HC Deb 05 May 1897 vol 48 cc1541-83

MR. WILLIAM ALLEN (Newcastle-under-Lyme) moved "That this Bill be now Read a Second time." He said that the Measure was very short, and the second clause, which was the effective one, proposed to limit the hours of labour in mines to eight hours from bank to bank. He desired to say at the outset that no modification or amendment of this proposal, in the direction of local option for Durham and Northumberland or South Wales, would be accepted by the promoters of the Measure. There had been a very considerable growth of opinion in that House in favour of the principle of the Measure during recent years. Thus, whereas in 1892 there voted 160 in favour of that principle and 272 against it, and in 1893 there voted 279 in favour of it and 201 against it; in 1894 there voted 281 in favour of it and only 194 against it. It could not be said that these figures were the result of the change of Ministry that took place during those years, because the majority in favour of the principle of the Measure on the last occasion was more than twice the normal majority of the Government of the day. Therefore it was evident that the principle of the Bill was supported almost as strongly by hon. Members sitting opposite as it was by those sitting on the Opposition side of the House. The Bill would affect about 584,000 persons who were employed in the mining industry of the country, about 45,000 or 50,000 of whom were under 15 years of age. The first consideration for the House would be what was the opinion of those who were engaged in the coal mining industry, and whether the great majority of them were in favour of this proposed legislation or not? He believed that he was in a position to show the House that at the present time an overwhelming majority of the men in the federated districts were in favour of the Bill. The principal opposition to the Measure came from Durham, Northumberland, and South Wales. In the latter case, however, the opposition was of an unimportant character, being confined to the men in one valley only, and even there the opposition was not at all of a strong character. In other parts of the Principality, however, the men were strongly in favour of the Bill. The main opposition to the proposed legislation, therefore, came from Durham and Northumberland, and even there a considerable change of feeling on the subject had taken place quite recently. At a ballot which was taken, he believed, by the authority of the leaders of the Durham Federation, on the question whether that Federation should join the Miners' Federation of Great Britain, which was unanimously in favour of an eight hours' limitation of labour, 29,000 voted for joining, and only between 13,000 and 14,000 against it, a large number of the men not taking the trouble to vote on the question. Thus, even in Durham, a majority of nearly two to one were in favour of the principle of the Measure. [Cries of "No!"] What were the reasons that the miners urged upon the House for giving them special treatment with regard to their hours of labour? In the first place, their work was exceedingly unpleasant, and in view of the conditions under which their labour was performed no one would contend that eight hours down a mine was not a sufficiently long period for the men to work. The men worked in gloom, and in what was practically a living tomb, while they were exposed to the greatest dangers to life and limb. When, a man descended into a mine he took his life in his hands, and was liable to being crushed to death by falls from the roof, to being drowned by the flooding of the mine, and to being blown to pieces by explosions. He also ran the risk of meeting one of the most lingering and horrible deaths in utter darkness when, through an accident, he was cut off from all hope of escape. In 1895 there were 852 accidents in mines, which resulted in 1,173 deaths, besides numerous injuries by which men were maimed for life. In these circumstances the House was bound to grant the miners the Bill which they desired, unless some overwhelming reason could be shown for withholding it from them. The main reason which had been urged against this legislation was that it would restrict the output of coal. He did not believe that the output would be decreased. There was a great deal of evidence available on the question as to whether shorter hours really did restrict output; but there was a maximum, beyond which a man could not work with any effect. A great many experiments in the shortening of hours of labour had been made. There were the experiments at docks and Government factories, and the opinion of the authorities was that the work had not been diminished by the shortening of the hours. When the Ten Hours' Bill was introduced in 1847 in the textile factories, the inspectors were practically unanimous that there would be a reduction in the output by the operation of the Bill. For the first year there was a reduction; but after that the factory inspectors, who had opposed the Measure, were able to say that the people had fallen in with the new arrangement, and that the output was actually larger in the shorter hours, while the wages earned were greater than in the longer hours. In 1892 the Colonial Secretary, speaking of the men who had to feed self-acting machines, proved by the figures which he then quoted that the shortening of hours was followed by scarcely any diminution in the output or in the total amount of work done. A good deal of evidence was taken before the Labour Commission, especially in relation to mines, and there it was shown that shorter hours were not followed by a decrease in the output. Probably the strongest case was that of the Fife and Kinross mines. In 1871 the hours were considerably reduced. The masters endeavoured to force the men to work the old hours without success, and the output per man had continued to be as great as it was before the shortening of the hours. The output in those counties was now as great as the output in Lanarkshire, where the men were working longer hours. It was also contended by opponents of the Measure that it interfered with the hours of adult male labour, and that the Legislature had no right to do this. But the hours of adult male labour had again and again been interfered with by Parliament. There were, for example, the Sunday laws, the Bank Holiday laws, and the Factory Acts, by the provisions of which women and children were prevented from working more than a certain time, and thereby indirectly affecting the hours of the men. In the case of the Truck Acts also contracts made by adult males were interfered with. There was a difference of opinion as to whether the hours should be shortened by voluntary effort or by legal enactment. If they were shortened by voluntary effort there would be no finality, but constant strife and bitterness between employer and employed. If, on the other hand, they were shortened by legal enactment, the question was settled once for all, and strife was obviated. If the hon. Member for the Barnard Castle Division of Durham (Sir J. Pease) had been in his place he would have been disposed to claim his support for the Bill. At the recent Cleveland election the hon. Baronet pledged the hon. Member for Cleveland (Mr. A. E. Pease) to support the Bill; he, indeed, went so far as to say that if the hon. Member for Cleveland was not in the House when the division was taken, he would himself vote for it. In these circumstances he thought that it must be through some inadvertence that the hon. Baronet's name was attached to the Whip opposing the Bill. He trusted that the House would read the Bill a Second time, and so accord to the miners the Measure which they so urgently desired. ["Hear, hear!"]

* SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derby, Ilkeston)

said he had always taken an interest in the progress of this Bill, because his constituency contained a large number of men engaged in the mining industry. When the House found that a demand was being persistently made by the vast majority of an industrial class, calling on the Legislature to shorten their hours of labour, he thought there was at all events a primâ facie case made out for granting the demand. The principle of this Bill had been affirmed in the House of Commons on more than one occasion, and it had received support from both Front Benches. Nobody thought that a period of eight hours was too short a time to spend in a gloomy coalpit. No occupation was carried on under more depressing conditions. In the Altham Collieries in Lancashire the eight hours system had been introduced successfully, and the wages paid to the men were as good as they were in any part of the county. In these collieries the output of coal had not been reduced. That showed that the system need not prevent successful colliery enterprise. In the Rushcliffe Division of Nottingham there were collieries employing some 1,200 or 1,300 men, in which the system of an eight hours' day had worked satisfactorily, and the men in neighbouring districts were anxious to work under the same conditions, but as yet had not been able to obtain a general and universal acceptance of the system. The experience of other industries was that the shortening of the hours of labour did not result in a diminished output, or in lessened efficiency. The demand made by the supporters of this Bill was reasonable from the humane point of view, and was in accordance with the tendency of the times to shorten hours of labour in arduous and dangerous occupations. When the late Government were in power one of the most satisfactory things done was the shortening of hours of labour. In 1893 the hours of labour of 33,000 men were shortened, while only 1,530 people had longer hours forced upon them. In 1894 77,000 persons had their hours of labour shortened. In January this year 1,350 people had their hours shortened, while only 333 had their hours increased, and in February no one was reported to have had his hours increased, while the hours of 3,500 people were shortened. So the tendency to shorten the hours of labour which was a marked characteristic of 1893 and 1894, was still going on, and it was high time it reached the coal mining industry. Physiological students of eminence have held that it was a law of nature that the maximum efficiency of labour was secured in an eight hours' day, and if that was true of occupations carried on in the invigorating light of day, still more must it be true of an occupation carried on underground without the stimulating effect of light and fresh air. This calling was an exceptional one, demanding exceptional treatment, for it was carried on under conditions which were disagreeable, depressing, difficult, and dangerous. Vitality and vigour were kept up by exposure to sunlight. That was true of the vegetable world and the animal world alike. The nervous system of men who worked underground suffered inevitably, for they worked by a dim and uncertain artificial light. Then, however thorough the ventilation of a mine might be, the air which the men breathed was comparatively bad. The strain on their muscular and nervous systems was exceptionally great, and a friend of his who had examined some thousand miners found the eyesight of no fewer than one-third of them affected in consequence of the nature of their employment. Moreover, this was one of the most dangerous of all callings. The country lost about 1,000 miners by death every year out of some 500,000 men engaged underground. That was a greater mortality than that of railway servants, whose hours of labour were interfered with, or could be interfered with, under the law. The injuries that these men suffered were also excessively frequent. 14.3 per cent, of the men were injured every year to such an extent that they had to remain away from work for a week, and he believed that nearly half the men were hurt in the course of the year. He knew that figures had been obtained from the Registrar General's Department which rather pointed to the fact that the miner's calling was not unhealthy. But a fallacy underlay those statistics. In the first place, the average miner was an exceptionally strong and healthy man before lie undertook this work. He came, as a rule, from the healthiest class of the community—the labouring class in agricultural districts. He contended that the miners, being a specially fine body of men, physically, they ought to be compared in the matter of mortality, not with the general population, but with a physically fine class of men like the agricultural labourers; and if that were done it would be found that the mortality amongst them was the greater. To compare them with the general population was to proceed on a false basis of comparison. He believed he was perfectly justified in saying that the mortality among miners was greater than that among other healthy and picked classes in the country, and that the occupation was not healthy and did impair the health of the workers. He thought, therefore, on these grounds they were all justified in calling the miners' an exceptional calling, and as an exceptional calling he thought they were justified in demanding for it exceptional legislation. He knew that the answer would be that the remedy ought to be brought about by combination and not by legislation. If it could be got by combination he would be pleased, but if it was not to be got without serious results which combination sometimes produced he should object to combination. He did not like strikes, and he could not conceive anyone who had had experience of strikes being anxious that this question should be decided by strikes. He did not want to see an industrial war to settle this question such as that which occurred in 1893. The better, the wiser and the more humane way was that this question should be settled by legislation. ["Hear, hear!"] Even in Durham the men engaged in connection with the engines and the winding of collieries were anxious to have a limit put to their hours of work.

