HC Deb 11 May 1903 vol 122 cc313-71

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £6,267,500, 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 Post Office Services, the expenses of Post Office Savings Banks, and Government Annuities and Insurances, and the collection of the Post Office Revenue."

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

said that when the debate was adjourned the other night he was about to call attention to one or two of the improvements in the postal service which the right hon. Gentleman had announced—improvements which certainly had not received the attention they deserved. The right hon. Gentleman in the course of his speech said that some years had elapsed since any progress had been made by the Post Office in giving fresh facilities to the country, and he touched upon the programme of the reforms introduced by the Duke of Norfolk when he held the office of Postmaster-General. But he thought the Committee would deplore that the right hon. Gentleman's own programme was of such a limited character. What had he promised them? He was going to issue a great many more money orders; there was to be one for every 6d. up to £1. The only other promises the right hon. Gentleman made were that more consideration should in future be given to appeals for an improved service in the country, and that the charge for giving a receipt for a telegram should be reduced from 2d. to 1d. The old charge was most extravagant, and the smaller sum was quite ample, so that they had not much reason to be thankful to the right hon. Gentleman in that respect. His final promise was that unopened telegrams should be allowed to be posted free of extra charge. That was the whole of the right hon. Gentleman's programme, and he repeated that the Committee had reason to deplore the fact that, seeing that for so many years the Department had done nothing for the public, the present proposals were so meagre. As the great convenience which the public had hitherto enjoyed of being able to resell small amounts of stamps to the Post Office was entirely to be taken away, the public would lose rather than gain by the reforms which the Postmaster-General had announced. The present regulation was that stamps would be purchased back by the Post Office at a reduction of 2½ per cent., or 6d. in the £. Surely that was a profitable business to the Post Office as well as being a great public convenience. He believed that the abolition of the existing privilege would cause very great public inconvenience. The official notice issued with respect to the increased facilities for obtaining postal orders stated that a postal order might now be obtained for any sum under £1. But orders only for even sixpences were to be issued. For instance, an order for 14s. 9d. could not be obtained. He presumed that odd amounts were to be made up with stamps affixed to the postal orders.


Yes, Sir.


said that as those stamps would be purchased back again, surely that was a breach of the right hon. Gentleman's new regulation. Again, instead of the seller of stamps receiving the money at once, it was to be remitted to him the next day. That also would be a great inconvenience. He certainly did not think the right hon. Gentleman had made out a good case for the change. He desired, however, to thank the right hon. Gentleman for one experiment he had made, at his request, in a very remote country district, where he had connected by telephone all the sub-post offices in a large area with the county town, and had thus provided the inhabitants with telephone communication at a very small charge. It was to be hoped that other changes would be introduced which the public would equally appreciate.

The only other point he wished to touch upon was in connection with the steps which the right hon. Gentleman proposed to take in order to deal with the men's grievances. If the right hon. Gentleman would give that matter a little more consideration he might perhaps be able to arrive at a solution much more satisfactory to Members of the House. The right hon. Gentleman proposed to appoint a Committee of outsiders, rather than a Committtee of Members of the House of Commons, to inquire into the grievances of the postal service. The right hon. Gentleman in his speech seemed to indicate that the Committee would be composed of great employers of labour, and he pledged himself not to place any departmental officials upon it. In considering this matter they had to remember that the Post Office had already badly failed in the attempt to settle these grievances, and there was a full acknowledgment of that in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. Within a year of the issue of the Report of the Tweedmouth Committee, the investigation had to be reopened and a sum of £600,000 was as a result, added to the annual payments to the staff, and even then the discontent continued and the right hon. Gentleman had admitted that there might in some cases, be ground for dissatisfaction. In view of that they ought to take steps this time to settle the difficulty once and for all. It had been said that pressure had been brought to bear on Members by the postal servants, but he thought that suggestion had been greatly exaggerated. The postal servants only totalled to about 1[...]0,000 or 180,000, including women and telegraph boys. Only about 40,000 or 50,000 had a vote, and it was ridiculous to suppose the small number who lived in a particular constituency could intimidate even the most timid Member of this House on such a subject. It had been suggested that the postal servants ought to be disfranchised in order to prevent them bringing this pressure to bear, but disfranchisement would not do away with the pressure. Considerably more pressure was exercised by those who had no vote than those who had. The question of pressure might therefore be put on one side, and the Committee should try and urge the right hon. Gentleman to make a clean settlement once and for all; and if the Committee assisted the right hon. Gentleman in the formation of the Committee he had promised, he did not think there would be much difficulty in arriving at a settlement. One objection to the Committee was, that none of the Post Office staff was represented upon it. Why could not there be two representative postal servants and two representative employers of labour, with an arbitrator between? That would give some assurance that the matter would be fully dealt with. That suggestion had already been made to the right hon. Gentleman and he now appealed to him to give it his kindly consideration. One objection to the Committee was, that the grievances of the greater number of the postal servants were excluded from the scope of the Committee. The case of some 40,000 or 50,000 of the employees would be submitted to the tribunal, but with regard to the 21,000 sub-postmasters and the 81,000 auxiliary postmen, their case was not to be considered at all. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to widen the scope of the Committee so as to include the case of these other servants. Because he thought the constitution of the Committee was not satisfactory, and in order that the right hon. Gentleman should give some attention to what had been urged in support of its reconstitution, he moved the reduction of the Vote by £100.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum not exceeding £6,267,400, be granted for the said Service."—(Mr. Lough.)


said his first duty was to congratulate the Postmaster-General on the reforms he had instituted. Although those concessions did not cost the right hon. Gentleman a single farthing the public were extremely grateful because they removed very great annoyances. Whilst congratulating the right hon. Gentleman on the removal of these annoyances, and before touching on the other cases of reform, he might say he regretted when the right hon. Gentleman was dealing with the postal order reform he did not make it really complete by issuing a guinea postal order, which would be a very great convenience. The late Mr. Hanbury, whose memory was so dear to the House, when representing the Post Office in this House had said the reason why postal orders for a guinea were not issued, was that it was impossible to issue them without an Act of Parliament being passed for that purpose, but such a Bill if it were brought in would pass without dissent. He therefore appealed to the right hon. Gentleman either to bring in a Bill or allow one to be brought in and passed. This was a reform which the public had asked for for the last fifteen years. The House of Commons also regretted that the right hon. Gentleman had said nothing with regard to another great annoyance to which this country was subject in respect of postal orders. By the postal orders law of this country if a postal order was not presented within three months it was subject to a fine. He held in his hands two postal orders which were obtained ten years ago and which had been lost by their owner. The owner had come across them recently and presented them at the Post Office. The postal orders were for 7s., and although the Post Office had had the use of the money for ten years they asked him for 7s. 2d. before they would pay him the 7s. This was a miserably mean action and one which the right hon. Gentleman would not be guilty of in his private affairs. It was usual in this country for a man to receive a liberal interest for lending money, but for any person who has had the use of money for a long period to refuse to return it without receiving some compensation was intolerable. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would not allow this grievance to longer exist and that another year would not be allowed to elapse before it was remedied. A friend of his had written a letter to him stating that a poor man in the village presented a 2s. postal order, with 2½d. in stamps affixed, for payment, and the post office refused to pay more than 2s. 2d. He thought it was a mean, unworthy action, and one which the right hon. Gentleman would not think of doing in private business. In such cases the high and mighty officials behind the counter said, "We never pay halfpennies." There was one thing that ought to be done, and that was to exchange postal orders with the colonies and all parts of the Empire. He hoped the Postmaster-General would be able to do something in this direction.

He would leave the question of postal orders for the present, and refer to the main purpose for which he rose. After struggling for many years they succeeded in obtaining penny postage to some of their colonies, but an extraordinary and ridiculous state of affairs followed the action of the Government. Although they could send a letter passing through France to any of the colonies for 1d., it cost 2½d to send a letter to France or Germany. He thought the right hon. Gentleman would do well to establish universal penny postage. He hoped the time would not be long delayed when this reform would be granted to all parts of the Empire. He urged the Postmaster-General to hold a meeting of the Postmasters-General of Germany, France, Belgium, and other countries, in order to see what could be done in the direction of establishing a penny postage between those countries. The King had just visited France and had met with extraordinary kindness, and lasting friendships had been sworn, but the best thing they could do to create good feeling between the Continent and this country was to make postal and telegraphic communication as easy as speech and as free as air. If they made communication between countries much cheaper, they would do much to obtain that peace and goodwill which they all desired so much to see. It would be a grand thing if the Postmaster-General could achieve the great distinction of establishing universal penny postage to all parts of the civilised world. They sent every year 2,500,000 pounds weight of letters to the Continent, but this was a mere bagatelle compared with the 20,000,000 pounds weight of circulars and printed matter. He had visited Berlin, and he knew the Postmaster-General in the United States was anxious to have a penny postage to this country. There was another reform needed which would be interesting to the Committee, and it was in regard to money order charges. It might not be generally known that the charge for a 5s. money order from this country to Paris was 6d., whereas from Paris to England the charge for the same order was only 1d. Men engaged every day in business in the City knew what a hardship it was to pay 6d. for sending 5s. to France, whereas the Frenchman only paid 1d. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman not to tolerate this annoyance any longer than was absolutely necessary. The charge for money orders to the colonies was much too high. He also thought telegraph and money orders ought to be brought to the residence of the receiver by the messengers of the Post Office. In many places the receiver had to travel long distances to the post office, and this was a great inconvenience. If he telegraphed a money order to Germany it would be taken charge of by the Post Office here and delivered at the residence of the receiver in Germany, but a money order coming from Germany was treated quite differently. The Postmaster-General ought to overrule the officials of the Post Office in this country and devise some plan of delivering telegrams and money orders to the person to whom the money was payable. The charges for money orders to the Continent and Australia were unnecessarily high.

There was another subject which had attracted a great deal of interest—he referred to a cheap agricultural parcels post. He would, however, leave it to those who would follow him in this debate to deal with that question, and he trusted that what they would have to say would lead the right hon. Gentleman to take some action in the matter. They wanted lower parcels post rates to all parts of the Empire. The charges to Aden were greater than to the Cape, and from Germany to the United States the rates were cheaper than from England to the United States. He knew that quite recently the greatest possible annoyance had been caused in England by the parcels post rates with the United States. For years they had been urging the right hon. Gentleman to establish such a service with the United States, and the charges were so monstrous and ridiculous that shoals of complaints had been addressed to the Post Office in regard to them. Germany had got cheaper rates and appeared to be getting on very well with them. There was another subject which would commend itself to hon. Members of the Committee—he referred to the value payable in the cash on delivery system. This system was in operation all over the Continent and it only wanted courage to introduce it in this country. The system worked well in Australia, where at first it was opposed by small shopkeepers, but they used the system now more than any other class of the community. He also thought that the minimum charge for samples ought to be reduced to one halfpenny. At the present time the Post Office would convey two ounces of printed paper for one halfpenny, but if the smallest scrap of the same paper was imprinted, or if it contained a scrap of Belfast linen for pocket handkerchiefs, it was treated as a sample and charged double rates. With regard to post-cards he thought they ought to be sold at their face value. They had repeatedly asked that post-cards should be sold at one halfpenny each, but the greatest objection had always been offered to this proposal. He did not know why the objections raised twenty years ago should hold good now. What he complained of was that no poor man could go for a halfpenny post-card without being charged three farthings for it. Surely this change might be made in the case of an article which was bringing in a profit of £20,000 a year, and the richest Post Office in the world ought to be above wringing farthings from the poor. All charges for the printing of halfpenny stamps ought to be abolished, because gumming and perforation were saved. In Australia they never charged anything for printing stamps, and he thought this was a particularly scandalous abuse of official authority. It was monstrous to charge 20 or 30 per cent. above the cost for printing stamps on private post-cards. There was no other Government in the world which charged anything for stamping cards with a halfpenny stamp. He thought the charges for registration should be reduced to one penny for letters, and all postal articles. In reference to fines for insufficient postage he did not think they ought to exceed one halfpenny in England and one penny for foreign letters. He wished also to refer to the question of embossed stamps. Every year large numbers of embossed stamps, letters, and so forth were purchased. He knew one poor woman who cut embossed stamps from envelopes and used them, but the receiver was charged twopence. He did not think in such a case the twopence ought to have been charged, and the right hon. Gentleman would not have done such a thing in private business, where it would not be tolerated. Embossed stamps cut from destroyed envelopes ought to be perfectly valid if attached to other envelopes.

