§ * (8.45) MR. HERBERT LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
I do not think that anyone can reasonably complain that a Welsh Member has put down an Amendment to the King's Speech in the terms of the Amendment which stands in my name; terms which are amply justified, as I shall show later on; as regards the first part of the Amendment by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and as regards the second part by the Colonial Secretary's speeches made over a series of years, not in his Radical days, but as a Unionist statesman.
During the last Parliament an Amendment similar in terms to the first part of this Amendment, which expressed regret that the Speech from the Throne contained no reference to Welsh questions, was twice submitted to the House. In the course of one of the debates on those Amendments the Chancellor of the Exchequer used these words:I do recognise as Parliament has already recognised, that the circumstances of people who live in Wales are in some respects peculiar and different from those of people who live in the rest of England, and that they require to be dealt with in certain matters very differently. That is a principle which I accept, but you cannot do everything at once. We will endeavour as far as we can to meet those necessities as far as time permits, but it is impossible for us to describe every proposal that is under our consideration on every matter with which we may hope to deal within the limits of His Majesty's Speech.The words I have quoted contain an admission and a promise—a full and frank admission of the right of Wales to separate treatment, and a promise, if words mean anything, that the necessities of Wales would be attended to as far as time permitted. After that statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer it is unnecessary for me to discuss because it is outside the pale of discussion: the right of Wales to separate legislation. This right has been established once and for all by the passage of the Welsh Intermediate Education Act and the 240 Welsh Sunday Closing Act—one passed by a Liberal, the other by a Conversative Government, and by a number of administrative acts with which I need not weary the House. The expediency of those acts of Legislation and Administration has teen proved again and again. A Royal Commission was appointed on hostile initiative to enquire into the work of the Sunday Closing Act, and it gave as the result of its enquiries a most emphatic endorsement to the policy of the Act. As regards the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, so well has it worked in the past, that the Government could not find a better example to copy, in the plan of secondary Education which was submitted to the House last session.
I give these instances to show that the experiment of granting special legislation and powers of administration to Wales has been successful. We have a right to ask why these powers, which have been used so wisely and so well, should not be extended. As regards the first part of my amendment, it is now eleven years since the last piece of legislation was passed for Wales. During the last six years no attempt whatever has been made to meet the legislative wants and wishes of the Welsh people. Every year the people of Wales read the King's Speech to see whether it contains anything affecting the special interests of their country. Every year they are disappointed, and this year has been no exception to the rule. Of course it is useless to expect the present Government to deal with great contentious questions like Religious Equality, Temperance, and Land Reform, in the sense in which the great majority of the Welsh people would like to see them dealt with. The Government give us a blank denial on those questions, and Wales responds by sending twenty-eight out of thirty-four members to oppose His Majesty's Government. We were told that the Welsh people would become indifferent to these things, but the last election pointed a very different moral. The results throughout the 241 country showed that the Government dissolved at the most favourable time possible. The war, so we were all told, was triumphantly ended. But even under those circumstances, not only did the Government not win a single seat in Wales, but they lost some seats, and in others their supporters had the utmost difficulty in holding their own. The Government has, at the present time, only six supporters out of thirty-four Welsh Members. The cause of this great disparity in representation is perfectly well understood in Wales. The Welsh people quietly but firmly hold fast by the great principle of civil and religious equality. Taking the country as a whole, fashions change in politics, but political fashions do not change in the country which we represent. It would be quits useless for me to address the right hon. Gentleman on any of those great controversial questions; I know perfectly well the reply he would make. But there are certain questions which are not of that highly contentious character, which deserve and should receive the early attention of His Majesty's Government.
I will give one or two examples. The Welsh Sunday Closing Act is a most excellent measure, and is acknowledged on all hands to have done a great amount of good in Wales. In that Act, after a year or two's working, certain defects were discovered, and a Royal Commission recommended that these defects should be remedied. Why should not that question be taken up? The Government profess to be anxious to do something in the direction of temperance legislation. Why will they not take up a Bill of this kind, but a small Bill, but one in which the Welsh people take a very deep and practical interest? The Act itself has very largely improved the social condition of the Principality on the Sunday; all that we ask is that it should be extended and perfected. When I put this matter to the late Home Secretary the reply I received was that a Royal Commission was sitting, and that until it reported it would be improper for the Government to take any action whatever. That Commission has now reported, and, as far as I can see, there is absolutely no reason why the Government should not proceed with the question. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will say there is no time. This is one of the great evils of the congestion of business from which this House 242 does undoubtedly suffer, and from which a small country like Wales suffers perhaps more than any other part of the United Kingdom. An Act is passed. It is found to require amendment. But that Act must go on working defectively for twenty years before that amendment can be effected.
Passing to another question, I will make a further appeal to His Majesty's Government with regard to a practical measure in which the ratepayers of Wales take a very strong interest. The right hon. Gentleman this afternoon gave us some interesting figures as to local indebtedness. He did not, of course, go into the various causes of that indebtedness, but he will probably agree that one of the causes, at any rate, is the immense cost of obtaining Parliamentary powers. Take for instance, the coast of North Wales. There a number of watering places are springing up very rapidly; they require powers for obtaining gas, water, electricity, tramways, and all those other advantages and amenities which have become indispensable to every seaside resort, but in order to obtain those powers they have to come up here and undergo very large expense. I could give the name of one small coast town in North Wales, where the rates, which under ordinary circumstances, ought to be about 4s. in the £, have been no less than 11s., and are still at a very high figure. Another very small watering place, with a population of 1,000, had to pay no less than £2,000 to obtain a trumpery little water Bill to which there was hardly any opposition at all. Then, need I say that in South Wales, in regard to the construction of docks, and great industrial undertakings requiring Parliamentary sanction, the expense, owing to the distance, at which the work has to be done and to which witnesses have to be taken and maintained, is enormous. Scotland has obtained a measure with regard to Private Bill legislation. None of us grudge, in the slightest degree, the powers that Scotland has obtained; they conduce to economy, and economy, we have been told, is a virtue very dear to the heart of every Scotsman. But some years ago I asked the Government for a Return showing the number of Private Bills applied for from Wales and Scotland respectively. That Return was not granted, as, indeed, these small requests of Welsh Members very seldom 243 are. But I went into the matter myself one year, and in that particular year Wales applied for no less than 23 private Bills, while Scotland applied for only nine. Under these circumstances, surely we are entitled to a measure which will enable us to transact our Private Bill legislation at home and save these places—many of them small and heavily burdened with rates and a debt which hangs like a mill-stone around the necks of the ratepayers—from much unnecessary expense.
Then to pass to the sphere of administration, we have for many years past asked that Wales should be treated with justice in the matter of the Museum Grants of the United Kingdom. I venture to say that what occurred last year has greatly strengthened our right—a right which has never yet been contested by any Government, Liberal or Conservative. Last year a tax was imposed on exported coal. That tax amounted to about £2,000,000, of which no less than £900,000 comes from the Principality. I hope, therefore, we shall hear nothing about small educational grants or anything of that kind. Why, in asking for this Museum Grant we are merely asking for what one might call, in the language of commerce, a small discount on this enormous burden of special taxation which has been placed upon Wales.
In reviewing the history of the last six years, we see that the Government have done absolutely nothing for the special Welsh interests to which my Amendment refers. But I must correct myself by making one small exception. The Government did introduce and pass a measure called the Berriew Bill. That Bill related to one small parish in Wales, containing 381 County Council electors, and of those 381 electors 349 signed a petition against the Bill. Yet the Government granted special facilities for that Bill. That is the way in which the Government in the past have dealt with the requests of the Welsh people. They refuse the requests of the Welsh people as a whole, and they give to a small minority in a small parish a measure such as the one I have described.
The case of Welsh Members in these days is all the harder because gradually the Executive is becoming all powerful. We see before our eyes the Executive absorbing power after power which for- 244 merly belonged to private Members. Nowadays, the private Member has very little chance, indeed, of initiatinglegislation, and absolutely no chance whatever of carrying it through without Government assistance. During the whole of the last Parliament, Welsh Members repeatedly made attempts to bring under the notice of Parliament the great questions in which they are interested. They submitted to the chances of the ballot, but their time, when the opportunity was obtained, was taken from them in the most ruthless way. The first Lord of the Treasury has always done his execution in the most charming manner, but when one's head is cut off it does not in the least matter whether the executioner is the most agreeable man in the world or not. I hope that after this evening's debate we may have some concession, but, so far, not only have the Government refused to take up these Welsh questions, but they have, as far as they could, prevented Welsh Members bringing them forward.
