HC Deb 11 May 1888 vol 326 cc52-71
MR. BRADLAUGH (Northampton),

in rising to move— That, on a new Member presenting himself with his introducers below the Bar, at the time and under the conditions specified in the Standing Order 86, Mr. Speaker, unless the House otherwise resolve, shall forthwith call such Member to the Table for the purpose of taking his seat, said, he desired to state expressly and without the slightest reserve that while in moving this Amendment it was necessary he should refer to and object, he did not complain of the ruling of Mr. Speaker Brand in his own case, or challenge that ruling as an honest interpretation of the law and practice of Parliament. He desired to acknowledge the great and generous courtesy which Mr. Speaker Brand had shown him at all times during the controversy, conducted at times during its five years' continuance under conditions of great tension. Standing Order 86, which was formerly Standing Order 62, provided that Members might take and subscribe the Oath required by law at any time during the sitting of the House before the Orders of the Day or Notices of Motion were entered on, or after they had been disposed of, but that the Business of the House was not to be interrupted for that purpose. That differed from the old practice set out in Hatsell, according to which, when the Member presented himself to take the Oath, the Business before the House was to cease and no other Business to be proceeded with until the Oath was taken. At a General Election no difficulty presented itself, because Members were sworn together in large numbers. It was when Members were elected at bye-elections, and the new Member with his introducers appeared at the Bar, that the difficulty with which he proposed to deal might arise. He did not desire to modify the conditions as to new Members presenting themselves or the time; what he did propose was that when the new Member with his two introducers presented himself in proper fashion at the Bar the Speaker should call upon him to fulfil the obligations imposed upon him by law. As a matter of fact there were only two cases, to one of which he did not intend to refer, in which the Speaker did not call upon the new Member to come to the Table to be sworn. But in 1884, in a suit tried at Bar, there was an information against himself, some of which was material for the purpose of this discussion. There was a count which involved the question whether he had been "disorderly" because he had come to the Table without having been called by the Speaker to come forward to take the Oath, and the Attorney General of that day, now the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Bury (Sir Henry James), appeared against him. That right hon. and learned Gentleman presented the facts with the utmost accuracy, and there was no attempt whatever to strain any point to his prejudice. But, as appeared from one count of the information and the shorthand notes of the trial, the Court and jury were asked to find that the Statute had not been complied with because He was not called upon by Mr. Speaker according to the usual practice of the House; and the then Attorney General told the jury that when Mr. Speaker so called upon a Member The Speaker remains in the Chair, showing that he is willing that the taking of the Oath by the Member should be proceeded with; and that, therefore, First there will be a question whether the Speaker was in the Chair. It was proved that the Speaker had said to him (Mr. Bradlaugh)— You have come to the Table without being called by me according to the Rules and Orders of the House, That Attorney General frankly stated— There is not the slightest doubt that the time Mr. Bradlaugh chose to come up would be the proper and regular time. He (Mr. Bradlaugh) argued against this that by The mere omission of those words the Speaker might prevent everyone elected after a General Election from even taking his seat at all, and if it happened that a majority of the House were hostile to a particular Member or Members so elected, there would be no means whatever in Parliament itself of dealing with the decision of Mr. Speaker; and instead of the representation of a constituency being a matter dependent upon law, it would be a matter dependent upon the whim of the House, which sometimes is not wisely exercised, and upon the discretion of the Speaker, which, although I am sure whoever may be the Speaker, and whatever his politics, is always sought to be exercised consonant with the dignity of Parliament, is yet only the discretion of one man, which may seriously conflict with the law. The Lord Chief Justice, at the trial at Bar, said— For some questions which you will have to determine, it is necessary to ascertain exactly what the Speaker's physical position was at the time this Oath was taken.…. It is said on the part of the Crown that inasmuch as the Speaker was standing, and inasmuch as Sir Erskine May says, when the Speaker is standing, he is in possession of the House, that Mr. Bradlaugh took the Oath, if he did take it, interrupting, if not debate, at any rate interrupting business, for the purpose of taking the Oath, and that, therefore, the 1866 Standing Order was broken. That is how the case is put on the part of the Crown as to the 1866 Standing Order. On the part of Mr. Bradlaugh, it is put that that cannot be the true meaning of it; that he had a perfect right to take the Oath; that he came to the Table to be sworn; that the business of swearing was the proper thing to be done; and that nobody had a right to interfere, and that anybody who interrupted his business was himself out of Order; that the business of swearing was to be done at the time, and that he was doing it, and that anyone who interrupted him in doing it was himself out of Order, and, therefore, that that Standing Order does not prevail against him. That is the argument Mr. Bradlaugh raises on those words; and the following three questions were left to and answered by the jury: First— Was the Speaker in fact standing in front of the Chair, or sitting in the Chair, at the time when the defendant made and subscribed the Oath? The answer is "Sitting" The next is— If you think the Speaker was sitting in point of fact, then was he sitting for the purpose of preparing and correcting notes which he was about to use in addressing the defendant, or for any other purpose, and if for any other purpose, can you say for what purpose? The jury answer— Sitting for the purpose of preparing or correcting notes which he was about to address to the defendant. Thirdly— Had the Speaker resumed his seat, and if he had, had he resumed it for the purpose of allowing the defendant to make and subscribe the Oath? The jury answer, "No." Whilst he had argued against this as long as he could, and considered that such points were too trivial and undignified for decision by the Judges, when a grave principle was raised for judicial decision he hadn ever complained of the interpretation of the law which had then been given; but what he put to the House was this—that a Member elected at a bye-election ought to be in the same position as a Member elected at a General Election. He did not touch the authority of the House. There might be occasions when the House ought to make a special order with respect to some Member; but he thought it his duty to try to prevent any new Member from being put in the same position as he had been placed in himself. As the law now stood a new Member would be "disorderly" the moment he crossed the Bar if the Speaker did not call upon him. It was for the dignity of the House that there should not be a possibility of the difficulty which had arisen in his own case occurring again. He begged to move the Amendment which stood in his name.

