|Royal Palaces and Marlborough||£|
|Royal Parks and Pleasure Gardens||40,000|
|Houses of Parliament Buildings||17,000|
|Miscellaneous Legal Buildings, Great Britain||18,000|
|Art and Science Buildings, Great Britain||12,000|
|Diplomatic and Consular Buildings||12,000|
|Public Buildings, Great Britain||135,000|
|Surveys of the United Kingdom||80,000|
|Harbours under the Board of Trade||2,000|
|Rates on Government Property||230,000|
|Public Works and Buildings, Ireland||70,000|
|United Kingdom and England:—|
|House of Lords, Offices||3,000|
|House of Commons, Offices||13,000|
|Treasury and Subordinate Departments||39,000|
|Privy Council Office, etc.||5,000|
|Board of Trade||60,000|
|Mercantile Marine Services||30,000|
|Bankruptcy Department of the Board of Trade||3|
|Board of Agriculture||75,000|
|Civil Service Commission||18,000|
|Exchequer and Audit Department||24,000|
|Friendly Societies Registry||2,200|
|Local Government Board||80,000|
|Mint (including Coinage)||10|
|National Debt Office||6,000|
|Public Record Office||11,000|
|Public Works Loan Commission||10|
|Registrar General's Office||17,000|
|Stationery and Printing||250,000|
|Woods, Forests, &c., Office of||8,000|
|Works and Public Buildings, Office of||23,000|
|Secretary for Scotland||25,500|
|Registrar General's Office||2,000|
|Local Government Board||4,000|
|Lord Lieutenant's Household||2,000|
|Chief Secretary and Subordinate Departments||10,000|
|Department of Agriculture||05,000|
|Charitable Donations and Bequests Office||1,000|
|Local Government Board||22,000|
|Public Record Office||2,000|
|Public Works Office||16,000|
|Valuation and Boundary Survey||6,000|
|United Kingdom and England:—|
|Miscellaneous Legal Expenses||27,000|
|Supreme Court of Judicature||140,000|
|Police, England and Wales||22,000|
|Prisons, England and the Colonies||260,000|
|Reformatory and Industrial Schools, Great Britain||140,000|
|Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum||18,000|
|Law Charges and Courts of Law||30,000|
|Register House, Edinburgh||15,000|
|Law Charges and Criminal Prosecutions||35,000|
|Supreme Court of Judicature, and other Legal Departments||45.000|
|County Court Officers, etc.||46,000|
|Dublin Metropolitan Police||40,000|
|Royal Irish Constabulary||600,000|
|Reformatory and Industrial Schools||55,500|
|Dundrum Criminal Lunatic Asylum||3,500|
|United Kingdom and England:—|
|Board of Education||4,000.000|
|National Portrait Gallery||3,000|
|Scientific Investigation, etc., United Kingdom||15,000|
|Universities and Colleges, Great Britain, and Intermediate Education, Wales||38,000|
|Endowed Schools Commissioners||400|
|Diplomatic and Consular Services||220,000|
|Uganda, Central and East Africa Protectorates and Uganda Railway||300,000|
|Cyprus, Grant in Aid||31,000|
|Subsidies to Telegraph Companies||38,000|
|Superannuation and Retired Allowances||280,000|
|Merchant Seamen's Fund Pensions, etc||3,000|
|Miscellaneous Charitable and other Allowances||1,000|
|Hospitals and Charities, Ireland||17,000|
|Paris Exhibition, 1900||29,000|
|Repayments to the Civil Contingencies Fund||—|
|Total for Civil Services||£10,086,000|
|Post Office Packet Service||210,000|
|Post Office Telegraphs||1,550,000|
|Total for Revenue Departments||£6,540,000|
§ MR. McKENNA () Monmouthshire, N.
asked the Secretary to the Treasury if he could give the Committee some information as to what had been done in connection with the office of Black Rod.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES () Lynn Regis
I have a few remarks to make on the same subject. There is a vacancy in the office of Third Clerk at the Table of the House of Lords, and has been for some time. A Committee of the House of Lords reported in favour of filling up such appointments from the permanent staff, and I should like to know the reason for the delay in filling this office. Is it due to any hesitation in adopting the recommendation of the Committee, or is it attributable to any desire on the part of the Minister responsible to reserve the post for one of his private secretaries?
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. HANBURY,) Preston
I cannot say what may be in the mind of the noble Lord who has the appointment in his gift, but I will make 947 inquiry if the hon. Member wishes. As to the office of Black Rod, I am afraid I can give the hon. Member no fresh information. I remember that I once tried to raise this question in Committee, but I was ruled out of order.
§ MR. CHANNING () Northamptonshire, E.
I wish on Vote 3 in Class I. to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether the Government cannot reconsider the decision which I believe has been arrived at to use the house at present occupied by Sir Reginald Palgrave to provide additional accommodation for Ministers and further convenience for the press. I hold it to be of great importance for the proper conduct of the business of the House that not only the Chief Clerk, but also the Second Clerk should have a residence on the premises. On this question I should wish to say that I have had no communication with either the present Clerk or with the Assistant Clerk, who was obviously personally interested in the matter, and have no information as to their own views, but I have been in communication with Sir Reginald Palgrave, who assures me that Mr. Speaker (now Lord) Peel was strongly of opinion that it was necessary to have both clerks within reach at all times for consultation with either the Speaker or the Chairman of Committees. I think it is a very serious thing to remove one of these officials from the House of Commons, and to have only one clerk resident on the premises. I venture also to enter a protest against further accommodation being provided for Her Majesty's Ministers. It must be obvious to many Members who watch the course of our debates that Ministers are too often absent when they should be present, and old Parliamentarians have told me that this evil has grown greatly in recent years. Ministers are far more pampered than they ought to be in the accommodation assigned to them. I have been in some of the rooms, and I think the provision made for them is adequate. I hold, therefore, it would be far wiser for the arrangement hitherto observed to be maintained, and for both the Clerk and the Assistant Clerk to reside on the premises.
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER or WORKS (Mr. AKERS DOUGLAS,) Kent, St. Augustine
When I first heard that Sir Reginald Palgrave was about to resign 948 the office of Clerk of the House of Commons, I felt it my duty to warn the authorities who would have the filling up of the place that a Committee which sat in 1894 to inquire into the accommodation set apart for Members of the House had unanimously recommended that this official residence should not be continued as such, but that the space contained in it should, in some form or another, be handed over for the use of Members of the House of Commons when the first vacancy in the office arose. The hon. Member holds that Ministers are unduly comfortably housed. I venture to think he could not have been in many of the rooms, for I am quite certain that if he had passed through the underground corridor leading out of which are to be found the rooms in which the majority of the members of the Government have to transact their business, he could not have held that they were suitably housed. He also says that, in former days, a larger number of member's of the Government sat on these benches while debates were going on, and that on occasion nowadays Ministers are apt to be absent when they are wanted. But I do not know that the taking of these rooms would in any way alter that state of affairs, for Ministers have a large number of official duties to get through in the course of the day, and their hours of labour have greatly varied in recent years. Members who' have had a seat in this House longer than the last two Parliaments will remember that we used to meet at four o'clock for private business, and that debates very often did not begin until half-past five or six. The time at the disposal of Ministers now that the House sits an hour earlier is very much curtailed, while the duties devolving upon them individually have greatly increased, and the consequence is that much of their work has to be got through while the House is sitting. Further than that, it surely is to the convenience of Members themselves that they should be able to transact their business with Ministers in the House of Commons, for it is quite impossible to do it in the library or smoking-room. If the hon. Member for East Northamptonshire had a little more knowledge as to where these rooms are—
§ MR. AKERS DOUGLAS
As hon. Members know, the rooms are spread all 'Over the House, of Commons, and it is almost impossible to find some of them unless one has an intimate knowledge of the building. I have one other argument to put forward, and that is that it would be impossible to give the accommodation much desired for Members generally unless we can remove the Ministers into other quarters. If we cleared the terrace-front of the rooms now used by members of the Government we should be in a position to place better accommodation at the disposal of hon. Members, and, probably, could do away with the causes for complaint as to the insufficiency of accommodation in the smoking and tea-rooms. I venture to think we could not have taken any other course than we have done in acting upon the very able Report of the Committee of 1894, over which my right hon. friend the Member for West Leeds presided, and, accordingly, we propose to carry out their recommendations, and to utilise Sir Reginald Palgrave's residence and the rooms behind the Chair in the way they suggest.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL () Donegal, S.
I wish at the earliest possible moment to bring under the notice of the House of Commons what I consider to be the signal outrage which has been perpetrated on the Houses of Parliament by permitting the erection of the Oliver Cromwell Memorial. I say its erection is contempt of both Houses of Parliament. In 1895, when it was proposed to put up a statue to Oliver Cromwell,* the motion met with most determined opposition, not only on the part of Irish Members, but also from a large section of the Tory party, headed by the present First Lord of the Treasury, who then acted in his best Fourth Party manner. The proposal was withdrawn, and the late Chief Secretary for Ireland thereupon got up and forgave the First Lord of the Treasury of that day in a most magnanimous manner. I should like to know what the First Lord is going to do to his colleague the First Commissioner of Works, who has been guilty of the high crime and misdemeanour of having sanctioned the erection of the memorial. Both the House of Commons and the House of Lords have condemned with*Refer to The Parliamentary Debates [Fourth Series], Vol. xxxiv., June 14th, 1895, p. 1181; June 17th, 1895,p. 1341.950 indignation the erection of a statue to Oliver Cromwell. I will not venture to attempt to portray the chief incidents in the career of the Lord Protector. We know he was a gentleman who would have swept away Church, Crown, and State without one moment's hesitation. He would have dissolved the House of Lords. He spoke contemptuously of the bishops, and he was guilty of the most gross contempt to the House of Commons by designating its magnificent ornament as "that bauble." He thus showed also that he was wanting in taste. Further than that, he assaulted the sacred person of the Sovereign, and he even saved His Majesty the trouble of carrying his head upon his shoulders. And yet a statue has been erected to this man within the precincts of the national legislative institution. The English are the most amusing people in the world. They are unconsciously comic. They make a saint of a man who does most outrageous things. Cromwell was the enemy of Parliamentary institutions, he was the enemy of the House of Lords, and, above all, he was the enemy of the bishops. He destroyed the franchises of Parliament, and he would have disestablished the Church of England, on which we are told all our happiness depends.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
I thought I would be asked that most interesting and pertinent question, and I am, therefore, prepared with an answer. It is the Vote dealing with the Houses of Parliament buildings, Class I., page 1. I know, for I am not a fool, that we did not subscribe one penny towards this statue, but I also know that there must be expenses attending the bringing it into the hands of Parliament, and it is also clear that, under this Vote, a certain sum is asked for taking care of this and other' statues. I for one object to voting a single penny even to whitewash Oliver Cromwell. I think I have disposed of that little interruption. When it was made I was describing what Cromwell did in England. I was pointing out how he would have destroyed the English Church, how he murdered his sovereign, how he rounded on the House of Lords, how he spoke contemptuously of the bishops, and how he made this House of Commons a place 951 in which no respectable Anglican could sit. Are we, therefore, to honour him in Parliament? Speaking from an English point of view, I say the statue is a disgrace to and a defilement of the House of Commons, and we had better far have statues here of Henry VIII. and all his wives. I am here as an Irish Member. We are here under an Act of Parliament, of which I will not speak disrespectfully, although we consider that the Act of Union is a fraud. In coming here to defend the rights of our country we should not be insulted by the eyesore of a man who murdered our people. The memory of the horrors of Cromwell's rule and his conduct towards Ireland survives to the present day. The results of his conduct can be seen to-day in the terrible agrarian outrages committed in Ireland, for he was a confiscator of Irish property. What Cromwell did elsewhere in Ireland may be very briefly described. He perpetrated most appalling massacres, and the story of his doings at Wexford, Wicklow, and Drogheda, where he put the whole population into a church and then sent his miscreants to murder and ravish them, and then set fire to them, is well known. There is no statute of limitations to murder. Cromwell was a murderer in Ireland, a confiscator of public property, a defiler of Irish institutions, and a sworn enemy of the Irish people. As long as we are in this Parliament and this House of Commons—and we don't want to be in it, for we want a Parliament of our own—we will take right good care that, although you may not love us, you shall respect us. On these grounds it will not conduce to our good temper to see within the precincts of this House this equestrian statue of an English hero. (Laughter.) I am mistaken in calling it an equestrian statue, but as a matter of principle I object to this statue, and I am most anxious to hoar what the First Lord of the Treasury will say upon this. I hope he will be very careful what he says in support of this statue, because I have here the last speech he delivered upon this subject. I hope that in support of this statue he will not move in the direction of Imperialism. I think the right hon. Gentleman will acknowledge that it would not be right even to have an Orange flag in the House of Commons, and how can he justify a statue of Oliver Cromwell? How can we worship the memory of a man who rode roughshod 952 over us?—and as long as we are in this House we shall protest against this statue. It will come up and up, and, in sporting parlance, I will back my opinion by moving the reduction of this Vote by £100.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Item Class L, Vote 3 (Houses of Parliament Buildings), be reduced by £100."—(Mr. MacNeill.)
§ MR. DILLON () Mayo, E.
I myself have always regarded Oliver Cromwell as one of the greatest Englishmen who ever lived, and if I were an Englishman I doubt very much whether I should support the motion of my hon. friend. But oven if I were an Englishman I think I should be strongly disposed to take this view: that while as an Englishman I should certainly consider that a great wrong had been done to the memory of this great man for many years in this country—yet the last place where I should erect a statue would be within the precincts of that building which he did his best to destroy looking at the matter free from the violent passions which his name arouses in the mind of every Irishman, looking at it from the point of view of an impartial observer of history, it seems to me to be a most inconsistent thing and most unsuitable that a statue of Oliver Cromwell should, of all places in this Empire, be placed within the precincts of that House whose liberties he destroyed, and whose very existence he, for a time at any rate, brought to an end. One of the reasons why I rejoice at my hon. friend the Member for South Donegal having availed himself of this opportunity to raise this question is that I recollect very well in the year 1895 this question was brought up by the Liberal Government then in power, and a considerable number of the members of the Tory party, then in opposition, came to other members of the Irish party and myself asking us to stick to our guns and persist in our opposition to the erection of a statue to Oliver Cromwell. The House of Lords, remembering Cromwell's opinion of them, have had the courage to place on record their opinion that no such outrage should have been perpetrated as the erection of this statue within the precincts of this House. I desire to see how the Tory party stand to-day on this question. In 1895 the vast majority of 953 the Tory party were outraged by the suggestion, and now they will have an opportunity of backing that opinion by their vote. [Ministerial cries of "Hear, hear!"] I am glad to hear that there are some Members courageous enough to stick to their opinion. I want to direct the attention of hon. Members to a very remarkable fact—I might say to two remarkable facts—in connection with this great Englishman, because he was, in my humble judgment, one of the greatest men you have ever produced in this country. If in Ireland we were going to erect a statue to a great Irishman we should have invited subscriptions from all parts of the world, as was the case when we erected a statue to Daniel O'Connell, when the pennies of the poor and the pounds of the wealthier classes were mingled together as a testimony of the nation's gratitude. In this case the statue of Cromwell has been erected by an individual. No subscription was called for or allowed, and it has not the mark of a nation's gratitude, and that, in my opinion, is an additional reason why it should not be planted there. It is a statue erected at the cost of an individual who blushes to allow his name to be Known, and. as far as I can recollect, this is an anonymous statue, and we do not know who has paid for its erection. The second remarkable circumstance which has struck me is this: I should have supposed that, when the country was celebrating last year or the year before the anniversary connected with Cromwell's memory, naturally it occurred to me, and most properly, that a statue should be erected in the town of Huntingdon, and subscriptions should have been invited from all parts of the world. Ireland is a poor nation, but, when we wanted to erect a statue to Daniel O'Connell, in a very short time we got £15,000. A committee opened a subscription for the Cromwell statue in the district of Huntingdon, where Cromwell lived the greater part of his life, and they appealed not only to the people of this country but to Britons all over the world. What was the result? Why that about three months after I saw a statement in The Times suggesting that the operations of the committee had been closed, and announcing that they had received only five subscriptions—one of £25 from a lord, three subscriptions of £2 or £3, and four or five dollars from 954 the United States of America, and a resolution was passed to return all the money to the subscribers. I have no hesitation in saying that, much as I detest the memory of Oliver Cromwell as an Irishman, I consider that failure disgraceful and deplorable, and to have to erect that statue by some anonymous donor is a disgrace to your history. You do not know how to perpetuate the memory of a great man. Before you try to perpetrate this outrage; upon a man you are ashamed of, you ought to first erect a statue by your own subscriptions and thus prove that you reverence this man. We are told that the Anglo-Saxon feeling to commemorate this great Englishman is overwhelmingly great, and yet the measure of your veneration for the memory of this great Protector is a five-dollar bill from America. We in Ireland are in the habit of testing this kind of thing by the amount of subscriptions coming from the mass of the people, and if that be the right way to test your regard for the memory of the great Protector, what right have you or what decency is there in planting at the door of this House which certainly owes nothing to the Protector—a statue for which you are ashamed to ask this Committee to vote a sum of money, and which you never asked this House to sanction? When the House was not prepared to bear the expense, and the nation was not prepared to subscribe the cost, what was the common-sense of planting a statue of that man? I have heard many hard things said about Oliver Cromwell—even by English Conservatives; but in reading the history of this country I see much to admire in him, for he was a great Radical who believed in the people, and he was a great soldier; he had the greatest contempt for the House of Lords, and in all those sentiments I cordially agree with him.
§ MR. DILLON
That is the opinion of an Irishman. I do not myself wish to use such strong language as that just used by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Dublin University.
§ MR. DILLON
Even the Irish Unionist party are not united on this subject. If a statue to Cromwell had been raised in Huntingdon or any other part of England by the subscriptions of the English people, I should not have raised my voice against it; but it is not decent to plant the statue of a man who rouses such violent animosity at the very door of this House. I need not enlarge on the feelings of Irishmen with regard to Cromwell, but I say, without fear of contradiction, that no more savage or ruthless conquest was ever carried out in modern times than that by Cromwell in Ireland. He spared not man, not woman, not child. He spared neither the unarmed nor the defenceless but, animated by these powerful sentiments—passions, if you like—the result of very close study of the Old Testament, he imitated the spirit and the acts of some of the great characters described in it.
§ MR. DILLON
I am not going to be drawn into a discussion on Irish history, because if I were we should have to suspend the Twelve o'clock Rule. The massacres of Cromwell in Ireland have been condemned as brutal and outrageous by the united sentiment of mankind. I do not think the greatest apologist and admirer of Cromwell has ever endeavoured to defend his conduct in Ireland. So awful and terrific were his proceedings that even to this day, as hon. Members know who have lived in Ireland, his name is used throughout the country to terrify children, and the "curse of Cromwell" is one of the most awful imprecations which one Irishman can invoke against another. It is unseemly, indecent and uncalled for, except for the purposes of insult and arousing evil passions, that of all places the door of this House should be selected on which to plant a statue to Cromwell. I am glad my hon. friend has taken the earliest opportunity of putting this question to the test, as it will give us an opportunity of judging whether the House of Commons really thinks that the putting up of a statue to Cromwell, not paid for by the people of this country, but by some anonymous individual, within the precincts of Parliament is a fit and proper proceeding.
