§ [MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT.]
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, in view of the dangers to which works on the western side of the Rock of Gibraltar are exposed, His Majesty's Government have, since 30th March last, suspended the prosecution of any of the works on that side of the rock sanctioned by the Naval Works Act, 1896; and, if so, will he state what are the works the prosecution whereof has been so suspended.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
In answer to my hon. friend, I have to say that, as regards the works which are in process of construction, I understand that neither he nor anybody else has desired that they should be suspended.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
That is what I understood. As regards the works which have not been commenced in situ, the First Lord of the Admiralty has done all that is possible, short of breaking contracts, to prevent progress with the works pending the final decision of the Government. I may say that the final Report of the Committee, of which at one time my hon. friend was a Member, was only received on 15th May, and that since 15th May the Commander-in-Chief and the Senior Admiral on the Mediterranean Station have had to be consulted. So that there has been no long delay. The Government have nothing whatever to conceal from the House in this matter, and I hope that at an early date a full statement may be made on the subject to the House.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
But can my right hon. friend not give me an assurance that these works will be stopped?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Not as to the works in process of completion; but I have told my hon. friend that everything short of breaking contracts has been done with regard to the other works. I only ask my hon. friend to wait a few days until the Government are in a position to state to the House exactly how matters stand and the reasons which have induced them to adopt their policy.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Then I shall be obliged to ask leave to move the adjournment of the House. Perhaps I may ask my right hon. friend a question, the answer to which, I trust, will make it unnecessary for me to move the adjournment of the House. I think my right hon. friend has misapprehended me. The works referred to in my question were the works recommended for abandonment by the unanimous Report of the Committee on March 30th, whether they have been begun or not. No restriction was made at all in that Report. That being so, what I wish to ask is, Can my right hon. friend give me the assurance that all such works will be abandoned? That will content me for the moment. If not, can he say when the statement he has said he hopes to make will be made, and whether it will 303 be made in such circumstances as would give me an opportunity of raising the whole question in this House? If so, I will not move the adjournment of the House.
§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
Cannot the whole matter be discussed on the Naval Works Bill?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
That is a question of order on which I am not an authority, and I have not had an opportunity of making inquiries which would enable me to make even an unauthoritative statement upon the subject. As regards what has fallen from my hon. friend, I understand that as far as the works to which he refers go, they have been stopped as far as it is possible to stop them without breaking contracts. More than that cannot be done until the Government have given a decision upon the whole question. That decision will be come to, I believe, in a very few days, and then it will be the business of the Government to acquaint the House generally with the decision arrived at. My hon. friend goes on to ask when that statement will be made, and whether there will be an opportunity of discussing it. At all events, there will be the same opportunity which my hon. friend has to-night, but under much better circumstances.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I do not think that is a contingency that is very likely to arise, but I think probably I shall be able to give the House an opportunity. At any rate, my hon. friend will benefit, because no discussion this evening can be operative. The House must wait for the final decision of the Government, and until we have come to a decision the question must be left very much 304 where it is. Therefore I hope my hon. friend will take the answer I have given him, at all events provisionally. I understand the question can be discussed on the Naval Works Bill.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
My right hon. friend has given me no assurance whatever as to when he will make this statement, or as to whether I shall have an opportunity of discussing the whole matter.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Does my hon. friend wish me to name the day and the hour? I have said it is under the consideration of the Government, and their decision will be given very shortly. Surely, that ought to satisfy my hon. friend.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Will my right hon. friend undertake that I shall have an opportunity of discussing the matter? If I cannot get that undertaking I shall move the adjournment.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
I understand from what has been said that money for the works which the hon. Member wishes to be abandoned will have to be voted in the Naval Works Bill. In that case, of course, the hon. Member will have an opportunity of discussing it I only intervene because this point was referred to as raising a question of order.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I think that will not meet the case. I should have a right to discuss the application of that money, but I wish to have an opportunity of discussing the method in which this Committee and its Report have been handled. If my right hon. friend would give me an assurance that I shall have an opportunity of discussing the whole matter, I will abstain from moving the adjournment. [Opposition cries of "Move."] If not, I will ask the permission of the House.
MR. JAMES LOWTHER (Kent, Thanet)
I beg to ask my right hon. friend whether I understood him correctly that, in the event of this matter being precluded by one of these motions known as "blocking notices," he would take care that a full and legitimate 305 opportunity was afforded to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
It is perfectly plain to the House, after what I have said, that the Government have no desire to conceal anything from the House in this matter. We mean to make a clean breast of it, and the House will, of course, have an opportunity of discussing it.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I have only one question to ask my right hon. friend. Will he undertake meantime to stop the works recommended for abandonment by the Committee on March 30th?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I cannot undertake to break contracts. I think my hon. friend must feel that in making any such demand upon me he is making a most unreasonable demand.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
then asked leave to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, viz., "the conduct of His Majesty's Government in refusing to give any undertaking to suspend the prosecution of certain works on the western side of the Rock of Gibraltar which are exposed to serious dangers "; but the pleasure of the House not having been signified, Mr. SPEAKER called on those Members who supported the motion to rise in their places, and not less than forty Members having accordingly risen—
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Sir, I move that this House do now adjourn. I do so with great reluctance, and only because I have been refused anything like an assurance that an opportunity would be given for the discussion of this matter.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
That is my understanding of the statement the right hon. Gentleman has made. As I understand him, he has not given me any assurance that I shall have, on a definite occasion, some opportunity of discussing this subject. I may be mis- 306 taken, but that is my belief. I regret very much to have to discuss the subject of Gibraltar at all in this House, and I only do it because of the danger involved and the delay imported into it. I regret especially to have to discuss it on a motion like this, and only do it on account of the great urgency of the matter. No doubt it is inconvenient in every way to ask the House to adjourn. It is a false issue, and does not represent the real question at issue. But it is an occasion which, in the wisdom of the House, has been provided for precisely such cases as this, where matters are being prosecuted, which there is no other way of putting an end to. When I have finished—I shall be short, and shall only make those remarks which will enable the House to understand the position of the subject—I think the House will see that this is a legitimate occasion on which to raise this matter.