I cannot, however, in fairness, put all these difficulties down to the hostility of the Government alone; it would not be reasonable to do so. Parliamentary congestion has a great deal to do with the difficulty of obtaining time to discuss the affairs of a small country like Wales. Supposing, for instance, we had in power a Government with the very beat will in the world towards Wales, its difficulties in that direction would undoubtedly be very great.
Now I come to the second part of my amendment, which deals with the way in which some portion of these difficulties may be overcome, and I shall invoke the high authority of the Colonial Secretary on this particular point. The right hon. Gentleman was speaking in Scotland, but his words are just as applicable to Wales, as it happens, and later on he specifically referred to Wales. Here are the words of the Colonial Secretary—The difficulty is that owing to the tremendous pressure of Imperial business"—since he uttered those words the pressure of Imperial business has certainly not lessened in any degree—Scottish business gets crowded out and cannot be brought up for discussion or settlement at all. But Parliament—and in my opinion it would be a wise proceeding—might delegate to a local assembly, or to more than one, if there were such a distinction of interests as would justify a division of that kind—it 245 might delegate to local national, or provincial assemblies such questions as education, public works, local government and private bill legislation; and these matters being taken out of Parliament would relieve the pressure, and enable members to do their work much better, and at the same time they would create and develop a local enterprise and a local patriotism which I believe would do much for the welfare and prosperity of the whole country.Then the right hon. Gentleman gives a most interesting sketch of what in his opinion the various grades in the hierarchy of Government ought to be. It is extremely interesting, because his prophecy has been fulfilled in parts but not entirely.You would have," he said "according to a plan of that kind, an ascending scale of local institutions. You would have in the first place, the village council dealing with the petty interests of a very limited area; you would have above that the great municipalities and the county boards with much larger authority and powers, and, of course with a much extended area; then you would have the provincial assemblies with strictly defined powers of legislation; above all, yon would have an Imperial Parliament, with supreme and concurrent authority, which it could use if there were any attempt to abuse their powers by any of the subordinate bodies.The Colonial Secretary described four stages in the ascending scale of Local Government—the Parish Council, which was established by a Liberal Government, the County Council Municipalities, and the District Council, established partly by a Conservative and partly by a Liberal Government. These institutions have worked admirably, and have fully justified their creation. But next we come to what the Colonial Secretary calls the provincial Assemblies with strictly defined powers of legislation strictly subordinate to the Imperial Parliament. This was not by any means the only occasion on which the Colonial Secretary spoke in support of the policy of relieving the Imperial Parliament and enabling local and provincial work to be done more effectively. Speaking at Dundee two years later, on the 14th February 1889, he said—I have never doubted for a moment that it would be desirable that the whole of the Private Bill Legislation of the separate countries should be transacted in the separate countries.Then the right hon. gentleman says—But I am willing to go further than that. I am prepared to believe that it is in the interest of Scotland, of Wales,246 the House will note that the right hon. Gentleman specially referred to Wales,and of Ireland also in due time,—that not only Local Government should be conceded to them in the complete sense, not only that their Municipal and County Institutions should be completed and perfected, but that we might go beyond that, and that we might create representative authorities of wider scope and larger powers.These are not the opinions of the right hon. Gentleman's Radical days. They are his matured views as a Unionist. I might also quote from another statesman of equal authority and eminence to the right hon. Gentleman himself, who made a series of speeches on this subject seven years ago, speeches which I thought showed the prescience of a far-sighted statesman. The truth is, that Parliament must come to it sooner or later. The House has no more time at its disposal now than it had a hundred years ago, before the greater part of our vast Colonial and Eastern Empire had come into being. Since then the work of Parliament has greatly increased in importance and complexity. We are now in the closest touch with our most distant Colonies and dependencies, and the amount of work, domestic and foreign, which Parliament has to supervise is enormous. It is utterly impossible for any one assembly, however constituted or however perfect its rules of procedure may be, to do this work adequately. Indeed, Parliament has only time to deal with a small fraction of the immense and far reaching problems which fall within its purview, We are told that the Government have decided to alter the rules of procedure, but I see no hope for Wales in this direction, and I venture to predict that no alteration in rules will meet the real difficulty, which is to obtain a fairer and fuller discussion of the more important topics of Parliamentary business. Restrictive and coercive measures have been tried before and have dismally failed. Great things were hoped from the new rule in Supply, adopted about five years ago, by which Fridays were regularly allocated for discussions on the Estimates. What has Wales gained by the change in the Supply Rules? We have tried, year after year, to get some discussion on the Woods of Forests Vote, in which many questions of interest to Wales, like foreshores and afforesting, are bound up. Last session many efforts were made to obtain a short space of Parliamentary time 247 for its consideration, but in vain. That is only one example of the many questions relating to Wales which ought to be debated, but for which no time can be found. I am aware that Wales is not the only sufferer, and that as regards the general affairs of the country far more important questions like, for example, the Military and Naval Works Bills, which covered an expenditure of £10,000,000 and which was carried through at the fag end of last session. Why cannot the Government come to the conclusion that no mere alterations of the rules of the House will get rid of these evils. If a man is overworked, he may get relief to some extent by arranging his work better, but if he has the work of ten men given him to do, no amount of re-arrangement will relieve him. A sensible man of business will do as much as he can of the most important work, and devolve the rest upon others. The only true remedy is for Parliament to devolve much of its detail work upon smaller Assemblies, and I suggest that a beginning should be made with Wales, where the Central Board of Intermediate Education, which represents the whole of Wales, and other administrative bodies, have done their work admirably. This is the only policy which will give the Imperial Parliament time to attend to Imperial concerns, and to supervise the gigantic and growing expenditure of the country. By throwing off the burden of local work it will make real reform possible in the various ways in which the law needs to be readjusted to the changed conditions of society. I do not know what response the Government intend to make to this appeal, but if the reply is in the negative, I should like to be informed whether it is intended that the neglect of Wales, which has prevailed for the last six years, is intended to be permanent The reply we had from the late Home Secretary was an absolute denial of every claim, and the political effect of has speech, and particularly of one phrase he used, was very remarkable.
Now let me summarise what my objections are to the existing system. In the first place, the measures which Wales desires and asks for by an overwhelming majority, are not granted. In the second place, the measures which the great majority of the Welsh people hate an forced upon them; and in the third place in regard to proposals relating to Wales on which there is a general measure of 248 concurrence, Parliament either cannot, or will not give time for their consideration. Our right to further legislation has been admitted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The way in which relief can come has been shown over and over again by the Colonial Secretary, and the time has come when we as Welsh members may fairly ask "does the Government assent to or does it repudiate the doctrine of the Colonial Secretary in regard to the extension of local self-government?" If you repudiate it, what is your alternative? For our own part we assert that Wales has deserved better treatment than that which she has received during the past six years at the hands of the Imperial Parliament. Wales is a loyal and a law-abiding portion of the Empire. Her people have made good use of the powers of local government already granted them. I ask you to extend their powers, feeling confident that Wales will use them with wisdom and sobriety, and in a businesslike and patriotic spirit.
§ (9.28.) MR. EDWARDS (Radnor)
I rise to second the Amendment moved by my hon. friend. The mover of this Amendment has, I think, made out a very strong case, and he has pointed out matters of the most serious concern to the representatives of Welsh constituencies. Not only this but he has also pointed out the remedy. I know that in some portions of the House there is a strong feeling against the Amendment of my hon. friend, and I am well aware that the House is always very careful and reluctant to delegate any of its powers to other bodies. But you must remember that unless something of the kind is done legislation must stand still. I suppose that the main duty of this House, is after all, to satisfy the necessities of every part of the country. If the House were adequately to control and satisfy the legislative requirements of every part of the country there would, of course, be no need for the Amendment just moved by my hon. friend, but the reverse is the case. He has referred to the fact that the Government is pledged to amend the rules of procedure. That is a proof that the House is no longer able to give the requisite time and attention to the matters calling to be dealt with in the way it was able to do in previous times. If any such Amendment of the rules of procedure should take the form of curtailing the 249 time which is at the disposal of Members for discussing the questions which come before the House, then I have no hesitation in saying that it would be thrown out. The object of the House should be to pass sound but not hasty legislation. There are two obstacles to the passing of sound legislation through the House under present circumstances. One of these is the fact that there is great stress and competition from all quarters of the House for the introduction of Bills and passing them, if possible, through the House. There are many measures urgently called for which have no chance of coming before the House at all. The Government are well aware of that. Time after time there are measures mentioned in the Speech from the Throne which Ministers eventually find themselves unable to bring before the House. Another obstacle to the passing of legislation is the number of speakers who are to be found ready and willing now to give their opinions on the measures which are brought forward for discussion. Whether that is an evil or a good is not for me to say, but the fact is one which it certainly behoves the Government to recognise. This obstacle could be removed by adopting the Amendment of my hon. friend.
