HC Deb 29 February 1888 vol 322 cc1732-65

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment to Question [28th February], That Mr. Speaker, or the Chairman, may, at his discretion, take the Vote of the House or Committee by calling upon the Members who support, and who challenge his decision, successively to rise in their places; and he shall thereupon, as he thinks fit, either declare the determination of the House or Committee, or name Tellers for a Division."—(Mr. W. H. Smith.)

And which Amendment was, To leave out from the word "That," to the end of the Question, in order to add the words" it be in the discretion of Mr. Speaker or the Chairman to take the Vote of the House in the following manner:—He shall, on his decision being challenged, forthwith order the doors to be closed, whereupon he shall call upon the Members who support and who challenge his decision successively to rise in their places, and he shall proceed to count them one by one in an audible voice. At the conclusion of such count he shall declare the determination of the House or Committee."—(Mr. T. P. Gill.)

Question again proposed, That the words 'Mr. Speaker, or the Chairman, may, at his discretion, take the Vote of the House or Committee by calling upon the Members who support, and who challenge his decision, successively to rise in their places; and, 'stand part of the Question.

Debate resumed.

MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton)

said, that this Rule differed entirely in gravity from any of the Rules, which preceded it. All the other Rules, good or bad, were within the competence of the House, as only affecting the order of Business; but this Rule affected the right of constituents to know how their Members acted upon any matter which came before the House. This was not simply a question of the right of the minority to register their votes; it was not a question of the numbers on either side, but a question of the right of constituents to know whether their Members were or were not present upon any particular occasion, and how they voted. Up to the present moment there had only been a very brief reference, and that was in the speech of the hon. and learned Member for Dumfries (Mr. E. T. Reid), to this right of constituents; and he (Mr. Bradlaugh) asked the House gravely to consider before they changed entirely the relations of Members to their constituents. The Amendment of the hon. Member for South Louth (Mr. T. P. Gill) he should vote for, though it did not touch the point he was now raising, because if it were carried it would only secure that the numbers should be known. The proposal of the noble Lord the Member for South Paddington (Lord Randolph Churchill) who, as he should show presently, was quite mistaken as to the practice of the French and the German Parliaments—he (Mr. Bradlaugh) thought so last night, particularly as regarded the French Parliament, because he had often been present at the Sittings of the Chamber of Deputies, but he was afraid his want of knowledge of the French language might have misled him as to what happened—


I only described what I saw with my own eyes.


said, that he also thought last night he remembered what he had seen with his own eyes. He had now, however, got the Règlement of the Chamber of Deputies, which would explain the mistake, not an unnatural mistake, made by a foreigner when he did not quite understand the proceedings that were passing. The proposal of the noble Lord, which it appeared by the Amendment Paper had been adopted by the Government, was also deficient, because it only provided that the number of the minority challenging a Division should be recorded; it did not provide that anything should be done to show how individual Members voted or who were the absentees. He objected even to the proposal of the hon. Member for the Crewe Division of Cheshire (Mr. M'Laren), although he should support it if it went to a Division, because if that be accepted the minority only would be able to record their names. He respectfully suggested that the majority who prevented the adoption of some proposition submitted to the House ought to have their names recorded, so that their constituents might know how they voted. He now came to the question of fact as submitted by the noble Lord the Member for South Paddington. As to the German Parliament, he (Mr. Bradlaugh) had no knowledge; but he had managed to fortify himself with authority on the point at issue. The articles of the Règlement which applied to voting in the French Chamber of Deputies were Articles 78, 79, 80, 81, and 82. As his French was very bad, perhaps the House would permit him to translate Article 82 into English, so that he might not mislead the House, as doubtless the noble Lord was misled by listening to something in a language not his own.


said, the statement he made was in reference to the assertion of the hon. Member for South Louth (Mr. T. P. Gill) that the practice of taking Divisions by Members rising in their places was unknown in any Assembly in the world. He said that, on the contrary, it was a common practice in the French and German Parliaments.


said, it was a pity the noble Lord did not impart to the House the whole of his knowledge on the subject, because, no doubt, he would then have told the House that although there were three ways of voting—by rising and sitting, by public voting, and by secret voting—in every case public voting was a matter of right. He had said "in every case." There were some slight exceptions made in Article 81, but with those exceptions with the details of which he need not trouble the House. Article 82 provided that a public vote might always be had on a demand in writing signed by 20 Members of the Chamber, so that while it was perfectly true that many votes in the French Chamber were taken by the Members of one opinion rising in their places, and those of the opposite opinion remaining seated, it was also true that any minority of 20 might insist on the voting being taken publicly. In the German Parliament, it appears to be not quite the same, but sufficiently nearly the same. He did not happen to possess the Règlement of the German Parliament, but he had on this the able summary of the Rules and Proceedings of Foreign Parliaments which was compiled by a respected and very able official of their own House. On page 295, in dealing with what the noble Lord witnessed, the compiler said— At the end of the debate and before a Division is taken, any Member may move that the names of the Members voting be taken down. This Motion must be supported by 50 Members. The President declares a Division closed after all the Members of Parliament have been called over by name, and after a recapitulation of their names, any Members whose votes have not been entered have a second opportunity of voting. He (Mr. Bradlaugh) therefore submitted that the suggestion of the Government in the Rule which was now under discussion was absolutely contrary to the practice of the French and German Parliaments. A minority of 20 in the French Parliament and a minority of 50 in the German Parliament had, after the vote had been taken by Members rising or before it, the right to demand that the vote should be public. He was persuaded that the constituents of this country would regard this as an attempt to shield Members from what should be their proper responsibility. He had been informed by Members far better versed in the old traditions of the House than himself, though he had taken some pleasure during the enforced leisure he had in the House, of making himself acquainted with those traditions, that in the Parliamentary Reports which preceded Hansard, the names of the Members voting in the minority were recorded, while those of the Members voting in the majority were not recorded. But it was not only a question of protecting the minority. Constituents had a clear and distinct right not only to know how each individual Member had voted upon any given question, but they had a right to see, by comparing the Division Lists, what Members chose to be absent. The House had no right, under cover of regulating its own Procedure, to do what it never had done yet; if it was done in this case, they might as well vote secretly—vote by ballot—and thus entirely deprive their constituents of any control over them. He did not mean to apply these remarks to Motions which were rightly or wrongly called obstructive, or to Motions made for the mere purpose of delay. He had it suggested to him that even Divisions on clauses of a Bill in Committee might be exempted from the claim he was now making; but he did not feel quite so sure about that, because clauses often involved important principles. He sub- mitted that by adopting this Rule they would be striking a blow at Parliamentary influence in this country, and giving tongue to those who said that the Members of the House of Commons were careful only for themselves, and careless of the men who returned them.

MR. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

said, he would respectfully urge the Government to take into consideration the arguments of the junior Member for Northampton (Mr. Bradlaugh). He (Mr. Johnston) was entirely in accord with the views propounded by the hon. Member. It would be a dangerous thing if, by any course of proceeding in the House, Members were enabled to give secret votes; in fact, it would probably endanger the seats of some hon. Members, because it might become a disputed question how the majority on a given subject was made up. He hoped the Government would consider how they might modify this Rule, so that every hon. Member of the House might have his name recorded in a Division.

