HC Deb 17 April 1905 vol 145 cc401-19

Order read, for resuming adjourned debate on Amendment to Question [17th April], "That the Bill be now read a second time."

Which Amendment was— To leave out from the word 'That,' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words 'no Bill dealing with the severe burden of the local rates on the agricultural industry will be satisfactory or afford permanent relief which does not provide for a contribution payable by the owners of land based on its selling value, and utilise the fund so provided to relieve the ratepayers of a substantial portion of the burdens which result from the local payment of national services, and from the incidence of existing rates on buildings and improvements, instead of adopting the crude and unfair method of paying half the rates on agricultural land out of the Imperial Exchequer.'"—(Mr. Whitley) instead thereof.

Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

MR. SOARES (continuing)

said that when interrupted by the adjournment he was congratulating hon. Members opposite on their touching and childlike faith in the beneficence of landlords and the good intentions of the present Government. And yet the hon. Member for Tavistock had said that during the last twenty years farmers had not made any interest on their capital and had had only bread and cheese for their dinner. He presumed, however, that during that twenty years the landlords had been receiving their rents, and certainly the Party opposite had been in office throughout the whole period with a very short break. It, therefore, seemed that the tenant farmer, at any rate, had very little reason to hold any strong faith in the present Administration. Instead of benefiting the agricultural industry the present Government had more or less injured it. For instance, they hid passed the Motor Car Act. The cost of repairing the damage done to the high roads by motor-cars fell upon the agricultural community. The Government had passed the Education Act, the rates for which were not only high, but were destined to increase steadily from year to year. Proper provision had not been made for the cost of education, and the burden of the education rate was filling heavily upon the agricultural community. In spite of all these additional heavy burdens, the Agricultural Rates Act was at the same figure as in 1896. But, nevertheless, he was going to vote for the Second Reading of this Bill because he believed that the benefit, although it went to the landlord in the majority of cases, also went to the small freeholder and to those in possession of long leases. It would be unfair to repeal this Act now, because many farmers had taken their farms relying upon this Act being continued. What was required was that the whole rating law should be thoroughly overhauled. At the present time personalty did not pay its fair share towards local burdens, but he did not think any good suggestions had been made as to the way personalty could be rated. He thought the only way to accomplish this was to graduate the income-tax and make grants-in-aid towards local burdens. He did not think that the grants now made under this Act should be abolished unless accompanied by a scientific readjustment of the local burdens of taxation. Inasmuch as they did not want this Act discontinued, he hoped the Second Reading would be passed without a division. When the whole question of rating came to be considered, he hoped it would be dealt with not by the present Administration, but by a Liberal Government which would not have regard so much to the interests of the landlords, but would pay some regard to the interests of the tenant farmer and see that he got his fair share of relief from the burdens of taxation.

MR. CATHCART WASON (Orkney and Shetland)

said there seemed to be a delightful unanimity of opinion that the Government had seriously neglected their duty upon this question during the last nine years by not bringing in a comprehensive measure. This was one of the most important questions that could come before the country and the House. It raised the question of the position of the agriculturist in this country and the point as to how farming could be best carried on. The hon. and gallant Member for Essex had told them that if they did not want to deteriorate into a miserable class of humanity, unable to serve their country either in the Army or in the field, there were only two alternatives—they must either relieve the country districts of rates and taxes, or else go back to a system of bounties upon corn. He would venture to suggest a third alternative, namely, the establishment of a peasant proprietary upon the land. He thought that was the only true solution. The position of affairs in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in regard to this Bill was entirely-different to what had been described by other hon. Members as to the manner in which it affected their constituencies, because in Scotland this form of relief to the crofters would not affect the position of the landlords. The rent was fixed, and if they took away this measure of relief it would be a serious matter for the crafting community. He knew that the whole question was surrounded with difficulties, but were they to part with this small measure of relief because it had been alluded to in a doctrinaire fashion without regard to the manner in which the people lived? He knew of poor country districts where the rates were up to 12s. and 14s. in the £. He did not think the hon. Member for the Elland Division had treated the matter from the practical point of view. As far back as 1878 the New Zealand Government had legislated according to the ideas of the hon. Member. The Act was a dead failure, brought nothing to the Exchequer and did nothing for either town or country. In more recent times similar provisions had again been enacted and they were a dead letter. Land was valued by a Government officer whose instructions were as far as possible to ensure fair valuation all over the country. Coming to farms of the same selling value nothing would be allowed by way of deduction from taxation for improvements, and although the wording of the Act was plain, no lawyer would advise an action against the Government. The plain fact was that there was no such thing as a taxable asset as the unimproved and prime value of land. He would remind his hon. friend that directly they began to tax the unimproved value of land they would find themselves involved in a sea of difficulty out of which there was no means of escape. It should not be overlooked that land without population was absolutely valueless. Again, to reduce the relief given to those living on and about the land was not the way to get at the unimproved value. The only effective way to deal with the matter was by a system of compulsory purchase.

