the Band of Hope Union, which had 1,718,000 young persons under 21 years of age connected with their organization, and they were convinced that thousands of young persons, being at leisure on Sunday, were exposed to special danger from the bad habit of frequenting public-houses, and that, in the interests of the sobriety of the country, those houses ought to be closed on Sunday. In 1880 he carried a Resolution, by a majority of 36, declaring that the time had come for a measure of that kind being undertaken. He was glad that the present Government had this year done something in regard to Sunday closing by introducing Clause 9 in their County Government Bill; but that had been withdrawn, so that at present there was no measure with that object except the Bill which he now asked the House to read a second time, in order to prove that, in their opinion, such legislation was urgently called for and ought not to be delayed. This was not a question which should be left to private Members, and he found fault with Governments on both sides for having neglected it so long. If the Government thought the Bill wont too far, he invited them to bring one in themselves on lines which they could approve. He would now refer to a circular issued by the Licensed Victuallers' Protection Association. He believed that a copy had been sent to Members of the House, but by some accident he had not received one. That Association had got up Petitions this Session against the Bill, and the figures were rather peculiar, there being only 603,887 signatures to the Petitions. Now, be understood there were 100,000 public-houses in England, and, that being so, there were only about six signatures to each public house—which was not a very wide expression of opinion when compared with that on the other side. To the Petitions of the licensed victuallers themselves there were 8,122 signatures, and as there were 100,000 public-houses, that was only 8 per cent of the whole number, which showed that the publicans themselves were really in favour of working only six days a week like other people. But Petitions from public-house counters had no moral value compared with those from self-denying people who had no interests of their own to serve. Upon the subject of compensation, which the Association claimed in the event of Sunday closing being enacted, the House had already delivered its judgment, for it decided against compensation in the Irish Sunday Closing Bill. There was one argument against his proposal with which he wished to deal. He had heard hon. Gentlemen say that they would never vote for shutting up public-houses in the East End unless the clubs in the West End were shut up also. Who wanted the public-houses in the East of London to be shut? It was the people in the East End. They did not care whether the public-houses in Pall Mall were shut or not; it was the houses at their own doors which they desired to be shut, and from which they suffered. He should be glad to give any Sunday Closing Bill which contained a clause dealing with the West End clubs his support. The wives of the working men in the East of London had said that they did not care about the West End clubs. They did not lose their Sunday dinners because of the opening of those clubs, but they lost their dinners in consequence of the public-houses at their own doors being open; and that seemed to him to be the practical view to take. He feared that the governing classes of this country did not thoroughly understand and appreciate the wants of those who were farther removed from them in social rank. ["Oh, oh!"] In support of this view he might quote the opinion of Cardinal Manning to the effect that the governing classes were too far removed from the life of the people to be conscious of the immensity of the evils which existed beyond their own level in life. Dealing with the Amendments which had been placed on the Paper, he said that he was not so anxious for the mode of carrying out his object as he was that something should be done in the direction he had indicated. When the responsible Government of the day brought in a Bill for dealing with this matter in a particular way, although they did not see fit to persevere with the particular clause, he was one of those who voted for its continuance in the Bill. He did not see how the Amendment of the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) could help them very much, and he suggested to the hon. Member for Oxford University (Mr. J. G. Talbot) that he ought to vote for the second reading of the Bill, and endeavour to amend it in Committee. If the hon. Member would bring forward a Bill on the lines of his Resolution he should vote for it and try to amend it in Committee afterwards. The result of no discussion in Parliament this Session was looked for with greater anxiety than the discussion and decision of that night. The people would look to see whether the House had listened to their earnest cry to stop this temptation on the only day in the week when they had most money to spend and most leisure to spend it—a temptation which brought numerous evils in its train, and which those people felt so acutely. He concluded by moving the second reading of the Bill.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. J. C. Stevenson.)

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

, in rising to move— That this House is of opinion that it would be more conducive to the interests of temperance and to the principle of local self-government that the question of Sunday Closing should be relegated to the decision of the inhabitants of the localities in which the public-houses are situated, said, that his Amendment was not designed in a hostile spirit to the cause of temperance. On the contrary, although he was not a member of any Band of Hope, he was a practical teetotaller; and he could assure his hon. Friend that he sympathized greatly with him and wished him success in the cause which he and others in the House had made their speciality. He considered, however, that his hon. Friend and those who were acting with him were making a great tactical mistake in the course which they were taking at the present time. He thought it was a pity that this Bill should have been brought forward at a time when real success was close at hand. Zeal was sometimes somewhat compromising, and it was so here. It would be a matter of great regret, when they were near the goal which they sought to attain, were they to fail owing to a tactical error. What was the principle at the bottom of the crusade hon. Gentlemen had undertaken against intemperance? As far as he understood it was this—that the whole question of the regulation of the liquor traffic was essentially a local one, and that the inhabitants of the locality were the persons to decide whether any spirituous liquor was to be sold within their locality, and, if so, under what conditions. For a long time this principle was successfully contested in the House by those who feared that if it were adopted it would greatly diminish and eventually destroy the liquor traffic; but of late years it had advanced greatly. In 1880, 1881, and 1883, the hon. Member for the Cockermouth Division of Cumberland (Sir Wilfrid Lawson) passed Resolutions in favour of the principle of Local Option, In 1885, Lord Salisbury declared in a speech at Newport that he considered this question of Sunday closing or opening of public-houses was a local one, and that he was in favour of the locality deciding. In this present Session, the Government, acting on this view of Lord Salisbury, introduced the Local Government Bill, creating local elective councils. There were two clauses in the Bill dealing with the liquor traffic. By the first clause any locality being a county, town, or borough, was enabled to suppress public-houses at their will, but that was coupled with a scale of compensation in case they did so that rendered the permission perfectly nugatory. Both sides of the House thought that that was a mistake, because it laid down the principle, in defiance of the existing decisions of the Courts of Law, that a publican had a freehold in his property. By the concurrent agreement of both sides of the House this clause was withdrawn. The second clause allowed the locality to deal with the Sunday Closing Question; but the one clause was not dependent on the other, except in this way—that in the first a huge bribe was given to the publican. The Government did not wish to offend the publicans, and the publicans were not satisfied without a quid pro quo. There was, however, a difficulty in the way. The Government had not a majority of their own supporters in the House. There were some Liberal Unionist supporters of the Government, who happened to be very strong temperance advocates, and they did not know exactly what to do. They wanted some excuse to be allowed to show their subserviency to the Government at the expense of their temperance principles. Therefore it was agreed that if those Liberal Unionist temperance advocates would vote for the withdrawal of the clause in the Local Government Bill an opportunity would be given to parade their temperance views by giving an absolutely barren vote on the Bill of his hon. Friend. The great negotiator on this subject was his hon. Friend the Member for Barrow-in-Furness (Mr. Caine), who voted against what he had formerly advocated because he had bargained away his vote, and who brought his hon. Friend behind him and others into the Lobby with him. Where was the hon. Member for Barrow now? [An hon. MEMBER: In India.] No doubt, then, his hon. Friend was persuading the 250,000,000 people of that country that the great chief whom he followed so subserviently was right in describing them as nothing but black men. When the Liberals voted against the withdrawal of the clause they meant that all regulations in regard to the liquor traffic ought to be local questions. Now, however, it was proposed that they should declare that this particular question was an Imperial one. He was not a very great believer in consistency in Parliament; but still he liked to be consistent, at least, during the Session. His hon. Friend the Member for South Shields had urged that this question had been Imperially decided before. As to the Forbes Mackenzie Act, it was passed because a majority of the Scotch people were in favour of it. Under that Act no public-house, but only hotels, could be opened on Sunday bonâ fide for travellers; but his hon. Friend did not go quite so far, for he had put in his Bill a note which stated that matters should remain as they were with regard to bonâ fide travellers and lodgers. Then they had passed the Welsh Act, and also the Cornwall Bill, which was rejected by the House of Lords. At that time, however, there were no local councils. Would the Welsh Act have been passed if there had been a majority of Welsh Members opposed to it? It was passed for Wales because there was in that country a consensus of opinion in favour of its being passed. The present Bill was for England; and he very much doubted whether a majority of the English Members were in favour of it. ["Hear, hear!"] There were Scotch and Welsh Members who would vote for it; but would it be fair and legitimate to pass this Bill, which was a local Bill for England, against the wish of a majority of the English Members, by the votes of Scotch and Welsh Members, who had absolutely nothing to do with the matter? The hon. Member for South Shields said there was a majority in this country in favour of his proposal, and he endeavoured to prove that by telling them the number of Petitions which had been signed. He (Mr. Labouchere) had presented many Petitions, from many quarters, and upon many matters, at the request of his constituents and others, but for his part he was no believer in Petitions, for he knew very well how they were got up, for or against a measure. He should require a great deal more satisfactory evidence than Petitions, even if signed by a million of the wives, daughters, and husbands of England, to believe that there was a majority of the people in favour of the Bill. His hon. Friend had told them that a resolution had been signed by 1,020,000 householders, but there were about 6,000,000 householders in England. Therefore, if those figures were to be taken as a test, they proved rather the contrary to what his hon. Friend said. It was said that the Petitioners were circularized. By whom were they circularized? By people who knew the localities, and the people they were circularizing, and who knew what the answers would be.


