§ *MR. WILLIAM JONES (Carnarvonshire,) Arfon
moved the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance—namely, "The severe privation and loss arising from the struggle in the Penrhyn quarry district, the recent grave recommendation of the Carnarvonshire Standing Joint Committee in reporting thereon, and the failure to put into operation the provisions of the Conciliation Act to terminate the dispute."
He said this unfortunate dispute had been prolonged for two years and three months, and he assigned the reason in the main to the fact that the settlement after the last dispute in 1897 was not administered in its principle by the management and owner of the quarry. As was well known, in that dispute the Board of Trade finally intervened, and a settlement was arrived at between Lord Penrhyn and the workmen. That settlement made the men accept an agreement which gave them only a limited and restricted right of combination, under which grievances were to be brought before the management by means of sectional or class representation. The result had been that the whole quarry was not represented in bringing the grievances before the management, but only a section of the quarrymen through their representatives. Although that was only a limited and restricted aspect of representation, 1650 the men were willing to abide by it. As far as he knew there had been no reason to complain of the spirit of the men in carrying out the principle of the settlement, and that settlement might have worked well had a good spirit existed between the management and the workmen. But from the management point of view the agreement never worked satisfactorily. One of the first to make use of its provisions was the Chairman of the Strike Committee, Mr. William R. Evans, one of the finest characters of the Bethesda district, who had worked in the quarry for fifty-two years, and a man who was considered one of Nature's gentlemen. When he approached the manager, under the agreement, he was told the interview was granted to him in order to impress upon his mind, and that of the others, that the manager could expel whom he wished without giving any reason.
That was the first method of administering the agreement after the men had decided to go in. There were several cases of harsh and arbitrary conduct, and sectional representation became another word for individual dealing. As the chief parts of the settlement still held good, and the met were satisfied with the provisions of the settlement, it was necessary to see what reason there could be for the present strike. Well, Clause 5 provided for the re-admission of the men to the quarry, and stated that all who desired work would be admitted in a body as far as practicable, and the remainder as soon as work could be arranged for them. That clause was the first to be broken by the management. The solicitor' to Lord Penrhyn, Mr. Lloyd Carter, who partly drafted the agreement, said at a mass meeting of the men at Bethesda that there should be no black list. All the men should be admitted at once if possible, but if not the remainder as soon as practicable: but the first week twenty-five were refused admission. Though Mr. Lloyd Carter interpreted that clause in exactly the same way as the leaders of the men, in spite of that Mr. Young, the chief manager, persisted in declining to readmit these twenty-five men. It was suggested that some of them were drunkards and that others were incapacitated, yet these men, who were incapacitated in 1897, had been re-admitted into the quarry in 1900. All the men who had taken a prominent part in the strike were 1651 under a special disadvantage, and became marked men, especially where the minor officials were concerned, and after this strike began, when the leaders of the men met Mr. Young and complained of the harsh treatment and abuse by minor officials he said, "How can you complain when you compel these minor officials to be out of work for eleven months?" That was the spirit in which the chief manager dealt with the grievance against the minor officials. Grievances of a serious character accumulated. This quarry was four miles long, three wide and nearly a mile deep, and in normal times about 3,000 men were engaged in it? and although the rock men in the quarry, which was the largest slate quarry in the world, were among the most intelligent of their class, the labourers and rubble workers were somewhat untutored. Under this settlement if a labourer had a grievance it must be laid before the management, either by himself or in company with five other monoglot Welshmen. He could not be represented by his skilled brother-worker. How could they put their grievances before the managers, who were Englishmen? The men had never asked for recognition of their claim to be represented by a trades union, but only to be represented by their fellow-workers. They were denied that right, and complained that they were not treated as self-respecting men. It was the most moderate demand that had ever been made in the history of trades unionism. They were sworn at, abused, punished for trivial offences, and subjected to a system of espionage.
A gentleman had been made sub-manager who had been accustomed to dealing with coolies in India, and who knew nothing about quarrying. The men were suspended for a few days if they were a few minutes late, one of their customary holidays was taken from them, and many of them were compelled to work under the sweating system. In fact, the harsh and oppressive treatment of the men made their position intolerable, and the result was a constant accumulation of petty personal grievances, producing a bitter feeling against the management. That, combined with the fear that the contract system would be extended and harsh discipline enforced, culminated in 1900 in a very unfortunate attack upon some of the contractors, mostly by wild, irresponsible 1652 youths, which the leaders of the men themselves condemned. Lord Penrhyn took action against twenty-six men, the great majority of whom were afterwards proved to have had no participation whatever in the disturbances. Yet Lord Penrhyn dismissed these twenty-six men from the quarry before their trial. He was at the trial and heard all the evidence, and twenty of these men were discharged without a tittle of evidence being produced against them; the others had small fines inflicted on them. Knowing that the majority of these men were innocent. 3,000 quarrymen marched from Bethesda to Bangor to attend the trial. They marched peaceably, but the police were afraid there would be a conflict, and the military were called out. Upon his appeal to them in their own language those men returned as peaceably as they came, and the colonel of the regiment asked "In God's name, what are we here for"? which showed what law-abiding citizens these men were. After that the men resumed work, but when the tellers were telling the galleries the men saw eight galleries were left idle, and the men thought the workers in those galleries were being punished because the men had inarched to Bangor to give evidence at the trial. A spirit of inaction crept over all the workmen at the quarry in consequence. Mr. Young telephoned from his office, five miles away, when the men were discussing the position, that they must either resume work or leave the quarry, and thereupon all the men left in a body. That was the beginning of the strike.
Many efforts had been made by the men to settle the dispute. They consented to meet Lord Penrhyn at his (Mr. Jones') request, but Lord Penrhyn was mute. They asked for arbitration, but got no reply from Lord Penrhyn. Two magistrates, on behalf of the Carnarvonshire County Council, were appointed to endeavour to bring the two parties together, but Lord Penrhyn pleaded illness, and referred them to Mr. Young. Subsequently his lordship declined to grant them an interview, because he could not recognise the principle of outside interference, but said, "I grant you permission to give advice to my employees." The negotiations failed, but the deputation put on record that the men waived every point that could be an obstacle, and 1653 that they attributed the failure to Lord Penrhyn. On August 8th last he appealed to the Board of Trade, through the President in the House, from whom he had always received the greatest personal kindness. But that was not a personal matter, but involved a fundamental principle between employer and workmen, and the peace and welfare of a whole community. He asked why the Board of Trade, after two years of that dispute, did not make an inquiry and an emphatic statement before the world as to their opinion on the dispute. Since that time the workmen had applied to come under the operation of the Act. and still the right hon. Gentleman had flatly refused to meet them, and without giving any satisfactory reasons. A resolution had been passed by the men asking Lord Penrhyn to accept as arbitrator the Prime Minister or Lord Rosebery, but, he refused to have anything to do with one or the other, or both. They wrote him a second letter from Bethesda, and Lord Penrhyn consented to an interview on condition that all claims for a restoration to power of the old Quarry Committee were abandoned. They assented, and said they would simply stick to the principle of representation alone, so that the House would see they waived every objection which Lord Penrhyn could possibly raise. But that did not satisfy Lord Penrhyn, who replied that he would no discuss the question of representation except from his own point of view.
