Another Amendment proposed, at the end of the Question, to add the words—
And we humbly express our regret that no reference is made in your Majesty's Speech to questions specially affecting the interests of the people of Wales."—(Mr. Herbert Lewis.)
§ * MR. HERBERT LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
The situation which I described to the House at the beginning of last Session, when I moved an Amendment in the same terms, has not altered, and another year of delay has made it more necessary than ever to draw attention to the neglect by Parliament of the reforms which are demanded by the people of Wales. Last year the Leader of the House opposed this Amendment on the ground that it was based on the fallacy that Wales received no benefit from legislation passed for Great Britain. That is a complete misconception of our argument and position. We did not say that legislation passed for Great Britain does not apply to Wales. What we say is that much of the legislation that is acceptable to England is neither asked for nor needed by Wales; that much of it is strongly-repudiated by Wales. Wales is ripe for the settlement of many questions which England is not ready to accept, and what we ask is that our country should be exempted from legislation which she detests, and that she shall have a moderate share of the legislation for which she asks. To this question it is impossible to make the reply that Wales cannot be separately dealt with, and, indeed, that line was not taken by the Government in the Debate of last Session. The Leader of the House said—No doubt there are times and occasions when legislation for one fraction of the United Kingdom is alone to be desired.690 And the Chancellor of the Exchequer said—I do recognise, as Parliament has already recognised, that the circumstances of people who live in Wales are in some respects peculiar and different from those of people who live in the rest of England, and that they require to be dealt with in certain matters very differently. That is a principle which I accept, but you cannot do everything at once. We will endeavour, as far as we can, to meet those necessities as far as time permits, but it is impossible for us to describe every proposal that is under our consideration, or every matter with which we may hope to deal, within the limits of Her Majesty's Speech.That is clearly an acceptance of the principle for which we contend—the right of Wales to separate treatment, and a promise to take action, upon that principle. Nobody now doubts that Parliament not only has the right, but that the duty rests upon it, to make such legislative changes as the special circumstances of Wales may require. Let me instance two Acts of Parliament, one passed by a Liberal, the other by a Conservative Government. They relate to subjects so> contentious as Temperance Reform and Education. The Welsh Sunday Closing Act was passed under Mr. Gladstone's Government of 1880. The Welsh Intermediate Education Act became law under Lord Salisbury's Government of 1886. Those two statutes alone have placed the claims of Wales to separate treatment, as and when occasion may arise, upon an impregnable basis. But those two pieces of legislation have not exhausted the needs of Wales to separate treatment. Sunday Closing is only a part, and a small part, of Temperance Reform. Intermediate Education is only one phase of a great subject. Acts of Parliament relating to Temperance and Education have been passed for Wales because that country is riper than other parts of the country for legislation of that kind; and in all questions which relate to religious equality, education, temperance, and land reform, you will find that Wales is permanently ahead of England. That is conclusively proved by the state of its representation in the present and every preceding Parliament since 1868. But the line taken by the present Government with regard to contentious questions amounts to saying, "If you cannot get what, you want, wait until 691 another Government comes into power. It is not our business to promote temperance reform, land reform, or religious equality." But that is not a sufficient reply, because, while the present. Government has not the will to carry out these reforms, a Liberal Government, under the present constitution, has not the power to pass them. Even a Liberal Government, commanding a clear and strong majority in the House of Commons, would be perpetually confronted by a Chamber whose one object, when a, Liberal Government is in office, is not to decide judicially upon the questions that may be submitted to it, but to play a party game. It may be true that when England has really set her heart upon carrying a great reform the House of Lord does not dare to stand in the way; but that. Chamber does not care a rap whether it offends Wales or not. Lord James of Hereford said the other day that the House of Lords would bow to the will of the democracy when that will way clearly ascertained. If that is so, why should not that rule apply to the Welsh democracy when they asked for reforms which relate to Wales alone, and do not impair the integrity of the United Kingdom? The moral, so far as Wales is concerned, is perfectly clear. Her voting strength may be small, but, such as it is, it will always be cast into the scale against that continued injustice, and she will not readily forget the means by which her education schemes have been mutilated, and Measures, in which she as a Nonconformist country is deeply interested, have been frustrated; nor the readiness with which the House of Lords will pass any Measure to which Wales objects, no matter how strongly that objection may be expressed in the only constitutional way open to her. The Government know perfectly well what are the demands which Wales has put forward. I shall only run over them briefly in order to show the importance of the subjects with which they are concerned, and the practically unchanging support given to them by the Welsh people. The first is the demand for Disestablishment. If the Government think that that demand is dying away they are greatly mistaken. It gathers strength as time goes on. Whatever may be said to the contrary, there is now, for a variety of reasons, on the part of both Clergy and 692 Laity in Wales, less hostility to Disestablishment than they formerly entertained. The feeling in favour of Church reform, and of giving the Laity their rightful place in the government of the Church, is so strong that many of the best and soundest Churchmen are ready to welcome it, even if it conies through the portals of Disestablishment. There are honourable Members on the other side of the House who are able to speak better than I can of the happy results of Disestablishment in Ireland—a Measure that was strongly supported by the present Archbishop of Canterbury. Churchmen are looking at the matter in a new light, and are beginning to realise that the Measure they so much fear may prove to be not only the bestowal of a tardy and long-delayed act of justice to Nonconformists, but a, great spiritual blessing to the Church herself. The demand for Disestablishment represents the steady and permanent conviction and resolve of the great majority of the Welsh people. As a political question in Wales it continues to overshadow every other, and Wales will continue to agitate for it in and out of season until she receives the act of justice which was granted to Ireland with such happy results in 1868. Closely allied to the question of religious equality is the subject of elementary education. How has Wales been treated in this respect? Against her will, against the emphatic protests of the great majority of the people and their representatives in Parliament. The Established Church, in Wales has been further established and endowed in the present Parliament by a grant to what are termed Voluntary schools. I make no comment upon that Measure as affecting England, but as regards Wales. The Ministry must by this time be convinced that the treatment which has been accorded to their country in educational matters has been deeply resented by the people. The First Lord of the Treasury must have recollected the strenuous opposition to that Bill which came from the Welsh Members, and that was only a faithful reflex of the feeling amongst the Welsh constituencies upon the subject. What we ask is that the public who contributed so largely to the maintenance of these schools should have some local representative control of them. We may not be able to expect 693 any help in that direction from the present Parliament., but we have a right to make a protest against the continuance of the present injustice in Wales, which has never accepted the educational policy of the present Government. Wales has also her special position in regard to Temperance Reform. There is hardly a man in the House who has not admitted the necessity of Temperance Reform. The difficulty is to know in what direction to move. Now, in Wales you have a country which knows her own mind on the subject—a country that offers itself as an experimenting ground for Temperance Reform. If England is afraid to try it, let Wales have a chance. But, we are told, the Government can take no action until the Report of the Royal Commission has been laid upon the Table of the House. They can do one thing before that report is made. Many years ago a Royal Commission was appointed by a Conservative Government to inquire into the operation of the Welsh Sunday Closing Act. That Commission was asked for by those who sought to destroy the Act; but the Commission blessed instead of cursed it, and, after taking evidence in every part of Wales, issued a report recommending not only the continuance of that Act, but also its extension, and strengthening it in several important particulars. Although a Bill based on the report of that Commission has been introduced into the House of Commons, every Session since then, nothing has been done to remove those defects in the Act which can be easily remedied by legislation. I regret that the Government have not given even a promise to deal with that question, which, in view of the report of the Royal Commission, ought to be treated as a non-contentious question. Wales has also a land question, which occupies an exceptional position. I ask the special attention of the Government to it, because their responsibility is perfectly clear. When a, Royal Commission is appointed, and when that Commission unanimously makes recommendations of a definite character, it is only right that the Government should either introduce a Bill to carry those recommendations into effect, or should state specifically why they are not carried into law. Now, in this case the majority of the Royal Commission on Land in 694 Wales made certain recommendations which have been embodied in a Bill. That Bill was fully discussed in 1897, and the Government refused to accept it. Bui if they decline to go so far as the Bill brought in by Welsh Members sitting in opposition, will they not introduce a Bill based on the unanimous report of the Royal Commission? and, if not, why not? It is not enough to reply that the Government has promised to introduce a Bill for the amendment of the Land Law in England and Wales, because the very terms of the announcement show that it was to apply to the quitting and not to the sitting tenant, and the unanimous recommendations of the Royal Commission on Land in Wales relate to the sit ting as well as to the quitting tenant. I invite the Home Secretary to deal specifically with this question in his reply, and to say why the Government cannot bring in a Bill to deal with the unanimous recommendations of the Royal Commission. Now, these demands not merely occupy a small corner of the legislative field—they cover the greater part of the whole field of domestic politics, and what we ask is that the special position of Wales in regard to legislation, as evidenced by the remarkable and permanent disparity between her Parliamentary representation and that, of England, should receive due consideration; that Measures which she hates, like the Voluntary Schools Bill, should not be forced upon her; and that some