§ Bill, as amended, further considered.
§ SIR ARTHUR D. HAYTER (Walsall)
moved, as an Amendment, in page 1, line 8, after the word "particular," to insert the word "servant or." He said the object of the Amendment was, as the House would see, to include within the scope of the Bill all railway employés, such as station masters, men employed in carriage works, booking clerks, and others. He was anxious the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade should say whether it would be necessary for those making complaints to be personally represented.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 1, line 8, after the word "particular," to insert the words "servant or."—(Sir Arthur D. Hayter.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. MUNDELLA,) Sheffield, Brightside
I do not think, Sir, that the Amendment is necessary, as it will be open to any railway servant to lodge a complaint. Moreover, it will not be necessary for him to be personally represented. Anyone may represent him, or he can make the complaint by letter to the Board of Trade. If the Board of Trade receive an anonymous letter from a factory servant it would be the duty of the Board to inquire into the matter referred to in the letter.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ *SIR ALBERT ROLLIT (Islington, S.), in moving the Amendment which stood in his name, said, it was in no sense hostile to the principle of the Bill, and he should not press it if it in any 1373 way imperilled the measure. He heartily approved of the general principle involved, and he looked with even favour upon the measure as a whole. He was on the Committee that dealt with the question, and he could say that the hours wore very excessive—18 and 19 hours per day in some cases. As a result of the appointment of the Committee, a great improvement had taken place; but it was necessary that the most adequate security for the future should be taken, especially as to signalmen. He thought the Hill was worthy of support, for it met many of the evils complained of in the railway service; and instead of being the sham which one hon. Member had described it, it was really a most important Bill, and he had great confidence that the Board of Trade would administer it properly. It could not be urged against his Amendment that it proposed to place a statutory limit on the number of hours during which railway servants were to be employed. If he were now arguing that question he would be prepared to maintain that as the employment of railway servants was of an exceptional character, that as railways were monopolies, and that as both the safety of the railway servants and the safety of the travelling public wore involved, these were reasons for the imposition of certain statutory limits on the hours of labour. But, as he had said, his Amendment did not raise that question. The Amendment accepted the principle of the supervision and direction of the Board of Trade over the hours of railway servants; but it aimed at securing that the Board of Trade should have the fullest information for its guidance; that such information should be classified; and it indicated the general limits which would be placed— not by Statute but by the Board of Trade —on certain kinds of employment of railway servants. The Amendment did not deal at all with the running staff. He had heard many objections to limiting the hours of drivers and guards, who had to take a train to a certain point, take it back, and then go home. He admitted that any arbitrary rules for the regulation of the hours of labour of these servants would cause some, though not insuperable, inconvenience. But the Amendment did not affect that branch of the service; it dealt with, perhaps, the most important branch—so far as the 1374 safety of the public was concerned— the stationary staff. It sought especially to regulate the duties of signalmen, who had the most important and responsible duties to perform. The signalmen were under a mental strain of no ordinary kind, and the slightest lapse from duty on their part might result in a great disaster. Accidents arising from the carelessness of signalmen, were, he was glad to say, comparatively rare; but when they did occur they were far more destructive than any other species of railway accident. On those grounds he claimed special regulations with regard to signalmen. The Amendment also dealt with a very important matter—namely, the arrangements for the relief of signalmen. The terrible accident at Thirsk was an instance of the calamitous results which followed on the absence of a proper and adequate system of reliefs. The Report of the Committee which sat to consider this question justified his demand for the exceptional treatment of signalmen. The Committee were of opinion, and reported, that the hours of signalmen should not exceed eight, and that 10 hours were sufficient for other railway servants, and that opinion was supported by Major Marindin, the Government Inspector, who inquired into the Thirsk disaster, and who stated that eight hours' work for signalmen was the most that should be allowed on the main lines. He had heard a great deal in the course of the Debate about the feeling of railway servants in this matter. Mr. Harford, who was a constituent of his, had been frequently quoted; but whatever might be Mr. Harford's opinions—and they were entitled to every respect—his Association of Railway Servants had distinctly committed itself to the principle of some limitation of hours; and Mr. Tait, the representative of the railway servants of Scotland, in his evidence before the Committee, had proposed a legal 10 hours day. It was said that the fixing of maximum hours would have the effect of levelling the hours up to that maximum; but the general feeling was against such a proposition, and he believed the result would be the prevention of excessive hours. The object he had in view in moving the Amendment was to secure for the Board of Trade the most specific, accurate, and periodic information as to this particular branch of the railway service; and hav- 1375 ing regard to public opinion, he did not ask for a statutory regulation of the hours of labour, but he thought that Parliament might, and ought upon its own responsibility, to indicate to the Board of Trade that in the interest of the safety of the travelling public there should be a limit to the hours of signalmen, and an adequate number of reliefs.
