HC Deb 21 February 1899 vol 67 cc68-112

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Main Question (7th February), "That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, as followeth: — Most Gracious Sovereign,— We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Majesty for the Gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both Houses of Parliament."—(Captain Bagot.)

Main Question again proposed.

Another Amendment proposed, at the end of the Question, to add the words — And we humbly express our regret that there is no indication in Your Majesty's Gracious Speech that the provisions of the Employers' Liability Act will be extended to British Seamen, in order to secure greater protection to life and limb at sea."—(Mr. Havelock Wilson.)

MR. HAVELOCK WILSON (Middlesbrough)

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry if I have to take up the time of the House in discussing the question of extending the Employers' Liability Act, but, Sir, the fault is not mine— it is that of the Government in neglecting to do their duty to the men who have to go to sea for a living. Now, Sir, the sailors and firemen employed in our Mercantile Marine are now in exactly the same position that the workmen were in some nine years ago. In the year 1890 the Government recognised the importance of making the employers responsible for injuries that had been caused to workmen by the neglect of foremen and managers in their employ. Unfortunately, Sir, at that time, the seafaring men were not directly represented in this House, and consequently it was possible for the shipowner Members of the House of Commons to persuade the House that it would be an unjust thing to include seamen in the Employers' Liability Act. Now, Sir, the shipowners have been very fortunate in that direction. We have had several Amendments to the Employers' Compensation Acts, and the shipowners on each and every occasion have been able to succeed in escaping their liabilities. Now, Sir, I should like to call the attention of the House of Commons to the fact that the shipowners, although they are largely responsible for the largo number of injured workmen who are to be found in our workhouse hospitals, and also for the large number of widows and orphans that are to be found in the workhouses, directly pay no rates whatever towards the support of those institutions except what they pay in connection with their office. A shipowner may have £100,000 worth of shipping, yet the only rates he pays in connection with that shipping are those paid on the office for managing the business. Now, Sir, any other employers of labour who hare property worth £100,000 would have to pay very largely indeed in the district where their works are situated to maintain the institutions to which I refer. I have noticed that whenever there has been an Employers' Liability Bill be fore the House the shipowners have come down quite lively, and voted for such a Bill to be passed, saddling other employers on shore for all the responsibilities of such an Act. But when ever any proposal of the kind has been made with a view to extending such Act of Parliament to shipowners they have done their best to intimidate the Government that has approached the question until they have been absolutely afraid to do their duty to the seamen of this country, because they were afraid of the shipowning influence. But, Sir, I should like to point out to the Government that it is altogether a mistake to suppose that the shipowners are opposed to the seamen having the Employers' Liability Act. As a matter of fact, when the Bill of the right honour able Gentleman was before the House in 1893, the seamen were included in that Bill, and several very prominent shipowners supported the proposal to include the seamen in that Measure. There was the honourable Baronet the Member for Southampton and some five or six others, whose names I do not remember for the moment, who sup ported the Bill being extended to sea men. There were only about three or four shipowners in this House who were opposed to this extension. Now, Sir, I venture to say that if I were to can vass this House of Commons on both sides, I do not believe that I should find 50 Members who were opposed to seamen being included in any Work men's Compensation Act. But, some how or other, the present Government are very much afraid of the shipowning influence outside the House of Commons. I won't tell them that they have no reason to be afraid of that influence, because I find that only two weeks ago a very prominent shipowner in the Port of Hartlepool wrote to the right honourable Gentleman the Home Secretary asking him to bring in a Bill to extend the Employers' Liability Act to seamen. Now, Sir, when the Work men's Compensation Act was before the House the Home Secretary made a speech, in which, he said:— I now come to the question as to what the Industries Bill is to apply to. From what I have said, the House will imply that in our opinion it is not possible that the Bill can apply to all the industries of the country. We propose that the Bill shall apply to what I may call the most dangerous industries of the country. Now, Sir, if the right honourable Gentleman had applied the Bill to the most dangerous industries, I venture to say that the shipping industry would have been the industry to which he would have applied the Bill first, because I shall quote figures to prove that the loss of life at sea is something appalling as compared with any other industry in the country. The right honourable Gentleman the Home Secretary, in reply to the right honourable Gentleman the Member for East Fife, said: — We never pretended that it was a complete and final Measure. We have never barred the way absolutely for all time against the possible inclusion of the trades which are now excluded. But when my right honourable Friend said that we might with the greatest ease have extended the Bill to deal with agricultural labourers and with shipping and other trades, I say that, having regard to the time which has already been taken in discussion in Committee and Report Stage upon this professedly incomplete Bill, it is perfectly evident that if we had accepted his advice and brought other trades into the Bill, the Bill would not have been passed in an ordinary Session. Now, Sir, I remember very well that when the Debate took place on this Bill, that several shipowners asked the Government in this House to apply the Bill to seamen, whereas on the other hand, the coalowners—and there are many of them in this House—absolutely protested against the Bill being extended to the coal men. Now, Sir, on what grounds do I ask that something should be done by the Government in connection with seafaring men? On the main question of time the Bill was passed in the year 1897, and now we are in the year 1899, and from the Queen's Speech it is very evident that the Government have not a very large legislative programme in hand, and I think they have had ample time, by now, to have done something in connection with bringing an Amendment in to extend some kind of employers' liability to seamen. And I might point out to the right honourable Gentleman the Leader of the House that he promised, in reply to some question that was asked of him, that at a very early date it was the intention of the Government to bring in a special Bill for seamen. Now, Sir, the Government have not fulfilled their pledges, and I, as representing the seamen, have a right to come to this House of Commons to make one more appeal to them to ask the Government, after I have quoted figures—which I say are startling figures—do they intend for ever to allow the seamen to be injured and killed in such large numbers without bringing in some Measure of legislation to prevent it if they possibly can? Now, Sir, my grounds for asking for this Bill are, first of all, that the seafaring profession or trade is the most dangerous of any industry in the country, and I think I shall be able to prove that by figures published in the "Gazette" of the Board of Trade. Now, the total number of accidents in mines for the year 1896, 1897, and 1898 was 2,977, and the total number of men employed was 728,713, showing a percentage of 134 per 100,000. Those accidents were in mines. Now, Sir, I come to the next most dangerous trade, and that is on our railroads, where the total number of men employed for the same period was 463,112. Now, the number killed during the three years was 1,564, or an annual death-rate of 119 per 100,000 men employed. Now, Sir, in the factories and workshops, and I would like to call the right honourable Gentleman's attention to this fact, wherever there are proper safeguards, the loss of life in those industries gradually diminishes the whole time. Now, in the factories and workshops there are very strict precautions with a view of affording safety for life and limb, and out of a total of 3,743,418 people employed the death-rate for the three years was only 1,578, or an annual death-rate of 14 persons per 100,000 employed. I venture to say that if anyone wants to find the reason for that small death-rate, it is in consequence of our Factory Acts and the Employers' Liability Act, and, above all, to the manner in which the Home Office administers those laws. Now, Sir, when we come to the shipping, I ask the right honourable Gentlemen on the Bench opposite if the Government can possibly remain inactive after I have given them those figures. I know the right honourable Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade was at a, shipowners' dinner the other day, and he was quoting figures, and congratulating the shipowners on the fact that the loss of life at sea had greatly diminished. Now, I venture to say that the right honourable Gentleman was not altogether careful with his figures, and in all probability those figures had been prepared in such a way that they were not altogether correct. I venture to say that with respect. Ho said the total number of people drowned was 700 for the year. That is perfectly true if you only take the figures for the persons drowned by wreck and standards. But, Sir, that is not the only life at sea. There are nearly as many men killed on board ship where there is no injury to the vessel at all. Now, Sir, out of a total of 231,000 men employed the death-rate for three years was 5,058 for each 100,000 men employed, or 769 for each year. The figures are as follows:—In 1898 the total number of men killed and drowned by wreck and casualty was 1,818, in 1897 1,612, and in 1898 1,598. Now, Sir, I contend that these are very startling figures, and it is the duty of the present Government, with the large majority they have at their disposal, to seriously consider whether something cannot be done to remedy that state of affairs. Now, without being guilty of repeating myself too much, I will just quote again the figures as they are in each trade. In mines, for each 100,000 men, 134; railways, 119; factories and workshops, 14 per 100,000; and for ships 769 per 100,000. Now, I ask, Sir, am I not justified, as representing those men, in coming to this House of Commons, even if it is to waste time, as some people might say?—is it not my duty to come here and to ask that something should be done, if possible, to remedy this state of affairs? And, mark you, Sir, this has been going on for years. It is not a matter of a few weeks or a few days, but this has been going on for years. The right honourable Gentleman was congratulating the shipowners on the fact that the loss of life at sea was diminishing, but it was not in consequence of the extra safety of ships. If there are more lives saved at the present time it is on account of the amount of salvage work done in the Western Ocean by sailors picking up disabled ships. That did not happen years ago so much, and if there is any diminution in the number of lives lost it is due to the fact that seamen are able to render more service to each other at sea. Now, what are the objections which the shipowners have raised to seamen being included in this Act? Some of them are exceedingly funny and amusing to me, although they might do all right for some people who do not quite understand the shipping trade; but to those who know, I venture to say they are exceedingly funny. Well, now, the shipowner says that the shipping trade is the most dangerous, and the Secretary for the Colonies says that the mines are the most dangerous. That is a point for the right honourable Gentleman the Colonial Secretary and the shipowners to settle between themselves. But the shipowners say that the shipping trade is unprofitable. Well, Sir, I know that the profits of some firms does not amount to a great deal; but I know other firms which are a perfect Klondike. I have heard of people going to Klondike to make fortunes; but I have read the prospectus of the Cardiff Shipping Company, in which they have promised the shareholders 48 per cent.


