HC Deb 10 February 1899 vol 66 cc735-805

Another Amendment proposed.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

Mr. Speaker, I rise to move, as an Amendment to the Address, at end, to add— And we humbly represent to Your Majesty that, in our opinion, it is expedient that any Bill which shall have been passed by this House, and shall not have been submitted to Your Majesty for Your Royal Assent in the Session in which it was passed by this House, shall, if passed by this House in the ensuing Session, be submitted to Your Majesty, and, upon Your Royal Assent being signified, forthwith become law. All reforms have their origin outside the House of Commons, because the people, for some reason, are more zealous outside than their representatives are inside the House of Commons. When a suggestion for a reform has acquired a certain amount of consistency outside, it is moved by some Member inside in the form of a Resolution or an Amendment, and if the reform be sound it is moved again and again until at length it reaches a period when it is ripe for legislation.

This is very much the case with regard to the House of Lords. It is a great many years ago since I put upon the Orders of the Day a Motion conceived in the terms of that excellent Parliament, the Long Parliament, in regard to the House of Lords. On that occasion Members on the other side of the House were so startled, Mr. Speaker, and regarded this as monstrous, that a Gentleman got up in his place and asked your predecessor whether such a Resolution could be allowed to remain on the Notice Paper. Your predecessor told him, of course, that I was in order. I moved the Resolution, and I have moved several on the same subject subsequently. On the first occasion my supporters were more select than numerous—I believe, in fact, I only had two Members voting with me from Great Britain. But I persevered, and the minority got larger every time I moved it until, in the last Parliament, my Amendment was accepted by the House. It is perfectly true that the Amendment was not sent up to Her Majesty, but that in no sort of way concerned me. I was addressing it to this House and the country, and I attained the end which I sought. We are now, I think, in the fourth year of the present Parliament, and up to now there has been no Resolution moved in regard to the House of Lords. Therefore, this House has not had an opportunity of expressing its views, either by speaking on the matter or by voting on the matter. The consequence is that the idea has got abroad, amongst those who have sent us on this side to the House, that we are not very earnest in the matter. I trust that, after this Motion has been put by you, Sir, and after the Division has taken place, that delusion will be thoroughly dispelled. There are outside this House a very large number of persons who are desirous of abolishing the House of Lords. There are others—all Liberals, I think, come in this category—who are desirous of limiting the veto of the House of Lords. On this occasion I range myself amongst the Moderates, and my object is to ask the House to consent to a Resolution limiting the veto of the House of Lords. We are often told that this country is self-governing—that it is governed by its representatives. This is perfectly true when the Conservatives are in power. They have no House of Lords to control them; they do precisely what they please. I do not complain of that. They represent the majority of the country, and they ought to be allowed to legislate as they please—with, of course, a protest and criticism from us—but when the Liberals come into office the position is different. We can do absolutely nothing. We are faced by the Conservatives in the House of Lords, to which they retire, as to a fortress, and bid us defiance. When a Bill is brought in—some good, sound Radical Measure—one of three things happens. Either it is amended—in a Conservative sense—by the House of Lords, and we are obliged to accept the Amendments rather than lose the Bill: or the Bill is so emasculated and mangled by the House of Lords, that we are obliged to allow it to lapse; or it is entirely thrown out by the Lords. In the last Parliament we had instances of these three ways in which Bills are treated by the House of Lords. We had the District Councils Bill amended by the House of Lords, and we had to accept the Amendments, but the Bill was not passed in the form in which it was introduced. We had the Compensation for Accidents Bill. That Bill was so emasculated that we allowed it to lapse. Then we had the Home Rule Bill. That Bill, I need not remind honourable Gentlemen opposite—they are, judging by their cheers, proud of it—was thrown out. There are also a vast number of minor Bills, containing very sound and Liberal views, that are sent up to the House of Lords, and which are very seldom thrown out, but are so amended—in a Conservative sense—that they do not become law in the sense that we should desire. The result of all this is that when the Liberals are in office they have, in regard to their major Bills, only one or two things to do. Either they have to allow the Bills to be shelved, or they have to dissolve. They have office, but they have no power. They have the majority in this House, but the majority can do nothing. I think all honourable Members on this side of the House will agree with me in thinking that this system has lasted very much too long already. In the last Session of the last Parliament nothing was done. I think the honourable Gentleman the Member for West Fife clearly put the position when he said he ploughed the sands of the seashore. He said we did that as an object lesson. I did not think an object lesson necessary, but I have no doubt that Liberals have taken that lesson to heart, and are determined, so far as they are concerned, that if they do have a majority in the next Parliament the Executive they select shall not plough the sands of the seashore. My own impression is that unless they make it very clear that whatever Liberal Executive gets into power they are not prepared to plough the sands of the seashore, they will not get a majority at all. The notion of honourable Gentlemen opposite seems to be that we Liberals are such weak and vacillating creatures that we require some sort of control over us, and that it is a good thing for us that the House of Lords should exist to save us from ourselves—as a kind of appeal from Liberals drunk to Liberals sober. We do not quite admit that explanation of what we are. We think ourselves quite as intelligent, with all respect to honourable Gentlemen opposite, as we regard them to be. If a Bill is thrown out by the Lords, and if we do appeal to the country, we are by no means certain, supposing the country does decide in our favour, that the Bill will be passed by the Lords. There are many pretexts on which the House of Lords has thrown out Bills from Parliament to Parliament; and probably will continue to throw out Bills from Parliament to Parliament so long as they maintain their present power. They say the country has not been consulted on this particular Bill, etc., etc.; but, as a matter of fact, excellent Bills which have been carried Parliament after Parliament in this House have not been passed by the House of Lords. Broadly speaking, we may say that when an appeal is made by the House of Lords to the Liberals outside this House to reverse the decision of Liberals inside this House they never succeed. I believe there are one or two cases to the contrary which may be quoted by honourable Gentlemen opposite—for instance, in the last century, there was Mr. Fox's Bill; but I very much doubt, when the question was raised, whether the people, in giving their decision, troubled themselves much about the Lords having thrown out the Bill. With regard to the Home Rule Bill, honourable Gentlemen opposite are undoubtedly under the impression that the country decided against that Bill and in favour of the Lords at the last General Election. I will not express a strong opinion myself of the matter, but I am bound to say I have always regarded the question as one which is at least arguable. The Liberals in the country might very possibly have assented to Home Rule had they thought that if they did so the Bill would not be again thrown out by the House of Lords; and I am inclined to think the country did not give the Liberals a majority because the Liberals had not clearly and specifically informed them that if they did get that majority they would so act at once, in regard to the powers of the House of Lords, as would prevent the possibility of the Home Rule Bill being again thrown out. The Liberals had a good opinion of the electors, but the electors had got very little bread from the Liberals. On the other hand, they thought they might as well take the crumbs, such as old-age pensions, which honourable Gentlemen opposite offered them. The Pensions Bill, if I remember rightly, was the next Bill interfered with. The Leader of the House told us that the Pensions Bill was to be passed during the present Parliament. Assuming for the moment that we are, on this side, that beastly, reckless, impulsive body of men that we are supposed to be by Gentlemen opposite, surely the House of Lords is not a fitting tribunal to decide whether or not the legislation of the Liberals when in power represented the views of the country. The House of Lords, as this House well knows, is composed of hereditary members and of Bishops. It is recruited sometimes by distinguished gentlemen—sometimes by a distinguished man of science, and sometimes by some ex-Minister, who has to be "shelved"; but in the main it is recruited from rich men, who are ready to pay for the privilege. We had a curious light thrown during the vacation upon the mode in which titles are bartered in regard to a little cheque dangled about by a gentleman of the name of Hooley. I do not wish to say anything more about this incident, because I always wish to be fair to this House, because, to my mind, I do not think there is much to choose from in the matter of selling titles between honourable Gentlemen opposite and honourable Gentlemen on this side of the House. I only mention the case of the revelations with regard to this man Hooley to show that they do not tend to lead us to consider that every member of the House of Lords is so absolutely scrupulous in money matters, and so exceedingly intelligent, that he ought to sit in judgment over us. The members of the House of Lords are not elected, as we are. We, therefore, are far more in touch with the constituencies than they are, and we are far more likely to know what the constituencies really desire, and what are their opinions, than the Gentlemen who sit in the other part of this building. They are all the same class, and that class is the smallest. We represent all classes, and surely we are better able to say what those classes feel or think upon any subject, because we are more in touch with them. Again, the Gentlemen of the House of Lords are nearly all of one Party, and it must be remembered that the issues upon which they are called upon to judge are most essentially Party ones. Naturally, they have a certain disposition to decide in favour of their own Party. But, besides this, a very large number of these noblemen have a personal interest in the matter. We know very well that when a Ministry comes into office—putting aside those who occupy permanent official offices—there are a large number of posts, well-paid posts, such as lords-in-waiting, the gold-stick, and so on, which are distributed by Ministers to Members of the House of Lords. Consequently, those Gentlemen anxious to become Gold-Sticks would be inclined to decide in favour of the Ministry, and it could hardly be expected that they would give an independent judgment. As a matter of fact, on this issue—whether the Liberal Party in this House really represents the Liberals in the country or whether it has ceased to represent them—if we had the power that any man has who goes before a tribunal as a litigant, we should object to nearly everyone in the House of Lords having a vote upon the matter. When these Lords come to judgment they have a Party bias, and they have a personal bias in the matter of their judgment. We are often told that no doubt the House of Lords is an antiquated institution; but it adequately fulfils the functions for which they are brought together. I do not deny that for a moment, if their function is, as I believe it to be, to impede and crush all Liberal legislation; but that is precisely the reason why we object to them being invested with those rights. Sir, the only effective remedy for this is, in some sort of way, to limit the veto on our measures now possessed by the House of Lords, and this is what is contained in my Amendment. My Amendment simply means this: That when a Bill has been once rejected by the House of Lords, if it goes up again in a subsequent Session—I say "the next ensuing Session"—of the same Parliament to the House of Lords, it shall be passed into law whether the Lords approve or whether they do not approve. In conversation I have heard a little criticism upon the terms of my Amendment, and I have been asked to explain one or two things, and I will. I have been asked whether the Amendment, or the first point to which we have agreed, will be incorporated in the second Bill. Well, Sir, I think, according to the language of my Amendment, that that would be so; but it is a very minor question, and it is not a question upon which anyone need vote against this Amendment. Well, then, I am asked would the Bill under this resolution go a second time to the House of Lords I What I mean is this: After having passed a second time in this House, is it to go to the House of Lords again to give them an opportunity to accept or reject it, or would it be sent direct to Her Majesty for the Royal Assent? Well, it is a matter of perfect indifference to me either one way or the other. As far as I can see you might choose either. You might send it to the Lords, and if they liked to accept it they might; but the essential point is this, that they would not be able to make any Amendment in it; and whether they did or did not accept, the Measure would be sent up to Her Majesty, and if we had Her Majesty's Assent, which we might hope for, then it would be the law of the land. Someone has suggested to me that, by saying one Session after another, the day for bringing in the Measure might be unfairly sprung upon the country directly it had been thrown out by the Lords, and then we might recommence the second Session, so that there would be no interval. That, however, is not my intention. I think there should be the usual interval of about five months, and there is nothing in my Amendment which would not enable anyone acting upon it legislatively bringing in a Bill with that pro^ vision. I put down "the next ensuing Session," but I really am very indifferent myself whether it is the next ensuing Session or whether it is any one of the Sessions of the same Parliament. I said the next ensuing Session because I believe that no Member of Parliament in this House would get up and say that, if a Bill does pass in one Session of this House, if it could be passed into law, it would be necessary to bring it in in this House in the next Session. I think Gentlemen opposite, who are Conservatives, would have a very fair right of complaint if these Bills were hung up from Session to Session. I am perfectly sure that, with regard to the feeling outside, there is no desire to perpetuate this agitation. Another question I have been asked, which I thought was rather an extraordinary one. I was asked whether I really meant that we should, by Resolution, take away the veto of the Lords. Certainly I do not mean that. The thing would be impossible in itself. We have a law now that a Measure can only become law when it has received the Assent of the Crown, the Lords, and the Commons, and that is the law. Secondly, we could only alter this by altering the law. We might as well say that we could, by a Resolution in this House, declare that Her Majesty's Assent was not necessary, and if we did so, and passed a Bill, until the consent of Her Majesty had been obtained, that Bill would not have the effect of law. I do hope that I have made my meaning clear, for that is my object. I am asking the House to vote for the principle, and not to go into all these minor matters of detail. If they agree with me that the veto ought to be what I should call Sessional, then they will vote for me. If they do not agree with that, then by all means let them vote against me. I ask them to vote for the principle of this Amendment very much as they are in the habit of voting for the Second Reading of a Bill. A Member may vote for a Second Reading because he thinks the principle is sound, although he intends to amend it in all sorts of ways in Committee, and any Amendment might be made to my proposal when we come to legislation; but the fact would remain that the veto would only be Sessional. It has been often suggested that it would be more fair if we do limit the veto to limit it from Parliament to Parliament, so that if the two Houses did not agree the country should decide between the two. Now, Sir, I remember speaking to an exceedingly old Parliamentary hand upon this matter, who I regret very much is no longer with us. This eminent man was talking about what was to be done with the House of Lords. I do not wish to imply that he agreed with me in my views entirely. What he said to me was this, that if the veto is touched it should be reduced to a Sessional limit, because no Liberal Government could possibly carry on the affairs of the country if the veto was thrown from Parliament to Parliament. I think that anybody who takes the trouble to consider the matter will agree in this view of it, and will agree that if we were to carry such a veto, the power of the House of Lords would be limited and specified, and we should recognise it, and the House of Lords would use these limited powers very freely. On minor Bills we should get perhaps a quarter of a loaf instead of the-whole loaf, and with important Bills, either they would be "shelved," or we should have to come every year persistently to an election; in fact, representative government would be put an end to hi favour of government by plebiscite. Unfortunately, we are the poor Party, and honourable Gentlemen opposite are the rich Party, and if we have these perpetual elections the money bags would be sure to win the day. I am a Parliamentarian, and I never would consent to anything that would weaken this House before the country. Well, Sir, we have to consider this, and it is rather more a domestic question than a question that concerns honourable Gentlemen opposite. The moment has arrived at which we ought to express our view with some clearness as to what we desire to be done. I think the moment arrived long ago, but I am perfectly certain that the moment has arrived now. We have been sitting trying to hatch this egg for many years, and the egg is now in a somewhat addled condition. I am a practical person, and I want to enable the Liberal party to legislate, if it gets the majority, as it best pleases But if the veto of the Lords is absolute, we cannot legislate as we best please. What then occurs to the practical mind? Why, limit the veto, and then you will do what you want and get what you want. I do not believe that there is any other way to deal with the matter to enable us to have full legislative powers to carry out the objects for which we are elected as a majority in this House, except by limiting the veto. Of course, a Resolution of this kind is not like the laws of the Medes and the Persians, because if any Heaven-born genius appears to tell us of a better plan, we should accept that plan in preference to this. For my part, I do not think it probable that anyone will elaborate any better plan. Why, Sir, it is settled and clear. Now, this being an obstacle in your way, and you want to proceed on a particular rule, everybody in this world knows that the only way to proceed is to remove that obstacle. There is a notion in some men's minds that if the Liberals get a majority, unless they were under some species of control, they would always be bringing in Measures upon which the country had never been consulted, and to which the country might, in all probability, object, and that they would pass these Measures. Well, I think this would be a most improper course. Admitting that we are knaves, I do not think honourable Gentlemen will say that we are absolutely fools on this side of the House. If a Ministry were to do this, that Ministry would be turned out neck and crop at the next General Election, and what is more, I think they would be most deservedly turned out. If the Ministry of Radicals—the ultra-Radicals, the wild men I speak of—were to attempt to do this, they would be pulled up uncommonly short on this side of the House. It may not be known—and perhaps I am revealing a secret—that we are not always on this side of the House an absolutely united family. On other occasions I have found in this House that we have had to drag along with us an exceedingly heavy 'bus load of Moderate Gentlemen, and you may depend upon this, that that 'bus load will always exist, and would step in and side with the Conservatives if we attempted to do anything unfair, in order to prevent its being carried into effect. I know I feel so strongly in the matter myself that should join the Moderates in voting against such a Ministry. A good deal has been said about a Resolution of this kind being a mere waste of time, because the Lords would be sure to refuse their assent to it. Well, Sir, it seems to me that it is a somewhat extraordinary doctrine on the part of Liberal Members to say that we ought not to vote for any Measure which we may think desirable, because it is possible that the Lords would refuse their sanction to it. But, Sir, I have no sort of fear of the Lords not assenting to such a Measure. There are constitutional means by which we can make the Lords assent to it. Everybody in this House knows that in the time of George I., I think it was, a Bill was brought in to limit the creation of Peers, and it was thrown out upon the specific ground that we ought always to retain the right to equalise the balance of parties in the other House, if we desire it, by a large creation of Peers, and our predecessors have acted upon that doctrine. In 1711 there was a Jacobite—a Tory Jacobite—majority in the House of Lords, and it is very possible that if that Tory Jacobite majority had remained the present Dynasty would not have come to the Throne. What happened? Why, a number of Peers were created in order to give the Whigs a majority. There was no nonsense about it; it was definitely settled, and it was no use the Lords objecting to it. Then, Sir, we have the later experience of Lord Grey with his first Reform Bill. At that time the Lords did throw out the Bill; but they were faced by the declaration that if they threw it out a second time, a sufficient number of Peers would be created to pass it. The Lords were threatened in this way, and they were frightened, and ran away, which was all we wanted them to do. To that incident we owe the fact of Her Majesty the Queen being on the Throne, and we owe to it also the fact that a very large number of electors have a vote who would otherwise not have had it. I am convinced that that threat would be enough again. What do the Lords gain by having this power? What is the advantage socially of being a lord? Personally I do not see any advantage, but I presume the Gentlemen like it because they are few in number, and if you create more of them you will reduce the social advantage. They would not wish to lose their full political rights or have their social distinction watered down. But, Sir, if we are obliged to create Peers, why should we not create them? If we cannot get the veto, or this limitation to their veto, without creating Peers, what in the world does it signify except to the Lords themselves whether there be 1,000 or 500,. I, for my part, would infinitely sooner have 1,000 Lords with a limited veto than 500 Lords with an unlimited veto. If I had to go through a bear-pit I would rather face a 1,000 bears without claws or teeth than half a dozen with claws and teeth. I can assure honourable Gentlemen opposite that I regard them as a respectable and intelligent body of men, and I will put to them this case: Supposing that, instead of the House of Lords, there was another House of Lords consisting of hereditary shoemakers, with a few deacons added to them from the Primitive Methodists. Supposing all these men were sound Radicals, and supposing they were perpetually interfering with the legislation of the Conservatives when they had a majority in this House. Would the Conservatives accept that state of things? No, Sir, I have far too good an opinion of them to suppose they would. They would do their best to overcome the difficulty, and would very soon put an end to this state of things. I always feel myself that honourable Gentlemen opposite have a right to despise us so long as we wear the Conservative fetters, and I almost fear that Gentlemen opposite think we are somewhat humbugs, and that we pass Liberal Measures in the sure and certain hope that the Lords will prevent them ever being carried into effect, But notwithstanding my good opinion of the Conservatives, I have not such a very high opinion of Conservative nature as to suppose that they will vote in favour of this motion. They may think it is a just one, and they would probably do the same thing under the same circumstances; but, after all, they think that the House of Lords is an admirable institution to put a stop to what they call "pernicious legislation" when the Conservatives are not in office. I do hope that all Liberals on this side of the House will vote for this Motion, because I am perfectly certain that they will only be carrying out the view of their constituencies. I do not believe that there is one single constituency in this country in which, if a meeting were held and my Resolution was put to the meeting, it would not be carried with acclamation. The only opposition to my motion would be that it is too moderate. Sir, I think that the Leader of the House, with his usual fairness, will admit that I have put this question fairly and squarely before the House. I do not think that the right honourable Gentleman will take' refuge in little minor details about this word or that word, but I think he himself will meet it fairly and squarely on his side. All we want is to be put in the same position as the Conservatives are in when they have a majority. The right honourable Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury himself coined a word which, if he will allow me, I will adopt. The right honourable Gentleman, speaking of China, said that we demanded only equality of opportunity. Sir, all we demand here is equality of opportunity to do good according to our rights. I cannot understand why, if it is good in China, it is not also good in this House. Such, then, is what I have generally asserted in my Amendment, and as fair and honest men we cannot accept less than this equality of opportunity, which is the basis of my Amendment.