portion, at any rate, of her claims should be recognised, even if those claims should not altogether accord with those prevailing on the other side of the House. We have precedents in point. Supposing the land legislation for Ireland passed by the present Government had been introduced by a Liberal Government, does anyone doubt for a moment that it would not have called forth the bitterest opposition from the Conservative Party? The Irish landlords would not have been left alone in the fight. The Government legislated for Ireland against the wishes of the minority. Why should they not legislate for Wales, if need be, against the wishes of the minority? If the Government is determined to prevent Wales from having her desires carried into effect in regard to those great contentious questions to which I have referred, what of the non-contentious ques- 695 tions to which reference was made in the Debate of last year? The honourable Member for Swansea seconded my appeal to the Government to give Wales a Measure dealing with Private Bill legislation. A Bill of that character relating to Scotland was mentioned in the Queen's Speech. I am glad of it. I congratulate the Scotch Members on the recognition of the principle, and hope the Bill to be introduced will be framed in accordance with their wishes. But although the case of Wales for Private. Bill legislation has not been put forward as strongly as that of Scotland, it is a remarkable fact—one perhaps not generally known—that the number of Private Bills from Wales is larger than that of Scotland. For example, in 1897 there were 23 Private Bills from Wales and only 9 from Scotland. Will the Government not give Wales a Bill carrying out the same principle—a Bill settled by the Government, in consultation with the Welsh Members? It is a very small and a very reasonahle request to make, and if it be not granted we can only infer that the Government have no effective desire to promote in Wales those great municipal and commercial interests which the passage of a Bill of this character would materially assist, But if the Government feel they cannot help Wales in legislation, we ask that something should be done in the way of administration. For many years we have asked that Wales should have her due share of the Museum Grants of the United Kingdom. She gets practically nothing now, although she bas striven hard to complete her system of education. Every county in Wales has rated itself; the Local Taxation Grant has been devoted to that purpose; a, great host of individuals, from the highest to the humblest, have taxed their private resources to establish the National Colleges, to erect Intermediate Schools, to found scholarships, and to complete the fabric of education in Wales. All we ask is that the Government should, in regard to Museum Grants, treat Wales as they have treated Scotland and Ireland. We ask for no more, but we do not think it right that Wales should have less than her proportionate share of the grant. The Museum Committee which sat last Session, within the limits of its reference, supported our recommendation very 696 strongly. Wales suffers from every year of delay in this matter. Opportunities of acquiring valuable and interesting collections are being lost from year to year. The existence of a Museum, a National Library, and a National Art Gallery would be a, continual incentive to liberality on the part of the public; and the need of national institutions of this character, like those established and maintained by the Imperial Government in Scotland and Ireland, is more keenly realised as time goes on. Last year we made an appeal to the Treasury on behalf of the Welsh University. We made the very modest request that the Welsh University should be supplied with the necessary funds to continue its work. To show how the University has grown, I may mention that in its first year 89 students were matriculated, in its second year 216, and in its third year 425. It is a young but very flourishing institution, which has done admirable educational work for Wales, and is capable of doing more. The reply of the Treasury to cur appeal was to cut down the grant. To put it on the lowest and most material ground, the nation cannot afford this miserable parsimony, and when we compare it with the vast sums spent on the engines of war, it seems to me to be political folly to cripple and starve the means by which the men and women of Wales are equipped for leadership in the battle of life. I might compare the treatment accorded to Wales under the last Government and the present Government in regard to matters of a purely noncontentious character, and that would show conclusively the generosity of the late Government towards Wales at a time of great financial stress, and the meanness of the present Government towards Wales when the Exchequer was overflowing with money; but I shall only say, with reference to Welsh claims which involved a Parliamentary grant, that when the Local Government Bill of 1888 was passing through the House, and the Welsh Members drew the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the unfairness of the financial arrangements as affecting Wales, they were met by a partial concession on the part of the Government; but we contend that a large balance, amounting to about £60,000 a year, is due to us, and that these educational grants, although pro- 697 portionately less than similar grants to Scotland and Ireland, are really only payments on account of what is due to Wales. To refer to another matter which comes within the sphere of administration; three years ago the Welsh Members asked for a Departmental Committee to inquire in what way, and to what extent, the existing pier and harbour accommodation on the coast, of Wales might be improved. That request was backed by evidence which showed that such improvements were quite as necessary as the provision of light railways. The Government are going to incur additional vast expense upon the construction of new warships, but when are they going to spend anything upon harbours which will make it possible for a larger proportion of the population to make their living by the fishing industry, increasing the harvest of the sea, and providing the Navy with the best possible recruiting ground? For a strong Navy men are now needed more than ships, and if a trivial part of the money required for an enormous and extravagant naval building programme were spent in pro-viding better harbours for fishermen on the Welsh coast, and incidentally improving means of communication, much more good would be done. Another practical proposal which has been made, and made so far in vain, on behalf of Wales, is that portions of the Welsh mountains over which the Woods and Forests Department have certain rights, should be re-afforested. We contend that this would in the end be a source of profit to the nation, and a great advantage to the commoners, who ought to receive fair compensation for any loss of interest. I am aware that this particular reform is by no means free from difficulty, but the work can be done; it ought some day to be carried out, and the sooner a beginning is made the better. Another way in which the Government might help Wales is by transferring a large amount of work that may with great advantage be handed over by departments in Whitehall to a body representing the Welsh County Councils. An attempt was made ten years ago to transfer a, vast amount of administrative business to the County Councils. That attempt was defeated by the Association of Municipal Corporations, which resented the proposed subjection of the non-Quar- 698 ter Sessions boroughs to the county councils. But the devolution of business from Whitehall to a body representing the County Councils of Wales and Monmouthshire would hardly meet with the same opposition. The transfer of, administrative work to such a body would be no novelty in Wales. For some years past all the Welsh counties and county boroughs have, for educational purposes, been associated with other public bodies in one official body called the Central Board, to which important powers, which under ordinary circumstances would be exercised by the Charity Commissioners and the Treasury, have been transferred. Moreover, the Welsh County Councils have repeatedly asked for the transfer of departmental powers to a body representing Wales as a whole, and conferences of the Welsh County Councils have been held with that object. We admit the favourable attitude of the Government, but we should be glad to see some practical step taken in that direction. But no matter how small the request made by Welsh Members of both parties in relation to noncontentious matters of administration, whether a quartering on the Royal Standard, or a place on the coinage, or anything else, not one of them has been granted. The Welsh Members do not ask for anything unreasonable. We admit, in the words of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the Government cannot do everything at once. We simply point to the fact that three Sessions, have passed by, that the programme of the fourth Session is before us, that the present Parliament will before long be among the things of the past, and that nothing has been done to satisfy the special demands of Wales. Our request—and I cannot conceive one more reasonable in character—is that year by year Parliament by legislation, and the Government by administrative action, should do something to carry out the true function of the Government which is to give to each part of the United Kingdom, subject to whatever reasonable limitations and restrictions may be required by the common good, those reforms which each constituent part of the United Kingdom clearly requires. We ask that that rule should be proportionately applied to Wales as it is applied to other parts of the kingdom.
699 When the right honourable Gentleman comes to reply, let there be no mistake in his mind about our position. We do not deny that legislation passed for Great Britain does apply to Wales. What we say is that much of the legislation which is acceptable to England is neither asked for nor needed by Wales, and what we ask for is that our country should be exempted from legislation which she rejects, and that she should have a moderate amount of the legislation for which she asks. Wales is a small country, but I venture to say that she contains within her borders the elements of as good citizenship as can be found within the coasts of the United Kingdom. If the majority of her people are at variance with the Party now in power, still let that Party remember that they are constitutionally responsible for the good government of the country. It is not good government to deny to a loyal and law-abiding part of the United Kingdom, like Wales every one of those reforms which are demanded by its special circumstances. It is not a safe policy from an Imperial nor a wise policy from a Party point of view. Are we to go back and tell our constituents and the constituents of the honourable Gentlemen opposite that this Government, now in its fourth Session, has done nothing, and' will do nothing, for those special questions, legislative and administrative, in which Wales is interested, except to pass the Berriew Bill, which was rejected by an overwhelming majority in the one small parish to which it related? In that case the Government gave the Second Reading of that Bill the first place on a Thursday night and pushed it through all its stages. They did that to please a single supporter who had rendered them political service which they refuse to do for a nation. The rule which has prevailed in this Parliament, as distinguished from the last and the preceding Parliament, is that, however clear a case we may present for any reform in Wales, no matter by what majority that reform is supported—even if every one of the 34 Members returned by constituencies in Wales and Monmouthshire were to ask for it—we might ask for it in vain. Is that rule to continue to prevail; and, if so, is that time statesmanship? That is not just to Wales, which has deserved fairer treat- 700 ment at the hands of the Imperial Parliament.
§ * MR. ALFRED THOMAS (Glamorgan, E.)
