HC Deb 25 February 1903 vol 118 cc874-907

Order read, for resuming adjourned Debate on Amendment [25th February] to Main Question [17th February], "That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, as followeth:—

" Most Gracious Sovereign,

"We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to

Your Majesty for the Gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both Houses of Parliament."—(Mr. Gretton.)

Which Amendment was:— At the end of the question to add the words, 'And we humbly represent to Your Majesty that the absence of cattle disease in the Dominion of Canada and the requirements of cattle feeders in this country justify the repeal of the law which excludes Canadian store cattle from our markets.'"—(Mr. Price.)

Question again proposed, "That those words be there added."


continuing his speech, said the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire had put the case very forcibly when he had stated that the money was not to go into the pockets of the landlords and graziers of this country, but into the pockets of the Canadian farmers. That was precisely where the money ought to go. He had also described to the House why it was that these wild cattle, all bone and muscle, running in vast herds in Canada, should recuperate on the vast fertile fields of Aberdeenshire rather than be slaughtered, where he submitted they ought to be slaughtered, in their own country, and be sent over here in the chilled or frozen condition, the best possible food for the people. Speaking as a practical agriculturist, he thought the practice of bringing wild cattle of this sort over to this country for store purposes was a great evil. No one knew how they were bred or reared. They brought them over here and put them on the rich fertile pastures of Aberdeenshire, which, in his opinion, could be devoted to the much better purpose of raising strong men and women than foreign cattle, with all the risks of importing disease into this country. He was not now concerned for the farmers, but speaking to the utmost of his ability on behalf of the small occupiers. If they had small occupiers they would look after their two or three store cattle and tend them properly, and nothing needed greater care and attention than cattle The best horses that came to England were the Irish, which were carefully bred, tended, and reared by small occupiers, and the worst were the brumbies or wild horses of Australia which roamed in vast herds and never saw the face of man. The case was precisely the same with regard to those Canadian store cattle. Mr. Colman, whose name had been quoted in the debate, had said that Canada was ready and willing to send over any number of cattle that might be required for our markets. That was a very heavy order, and let them see exactly what was needed; there were very few more cattle in Canada than there were in Ireland. This was not a question of the 4,000,000 or 5,000,000 of cattle in Canada; it was a question of the 50,000,000 in America and Mexico. Both the mover and seconder of this Amendment had been misled in this matter, and had not looked at it from a practical point of view. They had been misled by the gentlemen who owned ships and who had interests in the great cattle trusts of America. It was a question of the interest of the peasant proprietors in Ireland, and the crofters and small farmers in Scotland, as against that of the graziers and great landowners. He knew with the great bulk of his constituency the feeling was very strong that a man was not given land to do as he liked with, and that if ever the land got back to the people the immense tracts of deer forests which now existed would be able to breed: and rear thousands of cattle. Although a farmer himself, he never argued this question from a local standpoint, but simply and solely from the point of view of the national good and general welfare of the community.

It had been said by some in favour of this Motion that if they could get the consumers on their side everything would be settled. He was in favour of the cheapest food for the people, and he would not speak or vote for anything that would raise the price of food and compel the people to go hungry, but there had not been a scintilla of evidence or proof that if the unrestricted importation of Canadian cattle were allowed the food of the people of this country would be any cheaper. It was infinitely better that the Canadian farmer should slaughter his cattle in Canada and send the meat over here in a chilled or frozen state. This question was not a question of the food supply of the people, it was far cheaper to bring over fat stock than store stock, and there was no necessity to bring over these wild steers to benefit the grazier in the North or in Norfolk. As a practical farmer and agriculturist, his opinion was that it would be infinitely better that these vast fertile tracts now occupied by large grazing fanners should be thrown open to small occupiers. This state of things arose from the position taken up years ago when the landlords pulled down the small farms and threw them into large ones, and the result was that these graziers, not being able to obtain labour, now wanted cheaper cattle There was no question of Protection as against Free Trade. The country was entitled to Protection for its cattle so long as it did not interfere with the food supply of the people. For all these reasons he urged the House by an overwhelming majority to reject the proposal now before them.

MR. LLEWELLYN (Somersetshire, N.),

speaking on behalf of the dairy farmers of this country, said he did not suppose that many members of the House recollected the state of affairs, in the West of England particularly, some years ago, when the country was suffering under the terrible scourge of the foot-and-mouth disease. Many people were apt to say, looking at the number of cattle that died, that the dearth of cattle did not show any great increase at that time, but those who had dairies and had to go through that terrible time would tell a very different tale. We had seen in one village the milk of fifty cows thrown away day and night, and no one desired that there should be any possibility of a recurrence of such a thing as that. As for Canadian stock, if they could be obtained at a price in England, the people were right to get them, but he could tell hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House that they could get as good, and better, store stock to put in their yards from Ireland. The most important food for young children was 'new, pure milk, and everybody knew how quickly milk became contaminated, and if they had a recurrence of this terrible scourge they would no longer have pure milk. On those grounds, on behalf of the dairy farmers of the West of England, he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Agriculture, to be perfectly firm and to maintain this country in the position in which it now was with regard to this matter.

*MR. EUGENE WASON (Clackmannan and Kinross)

regretted that on the first occasion that he should address the House this session, he should find himself in conflict with the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland, but this was a proposition which he most heartily welcomed. Of course no one desired to have any risk of disease being imported by animals into this country, but the Amendment had shown conclusively that there was not now, and had not been for a number of years past any disease in Canada. No one in this debate had alluded to the speech made by Mr. Fisher, the Canadian Minister of Agriculture, at Montreal on the fifth of this month. That gentleman had been able to prove conclusively that neither now nor for many years past had there been the slightest chance of disease being imported by Canadian cattle, and he had further said with regard to Great Britain that if she were shutting her doors against Canadian cattle it must be for some other reason, and that he would be glad if anything further could be done to remove the embargo. At the Conference last year a very important speech was made by the official inspector of meat in the Glasgow market. That gentleman said he had examined the different slaughter-houses in the city of Glasgow, and had also gone to the port where Canadian cattle were slaughtered, and he had stated that, so far as the test of the lungs and whatever tests there might be were concerned, he found the Canadian cattle wore healthier than the cattle slaughtered at home. This was not a question entirely for the farmers. In the place where he lived everyone was in favour of this restriction being removed. In Orkney and Shetland the farmers to a man wished this restriction to be retained. because they got higher prices for their stock. He hoped, therefore, they would get some recognition from the Minister of Agriculture. It had been said that it was not a question of Canadian cattle alone, but that over the frontiers of Canada would come cattle from The Argentine, Mexico and the United States of America. The Canadian Government were willing to give a guarantee that all cattle should be sent over free from disease, and, of course, if the Irish cattle were better than the Canadian, it would not hurt Ireland, because she would always make a higher price. This was a matter of wide interest to the consumers of this country, and he hoped his hon. friends would go to a division, and so prove that there was no reason why Canadian cattle should not be admitted free from this restriction as they had been in the past.