In two words, my case is this. His Majesty's Government are prosecuting, contrary to the unanimous Report of a Committee appointed by themselves, works which that Committee recommended on 30th March should be abandoned. There was no question in that Report whether the works were begun or not begun. They were all begun. There is no question of the breaking of contracts, because I shall show the House that the contracts contain a provision enabling the Government to abandon any part of the work. My belief is that the Government are not conscious of the danger involved in these works, or of the urgency of stopping them, not for want of information of the most serious and disquieting character, not from want of the Report of the Committee, but I fear for the want, which has distinguished them more than once, of understanding the full importance of the information they had in their possession. I must go over a short history to make the House understand the matter. The House will remember that in 1895 under the late Government, a proposal was made to build at Gibraltar certain moles for torpedo defence, and one dock, at a cost of a million and a half. The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Galway and a late Member of the House, Captain Bethell, did at the time object, on the ground that 307 since guns had obtained a range of 10,000 yards, such works would be exposed to fire from the land. I supported the scheme, but if I had known then, as I know now, that Sir Andrew Clarke had reported against any such scheme, and that Major-General Crease and Colonel Buckle had also reported against it, I should have hesitated. But I did not hesitate because I did not then know what I have learned since. All the import and the meaning of the thing was at the time hidden. In 1896–97 the great mistake was made. Mr. Goschen came down to the House and proposed a much more ambitious scheme than that proposed by his predecessor. He proposed to increase the moles, and also to increase the number of docks from one to three, and to increase the expenditure from one and a half millions to four millions. I maintained then that was a misapplication of public money, and had I then known what I know now I should have exhausted every means at my disposal to defeat that scheme. But I did not know, and none of us knew what we know now. What we did not know was that such heavy guns could be used without forts, embrasures, or emplacements, and moved about, and that if they were fired with smokeless powder they could not be located. We have since learnt that in 1889 from the Boers.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Everybody did not know in 1896 that heavy guns, six-inch guns, could be moved about; had become mobile and invisible; but I think it is only reasonable to say that when this knowledge was acquired in 1899 that the Government should in 1900 have reconsidered the situation at Gibraltar by the light of these new facts, should have suspended these works, and not have waited for me to bring this matter to their attention. At that time only £1,000,000 had been spent upon these works; now £2,000,000 have been spent, and for the most part have been ill spent. In that remark I do not intend to include the moles, which I think are defensible. I am dealing now only with certain works which were recommended by the Com- 308 mittee of which I was a member to be abandoned, which were not abandoned, and which are being continued to this day. I became anxious about this matter last autumn. In November I wrote a letter to The Times. On 10th December I put a question in this House. At the same time I wrote privately to the First Lord of the Treasury. I also wrote to and saw the First Lord of the Admiralty, and appealed to him to inquire as to the dangers of the works on the western side, and as to the possibility of making a harbour on the eastern side, and to suspend the works then being carried on on the western side until those inquiries were made. That was the burden of my appeal then, and that is the burden of my appeal now, but the reply was always the same. My appeals for inquiry and suspension were rejected, and the works were continued. So impressed was I that I went out to Gibraltar in January last, and what I heard in Gibraltar and Spain impressed me still more, and I came back more than ever convinced of the danger of the works on the western side. Then once again I appealed to the Government to stop the works, and once again did they refuse, and then, and only then, did I come to this House and to the public. I wrote the pamphlet "Gibraltar a National Danger," in which I pointed out the danger involved on the western side; I alleged that the harbour and works on that side would be untenable against fire from the Spanish land, and that in order to secure them it would be necessary to occupy Spanish territory with a separate army. I pointed out that the alleged impossibility of making a harbour on the eastern side did not exist, and that it was possible and desirable to make it; but all I contended for was inquiry and suspension of the work on the western side. My motion upon the subject came on on the 25th of February, and the First Lord of the Treasury, with complimentary allusions to myself, to which I am little accustomed from that bench, accepted my motion, and asked me to join the inquiry. The right hon. Gentleman accepted it to my great relief, because then as now I did not desire to discuss that subject in this House. I 309 have throughout sought to avoid discussion in this House, and I withdrew my motion with the greatest possible pleasure. I doubted indeed whether I ought to join the Committee, but after the support which I had received from the House I thought it was my duty to return to Gibraltar and do what I could to assist in solving the problem, aad the next day, therefore, I accepted the offer of the Government to serve on the Committee.