For how long?


They do not state any length of time, but they claim that for the past three years they have earned 26 per cent. Where is there another firm that can say they have earned so much money? I am not going to say whether the statements in this prospectus are right or wrong. They say they have made that amount of money, and on that score the shipowners cannot possibly plead poverty as a reason for not extending this Act to seamen. Now, Sir, the shipowners, or some of them, have opposed this extension, but, as I have said before, I believe the majority of shipowners are anxious that the seamen should have this Bill. It is only the small petty firms whose managers are not the owners, who get a sum of money for managing each ship and pose themselves as shipowners; but they are really not shipowners at all—these are the men who make the most noise in opposition to the seamen having the Employers' Liability Act extended to them. One strong point which they urge is that the shipowner has no direct control over his vessel. They have said in this House, "We may build a fine ship, we may equip this vessel with all the latest improvements in machinery, and select the very best captain we can get with the certificate; we send her away on a long voyage, and when she is entirely out of our control some mishap occurs through some neglect on the part of the captain or the other officers, and are we to be held responsible for negligence of the captain and the officers?" Could not that same argument be urged by every other employer? Could not the mine owner, who may himself go away and be thousands of miles from his works in India, could ho not urge the same point, and that if an accident happened through the neglect of the manager of the mine, say, "Gentlemen, you cannot hold me responsible for this; I have been out in India, and my manager is to blame." I venture to say that the jury would quickly tell that mine-owner that he was responsible for the acts of his manager. Is it not the same with the factories and workshops? I do not know that the owners of factories and workshops live on the premises or superintend their work, for they generally leave that in the hands of competent managers. Therefore, I say, the shipowner has got equally as much control over his ship as any other employer has got over his particular works. In my opinion that is no reason, or, at any rate, no good substantial reason, for the seamen not being included. Then, Sir, the shipowners say that the seamen have exceptional treatment. Well, Sir, I know the Merchant Shipping Act fairly well, for it is my business to read the various sections of it from time to time, and I would like to know where this exceptional treatment is that seamen have which is not enjoyed by every working man. In the case of the miners, have they not got a Mines Regulation Act, which is tantamount to the Merchant Shipping Act? Have the men working in workshops and factories not got the Factories Act? Then we might urge that because they have got the Factories Act and the Mines Act they have such excellent precautions that they should not have the Employers' Liability Act. But I would like to point out this to the Government: you may have a good many Acts of Parliament passed for the protection of the sailor, and they work exceedingly well whilst the ship is in ports of the United Kingdom, where we have a large staff of officers employed by the Board of Trade to see that these Acts are carried out and administered in a proper manner. But, Sir, I want to call the attention of the House of Commons to this fact, that the bulk of our ships are trading m ports abroad, where there are no Board of Trade officers, and where there is no one to see that the Merchant Shipping Act is properly enforced. Why, Sir, if we were now to extend the Board of Trade inspection to all the ports of the world it would be necessary to have a whole army of Board of Trade surveyors and officers appointed to all parts of the world to see that this Act was properly carried out. But, Sir, that is not a fact. In ports of the United Kingdom the seamen do not need protection at all, for when the vessels arrive in port at the present time the men are discharged from the ships, and, consequently, it is not until they have been engaged on another vessel and proceed to sea that they require protection of this kind by exceptional legislation. Now, Sir, I want to remind the shipowners of this House that if the seamen have protection, and I know the kind of protection that they have—they have got a law which says-that no ship shall leave a port in the United Kingdom or any other port that is overladen; they have got an Act which provides for the stowage of grain to see that it is properly stowed; there are several other things with regard to lifeboats and buoys—but I say these are a lot of things that occur in a similar kind of legislation for factories and workshops. I want particularly to call the attention of the House to this fact, that a seaman, when once he is engaged on a ship, is at once subjected to exceptional laws. The captain is monarch of all he surveys for the time being, and the captain's word is bound to be obeyed, whether it is right or wrong. Not only the captain, but every other superior officer on board ship, has the right to judge, when an order is given, as to whether it is a right order or not, and the man is bound to obey that order. If a seaman refuses to obey the lawful orders of the master or any officer of the vessel, it is possible for him to be brought before a court, and, as a matter of fact, he may be sentenced to terms of imprisonment from one week up to twelve. Only a few weeks ago a ship met with an accident during a storm in the Downs, and after bumping about on the beach for some time, they eventually got the vessel off, and the men protested against going to sea again in the vessel until she was put in the dock and properly surveyed. Now, I do not think anyone would object to that. If a ship has been on the ground bumping about it is quite possible that there might be a considerable defect in her. Those men objected to proceed in the vessel until she had been put in the dock, and, in consequence, they were taken ashore at Deal and brought before the court. Well, the magistrates on the bench were all ships' captains, and they called in a surveyor and another captain who said that the vessel was perfectly seaworthy, but they had taken no trouble whatever, any more than anyone else, to see that the ship was perfectly safe. Well, those men were sentenced to six weeks' hard labour, but, fortunately, through the good nature of the right honourable Gentleman the Home Secretary, they were released after doing a month's imprisonment. Now, those men were all men of good character. One of them was a seaman who had served 21 years in the Royal Navy, and he had served on the same ship with the honourable and gallant Gentleman the Member for York. He was a man with an exceptionally good character, and yet he was sent to prison because, in his judgment, he thought it was not safe to go into that ship unless she was properly surveyed. I say that when men are subjected to I hat kind of treatment Ave have a right to ask that there shall be some legislation to make the owners responsible for any orders that may be given by the captain where the men are likely to be injured. All that we have in the way of protection at the present time is this: if we can prove that a ship was defective in her hull and machinery before she left the port, and the owners knowingly sent that ship to sea, knowing the hull and machinery were defective, we have a right, in the event of injury or loss, to sue for compensation. But, Sir, that is, in com- merce, only a small number of accidents on board a ship. I remember one case that we carried to the House of Lords. It was the case of a vessel which discharged a cargo on the river Thames, and part of the bulwark had not been attended to. As soon as the ship was discharged they let go the ropes and she steamed away down the river. The captain was anxious to have the hold of the ship cleared up ready to take in a cargo at Penarth. When they got into the Channel a heavy gale sprang up, and the men were called out of the hold while the ship was pitching and tossing very heavily. As they were engaged closing up the hatches the ship gave a heavy lurch, and the men were thrown through the bulwarks. At the Durham Assizes the jury awarded the widow of one of the men who were killed £195. This was appealed against, and the Court of Appeal decided the question. We proceeded under the section which provides that where a ship is unseaworthy in her equipments the owner is liable. Well, the Court of Appeal decided that the ship was seaworthy within the meaning of the Act; that the defect in this bulwark did not affect the seaworthiness of the vessel in any degree; and that if there was any fault it was the fault of the captain, and not of the shipowner. The captain being a fellow servant, the Court decided that there could not be any compensation given to the widow. Well, we took that case to the House of Lords, and that House also decided that the captain was a fellow servant, and therefore there was no compensation. Now, Sir, just imagine a sailor, being a fellow servant of the captain, coming to him and calling his attention to something of a dangerous nature. I can just imagine what the captain would say, for he would very soon order that sailor about his business, and if he did not go he would put him in the loft for insolence and disobedience to the commands of the master. All I want is the Government to extend the Employers' Liability Act of 1880, and that is a very small demand, for I am not asking for the Compensation Act. I would not mind taking it, but I know what a storm of indignation would come from certain shipowning Members of this House if I were to talk about that being extended to seamen. But I will be modest, and only ask if the Government will bring in a Bill to extend the Employers' Liability Act of 1880 to seamen. We will take that as a small instalment. There are other reasons which the shipowners give against extending this Act, and these are what I call the funny ones. They say that we provide the men with medical comforts. Well, now, I have had some experience of the medical comforts provided on sailing ships and steam ships. They do not carry doctors, and the captain is supposed to be the doctor. Well, he does not pass any examination in medicine, and there is one remedy which he always relies on, and that is salts. If a man gets a broken leg he gives him a dose of salts, and as for the surgical business, I say the Lord help the poor fellow who gets his leg or arm broken on board a ship if she is a sailing vessel on a long voyage. You would be astonished to see the large number of men who are crippled for life in consequence of not having their limbs properly set on board ship immediately after the accident. I had a case of a young man the other day who was only 21 years of age. He met with an accident on board a sailing ship, and broke his arm. The captain did the best he could for him, but he did not know much about it. The man's arm was set on board, but it was not set properly, and the result was that when he came ashore he had to have it re-broken again after it had been set for months. And now that young man is crippled for life, and his arm is no use. I have known lots of cases where men have had their legs broken, and they have been set on board ship, and when they have come ashore they have had to have them broken again, and in many case* have had to have them amputated. Now, I can give names of men and places where these cases have occurred, if necessary. I think the least the shipowners say about medical and surgical attendance as being an argument against the seamen having the Employers' Liability Act the better. Then, say the shipowners, there is another reason: If a vessel leaves the port and a man meets with an accident after the ship has left, we have got to keep this man on the ship and pay his wages during the whole of the time he is disabled. Now, Sir, I know a little bit about that, and I will throw some light on the subject. If the ship leaves, and the man has the misfortune to meet with an accident shortly after the ship leaves port, it is no hardship on the owner, because he does not stop the vessel to get another hand on board, for the men who have signed on have to do the work of this man who is injured. Therefore, there is nothing which the shipowner suffers on that point, and there is no hardship upon him. But, Sir, the sailing ships are gradually dying away, and their tonnage now is exceedingly small, and will get smaller every year; and on steamers when men meet with accidents it is only a few days before they are landed in the first hospital at the nearest port at which the ship might call for coals. Now, as soon as the man is landed in the hospital, the only expenses the shipowner is called upon to pay are the hospital expenses, and then when the man is being sent home to his own port the shipowner is charged at the rate of 3s. a day whilst the man is being conveyed on board ship as a distressed seaman. There, again, I say that the shipowners are not at any great disadvantage on that point. Now, Sir, the shipowners have also contended that they maintain a benefit fund through the Shipping Federation. That is to say that if a man is injured, as a member of the Shipping Federation Fund, he is entitled to so many weeks' pay at something like 10s. a week, or in the event of death his relatives are entitled to the sum of £25. But, surely, Sir, they are not the only employers in the world who provide these benefits. I venture to say that there is not a class of employers, speaking generally, and taking the shipping community all round, who give less to such funds than the shipowners do. The men who support the Shipping Federation Benefit Fund do not do so with a view to help the seaman, but with a view of discouraging the seaman from being a member of a Trade Union, whereby he is likely to give trouble. Now, Sir, I think that the time has arrived when the Government should do something in this question. There cannot be any substantial argument brought forward as a plea for not giving the seamen the benefit of this Act. I know that a great deal may be said about the difficulty of getting evidence, but that is not against the shipowner—that is against the men. I have heard it argued in this House—"Oh! but look at the trouble that we will have in getting evidence, supposing that a man is in India, and some 12 months afterwards brings an action against the shipowner. Where is the shipowner going to get his evidence to protect himself against the demands made by this man?" Why, Sir, it is just the opposite way, because the officers of a ship always—or generally—stop in the vessel year after year, with a view of getting promotion, and you can always depend on the first mate or second mate supporting the captain in whatever evidence he may give. I have had some experience of that. No doubt the seamen on their part are just as ready to support their mates in their evidence—there is no doubt about that; but, Sir, if a seaman is injured on board of a ship, his policy is to get his case on as early as possible, because if he has need of his ship-mates, if he wants to call his witnesses, and does not get his case on quickly, the chances are that when the case conies before the court he has not got his evidence: the shipowner has got his evidence, and the man loses his case. Therefore, it is a very weak point, I think, for them to urge, that of the question of getting evidence to protect themselves. I do not think it is a substantial point, and it is one that I venture to say the House would not agree with. Now, Sir, I do not know what the right honourable Gentleman is going to promise. I know that he is very generous, and I know that if he can do a good turn he is always ready to do it; but I would like to say this, that I do not believe that his supporters upon that side of the House—I do not believe they will vote for us in this Debate, because they say the question is one of censure on the Government; but I believe that if they were left entirely free to vote upon this question they would be ten to one in favour of the sailors having this Act. I know that honourable Gentlemen opposite, those who have no connection with the shipping, would support the seamen on this, and I know also that the majority of honourable Members in this House who are shipowners are all in favour of the seamen having this Bill, except about three honourable Members — and I believe that one or two of them will speak to-night—who will oppose the seamen having this Bill. On the other hand, I know that there are shipowners who will, perhaps, speak to-night, and will support the seamen. I ask the right honourable Gentleman, seeing that there is plenty of time this Session, if he can see his way clear to bring in a small Bill giving to seamen the Employers' Liability Act, 1880. We will take that as an instalment, and come back later on, perhaps, in another Session; but if we can get that as a start we will see how we get on with it, and then I venture to say that some other day they will be able to give us another Bill. Sir, apologising for having taken up so much time, I beg to move the Amendment which stands in my name.