MR. CHILDERS (Edinburgh, S.)

said, he did not apologize for taking part in the discussion, because, with one exception, he was the senior Member of the House present. He could, therefore, speak with some little experience, and also as one who had very carefully studied the Parliamentary history of former days. He could confirm what the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Bradlaugh) had said, as to finding in the all-authoritative records of the proceedings of Parliament for more than a century the names of the minorities in all important divisions given. It frequently happened that when great questions were first mooted they were supported by very few Members. Public opinion grew, numbers increased and multiplied, and it was important, historically, that the names of original minorities should be recorded. It was important that constituents should not be deprived of the means of knowing who those Members were who had voted for any particular reform. The recording of the names of large majorities did not appear to him to be a matter of very great importance. There was nothing so irksome as the taking of Divisions in which there were vast majorities. The House would remember that the larger the majority the more time a Division took, and therefore in that respect he went entirely with the object of the Rule. Let him. State how the matter stood, A Standing Order, adopted in 1882, stated— When, after the House has been cleared for a Division, upon a Motion for the Adjournment of a Debate, or of the House during any Debate, or that the Chairman of a Committee do report Progress, or do leave the Chair, the decision of Mr. Speaker, or of the Chairman of a Committee, that the Ayes or Noes having it, is challenged, Mr. Speaker or the Chairman may, after the lapse of Two Minutes, as indicated by the sand-glass, call upon the Members challenging it to rise in their places, and, if they be less than Twenty in a House of Forty Members or upwards, he may forthwith declare the determination of the House or of the Committee. If less than 20 Members rose in the minority it should not be necessary to go through all the forms of a Division. What he suggested was that this Standing Order should be made to apply to all Motions and that the proposal of the hon. Member for the Crewe Division of Cheshire (Mr. M'Laren) should be adopted, so that minorities should have the opportunity of recording their names.

MR. SALT (Stafford)

said, that the point raised by the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Bradlaugh) was a very interesting and important one, and one which ought to have some weight with the House. At the same time, he (Mr. Salt) doubted whether the constituencies have an inherent right to know the particulars of a Division. The publication of the Division List was a comparatively modern institution. Division Lists were intended more for the information of Members themselves than for the information of their constituents. What he said about the House of Commons practice was further confirmed by one or two matters of Procedure. For instance, till comparatively recent times Strangers were absolutely excluded from the House during Divisions. That was the state of affairs before 1853, and now there was a partial exclusion of Strangers, though no doubt the principle had been given up. The right of publishing Divisions was one which the House had always reserved to itself. He agreed that the restrictions which had been referred to were not in accordance with the modern habits and ideas, but the Standing Order just quoted by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers) showed that the intention of that Order was merely to exclude the publication of names in matters so unimportant and in Divisions so small that it would be a waste of time to record every name. He hoped, however, the First Lord of the Treasury would be able to devise some means of meeting the objections raised. He might further note that as the Resolution stood, it was not quite clear what the Speaker or the Chairman would do in the event of Members standing up and challenging a Division, as the power proposed to be given appeared to be somewhat too absolute.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

said, that no one for a moment could doubt the power of the House to keep its Divisions secret; but he was convinced that any proceeding of that character would be regarded by the country as a retrograde and re-actionary step. As far as his experience went, the constituencies took quite as much interest, very frequently more interest, in the votes, than they did in the speeches of their Members. It would be just as reasonable to forbid the printing of any speeches as to forbid the recording of the votes. An idea seemed to prevail amongst some hon. and right hon. Gentlemen that the question at issue was simply the right of the minority to register their names. It was nothing of the sort, and if he had his choice he doubted whether he would not prefer that the majority should register their names. He maintained that of the two rights of a minority, the more important was not that of registering their own names, but of compelling the majority to register their names. That being so, he thought the arguments used in favour of this proposal were utterly inadequate. As to saving time, it must be borne in mind that they had already adopted such stringent Rules that it was impossible to delay the proceedings of the House if the Rules were properly handled. But, young Member as he was, he had seen questions which at their outside were supported by only 10 or 15 Members rapidly come to be great and burning questions. What was the most important function of the House of Commons? It was to keep the Executive Government of the country in touch with the people, and the Divisions to which he attached, more importance than, any others were Divisions in which the Executive had great majorities at its back, and in which it was not in accord with the popular feeling of the country. Reference had been made to the practice of foreign Assemblies. It was idle to say that the French and the German Assemblies pursued this course, and were they to be told that the English House of Commons was to follow the example of Legislative Assemblies that had no control over the Executive of their country? Even the American Chamber did not control the Executive Government, and therefore there were many reasons, which ought to influence the conduct of their proceedings, which did not influence the American Chamber. No such Rule as that now proposed by the Government prevailed in the American Chamber, but it was in the power of an extremely small minority to compel the majority to register their names in the most public way. In his opinion, this Rule was one, which the country would not approve of, and if it was insisted upon by the Government they would hear a great deal about their action.

MR. J. M. MACLEAN (Oldham)

said, the objection raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sheffield (Mr. Mundella), and repeated by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers), that it was desirable that high-minded and far-seeing minorities should always be able to place their names on record, was one which carried great weight with many hon. Members. This, however, was merely a matter of personal interest to Members of that House. Another objection taken to the proposed new Rule was of greater public importance. There was no doubt that in these days constituencies did take great interest in the proceedings of the House. The people were exceedingly jealous and exacting as to the proceedings of their Members, and were particularly anxious to know how their Representatives voted upon certain questions submitted to the House. That being so, it was most desirable that not only the names of minorities but the names of majorities should be published. He, for one, would certainly not vote for this Rule if he thought it would in any case be applied to Divisions upon any questions of importance—upon any Motion put down for discussion, or upon any Amendment that appeared upon the Notice Paper of the House. But in his opinion, the Rule would be applied simply for the purpose of preventing waste of time. It was said they were giving the Speaker too much power; but they had already given him power to decline to put a Question at all to the House. It would always be open to the ingenuity of Members to devise Amendments, and spring them on the House, which would practically be dilatory Amendments, and he took it that the object of this Rule was to enable the Speaker, in such cases, to save time by merely counting heads as it were. The whole controversy turned on the words "the Speaker may at his discretion." He was content to accept these words, because he did not think that any Speaker or Chairman would be ever open to the temptation of applying this Rule for the purpose of keeping secret the names of Members voting on a question on which the constituencies had a right to be informed.

MR. BROADHURST (Nottingham, W.)

said, he was entirely with the First Lord of the Treasury in his desire to save the time of the House, but he could not support the Rule as it now stood. They all desired to prevent frivolous repetitions of Divisions upon the same question, and his right hon. Friend the Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers) had suggested the extension of the Rule which provided that minorities of 20 Members should be required to rise in their places. He (Mr. Broadhurst) did not think that numbers were any criterion whatever of the importance of the subject to be divided upon. He remembered that, on one occasion, he was one of a minority of 7; the question had reference to the exclusion of the hon. Member for Northampton (Mr. Bradlaugh). The minority of 7 found several hundreds arrayed against them; but today they saw how wise they were, and how the majority had come to admire the minority for their wisdom and pertinacity. Now, the House would support the First Lord of the Treasury in an endeavour to economize the time of the House; but constituencies were extremely anxious to know how their Members voted on particular questions, and the Division Lists were scanned by electors more and more eagerly as years went on. He was entirely in favour of a registra- tion of the names of the majority, quite as much as of a registration of the names of the minority. They had already considerably contracted the rights of constituencies by making Rule VI., and he did not think it would be wise for the House to further trespass on the right of the people, who, after all, were the supreme authority with regard to Members of the House.