*MR. GARDNER (Berkshire, Wokingham)

expressed the opinion that very good reason should be given for any tampering with this restriction. The only reason given, so far as he could gather at present, was that it would benefit a few largo graziers in Scotland and East Anglia. If that were compared with the great interests involved in this question it would be seen that it was in ridiculous disproportion to them. The mover of the Amendment had declared that the present condition of affairs was unjust to these people; that the restriction worked badly, and that the experiment had failed. The last few years had shown how free we were from cattle disease, and if this law had produced no other effect than that, it could not be said to have failed. If the consumers suffered their voices would be heard loudly enoug, hand the consumers' voices had not been heard. Whatever cattle Canada had to part with would come into this country, alive or dead; and the consumer would get his food just as well as if these cattle went to the grazier. Scotch graziers were said to have complained, but, judging from the first-class Highland stock which came down from the North, the Scotch grazier could not be so hard up for stock, otherwise he would have kept those sent down. East Anglia could get good stores from Ireland, and it would be the greatest mistake, for the sake of 50,000 head of Canadian store stock, to run the risk of importing disease into this country. People had short memories in this matter, and talked lightly of removing the restriction on the importation of cattle. Did hon. Members remember thirty or forty years ago, when these diseases were rife, and whole herds were attacked and were apparently without protection? He remembered the passing of these Acts, when all sorts of allegations were made that it was for the protection of the British farmer, and that the consumer would suffer. Nothing of the kind had happened; the consumer had not suffered; and the great cattle producing industry had enjoyed a freedom from disease in cattle which was invaluable to it. The light talk in this matter came mainly from feeders of cattle only, and he could easily understand that those thus interested might be rash enough to run some risk of importing disease, if they could obtain cheaper stores. But he knew, on the other hand, what injury and ruin disease could bring to breeders not only of cattle but ail kinds of stock, and protection to them was of the first importance. Any relaxation of this Act would take away that confidence that breeders and rearers have to carry as much stock as possible on the land in their occupation. It had been argued that Canadian stores should be admitted. He took it that the Act applied to all countries alike, and that all foreign and Colonial cattle were prevented from coming here to be distributed hither and thither at the frill of importers. If they allowed the thin end of the wedge to be driven in here, it might very easily be driven further. So long as the restriction applied to all countries alike no country had any particular grievance. However careful or desirous of stamping out disease the Canadians might be, it was not impossible that disease might come into their country without their knowledge. He felt confident that in the President of the Board of Agriculture they had a good friend, and it was hardly necessary to ask the right hon. Gentleman to stand firm against this Amendment, and to set his face strongly against any proposal that would open our ports to the importation of live cattle, other than for slaughter at place of landing, owing to the great danger to the health of the flocks and herds of this kingdom.

*ME. O'DOWD (Sligo, S.)

said he should offer the Amendment his most strenuous opposition. He did not understand the argument of his hon. friend above the Gangway, who had spoken of the importation of cattle. So far as his colleagues and himself were concerned, they did not object to the importation of fat cattle, no matter from what quarter they came, so long as this meant cheapen- ing the food of the masses. He thought the hon. Member had lost sight of the fact that this Amendment was confined to the importation of store cattle, which was another matter altogether. He opposed this Amendment for various reasons. In the first place, he opposed it because his constituents were opposed to it; and in the second place, because every representative body in his county, from the County Council down to the Board of Guardians, was opposed to it. Finally, he opposed it because his constituents were not large farmers, but, on the contrary, they were small farmers; in fact, many of them, owing to the extreme smallness of their holdings, could not be called farmers at all. The small farmers of the West of Ireland were acknowledged to be the best breeders of store cattle in these three Kingdoms, and this fact would be admitted by any agricultural expert in England who was in the habit of visiting the fairs in the West of Ireland. He had had a conversation with an Englishman who was a very large buyer in Ireland, and he had told him that the bringing in of store cattle from Canada would prove to be a ruinous business for the people at large. Whoever heard of a fat beast coming from Canada ' The people of England who were experts would readily admit that the importation of store cattle from Canada would be an evil. Now, when a measure was about to be introduced which it was sincerely to be hoped would abolish dual ownership in Ireland, it was hardly an opportune rime for embarking in legislation which meant ruin to the small farmers of that country. Therefore, he hoped that the President of the Board of Agriculture would not accept this Amendment. He thoroughly agreed with the hon. Member opposite who had alluded to the dangers to creameries by the importation of store cattle. It would be nothing short of a calamity to accept this Amendment, which he hoped would be rejected.


said that he took an active interest in opposing the Act of 1896, and therefore he should like to say a few words. The Amendment of his hon. friend called for the repeal of the law which excluded Canadian store cattle from the English markets. The Act of 1896 repealed in a single section a particular section of the Act of 1894, which contained certain provisions for the slaughter of foreign cattle at the ports. The Act of 1896 was resisted with the entire force of the Liberal Opposition. That Act repealed a section of the Act of 1894, thereby taking away from that House and from the Government the power of exercising an administrative discretion as to the importation of cattle. But surely they could trust the discretion of the President of the Board of Agriculture in such a matter. Could there never be any foreign cattle fit to be imported into this country? Supposing the right hon. Gentleman was satisfied that there was no such danger, could they not trust him and his staff to make up their minds without the assent of the House of Lords?

They passed the Act of 1894 on the general ground that a restriction on the importation of cattle was necessarily a matter for administrative discretion which should be settled by the Government of the day on their sole responsibility to this House, without the assent or interference of the House of Lords. He stood by the opinion which he expressed before, and he hoped that all those hon. Members who opposed the Act on a previous occasion would repeat their vote to-night in favour of this Amendment. On the general question of policy there was no doubt a consider able difference of opinion in different parts of the country, and they had heard those opinions expressed in the course of this debate. In the East of Scotland he understood that the opinion was unanimous against the restriction referred to by his hon. friend but personally he rather represented the consumer upon this question and not the agriculturists. He was certain that it was the opinion of the consumers of all the great cities that these restrictions should be removed. On the grounds that it was in the interest of the consumer he should support this Amendment.

