§ SIR CHARLES MCLAREN (Leicestershire, Bosworth)
said the subject of the Motion, of which he had given notice, was one which, although controversial in many respects, was happily free from Party controversy in the House of Commons, and he could say with confidence that it would be supported as much on the Conservative as on the Liberal side. This subject had not been 1332 brought before the House of Commons since 1897, when a Bill introduced by Mr. Faithful Begg dealing with the subject was read a second time by a majority of seventy-one, which majority represented all Parties in the House, and a majority of every section in favour of the Bill. He had no reason to doubt that having regard to the great interest which women took in political affairs, and the growing willingness which there was among politicians to avail themselves of the services of women, the House of Commons would be no less willing to grant them the Parliamentary franchise then they were six years ago. This question had been before the House of Commons for thirty-seven years. In 1867 it was introduced by Sir John Stuart Mill, who in the Reform Bill desired to substitute the word "person" for "man," but the entrance of women into political life was a startling proposition in those days, and the Motion was lost by a large majority. The political woman at that time was represented by her opponent to be an advocate of 1333 women's rights, unprepossessing in feature, badly dressed, obtrusive, a member of the shrieking sisterhood; in fact, possessed of all those qualities which are foreign to the feminine nature; in short, for a woman to enter political life was equivalent to unsexing herself. He ventured to think that point of view of this question had entirely vanished. Many other questions in which women had been interested daring the last thirty years had been met with similar arguments and treatment, and yet women had now an established position in social politics. They had rights in property, certain rights over children, access to higher education, in which its branches and most of the professions were now open to them. Having regard to the enormous development of women's status in this country socially, he thought it was a little late in the day to object on principle to giving her an interest in the political machinery. She had her place on boards of guardians and parish councils, and up till recently also upon the school boards and vestries in London.
The time had come for a change. The doctrine of inherent incapacity of women had been put aside by the House over and over again. Notwithstanding the fact that women who had attained to great learning and high positions were made use of by candidates at elections to persuade illiterate voters to come, to the poll, they were placed behind the most illiterate class of men in regard to suffrage. A woman might be the owner of great estates or a prosperous business, and yet she had no right whatever to any voice in the question affecting her property or her interest in this country. In New Zealand and the whole of Australia, except Victoria, women had a vote for the State Legislature. Should the question of the consolidation of the Empire by colonial reciprocity come up for serious discussion it would be placed before the Australian Parliament, for which women had voted, and yet when it was placed before our Parliament, representing ten times the number of population, not a single woman in England would have a voice in the matter. On this point he quoted the opinion of Sir Edward Barton, 1334 the Premier of the colony, who, speaking to a deputation of ladies in London in 1902, said none of the anticipated evils had resulted from the granting of the suffrage to women in Australia, and that the success of the movement in the United Kingdom would tend to promote the unity of the Empire. The experience of the Colonies was convincing that we might with perfect safety extend the franchise to women. He also pointed out that among prominent statesmen in this country, the tendency was to appeal to the judgment of women on the great questions of the day. He quoted Lord Goschen, Mr. John Morley, and Lord Rosebery in illustration of this point, and argued that it was illogical to appeal to women to exert their influence in promoting the success of political principles unless they gave them the vote by which that influence could be made effective. He observed that among those who had appealed to women on the fiscal question was the Leader of the Opposition, while he claimed the Prime Minister, the President of the Board of Trade, and the Chief Secretary as actual supporters of women's suffrage. He contended that the extension of the franchise to women would leave the balance of Parties unaltered, asserting that this fact was demonstrated by the experience of the Australian Commonwealth. Our municipal elections, in which women voted, told the same tale. He combated the idea that this was a sort of fad on the part of a number of rich and active political women. The question had been taken up very largely by the working women, and especially by those women who were trades unionists. In the borough of Wigan the women trades unionists were supporting a candidate expressly in their own interests. He pointed out that since men had had the franchise there had been a steady growth in the wages of men, from 50 to 100 per cent. There had not been any similar rise in women's wages. They were paid far below the standard of men. The object of trades unions should be to prevent men's wages being dragged down to the level of women's wages, and the best way to do that was to level up the wages of women, which might be expected to follow the granting of political privileges to the sex.
1335 The Resolution had been drawn widely for the purpose of giving every man in the House an opportunity of voting for it, and he observed that he did not ask for universal franchise, but merely that whatever rights of voting wore now possessed by men should be extended to women. The Motion would enable any man to vote for it who had any belief whatever in the right of women to vote. He hoped that no attempt would be made by any of his hon. friends to draw a distinction and say that the Resolution was too wide or too narrow. He believed that by adopting the suggestion he had put forward they would very much simplify the register and very much simplify the elections, and, at the same time, be doing an act of substantial justice to women which would give them a very efficient representation. This Parliament had shown itself singularly free from prejudice. He did not think there had over been any Parliament which had attacked so many institutions and upset so many settled ideas. He did not think he would appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite in vain. They had had some experience of late in what he might call heroic legislation, and surely it was not asking them to go very much further if he asked them to remove the last remaining disability of an electoral character on women and to admit them to the Parliamentary franchise.