There was another very important matter to which he would refer. In this great country they were amazed at the enormous increase in circulars and newspapers sent through the post. He thought the time had arrived for dividing the Post Office administration into three classes—the first class for letters, the second class for circulars, postcards, and newspapers, and the third class for parcels. Under such a system they could have their letters delivered about seven o'clock in the morning; circulars, postcards and newspapers about eight o'clock; and about nine o'clock they could have the parcels post. There had been a good deal of correspondence with regard to the extraordinary number of postal carts which were running about the streets. It was desirable, if possible, to do away with these carts and establish Bulchellor's system for conveying the mails between the Post Office and the railway stations. He should like to have an assurance from the Postmaster-General that this matter would be considered in a favourable way. Another grievance which required redress was the absence of letter boxes on all through trains. In every other country in the world there were facilities for posting letters on trains, but in this country passengers had to rush to the parcels office, and even then there was a doubt whether the letters would go or not. If an arrangement could be made for having letter boxes on through trains, it would be a source of great satisfaction to the people of this country. It had been suggested that the railway companies might object to the proposal, but he thought that could be got over. He hoped his right hon. friend would introduce a reform in that direction. Better facilities might be provided than at present for obtaining stamps elsewhere than the post offices. He thought they might be sold at all railway bookstalls. He understood the fact that they could not be obtained at the bookstalls was due to the meanness of the Post Office Department in refusing to allow any remuneration whatever to the keepers of the stalls. He hoped something would be done to overcome this difficulty. Another cause of worry, trouble and annoyance was the extra postage charged in all cases on late letters for the Continent, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. When in Rome lately the system adopted there was explained to him. At the Post Office there were letter boxes for all the countries in the world, and letters could be posted in these boxes until fifteen minutes before the departure of the trains. The Postmaster-General of Italy told him that the system worked admirably. He suggested that an international postage-stamp should be established, or something equivalent to that. In the absence of an international stamp he had suggested a remedy which could be easily brought into operation, and to which the present Postmaster-General's predecessors had turned a deaf ear. He meant the establishment at the great Post Office centres of a department for the sale of stamps of all foreign countries and all parts of the Empire. Some time ago he made an attempt to impress on the Postmaster-General the desirability of arranging for the registration of telegrams, but his right hon. friend declined to accede to that. Only the other day he came down to the House and announced that this would be agreed to. When any Post Office reform was suggested here was always a great deal of shuffling on the part of officials.

He next referred to a matter which he hoped would be dealt with, on account of the inconvenience at present resulting from the practice in this country, namely, the impossibility of recalling letters after posting. It happened many times that senders of cheques and other communications wished to recall them after posting. That could be done in every country in the world except this. In those countries where letters could be recalled trouble and loss were often obviated. The postmaster asked the sender of the letter to fill up a form stating the contents of the letter. Then he opened the letter, and if he was satisfied that the applicant was the person entitled to get the letter it was returned, the postmaster retaining the envelope. Thousands of cases of wrong had been prevented in this way. He had appealed in vain to previous Postmasters-General to give facilities in regard to this, but it appeared to him that that they did not wish to be bothered about the matter. While he believed that the officials of this country were the best to be found in any part of the world, it was of advantage sometimes to bring pressure to bear upon them. He hoped that in this matter of recalling letters our Post Office would follow the example of other countries. When the new stamps were issued some time ago he suggested to the Postmaster-General that the penny stamp should be red, as it was formerly, but he was informed that it was impossible that this could be done. The other day, however, it was done. The curious thing about our stamps was that they had a German look. He suggested that when new stamps were again issued they should bear some indication of the country of origin. Our postage stamps were the only ones in the world which bore no trace of the country whence they emanated. Another suggestion which he desired to make, and which he believed would be pleasing to all the King's subjects, was that at least one of our stamps should bear the portrait of our beloved and gracious Queen. He hoped that suggestion would commend itself to the right hon. Gentleman. He was glad to say that recently there had been an attempt to improve the character of postmarks, so as to show the hour of posting and the town of origin. He asked his hon. friend to give the Committee some information as to what the Post Office might be expected to do in regard to letters containing lottery tickets, and letters containing immoral literature. The United States Post Office had effectually stopped their circulation.

He now turned to a matter which had engaged the attention of a great number of people in this country. He referred to reports which had been made in regard to neglect, default, or larceny on the part of postal officials. It was far from him to in any way doubt the general integrity of the Post Office officials, but he was sometimes alarmed, in reading the Post Office Reports, to see the large number of employees who were convicted every year of Post Office offences. He knew the very large number of men engaged in the service, and that the enormous mass of letter carriers were men of high character; but when the convictions against them averaged three a week and a thousand had been dismissed in a year, that was a matter for grave consideration. It had been urged upon him that the high rate of misconduct was due to the employment of old soldiers in the Post Office service who had not been accustomed to Post Office work. Patriotism was all very well, and kindness to old soldiers was to be commended, but he thought that his right hon. friend should show his strength of character before giving way to the pressure from the military quarter of the House of Commons and engaging old soldiers indiscriminately. The Postmaster-General laid it down that he was not responsible for any neglect, default, or larceny by the employees in the Post Office—in other words, that he was above the law. Only the other day a man was found to have 1,500 letters in his possession, most of them opened and all of them undelivered; and the Postmaster-General said he was not responsible, not even for the theft of postal orders. The Postmaster-General said that if he began to give compensation there was no saying to what extent it might be carried. But no other public carrier in the country claimed the same immunity. At any rate, the Postmaster-General should exercise more care in this respect than at present. He knew of a case where, through the blunder of a telegraph official, a man lost £1,500, and there were other instances where business men had been brought to ruin and the Bankruptcy Court through similar blundering. Some change should be made from this state of affairs by his right hon. friend. The letter boxes were the worst in the whole British Empire, or on the Continent. It was a marvellous thing that so few complaints were made in regard to them—only one or two a week. There were boxes in Vienna where the postmen never touched the letters. These were taken away in a skeleton box, and an empty skeleton box put in its place. His right hon. friend ought to introduce some such reform here. Then there was mother reform which he had not yet been able to get introduced. He meant the extension of the system of private letter boxes—for which a charge of a guinea a year was made at the large post offices—by means of which a man might go to these boxes at any hour of the night or day and get his letters. The system was universal in the Australian colonies, and visitors from these colonies and from the provinces here, felt the disadvantages of not having the system general, instead of having their letters delivered at hotels and boarding houses. The boxes would occupy no room to speak of, and they would be a great boon to visitors.

He wished to refer to a matter which concerned few Members of the House of Commons, but which was of great interest to travelers. We had a penny postage to India, Aden, Malta, Gibraltar, Hong-Kong and Shanghai, but the rate to Egypt was still maintained at twopence halfpenny. Thousands of people were anxiously waiting for this concession of a penny postage to Egypt, and he believed that the Postal Union were willing to agree to it. If his right hon. friend would only write to the Foreign Office and get them to assent to it, there would be an increase of five letters to one now sent to Egypt, and it would give an impetus to trade and good feeling. If letters could be sent for a penny postage to Hong-Kong Shanghai, and other places in China, surely the same rate could be charged for places at a quarter of the distance, There was another grievance. At present the weight or letters to all parts of the British Empire was restricted to half-an-ounce as against four ounces at home. The time had surely arrived when the weight should be increased from half-an-ounce to an ounce, and he trusted that the right hon. Gentleman would push this reform on the great officials of the Post Office in this country Again, the question of the magazine post was a subject of great worry and annoyance. A newspaper of any weight so long as it was registered, and published at intervals of seven days could be sent for a halfpenny, but great magazines like the "Nineteenth Century," the "Fortnightly Review," and the "Contemporary Review," which contained articles of the highest educational value, were subject to full rates of eight ounces for a penny. It would be only fair and reasonable to abolish this ridiculous anomaly.

He now turned to a matter which caused more annoyance than anything brought to his attention. As to the Post Office regulations, it was well known that no two men in the Department agreed as to their meaning [Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN dissented]. A lady might send an invitation to an At Home for a halfpenny; if the words "At Home" were printed it was all right; but if they were written the communication was liable to a surcharge. The other day a thousand circulars were sent out containing the words "with thanks" and the recipients were fined a penny each. In another case circulars were charged double postage because they contained the word "gentlemen." That case was, he understood, now the subject of an inquiry; and he trusted before the debate ended that the Committee would have an assurance from his right hon. friend that it would not occur again. The Consul-General of Odessa was charged letter postage on a cheque book and used cheques, which was a peculiarly mean action. A lady had a letter returned to her from the Dead Letter Office and because it contained a 2s. postal order she had to pay 2d. for it. Why should not a chess problem be permissible on the back of a postcard? Again, in France and Germany when soldiers and sailors were sent abroad they were allowed free postage. A similar concession to British soldiers and sailors would be an enormous advantage, and would enable them to keep up correspondence with the old people. It would only cost a few hundred pounds sterling per annum; and he hoped his right hon. friend would consider it, and be able to give a satisfactory answer. Then as to the payments that were received by the Post Office Savings Bank, a poor man offered a deposit of £1 1s. 10d., the guinea was accepted, but the 10d. was refused on the ground that the Bank did not take pence. He thought the Post Office should be above that. Why should they not receive pence? He hoped that that was an action on the part of the Savings Bank which would not commend itself to his right hon. friend. With reference to the mail contracts, an extraordinary state of affairs had arisen. Australia now refused to receive mails which were conveyed in ships carrying black labour. Again, the system of charging for sites and buildings out of revenue was not business. With reference to the Post Office surplus, he wished to know was there to be a limit to the voracity of the Chancellor of the Exchequer? Why should not part, at least, of that money be used to improve postal facilities. England was the only country in the world which had not a Government printing office. Why should not his right hon. friend take action as regarded the printing of stamps, and establish even a small printing office? No country paid so much for printing and received such little value. England paid for her stamps double what the United States paid. As regarded the Insurance Department of the Post Office he did not think that there was any other Department worse managed. It was admitted that it ought to be placed under the control of an experienced manager. There was a great field for improvement there. With reference to the Post Office Guide it took about one and a half hours to find out when the mails were dispatched to any particular country. Every official in the Department mourned the absence of a proper guide. The other day the editor of a great paper offered a reward to any person who could explain the meaning of a passage in the present Guide; but no one appeared to know what it meant. The right hon. Gentleman had said he was appointing a Committee of five members to look into the grievances of the employees of the Post Office. He would ask that the right hon. Gentleman should also appoint a Committee of five to inquire into the grievances of the public. If the right hon. Gentleman did the one it was only fair that he should do the other.

CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)

congratulated the right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster-General upon the speech he made on the previous debate, and the success it had met with, and upon the reforms he had instituted in the way of postal orders and the re-addressing of telegrams and sending them by post, but thought the restrictions upon the purchase of postage stamps was a mistake. He thought the issue of the sixpenny postal order would do much to reduce the grievance of which he complained. He desired to point out that the Committee granted in answer to the memorial of the postal officials, was not the Committee which they had demanded. When the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor established the Norfolk-Hanbury Committee, he had ventured to predict that it would not be successful because the men had no confidence in it. That prediction had come true, and he ventured to make a similar prophecy with regard to this Committee. All the postal employees demanded was that their grievances should be dealt with by the House of Commons, and the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor, the late Mr. Hanbury, had distinctly stated to these employees that the House of Commons was their Court of Appeal. The right hon. Gentleman said the House of Commons was not the proper body to deal with these questions. If that were so, why was this Vote brought before the House? The right hon. Gentleman had also referred to the question of Members on both sides of the House coming to him for protection. That was very startling, because the reason they were there at all was that they might represent every section of their constituents. Although he welcomed the Committee he did so only because it proved up to the hilt that the grievances, which had been denied year after year, were such as required rectification. But, on the other hand, he denounced the Committee as valueless inasmuch as it was giving the postal officials what they never asked for, and it did not deal with the most important question, namely, the question of civil rights, the question of combination, and of special leave with a view to enabling the postal officials to carry on their organisation. With regard to that the late Postmaster-General gave them every reason to hope that he would consider the question, and now it was ignored. With regard to other sections of the community being in a similar position to the postal officials the hon. Member for West Islington had pointed out that only 40,000 were organised out of 170,000 postal officials, but presuming they were organised he submitted they were within their rights to appeal to their Members. What did the right hon. Gentleman say in connection with this matter, and he (Captain Norton) looked upon it as a slight to the House. The right hon. Gentleman said— I say, therefore, that so long as I hold the office of Postmaster-General, and I speak with the authority of my colleagues, that we are unalterably opposed to any Select Committee of the House of Commons regulating the wages in the Post Office. And if I am opposed to a House of Commons Committee fixing wages I am still more opposed to thrusting on the House of Commons or any Committee the duty of regulating in all its details the daily administration and work of the Post Office. No one had ever suggested anything so wild as that they should interfere with the daily administration of the work in the Post Office. If the postal officials were such terrible tyrants he hoped they would take note of the fact that they could never hope for fair play from the present Government. The right hon. Gentleman appointed a packed jury of five individuals to deal with a fraction of the question, and went on to say with reference to the Committee— If I am fortunate enough to obtain the services of gentlemen who will give the time and experience which are necessary for this inquiry, I shall hope they will be aide to give me a general opinion in the scale of these classes, and that in the light of the standard so set up I shall be able to deal, if I am then in office, if not, my successor will be able to deal, with the claims of the minor classes. In other words, he was going to take shelter behind this bogus Committee. It was, in fact, Lord Roberts and South Africa over again. He was going to appoint five members, possibly sweaters, to determine the rate of wages, that was to say, to assist the House to carry out the Fair Wages Resolution. It would be an astounding thing if the postal officials accepted any such bogus arbitration. If it was to be a Board of Arbitration, why should not they have five postal servants added to the five employers of labour? Moreover, these gentlemen were unknown to them. All they knew was they were not to be members of the present Civil Service. It was possible they might be ex-members, as if a man who had spent his entire working life swathed in red tape would be more likely to feel unfettered and untrammelled in dealing with these matters than one who was still in the Civil Service. This Committee was stillborn, if not an abortion, and the only gratification he had in connection with it, was that it gave some hope that there was the possibility of the birth of a sound Parliamentary Committee at some future day.

With regard to disfranchisement, that was the most astounding thing he had ever heard of. It was true that quite recently in the Australian Colonies, owing to the great growth and power of Government employees, they had sought a remedy by giving to the various Government employees a Member of their own — but they had never suggested disfranchising them. If they disfranchised the postmen, they must disfranchise all civil servants, municipal servants included—they would have to go further, they must disfranchise even the publican, down to the potboy, because their trade was protected by the State. It would be found very difficult to draw the line. He maintained that the electorate was too narrow as it was, and tens of thousands of workmen throughout London were disfranchised because, owing to the necessity of their occupations and callings, they were obliged to migrate from point to point. He maintained that they were there as representatives of the taxpayers and were their employers. The right hon. Gentleman was practically their manager, and his duty was not to appeal to these outside gentlemen but to the House of Commons, who were virtually his employers. They asked for a Select Committee which should deal with all the grievances of all the employees, and not an outside Committee over which they had no control, and which was to deal with some 50,000 of the postal servants, while it ignored 120,000 or more, who were amongst the poorest, the worst paid, and the least able to protect themselves. In the course of the debate the hon. and learned Member for Plymouth, who, with the skill of a great lawyer, came to the support of the right hon. Gentleman, had said there was nothing improper in what was suggested. No, but there was something highly imprudent, inasmuch as it would have no result and was not what they demanded. The hon. Member for Plymouth also said the right hon. Gentleman only sought advice. Yes, but he sought it in the wrong quarter, and that was what they objected to. He appealed to business men and asked them what they would think if they were colliery owners and their manager had a dispute with their men and went and consulted some other colliery manager in some other part of the country. Within a fortnight every man would be out of the mine. They would say they did not care what the other managers might think, they were dissatisfied and appealed to their own employers. That was precisely the position of the postal service. That House was their Court of Appeal, and was one to which they had a right to turn. Although he welcomed the fact that it was admitted that there were grievances amongst these officials, he should like to point out that they had been unfairly and unjustly dealt with up to the present time. Take the case of the wages of the telegraphists. Not long ago the case which he made out for them, namely, that they had been practically duped into the service, inasmuch as, owing to certain rules and regulations made by the Post Office, they were never able to rise to £190, the maximum which they were promised; the proof that there was something in his contention was that the majority against him was only thirty-one, and since then their case had been brought up again and arbitration had been suggested; but the right hon. Gentleman had declined it, very wisely from his own point of view. He objected to this proposed Committee in the first place because it was not what the men asked for, namely, the decision of their employers; secondly, that the most numerous and most poorly paid body were excluded. He would give an illustration. He had had put before him the fact that some 600 women, now employed in a most important branch of the Post Office, when they were first employed were given a living wage of £65 a year, increasing by a yearly increment. It had been pointed out by a previous speaker that these women had had their wages lowered in spite of the fact that since these initial wages were first fixed at £65 rents had increased enormously in London, and the scale of living generally had increased. Their wages had been lowered by £10. They presented their petition to the late Postmaster-General and received no redress Their case was brought before the House, and the only thing he could say was that there were women doing similar work who were not better paid. He was sorry the hon. Member for the Louth Division of Lincoln was not there, because he employed a number of women to do somewhat similar work and he paid them considerably more than the Post Office, in spite of the fact that the Post Office demanded from their women not only that they should be highly respectable and educated up to a very high standpoint, but in addition, that they should be of sound physical health. Yet these women had been working for the first four years of their service undoubtedly at a sweating wage, and they were not to be considered at all by the Committee. How could a successful result be hoped for from this Committee? Only one grievance was to be dealt with—that of wages, which was the smallest grievance of which the men complained. It was what he would call a bastard Arbitration Board, and would never give satisfaction. It was as if a poor Irish Roman Catholic peasant, charged with some political offence, was promised trial by jury, the jury to consist of north-country Orangemen. The idea was too absurd. It was, so far as the men were concerned, a packed jury, and they would have nothing to do with it. He denounced it as a sham, and he would go into the Lobby in support of the Amendment.


had no reason to complain of the tone and temper with which the announcement of the Committee had been generally received, but he thought he had reason to make some comment upon the tone and temper displayed by Captain Norton. He had denounced it as a bogus Arbitration Board, a bastard Committee, and a prejudiced and partial body, and thus he illustrated his fitness, as a Member of that House, to give an impartial judgment on these Gentlemen.




The hon. Member does not know who are going to form this Committee. He does not wait to know in order to denounce it in this way.


They are not Members of the House of Commons. That is sufficient.


What a liberal minded view. No one was to be trusted but a Member of the House of Commons, and, he presumed, no Member of the House of Commons who did not express his conviction, and even his prejudice, as the hon. Member had done. He thought that in the proposal he had made he had found a means of arriving at a decision upon this difficult and complicated question, which would satisfy the great mass of public opinion as to the justice or otherwise of the complaints so constantly and so continuously made, and it would be a very good guide to the Postmaster-General, who was responsible in the first instance for seeing that fair wages were paid. It had been said that this Committee was not the Committee for which the men had asked, and that that in itself was sufficient to condemn it. If that were entirely true he did not see that that was sufficient to condemn it. It appeared to him that the employees of the Post Office were not entitled to be the sole judges of what action the Postmaster-General should take. But it was not quite true that this Committee was not such a Committee as the men had asked for. What was asked before all other things was an independent inquiry, and their complaints about the previous Committee was that it was almost wholly made up of permanent officials of the Government, and that it contained in its ranks the then permanent Under Secretary of the Post Office, and a permanent Under Secretary of the Treasury, and, however distinguished these gentlemen might be as servants of the State, they were too deeply prejudiced by their official work and official habits to bring an impartial judgment to bear upon the question before them. He utterly differed from that view, and, except for some phrases which had been used in the debate, he should hardly have thought it necessary to say that he thought the criticism of their impartiality quite unfounded. But however that might be, that was the objection taken by the staff to the constitution of the previous Committee. What they asked was that they might have a Committee which should be independent and not constituted wholly or with a large part, of official members. Such an independent inquiry he proposed to give. His object in appointing the Committee would be to obtain gentlemen whose names would command the confidence of the House and the public. He could not at present say, for he had made no progress at present with the constitution of the Committee, who these gentlemen would be, but he deprecated and condemned the violence of language and prejudice and passion with which Captain Norton had denounced this Committee before it was appointed, and with which he sought to discredit its judgment before it had begun its work. For his part, he was confident that by men of both political parties, he shouldebe supported in his decision to take the question of the wages of the servants of the Post Office out of the sphere of party conflict and get a verdict which would be received with confidence. Further criticism had been made upon his reference to the Committee. In the first place, in regard to the subject to be referred; secondly, that it was limited in regard to the classes of men whose wages would be considered. On the first question he could do no more than repeat in a few words the reason he gave the other night which had influenced him in regard to that matter. The hon. and gallant Member opposite quoted a passage from his speech, in which he stated that he was opposed to referring to any Committee the organisation, distribution, and conditions of daily work of the Department, and he said—"Was there ever such an absurd suggestion made by anyone?"


said that nobody had ever made such an absurd suggestion, and naturally the responsibility for it would have to be borne by the right hon. Gentleman.


The hon. and gallant Member said that no Member of the House had ever made such an absurd suggestion as that, and that the responsibility for it devolved upon him. If the hon. and gallant Member fully accepted the logical conclusion of his statement, his appeal to have all the further questions which had been in dispute between the Post Office servants heard before the Tweedmouth Committee, and which had been made matters of complaint to successive Postmasters-General, referred to this Committee, could only arise from an imperfect knowledge of what Post Office administration was, or of what were the difficulties and conditions under which it had to be carried on.

