§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order read, for resuming adjourned debate on Amendment to Question [9th May], "That the BUI be now read a second time."
Which Amendment was—
To leave out the word "now, "and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day six months."—(Mr. Burt.)
§ Question again proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ MR. ELLIS GRIFFITH (Anglesey)
whose speech was interrupted at midnight yesterday, said that on the previous night they had several note worthy speeches. One of them was that of the right hon. Member for East Somersetshire who said he was against perpetuating vested interests, opposed to drastic interference with the discretion of them against rates, I held that compensation should bean assistance and not a hindrance to the reduction of licences, and that there should be a fuller discretion in quarter sessions. How could the right hon. Gentleman reconcile those views with his announced intention to vote for the Bill—not because of what it was, but because of what he hoped it would be after it had passed through Committee? The senior Member for Oldham had said he should vote against the Bill with reluctance. Well, he should also vote against the Bill, but without any reluctance.
What was the origin of the Bill? It was idle to tell the Prime Minister there was no mandate for the Bill, for hi had given up the doctrine of mandates to that House. But in the absence of a mandate there ought to be a public opinion in favour of the Bill. As a fact, however, there was no public opinion in favour of this Bill. It was all public-house opinion. The origin of the measure was to be found in the deputation from the trade which waited on the Prime Minister last year. The right hon. Gentleman on that occasion was addressed by two Gentlemen who were Members of that House, both of them connected with a trade which, as he thought, was to be supported and protected by the Bill. The Prime Minister in the course of his speech—a speech marked by his usual diplomacy—thanked the deputation 1034 for being so reticent. Probably he found it in consequence far more easy to deal with then than he found it in the case of the Bishops who approached him with reference to another Bill. The Prime Minister said to the deputation that the trade was subjected to a very serious and unjust strain. The word "strain" was a very familiar one to those on that side of the House. It used to be an "intolerable strain, "now it was a very "serious and unjust strain. "The Prime Minister then begged his hearers, the Licensed Victuallers Association, to trust the Government and see what would happen. They had trusted the Government, and they now saw what had happened in the production of this Bill. The Prime Minister was very hard on the licensing justices, and on the local magistrates, and spoke in very severe terms about a body of men of whom he used to entertain higher views. In former days the Prime Minister was an eager champion of the justices.
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
Does the hon. and learned Gentleman suggest that I attacked the justices as a whole in that speech?
§ MR. ELLIS GRIFFITH
said he did not understand the Prime Minister's question. He attacked some justices, he did not attack the justices who renewed the licences. He spoke sympathetically to the deputation of the liquor trade in regard to their complaint that there were some justices who took away their licences, whereupon the right hon. Gentleman spoke severely of some justices. Did not the right hon. Gentleman agree with him in the conclusion that the justices of whom he spoke severely were the justices who refused renewals, that these were the men who had given offence to the trade? The Prime Minister said to the deputation that he was a moderate temperance reformer, He did not know whether the right hon. Gentleman professed to be a temperance reformer on temperance lines; but, as he understood the right hon. Gentleman, he held out this Bill as a measure which did protect the trade, but that, after all, it was a very great temperance measure. 1035 Might he not congratulate the temperance party that, although all their efforts had failed to get the Government to introduce this reform, it had remained to the liquor trade to obtain the introduction of this Bill which was to effect a great temperance reform? It did not look like that at first, but if it were so so much the better. It was very unfortunate to be an extreme man in this matter; but the moderate temperance party had always asked for certain things. They had asked that there should be full discretion as to the ante-1869 beerhouse licences. That was not in the Bill. That the magistrates should have power to close public-houses earlier than eleven o'clock in towns, and open not later than eight o'clock. That was not in the Bill. That the licensing magistrates should have some measure of control over six or seven days licences. That was not in the Bill. And yet, this was a great measure of temperance reform! Before the Farnham case was decided, the justices were all that was excellent, but the moment that case was taken to the House of Lords and it was decided that the licensing justices should themselves have power to object to the renewal of licences, no words had been too hard to throw at these licensing justices. At last the trade came to the Prime Minister and he had given the trade the last blessing of a dying Government. And here they had the Bill which gave the trade a return for all the political assistance which they had given to the Conservative Party for many years past. In regard to the temperance party, he thought he could quote the words of the Prime Minister, from a letter which the right hon. Gentleman sent to a Member on that side of the House. The right hon. Gentleman might have benevolent intentions towards the temperance party, but he concealed them very effectually.
If this measure were really to lead to temperance reform, he thought it would have been much more certain of acceptance in that House than at present. A Licensing Commission was appointed by the present Government, composed of eight representatives of the trade, eight representatives of the temperance reform patty, and eight gentlemen who were sup- 1036 posed to hold opinions between the two extremes. Now, it was unanimously agreed by these twenty-four gentlemen that there should be a large reduction of licinces. The only difference was that whereas the majority limited themselves to saying that there should be a reduction, the minority said that the reduction should be "immediate "The question now was, did the Bill make the reduction of the number of licences more easy or more difficult? There were two principles in the Bill. First of all the principle of transferring the power now enjoyed by the local licensing justices of granting or withholding licences from these justices to the quarter sessions; and second, the question of compensation. He thought it was universally agreed that the present licensing justices had a local knowledge which was unknown to the bench of quarter sessions; and that the necessity, or otherwise of a public-house was eminently a question of local knowledge. If it was a question of poaching, he was willing to transfer that to the quarter sessions, for local knowledge was there a disadvantage. But in the case of a licence to a public-house the local justices must know more about the requirements of the neighbourhood, and also about the management of the public-house. That was a point which should be kept in mind. It was well that the licence-holders should know that there were gentlemen in the locality, before whom they must appear to ask for a renewal of their licences, who knew the manner in which their houses were conducted; and that if they were to get those renewals they must keep good order in their houses. One of the blemishes of the Bill was that the licence-holders would become more careless, and more casual, so to speak, in the conduct of their houses when they knew that the obtaining a renewal of their licences would not depend on the local justices. If this Bill was to facilitate the reduction of licences, the local magistrates had been right all along except on the doctrine of compensation. The only complaint the Prime Minister had against the local magistrates was that they did not go rapidly enough, and this Bill was, according to the argument of the Government, to be the motive-power to reduce licences more rapidly 1037 than in the past. Might he quote a short extract from what the Secretary of the Royal Commission said about quarter sessions? That gentleman said—The sins of the licensing justices in the first instance are chiefly sins of omission; the fact that they live in the district and must know something of what goes on there has no doubt some good effect. But it is not too much to say that the justices at quarter sessions have done their very best on many occasions to suppress any effort of the local justices after good administration. Here we have not a mischievous inactivity to complain of, but an actual, almost malignant, activity, the paralysing effect of which can hardly be estimated. It must be remembered in estimating the efforts of the borough justices that they always have this deadweight of county quarter sessions to contend with—quarter sessions from which they are excluded…. If there is anything at all in the principles of local self-government, in which all Englishmen believe, our towns and cities must be able to manage their own business better than a purely external authority, superior in no degree, always inferior in some respects, and often in all, to the local authority. For the appeal lies from the borough justices to a shifting set of county justices, who know-lass of the local circumstances, are not superior in ability nor better lawyers—an appeal, too, on points of administration, not of law merely. Sometimes a decision arrived at after most careful consideration and with a full knowledge of the history of a house by a most competent bench of city justices is reversed by two or three county justices, sometimes by a perfect mob whipped up by a doubtful influence from all parts of the country.And yet that was the body of men to whom this Bill was going to transfer the power of granting or refusing licences.
§ MR. ELLIS GRIFFITH
The Secretary to the Royal Commission. The right hon. Gentleman must well know the gentleman, for he took part in a vote of thanks to that gentleman for the excellent work he had done as Secretary to the Royal Commission.
§ MR. LLOYD WHARTON
The hon. Gentleman quoted these remarks as if the 1038 gentleman mentioned was part of the Royal Commission. [Cries of "No, no. "He quoted him as having the weight of Secretary to the Royal Commission.
§ MR. ELLIS GRIFFITH
The right hon. Gentleman is, perhaps, overrating the weight of the remarks of the Secretary to the Royal Commission. At any rate he did not insinuate for a moment that the gentleman was a member of the Royal Commission. Rut the gentleman, by reason of his connection with the Royal Commission, had very exceptional opportunities for speaking on this matter. At present the local licensing justices had a local knowledge to enable them to come to a decision as to whether a licence should be granted or refused, and under the Bill all that was gone. All they had to do was to express an opinion and report to quarter sessions whether the licence was required or not. One of the objections he had to this Bill was that it not only transferred the jurisdiction from the local justices to the quarter sessions, but that it transferred it from one kind of body to quite another kind of body—from a consultative committee to a Court of law. The words used throughout the Bill were "quarter sessions, "but when they came to Section 8 Sub-section 3 (and this was an important point) the words were—In this Act the expression 'county' includes any riding, part, or division of a county having a separate Court of quarter sessions.He supposed it was a Court, and if that was so, when the applicant for a licence went to a Court, legal principles would govern the decision as to his application. There was, therefore, a great change in that respect.
Having said so much on the transference of the jurisdiction from the local licensing justices to the quarter sessions, he would pass to the question of compensation. He thought it was a mistake for hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House to suggest that because a man lost something he should be paid by the State for it. There were cases where losers of property had not been paid by the State. There was the well-known case of the slave-trade where the slaving ship owners did not receive compensation. When the Welsh Sunday Closing Bill became 1039 an Act no compensation was given, yet under that Act one day in seven was taken away from all the publicans. All they knew was that the liquor trade was a business, and they suspected that it was a profitable business. All those who had taken up licences had taken them up with their eyes open, knowing perfectly well that it was an annual tenancy and had taken it up subject to that risk, and no doubt made their profits on account of that risk. Until the time when "Sharpe v. Wakefield "was decided, they thought it might go on for ever, but since then every penny invested in this trade had been invested with the knowledge that a licence was an annual grant. It was twelve years since that had become clear law, and since then £91,000,000 had been subscribed or issued in connection with brewery companies, and he should have thought it was quite clear that the investors of that £91,000,000 were entitled to no compensation whatever. Some amusement had been created by the argument that this was a property which might contribute to the State, but there was good authority for the suggestion. The right hon. Member for West Bristol, on 14th May, 1902, had said that though it was suggested that a large revenue might be derived from a licence duty, his view was that while more revenue ought to be derived from this source, if it was derived it ought to go towards local taxation, and not to the Imperial Exchequer. The hon. Member for East Somerset had said yesterday something about robbing Peter to pay Paul; this was robbing the taxpayer to pay Paul the publican, because they took away a licence which was not necessary. He submitted that compensation was not necessary; the licence-holders were monopolists, whose monopoly; curiously enough, had been made stronger and more secure by the action of the temperance reformers in objecting to more licensing, and a monopoly gave its own compensation as it went along. In this Bill they were going to charge for new licences, and the money so derived u as to be put in the reduction fund. That was a most curious thing, because the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister had said that if a new licence was granted the monopoly value should be added to the fund for the reduction of licences 1040 The meaning of that was that the monopoly value should go to the public. If, then, the right hon. Member for West Bristol was right, that money ought to go to the local authority, but the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister said although it should go to the public it should go to the reduction of licences, so that although it was to a certain extent a public fund, it went, as a matter of fact, to compensate the publicans. In other words, this compensation fund was increased by money that ought, in ordinary circumstances, to go to the public.
He objected also to the inadequacy of the compensation fund. Instead of making reductions dependent on the levy, the levy should have been made dependent on the reduction. Once let the Government give the magistrates a free hand to reduce the licences at their own discretion, and then allow the quarter sessions to levy a rate on the remaining licences, a great blot would be removed. According to the Colonial Secretary the city of Liverpool had estimated the amount of the compensation fund at £35,000 and the average licence value at £500, which would enable the licensing authorities to reduce licences at the rate of about seventy a year. If, on the other hand, the average value of those licences was, as the Home Secretary seemed to think, £1,000, it would make a very great difference. The compensation fund would be inadequate also when they came to deal with one locality. In his own locality there was one licence for every 277 people; the fund was £721 a year, which would enable them to take away three-quarters of a licence every year, which would take them seventy-five years, about, to arrive at the figure quoted in the Minority Report. The scheme was also unfair, because when one licence was taken away it would increase the value of those that were left, and he knew a case of a brewer who had six licences in one locality who would get compensation twice over, first upon the licence taken, and second upon the extra profit from the other houses, owing to the absence of competition from the one that had been closed. The alternative to the scheme of this Bill was to ask the licence-holders to insure. It might be said that that was impossible, but The Licence Holders Insurance and Guarantee Fund, which 1041 had only been in existence six years, already insured licences to the extent of £60,000,000 or 60 per cent, of the whole. In his opinion this was not a step in the right direction; it made temperance reform more difficult, and when the time came he should move that Wales should be excluded from its operation. For these reasons: because he thought the Hill was not a temperance measure, because it took away the discretion that might be fairly left to the justices, and put a stop to all temperance reform and experiment, he should oppose it.
§ * MR. GRETTON (Derbyshire, S.)
said there were not many Members who had had the courage to argue that the principle of compensation was in itself wrong and should not be embodied in a Bill. There had been an extraordinary amount of unanimity among Members on the other side of the House, some of whom opposed the Bill on principle, and some who opposed this particular form of compensation, that compensation of some sort should be given where licences were not renewed. He did not propose to argue, the question whether compensation for licences which might be suppressed in the public interest was right or just. He believed that compensation in some form or another was favoured by the majority of Members of that House, and until that principle was recognised by law there would be an impenetrable obstacle to the progress of temperance reform. He regarded this Bill as a compulsory measure of insurance. The hon. Member for Anglesey had just stated that the licensed trade was at the present time able to insure itself against the loss of their licences, taken away on the grounds of redundancy and non-requirement. That was not the case. All insurance companies had in late years absolutely declined to take the risk, which was specially excepted from the terms of the policies. The risks which they did insure were those of suppression, on the ground of breach of law, or because of some fault on the part of the licence-holder. Even if this Bill were passed, that kind of insurance would still be necessary. He traversed the statement that the trade would be relieved in any 1042 degree from the necessity of insuring against these risks. On the other hand there was this other serious risk which had grown up and increased rapidly of late years, the risk of suppression by the wish of the licensing Bench, not through any fault of the licence-holder, but on some ground of public policy or to reduce the number of licences. It was that difficulty which the insurance scheme in the Bill was intended to remedy, and if it became an Act of Parliament it would provide a workable scheme of compulsory insurance such as could not be undertaken at the present time by any commercial corporation; because how could they insure against a risk which they were unable to estimate.
