HC Deb 14 February 1905 vol 141 cc65-71

Ordered, That all Members who are returned for two or more places in any part of the United Kingdom do make their Election for which of the places they will serve, within one week after it shall appear that there is no question upon the Return for that place; and if any thing shall come in question touching the Return or Election of any Member, he is to withdraw during the time the matter is in debate; and that all Members returned upon double Returns do withdraw till their Returns are determined.

Resolved, That no Peer of the Realm, except such Peers of Ireland as shall for the time being be actually elected, and shall not have declined to serve, for any county, city, or borough of Great Britain, hath any right to give his vote in the Election of any Member to serve in Parliament.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That it is a high infringement of the liberties and privileges of the Commons of the United Kingdom for any Lord of Parliament or other Peer or Prelate not being a Peer of Ireland at the time elected, and not having declined to serve for any county, city, or borough of Great Britain, to concern himself in the election of Members to serve for the Commons in Parliament, except only any Peer of Ireland, at such Elections in Great Britain respectively where such Peer shall appear as a candidate, or by himself, or any others, be proposed to be elected; or for any Lord-Lieutenant or Governor of any county to avail himself of any authority derived from his Commission, to influence the Election of any Member to serve for the Commons in Parliament."—(Sir A. Acland-Hood.)

SIR WILFRID LAWSON (Cornwall, Camborne) rose to oppose the Order, saying that in so doing he was following the action of a similar kind taken during many years by the late Mr. James Lowther. Mr. Lowther, he said, opposed the Order as a sham. It was a perfectly innocuous Resolution and there was nothing in it which enabled the "policeman on the beat" to prevent any Peer taking any part in any election. To-day the grounds for opposing the Resolution were stronger than ever. During the recess there was an election in North Dorset, and Lord Alington, who as Mr Sturt had occupied a seat in that House and had actually voted in favour of this Sessional Order, wrote a letter desiring his tenants to vote for the Unionist candidate. Lord Alington had also announced his intention of writing a similar letter at all future elections in Dorset. He therefore wished to ask whether the Government intended to take any notice of the proceedings of this young man. If the right hon. Gentleman would say that he proposed to take any action, then it would not be necessary to put the House to the trouble of a division, but if he proposed to do nothing then it only remained for them to indicate their appreciation of the absurdity of the Order by dividing the House and trying to prevent it making a fool of itself.


The hon. Baronet has reminded the House that this is not a new question and that it has often been raised by a right hon. friend of mine who is no longer with us. Now I have no other answer to give the hon. Baronet than that I have so often given in this place. I shall not defend or criticise the conduct of Lord Alington, who was very recently a Member of the House of Commons, and who probably has supported the Government in rejecting Motions similar to that of the hon. Baronet. [Sir WILFRID LAWSON: He voted for the Order.] I can only suppose that as soon as any gentleman is translated to another and a higher sphere, a process of rapid deterioration sets in and he forgets the principles which animated him in the House of Commons. As to the practical question whether or not this Order should be abolished, my views are quite unchanged. If the House of Commons in a formal way cares to delete the rule from its Standing Orders, it will be taken, and must be taken, as an intimation

to every Peer that, as far as the House of Commons is concerned, they will welcome his intervention in electoral contests. I do not remember the exact proportion of Unionists to Radical Peers in the House of Lords; but the balance is considerably in our favour. Therefore, from the Ministerial point of view, it would be an advantage to take the step suggested; because, if the intervention of Peers has any effect at all, that Party must gain which can enlist the greater number of Peers on its side. It is, therefore, on purely constitutional grounds, and against the interests of his Party that the hon. Baronet acts; and I will stand between the hon. Baronet and his self-denying procedure. I am sufficiently enamoured of the old constitutional principles of this country to see with reluctance the appearance of noble Lords on our electoral platforms. Such assistance may be extremely useful in relieving the labour thrown on candidates; but I do not believe it would be expedient. I will admit that there is no sanction behind this Order. The House cannot censure a noble Lord; and, if it did, he would probably treat the censure with ridicule. Therefore, the most dignified course is to take no steps to enforce the Rule. But the fact that this Order is retained by the House will prevent the great mass of Peers from taking an active part during the brief period in which an election is going on, and that is to the advantage of the House at large and of the hon. Baronet and his Party. In those circumstances I hope the opposition to the Order will not be pressed.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 345; Noes, 65. (Division List, No. 1.)

Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Bain, Colonel James Robert Blundell Colonel Henry
Allen, Charles P. Balcarres, Lord Boland, John
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Balfour, Rt. Hn.A.J. (Manch'r) Bond, Edward
Allsopp, Hon. George Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds) Boulnois, Edmund
Arkwright, John Stanhope Balfour, Kenneth R.(Christeh.) Bowles, Lt. Col. H.F.(Middlesex)
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. H. O. Barran, Rowland Hirst Brassey, Albert
Arrol, Sir William Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Brigg, John
Asher, Alexander Barry, Sir F. T. (Windsor) Bright, Allan Heywood
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert H. Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Bell, Richard Brotherton, Edward Allen
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson
Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy Bigwood, James Bryce, Rt. Hon. James
Bailey, James (Walworth) Black, Alexander William Brymer, William Ernest
Burdett-Coutts, W. Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Leese, SirJoseph F. (Accrington
Caldwell, James Freeman-Thomas, Captain F. Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Cameron, Robert Galloway, William Johnson Levy, Maurice
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow) Gardner, Ernest Lewis, John Herbert
Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ. Garfit, William Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. Lloyd-George, David
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J. Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.
Carlile, William Walter Goddard, Daniel Ford Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn) Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)
Causton, Richard Knight Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'r H'ml'ts Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Bristol, S.)
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh. Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Lowe, Francis William
Cawley, Frederick Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Goulding, Edward Alfred Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Graham, Henry Robert Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A (Worc.) Grant, Corrie Lucas, R. J. (Portsmouth)
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Chapman, Edward Greene, Sir EW (B'ry S Edm'nds Macdona, John Cumming
Cheetham, John Frederick Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Churchill, Winston Spencer Grey, Rt, Hn. Sir E. (Berwick) M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)
Coates, Edward Feetham Griffith, Ellis J. M'Crae, George
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hain, Edward Majendie, James A. H
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Malcolm, Ian
Colomb, Rt. Hn. Sir John C. R. Hambro, Charles Eric Marks, Harry Hananel
Compton, Lord Alwyne Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nd'y) Martin, Richard Biddulph
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Harrington, Timothy Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th) Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.)
Crombie, John William Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Milvain, Thomas
Crossley, Rt. Hn. Sir Savile Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.)
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hay, Hon. Claude George Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Dalziel, James Henry Hayden, John Patrick Mooney, John J.
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Hayter, Rt, Hon. Sir Arthur D. Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Morrison, James Archibald
Devlin, Charles R. (Galway) Heaton, John Henniker Moulton, John Fletcher
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Helder, Augustus Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.
Dickson, Charles Scott Helme, Norval Watson Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Murnaghan, George
Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C. Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W. Nannetti, Joseph P.
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Newnes, Sir George
Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Nicholson, William Graham
Donelan, Captain A. Hoare, Sir Samuel Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Doogan, P. C. Hobhouse, Rt Hn H (Somers't, E Norman, Henry
Dorington, Rt, Hn. Sir John E. Hogg, Lindsay O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Doughty, Sir George Horner, Frederick William O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hoult, Joseph O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Houston, Robert Paterson Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham parker Sir Gilbert
Duke, Henry Edward Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil parkes, Ebenezer
Duncan, J. Hastings Hudson, George Bickersteth Parrott, William
Dunn, Sir William Hutchinson, Dr Charles Fredk. partington, Oswald
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Jebb, Sir Richard (Claverhouse Paulton, James Mellor
Ellice, Capt EC(S. Andrw's Bghs. Jeffreys, Rt Hon Arthur Fred Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington
Elliot, Hn. A. Ralpn Douglas Jessel, Capt Herbert Merton Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Emmott, Alfred Jones, D Brynmor (Swansea) Pemberton, John S. G.