With regard to the subjects to be referred to the Committee, he could only repeat the reasons which he gave the other night as having influenced him in this matter. In spite of what the hon. and gallant Gentleman had said, he ventured to say that the major part of the complaints would disappear when once the question of the wages was set on one side. The question of leave for attending trade organisation meetings was a simple matter, and could be dealt with by him in a couple of sentences. It did not really require a Committee to decide whether a fortnight's leave on full pay every year or fourteen working days on full pay, with ten days special leave upon providing a substitute, was an unreasonable amount of leave for men engaged in that class of work in the Post Office. He contended that the Post Office leave was not only reasonable but very generous, and he did not believe there was any parallel to it in private employment. If the ten days special leave they were allowed to take was not sufficient in which to do the work of the Associations, it was not unreasonable that the Postmaster-General should ask them to give up some part of their full-pay holiday to that purpose instead of demanding a further portion of the time which ought to be given to their primary duty—namely, their Post Office work. A stronger case in appearance had been made out in regard to certain excluded classes of Post Office servants, and several hon. Members had spoken to him about this matter privately. Perhaps it would save time if he said what his answer had been. If they took some of the large established classes of Post Office servants—sorters or telegraphists for instance—it was contended on their part that they gave the best working years of their lives to learning a business which had no market value outside the Post Office employment; that the Post Office was, so to speak, the monopolist of that kind of labour, and that the time they had given to learning the Post Office business was itself a disqualification for them turning to any other kind of work. But to that consideration had to be added the fact that when they had served for some years they were making good a right to a pension should their health give way, or when the time arrived for their retirement and it might be very well argued, and with great force, that these servants could hardly freely dispose of their labour, because they would sacrifice too much by leaving the Post Office, even if the Post Office did underpay their servants. Compare their case with that of the auxiliary or assistant postmen, who were employed only part of their time, and with the sub-postmasters whose case had been mentioned. The auxiliary postman, by the nature of his duty, was not giving a full day to the Post Office service, nor was he wholly dependent upon the Post Office for his living or remuneration, for at any moment he could give up his employment without making any sacrifice except the emolument he had hitherto drawn from the Post Office. If they were paying less than he could obtain for equally agreeable work elsewhere, he could not believe that they would continue to retain his services any longer. He was free to go into the open market under no disability of having to serve the Post Office, and no such hold as the pension system gave, retained him. What was the case of the ordinary sub-postmaster? He was a shopkeeper, who, in addition to his business, obtained an agency for the Post Office. [An HON. MEMBER: He saves the Postmaster-General a rent.] But the hon. Member did not suggest that he did that for philanthropic purposes. In the first place, having to keep his shop open for certain hours, he could add to the profits of his business through the commission the Post Office paid him and he did it; secondly, for a very good reason—which was less easy to translate into terms of money but which formed a large pecuniary benefit—because having the Post Office in his shop brought customers for other things. He did not think the general scales of remuneration for sub-postmasters were anything but fair, or that there would be any justification for raising them, while there was such a tremendous demand for those appointments whenever they fell vacant. There was hardly one of those offices fell vacant without two or three different men being recommended to him for the vacancy. These sub-postmasters, who brought every scrap of influence they could to bear in order to get these Post Offices, turned round whenever they had been fortunate enough to be selected and told the House of Commons that the Post Office had inflicted a grievance upon them by giving them an appointment which somebody else would be glad to take if they would give them up. [An HON. MEMBER: Because they did not know the results.] When they knew the results they could give up the business in a moment. They had their other work, and if the Post Office business did not pay them let them give it up. He knew there were many others who would be willing to have them as a means of increasing their income. Therefore these were not at all the same reasons as there were in regard to the established classes, whose wages he proposed to refer to this Committee. But there were other smaller classes, like the sorters or the sorter tracers. He felt it to be of the utmost importance, if the Committee was to be satisfactorily constituted, that the work should not be intolerably expanded, that the inquiry should not be made too wide, and that undue labour should not be imposed on its members. He had chosen great classes of established servants, and he thought that the report on their wages would in itself be a sufficient indication and guide as to the wages of the other classes referred to. With such advice and recommendations as he would receive from that Committee, he did not think that either himself or his successors in office would have any difficulty in adjusting, if adjustment was necessary, the wages of the other minor classes. He attached enormous importance to keeping this inquiry within reasonable bounds and not putting an undue strain upon the members of the Committee, thus preventing some of the best men from serving who would otherwise be obtainable. He hoped that was all he needed to say upon this matter.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say a word or two about the personnel of the Committee?


said he thought he had made it perfectly clear that his desire was to have an independent Committee. The Post Office employees, after the Tweedmouth Report, complained that no Committee was independent upon which the officials of the Post Office might sit. Therefore they must be held to that condition, and if it was not independent with one kind of civil servant sitting upon the Committee it would not be independent with another kind. He thought the Committee he suggested would be equally independent of departmental influence and of political pressure. He intended it to be a Committee sitting to give a judgment, and not a Committee sitting to advocate the interests of one side or the other. The course he was adopting would exclude from the Committee either a representative or advocate of the staff and also a representative or advocate of the Postmaster-General. He had tried to secure an independent Committee, excluding anyone who would be suspected of departmental influence or any of the other influences to which he had alluded. His hon. friend the Member for Canterbury made a long speech in which he touched on a large number of subjects, all of which he dignified by the name of postal reforms. There were one or two of these subjects with which he ought to deal, and first of all he would speak with reference to the change in the postal order system. His hon. friend was anxious for the issue of guinea postal orders; but that would require statutory authority, and if his hon. friend would introduce a Bill for the purpose it would have his warmest sympathy. It was a mistake to suppose that the restriction on the repurchase of stamps by the Post Office would be any inconvenience to the public. The introduction of the 6d. note and the 6d. rise in postal orders up to £1, with the liberty to affix stamps up to 5d. to the face of an order, would afford the opportunity for sending small remittances and would take the place of remittances by means of stamps. The change he had proposed was generally welcomed as removing or lessening a great temptation to dishonesty on the part of young people employed in business. He could hold out no hope of the adoption of the suggestion to remove the three months time limit from postal orders. To do so would be to put the Post Office in the position of a banker. The system of postal orders was established to afford facilities for sending small remittances; it was never intended that these orders should be a form of currency; and if they were allowed to pass from hand to hand the Post Office would be deprived of the commission on the issue of new orders. His hon. friend referred to the question of universal penny postage and said it was ridiculous that one should be able to send a letter to India for a penny while unable to send it for the same amount across the English Channel. The Imperial penny postage so far could not be considered remunerative from the revenue point of view, nor was it so intended. It was established to promote facilities for the cultivation of closer relations with our fellow-subjects beyond seas; it was justified by its political and Imperial results rather than by financial results. On the ground of cultivating closer relations with our colonies the penny postage could be justified; but there was no justification for the enormously greater sacrifice that would be involved in making the rate universal for postage with all the nations of the world. The money order system was now the subject of inquiry by a departmental committee, and that inquiry was not yet completed, and all he could say was that he had hopes that the Department might be able to make some changes which would be in the direction of giving greater facilities to the public, but it would be very rash for him to speak on the subject until he was in possession of fuller information. His hon. friend also referred to the subject of a parcel post with the United States, and he contrasted the arrangement which had been made with an express company in America very unfavourably with that made between the German Post Office and the United States Post Office. It was no fault of the British Post Office that a parcel post convention had not been concluded with the United States. More than once the United States Government had been approached on the subject, but that Government had not seen their way to enter into such a convention until quite recently. In the circumstances, the best arrangement possible had been made with one of the great express companies, which gave greater facilities than the public had had before. Since then the United States Government had expressed willingness to enter into negotiations, which were now proceeding. As the hon. Member for Canterbury was not present, he would not go over the whole list of what the hon. Member described as postal reforms.

There appeared to be considerable misconception on the part of the public as to the financial results of the halfpenny post. Suggestions were continually made to him that if he would only extend the halfpenny post in this, that, or the other direction, an enormous business would be done, and doubtless with commensurate results in revenue. Practically all the halfpenny postal business was carried on at a loss. It was not a question of weight, but of handling. Postal packets could not be collected and delivered by the Post Office so that there should be any profit obtainable out of the halfpenny. Possibly the expenditure and revenue on post-cards might just about balance, though he was doubtful about this. But the halfpenny was the charge for carriage through the post, and he could not agree that in addition the material should be supplied free. A large trade had developed in private post cards, and any proposal to issue cards free would meet with considerable opposition; and, as it would mean a loss of revenue, it was a step he was not inclined to take. Speaking generally, the halfpenny post was unremunerative, and when he was asked to extend it to all magazines and bonâ fide periodical publications, he could only say that the financial results would be so serious that he was altogether unable to assent to a proposal of that kind. He did not understand how it could be justified without a further extension to books and tradesmen's catalogues, which were as much a means of spreading business as the advertisements tradesmen inserted in magazines. A limit, it had been said, should be placed on Post Office revenue, beyond which the growth should be devoted to postal reforms. For his own part he thought that those who made the revenue of the Post Office by the transmission of their correspondence through the post were entitled to a fair proportion of the additional profits in the shape of additional public facilities. He held, unlike his hon. friend the Member for Canterbury, that the Post Office always ought to be a revenue earning Department. The Committee would be under a great misconception if it supposed that the proportion of the total revenue of the country which was contributed by the Post Office was a growing one, or that the proportion of profit obtained by the Post Office was greater in regard to its turnover than it had been in past times. On the contrary, there had been a steady decrease both in the proportion of national expenditure met out of the Post Office surplus and the proportion of every £1 of Post Office revenue which went to the Exchequer. He thought that at the present time it was about 4s., and that twenty years ago—though he was a little afraid of fixing dates from memory—it was 6s. 8d. At any rate, he was perfectly confident that there had been a steady decline in that proportion. First of all, he thought it was right that the public who used the Post Office should share in the prosperity of the Post Office, and have such increased facilities from time to time as could be afforded; but he did not think it would be right to sacrifice all idea of making the Post Office a revenue earning Department, or of giving up this great source in relief of the general taxation which had to be borne by the public. [An HON. MEMBER: What about postal orders for the colonies?] That was a matter which he had under consideration, but in regard to which he could not make any announcement at present. There was an obvious difficulty in having a general interchange of the infinite series of different forms of postal orders in the British Colonies all over the world. He would be very glad if the issue of postal orders could be extended so as to facilitate their use between this country and the colonies, and, as he had said, the matter was under his consideration. He knew the importance of many of the other questions which had been raised by his hon. friend the Member for Canterbury, but he was unwilling to weary the Committee by going further into them at the present moment.

