HC Deb 10 February 1904 vol 129 cc1407-51

Order read, for resuming adjourned debate on Amendment [8th February] to Main Question [2nd February],"That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, as followeth:—

"Mod Gracious Sovereign,—

"We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled, beg leave to offer our humble thanks to Your Majesty for the Gracious Speech which Your Majesty has addressed to both Houses of Parliament."—(Mr. Hardy.)

Which Amendment was— At the end of the Question, to add the words. But it is our duty, however, humbly to represent to Your Majesty that our effective deliberation on the financial service of the year is impaired by conflicting declarations from Your Majesty's Ministers. We respectfully submit to Your Majesty the judgment of this House that the removal of protective duties has for more than half a century actively conduced to the vast extension of the trade and commerce of the realm and to the welfare of its population; and this House believes that, while the needs of social improvement are still manifold and urgent, any return to protective duties, more particularly when imposed on the food of the people, would be deeply injurious to our national strength, contentment and well-being."—(Mr. John Morley.)

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

* MR. REA,

continuing his speech, said— If we began a tariff war by an act, not of a general tariff, but of special retaliation, automatically the shipping interest must suffer. Who would in such circumstances send goods to America in a British-ship, if a French, or German, or Italian, or Norwegian could be obtained? A blow at British shipping was the most obvious, the easiest, the least dislocating to the strikers of any available. In any tariff war, it might be taken as certain, in his opinion, that the shipping trade, like Uriah of old, would be put in the front of the battle. But if a policy of retaliation threatened danger to shipping, a policy of protection would be its ruin. What had built up this trade to be the most important and valuable branch of our commercial activities? Doubtless coal mining employed more men, and our railways had a capital more than five times as great as that invested in ships, but the annual gross earnings of our mercantile marine were about equal to the gross earnings of all our railways put together, which amounted to £106,000,000 in 1902; and considerably more than the value of the total product of our largest manufacture—cotton—which was estimated at £90,000,000. What had built up this great trade? He did not underestimate the energy and genius of the many distinguished men who had contributed to erect this imposing structure, or the national aptitude of our race, and our character, as an island people, but, after all, we were not quite so superior to the rest of the world in energy and enterprise and education as we are in shipping tonnage. There must be other and special causes for this extraordinary and overwhelming superiority in a trade which all nations of the earth most desire. In his opinion, there was not one cause only, but two, that had contributed to it equally. First, our own free-trade policy, and second, but not less, the protectionist policy of our neighbours. They had flung a way their chances of competing with us on equal terms on the open ocean, where we were all equal. It was the foreign tariffs of other nations that had checked our exports of what protectionists called our staple manufactures, and forced us to send them their payments for our imports, and forced them, by the operation of the inflexible laws that govern the international exchange of products, and the financial laws that governed foreign exchange, to receive payment for their goods so largely in the form of the services of our ships. He did not think it was we who suffered most from the substitution. No intelligent English shipowner, looking at the question from the selfish interest of his craft, could favour a return to a policy of protection for ourselves, however much he might desire other nations to continue in the error of their ways. He believed in a theory which the Prime Minister described as— So perverse that it is impossible that any human being can hold it. A theory, which, if he had been in the House during this debate, he would have found, to his surprise, to be largely held by free-traders on both sides of the House. The theory was this, that we, a free-trade nation, surrounded by protectionist nations, had so adapted ourselves to our protectionist environment, that we actually thrive in it. This he believed to be our case. He believed American and German protection to be bad for the world at large; and, in their present advanced industrial conditions, at any rate, to be bad for America and Germany in particular; but he was by no means sure they were bad for this country in particular.

MR. GUEST (Plymouth)

said he should have distrusted this policy much less if it had been put forward by the Board of Trade instead of by the Colonial Office. He had not been convinced either by the idealism of the Colonial Secretary or the realism of the Secretary to the Board of Trade, and he believed it was possible to take a saner and more humane view of our Imperial destiny than that taken by the right hon. Member for West Birmingham. They had had from the President of the Board of Trade and the Chief Secretary for Ireland two remarkable speeches, which appeared to him to be encouraging. But it must be apparent to everybody that there was a very grave discrepancy between those two speeches and the performance of the Government. The President of the Board of Trade declared, in plain and well-advised language, that the Government were prepared to fight for free trade, and if that were so the right hon. Member for West Birmingham must be their most formidable antagonist. The Chief Secretary for Ireland had in almost identical terms described the policy of the Government. Yet at the present moment the official candidate for the South Birmingham vacancy was a declared supporter of the right hon. Member for West Birmingham. The voice of the Government was the voice of Jacob, the hand was the hand of Esau. The Prime Minister had been more concerned in preparing a formula which it was more difficult for people not to follow than otherwise. That formula, was retaliation. It did very well till subjected to examination, and nobody would disagree with him when he said that retaliation for freedom of negotiation meant two very different things to a free-trader and a protectionist. What had to be decided now was whether the next Administration which sat upon the Government Bench was to be a free-trade or protectionist Administration, and on that point no assurance had been given. In the speech of the Chief Secretary for Ireland there was still the old evasion of the question and the old refusal to indicate how far the Government intended to go. Then there was the benevolent neutrality of the Government which allowed the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham to pursue his campaign through the country. Last year all discussion on this subject was discouraged, and they were the victims of a conspiracy of silence. This year they had been the victims of a conspiracy of ambiguity. He supposed that the real object of the Government was to remain as long as possible in office, and he could quite understand a Government stooping to conquer, but he was very doubtful if they could conquer, however low they stooped in this case. The Unionist Party considered this question to be of first-rate importance, and the statement of the Government had neither convinced nor satisfied the free-trade element, nor did he suppose that the protectionists had derived much satisfaction from them. Those who heard the speech of his honourable colleague the Member for Plymouth on the previous Friday, would not say that the Government had been successful in gratifying the protectionist section of their supporters. His honourable colleague was one of the most strenuous as he was one of the most important supporters of the Birmingham policy, and he himself was quite as strenuous a free-trader. If he went into the lobby with the Government he would be regarded as a loyal supporter of the Government, and would be entitled to their support at the next general election, as also would his honourable colleague. No two opinions could be more dissimiliar than his and his colleague's on this occasion, and yet observe what was to be the result. Both of them were to appear before the same electors, were to be supported by the Government, and were to have their benediction and support to the bewilderment of, he thought he might say, a disgusted electorate. Surely by this time the Government had the courage to take one side or the other. They could understand the position of Mr. Chamberlain. He differed from the right hon. Gentleman, and disliked many of his methods, but he could respect him and also hon. Members who had supported him through thick and thin, and stuck to him and the policy he had enunciated. But as for the Government, it seemed to him they gave very little material for respect. The Party was being driven into protection, many members of it quite unconsciously; but whether they knew it or not, this policy of shift, evasion, and dexterous manipulation would carry them into the troublous seas of protection There was no place for the Unionist free importer, and the time would not be far distant when there was not room in the Party for the Unionist negotiator, and it was possible the time might come when even Imperial preference was looked upon askance, and the Imperial preferen-tialist was regarded as something of the nature of a suspect by the members of the Tariff Commission. The Conservative Party was going through the process of voluntary liquidation. The business was being taken up by another syndicate, who had become possessed of the goodwill of the business and were quite prepared to cut the losses involved in the transaction. Surely, under the influence of protection, the Party must change its character, and the policy of the new Conservative Party would be such as his noble friend scarcely recognised, or perhaps cared to recognise.

He did not want to make too much of the apprehension which had been suggested as to the evil influences of corruption through protection, but it would not be wise to entirely ignore the influence of that factor. The corruption depended almost entirely upon the composition of the House. Now he wondered whether hon. Members had considered how far the composition of the Party was likely to be altered by the introduction of this new element. Protectionists had spoken in terms which they were bound to recognise as honest opinions, but how long would they remain when this new condition of affairs was introduced into the House? How long would they survive the introduction of the professional lobbyist? What position would the old-fashioned politician of to-day find himself in when the necessity for having a distinct representative would have forced business interests to get represented by some individual as their exclusive nominee? Corruption would follow in the wake of protection—it was not the Corrupt Practices Act which mainly guaranteed the purity of that Assembly, seats were not bought now for many reasons, but largely because they were not worth buying. It had come to his personal knowledge, however, that already manufacturing interests were on the look-out for suitable gentlemen, whose election expenses they offered to pay, if they would act as the direct representatives of their trades. What was the position of the free food Party with regard to all this? He did not know whether the Opposition had been congratulating themselves upon the division which existed in the Ministerial ranks. The Prime Minister had been quite unable to get his supporters into line, and they had already grouped themselves into Parties. Observe what an admirable instrument this was for recruiting. Those who were bold-hearted protectionists would enlist under the banner of the right hon. gentleman the member for West Birmingham; those who were merely Party men would meekly follow the Prime Minister; and those entertaining honest doubts might join with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol. If ever there was an occasion when they could say, "He that is not with us is against us," it was the present. He saw no alternative but to vote for the Amendment. He had no confidence in the Government, no confidence either in their intentions or their ability to check the protectionist movement, which he believed was fraught with danger to the country, and which would throw into the melting pot of chance the prospects of millions of people who had under our present system prospered and thriven. He did not see in the speeches of any member of the Government any determination to meet the policy of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham. Believing as he did, that that policy would be disastrous to the welfare of this country, he had no alternative course but to vote in favour of the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman opposite.