* MR. J. WILSON (Durham, Mid)

The winding men in Durham have eight hours now.


I have here a paper headed the "National Federation of Enginemen's Protective Associations of Great Britain," which says:— The Durham Mining Conciliation Board made a claim for shorter hours for 684 men working 12 hours per day, but absolutely failed.

* MR. J. WILSON (Durham)

They were not enginemen at all.


They were underground men of some kind, who have a combination of their own.


The case which the hon. Member states is not correct in that particular. I happen to be the Secretary of the Conciliation Board, and the Conciliation Board never made a claim for these men at all.


said that so far as he was informed there were a number of underground men who wanted eight hours a, day and had tried unsuccessfully to get it by combination. He did not think that his Friends who opposed the Bill would deny that the ideal condition would be that the younger workers should have the eight hours a day as well as the men who had the shorter hours of work at the face. ["Hear, hear!"] He could not think for a moment that they were so little open to argument and so little inspired by the dictates of humanity that they would not try to reduce the hours of the young people underground. He believed that the future population of Durham and Northumberland would be the bettor, morally and physically, if the younger workers had shortened hours underground. There was yet another point. In all eases the effect of shorter hours of labour was beneficial to the general tone, physically and intellectually, of the persons employed, and apart from the considerations of trade, looking at it from the higher and better platform, of the national advantage, he believed it would be a benefit if the whole mining population of this country had shorter hours of labour underground. Individually the men would have more leisure for their improvement. Some people might say that they would have more leisure for amusements that were not always of a highly intellectual or desirable kind. He did not believe that for a moment. ["Hear, hear!"] He thought that wherever shorter hours had been, given there had always been an improvement of the moral as well as the intellectual tone of the population. ["Hear, hear!"] In no part of the country had the University extension system produced more good than it had in the counties of Durham and Northumberland amongst the miners, who had taken advantage of these opportunities of improving their mental condition. They had only to look at the representatives of those districts to see that they were an exceptional race of men—["hear, hear!"]—and he wanted an exceptional race of men to come from other parts of the country. [Laughter and "Hear, hear!"] He believed that if this Bill were adopted, any difficulty or danger in the way of diminution of output would be met at once by the greater regularity with which miners would discharge their work. At all events, he would ask his hon. Friends who were connected with the northern counties to pause before they used their voices and votes in opposition to this Measure. He believed that if they supported the Bill they would do much to advance the general condition of the mining population, not only materially, but morally and intellectually. In his opinion, the Bill was based on principles of justice and fairness, and he maintained and believed that it could be passed not only without danger to the great industry it affected, but even for the general welfare and intellectual and moral improvement of the men engaged in it. ["Hear, hear!"]

* SIR ELLIOTT LEES (Birkenhead)

said that as an Amendment stood on the Paper in his name to the effect that, unless the public safety be involved, the House declined to interfere with the freedom of grown-up men in regard to the disposal of their labour, the House would understand that he was one of those very old-fashioned people who disputed the right of Parliament to interfere with grown-up men in the disposal of their labour. As to the ease of Sunday labour, everyone knew that their Sunday laws dated many years back, and were based upon religious grounds. The hon. Member quoted the Truck Act, but there they did not interfere with a man's right to sell his labour as he pleased. All they did was to interfere with the currency paid for his labour. Reference was also made to the Act recently passed as to the control of railway workers, but that Act was passed on the excuse that the safety of the public was involved. He knew from personal experience that many railway servants very bitterly resented the interference with their right to dispose of their labour as they pleased and to work a few minutes longer. As to the statement that a majority of the miners were in favour of this special legislation, he begged to point out that what they had to consider was not the view of a particular class with regard to a particular measure, but the good of the country at large. When the Mover and Seconder of the Bill maintained that miners were in an exceptional position owing to the danger of their calling, he wished it borne in mind that this argument cut both ways. In order to maintain that argument the supporters of the Bill ought to be able to show that the danger was caused by excessive length of hours. It was quite true that the work of miners was difficult, disagreeable and dangerous, but not a hint had been given that the danger arose from the time that miners worked. They all, he supposed, recognised the advantages to be gained from shortening the hours of labour; but he and those who thought with him said that should be brought about by voluntary arrangement and not by vote of that House. ["Hear, hear!"] Until these great trade organisations failed there could be no possible excuse for State interference. The miners had the strongest organisation of any trade in the country. That had been shown many times over when they had dictated to their employers. Besides, the miners had this great advantage—that they dominated all other trades. Not only the comforts of modern life, but the conduct of almost every other trade, depended upon an adequate supply of coal. This was a leverage which was not possessed by any other trade. ["Hear, hear!"] The miners also possessed another lever in that they were practically a close corporation. They reaped the economic advantages of the difficulty and danger of their calling. If a strike took place there was no danger of outside interference; they could not turn an agricultural labourer or an artisan into a miner when the coal miner was on strike. As to another argument, he asked whether, if Parliament interfered with the means of earning a living, it would not be equally justified in interfering with and limiting the earnings of the individual. They interfered, in that Bill, with the miners' earning power. [Cries of "No, no!"] That must be admitted if they interfered with his hours of labour. [Cries of "No, no!"] If this was done they might be returning to the bad old system of State interference with the limitation of wages, since if the public welfare justified State, interference with hours to avoid the inconvenience of a strike, it would also justify on the same grounds interference with, wages in case of any exorbitant demands of the miners raising the price of coal. Another objection to this interference by the State was that once they passed an Act it would be very difficult to change it. If they brought the change about by combination they could alter it at a moment's notice. There might be circumstances—great distress, or scarcity, or a national calamity—when the miners might desire, but Parliament would have no time or desire, to make a change; but with combination the change could be made without Parliamentary interference. About 100 years ago labour escaped from the trammels of State interference in which it was formerly cooped up. In the course of the century it had become a mighty power, controlling policy, upsetting Cabinets, and swaying the whole management of affairs. He would strongly urge the House of Commons not to put back the Parliamentary clock of progress by 100 years, and not to enter upon a course of State interference with the individual, which he believed would be disastrous to English liberties and freedom.

* SIR ALFRED HICKMAN (Wolverhampton, W.)