Mr. Speaker, I rise to second the Amendment of my honourable Friend. I think he is quite justified in, taking the step he has done in moving the Amendment to the Address in the Speech to which we have just listened. My honourable Friend has said that we are a law-abiding and loyal people. I believe that is quite true, but in saying that I must also add that we have suffered to a great extent from the effects of having a good character On both sides of the House Liberal and Conservative administrations alike have taken it for granted that we have no grievances. Those of us who live in Wales and know the feelings of the majority of the people know full well that we have grievances which have been and are resented, and I wish to say that we have not always been so tranquil as some people would have liked to see us. There are some occasions upon which we have got excited and upset even in Wales. Sixty years ago we had the Rebecca riots, and there have been occasions upon which the collection of tithes has not been accompanied by such tranquillity as has characterised other times. Very possibly we cannot expect the present Government to remedy all the grievances that we have. We have had some surprises from that side of the House, and who knows that upon some similar occasion the Government may rise to the sublime height of disestablishing the State Church? I would say that there is no man who has any regard for the Christian religion but what is sorry to see the spectacle of what the Church of England has to undergo in consequence of its being a State Church. There are, however, some grievances that we can expect even a Conservative Government to redress, and I will proceed to name one or two. There is one that I would wish to place especial stress upon, and that is the land question in Wales. Now, Sir, the Royal Commission some four or five years ago made two reports. One was a unanimous proposal, and the other was a majority proposal. One would have thought that even a Conservative Government would have done something in the way indicated by a 701 unanimous report. I do think, Sir, that I know something with regard to the condition of the tenantry in Wales. I am glad to say that we have some good landlords in Wales, and I can see one or two before me now. In this connection I would particularly mention Lord Tredegar. But while we have some good landlords in Wales who treat their tenants well, and who do not need drastic legislation, the great majority of the tenants are rack rented. The case of the tenant was stated to me the other day by a farmer who farms 40 acres of land. He said, "Cannot something be done for us poor farmers? There is no class of the community so helpless as we are. You know how hard I work, and all about my position. I have my rent raised upon my own improvements, and I have no security but what at any moment I may receive notice to quit; and if I do, I shall be turned out on the roadside without a penny in my pocket. That is the prospect before me after having slaved for 50 years!" That is a very poor prospect, and is one that no honest man ought to have in front of him. It is quite time that something should be done for the Welsh tenant. With regard to Private Bill legislation, I quite agree that we have a very strong case indeed for consideration upon this question. I have known one Bill alone, coming from my part of the country, the Barry Bill, the cost of which was no less than £30,000. No one is going to tell me that it would have cost that money if it had received consideration upon the spot, as it ought to have done. I know a very hard case that occurred in Wales with regard to proceedings in the Private Bill legislation on this House. A Bill was projected some years ago by a company to schedule a district—a portion of the constituency which I have the honour to represent in this House. The District Council of the district deemed it their duty to oppose the Bill, and they took the ordinary steps to do so. In order to cover the expense of simply opposing that Bill, they had to impose an additional rate of 2s. in the £, and honourable Members will all know what that means to tradesmen and others. Another question my Friend dealt with was a question of the Museum Grant. That is not a burning question, but still it is a question for us to consider. I was 702 very much struck, when this question was being considered before, at the reply given by the Vice-President of the Council. He then sheltered himself behind the plea that there was no recognised town in Wales for the capital of Wales. That is quite true. A suggestion was made as to how the difficulty could be met. It was suggested by my honourable Friend the Member for Merioneth that in order to meet this difficulty the same course should be adopted as was adopted 15 years ago upon the question of sites of University Colleges. Well, Sir, let the same course be adopted with regard to this. I am not going to mention any particular town, but there are places that could be chosen; and, at any rate, none of these excuses are reasons for withholding these grants from Wales. I trust that the Government will take notice of the grievances brought to their attention. Undoubtedly there are many grievances in Wales which require to be remedied.
§ * THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir M. W. Ridley,) Lancashire, Blackpool
The very wide range which this debate has taken has only served to show its utter unreality. The mover and seconder of this Amendment complain that Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech does not contain a promise of legislation upon the various points they mention, and then they go on to complain of a variety of matters most of which are administrative and not legislative. I do not think that the speeches we have heard on this Amendment have shown any case against the present Government, at all events for not having mentioned a particular measure which the honourable Members desire to see passed for the benefit of Wales. I entirely associate myself with what was referred to by the honourable Gentleman who moved this Amendment, as to what was said by the Chancellor of the Ex-Exchequer on a corresponding occasion at the commencement of last session, namely, that, although we do not agree with those who think it only desirable to have separate legislation for Wales generally, because that is no part of the Unionist policy, yet we do admit, both from experience and from our own knowledge, that there are certain urgent and important questions which may be fairly 703 dealt with specially in the case of Wales; and, as the honourable Gentleman has already shown, neither Party has shown itself indifferent in that respect, or, when the case was proved, unwilling to deal with Wales separately. On the one hand, one Party dealt with the question of Temperance, and on the other hand the other Party dealt with the question of Intermediate Education, both of which measures were passed in this House for the benefit of Wales alone. I am really driven to ask the honourable Gentleman what are the reforms which he thinks Her Majesty's Government could properly have introduced in their legislative programme for the especial benefit of Wales. He has spoken on every conceivable subject affecting almost every Government Department, and I really ought to be supported by all my honourable and right honourable Friends when I say how liberal the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been towards Wales; at all events he has not dealt ungenerously. But it is impossible for me to deal seriatim with all the points raised. Does the honourable Gentleman pretend that it would have been within the reach of practical politics that we should have proposed a measure for the Disestablishment of the Church in Wales? Of course it is utterly impossible. Whatever may be the feelings of the Welsh members on that subject they must assuredly realise that the great majority of this present Parliament are not in favour of such a measure. It may be dear to their own hearts, but it is equally foreign to ours. Then comes the question of Secondary Education. The honourable Member complains that there was no special mention of that. I do not understand that he proposes that we should have had anything to do with a measure for Welsh Education particularly.
§ * MR. HERBERT LEWIS
What we object to is that certain legislation in regard to education has been forced upon us against our will.
§ * THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT
Oh, I see, the honourable Gentleman now complains of too much legislation. He is a member of a portion of the United Kingdom whose political majority at the present moment is not in accordance with the 704 political tenets of Her Majesty's Government, and because the policy of the Welsh members is not in accordance with that of Her Majesty's Government, he contends that Wales ought to be exempted from the legislation which we propose for the whole of the United Kingdom. That is not the policy upon which the United Kingdom is to be governed, and I think it is an assertion of Welsh nationality which will not be approved of by the majority of this House. The honourable Gentleman knows very well that the Welsh people are, by the sacrifices they have themselves made for Secondary Education, and by the assistance of this House, far ahead even of Scotland, and most certainly of England, in that respect, and really when I observe the position which Intermediate Education has attained in Wales, I do not understand why the complaint should be made of Her Majesty's Government not having introduced a measure respecting Secondary Education for Wales. Surely it cannot reasonably be expected that we should have introduced any such measure in the Queen's Speech. Then I come to the question of Temperance. The honourable Gentleman says that in 1881 a measure was passed carrying Sunday Closing for Wales. Perfectly true? And that he says was an instance in which a Government (Mr. Gladstone's Government) passed a measure affecting Wales only. In consequence of criticisms passed upon that Act, a Commission was appointed to inquire into its working, and that Commission has made certain recommendations. Does the honourable Gentleman complain that we have not put into the Queen's Speech some proposal to carry out those recommendations? What are the recommendations of that Commission? I have read that report, and I know what the recommendations are, and I venture to think that if we at the present moment did propose legislation to carry out the recommendations of the Commission, we should have been very justly blamed for introducing legislation which would be special to Wales. Those recommendations included the question of the licensing of clubs, and a more chronic question can hardly be realised or imagined—they included the question of shebeens, and the question of the raising of the rateable value of the low class beer-houses; questions of the wholesale 705 beer trade, and so forth. If we had dealt with these we should have been dealing with questions which could not be applied to Wales exclusively. It is true that those questions were raised by the Commission which sat upon the Welsh Sunday Closing Act, but the recommendations of that Commission could not have been dealt with without dealing with the whole of the licensing question, and we could not deal with that until we had seen a report of the extremely interesting Commission which is now sitting; therefore I think I am dealing fairly with the honourable Gentleman when I ask, if he thinks that any of these subjects could have been mentioned in Her Majesty's gracious Speech? The honourable Gentleman who seconded the Amendment spoke of the exceptional distress of the Welsh tenant. So far as I am concerned, I know nothing about it. I do not believe that although there are many parts of Wales in which tenants have difficulties those difficulties are of an exceptional nature; and if he wants to know whether Her Majesty's Government are prepared to act upon the recommendations of the Welsh Land Commission, I am hardly prepared to say that they are. In fact, I will say certainly they are not. I will say what was said by my right honourable Friend in answering a question at the beginning of the last Session of Parliament: That the honourable Members from Wales forget that legislation which is proposed for the benefit of agriculture in England and Scotland is also for the benefit of the Welsh tenant, and if those Bills which have been promised by my right honourable Friend the President of the Board of Agriculture for dealing with the adulteration of foods and agriculture generally do not come up to the expectations of honourable Members opposite, at all events they are generally designed for the benefit of the agricultural community, whether it be in England or in Wales, and it is not necessary, in our opinion, that we should bring in a Bill to deal with these questions in Wales alone. Now comes the question of Private Bill legislation. That is not a question of nationality. It is a question primarily of distance. I fully admit that if there is any general feeling in England and Wales, as there appears to be undoubtedly in Scotland, that there ought to be given facilities for enabling Private 706 Bills to be carried through this House with less expense, it would receive our best consideration. But, at all events, we have shown ourselves as ready as other Governments to attempt legislation of this nature, and if satisfactory means could be found for improving the method of Private Bill legislation as regards Scotland, then this Government or any other Government would be ready to consider the question as regards the rest of the United Kingdom. The difficulties of Scotland are exceptional, and to say that we ought to propose a Bill for dealing with Private Bill legislation respecting Wales in the same Session as we are proposing to deal with the Private Bill legislation of Scotland, is, I think, going quite beyond what can be reasonably expected. I do not think there has been the same demand on the part of Wales for Private Bill legislation as there has been on the part of Scotland. At any rate I do not think that that demand has been so universally acknowledged in this House as it has been in the case of Scotland; and I again ask whether, supposing the Government have reasonable expectations of dealing with the Private Bill legislation of Scotland, it would be fair to suggest that we should also add the case of Wales. Sir, the Mover of this Amendment went into a great many other interesting subjects. He proposed a grant for a museum, and seemed to anticipate that I should be able to give him an answer of a satisfactory character with reference to a grant for two or three of them. Well, whatever may be my personal view, I am not Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I cannot admit that such subjects should be mentioned in the Queen's Speech as proposed in the Amendment before the House. Then, again, the Mover of the Amendment touched upon University Education. Has this House, has the Party of which I am a humble member, shown itself unwilling to assist University education in Wales? I think there are other parts of the United Kingdom who may feel somewhat envious of the grants which have been made to Wales—and grants very properly made, because the Welsh people have shown themselves very anxious for University education, and have themselves made considerable sacrifices towards that end. I pass over the question of the re-afforestation of Crown lands; I will say only one or two words 707 about the question of devolution. Some allusion was made—I think by the honourable Gentleman who moved this Amendment—to a Central Board, which exists in Wales, consisting, as I understand, of certain county councils and boroughs who are associated for the purpose of local government in Wales.
§ MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomery)
The right honourable Gentleman has misconceived the reference. The Central Board to which my honourable friend referred is exclusively for the purpose of dealing with intermediate education. He only referred to it as an example of what might be done with regard to local government generally.
§ * THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT
I would remind honourable Members opposite that the original draft of the Local Government Bill of 1888, proposed by my right honourable Friend who is now the President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Ritchie), contained a great many more powers of devolution, especially with regard to Provisional Orders, than when it became an Act, but, owing to the opposition of the Association of Municipal Boroughs and of certain quarters of the House, it was impossible to carry out views of a larger scheme of devolution. As a Lancashire Member, I know the very great difficulties and jealousies which exist in that county between the County Council and the non-county boroughs on a number of matters, and I should be slow to give my adhesion to a scheme of devolution which I believe would not be satisfactory to the boroughs. I admit the discussion raises a subject which may fairly be argued, but if the Government are to be censured for not putting into Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech a reference to some further devolution of the powers of the Local Government Board on the lines of the Central Board in Wales, then all I say is that I do not think anybody could make such a charge fairly against the Government. The honourable Member who seconded this Motion spoke very much on the same lines. He dealt with the question of the Church and of the land, and I think I have answered him on both those points. The honourable Member cannot, and probably does not, expect us to be prepared to deal with the question of the English Church in Wales and of Welsh 708 land, with special and separate reference. If honourable Members desire it, then they must get other people to do it. Honourable Members opposite know perfectly well the opinions the Government and the Party of which I have the honour to be a member entertain on both these questions. We may be right or wrong, everybody knows that we entertain those views; and to ask us to accept an Amendment to the Address to the effect that we are to blame for not including these things in the Queen's Speech, is, I venture to say, rather trifling with an occasion which ought to have been engaged with something more important. I can only say that any proposals which honourable Gentlemen opposite may make with regard to Temperance or other questions on which they have a good case for separate treatment shall be anxiously considered on their merits by this Government, as by any other Government; but, speaking generally, we regard Wales as a part of the United Kingdom, and we are not going to propose, except under very special circumstances, exceptional legislation for Wales as distinct from the United Kingdom. I deny that the Government have shown themselves unwilling or unable to deal with special Welsh questions, and hope that the House will not think it necessary to prolong this Debate to any great length.
* MR. J. H. ROBERTS (Denbighshire, N.)
Mr. Speaker, the statement of the right honourable Gentleman that if Welsh Members desire these important questions to be dealt with separately for Wales, we must get other people to do it, will be made known throughout the Principality, and will be duly notified by the electorate. Now, Mr. Speaker, although I hold that it would be almost impossible for us to expect to receive any definite assurance from the Government on these points, I still think that a Debate of this kind is really an advantage in the case of Wales. It is quite clear that the view of the Government is that Wales is only a geographical expression, and the right honourable Gentleman opposite has plainly announced the fact that the policy of the Unionist Government is to deny that there is anything such as Welsh nationality in existence, or that Wales has any claim to demand treatment as a separate nationality. [Dissent.] I think I am not misquoting the 709 right honourable Gentleman. Sir, this is undoubtedly the view of the Government, but it does not alter the fact that these grievances remain. They do not cease to impede the progress of Wales. Sir, I think one or two indirect advantages may be reaped from a discussion of this kind on Wales. In the first place, I think there is still not a little ignorance in the mind of English people in regard to the true position of the Welsh people. And, more than that, following necessarily from this state of things, I am afraid that there still exists a certain amount of prejudice amongst our English friends with regard to the true condition of the Welsh people. It seems to me that the very fact of a Debate like this taking place, and the case of Wales being stated, as it has been stated, so fairly by my honourable Friend this afternoon will be of real benefit in pointing out the necessity—and that soon—of making some change in our Parliamentary machinery which will enable the overwhelming opinion of portions of the country to be carried out into legislation without any great delay. Sir, although we have not this afternoon any very great encouragement from the Front Bench, it is necessary for me to say that this continued neglect of Wales will have no effect at all in damping the ardour of the Welsh people. I do not wish to go into any detail, but I should like to point out to the House the real strength of the demand in Wales in the direction referred to by my honourable Friend this evening. Sir, in Wales politics stand upon a different footing from the position they take in other parts of the country. In Wales, owing to the special circumstances of the case, politics have become an integral part of the public life of the people. Now the reason for this, I think, can be ascribed to two dominant factors in the life of the people. First of all, the strong and evergrowing sentiment of nationality, and, in spite of anything the right honourable Gentleman opposite may say, it is a factor which has to be taken into consideration. And what is the second cause? That this political sentiment, so far as Wales is concerned, has been during the last 50 years largely shaped and inspired by the principle of Nonconformity. Now I do not desire to take up more than a very few minutes of the time of the House, but I would like, with the permis- 710 sion of the House, to refer to and to emphasise one or two points to which my honourable Friend has alluded. I would first of all, Mr. Speaker, emphasise the point he made in regard to the urgency of the Welsh Land Question. It is undoubtedly the fact that the Government in the Queen's Speech on this occasion has a reference to legislation with regard to land dealing with the whole of the country and I am not going to refer in any detail to any legislative reforms this afternoon. But I wish to point out to the House in one or two words the position of the Land Question in Wales as it stands to-day. Sir, I hold at once at the present moment that Welsh agriculture is not in such a depressed condition as it was some time ago, but owing to the conditions surrounding our agricultural system it is simply impossible to hope that any real improvement will take place in that interest until some thorough reforms are effected in our land laws. I am not going to refer, Mr. Speaker, to the Majority Report of the Welsh Land Bill; the recommendations of that report have already been placed in the Bill. But I would like to refer for one moment, first of all, to the practical administrative suggestions unanimously made by the Commission in regard to Welsh agriculture, none of which were referred to in any way by the right honourable Gentleman opposite, and the Government has never on any occasion, I think, referred to them either. One of the unanimous recommendations of the Welsh Land Commission upon administrative matters was the need for increased facilities for agricultural education. Now, Sir, that is a small thing in itself, but it is capable of being operated for the real benefit of the farmers in the Principality. Secondly, the unanimous report of that Commission recommended the diffusion by the Board of Agriculture of useful information to the farmer—of literature giving every information as to prices and so forth. Now, Sir, these are practical things. They can be carried out at the initiative of any Government, and I do not think that the present Government would betray the policy of denying the nationality, of Wales in giving effect to those simple but practical reforms. I wish to make this further comment in regard to the dealings of the Government with the unanimous report of the Welsh Land Commis- 711 sion. Sir, it seems to me to be perfectly plain, as has been already pointed out by my honourable friend the Member for Flint, that a different treatment is to be accorded to Wales, from every standpoint, from that to be accorded to other parts of the United Kingdom. Take one point, namely, the recommendations of this Commission, and those of another Agricultural Commission of two years ago. In connection with the latter Commission a hurriedly framed recommendation with regard to the relief of the rating of the land was passed. Upon that a Bill, a few months or weeks afterwards, was introduced by the Government, and forced through all its stages in a comparatively short space of time. Then, again, I want to ask the right honourable Gentleman why, in the face of the practically unanimous recommendation, of the first Land Commission, the Government have, at Question Time this afternoon, promised to introduce a Bill to carry out one recommendation, and one only, made by the Local Taxation Commission in regard to relieving the Clergy of the country of a certain portion of their rates. Now, Sir, it seems to me to be manifestly unfair to regard the recommendations of one Commission differently from the recommendations of the other, when you take into consideration that the Commissions were unanimous in one case if not in the other. I have one further point to impress upon the House with regard to the urgency of the Land Question in Wales. It is all very well for the right honourable Gentleman opposite to get up and say that it is really trifling with the time of the House to bring forward such an Amendment as this, calling attention to these questions affecting Wales. I fear the present urgent condition of the farmers in Wales can be scarcely understood. Welsh farmers stand upon an entirely different footing from those in the country generally. The tenant farmer is placed in a position of peculiar difficulty and disadvantage in comparison with the tenant farmer throughout England, and I would like, before I leave this question of the urgency of land reform in Wales, to quote one fact, and one fact only—namely, that Ave should hardly think the House of Commons realises how very serious the drain has been 712 during the last 40 or 50 years upon the agricultural population of Wales. There has been a steady exodus from the country to the towns. I find that during the last 40 years the number of agricultural labourers in Monmouthshire has diminished 40 per cent. The whole agricultural population has decreased 30 per cent. during the same period; whilst, on the other hand, the population of the country as a whole has more than doubled. Sir, that is an alarming fact—a fact that is to be all the more deplored when you realise that, so far as Wales is concerned, the best life of the country is drawn from, the agricultural and rural districts. It is here that we have found our leaders in the past—the men who have led the thought and the life of the Principality; and it is here, in the midst of the rural life of the Principality, that we have always found in the past the real intellectual and moral fibre of the country. Now, I am not going to deal with the other aspects of the case, but I cordially associate myself with all that my honourable Friend has said with regard to the pressing need of amending the Sunday Closing Act. The right honourable Gentleman the Home Secretary in his reply said that it would be impossible to carry out the recommendations of the Commission appointed, be cause they were of such a general character. Now, when you consider that that Commission was appointed to deal with the Welsh Sunday Closing Act, and that Act only, and when you consider that the recommendations they made referred directly to the Welsh case, it seems hardly a reply for the right honourable Gentleman to get up and say that it is impossible for any Government to deal with the recommendations, because some of them, at all events, might have been equally applicable to other parts of the country. Now, Sir, none of those recommendations) would have been specially applicable to the case of the country generally, because, as far as England is concerned, there is no Sunday closing. The recommendations were made, and made solely, in connection with the Welsh case, and as such, I think, might have easily been carried into law. Sir, I do not desire to refer to the question of giving the people of Wales the right to solely control the liquor traffic within the boundaries of the Princi- 713 pality. A Bill has been introduced by an honoured colleague of mine on this subject, and I should be out of order in referring to it; but, Mr. Speaker, I should like to say that there is no question in Wales which has more unanimous support throughout the country than that mentioned, and the sentiment in favour of the Bill is growing daily. As to Disestablishment, I am forced to admit that we could not hope to receive any support from the Government; but I should like to point out, before I deal with the matter further, the effect the existence of the Establishment has upon the life of the people. Speaking for myself, Mr. Speaker, I consider the money part of that question as of secondary importance; but what I do consider of the greatest importance to the life of this country is the fact that now in Wales, owing to the condition of the country, the Establishment acts as a kind of dividing line, clearly separating the population of the country into two opposing camps. It is impossible, Sir, under such circumstances, for any united effort to take place on the part of the people on behalf of those great religious and social movements upon which so much of the welfare of the country depends. The Establishment flings today the torch of discord into every nook and cranny of the Welsh life. It is upon these higher grounds that I, for one, appeal to the House to recognise that there is an urgent necessity in the case of Welsh Disestablishment. As I have said before, I admit that it is impossible for us to hope for very much' comfort from the Government; it would be equally impossible for us, representing as we do in this House the predominant political faith of the country, and conscious as we are of the sacrifices that have been made in Wales by the people in order to vindicate their principles at the poll, General Election after General Election, to miss a single opportunity of stating the case of our country clearly to the House of Commons. I admit that we can hope for nothing from the Party opposite, but there is another, and a sterner, side to this question. Whilst admitting all this, no one can ask us to stand silent and watch the life of the country becoming impoverished by an acute land problem and desolated by the drink traffic without making a strong 714 protest on every possible occasion against the existence of the evil. It has been said in the course of the Debate that we have been trifling with the time of the House. Whether that be so or not, Mr. Speaker, I hope the Government will recognise that upon the questions raised by my right honourable Friend in this Amendment the people of Wales feel most keenly.