After I had joined that Committee something strange happened which made me fear that the Committee might prove abortive, and I might have to come back to this country after the inquiry was over with nothing done and no result to show, and under those circumstances I thought it proper to reserve my right to make, in such an event, the statement which I owed to this House. Now we have been told continually that this was no Committee. But it has always been called a Committee; it was called a Committee by the First Lord of the Admiralty when I was asked to join it; then it was said there was to be no reference, but there has been a reference. The First Lord of the Admiralty explained that he gave the Committee six questions to reply to; that amounted to a reference, and the reply to those six questions is in fact the Report of the Committee. I again went to Gibraltar, and the men with whom I was associated there were most distinguished men; they were Admiral Sir Harry Rawson, the Commander of the Channel Fleet, General Sir William Nicholson, and Mr. Mathews, of the firm of Coode and Mathews, a man most eminent in his profession, and whose firm has long had relations with the Government. It is not my decision which I am now going to present to the House, but the decision of those three experts based upon the information which we received at Gibraltar. For ten days we did most strenuous work. Although I felt the want of certain necessary documents for which I had applied, but which I have never received, yet what we heard out there and ascertained was enough. We found that, in the opinion of the highest military authorities, occupying most important positions which gave them a most direct right to speak with authority 310 beyond all other men on those points, every danger which I alleged was admitted, nay, asserted to exist. The only difference between the statements in my pamphlet and the views of these military experts was that they went a great deal further than I had ventured to go. They admitted that the western side was untenable from fire to which no reply could be made, and also that the only way of protecting these works on the western side of Gibraltar was by occupying Spanish territory by a large separate army of, as I judged, at least 30,000 or 40,000 men; the only difference between us was that they put the territory to be occupied at a larger area than I. What these authorities said was, indeed not new. It was already published by myself in my pamphlet. But they confirmed it with greater emphasis and more authority.
Strong things had been said of me by the Ministerial press. It was said I was a vain alarmist. It has been proved that I am nothing of the kind. It was said that I quarrelled with the Committee, but the evidence of one of that Committee was that he had seen few Committees where there was so little disagreement. We came to a unanimous conclusion on the 30th of March; we replied to the six questions in unequivocal terms, and, in addition, Admiral Rawson sent home a personal private Report to the Admiralty, which was exactly the same in effect, but which was more amplified and contained more details. It would be obviously quite impossible to lay Sir Harry Rawson's Report upon the Table, but it is possible to lay the Report of the whole Committee embodied in the answers to the six questions asked of the Committee, and they ought to be, and sooner or later must be laid before the House. There is nothing in them which, in my opinion, could injure the public service. I shall not state what the exact character of the Report is; I have said that it was unanimous, and the House knows my views about Gibraltar, and they know the strenuous way in which I have held to that opinion, and they may judge what the character of that Report was when I say that I agreed not only to the recommendations, but to every word of that Report, and that 311 I adhere to that Report. I will give the answer to one question of that Report. We unanimously recommended that dock No. 2 on the western side should be abandoned, that one-third of the workshops on the same side should be abandoned, and that all the store houses there should be abandoned. I tell the House that because it is on that article of the Report that I found my motion. It is because that recommendation has not been carried out, in spite of all my representations, because, after a long official correspondence, I have been unable to get it carried out, and because I have come to the conclusion that the Government do not mean to abandon the works which were recommended to be abandoned, but are still continuing them, and are thus adding to the dangers already existing at Gibraltar, that I have felt forced to make my motion to-day.
The House may be told that if these works are discontinued, as recommended by the Committee, only a small sum will be saved. Well, the sum that could be saved by abandoning the works has according to the official view persistently decreased ever since the first time I went away from England. At first it was estimated that £900,000 would be saved; when I left Gibraltar it was put at £500,000; and now it is said to be £300,000. But £300,000 is not a small sum, and, even if it were, it is not so much the sum that I wish to save as the extra risk that is incurred by continuing the works. Every stone that is added to those works, every sovereign paid for them, adds to the dangers which are being built up around Gibraltar. It may also be said, as has indeed been suggested already, that to stop these works would be to break the contract. The right hon. Gentleman cannot have read the contract. Clause 78 of the contract states that "the work will be carried out and paid for by measurement," and Article 50 declares that "if the Lords of the Admiralty shall at any time think fit to make any alterations in addition to, or to omit or abandon any part of the works, they shall be at liberty to do so"; and Article 83 provides that "should the work or any part of it be altered, extended, or diminished, or 312 should any item of the work described and provided for in the schedule of prices be omitted, so that a greater or less quantity of any particular class of work, material, or labour be executed as required, the same rates shall apply, and such quantity or such work or class of work only as is actually executed or supplied will be paid for at the rates of the schedule of prices, and the contractor shall not be entitled to any additional compensation on account of such alteration, extension, omission or diminution." It is perfectly plain that the Government felt, as prudent men would feel under such circumstances, that they might at some time require to abandon some part of the work, and that they retained the power to do so, and the contractor has expressly agreed that he should not be therefore entitled to compensation. Consequently the answer to the recommendations of the Committee that they would involve breach of contract falls completely to the ground. The Report of the Committee answered five out of the six questions. The sixth dealt only with figures which one of the Committee alone, the engineer, could answer, and since the Committee returned to London that question also has been answered by the engineer.
