HC Deb 07 August 1905 vol 151 cc396-440

As amended, considered.

Clause (Application to Scotland). In the application of this Act to Scotland—(1) 'The Local Government Board for Scotland' shall be substituted for 'the Local Government Board'; (2) 'Royal, Parliamentary, or police burgh' shall he substituted for 'municipal borough and urban district,' and for 'borough or district'; (3) 'Parish council' shall be substituted for 'board of guardians,' and 'town council' shall be substituted for 'council of the borough or district' and for 'borough or district council'; (4) 'Royal, Parliamentary, or police burgh with a population according to the last census for the time being of less than fifty thousand, but not less than twenty thousand,' shall he substituted for 'county borough'; (5) References to special county purposes shall not apply; (6) 'Burgh general assessment' or 'assessment for police purposes,' as the case may be, shall be substituted for 'borough fund or borough rate'; (7) 'Inspector' shall include general superintendent and visiting officer; (8) Sections 47, 52, and 53 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1894, shall be substituted for Sections 85, 86, and 88 of the Local Government Act, 1894; (9) 'Municipal elector' shall be substituted for 'burgess'; (10) Sub-sections 2 and 3 of Section 2 of this Act shall not apply to any county or part of a county, or to any burgh, except with the consent of the Local Government Board for Scotland expressed by Order made on the application of the county council, or town council, as the case may be."—(Mr. Scott Dickson.)

Brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed. "That the clause be now read a second time."

MR. CALDWELL (Lanarkshire, Mid.)

drew the Speaker's attention to the fact that there was a question of rating involved, and raised a point of order as to whether on that account the Bill would not be required to be recommitted in order that the question should be considered in Committee. He fully appreciated the necessity of sending the Bill up to the House of Lords that day, but he wanted to make sure that the Amendment he had given notice of would be discussed.

The LORD-ADVOCATE (Mr. SCOTT DICKSON,) Glasgow, Bridgton

said the Amendment of the hon. Member was the only one down, and he was prepared to accept it.

MR. BUCHANAN (Perthshire, E.)

asked whether, as the clause involved a question of rating, the Bill ought not to be recommitted.


agreed that the question of rating was raised, but he pointed out that the whole clause was the result of the Committee's desire on Friday that Scotland should be included in the Bill.


repeated that he was prepared to meet the hon. Member, and, in that case, he questioned the necessity of recommitting the Bill.


urged that, as the clause did involve a question of rating, the Bill must be recommitted.


finally said he thought it would be dangerous to deal with a question of rating in the House, and that it would be the better plan to recommit the Bill in respect of the Lord-Advocate's new clause, dealing with the other Amendments first.

Motion and clause, by leave of the House, withdrawn.

Clause (Application to Ireland). In the application of this Act to Ireland the Local Government Board for Ireland shall be substituted for the Local Government Board, and as respects population ten thousand shall be substituted for fifty thousand, and five thousand for ten thousand, and the provisions of this Act relating to the inclusion of a county borough in a county shall not apply."—(Mr. Attorney-General for Ireland.)

Brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the clause be now read a second time."

MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

inquired if the acceptance of relief under the Bill would have any effect upon the franchise.


replied in the negative.

Question put, and agreed to.

Amendment proposed— In line 6, at the end, to add the words 'Sub-section 3, Section 2, of this Act shall not apply to any county in Ireland except by order of the Local Government Board for Ireland made on the application of the council of the county."—(Mr. Attorney-General for Ireland.)

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment proposed— After the last Amendment to add the words, 'That Sections 43 and 45 of the Local Government Act, 1894, shall be substituted for Sections 84, 86, and 88 of the Local Government Act, 1894."—(Mr. Attorney-General for Ireland.)

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


pressed upon the Government to include words which would place it beyond all doubt that relief under the Bill would not interfere with the franchise. If some such words were not included, he ventured to prophecy that people would be disenfranchised.


said he did not consider it necessary to specifically guard against disenfranchisement.

MR. POWER (Waterford, E)

could not see why the right hon. Gentleman should not accede to what he termed the most moderate proposal of his hon. and learned friend.


urged that if words were included to say that the franchise should not be affected in Ireland, the effect would be to weaken and not strengthen the Bill, because it might read that in the case of England it should be affected.


pointed out that in England the Bill applied direct, but in Ireland it only applied by secondary order. He was quite sure that the Government was absolutely bona fide in the matter, and he threw no imputation on the right hon. and learned Gentleman, but he did venture to say that in view of the excitement with which these things were discussed in Ireland there should be something definite inserted. He should, however, be content if the Government would consider the matter in another place.


said that surely if the hon. Member for Louth was right the words should be introduced in Sub-section 4, in order that they might be applicable to all three countries.



Question put, and agreed to.

Clause, as amended, added to the Bill.

Drafting Amendments agreed to.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 1, line 10, after the word 'distress,' to insert the words 'such persons to be nominated by the borough council and board of guardians respectively."—(Mr. Lloyd-George.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

MR. CLANCY (Dublin County, N.)

moved to exclude the words "emigration or," in Sub-section 5 of Clause 1 which gave the central body power to aid a person referred to them by the local distress committee in emigrating or removing to another area, and so place him in a position to obtain employment. He declared that Ireland had already suffered too much from emigration, and objected to its promotion. In the case of a rural district in Ireland the organisation concerned would be the creation of the Government, and the retention of the word "emigration" would give the Government of the day power to carry out the emigration of the whole of the Irish people.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 2, line 20, to leave out the words 'emigration or'."—(Mr. Clancy.)

Question proposed, "That the words 'emigration or' stand part of the Bill."


said he did not think they ought to exclude the word "emigration." They had to remember that all the organisation contemplated in the Bill would be under the control of members directly or indirectly popularly-elected. If the authorities in Ireland did not wish to use those powers, there was no reason why they should.

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

said he thought the matter deserved a little more consideration from the Government. There was a constant stream of emigration from Ireland going on, and he believed a society had been formed to suggest how it could be checked. There was only one thing which stopped the whole people emigrating, and that was the want of means. They were now passing a Bill which would allow popularly-elected bodies to furnish funds at the expense of the ratepayers to pay the cost of emigration in any case they liked to do so. Here in Great Britain the word might be left in without serious disadvantage, but it would run contrary to the stream of popular feeling in Ireland. Words could easily be introduced making an exception in the case of Ireland. If an Amendment could be put in somewhere else, everybody would be satisfied. It raised a grave point with regard to Ireland, and it should receive more attention from the Government.


asked if he understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that he would consider the question. It seemed to him that the Local Government Board were not only able to extend provisions to every part of the United

Kingdom, but in the case of a rural district in a county actually to constitute the distress committee. Under those circumstances it seemed to him that it would be absolutely giving to the Government of the day power to emigrate the whole of the Irish people, when what they wanted was to remain at home.


said there was no compulsion in the matter. They might form the distress committees, and the central bodies, but they could not compel the central bodies to carry out their powers with regard to emigration.


said that the right hon. Gentleman had said that the bodies would be popularly-elected, but in the case of a rural district the committee would be the creation of the Government.


said the hon. Gentleman was wrong. The Local Government Board might require that the organisation should be formed, but the appointment of the particular members would be left to the local bodies.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 203; Noes, 71. (Division List No. 341.)