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "on a new Member presenting himself with his introducers below the Bar, at the time and under the conditions specified in the Standing Order 86, Mr. Speaker, unless the House otherwise re- solve, shall forthwith call such Member to the Table for the purpose of taking his seat,"—(Mr. Bradlaugh,)

—instead thereof.

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

SIR HENRY JAMES (Bury, Lancashire)

said, he assumed that the discussion of the Amendment would not occupy the attention of the House for any great length of time. He was not very confident that the matter submitted to it was quite understood by hon. Members. If he understood the position of the hon. Gentleman, it was this—that in a case in which he was concerned a proposition was submitted to a jury, and held to be correct, that the Speaker had the control of the Business of the House, and that, therefore, he could, if he thought right, exercise an arbitrary discretion as to whether he would call a Member at the Bar to the Table to be sworn or not. That was a legal proposition, but constitutionally the Speaker was bound to call a new Member appearing at the Bar to take his seat; and, supposing the Speaker said arbitrarily he would not call a new Member appearing at the Bar to take his seat, he would be acting unconstitutionally, and his position could not be maintained for a single moment. As he understood it, the hon. Member for Northampton wished the House to declare that it was not satisfied with the constitutional duty cast upon the Speaker, and he wished that there should be a hard-and-fast line of obligation which should bind the Speaker to call upon a new Member standing at the Bar to come and take his seat, and should not allow him to exercise his discretion.


said, that prior to 1886 there was a hard-and-fast duty on the Speaker; but the Standing Order made in pursuance of the Act of 1886 had not left that duty on the Chair.


said, that the constitutional duty nevertheless remained on the Speaker, who could not turn his head aside and say that a Member appearing at the Bar should not be allowed to come to the Table and take the Oath. But the real point which he wished to urge with regard to this Amendment was that it was a very dangerous one from the hon. Member's own point of view, because it said that the Speaker should, unless the House otherwise resolved, call the new Member to the Table for the purpose of taking the Oath. The effect of this was that the Resolution invited the House to resolve whether a Member should or should not take his seat. The former contention of the Liberal Party had been that the House had no legal right to pass a Resolution interfering between a Member and his taking the Oath; but now the hon. Member for Northampton invited the House to resolve that a new Member could not come to the Table to be sworn if the House so resolved. He would ask the hon. Member to consider whether he was not, by his Amendment, endeavouring to establish a record of a right which had never been constitutionally exercised by the House?


said, he desired to point out to the hon. Member for Northampton that he would hardly attain the object which he had in view by the Motion which he had brought forward. He could not contradict this—that if this Amendment which he had now moved had been a Standing Order in the beginning of the Parliament in 1886, the hon. Member would not at that moment be sitting in his place.


said, that his Resolution only applied to Members elected at bye-elections; the question of Members elected at a General Election, who came to the Table uncalled and without introducers, did not arise.


