HC Deb 11 June 1901 vol 95 cc70-109

Sir, there are two occasions after the Whitsuntide holidays on which, according to the almost immemorial practice of the House, it has been found necessary by successive Governments to ask for privileges in the matter of time. The second of these occasions has been baptised by an irreverent public as "the massacre of the innocents." That occurs, as a rule, at the latter end of July, when the business of the session is, at all events, approaching a conclusion, and I do not propose anything in the nature of a massacre on this occasion, nor is it usual when the Government, about the middle of June, asks the House for further time and facilities for Government business. As regards the general programme of Government legislation, I have not much to tell the House that every Member of the House is not already perfectly familiar with. I have no unexpected or startling statement to make in respect of the Government Orders of the Day. We must, of course, get through the measures which embody our financial policy—the Budget Bill and the Loan Bill. We must pass the Rating Bill, which is, I fear, a controversial measure. We must pass the Education Bill, which I hope will not be a controversial measure. There is the Factory Bill, with which I trust we will make substantial progress to-night, and which I understand, from the best sources of information, is not likely in any case to occupy any very lengthened space of parliamentary time. There are, of course, in addition, the Departmental Bills, with regard to which it is not necessary or usual to make any statement at this period of the session. I ought to say, however, in addition to this statement, that my right hon. friend the Vice-President of the Board of Education proposes to introduce a Bill on the subject of the dismissal of teachers in elementary schools. I mention that because I gave a pledge some time ago that I would state whether or not such a Bill would be introduced when I made the usual announcement with regard to Government business. I think it will be admitted that that is not an excessive programme of Government business, and that no undue drafts are being made on the time or attention of the House. But I think it will also be granted that, while that is the case, nevertheless there is no reasonable prospect of our being able to get through this amount of business unless the House will grant the Government the facilities which have been invariably granted to our predecessors when they came at this period of the session to ask for them. It may be that some private Members will object to even this moderate draft on their time; but I may perhaps be allowed to say with regard to the present session that such inroads as have been made upon the time of unofficial Members have not, so far at all events, been made by the legislative programme of the Government as distinguished from their financial proposals, because, as the House is perfectly well aware, practically the whole time at the disposal of the Government has hitherto been taken up either by Supply, or by the Civil List Bill, or by the Finance Bill. [An HON. MEMBER: Questions.] My hon. friend says "Questions," but that is not time at the disposal of the Government. All the time at the disposal of the Government has been taken up in the way I have described. Under these circumstances, I do not think that, even apart from what I am about to say upon the subject of private Members' legislation, there is any substantial grievance this year, at all events, in connection with the claims which we now make upon this House. Two Wednesdays are left by my resolution to be dealt with under the Standing Orders for those Bills which have made most progress, though, in a manner which I shall describe, I propose to retain a third Wednesday for private Members' Bills. The two Wednesdays which are embodied in the resolution carry out the precedents with which the House is familiar, and probably two Wednesdays are, roughly speaking, all that ought to be, or as a rule can be, granted for this particular purpose.

So far I have said nothing the House will not have anticipated, and I hope I have said nothing which gentlemen in any part of the House can raise objections to. So far the demands of the Government are extremely reasonable, and are not in any sense straining the patience of the House or asking for undue or exceptional privileges. I now come to that part of the statement, which has been long promised, with reference to certain legislation which is in the hands of private Members. I have been bombarded by questions from time to time from both sides of the House with regard to the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors to Children Bill and the Beer Bill. It is, as the House knows, the custom for the Government at the end of the session to "star," as it is technically called, those private Bills which are really uncontroversial—uncontroversial in the sense that no Gentleman in any part of the House seriously desires to defeat them—and give them privileges in regard to order and time. In the treatment of those Bills there never is any difficulty on the part of the Government. But when you come to Bills like those I have mentioned, which cannot, at all events at present, be described as wholly uncontroversial in the full sense in which I have used that term, a much more difficult and embarrassing problem is necessarily raised for those responsible for the arrangement of the business of the House. What does the difficulty in dealing with these Bills arise from? It arises chiefly from the fact that we have an entirely different measure of time when we are dealing with private Members' legislation than we have when we are dealing with Government legislation. It is the established practice, dating long before you, Sir, presided over this Assembly, that on Wednesdays a private Member's Bill, the discussion on which begins at twelve o'clock, is practically closured at half-past five. The Bill may be of a most complicated and far-reaching description, it may deal with the fundamental Constitution of this country, it may affect the interests of a vast class, it may have consequences of the most far-reaching description; but the discussion, beginning at halfpast twelve, and sometimes later, is, by the usages of this House, thought to have run its appropriate time when it arrives at half-past five. And these are Bills which have not been introduced under what is commonly, though inaccurately, described as the ten minutes rule; they have not been discussed on the First Reading, and they have been introduced without a word of explanation on the part of the hon. Members in charge of them. If anybody will compare the fate of a private Bill in these preliminary stages with the fate of a corresponding measure introduced by the Government, he will see that we have a fundamentally different measure for what is considered appropriate discussion on a Bill which emanates from a private source as compared with the discussion on a Bill which emanates from the Government Bench. That system may be a good system or a bad system; on that I should be out of order in commenting. But it has this consequence, which I beg the House to consider—it would enable the Government, unless the House were watchful, to introduce some far-reaching measure as a private Member's Bill, take it over after it had passed the critical stage of a Wednesday afternoon's debate, make it their own, and give it all the privileges of a Government Bill. [A laugh.] I do not quite know why that statement excites a smile. I am giving an account of parliamentary business; it is not meant in a controversial sense. I am speaking as the Minister who for the time being is responsible for the business of this House; and the peculiarity I have adverted to in the different treatment of Government and private legislation is one the public outside do not understand, and, I venture to say, never can be made to understand. It is one of those esoteric secrets which all Members of this House comprehend and practically all who are not Members of this House do not understand. I think it would be a grave abuse if any Government were to allow a really controversial or party measure to be brought in by a private Member, to pass through an often perfunctory discussion on a Wednesday, to be divided upon in the perfunctory manner in which Wednesday Bills are divided upon, and then, after it has passed a First and Second Reading in that manner, to allow it to become part of the Government programme and to have all the privileges of a Government measure—to have in its infancy all the privileges of being the offspring of a private Member, and in its mature growth all the advantages of being under Government patronage.

