§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £96,499, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1904, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of His Majesty's Secretary of State for the Home Department and Subordinate Offices."
§ MR. JOHN ELLIS
said he believed that the right to inflict pain by way of experiment upon living animals ought to be very carefully restricted and guarded. Regulations should be imposed by the State. The Act of 1876 laid down that a person should not perform on living animals any experiment calculated to give pain, except subject to the restrictions of that Act. The State therefore recognised that experiments on living animals were illegal and must be stopped except when performed under certain regulations. The Act of 1876 was satisfactory in his opinion The conditions and principles which underlaid the matter of painful experiments on living animals might be taken to be three in number. In the 614 first place, the experiment must not be made except for a definite object or purpose. That was perfectly clear on the terms of the Act itself. Subsection 4 of Section 3 showed that the experiment must be performed with a view to the advancement or new discovery of physiological knowledge, or that it was useful for prolonging life, or for alleviating suffering. Those words governed the whole thing. Anything outside the clause was ipso facto illegal.
Then, in the next place, it must be done by a duly certified and qualified person. No one at large could perform these experiments. In the third place, it must be done on licensed premises. It could not be carried on anywhere and everywhere. The whole thing was governed by inspection, and it was rather as regarded inspection that he wanted to address himself more specifically to the Home Secretary. That right hon. Gentleman was the head of a great Department and had under him two inspectors—one for England, and one for Scotland, each of whom had certain geographical functions. But the most important thing to be considered was the character of the men, and some years ago that was not a very satisfactory matter. It was the duty of some hon. Members at that time to point out that the inspector then employed had been a declared admirer of the system of vivisection, and might even be ranked as an adherent to the system. He did not think a man could properly fulfil the functions of an inspector—he would not go so far as to say that the inspector should be a declared anti-vivisectionist—but he could not do justice to his post unless he were a reasonable man with a fairly balanced mind, and did not enter upon his duties with any very strong or conceived opinions either for or against vivisection. He should be able to investigate matters with a calm and even judgment. That was all he asked, and if the right hon. Gentleman could assure the Committee on that point he would be perfectly satisfied. In years gone by the position was very different, but time must have dispossessed the person who was then holding office. He had 615 no personal knowledge of the present inspectors, and he made no complaint with regard to the method of inspection. The Home Secretary had a perfect army of inspectors for mines and factories, and it was to be hoped that with regard to this matter of painful experiments on living animals the right hon. Gentleman would see that justice was done. His inspectors should investigate the matters under their jurisdiction with judicial calm, and report upon them in the same spirit. That was the attitude which he ventured to think the inspectors under this Act should adopt. He would further suggest, without desiring to cast any reflections upon anyone, that surprise visits should be adopted. That could be done without throwing any slur on the character of anyone, and he hoped that the gentleman who had to deal with painful experiments on living animals would be thin-skinned.
His last point was as to the personal attitude of the Home Secretary. He did not think the right hon. Gentleman was slack or indifferent in this matter, but he hoped that he wouldgive dueregard to the character of his inspectors, and to the way in which they performed their functions, and that he would see that the Act was carried out thoroughly and well. It was absolutely necessary that the Act passed in 1876 should be thoroughly carried out. He hoped that the Home Secretary would assure the Committee that he agreed with the three cardinal principles he had laid down, and that they would be able to close this discussion with the feeling that they had the right hon. Gentleman's sympathy with them, and that he would see that the Act was not a dead letter.
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY (Camberwell, Peckham)
said he had listened with satisfaction to the extremely moderate speech of the hon. Member for the Rushcliffe Division. They might be sure that the Home Secretary did not regard this question in any way from a prejudiced point of view, but rather from a layman's point of view. What was the question they were putting to the right hon. Gentleman? At present there was a certain Act of Parliament which was passed in 616 the year 1876. That Act had been modified, as some of them thought, in the wrong direction. He believed there was a very strong feeling in the country among moderate people that the alteration made in the Act was a wrong alteration, and that some steps should be taken to restore the Act to the position in which it formerly stood. He did not suppose that any Member of that House—and certainly no Member on the opposite side—would regard him in any kind of way as a sentimental person, or as one likely to be actuated by sentimental motives. How was the Act, as it stood now, administered? His hon. friend had stated that in coal mines and other industries the word of the mine-owner, however respectable he might be, was not taken conclusively as law, but steps were taken by independent people to see that the Act was obeyed. Licences were granted to certain people to make certain experiments, and there was very little, if any, provision made to see that these experiments were carried out in the spirit in which he was sure the Home Secretary granted the licences. The Reports made on those experiments were to a great extent prepared by the gentlemen who were licensed to carry them out. He was not one of those who thought that under no circumstances should vivisection be practised, but he did desire to see safeguards put on the practice, and that the experiments should only be carried on with a certain object in view—i.e., with a desire to achieve something which would throw light on certain unknown subjects for the benefit of mankind, and not merely to show us what was already well-known, or merely to illustrate lectures in order to give students an opportunity of succeeding in their studies. He did not want to cast blame on any person who was desirous of advancing science, but they all knew that people were likely to be carried away from their better feelings when pursuing an interesting subject, and they must not pay too much attention to statements made by people who were personally interested. He believed he was right in thinking that the Home Secretary would approach this subject with a certain amount of consideration, and that the right hon. Gentleman was prepared to take steps to more efficiently 617 safeguard the law as it at present existed. He hoped further that the right hon. Gentleman would say with what favour he regarded legislation which had for its object an improvement of the existing law. The hon. Gentleman opposite had alluded to a Bill that he (Sir F. Banbury) hoped to soon introduce to the House, although the right hon. Gentleman could not approve that Bill.
*THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
Order, order! The hon. Member is out of order in discussing proposed legislation on this subject.
§ SIR FREDERICK BANBURY
accepted the Chairman's ruling. He only wished to point out that the hon. Gentleman opposite had alluded to a Bill standing in his name, and he thought it might be in order to ask the Home Secretary what steps he proposed to take to stop what was recognised by a great number of people in this country to be a growing evil. Was the right hon. Gentleman prepared to take steps to see that for the future no licences would be given unless proper safeguards were observed, and to ensure that when a licence was given it was carried out in the manner in which it was intended to be carried out when given?
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
was sure that no one would be more anxious to protect the rights and privileges of animals than the Home Secretary. It had been his fortune, or misfortune, to have known the right hon. Gentleman for thirty years. His earliest recollection of him was that he was always accompanied by a dog, and that he was always a good master of dogs and cats. First of all they had to elicit the sympathies of the right hon. Gentleman on the side of preventing, as far as possible, cruelties being perpetrated in the name of scientific research upon those humble sentient creatures who were more or less placed in our care and under our charge. It reflected well on the House of Commons that it could give a few minutes to the consideration of the rights and privileges of creatures that had no voices to be heard on the subject of preferential tariffs, and did not even understand the difference between Chamberlainism and Ritchieism. The Committee were very 618 fortunate in having this discussion at the present time of the year. The Report was very interesting reading. He wished with all earnestness that the English public could realise the Act of 1876—a Vivisection Act which was supposed to protect the rights of animals, but which had done exactly the reverse. It had safeguarded excessive vivisection; it had protected on paper cruelty, and it had protected on paper scientific research, which was not scientific research but cruelty. The Report was not a judicial document, but an apologia for increased protection of vivisection. They could not dissociate themselves from the idea that these men, holding licences for experimenting upon living animals, were members, and honoured members, of the surgical profession; that they were bound by professional feeling not to go against their own class; and that that tone, feeling, idea, and aspect had been engendered for years and years in their minds. It could not be otherwise but that the sight of suffering, which at first moved one so strongly, should afterwards become less keen as one became more hardened. When it was contended that vivisection was useful and necessary, it was utterly impossible for those gentlemen to approach it in a spirit to ascertain whether it was cruel or not. With that environment of mind those gentlemen were not competent to deal with the question. The names of the institutions which were licensed for vivisection occupied forty-three pages of the Report; but there was only one inspector and an assistant-inspector to inspect them all. The institutions were scattered all over the country; but the travelling expenses of the two inspectors were limited to £100 a year. If they visited all the institutions, and if they made surprise visits, clearly their travelling expenses would be far more. The Chief Inspector received £315 a year, and his assistant £210. Those salaries were paid, not for the inspection of the institutions licensed for vivisection, but in order to lull the public conscience as to what went on. The £525 which was paid for inspection was so much moral morphia to deaden the public conscience. He would recommend his right hon. friend not to attend a vivisection operation with a revolver in his hand; he himself would not be responsible for the consequences.
619 The Report stated that during the year the usual inspections had been made, and that the animals were found everywhere to be suitably lodged and well-cared for. An earlier Report stated, however, that the best experiments had been carried out in connection with food, which of course meant that the animals were being starved. Then, as if to save their faces, the inspectors mentioned a case in which a man who had been licensed to vivisect dogs and cats, extended his prerogative to guinea-pigs. If the right bon. Gentleman would ask his mentors at the Home Office for information he would find that since the Act of 1376 was passed not one vivisector had ever been fined a penny or imprisoned for an hour, or deprived of his certificate, though sometimes the certificate was suspended. He was, therefore, right in stating that all this was a mere matter of administration, and that the animals were worse off after the Act of 1876 than they were before. The Act had operated as an anodyne to the public mind. Persons who objected to vivisection were called faddists; and he himself was very proud that he was a faddist in that connection. He found that during the last year there had been sixty-two aspirants to diplomas as vivisectionists; and there were no fewer than 3,261 more experiments in 1902 than in 1901. He would ask hon. Members who would not see a dog or a cat, or the humblest sentient being, injured to consider that.
Further, it should not be imagined that each experiment only meant one operation on one animal. An operation was a series of scientific researches on various animals, and was oftentimes conducted by very unskilful hands, and by men who knew no more about the physiology of a sentient being than a child who broke up a watch did of its mechanism, It would have been thought, from the Report, that the animals were rather the better for the operations performed on them. He wondered how the gentleman who wrote that Report would feel if he burnt his finger with a cigar. The experiments involved the removal of important organs, and even parts of the brain. The vivisectionists watched I the various results just as persons look at the retort in a chemical experiment. 620 They even seemed to think that it did more good than harm to have part of an animal's brain removed; and they were the gentlemen who were the protectors of animals, and who would not allow them to be cruelly treated. His hon. friend had spoken hotly of the mutilation of animals for the pleasure of medical students; and another hon. Gentleman stated that he did not think animals were vivisected in the lecture room. But in the Report it was stated that no less than 171 experiments had been conducted in lecture rooms. Was that right or proper? Dr. Houghton, who was one of the Senior Fellows of Trinity College and a great scientific and medical man, opposed the practice of vivisection altogether, because he did not wish, as he said, to make the medical students under his care young devils. The 171 experiments did not mean only 171 animals; it meant a whole series of scientific research; and the statement in the Report was part of the deception, no doubt unconscious, which it presented. Was there ever a more amusing claim for humanity made, except perhaps the claim of the old woman who, when remonstrated with for skinning live eels, said: "Oh, Sir, they are accustomed to it, and don't mind it at all." He would like to send the Report to Mr. W. S. Gilbert for his next comic opera. The experiments which were performed with an anæsthetic numbered nearly 12,000, and were mainly innoculations; and they were defending it on the ground that they were not painful. But the innoculations were conducted to convey fever, diphtheria, and every other disease that human flesh was heir to. According to the Report those experiments lasted during the whole period from the administration of the drug, or the injection, until the animal recovered from its effect, which possibly meant a period of several days. The animal was, he believed under an anæsthetic for the most serious innoculations; and it was admitted in the Report that the passing of a particular disease might lead to a fatal termination. In the event of pain as a result of innoculation, and in no case in which an innoculation was effectual did pain not ensue, a condition attached to the licence required that the 621 animal should be placed under an anæsthetic until the main result of the experiment was attained. Who was to be the judge of the maintenance of the experiment? Was it the man who performed it? Such a system was simply intolerable. One effect of the system of vivisection was a tendency to transfer itself to the human frame; and that was why the poor had such a terror of going into hospitals and submitting themselves to the unsympathetic and cruel hands of the experimentalists.