said, he did not see what distinction there was between the two classes. The hon. Member suggested that the House should be given the right to resolve that a Member at the Bar should not be allowed to come to the Table and take the Oath. Had this Amendment been a Standing Order in 1886, certainly the Speaker could not have ruled out of Order a Motion made interposing between an hon. Member and his coming to the Table and taking the Oath. The position taken up by the present Speaker at that time had been that it was absolutely out of Order and impossible for the House to interpose between a Member coming to the Bar of the House and claiming to take the Oath, and his performance of that duty. But that ruling would have been rendered impossible under the wording of the hon. Member's Resolution. For his own part, he could not quite make out what the hon. Member was driving at. The hon. Member seemed to imagine that it was in the power of the Speaker to refuse to call a Member to the Table of the House. But when the Speaker had refused to permit the hon. Member to take the Oath, it was in pursuance of a Resolution of the House.


said, that it had been proved at the trial that at that time there was no Resolution in force; the Resolution had been Sessional, and had expired with the Session. The proceedings in question had taken place 12 or 13 days after the beginning of a new Session, and there bad been no Resolution in force at that time.


said, he was afraid they were getting on somewhat thorny ground which he would rather avoid; but the hon. Member had then claimed to affirm, and asserted his inability to take the Oath, and in consequence of that the House had passed a certain Resolution. He would ask, however, whether there was a single other case where the Speaker had ever refused to call a Member to the Table?


said, that there was only one other case, that of Wilkes, where the question arose whether the Deputy was compellable to put the Oath to him, and that was put from the Chair and decided by the House.


asked the hon. Member whether he thought it worth while to occupy the time of the House on a Friday afternoon in order to guard against an occurrence which had only taken place in such an extremely complicated case? Did he think that was an object for which they should pass a Resolution which invited the House to be continually interposing to prevent hon. Members from coming from the Bar to the Table? He did not think the Motion was one which would improve the position of private Members.


said, he was glad he had been anticipated by his right hon. and learned Friend (Sir Henry James) in pointing out to the hon. Member for Northampton that he could not effect any really useful object by putting his Amendment in writing on the records of the House. If agreed to it would be merely an enunciation of what was accepted as the unwritten law. With the exception of what had taken place in the last Parliament, there was only one case in which such a question had ever arisen. As a matter of practice of Parliament, the Speaker invariably did call to the Table any new Member who presented himself at the Bar with his introducers at the proper time. He did not think that, in the circumstances, this proposed Amendment would have affected the question in 1886, if it had then been a Standing Order of the House. He certainly thought that the words "unless the House otherwise resolve" were necessary for the protection of the Speaker; and if the hon. Member was of opinion that there was any good purpose to be served by having this Resolution put on the Standing Orders of the House, Her Majesty's Government would have no objection. He did not, however, believe that it was anything more than a declaration of the unwritten law of the House, or that there was any necessity for the Resolution.


said, that he should certainly deem it to be his duty to press the Resolution, as he saw an advantage in it.

MR. JOHN MORLEY (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)

said, he considered that the hon. Member for Northampton was more justified than the noble Lord (Lord Randolph Churchill) seemed to think in asking the House to put this Amendment upon the record, even though the case might not have often arisen; because as long as so ingenious a Member as the noble Lord remained in that Assembly he could imagine that his hon. Friend must be anxious that every possible security should be taken against the repetition of the proceedings which had taken place in 1880. He joined with his right hon. and learned Friend (Sir Henry James) in regretting that the hon. Member for Northampton had assented to the insertion of the words "unless the House otherwise resolve;" because he feared that the Resolution, with those words of limitation, would leave gentlemen in a worse position than they were in at the present moment. If his hon. Friend could see his way to removing those words, he would more willingly and cheerfully approve the passing of the Resolution; but if the Government said that without those words they could not accept it, then, of course, he would rather have the Resolution with than without them. If, however, such words were now inserted, they would give a false impression of the true position of the right of an hon. Member on being returned to Parliament to come to the Table for the purpose of taking his seat.

MR. STAVELEY HILL (Staffordshire, Kingswinford)

said, he hoped the House would give the strongest opposition to this Motion; it was admitted to be absolutely unnecessary, and therefore ought not to be allowed a place among the Standing Orders. It required, however, a more full consideration before even this could be safely asserted; and in the absence of the Leader of the House and of those responsible for the Standing Orders of the House, he should certainly vote against the Resolution.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 147; Noes 152: Majority 5.—(Div. List, No. 103.)

Question proposed, That the words 'on a new Member presenting himself with his introducers below the Bar, at the time and under the conditions specified in the Standing Order 86, Mr. Speaker, unless the House otherwise resolve, shall forthwith call such Member to the Table for the purpose of taking his seat,' be there added.


in moving, as an Amendment, the omission of the words "unless the House otherwise resolve," said, if these words were maintained he feared they would undo all the work of the bulk of the Liberal Party from 1880 to 1885, as they would confer a right upon any Member to move that another Member should not take his seat. The position of the Liberal Party had been that such a power would be in opposition to the Constitutional rights of constituencies to return Members to the House. If they struck out the words there would be left a colourless Resolution, the passing or rejection of which was of no moment or importance.