This argumentative preface, Sir, brings me to the conclusion which I want the House fully to realise, that it is really a most difficult and delicate matter to deal with the class of private Bills which is not of the wholly uncontroversial type to which I adverted a few moments ago. I have done my best to consider whether I should be in any way infringing upon the broad principles I have just laid down by giving some further privileges, at all events, to the two Bills in regard to which I have been so often questioned in this House—the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors to Children Bill and the Beer Bill. I propose on Wednesday, the 26th of this month, to put down as the two first Orders of the Day the motions for sending the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors to Children Bill and the Beer Bill respectively to Grand Committees. When those motions are disposed of, which, I think, ought not to take long, the remainder of the day will be devoted to those private Members' Bills which still remain on the Paper, to be dealt with in the order in which they would have been dealt with if Wednesdays had remained in the uncontrolled possession of private Members. That being the proposal, I have to ask myself and the House whether in doing so I have infringed upon the broad principles which I have ventured to lay down, and which, I think, ought to govern the conduct of the business of this House. I hope and believe that I have not. I think, from what I can learn, that the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors to Children Bill is one of those Bills the feeling in favour of which is not simply to be estimated by the magnitude of the majority in favour of it on the Second Reading, and is still less to be estimated by the number of petitions which have been brought up in countless multitudes, and no doubt could be brought up if it were desired, and have been brought up, on the other side. We all know—we have had painful and personal experience of it—the facility with which petitions can be got up, especially when there is any great organised body interested in the legislation affected. Therefore I do not pretend to judge the support which this Bill has in the House or out of it by the majority on its Second Reading on a Wednesday, which is a fallacious test, or by the number of petitions in its favour, which is even still more fallacious. I have done my best to make myself acquainted with the current of feeling in the country and in the House, and to forecast as well as I could the kind of modifications which might be made in Grand Committee on the. Bill which, I believe, would go very far to bring back this measure into the category of really uncontroversial measures with which the House would be able to deal without occupying parliamentary time at all. I hope I am right in that. With regard to the Beer Bill, to which, so far as the Grand Committee is concerned, I think similar privileges should be granted, I cannot forecast with the same assurance what course is likely to be pursued in Grand Committee. I do not know exactly what Amendments are likely to be proposed or adopted. If those in charge of the Bill and responsible for it were fortunate enough—and I trust they may be—to make that Bill also something very like an uncontroversial measure—I do not say a measure commanding assent in every part of the House, still, having behind it a general body of opinion irrespective of party in the House—I hope that Bill also will in its later stages run a favourable course and be transferred to the Statute-book. But I can give no pledge as to further time as regards either of these Bills. I am giving them every advantage; I am giving them what, of course, they could not have had without the intervention of the Government—namely, the advantage of going to a Grand Committee. I have every reason to believe that as regards one of these Bills there can be little doubt that its course will be prosperous and successful, and I entertain similar hopes, though not such confident expectations, with regard to the other.

Sir, I think that I have succeeded in making the policy of the Government plain. Whether I have been equally fortunate in carrying with me the general opinion on both sides of the House I do not know. But I venture to make an appeal to the House in reference, not to the general business of the session, but to to-night's business. I hope hon. Gentlemen will second me in trying to keep the discussion on this resolution within the narrowest reasonable limits, in view of the Bill which stands first on the Order Paper to-night if I carry my resolution. On both sides of the House there is a great desire to see the Second Reading of that Bill disposed of to-night, and I trust the House will second me in carrying it out. Let unofficial Mem- bers please bear in mind that this proposal is made in their interests. I have done more for them by this proposal than, I think, any Government has ever done—I have not only given them, practically, three Wednesdays instead of the usual two Wednesdays, but I have also indicated that the Government will in certain very probable contingencies give even further facilities for forwarding these Bills. Under these circumstances I hope I may ask in return that this resolution shall not lead to a long and exhaustive debate, in view of the Second Reading of the Factory Bill, which it is so desirable we should deal with to-night, in order that it may be sent as soon as possible to a Grand Committee. I beg to move the resolution standing in my name.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That, for the remainder of the session, Government Business do have precedence on Tuesday and Wednesday (except on Wednesday, the 12th, and Wednesday, the 19th of June), and that the provisions of Standing Order 56 be extended to all the days of the week."—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)


This motion is a motion dealing with the business of the House, and I am constrained by the very vivid recollections of the most recent parliamentary experience to say, when we speak of the business of Parliament, that we have had to-night, I think, an example as flagrant as any we have ever had of one department in which a change in the rules governing our business is certainly required—I mean what we have seen again and again in this session, as well as in previous sessions, but what, I think, is becoming more frequent, the occupation of the most valuable part of the time of the House on some important night, when the House is impatient to proceed with serious business, by private business. I commend to the right hon. Gentleman that fact as one of the most urgent and most serious with which he can deal. And I think a little light is thrown upon the practice—which is a practice, apparently, beyond anyone's control at present—by the fact, which we can easily dis- cern, that it is always on those nights when the right hon. Gentleman is going to move some important Bill or motion of this kind, and when, therefore, there is a large attendance of Members, that the agents for Bills contrive to put private business on the Paper. I merely take the opportunity of saying that by the way, before commencing any criticism on what the right hon. Gentleman has said.

In the first place, I wish to say something on that part of the right hon. Gentleman's speech which concerned itself with certain private Members' Bills. Although I was glad to hear the proposals he made, I was not quite able to follow the right hon. Gentleman in the distinction which he drew between the experience of Government and private Members' Bills. He seemed to think that private Members' Bills were inadequately discussed on the stage of the Second Reading, because there were only a few hours available, and that then the opinion of the House was taken. But—I speak with due submission to your authority, Mr. Speaker—I am under the impression that that is the case only where the Bill has been before the House on several previous occasions, and that in those cases which the imagination of the right hon. Gentleman conjures up, where some great constitutional change was introduced under the auspices of a private Member on a Wednesday afternoon, the Speaker would allow the adjournment of the debate in order that the matter might be thoroughly discussed, I think the right hon. Gentleman overstated his case somewhat. He told us that there was a great danger in this practice, because the Government might surreptitiously bring forward a measure of their own under the name of a private Member and, as it were, get a start of the House. But I am not sure that we have not had cases recently of the Government taking advantage of a private Member's Bill in even a more extraordinary manner than this, because I believe in another place a Bill introduced by a harmless and unthinking spiritual lord has been taken bodily possession of by the Government and converted into, practically, a measure of their own. So that I think that the right hon. Gentleman need not be afraid that our mode of conducting business gives undue opportunity for such a proceeding. The proposal which the right hon. Gentleman makes as to the mode of dealing with the two Bills to which he referred seems to me a perfectly wise and proper one. I agree with everything said with regard to the Children's Bill, as to the strong feeling, the strong sentiment, that pervades the country on the subject; and I earnestly hope that, by a little give and take, the Standing Committee will be able to make of that Bill such a measure as shall not only give immense satisfaction to the sentiment, but also carry with it the general approval, of Members of the House. Regarding the Beer Bill, I am somewhat in the same position as the right hon. Gentleman. I have not that familiar acquaintance with it which would enable me to measure the volume of sentiment or opinion which may be behind it. But if in that case also it would be possible to come to a harmonious conclusion it would be a very good thing. I rather think, however, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will have to be converted in the process, because I have some recollection of the fact that he lodged a very strong protest against the Bill, and I believe he recorded his vote against it, but of that I am not quite so sure.