§ COLONEL DENNY (Kilmarnock Burghs)
said that in rising to second this Resolution, suggesting such a drastic alteration in our scheme of franchise, he quite realised that, technically speaking, he could add but little, if anything, to what had been so admirably said by the proposer. He welcomed the chance, however, of emphasising by his action the fact that this was not a Party question, but one on which opinion was much divided. In 1897, on the last occasion on which the Motion was brought forward — but in the concrete shape of a Bill — it was proposed by a Unionist, seconded by an hon. and learned Member still in the House, the rejection was moved by a Unionist, and seconded by an old and justly respected Radical Member, and men of all shades of opinion spoke for and against, including the right hon. Gentleman the Member for 1336 West Monmouth, whose approaching resignation of his seat was mourned alike by Unionists, Liberals, and Irish. The arguments then were very much what they were before, what they were now, and what he doubted not they would be, till this great and clamant reform was granted. Nobody but a hardened sinner, he was convinced, could resist the cogency, on the other hand, of the arguments for the proposal. Viewed historically, this was one of the solitary cases of reaction to be placed against this House. It was true that while women of a certain standing directly influenced the selection, not the election, of Members during the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, and down practically to 1832, the year of the first great Reform Bill, it was but in an odd case of course now and then; but it was also true that for the first time in 1832 women were specifically barred from any share in the choice of Members of the Legislature. When the great era of local effort and government came, women were recognised as, at any rate, capable of administrative work, of interpreting and carrying into effect laws of great complexity, in the passing of which, however, they had no share. Then came another period of reaction, and judge-made law barred them first of all front sitting directly on county councils, while two years ago they were barred again from sitting on the borough councils which replaced the vestries, on which they could be elected; while in 1902 Parliament again took away from them all powers of sitting on the educational bodies which replaced the School Boards. That was how the matter stood now, and he could not put his case better than in the words of a lady, capable not only of sustained devotion to the interests of her sex, but also of putting her thoughts into eloquent words—In these days the trend of modern polities is setting always more and more strongly in the direction of social and domestic legislation, which affects the daily life and interests of women as much, and frequently more even, than those of men. In fact, there is no relation of our lives, whether as members of a family, as private citizens, or as wage-earners, which legislation does not touch, and women equally with men. Large sections of our legal statutes, such for example, as the Factory Acts, affect women and children almost exclusively, and is 1337 it not preposterous, then, to say that in respect to laws regulating their own most vital interests, and those of their children, not one woman, and not one mother, is to have any direct voice in the matter. To say that women have no rights or interest in the making of the laws is simply to say they have no rights or interest in the ordinary affairs of the family, or of life itself.Now, why was this reform not to be granted? Let him take first the ground quoted of general want of intelligence. He had been told that some Members had found the general body of existing women voters incapable of grasping the general points at issue and forming an opinion. If true, which he doubted, what could they expect? If they deprived people of any hope of taking a certain position, they discouraged many of them from devoting time and intelligence to the study of the question. But the great acumen tacitly granted to men only came gradually. It was not all at once that men became the peers of Pitt, of Peel, of Disraeli, of Gladstone, or of Labouchere. These great exponents of our life were of no mushroom growth with no very good grounds for existence, but the product of selection, of development and training. Give women the chance, and it would be found that those who, it could not be denied, were possessed of faculties and powers at least as good as men, were not exceptions, but samples of the bulk. The House had been told about petticoat government by the hon. Member for Northampton. No amount of holding back of women from the exercise of their undoubted rights would save the men who were under this species of rule, abhorred by the hon. Member, from remaining under it, proving at once, as it did, women's capacity, and in the particular case referred to, the feebleness of man. Not one single man more would be ground down by the hem of the petticoat should this proposal be translated into law. Until they treated women in the co-operative sense, and not purely in the possessory sense, they would keep them in one rank of life as drudges and victims, and in the other as the butterflies of society and the toys of men. He asked hon. Members not to class them as was done in America, as among the criminals, idiots, and imbeciles—there were no peers in America—who were not entitled to vote. Then the 1338 hon. Member for Northampton brought forward blood - curdling stories of men washing babies and cleaning rooms, and evidently doing both very badly, while their wives were out canvassing, which only convinced him that the opposition was sinking to poor arguments indeed. At the worst, if true, why should not the men help the women and learn to do work which, as far as he could make out from the hon. Member, they did in such a way as to cause the minimum of advantage to the children with a maximum of pain.
Then there was the opposition of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Forest of Dean, who did not object, to this Resolution, but who differed from any Bill which did not grant manhood and womanhood suffrage; in other words, that a woman of means and intellect, possessed of much property and capable of managing it, was not to get a vote which was enjoyed by her own servants till every being, calling himself a man, who was not an actual criminal or an absolute lunatic, was to be enfranchised. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth stated in his speech in 1897 that the time granted was too short, that it was impossible on a Wednesday afternoon to bring this matter to a conclusion. If that be so, how much less hope was there to-night, when they could only speak for three hours instead of five and a half as under the old Wednesday arrangement. But he differed from the right hon. Gentleman, holding as he did that, as this matter had been discussed for sixty years, this evening's debate would only, as it were, form the lens of a great camera focussing the opinion and argument of all these years into a collected and understandable picture. Might he say in conclusion, that he trusted this House would not shrink from doing anything but absolute justice to a claim from a body of would-be electors much more numerous than their own sex, a body, moreover, actuated by the laudable desire to have some share in the formation of laws, which although affecting men, touched women much more, not only in proportion, but in the 1339 intensity of results upon their life and happiness.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the disabilities of Women in respect of the Parliamentary Franchise, ought to be removed by legislation."—(Sir Charles McLaren.)
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
said this was not the first time that he had addressed the House on this subject. On every occasion he had come forward as the champion of women against those wild spirits among men and women who wanted to foist a privilege on the vast majority of women who did not desire it. His hon. friend the Member for the Bosworth Division said that he did not desire that all women should have the franchise, but that it should be the same for women as for men. They could not go by what the mover of the Resolution said when that was in antagonism to the Resolution itself. The Resolution was: "That the disabilities of women in respect of the Parliamentary Franchise, ought to be removed by legislation." He was sure that his right hon. friend the Member for the Forest of Dean would not say that he took the same view of the Resolution as the hon. Member for Bosworth. As far as he understood it the hon. Member for Bosworth, with Machiavellian tactics, moved a Resolution in certain terms in order to secure the widest support for it, and made a speech in another sense in order to capture the support of those who did not wish to go so far. Those were womanly tactics. He objected to them because they were not characterised by that amount of frankness that he liked to see displayed. What would be the effect of granting the franchise to all women? There were a great many more women than men in the country, and the preponderance was increased at election times owing to the fact that many men were occupied in work abroad. If the Resolution was adopted, therefore, the country would be absolutely in the hands of women. If there was a majority of women Heaven only knew; how far they would go when they had the power. It was said that women had no influence at present. He denied 1340 this, and maintained that they exercised an enormous influence. Something had been said about the views of Lords Goschen and Rosebery on this question in connection with the fiscal controversy. Those two noble Lords were not illogical in their appeals about women, for they appealed to women to use the influence they had on men to induce them by blandishments, conversation, and so on, to take a right view of the fiscal question. Did any hon. Member suppose that when women obtained the vote they would be satisfied until they were allowed to sit in the House?