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Dickson, Charles Scott
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Brymer, William Ernest Dimsdale, Rt.Hon.Sir Joseph C.
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Doughty, Sir George
Anson, Sir William Reynell Bull, William James Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Arkwright, John Stanhope Burdett-Coutts, W. Duke, Henry Edward
Arnold-Forster, Rt.Hn. Hugh O. Buxton, Sydney Charles(Poplar Dyke, Rt.Hon.Sir William Hart
Arrol, Sir William Campbell, Rt.Hn.J.A.(Glasgow Faber, George Denison (York)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Campbell, J.H.M.(Dublin Univ. Fellowes, RtHn.Ailwyn Edward
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Fergusson, Rt.Hn.Sir J.(Manc'r
Baird, John George Alexander Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire) Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst
Balcarres, Lord Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.
Balfour, Rt.Hon.A.J.(Manch'r Chamberlain, RtHnJ.A.(Worc. Finlay,RtHnSirR.B(.Inv'rn'ss)
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas
Balfour, Kenneth R.(Christch.) Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Fisher, William Hayes
Banner, John S. Harmood- Chapman, Edward Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Flower, Sir Ernest
Beach, Rt.Hn.Sir Michael Hicks Coghill, Douglas Harry Forster, Henry William
Bigwood, James Cohen, Benjamin Louis Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)
Bill, Charles Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Gardner, Ernest
Bingham, Lord Colomb, Rt.Hon.Sir John C. R. Gladstone, Rt.Hn. Herbert John
Black, Alexander William Cremer, William Randal Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick
Blundell, Colonel Henry Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)
Bond, Edward Davenport, William Bromley- Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-
Brassey, Albert Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon
Broadhurst, Henry Dowar, Sir T.R.(Tower Hamlets) Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury
Greene, YV. Raymond.(Cambs.) Maconochie, A. W. Sadler, Col. Sir Samuel Alex.
Grenfell, William Henry M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Samuel, Herbert L.(Cleveland)
Hall, Edward Marshall Majendie, James A. H. Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos.Myles
Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Marks, Harry Hananel Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Hamilton, Marq.of (L'nd'nderry Martin, Richard Biddulph Saunderson, Rt.Hn.Col.Edw.J.
Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashford Maxwell, W.J.H.(Dumfriessh.) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Harris, F. Leverton(Tynem'th) Middlemore, John Throgmorton Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Milvain, Thomas Sharpe, William Edward T.
Heath, Sir James(Staffords, NW Mitchell, William (Burnley) Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Heaton, John Henniker Molesworth, Sir Lewis Skewes-Cox, Sir Thomas
Helder, Sir Augustus Morgan, David J(Walthamstow Sloan, Thomas Henry
Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Morrell, George Herbert Smith, AbelH.(Hertford, East)
Hope J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside Morrison, James Archibald Smith, HC.(North'mb. Tyneside
Hornby, Sir William Henry Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Smith, RtHnJ.Parker(Lanarks
Horner, Frederick William Mount, William Arthur Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Howard, John (Kent Faversham Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Stanley, Hon. Arthur(Ormskirk
Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) Myers, William Henry Stanley, Edward Jas.(Somerset
Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Nicholson, William Graham Stanley, Rt.Hon.Lord (Lancs.)
Hunt, Rowland O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Stone, Sir Benjamin
Jeffreys, Rt.Hon. Arthur Fred. Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury) Stroyan, John
Jones, William (Carnarvonshre Partington, Oswald Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Kennaway, Rt.Hon.Sir John H. Peel, Hn.Wm.Robert Wellesley Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Kenyon, Hon.Geo. T.(Denbigh Percy, Earl Talbot, Rt.Hn.J.G.(Oxf'd Univ
Keswick, William Pierpoint, Robert Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Kimber, Sir Henry Pilkington, Colonel Richard Thornton, Percy M.
Knowles, Sir Lees Platt-Higgins, Frederick Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Lamont, Norman Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Tuff, Charles
Laurie, Lieut.-General Pretyman, Ernest George Vincent, Col.SirC.E. H(Sheffield
Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Purvis, Robert Walrond, Rt.Hn.Sir William H
Lawson, Hn.H.L.W. (Mile End) Pym, C. Guy Warde, Colonel C. E.
Lee, Arthur H.(Hants. Fareham Randles, John S. Welby,Lt.-Col.A.C.E.(Taunton
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Rankin, Sir James Welby, SirCharlesG.E. (Notts.)
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Liddell, Henry Reid, James (Greenock) Wills, SirFrederick(Bristol,N.)
Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham Rickett, J. Compton Wodehouse, Rt.Hn.E.R.(Bath)
Long, Rt.Hn.Walter(Bristol,S. Ridley, S. Forde Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Ritchie, Rt.Hon.Chas.Thomson Wylie, Alexander
Lowe, Francis William Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield) Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth Round, Rt. Hon. James
Lyttelton, Rt.Hon. Alfred Royds, Clement Molyneux TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Macdona, John Cumming Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Sir Alexander Acland-Hood
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford- and Viscount Valentia.
Atherley-Jones, L. Hayden, John Patrick O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Healy, Timothy Michael O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.)
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Bright, Allan Heywood Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Parrott, William
Burke, E. Haviland- Higham, John Sharp Power, Patrick Joseph
Buxton, NE(York,NR,Whitby Hutchinson, Dr. CharlesFredk. Rea, Russell
Caldwell, James Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea Redmond, John E.(Waterford)
Cheetham, John Frederick Jones, Leif (Appleby) Robson, William Snowdon
Crean, Eugene Jordan, Jeremiah Runciman, Walter
Crooks, William Kennedy, P.J.(Westmeath,N.) Seely, Maj, J.E.B. (Isle of Wight
Cullinan, J. Lambert, George Shipman, Dr. John G.
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Lawson, Sir Wilfrid(Cornwall) Slack, John Bamford
Delany, William Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington) Sullivan, Donal
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Levy, Maurice Thompson, DrEC(Monagh'n,N
Dobbie, Joseph Lloyd-George, David Tully, Jasper
Doogan, P. C. Lough, Thomas Wallace, Robert
Dunn, Sir William Lundon, W. Weir, James Galloway
Emmott, Alfred MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Whiteley, George (York, W.R.
Flavin, Michael Joseph MacVeagh, Jeremiah Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Flynn, James Christopher M'Fadden, Edward Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Hammond, John M'Kenna, Reginald Woodhouse, SirJ.T(Huddersf'd
Hardie, J. Keir(Merthyr Tydvil Murnaghan, George
Harrington, Timothy Murphy, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Harwood, George Nannetti, Joseph P. Mr. Patrick O'Brien and
Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Nolan, Col.JolinP.(Galway,N.) Mr. Clancy.
MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)

moved to insert in Clause 1 the words "and the provision of temporary work therein." His object in raising this question again was to give the Government an opportunity of reconsidering its position in regard to this most important principle. The whole aim of the Bill was to enable the unemployed to tide over a period of temporary distress, and for that purpose the new authorities were enabled to acquire land. The object of his Amendment was to secure that when land had been acquired the authorities should have power to employ labour temporarily upon it, and thereby be able to carry out the real object of the Bill. Objection was taken to a similar proposal the other day on the ground that it might interfere with the independence of the workmen, but that was just what the Bill would do as it now stood. Instead of the workmen being dependent upon private charity they wished to make the rates available for that purpose. If hon. Members would withdraw their objection to this principle they would be carrying out the original intention of the Bill and at the same time be saving themselves from being made ridiculous by passing a Bill

to do a certain thing without providing the means by which it could be done. When the winter came on and the people were clamouring for employment, if they were told that there was no power to give them work because the Bill did not allow the rates to be used, the situation would be a very awkward and difficult one. Therefore, he hoped hon. Members on both sides of the House would waive their academic objections to this principle, and enable the Government to carry out its deliberate intention, which was only abandoned when coercion was applied by those hon. Members opposite who were opposed to the Bill altogether. He hoped the right hon. Gentlemen would accept the spirit if not the wording of the Amendment he now begged to move.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 3, line 10, after the word "Act" to insert the words "and the provision of temporary work thereon."—(Mr. Keir Hurdie.)

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The House divided:—Ayes, 86; Noes, 186. (Division List No. 342.)