There was no remedy for the disease of cancer; yet what could be thought of a man who, merely as an experiment, transferred that disease to a sentient being? What had the Home Secretary, as a feeling man, to say to that; the right hon. Gentleman himself would give his life ten times over to prevent others suffering. Was he not bound to pay attention to such a matter as that? If he would presume to put himself in the position of such an exalted man as the Home Secretary, he would cross-examine the inspectors with as little sympathy as an Irish Member cross examined the Chief Secretary for Ireland. He would ask the inspectors if they visited vivisection dens when everything was swept and garnished; and if they told the doctors that it was merely a formal visit; and that a proper certificate would be given. What he wished to impress upon the British public was, that the Act of 1876 was a sham and was not properly administered. There were two papers in London which did not reflect his views completely, but they had rendered enormous service in this matter; one was the Daily News and the other the Morning Leader. It was obvious that the two inspectors did not discharge the duties they were expected to discharge. He would like to know why there had been no enlargement of the staff of inspectors; why the number of vivisection licences and vivisection dens and operations had increased. He should also like to know what care had been taken to put animals which had been operated on out of pain. One of the impostures in the Report was that it was stated year after year that the experiments were painless. He admitted that 622 the operations themselves were painless, but the after results were not. The waking-up after an anesthetic was anything but painless. They ought not to do to poor dumb creatures what they would not do to themselves; and, as far as he was concerned, he would never lose an opportunity of protesting against the present system. He admitted he had no power; but if he had he would abolish vivisection altogether in every shape and form. He did not believe it was useful for scientific research, or for any other reason. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman in the matter; and he was sure he would get a sympathetic answer. Let the right hon. Gentleman take the matter into his own hands; and let him recollect the dog which he owned, and which he himself was acquainted with at Oxford, and remember what efforts he would make to prevent that dog being ill-treated.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON (Armagh, N.)
said he had listened to the speech of the hon. Member with great interest, and as far as he could make out its main point was the necessity for proper inspection. He, therefore, hoped to have the support of the hon. Gentleman when he referred to the question of laundries.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
said he would appeal to the right hon. Gentleman that it might be more convenient for the proper order of debate that the matter to which he referred should be first disposed of.
*THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
said that was not a point of order, but merely a matter of the convenience of the Committee.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
said he wished to draw attention to a Report which dealt with allegations in connection with charitable laundries. In Ireland there were three Protestant Institutions and twenty-two Roman Catholic Institutions. He did not make any accusation whatever against them; he believed the motives for which they were established were excellent; and as a rule they dealt with an unfortunate class of society which deserved all their sympathy. But they were also great trading concerns; as his hon. friend said, they were at the present moment making many thousands 623 a year profit in competition with other laundries, and quite apart from any religious difficulty they certainly should be subjected to inspection, if only as a matter of fair-play. Two years ago he brought that matter forward, and was defeated, but he was sure that when the Home Secretary looked at the Report he would realise the gravity of the difficulty. It was all very well to say that these institutions were properly conducted. Personally he knew nothing against them, but still it was necessary to bear in mind that the people employed in them could not effectually complain of their treatment. Parliament ought therefore to step in and see that the trade was carried on under proper inspection.
*THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
Order, order! I must remind the right hon. Member that it is impossible to provide for the inspection of Convent laundries without fresh legislation.
*THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
We are discussing the administration of the Home Office, which has no power at present to inspect these laundries.
§ COLONEL SAUNDERSON
said that under the circumstances he would submit that it was undesirable that any trade should be carried on unless outside inspection was possible.