§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
They have the right of sitting in the Federal Houses in Australia but do not avail themselves of it.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
Certainly not! Therefore they might take it as a necessary consequence of giving women votes that they would sit in this House. Why was the grille kept in front of the Ladies' Gallery? They were told it was because the sight of so much beauty would so disturb the minds of hon. Members that they would not be able any longer to continue their deliberations quietly. But if ladies were transferred from the gallery to the Treasury Bench and mixed hugger-mugger with hon. Members, it would be difficult to say what might happen. Personally ho was an old man, and the transference would not affect him very much. He was speaking more out of sympathy with the young men in the House, and he would not conscientiously submit them to such a temptation. Talk about "lobbying"! If his hon. friend the Member for West Southwark had a beautiful lady on each side of him urging him to vote in a particular way on a private Bill, he believed that his hon. friend would succumb. So far as he could prevent it there would be no such risk. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock said that women canvassed for him, or, rather, what he said was that he canvassed women.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
Well, there was another danger. Candidates would have to canvass women if they had votes. He saw an account the other day of a case in the North of England where a gentleman was found to be visiting a lady who was not his wife. But what was his reply? His defence was that he visited the lady because he contemplated becoming a town councillor, and that he went to see the lady in order to canvass for her support. Curiously enough that plea was not accepted, and the unfortunate man was condemned to pay damages.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
said that that was worse. He did not know how domestic bliss was to be continued if a man was perpetually leaving his own wife and visiting another man's wife on the plea that ho wanted to be a town councillor. He thought that the hon. and gallant Gentleman would agree with him that that would be a very dangerous state of things. The fact was that though a small number of women wanted the franchise the vast majority of them did not. If women had really wanted it, with all the influence they possessed, they would have got it long before this time. Women were perfectly satisfied with the indirect influence they already exercised. It had been said by a great poet that "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." That was perfectly true, and the vast majority of women were perfectly happy in their homes, and had no wish to mix in the turmoil and rough work of elections. They preferred to be what they were; and it was as a champion of these women that he now appeared in this House. The hon. and gallant Gentleman said that they who were against giving votes to women talked about petticoat government.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
said that there was a good deal of petticoat government at the present moment. He remembered reading a speech of the right hon. Member for Croydon, 1342 who complained that there was a great deal too much of petticoat government in the War Office. That showed that it was not necessary for women to have votes in order to have petticoat government. There were many qualities which women had, and which men had not; but these qualities were not precisely those which fitted them to give votes, or to have a voice in this House. The fact was, women were too impulsive, they had too much heart, and were too good for political life. When an intelligent woman had got an idea into her head, it could not be knocked out of it. One might prove to her conclusively that she was all in the wrong, but she would simply repeat what she had said to commence with. It was said that perhaps women would develop if they had the franchise. According to Darwin they had all developed from worms, or monkeys, or other lower animals. How long did the hon. Gentleman opposite suppose that it had taken him to develop from a worm? Millions of years! And were they to give women votes in the hope that in some millions of years they would develop into intelligent voters and proper Members of Parliament? There were women's clubs in London, but he understood that they invariably failed, and were broken up. The members took different views; and they could not have a practical legislative Assembly like this run on the lines of a woman's club. His own belief was that, if they gave women votes, and particularly if they allowed them to sit in this House, the domestic peace of many households in the country would be destroyed. The Radical husband and the Conservative wife would be found standing against each other for the same constituency. The hon. Member opposite had said that women canvassed for him at Northampton. That was not true. He would never have a woman canvass for him, for in such work a woman did more harm than good. He thought that one of the worst things ever done for the Conservative Party, to which he did not belong, was the establishment of the Primrose League, and therefore he hoped that that Party would always support it. Ladies seemed of the to think that he was their special enemy; they did not believe that he was a friend 1343 of women. What happened at Northampton was that a number of women who were members of the Women's Franchise Association came down to that city, took committee rooms, and issued placards inviting his constituents not to vote for him, and they went about canvassing against him. At the meeting of the electors at Northampton he asked the men how they would like their "missises" to go about like these women, leaving their husbands at homo to feed and wash the baby, and the invariable answer was "No, we won't." The result was that these women were received everywhere with cries of, "Go home and look after the baby," and they soon indignantly retired from the field. The mission of a working man's wife was to look after the home, to mind the baby, to cook the dinner, and to do the household washing. She had no time for electioneering. The business of the husband was to take an hour off, go to public meetings, and if he were a wise man adopt the Radical principles addressed to him.
His contention was that the vast majority of women did not want the franchise, and that men did not want them to have it. What happened was that at public meetings, some one got up and said, "Let us pass a resolution in favour of women." There was a certain amount of gallantry in that, and it pleased the ladies; and so the meeting passed the resolution. But they did so knowing full well that it never would be carried in this House. Working men particularly were entirely opposed to women having the vote. He went further, and insisted that those who voted in favour of the Resolution in this House were themselves opposed to it. [Cries of "No."] Yes, yes. Everybody knew what happened when this Resolution was to come on. Members were pestered by women in the lobbies, and asked to fulfil their pledge, and vote for the Resolution; but two-thirds of those who would vote in favour of it would infinitely prefer it to be talked out. [An HON. MEMBER: No.] His hon. friend said no, but he was not everybody. What happened in the case of the Plumbers Bill which stood in front of the Women's Franchise Resolution? Everybody at once displayed a deep interest in the Plumbers Bill, and took part in long discussions upon it. Then on another occasion his friend 1344 Mr. Hazell, then Member for Leicester, got his Verminous Persons Bill through its First and Second Reading, and through Committee, and it came on for a Third Reading; but it stood in the way of the women's franchise Resolution. Well, hon. Members discussed the Verminous Persons Bill at inordinate length. Someone asked, suppose he had a fox in his pocket, was he to be regarded as a verminous person? Then there were questions asked as to whether the bath was to be warm or cold, or of what temperature. Everybody knew that these discussions on the verminous question were a mere blind to talk out the Bill to prevent the other question of the Women's Franchise coming on. Was it not a positive fact that that sort of thing would not be allowed unless the sense of the House was in favour of putting off the question in that indirect way. There was a Bill down on the Paper that night about Barnet Waterworks. It was a Private Bill. He had studied it, and there were many interesting questions connected with it. He proposed to treat the Bill exhaustively. He was perfectly indifferent as to whether Barnet got that Bill or not, and if it had come on he would probably have taken the side of the minority. But, in some unfortunate moment the Gentlemen connected with the Bill put it off to next week, and so they had not an opportunity of discussing it. To return to the women's franchise, women did not want it, men did not want it, and many would vote for it because they were obliged to. [Cries of "Oh, oh!"] Well, there were some who would vote for it who were fanatics on this matter; but hon. Members were not all fanatics. He stood to his views. So long as he had the honour to be a Member of this House he should defend the cause of women. He did not go for these political Boadiceas. He went for the angel of the hearth, who kept away from political turmoil; and in that view he believed he was supported by the vast majority of men and women of commonsense in the country.