As I have said, on the 30th of March we arrived at a unanimous conclusion. Each one of the answers sent home from Gibraltar as our Report was complete, absolute, exhaustive, definite, and final, and, having reached that point, I was perfectly satisfied, and I returned convinced that the Government, with the absolutely unanimous report of such a Committee before it, would not hesitate to act immediately upon it. I understood that the whole matter dealt with by the Committee must necessarily come before the whole Cabinet, and I felt that the decision upon it must necessarily be the decision of the Government as a whole, and that to arrive at that decision would no doubt take time. The House can have no idea of the extreme gravity of the dangers involved. The Government have an idea, but the House has not; but I assure the House they are very grave indeed. I felt that the final decision of the Government must take time. But surely the essential thing was to act forthwith on the 313 recommendation of the Committee by at once suspending the works they had recommended to be abandoned. To continue them is positively to anticipate, forestall, and coerce the Cabinet in their decision. It places upon the Cabinet the weight of a decided fact, and renders it more difficult—impossible, perhaps—for them to come to an unfettered decision. That is where the urgency arises. If I could have obtained an assurance that these particular works would be abandoned or were suspended, I would not have come before the House with this motion to-day. That is my case. But I ought to add a word. No question ever arose as to the adequacy or finality of the Report of 30th March until some time after the Committee had returned to London. On the return of the Committee to London the official members of the Committee communicated with their official friends and superiors, and came possibly under official influence. [Cries of "Oh, oh."] Well, perhaps it was not so, but at any rate the Committee returned to London, where they held two or three meetings to consider matters not immediately referred to in the questions put to them. What was my surprise, when, after some of their meetings had been held, I received a proposal to vary and rewrite the Report. It was proposed to me to withdraw some of the recommendations made in the unanimous Report of the 30th of March, to introduce other recommendations in their place, and, finally—most irrelevantly in my opinion—to justify the extension of the work made in 1896 and 1897, and the author of that extension, to which, as I believe, the major part of the dangers at Gibraltar are to be attributed. That seemed to me to be a proposal which amounted to trifling with an important matter. It was an invitation to the Committee and to myself to stultify ourselves. It seemed to me a humiliating proposal, and I not only would not agree to it, but I would not entertain it for a moment, and I at once resigned my position on the Committee. I do not know what remains of the Committee now. [Laughter.] I left three. I trust the House will not make this a laughing matter. It may be that one or possibly two other members have left it. I do not know. That is why I 314 made that remark. Now I heard the term "final Report" used. What is the final Report? If the final Report be some document drawn up by the three gentlemen—or a lesser number—no doubt much more distinguished and more capable than I am—who have remained on the Committee—[" No, no."]—I do not for a moment pretend to compete with them in the qualities required for the consideration of this matter, but they are not more competent than I am to decide whether a man ought to alter a Report after he has made it—I say that if it be that those gentlemen who remained on the Committee have made a Report which agrees with the Report they agreed with me in making at Gibraltar, well and good; there is nothing to be said. But if they have made a Report such as was suggested to me, varying and altering the previous Report, and thus making an entirely new Report of it, then it seems to me that such a document is of no value and can have no effect, being, as it is, a contradiction of the Report made by those very three gentlemen—if they be three—plus the fourth at Gibraltar. I do not know if I require any justification for the urgency and persistency with which I have brought this matter forward. I hope not. I may have mistaken the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury. He thinks he did give me a definite promise of an opportunity for discussion. I thought he did not. I can assure him and the House that if he gives me in the course of this discussion a promise that the Report will be carried out, I will at once withdraw my motion. I do not know whether the House understood the right hon. Gentleman to definitely promise a discussion. ["No."] I certainly did not, and I can assure the House that I have brought forward this proposal with great regret. It has pleased the Ministerial press to insinuate that my representations were exaggerated, but they have been more than confirmed by the Committee itself, and by important Reports of the highest possible authorities. Those Reports are in the possession of His Majesty's Government. It has been insinuated that I could not agree with the Members of the Committee but the House knows that up to the time the Report was made I agreed with them as well as any man could agree 315 with his colleagues on a Committee. We were unanimous, and it is only since the proposal to vary the Report that I have come to a breach. It has pleased His Majesty's Government to treat this matter sometimes with pleasantry, and me with attempts at ridicule. I have been called a corsair, and I am proud of the name. A corsair is a privateer, and a privateer is a man who fights the public battles at his own cost and charges, and very often to his own great loss.