, interposing, remarked that whole localities were taken.


said, he entirely agreed with his hon. Friend that certain localities were in favour of Sunday closing; but the gentlemen who got up the Petitions chose their localities in which they thought they could get a majority. Supposing there were a majority of the English Members in favour of it he should bow to their decision, but he should have great hesitation in forming one of the majority. They had just passed a Bill giving large local powers to the County Councils. Hon. Members on that side of the House, in supporting it, recognized the fact that this Sunday Closing Question was a matter which regarded the Local Councils rather than that House. It was not their business, immediately after having created those County Councils, to trench upon what they had asserted to be their attributes; their desire was that their powers should be greater than they were. In voting for the proposal of his hon. Friends, they would be making a direct attack upon the principle of local self-government. He should vote against the Bill, as a teetotaller, himself. [Laughter.] Yes; he was a teetotaller. He was one of the strongest advocates, and also a practical advocate, of teetotalism; but as a teetotaler he should vote against the Bill upon the ground of expediency. If we gave to the locality the right to decide upon Sunday closing, we should have no ground to refuse to give them a right to decide on closing on Mondays, Tuesdays, and other days of the week. This was our old friend the thin end of the wedge. Let them get it, and inevitably they must get in a short time the whole Local Option for which his hon. Friend and himself had been struggling for years. He was strongly in favour of all these local rights being reserved to the Local Councils. If one town wished public-houses opened they ought not to be dictated to by others that did not. He wished to leave the matter entirely to the locality. If they really wanted a Bill to prevent persons from going into public-houses on Sunday, it ought not to include the present provision which guaranteed to the bonâ fide traveller—one of the most thorough humbugs that ever lived—the right to go three miles off and to spend hours and hours drinking in a public-house. He was in Wales the other day. Five miles from Swansea there was a place called the Mumbles, with a very considerable population, a tramway connecting the two places. On Sunday the cars formed a kind of fair, for half Swansea went out to get drunk at the Mumbles, and half the Mumbles came in to get drunk at Swansea. Again, the hon. Member had laid special stress upon the vast amount of sobriety which would ensue if public-houses were closed on Sundays alone. The hon. Member did not, he supposed, speak from a Sabbatarian point of view, imagining it worse to get drunk on Sunday than on any other day in the week. His position was that wages were paid on Saturday, and that Sunday being a holiday offered more temptations for drinking. But in that case, why not go further, and close public-houses on Saturday also, because there was more drinking and more drunkenness on Saturdays than on Sundays? Therefore, he was going further than his hon. Friend, and, if really his hon. Friend wished to cope with this question, he would leave with the localities the right, not only to close public-houses on Sundays, but on Saturday nights and on other days if they so pleased. His hon. Friend made most extraordinary exemptions from the Bill. The Bill was supposed to be for all England, but a small, trifling village was excepted from its operation—London; and the great towns were also to be excepted if it were thought desirable. What, then, remained of the plan for Sunday closing all over England? Why, it was Local Option. Why did his hon. Friend leave out London? Because the Londoners did not want Sunday closing. He (Mr. Labouchere) did not know why Londoners were to be consulted more than the people anywhere else. Why should not the villagers in the country be allowed to contract themselves out of the Bill in the same way if they did not want Sunday closing? His hon. Friend had knocked the bottom out of his Bill by saying that he was leaving out London and the large towns—


explained that what he had proposed was that London should be excluded, and that the House might enact that in the large towns there should be partial, and in the rest of England complete Sunday closing.


asked, whether the system of leaving it to the locality was not an infinitely better one than the proposal of his hon. Friend? Then, again, by his Bill the exception was to be very much greater than the rule, if London was to be exempted and the large towns partially exempted. For his part, he believed that the drinking that took place in England was a positive national disgrace, and that the House and the Government shared that disgrace, because, by the existing system of revenue, the State profited by it and practically encouraged it. The only way of dealing with the matter was to stand hard and fast by the old plan of campaign—the principle of Local Option; and it was because he was in favour of that principle in all such restrictions—whether it was Sunday opening or whether it was weekday opening—that he proposed to move the Amendment standing in his name. Water-drinkers were very innocent people—innocent as doves. He wished them to have a little of the wisdom of the serpent. He did profess to be either a dove or a serpent himself. He was a practical man, and he desired legislation on this matter; he wanted restrictions in the matter of public drinking; he wanted the House to put down, if it possibly could, the facilities which were given all over the country for the people to get drink, and he believed they would do that best by what he had already called the old plan of campaign—Local Option. He would urge the House, and the distinguished advocates of the temperance cause themselves, to vote for his Amendment, and then, before long, they would obtain the very legislation for which they had been agitating. But if they stood or fell upon a Bill for the general closing of public-houses on Sunday they would put back the cause of Local Option to the dim and distant future. He begged to move the Amendment which stood in his name.

MR. DILLWYN (Swansea, Town)

seconded the Amendment.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That," to the end of the Question, in order to add the words 'this House is of opinion that it would he more conducive to the interests of temperance and to the principle of local self-government that the question of Sunday Closing should he relegated to the decision of the inhabitants of the localities in which the public-houses are situated,"—(Mr. Labouchere,) —instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

MR. J. G. TALBOT (Oxford University)

said that the hon. Gentleman who had last spoken (Mr. Labouchere), though not adopting a tone of great seriousness, showed that he was practically in accord with the principle advocated by the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. J. C. Stevenson). He thought that the House could hardly be expected to pass the second reading of a Bill, the promoter of which had declared his intention of accepting, in Committee, Amendments which would entirely change the character of the Bill. The hon. Member was ready to except from the Bill the whole of the Metropolis, but surely that was not the way in which a grave matter of that sort ought to be presented to the House. London was certainly a very important part of the Kingdom, and if the Bill professed to be a Sunday Closing Bill for the whole Kingdom, and if it was at the same time proposed to except London, then they were called upon to vote for a very different measure to that before the House. He was ready to support a Bill such as was brought in by the hon. Baronet the Member for Durham (Sir Joseph Pease) on several occasions in former Parliaments, which was a Bill, he might say, in passing, eminently of a non-Party character. It had been introduced by the hon. Baronet, and was backed by the present Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, then Lord Castlereagh. He referred to the Bill of 1884. If the hon. Member for South Shields had accepted that Bill at the time, and if the Bill had become law, this question would have been settled. He (Mr. J. G. Talbot) considered that the proposal before the House was not a statesmanlike way of dealing with the question, nor was it according to the practice of Parliament. A Committee of the House of Lords reported on the subject in 1879, and from that Report he would read a few words. It said— In England the houses are open (on Sundays) from 12.30 until 2.30, and from 6 to 10; in the Metropolis only from 1 to 3, and from 6 to 11 at night. The Committee are of opinion that the claim of persons employed in the sale of drink to be relieved from Sunday labour is entitled to great weight. Women and young persons are now prohibited by law from working in factories more than'56 hours in the week, while in public-houses in the country they can be kept at work for 108 hours, and in London for 123½ hours. The Committee, believing that public opinion in England is not yet ripe for total closing on Sundays, although it seems to be advancing in that direction "— the qualification was worthy of notice— cannot go so far as to recommend its adoption. They are, however, of opinion that the restrictions already enforced, which have proved efficacious, might be carried still further with advantage, and with the general concurrence of the populations affected. They would recommend, therefore, that licensed houses in the Metropolitan district should be open from 1 to 3 for consumption off the premises only, and from 7 to 11 for consumption on the premises; and in other places from 12.30 to 2.30 for consumption off the premises only, and from 7 to 10 at night for consumption on the promises in populous places, and from 7 to 9 p.m. in other places. It would be observed that these recommendations fell short of what the hon. Baronet the Member for Durham proposed in his Bill, but he was ready to go beyond the recommendations of the Lords' Committee, and to support the Bill of the hon. Baronet if he would bring it in again. There was a class of persons who ought not to be lost sight of beyond the householders, a great majority of whom, the hon. Member said, were in favour of his Bill. The hon. Gentleman forgot that there was a very large floating population in London and other places whose opinion could not be got at in a census of the kind that had been relied on, and it was very hard that they should have no place of refreshment on Sunday open to them. So serious would be the effect of such a Bill that he did not believe that anybody could carry it out. They could not forget what Lord Cross had said when Home Secretary—that he would not be responsible for the peace of London if such a Bill became law. This was not a Party matter, but a practical matter that should be dealt with on principles of common sense. It was, of course, very desirable to lessen the temptations to drunkenness on a day when there was more leisure, and therefore greater opportunities, for getting drunk. Without dwelling upon the religious question, they all wished, as far as possible, to unite in preserving the sacred character of the day; and there was, he believed, practical unanmity in the House that they must try to do not what they desired, but what was practicable. The hon. Gentleman who proposed the Bill had taken the wind out of his sails by admitting the very restrictions which he sought to establish. If the hon. Gentleman would withdraw the Motion for the second reading and allow his Resolution to stand in its place, that would be the wisest thing that could be done. But, whatever the result of the discussion to-night, he ventured to predict that the consequence would be, in a very short time, that the House would pass some such Bill as was sketched out in the Resolution, which, if the Forms of the House permitted, he would submit as an Amendment.