One great issue which had divided Lord Penrhyn and the men for the last two years and three months was that the men should have the right to represent their grievances before the management by means of freely-appointed delegates. What had been the attitude of the men during all this struggle? He challenged anybody to name any labour dispute which had been prolonged for such a time, and in which such a number of men had been engaged, where the damage to property had been smaller or more insignificant. Colonel Ruck, the Chief Constable of Carnarvonshire had given evidence upon this question before a sub-committee of the County Council as follows:The cost of extra police amounted to £2,700. There were fewer instances (than in 1901) of workmen being followed and molested by 1654 crowds, but instances here and there of petty molestation, such as abusive language towards the workmen, hooting them, beating tins as they return from work. Complaints of this form of annoyance, which it must be said have sometimes been of rather a trivial nature, were received almost, daily from the quarry authorities. It has certainly, too, been aggravated in some instances by the behaviour of some of the workmen themselves. With regard to stone-throwing, I may say that although a good many windows have been broken I have not heard of anyone being seriously injured.Three hundred of the men who had returned to work were met by Lord Penrhyn in the quarry, where he made a speech to them and gave to each of them one sovereign. Why could he not meet all the quarry men in the same way and on the same footing as he had met the strikers whom he took on and gave a sovereign apiece?
He now came to the last inquiry of all, made on the spot at the instance of the County Council of Carnarvonshire through their Standing Joint Committee. They appointed a sub-committee to inquire into the state of affairs in the county and the additional expenditure upon the police at the end of last year. The leaders of the men were asked to give evidence, and so was Mr. Young, the chief manager at the quarry. The leaders of the men willingly gave evidence, but Mr. Young refused. Two reports on this question had been issued during the last month as a result, and he should like to call the attention of the House to them. The state of affairs astounded the gentlemen who sat upon this subcommittee, and they had no conception of the bitterness engendered by the dispute. This Committee reported that—They had no conception before the inquiry of the extent of bitterness engendered by this quarrel. Families were divided, members being estranged so as not to be on speaking terms. They had undoubted proofs of genuine efforts on the part of ministers of religion and other leading inhabitants on the side of law and order; they think that exaggerated reports influenced the Chief Constable's mind somewhat unduly in seeking outside assistance, both police and military. The percentage of convictions obtained by the police is considerably under the normal ratio, and this shows that more care and discrimination should have been exercised in instituting proceedings. Their conclusion from the mass of evidence is that in the exercise of what they conceived to be their principal duty, viz., the protection of workmen employed at the quarry, they failed to show due consideration for the feelings and, on occasions, for the liberty of the late employees 1655 and others. They consider that the method by which complaints of men at work were conveyed to the police by the quarry officials were calculated to do mischief, to increase the tension and deepen the ill-feeling already existing between the parties. They think the extra, expenditure for police charges, £4,418 8s. 11d., most exorbitant.The Committee recommended the Standing Joint Committee to memorialise the Government, praying the Board of Trade to hold an inquiry with a view to bringing the dispute to an end. Why did they do that? Because the County Council had exhausted all their sources of conciliation, and,' therefore, he claimed that the men had a right to appeal now, as they did, to the final tribunal of the nation—Parliament. That was what he was doing now. The Board of Trade, in reply to a communication from the men, refused to meet them without any adequate reason being given. The long duration of this unfortunate quarrel had caused widespread poverty in the district and serious industrial and commercial losses to be suffered by the country, and now they had reached such a point as to call for the intervention of His Majesty's Government. There was a Minority Report issued, signed by only one gentleman and approved by others, and what did that Report say in regard to the conduct of Mr. Young, the chief manager? This Report speaks of his conduct as "the fatuous conduct of Mr. Young in refusing to give evidence." When the whole question was brought before this Joint Committee, the Lord Lieutenant of the County spoke in the same way, for he said—He failed to approve of the 'fatuous attitude' of Mr. Young, and could not see why Mr. Young should have done himself and the workmen the injustice involved by not appearing to give evidence.This Minority Report was made by friends of Lord Penrhyn, and they asked for the withdrawal of the police force.
He should like to refer to a speech made by the Chairman of the Standing Joint Committee, who was himself a quarry owner. He was a Scotch gentleman and also a Conservative in politics, like Lord Penrhyn. His name was Mr. Menzies. He said—The whole community deserved the greatest possible credit for the self-restraint they had shown considering the feeling that had existed. It was a marvel that there had not been far more disturbances, and he felt proud of everybody concerned for their conduct. 1656 There had been many cases of indiscretion, but taking the whole circumstances into consideration he saw nothing to be ashamed of.And at the end of his speech this shrewd Scotch gentleman, who had worked among the quarrymen for thirty-three years, stated that—With an experience of thirty-three years of the Welsh quarrymen, he would, by meeting the men in friendly conference, have settled the points at issue in the dispute in half an hour.Now, in the face of this dispute and this great struggle between the workmen employed in the quarry and Lord Penrhyn, what had been the attitude of the managers? Mr. Young himself had now to confess that most of the men who had gone in had given up their chapels, and had either joined the Church of England or else had attended no place of worship at all. There had been a wholesale proselytising. Mr. Young had asserted that no fewer than sixty Wesley an Methodists had left their denomination and joined the Church since they came back to the quarry. How many of the men who struck work had none away? About 1,400 of the men who had struck had gone away, 800 remained at home because they could not find employment, and about 100 had died during the struggle. About 500 were now working in the quarry out of a total of 2,800 who originally worked there, but what was the attitude of those men who had gone in? There was a lack of discipline in the quarry, and the discipline was so lax and loose that men had been suspended for drunkenness who before would have been dismissed. Mr. Young admitted himself that the output of the quarry was a failure, and it was being worked at a loss, and yet Lord Penrhyn persisted in working that quarry. They knew he was working the quarry at a loss because he had appealed to the Assessment Committee, and it was shown that the output was less to-day than ever. Supposing Lord Penrhyn compelled all these men, by driving them to desperation or starvation and humiliating them, to go back to the quarry, what would be the result? Why, they would go back to the old regime and the quarry would be placed under the same strict discipline as before. Was it not a pity, in these days of employers and employed meeting 1657 round a board of conciliation, that Lord Penrhyn would not meet the leaders of the men. who desired to go back on honourable terms, and so bring peace to this great industrial and most law-abiding community? The men were amongst the most law-abiding citizens on the face of the globe. Everybody knew how they had built their own chapels and schools, and probably some might say that this was a proof that Lord Penrhyn had behaved generously in regard to their wages. That was not so, for he knew workmen in some districts who had been receiving much better wages, and yet they had not shown the same amount of self-sacrifice as these men. Lord Penrhyn ought to be proud of those men. Many of them had built their houses on Lord Penrhyn's land, and they clung to their homes. Some of the men lived in the houses which their fathers had built, and the leases having lapsed, those houses fell into Lord Penrhyn's hands again. The men clung to the houses, and that was the reason why they were so reluctant to leave their homes.