MR. WOODS (Essex, Walthamstow)

Mr. Speaker, I rise simply to formally second the Motion of my honourable Friend.

*ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)

I have listened with attention to the excellent speech of the honourable Member, which I have no doubt is calculated to call forth a good deal of sympathy, and deserves sympathy, from both sides of the House. There cannot be any question that the great majority, indeed the whole, of the House are in warm sympathy with the seaman class, and would be only too happy to assist any Government in remedying any grievances, where grievances exist, and to support any proper remedy that can be offered to meet the points to which the honourable Member has alluded in his speech. The honourable Member also says that he believes nearly everybody would vote, if they were free to vote, for the views he has enunciated, with one or two exceptions. Well, Sir, I am one of those exceptions, and I have always opposed this kind of legislation when it has been produced. A right honourable Gentleman, now a member of the Government, then, I think, not a Member of the Government —I refer to the Vice-President of the Council—supported this kind of legislation. I am utterly opposed to it, and I believe the worst thing Parliament could do would be to bring seamen as a class under the Employers' Liability Act. The honourable Member speaks as if the seamen were under no law at all; he would lead the House to believe that the Merchant Shipping Act scarcely exists. Why, he gave us an illustration, Sir, of how the seamen at the present moment are under common law, and how he and his friends took a case to the House of Lords. He got an unfortunate decision, which I for one greatly regret. If there be a defect in the law, I should like to see such defect cured. I think that the case is a very strong one, and I think that if the shipowner is not liable for the act of his captain, he ought to be. I only quoted because the honourable Gentleman laid great stress upon it; we want more legislation, he said. That may be an argument in favour of amendment of the existing law, but it is not an argument for bringing in exceptional legislation, and bringing seamen under an Act which no Government has felt justified up to the present in attempting. The honourable Gentleman referred to the dangers of the seamen's calling. Granted that the calling of the sea is a very dangerous calling: because of its dangers, because of; the necessity which arises from time to time of dealing with these dangers, I say it is practically impossible to bring seamen under the Employers' Liability Act without creating more evils than you would remedy. We have had a striking example recently of the perils of the sea in the terrible dangers which happened to the "Pavonia," which was nearly lost. If the owners had been under the Employers' Liability Act, I doubt whether the crew and the captain and the officers would have applied themselves as diligently to meet the terrible state of things. ("Oh, oh!") Well, I am only saying that after all, captains are human. The men had opportunity to go on shore, to leave the ship. They did not leave the ship, to their honour be it said. Many of the risks that were run were so serious that if the captain of that ship had been hampered by the Employers' Liability Act, it is quite possible he would have hesitated to call upon his men to undertake some of the work which they carried out. I am not quite certain what are the numbers of the sailing ships now afloat, I believe the figures are about 4,000; but it might very well arise in sailing ships that a captain would be hampered in his actions by the thought of the liability cast upon his owners if lie called upon his men to run certain risks, to go aloft, and so on. Seamen, I believe, do not ask for this kind of legislation. What they ask for, and have a right to have, is that the law should be so framed that it should be impossible to allow unseaworthy ships to go to sea—Mr. Plimsoll brought in legislation with that end—and that it should be impossible for ships to go to sea undermanned. The Manning Committee made some recommendations to put an end to the evil of undermanning if the honourable Member will bring forward a Motion to deal with that evil he will have my warm sympathy. Then there is the question of overloading. These are evils which can be guarded against by legislation, and have been cured more or less. Well, I have said overloading should be guarded against, unseaworthiness should be guarded against, und regulations that ships should be properly manned and well-found should be enforced. When that is done I do not think the seamen will ask for more protection. All that can be settled before a ship leaves port, but the various risks which arise at sea are such that I think the captain ought to have a free hand, and if you are to tie him down by the restrictive operation of the Employers' Liability Act, I believe it would be doing more harm than any good which could arise to the seamen from the adoption of that Act. Brave deeds we have seen done in the Atlantic by brave men. The other day, I think it was the "Vedamore" which launched a boat to rescue men, and successfully rescued them, under great difficulties. But if you had these ships under the Employers' Liability Act, a Captain might hesitate whether he is to send his men to face these risks in a raging sea.




No, I decline to give way.


They were volunteers.


Quite so. The seamen may volunteer, but the captain may hesitate to allow them to go if you saddle him with these ghastly liabilities. I believe all the seamen want is to be allowed to pursue their calling under as safe conditions as circumstances permit, and I think the proper manner in which any possible damage to their interests, any possible loss of life or limb, should be met is by a Federation Shipping Fund, to which the honourable Member alluded just now. These seamen's benefit funds are the best funds that can be originated in any way. They are subscribed to by shipowners and men—just as you have on the railways the great railway companies subscribing to benefit funds for their employés. And I think in that direction we should look—to encourage this system of mutual help, both employers and employed joining—and not to exceptional legislation such as the honourable Gentleman recommends. I have always opposed it, and I shall continue to oppose it. I think it is a mischievous kind of legislation, and it has never been yet recommended by any Government, and it passes the wit of man to invent by legislation any system that can quite justly and equitably deal with the great interests which are imperilled by the calling of the sea.

