§ As amended (by the Standing Committee), further considered.
*THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. RITCHIE, Croydon)
The clause which I am about to move the omission of is not precisely the same clause as it was in the Bill originally before the House. It differs in two respects. In the first place, it differs in the mode in 650 which the law will operate, and in the second place there is a sub-section which was not in the original Bill. With regard to the former clause, there is no doubt that the clause as it stands now is a distinct improvement upon the clause originally before the House, especially in regard to one particular point where it lays down definite rules and hours, instead of leaving the matter to the Secretary of State. The other change in the clause refers to the exclusion of religious and charitable institutions. Now the clause as it stands is not so much an alteration in the law as that it makes the law plainer and more easily enforceable, and therefore I am hound to say 651 it is regrettable that it should be omitted; but I am bound to consider the whole subject-matter of the Bill itself, and having regard to the numerous classes of persons who are going to derive great advantage from the general provisions of the Bill, I certainly regard with the greatest dissatisfaction any circumstances likely to imperil the chances of the Bill by reason of a clause dealing with a particular point in the Bill. What is the position of matters with regard to this clause? There was great opposition to it. As it stood in Grand Committee there was a subsection of the clause dealing with religious and charitable institutions bringing them to a certain extent within the four corners of the Bill, but making a special provision with regard to inspection altogether different to the inspection to which other laundries have to be subjected. But as it frequently happens in many proposals for a compromise, these proposals of mine pleased neither one side or the other. It is commonly understood that the opposition to my original proposal came entirely from hon. Members representing Ireland, but that is not the case by any means. I received many more representations upon this matter from religious institutions in this country, who alleged that the proposals of the Bill if carried into effect would destroy the discipline which is absolutely necessary, having regard to the class of persons usually found in these institutions. So that the objection taken to the clause in Committee made it perfectly plain to me that the only course to pursue if I wished to secure the Bill was to leave the law as I found it with regard to these religious and charitable institutions, and the conclusion which I came to was practically the same conclusion which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife came to when he had to deal with the same matter.
The right hon. Gentleman in his Bill of 1895 proposed that these institutions should be subject to the same conditions as ordinary laundries, but he was driven out of his position by the same considerations which ultimately drove me out of the position I took up, namely, that to sacrifice the great advantages of the proposed alteration in the law made 652 by the remainder of the Bill because of this particular point was not a course which commended itself to him; and so I felt I was driven to take this course for the same consideration precisely as that which actuated the right hon. Member for East Fife when he was dealing with the same question. Therefore I accepted the same sub-section as he not only accepted, but I believe moved in the 1895 Bill. I was driven to accept the same words: they are the words of the existing law. The position by my acceptance of this Amendment was not satisfactory to many members of the Committee, and in the result the omission of this clause was moved by an hon. Gentleman, one of the Members for Glasgow, and advocated and supported by voice and by vote by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Forest of Dean, by the hon. Member for Berwickshire, by the hon. Member for Leicester, by the hon. Member for Battersea, and by all those who have been most prominent in their desire to see a reform in the law with regard to laundries. The Amendment was not carried at the time, because I desired to take advantage of the time between then and now to see if it was not possible by consultation to arrive at some form of words which, although they would not give everything desired, would give some satisfaction, and enable us to retain the clause in the Bill. Now I have failed in my attempt. It has been said by some that if I had tried to find some form of words, I should have probably succeeded. All I can say is that no one has tried harder than I have to find a form of words, and I have been unable to find one, and I am face to face with this situation. We are within, I hope, a few days of the prorogation of Parliament, and I find the Notice Paper full of Amendments upon this particular clause. I need hardly point out to the House the practical impossibility of carrying this Bill if we have to deal with and dispose of all those Amendments.
Now what would be the effect of the acceptance of this motion for the omission of this clause? It will leave, with another Amendment I shall have to propose subsequently in the schedule, the whole of the laundries in precisely the 653 same position as they are now. It is true that the law will retain the exemption to which I have referred, but it is said that this will be tolerable if the law remains as it is, but intolerable if the law is strengthened and tightened and if its operation makes the position of outside laundries more difficult than at present while retaining the present immunity for religious and charitable laundries. Well, it must not be supposed that, if the House accepts the Amendment which I propose, this matter is going to be lost sight of. I hope at no distant period we may be able to propose Amendments in the laundry section of the Act, and that we may arrive by inquiry and consultation, when time is permitted, at some agreement which, though it does not give all which some of my friends desire, will meet some of the objections raised on the one side and on the other, and by which possibly a solution may be found.
It is said that under the existing provisions of the law there are many bogus institutions, and it has been suggested that something might have been put into the Bill which would have least have enabled the Home Office to deal effectively with those who claim exemption under the existing law but who do not deserve and have no proper pretention to claim such exemption. I have thought of and tried to devise some words which might be inserted in the Bill which would give the Home Office further power to deal with these objectionable institutions, but I can find no form of words which would not have the effect of limiting the power of the Home Secretary rather than extending it. There is no doubt that the power of the Home Secretary in this matter is practically unlimited, because, if there is any reason to suppose that the institutions claiming this exemption are not bona fide institutions, there is nothing to prevent the inspector demanding admission to any of these institutions, and if it is not what it pretends to be, and admission is refused, to take it before a court of law and make it prove it is entitled to the exemption claimed. No effort on my part will be wanting to see that the protection of this special exemption is not taken advantage of by these special institutions who have 654 no right to avail themselves of it. I can assure the House I am as anxious as they to deal with this matter in a proper way. Generally, with regard to the provisions of the Act of 1895, although they are not open to such adverse criticisms as hon. Members have directed against them—and the provisions themselves are good—I quite recognise the difficulties of enforcing them, and those I shall endeavour to overcome, and the House must not assume that this matter is going to remain altogether undealt with. I hope it may be possible to deal with it in a manner to give satisfaction without undue delay. The House will see that I have no other course, if I desire to secure the benefit of this Bill the vast number of people who will come under it, than the course I now take in asking the House to support this Amendment. I beg to move the omission of Clause 103.
In page 55, to leave out Clause 103."—(Mr. Secretary Ritchie.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words of Clause 103 to the word 'Act,' in page 56, line 40, inclusive, stand part of the Bill."
§ MR. ASQUITH (Fifeshire, E.)
I have listened with great surprise and disappointment to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. This Bill professes to be, and I gladly recognise that it is, a Bill for the amendment and consolidation of the law. If the right hon. Gentleman's motion to omit the clause is carried, having regard to this very important branch of factory administration, the Bill will neither amend the law nor will it consolidate it, because you will have the provisions of the existing law retained in force, subject to a very vague undertaking that at some indefinite time it may receive further consideration, and from the point of view of codifying and consolidating the law you will have as ridiculous a position as can be conceived. You will have the all-important section dealing with laundries not even put in the Consolidation Act at all, but only in the Act of 1895.
If the right hon. Gentleman will forgive me. I forgot to 655 say that, if the Amendment is carried, an Amendment will be proposed in another place to insert in this Bill the clause as it appeared in the original Consolidation Bill.
§ MR. ASQUITH
If it is inserted in another place, what is going to happen then? Is it to be cut out in the shape of Lords' Amendments, while other Amendments in respect of laundries are to be put in? I do not see, from the point of view of saving time, that much is to be gained by that course. But the matter is very much more serious. When I introduced the Bill in 1895 it contained a clause dealing with laundries which, although not the same in form, was similar in substance to the clause in the present Bill; but owing to the strenuous opposition I encountered, and to the fact that I had not the advantage of a great and permanent majority like the present Government, I was obliged, very much against my will, to whittle it down to the form in which it appears in the statute. The right hon. Gentleman, as I acknowledged at the time when he moved the Second Reading of this Bill, proposed to strengthen the law from the comparatively weak and inoperative form in which I had been compelled to leave it, and his proposal, coupled with the Amendments introduced in Committee upstairs, has produced in the first three sub-sections a code dealing with the regulation of laundries, apart from conventual laundries, which, although perhaps not ideal, is perhaps as strong as public opinion will allow.
§ MR. ASQUITH
Yes, because the employers were quite prepared to accept them. Why are all the substantial improvements which this Bill makes to be abandoned? Why are we to abandon all these improvements, which even the laundry owners themselves do not object to, and in which the laundry operatives are directly and vitally interested? Why are we to omit what almost everyone agrees is a desirable and necessary amendment of the law at this stage 656 of the proceedings? The right hon. Gentleman has given one reason only—that unless these beneficial provisions, which did not apply to the excepted laundries, are omitted it would raise the whole hubbub about the conventual laundries. I say it would be a monstrous confession of weakness, and even of humiliation, on the part of the House of Commons if it threw all these improvements over for fear of the hostility of the excepted laundries. There is no other ground. The right hon. Gentleman's argument is totally inadequate to justify his proposal. The other matter, which was really the only solid ground, was as to the continuance of this class of excepted laundry. I acknowledge that I was the first to agree to it, and why? Because, as the right hon. Gentleman has truly said, it was the lowest price I could pay for carrying the Bill of 1895. But the right hon. Gentleman is not in the position I was. I had no majority independent of my hon. friends below the gangway, and if I had insisted on refusing the demand to have this class of laundries excepted, they had it in their power at once to kill my Bill and destroy the manifold improvements in every class of factory law which that Bill was designed to meet. But the right hon. Gentleman is not in that position. He has got a large majority, which is quite capable of overcoming all the forces arrayed against it, though that majority is not always in perfect working order, especially at this stage of the session. But I do protest that the Government having—for reasons of their own—delayed consideration of the Report stage until the last week of the session, should adopt this kind of coercion to the deliberations of the House, and say that unless we agree to a demand which is not reasonable, and which the Government have the power of resisting, the House must take the responsibility of sacrificing the whole of a valuable piece of legislation. As regards the merits of the case, I say what I said in 1895, that no case has been made out for the exemption of these privileged laundries. I observe that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University has an Amendment which, if carried, would, I believe practically 657 meet the demands of all the religious charities except those connected with one religious community. The proposal is a very reasonable one, and could be perfectly well adapted to those conventual institutions which fall within the category of reformatory institutions. It would give the Home Secretary power to modify the requirements of the Act in their application to institutions of a reformatory character. One of the great objections to the inspection of those laundries had been removed by the appointment of lady inspectors. I cannot help thinking that, under these circumstances, the Government would have found that they had a preponderating body of opinion on both sides of the House if they had adopted such an Amendment. The Government do not dispute any of the propositions I have laid down; but because the Government are afraid that, if at this stage of the session they insist upon doing what they think to be right, they will lose the Bill, the House is asked to omit the clause altogether. I do not think that is a course consistent with the dignity either of the Government or of the House. For my part, I shall offer, and I hope the House will offer, its opposition to the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman.
*MR. TALBOT (Oxford University)
I rise with the greatest regret to express my great disappointment with the speech of the Home Secretary. I fear that what has happened this evening, at the end of a long controversy, will be known as the history of a great surrender; and I agree with the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken that there is no justification for it. The motion of the hon. Member for East Clare in Committee was carried by twenty-nine to twenty-four. I have not the slightest doubt in my mind that if this matter was put to the House on its merits, without reference to passing the Bill or the time of the session, then these twenty-four members of the Committee who voted against the motion of the hon. Member for Clare would have been multiplied certainly ten-fold. Why is it we are called upon this evening to adopt the views of a small minority of the House? The only reason, of course, is the time of the session at which we 658 have arrived. I believe that if we were speaking in May instead of August the proposal would never have been made. It is only because we are a few days before the close of the session that we are called upon to make this very great surrender. I should like to state my position in this matter. I wish to speak not only for myself, but also for a great number of people outside who have favoured me with communications on this very important matter. I have always said, and I say it again, I go with hon. Members from Ireland some way in their objection to the inspection originally proposed. Ordinary inspection of laundries is inappropriate to institutions which are of a reformatory character. It would be impossible, I think, to admit an inspector in the ordinary way into laundries which are connected with institutions chiefly designed for the reformation of persons who have lived dissolute and immoral lives. That is absolutely true, but it is a long step to say that because you object to a particular form of inspection then you must object to all inspection. I cannot adopt that principle, nor do those for whom I speak. They say, and I agree with them, that with regard to a certain number of institutions inspection, and especially inspection by a woman inspector, is desirable—to see whether these institutions are in a proper sanitary condition, and whether the machinery employed is properly protected, and to see that the inmates are not over-worked and under-fed; and the institutions for which I speak welcome such inspection. Why is it hon. Members from Ireland take this non possumus line and say that unless inspectors were excluded altogether they would have nothing to do with the Bill? I think that is an unreasonable attitude, and so far as I am concerned I can be no party to the principle implied. I the more object to it because if there are any abuses the genuine institutions would be glad to see them stopped. But the practical question is: What are we to do? I am afraid that time is against us. If we like to insist—as I should personally desire to do—upon the retention of this clause, we are assured on the highest authority it would involve the sacrifice of the whole of this important Bill. I should be sorry to be responsible for the 659 loss of so important a measure, which affects the welfare of large classes, and especially those classes who are least able to protect themselves. Therefore I think we ought to hesitate very long before we imperil the Bill. I for one cannot take responsibility for its loss, and therefore I must vote for the Amendment of the Home Secretary.