He could corroborate what had been said by the hon. Member for Tavistock as to the condition of the farming industry, for he knew farmer after farmer in his own county who was barely making a living, and who did not earn equivalent to the ordinary man who was getting £1 a week in wages. These men remained on the land because they felt that they were doing a good service to the State as well as to themselves and their families. The disadvantages of farmers as compared with tradesmen was that farmers had to labour under a great land monopoly system. If farmers had not been handicapped at every turn by the position in which landlords had been placed they would now have been in a far more prosperous state, and the state of the agricultural industry to-day would have been much different. At the present moment the position of the agricultural labourer was the worst possible. He did not approve of the attempt which had been made to set country against town, because a town could not succeed if the country was being beggared. They had to largely depend npon the country, because it was from the land that everything came, and if they handicapped the land and prevented free access to it, it was impossible for the agricultural industry to be carried on in a satisfactory way. The hon. Member for West Birmingham, in a recent speech, had said at Limehouse that this was not an agricultural country. He wished to point out that with the exception of Belgium this country produced more corn per acre than any other country in the world. He was aware that it was not of the same excellent quality as in some places where the yield was smaller, but nevertheless English farming was excellent, and it was an undoubted fact that this country was capable of growing corn successfully. Scotch farmers were proverbial for their farming abilities, and those who had visited Ireland must have come to the conclusion that as an agricultural or a grazing country Ireland did not lag behind either England or Scotland. There were large quantities of grazing land in Ireland superior to any of the land in England and Scotland, and it was worth two or three times as much. Therefore, he should support the Government in this small measure of relief which was given under this Bill.

They had been told by the hon. and gallant Member for Essex that there were thousands of acres of derelict land in Essex. If the hon. and gallant Member would take them round that land and inform them what the amount of tithe rent-charge and other disadvantages were they would readily understand why it was that agriculture was so much handicapped in every direction. The land wanted freedom, and if they could have it cultivated by a peasant proprietary there would then be absolutely no necessity to come to the Government for bribes and doles. The necessity for revaluation had been alluded to. He did not think they wanted anything of the sort, for what they required was that some of the services thrown upon the land should be nationalised, in order to give some relief to the rates of the poor. Under all the circumstances he felt that this House would only be doing its duty if it supported the Government in endeavouring to pass this Bill.

SIR MARK STEWART (Kirkcudbrightshire)

said he was quite satisfied that the relief which had been given to the agricultural industry under this Act in the past had been the means of keeping many farmers upon their farms who would otherwise have ceased to be tenants. By passing this Act, in the first instance, in spite of the great opposition of the other side of the House, the Government had shown that they were desirous of doing something for the tenant farmer. The hon. Member who spoke last said that rents were being paid and that the landlords were flourishing, but was that statement true? Were the tenants getting anything at all out of the land? He was sure that they were not getting sufficient to keep themselves and their families. And yet hon. Members came down to the House of Commons and said that the farmers were well off, and that the landlords were better off still. It was a well-known fact that the rental of an estate was not always a true indication of its prosperity or value, because a great many deductions had to be made. He contended that the condition of agriculture was at a low ebb just now, and tenant farmers, as a rule, were making only a bare living. In his opinion the relief given under this Bill was neither a dole nor a bribe, but it was only what was due to the landed interest. Why should not a tenant on his farm be allowed to have the land just as a tradesman had his capital to work with. The land was the farmer's capita], and if he did not work it to its full extent he incurred losses, and when he was rated and taxed as at present he was practically called upon to pay twice over. The Government had been twitted with having been in office for nine years without bringing in a comprehensive Bill dealing with this question, but he would like to ask why previous Governments had not dealt with it? He hoped that the House would agree to pass the Second Beading of this Bill.