SIR WILFRID LAWSON (Cumberland, Cockermouth)

said, that though the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) had said that teetotallers were not doves, he (Sir Wilfrid Lawson) hoped he took a practical view of the position in which the House was placed to-night. He was not responsible for the Bill of the hon. Member for South Shields, though it was one that went in the direction of the policy he had supported for so many years. He always looked on the second reading of a Bill very much as on a Resolution; you did not go into details; you simply declared the principle. It was the skeleton of a measure, and you clothed it afterwards in Committee with flesh and blood. The principle of this measure was that the trade in drink should be brought into conformity with other trades, and should not be carried on on one day in seven, the Sunday. He would like to guard himself against being supposed to support it on Sabbatarian grounds. He believed that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, and, if anything, physically, materially, intellectually, or socially benefited mankind, it ought to be carried on upon the Sunday quite as much as upon any other day, perhaps more so. He felt as indignant as anyone when he saw the people of this country shut out from Museums and Parks on Sunday while all those public-houses were open to tempt them in. He knew that many Gentlemen on the other side of the House thought that the consumption of drink on Sunday was a kind of religious ceremony. He saw the noble Lord the Member for Brixton (the Marquess of Carmarthen), and he would quote a remark that noble Lord made the other day at one of those licensed victuallers' functions which he was very fond of attending—indeed, he (Sir Wilfrid Law-son) believed the noble Lord was a distinguished distiller himself. Well, that noble Lord said the other day— Some people talk about the alliance between beer and Bible. Why not? It is a very good thing. I myself read the one and drink the other. He did not hold that view at all. He did the one and not the other. He believed that it was the very greatest curse to the people to have this drinking carried on upon Sunday or week-day, and he did not think they ought to be called "gloomy fanatics" for saying that Sir William Gull said that alcohol was the most destructive agent known to the faculty. Many Members would recollect when they had among them Baron Dowse. Baron Dowse was not a "gloomy fanatic," like himself, and yet he said that the measure of the degradation of any district was exactly in proportion to the amount of alcohol consumed in it. Every day, every hour, every half-hour you cut off from the consumption of alcohol among the people you conferred a great benefit upon the community. Therefore, whatever the motive for bringing in the Bill, whether Sabbatarian or not, he cordially supported it. The hon. Member who spoke last dealt rather with details. They had not heard much against the Bill yet; but, no doubt, they would have some good speeches by-and-by. He could see that the right hon. Member for Whitehaven (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) was full of the subject, and he might almost answer the right hon. Gentleman's speech. They were friendly antagonists, and he knew very well that the right hon. Gentleman would talk about Scotland and the failure there. There was a speech made this year by the late Lord Advocate—he was not a "gloomy fanatic" either—and he told the House that the evidence in favour of closing in Scotland on Sunday was overwhelming; that it was all nonsense to talk about "she-beening," and that everyone of any consequence in Scotland was in favour of Sunday closing. There was not a Scotch Member on either side, if he voted for the repeal of the Forbes Mackenzie Act, would have the shadow of a shade of a ghost of a chance of being elected. Talk of failure in Ireland! They had a Select Committee of their own this year, and they reported dead in favour of the Sunday Closing Act, and that it should be extended to the five towns, called "Cities of Refuge," where it was not now in force. Then, there was poor little Wales, which was always trotted out. But there were plenty of his Welsh friends who would be able to tell the whole truth about it. They would be told about Cardiff and the clubs. But the police for two years had put down the clubs, and now the Welsh Sunday Closing Act was working admirably well. Was there any earthly reason why Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, enjoying the blessing of being sober, they should not extend the same blessing to England? The House would only be consistent in passing that Bill. Thay passed one Act this year to prevent the sale of a single drop of drink on the Dogger Bank; and, surely, if drink was useful anywhere, it would be useful among all those dangers and hardships. The Prime Minister, to a deputation presenting the claims of the Native races this very afternoon, had called the drink traffic with Native races "a miserable traffic," for, he said, "a vast amount of human happiness and misery are involved." He also said that if they succeeded in stopping the traffic "a moral conquest of the greatest value would be obtained." All that he asked was that they should have that moral conquest here. Why should not we, natives of Great Britain, be protected as well as anybody else? Who was against the Bill? Why, the most powerful band of monopolists the world have ever seen—the trade! The noble Lord the Member for South Paddington (Lord Randolph Churchill) said the other day that— The indiscriminate multiplication of those establishments, and the abnormally excessive number in our large towns of establishments for the sale of liquor, are rapidly ruining both the health and the morals of a large part of our urban population. This is the direct parent of more than one-half the crime and two-thirds the poverty, the misery, the disease, and the vice which tarnishes and disgraces our English civilization. He hoped the noble Lord would show his faith by his work, by voting for that Bill. The noble Lord referred to what was said by the Bishop of Peterborough—that he would rather see England free than sober—and said that he did not think the Bishop would say that again if he would only go and take a walk with him in the dark in the London streets. He supposed they should soon see the noble pair walking about the streets together. The opposition to that Bill came from the licensed victuallers, and the most extraordinary part of the opposition was that they said that the Sunday closing of public-houses would cause more drink to be consumed. Well, if more was sold it must be bought somewhere, and who made it but the licensed victuallers—the brewers themselves? If the publicans went against the Bill on that account, all he could say was that they were the most philanthropic band of men the world had ever seen. The House of Commons, after all, was an Assembly of men possessed of common sense, and he did not think a single man on either side was taken in by that argument. When "the trade" went against Bills like that under discussion it was because such Bills would greatly damage their business. They would decide to-night, when they went to a Division, who was on the Lord's side and who was on the landlords—who was for the publican and who was for the public. There was a Society which called itself the "Liberty and Property Defence League"—he called it the "Liquor and Lucre League"—and the President of that Society, the Earl of Wemyss, sent the following telegram to the "Scottish Wine, Spirit, and Beer Trade Defence Association":— Express my regret at absence. This battle of British liberty is being fought in the British public House. Urge permanent, united action of all interests to defeat united forces of Law-son, Harcourt, and Biggar. These were the sort of people who were opposing the Bill. He would say one word, in all friendliness, to the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere). He thought that, with the best of motives, and after a life spent, as he had no doubt, in advocating Local Option, he had, by his Amendment, somewhat confused the issue. He did not blame him; but, really, when they did get a chance of a fair and square vote in that House on anything in the world it was hard to have the issue confused. He would tell the House why he did not vote for the Amendment. In the first place, because he thought it was not well, when they got a chance, to throw it away on the bare possibility of getting something else. He would remind the House of the story of the Scotch. Member who said to a fellow-countryman who had just been elected—"Be ae taking a' you can get, and be ae complaining that you canna get mair." Local Option was only a means to an end. He advocated it because he believed it would strike a decisive blow at the liquor traffic. If anybody would propose a Maine Law for the whole country, he would do all he could to carry it. That was a Maine Law for Sunday. He believed the hon. Member who brought that Bill in did not exaggerate one bit when he said that there was no debate and no Division which had taken place throughout that long Session which would be watched with so much interest by the people of this country as the one in which they were now engaged. Hon. Members would not have forgotten the speech of the late Colonel Duncan in seconding the Address in reply to the Speech from the Throne. The words of that gallant Member were— Would it not be well in all our legislation if we could do something, just something, to make the homes of the people a little brighter? He was sure the House could do nothing better to follow the advice of that good man whom they had lost than pass that Bill. They would thus do something to make the conditions of life more hopeful, happier, and brighter to the great masses of the people. In doing so, they would do their duty to themselves, their constituents, and the country.