In Page 1, line 22, after sub-section (2) of Clause 1, to insert as a new sub-section, the words: "In the case of signalmen, the Board of Trade, within one month after the passing of this Act, shall, by order, require every railway company in the United Kingdom to submit to the Board, within a period specified in the order, a classified schedule of all signal-boxes on the system of such company, dividing such signal-boxes into boxes in which the hours of duty of the signalmen employed therein do not exceed ten hours, eight hours, and six hours respectively, and stating such further particulars as the Board may in such order require to be furnished, and especially the number of relief signalmen in the employment of the company, and the proportion of such relief signalmen to the number of signalmen regularly on duty on each section of the company's lines. The Board may from time to time by order require any company to submit to them a revised schedule of signal-boxes, and if any schedule so submitted is in their opinion unsatisfactory, the Board may repeat the order from time to time till a satisfactory classification of such signal-boxes shall have been submitted by the company and approved by the Board of Trade. Where, in the opinion of the Board of Trade, the number of relief signalmen in the employment of any company on any section of such company's lines is insufficient, having regard to the number of signalmen regularly on duty on such section of the company's lines, and to the circumstances of the traffic and the nature of the work, the Board may order such company to make, within a period specified in the order, such reasonable increase in the number of relief signalmen as may appear to them to be necessary."—(Sir Albert Rollit.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ *MR. MATHER (Lancashire, S. E., Gorton)
hoped the Amendment would not be pressed. He was present at a consultation between a deputation of railway servants of the President of the Board of Trade, which was attended by Mr. Tait, and this very question having been discussed, it was decided that the Bill as drawn was stronger for the protection of railway servants than it would be if the hours of labour were specifically fixed.
§ MR. WOODS (Lancashire, Ince)
said, that whatever might be the opinions of the leaders of the railway servants on this subject—and they were, he thought, a little complicated—be knew that there was a particularly strong feeling amongst railway servants themselves that there should be some limitation, or some power given to the Board of Trade to enforce a limitation, of the hours of labour in certain branches of the railway service. There were a considerable number of railway servants in his constituency, and knowing their views he entirely agreed with the Amendment. It was not proposed to enforce the different limits of hours mentioned in the Amendment. All that was asked was that the Board of Trade should get the power to enforce compliance with the wishes of the different sections. It was not necessary for him to dwell upon the excessive hours of railway servants, because that had been more than abundantly proved by the voluminous evidence given before the Labour Commission; but he wanted to make the Bill a living reality, to fashion it so that there would be some power vested in the Board of Trade to enforce the wishes of the House in the event of the Railway Directors trying to evade those wishes. The Amendment asked that the Directors of railways should furnish certain definite information to the Board of Trade in order that the Board might keep the hours of railway servants within a reasonable limit. He knew it was difficult to specify the hours of labour which should apply to the different branches of the railway servants; he knew that there was a strong opinion in the running department, amongst engine-drivers and guards, against their hours being fixed by Act of Parliament, but he knew that the servants employed in stationary positions were of opinion that limits to their hours of employment should be laid down. The suggestion in the Amendment as to relief signalmen was most important. Signalmen held most important positions; on them depended hundreds and thousands of lives, and it was most essential for the safety of the public that there should be more than one signalman in every box of importance. He therefore hoped the President of the Board of Trade would accept the Amendment.