* MR. S. F. MENDL (Plymouth)

My honourable Friend, who has moved this resolution has very wisely confined himself, in a considerable portion of his arguments, not to the theoretical objections entertained to an hereditary House of Lords, not only to showing that the existing system is a very unjust one, but to the practical argument that, by the continuance of that state of things, a condition of affairs has arisen, or may at any moment be expected to arise, which is so serious that it calls for an immediate remedy. That condition of things was described by Mr. Gladstone, in the last speech he delivered within these walls, in words sufficiently familiar to the majority of honourable Members of this House to make it unnecessary for me to recall them. So far as I understand the case of my honourable Friend on this side, the words which Mr. Gladstone used upon that occasion constitute our case against the House of Lords. If, Mr. Speaker, my honourable Friend and I lay stress upon this practical issue more than upon the theoretical objection to an hereditary right to legislate, it is not that we do not think that principle ridiculous and anomalous, because I conceive that in the minds of all the men on this side of the House the whole idea of a man's right to make law resting upon the accident of birth is farcical when it is not dangerous and dangerous when it is not farcical. The hereditary principle would not to-day find many defenders even among honourable Members upon the other side of the House, except perhaps amongst those who are looking forward to a date next May or next January, and who are conscious of their capacity to transmit their great legislative abilities to their descendants. Of course this is a practical country, and we do not destroy anomalies simply because they are anomalies. Anomalies are dear to our Constitution, and unless we can show, as I believe we can abundantly show, that the House of Lords is not only an anomaly, but it is a dangerous anomaly, our case is not made out. Now, Mr. Speaker, I have no intention to dilate upon the historical record of the House of Lords even since 1832. Before the year 1832 the question was an entirely different one. The relations of the House of Lords to an unre-formed House of Commons, which was largely controlled and the constituencies of which were largely owned by individual Peers, was one thing; and it is not surprising that there was very little difficulty or friction in working together at that time. But the relations of the Lords to a reformed House of Commons, one which is in fact as well as in name representative of the people of the United Kingdom, is another matter. I think we might find sufficient grounds for the readjustment of these relations in the fact that while in the period of 1832 to 1884 the constitution and the composition of the House of Commons underwent three fundamental changes, completely altering the centre of gravity of the electorate, during the same time the House of Lords underwent no change at all. To-day the House of Lords is what it ever was, the principle on which its authority is based has remained absolutely unchanged since the earliest days of Parliamentary Government, and the authority claimed and exercised by it is one from which the representative principle is entirely divorced. Now, Mr. Speaker, it is happily not necessary for me to go into historical details in order to show what I believe to be the fact, that the record of the House of Lords since 1830 has been one continued record of opposition to great Measures of progress and reform, an opposition rarely successful in destroying or stopping those reforms altogether, often successful in mutilating them and thereby decreasing their value, and nearly always successful in interposing vexatious, irritating, and unnecessary delay in carrying those Measures into operation, a delay which in more instances than one has robbed acts of justice and social amelioration of more than half their grace, and more than half their capacity to heal sores and allay strife. There has been one aspect of the House of Lords, to which my honourable Friend has referred, to which not sufficient attention has been paid. On the great party questions and issues the record of the House of Lords is well known and remembered. The history of their opposition to Parliamentary reforms; to the extension of religious liberty and equality; the way in which for 36 years they barred the doors of Universities to the Nonconformists of this country; their perpetuation of compulsory Church rates for eleven years after the principle of their abolition had passed the House of Commons; their sinister obstruction to the reform of the Irish Land System; all these are matters of notoriety. What is not equally remembered is the action of the House of Lords with reference to minor Measures, but yet Measures of great social importance to the general community. The action of the House of Lords with reference to such Measures has been of frequent and more or less successful opposition and mutilation, and the compulsory abandonment by Liberal Governments of many effective Measures of reform. There was the great movement to prevent the enclosure of commons. A Liberal Government introduced a Bill for the purpose of preserving commons in 1866, but the House of Lords excluded from that Bill all commons except those near London. In 1873 they again rejected the same Bill, and it was only in 1876 that they accepted it, when a Tory Government asked for it. Many Members present will remember that the House of Lords also rejected the proposal to share the expenses of London improvements between landlord and occupier, and it is not the fault of the House of Lords that the purchase of commissions in the Army is not going on at present, and that the paper duty is not still in operation. The Labour record of the House of Lords is, I think equally bad. They mutilated Lord Shaftesbury's Miners' Regulation Bill in 1812, in the one particular which is most in sympathy with present-day legislation on the subject, namely, the restriction of the labour of women and children, with the result that Lord Shaftesbury declared they had destroyed the usefulness of the Bill. They mutilated the first Bill to Improve the Housing of the Working Classes, which the Leader of the House now takes great credit to his Party for having passed. That Bill was introduced in 1868 by Mr. Torrens; was mutilated by the House of Lords to such, an extent that it had to be dropped. The House of Lords, in the first Criminal Law Amendment Bill of 1891, compelled the insertion of a clause making peaceful picketing a criminal offence, and it was left to a subsequent Tory Government to repeal that clause. The treatment that they meted out to the Bill of my right honourable Friend, the Member for Fife, for the extension of Employers' Liability by their Contracting Out Amendment is too recent to require reference. It is, however, worthy of notice that in the three cases I have mentioned—the Housing of the Working Classes, the penalising of peaceful picketing, and contracting out, it has been left for a subsequent. Government of the political opinions of honourable Gentlemen opposite to undo the mischief done by the Lords during Liberal Governments. The Lords have allowed honourable Gentlemen opposite to steal a horse, while Liberals have not been allowed to look over the hedge. What is the record of the House of Lords with regard to Educational progress? They voted against the first grant of £30,000 and they rejected a provision in the Miners' Regulation Bill to allow pit children the same facilities for education as factor children. In 1870 they struck out the one clause in the Act of that year which permitted the establishment of free schools. Now we find instances of the way they act when Tory Governments are in power. They passed in 1890 a measure of Free Education, but their opposition to educational reform is still none the less strong, as is shown by the manner in which they have treated the various Welsh Secondary Education Bills. Now I ask can anyone say to-day of this record that the House of Lords was right and that the House of Commons was wrong? But what can be said for the avoidable harm caused by the mutilation and delays which resulted from the action of the House of Lords. With reference to Home Rule, I have no desire to shirk that question, and what I have to say about it is that I do not believe the last word has been spoken, and that the contemptuous rejection of the Home Rule Bill will prove not less unwise and unstatesmanlike than other acts of admitted unwisdom which at the time met with the approval of honourable Mem- bers opposite, but which they would now hesitate to defend. All this may be ancient history, but what reason have we to believe that the Lords have reformed. The answer to that must be that their capacity for mischief and their will to exercise that capacity are still in existence. Look at the practical effects which the working of this condition of things has produced to-day. If honourable Gentlemen opposite are in a majority the Lords are quiescent so far as action is concerned. They may growl and protest, but they will give way. Look at the three Measures recently passed. The Irish Land Act, the vaccination Act, the Workman's Compensation Act, and the Free Education Act. Can there be any reasonable doubt that if these Bills had been introduced by a Liberal Government that the Lords would either have thrown them out or mutilated them. But because a Tory Government is in office they swallow them. When the Liberals are in office the House of Lords wakes to life, and scratches and mauls every Measure submitted to them. A Liberal Government has not a fair chance. It has to introduce its Measures with one eye on the House of Lords and accept modifications in order to save its Bills from destruction. During the last Liberal Government we heard of "ploughing the sands," a melancholy occupation which I hope is not to be repeated. The game is not fairly played. The dice are loaded against the Liberal Party. If honourable Gentlemen opposite win at an election it gives them entirely the government of the country and the control of legislation. We have then government by single chamber, but if we on this side of the House win, we always have to fight the second line of defence, which the First Lord of the Admiralty once called a Permanent High Tory Committee. That state of things is an obstruction to the fair play of the Constitution. The Amendment of my honourable Friend will put a limit to that obstruction. Like all definite proposals it is open to criticism, but it is not a revolutionary but a moderate Amendment. Under it the Lords will have large powers, namely, to suspend the passing into law of any Measure passed by this House for a minimum of six months. That gives time for reflection, consideration, and, if neces- sary for agitation. After that it will have to pass here again and run me gauntlet of Party criticism in this House where there is no undue haste and precipitancy. Naturally, my honourable Friend does not expect that honourable Members opposite will agree to his proposal, but I believe on this side of the House we are agreed in recognising the intolerable nature of the grievance, and the necessity of finding a remedy for it. I believe my right honourable Friend the Member for Stirling Burghs and his colleagues could not adopt a more popular policy than to make it clear that when they next assume office they will do so armed with the powers necessary to carry this most just and necessary Amendment of the Constitution. I believe if they do that they will get a majority. They will be able to show that this Amendment of the Constitution is based on justice, because it asserts the principles of fair play and equal treatment, and that it is necessary because it secures the predominance of this House, on which the whole principle of Democratic Government is based, and which is now becoming jeopardised by the action of those who have no representative authority, and should, in my opinion, have no power to interfere with the deliberate decisions of the representatives of the people.