Would it be believed that dining the whole of this dispute there had not been a single case of poaching on the whole estate? He had seen pheasants as thick as crows there, and not a single pheasant, partridge or hare had been touched, and he believed there had only been one case of salmon baiting. Put what had been the result? Dire distress and privation, trade paralysed, shopkeepers and tradesmen brought to the brink of bankruptcy, and the men who had found work in South Wales had been obliged to keep two homes going with a small pittance. Many of these men had managed to save £50 or £60, and they had just eked out a living spreading over these two years, and when the pinch of hunger came, they were too proud to ask for alms or relief. He had seen their starving children, for he had visited their homes. He knew of a man with seven children, with three of the youngest unable to walk, and one of them had lately died. Some of the children had been kept from school and kept in bed until midday in order to save a meal. There was one man with a large family who. having been brought to the brink of starvation by the strike, yielded and 1658 went back to the quarry. He became demented, and, after stating that he had turned traitor, be committed suicide. The sum of £30,000 had been subscribed to the Penrhyn Belief Fund, but what was £30,000 amongst so many? What was that sum compared with the £300,000 which they would have earned in wages? When these men were in work they earned £12,000 a month. Of. course, £30,000 helped, but it was not enough. He thanked all those who had contributed to the Relief Funds, and be thanked the newspaper Press of this country and all those who had supported the movement to help these starving people. But wealth would not do what they wanted. These men did not ask for charity, but they craved for decent. honourable work.
He would come back now to the basis of the men's demand. They demanded the same right as was asked for by all trades unions, namely, freedom to elect their own representatives in their own way, and to make the cause of one the cause of all. When such cases were dealt with in this way by a gentleman like Lord Penrhyn, it made them wish for the adoption of something like compulsory arbitration. Other countries, like the United States, had their leading men, like President Roosevelt, making strenuous efforts to bring a great labour war to a close; was it too much to make an appeal to the highest tribunal in this land to bring about a settlement of this dispute, such as neither petty spite nor recrimination on either side could spoil a settlement in spirit and in truth?
§ MR. BRYN ROBERTS (Carnarvonshire,) Eifion
seconded the Motion, and said that one of the greatest evils of the strike was the injury that had been done to the public interest in the county, and the social and trade disturbance. That justified this House in pressing Loth parties to meet and endeavour to come to some decision. It was a strange thing that four years after the Conciliation Act was passed a strike should commence, involving 3,000 persons and running for over two years, without any attempt to put the Act into operation. All along a settlement had been hampered by the consideration that any action on the part of the men might be miscon- 1659 strued, and that any attempt to appeal to the Conciliation Act would be assumed by Lord Penrhyn to arise from weakness and from a desire to find a loophole of escape from the position they were in. When pressure was in the first instance put upon the Board of Trade to take action in the matter, it was pointed out that they had not been applied to by either of the parties concerned. He did not for a moment suggest that the Board's reluctance to act arose in any degree from a spirit of obstinacy, or that there was not a genuine wish to put an end to the struggle; he took it, rather, that their inaction was due to an apprehension that any steps they might take would be liable to misconstruction. Now the excuse made in the first instance by the Board of Trade no longer existed, but yet they had not moved, and it was difficult to surmise what was the reason. It might be that the Board of Trade still saw no prospect of any useful conclusion resulting from their efforts, but, having regard to the fact that the strike had now lasted for two years and a half, surely an effort should be made. The excuse had even been advanced that the Board of Trade were afraid of doing more harm than good by forcing the parties further apart instead of bringing them more closely together, but, when the struggle had lasted two and a half years, it was surely idle to talk of the possibility of doing more harm than good, for as much harm had been done as possibly could be done. The right hon. Gentleman might say, "Well, we shall only be severely snubbed by Lord Penrhyn if we make an effort." That might, possibly, be assumed, but one reason for the passing of the Act of 1896 was that it gave the; Board of Trade a greater right of interference. It did not, it was true, confer on the Board any power they did not before possess, but, as was pointed out at the time by the then President, now Chancellor of the Exchequer, it at least enabled them to act with some justification and Parliamentary authority—that was to say, if asked what business they had to interfere, they could reply, "We are charged by Parliament with the duty of endeavouring to assist in arriving at a compromise."
Surely the present case was one in which the Board should take action, not so much, even, out of consideration for the Penrhyn quarrymen as in the public 1660 interest. He did not forget that on a previous occasion Lord Penrhyn had somewhat resented the interference of the Board of Trade, but the fact remained that a settlement did follow on that occasion, and no one could say to what extent that was brought about, or at least led up to, by the fact that public attention had been drawn to the matter by the Board's action and by the intimation of their view as to who was chiefly to blame. He believed that if similar action was taken on the present occasion there would at least be a possibility of useful results, and a certainty that no worse state of things could follow than that at present existing. The conciliation question in the dispute was that of representation, and he could not help thinking that Lord Penrhyn had failed to make himself acquainted with the industrial conditions prevailing in other parts of the country, because he was making a claim which was not, so far as he (the speaker) was aware, made by any other employer or body of employers. There were other men of position who were as great employers of labour as Lord Penrhyn—Lord Londonderry and Lord Durham, for instance—but they had never taken up the position of declining to accept the representatives of the workmen, and only permitting them to make their representations through channels provided by the employers. Lord Penrhyn called representation of the workmen interference with the management of the quarry, but it was really he who was interfering with the management of the men's business, for surely the manner in which the men chose to lay their case before Lord Penrhyn was a matter for them and not, for him. If they chose, for instance, to retain Sir Edward Clarke, and pay him a hundred guineas a day, what, right had Lord Penrhyn to object? It rested with him, of course, to say what answer he should make to the men's representations, by whomever made. He believed Lord Penrhyn had formed the impression that these strikes were due, in some occult way, to what were called "agitators," or to the Trades Union. If anything was more absolutely demonstrable than another it was this—that not one of the strikes which had taken place in Carnarvonshire within his 1661 recollection had been due in the slightest degree to the action of the Trades Union, and that was particularly so in the present case. The great fault he had to find with the Trades Union in connection with the slate quarries was not that it was too strong, but that it was too weak, for if it was stronger the possibilities of peace in the quarries would be greater. The unfortunate thing was that there was a most extraordinary and unfounded distrust, on the part of Lord Penrhyn, of everyone who had anything to do with advising the men. Naturally, in a struggle like that, the leaders stood by the men, and sought To gain conditions which, if secured, would make for peace, not only in Lord Penrhyn's quarries, but elsewhere.