*COLONEL DENNY (Kilmarnock Burghs)

Mr. Speaker, I also oppose the motion, but not for the same reason as my honourable Friend. When the Workmen's Compensation Act was being discussed in this House, seamen were left out of the scope of that Act, because it was felt that they could not be brought under an Act which entirely related to land industries. The honourable Member has now brought forward what he considers to be the maximum amount that he is prepared to take. But may I point out to him that while I, and I am sure all of us, are entirely sympathetic towards the claims of the seamen, it is advisable that we should consider not only the cause of the seamen but the cause of the employers as well. You must not legislate in such a way as would do the minimum of good with the maximum of harm to both parties. Now, Sir, I will take this Employers' Liability Act of 18S0. It does not fulfil the object desired, because it practically throws upon the seaman the onus of proving his case against the shipowner. I am prepared—and I have advocated it in my own constituency, and will advocate it again—to submit that a modification of the Workmen's Compensation Act adapted to sea life is what is really required.


Quite right.


But, Sir, this Employers' Liability Act, 1880, is absolutely inadequate, for this simple reason, as I say, that it throws the onus of proof upon the seaman, who is so situated that it is exceedingly difficult for him to give proof. That is particularly so, Sir, in individual cases; but the great hardships that sailors have to endure are more apparent when the disaster happens en masse, and when the ship disappears, and no one is left to say what is the reason why the ship has gone, and gone for ever. How does the honourable Gentleman meet a case like that I He cannot tell whether the loss of the ship was due to the fault of the owner, of the captain or his officers, or whether it was due to the act of Cod, or to the fault of the men themselves. How can a case for liability be established under those circumstances'? My opinion is that the grant now given by the Shipping Federation to men who suffer from accident is too small, and the compensation awarded for the loss of a man's life is insufficient for a widow and children to live on in these days. I do not see how it can be possible to assess damages in the circumstances I have mentioned. I know that the right honourable Gentleman the late Home Secretary had this matter very carefully under consideration in 18y3. With all respect, I do not sec very well how you can meet this point. In cases where a ship is lost with all hands, and there is no one left to tell the tale, you cannot find out who is to blame, and the widows remain absolutely uncompensated. And in cases where individual men are injured it is almost impossible to get evidence. In the case of factories like my own works, under the Employers' Liability Act, the moment an accident happens we are obliged to report it to the proper authority, and the police at once send down an official to examine into the whole circumstances of the accident. He has an opportunity of examining everything. He sees what has caused the accident, and has a clear opportunity of judging all the circumstances. But, Sir, just consider the case of a ship in mid-ocean. Something happens. The ship is divided into two camps of witnesses, one consisting of the officers and the other of the men. Independent evidence and independent criticism are bound to be entirely wanting, and, therefore, I say that under no circumstances can the Employers' Liability Act, 1880, be applicable to seamen with any justice to the men themselves, leaving the shipowners out of the question altogether. I hold that this matter must be considered by the Government before very long. I believe that what would meet the wishes of the seamen best, and would meet the views of the shipowners also—or if it does not we cannot help that, but something must be done— is to give the seaman a method of deciding the amount of the compensation due to his peculiar circumstances, and that will certainly not be found in the Employers' Liability Act, 1880. Our shipping industry is our great industry, and I do not want to have it treated with anything but absolute justice; I do not want it to be treated unjustly, because, recollect this, that here on shore we cannot transfer our properties; they remain; they are here, and we cannot get rid of them. But, Sir, a ship can be as easily transferred as a bank note. I asked the right honourable Gentleman for a return of the number of ships transferred to foreign flags, and I think the answer was sufficiently startling. I trust the House will recollect this, that we must treat this matter with generosity, but with a desire not to unduly harass shipowners, who without the slightest difficulty, without the slightest drawback, can transfer every ship to a foreign flag to-morrow. Even our coast services can go over, for there is no law against them being conducted under any flag in the world. And I do trust that honourable Members will not be carried away by the eloquent speech of the honourable Member opposite. He is speaking for his own class, and he speaks in this House moderately, and consequently, Sir, Members are very apt to be unduly influenced; but I do trust that matters will be looked at all round, that we will consider every point of view; and I assert that, from the point of view of the seamen, what the honourable Member proposes would be absolutely insufficient, and that nothing short of a well-considered scheme of compensation, such as that we have on land in the Workmen's Compensation Act, but which will be applied in a modified way to meet the exigencies of the sea, will ever satisfy the demands of those who are engaged in the shipping industry.


When I first came to notice the Amendment of the honourable Gentleman, I felt inclined to believe that he had made a mistake in not referring to the Workmen's Compensation Act, and that he desired to press upon the House the desirability of extending that Act to seamen. I understand now, from the observations which the honourable Member has made, and the irreducible minimum which he asks for, that that is not the case, and that he blames the Government rather for not introducing a Bill which should repeal the exemption from the advantages of the Employers' Liability Act, 1880, under which seamen have hitherto been. Well, Sir, I entirely share the opinions of the honourable Gentleman who has just sat down when I assert that I do not think that the seamen whom we desire to benefit will think that they will be as much advantaged by repealing that exemption as they would be by a Measure bringing them within the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act. I suppose I shall not be blamed for believing that that Act, which I was responsible for introducing to this House and passing, was in itself more beneficial to the working-classes of this country than the Employers' Liability Act, 1880, or even than the scheme of the right honourable Gentleman opposite. The honourable Member may hold a different opinion upon that point, but at least it was the sincere conviction of the Government in 1897, when they introduced and passed the Workmen's Compensation Act, that they were by that Act and by the new principle which for the first time it is carried out, conferring a new and greater boon on the working classes, by removing opportunities for litigation, and giving them more right to obtain compensation in case of death or accident than they could have under the other scheme. I am not going to argue that point, because I am aware that there may be differences of opinion upon it, but I can hardly understand the position of the honourable Gentleman who now says that an extension of the Employers' Liability Act, 1880, would really be an adequate provision for the class which he represents with such assiduity and energy in this House. Well, Sir, the Government has always taken the same attitude upon this question; they have not denied—I am not here to deny— the extremely dangerous character of the seaman's occupation. I am not able to follow the honourable Gentleman in the analysis of the figures which he has given. I have always admitted, and I think he will find that in my opening speech on the Workmen's Compensation Bill I admitted, that among the most dangerous occupations or trades of this country must be included that of the seamen. But the honourable Gentleman ought to do me the justice to remember that I went on to argue that there were special reasons why it was impossible to introduce the seamen, who required different legislation, into the provisions of a Bill which is generally applicable to men employed in dangerous industries in this country. The figures which the honourable Gentleman has given are sufficiently startling. I shall not for a moment dispute that, but I daresay that on an analysis the proportion of fatal accidents among the numbers employed might not be found to be exactly what the honourable Gentleman represents. But at least we have it for an established fact, what I believe is known to every Member of the House—it is a matter of common notoriety—that among the dangerous occupations in the trades of this country certainly must be placed the employment of our seamen. The position which the Government took up upon that occasion was this, that it was not possible to deal under the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act of that year, 1897—it was not possible to apply the principles of that law to seamen in the Bill which was then before the House. And I ventured then to give an example of legislation of a somewhat similar character which had been passed in Germany, and attempted in other countries, where it was found that the circumstances and surroundings of the industry were of such a different character that you could not possibly apply the specific clauses of that Act of 1897 to men who were employed under such very different circumstances.


Will the right honourable Gentleman say why? Will he give us the reason why they cannot be applied?


It is apparent to everyone.


It is not to me.


A seaman who serves on board a ship is in a position very different from that of a man living at home, who hires out his labour for the day in a factory, or a man who follows any of the industries in this country which are included under the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1897. I need not refer more particularly to the provisions to which I think the honourable Member has already alluded; but the House must remember that seamen are subject to special legislation under the Merchant Shipping Act, and I do not say that it is a disability upon the shipowners, but it is to a certain extent intended to be an advantage to the seamen, that they have secured to them by Statute, very likely arising from the conditions under which they discharge their work—they have secured to them provisions in pay and maintenance, which are not secured to any of our labouring populations in the land industries. The honourable Gentleman knows very well that however he may think the surgical appliances and medical assistance on board a ship to be inadequate, yet, at least, the man who is engaged on board a ship, if he suffers from hurt or injury received in the service of the ship, receives his wages and his provisions as if he was able to continue his work. Well is that not something secured?


His shipmates have to do his share of the work. They do his work, and it is not a loss to the shipowners.