§ MR. MUNDELLA
It would be better that I should state at once my position in reference to this Amendment. When I first saw the Amendement on the Paper some two mouths ago, it seemed to me so fair and moderate—simply to enable the Board of Trade to get additional information—that I thought I might well accept it. But the more I inquired into it the more dangerous I found it to be, and the more I became convinced that it ought not to be introduced into the Bill. I must, acknowledge the very fair and moderate speech of the hon. Member for Islington (Sir A. Rollit) in moving the Amendment, but I must say that he was entirely wrong when he said he was supported by the Committee which considered this question. I find that both the Majority and Minority Reports of that Committee were against anything of this kind. Nothing could be stronger than both the Reports against the danger of relieving the Railway Companies of every responsibility. I implore the House not to take from the shoulders of the Railway Companies all the responsibilities they ought to bear, and place these responsibilities upon the shoulders of the Board of Trade. That is the real danger. We will have great power under this Bill, but we do not desire to take the entire responsibility of administering the railways ourselves, and the Amendment goes in that direction. This matter was fully discussed by the Grand Committee on Trade, and was rejected by 31 to 5, and no one was more opposed to it than the Chairman of the Committee, my predecessor in the Board of Trade. This Amendment does not fix the hours at all. It does not give us the power to fix the hours. It simply gives us the power to call for Returns—but we have that power already; we can ask for Returns, and when we get the Returns we can take our own action. If the Amendment stopped there it would not be bad. But it goes beyond that, for it proposes to put on the Board of Trade the responsibility of the signal departments of all the railways of the country. There are 400 railways and 50,000 signal-boxes; and as there is no possible classification, every signal-box must be considered on its own merits. But, what is more, a signal-box that may fairly be to-day 1378 a ten-hours signal-box, may to-morrow, by some change in the surrounding circumstances, become an eight-hours box, and is it possible for the Board of Trade, even with an army of Inspectors, to say when this change in a signal-box shall take place? That responsibility must rest upon the Railway Companies. If the matter were placed in the hands of the Board of Trade, and a case of an accident arose, the Railway Companies would say, "We were asked for no additional relief. We obeyed the classification of the Board of Trade. They made no new demands upon us." The Amendment also puts on the Board of Trade the duty of regulating the number of the signalmen who are to be employed. Here is what it says—(3) In the case of signalmen, the Board of Trade, within one month after the passing of this Act, shall, by order, require every railway company in the United Kingdom to submit to the Board, within a period specified in the order, a classified schedule of all signal-boxes on the system of such company, dividing such signal-boxes into boxes in which the hours of duty of the signalmen employed therein do not exceed 10 hours, eight hours, and six hours respectively, and stating such further particulars as the Board may in such order require to be furnished, and especially the number of relief signalmen in the employment of the company, and the proportion of such relief signalmen to the number of signalmen regularly on duty on each section of the company's lines. The Board may from time to time by order require any company to submit to them a revised schedule of signal-boxes, and if any schedule so submitted is in their opinion unsatisfactory, the Board may repeat the order from time to time till a satisfactory classification of such signal-boxes shall have been submitted by the company and approved by the Board of Trade.But the Amendment goes further—Where, in the opinion of the Board of Trade, the number of relief signalmen in the employment of any company on any section of any company's lines is insufficient,so that the duties of the Board of Trade would be enormously increased. How is the Board of Trade to say that the number of relief men are insufficient? That would be taking the management of the Railway Companies into the hands of the Board of Trade. I assure the House that I have tried to see whether I could accept any or all parts of this Amendment. I summoned the Inspectors to meet me only yesterday to see whether it was possible to accept this. Major Marindin was with me, and he is the man of all others who has been the ad- 1379 vocate of short hours for railway servants. If this Amendment were accepted the responsibility would be removed from the shoulders of the Railway Company and put upon those of the Board of Trade. Now, if there was one thing on which the Committee—upon which my hon. Friend opposite sat—insisted more than another, it was that nothing should be done to remove that responsibility. In the Report of the Committee it is stated—In the opinion of your Committee the object to be arrived at is to compel any Railway Company overworking its servants to desist from doing so, while leaving the company the full responsibility for the management of its line and the maintenance of discipline. They could not do anything which would relieve the companies from that responsibility by apportioning to the Board of Trade the duty of making regulations for the working of the traffic by the officers and servants of the company.That is placing them in a right position. I appealed to Major Marindin as to whether he could see his way to agree to the Amendment, and he replied that it was an impossibility. There are 12 hours boxes, the duty in which is the lightest work on the railway. I have had a letter from a signalman, in which he says—I worked a 12 hours box, four trains passing each way each day. I am now working a busier box, but with shorter hours. I wish I could be restored to my old box, which was the lightest and easiest task I ever had.In the boxes where the hours are longer the duties are light, but it requires a very active man to stand his eight hours in a busy signal-box, and work the side lines, &c. I wish it were possible to place before the House one-tenth part of the evidence on this question. It would be a most dangerous thing to accept this Amendment. I asked my Inspectors as to how they would judge as to the number of relief signalmen required, and they said that it was an impossibility, and that nobody but, those who managed the line could tell how many relief signalmen should be on each section. That could only be estimated according to the increase or decrease of traffic. To put that duty on the Board of Trade would be placing us in a position altogether too onerous and too responsible. Major Marindin said to