Amendment proposed to the said proposed Amendment, to leave out the words "unless the House otherwise resolve."—(Sir Henry James.)

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


said, that the Amendment just moved rightly showed what an awkward position the House had got into by doing what he ventured to say it never ought to do—namely, lightly and unreflectingly tamper with its Standing Orders. He wished, without discourtesy, to remonstrate with the First Lord of the Treasury (Mr. W. H. Smith) on this point. The Government had put down Supply, and had told the House that Supply would be taken till 12 o'clock. The hon. Member for Northampton then moved his Resolution affecting the Standing Orders of the House; and the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite (Sir Henry James), who was one of the first authorities on this matter, objected, and asked the House not to agree to it. The Attorney General admitted that the Resolution was wholly unnecessary, but said he would agree to it, and the result was that the Government knocked down and destroyed their Own Motion for going into Supply. Such conduct on the part of the Government with regard to Supply was absolutely unprecedented. He should not have objected if the Motion carried had been a Motion calculated to increase the efficiency of the Orders of the House of Commons; but it was admitted by the Government that the Resolution was unnecessary. He appealed to the First Lord of the Treasury to reconsider the position of the Government. He was certain that if the First Lord followed the argument which was put forward by the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, he would see that the proposed alteration of the Standing Orders was not one which could be agreed to in a hurry and without mature reflection. It would be far better to negative the whole Resolution, and set up Supply again. He would make a very earnest and strong appeal to the First Lord to consider the suggestion he now made in the interests of the House of Commons.

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

said, he greatly regretted that urgent business compelled him to be absent from the House during the last few minutes, and that he had not had the advantage of listening to the debate. When he saw the Motion of the hon. Member for Northampton he thought it better to communicate with the Speaker and take his opinion upon it. The opinion which the Government entertained was that the Resolution was totally unnecessary; but, as the hon. Gentleman pressed it, and as the Speaker was of opinion, as he interpreted that opinion, that it was perfectly innocuous, he did not think it necessary to oppose the Resolution. The House had suffered great disadvantage from the absence of the Speaker from the debate. He did not think that the noble Lord was justified in reproaching him for his absence and for the course he thought it right to take. The desire which he had to put forward Public Business did not lead him to oppose any perfectly innocuous Motion when he was assured by high authority that it was innocuous and unnecessary. But he thought that it would be desirable that the question should not now be settled, and that they should reject the proposal and leave the hon. Member for Northampton to bring it forward at another opportunity. [Mr. LABOUCHERE: When?] His noble Friend the Member for South Paddington did not seem to be fully aware of the fact that a Motion on going into Committee of Supply was often accepted, and Supply, according to custom, was immediately set up again, so that it would be competent even if the House accepted the Resolution to set up Supply again. He trusted that for the present at least the House would not put the Resolution upon the Order Book.


said, that the change of mind on the part of Her Majesty's Ministers was the most extraordinary he had ever seen. It was only a few minutes since that the Attorney General assured the House that the Government Were prepared to assent to the Resolution as it stood.


The right hon. Gentleman will pardon me. I stated distinctly on behalf of the Government that, in our opinion, the Resolution was unnecessary. It was not because we thought it necessary that we were prepared to assent to it, but for the reasons explained by the First Lord of the Treasury.


But the hon. and learned Gentleman voted for the Motion.


Because I was not going back upon my statement.


said, he hoped that the hon. and learned Gentleman would persist in that frame of mind. There was an extraordinary inconsistency in the position taken up by the noble Lord. The noble Lord and the First Lord of the Treasury said at one moment that the Resolution was harmless and innocuous.