Well, there is no one else to do it. But at least the man is entitled, without deduction from his wages, to receive pay for the work which he would have done, and although, from the circumstances of the case, it is unavoidable that his portion of the work must fall upon his shipmates, still, from the point of view of the man himself, there is secured to him by legislation this, that there shall be no reduction from his wage, notwithstanding the fact that he is not able to do his work, unless, indeed, it has been the man's own fault that the accident happened to him. So again, with the expense of maintenance and medical attendance, I venture to say that these are special circumstances, which have been attended to by the Legislature for the benefit of seamen; and very properly so, for surely it will be apparent to any honourable Gentleman who considers the question of applying the principles of the Workmen's Compensation Act to seamen, that seamen labour under very different circumstances, and requires legislation very different from that which obtains in the case of other industries. That is point which I urged, and the House accepted when we were debating the Workmen's Compensation Act, and I say that these reasons were held to be good— and I say that, if it was felt to be desirable that at this moment, or this Session of Parliament, we should introduce legislation—if the time was ripe for introducing legislation — to include seamen under the benefits conferred by that Act, we should have to do it, as I conceive, on different lines, and worked out on different terms, from those of the Act which was then passed. Such an Act cannot be lightly undertaken at the present moment. The honourable Member says the Workmen's Compensation Act was passed in 1897. How long has it been in operation? Not more than eight or nine months. There are plenty of enemies of that Act who are already saying that there are a great many legal difficulties surrounding it, and some say that the advantages conferred on workmen by it have not reached the height that was anticipated. I am not anxious to magnify the importance of that Act, or its success, but I think I shall at least carry the House with me when I say with regard to an important Act of that kind, involving a new departure in our law and the establishment of a new principle which has only been at work for a very short period of time, that it is only reasonable that we should see how it works before we seek to extend it in the direction in which we have all admitted that, some day or other, it should be extended. I think it would be a very strange thing if the Government asked Parliament to extend that Act in the way suggested by the honourable Member when it has only been in operation eight or nine months. I think, therefore, we can say, as we have always said from the beginning, and as has been said by my right honourable Friend the Secretary for the Colonies, who took such an active part in passing this Act, and said much more recently by the Leader of the House, that the Government feel that the time must come when seamen ought to be included in the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act. We distinctly feel that the principle which we have succeeded in getting the House to adopt in passing this Act is better than the principle which underlies the Employers' Liability Act. I am not going to argue that point now, but I feel it is sot We think it would be a most anomalous kind of legislation to propose that the principal class in this country which has been exempt from the provisions of what Ave conceive to be a very incomplete and unsatisfactory Act that of 1880, should now be brought within the provisions of that Act, which, by our action, we have done out best to render obsolete. Therefore, the position of the Government is this—the certainly are not prepared in the present Session of Parliament to propose to amend or extend the Act of 1897. We have never taken up the position, and do not now take it up, that the particular class for whom the honourable Member speaks ought not to be included ii the provisions of that Act. On the contrary, we recognise the dangerous character of the industry of seamen. We are as ready as the honourable Member to believe that the time will come, and I hope, before very long, when seamen must have extended to them similar provisions to those extended to other persons employed in dangerous indus tries in this country, but we have no seen any way, in view of the sufficiently long programme of legislation for thi Session, to propose the Amendment o this particular Act. My answer, there fore, to the honourable Gentleman i that, while affirming with, perfect sincerity the desirability of that extension, when we have had a further opportunity of seeing how the present Act works, I do rot think it is reasonable to call upon the Government to introduce, or blame them for not having introduced, such a Measure as the honourable Gentleman wants. I argue my case upon the Workmen's Compensation Act. I believe very few Members would agree with the honourable Member who moved this Amendment in the proposition he laid down that it would be a good and satisfactory way of dealing with the seamen to bring them within the provisions of the old Employers' Liability Act of 1880. I am quite prepared to rest my case on the Act of 1897, and I say, and the Government fully admit, that the time will come, and I hope before long, when we may be able to make some such provisions for seamen as we have made for other classes of the community.


I think the House is much indebted to my honourable Friend for the able and temperate manner in which he presented what I may venture to describe as an irresistible case, a case which no serious attempt had been made to answer, and one which has been practically conceded by the right honourable Gentleman who has just sat down, and who has not given any adequate ground for the attitude he has adopted. It is not disputed that, of all industries in this country, the industry of seamen is the one involving the greatest number of dangers to life and limb. It is also unfortunately the case that, almost alone amongst the great industries of the country, it has not secured even that modicum of protection given by the Employers' Liability Act of 1880, and when the right honourable Gentleman made it a matter of reproach to my honourable Friend that his Amendment referred only to the Employers' Liability Act, I think it is only fair to state that my honourable Friend expressly stated he did not limit his demands in any way, or regard his proposal as a satisfactory solution of the matter. He merely put it forward as the first instalment, because he thought he was more likely to get it. What is the history of this matter? As far back as 1887 a Royal Commission recommended the in- clusion of seamen in the Employers' Liability Act. When we were in office in 1893, and endeavoured to model the law of employers' liability upon what we believed to be juster and sounder principles, we introduced seamen together with every other class of industry, and we made none of these discriminations which, in my judgment, disfigures the Act of 1897. The House will remember that, although we then had a certain amount of contest with the House of Lords as to the details of that Measure, the House of Lords withdrew the objections they originally made, and assented to the inclusion of seamen. Therefore, we had, in 1893, a Parliamentary consensus representing the opinion of all parties in both Houses that the time had come when seamen should be placed in a position of greater protection and security. The right honourable Gentleman has referred to the Act of last year. What was the principle as laid down by him over and over again, and by the Colonial Secretary, upon which the Government sought to justify their deferential methods of treatment in that Act? He said they went on two grounds. In the first place, they selected the most dangerous trades, and excluded those in which the risks were less serious or continuous; and in the next place they included those trades in which the employers were men of substance, on whom the burden of compensation in the event of accident would not be pressing, as in the case of smaller employers. Those were the two reasons for discrimination, and they induced Parliament to adopt them; but both these tests applied to the case of seamen. My honourable Friend has abundantly proved that, if exceptional danger be the test, the seamen's industry stands first among all the trades in the country in its need for protection; and if, on the other hand, we take the only other ground for exclusion, we all know that among the first of the great industries of the country is the shipping industry, in respect of its vast aggregation of capital. I confess I was very sorry to hear from the only shipowner who I think took part in this Debate, the honourable Member for Kilmarnock Burghs, a repetition of a threat which used to be more common, that if the Legislature imposed obligations on the shipowners of this country to take extra precautions for the protection, of their men, they would be under an irresistible temptation to escape these obligations by selling their ships to foreigners. I do not believe that represents the general opinion and general feeling of this country, and I hope that before the Debate is over someone will get up and refute the statements of the honourable Gentleman. The right honourable Gentleman has said, and with perfect truth as far as the argument goes, that seamen do enjoy, under the Merchant Shipping Act, a special code, in some of its aspects, of a protective kind. This is quite true, but it goes a very little way towards preventing these constantly-recurring cases of loss of life and injury to limb at sea. The argument is not worth very much, but taking it for what it is worth, as my honourable Friend pointed out, it is equally applicable to the other industries which have been brought within the Compensation Act. Look at your factory system, and your mines and railway legislation. In the case of these three enormous industries, Parliament has been for nearly two generations constantly developing a more highly elaborate code for the protection of the lives of those employed in them, and the existence of that special legislation of a protective kind was not deemed any reason for excluding those industries from the Compensation Bill. When the matter is argued and fairly presented, there is no answer to the case. Indeed, the right honourable Gentleman himself has said in his speech that he admits as fully as we do that, sooner or later, this particular class of working man must be brought within the scope of a Measure not perhaps identical in its details, but practically on the same lines as the Compensation Act of 1897. But, for my part, I fail to see any reason why it should be framed on different lines at all. The difficulties of proof and the difficulties of evidence which have been referred to are not greater in cases of accidents at sea which result in the sinking of a ship and the loss of all lives on board than in the case of an accident in a coal mine in which two or three hundred lives are lost, and no possible proof is left behind by which anyone could possibly discover the cause of the accident, or who was to blame. Therefore I do not at all myself assert that any reason for different treatment exists; but whether that be so or not I cannot recognise the inability of the right honourable Gentleman to deal with the matter. Of all classes of working men in this country seamen are those who most need protection and have least protection given to them. That constitutes a case of urgent need which ought to be recognised by Government and by Parliament as urgent. Of course, I wish to see seamen brought within the Employers' Liability Act of 1880, but I believe it would be inadequate. I wish, however, to ask the House to affirm the principle, and to say that this urgent necessity, which has ben recognised for so many years, and which has not as yet been effectively dealt with, should be pressed upon the Government and the judgment of the House by a formal vote.