So much for these private Bills. Now I come to the proposals of the Government with regard to the general time of the House. No doubt it must be admitted at once to the right hon. Gentleman that it is usual at this time of the year, after the Whitsuntide holidays, to take that measure of the time of the House which the right hon. Gentleman now proposes. The only observation I would make on this occasion is this, that he has already made larger inroads on the time of private Members than I have ever seen made before in any previous session. In itself the motion, however, is in accordance with the practice of the House; but the right hon. Gentleman now, as last year, has not said anything—or has said very little—of the business which the Government propose to submit to the House of Commons for the rest of the session. He spoke of the massacre of the innocents. Unfortunately, it is the innocents that are massacred. There are one or two of his children that we should much rather see massacred. I find a good many measures stated in the King's Speech of which we have heard nothing. There is a Bill for reconstituting a Court of Final Appeal. I think it is time to say whether that is to be carried out. We were told of it last year, but it was suddenly and mysteriously dropped. Again it appears this session. What has become of it? There is also the Sale of Land to Tenants (Ireland) Bill. What has become of that? What is to be its fate? There is a Bill dealing with the lunacy laws; and there are, further, Bills relating to water supply, stopping drunkenness in public-houses—a very good thing if it can be done, and that, I suppose, is to be engrafted upon the episcopal Bill to which I have referred. But there is another Bill, which I think is of firstrate importance—the Literary Copyright Bill, on which the right hon. Gentleman has said nothing. He has spoken only of two great measures, the Rating Bill—the Bill for continuing the grant in aid of rates—and the Education Bill. Unfortunately, these are measures which will occupy a very great deal of the time of the House. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to contemplate that the Rating Bill would be strongly opposed. I do not wish him to lay any flattering unction to his soul as to the Education Bill. It is well to speak plainly; that Bill is one which will undoubtedly require the close consideration of the House, will excite strenuous opposition, and will occupy a great deal of time. And rightly so. I know I cannot discuss that now—I should be out of order in so doing; but we must remember that this Education Bill is really a revolution of the whole educational machinery of the country. It is more than that, because it is not a complete Bill in itself. It is the prelude to something that is to follow. We have been told more or less plainly by the Vice-President, but in explicit terms by the Leader of the House himself in a letter that has been published, that it is intended by the Government that this new authority which is to be set up, and to which many of us have very strong objections, will have entrusted to it next year or at some subsequent time the whole control of the primary as well as the secondary education of the country. That makes this Bill of unusual importance and difficulty; and whatever objections we may find to the Bill within its own limits and as it stands, those objections are very much increased and the difficulty made much greater when we remember that it is merely the first stage in the process that is to be continued further. It is natural that we should like to be quite sure of the depth of the pool of water before we step into it. I wish it, therefore, to be distinctly understood that there will certainly be a great amount of strenuous opposition to much that is in this Bill, possibly to the whole Bill. At all events, it will give rise to a prolonged and serious controversy in the House. That the right hon. Gentleman should invite the House to embark upon this task in the middle of June, almost within sight of the final recess, seems to me not to imply a proper estimate of what is demanded of the House of Commons. There are one or two other Bills, and there is one of which no mention is made—the Manoeuvres Bill. We were told that, as part of the great improvements which were to be made in our military system, there would be a Manœuvres Bill introduced this session. What I would say is that no such Bill as that, because of its importance, however urgent it may be, ought to be introduced at the end of the session and hurried through. With regard to Supply, the right hon. Gentleman is giving a day this week to the Navy Estimates. With regard to the Army Estimates, the right hon. Gentleman was asked several questions yesterday as to what he proposed to do in order to give the House an opportunity of discussing the Report of the Committee which has been considering the reorganisation of the War Office, and there is some idea of taking that opportunity on the Vote for the War Office itself. I would venture to point out that that Vote is already heavily burdened. In the first place, there is the ordinary discussion which we have in ordinary years; in the second place, there is the whole question of the conduct of the war in South Africa; and if in addition to that you are to discuss this particular question of the reorganisation of the War Office, I do not think there will be room in one day, or in two days, for the discussion of three such large subjects. The right hon. Gentleman has, as I have said, made this motion, which is the usual motion. Those private Members and others who feel aggrieved at being deprived of their time at the usual periods of the session will, no doubt, blame this further encroachment. I can only say that, although I sympathise with them in that feeling, what the right hon. Gentleman has proposed is only in accordance with practice, and for that reason may be accepted in good faith.

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

The Leader of the House stated that he did not intend to enter into the task of the massacre of the innocents, but he went on to say immediately afterwards that the country and the House generally knew what was the programme of the Government, and he then proceeded to say what Bills should be proceeded with this session—the Rating Bill, the Education Bill, the Factories Bill, and so on, clearly by that method performing the task of the massacre of the innocents, and clearly indicating to the House those measures which the Government intended to proceed with, and, by exclusion, those measures it was intended to sacrifice. I noticed, not without interest, but without surprise, that the one Irish measure mentioned in the King's Speech was one with which the Government proposed not to proceed, and the result is that for the remainder of this session no more time will be given to Irish Members. For that reason I rise at once to express the view that we who sit on the Irish benches hold with regard to this motion, and to explain why we intend to give it vigorous opposition.

The Leader of the House founded his motion, as he said, upon precedent, and the Leader of the Opposition intimated general approval of the motion, also because it was founded upon precedent. Now may I be allowed to say that the precedents of this House in dealing with Irish matters are not likely to have much weight with Irish Members. The uniform precedent with respect to Irish legislation in this House has been to ignore and neglect the interests of Ireland and suppress the voice of the Irish people, who have been brought here to this Parliament against their will, under the pretence that this Parliament had the will, the knowledge, and the time to legislate wisely and justly for Ireland. I venture to say the experiences of this session and the circumstances with which this motion is surrounded this afternoon are conclusive proof that this Parliament has neither one nor the other of those qualifications. There may he, and I do not deny that there is, in the breasts of many Members of this House, a great amount of goodwill towards Ireland, but when it comes to neglecting English reforms in order to secure the passage of Irish reforms, that good will vanishes into thin air. The circumstances surrounding the motion proposed by the Leader of the House are a conclusive proof that this Parliament as at present constituted has neither the will nor the time to legislate wisely and justly for Ireland.

What has been our experience this session? When we first came to this House to formulate Irish grievances we used to be met with the statement that those grievances did not exist, but this session, under the ægis of the present Chief Secretary, that policy has wholly changed. Now the Government admit the grievances and hold up their hands in despair and say, "We cannot deal with them, because we have not the time." If there is one grievance more than another which now oppresses the people of Ireland it is the slow process of the work of land purchase in Ireland under the Land Purchase Act, and a scheme was put forward in the King's Speech for dealing with the grievance. To-day we find ourselves in this position, that that Bill goes by the board, and the Government take up the position that they cannot deal with it because they have not the time. The same remark applies to the grievance of Irish education, which the First Lord of the Treasury himself admits to be a real grievance, but which for want of capacity, or will, or time on the part of this House cannot be remedied. Another grievance which affects the industrial classes of Ireland, and which is also admitted, we are told cannot be dealt with, and the suggestion for the appointment of a Vice-regal Commission cannot, we are told, be adopted this session because there is not time. Exactly the same answer was given in the case of the Labourers Bill which we introduced; the grievance was admitted, but it could not be dealt with for the want of time. Now we are asked to give our remaining time over to the Government. If the Government proposed to use a portion of this time for grappling with Irish grievances I would be the last to refuse it to them, but after their having failed to grapple with those grievances during the whole of the session, I think the Irish Members would be very foolish if they did not resist the motion by every means in their power.

Now, I desire to enter a protest against what I call the indecent farce of putting in the mouth of the Sovereign at the commencement of a session a solemn promise to deal with grievances of this kind when there is never the remotest hope or intention on the part of the Government of doing so. I am sure the Leader of the House is too candid a man to stand up and say that when this promise was put in the King's Speech he either hoped or intended to bring this measure forward. No, Sir. It was put in as a blind, as a piece of parliamentary humbug, because the growth of the land purchase movement in Ireland in forcing land purchase has been growing in power, and is strong enough to compel the Government to put this promise in the King's Speech; but it is not sufficiently strong, or turbulent, or menacing to compel the Government to go further than to place it in the Speech from the Throne, and compel them to introduce and push a measure through the House. I certainly hope that when the Chief Secretary comes back to Parliament next year he will find that the events in Ireland have been of such a character as to, as he says, strengthen his hand, but, as I say, to compel the Government to pass a measure through the House. Who can say it is an unreasonable thing to ask the Government to give us this time?