I suppose one of the main questions Parliament has to consider is the special need of Wales. I know there are hon. Members who say—Why should Parliament have regard to the legislative needs of Wales more than to those of Yorkshire? They seem to think that when they have compared Wales to an English county they have settled the question once for all. I do not think they will be surprised if we say that it does not satisfy us, and looking to the history of Wales we say that the people there differ in race, language, sentiment, religious views, and political aspirations from the great bulk of the people who compose the United Kingdom. That difference constitutes one of the claims for special legislation for the Principality of Wales. I know, of course, that we can only get anything in this House if the people of England are willing to give it to us. England has been called the predominent partner, but we must remember that the notion of partnership involves mutual rights and obligations, and all that we want is that the rights of Wales and the obligations of England 250 should be equally considered. When we ask for power for Wales to deal with certain matters in the manner which she wishes, I think I may point out that the grant of this power will in no way injure England or any other part of the United Kingdom. It has been well said that you must not legislate in advance of public opinion, but I suppose that as regards temperance it would be impossible to do this. Wales is ripe for a wider and bigger measure of temperance reform than England. If that measure were granted to Wales how could England be injured. We all deplore the curse of intemperance, but surely if Wales is given the power to remedy it it will be a gain to England. In asking power for separate treatment we are asking something which will benefit Wales and in no way injure England. In the matter of land Wales is really more ready for legislation than people generally suppose. A Royal Commission was appointed to inquire into the subject and there were majority and minority Reports. The minority Report was signed by, I believe, three Conservative gentlemen. The recommendations of these Commissioners are such as would satisfy the majority, I think, of the tenant farmers of Wales. They dwelt with the questions of security of tenure and compensation for improvements. If Wales were only given power to deal with these matters in her own way we should have a concensus of opinion not, only on the part of Liberals, but also of Conservatives in carrying out such a measure. I may be asked, Why should Wales claim special legislation? I should refer to the representation of Wales. Since 1868 Wales has given a solid and substantial Liberal majority to the House. I believe that in no country, with the exception of Ireland, has the representation proceeded so consistently on the same lines as in Wales. The Scottish people are credited with considerable tenacity of purpose. Not so long ago Scotland had a Liberal majority, and now I believe that country does not return a Liberal majority (cheers). Yes, you may applaud that, but you should bear in mind the consistency of Wales, which for many years has stuck to its principles. I admit that the Welsh Liberal majority is not pleasing to the Government, because we do not see eye to eye with the Government. Although it is not pleasing to the Government, it 251 is a fact which the members of the Government must take care to recognise. Wales already has had separate treatment in regard to Sunday Closing and Intermediate Education. These measures, I admit, were granted by this Parliament, but now we have got into such a state of things that the Government themselves see it is impossible to carry on the work of the House with the present machinery. I doubt whether they will carry it on better with amended machinery, and therefore it is impossible to look to any such reform for a satisfactory solution of the difficulty. If you adopt the proposal of devolution made in my hon. friend's Amendment you will allow the people of Wales to manage their own affairs according to Liberal ideas.
My honourable friend has referred to Private Bill Legislation. It is an undoubted scandal that if a town in Wales desires the control of gas or water or any public undertaking it should have to bring witnesses and lawyers to the Committee rooms upstairs at great cost to the rate payers. I would suggest that those matters should be delegated to a Committee in Wales, which would do the work equally well as a Committee upstairs. It may be asked how we could get such a Committee in Wales. I would suggest through the County Councils. These County Councils already have the power to combine for certain purposes. The work done by the County Councils is very satisfactory, and is work of which wales has reason to be proud. The County Councils have administered their affairs, on the whole, well and wisely. Men of every social and political grade find seats on the Councils, and they form a body of men whose efficiency and impartiality cannot be surpassed. In these County Councils you have an organisation ready to hand which can well be trusted to do for Wales what is at present done in Committee upstairs. And, after all, federation is not a new idea in Wales. We have federated for the purposes of the Intermediary Education Act. My honourable friend has referred to the Intermediary Education Act as a model Act for the three Kingdoms. We have also federated the three Colleges of Wales, and formed a University by doing so. I think we can go a step further, and that I can claim for my countrymen that whenever they had the chance they have shown an 252 aptitude for local self-government which justifies them in demanding an extension of the same."
§ Amendment proposed, at the end of the Question, to add the words,—
§ "But we humbly express our regret that Your Majesty's Speech contains no reference to questions specially affecting the interests of the people of Wales, and that, in view of the failure of Parliament during the past six years to consider those interests, it is desirable that there should be conferred upon the Principality a large extension of powers of local self-government."—(Mr. Herbert Lewis).
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
§ (9.47.) * MR. WILLIAM JONES (Carnarvonshire, Arfon)
said that questions of purely Welsh concerns ought to be settled in accordance with the wishes of the majority of the people of Wales. There was high authority on both sides of the House and amongst statesmen of all sections that if there was to be a general devolution of business, Wales should come up for special treatment. The Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury,If ever there was a people who were a separate nationality it is the Welsh.We also know that the Prime Minister of the Liberal party, Lord Rosebery, in a speech at Cardiff said—The more I see of our political system the more I am convinced of this that in a large measure of devolution, subject to Imperial control, lies the secret of the future working of the Empire.He also said that he was strongly in favour, as essential to the well being of the United Kingdom, of "the systematised devolution of local business to the localities themselves." Apart from the testimony of such high authorities they had also the testimony of the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary. In one of his important speeches the right hon. Gentleman saidBeyond and above a purely municipal organisation of this kind, I believe that a larger arrangement will be found safe and desirable, which, subject to the concurrent and supreme authority of the Imperial Parliament, the various portions of the United Kingdom shall be enabled to exercise a greater influence over local administration, and over legislation for their special needs and requirments. Such an arrangement, involving a delegation but not a surrender of power, and 253 in which the subjects referred to local assemblies would be strictly defined, would probably be sufficient to satisfy the national aspirations of Scotland and Wales.That speech was made after the right hon. Gentleman had become a Unionist. Reference must be made to the fact that the Unionist Government contemplated in 1888 doing something in this direction when the Local Government Bill of that year was introduced in this House. They then recognised that they ought to deal with the subject of District Councils, with the liquor question, and with other matters; but these subjects were not dealt with in the Bill because there was not sufficient time for their consideration. The limitations of time were then the sole excuse for not dealing with these subjects. Five years after the President of the Local Government Board in a Liberal Ministry brought in another incomplete Bill and the same excuse was made for so doing—that there was no time at the disposal of the House to consider a larger measure. On the 8th of May 1900, a debate was initiated in this House by his friend the Member for Carnarvon boroughs, and the resolution which that hon. Member submitted was seconded, not by a Liberal Member, but by a Welsh Member who sat on the other side of the House, the then Member for the Carmarthen boroughs. The resolution asked for the transfer of powers under the Local Government Act of 1888, section 10, to County Councils. The provision in section 10 of that Act was that the powers now vested in certain Government Departments should be put into operation. The only excuse for not adopting that provision was that then non-county Boroughs had placed obstacles in the way of its use. Now there was no non-county Borough in Wales, which placed any obstacle whatever in the way of the use of that provision. The Welsh County Councils and non-county Boroughs were unanimous in their desire for the adoption of this measure. Moreover, they claimed that it was expedient that the experiment of such a transfer should first of all be made in Wales. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sleaford, then President of the Local Government Board, offered to receive a deputation of a non-party character from the Welsh County Councils to discuss this matter. A joint Committee from the Welsh County Councils was formed to ask for 254 the delegation of the powers referred to in the Act of 1888. The chairman was a Unionist. Now, in Wales, they had one authority dealing with a special question which afforded a lesson in self-government, and that was the way in which Secondary Education after the passing of Intermediary Education Act for Wales was governed. It must be remembered that this question was not legislated upon by a Liberal Government, but by a Unionist Government. When the Committee of Enquiry reported upon this question, what did they say? Their reasons for the separate treatment of Wales were first, the distinctive characteristics of Wales bearing upon its claim for special treatment in the matter of secondary and higher education. And secondly, the report laid stress on the "sentiment of nationality which in the construction of any system of education for the people cannot be ignored and ought not to be discouraged. This principle was recognised with regard to the bilingual difficulty which would give a special character to the question of the educational method in Wales, and on the existence of a religious question which had a marked bearing on the educational position of the country. "As the Leader of the House had said, in dealing with another aspect of the religious question, the atmosphere, the local colour and tone of the locality had to be taken into account. Every educationalist in the laud bore testimony that the county governing body appointed under the Intermediate Education (Wales) Act of 1889, charged with secondary education, was not only a model for England, but for Scotland. In fact, it was unique in Europe. What was it which made the system a success? The County organisations completed and given a unifying principle by the establishment of a central Welsh Board. The primary object was the constitution of a Welsh body—and this was a very important point—of a Welsh body which would be capable of undertaking the examination and inspection required by the Treasury, and which would avert the risk, incidental to the acceptance of State aid, that a rigid educational code would be imposed upon the now schools by an authority unfamiliar with the peculiar local circumstances of the people. When in June 1890, a deputation waited upon Mr. Goschen, now Lord Goschen, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, to urge the adoption of some representative Welsh 255 body as the agent of the Treasury for these purposes, that right hon. Gentleman, in a sympathetic reply, pointed out that the proposal seemed to imply a large surrender of responsibility by the Treasury to a body naturally interested in the success of schools; but he promised that the regulations which the Treasury were required by the Act to make for the purpose of testing the efficiency of the schools should be framed in concert with the Local Authorities. The difficulty indicated by Mr. Goschen was met by the interposition of the Charity Commissioners between the Treasury and the Welsh Board, We gladly bear in mind the work the Charity Commissioners have done for our Secondary Education System, but they did it in concert and in full sympathy with the local body of opinion. The constitution is a thoroughly popular and representative one, and we all know what a success it has been. We would merely say that such has been the democratic character of the education administered that more than 70 per cent. of the scholars in the secondary and county schools are drawn from the primary schools. It is a system thoroughly sympathetic with the tone, colour and aspirations of the Welsh people. But, in addition to that, we have questions all our own other than Education. The liquor traffic, the land and church questions. Although we believe in the general principle of disestablishment, we would not appeal for its application to England unless the majority of the English representatives had a mandate in favour of it. Wales has asked for it, and that being so we hold that Welsh disestablishment is purely a question for the Welsh people. We now urge upon the Government that the principle of Local Government which exists should be extended in order to deal with the several subjects interesting to the people of Wales and material to its welfare, with the promptitude which we all desire.