said that to him the proposals in this Bill seemed to run on parallel lines with the sugar bounties. He thought they were wrong and should never have been put on, but he felt that if they were done away with by a stroke of the pen a great deal of misery and hardship would occur. He felt the same with regard to the proposals in this Bill, because it had now been in operation for nine years and they could not do away with it without doing a considerable amount of injustice. He thought he should only be acting consistently if he took the same view as he did in regard to the sugar bounties. Four years ago when the Bill was renewed they were in the middle of a very extensive war, and he thought it was the duty of those men of mature age like himself to make some sacrifice, and to make some contribution towards the expenses of the war. Circumstances were different now, because there was no war going on, and there was no necessity to make the same sacrifices. The First Lord of the Treasury had said that before this great question could be dealt with properly it would be necessary to pass a Valuation Bill. They had such a Bill brought forward last year which in his opinion formed a good basis for a settlement. He did not deny that there were difficulties in regard to any scheme dealing with the incidence of local taxation. He wished to point out, however, that right hon. Gentlemen opposite were the e to deal with difficult questions, and they had no more right to shirk them than a soldier had to shirk a difficult situation in warfare. His hon. friend had suggested that the Scotch method was a very good plan. He did not think that it signified much who paid the rates in the first instance, because he thought that they would ultimately fall upon the landlord.

He was a small landowner and tenant farmer himself, and he viewed the subject from both sides. He felt quite sure that the rates did fall upon the landlord and he had never entertained any view to the contrary. Long before this Act was in force he made a speech in the country in which he spoke of the incidence of the rates falling upon the landlords, and a letter was written by a prominent Conservative pointing out that the incidence of the rates was upon the landlord. What would happen if this Bill were not renewed? On Michaelmas Day next every tenant would appear before his landlord and demand a reduction in rent, and if he did not get it he would give a year's notice. He quite agreed with his hon. friend the Member for Somersetshire that it was impossible to adopt the remedy suggested of assessing land at its unimproved value, because there was no such thing as the unimproved value of land. People got into a loose way of talking about the buying, selling, and hiring of land. What was bought, sold, or hired was the improvement of the land, the process of improvement having gone on from generation to generation. Sometimes it was a little more or a little less, but for the moment the improvement of the land had disappeared entirely, and the buildings were all that remained. There was no estate in his part of the world that could not be bought for a smaller sum than that for which the buildings were insured. Even the improved value had disappeared. Four years ago, as he had said, he was prepared to make a sacrifice of this subvention for the good of the country. He was very glad indeed that the sacrifice was not accepted, and he did not think he was required to make the sacrifice again. He did not think that any landowner should vote for the Bill because it would put money in his own pocket, but landowners were certainly not called upon to oppose it. He thought the hon. Member for Halifax would be wisely advised if he would ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

MR. A. K. LOYD (Berkshire, Abingdon)

said there was a great deal of misunderstanding and misrepresentation in regard to this legislation which would be removed if it were borne in mind that the term "relief" as applied to this Bill was very ambiguous. Relief might be either a compassionate allowance or the removal of a grievance. He repudiated absolutely the idea that there was anything in the nature of charitable relief in this legislation. It effected only the removal of a long-standing and grevious injustice—an injustice not as between realty and personalty, but as between two sorts of rateable property—as between the occupier of agricultural land and the owner of clerical tithe rent-charge, and other owners and occupiers of rateable property. The farmer was rated not only on his dwelling-house and other buildings, but on the land which corresponded to the stock-in-trade of his fellow ratepayers. The parson was still made rateable in respect of his salary, though all other forms of personalty were released from liability as long ago as 1840. That was recognised by Sir Robert Peel, Mr. Gladstone, and Sir G. Cornwall Lewis, and that was why the Act of 1840 was made an annual Act. Each of these so-called favoured classes had still just the same grievance as the urban ratepayer in respect to his house and buildings, and had the same right to complain that the whole question of rating as between realty and personalty had not been dealt with. There was no injustice of the kind pointed out by the hon. Member for West Ham. The urban ratepayer had no grievance whatever that was not still resting heavily upon the agricultural ratepayer and the tithe-owner, and this Bill was directed to meet the extra injustice existing as between the latter and the general class of ratepayers. There had been no reversal of the order of the Royal Commission's Report. Hon. Gentlemen opposite came down to the House and imputed all the basest motives to hon. Gentlemen on his side for supporting that legislation, then said they were going to do the same thing, and afterwards asked the country to believe they were actuated by the highest motives and hon. Members on his side by the worst, because the latter had never wavered in their opinion on that question.

MR. LAMBERT (Devonshire, South Molton)

said that the President of the Local Government Board had told them that the first essential towards the solution of this matter was to have uniformity in valuation for rating. It seemed to him that the Government had been rather playing with the subject. They only introduced a Valuation Bill for the first time last year, and they made no attempt to push it forward. This year the right hon. Gentleman said that the Bill was in an advanced stage of preparation. The Royal Commission on Local Taxation had reported, and the Agricultural Rates Act had been in operation for nine years. Surely the Government had had time to make up their mind, and yet the right hon. Gentleman was not prepared to produce the Bill. One would have expected that by this time the Government would have been able to lay upon the Table their detailed proposals for the reorganisation of local rating. To his mind that was degrading the House o Commons, and absolutely playing with the country. He did not know any Bill which had been disparaged more by its movers than this Bill had been disparagd by the right hon. Gentleman himself. The right hon. Gentleman stated that it was neither a complete nor permanent scheme, it was admittedly incomplete and provisional. He was sure that the right hon. Gentleman, although he had not been long President of the Local Government Board, would admit that the present measure was crude and clumsy, giving most relief to the land which least needed it. The hon. Member for Essex stated that in his constituency there were thousands of acres of derelict land. How much relief had these acres got from this Bill? That derelict land ought to be benefited by this Act if any land was to receive benefit.