said, that undoubtedly the question was one of very considerable importance, and he agreed very much with the hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon) that they ought not to look to the practice of foreign Parliaments in this matter. But if they were to have references made to the practice of foreign Parliaments at all it was well they should understand exactly what the Rules of foreign Assemblies were. The practice of taking Rules by rising and sitting was very common both in France and in Germany, and it was also resorted to in the American Assembly. Perhaps the House would allow him to tell them his dream of what might be the form of voting when they built another House. There was a cry raised at every General Election for increased accommodation in the House, and some day they would have such a large number of new Members crowding in, that the cry for places would be general, and the Government would have to listen to it. When every Member had a recognized place, the taking of Divisions would be accomplished with the greatest facility. The moment the Speaker or Chairman put the Question, Members would turn on a switch which would denote which way they voted, and the whole thing would be recorded in a moment. There would be no delay whatever: that was his dream of the voting of the future. Now, the junior Member for Northampton (Mr. Bradlaugh) had pressed very strongly the claim of the electors to know how their Members voted, and the hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon) demanded that the names of both the majority and the minority should be recorded. He should have thought it would have been sufficient for the hon. Member (Mr. Dillon) that the minority should have the right of recording their names, and that, so far as the electors were concerned, they would imagine that those who were not with them were against them; that those who did not vote with them were lukewarm if not hostile. As this mode of taking votes was to be in the discretion of the Chair, and as he had the honour to occupy the Chair in Committee, it was to him a matter of considerable importance. He did not desire any increase of responsibility in that way. He should be well content if the House did not adopt this Motion, but having regard to the despatch of Business he thought the Rule might be accepted, particularly if the Government agreed to the safeguard suggested by the hon. Gentleman the Member for the Crewe Division of Cheshire (Mr. McLaren)— namely, that the names of the minority should be taken if the minority wished that this should be done.

MR. F. S. POWELL (Wigan)

said, it was not clearly shown by the Rule when the decision was to be taken. Hon. Members would agree that the majority in the House at any given moment was entirely different from the majority, which would exist if all Members within the precincts of the House were summoned by the Division bell. If the Rule left it to the discretion of the Speaker or Chairman to decide at once upon taking the votes of those present in the Chamber at the moment, the Rule could not stand as at present drawn. He hoped they would have a clear explanation from the Government as to the meaning of the Rule. Again, it appeared to him that there ought to be some direction or some instruction to the Speaker or Chairman as to the circumstances under which he was to act according to the Rule. Under the other Rules which they had passed, the Speaker or the Chairman of Committees took a certain course in order to avoid an abuse of the Rules of the House, but in this Rule no guidance whatever was given to the Chair. Some such instruction was necessary in order that a uniform practice might be established in conformity with the wish of the House and with a view to the orderly and satisfactory conduct of their proceedings. Reference had been made to foreign Assemblies. He thought it was the Rule that foreign Assemblies followed this Assembly instead of this Assembly being guided by them. But there appeared to be a fundamental difference between their proceedings and the proceedings of foreign Assemblies, was taken by Members rising, and no record was taken of the votes of individual Members except upon a challenge made, whereas in the House of Commons the ordinary course was for every vote to be recorded. He approved of full, entire and complete publicity being given to their proceedings. There might be a case in future days in which there was a doubt as to the decision of the Speaker. Having regard to the future of the House of Commons and putting entirely out of the question the reverence they had for the present Speaker and the respect they had for the present Chairman of Committees, they ought to guard against any possible abuse of the change of Procedure which was now suggested.

MR. JOICEY (Durham, Chester-le-Street)

said, he did not think that what was done in other Assemblies ought to affect their action. Allusions had been made to what was the practice in previous Parliaments, but when they remembered what revolutionary changes had taken place in the Rules of Procedure during the last two or three Sessions, those allusions ought to have no weight. They were endeavouring to adapt the House of Commons to the present condition of things. There had been great changes during the last four years with respect to the Franchise, and it would be a most unwise thing for the House to attempt to detract from the interest which was now taken by constituencies in the debates in the House. A candidate was required to give the most exact pledges when he was contesting a constituency; indeed, he (Mr. Joicey) looked upon a Member of Parliament as simply a trustee. If they did not register their votes, how were their constituents to judge of the way they exercised their trust? It was of the utmost importance that they should not have any secret voting whatever on any important question. He regarded secret voting with alarm, because it was a bad system. Although it might seem strange, he objected to it because it might, under particular circumstances, lead to corruption. There was no greater safeguard against corruption than publicity. That Rule was proposed by the Government with the view of saving the time of the House. He questioned very much whether ultimately the Rule would have that effect. At present there were in the House many Members who never spoke; those who were in the habit of speaking numbered about one-third of the whole. How were the two-thirds to communicate their action to their constituents if their votes were not registered? As a matter of fact, they would feel it their bounden duty to speak. He could not help thinking it would be most unwise to take away the registration of votes.

MR. PICTON (Leicester)

said, that the application of the Rule depended upon the discretion of the Speaker. It must not, however, be supposed that the reference was personal; it was to the Office entirely. The Gentlemen who occupied the Chair from Parliament to Parliament were usually selected because they were supposed to embody the general sense of the House upon a variety of matters, but especially on the desirability of keeping order. He did not think they could trust to the general sense of the House, as embodied in a Speaker, to say whether the names of Members voting in a particular Division should be published or not. The very fact that only a small minority took a particular view showed that the opinion they held was not in consonance with the average opinion of the House. It anticipated, possibly, a state of things that would afterwards arise, or it exhibited the feeling of a very small but very earnest minority in the country. He did not think they ought to allow the question whether the names were to be published or not to be decided by the average sense of the House; and if not by the average sense of the House, they could not trust to the discretion of the President of the Assembly, who was selected because generally he embodied the average sense of the House. He did not think that the constituencies would be content to leave this matter to the discretion of anyone, however high his authority in the House might be; and he earnestly trusted that, inasmuch as it was manifest that there was a considerable apprehension on the subject on both sides of the House, the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury would see his way either to withdraw the Rule altogether, which would be the better course to adopt, or to make such modifications as would ensure that at least the names of the minority should be recorded.

MR. A. R. D. ELLIOT (Roxburgh)

said, he would join his voice to the voices of those Members on both sides of the House who had requested the First Lord of the Treasury to make considerable alterations in this Rule before pressing it to a Division. He was of opinion that in the regular course of Business the names voting on both sides should be recorded. [Mr. W. H. Smith: Hear, hear!] The right hon. Gentleman cheered that statement; all that seemed to be required was that the evident desire of the First Lord of the Treasury should be clearly and distinctly expressed in the Rule At the present moment it did not seem to be so. A considerable difference would be effected between the position of a Member now and his position in future, so far as his relations with, his constituents were concerned, if this Rule passed. There was no doubt that the British Parliament was the Mother Parliament, but they would be extremely foolish if they refused to look to the experience of newer Assemblies as regarded the working of Rules. The references to the French and German Assemblies had been very interesting, and they could not do better than learn from what took place in other Assemblies, though no doubt they were only copies of this. All that was required was that the general wish of the House should be given effect to, and that being so, he did not think they would be going too far if they distinctly provided that this means of taking Divisions should be confined to what were called interlocutory or dilatory Motions—Motions which were practically an abuse of the forms of the House.

THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

said, that perhaps it would be convenient he should rise now, after the very full and interesting discussion, to endeavour to bring the House to a conclusion on a question in which the House was very much more interested than the Government. He quite admitted the interest constituencies took in this question. He was fully aware that constituents did look to the course of Business in the House with far greater interest than formerly. If there was one circumstance which was brought home more fully to his mind than another during the last year of Parliament, it was that the constituencies had come to regard the conduct of Business in the House of Commons as something which was altogether different from that which any other business assemblies adopted. One complaint which the constituencies formulated was against the apparent inability of the House of Commons to conduct its Business in a business-like way. Well, now, what was the gist of the opposition to this Rule? The opposition rested upon the assumption that the Speaker or the Chairman would not exercise his discretion with due regard to the public interest, and to the conduct of Business in the House of Commons as a deliberating Assembly, as an Assembly in which the minority had rights equal to those of the majority, as an Assembly which had been charged with the great interests of that great Empire. He could not conceive it possible that the Speaker or the Chairman would, at any time, exercise this power placed in his hands so as to prevent a record of the opinion of the minority on the second reading of a Bill, or upon a substantive Motion, or upon matters of any importance. He considered that the use of this power would be made only when obstructive or dilatory Motions were made, when the same question was raised over and over again in the many different forms in which it was possible under the Rules of the House to raise a question. It must be within the knowledge of hon. Members when this had been the case frequently. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House had complained of that being done, and it was for the House to say whether it was desirable that this course of proceeding which had prevailed during past Sessions should be repeated. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Northampton (Mr. Bradlaugh) had spoken of the necessity of protecting minorities. During the greater part of his (Mr. W. H. Smith's) Parliamentary life he had been in a minority; but he did not believe that minorities ought to resist Public Business as they had done in recent years. He did not think any public interest was served by it. On the contrary, he believed that if a minority had sufficient opportunity of recording its protest on questions of vital importance, and if the names were recorded as the present practice of the House permitted—if the majority were bound, as they would be bound, to record their votes, he believed all the interests which were bound up in this great question would be studied. Hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House appeared to have ignored the fact that there was a Press watching them from the Gallery, and that it was careful and anxious to record everything that occurred in the House. It would be difficult for a minority to take any course which would not be recorded adequately by the Press, even if it was recorded by the Division Clerk. The aim the Government had in view was to prevent frivolous, vexatious, factious Divisions—to prevent the waste of time which had occurred in recent Sessions. They had no desire to prevent the recording of votes, and he did not think the Speaker or the Chairman would exercise his power to prevent the recording of votes on any question which was of moment or importance to the country, however small the minority might be. With the view of giving that security which the House thought desirable, he was prepared to move "that this Rule should not apply to the stages of a Bill, or to a substantive Motion in the House." In this way a Division would always be taken upon the second reading of a Bill, and also upon a substantive Motion. It was, however, for the House itself to decide whether it would take such steps as were necessary for the efficient prosecution of Business. Looking to the waste of time which had occurred in the past, he thought the House would do well to adopt the proposal the Government had made.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.),

said, the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury stated that he could not believe that this Rule would be used except for the purpose of preventing frivolous and vexatious and factious Divisions; the right hon. Gentleman conceived its object would be to check obstructive and dilatory Motions. If that were so, why did not the Government embody in the Rule the very words the right hon. Gentleman had just used? If they did, all the objections of hon. Gentlemen on that (the Opposition) side of the House would disappear. That was what they wanted to secure; but, instead of that, the right hon. Gentleman said that the Rule should only apply to Divisions other than those taken on the stages of Bills or on substantive Motions. That seemed to make the state of matters worse, for if they expressed certain circumstances, they naturally excluded all others that were not mentioned. There might often be Divisions on subjects which were not on the stages of Bills or on substantive Motions in which hon. Members of the House might well desire to have their names recorded. The proposed modifications of the right hon. Gentleman would, he thought, increase the objection of hon. Members on the Opposition side of the House, because they would practically negative the view the right hon. Gentleman had just expressed.

MR. JAMES STUART (Shoreditch, Hoxton)

said, they could not on the Opposition side of the House accept the alteration of the Rule as rendering it in any sense satisfactory. The whole Rule which was before them for discussion just now—for he took it that the individual Amendment had not been brought forward much in the discussion —was one which would affect the constituencies rather than the internal arrangements of the House. No doubt there had been and were Motions made in the House more or less frivolous in their character; but when they came to decide what were frivolous or not they found it a very difficult question. There was no statement in the Rule as on the Paper, or as proposed to be amended, indicating that Motions of a frivolous nature were to be excluded. He had been in the House when a Motion for Adjournment was the only opportunity when an opinion could be expressed on the merits of a measure, and he had been present when an important Amendment had been voted upon which, if the wishes of the vast majority of the House had been consulted, and Mr. Speaker had had any discretion in the matter, would never have been put to the vote. He (Mr. Stuart) had listened for some positive apology for this Resolution. None of the Amendments made the Resolution any more acceptable to him, and when the time came he should vote against it, notwithstanding that he desired as much as any Member of the House to expedite the Business of the House. He believed, however, that in passing the Resolution they were taking a dangerous step, and one which entirely infringed on what were if not legally, at any rate admittedly, the rights of constituencies.


said, he agreed with what had been said as to the responsibility of Members to their constituencies. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House told them he wished the Rule to be passed for the purpose of expediting the Business of the House, and he (Sir Archibald Campbell) must say that he thought that if the Rule passed as it stood it would not expedite the Business of the House. It was perfectly certain that there would be heart-burnings on the part of the minority that would culminate in other Motions and other measures, and cause a greater amount of obstruction in the House than had ever before been experienced. Then, what was to be the minority? How was it to be limited? A minority might be large in number, though appearing small when compared with the number of hon. Members in the House at the time. Was there to be a limit of numbers beyond which the majority might challenge a Division? He thought the concensus of opinion on that (the Ministerial) side of the House was against the Rule, and he should be obliged to vote against it as it stood.

MR. J. O'CONNOR (Tipperary, S.)