§ MR. AKERS DOUGLAS
I am not myself particularly concerned to defend the attack made with great vigour by the hon. Member for South Donegal, because hon. Members will bear in mind that my share in this matter has been to preserve a continuity of policy. When I was called on to take over the Office of Works I found that an offer of a statue of Cromwell had been accepted by my predecessor from an anonymous donor on the understanding that a suitable site should be found for it in the immediate precincts of this House. I understood, and, in fact, satisfied myself, that on that undertaking an order was given to a sculptor, and that the work had been commenced, and I thought it would be hardly honourable on my part to upset that decision. It has never been the practice of the Department, when a statue is paid for by public or private subscription and not out of public funds, necessarily to consult Parliament. The Government of the day has always in such cases offered a site, and I saw no reason why this practice should be departed from in this particular case. At all events, I certainly should not have thought that I was performing an honourable or a fair part if I allowed the statue to be completed, and then decided to upset the decision of my predecessor. I do not propose to follow hon. Members on the question as to whether or not Cromwell should have a statue in the precincts of this House. The hon. Member for East Mayo has stated that Cromwell was one of the greatest Englishmen that ever lived. I myself have always been of that opinion, and therefore I would not have taken the part I did on a former occasion in this House had I not thought it was undesirable to pay out of public funds for the statue of a man who had been dead and gone so long. I do not see how we can distinguish between a statue to Cromwell and a statue to Marlborough, or to any other famous Englishman. On the occasion to which I have referred I voted clearly on the ground that I objected to a statue being provided out of public money, though I approved of having a statue to a great Englishman. The whole question now is the question of site. The hon. Member for East Mayo complained that the Government found a site for the statue in the immediate precincts of this House. As I have already stated, I found 957 when I came into office that the statue had been authorised by my predecessor and that a site had been selected, and I agreed that I would not upset the decision which had been arrived at. There is one other charge made against me, and that is that I stole a march on the House, and that by the action I had taken I had prevented the subject being discussed in the House. [An HON. MEMBER: Hear, hear!] An hon. Member behind me says "Hear, hear," hut if he will kindly look at the questions addressed to me last year and the year before he will find that I answered them to the effect that a statue of Oliver Cromwell had been offered to the nation by a private donor, that a site had been selected by my predecessor, and that that site would be adhered to. The hon. Member for East Clare on two occasions, and the hon. Member for South Belfast on one occasion, asked, if that decision were to be adhered to, would there be an opportunity of discussing it in this House, and I replied that there would be an opportunity of discussing the matter on the Vote for my salary. That Tote was allowed to pass, although I took care it was put down when it could be discussed, and it was not included among the Votes closured under the Sessional Order at the end of the session. There was ample opportunity for discussing it on the Vote, and also on the Appropriation Bill, but hon. Members did not discuss it, and the only occasion on which it was raised was in the other House on October 27th,* when, I think, the proceedings of this House had actually closed, on the very last day of the session. Hon. Members who objected to the site for the statue had, I maintain, ample opportunities for discussion on the Estimates last year and the year before. It was well known that the statue was going to be erected, and that the site had been selected was also known. No action was then taken, but the hon. Member for South Donegal now objects to the site originally selected by the donor in conjunction with my predecessor. I have nothing further to say except again to remind hon. Members that it is not the practice, when statues of public men not paid for out of public-funds are accepted, to necessarily bring the matter before the House of Commons,*See The Parliamentary Debates [Fourth Series], Vol. lxxvii., page 749.958 and I should regret if the practice were now adopted of one Government upsetting the decision of the preceding Government. I am perfectly prepared to take my share of the responsibility with my predecessor in office.
§ MR. GLADSTONE () Leeds, W.
My right hon. friend opposite has correctly stated the circumstances in regard to the origin of the proposal which led to the erection of the statue and the arrangements made in connection with it. My hon. friends the Members for East Mayo and South Donegal said that the statue on its present site was a reproach to this House, and an insult to hon. Members for Ireland. I should like to say one word on the subject of the statue itself, as I was First Commissioner of Works when the proposal was first brought before Parliament. Before the House was asked to vote any money for the statue, it was announced by the Government that it was their intention to propose that that money should be granted, and I took occasion more than once to ascertain the general feeling with regard to this statue, for I felt that if there was to be a violent difference of opinion about it, it would not be fitting or proper that the House should be asked to consider the matter at all. Almost a year before the money was asked for questions were put in this House, and were answered by me, so that there should be no misapprehension about it, and that implicit notice should be given of what the intentions of the Government of the day were in the matter. As a result of my efforts to find out the opinion of my hon. friends from Ireland, I understood, perhaps erroneously—I do not want to make this a subject of contention but I was under the belief that the proposal would not excite any active opposition. [An Hon. MEMBER on the Irish benches: How did you arrive at that conclusion?] I do not want to enter into that, hut I was led to believe that my hon. friends from Ireland would take the same view as I myself did, that, without going into any question of what Oliver Cromwell was or what his character was, or his political actions were, he was at all events a great political personage.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
I am quite ready to accept the statements of my hon. friends from Ireland that the proposal did meet with their opposition in 1895. But Cromwell had acted for some years, at any rate, as ruler of this country, and in the interests of historical continuity in connection with statues in and about the Houses of Parliament, I felt that the vacancy which existed should be filled and a statue of Oliver Cromwell should be erected. That was the spirit in which I approached the subject, and I believe that was the spirit in which my right hon. friends and colleagues looked at it. I then asked the House to vote the money for the statue. The House will remember that the Vote in Committee of Supply was passed by a majority—a small majority of fifteen. Subsequently the Government, finding that the whole grace of the proposal had been impaired by the expression of opinion made upon it by the minority, resolved not to proceed with the Vote, and the Vote was accordingly withdrawn. My hon. friend the Member for East Mayo, I think rather erroneously, takes the view that the late Government were wrong in accepting this gift from a private donor. I do not take that view at all. There was nothing disrespectful to the House in doing so, because by a majority of fifteen it had passed a Vote of £500, as a first instalment of the expense of the statue. The private donor having made this offer to me as First Commissioner, and having consulted my colleagues, we felt it our duty, on behalf of the country, to accept the offer. I then proceeded to consider the question of the site, together with the sculptor and my colleagues, and we decided to place the statue where it is, partly because we felt that it ought to be placed some where in the precincts of Westminster', for the reasons I have already stated, whore are all the historical monuments in and about the Houses of Parliament; and also because the sculptor himself thought it excellently suited for the work which he had in hand. That having been done, and that decision having been taken on our authority and responsibility, the Government shortly afterwards left office, and my right hon. friend came in and found that the site had already been decided upon. I think that my right hon. friend acted according to all precedents in taking over these accomplished facts, and in 960 carrying into effect the work already begun. I desire to express my thanks to my right hon. friend for the frank way he has acted in this matter, and I wish, on my own behalf and on that of my colleagues also, to take the full responsibility for the whole of our share in these proceedings.
§ MR. CARSON
I think it is a slight to this House to have a statue erected to Oliver Cromwell under any conditions within the precincts of this House. At the same time, I should be sorry to raise this question on my own personal feeling: but the important point raised on this Vote is, whether the First Commissioner of Works on this or that side of the House has a right to give away the most important site almost within the precincts of the House, when he is aware that the greater portion of the Members of this House object to that site being so given. I say that is a setting at defiance of the wishes of a large section of the Members of this House, and that it is not a worthy way of presenting a site for a statue to the memory of, if you like, even a great Englishman. The matter was brought before this House, and the right hon. Gentleman was only able, with all his powers of persuasion, and the power of his party behind him, to carry the Vote by a majority of fifteen. The right hon. Gentleman this evening, by his own confession, stated that having only carried the Vote by a majority of fifteen he thought that that showed that the House did not wish the statue to be erected, and that therefore the Government withdrew the proposal. I want to know what has happened since to authorise any Commissioner of Public Works to sanction the erection of a statue on that site, the more especially as the House of Lords had by a majority refused to sanction the site.
§ MR. AKEES DOUGLAS
I would point out that that was after the session of the House of Commons was over.
§ MR. CARSON
I do not know whether the statue was erected at the time, though I am under a different impression from my right hon. friend as far as dates are concerned. What I want to know is, what does the right hon. Gentleman rely upon to justify his granting the site for the statue? He may sneer 961 at the House of Lords, but the Government thought so little of the House of Lords that they did not think it necessary to bring down Members to vote on that occasion. Therefore I put it that, so far as the House of Lords is concerned, they were opposed to the erection of the statue on its present site. [An HON. MEMBER: Would the hon. Gentleman say how many Members of the House of Lords were present on that occasion?] My hon. friend would like me to stale how many Members of the House of Lords were, present on that occasion, hut I do not think that is the question at all. It was well known that the subject was coming on for debate, and nobody could be procured to come down and vote. At all events, I do not want to make more of that matter', or to try and set up the House of Lords as a dictator to the light hon. Gentleman; but I maintain that, so far as any Parliamentary action has gone, it has been hostile to the erection of this statue, and with that knowledge the right hon. Gentleman ought to have taken the sense of this House before proceeding with the erection of the statue.
§ MR. BIRRELL (Fifeshire, W.)
My right hon. and learned friend who has just sat down seems to imagine that the First Commissioner of Works has committed an act of trespass by permitting this statue to be erected on a piece of ground which he thinks belongs in some peculiar way to the House of Commons. Now, after all, the First Commissioner of Works represents the whole of the country, and particularly the citizens of this great town. So far as I can ascertain, this statue, so far from being one of those hideous erections which already disgrace too many of our streets, is liked very much, by everyone who has seen it. [HON. MEMBERS: No!] Well, that is a question of taste, and I think that it commends itself more to the people of this country than the statue, for example, of King Charles II. The discussion this afternoon has reduced this House to the level of a small hoys' debating society. I am at a loss to understand what grievance any Member of this House has that Oliver Cromwell should have a statue, even near the House of Commons. After all, I think it is a very useful memento mori to this House, because if Parliament chooses to exist for an intoler- 962 able number of years, as did the Parliament which Cromwell wisely dispersed, it shows there are rights behind hon. Members and above the Constitution; and that it is quite possible even for the House of Commons so to disgust the intelligence of the country as to lead to its own decease. But I do not, as a Parliamentarian, derive any ill-feeling from the erection of a statue to Cromwell, even in the Parliamentary precincts. Though. Cromwell did put an end to one Parliament, no sooner' had he seated himself in the saddle and became a Sovereign of this country than he found it necessary to have Parliaments of his own. He summoned a House of Commons, with which he did not get on at all well; and, after dismissing that House he summoned another. Indeed, he was never able to get rid of the deep-rooted feeling existing among the people in favour of representative institutions. Disliking popular institutions, despising, the House of Commons. Cromwell nevertheless was obliged throughout the whole of his political existence to call them one after another into existence. After his death the people of the country with one accord reverted to the institutions which he had, at all events, partially destroyed. So far from trembling in alarm when I pass under the statue of that great man, I recall with feelings of satisfaction that, great as Cromwell was, he was not great enough to destroy free institutions in England. The statue is a reminder to us of the greatness of our positron. Why hon. Gentlemen from Ireland should object to this site I cannot conceive. They said it was an insult to the House, but are hon. Member's really so fond of the House? They seem to forget that they were not Members of the House Cromwell so rudely dispersed. Hon. Gentlemen looked. track to the time when they had a House of their own, and they looked forward to the time when again they should have a House of their own; and when that time comes it may not be altogether out of place for them to have a few statues there to remind them of the troublous times they have passed through. I think that the Commissioner of Works has done a good thing for the country in allowing this statue to Cromwell, which is a very fine one, to be erected. If it has any fault it is that it reduces the frock-coated gentlemen in the square with great Parliamen- 963 tary names to their proper level. I congratulate both Commissioners of Works upon having been able, without any expense to the country, to make the metropolis a 'little more attractive than it had hitherto been.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
The question which the Committee has to consider is not the merits of any person, past or present, though Oliver Cromwell undoubtedly was one of the most remarkable figures in history; but whether proper respect has been paid to the House in erecting within the precincts of the House the statue of a man who turned it out of its own Chamber. It seems outrageous that such a thing could be conceived, but to have erected a statue without consulting the House of Commons is more astonishing still.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
The Government in which I hold office as Commissioner of Works did consult the House of Commons.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
And what was the result? A few days afterwards that Government went out. Who was this anonymous benefactor who conceived the brilliant idea of erecting a statue to the man who, having abolished the House of Lords, was obliged to restore it at the end of his career, and who was the person who conceived the idea of such a site? The site was a very bad one in which to put such a statue as that, besides which there are sites all over London. There is Berkeley Square; nobody would have complained if the site of the statue had been in Berkeley Square. What we object to is that this particular place, the most improper of all places in the City of London in which to erect such a statue, should have been chosen. Though, as I have said, Cromwell was one of the most remarkable figures in history, why a statue for him alone of all the great men of that day? Why not a statue of the Earl of Strafford? Who is the anonymous benefactor who will offer us a statue of the Earl of Strafford? There is a Viceroy of India who perhaps might very fitly make that offer, for his motto also is "Thorough." There is in the outer lobby of this House one of the finest busts that ever loft the chisel of the sculptor. I admit that the First Commissioner of Works has done every- 964 thing he could to spoil it—he has put it in one of the worst possible places and has given it the worst possible pedestal, but he has not succeeded in doing what it was impossible to do, destroy the beauty of the bust. But having the bust inside, why do you want a statue outside? The First Commissioner of Works says he knew there was some feeling against it, but he was entitled to assume that that feeling was not very strong because on the Estimates last year no one attacked his salary in order to raise the question and show there was any hostility to the scheme. The opportunity has come again, and in consequence of the challenge thrown out by the right hon. Gentleman it is necessary that this reduction should be moved. I cannot conceive what the First Commissioner of Works could have been thinking of to have sanctioned this, or what the Government could have been thinking about to have allowed him to. There is, of course, said to be between political parties a movement of continuity. I do not know whether in this case there is any question of making friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, but I do think it was most unfortunate that the First Commissioner of Works should have persisted in acting in this matter when he knew there was a very strong opposition. And under these circumstances, regretting as I do that such a statue as this should have been placed on this site, I must vote for the reduction.
§ MR. TREVELYAN () Yorkshire, W. R., Elland
I should not have addressed this Committee unless I had felt with rather unusual intensity that it is a serious discredit to the country not to have a statue in any of our great public places of one of the greatest rulers our Empire ever had, and in expressing this opinion I am expressing the opinion of a great proportion of the English people, and certainly of the manufacturing districts of the north where I am a representative. There are two portions of the community in Great Britain and Ireland who disapprove of the statue. The first are the representatives of Ireland. I hope Irish Members will believe it when some of us on this side of the House say we regret, as they have regretted, the history of England in its dealings with Ireland from the time of Oliver Cromwell to the present day. At 965 the same time, we do not think they altogether understand the reasons why Cromwell perpetrated the alleged atrocities against civilisation while he was in Ireland.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
In the despatches he used to send soon after every one of his battles to Speaker Lenthal in the House of Commons, we have fortunately his own account of the reasons why he perpetrated the massacres of Drogheda and Wexford. I do not say those reasons entirely justify his action, but they show that he was not acting under the brutal impulse of military anger or of religious bigotry. In the letter which he wrote after the fall of Wexford, he describes the garrison as "answering with their lives" for the cruelties which had been practised on Protestants. I do not say that is a justification for the action of Oliver Cromwell—[A NATIONALIST MEMBER: Then why do you quote it?]—but it shows that he believed that the Irishmen whom he put to the sword had been themselves guilty of brutal and uncivilised outrages. I want to say a word about the objections to the statue of Oliver Cromwell from a British point of view, passing by the prejudice to the statue being erected in one place rather than another. The important thing for us to consider is the reason for which we erect statues to our great men. It is ultimately that we believe in their greatness. We cannot discuss whether we agree with their opinions, or approve of their character. What we have to go by is their greatness. We had two years ago a great instance of noble consideration on the part of political opponents of the last great statesman who left this House. On that occasion the political opponents of Mr. Gladstone did everything they possibly could to honour him when he passed away. That is the tradition of England: the rule England makes. Why should Oliver Cromwell be treated as an exception? [An IRISH MEMBER: Because he is a murderer.] Is it because some hon. Gentlemen still object to the one deed for which he is, indeed, peculiar—that owing to him a monarch's head fell? I do not think hon. Gentlemen really feel that is a sufficient consideration. After all. the revolution 966 which Cromwell carried through was—apart from the bloody war—as far as political retribution or punishment of opponents was concerned, certainly the most bloodless revolution through which any country has ever passed. At this particular time I should like to ask the House not to vote against the position which the statue has been given, because I think the country feels that it may be a good thing to recognise a man who, whatever his faults, was the strongest and the most decisive ruler we have ever had. I am sure there are many gentlemen in this House who do not altogether approve of all the deeds of Oliver Cromwell who would not be sorry if he were on the floor of this House today, and could lend some of his decisiveness to our administration, and more strength to our War Office in this great crisis. There are some of us who look upon Cromwell's character as one of the strongest and finest characters in history. A large part of our people look upon him as out greatest ruler, and on his methods of action and ideas as the most truly English. I hope, therefore, that the House will not vote against the statue.
§ THE FIRST LOED OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
I intervene in this debate because my name has been dragged in by a. number of speakers, and because various appeals have been made on both sides to some utterances of mine made three or four years ago. I have not had an opportunity of referring to those utterances, but, as they have been described by various gentlemen as eloquent and convincing, I am certain that those hon. Gentlemen are of opinion that they are inconsistent with what I am now about to say. I always notice that when a former speech of anyone is praised by his opponents it is in order to draw a contrast unfavourable to the speech which he has just delivered or is about to deliver. But if I had had the wish to refer to my former speech I doubt whether I should have had the opportunity, for, unless my eyes deceive me, there are scattered about the House so many copies of the volume of Hansard in which that speech occurs probably that the stock in the library must be exhausted. As I do not remember very accurately what I said, I must trust to my natural consistency to keep me out of serious trouble on the present occasion.