MR. TENNANT (Berwickshire)

said the hon. Gentleman opposite, the Member for Berks, had made some interesting observations, in which he said that he did not believe that the price of the food of the people had been affected by these restrictions. But was it not a fact that in most parts of the country the price of store cattle had increased? If that be so, was it not natural by the law of economics, that the price of the fatted article had also been increased? If this had not been the case only one person could be affected, and that was the unfortunate farmer, who had to bear the burden. The hon. Gentleman opposite asked the President of the Board of Agriculture not to remove these restrictions, on the ground that it was important that children and invalids should have pure milk. But was it due to the foot-and-mouth disease that these restrictions were imposed? He was under the impression that it was due to a case of pleuro-pneumonia that occurred in Canada. As he was informed that this disease had absolutely died out, and as the United States now took Canadian store cattle, he asked the President of the Board of Agriculture to do what he had done with regard to the muzzling order, and remove these restrictions. The muzzling order did a great deal of good, and he was one of those who wished to see it persevered with until rabies had been absolutely wiped out. That had been done with the greatest success, and he maintained that this pleuro-pneumonia disease had now been stamped out in Canada, and it was very rare indeed in this country.


The hon. and learned Member for Dundee seems to think it was rather a hardship that, under the law or 1896, the President of the Board of Agriculture has no discretion in this matter. It is a fact, of course, that that Act does forbid the importation of store cattle from all countries in the world, but I can at once tell the hon. Member that if my hands were perfectly free, and if the Act left it to my discretion, I should as stoutly maintain the exclusion of store cattle from this country as I am obliged to do under the Act of 1896. I am absolutely convinced that, if we are to keep out disease from this country, the Act of 1896 must be maintained in all its completeness. The Amendment which the hon. Member has placed upon the Paper seems to convey the idea that only Canadian store cattle are excluded by the Act. A similar misconception, I think, prevails throughout the country, and to that extent a certain amount of prejudice has been created against it. That Act applies not only to Canada, but to stores from every portion of the world. Canada is suffering under no special grievance in this respect. We should all be anxious to show the utmost consideration to any of our Colonies, but, in this matter, Canada differs in no respect from other Colonies or foreign countries. On the other hand, with regard to the importation of fat cattle, Canada is in a position occupied by only two other countries—the United States and Argentina.

The question at issue between us does not turn on whether or not Canada is free from disease. For months I have admitted that Canada is free from disease, and it is on that ground, and that ground only, that Canada is allowed to export to this country fat cattle for immediate slaughter. But there is a vast distinction to be drawn between allowing fat cattle to come into our ports to be slaughtered within ten days of landing, and allowing store cattle not only to reach the wharves, but to go throughout the length and breadth of the land, possibly carrying disease wherever they go. So insidious are some of these cattle diseases, that foot-and-mouth disease, for instance, has actually spread from the quarantine wharf itself. If it has spread from the wharf, with all the safeguards there provided, what may be the danger if these store cattle are allowed to come in and go all over the country? We have no adequate means of knowing, and, especially in these large and thinly-populated countries, it is extremely difficult to know—in many cases their own Governments do not know—whether there is any disease. So difficult is it, even for the Governments of countries like Canada, the United States, or Argentina to know whether foot-and-mouth disease, for instance, does exist, that for months I have had to keep the ports of this country closed against Argentine cattle, because, although the Government of the Argentina issued an official report declaring the country to be free from disease, within two or three months of that notice it was proved, beyond a doubt, that foot-and-mouth disease did there exist. If cattle were allowed to come in as store cattle from countries where disease did exist, the danger to our herds and flocks would be very great indeed. An essential thing in this matter, whether from the point of view of the exporter, the importer, or the consumer, is that we should have a steady trade. That is almost as important as preventing the importation of disease. What is the suggestion in this case?


made a remark which was inaudible in the Press Gallery.


Then directly the hon. Member for East Norfolk succeeded in carrying his point, and stores from Canada were permitted to enter, we should have the hon. Member for Dundee coming forward and saying, "You cannot draw any distinction between Canada, the United States, and the Argentine; you must let in store cattle from every part of the world." That would be a most dangerous state of things. It would be sufficiently dangerous if we were to let in store cattle from Canada, because it is necessary in the interests of the consumer and of all parties concerned that this should be a steady trade. The desire of the Canadians to export fat stock has been considerably diminished by seeing disease suddenly break out in the United States. They are beginning to see that a steady trade, even for meat purposes, because it is steady, will answer their purposes a great deal better than that of live cattle. How much stronger is the argument in the case of stores than in the case even of live fat cattle. If disease breaks out in Canada they can, at any rate, export their dead meat, but if they have only one string to their bow the trade is at once upset, and the whole store supply comes to an end.

It is said that Canada is free from disease. So it is; but there is a country with a frontier running for thousands of miles coterminous with that of Canada where disease has broken out within the last two months. In the New England States foot-and-mouth disease suddenly broke out, and what guarantee have we, if it breaks out in such a country, it will not also break out in Canada? It has been said by several people that we ought to make an exception in the case of Canada because Canada is a Colony. I should be most anxious to meet the wishes of any of our Colonies, but, after all, disease is the same wherever it comes from, and it would do just as much harm in this country whether it came from Canada or from Germany. I cannot agree to treat any Colony exceptionally in this matter. But I will go further. I do not believe that if we opened our ports to-morrow to Canadian store cattle any considerable number would come in. Since the Act of 1896 the Canadians have found a much better way of making money, and that is to fatten their cattle on their own land, and send them over to this country as fat cattle. There is no doubt whatever that this is the case of the bulk of the Canadians at the present moment. Too much may be made of the number of Canadian cattle we used to receive. The figures have not yet been mentioned, but one would suppose from what has been said about the importance of Canadian stores to the graziers of this country that Canada sent us before 1892, when the ports were first closed against them, an enormous supply of store cattle. But what are the facts? Up to 1892 the largest number of cattle of all kinds sent from Canada in any one year was only 88,000, of which only 50,000 were store cattle. Has Canada suffered any injustice since the exclusion of store cattle, or has this country received fewer cattle from Canada? In the five years preceding the exclusion, 88,000 Canadian cattle per annum came to this country; in the ten years since then the number has been 98,000 per annum, so that there has been an actual increase of 10,000, or more than 10 per cent. In addition to this large increase of live cattle we have had an enormous increase of dead meat. In the year before the exclusion of store cattle, Canada was sending us only 370,000 cwt. of dead meat; in 1901 the amount was 722,000 cwt. Canada, then, has not suffered by the arrangement.