Mr. CHARLES McARTHUR (Liverpool, Exchange)

said he could not quite agree with what the hon. Member had said in regard to the speech made by his right hon. friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland. He had listened to that speech with very great attention, and it seemed to him a clear and straightforward statement of the policy of the Government. Upon the first day of this debate the President of the Board of Trade made an equally explicit statement, and he told them that the policy of the Government was not a policy of protection but a policy of free trade. He further stated that the Government disavowed altogether the policy associated with the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, and he took that programme in detail and showed that the Government did not entertain it, and he also disavowed colonial preference and taxes on food. Although it was true that since the speech of the President of the Board of Trade various members of the Government had to some extent weakened their confidence in the thorough adherence of the Cabinet to the policy then enunciated, yet the Chief Secretary for Ireland had now re-echoed the assurances of the President of the Board of Trade. He himself was prepared to support the policy of the Government if they would honestly carry out their own policy. But there was a serious difference between the words of the Government and their actions. He objected to the way in which the Government had allowed the affairs of the country to drift. He had full confidence in their captain, but who and where was the pilot? A captain who for want of a pilot allowed his ship to drift on the rocks was guilty not merely of negligence but of barratry.

Alluding to the policy of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham, he expressed the opinion that they were in danger of sacrificing the national ideal of freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, and freedom of trade, to what he would calla blatant Imperialism. There were two kinds of Imperialism, one true and the other false, one genuine and the other spurious. If by Imperialism they understood the spreading abroad of their dominions in the world with the object of elevating the lower races and spreading abroad the benefits of good government and granting the people self-government, that was an idea of Imperialism with which he thoroughly agreed, because it was one calculated to benefit the world. If on the other hand Imperialism meant mere pride in the power of a nation, a mere lust for dominion and a desire to obtain authority over other nations, and to exploit them for our own advantage and for the purpose of building up tariff walls around them, that was an Imperialism which he thought was not desirable. His hon. friend had made a violent attack upon the Free Food League. He was not surprised that objection should be taken to the title of "The Free Food League," because it drew attention to the most objectionable, the most odious feature of the programme, with which the right hon. Gentleman was associated—the taxation of the poor man's bread. MINISTERIAL cries of "No."] He was quite aware that it had been stated that the proposed taxes on food would be so counter acted by remissions of taxation on other articles that it would not increase the cost of living. If they had a guarantee that the tax would not exceed what was originally proposed he did not think it would affect the well paid artisan, but it would press severely upon the poorest of the poor. But what guarantee had they that such taxes would not be increased. Look at the expedience of other nations and they would conclude that it was only reasonable to suppose that taxes on food would be increased. They had heard various inducements put forward for the adoption of this policy. The first time the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham brought forward his policy in this House he covered it with the promise of old-age pensions. What had become of old-age pensions now. The next thing was that this policy would cause a rise in wages, but they heard nothing about that now. Then another inducement was the prospect of more employment, but what was that prospect based upon? It depended entirely upon the transfer of a proportion of the employment of the country from one class to another. The ex-Colonial Secretary in his speeches had often pointed to the large amount of foreign manufactures imported into this country, and had asked why those goods should not be made in England. It seemed to him that this policy, in holding out the prospect of greater employment, which merely meant the transfer of a portion of employment from one class to another, evoked a very low moral tone and appealed to the baser instincts of humanity—greed, covetousness, and combativeness. [MINISTERIAL cries of "No."] What would become of shipping trade if this policy were carried out? It meant taking bread out of the mouths of the sailors, the railway men, and the dockers in order to put more into the mouths of another section of the community. The grievances attaching to the shipping trade could be rectified altogether apart from the policy of the ex-Colonial Secretary, for if that policy were adopted they would have to pay more for building and working their ships, and there would be less traffic for them to carry. He knew there were many shipowners in Liverpool who agreed with the policy of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, but he disagreed with that policy.

Although he was an ardent believer in free trade, he acknowledged that a free-trade policy had its dangers. There could be no doubt that some of our industries were suffering from the system of free imports. Even our shipping industry which appeared prosperous was really not so prosperous. It was suffering severely from foreign competition, and our sailing ships to-day were being driven from the seas by vessels owned in foreign countries. Although the Foreign Secretary could protest against the present condition of things in regard to tariffs he could do nothing because he had no weapon. When one man came up after another and said that his trade was suffering from foreign competition he thought something must be done to improve the situation. The reason why the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Birmingham had acquired such influence in the country was not so much through agreement with his plan as by the people's confidence in the man himself. He said that, although he believed his plan was thoroughly unsound, he acknowledged that free trade had its limitations and its dangers. It was quite possible for a free-trade country to be crippled or even ruined under free trade, either by its industries being taken away in detail by aggressive taxation on the part of foreign competitors or by such a restriction of the area of competition that free trade had no room to operate. Our trade, he believed, was suffering from both these causes. The country wanted the power to put its foot down and to say, "We are unfairly treated." Everybody was a consumer, but the consumer was not everybody. He was not prepared to vote for the Amendment, for the Government had no desire to return to protection, and they disavowed their intention of taxing food.

* MR. THEODORE TAYLOR (Lancashire, Radcliffe)

said the question was for frequently asked what we were to do markets if our chief customers shut their ports against us by means of tariffs, as Russia and the United States were doing at the present time. If anyone took the trouble to examine the figures he would find that the two great excluding countries still imported a large amount of manufactures. He ventured to say that if, under any conceivable circumstances, if all the manufacturing nations of the world had a tariff as high as that of Russia, there would still be a large total of imported manufactures. The country which had the advantage of free imports, and, as a consequence, of cheap production, would still do the lion's share of the trade, and an increasing proportion of it. He spoke as a practical manufacturer who had his living to get in competition with German "dumping" in cloth. He was a member of a Yorkshire firm of manufacturers, in the fourth generation, which lost its trade with America in 1864 owing to the Morell tariff, and after that acquired a trade with Germany, France, and Italy. They did a large German trade from 1866 to 1879, when the Bismarck tariff very largely closed it. [Cheers.] He would tell the Gentlemen who cheered something still worse. If ever there was a trade where there seemed to be a very good case for the protection now unblushingly advocated it was the woollen trade, because the imposition of the German tariff not only made Yorkshire manufacturers lose the German market, but by 1890 they had to compete in the English market with cloth made in Germany by means of English machinery and imported English foremen. But the Yorkshire manufacturers had been accustomed to make their own profits and not to look to the Government for them, and so instead of shutting down their mills they thought they would try self-protection rather than Government protection. His firm were manufacturers of cloth both for men's and women's wear. One of the very remarkable things about the woollen and other textile trades was that, whereas in men's wear the foreigners hardly made any headway at all in the English market, they did so in regard to women's wear. Some manufacturers knowing that fact thought that probably there was something more than mere protection to account for the German gaining our market here. If it had been protection only in his own country he would have exported cloth for men's wear to this country. Men wanted durability in their cloth, but he would ask hon. Members who had wives and daughters whether durability was liked by them when they got it. The reason for women being less desirous of durability in dress was quite clear. Women's fashions varied very much, and men's not so much. As an English manufacturer he was sorry to say that manufacturers in this country had not followed the trend of fashion so closely as they ought to have done. The manufacturers of this country had at their back the best labour, English labour, in the world, they had the further advantage of free access to raw material, and the workers had shorter hours of labour; and under these circumstances they had asked themselves whether it was not possible for English manufacturers to retain their own markets? In his own particular firm they had adopted the principle of profit-sharing, which he believed to be a great help in this matter. He agreed with Mr. Carnegie that they could not have the best brains of workers if they had not got their hearts. His firm, by improved machinery, by co-operation with the workmen, enlisting their enthusiasm, putting it to them not merely as a matter of personal interest, but patriotism, had succeeded. Six or eight years ago large buyers of cloth for mantle purpose in the English market used to look at German manufacturers' patterns first and those of the English afterwards. Now they looked at the English patterns first, and the Germans got the leavings which the English used to get.