§ * MR. HOWELL (Denbigh Boroughs)
After what has fallen from the right honourable Gentleman the Secretary of State, it is hardly necessary for me to detain the House for many minutes, but it may be necessary to remind the House of the existence of such a class of persons as the Welsh Unionists, and to remind the House that, although honourable members sitting on the opposite side of the House have loudly voiced the opinions of a certain section of the Welsh people, there are' those who disagree with those opinions and not an inconsiderable number. Now, Mr. Speaker, I must commence my remarks by congratulating the honourable Gentleman the Mover of the Amendment. When I look down the Motions standing in the Orders of the Day, I see interesting Motions, and uninteresting Motions, long Motions and short Motions, but I think the honourable Gentleman takes the prize for width. He has moved the widest Amendment, and the most vague I can find at the present time—an amendment so wide as to enable him to drag once more into the light of day the poor old Berriew School Bills, which we thought had disappeared from the proceedings of this House—an Amendment so wide as to enable him to touch such questions as Temperance Reform, Disestablishment, Elementary Education, and Private Bill Legislation. I must say that I, for my own part, have learnt a lesson from him, for if I wish to speak upon anything and everything, in season and out of season, I have only to take an example from the honourable Gentleman and put down upon the Paper an Amendment to the Address such as this, and I can do so. Perhaps it would be as well that I should say that to a certain extent I agree with the honourable Gentleman; there are two points on which I do agree with him. Those two points do not, however, touch the question of legislation; they are matters of administration. I 715 refer to the question of the administration of our Museum Grants, and the administration of our grant for University education. I do agree with the honourable Gentleman, the Mover of the Motion, that the time has come when the Government must give to Wales that which it is entitled to. With regard to the Museum, we have been told on one or two occasions by the Government that the reason why we do not get the money to which we are entitled under this grant is because we are unable to agree among ourselves as to the locality in which the Museum shall be placed. All I can say in answer to such a suggestion as that is that if the Government give us the money we will do the rest. With regard to the question of the Welsh University, no man could feel more interest in the Welsh University than I do, and no one can feel prouder of the absolutely wonderful position which it has made for itself in the few years of its existence. It has established a degree which I believe in the future will be considered, and justly considered, second to none of the degrees granted by the Universities of England. Now, having agreed with the honourable Gentleman upon those two points, I am afraid I cannot carry my agreement with him further, and for this reason: with regard to the whole of the rest of the remarks of the honourable Gentleman who moved this Amendment, he made the foundation upon which he built up his criticisms of the Government in regard to the Address, separate legislation for the Principality. That is an opinion which I cannot share with him. Commencing with the question of separate legislation for Wales, the honourable Gentleman called to the attention of the House two instances in which he claims that separate legislation had been recognised in the case of Wales. He referred to the Welsh Sunday Closing Act and the Secondary Education Act. I, for one, would not say that under no circumstances ought we to give separate legislation for Wales, but what I do say is, that before you do give separate legislation you must make out a special case which can only be dealt with by special legislation, and that until a special case is made out, you must do as little as possible for Wales by that method. With regard to secondary education, there was a great difference in the conditions of England and Wales.
716 At the time of this Act England was not ripe for dealing with this question, and, therefore, I say that the subject was clearly one which required special legislation, and in that case we were rightly given a special Act because of the special circumstances. With regard to the Welsh Sunday Closing Act, I do not accept that as an instance which binds me in any way. If I were asked whether that was an Act which it was right to pass or not, I would say that at the time it was passed it was passed for a condition of things that affected Wales and England in a like degree, and it is not such an instance as can now be given. With regard to the many questions touched on by the honourable Gentleman moving this Amendment, I cannot follow him into all the matters over which he travelled, but, first of all, he touched on Disestablishment. Now, as the right honourable Gentleman has reminded the House, Disestablishment could hardly be expected by any possibility whatsoever to find a place in the programme of a Unionist Government. My honourable and learned Friend informed the House that it was the intention of the Welsh Party on that side of the House to agitate, in season and out of season, the question of the Disestablishment of the Welsh Church. I hope he will forgive me for saying that in advocating it upon this occasion he is agitating it out of season. Because, so long as the present Government is in power he could not possibly expect that his suggestion would receive their acquiescence. Then the honourable Gentleman referred to Land Reform. Well, a Special Commission sat for the purpose of inquiring into the conditions of land in Wales, not because there was any broad difference between the laws of landlord and tenant in Wales and England, but because it was contended that in Wales some special reason might be found for differentiating the case of that Principality from that of England. The Commission published the evidence and its report. The report of the majority was not a report that would find favour in the eyes of the present Administration. The Majority Report, which has been referred to by the honourable Gentleman, advised that there should be set up in Wales a Land Court for the purpose of regulating the conditions subsisting between the landlord and the tenant. The Land Law in 717 Wales is exactly the same as the Land Law of England, and with regard to the question of Land Reform, that surely is one of those general questions which, although recommended upon evidence found in Wales, would affect not only Wales but England as well; therefore, I say that to adopt such a recommendation as that would be wrong. It is a general question, not a question affecting Wales alone, and to treat it as a matter of that kind, as a case for dealing with the Principality alone, would be most improper. With regard to the subject of Temperance Reform, we have heard from the honourable Gentleman, the last speaker who appealed to this House to deal with that question, that there is a sincere desire on the part of the Welsh people that it, should be dealt with because of the evils which it engenders. I hope the honourable Gentlemen will give us the credit of believing that we on this side of the House are just as sincerely anxious to deal with the question as he is. I think I can remember that the honourable Gentleman introduced into this House—the Government not having taken up the Sunday Closing Act—a Bill for that purpose, and that this House, constituted as it is at present constituted, rejected the Measure.
§ * MR. HOWELL
And to invite an expression of an opinion on the question, as is suggestd by this Amendment, that Government should put into their programme a similar Measure to that which was rejected by them two Sessions ago—
§ * MR. HOWELL
Is little less than absurd. Now there is one other matter dealt with by the honourable Gentleman the Mover of the Amendment now before the House, the question of Private Bill Legislation, and I think with regard to that, that if ever there was a question of interest to the whole of the general Members it is this question of Private Bill Legislation. Surely, the honourable Gentleman who moved this Amendment must know that during last Session an 718 attempt was made to deal with a Measure of this character for Scotland. That is an experiment, and if the Measure is a successful Measure it will form the type of a Measure from which we may hope to derive great benefit. Surely all these matters; Temperance, Reform, Disestablishment, Elementary Education, and Private Bill Legislation,—they are all very wide questions—are not interesting to Welshmen alone, but are questions of great interest also to those who represent other parts of the United Kingdom. Let me say, with regard to the claim of the Welsh Nationalists, and I think my Friends will agree with me, that I may claim to be as fond of the language, literature, customs, manners, and life of the people of the Principality as they are: I believe that you can be as sincere a Welsh Nationalist on this side of the House as on that, keeping your nationalism free from all questions of legislation. But the question is whether nationality, as regarded in that way, entitles Welsh people at the present time to become a unit of Legislation in the United Kingdom. If you once introduced a difference in the law as between the two countries you would, in my opinion, be doing not only a very unwise thing, but you would be adopting a retrograde policy.