But what has been the state of things here in England? From whom does this complaint come? The consumer has had very little to say on the subject, if we except the hon. Member for Dundee, who wants not only Canadian, but store cattle from every country in the world to be allowed to come in, apparently forgetting the greatly increased price which the consumer would have to pay if any amount of disease broke out amongst our home stock. Who, then, are the people who complain? Not the generality of farmers, for I venture to say that 99 per cent. of the farmers of this country are dead against the Amendment of the hon. Member. We have heard what hon. Members from Ireland have to say on the subject, and I shall quote a few figures as to the number of store cattle from Ireland. The same might equally be said about Wales Do the great grazing counties, such as Leicestershire or North amptonshire, ask that these cattle should be introduced? There is not a Member from either of those counties who will say there is any such desire. Then take the case for Scotland. My hon. friend the Member for Aberdeen was Chairman of the Scottish Conference last December, and it must be within his recollection that the Scottish farmers were at one time pressed to deal with the question, but on reflection it was found there was not by any means that unanimity, even in the grazing districts, that had been anticipated, and the resolution was struck off the agenda. There is not the same feeling in Scotland on the subject as there was a year or two ago. The hon. Member for East Norfolk alleges that he represents the county of Norfolk, and he declared that his opponent at the election took exactly the same view of the subject. I do not know whether his opponent had been long in Norfolk, but I do know that the question is not regarded with unanimity in the county. It is rather a battle between the large farmers and the small. It may pay the large farmers very well to get the Canadian stores, though I am told that even amongst them there is not the same unanimity as existed a short time ago. But amongst the small farmers there is absolute unanimity, and, although the hon. Member may very well represent the larger farmers of Norfolk, if he thinks he is doing the smaller farmers any kindness by this Motion I distinctly contradict him; he is doing them a very ill turn indeed. Then the hon. Member seemed to imply that the number of cattle in this country had decreased since the restriction was imposed.


No; you misunderstood me. I said the increase had been comparatively small.


The increase since 1896 has been something like 500,000 on 10,000,000, and that I think is a very considerable increase. We have also had a considerable increase in the supply of store cattle. I have mentioned that the stores from Canada, even in the year when the largest number were sent, did not exceed 50,000. Take Ireland alone. Up to 1891 the average was 355,000; from 1897 to 1901, the average was 420,000, not only making up the deficiency from Canada, but giving us 20.000 to the good, and that increase is going on. And they are by no means bad stores. They are in every respect as good as Canadian stores, and with the means which are now being taken to improve the breed of cattle in Ireland, I believe Ireland will send us even better stores in the future. As to price, I admit that this year there has been an increase. But the circumstances are totally exceptional. We know what happened in America the year before last, that they had very few cattle to send over to this country, and that a great number of cattle were slaughtered in this country as fat cattle which perhaps ought not to have been slaughtered as such. I will take the price, not of a single year, but of, say, five years. It is somewhat difficult to get a return of prices. I wish the Board of Agriculture had better opportunities of getting such returns, and that I could get more assistance from the Treasury in the matter than I am likely to get, because it is a matter of considerable importance. I am able, however, to give these figures, as very accurate records have been kept in some districts. From 1887 to 1891 the price of stores was £9 1s. 6d.; two-year-olds, £12 18s. 4d.; from 1893 to 1897, £7 19s. 6d. and £11 18s.; from 1893 to 1899, £7 18s. 7d. and £11 14s. respectively, so that the price of stores is now £7 18s. 7d. as against £9 1s. 6d., and of two-year-olds £11 14s. as against £12 18s. 4d. That does not look as though the price has gone up.

Now I take the report of the Irish Agricultural Department, and I find that in the five years previous to 1892 the price of one-year-olds was £6 15s. 4d., in the succeeding five years £5 13s. 5d., and from 1897 to 1901 £6 14s. 3d. It is only natural that the; price of Irish stores should have gone up, because for the first time they were coming in these large quantities to England. In the two-year-olds there has been a drop, the price in 1887 and 1891 being £9 8s., in the following five years £8 3s. 1d., and in the last five years.£9 5s. 9d. The same thing happened with regard to three-year-olds. My argument is this: Although disease may not be existent in Canada at the present moment, we have no guarantee that it may not break out to-morrow, and we cannot afford to let our food supply depend on the mere chance of any country being free from disease in any one particular year. There is no hardship on the graziers of this country; they are getting as large and as good a supply of stores as they got before, and they are getting those stores at prices certainly not higher—indeed, in many respects they are lower—than before. Nothing whatever, therefore, will induce me, as long as I am Minister of Agriculture, to abate, by one jot or tittle, the stringency of the Act. I am quite certain that it is to the interest of the farmer and consumer alike that we should stand by that Act, and that we should do everything possible in our power to prevent disease coming into this country. As I have stood firm in the case of importation of fat stock from Argentina, and have refused to allow any to come into this country until I have been satisfied by the Argentine Government that there is no disease in their country, and that all adequate precautions are taken, so again I say that in the case of store cattle, I cannot depart one iota from the Act of 1896 and I will not, for the sake of this paltry number of 50,000 store cattle, which it is asked should be allowed to come in, but which graziers do not want, sacrifice the health of 11,000,000 of cattle in this country, and so enhance the price to the consumer.

MR. GEORGE WHITELEY (Yorkshire, W. R., Pudsey)

said this was a matter in which he had long taken considerable interest. The effect of this Amendment, if carried, would be to repeal, so far as the importation of Canadian cattle was concerned, the Diseases of Animals Act, 1896. He noticed that the right hon. Gentleman, speaking a short time ago in Scotland, said that that Act was passed with very little opposition, and with the consent of both sides of the House. He was unhappily at issue with the right hon. Gentleman in that statement. He challenged it, and he said that very few Acts had been passed through that House that had been more keenly contested and more bitterly fought than was the short Act of 1896. In particular he well remembered it being remarked by the right hon. Gentleman, the President of the Local Government Hoard, who then occupied the position which the right hon. Gentleman now filled, that, although at that time there was no disease in Canada, and very little, if any, in England, there was rinderpest in Rhodesia, and that therefore the right hon. Gentleman had better take his Bovine Bill to Buluwayo. The Act of 1896 was not passed to prevent disease. It was passed to prevent the importation of healthy animals into this country, and to scotch the competition which resulted there from. If the House had realised—if hon. Members who were Free Traders had realised—the results of the passing of that Act, they would not have acquiesced in it, and the majority which supported it would not have been so large as it was. The Act of 1890 was one of those agricultural Acts which, in his humble judgment, were rather Protective in their tendencies. That had been practically admitted by the right hon. Gentleman, because, speaking at Edinburgh a short time back, he admitted that there was no disease in Canada, but stated that the first thing that would happen, if Canadian Store cattle were permitted to enter this country, would be that the price of English stores—and no doubt in that he intended to include the Scotch and Irish—would fall to the market price of Canadian stores. After an admission like that it was impossible to deny that this Act was Protective in its tendencies. If the opening of the ports would have the effect of reducing the price of store cattle, then he said that the effect of keeping them closed was to maintain the price over and above the level at which it would otherwise stand. Under these Protective Acts the working classes and the consumer were, so to speak, between the upper and the nether millstone.