What did retaliation mean? It meant, that we were to get foreign nations to give us better terms. Had we the slightest hope of permanently compelling other nations to give our manufacturers better terms in order that we might compete against them? He did not believe any policy could be well founded which was not founded on an intelligent appreciation of self-interest. He for one did not sneer at Canadian preference. He appreciated it as beneficial to the colony and also to us, but it was an approach to free trade and not to protection. Our industry was not in a sound condition if our business depended upon preferences. The best way to command trade was to give good value. As to the argument of the Secretary of the Board of Trade on "dumping" it could only be effectively done by a perfect trade combine consisting of several separate works. And any such combine would prefer to close the more obsolete and un-remunerative of such works rather than carry them on in order to "dump" on the foreigner at an enormous loss. That was what was actually taking place at that moment in the case of the United States Steel Trust, and other American iron manufacturers. It had been said that cotton would never be taxed. It had been taxed, and he showed a brass tag which had been inserted in bales of cotton in the United States, which showed that it was not against the Constitution of certain individual States to levy a duty on cotton. But if there was a Constitutional difficulty about imposing an export tax on cotton in the United States, could it be imagined that the great American nation would not amend its Constitution for the purpose of striking at this country in retaliation for import duties we might impose? He spoke as a Lancashire Member, and he had noticed that no hon. Gentleman engaged in the cotton manufacture had got up and advocated a policy which would be the ruin of Lancashire. On the faith of Mr. Macara, the President of the Cotton Spinners' Association, he could state that 80 per cent of their production went abroad. Even a small protective duty would mean ruin for the cotton industry of Lancashire and Yorkshire; it would be a bad thing for every trade in the country, and, above all, it would be worse for the poorest of the people, whom the House of Commons ought to be the first to protect.

SIR WALTER THORBURN (Peebles and Selkirk)

said he had been struck in the course of this debate by the comparative absence of hon. Members representing constituencies affected by foreign tariffs taking part in it. They had had a great deal of argument against the policy of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, but practically nothing against the policy of the Government. There had been any amount of theoretical argument, but he had a strong opinion that practical experience was worth more than theoretical argument. He had the misfortune to be connected with two industries, both of which had suffered at the hands of the foreigners. He referred to the sugar trade and the woollen trade. Last year he had spoken on the sugar bounty question when the Sugar Convention Bill was before the House; now he intended to discuss the condition of the woollen trade as affected by hostile tariffs. Some months before the speech delivered by the right hon. Member for West Birmingham against foreign hostile tariffs, he had made a speech to his constituents, in which he pointed out that these foreign tariffs were practically sapping the export of woollen goods from this country, and that the Government, whether Conservative, Unionist, or Liberal, would some day be compelled to take up the question and deal with it. He said also that he trusted the question would be approached free from Party. He had likewise expressed the hope that the matter would be dealt with by diplomatic means in the first instance, but that if all efforts by diplomacy failed he was prepared to retaliate. He still hoped that if the Government were empowered to negotiate a modification of hostile tariffs might be attained without resorting to retaliation, and he might mention that one effect of the agitation in this country had been to stop the new Tariff Bill, which was to have come into operation in Germany this year. That was a great achievement. High foreign tariffs had had a serious effect upon the woollen trade in this country. The productive power of the woollen trade in Great Britain was much in excess of the home consumption, and therefore any falling off in the exports of woollens abroad was a serious matter for the manufacturers to face. The flood-tide of the woollen export trade in this country was between 1870 and 1880 when the exports amounted to nearly £29,000,000, but they had now fallen to little over £9,000,000 of woollen fabrics alone. The imports of woollen goods in the period to which he referred only amounted to £3,000,000; they had now risen to £13,000,000, including £3,000,000 worth of yarns. The tariffs in America were so high that they practically excluded all British manufactures of woollen goods, and other European countries had teadily increased their protective tariffs against us except the decaying country of Turkey, where the import duty was only 8 per cent. Formerly we had done an enormous trade in woollen goods with France, Germany, and the United States. The trade with America was practically dead, and that with France and Germany was declining. Another test of the decline in the woollen trade in Scotland was the decrease in the number of people employed in the woollen factories, which had fallen from 40,000 to 25,000, and a much worse state of matters would have been shown but for some very considerable Government contracts for army clothing which had been secured by Border manufacturers, in the past three or four years. Preferential tariffs had been given by Canada, and as a result our exports to that colony had increased by 50 per cent. New Zealand and the Cape had likewise passed Acts giving the mother country a preference. The result as regards Cape Colony was encouraging, for certain foreign manufacturers doing a Cape trade found themselves compelled to establish works in this country to enjoy the preference. This was satisfactory inasmuch as our workpeople would enjoy employment, and we should not grudge the masters curving their profits to spend abroad if so disposed. He had neither joined the Tariff Reform League nor the Free Food League, and consequently might be considered an independent witness, and he must cordially, free trader as he had always been, support the policy of the Government, which, in his opinion, would make so-called free trade freer.

* MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

My intervention in this debate for a very few moments is not prompted by any desire to take part in the controversy as between free trade and protection. On the contrary, my object in intervening is to make clear that in the action which the Irish Members intend to take they decline absolutely to commit themselves, at this stage, on one side of the controversy or the other. Were it otherwise, if I had to make up my mind on the merits of the question before the House, I should be in great difficulty, because I do not know what the policy of the Government is, and I do not know what a vote given in their favour to-night would mean—whether it would mean a vote in favour of protection pure and simple, or some sort of colonial preference, or some vague thing called a power of retaliation, which so far as I know resides in the House at the present moment, and which, I believe, this House can never alienate from it. On the other hand, when I consider the merits of the Amendment of the right hon. Member for Montrose, I should find it impossible as as Irishman to subscribe to the statement contained in it that— The removal of protective duties has for more than half a century actively conduced to the vast extension of the trade and commerce of the realm and to the welfare of its population. I presume that Ireland is included in the phrase "the realm," and so far as Ireland is concerned I respectfully state that in my judgment that statement is historically untrue. Ireland has unfortunately in the past suffered equally from the protective and from the free-trade policy of Great Britain. It is impossible to conceive anything more disgraceful, more shameful, than the story of the deliberate destruction of Irish industries by the action of the British Parliament. I remember a famous speech made by the present Prime Minister in 1895 in which he said that many of the ills of Ireland sprang from her poverty, and that England and Scotland were largely responsible for that poverty. In those days, before the introduction of steam, Ireland was in truth a formidable rival to Great Britain in commerce and manufactures, and in his great work Mr. Froude said— The mere rumour of a rise of industries in Ireland created a panic in commercial circles in England, and the commercial leaders in England were possessed with a terror of the Irish rivalry which could not be exorcised and again and again the British manufacturers came together and petitioned the British Parliament to save them from the rivalry of Irish manufacturers. And finally this Parliament listened to their voice, and when they did take action it certainly was thorough. Mr. Lecky had pointed out in his book that the Navigation Laws prohibited the importation of Irish cattle into England as "a public and common nuisance;" Irish beef, pork, bacon, butter, and cheese were all excluded, and he growth of the great woollen trade was the direct result of these restrictions of trade. That trade in turn was exterminated by the action of the British Parliament. The export of wool and woollen goods from Ireland was prohibited under pain of forfeiture of the goods and ships and a fine of £500 for every offence under a Statute of William III.; the Irish cotton trade had been ruined by a Statute of George II., and was killed by a protective duty in England of 25 per cent. At one time Ireland supplied all the cloth for the sails of the British Navy. An end was put to it by imposing duties upon all Irish-made sail cloth; and so with all Irish products of that day, and the result is summed up in these words, which I will read from Mr. Froude, who was not a witness very friendly to Ireland. "England." he said— Governed for what she deemed in her own interest, making her calculations in the gross balance of her trade ledgers, and leaving her moral obligations to accumulate as if right and wrong had been blotted out of the Statute-book of the universe. England determined to keep Ireland poor and miserable as the readiest means to prevent her from being troublesome. She destroyed her shipping industry by her trade navigation laws. She extinguished Irish manufactures by preferential duties. She laid disabilities even upon its wretched agriculture, for fear Irish importation might injure the English farmers. With their shipping destroyed by the Navigation Acts, their woollen manufactures taken from them, their trade in all its branches crippled, the only resource left to those of the Irish who cherished dreams of improving their unfortunate country was agriculture. So the whole Irish nation was driven back upon agriculture; and then, having destroyed Irish industries by your protection policy, and having driven the whole nation back upon agriculture, then you stepped in with your free trade policy to complete our ruin. Mr. Speaker, I do not question for a moment the truth of the statement that for this country free trade at the time it was established was a blessing, and has conduced to the welfare and prosperity of the people of Great Britain. [OPPOSITION Cheers.] But, Sir free trade came to Ireland in a different guise. It brought to Ireland all its disadvantages, and brought to Ireland none of its boons [MINISTERIAL Cheers.] A good free trader and a good Liberal, the late Mr. Childers said, in his draft report of the Financial Relations Commission of 1895— The change, he said, in financial policy is usually considered to have been advantageous to a population, the great bulk of which had come to depend not upon agriculture, but on manufacturing industries and commerce. But it is evident this change was not advantageous to Ireland, a country in which there was little trade or manufacturing industry; and it must be said that just as Ireland suffered in the last century from protection and the exclusive commercial policy, so has she been at a disadvantage in this century from the adoption from the almost unqualified free trade policy in the United Kingdom. Now, I say, under these circumstances, it is no wonder there is a state of apathy and indifference on this subject in Ireland. The spectacle presented by Ireland at this moment is very strange. She is an integral portion, so you say, of this Empire. She is supposed to have common interest with the Empire. Well, Sir, this country is ringing from end to end with this great fiscal controversy. It is the topic of conversation in the Senate and in the street. Go to Ireland and to-day it is the one topic no one is talking about. There is no interest at this moment taken in the question in Ireland at all. Ireland might as well be portion of any other Empire as of this, so far as interest in this question is concerned. So you may as well find yourself in Iceland as Ireland, so far as this quesion goes. The last line ever written before his death by Swift seems to me to express pretty well the views of the Irish people when to-day they are told they are to get a tariff for the protection of Irish goods. Swift was driving through the Phoenix Park just before his death, and he there saw a large number of workmen employed building a great powder magazine, and he wrote when he went back the following lines— Behold the proof of Irish sense, Here Irish wit is seen, When nothing's left that's worth defence They build a magazine. We have been told that Irish prosperity will revive if only a tax is put upon food, and that Irish industries will spring up again if only a tariff is put upon foreign imported articles, but we are somewhat sceptical about that in Ireland. A far more important question in Ireland is that of transit. Irish industries are strangled and destroyed by the expense of transit and the absence of facilities for transit. Transit in Ireland costs from 30 to 35 per cent. more than in Scotland and England. When the people of Ireland talked of protection they have in their minds protection against England. It is not Germany or any foreign nation but England which is the great dumper in Ireland. For such reasons public opinion in Ireland to-day is apathetic and unformed upon the situation which has arisen. For these reasons my colleagues and I refuse to commit ourselves, at this stage at any rate, upon one side or the other of this controversy. We prefer to hold ourselves in reserve and to await developments. I put this to the House of Commons. What a strange result it would be of the British refusal of Home Rule if the ultimate decision of this vast question should be dominated by the votes of a body of men who are in this House, but not of it, and who, in casting their votes, will refuse to think Imperially, but will be actuated by the sole consideration which course will conduce most speedily to the freedom and happiness of Ireland? There is one consideration which relieves me of any difficulty as to how I should vote on this occasion. The Amendment is, above all, a vote of want of confidence in the Government, and as that alone I regard it. The Irish Party has no confidence in the Government. Not only has the Government recently betrayed its solemn pledges to Ireland on the question of University education, but it has opposed an absolute non possumus to Ireland's claim for self-government. I say that no English Government which denies Ireland's claim for self-government can possess the confidence of the Irish Nationalists in the House. Upon this broad ground, and reserving full freedom of action in future developments in this fiscal controversy, my friends and I will vote to-night in favour of a Motion of want of confidence in the Government.