§ *SIR JOHN ROLLESTON (Leicester)
said that while admitting the difficulties which might surround so sweeping a 1345 change as was sought for in the Resolution before the House, yet, if the ideal was right the difficulties ought not to be a bar to its realisation. They were led to believe that women already played an important part in the government of the country; that they had ready access to the War Office and perhaps other great Departments, and that they exercised a considerable influence in the appointment of those who were selected for the service of the State. If, therefore, such great consideration was given to the sagacity and acumen and experience of women of one class, he certainly thought that the simple vote for a candidate for this House, Membership of which was not one of the lucrative appointments of the State, might be extended to women of another class who naturally wished to have a voice in the appointment of those who were to represent them. He had the honour to present a petition in favour of this Resolution that afternoon from some thousands of women workers at Leicester and Hinckley, and yesterday deputations attended at the House from Bolton, Wigan, Cradley Heath, Leicester, Hinckley, and other places. Their purpose was to interview the hon. Member who was to introduce this Resolution and other Members interested in their cause; and they clearly and forcibly made out their case. Afterwards the hon. Member for the Loughborough Division and himself had a most interesting and instructive tea-party in the precincts of the House with the members of these deputations. One of their guests, with some reluctance he admitted, told them that she had worked ten hours a day at welding chains and received at the end of the week 5s. for that work. But it was fair to say that she also said that that was not the maximum wage paid to women workers in that trade, as some obtained as much as 10s. a week. Now what these women workers said was that men who had the franchise had a weapon, and could get their wants attended to, and that until they also got this weapon, the women of this country would doubtless have to continue to work under harsh conditions for starvation wages without being able to make their wants felt. That was briefly the effect of what the deputations said, and which he was glad of the opportunity 1346 of repeating these at first hand, and of urging upon the House with all the force at his command the acceptance of their plea. He most heartily supported the Resolution.
§ DR. SHIPMAN (Northampton)
said he was compelled to speak because his colleague in the representation of Northampton did not fully represent that constituency on this great question. Of course it was well known to all in Northampton that his hon. colleague was idolised by the ladies; and if he was opposed by the ladies who came down from London at the election in 1895 he could assure him that ladies both spoke and worked for him in 1900. At the last election a beautiful young lady went to his colleague and began to argue with him on the question of the woman franchise. But the hon. Gentleman exhibited the wonderful and peculiar influence he had over women by cutting in and saving, "Do you believe in love?" At any-rate, he so got her thoughts away from the franchise that she told him she hoped some day to marry a baronet. The people of Northampton thought very strongly on this question, and they had an association which worked for it. He would strongly support the Resolution. Women held property in this country and they had interests as vital and as keen in the community as men had. They had been twitted with not being able to bear arms against the enemies of their country; but they had borne in their own arms those who became able to defend it. He did not forget that the strength of the country depended as much and more on its motherhood than on anything else. What had been the tendency of the law? It was to disentangle the personality of the wife from that of her husband. At one time a married couple were legally only one person. It had taken some years to disentangle the personality of the wife in regard to property, but women now held property practically in the same way as men; and if women bore the burden of the responsibility of property why should they not also have the right to join in guiding taxation? Then, again, women worked alongside men industrially and socially. Would anyone who 1347 knew the business capacity of women twit them with want of intelligence? He failed to see any reason, physically, morally, or mentally, why women should play an inferior part to that of men. It used to be thought that women were inferior; but when the Universities were thrown open to women they found that women were able to beat men in their own field of mathematics. It was because women had not the opportunity that they did not stand as high as men years ago. As to courage, he remembered reading not long ago a case in which a landlady heard suspicious sounds downstairs. A burglar was in the house; there were men lodgers there and the landlady was the only woman. She lighted a candle and went down and struggled with the burglar, the men above merely asking what was the matter, but they did not come down. Not only in those directions but even in strength woman could show not a superiority, of course, but an equality with man. In every way they looked at this question, free from the old semi-barbarous prejudice against women, he could not see any difference between men and women so far as regarded capacity to give light and guidance as to the government of the country. Women were asked to advise with reference to children and other matters in which they were concerned, and were of assistance in municipal and local elections. He was surprised to hear his hon. colleague talk about the turmoil of political elections. His hon. friend knew nothing of that. During the last election he spent most of his time reading a novel by James Payn entitled "By Proxy." He had now secured that volume and his hon. friend had inscribed it as follows:—"Read during the election." It was only necessary to mention the name of Labouchere in Northampton and there was no need to trouble further. It was only on this particular question that ho and his hon. friend did not see eye to eye; and he was sorry that his hon. friend was behind his humble self. He was, however, cheered by the remark of his hon. friend when he said that if two colleagues saw eye to eye one of them must be a fool. There was no doubt that if Northampton was polled on this particular question, it would 1348 say, as Northampton's greatest Member, Charles Bradlaugh, said, that they required the intelligence of women to help them to properly govern a country which consisted of women as well as of men.
§ MR. ATHERLEY-JONES (Durham, N.W.)
said he had listened with great pleasure to the amusing speech delivered by his hon. friend, but he could not help thinking that the subject was worthy of a little more serious consideration than that which he had bestowed upon it. They had heard from his hon. friend the Member for Northampton a rechauffé of some of the old familiar arguments with which this question had been approached. They had heard persiflage and badinage rather than argument. His hon. friend said that inasmuch as women were more numerous than men the result would be that the destinies of this Empire would pass to the control of women. That was, of course, a fallacy, because it assumed that there was no community of interest between men and women. Those who advocated women's suffrage rightly or wrongly took the view that there was no separate attitude of mind with regard to political questions inherent in women as distinguished from men, and, therefore, on all questions of Imperial or domestic policy they would find men and women showing as much divergence of opinion as was now shown among men. Ho could not regard that as a serious argument towards the solution of the question. His hon. friend advanced a very plausible argument when he said that if the franchise were conceded to women they would be obliged to go a step further and allow women to sit in this House. He was not prepared to go the length of his right hon. friend the Member for the Forest of Dean and give an off-hand assent to the suggestion that women should be permitted to sit in this House. But there were many other functions which, intellectually, they might be capable of performing, while there were other duties for which they were not physically constituted, such as active military service and so on, and which it was inexpedient they should attempt to perform. While conceding the franchise 1349 to women it did not at all follow that the right to sit in this House should also be conceded.