said, he desired to say that the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House had conceded very little to the concensus of opinion to which the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down had alluded. The speakers generally from that (the Ministerial) side of the House had declared their objection to the Rule and the concession made by the right hon. Gentleman was scarcely that which met that expression of opinion. Many questions might come before the House which would be neither the stages of a Bill nor substantive Motions, but which would be of great importance and in connection with which the names of those voting should be recorded on the Journals of the House. It was said that the matter should be left in the discretion of the Speaker. On the few occasions he (Mr. J. O'Connor) had addressed the House he had received great kindness from Mr. Speaker and the Chairman of Committees; but notwithstanding that extension of courtesy and kindness to him, he was inclined to believe that it was a dangerous thing to increase the power of officials. Members from Ireland had bitter experience of that fact. They all knew that in the passage of laws of a coercive character through the House from time to time, right hon. Gentlemen had assured them that those powers would be safe in the hands of those who occupied official positions in Ireland. He remembered a Chief Secretary once, appealing to the House for powers of a drastic character, declaring that if they were granted to him he would use them in a lenient manner. Well, the right hon. Gentleman got the powers he asked for; and the opinion of the Irish Members was not only that the same right hon. Gentleman had acted up to the fullest powers conceded to him, but that he had exceeded them in a great degree. With all respect to Mr. Speaker and the Chairman of Committees, he (Mr. J. O'Connor) thought it was a dangerous thing to extend the power of the Chair. He did not agree with the criticism which had been passed on the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Louth (Mr. T. P. Gill) by the noble Lord the Member for South Paddington (Lord Randolph Churchill), and he would contradict the noble Lord's statement as to what the hon. Gentleman had said in the course of his speech. The hon. Gentleman had not said that such a Rule as this was unknown on the Continent; but what he had asserted was that such a Rule as that proposed after the manner of the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury was unknown on the Continent, or in other foreign Assemblies; and that had been fully proved by the ample quotations of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Northampton (Mr. Bradlaugh). If the Rule now before the House was made so elastic by foreign Assemblies, who had been obliged to frame their Rules so as to guide an excitable people, surely it was essential that it should be elastic to guide the deliberations of an Assembly composed of slow and methodical Saxons. The world owed its gratitude to minorities; and in proof of that many instances had been advanced by those who had preceded him in the discussion. He would point out one minority at least which had earned the gratitude of the Irish people. During the discussion of the Coercion Act of 1881, there was a small minority of English Members who voted with the Members from Ireland; and the Irish people had preserved a grateful recollection of their conduct on that occasion—so much so, that on a historic occasion they recognized their obligation to those Gentlemen by exempting them from opposition at the General Election. During the winter he had visited many localities where there were large numbers of miners and people engaged largely in manufacturing industries, and he had spoken to these people pretty extensively. Last year the Coal Mines Regulation Bill was passed by the House, and this measure he had discussed with miners interested in it. These miners, who were also electors, had not asked him who had made speeches in the passing of that Bill. They did not care who had spoken on the sections or clauses, but what they were most anxious to know was how those who represented them in Parliament had voted. The vote was the thing with the colliers and other working people of the country; but now the House was about to destroy the check which the vast majority of the electorate wished to exercise on the people who represented them. He had no hesitation in saying that if this Rule were passed in its entirety, or with the modifications proposed by the right hon. Gentleman, the electors of the country would regard it as a dishonest Rule and as an attempt to cheat them out of their rights. He would urge the Government, for their own sakes, not to allow such an argument as that to be used against them. Virtue, it was said, was always in the minority. If that were so, let them give virtue its just reward in that House—the reward of publicity.


said, he desired to point out that the Select Committee of 1886 had come to the conclusion and had recommended that when the minority numbered more than 40 they should have a right to a Division. Of this recommendation he certainly approved. It was useful for their guidance; and in as much as what they desired was to save time, he would point out that if they took a record of those voting in all cases, the delay might be greater than that caused by Divisions. The right of a substantial minority to a Division appeared to be generally recognized in foreign Assemblies. In our municipal assemblies, if only one member desired a division, the privilege was conceded; and that system appeared to work fairly well. He thought it might well be ordered that if 40 Members challenged a Division, the House should divide. Of course, he did not ascribe any magic to the number 40; but he selected that as the number named by the Select Committee.

SIR GEORGE TREVELYAN (Glasgow, Bridgeton)

said, he agreed that there was a general desire on the part of the House to save time; and he feared that if the Government should refuse to modify their plan, a good deal of time would be wasted in discussing the question. The Rule could not be accepted with anything like satisfaction by the House if serious alterations were not made in it. Probably he should not go as far as some hon. Members; but he would mention the alterations which appeared to him to be essential. In the first place, it ought to be laid down—as was proposed by the noble Lord the Member for South Padding-ton (Lord Randolph Churchill)—that the Speaker should distinctly name the number of the minority. To that change he understood the Government were ready to agree. In the second place, the Division bell ought always to be rung, and this was an important provision. If the bell was not rung when a Question put from the Chair was challenged, a minority might defeat a majority in consequence of the temporary absence from the House of some Members of the latter. If, on the other hand, the Speaker should take upon himself to direct that the bell be rung, he would, in such circumstances, lay himself open to the charge of favouring the party which had the probable majority in the House—in other words, the Government. It ought, therefore, to be the invariable Rule that the bell must be rung. Then the power which it was proposed to confer on the Speaker and Chairman ought to be limited by some such words as the following:—"If he shall be of opinion that the Division is challenged for vexatious and obstructive purposes." It was all very well to say that the Speaker and Chairman could be trusted. He agreed readily that the statement applied to the present high officers of the House; but they must not overlook the fact that there had been Speakers and Chairmen—and that within no very long distance of time— who could not be so absolutely trusted. He remembered how, some years ago, when an extremely important question was brought before the House, an hon. Member went to the then Speaker and asked to be called upon as Seconder of the Motion, and how the Speaker replied acrimoniously, saying that any hon. Gentleman who supported such a Motion ought to be ashamed of himself. He (Sir George Trevelyan) would not say when that happened, but it was a circumstance within his knowledge. Although that was the attitude of the Speaker on that occasion the Motion was supported by 90 Members, and he ventured to say that at this day was approved by nine-tenths of the community. The fourth condition upon which they ought to insist was that no Member should be deprived of his undoubted right to have his vote recorded on every question which was not a question of adjournment. The country did not care how Members voted on questions of adjournment, but cared very much to know how they voted on all other questions. If the Government would accept the Amendment of the hon. Member for the Crewe Division of Cheshire (Mr. M'Laren), the objections now felt to the Rule by a great many hon. Members would be removed. Every one of the hon. Member's objections was cardinal and vital; and, if they were not met, the Rule would not be passed rapidly, and when passed would not work well.

MR. T. P. GILL (Louth, S.)

said, he would withdraw his Amendment with the leave of the House. The discussion had called forth such a pronounced opinion against the whole Rule that he thought it would be better to take the Division on the Main Question.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

MR. HENRY H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

said, that, in order to remove one debateable point from the discussion of the Rule, he would move, in line 1, after the word "may," to add "after the lapse of two minutes as indicated by the sand-glass."



Amendment proposed, in line 1, after the word "may," to insert the words "after the lapse of two minutes as indicated by the sand-glass."—(Mr. Henry H. Fowler.)

Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.

MR. SHAW LEFEVRE (Bradford, Central)

said, he would now move an Amendment to omit the words "at his discretion," for the purpose of inserting the words "if he shall be of opinion that a Division is called for dilatory or obstructive purposes." His object was to define the discretion of Mr. Speaker or the Chairman of Committees—to restrict its exercise to Divisions called for purely dilatory, obstructive, and vexatious purposes.

Amendment proposed, In line 1, to omit the words "at his discretion," in order to insert the words" if he shall be of opinion that a Division is called for dilatory or obstructive purposes."—(Sir. Shaw Lefevre.)

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


said, the best method of accomplishing the right hon. Gentleman's view would be by substituting for "at his discretion "the words" if in his opinion a Division is frivolously or vexatiously claimed."


said, he would accept those words.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


said, that before the Amendment was put, he should like to ask whether by carrying it the House would be committing itself to any part of the Rule, or depriving itself of the right of voting on the whole Rule?


When the Amendments have been disposed of, the whole Question will be put as amended.

Amendment proposed, In line 1, to leave out the words "at his discretion," in order to insert" if in his opinion the Division is frivolously or vexatiously claimed."—(Mr. Shaw Lefevre.)

Question proposed, "That the words 'at his discretion' stand part of the Question."


said, that no doubt those words, to a small extent, modified the objectionable character of the Rule; but he should still object to the proposal for the reason, if for no other, that if the new Rules were carried out to their fullest extent, the words would be absolutely unnecessary, the Speaker and Chairman having been given power by a previous Rule to refuse to put the Question at all if it was frivolous or vexatious.