We are now coming close to the conclusion of a debate of which I will say that it has probably been more interesting and certainly more remarkable in its circumstances than any debate which any one present can have listened to on a subject of the greatest, of vital and pressing, importance to the interests of the country—importance so vital and so pressing that it was necessary for my right hon. friend to move at the earliest possible moment of the session the Amendment to the Address which we have been discussing. It is often said and urged in the Press and elsewhere that this debate ought not to have been raised in the-absence of the Prime Minister, and I think it well, as that contention goes deeper than may appear at first sight, at once to dispose of that objection. I need hardly repeat what I have already said from this place—how deeply we regret the right hon. Gentleman's absence and how cordially we hope that we may soon see him again among us all in his usual vigour and strength. But if we come to estimate the loss which his absence has inflicted on the House and on different parts of the House I am not sure that we of the Opposition have not suffered more than the Party or Parties opposite. It appears as if some persons have been learning rather too quickly their lesson, and have begun to think Imperially in the more evil domestic sense of the word Imperially. We live in this old country of ours—as yet at all events we live—under a constitutional system and not under an Imperial system. The Prime Minister of this country is, after all, as his name implies, a Minister; he is not the Chancellor of the British Empire, or even of these islands. He has colleagues who know his mind, who have assisted in framing their common policy, who share his responsibility. Am I to be told that no one of them is equal to the task of expounding what that policy is? Why, the theory will not stand for a moment. This Legislature is composed of two Houses, and in the House of Lords it has recently been the late President of the Council—it is now the Foreign Secretary—who speaks the mind of the Prime Minister and his Government, and ex-pounds not only to that House but to the country and to all of us their policy. They find no difficulty in discharging that duty, whether on some intricate and critical question of foreign policy or as to some minor detail in an unimportant Bill. Further than that, down to a year and a half ago the great statesman who was Prime Minister of the country was not a member of this House, and the duty of being his mouthpiece was most perfectly discharged by the right hon. Gentleman who is now at the head of the Government.

The idea that the Government, when the Prime Minister is absent, are smitten with a sort of aphasia and are not able to speak for themselves is absurd. But there is more than this, Sir. This subject has been for months before the country, absorbing its interest almost to the exclusion of everything else. We have all of us been reading and thinking and talking about it until we are hardly able to think and read and talk of anything else. Nay, more. For the instruction of the Government, so we are, told, an inquiry was directed, and the result of that has been published. There is no doubt or ambiguity whatever as to the attitude and opinion of the Opposition. There is almost as little doubt as to the purpose of that policy which I think, to avoid circumlocution. I may call the Birmingham policy. I suppose I may use that phrase without giving offence to other places, for Sleaford and Sheffield follow cheerfully in Birmingham's train. Besides that, the right hon. Gentleman has surrounded himself with a specially chosen Cabinet. He has put away from among them the unclean thing, and the unclean thing is now sitting below the gangway. This modern Gideon, like his great prototype, has chosen to serve with him those only who lap with their tongue, though I should not be candid if I did not say that some of them seem to me sometimes to overlap with their tongue. With all the time they have had for becoming familiar with their own policy, and having been selected for their solidity and fidelity, it is inconceivable that any one can say that they are dependent on the Prime Minister to tell us what their policy is. But how absurd it would have been if on this plea of the illness of the Prime Minister or any other, we had been content to remain silent 'and inert and to abdicate cur functions. We were shut out from the discharge of those functions last summer by the tactics of the Government. We must not allow ourselves to be any longer silent. We must take our part in this House in pronouncing judgment on the matter before the country, and we must not leave it altogether to the electors. We are constantly being reminded that, after all, we are not the only jury called upon to give a decision in this matter. Another discussion, debate, and decision is proceeding sporadically and intermittently through the country. I referred on the opening night of the session to the extraordinary series of by-elections which has taken place: but during the last few days there has been given the most striking, significant, and reverberating decision of them all in a district peculiarly favourable to the Government, with political traditions and personal attachments all in their favour, in a constituency of well-to-do residents and of industries that have been sorely pressed by foreign competition. Where can you find any place in the kingdom where the Government were more likely to get their own way? am only surprised, and I say so openly, that men who have the ordinary feeling and consideration for their own dignity and self-respect can remain disregardful of such a result. We have known a great Government, a powerful Government with a large majority, which, on the occurrence of a conspicuous proof that there was a revulsion of feeling against them in the country, did not hesitate to put their fare to the test, and win or lose it all. Of course, there are various Governments with varying standards of conduct. What I want to know is—Is there an official policy capable of being reduced to practice and of being expressed in intelligible English? If there is, why do not they produce it? They say it is for the country and not for Parliament or this House to have this policy explained to them. When the country has been consulted and given its mandate—then, and not until then, the information will be given. This much we have gathered from the debate.