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling Burghs)
I think I have this advantage in this debate, that I share with my honourable Friends who have taken part in it the qualification of living in what has been somewhat inaccurately termed "the Celtic fringe," the inhabitants of which are always struggling as best they may against the sluggishness of the Saxon. Sir, the speeches that we have listened to I have heard, with a little amusement, because they so exactly revive my recollections of many debates amongst Scotch Members making exactly similar complaints. One is not allowed nowadays to quote even the least recondite piece of Latin, but certainly the old line, Mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur, applies in this instance if ever it did. The very same complaints have been made again and again with regard to Scotland, and, therefore, it is with the most complete sympathy that I have listened to my honourable Friends. Now, the right honourable Gentleman who made so 719 charming and friendly a reply, pointed out that they had not suggested any measure which could have been included in the Queen's Speech. Then, if that was so, I think it is only natural that they should take this opportunity of making, as it were, a general protest against what they conceive to be the neglect of the wishes of the people of Wales in matters for administration as well as in matters of legislation. But there are one or two questions which have been mentioned which surely have a strong claim upon Parliament for consideration. There is the question of the land. We have had, as we all know, a Royal Commission to inquire into the conditions of agriculture in Wales. The majority of that Commission rendered a report which, no doubt, would be considered of a somewhat advanced character. We could not expect—my right honourable Friend could never expect—that the Government should adopt the proposals of that report. But there was also a unanimous report; and this Commission was not entirely drawn from this side of politics. It comprised one or two of the most respected and best informed Members of the Conservative Party in Wales, who agreed with that unanimous report. It did not sound very alarming. Then there was the other Commission which was appointed—and, perhaps, appointed not with altogether favourable intentions towards the Act, which was its subject—to inquire into the working of the Sunday Closing Act in Wales. It made certain recommendations favourable to the extension, or, at any rate, better application, of that Act. It discharged, to a considerable extent, functions which we associate with the name of Balaam. It blessed where it had been intended to take a very different course. And those recommendations that right honourable Gentlemen passed aside by saying they were recommendations which would have been equally applicable to England and Wales. I do not think it is enough to say that they would have been applicable to the rest of the country, because there was no Sunday Closing Act in operation in the rest of the country, and, therefore, those provisions were not required. But these are the results, Sir, of the operations of Royal Commissions. The right honourable Gentlemen said that Royal Commissions were not, within his knowledge, 720 always appointed for the purpose of shelving a question.
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
But even supposing that they are not, there may be different objects in a Royal Commission. A little time is always a good thing to gain. They may not absolutely shelve the question, but a Royal Commission may always do one or two things: it may throw light upon a fog, and it is also an admirable instrument for the purpose of creating a fog, and, I think, has not infrequently been used for that purpose, besides the subsidiary purpose, which has been made familiar of late years, of passing an interim report of great apparent urgency, which may or may not be the foundation of some serious legislation, while the rest of the subject referred to the Royal Commission is being left alone. Well, Sir, these are two things that have been mentioned—Royal Commissions, whose recommendations might certainly have been made the subject of legislation. But, Sir, the complaint is more general, as I understand it. As I said, it is a complaint that we all suffer, because we have not the advantage of being full-blooded Englishmen. In Scotland and Wales both we find a very natural disposition to think little of the wishes and desires of people of this country when they conflict with the necessities and the requirements of the other parts of the island. The Welsh Members have brought this complaint forward on this occasion, and, I think, with great ability and moderation, and I confess that although, as I began by saying, I am in a happy state of ignorance as to the details of most Welsh questions, and I have not the advantage of being connected with the country, I still have great sympathy with them. On one question it is really cheering to find that there is comparatively little complaint, and that is the question of education. And the reason that there is comparatively little complaint is that the Welsh people have done so much for themselves in that matter, and they have secured from Parliament an amount of attention and an amount of development for their own educational system, which is really a refreshing thing to hear of in these days. 721 The right honourable Gentleman said that they had even, in some respects, gone ahead of Scotland. I should be sorry to hear it for my own country's sake, but glad to hear it for the sake of Wales. In these days, to hear of this competition between different parts of the country as to the one in which education shall make the greatest progress is one of the most satisfactory pieces of information that we can receive in this House. Well, Sir, I only rose to express my general appreciation of the complaints made by my honourable Friends, and I hope that if the right honourable Gentleman opposite has anything to do with another Queen's Speech, perhaps Wales may find in it a better place than she has to-day.
§ * MR. MCKENNA (Monmouth, N.)
The sympathetic character of the speech of the right honourable Gentleman the Home Secretary was such that he seemed only to lack occasion for giving us some hope of a little Welsh legislation. May I be allowed to suggest to him that such an opportunity is now to be found. There are at the present moment in South Wales many thousands of miners who are electorally disqualified for what I think is no fault of their own. I can fully understand that on the general law of the disqualification of paupers a great deal may be said in favour of the existing system, but that disqualification is based upon the ground that, as a rule, pauperism is discreditable. Whether it is possible to disassociate any discredit from the state of pauperism may be a fit subject for discussion. Certainly the attitude taken by those who have made proposals for old-age pensions seems to show that, in their opinion, mere pauperism in itself—the fact that a person for a subsistence is obliged to receive certain local assistance—is not of itself a sufficient ground for disqualifying him from voting. Now, Sir, in the case of the miners in South Wales, there cannot be a doubt that, so far as their being reduced to a state of pauperism is concerned, there is no fault whatever to be found with them. It is not the miners who went out on strike, but it is they who were locked out, and if they were unable to earn a livelihood, whatever the reason for the lock-out may have been—whether the masters were right or wrong, I am not now discussing 722 —undoubtedly the miners were not themselves responsible for this enforced pauperism, nor, as a matter of fact, have they been paupers in any numbers in the ordinary sense of the word. They have been employed in some local relief works, and they have been paid out of certain funds which, to some extent, were provided through Boards of Guardians. It is only by a very technical construction of the existing law that such assistance has been held to be pauperism, and to disqualify for a vote, and it would be a very simple matter for the Government to introduce a measure giving to the Local Government Board power to make rules specifying the kinds of pauperism which should disqualify from the franchise. It is a simple matter, and it is a matter calling for immediate attention. It is not a small matter because there are at least 6,000 or 8,000 miners who are disqualified at the present moment. The feeling in South Wales is exceedingly strong on the subject, and I, therefore, submit to the Government they should favourably consider these men's claim, and give immediate relief.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon, etc.)
Mr. Speaker, if any justification were required for the Motion of my honourable Friend, I think it is to be found in the speeches which we have heard from the two Front Benches. With regard to the speech delivered by the Leader of the Opposition, he frankly admitted that he knew very little about Welsh questions, and, if it was necessary, I think the character of his references to Welsh questions would be proof that that was the case. With regard to the speech which has come from the Home Secretary, while he showed some acquaintance with some of the subjects dealt with by my honourable Friend, he frankly stated that he could never concede any of the demands that have been made by the Welsh representatives on behalf of their constituents. I think that declaration by the Home Secretary will be taken note of in Wales when the time comes. I congratulate my honourable Friend the Member for Denbigh Boroughs upon his courage, he being the only Welsh Unionist Member who has taken part in this Debate, or has shown any indication of a desire to take 723 part in this Debate. Nothing can show more clearly the overwhelming preponderance of Welsh feeling upon this question than the way in which Welsh Members sitting on the other side of the House have shirked any opposition to the Motion of my honourable Friend. There are nine Welsh Unionist Members. My honourable Friend the Member for Denbigh Boroughs is the only one who has put in an appearance, and we may well ask: Where are the other eight? They have all disappeared. It shows how very strongly Welsh opinion centres in this question, that the Welsh Unionist Members have been so very anxious to avoid giving us their opinions here. There are one or two points I should like to refer to raised by the speech of the right honourable Gentleman the Home Secretary. He said on the Welsh Early Closing question that the recommendations were of a general character, and he referred to the bona-fide traveller, the question of clubs, and also the question of shebeens. It is quite true that these particular recommendations were of a general character. The question of Sunday Closing of public houses might also be the subject of general legislation if public opinion generally were prepared for such legislation, but public opinion was not prepared for it in England, and so the subject has been dealt with sectionally for Ireland, for Scotland, and Wales. All we now ask is that this Government, having unanimously conceded the principle of legislation with regard to temperance, should adopt the unanimous recommendations of a Tory Commission and make the Welsh Act effective. I submit to the House that the right honourable Gentleman's point falls to the ground. We simply want an Amendment of the Law which at the present moment is a separate one so far as Wales is concerned. The honourable Member for Denbigh Boroughs said,Take the question of Intermediate Education. If it was a good Bill at all, it was equally good for England and for Wales.That may be true. I do not controvert it. The Intermediate Education Act would probably work as well in England as it has in Wales, but English public opinion was not ripe for it while the House of Commons, at the instance 724 of a Unionist Government, unanimously passed for Wales a purely undenominational democratic Act which commended itself to the Welsh people. I venture to say that if the Unionist Government at that time had proposed a Bill of that character for the whole of the United Kingdom they would not have carried their own Party with them. The Member for Denbigh Boroughs, and the right honourable Gentleman the Home Secretary, have fallen into the same error. They said they would not recognise separate Nationality, and that we form a component part of the United Kingdom. We do, and we do not want it otherwise. If you can educate English people up to the point of accepting the Measures we ask for Wales, we are prepared for you to give them to England. It has been recognised in legislation that many conditions create differences of opinion in the two countries, and make separate legislation necessary for the Principality. With regard to Intermediate