Motion made, and Question proposed. "That this House do now adjourn,"(Mr. William, Jones.)
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen. S.)
said he was glad of an opportunity of speaking before the President of the Board of Trade replied, because he was anxious to make an appeal to the right hon. Gentleman on the basis of the Conciliation Act. He was sure that the picture that had been drawn by the hon. Member for Carnarvon of the position of affairs at the quarries must have touched the heart of everyone who heard it, whatever might be his views as to the merits of the dispute. He did not propose to go into the history of the case, nor did he think it wise to discuss the merits of the issue between Lord Penrhyn and his men. He would only ask whether a case had not arisen in which the provisions of the Act of 1896 might fairly and properly be put into operation. Crave as was the present struggle, vast as was the amount of human happiness involved, there was to be considered an even wider issue, because if the Government refused to take action in this case, who could say when the pro visions of the Act would be put into force at all? The present case surely called for action as strongly as any which could possibly be imagined, because it had lasted a very long time and was on a very large scale. What, he asked, was it that the Act contemplated?
1662 It gave power to the Board of Trade, on the application of the employers or workmen interested, and taking into consideration the means of conciliation in the district, power to appoint a person or persons to act as conciliators and to endeavour to bring about a settlement, and also to report to the Board of Trade. Would the House consider what that meant? It was not arbitration. They were perhaps apt, in considering a case of that nature, to confound arbitration with conciliation, and he could quite conceive objections to the appointment of an arbitrator; but the proposal in the first instance was simply to appoint a person who should hear all that was to be said, not merely by the parties directly concerned, but. if necessary, by other persons in the district, and should endeavour to form a fair judgment on what, after such inquiry, he believed to be the merits of the case. Conciliation had many advantages and many avenues of hope which arbitration had not. If a conciliator was appointed, there was nothing to show that Lord Penrhyn would not be willing to reconsider the position he had taken up. but, let that be as it might, the power to make such an appointment had been given to the Board of Trade by the House in 1896 on the express representation of the then President that the hands of himself and his successors would be materially strengthened by it, since they could then say, if told that their interference was unasked for and unwelcome, "It is not our action; it is that of the Legislature." Therefore, he did not think the Board of Trade were entitled, in a matter of so much gravity, to say that this was one of the cases which they ought to leave alone, since there was substantially a direction by the Legislature that action should be taken in such cases.
Nor should it he forgotten that it was far easier for contending parties to yield with a good grace when a third party intervened. Wherein lay the great advantage of international arbitration? It lay in the fact that, when two nations were standing each upon a point if honour and each was unwilling to yield, an international court of arbitration or conciliation enabled one of them to give 1663 way without humiliation by adopting the way out of the difficulty suggested by the arbitrator or conciliator. The parallel between an international dispute and a case like the present was very close, for here, also, there was involved a point of honour on which neither party thought themselves justified in surrendering. Suppose, however, there were a judicious person looking at the matter all round and endeavouring to save the amour propre of the party which he thought ought to yield, would matters not be rendered very much easier? He could not resign the hope that the action of a judicious conciliator might, even in the present case, bitter as the feeling on both sides seemed to have become, lead to some terms of settlement which might be accepted by both parties.
But there was another way in which the action of a conciliator might be of use: he had the power to make a report. One great influence had not yet been adequately brought to bear on this question—he meant the influence of public opinion—for the statements that had so far been made had been ex parte, and he could fully understand the attitude of a man who said that he had only heard one side of a case and declined to express an opinion until he had also heard the other. But there was a volume of honest, sound, public opinion in the country, which would, he believed, be influenced on one side or the other by the unbiassed report of a conciliator. For that reason, also, he consequently hoped that an attempt would be made to put into operation the powers conferred by the Act. Surely the present was not a case in which it could property be said that nothing should be done. A far greater and more dangerous strike than that at the Penrhyn Quarries occurred only a few months ago in the United States, and the President himself, at the risk of his own popularity, endeavoured to deal with the case. He did not believe that in the present instance the purpose of the Legislature as expressed in the Act of 1896 was going to be lost sight of. He felt perfectly sure that the President of the Board of Trade himself had every sympathy with those who were suffering through the Penrhyn strike, and he trusted that the appeal which had been made with so much force by his hon. 1664 friend would induce the Government to endeavour to meet this melancholy case, and by some means or other to replace these unhappy workmen in the condition of prosperity they formerly enjoyed.
§ SIR JOHN BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)
said he associated himself entirely with the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken, and did so not at all from the point of view of the working man but as an employer of labour. He had been an employer for a longer time than Lord Penrhyn and on a much larger scale, and he had come to the conclusion that it was wise for employers, in endeavouring to come to terms with their men over any trade dispute, to allow the men to choose their own representatives. He would consider himself absolutely wanting in an honest and manly spirit of fair play if he did not allow the workmen—aye, and encouraged them—to choose the best man they could get when they were discussing a matter of business with him. What would be said if, in the High Court of Justice, an ignorant man was not permitted' to state his case except by his own untutored lips? He himself had had a careful training in his youth, and he naturally—without boasting but as a matter of course—had a quicker mind than the poor fellows who might believe that they had suffered unjustly by something that had been done OH his behalf. He repeated that he would be wanting in manliness if he prevented those men from speaking to him not only by the best representatives they could find among themselves but the best they could find in the world. He had risen to show that the appeal for the intervention of the President of the Board of Trade was made not only by the representatives of working men or of the constituency immediately concerned, but by men in other positions in life, and he begged the right hon. Gentleman, for the credit of employers and of Parliament, and for the sake of peace, to use his power to bring the pressure of public opinion to bear on this dispute.
§ *SIR ALFRED THOMAS (Glamorganshire, E.)
said that few, if any, of those who listened to the eloquent and pathetic speech in which his hon. friend, some years since, called the attention of the House to the then pending dispute between Lord Penrhyn and his workmen, 1665 would have believed it to be possible, after such a lapse of time, that such a terrible state of affairs would prevail again at the present time. He believed that the difference between Lord Penrhyn and his workmen arose from a misconception on the part of the former as to his duties and obligations as the proprietor of a great commercial trading industry. He wished to differentiate as between Lord Penrhyn and his agent, for if what they were told in the public prints was true, he was an unmitigated tyrant, and it was a scandal that such a man should have it in his power to tyrannise his fellow men. Lord Penrhyn attempted to manage the affairs of his works on the principle "cannot a man do what he likes with his own?" That depended upon what a man liked. If the result of what a man liked was to drive away more than two thousand men from their homes—homes that many of them had, through thrift and industry, built for themselves—or to cause untold misery and suffering to hundreds of defenceless women and children, then whatever legal right he might have, moral right he had none.