Sir, the situation has no parallel. According to the chief Whip of the Government, there will be no general election this year or next. The Leaders of the Party find the trade of the country in such a position that they have decided that it is necessary to "reverse, annul, and delete" the fundamental canons of free trade. The Prime Minister has said so. The Minister who has been for eight years at the Colonial Office, and who, in the unanimous opinion of his colleagues, is the greatest Imperial figure of this or any age, has gone into the wilderness in order to avert, if he can the dissolution of the Empire. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, not unconnected with him, bids us beware lest the history of the loss of the American colonies is repeated; and all these signs and portents and convulsions which have startled and alarmed the country we are now asked to believe involve nothing more than the assertion of a high-sounding but nonsensical proposition about the resumption of freedom of negotiations. Was there ever such an anticlimax in our political history? If the Prime Minister on 3rd October was able to tell the Duke of Devonshire, as he did tell him, that he saw no difficulty in carrying out the policy by the help of his newly-constructed Government, what has happened since then? To be in possession of a policy which must not be disclosed, which must not be put in operation, while circumstances are clamouring for action, seems to imply that Ministers have only a half-belief in their own policy or else they dread that its reception would not be favourable. Otherwise, why should not some beginning at least have been made before the distant date of the general election—some beginning at least in the work of repairing the alleged desolating ravages of sixty years of free trade? Everything is in favour of the Government. They have a policy which they say they are agreed upon and which they understand themselves. The whole Party is said to be in absolute harmony, which must, of course, be quite true. They have a precedent in their own Sugar Convention, which not only retaliated by the imposition of countervailing duties but by the prohibition of the entrance to our ports of the commodity involved. They have a session with very little work to be done. And yet, according to the President of the Board of Trade and his colleagues, they are going to do nothing, but to wait for a mandate at the next general election. The only impatient person that I have discovered is the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol. He, for one, evidently only half believes in this doctrine of retaliation, but with all the fevered and anxious zeal of the half-converted he wishes at once to rush into action. He is impatient of these dilatory pleas. Some Continent d nations, he says, are engaged in framing tarifs de combat There is the opportunity. Why not try your persuasive methods at once? Never mind the mandate, says the right hon. Gentleman. I do not know whether I am right in my suspicion, but it looks to me as if the right hon. Gentleman was anxious that if they are to flourish their weapon in the face of their rivals and neighbours it had better be done before the weapon is loaded, lest the kick of their pistol be more than they can stand. This policy of freedom of negotiation has been dealt with very gingerly as if it were some poisonous draught, and net what it is represented to be, the dearly purchased elixir of Party harmony and fiscal regeneration. Is it uncharitable to suggest that the official policy is, after all, not entirely believed in by any section of those who have adopted it, and that it has in fact been adopted, not to please either the free-traders or the protectionists, for both dislike it, and not in the interest of trade, but as a formula devised to keep in a Conservative Ministry? If this is not the case, why is it that free-traders opposite cannot whole-heartedly support it, and why do protectionists and preferentialists, which is the same thing, show no enthusiasm for it, and in fact pour contempt upon it as a final arrangement, and only tolerate it as a halfway house, or the sign board of a halfway house, on the high road to protection?

Our efforts have been directed, not with much success, to discover the nature of this policy, what it covers, how far it goes, and whether it includes more than it seems to include, whether it will stand on its own legs, whether it is a practical policy economically and constitutionally defensible. Speeches of members of the Government, Cabinet Ministers and others, have not, I am sorry to say, helped us much; but a most remarkable fact in the debate is this—that in this great financial discussion from first to last not a word has come to us from the Minister of Finance. Was ever such a thing seen before? It is almost farcical; it is a slight to the House and the country.


If the right hon. Gentleman knew the facts I do not think he would make that statement. For private reasons it was not open to me to take part in the early days of the debate, and at the request of my right hon. friend who is leading the House I had arranged to speak on Friday. I did not do so because we received a message from the other side to the effect that, owing to the number of Members who wished to take part in the debate, no representative of the Front Bench opposite would speak on Friday, and, as I understood, they hoped no representative of this Bench would speak. In any case, it is not fair to say I was slighting the House because in the circumstances I had not taken part in the debate.


The right hon. Gentleman will allow me to say that I was not imputing any slight to him personally. I meant the Government, who arrange the debate. I would also point out to the right hon. Gentleman that if anyone had known he was desirous of speaking, any self-denying ordinance on Friday, such as he speaks of, would have been dropped at once, and that there have been other opportunities—today for instance. [HON. MEMBERS: Now!] I adhere to what I said—I will venture to say there is no instance of a fiscal, financial discussion of such vital importance having been carried on in the House and the Minister of Finance not taking his part in it. The right hon. Gentleman, to whom, I assure him, we all mean well and wish well, really must be aware of the fact that he is himself in a somewhat delicate position. It is not as if he was a Finance Minister who had been established in his office, and whose benign, serene tranquillity had been suddenly broken into by this troublesome question of tariff reform; not at all—the volcano was in full operation before the right hon. Gentleman was appointed. He was appointed when the policy of the Government was determined upon in order to carry out that policy. If I may adopt a barbarous expression it has been the custom to introduce in other debates, he was an ad hoc Minister, and therefore there was a peculiar obligation upon him to take part in the discussion. I am not going to analyse the speeches of other Ministers who have spoken; their vagueness, inconsistency, and variety will be remembered without quotation. They have obviously been angling day after day for the support of their followers. If a gaudy fly did not provoke a rise from a particular trout whom they wished to catch, although it was acceptable to others whom they could catch any day, then the next Minister would put on a fly of a more sober colour, and so on. These performances went on under our eyes. "We are prepared to fight for free trade," said the President of the Board of Trade. No other Minister said that, and it was pretty clear that no other Minister even thought it; and even the President of the Board of Trade, while saying that the policy of the Government was not protection, yet used all the protectionist arguments, and declared his own personal adhesion to the policy of preference and taxed food. Every other Minister who spoke in this Ministry which is "prepared to fight for free trade," either in open words or by implication, sympathized with the Birmingham policy. The Secretary of State for the Colonies, speaking at Leamington on 26th January, said— The result of the deliberations which he had imperfectly placed before them was that there must be a revision of our fiscal system, which must recover the power of negotiation, and, having brought about such a revision, we shall sooner or later come to colonial preference. This is the Government which is, two or three years hence, to go to the country at a general election to get a mandate on the sole question of liberty of negotiation, and who will give no support, as I understand it, to those further policies which the right hon. Gentleman has pointed to as having his sympathy. Then, here is the Home Secretary, who, speaking at Swansea on 27th January, said— The Government did not intend to tax raw material, and have no desire to tax food in such a way as to increase in the aggregate the cost of living to the working man. If without increasing the cost of living to the working man we could construct a satisfactory tariff by shifting the burden from one class of food to another, he did not see why it should not be done. The language when we hear it seems strangely familiar. Why? Because the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham put forward this idea at Glasgow, almost in these very terms, and the words seem to cover that further policy with which the Government now say they will have nothing to do. The right hon. Gentleman proceeded— The Conservative and Unionist Party were unanimous as to the first part of the programme. The second part of the programrne desired by Mr. Chamberlain was difficult of realisation at once, but he felt convinced himself that the-country would give in the first instance the mandate which was asked for. The mandate is to be given as the first step towards the further policy; if the further policy is not intended, the words were calculated to mislead those who heard them. Again, I quote the right hon. Gentleman on an earlier occasion at Canterbury, when he exhibited an extraordinary intimacy with the mind of the Prime Minister, which really disposes of the whole question of the possibility of any one representing the Prime Minister in this House, because he said this— The Prime Minister had laid down a policy which fell a little short, possibly, of the policy which some of his friends and himself would like to see adopted. The majority"— That is of the Party— supported the Prime Minister, who on every other subject but the taxation of food"— that is to say, a tax on manufactures and preference— was absolutely in accord with the late Colonial Secretary. Those are all the quotations with which I shall trouble the House, except one, and it is from a speech delivered at Dover by the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary, where he said:— Mr. Chamberlain had laid down a high com-mission"— Not the Tariff Commission— in order that he might more freely reconnoitre the route whence he thought the best and surest way towards the closer unity of the Empire. Mr. Chamberlain said he did not wish to commit the main body of the Unionist army to that route until he had explored it. The House will see that here we have the same thing. We have the declaration made in this House that the Government are not prepared to go one inch beyond negotiation or retaliation, but in reality their eye all the time is upon further progress upon the line of route towards protection So that, even if the Home Secretary were to come forward with the tongue of an angel or with some pontifical rescript and preach free trade, he could not obliterate the words of his colleagues or exorcise the tone of pure protection which has been sounded in the declarations of the Government in this critical debate, and which has pervaded their electoral action in the country. That is the impression left by the debate upon the House and the country. If was inevitable. Why? Because retaliation on the lines and in the interest of free trade—the sort of retaliation which has been indicated—is both economically and constitutionally impossible in this country. Take the economic view first. A tariff country may take up with reciprocity as a means of advance towards free trade, because it has duties on hand which it can modify or abandon to suit its purpose, and conceivably in such a case something may be done against hostile tariffs. But a free-trade country cannot remain free-trade if it declares war on tariffs and tries to check dumping by duties and prohibitions. It was said by the President of the Local Government Board that when other countries knew that the Government was authorised to use retaliatory powers, the effect would be almost as great as if those powers were actually exercised. But if I may use a word which I dislike—though not so much as I dislike the thing it stands for—that would be bluffing. And how kind and considerate the right hon. Gentleman has been to all rivals in informing them of the nature of his game. Tariff attacks, said the Prime Minister at Sheffield, must be met by tariff replies. If once these tariffs are applied, human nature being what it is, they will remain in force and become the centre of attraction for fresh protection. It was by this line of reasoning that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham arrived at Glasgow at his 10 per cent on manufactured goods. He foresaw the future of this weapon of negotiation; and knowing that tariffs once applied would stick, and be followed by other tariffs, he cut the knot boldly and declared for a general tariff on manufacture.