thought the Bill was singularly inopportune, for we were now having sent into England very large quantities of iron and steel from America. In Wolverhampton it was being delivered by thousands of tons, although it had to incur cost of carriage equal to 35 per cent, of the selling price. After deducting the cost of carriage, the selling price would leave to the maker at Pittsburg 15s. per ton less than steel could be made for in this country. He admitted that the quality of the steel was very inferior, and that it was suitable only for a limited number of purposes, but none the less, it was by thousands of tons displacing English manufacture and English labour. The chief reason that the Americans were able to send their steel into this country was the low cost of coal which obtained there, the selling price of which was about 2s. or 2s. 6d. a ton, whereas the cost of producing in this country, besides royalties and all that kind of thing, was at least double that amount. The explanation of the low price of coal in America was furnished to him by the Member for Walthamstow, who had lately paid a visit to America, and when he came back and was interviewed by the inevitable interviewer, he said that the miners were working in the United States for wages of not more than 3s. or 4s. a day of 10 or 11 hours. Here our miners earned from 5s. 6d. to 6s. a day for an average of seven hours' work, and in some cases even less, so that per hour the wages in the United States were considerably less than half that which obtained in this country. If that were true, was this a time at which to add at least 20 per cent, to the cost of producing coal? It was not the iron and steel industry alone that was affected, for coal was the motive power of every manufacture, and was its very life blood, and not only that, but it was an absolute necessary of life to every working man, for it was as necessary that he should be kept warm as that he should be supplied with food. Were the miners, he asked, so oppressed and so suffering as to justify such legislation for their benefit. They were at this moment obtaining higher wages for their work than almost any of the artisans in the country. Was their case so bad that the community should suffer the enormous burden of an addition of 1s. 6d. a ton to the price of coal, which would come to £7,000,000 per annum? The Member for the Ilkeston Division (Sir Walter Foster) spoke of their labouring for eight hours, but no miner worked now for eight hours. If the proposal were that the miners' labour should be restricted to seven hours, he should not oppose it, for he thought that was quite long enough for a collier to work; but the proposal was that he should not be in the pit more than eight hours. Perfect confusion would prevail in the working of the different collieries if the proposal were adopted, for some collieries have to send down 400 or 500 men, while others only send down 30, which made a great difference in the time required for getting the men into the pit, and the inequality would be still greater on account of the distance of the workings from the shaft, which in some cases was a mile, and in others 100 yards; so that it would be impossible to regulate the men's pay in proportion to the amount of their work. On the question of health, he urged that the conditions of the employment were not unhealthy, having regard to the various Acts for providing efficient ventilation, and undoubtedly a coal pit was a much better ventilated place than nine-tenths of the manufactories of this country. The Member for Ilkeston admitted that the death rate of miners was very low, but said it was owing to their being the sons of agricultural labourers. In fact, miners were the sons of miners—the healthy sons of healthy sires. The Miners' Federation, which were proposing this legislation, prevailed chiefly in the Midlands, and by the excellence of their organisation they had contrived to keep up wages 30 per cent, above what was called the standard rate which prevailed in 1887 and 1888, while in Scotland and South Wales wages had been reduced so that in Scotland they were only 6¾ per cent., and in South Wales 2¾ per cent, above the standard rate. From 1890 to 1895 the production of coal in South Wales and Scotland had increased 15 million tons, but where the wages had been kept up the production of coal had been reduced. The Mover of the Bill had repudiated any suggestion of applying the principle of local option to the question, because he knew that if it were in operation in one district and not in another, in the district where it prevailed the pits would be absolutely closed and shut up. The first effect of the proposal, by restricting the output 15 to 20 per cent., would be to bring about a coal famine and famine prices, which would be disastrous first to the manufacturers, secondly to the coalowners, and finally and most of all to the miners themselves. He hoped the House would reject the Bill by a large majority.

MR. DAVID THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)

congratulated the Mover and Seconder of the Bill on the tone and temper with which they had approached the subject, and said the Mover had made the very best of a bad case. He admired the courage of the hon. Member who moved the Bill, having regard to the fate of his predecessors who undertook the same task. This Bill had been moved three times, in 1892, 1893, and 1894, and of the three Members who moved the Bill on each of those occasions, not one had a seat at the present time for the division which he then represented.

MR. S. WOODS (Essex, Walthamstow)

said he wished to make it distinctly clear that the eight hours' question had nothing to do either with his defeat in Ince or his return for Walthamstow.

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

As the opponent of the hon. Member in Ince, I beg to say that I raised the question in my election address.


thanked the hon. Member for Walthamstow for his admission, because one of his points was that the Lancashire miners did not take that deep interest in the question which it was claimed they did. If they did they had a curious way of showing their appreciation of those hon. Members who had gone out of their way to promote this movement in. the House of Commons. He denied that a large majority of the miners of the United Kingdom were in favour of the Bill. Even a majority of what were known as the direct Labour representatives who represented mining constituencies were opposed to the Bill. There were three against and two in favour. The promoters of the Miners' Federation required the Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill, and it was owing to the obstinacy of the lion. Member for Normanton (Mr. Pickard) and those who were immediately supporting him, that the Eight Hours (Mines) Bill had not become law three years ago. He claimed that he represented the majority of the workmen in South Wales and Monmouth upon this matter. [Cries of "No!"] If not, why would not the hon. Member accept the challenge he had made over and over again and put the question to the arbitrament of a test ballot? His right hon. Friend the Member for the Forest of Dean claimed to know more about the opinions of South Wales colliers than he did himself. He claimed a greater degree of knowledge, because for every meeting his right hon. Friend had addressed, he had addressed scores. If his right hon. Friend was so satisfied that the opinions of South Wales miners were with him then he could not object to the principle of local option. ["Hear, hear!"] His right hon. Friend, however, had said he would rather not have the votes of those who were in favour of local option, and that being so, he hoped those weak-kneed Members would act accordingly and not seek to salve their consciences by voting for the Second Reading, thinking they could introduce the principle of local option in Committee. Again, one hon. Member supported the Bill because of the effect it would have on output, while another hon. Member supported it on the ground that it would have no effect on output. There was another circumstance which spoke very well for the unselfishness of the Miners' Federation. In most districts of the Federation—in South Yorkshire, for instance—the men practically had already an, eight hours' day. Yet they were the chief promoters of the Bill, which did not assist them, but thrust upon an unwilling section of their fellow-miners an eight hours' day. [Laughter.]

MR. BENJAMIN PICKARD (York, W.R., Normanton)

The miners of Yorkshire are not the principal promoters of the Measure, but the miners of Lancashire.


said that the hon. Member who moved the Second Reading of the Bill spoke strongly against it at the last election, but he was "converted" by the miners of Lancashire. [Laughter.] It had been urged in favour of the Bill that it was unfair that the boys in Northumberland and Durham should be working long hours while the men were working short hours. It was an insult to the intelligence of the House that such an argument should be used by anyone who understood mining matters. Surely it would be an easy thing to amend the Mines Regulation Act so as to raise the age in the definition of a boy from 16 to 21, and diminish the maximum number of hours per day to eight. [Cheers.] Yet the House was asked to believe that this Bill, which would revolutionise the working of many mines, and affect three-quarters of a million of miners, was necessary to shorten the hours of the boys employed in the Northumberland and Durham collieries. ["Hear, hear!"] It was said that under voluntary arrangements there had been no restriction of output; but it was a fallacy to suppose that that was a, test of what would happen under legal enactment. There must be some point beyond which the hours of labour could not be diminished without restricting the output, and that point had been very nearly reached in South Wales. He knew this from practical experience. When eight hours a day were worked on Saturdays, as against 10½ hours on other week days, the diminution in output on the Saturday was almost exactly proportionate to the diminution in the hours. He had wished to be a pioneer in this movement for shorter hours, and in the collieries with which he was connected he had at one time put into operation an eight hours' day. The figures showed that the reduction of output per man was almost exactly proportionate to the reduction of hours; and, after 13 months, the system was abandoned at the insistence of the men. The supporters of the Bill had not attempted to deal with the specific objections to the Bill, or with the geological difficulty. At the present time the efficiency of labour in the Nottinghamshire collieries was 30 per cent, higher than in the Welsh collieries. Dare the hon. Member for Normanton suggest to the Welsh miners that it was because they were inferior as workmen? ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] The fact was due entirety to differences of strata. In South Wales three or four times as much timber had to be used. If the supporters of the Bill would introduce a provision to alter the laws of nature, and provide that the geological strata in Wales should be made the same as in Nottinghamshire, and would give a guarantee that the provision should be carried into effect, then he would become one of the most ardent supporters of the Bill. In the meantime he begged to move to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months." [Cheers.]

On the return of Mr. SPEAKER, after the usual interval,

SIR JAMES JOICEY (Durham, Chester-le-Street)

thought no one could find fault with the tone in which the Motion had been made. Whether they were supporters or opponents of this Bill, they all had a great desire to see the hours of labour shortened as much as possible, provided that it did not inflict any serious loss upon the general community. During the last 20 or 30 years they had seen very great changes take place in this respect, and he thought the only safe and judicious way to proceed with the shortening of hours of labour was by mutual arrangement. He had expected when hon. Members brought forward an important Bill to restrict the right of individuals to work as they thought best in their own interests, that they would have produced a very strong case in favour of such action, but he failed to see that any case had been made out with regard to miners, or to the general industries of the country. From what had been said it appeared that there was no chance whatever of any Amendment being accepted in the direction of local option, so as to give localities the power to arrange their hours by mutual agreement or otherwise. He was one of those who were rather against the general principle of this question. He thought that every man had the right to work when he liked, where he liked, and for what he liked without the interference of Parliament. That profession of belief was a very broad one, but he believed it was in the interests of the general community, and he would like to see such a line adopted with regard to their legislation. He knew that there were cases where an exception might be claimed, and claimed with justice—where it was undoubtedly for the safety of the community, or where it was necessary to make certain regulations for the benefit of an industry or those who were engaged in it. He had spoken on several occasions on this question, and he was afraid lie must on this occasion, from necessity somewhat, travel over old ground. But what he would ask was that, if they were to have legislation of this kind, they must first make out a case that there ought to be legislation for the general, trade of the country. If there was a case, then he said they had no right to pick out any special industry to be dealt with by legislation. He failed, however, to see that there could be such a, case for the general industries of the country, and he thought there was a much weaker case for legislation in regard to miners than there was for the general trades of the country. Was there a trade which was better controlled and regulated by means of trades unions than the mining industry? He questioned whether there was one. If there was one trade in the country which was more able than another to enforce reasonable conditions of labour upon employers, he thought it was the mining industry, and it was absurd to tell him that owing to the weakness of the trades unions, and in order to avoid strikes, they should interfere with the hours of labour by legislation. In his judgment such a proceeding would not avoid strikes, and he was as averse to strikes as anyone. In the county of Durham they had a very admirable system of working by means of committees of workmen and owners, and they found that they had got very satisfactory conditions for all those employed in the mining industry. In that locality they had better conditions, in his judgment, than existed in any other part of the country. He thought Parliament should only interfere in cases where the hours were exceptionally long, and where the occupation was very unhealthy or specially dangerous. Could they claim that there was on these grounds a case for this particular Bill? In the first place, was there any case made out that this industry was especially unhealthy? He was not surprised that the Seconder of the Motion took a very strong line in regard to this point, because the statistics produced in Dr. Ogle were so strong that they must of necessity carry great weight in this matter; but the Registrar General of births, deaths, and marriages stated in his Report in 1885—and since then great improvements had been made in the way of ventilation, draining, and in other respects in our mines—that in spite of their terrible liability to accident and their constant exposure to an atmosphere vitiated by coal dust, by foul air, and by an excessively high temperature, the comparative mortality figure of these labourers is considerably below that, of all males. Nor is this only true for coal miners in the aggregate, but it is true, with one single exception, for the miners in each great coal area taken separately. It holds good for Durham, with Northumberland, for Lancashire, for Derbyshire, with Nottinghamshire, for the West Riding, and for Staffordshire. In each of these areas the comparative mortality figure of all males within the area is higher than that of miners.