But apart from Irish affairs, as the motion stands, the Government are practically asking for the whole of the time of the session. Never was a demand less justified. The experience of the session has been not merely that there has been no Irish legislative programme, but there has been no British legislative programme. At this period of the session the Government find themselves in a worse position, so far as the necessary business of the House is concerned, than any Government of modern times. Yet there has been no Government which has taken so much time from private Members as this Government this session. There has never been a Government in office which has had so much power in this House as the present; it is not merely that they have had the closure, and have used it more relentlessly and remorselessly than any Government before, but they have forged new rules and taken away the one privilege from the House of raising questions upon Mr. Speaker leaving the Chair upon going into Committee of Ways and Means. They have added more stringent rules to push their business than any other Government in the past, and yet they have used their time with less effect than any other Government. I think altogether upon the question of the treatment of Ireland no case has been made out for this resolution. The Government now find it is impossible for them to get through what they consider the necessary business of the session, and one cannot fail to be amused to hear and read occasionally the ill-informed cry of obstruction to account for the breakdown of the Government. There has been no obstruction. [Ironical cheers.] It is very significant that those cheers come from new Members of this House. Who is the best authority upon obstruction in this House? The First Lord of the Treasury. He was one of the inventors of obstruction. For years I sat at his feet on these benches learning from the Fourth Party the art of obstruction. The right hon. Gentleman knows what obstruction is, and he has made no claim that there has been any obstruction of public business. He has not done so because he is too candid and well informed in this matter, and he knows from his experience of the last twenty years that this session there has not been anything in the nature of obstruction. What has been happening in this session has been simply the inevitable result of the system of working in this Parliament as at present constituted.

I ask, Sir, is it not time to give up the idle pretence that the House of Commons as at present constituted can ever properly fulfil the important task of attending to the great Imperial affairs of this ever increasing Empire, with its new problems arising from day to day, and from its extension from year to year, and at one and the same time deal effectively with the perhaps more humdrum, but certainly in my opinion equally important problems which arise in the local affairs of England, Scotland, and Ireland? Sir, it is not obstruction. It is the inherent difficulty—the inherent impossibility, I would say—of the situation which has arisen owing to the change, so to speak, of the character of the work which comes to this House, and owing to the enormous increase of the duties and responsibilities of Parliament. Let me take an example. Take the case of any great British reform. Or, I will put Ireland on one side altogether, and say take the case of any great English reform, for which practically the whole of the English people are clamouring, but which necessitates close and prolonged consideration in this House. Under the present system all that is necessary to postpone for years the consideration and settlement of that question is that some great Imperial question should arise, like that which has arisen in connection with South Africa, and at once all great local reforms are blocked and shelved. You are beginning to find out, and you will find it out more and more, year by year, that it is an impossible thing—a thing which has never been accomplished by any nation in history hitherto—for one and the same assembly to fulfil the duties of a great Imperial Senate and at the same time to discharge the duties of the local legislatures of three separate countries. Some foolish people—and, indeed, they are foolish people—attribute what I may call the breakdown of the House of Commons to the Irish Members. They do us too much honour. No, Sir, if Ireland had been disfranchised, if Ireland's voice had not been heard here at all, this process would have gone on just as it has gone on, and you would have found yourselves face to face with the problem, which you cannot solve under your present system, and by the House of Commons as an instrument constituted as it is.

I have read with infinite amusement the statement confidently made that all this can be remedied if only the Government will pluck up heart of grace and call an autumn session, in order to amend the Rules of the House. Some people have gone the length of saying that the whole evil could be remedied if, forsooth, the right of asking questions were taken away from Members, or were limited. A more futile or absurd suggestion was never made. I am one of those who value the right of putting questions. I have never approved of putting irrelevant questions, or of attempting to occupy the time of the House by asking questions. I have always thought that, from the point of view of the country, from the point of view even of the Government, it is a most valuable right, and I have always deprecated any attempt to prolong questions by unnecessary questions from time to time. But suppose that you attack this right of putting questions, suppose you eliminate it altogether—which is an impossible thing—what do you gain? At the very outside, perhaps an hour or less per day. If instead of destroying the right of questions—which you could not do—you limit it in some way, you will save perhaps half an hour per day. Is it seriously contended that this hopeless block of business of the House of Commons, this hopeless block of the business of the country, this scamping—as you say, the necessary scamping—of Supply, this, as you say, necessary postponement of great British reforms, and all these things which you have seen this session—is it seriously contended that all this can be remedied by gaining half an hour a day by depriving Members of this right of questions, or by curtailing that right? No rules which man can devise can possibly get the House of Commons out of the position in which it is. No depriving of private Members of a little more of their time here and a little more of their time there will enable the House of Commons to rehabilitate itself in the public estimation. No. What is necessary is that the House of Commons should once more be able to exercise its most legitimate and primary function of carefully and fully discussing Supply, and of having sufficient time to deal with problems affecting the wellbeing of the people of England, Scotland, and Ireland. I say that that cannot be done so long as this assembly remains at one and the same time a great Imperial Senate, and also the local Parliament of England, Ireland, and Scotland. You may go on as you are going on at present, session by session, taking more time from private Members, diminishing the right of private Members to speak or to ask questions, and so on; you may go on session by session converting this assembly more and more into an instrument for simply registering the decrees arrived at by the Cabinet; you may do that, and by doing it palliate the state of things temporarily. You will not palliate it very much, but you may palliate it temporarily; but at what cost? For the sake of a momentary lull in the agony of the patient you will be giving the patient a drug which you must know will end in the deprivation of the patient's life. The House of Commons cannot continue to exist if this system of treatment is meted out to it. I say that if hon. Members desire the House of Commons to regain the position which in my belief it has largely lost in the estimation of the people of this country, if it is desired that this House should once more emulate the usefulness and freedom of past days, that desire will be carried out, not by still further limiting the rights and privileges of Members, but by some great system of devolution, whereby there will be devolved from this assembly all those local national affairs which you have not either—I was going to say the will, but I had better not say that—but which you certainly have not the knowledge, capacity, or time to transact here, and the accumulation of which hangs like a millstone around the neck of this Parliament. In saying this I really have been speaking to a large extent more from the British than the Irish point of view. From the Irish point of view, even what I have sketched out would not go to the full length of our demands. But I say that in that direction lies the only hope of the House of Commons. I am perfectly convinced that year after year, as the House of Commons ceases more and more to be a really free deliberative assembly, and becomes more and more an instrument for registering the decrees of the Cabinet, more and more you will be approaching to the time when it will be impossible for the House of Commons to exist at all. In my belief, the only hope is that the accumulation of these arrears of national work belonging to the three countries at home, and work arising from time to time out of these great Imperial problems—such as the one which has engrossed the entire of this session—will have the effect of awakening the minds of the people of these countries to the necessity of doing here that which has been done with success in almost every other civilised country in the world, namely, the sub-division of labour, by allowing men to have the responsibility of carrying out the government of themselves, the placing of the responsibility upon the shoulders of the men who have the knowledge.

For the reasons I have mentioned, I take the strongest possible view against this motion. I regret the fact—but I suppose it is almost inevitable—that when these motions are made the members of the Front Opposition Bench will support the Treasury Bench. Of course they have to face facts as they are. They look forward to the date, sooner or later, when they will be called upon to take up the government of the country, and the gentlemen of the Front Opposition Bench no doubt have to think of the time when perhaps in a future Parliament they may have to make similar requests. I suppose, therefore, that it is natural that the Leader of the Opposition should express a qualified approval of this motion, and that he should not walk into the lobby against it. But I am convinced that in his heart and in his conscience he realises substantially, at any rate, the justice of what I have been saying. I am also convinced that it would be better for him and his party if he took a strong course upon matters of this kind, and, in defence not only of the right of private Members, but also, I would say, of the continued existence of the House of Commons itself, walked into the lobby against such motions as this.

*MR. CHAPLIN (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

As one of those who have watched with much interest the fortunes of the Beer Bill, I naturally listened with the greatest attention to the statement of my right hon. friend, and more particularly to that part of it in which he indicated the intentions of the Government in regard to the future progress of that measure. As I understand, my right hon. friend is willing in any case to grant facilities for the reference of this Bill to a Grand Committee. I cannot help saying that, if that concession had been made when we asked for it some weeks ago, we should have received it with the most cheerful alacrity, because our position then would have been this. The Standing Committee on Trade was at that time absolutely free from all other business. No other Bill was before it, nor was any other Bill in a position to be referred to it, and there would have been ample time to pass the Beer Bill through it before Whitsuntide. The first Wednesdays after Whitsuntide would then have been available for its further stages, and we should have had every reason to hope and believe that the passage of the Bill into law was practically assured. It is evident, therefore, that we have not got all that we asked for, or all that we hoped for.