§ *SIR MICHAEL FOSTER (London University)
said he sympathised with the impulses of those who opposed vivisection, because he recognised in them the conviction that real humanity was not humanity to man only, but to all the things around us. For that very reason he resented, he thought he might say justly, the terms which were applied to the profession to which he belonged, such as "devilish," "hellish," "fiendish," "torture den," and "vivisection den." Did the Committee for a moment think the medical profession consisted of devils? If they did, let them follow the advice of the hon. Member for Donegal and abolish vivisection altogether. What would they do if they abolished vivisection altogether? Vivisection experi 624 ments were not carried on with the clear certainty that the result obtained would immediately suggest a cure for any particular evil belonging to mankind. The result was a contribution to the general knowledge of mankind, and an enlargement of the power of mankind. The increase of medical power that occurred year by year was due to the increase of medical science. Medical science from the time of Galen to the present time had been based in part on vivisection. It was based on many things—on observations on men, on observations on dead things, on observations on dead animals, and on experiments on living animals. Those elements were all interwoven, so that we could not pick out any part of the advance of knowledge as belonging to this head or that; and if we withdrew experiments on living matter the whole would fall together as a confused heap. The results which had been obtained in regard to malaria, as a consequence of which West Africa had become an entirely different place from what it used to be for the white man to live in, were not due to seeking a particular cure, but to the advance of general science. So it was with cancer. If the efforts of scientific men were not trammelled by unnecessary restrictions they would in time be able to make out the natural history of the nature of cancer, and when they had done that, the cure would come at once. For the general advance of medical science they demanded that experiments on living animals should be continued. Physiologists had accepted the Act, and had loyally observed it, and he appealed to successive Home Secretaries to say if they had not done so. The persons who were licensed to carry out the experiments could be trusted; there was the further safeguard of inspection by inspectors, who loyally did their duty, who made surprise visits, and who at once reported any abuse of the Vivisection Act. Could not the licensed persons be trusted in their efforts to arrive at the truth, which they desired for the benefit of mankind? Could they not be trusted with such safeguards? If they could not be trusted, then let that be said and vivisection be discontinued. The descriptions heard of experiments were 625 not true descriptions. One great object of the physiologist was that for the sake of the results pain should be abolished altogether, and a very large amount of the progress in recent years was due to the fact that the operations could be carried on without pain. It was only when in a few rare cases pain was part of the study that anæsthetics were not used, and when pain or sensations was the subject of inquiry, physiologists had not shrunk from experimenting on themselves. When a nerve was divided there was loss of movement and loss of sensation; after a while the nerve united, and there was return of movement and sensation. In experiments on animals they could judge of the return of movement, but it was difficult to judge of the return of sensation. A friend of his had a nerve in his arm divided in order that he might study the return of sensation. He found it caused him little pain, and only inconvenience for a short time; the loss of movement was brief. That was an ordinary experiment such as was carried on in laboratories, and gave valuable results. The Home Secretary, through his inspectors, who, though they belonged to the medical profession, were able to thoroughly carry out their duties, had adequate means of preventing any abuse of the Act; and an even surer safeguard was in the fact that physiologists had no desire to abuse the Act, and simply wished to carry on their researches for the benefit of mankind.
§ *DR. HUTCHINSON (Sussex, Rye)
said the Committee might contrast the tone of the brutal vivisector with that of the soft-hearted gentleman who introduced the subject. In the strongest manner he wished to repudiate the epithets that had been used towards his profession.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
said he simply repeated the statement of a well-known man that he would not allow vivisection in the University of Dublin because it might tend to make the medical students young devil.
§ *SIR MICHAEL FOSTER
The hon. Member certainly used the phrase "vivisection dens"; I resent that. He also spoke of the tortures there inflicted; I emphatically resent that. And he spoke of medical students as "young devils"; I object to that.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
I cannot allow my character to be assailed. What I said was that the doctor to whom I referred stated he would not allow vivisection in the University of Dublin because it had a tendency to make medical students young devils.
§ *DR. HUTCHINSON
said that as his observations had drawn a recantation from the hon. Member he had not wasted the time of the Committee. Apparently, the man who received the greatest honour in the House was the man who took most lives, such as the soldier who killed a large number of men. But the object and sphere of the members of the medical profession was to save life and prevent suffering. If a Member of the House was ill, or had suffering in his family, who was the person called in? It was one of the men who had obtained his skill and knowledge from this "horrible" vivisection. A laboratory ought not to be looked upon as a kind of butcher's shop; it was nothing of the sort. He hoped the House would continue to keep a soft corner in its heart for the noble profession to which he had the honour to belong.
§ *MR. AKERS DOUGLAS
said he could not complain of the manner in which this subject had been brought forward, but he was bound to say that if everybody who approached this rather painful subject would study the extreme moderation of the clear statement of the hon. Member for London University they would be much more readily and cheerfully listened to. The hon. Member for the Rushcliffe Division and the hon. Member for Peckham had assured the Committee that they were not to be included in the category of anti-vivisectionists; they simply desired that the existing Act should be carefully administered, and possibly amended in 627 order to make the administration more effective. They did not go so far as the hon. Member for South Donegal, who described himself as a root-and-branch opponent of all experiments on live animals. The hon. Member had described his ideal inspector—a reasonable man, with a well-balanced mind and no pre-conceived opinions. He entirely agreed with the hon. Member, and he would assure the Committee that those were exactly the qualifications possessed by the present chief inspector, Dr. Thane, and he thought he could say the same of his assistant. In that respect the country could not be in better hands. As to the conditions under which vivisection was permitted in this country, the Act of 1876 was based on the almost unanimous report of a Royal Commission, and the hon. Member for the Rushcliffe Division had admitted that the Bill as introduced was a most proper measure, but complained that it was altered in its later stages.
§ *MR. AKERS DOUGLAS
said that, at any rate, the principle of the Bill was approved by the hon. Member. If Members desired, as did the hon. Member for South Donegal, to prohibit all experiments on living animals, they must obtain the repeal of that Act. All he had to do was to administer the Act as he found it, and he could assure the Committee the greatest precautions were taken in its administration. He thoroughly appreciated the responsibilities which the Act devolved upon his Department; in fact, there was hardly anything connected with the duties of the Home Office which gave him a greater sense of responsibility than the administration of this Act. He was a great lover of dumb animals himself, and would be the last person in the world to permit suffering to be inflicted upon them which was not accompanied by greater benefits to the human race—much less to permit unnecessary suffering. He would like to explain to the Committee the practice of the Home Office in regard to the granting of licences. Applications for all came before the Home Secretary personally, and they were carefully inquired into and signed by him. No licence or certificate 628 was granted except on the recommendation of an eminent medical man, such as the president of the College of Physicians or the president of the College of Surgeons, or without reference to the Society for the Propagation of Scientific Research. Care was taken to see that the licencee was a person whose qualifications were undoubted, whose bonâ fides were beyond dispute, and whose desire for purely scientific research was unquestioned. The Secretary of State never allowed an experiment unless he was satisfied that it was for a proper and an adequate scientific object, that it was to be performed by a properly-trained and competent person, and that it would be conducted with every precaution against unnecessary pain being inflicted. The experiments were divided into three classes. In the first class the animal was under complete anæsthesia from the beginning to the end of the experiment, and was painlessly killed before it became conscious. In such cases no pain whatever could be inflicted. Those cases were about one-eighth of the whole. In the second class of cases the animal was under complete anæsthesia during the experiment, but was allowed to recover consciousness and to live under observation, so that the effect of the operation might be noted. The experiments in this class though fewer in number were of the greatest importance. They were most fruitful in increasing scientific-knowledge, and leading to the amelioration of human suffering and the curing of disease.