967 I feel pretty sure that, on the previous occasion to which I have referred, I must have said something about the historic character and the claims of Cromwell to recognition by Englishmen, Scotchmen, and Irishmen; and I am the last person to deny that he was a very great Englishman, and a man whom whether we be Englishmen, Scotchmen, or Irishmen we should have no objection to seeing honoured by some permanent memorial But I do not agree either with the violent attacks on him which have been made by hon. Gentlemen from. Ireland or with the laudations, which I conceive to be extravagantly worded, expressed by the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down and others who have spoken in this debate. I believe that Cromwell was neither the fiend represented by one set of critics nor the man of supereminent greatness represented by others. His reputation has, as we all know, gone through strange vicissitudes. Cursed after his death by the violence of party faction, his ashes scattered to the winds, his name scarcely to be mentioned in respectable society as of one possessing any virtues at all, he has now for more than a generation—largely through the labours of Mr. Carlyle—been raised on a pedestal which, in my opinion at all events, is too high. Thomas Carlyle is largely responsible for what I cannot help regarding as something in the nature of an historic legend. Nobody would for a moment deny that Cromwell was a great soldier. But remember he never was brought into conflict with any of the really great commanders of his time. He never had to fight Condé or Turenne; and those whom he had to fight, though of eminent bravery and average capacity, have not left in military history any great name. Then Cromwell is sometimes described to us as the one heaven-born Foreign Minister whom England possessed during the whole of the seventeenth century. I think that that view of his character is altogether beside the truth. I am no great admirer of the kings of the House of Stuart, but from the very nature of their position it was absolutely impossible for them to have what is called a "vigorous foreign policy." They were in constant conflict with their Parliament. [An HON. MEMBER: So was Cromwell.] They never had at their command what Cromwell had—a standing army. If they had had at their command that standing army, able to do 968 for them what Cromwell's did for him—make them superior to all laws and absolute masters of the resources of the country, whether the people were desirous of supporting their policy or not—then, though I do not contend for a moment that Charles I. or Charles II. was equal to Cromwell in capacity, they would certainly have had a foreign policy different from that which circumstances obliged them to pursue. And when we hear of the vigour of Cromwell's foreign policy, let me remind the House that he exercised that policy at a most opportune moment in the history of Europe for his purposes. Cromwell came between the strong rule of Richelieu on the one side and of Louis XIV. on the other: and we should have heard very little, probably, of the story of the Pope hearing the sound of his cannon at the Vatican if his period of power had coincided with the height of power enjoyed by Louis XIV. Let me say, further, with regard to that foreign policy that, as far as we can judge after the event, he took the wrong side. While the coming danger to Europe was from the French, he supported the French against the dying monarchy of Spain. I, at all events, cannot join in the somewhat extravagant eulogies passed upon his foreign policy. What are we to say about his domestic policy? I believe Cromwell was a sincere lover of men, that he was sincerely desirous of seeing constitutional Government carried on in this country, and that he was no enemy of Parliamentary institutions. I entirely agree with what fell from the hon. Gentleman the Member for West Fife, that Cromwell would have been anxious to govern according to constitutional means had it been possible for him to do so. It was not possible for him to do so. By his ill-fortune rather than his bad management he found himself governor of England against the will of the country and the people. One hon. Member described Oliver Cromwell as "a good democrat." He may have been a good democrat—
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Very well. I do not know whether it is a part of the duty of "a good Radical" to govern in defiance of the opinion of the community you are governing. It very likely is. At all events, that was the position 969 in which Cromwell found himself though all the years of his reign; and every attempt which he made and they were perfectly genuine and honest attempts—to substitute some form of constitutional government for the military despotism which was, in fact, the frame work of English Government at the time was thwarted by the House of Commons. Are we to describe in these terms of eulogy a man who, so far as I know, has left behind him not one single permanent trace of creative ability, and not one single mark upon our constitutional history? ("Oh, oh!") Well. I am not aware of any, except perhaps that prejudice against standing armies which had been burnt into the English mind for generation after generation, and which was one of the greatest difficulties that successive English Governments had to contend with in carrying out a great constitutional policy at the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth centuries. It appears to me that while it would be folly to deny to Cromwell the epithet of "great." he was, on the whole, through no fault of his own, a somewhat ineffectual and certainly a most pathetic figure in our history. But, Sir, holding those views and we are all at liberty to form our own estimate of historic characters—is there anything in what has been said which should induce this House to take down the statue from the place where it is, and either destroy it or erect it elsewhere? Sir, I say there is nothing. I deeply regret to hear the appeal to history made from the Irish benches, because it indicates—if I may be forgiven for saying so one of the rooted weaknesses of the Irish character. They never will forgive an injury; though it is an injury 200 or 300 years old, it seems to them as fresh as if committed yesterday. Surely we can afford in this world of chance and change to forget and forgive. [Ax IRISH NATIONALIST MEMBER: But you carry out Cromwell's policy to-day.] It is my good fortune to live near the battlefield of Dunbar, where Cromwell defeated my countrymen, gaining one of the greatest victories ever won by Englishmen over Scotsmen. Does any Scotsman on that account think he has a blood feud with Cromwell which no time can work out? Surely that is neither a generous nor a wise point of view. When communities are bound to live together, when peoples are placed under circum- 970 stances when; a common life is absolutely necessary, surely it is not only Christian charity but the height of wisdom to forget those old injuries, those ancient far-off wrongs, which are being perpetually brought before the mind by memories of that kind—embittering differences, and perpetuating racial hostilities. I have been accused of inconsistency because I resisted public money being given to erect a statue to Cromwell in the year 1895, while assenting now to someone else giving a, statue out of his private means to be erected in the precincts of the House. I believe there is not one shilling of public money expended' on the statue, and I confess I do think it would be carrying these ancient political feuds very much too far if we were to forbid private generosity to erect a statue to a great Englishman. There is hardly any action for which the, Restoration Government has been more bitterly and perhaps more justly attacked than that of desecrating Cromwell's grave, taking up his ashes, and scattering them to the winds. [AN IRISH NATIONALIST MEMBER: What about the Mahdi?] They did that deed under the bitter memories of wrongs scarcely healed over, and of wounds which were still green and fresh. Are we to do something parallel 250 years after Cromwell passed away? Art; we to be so mindful of any error' he may have committed that even now we cannot tolerate within fifty yards of this House, the statue of a man who was supreme Governor of this country for many years, a man who showed great ability, and a man to whom, however we place him in the hierarchy of English worthies, no one denies the title of "a. great man"?
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR () Liverpool, Scotland
We have heard a speech from the First Lord of the Treasury which I think is one of the most remarkable examples of the facility and dexterity with which political leaders can explain away entire differences of attitude according to whether they are on this or the other side of the House. What is the Parliamentary situation with regard to this question? This House by a majority of fifteen sanctioned the erection of a statue to Cromwell.* The*The figures were 152 to 137 (Division List No. 123, 14th June, 1895). On the 17th June, 1895, the figures were 220 to 83 (Division List No. 130).971 Government of the day regarded the result of the division as evidencing so strong a feeling against a statue that they immediately afterwards withdrew the vote. In the minority against the proposal every single Member other than the Irish Members was a Member of the Unionist party. In fact, the vote was approved by only thirteen Conservative and Unionist Members. That was the situation in the last Parliament. What is the Parliamentary situation now? The party which then was in a minority is now in a majority, and the first thing that majority does is to sanction a thing which when it was a minority it refused to sanction. I cannot see the consistency of that position. A distinction is made by the First Lord of the Treasury and the First Commissioner of Works because the money for this statue has come from a private source. I absolutely fail to see the distinction. The statue is erected in the precincts of this House; whether it is by public or private money does not affect that fact in the least. The statue is erected in the precincts of this House, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dublin University pointed out, against the expressed will of both Houses of Parliament. Is it tolerable that a portion of the ground within the precincts of this House should be given away by the servant and agent of this House against the expressed will and vote and desire of Parliament? That is the real question—and not whether the money has been given by private individuals or has come out of public funds. Does anyone in his senses mean to say that if a private individual went to the Commissioner of Works and said—"I will give so much money for: the erection of a statue to Strafford"(to take the name mentioned by the hon. Member for King's Lynn), the Commissioner of Works would be entitled to put up a statue to Strafford at that private individual's expense without the express sanction of Parliament? No, nobody would lay down any such proposition. Now, with regard to the historical question. The First Lord of the Treasury has entirely misunderstood the Irish point of view concerning Cromwell. He says that the battle of Dunbar was fought near his residence, and that though his countrymen were beaten there Scotsmen feel no rancour or vindictiveness towards Cromwell or his memory. Does the right hon.
972 Gentleman suppose that the reason Cromwell is hated in Ireland, with a hatred as fresh to-day as a couple of hundred years ago, is that Cromwell beat the Irish in battle? That is not the reason at all. It is not the victory of Cromwell in the open field that is resented, it is the cold-blooded massacres after the battle was over which have stained and for ever will stain his name. The hon. Member for the Elland division has stated the case against the statue very accurately. He says, "I support the statue because Cromwell was so thoroughly English." I tell my hon. friend that one of the reasons his country excites so much animosity amongst the people of Ireland to-day is that Cromwell represents to them the distorted image of all Englishmen. What did Cromwell do? It was not only that he massacred. The hon. Member for South Belfast said in an interruption that Protestant Christians had been massacred in 1641. Whether or not there were a large number of Christians massacred in 1641 is one of the vexed questions of Irish history upon which marry different opinions have been pronounced, and marry historians, including, if I remember rightly, that eminent historian the junior Member for Dublin University, are of opinion that the number of men massacred has been grossly exaggerated. Supposing it were true that the massacre of Protestants in 1641 was as great and terrible as has been made out, the battle was in the open field with a general at the head of civilised troops. Surely this is no justification for the massacre in cold blood, not merely of men, but of women and children, on the ground that Cromwell was avenging the blood of his fellow Protestants. A more monstrous or unchristian doctrine I never heard. I remember one of the very first occasions in my Parliamentary experience, when I had the pleasure of going into the same lobby with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Bodmin, to vote against the erection of a statue of Prince Napoleon in Westminster Abbey, and the objection raised was that by erecting a statue to the young prince we would be supposed to be giving our countenance and approval to the policy and dynasty of which the prince was the representative. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury finds fault with us for our vindictiveness. There is one thing that Irishmen can never forgive, even if a 973 thousand years intervened, and that is the cold-blooded massacre of women and children. What happened? With regard to the events at Drogheda, we have not to rely only upon the accounts of Irish historians, but we have the authority of at least one eminent Englishman, Mr. Wood, brother of the well-known historian of Oxford, with regard to the events of that massacre. When the people, had been massacred, the soldiers beaten, and the town taken, Cromwell and his soldiers entered. They went into the church, and they massacred every woman they met there. It is described how he tried to save one unfortunate young lady, but before he was able to take her to a place of refuge one of Cromwell's soldiers ran her through with the sword. The story is so terrible that it is almost difficult to believe it, for some of the soldiers are described as taking up babies in arms and using them as shields, the babies being killed by the Irish soldiers whom they were attacking. Is there any analogy between an open battle and a manly victory and a manly defeat in the field of Dunbar, and such terrible incidents as I have described? The right hon. Gentleman talks of the freshness of our memory. I remember going to the town of Wexford some time ago, and there is a square to this day where the people point out in the town the very spot where the women and children were massacred by the soldiers of Cromwell. And now we are asked what right we Irish Members have to object to this statue. We are still Members of this Parliament, and after any changes that may occur in our legislative relations, undoubtedly this Parliament still remains the Imperial Parliament, and must to that extent be representative of the people of Ireland so far as Imperial affairs are concerned; therefore our interest in this Parliament remains. But there is something besides the House of Commons, important as that may be. There are other countries who send representatives to the House, and though they might not regard the erection of this statue as affecting the dignity of this Parliament, we Irish Members have the people of our own country and their sentiments and feelings to consider, and this Parliament has a right to consider them. By putting up in almost the most public and finest site in this building the statue of a man whose name is a 974 source of dread and horror to Irishmen this Parliament is sending a message of hatred and contempt to the people of Ireland. For these reasons I think we are perfectly within our right in opposing this Vote. So far as the English career of Cromwell is concerned I have little to say. I am inclined to agree with the First Lord of the Treasury that Cromwell's virtues have been unduly magnified, and if I were a Conservative or an Englishman I should be inclined to look upon Cromwell's English career with disfavour. If we were speaking of a statue of John Hampden or Pym, no admirer of representative institutions would oppose a statue, because Hampden was true to the great principle of Parliamentary freedom to the hour of his death. Was Cromwell true? No, he was not, for he did acts of despotism far in excess of those which brought Louis XVI. to the scaffold. I know no irony in history more tragic than that a statue should be erected to the man who brought Charles I. to the scaffold for interfering with the liberties of Parliament when Cromwell himself interfered with the liberties of Parliament far more than Charles I. ever did. It is true that Cromwell took part in the great struggle upon which the foundations of our liberty were built and preserved. At the same time it must be said that he arrested a great deal of the peaceful development of the institutions of this country, and in my opinion no Conservative Government can fairly ask this House to approve of this statue.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND () Clare, E.
I desire to say a few words on this subject principally because when the Vote for erecting this statue was before Parliament a few years ago I had something to do with the opposition raised against it. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury, in the very interesting speech which he delivered a few moments ago, gave the Irish Members something in the nature of a lecture. He said that he thought it was a great pity that in Ireland we could not learn to forget like the Scotch people had learned to forget, for they bore no ill-will against the memory of Cromwell for the grievances which he inflicted upon Scotchmen many years ago. I have no doubt that the Irish people are quite as ready to forget and forgive as the Scotch people; but the Irish people will not learn to forget—and they 975 never should learn to forget—the wrongs inflicted upon them years ago, as long as a vestige of those wrongs still remain, and I say that in Ireland, in considering the history of Cromwell in our country, we cannot forget the fact that though Cromwell has long since passed away, there still remains much in the government of Ireland which was instituted by him. Injustices still remain to be remedied, and until those injustices are remedied the Irish people will neither forget nor forgive the conduct of Cromwell and the injustice which he inflicted upon our country. It is not only the Irish national historians and politicians who hold these views with regard to Cromwell, for I might quote extensively if I desired from the writings of the hon. Gentlemen the Member for the University of Dublin, who is recognised to be one of the greatest living historians at the present time, and he has fully justified and borne out the estimate of Cromwell's character which is held by the majority of the Irish people. Although Cromwell has long since passed away, we find in Ireland to-day a great deal that is to be complained of in the relations between landlord and tenant for which Cromwell is to be blamed, for the origin of these relations is to be found in the settlements which he set up in Ireland. I can tell the First Lord of the Treasury and the other members of this Committee that whoever else in Ireland may forget Oliver Cromwell's conduct, the people in the portion of Ireland that I come from never will forget him as long as they live, or as long as they are able to read in history the conduct of Cromwell in the county of Wexford. The hon. Gentleman the Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool has referred to the massacres perpetrated by Cromwell in Wexford and Drogheda. I come from Wexford, and as long as I can remember it has been a common tradition of the people of all classes there that they look with horror upon the infamies perpetrated upon the defenceless people of the county I come from by Cromwell. In the whole history of the world there is nothing more infamous, cowardly, or more contemptible than the conduct of Cromwell in Wexford and Drogheda. Cromwell not only slaughtered the people who had surrendered, he not only broke every undertaking that he gave to give quarter to the men who could resist him no 976 longer; but it is on record and beyond question that when he entered the town of Wexford he slaughtered the women and the children, and in one spot in the Bull King of Wexford, around a large cross erected there, 300 women and children were put to the sword, and the streets ran red with their blood; and yet the First Lord of the Treasury blames the Irish people because these things are not forgotten by them. How could we forget such atrocities? Even at this moment the bitterest ill wish that can be uttered by one person against another in the county of Wexford is to say, "The curse of Cromwell he on you!" The curse of Cromwell is remembered in the county of Wexford and in Ireland generally, and as far as I am concerned I take this opportunity, as I have taken previous opportunities, to protest against what I will call a monstrous insult put upon the Trish people by confronting them when they come into this House with a statue of Oliver Cromwell. I was not in the House when the light hon. Gentleman the First Commissioner of Works spoke. I do not know whether he was asked, or whether it would be in order to ask, whether any public money whatever was spent in the erection of this statue. [Mr. AKERS DOUGLAS: No.] Then that is one satisfaction we have, and I would remind the Committee that but for the action of Irish Members some time ago £3,000 of public money would have been spent upon this statue. I think it is a very good thing from every point of view that no public money was voted by Parliament, for an uglier statue or a greater blot upon the general symmetry of Parliamentary buildings could not be conceived than that statue of Oliver Cromwell. The hon. Member for the (Scotland Division of Liverpool spoke of Cromwell's conduct in England, but that is no part of my business to deal with. In England Cromwell started his career as a champion of liberty, and he wound up by being, from my point of view, a far greater dictator than ever Charles I. attempted to be, for he strangled the liberties of the people of this country. From whatever point of view Englishmen look at this question they are entitled to object to this statue. I ask hon. Gentlemen opposite, who are so devoted to the throne and constitution, and whose loyalty is unquestionable, if they think it is a proper thing, at the end of the nineteenth 977 century, to put up a statue to a common regicide, to a man who murdered his king in cold blood. If that is what the members of the Conservative party desire to do, all I can say is that I am extremely sorry for them. From an Irish point of view we have every right to object to this, for Cromwell's memory is hateful to us. He was a persecutor and a man who, in the name of Christianity and with the word of Cod upon his lips, attempted to stifle the national religion of the Irish people. Cromwell said that he would give religious freedom in Ireland and toleration for every sect, but nobody could go to mass in Ireland, and that was his idea of toleration. You could practise your religion as long as it coincided with the idea of the Roundheads, but Cromwell persecuted the Irish people. I desire to enter my protest against the erection of a public monument on the best site within the precincts of this House to a man who, even from an English point of view, was a murderer and a regicide.
§ MR. DISRAELI (, Altrincham) Cheshire
I do not think this subject should be raised as a. purely Irish question. I think that the logical conclusion of the debate should be that the salary of my right hon. friend the Commissioner of Works should be reduced by £200, for the whole question before the House is the question of the site which has been selected for the statue. Is the site a wise one and a good one? Cromwell Hooted Parliament, and so my right hon. friend the First Commissioner of Works places his statue within the precincts of Parliament; Cromwell coerced his judges, and so his statue is placed upon the site of the old law courts; Cromwell perpetually insulted the tenets of the English Church, and so his statue is placed in front of the cathedral church; Cromwell killed his king, and so the First Commissioner has had his statue erected almost in the very street in which Charles I. was executed. I cannot see the wisdom or the tact of my right hon. friend when he committed such a gross indecency upon the public as the erection of the statue in its present position. Then comes the question of the Parliamentary permission for erecting the statue. The permission was not given, because the Vote was withdrawn on a previous occasion. I think my right hon. friend should have shown that 978 it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to bring the matter before the House so that we could have said where the statue was to be erected. I am not one of those people who would have refused the erection of the statue to Cromwell, but the position, in my judgment, is not a proper one. As to saying that no money has been spent upon the statue, that is beyond the point altogether. One of the finest sites in this capital has been given to the statue of Oliver Cromwell. I hope my right hon. friend will not take it to heart very much, but I shall vote, on the principle of the thing, that the Oliver Cromwell statue ought not to have been placed in its present position.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE () Northampton
This is a very interesting discussion, for it carries me back to the days of my youth, when I attended debating societies. It is a blessed thing that the country is in such a peaceful condition that this House can now devote itself to these abstract questions. As a matter of fact, I agree; with the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury. Cromwell has been probably too much abused and too much praised, but that is not the reason I rose. I rose because I am a great stickler for the rules and regulations of this House, and I cannot understand how this discussion can be brought into order. The Vote is for money that is to be spent next year, and yet there is not the slightest doubt that not one farthing is going to be expended upon this statue. As the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House has stated, all that can be expended is the trifling stun needed to polish or wash the statue, which will probably not be more than £2 or £3. After this I want to know what my rights are. I am brimming full of essays on the different monarchs of this country to whom statues have been erected within the precincts of this House, and I wish to know whether I have the right, because their faces will be washed during the next year', to discuss their characters. If you, Mr. Lowther, recognise this view we shall have a Scotch gentleman protesting against this expenditure on the statue of William III., and some other hon. Member protesting against James II., because this king took a great pleasure when he was in Scotland 979 in putting people's legs into boots and torturing them. I do not suppose for a moment that I am right in this contention, and I do not understand how it can be raised upon the present occasion.
If the hon. Member is asking me a question, my answer is because part of the precincts of the Houses of Parliament have been appropriated to a particular object which certain hon. Members of this House object to. Therefore they have a right to raise this discussion.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
I would respectfully point out that similar sites have been appropriated in Westminster Hall. I was always under the impression that you have to show that there was some money spent when you moved the reduction of a particular Estimate, because you cannot move it on the general plea of a reduction of the Minister's salary which is not down.
§ I wish to know if you can positively move a reduction when the money is not going to be spent for that purpose. If that is so, where is the money in this Vote? In Supplementary Estimates the rule is most clear. Under this ruling I think I am entitled to deliver a series of essays upon the divers monarchs who have statues in this House. I might choose Lord Granville or anybody else, or go into the question of those frescoes and everybody in them, but I really do not understand how this discussion is possible.