§ THE CIVIL LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. PRETYMAN, Suffolk, Woodbridge)
A corsair is a pirate.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
The Civil Lord of the Admiralty says that a corsair is a pirate; he therein shows his competency to be anything but a Civil Lord of the Admiralty. Let me tell the hon. Gentleman that the difference between a corsair and a pirate is the same as that between a special policeman and a burglar; and if he does not understand that, let me commend him to the works on international law. I am not displeased at being called a corsair, or with the other allusions of a more or less humorous and disagreeable character which have been made to myself. What I do complain of is that this matter should be treated as trivial, and of no importance or urgency; that the one recommendation of the Committee which, if acted upon at all, required to be acted upon at once, has not been acted upon; and that up to this moment I have not been able to get any assurance that it will be. I ask for the communication to the House of the Report of the Committee. Again I say it could be perfectly well communicated—every word of it—without any public inconvenience whatever. If His Majesty's Government refuse to communicate that Report, they will compel the House, through lack of information, to acquiesce in the continuance of works in regard to which I am sure the House would not so acquiesce if they had the Report before them. That is the situation. If the Report were produced we should see whether the House would agree to continue the works. I am certain they would not. In the meantime it is not right, it is not respectful to the Committee, 316 it is not fair to the Cabinet, which will have to decide this question, to continue works which are of so dangerous and serious a nature.
I have other strange matters which. I might bring before the House in, connection with the conduct of this Committee, but I would rather not. This matter arose in Parliament; a motion was made in this House, and withdrawn on condition of this Committee being appointed. Parliament therefore has a right to information, and it seemed to me that it was my duty to give some account of my conduct, and of the progress of the work I had undertaken. I have given that account to-night so far as I have been forced, but I have not told all. I have told only what was absolutely necessary. I have given some part of the story to-night, not because I was indisposed to keep the whole of it locked in my own breast, but only because I have been more and more impressed with the urgency of the necessity of the Government stopping these works. I am not prepared to keep Gibraltar at the pleasure of any Power or Powers. I cannot acquiesce in a policy which involves that; I am not prepared to hold it under conditions which cause it to be not strong enough to protect itself without the aid of a separate army sent out from England. I am not prepared, therefore, to acquiesce in the continuance of works every brick of which helps the creation of that situation and increases the danger. Observe how the plot is thickening. Strange things are going on in Morocco, in regard to which Gibraltar is a most potent element, and may become the most important factor. Strange deficiencies and omissions, if we may believe the Pall Mall Gazette, that most subservient of Government organs—are occurring in connection with the Mediterranean Fleet, which also is a factor that cannot be left out of sight, nor Gibraltar in connection with it. Finally, strange things are happening on the Continent of Europe which, if this unhappy war should not soon come to an end, may give us cause to think of other things even than sending reinforcements to Lord Kitchener. A situation is arising, or has arisen, which makes it very necessary to deal with this matter I am perfectly certain the Government 317 mean well. But many a Government has meant well which has ruined an Empire. I am confident that the Government do not even now appreciate the great urgency of this matter or the imminence of the dangers to which Gibraltar is exposed. We are silently drifting into a position which may make it impossible to diminish these dangers and to afford an adequate remedy for the them. The Government refuse information to the House—
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Well, if the right hon. Gentleman will promise to communicate the Report of the Committee to the House, I will at once sit down. I know perfectly well the decision the House and the country would come to if they had that Report. I make this appeal to His Majesty's Government. I know a certain amount of anger has been aroused over this matter, but I repeat that it is only because, rightly or wrongly, I think I am left without any other opportunity, that I have taken this course. I beg the right hon. Gentleman to believe that. I appeal to His Majesty's Government to stop these particular specified works recommended for abandonment. It is not a question of those which are begun and those which are not begun. The Committee definitely recommended their; abandonment whether begun or not. In reality they are all begun, and were when the final contracts were made, I believe, in 1898, and the Committee drew no distinction. If my appeal to His Majesty's Government fails, I shall appeal to this House. If my appeal here fails, I shall appeal, so far as my humble capacities allow me, to the public at large. Of course, I shall be beaten to-night; I may fail here, I may fail outside; but at any rate I shall feel that I have done my duty, that I have done my best to stop the works, and to procure such remedy as could still be found for the danger which now may be ignored, but which I am perfectly certain in the future will be only too bitterly recognised. I have thought it my duty to persevere with this matter up to now. I have never come to this House without 318 previously exhausting every means in my power in the endeavour to procure the doing of that which I consider necessary. I did so before I made my motion in February. I have done so now. Now, as then, it is only because His Majesty's Government leave me without any hope of their doing the thing that I hold to be most urgently necessary that I appeal to the House. Whatever happens, I cannot leave this question. I shall feel it my duty to exhaust every means to stop these works which perpetuate and increase the vulnerability of Gibraltar, make it a temptation and a bait to the enemies of England, and transform it from a defence and a strength into a snare and a danger to the Empire. I beg to move.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—(Mr. Gibson Bowles.)