The hon. Baronet has been good enough to allude to me as a consistent opponent of him on this ques- tion, and the remark is perfectly true. I have been always opposed to Sunday-closing, because I have endeavoured to show myself a supporter of true liberty and of the true principles of temperance. But I wish to bring the House back to the consideration of the real question before it, and I would ask you to forget, for the moment, the dissertation of the hon. Baronet. The Bill is purely and simply a Sunday Closing Bill, and a large part of it has already disappeared. We are told that one-fifth of the population is to be withdrawn from it—namely, those of the Metropolis—and we are also told that the great towns will be treated in a manner somewhat approximate to that. There remains, therefore, only the small localities to be dealt with; and I happen to be the Representative of one of those small localities in this House. That is the very point to which we have to address ourselves—are these small localities to be subjected to this arbitrary measure? I am glad to see the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby (Sir William Harcourt) in his place, because, some years ago, when he was Home Secretary, we had a series of Divisions on this matter during the fragmentary Bills which were introduced in this House, and the right hon. Gentleman laid down this principle. He said, speaking in 1882— The House, in two Parliaments, has practically concluded that these are local questions, to be dealt with according to the sentiments of the community affected by them. That principle having, therefore, been wisely and firmly established, the only question we have to ask is—is there an overwhelming sentiment in this particular community in favour of the measure? "—(3 Hansard, [273] 1656.) But the hon. Member, in his Bill, proposes a drastic measure for all localities. But is there an overwhelming sentiment in favour of this Bill? I deny that proposition entirely. I say there is no evidence whatever before the House or the country of anything like it. Let us consider who are the supporters of the Bill. First, there is the teetotal party, and I say they have no right to be heard on this question at all. Their action, if I may be allowed so to express it, is hardly moral—because they are opposed to the sale of drink on any day of the week. And why should they attack Sunday? I am afraid it is because they think it is a weak point, and because they are likely to be backed up by the Sabbatarian party, and, therefore, the better able to drive a hole in the enemy's ranks. Therefore, I say their action is not exactly moral. Then we will strike them out; and who is the next party? They are the religious party, a party strongly in favour of Sabbatarian observances; and then there is the third category of opponents—those who have never been properly instructed upon this subject, who take no trouble to ascertain the facts, but take for granted all that was told them as to the supposed advantages of Sunday closing. I have taken the greatest trouble myself to ascertain from the police whether they think excessive drinking is prevalent in the country, and they have always replied in the negative, and I have never yet consulted any police authority, but I have obtained information that if the public-houses were closed on Sunday drunkenness would be greatly increased. These facts are confirmed by statistics which have been placed before the House in a Return which Her Majesty's Government were good enough to give me. I find by this Return that on a bonâ fide Sunday in the whole of England the proportion of persons arrested for drunkenness, compared with the weekday, was only as three to five. But, if you come to the Metropolitan area, I find that on week-days the average number of arrests is 51, and on Sundays only 25. I contend that if you eliminate from those supporting the Bill the persons I have named, you will find that the number of those who object to the Sunday opening of public-houses upon legitimate grounds is very few indeed. There cannot, therefore, be said that there is in any part of the country an overwhelming sentiment in favour of the doctrine enunciated by the right hon. Member for Derby in 1883. I am not going into the question of Petitions. I do not believe very much in them, but in my own constituency, with over 20,000 persons, there has been only one Petition presented in favour of this measure, signed by only 60 persons. Therefore this Bill, if it passes at all, ought not to be in a form to affect them. The only other point I wish to submit is this—that if the measure be passed it will not tend to the public advantage or to an improvement in the temperate habits of the people. I think experience shows all who live in London that there is no drunkenness on Sundays. I am in the habit of walking a great deal on Sundays, and I really cannot recollect the time when I saw a drunken man. According to the statistics each weekday the average convictions are 33, and on Sundays they average only 15, and this shows clearly that this legislation is quite an unnecessary interference. But when we come to Wales, where there is absolutely Sunday closing, the statistics shown by this Return are absolutely contradictory of what was said by the hon. Baronet; for, although we find that Wales has been in possession of this inestimable blessing of Sunday closing, there is no decrease in drunkenness there at all. If you look through the Return—which it is quite clear escaped the observation of the hon. Baronet—for he does not like to look at things which are distasteful to him—you will find that there is no difference whatever between Wales and England. When you go to Glamorganshire you find an awful result. In the Glamorganshire district, including Cardiff and Swansea, notwithstanding Sunday closing, the number of persons arrested for drunkenness on Sunday is exactly equal to those on week days. I think I heard somebody say something about Scotland, Well, there the number of arrests for drunkenness on Sunday is greater than in England. I really want to know why we want the Bill at all. We are told by the hon. Member that he wishes to confer a great benefit on the population. But what was the cause of drunkenness in those places where Sunday closing was established? It was that large quantities of liquor are taken home on Saturday night. A man cannot get a glass of whisky, brandy, or beer, and therefore he takes home a large quantity with him on Saturday night. I am told that in Wales it is the habit of Welshmen to take home on Saturday evening what they call a John Roberts—taking an enormous quantity of liquor, which they consume on Sunday. It is to prevent such a custom in England that I wish, not only to agree with these Resolutions, but to reject the Bill altogether. Now, there is another point which was alluded to by the hon. Member—the question of justice between two classes. Is every public-house, and every house of entertainment, and every hotel to be shut up, and every club in London to remain open? After all, what is a club, except an hotel? It is simply a private hotel. Those who know the history of clubs are well aware that the first clubs that were established in London were nothing but hotels, which but a limited number of persons were allowed to enter. Well, are you going to say that the poor man, who cannot afford to pay such a subscription, is not to have a house of entertainment? The hon. Baronet said I was full of the subject. Well, Sir, I am fuller of the subject than he thinks. There is a private hotel near the Reform Club—of which I believe the hon. Baronet is a member—and a friend of mine, who is a member of that club, sent me a note to-day, telling me that in that club there had been consumed during last year intoxicating liquors to the amount of £4,000; and he said there was in that club a stock of intoxicating liquors—of which the hon. Baronet is a joint proprietor—of the value of £10,000. Is he full of the subject? I think the hon. Baronet does not like to approach that part of the subject, but only the part which relates to his own convenience. Why cannot he allow the poor man to go even one mile, a mile and a-half, or two miles, without this hard-and-fast line of three or four miles? I do not call that liberty of the subject. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle (Mr. John Morley)—I wonder how he is going to vote on this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman has always gone up and down the country talking in favour of liberty and against coercion. Is he going to give the poor man the liberty of taking a glass of beer or spirits on the Sunday, or is he going to coerce him and say he should do nothing of the sort? I am in favour of true liberty as against coercion. My proposition is that it is an interference with the liberty of the subject to pass the second reading of this Bill. I think it has been shown that there is a gradual increase of sobriety, not only in the upper but in the lower classes, and I say we should not try to drive the people from the straightforward and honest path which they are going by interfences which are, I think, unworthy of our nation. I shall vote in favour of the Amendment of the hon. Member opposite—not because I approve of it at all, but because it strikes at a Bill which I believe to be uncalled-for and unsound; and if the Amendment becomes the substantive Question, then I shall record my vote against it.


thought that they, as the guardians of the public purse, ought to recognize the good service done by the teetotallers in keeping down the rates, both for prisons and poor-houses, by setting the example they did. Judges and magistrates told them that a great part of the expense of the taxation was caused by the abuse of that which the teetotallers were constantly preaching against. The hon. Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. J. G. Talbot) said he objected to the Bill as it was now presented to the House. Although the hon. Member who introduced the measure expressed his willingness to except London, and probably other large towns, from its operation, he, as one of the Members whose names were at the back of the Bill, would not agree to such an exception being made. That was a matter which he believed they would have the privilege of discussing in Committee. It was not, therefore, open to argue that the Bill now before the House excepted London and the large towns; they must deal with the print of the Bill as it stood. As to whether the people of London and the other towns would submit to it, he believed they would find, if the Bill became law, that it would be greatly to their advantage, and they would have the same movement among their large towns as they had had in Ireland. His information with regard to Wales was diametrically opposed to that of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Whitehaven. He was informed by ministers of religion, magistrates, and others in Wales that the Sunday Closing Act passed for that country had been a success. He had been associated with this movement for 22 years, and he might remark, in face of the new-born zeal for temperance on the Opposition side of the House, that the first Bill on the subject was brought forward by a Conservative Member at a time when the Liberals were in Office. They ought, however, to lift this great question from Party influences altogether. He believed no measure had ever been placed before Parliament which would bring more good to the people than this Bill. He earnestly hoped that the House would agree to the second reading, and he promised that when the Bill reached the Committee stage he would do his utmost to obstruct any attempt to emasculate it.

MR. BOWEN ROWLANDS (Cardiganshire)

said, he must contest the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Whitehaven (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck) that there was not a majority of the people of England in favour of this Bill. Special reference had been made to the working of the Sunday Closing Act in Wales, and it had been stated that the measure had been a failure, and that the majority of the Welsh people would desire to have it repealed. Such was not the fact. The Act had not had fair play in certain parts of Glamorganshire, which were near the English counties, where public houses were opened on Sundays; but in the rest of the Principality the Act had undoubtedly been a success, as was shown by the testimony of those best able to form an opinion. Only recently the Corporation of Cardiff and the School Board had petitioned in favour of the measure; and this was only one among a multitude of similar instances. No doubt the number of arrests for drunkenness had only slightly diminished; but that was not a sure test. The police were now more vigilant and active in regard to drunkenness, and this, in some degree, accounted for the number of arrests. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Whitehaven had quoted statistics to show that the number of arrests in England on Sundays was less than on any other day of the week; but that was rather an argument in favour of Sunday closing; for, if the partial closing on Sundays which now existed reduced drunkenness, was it not reasonable to infer that total closing would reduce it much more? That the feeling of the country was strongly in favour of Sunday closing was conclusively shown by the floods of Petitions which were poured in in favour of it from Corporate Bodies of all kinds. He supported the measure on the general principle that it was more calculated than legislation in any other direction to promote the material and moral welfare of the people. He did not think that anyone seriously contended that clubs were at all in a position analogous to that of public-houses; but if the drinking in clubs produced Petitions to Parliament praying for legislation of this character, and evoked other adverse demonstrations of public opinion, then he would vote that clubs should be subjected to the same legislation as public-houses.