The statues to. which the hon. Member refers have been there some time, but this is the first opportunity which the House has had to consider this question, and it seems to me to be a fitting opportunity.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 53: Noes, 221. (Division List No. 36.)981
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Doogan, P. C.||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.|
|Allison, Robert Andrew||Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.)||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Gibbs, Hon. V. (St. Albans)||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Goulding, Edward Alfred||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Halsey, Thomas Frederick||O'Malley, William|
|Boulnors, Edmund||Hammond, John (Carlow)||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)||Hayden, John Patrick||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Heaton, John Henniker||Redmond, John E (Waterford)|
|Carew, James Laurence||Hogan, James Francis||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Edward||Howard, Joseph||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Kilbride, Denis||Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray|
|Crilly, Daniel||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon|
|Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal)||Macaleese, Daniel|
|Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.)||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.|
|Dillon, John||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||M'Dermott, Patrick|
|Aird, John||Burns, John||Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley, W.|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Burt, Thomas||Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H.|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Butcher, John George||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Buxton, Sydney Charles||Curzon, Viscount|
|Arnold, Alfred||Caldwell. James||Dalkeith, Earl of|
|Asquith, Rt Hon Herbert Henry||Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Dalziel, James Henry|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Dilke, Rt. Hn. Sir Charles|
|Balfour, Rt Hn A. J. (Manch'r)||Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Doxford, Sir William Theodore|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r.)||Drucker, A.|
|Bethell, Commander||Charming, Francis Allston||Dunn, Sir William|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Edwards, Owen Morgan|
|Billson, Alfred||Coddington, Sir William||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton|
|Birrell, Augustine||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph D.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Emmott, Alfred|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Faber, George Denison|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Fardell, Sir T. George|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edwd.|
|Fenwick, Charles||Leng, Sir John||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Furguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Lewis, John Herbert||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Furgusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r)||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn- (Sw'ns'a)||Round, James|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Long, Rt H n Walter (Liverpool)||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Lyell, Sir Leonard||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.)||Lyttleton, Hon. Alfred||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrw)|
|Garfit, William||Macartney, W. G Ellison||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Gedge, Sydney||Macdona, John Cumming||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)|
|Gibbs, Hn A. G. H. (City of Lond)||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Giles, Charles Tyrrell||M'Ewan, William||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert Jn.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Sonnies, Arthur Wellesley|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||M'Killop, James||Souttar, Robinson|
|Goldsworthy, Major General||Maddison, Fred.||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Steadman, William Charles|
|Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley||Mellor, Rt. Hn. J. W. (Yorks)||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Strachey, Edward|
|Gull, Sir Cameron||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Sutherland, Sir Thomas|
|Gurdon, Sir William Brampton||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G (Ox. Univ.)|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Milward, Colonel Victor||Tennant, Harold John|
|Hanson, Sir Reginald||Monckton, Edward Philip||Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Hare, Thomas Leigh||Monk, Charles James||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Harwood, George||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Ch. Seale||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Walton, John L. (Leeds, S.)|
|Hazell, Walter||Morrell, George Herbert||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Heath, James||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Holder, Augustus||Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Mount, William George||Wason, Eugene|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute)||Webster, Sir Richard E.|
|Howell, William Tudor||Murray, Charles J (Coventry)||Weir, James Calloway|
|Hozier, Hon. James Hy. Cecil||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E (Taunt'n)|
|Jackson, Rt. Hn. Wm. Lawies||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)|
|Jessel, Captain H. Merton||Parkes, Ebenezer||Wharton, Rt. Hn. J. Lloyd|
|Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez E.||Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)||Whiteley, George (Stockport)|
|Johnston, William (Belfast)||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Pickersgill. Edward Hare||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Joicey, Sir James||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)|
|Jones, David Brynmor (Swans'a)||Plunkett, Rt. Hon. H. Curzon||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Jones, William (Carnarv'nsh're)||Price, Robert John||Willougbby de Eresby, Lord|
|Kennaway, Rt Hon. Sir John H.||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Kimber, Henry||Purvis, Robert||Wilson, Frederick W. (Norfolk)|
|Knowles, Lees||Pym, C. Guy||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Labouchere, Henry||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Laurie, Lieut.-General||Reid, Sir Robert Threshie||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Lawrence, Sir E. Durning- (Corn)||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Ridley Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.|
|Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. T.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'la'd)||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Roberts, J. H. (Denbighsh.)|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
§ Original motion again proposed.
§ MR. MCKENNA
The question I desire to raise is germane to the salary of the First Lord of the Treasury—namely, the appointment of the Committee to inquire into the Royal Patriotic Fund. Some attempt has been made to raise this question in the House by means of questions, but that is a very unsatisfactory method of procedure, and we have not been able to get from the First Lord of the Treasury the explanation we desire.
The action of the right hon. Gentleman in appointing that Committee was not as First Lord of the 982 Treasury, but as Leader of the House. The hon. Gentleman must criticise some act done by the right hon. Gentleman as First Lord of the Treasury.
§ MR. MCKENNA
The right hon. Gentleman would not be Leader of the House unless he were a Minister, that is, First Lord of the Treasury.
The Leader of this House is not necessarily the First Lord of the Treasury. It is no part of the functions of the First Lord of the Treasury to appoint a Committee such as that to which the hon. Member wishes to draw attention.
§ MR. TENNANT () Berwick shire
Perhaps I ought to apologise to the Committee for again bringing forward the question of lead poisoning in the Potteries. I bring it forward on the present occasion because I am convinced of the importance of the case, not only because of the prosecution of two firms which occurred during the present week, but also because the individual circumstances which those prosecutions disclosed are yet another illustration of the dangers of the existing system of arbitration. The Committee will be interested to know that two very considerable firms were prosecuted on Tuesday and Wednesday last. I think the Committee will agree that the names of these firms are household words when I mention that they are Messrs. Doulton and Messrs. Minton. I wish to bring the attention of the Committee back with me to 1898. It will be remembered that the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary issued special rules for the control by the Government of the pottery industry. The Committee will also remember that public attention had been directed to this matter, and that it was with the full consent and assent of public opinion that the right hon. Gentleman issued those rules. A small minority of the firms engaged in the pottery industry appealed against the rule, and took the Home Office to arbitration. It is one of the peculiarities of arbitration that there can exist side by side at the same moment two sets of employers engaged in the same process of manufacture, subject to the same foreign competition and the same difficulties of the labour market, and yet controlled by totally different rules. That is one of the anomalies of the system. Distinguished among the majority who did not appeal against these special rules were the firms of Messrs. Doulton and Messrs. Minton. Therefore, I maintain that neither of these firms should have reaped any of the benefits of the relaxations made by the arbitration undertaken by firms which objected. Messrs. Doulton did not incur any of the expense attaching to arbitration and none of the odium necessarily attaching to a firm which stands out. What were the facts? One of the most important of these special rules is that firms should supply and maintain suitable and sufficient lavatory accommodation.
984 I do not apologise for laying stress on this matter', because hon. Gentlemen are well aware that where lead, which is deadly poison, is concerned it is of the utmost importance that adequate washing arrangements should be provided and maintained. This is not a question of a technical offence of which we hear so much. This rule was brought into operation in 1893, when my right hon. friend the member for East Fife was at the Home Office, but it was found that it was so easy to evade the law that it was necessary in 1898 to define what was meant by "suitable and sufficient washing accommodation." When arbitration took place this particular clause in the special rules was arbitrated upon and one set of special rules contained one definition and another set another definition. Messrs. Doulton agreed to the original rules issued in May, 1898, but more than eighteen mouths after these rules had been accepted, instead of having suitable and sufficient washing accommodation for the workers there was found a trough with four loose basins and a water pipe and six towels to be used by thirty-five persons in the lower work. No available accommodation was provided for fourteen workers in the upper works, and when they did not use the vessels ordinarily used in the course of manufacturing processes, they had to join the thirty-five other workers, making forty-nine rising four basins. Having found that condition of affairs, the inspector very naturally and properly issued legal proceedings. I think I will carry the Committee with me when I say that the greater the reputation of the firm the greater the offence against this law, but the magistrate, in spite of those facts, which were absolutely proved, refused to convict. The more stringent set of rules had been accepted by the firm eighteen months before, but the magistrate said he would proceed under the less stringent rules which had no application to this particular firm, and. were not legally binding on it. The inspectors are powerless to proceed under the less stringent rules, and if the magistrate declines to convict on the more stringent rules the result would be that the firm would be uncontrolled. But I understand this magistrate has distinguished himself before, because in the case of Messrs. Brough and Jones he 985 refused to convict under the rules of 1893. He said they were too vague. But these rules are not vague; they are laid down in black and white, and not only did he refuse to convict, but he poured the vials of his scorn on the Home Office. In his opinion the action of the Home Office in proceeding against the firm which had not complied with the law was persecution, not prosecution. Was there ever such a state of things heard of ' I hope we will have some assurance that the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary will represent these facts to the Lord Chancellor, not only on the ground of the insolent language used by the magistrate, but also because of his ignorant interpretation of the law. There is one other point connected with this case to which I wish to refer. The manager stated that the inspector for the district had approved of the lavatory accommodation provided. I am aware that such statements are often made, frequently without justification. It is very often the business of the defence to set the judgment of one inspector against that of another. But this was not a question of judgment hut of fact, and I hope we shall have an assurance from the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary that no such approval was given by the inspector for the district. I now come to the case of Messrs. Minton, a firm which everyone will admit is in the van leading the trade towards progress and reform. When I had the honour of first discussing this subject I handed round a plate glazed without lead by Messrs. Minton. They were the pioneers of that industry. It was a very regrettable prosecution, but it was a proper prosecution, because the firm were accused of failure to supply overalls to women engaged in colour dusting, an occupation which is laid down by the special rules as dangerous. Some of the women had been proved to have been suffering from lead poisoning, and the certifying surgeon for the district testified to the case of Mary Anne Rhodes, whose name appeared in the company's register. There was no question about the failure of the firm to supply overalls. It was admitted by Mr. Leeson, one of the most intelligent and important gentlemen connected with the trade, who said he had never looked upon colour dusting as an injurious or dangerous occupation. But Mr. Leeson had accepted the special rules 986 which laid down that colour dusting was dangerous, and what is more, when arbitration took place Mr. Leeson, although he was not a party to it, would very properly and naturally follow the proceedings. In the course of the arbitration Mr. Sutton, on behalf of the Home Office, stated that it was admitted that colour dusting was a dangerous occupation within the rules, and his statement was not objected to, which was conclusive evidence that it was regarded as a dangerous process in the trade. Mr. Leeson went on to say that although the penalty was nothing, such a well-known firm objected to the disgrace of being prosecuted on such a trumpery charge. Of course the more trumpery the charge the less the disgrace, but this was far from being a trumpery charge. If such well-known firms as I have mentioned are found at this late hour contravening these special rules in such elementary and important particulars, what can be expected of the smaller and the more struggling firms? I think it is quite clear that something is required in the administration of the law. Now, I wish to come from the question of administration to the law itself. I take the case of Eliza Bickerton, on whose body an inquest was held on February 5th. Everyone agreed that she died of lead poisoning. Dr. Legge, of the Home Office, wrote to the coroner to that effect, and there was no question about it. The coroner's jury added a rider to their verdict that credit was due to the firm for the way in which the regulations ordered by the special rules were carried out. If the firm who had employed this unhappy woman is complimented by a coroner's jury under such circumstances, it shows that something is still to be desired in the existing special rules. I regret to have to bring these questions before the House of Commons. The right hon. Gentleman the, Home Secretary is, I daresay, wearied and tired of these constant reiterations; but as long as such cases continue to be presented to the public, so long will I deem it my duty to bring them before the House of Commons.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir M. WHITE RIDLEY,) Lancashire, Blackpool
I am not in a position to speak with great freedom as to the facts attending the cases alluded to by the hon. Member. I under 987 stand him to say that there ought to be a change in the law, both as regards the special rules enacted in the case of dangerous trades and as regards the system of arbitration. I hope to have the pleasure of introducing very shortly a Bill to amend the Factory Laws, which will deal specially and specifically with the special rules, and in particular with the question of arbitration. With regard to the prosecution against Messrs. Doulton for contravening the special rules, I understood the hon. Member to say that the firms which had accepted the more stringent and better rules had escaped because having agreed in the first instance to the more severe rules, they subsequently came under the less severe rules in consequence of arbitration.
§ MR. TENNANT
The firms had accepted the more stringent rules, but the magistrate elected to proceed on the less stringent rules, which had no application in point of law.
§ SIR M. WHITE RIDLEY
That is a question affecting the decision of the magistrate, and I certainly cannot be supposed to approve of his action, and I am inclined to resent very strongly such language as he used towards my Department. With reference to the alleged approval of the inspector of the district of the lavatory arrangements in these particular works, I am not at present free to speak, as I have called for a special report on the whole of the case, as well as the case affecting Messrs. Minton. I need hardly say that any assistance I can get in support of the action of our inspectors in enforcing the special rules will be very welcome from any part of the United Kingdom, especially from Ireland, where it is found very difficult to enforce the factory laws. With reference to the case of lead-poisoning reported on by Dr. Legge, to which the hon. Gentleman referred, and in which the coroner's jury complimented the firm upon the excellence of their arrangements, I will look into it. If I understand his point aright, it is that the special rules were inadequate in the particular case as regards lead-poisoning. I regret I am unable to speak more freely about the prosecutions to which my attention has been called from both sides of the question—on the one hand by those who argue that the prosecutions were unfair, 988 or, at least, unwise, and on the other by those who complain that the law should be broken and not adequately enforced. On the general question the hon. Gentleman will see that the Bill which I hope to be able to introduce shortly will adequately meet it.
§ MR. ASQUITH () Fife shire, E.
My hon. friend, as the Committee will agree, was very well justified in bringing forward these cases. It is only by focussing public opinion in such cases that we can create the feeling of public sentiment which as everyone concerned in the administration of these laws knows is necessary for their vigilant enforcement. I do not attempt to canvass the decision which appears to have been come to by the magistrate in the case of Messrs. Doulton. I hope it is bad law, but certainly such a decision ought not to be possible. If it be good law, then the law ought to be changed. The case is very significant from one or two points of view. In the first place, it shows it may be possible to have side by side in the same district two entirely different codes of law applying to persons engaged in the same occupation. That certainly ought not to be tolerated. I am very gratified by the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that the time is come—I hope it will be this session—when this anomaly will be put an end to, and when it will be impossible to have these industrial Alsatias where employers can do pretty well what they like. I welcome that announcement. There is another aspect of this case which struck me, and to which the right hon. Gentleman has not referred. Assuming for a moment that the magistrate was right in holding that this firm came under, not the more stringent, but the less stringent code of rules, is it possible that, under the latter rules, such a state of affairs as was disclosed in the case does not constitute an offence? These rules require an employer to provide adequate lavatory accommodation, and it seems to me that, when forty-nine workers have to use four basins between them, the rules are contravened. One other administrative point. It was alleged on behalf of the firm that they had received a kind of dispensation, or at any rate a condonation, as regards their failure to observe the rules.
§ MR. ASQUITH
I am not going to prejudge it, hut it is a matter which ought to be inquired into, and I am very glad to hear that the right hon. Gentleman proposes to investigate it further, fn conclusion I hope we shall not have any long delay before the Bill which the right hon. Gentleman has promised is introduced. I had hoped to see it last year, but it did not appear, but I hope it will appear this session, and that it will be vigorously prosecuted so that such a scandalous state of things as was disclosed in the eases mentioned by my hon. friend will be impossible.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS () Battersea
As one who has spoken on lead poisoning on the Home Office Vote on several occasions, I wish to thank the light hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary for his promise to introduce a Bill, which I trust will be 'based on the lines of stiffening the special rules, making them absolutely uniform, and precluding the possibility of arbitration altogether. From the first I did not believe in arbitration in connection with the factory laws. It frequently penalises the best firms, and lets the worst firms escape. That is a condition of things which the House of Commons ought not to encourage in any way. I hear, therefore, with satisfaction that a new Bill is to be introduced, but I did not hear from the Home Secretary that it was to be based on the theory that arbitration was to be abolished altogether. If the right hon. Gentleman would inform us that arbitration is to be abolished altogether, I can assure him that he would considerably improve the news he has already given the Committee.
§ SIR M. WHITE RIDLEY
I have already stated that one of the subjects of the Bill is to find a substitute for the present method of arbitration.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
The right hon. Gentleman will forgive me if I interpret his statement as implying the possibility of an alternative system. If I could construe his remarks as indicating that arbitration is to be abolished altogether, I would receive that news with special pleasure. In connection with the cases mentioned by the hon. Member for Berwick shire, I really do think that the inspector from the district where Messrs. Doulton's works are situated has shown considerable laxity in the discharge of his duties.
990 I believe that prevention is better than cure. He ought to have prevented a state of affairs by which forty-nine persons were obliged to use four basins, and he does not appear to have done his duty. Factory inspectors get into a groovy mood, and a visit from the chief inspector cannot often shake them out of it. I would suggest a better remedy namely, that where cases such as have been mentioned to-night are found out there should be a turn over of the inspectors, and that the particular inspector concerned should be either severely reprimanded or changed to another district where less delicate duties would be required of him. As a rule we have no reason to complain of our Civil Servants in general, or our factory inspectors in particular, but where we have such firms as Messrs. Doulton and Messrs. Minton being allowed to transgress the ordinary rules of factory administration some such plan as I have suggested is required. I hope the Bill which is to be introduced will abolish arbitration, and I trust that the factory inspectors will be kept up to their work in districts where dangerous trades exist. May I again suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that he should draw up a small synopsis of the Factory Acts, especially in relation to dangerous trades, and that it should be distributed among the magistrates who deal with these cases, in order to prevent other magistrates displaying the lamentable ignorance displayed by the magistrate referred to tonight, and whom I heard with pleasure the right hon. Gentleman so sternly rebuke.
§ SIR FORTESCUE FLANNERY () Yorkshire, Shipley
I should be sorry if this discussion closed without a word of support from this side of the House with reference to the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary. I am almost in complete agreement with the hon. Member for Battersea, We now know by experience that the Home Office rules for the protection of workers have been emasculated and rendered of no effect by the operation of the arbitration system. That system was established at a time when the Home Office had comparatively little experience of the operations in factories. Its experience is greater now, and his permanent officials are able to advise the right hon. Gentleman in a way in which his 991 predecessors could not have been advised, and accordingly the necessity for arbitration has very greatly decreased. The experience of the Home Office officials is now sufficient to enable the Home Secretary to deal with all questions which may arise, and I submit that the time has arrived when arbitration might be abolished. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will accept my assurance that if he can see his way to abolish arbitration he will find a large measure of support on this side of the House.
§ SIR JOHN BRUNNER
I do not think it can be suggested that the rules of the Home Office are more irksome on manufacturers engaged in dangerous trades than on manufacturers engaged in trades which are not dangerous. I, therefore, do not see any necessity for arbitration. Arbitration is only required where there is a chance that a factory inspector may put a manufacturer to great expense and trouble. If arbitration is not required in other trades which from time to time are involved in great and very proper expense, there is no reason whatever for maintaining its principle in connection with dangerous trades. My business is under more than one factory inspector. We always regard them as friends, and I should be very sorry indeed if any arbitration system came between them and us.