me—"If you go as far 1380 as this clause, it will be nothing short of taking the management of the Railway Companies into your own hands." If you do that you must have a proper staff. You cannot, with a great Public Department and the present staff, manage the railways. Major Marindin said—This Bill is so strong; so much good has resulted merely from being able to obtain returns of overtime that I am quite satisfied it will kill overwork.I believe it will kill overwork, and we intend that it shall kill overwork. When this Bill becomes an Act, it will prove a most valuable Act for railway servants and for the travelling public. I am bound to say that on certain lines there is a great deal of overwork and a great deal of excessive strain on the men. We shall have power under this Bill of calling for any Returns on receiving any representations made to us by any persons on behalf of railway servants, and we shall feel it our duty to follow up such representations and to take care that such overwork shall be stopped. Having regard to the fact that every person to whom I have appealed for information, every Railway Inspector in the employment of the Department, and every person who has experience of railways, has pressed upon me the tremendous responsibility which we shall place on the Board of Trade if we accept the Amendment, I do appeal to my hon. Friend not to press it, not only in the interests of the travelling public and in the interests of safety, but in the interests of the men themselves, because it will fetter our action.
§ *SIR M. HICKS-BEACH (Bristol, W.)
I will not detain the House long from coming to a conclusion, but I cannot refrain from saying a few words in support of the view the President of the Board of Trade has taken on this subject. I suppose there is no Member of the House who has devoted so much careful attention to this matter as I have. I was Chairman of the Committee which inquired into it for two years, and I can only say I gave a perfectly impartial opinion on the matter. I do not think, in the interests of anyone, it would be well to encumber 1381 the Bill with the minute details which are proposed in the Amendment of my hon. Friend. I am convinced that it would be better, in the interests of the railway men, that the powers conferred on the Board of Trade should be wide powers, leaving the detailed arrangements to be worked out by the Railway Companies themselves, authorising the Board of Trade to interfere by inspection, by report, and by orders to be enforced—as the Bill proposes— through the Railway Commission if the Railway Companies do not do their duty to the public and the railway servants in this matter. Any other system would impose duties on the Board of Trade which no Public Department could discharge. I believe if we attempted it Parliament would be brought to this dilemma—either it would have to go further and take the railways into its own hands to be worked by the Government, or have to go back to the present system of non-interference. I do not think it would be quite convenient to discuss now the question whether it would be well that the railways should be worked by the Government. I remember a Debate on this subject in the last Parliament, when I ventured to oppose the proposal on the grounds that no Government could work the railways as well as the best companies worked them, and that the management of the railways by the Government would open up enormous opportunities for political corruption. In this view I was cordially supported by the present Prime Minister. This Bill, I am bound to say, is based on my own Report, drawn up by me, and adopted unanimously by the Select Committee, and, to the best of my recollection, there was no Amendment moved to the Report in the nature of the Amendment now proposed, although I think my hon. Friend was himself a Member of that Committee. An Amendment to this effect was unquestionably moved in the Grand Committee during the progress of the Bill through that Committee the other day, and was negatived by a very large majority indeed. I hope the House will adhere to the view taken by the Select Committee and by the Grand Committee, and will not impose upon the Board of 1382 Trade the duties which are proposed by this Amendment.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)
said, that anyone listening to the last speaker might have thought that they were listening to a Debate to nationalise the railways of Great Britain. He gathered that the principle underlying the Bill was to give the Board of Trade power to reduce the excessive number of working hours, upon that number being proved to the Board of Trade to be excessive, through the conditions embodied in the hon. Baronet's Amendment. He could not see why the Amendment should not be adopted, as it was practically a supplementary regulation of the Bill, which did not involve any complicated conditions such as had been suggested by the President of the Board of Trade; and it was because the Amendment particularised that which the Bill was but vaguely general upon, that he trusted even at that late stage the Board of Trade would see its way to adopt it. It was said that if the Amendment were adopted it would lead to the responsibility of the Railway Companies being taken over by the Board of Trade. It was the opinion of a great many people that the sooner some of the responsibility was taken from the Railway Companies the better it would be for the railway servants and the travelling public. Did the President of the Board of Trade seriously think that this House would take over the responsibility of the management of the railways of the country? The Railway Directors would see to that, and when the House interfered with the responsibility of administering the railways, the Railway Directors would come to that House and they would have plenty of friends to advocate their view. The President of the Board of Trade said that, as there were quite 50,000 signal-boxes, it would be difficult for the Amendment to be enforced. Under the Bill it would be equally difficult for the main principles to be enforced. The right hon. Gentleman also said he could assume a case where there was a junction where a man lately worked 10 hours, but that 1383 owing to the opening up of a siding or a new colliery the man would have to be put on eight hours if the conditions of the Bill were to be complied with; but under the hon. Baronet's Amendment he suggested it would mean that a particular case would have to be brought, first, under the notice of the Inspector, through him to the Board of Trade, and then back to the Railway Company, suggesting they should alter the conditions under which the man was working at a box relatively easy, but which, through the opening of a colliery, made the work more difficult. But he would point out that under the Bill of the President of the Board of Trade the same conditions would prevail even to a greater extent than under the Amendment of the hon. Baronet.
