HC Deb 10 June 1901 vol 94 cc1547-53


Order for Second Reading read.


said that the Bill was an entirely non-controversial measure introduced by the Government at the request of the county authorities in Berwickshire, who unanimously desired that the seat of county government should be changed from Greenlaw to Duns. The present arrangement was found exceedingly inconvenient.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."


asked, if the Bill were non-controversial, why the hon. Member for Berwickshire was not present to support it. It was a very important measure, and he had received communications from persons in the county begging him to oppose it. The only reason why he was approached on the matter was that on one occasion he addressed a meeting at Greenlaw in support of the hon. Member for Berwickshire, and some of the hon. Member's constituents had written him stating that the people of Greenlaw were strongly opposed to the Bill. The Lord Advocate stated that the Bill had the support of the county authorities. Did they include the people of Greenlaw?


said he was not aware that the people of Green-law were a county authority. He used the word in the ordinary sense.


said he thought it was rather a large order to ask the House of Commons to pass a Bill of this kind without some clearer proof of the desire of the county than the bald statement of the Lord Advocate. For all they knew the change might have only been carried by a narrow majority of the county council. In the absence of a more convincing statement he should certainly divide the House against the Bill. Greenlaw had been the county town of Berwickshire since 1696, and the House ought to be given a more reasonable explanation before it was asked to disturb an arrangement which had existed for two centuries.

MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

said it was extraordinary that such a Bill should have been brought forward as a Government measure at a comparatively early hour when much more important work might be transacted. He hoped that the old traditions connected with one of the most important and interesting parts of the Border would not be broken down without some more reasonable and valid explanation. He knew the country well, and he could not conceive why Duns should be selected as the county town rather than Greenlaw. The Lord Advocate said that certain county authorities had expressed a desire for the change, but the House had not heard the opinion of other local bodies regarding it. It was a significant fact that the hon. Member for Berwickshire was not present. If the hon. Gentleman had been strongly in support of the measure he would have been present to have given his representative blessing to it. No adequate reason had been given why an arrangement which had existed for over two centuries should now be changed. They had only had a few words from an ill-informed Lord Advocate, who thought, forsooth, that because a certain Bill was starred, therefore it ought to be accepted by the House without any information regarding it being given. It did not matter to him a twopenny ticket whether Duns or Greenlaw was to be the county town. He was impartial, but the question was what did the people of the district concerned think of the change? The hon. Member for the division was probably embarrassed between new claims and existing claims, and had therefore left the House. He did not blame the hon. Member, and he could quite understand other hon. Members being in equally embarrassing positions if similar Bills affecting their constituencies were brought forward. Was it reasonable to ask the House of Commons, which was already up to its neck in business, to make such a change as was proposed by the Bill without any explanation? They had no idea of the relative importance of Greenlaw and Duns, and he did not think that the House of Commons would be justified in destroying the status of an old commerical town without more adequate reasons. He hoped, therefore, that the House would resist the motion.

CAPTAIN BALFOUR (Middlesex, Hornsey)

said he acknowledged that the hon. Member for North Cork had a considerable knowledge of Berwickshire, as the hon. Member was through it when he was contesting the county against the present Member. As a member of the Berwickshire County Council he desired to put before the House the Berwickshire side of the question, and he was sure that hon. Gentlemen opposite would agree with the principle of Home Rule for Berwickshire. It was true that Greenlaw had a record of 200 years, but Duns went back further still, for it was the old county town, before Greenlaw by the influence of the Earls of Marchmont was made the county town in 1696. They would be very well content to have Greenlaw still for their county town, were it not for the fact that Duns was now the natural centre and the most important town in the county. The only people likely to object to Duns would be the legal element, who had still to meet at Greenlaw under the existing Act. But owing to the fact that the bulk of the members of the legal profession now lived in Duns, they were equally unanimous with the county council in desiring that the business should be conducted in future at Duns instead of Greenlaw. He hoped the House would accept this statement from one who, although he did not represent Berwickshire, lived in the county and knew something about the district. He had talked the matter over with the hon. Member for Berwickshire; they were in absolute agreement upon this point, and he presumed it was only through some unfortunate accident that the hon. Member was not present to support the Bill.

MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

was extremely disappointed that the Lord Advocate had not made the House better acquainted with the object of the Bill. It was also very extraordinary that at a time when there was so much urgent business of a far more important character, to the consideration of which the House might devote its time, a miserable measure of this kind should be brought forward. He was inclined to think this was a landlord's Bill, but sufficient information had not been given to enable Members to judge whether or not they should vote for the Second Reading. It was surprising that the hon. Member for Berwickshire was not present either to support the Bill or to defend his county. Certainly if it had been a Bill affecting Ross-shire he (the speaker) would have been in his place to give the House all the information in his possession.

