§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
said there were many topics one might be tempted to comment upon at the close of the Parliamentary year, but he would resist that temptation, although he might have referred to the extraordinary character of the session, which had been unprecedented for the confusion of business, for the harsh and wild methods by which Bills of great importance, and upon which there had been no obstruction, had been scamped through, upon the further degradation which had been inflicted upon the House, or upon the sort of "game of hide and seek" which 254 His Majesty's Ministers had played with the House in endeavouring to avoid disclosures of their convictions, if they had any, and their intentions, if such existed, provided the Government were not waiting to learn the views of the country. But he passed from these matters, because the country might safely be left to give its own verdict upon them, and he turned to two topics of some interest to them, and on which every one would agree it was well that something should be said, namely, questions which had arisen out of the war between Russia and Japan, particularly with reference to contraband of war, and the question of the condition of South Africa, especially in view of the very important statement recently made by the Colonial Secretary. He was unwilling to do anything which would in any way embarrass the Government in the negotiations which they were carrying on with the Russian Government over concrete cases, or over general rules and principles. He was sure the First Lord of the Treasury would admit that on the Opposition side of the House every possible forbearance had been shown in not raising these questions unduly and pressing the Government upon them. He did not take any credit for that, for it was no more than the duty of any one who had regard to the extreme difficulty in which the Government was placed; but for that reason he would not press Ministers to make any further disclosure either of the actual state of the negotiations, or of the views which they intended to enforce, beyond what they considered could be made with advantage to the public service. It was, therefore, perhaps better to pass by the concrete cases, to which reference had been made already—such, for instance, as the case of the "Knight Commander," with regard to which he hoped that they might feel that the Government were taking the proper steps to indicate the principles which this country believed to be in accordance with international law. But there was the general principle, which, he thought, might fairly be discussed, and on which the Government might fairly be asked to express an opinion; that was the question of what was to be deemed contraband of war.
Russia appeared to be trying to extend very widely beyond all recent rule and 255 precedent the definition of what might be called either absolute or prima facie contraband of war. In particular it had extended that definition so as to make it include such articles as raw cotton and foodstuffs. The general principle was perfectly clear. There were certain articles which were obviously used for military and naval purposes and which from the very beginning of things had always been held to be contraband of war. But there was a large category of articles which might conceivably in some cases be used for war, but which were equally likely to be in transit on the seas for purposes of peaceful life and commerce. There had been a great deal of divergence in the practice of different nations, even in the practice of the same nation at different times, in regard to these, but the general principle was that they were to be treated as contraband of war only when it could be clearly proved that they were designed for a warlike use. He would take two articles—food, and such a raw material of industry as cotton. Food, by the general consent of nations, was not contraband of war unless it could be clearly proved to be intended for military or naval purposes. As one well known authority had declared it was unjustifiable so to treat it merely because of some uncertainty as to its ultimate destination. In 1885 an attempt was made by the French Government to treat rice as contraband of war. Lord Granville protested in the most energetic way, and stated that we would not recognise any decision of a French Prize Court which treated rice in that category and in point of fact rice never was treated is contraband of war. Maritime commerce would be paralysed if such articles as raw cotton and food were held to be contraband. It would be a serious matter for every populous commercial country if the principle were recognised that trade was practically to be suspended and the pacific population of a country actually at war was to be put in need either of the articles for carrying on its pacific industries or of its food supply by a harsh and undue exercise of belligerent rights. The United States had unmistakably shown its view on the subject, and he hoped His Majesty's Government would act in concert with the United States in endeavouring to make good that view.
256 There was the question of the use that could be made of neutral ports by the armed vessels of a belligerent. The facts with regard to Russia's action were sufficiently clear to show that she had gone very near the edge, if not over the edge, in using neutral ports for the purpose of repairing and equipping vessels which had in point of fact been stopping neutral ships and exercising belligerent rights. The law was fairly well settled on that subject. A belligerent Power had no right to use a neutral port as a naval base. She must not make it a means of carrying on armed action either against the enemy's vessels or against neutral vessels. A very limited use of neutral ports had been conceded, and it was clearly in the general interest that that limited use should not be allowed to extend. He hoped the Government was alive to the importance of the question, and would see that nothing more was done than was clearly recognised by the existing law as being within the rights of belligerent Powers.
Now he desired to pass to a different topic altogether, viz., to the South African question, as to which a very important statement had recently been made by the Colonial Secretary. It was extremely difficult to ascertain what was really happening in the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony, but enough was known to oblige them to regard the position with some anxiety. There had been great disappointment of the hopes entertained with regard to the development of the country and with regard to its fitness for the reception of British settlers. They knew there was great depression in its principal industry, and that in the case of Johannesburg the depression had almost reached destitution, and they knew that there was in both elements of the population a considerable measure of discontent. The disappointment that existed would not surprise those who knew something about the true facts of South Africa. There never was ground for the extravagant hopes held out to the people of this country about the development of the Transvaal; it was part of the general policy of misleading the people of this country by which, added no doubt to a blundering diplomacy, we were brought into an entirely unnecessary and a very 257 costly and deplorable war. Everybody who knew South Africa in 1895 knew that white men would not do the hard labour of the Transvaal. But nothing was said of that when the war was being hatched. If the facts to which the country had now been awakened by the discussions on Chinese labour had been known before, the opinions entertained on the whole subject of the war would have been very different. There was also very serious financial trouble in the Transvaal. There had been a great deal of extravagance, and the discontent which existed was considerably aggravated by the fact that unduly high salaries had been paid to officials, many of whom had not, in the opinion of the people, shown very high competence for their work. There had been considerable waste upon the project of land settlement, which those acquainted with South Africa knew could not come to much, and the financial difficulties would have been still greater were it not that the troops were being made to do at the cost of the British Treasury a good deal of work originally intended to be done by the South African Constabulary and paid for out of local funds.
He trusted that the Colonial Secretary would do all he could to remove the cause of discontent among the Dutch as soon as possible and before any further constitutional development took place. One of these causes was the treatment given to the Dutch language. That was a matter on which all experience showed it would be good policy to meet the wishes of the Boers. He did not say that these grievances were very great, but the very fact that they were not should make it easy to remove them. He believed a comparatively small concession would remove them and would not weaken, but would strengthen, the position of Great Britain in the country. Another matter was the non-payment of receipts given by British officers. The money, after all, was not so important as the removal of the sense of injustice which prevailed. Then there was the question of the payment of debts due from the late Government to private individuals but not recognised by our Government. Those debts, he thought. ought to have passed with the assets. He considered that the situation showed two bright spots—the very considerate way 258 in which Sir A. Lawley was endeavouring to meet the Boers, and the testimony to the law-abiding spirit of the Boers which was to be found in the reports of the resident magistrates, which showed that the Boers were endeavouring, in the present state of things, to abide by the law. There was ground for satisfaction in that fact—for everyone knew it took a long time after a war was concluded to reestablish normal peaceful life. He would like to know whether the policy of granting some electoral representation to the people of the Transvaal was to be extended to the Orange River Colony, the population of which was more homogeneous than that of the Transvaal, and would consequently present fewer difficulties to the adoption of such a policy. He hoped his right hon. friend would state the general lines on which it was proposed to proceed, and that the system would be plain and simple and free from any ingenious device which would be an obstacle to true representation. He believed it was still possible to bring the Dutch population into perfect concord with their British neighbours. The policy pursued during the next few years might decide the future for a very long period, and it was important, not only to give evidence of the good intention of the people of this country, but also to smooth the path as far as possible for that fuller form of self-government, of which he believed the Colonial Secretary himself was in favour.
* MR. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
pointed out that as Parliament was about to be prorogued, the Government would have a free hand for something like six months, and would have unfettered control of matters of the highest moment and involving material issues. It seemed to him that it had teas almost to be a Conservative Government Each department of power now had at its head a Liberal Unionist; that was the case at the War Office, the Navy, the Exchequer, the Colonial Office, and the Foreign Office, and it seemed as if by sonic self-denying ordinance the Conservatives had stood aside and agreed to hold only the ornamental offices, leaving all the real power to their allies. The Liberal Unionists had still one thing to achieve, and that was the conversion of the country, and possibly of the Prime 259 Minister to the system of protection, which had recently been proposed. He would not dwell on these topics, however, interesting as they were. He intended instead to deal with two matters relating to foreign affairs. The first was the Anglo-French Convention. Up to the present the French had refused to ratify this Convention, and he was not at all sure that the hopes expressed by the Prime Minister of ratification were justified. There was a strong party in France opposed to it The Newfoundlanders, who lit bonfires on hilltops at the outset, were now feeling that their action was premature, and were resisting the interpretation which the Government were being forced to put upon it. He considered the declarations with reference to the partition of Siam and with reference to Morocco as no less than a crime. Morocco was likely to give us a great deal of trouble, and serious questions would arise, one of which might be our retention of Gibraltar. He wished to ask whether, if the Convention were not ratified, the two separate agreements would fall with it.