Education we are 15 years in advance of England. We are also in advance of England with regard to Sunday Closing. Why is this? Because public opinion in England, in the judgment of the Government at any rate, has not been educated up to the point of Scotch, Irish, or Welsh public opinion, and it is impossible to legislate in advance of public opinion in any part of the United Kingdom. The same thing applies to land. The right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition has pointed out that there are several unanimous recommendations made by the Welsh Land Commission, and, the request now made to the Government is that they will introduce or support a Bill embodying the recommendations which were passed by the Commissioners without protest. We do not ask the Government to adopt the drastic recommendations of the Welsh Land Commission. We cannot hope to get from a Unionist Government legislation on these lines; but what we do say is that the perfectly unanimous recommendations of the Commission should receive consideration. The honourable Baronet, the Member for Swansea, a typical Welsh Conservative in every respect, is a large landowner, and, I believe, an excellent landowner. He understands the opinion of Welsh Conservatives on that point, and is a better spokesman than possibly any Member 725 in this House, and yet the honourable Baronet signed that unanimous report containing two or three most important recommendations. What we ask is, will the Government not accept a Bill from this side of the House adopting the recommendations of the Commissioners which were arrived at unanimously? That is all we ask them to do, and the right honourable Gentleman the Home Secretary has given no answer at all, except to refer us to some vague paragraph in the Queen's Speech about a Bill which is to be introduced by the President of the Board of Agriculture, and to which annual reference has been made since 1895. This is the fourth time it has been in the Queen's Speech. Will the right honourable Gentleman say that the Government are prepared to introduce that Bill and to press it through Parliament in the present Session? What is the good of referring to a Bill which is simply there for show purposes? We have had the legislation upon Agriculture, but the one Bill which the farmers of Wales, and, I believe, the farmers of England, want has not even been introduced into the House of Commons. No one acquainted with Welsh life will contend that the conditions of land tenure in England and Wales are similar. The right honourable Gentleman may say that what is applicable to Wales is applicable to England also, so far as Agriculture is concerned, but that is not so. You have got the same state of things in Wales as you have in every Celtic country. In England a farmer regards his occupation from a business point of view purely, and if the farm does not pay he gives it up. He has none of that sentimental attachment to his home which induces the Welsh farmer to spend his last shilling for his rent rather than quit his farm, even though other creditors remain unpaid. Land in some parts of the country is not worth one-third what it was. You have no part of Wales in which that is so. There was evidence before the Commission that Welsh farmers had been evicted because they declined to vote for the candidates recommended by their landowners. That is a state of things which would not be tolerated in England, and the report of the Land Commissioners unanimously recommended legislation to meet such cases. Then on the question of devolution some declaration 726 should be forthcoming from the Local Government Board. This matter has been raised for four years. It was first raised in the Session of 1895, and we had an exceedingly satisfactory answer from the President of the Local Government Board—so satisfactory that I thought we were going to get legislation on the subject in that Session, but up to the present we have had nothing. Last Session we had a report from the Local Government Board, which was of a very serious character. It was admitted that the Local Government Board was inadequately equipped for the enormous amount of work thrown on the Department, and the result is that sometimes matters of grave local importance are decided by second or third-rate clerks. Able as these gentlemen may be, and the Local Government Board have an excellent staff, they cannot deal so satisfactorily with local grievances as could the elected representatives of the locality in which the grievances have arisen, and therefore I ask the President of the Local Government Board to say that if a scheme is substituted for referring such matters to Welsh County Councils, he will give it favourable consideration. The Welsh County Councils could deal much better with the questions than the Local Government Board. I observe that the Secretary of the Local Government Board shakes his head. I say it is absolutely impossible for the Chief Official of the Local Government Board to deal with all the questions that come before that body. For instance, they had 166,000 letters from different localities on different subjects in one year. Would it be possible for Sir Hugh Owen or any other Chief Secretary in that Department to deal with all these different questions? It is quite beyond the power of any one man, even though he be assisted by a very efficient staff. All these questions I think we are perfectly justified in asking the Government to favourably consider, as they are entirely non-contentious. With regard to the contentious questions, such as Religious Equality, Disestablishment, and Local Veto, we fully recognise that if Wales wants these things it must go to a different set of men for them, but for all that we are entitled to make our protest year by year against the continuance of this system by which one part of the country, which sends an 727 overwhelming majority here to demand certain reforms, is constantly neglected. The mere fact that the Government will not undertake legislation on the larger questions is an argument in favour of their dealing with minor and non-contentious matters, and we are entitled to let Wales fully realise that there is nothing to be expected from this Government on any of these questions.
MR. PHILIPPS (Pembroke)
Mr. Speaker, the right honourable Gentleman the Home Secretary has said that Wales would benefit from much of the general legislation which was promised in the Queen's Speech. Nobody disputes that Wales will benefit if, for instance, the legislation promised with reference to Agriculture is really carried into law. The complaint we make, and the reason why my honourable Friend, the Member for Flint Boroughs, has moved this Amendment is this, that in the Queen's Speech special legislation is promised to England, special legislation is promised to Scotland, and special legislation is promised to Ireland, but no special legislation whatever is promised to Wales. That is our complaint. I quite admit that the right honourable Gentleman is correct in saying that we are not entitled to complain because the Government would not give us any party legislation. It is quite true that for Welsh Local Veto and Welsh Disestablishment we cannot look to the present Government, for they pledged themselves against such things. Their candidates in Wales, who supported their policy, pledged themselves against these Measures, and Wales is in no way entitled to complain because she does not get them. But are we to go to Wales and tell our constituents that with regard to non-party proposals the Government are going to be equally deaf in listening to our demands? Non-party proposals have been put forward which Conservatives are just as much in favour of as are the Liberals. I will allude to two of them. The first one has reference to loans to freeholders. That was one of the unanimous recommendations of the Welsh Land Commission. It is a recommendation to which Tories and Unionists set their hands, as well as those who are opposed to the Unionists in politics. I should like to point out that in this very 728 Queen's Speech the Government propose—and I am glad to see it—that some advances of money should be made to enable working men to buy their own houses. There are numbers of our small farmers in Wales—small freehold farmers—who are every bit as poor as the working man. They bought their farms at very high prices, and borrowed the money to do so; they are paying on their mortgages four per cent., and some even as much as five per cent.; and having year by year to meet the interest on these mort gages, they are every bit as poor as any of the working men in Wales. The Government are proposing to lend money to working men to buy their own houses, but why should they not lend money to these small farmers to enable them to keep their own houses? I am certain that if the right honourable Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer was here he would bear me out when I say that at the present price of Consols the Government can borrow money at two per cent., or the merest fraction over it. Under the Land Purchase Acts the Government are lending money to the Irish landlords in millions to buy their own farms. Why should they not lend money to equally poor farmers in Wales to keep their own farms? The security is as good as it possibly could be. Land cannot fall in price, because Parliament has passed a Bill preventing the importation of live cattle. In many parts of England the business of the farmer is to fatten live cattle. It is only in Wales and Ireland that young cattle can be bred. It is because land in Wales is so suitable to the breeding of young cattle that it can never fall in value so long as the importation of foreign cattle is forbidden. If it is safe to lend money to Irish farmers to buy their farms it must be ipso facto safer to lend money to Welsh farmers to keep their own farms. The Government could not win a single county in Wales by a candidate who pledged himself against this proposal. If he is not in favour of it when he goes down to Wales, he will be before he has been at three political meetings. That is my experience. [Laughter.] Honourable Members laugh, but I must correct myself. I personally was in favour of it before I started canvassing. I was 729 referring to my own opponents. There is another absolutely non-party proposal with reference to salmon fishing in the Welsh Rivers. I believe that in Wales we have rivers which ought to be some of the best salmon rivers in the country. Why should they not be developed? It would benefit the landowners along the rivers more than anybody else. The salmon rivers in Wales are far from what they ought to be. I have some experience of the rivers in South-West Wales. They are controlled by a Board of Conservators who have not got sufficient funds at their disposal to adequately protect the rivers, the result being that poaching goes on for miles and miles. Some of the rivers have only four or five water bailiffs to look after them along their whole length. I have been writing to the President of the Board of Trade very frequently on the subject, and I hope something will be done. What happens is this: when salmon gets scarce in the district, the Board of Conservators stop the net fishing at the mouth of the rivers. That is not what is done in other countries. We buy in this country enormous quantifies of tinned salmon from British Columbia, a great quantity of which might be grown here. In British Columbia, when there are not salmon enough in a river, they establish salmon hatcheries, and they breed a lot more salmon and keep up the supply. That is what we ought to do in the Welsh rivers if the Government would pay attention to the matter, instead of allowing the Board of Conservators to stop net fishing at the mouth of the rivers. The Conservators impose regulations which make it difficult for the net fishermen at the mouth of the rivers to catch any salmon, and the fishermen naturally stop taking out licences. This reduces the funds of the Conservators, poaching increases, and things become worse than before. A proposal to remedy this. I submit to the Government, is about as non-contentious a proposal as anybody could possibly make. This Government did not promise us Welsh Disestablishment or Welsh Land Reform, but they said they were going to bring in non-Party legislation for the benefit of all classes of the community. They said they were going to develop trade. They have, however, refused to turn their attention to any of these non- 730 contentious proposals by which they might earn the gratitude of the people of Wales, and they have put us in this position. We shall not only go down to Wales to say, "Vote against the candidates because they are not in favour of Disestablishment and Land Reform"; but we shall say, "Vote against the Tory candidates because, when we propose non-Party legislation, the Government veto it just as they veto Party legislation to which we know they are opposed."