That is only so far as Motions for Adjournment are concerned.


said, that before Mr. Speaker could refuse to put the Question the Motion should be of an unmistakeably frivolous and vexatious character; but he (Mr. Dillon) imagined that there might be questions put in the House which the majority might consider of a frivolous and vexatious character, but as to which it might afterwards turn out that the minority had been in the right. What security had the minority that Mr. Speaker would not take the view of a large majority, and refuse to allow them to proceed? He took it that the mind of the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury was a fair specimen of the average mind of Members of the House, even when elevated to the Chair, and they knew how often the right hon. Gentleman had exercised his powers to the full for the purpose of stopping debate. It was on the details of Bills and in Committee of Supply that minorities had to struggle for the acceptance of their views, and the real power of the minority consisted in the forcing of Divisions which compelled the majority to vote. How would the minority be able to force upon the attention of the House matters which they knew to be important, and which in the end proved to be important, against the wish of the majority? No doubt it was always an annoyance to the majority to be checked in its operations; but they must not refuse to recognize the useful function of a minority in checking the majority, and in drawing the attention of the country to the course it was pursuing. That illustration, which showed that it was not always upon second readings and substantive Motions that struggles took place in the House, was furnished by what occurred in the case of what was known as the Healy Clause, introduced as an Amendment to the Land Act of 1881. That clause had been the battle cry in Ireland ever since it was passed; but it was resisted by the majority, and how could Mr. Speaker have acknowledge of Ireland which would enable him to say that such an Amendment was frivolous or not? If this Rule had been in existence, Mr. Speaker might have prevented the hon. Member from carrying that Amendment. And, in the same way, Members might be prevented from putting Resolutions relating to millions of money. In his knowledge, many Motions had been carried which, when they were first brought forward, were shouted down by majorities. Take the case of flogging in the Army, which was a still stronger illustration of what he meant. In that case a small lot of Members had stood out against the majority, and in a fortnight not only did the majority come round to their view, but the whole country. Although he said that the Rule would be a great deal improved by the Amendments, which had been made, he should prefer the issue to be taken upon the proposal as it originally stood. He believed that the whole course of increasing the powers of the Speaker and the Chairman of Committees not absolutely necessary was a wrong and evil course. The less power the Chair had to interfere with their proceedings the better. The Chair might be impartial, but times had been in the House when the occupant of the Chair had not been impartial; indeed, the struggle at the commencement of a Parliament was always to secure the Chair by nominating the Speaker. His belief was that human nature was so constituted that if they made the Chair too powerful they would inevitably create a strong Party struggle for the possession of the Chair, and in the course of time the occupant of the Chair would come to be considered the servant of a Party. The Government ought to be called upon to show some strong ground for this Rule before the House adopted it; they should, at any rate, try how they could get on without it. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House said at the outset—and said very fairly—that this was not a Government question, but one for the House itself, and if that was so there would be no mortification to the Government in being defeated upon the proposal. He hoped, therefore, that the right hon. Gentleman would not name the Government Tellers in the Division on the Main Question, but would allow Members to vote according to their own views.


said, that as a point of Order he should like to know whether the effect of carrying this Amendment would exclude the possibility of an Amendment being moved later on, giving to one or more Members in the House the right of challenging a Division?

COLONEL BLUNDELL (Lancashire, S.W., Ince)

said, that we must recollect that the object was to save time. He thought that if the Ayes were asked to stand up, and the Speaker then determined to dispense with the regular Division, he might be empowered to direct that the votes of the minority should be told in the regular manner. He hoped that this idea would receive some consideration, as it would get over the difficulty and prevent the Chairman of Committees or Mr. Speaker being placed in the invidious position of having to determine whether or not a Motion was frivolous and vexatious. He thought the danger would be that the occupant of the Chair would be apt to take a very lenient view of that subject.

MR. BUCHANAN (Edinburgh, W.)

said, he agreed with a great deal that had been said by the hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon), and believed that, although the Amendment might be some improvement upon the Rule as it stood, the better course would be for the Government to abandon the Rule altogether. Substantially, under Standing Order 11, almost everything the Leader of the House wanted was secured, but, if not, he thought some words introduced into that Standing 0rder would have the desired effect. If they desired to increase the number of Members entitled to demand a Division, it could be increased in that Standing Order. Under the proposed clause, however, very much wider powers would be given to Mr. Speaker and the Chairman. He (Mr. Buchanan) did not think that it would be wise for the House to surrender the powers its Members at present possessed to challenge Divisions in Committee of Supply, and to have their votes recorded on Amendments to Bills. So far as he was concerned, he should vote against the Amendment and against the Rule. It would hardly be worth the while of the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury to contend about what would be left of the Rule when passed in its altered form; and if the right hon. Gentleman wanted anything more in the direction of the Amendments now before the House, he would get it more easily by some slight amendment of Standing Order 11, which he proposed to repeal when this Rule passed, than by insisting upon the present proposal.

MR. A. SMITH (Herts, E.)

said, they should allow the votes of the minority to be recorded, and ought not to shirk their responsibilities. The words proposed by the hon. Member for the Crewe Division of Cheshire (Mr. M'Laren) would meet all the difficulties.


said, that the hon. and learned Member for West Edinburgh (Mr. Buchanan) made an appeal to him as to whether it was worth while going on with the Rule, as it was to be amended, evidently thinking that it would be different to what the Government had intended it to be. But he did not know that the Rule as amended, would profess anything different from what the Government had originally intended. They had no desire to restrict the right of taking Divisions except in cases where those Divisions were obviously frivolous and vexatious. They were satisfied to leave the matter in the discretion of Mr. Speaker and the Chairman; but as the House desired to introduce the Amendments which had been agreed to, he had not thought fit to oppose them. If it was thought desirable to insert words making the intention clearer, he should have no objection to that being done. As to the proposal of the hon. Member for the Crewe Division of Cheshire (Mr. M'Laren), he (Mr. W. H. Smith) had to say that he was in substantial agreement with it. It appeared to him desirable, on public grounds, that if the minority time after time got up to obstruct Business, it was of very great value, on public grounds, that their names should be recorded. He, therefore, accepted with gratitude the suggestion of the hon. Member, not only in the interests of the House itself, but in the interests of those who had charge of the Business of the House. If the names of a small minority who desired to bring about frivolous and vexatious Divisions were recorded, the practice would also have an important effect on the country. The words he would suggest in lieu of those of the hon. Member were, to add at the end— The Speaker or Chairman shall declare to the House, or the Committee, the number of the minority who had challenged his decision, and their names shall thereupon be taken down in the House and printed in the list of Divisions. All the Government desired in the conduct of Business was to give perfect publicity consistent with reasonable progress.

MR. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside)

said, the right hon. Gentleman had satisfied the desire of that (the Opposition) side of the House—in fact, he might say the desire of both sides of the House—in agreeing that a minority should possess the right to have its votes recorded. He (Mr. Mundella) had nothing to object to in the right hon. Gentleman's statement but the words in which he implied that a small minority must necessarily be obstructive.


said, he must disclaim any such intention. The Speaker or Chairman of Committees would express the opinion that Motions were frivolous and vexatious by calling upon hon. Members to rise in their places.


said, that although the Speaker or the Chairman might decide that a Motion was frivolous and vexatious, it did not follow that he was correct in that decision. With the greatest possible respect he reminded the House of the action of the present Chairman of Committees in regard to the South Africa Bill. The opposition of the right hon. Gentleman to that measure had been thought by many to be frivolous and vexatious; but events had shown that he was right, and that the then Chairman of Committees was wrong. This showed that no one was infallible.


said, that the discussion seemed to him to be turning upon words of a subsequent Amendment.


said, the Question before the House was that the words "at his discretion" be omitted.