*MR. TENNANT (Berwickshire)
said he rose to support the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife upon this important question. As the right hon. Gentleman was aware, he had gone to a deal of trouble and taken a great deal of time in attempting to arrive at a compromise. The right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary had stated that he regretted having to propose the omission of the clause. In introducing the Bill he had pointed out that the present state of the law was confused and unsatisfactory. Now he claimed that the provisions of the Act of 1895 were good in themselves, but difficult to administer. But what was the use of a good law if it could not be administered? The right hon. Gentleman went on to say that he proposed to apply to Institution laundries the provisions of the Factory Acts. He said the exemption of these laundries from inspection was indefensible, but it was exactly what the right hon. Gentleman now proposed to do—to exempt these laundries from inspection. He would not labour the point that the law as it stood was in an unsatisfactory condition, but as the right hon. Gentleman might say that he had voted in Committee against the clause he now wished retained, he would read to the House a letter which he had received from the National Laundry Trade Protection Association, Limited. That letter would explain and justify his position—I gather from the Amendment Paper under the Factory and Workshops Consolidation Bill that the feeling of the House is such that in all probability Clause 103 will not go through, and may be withdrawn by the Home Secretary. I sincerely trust you will he enabled to see your way to vote against its withdrawal. When this Association made the request to you, when the Hill was before the Grand Committee, to propose its withdrawal there was a very strong feeling existing as to the non-acceptance of the Institution Clause and the Cottage Laundry Clause, but on consideration the amended clause as it 660 stands has proved so acceptable to the laundry trade throughout the country that they feel they can safely accept it. I have received from all parts of the country information that the clause as amended meets with the entire approval of the trade, as it undoubtedly provides better regulations both from the employers' and the employees' point of view, and although it is some restriction of the hours as they at present exist, yet it is felt that the result will be a great improvement in the class of workers secured for the trade. The opinion therefore, generally, is that the trade would rather have Clause 103 as at present printed in the Bill than the law as it at present stands, which, as you very well know, as a protection for the workers is practically useless, and such that even the Home Office officials feel very great difficulty in effectually administering. I sincerely trust that, on behalf of the laundry trade of the kingdom, you will not fail to strongly represent these views when the Bill is before the House of Commons.The laundry trade objected to the action of the right hon. Gentleman. He had supported the omission of the clause in the past because of this request, but now that the demand and the desire for the omission of the clause had been removed he was justified in adhering to the wishes of those who advised him upon this matter. He wished to know why this clause was to be omitted. It was clear it was not for the benefit of the trade, because the trade dissented from it. The real reason was to avoid the opportunity of discussing the very large question of the exemption of the religious institutions. The statement by the hon. Member for East Clare in the press was a temperate statement from the point of view of Ireland in this matter. It might be urged that nothing could be said against the convent laundries of Ireland, but a great deal of fault had justly been found with the convent laundries in France. Great scandals had been brought to light in connection with these laundries owing to an application to them of the law; and he desired to know what guarantee the House had that like institutions in this country were not being carried on in an equally disadvantageous way as were those in France. There was no guarantee, and if there was any great eagerness to avoid inspection, such keenness to avoid inspection must inevitably give rise to the suspicion that there was something to conceal. The greater the keenness the greater the suspicion that 661 must arise. What happened in France? He would quote from the report of M. Laporte, the divisional inspector of the first district for the year 1886. That gentleman said—To-day I will cite particularly the orphanage of the Good Shepherd, where children from seven to eight years old work from 5 a.m. till 4 p.m., having only one hour of instruction after the day's labour.He further said—There has been brought to my notice a convent where little girls of four years old have to hem with the greatest care half a dozen house-cloths each, i.e., to make about nine or ten yards.In his report for the year 1887, M. Giroud, divisional inspector, expressed himself in the following terms on the subject of the establishment entitled "The Good Shepherd," at Cholet—This establishment, which I have twice visited…with its staff of seventy sisters and novices, living on the proceeds of the work done there, unites all the characteristics of an industrial enterprise….. They receive at the Good Shepherd little girls from the age of four years; they make these miserable children work the same number of hours as young girls of sixteen to twenty-one.The same inspector expresses himself also on the subject of "The Good Shepherd" of Poitiers—The staff employed in this establishment is composed of forty-six children from four to twelve years old, thirty-three from twelve to fifteen, and thirty from sixteen to twenty-one: that is, seventy-nine children from four to sixteen years old, and thirty young girls. The length of the work is the same for the children of four as for the young girls. Three of the sisters, not certificated, hold a class for the youngest children for three-quarters of an hour a day.When he read that report he thought it his duty to make inquiries as to whether such practices were still going on. He ascertained from the annual Reports on the application during 1899 of the laws regulating work that 4,429 breaches of the law had taken place in industrial religious establishments. Of these 924 related to the duration of work. They had no knowledge or guarantee that similar abuses were not now going on in similar institutions here, and that great hardships were not being suffered by young children. It would be to the advantage of those institutions themselves that they should 662 be placed under inspection. The convents of the Good Shepherd may be subject to precisely the same abuses in England as in Franco. He would point out to the House what happened in Sheffield only four years ago. He wished to quote this instance in reply to the hon. Member for East Clare, who had stated that it was quite easy for the girls to come and go in these institutions—Two girls, named Maggie Gaffey, aged fifteen, and Minnie Hober, aged sixteen, made their escape from the convent of the Good Shepherd at midnight last night. They dropped twenty feet from a window on the fourth storey to the roof of another building, and then scaled the convent walls, from which they descended to the street. Hober sprained both her ankles, and the girls, being unable to run away, were arrested. The girls tell stories of starvation, hard work, and cruel treatment, and threaten to kill themselves if they are sent back.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
Slandering a religious community on the authority of a newspaper paragraph!
§ MR. DILLON
said the hon. Member for Berwickshire had brought a very terrible charge, which was not in the official reports. He was very sorry to have to interrupt the hon. Member, but this was a very horrible charge with which they had been called upon to deal, and he wished to know what authority this charge was based upon.
said he did not think he could be accused of slandering anybody. The statements in the paragraph had, he understood, never been disputed.
§ MR. DILLON
said this was a very horrible charge, and it was important they should know who was the author of it.
repeated that the paragraph appeared in the Sheffield Independent, and it was circulated by a society of which Mr. Abbott, of Gray's Inn Place, was the secretary.
§ MR. DILLON
asked if the hon. Gentleman could say, of his own knowledge, that this was a genuine paragraph, or was it only a leaflet sent round broadcast.
said his point was that, even if the case were untrue, it was surely one for inquiry. There was grave suspicion that such a case did take place, and it was of immense importance, as well from the point of view of the public generally as of the inmates of such homes, that that suspicion should be arrested. The other cases which he had quoted were all official, and if he had read something which he ought not to have read he offered his apologies to the House. The managers of similar homes in connection with the Church of England had expressed, not only their willingness, but their desire for inspection under the Home Office, and he saw no reason why other homes of a religious character should not come under the same inspection. He had received many influential letters supporting his view upon this question. The Archbishop of Canterbury was strongly in favour of inspection. He had received a letter from Miss Ella Pease in regard to the Morpeth Home of Industry in which she says—I have heard from three members of the 'Morpeth Home of Industry' Committee, and they are all strongly in favour of homes and institutions such as this being put under the Factory Acts. The other member who is in Norway at the present moment agrees with us, I know. So I can say all the managers of the home are unanimous on the subject. We have all felt how difficult it is to prevent matrons from overpressing girls, even when their committees do all they can to prevent it, and when, as with us, there is plenty of money. I know, however, one or two institutions where there is not much money, and where the committees are at fault as well as the matrons, and a terrible lot of overwork goes on, and until there are women inspectors nothing will stop this continuing.He had received amongst other letters from Mrs. Creighton, and from the wives of the Bishops of Chichester, Carlisle, York, Winchester, Exeter, Southwell, and Salisbury, all approving of the employment of a Government lady inspector, and expressing themselves strongly in favour of the inspection of these laundries.
With regard to competition with other laundries, surely that was an 664 important point to consider. It was absurd to say that there was no competition in the face of the large income which some of these institutions derived from, their laundries. Even if the public had to subscribe to these charitable institutions the competition was equally unfair. He could not understand all this opposition to inspection, and if there was anything to conceal they wished to know what it was. If there was nothing to conceal, then he contended that these institutions would not suffer, but gain, by inspection. He asked the House not to agree to the motion, because on the one hand we should be doing a grave economic injustice, and on the other we should be abandoning one of our most solemn responsibilities.
*MR. JAMES HOPE (Sheffield, Bright-side)
said he had been asked hundreds of questions on all sorts of matters in the course of the two elections he had fought in Sheffield, and had there been anything in the story quoted by the hon. Member who had just spoken he felt sure he must have heard of it. On the general question, however, the position was very unsatisfactory. He was afraid that an impression would be created that those institutions had something to conceal, whereas, as a matter of of fact, they had not. It would be impossible to apply to those institutions the identical clauses of the Factory Acts which applied to ordinary business establishments, but difficulties such as that would have been fully met by the Amendment of his right hon. friend the Member for Oxford University, and he could not help hoping that his Amendment would yet be accepted, and that in all cases there would be a special lady visitor enjoying the confidence of the managers of such institutions.
§ MR. LEAMY (Kildare, N.)
said he frankly admitted at the outset the right of those hon. Gentlemen who were against the exclusion of convent laundries from the Bill to challenge those who said they should be excluded to give their reasons for so thinking. He desired to approach this question as fairly and moderately as he could. He did not regard it as a Catholic or an Irish question. He regarded it from a different 665 point of view altogether. Before coming to the reasons for excluding these laundries from the Bill, he desired to meet one or two statements which had been made against convents and nuns. One of these was that the nuns shirked inquiry because they had something to conceal. This was a subject on which the Irish Members were competent to speak. They knew all about the working of these institutions in Ireland, and the nuns, so far from being desirous to conceal, only welcomed visitors to the convent to see it and everything connected with it. There was not a day passed when ladies did not visit the convents and see the girls who were under the charge of the nuns. Not a Sunday or a holiday passed when ladies with their daughters did not visit the institutions and gave concerts to the inmates. There was hardly one of the Nationalist Members who had not a relative a nun, and they would be the most dishonest men in the world if they allowed their friends to remain in these institutions if there was anything wrong. The idea of secrecy, or that there was anything to conceal, was utterly absurd. The objection of the nuns to inspection was that they believed, rightly or wrongly, that the interference of an inspector between them and the girls under their charge would weaken the authority which it was necessary for them to exercise if they were to succeed with the great work they had in hand. It was said that the nuns might treat the girls badly. It was said that in some cases such girls had been treated badly. He would point out that it was the aim and object of the nuns to induce the girls to come into the convent. These girls came from a life in which they had been absolutely unrestrained. Their life was completely revolutionised, they were subjected to discipline, and they had prayer and work. The nuns had learned from sad experience that if the girls went out after being a short time in the convent they descended to the abyss from which they had been taken. The nuns believed that they were actually responsible to Christ for the care of the girls, and they did their utmost to prevent them straying again. If the girls were underfed or overworked they would be discontented, and they would 666 go out of the convents. There was no limit to the solicitude, devotion, and affection of the nuns. It was esteemed a miracle if a fallen woman turned round and altered her life, but that work of reform was being carried out week after week in the Irish convents. He asked the House not to weaken the hands of those by whom this miracle was being wrought. When the Member for East Fife was speaking he remembered the time when the Irish Members kept him in office. During that period there was some beneficent work done for the English working classes with the help of the Irish Members, and it was not fair to bring the charge against them that they were desirous of injuring this Bill. What was the object of this legislation? Was it to ensure that these girls were contented? Had ever any complaints been made by these girls in the convents? The nuns had no control over them except the consciousness of the girls in the devotion and affection of the nuns and their desire to make them happy. He did not wish to push this too far, but one of the difficulties was that the nuns had no desire to be exposed to the public. They wished to work quietly, but not secretly. It should be remembered that the convents in Dublin were inspected yearly by Archbishop Walsh; then there were the hospital inspectors, and ladies were constantly going in to visit them. He could assure the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary that if he were in Dublin to-morrow and went into one of these convents he would be welcomed, and the mother would have pleasure in showing him the institution, provided that he did not go as an inspector but as a private gentleman. They were not afraid of inspection; the nuns were not afraid of inspection so far as their work was concerned; but he did ask that the Legislature would not interfere with the work of the nuns who, day after day and night after night, bestowed constant care, anxiety, and affection on these miserable creatures. He knew that some of these poor girls Were the victims of men's passions, and some of their own folly; but could there be any more beautiful or touching sight than that of these women, who had been in the convent since they were only ten or eleven years of age, taking to their hearts 667 women from the streets who came to them for help. He could not conceive of anyone not respecting a beautiful and holy charity like that. He appealed to the House not to make this a Catholic or Irish question. He was not pleading for the nuns, but for the poor girls under their charge.