I meant to deal with that point. The course which my right hon. friend urged us to take, and which he regrets that we did not take, would have had this fatal objection—that it would have made the Government intervene in the fortunes of the ballot, and disappoint the legitimate hopes of hon. Gentlemen concerned for other private Members' Bills. I do not think it would have been possible for us to do that.


I do not wish to press this point, nor did I raise it for the purpose of controversy, but rather for explanation. As my right hon. friend said very justly only a few minutes ago, the reasons why measures do not advance as rapidly as their supporters desire are frequently not in the least understood by the country, and I was making that statement very much for that reason. As I was saying, it is evident that we have not got all that we asked or hoped for, as people in this world—at all events in my experience— very seldom do. What I understand is that, unless this Bill returns from the Committee more highly controversial than it is at present, we may have every reasonable expectation that in the natural course of things it will be allowed to go through its remaining stages. I am very glad to think that that probably will be the case, otherwise I should have found myself under the painful necessity of being in direct conflict with the Government upon the motion now before the House. The Leader of the Opposition pointed out that at all events there was one member of the Government—the Chancellor of the Exchequer—who would have to be converted. However that may be, I am encouraged by the knowledge that, whatever the Chancellor of the Exchequer may have done, many of his colleagues voted in favour of the Bill, and I am therefore somewhat more sanguine than the right hon. Gentleman opposite with regard to the fate of the measure. I look forward with confidence to the Bill passing through Committee in a condition which will make it not more controversial than it is at present, and, on the whole, though we have not received all that we desired, I think I may say on behalf of the supporters of this movement that we are not ungrateful to my right hon. friend for the course he has taken.

SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)

I think there is clearly a hope that the Beer Bill may emerge from the Committee in a less controversial form. The Committee will have the advantage of having before it the report of the committee of experts, of which I saw an account in The Times the other day, and in which they say that the more general form of arsenic in beer is due to malt rather than to sugar. If the Bill is recast from that point of view it will certainly emerge from the Committee in a less controversial form.

*MR. JOHN ELLIS (Nottinghamshire, Rushcliffe)

It is impossible to consider this motion otherwise than in its effect on the whole machinery of unofficial Members' attempts to legislate in this House. I do not find myself very far removed from the position taken up by the hon. Member for Waterford in the powerful speech he has just made on the very much wider aspect of devolution. I hold by the faith with which Mr. Gladstone inspired many of us in 1885 and 1886 in that matter, and I was glad to hear the point put so forcibly and clearly by the hon. Member this evening. In regard to the attempts of unofficial Members to initiate and carry through legislation, I really think it is time we made up our minds on the matter. I ventured to make a few remarks on the 8th February, 1899, when the usual motion was made at the beginning of the session with regard to the ballot for Bills, and I stated then that on examining the facts for a period of years I found that out of every hundred Bills introduced only about four ever received any discussion on a Wednesday afternoon in this House, while only two made any further progress. For the past ten or twelve years practically no Bill, unless it has been of an absolutely uncontroversial character, has passed through this House on the initiative of an unofficial Member. The reason is not far to seek. When there is put into the hands of every individual of the 670 Members who form this House the power of stopping every stage of a Bill after a specified hour, you are providing a weapon by which anyone is enabled to stop practically all legislation from unofficial sources. We all know that by tar the larger number of the Bills now appearing on the Paper, whether they he Government or other, will never receive the slightest discussion in this House. I really think that this is a matter which demands attention. The right hon. Gentleman made an announcement with regard to certain Bills being sent to a Standing Committee. I did not gather whether he promised to grant Government facilities to those Bills when they emerged from that Committee, because that after all is the vital point.


I made no promise. I thought I made it perfectly clear that that depended upon the shape in which they emerged from the Committee.


I only wished to know the fact. I have some experience of those Committees, and, to one who is anxious to see the machinery of this House working effectively, it is a pitiable thing to see Members coming down by the score to attend these Committees, and devoting a great deal of time to passing Bills through, conscious all the while that at the end of their labours nothing further will result. Last year the thing reached what might be described as a farce. Standing Committees met, but were unable even to form a quorum, because Members were aware that the whole of their time would be thrown away. With regard to Bills which have passed through Committee of the whole House, surely it is time some steps were taken to make effective the provision of our Standing Orders which, after Whitsuntide, places Bills in the order of their progress. I remember very well that that rule was adopted in the hope that something would come of Bills introduced by unofficial Members. But let us look facts in the face. Is there any Member who has the slightest experience of this House who will not admit that an unofficial Member, whatever his fortune in the ballot may be, has little or no chance of passing a measure through the House if it has in it the slightest element of a controversial character? We find ourselves this session in a most peculiar position. Finance dominates the whole situation. Everyone knows—the right hon. Gentleman has pointed it out—that, what with Supply, the Civil List, and the finance arising from the war, no legislation of a practical or effective character is possible if it is to have that reasonable amount of discussion which all legislation ought to have in this assembly. In The Times of yesterday the following remarks were made— At the same time many people feel that the failure to pass the majority of the Bills that have figured in Speeches from the Throne during recent years would not be an irreparable and paralysing loss to the country. At a time when Parliament and the nation have to grapple with the tremendous political and financial problems involved in the South African crisis, there is no ardent desire on the part of the people to keep fiddling about what are called social reforms. There is a great deal more truth in that statement than might perhaps be ac- knowledged as yet in the House. Finance and this terrible South African problem will mainly absorb the time and attention of the House of Commons, in my opinion, throughout this Parliament. I do think we are entitled to have from the right hon. Gentleman a little more specifically a statement of what he really intends to carry through the House of Commons and what he intends to drop. He spoke of the massacre of the innocents at the end of July. Why should we go on wasting our time through another six or seven weeks over matters which may not be further proceeded with? Why should he not tell us exactly the measures the Government mean to press? I regret that we have not time seriously and quietly to consider our procedure with a view to making more effective our rules with respect to legislation by unofficial Members. I recognise that the Government must have the time for the purposes of Supply and the great Finance Bill—and really the right hon. Gentleman might have given us some information with regard to that measure, because that will certainly take three or four weeks. Under these circumstances I do not feel at liberty to oppose the motion of the right hon. Gentleman, but I do earnestly hope that he will see to it, during the remainder of the time he asks us to sit here, that the business should be so allocated that, at all events, at each week-end we may feel we have done something practical.

MR. TRITTON (Lambeth, Norwood)

On behalf of a great many Unionist Members who are associated with me on the question of licensing reform, I desire to offer our hearty thanks to the Leader of the House for the arrangement he has made with regard to the Children's Bill. We have been somewhat troublous in that we have put many questions, had many interviews, and sent many memorials, and we now acknowledge with heart-felt gratitude the very hand some manner in which the right hon. Gentleman has met us. When the news is flashed through the country that the Government are going to help on the Bill which will protect little children from the evils of the public-house, there will be a thrill of heart-felt gratitude and joy all through the country that the intensity of the feeling on this subject has been recognised. We thank the right hon. Gentleman for what he has done, and we hope that when the Bill comes out of Committee, amended as the case may be, he will give facilities that the measure, which is so strongly desired by all lovers of children and those who are interested in the sobriety of the country, may be placed on the Statute-book, and by so doing he will earn the everlasting gratitude of a large number of his fellow countrymen and countrywomen.