There was another argument which was very formidable, and which he confessed he felt some difficulty in answering. It was said that women did not want the franchise. He was speaking in the presence of men, many of whom were older than himself, but he doubted whether that same argument was not used with almost equal force when it was proposed to enfranchise the working-classes. It was repeatedly stated that the working-classes did not want the franchise; and undoubtedly if it had not been for the advocacy of a great political Party in favour of the extension of the franchise it was very questionable whether the working-classes themselves would have advocated it in a sufficiently intense degree to ensure success. The case of women was different, because they had no facilities and no organisation which would enable them to agitate in the same way as men. However, the great majority of the thoughtful women in this country were in favour of the extension of the franchise to their sex. There were some very remarkable exceptions; but he was satisfied that intellectual women on the whole were in favour of the movement. Then his hon. friend said that women were intellectually inferior to men. He did not know on what ground that assertion was based. It was perfectly true that women as a rule did not manifest ability in the region of art, literature, or politics in the same degree as men did; but at the same time it should be recognised that the opportunities of women were singularly limited. They had not the same opportunities for education as men, and undoubtedly they were more the creatures of emotional impulse than men; but at the same tune he thought that very few would say that women were incapable of exercising the franchise with as much ability and with as much advantage to the State as the average man. If the average working-class man were compared with the average working-class woman he ventured to say that there was no such intellectual distinction between them as would form the 1350 basis of a case for the refusal of franchise to women.
The final argument of his hon. friend was that if the franchise were extended to women it would break up domestic bliss. There are a great many concomitants in domestic bliss, and an additional one would not be a serious matter. There was no difference of opinion between husband and wife as to religion or the education of their children or other matters which entered largely into domestic life; and he had never heard of a case in which a woman came into collision with her husband owing to a difference in political opinion. He thought they would be quite prepared to agree or to agree to differ as to whether they would vote Liberal or Tory, if they could not convince each other. He agreed that, speaking generally, women had not attained the high intellectual standard which men had attained, but to anyone interested in the welfare of the country one of the most distressing aspects of the present situation was the indifference which women displayed to politics. That was due to the fact that they had no power; but given power, responsibility would follow, and with responsibility a sense of responsibility. His chief argument in favour of the franchise, which he would press very strongly, was that it would have a great educative effect. Over and beyond that they had to solve so many complex problems, such as the education of the people, the improvement of the social condition of the people, and many other aspects of domestic life, that it was desirable that women should enter a domain hitherto closed against them. He had no doubt that if women were allowed to have a voice in the selection of the Legislature, great progress would be made with the reasonable solution of many of the problems with which the country was confronted. A quickening influence would be given to the Legislature; and he had very little doubt that in regard to such questions as temperance, sanitation, and social reform, the extension of the franchise to women would be conducive to the best interests of the country.
§ *MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)
said that the appearance of the 1351 House did not indicate that there was any strong feeling on the part of Members on this subject. Otherwise the Benches, instead of being practically empty, would have been crowded. It was about eighteen years ago since he listened to the first debate on this question; he had listened to every debate on the subject since; and he had heard the same kind of arguments used again and again. Not one new argument had been adduced to-night. His hon. friend the Member for Northampton had been twitted with using stale arguments in opposition to the Motion; but he might fairly retort that no new arguments had been brought forward in favour of it. He himself felt very strongly that if it were possible to take a vote by ballot on this subject, not more than fifty Members would be found in favour of it. It was the extreme pressure and the art of cajolery which women exercised at election times which induced Members to record their votes in favour of a proposal whether they sincerely desired to see it carried or not. Many hon. Members would vote for the Resolution because they were under the impression that it would never become law, but they were playing a very dangerous game, as some day or other it might be carried as a result of their indifference. A strong feeling was said to exist among the factory lasses of Lancashire in favour of the Bill, and he was not surprised, seeing that, according to the story just told to the House by the Member for Leicester, they were looking for ward to an increase of wages and shorter hours, should the change in the law ever be brought about which the women were advocating. He was an old trades' unionist, and he had heard various arguments adduced amongst trades' unionists and working men as to the best method of getting then-wages raised and their hours reduced, but he had never heard it adduced that by getting the Parliamentary suffrage their wages would be increased and their hours reduced. Yet this was the kind of argument employed to get up the steam of the lasses in Lancashire. Whoever put such an idea into the heads of these poor misguided women had incurred 1352 a grave responsibility. What was the Motion they were asked to vote in favour of? It was very adroitly phrased, and it was framed in such a manner as to get the votes of Members without committing them to any clear and distinct issue. He declined to fall into the trap, because it was clear to him from having read very carefully and watched closely the efforts made by many of the ladies who advocated the extension of the suffrage to the women of this country that the one great burning ambition on their part was to get into this House. [Hear! Hear!] It was, ho admitted, impossible to do so, but, if they could by any possible means make it clear to the women who were in the forefront of the movement that under no circumstances whatever would they be allowed to enter that House as Members of it, the movement in favour of female suffrage would speedily collapse. This was the experience he had gleaned from a pretty intimate acquaintance with these ladies, some of them personal acquaintances. Some of them, he was satisfied, were perfectly honest in the opinion they entertained on the subject; but the majority of them, he believed, were animated by other considerations. He was not going to stop to inquire as to whether the conferring upon women the right to vote for Members of Parliament would affect the opposite or his side of the House. They ought to discuss the question quite separate from Party politics, but his own impression was that both Parties would have cause to regret the change. But it was an insoluble problem, and he did not intend to argue the question from this point of view. It was a very serious matter to once open the door, because, if they did once open the Parliamentary door, and let in however small a section of women, it would be practically impossible to ever again close it until the whole female adult population of the country was enfranchised. He therefore asked the House to pause and seriously consider for a moment where this was likely to lead. According to the census of 1901, he found there were something like nearly 800,000 more female than male adults in the. United Kingdom. He believed that there were very few people who doubted that before many years they would have manhood suffrage, and this, 1353 supposing the Motion was carried, would necessarily imply that the whole male and female population would be enfranchised. They would then have 800,000 more female than male voters. Talk about the swamping process, which used to be urged against extending the suffrage to working men! He merely pointed to this as evidence that if they enfranchised every man and woman—which was the logical outcome of the efforts made for a series of years past—they would have the male population of the country swamped entirely; they would have 800,000 more female than male voters in the United Kingdom. They all knew how liable women wore to be influenced by their spiritual pastors and masters. The parsons or the priests might be excellent men to guide them spiritually and to point to them the way to Heaven; but, in his experience, and he thought in the experience of most politicians, they were very bad guides to the polling booth. If they had 800,000 more women than male voters, however, they would practically hand over the government of the country to women and priests. ["No, no."] Well, this was his belief, and he believed the state of chaos in the Established Church was largely owing to the influence of women. He believed their spiritual guides had inoculated them with the priestly spirit and practices which prevailed in the Establishment. Hon. Members might smile, but this was his honest conviction, and he was not prepared even to open the Parliamentary door for the admission of women. He had not the slightest doubt that a majority of votes would be recorded in favour of the Motion, but this did not affect him in the slightest degree. He was simply urging that which he believed to be right; and, if nearly every Member went into the Lobby in favour of the Motion, he should feel just as strongly, and go into the opposite Lobby. But there was one point he thought they ought to keep seriously in view. The right to vote would give women the right to sit in that House. ["Hear, hear!" and "No, no!"] This the women knew perfectly well. If they had votes they would use them so effectively that 1354 Parliamentary candidates would find to impossible to resist the next demand for admitting women to seats in the House. They were proceeding cautiously, cunningly, and stealthily in the course they had marked out for themselves and he believed there was no safe halting place except to keep them where they were. The hon. Member for Northampton quoted those beautiful words, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world," but these women were not content with making good men. How many of them owed what they were to their mothers! He proudly acknowledged that whatever he was and had were due to the devotion of a noble mothers and if women were to devote themselves to rearing good, sterling citizens and honourable men it would be far more creditable to them than to be seeking to possess themselves of the franchise, and to get into the House of Commons.