§ * MB. R. JASPER MORE (Shropshire, Ludlow)
Mr. Speaker, I rise merely to reply to a remark made by the honourable Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs. I can assure him that we take the greatest interest in the aspirations of our gifted neighbours, and I was surprised at their modesty in underrating their natural advantages. If the Liberal Leader had not said that it was not allowable to quote Latin, I should have been tempted to apply the remarks of Virgil to the farmers—namely, that the Welsh Members are too fortunate if they only knew their own peculiar blessings. One is that of being a bilingual nation. I went to Rhyl to study the tithe question, but I found I was beaten by the Welsh language. I was told that the best way to ascertain the views of the farmers was to travel in a third-class carriage, and I got a friend to do so. He told me he asked them why they objected to the burden of the tithe, and they said it was because it was imposed upon them by that rascal, George III. With regard to what the honourable member for Carnarvon Boroughs has said about salmon fishing in the Welsh rivers, I would like to point out that an Exhibition is being organised of Welsh industries. I am sure we should be delighted to have a few specimens of tinned salmon from Wales. I congratulate the Welsh people on putting aside all religious differences, and attending in such large numbers at the service held at St. Paul's on the eve of the celebration of their Patron Saint. Whatever they may say of agriculture, their mutton is most famous in London, and a peculiar dish of theirs, which they no doubt will use at the banquet, is very popular at the restaurants in the Metropolis. We have heard a good deal about Welsh education, and we know that all 731 places in the State are open to the highly educated, and it would appear to extend to foreign countries as well. The Leader of the House spoke the other night of the honourable Member for York, hut his attention was not called to the fact that one of his own supporters, the Member for Merthyr, known as the "Gold King of Wales," went out to China and advised the Chinese Government of Peking on mining concessions. When we remember his contests with the Chancellor of the Exchequer in this House on Mining Royalties it would be most interesting to know what passed between him and the Emperor of China on the subject. This illustrates the great advantage of being a bilingual nation, for most of the Members of this House are conscious of the fact that they do not know even the Chinese or the Welsh term for royalty. One of the great grievances of Wales, which has frequently been mooted in this House, and which seems to me appropriate to recall on this occasion, is the want of a capital. Welsh Members appear to me to be unable to agree on that question, and it gives us great satisfaction in Shropshire to know that the Welsh Members hold all their meetings in Shrewsbury. And when they speak in this House of some new system of Private Bill legislation, I am reminded of the line of railway between East and West Wales. We have heard before, indeed we heard last year, of a Bill promoting a railway from the East to the West of Wales, and there was to be a capital of a million pounds sterling. So much interest was taken in the scheme that it even attracted the attention of Royalty itself. The disappearance of that scheme has caused me very great regret, because it is very obvious to me that the constituency I represent—Ludlow—would be the natural capital of Wales again, as it was formally, when,
§ to some extent, the seat of the Government of Wales was at Ludlow. They were governed by a President, a Council; their meetings were extended by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and two Judges; and this we should like to see restored again. The Cambrian Archaeological Society came to Ludlow last year, and felt quite at home in their old haunts.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
The terms of the Amendment are very wide, but I think the honourable Member is now travelling beyond them.
§ * MR. JASPER MORE
My only desire, Mr. Speaker, was to call attention to one of the grievances, or supposed grievances, in Wales—namely the want of a museum there, as they all thought this town has the best of provincial museums. I shall, in conclusion, make this one remark. I have to congratulate the Welsh Members upon the fact that Birmingham is spending no less a sum than £7,000,000 in getting a supply of water from Wales, and that there is a prospect of London doing the same. I really do this because I think I shall be justified in calling the attention of the London County Council to their un-acquaintance with the history of the district, especially when we recollect that they have suggested the erection of a statue to Boadicea on the Thames Embankment, instead of to Caractacus, the hero who defended Wales, and who was betrayed by Boadicea. From all points the Welsh may be congratulated on the favourable impression they have made on this great Metropolis.
§ Question put, "That those words be there added."
§ The House divided—Ayes, 144; Noes, 194.—(Division List No. 4.)735
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Blake, Edward||Clough, Walter Owen|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Colville, John|
|Allen, W. (Nwc. under Lyme)||Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Ambrose, Robert (Mayo, W.)||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Crombie, John William|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert H.||Burns, John||Daly, James|
|Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire)||Burt, Thomas||Dalziel, James Henry|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Buxton, Sydney Charles||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan|
|Baker, Sir John||Caldwell, James||Davitt, Michael|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Baylcy, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Causton, Richard Knight||Dillon, John|
|Billson, Alfred||Cawley, Frederick||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Birrell, Augustine||Channing, Francis Allston||Doogan, P. C.|
|Duckworth, James||Lewis, John Herbert||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Dunn, Sir William||Lloyd-George, David||Roche, Hn. James (East Kerry)|
|Ellis, Thos. E. (Merionethsh.)||Logan, John William||Samuel, J. (Stockton on Tees)|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Lough, William||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Evans, Sir Francis H. (Sth'ton)||Lyell, Sir Leonard||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Mac Aleese, Daniel||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Mac Neill, John Gordon Swift||Shee, James John|
|Ffrench, Peter||M' Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||M' Dermott, Patrick||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||M' Ghee, Richard||Souttar, Robinson|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||M' Kenna, Reginald||Spicer, Albert|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||M' Laren, Charles Benjamin||Steadman, William Charles|
|Gibney, James||Maddison, Fred.||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Gilhooly, James||Mandeville, J. Francis||Strachey, Edward|
|Gladstone, Bt. Hon. Herbert J.||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Molloy, Bernard Charles||Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)|
|Gold, Charles||Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel)||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Morgan, J. Lloyd Carmarthen)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Hammond, John (Carlow)||Morgan, W. Pritchard (Merthyr||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Harwood, George||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Thomas, Alf. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Hazell, Walter||Morris, Samuel||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Morton, Ed. J. C. (Devonport)||Tully, Jasper|
|Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth)||Moss, Samuel||Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)|
|Hodderwick, Thos. Charles H.||Murnaghan, George||Walton, John. L. (Leeds, S.)|
|Hemphill, Bt. Hon. Charles H.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Hogan, James Francis||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||Paulton, James Mellor||Williams, John Carvell (Notts.|
|Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Pease, Joseph T. (Northumb.)||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Philipps, John Wynford||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Jordan, Jeremiah||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Woods, Samuel|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||Pinkerton, John||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Kinloch, Sir John G. Smyth||Price, Robert John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Labouchere, Henry||Reid, Sir Robert Thresie||Mr. Herbert Boberts and Mr. Brymor Jones.|
|Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cum'land||Richardson, J. (Durham)|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Acc'gton||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Leng, Sir John||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Chelsea, Viscount||Garfit, William|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Clarke, Sir Edward (Plymouth||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H.(C. of London|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Cochrane, Hn. Thos. H. A. E.||Gilliat, John Saunders|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Coddington, Sir William||Godson, Sir Augustus Fred'k|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Goldsworthy, Major-General|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitzroy||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Gordon, Hon. John Edward|
|Balcarres, Lord||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Goschen, George J. (Sussex)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Graham, Henry Robert|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W.||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Gull, Sir Cameron|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Curzon, Viscount||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord George|
|Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin||Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert W.|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hanson, Sir Reginald|
|Beckett, Earnest William||Denny, Colonel||Hare, Thomas Leigh|
|Bethell, Commander||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Heath, James|
|Biddulph, Michael||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Heaton, John Henniker|
|Bigwood, James||Dorington, Sir John Edward||Helder, Augustus|
|Bill, Charles||Douglas, Bt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Drage, Geoffrey||Hoare, E. Brodie Hampstead)|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Dyke, Bt. Hn. Sir Wm. Hart||Hobhouse, Henry|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Holland, Hon. Lionel Raleigh|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)||Elliot, Hn. A. Ralph Douglas||Hornby, Sir William Henry|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Fardell, Sir T. George||Houston R. P.|
|Brown, Alexander H.||Fergusson, Rt.Hn.Sir J. (Mnc'r||Howard, Joseph|
|Butcher, John George||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Howell, William Tudor|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Finlay, Sir Bobert Bannatyne||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)||Fisher, William Hayes||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice-|
|Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.||Folkestone, Viscount||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||Jenkins, Sir John Jones|
|Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton||Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Johnstone, John H. (Sussex)||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Joliffe, Hon. H. George||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Spencer, Ernest|
|Kenyon, James||Nicholson, William Graham||Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)|
|Knowles, Lees||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset)|
|Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Northcote, Hn. Sir H. Stafford||Stanley, Henry M. (Lambeth)|
|Lafone, Alfred||O' Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M 'Taggart|
|Leighton, Stanley||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darl'ton)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Pender, Sir James||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Penn, John||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liv'pool)||Pilkington, Richard||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Lorne, Marquess of||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Thorburn, Walter|
|Lowe, Francis William||Plunkett, Rt. Hn. Horace Curzon||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Lowles, John||Pollock, Harry Frederick||Valentia, Viscount|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Purvis, Robert||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Lubbock, Rt. Hn. Sir John||Pym, C. Guy||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Lucas-Shadwell, William||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of Wight|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Rentoul, James Alexander||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Maclure, Sir John William||Richards, Henry Charles||Whiteley, George (Stockport)|
|M' Arthur, Chas. (Liverpool)||Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.|
|M' Calmont, Col. J.(Antrim,E.)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas Thomson||Williams, Joseph Powell- (Bir.)|
|Malcolm, Ian||Round, James||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)|
|Maple, Sir John Blundell||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Wolff, Gustav Welhelm|
|Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Russell, Gen. F. S. (Cheltenham||Wyndham, George|
|Milbank, Sir Powlett C. John||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)||Wyvill, Marmaduke D' Arcy|
|Milner, Sir Frederick George||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)||Ward, Hon. Robert A. (Crewe)|
|Monckton, Edward Philip||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard||Young, William|
|Monk, Charles James||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|More, Robert Jasper||Sharpe, William Edward T.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Morrell, George Robert||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
§ Main Question again proposed.