Question put.

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

* MR. PURVIS (Peterborough)

Sir, I desire to say, to begin with, that the honourable Member for Northampton has, in my humble opinion, put his case, as always, fairly and squarely. I hope the Front Opposition Bench will support him or repudiate him fairly and squarely. I trust the new Leader of the Opposition will not, like Achilles—I do not say sulk —but hide in his tent; that he will, to use Scotch law language, either reprobate or approbate the Amendment. I hope, in short, that the new Leader will not run away, and that this new chapter of the history of the Liberal Party, under entirely new management, and giving local option to different sections of the Opposition, will not run to total abstinence from Debate. The honourable Member for Northampton says all reform has its origin outside the walls of Parliament, and I agree with him; but in going on to talk of public feeling as to the House of Lords he did not say what grounds he had for supposing the people were against the House of Lords. It is true there is always a Radical feeling about it. A Radical is never quite happy about the House of Lords save when he gets a peerage. Some seek to end it, but that seems even to them too much for the English people to digest—too much, indeed, for them to swallow, because English people consider that the ship of the State rides more safely and securely at two anchors in all weathers, and so the greater number of Radical authorities for the present say, "Mend the House of Lords by pruning down its right to reject as often as it likes Bills sent up from the House of Commons" when it considers that this House is not at one with the people; that so the will of the House of Commons shall prevail over the wish of the people, and that so the people shall be at the mercy of the House of Commons.

Notice taken that forty Members were not present.

Forty Members having come in,

* MR. PURVIS (continuing)

Sir, the English people, when this is explained to them, will not submit to be at the mercy of the House of Commons or any other House, and the Radicals will find that they have themselves fallen into the pit which they digged for us, just as in the crazy Home Rule matter, when they pretended to draw closer the United Kingdom by dividing it into several parts. I think I may say for many Radicals as to Home Rule, that they voted for it with the conviction that the House of Lords would reject it and save them (the Radicals) from themselves. Sir, as I have said, it is against the traditions and the very intuitions of the English people to be at the mercy of one House of Parliament, for the question has already been fought out not so long ago, as measured by a nation's life. In the seventeenth century the House of Commons did get rid of the House of Lords, and then got rid of the King. When their time came to go themselves they refused to dissolve, sat for thirteen years, and arrived at such a pitch of tyranny as, among other enormities, to get hold of a poor ignorant agitator— Naylor by name—had him whipped and a red-hot needle run through his tongue. And so the outcome of that Revolution, the child of that Long Parliament— Oliver Cromwell—turned on them, turned them out, looked the door, and put the key in his pocket. Sir, let me put it thus shortly: the House of Lords is the fly-wheel of the British Constitution to regulate the energy—the steam of the House of Commons—and keep it in accord with the permanent—not the spasmodic—convictions of the British public.

* MR. CAWLEY (Lancashire, Prestwich)

The honourable Gentleman who has just sat down endeavoured to persuade us that the English people are averse to taking away the veto which is in the hands of the House of Lords. Now, I took up this question very strongly at the time of my election, and I do not think that, during the whole of my campaign, I ever made a single speech without drawing attention to the right of veto claimed by the House of Lords. I think the position of that House with regard to the first Ref win Bill is no argument for their being given a right of veto. If the House of Lords was in any respect a court of appeal, I do not think that I should oppose it for a moment, but if it is a court of appeal, it is an extremely unfair one. When the Compensation Bill was passed it was truly said that if that Bill had been brought in by a Liberal Government the House of Lords would have rejected it. If the Irish Land Bill of the Session before last had been brought in by a Liberal Government the House of Lords would have thrown it out. Therefore, it comes to this, that when a Conservative Government passes a measure, however unfair or unjust, the House of Lords allows it to go through; but when a Liberal Government passes a Measure, however fair or however just, it is thrown out if a Party advantage is to be got by doing so. I do not think that a. House founded on these principles can be a permanent institution in this country. Another objection I have to the House of Lords is that it is composed of men who are all in one business or trade—they are all in the trade or business of landowners—and landowning is as much a business as any other. They have land, and let it out for the purpose of being cultivated, much in the same way as a cabowner lets out his cabs for hire. I should object to a House of Lords composed of cotton-spinners and engineers, and any other class in the country, and I equally object to a Chamber composed of landowners. The landowners of the country are the kernel of the Conservative Party in this House, and I object to them having the other branch of the Legislature to themselves. Naturally, as landowners, when a question affecting the land comes before them they seek to protect and advance their own interests. I have no doubt that millowners or cotton spinners would do the same; but I do not think it is fair. The House of Lords wants a Conservative Government. If a Conservative Government is in power, then they do their utmost to keep it in power; but when a Liberal Government is in power, then they endeavour by every means in their power to turn it out. I think the House of Lords has as much intelligence in their body as 500 educated men picked from any other class, and no more. Sir, I object to the House of Lords principally because they compel us to "plough the sands of the seashore." I do not consider that it is any good whatever for a Liberal Party to try and get a majority in this House unless they also try to make some alteration in the veto of the House of Lords; and I for one am not prepared to go on advocating Measures to my constituents when I know perfectly well they will only be thrown out or mutilated when they go from here to the Upper Chamber.

* MR. A. K. LOYD (Berks, Abingdon)

I listened with great attention to the speech of the honourable Member for Northampton when bringing his Amendment before the House, and I think that no one can complain of the general tone which he adopted in doing-so. But I could not help thinking that those portions of the speech which reflected on the good faith of the Upper House were singularly unfortunate, when one considers how large a share of the responsibility, for the appointment of the members of that distinguished body rests upon the Party represented on the other side of the House. The honourable Member was good enough to recognise that that Chamber was sometimes recruited from the distinguished members of all the various professions, in which this country so greatly excels. Distinguished generals, distinguished lawyers, and men distinguished in other professions and various branches of occupation are added from time to time, not merely by one Party, but both parties in this House. That fact alone, in my opinion, militates against the proposal to reduce that great and distinguished Chamber to absolute nullity and impotence. But, apart from the question that the House of Lords has been recruited largely from the Party which is now attacking it; apart from the question of how many are recruited from the great bodies of distinguished people of this nation, there is also the fact that the reconstitution of this Chamber is a work of enormous difficulty. I should like to have seen here to-night the honourable Gentleman whose words met with so much sympathy from Members on the opposite side of the House a few nights ago. That honourable Gentleman, the Member for the Launceston Division, certainly made a very stirring speech against landlords, and showed that he had the confidence of honourable Members opposite on that occasion. If he had been here to-night I feel sure that he would not have been found on the side of the honourable Gentleman who brings forward this Amendment, because I perfectly well remember an article which he wrote at the time that this question was being mooted, some few years ago, in which he showed, in the most conclusive way, that, if you have no Second Chamber at all, your Constitution may suffer from a temporary rush of enthusiasm in regard to a question for which the country is not yet ripe. If you have a Second Chamber, he pointed out that it must either be an Elective Chamber or appointed by nomination. I presume that the honourable Member on the opposite side would be the very last person to tolerate a nominated Chamber. The only alternative, then, as shown by the honourable and learned Gentleman the Member for Launceston, is an Elective Chamber. Now what is the situation that will arise if you have a second Elective Chamber. You will have a Chamber which owes its origin to the express desire of the people. If it agrees with the First Chamber, there is no necessity for its institution at all; if it differs from the First Chamber there will be a conflict and a division far worse than there can be with a Second Chamber, which, having no constituents at its back, can give way without further complications. Of the two Elective Chambers, which is to give way? They are both elected on popular suffrage, and are both entitled to take their stand on the mandate they have received, and, therefore, you get, what is most to be avoided in the constitution of this or any other country, a conflict between Chambers which have each equal rights. Now the existing Constitution does not present a Second Elective Chamber, and by the Constitution, as now laid down by the highest authorities, the House of Lords claims no more than this, that, where it has honestly considered a matter, and it is not prepared to agree with the Lower Chamber, and that same subject matter is referred to the electorate, and a new House is returned on that issue alone, holding the same opinions, the Upper House, as at present constituted, does not insist upon or claim any right to thwart the clearly expressed wish of the people. I say there is no doubt about that being the present doctrine of the Constitution. To make any attack upon the House of Lords for rejecting the Home Rule Bill is wholly unwarranted. That Bill left this House undebated as to two-thirds of its provisions; it was forced through this House by methods to which, happily, it is rarely necessary to resort. The difficulties of getting that Bill through this Chamber may afford matter for recrimination between the two sides of this House, but not for any attack upon the Upper Chamber. And that Bill going up to the other House, to which it was sent in that condition, imperfectly debated, and with many contradictions upon the face of it, and leaving this House at the end of the Session in that plight, could no more have been allowed to pass the House of Lords than any other Measure of a crude and faulty character. Therefore, so far as the conduct of the House of Lords on the subject of the Home Rule Bill is concerned, I fail to find an atom of right in this House to speak in a disrespectful manner of the Upper Chamber. The House of Lords could not possibly have agreed to that Measure without stultifying themselves before the country, and, if their competence and good faith were to be thus impugned, the proper course would have been upon the rejection of that Measure for that distinct issue to have been placed before the country. Had a new House of the same view been elected the House of Lords would not have resisted that clearly expressed view of the people. Mr. Speaker, I believe that this Amendment, which is drawn with much skill, not to say subtlety, while it avoids all mention of the Lords and their veto is, with all its seeming moderation, a proposal to abolish the House of Lords to all intents and purposes. Although the notion of abolishing the Second Chamber is not put forward in this Amendment in terms, can it escape any of the criticisms which might be properly made upon such a proposal'? I think it cannot. This Amendment proposes that if a Bill passed by this House goes to the other Chamber, and is rejected there (although by euphemism no mention of the other House is made), and if it is brought in and passed by this House in the following Session, whatever happens to it in the House of Lords, it is to go on and receive the Royal Assent. What is that but a proposal to abolish the House of Lords as an effective branch of the Legislature? I think honourable Members opposite who chafe under the restraint of a Second Chamber would do well to consider this. There are two reasons why their proposals may have been rejected. One may be because the House of Lords is, as has been suggested to-night, hopelessly incompetent and biased, I can only say, upon that alternative, that the Party opposite have created peerages in the last 60 years in a proportion at least equal to that of the creations by their opponents. I cannot understand how honourable Members opposite can accuse that large phalanx of their own most distinguished former colleagues of losing all fitness for the position to which they were for their former merits promoted. I pass, therefore, from that alternative to consider what can be the only other explanation of the rejection of Measures complained of. I say the legislation rejected may have been considered defective, and I go on to ask whether Members of the Second Chamber, not acting under the restraint of an electorate, may not have some honest motives in being unable to see their way to adopt that legislation which, after a heated conflict of a protracted character, had passed this House. Mr. Speaker, if any honourable Gentleman objects to the existing Second Chamber because of the restraint which it is upon this House, I would invite him to consider that, short of abolition, the only alternative to nomination must be election, and that if you have an Elective Chamber it will be far stronger in its power and in its inclination to oppose those Measures which may be passed by this House, but which it does not find to its liking. The House of Lords does not resist the clearly expressed will of the people. If they reject a Measure, and the distinct issue is placed before the electorate, and the fresh House elected again send up the Bill to them, they do not stand between the people and the fulfilment of what is their clearly and distinctly expressed desire.

Question proposed, "That those words be there added:"—


I beg to move an Amendment to the Amendment now under the consideration of the House— After the word 'that' to omit all the following words and substitute the following: 'The power at present possessed by the House of Lords to overrule the decisions of this House urgently demand the attention of Parliament.' The whole Amendment will then be in this form— And we humbly represent to your Majesty that the power at present possessed by the House of Lords to overrule the decisions of this House urgently demand the attention of Parliament. Now, Sir, I have framed this Amendment, which I submit to the sense of the House, not because I differ in any essential principle from the argument of the honourable Gentleman the Member for Northampton, who moved the main Amendment, but because it is obvious that a scheme indicating legislation in outline at this period is a somewhat premature conception. It is easy to defeat a principle in which many of us believe by suggesting objections to the machinery by which it is intended to give to that principle legislative effect. I feel sure that so old a Parliamentary hand as my honourable Friend the Member for North ampton must have felt the force of this objection—


Not in the least.