Already the prices of tea, tobacco, corn, and sugar had been increased. A Margarine Act had been passed to protect our butter industry, and the Diseases of Animals Act protected the meat supply. Thus every staple article of food which the working man consumed was enhanced in price, either by taxation or by the restrictive and Protective Acts of the present Government. He had refreshed his memory by referring to the debates of 1896. The House would be aware that prior to that time it was open to the Government to permit the importation of live stock from abroad. Now, under the Act of 1896 all animals had to be slaughtered at the ports. He remembered arguing that the result of the Act would be to increase the price of meat. But, "No," said the right hon. Gentleman the then President of the Board of Trade, now President of the Local Government Board, "we expect there will be such a development of cattle breeding in this country as will more than make up any loss we may sustain under this Act, and the price of meat will be reduced instead of increased." But was it likely that the scotching and prevention of competition was going to reduce the price of meat? If it were, why not refuse to admit wheat and thus reduce its price. The right hon. Gentleman had put forward some very specious arguments, and had quoted certain figures, but he only went back to 1896.


Oh, yes. I went back to 1892.

MR. WHITELEY said he was not present during the earlier part of the light hon. Gentleman's speech and therefore did not hoar that. But the figures relating to 1896 he did hear quoted, and he ventured to assert that if the right hon. Gentleman had taken the statistics for 1893 he would have presented a very different picture to the House. In that year the stock of cattle in this country was 11,207,000, and that number had only risen to 11,376,000 at the period for which the right hon. Gentleman quoted figures. The total increase in our herds of cattle in this country was only 169,000, or one and a half per cent. during ten years. But during that time the population had increased four or five per cent., so that the increase in the number of cattle was by no means commensurate with the increase of people. With regard to prices, it would not be denied that the tendency had been to increase rather than decrease; indeed, during the past year, absolutely famine prices had obtained in the meat trade, although they had gone down somewhat since. At any rate, on the whole, the price of meat was higher now than it was ten years ago, and there was no possibility of its falling. The assertion, therefore, that this Act had not been protective in its effect was dissipated by those figures. The Act was passed on the strength of false arguments. All the prophecies and prognostications by which it was supported in that House had been falsified. It was built upon an unsound and unsubstantial basis. It had proved protective. It had not reduced the price of meat; it had tended to increase it. It had not been followed by any appreciable increase in the number of stores in this country; on the contrary there had been a material decrease in proportion to population. In view of those facts he put it to the House whether it was not time to depart from that cast-iron, hide-bound policy of excluding healthy competition. They heard a good deal nowadays about Imperialism, and some of them thought it was rather a sham and pinchbeck kind of Imperialism. They had also heard statesmen advocating the policy of the Zollverein. Not long ago they wore willing to accept the assistance of Canada in the great conflict in which this Empire was engaged. They took all the assistance she was willing to render, so far as men were concerned. The cry was "let them all come." But now it was a case of "no bullocks need apply." We had in this country a large proportion of the population out of employment, a proportion which had little chance of buying meat. Yet the policy of the Government was to increase the price of meat, and, although there was an excellent supply of that article of food in Canada, which the Canadians were anxious to send us, and we were willing to accept, the Govern- ment refused to allow it to come in. It was a ease of Protection as between the breeder and the feeder, if not between Canada and England. There was an excellent supply of strong healthy cattle which, for years, had been more healthy than our English herds; yet the Government, on behalf of the breeders and agriculturists of this country, elected to exclude that supply from our shores. He appealed to Free Traders, he appealed to all who had the interests of the consumer at heart, to allow, in the interests of the working people, the importation of this healthy supply of food.

SIR EDWARD STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)

said the hon. Member who last spoke had stated that he was appealing to the Free Traders of the country. Well, he himself had been much longer a Free Trader than the hon. Member.


No, no.

*SIR EDWARD STRACHEY said that if his hon. friend had been so long a Free Trader he must have felt that he was in very uncongenial company when he was sitting on the other side of the House. Why did he not object to the action of the Liberal Government of 1892 in refusing to allow store cattle from Canada to be brought into this country? It was entirely duo to the action of the late Liberal Government, acting through Mr. Herbert Gardner, who was then President of the Hoard of Agriculture, that that step was taken. Up till 1892, through the slackness of previous Governments, pleuro-pneumonia and foot and mouth disease had been very prevalent in this country. Indeed, Professor Brown, the professional adviser of the Board of Agriculture, said that it had existed continuously here for more than fifty years. Thanks to the Liberal Government, that state of things was practically put an end to, and there had been only a small number of isolated outbreaks since that time. It was quite clear why the Board of Agriculture had desired to turn what was only statutory obligation into a legislative obligation. They wished permanently to exclude store cattle coming from abroad for the reason that those cattle wore a constant source of disease, so that Britain and Ireland were never free of it, for as often as it was stamped out so surely was it imported again from abroad. It was clear that the Hoard of Agriculture had felt that the pressure put upon it was enormous, because anyone who read the official correspondence between Lord Ripon, the then Colonial Secretary, and Mr. Herbert Gardner from 1892 to 1894 would see the enormous pressure that was brought to bear upon him by the Colonial Office. Letter after letter was written by the High Commissioner of Canada to Lord Ripon, urging that the restrictions should be withdrawn. The pressure was so great that the then President of the Hoard of Agriculture (Mr. Gardner) appointed a Departmental Committee to inquire into the question, and the conclusion come to by that body, largely on the evidence of experts, showed that it was perfectly well known to English veterinary surgeons that the diagnosis of pleuro-pneumonia was extremely difficult. That was the argument that was used by the Board of Agriculture in 1893, in order to resist the pressure put upon it by Canada. Canada then, as now, declared that there was no disease at all in the Dominion, and that pleuro-pneumonia did not exist. But after the most careful investigation the Departmental Committee came to the conclusion that it did exist, and it was impossible to allow Canadian store cattle to be introduced into this country, for unless the prohibition was insisted upon, it would not be possible to keep our flocks and herds free from foot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia. Mr. Gardner and the then Liberal Government therefore resisted the pressure put upon him by Canada. The Conservative Government, when they introduced the permanent Act, did so, it might be supposed, to help them to resist the same kind of pressure by the Colonial Office. It had been difficult for Mr. Gardner to resist the pressure of Lord Ripon. Would it not have been more difficult, if not impossible, for Mr. Walter Long, the then President of the Board of Agriculture, to have resisted Mr. Chamberlain, then, as now, the Colonial Secretary, and all-powerful?