This Bill would perpetuate the inelasticity of the Act of 1896. The subvention amounted to £1,330,000, and they had been told that this had been the salvation of the agricultural interest. He had always contended that this Bill did not proceed on the right lines. It did not take into account the fact that rates were rising, and that while the rates rose the Treasury subvention was stereotyped, and that, therefore, the farmer was hit if the rates increased during his tenancy. Unfortunately the grievance in connection with rural rating had been largely accentuated during the past nine years. Nobody could deny that rural rates had increased to an enormous extent. Local bodies had been created, and when a local body desired to show that it wanted to do good to its neighbours it could only do good by spending money, and the more it spent the more it had to take out of the ratepayers' pockets. His hon. friend the Member for the Tavistock Division had said that there had been a natural increase of rates.


I said that a natural increase of rates had arisen very largely from the increased cost of main roads.


said there was no doubt that the cost of main roads had contributed in some degree to the increase, but he apprehended that the Education Act had contributed in a far greater degree in Devonshire. He was afraid that the education rate there would be something like Is. in the £. In Surrey the education rate would be the same amount. Here was an admitted grievance, and the Agricultural Rates Act did not touch it at all. The benefits of the Act had been largely neutralised because of the enormous burdens put on the ratepayers by local bodies. If a farm was valued at, say, £100, and the rates rose 1s. in the £, the farmer would have to pay £5 a year more, but he could not go to the landlord and ask a reduction in his rent of £5. It cost a tenant farmer a considerable amount to move from one farm to another, and, therefore, rather than change he paid the increased rate, while getting no reduction of rent. If the Government had been in earnest in this matter they would have introduced a measure giving effect to the principle advocated years ago of a division of rates between landlord and tenant. If the rates increased the landlord should pay his share as well as the tenant.

There was one principle in this Act that had been valuable to the agricultural in- terest and that was the rating of land at half its annual value. With the rising rates, if land had been rated at its full value there would have been a great deal more derelict land than there was at present. It was the splendid surplus which Sir William Harcourt left them that enabled the Government to pass this Act. If hon. Members opposite distrusted the future action of the Liberal Party in regard to this measure, why did they not make it permanent?


said it was originally intended that it should be permanent. It was only made temporary in deference to the pressure of the Liberal Party.


said he was in the House of Commons in 1896 and he knew that the Government had a majority of 160. It was ridiculous, therefore, to talk of the pressure of the Liberal Party. There was an essential difference between urban and rural rating in this matter. Urban land derived its value from the labour of the community and, therefore, he said to his friends in the town. "By all means tax this land so as to relieve the rates that fall upon those who live ill large centres of population." The hon. Member for West Ham denounced this Bill, but why did he and his colleagues who represented those highly-burdened communities not devote some of their energies to the taxing of ground which was of enormous value in the city of London? Many landowners derived princely revenues from the city of London, while they paid very little in rates. There was a difference between urban land and rural land. Rural land had no value except that which was created by the skill of the farmer and the capital of the landlord. The hon. Gentleman the Member for the Elland Division said they must base taxation on the unimproved value of agricultural land. He could tell his hon. friend that value would be very small indeed. He looked over an estate the other day for the purpose of valuing the buildings for insurance. He was amazed to find that the buildings amounted to £4,800, though the whole value of the estate, if put into the market, would not be more than £8,000. He agreed with the hon. Member for Halifax that the present system did check enterprise, but in this matter they had not a "clean slate." If they had a clean slate he would have no hesitation in voting for the Amendment. He was glad to hear his hon. friend say that he wished to relieve agriculture of national services such as the maintenance of main roads. Whatever might he the defects of the Bill he thought it was impossible at the present moment to withdraw it. The Leader of the Opposition had taken the right course in the matter. Land had now been bought and sold subject to half the rate being paid, and, unless they were prepared to introduce drastic legislation to enable every tenant farmer to claim the amount which he now received in subvention from his landlord, it would be impossible to withdraw the Bill. But the time would come when the problem of rural rating would be put on a sound basis, on the principle that those who had the most should pay the most in rates.