Atherley-Jones, L. Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. O'Donnoll, T. (Kerry, W.)
Barry, E. (CorkS.) Hayden, John Patrick Parrott, William
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Hayter, Rt.Hon.Sir Arthur D. Partington, Oswald
Boll, Richard Healy, Timothy Michael Pearson, Sir Weetman D.
Black, Alexander William Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H Power, Patrick Joseph
Bright, Allan Heywood Higham, John Sharp Rea, Russell
Burke E. Haviland Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Buxton, N.E.(York NR Whitby Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea Rickett, J. Compton
Buxton Sydney Charles(Poplar Jones, Leif (Appleby) Robson, William Snowdon
Caldwell, James Jones, William(Carnarvonshire Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Cheetham, John Frederick Jordan, Jeremiah Runciman, Walter
Clancy, John Joseph Kennedy, P. J. (Westmeath.N.) Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Crean, Eugene Lambert, George Seely, Maj.J.E.B.(Isle of Wight
Cremer, William Randal Lamont, Norman Shipman, Dr. John G.
Crooks, William Leese,Sir Joseph F.(Accrington Slack, John Bamford
Cullinan, J. Levy, Maurice Sloan, Thomas Henry
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Lloyd-George, David Sullivan, Donal
Dolany, William Lough, Thomas Thompson, Dr EC(Monagh'n, N)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Charles Lundon, W. Tully, Jasper
Dobbie, Joseph MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Ure, Alexander
Doogan, P. C. MacVeagh, Jeremiah Wallace, Robert
Dunn, Sir William M'Fadden, Edward Weir, James Galloway
Emmott, Alfred M'Kenna, Reginald Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Flavin, Michael Joseph Murnaghan, George Whirley, J. H. (Halifax)
Flynn, James Christopher Murphy, John Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Nannetti, Joseph P. Woodhouse, SirJT.(Huddersf'd
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Nolan, Col.John P.(Galway,N
Hammond, John O'Brien, Kendal(Tipperary Mid TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Harrington, Timothy O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Mr. Keir Hardie and Mr
Harwood, George O'Connor, James (Wicklow,W. Henderson.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury) Percy, Earl
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs) Pierpoint, Robert
Anson, Sir William Reynell Grenfell, William Henry Pilkington, Colonel Richard
Arkwright, John Stanhope Hall, Edward Marshall Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. HughO Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Arrol, Sir William Hamilton, Marq. of(L'nd'nderry Pretyman, Ernest George
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashford) Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Baird, John George Alexander Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th) Purvis, Robert
Balcarres, Lord Heath, Sir James(Staffords,NW Pym, C. Guy
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J. (Manch'r Heaton, John Honniker Randles, John S.
Balfour, RtHnGeraldW.(Leeds Helder, Sir Augustus Rankin, Sir James
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne
Banner, John S. Harmood- Hornby, Sir William Henry Reid, James (Greenock)
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Horner, Frederick William Remnant, James Farquharson
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michael Hicks Howard, J.(Midd.,Tottenham) Ridley, S. Forde
Bigwood, James Howard, John (Kent, Faversham Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson
Bill, Charles Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Bingham, Lord Hunt, Rowland Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Blundell, Colonel Henry Jeffreys, Rt Hon. Arthur Fred. Round, Rt. Hon. James
Bond, Edward Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir JohnH. Royds, Clement Molyneux
Brassey, Albert Kenyon, Hon.Geo.T.(Denbigh) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Keswick, William Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Brymer, William Ernest Kimber, Sir Henry Sadler, Col. Sir Samuel Alex.
Bull, William James Knowles, Sir Lees Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles
Burdett-Coutts, W. Laurie, Lieut.-General Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J.A.(Glasgow Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Saunderson, Rt.Hn. Col.Edw.J
Campbell, J.H.M.(Dublin Univ. Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Lawson, Hn.H.L.W- (Mile End Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Lee, Arthur H.(Hants. Fareham Skewes-Cox, Sir Thomas
Chamberlain, RtHnJ.A.(Worc. Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton Liddell, Henry Smith, HC(North'mb.Tyneside
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Long, Col.Charles W.(Evesham Smith, Rt Hn J.Parker(Lanarks
Chapman, Edward Long, Rt.Hn.Walter (Bristol,S) SDith, Hon. W. F.D. (Strand.)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Lonsdale, John Brownlee Stanley, Hon.Arthur(Ormskirk
Coghill, Douglas Harry Lowe, Francis William Stanley, Edward Jas.(Somerset
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Loyd, Archie Kirkman Stanley, Rt.Hon.Lord (Lancs.)
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth Stone, Sir BenjaDin
Colomb, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Stroyan, John
Davenport, William Bromley- Macdona, John Cumming Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Davies, Sir Horatia D.(Chatham MacIver, David (Liverpool) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Dewar, Sir T.R.(Tower Hamlets Maconochie, A. W. Talbot.Rt Hn.J.G.(Oxf'd Univ.
Dickson, Charles Scott M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Dimsdale, Rt.Hon.Sir Joseph C. Majendie, James A. H. Thornton, Percy M.
Doughty, Sir George Marks, Harry Hananel Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Martin, Richard Biddulph Tuff, Charles
Duke, Henry Edward Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Dyke, Rt.Hon.Sir William Hart Middlemore, John Throgmorton Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William
Faber, George Denison (York) Milvain, Thomas Warde, Colonel C. E.
Fellowes, Rt Hn.(Ailwyn Edw.) Mitchell, William, (Burnley) Welby,Lt.-Col.A.C.E.(Taunton
Fergusson, Rt.Hn.Sir J.(Manc'r Molesworth, Sir Lewis Welby, Sir Charles G.E.(Not(s.)
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Morgan, David J(Walthamstow Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Morpeth, Viscount Wills, Sir Frederick (Bristol,N.)
Finlay, RtHnSirRB.(Inv'rn'ss Morrell, George Herbert Wodehouse, Rt.Hn.E. R. (Bath)
Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas Morrison, James Archibald Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Fisher, William Hayes Morton, Arthur H. Alymer Wylie, Alexander
Fitrzoy, Hon. Edward Algernon Mount, William Arthur Wyndham-Quin, Col. W. H.
Flower, Sir Ernest Murray, Col. Wyndham Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Forster, Henry William Myers, William Henry
Gardner, Ernest Nicholson, William Graham TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Sir Alexander Acland-Hood
Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury) and Viscount Valentia.

The effect of the Amendment handed in by the hon. Member for Merthyr would be to enable the Local Government Board to impose a rate on the outside districts without their consent. That is a rating question which cannot be considered on the Report stage.

MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)

, in moving to reduce the minimum population limit imposed by Clause 2 to 10,000, said there was frequently a great deal of distress in these small towns and while the farmers in the county generally could not be induced to rate themselves for the relief of that distress, the small towns themselves might be disposed to impose a penny rate, or to make even greater sacrifices for the purpose. He thought the power ought to be given to such towns to levy a rate to tide over the winter months. There could be no objection on principle, as the power would be subject to the consent of the Local Government Board, who were very cautious in such matters, and would not give their consent unless very acute distress existed. In Wales while there were a number of small towns, there were only two or three of considerable size, and the Bill would be practically worthless to the Principality unless this Amendment were made. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 4, line 9, to leave out the word 'twenty' and insert the word 'ten'"—(Mr. Lloyd-George.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'twenty' stand part of the Bill."

MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

hoped the right hon. Gentleman would accept the Amendment. It was intended to apply to cases in which a particular borough might, in view of peculiar circumstances, wish to institute a committee, although the county council did not see its way to do so for the county generally. There was no question of compulsion, and the Local Government Board would not give its consent if the county council or any other body made out a good case against it. The Amendment could not possibly do harm, and it might result in considerable good.


said that from his knowledge of borough feeling he was sure the desire would be in favour of reducing the population limit. There was a distinct difference, especially on economic and industrial questions, between boroughs and counties, and he fully agreed that a county might well refuse to rate itself as a whole, whereas boroughs within the county would consider it absolutely necessary to do so. Many of the smaller boroughs were dependent upon one staple trade, and times of depression inevitably came when it was extremely desirable that they should have the means provided by this Bill of reducing the distress. The larger boroughs, on the other hand, were going in for a variety of industries, and were not subject to periodic distress to the same extent; consequently the smaller boroughs were just the places that required the advantages of the Act. The precedent of the Education Act with regard to elementary education afforded another reason for maintaining autonomy in the smaller boroughs.


said he raised no objection to the Amendment.

Question put, and negatived.

Word inserted.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 5, line 40, after the word 'may,' to insert, the words 'aid emigration or removal or.'"—(Mr. Gerald Balfour.)

Amendment agreed to.

MR. HERBERT SAMUEL (Yorkshire, Cleveland)

moved an Amendment the object of which, he explained, was to enable such works as land reclamation to be undertaken under the Bill if the local authority concerned could obtain the funds for the purpose. He understood that the President of the Local Government Board accepted the principle of the Amendment, but desired it in a different form. He would therefore move the Amendment formally, in order that the right hon. Gentleman might make an explanation.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 6, line 6, after the word 'colonies,' to insert the words 'or such other works upon the land as may be approved by the Local Government Board.'"—(Mr. Herbert Samuel.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


said there appeared to be some confusion in the discussion of this subject between "works" and "work." There was nothing to prevent the central body from providing work of any kind for the unemployed, but without particular provisions in the Bill they could not erect dwellings for the workmen. All that was required to give effect to his intention was that the central body should, with the leave of the Local Government Board, be entitled to supply temporary accommodation for work carried on upon the land Take such work as the reclamation of the foreshore. That work could not be undertaken without accommodation being provided for the persons engaged. Take another scheme suggested more than once by eminent philanthropists like Mr. Charles Booth, to level roads in different parts of the country where the gradients were too steep. If labourers were sent long distances to do such work it would be necessary to provide accommodation for them. He thought such provision ought to be made, and he should propose later on to insert after the word "Act" in line 7 the words "and the provision, with like consent of such body, of temporary accommodation for persons for whom work upon the land is provided."


said those words did not meet the Amendment of the hon. Member for Cleveland, which distinctly proposed that, having acquired land for the purpose, work might be done upon it. He understood his right hon. friend to say that he had no objection to temporary accommodation for those who were working being provided, but that did not quite meet the case. The proposal of his hon. friend opposite was to be allowed to undertake reclamation work. If there was one thing which would justify the House in proceeding with this Bill it was the experience of the Mansion House Committee in respect of farm colonies, which had been a great success. It seemed to him that one of the chief advantages of this Bill would be to allow local experience to make itself felt in the direction of being able to carry out something in the nature of an experiment with the sanction of the Local Government Board. This was a class of work which was both useful and dignified, which would be the means of maintaining the men without sacrificing either decency or dignity; and to simply say that there should be accommodation provided for those who did the work was not sufficient. The whole thing was temporary and limited to a certain period; therefore, if the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Cleveland to enable other classes of work to be undertaken with the sanction of the Local Government Board were adopted, they would be following the exact lines adopted by the Mansion House Committee.


said he did not think he had made his meaning quite clear. There would be no objection tinder the Bill to putting unemployed persons to work on reclamation work.


asked, in case it was necessary in land reclamation to lay down plant, such as pipes, etc, could that be done under this Bill?


said that could be done under the Bill.