It had been suggested by one of the speakers that the Act of 1896 was opposed by the entire Liberal Party, but he had looked up the Debates and he found that the number of Members who voted against the Bill, on the Motion for the Third Reading was only seventy-five. He also found on examining the reports on the Debates on the Second Reading that several Liberal Members representing agricultural constituencies voted for and not against the Bill. It was clear, therefore, that the Liberal Party was not united on the point, especially when they found so representative a man as the Member for the South Molton Division of Devonshire supporting the Act. He noticed a curious contradiction in the speech of the hon. Member for Berwickshire, who, in opposing the Act, said that if the price of store cattle increased so did the price of meat. But the hon. Member went on to say that the feeders had been unable to make any profit of late. What did that mean? It meant that when the price of store stock went up the price of fat stock did not go up in proportion, and, consequently, they lost on the fat beasts, because the butchers gave no more for them, though the feeder had to pay more for lean beasts. Really, the whole quarrel was simply between, on the one hand, a small number of feeders of foreign store cattle in this country—men who wanted to have cheap store cattle—a comparatively small minority of farmers in East Anglia, in the North of England, and in Scotland, and on the other hand, the great bulk of the farmers of England, Wales, and Ireland. It had nothing to do with the question of the price of meat. Since 1816 the average price had not increased. It was suggested that it increased last year, but that was owing to the American trust, and, as a matter of fact, the price of meat had fallen considerably at the present moment. The hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment declared that the Act had been a failure, but he did not tell them on what grounds he based that assertion. The only way in which it could have been a failure would have been by not succeeding in stamping out foot-and-mouth disease and pleuro-pneumonia. But it had done that. Those of them who lived in the West of England knew well what a terrible state of things prevailed during the middle part of the past century, when whole districts were ruined, when thousands of men lost their means of living, and great destitution prevailed in various parts. They were told that this was a question affecting Protection and Free Trade. To his mind it was only a question of protection from disease. If it were a question of permanently increas- ing the price of food of the people, he for one would be ready to run some risk in the matter, but it had been proved by the President of the Board of Agriculture that this had not been the case. Taking an average of years, the price of meat had not increased. An enormous increase of the amount of meat which came into this country frozen or chilled, takes the place of the store cattle before imported, in fact we got just as much meat, if not more, from abroad, but in the shape of dead or fat beasts instead of in the form of store beasts.

MR. H. BROADHURST (Leicester)

said he understood the President of the Board of Agriculture to say that in the whole of Leicestershire there had been no voice heard in favour of the Amendment of his hon. friend.


From the farmers.


There were other people in Leicestershire besides farmers. There were 230,000 of a working population in the borough of Leicester, and from that borough he had presented petitions again and again in favour of repealing the restrictions against the importation of store cattle. He did not think the President of the Board of Agriculture made any great point when he said that the hon. Member for Dundee would admit store cattle from other countries than Canada. Cattle should be admitted from any country where there were healthy beasts. No one proposed to admit cattle with disease among them. The right hen. Gentleman had quoted a number of figures to show what had been the variation in the price of store cattle. He should like to know on what principle the right hon. Gentleman selected the districts from which he obtained his figures.


The sets of figures I have quoted were the only figures I could lay my hands on. There was a record kept by the Farmers' Association, and the figures showed the official reports in regard to Irish store cattle.

MR. BROADHURST said he feared there was very great inaccuracy in compiling these figures. He was fre- quently in the Castle Hill live-stock market of the city of Norwich, to which cattle were admitted from all parts, and if he was correctly informed store cattle had fallen between £2 and £3 per head since the passing of the Act of 1896. There had been constant objections taken to the Act on the ground that it was calculated to enhance the price of meat. In Leicester the co-operative society and tradesmen who distributed food to thousands of people declared that it bad increased the price of meat, and, therefore, they were in favour of the repeal of the restrictions. There was no necessity for the Act except to save labour to the Department. The Department could always and instantly have stopped the importation of diseased cattle. If the Department had no better sources of information than the War Office had for other purposes, he could understand that it might exist in a state of ignorance as to the condition of cattle in other countries. There should be no difficulty in getting warning at once of the spread of foot-and-mouth disease or lung disease in Canada, or any other civilised country. We had consuls and representatives all over the world for the purpose of furnishing us with information. It was a ridiculous, nonsensical, cast-iron policy to keep out store cattle from all countries whether disease existed in those counts its or not. The right hon. Gentleman had admitted that it was difficult to get statistics which were reliable, and that the means of collecting them were uncertain and inefficient. That was a confession of incompetency which really made the House suspicious of the other reasons, excuses, and apologies which had been constantly offered by the Department on this and other questions relating to agriculture.

He was not a farmer. He wished he was. He lived among farmers and was constantly associating with them. He was informed that the Irish store cattle, at any rate on the north-east coast of Britian, were nothing like so profitable to the farmer as the animals from America or Canada They were a much smaller class of beast as a rule. They lived on much richer pasture in Ireland than the cattle of Canada or America, and therefore when they came to the bleak north-east coast the fowling part of Great Britain—they did not fatten with anything like the rapidity, or with anything like the same profit to the farmer as cattle from the prairie-lands across the Atlantic. That was one of the great complaints of the north-east farmer against Irish stores. Do not let the right hon. Gentleman imagine that anybody wanted to run risks. Exclude everything about which there was the suspicion of disease, but, pray, allow common-sense to rule, and not the hard-and-fast line which bad been laid down and which could not be altered. The right hon. Gentleman could not go down to the city of Norwich and meet a buyer of store cattle who would agree with him that they had not advanced more than £1 per head, otherwise he was entirely misinformed. He had no rents to reduce, and he believed it to be gospel truth what these men told him—that since 1896 the increase in the price of store cattle was more than 40s. per head in most cases, while the animals purchased were nothing like so profitable or so well suited to the climate as the class they were in the habit of purchasing before. On behalf of the consumers who had again and again petitioned the House against the restrictions, he protested against the exclusion of healthy and profitable store cattle from Canada or any other part of the world.