Regarding the very important question of belligerent rights and Russian seizures and contraband of war, he agreed that it was the duty of Members not to embarass the Government, but he did not think that that meant that silence should be kept. By voicing the great apprehensions entertained outside the House Members would afford the Government an opportunity of making declarations which he trusted would be sufficient to allay those apprehensions. He need hardly remind the House that in the treaties of 1851, 1856, and 1871 the public law of Europe was defined, accepted, and guaranteed by all the Powers of Europe, namely, that in time of peace the Straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles would be closed to vessels of war. That meant a most important principle and it was one which we, of all other people in Europe, had a great deal of interest in maintaining, and indeed defending if it should be attacked. That had been constantly gnawed at, and there had been repeated infractions of the principle. That could not be denied, and only so recently as 1902 there were repeated attempts on the part of Russia to send 260 what were practically armed vessels through the Straits in defiance of the declarations of the public law which he had cited. He, in October, 1902, called the attention of His Majesty's Government to the infractions of the principles laid down. Again, in February, 1903, he suggested what he believed then, and still believed, to be the true method of arriving at a solution of the view taken by Russia and ourselves, namely, to submit to the Hague tribunal what was, after all, a question as to the interpretation of the three treaties he had cited. He very much regretted that in 1902 and the early part of 1903 His Majesty's Government, instead of almost rebuking him for his assurance for calling attention to so high a matter and refraining from doing anything, did not accept the suggestion he made, or adopt any other suggestion for the settlement of this most important matter. The result was that we were now confronted with a concrete case of the most serious importance—no less a question than whether the "Petersburg" and other vessels which went through the Straits were or were not lawfully commissioned. His opinion was that it was not possible for a State to lawfully commission a vessel as a man-of-war except in one of its own ports. His belief was that these vessels were commissioned in Russian ports—Sebastopol or Odessa—and,if afterwards they used deceit in order to pass the Straits, that, to his mind, did not impair the right of visitation, search, and seizure they possessed. They might have passed through the straits by deception practised on the Turkish authorities, and by pretending to be what they were not—merchant vessels. He believed it gave us strong ground for remonstrance with the Russian Government that it had thus been enabled to break through the public law of Europe, but to his mind it did not affect the right of these vessels, if they were duly commissioned, to exercise belligerent rights on the high seas. That matter of the Straits should have been settled in 1902, and if not then in 1903. Many of the doubts and difficulties which now surrounded the discussion of this matter of belligerent rights would then have disappeared. He certainly commended it now, at any rate, to the attention of His Majesty's Government, for if it was not settled there would be 261 one volunteer ship coming down after another from the Black Sea, or perhaps the whole of the Black Sea fleet. We should then have to look to ourselves in a very special manner, and to our strength in the Mediterranean.
He came now to the question raised by the right hon. Gentleman opposite. He could not but feel that it was presumptuous in him to pretend to say anything in this House on the subject, but what he had to say was the result of serious study of these matters during a great many years. He would confine himself, so far as he could, to citations from the great jurists who had written on the subject. He must deal first with an extraordinary delusion which seemed to possess many people in this country with regard to the laws of war. A great number of people were possessed by the idea that in war there were no laws, that war was an end of law, and that once a country had declared war everyone might do as he liked. The contrary was the truth. In time of war they must look after the wounded, they must have some regard to the prisoners who fell into their hands, they must, therefore, have flag of truce and cartel ships, and they must have regard to a whole network of regulations. So far from its being true that the beginning of war was the end of law, it was more nearly true that the beginning of war was the beginning of a new and more detailed system of acknowledged law than existed before between one nation and another. There were others who said that if there was law, it was this law of nations which they were constantly citing, and that that was no law because it had no sanction. But it had the greatest sanction—the sanction of common agreement. The principles it laid down had been accepted and were always appealed to by all the great nations of the world. It was true that there were doubtful points, yet there was agreement between all the great nations of the world on the general principles of the law of nations to which they all had to appeal, and to which, in this House, they were now appealing. War was not, and could not be expected to be, the occasion of profit to neutrals, but rather of loss and damage. In war the belligerent gained new rights, and the neutral had imposed on him new duties. To no nation was it so important 262 that the exercise of belligerent rights should be kept intact as it was to this nation. He trusted that would always remain in the mind of every man who dealt with these questions. But if that were so, no nation should be so tolerant as we of the fair exercise of the belligerent rights which were so vital to us. As neutrals it behoved us to be patient, long-suffering, and correct in any representation we might make, and in the conduct we might hold, while at the same time, no doubt, we must stand steadfast against anything like unauthorised violence committed under the name of acts of war. Neutrality consisted in abstention from the war. It did not consist in helping both sides equally, but in helping neither side. It was necessary to affirm this principle, because it lay at the bottom of the whole question of contraband. It had never been pretended that a belligerent had the right to prevent a neutral from carrying on his peaceable commerce with the other belligerent. But the question whether it was peaceable depended on certain considerations. If the neutral carried arms and munitions of war and things which were only apt for the conduct of war then he did it at his own risk. There was no law in this country, or in any other country he know of, to prevent the subject of a neutral from furnishing the enemy with contraband of war at his own risk. If he was seized and if his property was confiscated, then the State which had a proper appreciation of the laws of war would leave him to his fate as he deserved.
The right hon. Gentleman opposite had given a definition of contraband of war which was right so far as it went. But he had omitted an essential thing about contraband of war—that was, its destination. Destination was of the essence of contraband. To a belligerent destination many things would be contraband which otherwise would be harmless. The right hon. Gentleman had truly said that there were two or three things to be considered. First of all there were things which had no relation to and which were of no use in war at all. They never could be contraband. A grand piano or a lady's bonnet could not be contraband, because it was impossible to use them in war. Then there was merchandise applicable to war and to war 263 alone, such as guns and ammunition. That was always contraband when it was to the destination of a belligerent. Then came things of ambiguous and equivocal use and things of double use. Provisions, for instance, destined to a civil population were undoubtedly not contraband of war. But provisions destined for a fleet at a naval port of equipment, and provisions destined for an army carrying on a campaign were contraband of war and liable to seizure. The doctrine which he had laid down was not his own. It was one which he gathered from the great jurists. It was evident that the question whether or not things which were of ambiguous or double use were contraband of war entirely depended on the surrounding circumstances, such as the true destination of the cargo, the place and circumstances under which the vessels were found, and so forth. These were all questions which could be decided alone by the Prize Court, and they could not be decided otherwise than by the Court conducting a regular judicial investigation. That, to his mind, rendered nugatory any declaration by a State setting forth what should be considered contraband and what should not.
A great deal had been made of the Russian list of contraband of war. That list was published in the London Gazette on the 18th of March, and ever since that His Majesty's Government had made no opposition to the list. If they were to take any exception to it that should have been done in March and not in August. If they objected to the list, the objection should have been taken then. He hardly thought, however, that great exception could be taken to the Russian list. That list was not a declaration of what was contraband of war, but of what the Russian Government considered was contraband of war, subject to the decision of the Prize Court. He could not believe from the language of this very document that the Russian Government would do other than leave the decision as to what was contraband of war to a properly constituted Prize Court. He had heard it said that a Prize Court in a belligerent country would administer the belligerent law; but Prize Courts in all countries—and no one had laid that down more emphatically than Lord Stowell—sat to administer not the local law of the country, but 264 the great law of nations—the common law of Europe. If that were so, he did not know on what grounds England could question the decision of a properly constituted Prize Court, and he was shocked to hear it suggested that, because the decision of the Prize Court did not exactly square with our desires or the desire of our shipowners, we should refuse to be bound by it, thereby inviting the world to question every decision of our own Prize Courts.
He thought that the statement which he had made as to contraband of war would not be challenged; but he now came to the really burning part of the question. In order to ascertain whether a vessel was engaged in lawful traffic it was absolutely necessary to exercise the right of visit and search, in order to ascertain the flag under which the ship sailed, the quality of the cargo, and the port to which she was destined. But that right only appertained to a duly-commissioned man-of-war. He laid stress on the fact that it must be a duly-commissioned man-of-war which had the right to search a ship, examine the captain, question the passengers, and inspect the log-book. But the right was only a right of visit, search, and detention, not a right of trial, judgment, and compensation. To get that, the ship must be carried to the port of Prize Court with bulk of cargo unbroken. The reason was that unless the cargo on board remained intact the Prize Court could not have all the evidence before it. Looking at all the facts in relation to the "Allanton" it seemed to him that the proceedings in that case had been absolutely correct.
§ MR. AUSTIN TAYLOR (Liverpool East Toxteth)
asked if his hon. friend was aware that the bulk of cargo on board the "Allanton" was broken before the ship was taken to the Prize Court.