MR. WHITMORE (Chelsea)

said he understood that if land reclamation was undertaken the money would have to be provided out of voluntary subscriptions. If the wages were to be paid out of the rates he should object.


It is quite clear that no wages can be paid to the unemployed except out of voluntary subscriptions.


said the words suggested merely created temporary residences for the workmen employed. He understood that there was no objection to giving the fullest power with regard to all these experiments. He should have thought the right hon. Gentleman might have accepted his hon. friend's Amendment without enlarging the scope of the Bill. He was sorry the words now proposed to be inserted were limited specifically to farm colonies.

MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)

asked if some philanthropist was willing to put down £40,000 for labour for the reclamation of land, would the words suggested by the right hon. Gentleman allow them to provide shelter and accommodation for the men employed out of the rates?


No, Sir. The provision of temporary accommodation would itself have to coma out of voluntary subscriptions.


Did the right hon. Gentleman mean that they wanted an Act of Parliament to allow people to spend voluntary subscriptions? Surely he did not mean that. There were plenty of wealthy men who were ready to employ labour when trade was bad, but they had not the means of offering them accommodation. If the rates could be used for this purpose it would be a distinct advantage.


said the point raised by the hon. Member had already been decided by the Committee.


pointed out that if they specified temporary accommodation it might be taken to mean the exclusion of other purposes. The general words suggested in his hon. friend's Amendment would decide the question definitely.

SIR M. HICKS BEACH (Bristol, N.)

said he agreed with what the hon. Member had said, and it would be better to keep the Bill as it stood.


said the point was already clearly defined in the Bill. The words he had suggested would enable the central committee to provide temporary accommodation.


said this sub - section specifically limited the authorisation of the Local Government Board to work on farm colonies. He did not see why the right hon. Gentleman could not accept the Amendment; he thought the form of words met all objections.


said he very much doubted whether the words proposed by the hon. Gentleman really would cover the case.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 92; Noes, 192. (Division List No. 343.)

Atherley-Jones, L. Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. O'Brien,Kendal(Tipperary,Mid
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Hayden, John Patrick O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. O'Connor, James(Wicklow,W.
Bell, Richard Healy, Timothy Michael O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Black, Alexander William Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Partington, Oswald
Bright, Allan Heywood Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Pearson, Sir Weetman D.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Higham, John Sharp Power, Patrick Joseph
Burke, E. Haviland- Hope,J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside) Redmond, John E.(Waterford)
Buxton, N.E.(York, NR, Whitby Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Rickett, J. Compton
Buxton,Sydney Charles(Poplar) Jacoby, James Alfred Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Caldwell, James Jones, David Brymnor(Swansea) Robson, William Snowdon
Cheetham, John Frederick Jones, Leif (Appleby) Runciman, Walter
Clancy, John Joseph Jones, William(Carnarvonshire) Seely, Maj. J.E.B.(Me of Wight
Crean, Eugene Jordan, Jeremiah Shipman, Dr. John G.
Cremer, William Randal Kennedy, P. J.(Westmeath,N.) Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Crooks, William Lambert, George Slack, John Bamford
Cullinan, J. Lamont, Norman Sloan, Thomas Henry
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Sullivan, Donal
Delany, William Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington Thompson, Dr. EC(Monagh'n,N.
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Levy, Maurice Tully, Jasper
Dobbie, Joseph Lloyd-George, David Ure, Alexander
Doogan, P. C. Lough, Thomas Wallace, Robert
Emmott, Alfred Lundon, W. Weir, James Galloway
Flavin, Michael Joseph MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Whiteley, George (York, W.R.
Flynn, James Christopher MacVeagh, Jeremiah Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. M'Fadden, Edward Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Gladstone, Rt.Hn Herbert John M'Kenna, Reginald Wilson, Henry J.(York, W.R.)
Griffith, Ellis J. Moss, Samuel Wood house, SirJT(Huddersf'd
Hammond, John Murnaghan, George
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tytdvil) Murphy, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Harrington, Timothy Nannetti, Joseph P. Mr. Herbert Samuel and
Harwood, George Nolan, Col.JohnP.(Galway,N. Mr. Russell Rea.
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Godson, Sir Augustus Frederic Percy, Earl
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Pierpoint, Robert
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- Pilkington, Colonel Richard
Anson, Sir William Reynell Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Arkwright, John Stanhope Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Arnold-Forster, Rt.Hn.HughO Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs. Pretyman, Ernest George
Arrol, Sir William Grenfell, William Henry Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Hall, Edward Marshall Purvis, Robert
Bagot.Capt.Josceline FitzRoy Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Pym, C. Guy
Baird, John George Alexander Hamilton, Marq.of(L'nd'nderry Randles, John S.
Balcarres, Lord Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashford Rankin, Sir James
Balfour. Rt.Hon.A.J.(Manch'r Harris, F. Leverton(Tynem'th Rasch, Sir Frederic Came
Balfour, RtHnGeraldW.(Leeds Heath, Sir James (Stafford.NW Reid, James (Greenock)
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christen Heaton, John Henniker Remnant, James Farquharson
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Ridley, S. Forde
Banner. John S. Harmood- Horner, Frederick William Ritchie,Rt.Hon.Chas. Thomson
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Howard, John(Kent,Faversham Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Beach, Rt.Hn.SirMichaelHicks Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Bigwood, James Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Bill, Charles Hunt, Rowland Round, Rt. Hon. James
Bingham, Lord Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred Royds, Clement Molyneux
Blundell, Colonel Henry Kennaway, Rt Hon. Sir John H. Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Bond, Edward Kenyon, Hon. Geo.T. (Denbigh) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Brassey, Albert Keswick, William Sadler, Col. Sir Samuel Alex.
Broadhurst, Henry Kimber, Sir Henry Sandys, Lieut.-Col.Thos.Myles
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Knowles, Sir Lees Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Brymer, William Ernest Laurie, Lieut.-General Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.
Bull, William James Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Lawrence, Win. F. (Liverpool Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Butcher, John George Lawson, Hn.H.L.W. (Mile End) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Campbell. Rt.Hn.J.A.(Glasgow Lawson, John Grant(Yorks.NR Skewes-Cox, Sir Thomas
Campbell, J.H.M.(Dublin Univ. Lee, ArthurH.(Hants,Fareham Smith, Abel H.(Hertford,East)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Smith.H.C(North'mb.Tyneside
Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Smith, RtHnJ. Parker(Lanarks
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Liddell, Henry Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Chamberlain, RtHnJ.A.(Worc. Long, Col.CharlesWr.(Evesham Stanley, Hon.Arthur(Ormskirk
Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton Long, Rt.Hn.Walter(Bristol,S. Stanley, EdwardJas.(Somerset)
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Lonsdale, John Brownlee Stanley, Rt.Hon.Lord (Lancs.)
Chapman, Edward Lowe, Francis William Stone, Sir Benjamin
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Loyd, Archie Kirkman Stroyan, John
Coghill, Douglas Harry Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Macdona, John Cumming Talbot, Rt.Hn.J.G.(Oxf'd Univ
Colomb, Rt.Hon.SirJohn C.R. MacIver, David (Liverpool) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Maconochie, A. W. Thornton, Percy M.
Davenport, William Bromley M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Davies, Sir Horatio D.(Chatham Majendie, James A. H. Tuff, Charles
Dewar, Sir T.R.(Tower Hamlets Marks, Harry Hananel Vincent, Col.Sir C. E. H. (Sheffield
Dickson, Charles Scott Martin, Richard Biddulph Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Dimsdale, Rt.Hon.SirJosephC. Maxwell,W.J.H.(Dumfriesshire Walrond, Rt.Hn.SirWilliamH.
Doughty, Sir George Middlemore, JohnThrogmorton Warde, Col. C. E.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Milvain, Thomas Welby,Lt.-Col.A.C.E.(Taunton
Duke, Henry Edward Mitchell, William (Burnley) Welby, Sir Charles G. E.(Notts.
Dyke, Rt. Hon. SirWilliamHart Molesworth, Sir Lewis Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Faber, George Denison (York) Morgan, David J(Walthamstow Wills, Sir Frederick(Bristol,N.),
Fellowes, Rt.Hn.Ailwyn Edward Morpeth, Viscount Wodehouse, Rt.Hn.E.R.(Bath)
Fergusson, Rt.Hn.SirJ.(Manc'r Morrell, George Herbert Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Morrison, James Archibald Wylie, Alexander
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Wndham-Quin, Col. W. H.
Finlay, RtHnSirR.B. (Inv'rn'ss Mount, William Arthur Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Fisher, William Hayes Myers, William Henry TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Fitzroy, Hon.Edward Algernon Nicholson, William Graham Sir Alexander Acland-Hood
Flower, Sir Ernest O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens and Viscount Valentia.
Forster, Henry William Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)
Gardner, Ernest Peel, Hn. Win. Robert Wellesley

Bill read the third time, and passed.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 6, line 7, after the word "Act" to insert the words "and the provision, with the like consent, by such body, of temporary accommodation for persons for whom work upon the same land is provided."—(Mr. Gerald Balfour.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


I understand that the right hon. Gentleman is satisfied that these words will not have a limiting effect on the sub-section.