§ MR. HAVELOCK WILSON () Middlesbrough
I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman a question with reference to a case which was tried at Falmouth on Monday, in which four seamen, who were serving on a vessel called "The Golden Gates," were charged with refusing to do their duty. In their defence the men stated that they left Middlesbrough on December 25th, and had very heavy weather down Channel. The cargo shifted and the men contended that the ship was not in a seaworthy condition. Two of the men were sentenced to two months imprisonment and another to fourteen days unless they returned to the vessel, and they preferred to go to gaol rather than risk their lives in a ten months voyage. I should like to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will see his way to inquire into the facts of the case. No officer of the Board of Trade appears to have been present at the trial and under the circumstances two months imprisonment appears a very severe sentence, and I should be very pleased if the right hon.
992 Gentleman could see his way to reduce it.
§ SIR M. WHITE RIDLEY
I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that if the matter is brought before me I will remedy any injustice that may have been committed if it is in my power.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON () Durham, Mid
I desire to ask an expression of opinion from the right hon. Gentleman with reference to a curious procedure at the Assize Court in Liverpool last week. Mr. Justice Grantham has been going about the country making statements to grand juries—
§ LORD HUGH CECIL () Greenwich
I rise to order. Is it in order to canvass the conduct of one of Her Majesty's judges?
There is a proper form open to any hon. Member if he desires to criticise the action of a judge: but in any event the Home Office has no control over Her Majesty's judges.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON () Durham, Mid.
Is it not competent for us to discuss the fact that while a man was being tried for his life the news of the relief of Kimberley—
This Vote has no reference to the judges of the land, and the Home Secretary has no control over them.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON () Durham, Mid
To what Department may we appeal for an explanation of such conduct?
No Department has any control over the judges of the land. That is one of the fundamental institutions of this country.
§ SIR JOHN BRUNNER
Has any hon. Member a right to move an Address to the Crown on the conduct of a judge, and can it be blocked?
§ MR. McKENNA
The question which I wish to bring before the Committee is 993 the failure of the Foreign Office to assist in establishing a direct line of steamers between London and Zanzibar. The question has been before the Committee on previous occasions. I am not one of those who think that the Government should secure £1 of profit to traders by an expenditure of £2 of public money, but in this case our merchants might receive very substantial advantages without the cost of a single penny. Yon are building a railway in Uganda, and you have to ship a great quantity of material. It has been proposed again and again to the Foreign Office that they should enter into an arrangement with British shipping companies for the transport of that material. There would be no extra cost, but the companies Mould require a contract under which specified quantities should be delivered to them at regular intervals. If that contract were given the companies would undertake to give a fortnightly or monthly direct service between a British port and Zanzibar. At present there is no such direct communication, and goods have to be transhipped at Hamburg or Aden, the result being that British merchants suffer' very severe losses from theft. Moreover, German firms reap the benefit of the transport, which might otherwise go to British firms. This statement rests on far better authority than mine. We have got in British East Africa at present a very capable administrator. In his last report Sir Arthur Hardinge states that if the Government would give a British Company the carriage of the material for the Uganda Railway the company would run a direct line of steamers between London and Zanzibar; and in another part of that report he refers to the disabilities under which British merchants suffer. Our merchants are suffering, shippers lose what they might otherwise gain, and so far as we have been able to get at the facts, no valid reason has been put forward by the Foreign Office why this guarantee of the carriage of the railway material should not be made to some British firm. I beg to move to reduce the Vote by £100.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Item Class 2, Vote 5 (Foreign Office), be reduced by £100, in respect of the salary of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs."—(Mr. McKenna.)
§ MR. WEIR () ROSS and Cromarty
I desire to support this motion. The trade 994 on this coast is a largely increasing one, though the Foreign Office shuts its eyes to the fact, but I hope it will realise the importance of making some arrangements so that passengers and goods to that part of the world may be carried in British ships. I feel perfectly certain that a great trade might be thus developed. At present the trade is almost exclusively in the hands of subsidized German ship-owners. I should also like to have some information in regard to the hydro graphical conference. No attempt has been made by the Foreign Office to obtain the report. I should also like to have some information as to the increased accommodation for the storage of herrings, and whether there are now better facilities for landing herrings at the new port. With reference to Mat Salleh, I have asked that a copy of the correspondence between him and the British North Borneo Company should be laid upon the Table. Without going into details of that expedition I may say that if on occasions like this efforts were made to come to a satisfactory arrangement, that would be far better than that a patriot like Mat Salleh should be shot down like a dog. It is important that we should know in matters of this kind whether the North Borneo Company is carrying on its business in a proper manner.
§ MR. J. A. PEASE () Northumberland, Tyneside
I wish to ask one or two. questions with regard to East Africa. Last night the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was able to assure us that the difficulties which the Government had to meet on the mainland of East Africa had been disposed of, that there was no chance of a recrudescence of the mutiny in Uganda, and that the Government are looking forward to a better time. Could the hon. Gentleman now give us an assurance that the repeated pledges both of this and the late Government as to the abolition of slavery on the mainland of Zanzibar are going to be carried out, and carried out, I trust, in a much more rapid way than is being done in the islands of Pemba and Zanzibar? At the present moment there are something like 200,000 slaves in the small area of the Protectorate on the mainland absolutely under the control of the Foreign Office. Last year the hon. Gentleman said the moment was not propitious because of the mutiny.
995 The year before Lord Curzon excused the Government because an experiment with regard to the issue of a decree had been made on the islands, and the Government were watching the result. The year before that the excuse given was that there were internecine troubles in the district which were being repressed, and the moment was not opportune. But now there seems really nothing to prevent further steps being taken. I want to urge upon him that if any steps are taken in the direction of a decree, that it should not contain the objectionable clauses which are put into operation on the islands, such as a clause which prevents a concubine from securing the same freedom and the same manumission as other classes in the protectorate. We were told when the gradual process of manumission was commenced that the crops would suffer and would not be picked. We have now a report from our Vice-Consul O'Sullivan-Beare, dated last year from the Island of Pemba, that they have never been as well picked as last year. 80 successful has the experiment been that the Arab masters find it better to treat their slaves during harvest time as freed men and pay them. It is patent that the Arabs will obtain better results from free labour than from forced. That has been the history with all manumitted native races, and I urge the Government to say that the experiment has gone on long enough to justify them in taking a better and bolder course, and one more in accordance with the traditions and sentiments of this country.
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT () Islington, S.
I should like to ask a question or two with regard to the commercial department of the Foreign Office. Attention has been drawn to the need of more commercial, as distinct from diplomatic, attaches at our embassies abroad. There is still a great want of strength on the commercial side of our embassies, and I would ask the hon. Gentleman whether there is any intention to add to the number of the commercial attaches already appointed, of which there are only three or four, and also to make more commercial agents. One point upon which great stress is laid by commercial circles is that our consuls are not nearly all of British nationality, and I would suggest that every means should be taken to secure, as far as possible, and at least as vacancies 996 arise, that our representatives abroad should be of British nationality.
§ SIR JOHN BRUNNER
I should like to add one or two words to what has been said upon this matter. I should be heartily pleased if our commercial attaches occupied a higher place in the opinion of the Foreign Office than they do at present. It is an unfortunate thing, but it is the ease that commercial attaches representing this country have been looked upon as pariahs, and have felt themselves to be so. Our commercial representatives have lost power and authority through this unfortunate state of things. I hope it Mill not be made a hard and fast rule that no foreigner should act as consul. I have the personal acquaintance of foreigners who represent us as consuls on the Continent, and in many cases they not only perform their duties well but are more English than many Englishmen.
§ MR. HAVELOCK WILSON
said he hoped that before the Government gave a virtual monopoly to the British India Steamship Company, or any other line, they would undertake to see that the seamen employed on those vessels were not sweated in the way they had been by the British India Steamship Company, which not only paid low wages but overrode an Act of Parliament by robbing the men of the amount of accommodation laid down by Statute. In the previous year he had called attention to the most discreditable state of things which existed in the Consular shipping office in New York. This is a matter which he had continually brought to the notice of the Government, yet nothing had been done.
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
, asked that this question should be raised on the Vote for the Board of Trade, because although it was technically a question for the Foreign Office, it was a matter that the Board of Trade had more to do with, and with which that department was more conversant.
§ MR. HAVELOCK WILSON
reminded the Committee that this state of things had been going on for two years.
I do not think the hon. Member can raise this question on this Vote. Possibly it ought to come on the Vote for the Board of Trade, but if 997 not then certainly on the Consular Service Vote.
§ MR. HAVELOCK WILSON
I have always been led to understand that the Foreign Office has control over our Consuls.
The proper opportunity for this question to be raised is upon the Diplomatic and Consular Vote.
§ MR. HAVELOCK WILSON
That being so, Sir, I will defer my remarks until then, but I give notice that I shall call on the hon. Gentleman, and I hope he will be able to give a satisfactory answer.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON () Tower Hamlets, Poplar
said the Committee had heard a great deal on the previous evening about administration of the Foreign Office as against the Colonial Office, but under the administration of the latter slavery had disappeared, whilst by the former it was recognised in a large portion of British territory. He hoped on another occasion the right hon. Gentleman would have more satisfactory information to impart, having regard to the pledges the Government had given. It was twenty years since this question was first raised, and yet at the present time there were about 200,000 slaves on the island and only a few thousands of them had received their freedom. He hoped that the hon. Gentleman would push his reforms with great energy, but he was afraid that the officials of the Government, though very efficient men, had not shown the Arab masters that they were in earnest with regard to the matter. As regarded the mainland, he thought the time had come for more stringent measures. Last year the right hon. Gentleman pleaded for delay in consequence of the mutiny in Uganda, but that difficulty had now practically disappeared. Therefore they might fairly ask that, in regard to the small strip on the mainland, where the status of slavery was still admitted, some decisive step should be taken. There was a strong feeling in the country that slavery should no longer be recognised in any part of Her Majesty's dominions.
§ MR. BRODRICK
said it was not absolutely correct to say that that strip on the mainland was part of Her Majesty's dominions. It was part of a Protectorate that was taken over on certain pledges.
998 When the hon. Member asked that they should extend to that strip of land the same jurisdiction that we had extended to every part of East Africa and Uganda which we had taken over without those pledges, he forgot the undertaking given by Lord Kimberley, before he left office, on behalf of the Government of which he was a member—namely, that the status of slavery would remain as it was before.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said it was a matter of dispute as to what the pledge actually was. The pledge that was given, so far as he understood it, was that religious observances and opinions should not be interfered with. So far as he remembered, slavery was not mentioned, and in their opinion such a pledge was never given.
§ MR. BRODRICK
did not think he could accept that statement. The Government were most anxious in this matter to go as far as they consistently could. In Zanzibar the actual number of slaves freed by the Courts last year was between 4,500 and 5,000, and there were manumissions outside the Courts as well. The Arabs themselves, as the hon. Member for Tyne side had pointed out, were beginning largely to employ free labour. That was what the Government desired. There was no doubt that there had been a, certain amount of trouble recently with freed slues, and it was obviously undesirable, when the mental calibre of these people was considered, that a very large number of them should suddenly leave their employment. He contended that rapid progress was being made towards a condition of freedom in the island of Zanzibar. On the mainland manumission was going on automatically. Every child born since 1890 was free, sales had been put a stop to, no inheritance in slaves was recognised, except direct inheritance from father to son—and consequently rapid progress was being made. The hon. Gentleman asked that the same ré gime should be established on the mainland that held in the island of Zanzibar, but the Government must consider what their pledges had been in the past. In the meantime he could only. say, for his own part, that he was entirely in harmony with the two hon. Gentlemen who had spoken in desiring that free labour should become the rule as speedily as possible, and he was only glad to know from every report that was received that 999 that process was going on. With regard; to the question put by the hon. Member for East Monmouthshire as to the possibility of guaranteeing to a British steamship company the carriage of railway material, the Foreign Office had found that there were practical difficulties in the way of adopting that course. Very careful consideration had been given to i the question, and both the Foreign Office and the Treasury felt that it could not be done. It was felt by the Treasury that we had no right to give an indirect subsidy to a line at the expense of the Uganda Railway. The proposal was dropped because it was considered that they ought not to mix up an Imperial question of this kind with the carriage of i railway material. Lord Salisbury and himself had given careful consideration to the matter, and computations showed that a very heavy sum would be needed for the Uganda Railway if the proposal had been accepted. With regard to the status of commercial agents abroad, he was not quite certain that it was right to suppose that the higher the status given to them, the better it would be for the interest of, the commerce of the country. He was not sure that a diplomatist was the best commercial representative. A commercial agent had already been appointed in China, and he would have official rank, because in China it carried weight, but in the European capitals it was not proposed to give official rank. An agent had already been appointed in Russia and another in South America, and it was proposed to appoint other agents in Switzerland and the United States. They would not only make reports to the Foreign Office, but would be expected to answer questions put to them by British firms who might not have representatives of their own in a particular country. He trusted that the experiment would meet with success.
§ MR. BRODRICK
said it had always been the desire of the Foreign Office to have Consuls of British nationality, but there were cases in which it was thought that native Consuls could be of more service. The matter was being very carefully watched.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE () Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean
said they had 1000 heard with deep regret the repetition of the statement with regard to the supposed pledges by which the hands of the Government were supposed to be tied. He had repudiated that statement in the House on many occasions. There was one other matter on this Vote with regard to which he would like to ask a question. He would only make it a mere question, and would postpone it if the right hon. Gentleman preferred to deal with it on another occasion. He had given notice to call attention to the failure of the Foreign Office to obtain compensation from the French Government for sufferers in the Waima incident. They were informed, after all the delay that had occurred in bringing to a close that most discreditable incident, that a difficulty had arisen on our side with regard to appointing an arbitrator. He wished for information on the subject, and more particularly as to whether the matter was again to be mixed up with other African questions.
§ MR. BRODRICK
It is the fact that there is a very strong feeling in the House that this Waima question should be settled, and compensation paid by the French Government. I think the French Government have accepted the principle of arbitration in the Waima incident; at the same time they have expressed a desire that other questions of a similar character occurring in West Africa should be included in the same arbitration. Negotiations have gone on as to exactly what questions should be included in the arbitration. We are most anxious to bring to an issue all the existing matters connected with questions of indemnity between the two countries, and we have every hope we shall be able to arrange.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
Is the right hon. Gentleman able to say that the matter is being actively pressed at the present time?
§ MR. McKENNA
I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment, but I wish the right hon. Gentleman to understand I am not satisfied with his explanation. From the statements I have seen, I feel sure there would be no increased cost to the Uganda railway if the proposal I have mentioned were adopted.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.1001
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. J. A. PEASE
I beg to move the reduction of this Vote by £200, as a protest against the lack of action on the part of the Government in relation to the suppression of slavery in the British Protectorate on the mainland of Zanzibar. I feel that practically the Government is open to a charge of breach of faith to the House and the country with regard to this matter. In a speech delivered to a deputation a year ago, the light hon. Gentleman said—The Government did not depart from Mr. Balfour's pledge that at the earliest opportunity they hoped to extend to the mainland the process already carried out in the islands. It was Lord Salisbury's opinion that, until the government became more settled on the mainland, it was impossible to take further steps.That was a definite pledge. The right hon. Gentleman now says the Government is not prepared to take the further steps which it was promised a year ago would be taken when things in the island were quiet. I ask that the pledge given by the Government should be carried out in the spirit in which, it was given. We are told to-night that the Government are going to do nothing but adopt the slow process of allowing the slaves to die oft' in the hope that slavery by this means eventually will be abolished, and that those now born will be born into freedom and not slavery. With regard to the alleged excuse that a certain pledge was given by Lord Kimberley that native customs were to be respected, and that therefore the Govern-
§ ment cannot interfere with the status of slavery on the mainland, it is a mere farce to talk in this way, because we know for a certainty that Lord Kimberley had no intention of perpetuating slavery in a British protectorate. Such action on the part of a Foreign Office Minister would be unheard of; and that it should be put forward as an excuse why slavery should not be abolished, passes my comprehension. By the gradual process on the islands in the Protectorate the right hon. Gentleman referred to, thirty years will elapse before the entire population could, at the present rate of progress, secure their freedom. That is unsatisfactory to us on this side of the House, and I believe it is unsatisfactory to the country.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the item Class 2, Vote 5 (Foreign Office), be reduced by £200."—(Mr. J. A. Pease.)
MR. PABKER SMITH () Lanarkshire, Partick
I do not think the ten-mile strip on the mainland is under our control.
MR. PARKER SMITH
My opinion is it is not under the control of our Foreign Office. As regards the territory under our control, that is a different matter; and I entirely agree with my hon. friend that the Government has been unduly slow in suppressing slavery.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 52: Noes, 92. (Division List No. 37.)1003
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Hammond, John (Carlow)||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Hayden, John Patrick||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Hazell, Walter||Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.)|
|Billson, Alfred||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Souttar, Robinson|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hogan, James Francis||Steadman, William Charles|
|Burns, John||Kilbride, Denis||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Caldwell, James||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Lewis, John Herbert||Weir, James Galloway|
|Crilly, Daniel||Macaleese, Daniel||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal)||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Wilson, Frederick, W. (Norf'k)|
|Curan, Thomas (Sligo, S.)||M'Dermott, Patrick||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Maddison, Fred||Wilson, J. W. (Worces'sh, N.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Doogan, P. C.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Dunn, Sir William||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph A. Pease and Mr. M'Kenna.|
|Farrell, James P. (Cavail, W.)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Fenwick, Charles||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Balcarres, Lord||Bowles, T. Gibson (King'sLynn)|
|Arnold, Alfred||Banbury, Frederick George||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh,)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Beekett, Ernest William||Cayzer, Sir Charles William|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Heath, James||Plunkett, Rt Hn Horace Curzon|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r)||Heaton, John Henniker||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Helder, Augustus||Purvis, Robert|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Howell, William Tudor||Pym, C. Guy|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Keswick, William||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'ly)|
|Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Heref'd)||Kimber, Henry||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir Matthew W|
|Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W.||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson|
|Curzon, Viscount||Lawrence, Sir E. Durning- (Corn)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Donkin, Richard Sim||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Round, James|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn (Swans.)||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Doxford, Sir William T.||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverpool)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Faber, Greorge Denison||Macdona, John Gumming||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||M'Iver, Sir L. (Edinburgh, W)||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Finch, George H.||M'Killop, James||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Webster, Sir Richard E.|
|Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E (Taunt'E)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Monckton, Edward Philip||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)|
|Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropsh.)||Williams, Joseph Powell- (Birm)|
|Garfit, William||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond)||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Goldsworthy, Major-General||Nicol, Donald Ninian||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert W.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. HAVELOCK WILSON
I beg to ask leave of the Committee to bring a few matters under the notice of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Trade, and in all probability I shall be compelled to take up a considerable amount of the time of the Committee, but that I cannot help. It is only occasionally I get an opportunity of saying a word in the House of Commons on behalf of a class of men who, I venture to say, are in a worse position than any other class of workmen in this country. It is my duty as their representative, when the Board of Trade Vote comes up for consideration, if I find that that Department has not been acting in accordance with the law, to call the attention of the Committee to the fact. The first matter I will refer to is the accommodation provided on board ship. The Committee will be aware that for the last four or five years I have continually been putting questions to the right hon. Gentleman, calling his attention to the fact that some of the very wealthy shipping companies in this country have been overriding the sections of the Merchant Shipping Act, and deliberately robbing the poor unfortunate seamen out of the very limited accommodation to which they are entitled by law. The Merchant Shipping Act allows a seaman 72 cubic feet of space, and he is also supposed to have 12 superficial feet measured 1004 on the deck. That is a very small amount. It means that a man has to live, sleep, wash, and do all his business in one small room, which when measured out is what you might call a good-sized coffin. But what do we find? That the P. and O. Company, a very rich company, paying about 10 per cent dividend to its shareholders, and receiving largo annual subsidies from the Government for carrying mails—I observe the presence of the right hon. Gentleman who. has some control over the mail contracts, and I hope while I am dealing with the President of the Board of Trade he will take a note of this fact, and remember it when the P. and O. Company comes, again for contracts—I say that this; wealthy company instead of giving its; seamen 72 cubic feet, gives, on some of its vessels, as low as from 50 to 60 feet, and in some instances even less than that. The other day I asked the right hon. Gentleman a question with regard to the "Australia," and he informed me that on that vessel the men had a little over' 72 cubic feet, but they had only nine superficial feet. That is what the company allows the poor unfortunate Lascar. In so doing the P. and O. Company are committing an offence against the law. The 210th section of the Merchant Shipping Act says that—Any British ship occupied by seamen or apprentices and appropriated to their use should have for each of those seamen or apprentices a space of not less than 72 cubic feet, and of 1005 not less than 12 super feet measured on the deck or floor of the place, and should be subject to the regulations in the sixth schedule of this Act, and those regulations shall have effect as part of this section, and if any of the foregoing requirements of this section is not complied with in the case of any ship the owner of that ship shall for each offence be liable to a fine not exceeding £20.When I first ventured to call the attention of the President of the Board of Trade to this matter, he endeavoured to lead me to believe that the Board had no power to deal with this question. He said that the Lascars were native seamen engaged in India, and consequently were subject to the Indian Merchant Shipping Act: and not to the Imperial Act. After we had had various disputes dining the whole of the session with regard to the matter, and after calling in the aid of the Solicitor General, the right hon. Gentleman eventually admitted that my interpretation of the law was correct, that the Imperial Act applies to all vessels registered in the United Kingdom, and that the Indian Shipping Act applies to vessels trading on the coast of and belonging to India. After that admission I asked whether the right hon. Gentleman would put the law into force. I do not know why the Board of Trade should be so much afraid of the P. and Q. Company, except it may be that some of the important shareholders are Members of this or the other House. I do not know whether that is the reason, but for some reason that I do not understand the right hon. Gentleman refuses to avail himself of the 210th section of the Act, and to sue for the penalties therein provided. The right hon. Gentleman says—"We have disallowed any deduction from the tonnage for crew spaces, and when we have done that we have done sufficient." I do not agree with him. I say that if an offence has been committed against the law, whether by the P. and G. Company or by any other company, it is the duty of the Board of Trade to enforce the law. The right hon. 'Gentleman has asked me why I do not take some action against the company. I decline to do that, because I am not paid for it. If I were President of the Board of Trade, and paid by that Department to do it, I would very soon take action, but as I am not receiving any salary from the Government to see that shipping Companies act in accordance with law I do not think I should be put to the expense of prosecuting this very wealthy company, when we have a Department of 1006 the Government charged with that duty. I do not know what the right hon. Gentleman intends to say in regard to this matter, but I promise him that, until such time as an alteration is made in the accommodation provided on the boats belonging to the P. and O. Company, I intend to keep bringing this question before the House of Commons. I have very good reason for doing it. As long as it is possible for the P. and O. Company to break the law in this flagrant manner, other shipping companies will refuse to improve the accommodation for the crews on board their ships.