* MR. GIBSON BOWLES
said he was not aware of that. In his opinion, in the case of the "Malacca" that vessel was duly detained, but there were very serious irregularities alleged to have been committed by the captors in attempts to bribe the ship's officers, and in removing and detaining the ship' papers. Nevertheless, as the case had been closed by a compromise, he would not press it. He thought that it might be politic to accept 265 that compromise without too much question. The case of the "Knight Commander" was of quite a different character. Nothing could be more clear than the right of a duly-commissioned man-of-war to search an enemy's ship on the high sea, and to sink it if that ship could not be taken into a Prize Court; although it was not usually advisable to do so, because in that event the prize was lost. But that applied to enemy's ships with enemy cargoes, and to those alone. No jurist of any repute had ever hinted at the right to sink a neutral ship as an alternative to taking the vessel before a Prize Court. It might be that the facts and circumstances would induce the Prize Court to release the ship altogether. It might be that, although a part of the cargo which was contraband would be forfeited, the rest of the cargo would be released. It might be that the whole of the cargo would be forfeited, but the ship would be left free. The captain of a cruiser could not have the knowledge such as would guide a Court to a decision, and for him to constitute himself into a Court, Judge, and jury, and sink a neutral vessel on his own fiat, was one of the greatest outrages against the law of nations ever committed on the high seas. The captain had at once hanged his prisoner and destroyed the evidence on which he had convicted him. He had been more surprised than he could say to read a letter by Professor Holland in The Times of 6th August. Professor Holland was our great adviser in these matters, and had taken a great part in the compilation of the Admiralty Manual on Naval Prize Law. That Manual would certainly require a great deal of revision and alteration, or else our naval officers would be falling into the errors committed by the Russian commanders. Professor Holland in that letter said—The statement of these rules (as to prize) by Lord Stowell, who speaks of them as 'clear in principle and established in practice,' may, I think, be summarised as follows:—An enemy's ship, after her crew has been placed in safety, may be destroyed. Where there is any ground for believing that the ship, or any part of her cargo, is neutral property, such action is justifiable only in cases of the gravest importance to the captor's own State, after securing the ship's papers and subject to the right of neutral owners to receive full compensation.266 And then Professor Holland gave a reference to the case of the "Felicity." Professor Holland had not verified his references; had he done so, he would have seen that Lord Stowell did not admit that importance to the captor's own State ever justified sinking a neutral. In Dobson's Admiralty Reports, vol. 2, p. 386, in Lord Stowell's judgment of 26th November, 1819, the words were—Where it (the ship) is neutral the act of destruction cannot be justified to the neutral owner by the gravest importance of such an act to the public service of the captor's own State; to the neutral it can only be justified under any such circumstances by a full restitution on value.According to Lord Stowell, therefore, the action of sinking a neutral was not, as Professor Holland suggested, justifiable in cases of gravest importance to the captor's own State. It was not justifiable even in that case. It was not justifiable at all. It follows that such an act as the sinking of the "Knight Commander" could not be justified. Full restitution in value was required, and full amends for what he could not but call an outrage on the British flag. We must feel certain, or at any rate he did, that the Russian Government would, on proper representations, make proper amends, and he was as certain, aye, more certain, that it was the bounden duty of His Majesty's Government to insist upon the claim with firmness.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
said that the House that afternoon had been lucky in hearing the speeches of two such masters of this question as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Aberdeen and the hon. Member for King's Lynn. The hon. Member for King's Lynn had spoken with humility about his own knowledge of this subject, but those who had had to follow the writings on this subject for many years were aware that the hon. Member had made a most careful study of the question, and was a very high authority upon it. The hon. Member was, perhaps, a trifle old-fashioned in some of his views on international law, and had fallen foul of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Aberdeen. It was probable that in the course of the debate hon. Members might differ on certain details; but it was extremely important that the main points at issue on which there was substantial 267 agreement in the House should be emphasised. There were questions and considerations upon which an immediate decision must be come to. He would put aside the arguments of the hon. Member for King's Lynn with reference to the Straits. The question of the Straits was a dangerous one for a long time, but was not a pressing one at the present moment. It was one capable, as the Prime Minister had said in answer to Questions, of being made to slumber by judicious treatment of the two parties concerned, who could not come to a complete and immediate agreement on the subject. There were, however, other questions on which an immediate agreement should be arrived at. There was no disagreement between the hon. Member for King's Lynn and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Aberdeen as to the international law which governed the question at issue at the moment. As regarded the attempt of Russia to treat food and raw material under all circumstances as contraband of war simply because they were destined for Japan, that was an interpretation which it was impossible for this country to accept.
There was a certain difference of language between the statement of the Leader of this House and the statement of the Leader of the other House the other day on these questions. The difference was on two points. One had reference to the "Knight Commander," and the other was on the question of contraband. Lord Lansdowne did not lecture the shippers of this country for trading in contraband of war; but the Prime Minister appended to his statement a sort of caution to shippers in this country in regard to contraband, which he himself thought gave away the case of this country. He listened to the right hon. Gentleman's statement with some anxiety at the moment. It was perfectly true that, ordinarily, there could be no objection to the right hon. Gentleman's statement; it was the connection in which it was made. The right hon. Gentleman uttered a little word of warning to shippers not to engage in contraband trade. That was what shippers understood from the right hon. Gentleman.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
In that case the shippers must have misapprehended what I said. My answer had nothing whatever to do with any cargo shippers chose to ship. That is their lookout. What I pointed out was that neutrals had duties, one of which was to stop when summoned, and to show the ship's papers. I never presumed to lecture shippers on the trade they should carry on.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
said he did not know if that referred to the "Malacca" and the "Knight Commander" only, or if it had general application.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
said that that was a perfectly satisfactory statement, and he would not pursue the matter further. Statements had been published in the Russian semi-official Press which supported the view taken in the original declaration of the Russian Government as to contraband. There was, however, an undoubted objection to the principle laid down, and to the explanation given by the Russian papers in connection with the action which had been taken. They in this House had to deal with the practical facts with great delicacy, because they did not know the Russian case, and could only gather it from semi-official sources. What the country was alarmed about was whether there was not an attempt on the part of some persons in Russia, if not of the Russian Government, to use the doctrine of contraband for the purpose of annoying and depressing British trade. The question was whether the action of the Government was intended as a legitimate act, or whether it was simply intended to annoy British trade. Under any circumstances the doctrine set up would have caused natural alarm to the British shipping trade and to the British community generally. Both his hon. friend the Member for King's Lynn and his I right hon. friend the Member for Aberdeen had spoken with great force with reference to the use of neutral ports as a basis for a blockade, and for 269 interference with trade in an annoying and dangerous form. The interference which had occurred had already had a very remarkable effect in preventing the more responsible steamship lines from accepting goods for Japan, or from trading at all. He ventured to ask a question some months ago about the first P. and O. ship which was stopped by a Russian vessel using neutral ports. She had coaled at neutral ports on several occasions, and she undoubtedly interfered with trade in a manner which was entirely indefensible. There was no authority under international law which could support the establishment of a blockade of this kind by a vessel using neutral ports. This country should be the first to protest against any such contention. Indeed it was impossible that this country could put up with it.
There was the case of the "Knight Commander." A few years ago, at a moment when dangerous complications appeared to be imminent with a great Power, and when it was admitted that another great Power had attempted to get up an alliance of three great Powers against this country, Sir Thomas Sutherland called a private conference of Members of both Houses and others to consider these questions. A few gentlemen who were present were now prominent members of the Government. They considered these very questions under the chairmanship and able guidance of Sir Thomas Sutherland, including the use of neutral ports as the basis for a quasi-blockade. The matter was referred to by the Prime Minister and Lord Lansdowne in the case of the "Knight Commander" in clear and explicit language, and they even went so far as to describe the affair as an outrage. The effect of the sinking of the "Knight Commander" and the other events which had occurred had had the result of discouraging British shipping. Three or four of the leading steamship lines had been obliged to cease trade with Japan, which trade was now being taken by other Powers.
SIR CHARLES DILKS
said he could not explain, because it was a matter of 270 hypothesis; but the facts were as he had stated. He should like to know what steps the Government were taking to carry out the principle laid down by Lord Lansdowne. That declaration was clear and perfectly plain; and he wished to know what reply had been given by the Russian Government to it. The view of the British Government had not been accepted by the Russian semi-official Press; and the result was that the British shipping trade was being discouraged.
There were two other questions he should like to mention. The Prime Minister had stated that the Opposition should have the main responsibility of choosing the subjects to be discussed in Committee of Supply. He was quite sure that the Patronage Secretary to the Treasury did all he could to meet the wishes of hon. Members in carrying out that arrangement. There were two subjects it would have been desirable to discuss but which were not discussed owing to the tendency to take unimportant Votes in the early part of the session and on the days immediately following the reassembling of the House after the Easter and Whitsuntide holidays. The result was that certain questions were never discussed at all. One of these questions was the Protectorates Vote, and particularly the East African Protectorate, which was of wider importance than the career of Sir Charles Eliot. Members of the Opposition had protested against monopoly concessions of large tracts of territory by the Congo State and by France in the French Congo, and his view was that the East African Proctectorate should be subject to the same principle. The other question related to the conditions of labour prevailing in the Army Clothing Factory. Certain promises which were made to a deputation by the representatives of the War Office had not been carried out, and he hoped, generally speaking, that next year a more careful arrangement of the time devoted to discussions in Supply would be made so as to allow the House to discuss Votes relating to questions of first-rate public interest. He hoped to hear from the Prime Minister a statement as to the steps that were being taken to carry out the admirable principles laid down a fortnight ago by Lord Lansdowne as to interference with British trade. An 271 assurance was needed from the Government to the effect that they were taking active steps at the present time in respect of what was becoming not a mere theoretical grievance of this country, but a practical grievance, arising from interference with British trade.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
A good many questions have been asked me, the majority of them relating to questions of international law and practice; indeed, those questions formed the substance of the speech of my hon. friend the Member for King's Lynn, and occupied the greater part of the speech of the right hon. Baronet. The right hon. Baronet, however, by way of parenthesis, towards the end of his speech introduced come criticisms as to the method in which the Government had allocated the business of Supply during the session. I do not think he will assert that when the Opposition have made a claim for a subject to be brought forward for discussion, that claim has been refused.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
Not refused, but claims have been put off until during the last month they have jostled one another. Days were wasted earlier in the session.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Surely, if there has been such waste, the responsibility falls quite as much on the Opposition as it does on the members of the Government. It must be remembered that each week an appeal is made to us, and each week we endeavour to carry out the arrangement made; and, no doubt, had the Opposition been agreed that it was desirable to discuss the question of Government factories or any special Government factory, an opportunity would have been found at an earlier period of the session. I am sorry that the question has not been discussed, and also the question of the protectorates; but any one who will go through the statistics of the session and examine the actual number of days spent in Committee of Supply will not be disposed to think that too little time out of the whole time at our disposal has been used for the criticism of the Government and too much time for legislation. The contrary is really the fact.