MR. CROMBIE (Kincardineshire)

said that as representing a county particularly interested in this question he might be allowed to make one or two remarks on the speech of the President of the Board of Agriculture. The fault they found with the right hon. Gentleman was that he had not confidence enough in himself and in his power to exclude diseased cattle without a law binding him to do so. His predecessors were perfectly able to do so. One of his predecessors actually, for a year at least, excluded Canadian cattle when there was every reason to believe that there was no disease whatever in Canada. The right hon. Gentleman had asked why they spoke of Canada. They took the Canadian case because it was a clear one. There was no disease whatever in Canada at present, and most of them thought there never was. They saw no reason why cattle from that part of the world should not be admitted. They disapproved of the Act because the great industry in the feeding and fattening of cattle had been detrimentally affected by it. The right hon. Gentleman had given the House some statistics which were most striking. He questioned the accuracy of those statistics, and he would give the right hon. Gentleman this challenge. He congratulated the right hon. Gentleman on the way he went about visiting different districts of the country, and he wished to know whether he would go down to Aberdeenshire or Kincardineshire and tell the farmers, as he had told the House, that store cattle were never imported in any great number. The right hon. Gentleman knew that such a statement would be laughed out of court.

What really ran through the whole argument was the idea of Protection. Even the right hon. Gentleman himself, while he did not use protective arguments, appealed to the breeders throughout the country, and he also appealed to hon. Gentlemen from Ireland. The hon. Member wished no harm to the breeding industry, which was larger than the feeding one, but it was perfectly impossible for this country to breed ail the cattle that the consumer required. If we could not breed all the cattle we required, how were w e going to supplement the supply? It must be done either by importing dead meat or store cattle. This Act prevented the importation of store cattle. The consequence was that the importation of dead meat had been increased, and the profit which formerly went to the farmers of Kincardineshire, who used to fatten; store cattle, now went to Canada. The right hon. Gentleman might contemplate that as a thing not to be regretted, but he could assure him that in his constituency it was regretted very much indeed. He was sorry that this debate had been more or less a dispute between breeders and feeders. It ought to be a consumers' question. Petitions had been received from various co-operative societies throughout the country in favour of the removal of the present restrictions on the importation of Canadian cattle. In the interest of consumers as well as feeders it was of the greatest importance that the Act should be repealed.

MR. MURNAGHAN (Tyrone, Mid)

congratulated the President of the Board of Agriculture on the statement he had made. In his opinion the right hon. Gentleman had not shown any want of self-reliance such as the hon. Member for Kincardineshire seemed to think. No new argument had been heard in support of the Amendment now before the House. The statistics submitted by the right hon. Gentleman showed clearly that the Act, instead of being an injury to consumers and feeders, had been a benefit to them. Feeders had more stores to-day than they had before the Act was passed, while there was more meat coming into the country now than then. Even if at the present moment the price of meat was high that was not due to the effect of the Act. It was due to the failure of the maize crop in the United States last year. He did not think that the hon. Gentleman who had proposed the Amendment had presented anything that was really tangible in support of it. For his part, he believed that instead of the Act of 1896 having done any injury, it had done a great deal of good. It had stimulated the breeding of cattle in Ireland, and had encouraged the farmers there to extend the industry, and to send to this country a class of animals which were well fitted to finish up their fattening here. From the figures produced by the Minister of Agriculture they saw that the number of store cattle from Ireland had increased by many thousands per annum, that the class of animals was superior to what it formerly was, and that it was improving every year. Now that the new Department of Agriculture had been established in Ireland, they might hope that the improvement in numbers and quality would be more than maintained; and, in fact, he thought that the industry was only really in its infancy in Ireland. It would be a sad thing if anything were done by this House to hinder the development of that industry, and the improvement of Irish cattle. He congratulated the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Agriculture on the firm attitude he had taken up in this matter. The right hon. Gentleman had clearly shown that the Act passed in 1896 had been beneficial; that it had not only stamped out disease but had secured this country against the danger of its reintroduction, while it had given a stimulus to the breeding industry in the sister island. The firm stand which the Minister of Agriculture had taken, and the unwavering character of his language, had shown the people of Ireland that in him they had got a good solid friend.

MR. WEIR (ROSS and Cromarty)

said that notwithstanding the arguments they had heard from the feeders and those hon. Members who said they represented the consumers, he congratulated the Minister of Agriculture on the firm attitude he had maintained in regard to this question. If any man could claim credit for single devotion to duty, and ability in the discharge of his work, it was that right hon. Gentleman. He was specking from a long experience of the right hon. Gentleman in different Departments of administration. No one more effectually went down to the bed-rock of every question he had grappled with than the right hon. Gentleman, who had, therefore, gone to the bed-rock of the matter under discussion. They had heard a good deal about Irish store cattle, but nothing of Highland cattle. There were large tracts of land in the Highlands now used as deer forests, which should be devoted to the rearing of cattle. That would be the very best way of keeping the population in the country. If they introduced store cattle from Canada and every other country, which would soon be distributed all over the land, how could they arrest the progress of disease if it once broke out. He had too much regard for the small farmers and crofters who had a few cows, stirks, young beasts and sheep to sanction anything by which that risk would be run The interests of the small farmers and crofters, and not that of the feeders should be first considered. Apart from that, if access were only given to the land tens of thousand more cattle would be reared in the Highlands than at present. This was a great national question, from the point of view that it would keep the people on the land. An hon. Member had spoken of a great meeting held in Westminster to protest against the Act of 1896; but those who attended that meeting represented the large farmers, a few landlords, the shipping trade, the butchers, and co-operative societies. No small farmers had been represented there. The Secretary to the High Commissioner for Canada had admitted that the cattle were now sent over from Canada in a fattened state, and that the volume of trade had actually increased in spite of the restrictions imposed by the Act of 1896. It had been suggested, and he agreed with the suggestion, that the destruction of calves should be stopped, so that they might grow up into full-sized cattle to yield food for the people.

*MR. LEVY (Leicestershire, Loughborough)

said that he considered the Act of 1896 as Protection in its worst form, and he protested on behalf of his constituents against a measure which excluded from this country the food of the people and imposed upon them great hardships. The right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Agriculture had honoured Leicester with a visit and made a very interesting speech, in which he told the farmers it would be useless to clamour for Protection, it was like crying for the moon. He met a farmer, who, after hearing the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Agriculture, said— I admire the Minister for Agriculture who evidently intends to continue his system of Protection and call it by another name! We farmers will encourage him to put a tax on corn, for that is not Protection but registration! Then the right hon. Gentleman excludes cattle, and the people will go on paying us farmers higher prices in every direction for their food! The Irish people were now raising their voices and saying that they were making money by the exclusion of cattle from Canada. He had every wish to do justice to the breeders of Ireland, but at the same time they must do justice to the majority of the people of this country who had a hard struggle to obtain the necessary food, because employment was precarious and wages were low. They knew that the Government would not accept the Amendment, but would continue their system of Protection to bolster up a few industries and to help the large farmers, while they regarded the great majority of the people as worthy of but little consideration. It was said that the Act of 1896 had stamped out disease, but in his opinion it had not done so. He believed that an improved system of inspection and isolation had been the means of stamping out disease. Methods had been adopted by which information could be given to the Minister of Agriculture if disease amongst cattle had broken out in any part of the world; and if there was no disease in Canada and in other cattle-breeding countries—and if there was thorough inspection of the country—why should they not permit the introduction into Great Britain of cattle from any country? He earnestly hoped that his hon. friend would go to a division, and if he did so he would support him with every satisfaction, knowing that he would be acting in the interests of the great majority of the people, and at the same time doing no injustice to the cattle breeders.