§ Attention called to the fact that forty Members were not present. House counted, and forty Members being found present,
§ MR. HAVELOCK WILSON (continuing)
I say that I have very great reason for insisting upon the Merchant Shipping Act being respected and enforced. The Royal Commission recommended that the accommodation for seamen should not be less than 120 cubic feet of space, and those companies who would willingly give more accommodation than they do at the present time point to the fact that the P. and 0. Company, who are their keenest competitors, do not provide this. It must be thoroughly understood that the P. and 0. Company, in addition to carrying the mails, have a large passenger traffic, and they trade in different parts of India and on the Continent. They compete with these tramp steamers, who are not in receipt of large subsidies from the Government, and they gradually take away the trade from the ordinary vessels. Not only this, but Lascar seamen are employed in the place of white men, and this causes the present condition prevailing in the labour market in regard to seamen. It is no use asking the President of the Board of Trade to legislate on this matter, although he is not reluctant in bringing forward railway Bills. On shipping matters the right hon. Gentleman is very reluctant to bring forward any legislation. I cannot get him to legislate, and therefore I think I am perfectly justified in persisting all the time in my efforts until the law is altered. There is one other matter I want to complain of in another department. I have been complaining for some time that a large num 1007 her of the men who are engaged on board ship as able-bodied seamen and firemen are not competent to do their work. Under the present system it is quite possible for a man to be engaged on board a vessel as an able-bodied seaman or fireman who has never been at sea, before. They have got discharge papers, and very often those papers belong to someone else, ft is a very serious matter when a sailing ship is engaging a crew, and for reasons of economy that crew is put down to the smallest number. I know many large sailing ships carry close upon 1,600 tons of cargo which have as few as eight able seamen and perhaps five of six apprentices, more than half of whom are on their first voyage, if a vessel has got only eight able seamen, and half of them are incompetent, and that vessel commences a passage from this country to San Francisco or some other part of the world, it is a very hard case for the competent seamen who have to do the duties of those who are incompetent. I have asked the Board of Trade to remedy this state of things, but the right hon. Gentleman says he cannot bring forward a, Bill to alter this state of the law. The Committee that inquired into the under-manning of ships made a very lengthy report, containing a number of recommendations as to the qualifications men should have before they are rated as able seamen. I have asked the right hon. Gentleman to embody that recommendation into the law, but he cannot see his way clear to do it. if he is not able to legislate, I again ask him to at least enforce the law as it is. if we only had the law enforced as it is at the present time, although it would not accomplish all we require, it would go a long way. The 126th section of the Merchant Shipping Act of 1894 provides—"(1) A seaman shall not be entitled to the rating of A. B., that is to say, of an able-bodied seaman, unless he has served at sea for four years before the mast, but the employment of fishermen in decked fishing-vessels registered under the first part of this Act shall only count as sea service up to the period of three years of that employment; and the rating of A. B. shall only be granted after at least one year's sea service in a trading vessel in addition to three or more years' sea service on board of decked fishing vessels so registered.(2) The service may be proved by certificates of discharge, by a certificate of service from the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen (granted by the Registrar on payment of a fee not exceeding sixpence) specifying in each case whether the service was rendered in whole or in part in steamship or in sailing-ship, or by other satisfactory proof.1008 That is the 126th section, and. I asked some two years ago that the Board of Trade should, insist upon that. section being carried out. I scarcely remember whether it was the right hon. Gentleman who caused the instruction to be issued that in all cases where seamen were being engaged and they were not able to prove four years service, that the superintendents or deputy superintendents should place opposite their names on the articles of agreement the letters "N. P.," meaning" not proven." I want; to know whether there is any section in the Merchants' Shipping Act which gives the President of the Board of Trade the light to enter a man upon his articles of agreement as an able seaman, and giving him the rating of A. B. when he is not able to prove his four years service. The Act says that, under those circumstances, a seaman shall not be entitled to the rating of A. B. I know there is nothing to prevent them being engaged as ordinary seamen, but the insurance companies have clauses in their agreements which insist, upon shipowners carrying a certain number of able-bodied seamen, and. according to the Board of Trade regulations an able seaman shall be a good workman upon the rigging, able to mend and cover the rigging, so that the Board of Trade themselves have issued regulations as to what shall constitute an able seaman, and the 126th section says that they shall not be entitled, to the rating of A. B. until they have seen four years service. I would like the right hon. Gentleman to explain to the Committee by whose authority and. by what right has the Board of Trade issued. a circular to the superintendents and. deputy superintendents telling them to evade this law by putting opposite to the names of the men who cannot prove their service the words "N. P." That is a matter of great importance to able seamen, because as I have pointed out, many of the ships are seriously under manned and. I know steamer's carrying passengers out of this very port of London with six able seamen only on board, which means that there are only four men to carry on the navigation of the vessel. This is a very serious matter, and the Board of Trade have no right to take such liberties with, the law. One vessel used to carry stores to the Cape of Good Hope had only eight able seamen on board, and not one of them were able to prove four years 1009 service, and "N. P." is written opposite the names of every one of them. I cannot understand why there should be such a reluctance on the part of the Board of Trade to carry out a law as it is passed. It docs not go very far as it is, but I venture to say that it the right hon. Gentleman would only enforce the law as it is, although it would not accomplish everything we desire, at least it would give some relief to the men and would give more satisfaction. I leave that, and I will come to another very old subject one that is pretty well worn by this time—with regard to the state of affairs that exists in the Consular Shipping Office in New York. The Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs this evening referred the matter to the President of the Board of Trade, and I trust the right hon. Gentleman will not, in turn, refer me back to the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Whoever has jurisdiction over the shipping office in New York, whether the Board of Trade or the Foreign Office, it is an absolute disgrace and discredit to any country. I was about to tell the right hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs the state of things which existed there when I was interrupted by you, Mr. Lowther, pointing out that it came under another Vote: but as the President of the Board of Trade is largely responsible for this office, I venture again to endeavour to get him to do what might have been done long ago had there been a desire on the part of the Board of Trade to grapple with this question. Two years ago I made a report to the right hon. Gentleman himself. It was lengthy enough, for it covered some twelve sheets of foolscap, and I gave him a full and detailed account of all that I had seen at the Consular office in New York during the four months I was in that part. I told him I had seen seamen robbed on the Consul's premises and ill treated; that I had been inside that shipping office when ships were discharging their crews, and I found in those offices boarding-house keepers, loafers, and women of not very high repute, and what they wanted there I do not know. For every sailor to be discharged from a ship I should say there were at least four or five of these undesirable persons, and as soon as ever the men had their wages handed over to them from behind the counter a gentleman immediately stepped forward and took the money, and the sailors had to follow 1010 them down to the house where they lived to settle up with them. No doubt the settling was a very costly one as far as Jack was concerned. That is only the paying off. When we come to the engaging of the crew the state of affairs is in fact worse. I find that if a seaman wanted to engage on board a British ship in New York, instead of applying on hoard the vessel to the captain or to the officers in the ordinary way, which they do in this country, he had to apply to some gentlemen who styled themselves shipping masters. Some of them are German, some English, some Irish and Scotch, and the shipping master is a gentleman who apparently is there for the purpose of assisting the captain. When a ship wants a crew the shipping master goes on board the ship and makes an arrangement with the captain to supply the men. I am told that in many cases the captain receives from the shipping master a fee of two dollars for every man that is shipped, and in some cases I regret to say that the shipowners in this country, knowing that the captains get the fee, have given instructions that all such fees are to be paid over to them, and more than a score of shipowners in this country have contracts with those shipping masters in New York to supply the men, and for every man that is supplied he gets two or three dollars.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOAED OF TRADE (Mr. RITCHIE,) Croydon
What are the names?
§ MR. HAVELOCK WILSON
I cannot give the names at once. I think the last time I spoke in this House I mentioned the names; but whether I mentioned the names or not, it is a fact, nevertheless, and I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the Consular Reports which were sent only last year. If the right hon. Gentleman will turn to these Consular Reports he will find that in many ports in the United States the Consuls themselves state that in their opinion it is their belief that what I have stated is perfectly true, that some shipowners have made those contracts with the shipping masters, and in other cases the commission goes to the shipowners. The right hon. Gentleman need not depend upon my statement alone, and I refer him to the Consular Reports. Three dollars is the commission that sometimes goes to the master and sometimes goes to the owner. This the shipping master has got to recoup, so that 1011 when he makes an engagement with a seaman to go into the ship, if the vessel is engaging a crew to go right straight from New York to some port in England, the fee is six dollar's. If she is going a voyage as a sailing ship or steamer from New York to Africa or India, or any distant port, the men have to take three months advance, and then the fee charged is twelve dollars, and in some cases runs up to twenty dollars. Now, this "crimp" who extorts this money out of the seamen in this manner is allowed free access into the Consul's office. This office is fitted up with a counter, and there is one special counter for these sharks and sailors in another department, and I want to tell the right hon. Gentleman that so serious is the state of affairs in that port that no man can engage on board a British ship unless he is living in a hoarding house and paying the shipping master. I know many men I met when I was in New York living with their friends, and when they wanted employment on an English ship they had to leave their own friends and go and live at that boarding house for a few days, and they had to pay either twenty or thirty dollars, or whatever the advance happened to he. I hold the right hon. Gentleman responsible for this, because he ought to see that the Consular office is cleared of all people except the sailors and firemen and the captain or the officers of the ship. There is no necessity for these boarding house There is no necessity for these boarding keepers and others at that office. They have no right to be there, either when the men are being engaged or paid off; and as for the shipping master, he is not required at all. The Consular officer should be the shipping master, who reads the articles of agreement, and there is no necessity for this third person to come in between the seaman and his employer. I have repeatedly called the attention of the Board of Trade to this matter, and they know all about it, and yet this scandal is still going on. I have no doubt the right hon. Gentleman will tell me tonight that it is a very difficult problem to solve. There has been a great amount of correspondence between the Foreign Office and the Board of Trade, and they state that they are very desirous that something should be done, and no doubt will be done, and so forth. When I say to the Committee that the matter has been standing over for two years 1012 now, I think they will agree with me that I have every justification for speaking very strongly upon this matter. I do not know what the difficulties may be, but I am certain of this, that if the matter were in my hands one week I would settle the whole question. I do not expect that the right hon. Gentleman can immediately go out to New York himself to investigate, but in his own Department there are plenty of capable officials who could be despatched to New York to investigate the matter, and to see that the instructions of the Board of Trade are properly carried out with regard to seeing the office cleared of all those objectionable class of people. In our mercantile marine offices in this country, and in every shipping office of importance, there are two policemen standing inside, and they are paid for by the Board of Trade to maintain order, and to prevent anyone from unduly interfering with the seamen when being engaged or discharged from, the ships. I want to know why the. Board of Trade or the Foreign Office could not pay for two policemen, or as many as may be necessary, to stand inside the shipping office in New York to see that no one entered that office except seamen, captains or others who had business there. The cost would not be very large, and I am certain that such an arrangement could be made with the United States Government, or the Police Commissioners, for policemen to be placed at the disposal of the Consular office, and they could be instructed that no one should be allowed in that office who had no business there?, and that would remove the present evil at once. With regard to the men, when they have engaged, I find in a number of the Consular offices that when the men sign the articles and are supposed to get an advance, instead of that being handed over to the man in the Consul's office, he is told to go down to the shipping master who will give it to him. He is the shipping agent, and if he gets an advance of over £4 this agent gets the man to endorse a note for £4, and then he gives a warrant for £3 10s., so that the shipping agent presents to the shipowner the note for £4 with the endorsement on the back, and when he gets the money he pays over to the man £3 10s., keeping 10s. for his commission. I know there is some difficulty in the way of advance in the United States because they do not allow advances to be given, and there is some question as 1013 to whether the United States law applies to English ships in their ports in the same manner as they would apply to ships belonging to the United States here. But there is no excuse for this state of affairs, for when the men are engaged they ought to get their' advance at the Consular office, but they are told in these ports to go down to the shipping agent to get their advance. The Board of Trade could easily prevent that if they had a desire to do so. I want to call the attention of the Committee to another omission on the part of the Board of Trade. The 186th section of the Merchant Shipping Act provides that whenever any seamen are discharged from a British ship in a foreign port the owner shall furnish the men with funds sufficient to send them hack to the port, of engagement in the United Kingdom, or to some other port agreed to by the seamen. That is a very old section, and it was passed at the time when the Merchant Shipping Acts were consolidated in 1852, but it was only within the last five year's that the Seamen's Union took this matter in hand that they were able to compel the shipowner's to pay the passage of the men who were discharged in foreign ports. The reason why seamen are discharged at Continental ports is because seamen's labour on the Continent is some 15s. or £1 less per month; that is to say, able seamen can be engaged in Continental ports at £3 10s. per month against £4 10s. per month paid in this country. So that the shipowner, when he has engaged a crew in the United Kingdom, and the steamer has made a voyage from Cardiff to the Black Sea and back to Rotterdam, although only six weeks is occupied on the voyage, the crew is discharged there, and then the owners endeavour to evade the 186th section, which is very clear, and has been settled in the High Courts of Justice, that whenever seamen are discharged in foreign ports they should have their' passage paid to the United Kingdom. The High Courts of Justice have upheld the Seamen's Union in that, although at great cost to us. What I have to complain of in the matter is this: it is the duty of the Board of Trade to see that whenever seamen are discharged abroad, that Her Majesty's Consuls—gentlemen over whom the. Board of Trade have jurisdiction—should see in all cases that whenever a seaman is discharged from the British ship, that the captain deposits sufficient money with the Consul to defray 1014 the man's expenses to the port in the United Kingdom at which he was engaged. What do I find? Why that at the large number of these ports instead of the Consul insisting upon what he is called upon to do by this Act of Parliament, I find that the Consuls endeavour to persuade the men that they have no right to claim their' passage money. Cases have been brought to my notice where the seamen, having perhaps read some of our leaflets calling then attention to this Act of Parliament, have gone to the Consul's office and asked his advice about their passage money, and the Consul has endeavoured to persuade the men that they have no claim; and when the men have persisted in having what they considered they were entitled to have, then the Consuls have assisted the master's to evade the law by recommending them to pay the men their fees to the nearest port in the United Kingdom. So that if a man had engaged on a ship in Cardiff and was discharged at Rotterdam, he would have his fare paid to Harwich instead of Cardiff. The Board of Trade are supposed to issue instructions to Her Majesty's Consuls with regard to this section, therefore it ought to be the duty of the right hon. Gentleman's department to give definite instructions to Consuls, because the law says the men shall have their passage money, and maintenance in addition, to the port of engagement in the United Kingdom, or to some other port that the seamen may agree to be sent to. I am sorry to have to complain, after we have spent such a large amount of money in litigation to have the matter cleared up, that the right hon. Gentleman's department is doing nothing whatever to enforce that section, and it is said that they have no power. I disagree with that, because the law says the Consul shall see that certain things are done and they are not being done. This is an every-day occurrence, and I ask for what reason the Board of Trade refuse to insist upon the Act being obeyed. I find also that in the engagement of the crews the Board of Trade permit clauses to be inserted in the articles of agreement which are quite contrary to law. I find in marry articles of agreement clauses which provide that the final port of discharge is to be a port in the United Kingdom or on the Continent, and that the crew agree, if discharged on the Continent, to pay their own fares to the United Kingdom. Now I want to 1015 know why it is the Board of Trade allow shipowners to insert clauses of that description in articles of agreement, which is quite in contravention to the 186th section. I think I have said sufficient with regard to the Consuls both in New York and other ports. I must say that in one or two ports some improvement has been made. For instance, in Hamburg the change that was made some two or three years ago by the appointment of Mr. Ward, who is now Consul-General in Hamburg, has made a great improvement in that port, and I must testify to the very excellent manner in which he conducts the business there. As far as Rotterdam and Antwerp are concerned the state of affairs is just as had as ever, and no improvement has been made. There are one or two other matters which I wish to call the right hon. Gentleman's attention to. With regard to the seamen's discharges, I have been asking that we should have legislation in regard to this matter. As I have already said, the light hon. Gentleman declines to legislate even on the recommendation of the Manning Committee, which was a Committee of a very representative character, for shipowners were on it; and after two years' hard work, during which time they went thoroughly into the question of manning and the efficiency of seamen, they made certain recommendations, and the President of the Board of Trade has declined to legislate with regard to that part of their recommendations. Last year the right hon. Gentleman appointed a Committee to inquire into the question of continuous discharges. I have already said that I object to the Board of Trade issuing any such discharges, and I do sincerely trust that no such discharges will be issued, because it will simply be a waste of time. I would not mind so much the waste of time as the great injury that will be done to the seamen. I understand that the continuous discharge which the right hon. Gentleman or the Committee will, in all probability, propose to have, will be a book something similar to the books which naval reserve men have, on one side of which will be entered the date of the man's engagement and on the other side the date when he left the ship. I do not object to going that far, for that would not make a great deal of difference, but the right hon. Gentleman's department propose to have a column in 1016 which the captain can write in the man's conduct for character and ability. I have knowledge of the fact that many captains abuse that right, and in many cases they give very good men inferior discharges and a "declined to report," and in cases that I know of my own knowledge seamen who are not competent in any respect have got "very good" for character and ability. If a seaman gets entered in his continuous discharge book a character "decline to report"—that is to say, the captain declines to make any report it is tantamount to a bad character, although the captain may have done it purely for spite, and the man has no remedy. He cannot go to a court of law to have the matter investigated. The captain has to be sole judge and jury in the matter, and if he gives the man a bad character the seaman has no remedy. If the President of the Board of Trade issues those continuous discharges, and will insist upon, having a column for character; if he insists upon that, and if he will give seamen the right in any case where a man has got a bad discharge the right to come before some Committee or a court of law to have the matter thrashed out on its merits in order to see whether the captain was justified in giving a bad discharge, I would say to the right hon. Gentleman, "Come along with your continuous discharge," and I should be prepared to accept it. But he will not do that, and he says the captain is the only man who is to be the judge of a man's character for conduct and ability. I could bring under the notice of the right hon. Gentleman hundreds of discharges where the captain has declined to report for conduct. In one steamer a seaman got a "decline to report "because there was a dispute between the captain and himself as to three or four days pay. The man said he was entitled to twenty-four days pay, and the captain said he was only entitled to twenty-one days. The captain refused to pay the man his money, and the man took out a summons. The ease was tried in the police court, and the magistrate decided that the man was right. Whereupon the captain said, "I. will mark your discharge ' Decline to report,' "and the man has no remedy. He has to accept that discharge, although he had been on that ship on previous voyages, and had had very good discharges from the