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Jones, William (Carnarvonsh) Percy, Earl
Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone Kennedy, V. P. (Cavan, W.) Pierpoint, Robert
Fardell, Sir T. George Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Pilkington, Colonel Richard
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Kerr, John Pirie, Duncan V.
Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r. Kimber, Sir Henry Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Finch, Rt, Hon. George H. Kitson, Sir James Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Findlay, Alex. (Lanark, N. E. Knowles, Sir Lees Purvis, Robert
Finlay, Sir R. B. (Inv'rn'ss B'ghs Lambert, George Pym, C. Guy
Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Randles, John S.
Fisher, William Hayes Langley, Batty Rasch, Sir Frederick Carne
Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose- Laurie, Lieut.-General Ratelifi, R. F.
Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th) Reid, James (Greenock)
Flower, Sir Ernest Lawson, Hn. H. L. W. (Mile End Remnant, James Farquharson
Forster, Henry William Layland-Barratt, Francis Renwick, George
Foster, P. S. (Warwick, S. W.) Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham) Rickett, J. Compton
Ridley, S. Forde Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Northants Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Stanley, Rt. Hn. Lord (Lancs.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Stevenson, Francis S. Weir, James Galloway
Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunt'n
Rose, Charles Day Stock, James Henry White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter Stone, Sir Benjamin White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Royds, Clement Molyneux Strachey, Sir Edward Whiteley, H. (Ashton und.Lyne
Runciman, Walter Stroyan, John Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Rutherford, J. (Lancashire) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ. Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Samuel, H. L. (Cleveland) Tennant, Harold John Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Schwann, Charles E. Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gower Wills, Arthur Walters, N. Dorset)
Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln) Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.) Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk, Mid.)
Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight Thornton, Percy M. Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Seton-Karr, Sir Henry Tollemache, Henry James Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Shackleton, David James Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M. Wilson-Tod, Sir W. H.(Yorks.)
Sharpe, William Edward T. Trevelyan, Charles Philips Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Tuff, Charles Woodhouse,Sir J. T. (Huddersfd
Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Skewes-Cox, Thomas Tuke, Sir John Batty Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Slack, John Bamford Turnour, Viscount Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Sloan, Thomas Henry Valentia, Viscount Wylie, Alexander
Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East) Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Smith, H. C. (North'mb. Tynesd. Waldron, Laurence Ambrose Yoxall, James Henry
Smith, Rt Hn J. Parker (Lanarks Wallace, Robert
Smith, Samuel (Flint) Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir
Soames, Arthur Wellesley Walton, Joseph (Barnsley) Alexander Acland-Hood
Spear, John Ward Wanklyn, James Leslie and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Heath, Sir James (Staffords. NW Price, Robert John
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Higham, John Sharpe Rea, Russell
Agg-Gardner James Tynte Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside Reckitt, Harold James
Ambrose, Robert Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Atherley-Jones, L. Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Richards, Thomas (WMonm'th)
Barlow, John Emmott Jacoby, James Alfred Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Labouchere, Henry Robson, William Snowdon
Blake, Edward Lough, Thomas Roche, John
Broadhurst, Henry Lundon, W. Russell, T. W.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford)
Channing, Francis Allston MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Stanhope, Hon. Philip James
Condon, Thomas Joseph MacVeagh, Jeremiah Sullivan, Donal
Cremer, William Randal M'Hugh, Patrick A. Toulmin, George
Dalkeith, Earl of M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.
Delany, William Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) White, George (Norfolk)
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N. Morpeth, Viscount Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Dillon, John Norton, Capt. Cecil William Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Eve, Harry Trelawney Nussey, Thomas Willans Wood, James
Fenwick, Charles O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Field, William O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir
Flynn, James Christopher O'Malley, William Wilfrid Lawson and Mr.
Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Perks, Robert William Kearley.
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