§ (10.5.) MR. WILLIAM ABRAHAM (Glamorganshire, Rhonda Valley)
said it would be readily admitted that owing to the vigour of the Welsh Committee's spirit during the last twenty years it was necessary that they should be granted a larger measure of local self government. The proportion of local Bills which had been passed for Wales had been greater than that of any other portion of the 256 United Kingdom outside the stronger brother England himself. They were bringing up a larger number of men from the country—work had to be done up here, and which had to be brought up, the expense of which had to be borne by the population of Wales; an expense far larger than that incurred by any other part of the United Kingdom; and he asked Welshmen on the Unionist side of the House to support the resolution because of the dire necessities of the case. It might be said that Wales wanted Home Rule and Separation. Wales would not accept separation if it were offered her, but the dire necessity of this reform could be proved. He asked for this small concession because of the great expense Wales was put to for business which had at present to be transacted at West-minister, when it was well known that when that business came before the House very little time could be spared to give it any attention at all. It was well known that if Welsh questions were to be in the future well and truly considered something would have to be done. Nobody would be right in suggesting that the Government could long continue to deal with Welsh questions in the present manner; they would be compelled to give consideration to local matters. Such consideration as was demanded could not be given in fifteen minutes; it sometimes took 6 or 7 hours to consider matters which it was well-known that half the number of people would consider more thoroughly in one-third of the time. He hoped the Amendment would be accepted, as it was urgently necessary that some Authority should be created between Parliament and the County Councils to consider these questions.
(10.10.) MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)
said he did not think the House realised the case which had been raised, and therefore he desired to emphasize one or two points. It had become clear during the progress of the debate that this matter had not been approached in a party spirit; it was not a party question in the partizan sense of the word, as hon. Members would see when they came to examine the statements of statesmen on both sides of the House, an almost complete unanimity with regard to the question. In the second place, he thought there was a 257 singular appropriateness in bringing forward the question at this time. It was perfectly obvious that the issue of the Government struggle in South Africa would mean in the long run a great addition to the Imperial responsibility of Parliament, and it was desirable in the highest sense that we should show our readiness even now to consider seriously and impartially any question which affected directly the improvement of the machinery of Parliament, and which made for a more effective Government of the Imperial interests of the country. Two or three Welsh questions had been mentioned in the course of the debate, and there was one in which the Welsh people took particular interest which would show the House the reasonableness of the claim they now made for the further extention of the power of managing their own affairs. There was the question of Temperance Reform. Parliament had already granted Wales one measure of Sunday Closing, but for many years the defects in the Act had rendered it in many parts of the country liable to abuse and evasion. A very short period would suffice to carry out very practically the two or three main recommendations of the Royal Commission of 1889 on the subject, and if two or three hours of serious consideration could be given by the House to the passing of an amending Bill, a step would be taken which would be of great moral force to the Principality. The people had desired it for years—there was no doubt about that point in Wales. Yet, owing to the congestion of business in the House, it was impossible for them under present conditions of Parliamentary life to hope to get that small but useful reform.
Another point he wanted to emphasize was that, however urgent the necessity for the extension of Local Government might be in other parts of the country, the urgency in the case of the Principality of Wales was, if anything, greater for historic and other reasons. It had not been sufficiently emphasized that, owing to the characteristics of race, thought, language, and other things the Welsh were essentially different to their English and Scotch friends in certain matters. They felt differently on certain public questions of the day, and what would suit Wales would not suit other portions of the United Kingdom, and in those matters which did not in any way interfere with the supreme authority of Parliament 258 Wales might reasonably be granted the extension which she asked.
But the question was not only important from a Welsh standpoint, but also from the standpoint of Parliament and the country generally. It had more than once been said that Parliament had suffered in the eyes of the public; there was nothing of which the Welsh people were prouder than the Imperial Parliament, and he heartily endorsed the statement of the hon. Member of Rhonda Valley that the Welsh people would have nothing to do with separation; they bad done something towards building up the British Empire, and were not now by their policy going to show that they were changing their views in that essential matter. They did, however, claim that they had a right to say in what way the real dignity and honour of Parliament could be sustained, and they said they ought to have the rights they claimed because they believed if they did have them, the bonds between the Parliament and the Principality would be strengthened and not weakened. In conclusion, he thought they were putting before the Government a reasonable request, and although it might not be possible for Parliament at this moment to give them all they desired, he believed the day was rapidly approaching when the Resolution before the House would be the law of the land.
§ (10.22.) * MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomery)
said he desired to add a few words to what had already been said on this question in the course of the debate. He regretted that they had not had any expression of opinion from those hon. friends who represented Welsh constituencies on the Unionist side of the House. The deplorable position of Wales in this matter was, that while they had a large number of measures brought at different times to the House, whatever the result of their action might be, they went away with the impression that all their talking had had no practical result on legislation. Nothing was more detrimental to the dignity of Parliament than for Constituencies to imagine that whatever their grievances may be they are received by stolid and unreasoning refusal in the House. There had been indeed, however, one exception to that rule, namely Intermediate Education. The success of that measure ought to encourage the 259 other side of the House to believe that if the larger powers, which were now asked for, were granted, they would not be misused. He had been connected with the system of Intermediate Education from its initiation. It was originally passed largely through the pressure of hon. Member sitting near him, with the assistance of the right hon. Member for Dartford, and passed the House of Lords without opposition. It was brought into operation in Wales by a series of conferences, the members of which were distinguished. Welshmen, and one of the remarkable features of that system was that although many distinguished churchmen were members of the Central body, there had never but once been a difference or dispute from the beginning so far as religion or politics were concerned. The house was now asked to give a similar extension of powers with regard to other local public matters. He had for some years been Chairman of one of the County Councils of Wales, and he had also had as a member of the County Councils Association seen much of the working of English County Councils, and he noticed that Welsh and English Councils alike did their work without any political questions arising. They disregarded both religious and political questions, and as they did their work so admirably there was no reason why they should not be trusted with other work of a similar kind. Looking over some old papers a short time previously, he had been struck by the simple method by which such work had been done in Wales in olden times. He had found a curious agreement purporting to be entered into by "three of the chiefest" men in three different townships by which they agreed to a considerable diversion of a road in a neighbourhood with which he was well acquainted. It was only some hundred and fifty years since, and that diversion was carried out without any other authority by the three townships concerned without any interference from anybody whatever. Again, one of the Boroughs in the County in which he lived desired to have their own gas and water supply, and he was certain they could have provided from their own County Council a tribunal which could have transferred these undertakings to the municipality at one-third of the cost which they had been compelled to pay for legal and Parliamentary expenses. If that was so, why should they not be allowed to 260 do it? At all events, it was only right to give them a chance of settling similar matters at their own door without the expense of having witnesses and counsel and surveyors and men of that kind brought up to London. Another reason why it should be done was that the more the citizens were trusted the better citizens they were likely to become. It was well known that the Local Governments of our great towns were the most valuable nurseries for men of business and for statesmen, and all that Wales desired was that that principle should be extended, and an opportunity given to a larger number of our fellow subjects to take part in public work, and learn the lessons taught from so doing. There were many hon. Members of the House who thought that this was the way to foster disloyalty. The way to foster loyalty was to allow the people to have their own way. Scotland was loyal because she had her own laws, because she had her own Church, because she had her nationality recognised, because, in short, she had her own way in everything, and rightly so. The result was they were loyal and always anxious to assist the Crown. If it was desired to have a loyal and contented Wales, then give them their own way. Wales was not separatist or disloyal. There was nothing of which Wales was more proud than of the fact that the Chancellor of the University was the Prince of Wales, and its Protector the King, and he desired the House to recognise that, loyal though the Welsh were, and ready to work for the glory of the Empire and the country, they believed that if the further concessions which they now asked for were granted it would increase and not decrease the loyalty which united Wales to the Empire.