272 I do not know that I need refer to the opening remarks of the right hon. Member for South Aberdeen. They were, I suppose, merely a general in troduction to his speech in which, in the course of five or six lines, he made five or six rather serious charges against the Government. It is not worth while to enter into a controversy with the right hon. Gentleman, but I think it can be said that he did not seem to take much interest in the Bills himself. But the right hon. Gentleman did make a very interesting speech on international law, and the other speeches on the same subject are entirely worthy of a rather important occasion. The right hon. Gentleman speaks on that subject both as an historian and as a jurist with a very special knowledge and special authority. I must express on my own behalf a general concurrence with the views on international law expressed by all the hon. Gentlemen who have spoken. This does not mean that I agree with all they have said; it is with the general principle rather than with the particular details that I express agreement. Such authorities as the hon. Member for King's Lynn and the two right hon. Gentlemen did come into some small collision in the course of their speeches, so that the three authorities on international law are not wholly agreed. But if I do not criticise the details of the speech of the hon. Member for King's Lynn, I do think he laid down one proposition to which I take specific objection. It was that a belligerent who captured a neutral vessel had the right to examine the papers, but had not the right to examine the cargo. I think that my hon. friend is mistaken. I think that the authorities are on the other side. It is not a matter of very great importance, for indeed I may say parenthetically that one of the difficulties which now affect the traditional and authorised practice of international law is in this respect of examining a ship's cargo. Difficulties now exist which never existed at the time when international law was in the making during the years of the great European war. It was then probably an easy matter to examine the contents of a ship's cargo. Then the amount of the cargo could not be more 273 than a few hundred tons; but the steamships of the present day carry 7,000 or 10,000 tors of cargo, and the process of conducting an examination of that, although not forbidden by international law, is almost forbidden by the excessive difficulty of the operation. Then let the House observe what difficulties that involves also for all concerned. The belligerent makes a prize of a great liner, a ship carrying 7,000 or 10,000 tons of cargo; it takes it into a Prize Court; examines it; finds that there is no contraband; and the damages that ought to be paid, of course, are of an enormous amount. And it is one point which the Russian Government have got to recollect in this case, just as we have got to recollect it among other similar questions, that damages in the case of an improper capture or improper condemnation of a ship may mount up, and roust mount up, if prizes are largely taken into Court for examination, to sums which amount to a most formidable total.
Then, leaving that point of the right of search, on which I think my hon. friend was mistaken, I would say that my comment upon his speech, which is of the greatest substance, relates to his view of the authority of Prize Courts. My hon. friend's view appears to be this: That any nation may lay down, if it pleases, what list it chooses of articles which it declares to be unconditional contraband of war, and that against that there is no remedy except the remedy of the Prize Courts belonging to that nation itself. Well I will frankly admit that if that doctrine of my hon. friend is to be accepted without reserve, the dangers to neutrals are of a very formidable kind.
MR. GIBSON BOWLES
.—What I intended to say was that no declaration by a State of what it considers to be contraband of war is of any binding effect at all; that it is only the decision of the Prize Court. which may or may not take that view of the case, that is of binding effect.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Yes, to that statement I make some demur. It is perfectly true that a Russian Prize Court is not bound by the declaration of the Russian Government as to what the 274 Russian Government chooses to consider unconditional contraband of war. That is true. But as a matter of fact. I presume, and I think I am not going too far when I say, that a Russian Prize Court would be greatly influenced a declaration of its own Government that it regarded this or that object as unconditional contraband of war. But in any case I traverse the doctrine that when that Prize Court has given its decision, if that decision be contrary to the law of nations, it is to be accepted by the neutral. I do not know whether my hon. friend intended it, but I think some of his audience probably were moved, as I was, to suppose that his view was that when the Court finally decided that such and such a neutral ship was carrying what in the opinion of that Court was contraband of war, the whole subject then necessarily dropped and it was, as it were, a decision of a final Court of Appeal, like the decision of a final Court of Appeal in this country over the citizens of this country, and that there was nothing more to be said. Well, no doubt nobody would desire to quarrel with the decision of a properly constituted Prize Court of a belligerent country dealing with these matters; but if it be found that that Prize Court had condemned as contraband of war things which the law of nations set out as not contraband of war, I do not think it would be possible for a neutral to sit down absolutely quiescent under a decision of that character. I do not know that there has been any such decision even of a Prize Court of First Instance in Russia upon those subjects; but we certainly have felt it to be our duty to point out to the Russian Government that we protest in the strongest way against the idea that, for example, food is to be regarded as contraband of war, and that we hold it open to ourselves—this statement was made at the very beginning of the proceedings, in the very earliest days of the war—that we hold it open to ourselves to make representations on other matters declared to be contraband of war. Certainly that is a privilege of which we have already availed ourselves and of which we may have to avail ourselves even more still. But I trust not. 275 Let it be remembered that miscarriages are more likely to occur at the beginning than towards the end of a war. Of course if there is ill-will between the parties, a desire to quarrel or to trample upon them or ride rough shod over their privileges or convenience, then of course matters go from bad to worse; but the natural course, and what ordinarily happens, is that at the beginning of the war the mistakes are made by officers, rights are driven too far, then remonstrances are made, and practically the things of which great and just complaint has been made are not repeated, and matters grow not worse, but better. I really hope, and I believe it that that will be the case in the present instance. Therefore I would protest rather against a phrase which dropped from the right hon. Gentleman opposite, that practices were creeping in which threatened the rights of neutrals now, or, it may be, the rights of belligerents at a later date. I do not think that that is so. I am absolutely and perfectly confident that we shall have no repetition of the difficulties winch occurred in the case of the "Petersburg" and the "Smolensk," and I am perfectly confident that no neutral will again be sunk by any Russian vessel. We have expressed in this House and in the other House of Parliament the very strong view we hold upon the international outrage—I think that was the word used by my noble friend in another place and by the hon. Gentleman here—of sinking a neutral ship. I will not go over the grounds why we think that a wrong. I think I stated hem myself in this House; if I did not they were stated with great lucidity by the right hon. Gentleman opposite and other speakers in this debate, and I need not repeat the reasons. I will only say again that I agree with them, that the Government agree with them, and that we have conveyed in the very clearest language to the Russian Government the view which we take upon this particular transaction. I do not know that on that I need say anything more, or that anything stronger need be said. I feel personally, and my colleagues feel also, great satisfaction at the fact that we are able to make this statement to the House—namely, that whatever be the abstract views of the Russian Govern- 276 ment, in which I think they differ from the jurists of all countries, upon the right of belligerents to sink neutrals in certain circumstances, they will not in the concrete carry out any such proceedings.
There is only one other point which I have not touched upon, and that is the use of neutral ports as bases of operations for cruisers. Again, I think that is one of the things that may have occurred. But it is somewhat obscure, and to show how obscure it is, I think the right hon. Gentleman made an error of fact when he said the "Osiris" was taken in the Red Sea. I think it was taken in the Ionian Sea. But it is not the past that matters so much, it is the future; and we are, of course, absolutely clear, and I think all nations agree with us, that the essence of the matter is that neutral ports shall not be made bases for hostile operations. Of course, as everybody who has studied these questions in the concrete knows, it is very much easier to lay down a general proposition with which everybody agrees than to deal with every case which ingenuity can suggest and in regard to which it is asked, does this come under your rule or does it not? I could, were it desirable or even worth while, present to the House a great many hard cases on this point, but I will not do it. The only case, I think, which can be alleged is the case of the use of Jibuti.
§ SIR CHARLES DILKE
There was a case at an Egyptian port. The ship that took the "Osiris" took coal both at Jibuti and at an Egyptian port.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Of course, the right hon. Baronet means one of the Canal ports. A Canal port, of course, is regulated by a special commission of international force, which, although it does not differ at all from the nations generally as to the principles which it holds, may differ as to the actual method by which those principles are carried out. For example, as the House knows, we have rules regulating the use of coal and our power to give coal to belligerent ships. I am not aware that the French have laid down in detail rules in regard to that. In special cases the practice of 277 the French may differ from the practice of the British; but the French will not be less ardent than ourselves in declaring the fixed policy of nations to be that neutrals are not to allow their ports or coal or anything else that is theirs to be used to facilitate hostile operations, either on the part of one belligerent or another.
My hon. friend asked me a question about the Anglo-French Agreement. I can say that we have always taken the view that the whole Agreement stood together and have refused to discuss hypothetical conditions. My hon. friend has asked me what will occur if the French refuse to pass the necessary measures which correspond to our Act of Parliament; but I hope he will allow me to put off discussing that, I trust, most improbable contingency until it has actually occurred. I do not think anything can be gained by dealing with a hypothetical problem which has not yet come before us. It certainly would not facilitate the solution of that problem were it to be dealt with in that way. I trust that I have surveyed the whole ground now; and as regards this all-important question of contraband of war, important. I think, not merely for the commerce of this country, but I may almost say for the future peace of the world, and the future relations between belligerents and neutrals, I hope I have been clear and satisfactory in my statements. If I have not been so, I shall be glad to supplement the statement I have made, so that the position may be quite unambiguous, and that on this, the last occasion on which we can fittingly discuss the subject before the holidays, no doubt can be felt in the minds either of the House or of the country as to the policy which we are pursuing.