same captain; but because he insisted upon his right of 1017 having his full number of days pay, which was decided in the man's favour, as a last resort the captain gives him a "decline to report." That goes on every day. If the right hon. Gentleman goes down to any mercantile marine office he will find out for himself that what I am saying is absolutely correct, for where-ever men insist upon having what they are entitled to have by law, the captain, finding that he cannot punish them in any other way, marks on their discharges, "Decline to report.' ft is bad enough under a discharge order. At the present time if a captain gives a bad discharge the men destroy it, and when looking for another ship hand in another, nine or ten months old, and explain that for that period they have been working on shore. With continuous discharges that will not be possible, because it will be entered in the book. Directly the officer sees in the book the character of the man his services will be declined, and these men will not be able to get another ship. What chance has a man with a bad discharge of getting employment? The poor unfortunate man might have to wait months and months before he succeeded, and the whole of that time he would be suffering in this way, whilst the fault might be on the side of the master, and he would have no means of getting redress. I protest against the Board of Trade issuing these continuous discharges, and say that if it does so it will be a shame and a disgrace. If you give masters authority to do this, if the men feel aggrieved at the character they have got, they ought to be at liberty to fight the matter out either before a court of law or a committee of the Board of Trade. In many Continental ports large numbers of men. are engaged on British ships and come back to the United Kingdom after a short voyage, and those men will be able to get a continuous discharge, although they may not be either sailors or firemen, and worst of all, many of them are not able to speak English. There is one thing more with regard to the masters and the manner of engaging men in the mercantile marine office. I put a question to the fight hon. Gentleman and pointed out to him that when a ship was engaging a crew it very frequently consisted of ten nationalities. These men are brought into the mercantile marine office, and a deputy commissioner reads the articles of agreement, which contains more than two thousand 1018 words, at such a rate that even a British seaman cannot understand it. It is read out in English, and yet these foreigners, who do not understand the, language, have to sign those articles, and are supposed to know what they contain and agree to them, it is a deliberate swindle to take men in that way. In reply to my question the right hon. Gentleman said, so far as he was informed, when foreign crews were engaged competent interpreters were engaged to interpret the articles of agreement. I wish the right hon. Gentleman would take a trip to Cardiff, and go to the mercantile marine office there. He would find that the British, so far as the deck and engine room hands are concerned, are conspicuous by their absence. They are all foreigners, and if you asked them their names they would not understand you. If competent interpreters were employed it would take a whole day to ship a crew for a small ship. What I ask is that a copy of the articles of agreement in the different languages of the men who sign on should be hung up in the marine offices so that the men who could not understand our language might read the. articles of agreement in their own and understand some of the conditions they agree to. The reason why people who cannot understand are preferred is perfectly well known. It is because conditions are inserted in the articles of agreement which British seamen would not consent to. If the Board of Trade challenges me on that point I will go down with their representatives to the port of London and show them there men signed on who cannot understand our language: the articles readout in English and interpreters not called in. It is not the fault of the officials—they have their work to get through and are not to be blamed; the responsibility lies with the heads of the departments. It is not for the Board of Trade to say that they do not know about it, because if they will look up their correspondence they will find many letters of complaint that I have written on this subject. I sincerely hope something will be done to remedy this grievance. The unfortunate part of the whole grievance is that the seamen and firemen are. without votes. If they had political influence in this country this state of things would not exist. If anybody ought to have the support of the Government it is the seamen and firemen, because the time may come when the 1019 Government may have to depend on these men whom they now despise. The right hon. Gentleman may have great sympathy, but he could show it more if he would bring in a Bill or two to safeguard these men. They have no Limited Liability Act, which is a fact to be deplored when the numbers who are killed and drowned every year are considered. If any class of men ought to find favour with the present powerful Imperialist, I think it is this, and in order to emphasise my protest against the neglect of the Government in not legislating to improve the condition of these men, I beg to move to reduce the Vote by £100 in respect of the Board of Trade.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Item Class II., Vote 8 (Board of Trade), be reduced by £100, in respect of the salary of the President of the Board of Trade."—(Mr. Havelock Wilson.)
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
desired to call attention to two points of some importance, but before doing so he, as a member of the Local Marine Board of London, could say, so far at least as that port was concerned, that his hon. friend's statement that foreigners generally signed for service aboard ship without understanding the articles was far too wide and sweeping. He was also clearly and strongly of opinion that his hon. friend's suggestion that the ship owning community preferred foreigners because they could be engaged on false conditions was not well founded, although there might in some very few and exceptional cases be some foundation for the suggestion. He had no hesitation in saying that the general body of the shipowners had no desire whatever to reap any benefit from the ignorance of the foreigners of our language, a defect which was by no means general, but the contrary. He wished to know what success had attended the provision in the Merchant Shipping Act of last year for the encouragement of the training of boys for service at sea. Although there were differences of opinion, the proposals of the right hon. Gentleman were received with consideration by shipping circles, but at the same time opinions were expressed that the inducements offered were not adequate and would not secure the result the President of the Board of Trade had in view. The first thing he wished to ascertain was what had been the result of the experiment, and if the 1020 adverse opinions expressed had proved correct he hoped some other means would be proposed by which an element of the greatest importance to the country might be strengthened. In the next place he desired to know whether the Commercial Intelligence Department, which should be the ears and eyes of the commercial forces of our country, had been opened. and whether it had realised the necessity of obtaining the latest information on commercial and shipping matters., and what success had attended it. He hoped that the example of Germany, Belgium, and other countries in holding, periodically, commercial museums or exhibitions would be followed in this country., as such exhibitions were of great practical value, a fact which had been proved at the London Chamber of Commerce. A Departmental Committee of the Board of Trade, on which he had the honour to serve, had made the above recommendations, and he should be glad to learn that it was proving successful.
§ MR. BUCHANAN () Aberdeenshire, E.
called the attention of the President of the Board of Trade to two questions. The first was with regard to applications from small fishing communities throughout the country for improved facilities for the construction of harbours. It was within his knowledge that, from the part of the country in which he was more particularly interested, several applications had been forwarded to the Board of Trade. On the Board of Trade Vote last year the right hon. Gentleman had told the Committee that he had appointed a Departmental Committee which was to consider any application of the sort. They should, like to learn whether the Committee had. made any Report, and whether they had, been able to make any grant or had considered favourably any applications laid before the Board of Trade. So far as he was aware, at any rate with regard to the north-east of Scotland, no such applications had hitherto been favourably entertained by the Board of Trade. The second question was with reference to the administration of the Light Railways Act. In Aberdeenshire they were under the monopoly of one railway company—the Great North of Scotland—a good enough, line, but an absolute monopoly in the country. When the Light Railway Commission was established the company promoted two schemes, one for a light railway from Aberdeen to. Echt and 1021 Skene, and the other for a light railway from Fraserburgh to the fishing village of St. Combs. Orders were granted in both eases, and for the Fraserburgh railway a considerable grant had been made from the Treasury. The Orders were passed by the Light Railway Commissioners so long ago as September, 1897, but month after month and year after year passed without their being confirmed. Finally the Orders were sanctioned in the summer of last year, but neither of the railways had been constructed—the largest scheme, indeed, had been definitely abandoned. The question which he and other Members had asked last year was whether the Hoard of Trade had not power to compel promoters when granted a scheme to proceed with it. Apparently the Act gave no such power. This was particularly hard in both these cases. In the case of the Echt and Skene Railway the railway company cut out a body of private promoters who were prepared to undertake the scheme. And now they had abandoned the scheme, and he believed another body of private promoters were trying to promote a new scheme. The railway company had thus frustrated the construction of a railway in this district for two years. As regarded the other scheme, the conditions were even more unfortunate. The railway company had not taken a single practical step to put the scheme in operation, and these fishing villages were still divorced from their market with apparently no prospect of improvement. The matter had been brought before the railway company, but no satisfactory remedy could be got. Last year the right hon. Gentleman promised to see what could be done in the matter, and as nothing had been done he (Mr. Buchanan) hoped he would put in operation any power that the Board of Trade possessed.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he would make accessible to the House and to the public generally the admirable set of diagrams and statistical tables compiled by his Department for the forthcoming Paris Exhibition. He suggested that they should be photographed and issued as a public document. He desired to support his hon. friend the Member for Middlesbrough in the representations he had made with regard to the grievances of sailors. It was exceedingly difficult to focus the seamen's grievances in the same way that the grievances of the other 1022 trades were focussed. The seaman had no franchise, and it was almost impossible to get at his grievance except by personal investigation, which was always liable to official denial. As a confirmation of his hon. friend's contentions, he would like to point out that in 199 formal inquiries held last year into casualties at sea it was found in 107 cases that they arose partly or wholly from the neglect or default of persons on board the vessels, and 55 officers had their certificates suspended. That default or neglect, he believed., meant, in plain language, inefficiency, under-manning, and incompetence. While-twenty years ago the collisions at sea were fifty-four in number, last year they were fifty-seven, thus showing an increase: while under every other heading into which maritime casualties were divided there had been a decrease. Loss of life had diminished, no doubt, but nevertheless the number of lives lost amounted to some 2,117 every year. In the last thirteen years no less than 28,302 sailors had lost their lives. That was a condition which merited immediate attention. The fatal casualties last year alone were greater than all that had yet occurred in the Transvaal war. If the sailor was badly treated, the stoker was in even worse case. The German marine department instituted an inquiry into the conditions under which the stokers on the big liners worked, and they found a greater tendency to suicide among stokers than in any other occupation. The causes, he believed, were to be found in overwork, insufficient food, and bad accommodation. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would consent to a similar inquiry by his department. He urged further that articles should be printed in several languages, so that foreign sailors, would know what they were signing.
§ MR. ROBSON () South Shields
merely desired to emphasise the point which had been made with regard to the continuous discharges. He represented a large number of sailors, and could, therefore, speak with some authority. There was. considerable apprehension on the part of sailors that a very important change was about to be made in the form of discharge, by which each man would have to get from his captain a discharge, which would form part of a continuous record on which could easily be based a refusal to report which would operate against the man's future employment. There were various abuses to which this form of dis- 1023 charge was open, which he hoped the President of the Board of Trade would bear in mind. He also called attention to the working of the Light Railways Act, which, he said, was being used by private speculators in the neighbourhood of large towns to obtain powers to lay what were really tramways along the roads leading out of towns. He contended that if the Government intended to put means into the hands of municipalities to relieve congested centres of population the main arteries between the towns and the country must be kept open. In the county of Middlesex the great arteries were being rapidly appropriated by private speculators, in whose schemes there was no advantage to the industrial classes.
§ MR. RITCHIE
No one can say the questions which have been raised in this debate have not been important. On the contrary, they are so important that I am afraid that I shall not at this time be able to deal with them in more than a perfunctory manner. The hon. Gentleman who moved the reduction of my salary did so in a very courteous manner, and although I have heard his speech before I do not propose to deal with the matter he brought forward at this moment. I will deal first with the subjects mentioned by other hon. Members. The hon. Gentleman who has just resumed his seat dealt with continuous discharges and light railways. I am not prepared to contend that the framers of the Light Railways Act contemplated quite the development which has taken place; but I think that on the whole the development has been satisfactory, and that the procedure under the Act has met with the approval of everybody who has come before the Commissioners. There is no doubt a tramway element does enter into many of these light railways, but it must not be assumed that because while going through a town they are necessarily more or less tramways, they are not at the same time light railways in the sense contemplated by the Act. It was always contemplated that those railways would be partially of the nature of tramways in towns. The hon. and learned Member hopes that the Railway Commissioners will not allow the main arteries to be monopolised by private speculators, but they will take care that they are kept open for municipal authorities. The municipal authorities have as much power to go 1024 before the Commissioners as any speculators, and if they do not take advantage of their opportunities in the interest of those who desire the service, it is inevitable that their place should be taken by those who are called speculators. If these railways are not made by the municipal authorities, then let them be made by any reputable company which likes to come forward. The hon. Member for East Aberdeenshire complained of certain railways in the north of Scotland having obtained powers to make light railways and not having made them. I did communicate with the Great North of Scotland Railway on this subject. I think they endeavoured to prevent the opening of some other line. It is said by the hon. Member that power should be given to compel promoters who have got a Bill to make a light railway to carry out their undertaking; but such a power does not exist in regard to any other class of railway, and it does not seem to be just to impose more onerous conditions on promoters of light railways than exist in the case of ordinary railways. That the light railway referred to was not made no doubt disappointed many people, but so far as my recollection goes the instance given by the hon. Member is only a solitary one in nil the numerous applications that have been made. Applications for light railways are becoming extremely numerous, and when we come to legislate on the subject next year—for the Act is only a five years Act—Parliament will be asked to grant more facilities for dealing with them, because at present the Commissioners have more work to do than they can well undertake, although it is very efficiently done. On the whole, though the hon. Gentleman may have some reason to complain in one particular case, still we have every reason to congratulate ourselves on the signal success which has attended the Act during the last three or four years.
§ MR. RITCHIE
As the hon. Gentleman knows, I have not had notice of any of the points brought forward to-night, and I would rather like to look up the Papers connected with that railway, and I will speak to the hon. Gentleman subsequently. The hon. Member for Battersea alluded and I am very glad he did—to the excellent charts and diagrams which have been compiled by 1025 the officers of the Labour Department of the Board of Trade. I sympathise very much with the view that they should be made more available for our people at home, and I have already given the promise that they shall be photographed and published in the Labour Gazette. I will consider whether they should be put in a Blue-book; but in any case I will take care that they are made more available than they are in their present shape. At present I express my personal obligation to those who have been engaged in the collection of the statistical information which was necessary for the diagrams to be set out, and to all those who have been engaged in making the diagrams themselves. They reflect the greatest credit on all concerned. The hon. Member for East Aberdeen shire also asked a question with reference to fishing harbours. The hon. Gentleman will remember that very clear and very hard and fast lines were laid down by me when I assented to the suggestion that some assistance should be given by the Treasury in the matter of small fishing harbours. The Chancellor of the Exchequer concurred in my view that as we had a Committee to consider the grants for light railways, we should have a Committee to consider the grants for light fishing harbours. That Committee was formed almost of the same gentlemen as the other Committee. They have been sitting for some time, and in almost every case the applications for grants do not come within the conditions laid down in the Light Railways Act or anything approaching them. It is a matter of regret to me that it is so. My recollection is that there has been only one case made out for a grant. There was a lack of the necessary local aid and the necessary guarantee for maintenance and other matters considered essential by the Treasury before sanction to the schemes was given. I have endeavoured, however, to secure that the most favourable consideration shall be given to the applications. The hon. Member for South Islington asked me what was the result of the inducements offered for the training of boy sailors under the Mercantile Marine Act. Undoubtedly the result of that has not been in accordance with what I anticipated. Of course it was entirely a problem as to what would be the result. I know that the scheme was not regarded with a very great amount of favour by shippers. One 1026 reason, I think, was that they were disappointed that they did not receive an out-and-out grant from the Treasury on account of the lads used by Her Majesty. They considered that a very large sum ought to have been given to them because of the Navy, and they were not prepared to enter heartily into any scheme short of that. The original idea of the scheme was to endeavour to secure a large number of boys to be educated as sailors for the mercantile marine, not, as has been supposed, for the Navy. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has attached the condition to the scheme that some of the boys shall go into the Reserve. I think that proper and desirable. I have been disappointed, however, to find that many of the shipowners think that they should not be called upon to undertake any task of the kind unless the Government pays the entire cost of the education of the boys. In my judgment that is neither a fair nor a reasonable condition. The Government were willing to advance something like £75,000 a year for this purpose, and I think we had some right to expect we would be assisted by shipowners in carrying out a work which was primarily for their benefit. If the matter has not been successful so far I think it is so much to their disadvantage. Of course the scheme has only been in operation for one year, and I still hope, although we are disappointed up till now, we have something better in store. My hon. friend referred to the Commercial Intelligence Department, which has just been opened. It is extremely difficult to say much about that. I am sure it is a very desirable thing that our merchants and manufacturers should be able to go into one office and obtain all the information in regard to commercial matters possessed by all the Government offices, instead of having to go to half a dozen offices to collect their information by scraps and shreds. The Board of Trade Journal is now published at a penny, and I should say it is likely to be a profitable concern. I am sure it must be a great advantage to all those connected with export trade and commerce generally to be able to get up-to-date information every week, Now, Sir, I come to the main point which has been dealt with in this debate—I mean the question of our sailors. I agree with the hon. Member for Battersea that we ought to do everything that we can do to improve the condition of our sailors, 1027 because, no matter what may be done, their occupation must always be a trying and dangerous one. The hon. Member referred to the loss of life sustained in connection with our shipping, and animadverted upon the want of skill that existed to a large extent in regard to the sailing of our ships. But if ships are saved and loss of life is prevented by superior skill on board ship there must have been great improvement in this direction during the last twenty years, because, having regard to the enormous increase in the mercantile marine during that period, there has been a large decrease in the number of casualties. We must all recognise that the large shipowners have made great improvements in the food and accommodation for then sailors; and though, no doubt, there are shipowners who do not do all that can be desired, if we are to impose conditions on the mercantile marine in order to safeguard seamen from the treatment they receive in some of the worst of our steamers, we might so cripple the whole industry as to make it unable to compete with foreign rivals. The hon. Member for Middlesbrough has referred to the engagement of foreign seamen in our mercantile marine, and has urged that it is desirable that the terms of agreement should, as far as possible, be in the language which they understand. Of course, we cannot in the matter of the language of sailors meet the requirements of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, but I may say that some days ago I gave instructions that inquiries should be made into the matter, and I shall endeavour to see that the agreements shall be published in the language most commonly used by those who serve on board our ships. The hon. Member for Middlesbrough complained about the want of accommodation for the Lascars. He has spoken about the "Australia." It is true that on board the "Australia" there is some slight deficiency of floor area. But the hon. Member has called attention within the last few days to several steamers in which he alleged the space allotted was not up to the requirements of the Merchant Shipping Act.