Mr. Speaker, certain statements have been made during the Debate that nothing has been done for sailors during a great many years. I do not think that proposition ought to go unchallenged. I do not know any class of labour more hedged, round with Government protection than sailors, and rightly so. In the first place, the ship the sailor sails in cannot leave port unless the officers are satisfied she is fit for the voyage; the amount of cargo she is allowed to carry is regulated; her engines are carefully examined before she is registered; certificates have to be produced from a Government officer that the accommodation of the seamen, both as regards extent, ventilation, and sanitary arrangement is in accordance with the Act of Parliament, and, in addition to that, the provisions are subject to examination. All these precautions, added to the circumstance of the transference of the trade from sail to steam, have produced a very great decrease in the annual loss of life at sea. I shall not attempt to quote figures, but the President of the Board of Trade gave statistics the other day which, though challenged by the honourable Member for Middlesbrough, I find to be correct. But however careful we may be, there will always be a certain number of accidents which we cannot prevent; and I fail to see that if we included sailors in the Workmen's Compensation Act, or any other Compensation Act, how it will in any way decrease the number of those inevitable losses. The honourable Member for Middlesbrough hinted that the shipowners were to blame. The shipowners are not more infallible than any other class, but what I should like to put before the House is this, that I have yet to learn that the shipowners are less humanitarian than any other class of the community, and it is to their pecuniary self-interest that they should see that their ships and crews are properly equipped and well cared for. The right honourable Gentleman, the late Home Secretary, in his Bill did not include the cases to which he now refers as likely to happen where a vessel is lost and never heard of again, and it may be in the recollection of the House that I had the honour of moving an Amendment to the right honourable Gentleman's Bill, to which he has referred as including all classes of workers. Yes, Sir, so it did; but it was restricted to cases where negligence could be proved. My Amendment proposed to give compensation for all injuries, to all classes—including sailors; and if I recollect rightly I was not followed into the Lobby by the honourable Member for Middlesbrough, nor, indeed, by any 01 the Ministerial party with one exception. By doing that I think I have shown that, as far as I am personally concerned, I desire to see our sailors suitably and properly provided for, and I am glad to hear that the Home Secretary proposes in due time to bring in a Bill suitable to the requirements of this particular industry, and to give a certain amount of compensation to our sailors. It is not a question of money. I repudiate on behalf of the shipowners the suggestion that we consider money in connection with the lives of our sailors. We all know that sailors should receive every consideration on lines similar to those given to other classes of workmen. It is stated that there is nothing in the objection that the shipowners can have no control. But how can a shipowner follow every one of his ships? Whilo I believe the time has not yet come when we can bring in a Bill, I look forward to such a Measure being introduced. I do not think that anything will be lost by waiting for a short time until the employers are more favourably disposed towards it. I trust that the Bill which the Home Secretary will bring in will be of a satisfactory character, and that it will prove beneficial to our sailors.


Mr. Speaker, I very deeply regret that this Debate has not led to something further being done in regard to the seamen and firemen. When the Workmen's Compensation Bill was introduced into the House in 1897, I moved an Amendment myself to include them, because, as a shipowner myself, and one whose interests deeply depend upon the shipping trade, and who has followed all those items which go to make up profit and loss, I had carefully examined at the time what would be the result to the companies in which I am largely concerned if the Workmen's Compensation Act had then been running for about five or six years. As a result of that calculation, I urged the Government to extend the Act to seamen and firemen. I was very sorry to hear the remarks of the honourable and gallant Admiral who spoke earlier in the Debate. He said that, for some reason or other, the question of money compensation might come in between the execution of the captain's duty to his employers and the duty he owed to his men. What would the owners of the "Pavonia" have said if the captain had thought more of their purse than of the lives of the passengers and crew, and if he had hesitated for a moment to do that duty which all seamen are expected to carry out on the high seas, I regret these observations. My honourable Friend the Member for Kilmarnock Burghs trotted out the old idea of selling our fleets to foreigners. We are not going to sell our fleets, although we might sell our effete ships. Nor is the mercantile business of this country to be affected because we try to carry out every Measure for the protection of our sailors. I am very glad to hear from my right honourable Friend that the Workmen's Compensation Act is applicable to seamen and firemen. Of course, we may have to discuss the details for extending the Measure, but are we to go on year after year putting off the time when we are to deal with this great wrong? I think the Government are very much to blame for not putting forward this Measure. I last year approached the Government myself privately and asked that they would then consider the question. The answer was, We must have a little more time to see exactly how the Act will work; but surely another year has brought us further forward, and we ought now to hear something more than that we are to wait for a little more time. I cannot agree, I am sorry to say, with the Motion of my honourable Friend. I think the 1880 Employers' Liability Act would not meet the case at all. But as he says that he only proposed it as an instalment, and would receive anything as an instalment, and as we can get no positive promise from the Government, if my friend goes into the Division Lobby I will support him. If he does not go into the Lobby we shall have more delay, and a Division will perhaps stimulate the Government to take up the question seriously. I, therefore, shall have very much pleasure in supporting my honourable Friend if he goes into the Lobby.


It seems to me that honourable Members on the other side of the House are going to support this Resolution because they want something else. Their arguments have gone to show that if anything be wanted in this case it is the extension of the Workmen's Compensation Act, passed by the present Government to seamen. This Resolution does not propose anything of the kind, but the extension to sear men of an entirely different Act, founded on entirely different principles —the Act known as the Employers' Liability Act of 1880, which partly incorporated a previous Employers' Liability Act. The right honourable Member for East Fife and the honourable Baronet the Member for Southampton have given their reasons for supporting the Amendment, and these reasons are that they do not agree with it. For the same reason I am going to vote against it. Objection has been taken to the argument of the honourable and gallant Member for Dumbarton that if you put upon the shipping industry burdens greater than it can bear the necessary result will be that shipowners will sell their ships, and that these will henceforth sail under a foreign flag. That is, in my opinion, a very fair argument. It is an argument which I am sure must appeal to the reasoning faculty of the honourable Baronet the Member for Southampton. I am perfectly certain that if he found, as chairman of a company owning a fleet of vessels, that in consequence of the heavy burdens placed upon his company by the enactments of this House, if year by year he had to go to his shareholders without dividends, and wanting, perhaps, more money from, them, I am certain that, as a man of business and of conscience, he would wind up his business and sell his fleet to whoever would buy it. That is simply the proposition of the honourable and gallant Member for the Kilmarnock Burghs, and I cannot see why he should be exposed to such obloquy as he has been for propounding a proposition which is self-evident, and which appeals to a man of sense. I think it is necessary to say that I am not a shipowner. I only own one ship; it is a very small one, but that does not constitute a man a shipowner. I have the greatest sympathy for seamen. I do recognise that of all the callings it is one of the most dangerous and also the most valuable to this country. We might lose all our labourers and our workmen of every description, but we should still be a great country if we kept our seamen. I may be allowed to' refer to an incident already spoken of to-night—the bringing in of the "Pavonia" in safety to the Azores. I know of no nobler, I know of no more splendid, achievement in seamanship, than the story of those men who for four days and four nights were in the hold of the ship, which was sometimes on its beam-ends, with the boilers rolling about, threatening every moment to crush them—who, I say, laboured four days and four nights trying to secure these boilers. I think it is a noble tale, and sheds credit on the courage and endurance of British seamen. Therefore, I have no want of sympathy at all with seamen, and I think that their case is a very special one, and that they are under special disadvantages; and if I may say so in the presence of the honourable Member opposite, I think one of their greatest and most special disadvantages is that they have never had a union that they could trust. I am perfectly convinced that the men in all trades should have unions; but this is more especially the case with seamen, who are so often, away for long periods, and who are, like Moses, not ready of speech or altogether incapable of speech. It is indeed in their case, more than in any other trade, important to have a union which the men can trust to represent their case to their employers honestly. Well, I do observe about this Motion that it is a direct reflection on the Workmen's Compensation Act, and I rather think it is an intentional reflection. My belief is that if I had been the representative of the seamen, and had had the whole range of Acts of Parliament to choose from, it is not the narrow Act of 1880 that I would have selected to bring the seamen under. For how are the sailors going to show negligence, on the part of the shipowner, and how are they going to prove it? That is not the Act I should have gone to. I should have gone to the Workmen's Compensation Act of 1897—an Act under which it is not necessary to have proof or to show negligence. Therefore, when the honourable Member for Middlesborough chooses to found his demand on the Act of 1880 instead of the Workmen's Compensation Act of 1897, I cannot but suppose that he had in his mind some idea of reflecting on the present Government, and drawing a contrast between them and the late Government. My belief is that the Act of 1880 would be wholly inadequate to the case of seamen. I hardly agree with the honourable and gallant Member for Eastbourne when he says that if the Motion were adopted, and if this Act of 1880 were extended to seamen, the captains of British ships would be hampered in their orders to their crews'. That is not so, for under the Act of 1880 it would be necessary before compensation could be claimed to prove negligence on the part of the owners or the captain, But, even if that were so, I cannot conceive of a British captain hesitating about giving certain orders because he might think it would cost his owners £10 or £20. But still less can I conceive of any British captain when he saw a vessel sinking near him, and his seamen came and volunteered to go to the rescue of the sinking crew—for that is what British sailor-men do—I cannot conceive the captain hesitating to allow the volunteers to go away in a boat because he might lose the boat and he men. I do not think that would; ever happen. It is impossible to hap- pen, and any man with a knowledge of British seamen would hardly conceive it possible; but, even if it did, it would not make the owners liable for compensation under the Act of 1880, though it would under the Workmen's Compensation Act of 1897. Now I come to the moral of my speech. My moral is that if the Workmen's Compensation Act was founded on true principles, they were as true for seamen as for other trades and callings, such as builders and carpenters; but if it was founded on false principles, then it ought to be repealed. But if these principles are true, then I do certainly think that the Government owes, it as a duty to the seamen to bring in an extension of that Act to seamen. I do> not say that it should be extended just as it exists. It, would be perfectly legitimate to make certain alterations in details. But as to the Amendment of the honourable Member for Middlesbrough, nobody has had a good word to say about it, and all who are going to support it say they are going to do so because it is not the right thing to do. It is for that reason that I am going to vote against it.