The Bill had been objected to because the fund which it was proposed to provide was said to be inadequate. Looking at that part of the question as a trader himself, and as one very well acquainted with the general views of the licensed trade, and from the point of view of the trade, the levies which would be made under this Bill would be very large indeed. They were three times as large as would have been made under the scheme introduced some years ago by Lord Goschen, and four times as large as under the scheme of 1888, brought before the House by the right hon. Member for Croydon. It had been objected that the retail trader would have to pay and that he would get no advantage out of this scheme. He thought he might claim to know something of the views which the licensed trade held upon that point. That was not their view at all. The brewers, where they had an interest in the licence, at present paid the insurance premium, and they were working out the figures of the Bill with the expectation that they would have to pay this insurance premium. If there was any doubt as to whether the retail trader would get his fair share out of the compensation fund, he could say the retailer himself held no doubt on that point. They welcomed the declaration made by the Home Secretary that he was willing to consider Amendments which would make that point absolutely clear and beyond cavil on the part of those who would have to administer the law.
1043 It had been said that the brewing trade was making enormous profits. They had listened to cant of that kind on many occasions. He had taken the trouble to workout what was the profit of the brewing trade. He was informed yesterday that a representative London brewery with a capital of £4,000,000 made a gross profit last year of £211,000. He did not think that a profit of 5 per cent. was an excessive one in a commercial business. Lord Grey's Trust companies took some credit for being satisfied with a profit of 5 per cent. He (Mr. Gretton) had taken all the figures in the official returns of the Stock Exchange relating to brewery companies, and he found that on the whole of the capital, at nominal value, the profit amounted to £5 5s. 11d. per cent., or if they took the market value £5 5s. 6d. per cent., and that did not include anything that might be called inflated value. It must be remembered that the shares of brewery companies were not held by a few individuals; but were distributed over the community. When they were attacking the profits of brewery companies, which were legal trading companies, they were attacking the pockets not of a few individuals in this country, but omit a large number of small investors who could ill afford to sacrifice any portion of their capital invested.
It had been said that this Bill would confer a freehold on the holders of the licences. That could never be the case while the Licences Acts of 1828, 1872, and 1902 were still in force. The restrictions and prohibitions which these Acts imposed upon the licence-holder would prevent the property of the license-holder becoming a freehold. The Bill, if passed, would remove a serious injury which was being inflicted upon a certain number of individuals in this country. It would enable the Benches of magistrates to reduce the number of licences, where desirable, without injury to the individual. After all the licence-holder was not a malefactor to be hunted down, not a criminal to be pursued and driven out of the country; he was a legalised trader, whom the State had recognised for a great number of years, and he was entitled to the consideration of the House. Though he 1044 thought this Bill was open to considerable criticism on some grounds, and needed amendment, it did undoubtedly contain the principle of compensation in a workable form and he should certainly support its Second Reading.
§ * MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)
remarked that as an Irish Member he ought almost to have apologised for intervening in this debate, because in the first place the Bill did not affect Ireland, and in the second place the Licensing Acts which governed the trade in Ireland were wholly different from those which governed the same trade in England. But even upon that point he thought something was to be learned from Ireland, because it so happened that in 1878, by a decision in the High Court, the discretion of the magistrates was taken away, and he thought he could say that the opinion of almost every thinking man in Ireland who bad any experience of the licensing system was that from that day to this the drink curse had been supreme in the land, therefore they could learn something even from Ireland on that question.
He had listened to almost every speech that had been made in the debate, and he was bound to say that he had listened with something bordering upon amazement to what had been said by the extreme men on this question. He did not know whether the House would consider that he was an extreme man—very probably it would—buthe must be allowed to say this: he was one of those who remembered and heard the speech made by Mr. Bruce in introducing his Bill in 1871. He strongly supported Mr. Bruce's proposals outside the House. He thought the temperance party made a great mistake in not rallying to the support of that Bill and he said so. The Government probably were unnecessarily alarmed by the opposition, but whether they were supported or not they withdrew the Bill. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor-General said that Mr. Bruce in that Bill proposed radical measures of compensation. Mr. Bruce denied that there was any legal claim on the part of the publicans, but whilst stating that, he admitted a quasi-right. What he did propose was to grant a ten years licence, at the end of which 1045 period a scheme of reduction was to take place at the will of the magistrates and the ratepayers; but Mr. Bruce never proposed to give the publicans one single farthing of money compensation. He also heard with something like amazement the Solicitor-General quoting Mr. Glad stone. That had become a very fashion able practice nowadays. It was true that Mr. Gladstone stated when the hon. Member for Camborne introduced a Local Option Resolution that the Resolution was defective without some reference to compensation, and that he would be unable to support it; but if anybody wanted to know what Mr. Gladstone's views on compensation were, apart from the abstract view, he would remind them that he was Prime Minister when Mr. Bruce introduced his Bill, and was responsible for that Bill as much as Mr. Bruce was. Mr. Gladstone's Government of that day saw no reason why money compensation should be given. Then Mr. Glad stone was in the House in 1888, when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Croydon proposed actual money Compensation. What was Mr. Gladstone's attitude then? He denounced it as an endowment of the brewers and refused to support it. It was all very well to quote Mr. Gladstone's views on compensation in the abstract; but when it came to the concrete Mr. Gladstone refused money compensation in 1871, and protested against it in 1888. He (Mr. Russell) again supported in 1888—extreme man that he was—the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Croydon, and he would have been glad to have seen it passed. The real truth was that he had been for forty years so impressed with the political power of this trade, and with the difficulty of dealing with it, that he had been reluctant to oppose anything that would leave a chance of doing some good.
What were extreme men after all? Was it not time this talk ceased? An extreme man on any question meant a man who had settled convictions. He knew it was popular now to have unsettled convictions. The worst that could be said about extreme men upon this issue was that their convictions were those of a lifetime. Their convictions had been formed from fighting this great evil; 1046 and it would be found that when a Bill had been introduced for the reform of the drink trade, those men with convictions, although they had stated plainly it was not their plan, had supported it. And what had generally happened? The drink trade had thwarted the Government in everything, and the "extreme men" had been proved to be not so far wrong after all. The extreme men had been blamed for the non-success of the I various experiments which had been made, whereas the Government had the majority, and if they really believed in their reforms they ought to have pushed them to a successful issue, but that was what they had not done. What kind of support had been given to this Bill I Apart from the Treasury Bench, at least three enthusiastic speeches had been made in favour of the Bill, and they were all by lawyers. The whole argument had been "Property, property, property," He was not opposed to property, but he wanted all kinds of property to be taken into consideration.
It was said that seven-tenths of the public houses in the country were tied to breweries. What became of the tenants of those houses who held their positions under monthly or half-yearly agreements? They were turned out. Had the House no sympathy for those men? When a licence-holder failed to got a renewal it was a sacrifice of property, but there was no compensation for the hundreds of brewers' tenants who held under agreements and were turned out without scruple or a penny of compensation. Had the House no right to look beyond the licence-holder to the victim of the trade? What about the wife who was made a widow and cast upon an unkindly world? What about the children who were orphaned by tens of thousands through this trade? Had they no property to protect? Was the House of Commons, the great council of the nation, to think only of the property of the powerful brewers, while they: neglected the property of their victims? He was getting tired of lawyers' speeches; it was high time they came to grips with the trade, and showed that besides the licence there was also involved in this matter questions of life or death for the people of the country.
1047 Since he supported the Bills of 1871 and 1888, why could he not support the present measure? First of all, because of the circumstances under which it was introduced. More light was wanted upon this point. Both sections of the Royal Commission reported in favour of a large reduction of licences. That the question had been considered was proved by the fact that since the publication of that Report the Government had introduced two Bills, one for England and one for Scotland, but they had deliberately given the go-by to the question of reduction. The recommendation was at least ten years old, but no action had been taken upon it. What, then, had happened? A few magistrates in perhaps half a dozen areas awoke to their duty; the trade were panic-stricken, and called on the Prime Minister, who at once yielded to the trade what he had refused to the Royal Commission. That was the origin of this Bill. It was not brought forward in response to a demand by the public; the public had never been thought of; it owed its origin entirely to the panic in the trade caused by the action of a few Benches of magistrates. Was that panic justified? That was an important question. What had really taken place? At Liverpool during the last twelve years there had been nearly 500 renewals refused. But most of those had gone out of existence in consequence of great clearance schemes. Would anybody contend that those clearance schemes ought not to have been carried out? Nearly 200 of the cases were so bad that a renewal was not even asked for. There had been no concerted action in Liverpool for the purpose of destroying licences. In Birmingham almost all the licences which had not been renewed had been surrendered as the result of an arrangement with the brewers, who were really protecting themselves by a system of mutual insurance. Beyond those two areas there had been absolutely nothing out of the ordinary course of business. For years the magistrates had been acting upon the law in isolated cases, as was shown by the Parliamentary Returns for the last twenty years. Therefore, he contended that in considering this Bill it was the duty of the House of Commons to take into account its source of origin, and to realise that it was not a 1048 Bill brought in in response to a public demand or in the public interest.
The hon. Member for St. George's-in-the-East told them plainly what the Bill was introduced to do. He said it was not all that the trade wanted, but it was as much as they could get and therefore they were going to take it. What was it going to do? He should like the attention of those who had called themselves moderate temperance reformers to the point. This Bill proposed to do three things. It proposed to turn a yearly tenure into a freehold. Talk about extremes! He thought that was an extreme thing to do. Was there any other business in which the Government would propose to do such a thing? No other Bill ever introduced had contained such a proposal. Neither the Bill of 1871 nor the Bill of 1888 proposed to give a freehold. It was what the Government deliberately intended by their Bill. In the second place they proposed to create a legal property where none now existed in the lowest class of public-houses, the class that would be marked cut for refusal, and they proposed that this should be created for the avowed purpose of sale. No Government before ever proposed such an extreme thing as that. In the third place the result of this legislation would be to invest the remaining houses with a security such as they never had before, a security which would effectually bar the way to all reform in the future. Talk about them being extreme temperance men! Those were the most extieme— "extreme" was a slight word to use, he had almost said wicked—proposals which were ever laid before the country. He fully admitted, after forty years work on this question, that if the trade was to be effectively dealt with it was impossible I to escape the question of compensation in some shape or another. He did not like the word compensation, but those who were temperance reformers, whether moderate or extreme, must face the issue and deal with it.
Having made that admission let him ask this question; in the need for doing something, was it necessary—he did rot speak about it being advisable—to creat a legal property which was not in existence now? He desired to press that respectfully, upon the Government and the House 1049 He held it was not necessary to do so, and that the trade could be fairly dealt with without putting it out of the power of the people of this country, under happier auspices, and in more enlightened times, to do what was right with them. To hear some speakers dealing with the question, one would imagine this was the most harmless trade in existence, and that it was like any other ordinary trade. Let them never forget in dealing with it that they were dealing with a trade which was the parent of crime, of misery, of poverty, and of family suffering. This was no mere lawyers' question or a question of property, but it was a great moral and social issue, and as such it ought to be faced. What would have been the first duty of the Government if they had proposed to treat this question from the standpoint of the public interest and not from the avowed standpoint of the trade? Their first duty, starting from their own ground of no legal right, would have been to say to the trade what Mr. Bruce said in" 1871. "You have no legal right and you have had no such right for centuries; your right in equity is questioned and disputed, but by the nation's connivance we recognise a quasiright, and we are pre pared to allow a form of compensation subject to a definite time limit. That would have been a reasonable statement to make. Nobody could escape the fact that the nation had connived at this trade; they had got mixed up with it to a degree that they could not unloose themselves unless they cut the Gordian knot by some scheme of this kind. But to create a freehold and deny a time limit, and say that this compensation was to go on for ever was not reasonable. Had the Government taken the line he had suggested they would have secured the support of many of those not interested in the trade who desired to see something done, and they would not have laid themselves open to the charge of simply bringing in and passing a Brewers' Endowment Bill. They had rejected the time limit by declaring that it was inconsistent with the Bill, and therefore their only remedy was to give a simple freehold to the brewer and not to the publican. Fortunately, they were not cursed so much with tied houses in Ireland, but in this country seven-tenths 1050 of the total were tied houses. This Bill was not designed to deal with the occupier, because he could be contracted out in every agreement. This was a Bill simply for the endowment of those great brewers who had already unloaded the ship pretty well by taking the public into company with them.
It was said that at the present time applications were heard and adjudicated upon by certain justices sitting in brewster sessions, but the decisions of such justices were subject to appeal at quarter sessions. That was the law now. Substantially they said the Bill did not alter the power of the justices sitting at brewster sessions, but at any rate the power to refuse an application was expressly taken away and that right was reserved for quarter sessions. What the justices at brewster sessions were entitled to do was simply to make a report and send it on to quarter sessions. Was not that a great and far-reaching change? What had been the whole history of this question for the last fifty years but a record of conflict between the local justices and quarter sessions? The words of Mr. Sidney Peel had been read out. He (Mr. Peel) had heard the whole of the evidence, and he had no hesitation in saying that the one salient point had been the conflict between the local justices and the quarter sessions, one refusing licences and the other overruling their decisions. This right of the justices in brewster sessions was taken away under this Bill. At the present moment the public had a right to intervene and give evidence in these Courts. The public often possessed evidence which the police were not in possession of. Where in this Bill was this right of the public preserved? Why in the Bill did they give special authority for the licensed victuallers to be heard? Why did they conserve their right and leave the right of the public derelict? The public had a right to be there; that right was recognised by law, but it was not recognised in the Bill, and he thought they would find if the Bill passed in its present shape it would not be recognised by the Court.