As he listened to the argument of the honourable Gentleman the Member for Abingdon. A good deal of the ingenuity and effect of that speech was due to objections, having a well-founded legal origin and great political force, addressed to details of the scheme which the honourable Member for Northampton has proposed. Now, there is one common platform upon which we can all unite. We, at all events on this side of the House, are pledged to some Measure for diminishing the finality and conclusiveness of the legislative veto hitherto exercised by the House of Lords; and this Amendment, in the generality of the language I venture respectfully to employ, seeks to give emphasis to the main object which all honourable Members who sit on this side of the House, or nearly all, entertain. It does not appear to us a vague, speculative, and remote issue, but an urgent, practical question, because if there should be a change in the constitution of the government of this country, the obstruction which would be offered to Liberal Measures of reform 'by the stereotyped Conservative opinion of the other House might create a conflict of no small moment. It is important that we should announce our principle, and that it should be definitely understood on what condition alone the government of the country would be carried on. Now, I should like to point out to the House the very limited scope that is occupied by this Amendment. It is not proposed to abolish the House of Lords, it is not proposed to destroy the position which it occupies as a Second Chamber of the High Court of Parliament. It is proposed only to define the condition under which alone it can exercise the theoretical, but unpractical, right to veto the legislative Measures carried by the popular House. Now, this proposal upon which the sense of the House is invited is a proposal of compromise. The honourable Gentleman the Member for Northampton rather prided himself in being a root and branch man, but on this particular Motion he has been content to forego the honour of being in that position, and the spirit of compromise animates the whole suggestion which he has submitted to the consideration of this House. He has left the lines of a drawn battle between the champions of one Chamber and the champions of two Chambers. He has left the House of Lords in a position which, in many of its essential features, is entirely unaffected, and in a position to retain its immense social influence, to exercise all the powers which belong to it as an historic and dignified Chamber of the Court of Parliament, and its voice in legislation is not proposed to be entirely silenced. But it is suggested that it should have an operative principle, but somewhat modified veto. My right honourable Friend the Attorney-General smiles, but I think in a moment he will recognise that the object of this Motion is not to do more than declare that the dominant power of Parliament shall rest where the changes of democracy have placed it. There has been, Sir, a divorce between Constitutional authority and political practice. This Amendment proposes to bridge the chasm thus created, and to modify the authority of the Constitution so as to bring it into line with a practice of politics of the system under which we live. Now, Sir, it may be said that this is a revolutionary Measure. I entirely contest that proposition. The revolution, in the position of the House of Lords is not proposed by the Amendment now under discussion in the House; the revolution has already taken place. We are seeking simply to define its operation and give legitimate and legal effect to the scope which that revolution has defined. We are dealing with one of the States of the Realm; can it be said that one State of the Realm has escaped from the very serious change in the developments of the civilisation in which we live. Take, if you like, the first Estate of the realm. Take the initiative and power and influence of the Crown in Parliament in the reign of George III, and compare it with that of Her Most Gracious Majesty at the present time. Take also the veto of the House of Lords, you will find, I think, the one was equally vague and equally wide as the other. Just as the Royal veto is as powerful in theory now as it was in the reign of George III., so, theoretically, the House of Lords' veto is the same. But I ask the House has there not been in both of those cases changes of a most material and sensible character during the history of the more recent periods of our Constitution. It may be said with regard to the exercise of the veto of the Crown that nobody proposes to put into abstract language the conditions under which it shall be allowed to operate upon legislation. Now what is the reason why we are content to leave undefined the exercise of the powers of the Royal veto while we seek to define it in the case of the Peers? With regard to the exercise of the Royal veto, we have the guarantee that it is only exercised on the advice of responsible Ministers; but with regard to the House of Lords, no Ministers are responsible, and the veto is exercised by a body which owes no duty except to its own conscience. In dealing with the obligations of the House of Lords to the tribunal of its own conscience you are dealing with a tribunal which, unlike others which have operation under the Constitution and under the law, gives no guarantee for good behaviour; it is a tribunal which can err without the power of correction; it is a tribunal which, if it does wrong, does wrong without remedy; it is a tribunal which in its operations partakes of some of those happy immunities which are associated with corporations. There is no base upon which punishment can be inflicted in this life, and there is no evidence of the survival after this life of any entity which may be subject to torture in the next. I say that, notwithstanding what may be regarded as a strong expression of strong views, this proposal is characterised by moderation and by a spirit of conciliatory reform. I entertain a feeling of strong sympathy with those who honour an ancient and historic institution which has co- operated with ourselves for many centuries in the work of legislation, which has in its time fought the battle of the people against the monarch, and which by the individual character of its Members has won through a wide circle the greatest affection and esteem. But the time has come when we must review the privileges which, according to the theory of the Constitution, are possessed by the House of Lords. I propose to undertake that task without disturbing the rampart of sentiment which enshrines the House of Lords at this moment, and which is its main difference. Now what are these privileges? In the first place let us deal with the theoretic right of the House of Lords to veto in the exercise of their individual judgment the collective wisdom of the whole nation. The theoretic right is gone. That right was assailed, challenged, and demolished in the popular movement which caused the Reform Bill of the year 1832, and from that moment to the present the House of Lords has never ventured to expose itself to any serious conflict with public opinion. I am seeking to put into such a form as will escape all controversy on both sides of the House that which I conceive to be the relative modern aspects of the case. The House of Commons, representing the English people, claims to give actual and effective expression to its opinion in regard to the legislative needs of the nation. The modern claim of the House of Lords is to determine the moment at which the volume and intensity of public opinion shall have reached a point beyond which the legislative block of the Upper House can no longer be safely applied. It is said that the House of Lords has never resisted the clearly expressed will of the people. What is the significance of that argument? It is that the legislative functions of the House of Lords is abandoned in favour of other functions. Can we distrust the House of Lords with legislative functions, and yet leave with them the right of decision when a Measure of legislative reform shall be impeded, or the moment when the legislative block is to be withdrawn, and the Measure allowed to pass through? That is almost a judicial function, and I can understand it being left to a Committee to say when public opinion has reached a point at which the House of Lords ought to yield. With regard to the exercise of the new function, are you to trust them in its exercise? The answer to that question is involved in another question. Do you trust them in their purely legislative prerogative? If you can trust them with the work of legislation in passing or rejecting reforms upon their own individual opinion, then you can also trust them with this new function. But if they fail in regard to the first, then they fail in regard to the second. Those who sit upon this side of the House have no trust in the House of Lords. We cannot entrust them with any confidence with these new functions. Why do we not trust them? They represent only one social element of the body politic. They act under the bias, conscious or unconscious, of a privileged and opulent class, and, thirdly, we find that they are not, as the honourable Gentleman the Member for Northampton pointed out, free from Party leanings, and have even on occasions been known to yield to Party passions. For these reasons we do not feel that we can entrust this or any other function to the purely discretionary administration of the constituent Members of the House of Lords. It is a great discretion. It is a discretion which is invariably exercised with weary monotony in favour of a particular class of legislation. It is said that one of Her Majesty's judges, who is now an ornament to the Bench, was urged by the late Lord Chief Justice to disallow every objection which a particular counsel took before him. It appears to me that the House of Lords have received similar advice from the present Prime Minister, and any objection, well or ill founded, which may be urged, every motion well or ill promoted, is to be dismissed because it emanates from the Liberal Party. The legislation of the political friends of the House of Lords is always found to be marked with an imperative imprimatur in its favour, but the legislative proposals of the Liberal Party are said to be crude, premature, ill-considered, and demanding further consideration. This, of course, gives to one political Party an enormous advantage. The right honourable Gentleman the Colonial Secretary is not slow, upon public platforms, to take full credit for the advantageous state of things which this system accords to him. He has recently claimed for the Unionist Government the rights of the South African Rainmaker. He can call down showers of benison upon the social legislation of his own Party, while to the petitions of Liberal statesmen the "Heavens are as brass." It is idle to ask this House, composed of two distinct schools of politics, to continue to repose confidence in the exercise of a faculty, however limited, which is exercised on the bias of a strong political predilection, and which has shown in past experience to have always been expressed in favour of one political party. Now, Sir, I am most desirous that we should grapple with this question, because I am satisfied that it is not a question of principle, but a question of method. Will any honourable Member rise and defend the prerogative right of the House of Lords to veto in this manner in their own individual judgment legislation which has the whole weight of popular approval and demand? If you do not do it then the difference between us is method and not principle. You have to determine the particular point at which the individual opinion of the House of Lords is to yield to the collective opinion of the nation. But how are you to decide that point? The existing theory leaves the jurisdiction as to that decision to the House of Lords itself. I submit that the decision of that issue ought to be left to the people, and that it should be for the people to decide, by some well-adjusted mechanism, the particular point at which their views in regard to our Legislation should have effect in the deliberations of the Upper Chamber. It is acknowledged that the people have supreme power, and yet it is contested that the people are to decide the moment at which their supremacy shall be exercised. It is admitted that they are to decide the Legislation of the country, and yet you do not leave to them the function of deciding the particular moment at which their decision is to be recorded. That leaves, as I have said, a check undefined and unconstitutional, which depends, not upon the opinion of the Lords in reference to the Legislation subject to their discussion, but upon their opinion in reference to the volume and intensity of public feeling. It leaves them to decide, not only what re- forms shall take place, but the moment they shall come into operation. My honourable Friend the Member for Northampton has dealt with the various checks which will still prevail, and which are of great weight. In the first place, you have the check of deliberation, and then you have the check of postponement. Further, you would have the check of the responsibility of Ministers in re-introducing re-ejeted Legislation, and then you would have the check arising from the power of Parliament to review the actions of its predecessors. With these practical checks, and the interval which must accompany them, the House would be enabled to pause in any Legislation while public opinion might manifest itself. We know that public opinion is capable of manifesting itself. We had some experience of this fact in connection with a certain Education Bill. We also had some experience of it in connection with the Vaccination question. And we know that when the wires of communication which connect honourable Members with their constituents were put into operation there was a curious change of opinion with regard to those two Measures of the present Government. They ascertained that the volume and intensity of public opinion would not support those reforms, and in the one case the proposed reform was abandoned, while in the other it was entirely altered in its character. I think the whole object of this Motion is to allow an interval during which, in similar fashion, public opinion may be tested with regard to any proposed reform, and if that test is applied, and has satisfied honourable Members that public opinion is decidedly in favour of a reform, then I say that an obsolete veto by some other body which is not in contact with the sources of public opinion ought not any longer to obstruct Legislation. I move my Amendment with great regret, because it takes the form of an Amendment to the Amendment of the honourable Member for Northampton. The difference between us is purely one of form, but I ask the House to adopt the Amendment in the language I have framed it, because by it we are not committed to any particular scheme. I emphatically repudiate, as a proposition of political opinion, the right of veto now sought to be exercised by the Upper Chamber. I say, too, that this motion is not premature. I am quite aware that honourable Members opposite are apt to hug themselves in the satisfaction which naturally attaches to the possession of a great majority. But let them remember that that great majority is, to some extent, due to the swing of the pendulum, and the swing of the pendulum is apt to recoil in an equal degree in the opposite direction. It may, therefore, be that in a short time those Benches, will be occupied by honourable Members who now sit on this side of the House. It is a practical question to ascertain upon what conditions alone the Liberal Party can accept office. Are they, or are they not, to be subjected to the control of a militant partisan body, which seeks to frustrate their policy in order to defend the interests of their political opponents, a body which exercises its political prerogative without reference to the considerations which are germane to the questions before it, a body which uses its political prerogative in order to assist its political friends to regain the advantages of office. I do not know that the question will have any personal application in my own case, but approaching the problem from a general political standpoint, I submit that for any Government to accept office subject to degrading conditions such as these would make tenure of a position involving service to the Queen, and service to the country, intolerable to all independent politicians. It is in regard to considerations of this character that I have ventured to insert in the last lines of the Amendment words expressive of the opinion that this matter urgently demands attention. I ask the House to say that we are not approaching this question in any abstract spirit, such as may animate the forums of debating societies, but as practical politicians, who feel that in the immediate future these problems will be of pressing importance. I beg to move, as an Amendment to the Amendment, the insertion of the words— The power at present possessed by the House of Lords to over-rule the decisions of this House urgently demands the attention of Parliament.

* MR. CROMBIE (Kincardineshire)

I wish in the first place to thank the honourable Member for Northampton for having brought before the House a matter of such vital importance to Liberal ism. It is not the first time that the honourable Gentleman has brought this question before us. I think he referred to-night to a former occasion, in 1894, when we were discussing Amendments to the Address of the Liberal Government under Lord Rosebery's leadership. On that occasion my honourable Friend moved an Amendment in much more general terms than the one we have be fore us to-night, condemning the Government for not including this measure in their Speech. I supported him on that occasion, and the result was that we de feated our own Government by a majority of two. We were reprimanded to some extent by our Whips, and I was led to believe that I would live to repent of my conduct. I have lived, but I do not think I am penitent. I believe that the vote we gave that night, whatever else it may have done, at least showed the country how earnestly Liberals feel upon this question. And when I say this I think I have proved that I would be very willing to support the honour able Gentleman the Member for North ampton in the Lobby if I could do so on the Amendment he has moved. But I feel that that is utterly impossible. For reasons which my honourable and learned Friend has just explained, we consider that the Amendment goes too far into detail, and that its adoption would hamper our Party in the future. My honourable Friend himself has evidently some qualms of conscience on this point, for he tried to explain that, after all, what he wanted was a general Motion on the veto of the House of Lords, and he even went so far as to say that in voting for this Resolution we were only voting for the general principle, exactly as we voted for the general principle of a Bill on the second reading. I am not an old Parliamentary hand like my honourable friend, but I would point out that a Resolution is not a Bill. You can vote for the principle of a Bill on the second reading with the knowledge that you can amend its details, but you vote for a Resolution either wholly or not at all, and I am certain that if we voted for the Resolution of my honour-able Friend to-night we should commit ourselves to the definite plan embodied in it. We have recently elected a Leader of our Party, and the right hon- ourable Gentleman whom we have appointed as our Leader, on the occasion on which we appointed him, said, among many wise things, "I will be willing to hear my followers upon points of politics, but how I am to carry out those identical politics must be left to myself." I suppose that that is a commonplace for leaders, and I fancy that if the honourable Member for Northampton ever comes to lead the Liberal Party, he will be as particular in this respect as my right honourable Friend. I do not know who may be the leader of the Liberal Party when it has to deal in the future with this question, but I think, seeing that this is a great and difficult question, it behoves us not to handicap ourselves or enter upon it with any conditions, and that we should at least leave our Leader in the future a free hand to deal with the subject in the manner he finds most expedient at the moment. Well, Sir, when I say this I hope that honourable Gentlemen opposite will not think that we lay ourselves open to the criticism of having no plan. We have a plan, although we do not commit ourselves at present definitely to details. [Ministerial Cheers.] Honourable Gentlemen opposite cheer, but I do think that there are few questions on which political opinion on this side of the House, at any rate, has crystallised itself more in recent years than on this question of the House of Lords. Even within my own recollection, if you asked a man on this side of the House if he disapproved of the position of the House of Lords, he would be sure to say "Yes." It you asked how he would deal with the House of Lords, you would find three schools of opinion. You would find one school in favour of abolishing them entirely, but I think most of us would admit that this is impracticable. Even the honourable Gentleman the Member for Northampton, who described himself as a wild man—even he has abandoned that plan. But there was also a second plan of dealing with the House of Lords, and that was to reform it. It was to try and cover over the nakedness of the anomaly of the hereditary principle by adding to the House of Lords a judicious selection of elected Members. That scheme dwelt, I know, for a long time in the bosoms of honourable Gentlemen on this side, but since then I find it has crossed the floor of the House, and it now finds a nest in the very bosom of the Tory Party, in the Tory caucus itself. Some little time ago now, at a meeting of the Tory caucus, some gentleman got up and tried to ease his conscience by proposing that there should be a reform of the House of Lords, but I note that this was quelled at once by a douche of cold water from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Well, Sir, I think we may fairly say that we have at least reduced our opinion to this one point, and that is to modify the veto of the House of Lords. I do not want to occupy the House by going over any arguments that have been gone over before; our criticism to-night has been limited within a very narrow compass. We do not complain of them revising the legislation of the House of Commons, and there should be fair criticism. What we do say is this, that at present the whole situation is biased; we say that when the Liberal Party is in office the House of Lords is willing to pass nothing, and when the Conservative Party is in office it is willing to pass everything. Now, Sir, such a state of affairs must necessarily be most unfair in its influence upon one Party in the State. Quite recently we heard statements from honourable Gentlemen opposite, and especially from the right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the House. He has told us that there is nothing that he wishes for more earnestly than that there should be a strong Liberal Opposition. I would test the earnestness of his prayer by asking him to do something to remove this Tory anomaly. How is it possible that the Liberal Party can ever have its influence in the country so long as we have an unfair Party bias like this? Then, again, the final opinion of the country is thwarted, and I say that the franchise itself is, in a more subtle manner, set aside by the very existence of such a state of things. Now, Sir, I suppose that our constituencies have had, upon the whole, very distinct object lessons in this respect. They know that whenever we come into office everything that we wish to pass is thwarted in another place. Take such a Measure as the Workmen's Compensation Bill. Now, Sir, that Bill was mortally wounded in the House of Lords for one reason alone, and that was that it was maintained that if the Bill was passed the great railway benefit societies would cease to exist. A new Parliament comes in, and a new Conservative Government is in power. You have another Bill introduced, which not only threatens these great railway benefit societies, but has actually made many of them to cease to exist, and yet the House of Lords offers no resistance to this Measure. Do the honourable Gentlemen suppose for one moment that, if we had passed such a Measure as the Workmen's Compensation Bill, it would have passed the House of Lords? Would the Irish Land Bill have passed the House of Lords if we had passed it? Would the Irish Local Government Bill have passed the House if we had passed it? The people of this country cannot fail to be impressed by object lessons like these. What is the result? They feel that if they want progressive legislation they can get a small modicum by putting the Tories in power—not that they get all they want, but they find that that is better than getting nothing. [Ministerial cheers.] Well, honourable Gentlemen cheer that, but let them remember what they are endorsing. They are endorsing the view that the Parties in the State should not have fair and even chances; they are endorsing the view that one Party, and that their own, should have an unfair advantage. That is what they are endorsing by their cheers. That may be mischievous to the Liberal Party, but it is mischievous for a great deal more; it is mischievous to the Constitution of this country. It is because it is so mischievous that we have introduced the resolution which we have done to-night, and it is because I think this Amendment will be accepted by all Liberals that I have great pleasure in seconding it.