Lord Penrhyn wished to treat his employees on the same terms as his gamekeepers and his gardeners. But the Bethesda quarry, in times of peace and prosperity, was one of the most extensive of its kind in the world, and carried on for trading purposes, and if Lord Penrhyn wished to become a trader, then he, like so many other noblemen who had become traders, must be a men able to such rules and regulations as were in force in similar undertakings, in which a perfect right to combine and organise was given unquestioned to workmen. Lord Penrhyn's workmen, however, were much more modest in their demands; but modest as they had been and were, they had only met with a treatment which was quite unworthy of men in responsible positions. But it was not to be inferred that the men were not determined to have, within reason and justice, the exercise of their common rights. Should Lord Penrhyn, unfortunately, still persist in resisting the principle for which they had made such great sacrifices, then he would find, as other territorial magnates had found, the truth of the Welsh proverb, "Trech gwlad nag arglwydd"—"The people are stronger than a lord." He 1666 sincerely hoped that wiser counsel would prevail, and that the disastrous dispute would be terminated, so that peace and prosperity might return to a large working community, whose moral and industrial character is not excelled in the whole earth.
§ MR. JOHN WILSON (Durham, Mid)
said he was a great believer in conciliation, and Parliament having provided the Board of Trade with certain powers, the right hon. Gentleman ought not to be diffident, but rather eager, to put those powers into force to bring an end to this dispute. In 1896, when the Conciliation Act was passed, the then President of the Board of Trade used these words—There was another provision in the Bill to which the Government attached considerable importance, viz., that the Department was empowered to intervene on its own initiative with a view to bringing the parties together under a Chairman mutually agreed upon, or, failing that, one appointed by the Board of Trade. It was also provided that the Department might intervene on the application of either party to the dispute and appoint a conciliator ad hoc or make use of existing boards of arbitration.In that statement the then President framed the indictment on which the present President stood on his trial. He had been requested to act by one party, but had turned a deaf ear to the appeal. No man, simply to gratify his own desires, ought to be allowed to depopulate a whole neighbourhood. These men merely asked for that which was conceded in every other part of the country. He and others who represented large organisations were not only allowed, but were asked, to meet the employers of the men they represented, and he appealed to all large employers of labour in the House, who had the welfare of the industries of the country at heart, whether they would not rather meet the elected representatives of the men than have loose masses of men to deal with. A more respectable and decent class of men than these in question could not be found in the kingdom, but because they would not allow Lord Penrhyn to assume the rô le of dictator, they were being driven away from the homes they loved. Surely Parliament ought to put an end to such a state of things. This man was jeopardising the trade of the 1667 country. Through his action trade was shifting, and once trade shifted it was extremely difficult to regain. The country itself, therefore, had a stake in the dispute. Moreover, Lord Penrhyn was fostering feelings of discontent, animosity, and hostility between workmen and employers.
The trend of the present age was in the direction of conciliation, but Lord Penrhyn by his action was retarding the development of that spirit. It had been said that this dispute would strengthen the movement for compulsory arbitration. He did not believe in compulsion. Compulsion and conciliation were inconsistent terms. He believed in conciliation, and to show that there was a growing willingness on the part of workmen to submit their disputes to conciliation, he might point out that in 1897, less than 750,000 people were under the influence of conciliation boards, while in 1902 the number was 1,250,000; and whereas in 1897 only 2 per cent. of the disputes settled in the year were settled by conciliation, in 1901 the percentage was fifty-four. The House of Commons, who were not merely the makers of the law, but the custodians of the best interests of the country, ought to do all in its power to prevent anything which would have the effect of retarding that tendency towards conciliation. It might be said that the work was there if the men would do it. He was a man of peace, but not of peace at any price. He would be the last man in the world to fan a strike or to encourage strife, but he honoured these men for their refusal to accept work on the terms offered, and he hoped the Trades Unions of the country would see that they were lifted above the impingement of poverty. This object-lesson of the anachronism of tyranny in present times would stand out as an indication of the possibility of some men to act rudely and cruelly to their fellow-creatures. He urged the right hon. Gentleman to brush aside any little technicalities or red-tapeism that might exist, and endeavour to put an end to this disastrous struggle.
§ MR. MIDDLEMORE (Birmingham, N.)
desired to join in the appeal made from the other side of the House. The situation was very serious. There really must be a point at which the Board of Trade would intervene in the direction of 1668 conciliation. What was the situation? Nearly 2,300 men were out of employment; 100 men had died; one had committed suicide; families were separated; a community was broken up; heads of families were exiles; women and children were suffering and being underfed. That was a very grave situation. It had to be admitted, too, that on the part of the men, judging them fairly and taking them all in all, there had been much self-restraint; while on the part of Lord Penrhyn and Mr. Young, to put it mildly, there had been not a little aloofness, and something of repulsion. He earnestly and sincerely appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to act. By doing so he would exalt his own reputation before the country, and make thousands of Welshmen, and also of Englishmen, call down blessings on his head.
§ MR. BROMLEY DAVENPORT (Cheshire, Macclesfield)
said he only rose for the purpose of stating why he did not intend to intervene in the debate. The House was probably not aware that there was an action pending, which raised the whole question as to whether Lord Penrhyn had, or had not, refused his quarrymen the right of combination. The action was likely to commence on Monday, and he thought that, for that reason, it was extremely improper that that action should be now discussed. He did not intend to say anything further, because anything he might say might be taken as coming from Lord Penrhyn, and it would be extremely improper for Lord Penrhyn to say anything which would prejudice the action.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds Central
said the hon. Gentleman the Member for the Arfon Division made a long and eloquent speech, but he thought the hon. Member would hardly dispute the correctness of his description, when he said that that speech consisted, not so much of an attack on the Board of Trade, as an attack on Lord Penrhyn and the management of the Penrhyn quarry. He could not accept the statements of the hon. Gentleman with reference to Lord Penrhyn, and he could not help agreeing with his hon. friend in the regret 1669 he expressed that the debate should have taken place at that particular moment, in view of the action that was to be hoard. He would confine himself within the limit which he thought was strictly and properly observed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Aberdeen, and that was whether the Board of Trade was or was not right in its decision not to intervene in this dispute. Before he entered on that question he would say a few words with reference to what fell from the hon. Member.