This question of the right to vote giving the right to gain admission to the House was to his mind the most important to be considered before the House recorded itself in favour of the Motion. Why were they asked to make this change? What were the grievances under which women laboured? They had all sorts and conditions of men represented in the House; almost every shade of opinion was to be found there, and, differing as he did with the majority of Members in his political views, he yet believed that there were no real grievances which could be brought to the notice of the House that the House would not remedy. What grievances had women which they had brought to the notice of the House and which it had failed to redress? He did not know of one. He hoped those who followed him would give them a proof that this power was sought by the women for accomplishing, not some sentimental object, but because they had a real grievance which the House had refused to redress. They were, however, told that if women possessed the right to vote and assisted in the legislation of the House it would infuse into their legislation a humanitarian spirit. This was one of the reasons urged by those who advocated this claim. Some of them, however, had noted the remarkable headgear of women, to adorn 1355 which millions of birds had been destroyed, and although it had been pointed out to them that by this practice the most beautiful of the feathered tribe were disappearing, they still continued to wear feathers in their hats. Women had also been told over and over again by some nobler members of their own sex of the horrible sufferings undergone by the poor little seals, through their mothers being captured while in search of food for their offspring, yet nearly every woman who could afford to do so went on wearing seal-skin jackets. And these were the people they were asked to admit to the franchise because they would infuse into their legislation a spirit of humanitarianism. Then let them go to the courts of law and ask the officials there who, whenever there was a sensational trial, when there was anything in the shape of spicy evidence, besieged that court. These things were forced upon them by men and women who urged that the suffrage should be extended to women because of the high morality that would be imported into their legislation. The people who made the most desperate efforts to get into our courts of law were nearly in every instance women. ["No, no!"] If any Member doubted it, let him make inquiries of the officials of the courts. Our newspapers from time to time had teemed with reports of the desperate efforts made by women to get into courts of law during periods to which he had referred. He had another objection, and it was that women were already creatures of privilege. They were privileged all along the line. How many Members had been in an omnibus when it had been raining, and the conductor had appealed to them to get out and let a lady get in? Had any one ever heard a conductor ask one man to get out and let another man in? Nothing of the kind. Men stepped off the kerb into the gutter to allow a lady to pass clean shod. Whatever view they took of the matter no one could deny that ladies, because they were ladies, were creatures of privilege.
There were other considerations which weighed strongly with him. He admitted it was very difficult in a question of such a delicate character to discuss it publicly, 1356 especially in the presence of ladies, but there were questions of a physiological character. Women unfortunately suffered from infirmities from which men were altogether exempt. He knew Members might complain, but who had forced them to argue the question from this delicate point of view? ["Nobody."] The Member who said that might take such a view of the matter, but he did not. He had said there were physiological considerations which weighed very strongly with him and which made it very difficult for women frequently to exercise their mental faculties and their judgment as clearly as they did at other periods of their lives. There were also sentimental and sexual considerations which unconciously led men and women to form judgments of a very different nature and character to that which men formed in discussing questions between themselves as men. It was no use disguising the fact. Men and women could not discuss a question without sentiment and sexual considerations coming in to influence them in their judgment, and this was an additional reason why he opposed the Motion. He knew some hon. Members did not like to hear what he considered to be home truths upon this subject, but they were forced into arguing the question from what he considered to be the philosophical and rational point of view. Nature had settled the question for him, and he did not want to fly in the face of Nature. Nature had made two sexes. One sex up to the present time had fairly well, with all its faults, managed to govern the world, and it would be a very hazardous experiment to admit upon an equal footing the other sex, which had not yet proved its capability for governing the world. He apologised for occupying the time of the House so long. He objected to the change first of all on physiological grounds; secondly, for political reasons; thirdly, for moral I considerations; and fourthly, and what I was perhaps as important, if not more important, than all, on religious grounds.
§ MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)
in supporting the Motion, said the arguments which had been advanced against it that evening were at least fifty years old and they absolutely contradicted each other. 1357 It was said that only a minority of women desired the change; well, did it stand to reason that a minority of women would be able to cajole a majority of men in that House? Much had been made of the "thin end of the wedge" argument, the contention being that if the franchise were given to one section it would have to be given to all women, who would then be in a majority and be able to elect the majority of Members of this House. But the fact was that the majority of women do not care to enter public life, and, that being so, why was it necessary to keep out those who were eminently fitted to perform, at any rate, some of the functions of public life? Many of the greatest monarchs known to history had been women. That was not an argument for saying that all monarchs should be women, but it was an argument against excluding women from being monarchs, and the same argument might be used—although he was not at present pressing the view—in favour of women becoming Members of Parliament. He did not believe that if women had the franchise it would cause any sudden revolution, but he did believe that in the course of time the effect would be considerable and entirely beneficial. The sphere of women's work had been considerably curtailed within recent years. Formerly they were able to sit on the vestries; they were unable to sit on the borough councils. Until this year they had been members of School Boards; they were ineligible for the county councils by which the School Boards had been supplanted. Neither of those changes could have taken place if women had been possessed of votes. The supporters of the Resolution had been chal- 1358 lenged to bring forward a single instance in which women had been treated unfairly and in which the possession of votes would have made any difference. In 1897, without the slightest warning, the commencing salary of women clerks in the Savings Banks Department of the Post Office was reduced from £65, with annual increments of £3, to £55, with annual increments of £2 10s., and at the same time the examinations were made more difficult. For the class of women required for these appointments £55 per annum was not a living wage. No such reduction had been made with regard to any class of men in the public service, and he did not believe it would have been possible in regard to women if women had had votes. Moreover, the possession of the suffrage would go far towards stopping the sweating to which women were subjected. In many cases women had more or less to compete with men, and they were often treated very unfairly as compared with men. The House would be startled if they had an opportunity of studying a, comparative table of the wages paid to men and women in the cotton mills of Lancashire. He granted that these matters could not be settled by the State, but there was an increasing tendency to settle trade disputes politically, and if that tendency was to go on it was grossly unfair that women should not have votes. Women's wages had not advanced nearly so much as men's, and he believed if they had votes they would in the long run be able to get fairer treatment than they at present received. The extension of the franchise to women would tend in the direction of that national efficiency which all desired; it would enable women to improve their lot; it would open the 1359 door of public life to those who were eminently fitted to take their part therein; and it would give the poor a better chance. He believed it would raise the standard of life amongst women, and thereby promote the physical and moral wellbeing of the whole community. He therefore warmly supported the Resolution.