§ MR. JOHN ELLIS
asked whether those were the experiments under Sub-section (3) of the proviso of Clause 3.
§ *MR. AKERS DOUGLAS
said yes, and that they were allowed only on comparatively rare occasions; they numbered only about one-twentieth of the whole, and they were hedged in with every restriction. The actual operation was performed under anæsthetics, with antiseptics, and if suppuration or pain ensued the animal was immediately killed. The third class of experiments were performed without anæsthetics. In this class no experiment whatever was allowed which involved greater pain than that caused by a simple hypodermic injection. It would be almost absurd to describe the prick of an 629 inoculating needle as an operation. Even in these operations the animal was destroyed at once if any pain resulted. When the licence was granted the licencee was bound to make reports to the inspector. He was always liable to visits from the inspector, and those visits were practically always surprise visits. As an additional security, no experiments were allowed in private places. Nearly always they were allowed only in great medical schools and in the laboratories of pathological institutions. Last year 319 persons were licensed, of whom 112 did not perform any experiment. It was true that there was an increase of sixty-two, but that increase was due to an alteration in the termination of the year during which the statistics were taken. Hitherto the statistics had been taken from 31st December to 31st December; but the last report dated from 31st December. 1901, to 28th February, 1903. There were twenty-six towns in the United Kingdom in which registered places were situated, and in those only could experiments be performed. Of the sixty-two registered places in those towns seventeen were in London. Every registered place was visited by the inspector every year, and sometimes several times a year, and the inspector was in constant communication with the licencees all over the country. It was the duty of the inspector to make himself personally acquainted with the methods by which experiments were performed, and wherever the conditions of the licence were violated the severest notice was taken of it and if necessary the licence was revoked. Successive Secretaries of State had inclined to the view that the appointment of additional inspectors was not as yet necessary. If it could be proved to him that there was immediate necessity for the appointment of additional inspectors, he should certainly see that they were appointed. Successive Home Secretaries—and he included himself in this category — had been among the severest critics of vivisection. They had not been content to take things for granted, but had taken an interest in seeing that precautions were properly observed. There was no reason whatever to think that this matter was left entirely in the hands of the inspectors 630 without ever coming to the knowledge of the head of the Department. Although the number of experiments had increased during the last quarter of a century the increase was really trifling except with respect to the experiments included under Table III. (B)—viz., experiments of the nature of simple inoculations. These experiments rarely caused any real suffering, and were conducted with the greatest possible care. They were performed not only for purposes of research in connection with special scientific objects, but were constantly performed on behalf of public authorities. Some were undertaken for the benefit of the House of Commons itself in order to test the conditions under which hon. Members lived there, some for the Local Government Board, some for the Royal Commission on Tuberculosis, some for the Board of Agriculture, others for County Councils and other municipal corporations. They had all been justified by the results obtained. He would only say, in conclusion, that his own control was exercised with the greatest care and a full appreciation of his responsibility. He was always open to listen to criticism, and when any bonâ fide case was submitted to him he would see that it was probed to the bottom. It would be almost impossible to improve upon the administration of the Acts except on the point that it was necessary, as it might be, to increase the number of inspectors. He doubted whether the ability of the inspectors was sufficiently recognised and whether they were adequately remunerated considering their ability and the amount of work they did.
§ MR. JOHN ELLIS
thanked the right hon. Gentleman for the full manner in which he had dealt with the question, and, while adhering to what he had said, admitted that the tone and spirit of the Home Secretary's reply left nothing to be desired.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
said he wished to say that if he thought experiments were carried on as described in some publications, or as he believed they were carried on in France and Germany, he should urge the abolition of vivisection altogether. To carry on 631 experiments upon live animals without anæsthetics, without a hope or promise of any definite result, would not meet with approval. He had gone into the matter with some care, and he believed that the experiments were carried on in this country with every reasonable safeguard. Did his hon. friend deny that some of the most beneficent changes in medical science had been partly brought about by vivisection? In view of this fact was it not justifiable to make experiments with anæsthetics for the benefit of medical science? His hon. friend the Member for South Donegal had expressed some feeling for the lower animals, but he thought he ought o have some feeling also for the higher animals. It was well known that diphtheria defied medical science a few years ago, and when a medical man saw a child being slowly choked to death by this disease he used to be absolutely unable to prevent it. At the present time diphtheria could be relieved and cured, and that result was largely due to vivisection. Dr. Pasteur would never have accomplished the great results he had achieved but for vivisection. Let the Committee consider for a moment the progress which had been made in regard to surgical operations on the brain. A few years ago it was considered that the brain could not be touched without destruction of life, but now experiments were being performed daily on the brain, and those experiments which had largely transformed medical science would have been almost impossible without vivisection. Again, there was the operation for appendicitis, which had saved more lives than anything else in surgical science. That had been made possible by vivisection experiments. In the face of these facts, he asked his hon. friend to extend some of the overflowing sympathy to humanity which he extended to the lower animals. Under the safeguards of the Home Office, vivisection experiments were properly carried out, and it would be a great loss to medical science if they were not allowed to continue.