MR. H. C. RICHARDS (Finsbury, E.)

I must confess that I think the speech of the honourable Member for Kincardineshire would incline and induce us to vote for the Amendment of the honourable Member for Northampton, for whatever may be said of the merits of his Amendment, it is, at all events, straightforward. The honourable Member for Northampton is one of the few men in England who can always command an audience, and can always receive an uproarious welcome. He is also the only proprietor of a sixpenny paper on that side of the House which receives and enjoys a large and intelli- gent circulation. There are other papers I know, but they are supported by the capitalists of the Party.


What about England?


I know nothing of the Dutchman which the honourable Member is speaking about. I have not that variety of know ledge which some Irish Members possess, but I must say that the speech of the honourable Member for Leeds is one which deserves the serious consideration of the House, and to that speech I propose to address my remarks. When the honourable Gentleman who seconded the Amendment suggested that the Liberal Party should define their principles, I am sure that we on this side of the House thoroughly agreed with those sentiments. Mr. Speaker, I am no scion of the aristocracy, and I am only here to defend the House of Lords on Constitutional principles, and on the advantages to this country which for centuries they have represented. And, Mr. Speaker, let me say this, that my honourable and leaned Friend, who has displayed that conspicuous ability which he always shows in the conduct of any case, has certainly upon this occasion done a great service to the House of Lords when he concluded his remarks by that apposite speech of his which he said had no personal application. I can only tell the honourable and learned Member what most of his fellow-members of the profession which he adorns believe, that at some time or other it will be our privilege to argue before him at the Bar of the House; but when the honourable and learned Member comes to deal with questions of principle and questions of practice to which he has asked the consideration of the House, I must confess that the arguments of my honourable Friend the Member for Northampton are superior. I thought there was very little force in the argument of the honourable Member when he spoke of the condition of affairs in 1711, because I know full well, as an old Parliamentary campaigner, that when honourable Gentlemen opposite are on this side of the House, and are reminded of their promise to repeal the Septennial Act because it was passed simply in the interests of the Party in power, they do not do so. But when the Conservative Party are in office the repeal of that Act is suggested, and it is said that sextennial and quinquennial Parliaments are long enough. The argument of the honourable Member for Northampton was destroyed in another place in a speech which Lord Rosebery made at Bradford. The very argument which the honourable Member for Northampton addressed to the House to night was addressed to Lord Rosebery from the gallery at Bradford, when he was complaining of the sparse occupation of the seats in the House of Lords by Liberal Peers. He was asked, "Why don't you fill them up? "Why, the very argument that my honourable Friend has used is that it was within the power of the Crown—or, rather, the responsible Ministers of the Crown—to exercise that power, and that by threatening to exercise that power in 1832 they had secured the adoption of the Reform Bill. Why, Sir, what are the facts of the case? The honourable and learned Member opposite, like all the members of his Party, has declined to come to details and that is where the advantage of my honourable Friend the Member for Northampton's Amendment comes in, because he, I know, has the courage of his convictions, and he has the will to show how the Amendment should be carried out. The Amendment of my honourable and learned Friend is like the miracle of the draught of fishes, and is intended to bring in all those moderate members of the Party of which the honourable Member for Northampton spoke with great respect, although he does not speak of those moderate Members outside this House with the same amount of respect as he has shown towards them here to-night. Mr. Speaker, the suggestion has been made that the House of Lords is simply the taskmaster of the Conservative Party. [Hear, hear.] Well, I do not agree with my honourable Friends who make that statement. I have seen, on more than one occasion, the House of Lords even refuse to accept the dictation of the Prime Minister. The very distinguished nobleman who occupies the distinguished position of Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords was not the selected candidate of the Conservative Party or of the Prime Minister. The House of Lords, like the House of Commons—and more readily—is at times ready to exercise its own independence, when it behoves it should be exercised, even in the interests of the House or in the interests of the nation. I hope I am not going to be considered egotistical, but let me give some reply to my honourable and learned Friend as to the feeling of the people with regard to the House of Lords. I have never forgotten that during my own campaign it was one of the questions constantly brought before me by Radicals in the constituency which I have the honour to represent, and my reply was that I was perfectly prepared to discuss whatever proposals might be put forward when I knew what the reform of the House of Lords was going to be. What we have heard to-night is a suggestion that a Measure once carried by a passing majority, and a Party majority, in this House is in the next Session of Parliament to be taken up and to be carried immediately from this House to Her Majesty for the exercise, of the Royal Prerogative. Well, I venture to say, Sir, that this is an extraordinary proposal to make at the end of the nineteenth century. I look round Europe to all the Constitutional Governments, and, with the exception of Norway, I see everywhere a Second Chamber which has the power of control and rejection. I look across the great Atlantic, and see in the United States of America a Senate far less subservient to the public opinion than the House of Lords, which has behind it not only the support of the written Constitution, but, if necessary, the decision of the law courts to uphold the veto which from time to time it thinks fit to exercise. And, Mr. Speaker, we were asked to-night by my honourable and learned Friend the Member for one of the Divisions of Leeds, what was the suggestion which the Conservative Party made as to obtaining the final opinion of the country. I do not know what the right honourable Gentlemen on the Front Bench will say, but I will tell you what Lord Salisbury has said. He said that the only way to ascertain the opinion of the people upon any given subject was the referendum, such as that which exists in the Republic of Switzerland. I have never yet heard any responsible Member of the Liberal Party suggest that referendum. And why? Because they know as well as we know that the House of Lords has never, and will never, refuse their assent to a Measure on which the will of the people has been unalterably and unanswerably expressed. My honourable and learned Friend says that that is not the exercise of legislative functions, but I want to know what is the use of a Second Chamber if it is not to bow to the will of the people when that will is clearly expressed, and, on the other hand, to reject hasty or ill-considered legislation when the voice of the nation has not been heard on the subject matter at issue? Mr. Speaker, I suppose I shall not be out of order in referring to the Home Rule Bill, which has been dealt with so often this evening, I want to ask honourable Members from Ireland and honourable Members from England, what would have been the position of Ireland under the Home Rule Bill when it was the idea of the Prime Minister to select a Second Chamber? That, I say unhesitatingly, and every honourable Member from Ireland knows it as well as I do, would have resulted in a House of Lords for Ireland absolutely Conservative, and there would not have been a Liberal Member there. In one sense of the word, that was the position of affairs to which honourable Members were brought, and to which honourable Members were bound by the voice of the Cabinet and by the gifted Leader of their Party. It is said that the House of Lords is an anomaly, but it is also said that the great success of our nation in the past, and, I believe, the great success of our nation in the future, will be that we are always ready to accept a sensible and a workable compromise. Of course, it is not for me to say that, if we had to begin our con- stitutional life over again, we should entirely accept the hereditary principle, but I say unhesitatingly that the present House of Lords represents what to me is the Democratic Conservative. [Laughter.] Well, I am not ashamed of the adjective, and as a Democratic Con servative I say that it represents the glories of our Constitution. The House of Lords represents the aristocracy of birth and the aristocracy of intellect, and I venture to say, in spite of what I may call the somewhat questionable compliment bestowed by the honourable Member for Northampton, on this side, that, at all events, the Conservative Party are not frightened of an appeal to the intellect of the nation. How is it, Mr. Speaker, that the intellect is all on this side and none on that; that every University and every body of graduates in the United Kingdom, every man who has what the honourable and learned Member has described as "the hall-mark of a University"—how is it that every one of these Universities have cast in their lot with the Conservative Party? Unquestionably it is because at present the (Government of the country is in the hands of those who possess the confidence of the majority of educated people in this country. We know what was the result of the universal suffrage given to Belgium—given, as it ought to be given, with an educational suffrage. The consequence is that the Liberal Party has been "wiped" out, and I venture to say that if the educational suffrage existed in this country, the Liberal Party would be even smaller than it is to-day. But with regard to the two Motions which are before us, I hope the House will reject both of them. I venture to say, with the greatest deference to those who have spoken, that if ever there was a debating society Debate in this august Assembly this was one of them. Every one knows, and no one knows better than the honourable and learned Member for Leeds, that the mind of the nation, and the mind of the country has been made up on this question. What question was more before the country at the last General Election than the abolition of the veto or the reform or the destruction of the House of Lords? Let me tell my honourable and learned Friend the experience of one of those whom, I believe, he will yet follow to the Upper House, who gave his experience of one of the reasons of the Liberal catastrophe. The Peer, who sat in this House for many years, said he could not understand at the moment how the Liberal Party came to grief, because he had always found when everything else failed that a cheer could be raised at the expense of the House of Lords. But they have learned what most of us have learned, that it is not the cheers at a public meeting that demonstrate the feeling of the electors. The opinion of the electors is demonstrated in the ballot-box, and the bulk of the people who make up their minds, the majority of them, never attend a Meeting at all.


They go to the public-house.


Well, I won't discuss that point raised by my honourable Friend opposite, because, of course, I know that in Ireland he has had more experience of that matter than myself; but, whether you like it or not, the private opinion of the majority of the electors of this country* is to be obtained by private conversation, in the public-house if you like, rather than in the public meetings held in Dissenting Chapels or in- the National Schools. I am confident that no question is Jess likely to secure for the Liberal Party a return to these Benches, which they have so long coveted, as ah attempt to return upon the question of the abolition of the House of Lords. They have a far better chance of getting back on the "No Popery" cry of the honourable Member for Flint Boroughs. It might be only an effervescent popularity, but the Liberal Party would have a far better chance of returning to office upon it than upon that of the House of Lords. I do say that if I could be converted and convinced upon this question it would be by the able arguments and by the clear determination and by the magnificent hope of the future of my honourable Friend the Member for Northampton. He, at all events, has the courage of his convictions, but I think he would agree with me that, great as his personal popularity is, there are Members in the House of Lords who are more popular in Northampton than my honourable Friend. I think he will agree with me that Lord Spencer is a greater "draw" than himself. I believe my Friend the Marquess of Exeter was far more popular in Northampton, and he received more obeisance from the people, than the honourable Member for Northampton. I do hope, therefore, Mr. Speaker, that the common sense of this House, by an overwhelming majority, will decline even to accept the Amendment of my honourable and learned Friend the Member for Leeds, because it is merely an attempt to rake in those who could not accept the Amendment of my honourable Friend the Member for Northampton, for the very reason that the Member for Northampton has the courage to say what he is going to do afterwards. That is what the people of England want to know. If you are going to curtail the power of the House of Lords, if you are going to abolish the House of Lords, where is the power to be transferred? My honourable and learned Friend suggested a Committee of Judges as a place where the whole matter could be argued. I read only this morning that one of Her Majesty's Judges has suggested that the very last place he would send any amendment of the law or the Constitution is to the legal Members of the House of Lords. It is not for me to say whether I agree or dissent, because I now and then have the honour of practising before that Judge, and I should not like to incur his reprobation. But this I can say, Mr. Speaker, that the suggestion of my honourable and learned Friend that we are to argue this matter and remedy it by the passing of the Bill in the same manner as the legality of the income-tax was argued before the Supreme Court at Washington, is not, to my mind, an amendment which will commend itself to the judgment of the English people.


I am sorry to interrupt the honourable Gentleman, but I cannot let it be supposed that I advocate that any department of the functions of the House of Lords should be delegated to a committee of judges. I never made any such suggestion. What I did say was that the issue whether or not public opinion was sufficiently pronounced to demand a surrender by the House of Lords of their individual view might be a matter which they might very well refer to a Committee of their own body, because it depended largely on a question of evidence, with reference to which enlightenment might be derived from the experience of witnesses.


I apologise to the honourable and learned Gentleman if I have misinterpreted what he said, but I venture to suggest that if the House of Lords is to decide on questions of argument, there can be no better Committee of that House than those who have had trained legal experience. Mr. Speaker, I pass from that part of my honourable and learned Friend's argument, because I am convinced that the opinion of the country would never permit this matter of argument to be decided by evidence unless we know how that evidence is to be obtained. And I say unhesitatingly, with some knowledge of political wire-pulling—I am not ashamed of it—with some knowledge of how public opinion is manufactured, it is quite easy, at a price, to get up a demonstration in Hyde Park on one side or the other. It is only a question of providing for banner bearers, and paying so much for the band—again I am speaking from knowledge; and I have in my possession extracts from the charges made for the attendance of those august people, the leaders of public opinion, and I know, and honourable Members opposite know, that if for your demonstration you require these adventitious aids they must be paid for, as the Labour Party will not work for nothing. I apologise if I have in any way cast ridicule upon the argument brought forward in all seriousness by my honourable Friends opposite; but I suppose we all know that whilst on the one hand the honourable Member for Northampton is speaking from his conscience, the honourable and learned Member for Leeds is speaking for his Party. My honourable and learned Friend has seen that the policy initiated by the honourable Member for Northampton would immediately alienate a large number of moderate Liberals, and using those gifts which he has so long shown in his profession, he has taken that course for securing a verdict which we know is often used—that is, when the evidence is all one way make a general speech upon abstract principles. And the evidence here is all one way. With a majority on this side obtained upon this specific question—yes, I say, unhesitatingly, upon this specific question—as to whether the House of Lords should be crippled or abolished— when the Question was whether the Liberal Party was to be relieved from its ignominious position of ploughing the sands, the voice of the nation was, "You shall plough the sands no longer. The Party which has crippled your power, which has spoilt your Bills, which has secured the opportunity of displacing you from office—we will give power to that Party which stands by the House of Lords, which believes in legislative con- trol and a legislative veto." That was the reason why the verdict was given, and this House, elected upon those principles, has no right to endeavour to reverse it.