MR. THOMAS BAYLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)

Does that include boys?


said he understood it included the whole mining industry. Then, if in each case we exclude accidents, it will be found that the mortality of the coal miners only slightly exceed that of the most healthy class of men—namely, the farmers, the agricultural labourers, and the gardeners. Dr. Ogle, in 1891, read a Paper, in which he gave a comparison of the rates of mortality in different occupations. The clergymen stood at the top of the list as being the healthiest men in the community. He observed that there were a large number of industries which were much more unhealthy than the mining industry. Hotel servants represented a rate of mortality of 397; street hawkers, 338; earthenware makers, 313; tile makers, 300; whereas, coal miners represented only 160, and that figure included the accidents which they were subject to in their work. Therefore, seeing that mining was one of the most healthy occupations in the country, he thought that no case on that ground could be made out for any interference by Parliament in this question. The Seconder of the Motion said that was accounted for by the fact that agricultural labourers were imported into the mines. He (Sir James) could speak with some certainty as to Durham and Northumberland, and there they had men who represented generations of miners, and his own family had been represented for 300 years in that industry; therefore, in the counties he had named there must be a very small percentage indeed of men employed in the mines who had not been born and bred in connection with that industry. The next case put forward was that it was a much more dangerous occupation than any other. He admitted that mining was certainly very dangerous, but what he wanted to know was how this Bill was going to make it more safe. ["Hear, hear!"] He challenged any hon. Member to show him how this Bill was to make the occupation of a miner more safe than it was. As a matter of fact it had been shown that by far the greater majority of accidents occurred in the first four hours after the men went down into the pit; therefore, it looked as if there would be little benefit got from decreasing the hours to eight. He maintained that instead of giving increased safety this Bill would give increased danger—["hear, hear"]—because shortened hours would tend to greater hurry and greater haste than now. Had there been any case made out with regard to the question of danger? He did not think there had been if they compared the danger of this occupation with that of some others. If they took the railway interest they would find that accidents took place very often on the surface, and with regard to sailors, he would think that there were three times as many sailors lost in a year as there were miners, and when they considered that there were something like 200,000 or 300,000 more miners than sailors in the country, they might conclude that the sailor's life was a more hazardous one than the miner's. Then with regard to the hours worked, he maintained that they were not longer in the mining industry than in any other. If they took the whole of the country and considered the hours worked by the miners they would find that they compared favourably with those of almost any other industry. They ought also to take into consideration what was not taken into consideration by many Gentlemen, namely, that in the engineering system, eight hours meant actually eight hours work, exclusive of meal time. But in the mines, it was not a case of eight hours' work. ["Hear, hear!"] Everybody who knew anything of mines knew that there was a considerable time occupied in a miner going down from the surface to the working place. He had no doubt it averaged three-quarters of an hour each way. The hours per week under ground in certain mining districts were 35 hours, 21 minutes, but the actual time at work was 27 hours, 46 minutes for five days a week. He challenged any hon. Member who was anxious to make an exception in favour of miners to bring forward hours in any industry in the country which were better than these. The Seconder of the Motion supported this Bill because it was an unpleasant thing to work in the dark. There might be more pleasant positions than being down a mine, but he could assure his hon. Friend that men who were accustomed to it were not so easily alarmed as he seemed to think. It reminded him of an incident that happened in connection with his own business. A foreign Gentleman who never saw a mine, but who was a large consumer of coal, thought he would like to go down a mine and see the coal produced. He was dressed in miner's clothes, put on his rough flannel and was very proud of himself. But when he looked down the shaft his courage left him, and he said, "What! go down there? I would very much rather go to the bottomless pit." He turned back and did not go down. That was the feeling of some people in regard to the life of a miner, but so far as he was concerned, if he had to earn his living by working with his hands, there was no occupation he would choose sooner than that of a miner. [Laughter and "Hear, hear!"] Out of a hundred occupations, Dr. Ogle said that there were 70 which were more unhealthy than that, of the miner, and in face of such facts as these he failed to see how they were to make out a case for special legislation so far as the miners were concerned. In Durham there might be a strong case with regard to their boys. ["Hear, hear!"] He was not prepared to say that their boys were in the position that they would like to see them in. ["Hear, hear!"] Nor did he think that they had yet reached the lowest level of hours that they would be able to allow their boys to work. He observed that the Durham Mine Owners' Association said that, assuming that the boys worked 11 days out of a fortnight, which was not the average, because the average was only 10, boys under 16 would work 50 hours for the first week, and 54 hours for the second, and boys over 16 would work 50 hours for the first week and 59 hours for the second week. But their actual work, taking away the time of going to work, was for boys under 16 40 hours, and over that age the same for the first week, and, for the second week, for boys under 16, 42 hours, and over 16, 47 hours. The average was 41 for boys under 16 and 43½ for boys over 16.


Will the hon. Member state the actual hours worked per day?


The actual hours worked per day were 10, except on Saturday. They were underground 10 hours. In Durham and Northumberland, where they had the oldest coal mine interests in the country, they had a system of working which was very advantageous so far as the miners were concerned. They had a system of double shifts, and he was prepared to state that the time that the miners worked was not more than 5½ to 6 hours. Therefore, if they compared the conditions of work in Durham and Northumberland with those of any other part of the country, they would find that these counties stood in the most favourable condition. He could bring someone to bear that out who was not generally in favour of the action they were taking. Mr. Keir Hardie, speaking in his (Sir James's) constituency, and alluding to the miners of Northumberland and Durham, said:— They had done a great deal in the past towards setting an example to their fellow-miners throughout the country. He did not know any other place where the hours of labour were so short as they were in these two counties, and he did not know any organisations so strong as theirs. Whilst he had serious differences with the leaders of these men, he paid them, as they knew, every credit for what they had done in the splendid work of building up such organisations. That was a very fair and unbiassed statement of the conditions of labour so far as the miners were concerned in Northumberland and Durham, and they had been brought about by the double-shift system. Measures were being taken to introduce machinery to draw coals instead of them being drawn by the boys. Many of the mines in the county of Durham were laid out on the old system, and if they attempted by Act of Parliament to make a hard-and-fast change like this they would do mischief and injury, not only to the mine owners, but to all those interested in the work. As to the boys, they were paid what they earned, and they earned from 15s. to 20s. per week, and they were very strong and healthy. They would find, whether they looked at the wages, the hours or conditions of labour, that the boys employed in the mines were not worse, but better off in many cases than were the boys engaged in many other industries. He saw great difficulty in applying a Measure of this kind to mines. If they took the ordinary engineering works or manufactory, the conditions were pretty much the same among them all. But who ever saw two mines exactly alike? ["Hear, hear!"] They found the most extraordinary differences existing in mines, and the mining industry was the last industry which should have a hard and fast line, such as that proposed by the Bill, applied to it. He had listened to the whole of the Debates which had taken place in that House on this subject, and he was bound to say no solid or sound argument had been adduced which ought, in his judgment, to induce the House to take action of the kind suggested in the Bill. If they wanted to apply legislation of this kind, they should apply it to industries where it would do the least harm.