May I be allowed to make a very strong protest against the action of the First Lord of the Treasury in having for the second time taken the date fixed for the Committee stage of the Marriage with a Deceased Wife's Sister Bill. The long holidays have deprived the country of a measure which would otherwise have been passed this session. I am of opinion that if the House had met at the usual time, and if we had not had extra long holidays, it would not have been necessary now to take up the time of private Members. I think some consideration is due to hon. Members of this House, and the First Lord of the Treasury might help us to get this Bill referred to the Grand Committee on Law. I may remind the right hon. Gentleman that the House has already expressed its opinion very strongly on the Second Reading, and his remarks about the closure did not refer to the Deceased Wife's Sister Bill, because when the closure was moved the discussion had practically ceased, a number of hon. Members were talking about their own private affairs, and nobody knows what the hon. Member addressing the House at the time was talking about. I believe that the general opinion of the House is that this measure should receive fair and generous treatment. This question has been before the House for at least a quarter of a century, and it has been carried both in this House and the House of Lords. I am aware that this Bill does not excite that enthusiasm which some Bills naturally give rise to. At the same time I think there is a general feeling throughout the country in favour of it, and it is only opposed by a very small section of this House and the country. That same section also opposes the Church Discipline Bill, but the country is thoroughly Protestant and the people are determined not to be priest-ridden. I have received innumerable newspaper articles from the colonies expressing strong indignation as to the way this Bill has been treated this year. I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he thinks that the under, taking given last year by the Prime Minister to the Australian representatives upon this subject has been loyally carried out by the course which the Government have now taken. I do implore the House not to trifle with the very strong feeling which exists in the colonies upon this question. Those colonies have loyally stood by us and fought for us, and they are now more especially deserving of consideration at a time when the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall are honouring ladies of high position in Australia, who, if they came to this country, would be branded as persons of immoral character and would be denied access to the Court of their Sovereign.

*MR. PURVIS (Peterborough)

I wish to take this opportunity of cordially expressing to the Government my indebtedness for what they propose to do. With regard to some of the remarks made by the right hon. Gentleman on the other side, they remind me of the old saying that that which is true is not new, and that which is new is not true. He has referred to what he calls the lately printed Report of the Commission. Now that is not an official Report, nor is it a report of the Royal Commission. A commission appointed by the brewers is certainly not a Royal Commission, and with regard to arsenic in malt the Report says that it is so infinitesimal that, practically, it need not be taken into consideration at all. I believe I am expressing the opinion of all supporters of this Bill in this House, and of a great many people in every corner of the country, when I say that we are thankful to the Government for the consideration they have shown us in regard to this measure.


May I now be allowed to make an appeal to hon. Members to allow the resolution to be decided upon. I make this appeal in the interests of the Bills which are to come before the House

MR. J. A. PEASE (Essex, Saffron Walden)

I want to refer to the very strong feeling which exists in the eastern counties of England in favour of this Pure Beer Bill. Farmers and agricultural labourers are united in regard to the necessity for this Bill being passed, but, so far as my experience of this House goes, referring Bills to a Grand Committee at this period of the session means that they will be massacred, and will not be passed into law. Unless we have some better assurance from the First Lord of the Treasury I feel that there will be great disappointment amongst those interested in this Bill because of the danger of its non-passage into law. The First Lord of the Treasury has said that no pledge as to the future can be given by the Government, and I am afraid that will give great dissatisfaction throughout the country not only with regard to this Bill, but also in regard to many other measures which are ripe for legislation.

MR. CROMBIE (Kincardineshire)

I cordially join with my hon. friend the Member for Norwood in thanking the right hon. Gentleman for what he has done for the Children's Bill. I only desire to ask one question. I wish to know if the Bill to be introduced dealing with the dismissal of teachers will apply to Scotland.


No, it will not apply to Scotland.

MR. KEARLEY (Devonport)

I would like to know if the promise made by the right hon. Gentleman involves the introduction of the Military Loans Bill.


Yes, that Bill will be introduced.


I should like to ask when the right hon. Gentleman intends to proceed with it, because I regard it as a pernicious system that these Bills should be introduced at the very end of the session.


said he desired to make a brief statement with regard to the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors to Children Bill. When the Bill was read a second time, he was one of those who spoke and voted against it, and in so doing he felt bound to complain that they were somewhat misrepresented. He must enter a protest against the tone of the hon. Member behind him, who asserted that those who opposed the Bill had no interest in children or in their welfare.


I said nothing of the sort.


was bound to say that that was what he gathered. He desired to add one word to explain the attitude he adopted. The First Lord of the Treasury had alluded to the habit of hon. Members of pointing out many faults in the measures which came forward on Wednesdays and then voting for the Second Reading. He preferred the doctrine laid down by the late Lord Randolph Churchill in the debate on this subject in 1886, when he said that if one felt so much objection to a measure as this the right process was to vote against it. As he imagined there would be no further opportunity of speaking in the House on this subject, he rose to say that those who voted against the Bill were not opposed to all temperance reform.


Order, order! The hon. Member will not be in order on this occasion in discussing motives for voting on the Second Reading of a particular Bill.


May I make the simple observation in conclusion that, while I was one of those who spoke and voted against this Bill, the course I then took must not be taken as being altogether against temperance reform or the welfare of children.

MR. E. J. C. MORTON (Devonport)

Several hon. Members who have spoken have expressed their gratitude that an exception has been made with respect to the Children's Bill. Although I agree with those sentiments, I cannot help feeling that the motion of the First Lord of the Treasury substantially amounts to a proposal to make private Members pay for the sins of mismanagement of the Government. The wasting of time at the disposal of this House by the Government commenced at the very beginning of the session. The present session was summoned on the 17th of February, and I know of no reason why it should not have been summoned a week earlier. We had an unusually long recess at Easter and another at Whitsuntide, and now the First Lord proposes to take all the time from private Members with the few exceptions he has made. The right hon. Gentleman has not told us clearly what he intends to do with the time of the House. There are four Bills in which I feel a very special interest—the Finance Bill, the Loan Bill, the Education Bill, and the Bill for the renewal of the Agricultural Ratings Act. I should like very much to have some indication as to the period at which these Bills will be taken, and which of them is going to be taken earliest.


The Finance Bill.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give me some indication as to when he is likely to take the Education Bill?


I am afraid I cannot.


I hope the First Lord will be good enough to give us the earliest possible information as regards the order in which these Bills are to be taken.

*MR. DELANY (Queen's County, Ossory)

moved his Amendment to the First Lord of the Treasury's resolution, to except Tuesday, the 11th instant. He moved this because he desired to call attention to a matter which affected his constituency very much—he referred to the question of the Barrow drainage. The Barrow Drainage Commissions of 1886 and the Royal Commission on Irish. Public Works of 1887 both reported in favour of drainage schemes in connection with the river Barrow, and in 1888 the Leader of the House introduced a Bill dealing with the subject, but he afterwards withdrew it. If in 1888 the need for this scheme was so great, why was it abandoned and never introduced again? Widespread suffering resulted from the flooding of the river Barrow. Things have been growing worse from year to year, and at present four or five of the adjacent counties were in a critical condition. The area included some four or five large towns—


Order, order! The hon. Member will not be in order in dealing with that point.


said the Government were treating private Members very badly, and he thought the First Lord of the Treasury ought to have given them a month's notice in his motion. In Ireland the taxes were already heavier than they were able to bear, and this was a purely domestic question to relieve a large and important portion of the country which might very properly be brought before the House. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would grant them facilities for dealing with this important question, which was one of vital interest to his constituents.