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The hon. Gentleman had told us, not once but many times, in the course of the speech which he has just delivered, that he rises with the greatest reluctance, that he speaks very much against the grain, and that nothing but the coercing sense of public duty has induced him to break silence at the present moment. Never did anyone do violence to his own inclination in a worse cause than my hon. friend. ["Oh!"] I do not know whether most to regret the occasion on which he has thought fit to make the speech to which we have listened, or the substance of a great part of that speech. As regards the occasion, what has my hon. friend done? He knows that he has forced on this debate at a time when the Government have not, and could not have, had time to come to a final decision on this most important question. ["Why?"] He knows that there has been no undue delay in coming to that decision, and I have explained to the House the dates which amply prove that proposition. The final Report of this Committee was only given to the Admiralty on the 15th of last month. It had to be considered not only by the First Lord of the Admiralty, but by the Board of Admiralty, and by the military and naval heads of the services at Gibraltar and in the Mediter- 319 ranean. I told my hon. friend and the House, in the plainest language, that that decision had not been come to, but that it was ripe, and that a very few hours or days would elapse before we should be in a position to tell the House exactly where we stood in this matter. But my hon. friend was bursting with his speech. He could not restrain himself even for the few days for which I asked him to wait. He must needs force this debate on us at a time most inconvenient to the House—["No."]—for the discussion of this great problem—not inconvenient with regard to the business which we have to deal with this evening, important as that business is, but it is most inconvenient for the House to be asked to discuss a question of Imperial policy like this before the Government have or could have come to the decision which it will be their business to communicate to the House and on which the House will have to pronounce.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
It is not five years, or even weeks, since the Committee reported. I will not say that this is a misuse of the forms of the House; but it is a deplorable exercise of those forms for my hon. friend to have taken this step. Before leaving this part of the subject, let me point out that this question is not merely one of great military and naval importance. It is one which involves diplomatic considerations of the gravest delicacy. And when my hon. friend volunteers statements about invasions of friendly territory, and of what might happen in this or that event, I think it deplorable—nothing less than deplorable—that an hon. Member who is so well acquainted with the difficulties of the position should allow himself to start topics and to raise controversies of the kind which I have briefly indicated, and on which I shall not say another word. Of what does my hon. friend complain? He complains that in regard to certain works which he does not desire to see completed—[Opposition cries of "The Committee"]—at all events, works which 320 he does not desire to see completed—that is not an inaccurate statement—the Government have not given a pledge that they shall be abandoned. That is perfectly true. We have not given any such pledge, and I do not mean to give any such pledge, or hint at any such pledge this afternoon. But what we have done is this. The works to which the Interim Report referred to by my hon. friend—
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I will deal with that later. What we have done is that the expenditure upon the works which the Interim Report said should be abandoned has been stopped, so far as it could possibly be stopped. An arrangement has been come to with the contractor by which he shall not spend a single further shilling upon them unless he is out of pocket by abstaining from doing so. More than that could not possibly be done without breaking the contract. "Why do not you break the contract?" is the answer of my hon. friend, and he quotes certain clauses from the contract indicating in his opinion that under them the works could be abandoned.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
was understood to say that the contract would still subsist as regarded the remainder of the works, which would be paid for at the same price, but the Government would have power to omit any portion.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I do not contest that statement at all, but what my hon. friend has not realised thoroughly is that to abandon those works—to break the contract so far as those works are concerned—before we have finally decided upon that policy, would be absolutely suicidal, because a great deal of money has already been spent upon them. It is perfectly true that the money has not been largely spent in situ, but immense sums have been spent in making the necessary preliminary arrangements, purchasing 321 quarries, collecting plant, and so on, before the works could be undertaken. To break the contract as regards those works would simply mean that in order to save the £300,000 which my hon. friend speaks of, a very much larger sum would have to be thrown into the sea; for a very much larger sum than £300,000 has already been spent indirectly upon them. To sacrifice this sum in order to save £300,000 may be perfectly right if the policy of abandoning these works is finally decided upon; but to do so before we have decided on abandonment is a course which no sane Government could possibly pursue. And what position would the Board of Admiralty be in if it broke the contract before the decision of the Government had been come to upon this great military and strategic question; or if the Government decided, as very likely they may, that the works should be proceeded with? Surely as much has been done as can be done in the circumstances when we have come to an arrangement with the contractor by which not a shilling is to be spent upon these works except so far as may be necessary to prevent the contractor's being out of pocket. As I am on the subject of the contract, I may incidentally remark that I believe my hon. friend is entirely wrong when he says that only one million had been spent on these works in 1900. Only a million had been paid, but a great deal more had been spent by the contractor, who would finally have to be reimbursed in the ordinary course for the expenditure he had incurred.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
The Return gives the amount of money spent up to the 31st March, 1900, and the amount is £1,194,453.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
That is perfectly true. That is the amount of money spent by the Government in paying the contractor. It does not repre- 322 sent the amount which at the termination of the contract, or at a later stage of it, would have to be spent and will be spent by the Government with respect to work carried out before 31st March, 1900. My hon. friend had not sufficiently considered the character of those contracts when he hazarded that statement to the House.