MR. PEEL (Manchester, S.)

said hon. Members opposite had been escaping down the back stairs on this question. He thought it was almost time for the hon. Member who crossed the floor of the House on this very question to return to this side of the House, since his present associates had now been converted to views to which he so strongly objected. Hon. Members opposite seemed to have got fonder and fonder of this Bill, for which the hon. Member who spoke last had actually taken credit. He agreed with a great many of the observations made in the remarkable speech by the hon. Member for North Norfolk. A great deal had been said about the rates on land being an hereditary burden as the land had been bought and sold subject to them. He did not see how that argument Vanished away after an interval of five or nine years. How could they then be transformed into non-hereditary burdens? That was a very remarkable way of evading the question. There was the speech of the Leader of the Opposition, who said, "My views are exactly the same as they were four or five years ago, and yet my policy has changed." The policy was not founded on his own views, but on the views of other people. On the other hand, the hon. Member for Oldham said he was going to sup- port the Bill although he disagreed with the principle of it. That was Very remarkable; the course was generally the other way, for some people agreed to support a Bill in principle but not in its details. He sympathised with the hon. Members for Oldham and Elland, because lie always sympathised with good men struggling with adversity. Then, the hon. Member for Barnstaple began by making a speech on the Bill four years ago, and then he suddenly changed his mind.


said he did not speak four years ago.


said he sympathised with the hon. Gentleman that he did not get rid of his speech on that occasion. The hon. Member now said that a number of long leaseholders and small leaseholders would get considerable advantage from the Bill.


said he had voted for the Bill four years ago.


said he was very glad to hear it, but he certainly thought from the remarks which the hon. Member had made about landlords, that he could not, consistently with his principles, have voted for the Bill. The fact really was, as stated very frankly by the hon. Member opposite, that the rent did not represent the value of the land. It represented a very small percentage on the capital cost and the improvements made on the land. A land agent told him the other day that all over Bedfordshire the rent did not represent more than, if so much as, one per cent, of the value of the land and the money spent in improvements and buildings. He was glad to see that the curious prejudice against landlords, which was due to causes which had long ceased to exist, was really dying out amongst hon. Members opposite.

Hon. Members had spoken about the grievances of urban ratepayers. He did not desire to minimise these grievances, but he thought the means for stemming the tide of municipal expenditure lay in the hands of urban ratepayers themselves, if they would only use them. It was a curious fact that in the election for the London County Council not 40 per cent. of the ratepayers on each side could be induced to come and vote at the polls. That being so, it did not lie with the urban ratepayers to say to Parliament, "Do not give this relief to the agricultural ratepayers, but come to our assistance."

MR, GEORGE WHITELEY (Yorkshire, W.R., Pudsey)

said that, seeing the hon. Member represented a Manchester constituency, did he think it fair that the ratepayers of Manchester should pay 7s. 8½d. a year in rates and be made to contribute also to the rural rates?


said he had not been much challenged on the question in Manchester. He maintained that if there was a definite unfairness on the agricultural interest of the burden of the rates that grievance ought to be removed, and if it was to be removed the money must come from somewhere.

MR. MARKHAM (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield)

said he did not quite understand where they stood in this matter. At the time of the general election, when he was returned to the House, he received a large amount of printed matter from the Liberal Federation in London, and pamphlets were largely circulated among his constituents, showing the doles given to the parsons and squires. He believed that the statements set out in those pamphlets were absolutely true, and he still believed it. But, unhappily, there were divisions among hon. Members on his side of the House on this question, for reasons best known to themselves. Speaking for himself, he had only to say that he had been severed from his Party on one question only, the question of Chinese Labour; but he did not say one thing to his constituents for the purpose of catching votes, and on the eve of a general election say another. He approached this question, not from the standpoint of the landowner, but of the man connected with industrial enterprises; and he could not see why a burden should be taken off the landowners and placed on the shoulders of the ratepayers in the manufacturing and industrial districts. When a farmer took a farm he was bound to take into consideration the amount of rates he would be called upon to pay in addition to his rent, and if the burden of the rates was taken off the land the landlord would get the benefit. They had been told from the other side that the farmers had been living on the verge of starvation, only able to earn bread and cheese. He knew it was said that a landlord was entitled to get the best rent he could from his tenant; but why should he come to the House of Commons and say that the farmers were living on the verge of starvation? If that were the case, why did he not reduce the rent to his tenants so as to enable the farmers to get a good living? Why should landlords ask the House of Commons to grant relief on rates to one section of the community, and place the burden on other industries who were not better able to bear it than the landlords. He, for one, should divide the House on this question.