MR. JAMES O'CONNOR (Wicklow, W.)

inferred that this Bill was the outcome of a contest between the Greenlaws and the Dunses, and having listened to the speeches which had been delivered he had decided to vote for the Greenlaws against the Dunses.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 271; Noes, 56. (Division List No. 238.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex F. Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J (Birm. FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Chapman, Edward Flannery, Sir Fortescue
Allsopp, Hon. George Charrington, Spencer Fletcher, Sir Henry
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Clare, Octavius Leigh Flower, Ernest
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Forster, Henry William
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Coghill, Douglas Harry Garfit, William
Austin, Sir John Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond
Bain, Col. James Robert Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Gorst, Rt Hn. Sir John Eldon
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Goschen, Hon. George Joachim
Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds) Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds
Balfour, Major K. R. (Christch. Craig, Robert Hunter Greene, W. Raymond- (Cambs.)
Banbury, Frederick George Cranborne, Viscount Griffith, Ellis J.
Beach, Rt. Hn. W. W. B. (Hants Cubitt, Hon. Henry Groves, James Grimble
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Dalkeith, Earl of Hamilton, Rt Hn Ld. G. (Midd'x
Blundell, Col. Henry Davies, Sir Horatio D (Chatham Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Rbt. Wm.
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan Harris, Fredk. Leverton
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn Denny, Colonel Haslam, Sir Alfred S.
Brassey, Albert Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Heaton, John Henniker
Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John Doughty, George Helder, Augustus
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hermon-Hodge, Robt. Trotter
Bull, William James Doxford, Sir William Theodore Higginbottom, S. W.
Butcher, John George Dunn, Sir William Hill, Arthur
Carlile, William Walter Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Hogg, Lindsay
Cautley, Henry Strother Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Hope, J. F. (Sheffield Brightside
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Finch, George H. Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham
Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Firbank, Joseph Thomas Hudson, George Bickersteth
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Fisher, William Hayes Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.
Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute) Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Smith, H C (North'mb., T'neside
Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh) Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Smith, James P. (Lanarks.)
Kenyon, James (Lancs, Bury) Myers, William Henry Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Kimber, Henry Newdigate, Francis Alex. Spear, John Ward
King, Sir Henry Seymour Nicholson, William Graham Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset)
Lambton, Hon. Frederick W. Nicol, Donald Ninian Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart
Lawson, John Grant Norman, Henry Stone, Sir Benjamin
Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Stroyan, John
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Thorburn, Sir Walter
Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.) Parker, Gilbert Thornton, Percy M.
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Parkes, Ebenezer Tollemache, Henry James
Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale) Peel, Rt. Hn. Wm. Robert W. Tritton, Charles Ernest
Lowther, Rt. Hon. J. (Kent) Pilkington, Lt.-Col. Richard Valentia, Viscount
Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Platt-Higgins, Frederick Walker, Col. William Hall
Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Macdona, John Cumming Pretyman, Ernest George Warr, Augustus Frederick-
Maconochie, A. W. Purvis, Robert Wason, John C. (Orkney)
M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Randles, John S. Welby, Sir C. G. E. (Notts.)
M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B (Cambs Rankin, Sir James Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
M'Iver, Sir L. (Edinburgh, W. Rasch, Maj. Frederic Carne Wharton, Rt. Hon. John L.
M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Reid, James (Greenock) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Majendie, James A. H. Remnant, James Farquharson Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Renshaw, Charles Bine Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Melville, Beresford Valentine Rentoul, James Alexander Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Meysey Thompson, Sir H. M. Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Charles T. Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.
Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Fred. G. Ropner, Col. Robert Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)
Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Rothschild, Hon. Lionel W. Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)
Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow Round, James Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Morris, Hon. Martin H. F. Royds, Clement Molyneux Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Morrison, James Archibald Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford) Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Moss, Samuel Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Mount, William Arthur Sharpe, William Edward T.
Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.) Hammond, John O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N
Allan, William (Gateshead) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil O'Malley, William
Ambrose, Robert Hayden, John Patrick O'Mara, James
Atherley-Jones, L. Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Bell, Richard Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Partington, Oswald
Black, Alexander William Horniman, Frederick John Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Blake, Edward Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.) Power, Patrick Joseph
Boland, John Kennedy, Patrick James Price, Robert Joseph
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth Rea, Russell
Brigg, John Kitson, Sir James Reddy, M.
Broadhurst, Henry Lambert, George Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Burke, E. Haviland- Layland-Barratt, Francis Redmond, William (Clare)
Burns, John Leamy, Edmund Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Burt, Thomas Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Caine, William Sproston Leng, Sir John Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Caldwell, James Levy, Maurice Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.)
Cameron, Robert Lewis, John Herbert Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Chonning, Francis Allston Lloyd-George, David Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.)
Cogan, Denis J. Lundon, W. Stevenson, Francis S.
Crean, Eugene MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Strachey, Edward
Cremer, William Randal M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Sullivan, Donal
Cullinan, J. M'Dermott, Patrick Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Delany, William M'Govern, T. Thomas, David Alfr'd (Merthyr
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. M'Kenna, Reginald Thomas, F. Freeman- (Hastings
Dillon, John Mansfield, Horace Rendall Thomas, J A (Glamorg'n, Gower
Doogan, P. C. Mooney, John J. Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Duffy, William J. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.
Duncan, J. Hastings Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Edwards, Frank Murnaghan, George Weir, James Galloway
Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan) Murphy, John White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Nannetti, Joseph P. Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Fenwick, Charles Nolan, Col. John P (Galway, N. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Flavin, Michael Joseph Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Yoxall, James Henry
Flynn, James Christopher Nussey, Thomas Willans
Gilhooly, James O'Brien, Kendal (T'pp'rary Mid TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Grant, Corrie O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)