* SIR C. DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

said the hon. Baronet who had just sat down was not in quite the same position as the hon. Member for Merthyr. The hon. Member for Merthyr, although he moved the rejection of the Bill, was really among their friends, because he was in favour of the limitation of the hours of grown-up men. But the hon. Baronet was in a wholly different position, because although he put it rather mildly to-day, still he did put it that he was one of those who were opposed to a legislative restriction upon the hours of grown-up men. The hon. Baronet had suggested that the proposal embodied in this Bill might have been more fittingly applied to other trades than the mining industry. The reason for picking out this trade for this legislation was that, at the present moment, there was a much more general concurrence among the miners with regard to an eight hours' day, whether obtained by law or by agreement, than there was in any other trade. [Cries of "Hear, hear!" and "No!"] At all events, the overwhelming majority of the miners were in favour of this Bill. Merthyr and Aberdare, and Northumberland and part of Durham objected to the Bill. The men in the north had obtained shorter hours by trade union effort, and, therefore, they might be counted on the side of those who were for shorter hours in the mining industry. They had this fact, that while an eight hours' system for all the trades of the country, or for the great majority, was asked for by a large number of gentlemen in this country, and was supported sometimes by a majority, and sometimes by a large minority at the Trades Union Congress, there was almost absolute unanimity at those congresses in regard to this particular industry. The workmen of this country had themselves selected this industry as the one in which there was that general concurrence which enabled them to ask, with overwhelming power, that it should be treated with consideration on this question. Another argument which had been, advanced was as to the character of the mining industry. The hon. Member for Wolverhampton said that mining was not unhealthy, and the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street distinctly described it as a healthy occupation. There was one thing to be said, whatever view they might take with regard to the healthiness or unhealthiness of mining—and he had never been disposed to exaggerate its uuhealthiuess—in considering the statistics on the point, and that was that men did not die, as a rule, as coal miners. It was an occupation of healthy men, and it was an occupation out of which the men, when they became weak and old, were driven. There were move driven out of it in some parts of the country than in others. Therefore, when they came to die, they did not always die as coal miners, but as something else. Then, in some parts of the country, Friendly Societies had found themselves forced to raise the contributions as against miners, and that went to show what they thought either of the unhealthiness or the risks of the occupation. But the House would remember that his hon. Friend who moved the Bill read the speeches of the Home Secretary and of the Colonial Secretary on this point the other day, when both went out of their way to describe coal-mining as the most dangerous occupation in this country. The hon. Baronet had said that the Return showing that the largest number of accidents occurred during the first four hours of the day had come upon him as a surprise. Surely, to one so experienced in coal mining as the hon. Baronet who had just sat down, it must be known that the risks on first going to work were greater then than at a later period, and he could not imagine that this had any bearing on the question. The hon. Member for Merthyr tried to show once again that there was either a, preponderance of feeling on the part of miners against this Bill or a very large minority against it. Whether they looked at the number of delegates sent to the Trade Union Congress, or the representatives sent to that House, the overwhelming majority of the miners of South Wales were in favour of the Bill. On all the facts which had been presented to the House, he contended that they were justified in saying, therefore, that the great majority of the men employed in mines in South Wales were in favour of the Bill, and that none of them appeared to take the view which was held by the Northumberland and Durham miners against legislative interference with the hours of grown-up men. In dealing with the position of the question in Northumberland and Durham, he further showed that, notwithstanding the circular of the leaders opposing the shortening of the hours which had been issued and referred to that day, opinion in Durham had greatly changed among the men, and they had not been deterred in consequence of the adverse representations made against the eight hours' day from joining the Miners' Federation. [Mr. J. WJLSON (Durham): "They have decided against the eight hours since!"] While admitting that the majority of the men in Northumberland were against the Bill, yet even there a considerable minority supported it. The objection of the Northumberland and Durham distracts was directed solely to the question of lads. It had been shown by the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street on a former occasion that the boys worked ten hours; when they attained the age of 19 or thereabouts they became hewers and worked 6½ hours. It had been shown by the hon. Gentleman that day that the men worked from 5 to 5½ hours; but the hours they had won for themselves by means of their organisation were the shortest hours worked for wages, and they were, besides, short hours accompanied by higher wages. The shortening of the hours of the boys had not been attained by trade union action; the scheme in this direction had failed. The hours worked by the boys were those imposed by law against the wish of the colliery proprietors; but the lads worked ten hours a day in foul air, coal dust, and excessively high temperature, because it would be inconvenient to change a system which admittedly was not satisfactory. It appeared to be thought that some palliation for the long hours of the boys was to be found in the high wages earned; but high wages meant tremendous pressure of work accompanied by an element of danger. The hon. Member for the Chester-le-Street Division had quoted the panegyric passed upon the National Miners' Association by Mr. Keir Hardie, who said that it was the strongest organisation in the world. Bearing in mind the discussions of that Union at Newcastle the other day, he believed that if they could only solve the question of the employment of boys in the northern counties the opposition to the Bill would practically disappear. Several of the delegates spoke at Newcastle in favour of an eight hours' day, and some spoke about the iniquity of lads having to work for ten hours a day. But the hon. Member for the Wansbeck Division said that any scheme for reducing the hours of boys, while retaining the benefits which the Durham and Northumberland miners possessed, would be impracticable; that the effect of the change suggested would result in a reduction of the numbers of boys employed, and the families would prefer the retention of the status quo rather than see their members scattered about the country. The hon. Member for the Chester-le-Street Division had said on a former occasion that if the present system were changed the boys could not be got for the purpose of equalising the number of shifts of men and boys. He could not see that that was consistent with the view taken by the Labour Members. The hon. Member for the Wansbeck Division said that the proposed change would result in the reduction of the number of boys. On the other hand, the hon. Member for Chester-le-Street said that the change would involve an increase in the number of boys, and that sufficient boys could not be obtained. Here there was an absolute contradiction. An alternative which had been discussed in that House on a former occasion was three shifts of men and two shifts of boys. His hon. Friend had quoted that day the evidence given before the Labour Commission by the Northumberland and Durham men. They were asked whether it would be practicable to adopt this system, and the reply was that it would not be practicable to get a sufficient number of boys to work under that system. In answer to another question, they said that the hours of the boys were not at all satisfactory, but when they were again asked as to this plan they said, "The plan discussed is two shifts of boys of eight hours each with three shifts of hewers," and they added, "It would be very difficult to obtain a sufficient number of boys." Thus the hon. Member for the Wansbeck Division said that the change proposed would reduce the number of boys employed, while the witnesses called by his association before the Labour Commission averred that the change would be impracticable because sufficient boys to carry it into effect could not be obtained. He was glad that nothing had been said that day in favour of the local option system, which had apparently been abandoned by the opponents of the Measure. That the hon. Baronet the Member for Birkenhead should have refrained from moving the Motion which he had placed upon the Paper was some indication of the progress of ideas on this question. It showed that the objection to this legislation was no longer based on the alleged impolicy of interfering with the hours of labour of adult men. The ground was shifted, and the objection was based upon the supposed difficulty of carrying the suggested change into effect. But he could not help thinking that, if the Northumberland and Durham miners would face the matter and consent to take a little trouble, the difficulty would be overcome, believing that the necessary number of boys would be forthcoming.


explained that he had only refrained from moving his Amendment as a matter of Parliamentary policy, believing that a larger number of votes would be recorded against the Bill on a simple Motion for its rejection.


said he quite understood the wisdom of the hon. Baronet's tactics, because the cause which he championed was a declining cause, and very few people cared to repeat the academic arguments of former days as to the undesirability of interfering with the hours of labour of grown-up men. The hon. Member for the Ilkeston Division had mentioned the argument as to the probability of strikes to obtain shorter hours in periods of depressed trade. That, was the most powerful of all the arguments against the local option proposals, because local option would seem to refer it to the arbitrium of strikes all over the country, whether this change should be put into operation or not. There would certainly be a serious risk of strikes all over the country in times of difficulty. The real question at issue in this Bill was not a theoretical one, but the practical one of what was to be done with the Durham and Northumberland boys. He knew there was some difference of opinion among the supporters of the Bill, but what difference of opinion there was it was a mere trifle to the difference of opinion which had been revealed in the speeches made against the Bill on one or two practical points. The local option system, in his opinion, would be most unfair to the coal owners, who would be driven to change their system of working altogether. The Staffordshire and Lancashire owners told them that there would be great practical difficulty in carrying out the Bill, and the owners who were friendly to the Bill all said that they would have to rearrange their working, though they believed in the long run it would not affect the output. The supporters of the Bill had tried to discuss it as a practical Measure, and to abstain from asking for votes under false pretences. They did not want the votes of Gentlemen who voted in favour of the Second Reading in order to redeem some promise made to their constituents, or because they thought it might be the more popular course to take, and having done so, voted against the promoters of the Bill on some critical point in Committee. They had sooner see the Bill lost than carry the Second Reading by the votes of Gentlemen who did not mean to support it. He did not say that the Bill must be carried without the change of a word or a letter, but every Member who desired the Bill to pass knew perfectly well what were the general lines of Amendments concerned with the principle of the Bill and what were not. The main Amendment pointing to local option in districts was one to which in no case the promoters of the Bill could consent. ["Hear, hear!"]

* MR. J. WILSON (Durham)

said he would be the last person to say that the miners' work was not dangerous, or that the labour of the boys was not hard, because he had done the work and understood it. He had worked amid the dangers that surrounded a miner's life; but this Bill was not promoted for the purpose of lessening those dangers. He remembered that on the last occasion, when a Debate took place in the House on a similar Bill, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham chided the promoters of the Bill with the fact that humanity was entirely lost sight of, and that the whole matter in dispute was the rectification of commercial interests in different districts. A remark had been made by the right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean which he ought not to let pass, although there was a larger amount of truth in it than there ought to be, as to what became of the old men in a mine. A man ought not to be discharged like a worn-out horse simply because lie was no longer of use; but it would not be fair that the House should understand that these men were discharged wholesale. Although some were discharged on that account many found work of other kinds about the mine. It would be unjust to the employers of labour in the County of Durham if he allowed it to be understood that every old man was discharged. ["Hear, hear!"] He would like to dispel another impression from the mind of the right hon. Gentleman about explosions happening in the early part of the day. His experience of the County of Durham was that they happened in the night time. They occurred generally when a shift was well worn out. There was another mistake that wanted rectifying, and that was as to the shortening of the miners' hours in 1872. The men's hours were not shortened in consequence of the Bill of 1872. They were shortened in consequence of the strength of the Union. An endeavour was made on the part of the coal owners in the County of Durham to work 12 hours a day, but the Union was rising in its strength, and the men demanded to work only 10 hours a day. Reference had been made to the Royal Commission on Labour, but why did not the representatives of the federation come forward and give evidence before that Commission?