said, that, notwithstanding the fact that the subject was one that had for a long time excited a large amount of public interest, and was in itself one of very great importance, the speeches of that night had been of commendable brevity, and yet he did not think the subject had in any way suffered on that account. He agreed with the hon. Member for Boston (Mr. Atkinson) when he said that this question ought not to be treated as a Party question. He should be sorry if it came to be supposed that a matter affecting so largely the social condition of the people was one which belonged peculiarly to one side of the House or to the other. He would give the best evidence of his hope that the question would not be treated as a Party one by saying, at the outset, that the Government hoped that hon. Gentlemen would not be moved by any Party consideration in the vote they gave, but would vote according to their convictions of the goodness or the badness of the measure before the House. He also agreed with the hon. Member when he said that the country was under a deep debt of gratitude to the Temperance Party for the good work they had done. Hon. Members who had been in communication with him on this subject would acknowledge that he had often recognized the claim that the Temperance Party had upon the public, and it must be an immense satisfaction to them to know that the labours which they had gone through for so many years had resulted, and were continuing to result, so satisfactorily to the cause which they had advocated. He did not propose to discuss whether any legislation, or no legislation, was desirable upon this particular point, nor what had been the effect of Sunday closing where it had been tried. He did not desire to gainsay the contention that Sunday drinking was attended with some amount of evil. Drinking to excess, whether on Sunday or week-day, was a great evil, and he drew very little distinction between the two. We all desired that people should be temperate both on the Sunday and on the week-day; and whether Sunday drinking or week-day drinking resulted in the greater evil he did not propose to inquire. There was a great deal in the argument which was often used that by closing public-houses on the Sunday you might not do much to diminish drinking on the Sunday, and you might possibly do some harm, and you might do a considerable amount of harm, by driving the drinking from the public-houses to the homes of the people. We all desired, as the late Colonel Duncan said, to see the homes of the people brighter; they would not be brighter if, by drastic legislation, we drove drinking into them, but the reverse. He would not argue whether legislation was desirable or undesirable. So far as the Government were concerned they were out of court on this question, because they made certain proposals affecting it in their Local Government Bill. The question, therefore, seemed to him to be reduced to this—whether such legislation should be of an Imperial rather than of a local character; and, if Imperial, whether the Bill before the House was the measure by which the proper object should be attempted. For his own part, he was convinced that legislation for the proposed object should not be undertaken by that House on the lines of this Bill; and he thought the hon. Member who introduced the Bill perceived the weakness of his position by offering to exclude London from it, and modifying it largely with regard to the large towns. As had been remarked, it would be unwise to deal with the Bill on the assumption that these Amendments would be made in Committee, which Amendments the hon. Member behind him had said he would vigorously oppose. They must take the Bill as it stood; and what did it propose to do? It proposed, without consulting the desires and wishes of the people, by an arbitrary method, to close public-houses entirely on Sunday throughout the country. He ventured to say that, under such circumstances, no one could contemplate the passing of such a Bill without a considerable amount of alarm. The hon. Member himself viewed it with considerable alarm, because he frankly stated that he would exempt London. The immediate closing of all the public-houses on Sunday in London would probably be attended with greater evils than those which the Bill proposed to remove; and if they attempted to carry out such a proposal in the large towns of the country without consulting the people and acting in accordance with their wishes and desires, they might very possibly have an entirely different result from that which they wished to have. He did not think that the House should attempt to legislate upon a question of this kind for the whole of the country. In bringing forward the Local Government Bill the Government expressed their opinion that the matter ought to be dealt with by the newly constituted authorities. The County Councils, would be able to take the matter in hand in the manner best suited to the inhabitants and most in accordance with their wishes. That being his view, it might be said that he would be prepared to support the Amendment of the hon. Member for Northampton; but he was equally unable to support that proposal, because he was distinctly opposed to a direct popular veto. If the question of Sunday closing came to be relegated to the County Councils, he hoped it would be considered in connection with the whole system of licensing. The right hon. Member for Derby (Sir William Harcourt) desired that the County Councils should have the power of closing public-houses apart from the question of licensing; but he was glad the House hesitated, with the Government, to commit such a power to them, seeing that the questions to be considered were already sufficiently complicated without having added to them at the first election that of Sunday closing. The Government were desirous that this matter should be dealt with from no Party point of view, or in a Party spirit; and he would again express the hope that hon. Members would vote according to their convictions, whether they were—first, in favour of further legislation on this subject; and, secondly, whether the legislation indicated by this Bill was the legislation of which they approved?


I do not rise for the purpose of protracting the debate, as the subject before the House has been often and fully discussed, and what the House desires is that the opinion of hon. Members should be pronounced upon the Bill which my hon. Friend has brought forward, and upon which the issue is a somewhat complicated one. My hon. Friend has brought forward his Bill under rather remarkable circumstances. The Government—and we are very glad of it—made a proposal with respect to Sunday closing in their Local Government Bill; and, so far as we upon these Benches were concerned, we accepted their proposal with respect to Sunday closing, which was not complicated at all by the question of compensation, and we would gladly have seen it pass into law. The Government, however, thought it right to withdraw that proposal, and I am not going into any recriminations upon the subject. I hope that I shall follow the precept rather than the practice of the hon. Member for Boston (Mr. Atkinson) on this subject, and, with reference to what he has said, I can only hope that in the Division we are soon going to take what he has stated with reference to the Party to which he belongs will be made conspicuous. If that is so, I shall accept our defeat in that honourable rivalry with the greatest possible equanimity and pleasure, and I hope it will appear that the majority of the Conservatives will have voted in this Division for the Bill of my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. J. C. Stevenson). That will be the test, I think, and not the assertion of the hon. Member for Boston. The hon. Member for South Shields was adjured to bring forward his Bill on the rejection of the clause in the Local Government Bill, and he was specially pressed to do so by those Gentlemen who really secured the rejection of Local Option as to Sunday closing in connection with the Local Government Bill—I refer to hon. Gentlemen who sit on these Benches. There was the hon. Member for Barrow (Mr. Caine), who is all for Imperial Sunday closing. He said—"Leave out the clause, and we will effect the principle by carrying the Bill of the hon. Member for South Shields—in this way we will carry out Imperial Sunday closing." I am sorry the hon. Member is not here to-night to see the triumph of his diplomacy. And there is another right hon. Friend of mine, who is not here, who was very in- strumental also in defeating the proposal made in the Local Government Bill, and that is the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. J. Chamberlain). But I remember in that discussion that I said—"When the Member for South Shields brings in his Bill, how will you vote?" My right hon. Friend said—"I shall vote for the Bill." Well, that makes me all the more deplore his absence to-night. But, then, there is my noble Friend the Member for Rossendale (the Marquess of Hartington). He did not express an opinion either way. He is a very influential Member of this House, and I am very sorry tonight that he is not to give us the benefit of his knowledge and of his views on this very important subject—I imagine he is not to do so, as I do not see him here. These were the Gentlemen who defeated the proposal of the Government with reference to Local Option in the Local Government Bill, and they must take a large share of the responsibility for the defeating of that proposal. The excuse then given to us was—"Oh, you will see what we think of Sunday closing when we come to deal with the Bill of the hon. Member for South Shields." Well, we shall see what they think of Sunday closing. I hope, as there is going to be a vast majority of Conservatives, according to the hon. Member for Boston, voting for this Bill, and as there will be—I will not say a majority—but a unanimity of Liberal Unionists who will support it, we shall have a unanimous vote in favour of this Bill for Sunday closing. Now, however, we are in a rather awkward position on account of the Amendment of my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) and how is that going to be dealt with? Well, my right hon. Friend the Member for Whitehaven (Mr. Cavendish Bentinck)—who, I am bound to say, is a stout and staunch supporter of the anti-temperance view—as I am aware, has been constantly saying in this House, and saying quite fairly—"I am going to vote for that Amendment, although I disapprove of it, because it will defeat the Bill." That is really why I am going to vote against the Amendment in the first instance—because it defeats the Bill. It is not because I disapprove of the Amendment, for if the hon. Member for Boston should prove a false prophet, and the Bill should be defeated, then I should vote for the Amendment, because I have taken for many years a view of the subject which that Amendment would carry out. I have voted for every proposal on this subject which has come forward as a practical proposal. I have voted for Sunday closing in the form of Sunday closing, and I have voted for Local Option, and I shall vote for the Bill of the hon. Member for South Shields, the more so because when practical proposals are before the House on this subject I believe that everyone who really wishes to forward the matter should vote for these proposals. I confess I do not admire the policy of Gentlemen like my hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. J. G. Talbot). I believe that hon. Member to be a sincere temperance reformer. I have heard him speak often on many proposals in this House, but I do not think I ever heard him support a practical proposal made in this House. He has always had—


I supported the Bill of the hon. Baronet the Member for Durham (Sir Joseph Pease).


The hon. Member for Durham! That I do not remember. I have taken part in many Bills on this subject promoted by many Members, and I have always admired the ingenuity with which the hon. Member for the University of Oxford has laboured to give some reason for not voting for them. I know he has a special admiration for the Reports which come from the House of Lords. I also have a great respect for the House of Lords, but I must say that I think this is above all a question which the House of Commons ought to deal with as representing the people. I decline altogether to be bound by a Report of the House of Lords on a question of this sort. Well, now, the right hon. Gentleman opposite, the Member for White-haven, has challenged me, and said I have always advocated the principle of Local Option in this House. So I have, and I do not disagree with it on this occasion, and if this were a Bill or Motion for Local Option I should vote for it unquestionably, but I am not going to vote for an Amendment in favour of Local Option, in order to defeat this particular measure. Those would be tactics I do not understand— those would be tactics which are too often adopted in dealing with this matter. When we have a proposal by the Government for Local Option, then comes forward the hon. Member for Barrow (Mr. Caine), to defeat it by a Motion for Imperial Sunday closing, and when we have a Motion for Imperial Sunday closing then he comes forward with a proposal to defeat that by a Motion in favour of Local Option, and by the aid of this kind of see-saw and hocus-pocus, the enemies of Sunday closing obtain what they want. The country will understand how, in the early part of the Session, Local Option was defeated by a pretended preference for Imperial Sunday closing, and how, at the end of the Session, Imperial Sunday closing has been put on one side by certain Members on account of their great love for Local Option. Well, in that manner it is perfectly easy for people to combine in order to defeat both measures, and in point of fact to defeat the principle of Sunday closing altogether. Now, I can understand the position taken by the right hon. Gentleman who had charge of the Local Government Bill. He said—"I am in favour of Local Option in the County Councils." We were not adverse to that and we showed him that we were not, for being in favour of the proposal, we voted for it, but there are Members who shared the views of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, who are prepared to take an opposite course to that. I am going to vote for this Bill as a declaration in favour of Sunday closing. That is the sense which I attach to this Vote, and I believe every man who votes against this Bill will naturally be understood as voting against Sunday closing. Taunts have been levelled against the hon. Member for South Shields, and it has been said—"You are inconsistent, because you are going to exclude London." Is it inconsistent with Sunday closing to exclude London? Why, the Irish Sunday Closing Bill was founded on that very principle. It excluded Dublin and Belfast, and although it is true that as a matter of prudence and policy those large towns were excluded, the result of the experience of that measure has shown that these powers may be extended and that now you can remove the exemptions. No stronger argument could be given in favour of Sunday closing than the argument that experience has shown that it is possible to extend the measure in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Whitehaven says that we are an immoral Party, because we only propose to close public-houses on Sunday, while some of us would be very glad to close them on other days as well. That is a most extraordinary objection. Why, if we cannot get seven days in the week, we are glad to get one day. There is one argument in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Ritchie) to which I must demur. He says if you close public-houses you will drive people to drink in their own homes—private drinking it is called, secret drinking.