I think that clearly they will not.


May I ask whether the expense of providing accommodation will be charged on the rates?


No; that will be charged on the fund raised by voluntary contributions.


moved an Amendment providing that the audit of the accounts should be "by a professional accountant." A new departure was being made by this Bill, and he thought a new departure should also be made in the manner of audit. By the Bill as it now stood the accounts of these bodies would be audited in the same manner as the accounts of the county council, which meant that the audit would be by a Government auditor. The accounts would involve matters demanding some knowledge of accountancy, for there would be voluntary subscriptions mixed up with rate contributions. These would have to be kept very distinct, and in addition there should be the best security for the administration of the funds and the accuracy of the accounts in order to induce voluntary subscriptions. The working of the Bill as it stood would depend very largely indeed on voluntary contributions, and unless the accounts were kept in such a manner as to give confidence to those contributing, one of the chief sources of doing anything under the Bill would be lost. He wanted it to be clearly understood that this was not to be an audit according to the borough mode, which was by two members of the borough council, and which excluded what he thought was a very great improvement, adopted especially by certain of the larger municipalities, viz., the right to have their accounts audited by a professional auditor. The Municipal Trading Committee had issued an interim Report as to the finances of municipalities and local authorities which stated that although all the county councils, London borough councils, and urban district councils were subject to the Local Government Board in respect to audit, that audit was carried out by district auditors who, as a rule, were not professional accountants or professional auditors. He thought that as the accounts of those new bodies would be very mixed there should be an adequate audit by trained accountants or professional auditors and not by what he would call "machine accountants." Besides, it would save expense and ensure confidence in the locality in the administration of the funds, and so secure larger public subscriptions to the unemployed fund. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 6, line 26, to leave out from the word 'Act,' to the end of the sub-section, and insert 'by a professional accountant.'"—(Sir Albert Rollit.)

As there was no seconder to the Amendment, Mr. SPEAKER announced that the Amendment fell to the ground.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 7, after line 9, to insert as a new sub-paragraph the words 'That all regulations made under this Act shall be laid as soon as may be before Parliament'."—(Mr. Gerald Balfour.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


said he had no objection to the Amendment, but he would point out that these regulations could not possibly be discussed this session.


said that the Government were engaged in drawing up the regulations, but he could not promise to have them laid on the Table of the House before the session closed.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be recommitted in respect of a new clause (Application to Scotland.")—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

[Mr. GRANT LAWSON (Yorkshire, N.R., Thirsk) in the Chair.]

Clause (Application to Scotland). In the application of this Act to Scotland—(1) 'The Local Government Board for Scotland' shall be substituted for 'the Local Government Board'; (2) 'Royal, Parliamentary, or police burgh' shall be substituted for 'municipal borough and urban district,' and for 'borough or district'; (3) 'Parish council' shall be substituted for 'board of guardians,' and 'town council' shall be substituted for 'council of the borough or district' and for 'borough or district council'; (4) 'Royal, Parliamentary, or police burgh with a population according to the last census for the time being of less than fifty thousand, but not less than twenty thousand,' shall be substituted for 'county borough'; (5) References to special county purposes shall not apply; (6) 'Burgh general assessment' or 'assessment for police purposes,' as the case may be, shall be sub-stituted for 'borough fund or borough rate'; (7) 'Inspector' shall include general superintendent and visiting officer; (8) Sections 47, 52, and 53 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1894, shall be substituted for Sections 85, 86, and 88 of The Local Government Act, 1894; (9) 'Municipal elector' shall be substituted for 'burgess'; (10) Sub-sections 2 and 3 of Section 2 of this Act shall not apply to any county or part of a county, or to any burgh, except with the consent of the Local Government Board for Scotland expressed by Order made on the application of the county council, or town council, as the case may be."—(The Lord-Advocate.)

Brought up, and read the first time.


in moving the new clause, said that there were one or two verbal alterations to be made to it, as printed on the White Paper, in consequence of the Amendment made on the Report stage. It would be necessary under the third head that "parish council" should be substituted for "Poor Law union." That was a verbal Amendment. The hon. Member for Mid.-Lanark proposed certain Amendments to the sixth head which he was willing to accept. As the clause stood now the rate would fall to be paid by assessment wholly by occupiers. The hon. Member for Mid.-Lanark proposed to alter it so as to make it fall half upon owners and half upon occupiers. In Section 6 of the clause the word "improvement" would be inserted after "general," and the words "or assessment for police purposes, as the case may be," would be deleted, and there be substituted for them the words "any other assessment leviable in equal proportions upon owners and occupiers." The effect of that was to make the rate fall equally upon owners and occupiers. The only other alteration he proposed to make was on head 10, which would be made to read so as to agree with what had been carried for Ireland—"Sub-sections 2 and 3 of this Act shall not apply to any county or burgh," leaving out the words "two and" in line 24, and the words "or part of a county" in line 25. Subject to these alterations he begged to move.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the clause, as amended, be now read a second time.


said that the Scottish Members had been put in a very invidious position by the action of the Government with regard to this Bill. There was no Amendment on the Paper on Friday that this Bill should be applied to Scotland, and it was not within the knowledge of the Scottish Members that any such intention was in the mind of the Government. The Bill had never been circulated in Scotland, and no views had been ascertained in regard to it on the part of any of the local authorities in the country. He had left the House on Friday afternoon without anticipating that this substantial change would be made without notice. It was quite impossible for them to judge on the merits of the clauses and the Amendments proposed by the Lord-Advocate. He thought the Government should accept the full responsibility of this large change which they were introducing into the Scottish Poor Law system—admitting into the category of those who were entitled to Poor Law relief people who were not before so entitled, and doing this without notice to the people of Scotland and without their having been consulted on the subject.


said that the hon. Gentleman had stated that the Government should accept full responsibility for this amendment in the law of Scotland. That was so; they did act on their own responsibility but he did not think that that responsibility was so heavy as the hon. Gentleman seemed to believe it to be, because it did not really, as the hon. Gentleman supposed, make a fundamental alteration in the Scottish Poor Law system, and because this change was of an experimental character and would last for three years only, unless the House should otherwise determine. He agreed with the hon. Gentleman that it would have been desirable to have had a longer opportunity for consulting Scottish opinion on the matter. But they had the alternative of including or excluding Scotland in the scope of the Bill at the last moment; and of the two courses he was quite confident that they had adopted the one most in consonance with the feelings of the people of Scotland. The hon. Gentleman wag acquainted with the opinion in Aberdeen. Aberdeen was strongly in favour of the Bill, and Glasgow had unanimously expressed its desire that the Bill should be extended to Scotland. Although he did not deny that there was some force in the hon Gentleman's remarks, he hoped that the House would not feel that the Government had taken a wrong course in this matter. The Amendments on this clause were purely technical. The terms of the Scottish law in the existing system of rating were different from those of England, and they required a great many sub-sections in order to translate the English law into Scottish law. Otherwise there was no substantial difference between the Bill as applied to Scotland and the Bill as applied to England.

MR. DOBBIE (Ayr Burghs)

said the passage of the Bill at this late period of the session was really the result of a compromise, and he was satisfied that Scotland would give the Government the credit which it deserved for having at the last moment, in response to appeals from both sides of the House, applied the Bill to Scotland. He would like to suggest, in the interests of the time of the House, that the Lord - Advocate should explain briefly what direct effect the clause he had put down would have. The Amendments put down by the Attorney-General for Ireland differed radically from the Amendments suggested by the Lord-Advocate.