He did not feel qualified to discuss the financial question as to whether the levy would be adequate for the 1051 purpose. He had an idea that it would not. But in all the calculations he had heard made on the floor of the House it had been quietly assumed, and he objected to the assumption, that, quarter sessions all over the country were going to work the Bill when it became law. Was there any authority for that? Look at the record in the past. Did anybody imagine that the quarter sessions were composed of temperance reformers, extreme or moderate? Nothing of the kind. He thought they would find what would happen would be this. The trade knew perfectly well what it was doing, it knew it was fighting a great battle with itself in the last ditch, and if they did not get this now they never would. Did anybody imagine the trade coming to the House, and with the greatest unanimity consenting to additional taxation of £1,200,000 a year if they thought it was going to be levied? The trade believed nothing of the kind. What did the trade stipulate in the room where they met the Prime Minister? They did not stipulate for compensation, they stipulated that the power of refusal by the magistrates should be suspended. They did not want compensation, they wanted to be left as they were. When he read the Bill and saw the power transferred to quarter sessions which had been for half a century wholly opposed to this work, undoing it when they had a chance; when he saw them vested with the sole power of forming compensation areas and levying compensation funds, he took their past, and judged from that what they would do in the future. The trade, having the right hand of the magistrates paralysed by the power of refusing being taken away, would not trouble about compensation.
There was another thing which wanted clearing up, and the Prime Minister was involved. He was not going into the question whether the money was public money or not. That was a fair subject of dispute, but one thing was clear, and it was that there was going to be an attempt made to get something like the monopoly value of new licences, and any one securing a new licence would be made to pay for it something like the true monopoly value. Under the Bill as ome lawyers read it that money was to go 1052 into the compensation fund, and the right hon. Gentleman in his speech on the First Reading took that view. Whatever they might say about the increased licence duty being public money, he wanted to know what defence there was for taking this monopoly value of new licences and giving it for the purposes of compensation? Reading the Bill as a whole, considering its real source of origin, and the circumstances under which it had been introduced, and under which he supposed it would be carried, and also considering that a general election could not be far distant, he had come to the conclusion that, it was not designed to promote the public welfare but to enfranchise the brewer. It not only endowed the brewer with money, but it did what was far worse, it gave up the rights of the Licensing Courts which belonged to the public. If he gave a £5 note to voters to vote for him he should be guilty of a corrupt practice, but here was the House of Commons proposing to give a great money consideration to this rich trade. What did it mean? The man in the street was often referred to. He would know what it meant. It meant that the men engaged in the trade were to be bribed wholesale into voting for this Government.
§ SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)
said he intervened in this debate on account of the remarks made by several members of the Government upon those in favour of compensation, and also of a time limit. There were a number of hon. Members who were perfectly willing to entertain the idea of compensation to those dispossessed of their licences, but who wished to give exactly what was just—neither too much nor too little. Many of them thought that what was given in the Bill was too much. The Colonial Secretary in his speech treated the idea of a time limit with derision, and the Home Secretary last night said that such a proposal was inconsistent with the principle of the Bill. It was quite true that the Solicitor-General in the speech he made took a rather more open view, and for himself, if not for the Government, admitted that he was ready to consider any proposals made for a time limit when the Bill went into Committee. He himself should have thought 1053 that the whole question of the time limit was one appropriate to the Committee, but when the Home Secretary said that it was inconsistent with the principle of the Bill one was almost driven to say a few words on it in the Second Reading debate, and it was to that point that he would confine himself, not because there was not a great deal to say about other matters in the Bill, but the time for speaking was drawing to a close, and he should not be justified in going into the whole question.
There were two perfectly distinct classes of owners of licences dealt with in this Bill—one the holders of the pre-1809 beerhouse licences, and the other the holders of general public-house licences, ft seemed to him that in claiming compensation, if their licences were extinguished, these two classes claimed it on totally different and distinct grounds. The owners of the pre-1869 beerhouses had got a Parliamentary right to the perpetual renewal of their licences so long as they conducted themselves and their houses with propriety, and if they were to be compensated, they seemed to him to have not merely an equitable, but a legal title, a Parliamentary title, to have the full capital value of the licences given to them. But the holder of an ordinary public-house licence stood in an entirely different position. It had been admitted over and over again in this controversy by the persons interested themselves that they had no legal right at all, that the law was perfectly distinct, and that it was an annual licence which had to be renewed every year. But then they said, what the most extreme temperance reformers like his hon. friend the Member for South Tyrone admitted, that by the custom which had grown up of generally renewing the licence unless there was some misconduct to complain of, these people had got a sort of equitable right to be compensated by solatium or compensation if the renewal were refused. If that custom which had grown up was now to be changed, and if their licences were to be refused on the ground that the neighbourhood did not require them, or for any other reason unconnected with misconduct on their part, it seemed to him that they could not treat these two classes in the same way and in the 1054 same measure without injustice to the one or the other. If they gave to the ordinary publican what they gave to the pre-1869 beerhouse licence-holder they gave him too much, and if they gave the pre-1869 licence-holder only what they gave to the holder of the ordinary public-house licence they gave him too little. This Bill treated both parties alike and gave to the ordinary licence-holder that to which the pre-1869 licence-holder alone was entitled.
What everybody desired to do was to buy back the public right to make the licence a purely annual licence. The public wanted to get the power of curtailing licences, and in order to do that they had to pay compensation or solatium to both these classes of holders. The right had been lost by this custom growing up. It had been lost also by the conduct of the officials in the permanent departments, in the way they had calculated and estimated the value of these licences. If they gave to the ordinary licence-holder a right to perpetual renewal which, he had not got now, legally or equitably, they gave him too much, and what was proposed to be done by those in favour of a time limit was exactly what was done in Mr. Bruce's Bill many years ago. They said to the licence-holder, "You have no right to renewal but we will give you a right to renewal for a certain term." What that term should be was not a matter of principle but of detail. The time proposed by Mr. Bruce was ten years, and he would take that as an illustration. If it could be shown that the term should be more or less let that be done. What he hoped this Bill would do was that it would give every existing licence-holder the right to renewal for, say, ten years and compensation for the unexpired part of that period if he had his licence taken away. They must not be treated as if they had an indefeasible right to the renewal of their licences for ever. If a renewal of a licence were refused in 1905, the owner would be entitled to compensation calculated on the full ten years of the time limit; if he were refused in 1906 he would be entitled to compensation calculated upon nine years and so on, until in the year 1915 the right would have been entirely exhausted. After 1055 that date everybody would know, that it was a mere annual renewal of the licence. Everybody would be treated justly, because everybody would have got a distinct and definite ten years right sanctioned by Act of Parliament. Those whose licences were taken away during the ten years would get compensation for the residuary value of their licences for the period which still remained. In 1915 all the presently existing licence holders would have had their full ten years renewal, and therefore would have got a quid pro quo for the equitable right which they alleged they possessed now. That was the time limit which a great number of people wished to have introduced in this Bill. There would be more heard of it in Committee. He could not see how that could be inconsistent with the principle of the Bill which was to give just and fair compensation.
He thought the method of calculating and ascertaining the amount of compensation proposed by the Bill was the most extraordinary he ever saw in an Act of Parliament, and he could not see how it could possibly be carried into effect. The first thing was that some valuer was to ascertain what the value of the licensed premises was, as if this Bill had not been passed. How on earth could any valuer—the most expert, experienced in the world—say twenty years hence what was the value of a particular house at the time this Act was passed? It seemed to him to be perfectly absurd. He could see what was in the mind of the Gentleman who had drafted the Bill, but the clause was perfectly unworkable. If the Prime Minister could project himself into the future and think how the greatest valuer could say what the value of any premises would have been at the time, if this Bill had never passed as an Act, it would be extremely interesting to the House to hear his comments. He hoped the Prime Minister would interpret the somewhat conflicting statements of his Ministers, and assure the House that when they got into Committee, any proposals for assessing compensation on an equitable basis, with a time limit, would not be at once negatived by the Government, but be candidly and fairly considered.
§ * MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)
said they had recently had a demonstration in favour of a festival of the Established Church; they were now having a demonstration in favour of the Saturnalia of the established trade. It would be said of him that he was an extreme man upon this question, but he would rather be an extreme man like those friends of his on that side of the House who had devoted their lives to the fight against intemperance than men who said that they were moderate, or like the Prime Minister who yielded at the first demand of the trade a Licensing Bill, which he had refused to moderate temperance reformers for years past. He had been in the House for nearly ten years and this was the first considerable Bill upon this question which the Government had brought in. The Government which during that period had been responsible for the public duty of dealing with public morality and national progress had failed to prevent the spread of an evil which confessedly, among all men of right thinking and wide knowledge, was the greatest evil to the race, the greatest curse of the nation, and the greatest drawback to the welfare and progress of the people. Without assuming and superiority of feeling or emotion on his part, he put it to the minds and hearts and consciences of private Members opposite, "Do you think this is the kind of Bill to deal with the drinking evil?" He knew what the answer of hon. Members would be if they could give their private opinion. It would be that a Bill dealing with this question of the drink traffic ought not to perpetuate it or endow it, or give concessions to the brewers, or give help to the great machinery for the sale of drink. It ought to be a Bill to strengthen the temperance forces of the country and the judicial powers of the country, and to give more power into the hands of the justices, not less, and tend towards sobriety—not, as he had said, to a Saturnalia.
When the Home Secretary brought this Bill forward he did so in such an artful manner that he himself was inclined to think that there might be something in the Bill which would be useful in reducing drinking, the waste of life, the enormous unhappiness, the growth of crime, the 1057 spread of disease, and the physical degeneration of the race. When, however, he looked into the text of the Bill, he was amazed at the cleverness, the ingenuous ingenuity which the Home Secretary had brought forward the Bill, and he then formed an entirely different view — that this Bill was not likely to reduce the number of licences at all. He did not find that the compulsory insurance was really compulsory, or that every proprietor of a public-house would have to pay to the compensation fund. He found that the clause to deal with the so-called quasi- compensation for the withdrawal of licences contained a perilous and amazingly artful method of inviting licensing magistrates to increase the number of licences. Quarter sessions magistrates might make as a condition of granting a new licence the payment of a considerable sum of money to them by the proposed licensee. What would happen in such a case? Under the present system, if a licence, were applied for in a new suburb or other district where the people might not want a licensed house, they could appeal before the local justices and protest, either by counsel or otherwise, and the licensing justices, knowing the district and its requirements, could decide that another licensed house was not necessary, and there then was no inducement to grant a new licence. But this Bill took away the discretion of the local justices and gave it to the quarter sessions, the magistrates sitting at which resided at a distance from the locality in question and did not know its requirements; and they might grant this new licence if the proposed licensee were to hand over to them the monopoly value of that licence, so that they might buy out the holders of licensed houses in other parts of the town. Therefore the Bill invited quarter sessions to grant licences which they would not otherwise grant, and enabled the brewers to say that they would pay for a new licence so many thousands of pounds, as the case might be, into the compensation fund, so that out of the compensation fund they might get the money back in compensation for yielding up old licences which had ceased to be any use because the houses holding them did not pay. There was thus a pernicious, make belief 1058 machinery for reducing licences in certain parts of a town, which licences were worthless and would drop themselves before long without any compensation. But in this Bill the fictitious money value of these houses was to be given, and if the brewer did not get that money value out of the compensation fund in the ordinary way he might be able to get it by making a payment for the monopoly value of licences in another part of the town.
It was said by the Government that this compensation was to be given to the licence-holders. How much of the money would go to the licence-holder? Many difficult questions had been put to the Government on this point. One was whether any barman or barmaid, or potman, or other servant of a licensed house would be entitled under this Bill to receive any compensation. The Government's answer was "No." Another question was whether a licence-holder, whose licence was refused renewal because it was not necessary, would, under this Act, obtain any compensation whatever unless he was part proprietor of the freehold itself. The answer to that was so vague that he had some difficulty in understanding it; but its meaning was that the licensee, who was the only man who had a right to get compensation, was not to get it unless he was part proprietor of the freehold. There was nothing in the Bill to safeguard the interests of the licence-holders nor any guarantee that there would be a large reduction of licences. Nine out of ten of the licensed houses of the country belonged to private firms of brewers and distillers, or to those honourable gentlemen and ladies up and down the country who had thought it consistent with their conception of national duty and private morality to invest their money in this trade. The compensation would, therefore, go to these private firms and great limited liability companies in respect of the false, fictitious, and inflated value attached to the houses. And thus the House were going to condemn the country for all time, and associate the ministers of justice in this country with promoting a compensation system for a trade which made every effort to buy up every licence and get as many new licences as possible in 1059 order to sell as much drink as possible. Was that a trade which this House ought to approve or support, or further, or compensate?
Under the old system the licensee was the licensed victualler who carried on his trade in a respectable way, risking his own capital if the house were badly conducted. If publicans of that type, who were often men of high character who carried on their trade like other tradesmen without deception, were now at issue he would take a different view of the situation. But the tied-house system had inveigled into its service temporary servants, tenants for a few months only. It might be an artisan who had been left £140 or £150 by a comparatively wealthy relative, and who, knowing that a great deal of money had been made in public-houses in the past, hoped to make money himself. He invested his capital in a tied house, and owing to the terms of his contract he lost his money, and out he went in the most pitiless manner without a penny of compensation. Compensation under this Bill would not go to the tenant but to the tied-house owner, who, like an octopus, had the tenant in one tentacle, the drunkard in another, and the Government in a third. That was the real nature of the Bill. His remarks in reference to the tied-house system applied to off-licences as well as to on-licences. In the old days the houses were shops owned by shopkeepers, and the brewer supplied them just as the sugar-boiler and the baker supplied shops to-day. The stuff supplied to those houses now was not only charged for at 10s. per barrel more than the market price if supplied to a free house, but it was two or three gallons per barrel short, and was a great deal under quality—under quality, under quantity, over price. The tenant was forbidden to purchase anywhere else, and he lost his money because he could not sell the stuff supplied to him at a profit and pay the interest on the nominal loan made to him by the brewery company. The Bill would not promote the reduction of licences to any appreciable extent, the licenses would not be compensated and the compensation would be given to a trade which was organised on a system which was one to deprecate, one to condemn, one to regulate, one to limit, and one 1060 to suppress, rather than one to perpetuate as this Bill proposed.