The hon. Member spoke of heartlessness and callousness, and rather implied that the action of the Board of Trade, by not intervening in this dispute, was an indication of heartlessness and callousness. He hoped it was not necessary for him to defend himself or the Board against any insinuation of that kind; and he could assure the House that if he thought it possible to bring this lamentable dispute to an end by intervening be should certainly have intervened. There appeared to him to be great misconception and misunderstanding in the House as to the powers which the Arbitration Act conferred upon the Board of Trade. The Act was purely voluntary in its provisions; and it most carefully guarded the discretion of the parties to the dispute to accept the services of the Board of Trade or not. He received not long ago a petition which contained the signatures of no less than sixteen Members of the House. He did not know whether the hon. Member for the Arfon Division signed that petition; but it was signed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Forest of Dean. That petition requested him to use his powers under the Act to arbitrate in the dispute between Lord Penrhyn and his quarrymen. As the hon. Gentleman the Member for the Arfon Division had admitted, and as he himself had pointed out to the petitioners, the Board of Trade had absolutely no power under the Act to arbitrate unless an application to arbitrate were made by both parties. As the application for arbitration came entirely from one side it was obviously impossible for the Board of Trade to adopt that method of procedure 1670 What other steps could the Board of Trade take? The Board of Trade might, in response to the appeal made by the workmen at a comparatively late period of the dispute, have appointed a conciliator under the Act. But the Act stated that the Board of Trade might appoint a conciliator on the application of the employer or workman interested only after taking into consideration all the circumstances of the case. He thought it would be obvious to the House that one of the most important circumstances which the Board of Trade was bound to consider, in deciding whether or not it should acquiesce in an application of this kind, was whether the appointment of a conciliator would promote the object for which the Act was passed, namely, the prevention of disputes, or the facilitation of the settlement of a dispute which had arisen. He considered that matter most carefully. He considered all the statements made by the men; he considered the past history of the dispute; he considered the history of the dispute between Lord Penrhyn and his workmen in 1887; and he was forced to the conclusion, if he appointed a conciliator, that Lord Penrhyn would refuse to accept the mediation of any third party, even if that third party were appointed by the Board of Trade. That was the question which he had to decide. When he had reason to know that Lord Penrhyn would not accept the services of a conciliator he was forced to the conclusion that it would not be to the public advantage, nor would be likely to increase the utility of the Board of Trade in subsequent disputes, if, notwithstanding that, he were to attempt to force a conciliator on a reluctant party. He was now speaking of the assumption that the object of appointing a conciliator was to bring the parties together to determine the dispute; and as he regarded that as impossible it appeared to him to be quite useless to appoint a conciliator. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Aberdeen had suggested that a conciliator might be appointed, not to bring the parties together, but to make a report on the circumstances, in order to guide public opinion, He did not deny that there might be cases where it might become the duty of the Board of Trade under the Act to appoint a person to make a report, and so guide public opinion in the right direction; but he 1671 believed those cases to be excessively rare, and he doubted whether since the Act was passed the Board of Trade had in a single case appointed a conciliator, not to bring the parties together, but in order to make a public report on the circumstances of the case.
The hon. Gentleman the Member for the Arfon Division went very minutely into the controversy between Lord Penrhyn and his workmen, but he thought the hon. Gentleman would admit that at the bottom of that dispute there lay the question whether, from Lord Penrhyn's point of view, his workmen in entering into negotiation would be acting under outside influence. Suppose a dispute between an employer and his workmen merely referred to the carrying out of an agreement entered into, it might, in those circumstances, be desirable that the Board of Trade might make a report in order to guide public opinion; but when they came to what the hon. Member for the Arfon Division had described as a point of fundamental principle between employer and employed, the question was raised whether a Government Department was called upon to pronounce an ex cathedra opinion upon a matter of that kind. In his judgment it would be most undesirable for a public Department to take that view. If the Board of Trade were to undertake a duty of that kind, it would cripple itself hopelessly in working the Act on all subsequent occasions. No employer would then voluntarily accept the decision of the Board of Trade; and if the decision of the Board were against the employer the Board would be distrusted. If, on the other hand, the Board decided the question against the men, there was not the slightest doubt that the men, in all future disputes, would have exactly the same feeling.
The truth was that the working of the Act required the most anxious discretion on the part of the Board of Trade. They must not try to work the Act as if it were anything else than a purely voluntary Act; and if they did, they were certain to fail. He could not help thinking that the Amendment which the hon. Member for the Arfon Division put down to the Address, but did not move, showed that, in the opinion of the hon. Gentleman, the Board of Trade could not have intervened in this dispute with any 1672 prospect of success, for the terms of that Amendment declared the necessity for further legislation. If the Act gave power to the Board of Trade to arbitrate between Lord Penrhyn and his workmen in those circumstances it would be his duty to intervene; but the Act was altogether on different lines.
As a voluntary Act the Government had considered it their duty to administer it; and if the House were to decide that it would be their duty to interfere in any other conditions, he felt that a great part of the utility of the Act would be destroyed.
§ MR. LLOYD GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
said he had listened to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, and he must say, after careful consideration, he had never heard a more hopelessly inadequate defence of the action, or rather the inaction, of a Government Department. What was the defence of the right hon. Gentleman? It was really a matter of very general application. Here was an Act of Parliament which provided that where one party to a dispute refused to proceed to arbitration the Board of Trade might proceed ex parte to appoint a conciliator, whether one of the parties consented or not. The right hon. Gentleman proceeded to argue against putting the Act into operation, and he gave reasons; but there were other Acts of Parliament which people did not like to put into operation, and if the President of the Board of Trade would not put an Act of Parliament into operation why should anyone? If this were not a case where Section C of the Act applied, what conceivable circumstances were there which could arise in any labour dispute to which that Section would be applicable. The Act provided that there should be arbitration, that there should be a board of conciliation; and that the Board of Trade might undertake an inquiry. What he complained about was that the Board of Trade had not put into operation the powers given to it under the Act. If that was not a case for the application of the Act what possible case could there be?
The dispute had been prolonged for two and a half years, the whole industry of a district had been paralysed; and, in 1673 addition, they had the constant risk of infringements of the law on one side or the other. Infringements were not always on the side of the strikers. He had heard of men who were employed in the quarry who were armed with revolvers, and who had threatened other men from time to time. There was also the case of a man who was driven to madness by hunger. They had heard from the Prime Minister something about the doctrine of human endurance. Two and a half years of hunger and privation would drive men to madness. What might not happen in that district? And if anything happened, the responsibility, in the first instance, would undoubtedly rest with Lord Penrhyn, whose stubbornness had been unparalleled, and who had declined every offer of arbitration; but to a certain degree, responsibility would rest also on those who, having the weapon o an Act of Parliament in their hands, declined to avail themselves of it. Why? Because they were afraid of risking a snub from Lord Penrhyn. What else was it? What possible harm could be done? Supposing the Board of Trade appointed a conciliator—someone, for instance, like Sir Edward Fry, whose impartiality was above suspicion—to examine into all the circumstances. We would have Lord Penrhyn's case in the printed reports, even if Mr Young declined to appear before him. He could have the evidence of the men and of people in the neighbourhood who knew the circumstances; and he would have every opportunity of examining into the facts. What harm could that do? The only harm it could do would be that Lord Penrhyn might take no notice of Sir Edward Fry or the Board of Trade. Was the Government so feeble that it could not survive a snub from Lord Penrhyn? He asked anyone to point out what possible harm it could do. But what good might it not do? In the first place, it was just possible, if they had the judgment of an eminent conciliator like Sir Edward Fry, that even Lord Penrhyn might be induced to climb down and listen to reason. It was a remote contingency, but at the same time they could not bar it out altogether. What more would it do? The men were fighting under very disadvantageous circumstances.