MR. PARKER SMITH (Lanarkshire, Partick),

said he joined in the protest against applying the Bill to Scotland without any warning whereby hon. Members could have ascertained the views of their constituents in the matter. This was, of course, a necessary incidence of the hurried system of legislation at the end of the session; and, if it were a question whether Scotland should be included or excluded, he confessed that he was not prepared to take the responsibility of saying that she ought to be excluded. He thought, however, it was most unsatisfactory that they should have had the Bill under discussion the whole of the session without any previous suggestion as to the inclusion of Scotland and as to how it would affect the different circumstances of their constituencies. He confessed he was astonished when he found on Friday that an Amendment had been put down without a word of consultation with the Scotch Members.


said that if there was any fault at all it rested with the Scotch Members. The Irish Members put an Amendment down and came to an arrangement with the Government that Ireland should be included. The Scotch Members, despite the appeal made to them by the organised trades unions of Scotland, allowed their opportunity to pass.


said he would like to explain that his hon. friend beside him put down an Amendment which might have clashed with one he would have put down, and he therefore refrained.


said the usual practice of Scotch Members, with regard to Bills relating to education, licensing, and the Poor Law, was to allow England to go first and then to have similar measures for Scotland in accordance with Scotch opinion. That was the view he took upon the matter at first; but he looked into it again and found that it did not affect the Poor Law at all. It was a new system being introduced into the United Kingdom as a whole to enable local authorities to find work for the unemployed. He expressed no opinion whether that made for good or for evil, but it seemed to him that it should apply to Scotland as it was to apply to Ireland.

MR. WYLIE (Dumbartonshire)

said he wished to say a word as to the universal approval of the inclusion of Scotland in the Bill, but, as he would have something to say on the Third Reading of the Bill, he would not now say anything further.

Motion made, Question proposed, "That the clause be now added to the Bill."

MR. BLACK (Banffshire)

moved an Amendment to add at the end— As respects population 10,000 shall be substituted for 50,000, and 5,000 for 20,000. He said the object of the Amendment was to assimilate the Scotch laws with what had already been done by the House in regard to the Irish laws. It would make the application of this Bill extend to burghs of 10,000 population instead of 50,000. As the Bill at present stood, every burgh of a lesser population than 50,000 would be thrown into the county as the administrative area under the Bill. If they looked into the position of Scotland they would find that only five or six burghs throughout Scotland would have the right to administer their own unemployed system, and all other burghs, however large which were under 50,000 population, would be thrown into the county areas. Anyone acquainted with Scottish life was aware that burghs and their inhabitants had become accustomed to deal with measures of economy in a particular manner. It was the custom in the burghs to convene a meeting of the people and consult them upon the general affairs. It would be very largely resented by those self-governing communities if, with regard to the unemplyed, they were to be thrown into the county administrative, area with which, up to the present time, they had had very little to do. It was quite true that with regard to certain county council purposes these burghs sent representatives to the counties, but, with regard to internal administration, they had had nothing to do with the counties. The result of the Bill, as it stood at present, would be to throw the main part of the administration of the Bill into the hands of the landlord and his factor, and of those persons who usually occupied themselves with county administration, and to take it out of the hands of those who knew intimately the affairs of the burgh. They might, for instance, see a Primrose dame administering this measure in a burgh, with the net effect that the coal and blanket fund of the county gentry would be thrown on the burgh rates. The Government should also consider whether what had been done for the good of Ireland would not also be for the good of Scotland. On the Motion of the Government, the Irish boroughs of 10,000 population and over were to have the administration of their own affairs. In this respect Scotland and Ireland were nearly of similar relative population, and it was very hard to see why the Irish boroughs of 10,000 were to be given their own administration and Scottish burghs were to be excluded from a similar privilege. He begged to move the Amendment.

Amendment proposed— In new clause, at the end to add the words 'as respects population ten thousand shall be substituted for fifty thousand, and five thousand for ten thousand.'" (Mr. Black.)

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


said he hoped his hon. friend would not press the Amendment. The effect of bringing the number down to 10,000 in the Scotch burghs would be to include all the burghs that would be largely affected by the proposal. In view of that fact he hoped the hon. Gentleman would be content with having al the burghs up to 10,000 included. The only result would be that the small burghs would not be brought in, and he asked that the Amendment should not be persisted in.


asked whether burghs above 10,000 and under 50,000 required the sanction of the Local Government Board.


replied that they were to be in exactly the same position as English boroughs. He did not think they could claim more than that.

*SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N.E.)

said that in a small town in his neighbourhood, which, now was happily thriving, they found that when the state of trade became stagnant the county gentlemen were obliged to take large numbers of the workmen and give them Temporary employment, but it struck him that it would be much more convenient that the local authorities should put the Act in force, and provide temporary aid. He could not help saying that in this proposed grant the Amendments of the Member for Banff would meet the circumstances.

Question put, and negatived.

Clause added to the Bill.

Bill, as amended, on recommittal in respect of new clause (Application to Scotland), considered.

Drafting Amendments agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the third time."—(Mr. Gerald Balfour.)


said he thought he was justified in protesting as a Member of the House against the extraordinary manner in which the Bill had been passed through the House. Looking over the range of the twenty years that he had been in Parliament, he felt himself entitled to say that the conduct of the Government in relation to the passage of the Bill had been absolutely unprecedented. It was without excuse; for the Government at the commencement of the session announced their intention to introduce an Unemployed Bill, yet they waited till the 10th July before they brought it forward. It was clear to the House that the absolute intention of the Government was that it should not pass to law.


I absolutely deny it.


retorted that all he could say was that the conduct of the Government gave an absolutely contrary impression as to their intention. In fact, but for the act of the Member for Woolwich moving the closure on the Second Reading of the Bill the debate would have gone over. It was to the Member for Woolwich alone that they owed the fact that the Bill was not extinguished on the Motion for the Second Reading. Then coming to the Committee stage, they were told by the Prime Minister that if they did not pass it sub silentio the Government would withdraw the Bill and the Opposition must take the consequences in the country. In other words, they would be represented as being unfriendly to the cause of labour. Therefore the character, the dignity, and every attribute of the House of Commons which they regarded with pride and satisfaction must go to the winds so long as this precious Bill was passed. Then he was startled to hear from the Prime Minister that this Bill was a mere experiment and was framed for only three years, at the end of which period it might be abrogated Were they going to the expense of establishing central and local authorities throughout the length and breadth of England, Ireland, and Scotland, and erect costly machinery which was to be broken up at the end of three years because the Bill was only an experiment? A greater outrage in the way of legislation had never previously been perpetrated by Parliament.

The Bill was an imposture, and not only was it an imposture, but it was antidemocratic in its character. It proposed, in the first place, to establish throughout the country various distress committees, which were to have absolutely no power. They were to be merely a police and detective agency used for purposes of investigation, which, when made, was to be repotted to the central authority. The latter, if it pleased, could make further investigation and then proceed to spend the fund at its disposal.

In the Metropolis it would be able to spend £160,000 or £170,000 from the poor rate. How ludicrous, how insulting to common sense, it was to suggest that £160,000 or £170,000 would be of any use to deal with the immense amount of distress that had to be dealt with in the winter months in the Metropolis. The small borough of St. George's, Hanover Square, spent £150,000 in relief of the poor, and the Metropolitan boroughs spent £30,000 or £40,000 in distress expenditure in a few months; yet they were told that £170,000 was going to deal with the immense amount of misery found in London every winter. But the right hon. Gentleman said beyond that there were voluntary contributions. Had he made the slightest inquiry as to what was to be derived from voluntary contributions? The best way to kill voluntary contributions was to set up State machinery. More than that, there was in existence a rough-and-ready way of dealing with distress—a method which was not efficient but effective so far as it went—for the Metropolitan boroughs. In the winter months shoals of people besieged their doors for employment; they gave them work which was not remunerative to the boroughs, but it was work which did not carry with it the taint of pauperism, and the Metropolitan boroughs spent £30,000 in that kind of work. He had inquired of some of the officials whether they would continue to do that when this Bill became law, and they replied, "Certainly not. We shall say you must go to the distress committee." Let them be honest in this matter if they intended to do anything in the way of finding employment for the unemployed. At present the Government were trying to delude the House, and he could not help saying that when the winter came and the people realised how utterly inadequate this Bill was to meet the needs of the suffering millions, those who were responsible for the passing of this Bill would have to pay the penalty of having cheated and deluded the working classes.