MR. TENNANT (Berwickshire)

said he could not help thinking that it was a pity the hon. Member for Canterbury had not been present to listen to the reply of the right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster-General, because if the hon. Gentleman had been in the House probably the Postmaster-General would have still further enlightened and interested the Committee upon the many points raised in the encyclopedic speech of his hon. friend. He himself would have been interested to hear from the Postmaster-General what answer he would have given as to charging penny postage to Shanghai and Hong Kong, and 2½d. to Egypt. Other points made by the hon. Member for Canterbury were that the Postmaster-General was responsible not only for the Teutonic appearance of our penny stamps, but also for the continuous dishonesty of some of the officials on the Post Office staff. He thought the right hon. Gentleman could not be held responsible for that.


said that perhaps the hon. Gentleman would permit him to say a word on that subject which he had overlooked. He meant the reference of the hon. Member for Canterbury to the character of the staff and the number of dismissals that were made from it. The total number of dismissals from the staff of 180,000 men was, he thought, last year, about 1,000. Well, that was 45 per cent. of a half per cent., which he thought the Committee would acknowledge to be a very small proportion. As to what had been said by his hon. friend in regard to ex-soldier candidates for positions in the Post Office service, he thought that when they were first tried credit was given rather too easily to the recommendation of military officers who were anxious to obtain employment for the men who had served with them; but greater care was now being exercised in the selection of these old soldiers for the Post Office service.


said he was sure that the Committee had heard with great satisfaction that statement by the right hon. Gentleman. A question had been raised by his hon. and gallant friend about the disfranchisement of this class of civil servants; and he was bound to say that he had been rather surprised that that matter had been raised the previous week by his hon. friend the Member for Battersea. He could assure his right hon. friend the Postmaster-General, that, so far as the county which he represented was concerned, no such pressure as had been alluded to, had ever been brought to bear upon him from the Post Office officials. Another matter to which his hon. and gallant friend had alluded, and which was of great importance, was the scale of pay of the women employed in the postal older clearing house and the savings' bank department. That was a class who felt much aggrieved that their wages had been reduced suddenly and without reason assigned. Up to 1897 they were paid at the rate of £65, with an annual increment of £3; but that rate had been reduced to £55 a year with an annual increment of £2 10s. a year.




Do I understand my right hon. friend to say that no salaries have been reduced?


No existing salaries were cut down: but the scale of payment of new entrants was altered.


said that that did not alter the fact that the scale of payment of women in the department which had hitherto been £65 per annum was reduced to £55 for new-comers. The point really was, did they get as good a class of women for that reduced salary? Were women of education and some degree of standing encouraged to apply for these posts? He could not help thinking that it was a bad precedent for the Government to set—to make a profit out of the wages of the women they employed. He had in his possession a statement issued by the Association of Women Clerks in the Post Office, which showed that on an average their weekly expenditure was 7s. 6d. for rent, 5s. 6d. for board at their residence, and 4s. 6d. for board at the office. Their outlay for travelling expenses was 1s. 6d., and 2s. for laundry. That came to more than £52 a year for living and other necessaries, leaving only £3 a year for the annual holiday, recreation, and the hundred and one demands on a woman in employment. He was bound to say that that wage did not seem sufficient to give to this particular class of women, if they wanted to get good women and improve their quality. An hon. Member said that the manners of some of the women employed in the Post Office left something to be desired. He did not wish to minimise that complaint. He thought that in some cases the charge was justified. But that did not apply to the class of women to whom he was alluding—the women in the Post Office Savings' Bank and the Postal Order Clearing House—who had to do responsible work in which very large sums of money were involved, and who did not come in contact with the general public in the same way as the other class to which reference had been made. He sincerely trusted this matter would be referred to the Committee of which the right hon. Gentleman had spoken. Perhaps he was rather late in the day, but might he ask the right hon. Gentleman whether this class of women to whom he was referring had been specially referred to the Committee, or did they only come under the general headings to which the right hon. Gentleman had alluded?


I do not propose to refer them specially to the Committee.


said that in that case he should be forced to support the reduction moved by his hon. friend. It appeared to him that there was a very strong case for these women, and he sincerely trusted that the right hon. Gentleman had not a closed mind on the subject; because the reduction in their salaries had excited a great deal of attention and had created much agitation.

MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)

said that he had been engaged for a considerable time in pressing upon the Government and the House the necessity for granting a Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into the grievances of the postal staff; and he could not say that he had received with any satisfaction the original announcement of his right hon. friend as to the composition of the Committee he proposed to appoint. Still less did he think that the statement the right hon. Gentleman had made that day had given him hope that the proposed Committee would really make a settlement of what had long been a troublesome subject to the House of Commons. The narrow scope of the reference to the Committee, and the exclusion from its consideration of the class mentioned by the hon. Member who had just sat down, would, of necessity, lead to further agitation, and therefore there would be no solution of the difficulty which they all desired to put an end to. He was bound to say that, believing there were many real grievances right through the postal service, he felt that the scope of the proposed inquiry was far too restricted, and that they would be forced to demand further consideration for the excluded classes. There could be no ground for excluding the "tracer" class of telegraphists from the inquiry and the women referred to, both of whom were of the less organised and silent class and who it might have been expected would, on that account, have obtained a sympathetic hearing from the head of the Department. He felt that in preventing the Committee from considering the claims of these persons, they were practically putting a premium, on agitation within the postal service. The hon. Member for West Islington and the hon. Member for Newington denounced the Committee in strong language and maintained that a Parliamentary Committee would be a more proper tribunal. He did not wish to associate himself with all the strong language that had been used; but he would say in perfect sincerity that he was at a loss to understand why a Parliamentary tribunal should be such a bad one; or why hon. Gentlemen should have to seek the protection of his right hon. friend against their constituents. He had taken a somewhat active part in connection with the redress of Post Office grievances, and he had never received a communication from any of his constituents who were postal servants, on the subject. There were 180,000 postal employees distributed all over the country. Therefore, their power over Members of Parliament was practically a negligible quantity; and it was only by becoming acquainted with the hard facts in their own constituencies that hon. Members had been led to take up Post Office grievances.

It had been said, not only this year, but in previous years, that the Postmaster-General in approaching the question of the pay and condition of service in the Post Office should have regard to the pockets of the taxpayers. That seemed to him to be a very obvious principle; and one which he should have thought would apply not only to the question of wages but also to the general administration of the Post Office. He should like to point out to his right hon. friend an instance, within his own knowledge, which pointed to the necessity for economies in the telegraphic service, and which economies would do something to provide funds for better pay for the staff without recourse to the public purse. In a house in the country in which he was born there was a Post Office telegraph installed. A few years ago, at the suggestion of the Post Office authorities, that telegraph was converted into a telephone. But now the authorities refused to allow telegraph messages to be telephoned. Instead, telegrams were brought up from a railway station three miles away at a cost to the State of 7d. and, as regarded himself, the loss of several hours in delivery. He managed, however, to get quick replies and at the same time effect an economy for the State of 7d. on each message. There was a friendly fishmonger living in the town, and if he wished to get a prompt reply to telegrams he sent the telegram addressed to the care of the fishmonger who telephoned it to him.


That will arise on the Telegraph Vote.


said he was merely giving an illustration as to how the Post Office expenses in the particular office to which he was referring could be reduced. The result was that the Post Office wasted money where it might be saved, or fairly expended in improving the conditions of service of the postal staff. In stating that the unestablished class would not be included in the terms of reference to the Committee, his right hon. friend added that they could leave the employment of the Post Office at any time, and find a living wage in another sphere. But that did not appear to him to be an answer to the grievances of which the unestablished class complained. Surely, the Post Office should carry out the principle laid down by the Prime Minister two or three years ago that the State should be a model employer; and it was because he believed that there was a considerable number of men and women employed in the Post Office on the unestablished staff, whose pay and conditions of service were not such as a model employer would permit that he would vote for the reduction. The history of the question showed that the Government had never, of its own accord, proposed a single improvement in the lot of the postal employees. It was, therefore, idle to dispute the right of these men and women to an inquiry. If the recommendations of the Tweedmouth Committee were reasonable it was quite clear that the treatment of these men and women up to that time had not been reasonable. He regretted that the right hon. Gentleman should have restricted the range of the inquiry, and that the time of the House of Commons would have to be taken up in considering the demand of the persons who were excluded for a redress of their grievances.

MR. DELANY (Queen's Co., Ossory)

said he could not understand why the right hon Gentleman, when he recognised the necessity of appointing a Committee, went outside the House of Commons. Surely there were Members of the House of Commons who were independent, and who had a practical knowledge of all matters to be considered. He wished to call attention to certain postal appointments which had been made in Ireland. He did not wish to misrepresent the action of the right hon. Gentleman or his Department, but his view was that such appointments were given in Ireland mainly to Army pensioners and to police pensioners. If he were wrong he was open to correction; but he would cite an instance which occurred in his own constituency. There was a vacancy in Castletown, and a policeman's wife was appointed to it. A memorial was signed by the parish priest, the County Councillors, the District Councillors, and other representative men, and sent to the right hon. Gentleman in favour of the appointment of a Mrs. Murphy, who occupied very suitable and central premises. But notwithstanding that memorial, the policeman's wife was appointed, although she was living in a small hut.

MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)

said the House and the country owed a debt of gratitude to the hon. Member for Canterbury, whom they acknowledged as the author of a great number of the best reforms which had been undertaken by the Post Office for twelve or fifteen years past. Whilst congratulating the Postmaster-General on the great ability which he had brought to bear on the administration of the Post Office, he could not help thinking the right hon. Gentleman was too prone to work the Post Office as a revenue producing concern. That, in his opinion, was an entirely wrong principle. The public who largely produced that revenue ought to share in it to a much larger extent, in the shape of reforms. The Post Office ought to be a model employer, and, while dealing generously with the public, ought also to take care of the employees. The postmasters and sub-postmasters numbered something like 22,000, and he wished to know whether the right hon. Gentleman could not bring the grievances of these officials within the scope of the Committee. In a great number of cases those who had become sub-postmasters had had to abandon that position owing to the smallness of the remuneration. The postmaster at Bradford, who retired a week ago, had stated that he had eighty sub-Post Offices under his charge, the whole of which, with the exception of fifteen, had changed hands. The right hon. Gentleman had said that if they did not like the position of sub-postmaster they could give it up, but it was not an easy thing for a small tradesman who had paid £5 for a safe, and £1 1s. for having a letter box fitted into his window, and other little expenses in altering his premises for the purpose of a Post Office, to throw up his position and sacrifice the £8 or £10 he had paid. Seeing that it cost the Post Office £50 to transfer a Post Office from one man to another, would it not be better to give a little better pay and make it worth a man's while to keep the position rather than make a transfer. Having regard to the new issue of postal orders he would also like to know whether postmasters and sub-postmasters would have to give a further guarantee. They now, as he understood, gave a guarantee for £200. There was a general feeling also that an increased commission should be given to sub-postmasters with regard to postal packets. The increase to four ounces for letters was a great benefit to the public, but the sub-postmasters, who had to weigh the packets in order to see that they were just under four ounces weighed the same number of packets for one penny as they did when they were smaller. As a matter of fact there was throughout the postal service an impression that, while there had been some reforms, what was given with the one hand was taken away with the other. He therefore urged the right hon. Gentleman to reconsider the question whether he could not bring the case of the postmasters and sub-postmasters under the Committee. He repudiated the suggestion that the House of Commons could not produce a Committee to suit the right hon. Gentleman in a matter of this kind. There would be no difficulty whatever in forming a Committee of five, six or seven members which would be absolutely impartial, and in the decisions of which the Post Office officials would have some confidence. With regard to pressure, he had received no pressure of any kind from the Post Office officials. He had had pressure exerted against him by publicans, brewers, and Church committees, but such pressure he had always disregarded. He would also like to know whether the question of allowances would be reconsidered. Allowances, it would be remembered, were granted to men who were brought into the inside service from the outside, and thus debarred from participating in the Christmas boxes The Tweedmouth Committee said that system of allowances should be reduced, but the Post Office had abolished them altogether. That was another of the reductions in the emoluments of the Post Office officials which gave them the impression that what was given with the one hand was taken away with the other. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would be able to clear the minds of men of all feeling of discontent. The price of lodgings and house rent had increased to a large extent, and he trusted the inquiry of this Committee would be so thorough and satisfactory that nothing would be heard of further complaints for many years.


said that some years ago he was interested in a system under which the postage of parcels was paid on delivery, and it would be interesting to hear from the Postmaster-General whether any steps were likely to be taken towards the introduction of such a system. It would enormously develop trade, and be of special value in connection with agriculture, fishing, and similar industries, and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would be able to give a favourable reply.