§ MR. T. L. CORBETT (Down, N.)
said he did not wish to say a word which would offend the feelings of the hon. Gentleman who had just spoken under a sense of very deep religious conviction. He was one of those representatives, who, he believed, were a great majority of the House, that were in favour of no clause at all rather than the clause as it stood in the Bill. But he would prefer still more a clause containing requirements for inspection all round. He believed there was no class of work which more demanded sanitary inspection than laundry work, and he, for one, was at a loss to understand the extraordinary opposition to what seemed to him a fair proposal that all laundries should be inspected. If laundries under the control of the different convents carried on their work in a proper sanitary way, without overworking the inmates by long, illegal hours, then in the name of common sense why should they object to fair inspection? How could it be possible to interfere with the proper discipline of the convents if women inspectors were to go round from time to time and inspect them? If there was nothing to conceal, as the hon. Gentleman opposite asserted, why, in the name of common sense, should they try to conceal it? [Laughter from the Irish benches.] He saw that an Irish way of stating a case appealed to hon. Members opposite. He was afraid that this was a concession made to members of the Committee who were members of the Roman Catholic Church; but it was time that the Government came to realise that there were other susceptibilities, quite as sincere as those of the members of the Roman Catholic Church, to be considered.
§ SIR BRAMPTON GURDON (Norfolk, N.)
said, as an agricultural Member, he did not pretend to know anything of convents, but he did know a great deal about charitable institutions. He had been glad to hear the firm and 668 straightforward tone which the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary had taken in Committee upstairs in regard to the exemption of religious institutions, and he had been more than disappointed that the right hon. Gentleman had hauled down the Union Jack that evening. The great majority of charitable institutions were well managed, and invited inspection to show to the world how they were carried on; in fact, they asked that the black sheep among them should be dropped out. They knew from parallel cases that abuses existed. The Metropolitan Association for Befriending Young Women had a large number of laundries, and they asked for inspection, and they should like that the clause about exemption should be dropped out. He could not conceive why other institutions should not hold the same views. He could not help thinking that, if institutions were afraid of being inspected, there must be something wrong. The mere fact that exemption for certain institutions had been so strongly sustained created a certain amount of suspicion in his own mind that there must be something wrong. It was the right of all the working women of this country to be put in exactly the same position, and he hoped the Home Secretary would reconsider his decision in regard to the Amendment. Nobody was more anxious to get away for a holiday than he was, but what about these poor women who never got any holidays at all? Why could they not give up a few days holidays in order to do good to these poor women? He earnestly hoped that the House would get rid of the exemption.
§ MR. RENSHAW (Renfrewshire, W.)
said that the objections he felt to the clause which the Home Secretary proposed to omit from the Bill were grounded on the changes which had been made in the clause since it was originally introduced by the Government. When first introduced it contained two proposals. In the first place it provided that the Secretary of State should have power to regulate the hours in which work could be carried on in the trade laundries; and, in the second place, provision was made by which the Secretary of State was to have power to inspect at times the conventual, the 669 charitable, institutions in which laundry work was carried on. Both these proposals had been changed during the progress of the Bill through Grand Committee. The hon. Member for Berwickshire, who had made what he considered a somewhat unfair speech with reference to the conventual side of the question, introduced in the early part of the clause a new provision doing away with the Secretary of State's power to regulate the hours, and establishing a system of fixed hours. At the instance of the hon. Member for Clare there was reinstated in the clause the precise words which had been enacted, with the assent of the right hon. Member for East Fife, in 1895. The right hon. Gentleman when he accepted that said that he did so under circumstances of great pressure. All those who were affected by factory legislation regretted that this measure had been introduced so late in the session; but they recognised that if the Home Secretary was to save his Bill it was necessary for him to make concessions where concessions were demanded. The Home Secretary proposed to take out the clause under discussion and re-enact the clause of 1895. That clause was only passed six years ago, and having regard to the enormous changes effected—some of them good and some of them not very admirable—in the provisions of this great Bill, that clause of 1895 might be allowed a little longer trial. He would remind the House that this Bill was intended to codify and simplify the whole of the Factory Laws in one measure, and as a manufacturer, expressing the views and opinions of many other manufacturers, he said that their opinion was not particularly strong in regard to the inspection of conventual institutions. What they were anxious about was to have the whole of the Factory Laws embraced in one statute, so that they could see at a glance, as it were, how their business was to be carried on. He hoped that the motion of the right hon. Gentleman would be accepted by the House. He did not plead for the conventual or charitable institutions, but what he wanted to press on the House was that, whether they accepted this clause or went back to the clause of 1895, it was perfectly clear that they 670 had to exempt the conventual and charitable institutions because no fresh conditions could be imposed. Following on what had been said by the hon. Member for Berwickshire, he might say that he had received a letter from a very large trade laundry firm in the neighbourhood of Paisley. It was dated 31st July, and was from A. Bell and Sons, Limited, and he would read the exact words in order that the House might realise the strong view held in regard to this matter—As to charitable institutions, we cannot understand why the Irish Members should be allowed to sway the decision of a strong Government. Institution laundries, with buildings and plant provided by private or public benefaction, and often subsidised by public subscriptions, compete with other laundries on an unjust footing; and when allowed to work any number of hours and under no restrictions the injustice is intensified.Having regard to the position of this Bill, its importance, and the impossibility of everybody getting his own way, he thought they should take the line of least resistance, and strike out the amended clause, and re-insert in the schedule the clause in the Act of 1895.
§ MR. M'KENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)
said the question which the House would have to decide was whether they should take an amendment of the law embodied in Sub-clauses 1, 2, and 3, which the Home Secretary had declared to be valuable, and against which hon. Members had not a single word to say.
§ MR. SPEAKER
It would not be in order to reserve the Amendment on Sub-section 4. If the House decide in favour of the Amendment now before it, the whole clause must go.
§ MR. M'KENNA
said that the only argument used by the Home Secretary and the hon. Member for Renfrewshire was that Sub-clauses 1, 2, and 3 would impose further restrictions on the laundries which would increase the cost of labour and production. He thought that was a wholly wrong view, as was shown by the experience of the Factories Acts. These sub-clauses did not impose any new restrictions on employers. What they would do would be to put the employment by bad employers in 671 the same position us employment by good employers; and there would be no increase of cost of labour and production. It was the opinion of many laundry employers that these sub-clauses would be good for the laundries themselves. The letter which the hon. Member for Renfrewshire read raised no objection to the sub-clauses; the objection was to the exemption of the conventual laundries, which would apply fully as much to the Act of 1895 as it would do in the clause under discussion. The organised employers had declared themselve; in favour of these restrictions, and in face of that they could not believe that they would increase the cost of production. No reason had been shown why what was admitted to be a valuable improvement of the law should not be accepted. The Home Secretary proposed to drop the three first sub-sections of the clause, because he was afraid that on the 4th he might be driven by the compact which he had made with the Irish Members—
§ MR. M'KENNA
said he was extremely sorry to have used a word that was in any sense offensive, and he frankly withdrew the observation. Although there was no compact, or anything in the nature of a compact, the hon. Gentlemen representing Irish constituencies had expressed their feelings as to Sub-section 4 with such great strength that the Home Secretary no doubt understood that unless he acceded to their views his measure would meet with considerable opposition.
What I mean, and said, was that if this clause, as it stands, remains in the Bill, I feel perfectly certain that it will be utterly impossible to pass the measure at all. This clause would not therefore come into operation at all. So the hon. Gentleman's argument falls entirely to the ground.
§ MR. M'KENNA
What an extraordinary statement to come from the Home Secretary, who is a member of the Government which has forced measure after measure through the House without Amendment by the use of the closure!
§ MR. M'KENNA
said that they had already reached the 103rd clause, and there was such a thing as the block closure, to which the Government could have resorted, and which would have enabled the right hon. Gentleman to carry through the Bill if he had pleased. As a matter of fact, the Amendments on the Paper were so few that he would have had no difficulty in so doing. The right hon. Gentleman was taking ground which was wholly inconsistent with the past experience of the Government. As they knew only too well, the Government had used their powers as a relentless Juggernaut to override the forms and privileges of the House, and now, forsooth, when they had the chance of passing a measure—not to grant doles, or to secure the dominance of the clerical party in the schools—they found themselves reluctant to use those methods they had invariably employed on previous occasions! The explanation of the right hon. Gentleman did not mend his case in the least. He had an opportunity of making a valuable Amendment of the law, which he rejected at the bidding of the smallest of the three sections of the House. The right hon. Gentleman had wasted his opportunity and sacrificed his immense majority, and an almost unparalleled opportunity for doing something to settle a vexed question, because, forsooth, it would take from his holidays half a day or a day. He deeply regretted that the right hon. Gentleman should have moved this Amendment.
§ SIR J. STIRLING-MAXWELL (Glasgow College)
said that in his belief, notwithstanding the lecture to the Home Secretary given by the hon. Gentleman opposite, the proposal made by the right hon. Gentleman to omit the clause altogether was the only way to escape at this stage out of the difficulty. Suppose that the suggestion of the hon. Member for North Monmouth had been taken to keep the clause as it stood, the first thing the hon. Members from Ireland would have done would have been to crowd the Order Paper with Amendments, and no advance could possibly 673 have been made, so that a Bill of the greatest value would have been destroyed. He was not prepared to run that risk. The Bill as it stood was a monument of surrender of the Government where surrender was not necessary. He was very much surprised when the hon. Member spoke of the compact made by the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill with the Irish Members. The compact which he made was the compact which gentleman crossing Blackheath made with the gentlemen of the road who demanded their money or their life. In all seriousness, although he thought the course proposed by the Government was the wisest in all the circumstances, he maintained that what had happened in the Standing Committee was unworthy of the House of Commons, and hardly to be described by a word less strong than cowardly on the part of a strong Government.
§ MR. DILLON
I do not think the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has been just to the Irish party in regard to this Bill. We could have killed this Bill at any moment if we had wished. It is a very complicated measure, and nobody knows better than the Home Secretary that what I say is true. But throughout we abstained, and not only that, but during the proceedings in Committee upstairs we consistently assisted him in carrying this Bill, and assisted the Radical party in improving the Bill, and I am not quite sure that the tone adopted by some of the Radical party, after all these days during which we steadily voted for the improvement of the Bill, is either fair or generous. The hon. Member for North Monmouthshire tried to induce inexperienced Members of the House to imagine that we were voting on the question whether the whole clause should stand part of the Bill or not. That is only a technical point. The question now is whether the clause stand part of the Bill or not, and it is on that issue that the opinion of the House is going to be taken. I pass on without commenting upon the observation of the hon. Member as to the power of the Government to override the will of the smallest section of the House. It is rather new to us to hear from the Radical party that we are such a contemptible section of the House. 674 It is certainly a somewhat surprising experience to hear a Member of the Radical party inviting the Government to put in force closure by compartments in order to shut up the Irish party. But I pass from these observations, which are difficult to take seriously, and I come to the serious speech of an hon. Member opposite who has taken an active part in connection with this Bill. He expressed some doubt as to the value of the changes, and at all events stated that he would prefer to omit the whole clause, as it stands, rather than accept it with the exemption of the charitable institutions.
§ MR. RENSHAW
What I conveyed was that the clause is now so changed that I would prefer it should be omitted, because I disapprove of the advantage which it would give in competition.
§ MR. DILLON
I understand the hon. Member's position. It is that inasmuch as the restrictions by this Bill have been largely increased in stringency, that the severity of competition would be greatly increased by the exemptions. Well, the hon. Member below the gangway demolished that by saying that the restrictions did not in the slightest interfere with competition. Where, therefore, is the doctrine which is one of the main arguments, and the very argument of the hon. Gentleman opposite—the argument, namely, of undue competition? Why, then, is the communication from the Associated Laundries brought forward by the hon. Member for Berwickshire?
§ MR. M'KENNA
I deny that the increased restrictions under the Factory laws cause any additional expense.
§ MR. DILLON
So that it makes no difference. Where then, if there is no increased cost, does the undue competition come in? The whole thing is ridiculous. I dwell on this argument of unfair competition suggested by the hon. Member for Renfrewshire, because I consider it to be the only serious argument that has been put forward against our 675 views. I could not help contrasting the tone of his argument with that of other hon. Members opposite. He abstained from a single insulting reference to the Irish conventual institutions which do laundry work. The same remark may be made of the Home Secretary, who conducted the Bill upstairs with extraordinary skill and patience. The hon. Gentleman went on to say that these institutions subject the trade laundries to unfair competition because the plant is supplied by public subscription. I admit that there is some slight weight in the argument from that point of view, but what can be done with these poor homeless, houseless creatures to whom these institutions offer a refuge when all others are closed against them? Are you prepared to turn these people away and let them become the hopeless victims of the evils of society? Are you going to deny them the right to work in these institutions and obtain there a refuge from the cruelty and the awful lives to which they are exposed? Surely no man in this House is prepared to stand up and say that he would shut the doors of hope and mercy on these poor outcasts. What remedy then remains in the way of competition? You must only trust to the good sense of those who conduct these institutions, whether Catholic nuns or Protestant sisters; and as regards the Catholic institutions I may say that the nuns charge higher prices for the work done in order to avoid as far as possible competing unfairly with ordinary laundries.