COLONEL KENYON-SLANEY (Shropshire, Newport)

said that the hen. Member for the Mansfield Division had told the House, with great truth, that at the last general election Liberals obtained their seats by denouncing what they were going to vote for that night.


said he entirely repudiated that. He stood by his condemnation of the Bill, and would vote against it.


said that at any rate those Liberal pamphlets argued exactly contrary to the way the Liberal leader was going to vote that night. His hon. friend said that the landlords should reduce their rents, but in exact proportion as the landlords reduced rents they reduced the employment of the people and so drove the rural population into the towns. He agreed with the hon. Member on his side of the House that had it not been for this Act there would have been far more derelict land in the country than there was to-day. The hon. Gentleman who represented the Barnstaple Division said that the landlords had taken a very unfair advantage of the Act to raise rents. That was one of the chief weapons used against landlords in the country. He challenged the hon. Member to give one single instance, naming the man, the parish, and the farm, of a rise of rent which had resulted from the passage of this measure. Until that was done he was justified in saying that this manner of abusing the landlords was unfair.


said he could give the hon. Gentleman an instance.


said he wanted the name, the place, and the date on which rent had been raised on account of the passage of this Act. Then, and not till then, would he believe in the value of these charges which, he repeated, were unfair and unmanly. The hon. Member for Oldham had said, fairly enough, that the agricultural Members did not always recollect that the urban ratepayers had a grievance. He insisted that they did acknowledge that freely, and hoped, when the proper time came, that that grievance would be remedied, and that the whole matter of local taxation would be put on an equitable basis. It had been very interesting to him to see the unanimity of the condemnation of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Halifax; and he hoped the result would be that the principle of the Bill would be acknowledged by the House as fair and equitable; and that its passage would lead to a still wider and broader treatment of local taxation which would remove every grievance. He could not forget, however, the strenuous opposition offered to the Act four years ago by the Party opposite, and if they had found out that the opposition was foolish,