§ (10.30.) GENERAL LAURIE (Pembroke and Haverfordwest)
It has been said that this Amendment is not couched in any party spirit. But surely an Amendment to the Address may generally be considered to be distinctly couched in a party spirit, because it is intended, if possible, to defeat the Government. With regard to the question before the House, however, my position is this: I am quite willing to see Local Government extended throughout the country, but I am not prepared to select one portion of the Kingdom for the experiment. We 261 are told that this will be a benefit to Wales. Hon. members opposite had said that especially in matters affecting the Church, Education and Temperance, Wales would be benefited if this proposal were adopted. But how is it to be carried out? What exactly is the proposal? In what shape is this extended self-government to he given? Until we have definite information on these points, I, for one, feel it my duty to vote against the Amendment.
§ * MR. ALFRED THOMAS (Glamorganshire, E.)
I wish to add a few words to what has been said so well by my hon. friends. We are asking for something for which there are plenty of precedents. In Canada there are no less than six or seven subordinate legislatures. If we look at our kinsmen across the sea, we find that in the United States, there are no less than 45 local legislatures.
§ * MR. ALFRED THOMAS
I understand that they are. Then, in Australia there are six subordinate legislatures. Therefore, our children have provided us with examples that it would be well for us to copy. Private business is increasing in this House year by year, and it is sure to do so, inasmuch as social conditions are altering year by year. How can we give any proper attention whatever to Imperial affairs, when our time is so much taken up with these local concerns? We say that this is the Imperial Parliament of the British Empire, but what time have we to give to any part of the Empire, when we cannot manage our own little affairs at home? This matter is getting more serious every year. As to the session before and probably most of the time will be taken up by questions of Procedure; what time, therefore, are we likely to have for the consideration of matters concerning Wales? There is our great Indian Empire. What time do we give to the consideration of Indian affairs? We give one day in the year. We have at the head of the Local Government Board a gentleman who has certainly treated some of us who have ventured to question him on matters of Local Government in a manner very different from that of some of his predecessors, and I hope the 262 Government will give some more satisfactory reply to our demand than we have had in the past.
§ (10.36.) Mr. WALTER LONG
The motion as it stands upon the Paper is a suggestion as to the extension of Local Government in Wales, but it has certainly found considerable extension in the speeches which have been addressed to the House in its support. So far as the matter of the speeches is concerned, there has been little of a partizan character, but I entirely concur in the remark of my hon. and gallant friend behind me, that while the speeches may be non-partizan, it is idle to suggest that the motion is not of a party character, seeing that it is advanced, as we must assume it is, with the desire that it should be carried, and, if carried, would result in the displacement of the Government. The only alternative to that proposition is that it is proposed without the intention of being carried, if possible.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
I do not think the hon. Member can quote a single instance in which a Government has ever accepted an Amendment to the Address.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
No; if we make a precedent it will be with some better object. Hon. Members have advocated a great many changes in the law, but they have not yet shown that Wales suffers any particular grievance as compared with the rest of the country. The speeches have ranged over a very wide area. There have been references to the rules of procedure, temperance legislation, Private Bill legislation, education, and the extension of the powers under the Act of 1888. With the last-named I will deal presently. We, on this side of the House, have certainly no reason to be dissatisfied with one feature of the debate. Hon. Gentlemen who have spoken with so much fervour on behalf of Wales have all united in praising two Acts of Parliament, the passing of which, they declare, have produced the best results. Those Acts are the Local Government Act, 1888, and the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, 1889. One hon. Member, in 263 pathetic accents, told us that Wales had always remained true to her old political faith. It must, indeed, be a sad thing for hon. Members, when they reflect on their faithfulness, to realise that the legislation to which they attach so much importance, they owe, not to the party to which they have been so faithful, but to the party to which they are opposed.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
That is a suggestion of a perfectly friendly character, but it exists, I think, only in the imagination of the hon. Member. If the Liberal Party educated us up to the point of introducing and carrying legislation for Wales, all I can say is, it is a pity they did not carry it themselves when they were in office, instead of leaving it for us to do.
§ MR. DAVID THOMAS
The Intermediate Education Act was a private Member's Bill, adopted by the Government.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
I remember that very well, as I had something to do with the negotiations connected with the Bill. But there are hon. Members in the House now, representing Welsh constituencies, who have publicly, as well as privately, expressed their gratitude to the Government for the assistance they gave in passing that Bill.
§ MR. HERBERT LEWIS
The right hon. Gentleman stated that the only Acts to which we had referred as conferring benefit on Wales were the Local Government Act of 1888, and the Welsh Intermediate Education Act. I referred specifically, as did also other hon. Gentlemen, to the Welsh Sunday Closing Act, and that was carried under a Liberal Government.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
I at once accept the hon. Member's statement, and I must correct myself by saying that two out of the three Acts which have been quoted as conferring benefits upon Wales, were, at all events, carried by the aid of Conservative Governments.
264 Now what are the suggestions that are made? Certain kinds of legislation have been referred to. We are told that Wales requires temperance legislation. It is said that small amendments are required in the Sunday Closing Act. The mover of the Amendment complained that there was no reference to Wales in His Majesty's Gracious Speech. Does Wales take no interest in the Bill, announced in the Speech, for "amending the law relating to the sale of intoxicating liquors, and for the registration of clubs"? Why should we be asked to accept the view that a measure of that kind will not benefit Wales as much as the rest of the United Kingdom? Then there is a very important measure mentioned "for improving the law of valuation. "Why are we to be asked to believe that an alteration in the law of valuation and assessments, lying as it does at the very root of the question of local taxation, and admitted by all acquainted with questions of Local Government, to be a matter of very great importance, would confer no benefit upon Wales? Except in regard to the Bill relating to London alone, and, in a modified degree, the Bill or Bills relating to education, I do not know on what grounds the Welsh Members are entitled to say that they will not participate in the benefits to be derived from the legislation announced in the King's Speech. We are told that it is very hard that a Welsh municipality, desiring to obtain Parliamentary powers for local purposes, should be obliged to come to this House. With regard to Private Bill Legislation, the question has been thoroughly discussed, and many years ago when I first came into the House it was considered a vexed question. The late Government dealt with this question in regard to Scotland, and I think they dealt with it in a very successful way. I sincerely hope that there will be a devolution of a similar kind which will save the time of the House. Hon. members declared that it is very hard that a Welsh municipality should be obliged to come to Westminster to carry out a local improvement, and agreed that the Scottish Private Bill Procedure Act may be regarded as a precedent for devolution of a similar kind through the country generally, but there is no argument to justify this particular change in the case of Wales especially 265 without extending it also to the North of England. The system has worked well in Scotland and I hope they may be regarded as a precedent for other parts of the country. But why is there to be a devolution of Private Bill business only in regard to Wales? Why should the people from the extreme north of England have to come here, and Parliament be asked to deal solely with Welsh Private Bill business? There is no argument I know of to justify these particular matters being dealt with specially for Wales and not for England and Wales.