I did not say it was harmless or innocuous. I suggested rather the reverse; I pointed out that it might have mischievous consequences.


said, that diametrically opposite positions were taken up by Gentlemen on the Ministerial side of the House. The First Lord of the Treasury and the Attorney General said that the Resolution was innocuous, and the noble Lord in his last speech said that it made a grave alteration in the Standing Orders. In his opinion, the Resolution would simply place on record what was the practice and custom of the House, only once broken in the last century and once in the Parliament of 1880, chiefly at the instance of the noble Lord himself. His right hon. and learned Friend had moved the omission of the words which he ventured to object to; and he hoped that his hon. Friend the Member for Northampton would assent to the Amendment.


said, that he had listened to the statement of the First Lord of the Treasury with considerable pain. Whatever difference of opinion he had had with hon. Gentlemen sitting opposite, he thought that every arrangement entered into would be carried out by them to its full extent. He had now learned that an arrangement deliberately made one evening might be broken by the Government under pressure from the noble Lord. He thanked the right hon. Gentleman for releasing him from his part of the arrangement. He was now free. The words proposed to be left out were not his. For two years this Resolution had stood upon the Paper without them. The Resolution had not been lightly and suddenly sprung upon the House. For four weeks it had been upon the Order Book in the place which it was entitled to occupy, and for two years it stood among the Procedure Rules. It was one of the very first matters which he submitted to the authorities connected with the House when he knew that Procedure would come up for discussion. He did not want these words. He hailed with delight the Amendment of the right hon. and learned Gentleman; and if the First Lord had not broken the complete arrangement made on the previous night, he should have perhaps found himself bound to vote against his own words, holding himself honourably bound by the arrangement which he believed the Government would honourably fulfil. He had striven, in moving his Resolution, to avoid every memory, bitter as many of them were, connected with this struggle. He let fall no word that could imply the slightest sort of imputation upon any person directly or indirectly connected with it. He thanked the noble Lord for the honesty of his declaration, and he would like to see the Resolution rejected entirely. The noble Lord alleged that the Resolution was absolutely unnecessary. But this was clearly not true. If such a Resolution had been upon the Books it would have been needless for him to figure as disorderly before the world, and for the Attorney General to bring the three counts against him for the recovery of £1,500, nor could the three questions he had read have been left to the jury. [Lord RANDOLPH CHURCHILL was understood to dissent from something the hon. Member had said.] The noble Lord should hardly differ from him on a question of fact, for he had many reasons for recollecting what had occurred. The matter had nearly ruined him; on account of it he now stood deeply in debt; and it was to prevent others being placed in that position that he now moved this Resolution. He felt the generosity even of his foes during the period since he had taken his seat; and it could not be said that he had in any fashion presumed upon the indulgence the House had shown him. He regretted that the First Lord of the Treasury, having had time to consider this Resolution, should have allowed himself to be influenced by the noble Lord the Member for South Paddington to go back from a distinct arrangement made last night. It was perfectly accurate that the right hon. and learned Member for Bury had in that House, as he himself had in the Law Courts, disputed the Constitutional right of the House to interfere in any way between a Member who was returned and the seat to which he was entitled. Unfortunately for a Member who was struggling, there was no remedy for him against any decision of the House, for it was supreme within its own walls. Therefore, he sought to put on the Order Book a Resolution which would exempt new Members from the difficulty in which he found himself. In the interests of peace, he assented last night to the insertion of these words, because he had the desire to bury the memory of a painful struggle. He deeply regretted that Members on the other side should have felt it necessary to do anything which might seem to revive it. He should now go into the Lobby with the right hon. and learned Member for Bury, and he felt that fair-minded Members on both sides of the House ought to do the same. Whether the words were omitted or retained, the House would remain master of its own proceedings; but he had always contended, and he understood the Front Opposition Bench to contend in the last Parliament, that while there was no legal limit to the power of the House, there was a Constitutional limit to meddle with the free choice of a constituency, unless the person returned were legally disqualified from taking his seat.


said, it was perfectly true he had said he would not advise Her Majesty's Government to assent to the proposition of the hon. Member for Northampton unless these words were inserted. He stated—and the right hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne (Mr. John Morley) would remember it—when he was appealed to across the Floor of the House before the first Division, that he should not assent to the Resolution, unless it contained these words. As the hon. Member for Northampton said he would now assent to these words being struck out, he must, of course, oppose that step. In this he was consistent from beginning to end. He must, on behalf of the Government, express their intention to reject the Resolution as now proposed by the hon. Member, because it was only on condition that the words proposed to be inserted should be adopted that he could possibly have given the proposition support.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

asked whether there could be a greater waste of time than had taken place on this occasion, and for this the Government was responsible? He might perhaps have hesitated about voting with his hon. Friend and Colleague; but, finding him supported by the Attorney General, of course he had no hesitation in the matter. The Attorney General admitted that he agreed that the Government should assent to the Motion if the words were inserted. It was now moved that they should be struck out; and if that Motion were not carried, he wanted to know what the Government were going to do? He had no particular objection to the Government stultifying itself in the face of the country—they knew what Dogberry wrote himself down, and he did not mind the Government doing the same; but they had a right to know before voting on the Amendment what the Government meant to do if it were carried, and also what they meant to do if it were rejected.


said, he was sorry if the hon. Member for Northampton thought he had not acted with perfect fairness and straightforwardness. He thought he had spoken with clearness. He had stated that he thought it would be far better that the Motion should be withdrawn on this occasion. If the Amendment were carried, undoubtedly the Government would vote against the Resolution; if the words were retained, he was bound by the engagement he had made to vote for it.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)

said, the right hon. Gentleman had given another flat contradiction to his Attorney General. Two things were clear—that the House had now got into a mess, and that this was owing to the Attorney General, who had said that whether the words were in or out he should be obliged to vote for the Resolution. ["No, no!"]