§ MR. BOND (Nottingham, E.)
said it could not be denied that if the Resolution were carried and practical effect given to it it would constitute a grave and serious departure such as no European country had yet ventured upon. It was true that in some of the Colonies experiments of the kind had been tried without very serious effects, but the conditions of European life were so different that he did not attach much importance to that fact. Before so hazardous a course was ventured upon very sound and cogent arguments ought to be advanced in its favour. In essence there were two reasons which might lead to the adoption of such a policy. One was that there was so powerful and overwhelming a demand from an important section of the community for the granting of the franchise to women, that resistance thereto would cause such discomposure of social relations and disturbance of social life that it would be better to run the risks involved in acceding to the demand. Could it be said that any such demand existed at present? The exact contrary was the case. There was a small section which ardently and vehemently desired the change; there was a large mass of absolutely indifferent opinion; and there was a considerable body of opinion altogether hostile to the 1360 proposal. Never in this or any other country had it been proposed to force the franchise upon a class of people, a large section of whom were absolutely opposed to the idea. When the question was prominently before the public about fifteen years ago, a large number of the most intellectual and distinguished women of the day banded themselves together in a protest against the idea of the franchise being conferred upon their sex, and the House ought seriously to consider the matter before they lightly took a step which many of the most distinguished of those whom it was proposed to enfranchise had declared would be bad, not only for the country, but for their sex, and for the cause they represented. The only other reason which might justify the adoption of so hazardous a course was that some manifest and distinct benefit would be thereby conferred upon the nation, and that our social and political constitution would be appreciably improved. The arguments adduced by the supporters of the Resolution had not carried conviction to his mind on that point. It could not be to the general benefit that a large class of people, of whom the bulk were professedly indifferent and a large class absolutely hostile, should have the franchise conferred upon them. Women, much more than men, were swayed by the affections, the emotions, and the imagination, and in the absence of any such demand as that to which he had referred the House would be acting unwisely in adopting the proposal now before it.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
thought it was necessary that at least one Irishman should rise to dissociate himself and his countrymen 1361 generally from the unchivalrous, uncalled for, and unprecedented attack made upon women by the hon. Member for Haggerston.
§ MR. CREMER,
rising to a point of order, asked whether, in the opinion of Mr. Speaker, he had made any attack whatever on women. He repudiated altogether the interpretation placed upon his words by the hon. Member for East Clare.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
said he would not prove the charge by referring in detail to the hon. Member's observations, but he would remind the House of one or two points to show that he was justified in the language he had used. The whole drift of the hon. Member's argument was that women were by instinct, nature, and everything else, unfitted to exercise the rights of citizenship, and that they ought not for a moment to be placed upon terms of anything like equality with men. The hon. Member had talked about the cruelty practised upon birds and seals in order that women might be adorned. But the hon. Member was silent as to pigeon-shooting and other so called sports which were indulged in by persons who certainly were not women. He also repudiated the argument of the right hon. Member in associating the great body of the womanhood of the kingdom with those women, lost to shame, who crowded the Courts to listen to unsavoury cases. If there was no English hon. Member prepared to resent that general descrip- 1362 tion of the fair sex, he felt sure he would be giving voice to the opinion of the majority of the entire Irish representatives in the House when he said that he most emphatically protested against the attack which had been made upon the noble character of womanhood, which certainly was appreciated in Ireland The hon. Member for Haggerston was almost the last person one would have expected to object to the extension of the powers and the rights of women. There was nobody in this House who was not aware of the efforts that had been continuously made by the hon. Member for Haggerston in the cause of international peace and goodwill throughout the world, and was it not admitted that, whatever effect the extension of the franchise to women might have, it would most certainly increase immensely the influences at work for the maintenance of peace throughout the world? Therefore he should have imagined that the hon. Member for Haggerston would have been glad of the assistance which a reform of this kind would have given to a movement with which he had been so conspicuously identified. He maintained that no real case had been made out against the Motion of the hon. Baronet the Member for Leicestershire.
They had had an amusing speech from the hon. Gentleman the Member for Northampton, which, as far as it was serious, had been neutralised by the speech of the other Member for Northampton, who gave the House a totally different account of what was taking place in that Radical stronghold. The senior Member for Northampton ridiculed the idea of ladies canvassing at election time, and poured scorn upon it, but from what had been said he 1363 gathered that the senior Member for Northampton did not have sufficient canvassers to promote his interest. However much amusement had been caused, the case of the hon. Member for Leicestershire had not been seriously met. The hon. Member for Haggerston said that no fresh argument had been introduced in favour of the extension of the franchise to women. There was, however, to-day an argument which was not in existence when the last debate on this question took place, and it was that they had, in one of the greatest and most freely governed and enlightened portions of this Empire, an example where the experiment of extending the franchise to women had been tried with the very best possible result—he referred to the Commonwealth of Australia. Elections had recently been held in the Commonwealth of Australia. Women had voted there, with the result not only that men of good standing and character had been returned, but the cause of labour had been everywhere supported. This was not a question of what Party women might belong to; apart from any such considerations, women had the right to vote. What right had they to brand women as social inferiors or slaves? They would shudder at the idea of treating women as slaves. Slavery consisted in denying to any human being a legitimate voice in the control of the country where he lived, and that was what women were denied. By what right did they do that? Was it not an intolerable assumption to pretend that men were so much better than women? Hon. Gentlemen objected to the idea of women coming into this House, but, if 1364 so, why did they allow them to exercise the franchise in every part of the country in regard to local government. As far as Ireland was concerned, he knew of many women district councillors who gave great assistance to the neighbourhood in which they resided, and who were trusted and looked up to. Why were women denied the right of exercising the franchise? What they ought to seek in government was to get for the service of the State the best people they could. They wanted access to the best brains of the country, and nobody would deny that there were plenty of ladies in every walk of life who would fulfil their duties with at least as great credit as many hon. Members of this House. He was not going to mention names or draw distinctions, but, as there had been a certain amount of light humour imported into the debate, he would point out that if the Government had had in their service two or three ladies, suitable in every way to exercise the function of Whips, the incident of yesterday, so humiliating to the Government, would not have occurred, although he cast not the slightest reflection on the specimens of the male sex occupying that office, who no doubt did their very best.