Mr. Speaker, I desire very briefly to explain to the House the view which I take on the subject now before us, and to give some of the reasons why I find myself unable to support my honourable Friend the Member for Northampton, and why also I can cordially support the Amendment to this Amendment moved by my honourable and learned Friend behind me. Now, Sir, the question under discussion is one of the very gravest importance, involving a great constitutional change, and not likely to be settled without acute controversy. I know, and we all have known for some time past, the strong views taken by my honourable Friend the Member for Northampton. I do not agree with all that he said tonight, but I entirely share the general drift of his views. In broad terms, that is my opinion upon this subject; but I am bound to say that my honourable Friend has not chosen a very "convenient manner of discussing a large and complicated issue such as this by bringing it on in the Debate upon the Address. It cannot be adequately or thoroughly discussed in such a Debate as this, and therefore we are all speaking under a certain difficulty on that account; but I do not blame my honourable Friend, because I know that he feels very strongly upon the question. I admit the force of what he said, that this was the first occasion during this Parliament that this House has been able to consider and pronounce an opinion upon the question, and I think with him that it is time that this Parliament had the question brought before it But that does not make it the less to be regretted that it is brought forward in circumstances which make the Debate, as I say, inadequate. Now, Sir, what is our position on this question? When I say our position I mean the position taken by the great mass of Liberals throughout the country. It is simply this, that the present relations and the relative proportion of the powers of the Houses of the Legislature constitute an unfair and a dangerous anomaly. Now I say a dangerous anomaly. Shall I explain why I think it dangerous? But let me in the first place, if I can, get out of the way a suggestion that my honourable Friend and those who have followed him—I mean those on this side of the House—raise this question for party purposes, merely and solely for the purpose of securing, if we can, a predominance of that view of public affairs which we particularly entertain. I cannot too strongly repudiate any such suggestion. It is quite true that we have been mainly the victims of the present; anomaly. There are two parties in the State—there are not only two parties, that is to say, two organised and concrete associations of men combining for political purposes, but there are and there must be—there always will be in every country as well as here—two attitudes, two dispositions, in politics. There are those who are content, and those who are not content; there are those who wish to advance quickly forward, and those who wish either to remain as they are or to advance with more deliberation; there are those who look hopefully forward and those who look wistfully behind—there always have been, I say, and always will be, in every country, those two parties. That is what I mean when I speak of the two parties in the State; and the line of demarcation between them shifts according as events move. They always remain in contra-distinction with each other, and in this country they may be said broadly to be about equally divided. At one time the balance leans one way, at another time another. At the last General Election there was returned a very large, let me say a rather appalling, majority on the other side of the House but was that majority supported by anything like a corresponding number of votes? No; we all know that it was not so, and that the turning of a very small percentage of votes would have had the precisely opposite effect to that which we know. At the election before, perhaps the accident of electoral machinery might have worked the other way. We cannot account for these freaks of our electoral system, but in the main I think I shall not be contradicted when I say that, bearing a little from one side to the other, opinion in this country remains pretty evenly divided, with, perhaps, a tendency towards the side of progress. I think I may assuredly claim that, seeing the whole course of progressive legislation for the last couple of generations. But, Sir, while that is the condition of political opinion in the country, what have we in the House of Lords, in the Upper Chamber of the Legislature? We have an overwhelming opinion in the other direction; not only a majority greater than exists in the country, but a majority out of all proportion to any thing that can possibly be claimed in the country. Why, we who are in a minority in this House, and to a large degree at least in a minority in the country, are now entirely at the mercy of the House of Lords; and at least it is more distressing for us on occasions when the balance has gone a little the other way, and we happen to have a majority here. Then also we are confronted by this continuous stereotyped majority in the House of Lords. Now, Sir, I have said that we are, therefore, the victims of the present anomaly, but it is not on that ground that I am ready to denounce it to-night. If anyone thinks that that is a good weapon to use against us, I would point out how very easy a response may be made to it, because if it is said that it is in order to gain greater advantage for the propagation of our own opinion and the enforcement of our doctrines we wish the change, I might quickly reply that it is because you find in the House of Lords a convenient instrument for the maintenance of your doctrines that you oppose the change. In either case it would be an ignoble motive to attribute, and I do not wish to attribute it to anyone, just as I repudiate it most cordially for myself. Now, Sir, I stand upon other ground altogether. It is not on Party ground, but upon patriotic ground, upon constitutional ground, that I say the present condition of things is full of danger. I do not think that any dispassionate man can deny the anomaly and the absurdity of the present state of things. Surely, it is an absurdity in the face of a representative system of government. The ingenuity of statesmen and public men, and the labours of Parliaments, generation after generation, have succeeded in contriving a complete machinery for calculating in this House the real opinion of the country. If not successful for that purpose, then let it be amended and altered, because if this House does not, as is sometimes alleged, and as it really is this that is at the bottom of much of the argument on the other side of the House—if this House does not represent the real opinion of the country, and if the House of Lords does, then your occupation is gone; the raison d'être of this House to typify what the will and purpose and intention of the electors of the country are is gone. And yet, after all the pains that have been taken, all the money that has been spent in an election, all the time that has been occupied, all the labours that have been brought to play, are we to be told that another House, with no such means of ascertaining the feeling and desires of the people, is to have it in its power to over-ride us? That is a simple question. There is no use developing it or extending it further. It is an indefensible arrangement, and it is only owing to the extreme good nature of our kindly countrymen that it has been tolerated so long. Now, I said I would show how this state of things appears to me to be a danger. It sins in this respect. I believe I am using a proper statical term when I say it is a condition of unstable equilibrium. Men's minds are quiet just now, and not excited; they are almost, in fact, sluggish. But that is not always so, and should anything occur to arouse excitement, and should a strong demand be made for some Measure entirely opposed to the known principles and ideas of the House of Lords, what would follow I Necessarily one of two things—either a resistance which might provoke passionate protest and kindle a flame leading to a conflagration, the extent of which no man can imagine; or, on the other hand, to precipitate an ignominious capitulation on the part of the House of Lords. Why, Sir, neither result could occur without the most serious danger to the State and in the interest of society that is the question that my honourable Friend raises. It is not a question of this Bill being rejected or that one having been maltreated in another place, and that we have a grievance on that account; it is this standing, constant want of balance between the two Houses, which creates a position, to my mind, dangerous to the State. My honourable Friend proposes a remedy, but here I come into conflict with him. I do not think that he has been well advised in the choice made of the words of his Amendment. I have two objections to them. In the first place, this is a great constitutional question, and there may be, and no doubt are, several modes of dealing with it. At this distance—we do not suppose it is going to be dealt with this year or next—at this distance it is altogether undesirable to particularise the details of the method by which what we seek should be carried out. I notice that honourable Members, who are opposed to the change being made, are pleased to think that the details should be specified, but, us my honourable and learned Friend in his eloquent speech pointed out, to specify the details may be of the greatest inconvenience, and might furnish a weapon to the opponents of this reform when we come to deal practically with it. There is another aspect on which I have to express a little astonishment, because while I am sure my honourable Friend does not wish by his action to-night to hinder, but rather to further the reform we have in view, I am also sure there is another thing that he is the last person in the world to desire—that is, that by any action or proposal of his he should put any embarrassment in the way of his own political friends. In plain terms, my honourable Friend's object is not to interfere with either the existence or constitution of the House of Lords, but to greatly restrict the power of that Chamber to veto any Measure which embodies the constitutionally expressed desire or will of the people. We are all with him. My honourable and learned Friend's Amendment would do this, and be more effective and more useful than any more explicit terms. But I have yet another objection to my honourable Friend's proposal. By these words of his he invites, as it seems to me, Her Majesty to take a certain course regarding Bills that have passed this House. He does not mention the House of Lords in the Amendment, but he invites the Queen with the advice of Her Ministers to take a course of the legality of which I have the greatest possible doubt. In fact, I am wrong—of the illegality of which I have no doubt. He calls upon the Queen and her Ministers to perform a coup d'état, not by introducing any legislation, not by getting any constitutional assent to the proposal or action, but to proceed at once and pass Bills that have been rejected by the other House, and the Queen may give her Royal assent to them without the interposition of the Houses of Parliament. That is a thing which would require statutory authority.


I said so in my speech. I said that it cannot be done without a change in the law, and naturally my Amendment involved that it should be carried out by the law.


I think it is a pity, if my honourablo Friend meant that, he did not say it.


I did.


I could detect throughout his description of the Amendment that he was conscious himself of the difficulties he had got into by entering into the details of the procedure, because he had to explain he did not mean this, and he did not mean that, but he left me under the impression that he was not very sure what the actual operation of his proposals would be. But certainly I would not be a party to the words, as they stand on this ground as well as on others. I do not think we ought to mix ourselves up with any illegality. We should seek to correct and adjust this inconvenient and, as I think, dangerous anomaly. We are true constitutionalists. We wish to defend the rights of this representative Chamber, and at the same time to leave to the other Chamber reasonable powers of advice and criticism such as it is desirable they should possess. Let us, therefore, do everything peacefully and in order. Let us confine ourselves just now to the general declaration of the view we take of the question, and the principle we wish to apply; then let us deal with the details and methods when the time comes for that. We shall gain and not lose force by adhering to proper methods. For these reasons I greatly prefer the words of the Amendment, and by voting for it I feel certain we shall be giving adequate and reason- able expression to the strong feeling of the great body of the people.


Mr. Speaker, it is always with diffidence, and with a diffidence approaching to reluctance, that I mix myself up in the controversies which divide honourable Members opposite. I feel that these are not our affairs, and I would gladly leave them out of our Debates and speeches; but it does appear that there is a difference between honourable Members opposite in this matter, which, as it has been publicly avowed and discussed, it is impossible for me altogether to pass by. An Amendment has been moved by the honourable Member for Northampton which clearly indicates the evil which he thinks attaches to our present constitutional system, and the remedy he wishes to see applied to it. The evil is that it is in the power of the House of Lords on important occasions to require this House again to get the sanction of the people from whom we derive our authority before passing any great constitutional revolution; and as that is the evil of which he complains, so his remedy is plain, and is in my judgment appropriate. That being the evil, he says the way to remedy it is to provide such machinery that if this House in two successive Sessions or years chooses to pass the same Measure, then the House of Lords shall be powerless, and the House of Commons shall be for the time being-all-powerful against every other force in the Constitution—against the Crown, against the House of Lords in consequence of the arrangement which he proposes, and against the people, because no appeal to the people is permitted. The honourable Gentleman, therefore, clearly understands the evil of which he complains, and he boldly puts forward the remedy which he desires to see adopted. The only difference I can see between the Amendment which he proposes, and which the Leader of the Opposition says it is impossible for him to vote for, and the Amendment to the Amendment, which the Leader of the Opposition is prepared to support, is this, that the Mover of the original Amendment says what he means and what he wants, and the Mover of the second Amendment hints at the objection that he has to our existing system, but entirely declines to suggest what it is he wants. The honourable Member for Northampton complained very bitterly of his personal experience as a Member of the Radical Party. He says that it was constantly his painful duty to drag along; the path of progress a coachful of Moderates. (Laughter.)