I will try to be as moderate as I can in dealing with the statements of the hon. Member for Berwickshire, though I must admit that his speech was such as should make the Irish blood boil in my veins. I remember that, many years ago, I travelled all the way from here to Berwickshire to assist the hon. Member in his election; but in all my experience I never listened to a more cruel, a more wounding, or a more unjustifiable charge than that which was levelled by the hon. Member against comparatively defenceless ladies, or a charge that was based on so utterly flimsy a foundation. What did the hon. Member say? Without mentioning his authority, he charged, in the basest possible way, that five or six years ago two unfortunate girls 676 escaped from one of these institutions by jumping from the window of a fourth storey, I think he said, on to the roof of another house, and that when they were picked up by the police they said they would commit suicide rather than go back. I asked him on what ground he based that charge. He comes before the House of Commons to endanger a great Bill, and he selects as the ground for the charge a suspicion of horrible ill-treatment of these girls, and, knowing the gravity of the charge and the feelings of passion to which it would give rise, yet he bases that charge on a cutting from a newspaper referring to some incident alleged to have taken place years ago in Sheffield. He gave no details or particulars in support of the charge, and when challenged on the point he could not verify what he said, and did not even know whether the newspaper cutting was a genuine one or not. I now ask with confidence—I ask our friends and our political opponents—is that the conduct an English gentleman and a Member of this House ought to stoop to? I know something, and my friends around me know something, of the lives led by these convent ladies—women who have turned their backs on all that makes life dear to the ordinary human being, and who devote their whole lives, without hope of reward, to one of the most painful, most difficult, and distressing occupations anyone in this world could undertake, whose convents in Ireland are the objects of admiration and sympathy of everyone acquainted with their work and record, no matter what his religious belief may be, and I have known thousands with no religious beliefs at all who have admired them just as much. Against the ladies in charge of these institutions a breath of calumny was never uttered, and no charge was ever made against their fair name and fame for the last twenty years since I entered public life in this country. But now it remains for a Liberal Member of Parliament to make the charge in this House, and on what grounds? On the contemptible basis of a cutting from the Sheffield Independent he makes a charge which is practically an indictment of all the Catholic convents in the country. What is the work these ladies are engaged in? I say that in the whole annals of 677 the Christian Church there is no greater or more difficult work of charity than that in which these ladies are engaged. The doors of their convents are thrown Open to the wreckage of human society, and to my knowledge the poor girls, the victims of the conditions of society, who enter these doors, are welcomed, not as hired servants, but as members of one and the same family. And when the hon. Member talks about girls escaping from these convents he does not understand what he is saying, because there is no need for them to escape. The doors are open to them to come or go. The nuns have no legal right to detain them if they do not choose to stay. They come in from the streets when all the world has shut them out and denied them both refuge and sympathy. When they tire of the convent they leave, sometimes to return to their evil courses, but when they again return are they denied forgiveness by the nuns? No; they come again and again, and every time they come they are welcomed. These are the ladies who the hon. Member insinuates are selfish and capable of sweating and ill-treating the poor creatures who seek their aid. I will not deal with what the hon. Member said about the French convents. The shameful charges made against them by some newspapers in this country I believe to be base, contemptible, and lying charges. The hon. Member was ashamed to give the whole catalogue of the charges. I will mention one of them. In the scandalous circulars sent round I find it stated that the French nuns kept these girls working hard and sold their work to the rich prostitutes of Paris.
I was not in the least ashamed of stating what I believed to be a fact. All I said was that certain things had occurred which were proved to have occurred in the official reports, and that we had no knowledge that similar things might not occur again. That was my argument.
§ MR. DILLON
The hon. Member did not give a single particular or detail in support of his charge against the French convents. But that is not the question with which we have to deal. I do not attach any weight to these 678 charges, and as uttered against the convents of France I do not believe them. I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University gives the weight of his authority to the misconception that we are asking for the exemption of Catholic institutions because they are Catholic. Nothing was further from the truth or more at variance with the facts. I have heard repeated charges that we are striving to shelter establishments where young children are employed. What are the facts? All the convents in Ireland to which children are sent under the Industrial Schools Acts are inspected by Government inspectors. In my own constituency in East Mayo there are two large convents, and in connection with one of them an important woollen factory is carried on. Both are inspected by Government inspectors, and the nuns never dream of objecting. As a matter of fact, half the convents in Ireland are thus inspected, and therefore I will ask hon. Members to dismiss from their minds the idea—which I believe has been deliberately circulated by people who know it to be false—that we are asking for the exemption of Catholic convents as such. We are asking exemption for a certain class of institutions in which, on account of the character of the inmates, inspection would interfere with discipline. We are assured by those experienced in the working of these institutions that the intrusion of the inspector—and I say it frankly, I think the female inspector is the worst—would be detrimental to the discipline of these institutions. It was said that the whole thing could be remedied by substituting the female for the male inspector. Well, I had a letter the other day from the superioress of one of these institutions, in which she said, "For God's sake save us from inspection if you can, but if we are to be inspected at all, let us have a male Government inspector." We are assured that the enormous difficulty of maintaining discipline in these institutions would be vastly increased by a system of hard and fast inspection, and for that reason alone we claim this exemption. I hold in my hand a communication I received some time ago from the Association of Reformatory and Refuge Unions of the United Kingdom in which laundry work is 679 carried on. It is signed by no less than 150 representatives of these institutions, of which I believe not more than twenty are Catholic, and in that communication they say that if the factory rules were introduced, the object for which these homes were founded would be entirely defeated. These Protestant institutions most of them appeal to us for help, and I myself have received many letters begging me to persevere and save them from the intrusion of inspection. That is the first ground on which we claim the exemption of these institutions. The inmates of these institutions are as free to leave them if they wish as any Member of this House is to leave this Chamber to-night. The discipline which is maintained is the discipline of a private family—that is, by affection and influence and not by fear of punishment or fear of restraint. Everybody knows that the girls, owing to the unfortunate circumstances of their lives, are extremely unwilling to subject themselves to outside inspection. It is cruel to force it upon them. The whole conditions of life are entirely different to what prevail in outside places. When they are sick they are not dismissed. Many of them are unwell coming into the convents, and have to be subjected to a long course of medical treatment. They have no home to go to, and they are all treated as members of the one family, and if they are at any time invalided they are attended to and treated within the convent. The work they perform, although no doubt it is an assistance towards maintaining the institution, is mainly intended as a means of distracting the minds and occupying the time of the inmates. These are the grounds, and the only grounds, upon which we claim this exemption.
Now let me turn for a moment to what happened. Hon. Members of the Liberal party to-night protest in the loudest possible manner against the action of the Home Secretary in sacrificing this valuable clause. Hon. Members came forward and declared that the conduct of the Government in throwing over this clause was nothing short of an outrage. I think these gentlemen are guilty of most extraordinary consistency. We are told by some of the Members behind 680 the Home Secretary that his action is cowardly, and some said, "It is a contract with the Irish Members." I should like to put before hon. Members opposite for their consideration some facts that will induce them to withdraw that statement. In the first place, there is no compromise. The right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary acted perfectly straight. He, of course, as any right hon. Member in charge of a Bill would, inquired and negotiated with a view to adjust matters and bring about an understanding. Having failed to bring about an understanding to which everybody could assent, he put the motion on the Paper which he has moved to-night, the course he now took, but when Liberal Members are so indignant with the right hon. Gentleman for this "base surrender," as they describe it, to Irish Members, I beg of them to remember the action of their own party in 1895. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife declared that he agreed to accept the Amendment excepting conventual and charitable Protestant laundries in 1895 because he had not a majority to carry his original proposition. Hon. Members on the Conservative side were in opposition in those days, and here is the record of the division by which these identical words in reference to convent laundries inserted in the Grand Committee in the present Bill were carried in 1895. The motion was made to insert the words exempting the conventual laundries from inspection by Mr. Secretary Asquith, and it was carried by thirty-eight votes to ten. Let me read the names of some of those who voted in the majority for the same words which are denounced as a base and cowardly surrender to the Irish party—Mr Allinson, Mr. Gerald Balfour, Mr. Jesse Collings, Sir James Fergusson, Mr. Hayes Fisher, Sir John Gorst, Mr. Heneage, Sir William Houldsworth—all members of the Tory party—
§ MR. DILLON
That is a very stupid point, and it is not a fact. Sir James Fergusson is not a member of the Government. I do not know whether Sir John Gorst would be considered a member of 681 the Government. Sir William Houldsworth is not a member of the Government. Conservatives in 1895 joined in forcing this view upon the Government, and I am astonished to hear the views of some of the Tory party to-night. The Government to-day have nothing to be ashamed of in this matter. Their action is not a "base surrender." It is a reasonable concession to a body of people who have been of enormous service to humanity, and whose feelings and opinions are entitled to a due and fair consideration. Whatever the future prospect may be—and I may say the Home Secretary was most anxious to meet everybody—so long as the discipline of those institutions is not broken or interfered with, I venture to say that the Home Secretary and the present Tory Government have nothing to be ashamed of in this transaction. There has been no surrender. There has been a fair exchange of opinion, a square fight upon the merits of the case, and, for my part, I thank the Home Secretary for the action he has taken to-night, although I regret that the whole clause will be lost to the Bill. That is not due to the action of the Irish party. It is the fault of some men—I cast no blame, nor make any question of their sincerity—who are so narrow-minded or misled in their opinion that they are prepared to lose the clause and wreck the whole Bill rather than let these conventual and charitable institutions conduct their own work. Sir, in dealing with great measures like this, in which the interests of millions of the working classes are concerned, it is a narrow, bigoted, and stupid policy to risk a fight on so great and beneficent a measure for the sake of breaking in the doors of a few convents, against which no man, except the hon. Member for Berwickshire, dared to utter a word, and against which I challenge any Member of this House to bring a well-founded Complaint.