MR. CAWLEY (Lancashire, Prestwich)

said he took an altogether different view of this question from that of the Minister of Agriculture. In his opinion it did no good to the country to tax raw material. They admitted free fat cattle and dead meat, and yet excluded the raw material to make into beef. Moreover, by excluding raw materials the production of bye-products was prevented, and a very considerable industry was crippled. He did not think that the past few years since the Act was passed were a safe criterion for the future. These years had, in the main, been dry seasons, and there had been little or no grass; but he remembered when there was more grass than cattle to eat it, and that was a sort of thing that might come about again. His principal objection to the Act was that it really taxed the raw material of an important industry. An hon. friend had advocated that the killing of all the calves should be stopped, but he did not think that would recommend itself to the people of England, for where would they then get their veal and ham pie? That was no remedy at all.

MR. SHEEHAN (Cork County, Mid)

said he congratulated the right hon. the President of the Board of Agriculture on the firm stand he had taken in this matter. In his own constituency they sent over large numbers of store cattle to England, and breeding had become one of their most important industries. He therefore very strongly supported the attitude adopted by the right hon.

Bell, Richard Horniman, Frederick John Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Black, Alexander William Jones, Wm (Carnarvonshire) Spencer, Rt Hn C. R. (Northants)
Broadhurst, Henry Kearley, Hudson E. Tennant, Harold John
Bryce, Right Hon. James Levy, Maurice Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)
Caldwell, James Nussey, Thomas Willans Tomkinson, James
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H Partington, Oswald Toulmin, George
Causton, Richard Knight Roberts, Jonh Bryn (Eifion) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Cremer, William Randal Roberts, John H. (Denbighs) White, George (Norfolk)
Cromble, John William Roe, Sir Thomas Willox, Sir John Archibald
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Rose, Charles Day Wilson, John (Durham Mid.)
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J. Shackleton, David James
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Price and Dr. Farquharson.
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Shipman, Dr. John G.
Hope John Deans (Fife, West) Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.) Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd)
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Cranborne, Viscount Harmsworth, R. Leicester
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Clean, Eugene Harrington, Timothy
Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton) Harris, Frederick Leverton
Arkwright, John Stanhope Crossley, Sir Savile Haslett, Sir James Horner
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hay, Hon. Claude George
Arrol, Sir William Cullinan, J. Hayden, John Patrick
Atkinson, Right Hon. John Davenport, William Bromley Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)
Bain, Colonel James Robert Delany, William Heider, Augustus
Balcarres, Lord Dickson, Charles Scott Henderson, Sir Alexander
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man'r) Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Jos. C. Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.
Balfour, Bt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds) Donelan, Captain A. Hope, J. F. (Shelf., B'tside)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Doogan, P. C. Hoult, Joseph
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Dorington, Rt. Bon. Sir J. E. Jeffreys, Bt. Hn. Arthur Fred
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Johnstone, Heywood
Bignold, Arthur Duffy, William J. Joyce, Michael
Blundell, Colonel Henry Duke, Henry Edward Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H.
Boland, John Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Edwards, Frank Keswick, William
Brassey, Albert Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed. Knowles, Lees
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Ffrench, Peter Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)
Bull, William James Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Lawson, John Grant
Burke, E. Haviland Finlay, Sir Robert. Bannatyne Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H Fisher, William Hayes Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon Lockie, John
Cautley, Henry Strother Flavin, Michael Joseph Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Flower, Ernest Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Forster, Henry William Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J A (Worc) Galloway, William Johnson Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Charrington, Spencer Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Clancy, John Joseph Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Lucas, Reg'ld J. (Portsmouth)
Clive, Captain Percy A. Gore, Hon. G. R. C. Ormsby Lundon, W.
Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E. Gray, Ernest (West Ham) MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.
Collings, Right Hon. Jesse Greetne, W. Raymond (Cambs) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready Gretton, John MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Condon, Thomas Joseph Greville, Hon. Ronald M'Calmont, Colonel James
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasg.) Hamilton, Rt. Hn Ld. G. (Midx) M'Govern, T.
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Hamilton, Marq. of (Londondy) M'Kean, John
Cox, Irwin Edwd. Bainbridge Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robt. Wm. M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)

Gentleman, and hoped he would adhere to his decision.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 38; Noes, 190. (Division List No. 8.)

Majendie, James A. H. Power, Patrick Joseph Stock, James Henry
Martin, Richard Biddulph Pretyman, Ernest George Strachey, Sir Edward
Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F. Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Sullivan, Donal
Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriesshire) Purvis, Robert Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Montagu, Hon. J. Scott, (Hants.) Randles, John S. Thornton, Percy M.
More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire) Rankin, Sir James Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Morrell, George Herbert Ratcliff, R. F. Valentia, Viscount
Mount, William Arthur Reddy, M. Vincent. Col. Sir C. E. H. (Sheffield)
Murnaghan, George Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Walker, Col. William Hall
Murphy, John Redmond, William (Clare) Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute) Reid, James (Greenock) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Nannetti, Joseph P. Renwick, George Webb, Colonel William George
Nicholson, William Graham Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge) Weir, James Galloway
Nicol, Donald Ninian Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Nolan, Joseph (Louth South) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Whiteley, H. (Ashtonund. Lune)
O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid) Russell, T. W. Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
O'Dowd, John Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln) Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)
O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.) Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Wylie, Alexander
O'Mara, James Smith, H C (North'mb Tyneside) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
O'Shee, James John Soares, Ernest J. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland Hood and Mr. Anstruther.
Percy, Earl Spear, John Ward
Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormshirk)
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)

Main Question again proposed.

Debate arising.

SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

moved the adjournment of the debate.

Motion made, and Question proposed.

"That the Debate be now adjourned'—(Sir Howard Vincent).

Put, and agreed to.

Debate to be resumed Tomorrow.