§ SIR JOHN KENNAWAY (Devonshire, Honiton)
said the House had hoard a great deal about the cause of the introduction of this Bill. It had been attributed to a brewers' panic, but that would not be sufficient to justify its introduction. A far more serious and effective cause was that it was the earnest wish of both sides of the House to effect a large reduction in licences. All attempts to reduce licences on anything like a large scale had been ineffectual, because magistrates had not felt able to enforce their powers from fear they would be doing a great injustice. The principle of the Bill was that there should be a reduction in licences, and that that reduction should be accompanied by compensation. There had been a large amount of admission from the other side of the principle of compensation. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Montrose Burghs had been effectively quoted as having said that it would be unjust to take away property which had been invested on a clear expectation of a continuance of the licence. They had a very interesting quotation given from the last election address of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition. In that address the right hon. Gentleman assented to the principle of compensation to be found in this Bill Now the Government had introduced that principle and it was objected to. Another principle of the Bill was that the process of reduction and control remained with the magistrates; not wholly with the magistrates in brewster sessions, but a larger and wider area was taken, which was necessary for the administration of the funds coming in. Great stress had been laid by the hon. Member for South Tyrone on the fact that there had been continual friction between the brewster sessions and the quarter sessions. There were, however, great hopes that the new plan would bring quarter and brewster sessions together, and that they would in that way form an effective body for carrying out the wishes for the reduction of licences. It was true that there was no specific instruction made for the quarter sessions to take up this question. He hoped that that would 1061 be remedied in Committee, and he was sure that when their duties were clearly laid down they would not be wanting in carrying them out.
Seeing that there was so much agreement on these points, how was it that there had been such strong objection raised to the Bill throughout the country? One reason was the fear that the measure would not produce the expected results. The Home Secretary gave hopes of a very large reduction of licences within a moderate time. In Devon, excluding the boroughs, the amount, available for compensation was £9,475 and there were 1,600 licences to be dealt with. In Cornwall there were 760 licences and the sum available was £4,200. It seemed to him that there would be great difficulty in proceeding at anything like a rapid rate. He doubted whether the money would be sufficient to effect the reduction which was desired. The other point raised was whether, in regard to the houses that remained, the annual licence would be turned into a freehold. He did not wish to see the trade for all time in. an impregnable position, and they had no right to put the trade in such a position that twenty years hence, when the feeling of the country might be very different, the people would have no power to review the situation. If an experiment were made and proved successful they would probably be glad to continue it on the same lines; if not successful, they ought to have the opportunity of trying something else. It was with that view that the time limit had been suggested. He saw a difficulty in bringing it in, but it ought not to be beyond the power of Parliament or the ingenuity of man to devise some scheme whereby the system inaugurated under this Bill should be renewed from time to time. He believed that finality was not what was desired by the country, and while there was finality in the Bill he did not sec how he could support it. A heavy burden had been laid upon the country by those who had gone before in the number of houses that had been allowed to grow up, and, while earnestly anxious for further reform on the lines of this Bill, they must be very careful not to lay on posterity burdens which would make posterity regard them as they sometimes 1062 regarded those who had gone before. The growing power of the temperance movement must also be borne in mind. It was doubtless true that owing to the unwillingness of many of its advocates to look at the matter from a reasonable point of view little had been done, but he did feel there was a great opportunity at the present time, and he hoped it would be made good use of by the Government. The Government would then deserve the credit of having grappled with the question with a wish not to suppress the trade altogether, but to do justice to all concerned and promote the cause of temperance.
§ * MR. THEODORE TAYLOR (Lancashire, Radcliffe)
said that the speech which the House had just heard should carry some weight with the Government. The right hon. Gentleman had taken a moderate and fair view, and from what he had said it would appear that although the time limit would not meet the views of many of his hon. friends it would be acceptable to the supporters of the Government and to the country at large. As a temperance reformer himself he did not look, as some members of the Government did, on temperance reformers as the hunters of publicans. He would not reciprocate the sentiment by stating that the Government were hunters of temperance reformers. He desired to give the Government full credit for trying to do some good in the matter. He believed that they realised that the great obstacle in the way of temperance reform was a financial one— he meant the financial interest of those; engaged in the liquor trade. What was the equitable title of the owner of property licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquor? They were all agreed he had no legal title; but he himself did not wish to take advantage of an illegality to perpetrate a moral wrong. No good cause could be served by doing a moral wrong by a legal right.
There were two distinct financial interests in every licensed premise, the interest of the tenant and the enormously greater interest of the man or company owning the property and who claimed compensation for the non-renewal of the licence. The whole of this measure was founded on the 1063 supposition that it was a case of extinguishing licences. That appeared in the title of the Bill, but there was no such thing as the extinction of a licence. Every licence died a natural death every year, and therefore the assumption that licences were to be extinguished was a false one. There was inequity and law a difference between the extinction and nonrenewal of a licence. What happened when an original licence was applied for? As a licensing magistrate himself he could tell the House what happened in many cases twenty or thirty years ago. It was well described by the Solicitor-General yesterday when he said that the administration of the licensing system in connection with the diminution of the number of licences was on the principle of a toss-up as to which licence should be suppressed. The same principle often applied to the original granting of licences. In every freshly populated district the principle formerly was to grant new licences. There might be four magistrates and the mayor. There might be two applicants A and B. A was personally known to two magistrates, and B to the other two and both were known to the mayor. According to the code then prevailing there must be provided a place in the district where a man could get drunk, and to which of the two applicants should they grant the licence? Was not the matter for all practical purposes a toss-up? Let us suppose they gave it to A. Where was the equity as between the man who got the licence and the man who did not, both being equally deserving? The difference was that the man who got the licence received with it an additional income of, say, £50 a year. Within a year or two of getting the licence he became landlord only, in the sense of being the owner and letting the property to somebody else. For the past twenty years he has had an income of £50 a year at somebody else's expense; he has had an extra £50 a year because he has had a public privilege at a less rate than the fair market value. What had become of his neighbour B? It was well known that if they had a public-house opposite certain property it did not increase the letting value of that property but it might diminish it a little. Had not Mr. B the same right to the money 1064 which was derived from charging the public a monopoly price for the article they wanted? Had not Mr. B the same right to a share of that money that A had? It seemed to him that there should be a fresh toss-up every year, and all the letters from A to Z should have the same chance and the same opportunity of drawing money from the public purse.
There were several alternatives which the Government might have employed. They might, by raising the licence duties, have taken to themselves by degrees the value of that monopoly, or they might have given notice of a time limit and undertaken that the business should be carried on nominally as well as really in the public interest. He was not going to say a word about the pauperism and death and disease caused by drink, but he would speak of the question entirely from a financial point of view and show that the title of the property owner to draw in perpetuity the extra sum by way of rent for his house because it was licensed was not an equity that attached to him personally. They might say that as he had had it twenty or thirty years, did not that give him the right to go on for ever? They might as well say that in balloting for places in the Ladies' Gallery of the House, the Members who were successful on the first day of the session should retain the tickets for the remainder of the session. But there was another class whose interests had not been spoken of in the debate—he meant the consumers of liquor at retail. This trade was limited to certain premises and certain persons in the interest of the public, and he was one of those who thought that the persons who consumed liquor in those places should have a right to expect that the article they consumed should be good. What was the result of the mono-poly? He had no charge to make against the brewers—they were only like other business men with monopolies; they were apt to take advantage of them. But in regard to the article consumed, the general public nearly always suffered by a monopoly. Most of them had been in France and knew what wretchedly bad lucifer matches they had there. That was a Government monopoly. In Italy they gave them salt almost like 1065 pebbles, and they had wretched tobacco, —again Government monopolies. He was not an advocate for monopolies where they might be avoided, but as a general principle they were bad for the consumer. It was worse when the individual monopolists were collected into groups; that was to say, when the system of the law, which nominally was one man one licence, had got to be one company fifty licences, or one company 100 licences; it was then a much worse kind of monopoly. That was what the retail sale of drink had become—a private monopoly in the bands of a smaller number of monopolists now than used to be the case. One of the blots in the Bill was that it failed to deal with the question of tied houses. That was a serious and burning question from the public point of view, and he desired to say a word in the interest of the people who consumed this liquor. Their interests should certainly be regarded by this House. Power and responsibility ought to go together. The power of the law had been exercised to restrict the sale of liquor to certain people in certain places, and the public bad a right to demand that if this monopoly was to be made perpetual, some guarantee should be given that it would not be ill-used. If the financial aspect of the question were only probed to the bottom, he was convinced that the opinion of the Unionist Party would be increasingly against the perpetuation of this monopoly.
Reference had been made to a clause in the Bill which, in order to prevent any increase in the value of the monopoly, provided that the valuation should be made on the basis obtaining before the introduction of this Bill. That, however, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University had pointed out, was an impossibility. But if the Government seriously meant that, provision as a qualification of the amount of compensation to be paid in the future, ought they not to order the valuation to be made now? An even better system would be to let even man assess himself, though in that case there would certainly have to be qualifications; why should not compensation be paid in the same, proportion as the contributions were made? The objection would 1066 doubtless be taken that the licensees of the very large houses, hotels, and so on, who were not likely to be interfered with, would assess themselves too low. But when amending the law, why should they not draw a more equitable line between houses whose main trade was the selling of drink and those whose main trade was the providing of accommodation? He was aware that a difference was already made in the licence duty, but further differentiation could be carried out with advantage. It had been too much assumed that the licensed house; whose capital value was the largest were necessarily the best. To a large extent that was true, but it was equally true that some of the worst cases of dram shops would have the largest capital value.
He had thrown out those suggestions in a practical spirit, not because he wished this monopoly to be made perpetual, but because he believed a very great financial wrong would be done to all classes of the community unless some guarantee were taken that the article supplied should be a good one and that the monopoly should not be abused. He recognised no title or moral right on the part of the property owner, who had already recouped himself, and who had done nothing, as a property owner, except to draw a superfluous income from tin1, liquor-consuming public, but he was willing, in order to get this matter settled, that there should be some short time limit. That was as regarded the property owner. So far as the tenant was concerned, surely all were agreed that he should not suffer in any way, and that he should get at least as much compensation as the property owner ever gave him now. The tenant's interest was a small one, it was the property owner's interest that had brought the question to the fore, and the advocates of this Bill had no right to shelter themselves behind the publican. The real reason for the Bill was the pecuniary loss feared by the public-house owners. He wished to give the Government credit for a desire tempered by political considerations to promote temperance reform. As a licensing justice he admitted that if was often a toss-up which of certain original applicants was given a licence, and that the present condition of things was 1067 sometimes a hindrance to the reduction of licences. He therefore desired to see some moderate, measure of reform passed, but it was altogether inequitable, both to the people who would like to be public-house owners and to the liquor-consuming public, that this monopoly should be made perpetual without any qualification. If the Government were wise they would greatly facilitate the passing of their Bill, and render it more likely to be a permanent enactment, by accepting the pressure which had been put upon them by some of their best friends in favour of a reasonable time limit.
§ SIR WILFRID LAWSON (Cornwall, Camborne)
said hon. Members opposite in their speeches seemed to find any in mount of fault with this Bill, but they concluded by saying that they were going to vote for the, Second Reading. They were shortly going to divide upon this measure. It was no use talking about a time limit because there was no time limit in the Bill, and when they voted on the Second Reading of a measure they voted on the principle and not on the details of the Bill. One of the most remarkable statements he had ever heard in the House was that made by the Prime Minister when this Bill was introduced, for he said this was a great temperance measure. One was rather doubtful al out this when they knew who the measure was brought in for, and they had hail it stated plainly in the House. The hen. Member for St. George's-in-the-East had told them that the Bill had not been received with enthusiasm by those in whose favour it had been drafted. On the same occasion the Home Secretary said the measure was brought in to safeguard the trade. That was what the Church of England Temperance Society called a dual basis. He doubted this dual basis, for he did not think it was possible to bring in a Bill which would please the trade and temperance reformers as well. They might just as well try to bring in a Bill which would please the supporters of the Established Church and the Nonconformists, the Jingoes and the Little Englanders, or the protectionists and the free-traders. That was just the thing which the, Prime Minister thought he could do, but the 1068 job he had now undertaken was even more hopeless.