§ *CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)
said that before he dealt with the question of the police force he ought to state his reasons for bringing the question on in connection with this Vote. He did so because on a previous occasion the Chairman pointed out that this was the proper Vote to deal with the subject, because it dealt with the policy of the Home Secretary as regarded the police. His complaint affected some 2,000 police constables within the County of London, or one-seventh of the entire force. They were married men, and their grievance was that they had to perform exactly similar duties under precisely similar circumstances as their fellow-constables, and yet they received 1s. 6d. per week less pay.
Some three years ago the Council of the City of London, finding that the rentals throughout the Metropolis generally had increased to such an extent as to raise the price of living generally for the working classes, came to the conclusion that their constables were insufficiently paid as compared with the rate of pay they received some years previously; and, actuated by a right and proper feeling, they decided to raise the pay of their constables by 3s. a week. He immediately suggested to the Home Secretary that he should deal in a similar manner with the members of the Metropolitan police force. Eight or nine months had elapsed before any action whatever was taken, and at the end of that time the Home Secretary, instead of granting an increase of 3s., gave them an increase of 1s. 6d., and 1s. 6d. more in the shape of a rent aid which he confined to those members of the police force who were married and living within boroughs, and he excluded all those men in the urban or rural districts outside boroughs but within the area of the County of London. At that time an appeal case was going on as regarded pensions, and it was decided that allowances were not pensionable. The natural result was that every man in the force believed that he had been given one half of his increase in this way in order to avoid the infinitesimal sum by which the pension would be increased. When he 633 made this statement to the late Home Secretary he pointed out that no such reason ever entered his mind, and that the idea was that in those districts house rent was lower. As a matter of fact, owing to increased means of communication, rents were almost as high in one part as another, and, where they were not so high, facilities for cheap markets were so great that this counteracted the small difference there was between the rents. He should like to point out the injustice of this arrangement. Take, as an example, the case of Highgate. There a police station was moved, about 150 yards outside the borough boundary, and in consequence of that the constables at that station ought not to receive this 1s. 6d. per week, although their duties took them into the borough, yet they did. In Kilburn there was a new police station about 150 yards outside the boundary of the borough, and although the men stationed there were doing duty within the borough they were deprived of this 1s. 6d. a week extra pay, whereas the men in the borough received it. In the borough of Ealing, which had recently been constituted a borough, they received at once the 1s. 6d. extra pay, whereas their comrades doing duty near them did not receive it. The reserve men did special duty which was not confined to any particular district, but any reserve man attached to a station within a borough in the Metropolitan Police area received this 1s. 6d., but those who were attached to a station outside the boroughs in the Metropolitan Police area were deprived of that 1s. 6d. He could not conceive of anything more calculated to cause well-founded discontent in a force than this. They had an illustration of this during the late war. The last batch of Imperial Yeomanry received 5s. a day, whereas the Infantry 634 only received 1s. a day, and this caused a great deal of discontent. It was the duty of the Government to do everything in their power to prevent such a state of things as that arising in the police force? On the 30th May last year when he brought this question before the Committee what was the Home Secretary's apology for not dealing out even-handed justice to the whole of the police force? The reason he gave was that it would cost a sum of £140,000 to the ratepayers, but he did not state that there had been an increase in the population within the area of the County of London of about 50,000 per annum. He had made some inquiries into the cost of this change, and instead of being £140,000, he thought the real cost to give this 1s. 6d. to all the men outside boundaries of boroughs would be about £10,000. As a matter of fact, he thought it would not exceed £8,000, which would be a mere drop in the ocean, and would not add one single farthing to the rates. Owing to the great increase of wealth and population, the rateable value of the area of the county of London was increasing by leaps and bounds; therefore there was no question of throwing an extra burden upon the ratepayers. He had received a Resolution from one of the Councils urging the necessity for taking some action in this matter. He could not understand upon what principle these men were not given this extra 1s. 6d. who lived outside the borough boundaries. There was one borough which for over three-quarters of a mile bordered upon an Urban District Council area, and on one side of the road the men, doing the same duty as on the other side, and living in the same building under the same conditions, drew 1s. 6d. per week more than the others. He could see no 635 greater injustice than this, and he was extremely anxious to hear what explanation the Home Secretary was prepared to give.