§ SIR FORTESCUE FLANNERY (Yorkshire, Shipley)
The hon. Member who has just spoken attacked my hon. friend on apparently no stronger foundation than a circular letter sent by unknown people to every Member of the House through this morning's post. Many of us listened with interest to the powerful and eloquent speech of the 682 hon. Member for some justification of the position which he and his colleagues have taken up, and which they have forced on the Government. The root of the matter is that laundries attached to religious institutions claim that they should not be subject to the inspection of the Government factory inspector. All the time that this matter was being discussed in the Standing Committee upstairs, and during the whole of the debate this evening, I listened with attention for a single logical argument which would show that there was any substantial reason against inspection by a Government inspector of institutions of this kind. In my opinion the logic undoubtedly lies in the direction of showing that institutions of an industrial character, whether attached to religious denominations or not, if they carry on trade processes, may be, in certain circumstances, used unfairly towards their employees, and should therefore be subject to inspection. That is the view which many hon. Members who intend, as I intend, to support the Government to-night, take on this question. The history of the question is very short. The Bill originally provided for the inspection of all laundries. Then an hon. Gentleman opposite moved to exempt laundries attached to religious institutions, and the Government accepted that proposal. Then the laundry trade outside the religious institutions were up in arms, and claimed that they were justified in fearing that competition would press unduly upon them if one class of laundries was subject to Government inspection and another class was not. The last and final stage in the history of this clause is that the House is now asked to leave out not only laundries attached to religious institutions, but laundries of an ordinary character. The question which the House has to determine on this, one of the last nights of the session, is whether all laundries shall go free or whether we shall lose this Bill altogether. That, and that alone, is the question. It seems to be a matter of expediency which, in all the circumstances, justifies the action of the Government. I was sorry to hear my hon. friend apply such an epithet as "cowardly" to the Government, and in particular to the right hon. Gentleman, 683 who has conducted this Bill both in the Grand Committee upstairs and in this House with consummate skill. It is not cowardly to give way when one cannot avoid giving way for the purpose of securing benefit to the people generally. The contrast between the proceedings upstairs and the debate to-night—especially on the part of hon. Members opposite representing English constituencies—is that, while in Committee no party feeling or prejudice was shown, I regret to find to-night that the difficult circumstances of the case have been made the instrument of party warfare. ["Oh, oh!"] That is the view which many on this side hold, if it is not held by the hon. Gentleman who interrupts. I do not know if he heard the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife, but never did he or anyone attempt more thoroughly to make party capital out of a subject which all parties in the House recognise is for the welfare of the workers. The omission of this clause is a most regrettable circumstance, but it is less regrettable than the loss of the whole Bill. It is better to lose the clause than the Bill, because the loss of the Bill would be a loss to all workers throughout the country. It is a Bill consolidating and codifying the whole of the laws relating to factories, a Bill which gives sanitary conditions and prevents overcrowding, and gives fences to dangerous machinery, and many other matters, including the bringing of the dangers of railway sidings within the purview of the House. I should hope that no hon. Gentleman, for the sake of party capital, or for the sake of a religious prejudice, would stop the progress of such a Bill as this.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS (Battersea)
thought it was to be regretted that the House had been compelled to listen to such a speech as had been delivered this evening by the hon. Member for Berwickshire. He had followed the debates in 1895 and 1901 upon this subject through nearly all the stages, and he had never known a question discussed more fairly and freely, or a question where so much consideration had been given one to another as upon this question, both in the debate in 1895 and 684 this evening, with the exception, of the speech he referred to. He knew of no question which had been discussed more free from religious feelings, and he thought the speech to which he had referred was a mistake. It was not intended to be offensive, but it was offensive owing to the allegation made against a particular convent in Sheffield, which he trusted, if inquiry were made, would prove to be utterly unfounded. Hon. Members on the Irish benches would admit that he had consistently and persistently taken a contrary view to that which they held upon this particular point. He had taken a view free from religious bigotry, and had discussed the question from the point of view of citizenship and the protection of the State to everybody, whether Jews or Roman Catholics, Protestants or Freethinkers. He took the simple ground that, as the greater embraced the less, so every institution charitable, industrial, competitive, or religious, ought to comply with the common sense of most, and accept such sanitary and medical inspection as the law said should be carried out. He thought, considering the increase of these religious and philanthropic institutions, the time had come when these people should no longer be exempted from those standards of inspection that other people would have to conform to if they were in the free air of competitive private enterprises. It was upon broad political, industrial, and social grounds that he took this view. He desired to remind the Irish representatives that the exigencies of political warfare and party strife frequently gave one of the parties in the House a parliamentary advantage which some people envied, but which carried with it great responsibilities. The position of the Irish party to-night was similar to that which they occupied in 1895, when they held the balance of power. He differed from the hon. Member for East Mayo upon the history of this question. He knew, and the hon. Member for East Mayo ought to know, if he did not, and would be, he believed, the first to admit, that when in 1895 the Factory Act was before the Grand Committee on 685 Trade, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife was absolutely in the hands of the Irish Members. He was so anxious to get his Bill through that he was absolutely dependent on the Irish party, and that was the true reason why the words of the clause then adopted were accepted. Then they came to 1901. The Government had a nominal majority of 140, and were confronted with a mere nominal Opposition of less than 140, the Irish Members holding the balance of power on this Factory Bill as much as in 1891. He would ask Irish Members whether, on an industrial point of great magnitude, affecting millions of people in their own country, as well as in England, Scotland, and Wales, it was wise, in their own permanent interest, to play the rôle of Shylock, and to exact the entire pound of flesh, and in so doing perhaps permanently damage their own cause. They might win the exemption of conventual laundries, but that victory might lead, when political circumstances were less favourable to them than at present, to a demand for an amendment of the Laundry Acts altogether, under circumstances which they would be unable to resist, and they would have to submit to conditions perhaps worse than if they now adopted the view of the right hon. Member for Oxford University, or accepted the omission of Sub-clause 4. This Bill considerably improved the condition of scores of thousands of men, women, and young persons in private laundries apart from religious institutions. The motion of the Home Secretary meant that for an indefinite period, owing to the peculiar circumstances of the exemption of religious institutions, laundry workers, than whom there was not a more over-worked, more underpaid, more badly treated, and worse organised body of people in this country—these people were to be put outside the operation of those excellent reforms in the Laundry Act simply because a few religious laundries were to be exempt. In this case the Home Secretary had gone further than the Irish Members wanted. There ought to be some means by which the Magdalen Homes might be excluded without excluding hundreds of other institutions which might not be so well-managed as these homes. The Home Secretary had been negligent, or 686 he might have found words to meet the difficulty. The "God's own Garden" case was an instance of how an impostor had imposed upon public charity for an apparently good object. He did not believe the Magdalen Homes or the Church of England Refuge Homes were capable of such things, but the factory reports showed that irregularities took place in some of these laundries, where the inmates worked under insanitary conditions, and the managers of these institutions were not looked after in the same way as those employers who came under the Factory Act. If the Amendment were carried it would simply leave the inspection of laundries alone for years to come, and would perpetuate suspicion of good laundries, and place the best of them under a ban of religious bigotry and prejudice which they might at once escape from by submitting to that reasonable inspection which many of the lady superiors did not object to. Competition did not do anyone any harm, but if one section of laundries was to be exempted from the clause, those laundries would have the advantage of those not exempted, to the damage of the outside laundries. Private enterprise would be handicapped, and girls would have to be kept for longer hours on low wages and under insanitary conditions because the conventual and other laundries had been exempted. Parliament had no right to subject these girls to worse conditions than at present, but the exemption of these religious laundries would undoubtedly have that effect. In many cases it was poverty that led to prostitution, and, anxious as he was to rescue the fallen, he was not willing to grease the path down which virtuous women would fall. He had not a word to say against the way in which many of the religious institutions were carried on, and he did not impugn the motives of Irish Members to whom he was grateful for their assistance on labour questions, but he appealed to Irish Members not to persist in the course they had adopted on the present occasion. If they persisted they would win, but victory under such circumstances would be worse than defeat, and he believed that before two years were over abuses and irregularities would spring up in other institutions besides those now exempted, so that public opinion 687 would be compelled to place every laundry, whether religious or not, under a common standard of sanitary law, factory inspection, and medical regulation. Because he appreciated what the Irish Members had done for labour—and he had tried to reciprocate their action in that respect—he regretted their attitude on the present occasion.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR, Manchester, E.)
I do not wish to say a word against the earnestness or genuineness of the speech to which we have just listened, but I really must say in regard to the hon. Member who made it, and also in regard to the hon. Member for Berwickshire and the late Home Secretary, that they have all spoken to-night, and intend to vote, precisely in the opposite direction from that in which they spoke and voted, not merely in 1895, but a few days ago in the Grand Committee. The hon. Member who has just sat down and the hon. Member for Berwickshire both voted for the Grand Committee on the exact Amendment which is now before the House, although I except the late Home Secretary in that respect.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
said that on the Second Reading of the Bill of 1895 and in the Grand Committee he had expressed the same views as he had that night.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
If the hon. Gentleman will refer to the records of the Grand Committee, I think he will see that this actual question was put and that he voted for it. I do not wish to press that point, but I do think that the recollection of these very recent utterances and decisions on the part of hon. Gentlemen should moderate the fervour of their advocacy on this occasion. I do not, in the very few remarks I intend to make, propose to deal with the necessity of inspection in these philanthropic institutions. My own instincts and inclinations are on the whole in favour of that publicity which comes from inspection. But, speaking of a great many very excellent institutions which are outside this debate altogether, I know that very good people sometimes do very bad things. I certainly do not mean to lay down the proposition that 688 in the case of an institution which is genuinely conducted, upon philanthropic principles, by self-denying persons who have no selfish aim, and whose whole object is to benefit their fellow-creatures, those high motives are always or even necessarily a sufficient protection against abuses. Abuses sometimes creep into any institution, whatever its character and motive, from which all publicity is excluded. But I do not think that is the question before us. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife, the late Home Secretary, have given us a version of what occurred in 1895 and compared it with what we propose to do in 1901. They have drawn the comparison in such a way as to be very much to their advantage and very much to our disadvantage. For the life of me I cannot understand in what the distinction consists. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife, when he was at the Home Office in 1895, brought in a much shorter Bill than this, in which he dealt with factory legislation. In that Bill he introduced a clause dealing with laundries. When he came face to face with the parliamentary situation he found that he had to choose between his clause and his Bill. Having to make that choice, he, in my opinion, behaved with common sense. He gave up his clause and he kept his Bill. We have practically the same choice before us, and, that being so, I think we shall follow the same course. How does the right hon. Gentleman try to draw a distinction between the case of 1895 and 1901? He says: "In 1895 I was bound hand and foot to the Irish Members. We could not command a majority in the Committee or the House without the help of the Irish Members. I gave way. What else could you expect me to do? I had to do it." [A NATIONALIST MEMBER: Or go out.] I admit there was that difference. I think it is a new doctrine that office was so very important, and everybody knows that it is not a case of office with the present Government. We could drop our Bill without the question of office being affected in the smallest degree. The injury would not be to Government or the Government majority, but to the working classes of this country.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I do not suggest for a moment that the right hon. Gentleman has any unwholesome craving for office, and, that being so, where is the choice between us? If we choose the clause we must drop the Bill. I presume the argument is this. In 1895, if the Government had had to keep the clause, they would have dropped the Bill. That is exactly the position here. It is a delusion to suppose that because there is no chance of a Government defeat on the Third Reading of this Bill that conclusively shows that if the Government perseveres, as it is called, with the Bill, the Bill would not be lost. The Bill is not merely a great amending Bill, but a great consolidation Bill. It is a Bill of 160 clauses, and de let us as men of common sense remember that Bills of 160 clauses cannot be passed through this House under our present rules, or under any rules at all resembling them, except by something in the nature of general consent. I remember an interesting experience of my own connected with a Bill which was, I think, even longer than the present Bill—a Bill dealing with local government in Scotland. I think the original measure had over 200 clauses. Two gentlemen alone on the opposite side of the House concerned themselves with that measure. The Bill was passed, but in the process we dropped at least 100 clauses. It is only by that kind of mutual concession which brings unanimity that Bills on this scale can be passed. It would have been very desirable in some respects, I think, if the Government could have introduced the Bill without touching upon this controversial point, but I think it would have been impossible. At all events, it would not have been right, because there might have been a chance of arriving at a compromise. At one time I thought there was a good chance of a compromise, but that chance has been dissipated, and we find ourselves face to face with a Bill on 99–100ths of which there is general agreement, but on the 1–100th of which there is profound, bitter, implacable dissent. A Government which under those circumstances, dealing with a consolidation Bill, did not 690 try to arrive at some general agreement, would be absolutely unworthy of the responsibility thrown upon them.
My hon. friend the Member for the College Division of Glasgow, who made an able and interesting speech just now, introduced in the closing sentences of his remarks the epithet "cowardly," which he applied, I think, to my right hon. friend, and, I suppose, to the Government of which my right hon. friend is a member. Epithets like "cowardly" should be used, I venture to say, in the most sparing manner even of those from whom you profoundly dissent. They should never be used of those with whom you habitually agree. That is a canon of parliamentary manners which we who have reached middle life have no difficulty in maintaining, and which my hon. friend, with his enviable youth will, I am sure, easily be able to acquire. But really, in this matter, there is no case of courage or cowardice. The position is perfectly plain to every man with the smallest knowledge in this House. If you try to pass this Bill by agreement, a great measure of consolidation and amendment will be embodied in the law of the land. If you do not try to pass this Bill by agreement, you will not pass it at all. That is plain common sense. I absolutely refuse to admit the argument that we are bound to vote for every clause and every sub-clause, and that, rather than give way on a single point, the whole great measure should perish. It would be the height of imprudence on the part of any Government to try to push through a measure of this character on such a principle. It may be that there should be a separate Bill, after proper investigation, dealing with this particular industry. But if you try to embody in a consolidation Bill subjects upon which no agreement is possible, upon which the profoundest feelings are stirred, you will never pass a consolidation Bill at all—you will never be able to deal with a measure on this scale, and legislation will suffer accordingly. I venture to say that of all the many difficulties which we have to contend with in this House in carrying out the legislative work entrusted to us, the greatest difficulty is to know how to deal with Bills involving an immense number of provisions. The mere work of consolidation 691 has been stopped for four or five years by the action of one of my friends on this side of the House. There is no difficulty whatever on the part of any Member to stop that work if he chooses. The result is that we are bound in introducing a measure of this kind to have regard to the inevitable conditions which we cannot stamp upon or overcome by a mere effort of the will, conditions which must regulate our conduct. There is, therefore, no concession of principle in the course we have adopted, and no cause for bringing against us the odious charge of cowardice. We may not have embraced the whole subject within the ambit of our measure, but that cannot be a sufficient reason for accusing the Government of weakness or cowardice, or any other of the charges which have been urged against us this afternoon.
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud||Grant, Corrie||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Bell, Richard||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Rigg, Richard|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Haldane, Richard Burdon||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Sinclair, John (Farfarshire)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Spencer, Rt Hn. C. R. (Northants|
|Burns, John||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Strachey, Edward|
|Caine, William Sproston||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Thomas, J. A. (Glamorgan, G'wr|
|Caldwell, James||Helme, Norval Watson||Thomson, F. W. (Yorks. W. R.)|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||Ure, Alexander|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Holland, William Henry||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Horniman, Frederick John||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)||White, Luke (Yorks. E. R.)|
|Colville, John||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Whiteley, George (York. W. R.)|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Cremer, William Randal||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Crombie, John William||Lewis, John Herbert||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Wilson, Henry J. (Yorks. W. R)|
|Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidstone||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Tennant and Colonel Sandys.|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert J.||Moss, Samuel.|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Norman, Henry|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Bathurst, Hon. A. Benjamin||Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Big wood, James||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Bignold, Arthur||Cayzer, Sir Charles William|
|Ambrose, Robert||Blundell, Colonel Henry||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Boland, John||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Boyle, James||Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r|
|Balcarres, Lord||Brassey, Albert||Chapman, Edward|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Bull, William James||Charrington, Spencer|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Bullard, Sir Harry||Clancy, John Joseph|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Burdett-Coutts, W.||Clare, Octavius Leigh|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Burke, E. Haviland-||Cogan, Denis J.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Cohen, Benjamin Louis|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir E. H.||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse|
§ MR. MACARTNEY (Antrim, S.)
said he did not rise to continue the debate upon the merits of this question, but simply to ask the Home Secretary for some explanation of the course the Government were going to pursue after this motion had been carried. He understood that this motion was only the preliminary to other motions which would be made at a future stage of the Bill in this House. He desired to ask the right hon. Gentleman if on the schedules he would introduce into the Bill the clause from the Act of 1895.