What was this trade? It was like any other trade, and it would make all it could out of the public. For generations the, people of this country had been struggling against drink, but how was it possible to harmonise things when one set of people were doing all they could to get their fellow-creatures to abstain from alcoholic drinks and another set were doing all they could to get people to drink, and that was their business. What a pull the trade had over temperance people. The temperance people did their work at their own cost, and they lost money and time trying to make the country sober, but the, brewers were paid by results. It was said that in this drink business nobody was to blame, and that the publican had done his best; that publicans were the servants of the people, and were strictly controlled by the laws, and at all the licensed victuallers' gatherings they declared that they were, not to blame for drunkenness. This reminded him of the words of Scripture, "If thine enemy thirst give him drink." They had been told that the drink trade was composed of the best of men, and that the licensed houses were good. For 400 years Parliament had been doing its best to make people sober, and he believed that 400 Acts of Parliament had been passed with the same object. They had recently passed a Bill prohibiting drink in the case of the natives in South Africa, and now they were passing a measure to supply drink to the natives of this country. Temperance organisations had been doing their best, and what was the result? It had been said by one eminent authority that had it not been for temperance organisations this country would hardly have been worth living in. Look at the position. They had had a generation of social, political, sanitary, educational, and religious reform, and where were they? Look at the slums in the large towns, and at their workhouses and gaols. All he could say was that the trail of the serpent was over all. He could not find anything that was responsible for this except the liquor traffic. Mr. Justice Grantham had recently told them that the way publicans carried on their business resulted in the most heart-breaking 1069 crimes that it was possible to imagine. Could anybody say that that was a satisfactory state of things. In the past, amid all this wickedness and misery and vice, there had been one golden thread running through our legislation, and that was that the licence was granted only for one year and was subject to annual revision. But this Bill made it more difficult for magistrates to protect the people. All those who had tried to explain the principle of this Bill so far had failed to do so. Mr. Arthur Chamberlain, who had studied this measure very deeply, said that—The principle of the Bill was to create a vested interest in the annual licence and to destroy the existing magisterial discretion in refusing licences.He wished to know what harm had the people done that they should be deprived of this protection which they had had for generations. He did not know what harm they had done except returning the present Government to power and they, had suffered deeply for that. The Member for the University of Oxford on the First Reading said public-houses were the equipment of the country. He could understand them equipping the Army and Navy, but why equip public-houses. A long time ago Baron Dowse, speaking from the Bench in Ireland, said that the measure of degradation in every district was exactly in proportion to the amount of alcohol consumed there. He believed his right hon. friend was going to support this Bill for equipping the country with the means of its own ruin. He was going to support all this horror, though he was one whom they expected to represent sweetness and light. He did not know whether hon. Gentlemen had read a rather interesting paragraph in the "Political Notes" in The Times that morning. It said—A London Conservative Member whose sympathy with the 'trade' is well known has been at the trouble to reply to most of the communications which have been forwarded to him in this connection; and in acknowledging a request from the Christian Endeavour Society that he should refuse to endorse the principle of compensation to drink-sellers, he writes:—'It seems to me that the Christian Endeavour Society have forgotten the golden rule, "Do to others as ye would they should do unto you," which surely applies even to dispossessed drink-sellers.'When the trade came here asking for compensation if they were told to cease 1070 their trade, were the people not entitled to call upon them for compensation for all the evil they had done? Let the crime, misery, blighted homes, blasted lives, and ruin it had produced all around be summed up, and then they would see on which side the balance stood. Could the Prime Minister, the new temperance reformer, who was starting on a new career rather late in life, give the name of a Bishop who was supporting the Bill as it stood? Could he name a clergyman, dissenting minister, magistrate, or temperance reformer of any shape, feather, or degree, in favour of the Bill? Could he name a poor publican, who would get nothing out of this Bill if dispossessed, as being in favour of it? The right hon. Gentleman had got nobody at his back except the trade. The hon. Member for Carnarvon asked the Prime Minister to do something to settle the question. He himself did not ask anything of the kind. The drink question would never be settled until the people were given complete power to protect themselves. He asked the Prime Minister at this crisis merely to let them alone and. nor to strengthen what the ex-Colonial Secretary called "the swollen tyranny of the drink power." What they would do in the country lie would not prophesy, but he would appeal to the House not to strike a deadly blow at temperance, reform, which Mr. Cobden long years ago said was the foundation of every social and political reform.
§ * MR. TALBOT (Oxford University)
said the hon. Member for the Camborne Division had referred to some remarks he made when speaking on the question of licensing. The hon. Baronet seemed to have misconceived the purport of what he, said. What he did say was that he thought it was absolutely necessary there should be places for obtaining refreshments, places for eating and drinking, and his desire was that they should be as little harmful and as desirable places of refreshment as they could be made. He made the statement when combating the views of those who seemed to wish to suppress ail such houses. He wished to say a word in regard to the antagonism which was stated to subsist between the magistrates of quarter sessions and petty sessions. He had a claim to speak on this 1071 matter, having sat for many years in both capacities, and having also taken part in the work of a licensing committee. He ventured to say that those who talked of antagonism were under an erroneous impression. He did not, mean to say that there was never a difference of opinion between the one Court and the other, just as there was between a Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal, but to say that they were natural enemies was to misrepresent the position. He hoped that in Committee the Bill would make it perfectly clear that it would be the duty of petty sessions to take a survey of their district to see what public-houses were not required and not to wait for pressure from outside. The plan he would recommend was that when they had ascertained the houses that could be properly suppressed they should make a statement to quarter sessions, which would refer it to their own licensing committee. He was quite certain that quarter sessions would desire to act on the recommendations made to them by petty sessions if they could consistently do so, while at the same lime exercising that higher judicial opinion on the questions submitted, which was much more, likely to be for the general interest than if the power to extinguish licences were to be vested solely in petty sessions.
It had been freely stated in the course of the debate that licences were annual, and that renewals could be refused for no other reason except that there was a redundancy of licences in the district. He should like the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife to state to the house his views of the case of Raven and others v. the Justices of Southampton recently decided in the King's Bench Division. The case was reported at pages 430 of the Law Reports, K. B. 1904. In Southampton there was a very large number of licensed houses, and except with respect to one no notices of objection were served. The ground of objection in the case which formed the exception was that the licence was not required in the locality. The house had been fully licensed for ten years and the character of the locality had not altered, except perhaps that the population had increased. The licence was refused by 1072 petty sessions, the refusal was affirmed by quarter sessions, and on appeal the Chief Justice stated that the ground on which the renewal of the licence was refused was not sufficient. Mr. Justice Lawrance concurred in, and Mr. Justice Kennedy dissented from, that opinion. The appeal was, therefore, allowed. It appeared from that decision that the magistrates had not at present, as was often asserted, absolute power to refuse renewals of licences. To say that the Bill interfered with the process of suppression of licenses now going on was a mis-statement of fact. He supported this Bill because it provided the first opening he had seen in a long Parliamentary life for something like a real reduction in the number of licensed houses. Hon. Gentlemen opposite had talked for a great many years and had never done anything in this direction. It had been stated by the Opposition that this measure provided an endowment for the brewers. He could not see an endowment for the brewers in a scheme which, was to provide compensation out of their own funds. He recognised in this Bill a real practical attempt to reduce the licences of the country without inflicting an injury en the holders of the licences. It was satisfactory to have the assurance of the Government that the ante-1869 beerhouses would be included in the Bill. That reform had been asked for for years and years by moderate men, and it had never been got from either side of the House. He should certainly vote for the Second Reading.
§ * MR. ASQUITH (Fifeshire, E.)
It is nor, I can assure you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, with the hope that I can contribute any new material or indeed any fresh argument to the judgment of the House that I ask leave to state in a very few words the reasons which will compel me to vote against the Second Reading of this Bill, The Bill, as we understand from its authors is conceived with a twofold object—to promote temperance and to safeguard the trade, I will not inquire With my hon. friend the Member for Camborne how far those objects are reconcilable one with the other; but the Bill avowedly aims at both, and it seeks to attain the first, the promotion 1073 of temperance, by facilitating the reduction of licences, and the second, the safeguarding of the trade, by providing that no licence is to be extinguished, or, to use a more accurate phrase, because there is no such thing as the extinction of a licence, that every licence is to be automatically and perpetually renewed, unless, and until funds are a vailable to give the dispossessed licence-holder full compensation, that compensation being measured by the whole of the enhancement conferred upon the value of the premises through a State-granted monopoly. As regards the second of those objects. I think it will be conceded by every one who has studied the provisions of the Bill that it is completely achieved. But it is on the likelihood or unlikelihood of the Bill's achieving the first of its objects that its merits as a solution or a step towards the solution of the licensing problem must be determined.
I propose, therefore, to ask the question and answer it as well as I can—Will the Bill facilitate the reduction of licences? I think we are justified by the utterances of Ministers before we approach any close scrutiny of the actual provisions of the measure, in coming to close quarters with them upon this point in a somewhat sceptical attitude. Let me explain what I mean by two illustrations. Minister after Minister has risen from that Bench in the course of these discussions to tell us that in his opinion the mere reduction of licences will have no substantial or considerable effect in the diminution of intemperance. I certainly gathered from the speech of the Prime Minister on the First Reading, and from other declarations which he has made both in this House and elsewhere, that in his view there is no proved or provable relation between the number of licences and the amount of intemperance in any given locality—in other words, between drunkenness and the multiplication of facilities for drink. That opinion may be right or it may be wrong; I am not for the moment discussing that question. But gentlemen holding such a view as that about the effect of the reduction of licences may reasonably look upon that reduction as an object, at any rate, of secondary importance. I want to ask the attention of the House to a still more striking feature in the declarations of the Government. We all know what is the genesis of this Bill. It is the redemption of the pledge given 1074 by the Prime Minister a year ago to a panic-stricken deputation which came to him to appeal to him to protect them and their business against the predatory operations of the licensing justices; and they did so, if remember right, with the intimation—I daresay it was not explicitly conveyed, but it was politely implied—that if that appeal was not satisfactorily met, consequences of an uncomfortable and even serious character to the right hon. Gentleman and his Government would ensue. We have still ringing in our ears, many of us, the Prime Minister's response to that appeal, the words of menace which he used to the magistrates of the country, warning them to think twice and thrice before they entered upon the path of confiscation. In partial fulfilment, at any rate, of the promise, or implied promise, which was then made, we have in this Bill a transfer of licensing jurisdiction from the local justices to the quarter sessions. How was this transfer justified a couple of nights ago by my right hon. friend the Colonial Secretary? It was justified by him on the ground that these same magistrates, who according to the Prime Minister, were intending confiscators of private property, were so tinctured with neighbourly and local feeling, so easy-going, good-natured, and compliant to the village publican, that they could not be trusted to do their duty to the cammunity, and that it was necessary to transfer the performance of that duty to the remote atmosphere of the quarter sessions. When we approach the consideration of the details of this Bill we thus start, if we look at the declarations of Ministers, with a paradox and a contradiction. The paradox is that you must go in for a reduction of licences, although you admit that in your view that may have very little effect upon temperance; and the contradiction is that you must get rid of the jurisdiction of the licensing justices, on the double ground, first, as asserted by the Colonial Secretary, that they are too partial to the publican to do justice to the public, and next, as asserted by the Prime Minister, that they are too partial to the public to do justice to the publican.
The sceptical attitude which, I think, is reasonably induced by declarations of that kind is not dispelled by a study of the provisions of the Bill itself. The 1075 case against the transfer of jurisdiction from the licensing justices to the quarter sessions has been so ably and exhaustively stated in speech after speech from this side of the House that I am not going to repeat it. But I should like to refer to one point made last night by the Solicitor-General. He said that under the existing state of things, whenever a renewal of a licence is refused, you may appeal from the licensing justices to the quarter sessions; therefore, what is the extent of the change? That would be a plausible answer to the critics of this Bill, if there be such, who regard the present system as satisfactory and as incapable of improvement. But for those who think as I do, and as I believe the majority of us do, that the present system needs reconstruction upon fundamentally different lines to those proposed in this Bill, the argument has no force. Let me explain what I mean. The licensing of public-houses, as we now know on the highest possible authority, though it does not rest on authority alone, but on common sense, is an administrative function. It is to be discharged, as the Courts have very properly held, inasmuch as both private and public interests may be affected by the manner in which it is performed, it is to be discharged in a judicial temper and spirit. But it is an administrative function. The presumption, therefore, is, with all our experience in other branches of local administration on points of that kind, that it is a function that should be entrusted to those who are familiar with, in contact with, and responsive to the requirements and opinions of the locality directly concerned. To some extent, I think, the justices who sit in brewster sessions fulfil the conditions, but only to a very limited extent. You will not get this administrative function performed with the temper and efficiency with which it ought to be performed, or in accordance with the traditions and habits of English life, until, first and foremost, you popularise the composition of the body, and take, at any rate, the step we took last year, on the suggestion of this very Government, in Scotland — that is to say, infuse into your local administrative licensing body, some popular and representative element to bring it into closer touch with the community and 1076 give it more familiar and intimate knowledge of the requirements of that community. That is the first step, I think; and the second step would be this —I should abolish the appeal to quarter sessions. In the first place, it is an appeal on a purely local matter form those on the spot to a remote and therefore less qualified body. [AN HON. MEMBER: More.] The hon. Gentleman says more. How far is he going to carry that principle? Is there to be an appeal from district councils to the county council and from the county council to Parliament? What becomes of local administration? I say it is an appeal in regard to a purely local matter. It does not matter to the inhabitants of the county town or to the gentlemen who meet at quarter sessions how many public-houses there are in a district that may be twenty or thirty miles away. The appeal is an appeal on a purely local matter from the body on the spot to a body at a distance. But there is a more serious objection still. This is an appeal on a purely administrative question from a body acting with the elasticity that ought to characterise administrative methods to a judicial tribunal which is restrained, and properly restrained for its own purposes, by rigid forms of procedure and rules of evidence which are totally inapplicable in this case. Lastly, since we must all agree that in some of its aspects at any rate, this is not a merely local matter, and tint, because you are dealing with a national evil, it requires to be looked at also from a national point of view, we should provide a standard of gradual but compulsory reduction, which shall be applicable all over the country, although its application and the methods of its application should be entrusted to the local administrative body. But whit does the Government Bill do? It goes exactly in the opposite direction to even-one of the reforms which I have indicated. It takes away from the local authority the power of initiative. It gives to the quarter sessions not merely the power of revision which they already possess, and which I think ought to be removed from them, but the power of initiative too; and it hampers the possibility of reduction by making it co-extensive with the dimensions of a strictly limited fund which cannot 1077 exceed in any case a specified and wholly inadequate sum and which may not be brought into existence at all. Well, Sir, I say if this Bill is regarded from that point of view, the object of which is to facilitate the reduction of licences, not only is it no improvement on the present system, but it is a distinctly retrograde step.