I said nothing of the kind. I said that I could not consent to the Resolution passing if these words were struck out, but that I did not go back from the undertaking I had given if they were left in.


said, he trusted that the records which were being made by the "recording angels" would bear out the statement of the hon. and learned Gentleman. Most certainly they did not understand the hon. and learned Gentleman in that sense on that side of the House. He (Mr. T. M. Healy) never remembered anything like the present mess. The right hon. and learned Gentleman (Sir Henry James) had hit an obvious blot when he proposed that these obnoxious words should not be left in the Resolution. The Resolution had been accepted by the House on the faith of the experience of the "high contracting" parties; but ought not this to be a warning to them all against making arrangements with the Government? He would not vote for the Resolution as it stood, because it asserted for the House a right which was never claimed until it was asserted by Sir Drummond Wolff's famous Motion—namely, to stop a new Member from going to the Table. The adoption of the Resolution, as it stood, would appear to confer on the House a right it had never possessed—it would surrender the immemorial right of an elected Member to come to the Table to be sworn.


said, he had voted for the Resolution, but the arguments had shown him that he had voted wrongly, for the Resolution as it stood asserted that the House had a right to stand between a man who was elected and the constituency who elected him, a proposition from which he entirely dissented. He trusted the Amendment would now be carried, as that was the only way to cure the evil.

Question put, and negatived.

Question proposed, That the words 'on a new Member presenting himself with his introducers below the bar, at the time and under the conditions specified in the Standing Order 86, Mr. Speaker shall forthwith call such Member to the Table for the purpose of taking his seat,' be there added.


wished to know what course the Government were now going to pursue? After the arrangement which they had made with the hon. Member for Northampton, were they going to turn round and stultify themselves by voting against the Resolution, because, with their connivance, certain words had been removed from it? Not having disputed the Amendment of the right hon. and learned Member for Bury, they surely could not intend to defeat the Resolution because that Amendment had been carried.

MR. WADDY (Lincolnshire, Brigg)

said, that when the right hon. and learned Member for Bury proposed that the words "unless the House otherwise resolve" should be struck out of the Resolution, the Government accepted the proposal at once. [An hon. MEMBER: No.] The hon. Member's memory was even shorter than usual—which was saying a great deal. The Government, having agreed to the Amendment of the right hon. and learned Member for Bury, could not make that agreement a ground for breaking their engagement with the hon. Member for Northampton.


said, he was not surprised that the hon. and learned Gentleman should have amused himself by making a speech on this occasion. [Cries of "Oh!" Hear, hear," and Mr. J. E. ELLIS: What impertinence!] The comment had reached him, but he thought it unworthy of answer.

MR. J. E. ELLIS (Nottingham, Rushcliffe)

The hon. and learned Member had a perfect right to make a speech in this House.


(resuming) said, he had explained before the last Question was put that if the Amendment of the right hon. and learned Member for Bury were agreed to, the Government must vote against the Resolution. The hon. Member for Northampton had claimed to be perfectly free to vote upon the Amendment as he might think fit, and consequently the Government had regained their freedom also. The words proposed to be omitted by the right hon. and learned Member for Bury having been struck out of the Resolution, the Government must vote against it.


said, that what he stated was, that if the Government adhered to their engagement, he felt bound to vote for the insertion of the words, but that, as he thought the declaration of the right hon. Gentleman released him from the engagement, he should support the Amendment of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Bury, because the words objected to were introduced by him at the last moment on the understanding that the Government would accept the proposal if worded in that way.

Question put.

The House divided :—Ayes 152; Noes 180: Majority 28.