The case could not be put more clearly than by the hon. Member for the Partick division. He speaks with no small authority, for if he stands not upon the throne he is near it, and he says— Once accept the principle of using tariffs for other purposes than revenue only, and a great many other things must follow. The country would be asked for a full and deliberate mandate to use the tariff for political purposes, to obtain employment, and a higher class of employment for the people, to draw the parts of the Empire closer together. This undoubtedly means preference, a duty on manufactures, a general tariff, and a tax on food. It is no good saying "That is not the kind of retaliation we have in our minds." These things are governed by laws, not by declarations, and if in a free-trade country you begin using tariffs for purposes other than revenue, where can you stop? The acceptance of protection becomes a question only of time and degree. Thus retaliation is fatal to free trade. But it is also fatal to constitutional rule and procedure. Why? You have only to bear in mind the root distinction between a free-trade country and a tariff country, as parties to commercial negotiations, to see it at once, and to understand why the Government will not tell us, in spite of all our questions, what share Parliament is to have in the imposition and the removal of the contemplated tariffs. The distinction is this. A tariff country has only to adjust duties already sanctioned by the Legislature. I ask the attention of the House to this argument. In a tariff country they deal with a tariff already sanctioned by the Legislature, whereas in our case the negotiator, be he Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary of State, or President of a Department, must of necessity impose duties, whether it be done by Order in Council or otherwise, and the essence of the transaction is that you will have tariffs imposed by Executive action. This House cannot negotiate a treaty of commerce. The part of Parliament would therefore be limited to giving a general assent to the Executive to put on what duties it pleased. That is what it comes to, and there is no other way of it. This is a power which neither this House nor the country, please heaven, will ever grant. The Chief Secretary to-day used a phrase that I think was well calculated to startle us. He said there was to be no departure in their policy from the doctrine of free trade, the only departure would be from the "routine of Budget-making.'" In other words, it would mean the abolition of the immemorial control of this House over the taxation and the finance of the nation. What is Budget-making? It is the imposition or the removal of taxation—


I am very sorry to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but if he quotes one phrase from my speech he must quote another—subject to the effective control of Parliament, or, rather, of this House, over the financial policy of the country.


A perfectly meaningless qualification ["Oh"] because there would be required a general power given by Act of Parliament to the Executive, the consent of the House of Lords would then be necessary to alter that, and the House would deliberately have parted with its freedom of action in this most vital matter. I conceive that this constitutional effect of this proposal far exceeds in importance the fiscal effect. The right hon. gentleman and his colleagues, if they wish now to negotiate for better terms with any country, can negotiate as much as they like, imposing the condition, as was done with your Sugar Convention, that the assent of Parliament must be obtained. What the right hon. Gentleman points to is a totally different matter; it is the granting to the Executive of a standing power to do as they like in the matter of taxation. ["No."] Yes, and that is such an infringement of the rights of Parliament and the proper constitutional methods followed in this country that I think it deserves to be pointed out in order that the House and country may see in what direction they are being led. Did the Government not know they would be cutting into the fibres of the Constitution by such a principle? If so, what are we to think? If they did know it, and yet went on, still more what are we to think?

I have addressed my observations almost entirely to this question of retaliation, because that is the question before the House. It is the Government policy which we have been desiring to get at, to obtain information about.


Hear, hear!


I cannot say that either from the right hon. Gentleman who cheers or from any other have we received more than ambiguous and general phrases; but still we know enough from the speeches that have teen made, and the indications therein, the tendency and the mind of the Government and of its members, to be sure that the acceptance of that policy would lead straight, and without long delay, to the doctrines and practice of the Birmingham school; in other words, to full-fledged and unblushing protection. On that ground we are opposed, on this side of the House, root and branch to the whole policy. There must be many on the other side of the House who share that view. We have seen with admiration and respect the courageous action of members of the Party opposite who have sacrificed old associations, old claims upon their affection, and sacrificed to some extent, I dare say, the friendship of their friends in order to adhere to what they believe to be fiscal rectitude and sound policy. They have followed, no doubt at a great interval, the noble example set by the greatest leader their Party ever had. Sir Robert Peel, who made similar sacrifices in his time. I, of course, have no right, no claim, or wish to speak for those hon. and right hon. Gentlemen. As for those with whom I have the honour of acting, I can only repeat that we adhere to the old doctrines on this subject, and that we shall give to any departure from them, whether it be a large departure or a small departure leading to the larger one, the strongest opposition.


Mr. Speaker, I cannot but express my regret, although I think it was the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Fife who said we had had enough expressions of regret at the absence of my right hon. friend the Prime Minister. I regret it not only on account of his illness, which is a regret, common to both sides of the House, but because it places me in the somewhat difficult position of having to wind up this debate. I trust that in these circumstances I can count on the kind indulgence of the House. The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has addressed a few words of congratulation and support to certain hon. friends of mine who at the present moment are sitting below the gangway. He has suggested that through the action they have taken there may be some loss of friendship. May I assure them that, so far as I am concerned, I shall never forget the years we have served together, and that, on whichever side of the House we may sit, I hope there will be a continuance of the same friendly relations which have existed for so many years past? The right hon. Gentleman, and, in fact, nearly every speaker who has taken part in this debate, has hurled against the Government the charge that we are in favour of protection. We are not in favour of protection. We have not advocated it, and we do not intend to advocate it.


It is being advocated in South Birmingham.


I will not give way to the noble Lord. The noble Lord has interrupted regularly throughout this debate.


made an interruption which was not heard in the gallery.


The noble Lord says that protection has been advocated in Birmingham.


Yes, in South Birmingham, by the Government candidate.


I will deal with that subject, if the noble Lord will allow me, a little later on in my speech, lam very anxious to say something about Government candidates and Government supporters if he will kindly bear with me for a few moments; and I hope he will not be disappointed. The right hon. Gentleman opposite has asked us whether we are going to fight the battle of free trade. We are going to fight the battle of freer trade. We are anxious to see a reduction in those hostile tariffs which have been so inimical to the trade and commerce of this country. We have been denounced because, in the absence of the Prime Minister, there was no one who could state the policy of the Government, and it has been said that in his absence the House was entirely gnorant of what that policy was. I venture to think that those who listened to the speech of my right hon. friend the President of the Board of Trade on Monday last, cannot but think that he worthily filled the position which would have been taken by his right hon. relative if he had been well enough to be in the House and to discharge the duty of explaining our policy. He announced the policy which my right hon. friend the Prime Minister put before the country at Sheffield. That is the policy of the Government, and that is the policy of every member on this Bench. The right hon. Gentleman opposite has another complaint. He has told us that the Government intended to pursue this policy and to bring about an alteration of our fiscal system by Executive action and without taking the House of Commons into consultation. It is not a part of the Government's policy to withdraw in any way from this House any control which it has over the fiscal or financial arrangements of the country. I should like to state again, to my hon. friends especially, what is the policy, as I define it, laid down by the Prime Minister. I will state it in the fewest and clearest words that I can use. The principles of the policy are—that the Government, when conducting negotiations with foreign countries, should have the power, when necessary, to threaten retaliation, and when the threat is insufficient that they should have power to carry it out. The Government have no intention of taxing raw material, and their policy does not include the taxation of food. Neither do the Government propose the imposition of any taxation for the purpose of fostering a home industry which is subjected only to natural and legitimate competition. I think there was some misunderstanding with regard to a remark made by my right hon. friend the Secretary for the Colonies, which has led some of my hon. friends to think that, when a retaliatory duty is put on, the Government's intention is to keep it on for all time. Of course, if a retaliatory duty has been put on to secure a particular object, and that result has been achieved by means of it, naturally the duty would come off.

MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

And if the object is not secured?


If it is not secured it would be kept on. Objection has been taken in the course of the debate with regard to the question of colonial preference. Well, the question of colonial preference does not come within the policy of His Majesty's Government, and that was made perfectly clear by the statement of my right hon. friend the Prime Minister in his speech at Sheffield. That statement was confirmed by my right hon. friend in a further speech which he made at Bristol. He then said that no colonial preference which involved a tax upon food would be included in the policy which he put forward at Sheffield. My right hon. friend said at Sheffield— I am speaking here as one who is bound to give advice to a great Party on the policy that they should regard as their official policy, and, as the best result of my reflection, I am bound to ask them to consider that a tax upon food in the present state of public opinion is not within the limits of practical politics. Some hon. Gentlemen seem to think that we are going to carry out this policy without consulting the people of this country. We have distinctly stated that this policy is not to come into operation during this Parliament, and that it is not to come into operation until there has been a distinct opinion given in its favour by the electorate of the country—that is, the policy of retaliation; I have already pointed out that preference is not a part of the Government policy at all.