This brings me to the other aspect of the Bill, which is connected with the topic of compensation. During the discussion last year on the Bill of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for York, the Prime Minister twitted me with being the victim of purely verbal distinctions, and with approving the principle of compensation provided it was called by some other name. I think I used the word solatium, which excited the right hon. Gentleman's good humoured but dialectical contempt. The difference between the Prime Minister and myself depends not on a distinction of words, but on a distinction of things. What do we mean by compensation? Normally and appropriately compensation is the word used to describe the payment which is given by way of indemnity to a man who has been disturbed in the possession of a thing of which he has the legal right to the continued enjoyment. Will any one maintain that that is the case of the publican whose annual licence is not renewed? My right hon. friend the Colonial Secretary in his speech the other night said that the law speaks on this subject with a double voice. With great deference to ray right hon. friend I think he is entirely mistaken. The law in this matter has only one voice. It has been authoritatively and finally expounded as long as twelve years ago in the House of Lords, and as so expounded, it amounts to this: that, a publican's licence is granted only for a year, and ii the justices refuse to regrant it in the exercise of an honest discretion and with regard to the interests of the community, there is no power known to the law which can compel them to regrant it. That is the law. There is no doubt about it; and I want to know from my right hon. friend the Colonial Secretary where he has caught the accents of this other voice which he declares has pronounced with equal authority in the contrary 1078 sense. Certainly it was not in the Royal Courts of Justice, where my right hon. friend is so much missed. The only indication he gave to us of the quarter in which it was heard was, I think, by a reference to a circular of the Board of Inland Revenue. I have the highest possible respect for that Board. It is a Government Department which shows wonderful zeal and assiduity in sweeping into the Exchequer by hook or by crook everything it can get from any quarter; but it cannot create, it cannot alter, and it has no authority to expound, the law, and if it be the case that the zealous spirit which is the great characteristic of that Department has led them to instruct their officers that for the purpose of estate duty, or for any other purpose, a publican's licence shall be treated as though it were perpetually renewable without regard to the circumstances of any particular case, they have done a thing which is absolutely ultra vires. I suspect very much that they have not done anything of the kind. It is said, "Oh, but the State docs in effect recognise that the publican's licence is a thing to the tenure of which he is entitled, if not to fixity of tenure, at least to renewal, because when he dies and his estate comes to be administered the State exacts estate duty on that basis." What is the fact? The fact is that in the case of a licence, as in the case of any other perishable property — it might be a racehorse, exactly the same argument applies— which is exposed to risk, which may live or which may die, there is one way, and one way only, of ascertaining, when a man dies in possession of it, at what rate he ought to be taxed — and that is by seeing what the property will fetch in the market. The market value of a thing is not created by the law. It is not guaranteed by the law. It is a speculation. It is what a person dealing in that market, and having regard to what lie thinks are the probabilities of the case, deems it worth while to give for a highly speculative article. If it be the fact that last year, out of 100,000 licences, in the case of only 300 was renewal refused on public grounds, I say it would be perfectly monstrous when a publican holding one of these licences dies, and the State comes to take its toll upon his 1079 estate, if that estate were valued on the footing that the licence must necessarily come to an end at the end of the year. In 99 out of 100 cases it has not done so. Yes, but what has that to do with the law? The law takes a thing as it is. The law; tamps a licence with the incident of perishability. The justices can renew it or not as they like. The same considerations apply equally to the case put by the Colonial Secretary where licensed premises are taken under compulsory powers by a railway company. You look at the value of the tiling in the market at the moment, and on that basis the purchase price is assessed. It is most important to boar this in mind in dealing with compensation, because it bears not only on the meaning of the term, but also on the nature of the thing.
I dismiss, therefore, altogether any question of legal right. I discuss it entirely and exclusively as a mere matter of expediency. So regarded, what are the considerations which may lead a man to the opinion that some scheme of pecuniary adjustment as between different members of the trade maybe sanctioned by Parliament, not being left merely to domestic arrangement, but if necessary enforced by law. In the first place, I will state quite frankly that I think it is not unfair to take into account the laxity the justices have shown in days gone by in the unnecessary multiplication of these licences. Next, I think it is possibly the case that there may still be invested in this trade a certain amount of money put there before the state of the law was clearly ascertained. But what is, to my mind. a far more important consideration is that in the exercise of their discretion at present the justices are hampered by the feeling of injustice and want of equity which necessarily arises in their minds when, as between two or more equally innocent and meritorious persons, they have to select one to be the victim, as it were, to the public interest. I am satisfied from having somewhat closely observed the matter that one of the great causes why in practice licences are not more rapidly and effectually reduced than they are is the feeling in the minds of the justices which induces them to refrain from exercising the power the law has given them in the interest of the community, and not of any particular class. 1080 These are the considerations which weigh with me. But what are the conclusions which I draw from them? First of all, that if any arrangement of this kind is made—and I think the Government agree here, at any rate in principle—the fund, whatever the fund is, must be supplied by the trade and by the trade alone; because it is the survivors who will benefit by the disappearance of the victims in the enhanced value of the monopoly which is left still better protected than before from competition. That, I think, is the universal opinion. My second conclusion is that no such scheme can possibly he sanctioned unless it is framed upon lines which do not hamper, but which facilitate, the actual reduction of licences. One of many vital objections to the scheme of the Bill is that it will do nothing of the kind. Here let me quote one or two figures—since I see the Home Secretary has dealt with this aspect of the matter—to show the inadequacy of this fund. Take the case of London. I have a few figures which are very instructive. First of all, during the régime of the Metropolitan Board of Works, and, next, in that of their successors, the London County Council, a large number of licensed houses have been acquired through the exigencies of public improvements. The Metropolitan Board of Works, in the sixteen years between 1872 and 1888, acquired 196 licences, the average value of each of which was,£1,760. The London County Council, from 1888 to 1902, acquired 101 licences, and their average value was £2,700 each; representing a rise in value of £1,000 per licence. The figures are still more striking if you take the last four years of the period from 1888 to 1902. Then the County Council acquired sixty-eight licences, the average value of each being £3,160. Therefore we see in London two things. First, the very high average value of each licence, ranging from £1,700 to £3,100; and, secondly, the progressive increase of that value. I have satisfied myself that in the case of London alone, if you look at the sum which is allocated by the Bill for the purpose of the restriction of licences you will find the result must necessarily be of a most limited and disappointing character. In the provinces the figures would I not run so high, even in large towns, and 1081 still less, of course, in rural districts; but I think it will be found that even there the sum supplied by the Bill will be wholly insufficient.
There is a third point. In any such scheme you must distinguish between the interests in a licensed premises. If it be the fact, as we are told, and I believe it is, that 75, some say 80, and even 90 per cent., of the licences are licences granted to tied houses, it is quite clear that in the majority of cases the money will be received by the brewing and distillery interests. They will receive, on the one hand, the full monopoly value of the licences which are extinguished, and, on the other hand, they, being themselves the owners of competing houses, will derive a supplementary pecuniary advantage, first of all, by the disappearance or reduction of competition, and, next, by savings in the expenses of management. So that in the case of tied houses you pay compensation twice over, and pay it to the wrong person. I say it is essential to any proper scheme of compensation that first of all the money should go to those who really lose, and, secondly, that it should not be paid twice over. Lastly, no such scheme should be sanctioned by Parliament unless it is regarded as meeting what is or ought to be a merely temporary need. All the causes which justify the interference of Parliament at all are transitory causes, losing every year their weight and effect. I think the Government must have gathered from the speeches of their own supporters, as well as from the criticisms from this side of the House, that this question of time limit is absolutely vital to the consideration of the Bill. Upon that point we have had different opinions from the Treasury Bench. The Solicitor-General declared that this was an open question, and the Home Secretary said it was wholly irreconcilable with the scheme of the Bill. It would be very instructive if the Prime Minister gave an authoritative version of the intentions of the Government in the matter.
I say that in all these points the scheme of the Bill is absolutely defective. It makes the measure of compensation in all cases the full inherent value of the licensed premises as compared with the unlicensed. It 1082 limits the amount of the compensation fund, and thereby circumscribes the power of reduction, and it recognises the right of compensation as inherent, not only in the present but in future licences for all time to come. For my part I cannot assent to any such scheme. I deeply regret with my lion, friend the Member for Carnarvon, whose speech f listened to with much sympathy last night, that the Government have not made better use of an opportunity which may not soon recur. I am not one of those who, like my lion, friend the Member for Camborne, think that then is no room in the pale of a civilised community for those who make and use alcohol. I agree most heartily with those who maintain that habitual intemperance is not only a cause, but a consequence, and perhaps as often the consequence as the cause, of bad social conditions. The evil is great. No one disputes it. The need for remedy is urgent. Everyone in the debate has admitted that Parliament for thirty years has talked much and done little or nothing, and therefore it may be said that we should welcome any instalment, however small, in the way of reform. But for my part I cannot vote for the Second Reading of this Bill because I believe it would exaggerate most of the evils of the existing system, and still more because I am certain it would introduce fresh and almost insuperable obstacles to the fruitful and permanent settlement of the most pressing of our social problems.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the right hon. Gentleman who has just concluded the case against the Second Reading of this Bill seemed, at many portions of his remarks, almost verging to the point of giving a general approval to the objects of the Bill and the methods by which we propose to reduce licences. He always pulled himself up in time and found some reason or other for voting against the Second Reading; but upon my word there were moments during the right hon. Gentleman's speech when I think his heart was not in his cause, and that but for reasons, no doubt of a sufficient character, he might have lent a much more favourable ear to the pleadings we have endeavoured to make in favour of our scheme. What was the first cause 1083 of prejudice which prevented the right hon. Gentleman from even approaching this subject in an impartial frame of mind? It was the same cause which induced my hon. friend the Member for South Tyrone to denounce His Majesty's Government and all their works in connection with this Bill. It was that I had received a deputation of the trade, as it is called, last year, and that I had made them a speech indicating that in my opinion they possessed property of which they ought not to be deprived without compensation, and commenting, not I think severely, certainly not unjustly, upon certain proceedings at brewster sessions. That speech has been so often attacked during the debate that when the right hon. Gentleman joined in the chorus of criticism I thought it worth while to send out for it, as I confess its contents were not very fresh in my memory. I have just read it while the right hon. Gentleman was speaking, and really it seems to me a most excellent speech. I cannot imagine how any—I was going to say sober temperance reformer—how any moderate temperance reformer can find cause of complaint in it. Surely the fact that I then stated that a condition of things had been created which required Parliamentary interference is no reason why men who profess that the greatest object they have in view is temperance reform should not approach at all events with an open mind the proposals which the Government have laid before the House and the country. I do not think anyone can deny that the action of those brewster sessions was open to this criticism, that it made it absolutely uncertain in what kind of temper the magistrates of the future were going to deal with those licences. Were they going to treat the matter with the hard logical precision which would commend itself to the hon. Baronet the Member for Camborne—were they going to consider nothing but the number of licences in the district and the wants of the public, in which case, if they held the hon. Baronet's view, they would abolish ever licence in the place; or were they going to do what the great bulk of the magistrates have, done for many generations that is to try to balance the evils which the excess of licences may produce with 1084 the hardship which would be inflicted upon the publican if he were deprived of his licence without compensation?
I am quite unable to follow the right hon. Gentleman in the series of criticisms which he has passed upon this measure. He says, in the first place, that in his view there should be no appeal to quarter sessions. That is a very odd way of supporting the present magisterial system, because under that system there is such an appeal. But he would abolish it; and in the name of what would he abolish it? In the name of local government? It seems the magistrates sitting in brewster sessions represent the principle of local government; that the magistrates sitting in quarter sessions do not represent the principle of local government. On what general principle is that conclusion based? Why are the magistrates not so good an authority when they are dealing with the larger area of quarter sessions as when they are dealing with the smaller area of brewster sessions? Why does the right hon. Gentleman think that the question of compensation should be confined to the locality of brewster sessions? Manifestly, you will never get a compensation fund except, you have a considerable area to draw upon. Equally manifestly, that compensation fund must be administered by the body which represents the whole of the area from which it is drawn. If those two principles are admitted, and no one has seriously attempted to traverse them, what is the use of talking to us about giving the whole control over the renewal of licences to brewster sessions and abolishing the appeal to quarter sessions? Surely that must carry with it that the whole of the compensation fund must be drawn from the district of brewster sessions?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
That follows logically, ["No."] Then the hon. Member and I have different views of logic. I have no doubt that the view of the hon. Member are founded on a longer and more profound study of the case; but to my untutored instincts in the matter it does appear that if you admit that the body which collects the fund is the body 1085 that administers it, and if you admit that the brewster sessions can only collect from the area over which they have jurisdiction any fund which they individually administer, it follows that they will collect from an area quite incapable in many cases of providing the the fund required. That appears to me enough to answer the right hon. Gentleman, but I will give him one more answer. He says that he recommends this in the interests of local government; and that statement was hardly out of his mouth when he said that it was the business of the House to lay down authoritatively the number of puplic-houses per head of the population which there should be in every district in the country. That is local government! That is allowing each little locality, each parish or small collection of parishes to manage its own affairs! It is to be told by this House precisely the number of public-houses in each of its little areas which are to exist per head of the population. That may be a good plan, but it is not local government.
Then the right hon. Gentleman passed from his criticisms of the machinery of the Bill to the more fundamental point of compensation, and he revived the recollection of an old debate we had across the floor of the House, last year as to the name by which compensation should be called and as to the methods and principles on which it should be assessed. I confess that I prefer still to call it compensation. I am unconverted; but the right hon. Gentleman is converted, at all events to the extent that he has abandoned his old term. He now calls it, not a solatium, as he did last year, but a "pecuniary readjustment."