1674 In the correspondence between Lord Penrhyn and the Carnarvon County Council he wrote one day from Penrhyn Castle, the next day from a shooting-box in Conway Bay, another day from Newmarket, and a fourth day from a palace in London. What comparison was there between a man of that kind, and men who had not got a shilling, except as alms from the public? If there was a Report from an impartial conciliator appointed by a Unionist Government, public opinion would back up the men. Was the President of the Board of Trade afraid of that contingency? Was he afraid to give them a weapon which would help them to keep their children from starving?
He would put another question to the right hon. Gentleman. Suppose Lord Penrhyn declined absolutely to meet the conciliator would the resources of civilisation be then exhausted? If the President of the Board of Trade failed, he would fail having done his duty. If he failed now, he would fail having neglected an obvious duty, a duty imposed upon him by an Act of Parliament, passed by the common consent of both Houses, which instructed him along a path trodden by his predecessors. Was the President of the Board of Trade afraid of Lord Penrhyn's society friends that he would not put an Act of Parliament into operation to protect these poor men who were striving for their lights? If he did so, and there was no result, after all Parliament was the master in this country. What was this quarry? He would not go into the question of Lord Penrhyn's title, but this was common land within the memory of living man. If by prescription Lord Penrhyn had got a legal title, could not the Parliament of Great Britain say: "Here is land which belongs to the people of the district; you are utilising a time title to a property which does not belong to you for the purpose of starving out men."
§ MR. BROMLEY DAVENPORT
asked whether this was in order. The hon. Member, who was solicitor for the defendant in a case to be heard on Monday next, was raising the question of whether or not Lord Penrhyn had denied his workmen certain rights which the hon. Member thought they ought to have,
§ *MR. SPEAKER
That depends, of course, on whether that is one of the matters of dispute in the action. If it is one of the matters in dispute awaiting decision, then it is not proper to discuss it. I may add that whatever the value may be of the argument of the hon. Member as to Parliament interfering by legislation in regard to land, it does not arise upon this Motion.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said he quite understood it was a great relief to hon. Members opposite that questions of that kind should not be raised, because no one knew better than themselves that they would not stop with Lord Penrhyn. He had carefully guarded himself from dealing with any question raised in the action. Lord Penrhyn was denying to his workmen rights conceded in every great industry in the kingdom. If there ever was a case for Government interference this was one. Yet the President of the Board of Trade was afraid of Lord Penrhyn because he might refuse to answer his letter. What a punishment for a powerful Department! The dispute had gone on for two and a half years, but if it went on much longer the country would not be satisfied until it was put out of an employer's power to reduce the whole community to starvation,
§ MR. BELL (Derby)
associated himself with the protest which had been made against the apathy of the President of the Board of Trade in this matter. He desired to call attention to the fact that the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor put in operation the very Act which they were now discussing. It was most unfortunate that there were people who had the title "Lord" attached to their names, because many of them assumed the power of the Almighty. One of them was Lord Penrhyn. There were other lords who had assumed practically similar authority, but the President of the Board of Trade, on three occasions during the period he had himself held his official position in connection with the railway servants' organisation, had intervened, and to some extent successfully. In 1897 there was a very serious dispute on the London and North-Western Railway, and a lord on that occasion 1676 assumed the same stubborn attitude that Lord Penrhyn had assumed in this ease. The President of the Board of Trade, acting under the clause referred to, intervened, and so averted a strike which would probably have resulted from the dispute. More recently there was a dispute on the Great Eastern Railway, and in a few hours the men's notices would have been handed in, but the President of the Board of Trade intervened. The head of that railway was another great lord, who showed the same stubbornness, but the course taken by the President of the Board of Trade was successful in bringing about a settlement.
In the recent Taff Vale dispute, of which so much had been heard, the workmen had to deal with a railway manager who was equally stubborn. The President of the Board of Trade intervened in that case, sent a representative down, and was to some extent successful. At anyrate, he did assist in bringing to a conclusion that unhappy dispute. In that case the representative of the company sat in one room of an hotel and met the representative of the Board of Trade while he himself was in another room. Communications passed between them, but the company's representative declined to meet him personally. In this way that gentleman preserved his dignity. He did not stand on his own dignity. What he wanted was to do all he possibly could to bring the dispute to a conclusion. He thought that if, in the Penrhyn dispute, the President of the Board of Trade would pluck up courage it might be brought to a speedy conclusion. He was not going to enter into the merits or the demerits of the dispute. He was not going to argue whether the men were right or wrong. His point was that this dispute was causing suffering to the community, and that the President of the Board of Trade should send down a representative to see Lord Penrhyn. If Lord Penrhyn continued his stubbornness and stupidity, and refused to meet the representative of the Board of Trade, then that representative would have no alternative but to report on things as he found them. If Lord Penrhyn was too stubborn to give any information, that was his own affair.
1677 The public would then decide. He had a certain amount of confidence in public opinion. He ventured to say that public opinion would very largely settle this question. At any rate they might give it a trial.
Lord Penrhyn was undoubtedly receiving a great deal of encouragement from gentlemen who assumed that workmen had no rights or privileges of any description. There were too many of that opinion in the country, and the day was not far distant when that would have to be broken down. If Lord Penrhyn snubbed the Government through the President of the Board of Trade he would not assist his own cause, because everybody would support the right hon. Gentleman in his action. If the President of the Board of Trade had no stronger reasons to give for non-interference, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would at once put the clause of the 1896 Act into operation regardless of what was to take place on Monday next. He appealed to the President of the Board of Trade to use the powers conferred on him by the 1896 Act, with the view of bringing about a settlement of the dispute.
§ *MR. LAWSON WALTON (Leeds, S.)
said if he understood the President of the Board of Trade aright, the right hon. Gentleman had practically invalidated a very important provision in a clause of the Statute. The Statute clearly contemplated two alternatives in cases of dispute. The first arose where both parties were willing to place the matter in the hands of the Board of Trade; and the second where one of the parties invited intervention. But the statute contemplated a third condition of things, namely, where there was no arbitration, and no immediate prospect of a successful conciliation, but where the circumstances were such that the Department ought to be empowered to make an inquiry and publish a report for the enlightenment of the public.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
I think I distinctly said that circumstances might arise which would justify the Board of Trade in appointing some person to inquire and report, but I think that the cases are very rare.
§ *MR. LAWSON WALTON
said that the qualification of the right hon. Gentleman was very large. It scarcely left a conceivable case in which such an official might be appointed. If there was a case in which public opinion ought to be enlightened with regard to the merits of the dispute, this Penrhyn difficulty was clearly marked out for such treatment. This was a unique dispute. It had been prolonged over a considerable period of time, involved a large number of workmen, impaired the happiness of a large number of persons forming an exceptionally industrious, respectable, and self-respecting class of the community. There were well-known and capable gentlemen who could be appointed to report, and whose report would have great influence in the country. He should have liked to hear from the right hon. Gentleman why this course had not been taken, and why he had merely put forward an impotent non possumus. For these reasons he would support the Motion.