Do the Government oppose it?


Certainly the Government will be bound to oppose it in keeping their pledge, and until the electorate have pronounced in its favour. We should have to have the distinct opinion of the people of the country that that policy should be adopted.

MR. JOHN MOELEY (Montrose, Burghs)

Have you no opinion of your own?


I have a very strong opinion myself that it should not come into operation until those conditions are fulfilled. With regard to the policy of retaliation, some of my hon. friends seem to think that it is a new policy which has recently been adopted by the Conservative Party. My recollection goes back to 1880, when the Prime Minister said in this House that he desired to see a policy of retaliation adopted. In 1882, my right hon. friend the Member for Croydon put forward a Resolution in favour of an inquiry into the fiscal system of the country, and in the speech which he made on that occasion, he distinctly advocated retaliation and said he saw no reason at all why retaliation was in any way a departure from free-trade doctrine. In 1885, Lord Salisbury advised the country that further weapons were necessary in order to deal with hostile tariffs which were in an unfriendly spirit imposed on the goods of this country. Speaking again in 1902, at Hastings, the noble Lord again advocated that policy. It is, therefore, no new policy; it is no new departure, and my right hon. friend will be making no new departure in Conservative policy in adopting a policy of retaliation. Then, Sir, the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich raised some question with regard to the treatment of Government Members and candidates. May I say a word or two as to the policy adopted by the Party to its candidates and to Members, and I think the noble Lord will do me this favour to admit that I am able to speak with some authority? I have been associated with Conservative organisations for as long a time, I think, as any Member of this House, probably with the exception of my hon. friends the Members for Dartford and Cambridge University, and I can say this, that we have never made economic questions a test of Party loyalty. It has been recognised that in the Conservative Party differences of opinion might exist on this particular question. It has been recognised in he course of the debate that men holding very different opinions on this question might be in the same Cabinet. In fact, I remember that my right hon. friend the Member for Thanet sat in the same Government with so strong a free-trader as Sir Stafford Northcote, and again there sat in the same Cabinet my right hon. friend the Member for Sleaford and my right hon. friend the Member for West Bristol. The question or the doctrine rather of Cabinet responsibility is in no wise altered by recent proceedings. The responsibility of the Cabinet affects the action of the Cabinet, but I have never heard it laid down that the Members composing the Cabinet were compelled to Speak with one voice upon questions not included in the policy of the Cabinet or under their consideration, nor have I ever heard it said that it would be possible to take that course. You have the case of coalition Governments. How-could they be formed if Members were precluded from holding different views. And so I go on with regard to the question of Party management now. It has been the invariable rule of the Conservative Party to give support to the central authority and to the candidate who is prepared to support the general policy of the Party as laid down by the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Party, and providing he has the support of the local associations. We have never forced a candidate on the local associations, and we have never refused support to their adopted candidate. The noble Lord wanted to know whether an hon. Member supporting the Sheffield policy and an hon. Member supporting a more advanced policy would receive the same support from the Conservative Association. I should say certainly, as long as they receive the support of their local associations; and my hon. friend the Secretary to the Treasury has observed that he would certainly make no difficulty with regard to the candidates who are standing now. The condition must be that they are supported by their local associations and that they necessarily support the policy of the Government. How else would hon. Members have it?


If the Government really want to fight for free trade, that is not the way to do it.


I am perfectly prepared to argue this point, though a domestic incident of this sort is one which should be discussed at a Party meeting rather than in the House of Commons. I think I am right in saying that this is a subject which has been not only pressed upon us by hon. Members below the gangway but by an authority like the hon. Member for South Aberdeen.

May I now return to the Amendment? Apart from being a vote of censure, it would not be very difficult, if the Amendment were dissected, to find reasons for supporting it on this side of the House. The first part of this Amendment says— But it is our duty, however, humbly to represent to Your Majesty that our effective deliberation on the financial service of the year is impaired by conflicting declarations from Your Majesty's Ministers. I do not think the preamble of the Amendment has any real effect. I am quite sure that hon. Members can perfectly well discuss the Estimates for the present year, especially as the subject which we have been discussing for six days cannot possibly form a part of the subject of discussion. In other words, the fiscal policy is no portion of the year's Estimates, and Gentlemen interested in Supply will find no difficulty at all in exercising their powers of ample criticism. I am perfectly certain that the hon. Member for King's Lynn will be able to fully discuss the Estimates, and that the hon. Member for Mid Lanark will also be able to criticise them. The chief point now under consideration is contained in the following words of the Amendment— We respectfully submit to Your Majesty the judgment of this House that the removal of protective duties has for more than half a century actively conduced to the vast extension of the trade and commerce of the realm and to the welfare of its population; and this House believes that, while the needs of social improvement are still manifold and urgent, any return to protective duties, more particularly when imposed on the food of the people, would be deeply injurious to our national strength, contentment, and well-being. That is not a proposition which in the ordinary way any one on this side of the House would be inclined to dispute. But it is put down as a vote of censure, and therefore the Government are bound to resist it. The right hon. Gentleman has, with that galaxy of legal talent which surrounds him, drawn an Amendment with great success to entice the votes of certain Members on this side of the House. They must know what is the effect of a vote of censure, and I trust that they will not be led away on this occasion, but will support His Majesty's Government. I should like to tell them what would happen if this Resolution were carried. It would mean the breaking up of the Unionist Party on an imaginary issue. Do my hon. and right hon. friends wish to place on those Benches a Government which is supported, as we hear they would be, by the Nationalist vote.


That depends.


I judge so from the speech delivered to-night by the hon. Member the Leader of the Irish Party. That Government would comprise men who are pledged to the policy of Home Rule, and to all the endless items of the Newcastle programme? At a moment of grave international crisis, when questions of vast gravity have occurred in the Far East, when it is essential in the interests of the Empire that there should be a Government which has shown its desire for the maintenance of the Empire's prestige in order to deal with them promptly and effectively, I would ask my hon. friends below the gangway on this side of the House —Are they going to give their verdict on this question in the absence of Prime Minister? If their loyalty to him is sincere, I appeal to them with all the force at my command not to record a judgment against him in his absence.

SIR. J. STIRLING-MAXWELL (Glasgow, College)

I crave leave to ask my

right hon. friend one question upon a point which I did not understand clearly from his speech. I think he wished to make it clear. Is the Government opposed to the taxation of food as proposed by the right hon. Member for West Birmingham? I understand that that proposal is not part of the Government's policy, but I beg to ask whether the Government is or is not opposed to that proposal?

SIR. LEES KNOWLES (Salford. West)

Are the Government opposed to a duty on food or raw material?