MR. WALLACE (Edinburgh, E.)

said, he did not think that the Rule as it was proposed to be amended would be at all satisfactory. To his mind, they would be better without any such Rule. He objected from the point of view of the rights of constituents to any privilege being invented by the House for the protection of Members who conducted themselves frivolously or vexatiously, and the distinction which was drawn between substantive and merely dilatory Motions did not seem to him to effect any improvement in the nature of the Rule. A Member's constituents had a perfect right to know completely and perfectly the conduct of their Representative. If hon. Members became guilty of frivolous and obstructive practices there was the strongest reason why the full light of publicity should be thrown upon their proceedings. He admitted the desirability of securing the utmost despatch and economy of time in conducting the Business of the House, and he did not deny that delays occurred which might be avoided. But in regard to that it appeared to him that the cure was going to be a great deal worse than the disease.

Question put, and negatived.

Words inserted.


said, he would now move to add his Amendment.

Amendment proposed, At the end of the Main Question, to add the words "And, in case there is no Division, the Speaker or Chairman shall declare to the House, or the Committee, the number of the Minority who had challenged his decision, and their names shall be thereupon taken down in the House, and printed with the lists of Divisions." —(Mr. W. S. Smith.)

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


thanked the right hon. Gentleman for having accepted the principle of his Amendment to enable minorities to have their names recorded. He was only anxious that this should be done in some way, and was glad now that it was to be done on all occasions. At the same time, he was not sure that the method now proposed would work very satisfactorily, because some of the minority might be in the Division Lobby, expecting a Division, and thus would miss having their names recorded; and also, if the minority were large, there would be considerable time spent in the Clerk taking down their names. However, the important point was gained that the minority should always be known; and, therefore, he would not need to move the Amendment of which he had given Notice, but would gladly accept that of the Government.

MR. HOWORTH (Salford, S.)

said, he wished to draw attention to another inconvenience, which seemed to him to be imported into the Rule. Great inconvenience would arise from the double record of all the transactions, which took place. In the first place, there was the statement from the Chair of the numbers taken in the minority and the statement by the Clerk. When there was any discrepancy between those two records—and they could not avoid mistakes arising—it would lead to discussions in the House, to great waste of time, and more inconvenience than if they adhered to the regular manner of Division. That objection applied still more strongly to the proposal of the hon. Gentleman the Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Wallace). Half-dozen Members might say that though they were present their names had been overlooked. It seemed to him that the House did not need any such Rule, which would lead only to difficulty and danger and tend to weaken the authority of the Chair.

MR. HENEAGE (Great Grimsby)

said, that the objections that had been made by the hon. Member were easily met. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury had accepted the Amendment providing that the bell should be rung to enable Members to come into the House, whether they were to be counted in the House or the Lobby, and any discrepancy would be avoided by the Speaker merely declaring the minority and leaving it to the Clerk to discover the Members of whom the minority was composed.


said, the proposal of the Leader of the House was, in his opinion, the only practical way in which the Rule could be carried out. If the proposal of the hon. Member for the Crewe Division of Cheshire (Mr. M'Laren) were adopted, Members who had stood up might not choose to go out into the Lobby, or some might do so who had not stood up at all. It was said that it would be difficult to take down the names of 50 or 60 Members. So it would; but in the case of 50 or 60 Members standing up the Speaker or Chairman would direct that a Division should be taken. What they wished to deal with was a case where the minority would consist of 20 or 30 Members, and the course suggested was the only practical way of working the Rule.

Question put, and agreed to.

Main Question, as amended, proposed.


said, that notwithstanding the debate, which had taken place on this Rule, he was distinctly opposed to it as it now stood. He thought that it was altogether unnecessary, and that all that remained of it was mischievous. Although the Rule was surrounded with considerable safeguards, it would still leave to the Chair to say whether the call for a Division was frivolous and vexatious. Now, "frivolous and vexatious" were exceedingly uncertain terms, even provided that it were admitted by the Chair that the demand for a Division was an abuse of the Rules of the House. He held that such a responsibility should not be thrown upon the Chair unless a strong case of urgency could be made out for it. He was quite convinced that if these Rules were left to the unbiassed opinion of the House, without any exercise of influence on the part of the Government, the general opinion would be that it was altogether unnecessary. That being so, he felt bound to oppose the Rule even to the length of going to a Division upon it. He was much strengthened in that course by the observations, which had been made in regard to the debate. He could not shut his eyes to the fact that cases might arise as they had arisen in the past. When the Speaker or Chairman, although desiring to be impartial, were guided to a great extent by the temper of the House, the importance of the questions involved, or by his own weariness, and would be induced to give a judgment that would be unfair. He would point out also that while the last Amendment met the objections, which had been made from the Irish Benches as to registering the names of the minority, the Rule made no provision for registering the names of the majority. He maintained that was as necessary as recording the names of the minority. When hon. Members stood, up on both sides of the House a register of the names of those who voted in the majority, as well as in the minority, should be taken. He therefore felt bound to oppose the Rule by going to a Division.

Question put.

The House divided:— Ayes 236; Noes 93: Majority 143.