§ MR. ASQUITH
I think that the right hon. Gentleman objected to a Latin word. I took it from Birmingham.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Yes, and I was just going to add that I hailed with satisfaction the change from Latin to English, and this satisfaction is not diminished when I learn that it is from Edmund Burke that the right hon. Gentleman has got his new phrase.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I did not know that the right hon. Gentleman was a student of that other school. My own defective hearing made me fall into an error for which I apologise. Really and truly I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman need have troubled his head about the phrase. What is the substance of the case as regards compensation? He advanced an argument to the House which I do not believe convinced any of the legal Members who listened to it, and I am quite certain nobody else. His argument was this. He says that the Courts have clearly laid it down that a man has no property whatever in his licence except for the year for which that licence is granted; and he treated with contempt a case brought forward by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford in which a wholly different doctrine seemed to be laid down on this subject. I am informed by persons more learned in the law than myself that after the judgment in "Sharpe v. Wakefield" was given by the House of Lords there was another case heard in the High Court of Justice in which the Judges laid it down that a reversionary interest in a licence was not extinguished even at the end of thirty years. Now the right hon. Gentleman says all that is quite consistent with the House of Lords judgment in "Sharpe" v. Wakefield." It is the laying down of the law which ought to govern magistrates in dealing with licences. When it is dealing with the death duties or compensation to be given for a licence, then it is dealing with the actual value of the licence in the open market. That is a distinction which will not touch any human being in this House or out of it. You allow a man to pay money for property, you tax a man on the property he has purchased, you allow the property to be divided among his heirs, you settle how it is to go, and you concede the possibility of a reversionary interest after thirty years. What is the use of saying that the magistrates may nevertheless in the exercise of their authority extinguish the licence absolutely, and that therefore the man has no right to a title?
§ MR. A.J. BALFOUR
I do not deny that they may. I say that by doing so they extinguish what the law admits to be property, and when that which the law admits to be property is extinguished without compensation a gross injustice is done. I venture to say that, though my exposition of this matter is incomparably inferior in learning and lucidity to that of the right hon. Gentleman, my broad statement will appeal to the House and to the country much more than the legal refinement which I and others are unable to comprehend.
The last criticism referred to what has been called "the time limit." The right hon. Gentleman and some of my hon. friends put a question to me as to the view we took of the time limit. In the first place, my right hon. friend near me was quite right in saying what is obvious that the time limit is not very congruous to the general scheme of our Bill. It does not fit in naturally and easily with the general plan of the Bill for the reason that it was not the plan, we contemplated when we framed it. It is also true that it is essentially not a Second Beading, nut a Committee question, and that it is in Committee, and Committee only, that this House can give a final decision upon it. But I think it is only fair to say that I have given a good deal of thought to the problem which has beer, presented by those who advocate the time limit, and I am unable to see that any cause we have at heart would gain by any application of that plan so far as I have heard. My right hon. friend the Member for Cambridge University appeared to think that we were conferring a freehold title by this Bill on the holders of existing licences. I think that my right hon. friend is quite wrong in that. He gave as an illustration of his view of the Bill that under it the holders of licences would receive precisely the same compensation, upon the same scale, and on the same plan, and for the same reasons, as the holders of the ante-1869 beerhouse licences, which I think was the last great temperance effort of the Party opposite—successful temperance effort I mean. I can assure my right hon. friend that is not so. There is no ground for supposing that the 1088 Inland Revenue or the Court of Appeal, which is over the Inland Revenue in this matter, would regard the right, to sell alcholic liquor in one of these beerhouses which have a Parliamentary title as being worth the same number of years purchase as licences which held no such title. That difference will appear in compensation; and there is not the smallest ground for saying that we propose to treat the two as having precisely the same kind of tenure. If that be so what becomes of this idea that we are giving a freehold tenure to the present holders of licences? We are doing nothing of the kind. We are saying that these are to be compensated for on a tenure less in value than the freehold, and as such will receive compensation less in amount than if it were a freehold; and that we have elaborately provided for, and I believe successfully, by a sub-section in the second clause of the Bill.
I want to know what is going to be gained for any cause by an attempt to establish a time limit? We have not been told whether it is to be twenty years, or what; and there are different arguments applicable to different terms. Broadly speaking, what is intended is that the trade should pay an insurance for, say, twenty years, and after that the whole of their rights in their licences should be absolutely extinguished. Now that may seem at first sight plausible, but what would be the result? In the years preceding this twentieth year, from the fifteenth year onwards, every licence-holder would be afraid that at the end of twenty years he would be abolished without compensation. I presume it is probable that he would neglect his premises. He would certainly not spend capital on doing anything in the way of permanent improvements. So much for the years preceding the twentieth year. Then observe that, if the owner of the licence tries to insure against it, he will require to make an insurance in addition to the compulsory insurance. Of course, it is quite possible for every licence-holder today, "I may be turned out under the Bill at the end of twenty years, but I shall insure against that." But you already compel him to insure at a very high rate for the twenty years, and you put on his back another insurance, which I presume 1089 he is to carry out voluntarily, which would preserve him from loss at the end of the twenty years. I do not imagine that many of them would do it. In any case, let us suppose you have reached the twentieth year. The theory is that am then have the trade absolutely within your grasp, and that the magistrates can without compensation, without notice, and without hardship to anybody, expel the licence-holder whenever it suits their convenience and their fancy so to do—[OPPOSITION cries of dissent]—then, whenever it is, in their view, to the public interest. The difference is quite immaterial to my argument. By the twentieth year you will have been expending, potentially at all events, if it is necessary, the sum annually of £1,200,000. For my part, I take a different view of the needs of the public from that of some temperance reformers. I believe that by that time you will probably have reduced the number of licences to an amount which no moderate temper nice reformer would wish to alter. The result would probably be that in most cases the licence would go on, and the I result of that would be that again these semi-legal rights—I think that was Mr. Bruce's phrase—would grow up; again the magistrates would be put into the old difficulty. [OPPOSITION cries of "No."] They will. That is exactly what will happen with the actual holders at the end of the twenty years. You may say that they might have insured; but gradually, human nature being what it is, these licences will again pass from hand to hand, again large sums will be paid for them, and again the existing state of things, which we all admit is unsatisfactory, will grow up, and again the magistrates will have, in certain cases, to decide between their duty to the public and the equities of the licence-holder. I do not believe that temperance will gain by that process. I believe temperance is losing under the existing state of things; and I contemplate with very great reluctance the restoration of; that state of things, mitigated, no doubt, by this enormous expenditure of £30,000,000 or £40,000,000, but still capable of producing in a smaller degree all the old evils which we deplore.
I have come into collision with a great deal of opposition on both sides, but 1090 personally I am clearly of opinion that no trade, be it what it may, is likely to be best carried on under an uncertain tenure. Hon. Gentlemen opposite are so nervously anxious lest the publican should get a shilling more than he is absolutely entitled to [OPPOSITION cries of "The brewers"]—well, that somebody who owns a licence will get a shilling more than he is entitled to—that there is no hazard they will not run for the greater cause of temperance. I think that perfect folly. I cannot describe how serious I think the attitude of so-called temperance reformers is to the cause of temperance reform. The House was thinner when a speech was made by my hon. friend the Member for South Tyrone. We all know that he has taken an active part as a temperance propagandist for over thirty years; but I confess I was surprised that even that training should produce what seemed to me irrational violence against, a measure which no man, in sober impartiality considering the question, can really doubt will hasten the extinction of licences. What did he say among other things? He incidentally observed that this was the most wicked proposal ever laid before the country; but he also went into an autobiographical sketch of his own efforts on the temperance question, and he told us that he bitterly regretted that, in regard to certain Bills which had been proposed, but not carried, in this House—Mr. Bruce's Bill, for instance, and the Bill of 1888—temperance reformers had not taken his advice and accepted those Bills. What is the advice he gives now? It is precisely the same kind of advice he quarrels with the temperance reformers about, and, if he has his way, it will lead to precisely the same result. What was Mr. Bruce's Bill? Mr. Bruce's Bill, it is quite true, gave no pecuniary compensation. It gave fixity of tenure for ten years. I say that a man who calls himself a temperance reformer and who is prepared to say that he prefers a Bill which is going to stereotype the existing state of things for ten years and rejects a Bill which will enable every quarter sessions throughout the country to borrow at once, on the security of this Bill, an immense sum of money for the extinction of licences, has surely lost all his sobriety of judgment. And when he describes the 1091 Bill which would have stereotyped every I existing licence for ten years as a Bill which ought to have been accepted, and says the Bill we are now considering is the most wicked proposal ever laid before the country, what are we to think of that man who poses as a moderate specimen of the temperance reformer?
I heard cries of protests from tie other side when I said this Bill would diminish the number of licences. Can anybody look at the figures, before the sudden display of energy of a few browster sessions last year, and doubt that? I believe the average diminution of licences under the existing system was less than 200—I think I am right in saying something between 100 and 200— for the whole country. Was that because the magistrates in brewster sessions and quarter sessions held the view that there was not a superfluity of licences? That cannot be so, I think; because if it were so should we have had this passionate I defence of brewstor sessions and of the magistrates from hon. Gentlemen opposite, to whom such exhibitions of charitable zeal in that particular cause must be very unfamiliar? I assume that these brewster sessions and quarter sessions were of opinion that they could not abolish more than this number throughout the country, because to do so would be a grave injustice to the licence-holders. There can be no alternative. Does not common sense suggest, I en, that if that was the obstacle to a reduction of licences the way to remove that obstacle is to give those magistrates the power of conferring compensation? And does anybody whom I am addressing doubt that the application of £1,200,000 a year, or the capital sum which that represents, put in the hands of these magistrates can make the number of abolitions not 100 or 200, or even the 230 of which the right hon. Gentleman talked, but some number incomparably greater? If that argument, to which I have heard no answer in this debate, be true, what a responsibility is taken by those who, sincerely thinking that a diminution of licences is desirable, yet peddle and quarrel over the only practical scheme which I believe has ever been brought before the House for carrying it 1092 out. I can only account for it by thinking that, underneath the differences which have apparently divided us on this Bill, there are yet more profound differences of opinion. I believe that the temperance party in their hearts desire that no compensation should be given, and that they wish to abolish every public-house in the country. I think the first proposition is absurd, and I think the second proposition is iniquitous. We have had floods of oratory from the other side, though not from the other side alone; but has anyone given us what is the Liberal theory of compensation? Is there any theory of compensation on which hon. Gentlemen opposite are agreed or nearly agreed? There is none. Is there any agreement as to whether or not the drink traffic should be totally suppressed? There is no agreement. I listened, I confess, with profound disapproval to certain attacks made upon the licence-holders. My hon. friend the Member for Tyrone, and, I think, the hon. Baronet the Member for Camborne, said, "Talk of compensation to the publican! Who is to compensate the widow, who is to compensate the son and daughter who have all been ruined by the publican?"
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Well, the trade if you like, or the man who carries on the trade. Sir, these people are ruined by their gross and criminal self-indulgence. To suppose for an instant that the mass of the British working-men are poor, innocent, unfortunate people, tempted by a criminal trade to forget their duties, is an absurd supposition. The fault lies with the drunkard, with the man who cannot control his appetite. The fault lies with the man who, instead of that moderate, innocent and even healthful consumption of alcoholic beverages—[Some OPPOSITION cries of "Oh"]—in which I am sure ninety-nine out of every 100 Members of this House do indulge—the fault lies with the condition of public opinion in the classes affected, and with the lack of manly self-control which necessary to resist temptation. Sir, it is by appealing to these sentiments that you will make 1093 this great reform. Bills like this do something, but you will have to go far deeper than any Act of Parliament can go if you mean to carry out the great reform which we all hope may come. Do not let us despair of living, I will not say to see it come in its entirety, but to see it come in large measure. Look back at the history of the well-to-do class. See what their views of temperance and intemperance were three or four generations ago—the disgusting want of self-control which the lax social morality of the time permitted and even encouraged. We are all flesh and blood; we are all influenced by the same motives and dragged down by similar temptations; and my belief is that when you do get in all classes of the community the same kind of public opinion which happily now prevails among the richer class of the community in this country you will have done, not indeed everything, but more than any Act of Parliament can do to take away the stigma and reproach which justly attaches to our country. There are symptoms which induce me to believe that the change in the habits of the people, slower than we could wish, is yet real and great. Bills like this may help them, but what will not help thorn is the extravagant expression of teetotal views—statements, revolting to common sense, that, the mere touch of alcohol is contaminating and tricked, and on the other side, the immoral transfer of the guilt of the man who drinks on to the shoulders of the man who has supplied him with drink. If temperance reformers would take these observations to heart, which I know they will not, if they would aid in building up on rational and moderate lines in every class of the community the kind of public opinion that now prevails among the well-to-do, then, Sir, I believe that more would be done than ever can be done by this House; although it surely is beneath our dignity, our sense of duty, our view of public policy that we should reject a Bill, not because it will not carry out the object for which it was introduced, but because, forsooth, you may persuade yourselves that this or that holder of a licence, this or that brewer, this or that man engaged in a trade which you hate may get a shilling more of his own money than perhaps you 1094 desire him to get. I hope the House will by an overwhelming majority allow us to proceed with this Bill in Committee.
MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)
, who spoke amid continued cries of "Divide," and "Order" said he regretted the last note of the Prime Minister's Speech. He had expressed the opinion that drunkenness was entirely attributable to the drinking habits of the people and that it was not the business of Parliament to intervene. But the House of Commons would abolish one of its fundamental rights if it was admitted that it could not touch in any way the public-life of the nation. There was no doubt as to the origin of the Bill, and, when they knew its genesis, it behoved them carefully to consider the effect of its provisions. He desired to approach its considerations from the standpoint of citizenship. As they knew, he placed the highest value on the temperance movement. That movement supplied many of their highest ideals, it also supplied the stimulus for progress in the direction of their attainment. But it was clear that as things were at present temperance was not a dominant factor in English political life, and they must be content to move step by step on the road of licensing reform.
§ Colonel SANDYS
rose in his place and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put;" but Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER withheld his assent, and declined then to put that Question.
MR. HERBERT ROBERTS
, continuing, said none the less was it imperative that when such a Bill was brought forward they should resist it to the uttermost if they believed its provisions to be a hindrance to future reforms. Having commented upon the Prime Minister's ignorance of magisterial procedure, he pointed out that the possession of full discretionary powers by the licensing justices had been a most potent weapon in the past for securing administrative improvements. Dealing with the financial clauses of the Bill he declared his opinion that rue scheme of compensation 1095 was unworkable, inequitable, and inadaquate.