Amendment proposed— In line 3, after the word 'on,' to insert the words 'Tuesday the 11th and.'"—(Mr. Delany.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


I hope that the hon. Member will not press his Amendment. I do not think that in any case it is possible for anything to be done in the Barrow drainage question this session. I assure the hon. Member however that the subject is engaging the attention of the Chief Secretary.

MR. POWER (Waterford, E.)

said he was very sorry that a more favourable reply had not been given, and unless the Chief Secretary for Ireland or the First Lord of the Treasury, who knew the gravity of the condition of things in this part of Ireland, gave them some assurance that the question would receive attention, he should urge his hon. friends to proceed to a division.


, said they had a right to demand from the Government an opportunity to discuss a matter of such grave importance to Ireland as the Barrow drainage scheme.

MR. CREAN (Cork, S.E.)

thought the First Lord of the Treasury ought to respond to the appeal which had been made to him from the Irish Benches, in

order that hon. Members might be made aware of the great defects and the destruction of property which took place in those counties. It was no use the First Lord giving them visionary promises, and it would be far more satisfactory if the Member for the Division affected (Mr. Delany) were allowed to move the motion on the Paper upon this question, which he was debarred from doing by the motion of the First Lord of the Treasury. It would be their duty to divide the House if they did not get a definite promise upon this question.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 107; Noes, 146. (Division List No. 244.)

Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.) Griffith, Ellis J. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Allan, William (Gateshead) Hammond, John O'Dowd, John
Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Ambrose, Robert Harwood, George O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Hayden, John Patrick O'Malley, William
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Horniman, Frederick John O'Mara, James
Bell, Richard Jacoby, James Alfred O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Black, Alexander William Jones, William (Carnarvonsh. Pease, J. A. Saffron Walden)
Blake, Edward Kennedy, Patrick James Philipps, John Wynford
Boland, John Layland-Barratt, Francis Pickard, Benjamin
Boyle, James Loamy, Edmund Power, Patrick Joseph
Broadhurst, Henry Leng, Sir John Price, Robert John
Burke, E. Haviland- Levy, Maurice Rea, Russell
Burt, Thomas Lewis, John Herbert Reddy, M.
Caldwell, James Lundon, W. Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Redmond, William (Clare)
Cawley, Frederick M'Dermott, Patrick Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Channing, Francis Allston M'Govern, T. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Cogan, Denis J. Mansfield, Horace Rendall Shipman, Dr. John G.
Condon, Thomas Joseph Mather, William Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Crean, Eugene Minch, Matthew Soares, Ernest, J.
Cremer, William Randal Mooney, John J. Sullivan, Donal
Cullinan, J. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Dalziel, James Henry Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport) Tennant, Harold John
Delany, William Moulton, John Fletcher Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Dewar, J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Murnaghan, George Wallace, Robert
Dillon, John Murphy, John Weir, James Galloway
Doogan, P. C. Nannetti, Joseph P. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Duffy, William J. Nolan, Col John P. (Galway, N.) White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Fenwick, Charles Norman, Henry Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Flavin, Michael Joseph Norton, Capt. Cecil William Yoxall, James Henry
Flynn, James Christopher O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Gilhooly, James O'Brien, Kendal (Tipper'ry Mid TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Grant, Corrie O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Arrol, Sir William Balcarres, Lord
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Baldwin, Alfred
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Austin, Sir John Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manc'r
Arkwright, John Stanhope Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Bain, Colonel James Robert Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds
Balfour, Maj K R (Christchurch Hall, Edward Marshall Pilkington, Lieut.-Col Richard.
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert W. Plummer, Walter R.
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd) Pretyman, Ernest George
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Purvis, Robert
Bull, William James Hay, Hon. Claude George Randles, John S.
Bullard, Sir Harry Heaton, John Henniker Ratcliffe, R. F.
Butcher, John George Hill, Arthur Rentoul, James Alexander
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead) Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh. Hogg, Lindsay Ritchie, Rt. Hon Chas Thomson
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Hope, J. F (Sheffield, Brightside Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Houldsworth, Sir William H. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r) Houston, Robert Paterson Seton-Karr, Henry
Chapman, Edward Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Charrington, Spencer Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) Smith, H C (North'mb Tyneside
Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E. Hudson, George Bickersteth Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Coghill, Douglas Harry Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Spear, John Ward
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Kenyon, Hn. G. T. (Denbigh) Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Lambton, Hon. Frederick W. Stock, James Henry
Cranborne, Viscount Laurie, Lieut.-General Stone, Sir Benjamin
Crombie, John William Law, Andrew Bonar Stroyan, John
Dalkeith, Earl of Lawson, John Grant Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G (Oxf'd Univ
Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chath'm Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington) Thornton, Percy M.
Denny, Colonel Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Tritton, Charles Ernest
Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'mlets, S. Geo Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Tufnell, Lt.-Col. Edward
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Tuke, Sir John Batty
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S. Valentia, Viscount
Doughty, George Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Walker, Col. William Hall
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Macdona, John Cumming Wanklyn, James Leslie
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Maconochie, A. W. Welby, Lt.-Col. A C E (Taunton
Duke, Henry Edward M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw. M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J. (Manc'r Maxwell, W J H (Dumfriesshire Willox, Sir John Archibald
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Melville, Beresford Valentine Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Fisher, William Hayes Middlemore, J. Throgmorton Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A. Mildmay, Francis Bingham Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh Wodehouse, Rt Hn. E. R. (Bath)
Flower, Ernest Morrell, George Herbert Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Garfit, William Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Morton, Arthur H. A (Deptford) Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin & Nairn) Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute
Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Goschen, Hn. Geo. Joachim O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Goulding, Edward Alfred Parkes, Ebenezer
Groves, James Grimble Pease, Herbert Pike (D'rlingt'n
Hain, Edward Pierpont, Robert

Main Question again proposed.


rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided:—Ayes, 144; Noes, 110. (Division List No. 245.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Bull, William James Cranborne, Viscount
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Bullard, Sir Harry Crombie, John William
Arrol, Sir William Butcher, John George Dalkeith, Earl of
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Davies, Sir Horatio D (Chatham
Austin, Sir John Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh. Denny, Colonel
Bain, Colonel James Robert Cayzer, Sir Charles William Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'mlets S. Geo.
Balcarres, Lord Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Baldwin, Alfred Chamberlain, J. Austen (W'rc'r Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r) Chapman, Edward Doughty, George
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Charrington, Spencer Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds) Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Doxford, Sir William Theodore
Balfour, Maj K R (Christchurch Coghill, Douglas Harry Duke, Henry Edward
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Law, Andrew Bonar Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r Lawson, John Grant Seton-Karr, Henry
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Simeon, Sir Barrington
Fisher, William Hayes Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Smith, H C (North'mb Tyneside
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward A. Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.) Spear, John Ward
Flower, Ernest Lucas, R. J. (Portsmouth) Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk
Garfit, William Macdona, John Cumming Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Maconochie, A. W. Stock, James Henry
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire) Stroyan, John
Goschen, Hon. George J. Maxwell, W J H (Dumfriesshire Talbot, Rt Hn J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Goulding, Edward Alfred Melville, Beresford Valentine Thorburn, Sir Walter
Groves, James Grimble Middlemore, John T. Tritton, Charles Ernest
Hain, Edward Mildmay, Francis Bingham Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Hall, Edward Marshall Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.) Valentia, Viscount
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. W. Morrell, George Herbert Walker, Col. William Hall
Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford) Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Wanklyn, James Leslie
Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Morton, Arthur H. A (Deptford) Welby, Lt.-Col. A C E (Taunton
Hay, Hon. Claude George Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Heaton, John Henniker Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Hill, Arthur O'Neill, Hon. Herbert Torrens Willox, Sir John Archibald
Hoare, Edw. B. (Hampstead) Parkes, Ebenezer Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Hogg, Lindsay Pease, Herbt. Pike (Darlington Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Hope, J. F. (Sh'ff'd, Brightside) Pierpoint, Robert Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.
Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Pilkington, Lt.-Col. Richard Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Houston, Robert Paterson Plummer, Walter R. Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Howard, J. (Kent, Faversh'm) Pretyman, Ernest George Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) Purvis, Robert Young, Commander (Berks, E.)
Hudson, George Bickersteth Randles, John S.
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Ratcliffe, R. F. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh) Rentoul, James Alexander
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop. Ridley, S Forde (Bethnal Green
Lambton, Hon. Frederick W. Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Laurie, Lt.-General Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Flynn, James Christopher O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Gilhooly, James O'Brien, Kendal (Tip'er'ry, Mid
Allan, William (Gateshead) Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud Grant, Corrie O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W)
Ambrose, Robert Griffith, Ellis J. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Bell, Richard Hammond, John O'Dowd, John
Black, Alexander William Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Blake, Edward Harwood, George O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N
Roland, John Hayden, John Patrick O'Mall'ey, William
Boyle, James Horniman, Frederick John O'Mara, James
Broadhurst, Henry Jacoby, James Alfred O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Burke, E. Haviland- Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.) Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Burt, Thomas Kennedy, Patrick James Philipps, John Wynford
Caldwell, James Layland-Barratt, Francis Pickard, Benjamin
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Leamy, Edmund Power, Patrick Joseph
Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Leng, Sir John Price, Robert John
Cawley, Frederick Levy, Maurice
Channing, Francis Allston Lewis, John Herbert Rea, Russell
Cogan, Denis J. Lundon, W. Reddy, M.
Condon, Thomas Joseph MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Crean, Eugene M'Dermott, Patrick Redmond, William (Clare)
Cremer, William Randal M'Govern, T. Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Cullinan, J. Mansfield, Horace Rendall Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Dalziel, James Henry Minch, Matthew Shipman, Dr. John G.
Delany, William Mooney, John J. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport) Soares, Ernest J.
Dillon, John Moulton, John Fletcher Spencer, Rt. Hn. C R (Northants
Doogan, P. C. Murnaghan, George Sullivan, Donal
Duffy, William J. Murphy, John Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Duncan, J. Hastings Nannetti, Joseph P. Tennant, Harold John
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Nolan, Col John P. (Galway, N.) Thomas, David Alfred (Merth'r
Fenwick, Charles Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Wallace, Robert
Field, William Norman, Henry Weir, James Galloway
Flavin, Michael Joseph Norton, Capt. Cecil William White, Luke (York, E. R.)
White, Patrick (Meath, North) Wilson, Fred. W (Norfolk, Mid. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.
Whitley, J. H. (Halifax) Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Whittaker, Thomas Palmer Yoxall, James Henry

Main Question put accordingly, "That, for the remainder of the session, Government Business do have precedence on Tuesday and Wednesday (except on Wednesday the 12th and Wednesday the 19th of June), and that the provisions of

Standing Order 56 be extended to all the days of the week."—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)

The House divided:—Ayes, 144; Noes, 111. (Division List No. 246.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Flannery, Sir Fortescue Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Flower, Ernest O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud Garfit, William Parkes, Ebenezer
Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden Godson, Sir Augustus Fred. Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n
Arkwright, John Stanhope Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn Pierpoint, Robert
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Pilkington, Lt.-Col. Richard
Arrol, Sir William Goschen, Hn. Geo. Joachim Plummer, Walter R.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Goulding, Edward Alfred Pretyman, Ernest George
Austin, Sir John Groves, James Grimble Purvis, Robert
Bain, Colonel James Robert Hain, Edward Randles, John S.
Balcarres, Lord Hall, Edward Marshall Ratcliffe, R. F.
Baldwin, Alfred Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Rbt. Wm. Rentoul, James Alexander
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. T.
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds Hay, Hon. Claude George Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Balfour, Maj K R (Christchurch Heaton, John Henniker Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol Hill, Arthur Simeon, Sir Barrington
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead) Smith, H C (North'mb Tyneside
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middles'x) Hogg, Lindsay Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Bull, William James Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightsd. Spear, John Ward
Bullard, Sir Harry Houldsworth, Sir W. Henry Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk
Butcher, John George Houston, Robert Paterson Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham) Stock, James Henry
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh. Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Hudson, George Bickersteth Stroyan, John
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Talbot, Rt Hn J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r) Kenyon, Hn. G. T. (Denbigh) Tennant, Harold John
Chapman, Edward Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop. Thorburn, Sir Walter
Charrington, Spencer Lambton, Hn. Frederick W. Tritton, Charles Ernest
Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E. Laurie, Lieut.-General Tufnell, Lt.-Col. Edward
Coghill, Douglas Harry Law, Andrew Bonar Valentia, Viscount
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Lawson, John Grant Walker, Col. William Hall
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Wanklyn, James Leslie
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Welby, Lt.-Col. A C E (Taunton
Cranborne, Viscount Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Crombie, John William Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Dalkeith, Earl of Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S. Willox, Sir John Archibald
Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Denny, Colonel Macdona, John Cumming Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'mrts, S. Geo. Maconochie, A. W. Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Wodehouse, Rt Hn. E. R. (Bath)
Doughty, George M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire) Wrightsbn, Sir Thomas
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Maxwell, W J H (Dumfriesshire Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Doxford, Sir William T. Melville, Beresford Valentine Young, Commander (Berks, E.
Duke, Henry Edward Middlemore, J. Throgmorton
Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward Mildmay, Francis Bingham TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r Morrell, George Herbert
Finlay, Sir Robt. Bannatyne Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.
Fisher, William Hayes Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford
Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Ambrose, Robert Bell, Richard
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Black, Alexander William
Allan, William (Gateshead) Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Blake, Edward
Boland, John Hayden, John Patrick O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N
Boyle, James Horniman, Frederick John O'Malley, William
Broadhurst, Henry Jacoby, James Alfred O'Mara, James
Burke, E. Haviland- Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Burt, Thomas Kennedy, Patrick James Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Caldwell, James Layland-Barratt, Francis Philipps, John Wynford
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Leamy, Edmund Pickard, Benjamin
Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Leng, Sir John Power, Patrick Joseph
Cawley, Frederick Levy, Maurice Price, Robert John
Channing, Francis Allston Lewis, John Herbert Rea, Russell
Cogan, Denis J. Lundon, W. Reddy, M.
Condon, Thomas Joseph MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Crean, Eugene M'Crae, George Redmond, William (Clare)
Cremer, William Randal M'Dermott, Patrick Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Cullinan, J. M'Govern, T. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Dalziel, James Henry Mansfield, Horace Rendall Shipman, Dr. John G.
Delany, William Mather, William Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.) Minch, Mathew Soares, Ernest J.
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Mooney, John J. Sullivan, Donal
Dillon, John Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport) Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Doogan, P. C. Moulton, John Fletcher Thomas, David Alfred (Merth'r
Duffy, William J. Murnaghan, George Wallace, Robert
Duncan, J. Hastings Murphy, John Weir, James Galloway
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Nannetti, Joseph P. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Fenwick, Charles Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway N. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Field, William Nolan, Joseph (Loath, South) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Flavin, Michael Joseph Norman, Henry Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Flynn, James Christopher Norton, Capt. Cecil William Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid
Gilhooly, James O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Brien, Kendal (Tipper'ry Mid Yoxall, James Henry
Grant, Corrie O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Griffith, Ellis J. O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Hammond, John O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Hardie, J Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) O'Dowd, John
Harwood, George O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)

Resolution agreed to.

Ordered, That, for the remainder of the session, Government Business do have precedence on Tuesday and Wednesday (except on Wednesday the 12th and Wednesday the 19th of June), and that the provisions of Standing Order 56 be extended to all the days of the week.