Abraham, W. (Limerick, W.) Jacoby, J. A.
Joicey, J.
Acland, A. H. D. Kay-Shuttleworth, rt. hon. Sir U. J.
Anderson, C. H.
Asher, A. Kenny, C. S.
Asquith, H. H. Kilbride, D.
Balfour, rt. hon. J. B. Labouchere, H.
Balfour, Sir G. Lalor, R.
Barbour, W. B. Lawson, Sir W.
Barran, J. Leahy, J.
Biggar, J. G. Lefevre, rt. hn.G. J. S.
Bolton, J. C. Lockwood, F.
Bright, Jacob Lyell, L.
Broadhurst, H. Lymington, Viscount
Bruce, hon. R. P. Mackintosh, C. F.
Brunner, J. T. M'Arthur, A.
Buchanan, T. R. M'Donald, P.
Cameron, J. M. M'Donald, Dr. R.
Campbell, Sir G. M'Ewan, W.
Campbell, H. M'Kenna, Sir J. N.
Campbell-Bannerman, right hon. H. M'Lagan, P.
Mahony, P.
Carew, J. L. Mappin, Sir F. T.
Channing, F. A. Marjoribanks, rt. hon. E.
Childers, right hon. H.
C. E. Menzies, R. S.
Coleridge, hon. B. Mildmay, F. B.
Colman, J. J. Montagu, S.
Conway, M. Morgan, rt. hn. G. O.
Conybeare, C. A. V. Morgan, O. V.
Cozens-Hardy, H. H. Morley, rt. hon. J.
Craig, J. Nolan, J.
Crawford, W. O'Brien, P. J.
Crilly, D. O'Connor, A.
Dillwyn, L. L. O'Connor, J.
Duff, R. W. O'Connor, T. P.
Ellis, J. O'Keeffe, F. A.
Ellis, J. E. Palmer, Sir C. M.
Ellis, T. E. Paulton, J. M.
Esslemont, P. Pease, A. E.
Farquharson, Dr. R. Pease, H. F.
Fenwick, C. Pickersgill, E. H.
Ferguson, R. C. Munro- Picton, J. A.
Finucane, J. Plowden, Sir W. C.
Flower, C. Potter, T. B.
Flynn, J. C. Powell, W. R. H.
Foley, P. J. Power, R.
Foljambe, C. G. S. Price, T. P.
Fox, Dr. J. F. Priestley, B.
Fry, T. Pugh, D.
Gill, T. P. Randell, D.
Gladstone, H. J. Rathbone, W.
Goldsmid, Sir J. Reed, Sir E. J.
Graham, R. C. Roberts, J.
Grey, Sir E. Roberts, J. B.
Gully, W. C. Robinson, T.
Haldane, R. B. Roe, T.
Harrington, E. Roscoe, Sir H. E.
Harris, M. Rowlands, J.
Hayden, L. P. Rowntree, J.
Healy, M. Russell, Sir C.
Healy, T. M. Samuelson, Sir B.
Heneage, right hon. E. Shaw, T.
Howell, G. Sheehan, J. D.
Hoyle, I. Simon, Sir J.
Hunter, W. A. Spencer, hon. C. R.
Illingworth, A. Stack, J.
Stanhope, hon. P. J. Wallace, R.
Stansfeld, rt. hon. J. Warmington, C. M.
Stevenson, F. S. Wayman, T.
Stevenson, J. C. West, Colonel W. C.
Sullivan, D. Whitbread, S.
Summers, W. Will, J. S.
Sutherland, A. Williams, A. J.
Swinburne, Sir J. Williamson, S.
Tanner, C. K. Wilson, C. H.
Thomas, A. Wright, C.
Thomas, D. A. TELLERS.
Vivian, Sir H. H. Bradlaugh, C.
Waddy, S. D. Burt, T.
Addison,.J. E. W. Cranborne, Viscount
Agg-Gardner, J. T. Cross, H. S.
Ainslie, W. G. Crossman, Gen. Sir W.
Allsopp, hon. P. Cubitt, right hon. G.
Anstruther, Colonel R. H. L. Curzon, Viscount
Dalrymple, Sir C.
Ashmead-Bartlett, E. Darling, C. J.
Baden-Powell, Sir G. S. De Lisle, E. J. L. M. P.
Dimsdale, Baron R.
Bailey, Sir J. R. Dorington, Sir J. E.
Baird, J. G. A. Dugdale, J. S.
Balfour, rt. hon. A. J. Duncombe, A.
Baring, T. C. Dyke, rt. hn. Sir W. H.
Bartley, G. C. T. Egerton, hon. A. J. F.
Barttelot, Sir W. B. Egerton, hon. A. de T.
Bates, Sir E. Elliot, G. W.
Baumann, A. A. Ewart, Sir W.
Bazley-White, J. Fergusson, right hon. Sir J.
Beach, right hon. Sir M.E. Hicks
Field, Admiral E.
Beadel, W. J. Fielden, T.
Beaumont, H. F. Fitzgerald, R. U. P.