I have said that the Government are opposed to any duty on raw material or food.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 276; Noes, 327. (Division List. No. 2.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Burns, John Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Burt, Thomas Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.
Allen, Charles P. Buxton, Sydney Charles Dilke, Rt Hon. Sir Charles
Ambrose, Robert Caldwell, James Dobbie, Joseph
Asher, Alexander Cameron, Robert Donelan, Captain A.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Doogan, P. C.
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbt. Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)
Atherley-Jones, L. Causton, Richard Knight Duffy, William J.
Austin, Sir John Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Duncan, J. Hastings
Barlow, John Emmott Cawley, Frederick Dunn, Sir William
Barran, Rowland Hirst Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Edwards, Frank
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Channing, Francis Allston Elibank, Master of
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Churchill, Winston Spencer Ellice, Capt E C (SAndrw's Bghs
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Clancy, John Joseph Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas
Beckett, Ernest William Cogan, Denis J. Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)
Bill, Richard Condon, Thomas Joseph Emmott, Alfred
Black, Alexander William Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Esmonde, Sir Thomas
Blake, Edward Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone)
Boland, John Crean, Eugene Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn Cremer, William Randal Eve, Harry Trelawney
Brand, Hon. Arthur G. Crombie, John William Farquharson, Dr. Robert
Brigg, John Crooks, William Farrell, James Patrick
Broadhurst, Henry Cullinan, J. Fenwick, Charles
Brown, Geo. M. (Edinburgh) Dalziel, James Henry Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Ffrench, Peter
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Field, William
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Delany, William Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond
Burke, E. Haviland Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway Flavin, Michael Joseph
Flynn, James Christopher MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Runciman, Walter
Foster, Sir Mich. (Lond. Univ. MacVeagh, Jeremiah Russell, T. W.
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) M'Crae, George Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry M'Fadden, Edward Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. M'Hugh, Patrick A. Schwann, Charles E.
Fuller, J. M. F. M'Kean, John Scott, Chas, Prestwich (Leigh)
Furness, Sir Christopher M'Kenna, Reginald Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Gilhooly, James M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isleof Wight
Goddard, Daniel Ford M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin Shackleton, David James
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Mansfield, Horace Rendall Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.)
Grant, Corrie Markham, Arthur Basil Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Greville, Hon. Ronald Mooney, John J. Sheehy, David
Grey, Rt. Hn. Sir E. (Berwick) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Shipman, Dr. John G.
Griffith, Ellis J. Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Morley, Rt Hn John (Montrose Sinclair John (Forfarshire)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Moulton, John Fletcher Slack, John Bamford
Hain, Edward Murnaghan, George Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Murphy, John Smith, H. C (North'mb. Tyneside
Hamilton, Rt Hn LordG. (Midx Nannetti, Joseph P. Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Hammond, John Newnes, Sir George Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Harcourt, Rt. Hn. Sir William Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Soares, Ernest J.
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydv Norman, Henry Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R (Northants
Harmsworth, R. Leicester Norton, Capt. Cecil William Stevenson, Francis S.
Harrington, Timothy Nussey, Thomas Willans Strachey, Sir Edward
Harwood, George O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Sullivan, Donal
Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary, M Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Hayden, John Patrick O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Tennant, Harold John
Helme, Norval Watson O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Doherty, William Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr)
Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E. O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.) Thomas, J. A. (Glam., Gower)
Holland, Sir William Henry O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) O'Dowd, John Tillet, Louis John
Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Tomkinson, James
Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.) Toulmin, George
Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Malley, William Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Jacoby, James Alfred O'Mara, James Ure, Alexander
Johnson, John (Gateshead) O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Wallace, Robert
Joicey, Sir James O'Shee, James John Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea) Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Partington, Oswald Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Jordan, Jeremiah Paulton, James Mellor Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Joyce, Michael Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Kearley, Hudson E. Pemberton, John S. G. Weir, James Galloway
Kemp, Lieut.-Colonel George Pirie, Duncan V. White, George (Norfolk)
Kilbride, Denis Power, Patrick Joseph White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Kitson, Sir James Price, Robert John Whiteley, George (York, W. R.
Labouchere, Henry Priestley, Arthur Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Lambert, George Rea, Russell Whittaker, Thomas Palmer)
Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Reckitt, Harold James Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Langley, Batty Reddy, M. Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.)
Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W. Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk, Mid.)
Layland-Barratt, Francis Redmond, William (Clare) Wilson, John (Durham, M
Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington) Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Leigh, Sir Joseph Rickett, J. Compton Wood, James
Leng, Sir John Rigg, Richard Woodhouse, Sir J. T (Huddersf'd
Levy, Maurice Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Young, Samuel
Lewis, John Herbert Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Yoxall, James Henry
Lloyd-George, David Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Logan, John William Robertson, Edmund (Dundee) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Lough, Thomas Robson, William Snowdon Mr. Herbert Gladstone and
Lundon, W. Roche, John Mr. William M'Arthur.
MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Roe, Sir Thomas
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Rose, Charles Day
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Allhusen, Augustus Hry. Eden Arkwright, John Stanhope
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Allsopp, Hon. George Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O.
Aird, Sir John Anson, Sir William Reynell Arrol, Sir William
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Dickinson, Robert Edmond Hoult, Joseph
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H Dickson, Charles Scott Houston, Robert Paterson
Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham
Bailey, James (Walworth) Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Jos. C. Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham
Bain, Colonel James Robert Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil
Baird, John George Alexander Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Hudson, George Bickersteth
Balcarres, Lord Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E. Hunt, Rowland
Baldwin, Alfred Doughty, George Hutton, John (Yorks., N. R.)
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Jameson, Major J. Eustace
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds) Doxford, Sir William Theodore Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch Duke, Henry Edward Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred
Barabury, Sir Frederick George Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton
Banes, Major George Edward Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Johnstone, Hey wood (Sussex)
Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H
Bartley, Sire George C. T. Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.) Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Faber, George Denison (York) Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W (Salop
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michael Hicks Fardell, Sir T. George Kerr, John
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc Keswick, William
Bignold, Arthur Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Kimber, Henry
Bigwood, James Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. King, Sir Henry Seymour
Bill, Charles Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Knowles Sir Lees
Blundell, Colonel Henry Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas Laure, Lieut.-General
Bond, Edward Fisher, William Hayes Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Fison, Frederick William Lawrence, Sir J. (Monmouth)
Boulnois, Edmund FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Bousfield, William Robert Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon Lawson, Jn. G. (Yorks., N. R.)
Bowles, Lt,-Col. H. F (Middlesex Flannery, Sir Fortescue Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)
Brassey, Albert Flower, Sir Ernest Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Forster, Henry William Legge, Col. Hon. Henoage
Brotherton, Edward Allen Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.) Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.
Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh. Fyler, John Arthur Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Brymer, William Ernest Galloway, William Johnson Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.
Bull, William James Gardner, Ernest Long, Col. Chas W. (Evesham)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Garfit, William Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.)
Butcher, John George Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A (Glasgow Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Lowe, Francis William
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin & Nairn) Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)
Carlile, William Walter Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Lowther, Rt. Hn. James (Kent
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Gordon, Maj. E. (T'r Hamlets Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth
Cautley, Henry Strother Gore, Hn G. R. C. Orms.-(Salop Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby.-(Linc. Macdona, John dimming
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Goulding, Edward Alfred MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Graham, Henry Robert Maconochie, A. W.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A (Wore Gray, Ernest (West Ham) M'Calmont, Colonel James
Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton Greene, Sir E. W (B'ryS Edm'nds M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury Majendie, James A. H.
Chapman, Edward Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.) Malcolm, Ian
Charrington, Spencer Grenfell, William Henry Manners, Lord Cecil
Clare, Octavius Leigh Gretton, John Martin, Richard Biddulph
Clive, Captain Percy A. Groves, James Gamble Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.
Coates, Edward Feetham Gunter, Sir Robert Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H. E (Wigt'n
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hall, Edward Marshall Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.
Coddington, Sir William Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Coghill, Douglas Harry Hambro, Charles Eric Middlemore, Jn. Throgmortou
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir FrederickG
Colomb, Sir J. Charles Ready Hare, Thomas Leigh Milvain, Thomas
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'ch Mitchell, William (Burnley)
Compton, Lord Alwyne Harris, Dr. Fredk. R. (Dulwich Moles Worth, Sir Lewis
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Haslett, Sir James Horner Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.
Cox, Irwin Edward Bain bridge Hay, Hon. Claude George Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S Heath, Arthur Hoyward (Hanl'y Moore, William
Cripps, Charles Alfred Heath, James (Staffords, N. W Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Heaton, John Henniker Morrell, George Herbert
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Helder, Augustus. Morrison, James. Archibald
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Henderson, Sri A. (Stafford, W Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Cust, Henry John C. Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T Mount, William Arthur
Dalkeith, Earl of Hickman, Sir Alfred Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hoare, Sir, Samuel Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Davenport, William Bromley Hogg, Lindsay Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)
Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham) Hope, J. F. Sheffield, Brightside. Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Dewar, Sir T. R (Tower Hamlets Horner, Frederick William Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath
Myers, William Henry Round, Rt. Hon. James Tuff, Charles
Newdegate, Francis A. N. Royds, Clement Molyneux Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Nicholson, William Graham Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Tuke, Sir John Batty
O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Valentia, Viscount
Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H (Sheff'd
Parkes, Ebenezer Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Walker, Col. William Hall
Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlington) Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse) Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir Wm. H
Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles Wanklyn, James Leslie
Percy, Earl Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Warde, Colonel C. E.
Pierpoint, Robert Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J. Webb, Colonel William George
Pilkington, Colonel Richard Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E (Taunton
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Seton-Karr, Sir Henry Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Nattas)
Plummer, Walter R. Sharpe, William Edward T. Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Pretyman, Ernest George Skewes-Cox, Thomas Whiteley, H (Ashton und. Lyne
Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Smith, James Parker (Lanarks. Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Purvis, Robert Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Pym, C. Guy Spear, John Ward Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Randles, John S. Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich) Willox, Sir John Archibald
Rankin, Sir James Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.
Rasch Sir Frederic Carne Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset) Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Ratcliff, R. F. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)
Reid, James (Greenock) Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Remnant, James Farquharson Stock, James Henry Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Renwick, George Stone, Sir Benjamin Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart
Richards, Henry Charles Stroyan, John Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Wylie, Alexander
Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G (Oxf dUniv
Robinson, Brooke Thorburn, Sir Walter
Rolleston, Sir John F L. Thornton, Percy M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir
Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Tollemache, Henry James Alexander Acland-Hood and
Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M. Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.
Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter Tritton, Charles Ernest

Motion made, and Question, "That the debate be now adjourned,"—(Mr. Herbert Samuel) put, and agreed to.

Main Question again proposed.

Debate to be resumed To-morrow.