We regarded that Commission as a mere farce.

* MR. J. WILSON (Durham)

said that however constituted, they ought to have come forward and subjected themselves to cross-examination. Why did not the representatives of the Federation go before the Commission, even if it were partly bogus or entirely bogus? ["Hear, hear!"] The Secretary of the Commission was sitting opposite, and he had no doubt he would give them some enlightenment on this point. A good deal had been said about employers encroaching where the hours had been shortened, but there never had been a single attempt on the part of the employers to encroach on the men in Durham. Therefore he thought there was a delusion on that point. ["Hear, hear!"] As to the demand for the Bill, he denied the statement that there was a growing demand for it. If there was a growing demand for it, where were some of the Members who supported it at the last election? ["Hear, hear!"] There was no greater object lesson than that supplied by the Member for Walthamstow. Therefore, on that ground the demand fell to the ground. What was the standard and test of the men down in their demand? He had no right to speak for the non-unionist, but he had a right to speak for the majority of the men who sent him there to represent them. [Cheers.] According to the statement at the Edinburgh Congress, there were 154,000 men in the organisation in the Federation area, but the hon. Member who introduced the Bill had told them that there were 400,000 down in the mines who could speak for the 250,000 who were not in the organisation. Had their view been taken?


It has been taken twice over.

* MR. J. WILSON (Durham)

ridiculed the idea that the views of the 250,000 men had been ascertained by the organisation. As to the circular which they had seen, it had been got up in a surreptitious manner. The men of Durham in October last decided to join the organisation. He admitted that, but since that time there had been another decision in Durham. He held in his hands the decision that had been arrived at for Durham, and he would like the House to understand the position in which Durham stood. When it was decided to join the Federation it was found that Durham was in a very peculiar position. The Council, represented by 200 delegates from the branches, arrived at this decision in February last. He quoted the exact words:— The Eight Hours' Question—That the county having decided to join the Miners' Federation, and we having been informed that we must agree to support a legislative Eight Hours' Bill as a condition of membership; and as we remember that the county has decided by ballot in 1892, and by resolution in 1895, not to support such a measure, we cannot agree to accept that condition until the county alter the previous resolution on the question, either by Council motion or ballot. Will Delegates come prepared to say what shall be done in this matter? (1) Shall we rescind the previous resolutions? (2) Shall we support an Eight Hours' Bill? (3) Shall a ballot be taken on the subject?—Executive Committee. The County of Durham had decided through a representation which was purely democratic against the Bill since October—["hear, hear!"]—and here was what they decided:— We adhere to the resolutions now standing in the Association's minute books, viz., that we don't go in for the Parliamentary Eight Hours' Day; and that there be no ballot taken on the question. That the minutes of this meeting be confirmed and signed. If the House would allow him he would give some reasons for his attitude against this Bill. First, he thought it unwise to pass the Bill considering the diversities of the districts. It was impossible to regulate and make uniform the laws of nature. [Cheers.] The emergencies and exigencies of the mining industry demanded a compromise, and a rigid Eight Hours Bill would not suit the interests of the miners. ["Hear, hear!"] In the engineering trade the same machinery almost would be found in every shop in the country; but in mining, the North and the South were totally distinct, and the very terms used in the North were not known in 1he Midlands or in Wales. ["Hear, hear!"] His position had always been this—he was against legislating for men who had the freedom of combination possessed by the men in this country. [Cheers.] If the men's organisation in any district had fairly tried to shorten the hours of labour and had failed, then he would not oppose their coming to the House of Commons. But where had that happened? ["Hear, hear!"] Of course, the organisation must not go to the employers with threats, and, throwing a sword in the scale, say, "That is the balance which you must accept." They must go in a spirit of conciliation and compromise. [Cheers.] The hon. Member for Normanton had referred to one case of failure, but there the Resolution presented to the employers declared that there could be no compromise. It allowed nothing for the technicalities and emergencies of the mine—for the fact that some men worked harder than others. A rigid Eight Hours Bill would be unfair to labour itself. Was it right that a man who worked down the pit in the most cramped position should have to work as long as the man who had easier work in better air? The men with the hardest work should have the shortest hours. ["Hear, hear!"] The hon. Member for Normanton was at one time a strong opponent of the Bill. He and the hon. Member met in conference, and both argued against the Bill, and when he, with his perseverance, and the hon. Member, with his obstinacy, joined together, they were two stiff obstacles. [Laughter.] But the hon. Member had since been converted by the hon. Member for Walthamstow. The hon. Member for Normanton had a colleague at the Edinburgh Conference, Mr. Edward Cowey, who said:— If they went to the State, the men would not do anything for themselves. They had already passed a resolution in favour of gaining the end by organisation, and now they talked about going to Parliament. Why, they would weaken their own position. They could not get the men to work for themselves as long as they thought they could get what they wanted by law. But, perhaps, Mr. Cowey was also a convert, and he would quote still stronger testimony—that, of the right hon. Member for the Forest, of Dean, in his book called "The Problems of Greater Britain." In describing the various municipal laws, the right hon. Gentleman wrote:— The Eight Hours' Bill is so universal in Australia that these clauses are not really needed, as the workmen had enforced the complete carrying out of the principle before the custom of asserting them arose. The effect of the eight hours' day has been as satisfactory throughout Australia as in Victoria. As far as Australian example can bear on the English labour problem, it appears to be favourable to the attempt gradually to introduce the eight hours' day in the contracts of the State and of the municipalities. That was in favour of trade union effort, and directly against Parliamentary interference.


I hold the same opinion now as I held when I wrote those words.

* MR. J. WILSON (Durham)

said he simply quoted the words. Of course, the writer might have meant to say something else. [Laughter.] To come to Parliament in this matter, with such rights of combination as the workmen enjoyed, was to sap their spirit of manly independence. In times when trade unions were illegal he could understand appeals to Parliament for everything; but such appeals now-a-days only sapped the men's desire for and allegiance to the trade organisations. He would appeal to the hon. Members opposite. Miners' hours were not the only hours which were too long. There were the tramway workers and the shop employés and others, whose hours were in the hands of the hon. Members. Let them begin by dealing with those. There was no man so much a hypocrite as he who wished to put his neighbour's affairs straight while his own were shamefully neglected. [Cheers and laughter.]


said that so many references to himself had been made that he felt, bound to intervene. As to the circular which had been issued, he had simply reprinted what appeared in the Newcastle papers; and he had never written to any secretary in Durham, local or general, for any circular. In connection with that circular, a gentleman named Charlton had been reviled that day as a person incapable of speaking the truth. But Mr. Charlton had repeated in a letter to the newspapers the statements in the circular, and had added that there were 15 persons in and about the House who were self-elected, and had no right whatever to oppose the Bill on anyone's behalf but their own. As far as he could make out, there were no fixed hours in the coal mines of Durham and Northumberland. The Durham miners worked, as stated, seven hours a day, but the fact was the ordinary hands in the mines worked as much as ten hours. It was said that they could not bring the Bill, if it were passed, into operation in Durham. That statement would not hold good. Most of the coals were raised in that county by working three shifts, and of every 1,000 tons of coal brought to the pit's mouth, about 900 tons were produced on the three and four shift system. If such a large percentage of coal was worked in Durham in that way, it was mere subterfuge to say that it would be impossible for other managers to carry out the system they now suggested. Seeing that Durham stood in this unique position—namely, that they dare not re-take a ballot on the hours question, it was rather too late in the day to say that a council meeting or an executive committee meeting should shut the mouth of the democracy of Durham, and prevent them stating to the House and to the country what their real position was. Upwards of 29,000 miners out of 58,000 in Durham had voted for joining the Miners' Federation of Great Britain on the condition that the Federation supported the Eight, Hours' Bill. He claimed the neutrals with the majority in that voting. [Laughter.] Hon. Members laughed, but the neutrals were always claimed by the majority in Trade Union matters. [Laughter.] For the first time during the last 50 years a geological and geographical argument had been raised with reference to the strata of the mines. That was a matter which the colliery owner was sure to take into consideration when he leased a mine, and as an argument against this Bill it was simply playing with the issue. ["Hear, hear!"] With reference to the question of Trade Union effort, he maintained that the Durham miners had made no headway since 1870, when the boys were working ten hours, just as they were now. Nobody knew better than the Member for Mid-Durham that if a serious attempt was made to get an eight hours day by Trade Union effort, almost every coalfield in the country would be idle. From 1871 to 1897 was a long stretch. Just imagine the Durham leaders striving and disputing with the coalowners during all that time for an eight hours day for boys, and without success. It was enough to make the heart sick. It was make believe to talk now about Trades Union effort, when they found the result at the end of 25 or 26 years was represented by a round O. His belief was that if they obtained an eight hours day by law, it would be much more simple, it would work more easily and with less friction, and it would be better for both coalowners and workmen. There could be no argument against compulsion, for they had compulsion already. Every man had now to remain in the mine a certain number of hours. In regard to the contention that there was no contracting-out in Durham, he said there was in this sense, that when the men suffered injury while riding the trams in the mine they could not sue for compensation under the Employers' Liability Act.