In this Bill there were provisions that the State should find the money to emigrate people. It had always been a tradition of the democratic Party of this country that they should not provide money to expatriate the people of this country, and the provision of this Bill was simply an old device of the middle class, the plutocracy, to get rid of the discontented and the turbulent by a system of State emigration. Those on the Liberal side of the House did not dare to vote against this Bill because it would go forth that those who voted against it were antagonistic to the interests of labour. His friendship for labour took the form that he would never be a party to deluding the working classes, and this Bill was a deliberate attempt to delude them. He should vote for it through coertion and intimidation. He could, however, see one gleam of light. If the Bill were extended on honest lines it would afford a germ of some future hope, and to that extent his honest friends were justified in supporting the Bill. But he wished to avail himself of this opportunity of protesting against the manner in which the Bill had been carried through, and of making it clear that, in his opinion, the measure would not be any immediate benefit to the working classes, but was merely an electioneering device for the benefit of the Party opposite.


said the extraordinary speech just delivered raised many questions, but he hoped the statement of the hon. Member for North-West Durham that he would not vote against the Bill because he had not the courage to take the consequences did not apply to Members generally. His own opinions on the matter were well known. It did not rest with any hon. Member on the Opposition side to cavil at the meagre Bill now before the House. Ten years ago the unemployed question was more acute than at present, the Liberals were then in office, but the hon. Member for North-West Durham was silent concerning the claims of the unemployed, and voted against every proposal to assist them. It was true that the present Bill was a mere trifling with the greatest social problem of the day. The question of the unemployed was not a new one, and he dissented altogether from the view that the present Bill introduced a new principle into English law. By quotations from Acts of Parliament, extending from Queen Elizabeth to William IV., he could show conclusively that under the English law, as it stood, Englishmen had a right to demand from the Poor Law authorities an opportunity of working, and that the authorities were empowered to spend whatever rates were necessary to provide that opportunity. He altogether dissented from the view of the Local Government Board that people so enabled to work were thereby made paupers and disfranchised. But he would not dwell on the point.

The House must not suppose that by passing this Bill they were solving the unemployed problem. The fact that there was no work did not relieve the rates of the responsibility of maintaining the unemployed. During the six months ending June of this year the able-bodied poor in receipt of relief, for the whole of England and Wales increased by 17 per cent., but in certain parts of the country, notably in Essex—which included East and West Ham—the increase in twelve months was 142 per cent. The able-bodied poor did not want Poor Law relief or charity; they simply wished an opportunity of working for their living. If they were denied that light—as they were under this Bill—they were forced on to the rates, degraded, and demoralised, and there happened just that which hon. Members often professed an anxiety to avoid. That being so, he was against the Bill as it stood, and would divide against the Third Reading were it not that some of his colleagues did not agree with his view. The hon. Member for Woolwich, whose practical experience of the working and administration of the Poor Law entitled his judgment to carry weight, believed the Bill would be helpful, and in deference to that opinion he was prepared to yield his own judgment. During the coming winter, despite this Bill, the unemployed difficulty would recur, and next year, whichever Party was in power, it would have to be dealt with drastically. The present Bill, however, made a beginning for which he was grateful, and it would afford a foundation upon which a proper superstructure might subsequently be erected.

SIR FREDERICK BANBURY (Camberwell, Peckham)

said that if the hon. Member for North-West Durham claimed to be a friend of the working classes his proper course, after declaring the Bill not to be in their true interests, was to have the courage of his conviction and vote against the Third Reading. Personally, he was not in favour of the Bill, and if the hon. and learned Member would "tell" with him he would divide the House against it.


said his point of view was diametrically opposed to that of the hon. Baronet. What he said was that the Bill had a germ of good in it and that if the Government had the courage to allow the rates to be used for the purpose of helping the poor it would be a good Bill. But at present there was simply the machinery provided with no means of putting the machinery into operation.


said that if that was the view of the hon. Member he could not understand the object of his letter in that day's Times. His proper course was to have moved in Committee that power should be given for the rates to be so used. As to his own position, he felt very strongly against the Bill, believing as he did that for the first time it introduced into English law the principle that work must be found for anybody who chose to demand it. That principle, instead of tending to the relief of distress, would increase and aggravate it, and the Bill as it stood would do nothing to ameliorate the unemployed difficulty. It was likely to stop voluntary contributions, and, as the rates could not be used, it would do nothing more than encourage a principle which he believed would be ruinous to the future of the country.

MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)

said that from its introduction he had done his utmost both privately and publicly to make the Bill as good as possible. He believed that when it was introduced it did not meet the necessities of the case, and he said so. That view was held by many persons in his constituency who had had very long experience of the unemployed, and they desired a stronger measure. He also wished to have a stronger Bill, but having regard to the fact that in the coming winter there was every indication that great difficulties would have to be faced, and having regard also to the fact that the corporation of Leicester desired the borough representatives to do their utmost to secure as much as they could, he supported it as it was. He would rather have this Bill than no Bill, for if they once established a principle which would do a great public service and great good to a portion of the community it would never be repealed. They would then try to strengthen it, enlarge it, and broaden it.

With regard to voluntary contributions, he did not join in the harrowing description of the effect of the appeals to the rich to help the distress committees. It was not the rich only who made voluntary subscriptions. If he lived until next November he should have made his contribution to hospitals and convalescent homes for twenty-eight years as part of his trade union subscription. Charity was not measured by thousands but by the sacrifice made by the giver. He was not so sure that in this matter the channels of voluntary subscriptions would dry up. The money would be administered by a statutory committee instead of by a voluntary committee with many busy-bodies and goody-goody people, and that fact would induce people to give and to feel sure that their aid was put to the best advantage. As to the question generally, he believed they would never get to the root of it until public policy, aided by law, kept the people in the villages, giving them opportunity to engage in useful and profitable employment near their own homes such as was being done in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk. He was pleased to support the Bill, small as it was; but it was a beginning, and he hoped some good might be got out of it.


made an appeal to the House to bring the debate to a conclusion in order that the Bill might be introduced into the House of Lords in sufficient time to be passed. He pointed out that when he undertook to give the first day possible to this Bill he counted on the House to assist him by not taking up time unnecessarily. Time was getting on, and though he recognised that everybody had been anxious to expedite matters as far as they could, he made this appeal because he thought it would be desirable to bring the debate to a conclusion.


said he trusted the Bill would be through the House in a short time, but there were just one or two points he would like to put to the President of the Local Government Board before the Bill left the House. The hon. Member for Woolwich seemed somewhat alarmed that some of the Amendments passed precluded the admission of women on the central boards. He did not believe that to be the case, but he certainly thought there should be some indication in the Bill that it was desirable that women should be on these central boards.

One other word he would like to say with regard to the Bill generally; he should like to say that he agreed with the hon. Member for Durham that this Bill would raise very false hopes. It was said that the House had been deluded, but his experience was that the House was never deluded except with its own connivance. He objected not so much to the House being deluded as to the public being deluded. The very high hopes that had been excited would never be realised. Having gone through the Bill he was amazed that so much fuss had been made about a Bill which would do very little good, except that it recognised a very important principle—a principle he should have thought the Government supporters would have been the last to recognise. Did they realise what they were giving statutory recognition to? The hon. Baronet the Member for Peckham, with his customary astuteness, had recognised that the Bill itself without considerable amending was not of great importance, but he recognised that the Bill contained the germs of a revolution; and whichever Party might be in power in the future could not stop there. It recognised the right of a man to call upon the State to provide him with work. The State replied by recognising the right but would not provide the work. The Bill was like a motor-car without petrol or only such petrol as it could beg on the road—an elaborate machine without motive power. Personally he was not afraid: he wished that its object had been enlarged. He remembered a Motion which was made by his hon. friend the Member for Merthyr on the subject of afforestation. Was there anything with regard to that in this Bill? because that scheme of employing labour had been utilised in Wales with unqualified success.


said there was nothing to prevent its coming into the Bill.


said that might be, but was there anything to encourage its coming in? This Bill engendered false hopes, and, therefore, must be a danger in that respect. The Government regarded this as a revolutionary measure and had carried it—he would not say gladly, but with melancholy alacrity—to avoid prolonging the session, rather than fly from ills they knew to others that they wot not of. But a dissolution would have been much better for them than many things which were in this measure.


said it was quite true there was nothing in the Amendments accepted in any way to make it less likely that women Would be appointed upon those bodies. There was nothing to weaken the provisions of the Bill in that matter, but he did not know that it would be advisable to go beyond that, and to say that there should be more women on those bodies. It was suggested that this Bill would cause great disappointment in its operation, and he thought that was possible. But nothing that he himself had said would justify any hopes that might have been raised. He had from first to last been careful to say exactly what the Bill could do and what it was intended to do. He had always said that the Bill was not intended to deal with the whole of the vast problem known as the question of the unemployed, but only with a comparatively small part of that problem—namely, the case of thoroughly deserving workmen who were ordinarily in regular employment, but who, in consequence of fluctuations in our industrial system, were from time to time thrown out of work through no fault of their own. He would remind the House that at the present moment local authorities were doing what they had been doing for years past—undertaking works for the very purpose of relieving the class of workers whose relief was contemplated in this Bill. They had done that in accordance with methods which he thought in most cases had been thoroughly faulty, and one of the great objects of this Bill was to substitute better methods. If nothing else than that were to follow as the result of the Bill, he thought it was capable of doing a great amount of good. If it were true that the Bill would cause disappointment, the fault lay with those who had exaggerated what it was possible or desirable to do. What was called the principle of giving work to all deserving persons in the State who applied for it was not the principle of the Bill, and, in his opinion, any attempt of that kind would be fraught with the greatest possible danger. He did not believe it to be true that in this country when legislation entered upon a particular path this House and the country would never be satisfied until the principle in germ had been carried out to what was called its logical conclusion. That was not our way in this country.