§ * MR. BELL (Derby)
said this was one of those debates in which they introduced a variety of questions and it was rather difficult to know at what point a particular subject ended. This particular question which had been before the House had been brought to a conclusion by the reply of the Prime Minister. He desired to offer a few observations to the President of the Board of Trade as this was the last opportunity he should have for about another six months. The subject he desired to bring forward was one 278 in which he took a very deep interest, namely, the safety of those employed on the railways of the United Kingdom. The number of killed and injured each year did not diminish by anything like the proportion which would give satisfaction to him and other hon. Members. He was not going to charge the railway companies with not taking the same amount of interest in this matter as himself, but he knew that the railway companies had at present, and had had for some time their hands full looking after other matters. The Act of 1900 had been partially put into operation, but he should like to see it more stringently administered. He thought insufficient pressure had been brought to bear by the Board of Trade to work this Act to its fullest capacity. For the last four years the Estimates had allowed money for additional sub-inspectors, and the President of the Board of Trade last year promised that they would be appointed this year, but one only had been appointed. Under the Home Office there were over 150 inspectors of all classes for factories and workshops. For the mines they had about forty inspectors of all classes, but for the railways of the United Kingdom, which was an equally dangerous occupation, they had only seven inspectors of all classes. Three of these were chief inspectors entirely occupied in investigating and inquiring into occurrences connected with the working of passenger trains, and the other four were totally insufficient to inspect the whole of the railways of the United Kingdom. He believed that the boards of directors of railways and the chief officials were as earnest as anybody else in their desire that everything should be done to diminish as far as possible the number of accidents, both fatal and nonfatal, but the heads of railways could not see all the details that required attention and they had to rely largely upon subordinates, some of whom he knew from experience were not as careful as even their superiors desired them to be, and they avoided doing a great many things because they were likely to incur expense.
He congratulated the right hon. Gentleman upon the proposal which he had introduced for recording accidents in the future, for he believed it would be a great improvement upon past methods. 279 They would in future be able to dissect preventable and non-preventable accidents and classify very serious and minor ones. The returns each year, so far as the numbers were concerned, were very unsatisfactory and he believed that the last returns showed an increase. There was an increase in the fatal accidents and a very slight decrease in the non-fatal accidents. He was satisfied that it was possible to reduce the number of both these classes of accidents to a very large extent.
With regard to brakes this was a question which had occupied the attention of the right hon. Gentleman for the last three or four years, and he fully appreciated the difficulty which he had in pressing forward this matter, because the railway companies of this country were a very powerful organisation. He was aware that the President of the Board of Trade had through his Department endeavoured to bring pressure to bear upon the railway companies to adopt the either-side brake principle in regard to railway trucks, but they did not appear to be very willing to work harmony with the right hon. Gentleman in regard to this question. The President of the Board of Trade had not taken this matter into his own hands, but had left it to the railway companies, and they had had a series of trials with certain classes of brakes the selection of which had been left entirely to railway officials. The consequence was that certain brakes had been admitted which were totally impracticable, whilst on the other hand they had excluded some of the best brakes on the market. He suggested that the right hon. Gentleman should undertake to test these brakes under the supervision of his own Department. There might be a Committee formed consisting of representatives of the railway companies, the Board of Trade, and the men, to test these various kinds of brakes and to recommend the best. The soone something of this kind was done the better it would be for all concerned. Every year thousands of new trucks were being built for private owners, and for railway companies, and if this matter was not settled the result would be that both railway companies and private owners might be put to an enormous expense 280 when the Board of Trade decided upon the adoption of a particular kind of brake. The brakes would have to be taken on the new trucks and other brakes put on. If instructions were given now that all new trucks should have the new brake fitted on them the cost would be very little more. In his opinion, that was a practical suggestion, and one which would be beneficial to railway companies, railway men, private owners, and all concerned. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would accept the suggestion, for he could assure him that by doing so he would receive the gratitude of thousands of men employed on the railways whose lives and limbs were dependent on the appliances used in connection with their occupation. No one would say that he himself was unduly harsh on railway companies or private owners. He only wanted that which was reasonable and fair. Brakes were now being fitted on trucks which might afterwards have to be taken off in order that another kind might be adopted. That would involve unnecessary expense, which he wished to avoid. He had spoken on the question of brakes and of the necessity for the appointment of an additional inspector. He asked the right hon. Gentleman to give these matters his earnest attention, believing that if action were taken on the lines he had indicated there would be in a few years a diminution in the number of accidents to those employed on railways.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
said nobody could deny the interest which the hon. Member took in the safety of those whom he so ably and moderately represented in the House; but he hardly thought the hon. Member would expect him to acknowledge the justice of the strictures which he had passed on the Board of Trade. The hon. Member had said that he had promised that two additional sub-inspectors should be appointed within the year. That was not quite accurate. As the hon. Member knew, one additional sub-inspector had already been appointed, and if it appeared to him that a second could be usefully added to the staff he should not hesitate to make the appointment. Such an appointment, the hon. Member 281 said, would largely diminish the number of accidents. The Board of Trade had now introduced a new system of recording and analysing accidents; and had he known that the hon. Member intended to raise this matter, he thought he could have shown that the number of preventable accidents was much smaller than was supposed, and that the larger number of accidents which occurred could not be prevented by any law which the House might pass. As to the introduction of the either-side brake, the Department had always been in favour of that. When the hon. Gentleman said he was under the impression that in the experiments that had been made some of the best brakes had been excluded and inferior brakes admitted, he could only say that if the hon. Member had informed the Board of Trade what brakes he considered should be tested he did not think they would have had any difficulty in persuading the companies to include them in their experiments. At any rate, if when further experiments were made—and he understood that the companies were ready to make them—the hon. Member would do that, there would be no difficulty about getting any brakes tested. As to the appointment of a committee to decide what brakes should be experimented with, he was quite ready to consider that carefully; but he thought that the suggestion he had made was simpler and better.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON (Dundee)
said he hoped he would not be considered as breaking the orthodox routine of the House on an occasion like this if he asked leave to say a little on the Bill itself. It was rather an important Bill, seeing that it gave Parliamentary approval to all the expenditure sanctioned in detail by the House. He doubted if many Members of the House had ever seen or read the Bill, for he understood it was never circulated. He deplored and deprecated the lax habits the House had fallen into regarding the expenditure of public money. The result was the destruction of the financial and administrative control of the House. The First Lord of the Treasury either did not know or had skilfully evaded the real charge against him. It was that by taking a large Vote on Account at the beginning of the session and making use 282 of the automatic closure at the end of the session the Government had made themselves independent of financial criticism in the House. The large sum voted at the beginning of the year on account of the Civil Services had been far in excess of the amount required for those services, and the Army and Navy Votes had lived for weeks on the money arising out of it. That was not creditable The money granted for the Army and Navy was exhausted long ago. That had been admitted even by the Prime Minister. He did not know whether hon. Members knew to what he was referring. He was referring to the first Consolidated Fund Bill, in which the grants in Supply for the Army and Navy had been by no means sufficient. The grants in Supply, authorised before 31st March, were only for ten weeks Supply in the case of the Army, and for eleven weeks in the case of the Navy. The result was that the Army and Navy Vote had been financed out of the Consolidated Fund Bill, which included not only the Military and Naval Services, but the Civil Services. He was quite certain that the House never intended or knew that that was to be the result.
There were other deplorable methods of conducting business. One was to prevent discussion by every known means, and by waste of time under the new rules. Supporters of the Government had wasted time by talking against time in the evening. Then time was wasted, as far as Supply was concerned, by private Bills being put down for consideration on Supply nights. Another cause of waste was the extraordinarily difficult form in which all the financial proposals of the Government were submitted to the House. In this Bill itself there was a clause founded on a Resolution passed the previous night which he ventured to advance not three Members in the House understood, it was so extremely difficult and technical. He dared say it was all right; but when important matters were presented to the House in that way—so complicated and so unintelligent—one could not wonder that the financial conscience of the House was becoming year by year more slack. Would the right hon. Gentleman explain why these borrowing powers were given to the Government? Were they co-extensive with the whole expenditure 283 authorised? That would only be justifiable when the ordinary revenue system of the country had broken down. But the borrowing powers given to the Treasury by this Bill were co-extensive with the actual wants, and altogether ignored the fact that the revenue coming in was equal, or almost equal, to the requirements of the Supply Expenditure with which this Bill dealt. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, early in the year, had made his Budget on a Supply expenditure of £113,000,000. He, himself, had looked into the figures in the schedule of the Bill and he found that they did not correspond with that statement. If the right hon. Gentleman would make a calculation he would find that the Supply Expenditure for the Army and Navy, and the Civil Service and Revenue Departments amounted to £112,700,000; but in looking into accounts he found that the estimated expenditure was £500,000 less than what the Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN,) Worcestershire, E.
said that was disposed of by £500,000 being estimated for the Somaliland Expedition, the accounts of which had not yet been received from the India Office, and for which the Indian Government was primarily responsible.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
said that, in other words, the Estimate for Somaliland, which accounted for £500,000, had no place in the Appropriation Bill at all, and would probably appear in a Supplementary Estimate next year. The practice of having these Supplementary Estimates was a bad one, and it became more extremely bad when it was done deliberately as in this case. No Appropriation Bill had had so little to say for itself as this one in the deliberate judgment of the House of Commons. It was impossible to find within its four corners a true picture of the national expenditure, because alongside of the legitimate expenditure there had arisen in recent years what was called the other day an irregular expenditure, over which, especially in respect of borrowed money, the House had ceased to have control. Up to March last the money spent in this irregular way amounted to £32,000,000. This system 284 made it impossible for the House to see what really was the expenditure for the current year. He referred in particular to naval works, the statement on which had been delayed until it was impossible properly to discuss the details, although there had been repeated promises given to the House that there would be an opportunity for discussion on all these points. That was not all. He could assure the right hon. Gentleman, who had been at the Admiralty himself, and who took as much interest as any one in naval affairs, that he hardly seemed to know the contents of this Paper. Last year the Naval Works Bill contained three great Votes for works—the Rosyth Naval Base, Chatham Dockyard extension, and various other items, but the Admiralty could not tell the House what was the estimated cost of these works. They put down a nominal sum such as £500,000 or £100,000 and the House was given to understand that this year it would have real and fully considered Estimates. His astonishment was profound when he found that the figures were precisely the same as last year. He was told the other day that the only case in which an approximate estimate could be given was that of the Chatham Dockyard extension, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer said might cost about £4,500,000.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
said that was the explanation. He was rot aware that any explanation had been made as to the total amount. If that was an official statement, why was it not, printed upon the Admiralty Paper? Under the system upon which they were-proceeding, not only were they incurring liabilities side by side with the work provided for in the Estimates, but they did not know the extent of those liabilities. They did not know in the case of Rosyth, Chatham, or the Coastguard stations to what extent they were committed, and that was not a safe or creditable position for the finances of the country to be in. They did not know what the expenditure would be in the future upon all these great and important works. The Civil Service 285 Estimates amounted to £28,000,000 a year, the Navy Estimates to £37,000,000, and the Army Estimates to more than £29,000,000. The total expenditure of the two fighting services of this country amounted to £66,000,000. The National Debt was a legacy of ancient wars, and they had to add to the £66,000,000 pro vided for warlike purposes, £27,000,000 which our old wars were costing the country. Therefore £93,000,000 was what this country was paying for fighting purposes, past and present. That was the price they were paying for what had been described as an "aggressive Empire."