* MR. JOHN WILSON (Durham)

If the hon. Gentleman will allow me I will explain.


I do not think I ought to allow you. [Laughter.] The fact he had mentioned had been brought to his knowledge years ago and could not be disputed. The Bill, if passed into Law, would give to the workers of this country everything they had been hoping for for at least two generations. They wanted a shorter day, and they would continue to work for it by legal effort. Their friends in Durham, according to their own showing, enjoyed about three or four hours more leisure than did the men whom he represented, and it was an odd thing that they should try and prevent others from obtaining by law what they had themselves got by some other process. He thought the shorter hours of the Durham and Northumberland men were obtained by means of the double shift system and not by trade union effort. The Mining Association of Great Britain were the opponents of this Bill, and they had instructed hon. Members of that House to oppose the Bill in every possible way. He had been informed, however, that the chairman of that association believed in the principle of this Bill; if that were so he occupied an awkward position. Suppose that the hours of labour were limited by one hour a day, and that they had a thousand men killed every year at present, one-tenth of that number would not be killed, simply because they would not be in the mines, and would not, therefore, be exposed to the danger. The House had read a Bill similar to this one two or three times, and he appealed to the House to take this opportunity of settling the question. He contended that Liberal seats were lost at the last election in connection with the Liquor Traffic Bill, and not in connection with the Eight Hours' Bill. The Liberals at all events ought not to attribute the loss of seats to their attempt to ameliorate the condition of the workers. He cordially supported the Motion, and he trusted that the Bill would pass the Second Reading.

MR. T. W. LEGH (Lancashire, Newton)

said this Bill had been debated, very fully on previous occasions, and it was practically impossible to say anything fresh on the subject. He ventured to think that they heard too much about the case of Durham and Northumberland, more especially in view of the obvious fact that the shorter hours of the men there were obtained by making the boys work longer. It was contended that an eight hours Bill practically was universally desired by the in miners in England; that was a contention which for his part he was not in the least disposed to accept. The modest estimate of the promoters of this Bill was, ha thought, that at least 90 per cent. of the miners were in its favour. He observed that amongst the promoters there appeared for the first time the name of an owner, the hon. Member for one of the divisions of Derbyshire; he was curious to know whether that hon. Member had introduced an eight hours bank to bank day in his own pit.

MR. T. BAYLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)

If you mean me, my name has been on the back of the Bill every year.


Has the hon. Member introduced an eight hours' bank to bank day in, his own colliery?


I should be only too delighted to do so if all the other colliery owners would do it. [Laughter.]


asked why the hon. Member was so backward in regard to the matter? [Laughter.


said he might also ask why other owners were so backward in setting an example.


, continuing, said it was several years ago since a ballot on this question had been taken, and he could quite understand that many Members might not wish to appear in opposition to the policy of their union. Hon. Members opposite seemed to have curious views in regard to the value of the ballot, for a year or two ago, when a ballot was taken of the servants of the London and North Western Railway with regard to a particular question, they were told that that was a frivolous expression of opinion. He preferred himself to take a Parliamentary election as a test. The hon. Member for Walthamstow, who was a sort of apostle of the eight hours' movement in that part of Lancashire where he resided, when he stood for a constituency composed almost entirely of colliers was not returned.


I was returned by another place. [Opposition cheers.]


said the hon. Member was not returned by a mining constituency, however, because the Eight Hours' Bill was extremely unpopular there. ["Hear, hear!"] If colliers were so unanimously in favour of the proposal, how was it they had not obtained what they wanted by private arrangement? It was idle to say that the Mining Federation were too weak to obtain what they asked for. There was no trade union more powerfully constituted, which had more able men at the head of it, or more loyally supported by well-disciplined and energetic men. If the coalminers were absolutely unanimous in their demand, how could a few hundred masters stand out against a general demand for an eight hours' day. The power of the Mining Federation had been shown over and over again. They could move their men in and out of the pits like an army of soldiers. The main argument in favour of the Bill was that it would promote greater safety. It was based on the fallacy that a coal pit was a place where the men went to idle away time and amuse themselves. The object of every man who descended the pits was to come out as quickly as possible, but to earn as much as possible while there. If Parliament diminished the period during which a man was below ground, the miner, in his desire to earn as much as he could in the time, would take fewer precautions to insure safety. The majority of accidents were not caused by explosions, but falls of roof, which would be multiplied if the men's time for securing their safety were diminished. If diminished hours brought increased safety why did not lion. Members opposite agitate for 48 hours work per week. It had been maintained by the Mover of the Bill that the output of coal would not be reduced if the hours of labour in mines were limited. But not long ago one of his friends, the hon. Member for Walthamstow, advocated this Bill on the very ground that it would reduce the annual output twenty million tons, and the hon. Member for Rhondda said he was prepared to support the Bill for that reason if for no other. In 1892 the subject of an eight hours' day for miners was made a test question. But in 1895 it did not figure at all in the election address of his opponent. He himself believed this was one of the agitations which depended entirely on whether trade was good. If it was good the men and their leaders thought they could indulge in experiments of this kind. The advocates of the Bill refused to see that there would be danger from foreign competition if the Bill were passed. When a deputation to Lord Rosebery pointed out the great impetus which would be given to Belgian trade if the Bill were passed, Lord Rosebery said that Belgium had just adopted universal franchise, and was it to be supposed, he asked, that the Belgians would go on working long hours when they had this? The hon. Member for Walthamstow, when asked whether there was not some danger of British trade being transferred to the Continent if this Bill passed, said, "Oh, no, there is not the least danger of anything of the kind. There is a Coal Porters' Union, and they will refuse to unload any coal that might arrive from foreign ports." So that these were to be the bulwarks of British trade—universal franchise in Belgium and the Coal Porters' Union in tin's country. It was admitted that many pits would have to be closed and men thrown out of employment if the Bill was passed. He was as much in sympathy with shortening hours of labour as anyone. The only difficulty was how it was to be done. He believed the Bill would inflict the most serious injury on a must important industry, and would prejudice the interests of those whom it was intended to benefit, and therefore he should oppose it.

MR. E. BAINBRIDGE (Lincoln, Gainsborough)

said it was very important to understand how many the Bill would affect, and those who had not tried the experiment were not in a position to know. He had tried the experiment and wished to bring the result before the House, for he considered it would be a great advantage for Members to know how many miners were really affected. About 700,000 men and boys were employed. Of these about 200,000 belonged to districts that were opposed to the Bill. That left 500,000, and of those there were 250,000 who worked at the "coal face," and 250,000 who had the ordinary work of miners to perform. These stood in relation to the workmen of the country, who numbered 13 millions, at about 5 per cent. If the Bill could be shown to be no advantage to the men it was intended to help, and a disadvantage to the rest of the community, it ought to be condemned. In 1894 he tried the experiment at three different collieries to see whether the contention was correct or not that such a Bill would not affect the output. Those three experiments showed a reduction of 22 per cent, in one colliery, 32½ at another, and 23½ at a third. He asserted, without fear of contradiction,

that, whether the result would generally be 20 per cent., or 10 per cent., the effect would be materially to increase the price of coal to every consumer in the country. An increase of 6d. per ton would mean an increase of £4,500,000 per annum. He thought the Bill would have the effect of absolutely damaging the men's interest, raising the price of coal to consumers, and bringing harm to the industries of the country, and he should therefore oppose it.

MR. W. ABRAHAM (Rhondda Valley)

, in supporting the Bill, said South Wales was the most dangerous mining district in the kingdom, and there, according to the hon. Member for Merthyr, men were kept at work in the pits as long as 12 hours a day.

Question put, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."