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

This is a question in which I take a very great interest. I have listened to the various speeches of the representatives of the shipowning interest, most, of which have been against including seamen either in the 1880 Employers' Liability Act or in the Workmen's: Compensation Act of 1897. There was one remarkable exception during the whole discussion of this question— that of my honourable Friend who sits, near me, the honourable Member for Southampton. The honourable Member for Bristol seems to think that sailors are under the more special protection of the Government than are the workmen in any other industry. I cannot agree with that, because if you compare the inspection given by Government to ships with inspection given by Government to-mines, I think that mines are just as cart-fully looked after (us ships. They are under strict, rules and regulations, and there are special rules to control their working. No mine can be worked without a certificated manager, and his, certificate is just as difficult to get as, the certificate of a master who controls a ship. But the mines have more disadvantages than ships; they cannot be sent to sea, and therefore the mining inspector can pay a visit to the mines at any moment he chooses. Now, although it may be said, as it has been said in the course of this Debate, that the most of the speeches have been directed to the Workmen's Compensation Act and the Employers' Liability Act of 1880, I am one of those people who think that it would have been much better, in the interest of the working people of this country, had the Bill of my right honourable Friend below me, the Member for East Fife, introduced in 1893, been carried instead of the Workmen's Compensation Act, because we must not overlook this fact, that the first intention of this class of legislation is to> prevent accidents and loss of life. I believe that had the Measure passed in this House, and had not been so amended in the House of Lords that we could not accept it, but had it become an Act we should have found that the tendency of the Act would have been to decrease the number of accidents instead of increasing them. So far as my experience of the Workmen's Compensation. Act has gone, I believe that it will have the very opposite effect, and I shall be very much surprised if we do not find a largo increase in the number of accidents since the Workmen's Compensation Act came into operation. I cannot understand the position of Her Majesty's Government, who in 1897 opposed the inclusion of seamen in the Workmen's Compensation Act, and have now seemingly come to the conclusion that it is a desirable thing to bring them under the operation of that Act. I think they were wrong altogether in excluding sailors from the benefits of that Act when it was being passed. I am not in favour of creating a privileged class of workmen, and I am against creating a privileged class of employers. I think Her Majesty's Government had no right to pass a law which was to operate on certain classes of workmen and certain classes of employers and not on others. If the Workmen's Compensation Act was good in itself, every workman in the Kingdom should have had the benefit of it. The law should be equal for all, and I think I am perfectly justified in supporting the Amendment of my honourable Friend the Member for Middlesbrough. There is one strong argu- ment which I think is in favour of the Amendment. At present, if an accident happens to a ship at sea by which a number of sailors' lives are lost, what becomes of their widows and orphans? They fall on the rates in different parts of the country. Now, the manufacturers in our large towns, such as we have on the Tyne—in North Shields and South Shields and in Newcastle—of course have to pay largely to these rates, so that in the event of sailors being excluded from the benefits of the Act, the manufacturers have not only to provide compensation for their own workmen and for their widows and orphans, but they have to pay rates to support the widows and orphans of the seamen. That is a very strong argument why there should be no exceptional legislation. I remember that during the discussion of the Workmen's Compensation Bill the chief reason for excluding seamen and agricultural labourers from its benefits was given by the right honourable Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies, who, I regret, to see, is not present. We all regret that, partioularly because it is owing to illness, and I hope that he will be able to appear in his place again. The reason which the right honourable Gentleman gave for excluding seamen and agricultural labourers from the Bill was that it would be impossible to carry the Measure in this House if the whole of the working-classes of the country were included in the Bill. Well, if the shipowners who took such a prominent part in making many of the provisions of that Bill unjust and stringent—as they are— are now beginning to find that they will have to come under the same law themselves, they must not expect much sympathy from me. Having put that burden on my shoulders, I am not going to relieve them: at the expense of my constituents. Now, various reasons have been given why the Act should not apply to sailors. I had not the pleasure of hearing the speech of the honourable and gallant Member for the Kilmarnock Burghs, but I believe that he stated that if burdens were put on the shipping industry it would tend to induce a large number of shipowners to transfer their vessels to a foreign flag. I am a large shipowner myself, and I am in this unfortunate position, that I have one class of workmen who get the benefit of the Act, and another class of workmen who do not get the benefit of the Act. Now, I think it is unfair that that difference should be made. But in regard to putting ships under a foreign flag, we all know that any burden put on the shipping of this country which has to compete with foreign ships places the former at a disadvantage. The question is, how much burden can the homo shipping industry bear without doing injury to it? I know of some cases where ships have been put under a foreign flag, but I do not think that this example will be followed to a large extent, for there are many advantages in being under like British flag. The inducement in most of the cases would not be sufficient to make shipowners change the flag of this country for that of some other. It is not my intention to make any lengthened speech. Had there been a Bill before the House I might have spoken at greater length. But I wish to give the reason why I intend to vote in the Lobby with my honourable Friend the Mover of the Amendment. I quite agree Will my right honourable Friend the Member for East Fife. I cannot see that there should be any great difficulty whatever in the way of adding seamen to the Workmen's Compensation Act if the Government feel disposed to include them. If the Government were to' bring m another Bill making different conditions, that would be, I think, very unwise, because the Workmen's Compensation Act is not an Act to prevent accidents, but to give compensation in case of accidents. On that ground I scarcely think it is necessary to make any great change.

MR. THOMAS P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

I propose to move an Amendment on the Amendment of the honourable Member for Middlesbrough. The honourable Member for King's Lynn pointed out with great force that the Employers' Liability Act would not be applicable to seamen, and that also was one of the main arguments brought against the Amendment by the right honourable the Home Secretary. Now, my honourable Friend who proposed the Amendment said that the reason why he put in the Employers' Liability Act in his Amendment was that he thought by minimising his demand in that way he would be able to get more of the sympathy of the House. He has seen that that was not so, and instead of finding that it was an argument in favour of supporting the Amendment, he finds that it is a strong argument, for voting against it. To meet the difficulty raised by the honourable Member for King's Lynn and other honourable Members, I therefore, Mr. Speaker, propose, with the approval of the honourable Member for Middlesbrough, to amend the Amendment by substituting for the words "Employers' Liability" the words "Workmen's Compensation Act of 1897." I do not intend to say anything in favour of the Motion of my honourable Friend, but in the case of the general acceptance of the House of this particular point, I think the Amendment, as I propose to amend it, is one which might be adopted by general assent.

MR. W. JOHNSON GALLOWAY (Manchester, S.W.)

I beg to second the Amendment to the Amendment moved by the honourable Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool. I find myself unable to understand the position of the Government. Something ought to be done for the seamen, and I for my part, am in favour of the extension of the Act to every class of workmen.

Question put.

*MR. DAVID MACIYER (Liverpool, Kirkdale)

I would not have intervened in this Debate but for the new turn, which has been given to it by the terms of the Amendment on the Amendment moved by the honourable Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool. I cannot help feeling that the honourable Gentleman could not have been present in the House when the right honourable the Home Secretary made his sympathetic remarks in regard to seamen.


I was present.


My right honourable Friend the Home Secretary in the clearest manner expressed sympathy for the seamen, and also expressed a wish, at the proper time, to bring them under the Workmen's Compensation Act. I feel myself that the same compensation and the same benefits as are given to' other workmen should be given to seamen. But the conditions are different. I am entirely in sympathy with, the general principles of the Workmen's Compensation Act, and should like to see it extended, but I do not think that the time in which it has been in operation is sufficient to warrant the House in altering it just yet. I want to Say a word in illustration of what appears on the face of it to be a real difficulty of extending the Act to seamen. The same difficulties would occur, but in a worse form, as have already occurred in certain trades. Taking the Act as it stands, it rather hinders the employment of men of mature years, and causes employers to employ only young men. Now, British ships, I am sorry to say— but everybody knows it for a fact—are very largely manned by foreign seamen. Shipowners are neither better nor worse than their neighbours, but they might prefer to employ foreigners who were without family ties and in respect of whom there would be nobody to claim compensation than British seamen. That is no more than the truth. Well, that is one of the reasons —not at all for not extending the principle of the Workmen's Compensation Act to seamen, but why it should not be done without very careful consideration, inasmuch as the provisions of the Act as it stands are really inapplicable to the conditions under which seamen are employed. I distinctly wish to see the principle extended to all workmen, but I do-not think it can be done in the rough-and-ready way suggested by the Amendment. The right honourable the Home Secretary has expressed his sympathy with the case of the seamen, and we can safely leave the matter in his hands. I want to say how heartily I concur in what was said by the honourable and; gallant Member for Kilmarnock Burghs. I think that what he said is absolutely true. It was a statement which you expect from one who understands all that ho is talking about. I am not able to see the matter in the same light as the honourable Member for Southampton, and I hope he will pardon me if I speak of my own personal knowledge on 'matters which I know to be absolutely true. There are companies in Liverpool, some of them nearly as great as that presided over by the honourable Baronet, some of whose vessels trade under the Belgian flag and under the Dutch flag. They do not do so for any purpose connected with the Workmen's Compensation, Act. I venture to think that the owners of these lines are gentlemen of such high character that we need not believe that they would put their vessels under foreign flags for reasons of that kind; but they do> so because there are certain privileges obtainable thereby as well as exemptions from conditions of unreasonable Board of Trade interference with shipping which they do not find under the British flag. I am not arguing against the extension of the principle of workmen's compensation, but I am speaking in favour of the view which the Home Secretary put before the House—the view that the time is not ripe, without further inquiry, for the extension of the Act to seamen, and that when the time comes for such extension it will require very considerable modification.