Then I come to the suggestion made that there should be what is called the corollary to the Acts of 1888. That in theory is excellent, but I do not think my hon. friend the Member for East Glamorganshire did justice to my right hon. friend who proceeded me in my office when he suggested that it was likely that he and his friends might receive more generous treatment from me than from my predecessor. It has been forgotten that my right hon. friend not only made an extremely sympathetic speech on this subject, but he also intimated his willingness to receive a deputation from Wales. He intimated in the course of the debate that he would be willing to receive a deputation from the County Councils of Wales, but no application was made to my right hon. friend for the purpose, and no deputation was received. Nevertheless, my right hon. friend showed his sympathy, and offered to receive a Welsh deputation in order that they might go into further detail. I had something to do with the passing of the Act in 1888, for I was under Secretary to the Local Government Board at that time, and I know the history of the passing of the Act of Parliament. I certainly believed at the time, and I am sure my right hon. friend, the 266 present Secretary of State, who passed the Bill, most fully desired and intended that devolution to a very considerable extent should take place from the Government Department to the County Councils, and if there is any doubt as to this, proof is to be found in the fact that in 1889, the year following the passing of the Act of 1888, a Provisional Order for this purpose was prepared in the Department, and it proposed to devolve upon the County Councils various powers then and now held by the Local Government Board, the Board of Trade, and other Departments. That Provisional Order was included in a Bill which went to a Committee, but the Committee found that the opposition was too great for the Bill to have any reasonable chance of passing into law. We are told to-night that the Opposition no longer exists, because it sprung at the time from the non-county boroughs, and that in Wales the non-county boroughs do not entertain these views, and consequently there would be no opposition. What are the powers which it is sought to devolve? It is extremely difficult in practise to find powers outside those which have already been suggested, and it must be understood by hon. Gentlemen that in dealing with this subject I am not mixing it up with legislation for education or temperance. This is a proposal from a Government Department for the devolution of powers which they can hand over to the County Councils. The difficulty is that with many of these powers it is even harder to transfer them to County Councils than it was before the days of County Councils. Take, for instance, the case of sanctioning local loans. This is one matter for which in a minor degree there is great necessity for, and I am quite prepared to consider whether some powers of the kind cannot be conferred upon County Councils. I have no powers to transfer any powers 267 from a Central Department to a Local Authority individually, as the law stands at present. We could issue a Provisional Order transferring powers from the Department to County Councils generally, but if we desire to devolve them severally, we should require additional legislation. I have heard nothing advanced to show that if devolution is practical in one case, it would not be practical and possible in another case. It may be that these powers are already enjoyed by one of the great bodies in London, and I am not going to suggest that this particular work might not be transferred to the County Councils. The Local Government Board will always have the duty cast upon it of protecting future ratepayers against suggestions which may not be entirely in their interests. That is not always an agreeable task, but I am perfectly willing to consider whether there may not be devolution in that respect. One of the duties laid upon County Councils is to issue Orders dealing with boundaries of parishes. It is quite obvious that the approval of those Orders cannot be devolved upon the County Councils by the Local Government Board, because it would be ridiculous to call upon the County Councils to make an Order and then ask them to sanction it, and it is clear that the approval must obviously be given by some other body. I am very much of opinion that the time has come when a great deal more power and greater independence might be given to the great Local Authorities. In this matter I speak for my colleagues in the Department who are so often abused and unjustly accused of a desire to interfere with the independence of Local Authorities, for I know that they would be very glad to be relieved of their responsibilities upon this question. Those who have watched the growth 268 of these local bodies feel the development of Municipal Government in this country has been very rapid and very complete, and it is quite conceivable that there are many respects in which the control of the Department—which is very often but a nominal control—might be surrendered with advantage and greater independence given to Local Authorities. But if this is done it must be done in all cases and not in one alone, and I for one would not assent, to any proposal which made a distinction in the case of the Principality of Wales, and which was not also extended to the rest of the country.
There is another of these proposals in which it is suggested that there should be some supervision of Poor Law Authorities within the county areas. That I confess I do not think is at all practical, because so far as you can make it it is desirable that the administration of poor law should be uniform, and the principles on which it is administered should not be different in the North from those obtaining in the South. If you hand over the supervision of poor law administration it means a great deal more than the taking care of paupers and providing for them. If you were to transfer this supervision from the Central Department to the County Councils you must get a variety of administration and a variety of system which I do not think in this particular case would be to the advantage of the community.
I have only taken up two or three of these cases, but what I wish to point out is that in reference to the devolution of central duties the difficulties are not difficulties which arise from want of sympathy on the part of the Government; they are not difficulties which arise from red tape, 269 or from a desire to hold Local Authorities unduly and unfairly in check. There are some real difficulties in administration which do not appear until the matter is considered from a practical point of view. I may say that I am quite willing to consider any further suggestions that any hon. Member may communicate to me upon this subject, and I shall be pleased to renew the promise which my right hon. friend made to receive a deputation upon this subject. I desire, however, to make it perfectly plain that I could not entertain any proposals which, if adopted, would lead to a differentiation between Wales and England, when the position of both countries in this matter is exactly the same. I have heard nothing said in this debate which would justify me in doing this. In regard to the land question and other subjects which have been referred to, they are matters to which we could not ever consent to deal with separately from various parts of the country. We say these are matters for settlement on the floor of this House, and we could not allow them to pass into the hands of any separate party in the United Kingdom, but in regard to those matters which are under the control of Government Departments, we stand on a totally different platform. I can only say, as my right hon. friend said before me, that I shall consider any practical suggestions that may be made to me.
§ *(11.0) MR. DAVID THOMAS
said the right hon. Gentleman had conveyed an entirely wrong impression to the House when he stated that the two Bills he mentioned had been passed by the Conservative Government. He did not think he was going too far in saying that the right hon. Gentleman was trying to make political capital for his own 270 party out of the statement. In regard to the Intermediate Education Act, what happened when that was before the House was this. A Departmental Committee, presided over by the late Lord Aberdare, reported in favour of some measure of intermediate education for Wales. The Welsh Members pressed the Conservative Government time after time to bring forward a measure, but the late Mr. W. H. Smith, who was the Leader of the House, did not assent. The hon. Member said the Conservative Government would not have thought of dealing with the question, had it not been for the fact that Mr. Stuart Rendel secured a place in the ballot, and introduced an Intermediate Education Measure for Wales, which the Government took up to get themselves out of a difficulty. The Government could claim no credit whatever for the passing of that measure. With regard to Private Bill procedure, a Scotch Measure was passed in 1899. That was supposed to be an experimental measure, and the system was to be extended. He introduced a measure last year dealing with Wales, on the lines of the Scotch measure, but not securing a favourable position in the ballot he got no help from the Government. He asked the Government to state frankly whether they were prepared to deal with Wales as a separate entity or not. The Welsh Members would like to know that, and then they would know the position in which they stood in regard to hon. Members on the other side. The cost of Private Bill legislation for Wales was vastly greater, in proportion to the population and wealth of the country, than was the case in England or Scotland.
§ (11.5). MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said that, in regard to the delegation of powers now vested in Government 271 Departments, the right hon. Gentleman the former President of the Local Government Board had treated Wales uncommonly well, and he was glad that the present holder of the office was prepared to follow on the same lines. He thought the clause in the Local Government Act of 1888, which enabled County Councils to unite in dealing with matters that could not very well be dealt with by a single County Council, might very well be extended. He wished to point out to the right hon. Gentleman the direction in which it could be done. He was glad to hear that some jurisdiction might be conferred on County Councils to deal with the matter. This was a difficult and expensive business to deal with at present He was making no complaint against the Local Government Board. If a little local district or parish council applied for sanction, an inspector might be sent down after several weeks; he reported, and it took several weeks more to get an official of sufficient standing to consider the report. The only way to deal with these matters was to refer them to the County Councils themselves. In regard to boundaries, it was said that a County Council could not sit to hear an appeal against its own decisions, but there was nothing to prevent a group of County Councils from sitting in judgment on the action of any individual Council on a question of boundaries. That was infinitely better than getting a man down from London to settle the matter for them. It was a small matter. It only affected counties themselves. There was no danger of disintegration of the Empire from a group of County Councils considering a question of boundaries or local loans. The right hon. Gentleman might expect that his promise to receive a deputation would be availed of very soon. He understood that the right hon. gentleman did not challenge the 272 principle of differentiation in the legislative treatment of Wales. It would, he thought, be admitted that there might be matters upon which the House could legislate specially for Wales which would not be applicable to the rest of the kingdom. He singled out the questions of education and temperance, wherein Parliament had accepted the principle that Wales was not in the same position as the rest of the country. The principle of differentiation being admitted, ought the special legislation of Wales to be passed by the Imperial Parliament or by a local Assembly? In Wales they had had repeated Royal Commissions which had come to the conclusion that the state of public opinion in regard to temperance was more advanced than in other parts of the United Kingdom, and that the people were prepared for legislation on the subject. The only question was, should this be put into operation by Acts carried by the Imperial Parliament, or would it not be better to delegate purely Welsh questions affecting Wales alone to a local Assembly. The Amendment was in favour of a local Assembly, and that had, in principle, been assented to by the Colonial Secretary. The Colonial Secretary was right from a purely business point of view. The Imperial Parliament had not time to attend to a hundredth part of the business waiting its attention. There was more demand for legislation now than there used to be twenty or thirty years ago. At that period they would not have dreamt of legislating for a tenth of the questions now debated in the Imperial Parliament. He had been looking at the record of Lord Palmerston's administration. That Prime Minister had just three or four stock measures which he introduced into the Queen's Speech. One was the reform of the law of bankruptcy, another was the 273 reform of the law relating to the transfer of land, and a third was the reform of the law of the representation of the people, and the codification of all laws. Now, the reform of the law of land transfer was carried only two or three years ago; the law of bankruptcy was not dealt with by Lord Palmerston, nor was the codification of all laws. These were merely stock measures brought into the Queen's Speech as padding.