MR. HARMSWORTH (Caithnessshire)

thought that a very inadequate reason had been given for the delay of the mail trains to which he had directed attention in a Question to the Postmaster-General.


said he had satisfied himself by careful inquiry that the time allowed for stoppages was insufficient for the mail labour which now arose at wayside stations. In the main, it was not the fault of the railway company, and he would see whether a remedy could be devised by separating the traffic in some way.

MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)

hoped the right hon. Gentleman would be able to get the impartial Committee he was seeking. Personally, he was not an advocate of a House of Commons Committee for this particular purpose, but the success of the inquiry depended on whether its personnel commanded the confidence of the parties concerned. Many business men were not impartial when a question arose between employers and employed, and it would certainly be more difficult to get five impartial business men than to get five impartial Members of the House of Commons. He hoped, therefore, that the right hon. Gentleman, if he found any difficulty in forming his Committee, would not adhere too strictly to his self-denying ordinance. It might be possible to have two partisan members of the Committee, or at any rate two impartial Members of Parliament, who would be quite as good as anybody from outside. He suggested that a representative of the employees should be appointed, even though he sat as an assessor without a vote. But he could not agree that no pressure was put upon Members, because a great deal of his time was taken up by communications from Post Office people, and the lesson he drew was that they had, or thought they had, some grievance. Unless, therefore, the Committee commanded their confidence, its decision was not likely to settle the matter. With regard to the salaries of women clerks, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would reconsider his decision not to refer the matter to the Committee. It was difficult to understand why the scale of payment for beginners had been reduced. The expense of living in London for a single woman was considerably higher than it used to be, and many appeals had been made, but without result. £55 a year was not a living wage for single women of the class the Post Office required. These clerks were appointed after examinations which were held all over the country, and frequently girls were brought up from the country to London without in the least knowing how high the cost of living was, and they then found that the salary was quite inadequate. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would either deal with the matter himself or refer it to the Committee.

MR. MARSHALL HALL (Lancashire, Southport)

thought it would be a pity to interfere with the constitution of the proposed Committee, but he thought the scope of the inquiry might be well extended so as to include women. They had to guard against rendering the work of the Committee nugatory, and unless the tribunal had the confidence of the employees it would do no good whatever, because the employees would say they had not had a proper hearing. The suggestion of the hon. Member for Oldham was a very good one, and its principle might be extended so that the employees should not only be given a representative on the Committee but should also be allowed to nominate the man they wished to represent them. Whether the representative sat as an assessor or not, was really immaterial, because if they had somebody in whom they had absolute confidence to watch over the proceedings, they were much more likely to be satisfied with the result of the inquiry. There was one other matter to which he wished to refer. Some years ago there were in the corner of all stamps some little letters, by means of which it was possible to tell at what particular time a particular stamp was printed. When stamps were used for revenue purposes it was sometimes very material to ascertain definitely when a stamp was issued, because by that means it was possible to tell approximately about when a document was brought into existence. He had recently had an instance in the Courts where receipts were put forward which were brought into existence two years after the date they purported to bear. Such a thing would have been almost impossible if the stamps had had the date in the corner in the way he had described, and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would see his way to revive that custom.

MR. JAMES O'CONNOR (Wicklow, W.)

said the Postmaster-General was hardly correct in his statement that a postman could split up his annual leave for the purpose of attending the meetings of his Federation. He had to take his leave whenever his superior officer directed, so that he could not have a day now and a day at another time to augment the ten days special leave. If the right hon. Gentleman would increase the special leave he would deprive the men of a strong ground of complaint. If a man in the north of Ireland had to attend a meeting to be held on a Sunday in London it was necessary for him to leave home on Friday evening, and he was unable to get back until the following Tuesday. It therefore took him four days to attend one meeting, and as the Federation had four meetings in the year that meant a total of sixteen days. If the Postmaster-General would extend the special leave from ten days to sixteen days it would be a great boon to the men. It was all very well to say that there was no opposition to combination on the part of the men, but if the rules of the Post Office made combination so difficult, the right to combine became a farce. Another point in the matter was that a postman who left his duties to attend the meetings of his organisation had to pay for a substitute, but at the same time receive no pay himself. This was a severe restriction, which might very well be relaxed. The men were very hard worked and as a rule extremely honest, and some consideration should be shown to them. By the rules of the Post Office only persons in the employ of the Post Office were entitled to make representations to the Postmaster-General. That made it more difficult for postmen to attend to their business, and if the Postmaster-General would consent to listen to a representative of the men it would do away with much of the necessity for the men to leave their work and appear themselves. With regard to the proposed Committee, the right hon. Gentleman had said that the officials asked for an independent Committee, and that he was going to give them a Committee which was independent, because it was not composed either of Members of the House of Commons or of officials connected with the Post Office. Surely he did not suggest that he could not get an independent Committee composed of Members of Parliament. If his only purpose was to get an independent Committee, why did he say it was to protect Members of the House from the importunity of postal officials? Personally he had never been annoyed by communications from Post Office employees, but he had been annoyed by the Women's-Right's man and still more by the Deceased-Wife's-Sister's man. Other Members, however, might have had a different experience. The reference to the Committee was so limited in its scope that the inquiry was certain to leave many sores untouched. As proposed it would deal with the wages of only 45,000 out of 180,000 pesons, so that about 135,000 would still be dissatisfied, with the result that the agitation would go on until eventually another Committee was appointed. As a tribunal was being set up it was a pity so to restrict the terms of the reference, and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would yet reconsider his decision.


said that two points had been raised to which he had not before referred, and as to which the Committee were entitled to a reply. With regard to whether pensioners and Army men should have a preference over other equally deserving local inhabitants, all he had said was that he would not exclude any man because he was a pensioner or had been in the Army. With regard to the introduction of the "Cash-on-delivery" system, he could assure his hon. friend the Member for North Islington that personally he was favourably disposed to its introduction. He thought it would be a great benefit to the public, and not least to the smaller consumer, producer, and dealer. He was sorry to say, however, that that was not the universally accepted opinion, and when some time ago it was thought that the Post Office might carry out this reform, the Postmaster-General of the day was overwhelmed with protests from District Councils, and other local bodies, against the introduction of a system which they thought would serve the interests of the big men in the big towns at the expense of the little men in the little towns. Even the Chambers of Commerce carried by a small majority a resolution protesting against the introduction of such a system. Under these circumstances all he could say was that if the public desired this reform they would not find him unfavourably disposed towards it. He believed it would be a great advantage, and if there was a general desire for it, he thought the Post Office might be able to undertake the extra work. With regard to the printing of revenue stamps to which the hon. Member for the Southport Division had referred, that was rather a matter for the Inland Revenue authorities. He would call their attention to the matter, and see whether anything could be done.


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman would make a statement with regard to the fourteen days leave.


said he had already dealt very fully with the matter, and the discussion would never be brought to an end if hon. Members controverted his statements and expected him to re-argue the case. The hon. Member had said that the postal officials were not generally allowed to split up their annual leave, and that therefore it was useless to them for the purpose of attending to the business of their organisations. He shared the desire of the hon. Member that that business should, if possible, be conducted by postal servants. He had received a great number of applications from postal servants, who put their grievances before him with admirable clearness, and it was much more satisfactory for him to deal with the men directly than through any outsider. He could therefore assure the hon. Member that he had not the least desire to place unnecessary obstacles in the way of the men themselves conducting the affairs of their organisations. But the men had represented their case rather differently from the hon. Member, because their complaint had been, not that they were unable to use their annual leave for the purpose, but that they were obliged so to use it, and that it was very unfair to expect them to give up any part of what ought to be their holiday for the purposes of attending to the work of their organisations. A service like that of a Post Office required a certain amount of regularity, and unlimited special leave could not be given. The present limit had been fixed in consequence of abuses of the previous system. He did not think it was an unfair allowance, and he really could not undertake to revise it. This Vote had now been under discussion for a considerable time, and he ventured to appeal to the Committee to allow a division to be taken on the reduction which had been moved.

SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)

said there was a growing feeling of disappointment that the Committee which the right hon. Gentleman was going to appoint was not to be a Select Committee of Members of this House. He thought the right hon. Gentleman could have obtained all the impartiality he could obtain anywhere else, by appointing Members of the House. He hoped, if the Committee was formed in the way that had apparently been decided, the right hon. Gentleman would take care that one of the five members would be a representative of trade combination — someone accustomed to deal with trade matters from the point of view of the employees. In that way he would obtain more confidence for the Committee than if he appointed only a Committee of what he described as business men. They did not want another Tweedmouth Commission. They wanted this matter settled once for all. He thought also that the right hon. Gentleman should consider the position of sub-postmasters. He was glad to hear the Postmaster-General say that he was considering the position of the smaller sub-postmasters throughout the country. They were a most deserving class, and if the right hon. Gentleman could devise some means of giving these sub-postmasters some consideration for length of service, he would make the service all the more popular. He had himself occasion lately to look into a case where a man had been for fifty years a sub-postmaster. He had done his work with great efficiency, and at considerable pecuniary sacrifice, and when he retired he was not eligible for a pension, and there was no means, or, at all events, willingness, on the part of the Postmaster-General to recognise his long and praiseworthy service. If the right hon. Gentleman could find some means by which that could be rectified, he would do something for which those interested would be grateful. He thought also that the women in the service ought to receive some consideration from the right hon. Gentleman. The wage at present was not sufficient to induce the best class of women to come into the service.


They are very anxious to get into it.


said they were no doubt very anxious to get into it, but they did not know how far £55 a year went in a place like London. They were discontented afterwards, and it was discontent in the service that the right hon. Gentleman should try to avoid. It was one of the worst elements they could have in a public Department. He thought the young women should have better remuneration for their services. He was sorry to say that the Committee must go to a division on this Vote as a protest against the right hon. Gentleman's unyielding attitude on the repurchase of stamps. By the proposal he had made, he was doing something which was very hard on the poor, and interfering with trade, especially the trade of the smaller and poorer class of tradesman. He could not see why they should be charged 5 per cent. instead of 2½ per cent. as formerly on stamps re-purchased. Now that the Post Office had decided not to re-purchase less than one pound's worth, it would be easier to receive the stamps in bulk than in the small lots hitherto accepted. Poor persons, such as agricultural labourers, who received remittances of 1s. 6d. per week from their children, would be unable to receive them in stamps and realise them at the Post Office. The senders would have to pay a ½d. or a 1d. to get a postal order. He thought that would cause vexation. He was sure, also, that small traders would be vexed by the attitude the right hon. Gentleman had taken in this matter. A more cumbrous method than that proposed in connection with the re-purchase of stamps he could not conceive.