§ MR. MUNDELLA
said, the hon. Member was mistaken. Under the Amendment, so long as no complaint reached the Board or Trade, a Railway Company would be entitled to go on working a signal-box; but if the responsibility rested with a Railway Company, it would be at their risk if they continued to do it.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
could not accept the explanation of the President of the Board of Trade; but if he thought that the Amendment would bring about the state of affairs which the right hon. Gentleman had referred to, he would not support it, Under Clauses 1 and 2 it was competent for any person whose bona fides were admitted to complain of long and excessive hours. Take the case of a 10 hours signal-box. Assuming that the conditions of labour had altered, and the 10 hours signal-box had become an eight hours signal-box, upon the representations of a Trades Union or the man who was overworked on the eight hours as compared with the work he did in the 10 hours, the Board of Trade would compel the Railway Company to reduce what had become excessive hours, and the Amendment, then, was to make operative and automatic the complaint against the Railway Company, and to see that the conditions prescribed were carried into effect, He was afraid that 1384 in this matter the President of the Board of Trade was rather bound by his well-known principle of laissez-faire in declining to accept the Amendment, The Amendment would throw on the Railway Companies the onus of proof in the matter of the hours of their signalmen being either long or short, and he hoped that every hon. Member who was in favour of shorter hours for signalmen and other railway workers would vote for it.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ *MR. DODD (Essex, Maldon)
proposed as an Amendment, in page 2, line 6, to leave out Sub-section 4 of Clause 1. He said his Amendment did not touch in any respect the vital or main principle of the Bill, but related only to procedure. The effect of it was that it took away from the Railway Commissioners the jurisdiction which was imposed upon them by this Bill. By the Bill the Board of Trade were entitled to call upon the railways to submit to them a schedule of the time of duty of any class of their servants. If there was any failure to supply this schedule, the matter was to come before the Railway Commissioners, who had to deal with it; and then, supposing a schedule was agreed to, and the Railway Companies failed to comply with the schedule, the matter was to go before the Railway Commissioners. By his Amendment he proposed that the matter, instead of being dealt with by the Railway Commissioners, should be dealt with by commercial arbitration by the Board of Trade, who would be able to make inquiries and would then be able to make an award or order which could be enforced under the Arbitration Act of 1889. The Railway Commissioners in the past had been found to be a very expensive tribunal, and not in all respects a very satisfactory one; and if railway servants had to defend their own case before the Railway Commissioners, a burden would be put upon them which, he thought, they would be scarcely able to bear. Again, the Railway Commissioners, being a legal tribunal, were not able to hold any informal inquiry into the facts, but must 1385 have everything proved in a strictly legal manner. A Report recently issued by the Railway Commissioners showed the amount of confidence the public had had in that Body. In the course of a year they had only decided the small number of 12 cases. The difficulty of the Amendment he did not shrink from facing. Many hon. Members would say they were not fortunate in giving the Board of Trade the whole matter absolutely under their own control, but there was another difficulty, and that was this; He was told by a gentleman connected with the Board of Trade that they had not at present any staff that could be utilised to hold the various inquiries that had to be held if the Amendment he suggested were carried. At the same time, notwithstanding those difficulties, it seemed to him the Bill ought not to go through without some kind of protest against this additional work being thrown on the Railway Commission which, he ventured to submit, had not been very satisfactory, either to the public or the railway interest. With regard to the railway servants, it appeared to him they could not afford the time or expense of appearing before this tribunal, and, therefore, he had ventured to submit to the right hon. Gentleman a suggestion, but he did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman was able to accept it. He would ask him to accept this, if he was not able to accept the whole Amendment. But he would ask, in the first place, whether he was able to dispense