He wished to point out that this vast expenditure upon the two services represented no settled policy at all. They had not had that year any real Army Estimates, and the Secretary for War himself had described them as interim Estimates. They were sham Estimates upon which sham debates had taken place. After the debates which had taken place in both Houses it was impossible to maintain that even the present Navy Estimates represented any longer a settled policy, and it was clear that the two-Power standard had gone. The right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean had practically given it up and even the Secretary to the Admiralty did not really attempt to defend or define this two-Power standard. It could neither be defended or defined, and they must get some other formula. A large portion of the expenditure upon the Army and the Navy provided for in this Bill was for the protection of the Colonies, in which the people of this country personally had no concern. Although the people of the United Kingdom numbered about one-tenth of the population of the whole Empire they were paying under this Bill 99 per cent. of the whole cost of the Navy! And what about the Army? He confessed that in the present confusion of Army affairs he could not hazard anything but a guess, and unfair as the burden of the Navy was upon this country he thought it would be found to be still greater in regard to the Army. Take either the Estimates this year or the possible Estimates under the new system, and ask how much of 286 the £30,000,000 spent upon the Army this year was due to the defence of the United Kingdom alone and how much was due to the defence of other parts of the Empire. This country was called upon to pay for an Army used for outside purposes including the defence of our self-governing Colonies.
With regard to the National Debt it had not directly grown larger this year but it stood now at £800,000,000. In addition to that they had contingent liabilities so-called amounting to about £20,000,000, and, above all, they had guaranteed loans amounting to over £150,000,000, which he feared would tend to increase and not diminish. That was over and above the contribution to the National Debt of £12,000,000 in the present year. Considering the cost of the Cunard Agreement, and taking into account other items, instead of being better off by the amount of the Sinking Fund they were at least £6,000,000 worse off than they were the year before. That was a very serious matter. All these burdens had been imposed upon a long-suffering people, many of whom were extremely poor, and they were being imposed by a Parliament which had long ceased to be representative and by a Government which no longer had the confidence of the majority who kept them in power.
§ * SIR JOHN COLOMB (Great Yarmouth)
said the hon. Gentleman opposite who had just sat down had referred to him with regard to one or two points. Upon One particularly, upon which the hon. Gentleman had expected his support, he desired to say a word. He had asserted that we had no settled policy with regard to the Navy. With that he could not agree. With regard to the two-Power standard he saw no difference between the statement made a night or two previously in another place and the statements which had been made for several years past. Nobody who had really considered the matter could imagine that a relative standard could be set up for all vessels. We could have a two-Power standard for the batole line but we could not have a two-Power standard for the whole of the Navy. We must have regard to the geographical conditions of the Empire and what we 287 had to protect. The right hon. Gentleman had alluded to a Return which had recently been laid before the House, and he (Sir John) desired to say a few words with regard to one great question which everyone was trying to smother but which would have to be faced. This Bill was to appropriate and sanction certain expenditure for the year, and that expenditure might be separated into two groups, the expenditure which concerned the United Kingdom only, and the expenditure which concerned the Empire as a whole, and which did not concern the United Kingdom except as part of the Empire. If the schedule of the Appropriation Bill of ten years ago was compared with the schedule of the present Bill it would be found that those items which represented Imperial Expenditure as distinct from those which concerned the United Kingdom only, namely, the Army, Navy, Diplomatic and Consular Services, had very nearly doubled. On further exanimation it would be found that the sum necessarily allocated to the Navy in the present Appropriation Bill was as great as the total charge for those three services ten years ago. That would give the House some idea of the growth of expenditure.
As to the naval charge it was no use crying out about it because we had to pay it and he would show the House how it had arisen. If they took the three great Powers, the United States, Germany, and Russia, and compared their aggregate Navy Estimates of ten years ago and of the present time, the House would find that their aggregate naval expenditure had trebled while our own naval expenditure had only doubled. It was obvious that if we were to defend our sea interests we must keep up our command of sea power and do what was necessary to be done, otherwise our Empire would go to pieces. The expenditure for the Navy was not an expenditure which had been pressed upon the country by the wishes of Ministers; it was an expenditure consequent on the necessity of competing with the action of other Powers. The Navy was to protect the whole of the sea interests under the flag, and he thought that recent events, as to which they had had such a satisfactory state- 288 ment from the First Lord of the Treasury that day, in connection with certain matters of maritime war must open the eves of everybody as to what maritime war meant for us. The Navy was the necessity of every citizen of the Empire, and that being so, how long were we going to try and run it out of the resources of the United Kingdom alone? The aggregate British revenue raised outside the United Kingdom was greater than that raised within the United Kingdom.
MR, LOUGH (Islington N.)
§ * SIR JOHN COLOMB
said the aggregate revenue of the outlying Empire was £148,000,000 a year, and out of that revenue the outlying Empire only contributed £384,604 to the maintenance of the Navy. The revenue of the outlying Empire was greater than that of the United States, but the United States this Year was spending £16,000,000 on her Navy. Let the House take another point. Take our sea interests as measured by our sea trade. What did they find? They found that the contribution to the Navy regarded as an insurance charge was 4 per cent. on the annual value of the United Kingdom's sea trade, whilst that of the outlying Empire did not amount to 1s. 6d. in the £100 annual value. No country in the world gave such preferential treatment with regard to providing naval security for its various States as we, and when we talked of the consolidation of the Empire this was a point to be remembered, for we had to look on both sides. He had brought this matter before the House on every opportunity; he admitted, and every one realised, the difficulties of it; but what was wanted was a little more plain speaking, a little more bringing of these facts out by responsible Ministers. Our fellow citizens in the Colonies were, like ourselves, reasonable men, and it should be made plain to them once and for all that a Navy for the purposes of the whole Empire could not be run from the resources of the United Kingdom alone. He trusted the House would forgive him for treating this important matter in this hasty way, but he desired to get others to look into it because we were shutting our eves to it, and the sooner 289 the question was raised in a rational way the better it would be. In all our history the two Ministers who had spoken most plainly to our Colonies in this matter were the right hon. Member for West Birmingham and Lord Selborne.
§ MR. DELANY (Queen's County, Ossory)
said although it might be true that the Colonies did not pay anything like a proper contribution towards the upkeep of the Navy, and the burdens laid upon this country in consequence might be considered excessive, the English people had not so much to complain of because of the amount of money that found its way back to the great shipbuilding yards on the Clyde and elsewhere. But this was not the case with regard to Ireland whose dockyards were empty and whose people were not even given a share of the repairs of the Fleet. Ireland got no return for the contribution she made. He rose, however, not to discuss the question of the Navy, and the House would forgive him for drawing attention to a more practical question. What he now desired to raise was the question of the evicted tenants, which was a burning, in fact the all-absorbing, question in Ireland at the present time.
§ MR. DELANY
Is there not a Vote on the Estimates for the Congested Districts Board, Sir, or a Vote for the Chief Secretary. Does the Chief Secretary do his work for nothing?
§ * MR. SPEAKER
If the hon. Member will reflect for a moment he will see that it is not in the power of administrative officers to restore evicted tenants.
§ MR. DELANY
submitted with great respect that he was entitled to raise this question having regard to the fact that the Chief Secretary was practically the head of every board in Ireland.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
intimated that the matter to which the hon. Member was referring had nothing to do with the Estimates; it was a question of law and could not be raised on the Appropriation Bill.