MR. NANNETTI (Dublin, College Green)

expressed regret that the Postmaster-General had not acceded to the appeal made to him to extend the scope of the inquiry. The Committee which had been promised would not meet the requirements of the case. He might tell the House that the grievances felt by the postal servants in Ireland were deep. They were told that the Committee which the Postmaster-General had promised to appoint, was to be an impartial Committee, but he believed that, so far from dealing with the case, it would have the effect of accentuating the grievances of the men, and that the complaints would all come up again next year. The right hon. Gentleman had alluded in very severe terms to the speech of the hon. Member for West Newington. He did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman had informed himself with reference to the feelings entertained by the postal servants with reference to the promised inquiry. He knew from correspondence he had had from people in his own country that this inquiry would give no satisfaction. It was simply throwing dust in their eyes, and so far from the right hon. Gentleman gaining credit for establishing the Committee, the postal servants would rather make their arguments stronger for the redress of the grievances of which they justly complained. It was said that the Committee was to consist of business men, but the House did not know who these men would be. He did not believe they could have an impartial inquiry unless they had on the Committee a Member of this House or a representative of the postmen themselves, who would be able to give a sympathetic ear to the grievances. He did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman had read the official journals with reference to this matter, but he thought the course taken by the Postmaster-General was a thorough vindication of the strong line followed by the hon. Member for West Newington. He would read to the House the opinion of the Dublin men. They said— Inadequate wages does not by any means constitute the only grievance of postal employment. The promotion question, the proper sanitation of Post Office buildings, the pernicious system of secret reporting, civil rights, etc., are all matters of urgent importance, and must be looked into. Nevertheless the right hon. Gentleman ignored all these claims and promised a Committee for the purpose of looking into the question of the wages of the section of postal servants who were best able to look after themselves.

What was to be done for the young men coming into the postal service? Young men in Ireland came into the Post Office service and received the magnificent salary of 6s. a week, and on becoming proficient they got 12s. He was struck with the observations of the hon. Member for Canterbury when he alluded to peculation on the part of postal servants. The hon. Member suggested that this might be due to the appointment of soldiers and men of that kind. He himself would not say that an old soldier was more susceptible to temptation than others, but his own opinion was that the frauds were due to the system under which they paid men the starvation wage of 12s. a week. It was not creditable to the State or the House of Commons that there should be men well out of their teens, in the postal service receiving 12s. a week—a wage which was not equal to that of a street scavenger. He would ask the right hon. Gentleman not to take his information from the official mind in this matter, but rather from the men who were most interested in the matter. Let the Post Office appoint a Committee satisfactory to the men, and not one like the Tweed mouth Committee, which would be discredited from the very first. The proposed Committee would be discredited, and he warned the postal servants to have nothing to do with it. They had gained a point in bringing the right hon. Gentleman to see that there were grievances Let a full measure of inquiry be granted, and not merely an inquiry in regard to one item picked out. The Postal Servants' Committee in Ireland said— It is difficult to say whether this Committee will be accepted or not by the Joint Committee of Postal and Telegraph Associations, but if we may be allowed to express our own humble opinions on the subject, the acceptance of such a Committee would considerably retard the final settlement of the postal question. The proposal is simply a red herring drawn across the track, and should not be touched with a forty-foot pole. He would now read the opinion of Englishmen with reference to this Com mittee— This very doubtful concession is calculated to secure the safe passage of the Post Office Vote, throw dust in the eyes of some of our Parliamentary friends, and defeat the object for which we have so long striven. He hoped the postal servants would take to heart the opinion given by their organisation, and have nothing to do with the Committee which was to be appointed to deal with one particular subject. We say plainly that the Committee the Postmaster-General proposes to appoint will not be acceptable to us. It is not the sort of tribunal we should have confidence in; the scope of its inquiry will be too limited, and its power to see that its recommendations are carried out will be nil. Inadequate pay is not the only grievance of postal servants; there are other evils equally serious that demand reform. He appealed to hon. Members whether it was fair for the right hon. Gentleman to complain that the time of the Committee had been occupied for four hours last week, and four hours again that day, when he offered a Committee of Inquiry which could not be acceptable to those most interested in it. The right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster-General meant well, but he should get himself out of the hands of his officials, who did not really wish to see this great question settled. The action of the right hon. Gentleman proved that the Tweedmouth Commission had been a failure, and that the wisdom of the men had been justified. The proposed inquiry could not end the matter; the agitation would come on again and again until the Government did what was right to a much maligned body of men. This was a question which vitally affected Ireland. It was not a simple question of the appointment of Mrs. Murphy. He protested generally against the manner in which Post Office appointments were made in Ireland. Mrs. Murphy's case was only typical. It was only those who had the biggest interest with the right hon. Gentleman who got the best appointments, and not those who had given the best years of their life to the service. That was not a system to induce the best young men to enter the service. He had brought the matter before the right hon. Gentleman on many occasions, and he knew that in reply, the right hon. Gentleman had not given him his own views, but the stereotyped answers of the officials. Take the cases of the young men in Dublin who had served all their lives in the Post Office, and who knew their business well; but just because there was an individual who wanted to

curry favour with the "powers that be," a bad mark was made against them. Was it to be conceived that there was not a person on the whole staff of the Dublin Post Office who could be promoted to a responsible situation? The young men on the staff had been educated in the best schools and were of the very best material in Ireland, but they had no chance of gaining promotion if they had not the knack of making friends with their superiors, and strangers were put over their heads. He had no fault to find with Englishmen getting appointments in Ireland if they were the best appointments, but he objected to Englishmen being pitchforked into positions over the heads of Irishmen who had given their whole lives to the service of the State. The same complaint as he now made had been made by the leading merchants and citizens of Dublin, but no redress had ever been vouchsafed to them. He trusted the right hon. Gentleman the Postmaster-General would widen the scope of the inquiry, so that the grievances of the young men in the Post Office service in Ireland should be ventilated.


rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 204; Noes, 122. (Division List No. 78.)

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Bill, Charles Clare, Octavius Leigh
Allsopp, Hon George Blundell, Colonel Henry Clive, Captain Percy A.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Cochrane, Hon. Thos H. A. E.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Boulnois, Edmund Coghill, Douglas Harry
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Bowles, Lt,-Col. H. F. (Midd'x Cohen, Benjamin Louis
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Bowles, T. Gibson (Lynn Regis) Collings, Right Hon. Jesse
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Brassey, Albert Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready
Bailey, James (Walworth) Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Colston, Chas. Edw H. Athole
Bain, Colonel James Robert Brymer, William Ernest Compton, Lord Alwyne
Baird, John George Alexander Bull, William James Corbett, T. L. (Down North)
Balcarres, Lord Billiard, Sir Harry Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Cranborne, Lord
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Cripps, Charles Alfred
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Crossley, Sir Savile
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Chamberlain, Rt. Hon J. (Birm Cubitt, Hon. Henry
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc Cust, Henry John C.
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Chaplin, Right Hon. Henry Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)
Bignold, Arthur Chapman, Edward Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tr. Haml'ts
Bigwood, James Charrington, Spencer Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.
Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Jos. O. Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Lawson, JaGrant (Yorks, N. R.) Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Duke, Henry Edward Lee, A. H. (Hants, Fareham) Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Fardell, Sir T. George Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S. Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward Llewellyn, Evan Henry Round, Rt. Hon. James
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Lockie, John Royds, Clement Molyneux
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R. Russell, T. W.
Fisher, William Hayes Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford
FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S. Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon Lonsdale, John Brownlee Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Flower, Ernest Lowe, Francis William Seely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)
Forster, Henry William Lowther, C. (Cumb. Eskdale) Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight
Galloway, William Johnson Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Gardner, Ernest Lucas, Reginald. J. (Portsmouth Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Garfit, William Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Sloan, Thomas Henry
Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans Macdona, John Cumming Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)
Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Maconochie, A. W. Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset)
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon M'Calmont, Colonel James Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire) Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Goulding, Edward Alfred Majendie, James A. H. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Greville, Hon. Ronald Manners, Lord Cecil Strutt Hon. Charles Hedley
Hall, Edward Marshall Martin, Richard Biddulph Thornton, Percy M.
Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Milvain, Thomas Tollemache, Henry James
Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld. G. (Midx Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Tritton, Charles Ernest
Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashfd Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Harris, Frederick Leverton More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire) Valentia, Viscount
Haslett, Sir James Horner Morgan, David J. (Walthamst'w Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Hatch, Ernest Frederick G. Morrison, James Archibald Walker, Col. William Hall
Heath, James (Staffs., N. W.) Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry) Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.)
Helder, Augustus Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Wanklyn, James Leslie
Helme, Norval Watson Myers, William Henry Welby, Lt-Col A. C. E. (Taunton
Henderson, Sir Alexander Nicholson, William Graham Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.
Hoare, Sir Samuel Nicol, Donald Ninian Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Hogg, Lindsay Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Houston, Robert Paterson Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.) Pease, H. Pike (Darlington) Wilson, J. W. (Worcester., N.)
Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred Pemberton, John S. G. Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.
Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton Percy, Earl Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Johnstone, Heywood Platt-Higgins, Frederick Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Keswick, William Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Worsley-Taylor, Hry. Wilson
Kimber, Henry Pretyman, Ernest George Wylie, Alexander
Knowles, Lees Purvis, Robert Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Lambton, Hon. Fredk. Wm. Rasch, Major Frederic Camp Younger, William
Laurie, Lieut.-General Reid, James (Greenock) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Remnant, James Farquharson Sir Alexander Acland-Hood
Lawrence, Sir Jos. (Monm'th) Ridley, Hn. M. W. Stalybridge and Mr. Anstruther.
Allan, Sir William (Gateshead) Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H.
Allen, Charles P. (Glouc. Stroud Donelan, Captain A. Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Doogan, P. C. Holland, Sir William Henry
Atherley-Jones, L. Duffy, William J. Horniman, Frederick John
Austin, Sir John Dunn, Sir William Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Edwards, Frank Jacoby, James Alfred
Bell, Richard Ellis, John Edward Jones, David Brynmor (Sw'nsea
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Emmott, Alfred Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)
Brigg, John Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone) Joyce, Michael
Burns, John Evans, Saml. T. (Glamorgan) Kearley, Hudson E.
Burt, Thomas Fenwick, Charles Law, H. Alex. (Donegal, W.)
Caldwell, James Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)
Causton, Richard Knight Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. Layland-Barratt, Francis
Channing, Francis Allston Fuller, J. M. F. Leamy, Edmund
Condon, Thomas Joseph Gilhooly, James Leigh, Sir Joseph
Cremer, William Randal Goddard, Daniel Ford Leng, Sir John
Crooks, William Grant, Corrie Levy, Maurice
Cullinan, J. Griffith, Ellis J. Lewis, John Herbert
Dalziel, James Henry Harmsworth, R. Leicester Lough, Thomas
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Hayden, John Patrick Lundon, W.
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardig'n Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale- Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Delany, William Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
M'Kenna, Reginald Philipps, John Wynford Tennant, Harold John
M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Power, Patrick Joseph Thomas, Sir A. (Glam., E.)
M'Laren, Sir Charles Benj. Price, Robert John Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Markham, Arthur Basil Reddy, M. Thomas, F. Freeman (Hastings
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries) Thomson, F. W. (York W. R.)
Murphy, John Rickett, J. Compton Toulmin, George
Nannetti, Joseph P. Rigg, Richard Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Tully, Jasper
Norman, Henry Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Robson, William Snowdon Wason, E. (Clackmannan)
Nussey, Thomas Willans Rose, Charles Day Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Runciman, Walter Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
O'Brien, P. J. Tipperary, N.) Samuel, Herbt. L. (Cleveland) Williams, O. (Merioneth)
O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.) Schwann, Charles E. Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford) Young, Samuel
O'Dowd, John Shipman, Dr. John G. Yoxall, James Henry
O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.) Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
O'Mara, James Soares, Ernest J. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham Strachey, Sir Edward Mr. Weir and Mr.
Paulton, James Mellor Taylor, Theo. C. (Radcliffe) Butcher.