The honourable Member mentions a more democratic, and therefore a more appropriate vehicle. I am afraid that among the "'busful" on the present occasion is his newly-elected leader, for I gather that, while the honourable Member knows what he wants and how he wants to get it, the right honourable Gentleman who has just sat down is ready to hint a dislike—and indeed, more than a dislike—but is reluctant—and, indeed, more than reluctant—to suggest his own method of getting over the difficulty. And yet, after all, I am unable to understand why he should kick against the remedy proposed by the honourable Member for Northampton, because it is the only remedy that will really meet the case. If you allow to the House of Lords the power of throwing out a Measure of this House, leaving this House, if it objects to the proceeding, the remedy of dissolution, you do not touch the power of the House of Lords at all. It is vain to suppose that there is any important or serious middle course between the proposition of the honourable Member for Northampton and the existing Constitution under which we live. As long as the House of Lords is left the power of saying "We reject this Bill, and until the country has been again consulted on this Bill we refuse to pass it," you leave the House of Lords with the great constitutional responsibility, and with the means of carrying it out, which it at present possesses. If you remove that power, you can only remove it by some procedure such as that suggested by the Amendment, for which the orthodox Opposition now say it is contrary to their principles to vote. The honourable Member for Northampton wishes to reduce the House of Lords to the position of giving respectful advice to the House of Commons. That is a policy which I can understand. It is a policy from which I profoundly dissent, but a policy which is, at all events, intelligible to plain men. But if you once leave the House of Lords a substantial power to reject a Measure, and to go on rejecting it until the constituencies have been consulted, then you practically leave it the great legislative authority which it has been throughout our history, and which I trust for many generations it will remain. The right honourable Gentleman mentioned one fact, which I do not deny, but which, it seems to me, from his own point of view, is the fact that he should most carefully have concealed in the course of this most particular Debate. The right honourable Gentleman went back to the last election, and he pointed out that the result of the last election was to return to this House not only a great, but I think he called it an appalling majority. He went on to repeat what I remember Mr. Gladstone used to insist upon whenever he was in a minority—namely, that the number of votes in the constituencies which produced this appalling majority in the House of Commons was, after all, a very small percentage of the total amount polled. I have never investigated the figures, but I should not be surprised if that were true. And can there be a stronger argument for the existence of another Chamber? Let us suppose that our destinies at the last election had been reversed, and that the right honourable Gentleman had been returned with what he called an appalling majority—or, rather, what we in that case should have called an appalling majority; and let us suppose that the appalling majority in this case, as he tells us it is in ours, had been returned, not by an appalling majority of the nation but by a small percentage of the nation. Suppose, then, that the right honourable Gentleman had been able to pass a Home Rule Bill through this House, not by a majority of 43 as1 was the fact, but by a majority of 143, and that then he had sent it to the House of Lords, his view then, I am sure, would have been that for a Bill which had passed this House by a majority of 143 to be rejected by the other and non-elective Chamber was an outrage which required nothing less than revolution to put right. And yet, after all, by his own admission that appalling majority would have been the result of no great feeling in the constituencies—of no vast sweep of the political tide, but only the movement of some small percentage of the electorate from one side to the other in politics. If Ave are to have revolutions proposed by responsible Governments and carried through this House by enormous majorities—those enormous majorities representing nothing but a small percentage of the population—then I say that the existence of some constitutional machinery by which the constituencies shall be again asked to reconsider their position, is not only expedient but is an absolute vital necessity of any healthy community. The right honourable Gentleman said how terrible it was that after the elections were carried out—after the elections in which all these speeches had been made, and, he added, all this money had been expended—after the constituencies had been wooed and won—that you should allow the decision of the constituencies' so wooed and won to be revised by another chamber. I have the greatest belief in representative government. I believe that representative government is the only solid and safe method of conducting the public business of a great and a free country. When the right honourable Gentleman, tells us that the year to year action of a democratic constituency cannot be in any way checked by a Second Chamber without a grave anomaly I must remind him, what is familiar to all, that there is not a country in the world—there is not a great country in the world—which has ever ventured to entrust its whole position, its whole Constitution, to the changes and chances of one General Election, however excellent might be the speeches made at that General Election, and however much money they may have spent upon it. There is one other point which has come out clearly in the speech of every single Gentleman who has addressed us to-night. It is made clear that they are not aiming at a constitutional reform in the interests of the whole country, but at one in the interest of a particular Party. I ought to say that the right, honourable Gentleman repudiated that, and I accept his repudiation of it, although I think there was a trace of it which arose unbidden at intervals even in his speech, which was delivered, I readily grant, in a high key of statesmanship. But we are told that the House of Lords is an intolerable embarrassment to the Radical Party. I admit that the Radical Party have a perfect right to object to anything which they regard as an intolerable embarrassment. I do not quarrel with them on that ground. But let it be distinctly understood what is, as it were, the rival statesmanship to which they address the issue. They are not addressing us, and do not pretend to be addressing us, as statesmen who, reviewing the whole history of their country, and forecasting its future as well as they can, deliberately lay down the proposition that in this country among all other countries, at this period among all other periods, the circumstances justify us in being a single Chamber, with no check upon it at all. They do not take that point. What they say is, "Here we are competitors with you for the joys of office," which I presume are more appreciated by those who do not enjoy them than by those who do; "we ought to compete on equal terms." That is exactly it. The equality of opportunity, as the honourable Member for Northampton said, should be the basis of your policy in China, and it should also be the basis of your policy in Great Britain. I am sure I do not wish to deprive the honourable Gentlemen of any chance of any equality which they can demand consistently with the maintenance of any reasonable constitution whatever. But let me point, out what I think is the fundamental fallacy of their argument, and, like all fallacies, it is better illustrated by an extreme case which has no actual existence than by a case which we have all presented to us in our experience, which is of a mixed character. Let us suppose that the other side, instead of being for the most part qualified to fill the omnibus of the honourable Member for Northampton, men of moderation and sobriety, let us suppose that we had opposite to us at this moment a revolutionary and socialistic Party, in the sense in which revolutionary and socialistic Parties have been experienced in the history of the world by countries, less fortunate than ourselves. I am not sure I ought to go that length. I think we had some such experience in this country in the time of that beneficent Assembly which the honourable Member described as the "Long Parliament," but which is usually known by a, more or less complimentary name. It passed a certain resolution. I do not know whether the honourable Gentleman thinks that the policy of the "Rump" Parliament should form the policy of the nineteenth century. Supposing that the Opposition, instead of being the moderate and constitutional Opposition they are now, were the revolutionists I have attempted to depict. It is evident that any Second Chamber which was worthy of the name, any Second Chamber which was capable of carrying out even the most elementary duty of a Second Chamber, must necessarily be against them. The mere fact that they were the advocates of rapid and revolutionary change would necessarily and in the nature of things put the Assembly which was intended to be a check on rapid and revolutionary changes on the opposite side to themselves. That is not a defect in the House of Lords as it is now, or in any Second Chamber that may be constructed. It is the defect, or the quality, of any Second Chamber, of any controlling body, which you could even imagine, be it the Senate formed on the model of the American Assembly, the Senate formed on the model of France, the Upper Chamber formed on the model of Germany. Any Second Chamber you like which did not under such circumstances throw in its lot with the Party which did not desire revolutionary change and too rapid progress, and was in favour of smooth and more moderate methods, would evidently not be a Second Chamber worth having at all. And therefore it is really a misconception, a, fundamental misconception, to regard the fact that the House of Lords compels us to consider and reconsider any constitutional change before we adopt it as any criticism of the House of Lords. It is, in my opinion, the highest praise which can be given to the House of Lords. There is a corresponding fallacy which was visible in almost every sentence that fell from the honourable Member for Plymouth, who seconded this Amendment. He gave us a long catalogue, drawn, I suppose, from Radical leaflets, of the enormities which the House of Lords had committed in past times. "In such and such a year," that was the argument of the honourable Gentleman, "the House of Lords rejected such and such a Measure and such and such a clause; ten years afterwards, fifteen years afterwards, twenty years afterwards, it was passed with universal consent. Therefore the House of Lords was wrong originally"—that was his inference—"and if you had had no House of Lords these beneficent changes would have come into being at the very moment that they were first proposed."

MR. MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)

Hear, hear.


Really, I am sorry to hear the argument which I have briefly recapitulated cheered by a great constitutional authority like the honourable Member for Donegal, because he must know, in his inmost heart, the fallacy which underlies it. There is no such thing as a Measure which is absolutely good in the abstract for all places, all countries, and all times. A Measure which is ultimately passed amid universal acclamation is constantly advocated by a small minority of gentlemen) who very often are, and invariably think themselves, specially enlightened. It does not in the least follow that, though the Measure was ultimately adopted, it ought to have been adopted when it was first, proposed. There is no presumption whatever for thinking that the delay which has occurred, gradually bringing round public opinion to their view, has not been eminently beneficial both to the reform itself and to the generally smooth working of our institution, and it leaves me absolutely unmoved to be told that, say in the year 1840, the House of Lords had rejected something which in substance and in its broad outlines they accepted twenty years later. I find it difficult to express, I will not say my contempt, for that is an offensive word, but my wonder at the frame of mind of those politicians who regard all reforms, all changes, the whole framework of the Constitution, as something to be settled by mathematical proposition, in which certain premises are laid down and certain conclusions are deduced, and in which there can be no doubt, if the premises are accepted, the conclusions must be accepted also. In politics everything turns upon time and opportuneness, upon choosing the right time to do the right thing; and, whereas the House of Lords have done, and will do, great service in rejecting Measures which never reappear, they have done not less service, believe me, in delaying for five, ten, or, fifteen years a Measure for which the country was not ripe, for which the country had made no emphatic demand, and the delay in carrying out which has prevented those violent reactions, the absence of which is the most distinguishing mark of English history. I think it was the honourable and learned Gentleman the Member for Leeds, who moved the Amendment to the Amendment, who told us that, "after all, you do not want the House of Lords, because one elected Parliament, one elected House of Commons, could remedy the defects of a, previous House of Commons." That is exactly what we want to avoid—that this country should be given up to a series of violent floods and ebbs of public opinion, that we should be carried on the full tide of revolution, and should be changing our Constitution in one decade, and in the reflex and inevitable reaction should be reconstituting the Constitution in the next decade. That is absolutely destructive of all wholesome political life, of all smooth working of our Constitution, of our English political system, the envy of every political country in the world. And that that Constitution has worked so smoothly, that we have so seldom been able to point to any case in which one House of Commons has had to reverse some great decision given by another House of Commons—that great result is due probably to no more potent cause than the existence of a Second Chamber like the House of Lords—a. Second Chamber, not indeed elective, but most amenable to public opinion; a Second Chamber which has now laid it down as the guide of its action that any great principle twice enunciated by the constituencies is no longer to be resisted by them. A Second Chamber constituted by the natural devolution of our political instincts on these lines is a Second Chamber on the existence of which we may well congratulate ourselves, and which, in my opinion, we should be absolutely insane if we tried to alter1 in any of its more essential or fundamental particulars. I am not sure that I have not been carried away into arguing this question almost too seriously to-night. We are a little apt, perhaps, on these Amendments to the Address, to lapse into debating society discussions, and it does seem, rather absurd that we should seriously ask the House of Commons at} a time when, by universal consent, the country is thoroughly content—and, let me add, I think it has particular reason to be content—with the action of the House of Lords, to discuss its virtual abolition. I am reminded by that phrase of an argument I have recently used in the country, which I directed, I remember, against the right honourable Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton, and which I see no reason to withdraw or modify, and the argument is this, that the right honourable Member for Wolverhampton and, I think, the honourable Baronet the Member for the Berwick Division of Northumberland, and possibly other Gentlemen on that bench, have now declared either that they are no longer Home Rulers—["No, No!"]—or, at all events, that the Local Government Bill is a final substitute for Home Rule. [Opposition Cries of "No."] At all events, that the experiment of local government should be carefully watched before you make up your mind about it. Perhaps that will meet the views of the honourable Baronet. I think that is right.

SIR E. GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)

I never said that. I said, on the contrary, that local government undoubtedly should be carefuly watched, that it was not a substitute for Home Rule, but that it would demonstrate that Home Rule was inevitable, which, I think, was only carrying out what Lord Salisbury had said a few years previously.


I admit I am quite unable to pin the honourable Baronet, whose speech, as he has just given an abstract of it, I confess myself wholly unable to understand. I suppose I might have better success if I devoted myself to the task with the right honourable Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton. But I had not intended to enter into this branch of the question, of which, perhaps, we may hear more on the Home Rule Debate which is promised us to-morrow or the next day. At all events, I have said enough, I think, to show that it is not honourable or right honourable Gentlemen sitting on that Bench who have any right, at this moment., of all others, to complain of the House of Lords, who have given them all this time for inspection, reconsideration, careful reflection, pauses of thought, and statesmanlike caution, of which even by their own admission they stand so much in need. I think I have said quite enough now upon the main question of policy. It only remains for me ten say one word upon the very much less interesting and important question of the method of emphasising the opinion which we hold in the Divisions which are to ensue. The way the matter stands is this. An Amendment to the Address has been moved by the honourable Member for Northampton, and to that an Amendment has been moved by the honourable Member for Leeds. I understand from precedent that the manner in which the questions will be put from the Chair is that the original words of the Amendment of the honourable Member for Northampton stand part of the question. To that I individually shall vote "Aye." I see no reason why we should be driven to the half-expressed issues embodied in the Amendment of the honourable Member for Leeds. I prefer to vote "Aye" or "No" to the plain and definite issue suggested by the honourable Member for Northampton, and the only way to arrive at that result is to see that the Amendment of the honourable Member for Northampton is not modified, and when that Amendment unmodified is put to the House, then, of course, I shall vote "No." So that I shall vote first against the Amendment of the Member for Leeds—I shall go into the Aye Lobby, which is the way to vote against the proposal of the honourable Member for Leeds—and then I shall vote directly against the unmodified Amendment of the honourable Member for Northampton. I hope I have made the issue plain, and I hope the House will reject by a large majority the unqualified Amendment placed upon the Paper by the honourable Member for Northampton.


I am sure that honourable Members who cry "Divide!" will feel it is only right that, after two and a quarter hours' Debate, in which not one single Gentleman has spoken, who is in favour of the original Amendment, they should give those of us who approve it a chance of defending it. The Leader of the House1, at the beginning of his admirable High Tory speech, put the question to the House in the following terms. He said he would state the evil at which we proposed to strike, and them he would state what was our remedy. He said that the evil that we complained of is that it is in the power of the Lords to force an appeal to the people before any great Measure of revolution is carried into effect. But that way of stating the question entirely ignores the point of view which most rankles in the minds of the great masses of the people of this country. It is not the thwarting by the Lords of great Measures of revoution which causes the trouble, for it is admitted that on great revolutions the country ought to be consulted at a General Election, but it is the constant action of the House of Lords in thwarting and mangling smaller Measures presented to them, Measures which are of the highest social importance to the people — that constitutes the evil we complain of. I would ask the Members for London whom I see here, what they have to say with regard to the recent rejection by the House of Lords of Measures concerning London which have been directly approved both at London elections and here. I will ask honourable Members who come from Wales what they think of the rejection by the House of Lords of school schemes affecting their country. It is matters like these which rankle in our minds, and not the resistance for a year or two to great revolutionary Measures, as to which no doubt there is much to be said. The right honourable Gentleman asks what is the remedy. Now, as far as I am concerned, I am a most uncompromising Radical on this question. We discussed this matter years ago, and I adopted a remedy which was put forward by the right honourable Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, who is a Member of the present Government. To use his words, I would "reform it altogether." I am an uncompromising single Chamber man, and always have been. My honourable Friend the Member for Northampton, with whom I have not always been in agreement on this question, for he was once for an Upper House, has put forward a definite scheme to remedy this evil, and I confess there are reasons1 which make me feel that the time has come when such a scheme ought, to be placed before the people of this country. The right honourable Gentleman has referred! to other countries, but he knows perfectly well that in the Australian Constitution provision is made by which the opinion of the people shall prevail even if there be a difference between, the two Houses. Yet in Australia the Upper House is the more democratic by reason of the manner by which it is elected. The practical question before us is as to which of the two courses suggested to us we ought to adopt. If the Leader of the Opposition had come to-night and had said, "You must not tie my hands when as Leader of this House I come to deal with this subject," we should have felt that there were strong grounds for not tying his hands by embodying details in this Amendment. But the honourable Member for Leeds and the honourable Member who has seconded the Amendment to the Amendment have practically spoken in favour of the proposal we have placed before the House, and I appeal to honourable Gentlemen on this side whether, the question having been carried so far, it would be wise on our part to take a step backwards instead of forwards. We are told that the words of the motion of the honourable Member for Northampton are too definite, but I would ask, is not the Amendment of the honourable Member for Leeds far too vague? Would it not be felt, after having had a more detailed Resolution before us, that the acceptance of the Amendment would be a weakening of the proposition of the honourable Member for Northampton? Would it not be going back to accept the wholly vague Amendment of the honourable Member for Leeds, and would not the people say, as they did before when a similar step

was contemplated, "You do not mean business; your hearts are not in it"? Now that the matter has been brought before the House by the honourable Member for Northampton, I say that we Lave no option—that we who desire really strong definite action on this question have no option but to follow him in the practical remedy which he has proposed. Therefore I shall vote with my honourable Friend the Member for Northampton.