Now, Sir, I leave the question of suspending further work upon docks, shops, and sheds, and I come to a point which my hon. friend has raised about the Report. I used the phrase "Interim Report," which the hon. gentleman opposite seemed surprised to hear. He may well have been surprised, for never once did the words "Interim Report" fall from my hon. friend in the whole course of his speech. What is the view which any hon. Gentleman must have carried away from this debate if he had only listened to the version given of this Report by my hon. friend? I believe the impression which he would have carried away would have been this—that the four gentlemen, the distinguished engineer, the distinguished sailor, the distinguished soldier, and the no less distinguished Member of Parliament who went out to investigate matters at Gibraitar had come to a unanimous and final decision upon this question; that, having come to that unanimous and final decision, they returned borne, and the soldier, sailor, and engineer were got at—to put it mildly—by the Admiralty; but the impeccable honesty, the sterling, solid, self-controlled Member of Parliament ["Oh"] resisted all those official blandishments and declined to submit to a revision of the Report, which up to that point had been considered as final. That would be the view taken away by any gentleman of this transaction. But that view is entirely inaccurate. The original Report was an Interim Report. I think the word "Interim" occurs in it.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
Will the right hon. Gentleman look at the Report and see if he can find that word?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The Report is an Interim Report. [Opposition cries of "No, no," and "Read it."] There are 323 two, or certainly there was one, of the questions which the Committee did not attempt to answer, which they could not answer on the spot, which they had to come home in order to have the information to answer, and which had necessarily an important bearing upon all the other questions that had been answered. What were those questions which were not answered in the Interim Report? They were two questions of great importance. One, the least important, was as to the cost of the works on the eastern side of Gibraltar; and the other, which was a much more important question, was as to the time it would take to complete these works. My hon. friend has told us in the course of his speech that he thinks undefended docks better than no docks, and he dwelt in forcible language on the immediate necessity of having at Gibraltar a place where our ships may refit, and which may serve all the purposes in time of peace, as in time of war, which are served by a great naval base like Malta. Supposing that the works on the eastern side of Gibraltar would take ten years—no human being would put them at less than ten years—I do not know whether my hon. friend has any information on that point, as he left the Committee before they entered upon that part of the investigation—
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I beg your pardon. The question of estimated cost and estimated time had been dealt with. The estimated period was previously put at twenty-five years, but the engineer member of the Committee put it at eight years, plus two years preparations at the Admiralty.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I do not believe that anyone would seriously put the period below ten years. Therefore, the policy of the Interim Report was to keep us with an incomplete base at Gibraltar for the purpose of saving £300,000. I daresay the question of Morocco may be settled in ten years. A good deal happens in ten years, and all the mysterious rumours to which my hon. friend refers may have given place to other rumours, and to other rumours again, and there may be a succession of rumours which 324 may fall the history or the next ten years. Yet we are to wait ten years for the dock which my hon. friend desires to have. That is his policy, the precious policy which he presses upon the House. That is his mode of meeting pressing national needs and looking after national interests. This necessity is so great that he must needs move the adjournment of the House a week before the Government can come forward and make their statement on this question. I cannot congratulate my hon. friend upon the substance of the policy which he would press upon our attention. But there was something worse in my hon. friend's speech than a mistake in policy. There was an attack upon the honour of those colleagues with whom he tells us he worked so well. [Cries of "Oh" and Ministerial cheers.] I call it an attack upon their honour. I do not know what views on that delicate subject are held by hon. Gentlemen who interrupt me, but I emphatically call it an attack upon their honour to say that they came to a decision at Gibraltar, and that when they came home, and official influence was brought to bear on them, they modified that decision.
*MR. GIBSON BOWLES
I neither said it nor insinuated it. I do not know what decision those three gentlemen may have come to, but I know what decision was proposed to me.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Anybody who heard that part of my hon. friend's speech in which he described the reasons which induced him to leave the Committee; anybody who heard that part of his speech in which he said he would be humiliated and insulted if he remained on the Committee; anybody who remembers that part of his speech in which be suggested that the other members of the Committee must have felt themselves humiliated had they stayed on the Committee; anybody who heard 325 the cheers with which those assertions were met on the other side of the House, can have no doubt, at all events, that there was an attack upon the honour of these gentlemen and an insinuation which I regret my hon. friend should ever have made against those with whom he tells us he lived in the closest amity and agreement through all their investigation at Gibraltar. I think it a deplorable suggestion on my hon. friend's part. I trust that, if this matter comes up again, he will not repeat it. I have nothing more to say upon the subject except to tell the House that the very last thing the Government desire to do is to have any secrets from them in this matter. We are perfectly conscious that the whole subject is surrounded not merely with military and naval difficulties, but with other difficulties, which make it very unfit in some respects for public discussion within these walls; and it is a fact that in the Reports which have been made there are matters which I think ought not to be brought before public attention at all. I think my hon. friend would agree to that. But as regards the substance of those Reports, as regards the main line of consideration which should govern the decision of the Government
§ and of this House in dealing with this question, there is not the slightest desire, and there never has been, to have secrets or concealment from the House of Commons at all. I am sorry that this premature and necessarily incomplete debate has been forced on by the rash action of my hon. friend; but as it has been forced on, I hope I have indicated to the House with sufficient clearness that there is not the slightest basis for the charge against the Government that they are endeavouring to conceal anything; that there is no foundation for the suggestion that in continuing these works we have been either committing the House or the country to a costly and unnecessary policy; and, above all, there is not the slightest foundation for the suggestion that the three distinguished men, once colleagues of my hon. friend, have done anything unworthy of their great reputation or which should make the opinion they give to the House and the whole country less worthy of respect.