with the Railway Commissioners and accept on behalf of the Board of Trade the responsibility of making an award that should be final. There was a simple mode of dealing with an order or award under the Arbitration Act. That Act allowed an award to be enforced in the same way as the judgment of the Royal Courts of Law. But supposing, which he hoped might not be the case, the right hon. Gentleman was not able to accept the responsibility of dealing thus fully with the matter, he would suggest that the objection he was making might be met to some extent by an Amendment that would enable the Board of Trade to defend these cases on behalf of the men before the Railway Commissioners. The way in which he would suggest 1386 it might be done would be this: In Clause 1, page 2, line 1, to omit the words—"and may," and insert these words, "and the Board may appear in support of the reference and the Commissioners may." That would make it quite plain that the Board would take up the matter of these References; and instead of the railway servants having to tight, it would be fought on their behalf by the Board of Trade. He therefore ventured to move his Amendment as it stood, hoping that the right hon. Gentleman might be able to accept it, or, if not able to do that, to accept the suggestion he had made, so as to make it perfectly plain that he did not intend to leave the railway servants in the difficulty of having to appear before this tribunal at their own expense.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 6, to leave out Sub-section 4 of Clause 1.— (Mr. Dodd.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."
§ MR. MUNDELLA
I cannot accept the large Amendment of my hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Dodd), because it would make the Board of Trade not only the framers of the scheme, but it would compel them to decide upon the merits of the scheme, be prosecutors under the scheme, and enforce compliance with the scheme. That would rather be going beyond the right of justice; but what I | can do is this: I am quite willing to accept the hon. Member's Amendment, which will relieve the railway servants or any person of taking the matter before the Railway Commission, as it was never intended that that expense and trouble should be thrown on the parties making the claim. It is intended, when the Board of Trade has decided that a schedule is not acceptable, or that they could not allow it, that the Board of Trade should themselves take the case before the Railway Commission provided the Railway Companies should object to accept the Schedule of the Board of Trade. I am quite willing, if my hon. Friend will withdraw his Amendment 1387 and accept these words, to leave out the words in Clause 1, page 2, line 1, "and may," and to insert" and the Board may appear in support of the reference and the Commissioners may." That would make it perfectly clear that the Hoard would undertake the matter.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendment proposed, in Clause 1, Subsection 3, line 1, leave out "and may," and insert "and the Board may appear in support of the reference and the Commissioners may."—(Mr. Dodd.)
§ Amendment, as amended, agreed to.
THE MARQUESS OF CARMARTHEN (Lambeth, Brixton)
said, that before the Third Reading was taken he should like to say a word. The right hon. Gentleman, as he would probably remember, made an appeal to him, some weeks ago now, to let this Bill go through without any amendment whatever, as having come down from a Select Committee, and that was supported by the right hon. Gentleman sitting below him (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach).
§ MR. MUNDELLA
The Bill as to which I specially appealed to the noble Marquess again and again was the North Sea Fisheries Bill, and not this Bill.
THE MARQUESS OF CARMARTHEN
begged the right hon. Gentleman's pardon, but that was not the ease. He was quite as attentive to what went on in the House after 12 at night as the right hon. Gentleman, and he asserted that the appeal was made to him in reference to this Bill. He merely rose on the Thin" Reading of this Bill to point out that since he had been in the House four speeches had been delivered, every one in favour of the Bill, by supporters of the right hon. Gentleman.
THE MARQUESS OF CARMARTHEN
said, that even the right hon. Gentleman himself had moved an Amendment. When the right hon. Gentleman appealed to him, he said there were no Amendments down to the Bill, and he appealed because the Bill had come down amended by the Select Committee to which it had been referred. He thought the value of the objection he took to proceeding with the Bill after 12 o'clock at night had been amply justified by the discussion that had taken place.
§ Bill read the third time, and passed.