§ MR. AUSTIN TAYLOR
called attention to the recent Return of the business transacted by the Crowd Agents during the last five years. The amount of business done was represented by £7,500,000 in 1899; £,9,500,000 in 1900; £14,000,000 in 1901; £23,000,000 in 1902; and nearly £94,000,000 in 1903, the last named amount including certain extraordinary financial operations in connection with the Transvaal. These figures showed the enormous and progressive importance of the business done by the Crown Agents. Their commission during the same period had increased from £24,000 to £46,000. That Return, he thought, was worthy of consideration, if only to get an idea of the extraordinary character of the British Empire outside the self-governing Colonies and India. When people used the phrase "British interests" they did not always realise what it represented, but a study of this Return would help them to realise the enormous responsibilities of the Empire and, therefore, of these Crown Agents, who were practically the commercial and financial agents for the whole of the Empire outside the self-governing Colonies and India. Certain charges had been brought against the Crown Agents of inefficiency, red-tape, and general delay in the execution of commissions entrusted to them, but the point he wished to urge was that there was no effective supervision of these officials, they being in an absolutely irresponsible position so far as Parliament was concerned. The recent Return was probably the first for fifty years that had been laid before Parliament giving details of the gigantic business done by them, and his object in rising was to press upon the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary the immense desirability of securing the presentation of a similar Return every year, so that Members might have an opportunity of understanding what was going on in connection with this business.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. LYTTELTON,) Warwick and Leamington
thought that the demand of his hon. friend was not an excessive or an immoderate one, and he would favourably consider the course which he suggested. One expression used by his hon. friend might convey a 291 somewhat erroneous impression. He spoke of the commission which the Crown Agents received. They were not paid by commission, but by salary, and the commission went towards the expenses of the office, and their salaries were not altered by the magnitude of business or the magnitude of the expenses which they undertook. He had always been willing to investigate any specific cases brought before him, but he confessed that, considering the enormous magnitude of the business, it was most remarkable that no specific instances of the kind complained of had been brought against the gentlemen who carried on this business.
His right hon. friend the Member for Aberdeen had called attention to certain matters which he said were causing discontent to the Boers at the present moment. With regard to the Dutch language, that matter was brought by the Boers themselves to the notice of Sir Arthur Lawley at the late conference at Pretoria, and Sir Arthur Lawley then pointed out that the Dutch language was in no danger in the Transvaal. It was the colloquial language, of course, of a majority of the population, and it was not considered necessary to take very elaborate precautions to maintain it, because obviously it maintained itself. But if there were any such necessity, he thought the House would feel that it was fully met by the precaution that an hour a day should be given in the schools to the teaching of the Dutch language. That would enable the children of the Boers to learn a somewhat more classical and grammatical form of Dutch than the Taal, which they themselves employed in the ordinary relations of everyday life. The experience of those who had administered the country was that the Boers throughout had been extremely eager to learn the English language. The second point referred to by the right hon. Gentleman was the non-payment of the military receipts given by British officers during the war. He had urged the rapid discharge of any obligations which might now be outstanding, and those obligations were being dealt with by a Commission at the present moment. The third point related to the discharge of the debts due from the late Boer Government. That formed the subject 292 of very specific negotiation at the time of the treaty. The British Government from the first repudiated any obligation to discharge those debts incurred during the war. A distinct agreement was made by which £3,000,000 was set aside as a free grant to the burghers, but no admission was made with regard to the obligations of the late Boer Government other than that when they were considering payments out of the sum of £3,000,000 to the Boers, the Government would regard as evidence of war losses notes which the Boers had themselves from their late Government. That had been carried out, and, as it was a matter of the distinctest understanding, it was quite impossible to say that we had ever departed in the least from the agreement.
The right hon. Gentleman had asked about the propositions for representative government for the Transvaal which had been made by His Majesty's Government and communicated to Lord Milner, but, inasmuch as the despatch conveying those propositions would not reach Lord Milner before the end of this week, he could not go into detail at all in regard to the proposal. He entirely agreed with the right hon. Gentleman, however, that the propositions carrying out the intentions of the Government should be made plain, straightforward, and simple, so far as the conditions of the problem enabled them to be so. The right hon. Gentleman also spoke of the great disappointment which had been experienced in the development of South Africa in the last two or three years. Well, he had dealt with that subject elaborately upon the Colonial Vote, and showed the colossal effort that had been made to reconstitute the economic condition of the country as it existed at the beginning of the war. After the war the country was left in a condition of general desolation, but enormous efforts had been made, and enormous expenditure had been incurred to remedy this. Those efforts were rendered still more arduous and difficult because of the drought, which necessitated practically the keeping alive of a great population, not for the period of six months which was anticipated, but for a period of not less than eighteen months. No one who read the figures could deny that in addition to that the great shortage 293 of labour which had existed at the mines, and which still existed, had made the task of development even more difficult than it would otherwise have been. That shortage, in broad figures, amounted to something like 25,000 labourers at the present moment, as compared with the state of things before the war. The right hon. Gentleman spoke of the misrepresentations which had been made with regard to the war, and the pictures that were drawn as to the hopes which white labourers and working men in this country might cherish in regard to the Transvaal, and he spoke of the misrepresentation which had lured this country into the war. He must utterly deny the historical accuracy of that account. The war was not fought upon that pretext. It was fought for reasons very familiar to the House, and it had the assent of the enormous majority of the people of the country and of the House, and it had the assent of many of the right hon. Gentleman's own colleagues. That assent, so widely prevalent and universal, would never have been given for the merely material reason alleged by the right hon. Gentleman.
THE MASTER OF ELIBANK (Edinburgh, Midlothian)
asked whether the Crown Agents had protested against the Elder Dempster monopoly in regard to the West Coast of Africa.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
said the Government had not yet received the reports on this subject of the Governor of the Orange River Colony. The conditions in that Colony were very different from those in the Transvaal.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
said he was not saying for a moment that the Orange River Colony was not in a most satisfactory condition. It was in a very satisfactory condition, but the conditions of the two Colonies were very different. No 294 absolutely final decision had been come to at the present moment. The Government had not received the reports from the Orange River Colony. He thought it would probably be desirable that the Colonies should be dealt with one at a time, and that some experience of the experiment made in the Transvaal should be gained before similar proposals were made in regard to the Orange River Colony. He could not answer the Question put by the hon. Member for Midlothian.
§ MR. SHACKLETON (Lancashire, Clitheroe)
said he wished to call attention to the conditions under which the workers in the Army Clothing Department were employed, a subject which the House had discussed from time to time during a number of years. The fact that general discontent existed in the department was in itself proof that there was need for reform. He and other hon. Members who had directed attention to this subject had said that the wages paid by the department were not fair and reasonable for the work performed. They had alleged, and lie believed it could be proved, that a number of women were employed in the department at a wage of less than 10s. a week each, and that the condition of the workrooms, from a sanitary point of view, was not what it ought to be. Something should be done to put the rooms into the condition in which they would have to be if the workpeople were in private employ. No Government Department should have a preference over private employers in regard to matters relating to the health of their workpeople, and the condition of their workrooms. Not only had that been so however, but the Government had not given attention to complaints made in that House, as they ought to have done. This year evidence in support of the representations made was forthcoming from an outside source—an organisation called the Christain Social Union, composed of persons whose aim was to improve the social condition of the people, and having, as the president of its committee, the wife of an ex-Minister of the Tory Party. That body confirmed in every detail the statements which had been made in that House for years and years past in regard to the Army Clothing 295 Department. Attention had been called in previous debates to the lack of ventilation in the pressing rooms in the department's factory, and the results of the inspection which had been made concerning those complaints were not at all satisfactory. They knew as a fact that the department was aware that the inspection was to be made, and that all preparations were made in order that the place might be clean, tidy, and fresh. No inspection of that sort deserved a moment's consideration. There ought to be an independent inspection, just as there was of private factories, by one of the qualified inspectors who did such work throughout the country, and in whom the workpeople had confidence.
Complaint was made that too much of the time of the House was taken up with detailed criticism of the hours of labour and the wages of the workpeople in Government establishments, and it was sometimes said that undue pressure was brought to bear upon Members representing dockyard towns and other places in which Government establishments were situated to raise the complaints of the employees in that House. The House ought to be the ultimate place in which to deal with such questions, but it was an absurdity that individual complaints should be brought there. To remedy that the Government should give full right of making representations to accredited men representing the work-people, and such representatives should receive complaints and have power to deal with them. This course was followed in many private factories, and he could say from experience that a great number of complaints could thus be quickly disposed of. He thought the Government had gone a step backwards in this matter. Why should the Government put themselves in a different position from the ordinary employer? He objected to the principle that these men should have to make their complaint individually before the Secretary of State. Let the head of the Department be placed in the position of the manager of a great public works, and let him receive the complaints of the workpeople through their accredited representatives. The workpeople ought to be kept in the background. He be-believed that that was the only way to 296 remedy the constant influence which was brought to bear on Members of Parliament to bring grievances before the House.