I intend to propose an Amendment in one of the schedules which will set up the existing law.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 65; Noes, 237. (Division List No. 469.)
|Colomb, Sir John C. Ready||Keswick, William||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Penn, John|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Law, Andrew Bonar||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth)||Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Crean, Eugene||Lawson, John Grant||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Leamy, Edmund||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Cullinan, J.||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Purvis, Robert|
|Davenport, W. Bromley-||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Randles, John S.|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Reddy, M.|
|Delany, William||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Dillon, John||Lowther, Rt Hn J W (Cumb Penr||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Doogan, P. C.||Lucas, R. J. (Portsmouth)||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lundon, W.||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Macartney, Rt. Hon. W. G. E.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Duffy, William J.||Macdona, John Cumming||Roche, John|
|Duke, Henry Edward||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Rutherford, John|
|Elibank, Master of||Maconochie, A. W.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Field, William||M'Cann, James||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||M'Fadden, Edward||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||M'Govern, T.||Seely, Capt. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Malcolm, Ian||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Middlemore, John Throgmort'n||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Foster, Philip S. (War wick, S. W.)||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)|
|Gardner, Ernest||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Smith, H C (North'mb, Tyneside|
|Gilhooly, James||Morgan, David J. (W'lthamstow||Smith, James P. (Lanarks.)|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn)||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford)||Spear, John Ward|
|Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Mount, William Arthur||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- (Linc.)||Muntz, Philip A.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Murnaghan, George||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Green, Walford D (Wednesbury)||Murphy, John||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Greene, W. Raymond- (Cambs.)||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Groves, James Grimble||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G.) Oxf'd Univ.|
|Guthrie, Walter Murray||Nicholson, William Graham||Thompson, Dr. E C (Monagh'n N.|
|Hain, Edward||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Midd'x||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Hammond, John||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Tully, Jasper|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Doherty, William||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Heath, J. (Staffordsh., N. W.)||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)|
|Henderson, Alexander||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Williams, Rt Hn J Powell- (Birm.|
|Higginbottom, S. W.||O'Dowd, John||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks. E. R.)|
|Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.)|
|Hoult, Joseph||O'Malley, William||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||O'Mara, James||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Howard, John (Kent, Faversh.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Hudson, George Bickersteth||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Joyce, Michael||Parker, Gilbert|
|Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
§ Remaining words added.
*SIR CHARLES DILKE
moved to leave out Clause 104, in order to call attention to its wording. He said the 694 object of those who obtained the insertion of this clause was to bring compensation into operation in places from which it" was excluded at the present time, but the words in the clause would not be 695 held to bring in compensation, and if the words could be made clearer it ought to be done In the interests of the industrial classes their position in regard to compensation should be clearly defined.
To leave out Clause 104."—(Sir Charles Dilke.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words from the word 'the,' to the word 'machines,' in line 14, inclusive, stand part of the Bill."
said the hon. Member for the Scotland division of Liverpool was the author of the clause, and that hon. Member deserved great credit for the negotiations carried on with the shipping industry, which had secured for those working in the docks the great advantage which they would receive in consequence of the insertion of this clause. He knew the clause was drawn with the idea that it would include them in the Compensation Act, and they were advised that it would have that effect. He did not believe it would be possible to go further in that direction, and he should be disappointed and astonished to find that the eminent gentleman whose advice had been acted upon were wrong and that the right hon. Baronet was right.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
said he assumed that the question would be carefully considered. He was grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for the observations he had made.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. CHARLES M'ARTHUR (Liverpool, Exchange)
said that where particular industries, such as docks and railways, were partly drawn within the provisions of the Bill there should be a statement in the Bill indicating what sections did and did not apply to them.
said he entirely agreed with his hon. friend. The numbers of the clauses must be put in at the very end, when all the Amendments had been disposed of. He would take care that that should be done in another place.
§ Other Amendments made.
In page 57, line 30, after the word 'factory' to insert the words 'if, in pursuance of the provisions of this Act with reference to regulations for dangerous trades, regulations are made with regard to the process of painting with inflammable paint, such regulations may apply to that process as carried on on board any ship in any dock, harbour, or canal as if the ship were a factory.'"—(Mr. Tennant.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
said it would be impossible for him to embody this addition to the clause in the Bill, for the simple reason that it would be converting a ship into a factory for the purpose of the Bill. It would be quite impossible for the Home Office to inspect the ships. The limiting words of the hon. Member were extraordinarily wide. What he proposed to do, if it would satisfy the hon. Member, was to communicate with the shipping companies on the subject, and to endeavour by some suggestion which he thought the Home Office might usefully make to do away with undue risk in the painting of ships with inflammable paint.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
said he was sorry that the Home Secretary had not accepted the Amendment of the hon. Member for Berwickshire, because it frequently happened that men were burned in the most serious way by the use of inflammable paint on board ships. He trusted that, failing the acceptance of the Amendment, the Home Secretary would at once, and before going on holidays, direct the attention of the shipping companies to this particular form of accident and ask them to take what steps they could to prevent their recurrence.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ SIR FRANCIS EVANS (Maidstone)
moved an Amendment to make the words "any gangway or ladder used by any person employed to load or unload or coal a ship" in Sub-section 2 of Clause 697 104 apply to any gangway or ladder on either side of the ship. Did the words apply to either side in the section as it now stood?
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
*SIR CHARLES DILKE
moved the omission in page 58, line 15, of the words "which exceeds thirty feet in height." He said the House ought not to re-enact these words, because they had led to enormous difficulty in cases where there had been litigation.
In page 58, line 15, to leave out the words which exceeds thirty feet in height.'"—(Sir Charles Dilke.)
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Colston, Charles Edw. H. (Athole||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Harris, Frederick Leverton|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Cranborne, Viscount||Haslett, Sir James Horner|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Heath, James (Staffords., N. W.)|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Crossley, Sir Savile||Henderson, Alexander|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Davenport, W. Bromley-||Higginbottom, S. W.|
|Bagot, Capt. J. Fitzroy||Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Balcarres, Lord||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hoult, Joseph|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christen.)||Duke, Henry Edward||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Keswick, William|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth)|
|Bigwood, James||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Fisher, William Hayes||Lawson, John Grant|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Foster, Sir Michael (Lond. Univ.||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Brassey, Albert||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W.||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Gardner, Ernest||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Gordon, Hn J. E. (Elgin & Nairn)||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, South||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- (Line)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsm'th)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Macartney, Rt. Hn. W. G. Ellison|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Chapman, Edward||Gretton, John||MacIver, David (Liverpool)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Groves, James Gribble||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Guthrie, Walter Murray||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hain, Edward||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hambro, Charles Eric||Malcolm, Ian|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Middlemore, John T.|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ MR. JOHN BURNS,
in supporting the Amendment, said they ought to get rid of this ridiculous measurement. It had been universally condemned by the authors of the Bill, the judges, and the Court of Appeal.
said it was not for him to endeavour in this Bill to deal with matters arising out of the Compensation Acts. He did not think it would be wise to alter the clause so hastily. It would have no effect on the Compensation Act.
*SIR CHARLES DILKE
asked whether the Secretary of State was right in saying that the alteration would have no effect on the Compensation Act. If so, his argument on Clause 144 was wrong.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 175; Noes, 124. (Division List No. 470).
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Remnant, James Farquharson||Spear, John Ward|
|Moore, William (Antrim, N.)||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)|
|More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Rentoul, James Alexander||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge)||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Mount, William Arthur||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Muntz, Philip A.||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Rutherford, John||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Valentia, Viscount|
|Nicholson, William Graham||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col Edw. J.||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Parker, Gilbert||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Williams, Rt. Hn. J. Powell (Birm|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)||Wills. Sir Frederick|
|Pemberton, John S. G.||Seely, Capt. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks., E. R.)|
|Pierpoint, Robert||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)||TELLERS FOR AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Smith, H. C. (North'mb. Tyn'sde|
|Purvis, Robert||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks)|
|Randles, John S.||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Allen, C. P. (Glouc, Stroud)||Haldane, Richard Burdon||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Hammond, John||O'Dowd, John|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Hardie, J. K. (Merthyr Tydvil)||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Bell, Richard||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.|
|Boland, John||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Malley, William|
|Boyle, James||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||O'Mara, James|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh||Healy, Timothy Michael||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Helme, Norval Watson||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hobhouse, C. H. (Bristol, E.)||Reddy, M.|
|Caine, William Sproston||Holland, William Henry||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Caldwell, James||Horniman, Frederick John||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Rigg Richard|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Joyce, Michael||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Roche, John|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Leamy, Edmund||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Colville, John||Lewis, John Herbert||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lough, Thomas||Spencer, Rt. Hn C. R. (Northants|
|Crean, Eugene||Lundon, W.||Strachey, Edward|
|Crombie, John William||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Cullinan, J.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Dalziel, James Henry||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Delany, William||M'Fadden, Edward||Thomas, J A (Glamorgan Gower)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||M'Govern, T.||Thompson, Dr. E C (Monagh'n N.|
|Dillon, John||M'Kenna, Reginald||Thomson, F. W. (York. W. R.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Tully, Jasper|
|Doogan, P. C.||Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport||Ure, Alexander|
|Duffy, William J.||Moss, Samuel||White, Luke (York. E. R.)|
|Elibank, Master of||Murnaghan, George||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidstone||Murphy, John||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Field, William||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Norman, Henry||Wilson, Henry J. (York. W. R.)|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary Mid)|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. John Burns and Mr. Warner.|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hon. H. J.||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Grant, Corrie||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||O'Doherty, William|
§ MR. RENSHAW
moved to leave out the word "March" and insert the word 700 "June" in page 59, line 15. Why had this date, and also 1st September, in 701 each year been selected as those on or before which the lists should be sent to the inspector?
In page 59, line 15, to leave out the word 'March,' and insert the word 'June.'"—(Mr. Renshaw.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word March' stand part of the Bill."
said he could not accept the Amendment. He could not say why these dates were chosen, but he had no doubt they were chosen carefully by the gentlemen who had the framing of the Bill.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. RENSHAW
moved an Amendment the effect of which was to secure that the lists should be sent to the district council in which the workmen or contractors were employed instead of to the district council in which the factory or workshop is situate, as provided in the Bill. If that was carried, it would be unnecessary to have Sub-sections 2 and 3.
Another Amendment proposed—
In page 59, line 19, to leave out the words 'the factory or workshop is situated,' in order to insert the words 'such workmen or contractors are employed.'"—(Mr. Renshaw.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
asked whether there was to be no such thing as freedom or liberty to any man in regard to this matter. Why should district councils be burdened with all this labour?
*SIR CHARLES DILKE
said this was only a question of detail. This Bill would throw a great deal of work on the district councils which used to be done by the Government inspectors, but it was too late now to raise an objection to that.
pointed to the conditions imposed by the Bill with respect 702 to sanitary arrangements, and stated that the modus operandi proposed in the clause was the only way in which the Act could be properly administered.
said the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman did not convey conviction to his mind. He thought the hon. Member for West Renfrewshire was justified in moving the Amendment. He was not in favour of this proposal, which would have the effect of crippling home industries in Ireland. In his opinion those very small industries would be very injuriously affected. If they wished to improve the status of the people of Ireland they could only do it by establishing small industries. One line along which they sought to improve the condition of the people of Ireland was by combining small industries with agricultural pursuits. The object of this clause was to divorce small industrial pursuits from agriculture. One hon. Member who supported this clause said that he wished to wipe out the small industries—
§ MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The hon. Member is discussing the whole clause, and that is not in order.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT (Warwickshire, Rugby)
said that what the hon. Member was now proposing was a far more difficult piece of legal machinery than that which was contained in the Bill. The employer had to send a list of those he employed to the district council. It was extremely difficult to settle what the boundaries of some district councils were, and he thought this proposal would lead to a good deal of confusion.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
asked the right hon. Gentleman to give the House 703 some reason for the extraordinary method of book-keeping which it was now proposed should be attached to their district councils. He objected to this additional burden being thrown upon Ireland. For the purpose of enabling the right hon. Gentleman to give some reason he begged to move his Amendment.
In page 59, line 30, after the word 'council,' to insert the words 'in Great Britain.'"—(Mr. T. M. Healy.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. NANNETTI (Dublin, College Green)
said he hoped the Home Secretary would not accept this Amendment. He had had some practical experience of the way in which this work had been carried on. It was the wish of the working men of Dublin that some such clause as this should be carried. He would much sooner have a state of things under which employers had proper workshops, but so long as they had these out-workers they ought not to exempt Ireland from this clause.
§ MR. MURNAGHAN (Tyrone, Mid)
said he supported the Amendment of his hon. friend. The case referred to by one hon. Member for the City of Dublin did not apply, because Dublin was under a corporation, and the object desired by the hon. Member would be obtained by inserting the words "urban councils." He thought they had every reason to press this Amendment upon the Home Secretary. There was no reason why local bodies should have this impost placed upon them, and he hoped that the Home Secretary would yield to this reasonable Amendment.