Acland, C. T. D. Clarke, Sir E. G.
Addison, J. E. W. Cochrane-Baillie, hon. C. W. A. N.
Ainslie, W. G.
Aird, J. Coddington, W.
Allison, R. A. Collings, J.
Ambrose, W. Colomb, Capt. J. C. R.
Anstruther, H. T. Commerell, Adml. Sir J, E.
Ashmead-Bartlett, E.
Bailey, Sir J. R. Corbett, A. C.
Baird, J. G. A. Corry, Sir J. P.
Balfour, rt. hon. A. J. Cotton, Capt. E. T. D.
Banes, Major G. E. Crawford, D.
Barclay, J. W. Cross, H. S.
Baring, T. C. Crossman, Gen. Sir W.
Barnes, A. Cubitt, right hon. G.
Barran, J. Curzon, Viscount
Bartley, G. C. T. Dalrymple, Sir C.
Barttelot, Sir W. B. Davenport, H. T.
Bates, Sir E. Dawnay, Colonel hon. L. P.
Beach, right hon. Sir M. E. Hicks-
De Worms, Baron H.
Beach, W. W. B. Dickson, Major A. G.
Bentinck, W. G. C. Dixon-Hartland, F. D.
Bethell, Commander G. R. Donkin, R. S.
Dorington, Sir J. E.
Bickford-Smith, W. Duncan, Colonel F.
Bigwood, J. Duncombe, A.
Birkbeck, Sir E. Dyke, right hon. Sir W.H
Blundell, Colonel H. B. H. Edwards-Moss, T. C.
Bond, G. H. Egerton, hon. A. de T.
Bonsor, H. C. O. Elliot, hon. A. R. D.
Borthwick, Sir A. Elton, C. I.
Bridgeman, Col. hon. F. C. Eyre, Colonel H.
Feilden, Lt.-Gen. R. J.
Bristowe, T. L. Ferguson, R. C. Munro-
Brodrick, hon. W. St. J. F. Fergusson, right hon. Sir J.
Brookfield, A. M. Fielden, T.
Bruce, Lord H. Fitzgerald, R. U. P.
Bruce, hon. R. P. Fletcher, Sir H.
Bryce, J. Flower, C.
Burdett-Coutts, W. L. Ash.-B. Forwood, A. B.
Fowler, rt. hn. H. H.
Burghley, Lord Fowler, Sir R. N.
Buxton, S. C. Fraser, General C. C.
Caldwell, J. Gaskell, C. G. Milnes-
Cameron, J. M. Gathorne-Hardy, hon. A. E.
Campbell, Sir A.
Campbell, Sir G. Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E.
Campbell, J. A. Gladstone, H. J.
Carmarthen, Marq. of Goldsworthy, Major
Cavan, Earl of General W. T.
Chamberlain, R. Gorst, Sir J. E.
Chaplin, right hon. H. Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Churchill, rt. hn. Lord R. H. S. Gray, C. W.
Greenall, Sir G.
Grey, Sir E. Malcolm, Col. J. W.
Grimston, Viscount Marriott, rt. hn. W. T.
Grotrian, F. B. Matthews, rt. hon. H.
Gunter, Colonel R. Mattinson, M. W.
Gurdon, R. T. Maxwell, Sir H. E.
Hamilton, right hon. Lord G. F. More, R. J.
Morgan, rt. hon. G. O.
Hamilton, Col. C. E. Morley, A.
Hamley, Gen. Sir E. B. Morrison, W.
Mount, W. G.
Hanbury, R. W. Mowbray, R. G. C.
Hardcastle, F. Mulholland, H. L.
Hartington, Marquess of Mundella, rt. hon. A. J.
Havelock-Allan, Sir H. M. Newark, Viscount
Noble, W.
Heath, A. R. Northcote, hon. Sir H. S.
Heaton, J. H.
Heneage, right hon. E. Norton, R.
Herbert, hon. S. O'Neill, hon. R. T.
Hervey, Lord F. Parker, hon. F.
Hill, right hon. Lord A. W. Pearce, Sir W.
Pease, H. F.
Hoare, E. B. Pelly, Sir L.
Hoare, S. Portman, hon. E. B.
Hobhouse, H. Powell, F. S.
Holloway, G. Puleston, Sir J. H.
Howorth, H. H. Raikes, rt. hon. H. C.
Hubbard, E. Rathbone, W.
Hughes-Hallett, Col. F. C. Ritchie, rt. hn. C. T.
Robertson, Sir W. T.
Hunt, F. S. Robertson, J. P. B.
Isaacs, L. H. Rollit, Sir A. K.
Jackson, W. L. Salt, T.
Jennings, L. J. Sandys, Lieut.-Col. T. M.
Johnston, W.
Kay-Shuttleworth, rt. hon. Sir U. J. Saunderson, Col. E. J.
Sellar, A. C.
Kelly, J. R. Selwyn, Capt. C. W.
Kennaway, Sir J. H. Shaw-Stewart, M. H.
Kenyon, hon. G. T. Sidebottom, T. H.
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. Sidebottom, W.
Sinclair, W. P.
Kerans, F. H. Smith, rt. hon. W. H.
King-Harman, right hon. Colonel E. R. Smith, A.
Smith, S.
Knowles, L. Spencer, hon. C. R.
Lafone, A. Stanhope, rt. hon. E.
Lambert, C. Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.
Lawrence, Sir J. J. T. Stephens, H. C.
Lawrence, W. F. Stewart, M. J.
Leake, R. Taylor, F.
Lefevre, right hon. G. J. S. Temple, Sir R.
Thorburn, W.
Legh, T. W. Tollemache, H. J.
Leighton, S. Tomlinson, W. E. M.
Lewisham, right hon. Viscount Trevelyan, right hon. Sir G. O.
Llewellyn, E. H. Trotter, H. J.
Long, W. H. Vernon, hon. G. R.
Low, M. Vivian, Sir H. H.
Lubbock, Sir J. Waring, Colonel T.
Lyell, L. Wayman, T.
Lymington, Viscount Webster, Sir R. E.
Macdonald, rt. hon. J. H. A. Webster, R. G.
West, Colonel W. C.
Mac Innes, M. Weymouth, Viscount
Mackintosh, C. F. Whitbread, S.
Maclean, J. M. Whitley, E.
Maclure, J. W. Winn, hon. R.
M'Calmont, Captain J. Wodehouse, E. R.
M'Lagan, P. Wolmer, Viscount
Madden, D. H. Wood, N.
Woodall, W. Young, C. E. B.
Wortley, C. B. Stuart-
Wright, H. S. TELLERS.
Wroughton, P. Douglas, A. Akers-
Yerburgh, R. A. Walrond, Col. W. H.
Abraham, W. (Glam.) M'Carthy, J.
Abraham, W. (Limerick, W.) M'Donald, P.
M'Ewan, W.
Acland, A. H. D. M'Laren, W. S. B.
Allsopp, hon. P. Mappin, Sir F. T.
Barbour, W. B. Montagu, S.
Biggar, J. G. Morgan, O V.
Blane, A. Nolan, Colonel J. P.
Bolton, J. C. O'Brien, J. F. X.
Bradlaugh, C. O'Brien, P. J.
Broadhurst, H. O'Brien, W.
Brunner, J. T. O'Connor, J.
Buchanan, T. R. O'Kelly, J.
Burt, T. Palmer, Sir C. M.
Cameron, C. Pease, Sir J. W.
Campbell, H. Pickard, B.
Carew, J. L. Pickersgill, E. H.
Channing, F. A. Picton, J. A.
Cobb, H. P. Power, P. J.
Coghill, D. H. Price, T. P.
Condon, T. J. Redmond, W. H. K.
Corbet, W. J. Reed, Sir E. J.
Cossham, H. Reed, H. B.
Cremer, W. R. Richard, H.
Crilly, D. Roberts, J.
Crossley, E. Roberts, J. B.
Deasy, J. Roscoe, Sir H. E.
De Lisle, E. J. L. M. P. Rowlands, J.
Dillwyn, L. L. Samuelson, G. B.
Dimsdale, Baron R. Schwann, C. E.
Dodds, J. Sheehan, J. D.
Ellis, J. Simon, Sir J.
Ellis, T. E. Slagg, J.
Esslemont, P. Stack, J.
Farquharson, Dr. R. Stewart, H.
Gill, T. P. Stuart, J.
Harrington, E. Sullivan, D.
Hayden, L. P. Summers, W.
Hayne, C. Seale- Thomas, A.
Heathcote, Capt. J. H. Edwards- Tuite, J.
Wallace, R.
Howard, J. Warmington, C. M.
Hoyle, I. Wilson, H. J.
Hozier, J. H. C. Wilson, I.
James, hon. W. H. Woodhead, J.
Joicey, J. Wright, C.
Lalor, R.
Leahy, J. TELLERS,
M'Arthur, A. Dillon, J.
M'Arthur, W. A. Fenwick, C.

Resolved, That Mr. Speaker, or the Chairman, may, after the lapse of two minutes as indicated by the sand-glass, if in his opinion the Division is frivolously or vexatiously claimed, take the Vote of the House or Committee, by calling upon the Members who supported who challenge his decision, successively to rise in their places; and he shall thereupon, as he thinks fit, either declare the determination of the House or Committee, or name Tellers for a Division. And, in case there is no Division, the Speaker or Chairman shall declare to the House, or the Committee, the number of the Minority who had challenged his decision, and their names shall be thereupon taken down in the House, and printed with the lists of Divisions.