§ * MR. CLAUDE HAY (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
said he wished to call attention to a matter which affected the Home Office. Within the last two or three days Questions had been addressed to the Home Secretary as to the case of two young women whose hair had been cut in Holloway Prison when they were under remand. Although adequate time had. been available for inquiry to be made, he complained that they had had nothing but vague replies to the Questions which had been put to the Treasury Bench on this subject. Haircutting on the plea of removing vermin from the roots of the hair was ridiculous when the hair, as in the case of these two women, was not cut shorter than that of the Home Secretary. In every workhouse insecticide was found to be the only means of eradicating vermin from the hair; then why should the hair be cut in prison when the prisoner under remand was just as innocent of crime as the inmate of the workhouse? Moreover, in the cases of Pratt and Hudson he was satisfied after careful personal investigation that the hair was cut by a prisoner and not by a wardress, and that the medical officer inspected these women's heads after and not before the haircutting. The whole case was a scandal. He submitted that it was a grievous wrong that these young women, while under remand on a charge of stealing, which charge was subsequently dismissed by the police magistrate, should have had their hair cropped and been compelled to go from the Police Court with the mark of a convict upon them. It was a gross indignity. This might seem a small matter, but it affected the rights of every innocent citizen in the country. Then there was a case of a well-known tradesman who went to "Lords" to witness a cricket match, and was arrested for stealing opera glasses, because he happened to have a pair of opera glasses of his own in his pocket. He was taken to prison on a Saturday, and although he was ready to establish his identity he was forbidden to telegraph to his friends, and he was retained in custody until the following Tuesday, when the magistrate 297 dismissed the case against him. The Home Office ought to see that prisoners under remand were properly protected. The time had come when servants of the Crown should be expected to conform to the views and instructions of the House of Commons. At present some of the high officials of the Home Office did not attempt to conceal their contempt for Parliament. Another question he wished to raise was in relation to the telephone service of the country. Certainly, the Postmaster-General said he would communicate to the House any agreement with the Telephone Company; but what he was anxious about was that no binding agreement should be entered into without Parliament having had a full opportunity of discussing its terms. That was all the more necessary because, when the last agreement with the company was discussed, they were told they could discuss it as much as they liked, but that the bargain which had been entered into would not be altered.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. BROMLEY DAVENPORT,) Cheshire, Macclesfield
said that there was, without doubt, the right of full and free access to the employer in the case of the Army Clothing Factory. The rules were perfectly clear and plain. Any man or any women having a grievance might go to the chief ordnance officer. He agreed that the proper person to deal with small grievances was the superintendent of the factory. If a grievance affected a class it might be represented by a deputation, provided only that they were servants employed by the Government. It had been suggested that trade unions outside and having no dealings whatever with the factory should have the right of representing a grievance; but it was most undesirable that an outside authority should have the right to intervene. There were, however, certain circumstances in which the Secretary of State and himself had received deputations from trade unions, and would continue to receive them. With regard to the death of the unfortunate girl Alice Wright, it had been suggested that had it not been for the want of some action on the part of the War Office she would have been alive today. That was a very serious accusation, 298 and there was no ground whatever for it. This girl suffered from extremely bad health. She was continually away from her work, and the medical officer declared that she was hardly fit for ordinary employment, much less for employment in such an institution as the Army Clothing Factory. It was suggested that the factory was badly ventilated, but that was certainly not the case. Was the hon. Member ever at the factory?
§ MR. BROMLEY DAVENPORT
said that he could tell the hon. Gentleman that it was one of the finest factories in the country. He was there a short time ago on one of the hottest days, and he observed that the temperature of the room in which Alice Wright had worked was 74 degrees. The inspection of the factory was carried out by a Home Office official; there was no preparation for his visit, and the workpeople were not withdrawn while he made his tests. There was no ground for the charge brought against an officer of the highest credentials whose personal reputation and character had secured for him an appointment the duties of which he discharged with credit.
§ * MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)
called attention to the illegal trawling which took place around the North of Scotland and the Western Islands. He pointed out that from 1896 to 1902 the number of trawlers had increased from 109 to 275, an increase in six years of 166. With the increase of these piratical trawlers he submitted that there ought to have been an increase in the number of fishery cruisers or sea police, instead of which there had been, as he would show, a decrease. He had always contended that these trawlers should be kept out at sea, but they came within the three mile limit and broke the law. He quite admitted it would be extremely difficult to have cruisers all round the coast, but at least there might be one or two additional fishery cruisers. What was the speed of these cruisers? There was the "Vigilant" with a speed of eleven knots. The trawlers went at a speed of from thirteen to fifteen knots. What chance 299 had the "Vigilant" to effect captures? The Fishery Board for Scotland should have made some efforts to get more boats. Years ago, when he brought this question before the House, the then Lord Advocate told him the Fishery Board were going to save money for a new cruiser. The proper course would have been to have gone to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and got the money. It was the duty of the Fishery Board to secure more cruisers, having regard to the increased number of trawlers, and if they were unable to get the money from the Chancellor of the Exchequer they should have gone to the Admiralty, who had boats lying idle in every naval port. The Board had one Admiralty cruiser the "Jackal," lent to them for the purpose of looking after these illegal trawlers. What had become of her? For months past she had been sent over to Norway and Sweden to assist in the North Sea scientific investigations. It might be said that the "Jackal" had done good work. She had been successful in making one capture during twelve months. Altogether there had been twenty-seven prosecutions during the year, and twenty-five convictions. The maximum fine of £100 had only been imposed in five cases. The Fishery Board should take some measures to render the penalties of a more deterrent nature. Half-a-dozen skippers of those convicted rather than pay the fine elected to go to prison for forty or sixty days. He had visited some of these skippers in prison, where they were perfectly happy, their families being looked after by the owner of the trawlers. Most of the trawlers were British but had practically sold themselves to a Norwegian company, and were sailing under a foreign flag. More cruisers were wanted, not only on the Moray Firth, but all round the Northern coasts. The line fishing industry was being destroyed by these pirates coming within the three mile limit. Could not the right hon. Gentleman make some arrangement for the signatories to the North Sea Fisheries Convention to close the Moray Firth against foreign trawlers. Some years ago he (Mr. Weir) succeeded in getting the Scotch Office to realise the importance of appointing Coastguards and lighthouse keepers in certain places to keep a lookout for these trawlers, and in one 300 place alone they had succeeded in securing three convictions. Last year the crews of fishing boats obtained five convictions, but until more cruisers were granted matters would go from bad to worse. It was of the utmost importance that the line fishing industry should be encouraged, so as to prevent these hardy men, brought up to sea life, being driven into the slums of our great cities. These Northern fishermen were the right stamp of men for the Navy. He wondered the Government did not realise the importance of encouraging such a sturdy race of men as those employed in the line fishing industry.
More money should be spent upon improving the harbours of Scotland. At the harbour of Avoch, Ross-shire, not long ago twelve fishing boats during a storm were smashed to pieces because the harbour was in such a bad condition. The whole of the £3,000 annually voted to the Fishery Board for Scotland for piers and harbours should be reserved for works in the Highlands of Scotland. Year after year nothing was done for Avoch harbour. The reply he got was always that the matter was being considered by the Department. He thought it was quite time that the Board brought their considerations to a close. With regard to the Congested Districts Board he agreed that they had done some very good work in Inverness-shire, but as to the acquisition of land in the great county which he represented, where there was more congestion than in any other part of Scotland, no land had been secured except one small farm and twenty-nine sites of a quarter acre each for fishermen's dwellings. He was informed that in some of the plans for these dwellings the stairs were 4 ft. 6 in. wide with insufficient allowance for head room. Such were the cottages which were being provided for the fishermen. He hoped the Secretary for Scotland would make some effort to secure more land, especially in Lewis. He was bound to allude to Lewis because that was one of the most congested parts of the kingdom. [Cries of "Divide, divide!"]
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."302
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 149; Noes, 48.(Division List No. 340.)303
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyno||Newdegate, Francis A. N.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Fisher, William Hayes||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O.||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Parker, Sir Gilbert|
|Arrol, Sir William||Flower, Sir Ernest||Percy, Earl|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Forster, Henry William||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Gardner, Ernest||Pilkington, Colonel Richard|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Plummer, Sir Walter R.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W.(Leeds||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Gretton, John||Purvis Robert|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry||Randles, John S.|
|Bigwood, James||Haslett, Sir James||Horner Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Bingham, Lord||Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Helder, Augustus||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bond, Edward||Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford,W.)||Ridley, Hon.M. W.(Staly bridge|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King'sLynn||Hope,J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Howard,J.(Midd., Tottenham)||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Butcher, John George||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbyshire||Hunt, Rowland||Scott, Sir S. (Mary lebone, W.)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. ArthurFred.||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J(Birm.||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Chamberlain,Rt.Hn.J.A.(Worc||Keswick, William||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Knowles, Sir Lees||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Chapman, Edward||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Spear, John Ward|
|Charrington, Spencer||Lee,Arthur H.(Hants.Fareham||Stanley, Hon.Arthur(Ormskirk|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Stanley,Rt. Hon. Lord(Lanes.)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Leveson-Gower,Frederick N.S.||Talbot,Rt.Hn.J.G(Oxf'd Univ.|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Long,Col. Charles W.(Evesham||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Colomb, Rt. Hon. Sir John C.R||Long,Rt.Hn. Walter (Bristol,S.)||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Tuff, Charles|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Lucas,Reginald J.(Portsmouth||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Macdona, John Cumming||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Davenport, William Bromley-||Maconochie, A. W.||Wodehouse,Rt.Hn.E.R.(Bath|
|Davies,Sir Horatio D(Chatham||Majendie, James A. H.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Wylie, Alexander|
|Dimsdale,Rt.Hn.Sir Joseph C.||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.|
|Doxford, Sir WilliamTheodore||Morgan,DavidJ.(Walthamstow|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Morrell, George Herbert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Sir Alexander Acland Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes|
|Dyke,Rt.Hon.Sir WilliamHart||Mount, William Arthur|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Abraham, William(Cork, N. E.)||Doogan, P. C.||Jones,David Brynmor (Swansea|
|Blake, Edward||Eve, Harry Trelawney||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire|
|Bright, Allan Heywood||Ffrench, Peter||Kilbride, Denis|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Flynn, James Christopher||Kitson, Sir James|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Leamy, Edmund|
|Burns, John||Gladstone, Rt.Hn.HerbertJohn||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Grant, Corrie||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Crooks, William||Griffith, Ellis J.||Moss, Samuel|
|Delany, William||Higham, John Sharpe||Norman, Henry|
|Devlin, Charles Ramsay(Galway||Horniman, Frederick John||O'Kelly, James(Roscommon,N.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Rickett, J. Compton||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Toulmin, George||Wilson, Fred. W.(Norfolk, Mid|
|Shackleton, David James||Tully, Jasper||Wilson, Henry J.(York, W.R|
|Shipman, Dr. John G.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R.(Northants||White, George (Norfolk)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Sullivan, Donal||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)||Mr. Weir and Mr. Caldwell|
Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.