I do not think it is desirable in the general interests of the community that Ireland should be exempted from this clause. I am inclined to think that hon. Members who have spoken upon this point have greatly exaggerated any expense which will be incurred by this system.
said the right hon. Gentleman evidently did not know what was 704 going on in Ireland. He spoke on behalf of the small employer, and he did not see why they should be harassed in Ireland by regulations which were not required. In Ireland, if one of their clerks used his pen a certain number of times more than he had been accustomed to, he at once applied for an increase in his salary.
§ MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The hon. Member cannot go into the question of salaries upon this subject.
said that one of the reasons why they wished to exempt Ireland was that in the rural districts they did not wish to increase their expenses. Great Britain was a manufacturing country, and Ireland was not, and—
§ MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The hon. Member's remarks are not relevant, and I must request him to resume his seat.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Other Amendments made.
§ MR. CHARLES M'ARTHUR
said the object of this Amendment was to avoid a multiplicity of registers where one was sufficient. This applied more particularly in the case of dock undertakings. He moved this Amendment on behalf of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. They had under their charge large numbers of docks, wharves, quays, and boiler sheds. Hitherto it had been the custom of this Board to keep one register, but, according to the provisions of this 705 Bill, every dock, wharf, quay, warehouse, or engine shed was a separate factory, and a separate register had to be kept. The result was that over fifty separate registers would have to be kept by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. The object of this Amendment was to enable such boards to keep one register, as hitherto.
In page 72, line 36, after the word 'observed,' to insert the words 'with the consent of the inspector one general register may he kept for the factories and workshops on one estate within the jurisdiction of such inspector.'"—(Mr. Charles M'Arthur.)
I can assure the hon. Member that the present practice of keeping one register may be followed in the future in regard to the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board even under this Bill. I agree that that course will be much more convenient.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
In page 72, line 30, to leave out the word 'an,' and insert the word 'the.'"—(Mr. Coghill.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'an' stand part of the Bill."
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Other Amendments made.
COLONIST, LEGGE (St. George's, Hanover Square)
said the object of his Amendment was to obtain some, recognition in this clause of the City of Westminster. Reference was made, in the clause to the City of London, the Common Council, the Metropolitan Boroughs and Borough Councils, and the City of Westminster was not mentioned.
In page 83, line 27, after the word 'city,' to insert the words 'as regards the city of
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Anson, Sir William Reynell||Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Anstruther, H. T.||Balcarres, Lord|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r)|
§ Westminster as references to the council of the city and the city.'"—(Colonel Legge.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
I am afraid I cannot accept this Amendment, although I am desirous of recognising to the fullest extent the dignity of the City of Westminster. I could not think of making an exception amongst all the councils in London. The City of London is a very special locality and has always been separately described in Acts of Parliament.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
In page 83, line 35, after the word 'possess,' to insert the words 'under any general or local Act or any Provisional Order confirmed by Act or otherwise.'"—(Mr. Renshaw.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. CALDWELL (Lanarkshire, Mid)
said he was very much surprised at the Home Secretary accepting this Amendment.
I have accepted them in order to oblige my hon. friend who represents Glasgow, and I understand that the Corporation of Glasgow desire to have this Amendment inserted. I agree with the hon. Member opposite that the words are quite unnecessary.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 134; Noes, 143. (Division List, No. 471.)
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Homsey)||Greene, Raymond- (Cambs.)||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds)||Gretton, John||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Groves, James Grimble||Parker, Gilbert|
|Bignold, Arthur||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Blundell, Col. Henry||Hain, Edward||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Hambro, Charles Eric||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Brassey, Albert||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Hanbury, Rt Hon. Robert Wm.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Henderson, Alexander||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Higginbottom, S. W.||Purvis, Robert|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Randles, John S.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham)||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Chapman, Edward||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson|
|Charrington, Spencer||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Keswick, William||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth)||Rutherford, John|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Lawson, John Grant||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Spear, John Ward|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk)|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol S.)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmo'th||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Macartney, Rt. Hn. W. G. Ellison||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||Macdona, John Cumming||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Maconochie, A. W.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Middlemore, John Throgmort'n||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)|
|Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W.||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Williams, Rt. Hn. J. P. (Birm.)|
|Gardner, Ernest||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)||Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks. E. R.)|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin & Nairn)||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Gordon, J. (Londonderry, South||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford||TELLERS FOR THE AYKS—Mr. Renshaw and Mr. Banbury.|
|Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury||Mount, William Arthur|
|Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Cullinan, J.||Harmsworth, R. Leicester|
|Allen, C. P. (Gloucester, Stroud)||Dalziel, James Henry||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Ambrose, Robert||Delany, William||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Dilke, Rt. Hn. Sir Charles||Healy, Timothy Michael|
|Balfour. Kenneth R. (Christch.||Dillon, John||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Donelan, Captain A.||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)|
|Bell, Richard||Doogan, P. C.||Holland, William Henry|
|Big wood, James||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Horniman, Frederick John|
|Boland, John||Duffy, William J.||Hoult, Joseph|
|Boyle, James||Duke, Henry Edward||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Elibank, Master of||J ones, David Brynmor (Swansea|
|Bryce, Right Hon. James||Field, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire|
|Burns, John||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Joyce, Michael|
|Caine, William Sproston||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Flynn, James Christopher||Layland-Barratt, Francis|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Foster, Sir Michael (Lond. Un.||Leamy, Edmund|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Gilhooly, James||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.||Leigh, Sir Joseph|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby- (Linc)||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Grant, Corrie||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles R.||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Lough, Thomas|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Haldane, Richard Bunion||Lowther, Rt Hn J W. (Cum. Penr.|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hammond, John||Lundon, W.|
|Crean, Eugene||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||MacDonnell. Dr. Mark A.|
|Crombie, John William||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashfo'd||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)|
|M'Fadden, Edward||O'Dowd, John||Smith, H C (North'mb. Tyneside|
|M'Govern, T.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Spencer, Rt Hn. C. R. (Northants|
|M'Kenna, Reginald||O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.||Strachey, Edward|
|Malcolm, Ian||O'Malley, William||Sullivan, Donald|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||O'Mara, James||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Tennant. Harold John|
|Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)||Power, Patrick Joseph||Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gower|
|Moss, Samuel||Reddy, M.||Thompson, Dr E C (Monagh'n, N.|
|Murnaghan, George||Redmond, John E. (Waterford||Tully, Jasper|
|Murphy, John||Redmond, William (Clare)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Rickett, J. Compton||White, Luke (York. E. R.)|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)||Roche, John||Whittaker. Thomas Palmer|
|Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Norman, Henry||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.)|
|O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary, M.||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles||Wilson, Henry J. (York. W. R.)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.||Wyndham, Rt. Hn. George|
|O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Caldwell and Mr. Broad burst.|
|O'Doherty, William||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
§ Other Amendments made.
§ MR. RENSHAW
said his reason for proposing the next Amendment was that whilst in England the position of the medical officer was definitely laid down by statute, that had never been defined in the same way in Scotland. The duty of defining the relative duties of the medical officer and the sanitary inspector was devolved upon the local authority subject to the approval of the Local Government Board.
In page 85, line 32, after '1897' to insert the words, "Provided that the report referred to in section one hundred and thirty-two of this Act shall be made by either the medical officer of health or the sanitary inspector, as the local authority, subject to the approval of the Local Government Board for Scotland, may direct."—(Mr. Renshaw.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR MICHAEL FOSTER (London University)
urged his hon. friend not to press the Amendment. Medical officers of health were specially trained medical men. They were trained in preventive medicine and it was required of each that he should be well acquainted with sanitary matters. On the other baud, sanitary inspectors were a very mixed lot. Some were very good, many were indifferent, and some were bad, and in many cases they were subject to outside influences from which medical officers 710 were free. He ventured to think that even in Scotland the medical officer of health was a better person than the sanitary inspector. The medical officer was able to make himself acquainted with all that was necessary to form the report for the Secretary of State. He bad to make that report not to the local authority, but to the Secretary of State for the United Kingdom.
§ MR. CALDWELL
expressed the hope that the Government would not accept this Amendment. The local authority bad not got jurisdiction with regard to the carrying out of the Factory Acts, and therefore it was desirable that the medical officer should make the report, he alone having the necessary qualifications.
MR. PARKER SMITH (Lanarkshire, Partick)
said the local authority should have the power to decide who should make the report.
§ MR. JOHN BURNS
said it was better that the medical officer should make the report. The duty of making the report to the Home Office should not be devolved on a subordinate officer.
§ MR. HALDANE (Haddingtonshire)
said they should have an indication what view the Government took of the matter.
said he had not paid very much attention to the Scotch 711 clauses. The intricacies of Scotch law procedure were so great that he confessed he preferred to rely on other people in this matter. He appreciated the motives which had prompted his hon. friend to move the Amendment, but he could not accept it.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Other Amendments made.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
moved an Amendment having for its object to make the provisions of Part VI. of the Bill with reference to home work applicable only to the urban districts so far as Ireland was concerned. He asked the Home Secretary whether any member for an agricultural constituency had sought to have these provisions applied to the home industries of Ireland. There had been nothing of the kind, but for the sake of an idiotic infatuation for uniformity it was proposed to apply the Act all over the kingdom. He would respectfully say that there were a number of small industries in Ireland which were quite unsuited to have the provisions of the Bill applied to them. He thought these small industries might be carried on in their humble way without interference by this Bill.
In page 88, line 33, after the word 'same,' to insert the words 'the provisions of Part 6 shall apply to urban districts only.'"—(Mr. T. M. Healy.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
I am afraid I cannot accept the suggestion of the hon. and learned Member. Where there are no instances of this kind the Act will not apply, but where there are I am sure the hon. and learned Gentleman would say that they ought to be conducted under proper sanitary conditions, and that is the whole thing.
§ MR. O'DOHERTY
supported the views expressed by the lion, and learned Member for North Louth. He said he was afraid that the Home Secretary knew very little of the conditions of life among the small industries of Ireland if he 712 insisted that cottage industries should be carried on under the same conditions as factories and workshops in England. In the debate upon the Address at the beginning of this session he suggested that in any legislation with regard to factories and workshops the carrying out of this Act should be left to the Congested Districts Board. The right hon. Gentleman must know that the Factory Act of 1895 did a great deal towards wiping out small industries in Ireland. A deputation waited upon Sir Matthew White Ridley in the year 1895, requesting him to exempt the shirt-making industry, and they obtained an exemption because it was proved to the satisfaction of the right hon. Gentleman that it would imply an enormous hardship not only upon small industries, but upon the labouring and farming classes. Would the right hon. Gentleman assert that a woman living in a one-roomed cottage in Ireland was to carry on the making of a dozen stockings under the same conditions as a factory in England? He urged the right hon. Gentleman to accept this Amendment, and not place cottage industries in Ireland under another ban.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON (Armagh, N.)
said that upon this point he should certainly support the Amendment which had been moved by the hon. and learned Member opposite in the interests of the handloom weavers in Ireland.
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
thought a little more consideration should be given to the argument submitted by the hon. and learned Member for North Louth. There did not seem to have been any knowledge of the Irish case displayed in the debate, and legislation intended for other places was not always applicable to the small industries in Ireland. At the present time all classes in Ireland were very heavily rated, and if it was enacted that every district should have an inspector, the expense in some of the poorer districts would be grotesque. The entire value of some of the small industries was very trifling, and he thought the House ought to give a little more consideration to this question. If the Home Secretary would express his willingness to look into this matter, perhaps his hon. and learned friend would be satisfied with such a promise.
§ SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N.E.)
said that twenty-five years ago he was Chairman of the Royal Commission on Factories, and there was nothing impressed him more than the great importance of not pressing hardly upon petty industries. There were many small districts in Ireland where village industries, such as glove-making, and other trades, were carried on, and where the people engaged in these small trades were engaged in a perfectly healthy occupation. He remembered that plenty of evidence was placed before the Commission to which he had alluded proving that these small industries in Ireland were not suited to the Factory Acts, and he believed that to bring them under the Factory Acts would do more harm than good.
*SIR CHARLES DILKE
said that the case for inspection of these small industries in Ireland had been clearly shown by the factory inspector's report.
*SIR CHARLES DILKE
said that he was sorry to hear the hon. and learned Member speak in that way, because the inspector in question was one of the best and ablest in His Majesty's service.
§ COLONEL NOLAN (Galway, N.)
said that the inspection of small industries which had been suggested would crush out many of the petty industries in Ireland, the effect of which would be to drive more of the Irish people to America and to the English towns.
I understand that there is some fear on the part of Irish Members that certain small industries in some remote parts of the country are likely to be seriously affected by this provision. I do not see how it is possible to put in words which will exclude those particular industries, which we all desire not to interfere with, and yet will include those industries which we all agree ought to be supervised. The hon. and learned Gentleman has sprung this matter upon me without notice, but, although I cannot make any definite promise, I will certainly consult with my advisers in the course of to-morrow to see whether anything 714 can be done to relieve some hard cases referred to by the hon. and learned Member.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
said he would be the last person to delay the proceedings after such an offer had been made.
*SIR CHARLES DILKE
said the hon. and learned Member for North Louth had been allowed to make a very serious accusation against one of the very best inspectors they had got in the service, and he regretted that the right hon. Gentleman had not considered it to be his duty to defend this inspector.
I did not hear the name of the inspector mentioned, but I am sure that we have no more straightforward, honest, and able official than the inspector who has been alluded to.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Schedule 1:—
§ An Amendment made.