Beckett, W. Fitz-Wygram, Gen. Sir F. W.
Bentinck, rt. hn. G. C.
Bentinck, W. G. C. Fletcher, Sir H.
Beresford, Lord C. W. De la Poer Folkestone, right hon. Viscount
Bethell, Commander G. R. Forwood, A. B.
Fowler, Sir R. N.
Birkbeck, Sir E. Gathorne-Hardy, hon. J. S.
Blundell, Colonel H. B. H.
Gilliat, J. S.
Borthwick, Sir A. Goldsworthy, Major-General W. T.
Bridgeman, Col. hon. F. C.
Gorst, Sir J. E.
Bristowe, T. L. Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.
Brodrick, hon. W. St. J. F. Gray, C. W.
Green, Sir E.
Brookfield, A. M. Greene, E.
Brooks, Sir W. C. Grimston, Viscount
Bruce, Lord H. Grotrian, F. B.
Burdett-Coutts, W. L. Ash.-B. Hamilton, right hon. Lord G. F.
Burghley, Lord Hamilton, Lord C. J.
Caldwell, J. Hamilton, Col. C. E.
Campbell, Sir A. Hankey, F. A.
Carmarthen, Marq. Of Heath, A. R.
Churchill, rt. hn. Lord R. H. S. Herbert, hon. S.
Hill, right hon. Lord A. W.
Clarke, Sir E. G.
Coghill, D. H. Hill, Colonel E. S.
Colomb, Capt. J. C. R. Hill, A. S.
Commerell, Adml. Sir J. E. Houldsworth, Sir W. H.
Howard, J.
Compton, F. Howorth, H. H.
Corbett, A. C. Hozier, J. H. C.
Corbett, J. Hubbard, hon. E.
Corry, Sir J. P. Hughes, Colonel E.
Hughes-Hallett, Col. F. C. Mulholland, H. L.
Muncaster, Lord
Hulse, E. H. Norris, E. S.
Hunt, F. S. O'Neill, hon. R. T.
Hunter, Sir W. G. Parker, hon. F.
Isaacs, L. H. Powell, F. S.
Isaacson, F. W. Puleston, Sir J. H.
Jackson, W. L. Raikes, rt. hon. H. C.
Jennings, L. J. Rankin, J.
Kelly, J. R. Rasch, Major F. C.
Kennaway, Sir J. H. Richardson, T.
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. Ridley, Sir M. W.
Ritchie, rt. hon. C. T.
Kerans, F. H. Robertson, Sir W. T.
Kimber, H. Rollit, Sir A. K.
Knatchbull-Hugessen, H. T. Round, J.
Russell, T. W.
Knowles, L. Salt, T.
Lafone, A. Sandys, Lieut-Col. T. M.
Laurie, Colonel R. P.
Lawrence, Sir J. J. T. Selwyn, Capt. C. W.
Lawrence, W. F. Seton-Karr, H.
Lea, T. Shaw-Stewart, M. H.
Lechmere, Sir E. A. H. Sidebotham, J. W.
Legh, T. W. Sinclair, W. P.
Leighton, S. Smith, rt. hon. W. H.
Lethbridge, Sir R. Stanhope, rt. hon. E.
Lewis, Sir C. E. Stephens, H. C.
Lewisham, right hon. Viscount Stewart, M. J.
Swetenham, E.
Long, W. H. Temple, Sir R.
Lowther, hon. W. Tomlinson, W. E. M.
Lowther, J. W. Townsend, F.
Macdonald, right hon. J. H. A. Tyler, Sir H. W.
Vernon, hon. G. R.
Maclean, F. W. Vincent, Col. C. E. H.
Maclean, J. M. Webster, Sir R. E.
Makins, Colonel W. T. Webster, R. G.
Mallock, R. Whitley, E.
Maple, J. B. Whitmore, C. A.
Matthews, rt. hn. H. Wood, N.
Mattinson, M. W. Wortley, C. B. Stuart-
Mayne, Admiral R. C. Wright, H. S.
Moss, R.
Mowbray, rt. hon. Sir J. R. TELLERS.
Douglas, A. Akers-
Mowbray, R. G. C. Walrond, Col. W. H

Amendment proposed, after the word, "That," in the original Question, to add the words, "this House will immediately resolve itself into the Committee of Supply."—(Mr. William Henry Smith.)

Amendment agreed to.

Resolved, That this House will immediately resolve itself into the Committee of Supply.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Deputy Speaker do now leave the Chair."