What was the state of things now? They had got, as Lord Rosebery had said, the most jejune King's Speech ever issued by any Ministry, but it was full of measures which were controversial and would take a great deal of time to discuss. But they were all Bills dealing with special questions and referring to particular nationalities and particular parts of the United Kingdom. The first was a proposal for the co-ordination of primary and secondary education in England, in which Scotland and Ireland had no interest. [An Hon. Member, "Why not?"] He assumed that they were the same Bills introduced last year. If the right hon. Gentleman said that the Bill applied to Scotland, he would modify his argument. But even if it did apply to Scotland, the part affecting that country would differ from that affecting England, and the part affecting Wales would differ from that affecting England, because the whole basis of education was different in these countries. When the Scotch part of the Bill came on, judging by former experience, the majority of Members would leave it to be discussed by the Scotch Members who understood their own interests. When they came to Welsh education, how many English Members were there who had taken any trouble to study their secondary education in Wales and the way it was carried on? He remembered 274 last year, when everyone admitted that the Welsh system was a good one, but a Member of the Government got up and would interfere with it, and when the time to vote came on Members who had never heard the debate trooped into the House from the lobbies and the smoking-room to vote against the Amendment which had been supported by all the Welsh Members who understood the whole system. He asked the House to leave secondary education entirely to Wales. They had administered the system in a way never complained of by any Churchman, and it was admitted that the Nonconformist majority had never used their power tyranically. The reason why the primary system of education in Wales was a failure was that it was not adapted to Welsh needs, the Welsh temper, or Welsh ideals. He asked whether there was anything revolutionary in pleading that the whole of their educational system should be handed over to the Welsh people.
He came to the question of temperance. Temperance was particularly a question of the habits of the people. What did it matter to anybody outside Wales what they drank, whether whisky or water? They had had evidence before Royal Commissions that the demand was practically unanimous in Wales for legislation on Sunday Closing, and some thing on the lines of local option. Temperance legislation was particularly legislation on which they must proceed by experiment. No one could say that any specific would succeed in any part of the country. The worst of the present system was that a Bill might be carried to-day, and they might find, from a short experience, all sorts of defects in it; but, owing to the proceedings in Parliament, the amendment of these defects was postponed for a whole generation. That was 275 the case with the Sunday Closing Act, The defects were admitted, and they had been trying to get through, little Bills to amend them. The Commission appointed by the Unionist Government recommended the amendments, but they could not be passed, because the Imperial Government had no time. The hon. Member for Peckham would come in after 12 o'clock, just take off his hat, and there was an end of it. There was more power in the hat of the hon. Member for Peckham than in the whole of the Welsh constituencies. That was reducing our Parliamentary system and our Constitution to an absurdity. Questions which affected the Welsh people alone ought to be left to them to settle. Where was the danger? What harm would there be in that? Did any one suggest that it would damage the Empire? In the United States there were forty-five States, each of which had full power to deal with local questions. In Canada there were seven provincial legislatures dealing with purely local matters, and yet Canada was a very powerful Federation. The Canadian Premier claimed that Canada had become a nation since we gave it local self-government, and that it had taken more practical interest in the affairs of the Empire and contributed greater strength to the Empire since we gave it more local self-government than the Welsh people asked. He asked the Government to leave to Welsh people such purely local questions as education, temperance, and church disestablishment.
The right hon. Gentleman asked what grievance Wales suffered from that every other part of the United Kingdom did not suffer from? Could the right hon. Gentleman point to a single measure which was demanded by four-fifths of the representatives of England which had been refused 276 by the votes of the representatives of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales? When he did that, then he could say that Wales did not suffer from any grievance that other parts of the kingdom did not suffer from. They came there with a grievance, and did not get an opportunity of discussing it. Ten times more time was devoted to the affairs of South Africa in that House than there was of talking about our own affairs. Parliament was concerned with affairs in Europe, Africa, Asia, and America. It was an Imperial Parliament. How was it possible, with affairs involving hundreds of millions of people, that the local concerns of a small people like the Welsh should receive fair and adequate treatment? They did not complain that that arose from indifference, from callousness, or from a desire to oppress. That was not their contention. What they said was that the thing was impossible, and that the machine was breaking down. The King's Speech proved it. There was hardly a measure mentioned in it that did not apply to different parts of the United Kingdom. There was the Education Bill, the London Water Bill, the Bill for the Sale and Purchase of Land in Ireland and the Bill for improving the Law of Valuation. No Bill to improve the law of valuation could be drafted which should not be different for England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Then there was the Intoxicating Liquor Bill and the Registration of Clubs Bill, which would require different provisions for Wales, and he believed for Ireland and Scotland as well. The only matter that seemed to apply to the United Kingdom was the Bill to amend the law of lunacy. Lunatics had the same characteristics in all four countries. After all, even one Bill occupied a long time. There were constant complaints that the legislation that was passed was crude and 277 imperfect, and that it led to endless litigation. The point he ventured to put to the House was that the result of the present system was, that a man who really desired a Bill to pass and to be rendered effective never took part in the debate. It was only the men who wished to destroy a Bill and make it ineffective who debated it. Hon. Members opposite had been in opposition, and they realised the truth of what he said. There was no use in concealing it from themselves. Hon. Members on both sides had been doing it. If a Bill were a bad Bill he himself would do his very best to destroy it. Hon. Members opposite would act similarly. What was the result? The man who wanted to make a Bill strong and effective never took part in its discussion and moved no Amendments, because that would take up time, and he left the opponents of the measure to discuss it and make it worthless. He would instance the case of the Workmen's Compensation Bill. That was a Bill demanded by millions of workmen throughout the country. It was a good Bill in principle, and he and several of his hon. friends supported it. But the Colonial Secretary practically appealed to them, and said that if they wanted to carry the Bill they should not move too many Amendments. He did not complain of that. It was perfectly right. But what was the result? Amendments were left to hon. Members who wanted to wreck the Bill. There were several defects in it which were obvious to any man who knew what an Act of Parliament should be, and the Bill went through crude and imperfect, as bad a piece of legislative work as ever passed the House of Commons, and it had led to endless appeals, purely and simply because the Imperial Parliament could not give more than a fortnight to discuss a 278 matter which involved the safety of millions throughout the country. If the Imperial Parliament could not attend sufficiently to a Bill affecting millions in the United Kingdom, how could a poor little country like Wales expect full and fair treatment for its Bills? That showed that the whole machinery was breaking down. He felt as certain as any man could be that if the Imperial Parliament had been attending to its own Imperial affairs and nothing else, they would not have had the present disaster in South Africa. It was not within human power that they could attend to their own little affairs and at the same time attempt to govern 400,000,000 of people. No other Assembly in the world attempted it. It was not attempted in Germany, in the United States, in Austria, or in any other country which had an effective Parliamentary machine, and it had hopelessly broken down in England. He asked the House of Commons, instead of trying to tinker with its own rules, to deal generously with the matter. Any attempt to improve the rules would only make things worse. Their present difficulty was that they could not discuss matters affecting their own constituencies. How could that be removed by further curtailing power of discussion? The only way to deal with the matter was to extend the power of self government to Wales, to Scotland, to Ireland, and to such parts of England as required it, in the same way as that power has been extended to the Colonies. If the Colonists worked that system well, they could surely trust their people at home to do the same.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 117; Noes, 164. (Division List No. 3.)239
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E)||Buxton, Sidney Charles||Delany, William|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Caine, William Spreston||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Cameron, Robert||Dillon, John|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc. Stroud||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Causton, Richard Knight||Doogan, P. C.|
|Barlow, John Emmot||Channing, Francis Allston||Edwards, Frank|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Clancy, John Joseph||Ellis, John Edward|
|Bell, Richard||Cogan, Denis J.||Esmonde, Sir Thomas|
|Black, Alexander William||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Evans, Samuel T. Glamorgan)|
|Blake, Edward||Craig, Robert Hunter||Farrell, James Patrick|
|Boland, John||Cremer, William Randal||Fenwick, Charles|
|Brigg, John||Cullinan, J.||Ffrench, Peter|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Field, William|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond|
|Flynn, James Christopher||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Markham, Arthur Basil||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Murphy, John||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert Jn.||Nannetti Joseph P.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Newnes Sir George||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Grant, Corrie||Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway N.)||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm.||Norman, Henry||Spencer, Rt. Hn.C. R. (North'ts|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary, M||Sullivan, Donal|
|Helme, Norval Watson||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan. E|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Hope, John Deans (Fife, West||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W||Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.|
|Horniman, Frederick John||O'Conner, T. P. (Liverpool)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Jones, William(Carnarvonshire||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Dowd, John||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Kinloch, Sir J. George Smyth||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N||White, Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||O'Malley, William||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Leng, Sir John||O'Mara, James||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Levy, Maurice||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Pirie, Duncan V.||Wilson, Fred W.(Norfolk, M.|