§ Schedule 2:—
§ CAPTAIN BALFOUR (Middlesex, Hornsey)
, in moving the Amendment standing in his name, explained that ornamental fittings in jewellers' windows were those fittings on which watches were hung, and they were made by the same trade which made jewel cases. The makers of these articles worked side by side. Up to November last year the makers of both classes of goods were allowed to work overtime, but at that date the trade was warned that, while they might work overtime at jewel cases, they might not do so at ornamental window fittings. The trade maintained that they were just as much subject to pressure of work at Christmas time with respect to window fittings as fancy boxes and jewel cases. The whole pressure on the trade came ten weeks before Christmas. The manufacturers complained that if their workers were not allowed overtime in making window fittings there would be serious inconvenience to the trade. The women in the trade, about 300 altogether, were perfectly contented as they were. They 715 worked from eight in the morning to eight at night. They had no grievance as to overtime. He appealed to the Home Secretary to reconsider the request of the jewel case makers.
In page 93, line 29, after the words 'box making,' to insert the words 'and covering jewellers' ornamental window fittings; or."—(Captain Balfour.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
said it could not be contended by any stretch of imagination that the manufacture of "jewellers' ornamental window fittings" was a business liable to a sudden press of orders. He really could not see, in any case, how the Amendment could be inserted under this particular sub-section, but be deprecated the addition by Parliament of this industry to those mentioned. In fact, the Secretary of State always had the power, where it was shown that it was required, to allow overtime. He believed that representations had been made with regard to this particular branch of the jewel trade to his predecessor, and he would undertake to look into it, further, but he could not assent to the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Schedule 6:—
§ MR. BANBURY (Camberwell, Peckham)
said the effect of the schedule was that, where there was an electrical installation in a private residence for the purpose of luxury, the place was not a factory within the meaning of this Act, but if such an installation took place in a bank, counting-house, or insurance office, for the comfort and convenience of the clerks, those premises would come under the Act.
In page 101, line 26, after the word, 'business,' to insert the words 'where the number of persons employed in generating or transforming such electrical energy exceeds four.'"—(Mr. Banbury.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."716
said he could not accept the Amendment. It seemed to him perfectly clear that if regulations of this kind were required for operations such as were dealt with in the schedule, the fact that the number of persons employed did not exceed four was not a reason for exemption from the provisions of the Bill, which were meant to secure safety to those working in connection with electrical plant. His hon. friend had stated that under the sub-section as it now stood banks in the City could be regarded as factories. That was not the case at all. He assured the hon. Member that no premises such as he had referred to would be inconvenienced by the Bill, but he would introduce words to meet the views of the hon. Member. He had not had the smallest representation made to him that this provision was regarded as an onerous one at all. There might perhaps be a slight amendment made in it, so as to make it quite clear that it would come under the provisions of the Act. He would suggest the addition of the words "or such part of any premises."
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
said he wished to know why the National Telephone Company was to be exempted, and why its premises should not be treated as a factory. They had an enormous number of batteries at some of their establishments, and there must be considerable danger to the young ladies employed there, especially during thunderstorms.
§ LORD HUGH CECIL (Greenwich)
asked why this should not apply to every private house which had an electric installation. He understood that the intention was to limit the application of this provision to buildings regarded as factories and productive works. He understood that the purpose of the Bill was to safeguard every place where there was an electric installation. They must have either one thing or the other. The provision must either apply to every place where there was an electric installation or else it must only apply to ordinary factories.
said that this was a most important question affecting the small industries in Ireland. Ireland was a 717 country of water power, while England used largely coal and steam. He thought that by this definition they would cripple the starting of small industries along the rivers of Ireland, because they would have to submit themselves to harassing restrictions in regard to sanitation and ventilation. For instance, in these small electric lighting works they would not be allowed to employ young persons after four o'clock on Saturday. The right hon. Gentleman had given them a very favourable answer with, regard to small home industries, and he hoped he would grant an exemption with regard to small electric works.
§ MR. CRIPPS (Lancashire, Stretford)
said he feared that such places as surgeries and dentists' establishments would be factories if this definition was allowed to stand.
§ MR. TENNANT
said the real question was that they wished to make the special rules apply all along the line.
§ MR. BANBURY
said that if the words which had been mentioned were left out of the clause he would agree to withdraw his Amendment. He wished to know, however, in taking that course, if he would be allowed an opportunity of moving his Amendment again in case the alteration did not meet with his approval.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Other Amendments made.
§ Schedule 7:—
In page 102, line 30, after the word twelve,' to insert the words 'section twenty-two.'"—(Mr. Secretary Ritchie.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'section twenty-two,' be there inserted."
§ MR. MACARTNEY (Antrim, S.)
moved as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, to add after the word "twenty-two" the words "except paragraphs (a) and (b) of sub-section (3)." He said his object was to omit a certain portion of a clause in the 1895 Act which the Home Secretary proposed to read into this Bill.
Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment—
To add after the word 'twenty-two,' the words 'except paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (3).'"—(Mr. Macartney.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be added to the proposed Amendment."
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was in order in again raising the question in regard to laundries which had been decided that evening.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I have not had an opportunity of comparing the two, to see whether they are in exactly the same terms.
§ MR. MACARTNEY
said he did not propose to repeat now what had been stated on the question, whether or not laundries in connection with philanthropic, charitable, and religious societies ought to be brought under the provisions of the Bill, as he himself believed they ought. On the ground that they came into competition with laundries which were run commercially he thought the House should have an opportunity of voting on the distinct issue whether laundries which were run for philanthropic purposes should be excluded from the provisions of the Bill.
My hon. friend is really asking the House to reconsider the decision which it arrived at a few hours ago. The whole question was then debated, and the House, by an overwhelming majority, decided that they would not make any alteration in the existing law.
§ MR. MACARTNEY
said that before they took the division alluded to he asked the right hon. Gentleman whether or not this Amendment was going to be moved, and it was largely on account of the reply given that many hon. Members voted as they did.
That does not interfere with my argument in the least. What I maintain is that he is asking the House to reverse the decision it arrived at an hour or two ago. The decision of the House must be given effect to—namely, that the law should remain as it is. It is necessary to make provision in the schedule for the revival of the clause in the existing Act of Parliament. I think it would be most unfortunate if we were now to begin again to discuss a question which has been discussed at such great length. I make no complaint about the hon. Member moving his Amendment, but I do hope that the House as a whole will consider that the decision which was arrived at a few hours ago was a decision upon the whole question, and I hope hon. Members will support the Government in their effort to give effect to what was then decided by the House.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
said he was well aware that this was a very disagreeable subject to the Home Secretary. He knew that the only argument that can possibly be adduced in favour of carrying out this special arrangement with regard to laundries was that, if he did not carry it out, they would lose the rest of the Bill. Had it not been for laundries conducted by certain religious orders in Ireland they would never have heard one single objection to this proposal. The Bill as it was passed in the 720 Grand Committee included all those laundries, and when this question was reached then the difficulty of his right hon. friend at once commenced. He found himself at once confronted by hon. Gentlemen opposite, who objected to any kind of inspection or supervision of any institution over which a Roman Catholic presided. He did not blame them in the least for doing this, because hon. Gentlemen opposite below the gangway rode in a political chariot with a priest on the box seat, who held the reins, and they had to go where they were driven. His right hon. friend, knowing the capacity for opposition on those benches, realised that unless he gave way he might lose his Bill. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had a tremendous power in this House, which they used to flatten out his right hon. friend the Home Secretary. They said to him, "If you do not consent to exclude these laundries which are conducted in Ireland by the nuns from the operation of this Bill we have got a power now to prevent you carrying this Bill which we never had before. We have got a power which we can turn upon you if you do not consent to our terms. If you do not consent we will give you a dose of the hon. Member for South Kilkenny; and if we do that, what will happen to your Bill? Why, it will be swept out of the House by a muddy cataract of oratorical blather." The hon. Member for South Kilkenny had "bored" his way to a very distinguished position in this House.
Over every institution over which Roman Catholic priests or nuns had authority the word "taboo" was written up, and hon. Gentlemen opposite were bound to oppose any effort made by the lay authorities to inspect any such institution. He ventured to say that the great majority of hon. Members, whether on this side or the opposite side, would agree with him that all institutions of this kind ought to be inspected. With regard to these laundries, the inspection would be carried out by a female inspector, and the work of the institution would not be interfered with. [An HON. MEMBER: Why had you not the courage of your convictions two hours ago?] This inspection would not bring the inspector in contact with the nuns. As far as interfering with the nuns was 721 concerned, an inspection of the laundries could not cause the slightest inconvenience. It was because hon. Gentlemen opposite were bound to oppose any effort made by any lay authority to inspect institutions which were guided and governed by Roman Catholics that they had offered this fierce opposition and had flattened out his right hon. friend. He was quite aware that the Home Secretary was carrying out a bond he had made with hon. Gentlemen opposite. They had fulfilled their part of the bargain, and it was only the authority of the Leader of the Nationalist party which prevented the Member for South Kilkenny rushing after every legislative hare that was started. When they divided the House upon this question he claimed that every hon. Member who believed in the necessity of equal treatment
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud)||Haldane, Richard Burdon||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)|
|Bell, Richard||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Helme, Norval Watson||Moss, Samuel|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Higginbottom, S. W.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Holland, William Henry||Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Caldwell, James||Horniman, Frederick John||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Colville, John Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Thomas, J. A. (Glamorgan, G'wer|
|Crombie, John William||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||White, Luke (Yorks. E. R.)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Duffy, William J.||Layland-Barratt, Francis Leigh, Sir Joseph|
|Gordon, J. (Londonderry, South)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||TELLERS FOR THE AYES-Colonel Saunderson and Mr. Macartney.|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Grant, Corrie||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)|
|Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||M'Calmont, Col. J. (Antrim, E.)|
|Gretton, John||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Guthrie, Walter Murray||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Boland, John||Colston, Chas. E. W. Athole|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Condon, Thomas Joseph|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Boyle, James||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Brassey, Albert||Crean, Eugene|
|Ambrose. Robert||Bullard, Sir Harry||Crossley, Sir Savile|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Cullinan, J.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Davies, Sir Horatio D (Chatham|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cavendish, Y. C. W. (Derbysh.||Delany, William|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Dickson, Charles Scott|
|Balcarres. Lord||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Dillon, John|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Donelan, Capt. A.|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r.)||Doogan, P. C.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds||Chapman, Edward||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Charrington, Spencer||Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Clancy, John Joseph||Duke, Henry Edward|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. Benjamin||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin|
|Bignold, Arthur||Cogan, Denis J.||Elibank, Master of|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.|
§ of institutions, whether presided over by a Protestant or a Catholic priest, would go into the lobby with him and make a protest against the direction in which the Government seemed inclined to go. They were going to have a Catholic university in Ireland in order to satisfy the demands of the Nationalist party, and now they were asked to make this distinction between societies presided over by Roman Catholic nuns, and for what reason? Simply because those who presided over these institutions would not tolerate any interference from any outside authority.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 51; Noes. 180. (Division List No. 472.)
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Field, William||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Purvis, Robert|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Randles, John S.|
|Finlay, Sir Robert, Bannatyne||Lundon, W.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Macdona, John dimming||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Maconochie, A. W.||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Foster, Philip S (Warwick, S. W.||M'Fadden, Edward||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Gardner, Ernest||M'Covern, T.||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. T.|
|Gilhooly, James||Malcolm, Ian||Robertson, Herbt. (Hackney)|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Middlemore, J. Throgmort'n||Rutherford, John|
|Gordon, Hn J. E. (Elgin & Nairn)||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|
|Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- (Line)||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Green, Walford D. (Wednesb'ry||Morgan, David J (Walthamst'w||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Greene, W. Raymond- (Cambs.||Morris, Hon. Martin H. F.||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Groves, James Grimble||Morton, A. H. A. (Ueptford)||Smith, A. H. (Hertford, East|
|Hain, Edward||Murnagban, Ceorge||Smith, H C (N'rth'mb., T'neside|
|Hambro, Charles Erie||Murphy, John||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Hamilton, Rt Hn L'rd G (Midd'x||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Spear, John Ward|
|Hammond, John||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath||Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||Nicholson, William Graham||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Sullivan, Donal|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Talbot, Rt Hn J. G. (Oxfd Univ.|
|Healy, Timothy Michael||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipp'rary Mid||Thompson, Dr E C (Monagh'n, N.|
|Hope, J. F. (Sheffield Brightside||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray|
|Houldsworth, Sir Win. Henry||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Hoult, Joseph||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Tully, Jasper|
|Howard, John (Kent, Eaversh'm||O'Doherty, William||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hudson, George Bickersteth||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||White, Patrick (Meath, North|
|Keswick, William||O'Dowd, John||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Larnbton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.||Williams, Rt. Hn. J. P. (Birm.|
|Lawson, John Grant||O'Malley, William||Wilson, A. S. (Yorks. E. R.)|
|Leamy, Edmund||O'Mara, James||Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk, Mid.|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Pemberton, John S. G.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Lowther, Rt Hn J W. (Cum., Pen.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
§ Question, "That the words 'section twenty-two' be there inserted," put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read the third time, and passed.