It is not a logical conclusion, but a practical conclusion.


said he did not think it was a practical conclusion, but he did not wish to dispute with the hon. Member on that point. His conviction was that, although there was a good deal that was novel in this Bill, it would not take them along the path suggested by hon. Members opposite.


said that he and some of his friends on his side of the House voted against the Bill on the Second Reading. He was strongly tempted to repeat the protest now. But, apart from other modifications in the Bill, his mind was affected by two material considerations, but he found that the measure had been considerably altered since it was introduced. In the first place, the Bill since the Second Reading had been limited in its operation to a period of three years. In the second place, it had been announced that a Royal Commission was to be appointed to make an inquiry of a large scope. He hoped the Commission would report before the termination of three years. He still considered the central principle of the Bill mischievous and fraught with possible evil to the whole community, but under the circumstances he thought he was justified in regarding the Bill in its present shape as an experiment from which the Royal Commission might be enabled to draw some useful lessons. He wished to reserve to himself absolute freedom of action in future whenever Parliament was called upon again to review this important question. Whatever might be the opinion of hon. Gentlemen opposite as to the binding character of the Bill, whatever they might think as to its being bound to be followed by legislation of a more drastic or more logical kind, or, if they liked, a more practical kind, he would, for his part, regard the Bill as merely an experiment. He declined to be governed by its passage in his action in the future.

MR. CRIPPS (Lancashire, Stretford)

said he voted against the Second Reading of the Bill because he thought it contained a most mischievous principle, and its operation would be to manufacture unemployed rather than to decrease their numbers. The only difference in the Bill now before the House as compared with the measure originally presented was that the present Bill merely setup machinery. If there was a division on the Third Reading he should vote against the Bill again, because he believed it involved the principle that the working people of this country had some right to claim employment, and that was the most demoralising idea that could possibly be introduced into the minds of the working classes. People appeared to think that either the State or the ratepayers should provide employment for any number of the unemployed in this country. He joined issue on that matter altogether. It was absolutely impossible for the State or local authorities to provide any quantity of employment for which there might be a demand. It was an inconceivable and impossible position. Therefore, they were raising hopes which were absolutely incapable of being fulfilled, and that, in his opinion, was the worst thing they could possibly do as regarded the working classes.

He thoroughly agreed with what was adumbrated by an hon. Member opposite, namely, that this was not the way to approach the unemployed question at all. They might deal with it from the point of view of reafforestation, or by creating a large number of additional holders of small plots of land—a method of which he had always been in favour—or they might deal with it by different systems in connection with industrial organisations. They needed to prevent the constant recurrence of unemployment and not to encourage it, as this Bill might do. Although the Bill was not so obnoxious to himself and those who thought as he did as it was when first introduced, he believed they were sanctioning a great departure in a wrong direction. The Bill contained the germ of a great revolutionary idea, and when they had once planted that germ to try to sweep it away would be like Mrs. Partington trying to sweep back the Atlantic with a mop. Undoubtedly the Bill would lead to the most bitter disappointment. Supposing that in Manchester, or any other large town, there was a serious difficulty as regarded unemployment during the coming winter, what would the unemployed find if they turned to this Bill? They would, as, he understood it, find an organisatioa and secretaries, but nothing else.

He differed from the President of the Local Government Board in that he thought the Bill would have a great effect on charitable contributions. It would be inconsistent to suppose that people would contribute to the rates, even to a small extent, and at the same time give charitable contributions. Before they introduced such a revolutionary method of dealing with the question there ought to have been a thorough inquiry and a full consideration of what were the true lines on which they should advance. The hon. Member for Merthyr Tydvil had referred to the Poor Law. The difference was this, that if a man got relief under the Poor Law, not only must he be destitute, but there were deterrent influences in connection with the social status disenfranchisement, and other disagreeable elements connected with pauperism.


The Poor Law does not apply to compulsory work.


said it did, but it was only given to the destitute. The difference was this, that they were giving here a semi-fictitious and artificial assistance under conditions which were no test as to whether it was wanted or not. They were introducing artificial conditions which, in his opinion, could lead to nothing except further industrial disorganisation, further distress, and increased want of employment. Why should the landowner, the small shopkeeper, and even the artisan himself provide for the unfortunate derelicts of our too competitive industrial system? If money had to be provided for the purpose it ought to come either from the industrial organisations themselves or from the National Exchequer. The last person whom they ought to expect to bear a burden of that kind was the man who was most heavily burdened at the present time—the borough or the county ratepayer. He protested, as he had done on other occasions, against the system of introducing measures of that kind and not boldly facing the expense, but throwing it on the ratepayer.


said that doubts had been expressed in his constituency as to whether a Bill of this kind was desirable or not. He should like briefly to explain his reasons for his constant and consistent support of it. As the senior Member for Leicester had said, it was in response to the urgently expressed desire of the mayor and? corporation of Leicester, made known to them by means of deputations in that House, that the Members for the borough and of the surrounding country had pledged themselves to support the original Bill; and it was only last Thursday that a deputation, headed by the mayor of Leicester, urged on the President of the Local Government Board to persevere and carry the Bill through, even as proposed to be altered and amended. Now, the Corporation represented all classes, all sections, and all parties, and might be assumed to express, with accuracy, the desires of the people as a whole. At the same time it was fair to say that not even when the original Bill was introduced, and not even now, was there complete unanimity on the subject at Leicester. In the first place, the leaders of the Labour Party were not very enthusiastic about it; and one of them, in the public Press, said that it did not matter whether the Bill was passed or not, What his Labour friends might think of the Bill now before the House they would have to wait to find out.


Very little.


said that, again, there was another section of the community, that section which provided the rates, many of whom were very poor people and in a condition of indigency themselves. They were fearful of any increased demands on the part of the rate-collector, which they had already difficulty enough in meeting, and they, naturally, regarded with dislike the introduction of a Bill which might add to the weight of the burdens which they had to bear. This was not numerically a very large class, he wished it was a larger class, but it was a class whose interests no Party now, or in the future, could afford to disregard. It was a matter of some difficulty to know what line should be taken in regard to this Bill. But the representation of the corporation prevailed, and were accepted as possessing such authority as the Members for the Borough could not disregard; and if, therefore, any considerable section of the people were inclined to find fault with them in his part of the country for having, throughout, pressed forward this Bill on all occasions, they must find fault with the corporation and not with them. He acknowledged that the position of the Government was very difficult. The Bill was announced in the King's Speech, and the Ministers responsible expressed their determination to persevere with it; but when Gentlemen opposite were found to be lukewarm, and Members on the Government side bitterly opposed, there did not seem to be much encouragement to proceed with the Bill. But, for his part, he was glad that it had been proceeded with, and was grateful to the Government for their perseverance.

He had no fear of Socialistic tendencies. It seemed to him that all measures of social reform had a Socialistic tendency. [MINISTERIAL cries of "No, No!"] He had heard the same Gentlemen, both outside and inside the House, who were so afraid of that Socialistic tendency, say the only way we could have an effective Army was by means of conscription. That seemed to him to be a measure of domestic reform having the most extreme Socialistic tendency. In any case, he could say that never before in his constituency had the need for an organisation capable of dealing with temporary distress been so forcibly demonstrated as during the last six months. The Bill would certainly lay the foundations of such an organisation upon which, should it unhappily be required, a more complete scheme could be based in the future. He believed, with the senior Member for Leicester, that if such a organisation were established, the officers of which would conduct a close scrutiny into all claims made upon it, and the funds of which would doubtless be properly administered under the authority of an Act of Parliament, if that were done he believed that wealthy and well-to-do men would come forward and aid liberally those who were thrown out of employment, whether by work inside the towns or outside upon the land.

He did not think the fears of those who thought there would not be money enough, nor the fears of those who thought they would be called upon to pay rates were either of them justified; and he believed the distress, although it was real and acute, was only temporary. Some of the causes of bad trade were already passing away, and even supposing our commerce were in a condition of decline he had no doubt that the wisdom of our statesmen would devise, and the good sense of the people would support, some means for arresting that downward tendency. The town which he represented had no fear of any permanent condition of decline. Preparations were being made, and money was being freely spent, to receive a much larger population than it now had; and in the meantime those who conducted its local government desired that some means might be devised by which a scandal might be removed from their doors by which numbers of their citizens were walking about idle and asking for charity in the streets. The Bill would forward that desire without doing any injustice to any section of the inhabitants, and he was glad to have the opportunity of helping forward its accomplishment by recording his vote in its favour.