§ On the Order for going into Committee on this Bill,
§ SIR JOHN LUBBOCK (London University) moved that the Order be discharged and that the Bill be referred to the Grand Committee on Trade. This course, he said, would be in accordance with the wishes of the Home Secretary, and he believed it would be convenient to hon. Members who desired to move Amendments.
§ MAJOR P. H. DALBIAC (Camberwell, N.)
objected to the Motion. The Bill contained a great deal affecting the interests of the poorer members of the community, and was a Measure that ought to be discussed in Committee of the whole House.
§ SIR J. BLUNDELL MAPLE (Camberwell, Dulwich)
hoped his hon. Friend would withdraw his objection. He was a new Member and so perhaps did not quite understand that after a Bill had been before a Grand Committee it came down to the House again for further consideration. This Bill was eminently suited for discussion in Grand Committee.
§ SIR FRANCIS POWELL (Wigan)
trusted that the Motion of the right hon. Baronet would be agreed to. This was a Bill which could be referred with the greatest advantage to the Standing Committee on Trade. The Factories Bill was referred last Session to that Committee and dealt with in as satisfactory a manner as possible, having regard to the fact that a General Election was imminent. That Bill would not have become law if it had not been so referred. There was a Resolution recorded by that House in favour of the Bill now under consideration. [Some cries of "Agreed" from the Opposition Benches.] He claimed that he was entitled to speak on this subject and he wished that the hon. Members who had 1432 interrupted him had given as much attention to it as he had. ["Hear, hear!"] Three Committees had considered the subject and he had served on each one of them. He certainly ought not to be interrupted by Members who had not taken the same pains as he had to acquire information. Hon. Members on the other side of the House who professed to represent the working classes ought to give a hearing to one who stood before them as the representative of an eminently industrial constituency. ["Hear, hear!"] These interruptions in a discussion of this character were hardly consistent with the claims of the hon. Members who interrupted to be the special advocates of the cause of the working classes.
§ MR. F. WOOTTON ISAACSON (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)
said, that several years ago he had promoted meetings among the shopkeepers in his constituency in order to learn their views on legislation of this kind. The Bill had been very much improved since that time, but as it was very desirable that its details should be thoroughly examined he hoped that it would be referred to the Grand Committee.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
observed that there were proposals in the Bill which he did not approve. It certainly ought to go to the Grand Committee. The hon. Baronet the Member for Wigan had entirely misinterpreted the interruptions of which he complained. His hon. Friends near him thought that brief discussion at this stage would best serve the interests which the hon. Baronet had at heart. They all respected the hon. Baronet, who had given such untiring attention to this and a hundred subjects, and the last thing they would wish to do would be to show him intentional discourtesy.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
hoped that after what had passed the hon. Member for North Camberwell would not think it necessary to press his objection. There was evidently a general feeling in every part of the House in favour of referring this very important Bill to a Committee which was specially qualified to thresh it out. There was no Party question involved in this Measure, but it was a matter of great detail and difficulty. It was precisely such a subject that a Grand Com- 1433 mittee could deal successfully with, and when his hon. friend was enabled to see that the Committee worked well he would come to the conclusion that his constituents rather gained than lost by the suggestion which had been made. He hoped, therefore, the hon. Member would reserve his criticisms until the Grand Committee sent the Bill back, when he would be able to make any observations he chose in a full House in the interests of those whom he represented.
§ Order for Committee discharged; and Bill committed to the Standing Committee on Trade, &c.