Question put, and agreed to.

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Keswick, William
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Dorington, Sir John Edward Langley, Batty
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Doughty, George Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Allan, William (Gateshead) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lawson, John Grant
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Doxford, Sir William Theodore Layland-Barratt, Francis
Anson, Sir William Reynell Duncan, J. Hastings Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., Fareh'm
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Emmott, Alfred Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward Lewis, John Herbert
Ashton, Thomas Gair Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Lockwood, Lt-Col. A. R.
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H. Finch, George H. Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Atkinson, Rt. Hon John Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Bristol, S
Austin, Sir John Firbank, Joseph Thomas Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Bain, Colonel James Robert Fisher, William Hayes Lowe, Francis William
Balfour, Rt Hon. A J. (Manch'r) FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth
Balfour, Rt Hon. G. W. (Leeds) Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred
Balfour, Maj. K R (Christchurch Flannery, Sir Fortescue Macdona, John Cumming
Banbury, Frederick George Fletcher, Sir Henry Maconochie, A. W.
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol) Forster, Henry William M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Garfit, William M'Arthur, William (Cornwall
Bigwood, James Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond. M'Calmont, H. L. B. (Cambs.),
Bill, Charles Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John M'Crae, George
Black, Alexander William Goddard, Daniel Ford M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh, W
Blundell, Colonel Henry Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn M'Laren, Charles Benjamin
Bond, Edward Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Majendie, James A. H.
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Martin, Richard Biddulph
Brassey, Albert Goulding, Edward Alfred Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.)
Brigg, John Graham, Henry Robert Melville, Beresford Valentine
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.
Brymer, William Ernest Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury Milton, Viscount
Burns, John Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S. Edm'nds Molesworth, Sir Lewis
Butcher, John George Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Caldwell, James Gretton, John Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Greville, Hon. Ronald Morgan, David J (Walthamstow
Carlile, William Walter Griffith, Ellis J. Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh.
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Groves, James Grimble Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen
Cautley, Henry Strother Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Morrell, George Herbert
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Guthrie, Walter Murray Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Hain, Edward Morrison, James Archibald
Cawley, Frederick Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry Morton, Edw. J. C. (Davonport)
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Moss, Samuel
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm. Hardy, Laurence, (Kent, Ashf'd Moulton, John Fletcher
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r Harris, Frederick Leverton Mount, William Arthur
Channing, Francis Allston Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.
Chapman, Edward Hay, Hon. Claude George Murray Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute
Charrington, Spencer Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Churchill, Winston Spencer Heath, James Staffords, N. W.) Myers, William Henry
Clare, Octavius Leigh Heaton, John Henniker Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Helder, Augustus Nicholson, William Graham
Coghill, Douglas Harry Herman-Hodge, Robert Trotter Nicol, Donald Ninian
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Higginbottom, S. W. Norman, Henry-
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Hogg, Lindsay Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Compton, Lord Alwyne Holland, William Henry Nussey, Thomas Willans
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Parker, Gilbert
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Horniman, Frederick John Parkes, Ebenezer
Craig, Robert Hunter Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Partington, Oswald
Cranborne, Viscount Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Crossley, Sir Savile Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.) Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Penn, John
Dalkeith, Earl of Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Percy, Earl
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham Kearley, Hudson E. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.) Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop) Pretyman, Ernest George