*CAPTAIN BALFOUR (Middlesex, Hornsey)
said the hon. Member for Newington had spoken only of the Metropolitan boroughs, but it was not a case of the Metropolitan boroughs only, but of the whole area of Greater London. Representations had been made to the Home Secretary as to the unevenness of the application of this allowance of 1s. 6d. per week. If a policeman resided in a borough he got the allowance, but if he lived in Willesden, because it was not a borough he would not get that allowance. His own constituency was in a very peculiar position. A portion of it was not now a borough, and the constable did not receive this 1s. 6d., whereas this portion would probably be, by next November, constituted a borough, and, consequently, the constables would then get this extra allowance of 1s. 6d. It did not necessarily follow that because a district was a borough it was cheaper to live in than an Urban District Council area. On the contrary, in Kingston, which was a borough, the people lived cheaper than outside. It had been said that frequently policemen applied to be transferred outside the borough where they would not get this 1s. 6d. extra, but they, no doubt, did this for family reasons. A constable might have been recommended to go outside the borough by his medical man, and often he was ready to do this and sacrifice the extra pay. In London a constable might probably be satisfied with a couple of rooms, but in the districts outside the boroughs it was not so easy to get a couple of rooms, and he often had to take a house. 636 It might be said that they must draw the line somewhere. At the present time, the line was drawn in such a way that they had dodging in and about the boroughs Urban District Council areas. No doubt the line could be drawn between London and Greater London, but that would not get over the difficulty. If they could draw a distinct line which included the whole Metropolitan Police Force in the whole area of Greater London, he thought that would be reasonable, because outside that area the police were under different jurisdiction. Here they had an area administered from one centre, and the line drawn was indistinguishable to any person travelling through the country. That line gave a constable living in one street an advantage over a constable living in the next street. He was aware that the Metropolitan Police Force was considered to be one of the best forces in Great Britain, but he knew there was a feeling that the line drawn was a very unfair one. He should like to know how far the ratepayers would be affected. He had been told that the sum required would be somewhat larger than the hon. Member for Newington had stated, and that would be nearer £17,000 than £8,000. He should like to know how the expense of the police was distributed at the present time. Did the ratepayers outside the area of boroughs contribute anything towards the lodging allowance given to the police inside the boroughs? If the whole of this £17,000 was to fall on a certain section of the ratepayers it would prove to be a very heavy expense. If this rent aid allowance was included in a lump sum over the whole Metropolitan Police area, then that would be a much less burden than it would be if it fell only upon the particular districts 637 affected. It would make but a slight addition to the rates, and he was sure the ratepayers would be willing to give what was required in order to secure satisfaction in the police force. The request was brought forward last year, and resisted by the present Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was then the Home Secretary. He hoped the present holder of the office would not view it in the same light.
§ MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)
joined in the appeal to the Home Secretary to do something for the police. He was not much concerned whether the sum involved was £8,000 or £17,000. In either case it was not a large sum when one considered that a penny rate on the rateable value of London produced £160,000, and if the rate covered Greater London the amount produced would be nearly £250,000. He asked the Home Secretary to treat the police force as every employer treated his workmen, that was to give them one day's rest a week. At present the police only got one day off in thirteen days. The public were continually complaining that the men did not do this, that, and the other, but looking to their conditions, how could they expect them to be even half as good as they were? It was sad that they got seven days' holiday in the year, but that did not cover the case at all. If the Home Secretary would look at the reports of complaints against the police, he would find that they were usually made at the end of a wearying day, or near the end of the period when an officer was to get one day's holiday in thirteen. A policeman had not only to protect an enormous amount of property, but also the lives and limbs of the citizens in regulating the traffic. He had 638 to be not only a soldier, but a lawyer as well, and for that work he scarcely got enough pay to enable him to live, let alone keep a wife and family. He asked the Home Secretary whether it would not be possible for his Department to undertake the duty of looking after the manufacture and storage of explosives in Government establishments, as well as in other places. He had a report in his hand which contained a paragraph stating that notwithstanding the large increase in the manufacture of explosives, the average number of deaths had greatly decreased since the passing of the Explosives Act. That was to say that wherever the Home Office inspectors were allowed to go in and have something to do with the regulation of the manufacture and storage of explosives deaths had decreased. On the other hand where the inspectors had no such power deaths had increased. Why should not all manufactories, whether under the War Office or otherwise, come under the cognisance of the Home Office?
*THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
The Home Office has no control over the dockyards, and therefore it would be out of order to raise that question on this Vote.
§ MR. CROOKS
accepted the ruling of the Chairman. At the same time the Committee would realise the difficulty of the position he was in when endeavouring, in a matter involving danger to life and limb, to show how accidents might be avoided by proper precaution and care. He thought the power of inspection by the Home Office under the Explosives Act ought to be extended to War Office establishments. He asked the right hon. Gentleman to use his personal influence and to place his inspectors at the service of the War 639 Office in order that there might not be a repetition of such a deplorable accident as recently occurred at Woolwich.
§ MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
said those who had spoken of the police pay and administration were supported by a great mass of opinion outside. He desired to support the appeals of the hon. Members who had preceded him with regard to the institution of a uniform system of pay for the police throughout the whole of the force. There should not be regulations whereby a man on one side of the street was paid on a different scale from another man on the other side of the same street. The argument of the Home Office was that the line must be drawn somewhere, but surely the line should be drawn in such a way as not to to continue the present injustice. He believed that the action of hon. Members on this subject had not been brought about by any organised body of opinion among the police force. Speaking for himself he had not been approached by a single police officer on the subject. The facts brought before the Committee were facts which they had ascertained for themselves in their daily lives as Londoners. He felt that it was not necessary to make any Motion to-night, because he had an idea that the Committee would receive a statement from the Treasury Bench that something would be done to remove the evils of which they complained. If his right hon. friend, however, did not see his way to grant a concession he could assure him that feeling outside, which had been growing year by year, would continue to grow until hon. Members gained for the police that which they believed to be right.
§ MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)
said he had twice in this House asked 640 the Home Secretary Questions on the subject of birching inflicted upon boys who were brought before the Police Courts, and against whom no charge was made for which birching was a legal punishment. There was one particular magistrate in London who was in the habit, when a boy came before him on a charge for which birching could not be legally inflicted, of suggesting to the parents that the boy should be birched by an officer of the court. In several cases this had been done. He was not discussing the general question of birching, though he held strong opinions upon it. He did not believe in it as a reformatory measure. But in these particular cases the complaint was that an official of the court, either a constable or a gaoler, was called upon to birch boys illegally. If a boy was to be birched outside the law surely the parent was the proper person to undertake the duty, but in cases to which he referred the birch rods were supplied by the Home Office, and the person who inflicted the punishment was in the pay of that office. He hoped the Committee would have an assurance from the Home Secretary that these illegal birchings would not be allowed. The Home Secretary had admitted, in reply to questions, that this had been done, but said that it was by arrangement with the parents. He urged that the right hon. Gentleman should issue instructions to the effect that the practice should not be continued.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. COCHRANE,) Ayrshire, N.
said the Report to which the hon. Member for Woolwich had called attention in regard to the effect of inspection under the Explosives Act was a testimony to the manner in which the duties of the inspectors were 641 carried out. He entirely endorsed what the hon. Member had said as to the necessity for proper care and inspection in the War Office factories, but he was obliged to point out that that was not a matter in which the Home Secretary had any power whatever. They all deplored the accident by which so many lives were lost at Woolwich, and gladly would they see steps taken to make such loss of life less likely in future. The Home Secretary had been asked for certain additional privileges and pay for the Metropolitan Police force. He could assure the Committee that the Department he represented had the greatest regard and sympathy for the police force, but they must have regard to their duties as to economy. After a most careful departmental inquiry, the considerable concession was made in regard to pay. Every constable received an increase of 1s. 6d. a week, every sergeant one of 2s. a week, and every inspector one of 3s. a week. That involved a charge of £60,000 on the rates; and in addition a lodging allowance was made to the men resident in the Metropolitan boroughs. That cost another £30,000 a year. As to the arbitrary line between those who received this allowance and those who did not, the line must be drawn somewhere. There was no discontent in the force, and it was rarely boroughs that men in the suburbs cared to take up vacancies in the for the sake of the lodging allowance. As to the question of holidays, that must be left to the Commissioner, who was responsible for the discipline of the force, to settle with his men. The police got ten days holiday in the year on full pay, and that compared very favourably with the holidays given to other classes in the community.
§ MR. COCHRANE
said as to the question of birching, the real point was whether in the case of some boy who had committed an offence the parent should see him properly chastised, or whether the boy should go to prison. His idea was that the boy should be birched; and if the parent, perhaps a widow, was unable to control a good lusty boy there could be no objection to getting a policeman or a warder to administer the punishment.
§ *CAPTAIN NORTON
said he was not satisfied with the reply of the hon. Gentleman who represented the Home Office. There was no reason why a policeman patrolling one side of the street should receive 1s. 6d. per week less wages than a policeman on the other side of the street. The total cost of the reform which he asked would be something like £8,000, and it would not involve more than the very smallest fraction of a farthing on the ratepayers. In fact, it was the ratepayers in the suburban districts themselves who asked that all the men should be placed on the same rate of pay, and that evenhanded justice should be done. He must confess that he was immensely surprised that the Home Secretary did not see his way to do evenhanded justice to these 2,000 men, and therefore he moved to reduce the Vote by £100.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That Item A (Salaries) be reduced by £100, in respect of the salary of the Secretary of State."
§ Committee divided:—Ayes, 21; Noes, 110. (Division List, No. 132.)643
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tyd||Ure, Alexander|
|Black, Alexander William||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Weir, James Galloway|
|Brigg, John||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristl, E|
|Caldwell, James||Layland-Barratt, Francis||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Cremer, William Randal||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Captain Norton and Mr.|
|Crooks William,||Morgan, David J. (Walthamst'w)||Claude Hay.|
|Delany, William||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Mount, William Arthur|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Fisher, William Hayes||Percy, Earl|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose||Pilkington, Lt.-Col. Richard|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Forster, Henry William||Purvis, Robert|
|Beach, Rt. Hon. Sir M. Hicks||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Bignold, Arthur||Fyler, John Arthur||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Bill, Charles||Galloway, William Johnson||Russell, T. W.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Rutherford, John (Lancashire|
|Brassey, Albert||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nrn||Sadler, Col. Saml. Alexander|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. E. J.|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby- (Linc||Seely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ||Greene, Hy. D. (Shrewsbury)||Seely, Maj. J.E.B. (Isle of Wight|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Gretton, John||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Hamilton, Rt.Hn.LordG(Midd'x||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Heath, James (Staffs., N. W.)||Spear, John Ward|
|Chamberlain, Rt.Hn.JA. (Worc||Hobhouse, RtHnH (Somrst E||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Jordan, Jeremiah||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir Jn. M.|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Collings, Right Hon. Jesse||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow||Talbot, RtHnJ.G.(Oxf'd Univ.|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Lawson, JohnGrant(Yorks, N. R.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S.||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Craig, Charles C. (Antrim, S.)||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Crean, Eugene||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Maconochie, A. W.||Whiteley, H(Ashton-und-Lyne|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Wood, James|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Milvain, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N.||Sir Alexander Acland-|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Morgan, Hn. F. (Monm'thsh.)||Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
Original question put, and agreed to.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £9,157, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1904, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Local Government Board for Scotland (8 and 9 Vic, c. 83; 52 and 53 Vic, c. 50; 57 and 58 Vic, c. 58; 60 and 61 Vic, c. 38; and various other Statutes)."
§ MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
said he was astonished that in the Report of the Local Government Board for Scotland there was only one small paragraph referring to the Highland counties. That was not a fair way of treating the Highlands. He complained of the inadequate supply of water, not only to private houses but 644 to schools. The local authorities failed to give effect in many cases to the recommendations of the sanitary inspectors; and it was the duty of the Local Government Board to see that these recommendations were carried out. In many parts of the Highlands the condition of the houses was deplorable, the cattle being only separated from the family living and sleeping room by a low boarding. That was contrary to the Public Health Act, and it was the duty of the Local Government Board to see that the law was obeyed.
§ And, it being Midnight, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Resolution to be reported upon Monday next; Committee also report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next.
§ Adjourned at Three minutes after Twelve o'clock.