§ Question put
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 157; Noes, 216. (Division List No, 251.)327
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Clancy, John Joseph||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Cogan, Denis J.||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Allen, Charles P (Glouc., Stroud||Craig, Robert Hunter||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Crean, Eugene||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Crombie, John William||Horniman, Frederick John|
|Asquith, Rt Hon Herbert Henry||Cullinan, J.||Jacoby, James Alfred|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Dalziel, James Henry||Kennedy, Patrick James|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Delany, William||Labouchere, Henry|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Dillon, John||Lambert, George|
|Bell, Richard||Donelan, Captain A.||Langley, Batty|
|Black, Alexander William||Doogan, P. C.||Layland-Barratt, Francis|
|Blake, Edward||Duffy, William J.||Leamy, Edmund|
|Boland, John||Duncan, J. Hastings||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Dunn, Sir William||Lloyd-George, David|
|Boyle, James||Elibank, Master of||Lough, Thomas|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Emmott, Alfred||Lowther, Rt. Hon. James (Kent|
|Brigg, John||Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone)||Lundon, W.|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Fenwick, Charles||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.|
|Brown, Geo. M. (Edinburgh)||Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Field, William||M'Crae, George|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Flynn, James Christopher||M'Dermott, Patrick|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||M'Govern, T.|
|Burns, John||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||M'Laren, Charles Benjamin|
|Burt, Thomas||Gilhooly, James||Mansfield, Horace Rendall|
|Caine, William Sproston||Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John||Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William|
|Caldwell, James||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Minch, Matthew|
|Cameron, Robert||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Mooney, John J.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Haldane, Richard Burdon||Moulton, John Fletcher|
|Cawley, Frederick||Hammond, John||Murnaghan, George|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.||Pirie, Duncan V.||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Power, Patrick Joseph||Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gow'r|
|Norman, Henry||Price, Robert John||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Priestley, Arthur||Trevelyan, Charles Phillips|
|Nussey, Thomas Willans||Rea, Russell||Wallace, Robert|
|O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Reddy, M.||Walton, John L. (Leeds, S.)|
|O'Brien, Kendal (Tipper'ry Mid||Redmond, J. E. (Waterford)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Redmond, William (Clare)||Weir, James Galloway|
|O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Reid, Sir R. T. (Dumfries)||White, George (Norfolk)|
|O'Connor, Jamos (Wicklow, W||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)||White, Patrick (Meath, N.)|
|O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)|
|O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|O'Dowd, John||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.)|
|O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R)|
|O'Malley, William||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.).|
|O'Mara, James||Soares, Ernest J.|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C R (Northants||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Palmer, Sir Charles M (Durham||Sullivan, Donal||Mr. Gibson Bowles and Mr. M'Kenna.|
|Palmer, George Wm. (Reading)||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Partington, Oswald||Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cranborne, Viscount||Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Helder, Augustus|
|Aird, Sir John||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Henderson, Alexander|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cust, Henry John C.||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hope, J. F (Sheffield, Brightside)|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Hozier, Hon. James Henry C.|
|Arrol, Sir William||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Jessel, Captain Herbert M.|
|Austen, Sir John||Doughty, George||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Kenyon, Hn. G. T. (Denbigh)|
|Bain, Col. James Robert||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury).|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Duke, Henry Edward||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Keswick, William|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Kimber, Henry|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc.||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Fielden, Edw. Brocklehurst||Knowles, Lees|
|Balfour, Maj. K. R. (Christch.)||Finch, George H.||Lambton, Hon. Frederick W.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Law, Andrew Bonar|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Fisher, William Hayes||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Fison, Frederick William||Lawson, John Grant|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. W. W. B. (Hants.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Lecky, Rt. Hn. Wm. Edw. H.|
|Bigwood, James||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Leveson-Gower, Fred. N. S)|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Forster, Henry William||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H (Cityo'Lond.||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Gordon, Hn J E. (Elgin'&Nairn)||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.).|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby- (Salop||Lowther, Rt Hn J W (Cum. Penr|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Butcher, John George||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Goulding, Edward Alfred||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanc.)||Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds||M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B. (Cambs|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||M'lver, Sir L. (Edinburgh, W.)|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)||M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Gretton, John||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Groves, James Grimble||Malcolm, Ian|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Maple, Sir John Blundell|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'||Hain, Edward||Maxwell, W J H (Dumfriesshire|
|Chapman, Edward||Hall, Edward Marshall||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Halsey, Thomas Frederick||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hambro, Charles Eric||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hamilton, Rt Hn Ld. G. (Midd'x||Milton, Viscount|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nd'ry||Mitchell, William|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert W.||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Morgan, David J. (Walthams'w|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Ropner, Colonel Robert||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford||Round, James||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Mount, William Arthur||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Muntz, Philip A.||Russell, T. W.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Samuel, Harry S (Limehouse)||Wason, JohnCathcart (Orkney|
|Nicholson, William Graham||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw J.||Webb, Colonel William Geo.|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)||Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.).|
|Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Seton-Karr, Henry||Whiteley, H. (Ashtonund. Lyne|
|Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Penn, John||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Percy, Earl||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Pierpoint, Robert||Smith, H C (North'mb, Tyneside||Wilson-Todd, Wm H. (Yorks.)|
|Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Spear, John Ward||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R (Bath)|
|Plummer, Walter R.||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggort||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Purvis, Robert||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Quilter, Sir Curhbert||Stone, Sir Benjamin||TELLERS FOF THE NOES.—|
|Reid, James (Greenock)||Stroyan, John||Sir William Walrond and|
|Rensbaw, Charles Bine||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Talbot, Rt Hn J G (Oxf'rd Univ.)|
|Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
Question put, and agreed to.