Question put accordingly, "That a sum not exceeding £6,267,400 be granted for the said service."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 122; Noes, 199. (Division List No. 79.)

Allan, Sir William (Gateshead) Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale- Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham)
Allen, Charles P. (Glouc. Stroud) Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Paulton, James Mellor
Ashton, Thomas Gair Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Philipps, John Wynford
Atherley-Jones, L. Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Brist'l, E. Power, Patrick Joseph
Austin, Sir John Holland, Sir William Henry Price, Robert John
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Horniman, Frederick John Redmond, William (Clare)
Bell, Richard Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Rickett, J. Compton
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Jacoby, James Alfred Rigg, Richard
Brigg, John Jones, David B. (Swansea) Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Burns, John Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Burt, Thomas Joyce, Michael Robson, William Snowdon
Caldwell, James Kearley, Hudson E. Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Causton, Richard Knight Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.) Runciman, Walter
Channing, Francis Allston Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Layland-Barratt, Francis Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Cremer, William Randal Leamy, Edmund Schwann, Charles E.
Crooks, William Leigh, Sir Joseph Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Cullinan, J. Leng, Sir John Shipman, Dr. John G.
Dalziel, James Henry Levy, Maurice Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Lewis, John Herbert Soares, Ernest J.
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardig'n Lundon, W. Strachey, Sir Edward
Delany, William Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Taylor, Theo. C. (Radcliffe)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Tennant, Harold John
Donelan, Captain A. MacVeagh, Jeremiah Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Doogan, P. C. M'Kenna, Reginald Thomas, F. Freeman (Hastings
Duffy, William J. M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Dunn, Sir William M'Laren, Sir Charles Benj. Toulmin, George
Edwards, Frank Markham, Arthur Basil Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Ellis, John Edward Morgan, David J. (Walthamst'w Tully, Jasper
Emmott, Alfred Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone) Murphy, John Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Evans, Saml. T. (Glamorgan) Nannetti, Joseph P. Wason, J. Cathcart (Orkney)
Fenwick, Charles Nolan, Joseph (Louth, S.) Weir, James Galloway
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Norman, Henry Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Nussey, Thomas Willans Williams, O. (Merioneth)
Fuller, J. M. F. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)
Gilhooly, James O'Brien, P. J. Tipperary, N.) Young, Samuel
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.) Yoxall, James Henry
Grant, Corrie O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Griffith, Ellis J. O'Dowd, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Harmsworth, R. Leicester O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N. Mr. Lough and Captain
Hayden, John Patrick O'Mara, James Norton.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Fisher, William Hayes Morrison, James Archibald
Allsopp, Hon. George FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Flower, Ernest Myers, William Henry
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Forster, Henry William Nicholson, William Graham
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Galloway, William Johnson Nicol, Donald Ninian
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Gardner, Ernest Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Bailey, James (Walworth) Garfit, William Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Bain, Colonel James Robert Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans Pease, H. Pike (Darlington)
Baird, John George Alexander Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Pemberton, John S. G.
Balcarres, Lord Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nrn Percy, Earl
Balfour, Rt. Hon A. J. (Manch'r Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Balfour, Rt. Hn. Gerald W. (Leeds Goulding, Edward Alfred Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Greville, Hon. Ronald Pretyman, Ernest George
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Hall, Edward Marshall Purvis, Robert
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj. Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld. G. (Midx Reid, James (Greenock)
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Hamilton, Marq. of (Londondy Remnant Jas. Farquharson
Bignold, Arthur Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge
Bigwood, James Harris, Frederick Leverton Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green)
Bill, Charles Haslett, Sir James Horner Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson
Blundell, Colonel Henry Hatch, Ernest Frederick G. Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Heath, James (Staff's., N. W.) Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Boulnois, Edmund Helder, Augustus Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Bowles, Lt.-Col. H. F. (Middx.) Henderson, Sir Alexander Round, Rt. Hon. James
Brassey, Albert Hoare, Sir Samuel Royds, Clement Molyneux
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Hogg, Lindsay Russell, T. W.
Brymer, William Ernest Houston, Robert Paterson Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Bull, William James Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.) Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Bullard, Sir Harry Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Johnstone, Heywood Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Keswick, William Sharpe, William Edward T.
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Kimber, Henry Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon J. (Birm Knowles, Lees Sloan, Thomas Henry
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)
Chaplin, Right Hon. Henry Laurie, Lieut.-General Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)
Chapman, Edward Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset)
Charrington, Spencer Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Clare, Octavius Leigh Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart
Clive, Captain Percy A. Lawson, John Grant (Yorks, N. R. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E. Lee, A. H. (Hants, Fareham) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Coghill, Douglas Harry Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Thornton, Percy M.
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Tollemache, Henry James
Collings, Right Hon. Jesse Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S. Tritton, Charles Ernest
Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready Llewellyn, Evan Henry Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Colston, Chas. Edw H. Athole Lockie, John Valencia, Viscount
Compton, Lord Alwyne Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R. Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Walker, Col. William Hall
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim S. Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S. Walrond, Rt. Hon. Sir W. H.
Cranborne, Viscount Lonsdale, John Brownlee Wanklyn, James Leslie
Cripps, Charles Alfred Lowe, Francis William Welby, Lt-Col A. C. E. (Taunton
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Lowther, C. (Cumb. Eskdale) Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts)
Crossley, Sir Savile Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Lucas, Reg'ld J. (Portsmouth) Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Cust, Henry John C. Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.
Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Macdona, John Cumming Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)
Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tr. Haml'ts Maconochie, A. W. Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Jos. C. M'Calmont, Colonel James Worsley-Taylor, Hry. Wilson
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire) Wylie, Alexander
Duke, Henry Edward Majendie, James A. H. Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Manners, Lord Cecil Younger, William
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Martin, Richard Biddulph
Fardell, Sir T. George Milvain, Thomas
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed. Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Sir Alexander Acland-Hood
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire) and Mr. Anstruther.

claimed, "That the Original Question be now put."

Original Question put accordingly, "That a sum not exceeding £6,267,500 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 Post Office Services, the expenses of Post Office Savings Banks, and

Government Annuities and Insurances, and the collection of the Post Office Revenue."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 199; Noes, 95. (Division List No. 80.)

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Manners, Lord Cecil
Allsopp, Hon. George Fardell, Sir T. George Martin, Richard Biddulph
Anson, Sir William Reynell Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Milvain, Thomas
Arkwright, John Stanhope Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Arnold-Forster Hugh O. Fisher, William Hayes Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Atkinson, Rt. Hn. John FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose- More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon Morrison, James Archibald
Bailey, James (Walworth) Flower, Ernest Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Bain, Colonel James Robert Forster, Henry William Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)
Baird, John George Alexander Galloway, William Johnson Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath
Balcarres, Lord Gardner, Ernest Myers, William Henry
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Garfit, William Nicholson, William Graham
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Nicol, Donald Ninian
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nrn Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj. Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim Pease, H. Pike (Darlington)
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Greville, Hon. Ronald Pemberton, John S. G.
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Hall, Edward Marshall Percy, Earl
Bignold, Arthur Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Bigwood, James Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld. G. (Midx Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Bill, Charles Hamilton, Marq, of (Londondy Pretyman, Ernest George.
Blundell, Colonel Henry Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd Purvis, Robert
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Harris, Frederick Leverton Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Boulnois, Edmund Haslett, Sir James Horner Reid, James (Greenock)
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middx.) Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Remnant, James Farquharson
Brassey, Albert Heath James (Staffs., N. W.) Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge
Brymer, William Ernest Helder, Augustus Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green)
Bull, William James Henderson, Sir Alexander Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson
Bullard, Sir Harry Hoare, Sir Samuel Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Hogg, Lindsay Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Houston, Robert Paterson Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.) Round, Rt. Hon. James
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred Royds, Clement Molyneux
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton Russell, T. W.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc Johnstone, Heywood Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Chaplin, Right Hon. Henry Keswick, William Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Chapman, Edward Kimber, Henry Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Charrington, Spencer Knowles, Lees Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Clare, Octavius Leigh Lambton, Hon. Fredk. Wm. Seely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)
Clive, Captain Percy A. Laurie, Lieut.-General Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight
Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E. Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Coghill, Douglas Harry Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th) Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool Sloan, Thomas Henry
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Lawson, John Grant (Yorks, N. R. Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)
Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready Lee, A. H. (Hants, Fareham) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset
Compton, Lord Alwyne Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S. Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Llewellyn, Evan Henry Stewart, Sir M. J. M'Taggart
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Lockie, John Stone, Sir Benjamin
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R. Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Cranborne, Viscount Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Thornton, Percy M.
Cripps, Charles Alfred Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.) Tollemache, Henry James
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Lonsdale, John Brownlee Tritton, Charles Ernest
Crossley, Sir Savile Lowe, Francis William Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Lowther, C. (Cumb. Eskdale) Valentia, Viscount
Cust, Henry John C. Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth) Walker, Col. William Hall
Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tr. Haml'ts Macdona, John Cumming Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Maconochie, A. W. Wanklyn, James Leslie
Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph C. M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers M'Calmont, Colonel James Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts)
Duke, Henry Edward M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire) Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Majendie, James A. H. Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Wilson John (Glasgow) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm Younger, William
Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.) Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.) Wylie, Alexander Sir Alexander Acland-Hood
Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H. and Mr. Anstruther.
Allan, Sir William (Gateshead) Harmsworth, R. Leicester O'Dowd, John
Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale- O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H. O'Mara, James
Atherley-Jones, L. Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristl, E. Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham
Austin, Sir John Horniman, Frederick John Paulton, James Mellor
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Philipps, John Wynford
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Jacoby, James Alfred Price, Robert John
Bell, Richard Jones, David B. (Swansea) Priestley, Arthur
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Redmond, William (Clare)
Brigg, John Joyce, Michael Rickett, J. Compton
Burns, John Kearley, Hudson E. Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Caldwell, James Law, H. Alex, (Donegal, W.) Roberts, John H. (Denbighsh.)
Channing, Francis Allston Lawson, Sir Wilfred (Cornwall Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Condon, Thomas Joseph Layland-Barratt, Francis Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Cremer, William Randal Leamy, Edmund Shipman, Dr. John G.
Crooks, William Leigh, Sir Joseph Soares, Ernest J.
Cullinan, J. Leng, Sir John Strachey, Sir Edward
Dalziel, James Henry Levy, Maurice Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Lewis, John Herbert Tennant, Harold John
Delany, William Lough, Thomas Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Doogan, P. C. Lundon, W. Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Duffy, William J. Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Toulmin, George
Dunn, Sir William MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Edwards, Frank M'Kenna, Reginald Wason, E. (Clackmannan)
Ellis, John Edward M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Emmott, Alfred M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Fenwick, Charles Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. Murphy, John Young, Samuel
Fuller, J. M. F. Nannetti, Joseph P. Yoxall, James Henry
Gilhooly, James Norman, Henry
Goddard, Daniel Ford Norton, Capt. Cecil William TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Grant, Corrie Nussey, Thomas Willans Mr. Schwann and Mr.
Griffith, Ellis J. O'Brien, P. J. Tipperary, N.) Weir.

It being half-past Seven of the Clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Resolution to be reported To-morrow; Committee to sit again this evening.