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided:— Ayes, 329; Noes, 224. (Division List No. 118.)
|Lowe, Francis William||Percy, Earl||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.|
|Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Pierpoint, Robert||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Plummer, Walter R.||Stock, James Henry|
|Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Pretyman, Ernest George||Stroyan, John|
|Macdona, John Gumming||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Pym, C. Guy||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Talbot, Rt.Hn.J.G. (Oxf'd Univ|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Randles, John S.||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|M'Iver,Sir Lewis(Edinburgh, W||Rankin, Sir James||Thornton, Percy M.|
|M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Majendie, James A. H.||Ratcliff, R. F.||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Malcolm, Ian||Reid, James (Greenock)||Tuff, Charles|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Remnant, James Farquharson||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Martin, Richard Biddulph||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Renwick, George||Valentia, Viscount|
|Maxwell, RtHn.SirH.E (Wigt'n||Richards, Henry Charles||Vincent,Col.Sir C.E.H (Sheff'ld|
|Melville, Beresford Valentine||Ridley, Hon. M.W.(Stalybridge||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Ritchie, Rt.Hn.Chas. Thomson||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Walrond, Rt.Hn.Sir WilliamH.|
|Milner, Rt.Hn.Sir Frederick G.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Milvain, Thomas||Robinson, Brooke||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Mitchell, William (Burnley)||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Welby, Lt.-Col.A.C.E (Taunton|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)|
|Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.)||Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Round, Rt. Hon. James||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Moore, William||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Whiteley, H.(Ashton und.Lyne|
|Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Rucherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.|
|Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Mount, William Arthur||Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles||Wilson-Todd, Sir W.H.(Yorks.)|
|Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Wodehouse, Rt.Hn. E.R.(Bath|
|Muntz, Sir Philip A.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)||Seton-Karr, Sir Henry||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Shaw-Stewart, Sir H.(Renfrew)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Myers, William Henry||Simeon, Sir Harrington||Wylie, Alexander|
|Newdegate, Francis A. N.||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Nicholson, William Graham||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.|
|O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East)||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Palmer, Waiter (Salisbury)||Smith,H C (North'mb.Tyneside||Younger, William|
|Parker, Sir Gilbert||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlington)||Spear, John Ward||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Peel, Hn.Wm.Robert Wellesley||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)|
|Pemberton, John S. G.||Stanley, Edward Jas.(Somerset|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)||Brigg, John||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Cullinan, J.|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Dalziel, James Henry|
|Allen, Charles P.||Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan)|
|Asher, Alexander||Burke, E. Haviland||Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Burns, John||Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herb. Henry||Burt, Thomas||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Buxton, Sydney Charles||Dobbie, Joseph|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Caldwell, James||Doogan, P. C.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Cameron, Robert||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)|
|Bury, E. (Cork, S.)||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Duncan, J. Hastings|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Cawley, Frederick||Dunn, Sir William|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Channing, Francis Allston||Edwards, Frank|
|Bell, Richard||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Elibank, Master of|
|Black, Alexander William||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Ellice, Capt E.C (S Andrw'sBghs|
|Blake, Edward||Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Ellis, John Edward (Notts)|
|Boland, John||Cremer, William Randal||Emmott, Alfred|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Crombie, John William||Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone)|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Crooks, William||Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)|
|Eve, Harry Trelawney||London, W.||Russell, T. W.|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Lyell, Charles Henry||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||M'Crae, George||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Field, William||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Shackleton, David James|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||M'Kean, John||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||M'Kenna, Reginald||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Freeman-Thomas, Captain F.||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Markham, Arthur Basil||Slack, John Bamford|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Grant, Come||Mitchell, Edw.(Fermanagh,N.)||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick||Mooney, John J.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Spencer, Rt.Hn.C.R (Northants|
|Hammond, John||Morley, Rt.Hn.John (Montrose||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Harcourt, Lewis V.(Rossendale)||Moss, Samuel||Sullivan, Donal|
|Harcourt,RtHn SirW (Monm'th||Moulton, John Fletcher||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Murphy, John||Tennant, Harold John|
|Harwood, George||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Newnes, Sir George||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan,E.)|
|Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Norman, Henry||Thomas, J.A (Glamorgan,Gower|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Tillet, Louis John|
|Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol,E.)||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.)||Tomkinson, James|
|Holland, Sir William Henry||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Toulmin, George|
|Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||O'Connor, James (Wicklow,W.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Horniman, Frederick John||O'Dowd, John||Ure, Alexander|
|Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.||Waldron, Laurence Ambrose|
|Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||O'Malley, William||Wallace, Robert|
|Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Parrott, William||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Joicey, Sir James||Partington, Oswald||Wason, Jn. Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Paulton, James Mellor||Weir, James Galloway|
|Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Jordan, Jeremiah||Perks, Robert William||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Joyce, Michael||Philipps, John Wynford||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Kilbride, Denis||Pirie, Duncan V.||Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)|
|Labouchere, Henry||Price, Robert John||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Lambert, George||Priestley, Arthur||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Langley, Batty||Rea, Russell||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.|
|Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Rickett, J. Compton||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Leamy, Edmund||Rigg, Richard||Wilson, J.W.(Worcestersh., N.)|
|Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Wood, James|
|Leigh, Sir Joseph||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Woodhouse, Sir J.T(Huddersf'd|
|Long, Sir John||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)||Young, Samuel|
|Levy, Maurice||Robson, William Snowdon||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Roche, John|
|Lloyd-George, David||Roe, Sir Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. William M'Arthur.|
|Logan, John William||Rose, Charles Day|
|Lough, Thomas||Runciman, Walter|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Arrol, Sir William||Balfour, Rt. Hn. A.J.(Manch'r|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)|
|Aird, Sir John||Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt.Hn. Sir H||Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds|
|Allhusen, Augustus Hen. Eden||Austin, Sir John||Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Banbury, Sir Frederick George|
|Ambrose, Robert||Bailey, James (Walworth)||Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Bain, Colonel James Robert||Bartley, Sir George C. T.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Balcarres, Lord||Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin|
|Arnold-Forster,Rt.Hn.Hugh O||Baldwin, Alfred||Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Mich. Hicks|
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 353; Noes, 196. (Division List No. 119.)
|Beckett, Ernest William||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Faber, Edmund B. (Hants., W.||Kerr, John|
|Bignold, Arthur||Fardell, Sir T. George||Keswick, William|
|Bigwood, James||Field, William||Kilbride, Denis|
|Bill, Charles||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Kimber, Henry|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Knowles, Sir Lees|
|Roland, John||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.|
|Bond, Edward||Fisher, William Hayes||Laurie, Lieut.-(General|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon||Lawrence, Sir Jos. (Monmouth)|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)|
|Bowles, Lt.-Col.H.F (Middlesex||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lawson, J. Grant (Yorks., N.R.|
|Bowles, T.Gibson(King's Lynn||Flower, Sir Ernest||Leamy, Edmund|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Forster, Henry William||Lee. A. H. (Hants., Fareham.)|
|Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh.)||Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.)||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Fyler, John Arthur||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Bull, William James||Galloway, William Johnson||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Gardner, Ernest||Lock wood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.|
|Butcher, John George||Garfit, William||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Campbell, Rt.Hn.J. A.(Glasgow||Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H.||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)|
|Carlile, William Walter||Gordon, Hn.J.E.(Elgin&Nairn)||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Gordon, Map E. (T'r Hamlets)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Gore, Hon. S.F.Ormsby-(Linc)||Lowe, Francis William|
|Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Graham, Henry Robert||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J.A (Worc.||Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury||Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury)||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Chapman, Edward||Grenfell, William Henry||MacIver, David (Liverpool)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Gretton, John||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Groves, James Grimble||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Gunter, Sir Robert||M'Hugh, Patrick A|
|Coates, Edward Feetham||Guthrie, Walter Murray||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh, W|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Hall, Edward Marshall||M'Kean, John|
|Coddington, Sir William||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)|
|Coghill, Doulgas Harry||Hambro, Charles Eric||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hamilton,RtHn.LordG (Midd'x||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hamilton,Marq of(L'nd'nderry||Malcolm, Ian|
|Colomb, Rt.Hn.Sir John C. R.||Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford)||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Harris, Dr. Fredk. R. (Dulwich||Maxwell,Rt HnSir H.E (Wigt'n|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.|
|Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.)||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Crean, Eugene||Hayden, John Patrick||Milner, Rt.Hn.Sir Frederick G.|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Heath, A. Howard (Hanley)||Milvain, Thomas|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Heath, James (Staffords., N. W.||Mitchell, William (Burnley)|
|Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Heaton, John Henniker||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Cullinan, J.||Helder, Augustus||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Cast, Henry John C.||Henderson, Sir A.(Stafford, W.||Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Mooney, John J.|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Moore, William|
|Davies Sir H. D. (Chatham)'||Hobhouse,Rt Hn H(Somerset,E||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)|
|Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||Hogg, Lindsay||Morpeth, Viscount|
|Dewar,Sir T.R (Tower Hamlets||Hope, J.P.(Sheffield, Brightside||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Hoult, Joseph||Mount, William Arthur|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Houston, Robert Paterson||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.|
|Dinsdale, Rt.Hn.Sir Joseph C.||Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham||Muntz, Sir Philip A.|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Hozier,Hn. James Henry Cecil||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Darington, Rt. Hon. Sir JohnE||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Doughty, George.||Hunt, Rowland||Myers, William Henry|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A, Akers||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Newdegate, Francis A. N.|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Nolan, Joseph (Louth. South)|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.)|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Tuff, Charles|
|O'Connor, James (Wicklow,W.||Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|O'Dowd, John||Round, Rt. Hon. James||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Valentia, Viscount|
|O'Malley, William||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Vincent, Col.SirC.E.H. (Sheff'ld|
|Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Parker, Sir Gilbert||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||Waldron, Laurence Ambrose|
|Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlington)||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Peel, Hn.Wm.Robert Wellesley||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)||Walrond, Rt.Hn.Sir WilliamH.|
|Pemberton, John S. G.||Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Percy, Earl||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Pierpoint, Robert||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Seton-Karr, Sir Henry||Welby, Lt.-Col.A.C.E(Taunton|
|Plummer, Walter R.||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts.)|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Sheehy, David||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Simeon, Sir Barrington||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Pym, C. Guy||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Whiteley, H.(Ashton und.Lyne|
|Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Randles, John S.||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Rankin, Sir James||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.|
|Ratcliff, R. F.||Stanley, Edward Jas.(Somerset||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H.(Yorks.)|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.||Wodehouse, Rt.Hn. E.R. (Bath|
|Reid, James (Greenock)||Stewart, Sir Hark J. M'Taggart||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine||Stock, James Henry||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Renwick, George||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Richards, Henry Charles||Stroyan, John||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. (George|
|Ridley, Hon. M.W. (Stalybridge||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.|
|Ritchie, Rt.Hn.Chas. Thomson||Sullivan, Donal||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Young, Samuel|
|Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Talbot, Rt.Hn.J.G.(Oxf'dUniv||Younger, William|
|Robinson, Brooke||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Roche, John||Thornton, Percy M.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Toilemache, Henry James|
|Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Furness, Sir Christopher|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Goddard, Daniel Ford|
|Allen, Charles P.||Cremer, William Randal||Grant, Corrie|
|Asher, Alexander||Crombie, John William||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick)|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Crooks, William||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herb. Henry||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Dalziel, James Henry||Hain, Edward|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan)||Hammond, John|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway||Harcourt, Lewis Y.(Rossendale|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Harcourt,RtHnSir W (Monm'th|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Dobbie, Joseph||Harmsworth, R. Leicester|
|Bell, Richard||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Harwood, George|
|Black, Alexander William||Duncan, J. Hastings||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.|
|Blake, Edward||Dunn, Sir William||Helme, Norval Watson|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Edwards, Frank||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Elibank, Master of||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)|
|Brigg, John||Ellice,Capt. E.C (SAndrw'sBghs||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol,E.)|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Holland, Sir William Henry|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Emmott, Alfred||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone)||Horniman, Frederick John|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.|
|Barns, John||Eve, Harry Trelawney||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.|
|Bart, Thomas||Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Fenwick, Charles||Jacoby, James Alfred|
|Caldwell, James||Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Johnson, John (Gateshead)|
|Cameron, Robert||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Joicey, Sir James|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Foster, Sir Mich. (Lond, Univ.||Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Jones,William (Carnarvonshire|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Jordan, Jeremiah|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Freeman-Thomas, Captain||Joyce, Michael|
|Labouchere, Henry||Paulton, James Mellor||Tennant, Harold John|
|Lambert, George||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen,E.)|
|Langley, Batty||Perks, Robert William||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Philipps, John Wynford||Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr)|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Pirie, Duncan V.||Thomas, J. A (Glamorgan,Gower|
|Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)||Price, Robert John||Thomson, F. W. (York, W.)|
|Leigh, Sir Joseph||Priestley, Arthur||Tillet, Louis John|
|Lang, Sir John||Rea, Russell||Tomkinson, James|
|Levy, Maurice||Reid, Sir R.Threshie (Dumfries||Toulmin, George|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Rickett, J. Compton||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Lloyd-George, David||Rigg, Richard||Ure, Alexander|
|Logan, John William||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Wallace, Robert|
|Lough, Thomas||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)|
|Lundon, W.||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Lyell, Charles Henry||Robson, William Snowdon||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Roe, Sir Thomas||Wason, Jn. Cathcart (Orkney)|
|M'Crae, George||Runciman, Walter||Weir, James Galloway|
|M'Kenna, Reginald||Russell, T. W.||White, George (Norfolk)|
|M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)|
|Markham, Arthur Basil||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William||Shackleton, David James||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh,N.)||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)||Wilson, Fred. W.(Norfolk,Mid)|
|Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Shaw-Stewart, Sir H.(Renfrew)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Moss, Samuel||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Moulton, John Fletcher||Slack, John Bamford||Wilson, J. W.(Worcestersh., N.|
|Newnes, Sir George||Sloan, Thomas Henry||Wood, James|
|Norman, Henry||Smith,H C (North'mb.Tyneside||Woodhouse,Sir J.T (Huddersf'd|
|Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Smith, Samuel (Flint)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Nussey, Thomas Williams||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Soares, Ernest J.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. William M'Arthur.|
|Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham)||Spencer, Rt.Hn.C. R (Northants|
|Parrott, William||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Partington, Oswald||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday, 6th June.