§ MR. HAVELOCK WILSON
Only one P. and O. steamer—the others were British steamers. I did not make any complaint as to the accommodation; I wanted to know what the accommodation was.
§ MR. RITCHIE
When the hon. Gentleman puts a question with regard to space accommodation, it is only fair to assume that he implies that the accommodation is not sufficient. Under the circumstances, I need not go into particulars of the "Campania," the "Norman," and the "Teutonic," about which he asked questions, and all of which have more than the necessary accommodation. The "Australia" is the only steamer on which he bases any complaint. So far as cubic space is concerned the "Australia" complies with all the requirements, but with regard to floor space it is below the proper accommodation. The company has had its attention drawn to that fact. The hon. Member says, "Why do not you prosecute?" He knows very well that the circumstances with regard to Lascars are not very simple. There has been some difference of opinion as to whether the English Act or the Indian Act applies to them. We referred that to the Law Officers of the. Crown, and they said that the English Act undoubtedly applied; but, after setting out the peculiar habits of the Indian sailors, they have advised the Board of Trade that, although we have the power to prosecute, we have a right to take all the circumstances into consideration. What are the circumstances? In the first place those Lascars make no complaint. On the contrary they have sent a petition couched in the most pathetic language beseeching the Government not to make changes which will have the effect of reducing their means of livelihood. The hon. Member may laugh. I know what his object is. His object is not to improve the condition of the Lascars, but to prevent them competing with English sailors.
§ MR. RITCHIE
I say the Lascars are as much British subjects as any English sailors, and in considering them we have a right to consider all the circumstances of the case. Lascars are not accustomed to and do not require the same amount of space as English sailors. There is no obligation on the Board of Trade to prosecute, and under the circumstances which I have narrated we are quite justified, having regard to the whole of the facts, in declining to do so. The hon. Gentleman says he was asked why did he not prosecute. But he himself came to me last year and asked, "Can anybody prosecute?" I said, "Certainly," and he went 1029 away evidently quite happy, gratified at the idea that he would have the opportunity of prosecuting. It was therefore not I who asked the hon. Gentleman to prosecute, but he asked me if he could. Do not lot us have any misunderstanding. The object of the hon. Gentleman is not to improve the position of the Lascar, but to prevent his employment. The hon. Gentleman also found fault with the Board of Trade because N. P. is put against the name of a man who has not qualified as an able seaman. What is the complaint? Does anyone think that it means A. B.? There is nothing in the law to compel shipowners to carry a certain number of A. B.'s.
§ MR. HAVELOCK WILSON
I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon. He passed a Bill only the year before last enacting that a ship should carry a certain number of A. B. s.
§ MR. RITCHIE
Does the hon. Gentleman assert that putting N. P. against a man's name qualifies him to serve as an A. B.? If he does not. why should he complain about it? It is not a breach of the law.
§ MR. BURNS
I am sorry to interrupt the light hon. Gentleman, but my hon. friend's contention is that where service is not proven, and out of eight men on hoard a ship you have three N. P. s, it means that those three may be very incompetent, with the result that more work falls upon the five competent men than would be the ease if the service of the men marked N. P. had been proven as seamen.
§ MR. RITCHIE
If a shipowner is compelled by law to carry eight A. B.'s it is quite certain that by carrying five A. B.'s and three N. P.'s he is not fulfilling the law. But if the law does not compel a shipowner to carry a certain number of A. B.'s, in what way is the public, the ship, or the sailor damaged by N. P. being put to a man's name?
§ MR. HAVELOCK WILSON
My complaint was that the Board of Trade officials entered these men on the articles of agreement as able-bodied seamen without proving their service. The law says they should prove four years service, otherwise they are not entitled to the rate.
§ MR. RITCHIE
They do not enter them as A. B., but as N. P. The hon. Gentleman then referred to the New York Consular Office as a disgrace and a discredit. The Consular Office is neither a disgrace nor a discredit. The Consul General is one of the most able we have, 1030 and there is his statement against that of the hon. Gentleman to the effect that the things the hon. Gentleman has conjured up from his own inner consciousness do not occur.
§ MR. RITCHIE
He says that in a. place like New York, with a huge number of sailors being engaged, undesirable persons do now and then gain entrance, and there is an occasional shindy of some kind. It may be desirable that a police officer should be stationed there for the purpose of seeing that nothing of the kind to which the hon. Gentleman refers does take place. We are now in correspondence with the Treasury and the Foreign Office on the subject, and I hope within a week or two we will be able to settle on placing a police constable in that office as an experiment, with a view to seeing whether some of the evils which of course do exist may be put an end to. There was also the question of continuous discharges. I am not able to make any statement upon that matter, as a Committee was appointed some time ago to consider the question, and their Report has not yet been made. I understand that that Report will come in within the next few days, and it will then be my duty to consider it.
§ MR. BRYCE () Aberdeen, S.
I am very glad we are to have these agreements prepared in the languages most used by the sailors engaged in British ships. That will be a considerable improvement. With regard to the light railway question, it is a real difficulty that, when an established railway company competes with a. private undertaking for the making of a light railway, and gets the order upon its promise to make the railway, the company, having ousted the private promoter, should not afterwards proceed with the work. That is really a grievance which is not covered by the existing law, and when further legislation on the subject is prepared, I trust the right hon. Gentleman will see that this matter is dealt with. There are other points in the light railway legislation in existence which will require amendment, and I would suggest, when this further legislation is being considered, the whole subject of light railways should be reviewed, and amendments in the existing law, which experience has shown to be required, introduced. I also desire to ask a question with reference to the Com 1031 mercial Intelligence Department. The Committee will remember that a very competent commercial agent was sent out some time ago to report on the state and prospects of British trade in certain foreign countries, and reports, which have been read with great interest, were presented to the House. Is it intended to continue the sending out of a person of that kind, and, if so, will it he a part of the permanent policy of the Commercial Department, or what is the policy of the Board of Trade on the subject?
§ CAPTAIN SINCLAIR () Forfarshire
I desire to ask the right hon. Gentlemen a question with regard to the examinations in Scotland for mercantile marine certificates. Under the Merchant Shipping Act there are two kinds of certificates for which seamen may apply—the ordinary mercantile marine certificate, and the certificate of competency. In Scotland the operation of the examinations for these certificates seems to be discouraging in every way to the very reasonable desire on the part of fishermen and other people qualified to obtain certificates in either class. Take, for instance, the class dealt with under Part 4 of the Merchant Shipping Act the certificates of competency, which may be obtained by skippers and second hands on fishing boats. Under Section 413 of the Act, trawlers of twenty-five tons and upwards may not go to sea unless the skippers and second hands on these boats have a certificate of competency. That provision does not apply to Scotland. Nor does the following section, which is optional, apply to Scotland. I should like for a moment to call the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to the operation of these two clauses. Although there are returns presented to the Board of Trade, we do not know at all whether or not the mercantile marine of the country and the men who are growing up and ought to be qualifying for these certificates are availing themselves of these examinations. If there is no objection, will the President of the Board of Trade allow those returns for the last ten years to be presented to Parliament, in order that we may see what progress has been made? There are no figures in regard to Scotland, because the sections do not apply, but as to England and Wales it is only proper that we should know whether or not the operation of the Act is beneficial. As to the smaller boats, I think it is a question to be considered whether or not what is 1032 now optional should be made compulsory. It may be argued that any compulsory qualifications will tend to efficiency, to make men take an interest in their career, and also to prevent accidents and collisions in the various harbours where there are numbers of these boats. But, so far as the experience of Scotland goes, it seems to show that with its present limited powers the Fishery Board can get on perfectly well in the case of the smaller boats. I should like to refer the; right hon. Gentleman to a passage on page 17 of the 1896 Report of one of the Board of Trade inspectors, which seems to show that the modern tendency to throw fishing enterprise into the hands of capitalists and companies apparently relaxes the obligation to require from the masters and skippers of small boats the same standard of qualification that we used to have. May I inform the Committee how far we have got in this subject? Out of 41,000 men and boys employed in these two classes of fishing boats, only about 6,000 were granted certificates of competency, while if you add to that number between 6,000 and 7,000 men who have what are called in the Act "certificates of service," which are practically certificates that the men had some experience before the Act was introduced, you have altogether only about 13,000 qualified men. I need not impress upon the Committee the desirability of these men doing then best to qualify themselves for the profession in which they are employed. Let me pass to the certificates under' Section 92 of the Act the mercantile marine certificates. The opportunities: for qualifying or passing the examinations are very restricted. It surely stands to reason that such should not be the case, seeing that, besides the question of safety at sea being involved, we look to draw from these men a very large reserve for the Navy and. for the defence of the country. There is also the great advantage of raising the intellectual standard of requirements of so important a class of the community. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman does not know how the Act works out in Scotland. There is not only a lack of information about the examinations, but also a lack of facilities for instruction and examination. We do not know how these examinations operate. We do not know how many go up for these certificates, or how many fail in the examination. Might not returns giving this information, which the right 1033 hon. Gentleman has, be given to the House, showing the results for a series of rears? In 1897, according to the information supplied by the Board of Trade, 708 passed and 858 failed, or more than one half of the candidates, in the five Scotch ports at which examinations are held. There is great hardship and inconvenience involved in the fact that men in Scotland are unable to present themselves for these examinations or to obtain the necessary instruction except at those five ports Aberdeen, Glasgow, Greenock, Dundee, and Leith. The expense, for one thing, stands in the way. Could not arrangements be made by which these examinations might be held at other places? Civil Service examinations are held in India and in all parts of the colonies. I suppose the reason these examinations are held at the five ports I have mentioned is that at those ports, and there alone, are the Board of Trade offices, and that the Board of Trade wish to control these examinations. But probably, by working through the officials of some Government Department, greater facilities might be given, as it would simply mean the distribution and collection of examination papers, and the regulation of the examinations. Then there is the question of instruction. There are navigation schools at these places at present, but if the Committee will consider how difficult it is for a man to give up earning his daily bread and to pay for his lodging and maintenance at a great distance from home, they will realise how very impracticable and discouraging the present conditions are. Navigation is one of the special subjects under the Scotch Education Code, and it surely might be possible to encourage an interest among these young fishermen in the scientific and theoretical as well as in the practical side of their own calling, and to supply that instruction to them as a ladder by which they might enter upon a more profitable career to themselves. If I nun sum up briefly the points I wish to put to the right hon. Gentleman, they are, first, will he tell us how many, and what proportion of the total number of fishermen, have applied for certificates under Section 414 in England and Wales; secondly, will he grant a return giving the particulars respecting the examinations for the mercantile marine certificates held in the different ports in the United Kingdom for the last ten years, showing the number of certificates granted and the number of 1034 failures; and, thirdly, will he grant a return showing the results of the present examinations and instruction in navigation, also stating the amount of the foes.
§ MR. RITCHIE
The hon. Gentleman has on more than one occasion put on the Paper some proposal with a view to examining me upon this very important question, and I have been prepared, but on this occasion I was not aware that the matter would be brought up, and therefore I have not the materials at hand to give him a reply at once. I will, however, confer with the hon. Gentlemen, and shall be very happy to give him all the information he desires. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen asked whether we should continue the practice of sending gentlemen to investigate with regard to foreign markets. The Foreign Office have appointed two or three gentlemen who will be attached to certain consulates abroad, and who will go about within certain limited areas collecting similar information to that collected by Mr. Worthington.
§ MR. HAVELOCK WILSON
I am exceedingly sorry the right hon. Gentleman did not reply to my arguments. Some points he ignored entirely, while upon others his answers were far from satisfactory. Moreover, he disputed my word with regard to the Consular Office at New York. He had not to rely on my word alone, for I have sent to the right hon. Gentleman's Department letters from seamen making the same allegations, and I have also sent documents sworn by seamen in the port of New York. I make no charge against the office of the Consul General himself; his office is not the Consular Shipping Office, but is in a different locality altogether. The Consul General knows absolutely nothing of what goes on at the Shipping Office other than what he is told by his deputies, and it is no good for him to send over reports saying that my statements are exaggerated and incorrect. I would like to see his reports, as I am prepared to prove up to the hilt everything I have said. As to the P. and O. Company, could there be a more lame excuse than the one given by the right hon. Gentleman that the Lascars did not require the same amount of accommodation as white men? These ships lie in our docks in London, and from a sanitary point of view, if from no other, we ought to insist upon the men living under such conditions that they 1035 will not breed disease. The right hon. Gentleman admits that in the "Australia" the men had only 9 instead of 12 superficial feet of space measured on the deck. The idea of men being compelled to huddle together in that manner! The right hon. Gentleman referred to a petition which was sent to the Queen. That petition was prepared by the P. and O. Company, and not one Lascar had a hand in its preparation. There were many other
§ matters which the right hon. Gentleman ignored. I mentioned the fact of—
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 121: Noes. 40. (Division List No. 38.)1035
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Arnold, Alfred||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St. Geo's)||Plunkett, Rt Hn Horace Curzon|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. Wm.||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Heath, James||Purvis, Robert|
|Beach, Rt. En. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Henderson. Alexander||Pym, C. Guy|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Bethell, Commander||Jackson, Rt. Hon. W. Lawies||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Carlile, William Walter||Jessel, Captain R. Morton||Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derb'shi'e)||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)||Keswick, William||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Kimber, Henry||Round, James|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm)||Lawrence, Kir E. D. (Cornw'll)||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc)||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Ryder, John Herbert Dudley|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn (Sw'sea)||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)|
|Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Smith, James P. (Lanarks.)|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Long, Rt Hn Walter (Liverpool)||Stanley, E. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Gl'sg'w)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W.||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Lyttleton, Hon. Alfred||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Curzon, Viscount||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Macdona, John Cumming||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield||Maclver, David (Liverpool)||Webster, Sir Richard E.|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. (Taunton)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Welby, Sir Charles G. E (Notts.)|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Milward, Colonel Victor||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Faber, George Denison||Monckton, Edward Philip||Williams, Joseph Powell- (Birm)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||More, Robert Jasper (Shropsh.)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J. (Man.)||Morrell, George Herbert||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Finch, George H.||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Mount, William George||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)|
|Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Gedge, Sydney||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lon)||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Penn, John|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Hammond, John (Carlow)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Billson, Alfred||Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hazell, Walter||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Jones, William (Carnarvons.)||Souttar, Robinson|
|Burns, John||Kilbride, Denis||Steadman, William Charles|
|Caldwell, James||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'l'd)||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Channing, Francis Allston||M'Kenna, Reginald||Weir, James Galloway|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Maddison, Fred.||Wilson, Frederick W. (Norfolk)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Havelock Wilson and Mr. John Wilson (Durham).|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)|
|Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Fenwick, Charles||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
§ Question put accordingly.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 37;
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Hammond, John (Carlow)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Billson, Alfred||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale||Kobson, William Snowdon|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Hazell, Walter||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarsh.)|
|Burns, John||Jones, William (Carnarvonshi'e)||Souttar, Robinson|
|Caldwell, James||Kilbride, Denis||Steadman, William Charles|
|Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb)||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||MacNeill, John Cordon Swift||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Maddison, Fred.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Doogan, P. C.||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonpott)||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||O'Brian, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Havelock Wilson and Mr. John Wilson (Durham).|
|Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.)||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Fenwick, Charles||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Gibbs, Hon. Yieary (St. Albans)||Penn, John|
|Arnold, Alfred||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r)||Goschen, Rt Hn. GJ (St George's)||Plunkett, Rt Hn Horace Curzon|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert W.||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Heath, James||Purvis, Robert|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Henderson, Alexander||Pym, C. Guy|
|Bethell, Commander||Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Jackson, Rt. Hon W. Lawies||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Carlile, William Walter||Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Richardson, Sir Thos. (Hartlep'l)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Jessel, Captain Herbert M.||Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire)||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Keswick, William||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J (Birm.)||Kimber, Henry||Round, James|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r)||Lawrence, Sir E. Durning- (Corn)||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Ryder, John Herbert Dudley|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Carrie||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn- (Swans.)||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Loder, Cerald Walter Erskine||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverp'l)||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset)|
|Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Start, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Lloyd, Archie Kirkman||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Curzon, Viscount||Lytteiton, Hon. Alfred||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield||Macdona, John Camming||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Webster, Sir Richard E.|
|Douglas Kt. Hon. A. Akers||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Welby, Lt.-Col ACE (Taunton)|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Welby, Sir Charles G E (Notts.)|
|Fgerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon|
|Faber, George Denison||Milward, Colonel Victor||Whitmore, Cliarles Algernon|
|F'ellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Monckton, Edward Philip||Williams, Jos. Powell (Birm.)|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Man'r)||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Finch, George H.||Morrell, George Herbert||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Morton, Arthurll. A. (Deptford)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||Murray, Cliarles J. (Coventry)||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Poster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Gedge, Sydney||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Gibbs, En. A. G. H. (City of Ldon)||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
§ Original Question put accordingly.1038
§ Noes, 120. (Division List No. 39.)
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 120; Noes, 35. (Division List No, 40.)
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John, H.||Pym, C. Guy|
|Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready||Keswick, William||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Kimber, Henry||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W.||Lawrence, Sir E. Durning- (Corn)||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir Matthew W|
|Curzon, Viscount||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Ritchie, Rt Hon. Chas. Thomson|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn- (Sw'ns'a)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Digby, J. K. D. Wingfield||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Long, Col. Charles W (Evesham)||Round, James|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Ryder, John Herbert Dudley|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Faber, George Denison||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Felowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Macdona, John Gumming||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r)||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Finch, George H.||Massey Main waring, Hn. W. F.||Stanley, E. James (Somerset)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||Milward, Colonel Victor||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Monckton, Edward Philip||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Gedge, Sydney||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lon.)||Morrell, George Herbert||Webster, Sir Richard E.|
|Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Morton, Arthur H A (Deptford)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taun'n)|
|Goldsworthy, Major-General||Murray, Rt Hn AGraham (Bute)||Welby, Sir C. G. E. (Notts.)|
|Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. SirJohn Eldon||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Whitemore, Charles Algernon|
|Goschen, Rt Hon G J (StGeorge's)||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Williams, J. Powell- (Birm.)|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Heath, James||Penn, John||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Henderson, Alexander||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)|
|Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle||Pierpoint, Robert||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (B'th)|
|Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Plunkett, Rt Hn Horace Curzon||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Purvis, Robert|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Hammond, John (Carlow)||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Billson, Alfred||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Hazell, Walter||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)|
|Caldwell, James||Jones, William (Carnarvons.)||Souttar, Robinson|
|Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson||Kilbride, Denis||Steadman, William Charles|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'land)||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Doogan, P. C.||Maddison, Fred.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Wilson, Frederick W. (Norfolk)|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.)||Pease, Joseph A (Northumb.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Havelock Wilson and Mr. John Wilson (Durham).|
|Fenwick, Charles||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
§ It being after midnight, the Chairman left the Chair to make his report to the House.
§ MR. DALZIEL () Kirkcaldy Burghs
asked whether, seeing the Committee had been unable to discuss several items, the Report stage of the Votes passed in Committee would be put down for a time at which they could be properly discussed.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
replied that the Report stage could not be put down for first order on Monday, as that place was allotted to the Navy Estimates.
§ Resolution to be reported upon Monday next; Committee to sit again upon Monday next.