I did not make that at all a strong point. I said those who argued the other way said that.


I do not wish to make a point of it against the right hon. Gentleman, but I hear this argument constantly used by the publicans. They refer to private drinking as if it were the greatest crime that could be committed. Well, I imagine that most of us in this House are guilty of a crime of this kind. The right hon. Gentleman himself, if he drinks at all, does not drink in a public-house, and so he must be driven by force of circumstances to drink in his own home, and surely that is not so great an evil. I do not imagine that the home of the right hon. Gentleman is any the worse for the private drinking that takes place there. I notice this argument, which is constantly in the mouth of publicans, in order, if possible, to explode it and show its sheer absurdity. Private drinking is the practice of people in all positions of life, who drink at all, and, therefore, an objection of that kind seems to me to be totally unfounded. Then there is the extraordinary argument of the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere) which I should like to notice. He said—"Do you think that the English people will ever tolerate, in a matter of this kind in which they are interested—that they will ever allow themselves to be coerced by the votes of Irish and Scotch Members? This is a matter that affects them only, and are they to be coerced by the Irish and Scotch Members against their own opinions and wishes?" That remark was loudly cheered on the other side of the House but do hon. Gentlemen opposite never by English votes make other people adopt opinions which they would never accept of their own motion? Are you going to apply the argument which was cheered in the mouth of the hon. Member for Northampton, that it was utterly unfair that Irish and Scotch votes should have weight on the question of English Sunday closing and other matters? Now I understand, to a certain degree, the position the Government have taken up. They say—"We proposed Local Option in the County Councils." Well, I wish they had gone a little farther. I venture to say, and I think I may expect with some confidence, that, excellent as the Local Government Bill was in many respects, it was not perfect, and that right hon. Gentlemen will next Session have to introduce an amending Bill. That is an observation I venture to make as the result of my Parliamentary experience. Now I want to know what is the position of Her Majesty's Government with reference to this question of Sunday closing? When they bring in another Bill to amend the Local Government Act, will they bring forward a proposal to hand over the question of Sunday closing to the County Councils? That is a question we have a right to ask them. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ritchie) said he did not wish to embarrass the electors at the commencement of the County Councils with a question of this kind, when they were occupied with such great and interesting and exciting topics already. Well, I have not myself observed that there is such great excitement in the topics which are now occupying the attention of the electors at these elections, and the right hon. Gentleman might well have given the Councils some topic which would have had the effect of causing excitement and interest. However, that argument of the right hon. Gentleman will have been removed next Session, as the election will then have taken place. I venture to say that he would find no danger or inconvenience in giving the County Councils, if he thinks it desirable, the power to deal with this matter; and, therefore, I think that upon a question of this kind we ought to have had some clear declaration from the Government with regard to what they intend to do themselves if they reject this Bill and the Amendment, although I was glad to hear the declaration of the President of the Local Government Board. There is one Member of the Government whose absence I very much regret. During the 20 years that I have been in this House I have never known a Home Secretary absent from his place when these licensing debates have been brought forward. I think it is a most remarkable circumstance, and I confess I regret it very much. Well, Sir, as I have said, I did not rise for the purpose of protracting this debate. I wished to say exactly what my position in the matter was. I have always myself on this subject advocated Local Option, and I have always said that that is the safest way to commence and to proceed in this matter. If this were a Resolution or a Bill for Local Option, I should support it as I supported the proposal of the Government at the commencement of the Session, but as the proposal before the House is that of my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields—a Bill for the closing of public-houses on Sundays—I shall certainly vote for it. I shall vote in the first instance against the Amendment, because the Motion which will be put to us will practically be "whether the words 'that this Bill be now read a second time' stand part of the Question." I shall vote in favour of those words standing part of the Question, but if a majority of this House should decline to read the Bill a second time, and then the Amendment of the hon. Member for Northampton be put as a substantive Resolution, I should vote in favour of that Amendment. This is a clear Parliamentary method, and I think will satisfactorily test the opinion of the House on one of the most important questions which has ever come under its consideration.

MR. GATHORNE-HARDY (Sussex, East Grinstead)

said, he thought that those who had watched his conduct during the considerable number of years he had sat in the House would do him the justice to believe that he did not interpose in this debate for the purpose of delaying a Division, and that he would not take part in the discussion if he did not think he had a right to be heard, and if he had not something he wished to put before the House and his constituents before he gave a vote on this question. He saw before him the hon. Member for Cockermouth (Sir Wilfrid Lawson), and the hon. Baronet would, no doubt, remember that the first speech he (Mr. Gathorne-Hardy) made in this House, now some years ago, was in connection with a Motion for Local Option which the hon. Baronet, himself brought forward. He desired to point out to the House, and to those who might take an interest in anything he did, the reason why, if he again had to vote on the Motion of the hon. Baronet, he should give the same vote he did 10 years ago, and why it was his intention on the present occasion to support the Bill of the hon. Member for South Shields. He should like to say just a word as to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down. The right hon. Gentleman had begun by twitting the hon. Member for Boston (Mr. Atkinson), who had declared that he did not wish to introduce a Party element into the debate, and having departed from his precept in his practice. Well, he (Mr. Gathorne-Hardy) ventured to say that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby had himself followed the hon. Member's example rather than his precept. He had been certainly surprised, after he had heard the right hon. Gentleman deprecate the introduction of Party politics into the discussion, to hear him sneer at the Member for Barrow (Mr. Caine), the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham (Mr. J. Chamberlain), the noble Lord the Member for Rossendale (the Marquess of Hartington), and the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken from the Front Ministerial Bench. If hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House did not agree with him in this matter, probably he (Mr. Gathorne-Hardy) was mistaken, and he would withdraw everything he had said on the subject, but all he could say was that the right hon. Gentleman's speech was eminently calculated to introduce a Party element into this discussion. Now, with regard to the question before the House, he especially deprecated the Motion of the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere). He had very much disliked the proposal the Government put forward in the Local Government Bill. He did not like the system of partial closing, a system of bringing in a succession of Bills for different places, and he had always said to his constituents that if such measures were brought forward he should vote against them, as he should vote against the principle of Local Option and the Amendment of the hon. Member for Northampton. He should vote against that Amendment because he believed it to be a mischievous thing, when we had, as at present, artificial boundaries that we should have public-houses open on one side and closed on the other. If the thing was right, it was right once for all and everywhere, and should be adopted because the people wished it—and he was going to vote for this Bill because he was persuaded that the vast majority of the people desired to have Sunday closing. When he first sat in the House it was for a Southern constituency, and he was not so convinced upon all these points as he had since become, because he was now satisfied that certainly in the North of England the feeling on the question of Sunday closing was extremely strong. He was satisfied also that in the South of England there was a vast body of people against Sunday drinking. He should be asked, if he were opposed to Local Option, and did not think it right that the people should decide on this drink question for themselves, how was it he was going to support Sunday closing? That was a fair question, and his reason was this, that he did not believe in the right of the majority to coerce the minority on a question as to which all people had a perfect right to choose. The Sunday opening of public-houses was an exception to the general law; it was an exception to general law which certainly was not made in the interests of the public. This was not a publicans' question, and he declined to give a vote upon it as if it were a publicans' question. Although we had our museums and places of amusement closed on Sunday, although there was a law affecting all parts of the country which prevented trading and working on the Sunday, an exception was made in favour of the opening of public-houses on the Sunday, not in the interests of the publicans, but because it was originally believed that the people of the country desired the public-houses to be opened on Sunday. From the best evidence which came to him he was satisfied that the people had no such desire. Upon the ground that the people had a right to remove an exemption which was supposed to have been made in their favour, but which, in reality, they considered unfavourable to them, it was his intention to give his vote for the Bill. If he were to act in regard to this subject upon any mere narrow Party view, undoubtedly he would not take up the position he occupied on the present occasion. Unfortunately, he usually found himself on the drink question between two fires: he found himself to some degree opposed by the publicans and the liquor interest generally, because he declined to vote with them on the question of Sunday closing, and he found himself opposed by the Temperance Party because he did not think it justifiable to go the length the hon. Baronet the Member for Cockermouth would go. After all, every one must answer for his vote, not to his constituents but to his conscience; and he for one would give his vote for the second reading of this Bill because he believed that Bill to be just and right. If hon. Members would bear with him for a few moments more he would like to say that in one of his earliest election contests the question was put to his opponent—"Are you in favour of Sunday closing?" He had something to do with the putting of the question—he had the question put on his behalf. His opponent replied— In answer to the gentleman putting that question let me ask him to look on my right and he will see the President of the Licensed Victuallers' Society, and to look on my left and he will see the Chairman of the Licensing Association. That is my answer, and I shall give no other. That would not be his (Mr. Gathorne-Hardy's) answer. He had never, and he hoped he never should, gain a vote by concealing his opinions. His desire was that his vote should be guided by his conscience, and to night he should give a hearty vote for the second reading of the Bill of the hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. J. C. Stevenson).

MR. A. CORBETT (Glasgow, Tradeston)

said, he rose for the purpose of adding a few words to what had been said as to the results of Sunday closing they had experienced in Scotland. Comparing the three years before they had in Scotland Sunday closing, with the three years after they had Sunday closing, he found that the number of cases of Sunday drunkenness was reduced from 11,471 to 4,297. In Glasgow there were 1,218 cases of Sunday drunkenness in the year preceding the passing of the Sunday Closing Act, but the number was 464 in the year succeeding the passing of the Act. The experience in the largest Scotch city was very well summed up by the Chief Constable, who, in his report for the year after the Act was passed, said— The new Act has produced a degree of quiet and order in our streets on week mornings, and in particular on the Sabbath day, which must be apparent to all the citizens. It was because he (Mr. A. Corbett) and his brother Scotch Members had seen in Scotland results so beneficial that they proposed to vote for the Bill.

MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

Mr. Speaker, I beg to ask you whether in the event of the first Division being against the second reading, and the Amendment of the hon. Member for Northampton becoming the substantive Motion, it will be possible to move to amend the Amendment by inserting the words "County Councils" for "inhabitants."


In the event of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Northampton becoming the substantive question, it will, of course, be competent for any hon. Member to move to amend it.


said, he would not have risen but that he did not like to give a silent vote on such a question as this. He should certainly vote against the Bill of the hon. Member for South Shields and support the Amendment of the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Labouchere). To discuss the Bill was futile and waste of time, as the President of the Local Government Board (Mr. Ritchie) had informed them the Licensing Clauses wore incorporated in the Local Government Bill, but owing to circumstances over which the right hon. Gentleman had no control they were dropped. There was no doubt whatever that the Local Authorities would ultimately have the control of licenses, and, therefore, he failed to see what the House of Commons had to do with the matter. Neither he nor his constituents were addicted to drinking on Sunday, and, therefore, the Bill did not concern them.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 160; Noes 167: Majority 7.

Abraham, W. (Glam.) Gaskell, C. G. Milnes-
Acland, A. H. D. Gathorne-Hardy, hon. A. E.
Acland, C. T. D. Gladstone, H. J.
Allison, R. A. Gourley, E. T.
Anderson, C. H. Grotrian, F. B.
Anstruther, H. T. Gurdon, R. T.
Asher, A. Haldane, R. B.
Atherley-Jones, L. Hanbury-Tracy, hon F. S. A.
Barbour, W. B. Harcourt, rt. hn. Sir W. G. V. V.
Baring, Viscount Hastings, G. W.
Barran, J. Hayne, C. Seale-
Beaumont, W. B. Hobhouse, H.
Biggar, J. G. Holden, I.
Bolitho, T. B. Houldsworth, Sir W. H.
Bolton, J. C. Howard, J.
Bolton, T. D. Hoyle, I.
Bright, Jacob Illingworth, A.
Bright, W. L. Jacoby, J. A.
Brown, A. H. James, hon. W. H.
Brunner, J. T. Joicey, J.
Buchanan, T. R. Kay-Shuttleworth, rt. hon. Sir U. J.
Burt, T. Kenny, C. S.
Caldwell, J. Kenrick, W.
Cameron, C. Lawson, Sir W.
Cameron, J. M. Lawson, H. L. W.
Campbell-Bannerman, right hon. H. Leake, R.
Cavendish, Lord E. Lefevre, right hon. G. J. S.
Chamberlain, R. Lockwood, F.
Channing, F. A. Mac Innes, M.
Childers, rt. hon. H. C. E. Mackintosh, C. F.
Cobb, H. P. Maclean, F. W.
Coghill, D. H. M'Arthur, W. A.
Coleridge, hon. B. M'Donald, Dr. R.
Collings, J. M'Lagan, P.
Conybeare, C. A. V. M'Laren, W. S. B.
Corbett, A. C. Mappin, Sir F. T.
Corry, Sir J. P. Mildmay, F. B.
Cossham, H. Molloy, B. C.
Courtney, L. H. Morgan, O. V.
Cozens-Hardy, H. H. Morgan, W. P.
Craig, J. Morley, right hon. J.
Craven, J. Morley, A.
Crawford, D. Morrison, W.
Currie, Sir D. Mundella, right hon. A. J.
Dillwyn, L. L. Neville, R.
Duff, R. W. Nolan, J.
Ebrington, Viscount O'Connor, A.
Ellis, J. Oldroyd, M.
Esslemont, P. O'Neill, hon. R. T.
Evans, F. H. Parker, C. S.
Ewart, Sir W. Paulton, J. M.
Farquharson, Dr. R. Pease, H. F.
Ferguson, R. C. Munro-
Finlay, R. B.
Firth, J. F. B.
Flower, C.
Foljambe, C. G. S.
Forster, Sir C. Philipps, J. W.
Foster, Sir W. B. Pickersgill, E. H.
Fowler, rt. hon. H. H. Picton, J. A.
Fry, T. Playfair, rt. hon. Sir L
Portman, hon. E. B. Stewart, H.
Price, T. P. Stewart, M. J.
Provand, A. D. Stokes, G. G.
Reed, Sir E. J. Stuart, J.
Reid, R. T. Sullivan, D.
Rendel, S. Summers, W.
Richardson, T. Swinburne, Sir J.
Roberts, J. Sykes, C.
Roe, T. Thomas, A.
Roscoe, Sir H. E. Trevelyan, right hon. Sir G. O.
Rothschild, Baron F. J. de Vernon, hon. G. R.
Rowlands, W. B. Waddy, S. D.
Rowntree, J. Warmington, C. M.
Russell, Sir C. Watt, H.
Russell, T. W. Whitley, E.
Samuelson, G. B. Will, J. S.
Schwann, C. E. Winterbotham, A. B.
Sinclair, J. Woodall, W.
Sinclair, W. P. Woodhead, J.
Smith, S. Wright, C.
Stanhope, hon. P. J. TELLERS.
Stepney-Cowell, Sir A. K. Atkinson, H. J.
Stevenson, F. S. Stevenson, J. C.
Addison, J. E. W. Crossman, Gen. Sir W.
Agg-Gardner, J. T. Curzon, hon. G. N.
Ainslie, W. G. Darling, C. J.
Allsopp, hon. G. Davenport, H. T.
Ambrose, W. De Lisle, E. J. L. M. P.
Anstruther, Colonel R. H. L. De Worms, Baron H.
Ashmead-Bartlett, E. Dimsdale, Baron R.
Banes, Major G. E. Dorington, Sir J. E.
Baring, T. C. Douglas, A. Akers-
Barry, A. H. S. Duncombe, A.
Bartley, G. C. T. Dyke, right hon. Sir W. H.
Barttelot, Sir W. B. Egerton, hon. A. de T.
Bass, H. Elliot, Sir G.
Bates, Sir E. Ellis, Sir J. W.
Baumann, A. A. Elton, C. I.
Beach, W. W. B. Evershed, S.
Beadel, W. J. Eyre, Colonel H.
Bentinck, rt. hn. G. C. Fergusson, right hon. Sir J.
Bentinck, Lord H. C. Field, Admiral E.
Bentinck, W. G. C. Finch, G. H.
Beresford, Lord C. W. De la Poer Finucane, J.
Bethell, Commander G. R. Fisher, W. H.
Bigwood, J. Fitz-Wygram, Gen. Sir F. W.
Blundell, Col. H. B. H. Fletcher, Sir H.
Bonsor, H. C. O. Flynn, J. C.
Boord, T. W. Folkestone, right hon. Viscount
Borthwick, Sir A. Fraser, General C. C.
Brodrick, hon. W. St. J. F. Fulton, J. F.
Brookfield, A. M. Gedge, S.
Bruce, G. Giles, A.
Burghley, Lord Goldsworthy, Major-
Campbell, Sir A. General W. T.
Carmarthen, Marq. of Gorst, Sir J. E.
Charrington, S. Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Clarke, Sir E. G. Granby, Marquess of
Cochrane-Baillie, hon. C. W. A. N. Gray, C. W.
Compton, F. Grimston, Viscount
Cooke, C. W. R. Hall, C.
Cotton, Capt. E. T. D. Halsey, T. F.
Cranborne, Viscount Hamilton, right hon. Lord G. F.
Crilly, D. Herbert, hon. S.
Hervey, Lord F. O'Brien, P. J.
Hill, right hon. Lord A. W. O'Connor, J.
Hill, A. S. Parker, hon. F.
Hoare, E. B. Polly, Sir L.
Hubbard, hon. E. Penton, Captain F. T.
Hughes, Colonel E. Plowden, Sir W. C.
Hunt, F. S. Plunkett, hon. J. W.
Hunter, Sir W. G. Powell, F. S.
Isaacs, L. H. Power, R.
Isaacson, F. W. Raikes, rt. hon. H. C.
Jackson, W. L. Reed, H. B.
Jarvis, A. W. Ridley, Sir. M. W.
Jeffreys, A. F. Ritchie, rt. hon. C. T
Jennings, L. J. Robertson, Sir W. T.
Kennaway, Sir J. H. Rollit, Sir A. K.
Kerans, F. H. Russell, Sir G.
King, H. S. Salt, T.
Knatchbull-Hugessen, H. T. Sandys, Lt.-Col. T. M.
Knowles, L. Selwin-Ibbetson, rt. hon. Sir H. J.
Lambert, C. Selwyn, Captain C. W.
Lawrance, J. C. Seton-Karr, H.
Lawrence, Sir J. J. T. Sidebotham, J. W.
Lechmere, Sir E. A. H. Smith, A.
Legh, T. W. Spencer, J. E.
Lewisham, right hon. Viscount Stephens, H. C.
Llewellyn, E. H. Talbot, J. G-.
Long, W. H. Tapling, T. K.
Lowther, rt. hon. J. Taylor, F.
Lowther, J. W. Temple, Sir R.
Maclean, J. M. Theobald, J.
Makins, Colonel W. T. Tollemache, H. J.
Malcolm, Col. J. W. Townsend, F.
Maple, J. B. Walrond, Col. H. W.
Maxwell, Sir H. E. Wardle, H.
Mills, hon. C. W. Webster, Sir R. E.
Milvain, T. Wharton, J. L.
More, R. J. Whitmore, C. A.
Moss, R. Wilson, Sir S.
Mount, W. G. Wodehouse, E. R.
Wood, N.
Wortley, C. B. Stuart-
Muntz, P. A. Wright, H. S.
Murdoch, C. T.
Noble, W. TELLERS.
Norris, E. S. Bradlaugh, C.
O'Brien, P. Labouchere, H.