He had risen for the purpose of saying that at least there was one man in the House who resented the tone and temper which had been introduced into this debate in certain quarters and he hoped that the division would show that there was a considerable majority in the House which was not prepared to treat lightly the benefits resulting from the enfranchisement of women in Australia and other self-governing communities. He hoped they would have sufficient 1365 chivalry displayed on all sides to convince people outside that it was no spirit of prejudice or bigotry which prevented hon. Gentlemen from enabling women in this country and in Ireland to exercise the ordinary right of the franchise. It was perfectly absurd when all of them owed so much to women to treat them in this way. There was not a single Member in the House who either in his childhood or his manhood could not look back to some period of his life when his kindest friend, guide, and helper was a woman. Upon the broad principle of human freedom he contended that every one of God's human beings who was endowed with intelligence from Heaven, whether they were men or women, was entitled to have a voice and vote in the affairs of the country in which they were interested and in which they lived. At every period of the history of the world it had been the pride of poets and writers to sing the praises of womankind, and now, at the commencement of a new century, they were treating them as slaves. He did not know what the experience of hon. Gentlemen was who were opposing this
§ Motion, but ho ventured to say that if this question could be settled by ballot, and every Englishman, Scotchman, Irishman, and Welshman were left perfectly free from any outside influence to say whether they considered it right or just that women should be treated as slaves, they would register a vote against it.
§ MR. CREAN (Cork County, S.E.)
said that ungallant as it might seem, he rose as an Irishman to assure the House that in this matter the hon. Member for East Clare did not speak for the whole of the Irish Party. He yielded to no man in his admiration for the fair sex, for he knew them well and knew their views, and he knew the influence they exercised over the male sex. He did not believe, however, that women were demanding this right, and if a ballot could be taken of all the women in the country, he felt sure they would be found to be dead against this proposal.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 182; Noes, 68. (Division List No. 58.)1367
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Emmott, Alfred|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Causton, Richard Knight||Eve, Harry Trelawney|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Cautley, Henry Strother||Earquharson, Dr. Robert|
|Aird, Sir John||Charming, Francis Allston||Fenwick, Charles|
|Allen, Charles P.||Chapman, Edward||Ffrench, Peter|
|Arrol, Sir William||Churchill, Winston Spencer||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsoy)||Crombie, John William||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Crooks, William||Flower, Sir Ernest|
|Balfour, Kenneth, R.(Christch.||Cullinan, J.||Forster, Henry William|
|Bell, Richard||Dalkeith, Earl of||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Freeman-Thomas, Captain F.|
|Bigwood, James||Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan||Fuller, J. M. F.|
|Boland, John||Delany, William||Furness, Sir Christopher|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Dickson, Charles Scott||Fyler, John Arthur|
|Bowles, Lt,-Col. H.F.(Middlesex||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Gore, Hn. G.R.C. Ormsby (Salop|
|Brigg, John||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Gorst, Rt. Hon Sir John Eldon|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Ellice, Capt. EC(S. Andr'wsBghs||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Graham, Henry Robert|
|Grant, Corrie||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||M'Kenna, Reginald||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Groves, James Grimble||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.|
|Hain, Edward||Markham, Arthur Basil||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Haldane, Rt, Hon. Richard B.||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Shackleton, David James|
|Hammond, John||Maxwell, W.J.H (Dumfriesshire||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Harris, P. Leverton(Tynem'uth||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Mooney, John J.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Morgan, David J. (Walthamstow||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Helder, Augustus||Morley, Rt. Hon. John(Montrose||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, Fast)|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Worrell, George Herbert||Smith, H.C(North'mb, Tyneside|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Moulton, John Fletcher||Scares, Ernest J.|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Spear, John Ward|
|Hope, John Deans (Fife, West||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Stevenson, Francis S|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Hoult, Joseph||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Norman, Henry||Tennant, Harold John|
|Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr)|
|Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.)||Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.)|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Tomkinson, James|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Toulmin, George|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||O'Dowd, John||Tuff, Charles|
|Keswick, William||O'Malley, William||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Langley, Batty||O'Mara, James||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||O'Shee, James John||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Parrott, William||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Weir, James Galloway|
|Leese, Sir Jeseph P.(Accrington||Plummer, Waller R.||White, Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Leigh, Sir Joseph||Price, Robert John||Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)|
|Long, Sir John||Rankin, Sir James||Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Levy, Maurice||Rea, Russell||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Lloyd-George, David||Redmond, William (Clare)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Reid, lames (Greenock)||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Lough, Thomas||Remnant, James Farquharson||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Lundon, W.||Rigg, Richard||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Roe, Sir Thomas||Woodhouse, Sir JT.(Huddersf'd|
|Macdona, John Gumming||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Rose, Charles Day||Yoxall, James Henry|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Royds, Clement Molyneux||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Runciman, Walter||Sir Charles M'Laren and|
|M'Crae, George||Russell, T. W.||Colonel Denny.|
|Acland-Hood, Capt, Sir Alex. F.||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.)|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Pilkington, Colonel Richard|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Reddy, M.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Duke, Henry Edward||Redmond, John E.(Waterford)|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Roche, John|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Mane'r||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Bignold, Arthur||Finch, Rt. Hon. George It.||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Black, Alexander William||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gretton, John||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.)|
|Bond, Edward||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Stock, James Henry|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Hunt, Rowland||Talbot, Rt. Hn J. G.(Oxf'dUni v.|
|Brassey, Albert||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Caldwell, James.||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Tomlinson, Sir Win. Edw. M.|
|Cavendish V.C.W. (Derbyshire||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol. S)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J. A.(Worc.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Welby, Sir Charles G.E.(Notts.)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath)|
|Craig, Charles Curtis(Antrim S.||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Young, Samuel|
|Crean, Eugene||Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H.E.(Wigt'n|
|Cremer, William Randal||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Labouchere and Sir Lees Knowles.|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Murnaghan, George|
§ Adjourned at ten minutes after Twelve o'clock.