COLONELPRYCE-JONES (Montgomery Boroughs)
said he desired to offer a few words on this question as a Welsh Member. His hon. friend was wrong in finding fault with the President of the Board of Trade for not availing himself of the Act, dealing with conciliation. It was a Voluntary Act, and both parties must agree upon a basis of the terms to be submitted to arbitration. He had listened to the whole debate, and he understood that Lord Penrhyn was not willing to give something the men wanted. It was not for Parliament to interfere between capital and labour in that respect. There were still 500 men working in the quarries at present. He believed it was a fact that Lord Penrhyn was losing thousands of pounds at the present time by working the quarries. Why should Lord Penrhyn be anxious to work the quarries at a loss? It was obvious that he was fighting for a very important principle. He was astounded at what had fallen from the hon. Baronet on the other side who was himself an employer of labour. No one could deny that Lord Penrhyn was a good employer [Laughter]—yes, better than the majority of employers throughout the country. He 1679 went further,'and said that Lord Penrhyn was a model employer. [Laughter.] Hon. Members might laugh, but it was a fact that Lord Penrhyn was a model employer, with the exception that he would not give his quarrymen what they wanted. [Renewed laughter.] Up to 1885 a committee of workmen helped Lord Penrhyn to manage the quarries. At any rate the quarries did not pay at that time, although they had since paid. He was bound to say that he quite approved of the action of the President of the Board of Trade in not putting into operation the Conciliation Clause of the Act, and that he did not believe that, even if it had been put in operation, there was a chance of its being successful. He thought that this matter had better be left to Lord Penrhyn and the workpeople to settle among themselves than for Parliament to interfere.
§ *MR. TENNANT (Berwickshire)
said that the hon. and gallant Gentleman who had spoken last alluded to Lord Penrhyn as a model employer. He could only say that his Lordship was of a class of employers which was swelling the ranks of the Socialists. If there were many more model employers of that kind the security of property would rapidly vanish into thin air. The Presi
§ dent of the Board of Trade said he did not think there was any chance of this Act, if he attempted to put it in force, bringing this dispute to an end. Was that because the right hon. Gentleman thought Lord Penrhyn right or wrong? There was surely a chance if a conciliator had been appointed that he might have proved the men were wrong and Lord Penrhyn right, and the case would have been at an end at once. That was evidently not the view of the right hon. Gentleman. If the right hon. Gentleman thought the Act was not sufficiently strong for him why did he not introduce a Bill giving him compulsory powers? Did the right hon. Gentleman scout that idea? Was it not in the power of this Government, with its programme of great social reforms, to bring in such a Bill? He only threw out the suggestion which might yet find favour with the right hon. Gentleman, who, however, he imagined, believed Lord Penrhyn was in the wrong, otherwise he would have put the Act into operation.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 127; Noes, 157. (Division List No. 16)1681
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.)||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Layland-Barratt, Francis|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Donelan, Captain A.||Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Doogan, P. C.||Leigh, Sir Joseph|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Levy, Maurice|
|Bell, Richard||Duffy, William J.||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Boland. John||Duncan, J. Hastings||Lloyd-George, David|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Edwards, Frank||Lough, Thomas|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Emmott, Alfred||Lundon, W.|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Evans. Saml. T. (Glamorgan)||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Farquharson, Dr. Robert||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Bryce, Right Hon. James||Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Ffrench, Peter||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||M'Kean, John|
|Burns, John||Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Burt, Thomas||Flynn, James Christopher||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Gilhooly, James||Middlemore, John Thr'gmorton|
|Caldwell, James||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)|
|Cameron, Robert||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Moulton, John Fletcher|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Grant, Corrie||Murphy, John|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Newnes, Sir George|
|Crean, Eugene||Hammond, John||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Cremer, William Randal||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Norman, Henry|
|Crombie, John William||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipp'rary Mid|
|Cullinan, J.||Holland, Sir William Henry||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||O'Dowd, John|
|Delany, William||Joyce, Michael||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Kearley, Hudson E,||O'Mara, James|
|Partington, Oswald||Shackleton, David James||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Perks, Robert William||Shipman, Dr. John G.||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Sloan, Thomas Henry||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Rea, Russell||Soares, Ernest J.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Reckitt, Harold James||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C, R (Northants||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.|
|Reddy, M.||Stevenson, Francis S.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Strachey, Sir Edward||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Sullivan, Donal||Wood, James|
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Tennant, Harold John||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Rose, Charles Day||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Runciman, Walter||Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gower|
|Russell, T. W.||Tomkinson, James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES— Mr. Herbert Roberts and Mr. Brymnor Jones.|
|Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Schwann, Charles E.||Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nrn||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Gore, Hn. G. R. C Ormsby- (Salop||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby- (Line||Purvis, Robert|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Pym, C. Guy|
|Arrol, Sir William||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Quilter, Sir Cathbert|
|Atkinson, Right Hon. John||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Randles, John S.|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Hall, Edward Marshall||Rankin, Sir James|
|Balcarres, Lord||Hamilton, Rt Hn Ld. G. (Midx||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Balfour. Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man'r||Hamilton, Marq. of (Londondy||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Balfour, Capt. C. R. (Hornsey||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robt. Wm.||Renwick, George|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashfd||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Bignold, Arthur||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Bigwood, James||Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Helder, Augustus||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Bond, Edward||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Hoare. Sir Samuel||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Cavendish, V C W (Derbysh.)||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Keswick, William||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J A (Worc||Lawrence, Sir Jos. (Monm'th)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Chapman, Edward||Lawson, John Grant||Spear, John Ward|
|Charrington, Spencer||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Long. Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos H. A. E.||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasg.)||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Cox, Irwin Edwd. Bainbridge||Lucas, Reg'ld J. (Portsmouth)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Cranborne, Lord||Macdona, John Cumming||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||M'Calmont, Colonel James||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Vincent. Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Davenport, William Bromley-||Majendie, James A. H.||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H|
|Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Denny, Colonel||Massey Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Morgan, David J (Walthamstow||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Morrell, George Herbert||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.|
|Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Morrison, James Archibald||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks)|
|Durning-Lawrence Sir Edwin||Mount, William Arthur||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Nicholson, William Graham||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Wylie, Alexander|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Fisher, William Haves||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Fitz Gerald, Sir Robt. Penrose||Parker, Sir Gilbert|
|Flower, Ernest||Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley|
|Forster, Henry William||Percy, Earl||TELLERS FOR THE NOES— Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Garfit, William||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Godson. Sir Augustus Fredk.||Plummer, Walter R.|
Bill read a second time, and committed to the Standing Committee on Law, etc.