The House divided:—Ayes, 186; Noes, 227.—(Division List, No. 190—appended.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Channing, Francis Allston Fielden, Thomas
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Clare, Octavius Leigh Fison, Frederick William
Acland, Rt. Hon. A. H. Dyke Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.) Flannery, Fortescue
Allan, William (Gateshead) Clough, Walter Owen Flower, Ernest
Arch, Joseph Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.)
Arrol, Sir William Coghill, Douglas Harry Fowler,Rt.Hon.Sir Hy.(Wolt'n)
Ascroft, Robert Colville, John Galloway, William Johnson
Asher, Alexander Compton, Earl (Barnsley) Gladstone,Rt.Hon.HerbertJohn
Ashton, Thomas Gair Crilly, Daniel Goddard, Daniel Ford
Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire) Crombie, John William Gold, Charles
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley
Baker, Sir John Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Green, Walford D. (Wednesb'ry)
Balfour,Rt.Hn.J.Blair(Clackm) Daly, James Greville, Captain
Barlow, John Emmott Dalziel, James Henry Griffith, Ellis J.
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) Haldane, Richard Burdon
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Davies, W. Rees- (Pembrokesh) Harrison, Charles
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Denny, Colonel Harwood, George
Billson, Alfred Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.
Birrell, Augustine Dillon, John Hazell, Walter
Blake, Edward Donelan, Captain A. Hedderwick, Thomas Charles H.
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Doughty, George Helder, Augustus
Brigg, John Drucker, A. Hill, Rt.Hn.A.Staveley (Staffs.)
Broadhurst, Henry Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Hogan, James Francis
Bryce, Right Hon. James Dunn, Sir William Holburn, J. G.
Buxton, Sydney Charles Ellis, John Edward (Notts) Howell, William Tudor
Caldwell, James Ellis, Thos. Edw. (Merionethsh) Hozier, James Henry Cecil
Cameron, Sir Charles (Glasgow) Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Hughes, Colonel Edwin
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Evans,SirFrancisH.(South'ton) Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)
Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson- Farquharson, Dr. Robert Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez Edw.
Causton, Richard Knight Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.) Jones,David Brynmor(Swansea)
Cawley, Frederick Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Kay-Shuttleworth,Rt.Hn.SirU.
Kearley, Hudson E. Muntz, Philip A. Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.
Kenyon, James Newdigate, Francis Alexander Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Kilbride, Denis Norton, Capt. Cecil William Strachey, Edward
Kinloch, Sir John Geo. Smyth Nussey, Thomas Willans Stuart, James (Shoreditch)
Knowles, Lees O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Knox, Edmund Francis Vesey O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal) Tennant, Harold John
Labouchere, Henry O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Langley, Batty Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Ure, Alexander
Leese,SirJoseph F.(Accrington) Pearson, Sir Weetman D. Wallace, Robert (Perth)
Leuty, Thomas Richmond Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland) Walton, John Lawson
Lockwood, Sir Frank (York) Perks, Robert William Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Logan, John William Pickard, Benjamin Wayman, Thomas
Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Pickersgill, Edward Hare Wedderburn, Sir William
Lorne, Marquess of Power, Patrick Joseph Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Lough, Thomas Reckitt, Harold James Whiteley,H.(Ashton-under-L.)
Lowther, Jas. W. (Cumberland) Reid, Sir Robert T. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Lucas-Shadwell, William Rickett, J. Compton Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)
Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Willox, John Archibald
Macaleese, Daniel Robinson, Brooke Wills, Sir William Henry
M'Hugh, E. (Armagh, S.) Roche, Hon. James (East Kerry) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
McKenna, Reginald Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Wilson, John (Falkirk)
McKillop, James Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Wilson, John (Govan)
McLaren, Charles Benjamin Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Woodall, William
Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Schwann, Charles E. Woodhouse,Sir J.T.(Hud'rsf'ld)
Marks, Henry Hananel Scott, Charles Prestwich Woods, Samuel
Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Seely, Charles Hilton Wylie, Alexander
Mellor, Rt. Hn. J. W. (Yorks.) Seton-Karr, Henry Yoxall, James Henry
Milton, Viscount Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Molloy, Bernard Charles Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES, Mr. William Allen and Mr. Jacoby.
Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel) Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Morgan,Rt.Hn.SirG.O.(Denbs.) Souttar, Robinson
Morton, Edward John Chalmers Spencer, Ernest
Mundella,Rt.Hn.Anthony John Spicer, Albeit
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F. Brown, Alexander H. Doxford, William Theodore
Aird, John Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Drage, Geoffrey
Allhusen,Augustus Henry Eden Brymer, William Ernest Edwards, Gen. Sir James Bevan
Ambrose, William (Middlesex) Bullard, Sir Harry Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton
Anstruther, H. T. Burt, Thomas Fardell, Thomas George
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Cameron, Robert (Durham) Fenwick, Charles
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Campbell, James A. Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Finch, George H.
Bailey, James (Walworth) Cecil, Lord Hugh Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Baillie, James E. B. (Inverness) Clarke, Sir Edward (Plymouth) Fisher, William Hayes
Bainbridge, Emerson Coddington, Sir William FitzGerald, Sir R. U. Penrose
Baird, John George Alexander Cohen, Benjamin Louis Fitz Wygram, General Sir F.
Balcarres, Lord Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Fletcher, Sir Henry
Baldwin, Alfred Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Folkestone, Viscount
Balfour,Rt.Hn.Gerld.W.(Leeds) Compton, Lord Alwyne (Beds) Forster, Henry William
Banbury, Frederick George Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Forwood, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur B.
Barry, A. H. Smith- (Hunts) Cotton-Jodrell, Col. Edw. T. D. Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)
Barry, Francis Tress (Windsor) Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H. Fry, Lewis
Bartley, George C. T. Cox, Robert Garfit, William
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Cozens-Hardy, Herbert Hardy Gedge, Sydney
Beach,Rt.Hon.SirM.H.(Bristol) Cranborne, Viscount Gibbs,Hn.A.G.H.(Cityof Lond.)
Beach, W. W. Bramston(Hants) Cripps, Charles Alfred Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)
Beckett, Ernest William Cubitt, Hon. Henry Gilliat, John Saunders
Bemrose, Henry Howe Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal) Goldsworthy, Major-General
Bethell, Commander Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.) Gordon, John Edward
Biddulph, Michael Dalbiac, Major Philip Hugh Goschen, George J. (Sussex)
Bill, Charles Dalkeith, Earl of Goulding, Edward Alfred
Blundell, Colonel Henry Dalrymple, Sir Charles Graham, Henry Robert
Bolitho, Thomas Bedford Darling, Charles John Gray, Ernest (West Ham)
Bond, Edward Davies, Horatio D. (Chatham) Gull, Sir Cameron
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Hall, Sir Charles
Boulnois, Edmund Donkin, Richard Sim Halsey, Thomas Frederick
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Dorington, Sir John Edward Hanson, Sir Reginald
Brookfield, A. Montagu Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hardy, Laurence
Haslett, Sir James Horner Loyd, Archie Kirkman Russell, Sir George (Berkshire)
Havelock-Allan,General Sir H. Lyell, Sir Leonard Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Maclure, John William Sharpe, William Edward T.
Heath, James McEwan, William Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Hickman, Sir Alfred McIver, Sir Lewis Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)
Hill.Rt.Hn.Lord Arthur(Down) Martin, Richard Biddulph Sidebottom, William(Derbysh.)
Hill,Sir Edward Stock (Bristol) Mildmay, Francis Bingham Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)
Hoare,Edw.Brodie (Hampstead) Monk, Charles James Stanley, Edwd. Jas. (Somerset)
Hobhouse, Henry Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants) Stanley, Henry M. (Lambeth)
Holden, Angus Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Stephens, Henry Charles
Hornby, William Henry More, Robert Jasper Stewart, Sir Mark J McTaggart
Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Morley, Rt.Hn. John (Montrose) Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Howard, Joseph Morgan, Hn.Fred.(Monm'thsh) Strauss, Arthur
Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle Morloy, Rt.Hon.John (M'ntr'se) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn Morrell, George Herbert Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Morrison, Walter Talbot, John G. (Oxford Univ.)
Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice Mowbray, Rt. Hon. Sir John Taylor, Francis
Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.) Murdoch, Charles Townshend Thorburn, Walter
Isaacson, Frederick Wootton Murray,Rt.Hn.A.Graham(Bute) Thornton, Percy M.
Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Tollemache, Henry James
Jenkins, Sir John Jones Myers, William Henry Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Northcote, Hon. Sir H. Stafford Tritton, Charles Ernest
Johnston, William (Belfast) Oldroyd, Mark Walrond, Sir William Hood
Johnstone, John H. (Sussex) O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Joicey, Sir James Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham) Warkworth, Lord
Jolliffe, Hon. H. George Paulton, James Mellor Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)
Kemp, George Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham) Webster,SirR.E.(Isle of Wight)
Kennaway, Rt. Hon. SirJohnH. Penn, John Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
Kenny, William Pierpoint, Robert Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Kimber, Henry Plunkett, Hon. Horace Curzon Wharton, John Lloyd
Lafone, Alfred Pollock, Harry Frederick Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Laurie, Lieut.-General Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Lawrence, Edwin (Cornwall) Pretyman, Capt. Ernest George Wilson, Frederick W. (Norfolk)
Lawson, John Grant (Yorks) Priestley, SirW.Overend(Edin.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Lecky, William Edward H. Pryce-Jones, Edward Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks)
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Rankin, James Wodehouse, Edmond R. (Bath)
Legh, Hon. Thomas W. (Lanc.) Renshaw, Charles Bine Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Leighton, Stanley Rentoul, James Alexander Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Llewellyn, Evan H. (Somerset) Richards, Henry Charles Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Llewelyn,SirDillwyn-(Swans'a) Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir MatthewW.
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Round, James TELLERS FOR THE NOES,
Long,Col. CharlesW.(Evesham) Royds, Clement Molyneux Mr. David Thomas and Mr. Joseph A. Pease.
Long,Rt.Hn.Walter(Liverpool) Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenh'm)

Words added.

Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.—Second Reading put off for six months.