MR. DONKIN (Tynemouth)

Representing the constituency I do, I think I ought to say a word on this subject. I am at some disadvantage through not having heard the earlier speeches; but from what I have heard, it seems to me that the almost universal feeling of the shipowners of this country is against the Employers' Liability Act being applied to seamen. That is not my experience, for so far back as 1875, on an election platform, I advocated that the Employers' Liability Act should include seamen. As the right honourable Gentleman the Home Secretary very properly said, there must be many modifications and alterations in the Bill before it can be extended to seamen. I was surprised to hear the remarks of the right honourable Gentleman the Member for East Fife, who said that he could not, for the life of him, see why there should be any more difficulty in applying the Bill to seamen than there is to miners and others. I would venture to point out that the shipping industry is very different to any other, and the procuring of evidence as to causes of accident would not be easy. For the reasons I have advanced, I shall vote against the Motion of the honourable Member.


With the permission of the House, may I say that I am prepared, in view of the friendly feeling shown on both sides of the House towards seamen, not to press this matter to a Division if I can get a definite promise from the Government that even next year they will bring in a Bill extending this Act to seamen. If I get that promise, I will ask the permission of the House to withdraw the Resolution;

(No answer was made to the honourable Gentleman.)

Amendment amended, by leaving out the words "Employers' Liability Act," and inserting the words "Workmen's Compensation Act, 1897."

Question put, "That the words— 'And we humbly express our regret that there is no indication in Your Majesty's Gracious Speech that the provisions of the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1897, will be extended to British Seamen, in order to secure greater protection to life and limb at sea'

be added at the end of the Address."

The House divided:—Ayes, 125, Noes 206. (Division List No. 14.)

Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.) Hayne, Rt.Hn. Charles Seale- Paulton, James Mellor
Allan, William (Gateshead) Hazell, Walter Philipps, John Wynford
Allen, W. (Newc. under Lyme) Hedderwick, Thos. Chas. H. Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Allison, Robert Andrew Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H. Pirie, Duncan V.
Asher, Alexander Hogan, James Francis Price, Robert John
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert H. Holden, Sir Angus Priestley, Briggs (Yorks)
Baker, Sir John Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Provand, Andrew Dryburgh
Balfour, RtHn J. B. (Clackm. Jacoby, James Alfred Reckitt, Harold James
Barlow, John Emmott Johnson-Ferguson, Jazez E. Reid, Sir Robert Threshie
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Joicey, Sir James Rickett, J. Compton
Birrell, Augustine Kay-Shuttleworth, RtHn. SirU Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Kearey, Hudson E. Robson, William Snowdon
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Kilbride, Denis Schwann, Charles E.
Burns, John Kinloch, Sir J. G. Smyth Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Burt, Thomas Kitson, Sir James Shaw, Chas. Edw. (Stafford)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Labouchere, Henry Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)
Caldwell, James Lambert, George Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Langley, Batty Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Causton, Richard Knight Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland) Souttar, Robinson
Cawley, Frederick Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)
Channing, Francis Allston Leng, Sir John Spicer, Albert
Clark, Dr. G. B.(Caithness-sh. Leuty, Thomas Richmond Stevenson, Francis S.
Colville, John Lewis, John Herbert Strachey, Edward
Commins, Andrew Logan, John William Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lough, Thomas Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)
Crombie, John William Macaleese, Daniel Tennant, Harold John
Daly, James MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan,E.)
Dalziel, James Henry MArthur, William (Cornwall) Wallace, Robert (Perth)
Davies, M.Vaughan-(Cardigan M'Dermott, Patrick Walton, John Lwsn. (Leeds,S.)
Davitt, Michael M'Ghee, Richard Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles M'Kenna, Reginald Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.
Dillon, John M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Weir, James Galloway
Donelan, Captain A. Maddison, Fred. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Doogan, P. C. Maden, John Henry Williams, John Carvell (Notts)
Dunn, Sir William Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Ellis, Thos. E. (Merionethsh.) Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel) Wilson, John (Govan)
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Morgan, W. P. (Merthyr) Woods, Samuel
Ferguson, R. C. M. (Leith) Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Young, Samuel (Cavan, E.).
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Moulton, John Fletcher
Galloway, William Johnson Norton, Capt. Cecil William TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Gilhooly, James O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.) Mr. Havelock Wilson and
Gladstone, Rt.Hn. Herbert J. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Sir Francis Evans.
Goddard, Daniel Ford Oldroyd, Mark
Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) Palmer, George W. (Reading)
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Barnes, Frederic Gorell Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Barry, Sir F. T. (Windsor) Bethell, Commander
Arrol, Sir William Bartley, George C. T. Biddulph, Michael
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Barton, Dunbar Plunket Bigwood, James
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Bathurst, Hon. A. Benjamin Bill, Charles
Baird, John G. Alexander Beach, RtHnSir M.H.(Bristol) Blakiston-Houston, John
Balfour, Rt.Hn. A. J. (Mnc'r) Beach, W. W. B. (Hants.) Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-
Balfour, RtHn. G. W. (Leeds) Beckett, Ernest William Bowles, T G. (King's Lynn)
Banbury, Frederick George Begg, Ferdinand Faithful Brassey, Albert
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Hatch, Ernest Frederick G. Phillpotts, Captain Arthur
Brown, Alexander H. Heath, James Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Butcher, John George Henderson, Alexander Plunkett,Rt. Hn.HoraceCurzon
Cavendish, R. F. (Lancs., N.) Hickman, Sir Alfred Pollock, Harry Frederick
Cavendish,V.C.W (Derbyshire Hill, Sir Edw. Stock (Bristol) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, E.) Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead) Priestley, SirW. Overend(Edin.)
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Hobhouse, Henry Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Hornby, Sir William Henry Purvis, Robert
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Howell, William Tudor Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn Rentoul, James Alexander
Chelsea, Viscount Hudson, George Bickersteth Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir. Matt. W.
Clare, Octavius Leigh Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Ritchie, Rt.Hn. Chas.Tompson
Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E. Jenkins, Sir John Jones Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Compton, Lord Alwyne Johnston, William (Belfast) Ryder, John Herbert Dudley
Cook, Fred Lucas (Lambeth) Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. Savory, Sir Joseph
Cornwallis, Fiennes S. W. Kenyon, James Seton-Karr, Henry
Cripps, Charles Alfred Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William Sharpe, William Edward T.
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Keswick, William Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton) King, Sir Henry Seymour Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Cruddas, William Donaldson Lafone, Alfred Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Curzon, Viscount Laurie, Lieut.-General Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Lawrence,Sir E.Durning-(Corn Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)
Davenport, W. Bromley- Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)
Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Leighton, Stanley Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk)
Denny, Colonel Llewellyn, Evans H. (Somerset) Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Llewellyn, Sir Dillwyn-(S'nsea) Stanley, Henry M. (Lambeth)
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Loder, Gerald Water Erskine Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Dixon-Hartland,SirFred Dixon Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)
Donkin, Richard Sim Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Liverpool) Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart
Dorington, Sir John Edward Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lowe, Francis William Stone, Sir Benjamin
Doxford, William Theodore Lowles, John Strauss, Arthur
Drage, Geoffrey Loyd, Archie Kirkman Sturt, Hn. Humphry Napier
Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir. Wm. H. Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Talbot,Rt Hn J.G(Oxf'dUniv.)
Elliot, Hn. A. Ralph Douglas Macdona, John Cumming Thornton, Percy M.
Fergusson,Rt Hn SirJ.(Manc'r) MacIver, David (Liverpool) Tritton, Charles Ernest
Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Maclure, Sir John William Valentia, Viscount
Finch, George H. M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edin., W.) Warde, Lt -Col. C.E. (Kent)
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne M'Killop, James Warr, Augustus Frederick
Fisher, William Hayes Malcolm, Ian Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W)
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Maple, Sir John Blundell Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C.E.
Fletcher, Sir Henry Middlemore, John Throgmorton Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Folkestone, Viscount Milton, Viscount Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Forster, Henry William Monckton, Edward Philip Whiteley, H.(Ashton-under-L.)
Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Monk, Charles James Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Gedge, Sydney Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants) Williams, Jos. Powell- (Birm.)
Gibbons, J. Lloyd Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Willox, Sir John Archibald
Gibbs, Hn.A.G.H.(C. of Lon.) More, Robert Jasper Wilson, J.W. (Worcestersh,N.)
Giles, Charles Tyrrell Morrell, George Herbert Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Gilliat, John Saunders Morton,Arthur H.A. (Deptford) Wodehouse, Rt.Hn.E.R.(Bath)
Goldsworthy, Major-General Mount, William George Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Gordon, Hon. John Edward Murrav,Rt HnA. Graham (Bute) Wyndham, George
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry) Wyville, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Goschen,RtHnG.J.(StGeorge's Murray, Col Wyndham (Bath)
Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury) Myers, William Henry TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Gull, Sir Cameron Newdigate, Francis Alexander Sir William Walrond and
Hall, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Nicol, Donald Ninian Mr. Anstruther.
Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G. O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. Wm. Orr Ewing charles Lgsayin
Hanson, Sir Reginald Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Hare, Thomas Leigh Penn, John

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Resolved, that an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, as followeth: Most Gracious Sovereign, We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Majesty for the Gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both Houses of Parliament.

To be presented by Privy Councillors and such Members as are of Her Majesty's Household,

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