Question proposed, "That those words be there added."


I beg to move—


I claim to move that the Question be now put.


I beg to move the Amendment which stands in my name.


I moved, Sir, that the Question be now put.


There is some little time left.


I beg to move to leave out all the words after "That," in order to insert— This House, whilst approving the principle of Imperial legislation with regard to the closing of public-houses on Sunday, and willing to assent to a further limitation of the hours than exists at present, cannot give its approval to a measure which enacts the closing of such houses during the entire day.


The hon. Gentleman proposes to leave out the whole of the words and to substitute an entirely different Resolution. I am afraid I cannot put the hon. Gentleman's Amendment.

Question put,

The House divided:—Ayes 186; Noes 128: Majority 58.

Abraham, W. (Glam.) Crossman, Gen. Sir W.
Acland, A. H. D. Currie, Sir D.
Acland, C. T. D. Curzon, hon. G. N.
Allison, R. A. Dillwyn, L. L.
Anderson, C. H. Duff, R. W.
Anstruther, Colonel R. H. L. Ellis, J.
Asher, A. Esslemont, P.
Atherley-Jones, L. Evans, F. H.
Atkinson, H. J. Ewart, Sir W.
Banes, Major G. E. Farquharson, Dr. R.
Barbour, W. B. Ferguson, R. C. Munro-
Baring, Viscount Finlay, R. B.
Barran, J. Finucane, J.
Bartley, G. C. T. Firth, J. F. B.
Bentinck, W. G. C. Flower, C.
Biggar, J. G. Flynn, J. C.
Blundell, Col. H. B. H. Foljambe, C. G. S.
Bolitho, T. B. Forster, Sir C.
Bolton, J. C. Foster, Sir W. B.
Bolton, T. D. Fowler, rt. hon. H. H.
Bright, Jacob Fry, T.
Bright, W. L. Gaskell, C. G. Milnes-
Brown, A. H. Gladstone, H. J.
Brunner, J. T. Gourley, E. T.
Buchanan, T. R. Gray, C. W.
Burt, T. Gurdon, R. T.
Buxton, S. C. Haldane, R. B.
Caldwell, J. Hanbury-Tracy, hon. F. S. A.
Cameron, C. Harcourt, rt. hon. Sir W. G. V. V.
Cameron, J. M. Hastings, G. W.
Campbell-Bannerman, right hon. H. Hayne, C. Seale-
Causton, R. K. Hobhouse, H.
Chamberlain, R. Holden, I.
Channing, F. A. Howell, G.
Childers, right hon. H. C. E. Hoyle, I.
Cobb, H. P. Illingworth, A.
Cochrane-Baillie, hon. C. W. A. N. Isaacson, F. W.
Coghill, D. H. Jacoby, J. A.
Coleridge, hon. B. James, hon. W. H.
Collings, J. Jennings, L. J.
Conybeare, C. A. V. Joicey, J.
Cooke, C. W. R. Kay-Shuttleworth, rt. hon. Sir U. J.
Cossham, H. Kenny, C. S.
Courtney, L. H. Kenrick, W.
Cozens-Hardy, H. H. Kimber, H.
Craig, J. Lawrance, J. C.
Lawson, Sir W.
Cranborne, Viscount Lawson, H. L. W.
Craven, J. Leake, R.
Crawford, D. Lefevre, rt. hn. G. J. S.
Cremer, W. R. Lock wood, F.
Crilly, D. Lowther, J. W.
Lubbock, Sir J. Rothschild, Baron F. J. de
MacInnes, M. Rowlands, J.
Mackintosh, C. F. Rowlands, W. B.
Maclean, F. W. Rowntree, J.
M'Arthur, W. A. Russell, Sir C.
M'Donald, Dr. R. Russell, T. W.
M'Ewan, W. Samuelson, G. B.
M'Lagan, P. Schwann, C. E.
M'Laren, W. S. B. Sidehotham, J. W.
Mappin, Sir F. T. Sinclair, J.
Maxwell, Sir H. E. Sinclair, W. P.
Mildmay, F. B. Smith, S.
Molloy B. C. Spencer, hon. C. R.
Morgan, O. V. Stanhope, hon. P. J.
Morgan, W. P. Stepney-Cowell, Sir A. K.
Morley, rt. hon. J. Stevenson, F. S.
Morley, A. Stevenson, J. C.
Mundella, rt. hon. A. J. Stewart, H.
Stewart, M. J.
Neville, R. Stuart, J.
Noble, W. Sullivan, D.
Nolan, J. Summers, W.
O'Brien, P. Swinburne, Sir J.
O'Brien, P. J. Tapling, T. K.
Oldroyd, M. Taylor, F.
O'Neill, hon. R. T. Thomas, A.
Paulton, J. M. Thomas, D. A.
Pease, H. F. Trevelyan, right hon. Sir G. O.
Philipps, J. W. Vernon, hon. G. R.
Pickersgill, E. H. Waddy, S. D.
Picton, J. A. Wallace, R.
Playfair, right hon. Sir L. Warmington, C. M.
Plowden, Sir W. C. Watt, H.
Portman, hon. E. B. Whitmore, C. A.
Price, T. P. Will, J. S.
Provand, A. D. Winterbotham, A. B.
Rasch, Major F. G. Woodall, W.
Reed. Sir E. J. Woodhead, J.
Reid, E. T.
Rendel, S.
Richardson, T. Wright, C.
Roberts, J.
Rollit, Sir A. K. Bradlaugh, C.
Roscoe, Sir H. E. Labouchere, H.
Addison, J. E. W. Bruce, G.
Agg-Gardner, J. T. Burghley, Lord
Ainslie, W. G. Campbell, Sir A.
Allsopp, hon. G. Carmarthen, Marq. of
Ambrose, W. Charrington, S.
Baring, T. C. Clarke, Sir E. G.
Barry, A. H. S. Compton, F.
Barttelot, Sir W. B. Cotton, Captain E. T. D.
Bass, H. Darling, C. J.
Bates, Sir E. De Lisle, E. J. L. M. P.
Baumann, A. A. Dimsdale, Baron R.
Beach, W. W. B. Dixon-Hartland, F. D.
Beadel, W. J. Dorington, Sir J. E.
Beckett, W. Douglas, A. Akers-
Bentinck, rt. hn. G. C. Duncombe, A.
Bentinck, Lord H. C. Egerton, hon. A. de T.
Beresford, Lord C. W. De la Poer Elliot, Sir G.
Bethell, Commander G. R. Ellis, Sir J. W.
Bigwood, J. Evershed, S.
Bonsor, H. C. O. Eyre, Colonel H.
Boord, T. W. Fergusson, right hon. Sir J.
Borthwick, Sir A. Field, Admiral E.
Brookfield, A. M. Finch, G. H.
Fitz-Wygram, Gen. Sir F. W. Long, W. H.
Fletcher, Sir H. Maclean, J. M.
Folkestone, right hon. Viscount Malcolm, Col. J. W.
Forwood, A. B. Maple, J. B.
Fraser, General C. C. Morrison, W.
Fulton, J. F. Moss, R.
Giles, A. Mount, W. G.
Goldsworthy, Major- Muntz, P. A.
General W. T. Murdoch, C. T.
Granby, Marquess of Norris, E. S.
Grimston, Viscount Hall, C. Paget, Sir E. H.
Halsey, T. F. Parker, hon. F.
Hamilton, right hon. Lord G. F. Parker, C. S.
Herbert, hon. S. Pelly, Sir L.
Hervey, Lord F. Penton, Captain F. T.
Hill, right hon. Lord A. W. Plunkett, hon. J. W.
Hill, A. S. Powell, F. S.
Hoare E. B. Raikes, rt. hon. H. C.
Houldsworth, Sir W. H. Reed, H. B.
Howard, J. Robertson, Sir W. T.
Hubbard, hon. E. Russell, Sir G.
Hughes, Colonel E. Salt, T.
Hunt, F. S. Sandys, Lt.-Col. T. M.
Hunter, Sir W. G. Selwyn, Capt. C. W.
Isaacs, L. H. Seton-Karr, H.
Jackson, W. L. Smith, A.
Jarvis, A. W. Spencer, J. E.
Jeffreys, A. F. Stephens, H. C.
Kennaway, Sir J. H. Stokes, G. G.
Kerans, F. H. Temple, Sir E.
King, H. S. Theobald, J.
Knatchbull-Hugeseen, H. T. Tollemache, H. J.
Knowles, L. Townsend, F.
Lambert, C. Walrond, Col. W. H.
Lawrence, Sir J. J. T. Wardle, H.
Lechmere, Sir E. A. H. Webster, Sir E. E.
Wharton, J. L.
Whitley, E.
Wilson, Sir S.
Wood, N.
Wortley, C. B. Stuart-
Wright, H. S.
Legh, T. W. TELLERS.
Lewisham, right hon. Viscount Gedge, S.
Talbot, J. G.
Llewellyn, E. H.

Main Question, as amended, put. Resolved, That this House is of opinion that it would be more conducive to the interests of temperance and to the principle of local self-government that the question of Sunday Closing should be relegated to the decision of the inhabitants of the localities in which the public-houses are situated.