The House divided:—Ayes, 174; Noes, 59. (Division List, No. 143.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Fisher, William Hayes Malcolm, Ian
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Martin, Richard Biddulph
Allen, Charles P. Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Anson, Sir William Reynell Flower, Sir Ernest Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.)
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Forster, Henry William Morgan David J.(Walthamstow)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Gardner, Ernest Morrell, George Herbert
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Garfit, William Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Mount, William Arthur
Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn) Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Baird, John George Alexander Goulding, Edward Alfred Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Balcarres, Lord Grant, Corrie Nicholson, William Graham
Balfour.Rt.Hn. A.J. (Manch'r) Green, WalfordD.(Wednesbury) Peel,Hn.Wm. Robert Wellesley
Balfour,Rt.HnGeraldW.(Leeds) Greene, Henry D(Shrewsbury Percy, Earl
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Gretton, John Pierpoint, Robert
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Banner, John S. Harmood- Hamilton,Marq.of(L'nd'nderry Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Hardy,Laurence(Kent,Ashford Pretyman, Earnest George
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Haslett, Sir James Horner Purvis, Robert
Beach,Rt.Hn.SirMichaelHicks Helder, Augustus Rankin, Sir James
Bignold, Sir Arthur Henderson.SirA. (Stafford, W.) Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine
Bigwood, James Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Rickett, J. Compton
Bingham, Lord Hickman, Sir Alfred Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Bond, Edward Hope.J.F.(Sheffield,Brightside) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Brassey, Albert Houston, Robert Paterson Round, Rt. Hon. James
Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St.John Howard, Jn.(Kent,Faversham) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Bull, William James Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Caldwell, James Hudson, George Bickersteth Smith,Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hunt, Rowland Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Cavendish,V.C.W.(Derbyshire) Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lanes.
Chamberlain,RtHnJ.A.(Worc.) Joicey, Sir James Stevenson, Francis S.
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Kearley, Hudson E. Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Chapman, Edward Kennaway.Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Stroyan, John
Clive, Captain Percy A. Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H.A.E. Kenyon-Slaney,Rt. Hn.Col. W. Thorburn, Sir Walter
Coghill, Douglas Harry Kerr, John Tollemache, Henry James
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Keswick, William Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Tuff, Charles
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Lamont, Norman Tuke, Sir John Batty
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Laurie, Lieut.-General Turnour, Viscount
Dalkeith, Earl of Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Ure, Alexander
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Lawson, J. Grant (Yorks. N.R. Valentia, Viscount
Davenport, William Bromley- Lee, Arthur H(Hants.,Fareham Welby.Lt.-Col.A.C.E.(Taunton)
Denny, Colonel Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Welby, Sir Charles G.E.(Notts.
Dickson, Charles Scott Leveson-Gower.Frederick N.S. Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol,S Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lonsdale, John Brownlee Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.
Fardell, Sir T. George Loyd, Archie Kirkman Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Fellowes, Rt. Hn. Ailwyn Edw. Lyell, Charles Henry Wilson-Todd,Sir W. H (Yorks.)
Fergusson,Rt.Hn.SirJ.(Manc'r) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B.Stuart
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. M'Iver,SirLewis(EdinburghW.) TELLERS FOE THE AYES—Mr. Rose and Mr. Allhusen.
Finlay, Sir R. B. (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs) Majendie, James A. H.
Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Blundell, Colonel Henry Cheetham, John Frederick
Ainsworth, John Stirling Brigg, John Condon, Thomas Joseph
Atherley-Jones, L. Bright, Allan Heywood Cremer William Randal
Bailey, James (Walworth) Broadhurst, Henry Crooks, William
Barlow, John Emmott Burke, E. Haviland- Dalziel, James Henry
Beaumont, Wentworth C.B. Burns, John Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tower Hamlets)
Bell, Richard Burt, Thomas Dickinson, Robert Edmond
Benn, John Williams Butcher, John George Duke, Henry Edward
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Campbell, John (Armagh, S) Duncan, J. Hastings
Blake, Edward Channing, Francis Allston Ellice,Capt. EC(S.Andrw'sBghs)
Emmott, Alfred Macdona, John Cumming Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Samuel,SirHarryS.(Limehouse)
Eve, Harry Trelawney MacVeagh, Jeremiah Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Fen wick, Charles M' Arthur, William (Cornwall) Shackleton, David James
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. Markham, Arthur Basil Shipman, Dr. John G.
Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. Mooney, John J. Soares, Ernest J.
Fuller, J. M. F. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Spear, John Ward
Goddard, Daniel Ford Morpeth, Viscount SpencerRtHnC.R(Northhants
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Strachey, Sir Edward
Harcourt, Lewis Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Sullivan, Donal
Harwood, George O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Thomas, Sir A. (GlamorganE.)
Hayter,Rt.Hn. Sir Arthur D. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Thomas, David Alfred (Merthy
Heath,SirJames(StaffordsNW.) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) ThomasJ.A.(Glamorgan,Gower
Higham, John Sharp O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Holland, Sir William Henry O'Malley, William Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. O'Mara, James Wallace, Robert
Jones, Lief (Appleby) Perks, Robert William Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Jones,William (Carnarvonshire Plummer, Sir Walter R. Wanklyn, James Leslie
Kitson, Sir James Priestley, Arthur Wason, JohnCathcart (Orkney)
Lawrence,Sir Joseph (Monm'th Pym, C. Guy White, Luke (York, E.R.)
Layland-Barratt, Francis Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)
Leese,Sir Joseph F.(Accrington Ratcliff, R. F. Woodhouse,SirJ.T.(Hudders'fd
Levy, Maurice Rea, Russell Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.
Lewis, John Herbert Reid, James (Greenock) Yoxall, James Henry
Lloyd-George, David Renwick, George
Long,Col. Charles W.(Evesham) Ridley, S. Forde TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir George Newnes and Mr. Brynmor Jones.
Lough, Thomas Roe, Sir Thomas
Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Bignold, Sir Arthur Dalrymple, Sir Charles
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Bigwood, James Davenport, William Bromley-
Ainsworth, John Stirling Bingham, Lord Denny, Colonel
Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden Blundell, Colonel Henry Dickinson, Robert Edmond
Anson, Sir William Reynell Bond, Edward Dickson, Charles Scott
Arnold-Forster, Rt.Hn.HughO. Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Brassey, Albert Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt.Hn. Sir H. Brodrick, Rt. Hn. St. John Dyke, Rt.Hon.SirWilliamHart
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Butcher, John George Ellice,Capt.E.C.(SAndrw'sBghs
Baird, John George Alexander Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H. Eve, Harry Trelawney
Balcarres, Lord Cavendish,V.C. W. (Derbyshire Fardell, Sir T. George
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Chamberlain,Rt.Hn.J.A(Worc. Fellowes,Rt.HnAilwyn Edward
Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W. (Leeds Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Chapman, Edward Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Clive, Captain Percy A. Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.
Banner, John S. Harmood- Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Finlay, Sir R. B. (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs)
Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Fisher, William Hayes
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michael Hicks Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Cust, Henry John C. Flower, Sir Ernest
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Dalkeith, Earl of Forster, Henry William
Fuller, J. M. F. Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine
Galloway, William Johnson Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Renwick, George
Gardner, Ernest Leveson-Gower, FrederickN.S. Ridley, S. Forde
Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. Long, Col. Charles W..(Evesham Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Long, Rt.Hn.Walter(Bristol,S) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Gordon, Hn.J.E.(Elgin & Nairn Lonsdale, John Brownlee Rose, Charles Day
Gordon,Maj.Evans(T'r H'mlets Lowther, C,(Cumb., Eskdale) Bound, Rt. Hon. James
Greene, Herny D. (Shrewsbury) Loyd, Archie Kirkman Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Greene, W. Rayrror.d-(Cambs.) Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Gretton, John Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Macdona, John Cumming Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Hambro, Charles Eric Maconochie, A. W. Smith, Abel H. (Hertford,East)
Hamilton,Marq.of(L'nd'nderry M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Hardy,Laurence(Kent,Asbford M'lver, SirLewis(EdinburghW Soares, Ernest J.
Heath, SirJames(Staffords.NW Majendie, James A. H. Spear, John Ward
Henderson, SirA.(Stafford, W.) Malcolm, Ian Stanley, Rt.Hn. Lord (Lanes.)
Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Marks, Harry Hananel Stroyan, John
Hickman, Sir Alfred Martin, Richard Biddulph Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Hoare, Sir Samuel Mildmay, Francis Bingham Thorburn, Sir Walter
Hope, J. F.(Sheffield,Brightside Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants. Thornton, Percy M.
Houston, Robert Paterson Morgan, DavidJ(Walthamstow Tollemache, Henry James
Howard,John(Kent,Faversh'm Morpeth, Viscount Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil Morrell, George Herbert Tuff, Charles
Hudson, George Bickersteth Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Tuke, Sir John Batty
Hunt, Rowland Mount, William Arthur Turnour, Viscount
Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Muntz, Sir Philip A. Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney
Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Welby, Sir Charles G.E.(Notts.)
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Nicholson, William Graham White, Luke (York, E.B.)
Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Peel, Hn.Wm.RobertWellesley Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Kenyon, Hon.Geo.T.(Denbigh) Percy, Earl Williams, Colonel B. (Dorset)
Kenyon-Slaney, Rt.Hn.Col.W. Perks, Robert William Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Kerr, John Platt-Higgins, Frederick Wilson-Todd, SirW.H.(Yorks.)
Keswick, William Plummer, Sir Walter B. Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Kimber, Sir Henry Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Lambert, George Pretyman, Ernest George
Lambton, Hon.Frederick Wm. Purvis, Robert TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.
Laurie, Lieut.-General Rankin, Sir James
Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Rasch, Sir Frederick Carne
Lawson, John Grant (YorksN. R Ratcliff, B. F.
Lee, Arthur H.(Hants, Fareham Reid, James (Greenock)
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Holland, Sir William Henry Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Bell, Richard Joicey, Sir James Roe, Sir Thomas
Benn. John Williams Jones, William(Canrarvonshire Shackleton, David James
Black, Alexander William Kearley, Hudson E. Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Blake, Edward Kitson, Sir James Shipman, Dr. John G.
Brigg,'John Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Sullivan, Donal
Broadhurst, Henry Layland-Barratt. Francis Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr
Burke, E. Haviland- Leese, Sir JosephF.(Accrington Thomas,J.A(Glamorgan,Gower
Caldwell, James Levy, Maurice Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lough, Thomas Ure, Alexander
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) MacVeagh, Jeremiah Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Cremer, William Randal Mooney, John J. Wallace, Robert
Dalziel, James Henry Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Whiteley, George (York, W. B.
Duncan, J. Hastings O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Fenwick, Charles O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. B.
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Woodhouse,SirJ.T.(Huddersf'd
Grant, Corrie O'Malley, William
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) O'Mara, James TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Markham and Mr. Yoxall.
Harwood, George Priestley, Arthur
Higham, John Sharp Rea, Russell

Bill read a second time, and committed for Wednesday, 3rd May.

they could not do better than follow the Unionist Party in future.

SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)

said that the hon. and gallant Gentleman who had just sat down had described the Amendment as one which had met with universal condemnation. He could not assent to that. It was a very useful Amendment, and had given a very much wider and more interesting character to the debate than they could have had without it. Therefore, he thought the House was indebted to his hon. friend for putting his Amendment on the Paper. At any rate, it had suggested an alternative, to the scheme of the Bill. However, the Amendment had served his purpose, and he thought in the circumstances his hon. friend would be wise to withdraw it. If the Amendment were got out of the way they would have a straight issue on the Bill itself.


said he had put before the House what he regarded as a constructive policy rather than the confused makeshift put forward by the Government for the third time. He should not, however, trouble the House to take a division on his Amendment; but be content to take the division on the Main Question.

Question put, and agreed.

Main Question put.