(Question put—"That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question.")

The House divided:—Ayes, 257; Noes, 107.—(Division List No. 5.)

Acland-Hood, Capt Sir A. F. Clarke, Sir Edward (Plymouth) Goldsworthy, Major-General
Allen, W. (Nwc. under Lyme) Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E. Gordon, Hon. John Edward
Allison, Robert Andrew Coddington, Sir William Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon
Anstruther, H. T. Coghill, Douglas Harry Goschen, Rt Hn G. J. (St. George's
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Cohen, Benjamin Louis Goschen, George J. (Sussex)
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Goulding, Edward Alfred
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Graham, Henry Robert
Atherley-Jones, L Compton, Lord Alwyne Gray, Ernest (West Ham)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury
Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitzroy Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W. Gretton, John
Bailey, James (Walworth) Cripps, Charles Arfred Gull, Sir Cameron
Balcarres, Lord Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hall, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manh'r Curzon, Viscount Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert W.
Banbury, Frederick George Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hanson, Sir Reginald
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Dalziel, James Henry Hare, Thomas Leigh
Bartley, George C. T. Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham Hayden, John Patrick
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Denny, Colonel Heath, James
Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Heaton, John Henniker
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol) Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Helder, Augustus
Beckett, Ernest William Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Henderson, Alexander
Bethell, Commander Dorrington, Sir John Edward Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter
Biddulph, Michael Doughty, George Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead)
Bigwood, James Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)
Bill, Charles Drage, Geoffrey Hobhouse, Henry
Blundell, Colonel Henry Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Holland, Hon. Lionel Raleigh
Bond, Edward Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart Hornby, Sir William Henry
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Howard, Joseph
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Howell, William Tudor
Boulnois, Edmund Fardell, Sir T. George Hudson, George Bickersteth
Bousfield, William Robert Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice-
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Hutton, John (Yorks. N R.)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Field, William (Dublin) Jacoby, James Alfred
Brown, Alexander H. Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Jenkins, Sir John Jones
Burns, John Fisher, William Hayes Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton
Butcher, John George Fison, Frederick William Johnston, William (Belfast)
Carlile, William Walter Flannery, Sir Fortescue Johnstone, John H. (Sussex)
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Folkestone, Viscount Jolliffe, Hon. H. George
Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East) Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Kenyon, James
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Keswick, William
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Garfit, William King, Sir H. Seymour
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry- Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (C. of London Kinloch, Sir John G. Smyth
Chelsea, Viscount Gibney, James Knowles, Lees
Clancy, John Joseph Gilliat, John Saunders Lafone, Alfred
Clare, Octavius Leigh Godson, Sir Augustus Freder'k
Lawrence, Sir E. Durning (Corn) Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute) Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Stanley, Hn. Arthur(Ormskirk)
Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Newdigate, Francis Alexander Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset)
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid Cumb'land Nicholson, William Graham Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Lecky, Rt. Hon. William E. H. Nicol, Donald Ninian Steadman, William Charles
Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Northcote, Hon. Sir H. Stafford Stewart, Sir Mark J. M 'Taggart
Leighton, Stanley Norton, Capt. Cecil William Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Llewelyn, Sir Dilwyn-(Swansea O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Stock, James Henry
Lloyd-George, David O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Stone, Sir Benjamin
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Strauss, Arthur
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Parkes, Ebenezer Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Logan, John William Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington) Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liv'pool Pender, Sir James Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Lorne, Marquess of Penn, John Sutherland, Sir Thomas
Lowe, Francis William Pickersgill, Edward Hare Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Lowles, John Pilkington, Richard Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G.(Oxf'd Univ.
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Platt-Higgins, Frederick Tanner, Charles Kearns
Lucas-Shadwell, William Plunkett, Rt. Hn. Horace Curzon Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E-
Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Priestley, Sir W. Overend(Edin.) Thorburn, Walter
Macaleese, Daniel Purvis, Robert Thornton, Percy M.
Macartney, W. G. Ellison Pym, C. Guy Tritton, Charles Ernest
Macdona, John Cumming Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Valentia, Viscount
Maclure, Sir John William Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
M' Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Rentoul, James Alexander Wanklyn, James Leslie
M' Calmont, H. L. B. (Cambs.) Richards, Henry Charles Ward, Hon. Robert A. (Crewe)
M' Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.) Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W. Warr, Augustus Frederick
Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of Wight
M'Kenna, Reginald Wedderburn, Sir William
Round, James Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Maddison, Fred. Royds, Clement Molyneux Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Maden, John Henry Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenham Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.
Malcolm, Ian Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Maple, Sir John Blundell Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)
Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F. Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. E. J. Williams, Joseph Powell- (Bir.)
Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)
Milbank, Sir Powlett C. John Seely, Charles Hilton Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Milner, Sir Frederick George Seton-Karr, Henry Wyndham, George
Molloy, Bernard Charles Sharpe, William Edward T. Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Monckton, Edward Philip Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Monk, Charles James Simeon, Sir Barrington
More, Robert Jasper Skewes-Cox, Thomas TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Morrell, George Herbert Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch) Mr. Labouchere and Mr. Mendl.
Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford) Smith, James Parker (Lanarks)
Mount, William George Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)
Allan, William (Gateshead) Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Leng, Sir John
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Ffrench, Peter Lewis, John Herbert
Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire) Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund Lough, Thomas
Baker, Sir John Flynn, James Christopher Lyell, Sir Leonard
Billson, Alfred Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) M' Arthur, William (Cornwall)
Birrell, Augustine Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry M' Laren, Charles Benjamin
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert J. Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Goddard, Daniel Ford Morgan, J.Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) Morgan, W. Pritchard(Merthyr)
Burt, Thomas Haldane, Richard Burdon Morley, Charles (Breconshire)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Hammond, John (Carlow) Morris, Samuel
Caldwell, James Harwood, George Morton, Ed. J. C. (Devonport)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale- Moss, Samuel
Causton, Richard Knight Hazell, Walter Moulton, John Fletcher
Cawley, Frederick Healy, Maurice (Cork) Murnaghan, George
Channing, Francis Allston Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth) Nussey, Thomas Willans
Clough, Walter Owen Hedderwick, Thos. Chas. H. O' Keeffe, Francis Arthur
Colville, John Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H. Paulton, James Mellor
Condon, Thomas Joseph Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)
Daly, James Perks, Robert William
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan) Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)
Duckworth, James Joicey, Sir James Philipps, John Wynford
Dunn, Sir William Jones, William (Carnarvonsh) Pinkerton, John
Ellis, Thos. Edw. (Merionethsh) Jordan, Jeremiah Pirie, Duncan V.
Engledew, Charles John Kearley, Hudson E. Provand, Andrew Dryburgh
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Lambert, George Reckitt, Harold James
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Langley, Batty Richardson, J. (Durham)
Fenwick, Charles Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington) Rickett, J. Compton
Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Souttar, Robinson Weir, James Galloway
Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Spicer, Albert Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Robson, William Snowdon Stevenson, Francis S. Wilson, John (Govan)
Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.) Wilson, Jos. H. (Middlesbrough)
Schwann, Charles E. Tennant, Harold John Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Thomas, Dd. Alfred (Merthyr)
Shee, James John Tully, Jasper TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire) Wallace, Robert (Perth) Mr. Lawson Walton and Mr.
Smith, Samuel (Flint) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T. Crombie.

Question put— That the words 'And we humbly represent to Your Majesty that, in our opinion, it is expedient that any Bill which shall have been passed by this House, and not have been submitted to Your Majesty for Your Royal Assent in the Session in which it was passed by this House, shall, if

passed by this House in the next ensuing Sesson, be submitted to Your Majesty, and, upon Your Royal Assent being signified, forthwith become Law,' be added to the Main Question."

The House divided: —Ayes 105; Noes 223.—(Division List No. 6.)

Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.) Healy, Maurice (Cork) Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)
Allan, William (Gateshead) Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth.) Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Allen, Wm. (Newc. under Lyme) Hedderwick, Thos. Chas. H. Pinkerton, John
Allison, Robert Andrew Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Pirie, Duncan V.
Atherley-Jones, L. Jacoby, James Alfred Power, Patrick Joseph
Baker, Sir John Jameson, Major J. Eustace Provand, Andrew Dryburgh
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Jordan, Jeremiah Reckitt, Harold James
Billson, Alfred Kearley, Hudson, E. Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Burns, John Kilbride, Denis Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Caldwell, James Kinloch, Sir John Geo. Smyth Robson, William Snowdon
Cawley, Frederick Langley, Batty Roche, Hon. James (East Kerry)
Channing, Francis Allston Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land) Samuel, J. (Stockton on Tees)
Clancy, John Joseph Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington) Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Clough, Walter Owen Leng, Sir John Shee, James John
Colville, John Lloyd-George, David Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Logan, John William Spicer, Albert
Crombie, John William Lough, Thomas Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.
Daly, James Macaleese, Daniel Steadman, William Charles
Dalziel, James Henry Mac Neill, John Gordon Swift Stevenson, Francis S.
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan) M' Dermott, Patrick Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)
Davitt, Michael M' Kenna, Reginald Tanner, Charles Kearns
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles M' Laren, Charles Benjamin Thomas, Alf. (Glamorgan, E.)
Dillon, John Maddison, Fred. Thomas, Dd. Alfred (Merthyr)
Donelan, Captain A. Maden, John Henry Tully, Jasper
Doogan, P. C. Mandeville, J. Francis Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)
Dunn, Sir William Molloy, Bernard Charles Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel) Wedderburn, Sir William
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Morgan, W. Pritchard (Merthyr) Weir, James Galloway
Fenwick, Charles Morris, Samuel Williams, J. Carvell (Notts.)
Ffrench, Peter Morton, Ed. J. C. (Devonport) Wilson, John Govan
Field, William (Dublin) Moss, Samuel Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Flynn, James Christopher Murnaghan, George Woods, Samuel
Gilhooly, James Norton, Capt. Cecil William Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.)
Goddard, Daniel Ford O' Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Hammond, John (Carlow) O' Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Hayden, John Patrick O' Keeffe, Francis Arthur Mr. Labouchere and Mr. Mendl.
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Bartley, George C. T. Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Barton, Dunbar Plunkett Boulnois, Edmund
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin Bousfield, William Robert
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Beach, Rt. Hn. SirM. H.(Bristol) Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Beckett, Ernest William Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John
Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy Bethell, Commander Brown, Alexander H.
Bailey, James (Walworth) Biddulph, Michael Butcher, John George
Balcarres, Lord Bigwood, James Carlile, William Walter
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r) Bill, Charles Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. Ger. W.(Leeds) Blundell, Colonel Henry Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)
Banbury, Frederick George Bond, Edward Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlington)
Chelsea, Viscount Hoare, Ed. Brodie (Hampstead) Pender, Sir James
Clare, Octavius Leigh Hoare, Samuel (Norwich) Penn, John
Clarke, Sir Edward (Plymouth) Hobhouse, Henry Pilkington, Richard
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Holland, Hon. Lionel Raleigh Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Coddington, Sir William Hornby, Sir William Henry Plunkett, Rt Hn Horace Curzon
Coghill, Douglas Harry Howard, Joseph Priestly, Sir. W. Overend(Edin.)
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Howell, William Tudor Purvis, Robert
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hudson, George Bickersteth Pym, C. Guy
Colston, Chas. Ed. H. Athole Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice- Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Compton, Lord Alwyne Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) Rentoul, James Alexander
Cook, Fred Lucas (Lambeth) Jenkins, Sir John Jones Richards, Henry Charles
Cornwallis, Fiennes StanleyW. Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.
Cripps, Charles Alfred Johnston, William (Belfast) Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas.Tompson
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Johnstone, John H. (Sussex) Round, James
Curzon, Viscount Jolliffe, Hon. H. George Royds, Clement Molyneux
Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh Kenyon, James Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenham)
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Keswick, William Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham) King, Sir Henry Seymour Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Denny, Colonel Knowles, Lees Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Ed. J.
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Lafone, Alfred Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn) Seely, Charles Hilton
Dorington, Sir John Edward Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Seton-Karr, Henry
Doughty, George Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Ed. H. Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Drage, Geoffrey Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Simeon, Sir Barrington
Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Leighton, Stanley Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Dyke, Rt Hn Sir William Hart Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'sea) Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.)
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Fardell, Sir T. George Long, Rt. Hn.Walter(Liverpool) Stanley, Hn.Arthur (Ormskirk)
Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Mancr) Lorne, Marquess of Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)
Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Lowe, Francis William Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lowles, John Stewart, Sir Mark J. M 'Taggart
Fisher, William Hayes Loyd, Archie Kirkman Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Fison, Frederick William Lucas-Shadwell, William Stock, James Henry
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Stone, Sir Benjamin
Folkestone, Viscount Macartney, W. G. Ellison Strauss, Arthur
Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Macdona, John Cumming Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Maclure, Sir John William Sturt, Hon. Humphrey Napier
Garfit, William M' Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Sutherland, Sir Thomas
Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lon.) M' Calmont, H. L. B. (Cambs.) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Gilliat, John Saunders M' Calmont, Col.J.(Antrim,E.) Talbot, Rt Hn J. G.(Ox. Univ.)
Godson, Sir Agustus Frederick Malcolm, Ian Thorburn, Walter
Goldsworthy, Major-General Maple, Sir John Blundell Thornton, Percy M.
Gordon, Hon. John Edward Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F. Tritton, Charles Ernest
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Valentia, Viscount
Goschen, Rt Hn G. J. (St. George's Milbank, Sir Powlett Chas. J. Wanklyn, James Leslie
Goschen, George J. (Sussex) Milner, Sir Frederick George Ward, Hon. Robert A. (Crewe)
Goulding, Edward Alfred Monckton, Edward Philip Warr, Augustus Frederick
Graham, Henry Robert Monk, Charles James Webster, Sir R. E. (Isle of Wight)
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) More, Robert Jasper Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury) Morrell, George Herbert Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Gretton, John Morton, Arthur H. A.(Deptford) Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.)
Gull, Sir Cameron Mount, William George Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Hall, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Murray, Rt Hn A.Graharn(Bute) Williams, Jos. Powell (Birm.)
Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm. Newdigate, Francis Alexander Wyndham, George
Hanson, Sir Reginald Nicholson, William Graham Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Hare, Thomas Leigh Nicol, Donald Ninian
Heath, James Northcote, Hon. Sir H. Stafford TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Heaton, John Henniker O' Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Helder, Augustus Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Henderson, Alexander Parkes, Ebenezer

Main Question again proposed.

And it being after Midnight, the Debate stood adjourned.

Debate, to be resumed this day.

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