|Lloyd-George, David||Power, Patrick Joseph||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.|
|Lundon, W.||Price, Robert John||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Reddy, M.|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Redmond, John E. (Waterford||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Redmond, William (Clare)||Dr. Macnamara and Captain Norton.|
|M'Crae, George||Rigg, Richard|
|M'Govern, T.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs).|
|M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Roche, John|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Duke, Henry Edward||Law, Andrew Bonar|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart||Lawson, John Grant|
|Arnold Forster Hugh O.||Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.||Lee, Arthur H.(Hants., F'ham)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Ferguson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Man.||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie|
|Bain, Col. James Robert||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A.J.(Manch'r)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S,)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Fisher, William Haves||Lowe, Francis William|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Fison, Frederick William||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. Hicks||Galloway, William Johnson||Macartney, Rt. Hon. W. G. E.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Gardner, Ernest||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Blundell, Col. Henry||Garfit, William||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Bond, Edward||Gibbs, Hon. A.G.H.(City of Ln.||M'Calmont, Col. H.L.B. (Camb.|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St Albans)||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Gordon, Hn. J.E. (Elgin & Nrn.||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Bowles, T.Gibson (King's Lynn||Gordon, Maj. Evans- (T'r, Hlts.||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Gore, Hn. G. R. C. Ormsby (Sa op||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfries.)|
|Butcher, John George||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Middllemore, John Throgmorton|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Moon, Edward Robert, Pacy|
|Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire||Green, Walford D. (Wed'sbury||Morgan, David J. (Walthamst.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hain, Edward||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Hambro, Charles Eric||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Wor.||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord G. (Mi'x||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Chapman, Edward||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert W.||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Percy, Earl|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Clive, CaptainPercy A.||Helder, Augustus||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hope, J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Colomb Sir J Charles Ready||Hoult, Joseph||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Houston, Robert Paterson||Purvis Robert|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Howard, John (Kent, Faver'hm||Randles, John S.|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.)||Rankin Sir James|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chath'm||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Keswick, William||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Kimber, Henry||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Doughty, George||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Knowles, Lees||Renwick, George|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Laurie, Lieut-General||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson|
|Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Ropner, Colonel Robert||Spear, John Ward||Valentia, Viscount|
|Russell, T. W.||Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset)||Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. (Stopford||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Seely, Capt. J. E. B. (Isle of Wi't||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Wylie, Alexander|
|Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Sturt, Hon. Humphrey Napier||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)||Thorburn, Sir Walter||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Smith, H. C. (N'mb. Tyneside)||Thornton, Percy M.||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.||Tomlinson, W. Edw. Murray|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.)||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||O'Malley, William|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Mara, James|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc.,Stroud)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Ambrose, Robert||Helme, Norval Watson||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H.||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Black, Alexander William||Horniman, Frederick John||Power, Patrick, Joseph|
|Blake, Edward||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Price, Robert John|
|Boland, John||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Reddy, M.|
|Brigg, John||Joyce, Michael||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Brown, Geo. M. (Edinburgh)||Kearley, Hudson E.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington'||Rigg, Richard|
|Caine, William Sproston||Levy, Maurice||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Carvill, Patk. Geo. Hamilton||Lloyd-George, David||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lundon, W.||Roche, John|
|Channing, Francis Allston||MacDonnell, Dr Mark A.||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift'||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Cogan, Denis J.||M'Crae, George||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||M'Govern, T.||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Cremer, William Randal||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C.R. (N'thants|
|Cullinan, J.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Markham, Arthur Basil||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Delany, William||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Thomas, Alf. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh)||Morton, Ed. J. C. (Devonport)||Thomas, David Alf. (Merthyr)|
|Dillon, John||Murphy, John||Tomkinson, James|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Newnes, Sir George||White, Luke (York, E- R.)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Evans, Sam. T. (Glamorgan)||Norman, Henry||Wilson,Fred. W. (Norfolk, M.|
|Farrell, James Patrick||O'Brien,Kendal (Tipperary,M.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Fenwick, Charles||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Ffrench, Peter||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.|
|Field, William||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Mr. Herbert Lewis and Mr. Edwards.|
|Flynn, James Christopher||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||O'Dowd, John|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Laurie, Lieut-General|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Lawson, John Grant|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Lee, Arthur H.(Hants., F'ham)|
|Atkinson, Right Hon. John||Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.)||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw'rd||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Man'r)||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J. (Manch'r||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. Ger. W.(Leeds||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Fisher, William Hayes||Lowe, Francis William|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Mich'el Hicks||Fison, Frederick William||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)|
|Bignold, Arthur||Flower, Ernest||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Bond, Edward||Foster, Philip S.(Warw'k, S.W.||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Galloway, William Johnson||M'Calmont, Col. H.L.B. (Camb.|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Gardner, Ernest||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Bull, William James||Garfit, William||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Gibbs, Hn. A.G.H. (City of Lon.||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St.Albans)||Maxwell, Rt. Hn. Sir H.E. (Wi'n|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Gordon,Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nn.)||Milton, Viscount|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Gordon, Maj. Evans-(TrHml'ts)||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Gore, Hn. G. R. C. Ormsby (Salop||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Morgan, David J. (Walthamst.|
|Chaplin, Right Hon. Henry||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Charrington, Spencer||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Hain, Edward||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Hambro, Charles Eric||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord G. (Mi'x||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready||Hamilton, Marq. of (Lon'derry)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darl'ton)|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. RobertWm.||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasg'w)||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Percy, Earl|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Davenport, William Bromley-||Heath, James (Staffords. N.W.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham||Helder, Augustus||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Higginbottom, S.W.||Purvis, Robert|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Hope, J.F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Pym, C. Guy|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Hoult, Joseph||Randles, John S.|
|Doughty, George||Howard, John (Kent, Fav'ham||Rankin, Sir James|
|Douglas, Right Hon. A. Akers-||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Duke, Henry Edward||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Spear, John Ward||Wilson,A. Stanley (York, E.R.|
|Renwick, George||Stanley, Ed. Jas. (Somerset)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Ridley, S. Ford (Bethnal Green||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcerst'sh. N.|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Wodehouse, Rt. H. E.R. (Bath|
|Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Sturt, Hon. Humphrey Napier||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Russell, T. W.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Rutherford, John||Thornton, Percy M.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Tollemache, Henry James||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln||Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Seely, Capt. J.E.B. (Isle of Wi't||Tuffnell, Lieut-Col. Edward||Sir William Walrond and|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Tuke, Sir John Batty||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)||Vincent, Col. Sir C.E.H.(Sheff.|
|Smith, H. C. (N'mb., Tyneside)||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)||Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney|
§ Main Question again proposed.
§ (11.48.) SIR JOSEPH LEESE (Lancashire, Accrington) moved the adjournment of the debate on behalf of his hon. friend the Member for the Prestwich Division.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I understand that the hon. Gentleman has moved the adjournment of the debate on behalf of the hon. Member who is to move the official opposition Amendment to the Address. It would be more convenient to keep that until Monday, and it would be absurd to begin it to-night. Therefore I will not resist the motion.
§ Debate adjourned till Monday next.
§ Adjourned at ten Minutes before Twelve o'clock till Monday next.284
§ In pursuance of Standing Order No. 1, "Sittings of the House;"—
§ I hereby nominate—
§ The Right Hon. Charles Beilby Stuart-Wortley,
§ Mr. John Edward Ellis,
§ Mr. Edward Blake,
§ Mr. Arthur Frederick Jeffreys and Mr. Henry Hobhouse,
§ to act during this Session as temporary Chairmen of Committees when requested by the Chairman of Ways and Means.
§ WILLIAM COURT GULLY,
§ 17th January, 1902.